Of late I've been inspired by Indian cuisine after watching Pryia from Bon Appetit creating mouth watering dishes on BA's Youtube channel.
With Pryia's ingrained-since-birth knowledge and her use of language, she makes Indian cooking somewhat more approachable and why I've decided to create more traditional Indian dishes at home.
Here I have my version of Tikka Masala and although I've just mentioned "traditional," I've still managed to bend the rules.
In my recipe I've used Brussel sprouts and butter beans as the 'bulking ingredients' in this dish, as they create a meaty heartiness; I simply love each to their own.
If you're sceptical about the Brussel sprouts, don't be. They carry the curry sauce with such purpose with each crevice managing to be coated in the luscious sauce.
On a more traditional side of things, I've used an array of ground spices and trusty curry powder, to really bump up the flavour.
Something I love about Indian cooking, is they're not afraid to use ingredients such as spices quite intensely - bringing optimum favour even to the most simple of dishes.
I've even managed to pike the dish with asafoetida!
Asafoetida is used in many savoury dishes throughout India - mimicking onion, garlic, egg and even meat.
It's commonly used in vegetarian dishes to add a bold depth of flavour.
If you can find asafoetida, I highly recommend you give it a try, but be weary it doesn't have a pleasant smell. ;)
Another widely used technique is 'chonk' - where you temper herbs & spices in oil to enhance their flavour and compliment the dish at hand. It's also wonderful at adding texture to a dish.
Love Alex, Ballerina Bites. Xx
PS: Be sure to tag me @ballerina_bites on Instagram so I can see your wonderful recreations!
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp mild curry powder
1 tbsp smoked paprika
½ tsp garam masala
¼ - ½ tsp cayenne pepper
⅛ tsp asafoetida (I managed to find it at The Source Bulk Foods)
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1x 400ml can coconut milk
½ can (200ml) water
400g Brussel sprouts, sliced in half
2 cans butter beans, drained and rinsed
A handful of coriander, roughly chopped
Wedges of lemon or tangy yoghurt to serve
3 tbsp coconut oil
⅓ cup dried curry leaves
⅓ cup coconut flakes
½ tsp chilli flakes
Season with salt
In a large saucepan, add a dash of water or oil.
Set heat to medium- high.
Slice the onion into thin half moon strips and add to the pan; stirring occasionally.
Once the onion begins to go translucent, stir in the crushed garlic, curry powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, asafoetida and tomato paste.
Allow the spices to toast until they become fragrant - about 2mins.
If you feel your pan becoming too dry, add a dash of water to deglaze the pan.
Now add the bay leaves, coconut milk, water, Brussel sprouts & butter beans.
Stir so everything is nicely amalgamated.
Bring to a boil, before covering with a lid ajar and setting heat to low.
Allow to simmer for 45mins,
Meanwhile make the 'chonk' by adding all chonk ingredients into a small saucepan.
Set heat to medium and allow to cook until the coconut chips begin to turn lightly golden.
Be sure to take the chonk off heat a minute early, as it will continue to cook.
Transfer to a bowl to stop the cooking process.
Once the curry is ready - serve over rice with a sprinkle of the chonk.
To freshen the dish, scatter over fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime juice or a dollop of tangy yoghurt.