Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Rick Stein's India

‘Whenever I hear the word curry, I’m filled with a longing for spicy hot food with the fragrance of cumin, cloves and cinnamon. I see deep red colours from lots of Kashmiri chillis, tinged with a suggestion of yellow from turmeric. I think of the tandoor over, and slightly scorched naan shining with ghee and garlic. When Indians talk of their food, they talk about their life. To understand this country, you need to understand curry.’ — Rick Stein

Rick Stein’s passion for using good-quality local produce and his talent  for creating delicious flavour combinations in his books and restaurants have won him a host of awards, accolades and fans. As well as presenting a number of television series, he has published many best-selling cookery books, including French Odyssey, Coast to Coast, Far Eastern Odyssey and Rick Stein’s Spain.

In his latest offering, Rick journeys through India to find his perfect curry. This new BBC, 6-part TV series, Rick Stein’s Indian Odyssey and this accompanying BBC book follows Rick as he explores Indian food in all its complexities; from a rogan josh, Kashmiri red lamb and chilli curry or egg curry from Calcutta (curries in the true sense of the word), spicy dry-roasted meats and fish from the tandoor oven, and deep-fried puffs of pakoras, samosas as well as deep dark dals and glorious rich dishes.

Rick’s travels take him to chefs, home cooks and street vendors and he explores both longheld traditions and modern techniques to distill what he believes best defines Indian food. He uncovers recipes for fragrant kormas, delicate spiced fish and slow-cooked biryanis, all the while gathering ideas and inspiration for his own take on his favourite dishes.

Beautifully illustrated (no exaggeration) and filled with Rick’s adventurous spirit, Rick Stein’s India includes stunning location shots, following Rick’s footsteps and brings the food of a colourful and chaotic nation to life. I am loving reading it and trying recipes as I go.
The publishers have kindly allowed me to reproduce the following recipe from the book.
COPYRIGHT - Rick Stein’s India - BBC

Meen kulambu

As I watched this dish being cooked in Pondicherry, I thought it was the perfect recipe for our own cod; you could also try it with pollock, haddock or hake. Another simple, fresh and fragrant curry from southern India, and, as I’m rather too fond of saying, if we could get fish dishes like this anywhere, everyone would love fish.

SERVES 4 – 6
For the paste
1 small onion, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
80g fresh or frozen coconut, grated or chopped
30g/6 cloves garlic, peeled
9 dried Kashmiri chillies, stalks snipped off
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1½tsp salt

For the fish
50ml vegetable oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp urid dal (husked)
2 tsp turmeric
600g cod fillet (or pollock, haddock or hake),
cut into 4cm slices
Handful of fresh curry leaves
Handful of fresh coriander leaves

To serve
Boiled basmati rice  and Chapatis
For the paste

Put all the paste ingredients in a mini food processor and blend to a thick paste, adding a splash of water if needed. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan or karahi over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and urid dal and fry for 30 seconds, then add the paste and the turmeric, and fry for 2–3 minutes until fragrant. Add the water, bring to the boil then add the cod. Cook for 5 minutes, or until cooked through, occasionally shaking
the pan gently to distribute the heat (avoid using a utensil to stir as the fish is delicate and will break up). Finally add the curry leaves and coriander to the pan and serve with rice and Indian bread.

Rick Stein’s India
Hardback - RRP: $65.00
Released: 5 July 2013
Imprint: BBC Ebury

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