Chicken Dhansak (serves four)
- 300ml rapeseed oil
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 1kg chicken, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 300g chana daal (soaked overnight)
- 3 medium tomatoes, diced
- 15g cumin seeds
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 4 black cardamom pods
- 6 cloves
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried coriander
- 10 black peppercorns
- 3 green chillies, chopped
- 3 tablespoons ginger and garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
- Half bunch fenugreek leaves
- Half bunch coriander
- 1 litre water
- Heat the oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds, green cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns and black cardamom and stir well for 2 minutes
- Add the onions and the green chillies and sauté until the onions soften and turn golden brown
- Add the chopped ginger and garlic and stir for 1 minute
- Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and the dried coriander and stir
- Add the tomatoes and stir, bringing the sauce to a simmer
- Add the chana daal and 1 litre of water, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover, leave to cook for 20 minutes
- Uncover the pan, add the chicken and the fenugreek leaves and cook for another 20 minutes
- Take off the heat, stir through the fresh coriander leaves, cover and leave to stand for 10 minutes
Recipe © Chaakoo, Glasgow | http://www.chaakoo.co.uk
We bring you the second of our tasty Indian recipes this week, courtesy of Chaakoo in Glasgow.
Chaakoo’s first goal was to be embraced by the food-lovers of Glasgow and within 10 weeks of opening they held the top spot on TripAdvisor above the other 2000 restaurants in Glasgow.
They’ve remained in the top 20 ever since, proving that they were and still are, accepted wholeheartedly. Chaakoo is a restaurant that through its menu encourages its guests to try something new and to treat dining out as a shared experience, rather than just one of necessity.
Chaakoo are inspired by the original cafés that were widespread in Mumbai during the 1950s. Now, very few original cafés are left, and Chaakoo wanted to recreate their spirit of inclusivity and great food in Glasgow.
The Dhansak is an old dish that was a result of the interactions between Indians and immigrants, combining Persian and Gujarati cuisine.
In India, the dish is often cooked for a whole day, which echoes the time they take when preparing their own curries at Chaakoo. The trick is not to rush the Dhansak, leaving time for the flavours to mingle after you’ve taken it off the heat.
Paul Sloan, the man behind Chaakoo, has spent his life travelling the world and believes that in classic curry houses, guests tend to stick with what they know.
By having a menu made up of small plates, Chaakoo’s diners are able to pick two or three dishes – or more, they don’t judge – and try something new, as well as sticking by their go-to dish if they still feel they need something familiar to fall back on. The small plates allow families or groups of friends to each order something different and share it amongst themselves.
At Chaakoo, the menu is inspired by the experiences of the chefs, allowing them to express their identity and their heritage to their guests. They’ve avoided anglicising their dishes and they make sure that each one is prepared just as it would be in India and that guests are having a genuine experience with authentic Indian cuisine.
Believing that they’re only as good as their last customer’s experience, Chaakoo work tirelessly to provide their diners with the best experience possible. Chaakoo take pride in their team, and they do their best to ensure that each member of staff is enjoying their job, as when the team has fun, their guests do too. They’ve won accolades and awards, but their main goal will always be to ensure that everyone who dines with them leaves with full bellies and high spirits.
Find them at: Chaakoo, 79 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5TF.
Scotland’s love of curry has grown and grown since 1810 when the first Indian restaurant opened in London, so there’s no surprise that there’s an entire week dedicated to the nation’s favourite dish! National Curry Week celebrated its 20th anniversary last October and to honour the momentous occasion, they curated a recipe book that showcases signature dishes from 50 of the UK’s finest Indian restaurants.
From Bombay to Britain even includes a multitude of vegetarian and vegan dishes such as the delicious sounding Aubergine Bhajis from Curry Leaf Café! With so many different healthy dishes to choose from, this book goes a long way in proving that not all Indian food is laden with calories and cream.
As well as rejoicing in all things curry, National Curry Week’s aim is to raise as much money as possible for their official charity campaign partner, Curry for Change, who support essential work across Africa and Asia to help vulnerable rural families out of malnourishment and poverty. Therefore, they have committed to donating all proceeds from the book sales to the charity so that you enjoy recreating these recipes knowing that you’ve also contributed to a good cause.
Order a copy of From Bombay to Britain HERE.