Naan Kithai (Indian Shortbread Cookies)

Naan Kithai are traditional Indian buttery cookies, flavoured with cardamom and are delicious. I’ve never been a huge baking enthusiast (probably because I usually view baking as a time consuming project), but I love making these, firstly because they taste amazing and go perfectly with my daily staple of cardamom tea and secondly, because the recipe is really simple and it only requires 10 minutes baking time in the oven. We have served them at The Spice Club with our after dinner tea/coffee and they go down a treat. I’ve been asked for the recipe so many times that I have decided to get it down on paper! Comments appreciated! Let me know what you thnk..

Makes approx 30

What we need:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup oil
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup plain flour
1/3 cup semolina
1/2 cup gram flour
Pinch of baking soda
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
Sliced Almonds to garnish

How we do:

  • Place sugar, butter and oil in a bowl and cream together
  • In a separate bowl, add semolina, gram flour, plain flour, baking soda and cardamom powder together and mix well.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter, oil and sugar
  • Bind together until a soft dough is formed
  • Divide into 30 portions and shape them into balls
  • Put a little indentation into the middle of each portion, add a slice of almond to each and place on lined baking tray
  • Bake in oven at 150C for 5 minutes. Turn the baking tray around and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • They should be a very slight golden colour. Remove tray from oven and allow to cool before touching them.
  • You’re done. Enjoy!

Cumin Puffs (Jeera Khari) – Indian Tea Snacks

Cardamom tea or “elaichi chai” comes as standard in most Indian households. I usually like to eat a sweet biscuit or rusk with my chai but recently I have been craving some salty goodness. When I used to go on holiday to India for the Summer,  I used to stay with my grandparents in Jaipur. I remember my Grandpa or “Nanaji” as I call him, used to especially go the local baker to get my brother and I some freshly baked snacks every few days as a treat. Cumin puffs  (jeera khari) used to be one of my favourites! They’re light, crispy, buttery puffs flavoured with cumin seeds and go perfectly with hot chai or creamy Madras coffee. So as I have been craving these and missing my grandparents I thought I would make these lovely treats. Baking is not my forte so I love the simplicity of these! Also, I added a few nigella seeds and carom seeds to add a little more depth to the flavour. Feel free to customise according to your tastes. Enjoy the recipe and I appreciate all comments 🙂

What we need:
1 roll butter puff pastry dough (If frozen, make sure it is thoroughly thawed out)
Sea salt to taste
Caster sugar
Cumin seeds
Nigella seeds (optional)
Carom seeds (optional)

How we do:

  • Preheat oven to 200*C
  • Open out the dough sheet onto a flat surface
  • Sprinkle over sea salt and sugar according to taste
  • Sprinkle over the cumin seeds, nigella seeds and carom seeds
  • Roll over the pastry with a rolling pin so all seeds are pressed into the dough
  • Cut out with a knife or using a cookie cutter
  • Place all the cut outs onto a lined baking tray
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the puffs are even golden and crispy
  • Enjoy!

Roasted Chicken Masala

In today’s recipe I’ll be teaching you how to make chicken masala very simply and very quickly. Chicken masala (or chicken curry as it is more popularly known as) is THE classic party dish made at all Punjabi dinner parties. My brother and I used to get so excited when my Mum used to make this when we were younger-it was only made on Sundays when we had family get-togethers at my grandmother’s house or on special occasions. Served hot with basmati rice or fresh tandoori rotis, it is sure to go down well! Infact, it is particularly popular when served at The Spice Club. This version of the classic chicken curry recipe ensures the chicken is really succulent and flavourful as we marinade the chicken and roast it before adding the masala. It can sometimes be difficult when cooking boneless chicken in a tomato masala to make sure the chicken does not turn tough in texture, but this recipe does not fail in that department. It’s also a really straight forward recipe and is quick to make! Check it out:

Serves 2-4

What we need:

For the marination:
500g boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bitesized cubes
2 tbsp yoghurt
2 cloves garlic, grated
2″ ginger ginger, grated
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp coriander powder
Handful chopped fresh coriander
2 tbsp olive oil
For Masala:
4 tbsp olive oil
4 whole cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 green cardomom pod
2 medium sized onions
3 cloves garlic
2″ ginger
1 green chilli
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tin plum tomato
1/2 cup fresh coriander
2 tbsp greek yoghurt

How we do:

  • Preheat oven to 250 C
  • In a bowl, mix the chicken with the all of the ingredients listed under “marination”.
  • Place marinaded chicken in an oven proof dish dish and place in oven. Cook for 5-6 minutes.
  • Whilst the chicken is cooking, in a food processor, add the onions, garlic, ginger, green chilli, salt, garam masala, turmeric powder, coriander powder and chilli powder.
  • At this point, turn the chicken over and cook for a further 5-6 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  • Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the cloves, cumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and the cardamom pods to the oil. Once they begin to sizzle, add the processed masala paste.
  • Mix and cook until golden brown, constantly stirring every few minutes
  • Once golden, add the plum tomatoes and mix well. Continue to stir and cook until the oil separates from the masala.
  • Now add the chicken. Add the greek yoghurt and sprinkle on the fresh coriander and cook for 5-7 minutes.
  • Serve hot with rice or chapatis. Enjoy 🙂