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Friday, July 29, 2016

The Poppy Bird

Posto chicken, or poppy chicken curry. Easy 20 minute recipe and perfect for a pre-siesta lunch on the weekends!

Soak a tablespoon of poppy seeds in water for 10-15 minutes. Drain and add to the blender with a large spoonful of coconut (grated/chunks), a couple of green chillies, a few cinnamon sticks and cardamon, and grind. Set aside.

Fry a chopped onion with a spoonful of ginger garlic paste in a little mustard oil. Add chicken pieces (750g) and a spoon each of cumin and coriander powder along with salt and turmeric. Add the poppy seed/coconut paste. Add a little water to allow for simmering, and maybe a spoon or two of cashewmeal as a thickening agent. Cook until the chicken is done. Serve traditionally with a garnish of cilantro, over fresh basmati rice. Enjoy!

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Spiced Mince

Start your Monday healthy with this easy 10-minute yummy tummy-filler.

Spiced Mince

Finely chop a small onion and fry in a little olive oil in a pan. Add your choice of minced meat/poultry (I used half a kg of turkey mince) and fry till the meat is no longer pink. Add a small spoon of chopped or minced garlic, a spoon each of cumin and paprika, and salt to taste. Then add large pieces of diced tomato and eggplant, maybe even some chopped cauliflower, some pine nuts, dried blueberries/sultanas/raisins/currants for a sour element, and generous amounts of parsley. Take off the heat.

Serve with a fried egg for added yum, over your choice of side - couscous, wild rice, whatever. I served mine over turmeric flattened rice (poha) and it tasted awesome!

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Bengali Dum

Dum Aloo is typically a Kashmiri dish in a rich slow-cooked gravy, but there are so many variants to the actual recipe, this one being a common Bengali weekend brunch one, with a side of fluffy luchis.

Parboil potatoes. Ideally get baby potatoes but we made do with regular ones. Cut into large pieces and set aside. Heat a little oil and add ginger-garlic paste. Then add a diced onion and sauté. Add a diced tomato and some salt, turmeric, red chilli, cumin and coriander powders, and sauté some more. Add a stick or two of cinnamon and throw in two cardamom. Take the mixture off the heat and grind coarsely. Add it back to the pan with the potatoes and cook on until the potatoes are done (add water intermittently so nothing burns). Finish it off with a sprinkle of kasuri methi.

I avoid refined flour in my luchis so I made the dough purely out of whole wheat flour (aata). Knead it into a tight, smooth dough, not soft like you would for roti. Roll using oil (not dry flour) and deep fry.

Serve up!

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Monday Kicker

Need help getting out of bed this Monday? Forget coffee; this breakfast will have you power through the morning!

French toast with chocolate cream, coconut, walnuts and mandarins

Works great with slices of bread too but I went with a leftover baguette. Whip 3 eggs with a half cup of milk, a pinch of salt and some cinnamon. Heat butter on a pan. Dunk a slice of bread in the egg mixture (let it soak for a few seconds) and then place in the pan. Let one side brown, then flip.

The chocolate cream is basically an unthickened ganache (which I prefer to chocolate sauce because sauce is too sweet). Boil half a cup of cream and pour over 50 grams of chocolate. Mix.

Top up your eggy bread with some creamy chocolate, grated coconut, walnuts and mandarins. You've got your carbs, your protein, some fruits and nuts and juuust enough sugar to keep you going till that sacred hour of lunch. Happy Monday!

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Sweet Centurion

Happy 100th post! I don't know how and when we made it to a hundred, but I knew I wanted to step out of my comfort zone to attempt something different for today. There's so much I don't know, and after today I can say a decent meringue isn't one of those things (yay).


They sit there at the confectionery looking so colorful and pretty and you just want to pop a million of them at once. Totally doable at home, by the way.

Preheat oven to 150C. Beat four egg whites together with a cup of caster sugar till they form a stiff foam or meringue - which is when the mixture stiffens so much that you could turn the bowl upside down for a sec and it won't fall out. Add a few drops of desired flavor or food coloring and mix some more. Then add a cup of almond meal and a cup and a half of icing sugar with a tiny pinch of salt. Fold until mixed well but not runny. Pour into a piping bag and make little macarons on a tray lined with baking paper. Tap the tray flat against the counter once or twice to smoothen each macaron. Bake for 15-20 minutes and cool.

For the filling you could use any cream, but I went with a simple chocolate ganache. Boil 30 mL of cream and pour over about 100g of chocolate. Let it sit for a minute then stir to mix. Cool until thickened in the fridge and pipe onto the base of one macaron cookie. Add the second macaron cookie on top and there you have it: homemade macarons!

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Malai Kofta

Stepping it up for the week of the 100th post, which will be this Friday. Creamy!

Malai Kofta

Grate maybe two cups of paneer and add to it a mashed potato, a tablespoon of cornflour, salt, red chilli powder, a large spoon of chopped cashews, a small spoon each of cumin and coriander powder, and a sprinkle of garam masala. Knead together before forming round shapes for kofta and deep-frying. Set aside.

For the gravy, sauté big pieces of a large onion with ginger-garlic paste. Add a diced tomato, salt, turmeric, red chilli powder, cumin and coriander powders and a sprinkle of garam masala. Take off the heat and grind to a textured pulp with some cashews. Return to heat, add a little water and simmer. Add a small spoon of sugar for that mild sweetness, and turn off the heat. Add a dollop of sour cream for creaminess and a garnish of kasuri methi, and just before serving, and the deep-fried koftas. Serve up with naan!

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Seekh

Happy Eid! We kept it simple with a favorite combination of mine from lazy evenings back in Saudi Arabia: seekh kababs with khubz and toum garlic sauce. These kababs are so easy to make!

Grind 4 green chillies into a paste. Chop an onion and a fistful of coriander. Mix half a kg of minced meat of your choice (we chose lamb) with the green chilli paste, chopped onions and coriander leaves, a little sprinkle of flour, sea salt, a small spoon each of cumin and coriander powder, and a little garam masala. Knead the combination with your hands for five minutes as you would knead dough. Let it sit in the fridge for a bit.

Preheat oven to 200C. The oven needs to be hot by the time the kababs go in. Pack the minced mix around the entire length of skewers to get the seekh kabab shape. Gently spray or brush with a little oil before placing in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping after 10. Get them out after 20 minutes so that the inside of the kabab remains succulent. For additional browning, if you need, pan-fry for 2 minutes with almost no oil (we didn't need to!). Slide off the skewers and serve!

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Veggie Kabab

When life hands you failed matar kachori, make hara bhara kababs! This recipe can be used to make kababs, sandwich filling, little veggie balls for pasta or even veggie burgers. 

Hara bhara kabab

Boil and mash two cups of peas. Maybe even run through a blender to make them extra smooth. Add salt and set aside in a bowl.

Heat a spoon of ghee or oil in a pan. Add a spoon of ginger paste and two crushed green chillies. Then add half a spoon of cumin powder, half a spoon of coriander powder, a sprinkle of garam masala and a half spoon of chaat masala. Sprinkle a little gram flour (besan). Fry for two min and take off the heat. Add mix to the bowl of peas. Add chopped coriander if you like, and maybe some chopped peanuts for a crunchy texture (optional). Finally add a small spoon of flour (maida or all-purpose) and mix the entire thing together. Shape into small patties for kababs or large patties for burgers. Pan-fry in shallow oil; don't flip them until the bottom gets crispy, or it will collapse. Serve in a bun, or with a spicy sauce, or on other food!

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Coorgi

Pandi fry! It's my first time experimenting with Coorgi food, which obviously means there shall be pork. It's tough to find some of the key ingredients involved in Coorgi cuisine (such as the special vinegar called kachampuli) but I make do.

Pandi fry

Cook small pieces of pork (to avoid pressure-cooking) with a little oil, a large sliced onion, ground garlic, two-ish green chillies and a sprinkle of fresh curry leaves, plus salt and curry powder.

Simultaneously (or before cooking the pork), dry roast a spoon and half of Kashmiri red chilli powder, a small spoon of pepper, a small spoon each of coriander and cumin powder, a spoon of garam masala, and constantly stir the mix in a dry pan on low heat till the entire mixture becomes the color of coffee. Should take 10 minutes, and the low heat and constant stirring are key so that you don't burn the powder. Add to the pan of pork with a spoon of either kachampuli, or malt vinegar and a few drops of lime if you can't find kachumpuli. Continue to cook the pork till the dish is almost completely dry. Garnish with coriander and sliced green chillies! Spicy!