Indian cuisine with Aussie twist

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ABILASHA SENGUPATA’s Indian Independence Day cuisine, done with a fair dinkum Aussie twist. Nutella naans anyone?

Most of us already have our favourite dishes to whip up for friends and family for Independence Day. But what about dishes for our Aussie friends? Here are some recipe ideas to share with them to get them into the mood (or for us if we’re feeling a little bit creative).

Although it’s hard to pin-point exactly what Australian cuisine is (no-one really seems sure about this one), it’s harder even to think about what you could combine to make an Aussie-Indian fusion meal. There could be some real disasters waiting to happen – like adding vegemite to biryani (eww) or tandoori chicken to lamingtons (ok – that’s taking it a bit too far!)

But the diversity of flavours in Indian cooking means that they can jazz up lots of Aussie favourites. Before you start reading the recipes, go and get some chapatis and spread with butter and vegemite to get you in the mood. Here are fun options:

Nutella naans

Serves 8

This is a simple one, but a good one.

8 naans (either store bought or made at home)

1 jar of nutella

200g icing sugar

1 punnet of strawberries/ or 2 bananas

Simply thickly spread nutella onto naan bread. Slice strawberries/ bananas on top and dust with icing sugar.

Independence Day pie

This recipe could easily be swapped with most curry options.

Serves 8

1 crushed garlic glove

11 curry leaves

1 long, hot, finely chopped chilli (or more if you prefer)

6cm of ginger, finely chooped

1 tps hot english mustard

1 small onion, finely chopped

1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds

200g goat (or other meat)

1 tsp olive oil

100g cauliflower, cut into small pieces

300g chickpeas

2 tomatoes, finely diced

Pastry

250g chilled butter

1 egg, beaten

500g plain flour

Preheat oven to 200 C. In a frypan add oil, garlic, chilli and ginger and fry until coloured. Add mustard, fenugreek and curry leaves and cook for a few minutes. Combine with remaining ingredients.

Pastry: sift the flour with a pinch of salt. Rub in butter with fingertips until pastry comes together with the water. Dust flour over a clean work bench and rolling pin and roll the pastry out to 3mm in thickness, after dividing into 2 sections. Butter a pie pan and place pastry (worked to a round shape) to bottom of pan. Cut off any excess pastry on the edges with a knife.

Place filling into pie pan. Place section piece of pastry over the top and brush the top of the pastry with a little beaten egg. Press the edges down with your fingertips or a fork.

Bake for around 30-35 minutes until golden.

Serve with a mint and yoghurt side.

Freedom dessert

There are many different options for this one. But the idea is to take a traditional Indian recipe for something sweet (like barfi, sukhdi, chhenapoda, laddu, shiro, pakhala, rosgulla, etc.)  and combine with crushed pieces of pavlova (either store bought or home made) or lamington (either store bought or home made), and serve with icecream with an Indian and Australian flag stuck in it.

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