'My Bangladesh Kitchen' cookbook: Recipes from prawn bhuna to tamarind pop-overs

4/6/2019 11:00:00 AM

'My Bangladesh Kitchen' cookbook: Recipes from prawn bhuna to tamarind pop-overs

Indyeats, Bangladeshi Recipes

'My Bangladesh Kitchen' cookbook: Recipes from prawn bhuna to tamarind pop-overs

Aside from the food, Saira Hamilton explains that there's something distinctly Bangladeshi about the way it's eaten too

Subscribe now The family meal is the cornerstone of the Bangladeshi way of eating.Cooking is all about getting a fine balance right, and nowhere is that plainer than with fried food.James has his own cooking show on ITV (Pictures: REX/@matt.‘Weep a little with happiness’: pig’s cheek salad.

The whole family will generally eat together, children and adults, no matter how late that may be. Young children are usually fed first and until they are old enough to feed themselves; a designated adult will mix up a big plate of rice with a small amount of meat, fish, vegetables and dal and then feed the youngsters by hand. You’re aiming for a temperature between 170C and 180C, so use a thermometer, if you have one. The rice is formed into small balls which are then popped directly into the mouths of the children. James shocked fans by quitting in 2016, and since then has launched his own cooking program on ITV called Saturday Morning. This progresses to the balls of food being picked up by the children themselves, until eventually they learn to feed themselves and then they can sit at the table with the adults. Prawn and rice fritters (pictured top) My colleague Ixta Belfrage broke all the rules here by combining two of her favourite childhood snacks: Brazilian savoury prawn pasties and sweet Italian rice fritters.  Bowls and platters of the various dishes are laid in the middle of the table. Those of a certain age should be prepared to power up their iPhone torch to read the menu.

There will almost certainly be rice, and one or two vegetable dishes, and some kind of protein dish, probably fish. Prep 15 min Cook 1 hr 20 min Makes 16 3 tbsp olive oil 5 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 340g sustainably sourced raw peeled king prawns, chopped into 1½-2cm pieces 3 tbsp tomato paste 1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed ½ tsp coriander seeds, crushed 1 green chilli, finely chopped 2 lemons, zest finely grated, to get 1 tsp, then cut into 6 wedges, to serve Flaked sea salt 100g arborio rice 100ml dry white wine 200ml shellfish or fish stock 120ml whole milk 1 egg, separated 60g plain flour About 800ml vegetable oil, for frying Hot sauce of your choice, to serve Put the first seven ingredients, the lemon zest and a teaspoon and a half of salt in a medium saucepan on a medium heat, and fry gently for eight minutes, until the prawns are golden-brown.tebbutt) The 45-year-old revealed the relationship between Saturday Kitchen and Saturday Morning could be seen as rivalry He said: ‘I suppose you could say that. There could even be two types of fish dish, fried and curried. There may be a meat or chicken curry too and there will definitely be dal. Leave to cool for five minutes, stir in the egg yolk, then set aside to cool completely. Add to that a salad or chutney and you have the basic meal. Advertisement Advertisement ‘But I’m not sure [James Martin is] that bothered about things like that. Food is rarely plated up; people will serve themselves from the dishes on the table. Whip the egg white to stiff peaks, then gently fold into the rice mixture. Other restaurants and chefs bang on about being ingredient led.

  There is usually an order to the way things are eaten. The rice is put on the plate first and then eaten with the vegetables, then the fried fish, then the curries, and finally dal. Test that the oil is hot enough by dropping in a tiny bit of batter – it should sizzle – then fry the fritters in batches of four, to avoid lowering the temperature too much. I just love turning up, having a laugh and if you do flip between them, they are quite different shows. Rice is usually topped up at least once; it would be considered odd at best and impolite at worst if you don’t have seconds. And probably the most obvious thing you notice when you sit down to a traditional Bangladeshi meal is that there will be no cutlery provided, as food is eaten with fingers. (You may need to adjust the heat if they brown too quickly. It’s a bit of an art and takes practice to eat this way without making a mess or ending up with food up to your elbows. I’m not going to the DJs retiring home!’ More:. Your enthusiasm will do the job.

But this is by far the best way to eat traditional Bangladeshi food, to deal with and remove bones from meat or fish and to get the perfect mix of the sauces with the rice and chutneys. Sprinkle the fritters with salt, and serve hot with the lemon wedges and hot sauce.  Chingri maacher bhuna  – king prawn curry with tomato and chilli  Prawns are plentiful in Bangladesh and have always been enjoyed there. As with most things, Bangladeshis like to get their money’s worth out of a prawn and they eat every last bit of them. Prep 25 min Cook 40 min Makes 12 200g curly kale, tough stems discarded (150g net weight) ½ onion, finely sliced (ideally on a mandoline) 4 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced 30g coriander leaves, roughly chopped 3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 1 tsp caraway seeds, toasted and lightly crushed 1½ tsp coriander seeds, toasted and lightly crushed ⅓ tsp chilli flakes 50g gram flour (chickpea flour) 2 limes, zest finely grated, to get 2 tsp, ½ lime juiced, to get 2 tsp juice, and the rest cut into wedges, to serve Salt About 500ml sunflower oil, for frying Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. I’ll still never forget the first time my husband watched my petite and delicate mother munching on a massive prawn head whilst we enjoyed a family dinner together. His face was a picture, let me tell you!  Personally I prefer the other end of a prawn, and this was a dish I always requested mum to make for any special occasion or celebration. Drain and, once cool enough to handle, squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

It is quite spicy, but you can reduce the number of green chillies to your taste of course. It is very important to cook the sauce down well before you add the prawns as you don’t want them to overcook and become rubbery. Test the mixture’s consistency by squeezing it with your hands – it should hold together, so if it’s a bit on the wet side, add a touch more gram flour. This curry can be made with any size of prawn; tiger prawns work very well. But my particular weakness is for very large king prawns, which is what I look for when I make this dish, and I buy them without the heads attached. Put a medium saucepan on a medium-high heat and add enough oil to come 4cm up the sides. Don’t forget to clean and de-vein the prawns before you cook them.

  Serves 4  2 tbsp vegetable oil  1 onion, chopped into 1cm/½in dice  2 garlic cloves, finely sliced  1 tsp chilli powder  1 tsp ground cumin  1 tsp ground coriander  ½ tsp ground turmeric  ½ tsp salt  2 tbsp ginger paste  200g/7oz fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped  1 tsp sugar  4 fresh green chillies, cut in half lengthwise  600g/1lb 6oz large king prawns, peeled and de-veined (defrosted weight)  3 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander Place a large frying pan, skillet or wok onto a medium-high heat. Carefully lower five bhajis into the oil and fry for three to four minutes, turning once halfway, until browned and crisp. Add the vegetable oil and when it is hot, add the chopped onion. Fry, stirring regularly, for around 10 minutes until the onion is a deep golden-brown colour. Once all the bhajis are fried, bake for five minutes, until just cooked through, sprinkle with salt and serve warm with the lime wedges. Then add the sliced garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes.  Now add the ground spices, salt and ginger paste. If you have some brandy or calvados to hand, mix a couple of teaspoons into the whipped cream, and an extra teaspoon of sugar, to add a welcome complexity.

Add a small amount of water (120ml/4fl oz) and stir everything together. Once the water has mostly evaporated and there is a sheen of oil on top of the pan, you can add the chopped tomatoes, sugar and fresh chillies. Prep 15 min Proving 40-50 min Cook 35 min Serves 6-8 200g plain flour 1 sachet fast-action dried yeast (7g) 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted 1 egg, beaten ½ tsp finely grated orange zest ½ tsp finely grated lemon zest 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out 150g caster sugar 150ml warm water 2-3 granny smith apples, skin on, cored and cut into 1½ cm dice (300g net weight) 1½ tsp fennel seeds, finely crushed 120ml double cream Salt About 600ml vegetable oil, for frying Put the first six ingredients, half the vanilla seeds and 40g sugar in a large bowl.  Read more Ugly vegetables are a major cause of food waste Stir everything together really well and allow to come up to a gentle simmer. Then cover the pan and allow the sauce to simmer for around 10 minutes. The dough should be quite wet, loose and very sticky.  The next step is to add the prawns, which should be cleaned and ready to cook.

(If you are using frozen prawns, make sure they are thoroughly defrosted before you start to cook. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rise for 40-50 minutes, until bubbling and doubled in size.) The sauce at this stage should have thickened slightly. Add the prawns to the pan and stir well to coat them in the spiced tomato sauce. In a small bowl, whip the cream by hand to soft peaks – about two minutes. Cover the pan again and let them cook for around 5 minutes. If the pan is not simmering well, you may need to increase the heat slightly. Stir a quarter-teaspoon of salt into the dough.

  After 5 minutes, uncover the pan and turn the prawns. Add in half the chopped fresh coriander and stir well and then cook, uncovered, for a further 2–3 minutes, or as long as it takes until the prawns are completely cooked, firm to the touch and opaque all the way through. Cooking the fritters in four or five batches, drop a heaped tablespoon of dough per fritter into the hot oil and fry for about four minutes in total, turning two or three times, until crisp and golden-brown all over. The sauce should be quite thick and cling to the prawns.  Finally, garnish with the remaining fresh coriander and some extra green chillies if wanted. Once all the fritters have been fried, roll them lightly in the fennel seed sugar and serve warm with the cream alongside. This curry is delicious with plain steamed rice or with freshly made luchi.

  Shabzi achar  – mixed vegetable pickle  This is a recipe that is different in every household, but it follows the same basic method as most quick pickles. Topics. It’s not exactly instant but the pickle can be eaten straight away, once cooled, unlike certain other pickle-making methods. I am using cauliflower, carrots, garlic and chillies in my pickle but you can substitute other vegetables that you have. Use similar hard vegetables rather than anything too soft and juicy, and always make sure the vegetables you are using are cut to similar sizes and are completely dry before cooking in the spiced oil.  Serves 8 as an accompaniment  1 tbsp plus 1 tsp salt  300g/11oz cauliflower, broken into small florets  300g/11oz carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm/½in slices  20 garlic cloves, peeled  10 small hot fresh green chillies, left whole  3 tbsp panch poran  120ml/4fl oz/½ cup mustard oil (see note)  2 tbsp finely julienned fresh ginger  1 tsp ground cumin  1 tsp ground coriander  ½ tsp ground turmeric  ½ tsp chilli powder  65g/2½oz dark brown sugar, muscovado is perfect  75ml/3fl oz white vinegar  First prepare the vegetables.

Take a large bowl of cold water and dissolve the 1 tbsp salt in it. Then cut all the vegetables to a similar size, keeping the garlic cloves and chillies whole, and place into the salted water. Allow the vegetables to sit in the salt solution for 30 minutes.  Drain the vegetables in a colander and then spread them out on a tray and let them air-dry for a further hour.  While waiting for the vegetables, take a small frying pan or skillet, and place over a low heat.

Add the panch poran and stir it around in the pan for around 1 minute. Once the seeds are toasted, tip them into a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and blend them briefly. You are looking for a rough powder, not a fine dust.  Once all your ingredients are ready, take a large saucepan and place onto a medium heat. Pour in the mustard oil and leave for a minute or so until it heats up a little.

Then add in the 1 tsp salt, and the sliced ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli powder.  Now add in the vegetable pieces and stir well. Sprinkle over the ground panch poran powder, dark sugar and vinegar, and stir again. Cover the pan and allow the pickle to cook for 30 minutes and then turn off the heat. Test a piece of carrot to check it is cooked.

If should not be completely soft, but the point of a sharp knife should go in quite easily. If it is not quite there, cook for a further 5 minutes.  Allow the pickle to cool down completely in the pan for 4–5 hours before pouring into sterilised jars to store. This pickle will keep for up to 3 months if stored in a cool, dark place.  Tip : Panch poran is the fragrant Bengali five-spice, containing mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, and nigella seeds.

Note: Mustard oil (shorsher tel) is a staple ingredient in Bangladeshi cuisine and probably the flavour that really defines the cuisine of the region. However, there is controversy about its use on medical grounds due to the presence of erucic acid and potential side effects, and certain institutions advise not to use it; it is banned for consumption in the EU, Canada and the USA. As an alternative it is possible to make your own mustard-infused oil instead. Simply heat some vegetable oil in a small pan then stir in freshly crushed mustard seeds, turn off the heat and allow the mustard to infuse the oil slowly. Once it is cool, strain and store the oil in a cool, dark place to use.

  Fuska  – tamarind pop-overs I didn’t know what to call these in English as there isn’t really a translation that works! In Bangladesh these are called fuska or phuchka, and in India they call them pani puri. Whatever you call them, they consist of a bite-sized crispy shell which is then packed with a vegetarian filling and topped up with a sweet and sour tamarind water. In Bangladesh these would usually be eaten in cafés or from market stalls as a snack between meals, but they can be made at home too. It’s not exactly easy to make them, but it’s well worth doing so. The individual components can be made up to 24 hours in advance and then everything put together just before you want to eat them.

The shells can be found ready-made in Indian grocers, so that is also an option.  I warn you that when making a batch of fuska, there will always be one or two that won’t puff up and rise, and these can be discarded (or eaten up anyway). The cooked shell should be wafer-thin, almost translucent, and very crispy. These absolutely must be eaten in one mouthful; try to take a bite and you will end up with tamarind water running down your elbow and chin. Fuska are not meant to be elegant, just very tasty!  Serves 4–6 .

Read more:
The Independent »

From prawn and rice to apple and fennel: Yotam Ottolenghi’s fritter recipesHow to make the perfect fritters, with a crisp, crunchy coating concealing a soft, billowy interior

Saturday Kitchen star Matt Tebbutt admits James Martin's new show is a 'rival'Saturday Kitchen star Matt Tebbutt admits James Martin’s new show is a ‘rival’

EartH Kitchen, London: ‘A hugely cheering meal’ – restaurant reviewThe restaurant of an events venue proves that great modern British cooking is as good as any show, says Jay Rayner

KFC whistle blower leaks pictures from inside disgusting rodent infested kitchenA former KFC worker has taken photos of a potentially rat infested restaurant in Plymouth filthy gets Ffs I’ve just bought a bargain bucket. I order from k.f.c regulary not nomore !

Son's chilling Fortnite messages after 'mum stabbed dad with 15cm kitchen knife'Natasha Welsh, 43, is accused of stabbing her husband at their home in Greyhound Hill in Hendon, north west London

How to bring Thai home cooking to your kitchenShe didn't want her cookbook to simplify Thai cooking, the food she grew up on. Instead her cookbook 'Baan' is about bringing the food of her childhood to western home kitchens, says Julia Platt Leonard

Multi-talented tahini: Anna Jones’ choc chip blondies recipe | The Modern CookThe creamy, sesame-seed spread goes with sweet and savoury alike: try it in chocolate-chip blondies, or simply spread on toast with fruit of your choice These are not blondies but some kind of cake-like bake that is not sweet enough and not good.

Easter 2019 recipes: From Provencal lamb stew to eggy bread hot cross bunsIs there anything for spring-like than lamb and hot cross buns? We think not. Here are our favourite recipes for how to celebrate

Woman claims she's 'sex starved' after seeing something rude in a chicken recipeA VIDEO of a chicken recipe is going viral online with thousands of people comparing the dish to a vagina. Chefclub Network’s Cordon Bleu Deluxe recipe has been watched more than 33 million t…

Bangladesh could take over workplace safety despite 'shocking unreadiness'Exclusive: supreme court to decide whether to kick out accord on building and fire safety

Subscribe now The family meal is the cornerstone of the Bangladeshi way of eating.Cooking is all about getting a fine balance right, and nowhere is that plainer than with fried food.James has his own cooking show on ITV (Pictures: REX/@matt.‘Weep a little with happiness’: pig’s cheek salad.

The whole family will generally eat together, children and adults, no matter how late that may be. Young children are usually fed first and until they are old enough to feed themselves; a designated adult will mix up a big plate of rice with a small amount of meat, fish, vegetables and dal and then feed the youngsters by hand. You’re aiming for a temperature between 170C and 180C, so use a thermometer, if you have one. The rice is formed into small balls which are then popped directly into the mouths of the children. James shocked fans by quitting in 2016, and since then has launched his own cooking program on ITV called Saturday Morning. This progresses to the balls of food being picked up by the children themselves, until eventually they learn to feed themselves and then they can sit at the table with the adults. Prawn and rice fritters (pictured top) My colleague Ixta Belfrage broke all the rules here by combining two of her favourite childhood snacks: Brazilian savoury prawn pasties and sweet Italian rice fritters.  Bowls and platters of the various dishes are laid in the middle of the table. Those of a certain age should be prepared to power up their iPhone torch to read the menu.

There will almost certainly be rice, and one or two vegetable dishes, and some kind of protein dish, probably fish. Prep 15 min Cook 1 hr 20 min Makes 16 3 tbsp olive oil 5 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 340g sustainably sourced raw peeled king prawns, chopped into 1½-2cm pieces 3 tbsp tomato paste 1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed ½ tsp coriander seeds, crushed 1 green chilli, finely chopped 2 lemons, zest finely grated, to get 1 tsp, then cut into 6 wedges, to serve Flaked sea salt 100g arborio rice 100ml dry white wine 200ml shellfish or fish stock 120ml whole milk 1 egg, separated 60g plain flour About 800ml vegetable oil, for frying Hot sauce of your choice, to serve Put the first seven ingredients, the lemon zest and a teaspoon and a half of salt in a medium saucepan on a medium heat, and fry gently for eight minutes, until the prawns are golden-brown.tebbutt) The 45-year-old revealed the relationship between Saturday Kitchen and Saturday Morning could be seen as rivalry He said: ‘I suppose you could say that. There could even be two types of fish dish, fried and curried. There may be a meat or chicken curry too and there will definitely be dal. Leave to cool for five minutes, stir in the egg yolk, then set aside to cool completely. Add to that a salad or chutney and you have the basic meal. Advertisement Advertisement ‘But I’m not sure [James Martin is] that bothered about things like that. Food is rarely plated up; people will serve themselves from the dishes on the table. Whip the egg white to stiff peaks, then gently fold into the rice mixture. Other restaurants and chefs bang on about being ingredient led.

  There is usually an order to the way things are eaten. The rice is put on the plate first and then eaten with the vegetables, then the fried fish, then the curries, and finally dal. Test that the oil is hot enough by dropping in a tiny bit of batter – it should sizzle – then fry the fritters in batches of four, to avoid lowering the temperature too much. I just love turning up, having a laugh and if you do flip between them, they are quite different shows. Rice is usually topped up at least once; it would be considered odd at best and impolite at worst if you don’t have seconds. And probably the most obvious thing you notice when you sit down to a traditional Bangladeshi meal is that there will be no cutlery provided, as food is eaten with fingers. (You may need to adjust the heat if they brown too quickly. It’s a bit of an art and takes practice to eat this way without making a mess or ending up with food up to your elbows. I’m not going to the DJs retiring home!’ More:. Your enthusiasm will do the job.

But this is by far the best way to eat traditional Bangladeshi food, to deal with and remove bones from meat or fish and to get the perfect mix of the sauces with the rice and chutneys. Sprinkle the fritters with salt, and serve hot with the lemon wedges and hot sauce.  Chingri maacher bhuna  – king prawn curry with tomato and chilli  Prawns are plentiful in Bangladesh and have always been enjoyed there. As with most things, Bangladeshis like to get their money’s worth out of a prawn and they eat every last bit of them. Prep 25 min Cook 40 min Makes 12 200g curly kale, tough stems discarded (150g net weight) ½ onion, finely sliced (ideally on a mandoline) 4 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced 30g coriander leaves, roughly chopped 3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 1 tsp caraway seeds, toasted and lightly crushed 1½ tsp coriander seeds, toasted and lightly crushed ⅓ tsp chilli flakes 50g gram flour (chickpea flour) 2 limes, zest finely grated, to get 2 tsp, ½ lime juiced, to get 2 tsp juice, and the rest cut into wedges, to serve Salt About 500ml sunflower oil, for frying Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. I’ll still never forget the first time my husband watched my petite and delicate mother munching on a massive prawn head whilst we enjoyed a family dinner together. His face was a picture, let me tell you!  Personally I prefer the other end of a prawn, and this was a dish I always requested mum to make for any special occasion or celebration. Drain and, once cool enough to handle, squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

It is quite spicy, but you can reduce the number of green chillies to your taste of course. It is very important to cook the sauce down well before you add the prawns as you don’t want them to overcook and become rubbery. Test the mixture’s consistency by squeezing it with your hands – it should hold together, so if it’s a bit on the wet side, add a touch more gram flour. This curry can be made with any size of prawn; tiger prawns work very well. But my particular weakness is for very large king prawns, which is what I look for when I make this dish, and I buy them without the heads attached. Put a medium saucepan on a medium-high heat and add enough oil to come 4cm up the sides. Don’t forget to clean and de-vein the prawns before you cook them.

  Serves 4  2 tbsp vegetable oil  1 onion, chopped into 1cm/½in dice  2 garlic cloves, finely sliced  1 tsp chilli powder  1 tsp ground cumin  1 tsp ground coriander  ½ tsp ground turmeric  ½ tsp salt  2 tbsp ginger paste  200g/7oz fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped  1 tsp sugar  4 fresh green chillies, cut in half lengthwise  600g/1lb 6oz large king prawns, peeled and de-veined (defrosted weight)  3 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander Place a large frying pan, skillet or wok onto a medium-high heat. Carefully lower five bhajis into the oil and fry for three to four minutes, turning once halfway, until browned and crisp. Add the vegetable oil and when it is hot, add the chopped onion. Fry, stirring regularly, for around 10 minutes until the onion is a deep golden-brown colour. Once all the bhajis are fried, bake for five minutes, until just cooked through, sprinkle with salt and serve warm with the lime wedges. Then add the sliced garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes.  Now add the ground spices, salt and ginger paste. If you have some brandy or calvados to hand, mix a couple of teaspoons into the whipped cream, and an extra teaspoon of sugar, to add a welcome complexity.

Add a small amount of water (120ml/4fl oz) and stir everything together. Once the water has mostly evaporated and there is a sheen of oil on top of the pan, you can add the chopped tomatoes, sugar and fresh chillies. Prep 15 min Proving 40-50 min Cook 35 min Serves 6-8 200g plain flour 1 sachet fast-action dried yeast (7g) 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted 1 egg, beaten ½ tsp finely grated orange zest ½ tsp finely grated lemon zest 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out 150g caster sugar 150ml warm water 2-3 granny smith apples, skin on, cored and cut into 1½ cm dice (300g net weight) 1½ tsp fennel seeds, finely crushed 120ml double cream Salt About 600ml vegetable oil, for frying Put the first six ingredients, half the vanilla seeds and 40g sugar in a large bowl.  Read more Ugly vegetables are a major cause of food waste Stir everything together really well and allow to come up to a gentle simmer. Then cover the pan and allow the sauce to simmer for around 10 minutes. The dough should be quite wet, loose and very sticky.  The next step is to add the prawns, which should be cleaned and ready to cook.

(If you are using frozen prawns, make sure they are thoroughly defrosted before you start to cook. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rise for 40-50 minutes, until bubbling and doubled in size.) The sauce at this stage should have thickened slightly. Add the prawns to the pan and stir well to coat them in the spiced tomato sauce. In a small bowl, whip the cream by hand to soft peaks – about two minutes. Cover the pan again and let them cook for around 5 minutes. If the pan is not simmering well, you may need to increase the heat slightly. Stir a quarter-teaspoon of salt into the dough.

  After 5 minutes, uncover the pan and turn the prawns. Add in half the chopped fresh coriander and stir well and then cook, uncovered, for a further 2–3 minutes, or as long as it takes until the prawns are completely cooked, firm to the touch and opaque all the way through. Cooking the fritters in four or five batches, drop a heaped tablespoon of dough per fritter into the hot oil and fry for about four minutes in total, turning two or three times, until crisp and golden-brown all over. The sauce should be quite thick and cling to the prawns.  Finally, garnish with the remaining fresh coriander and some extra green chillies if wanted. Once all the fritters have been fried, roll them lightly in the fennel seed sugar and serve warm with the cream alongside. This curry is delicious with plain steamed rice or with freshly made luchi.

  Shabzi achar  – mixed vegetable pickle  This is a recipe that is different in every household, but it follows the same basic method as most quick pickles. Topics. It’s not exactly instant but the pickle can be eaten straight away, once cooled, unlike certain other pickle-making methods. I am using cauliflower, carrots, garlic and chillies in my pickle but you can substitute other vegetables that you have. Use similar hard vegetables rather than anything too soft and juicy, and always make sure the vegetables you are using are cut to similar sizes and are completely dry before cooking in the spiced oil.  Serves 8 as an accompaniment  1 tbsp plus 1 tsp salt  300g/11oz cauliflower, broken into small florets  300g/11oz carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm/½in slices  20 garlic cloves, peeled  10 small hot fresh green chillies, left whole  3 tbsp panch poran  120ml/4fl oz/½ cup mustard oil (see note)  2 tbsp finely julienned fresh ginger  1 tsp ground cumin  1 tsp ground coriander  ½ tsp ground turmeric  ½ tsp chilli powder  65g/2½oz dark brown sugar, muscovado is perfect  75ml/3fl oz white vinegar  First prepare the vegetables.

Take a large bowl of cold water and dissolve the 1 tbsp salt in it. Then cut all the vegetables to a similar size, keeping the garlic cloves and chillies whole, and place into the salted water. Allow the vegetables to sit in the salt solution for 30 minutes.  Drain the vegetables in a colander and then spread them out on a tray and let them air-dry for a further hour.  While waiting for the vegetables, take a small frying pan or skillet, and place over a low heat.

Add the panch poran and stir it around in the pan for around 1 minute. Once the seeds are toasted, tip them into a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and blend them briefly. You are looking for a rough powder, not a fine dust.  Once all your ingredients are ready, take a large saucepan and place onto a medium heat. Pour in the mustard oil and leave for a minute or so until it heats up a little.

Then add in the 1 tsp salt, and the sliced ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli powder.  Now add in the vegetable pieces and stir well. Sprinkle over the ground panch poran powder, dark sugar and vinegar, and stir again. Cover the pan and allow the pickle to cook for 30 minutes and then turn off the heat. Test a piece of carrot to check it is cooked.

If should not be completely soft, but the point of a sharp knife should go in quite easily. If it is not quite there, cook for a further 5 minutes.  Allow the pickle to cool down completely in the pan for 4–5 hours before pouring into sterilised jars to store. This pickle will keep for up to 3 months if stored in a cool, dark place.  Tip : Panch poran is the fragrant Bengali five-spice, containing mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, and nigella seeds.

Note: Mustard oil (shorsher tel) is a staple ingredient in Bangladeshi cuisine and probably the flavour that really defines the cuisine of the region. However, there is controversy about its use on medical grounds due to the presence of erucic acid and potential side effects, and certain institutions advise not to use it; it is banned for consumption in the EU, Canada and the USA. As an alternative it is possible to make your own mustard-infused oil instead. Simply heat some vegetable oil in a small pan then stir in freshly crushed mustard seeds, turn off the heat and allow the mustard to infuse the oil slowly. Once it is cool, strain and store the oil in a cool, dark place to use.

  Fuska  – tamarind pop-overs I didn’t know what to call these in English as there isn’t really a translation that works! In Bangladesh these are called fuska or phuchka, and in India they call them pani puri. Whatever you call them, they consist of a bite-sized crispy shell which is then packed with a vegetarian filling and topped up with a sweet and sour tamarind water. In Bangladesh these would usually be eaten in cafés or from market stalls as a snack between meals, but they can be made at home too. It’s not exactly easy to make them, but it’s well worth doing so. The individual components can be made up to 24 hours in advance and then everything put together just before you want to eat them.

The shells can be found ready-made in Indian grocers, so that is also an option.  I warn you that when making a batch of fuska, there will always be one or two that won’t puff up and rise, and these can be discarded (or eaten up anyway). The cooked shell should be wafer-thin, almost translucent, and very crispy. These absolutely must be eaten in one mouthful; try to take a bite and you will end up with tamarind water running down your elbow and chin. Fuska are not meant to be elegant, just very tasty!  Serves 4–6 .