SHRIMP MOZAMBIQUE

Shrimp Mozambique is a dish of Portuguese and African origin made with Peri Peri chilli, a variety of bird chilli. A spicy, tangy, buttery sauce and juicy shrimp, it takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. I serve it with white rice as a main course and sometimes throw in green peas into the rice so the meal has vegetables in it. As an appetiser you can serve it with a variety of dipping breads.

Choose your peri peri, also spelt piri piri sauce carefully. Taste it for salt, sugar and spiciness before you prepare the dish. this way you can adjust seasonings. I use a mild one because you can build up the spiciness to your taste by adding cayenne pepper or a fresh bird chilli into the sauce. You need red chilli powder to enhance the colour of the sauce as most Peri Peri sauces have a pinkish colour. Use a thick sauce with body not a thin liquid one. To create a quick shrimp stock use the leftover heads from your shrimp you can boil them with some smashed garlic cloves in a pot of water.

Cream is not traditional in a shrimp Mozambique but it helps alleviate the spiciness for some and brings a silken richness to the sauce.

Spicy Shrimp Mozambique
Shrimp Mozambique
Shrimp Mozambique. Serve it with sliced baguette, sourdough, ladi pao or white rice

Ingredients serves 4-5

For the Sauce

1 cup mild, thick Peri Peri Sauce (Nando’s, Habanero, Veeba, Sprig)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup shrimp stock plus 1-1.25 cups for the shrimp

1 cup soft, fresh crumbs of white sandwich bread, blitzed in a food processor

3 garlic cloves peeled

1 teaspoon fresh powdered black pepper

For the prawns/shrimp

500 grams extra-large shrimp (40-50 per kg weight is 500 grams after cleaning ), peeled, deveined, and tails on

3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup finely sliced onion

6 garlic cloves, sliced wafer thin

1 cup dry white wine or blonde beer (lager)

2-3 teaspoons paprika or Bedgi or Mathania chilli powder

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3-4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon sugar or to taste

Salt to taste

1/2 cup thick cream (optional)

METHOD

For the sauce: Blitz all ingredients in a mixer until smooth. Reserve.

For the prawns or shrimp: Heat oil in a wide approximately 12-inch round or 10 inch oval saucepan or skillet on a medium flame. When oil is warm add onion and lower flame. Stir and cook until soft and opaque, do not brown onions. Add the sliced garlic and one teaspoon salt and cook until garlic is soft and aromatic, stirring constantly to prevent browning. Add 3/4 cup stock and wine or beer and boil on high heat until volume has reduced to half.

Reduce flame to low and add the blitzed peri peri sauce mix. Stir well and continue to cook until thickened about 2 minutes. Stir in sugar. Add more stock and a little wine or beer if the sauce thickens too much.

Add shrimp. Lay them down flat one next to the other so they all cook evenly. Turn them over as they cook if required. When shrimp are just done stir in butter into the sauce and incorporate evenly into the sauce. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with plain white rice, sliced baguette, French bread, Kadak pao, sourdough or ladi pao.

HARA BHARA KEBAB

HARA BHARA KEBAB

Hara Bhara meaning ‘packed with greens’ is a vegetarian kebab made with several fresh green vegetables like peas and spinach and lightly pan fried. You can omit the cashews in this recipe, even the paneer filling if you prefer a vegan version. The key is to use fresh vegetables, process them so you retain the colour and spice delicately so as not to over power the flavours of delicious vegetables. Watch IGTV @deshpandetara for the recipe video

HARA BHARA KEBAB

INGREDIENTS Makes 12 2 inch Hara Bhara Kebabs

2 cups of fresh cooked spinach, drained

1.5 cups of cooked (preferably blanched) fresh or frozen green peas

1 loosely packed cup of coriander or cilantro leaves, stalks removed

2-3 Indian green chillies coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon chana dal or yellow Bengal gram

2 tablespoons of unsalted cashew pieces

FOR TEMPERING

4 tablespoons of vegetable oil plus more for frying

1 tablespoon of ghee or oil

2 whole green cardamom

3 whole cloves

1/4 inch stick cinnamon

1-2 tsp of good quality mild, lighter coloured garam masala

1/4 teaspoon powdered seeds of green cardamom

Half a cup of fresh paneer crumbled and rolled into 12 small balls

Salt to taste

FOR FRYING

2 inches of vegetable oil in a heavy bottom non stick skillet

1.5 cups of breadcrumbs plus 1.5 tablespoons

Paste made with 1/4 cup cornflour and a little water

METHOD

Toast the cashews in a skillet until golden on a medium flame. Cool and chop into small pieces. Reserve.

Toast the chana dal until golden brown in a skillet on medium flame. Cool and powder. Reserve.

Heat oil and ghee in the skillet on a high flame. Add spices for tempering and saute one minute until fragrant. Drain and discard spices and lower flame to medium. Add the spinach to the spiced oil and saute lightly 1 minute stirring to prevent burning. Add the garlic and ginger paste and saute 2 minutes.

Add green chillies, garam masala, coriander leaves and cardamom powder. Saute well.

Add the peas and saute 1-2 minutes until there is no liquid left in the spinach and all the spices and oil are evenly incorporated. Overcooking will affect the colour of the vegetables.

Salt to taste.

Blitz in a food processor to a coarse consistency. Do not puree into a paste.

You want a chunky consistency that holds together when you form the kebabs.

Manually mix in the roasted channa flour and roll into 10-12 kebabs. Taste for salt and adjust.

Flatten each kebab in your hand and place a small ball of the paneer in the centre. Close the spinach dough around it so as to completely conceal the paneer.

Lightly dip into the cornflour paste and then gently press into the breadcrumbs to coat evenly. Repeat with all the other 11 balls.

Heat 2 inches of oil in a skillet on medium flame.When oil is hot but not smoking fry 5-6 kebabs at a time until golden brown on all sides.


Drain over paper towels. Serve hot.

HARA BHARA KEBAB

SPICY PRAWN CUTLETS


Makes 6, 4.5 inch long cutlets 

Ingredients

400 grams shelled and cleaned
medium small to medium prawns 40-50 per kg), washed and drained 
250 grams of boiled peeled and mashed potatoes 
1/4 cup vegetable oil 
1/2 cup finely chopped red onions
2-3 Indian green chillies finely chopped or to taste
2 tablespoons garlic and ginger paste 
1/2 tsp turmeric powder 
1/2 tsp chilli powder 
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder 
1/4 cup finely chopped mint leaves 
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh coriander leaves 
2 tbsp hot and sweet sauce or to taste
Or use 1 tsp vinegar and 2 tbsp ketchup and 1 tsp sugar 
1.5 cups breadcrumbs 
3 eggs beaten 
Salt to taste 
Lime wedges to serve 

Method

Peel and mash your potatoes only when you are ready to prepare the cutlets.

Heat oil in a wide saucepan on high heat. Add onions and green chillies and sauté till soft about 3 minutes . Add garlic ginger paste and sauté about two minutes, scraping the bottom to prevent burning.  
Add the prawns, turmeric, powdered coriander, cumin, hot and sweet sauce mint leaves. and stir well about 3-5 minutes until prawns are just short of being cooked through. 
Put this prawn mixture in a food processor, add 1.5 tablespoons of breadcrumbs and blitz a few times till the mixture is mushy. Do not turn it into a paste. You want a chunky mixture. 
Remove into a mixing bowl and stir in potatoes, 2 tsp salt, chopped coriander and mix well. 
Shape one small 2 inch ball to test the flavours. Later you can make yours round or oval and any size you want. Small balls for appetisers and larger cutlets for a main course. Roll the small ball in egg then dip to coat in breadcrumbs. Roll in eggs again and back into the breadcrumbs to coat completely. 
Heat 2 inches of oil in a large saucepan on high heat. When oil is hot but not allowing lower heat to medium and fry one cutlet until golden brown on all sides. Taste for seasoning and adjust the rest of the prawn ‘dough’ before making the remaining cutlets. Coat in egg wash and crumbs and fry in hot oil. Serve with potato chips, green salad, boiled veggies, mashed potatoes 

AKKI ROTI

A classic flatbread from Karnataka Akki is Kannada for rice flour and roti is a flatbread. This is prepared in a similar way to Maharashtra’s Thalipeet.

Akki Roti

Ingredients for 5, 5 inch round breads

1 cup rice flour

1 tsp roasted besan flour

1/4 cup peeled and grated carrot or capsicum

2 tbsp very finely chopped white bulb of green onions (scallions)

2 tbsps freshly grated white meat of coconut

1-2 Indian green chillies very finely chopped and mixed with 1 tsp salt

1 tbsp finely chopped dill leaves (sabsige or sepu)

1 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger

1 tsp cumin seeds

1.25 tablespoons of ghee plus more for frying

1 banana leaf or equivalent length of butter or wax paper cut into 5 inch squares

Method:

Combine all the ingredients except cumin and ghee in a mixing bowl or parat. Heat ghee and saute the cumin. Cool the spiced ghee then add to the flours in the parat.

Add a half cup of water and started mixing the dough with your fingers. Keep adding water until you have a smooth dough. Knead this dough until smooth and shiny about 2-3 minutes.

Divide it into 5-6 balls of equal size.

Rub your and palms fingers with a little water. Pat one ball between your fingers to flatten it.

Then place it on a 5 inch square of butter paper or banana leaf and using your palm flatten the ball to spread it. Place another 5 inch square of banana leaf or butter paper over it and using a rolling pin roll the top of the banana leaf or butter paper to spread out the Akki roti until it is about 5 inches wide. Remove the top leaf or paper and reserve. Using a fork make a few holes in the Akki roti.

Set a tawa or flat griddle to heat on low heat. Using the banana leaf as a base lift the Akki roti and slap it face down onto the warm tawa. the banana leaf or butter paper should be on top.

Cook on a slow flame until the roti loosens at the bottom and browns slightly. Turn it over and remove the banana leaf. Cook this side in the same way.

Apply a little ghee on both sides and cook till golden and fragrant. Serve warm with podi, chutney, butter, randaayi, ghashi or anything accompaniment of your choice.

Akki Roti with fresh dill, green chillies, carrots and green onions

Bombil Rava Fry: Crispy fried Bombay Duck

A delicacy on the Konkan and Karavalli coast Bombay duck or lizard fish is eaten in different sizes in a variety of ways. This crispy fried Kane is a classic example of how vegetables and seafood are fried along the western coast of India

Ingredients:

Bombay Duck/Bombil – 1 kg (cleaned, central bone remove and. butterflied)

Chilli powder – 2 tsp

Turmeric – 1/2 tsp

Tamarind paste – 1 teaspoon

Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp powdered

Salt to taste

Other ingredients –

Semolina (Rava) – 2 cups

Rice flour – 2 tbsp

Vegetable Oil to shallow fry

Method

Wash and wipe the fish. Dust with a teaspoon of salt and toss to spread the salt about as evenly as possible in a cool part of the kitchen. Place the fish one next to the other on a flat surface and weigh down with heavy plates or containers to help squeeze out excess water. Let the fish sit under these weights for an hour.

Stir together red chili powder, turmeric, salt, asafoetida with the tamarind concentrate. Wipe the fish dry again.

Rub the fish with this paste and let rest open in the fridge for 2-3 hours. in a sieve with a bowl underneath for any additional water that is leacehed out of this fish. Before you fry it let it reach room temperature.

Heat a frying pan with 1 inch of vegetable oil on high heat.

Place 2 cups of semolina and stir in the rice flour on a flat surface or a large plate and coat all the fish pieces evenly in semolina. Dredge them and press them down into the semolina so they are evenly encrusted on all sides.

Lower flame to medium. Lay 3-4 pieces of the fish in the hot oil. Do not over crowd the pan.

Fry till the fish until deep golden brown on all sides. Strain with a slotted spoon into a sieve placed over a bowl to allow any extra oil to drain off.

Fry all the remaining pieces of fish in the same way.

Serve hot straight from the pan with line wedges. Curd rice or lentils and rice is a favoured meal with this fried fish.

Bendekaya Gojju Okra and Tamarind curry


Bendakaya Gojju

Gojju in English means pulp and it is generally always a tangy and spicy dish with jaggery and a souring agent such as tamarind or hog plums.

However there are many variations for gojju across the southern states of India. A classic Karnataka dish Gojju can be a mashed eggplant gojju, a soupy onion (eruli) curry, a thick raisin  curry(ona draksha) even a thin tamarind flavoured gravy.To prevent Okra from getting gummy during the cooking process wipe the whole vegetable with a slightly damp cloth and then again with a dry one. Do not wash the okra in running water and cook it immediately after cutting.

Ingredients serves 5

250 Gram tender whole Bhindi (lady finger or okra)

1 1/2 Tbsp Tamarind concentrate

Jaggery and salt to taste

Oil

For dry masala:

1 tsp Fenugreek seeds

1 tsp white sesame seeds

1 tsp whole cumin seeds

1 teaspoon split Bengal gram or urad dal

For wet masala paste:

1 Cup Desiccated coconut

1 tsp small black Mustard seeds

1 1/2 tsp Uncooked rice

1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

8 Bedgi dried red chillies, stalks and seeds removed

For tadka/tempering:

2 tbsp vegetable Oil

3 Whole dry red Bedgi or Kashmiri chilies

1/2 tsp small black Mustard seeds

Method

Dry masala:

1.In a dry skillet on medium heat dry roast all the ingredients for the dry masala until fragrant. Stir to prevent burning about 2 minutes. Cool completely then grind into a fine powder. Feel it between your fingertips to make sure it is finely ground and doesn’t feel coarse.

Wet masala paste:

1.In a dry skillet roast all the ingredients for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Cool then grind to a coarse consistency. Add some water, a tablespoon at a time and keep grinding until you have a smooth chutney like paste. 

For the okra

Wipe okra clean with a slightly damp cloth. Avoid washing it. Once clean wipe with a dry cloth to remove any liquid. Snip a little bit of the end off- just the tip and slice off the head.

Heat 4 tsp of oil in a skillet on high heat (copper clad if you have one as it facilitates quick browning) and saute the whole okra, turning from time to time until golden brown and blistered on all sides.

Add the ground paste, lower heat to medium and stir well about 2-3 minutes to coat the okra and cook the spices. Stir constantly. 

Add 3 cups of water and the ground spices. Stir in tamarind and a teaspoon of jaggery and salt. Cook until gravy has thickened and the okra is tender. If required add more water to ensure okra is cooked.

Adjust for salt and jaggery.

For tempering

In a small skillet heat 2 tsp of vegetable oil, add all the ingredients for tadka/temper and saute for about 30 seconds without burning them.

Pour the tadka over the bhindi and serve hot. Stir well before serving.

Goli Bhajji-

G

Goli bhajji

A classic Mangalore recipe also called Mangalore Bhaji. Some also call it Mysore Bonda but the Mysore Bonda has a couple of versions.

Ingredients

• 3 Green chillies v finely chopped

• 1 tsp Cumin seeds

• 1 tsp julienned Ginger root

• 1 cup water at room temperature

• 1 tablespoon coconut cut into 1/4 inch pieces

• 1 cup plain whole milk Yoghurt(curd)

• 1/4 cup fine rice flour

  • 1 cup maida or all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Vegetable oil for frying

Method:

Combine the flours, sugar and baking soda and stir in cumin, coconut, green chilies, ginger and a teaspoon of salt. Whisk curd and water together. Stir into the flour mixture. You should have a thick batter. Cover and let sit for 1 hour. Do not over beat this batter or you will have tough fritters.

Heat oil to fry on high flame in a small wok or kadai. Fashion the batter using two teaspoons into small balls about an inch wide and fry in hot oil, cook on a medium flame. First fry one until golden brown. Taste it and adjust seasonings before you do the rest.It should be cooked through.

Serve them with your choice of coconut chutney.


DUDDÉ RANDAAYI Curried Gourd with Black Chick peas and Teppal

Randaayi is a curried dish with a soupy gravy and generally contains coconut and red chillies and is a combination of beans and some kind of meaty vegetable like plantain, yam, gourd or pumpkin. Teppal or Tirphal (not to be confused with the herbal medicine Triphala) is an astringent spice belonging to the same family as Mapo or Sichuan berries and is commonly used in cooking along the Konkan coast. It is served with chapatis or rice. It can also be served with a thick dosa to soak up all the gravy.

Ingredients for 4-5 servings

Dudde randaayi

100 gms whole black Bengal gram/kala chana

500 gms bottle gourd or ash gourd, seeds removed, peeled, cut into 1” cubes ½ tsp turmeric powder

4-5 triphala or Sichuan berries, smashed but not powdered or 6-7 cloves garlic, smashed

1-1½ tsp salt or to taste

Spice paste

5-6 dried red Byadgi or Kashmiri chillies, stalks removed

½ cup grated fresh; or frozen, defrosted, unsweetened coconut

1 tsp tamarind paste

1 tsp grated jaggery Tempering

8 fresh green curry leaves torn

Pinch asafoetida

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Method Wash the gram and soak it in excess water overnight. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Pressure-cook the gram with 3 cups of water on high heat for 25 minutes after the cooker reaches full pressure. Alternatively, put the gram in a pan with 5 cups of water, cover tightly and cook on high heat for 35-40 minutes, till tender. Drain and reserve. Toast the red chillies for the spice paste in a dry skillet, till fragrant. Cool and grind the red chillies with coconut, jaggery and tamarind to make a smooth paste. Add a little water to facilitate the grinding. Add the gourd, turmeric powder, teppal or smashed garlic and spice paste to the cooked gram. Heat oil in a small skillet on high heat. Add cumin seeds, then curry leaves and then the asafoetida and cook 30-60 seconds until spices are fragrant and splutter. Pour this over the gourd and stir well. Add 1-2 cups of water to get the desired consistency and simmer, till the gourd is tender. Add salt to taste. Serve with plain, boiled, white or brown rice, neer dosa or paan pole.

VIETNAMESE-STYLE BANANA BLOSSOMS SALAD, ‘NỘM HOA CHUỐI’

The Sesbania bispinosa is a small tree that produces a beautiful, edible, yellow flower used to prepare several Vietnamese and Thai dishes. In India this flower is called ‘dhaincha’ and though commonly cultivated on farms as a nitrogen fixer, is not often used in Indian cooking. In Thailand the flower is called ‘dok son’. This salad is delicious with ‘nuoc chum’, a sweet and spicy Vietnamese dressing. If you are unable to find dhaincha you can also use banana flowers.

Banana Flowers
Vietnamese style Banana Blossom salad

Like most flowers these tend to bruise and blacken easily, so eat the salad as soon as possible.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

For the salad:

2 banana pods (about 2 cups of flowers)
Bowl of ice-cold water
Juice of 1 lime
½ cup finely chopped shallots (or green onion bulbs)
½ tsp vegetable oil

1/2 cup shredded raw mango


For the dressing:

¼ cup toasted sesame oil
1½ tsp toasted white sesame seeds
Juice and zest of one lime
2 teaspoons palm sugar or brown sugar and salt to taste
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

2 tsp light soy sauce
1.5 tsp fish sauce or light soya sauce for vegetarians
1–2 red Thai chillies, finally chopped

1/4 cup of finely sliced white onions

For the garnish:

4 tbsp roasted and crushed peanuts
2 tbsp chopped fresh spearmint leaves
2 tbsp chopped Vietnamese coriander also called red mont, praew (in the absence of this use regular coriander)
¼ cup crispy fried garlic bits

Optional 1/2 cup sautéed shrimp or tofu or shredded chicken


Method:

Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl, whisk until sugar has dissolved and set aside.

Add lime juice to the ice water. Peel the banana pods and working quickly, remove the reed-like stamen from each flower. Soak the flowers in the lime water immediately. The pods have several layers so keep going until there are no blossoms left. If any blossom look discoloured, discard them. Fresh edible blossoms have a light golden colour.

Saute the shallots in oil and add to the dressing with the oil. Stir well.

Drain the banana blossoms and dry them on a clean cloth. Slice each blossom into 2 pieces lengthwise. You can also leave them whole if you prefer. Place in a salad bowl with the raw mango.

Taste the dressing for seasoning and adjust salt and sugar accordingly. Pour the dressing over the blossoms and mango, cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Remove from fridge. Top with the garnishes, add tofu, chicken or shrimp if you like and toss just before you serve.

Banana Blossom salad with Vietnamese flavours

Cold spicy noodle salad with veggies, peanuts and sesame

Cold noodle salads are popular across South East Asia and prepared in Japan, Myanmar, China and Japan.
This easy to make salad can be prepared with leftover vegetables, meat of fish and or tofu. You can use a variety of noodles including wheat and rice based products. Wheat Soumen and Buckwheat Soba noodles are ideal but you can also use Chow mien Lo mein, Korean Japchae (sweet potato) and some varieties of rice vermicelli noodles. Ramen noodles and what pasta are not as suitable.

Serves 3

For the sauce-
100-120 grams Soumen or soba noodles
1 tablespoon freshly ground ginger root paste
3 tbspns chunky peanut butter
3/4 cup orange juice
4 tablespoons hot sesame oil or use plain sesame oil and 1 bird chilli finely chopped
1/4 cup light low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted white sesame seeds
Juice of 1 lime
Zest of one lime
100 grams diced pan fried tofu or shredded chicken or cooked shrimp

For the vegetables
1 cup finely chopped red cabbage
1/2 cup finely sliced green onions with stems
1/2 cup peeled and shredded carrots
1/2 cup shelled, steamed edamame beans (cooked green soy beans)
Sprigs of cilantro or chopped Chinese chives and lime wedges to garnish
salt and pepper to taste

Method
Set a stock pot of water with a pinch of salt to boil on a high flame.
Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a large mixing bowl and whisk until fully incorporated.
Taste for salt and pepper. Add more honey for a sweeter sauce and a hot sauce of your choice for a spicier one.
When the water is hot add the noodles and cook until just done but still a little firm. Follow instructions on the noodle packet as cooking times vary for different kinds of noodles. Drain the noodles and toss immediately with the sauce.
Add all the vegetables and toss again. Adjust for spicy, sweet and salt.
Cover and chill.
Remove from the fridge, add a little liquid to loosen the noodles if required. Garnish with lime and coriander leaves.
Serve cold.