In our trip to India back in 2010 we traveled round Rajasthan soaking in the history as well as some delicious local foods. This area was practically vegetarian, but what we tasted was so great, I didn’t even really miss meat (much!). I was on a staple of curry 3 times a day, with wonderful potato curry a surprisingly nice way to start the day. I drank my body weight in the delicious Massala Chai – a spiced tea, and we even took a couple of cooking courses to see how the locals produce such vibrant, perfectly balanced meals. We visited the Spice markets and got completely carried away, coming home with a ton of spices.

But again it was the street food that turned out to be the highlight of the trip, we tried Samosas freshly fried on the side of the road as you can see below, and on one train journey I jumped off at the platform (much to Jen’s distress) to grab some freshly make Pakora from the platform – getting back on the train just in time.

Here are some pics and highlights from the trip.

IMG_0191IMG_0197

Our first meal in India – a cab driver obviously assumed we were millionares taking us to an amazing all you can eat buffet including outrageously good seafood and complete with singers and drummers


IMG_0344

This was a pretty classic breakfast in India, some mild potato curry in the dish served with some light and fluffy bread – washed down with a massala chai – absolute winner!

IMG_0309

The local dishes in Rajasthan were often served as a Thali, a platter of 2 or 3 curries (usually 1 meat and the rest veggie) some rice, a raita, some naan and a dessert as well – this usually cost about a pound, and was different in every place. It was always heavily spiced, nice and spicy (once or twice maybe a little too spicy for my English Pallet) but was always completely different and such a great way to try lots of different curries.

IMG_0433

IMG_0436

Of course we managed to find a coffee shop in India, knocking out some pretty good espresso’s on the streets of PushkaIMG_0537

IMG_0538Definitely the best Samosa I have ever had – veggie (of course) hot and heavily spiced, with lots of cumin and coriander. Freshly fried by this guy here on the busy streets of Jaipur – absolutely incredible!

IMG_0554

Our first cooking course was in a local woman’s kitchen in Udaipur (the place with the floating palace as seen in Octopussy). A fantastic opportuninty to see inside a kitchen and learn some wonderful Indian dishes (that I am still yet to try back home – shocking!)

IMG_0555

Dish 1 – Veggie Pakora using cauliflower, potato and onion

IMG_0557

Dish 2 – Spinach and Paneer (Indian Cheese) curry. An amazingly vibrant, mild curry

IMG_0559

Served with homemade chapatti’s and a cocunut lassi (Indian Milkshake) – not bad for a 1st attempt at Indian cookery!

IMG_0576

IMG_0572

As I have mentioned in previous posts visiting markets when abroad is one of my favourite things to do, and in India we saw some of the most colourful, busiest, noisiest and vibrant markets ever.

IMG_0569

For me it was the spice stalls that I was interested in, and they didnt dissapoint, with so much on offer some I knew others I had no idea what they were.

IMG_0571

IMG_0568

IMG_0581

As expected I got a bit carried away picking up all kinds of wonderful things such as hot chilli powder, fresh turmeric roots, lots of saffron and the rest!

India 2 (124)

India 2 (130)

India 2 (136)

India 2 (128)

We took on a second cookery course towards the end of our trip, this one was in a cookery school so a little more organised and I have included a couple of recipes below if you fancy trying these at home.

Again we took on a paneer based curry, this one was spicier, with chilli’s and onions – it was incredible (even if I do say so myself!)

Khadai Paneer

Serves 3

Ingredients

2 tbsp oil (any oil is fine)

1 small onion – finely sliced

1 small onion – quartered

2 small tomatoes – blended with a little water to make a paste

2 small green peppers – cut in slices

100g paneer (cottage cheese) cut into cubes

Whole Spices:

5 black peppercorns

2 cloves

1 black cardammon

2 pieces of cinamon stick (c. 1inch long each)

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Powdered Spices

1 tbsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp chilli powder

salt (to taste)

For Curry Paste

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

2 inch piece of ginger

Sprinkle of garam massala (optional)

Recipe

1 – Make the paste by adding all ingredients to a blender with a small amount of water to form a paste. Set aside

2 – Heat oil in pan and add in the sliced onion

3 – When onions start to brown add in the whole spices (do not crush these, they are removed at the end),

4 – Once onions are brown add in powdered spices, the paste (see above) and 1/4 cup of water

5 – Simmer on low heat for 3-4 mins until mixture is thick

6 – Add tomatoe paste and cook for a few minutes until thickened and oil on the top of the mixture

7 – Add green peppers, quartered onion and cook on high for 2 mins

8 – Add Paneer and cook stirring for 1 minute

9 – Remove from heat and serve immediately sprinkled with garam massala and grated paneer on top

N.B you can use steps up to 5 to make a basic curry sauce and here add any meat, fish or veg you want to create a curry to your liking.

Biryani Recipe

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

1 tbsp oil

1 small potato, peeled and cut into 4

4-5 pieces of cauliflower

100g raw basmati rice, washed, soaked in water for 10 mins and drained

Whole Spices:

5 black peppercorns

1 black cardammon

2 pieces of cinamon stick (c. 1inch long each)

1/2 tsp ani seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Powdered Spices

1 tsp coriander

2/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp chilli powder

salt (to taste)

Recipe

1 – Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan

2 – add potato, vegetable and whole spices and cook on high for 5 mins

3 – Add in powder spices and water (use a ratio of 2:1 water to rice)

4 – When water starts to boil add rice and cook on a low heat for 10-12 mins until the rice is just cooked, stirring every couple of minutes

6 – Remove from heat, cover and rest for 10 mins

7 – Eat!

N.B you can make this into a lamb or chicken biryani. You need to part cook the meat by cubing and boiling the meat for 10 minutes and then adding this in at stage 2.

Before I finish I do need to admit that we did break from curry once or twice and even visited a McDonalds once (for the nice clean loos of course!). However I did take on the amazingly named Maharajah Burger, which was surprisingly spicy and a lot nicer than a Big Mac!

CNV00032

Advertisements