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Masala Roties with grilled veggies plus onion with avacrdo and green tea. A perfect and health breakfast

I am biggest Foodie I try every kind of food Resipeie. I love food. My oven is like a piano that’s played every day, and I use it partly for the heat it emanates, but also for the ease – pop something in and forget all about it until the timer rings. Right now, I’m craving the comforting texture of potatoes and the warm perfume of spices, and both of today’s recipes, which carry strong influences from southern India, sing to the tune of the oven. In the first, the spicy fragrance of sambar masala – the spice blend used to make sambar, a lentil and vegetable stew – enlivens a mixture of roast potatoes, fennel, and beans, while the second is a simple yet delightful warm potato and onion tart paired with curry leaves, the crunchy, nutty texture of mustard seeds, creamy, salty feta and a soothing herb chutney.

.            (Pic. Source Nick sharma)

Potato and onion tart with mint chutney (pictured above)

Prep 30 min
Cook 45 min
Serves 4-6

For the tart
1 x 640g sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted
2 medium baking potatoes (about 180g each), peeled
1 large red onion (about 300g), peeled
10 curry leaves
1 garlic clove
, peeled and grated
tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp black or brown mustard seeds
½ tsp fine sea salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
30g feta, crumbled (optional)

For the chutney
1 x 20g bunch fresh coriander, leaves and stems
1 x 12g bunch fresh mint, leaves and stems
1 green chilli pepper (such as serrano)
black peppercorns
tbsp lime juice
1 pinch 
Fine sea salt

Heat the oven to 190C (170C fan)/375F/gas 5. Line a 23cm x 30cm rimmed baking tray with tin foil. Unroll the pastry and place it on the tray. Fold each side of the pastry to form a 1cm border, then, using the prongs of a fork, press the border down to form an impression. Prick the centre of the pastry all over, to help it rise evenly during baking.

Cut the potatoes into thin circles and place them in a bowl. Cut the onion in half lengthways, then cut each half into thin sections. Add the onions, curry leaves and garlic to the potatoes, drizzle with the oil, then scatter over the red pepper flakes, mustard seeds, salt and black pepper. Toss gently, to avoid breaking the potato slices, until everything is well coated, then spread the mixture over the surface of the pastry, avoiding the border.

Bake for about 45 minutes, rotating once halfway through to ensure even cooking, until puffed up and golden brown all over. Remove and sprinkle over the feta, if using.

While the tart is baking, make the chutney. Put the coriander, mint, green chilli, peppercorns, lime juice, sugar and two tablespoons of cold water in a blender and blitz smooth; if it’s still a little thick for your liking, add up to a tablespoon more water to loosen. Season to taste with salt, then serve on the side of the warm tart.

Put the flour, carom seeds and a teaspoon and a quarter of salt in a medium bowl, and mix well. Make a well in the middle, add the ghee and the water, and mix with a wooden spoon until it comes together into a dough. By this stage, the mix will be hot, but fine to handle, so tip it out on to a lightly floured work surface and knead for a minute, until the dough comes together into a smooth ball. Return to the bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, start on the curry. Set a large saute pan for which you have a lid on a medium heat, add the ghee, and melt. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, chilli, curry leaves and chopped coriander stalks, and fry, stirring often, for 12-14 minutes, until the onions have softened. Add the cumin seeds and curry powder, cook, stirring, for another two minutes, then add the tomatoes, jackfruit, lemon zest and juice, boiling water and a teaspoon of salt. Cover with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed, and the jackfruit is tender and has mostly broken up into strands (don’t worry if the odd piece is still whole).

While the jackfruit is cooking, divide the roti dough in four and use floured hands to roll each roughly 140g piece into a ball. Dust a work surface very well with some of the extra flour, then, using a floured rolling pin, roll out each ball of dough into a 24cm circle, pressing the pin into the middle of the dough and pushing outwards as you roll it into a circle. It’s essential to have a well-floured surface to stop the dough from sticking and to make rolling easier.

Set a large frying (or roti) pan on a high heat. Once the pan is very hot, dust any excess flour off one roti and place it in the pan. Brush the top of the roti generously with melted ghee, leave to cook for two minutes, until bubbles form and the underside is golden in patches, then flip over, brush the cooked side with more ghee and cook for a minute longer. Remove the cooked roti and set aside somewhere warm, wipe the pan with kitchen paper, then repeat with the remaining roti and ghee.

To assemble the kati rolls, spread some yoghurt on a roti, then spoon a quarter of the curry mix on top. Sprinkle over some coriander leaves, then roll up the roti tightly, a bit like you would a burrito. Serve warm with any leftover yoghurt on the side for dipping.

Prawn and cream cheese pasties

Yotam Ottolenghi’s prawn and cream cheese pasties.
     Pic source Nick sharma

This (very untraditional) take on a classic Brazilian bar snack combines prawns and cream cheese inside a deep-fried pastry. I’ve used shop-bought puff pastry for ease, Philadelphia for accessibility (the brand most commonly used in Brazil is Catupiry, which you can buy online) and baked the pasties instead, not least so you can make more of them at the same time. In Brazil, these are called pasteis, but I’ve called them pasties as a nod to them being a similar concept.

Prep 15 min
Cook 50 min
Makes 10

1 x 320g sheet ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry, chilled
Flour, for dusting
1 egg, beaten
Hot sauce, to serve
2 limes, cut into wedges, to serve

For the filling
150g ready-cooked and peeled king prawns, chopped into ½cm pieces
1 green chilli, finely chopped (pith and seeds discarded if you prefer less heat)
2 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
125g cherry tomatoes, finely chopped, then squeezed to get rid of the excess liquid
100g Philadelphia cream cheese 
(or Brazilian Catupiry, if you can get it)

Heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7. Mix the first six filling ingredients in a bowl with a third of a teaspoon of salt, then stir in the Philadelphia, but don’t mix it in completely: you want pieces of cheese dotted throughout the mix, rather than a homogenous mass.

Lay the puff pastry sheet on a floured surface and give it a couple of rolls with a rolling pin to thin it out a little bit more. Using a round 10cm cutter, stamp out as many pastry circles as you can – you should get seven or so – and place them on a large baking tray. Gather up the scraps, re-roll and cut again, to give you three more pastry circles, and 10 in total. Place these on the tray, too.

Spoon about 30g of the prawn and cheese filling in the centre of each pastry circle, brush the exposed pastry with egg wash, and fold over the pastry to make half-moons. Press together the edges of the pastry with the back of a fork, to seal, then arrange on a large baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper, spacing them well apart. Cut a couple of small slits into each pasty so the steam can escape, brush the pasties all over with the egg wash, then bake for 25 minutes; rotate the tray once halfway, so they colour evenly.

Serve the pasties hot from the oven with lime wedges and your favourite hot sauce alongside.

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Sambar masala-spiced roast potatoes with fennel and white beans

Nik Sharma’s oven roasted potatoes, fennel, and white beans with sambar masala
    (Pic Source Nick Sharma)

Prep 30 min
Cook 50 min
Serves 4

4 medium baking potatoes (about 180g each; I used russets), peeled
1 x 400g can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 large white or yellow onion (300g), peeled
2 fennel bulbs (about 230g each), trimmed
tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
tbsp sambar masala, store-bought or homemade (see recipe below)
12 curry leaves (optional)
1 tsp red chilli flakes
Fine sea salt and pepper
, to taste
tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus the zest of 1 lemon
spring onions, both white and green parts, thinly sliced
tbsp fresh coriander leaves

For the sambar masala (makes about 200g)
15g large fresh curry leaves (about 40 in total)
40g whole dried red chillies (or about 12 – I use equal parts whole kashmiri and byadgi chillies, but if you want it hotter, use cayenne)
50g dried yellow split peas (AKA chana dal)
tbsp coriander seeds
tbsp black or brown mustard seeds
1 ½ tbsp fenugreek seeds
tbsp cumin seeds
5cm piece cinnamon stick
1 tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp sesame oil, or a neutral oil such as grapeseed

If you’re making your own sambar masala, heat a dry skillet or cast-iron pan over a medium-low heat, add all the dry ingredients, drizzle in the oil and cook the spices carefully, stirring constantly, for three to four minutes – they will turn fragrant and begin to toast, and the masala is ready when the split peas start to turn brown, the curry leaves go crisp and the spices sizzle and pop. Take off the heat, tip the spice mixture on to a plate to cool completely to room temperature, then transfer to a spice grinder or coffee mill and blitz to a fine powder. Store in an airtight container and keep in a cool, dry and dark spot for up to four months.

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Dice the potatoes into 2½cm chunks, place in a large roasting pan and add the drained beans. Cut the onion into quarters, separate these into individual petals and add to the roasting pan. Thinly slice the fennel lengthways and add to the roasting pan. Drizzle the olive oil all over the vegetables, sprinkle with sambar masala, curry leaves, and red chilli flakes, and season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan tightly with tin foil, crimp the edges to seal, then roast for 30 minutes.

Remove the foil, and cook the vegetables uncovered for another 20 minutes, or until they start to brown and most of the liquid has evaporated. The potatoes should be tender enough for a knife to pass through them with ease.

Remove from the oven, drizzle over the lemon juice and garnish with the spring onions, coriander leaves and lemon zest. Serve warm by itself or with plain rice.

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Ilove everything about street food. I love moving along as part of a crowd, being led by the smells and the sizzles. I love eating with my hands, and portions that are just small enough in size to leave room to try something else, another smell and another sizzle, farther along. I love trying new things, travelling around the world via my tastebuds. I love the vendors, the energy, the chats with fellow feasters. While the silence currently hangs heavy on our street food scene, set up a stall at home: I’m going to Mauritius (again) and Brazil this week, Ghana and Venezuela next.

Jackfruit kati roll (pictured above)

Jackfruit grows wild all over Mauritius and is given away freely to neighbours, friends and family. Fortunately, tinned jackfruit works nicely in this dish, but if need be you could use tinned chickpeas instead.

Prep 15 min
Cook 40 min
Serves 4

For the roti
330g plain flour, plus 25g extra for dusting
1½ tsp carom seeds (AKA ajwain), or aniseed
45g ghee
, melted, plus about 50g extra for brushing
200ml boiling water

For the jackfruit curry
150ml ghee
1 large onion
, peeled and thinly sliced (200g net weight)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
10g piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 medium green chillies, thinly sliced (pith and seeds discarded if you prefer less heat)
10 fresh curry leaves
60g fresh coriander
, leaves picked, stalks roughly chopped
½ tsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp mild curry powder
200g cherry tomatoes
2 x 400g tin jackfruit in salted water
, drained (450g net weight)
1 lemon – zest finely grated, to get 1 tsp, and juiced, to get 1 tbsp; save the rest for another use
300ml boiling water
1 tsp salt
250g unsweetened coconut yoghurt
, or regular plain yoghurt.

Picture Source Nick Sharma

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