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Dinner for four: an Indian-Australian meal

Having friends over? Check out this easy to prepare fusion meal for a relaxing and intimate end of year dinner

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Sam and I love to host parties but prefer small, intimate sit-down dinners with a few friends and family. A glass of wine or a cocktail and a delicious three course meal is often my entertaining style.

While a lot of baking and cooking happens over the holidays, I try to keep things simple while entertaining. All the dishes I choose would have components that can be made a day or two in advance which helps me stay organised, and also free up my time to spend with guests.

No Aussie party is complete without a cheese platter but instead of the normal ones, try out a deliciously creamy whole baked brie. Just a handful of ingredients to create an amazing appetizer, perfect Christmas colours too!

The showstopper of my party is the Sindhi-style grilled fish. It’s a spin off the traditional recipe and any type of fish can be used. But keep it whole…. that’s the wow factor. Finish off with the utterly indulgent Spiced Rum Chocolate Mousse; this one’s perfect as a dairy-free treat too.

ENTREE

BAKED BRIE (WITH SUNDRIED TOMATOES, PARSLEY, DUKKAH)
Dinner recipe
Ingredients

1 wheel brie (choose a good quality brand – it makes all the difference)
½ cup sundried tomatoes with oil, chopped into smaller bits
½ cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 ½ tbsp Egyptian dukkah

Instructions
  • Preheat the oven (fan forced) to 170°C
  • Line baking/parchment paper in an oven proof dish.
  • Top the brie with the sundried tomatoes, parsley and half of the dukkah. Drizzle with some of the oil from the tomatoes.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes (in most cases, the cheese will start to ooze out from the sides but not necessary as it depends on the rind).
  • Remove and sprinkle with more dukkah

Serve warm with crackers or crusty/toasted bread.

MAIN COURSE

SINDHI STYLE GRILLED FISH
Dinner recipe
Ingredients

1 whole trout, approximately 700 gms
3-4 tbsp spice blend
Vegetable oil for grilling
Salt to season
Coriander leaves, finely chopped for garnish
Lemon wedges to serve

Spice blend:

3 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tsp green fennel seeds
½ inch cinnamon bark
4 dry red chillies
2 dried bay leaf
2 tsp amchoor/dry mango powder
1 tsp ajwain/carrom seeds
3 medium garlic cloves
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp besan/gram flour
Juice of ½ lemon

Instructions
  • Clean the fish well; remove the insides leaving the head and tail intact. Score on both sides.
  • To prepare the spice blend, dry roast the coriander seeds and fennel seeds till fragrant and aromatic. Allow to cool.
  • Grind the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, bay leaf, dry red chillies, cinnamon and ajwain to a fine powder.
  • To this add amchoor, garlic cloves, turmeric powder, besan, lemon juice and enough water to grind to a thick paste like consistency.
  • Season the fish with salt and rub the spice blend all over, especially the insides of the fish. Marinate for at least 4 hours or as long as possible (keep refrigerated).
  • Allow to come to room temperature before grilling.
  • Pre heat the oven to 200°C. Line an oven proof tray with baking paper and place the fish. Drizzle lightly with oil and grill for 25 minutes. Remove and turn the fish over; drizzle lightly with oil again and grill till done.

Garnish with coriander leaves and lemon wedges on the side.

Serve warm with fragrant rice and/or chappatis, a spicy raita and a tossed salad or curried vegetables.

Notes
  • Makes extra spice blend; store the remaining in an airtight container. It keeps well for at least a month in the freezer.
  • A whole fish that’s approximately 700 gms takes about 40-45 minutes to grill perfectly. But this depends on the type of oven and settings, so check occasionally to ensure that the fish has cooked well. Alternatively, the fish can also be shallow fried.

DESSERT

SPICED RUM CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
Dinner recipe
Ingredients
Spiced Rum Chocolate Sauce:

1 can coconut cream 400 ml
220 gm high quality dark chocolate
60 gms raw brown sugar (if using white sugar, add half the quantity, taste and add more if necessary)
1 vanilla pod, split in half and scraped
2 tbsp spiced rum
2 clove pods

Mousse:

2 x 400ml coconut cream cans chilled
120 gms cocoa powder unsweetened

Instructions
To make the chocolate sauce:
  • Melt the chocolate in a microwave or using the double boiler method.
  • Shake the coconut cream can well and pour out the contents into a bowl.
  • Once the chocolate has melted, add a few spoons of the coconut cream into it and mix well to combine. (This is to create a homogenous mixture and prevent the chocolate from seizing which can occur sometimes).
  • Then add the entire chocolate mixture into the remaining coconut cream followed by all the other ingredients listed and mix well to combine. Make sure the sugar gets dissolved completely.

Refrigerate for about 10 minutes to thicken the chocolate sauce lightly.

To make the mousse:
  • In a mixer or using a large bowl, whip the coconut cream till you get soft peaks.
  • Remove the cloves from the chocolate sauce and add it slowly to the coconut cream along with the cocoa powder, mixing lightly to combine each time.
  • Whip for a few more seconds till the whole mixture becomes light and fluffy.
  • Spoon into glasses or ramekins; refrigerate for about 3-4 hours till set.
  • Top with the buttercrunch crumble and serve with a side of strawberries.

Enjoy!

Explore more such interesting recipe’s and suggestions on Dhanya Samuel’s Instagram

Read more: Tempting tempeh: easy vegetarian (and protein-rich) recipes

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