Monday, 30 July 2012
Onions would definitely have to be one of my Desert Island Eight foods - whenever there's been a freshly-cut half onion left in the fridge, the smell when I open the door sets the pulses racing (well, mine, anyway)... and I have been known to bite into raw onion, on occasion (to the detriment of anybody nearby, as the Technical Dept has been swift to point out)! I've believed for years that really there are only two versions of onion tart (alsatian, with cream and eggs, and pissaladiere nicoise, where the onions are caramelised down to nothing, along with seasoning and thyme, before having anchovy and olives added for the final cooking)....and then, last Monday evening, for a first course at dinner, Paola produced this version, rich in indian spices. You can make it either in a pre-cooked phyllo shell, as she did, although I imagine it would be pretty good as well in a light, buttery shortcrust shell.
Apparently, and I bow to Paola's greater knowledge here (she and Paolo have eaten their way across various parts of India over the years), much of the secret to a dish like this is in cooking the spices almost dry to start with, before adding the bulkier ingredients which they are intended to flavour.
Filling for one large or four individual tarts:
Ingredients: 1 tbs Olive Oil; 2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped; 1 medium Onion plus 500g Onion, sliced ; 1 tsp Salt; 1 tsp each of Chana Masala, Garam Masala, and Biriany Masala (if you can get it; if not then leave it out and carry on anyway); 200ml CReam; 2 Eggs; pastry of your choice.
1. In a pan over medium heat, sauté in the Oil the medium Onion (finely sliced), Salt and Masalas. Cook for 10 minutes.
2. Add 500 gr Onions and continue cooking, stirring from time to time, for about half an hour.
3. Pour into a bowl and add Cream and Eggs. Check seasoning and add more Salt if necessary. Pour the mixture into your prepared pastry shell or shells, and bake for 30 minutes in an oven preheated to190° C.