Indian Spicy Masala Porridge

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It’s been a busy start to the New Year! My other half and I decided it would be a good idea to begin 2016 by completing a job that had been collecting dust at the bottom of our “To Do” list for a little while. A task we had been putting off for months… redecorating the house. 

What followed were multiple trips to various DIY stores to pick everything from masking tape and sanding paper to paint brushes and light fittings. Annoyingly, we scrutinised over every detail. The combination of being indecisive and new to the situation did not help either. It also meant we learnt LOTS along the way. For example did you know that skirting board comes in more than one size – and that you should probably check you have the right size before cutting it. Who knew?! (Ps. If anyone needs some 14cm skirting board please holler… my shed will thank you). 

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If you have ever had work done in your home, you will know two things very well: 1) How disruptive it can be to your everyday routine… and… 2)How quickly dust becomes your arch enemy-it gets everywhere! We cleared most things into our guest room and kitchen which meant that cooking, was well… a royal pain in the bottom. It also meant that during that time, I often defaulted to cooking dishes that were stress free and quick and easy to make. That brings me to today’s recipe! (Excellent segue skills, I know). Spicy masala porridge is my go to dish when I’m craving something filling & comforting and it should be yours too. It also gets bonus points for only taking 10 minutes to make! It’s creamy & crunchy and topped with some mango pickle and plain yoghurt, it’s a real crowd pleaser. So much so that the dating website Match.com featured this recipe on their website! (Check it out here).

Ps. I am now very pleased to say that our decorating is now complete and we have now settled back into our fresher & somewhat newer looking, home (yay!). 

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Indian Spicy Masala Porridge
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup (240g) of porridge oats
  2. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  3. 2 ½ cups water
  4. 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
  5. 1 tomato diced, diced into ½ cm pieces
  6. 1 small carrot, diced into ½ cm pieces
  7. 2 broccoli florets, cut into small chunks
  8. 1 green birds eye chilli, finely chopped (optional)
  9. 1tsp salt or according to taste
  10. ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  11. ¼ tsp paprika
  12. ¼ tsp garam masala
  13. 1/4 tsp amchur/mango powder (optional)
  14. handful fresh coriander, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat a non-stick pan and add the porridge oats and cumin.
  2. Toast on medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously.
  3. When you see the oats being to change colour and become slightly darker, add the water immediately.
  4. Increase the heat to high and add the onions, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli and chilli.
  5. Mix well. Now add salt, turmeric, paprika, garam masala and amchur.
  6. Allow the porridge to thicken and come to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle on fresh coriander and remove from heat.
  8. Enjoy on its own or with a dollop of yoghurt and mango pickle!
Monica's Spice Diary - Indian Food Blog http://spicediary.com/

Jeera Aloo (Cumin Potatoes)


There are so many different types of Indian potato dishes but I think this i, by far, one of my favourites. Jeera Aloo (also known as cumin potatoes), is one of the first dishes my Mum taught me how to cook just before I moved away to university, namely because it doesnt require much prep or cooking time. Great as a main or a side dish. Infact, I’ve recently started making chappati wraps stuffed with these potatoes and taking them to work with me. Little bit more snazzier than my regular, plain ol’ cheese & tomato sandwiches :). Check out the recipe and let me know how what you think!

Serves 4

What we need:
4 potatoes-roughly 1lb in weight (I prefer red potatoes but you can use any)
1 tsp salt or according taste
1/4 tsp paprika powder
1/2 tsp dried mango powder (amchur)
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
pinch of asafoetida (optional)
10 curry leaves, chopped (optional)
handful fresh coriander, chopped

How we do:

  • Boil potatoes until cooked and tender. You can also cook them in a microwave for approx 12 minutes. Chop into even, bitesize pieces on a board.
  • Sprinkle salt, paprika, mango powder and garam masala evenly on the potatoes and mix well.
  • Heat oil in non stick wide pan or wok. Add cumin, mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves. When they begin to sizzle, add the onions. Stir well and add the potoaoes.
  • Mix the pototoes and add the coriander.
  • You’re done! Serve with hot chapatis and enjoy.

Punjabi Paneer Mattar

Paneer mattar is a classic Punjabi party dish. For those who aren’t familiar with paneer, it’s a type of Indian cheese. Mild in taste but creamy in texture , paneer works well with really flavourful masalas as it absorbs all the aromas and seasonings of the spices. Paneer comes in two forms. If you make it at home it’s in a crumbles cottage cheese type consistecy (recipe here). If you get it from the store, it comes in block form. Today’s recipe uses the latter form. This dish is delicious and always goes down well at the The Spice Club. This recipe is dedicated to Matt Hall @codebeef who was our 600t follower on Twitter!

Serves 4

What we need:
5 tbsp olive oil
1 block of paneer (approx 250g), cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
1-2 tsp salt (or according to taste)
1 tbsp ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 green chilli, finely chopped
handful of fresh coriander, chopped
1/2 tin plum tomatoes
1/2 cup peas (if frozen, thaw in water and strain)

How we do:

  • In a non stick frying pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the cumin seeds. Once they begin sizzle, add the paneer cubes. Now add the salt and half of them amount of turmeric powder.
  • Lightly fry until paneer turns golden on both sides. Remove from heat.
  • In a food processer, add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli. Now add the salt, paprika,  turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala and half the amount of coriander. Blitz until a coarse paste has been formed
  • In a pan, heat the remaining olive oil.  Add some cumin seeds and allow them to start sizzling. Now add the ground masala paste. Cook on medium heat until golden brown stirring continuously.
  • When you see the masala paste is nice and golden, add the plum tomatoes and mash well so it blends with the masala. Keep stirring and cook for 4-5 minutes. Once the oil begins to separate from the masala, add the peas. Mix well and toss in the fried paneer.
  • Add water so it is just covering the vegetables and paneer and continue and bring to boil. Let it reduce to about half the amount. Check for salt and adjust accordingly.
  • Sprinkle in the fresh coriander and you’re done! Best served with hot, fresh chapatis.