Anjum Anand’s Christmas recipe ideas
Somethingyousaid.com’s Addy Fong dips into Anjum Anand’s cookbook to get some inspiration for Christmas eats:
There’s nothing like the comfort of consuming a potato salad to fill me with utter delight leading into the festive season. I love my carbs. Christmas is a celebration of family, of culture, and of one’s ability to eat yourself silly, more or less. This year, I’m going to win the Potato Salad competition with this finger-licking recipe, if only I can stop myself from eating it.
Anjum Anand’s Three-seed potato salad
Serves 4 as a side dish
This dish is a wonderful fusion between a creamy American potato salad and a potato salad from India known as aloo chaat. Chaat masala is a blend of tangy spices and literally means ‘to lick’ (as in your fingers). It can be found in all Indian grocers, as well as online. You can leave it out if you don’t have it, the salad is still sublime and immensely moreish without overpowering the potatoes.
Any waxy potatoes will work in this salad, so find out what is in season and use those as they will have the best flavour. The radishes add bite and crunch and their leaves have a lovely peppery flavour, but you can add any other vegetable you like; try finely sliced fennel, cucumbers, celery or even fine beans.
For the salad
500g new potatoes, washed well
Salt, to taste
¼ small red onion, very finely sliced
1–2 green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
½–¾ tsp chaat masala, plus more to serve (optional, see recipe introduction)
3 large radishes with leaves (if possible), well washed and finely sliced
large handful of chopped coriander leaves
For the dressing
2 tsp lemon juice
4 tbsp mayonnaise (light is fine)
2 rounded tbsp sour cream
1 small-ish garlic clove, peeled and grated
1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
lots of freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
1. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with plenty of water, salt well and bring to a boil. Boil until the tip of a knife goes through them easily, around 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Whisk together the lemon juice, mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic and half the oil, then season to taste. Heat the remaining oil in a small saucepan, tilting it so the oil collects in one area. When hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds, following after a few seconds with the fennel seeds. Reduce the heat and cook for 10 seconds or until the popping dies down. Stir into the dressing.
3. Drain the cooked potatoes and peel as soon as they are cool enough to handle; halve if small, or quarter larger ones. Stir into the dressing with the red onion, chillies and chaat masala. The potatoes will absorb the dressing as they cool. Stir in the radishes and their leaves and the coriander just before serving. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Sprinkle with a little more chaat masala, if you like, then serve.
Gluten-Free Grilled Chickpea Seekh Kebab Wraps
Seekh Kebab Wraps that are gluten-free and even vegetarians can eat? What kind of sorcery is this? It even looks like a Seekh Kebab to me but, it is… healthy? Equipped with a recipe inclusive of many, a sense of humour thanks to those witty christmas cracker jokes, and a little bit of mulled wine (between you and me) I know I’m going to be making many friends this Christmas. I think I’ll consider this my Chickpea(ce) offering.
This protein packed, gluten-free version is delicious and satisfying enough to make a healthy, light meal. You can also lightly fry them in a non-stick frying pan (with or without skewers) in which case you don’t need to brush with butter. You can leave out the butter if you want to be healthy and eat them with the yoghurt, if not you should add the fat as they will taste a bit dry.
11/2 tbs. vegetable oil
1 medium red onion, half finely chopped and half finely sliced (for the wrap)
2 tsp. finely chopped ginger
2 good cloves garlic, finely chopped
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1-2 tsp. finely chopped green chillies to taste
3 tbs. finely chopped red capsicum
20g grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. dried mango powder (or serve with lemon wedges)
3 tbs. gluten-free breadcrumbs
Salt and 1/8th tsp. freshly ground black pepper or to taste
2 small fistfuls of chopped fresh coriander
1 rounded tbs. butter, soft or melted
Large skewers, soaking in water as you cook
6 gluten-free tortillas or thin gluten-free flatbreads, 8-10 Iceberg lettuce leaves, Small fistful of chopped mint leaves, small fistful of coriander leaves, ½ lemon and 250g thick Greek yoghurt.
1. Mash or blend the chickpeas until they are a coarse puree.
2. Heat the vegetable oil in a small non-stick frying pan and add the chopped onion and some salt; cook until soft and then golden. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli and stir fry over a gentle flame for 1 minute or until the garlic is just cooked. Add the cumin and garam masala with a splash of water and cook out until there is no moisture left in the pan and you can see the mixture frying in the oil. Add this to the mashed chickpeas, along with the fresh coriander, dried mango powder, cheese, capsicum and the gluten-free breadcrumbs. Mix well together, taste and adjust the seasoning to taste. Leave to cool.
3. Meanwhile, stir the handful of chopped mint and coriander into the yoghurt along with salt and pepper to taste. Marinate the sliced onions in a good squeeze of the lemon juice.
4. Roughly portion the kebab mix into 6 and with slightly oiled hands, form the seekh kebabs around the skewers, you can make these round or slightly flattened. Preheat your grill setting in your oven place the skewers on oiled foil and place about 4” away from the hot grill and cook for 10 minutes, carefully turning halfway, or until browned on both sides.
5. Place the breads in foil in the oven to heat through for the last 3-4 minutes before the kebabs come out. Brush the cooked kebabs with the butter (they will be dry and quickly absorb the fat).
6. Quickly ease the kebabs off the sticks and place straight on the breads, top with the onions, lettuce and yoghurt, wrap and serve.
Recipe by Anjum Anand: celebrity chef and author of cookbooks, available where all good books are sold.
Words by Addy Fong.