Cooking with Vini and Bal’s rustic Indian curry sauces – potato croquettes with a heart of spice

De mon voyage espress à New Delhi, je me souviens de sauces somptueuses. Riches. Chaque épice, chaque herbe prenant sa place comme une note de musique sur une portée. Des combinations à l’infini. La viande semblait presque superflue. Un naan suffisait à mon bonheur. Une fois de retour, tout semble fade, plat. Sur Londres, Salaam Namaaste me permet de retrouver un instant ces saveurs… Il faudrait trouver le temps de réaliser les recettes soi-même, bien sûr… Manque de temps, longue liste d’ingrédients, écraser les épices au mortier… Un jour, un jour !I took an express trip to New Delhi a few years back for a gourmet feast featuring Basmati rice. Each day brought a superb range of curries with unforgettable sauces, every spice and herb singing a note on your tastebuds. So many combinations possible and the slightest change completely transformed a recipe. Five days of pure indulgence. I did not even consider meat much, I was happy with rice, naans and these fragrant sauces. Lots of them. But once back… you know what it’s like. It haunts you. It’s never the same. Only at Salaam Namaste in London do I get the same feeling. The answer would be to do them myself. No time, long list of ingredients to source, ideally would need to use a pestle and mortar. And the answer remains, yes, one day, I’ll do that. It’s been three years.

Et puis, par hasard, quatre sauces extras, Vini and Bal’s, ont croisé mon chemin. Jeera, une base traditionnelle, cumin, légèrement fumée. Shahi, qui signifie royal et le mérite, tomate, crème, paprika et cardamome. Tharka, gingembre, cannelle caramelise, des épinards aussi. Fiery Mirchy, pour les amoureux de piment, 3 sortes de chilli, une puissance extraordinaire. Des sauces indiennes rustiques, soyeuses mais qui laissent place à la texture naturelle des ingrédients. On les trouve d’ailleurs au rayon frais, soulignant déjà leur fraîcheur.I recently came accross four wonderful, wonderful sauces by Vini and Bal’s that really made me sigh happily. Jeera, a traditional base with cumin, slightly smoked. Shahi, meaning royal and definitely well deserved, creamy tomato with paprika and cardamom. Tharka, ginger, cinnamon caramelised ingredients, spinach too. Fiery Mirchy for heat lovers, three kinds of chilli no less. Powerful. Rustic Indian sauces, silky but allowing the natural texture of ingredients to come through like melt-in-the-mouth onions. You know it’s just right as soon as you open them. They can be found in the chilled aisles, a clue that this is a much better quality.

Vini et Bal sont les deux créateurs de cette gamme, un couple remarquable, passionnés par les plats faits maison et avec cœur. Vini se souvient, enfant, de sa mère et grand-mère préparant épices, sauces, chapattis dans la cuisine, sourire aux lèvres. Quelle aromathérapie en puissance! Elle prend donc le relai, partageant ses créations avec ses amis. Le cercle grandit peu à peu… Enthousiasmés par leur public, à la recherche de saveurs authentiques, ils se lancent tous les deux dans l’aventure.Vini and Bal are quite a remarkable couple, passionate about home cooked food. Vini remembers watching her mother and grandmother in the kitchen, grinding spices, preparing dishes and chapattis, smiling. Talk about aromatherapy! She naturally followed, sharing with friends. An ever increasing circle of friends until she realised there was something there. They both jumped in. The public’s response, need for authentic tastes was impressive – the adventure had began.

Cooking with Vini and Bhal's rustic Indian curry sauces Cooking with Vini and Bhal's rustic Indian curry sauces Cooking with Vini and Bhal's rustic Indian curry sauces Cooking with Vini and Bhal's rustic Indian curry sauces Cooking with Vini and Bhal's rustic Indian curry saucesCooking with Vini and Bhal's rustic Indian curry sauces

Chaque recette est pensée en terme de marinade. Ajoutez une viande, des légumes, ou même juste du paneer. Personnellement ? Il m’arrive de les manger directement à la cuillère et pourtant, je suis un bec sucré. La fraicheur des ingrédients est telle qu’elles en sont… comment dire ? Rafraichissantes et satisfaisantes telles quelles.Each recipe is designed to be used as a marinade. Add fish, meat, paneer, vegetables. But you can find me sitting in the kitchen with a pot and a spoon. They are so rich and satisfying it is kind of.. enough and refreshing.

Mais décalez-les ! Elles transforment complètement des classiques. Comme ces croquettes de pomme de terre qui prennent tout d’un coup de l’ampleur.But give these a twist ! They will transform your classic recipes. Soup ! Salad ! Or why not these potato croquettes opening on a core of spices, mmmh ?

Commencez par une purée simple – pas de lait, juste un peu d’huile d’olive.Simply boil then mash potato. No milk, just a little olive oil.

Préparez trois bols – l’un de farine, le second de l’œuf battu, le dernier de chapelure.Prepare three ramequins. One with flour, another with beaten egg, the last with bread crumbs.

Prêts ? Formez une boule de pomme de terre de 4-5cm de diamètre au creux de votre main. Avec votre pouce, appuyez doucement au centre, glissez une cuillerée de sauce Vini and Bal’s, refermez doucement.Ready ? Make a ball in the palm of your hand, 4-5cm wide. With your thumb, press down at the center and fill with some Vini and Bal’s sauce. Close gently.

Enrobez de farine, d’œuf battu puis de chapelure.Roll in flour, beaten egg, then breadcrumbs.

Faites cuire une dizaine de minutes à la poêle avec un peu d’huile d’olive.Fry in a pan with a little olive oil until slightly golden. It takes 7 to 10 min.

Les enfants les adorent plus petites, à tremper dans les sauces. En finger food ou sur des batonnets. Parfait pour les pack lunch en passant.Kids love to dip them in the sauce so we make smaller ones and present them lollipop style for a festive feeling. They’re great for packed lunches too.

Rendez-vous la semaine prochaine pour une autre recette!We’ll present another recipe with the Vini and Bal’s sauces next Monday – watch this space !

Vini and Bal’s
Sainsbury’s, Booths, Ocado

Cooking with Vini and Bhal's rustic Indian curry sauces -  potato croquettes with a heart of spice Cooking with Vini and Bhal's rustic Indian curry sauces -  potato croquettes with a heart of spice Cooking with Vini and Bhal's rustic Indian curry sauces -  potato croquettes with a heart of spice Cooking with Vini and Bhal's rustic Indian curry sauces -  potato croquettes with a heart of spice Cooking with Vini and Bhal's rustic Indian curry sauces -  potato croquettes with a heart of spice Cooking with Vini and Bhal's rustic Indian curry sauces -  potato croquettes with a heart of spice Cooking with Vini and Bhal's rustic Indian curry sauces -  potato croquettes with a heart of spice Cooking with Vini and Bhal's rustic Indian curry sauces -  potato croquettes with a heart of spice Cooking with Vini and Bhal's rustic Indian curry sauces -  potato croquettes with a heart of spice Cooking with Vini and Bhal's rustic Indian curry sauces -  potato croquettes with a heart of spice

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