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Spicing it up at Ballymaloe

      Yesterday was a beautiful late Summer's day and I was lucky to spend it at the Ballymaloe Fest  My husband Tom and I had been asked to give a talk on growing and cooking stuff from out garden. As we, and most people who grow veg have an abundance of courgettes at the moment we thought that using them would be useful.
     There was some discussion as to whether we were making pakoras or bhajis, but we found an expert who explained the difference. Bhajis are larger, round and mainly onion.
     We used a brand of curry powder which we like, but do play around with the spicing until you find a mixture that you like. If you are looking for spices have a look at our local spice company Green Saffron 

Spicy Sesame Salad 
  This salad is a favourite of ours, we sometimes have it as an accompaniment or we will add noodles and a some spicy grilled meat to make a main course of it.

1tsp soy sauce
1tsp nam pla/fish sauce
juice of half a lime or 1tbs rice or cider vinegar
1cm piece of ginger grated
1 clove of garlic grated
½ a chilli chopped
1tbs sesame oil
4tbs sunflower oil

3tbs sesame seeds
4 handfuls of rocket
4 handful coriander leaves
12 large basil leaves
20 mint leaves
½ a cucumber
3 scallions or a shallot

To make the dressing put the soy sauce, nam pla/fish sauce, lime juice, grated ginger, crushed garlic and chopped chilli* into a screw top jar. Put the lid on the jar and give it a good shake. Add the oils to the jar and cover and shake well again.
Toast the sesame seeds on a dry pan until darker and beginning to release their aroma, leave to cool.
Wash the rocket and coriander and put them in to a large bowl.
Tear the basil leaves and finely slice the mint leaves and add them to the bowl.
Using a julienne peeler or a swivel peeler shred the half cucumber.
Trim and slice the scallions or shallot and add to the salad.
Mix together the salad and add the dressing and the toasted sesame seeds. Taste, season and serve.
*If you don't want the full spiciness of the chilli just put a slice of chilli into the dressing jar and bruise it with the blunt end of a wooden spoon and shake the dressing well and remove the slice of chilli before serving.

Courgette Pakoras

The amount of chickpea flour you need depends on how watery the courgettes are.
2-3 courgettes
1 onion
0.5cm ginger
1 large clove of garlic
2-3tsp curry powder
3-4tbs chickpea flour also called gram flour
salt & pepper
vegetable oil for deep frying

Grate the courgettes into a bowl. Peel the onion ginger and garlic and grate them into the bowl onto the courgettes.
Sprinkle on the curry powder, using as much or as little as you feel like. Stir well.
Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of chickpea flour and mix it in add some salt and pepper. The mixture should be fairly thick. If it isn't add more chickpea flour until it is.
Heat a pan with about 5cm of oil in it.
Test the oil with a cube of bread to see if it is hot enough. When it is cook dessert spoonfuls of the pakora mixture in it until golden.
Drain them on kitchen paper and serve with a cucumber raita. 
If you fancy some more heat, use a hot curry powder and add a finely chopped chilli.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the recipe Johann. Going to try and make them soon. They were delicious yesterday.
    The tip for the chili I found most useful today. Works a treat.