Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Different Tastes

A recipe for Cauliflower Bhajia (sometimes called Pakoras). Again, as mentioned above, adjust the spices to suit. I tend to use just the turmeric and cumin and if I haven't any coriander, well that's left out. The traditional flour used is Gram (chickpea) Flour, which is sold in the major supermarkets. At a pinch, plain flour could be used but it won't taste as good, and - as with most recipes - the main ingredient should be the correct one.
Phoolghobi Bhajia (Cauliflower Fritters) serves 4
5 oz (150g) gram flour
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tblsp coriander leaves, chopped
half a teasp. bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
Sift together the flour with the bicarb and powdered spices, add the rest of the ingredients making it up to a thickish batter with water.
Take about 10 oz (300g) cauliflower and cut into medium sized florets. Heat sunflower oil in a deep pan (a wok is ideal) until really hot (but do take care). Dip each floret into the batter and gently add to the oil, frying no more than four at a time. Reduce heat and allow the cauliflower to cook through. Fry until golden then drain on kitchen paper. You will need to raise the heat again for the next batch, then reduce to allow to cook. Repeat until all the cauliflower has been used.
Note: When making these, I find the first ones have lost their crispness, so when all have been done I raise the heat for the last time and add them all to the hot fat to crisp them up again. Drain and serve immediately. Very thinly sliced onions, dropped into the batter, gathered up into clumps with a fork and fried (no need to reduce the heat for these) I find are even better than the cauliflower. Try mushrooms another time, or do a mixture of the three.
Tip: Don't throw out the cauliflower stalk. Chop this up and cook in a little milk, along with any bits of florets that may be left, and when soft, blitz in a blender as the basis for a soup.

Yesterday I had another go at making Paneer. H ere is my version of the recipe:
1 pint (600ml) full cream milk
juice of 2 lemons
2 heaped tblsp Greek yogurt (ordinary should still work)
Bring the milk to the boil, stir in the lemon juice. Blend the yogurt with a little of the hot milk then stir this into the rest of the milk. Simmer for a few minutes, then remove from the heat. Leave to stand until cold. Line a sieve with plenty of muslin, place this over a deep bowl and tip the contents of the pan into the sieve. Leave to stand until the whey has drained out (you will see the cheese has shrunk away from the sides of the muslin. Gather up the muslin and wrap the surplus around the cheese as tightly as possible. Place the cheese on an upturned plate which is standing in a dish and place a heavy weight on the top of the cheese. This weight needs to be the same size at the cheese so that all of it is pressed. Once firm and set the cheese can be cut or broken to be used as required. This will keep in refrigeration for 3 - 4 days. The whey can be used to make scones or when making bread dough.
Note: One recipe states using 2 tablespoons lemon juice 'or as much as required to set the cheese' with no mention of yogurt. Another recipe mentions using either lemon juice OR yogurt, neither recipe suggests using both. Well if it worked for me, then why not?