The Sorceress of Spices – Panch Phoron

Panch Phoron

The recipe for this interesting spice mix comes from Sandeepa, who calls it The Sorceress of Spices. Read Barbara’s lyrical post about it!

Panch Phoron is a classical Bengali spice mix used in tempering. It’s added to the hot oil before other ingredients, to flavour the oil. I used it in a very simple potato, carrot and runner beans curry.

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Panch Phoron

 

SOURCE: Sandeepa

PREPARATION TIME: 2 min

CUISINE: Indian, Bengali

INGREDIENTS:  

Fenugreek seeds

Nigella seeds (Kalonji)

Mustard Seeds – black or brown

Cumin seeds

Fennel seeds

method

Mix together equal amounts of the seeds and store in an airtight container.

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Gorgeously dark concoctions

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mmmm just made this lovely dark concoction from Sophie’s blog, using that baby above! i definitely recommend it! lovely!

basically, fresh chili, cinnamon and a pinch of ginger are simmered gently in some milk*. then, honey and chocolate are added! so simple, and yet so special.

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* The drink can be made vegan by using soy milk, or even water.

A simple courgette curry

I don’t feel very talkative today, so here’s only the recipe + photos + verdict. The photos are not great, but the curry is tasty! Do give it a go!

A simple courgette curry

A simple courgette curry

 

SOURCE: adapted from Spiciyana’s Simple Courgette Curry

PREPARATION TIME: about 5 min

COOKING TIME: 20 – 30 min

CUISINE: Indian

SERVES: 2

INGREDIENTS

Zucchini (medium size)- 2

Coriander powder – 1 tbsp

Kashmiri chilly powder – 1 ½ tsp

Salt – to taste

Curry leaves – 8-10nos

Coconut oil – 1 tsp

Onions sliced (preferably red) – 1 ½ cup

Ginger finely chopped – 1 ½ tsp

Garlic finely chopped – 1 tsp

2 green chilies, chopped

Coconut milk (light) – 3/4cup

A dash each of turmeric, powdered ginger and cumin powder

A squeeze of lemon juice (to taste)

METHOD

1. Halve each zucchini horizontally. Cut each half into 1-½ inch slices. Score (2 or 4 lines) the flesh side of the pieces with a knife.

2. Mix chilly powder, coriander powder and a pinch of salt, add 1 tbsp water and make a thick paste.

3. Marinate zucchini pieces in this paste for 10-20 minutes.

4. Heat ¾ tsp oil till smoking hot; add onions, ginger, chilies and garlic and sauté till onions are translucent.

5. Add 3/4 cup of water to the sautéed mixture and let the water boil. Arrange the marinated zucchini pieces with cut side up in this mixture.

6. Mix ¼ cup of water with the remaining marinade and add to the pan. Add ¼ cup of coconut milk. Cook covered for 8-12 minutes. Remove the lid; turn the heat up to thicken the gravy. (At this point, I added the turmeric, ginger and cumin).

7. Once the gravy is thick, add ½ cup of coconut milk, and gently mix. Turn of the heat. Slightly crush curry leaves with ¼ tsp coconut oil and add to the prepared curry. Keep it covered for 5-10 minutes. Mix well before serving with rice. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and garnish with chopped coriander.

Courgette curry

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Verdict

Tasty! I’ve seen this recipe ages ago, and wanted to try it! Today was the day! The sentences in italics are my additions and modifications of the original recipe. I found that the lemon juice livened up the flavour of the curry with a lovely sour note!

I think the courgettes need to be cooked for less time, and I’ll do that next time! Yeap, there will be a next time! 🙂

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Catalan Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Almonds

The other day Melissa from The Traveller’s Lunchbox posted a lovely chickpeas recipe that I felt I simply had to try, and so I did! I made a few changes to the original recipe though, that gave a slightly different dimension to the dish. The main changes are using coriander instead of parsley, and adding cumin and paprika to the dish. I was more than happy with the result, and I’d like to thank Melissa for inspiration! Read on!

 

 

Catalan Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Almonds

 

Source: adapted from Melissa‘s recipe, who found it in The Essential Mediterranean by Nancy Harmon Jenkins
Serves: 1

Ingredients

1 (400g) can chickpeas, drained
 

extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion,  finely chopped
1/2 can (200g) chopped tomatoes
pinch sugar

pinch saffron threads
2 cloves garlic, chopped
25 g ground almonds
small handful coriander, chopped

1 1/2 cups (325ml) chicken or vegetable stock

a small dash of cumin

1/2 tsp paprika
salt

juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste 

Method

1. Boil the chickpeas in lightly-salted water and cook until soft. This can take about 10-20 minutes. Drain.

2. In the meant time, heat the oil over medium-low heat and sauté the onion until  golden brown and very soft,(about 25 minutes).

3. Add the chopped tomatoes and sugar, and fry until they melt into the onions and form a paste, about another 10-15 minutes. This is a sofregit, which forms the basis of many Catalan dishes.

  

    

I really looooove tomato sauce! Can’t you tell? 🙂

4. Combine the saffron, garlic, almonds and coriander and pound (or pulse) to a thick paste (add a little water if necessary).

5. Add the paste to the onion mixture along with the stock and the chickpeas, the cumin and the paprika, bring to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer until the liquid has reduced to a thick sauce, about 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and lemon juice to taste. Garnish with chopped coriander. Serve hot or at room temperature, as a side dish or on its own with some bread.

VERDICT

I started making this dish according to the original recipe, and though it was nice, I felt it was missing something, so I added a little cumin and paprika. The spices enhanced the flavour of the dish significantly, and it turned out so delicious that I was sad when I finished it off! I definitely recommend it to anyone to try! Make loads and keep it until next day! Melissa says that this is one of those dishes where the flavour keeps developing the longer it sits! It can be served as a side-dish, but I had it on its own, with some bread, and it was delicious! Perfect for your lunch box! Therefore, I am submitting it to Lindy’s Home-made Take-out Event, hoping I’m not too late!

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