Last Bonfire Night, I hosted an Indian themed supper. Each guest brought a dish, and I made chutneys and onion bhajis. It went so well that I decided to recreate the feast again this week, but this time I made everything myself, including three curries, chutneys, raita, bhajis and naan bread. As you can imagine I was pretty exhausted after a good four hours of cooking - I think I chopped 12 onions, 12!!
All the recipes came from the wonderful BBC Food and Good Food websites, except for the main chicken tikka curry which is a Gordon Ramsay creation, originally found by my lovely friend Maddy. The best thing about these recipes is that they can all be made up ahead and reheated, saving time, energy and hob space later.
|Chicken Tikka Masala|
I doubled up the Chicken Tikka recipe to serve 6 people with leftovers. I started by making the sauce and blending it, then leaving it to one side, before reheating it just before serving and adding the browned chicken pieces which I allowed to infuse in the sauce for about 10 minutes or so. This curry has a good red colour, creamy texture and a deep flavour, with just a hint of spice that should appeal to even the most chilli fearing of friends.
|Spiced Paneer and Tomato Curry|
I’m a big fan of paneer, an Indian cheese similar to halloumi, and the Spiced Paneer and Tomato Curry I made was sympathetic to its delicate flavour. Again the spice level was more warming hint then blast.
|Chickpea and Spinach Curry|
The final curry I made was a Chickpea and Spinach number, Ben’s favourite, which made for a bit of colour on the table, and also could be described as healthy (mainly because it was green). I made the entirety of the curry up ahead, except for the addition of the spinach, which I added to the warmed sauce to wilt, about 15 minutes before serving.
The mix for the onion bhajis was again made up ahead, except for the flour, which was added to the onion, egg and spices just before frying. Once fried, I popped the bhajis in a Pyrex dish and placed them in the oven, on a low heat, to keep them warm until I was ready to serve.
|Onion Bhajis, Raita and Naan|
I can’t take all the credit for the feast though. Ben did make the Naan breads. He followed this Madhur Jaffery recipe, and cooked them on a slightly oiled pan on the hob rather then in the oven. They puffed up perfectly, and made for a sweet and fluffy accompaniment to the meal.
Alongside all this I served my trusty coriander chutney with the addition of a little natural yoghurt to create a smoother consistency, and cucumber and mint raita to cool everything down.
Phew, I’m exhausted just recounting it all to you here, but I’m pleased to say the meal went down very well, and six people managed to eat almost all of the different curries, which had been meant to make 16 portions!!