An Indian meal

Spicy Eggplant

–          800g eggplants cut into wedges, 2 inches long

–          400 gr ripe tomatoes (or canned chopped)

–          1in piece ginger, grated

–          6 garlic cloves crushed

–          1 cup oil

–          1 tsp fennel seeds

–          ½ tsp kalonji (nigella seeds)

–          1 tbsp ground coriander

–          ¼ tsp ground turmeric

–          ½ tsp cayenne pepper

–          1 tsp salt

In a colander, sprinkle the eggplant wedges with salt and leave for 30 minutes to allow bitter juices to run out. Rinse, squeeze any excess water and pat dry with towel. If using fresh tomatoes, score a cross on each end and plunge into boiling water for 20 seconds, peel skin and roughly chop. Puree ginger and garlic with 1/3 of tomatoes in a blender (or finely chop tomatoes and mix with garlic and ginger).  Heat ½ cup oil in a heavy-based frying pan and when oil hot, add as many eggplant wedges as you can fit in one layer. Fry over medium heat until brown on both sides and transfer into sieve to drain oil. Repeat with remaining eggplants adding oil as necessary.

Reheat remaining oil in pan and add fennel seeds and kalonji. Cover and allow to pop for a few seconds, adding tomato and ginger mixture and remaining ingredients (except for eggplants). Cook for 5 minutes while stirring until mixture thickens. Add the cooked eggplant, cover and cook gently for 10 minutes.

Simple Butter chicken


–          ½ cup plain yogurt

–          1tbsp lemon juice

–          1 tsp turmeric

–          2 tsp garam masala

–          ½ tsp chilli powder

–          1 tsp cumin

–          1 tbsp ginger, grated

–          2 cloves garlic, crushed

–          3 packages (1.5 lbs) chicken thighs or breasts (thighs stay moister) cut in pieces


–          2 tbsp ghee or butter

–          1 cup tomato passata (puree)

–          1 cup heavy cream

–          1 tbsp sugar

–          1 ¼ tsp salt

Combine marinade with chicken and refrigerate overnight (minimum 3 hours). Heat ghee (oil or butter) over high heat in a large frying pan. Take chicken out of marinade but don’t wipe off. Keep leftover marinade. Cook chicken for 4 minutes until it is white. Add tomato puree, cream, sugar and salt as well as the remainder of the marinade. Simmer on low for 20 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.

Naan recipe

–          4 cups flour

–          1 tbsp instant dry yeast

–          2 tsp kosher salt

–          ½ tsp baking soda

–          1 tsp baking powder

–          ¾ cup yogurt

–          1 cup warm water

–          4 tbsp butter melted

–          1 tbsp minced cilantro

Combine flour, yeast, salt, soda and baking powder in a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beating on low speed to combine. Add yogurt and water to the mixer, mix on low speed until mixture forms a dough and switch to hook attachment and knead for 4 minutes on low. Flour your counter and knead dough by hand once or twice to form a ball. Cut into 8 equal pieces and shape into balls, cover and let rest for 1 hour. Use rolling pin to roll out the balls flat to less than ¼ inch thick. Stretch it out with hands. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Preheat cast iron pan for 5 minutes on medium-high heat. To check for readiness sprinkle with water- if beads evaporate instantly it is ready. Add one naan to pan, cover and cook until bubbles start to grow (30-60 seconds). Flip and cook other side until it starts to char in spots (30 seconds). You can also finish the naan on direct flame if you have a gas range). Transfer to plate and cover with towel to keep warm. Melt butter and stir in cilantro, brush bitter on warm naan to seal moisture into hot bread and enjoy! A bit of work but totally worth it!

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