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Maunika Gowardhan is an Indian chef and author. Born and raised in Mumbai, India she is now based in the UK. Through her work in food she creates and shares traditional Indian dishes with exciting flavours and ingredients that are reflective of her upbringing and heritage. Her approach to cooking is simple and enticing with the use of earthy spices, fresh herbs & blends that are synonymous with India, based around dishes that are accessible and recipes are cooked from communities across India; many of which have been part of her own family for generations. She regularly contributes to a number of publications including the Sunday Times, Telegraph, BBC Olive Magazine and is the contributing editor for Vogue India where she shares all the latest on the global Indian food scene. Maunika’s career in Indian food, spanning over a decade has stemmed from her love for authentic flavours, techniques of cooking and being able to share a fresh perspective on the cuisine. She strives to bridge cultural understanding between the East and the West working tirelessly via her cookery events, books, features, TV appearances and social media presence. Maunika’s cookbook ‘Indian Kitchen’ published by Hodder and Stoughton is packed with traditional Indian curries alongside recipes dating back to the 1950’s from her family home in Mumbai.

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Keralan Chicken Ishtu

Using a blender, make a fine smooth paste of the white onion and the garlic cloves with 30mls water to help. Heat oil in a deep sauté pan over medium heat; add the green chilli, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves and half the curry leaves. Fry until the spices crackle for a few seconds. Add the onion-garlic paste and cook for 5 minutes to lose the raw flavour. Add the chicken pieces and mix well, sauté to seal them on all sides for a further 8-10 minutes stirring well. Sprinkle the black pepper powder and mix well. Add water, season to taste and bring to a boil. Simmer on low heat with a lid on for 25-30 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Make sure to stir half way through making sure it’s not too dry. Add a touch more water only if required. Now pour in the coconut milk and let it simmer away for a further 8 minutes with the lid on.Garnish with fresh ginger, chilli, coriander and remaining curry leaves. Serve warm stew with soft dosas or paratha.

Bombay chilli cheese toastie

Blend all the ingredients for the chutney together with a splash of water to a thick paste and set asideIn a large mixing bowl add the boiled crushed potatoes and mix in the chaat masala. Add the green peppers and red onion. Mix well and set aside. On a large plate arrange 4 bread slices, apply butter generously on each slice. Now spread a little green chutney on one side of the sandwich. And spread the potato filling on the other side. Top the potato filling with the Jarlsberg® cheese. Close the sandwich pressing down lightly Spread butter on the outside of the sandwich. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium flame. Add the sandwich and fry for 2 minutes with a lid on as the base goes crispy, evenly coloured and light brown Turn over using a spatula and fry the other side for 2 minutes with the lid on. Make the remaining toasties in the same way and serve warm with any remaining chutney or ketchup

Punjabi Dal Makhani

Soak the black lentils and kidney beans overnight in a bowl in plenty of water. In a large heavy bottom sauce pan add the black lentil and kidney beans along with the water and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer on a low heat for an hour. Stir a few times and scarp of the foam from the top. Continue cooking for further 1 hour and 15 minutes.Drain, reserving the cooking water and set aside to use for later. Mash the lentils with a potato masher this will take some arm work so keep mashing till you have a coarse consistency. You want some lentils whole but most of it mashed. In a heavy bottom large non stick sauce pan heat the oil on a low heat. Add the asafoetida, chilli and cumin seeds. Let them sizzle for 5 seconds and add the garlic frying for a further 30 seconds. Now turn the heat to medium and add the onions sautéing for 7-10 minutes until they begin to soften. Stir well making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes and fry for a further 3 minutes mashing the softened tomatoes with the back of the spoon now add the puree and cook for a minute Add the ginger and fry for a minute followed by the mild chilli powder. Season to taste and add the mashed dal. Make sure to stir a few times preventing it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Kheema Pav

Add all the spice powder ingredients to a coffee grinder and blitz to a fine powder. Blend the ginger and garlic to a fine paste & mix it with the mix lamb and set aside while you get started on the curry. Heat oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Add the curry leaves and let them splutter; tip in the onions and fry for 5-7 minutes until soften and light brown. Now add the chopped tomatoes and fry over medium heat cooking until they can be mashed slightly with the back of your spoon (further 5 minutes). At this stage add the green chillies, chopped coriander, chilli powder & turmeric powder. Stir well to cook the spices for a couple of minutes and add the minced marinated lamb. Keep stirring on medium heat and break down the lamb to make sure there are no lumps mixing in all the spices. Cook for 5 minutes and then add 150 mls of water. Bring to a boil and simmer on a low heat; cooking with the lid covering the pan half way. You want the lamb to cook for 20 minutes or so until it’s almost absorbed all the water.Now add the coconut milk and the powdered spice mix. Simmer for a further 5-7 minutes. Lastly add the sugar, vinegar & salt. Stir well. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Turn the heat off garnish with coriander and lemon juice. Serve warm with pav/ soft butties and some fresh salad.

Christmas Goose Dum Biryani

Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onions over a medium heat for 20 minutes. Stir well making sure they evenly colour all over. Fry until they turn golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside. To cook the biryani; heat the vegetable oil in a heavy based pan and add all the whole spices. Fry them for a minute over a medium heat and add the chopped onions. Sauté the onions 12-15 minutes until they soften and turn light brown. Add the garlic and ginger paste and fry stirring well for a minute. Add the tomato puree and fry for 2 minutes stir well. Add the powdered spices and cook for a further minute stirring making sure it doesn’t burn Now add the water scraping the base of the pan. Simmer on a low heat for 2 minutes. At this stage add the yoghurt a little at a time and stir well letting it cook through for 6-7 minutes. Season to taste and add the shredded goose. Cover with a lid and let it warm through for 2 minutes. Turn the heat off and add the garam masala, stir and set aside

Parsi Fried Lamb Cutlets

Add the minced lamb to a large mixing bowl and knead it for 4-5 minutes. This evens out the mix and also slightly sticky which helps with binding the cutlets. Add the garam masala, chopped onion, garlic paste, ginger paste and chilli paste. Mix well and add the coriander and mint along with the salt. Mix well and set aside for an hour or preferably overnight. Soak the slice of bread in water for 5 minutes. Squeeze out as much of the water as possible, break it into pieces and add it to the marinated kheema. Mix well making sure there are no lumps of bread, the bread works as a great binder and holds the cutlets together. Heat oil for frying to come ½ of an inch up the side of the pan over a medium flame. Add the bread crumbs to a bowl. In separate bowl break the eggs and whisk lightly. Divide the cutlets into 12 portions flatten slightly.

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