Category: India

Bonoo Indian Tapas Restaurant Review

Bonoo Indian Tapas Restaurant Review

We spent a very delicious if rather expensive Valentine’s Day at Bonoo Indian Tapas Restaurant, which is quite local to us.

The food were appetising, tasted really freshly made.  I particularly liked the various flavoured crispy naan and poppadoms presented in a nice dainty bamboo/wooden basket.  They came with four kinds of chutney/dips: mango, cucumber, plum and pineapple?!!!

The Aloo Pakora was enjoyed by all. The crisply deep-fried sweet potatoes shreds in butter was divine.

We had the tandoori mix, which was quite good but I prepared the Masala Lamb chops as it was really tasty that I had to prised every bit of meat from the bone, yummy.

The Jalfrezi, Masala, matar and pulao rice were cut above the take-out from other restaurants.

We also had the Rogan Josh, though very expensively tasty, the lamb was rather chewy with bits of bones that you have to delicately spit out. 🙂

The service was very good, very attentive and friendly staff.

The restaurant was packed compared to other restaurants in the area.  Childshill boasts a number of excellent eateries, perfect for meal dates.

Though the final bill was on the high side, it did not contain a service charge.  It is up to you how much tip to leave.  I think that was nice, instead of having 10-15% presumptuously added to your bill when service was below par.

An Enlightened Buddha Day to All

Whoever sees me sees the teaching.
– Buddha

buddha

Snails on Buddha’s head, Photo by PH Morton

Buddhists celebrate their most important festival of Vesak, known as Buddha Day, today. Many Buddhists will be giving gifts to the needy and doing charity work. From donating blood at hospitals to visiting orphanages and care-homes, they’ll make a special effort to bring happiness to those most in need.

Buddha Day is celebrated annually on the full moon of the ancient lunar month of Vesakha, which usually falls in May or June. The day commemorates the birth of the Buddha-to-be, his enlightenment and his final “passing” into nirvana; marking the end of the reincarnation cycle. This is the point at which a person sees and understands the true nature of things and where their desires end.

An Enlightened Buddha Day to All

ivory-happy-buddha_39Some Buddhists will visit the temple to meditate, reflect on their life and make offerings to monks; many taking time out to chant and listen to sermons. The day usually involves bringing food to offer and share, as well as supplies for the temple and symbolic offerings for the shrine. The traditional Bathing the Buddha also takes place which involves pouring water over the shoulders of statues of the Buddha to purify the mind from greed and hatred.
While celebrations vary from house to house, it’s common to release caged birds as a symbolic act of freedom, construct wooden lanterns for processions, and dress in pure white. A traditional sweet porridge dish called kheer is often eaten as well.
GlobalGranary wishes you a HAPPY BUDDHA DAY!
……………………………………………………………………
16 August 2015
Legend of the Snails on Buddha’s head
Nathan, my 6 years old grandson said to me that those swirly bits on top of the head of the Buddha (see above photo) were snails.   He further clarified that the snails were there to keep the Buddha cool whilst meditating.  I must admit I have never heard of that before so I googled it and found that Nathan was right.
The legend has it that the Buddha was so deep in meditation that he was unaware of the bright sun.  A snail realised what would happen so he slowly climbed on the robe of the Buddha and up his head.  He was followed by another 107 other snails, which covered the Buddha’s head in rather symmetrically aesthetic way.  When the Buddha came out of his trance, he noticed what had happened and became eternally grateful for the selflessness of the snails, who gave their lives so the Buddha did not get sunburn, thus, many of Buddha’s statues show the honoured snail martyrs.

Chicken Korma Recipe

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Chicken Korma Recipe

I do love a good chicken korma. I especially like it really spicy. The yogurt makes it such a creamy dish.

I lovely cooking this for the family, except for Nathan, who is still very young and spicy food is not something his taste buds can really cope with at the moment. So I just bang a few chips in the oven and fry a couple of sausages for him. But as adults love nothing better than a spicy Indian meal.

Ingredients:

4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
150g natural yogurt
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp turmeric
40g butter (unsalted kind preferable)
1 large onion, siced
2 inches ginger, peeled and finely sliced
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
10 whole cloves
1 tsp slat
2 inches cinnamon stick
1 tbsp cornflour
150g single cream
25g unsalted cashew nuts (toasted and optional)

Method of preparation:

Using a large bowl, mix the yogurt, garlic and turmeric together.  This will be the marinade for the chicken.

Score each of the chicken breasts before coating them with the yogurt marinade. Cover and then, preferably, leave the chicken to marinate in the fridge overnight.

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan.  Fry the onions until soft.

Stir in the ginger, chilli powder, coriander seeds, cloves, salt and cinnamon stick.  Cook these for 3 minutes.

Add the chicken and the marinade and let it simmer over a gentle heat  for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.

Blend the cornflour and cream together.  Stir into the chicken and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Sprinkle the cashew nuts as you serve.

Lovely eaten with rice pilau, onion badji and some flat breads.

Enjoy!

Authentic Indian Flatbread Recipe

Flatbread, Photo by PH Morton

Flatbread, Photo by PH Morton

Flatbreads such as naan is necessary for a truly enjoyable feast of Indian cuisine.

Below is a very authentic recipe of flatbread courtesy of Aiyaz, who said that this method of preparation is not dissimilar to Paul Hollywood’s (a renown tv chef) recipe.

Authentic Indian Flatbread Recipe

Ingredients:
500g Strong White flour
2 tsp Dried fast action yeast
2 tsp salt
4 tbsp virgin olive oil (or a good oil of your choice)
200-300ml of tepid water (you won’t use all of it)
Method:
  • Place the four into a mixing bowl, then the yeast on one side of the bowl and salt on the other side (this prevents the salt from killing the yeast).
  • Add the oil to the mix and start adding the water bit by bit while mixing (with a spoon or your hand) to produce a dough. If you add too much moisture, you can always add a bit more flour.
  • Once you’ve got a dough like consistency, place it on a lightly oiled surface.
  • Knead the dough for 10 mins, until the dough becomes less sticky and smooth. Keep oiling the surface if the dough starts to stick. Then create a smooth ball out of the dough. This is important (tip – if you use one hand, you’ve got the other free and clean to handle other objects).
  • Lightly oil the mixing bowl, place the ball of dough into the mixing bowl and cover with cling film.
  • Leave the bowl with the dough in a warm place to proof for about an hour – hour and a half.
  • Take the risen dough and a knock back on a lightly oiled surface for about 5 mins.
  • Partition the dough into 8 equal size portions.
  • Roll each portion into a circle or oval until about the width of a pound coin.
  • Place the rolled out dough under a medium to hot grill (leave about 10-15 cm between the dough and heat source as it will rise quite high). Keep an eye on it as cooking time is very quick.
  • Each side may take about 3-5 mins.
  • When fully cooked, the hot air will rise inside and the flat bread should puff up.
  • Serve when all are cooked.
Things to try:
Try adding cumin, coriander or other spices to the mix for different flavours.
Try adding yoghurt in place of some of the water and oil for a richer flat bread.
Try putting garlic butter on the rolled dough before cooking for garlic flat bread.
As I’ve said, I’ve tweaked this recipe every time I’ve made it, depending on what I’m serving it with.
– Aiyaz

 

Bhindi Fry Recipe (Deep-Fried Okra)

This recipe is for Okra, which is also called bhindi and lady’s finger, among other things.

This recipe is deliciously spicy and really crispy and crunchy.  It would be a good starter with some equally spicy dip such as Basil & garlic vinegar.

crispy-fried-bhindi-straight-from-the-kadai (1)Bhindi Fry Recipe

In Hindi Bhindi is Okra. This Bhindi Fry recipe is an easy snack like recipe made with Bhindi or Okra (Lady Finger). It is great as a side dish with the combination of dal (lentils), rice, sambar, curd (yogurt) or even with plain chapati/roti or paratha.

Ingredients:

 400 gms Okra/Bhindi/Lady Finger

 •½ tsp turmeric powder/haldi

 • juice from one lemon/lime

 •¼ tsp garam masala powder/curry powder

 •3 tbsp besan/gram flour/black chick pea flour

 •salt

 •oil for frying the bhindis

Method:

1. Rinse the bhindi in water 3-4 times. Wipe them dry with a kitchen napkin. Remove top tips and slice the bhindi/okra vertically into 2/4 pieces. Take all your sliced bhindi in a plate or a bowl.

2. Now sprinkle all the spice powders one by one on the sliced bhindi.

3. With a spoon, gently mix the spice powders with the bhindi.

4. Sprinkle the besan on the bhindi.

5. Again, gently mix the besan with the bhindi.

6. Marinate the bhindi in this mixture for up to 1 hour.

7. In your kadai (cooking pan), heat up the oil. Add a batch of marinated bhindi and fry on a medium heat till golden brown. Then place them on kitchen tissue on the plate.

8. Serve kurkuri bhindi directly as they are or if you want you could garnish them with coriander leaves.

Chicken Masala Recipe

Indian Foods have been a mainstay in British dining table since the Victorian times, during the height of the British Empire. Apparently, Queen Victoria, herself, was quite partial to a bit of Indian, because she had Indian staff, who cooked and prepared Indian meals everyday.

Some curries have been so anglicised and even some invented in England that they are not recognised in India as their authentic Indian foods.

Anyway having said that, Peter and I came late to the delights of Indian foods. It was perhaps about 4-5 years ago that we’ve tried it and liked it and never looked back.

Indian restaurants are as generally more popular than Chinese restaurants. English palate had come a long way.

Anyone can get a taste of Indian food  nowadays as major and local supermarkets tend to stock ready to cook meals. Just bang them in the microwave or oven for an authentic Indian meal.

I myself prefer to cook my Indian using sauces from jars. Just cook the meat and veg and add the Patak sauce and hey presto a deliciously appetising Indian dish in  just 10-15 minutes.

Below is a recipe for Chicken Masala which is cooked from scratch. All the fine ingredients are listed.

Enjoy!

Chicken Masala, Photo by PH Morton

Chicken Masala, Photo by PH Morton

Chicken Masala, Photo by PH Morton Chicken Masala Recipe

Ingredients:

1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 inch ginger, peeled and chopped
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seed
5cm cinnamon stick
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp caster sugar
1 can chopped tomatoes
8 boneless chicken thigh, cut in bitesize
250ml hot chicken stock
2 tbsp chopped coriander


Method

Put the onion, garlic and ginger into a food processor with 4 tablespoons of water and blend until they have turned smooth.

Transfer into a bowl and set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok or heavy-bottom pan over a medium heat.

Combine the cumin and fennel seeds with the cinnamon and chilli flakes and add to the pan in one go.  Continuously stir the spices for half a minute or until they have released their aromatic scent.

Add the onion, garlic and ginger mixture to the spices and let them sizzle for about 7 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated.

Stir in the garam masala, turmeric, and sugar and continue cooking for 20 secs.

Then add the tomatoes.

Cook on a medium heat for about 10 mins without a lid until the tomatoes have thicken into a paste.

Add the chicken to the pan and coat with the thicken sauce. Stir for about 5 minutes to seal in the masala sauce to the meat.

Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil then let it simmer for 8-10 minutes until the chicken is tender.

Transfer into a serving bowl and then sprinkle with chopped coriander.

Enjoy with naan bread, onion bhaji and freshly cooked basmati rice.

Chapati Recipe

Chapati, Photo by PH Morton

Chapati, Photo by PH Morton

Chapati

Ingredients
450g wholemeal plain flour
250ml cold water
butter for spreading, optional

How to make:
Set aside half of the flour and reserve for shaping the chapattis.
Place the remaining flour in a deep bowl.
Gradually add the cold water to the flour, kneading as you go, until you have a soft, elastic dough.
Flex those muscles as the more you knead the dough, the softer it will get.
Sprinkle a little of the reserved flour onto a flat surface.
Divide the dough into eight and shape each piece into a ball.
Flatten the balls slightly between your palms, then place one onto the floured board.
Use the rolling pin to flatten the dough into a disc.
Add more flour to the board to prevent the dough from sticking.
Heat a griddle or a frying pan.
Lay the chapatti on the griddle or pan and cook for about 20-30 seconds or until the surface is bubbling.
Turn it over with tongs and cook the other side for 10-15 seconds. As soon as brown spots appear on the underside, the chapatti is done.
Repeat with the other seven balls, using the remaining flour to roll them out. Stack them up as they are cooked, placing a sheet of kitchen towel between each one to absorb any moisture.
Spread butter over one side, if you like.
Adapted from Manju Malhi @ BBC food recipes

Diwali – Festival of Lights

Happy Diwali

Today is the Hindu Festival of Lights known as Diwali.
Jean and I, when taking our dog Diesel for his evening walk around 9.30pm, saw the sky burst in brightness of exploding fireworks. We later saw some displays from our back garden 🙂

Diwali celebration firework over NW London

Diwali celebration firework over NW London – Photo by PH Morton

Diwali – Festival of Lights

Millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world will celebrate the five-day festival of lights The festival this year, which marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year.New beginnings are celebrated with the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. The actual day of Diwali is traditionally celebrated on the festival’s third day, which this year falls on Thursday, October 23. The festival usually falls between the middle of October and the middle of November, although this is decided upon by the Hindu lunar calendar.

While each of the above faiths has its own reason to celebrate the festival, one of the most popular stories told is about the legend of Lord Rama and his wife Sita who return to their kingdom in northern India from exile after defeating the demon king Ravanna in the 15th century BC.

How is Diwali celebrated?

Large and noisy firework displays are held this evening to remember the celebrations which, according to the legend is when locals set off their own version of fireworks to celebrate Rama’s return. Those celebrating the festival also light traditional earthen diyas (candles). They clean and then decorate their houses with colourful rangoli artworks – patterns created on the floor using coloured rice or powder. During Diwali, families and friends gather at one of the homes to share sweets and gifts. There is also a strong belief in giving food and goods to those in need

What is eaten during Diwali?

Indian sweets, which come in a variety of colours and flavours are served. The celebration also features various rich savoury and sweet dishes.Families will mostly prepare food at home for when guests arrive to partake and exchange gifts and watch the fireworks. Some may chose to eat out at Indian etc.,restaurants While many of us have a traditional roast turkey at Christmas, each family celebrating Diwali will more than likely have its own favourite meal, which is central to the celebrations.

Onion Bhaji Recipe

Onion Bhaji Photo by JMorton

Onion Bhaji
Photo by JMorton

Onion bhaji

Ingredients
2 eggs
3 onions, sliced
120g plain flour
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 tbsp vegetable oil

How to make:

Beat the eggs in a fairly large bowl.
Add the onion slices and thoroughly coat with the beaten eggs.
Add the flour, the coriander powder and the cumin seeds.
Stir until everything is completely blended.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.
Test the temperature of the oil by throwing in a pinch of salt. If it sizzles, then the oil is ready.
Take a good spoonful of the bhaji mixture and fry until it has turned golden brown on all sides.
Take it out and let it drain in a kitchen paper towel.
Add more oil into the pan if required and cook the rest of the bhaji mixture.
If cooking another Indian recipe, put the onion bhajis in a baking tray and keep them warm in the oven at 140 degrees.
Serve hot as a starter or a side to other Indian sumptuous offering.
Enjoy!
Happy Diwali!

Indian Proverbs & Sayings

punjabi-lady-churing-curd-paintings

Indian Proverbs & Sayings

A harvest of peace grows from seeds of contentment.
– Kashmiri Proverb
……
A thief is a thief, whether he steals a diamond or a cucumber.
– Indian
……
Beware of errors of the mouth.
—Hindu.
……
Beware of the door which has several keys.
– Indian
……
Giving advice to a stupid man is like giving salt to a squirrel.
– Kashmiri proverb
……
It is in vain to look for yesterday’s fish in the house of the otter.
– Indian proverb
…..
Life is not a continuum of pleasant choices, but of inevitable problems that call for strength, determination, and hard work.
– Indian proverb
–0—

Like the body that is made up of different limbs and organs, all moral creatures must depend on each other to exist.
– Hindu Proverb

Never strike your wife – even with a flower.
~Hindu Proverb

No strength within, no respect without.
– Kashmiri Proverb

Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun.
– Indian Proverb

The way to overcome the angry man is with gentleness, the evil man with goodness, the miser with generosity and the liar with truth.
– Indian Proverb

The good we do today becomes the happiness of tomorrow.
– Hindu Proverb

They who give have all things; they who withhold have nothing.
– Hindu Proverb


Truth, contentment, patience, and mercy, belong to great minds.
– Hindu Proverb

Why seek the key of an open door.
– Indian Sayings