Passion Fruit Dansak

It’s that time again, everyone. Time for my recipe of the month. And this month, I’m going to be using one of the peppers that I picked up in challock.

Cereja

The cereja roxa*.

Why? Well, two reasons really. One, they’re starting to look a little old and wrinkly so I really do need to use up the last of them. And two, I was wanting to revisit this dish anyway and I thought that it would be the perfect fit for such a fruity chilli.

If, however, you don’t have access to the cereja roxa or its relatives, today’s curry will still work great with the scotch bonnet’s more savoury, earthy fruitiness. Just don’t expect it to have the same light and refreshing top notes.

Because, despite being a rather gentle flavour, this rare pepper really pulls its weight when cooked into my passion fruit dansak.

And yes, this is a dish that I’m rehashing but it’s one that you’ve never seen before. One that I first made for a shokugeki, prior to ever writing this blog.

It was formulated to showcase lentils as an ingredient, without sitting heavily on the stomach like a full on daal, and it was created to capture the hearts of vegetarian chilli lovers, without relying on overly rich additions like soy or black garlic.

It was a winner at the time but, with the light and refreshing quality of its new chilli and a few years worth of refined cooking techniques, today’s version is greater than it ever was before. I just know that you’ll love it.

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The True Vindaloo

Hey there spice lovers, this month I’m hanging out at my buddy Exban’s place for a nice romantic wine and dine.

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Why? Partially because his girlfriend dumped him but mostly because I felt like making a proper vindaloo and needed someone to finish off the booze with. An explanation that, if anything, only raises more questions.

Since when did a vindaloo have wine in it? Why is there alcohol in an indian dish when the nation’s religions are so against it? And why can’t I drink it all myself?

Well, for starters, the vindaloo, or vin d’ aloo, isn’t an indian dish. It comes from goa and uses indian spices, certainly, but goa wasn’t a part of india at the time. Goa was officially portuguese and portuguese cooking had no such anti-alcohol restrictions. They were more than happy to be working with wine.

Their earlier dish, the “carne de vinha d’alhos” from which the vindaloo was derived, got its name from its three key ingredients: Pork, wine and garlic. Three ingredients to which the goan people added coriander, turmeric, chilli and a whole host of other spices, along with potatoes to bulk it out and keep the heat from getting too high.

Because, unlike today’s vindaloo, their vin d’ aloo wasn’t meant to be the hottest dish on any menu. All they wanted was a full-on fiery flavour to their marinated meat.

And, while even most “traditional” recipes pull from a later date, once the wine had been swapped for vinegar, I’m going to be taking it right back to its origins, today, with a rich and fruity red wine.

So, let’s get started, shall we?

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Tikka Time

Happy tuesday again people. Last month I took a look at Mahi Fine Foods’ Lime & Coriander Rub & Marinade, only to find it absolutely heatless.

It wasn’t bad but it did leave me scrambling for something else to feature. It was a mistake that I won’t be making twice.

As I sit down to write about their Tikka Marinade, I can assure you that I’ve already read through the ingredients at least five times:

Water, Tomato Paste, Onions, Red Chilli Paste, Garlic Paste, Rapeseed Oil, Salt, Ginger Paste, Citric Acid, Ground Paprika, Yoghurt, Mixed Spices, Beetroot and Stabilizer: Xanthan Gum.

This one has chilli in it and, if the taste is anything to go by, it’s got a fair bit at that.

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Cooking With Vanilla

Hey folks, it’s the last weekend of the month so it’s time for another recipe. This one, however, is a little different to most.

It’s an adaptation of something I found in Janet Sawyer’s vanilla cookbook, kept mild and made vegetarian (vegan even) to suit the relatives I’m eating with. Yet, for those who do want it, I’ll be giving instructions on how to sub the meat back in.

The tofu may add texture to the dish and it’s an unusual but lovely vanilla curry either way but, for those who do eat it, chicken would most definitely help to bring the flavours together and give them a base on which to build.

Regardless of which version you choose to make, though, I’ve made a few other tweaks to ensure that you get the best possible flavour from the curry, while also highlighting a more interesting chilli.

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Indian Potato Cakes

Hey folks, it’s recipe time again.

Not that you haven’t already had a couple this month but both of those were little, product specific recipes I came up with on the fly. Today’s is a touch more thought out.

This time, we’ll be making one of the best carriers for sauces – Potato pancakes.

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Weird Food Week

Hello again everyone, I’m bringing my recipe forward a couple weeks this time to celebrate national curry week. Or is it national chocolate week?

God knows why we’re having both at once this year but I’ve had vague plans for chocolate curry for a long while so it’s about time that they saw metaphorical print.

It’s time I made a chocolate madras.

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Formerly Mild

Hey everyone, this week it’s recipe week and I’d like to talk to you about one of my favourite curries.

The humble korma, however, doesn’t have the best of reputations, being considered both too mild and too desert-like to be called a “proper curry” by many.

It’s the sweet, rich, creamy, coconut-heavy and utterly chilli free dish used to introduce people to the spices of indian cuisine but, in my opinion, it’s a little more than that.

Made well, the almond, coconut and dairy base of this dish gives it the unique, rich, mild and milky flavour you might expect, ideal to be built upon with other things, such as its often quite complex spice palette. In fact, it’s a perfect carrier for these spices because, as with chilli, their flavours are mostly oil based, allowing them to be absorbed into the milk fats quite easily to spread throughout the meal.

But, depending on where you look, you’ll see many variations on the korma, some of which have rather different ideas on what flavours should permeate its thick, underlying sauce.

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A Maximum of Onions

Hello again spice lovers and welcome back to my end of the month recipe posts. Today we’re trying our hands at something a little less dessert-based again. Dōpiaza relish.

For those who aren’t familiar with the curry, dōpiaza is a red-coloured indian dish with all the flavours that entails but also onions. Lots of onions.

In fact, the name literally means “two onions”, referring to the inclusion of both fried and boiled ones.

Many restaurants over the years have screwed up this translation though. Rather than telling their customers that the dish has two types of onion or twice as much as any other curry, indian restaurants will often mark it down as a “maximum” amount of the vegetable. And that just isn’t true.

But what happens when we use an actual maximum of onions? I’ve wanted an answer to this for a long time and recently decided to find out.

I must warn you though, this recipe is simple but slow. It is worth in the end but absolutely not for the impatient.

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