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Monday, December 11, 2017

The Chorizo Poppers

With the festive season and plenty of opportunities to host dinners and potlucks in place, here's a quick and easy starter recipe to get you going!

Chorizo croquettes
This recipe yields about 3 dozen croquettes.

Boil 4 medium-small or 3 large potatoes; mash with a little salt and pepper and put in a large mixing bowl, to which add 4 chopped chorizos, about a cup of milk, smoked paprika to taste, a cup of chopped coriander leaves, a tablespoon of chopped garlic, and a cup and a third of grated cheese of your choice. Mix and knead like dough; if it's too sticky and doesn't come together, add a little flour to make the balls hold their shape. Roll into balls 2-3 cm in diameter. Roll each ball in flour, then in beaten egg, and then in breadcrumb, and deep-fry. Simple!

Serve with paprika garlic mayo and you're golden.

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Comfort in Chaos

I've had a crazy three weeks, and it's almost indigestible (but a relief) that my life is slowly starting to return to a routine again. When you're moving houses, super busy, or are just struggling to find a little calm during a chaotic time of life, a creamy, easy pasta bake paired with a glass of wine brings you home!

This recipe very comfortably serves 6. 

Boil 500g large rotini (spiral pasta) to al dente; drain and set aside. Preheat the oven to 180 C. While the pasta boils, in a large saucepan, add two chopped chorizos, and cook until the chorizo releases oil. Add two tablespoons of butter, into which add one chopped onion and a teaspoon of chopped garlic. Once the onion softens, add half a kg of chopped chicken thigh fillets. Let the chickens get white before adding a cup and a half of semi-dried tomatoes, almost two cups of passata (or any tomato paste), a cup and a half of chopped mushrooms, 2/3 of a cup of fresh basil, and three quarters of a cup of light cream cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer until you're happy with the sauce. Mix the sauce and the pasta and transfer both into a baking dish. Cover the top of the pasta with mature parmesan, and bake for about 12 minutes until done. The entire process will take maybe 35 to 40 minutes. Serve with fresh basil and a brand new bottle of cabernet sauvignon, and breathe!

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Gritty Egg Masala

Similar to a ghee roast, but less masala and less ghee and less time in general. Great for a pick me up on a Monday night!

In a tablespoon of melted ghee in a pan, roast together 4-5 dried red chillies, a spoon of coriander seeds, a spoon of cumin seeds and a spoon of garam masala for 3-4 minutes. Move the mixture to a blender and blend. Keep aside.

In the same pan, add a small chopped onion, a spoon of chopped garlic, and a handful of fresh curry leaves. Once the onion softens, add salt to taste, half a spoon of turmeric, and the ground mixture of spices. Roast together, add very little water to prevent burning, and let everything melt together. Then add 5 or 6 boiled eggs, cut in half. Mix well and stir for 2 min, squeeze a quarter of a lime and serve hot!

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Spicy Okra

Bhindi masala, for all my vegetarians and vegetarian-food lovers!

Slice 200g (or two large handfuls) of okra lengthwise down the middle, and lightly fry in just a spoon of vegetable oil for 7-8 minutes. Set aside. In the same pan, add another spoon of oil, add a spoon each of garlic paste and ginger paste, a diced medium onion and two broken green chillies, and sauté. Then add a diced tomato, salt to taste, a spoon of turmeric powder, half a spoon each of cumin powder, chilli powder, garam masala and coriander powder, and a pinch of amchur masala. When everything starts to melt together, transfer the contents of the pan into a blender and blitz roughly for a few seconds. Move the mix back into the pan, add the pre-fried okra, and add a half spoon of kasuri methi. Stir for 5 minutes and take off the heat. Serve hot with coriander leaves!

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Chicken Chataang

At least that's what my mother calls her buzzy, tangy, spicy masala chicken. She sent me a photo yesterday and I had to have the recipe!

In her words:
Marinate small pieces (say half a kg) of bone-in chicken in a drizzle of mustard oil, a spoon of salt, half a spoon of turmeric and a little yogurt. Sauté a spoon of paanch phoran (mix of 5 seeds), two dried red chillies, a spoon each of ginger and garlic paste, a chopped green chilli, a small tomato and a chopped red onion in mustard oil. Add the marinated chicken pieces. Add a small spoon of jeera powder, 2/3 spoon of dhania powder and a little garam masala powder. Keep stirring to avoid burning. Add one tablespoon of ground poppy seed (paste),  a spoon of kasundi and a pinch of sugar. Keep it on flame till all masalas are dried and chicken is tender. In the end, add a little raw mustard oil. Serve hot with ginger and chilli garnish!

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Chicken Bharta

It has been just weeks and weeks of festivities! Here's an easy curry recipe to fill in the gaps with simpler meals.

Boil or pressure-cook a kg of boneless chicken thighs with a spoon of garlic, a cinnamon stick, salt, 4-5 peppercorns, and a pinch of garam masala. Drain and shred roughly using two forks to pull the meat apart. Set aside.

Heat a spoon of oil in a wok, and add two bay leaves and a cinnamon stick. Then add two finely chopped onions, a spoon each of ginger paste and garlic paste, and three chopped green chillies. Cook until the onions are translucent, then add two chopped tomatoes. Do this on low to medium heat to make sure you don't burn anything. Add a spoon each of the following: turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala and tandoori masala. Add half a spoon of chilli powder. Cook this sauce until everything starts to melt together; add very small amounts of water to prevent burning and aid the coming together. Add salt to taste, and a spoon of sugar. Then add two dollops of Greek yogurt (or fresh cream if it's your cheat day) and 3 tablespoons of ground cashews. Finally add the chicken, another half spoon of tandoori masala, and a spoon of kasuri methi. Mix together (and add water if you need to) for 5-7 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and boiled eggs for a Mughlai feel! Serve hot.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Classic Samosa

Happy Diwali to everyone that celebrates this festival full of food, firecrackers, gifts and parties! But you never need an excuse to stuff your face with samosas!

This recipe will yield about a dozen samosas.

For the stuffing, boil two medium potatoes and roughly crumble them; set aside. In a pan, heat a spoon of ghee and add cumin seeds, two chopped chillies and a teaspoon of ginger paste. Add the crushed potatoes and a half cup of peas, and a spoon of turmeric, a pinch of red chilli powder, a half spoon of garam masala, a half teaspoon each of cumin and coriander powder, a pinch of asafetida, salt to taste, and a half spoon of amchur powder. Stir together until mushy, add a half cup of chopped coriander leaves, and turn off the heat. Let cool.

For the dough, mix together two cups of maida (refined flour) with a quarter of a cup of melted ghee, a third of a cup of water, a spoon of ajwain seeds and a pinch of salt. Knead together into a smooth ball of dough.

To make the samosas, tear off a bit of dough and roll into an oval shape. Use a knife to cut the oval widthwise. Fold one half into a cone using water to bind the edges. Fill with stuffing and pinch the opening shut.

Deep fry or bake the samosas at 180 for 40-45 minutes. I baked for 25 minutes and flash-fried for a few seconds to get the texture right. Serve piping hot!