The Chronicles of Nadiya episode 2: Nadiya has just spent a week with her family in Sylhet, and in this episode, she is setting off on her own to cook her way around Bangladesh and learn more about the country, its people and its food.
In the capital city, Dhaka, Nadiya spends time with a charity that delivers school dinners to some of the country’s most deprived children and she cooks coconut and fennel samosas as a delicious treat for the kids.
Invited to travel south from Dhaka aboard one of the last remaining rocket steamer passenger ferries, Nadiya cooks the captain and crew a delicious goat biryani to say thank you. As she travels deeper into Bangladesh, she visits a small Hindu fishing village on the banks of the Padma, where she learns about an ancient fishing method that uses trained otters, and she cooks one of her favourite dishes – grilled chicken with shatkora pickle – to share with the fisherman and his family.
Nadiya’s journey continues across Bangladesh as she meets and learns from food entrepreneurs and experiences a side of modern Bangladesh she never knew existed. As her adventure comes to an end, she returns to her family village to share one last meal – beef curry with spiced okra and rice chapatis – and say her goodbyes, filled with optimism and pride and a better understanding of herself and Bangladesh.
The Chronicles of Nadiya episode 2
Nadiya’s dal makes a luxury out of everyday ingredients. The garlic, chilli and spice tarka is an absolute must.
- For the dal, soak the dal (ideally overnight) or for a minimum of 4 hours.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan. Put the onions, chilli and garlic and cook until softened.
- Add the ground spices, dried chillies and a little water to loosen and stir.
- Add the potatoes and lentils and enough water to almost cover. Simmer for 10–12 minutes..Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10–15 minutes, until they have softened but not dissolved.
- Meanwhile, for the topping fry the garlic, onion and chilli in the oil until caramelised and crispy. Add the panch phoran and, once you hear the spices pop, take off the heat.
- To serve, spoon out the dal and garnish it with the crunchy topping. Sprinkle with the coriander.
Goat biryani – The Chronicles of Nadiya episode 2
A biryani is perfect for a celebration. This one is topped with a fried duck egg and decorated with coriander. If you can’t find goat, use cubed leg of lamb instead.
- For the biryani, wash and soak the rice for at least 20–30 minutes, but preferably 2 hours.
- Heat a large pan over a high heat. Add the clarified butter and, once it is sizzling, add the cinnamon sticks, peppercorns and bay leaves. Cook for a minute without burning them. Add the onions, garlic and ginger and cook for 3–4 minutes. The mixture should be dry and brown.
- Add the goat and cook for 10 minutes, until browned. If the mixture starts to stick, add a few splashes of water.
- Add the ground spices and 2 teaspoons salt and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the stock and cook over a medium heat for 20 minutes, or until the meat is tender and the curry dry. If it isn’t dry within 20 minutes, keep cooking until all the moisture has evaporated, watching it closely.
- Remove from the heat, take off the lid and leave to cool for 30 minutes. Stir in the yoghurt and prunes.
- Meanwhile, put the rice in a large pan with a 1 litre/1¾ pint water. Cook for 10 minutes, then strain through a colander and drain under cold water.
- Grease a large, lidded deep dish with clarified butter. Layer the dish with rice, curry, then green chillies, then repeat and end with an extra layer of rice on top. Place a damp tea towel over the biryani and put the lid on. Cook over a medium heat for 25 minutes, until you get crunchy rice at the bottom of the pan. Remove the lid.
- Meanwhile for the onion salad, put the onion and coriander in a bowl. Add the sugar and lemon juice and scrunch together using your hands, being sure to really squeeze and macerate the onions; they should look like they have reduced in size and ‘cooked’ in the lemon juice slightly.
- For the eggs, heat the oil in a large pan and the cook eggs until they are lacey-edged. Sprinkle with the chilli flakes and a pinch of salt.
- Stir the biryani. Serve topped with the fried eggs and garnished with the coriander, with the onion salad on the side.
Grilled chicken shatkora with pickle and chapatis
Shatkora is a citrus fruit that is commonly cooked with in Bangladesh. You can find it in large Asian grocers. (If you can’t find them, try lemons instead.)
- For the pickle, heat the oil. Mix the garlic, ginger and onion together to form a paste. Add the paste to the pan. Put enough water to loosen a little and cook for a few minutes. Add the bay leaves and cardamom.
- Add the shatkora to the pan. Put a cinnamon stick, then the turmeric, chilli powder, cumin and curry powder. Cook on a low heat for 15 minutes. This is an instant pickle, so won’t keep for longer than three days in the fridge.
- For the marinade, mix together the ingredients and rub the paste into the chicken, working it in thoroughly to cover all the flesh and skin. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at leat 4 hours, or overnight.
- To cook the chicken, preheat the grill to high. Grill the chicken for 10–12 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. If needed, squeeze more shatkora juice onto the chicken during cooking.
- Serve the chicken with the shatkora pickle, wedges and chapatis.
Give samosas a surprising twist with coconut and fennel. They’re super-easy to make!
- Put the flour, 200ml/7fl oz water and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and mix together to form a dough. Knead it for 1–2 minutes. Flour a work surface and roll out the dough until it is very thin. Cut out circles using a 6cm/2½in round cutter.
- Put the coconut, clarified butter, fennel and a pinch of salt in a large pan. Bring to a simmer, then cook for 4–5 minutes, or until it’s completely dry. Set aside to cool.
- Divide the filling between the dough circles. Fold the dough over the filling to enclose it, pinching the edges to seal. Roll and fold the edges.
- Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan or deep-fat fryer until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)
- Fry the samosas in batches for 4–5 minutes, or until they turn golden-brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with salt and serve.