Otsu (Soba Salad with Sesame-Ginger Dressing)

Grated zest of 1 lemon
Fresh ginger, cut into a 1-inch cube, peeled, and grated
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup unseasoned brown-rice vinegar
1/3 cup shoyu sauce (wheat-free soy sauce)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

12 ounces dried soba noodles
12 ounces extra-firm nigari tofu
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 small handful of cilantro sprigs, for garnish
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Make the dressing by combining the zest, ginger, honey, cayenne, and salt in a food processor (or use a hand blender) and process until smooth. Add the lemon juice, rice vinegar, and shoyu, and pulse to combine. With the machine running, drizzle in the oils.

Cook the soba in plenty of rapidly boiling salted water just until tender, then drain and rinse under cold running water.

While the pasta is cooking, drain the tofu, pat it dry, and cut it into rectangles roughly the size of your thumb (½ inch thick and 1 inch long). Cook the tofu in a dry nonstick (or well-seasoned) skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes, until the pieces are browned on one side. Toss gently once or twice, then continue cooking for another minute or so, until the tofu is firm, golden, and bouncy.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the soba, the ¼ cup cilantro, the green onions, cucumber, and about ? cup of the dressing. Toss until well combined. Add the tofu and toss again gently. Serve on a platter, garnished with the cilantro sprigs and the toasted sesame seeds.

Serves 4-6.

PRINT RECIPE
JULY 19, 2004

Soba Salad with Rhubarb-Ginger Tahini

(adapted from Otsu Recipe on 101 Cookbooks)

Dressing (makes more than what you need for the recipe, but nice to keep around):

1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1-2 tablespoons (or more;) Brooklyn Delhi Rhubarb Ginger Achaar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons pure sesame oil
1 tablespoon tahini paste

Soba noodle salad
8 oz. soba noodles, cooked according to package directions
6 oz baked tofu or 8 oz extra firm tofu, cubed (directions below)
1 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 scallion, green and white part, cleaned and thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut in half lengthwise then cut across into thin half-moons.
sesame seeds
more cilantro for garnishing

If using extra firm tofu: Add tofu to a large non-stick skillet without any oil and toss over high heat until all water has evaporated. Add canola oil, reduce heat to medium-high and fry, tossing frequently until tofu is firm and bouncy. Drain over paper towels.

In a blender, combine all the dressing ingredients. Blend well. Add tahini and blend together.

In a large mixing bowl combine drained soba noodles, cilantro, scallions, cucumber. Slowly add dressing and toss Add more dressing to your taste. Arrange salad in center of large plate and top with baked or fried tofu. Garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro sprigs. Serve with more dressing on the table just in case!

Spicy Roasted Garlic Aioli

1 tablespoon Brooklyn Delhi roasted garlic achaar
1/2 cup mayo (can sub with vegenaise or aquafaba mayo)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Mash roasted garlic achaar. Whisk in mayonnaise, olive oil, and lemon juice. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper.

TIP: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Majjige Huli (Cucumber Yogurt Curry)

1-3 green Serrano chilies (to taste based on size and desired “hotness”)
1/2 bunch green coriander leaves washed and cleaned
1/4 cup of a fresh coconut OR 1/3 cup unsweetened desiccated dry coconut
1/4 cup roasted channa dal*
1/8 to 1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2-3/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 red chilies
2 sprigs curry leaves (optional)
3 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1” wide pieces
1 1/2 cups of plain yogurt** (natural style without gelatin or other additives)
Salt to taste***
1 tsp oil for tempering

*You can use chenna dhal soaked in hot water for 15 mins. if you don’t have roasted channa dal.
**The amount of yogurt can be adjusted to taste based on spiciness.
***Cucumber water has salt in it, so taste before adding more salt

Peel the cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and cut in half again lengthwise. Then cut into 1” wide pieces.

Boil in salted water until tender (about 10-15 mins.). Cover for the last 3-4 minutes. Drain but retain about 1 cup of the water and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a blender container add the following ingredients in the following order: roasted channa dal, coconut, green chilies, coriander leaves, turmeric, cumin seeds, and leaves from 1 sprig of the curry leaves. Now slowly add the cup of cooled cucumber water and blend to a smooth paste – add just enough of the remaining cucumber water as needed to keep the blender blades moving.

Whisk the yogurt to a smooth consistency and add the blended mixture to it. Continue to whisk until well blended. Taste to adjust salt. Add the cooled cucumber pieces and stir to mix.

In hot oil, fry the mustard seeds till they pop (use lid to prevent spattering). Immediately reduce the heat, add curry leaves from the remaining curry leaf sprig and the red chilies. Heat for about 30 seconds. Immediately add to the yogurt mixture and mix well.

This can be served either cold or at room temperature.

Other vegetables that can be used: boiled potatoes; boiled Chinese winter melon (ash gourd); stir fried okra pieces; or stir fried Japanese eggplant.

Grilled Flank Steak Carne Asada

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lime
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds flank steak

In a medium bowl, combine cilantro, olive oil, soy sauce, orange juice, lime juice, garlic, jalapeno, cumin and 1 teaspoon pepper; set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine steak and remaining cilantro mixture; marinate for at least 4 hours to overnight, turning the bag occasionally. Drain the steak from the marinade.

Preheat grill to medium high heat. Using paper towels, pat both sides of the steak dry; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Add steak to grill, and cook, flipping once, until desired doneness, about 6 minutes per side for medium rare. Let rest 5 minutes.

Thinly slice steak against the grain and serve with reserved 1/2 cup cilantro mixture.

Shrimp and Dragon Fruit Salad (with Variations)

1 dragon fruit, any varieties will work
8 Large shrimp unpeeled, deveined
3 cups Spring salad mix

Sesame plum dressing:
3 Tbsp plum sauce
2 tsp apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp water
Fresh herbs and aromatics:
Small bunch of fresh cilantro leaves roughly chopped
1/4 red onions peeled and thinly sliced

Toppings:
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup roasted peanuts

Cut the dragon fruit in half and then peel the skin off and cut the flesh into large cubes. Set aside and let them chill in the refrigerator while you prepare other things.

Prepare the dressing by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Steam the shrimp with the shells on, on high heat for 2 minutes or until they are cooked through.

Peel off the skin after they have cooled down a little bit. Steaming the shrimp with the shells on is to prevent the shrimp from curling. It’s really just for presentation and makes the shrimp looks bigger.

Assembling the salad:
Place the salad greens in a large mixing bowl.

Add sliced red onions.

Add freshly chopped cilantro leaves.

Add the cooked shrimp.

Add dragon fruit pieces.

Pour on the dressing when you are ready to serve the salad

Sprinkle on some sesame seeds.

Add some roasted peanuts.

Give the salad a gentle toss to mix everything.

Serve immediately.

Notes: This salad is highly customizable. You can change up the dressing, the toppings, the type of greens and veggies you want on the salad, the protein. Here are some suggestions:

Protein: Leftover chicken meat, pan-fried tofu, tempeh, chickpeas, seared scallop, seared ahi tuna.
Topping: Avocado cubes, tortilla strips, crispy chow mein noodle strips, wonton strips.
Dressing: Any vinaigrette dressing, sweet balsamic vinegar.

Kesar Ras Malai

for the thickened milk:
800 mls whole milk
200 gms of condensed milk
100 gms caster sugar
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
A good pinch of saffron

For the milk dumplings/paneer:
2 pints whole milk
juice of 2 lemons

for the syrup:
200 gms caster sugar
400 mls water
Pinch of saffron
Chopped pistachio and silver varkh to garnish

Get all the milk sauce ingredients together in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Bring to a gentle boil for 1 hour 30mins or so until it has reduced by half and is a bit thick. Turn the heat off and cool. Refrigerate until the milk dumplings are ready.

For the dumplings, bring the whole milk to a gentle boil in a heavy bottom non stick sauce pan. Now add the lemon juice and leave it to boil for 30seconds or so until you start to see it curdling. Take it off the heat and strain it through a muslin. Rinse the curdled mix under cold water; this helps it to come together and also takes away any sour taste. Keep the muslin on a sieve and leave to drain through for an hour to get rid of any excess water.

In the meanwhile, bring all the ingredients for the syrup together and bring to a boil. Knead the dumpling mix well to bring it together. Divide into 6 equal portions and flatten. Tip them into the syrup and cook for 7-10 minutes until they are firm.

Remove them from the syrup and cool slightly. Add them to the chilled milk sauce to soak in the thickened milk flavours. Chill the Ras malai for 4-5 hours. To serve put the dumplings in a bowl with the sauce. Topped with chopped pistachios and silver foil.

Homemade Paneer

2 litres whole milk
2-3 tbsp lemon juice

Line a sieve with a cheese cloth or muslin over a bowl. In a heavy bottom saucepan bring the milk to a boil on a medium heat. This will take up to 25-30mins but don’t be tempted to turn the heat higher. As the milk starts to rise turn the heat to a low setting, stir well and add 2 tbsp lemon juice a little at a time. Keep stirring on a low heat for 30-40 seconds; you can see it will begin to curdle and separate from the whey. If after this time it doesn’t start to curdle add the extra tablespoon of lemon juice.

Turn the heat off and strain the mix into the muslin over a bowl (you can save the whey if you wish). Run cold water and wash the milk solids to rid off the remaining whey. Gather the muslin and squeeze out as much water from it. Twist and flatten it. Sit it on a plate and place a heavy weight over it to set for 1 hour. Unwrap the paneer cut into bite size cubes and add to your favorite curry or refrigerate in an air tight container.

Coconut Prawn Curry

10-12 King prawns (shelled and deveined)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
8-10 curry leaves
350 mls coconut milk
50 mls water
1 tsp tamarind paste
Salt to taste
1 tbsp chopped coriander for garnish

for the paste:
100 gms coriander leaves
6 cloves of garlic
1 inch piece of ginger
1 green birds eye
Juice of one lime

Peel and devein the prawns leaving the tails on. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and turmeric powder on the prawns. Mix well and set aside while you make the paste.

Mix all the ingredients for the paste in a mini processor and add a couple of tablespoons of water to form a smooth paste consistency. Spread a couple of teaspoons of the paste over the prawns and set aside.

Heat oil in a sauce pan add the curry leaves and sauté until they crackle. Add the remaining paste and fry on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the prawns fry for 1 minute until they just start to take on a pink hue.

Pour in the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes and add the water. Stir in the tamarind paste if using. Simmer for a further 4-5 minutes until the prawns are cooked.

Season to taste and garnish with chopped coriander. Serve warm with chapattis or steamed rice.

Marathi Kolambi Masala (Shrimp with Coconut Sauce and Curry Leaves)

350 gm large prawns shelled and deveined
1 tsp turmeric powder
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
10 curry leaves
1 medium white onion finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or mild paprika; add a little less if you prefer)
1 tbsp malt vinegar
Pinch of sugar
50 mls coconut milk
Fresh coriander for garnish

for the spice powder:
4 dried red chillies (mild variety)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 inch cinnamon stick
4 cloves
1 star anise
1 tbsp coriander seeds
4 green cardamom (seeds only)
2 black cardamom (seeds only)

for the paste:
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion finely sliced
100 gms fresh grated coconut (available in asian stores)

Place the prawns in a bowl with the turmeric and salt. Mix well and set aside while you make the spice powder and paste.

Heat a small frying pan and roast all the spice powder ingredients for 7-10 mins on a low heat. Stir every few minutes until they start to release their aroma and change colour. Cool and grind to a fine powder in a coffee/ spice grinder.

For the paste heat the tablespoon of oil in a frying pan. Fry the sliced onion on medium heat for 7-10 minutes. As it starts to turn light brown add the grated coconut. Fry for 12-15 minutes stirring frequently. The coconut will start to change colour to a light brown as well. Turn the heat off. Cool the mix and add to a blender with some water to make a smooth paste. Set aside.

To make the curry; heat the oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Add half the curry leaves letting them splutter for a few seconds. Add the onions and fry on a medium heat for 7-10 minutes. Now add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes; they will begin to soften. At this stage add the coconut paste and fry for 3-4 minutes it will start to leave oil from the sides of the pan. Add 2 tbsp of spiced powder along with the chilli powder and stir well frying for a couple of minutes.

Now tip in the prawns and cook and simmer for 2-3 minutes until they start to turn opaque and just cooked through. Add the vinegar, sugar and check for seasoning. Also add the coconut milk and the remaining curry leaves. Simmer for a further minute. Turn the heat off garnish with fresh coriander & lemon juice. Serve with a choice of Indian bread or steamed rice.

Chingri Macher Malai (Bengali Shrimp Curry)

12-15 large prawns shelled and deveined with the tails left on
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Pinch of salt
4 tbsp mustard oil or vegetable oil
4 green cardamom pods
3 cloves
2 bay leaves
1 small onion roughly chopped
1 inch piece of ginger roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
2 green chillies
50 gms freshly grated coconut
1/4 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
100 mls coconut milk
100 mls water
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
Coriander roughly chopped for garnish

Add the prawns to a bowl and mix in the turmeric and salt well. Set aside while you get the curry ready. In a blender add the onion, ginger, garlic, green chillies and grated coconut. Add a splash of water and blend to a smooth thick paste. Set the paste aside

In a frying pan add 2 tbsp of the oil and fry the prawns for a minute on each side. They will start to colour but don’t cook them all the way through. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan heat the remaining oil add the green cardamom, cloves and bay leaves; fry for 30 seconds. Now tip in the onion paste and fry on a medium heat for 5-7 mins stirring frequently making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the chilli powder, sugar and salt. Stir for a further minute; add the coconut milk and water. Bring to a boil and simmer on a low heat. Add the prawns, simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve warm with boiled rice.

Goan Prawn Caldinho (Shrimp with Ginger and Coconut Milk

400 gms raw king prawns deveined with tails on
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp Goan vinegar or white wine vinegar
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 medium tomato finely chopped
3 cloves garlic pounded to a paste
1 inch piece of ginger pounded to a paste
400 mLs coconut milk
80 mls water
1 tbsp tamarind paste
2 slit green chillies (deseeded if you prefer it mild)
Pinch of sugar
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves for garnish

For the powdered spices:
1 tsp cumin seeds
10 peppercorns
1 tbsp coriander seeds

In a bowl add the prawns and sprinkle over turmeric powder, vinegar and salt. Mix and set aside for 15-20 mins while you get the curry ready. In a coffee grinder tip in the cumin seeds, peppercorns and coriander seeds. Blitz to a fine powder and set aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy based sauce pan and add the onions and fry for 5-7 mins on a medium until they start to change colour to a light brown. Add the chopped tomato and fry for 3-4 mins. As they begin to soften add the garlic and ginger paste and fry for a further minute.

Now add the powdered spices and mix it all together. Fry for 2 minutes and add the marinated prawns. Stir coating them in the spiced sauce for a few seconds now add the coconut milk, water and tamarind paste.

Bring to a simmer cooking the prawns until they turn pink for no more than 3-4 minutes. Add the green chillies and sugar. Garnish with coriander leaves and check seasoning. Serve with steamed basmati rice or some pav bread and a fresh zingy salad.

Chemeen Mulakittathu (Spicy Malabar Prawn Curry)

350 gms king prawns shelled and deveined
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
120 gms shallots thinly sliced
1 green chilli slit lengthwise
15 curry leaves
4 garlic cloves ground to a paste
1 tsp mild chilli powder or Kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
180 gm tomatoes finely chopped
150 mls water
4 tbsp tamarind paste
Pinch of sugar
Salt to taste
Slivers of ginger
Coriander for garnish

Heat the oil in a heavy bottom saucepan on a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter.

Now add the fenugreek seeds and the sliced shallots. Fry for a minute and add the green chilli along with half the curry leaves. Continue to fry for 8-10 minutes over a medium heat until the shallots begin to change colour to a light brown.

Add the garlic paste and stir for 30 seconds. Add the powdered spices and fry for a further 10 seconds making sure it doesn’t burn.

Add the tomatoes and continue to cook until they soften for 6 minutes. Mash with the back of the spoon and add water along with the tamarind paste. Season to taste. Lower the heat and bring to simmer for 2 minutes.

Add the prawns and cook over a low heat for 6-7 minutes with the lid on stirring half way through. Turn the heat off and add the ginger slivers along with the remaining curry leaves and coriander.

Mangalorean Prawn Sukke (Shrimp with Coconut and Tamarind

12-14 king prawns deveined, shelled with tails left on
1 tsp turmeric powder
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
120gm white onions finely chopped
12 curry leaves
6 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
1 inch ginger roughly chopped
1/4 tsp mild chilli powder
2 heaped tsp tamarind paste
100 mls water
Salt to taste
Handful of coriander for garnish

For the coconut spice mix:
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
5 mild dried red chillies
120 gms grated coconut (fresh or frozen) or desiccated coconut

Add the prawns to a large bowl and sprinkle over the turmeric powder and pinch of salt. Mix well and set aside. Crush the garlic and ginger to a smooth paste in a grinder or pestle and mortar.

Heat a frying pan over a low flame. Add the all the ingredients of the spice paste except the coconut. Roast for 7-8 minutes stirring a few times while they release their aroma and change colour slightly. Turn the heat off and cool the spices.

Grind the spices in a spice grinder to a powder. Decant into a bowl. If the coconut has any moisture dab lightly with a kitchen towel. In the same grinder add the coconut and grind it roughly. Add the coconut to the spice powder and set aside.

In a large heavy bottom sauce pan heat the oil over a medium flame. Add the mustard seeds as they begin the splutter add the chopped onions. Fry for 14-15 minutes stirring well making sure they soften and go light brown in colour.

Add the curry leaves and now turning the heat to a low setting add the garlic and ginger paste. Fry for 2 minutes

Add the chilli powder, blended spice and coconut mix along with the tamarind paste. Stir for a few seconds and add the marinated prawns. Mix well and season to taste.

Add the water and simmer over a low heat for 5-6 minutes with the lid on until the prawns are cooked all the way through. Stir half way through cooking. Turn the heat off and garnish with fresh coriander. Serve with plain rice or pav/ bread roll and some raita.

Andhra Royala Vegundu (Andhra-Style Shrimp with Fennel and Tomato Sauce)

500 gms king prawns shelled and deveined
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 inch ginger roughly chopped
1 birds eye chilli

For the stir fry;
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
180 gms shallots finely chopped
10 curry leaves
5 garlic cloves thinly sliced
1 tsp mild chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coarsely ground fennel
90 gms tomato finely chopped
Salt to taste
Coriander for garnish

In a blender add the ginger and green chilli with a splash of water and blend to a smooth paste. Add the prawns to a large mixing bowl along with the turmeric. Add the ginger chilli paste and marinate for 1 hour

Heat the oil in a kadhai or wok on a medium flame. Add the mustard seeds and as they splutter add the shallots. Fry the shallots for 10 minutes as they begin turn light brown in colour.

Now add the curry leaves and garlic and fry for 2 minutes stir well. Add the chilli powder, turmeric and fennel along with the chopped tomato. Fry for 1 minute over a medium heat

Now add the marinated prawns, season to taste and fry for a further 2 minutes stirring to make sure it does stick to the bottom. Continue to cook for 6 minutes with the lid on stirring halfway through.

Garnish with coriander and serve warm with rice or chapatti.

Bengali Cholar Dal

250 gms Chana Dal/ Bengal gram
1.2 litres water
2-3 cloves
1 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 heaped tsp sugar
2 tbsp mustard oil or vegetable oil
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 green chillies slit lengthwise
30gms grated coconut
1 heaped tbsp raisins
1 tbsp chopped coriander for garnish

for the spice mix:
1 inch cinnamon stick
5-6 cardamom pods seeds only

Add the lentils and water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over a medium heat stirring often. Simmer and add the cloves, turmeric, salt & sugar. Continue cooking for a further hour and 15 minutes until the dal is soft stirring often making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat off and mash roughly with a potato masher or back of a fork.

To make the ground spice mix; heat a frying pan over a low flame. Break the cinnamon stick and chillies to smaller pieces. Add the cardamom seeds along with the cinnamon and red chillies to the pan. Keep the heat on low giving the pan a few shakes every couple of minutes. Roast the spices for 7-8 minutes. Cool slightly and tip it in a coffee grinder to make a fine powder. Set aside.

n a heavy bottom non stick pan heat the oil over medium flame; add the bay leaf and cumin seeds cooking until they sizzle for a few seconds. Now add the green chillies and stir for 2-3 seconds. Add the coconut frying for a minute or so until it start to turn light brown

Slowly pour in the cooked chana dal stirring well. Bring it to a boil, add the raisins and the ground spice powder. Simmer on a low heat cooking for 10 minutes with a lid on. Stir a few times as it simmers making sure it doesnt stick to the bottom of the pan. Check seasoning and garnish with fresh coriander. Serve parathas, luchis or steamed rice

Chilli Paneer

200 gms Paneer/ Indian cottage cheese chopped into cubes
Oil for frying

for the batter;
2 tbsp rice flour
2 tbsp corn flour
1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder or mild paprika
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
1/2 tsp garlic paste
Salt to taste
2-3 tbsp water

for the sauce:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 tsp ginger finely chopped
80 gms red onion chopped into cubes
1 medium red or green pepper chopped into cubes
1 green chilli slit lengthwise (deseed if you wish)
1 1/2 tbsp chilli garlic sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce or kecap manis
1 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
Sliver of ginger and chilli for garnish

Heat couple of inches of oil in a wide sauce pan or a wok. Mix the water with all the batter ingredients in a bowl you want a sticky thick paste like consistency. Toss the paneer cubes in the bowl to coat the pieces evenly. Fry the paneer in the hot oil in batches for 20-30 seconds. They should have a light brown crisp coating on all sides. Drain the paneer on kitchen paper and set aside.

To make the sauce; heat the vegetable oil in a sauce pan on a medium heat. Add the garlic and chopped ginger. Fry for 20 seconds and add the red onions. Sauté the onions for a further minute until they soften and tip in the red peppers along with the slit chilli and fry for a couple of minutes.

Add the chilli garlic sauce and the dark soy & stir well. If the sauce is a little thick add a couple of tablespoons of water to thin it out slightly

Kashmiri Dum Aloo (Potatoes in Fennel and Tomato Gravy)

60 gms cashew nuts
18-20 small new potatoes peeled
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium white onion finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger finely chopped
200 gms greek yoghurt lightly whisked
1 1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or mild paprika)
1 tsp fennel powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
2 tbsp tomato puree
150 mls water
1/2 tsp ground cardamom powder
Salt to taste
1 tsp crushed dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
1 tbsp coriander leaves for garnish
Slivers of ginger for garnish

Soak the cashew nuts in warm water for 20 mins. Prick the new potatoes with a fork lightly (this helps them cook all the way through). Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a wok or kadhai. Add the potatoes and fry for 3-4 minutes until they turn crisp and golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper & set aside.

Whisk the yoghurt and mix in the chilli powder, fennel powder and cumin powder. Stir the spiced yoghurt and set aside.

Drain most of the water from the cashew nuts; blend the cashew nuts to a fine puree. Set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in the kadhai. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they begin to soften for 4-5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and ginger and fry for a couple of minutes as it cooks. Turn the heat to a low setting and add the spiced yoghurt. Stir well for a minute and add the cashew nut paste. Stir for 2-3 mins. Tip in the tomato puree and stir for a further 2 minutes.

As the curry starts to leave oil from the sides of the pan add the fried potatoes, water and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 mins stirring ever so often until the potatoes have soaked in the flavours and cooked all the way through. Add the cardamom powder, crushed methi/fenugreek leaves if using, fresh coriander and ginger. Stir and serve warm with soft naans and some fresh salad.