This is one of Ma Rani’s original recipes from her cook book. We love it as a vegetarian starter or as a light meal and it is definitely one of our family favourites as it is on the table at least once a week as well as being favourite at our supper club! We hope you enjoy making it!
2 medium aubergines
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped into small chunks
2 tbs of vegetable oil
1tsp cumin seed
1tsp mustard seed
1tbs dried fenugreek leaves
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1tbs freshly grated root ginger
2 tsp garam masala
salt & pepper to taste
15g fresh coriander leaves
half a lemon
4g fresh green chilli, finely chopped
Wash and slice the aubergines in two and scoop out the flesh.
Squeeze the lemon juice on to the aubergine skins to stop them discolouring.
Fry off the cumin seed in the hot oil for a few seconds.
Chop the onion, add to the pan and continue to fry until softened and slightly browned.
Add the mustard seed and turmeric and stir.
Add the garlic, root ginger and green chilli and stir.
Add the dried fenugreek leaves, stir and allow to cook for 2 – 3 minutes
Add the garam masala to the pan and stir thoroughly.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Next add the flesh of the aubergine to the pan and stir.
Chop the tomatoes into small chunks, add to the pan and stir.
Cook on a gentle heat for 10 minutes stirring intermittently.
Finally chop the coriander leaves roughly and add to the pan.
Spoon the mixture back into the aubergine skins, put the empty skins on top of each filled skin and place in the middle of a foiled baking tray.
Cook in a medium oven for 25 minutes.
Serve with a fresh salad of cucumber, tomato and red onion with a spoon of natural yoghurt on the side.
PEARS WITH CARDAMOMS AND CINNAMON
This dessert evolved from something which I only made as an accompaniment to Burfi (hand crafted Punjabi sweets) to something which I make quite regularly as a refreshing palate cleanser after one of our own family feasts. We haven’t tried it at the supper club yet as I have been adapting it but I think I have found the final version! My neighbour has two big pear trees so I am lucky to have fresh organic pears to use which are handed to me over the fence! Sometimes it’s nice to finish off a filling supper with something light and refreshing! I do hope you enjoy this dessert as much as my family and I do!
It is best to prepare this dish a few hours before serving because it really does taste lovely if thoroughly chilled in your fridge. You could also make this dessert the night before and leave to chill overnight.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Oven Temperature: 180 c / gas mark 4
You will need:
4 Large Pears (or 6 if you can only find small ones)
2 teaspoons (2 x 5 ml) Green or White Cardamom seeds – finely ground
1/2 teaspoon (1 x 2.5 ml) Ground Cinnamon
5 fl. oz (150 ml) Orange Juice
2 fl. oz (60 ml) Orange Liqueur (optional)
2 tablespoons ( 2 x 15 ml) Soft Brown Sugar
- Peel the pears thinly.
- Cut them into quarters and remove the cores
- Place the pears in a shallow baking dish large enough to take all the pears in a single layer.
- Sprinkle on the ground cardamom seeds, ground cinnamon and soft brown sugar.
- Gently pour on the orange juice and orange liqueur
- Turn the pears over a few times to ensure they are all well coated with the liquid.
- Cover the dish with foil or a tight-fitting lid and bake for 30 minutes.
- At 30 minutes test the pears with a skewer. The pears should be tender. If not return to the oven for another 10 minutes or until tender.
- Once baked until tender, transfer the pears to a serving dish with all the juices from the oven dish, cover and refrigerate for 4 – 5 hours.
- Serve with plain ice-cream as an accompaniment or single cream. Orange or Pear Kulfi are also great as accompaniments.
I devised this recipe from a similar creation by my own mother, Joginder, when as a family we lived in Nairobi in Kenya. It was always a simple dish which we had along with the more substantial dishes for supper. I tried this recipe on my two oldest children back in the mid-eighties when as a full-time teacher with three children under the age of 9 I still wanted to come up with some interesting food mid-week. It was a great surprise when they continued to ask for “the yummy chicken for our toast bread from France” – and Graham quite liked it too! It is still a favourite at the table now as a tasty and unusual appetizer and I did make it in France when my dear friend Carolyn hosted some of our charity suppers.
I hope you enjoy it as much as my family has over the years!
~ SPICED CHICKEN LIVERS ~ Serves 2 and ideal for an appetizer before supper ~
You will need:
2 oz of salted or unsalted butter
1 medium onion – finely chopped
1 clove of garlic – finely chopped
1/2 lb chicken livers
1 inch cut piece of fresh ginger – finely grated
2 teaspoons of garam masala
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Cooking Instructions for the hob:
- Melt the butter in a pan and cook the onion until golden brown.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute on a medium heat.
- Add the chicken livers, turn up the heat and saute’ for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add garam masala and ginger and continue to cook for 1 more minute.
- Remove from the heat and mix in the lemon juice.
- Serve on or beside some crusty french bread with a green salad.
This recipe is especially for all the wonderful folk in Droux/France who donated so generously to our chosen charity – Cancer Research UK. Many of these kind people brought produce from their own gardens and I cooked up a variety of Panjabi dishes for the supper club. One contribution was rhubarb which I made into a tangy and spicy chutney. It was really popular and I promised them all that I would write-up the recipe. But first I needed to make it again when I got back to England to work out the quantities used. Normally I cook by instinct, smelling and tasting and looking for the colours I want and don’t really measure anything.
It has taken me a while to track down the rhubarb at this time of the year – where did I find it?
By chance in a friend’s garden in Hertfordshire. Being a ‘ lady of leisure’ now I can ‘do lunch’ mid-week! We were invited to a bar-b-q yesterday and while strolling through their garden I noticed some very large leaves with thick red stems underneath and shrieked ‘Oh my God – Rhubarb’! My friend was rather bemused at my excitement and offered me as much as I wanted. The late stems are perfect for a chutney as they are quite acidic. You could use younger, sweet stems but I would suggest adding some lemon juice and less sugar.
I hope you enjoy making the chutney, it is very easy and it will keep in the ‘fridge for up to a month. Just follow the slide show below starting with the whole rhubarb, it is in order. If you need any more information just email me.
Saira’s Strawberry & Mint Sorbet Ingredients:500g Fresh Strawberries6 good size mint leaves5 tablespoons Sugar200ml water1. Cut the strawberries in half and then into quarters. Place in a bowl big enough to fit in your fridge2. Chop up the mint leaves and sprinkle over the strawberries
3. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of sugar over the strawberries and mint and then place the bowl in your fridge to chill (the great thing is you can leave them for an hour or all day depending on when you are going to make the sorbet)
4. To make the sugar and water mixture, bring 200ml of water to the boil in a heavy based saucepan. Once boiling, add 2 tablespoons of sugar. Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to simmer for 1 minute.
5. Pour the mixture into a heat-resistant jug and place in the fridge to chill
When you are ready to make your sorbet….
Pour the strawberries and mint into the blender and add the sugar and water as you blend into a runny mixture. Don’t be put of by the strawberry pips, they are meant to stay in the mixture!
For the ice cream maker;
Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker, turn on and leave for 40-45 minutes. Do check it often though. Once your sorbet is ready, serve straight from the mixer or place in a tub and pop in the freezer until you are ready to use it.
For the freezer;
Pour you mixture into a freezer tub and place in the freezer for 1 hour 30 minutes. You will need to gently stir your mixture regularly for at least 30 minutes to achieve a smooth sorbet consistency
Serve on its own, with other sorbet or a really nice vanilla ice cream ~ perfect with a glass of Cava!