5 Must-Know Dishes For Every New Bride To Impress Her In-Laws!

We’ve all heard that old saying; a way to a man’s heart is through is stomach. Well, if you’re lucky enough to be marrying into an Asian family then let’s just say this strategy not only works with your husband-to-be, but will extend out to his entire family. Whether you end up living with your in-laws or stick to inviting them round to your house every other week for dinner, it’s nice to have a few key staple dishes you can prepare – especially if you’re no Mary Berry.

I’ve teamed up with the Head Chef from award-winning outdoor catering company Five Rivers Outdoor to bring you five key recipes which will certainly keep those cooking compliments flowing in:

1. Onion Bhajee
(A great quick snack for when entertaining the whole family)

Onion Bhaji

This world famous Indian snack needs very little introduction.
 Enjoy these delicious crisp onions, lightly coated in gram flour and deep fried to a golden finish.

Serves up to 4

4 Large Onions, sliced into strips
1 Table Spoon Garlic Paste
1 Table Spoon Ginger Paste
1.5 Cup Gram Flour
1 Tea Spoon Crushed Cumin
1 Tea Spoon Lemon Juice
1 Tea Spoon Ajwain Seeds
1 Tea Spoon Salt
0.5 Tea Spoon Chilli Powder
Oil for frying

Chopped coriander

Add sliced onions into a mixing bowl and leave to one side.

In another bowl add garlic, ginger, cumin, ajwain, salt, chilli and lemon juice. Mix together to form a sandy paste.

Add gram flour to the bowl of onions and leave to sweat for 10 minutes. Then add the spice paste and mix together squeezing the onions.

Heat oil, then add the Bhajees and cook until golden brown.

Garnish your onion Bhajee with fresh chopped coriander.

2. Tarka Daal
(A classic accompaniment for any main course dish)

Tarka Daal
The word tarka is a fusion of garlic, ginger and oil which is then poured over the daal as it cooks, to give it a rich and distinctive flavor – a must know for all daal lovers.

Serves up to 4

2 Cups Channa Daal
1 Cup Toor Daal
1 Cup Massur Daal
3 Table Spoons Dhesi Ghee
1 Tea Spoon Cumin Seeds
2 Large finely diced cooking onions
1 Table Spoon Ginger Paste
1 Table Spoon Garlic Paste
4 Finely Chopped Tomatoes
1 Table Spoon Turmeric Powder
4 1⁄2 Cups (approx or as required) Water
1 Tea Spoon Salt
1 Tea Spoon Chilli Powder

Chopped coriander and fried whole red chilies.

Mix all the lentils together and then wash.

Add the mixed lentils into a pot, then add water and leave to boil. In a separate pan, melt the dhesi ghee, then add the cumin seeds. Shortly after, put in the finely diced onions. Once the onions are golden brown, add the garlic and ginger paste, also cook until golden brown.

Check the pot with the lentils and let it boil until the texture is soup-like. Then add the 4 finely chopped tomatoes and add the turmeric powder. Mix the mixture into a thick paste and add salt and chilli.
Add the paste to the boiled lentils and mix well and your daal is ready.

To finish off add finely chopped fresh coriander & fried whole red chilies.

3. Chooza Makhani
(Always a favourite with the nieces and nephews)

Chooza Makhani

A specialty Punjabi dish with morsels of roasted chicken simmered in a smooth smoked tomato, yoghurt and cashew nut makhani sauce, blended with a fragrance of redolent kasoori fenugreek.

Serves up to 4

1Kg Fresh Tomatoes
1⁄2 Kg Chicken breast pieces
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
120g Khoya (reduced milk)
1⁄2 Table Spoon Kasoori Methi
1 Table Spoon Garam Masala
2 Table Spoons Tomato Paste
100g Butter
2 Table Spoons Cashew Nut Paste
1L Single Cream
1⁄2 Table Spoon Black Pepper
1 Table Spoon Honey
1 Pinch Salt
1 Tea Spoon Chilli Powder

Chopped coriander

First make the Makhani gravy – boil the tomatoes, then sieve out the tomato skin and seeds.

In a separate pot add some vegetable oil, then add ginger and garlic paste and cook until slightly brown.

Next add the boiled tomatoes and cook until the oil separates from the mixture.

Follow by adding all the spices, butter, honey and a small amount of water. Cook for up to 10-15 minutes.

Then add the single cream and cook for a further 20 minutes. Then add chicken pieces – cook until the chicken is cooked.

Garnish with chopped coriander. Best served with steamed rice, chappati or fresh naan bread.

4. Lamb Rogan Josh
(A classic favourite of the the father-in-law)

Lamb Rogan Josh
A classic Kashmiri dish, where tender diced lamb is cooked in its own cardamom tinged juices, hari mirch and piaz, finished with fresh coriander and garnished with crushed cashew nuts.

Serves up to 4

500g Lamb Pieces
100g Chopped Onions
1 Table Spoon Fresh Ginger Paste
1 Table Spoon Fresh Garlic Paste
1 Table Spoon Tomato Paste
4 Bay Leaves
4 Small Green Cardamom
5g Whole White Cumin Seeds
1 1⁄2 Tea Spoon Turmeric Powder
1 1⁄2 Tea Spoon Coriander Powder
400g Chopped Tomatoes
1⁄2 Tea Spoon Fresh Green Chillies (Increase according to taste)
1 Table Spoon Fresh Ginger Paste
4 Table Spoon Vegetable Oil
1 Small Cinnamon Stick
1 Piece Star Aniseed
1 Tea Spoon Garam Masala
1⁄2 Tea Spoon Cumin Seed Powder
1 cup Water
1 Pinch of Salt

Chopped coriander and sliced ginger.

First add vegetable oil into a pan.

When the oil is warm, add white cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, green cardamoms, bay leaves & star aniseed.

Add the chopped onions and cook onions until golden brown.

Add the garlic and ginger paste. Once the mixture is brown, add the Lamb pieces. Cook this for up to 25-30 minutes.

Add salt and turmeric powder (mix well) and leave for 5 minutes. Next add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a further 20 minutes. Then add tomato paste and add 1 cup of water.

Finally, add garam masala, cumin seed powder and coriander powder. Let this simmer for 15-20 minutes.

To finish off add finely chopped coriander and fine, long slices of ginger.

5. Gajar Ka Halwa
(A favourite with all ages)

Gajar Ka Halwa
Carrot pudding made from finely grated carrots cooked in milk with cashews, raisins, almonds and cardamoms.

Serves up to 4

500g Finely grated Carrots
100g Ghee (clarified butter)
100g Sugar
100g Khoya (dried milk/milk powder)
200ml Milk
1 Tea Spoon Cardamom Powder

Crushed pistachios and roasted almonds.

Add ghee to a deep pan and add finely grated carrots and cook for approximately 30 minutes stirring every few minutes until carrots are soft.

When mixture is dry add milk, sugar and cardamom and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

Once the mixture has absorbed the milk and khoya, cook for a further 5 minutes.

Finish your Gaja Ka Halwa with crushed pistachios and roasted almonds.

Hopefully these dishes will get you started, but if you’re looking to book onto a full bridal cookery course, or wish to speak to the award-winning team about catering for your big day you can call Five Rivers on 01922 646 164 or email info@thefiveriversgroup.co.uk

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