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Monday, May 30, 2016

The Alu Tikki

Ah, the multipurpose alu tikki. Put it in chat and it turns into fabulous street food; put it in a roll and it turns into a veggie burger. For that matter, serve it with breakfast and call it a freaking hash brown! Just kidding.

Boil potatoes. Peel and mash. Add salt, red chilli powder, a tiny bit of cumin powder and a dash of chaat masala. Mix well and let cool. Make balls and squish into little cakes. Dust in flour. Meanwhile heat oil in a large flat pan, enough to shallow fry. Put the tikkis (potato cakes) onto hot oil. Don't try to flip it too soon; wait till the bottom has browned enough for you to easily flip. Fry the other side. Serve with a fabulous mint-coriander chutney!

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Desi Green Curry

Happy Friday ! Here's a healthy yet hearty yum dish for the weekend.

Palak chicken

Blanch spinach in boiling water for 3 minutes and drown in ice water to stop the cooking of the leaves. Put the wrung spinach in a blender and make a paste. Put aside.

Purée onions. Heat some ghee in a pan with cumin seeds. Add the onion purée and stir till the oil starts to separate from the onion. Add salt, turmeric, cumin and coriander powder. Add a big spoon of tomato paste and some garam masala and fry together. Add the spinach paste, mix, and finally add chicken. Add a little water, cover and let cook, stirring occasionally. Add a spoon of sour cream to make the curry rich once the chicken is mostly cooked. Serve with a drizzle of cream!

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Loaded Khubz

Lots of leftover tahini = 1001 Arabian Nights :)

Make some tahini sauce by running a fat spoonful of tahini with some lemon, salt and oil in a blender. Set aside.

Pound chicken breast and season with garlic salt, pepper, cumin powder and paprika. Melt some butter in a pan and place the chicken breast on it. Don't move it around; let it cook one side till the bottom is just starting to turn golden. Flip (once) and cover and cook on low for 10 min without touching it. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. Cut into slices.

Mildly bake a khubz and cut into slices. Top it with shredded cabbage, carrots, chopped celery and some corn. Place the chicken on top, maybe sprinkle a little zatar powder, and drizzle the entire thing with tahini sauce. Serve with a lime!

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Kadhai

I suppose the basic recipe would work for both chicken and paneer; in case of paneer you'd lightly fry it separately and add to the curry later.

Roughly cut onions and capsicum into large pieces. Heat a little vegetable oil and add some fenugreek and carom seeds, ginger garlic paste and broken red chillies. Add the onions and capsicum and fry for a bit. Add salt and tumeric with red chilli powder and garam masala and fry some more. Pour in a generous cup of crushed tomatoes and sauté before adding the chicken. Cover and cook on medium, stirring occasionally. Add a thickening agent if you like (cream, cashew milk, a sprinkle of flour). I added a splash of milk. Right before the last simmer, add a little kasuri methi and turn off the heat. Serve with a coriander garnish (or not)!

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Kid Meal

No one is ever too old for spaghetti and meatballs.

Boil and set aside the spaghetti. Mix Minced meat of your choice with garlic, oregano, sage, salt and pepper, maybe a little lemon zest, breadcrumbs, a splash of milk, a little cheese (optional) and an egg, which I skipped because mince meat binds pretty well by itself. Roll into balls and pan-fry for 5 min. Heat some butter and fry onions and garlic before adding tomato paste and a little balsamic vinegar. Then add tomatoes, stock (or water), thyme, salt and pepper and let simmer. Add the meatballs before the last summer and reduce till you're happy with the consistency. Serve on spaghetti and make a giant mess!

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Gritty Charleston

When it comes to American food, I'm obviously a Southerner at heart. That is why it hurts to not find satisfactory grits at the supermarket here in Australia. That being said, polenta (also cornmeal, like grits) is an okay substitute even though the texture is comparatively blah.

Shrimp and Grits!

Boil grits (polenta) in broth or water, and add cheese, salt and butter to your liking in the end. Take off the heat when you're happy with the texture.

Crackle some bacon and take off the heat to crumble. Heat butter in a pan and add garlic and chopped green onion. Add shrimp, Cajun seasoning and a little lime, cook and set aside with the bacon.

Heat some more butter and add flour and stir. Once browned, add Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce, and some water. Simmer and set aside for roux sauce.

Serve the shrimp+bacon on the grits and the roux on top, and sprinkle parsley and a little Cajun seasoning on top! Yum.

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Saucy Egg

Boiled eggs in parmesan tomato sauce. Super easy, takes no time, and could be served by itself or with LITERALLY anything.

Boil eggs and set aside. Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan and add garlic. Add crushed tomatoes and basil, with salt, pepper and a bit of sugar. Add a handful of parmesan and simmer until you're happy with the consistency. Pour over eggs and top with cheese.

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Momo Bar

Is there a better way to do Friday night? No, there isn't.
Break out the momos.


Prepare shredded cabbage, lettuce, carrots, beets, and anything else you might want to add. If you aren't in the mood to thinly slice a million vegetables, get a coleslaw bag. Heat a little oil and add grated ginger, chopped green chillies and chopped spring onions. Then add all the vegetables and toss with a little soy sauce till the cabbage has softened. Put aside.


Get your preferred minced meat, and mix with the following in a bowl: chopped onions, coriander, garlic, ginger, salt, turmeric, red chillies, and any preferred type of curry powder. Heat a little oil, and once it's hot, pour all over this glorious mash, mix and let sit (to cook the mixture a little.


In India, momos are typically served with the standard garlic chilli sauce that you'd find in any Asian supermarket. However, I LOVE the original Nepali achar (sauce) made from scratch, for which you heat a little oil and add sesame seeds, then green chillies. Add salt and turmeric, and pour in half a can of crushed tomatoes. Mix well, then blend into a beautiful momo sauce.


So making the dough isn't tough, but I got lazy and bought some wonton wrappers. There's many different ways of folding momos; if the wrappers are circular, you can put the stuffing in the middle and bring all the sides up and pinch at the top to make a little bag, or fold on to one side and pleat to make a purse. I got square wrappers (not ideal) so I brought all corners up to make a parcel for the meat momos and rolled and twisted for the veg momos. Your choice.

Wrap up your momos and steam for 10-12 minutes or until the wrapper becomes translucent (or fry if it's a cheat day). Serve with sauce!

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Creamy Kabab

Malai tikka kababs are underrated. They're easier to get right than a perfect tikka or tandoori and I'm not kidding.

Marinate bite-sized boneless pieces of chicken thighs with a fat dollop of sour cream, a fistful of grated mild cheddar or three-blend cheese, salt, paprika, a small pinch of garam masala, ginger-garlic paste, chopped bell peppers, and finally a sprinkle of cardamom powder. Literally, that's it. Grease a cookie sheet and bake the kababs on high (burn them a tiny bit) till done! Maybe keep some of the scraped burnt cheese off the sheet and sneak em while you pretend to prep dinner. Yum.