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Indian Recipes: Anjum Anand's Indian Street Treats

Celebrate Holi with Chef Anjum Anand's favourite traditional Indian street food recipes.

This year, Holi - the colourful Indian festival which celebrates spring harvest and the love story of the God Krishna and Radha - will be held on Friday 18th March. A national holiday in India, people celebrate by rubbing coloured powder into one another as well as with friends, family and food. 

Anjum Anand has shared her recipes for her favourite regional sweet treats and street foods. Check out how to recreate these delicious Indian dishes at home. Make sure you scroll to the bottom to see our favourite Indian dessert, the crispy-shelled, goey-centred coconut gujjias! 

Mini Paneer Kathi Rolls
Mini Paneer Kathi Rolls

Indian Recipe: Mini Paneer Kathi Rolls

Kathi rolls are hot Indian wraps which you can pick up from the bustling markets in New Delhi, or buy straight from the car window in Mumbai - where the wraps are known as Frankies. 

Anjum Anand's Tip: You can also substitute chicken for paneer. If you are in a hurry, you can buy tortilla wraps and cut them in half, but homemade wraps are cheaper and tastier. 

Makes 10 medium-small, or 15 tiny rolls. 

Ingredients:

For the marinade:

  • ⅖ cup plain yogurt, not too sour
  • 1 1/2) tbsp roughly chopped root ginger
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • ⅔ tsp garam masala
  • ⅔ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chaat masala
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp concentrated tomato puree
  • Salt
  • ⅛ tsp chilli powder, or to taste

For the rolls:

  • 240 g paneer (fresh Indian cheese), cut into small fingers
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¾ small green capsicum, thinly sliced
  • Red onion rings
  • 50ml Tangy Herb Chutney
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the wrap:

  • 125 (1 cup) plain flour
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6-8 tbsp water, or as needed
Method:
  1. Blend together all the ingredients for the marinate. Season to taste with salt. Add the paneer, gently turn the pieces to coat, and leave to marinate as you prepare the dough.
  2. Put the flour in a bowl and pour in the oil, water and a good pinch of salt. Knead together well; it will be a bit squelchy at the beginning but should become lovely and soft without cracks once its is done. Cover with a damp dish towel and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
  3. To make the breads, place a frying pan over medium heat. Divide the dough into 10 pieces and roll each out on a work surface lightly dusted with flour into a thin, round bread around 13cm in diameter. Dust any excess flour off the bread and place on the pan. Cook, turning once, until the bread has just a few light brown spots on both sides; it only takes a minute or so.
  4. Now back to the rolls. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a saucepan, add the pepper and sit-fry for 2 minutes. Add the paneer and all its marinade and cook, stirring often, until the liquid has reduced and you can see oil in the pan, 6-8 minutes or so. You might need to add a splash of water at some point once the pan gets dry. Add the onions and cook for another minute, or until the liquid now just coats the ingredients and is still moist. Take off the heat.
  5. Working quickly, spoon a line of the filling down the centre of each wrap, roll them up and serve hot.
Hydrabad Chickpea Biryani
Hydrabad Chickpea Biryani

Indian Recipe: Hyderabad Chickpea Biryani

Serves 6

Ingredients:
  • 1 tbs. vegetable oil and 2 tbs. Ghee
  • 400g Basmati rice, washed
  • 750ml water
  • 5 cloves
  • 5 green cardamom
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 small onions, finely sliced

Chickpeas:

  • 3 tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 x 400g can boiled chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 fat cloves garlic, grated into a fine paste
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste (fresh is best)
  • ½ tsp. red chili powder or to taste
  • 2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin powder
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 4 tbs. Yoghurt
  • 2 medium tomatoes, roughly cut up
  • 3 tbs. chopped mint
  • 3tbs coriander
  • Large pinch of saffron
  • 4 tbs. Milk
  • 20g butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Handfuls of raisins and roasted cashew nuts and fresh chopped coriander for garnish
Method:

Rice:

  1. Wash the rice really well and leave to soak.
  2. Heat the oil and ghee in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the whole spices and cook for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add the onions and ½ tsp. salt and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, then turn the heat up and cook until golden.
  3. Meanwhile, drain the rice and add it into the golden onions. Stir well over a high heat to dry off any excess water and coat the rice in the oil for about 2-3 minutes. Add your water to the pan, taste and season well. The water should taste a little salty.
  4. Bring to a boil then cover and turn the heat right down. Cook undisturbed for 7-8 minutes. Once finished, take off the heat and set aside for 10 minutes.
  5. Once steamed, spoon onto some open plates to prevent overcooking.

Chickpeas:

  1. Blend together the tomatoes and yoghurt.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium-large sized saucepan. Add the onion with a good pinch of salt and cook until really soft then turn the heat up and cook until properly golden.
  3. Add the ginger and garlic and cook gently for 30-40 seconds or until the garlic is now golden and smells cooked.
  4. Add the powdered spices and more seasoning with a splash of water and cook until the water has evaporated.
  5. Add the blended tomato mix and cook over a high-ish flame, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and then reduces to a thick paste. Now turn the heat down a little and cook until the paste darkens.
  6. Add the chickpeas and a good splash of water and bring back to the boil, taste, and adjust seasoning.
  7. Simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  8. Add the mint and coriander and take off the heat. There should be some liquid in bottom of the pan.

Assemble:

  1. Heat the milk and add the saffron, soak for 15 minutes.
  2. Break up the butter into cubes and place half on the bottom of your pan.
  3. Cover with half the rice, drizzle with half the saffron.
  4. Pour over the chickpea masala and top with the rice and then remaining saffron and butter.
  5. Top with the raisins and cashews.
  6. Cover with a tight fitting lid and place on a low heat for 20 minutes or until it is steaming.
  7. Spoon onto a platter and scatter crispy onions and coriander for garnish.
Prawn Curry
Prawn Curry

Indian Recipe: Spicy Goan Prawn Curry

Prawn curry in Goa is one of the regions favourite dishes, a spicy, flavourful curry with the base of coconut and soured with tamarind to elevate the succulent local prawns...

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:
  • 1 packet Spice Tailor Keralan Coconut Curry (or equivalent)
  • 360g king prawns, shelled and cleaned
  • 1 rounded tbsp tomato purée
  • ¾-1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1-2 tbsp veg oil
  • 1-2 dried red chillies, soaked
  • 3/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves
Method:
  1. Grind all the spices into a smooth powder. Then, add the chillies and a little water to help.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and fry this paste for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato purée and stir for another minute.
  4. Pour in the Keralan Coconut Curry from the pouch, stir and add a splash of water. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add the tamarind paste and king prawns.
  6. Cook for 2 minutes until the prawns are just cooked.
Stir-Fried Thai Green Rice Noodles with Vegetables
Stir-Fried Thai Green Rice Noodles with Vegetables

Indian Recipe: Stir-Fried Thai Green Rice Noodles with Vegetables 

These noodles and vegetables are lightly coated in the aromatic flavours of Thai Green curry and is a really satisfying, healthy meal.

Serves 2

Ingredients:
  • 1 packet The Spice Tailor Thai Green Curry (or equivalent)
  • 1 tbsp veg oil
  • 80g rice noodles, soaked and drained as per instruction 
  • 1 baby pak choi, cut in half or quarters
  • 70g oyster mushrooms, cleaned
  • 50g broccoli, cut into small florets 
  • 1/4 red pepper, cut into finely thin strips 
  • 8-9 Thai Basil leaves, torn in half
  • 1 tsp lemon juice or to taste
  • Salt or soya sauce and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander

Optional garnishes: 

  • 2 tbsp roasted peanuts - chopped
  • 2 tbsp crispy fried shallots 
Methods:
  1. In a wok or large frying pan, heat the oil and fry the aromatics including the optional dried chilli for extra heat. 
  2. On a high heat, add the mushroom, broccoli, red pepper and char lightly as you stir-fry for 3-4 minutes. 
  3. Add the pak choi, green curry paste, coconut milk and a splash of water. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Add the noodles and Thai basil and mix well to coat the noodles. Add a little water if necessary. Squeeze in some lemon juice, season to taste and stir in the coriander.
  5. Serve hot with the optional garnishes if desired.
Creamy Coconut Gujjia
Creamy Coconut Gujjia

Indian Recipe: Creamy Coconut Gujja- Orange-Scented Coconut Pastries

Of all the Indian sweets served on Holi, Gujjias are the ones you hear the most about. They are sweet crescent shaped pastries filled with an assortment of regional treats and deep-fried until golden. 

Depending on the region they are mostly filled with dried fruits and nuts and then it could be coconut, khoya (a thickened milk product) or semolina. Anjum's Gujjias are made with a creamy coconut filling scented with some orange zest which adds a lovely freshness and zing!

Makes 8

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 50g plain flour 
  • 1 tbs. ghee or melted butter
  • 2 tbs. water or as needed 

Filling:

  • 2 tsp. ghee or butter
  • 50g fresh finely grated coconut (you can buy them frozen from the Asian markets)
  • 10g very roughly chopped, roasted blanched almonds or any other nut you like
  • 2 tbs. sugar or to taste
  • 1 rounded tbs. mixed sultanas, raisins, cranberries or other
  • ¼ tsp. green cardamom powder
  • 250ml whole or coconut milk
  • 1 orange, finely zested
Method:
  1. For the filling, heat the ghee/butter in a small frying pan, add nuts cook for 20 seconds. Saute over a moderate flame until the nuts are golden. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Into the same pan add the coconut, milk, sugar, dried fruits and cardamom powder and cook over a moderate to high flame, stirring often until the milk has completely reduced and the mixture in the pan becomes a clump and sticks together. This should take around 10-15 minutes.
  3. Take off the heat, stir in the zest and nuts. Leave to cool.
  4. Using the tips of your fingers mix the ghee and water into the flour and knead well until the dough is smooth. It will be a semi-hard dough, add a little more water if necessary.
  5. Divide into 8 and roll into marble-sized balls. 
  6. Place enough oil into a medium sized saucepan, to come 3-4 inches up the side of the pan and heat up to about 180C.
  7. Take one ball and roll into a thin 3-inch-ish circles on a lightly floured surface.
  8. Place 2 tsp worth of filling or an 1/8 of the filling in the centre of the circle and fold over the edges so you have a semi-circle. Press the edges together and roll segments of the edges slightly inwards, pleating as you go just to ensure the filling does not come out.
  9. Repeat until you have done half and place these in the hot oil to fry (over a moderate flame) as you make the next bunch.
  10. Fry until they are golden on both sides, turning halfway; it takes about 2-3 minutes in total.
  11. Once done, place on some kitchen roll and repeat with the remaining pastries.
  12. Dust with icing sugar and serve hot or warm.