Category Archives: Indian

Panache Balti House – Warwick

We like curry, you like curry, the whole nation likes curry – now please visit Panache Balti House in Warwick – you will not be disappointed!

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Panache is quite a simple place with a small number of seats, some interesting wall art work describing the history of Warwick, and most importantly, some of the finest curry I have ever eaten! I can not stress this last point enough.

Byriani curry

I went for the Special mixed Biryani (£10.75) which was a delicious cocktail of chicken, lamb, prawns, king prawns, mushrooms & pan fried omelette – amazing! The Biryani sauce was tremendous, nicely spiced, not bland like they can be, and very much a brilliant curry sauce in its own right!.

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Mr Gourmand asked the waiter for his recommendation which was the Naga lamb tikka (£9.50) Cooked with aromatic flavoured spicy hot (ghost naga) from Bangladesh & India with a blend of fresh herbs & spices. This meal was hot, almost addictively hot, with a perfect mix of spices and succulent lamb – a very, very good recommendation!

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Mr Gourmand chose the Keema fried rice (£2.75) to accompany his main course, and it went together perfectly!

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As we hadn’t been here before we naturally ordered far too much which included a Garlic naan (£2.50) and;

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a Vegetable paratha (£3.00), delicious, but far too much….so we took it home for laters…yum!!

Panache is excellent and you can bring your own beer or wine, please try this place, and if this is the benchmark to curry houses in Warwick I really can’t wait to try another one!

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Vegetable Curry (Kair sangri)

I often have leftover vegetables in the fridge that are not enough to use as a side dish for dinner, I found the perfect recipe whilst flicking through a copy of Rick Stein’s India that can be used with most vegetables but on this occasion I decided to stick to the recipe.

vegetable curry

 

You will need:

kair sangri ingredients

 

Method:

Heat the ghee in a pan on medium heat, add the cumin seeds and cloves and fry for around 30 seconds.

Add the onions and fry until softened and lightly golden.  Stir in the garlic, chillies and salt and fry for 30 seconds.

Add the cabbage and cauliflower and fry for 3-4 minutes, then stir in the tomatoes and simmer uncovered for 8 minutes until the vegetables are tender.  If the curry looks to dry add a splash of water, add the peas and cook for a further 2 minutes.

 

This dish was a massive hit, it does pack a punch but not enough to put Mini Gourmand off (she is a curry fiend)

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Saag Paneer – Suitable for Baby Led Weaning

This post is actually inspired by a recipe I read in the River Cottage Baby & Toddler cookbook, I found the recipe in there to be a little bland and the quantity made was less than I would have liked so I’ve amended the recipe slightly to suit our tastes.  Baby Gourmand ate his Saag Paneer on it’s own but we added a home made Chicken Biryani to ours.

 

saag paneer

 

 

  • 750g Spinach

  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil

  • 1 large onion sliced finely

  • 1 tsp of fresh ginger grated

  • 1½ tbsp finely chopped garlic

  • 1/2 red chilli chopped (optional)

  • 1 tsp ground coriander

  • 250g paneer cut into cubes

  • 2 tsp garam masala

  • 6 tbsp double cream

Wash the spinach, drain and blanch in the water that clings to it for three minutes or until wilted. Drain into a colander and run cold water over it until cool. squeeze out any excess water then chop finely and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan (I used a Tefal Ingenio pan). Add the onion and fry over a low heat for about six minutes, until soft. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli and cook for a further minute.

Add the ground coriander. Cook for another 30 seconds then add the spinach and a splash of water if necessary. The mixture should be loose but not watery. Bring to a boil and then simmer for three minutes.

Add the paneer cubes, garam masala and cream. Stir and cook for a few minutes or until the spinach is nice and creamy. 

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Lamb Kofta and Chapati

The following recipe is extremely simple and doesn’t require a great deal of preparation or cooking time making it perfect for a midweek dinner.

kofta

 

You will need:

300g Lamb Mince

1tsp Ground Ginger

1tsp Garam Masala

1/2 tsp Chilli powder

2 cloves of garlic

handful of mint leaves

handful of coriander leaves

1tsp salt

Place everything in a food processor and blitz until smooth.  With wet hands form the mixture into small balls.  Fry in a hot pan for 7-10 mins until cooked through.  With the last batch fry off some onions and peppers.

chapatti

This was my first attempt at making Chapatis, I can’t believe how easy they are to make and if you have never tried before I urge you to give it a go!

450g Chapati flour

250ml cold water

Ghee for spreading

 

Set aside 200g of the flour and reserve for shaping the chapatis.  Add the water to a bowl containing 250g flour, a little at a time, kneading as you go, until you have a soft, elastic dough. The longer you knead the dough the softer the chapatis will be.   Sprinkle a little of the reserved flour onto a flat surface or board. Divide the dough into eight and shape each piece into a ball. Flatten the balls slightly, then place one onto the floured board. Roll it out into a flat disc flouring the board when necessary.

Heat a griddle or a shallow frying pan. Lay the chapati on the griddle or pan and cook for about 20-30 seconds or until the surface is bubbling. Turn it over and cook the other side for 10-15 seconds. As soon as brown spots appear on the underside, the chapatti is done.  Repeat with the other seven balls, using the remaining flour to roll them out. Stack them up as they are cooked, placing a sheet of kitchen towel between each one to absorb any moisture.  Spread melted ghee over one side for added taste.

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Khans

After an exhausting game of Badminton, Mr Gourmand and I were walking home through Heaton when we both had the urge to go for a curry.  It was lucky for us that we were about a 5 minute walk from Khans but as it was a busy Saturday evening we were not sure if we would get a table.

I was initially surprised at how big Khans is inside, the tables seemed endless.  There was a number of people in the reception area ordering takeaways and all of the tables downstairs were full which is a good sign.

Each chair in the restaurant was very ornate with the name of the restaurant at the top, I wouldn’t like to estimate how much they must have cost!

The huge chandelier hanging down was rather beautiful and was a talking point of a couple of tables upstairs!

Our starter was the Tandoori Mixed Kebab (£4.90) which was more than enough for two, the chickpea salad was a lovely addition and something I’ve never been served before in an Indian restaurant.

We ordered an Egg Pilau (£3.50) after a recommendation from the waiter, the rice was delicious and totally different from any pilau rice I’ve ever had before.

Both of our main courses were recommendations from the waiter, The meal on the left is Keema Aloo Mutar (£8.90) which was a mixture of minced lamb, peas and potatoes. and the dish to the right is Palak Gosht (£8.90)  a lamb and spinach dish.  Both were cooked Punjabi style and had a wonderful kick to them.  Both of the meals were really amazing and something we would order again, the spices and flavours were so tasty, we couldn’t actually finish them though so the staff kindly let us take the leftovers home to have for lunch the next day.

We ordered a garlic naan bread (£3.50)  unfortunately the photograph doesn’t really show how huge this naan actually was!  We ended up taking half of it home.

The Mango Lassi was a freebie from the restaurant which was a lovely touch, it tasted really delicious.

The Meal with soft drinks and poppadoms came to £37.10

Khans is situated at:

178 Heaton Road, Heaton
Newcastle Upon Tyne NE6 5HP

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Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken is a popular indian dish and a Gourmand family favourite, it’s very simple to make but delicious to eat.

My version of Tandoori Chicken consists of 1/2 Jar Pataks Tandoori Paste, Plain Yoghurt, Juice and rind of 1 lemon.

I cover chicken breasts in the mixture and leave overnight to marinade.

The chicken is cooked underneath the grill for around 20mins turning halfway through.

A yoghurt dressing was made by mixing a tablespoon of mango chutney into half a tub of yoghurt.

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K.O – Thrill of The Grill

The K.O is a grill house situated on the West Road Newcastle, it’s a great place for couples, families and groups of friends and has adequate seating to suit.

One thing that always amuses me about the K.O is  the variety in the dishes, what I mean by that is you can order a curry one day, go back the next day and order the same item and the taste will be completely different, it may not even taste like the same dish!  We have come to realise that the dish variation is just something that happens, it makes visits more fun in some ways.

Punjabi salad and dips are served to eat while you are ordering and waiting for your food, this is free of charge and more can be provided if required.

Mr Gourmand and I shared a Keema Biryani (£5.99)  which is a traditional Punjabi rice dish layered with keema, served with a vegetable sauce.

The vegetable sauce was very very spicy and tasted rather similar to one of the curry dishes our friend had ordered.

We also shared the Chicken Shashlick (£5.50)  which consisted of Chicken marinated in massala cooked in tandoor with Tomato, Onions, Mushrooms and Peppers.  The chicken was very tender and cooked to perfection.

Peshwari Naan (£2.00)  The naan breads are always filled from one end to the other unlike some other restaurants we have been to where you struggle to find the filling.

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Aramee – North Shields

Aramee was found by chance during a visit to North Shields to watch a band play at the Magnesia Bank (Maggie Bank) pub.  Rather than take the car to North Shields we decided to get the metro, go for some food then head to the pub.  Aramee is a five minute walk from the North Shields metro right in the heart of the town centre.

The restaurant is open Tuesday – Sunday 6.00pm – 11.00pm  and serves Bangladeshi and Indian food.

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The Mogul Raj – Ponteland, Newcastle upon Tyne

The Mogul Raj Restaurant is a hidden gem of an eatery located on a 1980’s, tired and dreary looking shopping area made up of ever fish and chip shops, hardware stores and charity shops.  We have been visiting the Mogul Raj on and off since 2004 and have experienced excellent takeaway and sit-in meals as happy customers.

On entering the restaurant you would not be mistaken to think you have found yourself in someone’s sitting room as the waiting area does have that homely feel to it.  Once you have been greeted and you request a table and not a takeaway menu you are taken through to the restaurant where the tables are always beautifully laid with crystal wine glasses, flowers and decorative cutlery.  It would seem that the phrase ‘service with a smile’ came about after a visit to the Mogul Raj as the waiters can never be seen without a smile on their faces.

The menu is vast and consists of a good range of starters and main courses from traditional Indian cuisine through to the more impressive chef specials.  After being seated you are immediately asked if you would like pickles and popadoms, which we never refuse.

On this occasion I started with Bhuna prawn on puri (£3.50) which filled the plate, the prawns were beautifully spiced and left a delicious flavour in the mouth.  One thing I love about the Mogul Raj is the lemon squeezer that accompanies certain starters, it’s the attention to detail that sets this place apart from the rest.

Mr Gourmand started with Bhuna Lamb on puri (£3.75) which in his owns words was “absolutely unbelievable”.  It looked and tasted outstanding, full of flavour, and if one gripe was allowed it would be that it was actually too big for a starter! Amazing, I know.

My favourite dish from the Mogul Raj is the Raj Cabbage and Potato Curry (£6.45) which is cooked with cabbage, potatoes, green pepper, onions, green chilli and ghee and is a mouth-watering experience.  I am no vegetarian but this dish could turn me!  The flavours go together in a spectacular way, I can do the dish no favours by describing it the only thing I can suggest you do is go there and try it for yourself.  I’ve never actually seen this dish anywhere else before which I always find strange as it’s so delicious.

Mr Gourmand went for The Mogul Raj Special Chicken Keema as a main course which was beautifully spiced meal and complimented the Raj Cabbage perfectly.

Much to my objection Mr Gourmand was desperate to try the Garlic and Chilli Nan (£2.40) Although it was delicious it was just a little too spicy for me so I left him to finish it off, which even he couldn’t.

The Vegetable Pilao (£2.95) is always a must to accompany any meal, always delicious and never disappoints.

After you finish your meal you are always presented with a lemon scented hot towel, again it’s the little things that make this place so special and after eight mints are given with the bill.

 

The restaurant offers a Thursday and Sunday special banquet from 6.30pm – 10.00pm where you can have any starter, any main course, plain pilao rice, a side/sundry between two and a dessert for £10.95 per person.

The Mogul Raj, 15 Merton Way, Ponteland, Newcastle upon Tyne

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The Raj Tandoori – Newcastle upon Tyne

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The Raj Tandoori is situated just off the Bigg Market in Newcastle’s city centre and offers a set 3 course lunch served from 12.00 noon to 2.00pm (£5.95)

On first impression the restaurant was clean and welcoming however after sitting down I notice that underneath the table runner the tablecloth had not been cleaned for some time and was covered with curry stains which was not at all appealing.  The lunch menu consisted of a good range of starters and main courses which would suit most people wanting a quick lunch time curry, which we did.

Mr Gourmand chose Onion Bhaji as a starter which was served with a side salad.  Usually when you order Onion Bhaji you are presented with a mint yoghurt dip which ranges from white to bright yellow, this time however a red sweet sauce accompanied the Bhaji which was rather tasty.  Onion Bhaji’s can often be hit and miss, this time the Raj Tandoori got it right, the Bhaji’s were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, just how we like them.

I opted for Garlic Chicken on Puri which is something I would not usually choose on a menu and I was pleasantly surprised.  The dish was gently spiced, I would have preferred a little more spice as I felt the dish was lacking something, it did contain an awful lot of chicken so maybe this was the reason?.  The garlic taste was not as overpowering as I imagined it would be and the whole dish filled the plate and after finishing I was actually rather full!

Mr Gourmands main course was Chicken Madras which is a dish he usually avoids as previous experience has proved it slightly over-spiced for his liking, but because he wanted a change he thought he would try it out. The meal was actually a little bit milder than he expected and he thought there seemed to be something lacking.  After trying his main course myself to understand his complaint, I too felt underwhelmed by what was a bland taste which lacked the layers of flavour that the best curries all possess.

I went for the Chicken Biriani which came with an accompanying vegetable curry. The chicken was moist and beautifully flavoured and the sweetness of the curry complemented the rice.  I find it strange that Indian restaurants do Biriani dishes so differently, some places have a really spicy curry, others have the spice in the rice unfortunately this biriani seemed to be lacking in spice and probably would rate a 0 on a scale of 0 – 10, in terms of spice that is.

We both finished the meal with a coffee with cream but to Mr Gourmands horror there was no after eight mint!

 A three course meal for £5.95 in the Gourmand opinion is excellent value, however the food was nothing special and we probably wouldn’t visit on an evening or a lunch time anytime soon.

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