My Modern Indian Kitchen

My Modern Indian Kitchen: Over 60 Recipes for Home-Cooked Indian Food by Nitisha Patel is a collection of foolproof Indian recipes offering ideas for everything from street food through desserts. Nitisha's interest in food began early - her parents would give her a large bag of peas to pod in return for a treat. After high school, she attended the College of Food at University College Birmingham to study Culinary Arts and was hooked from day one. 

This book has a retro, muted vibe to the photos while still being modern and beautiful - as you can see from the cover to the left. The author begins with a breakdown of spices and pastes, along with recipes for Roti Breads and Nitisha's Nutty Naans before the Street Food Chapter starts. 

Indian food is complex in flavor orchestrated by perfectly combining spices and aromatics - accordingly some of the recipes have a lengthy list of ingredients. Prepping spice and preparing the Holy Trinity paste, will help you speed through some of the recipes. Duck Pepper Stir-Fry, Malabari Mussels, and an incredible looking Kadhi Pakori (I have never seen a pakori in a sauce before and this looks divine) are included along with curries, dhal and biryani dishes. 

The author includes both metric and imperial measurements to make her recipes more accessible. This is a fantastic book to spend the weekend cooking up one Indian feast after another. 

Special thanks to the author, Nitisha Patel, and Ryland Peters & Small for sharing the following recipes from the Street Food chapter of My Modern Indian Kitchen. Photographs are credited to Clare Winfield. Head over to our contest page to enter our giveaway for three copies of the book - two winners in the US and one in the UK. 

Batata Vadas
 
Street food is a huge part of the Indian food scene and what I find most magical about it is how so many of the dishes are completely vegetarian. This recipe showcases the beauty and versatility of the humble potato. Spiced mashed potato is coated in a gram/chickpea flour batter and deep-fried. I am extremely fond of batata vadas and have been ever since I was young. They are so easy to make and extremely delicious.
 
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
plain flour, for dusting
Tomato, Cucumber and Mint Raita, to serve
 
POTATO FILLING
 
1 kg mashed potatoes (Maris Piper or Yukon Gold)
2 teaspoons Holy Trinity Paste 
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
2 teaspoons caster sugar
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
 
SEASONED OIL
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
½ teaspoon asafoetida
 
BATTER
 
200 g gram flour, sifted
½ tablespoon cornflour
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
baking sheet, lined with baking parchment
deep-fat fryer (optional)
 
SERVES 4-6
 
Combine all of the ingredients for the potato filling together and mix well.
For the seasoned oil, heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, add the mustard seeds and allow to sizzle and crackle. Add the sesame seeds, shake around in the pan, then add the asafoetida and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon for 10 seconds. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
 
Pour the hot seasoned oil into the filling mixture and mix well again.
Shape the mixture into golf ball-sized pieces, place on the lined baking sheet and put in the refrigerator to chill.
 
Mix all of the ingredients for the batter together with 230 ml of water. Set aside.
Heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep-fat fryer or large, heavy-bottomed pan to 180C. Gently roll the balls around in the flour for dusting (in batches of 4-5) and then dip into the batter.
 
Place the battered balls into the hot oil and deep-fry until they become golden-brown; this should take 4-5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the rest of the balls.
 
Holy Trinity Paste MAKES 625 G
 
200 g (about 6) green chillies
200 g (about 40) garlic cloves
200 g (about 8 x 5-cm pieces) fresh root ginger
50 ml vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
 
Blitz together the ingredients in a food processor to form a coarse paste. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
 
Masala Dhal Vadas
 
Dhal vadas make a great snack; they are made from a spiced lentil mixture that is deep-fried to form fritters. This recipe showcases just how versatile lentils are. Lentils have a wonderful texture, and the beauty of these fritters is that once deep-fried, the outer layer is crispy and crunchy while the inner part is soft and moreish. Like most street food, this recipe is vegetarian and is great for serving at dinner parties as an appetizer.
 
200 g dried split channa dhal soaked in 600 ml should yield a total of 350 g)
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated fresh root ginger
1 teaspoon chopped green chilli
100 g mashed potatoes (Maris Piper or Yukon Gold)
¼ teaspoon asafoetida
½ teaspoon red chilli powder
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons freshly chopped coriander
¼ onion, finely chopped
vegetable oil, for deep-frying and greasing
chutney of your choice, to serve
deep-fat fryer (optional)
 
SERVES 4 (MAKES 16 VADAS)
 
Remove 2 tablespoons of the soaked channa dhal and set aside until required. Using a food processor, blitz together the remaining channa dhal until all of the lentils have been coarsely chopped.
 
Combine all of the ingredients, including the dhal, in a mixing bowl and mix well to form a fritter batter. Grease your hands with a little oil and roll into 16 fritters about 30 g each. I shape them into balls to start with and then flatten them with the palm of my hands so that they look like patties that are slightly thicker in the middle and thinner on the edges.
 
Heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep-fat fryer or large, heavy-bottomed pan to 180C. Deep-fry the fritters in batches in the hot oil until golden-brown; this should take 5-6 minutes. (The fritters should be crunchy on the outside and soft in the inside.) Drain and serve warm with chutney.
 
Veg Manchurian
 
In India, there is a growing trend towards Indian and Chinese fusion dishes. India and China are next to each other geographically and share the same border, so naturally there will be some crossover regarding food. This dish is an Indian take on Chinese cuisine and is served to Indian diners who want to experience 'traditional' Chinese cooking. The vegetable fritters are deep-fried and served in a reduced spicy and salty sauce.
 
FRITTERS
 
145 g grated carrot
145 g shredded white cabbage
60 g sliced spring onions
80 g thinly sliced green beans
1 teaspoon Holy Trinity Paste 
3 tablespoons plain flour
2 tablespoons cornflour
½ teaspoon salt
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
 
SAUCE
 
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon finely diced fresh root ginger
1 teaspoon finely diced garlic
100 ml light soy sauce
100 ml vegetable stock
50 ml red chilli sauce
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 green chilli, thinly sliced
2 spring onions, sliced, to garnish
deep-fat fryer (optional)
 
SERVES 4
 
Mix together all of the ingredients to make the vegetable fritters (apart from the oil for frying) in a large mixing bowl. When all of the mixture has come together, form it into even balls (around the same size as a golf ball). You may want to do this in batches, as the fritters fry best when freshly rolled.
 
Heat the vegetable oil in a deep-fat fryer or large, heavy-bottomed pan to 180C. Carefully add the fritters, in batches, and deep-fry each batch for 5-6 minutes each until golden-brown. Drain on paper towels to absorb any excess oil and set aside until required.
 
For the sauce, heat the vegetable oil in a wok or a saucepan over low-medium heat and fry the ginger and garlic until golden-brown. Add the soy sauce, vegetable stock, 400 ml of water and the chilli/chili sauce and allow to gently come up to the boil.
 
Mix the cornflour with a splash of cold water and add to the pan. Allow the sauce to thicken slightly and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
 
Add the fried fritter balls to the sauce and gently mix in, being careful not to break any of the fritters. Sprinkle over the green chilli and spring onion slices, and serve.

28 Comments

  • lgroom  on  5/11/2017 at 2:57 PM

    If I want to eat it anymore, I have to make it. One of the things I really miss about living in a large city is the having Indian restaurants nearby.

  • rchesser  on  5/11/2017 at 4:53 PM

    I do cook Indian cuisine at home a few times a year.

  • Titch  on  5/12/2017 at 4:11 AM

    I don't eat Indian cooking at home but would love to try :) x

  • sgump  on  5/12/2017 at 3:24 PM

    When I lived in the UK, I made channa masala ALL THE TIME. I'd make a huge batch and eat it with rice. Sometimes I'd stir in sultanas; sometimes I'd toss in fresh chiles and freshly grated ginger after reheating the night's portion. It's forever adaptable and stretchable and really even better on subsequent nights (like chili or any curry dish, I suppose).

  • t.t  on  5/13/2017 at 12:07 AM

    I've only made channa masala, but I'd love to learn more.

  • Purplepeepers  on  5/14/2017 at 10:34 AM

    In answer to your question: Do you try Indian cooking at home - or do you save it for take out? Yes I do try indian cooking at home

  • Siegal  on  5/14/2017 at 8:36 PM

    I love making Indian food at home

  • meggan  on  5/19/2017 at 10:48 AM

    I love to make Indian food. I should do it more often.

  • bstewart  on  5/19/2017 at 12:36 PM

    I love making Indian recipes -- make great dinner party foods.

  • Mhenaghen  on  5/25/2017 at 5:07 AM

    I love making Indian food at home!!

  • VickiN  on  5/25/2017 at 7:59 AM

    I love Indian food, but have only had it at restaurants. I would love to try and make it at home though.

  • thewoobdog  on  5/25/2017 at 10:07 AM

    There's one Indian recipe (murgh jalfrazi) that I make at home, and I'll use storebought simmer sauces to fake other dishes, but mostly the thought of making Indian food intimidates me so I mostly enjoy it at restaurants.

  • Mrs.Soule  on  5/26/2017 at 9:38 AM

    I've made curry and chana masala at home. I've also tried a few dishes from the frozen section of our Indian grocers.

  • PennyG  on  5/26/2017 at 4:57 PM

    I make all kinds of Indian food at home. I think it's better than anything I can buy at a restaurant.

  • RSW  on  5/30/2017 at 11:17 AM

    Mostly take out, but would love to try at home.

  • EmilyR  on  6/3/2017 at 12:57 AM

    I have made Indian at home, but I want to master those rich gravies and sauces. Indian food is something incredible.

  • Nancith  on  6/3/2017 at 11:50 AM

    I have tried preparing quite a few of the more well-known Indian dishes at home.

  • cowlady  on  6/3/2017 at 1:37 PM

    I do try to cook Indian food at home but my skill level could definitely improve. Having a good cookbook like this is key.

  • slothlover  on  6/3/2017 at 2:19 PM

    I haven't tried making Indian at home, but would love to try!

  • Sofie168  on  6/4/2017 at 3:07 PM

    I'm trying to make more Indian food at home, so this cookbook would be helpful!

  • FrenchCreekBaker  on  6/7/2017 at 5:20 PM

    I make South Indian and Bengali vegetarian food at home but will always go out to eat at a place with a good thali dinner!

  • kitchenclimbers  on  6/8/2017 at 1:42 PM

    I do both!

  • orchidlady01  on  6/10/2017 at 6:44 PM

    I have not tried cooking Indian food at home and have not eaten much Indian food but this cookbook would be a great place to start!

  • Uhmandanicole  on  6/11/2017 at 10:37 PM

    I've never been brave enough to try cooking Indian food myself but have gotten the frozen meals and take out. But would love to try, especially with this book!

  • nomadchowwoman  on  6/12/2017 at 9:49 AM

    There was a time when I cooked Indian food a couple of times a week, working my way through Madhur Jaffrey's "Indian Cooking" and dabbling in a number of other cookbooks. But I have not made one Indian dish from scratch in the past year. Time to remedy that!

  • CosmicKaye  on  6/15/2017 at 12:21 PM

    I regularly cook Indian food at but haven't tried cooking anything too adventurous as yet :)

  • Nasus  on  6/16/2017 at 7:56 AM

    Usually just takeout. Veg Manchurian looks interesting.

  • fionajk42  on  6/16/2017 at 3:53 PM

    My husband is of Indian origin, so he cooks Indian food a couple of times a week.

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