Egg Dopiaza

This is a much loved dish in so many Indian homes. The word “dopiaza” actually translates as double onions – they’re cooked until they’re beautifully caramelised and golden. Paired with the boiled eggs (my preference is jammy soft boiled eggs!) and scooped up with buttery parathas, this dish is an absolute treat.

I taught this recipe at a recent Facebook live cookery class and it was so much fun.. You can catch up on it here (Mum even makes a guest appearance!). Let me know how it goes down in your kitchen!

Egg Dopiaza

Ingredients
  

  • 6 medium eggs boiled and peeled. I like mine soft boiled so I bring to boil & then simmer for 6 minutes. Then run under a cold tap until room temp.
  • 8-10 tbsp oil
  • 2 x cloves optional
  • 2 green cardamom pods crushed open, optional
  • 2 cm cinnamon stick optional
  • 2 bay leaves optional
  • 2 x large onions 500g, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 2 cms ginger grated
  • 1 small tomato 70g, finely diced
  • 1-2 chillies finely chopped
  • 1/ 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 3/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • Handful fresh coriander roughly chopped
  • Water
  • Pan with lid & a wooden spoon

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil in the pan. When hot, add the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon stick and bay leaves
  • Now add the onions a little at a time and begin to separate the slices using your wooden spoon. Once all of the onions are in the pan, add the salt and mix. Cook on a medium/high heat.
  • Place a lid on the pan and allow the onions to soften completely. Mix the onions every 2 minutes and then place the lid back on.
  • After 5-6 minutes, the onions should be soft and translucent . At this point add the garlic and ginger. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Then, add the tomatoes & chilli.
  • Continue to cook for a further 10 minutes on a medium heat with the lid on ( mixing every 2-3 minutes), until everything looks deep golden in colour. If you ever find anything is catching, add a couple of tbsp of water to help release or you can add a little more oil.
  • Once golden, reduce the heat and add the spice powders, sugar and the remaining salt. Cook for a minute until the oil begins to release around the edges. Taste for salt/chilli/sweetness and adjust accordingly. Now add the cooked eggs and carefully mix. Finish with fresh coriander. Enjoy with hot parathas or chapatis.

Murgh Jhalfrezi

I decided to teach this recipe as part of my Facebook Live cookery sessions on the hottest day of the year. Not sure if that was clever. The word “jhal” actually means hot in Bengali though – so I suppose it was somewhat fitting.

It’s a fiery, dry (semi saucy) dish that can almost be described as an “Indian stir fry”. Scooped up with some fresh chapatis off the tava, it’s a real delight! I hope you enjoy.

Murgh Jhalfrezi

Servings 4

Ingredients
  

For the chicken marinade:

  • 500 g skinned chicken thighs cut into small bite-size pieces
  • 2 heaped tbsp yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder

For the masala:

  • 2 tbsp ghee & 2tbsp oil
  • 1 ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion 150g, half finely chopped & half thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and grated
  • 3 ” ginger grated
  • 2 fresh tomatoes 170g, finely diced
  • 1 ½ tbsp double concentrate tomato purée
  • 1-2 green bird eye chillies finely chopped
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¾ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp chilli
  • 1 green pepper thinly sliced
  • ½ red pepper thinly sliced
  • ¼ tsp roasted cumin powder optional
  • Handful fresh coriander
  • 80-100 ml water

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat your grill at the maximum temperature setting. Place all “marinade” ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Now, place the marinated chicken on a foil lined oven tray.
  • Grill chicken for 8-9 minutes until cooked (the chicken should be white all the way through). Remove from grill and keep aside.
  • Heat the ghee and oil in pan on a medium heat setting. Once hot add the cumin seeds. Then add the onions along with ½ tsp salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
  • Now add the garlic and ginger and mix. Continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and purée to the pan and stir. Place a lid on top and cook for 2-3 minutes allowing them to completely soften.
  • Reduce heat slightly and add the green chillies, coriander powder, paprika, turmeric, garam masala and the remaining salt and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes. When you see the oil begin to separate from the masala paste, add the grilled chicken along with the sliced peppers and water.
  • Mix well and place on a medium/high heat. Place a lid on the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes. Finish with roasted cumin powder a sprinkle of fresh coriander. Taste for salt and chilli and adjust accordingly. Remove from heat.

Batata Vadas

Batata Vadas, Aloo Bonda, Aloo Vada, Aloo Chop – different names to describe one mouth watering street food snack now served all over India! Mumbaikers claim Batata Vadas as their creation and I believe them because their recipe is absolutely delicious. If you’re not familiar with this Mumbai street food snack – imagine spicy potato balls dipped in a gram flour batter which are then deep fried.

Spicy and soft, Batata Vadas provide joy and comfort with every bite. They’re utterly moreish on their own but are often served inside a fluffy white bun to transform them into a portable snack on the go called Vada Pav. To turn up the flavour volume, the inside of the bun is smothered with a fiery coriander & mint chutney, a roasted garlic & peanut crumble and any crispy bits of batter which may remain in pan once the vadas are fried. Talk about a (carby) sandwich of dreams!

Whether you relish these on their own or as Vada Pavs, I hope you enjoy them! Oh and if you have any leftover batter you can transform them into pudas. If you’d like to watch me make Batata Vadas, watch the cook-a-long from my recent Facebook live.

Batata Vadas

Servings 4

Equipment

  • Frying pan & wooden spoon
  • Mixing Bowl & whisk
  • Small wok & slotted spoon

Ingredients
  

For the Stuffing:

  • 2 tbsp oil of your choice
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 onion 40g, finely diced
  • 2 cms ginger grated
  • 1 large garlic clove grated
  • 15 fresh curry leaves completely optional. If using dry, soak in warm water for 10 minutes ahead of time.
  • 600 g potatoes cooked, peeled & roughly mashed with a fork ( I will cook mine in the microwave but you can also steam or boil)
  • 1 tsp salt or according to taste
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp amchur/mango powder or juice from a lime
  • 1/2 tsp mild paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp chilli powder or according to taste
  • 2 fresh chillies finely chopped
  • small handful fresh coriander stems finely chopped

For the Batter:

  • 200 g gram flour/chickpea flour sifted into a bowl
  • water (approx 250mls)

You will also need:

  • Oil for deep frying sunflower/veg oil work well

Instructions
 

  • To make the stuffing, place your mashed potatoes on a wide tray or big plate and spread the potatoes out. Now, heat oil in a frying pan. Once hot add the mustard seeds. When they begin to crackle, add the curry leaves as well as the onions and mix.
  • Cook the onions for a minute, then add the ginger and garlic. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes on a medium heat until light golden in colour then add to the potatoes. (If you find the pan looks dry during the cooking process, you can add a little more oil or a splash of water to ensure nothing burns).
  • Now add the salt and remaining spices as well as the chillies and fresh coriander. Mix well using your hand. Taste for salt and chilli and tweak according to your personal taste preference. Once combined, roll into balls. You can vary the size on your personal preference! Traditionally they are a little bigger than golf balls. Once rolled, keep aside.
  • Fill a small wok or saucepan with 4-5cms of oil. Place on your cooker on a low heat setting.
  • To create the batter, add 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/4tsp turmeric powder and a pinch of chilli powder to the sifted gram flour. Gradually add the water and whisk simultaneously. Add enough water so you have a thick, smooth, lump free batter. It should easily coat the back of a spoon but should be a little thicker than pancake batter.
  • Increase the temperature of the oil in the wok to medium. To check if the oil is hot enough, add a little spoon of batter to the pan. It should float up to the surface and bubble within about 5 seconds. (If it is too cold it will stay at the bottom and if it is too hot it will come up to the surface immediately and turn brown).
  • Once you're happy with the oil temperature, place a potato ball in the batter. Spoon over the batter so the ball is completely covered in it. Now, pick up the bowl containing the batter and hold it close to the wok. Use the spoon to carefully transfer the battered vada into the oil. Repeat until you wok is full (being careful not to overcrowd).
  • After the vadas are sealed (take 10-12 seconds), use a slotted spoon to keep them moving. Cook on a medium heat for 4-6 minutes until golden and crisp to touch. They should stay yellowish – light golden in the 2-3 minutes and then eventually begin to turn completely golden in the final 2-3 minutes. Keep them moving in the oil to prevent any dark spots.
  • Once ready, use your slotted spoon to remove the vadas from the pan – draining as much oil as possible before placing them on some kitchen paper.
  • Repeat with the remaining potato balls. Serve with your favourite dipping sauces and chutneys!

Notes

The recipe for the green coriander chutney can be found here