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Yogurt and Walnut Relish

19 Mar

This Indian raita comes from Madhur Jaffrey who has several versions of a yogurt and walnut relish. In her book Madhur Jaffry’s Indian Cookery 1982, Kheere ka raita includes yogurt, chilli, salt, walnuts, green coriander, green chilli, spring onion and black pepper while the Kashmiri version in A Taste of India 1985 has simply yogurt, chilli, salt and walnuts. This version is based on the kashmiri recipe but with the addition of coriander and green chilli.

  • yogurt
  • 15-20 walnuts (shelled)
  • black salt or sea salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp coriander, minced
  • 1 fresh green chilli
  • ground dried chilli to taste

Bash the shelled walnuts with the coarse salt then stir into yogurt add sliced green chillis and ground dried chillis to taste add coriander stir well and serve.

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Yogurt Cake

27 Mar

This cake is inspired; simple, light, moist and tasty. A magical alchemy of yogurt, flour, eggs, sugar and oil make this.

  • 1 cup yogurt (200ml)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1.5 cups sugar (300ml)
  • 1/2 cup oil (100ml)
  • 3 cups flour (600ml)
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Heat an oven to 180-200c (medium-hot).
Bung all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat together to form a thick batter. It does not seem to matter which order you put the ingredients in, though for some reason I choose to put the first 4 ingredients in the bowl and beat together before adding the flour and baking powder but it works just as well, as far as I can tell, in any order.
Grease the bottom of a cake tin with a tiny amount of butter or oil and line with a sheet of baking paper cut to size. Pour the batter into the tin and pop into the oven on the lowest shelf. Cook for 30 minutes (in a fan oven and up to 45 minutes in a conventional one) or until a skewer pushed into the cake comes out clean. Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack (if you can wait that long it is delicious warm).

Recipe Source I got the recipe from an organic miller, at the annual forgotten fruit market in St. Jean du Gard last winter, where I bought ‘petit épeautre’ flour. The miller had made this cake to demonstrate the flour, known as einkorn wheat in English (Triticum monococcum) and thought to be the oldest and most primitive cultivated wheat. The recipe I was given never quite worked, it was too wet and sweet but I liked the idea of the cake and the taste of the flour and worked on it to get a better consistency and now the balance is just right. I ran out of petit épeautre ages ago and now use just plain patisserie flour or self-raising flour and leave out the baking powder and it still tastes great.
Variations for an aromatic vanilla flavoured cake use vanilla sugar instead of plain or add the grated zest of an orange for a delicious orangey tang.
Note I used cups of 200ml volume and a 26cm diameter cake tin but this recipe is a relational one and if you use a smaller cake tin you could reduce the volume. The original recipe was given to me in the measurement of yogurt pots (150ml) 1 yogurt pot and 3 eggs (1 egg = 50ml) which made the batter too eggy and wet so I have reduced the quantity of eggs and 1 egg to 100ml turns out perfectly.


Cucumber & Yogurt Soup

21 Aug

This is the best summer soup. A chilled, uncooked soup of pureed cucumber, yogurt and mint. Our friend Maggie made this for us, on her recent visit here this summer, and we were blown away by how simple and how delicious the soup is. It is wonderfully refreshing and perfect for a summer lunch or a light starter and great at this time of year if you grow your own cucumbers.

Serves 4 Prep 15 mins

* 1 cucumber
* 2 cloves garlic, crushed
* 250g of natural live yogurt
* water (1.5 x the volume of yogurt)
* pinch of salt
* pinch crushed black peppercorns
* handful of fresh mint leaves

Peel the cucumber, if the skins are a little tough otherwise leave the skins on, and roughly chop. Put the cucumber in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients and blitz with a hand blender or put into a food processor and blitz to a smoothish soupy consistency. Add a little more water if required, check seasoning and serve. As simple as that.

Yogurt Drink (Ayran)

31 Jul

Yogurt makes a wonderful cooling drink for the hot summer months, I love this and it is particularly good to drink with very hot food. Versions of yogurt drinks exist in many countries from Bulgaria (Ayran) to India (Lassi), from Libya to Iran (Doogh). It can be flavoured with; black pepper, turmeric, cumin, garlic, mint, saffron or other spices. Sweet versions can be made with honey, rose or orange water or fruit juices. I like mine to be simple and a little salty, made with just yogurt, water and salt like the Turkish Ayran.


Makes 1 glass

  • 1 large tbsp natural yogurt
  • pinch salt to taste
  • water

Empty the yogurt into a jug and beat to make it smooth then add the salt to taste and water and whisk to get the consistency of milk with a little froth in the top. Serve chilled or over ice.

Note
I now have a little gadget for whizzing milk to a froth, a present from our friends Joanne & Peter, which works brilliantly I just put everything in a glass and whizz.
Originally posted Mas du Diable 31/07/08

Raita (sweet mint yogurt)

16 Jul

This is my version of the sweet mint sauce often served with popadums in Indian restaurants. I love it but I have yet to find a recipe for it so this recipe came about through trial and error until the mixture was just right, to my taste anyway. It is delicious served as a side to biryanis, hot curries or grilled meats, or with popadums alongside other chutnies.

Serves 6 Prep 10min Cook 4min

  • 2-3 large handfuls fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 large slice ginger
  • 1 tbsp corriander (optional)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-2 green chillis
  • 350ml of plain yogurt
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime or lemon
  • Final fry
  • 8 dried curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and wizz to the consistency of single cream and pour into a serving dish. Heat a little oil in a small frying pan and when hot drop in the final fry ingredients. Let them sizzle for a minute and then pour over the yogurt relish, give it a stir and serve.

Variation to make a sourer hot version leave out the sugar and add as many green chillis to the mix as you are happy with.

Originally posted Mas du Diable 16/07/07

Broad Bean Raita

29 Jun
Shelled broad beans fried with coconut and spices in a yogurt sauce makes a wonderful fresh, cooling dish to serve as a side with other dishes.

  • vegetable oil
  • large colander full of broad beans
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 6-8 dried curry leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3 dried hot red chillis
  • 1-2 tbsp grated coconut
  • pinch of turmeric
  • fresh coriander leaf
Shell the broad beans. Drizzle a little vegetable oil in the bottom of a wok or wide frying pan over a high heat and throw in the spices as soon as they begin to pop throw in the coconut keep an eye on it and stir until the coconut smells nutty and starts to turn golden. Add the beans, turmeric, salt and a little sprinkle of water to cool the pan. Stir and fry until the beans turn a bright green and are tender add a little water to stop it catching if necessary. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the yogurt and a little chopped coriander leaf. Serve at warm, at room temperature or cold
Cook’s Tip you can use desiccated coconut for this dish but it does taste better with freshly grated coconut.
Recipe Source This dish was inspired by Barbatti Nariyal Sabji in The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Yamuna Devi a green bean dish with dals, coconut and yogurt.

Raita (yogurt with spiced oil)

4 Dec

Yogurt makes a wonderful accompaniment to hot spicy dishes. This yogurt side dish is slightly sweet and aromatic with additional flavouring from a topping of Indian spices fried in oil. It only takes a few minutes to make.

Prep 5min Cook 3 mins

  • 450ml plain yogurt (3 pots)
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, ground
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp mustard or vegetable oil
  • 1 -2 dried red chillis
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4-6 dried curry leaves
  • pinch asafoetida
  • pinch turmeric

In a serving dish mix together the yogurt, fennel, salt and sugar. Measure out the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida, turmeric and chilli into a small dish and set aside. Heat the oil in a frying pan when it starts to smoke throw in the spices stir once and as soon as the chilli starts to darken pour over the dish of yogurt, stir and serve.

Originally posted Mas du Diable 4/12/2006

Raita (yogurt apple & onion)

14 Oct

A fresh raita or yogurt relish a perfect accompaniment to Indian vegetable dishes, dhals, curries and grilled meats. It is both sweet and hot; a combination of crunchy onion, warm ginger and sweet apple with a hint of chilli it also makes a lovely dip for savory snacks.

Serves 4 Prep 10min
250g plain yogurt
1 medium onion, peeled and minced
1 green apple, grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
2cm piece fresh ginger grated to a paste
2-3 cloves garlic crushed to a paste
handful fresh coriander leaves chopped
1/4 tsp ground cayenne chilli

Beat all the ingredients together leaving a little chilli to sprinkle on top as a garnish.

Recipe Source
This recipe come about by combining elements from two Madhur Jaffrey recipes in her wonderful book A Taste of India . I needed something to balance a savory dhal and fried aubergines dish and this was it.

Originally posted Mas du Diable 14/10/07