Recipes: Two Dishes from Dishoom
Don’t feel like splurging on a meal at a fancy restaurant? No worries. If you want to stay indoors and whip up a meal for the family or a party, all you need are the right ingredients, a decent kitchen— and great recipes. Here’s some help with the last part.
In the early 1900s, Zoroastrian immigrants from Iran began opening cafés in Bombay, and Bombaiites from all walks of life found them open and welcoming. There were almost four hundred of these cafés in the 1960s, but now fewer than thirty remain. In the United Kingdom, Dishoom now pays homage to the Irani cafés and the food of Bombay. Dishoom is a small group of Indian restaurants that began in Covent Garden, London, in 2010. There are now seven cafés in London, Edinburgh, and Manchester.
Dishoom Covent Garden will be closed from New Year’s Day until summer 2020 for a redesign. But that shouldn’t stop anybody from using their brand-new, beautifully produced cookbook. The two recipes below, reprinted with the permission of Bloomsbury Publishing, are among dozens of possibilities in Dishoom: From Bombay with Love.
This is a special dish at Dishoom Covent Garden. It’s a light, fragrant and utterly delicious South-Indian-style curry, packed with juicy prawns and tempered with coconut milk. Although it looks impressive, it is actually very easy to make, so you can serve it either as a week-night supper or as an indulgent dinner. We serve it with idiyappam, the white, lacy noodle pancakes, also known as string hoppers. If you can’t get these, it goes just as well with steamed rice. (British measurements have been changed below to approximate American measurements.)
6 green chilies
55ml (1.8 fluid ounces) vegetable oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
30 fresh curry leaves
300g (11 ounces) Spanish white onions, sliced (a little chunky is good)
15g (half an ounce) garlic paste (page 353)
15g (half an ounce) ginger paste (page 353)
2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1¼ tsp ground turmeric
25g (0.9 ounce) fresh root ginger, cut into matchsticks
400ml (13.5 ounces) coconut milk
250ml (8.5 ounces) coconut cream
24 large prawns (or large shrimp)
300g (11 ounces) medium tomatoes, cut into small bite-sized wedges
1. Remove and discard the stalks from the chilies, then slice each one into 3 or 4 long strips. Set to one side.
2. Place a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add 40ml (1.5 ounces) of the oil, let it warm for a few seconds, then add the mustard seeds and 20 curry leaves. Let them crackle for a few seconds.
3. Add the onions and sauté lightly for 12–14 minutes, until soft but not colored.
4. Add the garlic and ginger pastes, salt, black pepper and turmeric and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the sliced chilies and ginger matchsticks and cook for 3 minutes.
5. Pour in the coconut milk and cream and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. While the curry is simmering, place a small frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 tbsp oil. Toss in the rest of the curry leaves and fry for 1 minute, until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
7. Add the prawns and tomatoes to the sauce and simmer gently for a further 5–6 minutes, until the prawns are cooked; do not overcook or they will be tough.
8. Serve scattered with the fried curry leaves, with lemon wedges on the side.
Note: If you’d like to prepare the dish in advance, make the sauce (up to and including step 5), chill and refrigerate, then reheat and continue from step 6 just before serving.
Pineapple & Black Pepper Crumble
This is our take on a British classic. You can serve it warm or cold, on its own or with custard or a scoop of vanilla or cinnamon ice cream. The tang of pineapple and spice of pepper work wonderfully together.
You can prepare the crumble topping in advance, but don’t apply it until you’re ready to bake.
FOR THE FILLING:
1 large, fresh ripe pineapple (you need around 750g, or about 1.7 pounds, of flesh)
1 vanilla pod or 2 tsp vanilla extract
100g granulated sugar (100g is about 3.5 oz.)
A few twists of freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE CRUMBLE:
100g plain flour
100g rolled oats
100g granulated sugar
100g salted butter, cubed, at room temperature
Vanilla ice cream or custard
1. Trim the pineapple of its skin, prising out the “eyes”, and cut into 2cm chunks, discarding the hard core.
2. Place the pineapple chunks in a saucepan and add 200ml (about 7 fluid ounces) water. If using a vanilla pod, split in half, run a knife down the length to remove the seeds and add the seeds and pod to the pan. (If using extract, it goes in later.) Simmer over a medium-low heat for 20–25 minutes, or until the pineapple is soft, stirring occasionally. If the pan starts to become dry, add a little more water.
3. Meanwhile, make the crumble. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your hands until fully incorporated; there should be no loose flour left.
4. Heat the oven to 400°F/Convection oven 350°F.
5. Once the pineapple is soft, add the sugar and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Add the black pepper and vanilla extract, if using. Turn off the heat and set aside.
6. Spread the pineapple mixture in a medium baking dish and top with the crumble mix. Bake for 30–40 minutes, until the topping has formed a lovely golden crust.
7. Allow to stand for 5 minutes then serve, with vanilla ice cream or custard.
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