A few months ago, after our trip to London, I volunteered to cook an Indian dinner for my Auntie Mame's friends. They had recently gotten married in the UK and this was a little thank you for their generous hospitality to us when travelling. I freely admit I am an novice when it comes to Indian food. And I chose a Franco /Indian cuisine based on a incredible dinner I had in London at La Porte des Indes,a more upscale restaurant. Their cuisine was inspired by the French Creole cuisine of Pondichery. I went up to the Devon area and gathered most of my ingredients. I settled on these dishes for the menu:
Lamb Samosas with Sauce Creole
Minced lamb cooked with garlic, ginger, onion,paprika, coriander, turmeric, garam masala bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Add peas and stuff into ready made puff pastry. Serve up with a Sauce Creole of tomatoes, radish, red chilies, red bell pepper cooked down to pulp and strained. Onion seeds, garam masala, paprika,sugar, sultanas and vinegar are added reduced to a sauce.
Roasted Garlic and Pumpkin soup ( I used Butternut Squash)
Pumpkin or squash is chopped,softened and cooked in butter. Chili powder, turmeric, Fresh cilantro, 9-10 garlic cloves are added . Mixture pureed and topped with cream and chives. I doubled the recipe and added some sugar to bring out some flavor.
Lime and Garlic Pickle ( store bought)
I took chicken thighs and made a tandoori paste of lemon, chili powder, garlic, ginger, Red chilies( couldn't find Kashmiri), cumin, coriander, garam masala, and Greek Yogurt. Marinated it overnight. Grilled at home and shredded( did not have clay oven for tandoori). Fried up garlic paste in butter,tandorri masala powder, onion sauce( a reduced pulp of onions and cloves, cinnamon , and bay leaf) and add yogurt and heavy cream. Add chicken et voila! Very rich and spicy.
Spinach and Paneer
Sauteed spinach and fried paneer cubes with fenugreek, tomatoes,green chilies, cumin, onion, garlic and cream.
Belgian Chocolate and Praline Kulfi
An Indian ice cream made with reduced whole milk , sugar, cream, white and dark chocolates with a homemade cashew praline.
It took about 2 days Of prep as I wanted to cook most in my place and Kitchen, then transport over to my aunts place. Indian cooking is very laboured , but I love it I love the scent and sound of all the various spices popping and infusing in the hot oil. Certain Someone and my aunt were very impressed. Certain Someone went to this restaurants branch in Brussels recently and was not impressed,so I'm glad the dinner turned out. One of our guests was the husband of Jeanne from Cooksister. It was a little weird cooking for a fellow bloggers husband. But while he's in Chicago we all have hit it off very well .He brought some incredible Naan bread for us. Certain Someone did the honors with most of the photos you see here. He's getting really good! I especially like the last shot of the Kulfi.Great conversation and food.The Moet and Kingfisher beer flowed. And everyone went home with leftovers! That's a great sign and accolade for me. If you want more detailed recipe email me. I used the La Porte Des Indes cookbook and there are recipes within recipes. To much to post. But I hope the general descriptions and processes help.