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Arun Kapil's Indian Comfort Food

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Arun Kapil -Spice Specialist with Green Saffron

Dhuli kismis - medium one pot wonder

Fruit, particularly sultanas, in Indian, spiced dishes??! Not normally my thing, but this typical Gujarati vegetarian dish incorporates the sweetness of sultanas (kismis), with peppery-anise carom seeds, lemon juice and butter beans (dhuli) for a subtly spiced meal to change even the most stubborn of minds...! It's full of flavour, wonderfully satisfying and perfect when your tummy needs to take a break from (festive) over indulgences!

Serves 4-6 people

. Sunflower oil - 60ml (4 tblsp)
. 3 tsp carom seeds,
. 1 tsp turmeric,
. 2 tsp ground coriander,
. 1 tsp cumin, 2 tsp fennel seeds,
. 1 heaped tsp white pepper,
. 0.5 tsp chilli flakes,
. 1 tsp salt
. Butter beans, 2 tins, drained OR 250g dry beans soaked in 1Ltr of cold water overnight
. Sultanas 120g
. Sugar, 20g
. Lemon ½, juice and zest
. Vegetable stock 250ml
. Fresh coriander, good handful, roughly chopped

1. Take a large mixing bowl, pop the (drained) beans, sultanas, sugar, lemon juice, zest into it and stir gently to combine; you'll need to be careful not to break up the beans. Set aside.
2. Then, place a heavy bottomed, large pan or casserole on to a medium high flame, add the oil and heat for a moment.
3. Pour your packet of GREEN SAFFRON Dhuli Kismis Spice Mix into the pan and stir immediately, just two or three times...
4. Pour all the ingredients from the bowl into the hot, spicy oil and stir gently once or twice to combine all the ingredients.
5. Add the vegetable stock, bring to simmer then turn down the heat and allow to bubble with the lid off for about 5 minutes* if you're using tinned butter beans, or until you have a good, thick gravy. Turn off the heat.
6. *NB it will take about 30mins if you're using dried, soaked beans. But keep simmering with the lid on the pan until the beans are soft to the bite, or cooked to your own preference. Just make sure to add a little stock from time to time if the pan starts to get too dry..
7. Sprinkle with the fresh coriander, stir and serve immediately. Simple!

Serving suggestions
Serve with mounds of Green Saffron's fluffy Aged Basmati rice or Naan OR serve a side dish to accompany another of your favourite Green Saffron dishes.

Murgh Tandoori - mild One Pot Wonder Curry

This dish is basically about marinating and roasting a whole chicken in delicious, fresh Tandoori spices. Whilst it is very important to make sure the chicken is fully cooked, don't get too worried if this is your first time roasting a chicken, simply follow the instructions below and enjoy!

Serves 4 - 6 people

. 4lb (approx 2kg) whole chicken of the best quality available, ideally organic, cornfed, or free range
. 2 tblsp vegetable oil or clarified butter
. 3 tsp turmeric,
. 2 tsp salt,
. 2 heaped tsp Garam Masala,
. 1 tsp cumin,
. 0.5 tsp chilli flakes.
. 4 cloves garlic, crushed or blitzed
. 2 fat inches ginger, finely grated or blitzed with skin on
. ½ pt (or 2 small pots) natural, plain yoghurt
. 4 tblsp pouring, single cream
. 3 tblsp tomato purée, rounded
. Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1. Preheat your oven to 180ºC or Gas Mk 4.
2. Spike the chicken with a skewer, knitting needle or small knife and cut the loose skin between the legs and body of the bird. This is to give the marinade the best chance of fully flavouring the bird.
3. In a bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients into a paste.
4. Gently coat the bird all over with the marinade, not forgetting to also coat the cavity of the bird with a little of the marinade (for increased flavour).
5. Place in a roasting dish and cover with foil or 'wetted' greaseproof paper.
6. If you have time, pop into the fridge overnight or for 8 hours, but don't worry if you don't have the time and just go straight ahead with the next part.
7. Pop the bird in its roasting dish onto a middle shelf of the oven and cook for *1½ hours with the foil or wetted grease proof covering it. You will need to baste the bird a couple of times during its time in the oven; simply tilt the roasting dish to form a pool of fragrant juices and spoon them over the bird. Then recover and pop back in the oven.

*Cooking Notes:
. To cook your chicken allow 15mins per 500g (1lb) and then add another ½ hour at 180ºC or Gas Mk 4. For example, for a bird weighing 2kg allow (4 x 15)mins + ½ hour = 1½ hours.
. Always test the chicken is cooked by taking your skewer, knitting needle or small knife and spiking the thickest part of the leg. If the juices that run from the incision are clear the bird should be cooked!
. Don't worry if parts of bird or the juices on the dish turn black, this is just the marinade cooking and anyway, it's part of the authentic look!
. When you're happy the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven, allow to rest for about 20mins, then carve and serve.simple!

Serving suggestion:
Sprinkle with freshly chopped coriander and serve with Riata and a green salad, mounds of Indian Basmati rice or Indian breads.