Soul Spices 2nd Edition Barcelona Launch Event

Soul Spices was released 2 years ago, a self-published book, a labour of love. A huge part of my journey. It is what has brought me here to all of you and I’m extremely grateful.

I am even more thankful to the publishing house Amat, for giving it a second lease of life and publishing a SECOND edition of Soul Spices! It’s such an honour and I’m very excited to share with you that the book will now be available all over Spain and Latin America! You will also be able to get the ebook on their website, on iTunes, Amazon, and Google too!

If you live in Barcelona and would like to come and meet me, I’ll be presenting and signing my book, Soul Spices, on the 8th November at Pangea Travel store at 19h!

Hope to see you there!

Soul Spices book event at Pangea

 

Indian Vegan Masterclass

Many of you have asked for an Indian Vegan Masterclass, and here it is!

Indian Vegan Masterclass

One class only! Very limited spaces and some have already been taken!

We’ll be doing vegan dishes, gluten and lactose free! Dishes full of flavour and colour as always! Indian food is already so healthy but let’s give it that extra super power, tasty touch!

Hurry!

Date: 21/11/2018
Time: 19:00

Email me: soulspiceskitchen@gmail.com

This class is not available to book online.

Wine Pairing Indian Feast

Experience an Indian feast with wine pairing brought to you by Nika, sommelier and The Wine Alphabet founder.

Wine Pairing Indian Feast

I always had doubts on which wines go with Indian food or any spiced dishes. I love to serve a good bottle of wine with a special dinner, or a lunch with friends or simply, mid week along side our traditional meals. But I’m completely lost and have no idea what to choose! Hands up if you’re with me on this! I’m always worried about the flavours and spices and aromatics overpowering or conflicting with the complex notes of the wine.

Well, no more! We have the perfect opportunity with Nika, a total expert! One night. One menu. Designed by me for you. A careful selection of wines by Nika. A unique and exclusive event. You DON’T want to miss this!

Are you vegetarian? Well, I’ve also designed a menu for you to enjoy along with the pairings!

From intense whites, to fragrant rosés, Nika has found some beautiful varieties and wines from all over Spain to suit every spice and flavour profile. Nika says, “This pairing is all about balancing and toying with different textures and flavours”. And that’s what I always say. Enjoy and play with you food! Experiment! It’s all about the experience!

Book now!

November 29th: only 4 seats left!
December 13th: only 2 seats left!

Email soulspiceskitchen@gmail.com to reserve.

This is not available to book online.

Nika and Anjalina

The Best Indian Restaurants in Barcelona

So, this is a rather unusual post for me as, may I point out, I do not write about restaurants or do reviews of any kind. I have very good friends who are experts at doing that here in Barcelona!

The reason I felt I should do this one is because I have loads of my students asking me “Anjalina, where do you get the best Indian food in Barcelona? Which are your top Indian restaurants in Barcelona?“ This is hard for me to answer, as I rarely eat Indian food outside of my own home, which, if you know me and what I do (I am a culinary teacher, teaching Indian cooking in Barcelona, and a recipe developer) , you’ll probably understand, or maybe not. It should be my duty to be up to speed on what’s good on the Indian food scene here in my adopted hometown of Barcelona! So, I took on this challenge and went out to eat! Eating research is fun!

In no particular order or preference, here of some of the spots I think you should definitely check out! I haven’t covered every single Indian restaurant in town, so if you have any that you’d like to recommend, I’d be happy to give them a try! Here goes!

Masala 73 Curry Bar

www.facebook.com/masala73

Address: Carrer de Muntaner 152, Eixample, Barcelona

For me, these guys are the most current, hip looking Indian joint, in that, its’ easy, minimalistic design really speaks of what todays eating experience is all about: the food. And the food is GOOD! This Curry Bar started off as a food truck (or food BUS), and finally became a permanent location built on pure passion for this vast yet simple cuisine. And they do it very well. They also change their menu every 3-4 months, focussing on seasonal local produce but sticking to Indian traditional well-loved curries and dishes. I recently tried the Beef Vindaloo, a well-loved British favourite, practically non-existent in India now, and the flavours were deep and smoky, just perfect, the gosht tacos are to die for and the pea koftas in that silky green sauce, heavenly…. Love this place, the guys there, and Isa, who handles front of house, is a gem of a person. You’ll be happy there!

Masala'73

Masala’73

Karma Lounge & Restaurant

restaurantekarma.com

Address: Carrer de Santaló 73, 08021 Barcelona

This restaurant comes from a line of previous restaurants scattered around the city. It’s run by a well-established Indian family here in Barcelona who have a tonne of experience under their belts. They own J K Asian Foods too, a tiny treasure of a store where I buy all my Indian produce! It’s brilliant! So, back to this restaurant. It’s the youngest of their 3 restaurants and slightly hidden away. It’s in the “upper” area of Barcelona, meaning, above Avenida Diagonal, on Calle Santalo. This street isn’t known to be bustling or particularly vibrant although it has Mercat Galvany to boast of, a lovely little local market with great produce and vendors. So, this isn’t a place that expects walk-ins. I wish it was though. The service is great and super polite and friendly. The food is traditional and in keeping with the tastes of the local Spanish Catalan people, I feel. Nothing overly spiced, the meats are cooked perfectly and the portions exact. We tried the Murgh Malai, a succulent chicken kebab, amongst many dishes. The naan was light and tasty and the prawns, tandoori style, were flavourful. Do hop in if you’re out shopping on Diagonal, it’s a lovely little oasis.

Karma Lounge & Restaurant

Karma Lounge & Restaurant

Surya Muntaner

www.suryarestaurants.com/surya-muntaner-barcelona

Address: Carrer del Consell de Cent 236, 08011 Barcelona

Surya pride themselves on being the pioneers of the Street Food concept in Spain. They’ve got two restaurants in Barcelona and one in Madrid now so you can safely say that this concept is going down pretty well with the locals! The decor is superb, fun and kitsch and just what people need for a relaxed evening out! These guys have hit the pulse of the cool Mumbai style, the quirky colours and images, and the menu follows the same concept. It’s got its curries and traditional dishes for sure, they even have a dish of the month! But the fun part is the street food stuff: pakoras, pani puri, papdi chaat. If you know Indian street food then you’ll be one happy camper! Recently though, they’ve taken a slightly more “health” conscious route, adding an Ayurvedic bowl menu! I love this idea and I think it’ll do really well: 3 new bowls based on the ayuvedic “doshas”, and you choose yours based on your type. It’s modern and fun and that’s what Surya is all about.

Surya

Surya

Chennai Masala Dosa

www.facebook.com/Chennaimasaladosa

Address: Carrer de Galileu 326, 08028 Barcelona

So, I’m from Bangalore, South India, and for me, there’s nothing that compares to South Indian or Chettinad style food, which basically means DOSA (amongst other marvellous things). Dosa is a crispy type of pancake/crepe thing made from a fermented batter, a combination of lentil and rice flour. You can opt for the plain version accompanied with coconut and tomato chutney, the masala version, stuffed with a soft spiced potato filling or they have many other interesting options to choose from on their menu. They know their South Indian food because the owners are from the South! Very humble, happy people, it’s always a pleasure to grab lunch there (I usually eat dosas for lunch as opposed to dinner as, in the South, dosas are a breakfast food and I’m used to that). Try their Thali too. The plate with about 6-7 different dishes all at once, a great way to get to know the variety of flavours of this region.

Chennai Masala Dosa

Chennai Masala Dosa

Tandoor

www.restaurantetandoor.com

Address: Carrer d’Aragó 8, 08015 Barcelona

Ivan, the owner, is young, he’s fun and always with a very pleasing disposition. He’s taken his father’s restaurant and completely turned it around, making it cool and modern and calling it “Local Indian Food”. Which is a bold move! And he’s done it well. He knows what locals want and he gives it to them. Traditional North Indian dishes, with a more delicate background flavour, lighter and well presented. The place is relaxed and rustic, the colours of the table mats and signage are bright and inviting. And the food is just right for the local palate, especially if you’re an Indian food virgin, and you’re a bit sceptical, I feel like this is the place to start!

Mayura

www.mayuralounge.es

Address: Carrer de Girona 57, 08009 Barcelona

Mayura is one of the first Indian restaurants I came to discover on a personal level right back when it was being created in 2006! I know Mayura (the owner), we were in school together! She comes from a family of great cooks; her mother is super well known for her delicious burgers back in Bangalore. She truly knows the flavours of the South and has incorporated some of them into her dishes. The range of dishes covers the country’s finest, and my personal favourite are the lamb chops, you have to try those!! The ambience is exotic, colourful and very tastefully done, lovely for a night out for sure!

Mayura

Mayura

Dhaba

restaurantedhaba.com

Address: Passeig de Manuel Girona 50, 08034 Barcelona

On a lazy Sunday afternoon, slightly gloomy and tired I decided that going out wasn’t in our plans for the day. And neither was cooking. So, a friend recommended Dhaba. Dhaba in Hindi basically means a sort of truck stop, rural restaurant, cheap and delicious, but perhaps slightly challenging if you’re a foreigner. I grew up eating a late-night curry at dhabas after a long night out! Those were the days! Anyway, I digress. So, I ordered a number of usual suspects like the chicken Biryani, Sheekh Kebab, Chicken tikka and Dal Makhani. And it was all very well-seasoned, the biryani particularly was fragrant and the rice fluffy, light and super aromatic. We enjoyed that take out meal, and it really hit the spot on a Sunday afternoon. It’ll probably be even better if you eat there!

Dhaba

Dhaba

Sindur

www.sindur-restaurant.com

Address: Carrer Còrsega 211-bis, Barcelona

Elegant and modern, the chic design itself makes you feel like you’re about to dine like a queen or king. It’s a small space, but perfect for intimate get togethers and romantic evenings.

Focusing more on Northern Indian cuisine, they stick to what they know best. The food is rich in flavours, well presented and classy all around! Try their tasting menu, it covers all the favourites!

Sindur

Sindur

A few more…

There are more, many more Indian haunts. As I said, I haven’t been able to cover them all for this post, but I will be trying them out soon! These are a few more that I’ve heard very good things about. I’ve been to a couple a while ago and will definitely be going back.

So, that was my tiny glimpse on the Indian restaurant scene here in bustling Barcelona. I think we are on a good roll here and that the flavours and spices are starting to be well loved by locals, and discovered by travellers too. As I always say, spice up your life! And what better way than to go for an Indian meal once in a while, if you’re not cooking it at home following one of my recipes, that is. 😉

Strawberry Shrikhand

Ingredients:

  • 500g Greek yoghurt
  • 250g strawberries
  • Icing sugar to taste, or honey or Panela
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 12 strands (approx) saffron
  • A few extra strawberries to decorate
  • Pistachios and almond sliver to finish

Method:

  1. With a hand blitzer, beat the strawberries adding a little icing sugar to create a coulis.
  2. Mix the cardamom and saffron into the yoghurt, and add a little sweetener. Add the coulis leaving a little behind to add on top afterwards.
  3. Let cool.
  4. Serve in bowls or glasses, finishing with some sliced strawberries, almonds and pistachios.

Strawberry Shrikhand

Homemade Prawn Curry, Simple and Satisfying

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds ( methi seeds)
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 can tinned chopped tomatoes (400g)
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon homemade curry powder
  • 800g peeled prawns
  • salt
  • 2 handfuls fresh, finely chopped coriander
  • the juice of 1 lemon
Homemade Prawn Curry

Homemade Prawn Curry

Method:

Heat a heavy bottomed pot/pan or wok over a medium flame. Add a couple of tablespoons sunflower oil. Add the cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds. Wait until they start to sizzle and turn slightly golden. Add the curry leaves. Add the chopped onions, you can add a pinch of salt now so that the onions start to sweat. We need to get the onions to brown nicely so this will take around 10 minutes or so. Next add the ginger garlic paste, cook for a minute or so and then incorporate the tomatoes. Add the spices, stir well and allow the tomatoes and spices to cook for a further 5 minutes, until the oil comes to the surface. Keep the flame on medium for this. Once the tomatoes are cooked well, turn up the heat slightly and add the prawns, a pinch of salt, the fresh coriander. Allow the prawns to cook, turn down the flame, cover and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Finish with a teaspoon of garam masala and lemon juice.

Serve with hot chapattis, chilas or basmati rice.

Miso Baked Aubergines Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 regular sized aubergines / 2 handful small baby asian aubergines
  • 2 tbsp white miso
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • ½ tbsp rice vinegar
  • ½ tbsp maple syrup or agave
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • toasted sesame oil, for brushing
  • black and toasted sesame seeds for topping
  • finely sliced spring onions for topping
  • salt

Method:

  1. Cut your aubergines into half, lengthwise. Sprinkle cut surfaces of the aubergines with salt and set aside for 20-30 mins for the salt to draw out any bitterness. Rinse the salt off and pat the vegetables dry with a paper towel.
  2. Heat up the oven with the grill option and line a large baking tray with a piece of baking paper.
  3. Whisk miso, mirin, rice vinegar and maple syrup/agave,  in a small pot over medium heat until miso has dissolved. Take off the heat and mix in sesame oil.
  4. Brush cut surfaces of the aubergine wedges with a bit of sunflower oil and place them, skin down, on a paper-lined baking tray. on the middle level in the oven so that the aubergine cooks on the inside as well as on the outside. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until tender.
  5. Take the tray out of the oven and brush the aubergine with miso glaze. Return the tray under the grill for a few minutes until the glaze caramelises nicely. Watch them so that they don’t burn.
  6. To serve, sprinkle some finely sliced spring onions and a mix of black and toasted sesame seeds.

Cauliflower Fried “Rice” Recipe

I tried this recipe recently and really enjoyed it. I think it’s perfect for a light lunch or dinner right now, so easy to make. I recommend you eat it on the same day, as the cauliflower would start to smell a little the next day.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized head of cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, cubed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup / 150g frozen peas
  • 3 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 spring onion, thinly sliced
  • toasted sesame seeds to finish
  • sriracha sauce and ketchup manis sauce to finish (optional)

Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipe

Instructions

  1. PREPARE THE CAULIFLOWER: In your food processor, process the cauliflower until you get a fine, cous cous like grain, pulsing 4-5 times and checking. Transfer to a bowl and using a kitchen paper towel, squeeze to remove as much moisture as you can, set aside.
  2. STIR FRY: Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add the onions and carrots and stir fry until fragrant and until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper at this point. Add the minced garlic and continue for a few seconds. Add the cauliflower, and remaining sesame oil to the pan; stir fry quickly to cook the cauliflower. Add the green peas and tamarin and continue to stir fry.
  3. Turn off the heat and finish with the finely sliced spring onions, sriracha and ketchup manis to give it that sweet spicy finish and top with the toasted sesame seeds. You could do this just before serving.

Let me know what you think!

Recipe for Goan-Inspired Fish Curry with Tamarind and Coconut

You can freeze this curry in batches, and on gloomy days when you just don’t feel like cooking, pull it out of the freezer for some instant sunshine!

Ingredients for 4 persons:

  • 4 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 4 dry, red Kashmir chillies
  • 2 cm ginger, peeled and grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and ground
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar (or brown)
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1/2 or 1 green chilli, de-seeded and finely cut
  • 500 g white fish fillets, skinless and cut into 3 cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp chopped, fresh coriander

Instructions:

  1. Toast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and dry chillies in a pan for about 1 minute. Grind in a spice grinder or my hand in a pestle and mortar, and then add the ginger, garlic, turmeric and 1 tbsp salt.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, add the onion and fry until golden.
  3. Shake the spice mix over the onion, cook and stir for 2 minutes, and finally add the tomato. Continue to cook until all juices are evaporated.
  4. Add the coconut milk, sugar, tamarind and green chilli and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened slightly. Taste and season.
  5. Season the fish, add it to the sauce and simmer on a low heat for about 10 minutes, until the fish is cooked through. Taste again to check salt levels and correct if necessary.
  6. Add the fresh coriander, and serve with Basmati rice or chapatis.

Meat Free Monday, Dal Tadka, and why I wrote a cook book!

libro Anjalina Chugani

A lot of people have asked me, why I wrote Soul Spices…

There are a few reasons.. but first let me just say that I totally respect the amazing chefs out there, the food writers, they are the heroes of the kitchen.. the mothers, the grandmothers.. these are the hearts of the kitchen…

For me, writing Soul Spices was more of a passion project than a business idea.

I came into it rather organically, and although it was a lot of work, a lot of hours, expensive ( I self published), I enjoyed every gruelling second of it.

There was so much that I learnt.. So many new, talented people I came to meet.

For me, all of that formed part of the completion.

IMG_8797

Those who know me well know that cooking wasn’t really something I was essentially born to do. I never enjoyed the work it entailed. The chopping, the cleaning up after.. way too much energy spent for me. I love eating, always have, always will.. but I was happy with someone else doing the cooking. Anyway, to cut a very long and repetitive story short, I ended up loving being in the kitchen and cooking itself was therapeutic.

Just feeding people, inviting them to sit around my table, having my daughters’ friends over.. that whole experience was something I came to relish.

And so I began catering a tiny bit,inviting little ones over to have cookie baking classes. And upon entering culinary school, realised that I had found my passion.. my love for ingredients and the tricks that only seasoned chefs can show you. That truly was the only time I enjoyed learning anything. And I came away from that with my own ideas of what I wanted to do.

So that’s when the teaching started.

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And through the teaching, I discovered that there was a huge gap in the cooking universe here ini Barcelona. Something that people didn’t really understand.. how to use and eat with spices… why buy 6-7 different spices? What do do with them.. ?

The same questions came with every cooking class, and I’m always very happy to answer them. And so I thought, why not put all this in writing and learn a little bit more myself?

So I started reading, going through other cookbooks that used spices… and I was beginning to learn and discover a little more every time…

I wanted to share all this.. I wanted to put it into words and pictures and share recipes that I cook everyday…

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So putting a book together has got to be passion and love and all the things you’d like to share with anyone who’s willing to read and look and try… In a way it was a sort of selfish project.. a type of bucket list thing.. but hey, all our goals are a little bit like that aren’t they?

So this is part of how and why Soul Spices was born.

Now I feel like it’s out there on it’s own, speaking for itself a lot of the time. It has allowed me to spread my wings a little further and do more in this world of food… It has brought me together with some amazing people… and has given me the tools to teach not only cooking classes but restaurants and develop new recipes for their menus…

Anjalina_Chugani_appetite_and_other_stories-32

And so it continues and we keep cooking and sharing and working…but mostly we keep getting inspired by others who are doing the same!

Oh.. the book was originally written in English..I think and speak in English… and was translated to Spanish since we are here in Barcelona. The English version is in the book, so it’s great for everyone.. it’s also a fantastic tool to learn a language, as people have told me.. through cooking!

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So go on, if you haven’t already got yours, pick it up today, right here, via the website!
Have lovely day, and here’s a wonderful, meat free, calming recipe to start the week! Thanks for being here!

Dal Tadka-385 F

Moong Dal Tadka

serves 4

1 cup = 250ml

3/4 cup moong dal ( yellow split lentils)
1 medium onlion, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
1 small piece fresh ginger, grated
1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3 cups water
salt

For the tempering

1 tablespoon cumin seeds
4 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 tsp garam masala
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
salt
Preparation:
Soak the lentils for about an hour.
In a large pot, put the lentils, onion, tomato, ginger, red chilli powder, turmeric and water. Season and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cover for about 25 mins.
Remove the cover and stir. You need to achieve a sort of “hummus” like texture, so leave it uncovered on a medium flame at this point until you reached the desired consistency.

Heat a non stick pan and add the oil. Fry the garlic and cumin seeds until nicely toasted. Turn off the heat and add the garam masala. Mix this well and then add it to the dal, stirring well. Season again and serve hot with chapatis or white rice