Balti
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Balti Spices

Best made a few months in advance and left to mature.

whole spices

coriander seeds

cumin seeds

cinnamon bark

fennel seeds

black mustard seeds

cardamom seeds

aniseed seeds

cloves

fenugreek seeds

bay leaves

celery seeds

wild onion seed

ground spices

turmeric

ginger powder

chilli powder

 

TOTAL:

Balti Masala Mix

25g

15g

7g

2g

5g

5g

0

2g

2g

3

2g

2g

 

10g

5g

4g

 

105g

Balti Garam Masala

30g

20g

12g

0

0

12g

12g

7g

0

3

0

0

 

0

0

0

 

90g

 

Roast the whole spices in the oven at gas mark 3 for 5 minutes, on the second shelf up. Cool them before combining them and grinding.

Mix with the ground spices and store in tightly closed jars for a few months before using, to allow flavours to blend thoroughly.

 

 

Balti Masala Paste

A mild paste forming the base for many Balti dishes. Can be kept in sterilised jars, topped off with hot oil. Makes about 11/2 lbs paste.

 

1 recipe Balti masala mix ( 4 oz)

6 - 8 fl oz vinegar (any type)

6 - 8 fl oz vegetable oil

Place the ground masala spices in a bowl.

Add the vinegar and enough water to make a creamy paste.

Leave to stand for at least 10 minutes.

Heat the oil in a saucepan.

Add the paste to the oil - it will splatter so be careful.

Stir fry the paste continually to prevent it sticking until the water content is cooked out, which will take about 5 minutes. As the liquid is reduced, the paste will begin to make a regular bubbling noise when you stop stirring, and it will splatter. This is your audible clue that it is ready.

To check the spices are cooked, take off the heat for 3 - 4 minutes. If the oil floats to the top, the spices are cooked. If not, add more oil and carry on cooking and stirring.

Bottle the paste in sterilised jars then heat up a little oil to cover. Seal the jars.

 

Balti Mince (Keema)

This can be prepared with any minced meat, beef, lamb, pork or even venison.

 

11/2 lb minced meat

2 tbsp vegetable oil

4 finely chopped cloves of garlic

8 oz onion, finely chopped

3 tbsp Balti masala paste

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp Balti garam masala

1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

aromatic salt

Put the mince into the saucepan and stir-fry it for 10 minutes.

This will seal the meat and draw off excess liquids. Strain and reserve the juices.

Heat the oil on a high heat. Stir-fry the garlic for 30 seconds.

Add the onion, reduce the heat and stir-fry for about 10 minutes until translucent.

Add the masala paste and tomato puree. Raise the heat and bring to a brisk sizzle, for 2 - 3 minutes.

Add the meat and stir-fry until sizzling.

Simmer uncovered for 35 - 40 minutes. Little by little add the reserved liquid, and some water if needed, to ensure it is not sticking, and to achieve a creamy texture.

Add the garam masala, coriander leaves and aromatic salt to taste.

 

Balti Chicken

A standard Balti recipe, which may be adapted for turkey or duck.

 

11/2 lb skinned, boned chicken or turkey meat, diced into 1-inch cubes.

2 - 3 tbsp sunflower oil

3 - 6 garlic cloves

8 oz onion, finely chopped

3 - 4 tbsp Balti masala paste

7 fl oz chicken stock

1 tbsp Balti garam masala

1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

aromatic salt to taste

 

Heat the oil on a high heat. Stir-fry the garlic for 30 seconds.

Add the onion, reduce the heat and stir-fry for about 10 minutes until translucent.

Add the masala paste and the chicken (or turkey or duck).

Raise the heat and bring to a brisk sizzle, for 5 minutes.

Add the stock and simmer, stirring, on a lower heat for about 10 - 15 minutes for chicken or turkey (or about 20 - 25 minutes for duck).

Check that the meat is cooked right through by cutting a piece in half and seeing that it is no longer pink in the middle. If it is, return to the heat.

When cooked, add the garam masala, fresh coriander leaves and salt to taste.

 

Balti Prawns

Prawns are easy to stir fry, so are perfect subjects for Balti.

This recipe will work with either small or large prawns.

 

11/2 lb prawns, any size.

2 - 3 tbsp sunflower oil

3 garlic cloves

8 oz onion, thinly sliced

3 tbsp Balti masala paste

a little water

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 red or green sweet pepper cut into small diamonds

2 teasp Balti garam masala

1 teasp paprika

salt to taste

 

Prepare the prawns as necessary (thaw, shell, wash, de-vein etc).

Heat the oil on a high heat. Stir-fry the garlic for 30 seconds.

Add the onion, reduce the heat and stir-fry for about 10 minutes until translucent.

Add the masala paste and the tomato puree, and mix in well.

Add the prawns and sweet pepper.

Raise the heat and bring to a brisk sizzle, stir frying for 5 - 8 minutes.

Add the garam masala, paprika and salt to taste.

Add a little water if necessary to prevent sticking.

The end result should be quite dry.

Stir-fry for a further 5 minutes or until the prawns are fully cooked.

Serve with naan bread and rice.

 

 

Balti Vegetables

A variety of vegetables can be used with Balti dishes, mixed with a little of the spice base described below.

For the spice base:

3 tbsp sunflower oil

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

8 oz onion, medium sliced

3 -4 tbsp Balti masala paste

To prepare the spice base:

Heat the oil on a high heat. Stir-fry the garlic for 30 seconds.

Add the onion, reduce the heat and stir-fry for about 1 minute.

Add the masala paste, and stir-fry for 2 minutes

Remove from the heat and add your choice of vegetables, your add in (if required) then stir fry to heat through.

Vegetables:

Use about 1 lb of cooked vegetables from the following suggestions -

Broccoli or cauliflower

Carrot

Celery

Green beans

Mangetout

Mushroom

Peas

Sweet Pepper

Potato

Sweet Corn

Add ins:

Choose from the following:

Acidic- 6 teasp tomato puree and the juice of 2 lemons

Exotic: 6 teasp desiccated coconut

Hot: 1 level teasp chilli powder

Rich: 4 fl oz single cream

Sour: 4 fl oz yoghurt

Sweet: 3 teasp sugar

Pumpkin Korma

From Sarah Brown's Fresh Vegetarian Cookery.

Serves 4.

 

2 tbsp olive oil / chilli oil

2 rounded teasp Balti Spice #1

1 chopped onion

2 chopped cloves of garlic

300ml (about half a tub) of yoghurt

 

1 teasp plain flour (optional)

1 lb pumpkin, diced

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

zest of lemon

1 teasp Balti Spice #2

 

Salt and pepper.

Chopped coriander leaves.

 

 

Heat the oil and fry the spices for 3 minutes.

Add the onion and garlic, cooking until fairly soft.

Add yoghurt 1 tbsp at a time, stirring in well. (If it curdles, add a little flour quickly.)

 

Put in the pumpkin pieces and mix in.

Cook over a gentle heat for 30 minutes or until just soft.

Add lemon juice and zest, and season well.

Sprinkle over coriander leaves before serving, if liked.

 

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