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Monday, February 29, 2016

The Pond Fish

Lemongrass and coriander basa for a fresh start on Monday!

For the marinade: throw into the blender a big handful of coriander, a couple of lemon grass stems, garlic, ginger, lime, a small red chilli, a splash of coconut milk and some sea sea salt. Blend.

Cut basa fillets and cover in marinade. Let it sit for a while before grilling for a few minutes each side! Serve with a beet coleslaw (beets, carrots, maybe some sprouts) and garlic bread for a filling meal.

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Creole Pot

Yay for one-pot recipes!

Chicken and chorizo jambalaya

Typically jambalaya is cooked in stock or broth, but honestly unless you're making the broth fresh, just use water and a pinch of butter instead; store-bought stock tastes awful and is full of chemicals.

Cook small bits of chicken and keep ready.
 Heat a little oil and add garlic. Then add a chopped onion, celery, some bell pepper and sliced chorizo and cook. Add salt, pepper, and liberal amounts of cajun seasoning (or just paprika, oregano, cayenne) and cook. Add the chicken. Then add a chopped tomato and a cup of uncooked rice. Add a cup and a half of water and a small spoon of butter, and cover to let the whole thing cook. Keep checking for whether the rice is cooked and keep adding a little water accordingly. When the rice is done stir in some parsley and garnish with spring onions. Inhale a bowlful and let your insides bake in the heat! Happy Friday.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Chapli

Chapli kabab is typically made with beef mince, but mutton/lamb works too.

Mix mince with one egg, a handful of besan and/or breadcrumbs, red chilli, chopped onions and tomatoes, pomegranate seeds, salt, turmeric, garlic and ginger paste, cumin and coriander powder and a little garam masala. Form flat pancakes and shallow-fry! Serve with naan/paratha :)

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Palak Paneer

How creative is this title.

Blanch and purée a big bunch of spinach. Also blend together a big onion and a tomato. Meanwhile shallow-fry some paneer cubes till very lightly browned, and set aside. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and a bay leaf or two. Then add ginger and garlic paste, and the ground onion-tomato. Fry till the oil starts go separate, and add the spinach purée. Add salt, turmeric and red chilli powder, plus a tap of hing (asafoetida). Fry for a bit before adding some garam masala and the paneer. If you want to make it richer, add a little butter or cream, but honestly that's not required. Serve with hot rotis!

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Cajun Grill

Steak isn't really my cup of, well, meat. But lamb, yes please.

Cajun lamb steak with veggies

Rub steaks with a little olive oil and then with garlic salt, onion powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper and oregano. Put in the fridge for a couple hours. Cook veggies of your choice (carrots, beans and potato in my case) in a little olive oil and seasonings while you heat a griller. Lamb tastes good medium done with a nice pink center, so 5-7 minutes each side should do it. Serve with mushroom sauce and garlic bread!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Fridge-Emptier

When life gives you a seemingly empty fridge with nothing but a few veggies or leftover meat, you make an egg frittata.

Toss veggies/meat in a little oil in a skillet. I used beans, onions, tomatoes, some garlic, leftover pieces of chicken, bell peppers and parsley. Season the mix with some paprika, salt and pepper, and oregano, and spread evenly. Sprinkle some cheese and let it melt. Whisk two eggs with a spoon or two of milk and pour on top. Once it sets enough to be flipped, flip onto a lid and slide back in. Take it out, slice like a pizza, and serve!

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Jam

Blueberry jam for a sweet February.

Half a kg of fresh or frozen blueberries with about two cups sugar and, oh, let's say about half a cup of lime. If you have orange liqour add a half cup of that too, but that's optional. Throw all into a saucepan, add a little water and bring to a boil. Then lower heat and let simmer with lots of stirring. If there's any froth on the top, keep removing it with a spoon. Test if the jam set by letting a spoonful cool on a metal spoon and see if it's thick enough to form a layer. Take off the heat immediately once it's set, and spoon into a clean, dry jar. Seal!

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Meatloaf

Easiest meal ever.

With 750g chicken mince, throw in a softened chopped onion, about a half cup of milk, a cup of bread crumbs, some garlic, parsley, salt and pepper, an egg, some garlic chilli sauce, a fistful of parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.

Mix and form a loaf (or pack into a loaf tin). Top with more crumbs, mustard and garlic chilli sauce, and bake for 45 minutes. Slice and serve!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Ceviche

Lazy week, lazy dish. Then again, anything drowning in lime is delicious. So...

Shrimp ceviche on/in tostadas

Ceviche is done with fish cured in citrus juices, but since I used shrimp, I blanched them first, after peeling and deveining. Throw into a bowl chopped shrimp, cucumber, avocado, bell peppers (capsicum), onion, tomato, a whole lot of coriander, salt, pepper, and a tiny pinch of paprika, and a lot of lime and lemon juices, maybe even a little orange. Additionally I added just a spoon of this tangy sauce (combination of mayonnaise, a drop of ketchup and tabasco, and garlic salt) to add a tiny kick. But that's optional, and very unauthentic :) 

Tostada is basically a crunchy tortilla, so if you brush a regular soft tortilla with a little olive oil and place in the oven for 10 minutes you will get the crunch you need. I used the Stand and Stuff soft tortillas that Old El Paco sells, and made them crunchy in the oven. Stuff / top them with ceviche and serve!

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Horror Show

Because mushrooms like to eat themselves. What a delicious way to describe stuffed mushrooms, right?

Remove stems off button mushrooms and put the stems in a blender with a handful of parmesan cheese and some breadcrumbs, along with garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you want. Blend. Stuff the mixture back into the mushrooms, and top with cheese. Brush each mushroom with a little olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes while you vigorously practice your evil laugh.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The 50th: Kiev

Chicken Kiev for a retro cheat night :) It's my 50th post yayyyyyyy

Refrigerate a mixture of tightly wrapped garlic, butter and parsley. Spread clingwrap on the counter and put a chicken breast on it. Cover with another sheet of clingwrap. Now grab a meat mallet or a rolling pin and beat the crap out of the chicken breast till it's all spread out and not so thick anymore. Put the log of solid garlic parsley butter on one side and roll up the chicken around it. Make sure you cover the two sides of the bitter too. Cover tightly in clingwrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Take the chicken out and fry in a pan after covering with egg and breadcrumbs till the top layer becomes golden. Take it out and pop it in the oven for another 20 minutes to finish cooking it. Slice and serve!

Thank you so much for all your views (just about touching 2000) and feedback :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Pocket

So not all of us have a million hours to spare every evening in the kitchen. (This... coming from a currently unemployed person.) Pita pockets are the bomb. You can stuff them with anything! Veggies, salads, meats/fish, whatever.

For these yummy pita pockets, throw into a bowl chopped avocado, cilantro, boiled egg, sauteed mushrooms in garlic, shredded chicken, oregano, homemade salsa or just tomatoes and some lime juice, and a hint of any spice you want (I threw in cayenne, as usual). If you don't care for fat, add a tiny bit of mayonnaise. Cut pitas into two and stuff them, and then stuff your face. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Fish Fry

This super creative name for this dish came to me in a dream last night.

There are two kinds of fried fish in Bengali cuisine. There's the pan-fried fish steaks made at home, called "maach bhaja", which literally means fried fish, and then there's "fish fry", which is a battered fillet deep-fried and served as a snack, and is basically street food. I just dropped some mad culture on you. 

Get your favorite white fish fillets. Bengalis use barramundi (also called "bhetki"); good substitutes would be grouper/hamour, tilapia, or basa, which is what I used. Cut each fillet into two or three pieces. In a big bowl, put in an egg, some salt and pepper, chopped or ground green chilies, and ginger-garlic paste, and mix. Add enough water to have the mix cover the fish completely, and add half a cup of cornflour. Then add the fish and let the bowl sit for a little bit. Meanwhile heat some oil for deep-frying and spread breadcrumbs on a plate for coating. Take each piece of fish out from the bowl onto the plate and cover well with breadcrumbs. At this point I poked a few holes in the fillet with a fork to make sure that the inside cooks evenly. Then deep-fry till browned. 

Serve with traditional kasundi or Dijon mustard, and some sliced onions and cucumbers, and you're golden. Ignore my plate; I'm boring and I eat salad.