Tag Archives: yogurt

31Jul/15

Yogurt & gram flour curry

Kadhi with pakoras

Kadhi or yogurt & gram flour curry is something we don’t find in our usual curry restaurants and this is perhaps because it is assumed by restaurateurs that it is something which wouldn’t sit too well with the European palate and is more an acquired taste.

However, if you have ever had an Indian vegetarian thali, served with a variety of dainty little bowls containing different vegetable dishes, it is very possible that kadhi formed part of this medley.  You could say it is a little like being served with a bowl of miso in a Japanese restaurant but usually in India and Pakistan it is eaten with rice or kichdi, which is rice and lentil dish cooked together.

Generally, we would add some gram flour pakoras (click here for recipe) to the kadhi but some people add a few vegetables – you could happily eat this as a very satisfying soup!

Ingredients

2 tablespoons gram flour
2 tablespoons natural unsweetened soya yogurt (I used Sojade which is available at As Nature Intended or Wholefoods)
2 tablespoons oil
1 heaped teaspoon panchporan (a mix of black mustard seed, fenugreek seed, fennel seed, cumin seed, black onion seed, available at Asian stores or online here)
1 level teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 inch piece ginger, finely minced
2 tomatoes, chopped
Few curry leaves (optional but worth stocking up – you can buy these dry from Tescos & Asian stores)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt to taste
Some chopped fresh coriander

Method

  • Mix the gram flour and yogurt with a little water into a smooth paste. Add about 1 litre of water and set aside
  • Heat oil in a deep pan and add panchporan; give it a minute or two until the seeds begin to pop
  • Add spices, garlic, ginger. salt and curry leaves and tomatoes cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until tomatoes are soft
  • Add the gram flour and yogurt mixture and bring to boil. Be careful as it will boil over very easily.

Kadhi with pakoras(2)

  • As soon as it comes to the boil, lower heat and leave to simmer (do not cover), stirring intermittently, for about 45 minutes or until it is thickish, but not too thick. Consistency depends on how you like it – some people like it very thin and runny, whereas others prefer it thicker
  • Add lemon juice and give it a stir, now add the onion pakoras, sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve (see picture above)

Note: Instead of pakoras, you could add some vegetables like carrots, peas, sweet potato, butternut squash or green beans and cook for a further 15 minutes until vegetables are cooked

13May/15

Lentil nuggets and curry sauce

Urad dal pakoras(3)

Not enough can be said to extol the virtues of lentils specially in a vegan/vegetarian diet.  They are full of nutrition and a source of protein and should be the mainstay of any vegan or vegetarian diet – they are so versatile and you lose out big time if you don’t get to know them intimately. There is a huge variety of lentils available and yet most of us don’t venture beyond orange lentils or mung beans.  Did you know that lentils without the skin taste completely different to lentils with the skin – for example, take the ubiquitous orange lentil – have you tried the very same with the skin? a very different story ……

Lentil nuggets are deliciously crunchy and so easy to make and yet for some reason had slipped off my repertoire – some things do and then one day it just appears on the radar, triggered by some unknown thought or action….who knows! Anyway, the other day I opened the cupboard to get my usual orange lentils out and spotted the jar of urad dal which I admit doesn’t get as much attention from me as the other lentils….and that is how it came to be.

Urad dal pakoras(2)

I forgot to soak the lentils overnight but 4 hours in luke warm water is enough and does the trick. As I was doing the nuggets as part of our evening meal, I decided to make a curry sauce with floating nuggets and you can see for yourself that it was a huge success – lentil nuggets are back on the menu!  For this curry sauce I used yogurt instead of tomatoes but there is nothing to stop you from adding a tablespoon or so of tomato puree.

Urad dal pakoras(6)

Urad dal is a sticky lentil so if you add a little to your regular orange lentil, it will give it a slightly gloopy texture – try it.  Lentil nuggets can be made with just urad dal or a 50/50 combination of urad and mung dal but I have used just urad for this recipe. Give it a go and you’ll see what I mean – it is so simple and the texture of the nuggets is firm and crunchy unlike pakoras made with gram flour (basan).

Makes about 15-16 nuggets

Ingredients

200 grams skinless urad dal (soak overnight in cold water or for 4 hours in warm water)
1 teaspoon onion granules
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon paprika
½ level teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
Handful of chopped fresh coriander
Oil to fry
Little chopped fresh coriander for garnish

Method

  • Rinse the soaked dal and grind in blender to a coarse, thick paste
  • Add all the ingredients and mix well

Urad dal pakoras

  • Gently form into small, golf size balls – the balls will be soft but that’s fine
  • Heat some oil in a small wok – about ¼ inch of oil
  • Fry the nuggets for 10 minutes, turning to brown all sides. Using 2 forks to turn them over works well for me
  • Serve with a sweet chutney or in a curry sauce (see below) and eat with rice

Curry sauce

Urad dal pakoras(5)

Ingredients

1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
1½ inch piece ginger, minced or finely chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (available at all Asian stores or online – buy small packet as it goes a long way)
½ teaspoon paprika (for colour)
Little salt
100ml unsweetened natural yogurt (I used Sojade)

Method

  • Fry the onion in oil until golden
  • Mix all the spices with the yogurt and a little water and add to the onions
  • Fry the spices for about 6-7 minutes, adding small splashes of water if required
  • Add about 400ml of water and let the curry sauce simmer on low for about 20 minutes
  • Check the sauce for preferred consistency and add the urad dal nuggets and simmer for a further 5 minutes
  • Sprinkle the chopped coriander and serve with boiled rice
19Jul/14

Yogurt & cucumber

Mas o khiar

Yogurt with cucumber, commonly known by its Greek name, Tzatziki is called Mas-o-Khiar in Farsi.  My mother’s side of the family are Persians and we call it mas-o-khiar and it is something everyone expects to see on the dinner table most days –  specially in hot weather when the cucumber is so cooling teamed with the yogurt.  It is traditionally eaten with flat bread or on the side with a rice dish but can be used as a dip and as a dressing in a wrap.  A healthy and tasty way of eating that cucumber and something the children will not object to.

Ingredients

1 small cucumber, coarsely grated with the skin (about 6 inches long)
1 250g carton unsweetened vegan yogurt (I use Sojade which is the best I have found thus far in the UK. I buy it from As Nature Intended but it is also available from Planet Organic and Wholefoods)
1 teaspoon dried mint
2 cloves garlic, finely grated (it is best with garlic but you don’t have to use it if you don’t like garlic!)
2 tablespoons good olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
Fresh mint (optional)

Method

  1. Coarsely grate 1 small cucumber with the skin and gently squeeze out excess water
  2. Mix cucumber and garlic with yogurt
  3. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, dried mint, salt and pepper and give it a good stir
  4. Stir in a few torn fresh mint leaves, if using, and sprinkle some dried mint on top as garnish
  5. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil on top!  Beautiful