My first job (that didn’t involve doing sheep farm work with my Dad) was waiting tables at a small Indian restaurant up the road from New South Wales University. It was a tiny place that wasn’t ever very busy. Which was lucky given my limited waitressing skills.
I did learn two valuable life lessons in my short tenure.
First, I am crap at waiting tables.
Second, I love Indian food.
Growing up in a meat-and-veg household where spaghetti bolognese was about as exotic as it got, I couldn’t believe the flavour explosions I experienced with each new curry the kindly Indian chef sent home with me. Butter chicken, saag lamb, beef vindaloo, dahl, mango chicken… Yum yum yum.
Talk about a party in your mouth.
Over the years I’ve had a go at recreating my Indian faves at home but had never found an Indian cookbook that matched my love of simple, fresh ingredients. Until I was researching my cookbook ‘wish list’ for Santa this year…
‘Made In India, Cooked In Britain: Recipes from an Indian Family Kitchen’ by Meera Sodha has answered all my silent Indian cookbook prayers (that I didn’t even know I had!)
The recipes are relatively simple, not in the 5-ingredient range but still manageable. The ingredients are mostly easy to find. Everything I’ve made from the book has been just delicious. And really authentic tasting.
We’ve been having an Indian night most weeks since Christmas and I’m yet to be disappointed.
Plus there are loads of recipes with potatoes which means my men are happy.
If you want to expand your Indian cooking repertoire, I can’t recommend this book enough!
I’ve been making these with my Magic Low-Carb Burger Buns and they are just soo, soo good. Even Fergal (my 3.5 year old) was happy to chow down on one. The eggplant curry is equally delicious with cauliflower ‘rice’ or steamed rice if you’re in the mood for a more proper curry.
enough for: 2
takes: 45 minutes
1 large onion, peeled & diced
1 large eggplant (aubergine), diced
2cm piece ginger, grated
1 can tomatos (400g / 14oz)
2 teaspoons garam masala or curry powder
large hunk butter
buttered buns, salad leaves and lemon wedges to serve
1. Heat a medium saucepan on a medium high heat. Add a good glug of olive oil and cook onion, covered until soft and a little browned. Will take about 8 minutes.
2. Add eggplant and more oil and stir fry for a few minutes before adding ginger, tomatoes and garam masala / curry powder. Simmer, covered for about 30 minutes, stirring every now and then until eggplant is really tender.
3. Add butter and allow it to melt in. Taste and season with salt and pepper and more butter or spice if needed.
4. Divide eggplant mixture between your buttered buns, top with salad leaves and serve with lemon wedges on the side.
more substantial – add a handful roast cashews or peanuts for extra protein and crunch.
dairy-free – use coconut cream instead of the butter.
hot! – add a few chopped chillies with the spices. Or use a hot curry powder or add some dried chilli to taste.
low carb – use these low carb burger buns or serve on a bed of cauliflower rice instead.
more veg – add chopped mushrooms, zucchini and/or capsicum (bell peppers) with the eggplant. Or stir in some baby spinach to wilt at the end.
herby – use fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves instead of the salad. Mint or basil are also good.
ps. Had any cookbook discoveries recently?
I’d love to hear about your favourites in the comments below. And if you do leave a comment you’ll be in the running for the monthly prize of a free copy of my print book, ‘5-Ingredients, 10-Minutes’.
The and the winner of the ‘commenter of the month’ prize for April is Maggie H!