For the marinade: Prepare a mixture of these ingredients, and by adding a little quantity of water whisk the mixture into a thick and creamy marinade –
About 100g of gram flour
80g of thick yogurt
A pinch of turmeric powder
½ tsp. of garam masala (Garam masala is a roasted powder mix of spices such ascoriander, cumin, black pepper, chilli, cassia leaf, cassia, clove, black cardamom, anistar, fennel seeds etc. The flavour of garam masala varies according to the composition of different spices and ingredients in it; every brand of garam masala available in the market is dissimilar in taste, you may also find different varieties of garam masala of the same brand.)
1 tsp. of kashmiri chilli powder (Kashmiri chilli powder has a very mild pungent flavour and gives food soft red colour.)
Pala kottai poriyal is another traditional recipe .Simple and easy recipe with easily available ingredient.After eating the fruit the seeds can be used for cooking.we can use the seeds in sambar,cook it with other vegetable while preparing avial,roast it and can also be cooked with raw fruit
First remove seed from the fruit.Then from the seedremove the outer white skin from the seed.We can apply oil in our hands.Then cut the seeds I two..we can cook it separately or else can cook while cooking riceIf it is tender 2 or 3 whistles is enough or else few more whistles.
Mustard seeds____3/4 tsp
Urad dhal_________1/2 TSP
Chilly powder______1 to 2 TSP
Salt as required
Coconut scrapings___1 to 2 TBS.
Heat oil in a kadai.
Add mustard seeds when it splutters add urad dhal fry till it turns brown
The first time I went to Johney Gurkha was many years ago after a recommendation from a Gurkha friend of mine who lives in Aldershot, home of the British army and now home to many thousands from the Nepalese community.
“Straight up Victoria Road,” he advised. “It’s not called Johney Gurkha anymore, it’s called, er, er, something else. But just ask anyone, that’s what everyone still calls it.”
So my first visit to the famous Johney Gurkha was actually to Gurkha Raj Doot. But nobody ever called it that – even the legendary curry man Pat Chapman queried the strange name change a few years back in his Good Curry Guide – so I’m delighted that the owners have seen sense and reverted the name back.
Frankly, though, the name is about the only thing that has changed in this legendary place for years. It’s stuck in time – and all the better for it.
The restaurant is downstairs and apart from a few bits and pieces in the upstairs area as you enter – notably an imposing kukri on the wall – you could be forgiven for wondering where the welcome is. I’m sure that more than a few people have wandered out at this stage without even venturing downstairs. Not those in the know.
The decor is basic, the service functional and the portions are large and tasty. It’s always packed.
You might have to wait for a table at busy times (although the turnaround is usually pretty quick) and you might have to wait a bit for your food sometimes. But, then, that’s what Gurkha beer (from West Sussex) is for.
Now, I know Chicken Tikka Masala is popular but I have never seen three versions on the menu: a classic version (£7.25), a Kathmandu Style version (£7.95) and a Johney Gurkha version (£7.95). Well, after all this stuff about the name it had to be the latter, which tasted, well, like Chicken Tikka Masala. Sticking with the name theme we added a Gurkhali Lamb Chilli (£7.95), and the darker, thick sauce was a good addition to the table to go with the creamy masala. Sadly there was no rice with a Johney or Gurkha prefix so it was a good old pilau rice (£2.35) and an extremely large raita (£2.90) to complete the line-up.
The food was as hearty and tasty as it always is and it certainly looked like everyone around us agreed in what was clearly just another successful night downstairs in Victoria Road. Some things should never change. And certainly not the name.
Johney Gurkha, 186 Victoria Road, Aldershot, GU11 1JZ. Tel: 01252 328773. Open: Mon to Sun 5.30pm – 11pm.
Scores on the tandoors Food 7.5 Service 7 Decor 5 Vibe (Saturday night) 9 Value 8
The Gurkha’s Inn in Colomb Street is the has been the Greenwich Curry Club’s most visited restaurant over the years, so it was no surprise that it was chosen as a venue again when we recently asked members: “where shall we go for a curry next?” It was also no surprise that owner Giri and his team again came up trumps
Now, when it comes to ordering the food, we all have a friend who orders the same thing every time and the Curry Club is no different. But apart from Biryani Man, the rest of the gathering was determined to avoid the old school favourites and try lesser known (mostly Nepalese) dishes.
And so the table heaved under plates of Tareko Squid starter (spiced and battered, £4.65), a double portion of Sekuwa starter (lamb cutlets, £4.45 per portion) Khasi Bhutuwa (lamb with garlic, green peppers, spring onion, ginger, tomatoes, fresh coriander, £7.75) Hariyo Chicken (a green curry of fresh mint, coriander, green chillies, £7.85), Keema Kukhura (chicken and minced meat cooked with garlic, £8.25) Gurkhali Lamb (lamb with mint and chilli, £7.85) as well as an array of nans, veg and rice sides.
The Khasi Bhutuwa tastes as multi-layered tastewise as its ingredients suggest thanks to its rich sauce and the Keema Kukhura is a delight, with the mince adding a fantastic thick texture to the sauce that covers the chunks of chicken. And the Hariyo Chicken delivers an amazingly fresh taste thanks to the amount of mint and coriander used, even if the green colour is a bit unusual visually.
Gurkha’s Inn, 17 Colomb Street, Greenwich, SE10 9HA. Tel 020 8293 5464. Open: Mon to Thur, 5:30pm – 11pm, Fri and Sat 5pm – midnight, Sun 5pm – 10:30pm.
Scores on the tandoors Food 9 Service 8.5 Decor 7.5 Vibe 7.5 (Wednesday night) Value 9
Class. There’s no other word for Mother India’s Café. One night we were in Edinburgh eating delicious food and the next night we were in Glasgow eating delicious food. The main difference is that there is a special view from the Glasgow restaurant on to the splendid Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
Mother India’s Cafés are Scottish institutions. The Glasgow one has smartened up a bit since I first ate here a few years ago but that sense of no-frills table settings, simple presentation and superb food remains. The cafés have a real vibe, and there’s a constant buzz of energy around the tables, without it impinging on the enjoyment of the diners. Some places get it wrong with the staff taking centre stage in that awful attempt to create a “restaurant theatre”. Here, there is life, but the food is centre stage and the only theatre is on the plate.
Mother India was first given its breath of life in the 1980s by owner Mohammed Monir, a born and bred Glasweigan of Punjabi roots, and it was reinvigorated in 1993 after the first venture had to close. But spice diners all over are thankful he bounced back.
Monir was hooked with the restaurant industry when he started working at his brother’s restaurant at weekends while still at school. A couple of failed attempts with his own venues – the first at just 18 – honed his business skills. And cooking for his parents in Pakistan honed his cooking skills and gave him an insight into how to create a winning menu. This is a man who grew up enjoying chips, deep-fried pizza and jam butties as much as his mum’s curries so it’s no wonder he doesn’t just churn out old-school favourites.
Both cafés use a tapas style menu – smaller dishes in the Spanish style so you can enjoy a nice range of tastes on the table. With prices for each dish about £4-6, this is the place to tuck in.
So in Edinburgh’s it’s a rich Methi Keema Mutter (£5.55), a super tangy Chicken Achari (£5.45), a classic and creamy Sag Paneer (£4.45), fried rice (£2.25), chapati (95p) and mixed pickle (95p), while in Glasgow it’s an on-the-bone chicken Staff Curry (£5.95), an amazing and unusual Smoked Chicken with Peas (£5.80), another Sag Paneer (£4.60), a garlic nan (£1.85), boiled rice (£1.85) and some mixed picked (95p). It all sounds pretty straightforward but these are two of the best curries I have ever had. The mix of tastes, the joy of a shared experience with a friend as you swap thoughts on the merits of each dish (the Smoked Chicken was declared king of the tables) and the constant background buzz of happy curry diners adds up to great meals.
This tapas approach has to be the way forward for other restaurants (the above, even with a couple of Kingfishers, came to only £27.45 and £29 respectively) as curry houses battle to find their niché among today’s diners.
Mother India’s Cafe, 3-5 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1LT. Tel: 0131 524 9801. Open: Sun to Thurs noon–10pm, Fri to Sat noon–10.30pm.
Mother India’s Cafe, 3-5 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1LT. Tel: 0131 524 9801. Open: Mon to Weds noon–2pm and 5pm to 10.30pm (last orders), Thurs noon–10.30pm (last orders), Fri to Sat noon–11pm (last orders), Sun noon–10pm (last orders).
Scores on the tandoors Food 9.5 Service 8.5 Decor 8 Vibe 9.5 (Friday night and Saturday night) Value 10
Smoked Aubergine and Fenugreek Pie or Beetroot and Egg Salad
The Average White Band were one of my favourite groups in the ’70s and ’80s. They mixed it up musically with a bit of jazz, a bit of funk and a bit of soul. And they mixed it up racially when it came to the line-up of the band. And that mix all came together, like a perfect curry blends a mix of spices, in a track called Pick up the Pieces.
Sitar could do with picking up the pieces, because it certainly has some of the ingredients to be a cracking Indian restaurant – location in Temple Bar, decent food and reasonable prices – but it’s just, well, Average.
Let’s start with the positives. A Temple Bar location, the honey pot of Dublin, where tourists will accept anything at any price seemingly. Ok, Sitar’s not very Irish and there’s not a Guinness sign hanging outside, but it’s in Temple Bar for goodness sake, what can go wrong?
The food is ok (not all of it, but more of that later), the staff are very friendly and welcoming, as is the decor of the place, especially the cosy booth-like table at the window. And best of all there is no ‘live, local music’, which is a welcome relief to anyone who has been in the Irish capital for more than 48 hours.
But then came the popadoms, clearly from a packet – you know, the ones like crisps that are handy for dips when you fancy a snack at home. I’ve pretty much gone off popadoms, mostly because few restaurants cook them fresh anymore (I can only think it costs too much to keep the deep-fat fryer on) but packet popadoms in a restaurant? Well that’s a first. It didn’t matter too much because the amount of dips served up barely covered the bottom of those tiny pots. It’s lucky I’ve gone off pops really.
But I haven’t gone off Sheehk Kebabs and these were clearly cooked from frozen and not made fresh. The poor meat had been iced to death and had no texture, although the taste was just about hanging in there. It’s what you’d imagine astronauts would get if they opened a packet of Sheehk Kebabs as they whizzed around space.
You may wonder why I’m still sitting here at this point. Well, it’s my birthday, the Cobra is very cold and that booth I mentioned was great fun for people watching. It’s amazing what tourists will film if it looks remotely Irish.
Maybe it was at that moment they brought in a proper chef because the mains were rather good (pops, starter, main, plus rice or nan was €18.95 in the early bird special). The Chicken Madras, although cooked well below the spice level required was tasty and the chicken tender, while the Prawn Dhansak lovely and thick with its lentils and delivered with four or five proper-sized prawns. Well, well, the place can deliver, after all. Now just pick up the rest of the pieces guys…