The second instalment of a five part series on authentic Indian cooking.
So who or what is Holyfood?
Well, let’s just say two guys, Amrik Dhaliwal and Ron Kastner, shook their heads at the not especially healthy “Indian” food served in the UK and decided they can do better. Their aim is to introduce Britons to the real deal and most if not all recipes are traditional family recipes which they hope to preserve for future generations.
The partnership is a match made in heaven. Amrik is the passionate cook who spearheads the creative process and comes up with different recipes and menus. Ron, the health conscious one, loves to eat whatever Amrik creates in the kitchen and supports other parts of the business.
Here is Amrik doing what he loves best.
Holyfood’s youngest fan, Lolly, is only three years old, pictured with her father, Ron.
The Holyfood I had tasted so far is lighter, more wholesome and aromatic than its commercial counterparts. The cuisine is notorious for its spiciness but the company has worked hard to temper the heat for its British clientele and none of what I had eaten was blindingly hot, Vindaloo-style.
What also makes the ready-made meals different is the way the different elements of a meal are put together. At a restaurant you will probably order a main course, say Chicken Tikka Masala, some rice on the side and if you’re feeling virtuous a bit of Aloo Gobi. According to Amrik there is much more to Indian food than this because you are missing out on a full taste experience and nutrition-wise the meal is not balanced.
A typical ready-made meal will have six or seven elements to it, meant to be eaten all in one go. Here is an example of one menu: Masoor Dal (Red Lentil Lal), Bhaingan Bhartha (Smoked Aubergine Sabji), Roti (Chapati), Khire ka Raita (Cucumber Raita), Nimbu ka Achaar (Lemon Pickle), Punjabi Tarka (Punjabi Tempering Oil) and Kheer (Indian Rice Dessert). The dessert is to be enjoyed afterwards of course, but the rest of the dishes should all be enjoyed on one plate. What Britons miss out on the most is pickles and chutneys that act as palate cleansers between mouthfuls.
Are you hungry yet?
To Be Continued…
About the Food
Unlike the Coriander Chutney in the previous post, this one is slightly more advanced to cook but by no means difficult. Just a bit of heat needs to be applied to the condiment. For me the biggest hurdle is getting hold of fresh coconut. Sure, it is easy to buy the hairy, brown ball at the shop but the process of obtaining the snow white flesh can be a bit arduous. I can assure you it is worth all the effort though. If no one was looking I would have seriously considered piling lashings of this chutney on all my food, including dessert!
- 200g (7 oz) fresh coconut, chopped
- 4 whole chilis
- 5cm (2 inches) ginger, peeled and chopped
- 180ml (6 fl oz) yogurt
- 60ml (¼ cup) oil
- 20ml (4 tsp) mustard seeds
- 20 whole curry leaves
- salt, to taste
- Place the coconut, chilis and ginger in a blender and blitz to a paste.
- Stir in the yogurt with the paste.
- Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds and curry leaves.
- Add the yogurt mixture and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
- Season to taste.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 56
- Sodium: 390 mg
- Fat: 5.3 g
- Saturated Fat: 4.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 2.3 g
- Fiber: 1.2 g