Sunday, 23 July 2017

A present for your fridge: Fragrant mango chutney

In preparation for the Indian-inspired feast I cooked when Dad came to stay (recipes here) I dragged Mr GD to the supermarket. It was unusual as he normally works on weekends, so my excuse was spending more time with him and NOT that I needed his wallet. However, as he bought it with him... well, y'know how the rest goes. 

Anyway, we're down the world foods isle to top up on a few spices, and he reaches for a jar of mango chutney off the shelf. "Ooooh, can we have this with dinner?" he asks, all excited. I looked at the price, and decided I wasn't going to pay £3.75 for a jar of substandard sweet chutney when I could make it myself. We won't talk about the price of the two mangoes I bought to make it with, but I am SURE the taste was worth it and there's still some left in the fridge because it's LUSH. So, here you go!

Fragrant mango chutney

In a pestle and mortar crush around a tsp each of cumin seeds, coriander seeds, turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, cardamon pods and nigella (black cumin) seeds. You'll probably end up with a few large bits of cardamon pod which you can pick out - I haven't found a solution to this yet. I know you can get ground cardamon but it doesn't taste the same...

In a heavy-bottomed pan fry about a 2 tbsp sized portions each of finely chopped ginger, garlic and chillies (I whizzed them up in the food processor) for around a minute. Add the ground spices, then two small mangoes chopped into 1 inch pieces. Next, stir in 150g of granulated sugar and about 75ml of white wine vinegar - it should look like you have half as much vinegar as sugar. Turn the heat right down and leave for an hour. Depending on how your mango cooks and how chunky you like your chutney you might like to mash it gently half way through. 

Cool, sniff appreciatively and dunk those poppadums. You'll have loads left for a jar in the fridge - just make sure you deliver a few offhand mentions so that others in the vicinity properly demonstrate how impressed they are with the effort you made, just so they didn't have to (maybe) endure the (possibly) flavourless shop-bought stuff... 

Homemade mango chutney and a win for the fridge, done.

When Dad came to stay: tandoori fried chicken

I love it when Dad comes to stay; it's a brilliant excuse to use every pot and pan in the kitchen and not get told off by my sister, who generally does the washing up in our house. (Also I'm going to get extra points from my writer-Mum for the correct use of a semicolon.)

Now, being coeliac and cow-dairy free  means I'm not an easy person to cook for. However, my Dad has so many dislikes and/or intolerances, it's a proper puzzle. No onions, garlic, tomato, cheese, anything with vinegar (salad dressings etc.) or 'funny' salad. I don't blame him - after all he was bought up on a diet of cremated chicken and soggy cauliflower, and illness precludes the rest. And it gives me a fun challenge in making something amazing even though between us we've rather limited our choices. (Also, people close to me have a much more limited diet forced upon them due to illness so really I'm lucky.)

Happily my Dad loves spicy food so I decided on an Indian-inspired feast and here's the result. I've used soy, goats' dairy and gluten free flour in these recipes but just replace them with 'normal' stuff if you are allowed it. 

I also made some mango chutney to go with this - recipe here :)

Tandoori fried chicken with bombay potatoes, cumin flatbread and toasted peanut raita

Tandoori fried chicken
This is kind of a take on KFC with a fragrant twist. Marinate chicken thighs and drumsticks in soy yoghurt and two tablespoons each of: reshampati (or kashmiri) chili powder, tandoori masala powder, ground coriander, salt and pepper. Cover and put in the fridge and leave for as long as you can - overnight is awesome but mine was about 4 hours and it was fine. Heat the oven to gas 5 / 190 degrees, and a deep fat fryer or oil in a deep pan to around 190 degrees. Dip each piece of chicken briefly in polenta / cornmeal so it has a light covering, and fry for 10 minutes. Pop into the oven on a tray with a grill on the top so the oil can run off, and cook for another 20-25 minutes or until cooked. 

Bombay potatoes
I'm calling these Bombay potatoes although if you're a purist Indian food expert you'll probably know this recipe was totally made up in Twickenham, England, and not Bombay, India. But they taste GOOD.

Cut some new potatoes in half and boil in water that you've added a tablespoon of turmeric to. When they're cooked, drain and fry gently in butter or oil (I used goats' butter) with a tablespoon of panch phoran. Mix in some chopped fresh coriander and you're ready to serve. 

Cumin flatbreads
In order to make good gluten free naan you need quick yeast which I didn't have in my cupboard, so these flatbreads (thank you BBC Good Food for the inspiration) were a good alternative. 

Mix 400g gluten-free self-raising flour of your choice with a tablespoon of cumin seeds, a tablespoon of ground coriander, a big pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper. Add 300ml yoghurt of choice (I used soy) and 100ml water and mix. If it feels really wet and sticky add a bit more flour. The mixture makes about 8 flatbreads so divide into 8, flatten each in your (floury) hands to half a cm thick and dry-fry for about 5 mins each side. Keep warm in the oven to serve.

Toasted peanut raita
I've always found raita a bit boring, so decided to flick through a few books for inspiration. Anjum Anand (Anjum's New Indian) puts loads of different fun stuff in her raita so I decided to experiment and it tasted AWESOME.

Mix a large pot of yoghurt (again of your choice, I used goats') with the juice of half a lime, half a cucumber chopped into little pieces, a handful of chopped mint and a handful of chopped coriander. Toast some peanuts for a few minutes with a tablespoon of onion seeds and a teaspoon of chili flakes. When they've gone golden brown (don't turn that pan up, they burn in seconds) crush / chop up with a knive. Leave to cool before adding to the raita. 

Enjoy your feast!