I consider myself lucky to have experienced authentic Gujarati cuisine when I was in the hostel studying for my post graduate degree in Mumbai. People not familiar with Gujarati cuisine use the term khaman dhokla without realizing that there is no such dish. There is dhokla which is made using rice flour and khaman is made using chick pea flour or besan.
My mother used to make khaman by using a few tablespoons of idli batter as leavening agent. I used the same technique. Also I used a sponge cake tin (20 centimeter diameter) as a vessel for the batter and steamed in my Dutch oven.
A piece of trivia for you – I always thought chick peas were native to the Indian subcontinent but now know that they were grown in Turkey about 8000 BC!!
Tagine or Tajine is a North African Maghreb dish which is named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. Algerian and Moroccan tagine dishes are slow-cooked savory stews, typically made with sliced meat, poultry or fish together with vegetables or fruit. Spices, nuts, and dried fruits are also used. Common spices include ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and saffron. Paprika and chili are used in vegetable tajines.
My version is a vegan one (omit the feta cheese as topping) and it is a one pot dish cooked over a couple of hours in the oven. Unfortunately, you can’t put the oven on timer and wander off as you need to stir once in a while and add the herbs in between! It is very flavourful and the prunes breakdown giving a bit of sauce and also makes the stew rich and gooey.
400g dried chick peas, rinsed and soaked in lightly salted water overnight
This is my take on the Vietnamese classic Cha Ca La Vong. Cha Ca means grilled fish and “La Vong” was inspired by a local statue of Jiang Ziya, also known as Lu Wang (pronounced as La Vong in Vietnamese), the fisherman-turned-politician who symbolized the potential for patient, talented people.
I just love the combination of ingredients – fish that is flavoured with turmeric, lemon grass, tamarind and fish sauce and served with soft cold noodles, fresh and vibrant herbs and some crunchy peanuts. I used our local New Zealand fish warehou but any white fleshed firm fish like blue cod would work well.
750 – 800g of firm white fish like monk or warehou or ling fillets
1 heaped teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons crushed lemon grass (I used ground frozen lemon grass)
This dish brings back lots of childhood memories for me. My
parents were good friends with a couple from Kerala who were closer to my
grandparent’s age. We would all go to their place occasionally for the odd
treat. On one such occasion, we were treated to homemade idiyappam and this
potato istew. My mother got the recipe and made it a few times. This recipe is
based from that memory. The idiyappam requires special equipment to make so I
have just used store bought rice vermicelli making this fairly simple and easy
A kati roll is a street-food dish originating from Kolkata,
West Bengal. In its original form, it is a skewer-roasted kebab wrapped in a
paratha bread, although over the years many variants have evolved all of which
now go under the generic name of kati roll. There are other names for this like
roti wrap or frankie or even a Bombay Burrito.
My recipe uses amaranth flour for the rotis making it gluten
free and protein rich. The filling is spicy and the combination of mashed chick
peas makes this a complete vegan and gluten free meal.
Banana bread elevates ordinary breakfast to something
special especially if it’s toasted and slathered with super crunchy peanut
butter. This is a gluten free recipe and I used buckwheat flour and rice flour
instead of a readymade gluten free mix.