Wednesday 24 November 2010

Host the perfect dinner party with Patak's !

Recently, Patak’s commissioned an interesting piece of research, which has revealed a formula for the perfect dining experience, which should last three hours, have five guests and include a delicious three course menu. To accompany this each guest should enjoy three glasses of wine, two beers or two spirit mixers. As well as all this we should ideally be spending £9 per head on food for our guests.

To help you follow Patak’s recipe for success, they have enlisted the help of two industry experts – MasterChef 2010 winner Dhruv Baker and award winning wine critic Susy Atkins. Together they form the Patak’s Taste Panel, ensuring your experience of Indian cuisine remains second to none.
Anjali Pathak, founder of Patak's, says : "As well as discovering the perfect fomula, Patak’s Supper Clubbing : Hungry for Company report also revealed that many people are put off cooking up an Indian feast for friends, family or even strangers, because of the time involved and the culinary skill expected by guests. So that’s why we’ve just launched our very own online Curry Club, which can be accessed by visiting It offers seasoned and aspiring hosts the inspiration they need from mouth-watering recipes to time saving hints and tips. With the help of our Taste Panel members we’ll ensure you’ll always serve up the perfect Indian cuisine every time, freeing up your time to fully enjoy the social aspect of your evening. Well, what are you waiting for? Give your friends a call, set a date in your diary and get Curry Clubbing with Patak’s! ”
To help you on your way, I've posted some of Patak's fabulous dinner party recipes below. They look delicious so I can't wait to try some of them out.

Indian Scotch Eggs - Uttar Nargisi Kofte Ki Kari

This recipe is a wonderful starter or snack and taste great with homemade dips. It can easily be made for vegetarians by substituting the lamb with mashed potatoes.

Serves 4

250 g lamb mince
8 quail eggs / 4 hens eggs
2 tablespoons Patak’s Rogan Josh Paste
1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped
1 Patak’s Naan Bread ( I like Garlic & Coriander)
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 hen’s egg, beaten
oil for deep-frying
salt, to taste
chives, to garnish
For the dips:

1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon French mustard
½ teaspoon sugar
150 ml vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
pinch of coarse sea salt
pinch of white pepper
1 tablespoon Patak’s Brinjal Pickle
1 tablespoon thick Greek yoghurt

1. Heat the oil to 180°C.

2. In a bowl mix together the lamb mince, Patak’s Rogan Josh Paste and fresh coriander.

Whilst the lamb is marinating, boil the eggs. Add the eggs to simmering boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and leave in the water for 30 seconds for quail eggs and 6 minutes for hens eggs. Remove carefully and plunge them into ice-cold water.

3. Carefully peel the eggs by gently tapping them on a hard surface before removing the shell. Set aside.

4. Grate the Patak’s Naan Bread on a grater so they resemble breadcrumbs.

5. Take 1 tablespoon of spiced lamb and flatten it in the palm of your hand.

6. Put a soft-boiled egg in the centre. Gently wrap the spiced lamb around the outside of the egg until all the egg is sealed inside.

7. Roll in a little plain flour and dip in the beaten egg.

8. Roll in the naan breadcrumbs. Repeat until all the eggs are coated.

9. Fry the Indian scotch eggs for 4 – 5 minutes until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper.

10. Whilst they are cooling slightly make the dips. In a bowl whisk together the egg yolk, white wine vinegar, French mustard, sugar and white pepper.

11. Slowly begin to pour in the vegetable oil whisking constantly until the mixture emulsifies and turns into a mayonnaise.

12. With the back of a knife, crush the chopped garlic with a pinch of coarse sea salt.

13. Add the crushed garlic to the fresh mayonnaise. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.

14. In another bowl mix together the Patak’s Brinjal Pickle with the yoghurt.

14. For serving, cut the Indian Scotch egg into two. Place a small teaspoon of each dip on the plate and place the halved Indian Scotch egg on top. Place over some fresh chopped chives for garnish.

Anjali’s Tip If you don’t have time to make your own mayonnaise then just mix the crushed garlic with shop bought mayo.


Smoked Aubergine Tart

Aubergines are a popular vegetable throughout the subcontinent of India. This recipe is a twist on a classic aubergine dish. They were originally cooked on charcoal fires and had a unique smoky flavour.

Serves 4

3 large aubergines
2 tablespoons Patak’s Balti Paste
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ green chilli, chopped (optional)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 spring onions, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
12 sheets of filo pastry cut into 20 cm x 20 cm squares, covered with a damp cloth to prevent them drying out
4 sheets of foil cut into 15 cm x cm
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Juice of ½ lemon
pinch of sugar
salt, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

2. Pierce 2 aubergines lengthways with a skewer so it goes half way through the centre.

3. Roast on a naked flame or gas burner for 10 minutes, regularly turning them until the skin is almost blackened and the aubergines have begun to soften. Alternatively wrap in foil and bake in oven for 45 minutes until pulpy.

4. Place them in a bowl, covered with cling wrap until cool enough to handle.

5. Gently peel away the blackened skin and discard. It doesn’t matter is some of the skin is mixed in with the flesh as it adds to the smoky flavour.

6. Gently heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan on medium flame.

7. Add the cumin seeds and once they begin to crackle add the spring onions.

8. After a few minutes add the garlic, ginger and chilli (if using).

9. Stir well before adding the Patak’s Balti Paste. Sprinkle in some water to prevent the spices from burning.

10. After 2 minutes quickly mash / roughly chop the aubergines and add to the pan with the tomatoes and a pinch of sugar. Stir well and cover.

11. Allow to cook for 10 minutes, stirring often to prevent the masala from sticking.

12. In the meantime slice the remaining aubergine into ½ cm rounds.

13. In a bowl mix together the remaining oil and turmeric powder.

14. Brush over both sides of the aubergine slices.

15. Lay on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes on each side or until crispy and golden.

16. Lay four ramekins / small oven proof bowls upside down on a baking tray. Lightly brush with melted butter.

17. Cover with a piece of foil and loosely press the foil against the ramekin to take the shape.

18. Brush all sides with some melted butter.

19. Lay a sheet of filo pastry on top. Brush with melted butter.

20. At a different angle lay another sheet of filo pastry on top. Brush with melted butter.

21. Repeat with one more sheet. Brush with melted butter.

22. Finish the remaining ramekins.

23. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes and until golden brown.

24. Once baked gently remove the filo tarts being careful not to break them. Set aside.

25. Squeeze the lemon juice into the smoked aubergines, taste and adjust the seasoning.

26. Sprinkle with fresh coriander. Stir.

27. Lay the filo tart upright. Fill with base with smoked aubergine. Top with a few crispy baked aubergine slices.

28. Serve with Roast Sticky Beetroot.


Coconut Stuffed Guinea Fowl - Bharve Naryali Guinea Fowl

This dish is a great dish to serve when you want to impress. The flavours of coconut and coriander work beautifully with the game flavour of the guinea fowl. The jus works best if you have time to make your own stock using the bones of the guinea fowl.

Serves 4

2 guinea fowl
2 tablespoons Patak’s Korma Paste
1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
1 red chilli, finely chopped (deseed if desired)
1 teaspoon lime juice
2 tablespoons double cream
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon butter
500 ml chicken stock
3 cloves garlic, skins on and bashed
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
4 pieces of cling film cut into 30 cm x 30 cm squares

1. Heat a frying pan and toast the desiccated coconut for a few minutes until golden brown. Set aside.

2. Carve the guinea fowl. Cut off the legs and the breasts. Carefully remove the bones of the legs (ensuring all the hard cartilage has been removed – you should be able to feel it by rubbing your fingers over the flesh) and set aside to make the stock. You can ask your butcher to carve the bird for you.

3. Roughly chop the meat of one of the breasts after removing the skin.

4. In a food processor make the mousseline. Mix together the chopped breast meat, toasted coconut, chopped coriander, 1 tablespoon Patak’s Korma Paste, red chilli, lime juice and double cream until smooth.

5. In the centre of a piece of cling film lay out the deboned leg meat Take 1 tablespoon of Korma mousseline and place in the centre of the guinea fowl and spread out all over the meat.

6. Roll up the meat so it resembles a sausage shape.

7. Wrap the cling film around it and tie a tight knot on either end. Trim off any excess cling film once tied. Repeat until all ballotines are made.

8. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour to set the shape (if you have time). Bring to room temperature before poaching.

9. Poach in boiling water for 10 minutes.

10. In the meantime make the jus. Heat the stock with the remaining Patak’s Korma Paste and the mashed garlic cloves. Reduce by two thirds. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

11. Remove the cling film from the ballotines.

12. To finish cooking them through either bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 10 minutes or brown then in a frying pan. Heat the vegetable oil with the butter.

13. Add the ballotines and cook for 10 – 12 minutes until golden brown on all sides.

14. Once the guinea fowl is cooked through season with salt and pepper.

15. For serving, cut the guinea fowl on an angle into slices. Pour over some jus. Serve with saffron crushed potatoes and scented wilted spinach.

Anjali’s Tip This recipe can easily be substituted to use chicken instead of guinea fowl and you can use boneless chicken thighs if you wish.


Cardamom Panna Cotta with Blueberry Compote

This classic dessert has been given a makeover with some aromatic spices. A perfect dessert to end any meal.

Serves 4 – 6

For the Cardamom Panna Cotta:

3 gelatine leaves
285 ml double cream
100 ml semi skimmed milk
60 g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
6 green cardamom pods, roughly bashed in a pestle and mortar

For the Blueberry Compote:

100 g blueberries
juice of 1 orange
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 tablespoon Cointreau / orange or lemon liqueur (optional)
1½ tablespoons sugar

For the Saffron Shortbread:

225 g butter
¼ teaspoon salt
75 g caster sugar
225 g plain flour
75 g rice flour
pinch of saffron
1 tablespoon milk, warmed

1. Make the cardamom panna cotta. Dissolve the gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes.

2. In a heavy bottomed pan gently heat the cream, milk, sugar and crushed green cardamom.

3. Slit the vanilla pod lengthways down the middle leaving 1 cm attached at one end. With the back of the knife carefully scrape out the seeds. Add to the pan with the pod.

4. Stir occasionally and allow to come to the boil before removing from the heat.

5. Squeeze out any excess water from the gelatine leaves before adding them to the boiling cream mixture.

6. Stir well until all the gelatine has been dissolved.

7. Pass the liquid through a fine sieve.

8. Pour into 4 – 6 panna cotta moulds.

9. Lay on a baking tray and allow to cool before transferring them to the refrigerator to set for at least 2 hours.

10. In the meantime make the saffron shortbread.

11. Cream the butter, sugar and salt in a mixer until pale and fluffy.

12. Add the rice flour and plain flour. Mix well until all is combined. Lay out on a surface to bring the dough together.

13. Steep the saffron in warm milk for a few minutes before adding to the dough. Mix well.

14. Roll the dough into a sausage shape about 2 inches in diameter.

15. Wrap in cling film and place in the refrigerator to set for a few hours.

16. In the meantime make the blueberry compote.

17. Add all the ingredients for the blueberry compote into a pan and heat gently for 10 -15 minutes until the blueberries have almost broken down and the sugar has dissolved. It should be thick and syrupy.

18. Pass the compote through a fine sieve reserving the textured blueberries for garnish.

19. Preheat the oven to 160°C.

20. Once the shortbread has set remove from the refrigerator. Remove the cling film.

21. Cut into ½ cm slices and lay on a baking sheet.

22. Bake in the oven for 20 - 30 minutes or until slightly golden but still pale in colour.

23. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

24. Remove the cardamom panna cotta from the refrigerator. Fill a large bowl with boiling water.

25. Gently dip each panna cotta mould, one by one, into the water for a few seconds before turning out upside down onto a serving plate. Remove the mould.

26. Top with some blueberry compote and a few reserved blueberries.

27. Serve with some saffron shortbread.

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