Kashmiri Vegetable Masala with Coconut Milk & toasted flaked Almonds
Dominic of Belleau Kitchen and I have been best of friends now for 18 years now. We share many passions together and met as neighbours in Maida Vale back in our heyday of clubbing and dressing up. We both also share a passion for cooking. Dom and the Viking now reside in a house situated in the beautiful meadows of Lincolnshire but they run their business here, subsequently, needing a pied-a-terre in London, a property came up next to me in Maida Vale so they've become neighbours once again and spend half their week here.
On Saturday, as Dom and I ambled along the West London canal, I was intrigued with his knowledge on foraging. He told me about nettle quiches and dandelion tempura, ingredients that grow naturally in this beautiful countryside of ours. I then began to think of the wonderful fusion of nationalities I live amongst. Myself, a born and bred Londoner, a true Notting Hill Billy, I have always been intrigued with the cultures that surround me. So on this lazy weekend and as Dom and the Viking didn't venture back to Lincolnshire, we decided to cook up a feast.
Foraging, as I only know how to in my urban surroundings, I took Dom to a favourite haunt of mine, 'Shayona' which is situated in a carpark, next to the Hindu temple in Neasden. Sitting in this car park is this incredible restaurant where the starters will just blow you away, all vegeterian I hasten to add. In the hallway to the toilets there is an Indian patisserie and then on to the supermarket.
As Dom and I walked into the supermarket, we both felt overwhelmed with the abundance of spices and eastern goodies that packed the aisles. Feeling like a couple of headless chickens, we wandered aimlessly deciding what to cook that evening. My philosophy is grab what looks interesting and experiment. Use your eyes, sense of smell, taste buds and hopefully a little bit of skill to combine ingredients and flavours that are wonderful. True fusion, that's what I love about living in West London.
Simple recipe for a lazy weekend.
1 medium onion chopped 3 cloves garlic 2 generous thumb sized pieces of ginger 10 fresh coriander stalks 3 tablespoons olive oil 1/3 jar of Patak's Kashmiri masala curry paste 2 large carrots peeled and cut into strips 1/2 medium-sized cauliflower broken into florettes 1/2 small packet frozen peas 1 medium size courgette thickly sliced 6 small tomatoes cut in half 2 tins coconut milk 2 tablespoons toasted Armond flakes and Chopped fresh coriander to garnish
1. Fry chopped onion in the olive oil, 5 to 6 minutes until translucent and soft.
2. Blitz / mince the garlic, coriander stalks, ginger and add to the onions cook gently for one minute.
3. Add the Patak's paste and cook together gentle for another minute.
4. Add vegetables reserving the frozen peas. Add coconut milk, almost bring to the boil. turn heat right down replace lid and leave to simmer gently for 25 minutes. Now add the frozen peas for a further five minutes turn heat off. Preferably allow to cool right down and reheat later when you're ready to serve.
5. In a small frying pan gently toast the flaked almonds until they begin to turn golden remove from heat and empty onto a saucer until you're ready to serve.
7. Scatter with chopped coriander leaves the almond flakes and serve. This dish also tastes delicious the following day.