Is there a country more colorful, or a cuisine more flavorsome, than India with its curries and endless side dishes? Whether you’ve visited and are longing to return, or just want to try cooking something exotic, these three dishes are great examples of what makes Indian food so addictive.

Lime Pickle
Ingredients
12 limes, cut into quarters
150g / 5.2oz sea salt
1 tbsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp turmeric
350ml / 11.8 fl oz extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp ground asafetida

Method
1. In a large bowl, mix the lime quarters with salt.
2. Dry fry mustard and fenugreek seeds in a small frying pan until fragrant, and then use a mortar and pestle to grind them to powder.
3. Add the ground seeds, turmeric and chilli powder to limes and mix through.
4. Pop limes into a sterilized jar.
5. Heat oil in a pan until it’s almost smoking. Add the asafetida and fry for 30 seconds.
6. Pour the oil over limes in the jar.
7. Place the lid on the jar and keep in a bright place for two weeks, shaking the jar daily to distribute the spices.
8. Top up the jar with more oil, if needed.
9. After two weeks, store in a cool, dark place. The pickle improves with age.

Cauliflower + Broccoli Pakora
Ingredients
1 medium cauliflower or broccoli, florets trimmed (you can use any vegetable you have in the kitchen, we also used green beans)
1 cup besan flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
175ml cold water
Oil, for frying

Method
1. Pop besan flour, baking powder, spices and salt into a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
2. Gradually whisk in water, to make a smooth batter, add a little more water if too thick.
3. Pop cauliflower or broccoli florets into the batter, making sure they are thoroughly coated.
4. Heat about a 1cm depth of oil in a heavy-based frypan over a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, spoon battered veg into the oil.
5. Cook for two minutes, then turn and cook for another one–two minutes, until crisp and golden.
6. Drain on kitchen towel, and serve hot.

Onion Bhajis
Ingredients
3 medium onions, sliced thin
150g besan flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
175ml cold water
Oil, for frying

Method
1. Pop besan flour, baking powder, spices and salt into a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
2. Gradually whisk in water, to make a smooth batter, add a little more water if too thick.
3. Put onion into batter, making sure they’re thoroughly coated.
4. Heat about a 1cm depth of oil in a heavy-based frypan over a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, spoon battered onion into the oil.
5. Cook for two minutes, then turn and cook for another one–two minutes, until crisp and golden.
6. Drain on kitchen towel, and serve hot.

Image: Photo and recipes from Lunch Lady Magazine, Issue 8, on sale now. Click here for more details.

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