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Modern Indian Cookery – Recipes

Modern Indian Cookery Class Recipes

Our cookery classes are as much about learning to cook as they are a sociable experience. We hope you enjoyed your fine dining evening and are ready to recreate the meals at home.

We Cooked:

  • – Hariyali chicken skewer or Hariyali Paneer with red peppers & onion skewer (v)
  • – Green chutney (Hariyali Marinade)
  • – Black dhal
  • – Cumin Rice – Demo
  • – Tarka celeriac and apple remoulade – Demo
  • – Frying pan pakoras – carrot and kale

Hariyali Chicken Skewer

Ingredients – Serves 2-3:

  • Green/Hariyali Marinade
  • 30g coriander leaves
  • 15g mint leaves
  • 50g young leaf spinach 
  • 10g ginger, grated
  • 10g garlic, grated
  • x1-2 green finger chillies, chopped
  • juice of x1 lime
  • vegetable oil – a few generous glugs
  • 250g Greek yoghurt
  • x1 and a half tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • x1 and a half tsp garam masala
  • x1 tsp ground cumin
  • x1 level tsp turmeric (optional)
  • x6-7 skinless and boneless chicken thigh fillets


  1. Firstly we’ll start with the marinade. Blitz the spinach, coriander, mint, ginger, garlic, chillies and lime juice in a blender along with a few generous glugs of vegetable oil; enough to make a thick paste.
  2. Take a large mixing bowl, place the yoghurt inside and stir through the green paste, then mix in the salt, garam masala, and ground cumin thoroughly. Test the seasoning, you want to feel some chilli heat and for it to be well seasoned. Adjust accordingly and set aside.
  3. Cut your chicken into chunky bite sized pieces, place in the marinade, cover and marinate overnight ideally or for at least 2-3 hours.
  4. Cook your chicken tikka under a grill on the highest setting to recreate that fierce tandoori heat; you want a little char without burning. Alternatively you can air fry at 200c for about 10-12 minutes depending on how big you have cut the chicken pieces.

Cook’s Note: You can make this dish vegetarian by replacing the chicken with paneer, halloumi or tofu. Thread onto a skewer with diced red onion and red pepper.

Black Bean Makhani Dhal

Dhal makhani is the Godfather of all dhals. This opulent dish is rich and decadent and bows to no other. Traditionally it’s made with urid dhal, which is actually a bean and also known as black dhal. It got me thinking how would this work with black beans – which I absolutely adore. The answer is jolly well indeed! This is a delicious twist on a Punjabi classic.

Ingredients – Serves 4-6:

  • x1 cup brown lentils
  • x3-4 cups water
  • x1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and crushed in a pestle and mortar
  • x4 green cardamon pods, bruise to release the seeds
  • vegetable oil for cooking
  • x2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 inch piece of cassia bark
  • x4 whole cloves
  • x1 dried Kashmiri chilli
  • half a star anise or 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • x1 large brown onion, finely diced
  • 20g ginger, grated
  • 20g garlic, grated
  • x1-2 green finger chillies, slit lengthways
  • x2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • half tsp garam masala
  • 40g butter
  • x1 tbsp tomato puree
  • x1 and a half cups of water
  • 150ml passata
  • x3 400g tins black beans (drained weight 720g)
  • pinch of Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek)
  • x4 tbsp double cream, plus extra for garnish
  • coriander garnish


  1. Firstly let’s start with cooking the brown lentils, you’ll need a large lidded saucepan. These don’t often need a soak and will cook in under 30 minutes. Read the packet instructions, and cook until tender (please don’t overcook into a mush). You’ll need three to four times the volume of water to lentil, bring to a rapid boil and simmer. Skim off any scum, and don’t allow the pan to run dry. Remove from the heat, and set aside.
  2. Next toast off your coriander seeds in a dry frying pan and transfer to a pestle and mortar. Lightly grind – they’ll still have some texture – set aside. Next place your cardamon seeds in to the mortar, add in a pinch of salt which will act as an abrasive, and grind with the pestle until you have a powder.
  3. Move on to making the tarka, the foundation of every curry. Take a large 30cm saute pan or similar, activate your whole spices – cumin seeds, cassia bark, cloves, dried chilli, and star anise – in a 3 or 4 tablespoons of oil on a medium to high heat. When the fragrant aromas waft up, tip in your onions, the crushed coriander and powdered cardamom, reduce the heat to medium. Give these at least 10 minutes or so to allow the onions to soften and become translucent.
  4. Next add in the ginger, garlic, and chillies, cook out for a couple of minutes before also adding the salt and garam masala. Toast for 30 seconds before dropping in half of the butter as this will prevent the masala from catching. Once melted add the tomato puree, and give everything a good mix. We want a few minutes to cook the puree out. Add in some water, about half a cup to help it on its way.
  5. Now it’s time for the passata, bring to a boil them simmer for a few minutes to cook out. When you see the tell tale sign of the oil separating on the surface it’s time to taste and make your adjustments. Though it will taste salty at this point, you are likely to need more when the lentils and beans have been added.
  6. Stir all of your cooked lentils and beans through the tarka, you’ll need extra water also, about a cup. Ensure everything is mixed well and bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer. Taste again now, you’ll probably need more salt. Add the methi (dried fenugreek), the rest of the butter, yoghurt and cream. You may want to hold some of the cream back for a decorative swirl just before serving. Allow to simmer for a little longer and for all of the flavours to develop – say another 10 minutes or so.
  7. Enjoy, with glee! Pair with whichever bread takes your fancy, or rice. This is a very popular option on my food collection service. I serve with black cardamon rice, charred aloo gobi, yoghurt and a crunchy slaw. Though this dish could be a prized part of any celebration feasting table too!

Cooks’s Note: You can by all means go the classic route and use traditional whole urid dhal instead. Use two cups and soak overnight. Follow the packet instructions, though they will require at least an hour long simmer. Some folks like to simmer for much longer, until the dhal disintegrates to make it extra creamy and silky. Go with your personal preference.

Cumin Rice – Demo by Sarah

Ingredients – Serves 4-6:

  • x2 cups basmati rice
  • vegetable oil for cooking
  • x1 tsp cumin seeds
  • x1 bay leaf
  • x1 black cardamon
  • 5-6 black peppercorns
  • x2 whole cloves
  • x1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • half a small brown onion, finely diced
  • small handful of frozen peas
  • x4 cups water


  1. For the rice, firstly it needs to be rinsed to remove any excess starch. Place in a bowl and cover with cold water, give it a swish to agitate then rinse 3 or 4 times using a fine sieve. Cover with cold water again and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile let’s make the base for the pilau rice. Saute the whole spices – black cardamon, peppercorns, cumin seeds, cloves – in a couple of tablespoons of oil using a medium-large lidded saucepan. Once activated add the bay leaf, then tip in the onions then the salt. Allow the onions to soften and become translucent on a medium heat. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Strain the rice through a sieve and stir through the onion mixture coating thoroughly. Now mix through the frozen peas. Then you’ll need two cups of water. It’s always a 1:2 ratio for the absorption method. I use boiling water from the kettle. Give everything a good stir and check the stock for seasoning. Bring the stock to boiling point, then place on a tight-fitting lid (you can wrap the lid in a tea towel if needs be) and immediately reduce the heat to medium, to a simmer. The rice needs 10-12 minutes to cook, you can check after 10 minutes – but not before – then remove from the heat. Allow to stand for another 10 minutes with the lid on; it will sit happily for quite some time. Fork the rice through before serving.

Tarka celeriac and apple remoulade – Demo by Sarah


  • 200g celeriac (peeled)
  • x1 small Granny Smith apple
  • x3 tbsp premium mayonnaise
  • half tsp black mustard seeds
  • x1 dried red chilli, broken into pieces
  • x4 curry leaves
  • half tsp turmeric
  • pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • x1 tbsp chopped coriander
  • squeeze of lemon or lime


  1. Using a julienne peeler or similar cut the celeriac into matchsticks, do the same with the apple – I use a sharp knife for this – and place in a large mixing bowl. Then stir through the mayonnaise.
  2. Now take a small frying pan and heat two teaspoons of vegetable oil on a medium to high heat. Activate the mustard seeds, when they start to splutter add in the curry leaves and dried chilli, remove from the heat then swirl in the turmeric, salt and asafoetida. Carefully transfer the contents of your sizzling pan to the dressed celeriac and apple. Stir, and take a moment to admire the golden hue marble throughout the remoulade. Mix through the chopped coriander and season with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. Cover and pop in the fridge before serving.

Carrot & Kale Pakoras

Ingredients – Serves 15 bhajis (and 4 burgers):

  • x3 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • x1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • x1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted and crushed in a pestle and mortar
  • x1 tsp garam masalax2 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • half a tsp grated ginger
  • x2-3 tsp minced chillies
  • pinch of dried red chili flakes* optional
  • x1 heaped tbsp chopped coriander
  • x1 medium egg, beaten
  • 100-150g chickpea flour (besan)
  • x3 medium sized carrots (approx. 375-400g), peeled and grated using coarse side of a box grater
  • 60g curly kale, destalked and shredded
  • x1 large brown onion, finely sliced half moon
  • vegetable oil for deep frying


  1. Heat your oven to 180c and line a large baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  2. Heat vegetable oil to 180c in a deep fat fryer or wok or kadhai.
  3. Take a large bowl, mix together the yoghurt, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, garam masala, salt, grated ginger, minced chillies, chilli flakes, and chopped coriander. Taste, and adjust the seasoning.
  4. Now mix in the beaten egg followed by the flour, you’ll have a thick batter. Add the grated carrot, shredded kale and sliced onion to the batter. Use your hand to mix and squelch everything together (keep one hand clean). You may want to add in a touch more chickpea flour for a thick batter consistency.
  5. Form a golf ball with the batter and roll between your hands ensuring even distribution of the ingredients, and gently place into the hot oil, frying until golden. (You can use two spoons instead of your hands if you prefer) Repeat. Will take 5 minutes or so, turn as necessary. You will need to batch make these being careful not to overload the fryer or wok.
  6. Once fried and golden place the bhajis onto kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil.
  7. Now transfer the bhajis onto the lined baking sheet and bake until cooked through – another 10-12 minutes or so.
  8. Eat immediately with whatever sauces and chutneys take your fancy.

Cook’s Note: You can make much larger pakoras formed into the shape of a burger. These are best shallow fried in a large frying pan – again don’t overload do this in batches perhaps 2 at a time given the size and adjust the cooking times which will be slightly longer. Serve in a grilled brioche bun, with a little smattering of mango chutney, coriander & lime raita and pink pickled onions.

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