Here are three tasty recipes from chef Naadir Gattoo.
Chef Naadir Gattoo grew up in a family where food was always at the heart of everything. His Gujarati grandmother first inspired his love of food and from a career that started in sports medicine, he turned his attention to cooking after one of those profound experiences that led him to question how he wanted to spend the rest of his life.
Naadir has travelled the world and brought back inspiration from myriad cultures and from his experiences across the globe which he poured into the menu at his first fully halaal restaurant, Jasmine Fusion (which sadly had to close during the pandemic).
South Indian pot-roasted cauliflower
You will notice these recipes are all vegetarian as not everyone will be going out during the quarantine period to buy meat or they may run out of meat. They are also all relatively affordable. These are hearty dishes drawn from my Indian heritage that are great to share with the family as it's getting colder.
1 medium cauliflower
200g of butter
200g of curry sauce (store-bought) - Woolworths or Pick 'n Pay, Durban style curry sauce will also work
2 dried chillies
For the toasted coconut raisins
50g of flaked almonds
50g of coconut flakes
40g of golden raisins, chopped
25g of honey
1 tbsp of black mustard seeds
1 tbsp of curry leaves
2 tbsp of oil
For the cumin sweet potatoes
750g of sweet potato, cut into long, slender wedges
70ml of coconut oil, or regular oil if preferred
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and cracked
For the coconut yoghurt
200g of coconut flavoured yoghurt
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Transfer the cauliflower to a deep casserole dish. Pour the curry sauce into a jug and add the dried chillies. Let down the sauce with a little water, then pour over the cauliflower. Bake in the oven for approximately 45–60 minutes, basting the cauliflower every 10 minutes or so and adding a little more water if the sauce is getting a bit dry.
Place a dry pan over a medium heat and add the coconut flakes once hot. Cook until lightly coloured, then tip into a mixing bowl to cool. Add the almonds, again cooking until toasted, then place in the bowl with the coconut. Stir through the raisins, oil and honey, stirring to coat everything. Allow to cool – this might make more than is needed for the dish, but you can store the granola in an airtight container for use with other dishes.
Rub the sweet potatoes with the oil, a sprinkling of salt and the cumin seeds. Spread out on a roasting tray and cook in the oven with the cauliflower for the last 25 minutes of cooking.
Add the curry leaves and mustard seeds to a hot pan with a dash of oil and heat until fragrant. Stir through the yoghurt, then season to taste and set aside.
When the cauliflower is tender, remove from the oven and cut into quarters. Serve with the sweet potatoes and spiced yoghurt on the side. Drizzle over the sauce from cooking, sprinkle with the granola and serve.
Fennel and ginger ice cream
Take note you will need an ice cream machine to make this!
2 tbsp of fennel seeds
1 tbsp of candied ginger, chopped
500ml of cream ( double cream works best)
50g of caster sugar
3 egg yolks
Add the sugar and yolks to a heatproof bowl and whisk until pale and smooth. Slowly whisk in the hot cream mix until smooth and incorporated, then pass through a fine sieve.
Allow the mixture to cool, then churn in an ice cream maker. Just before the ice cream has finished churning, sprinkle in half of the chopped ginger, reserving the rest for garnish. Once churned, keep in the freezer until ready to serve.
Gujarati potato and bean curry
200g of fine green beans, cut into 1cm long pieces
3 large white potatoes, diced into 1cm cubes
10g of ginger
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 large ripe tomato, finely chopped
1 tsp tomato paste, optional
1/2 tsp garam masala, optional
1/2 lime, for juice only ( lemon if no lime)
Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the cumin and sauté for ½ a minute, then add the diced potatoes and sauté for 2 minutes. Add salt, turmeric and chilli powders to the pan, and sauté for a further 2 minutes.
Add ginger-garlic paste, stir well and sauté the potatoes for a further 2 minutes.
Add the fine beans and sauté for 1 minute. Then add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste, if using, stirring well. Continue to cook until the potatoes are tender.
Remove the pan from the flame and leave aside for 1-2 minutes. Add salt to taste. Prior to serving, sprinkle with garam masala and the juice of ½ a lime.