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Monday, April 24, 2017

The Fish Stew

David Muñoz is going to murder me in my sleep someday for adding chorizo and tomato to everything and then calling it Spanish. So I'm just going to call this a fish stew (obnoxious at best). Healthy alternative to whatever you're eating right now!

Add a sliced chorizo, a chopped onion and half a chopped capsicum to a little olive oil in a pan. Add a spoon of minced garlic and a sliced cayenne pepper and cook till the onion is translucent. Add a can of diced tomatoes (usually 400g) and half a cup of white wine and simmer.  Add salt to taste, smoked paprika, a handful of parsley, a cup of stock (or water and a little butter if you have no stock), a cup of cooked chickpeas, a sliced carrot, and a cup of beans, and simmer until reduced. Finally, add three or four fillets (cut into pieces) of your favorite white fish and cook, covered until poached. Serve with a slice of sourdough!


Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Honey Soy BBQ

Greetings, people on their holidays! We were camping all weekend so nothing too elaborate this post; here's a weird honey soy marinade for future BBQs or even a simple sauté sesh!

Mix a kg of boneless chicken thighs or wings with the following: a spoon of ginger, a spoon of chopped garlic, two tablespoons of soy sauce, a tablespoon of honey, a spoon of rice vinegar, a sprinkle of sugar, and a spoon of chilli paste (optional) for an extra kick. Marinate for at least an hour (or overnight) and cook over coal or pan-fry. Garnish with sesame seeds!

Happy holidays.


Monday, April 10, 2017

The Independent

Mondays are a great time to detox from all the bingeing over the weekend! This stand-alone salad needs no sides and adheres to no theme whatsoever, but I do guarantee its yum factor. These quantities are for 4 giant platefuls.

Here's everything that went into it.
Bacon bits, crisped, 1 cup
Sliced black olives, half a cup
Shredded carrots, 1 cup
Walnuts, 1 cup
2 sliced avocados
1 sliced tomato
3 minced pods of garlic
1 red onion, sliced
Rocket leaves, 3 cups
Baby spinach, 3 cups
Curried chicken, 2.5 cups
Aged Gouda, diced, 1 cup
Optional: 1 cup diced red pepper

For the dressing, throw together half a cup of coconut cream, half a cup of buttermilk, two spoons of vinegar, a spoon of sugar, a spoon of fish oil, two spoons of lime juice, a little lime zest, two spoons of finely chopped coriander leaves, a dash of garlic powder, a spoon of chili puree, a pinch of turmeric, and salt to taste.

Have a good detox!


Monday, April 3, 2017

The Alfredo

Fettuccine alfredo has been on my to-do list for as long as I first went to Olive Garden as a kid. There aren't that many pasta-loving noobs who'd say no to a creamy alfredo sauce. As I started experimenting with cooking, I held off on the alfredo sauce largely because the first time I actually made gulab jamun with my own hands and found out just how much sugar went into the dish, I almost stopped eating it completely. Thankfully I had a bite of my first fettuccine alfredo yesterday, which by the way is literally a 15 minute recipe, and I instantly knew that I'll never stop eating this scrumptious load of fat. For reference, I made the sauce by throwing in things until it tasted right, so take all my mentioned quantities with a grain of salt.

For about three fat serves, boil 250g fettuccine until cooked al dente, and drain. While the pasta boils, heat about three tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and add a small spoon of minced garlic to it. Then add about a cup of cream, half a cup of cream cheese, half a cup of grated Parmesan, and salt and white pepper to taste. Simmer and thicken until happy with the sauce. (For a little more flavor, what I did was fry small pieces of chicken thighs in butter and garlic first, remove the chicken and then make the sauce in the same pan.) Throw in the fettuccine (and chicken), and we're good!
(Just, like, go for a run the next day or something.)


Monday, March 27, 2017

The Vegetable Chop

If you've grown up in or around West Bengal, this is the stuff you've had in trains or run out to the local corner shop for in the evening when unexpected guests showed up at home. If you've not had the pleasure, this is what you've missed out on. The perfect street food-turned-fancy-beetroot-croquettes.

For 15 to 20 chops, roast half a teaspoon each of cumin and fennel seeds, 6 cloves, 3 cardamoms, a small stick of cinnamon, two dried red chillies, and a dried bay leaf or two, then grind into a fine powder. Mix this masala with two blanched and chopped beetroots, two mashed carrots and two mashed potatoes, and a spoon of ginger paste, half a cup of crushed roasted peanuts, salt to taste, and a pinch of sugar. Roll the mix into the shape of croquettes, and then roll each croquette in dry corn flour for a thin coat. Dip in a flour slurry and then coat with breadcrumbs and put in the fridge for 30 min or until you're ready to fry. , Deep fry and serve HOT with cucumber salad and kasundi (Dijon mustard sauce) to avoid sacrilege.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Dhoka Daalna

Here is a traditional Bengali vegetarian dish that basically gets eaten at every stage of its making. You'll see why.

Dhoka-r daalna

Soak 250g of chana daal overnight. Drain and grind with a spoon of salt, a dash of asafetida, an inch of ginger, 2 green chillies and half a teaspoon of baking soda. Transfer the mix into a greased steaming pan, and steam (preferably in a pressure cooker without its whistle on) for 5 minutes. TASTE IT! (YUM)

Cut the cooled mix into cubes and deep-fry in mustard oil. TASTE IT AGAIN. (Best snack ever)

Heat a little mustard oil in a pan and add to it two bay leaves, two cardamoms and 3-4 cloves, and a dry red chilli. Add a pinch of kalonji. Add half a chopped onion, a half spoon of garlic paste and a spoon of ginger paste, and then a diced potato, and cook together. Add half a small tomato and cook some more before adding a fat spoon of yogurt, and a spoon each of coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric and salt. Simmer with a little water until the potatoes are cooked, and then add the fried Dhoka pieces. Finish off with a spoon of ghee, a green chilli and a sprinkle of garam masala. Serve hot with rice! TASTE!


Monday, March 13, 2017

The Za'atar Chicken

.... Or as my husband insists on calling it, "The Za'atar Chicken from Qatar."

Preheat oven to 200C. In a baking dish, mix a kg of skinless chicken, bone-in, with a tablespoon of garlic, a spoon of sumac, a spoon of cumin powder, a spoon of paprika, two spoons of za'atar, a drizzle of olive oil, a diced onion and a few slices of lemon. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes; in the last 5 minutes of the bake, top with more za'atar and sumac (to taste), a quick dash of smoked paprika and a handful of chopped parsley. Serve with oven-crisp khubz and toum (garlic sauce)!