‘Ome Made… Online Store!

  At long last it’s here.

You’ve been asking for it… I promised it and finally it’s here!

You can now buy fantastic ‘Ome Made products at The ‘Ome Made… Online Store!

www.omemade.co.uk.

Online orders can be made, paid through the PayPal gateway and delivered to your door by ACP courier or Royal Mail. If your local you can even opt to pick your goods up and pay no delivery fee!

There has been some changes to this website too. You may have noticed that the layout has changed and some photos disappeared! Well the photos are slowly been put back and some nifty new features are going to be making an appearance such as new and improved recipe posts.

So please go and have a gander at the store and remember to like and share on Facebook and Twitter and spread the word!

Keep an eye out for some promotional codes too for some special discounts!

‘Ome Made Falafel

 

Falafel are great… or can be if they’re made right! The thing is you need to put bags of flavour in there. You need serious amounts of garlic, lemon juice, pepper and salt. And then of course there’s the spices. For me it has to be heavy on the cumin, probably my favourite spice and a little paprika and ginger help give an extra zing to the proceedings. A good handful of fresh herbs give the finishing touch.

Falafel are surprisingly easy to make. The main ingredient, chickpeas, are incredibly cheap too!

I like to have Falafel just as they are accompanied by a nice salad, maybe some Tabbouleh and lashings of Tzatziki Oops, I’m beginning to sound like a vegetarian!

Once cooked they can also be warmed in a sauce, a nice rich tomato sauce works well. They’re almost like a vegetarian version of a meatballs.

So here’s a recipe you can follow to make your own. It uses dried chickpeas which have to be soaked overnight. I’m sure if you wanted you could cheat and use tinned, if you do you’ll want about double the amount of dried.

‘Ome Made Falafel

You will need:

  • 500g dried chickpeas
  • 6 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chilli
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder

Method.

Soak the chickpeas overnight. Drain and rinse the chickpeas then grind to a course pulp in a food processor.

Mix in all the other ingredients using your hands to really work the mixture together.

Form into 4cm balls and place on greaseproof paper on a tray in a single layer.

To cook the Falafel are best deep fried or shallow fried and then finished off in an oven.If deep frying the oil wants to be around 160°C so that they will cook through without the outside getting too well done Take the Falafel out of the oil when they are firmed up and just starting to colour. The Falafel can be par cooked like this and then cooled and refrigerated or frozen. The Falafel can then just be popped into an oven to finish cooking.

Alternatively the Falafel can just be deep or shallow fried.

Cup of Chai?

We started drinking Chai a good year ago now. Not proper Indian Chai but the well known brand, tea bag variety.

Recently however the well known brand that we used decided to re-brand their packaging, putting less tea bags in and charging more. Meaning our bag of Chai cost more than twice as much!

Now we like Chai but paying 25p a bag seemed a bit much! Sod it I thought I’ll make my own!

D’ya know what? It’s dead easy. The only downside is you have to strain the tea before drinking but to be fair thats not that much of a hardship!

chai 3

You can also customise your blend to your own taste.

I roughly ground some cinnamon, star anise, cloves and cardamoms which I then add to some loose black tea in a teapot and let infuse for 5 minutes. That’s it done, all you have to do is strain the Chai as you pour it out and add milk and sugar to taste.

If I had had any to hand I would have added a little dried ginger (not ground though as that would be too powdery).

If you want to give it a go here are the amounts I used;

4 sticks of cinnamon, 6 star anise, 8 cloves and 5 cardamom pods

Pulse the above in a coffee or spice grinder so they are roughly ground, you don’t want a fine powder.

Chai 2

Use roughly 1/4 teaspoon of this mixture with one teaspoon of tea per mug of Chai.

At some point I will have a go at brewing a proper Indian Masala Chai. For this the whole spices are simmered in the water with the tea before milk and probably a little too much sugar is added.

Here is how Rick Stein recommends doing it in his excellent book Rick Stein’s India.

Ingredients;

1 black cardamom pod, bruised with a rolling pin

15 green cardamom pods, bruised with a rolling pin

6 cloves

4 black peppercorns

8cm piece of cinnamon stick, broken in 1/2

500ml water

4 tsp black tea leaves (equivalent to about two bags if using bags)

2tsp sugar, plus extra to taste

200ml milk

Method

Put the spices into a saucepan with the water. Bring back to the boil, add the tea and turn down the heat to low and simmer for 7 minutes. Stir in the sugar and milk, bring back to a simmer for 3 minutes. Strain through a fine strainer and serve, adding more sugar to taste.

You could try making the delicious Indian sweet Jalebi to go with your Chai. Mr Stein has a recipe from the same book the above recipe is from.

Right… think I’ll go and make myself a nice cup of Chai!

Cheers!

‘Ome Made Curry Secret II

I’ve already  done a post on making your own curry masala. I thought it was about time I did one on making a curry sauce.

If you’ve had a go at making your own curry masala that’s great but if not then this can be made with curry powder, paste or a basic mix of spices that I will put in the recipe.

One of the most important processes in making a good curry sauce is the cooking of the onions. The idea is to cook as much water out of the onions as possible.

My method for doing this is to puree the onions, along with the garlic and Dj stirring blogginger, in a liquidizer or food processor before they are cooked. If you haven’t got a liquidizer or food processor the onions, garlic and ginger can be cooked and then a hand blender can be used to puree your sauce at a later stage. If you have none of the above appliances you can still make a good curry, it just won’t have that texture of an Indian restaurant cooked curry.

With the following recipe don’t worry about exact quantities, it’s more about the technique and I’m sure most people will customise the recipe to their own taste.

Once the sauce is made it’s up to you what you want to serve in it. I will also give some pointers on how to turn this basic curry sauce into your favourite Indian curry.

 

Basic Curry Sauce (enough to feed four people with about 1lb/500g of main ingredient)

 

1 large onion (or 2 medium) roughly chopped (finely chopped if you have no way of pureeing).

3 big fat cloves of garlic (or more if you’re a real garlic fan) chopped roughly

2oz fresh ginger (a piece as big as your thumb) chopped

1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

1 level tablespoon of curry masala/powder/paste (or 1 level teaspoon of ground cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, turmeric, ground ginger and chilli powder)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon tomato puree

1 240g tin chopped tomatoes

1lb/500g of main ingredient (chicken, lamb, beef, prawn or vegetables)

Chopped fresh coriander to finish the curry off (and some turmeric, allspice, dried mint and garam masala)

 

Method

 

In a liquidizer/food processor/blender puree your onion garlic and ginger (they can be mixed)

In a large pan put about 6 tablespoons of oil (not olive or anything else strong flavoured). If you have ghee that’s even better.

Gently heat the oil and add the whole spices. Fry for about 30 seconds.

Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Fry gently for about 10 minutes.

Add your masala/curry powder/paste and fry gently for a minute or so adding a splash of water if it’s catching.

Stir in the tomato puree and again cook for a minute.

Add the salt and sugar.

Now add some water to the pan (about 500ml). Bring to the simmer and cook for about 20 minutes until the mixture has reduced and quite thick again.

curry cooking blogIf you didn’t puree your mixture earlier then you can puree the sauce now using a hand blender.

The chopped tomatoes can now be added (if you want a really smooth sauce you can blend again).

The sauce should be a nice thick consistency, if it’s too thick add a bit more water or stock.

Bring the sauce to the simmer and add your main ingredient.

Diced chicken will take around 20 – 30 minutes to cook. Diced lamb wants to cook for a good 75 – 90 minutes. If you are doing a vegetable curry I would par-cook the vegetables and then finish them off in the sauce for the last 20 minutes.

 

20 minutes before your curry is ready add the chopped coriander and a pinch of all spice, turmeric and dried mint and a teaspoon of garam masala.

Check for seasoning and add a little more salt if needed.

If the sauce is a little runny finish the curry off on the hob without the lid on.

I have to mention at this point that as I am writing this Kit is preparing some onions for a curry tonight. I also have to mention that Kit has forgotten to put the lid on the blender when pureeing the onions… I don’t think I have to mention that the kitchen is now covered with onions!

Anyway, where was I… Yes cook for a further 20 minutes and your curry will be ready.

 

 

 

Variations

 

The above recipe makes a medium strength curry but it’s easy to adapt and add other ingredients to make different variations.

For a Madras add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (fresh or bottled), 1 tablespoon of ground almonds and 2 teaspoons of chilli powder 20 minutes from the end of cooking.

For a Korma add 1 tablespoon ground almonds, 3 tablespoons of cream and 2 teaspoons of sugar 20 minutes from the end of cooking.

For a Dupiaza fry 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, 1 roughly chopped onion until caramelised add to the curry 20 minutes before the end of cooking.

For a Rogan Josh toast some flaked almonds, roughly chop 4 large tomatoes and add to the curry 20 minutes before the end of cooking.

For a Jalfrezi add 4 roughly chopped tomatoes, 6 chillies roughly sliced and two teaspoons of turmeric 20 minutes before the end of cooking.

For a  Tikka Massala  add 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup, 2 tablespoons of cream and 1 teaspoon of sugar 20 minutes from the end of cooking.

 

Or of course you can experiment with your own ‘add ins’!

 

I can especially recommend a curry made with the leftover Christmas turkey, cranberry sauce and cream… to be honest I think it went down better than the Christmas dinner itself!

 

Speaking of Christmas… I still haven’t done the cake or pudding!

Not Quite ‘Ome-Made Chilli Sauce

Here’s a recipe for a basic chilli sauce which can be used as a condiment, marinade or flavouring for a sauce. It’s not exactly the same as my own ‘Ome-made chilli sauce as that is a closely guarded secret!

You can use this as a guide and please experiment with the type of chillies you use to get your own custom Home-made Chilli sauce.

I use a combination of fresh chillies and dried. Using dried allows you to get some wonderful flavours into the sauce for instance using chipotles gives a lovely smoky background. If you like it hot make sure you get some fruity Bhut Joloikas in there, just be careful when preparing and either wear gloves or wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.

There are plenty of online retailers now that sell exotic dried chillies. You could try www.spicesofindia.co.uk who have a vast, reasonably priced selection.

I tend to bottle my ‘Ome-made chilli sauce in 250ml screw top cordial bottles or 500ml crown capped beer bottles, if you do the latter just make sure it’s clearly labelled to avoid any nasty shocks!Ome Made chilli sauce

Please experiment and have fun with this recipe. Whatever chillies you use you will end up with something that is not only unique to you but also a far superior product than shop bought chilli sauce.

Not Quite ‘Ome-made Chilli Sauce

18 dried chillies sliced ( Try 8 cayenne as a base and then another mixed 10 from, for example, Amarillo, Chipotle, Passila, Ancho, Bhut Jolokia or you could just use all one type such as cayenne)

12 medium sized fresh red chillies sliced (even better if they’re ‘Ome grown!)

250ml/9fl oz vinegar (I tend to use cider vinegar but it’s your choice)

250ml/9fl oz water

225g/8oz sugar (soft brown works well but any will work. If you like it sweeter add a bit more)

5 medium garlic cloves sliced (or more or less depending on your taste)

1 inch piece of fresh ginger peeled and sliced (can be omitted if preferred)

2 teaspoon salt

6 medium tomatoes chopped or 1 400g/14 oz tin of tomatoes

Put everything in a thick bottomed saucepan, bring to the simmer and cook for around 45 minutes (be warned if you have some Bhut Jolokia in there the fumes can be quite pungent)

When cooked allow to cool slightly and then blitz with a hand blender or put in a liquidizer or food processor. Put in sterilised bottles or portion and freeze if you have no bottles.

Once bottled the sauce will keep indefinitely in a cool place. Once opened keep in a fridge and use within 3 weeks.

The sauce will make a really nice, simple chilli con carne. Just fry some onions, garlic, minced beef. Add a good dollop of tomato puree enough water to make a sauce and then your Home-Made Chilli Sauce to taste.