South Indian King Prawn Thokku

This time last year I was in Chennai. I spent my whole Summer there and it was such a memorable time for me. The cuisine of the South is beautiful and vast. There are so many micro-cuisines within this region. Tamil, Keralan, Chettinad, Managlorian, Karnataka – and that’s just to name a few!

I learnt this dish from a Tamilian chef whilst I was out there and I have now given it a couple of my own tweaks. It’s a little bit special so give it a try. You can use paneer instead of prawns and it still works a treat.

I taught this during yesterday’s live cookery class. If you want to watch the live class again, you can do so by clicking here. Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts and share pictures of your recreations on InstaTwitter or Facebook.

Oh and mark your calendars and join me for my next live cook-along class on 26th June. Keep posted to my social media to see what we will be making.

Happy cooking y’all x

South Indian King Prawn Thokku

Equipment

  • Non stick pan
  • Wooden spoon

Ingredients
  

  • 200 g raw king prawns skinless & deveined. If you are veggy you can use 225g paneer cut into cubes.
  • salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp yoghurt
  • Oil for cooking
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion 100g, very thinly sliced
  • 20 fresh curry leaves optional (you can add dried but soak in warm water for 10 minutes then drain, ahead of time)
  • 2 cms ginger grated
  • 2 big cloves garlic grated
  • Small bunch of fresh coriander optional, you just need the stems
  • 1 small tomato diced
  • 2 tsp tomato puree
  • 1-2 chillies as per your taste, finely diced,
  • 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Water

Instructions
 

  • Place prawns in a bowl. Add the yoghurt and sprinkle on 1/2tsp salt, 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1/4 tsp chilli powder and mix well. Keep aside
  • Heat 4tbsp oil in the pan. Once hot, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, 1/2 of the curry leaves and onions. (The spices should sizzle as soon as they go in the pan).
  • Mix well and add ¼ tsp salt. Cook the onions for for 3-4 minutes until translucent.
  • Now add the ginger and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. (If you feel your pan is looking dry or your ingredients are catching, add a little more oil or add a little water).
  • Once the onions, ginger and garlic look light golden in colour, add the chopped tomato and chilli. Finely chop the coriander stems and add them to the pan too.
  • Now place the tomato puree in a small bowl and about 1/4 cup (60ml) of water. Mix well to form a watery paste, then add this to the pan.
  • Continue to cook on medium heat – you will see the masala paste thicken. When you notice the masala paste release its oil around the edges, lower the heat.
  • Now add 1/4 – 1/2tsp salt (as per your taste), paprika, coriander powder and sugar and continue to cook for 30 seconds. (Again, if you feel the spices are catching, add a little water)
  • Now add the marinated prawns and increase the heat to medium/high. Mix well and cook for a minute. At this point add 1/2 cup (120ml) of water as well as the remaining curry leaves. Mix again and place a lid on top. After a couple of minutes, mix once again and allow to cook for a further 2 minutes with the lid on.
  • You will see the sauce will have thickened and should look nice and glossy. Once the prawns are completely cooked through, Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  • Turn the heat off and serve with steamed basmati rice, naan or chapatis.

Tandoori Chicken & Mango Lassi Shake

Though we are still in lockdown in the UK, the glorious sunshine has been our only saving grace. It’s this heatwave that inspired the menu for this week’s LIVE cookery class. A spicy, grilled Tandoori Chicken with a tropical, ice cold sweet Mango Lassi shake to wash it down! Sound good? Scroll down for the recipe.

This is my home-style Tandoori recipe – no red food colouring here! I like to do a double marination that results in chicken that is incredibly flavourful at every bite. Oh and the longer you can leave the marination on, the better! I served it with a sprouted moon bean, lime & tomato salad and it went down a treat.

To wash it down, I shared my delicious and easy to make Mango Lassi shake. I personally find this recipe a lot lighter and more refreshing than regular lassi. If you can source fresh South Asian mangoes – lucky you – use them! If not, it’s quite easy to find mango pulp in the “world” section of most of the big supermarkets these days and that works very well too.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you want to watch the live class again, you can do so by clicking here. Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts and share pictures of your recreations on InstaTwitter or Facebook.

Oh and mark your calendars and join me for my next live cook-along class on 12th June. Keep posted to my social media to see what we will be making.

Happy cooking y’all x

Tandoori Chicken & Mango Lassi Shake

Equipment

  • Food Processor
  • Blender

Ingredients
  

For the Tandoori Chicken:

  • 575 g skinless chicken thigh, with 3-4 slits cut into each one I like to use bone in for extra flavour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt or according to taste
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 3 tbsp crispy fried onions optional (usually found in the salad topper section of supermarkets)
  • 2-3 fresh green chillies as per your taste
  • 4 ” ginger cut into small chunks
  • 2 large cloves garlic peeled
  • small handful fresh coriander
  • 3 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder or chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp oil

To serve:

  • chaat masala optional
  • lime

To make the Mango Lassi Shake

  • 400 ml mango pulp Kesar/Alphonso mango pulp is best
  • 250 ml milk
  • 25-30 ice cubes
  • 2-3 tsp sugar/honey optional, as per your taste

Instructions
 

  • Place chicken in a bowl and add the lime juice and salt. Mix well. If you have time, allow to marinate for 30mins – 1hour.
  • Pre heat grill at the maximum temperature setting and place a wire tray on a foil lined baking sheet and keep aside. Then place the fried onions, chillies, ginger, garlic and fresh coriander in a food processor and blitz until a coarse paste forms (it does not have to be very smooth).
  • Tip this paste onto the chicken. Then add the yoghurt and all of the spices as well as the oil. Mix well and work the marination into the slits of the chicken. Tip – if you can, allow the chicken to marinate for 2-3 hours / overnight as it will allow the flavours to really absorb into the chicken.
  • When you are ready to cook, place the chicken pieces on the wire tray and cook in your grill for 8-10 minutes. It should have a slight char and should be about 70% cooked of the way. Now, turn the chicken pieces over and continue to grill for a further 3-5 minutes. The meat should be white all the way through. You can cook for a little longer if you like it to be slightly more charred all over but be careful not to overcook. (You can also cook this on the BBQ! )
  • Remove from grill. Drizzle over any extra marination that has dropped onto the foil along with a good sprinkle of chaat masala and lime juice.
  • To make the mango lassi, add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass an garnish with lime zest, pomegranate seeds or fresh mint. Enjoy immediately!

Notes

You marinade should not be too wet – it should be like a thick paste. If you find it is more on the wet side, you can add 1-2tsp of gram flour (chickpea flour) along with a pinch of salt. This will help the marinade stick to your chicken as it grills. 

Palak Paneer

I really enjoyed teaching how to make this dish during yesterday’s LIVE cookery class. It’s such an easy, quick “throw together recipe” which is perfect for a weeknight meal or as part of a more elaborate spread.

As it’s a dry dish, it also works incredibly well as a filling in a wrap or even in a pitta bread! Palak paneer pitta pockets anyone?

I received an amazing response from those who cooked along with me during the live class. If you missed it but want to watch, you can view it right here. Let me know how it goes and don’t forget to share a photo of your recreation on Insta, Twitter or Facebook.

Oh and FYI, I will now be doing live classes every other Friday so my next live cook-along will be on 29th May. I am working on an exciting project in the mean time and am excited to share the details very soon.

Happy cooking y’all.

Palak Paneer

Ingredients
  

To toast paneer

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 225 g paneer cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • salt

To make the palak paneer

  • 3-4 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp butter/ghee optional
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic very finely chopped
  • 2cm ginger very finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato finely diced
  • 3 tbsp tomato pasata
  • 1 tsp salt or according to taste
  • 3/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 300 g fresh spinach washed, dried & finely chopped/shredded
  • 1-2 green chillies finely chopped

For optional garlic tempering

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 clove garlic cut into paper thin slices
  • 3 good pinches dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) optional

Instructions
 

  • To toast the paneer, heat oil in a pan (ideally non stick) on a low/medium heat setting. Once hot add the paneer, cumin seeds and a pinch of salt. Allow the paneer to cook for 10-15 seconds until it is light golden in colour. Then turn over each piece and cook on the other side. (You want just a light golden skin on each piece). Remove from pan and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, heat up oil and butter/ghee. Once hot, add the nigella seeds, garlic & ginger. Keep mixing continuously on a medium heat until light golden in colour. (It won't take long – do not allow it to brown too much as it will burn and become bitter).
  • Now add the chopped tomato and pasata and cook for 2 minutes on a medium heat whilst mixing. Then add the salt and remaining spices.
  • Once you see the oil begin to release at the edge of the tomato paste, add the toastetoasted paneer pieces and green chilli and mix. Now begin to add the spinach a couple of handfuls at a time, mixing as you do it.
  • Once all the spinach is in the pan and has started to wilt, reduce to a low/medium heat and place a lid on top. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring halfway through. The spinach will start to release its water. Keep cooking until all water has evaporated and you have a dry dish where the palak and paneer pieces are both well combined. Taste for salt/chilli and adjust accordingly.
  • For the tempering, heat oil in a small pan. Then add the garlic slivers and dried fenugreek. Keep stirring and as soon as you see the garlic take on a light golden colour, turn off the heat. Drizzle over the paneer palak and serve with your favourite Indian breads.