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Monday, January 15, 2018

The Kite-Flyer

Happy Makar Sankranti/Lohri/Pongal/Uttarayan! I grew up in Gujarat, and to me, this time of the year meant terraces full of kids and adults engaged in kite-flying wars. Keeping with the theme, today's recipe is the easy 20-minute til laddoo (sesame sweets).

To make 8 to 10 small laddoos (about 1.5 cm in diameter), dry-roast about a third of a cup of white sesame seeds in a nonstick pan until golden, and set aside. Do the same to a third of a cup of crushed peanuts, and then to a third of a cup of desiccated coconut. Set aside.

In the same pan, on low heat, now add a tsp of ghee, half a cup of chopped jaggery, and 3 spoons of water. Stir vigorously to dissolve the jaggery in the water. Add a tiny pinch of cardamom powder. Simmer until it boils (bubbles) and starts to thicken a little. Add the roasted sesame, peanuts and coconut to the jaggery solution and mix well, then turn the heat off. The entire thing should become sticky and start to coagulate.

Transfer the contents of the pan onto a greased plate. With ghee on your palms, roll the hot mixture (carefully!) into little balls before everything cools and becomes hard. Serve up the candy goodness like you're not suddenly a majestic Sankranti pro, no big deal.


Monday, January 8, 2018

The Burger Rings

Onion Rings + burger patties = endless possibilities. These are stuffed onion rings that can be used as patties for a slider or as onion rings to serve up at a party or a game night! Get creative.

Cut two large onions horizontally to create large onion rings; put about 12-16 of them aside. Mix 500 g of minced meat/chicken with two spoons of chopped garlic, half a cup of chopped parsley, paprika, salt and pepper to taste, and half a cup of chopped chives. Separately, cut 12-16 little cubes of cheese measuring a little less than 2 cm each side (bite sized).

Set up a breading station with flour, eggs and breadcrumbs. Set an onion ring flat on a clean surface, and stuff with minced meat/chicken mixture; press to the insides of the ring. Stick a cheese cube into the middle. Coat the entire ensemble in flour, then beaten eggs, then breadcrumbs, before deep-frying until browned to your satisfaction. Serve up with Caribbean jerk-mayo, by itself or in a little dinner roll with slaw as a slider!


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The New Year Splurge Part 2

2017 began with butter chicken. It's only natural that 2018 begins with dal makhani! Happy new year guys.

Soak 1.5 cup of kali dal for 24 hours; drain and wash. Boil in low heat with salt; set aside.

Heat 2 spoons of butter, to which add 2 spoons of garlic paste, a spoon of chopped ginger, 2 spoons red chilli powder, 1 large tomato paste (or puree 4-5 spoons). Mix well until everything comes together. Then add dal, and stir vigorously. In the last 5 minutes of simmering, add a spoon of crushed kasuri methi. Garnished with fresh slices of ginger and a dollop of butter. It isn't "makhani" for nothing!

Utterly butterly delicious.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Floof

Cloud eggs were all the rage on Instagram for a total of 48 hours a few months ago. My verdict: it tastes like a regular egg, but looks great. Total brunch material. Easy, too.

For two cloud eggs, separate 2 eggs into whites and yolks. Preheat oven to 180°C. Whisk the whites into a meringue (until stiff peaks form in a white foam). Divide the meringue into two cloud-like halves on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper. Add chopped ham and mature parmesan to your liking (and anything else you might want), and bake for 3 minutes, until a little golden. Add a yolk carefully to the center of each cloud, and bake for another 3 minutes. Serve with a sprinkle of paprika, sea salt and/or pepper. Done!


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!