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Posted by on Jul 18, 2011 in Desserts, Recipes, Sides, Special diet, Vegetarian | 1 comment

Indian Feast

Indian Feast


On Friday I trained a set of recipes I had never personally cooked before. This usually stresses me out but I have worked with Nomiki, the housekeeper I was training, so many times before. We are really on the same page and I know that if I hit any bumps we would be able to navigate them together.

The reason the recipes were new to me was because my client, whom I was doing the training on behalf of, was having guests for dinner that evening who were vegetarian and she wanted to serve them an authentic Indian vegetarian meal. I have a fabulous tried and tested recipe book at home called ‘Curry leaves and cumin seeds’ which I used to plan the menu and aside from a few tweaks here and there, the recipes were perfect.

The meal was planned to consist of a number of smaller dishes and side dishes from which the guests would help themselves. The protein part of the meal was the variety of split pea and lentil dishes, the starch dishes were a fragrant rice and a potato and cauliflower dish. The veggies were present throughout and we also made a cucumber, mint and yoghurt condiment to add some fresh cooling flavours.

Dessert was a creamy rice and nut pudding. I have never been a huge fan of rice pudding but, oh my word, this was most certainly the exception! The subtle spices and the abundance of nuts were divine.

Each dish was relatively simple but put together the spread seemed like a feast of spices, aromas and textures. I can’t wait for an opportunity to recreate it for a dinner party of my own soon.

Masoor Daal Sabzi Wali

(Mixed vegetable and lentil curry)

Serves 4

3 cups of water

¾ cup of red lentils

1 tsp of garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp of turmeric

Salt to taste

½ cup, julienned carrots

½ cup, julienned baby corn

1 cup, broccoli florets

1 medium potato, peeled and diced

1 Tbsp oil

1 Tbsp butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 tsp of ground cumin

2 tsp of ground coriander

½ tsp of chilli powder

½ tsp of paprika

2 small tomatoes, chopped

1 tsp of sugar (or to taste)

1 Tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped

Bring the water to a boil in medium pot and add the lentils, garlic, turmeric and salt, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until almost cooked. Add all the other vegetables and carry on simmering for a further 10 minutes until the veggies are tender but still crunchy. Remove from the heat.

Fry the onion in the oil and butter until golden. Add the spices, tomato and sugar and stir fry for a few minutes. Stir in the fresh coriander and add the mixture to the vegetables. Allow to stand for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.


Chole Aur Khumb

(Mushroom and chickpea curry)

Serves 4

1 can of chickpeas

250g of fresh button mushrooms

2 Tbsp oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 Tbsp, finely chopped ginger

1 Tbsp, finely chopped garlic

½ tsp turmeric

½ tsp chilli powder

½ tsp paprika

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp garam masala

2 Tbsp, tomato paste

2 tomatoes, finely chopped

1 cup of hot water

Salt to taste

2 tsp of chopped fresh coriander

Wash and drain the chickpeas. Cut the mushrooms into halves or quarters. Heat the oil in the pan and fry the mushrooms and onion for a few minutes until golden. Then add the garlic, ginger and spices and fry for a few minutes.

Add the tomato paste, tomatoes and hot water and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the salt and chickpeas and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Check the seasoning and add a teaspoon or two of sugar if the tomatoes were particularly acidic. Remove from heat and garnish with coriander.

Gobi Aloo

(Potato and cauliflower side dish)

Serves 4

1 Tbsp of oil

1 tsp of cumin seeds

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp of fresh ginger, finely chopped

½ tsp of turmeric

½ tsp paprika

1 tsp of ground cumin

½ tsp of garam masala

Salt to taste

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

500g cauliflower, cut into florets

1 Tbsp freshly chopped coriander

Heat the oil in a large non stick pan and fry the cumin seeds, garlic and ginger for a few minutes. Add the spices, salt, potato and a splash of water. Reduce the heat to low and cook covered for 5 – 7 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the cauliflower, reduce the heat even more, cover and cook until tender. Stir in the coriander just before serving.


Palak Daal

(Spinach and split pea curry)

Serves 4

¼ cup of yellow split peas

2 cups of water

½ tsp of salt

2 Tbsp of oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 tsp of fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp of paprika

1 tsp of coriander

Salt to taste

500g spinach, finely chopped

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp of butter

Freshly ground black pepper

Cook the split peas in water and salt until they are cooked but not mushy. Drain and set aside.

In a large shallow pan heat the oil and fry the onion for a few minutes before adding the remaining ingredients. Fry this until the spinach has wilted and all the cooking juices have cooked away.

Add the split peas, butter and black pepper and mix well.


(Creamy rice and nut pudding)

Serves 4 – 6

½ a cup of basmati rice

2 cups of water

A tin of evaporated milk

A tin of condensed milk

1 tsp of cardamom seeds, pounded

¼ tsp of nutmeg

½ cup of seedless raisins

½ cup of finely chopped almonds

½ cup of finely chopped cashews

¼ cup of chopped pistachios

A pinch of salt

1 Tbsp slivered pistachios (for garnish)

1 Tbsp slivered almonds (for garnish)

Simmer the rice in the water until soft. Add all the other ingredients except the slivered almonds and pistachios and simmer on very low heat for about 10 minutes until thick and creamy. Garnish before serving with the slivered nuts

1 Comment

  1. What a feast! Great blog Thekla!

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