An Indian Inspired Dinner Party

Now, you’ll have to excuse the significant lack of photographs from my Indian inspired dinner party – I just simply didn’t have any spare time last Friday to take any! Those who watched my stories, however, will have seen how my day unfolded and what I cooked up for my guests. Below is my table arrangement, my menu and my recipes. (My recipes are based on a dinner party size of 4 persons).

Starter

Basa Tandoori with Kachumber Salad and Mint Raita

Main

Paneer Jalfrezi
Punjabi-Style Black Dal
Tandoori Salmon
Buttery Cardomon Rice

Dessert

Mini Pear Strudels with Crème fraîche

 

Starter Recipe

Basa Tandoori with Kachumber Salad and Mint Raita

The reason I opted for this tried and tested recipe is because; 1) it’s super easy 2) it’s quick 3) you can prepare in advance and 4) well, it’s really tasty!!

1/2 Cucumber
1 Tbsp Curry Powder120g Natural Yoghurt
20g Mint Sauce
1 Tsp Nigella Seeds
1 Tomato
1 Shallot
1/2 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
2 x 100g Basa Fillets

  1. Cut the basa fillets in half lengthways, and then chop into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Combine half of the natural yoghurt with the curry powder, chilli flakes, a generous pinch of salt and 1 tbsp olive oil in a bowl. Add the basa bites and mix well until they’re completely coated – this is your tandoori fish.
  3. Cover a baking tray with tin foil (to avoid mess!) and drizzle with olive oil (to prevent the fish from sticking). Add the tandoori fish to the baking tray and put it under the grill for 6-7 min or until the fish is cooked through and starting to char.
  4. Meanwhile, cut the cucumber in half lengthways. Scrape the seeds out of the cucumber and set aside for later. Dice the cucumber. Peel and chop the shallotDice the tomatoes.
  5. Combine the diced cucumber, chopped shallot and diced tomato in a bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt – this is your kachumber salad.
  6. Meanwhile, combine the cucumber seeds, remaining yoghurt and mint sauce in a mixing bowl. Season with a large pinch of salt – this is your mint raita.

Serve the tandoori fish on top a large spoonful of kachumber salad and drizzle over some mint raita.

Main course recipes

Paneer Jalfrezi

1 Brown Onion
1 Garlic Clove
1 Green Pepper
1 Tomato
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
250g Paneer Cheese
1/2 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
1 Tbsp Curry Powder
15g Fresh Root Ginger
1 Vegetable Stock Cube

  1. Cut the paneer into bite-sized cubes and pan fry with vegetable oil until golden. Once cooked, transfer paneer to a plate.
  2. Peel and finely slice the brown onion. Return the pan to a medium heat with 2 tbsp vegetable oil. Once hot, add the onion with a big pinch of salt, 2 tsp sugar and cook for 5-8 min or until soft and starting to caramelise.
  3. Deseed the green pepper and cut into thin strips. Add the strips to the softened onion and cook for a further 5-8 min or until starting to brown, stirring occasionally Meanwhile, dissolve the vegetable stock cube in 300ml boiled water.
  4. Peel and finely chop the ginger and garlic. Cut the tomatoes into wedges. Add the chopped ginger, chopped garlic, chilli flakes and curry powder to the pan and stir vegetables are coated.
  5. Add the tomato paste, stir for 1 min, then return the paneer cubes to the pan with the tomatoes and stock.

Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5-10 min or until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has reduced to a curry-like consistency – this is your jalfrezi.

Punjabi-Style Black Dal

3 Garlic Cloves
250g Black Beluga Lentils (ready to eat)
1 Red Chilli
1 Red Onion
1 Can of Kidney Beans
1 Tsp Garam Masala
1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
1 Tsp ground Tumeric
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1/2 Vegetable Stock Cube
15g Fresh Root ginger
40g Cornish Clotted Cream
5g Coriander

  1. Peel and finely dice the red onionHeat a wide-based pan (preferably non-stick) with a generous drizzle of vegetable oil over a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the cumin seeds and cook for 1-2 min or until starting to become fragrant.
  2. Add the chopped red onion and ground turmeric and cook for 5-6 min or until starting to soften. Meanwhile, peel and finely chop (or grate!) the ginger.
  3. Slice some rings from the red chilli finely (reserve these for garnish!), and chop the rest finely. Chop the coriander, including the stalks, roughly.
  4. Once the onions have softened, add the chopped garlic, ginger and chopped chilli and cook for 3-4 min further or until fragrant. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the kidney beans. Dissolve 1/2 vegetable stock cube in 400ml boiled water.
  5. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1-2 min.
  6. Add the kidney beans and the black beluga lentils to the pan and cook for 2-3 min or until starting to soften, then mash them roughly. Tip: add a splash of water if it is looking a little dry – this will help to thicken the sauce!
  7. Add the vegetable stock and garam masala to the pan and bring to the boil.
  8. Cook for 6-8 min further or until the kidney beans are cooked and the sauce has thickened. Season generously with salt.

Once thickened, add the clotted cream and cook for 1 min further, or until melted – this is your Punjabi-style Dal. Serve with the other mains and sprinkle the chilli rings and corriander over the top.

Tandoori Salmon

150g Natural Greek Yoghurt
½ x 180g jar Tandoori Paste
4 x 120g Salmon Fillets, Skin Removed
1 Small Red Onion, Finely Sliced, to Garnish
1 Lime, Squeeze of Juice and the Rest in Wedges

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high (240°C). Mix the yoghurt and the tandoori paste in a mixing bowl. Add the salmon fillets coating them well.
  2. In a separate bowl, toss the red onion with a squeeze of lime juice and a pinch of salt.
  3. Put the salmon on a foil-lined tray (don’t scrape off the marinade) and grill for 4 minutes on each side. Serve with the other main dishes, lime wedges, and garnish with the onion.

Buttery Cardomon Rice

6 Cardamom Pods
130g Basmati Rice

  1. Crush the cardamom pods open by squashing them with the side of a knife. Heat a pot with a matching lid, with a drizzle of vegetable oil and a large knob of butter over a medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the crushed cardamom and basmati rice and stir to fully coat the grains.
  2. Add 300ml cold water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook with a lid on for 10-15 min or until the water has absorbed. Check occasionally to prevent overcooking, then set aside covered until serving.

Dessert Recipe

Mini Pear Strudels with Crème fraîche – makes 6

x2 Conference Pears, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
50g Raisins
1½ Tbsp Caster Sugar
½ Lemon, Juice
½ Tsp Ground Cinnamon
3 Sheets Filo Pastry
50g Unsalted Butter, Melted
1 Small Tub of Crème Fraîche

  1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6. Toss the pears, raisins, 1 tbsp caster sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon in a bowl with a pinch of salt. Lay out the pastry on a clean work surface and cover with cling film.
  2. Take 1 sheet of filo and lay out with one of the shorter ends towards you; brush all over lightly with melted butter. Spoon ¹⁄ ³ of the pear mixture in a horizontal line at the bottom of the sheet. Roll up like a cigar, trim the ends, and then cut in half. Reshape to keep the cylindrical shape then make 2 slits at the top (to let the steam escape). Brush lightly all over with butter, then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining filo and fruit until you have 6 small strudels all lightly brushed with butter.
  3. Sprinkle over the remaining ½ tbsp sugar; bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden. Cool for 10 minutes and serve with a dollop of crème fraîche.

Music Playlist

And lastly, by popular demand, here is my current go-to Spotify playlist which I’ve put together –  ‘All the Vibes’, feel free to follow!

Thanks for reading x

3 Comments

  1. Charlotte
    March 22, 2019 / 10:00 pm

    Sounds and looks absolutely scrummy!! Deffo on my list to cook. Thanks for sharing xx

  2. Deirdre
    March 23, 2019 / 11:28 am

    Check out Dermot Kennedy for some tunes x

  3. Rosanne
    March 30, 2019 / 12:51 pm

    Thank you for all the lovely recipe ideas. Just wondering if you made the strudels ahead of time and if so did you cook them and then just reheat them gently?

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