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Monday, June 27, 2016

The Icy Inferno

So this didn't go as planned at all.

My original recipe idea, thanks to a wonderful friend of mine, was to make a spicy, tangy chutney out of some fresh Carolina Reapers that I had found at the supermarket. I did make it. It gave me a nosebleed. So I doused it in yogurt, sugar and lime and suddenly I had a pretty yummy dip! I'm going to run through a list of dos and don'ts after the recipe so you're in less pain than I was yesterday.

Chop about 2/3rds of a Carolina Reaper, deseeded, with half a red bell pepper/capsicum and a shallot. Sauté with cumin seeds on low heat for a very short time before adding to the blender with a big spoon of tamarind paste, a cup of yogurt, two spoons of sugar and lime to taste, plus a sprinkle of sea salt. Toast sesame seeds for garnishing. Chill in fridge before serving!

Warning: DO NOT touch your face.
                   DO NOT sauté without proper ventilation of fumes or on high.
                   DO NOT forget to take the seeds out.
                   DO NOT get ambitious and add more than the said amount of Reaper.

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Crumbed Calamari

Happy Friday, readers! It's comfort food night and I've been watching way too much MasterChef and feel the need to be grating lemon rind onto things.

Crumbed Calamari with Polenta

Get calamari rings. Mix together breadcrumbs, grated lemon rind, a few thyme leaves, salt and ideally some ground corn flakes for extra crunch (which I didn't have at home). Beat an egg in a separate bowl. Cover calamari with egg and then toss in the crumb mix. Deep fry.

Boil one part polenta in three parts water and add some butter and parmesan to make it creamier. Reduce to a creamy texture. I added some thyme leaves here as well.


Monday, June 20, 2016

The Sweetheart

This is my best friend's recipe of mishti doi (literally sweet yogurt), which obviously is the best Bengali creation since... well... a lot of other awesome Bengali creations. I've looked at a lot of recipes online before, and who would've known that my awesome bestie was sitting on the easiest one!

 Mishti doi

 Beat equal parts evaporated milk, condensed milk, and full fat yogurt with a stand mixer till bubbles form. Preheat oven to 180 and turn the oven off. Either put the doi in oven overnight in that warm environment for setting, or leave it in the oven on very low for more than half a day. Let it sit out for a few more hours. Be sure not to move the yogurt around too much to let it set. Serve! Refrigerate for storage.

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Satay Croquette

Happy Friday! Today's dish is my intuitive recreation of something I had tasted recently in a restaurant. The trouble with blind recreations is that they never turn out exactly the way you remember them. Croquettes are meant to be fried, typically, but with all the gaining of weight I've done over the long weekend, I just can't. 

Presenting... Satay Chicken Croquettes 

 Boil about 700g boneless chicken (I prefer thighs over breasts) for 10-12 min or until cooked. Once cooked, shred the chicken with two forks and just pull it all apart. Cool in fridge. 

 For the Satay sauce: in a pan over heat, combine almost a cup of coconut milk with two tablespoons of peanut butter, half a grated onion, dried chilli flakes, a spoon of brown sugar, and a big spoon of dark soya sauce. Thicken to preferred consistency (add a little water if required) and take off the heat after 2-3 minutes. Cool in fridge. 

 Get the cooled sauce and chicken out and combine. Set up a breading station with flour, egg and bread crumbs. Make little oval croquettes with the chicken, dust flour, dredge in egg and then cover with bread crumbs. Deep fry or oven bake (200C) for 20 minutes. Serve with a nice noodle salad and some sweet chili sauce!

PS: the next day I tried the same recipe and fried the croquettes instead of baking them. They do turn out much nicer, but then again, it's deep-fried.

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Achari Boti

It's the Queen's birthday! The Queen loves some mutton! Just kidding. I do. And that's why I'm like ummmm why isn't anyone barbecuing mutton? So I did.

Barbecued achari boti kabab

So this is what you put in the best marination ever. Ground red onions, a spoon of achar, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, a drizzle of mustard oil, yoghurt, ginger garlic paste, red chilli paste, salt, turmeric, garam masala and a little cumin powder. Mix with diced mutton and marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Get that coal fired up! Barbeque with constant basting with the leftover marinade. Serve!

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Spicy Salmon

Suddenly, salmon is awesome.
I mean, look at all that omega-3!

Put the pieces skin-up a cutting board and sprinkle sea salt on top to help crisp up the skin. Heat a little oil in a pan and put them skin-down. Fry for 4-5 minutes before flipping. Turn the heat to low and fry for another 3-4 minutes until done. Don't overcook the yummy salmon!

For the pesto: throw into the grinder some ginger-garlic paste, chilli or chilli paste, a handful of cashews, a handful of parmesan, a spoon of tomato paste and a lot of coriander leaves with a drizzle of olive oil. Grind and serve on the skin of the salmon on a bed of baby spinach! Yum.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Shahi Hubby

No, I didn't cook my husband. Not yet.

On Sundays, the man likes to cook to ensure that we get his favorite combination of rice and chicken for lunch. Here's his trademark curry recipe.

Grind a handful of cashews with some poppy seeds and set aside for later. Separately grind half an onion with two green chillies, garam masala, ginger and garlic paste, Kashmiri laal mirch (red chilli powder), salt and turmeric. Marinate chicken in this second mixture.

Heat oil and add 2-3 cloves and a chilli or two and fry. Add the marinated chicken with its entire marinade and cook. Add salt to taste and a tiny sprinkle of sugar. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. When the chicken is almost cooked, add the cashew poppy paste to the pan and simmer until you're happy with the consistency.

Dishes like these deserve naan on the side.

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Masala Wings

Fridays make for the perfect wing nights. But being a wing enthusiast, you run out of sauce ideas pretty quickly. BBQ sauce has too much sugar; I'm unhappy with buffalo sauce in Australia ... Not sure why I didn't think of this before, but behold! the masala-infused non-fried spicy wings!

You want to use ghee instead of oil for this. Heat a fat spoon of ghee in a wok and add ginger-garlic paste and cumin seeds. Grind a small onion and add to the ghee (don't purée it, you want texture). Once the onion is cooked, add salt and turmeric, and then a little cumin powder and red chilli powder. Maybe a dash of tandoori. Stir to avoid burning. Add a spoon of tomato paste and a little garam masala. Add the wings and stir. Wings cook pretty fast so you might get away with not covering the wok. You don't need to add water. Let the wings burn a tiny bit too. Towards the end, add a fat spoon of light cream cheese and mix. Once cooked and dried up, pour onto a serving platter. In the same pan full of greasy masala, quickly sauté a few cashews and use for garnishing, along with coriander leaves. Eat them all. Don't make it weird; use your hands.