feasting on the tastes and aromas of Indian food

The passion to create delicious and healthy Indian food… each meal a time to come together in mutual pleasure and gratitude for the abundance life offers. It’s true, is it not? We spend more time communicating with our dearest friends, family and colleagues through social media, email and all the rest of it than actually face to face! Whatever happened to the dinner parties we (and our guests) used to get so much pleasure from?

Some of the very best times of my life have been spent sitting around the dinner table, talking, laughing… sharing delicious food and a glass or two of fine wine with friends and family. Sometimes we’d just meet for brunch – any excuse for a lie in before enjoying a casual late breakfast meal in the mid morning sun. As the sun set, we’d often find ourselves in bbq mode, cooking traditional and ethnic treats for friends and visitors to Australia. As special occasions came and went we marked them by digging out our best linen, dressing up the table, polishing the glassware and inviting everyone over for dinner. Whatever we did, no matter how casual or formal, there was something particularly warm and rewarding about sitting down to feast upon what we had all created.

cookery classes: passion shared

Cooking is my passion of course. It is integral to Indian life – our way of celebrating any occasion and honouring the people we meet. Which is why when you visit Prana we offer you refreshments: chai, seasonal fruit or small morsels of our cuisine to tempt, ease and refresh the palate.

If you have enjoyed those things as a client – or if you are yet to visit Prana but nevertheless love Indian food, I can help you to create the sublime tastes, textures and aromas of authentic Indian food. As I was taught, SO I TEACH YOU how to create, prepare and present a meal that is all your own; not mine. That is the way that food passion spreads and enriches us all. It is the best gift I can give you – the ability to understand the delicious simplicity of combining ingredients correctly, the cooking techniques to arrive at rounded flavours and the confidence to create your own version of a meal your guests will adore! For your next lunch, dinner party or office get together, call 0449 592728 – Saroj

 

In the meantime, here are some recipes to try yourself. Enjoy!

prana recipes

Sweet and Sour Lemon Pickle

Indian food without pickles is incomplete… and amongst the array of pickles this one is a stand out favourite in my home! Whole lemons pickled in sugar syrup, chillies and spices all add the finishing touch to any meal and keeps for months.

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Dhal Makhani

Dhal Makhani is one of North India’s most characteristic dishes. It is a lentil dish high in protein – an important attribute in primarily vegetarian cultures. Lentils contain dietary fibre, folate (vitamin B) and iron which is good for us all but especially important for adolescents and pregnant women whose requirements for iron are increased. Lentils, mixed with grains such as rice, are a complete protein dish.
Enjoy with pulao rice, naan bread or toasted Turkish bread.

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Tuna Mix

Fresh and canned ingredients combine to produce winter comfort food. Such a simple to compile snack for unexpected
arrivals, brunch guests, or hungry teenagers anytime!

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Mix Bean Curry

An all year round favourite with family and friends, Mix Bean Curry is so easy to make and very good for you too! And like all my dishes, the option to add chicken, prawns or any meat you have to hand is always included.

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Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is a dish of chicken pieces (the word ‘tikka’ meaning chunks or pieces) marinated in dry spices, yoghurt or coconut cream, tomatoes and fresh coriander to produce a rich, aromatic sauce which we call a masala. It is indisputably the most popular dish in Britain and for very good reason. I guarantee it will melt the heart of everyone at your table!

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My Family’s favourite Paneer Dish

Paneer is Indian cottage cheese made from cow’s milk. It is a fresh hard cheese, and does not melt. It is made by curdling hot milk with a food acid such as vinegar, lemon juice, citric acid or yogurt. As paneer is not made using rennet (an animal product) like other cheeses, it is very much a part of lacto vegetarian diets. It is a good source of protein and an important part of Indian cooking.

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Chana Masala

Chana Masala is one of my favorite curry dishes… it is both highly nutritious and delicious. Chana Masala (also known as Chole) is a North Indian vegetarian dish that is extremely popular throughout the subcontinent. Chickpeas are a great source of iron, vitamin B, protein and fibre; making them a great substitute for meat.

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Goan Fish Curry

Fish and rice are staples in Goa, a part of India which was ruled by the Portuguese for 400 years. Goa’s traditional cuisine adapted to both cultures and became the spicy and tangy dish we enjoy today. As always, this is my improvised version to accommodate the availability of both time and fresh ingredients in Australia.

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Peas Pulau

This is just one of the many versions of rice that Indians consider part of daily life. I hope you will include it in your daily repertoire because it is key to the rounded flavours in poultry, meat or vegetarian based meals. Enjoy!

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Grandma’s Avocado Dessert Recipe

Despite being a fruit and therefore having the illusion of being healthy, avocados are actually a very high-fat food. But their fat is not a problem because it’s monounsaturated which is considered a ‘good fat’ – the type that keeps you healthy. If they are used as a substitute and in moderation for other fatty foods such as butter, cheese, dips and spreads, avocados will greatly reduce your intake of cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium. A serving of avocado has 0.5g of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, which have a number of potential health benefits, including increased brain health, reduced cancer risk and reduced risk of heart disease. They also contain a number of nutrients that are an essential part of a balanced diet. Avocados are a good source of vitamin E which keeps the red cells in the blood healthy and helps prevent damage to the membranes that encircle and protect every cell in the body. They also contain lots of a dietary fibre, which helps move food through the body efficiently to prevent constipation. And more… avocados are also a good source of vitamin B6; a vitamin needed for the nervous system, for healthy skin and to produce energy in the body.

Here’s how:
Simply juice 1/2 lemon and put in a bowl with 1 cup of milk. Leave it aside for a few minutes to form a curd. Now add 1 tbsp sugar and stir until dissolved. Add 1 avocado and mix. Refrigerate and serve cold.