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Monday, September 26, 2016

The Chemmeen Thoran

Fuel your week with this quick and fiery Kerala-style prawn coconut roast! I'm told smaller shrimp are a more appropriate choice for this dish, but I didn't exactly mind fat prawns in mine!

Grind a cup of coconut with two green chillies, a little turmeric, a shallot or two, a small stick of cinnamon, saunf seeds and red chilli powder. Keep it coarse. Meanwhile heat a little coconut oil in a pan and add to it some mustard seeds, two sprigs of curry leaves, two broken dried red chillies and half a sliced onion. Add chopped garlic and grated ginger and cook till onions become translucent. Add prawns and salt to taste. Add maybe half a cup of water (or not) and cook till prawns are cooked through and dried up. Then add the ground coconut mixture and roast with the prawns till cooked, dry, and pretty :) serve!

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Mint Goat

I ran a half-marathon last Sunday, and came home to a fabulous feast with mutton curry thanks to my mother-in-law. Here's her recipe.

Mint mutton curry

Marinate a kg of mutton in a cup of yogurt, a little lemon, ginger-garlic paste, a paste of mint leaves, and freshly ground pepper. Meanwhile purée an onion and set aside. Grind a handful of coriander leaves separately and set aside. Heat a little oil and fry two dried red chillies and remove from oil. Also thinly slice up a shallot and fry until crisp; set aside.

Now heat a spoon of butter and a spoon of oil together in a pan, and add to it cumin seeds and two bay leaves. Once the seeds begin to sputter, add the onion purée and cook until the oil starts to separate. Add the marinated mutton (leave the marinade behind) and the paste of coriander leaves. Cook up until dry, then add salt to taste. Transfer to a pressure cooker and add a little water and a few chopped green chillies. Pressure cook until done. Garnish with the crispy shallots and dried red chillies, and butter! Yum!

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Stuffed Naan

Naans are awesome. That's all I got.

Lamb keema naan

For the dough, knead 3 cups of self-raising flour with a cup of yogurt and water as needed. Add a little oil to your hands once you're done and tap your hands all over the dough to make it smooth. Set aside for an hour at least.

For the stuffing, fry a chopped onion and two chopped green chillies with some ginger and garlic in a little oil. Add half a kilo of minced lamb, salt, turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala. Cook till done and dry. Cool.

Divide the dough into little balls. Take one and roll it out. Stuff it with some cooled dry minced lamb and close with the sides of the rolled out dough. Roll it out again carefully into an oval shape. Spread a spoon of melted butter, chopped garlic and sesame seeds on one side. Grill on a grill pan or bake in the oven! Serve hot.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Pancake

Pancakes remind me of my precious boarding school days; my first dorm there served these for breakfast every Thursday with the option of syrup or condensed milk to pour on them. Pancakes require literally no extra ingredient that you might not already have in your kitchen, and are so easy to make for a big bunch of people. Just whip up a big bowl of batter and get going!

Dark chocolate chip pancakes

For about six pancakes, beat together a little more than a cup of flour with two eggs, a spoon of cinnamon, a big spoon of sugar OR 5 crushed sugarless sweetener tablets in my case last weekend, two or three spoons of melted butter, a dash of vanilla essence, a tiny sprinkle of salt, a cup of milk and a spoon of baking powder. Then add a fistful of dark chocolate chips and fold in with a spatula. Heat a frying pan and pour some batter on it after it's hot. Once the sides start to bubble, flip and cook the other side for about a minute before taking off the pan. Repeat till you run out of batter!

Top with a slice of butter and some yummy maple syrup and serve hot!

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Sushi

I've been meaning to try making sushi at home for ages, but somehow never got around to it. But here it finally is. Shrimp tempura rolls are typically supposed to have rice on the outside and nori on the inside (inside-out roll) but because it's my first time and I generally love nori rolls so much, I had to try it this way first! Next step: Dragon rolls! (soon)

Shrimp tempura nori roll. You will need a bamboo mat.

Boil some sushi rice (such that all the water gets evaporated, no draining). Once it boils, cook on low for a while. Use a wooden spoon to transfer the rice into a non-metal bowl. Once it cools, per one cup rice, add about 3 tablespoons of rice vinegar, a sprinkle of salt, and two spoons of sugar. Stir it into the rice with a wooden spoon and set it aside. Meanwhile, make some tempura batter by mixing a cup of flour with a cup of beaten egg and a cup of cold water (or buy some tempura batter!). Dip shrimp in the batter and fry in hot oil for 30 seconds. Set the shrimp tempura aside.

Slice a cucumber length-wise into quarters, and slice up some avocados as well. Now place the bamboo mat flat on the counter, and put cling-wrap on it. Now lay down a nori sheet (shiny side down) on top of the covered mat. Wet your hands and use them to put and spread half a cup of rice evenly onto the nori sheet - wet hands will prevent the rice from sticking to your hands. Make sure the rice covers all corners except for a centimeter from the right edge of the nori sheet. Now on the left side edge, place a long slice of cucumber, a few slices of avocado, and shrimp (lined from top edge to bottom). Put a thin drizzle of mayonnaise (or peri-peri mayo, or Japanese mayo) on them. Now it's time to roll from the left edge to the right. Grab the cling-wrap and bamboo mat on the left side, slowly roll over the filling, and keep rolling to the right, making sure the nori overlaps over itself - keep a hold on the cling-wrap and mat, don't let them become part of the roll! Slice up and serve immediately with dipping soy sauce and wasabi!

Monday, September 5, 2016

The Mini-Thanksgiving

Yes I know it's only September, but the festive season has officially begun, and this recipe proves that you can both want and have stuffed turkey any time of the year without having to bring home a 19-pounder that you can't finish!

Stuffed roasted turkey breasts, complete with stuffing and gravy

Butterfly two skinless turkey breasts - that means cut an incision through the thick side of the turkey breast almost all the way through, but not completely, and then open up the turkey breast. Put it open and flat on some clingwrap against the counter and pound it with a meat mallet/tenderizer/rolling pin to reduce the thickness. Preheat the oven to 190C. Fry a chopped onion in some butter and add it to a bowl of bread crumbs, a half-cup of chopped walnuts, a half-cup of dried cranberries, a lightly beaten egg, a little oregano, and a fistful of parmesan. Mix well. Put generous amounts of this stuffing in the middle of the flattened open turkey breast and wrap the turkey breast around the stuffing, closing it in completely. Secure with toothpicks or food string. In a pan, quickly brown the outside of these turkey rolls in some butter and keep aside. Get a roasting pan, pour a cup of stock in (or make your own "stock" with water, salt and butter) and place these wrapped turkey breasts in them. Cover with foil and roast in the oven for 40 minutes, basting in the stock they're placed in.

Once roasted, take out the roasting pan and remove the turkey breasts onto a plate (let them rest). In a pan, melt some butter and add some flour. Once the flour browns a little, add all the liquid from the roasting pan. Add a little thyme, red wine and garlic. Simmer and take off the heat - this is your gravy for the turkey.

Slice open the turkey breasts, pour the gravy on them and serve!

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Saucy Baby Corn

I'd call it the Sichuan/schezwan baby corn but I can't claim to be an expert at authentic Sichuan cuisine. Nevertheless, here's a recipe.

Sauté in sesame oil some ginger, garlic, a half onion (chopped) and three tablespoons of chilli paste. Add two splashes of soya sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Add a spoon of sugar. Take off the heat and grind into a smooth sauce. Let cool.

Meanwhile pour boiling water over halved baby corn and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Drain, and mix the parboiled baby corn with chopped green chillies, ginger and garlic paste, a splash of soya sauce and enough corn flour and water to make a thick mixture. Fry baby corn in hot oil and set aside.

Chop some spring onions and toss in a wok in oil. Add the fried coated baby corn and the sauce you made earlier. Toss for a few minutes and take off the heat. Garnish with spring greens and dried red chilli seeds. Stuff face.