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My name's Anjum Anand. I'm a food writer and a chef
and I'm passionate about Indian food.
In this series, I'm going on a journey
to see how different regional flavours
of the Indian subcontinent
can be found in cities up and down the country.
From great Bengali cuisine in London,
to the spicy flavours of the Punjab found in Glasgow,
I'll be showing novice cooks how to prepare
authentic regional dishes.
I don't think it needs any more chilli.
It's perfect chilli.
This week, I'm off to London
to meet 36-year-old financial analyst, Jonathon Readman.
Jonathon has only ever cooked twice in his life,
and hasn't a clue in the kitchen.
That has got to touch that line there.
Oh, yeah, yeah. OK.
So wife Lorraine has to prepare all the meals.
Jonathon is absolutely rubbish.
But by marrying into an Indian family, he's taken full advantage
of going round to his mother-in-law's every Sunday lunch time,
for a feast of Goan food.
Now, it's payback time, as Jonathon is going to attempt to cook
a full Indian lunch for his discerning mother-in-law, Clara.
I've never cooked for Lorraine's mum before,
so, my stress levels might get a bit high.
It's a tough challenge.
Clara is Goan, and she isn't easily impressed.
We'll have to see when the day comes. But let him try.
So, I've agreed to help out.
I'll be taking him through the essentials of Goan food.
That tastes of liquorice, that one. That's fennel.
That's cumin. From the best way to roast Indian spices,
to making sausages...Goan style.
We need somebody strong.
I'll also be showing him the secrets of Clara's favourite dish...the infamous vindaloo.
Oh, it's too good.
This is authentic home-cooked Indian food that anyone can make.
Goan cuisine is very different to other foods
you'll find in the Indian subcontinent,
because of its European influence.
The Portuguese colonised Goa for 450 years.
They brought with them their own cuisine and that,
fused with local ingredients, is what typifies Goan food today.
Goa is on the west coast of India.
The first Goans came to Britain over 200 years ago,
as cooks on ships that sailed back from India.
Many went on to settle in London,
and brought with them their own distinct flavours.
Jonathon and his family have invited me round for Sunday lunch.
But before I go, I thought I'd make them a cake with a traditional Goan twist.
For me, Goan food is such a perfect blend of East and West,
and this prawn cake is a great example of that.
It has the Goan love of seafood, spices and coconut,
yet the Portuguese influence of the red chillies, vinegar and their love of cakes.
First, I'm frying some onions in a spice blend made out
of ground chillies, cumin, cinnamon and cloves.
To that, I'm adding a paste made out of an inch square ginger
and six cloves of garlic. In go my tomatoes.
Then salt and two tablespoons each of white wine vinegar and sugar.
This is a sweet and a sour dish.
It works really well, although it sounds unusual.
In go my prawns. Shelled. De-veined.
Whilst this is cooking, I'm going to make the cake mixture with butter, sugar and three eggs.
In with the flour.
Followed by four ounces of semolina, which has been soaking in water.
Baking powder. Desiccated coconut, salt.
In, in, in. And my milk. And I know this looks like a huge mess,
but it's all going to come together.
That's half my batter. Now, my cooled prawns.
Lastly, the rest of your batter.
Then into a pre-heated oven, for about 60 minutes.
I think it's clear up time.
But I don't want to be late,
so I'm off to East Ham to meet Jonathon and his family for lunch.
East Ham is home to a large South Asian population.
The Goan community is just one of them.
Unlike most of India,
many Goans are Christians, with the church playing an important part in their lives.
Before going to Sunday lunch,
Jonathon and Lorraine attend morning mass with young son, Benjie.
Jonathon's mother-in-law Clara lives just around the corner,
so it's a perfect to catch up
with the rest of the family.
It's been a long time since I've had home-cooked Goan food,
so I'm really looking forward to this.
At Clara's house, all the family and some friends
have shown up for the feast.
So this is my family.
I'd like to introduce you to my wife, Lorraine.
-Nice to meet you.
-And that's our son, Benjie.
-He's not happy.
-This is my mother-in-law, Clara.
-This must be Clara.
-It's nice to meet you.
-I've bought you a prawn cake.
Oh, thank you for inviting me.
-I'm so excited.
-I'm so pleased you have come.
Clara's really gone to town and has cooked a wide variety of dishes.
Goans love meat and fish,
and there's plenty of it today, including pork curry,
masala fried fish, and of course the Goan favourite, fish curry.
Which one's your favourite?
Well, my favourite is fish curry.
I always like having that. And potato chops, really good. And also sorpotel.
And have you ever cooked any of this?
No. I have never attempted to cook hardly any food,
-let alone Indian food.
-Hardly any food.
Maybe I should be worried.
Unlike Jonathon, Clara cooks all the time and believes it
was her tasty food that helped her daughters find their love matches.
Every Sunday I used to take trouble, so that Michael would like Fiona
through me you see and Jonathon would like Lorraine.
The way to Jonathon's stomach is through your mother's cooking.
Are you up for recreating this kind of a meal?
It's going to be hard, because her cooking is very good
and a high standard, but I reckon I'll give it my best shot.
Well, after that spread, I'm feeling the pressure, too.
My prawn cake has gone down a treat, but Clara's a great home cook,
so I'll have to push the boat out to impress her.
I've come up with three dishes which will hopefully do the trick.
First, my Goan spiced aubergines, lightly fried in a crispy batter.
Sea bass, stuffed with a delicious coconut and coriander chutney.
And pork vindaloo, topped with lightly fried cashew nuts.
Goan food is rich in flavour,
using specific sets of spices to create different masala blends.
Although Jonathon is no stranger to Goan cuisine,
I want him to see how some of these unique flavours are created.
So I've brought him to meet Deepak Kapoor, who runs top Goan restaurant
Ma Goa in South London, to find out what makes this cuisine so good.
-From family to family, it varies.
But we use coconut, palm vinegar.
-Kashmiri chilli, also.
And then we've got clove and black pepper that make it very distinctive.
And then you roast all of those sort of spices
so that releases all this punch of flavour.
-Can you name any of them?
I can name...that's peanuts.
And that's coconut.
-Yes. Very good.
-And the other one I recognise is cinnamon.
-I'm not too sure about the rest.
That's coriander seeds.
-Cumin. Fennel seeds.
White poppy seeds. Quite lovely, quite a delicate flavour. Cloves.
Black pepper and Kashmiri chillies.
-And we talk about Kashmiri chillies, which is chillies from Kashmir.
But Goa have their own variety of very mild, red chilli.
When you think of Indian food, you always think of the chilli.
But the chilli is not native to India.
It was first brought to Goa 500 years ago by the Portuguese,
who also had colonies in South America,
which is where the chilli originates.
Before this, Indians used pepper.
Today, India is the largest producer of chillies in the world,
and it has become the defining ingredient for a nation.
-OK. So shall we dry roast these, Jonathon?
Dry roasting releases the nuttier, fuller flavour of the spices.
The larger ingredients are always put in first,
as they take longer to roast.
-Want to have a go at that?
Just stir it around.
You need to make sure you move it around the pan,
just so that there's no particular spices that are
on a hot spot that will burn.
-That's starting to...
I can smell it. It smells nice.
It's great when you roast your own spices because you can smell
what the dish will taste like.
-How do you know when it's done?
Through experience, you can tell.
And you'll start hearing the poppy seeds and the sesame start crackling.
You're doing a good job of it. You're quite a natural.
All we've got to do now is, before you start spilling it...
Frying what we have left.
Deepak is going to use this particular blend to cook a chicken xacutti.
This Goan speciality is made with coconut, tomatoes and,
of course, the wonderful mix of roasted spices.
-That looks glorious.
-You can enjoy.
Glorious. Glorious. I'm going to try the gravy first.
-So what do you think?
-That is really good, isn't it?
-Isn't that fantastic?
A squeeze of lime on the top of it works well.
-That's really, really good.
-Mm, beautiful. Beautiful.
When I come here, I'll be having that.
It is great. It really is delicious.
I hope this demonstration's given Jonathon enough inspiration to start cooking.
It's back to my kitchen to find out.
This is a simple, but delicious dish.
Goan spiced aubergine, suitable for any new cook.
First, I want to check just how much Jonathon's been paying attention.
-I've laid out my spices.
-And I really want you to name them.
You've got to understand this, because spices is the beginning of Indian food.
-If you're not paying attention...
I need to catch this now.
I think that one is turmeric, because it's orange.
I remember that one.
That's red chilli powder.
-That's a good start.
-Move on. Let's try these.
That tastes of liquorice. That's fennel.
No, that's cumin.
-OK, what's this?
-That one, um...
I'll hazard a guess at sesame seeds.
-Three out of three are wrong. Coriander seeds.
We talked about roasting spices,
so now I'm going to show you other ways of doing spices.
They can be fried, they can be cooked as we'll do now,
So, if I can get you to just grind into a fine powder,
two teaspoons of cumin and two teaspoons of coriander seed.
Into there, yes?
You've only cooked twice in your life?
-I have. On our anniversary.
-What did you cook for her last year?
The same as I did the year before,
which was a grilled chicken with a spicy mint sauce.
She had the same thing?
-And you didn't think some way that maybe she needed a bit of variety?
Pay attention, because you have to recreate this.
-For the batter, I am mixing six heaped tablespoons of gram flour
and three teaspoons of rice flour,
which will give it a really nice crunch.
Next, it's a teaspoon of mango powder, a little salt to season,
and now I'm adding Jonathon's freshly ground spices.
You understand the character of your food
when you start grinding the spices or roasting the spices
It's good fun doing this, you know?
You can do all the spices from now on.
I'm adding the water slowly to one side.
-And drawing in the flour so that it's not lumpy.
-Right. I think this is almost ready.
-So, whack it in.
Thank you. And finally, a teaspoon of chilli powder.
And we lay it in the pan, away from us.
Go on, get your hands in.
The aubergines need to be covered evenly with the spicy batter,
before being placed in the frying pan.
You've only cooked twice, you should get your hands dirty.
I mean, cooking is actually really good fun.
They cook quite quickly. Just a couple of minutes on either side.
-It should be good cos if Lorraine's mum really likes it,
then I can get her to do these on Sunday, as well.
You can do it.
It was good fun doing that.
It's brownie points with your mother-in-law.
-I need 'em.
-I want to make sure they're cooked through.
And the best way to know that, even with this, just slip it in.
And it should just go completely through with no resistance at all.
-And then it's cooked.
And there's nothing worse than an undercooked aubergine.
-These can be eaten right now.
-In fact. I suggest you get right in there.
-Stuck in. Yeah.
Cos you are inviting you are inviting your mother-in-law over,
she goes that extra mile for you.
I wanted to garnish it with something simple.
-So I've got some curry leaves.
-I know curry leaves.
It's the only thing you've known!
-Everything else has been wrong.
-I'm a slow learner.
-Shall I try it with a...
-Go. Pick up a piece.
-That is really good.
Considering I've never had aubergines before. That is really good.
-That you can do.
-You're comfortable with that?
-Let's move on.
Jonathon's really impressed me with his keenness to learn.
But before we carry on with the next dish, I have a surprise for him.
Goan cuisine is still considered to be a speciality in the UK,
and some of their ingredients can be a little tricky to track down.
Alex dos Santos's traditional Goan products are in popular demand.
-Hi. Do come in.
Hi. Thank you.
Including their much-loved pork sausages,
which the Goans value so much they call them black gold.
Goans eat pork because of the Christian influence.
Hindus and Muslims, who make up the majority of India, do not.
Pork is such a big part of the Goan diet, isn't it?
It is. It's very unusual,
-especially in Indian cuisine to have pork dishes on the menu.
And it's mainly due to the Portuguese.
Originally, they brought sides of pork in barrels.
With garlic and wine vinegar,
and it preserved the meat over the long journey.
I have never made sausages before, so this should be fun.
First, Alex chops the pork into little cubes,
which is mixed with a blend of spices.
Usually, this would be left to marinade for two days,
but Jonathon and I are keen to have a go.
Don't all of you move at the same time to help me, please.
-But I wasn't expecting this.
-Put it in the top, yeah?
Yes. That's right.
You can buy more compact domestic sausage makers than this one,
which is 20 years old.
-That's interesting, isn't it?
-A good animal.
-So helpful in this process.
It was going up, it's really tough.
-Is it supposed to be this hard?
If we'd marinated the meat first,
this probably would have been much easier.
God, this is really a man's job. All yours, Jonathon.
I am glad to see it isn't just me who finds this tough.
OK, we need somebody really strong.
What would you do with this now?
You'd put it somewhere sterile for it to dry.
-How long will that take?
-So two days to marinade, eight days for it to dry.
And then it'll keep for...
I have brought some of Alex's sausages back to try.
So before we continue any further, I think it's time for a snack.
So, I thought a sausage sandwich is the quickest, easiest thing.
-I can smell it already.
-Yeah, you can.
-Will we have tomato sauce?
-You mean ketchup?
Does it look like I'm going to put ketchup in a sandwich?
-I can't wait.
-Shall we go outside?
-Can you wait that long?
-I'm not sure I can.
-OK. Let's go.
That's really good.
It works well as a sandwich.
Don't need ketchup, after all.
Thank God for that.
That was delicious. But it's back to work.
For Jonathon's piece de resistance,
I'm going to make another favourite - the vindaloo.
Goa's most famous export is now on virtually every restaurant menu in the UK.
But this dish couldn't taste more different to its British cousin.
The main dish, the vindaloo!
-When I say vindaloo, what does it mean?
-It means hot.
-Does it mean anything else?
Just one of the hottest curries.
If you talk to a Goan in Goa today,
they will say yes, use eight red chillies and ten Kashmiri red chillies
because they want that deep rich colour.
Translated here, it just became a really hot dish.
But it shouldn't be. Like any dish,
it should have as much heat as you want.
Chilli is just there to bring out flavours and to give it some heat which is pleasant.
This is going to be one of those dishes.
-Five black peppercorns.
-Two green cardamom pods.
A couple of cloves. If you could put these in the...
And, a teaspoon of coriander and a teaspoon of cumin seeds.
And that's pretty much all the spices going in it.
-It's not so spicy, it should be enough to flavour your meat.
The Goans have staked a claim to the vindaloo,
but the dish is thought to have originated from Portuguese sailors
who preserved pork for their journey to India in garlic and vinegar.
Yeah, that's perfect.
-This dish is mainly characterised by the vinegar.
A lot of the Portuguese-inspired Goan dishes have vinegar.
Pre Portuguese dishes would have been soured with tamarind.
Vinegar was used by the Portuguese to preserve meat,
not only on the ships, but also in India's hot climate.
Today, it's used extensively
by Goan Christians in their cooking.
The sour flavouring gives a tangy and tart kick to meat and fish dishes.
The two most common vinegars used in Goan food
are white wine and palm vinegar.
-Is it called vindaloo because of the vinegar?
There's been so much speculation as to what vindaloo means,
cos a lot of Indian restaurants put potatoes in it,
cos "aloo" means potatoes.
I think the thought now is that "vin" was from vinegar.
-And "aloo" is from garlic.
-I think it's similar to the Portuguese word for garlic.
And this dish definitely has a lot of garlic.
But because it cooks down for 45 minutes, it's not at all garlicky,
-it's just really beautiful and rounded.
To make the paste for the vindaloo,
we're using seven cloves of garlic and a generous helping of ginger.
I'm not trying to make a really spicy dish. I'm trying to make it...
-I think we should make it really hot.
-I refuse. Three?
You know what? I'm leaving the seeds in, since you want the heat.
Next, I'm adding three tablespoons of white wine vinegar.
I am mixing this paste into the chopped pork,
along with the freshly ground spices.
And a little bit of salt to season.
If you've got time, you can leave this to marinade for a few hours,
but it's fine to cook straightaway.
OK. Now, you want to start searing the meat a little bit.
Just gently, just take your time.
The masala starts to get cooked, the meat starts to brown.
And you can see there's a bit of water in there.
And it will just get more.
It smells really good, doesn't it?
It does. It's the garlic hitting the pan.
And the ginger and the spices.
And when you cook it, it just gets deeper and fuller and richer.
Cover the pan and leave to cook for about 45 minutes.
This will allow the pork to stew in its own juices.
If it does dry out, you can always add water.
-It looks good.
It's amazing what you start with and what you get.
-It's become a beautiful cohesive sauce.
Now, that is a traditional vindaloo, pretty much done.
But I want to make this dish extra special.
So I'm going to fry some mustard seeds.
-And we just have to wait until they spit, isn't it?
-Talk to us.
Along with some cashew nuts.
-That smells lovely.
-And we're done.
-That does smell really good.
-Do you want to have a try?
-I think so, yeah.
-OK. It's hot.
-Oh, it's too good.
-That is really, really good.
Anything like the vindaloos you're used to?
No. That's got a much...it's almost like a richer taste.
It's that garlic you were worried about.
I thought it would blow my head off, but that's really nice.
And we've kept the spices really mild.
And the flavour of the pork?
It's just got a nice flavour.
This is going to be the piece de resistance of that table.
It has to blow their socks off.
She won't believe I've cooked it.
Your vindaloo will be exactly like that.
I have faith.
Can I have some more?
For Jonathon's final dish, I'm making a wonderful
stuffed sea bass with a coconut and coriander chutney.
So, what I have brought here...
I don't recognise this, what's this?
This is a coconut grater.
It grates it really fine. I'm going to show you how to do it.
So you just put it in there and then you just turn.
Coconut is an essential ingredient in Goan cooking.
Although you can use frozen coconut in this dish,
I find the flesh from a fresh one tastes sweeter.
The coconut grater is an easy way to get the flesh out.
Just remember not to grind it too close to the shell.
You can use a standard box grater.
This reminds me of the sausage making machine.
That was really hard work.
That was, wasn't it?
-But good fun.
To make the chutney, I am blending together some fresh coriander,
with a little bit of garlic.
About four teaspoons of lemon juice, without pips.
Chillies to give it a bit of a kick.
A teaspoon of cumin, and some pistachios.
These will help to bind the chutney together.
A little bit of water, some salt and the freshly grated coconut.
-And whiz to a puree.
OK. Now, we try.
How can you tell if it's...
Try it. It should be salty enough, and tart enough.
If you want more chilli, you can add another green chilli.
I don't think it needs any more chilli.
Teacher uses enough?
It's perfect chilli.
The final touch of the chutney is some fried mustard seeds.
I am slashing the skin of the fish,
to let the chutney get deep into the flesh.
Then I am adding some oil to the rest of the chutney,
and brushing it over the skin.
-You want to just put it in there while I wash my hands?
It needs about 20 minutes or so in the oven, depending on the size of the fish.
A little bit of lemon.
We can put some fresh coriander on there
when we serve it on the day.
-I say you get stuck in.
-OK. That sounds good to me.
It is hot.
You really haven't spent any time in the kitchen!
I'm too excited.
That's really nice.
-Do you think Clara will like it?
-If I can produce something like this.
It's going to be a winner.
Well, I've done my part.
It's up to Jonathon to make sure that he remembers everything
on the big day.
It's Sunday morning and Jonathon, who never cooks,
is already an hour behind schedule.
-But he seems confident.
-It smells really nice. I think.
And if it tastes as good as it smells,
then I think it'll be all right.
Jonathon has invited mother-in-law Clara
and her friend round for Sunday lunch.
That's a tablespoon, isn't it?
Keep the hard work going.
And is hoping to impress them with his three dishes.
He is cooking my Goan spiced aubergines, sea bass stuffed with
a coconut and coriander chutney, and pork vindaloo with cashew nuts.
I know Jonathon's really confident,
but he hasn't spent much time in the kitchen,
and that worries me cos things can always go wrong.
So I'm here early, to make sure that nothing does.
Unfortunately, it looks like I'm too late.
Things are already going wrong.
That paste is looking a bit dry, isn't it?
That's cos you've not done it right.
Coriander goes in first with garlic and ginger.
Let's take out some of this coconut.
I thought it should have been more green...
Yeah, you forgot about the coriander.
The kitchen is in chaos and Clara doesn't like to be kept waiting.
I've got to be honest, this knife is the worst I've ever seen.
-Two down, one to go. Let's go.
-God, that means quick.
Yes. That means really quick.
-I'm not panicking, it's all under control.
-No, it's not.
I've just realised I've put in cumin seeds, instead of cumin powder.
-I'm hoping I can sieve it out.
-A good idea.
-Sieve it out.
It's quite difficult.
But you're so calm.
-And you're still doing things wrong.
I'm feeling a bit nervous now
cos Lorraine's mum's in the lounge waiting for food.
Does it taste all right? That's beautiful.
Finally, we're done. And lunch is served.
-It looks wonderful.
-It looks nice.
-I'm glad that the smells are working.
There's just Jonathon's fish to dish up.
Oh, look at that.
-Hey, check this out.
-Oh, that's amazing.
Oh, Jonathon, that's lovely.
-It's too nice to eat.
-You've done a marvellous job.
-It looks good.
-It looks very good.
-OK. Do you like that? Do you like that?
Well, tuck in.
Oh, my God, that's so good.
-It's absolutely wonderful.
But what does mother-in-law Clara think?
It's really nice. The same blend I would make, you're quite OK.
They're really good.
I can't believe he's produced it in his own kitchen at home.
-Ten out of ten and worth the wait.
-Can I cook for you again, then?
-Yeah, the food is really good.
I can't wait to come back again here.
The same time again next week?
-I can expect you to cook more like this for me next time.
The recipe is even better than what I can cook.
I feel exhausted, but I do feel kind of proud, you know?
Once you've cooked it and people have eaten it,
you do feel pleased, you know?
You are going to do it again, I know you are.
If you don't want to, they'll make you.
Definitely. Now I've got to the end of it and done that, I feel pleased.
-You've learned something.
-Now I know where our pots and pans are!
For all the recipes in the series, as well as an exclusive video recipe
from today's expert, Deepak, go to...
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