Fab food: Sweet and spicy Indian fare
- Get a taste of Mumbai with Masala French Toast and satisfy your sweet tooth with a vermicelli pudding
- We may not be able to travel, but at least we can enjoy the best part - food - at home
India is a huge country, with a huge number of different cuisines, which vary according to region, geographic location, history, climate and ethnic group.
For example, food in Goa, on the southwestern coast of India, is influenced by the Portuguese who colonised the region, and its closeness to the coast, so it involves a lot of seafood. Compare this to food from Uttarakhand, a mountainous region in the north that borders Tibet, where people eat a lot of breads and thick, pulse-based curries to keep them warm.
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Masala French toast (serves 1)
You might be more familiar with a sweet French toast topped with syrup, but this savoury variety really hits the spot. This is also called Bombay Toast and is a popular street food.
2 slices of bread
1 green chilli (or more or less, according to taste)
1 small onion
1 small tomato
salt and pepper to taste
you can also add spices like chilli powder (maybe not with green chilis!), coriander powder, or turmeric
- Finely chop the tomato, onion, and green chilli.
- Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk thoroughly, adding salt, pepper and the spices of your choice.
- Add the vegetables to the eggs and stir.
- Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
- Slice the bread into triangle or squares.
- Dip the bread in the egg mixture and coat it thoroughly, making sure the vegetables are on the top.
- Place bread in the pan, and cookon one side for around 6 minutes. Flip and cook until evenly golden.
- Serve immediately, with the (hot) sauce of your choice!
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Sindhi Seviyan Kheerni (serves 3-4)
The Sindh region, in the northeast, has been a part of Pakistan since the 1947 partition, after which many Hindu Sindhis migrated to India, taking their cuisine with them.
This Sindhi dish, made from a kind of vermicelli called seviyan, is similar to rice pudding and will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth. It is usually served warm, but you can also chill it for a cooling dessert.
500ml full-fat milk
1/2 cup crushed seviyan (you could use angel hair pasta or thin rice noodles instead)
1 1/2 tsp cardamom powder (or to taste)
2 tbsp chopped almonds
6 tsp sugar (or to taste)
- Toast the vermicelli in a saucepan until it turns brown. Remove from heat, break vermicelli into small pieces, about 2.5cm, and return to the pan.
- Place pan over a medium heat, then slowly pour the milk into the saucepan. Add the cardamom.
- Stir continuously until the milk rises and boils, then reduce the heat to bring the milk to a simmer. Repeat process at least twice, cooking for around five minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add the sugar, tasting for sweetness, and stir frequently, until you have a thick, even consistency.
- Sprinkle the almonds on top and serve.