We are settling really well into our new home. There are still a way to go before everything is in place but it’s ours and we can take our time. The interior is mostly completed except for a new oven, stovetop and getting the study done up. We are also hopeful that we will finally get our front and back fence up. It has been hellish in getting a tradie for the fence. I probably have trust issues and rightly so. How can the quotes vary so much? Which one do we trust and not have the feeling of being ripped of?
The last year in our rented place has been a disaster to my interests in cooking. The kitchen was very undesirable to work in. I am slowly getting back into the cooking mojo and really excited about having lots of food gathering at our place. My pantry is slowly being filled up new spices and newly discovered ingredients and condiments.
I was really excited to receive Anjum Anand’s Quick and Easy Indian cookbook. She has a cooking series on Foxtel’s Lifestyle Channel called Indian Food Made Easy and that is how I know of her. Her recipes has always been easy to follow, ingredients easy to find and not as fatty as a lot of Indian recipes that makes one feel totally heavy and bloaty after. If you are looking for authentic Indian recipes, then this cookbook is not the one for you. However, if you are looking for a cookbook that has influences of the Indian cuisine, then get this book.
I am still really busy with work. It will not stop and so am always on the lookout of quick and easy recipes. After flipping through the cookbook, I chose the one pot meatballs, eggs and spicy tomato dish as the first dish to try out from this cookbook. The cookbook used lamb as the choice of protein but feel free to use other choices of meat. I used chicken instead. One tip that I have for you is to get chicken thigh and get your butcher to mince it for you. May be slightly more expensive but you know what’s in the mince!
With all recipes, I like to add a touch of jeroxie into it. Below is the recipe from Anjum’s book but as always, add your touch to it. If you like it spicy, add chillies to it. It can either dried or fresh or a mixture of both. Adjust the spices according to your taste. Have fun in the kitchen
For the tomatoes and eggs
- 3tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 big cloves of garlic, grated
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp tumeric
- 3 large ripe tomatoes chopped into chunks
- 4 eggs (I did 2 because I was not eating all at one time)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Good pinch of castor sugar
- Handful of chopped coriander leaves to serve
For the meatballs
- 250g of minced lamb (I used minced chicken)
- 15g of chopped coriander leaves and stalks
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 10g of root ginger and finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- Optional – I added roasted chopped hazel nuts. It was just sitting on the bench and thought why not, it added another layer of texture
- Start with the tomato sauce. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saute pan that has a lid. Add the onion and cook until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Keep the heat fairly medium so not to burn the garlic
- Add the cumin and tumeric and stir for 20 seconds before adding the tomatoes. One tip so as not to burn the dry spices is to coat it with oil and then add to the pan. It won’t stick as much.
- Add about 50ml of water, salt and sugar. Once you add the tomatoes and water, you can also start scraping the bits. Bring the liquid to boil and then reduce the heat right down. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and seems like they are beginning to look like a rich sauce. You may choose to adjust seasoning here
- While the tomato sauce is simmering in the pot, start working on the meatballs. Mix all the ingredients together, season well and roll the mixture into walnut size balls. Add them to the pan, cover and simmer for another 20 minutes in low heat. Turn the balls half way through.
- Uncover the pan, add a little water if needed. At this point, I added a touch of fish sauce. Make 4 little indents in the sauce and crack the eggs into them. Cover and simmer for another 4 to 5 minutes or until the eggs are done to your liking
- Taste again and season if required. Sprinkle with more coriander before serving
It’s delicious and I’ve only used one pot! The next recipe that I am going to try is the Peshwari naan. The filling contains ingredients like goji berries, cranberries, raisins, pine nuts, cashew nuts and ground almonds. Sounds yum! Or perhaps I should check out the ginger chai tiramisu next?
If you are really short of time, Anjum has released The Spice Tailor. It’s a range of 8 different type of sauces. The sauce pack usually consists of a base marinade, the sauce and a packet of whole spices. You can still tailor it to your tastes or just use as it is. For these meatballs, I can properly use Punjabi Tomato Curry sauce. You will be able to find this collection in a Coles near you.
Many thanks to The Spice Tailor (Australia) Pty Limited for the lovely cookbook and collection of Spice Tailor sauces.