Indian inspired

We went out on Friday night to the amazing Prashad restaurant near Bradford and enjoyed some  delicious vegetarian Indian delicacies.  If you live close enough and enjoy authentic Indian cuisine, you really must go!

We particularly enjoyed the Hara Bara Kebab on the tasting plate of starters and they inspired us to recreate some with some wild flavours.

Saturday morning was spring like and beautiful, perfect for a quick jaunt up the lane and a foraging trip.

Everything is coming alive now and the tiny shoots of a couple of weeks ago have grown  into more substantial plants, still young and succulent, but easier to identify and pick.

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We foraged Wild Garlic Allium ursinum, Hedge garlic Alliaria petiolata, Stinging nettle Urtica dioica, Large bittercress Cardamine amara and Cleavers Galium aparine.

With a good haul of greens we dived straight in to a recipe for Wild Hara Bara!

We had to guess some of the ingredients and  I bet the chefs at  Prashad have a secret spice mix that make their’s taste so amazing, but ours were pretty good and we will without doubt be doing a bit more experimentation.  I reckon they might even make it onto some of our course menus this year.

Here is our recipe.

1 potato, peeled, boiled and mashed

1/4 Cauliflower, grated

1/2 Carrot, grated

50g wild greens

30g gram flour (chickpea flour)

30g Cornflour

1 teaspoon Garam masala

2 pinch Asafetida (optional)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon Ground black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 cloves garlic

1-3 chillis ( depending how hot you like it)

Method.

Blanch the wild greens by putting them in a colander and pouring a whole kettle of boiling water over them. Immediately refresh them in cold water then squeeze out most of the moisture. Chop these blanched greens finely.

Put the garlic cloves and chillis in a pestle and mortar with a little salt and bash to a paste.

Now combine all the ingredients in a large bowl,  get your hands in for this and make sure its all mixed really well and holding together.

with clean hands take a lump of the mix and form it into a sausage shape about an inch thick and two inches long, repeat this until all the mixture has gone.

Shallow fry the Hara bara , turning regularly to get and even colour. They should be crisp on the outside. This will take about 10 minutes or so.

Now serve.

We ate ours with a veg curry and rice but I reckon they would be great as a stater with a bit of wild garlic and mint riaita.

Just a word of warning for those of you going out to make the most of the first flush of spring growth. Lords and ladies is growing very well at the moment in hedge bottoms and woodland edges. It’s bright green leaves look succulent and appealing, but these are really quite unpleasant and poisonous, so beware as you forage! As always be sure of the identification of anything you eat.

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