Cookbook

Devnaa’s India: Delicious Vegetarian Home Cooking & Street Food by Roopa Rawal

Devnaa, a company known for their exquisite chocolates and Indian-inpired sweets has produced a cookbook with family recipes and comfort street foods. Roopa Rawal, who attended the Slattery School of Excellence for chocolate and culinary training, applies her innate talents to the food she loves to make at home. There are lots of small bites, and pretty presentations that would be perfect party fare. All the recipes are vegetarian, so perfect for including in any buffet.  Devnaa’s India: Delicious Vegetarian Home Cooking & Street Food

featured recipe

Spinach & Corn Kofta Biryani

“Biryanis are stunning, majestic rice dishes which are layered with thick, intense curried vegetables and finished with regal touches such as saffron, dried fruits, and nuts. They have a notorious reputation for being difficult and time-consuming to prepare. However, although the procedure is somewhat lengthy, this recipe for my vegetarian biryani is fairly straightforward and well-worth the time invested. The great thing is that other than some chutney which is entirely optional, this dish is a complete one-pot meal.”

SERVES 6

For the Kofta

2 tsp sunflower oil
2/3 CUP spinach, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tsp garlic
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1 green chilli, finely chopped
2 medium potatoes, boiled
2/3 CUP paneer, crumbled
Salt to taste
1 1/2 TB sugar
2 TB lemon juice
1/4 CUP coarse cornmeal

Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the spinach, garlic, ginger and chilli. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, until the spinach is wilted and the flavours are well-combined. Leave aside to cool completely.

Pre-heat oven to 475ºF and grease a baking sheet.

Combine the cooled boiled potatoes, paneer and room-temperature spinach together with all of the remaining ingredients apart from the cornmeal, and mash together until well-combined.

Add the cornmeal as required to form soft dough that doesn’t stick to the bowl. Take one teaspoon of the mixture at a time and roll into smooth balls. Dust each ball in a little more cornmeal, place on the greased baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned.

For the corn Gravy

2 TB sunflower oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin
2 large onions, pureed
1 1/2 tsp garlic
2 tsp ginger
1 green chilli, finely chopped
2 CUPS chopped tomatoes
Salt to taste
2 tsp coriander & cumin powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
2/3 CUP corn
1 TB lemon juice
1/2 TB sugar

Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan placed over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds, and allow them to fizz in the hot oil, then add the pureed onion and cook over a low heat until the onions are light brown.

Add the garlic, ginger, and chilli and allow them to sauté alongside the onions for a few moments. Stir in the tomatoes and add the salt, coriander cumin powder, chilli powder, and turmeric. Cook for a few minutes until you see the oil start to separate from the tomatoes.
Add the corn, cover, and cook over a low heat until tender. Stir in the lemon and sugar, and then turn off the heat.

For the Rice

1 2/3 CUPS long grain Basmati rice
1 1/2 tsp sunflower oil
1 1/2 tsp ghee
2 tsp cumin seeds
1-inch piece cinnamon bark, crushed
3 cloves
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3/4 CUP diced mixed peppers
Salt to taste

Rinse the rice until the water runs clear and then soak it in clean water for one hour.
Heat the oil and ghee in a large heavy-based pan. When hot, add the cumin, cinnamon, and cloves and allow to fizz. Add the onions and cook gently until they become translucent.Stir in the peppers.

Drain the water from the rice and add to the pan. Stir to ensure that all the grains of rice are lightly coated in oil. Pour in 4.25 cups water, stir in the salt, cover the pan, and allow to cook over medium heat, stirring very occasionally, for 20 minutes, or until the rice is al dente.
Lower the oven to 375ºF and lightly grease a large baking dish (transparent ones work beautifully as they allow the layers to show through). Press half of the rice (you don’t have to wait for it to cool) into the bottom of the dish.

Arrange the spinach kofta on top of the rice, and pour on the gravy and spread to make an even layer. Press the remaining rice on top.

For the Fried Seasoning

1/2 CUP sunflower oil
10 curry leaves
3 TB cashew nuts
3 TB peanuts
2 TB sesame seed

Heat the oil in a small frying pan and add the curry leaves, cashew nuts, and peanuts.
Fry for 5 seconds before turning off the heat and adding the sesame seeds. Allow these to cook in the hot oil until browned.

Pour the seasoning mixture on top of the biryani. Cover the biryani in foil and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving with chutneys of your choice.

—excerpted from DEVNAA’S INDIA: Delicious Vegetarian Home Cooking & Street Food by Roopa Rawal

See more recipes for creating cool, mod, Indian-inspired bites in our 08 India Calling