Wednesday 28 March 2012

Alex's Roasted Tomatoes Starter

I have made a promise to myself that the dishes i put on here are tried and tested, amazing dishes.  This dish, on its face, does not sound all that great.  It is extremely simple but has always impressed anyone that has eaten it.  It was entered into my book by a Canadian housemate a few years ago.  It really is simplicity at its complete finest. 


Vine Baby Tomatoes 
Sprigs of fresh Rosemary
Fresh Sage leaves
Fresh Garlic
Good Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste


Literally bang it all on a tray and put in a hot oven.  Don't bother peeling the Garlic or plucking the tomatoes.  This adds to the rustic feel of the dish.  Just cut a few cloves in half (or a whole bulb if you like garlic, it is definitely my preference) and place it on the tray.  Throw on a couple of the Rosemary sprigs and a few Sage leaves.  Line the tomatoes up and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Finally drizzle a whole load of olive oil all over it.  A good few glugs as this is what takes on all the flavours and will be mopped up with fresh bread.  Splash on some balsamic and its good to go.  Take it out when the vines of the tomatoes are about to burn and the Garlic pods are falling out (about 30 - 40 minutes). 

Sunday 25 March 2012

Sandeep's Best Onion Raita

This is a recipe from an old housemate of mine who was working in England for a year.  He is from Bangalore and took me road tripping around South India last Easter.  Raita is served as a fire extinguisher to accompany a good spicy curry.  This raita is good enough to eat as it is with a bit of rice and is perfect with a biryani.  I have learnt from experience to make double the amount that should be ample.  What ever is left makes quite a healthy snack!

500g of Natural Yogurt
Half a Red Onion
2 Tomatoes
A handful of diced Cucumber
About a table spoon of chopped fresh Mint
2 tea spoons of mustard seeds
2 tea spoons of whole cumin seeds
1 Finger Chilly (green)
Salt and Pepper


Yes chilly sounds strange but it gives it an amazing flavour and any heat is instantly put out.  Chop the onion and mint into thin slices and dice the cucumber and tomatoes.  Fill your serving bowl with yogurt and throw in the chopped ingredients.  At the moment we have got the standard Raita.  The rest is what makes it amazing. 

Fry the mustard and cumin seeds in some oil until they are brown and the mustard seeds have almost stopped popping.  Wait until this has cooled down before adding to the yogurt.  Salt and pepper is important to take away some sweetness and give it more of a savory taste so be generous.  Thinly slice the green chilly (I like to put two) and give it all a good mix.  Relatively simple and you will be surprised by how good it tastes.