Indian food always seemed really complicated to me. All the recipes have so many ingredients and sometimes so many processes. But in the last few years, I have found several recipe books that simplify this so much and am happy to say that I am no longer daunted.
Thumbing through my copy, I have already at least 5 recipes I want to cook immediately, see my pink bookmarkers. The combination of using local ingredients with Indian spicing works really well as it is sometime hard to recreate the really traditional recipes in today’s modern kitchen.
Reza has been running the Star of India in Chelsea for a while and he has elevated Indian food from your local Chicken Tikka Masala into much more sophisticated dishes and flavours. I believe his experience of running a restaurant that serves probably the most discerning Londoners has helped to hone his recipes.
The 1st recipe I cooked from the book is Scallops with Coconut and Ginger. The recipe uses scallops but since I had skate cheeks (which look a bit like scallops) I used those instead.
Skate Cheeks With Coconut and Ginger
For the scallops
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 500 g fresh king scallops/ skate cheeks
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp coriander seeds roasted and crushed
- ½ tsp cumin seeds roasted and crushed
- ½ tsp red chilli flakes
For the sauce
- 2 tbsp coconut oil or vegetable oil
- 10 curry leaves I buy these fresh and freeze them until ready to use
- 1 onion sliced
- 2.5 cm freshly grated ginger
- 4 green chillies slit open lengthways
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 500 ml coconut milk
- 1 tsp salt
- Make the sauce first before the scallops. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the curry leaves, onion, ginger and green chillies.
- Cook, and stir until the onion is soft. Add the turmeric, followed by the coconut milk and salt. Bring to a simmer.
- Continue to cook for 3-5 minutes until the sauce begins to turn glossy and thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon
- To cook the scallops, heat the oil until hot in a large frying pan and add the scallops.
- Sear for about 1 minute per side until golden.
- Sprinkle salt on each of the scallops and remove from the pan
- Mix together the coriander, cumin and chilli flakes and spread on top of the scallops to give an even crust.
- Place under a hot grill for 30 seconds
- Serve with the warm sauce on top of some wilted spinach. I had this with some plain Basmati rice.