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traditional

  Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip

“In fine, the truffle is the very diamond of gastronomy.”
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip … earthy, rustic, nutty, slightly tangy, creamy, smoky delicious. Some things come together with small beginnings, and for strange reasons. This dip was no different and found it’s origins in a wizened old forgotten pomegranate that I discovered while cleaning out the fridge. Also popped out a bowl that held an eggplant I had roasted 2 days ago, a small carton of Greek yogurt, and the plan was made.Eggplant Walnut Smoked Truffle Dip & pomegranates It was going to be a Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip which would use up all the goodness that lay forgotten in the fridge. Also a chance to use some fabulous Black Truffle Sea Salt from Olive Tree Trading, a special product that really shines when used. It might be an expensive product, but a little goes a long way. On pasta, on toast, over dips, on artisan bread, in pasta sauce, over popcorn, on salads; really steps up the flavours!

Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip With it of course some really really good quality extra virgin olive oil from the same company, a product that speaks for itself. As always, a dish is only as good as it’s ingredients and this Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip was just that. You could always use sea salt but a black truffle sea salt is a noticeably charming addition, quite different.Olive Oil & Black Truffle Sea SaltThe rest of this Persian inspired dip has humble origins, almost staple pantry ingredients. How can you go wrong with eggplant {or baingan as locally called}, walnuts, garlic, yogurt and olive oil? Not possible right? Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip

Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip And the good thing is that if you blend it smooth, picky eaters can’t figure out what’s in this pâté like dip. It’s a win win; a delicious one at that too. Serve with wholegrain crackers, crudites etc. Great as a sandwich spread, with crusty wholegrain bread, etc.

Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip
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A simple recipe with humble origins, this Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip is a great addition to the party table. Serve with wholegrain crackers, crudites etc. Great as a sandwich spread, with rustic wholegrain bread, etc.
Servings Prep Time
3-4 minutes 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 minutes 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 15 minutes
Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
A simple recipe with humble origins, this Smoked Eggplant Walnut Truffle Dip is a great addition to the party table. Serve with wholegrain crackers, crudites etc. Great as a sandwich spread, with rustic wholegrain bread, etc.
Servings Prep Time
3-4 minutes 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 minutes 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: minutes
Instructions
  1. Wash and pat dry the eggplant. Make 4-6 slits around and tuck in unpeeled garlic cloves.
  2. Roast over a low open gas flame, or in oven until charred all over and soft.
  3. Place in a bowl covered, until cool enough to handle. gently peel the charred skin off, squeeze out the garlic from pods. {This can be done a couple of days in advance and refrigerated}.
  4. Place all ingredients in bowl of processor or blender and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. Transfer to a bowl, drizzle generously with good quality extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle over some black truffle salt, garnish with pomegranate pearls. Serve with wholegrain crackers, crudites etc. Great as a sandwich spread, with rustic wholegrain bread, etc.
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 Chicken Jalfrezi“Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.”
Dorothy Day

Chicken Jalfrezi is a fiery as you like it, and a very popular stir fry curry in the UK, a recipe thought to have originated during the British Raj to use up left over meats. As time went by, there was a shift from mild curries to spicy hot ones on the continent, and the jalfrezi gained popularity. We visited the UK often in the late 1990’s. Next to the chicken tikka masala, this Indo Chinese dish was possibly the most popular.

Chicken Jalfrezi SpicesYou can basically ‘build it as you like’, throwing in left over meats to stir fry or do it from scratch. Either which ways, it’s a really quick stir fry to get going, one that comes together in under 30 minutes. Having the meat/chicken marinated ahead  is great if you have time. Marinate with a little ginger-garlic paste, maybe a dash of lime juice and salt. As with any good dish, use good quality ingredients and you know you have a winner.

Chicken Jalfrezi Wet Masala Spices

coconut & graterMy version of Chicken Jalfrezi has a slight southern or rather coastal touch with some coconut milk added to offset the fiery hot chilies. Like any good curry, this one too is entirely customisable to taste. I used star anise in the first tempering, a spice I have increasingly grown to love while shooting spices for the Masala Dabba. Post the trip it into the heart of South India to Karaikudi, the love for simple spices like these just became stronger.

Karaikudi, Chettinad, South IndiaI love a curry where tomato meets coconut milk, and with the ease of Dabur Hommade Tomato Puree, Dabur Hommade Ginger Garlic Paste and Dabur Hommade Coconut Milk in my pantry, this recipe was a breeze. Most Indian curries see the use of onions, tomato {puree or fresh chopped}, ginger garlic paste and a smattering of spices, both ground and whole. As you travel along the coastal areas of the Indian peninsula, an increased use of coconut milk in curries teases the palette, a taste that has grown on me. Dabur Hommade is one of the first brands in India to introduce expediency in cooking in Indian kitchens. What makes Dabur even more special is that it is a science based  Ayurveda company. Chicken JalfreziPlay with spices as you like, give the vegetables just  a quick stir fry so they don’t lose their crunch. This Chicken Jalfrezi made essentially with peppers, green chilies, onions and tomatoes gets a twist of taste with coconut milk. And yes I sneaked in some Greek yogurt to add to the creaminess. If you like a thick hearty curry which is a quick and easy stir fry, gives you a dose of vegetables, then look no further. This just might be what you were looking for!

Some favourite recipes where I use coconut milk
Kokum Coconut Milk Panna Cotta 
Tropical Coconut Milk Rice Pudding
Quick Tomato Coconut Soup

Chicken Jalfrezi
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This Chicken Jalfrezi made essentially with peppers, green chilies, onions and tomatoes gets a delicious twist of taste with coconut milk. If you like a thick hearty curry which is a quick and easy stir fry, gives you a dose of vegetables, then look no further. This just might be what you were looking for!
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Chicken Jalfrezi
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
This Chicken Jalfrezi made essentially with peppers, green chilies, onions and tomatoes gets a delicious twist of taste with coconut milk. If you like a thick hearty curry which is a quick and easy stir fry, gives you a dose of vegetables, then look no further. This just might be what you were looking for!
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Heat clarified butter/ghee in a heavy bottom large pan/wok.
  2. Add the red chilies and star anise and sauté briefly until fragrant.
  3. Add chicken pieces in one flat lot, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until golden brown over high heat, turn and repeat.
  4. Remove chicken pieces from pan, and keep warm in a covered bowl.
  5. Add a teaspoon of clarified butter if required. Add the diced onions and ginger garlic paste. Sauté until fragrant.
  6. Add turmeric powder/haldi, coriander powder/dhania and red chili powder if desired. Sauté for 30 seconds.
  7. Now add the bell peppers and capsicum. Sauté again for 3-4 minutes, then add the reserved chicken. Mix briefly, then add the tomato puree and coconut milk.
  8. Stir and simmer for 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add the green chilies and fresh coriander, then simmer further for 5 minutes Serve hot with rice or naan.
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Rich Spiced Hot Chocolate

“A land of promise, a land of memory, a land of promise flowing with the milk and honey of delicious memories!”
Alfred Tennyson

Rich Spiced Hot Chocolate might well be the simplest thing to enjoy this season. It’s simple things that matter, and with recipes like these, ingredients are of prime importance. You can’t go wrong if you use good quality ingredients. This Rich Spiced Hot Chocolate is just that. Indulgent too. Made with Premium Milk from Mother Dairy, single origin couverture chocolate, dark cocoa, vanilla beans and spices from South India, it’s hard to go wrong. The milk was the biggest surprise though!Rich Spiced Hot ChocolateIt’s the best milk I’ve ever had! Words of praise from a dairy lover at home, one who lives to enjoy a chilled good glass of milk. The genes are the same. I love everything dairy too, but I am always surprised by how advanced his taste-buds are. One sip of the newly introduced Premium Full Cream milk from Mother dairy swiftly knocked his current favourite from another brand right off. It’s so good that I don’t even need flavouring mama he exclaimed!Mother Dairy Premium MilkThis new variant from Mother dairy which has the highest FAT content of 7% along with 9% SNF is ideal for those looking for a rich milk diet and also for folk like us who enjoy making home-made sweets, ghee and curd. It offers 15% extra malai {cream} in comparison to full cream milk. For someone like me who makes clarified butter / ghee at home every weekend, this new variant is ideal. I increasingly use clarified butter or ghee in baking now, and as my preferred medium of fat in cooking now that winter is here. The greens use mustard oil, and almost everything else goes the ghee way! Tadka is always ghee, the ‘icing on the cake’! Sarson ka Saag, Mustard GreensThink little ghee cakes, think shortbread with ghee, think stuffed radish and cauliflower parathas, and think dollops of melting homemade sweet butter on hot sarson ka saag! After all in India, Ghee is equivalent to love. Finger licking good stuff this! There is just so much you can do with this indulgent product. I can only imagine setting Greek yogurt at home now. Also simmering a rice pudding into creamy goodness, maybe a tapioca pudding or a chocolate oat pudding too.

Rich Spiced Hot Chocolate

Rich Spiced Hot ChocolateWith a traditional Indian households still enjoying the top of milk cream for so many reasons, the malai that the premium milk yields is impressive. Just 2 litres boiled, cooled and chilled overnight offered almost a cup of malai. This Dark Chocolate & Walnut Wholewheat Cake is a nostalgic favourite with ‘top of the milk cream’ or ‘malai’. It brings back memories of  the quintessential ‘malai’ or ‘top of the milk cream’ cakes from yesteryear. Decades ago, every Indian household use to boil milk, collect the top of the milk cream, use some as is and  make sweet butter of the rest. The more adventurous ones used to bake a delicious homey comforting cake with ‘malai’.Dark Chocolate & Walnut Wholewheat Cake, Malai CakeThen the mind wanders into more delicious spaces like a lighter panna cotta, maybe a Vietnamese coffee. The possibilities are endless as I grabbed the few remaining pouches from the kid who is happy to guzzle down his new favourite. To prove my point to him that the milk makes things oodles better, I quickly stirred him a Rich Spiced Hot Chocolate. With winter around the corner, this drink is a winner, a simple winner! It’s a great hit with kids and adults alike. In summer I’d do a chilled version in bottles which is equal fun and very addictive!Masala Kadhai DoodhThen to dive into the past, how can I not make my husbands childhood favourite, a Masala Kadhai Doodh. This is where dessert meets milk, a quintessential Indian favourite, a concoction you would find across North India. It’s simple, it’s bursting with goodness and flavour AND a big hit always. It’s quite similar to a thandai, infinitely customisable.Masala Kadhai DoodhMasala Kadhai Doodh is simply simmered with a powdered nut & spice mix in a large kadhai or wok for the flavours to steep and milk to thicken. Only with this high fat content milk, the time to thicken is substantially decreased. I used a mix of almonds, melon seeds, cardamom, nutmeg, a pinch of turmeric and saffron.Gajar ka halwa, Rich Indian Carrot PuddingWe are a dairy loving home, and I set yougurt at home everyday. With quite a welcome high fat content, Mother Dairy’s Premium Milk yields far tastier home made yogurt, paneer, quark etc. It is also far easier to use in puddings, traditional kheers, halwas. With winter here a gajar ka halwa is calling my name. Simmered in this beautifully thick milk, I can only imagine how good the end result will be. What would be your favorite way to use this?

Spiced Rich Hot Chocolate
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Good quality ingredients and a simple simmering results in this indulgent Spiced Rich Hot Chocolate. Use a full fat milk like Mother Dairy Premium Milk for best results.
Servings Prep Time
2 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Spiced Rich Hot Chocolate
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Good quality ingredients and a simple simmering results in this indulgent Spiced Rich Hot Chocolate. Use a full fat milk like Mother Dairy Premium Milk for best results.
Servings Prep Time
2 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Instructions
  1. Place milk, star anise, cinnamon, vanilla bean and sugar in a heavy bottom pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes for flavours to steep.
  2. Add the chocolate and cocoa powder, stir often to mix, and simmer gently until the chocolate melts.
  3. Sieve and serve immediately, else steep for an hour, then reheat and sieve before serving.
Recipe Notes

Note: You can add a shot of Baileys irish Cream for an adult version. You can also add or remove spices as required. This also makes a nice chilled spiced chocolate milk. Stir well or sieve before serving.

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