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Fast Food Friday: Indian with Arun Kapil

Friday, 2 October 2009

People are sitting in on the weekends now rather than going out and spending a fortune in expensive restaurants and pubs. When Friday comes along most people are too tired to spend hours over the stove or spend more money on takeaways.

We want to give our viewers some quick recipes to get them out of the kitchen with more time to kick back with a glass of wine in front of the telly.

Arun Kapil- Spice Specialist
Arun Kapil: Founder of Green Saffron Spices

Arun Kapil worked in London before coming to Ireland in September 2004 for the Ballymaloe Cookery Course. He went on to work at the House, as a chef. It was whilst working there that he came up with the idea of importing spices, making Indian blends and giving away simple-to-follow, delicious tasting recipes with each authentic blend.

He really began to miss the old cooking smells and tastes of home life...and so Green Saffron Spices started up.

Now at the age of 39 and taking a quick look back over the years, Arun has lead a very exciting and interesting life. He began by acting on stage and TV at the age of 11 with the UK National Youth Children's Theatre, singing in a school rock band and progressed to forming his first limited company at the age of nineteen - a record label launching the first ever DJ compilation album working with some of the bigger names in the music industry.

At present Arun's family are heavily involved in his business. Green Saffron is an environmentally friendly Indian family business. They bring small, frequent shipments of the freshest, highest quality spices direct from India to their base in East Cork. Ireland.

Each week they then expertly grind them into authentic family spice blends with really simple, easy-to-follow accompanying recipes for delicious tasting, intensely honest Indian meals of immense flavour, free from anything artificial.

Tandoori Bites

This is a really fragrant, spiced, creamy, lemony sandwich Indian style, perfect fast food! Satisfying & full of flavour.

(Serves 4 - 6 people)

. 800g free range Irish chicken (a mix of breast and thigh meat is best, but just the white meat is fine)


. 2 tblsp sunflower oil or clarified butter
. 3tsp Garam Masala, 3tsp turmeric, 1tsp freshly ground cumin, 1tsp Kashmiri chilli flakes, ½tsp salt
. 4 cloves garlic, crushed or blitzed
. 60g fat inches ginger, finely grated or blitzed with skin on
. 300ml (or 2 small pots) natural, plain yoghurt
. 4 tblsp pouring, single cream
. 3 tblsp tomato purée, rounded
. Juice and zest of 1 lemon

. Sunflower oil
. Fresh coriander, roughly chopped
. Handful of salad leaves
. A couple of Naan or tortilla wrap, or your favourite bap to serve

Cut the chicken pieces into bite-sized strips (or save yourself the work and ask your butcher to do it for you) and pop the strips into a glass bowl
2. Mix all the spices together in a bowl and combine with all the other marinade ingredients
3. Pour the beautifully fragrant paste over the chicken strips and mix to combine all flavours
4. Next, add sunflower oil to a griddle pan or high sided frying pan until it's good and hot, but not smoking.
5. Gently shake the strips of chicken to remove excess marinade, pop them in to the pan, fry for a couple of minutes then turn the pieces over and continue to fry until cooked, but still tender to the touch.
6. Do this in batches, so as to give the chicken the best chance of cooking through properly
7. Put the chicken pieces in a clean bowl, sprinkle with the coriander and stir it all around to combine all the flavours.
8. Then, pour any remaining marinade in to the griddle (or frying) pan and gently heat for a moment or two (30 seconds should be fine), then set aside.
9. Carefully cut the Naan in two lengthways, forming a pocket.
10. Spoon generous amounts of the sauce into the pocket, pop some of the leaves in and as much chicken pieces as you can manage.
11. Serve with a paper serviette to catch the juices and enjoy..simple!

Methi Aloo

India is known for its 'street food'. Really tasty, highly spiced little snacks designed for eating 'on-the-move' to sate all hunger pangs until the next meal. This potato dish is brilliant in its simplicity and versatility; it's delicious eaten by itself or as an accompaniment to your favourite dish!

(Serves 2 to 3)

. 2-3 tblsp sunflower oil
. 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and roughly chopped
. ½ tsp salt
. 1 tsp turmeric powder
. 1 tsp cumin seeds, whole
. 1 tsp dry (Kashmiri) red chilli flakes
. A couple of handfuls of dried methi (fenugreek) leaves
. 1 medium tomato, deseeded and diced
. 2-3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces or diced (any variety is fine, but my favourites are the Roosters for this recipe)
. 250ml of water

Sauce dressing
. 100ml Crème fraiche
. Small handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
. ½ lemon juiced and zested

1. Take a heavy bottomed pan, place on a medium heat and add the oil and gently heat.
2. Add the garlic and fry until a light nutty brown colour.
3. Then, add the cumin seeds, chilli flakes, salt, turmeric and gently fry for a couple more minutes
4. Add the chopped tomato, stir, turn down the heat, add the potatoes and mix well.
5. Add the water and cook for about 5mins on a medium flame, stirring occasionally.
6. Add methi leaves and continue to cook on a medium flame until the potatoes are just done and the water is fully absorbed.
7. Meanwhile, mix the dressing ingredients in a bowl.
8. Serve the potatoes in paper cup with a wooden fork and good dollop of sauce..enjoy!

Fact File

. Indians eat food with their hands. The Indians consider eating this way as tastier aswell as ritualistic

. While trying Indian dishes, go for Tikka dishes as they contain low fat as the contents are usually cooked in a dry oven.

. Green Chiles, which are used to make many Indian curries are a rich source of vitamin C.

. Red chili powder is a good source of vitamin A.