I am so very delighted to announce my debut cookbook ‘Indian Kitchen’ will be published by the fantastic team at Hodder & Stoughton in Spring 2015.
If there is one way to sum up how I feel about writing my cookbook it’s elated! Seeing my family recipes and notes which have been part of my household for years come to life on paper is what makes it special. 4 generations of the women in my family have cooked amazing food yearning to share in their love for creating something special in their kitchens across Mumbai city whilst bringing joy at the dinner table with every mouthful. I have fondly spoken in the past of how my grandmother was the culinary toast of society.
My mother took on those fairy dust qualities of cooking Indian food from the heart. No one taught mum she just picked it up following family recipes and keeping notes (which I still have!). Through it all she fed us some of the best meals I have ever eaten, sourcing brilliant local produce even if it meant walking that extra mile to get it. But beyond that she shared all the stories of cooking that have been part of her life experiences. Every dish she cooked fitted in where it belonged like a piece from a jigsaw puzzle and for everyday of the week or a special occasion. For me, this has always been my learning experience. And where I picked up my flair along with the sensibility of making each recipe taste exactly how I know it should. I savour that and my kitchen ever since, has been a melting pot of a variety of Indian dishes that showcase diversity whilst bringing out the best of what our communities across the country have to offer. Through my work in food cooking for clients, cookery classes and writing about Indian food, is an opportunity to get people to explore the gamut of what is there on offer and nothing gives me more pleasure than that.
The book will reflect just that, with a collection of delicious recipes and of course cater to our busy lifestyles.
Cooking for the family over a few glasses of wine was the best way I could think of to mark this occasion. Part of the feast included a flavoursome Goan Chicken Cafreal. With a marinade of coriander, spices and garlic this goan roast recipe is a local favourite and one that is perfect with pav or a crusty loaf.
I cook this dish over a hob like my mother did. Although you could marinate a whole chicken and roast in the oven too.
Blend the garlic and ginger to a smooth paste in a blender with a splash of water. Marinate the chicken in this paste and set aside. Add the marinade ingredients to a blender and make a smooth paste with 20-30mls of water.
Add the paste to the chicken pieces and coat well. Marinate for a couple of hours or preferably overnight.
In a heavy bottom sauce pan heat the oil to a medium heat. Add the marinated chicken along with any leftover marinade. Seal the chicken pieces stirring often for 5-6 minutes making sure to scrape the marinade if it sticks to the bottom of the sauce pan.
Now turn the heat to a low setting and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir a few times through the cooking process. Add a splash of water only if it gets too dry. This is quite a dry dish so the masala starts to coat the chicken and cling to it.
Season to taste and add the vinegar. Cook for a further 5-7 minutes. Turn the heat off and serve with salad and bread roll or crusty rolls to mop up the masala.