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Monday, January 29, 2018

The Southern Fried Chicken

The legacy of Southern food for non-Southern people rests on the shoulders of what most of us refer to as KFC chicken. Tsk tsk. Here's my recipe.

Make a spice mix of the following: 2 large spoons each of paprika, oregano, and black pepper. Tak about 10 quarter pieces of chicken or 12 drumsticks and add them to a large Ziploc bag filled with a beaten egg, a large spoon of garlic paste, a cup of buttermilk, salt to taste, and 40% of the spice mix made earlier. Make sure the chicken is coated well. Refrigerate overnight or for 4 hours.

When you're ready to fry, get the chicken out of the fridge. Mix in a bowl 1.5 cups of flour with half a cup of cornstarch, a little salt, and all of the leftover spice mix. Take a few spoonfuls of the marinade from the chicken to make the mix a little coarse using your hands. Now coat each chicken piece in this mix and deep fry (carefully enough to avoid flaking of crust. Finish off by baking for 10 min in the oven at 180C. Serve hot, preferably with easy biscuits and gravy (previous recipe)!

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Biscuits and Gravy

Australia is really missing out on one of my favorite breakfast foods of all time: biscuits and gravy. So I made some!

I do love chorizos, so that's what my gravy was made from. Chop up a chorizo and fry them well in a pan. Remove the chorizos, and in the chorizo grease add two tablespoons of butter, a third of a cup of flour and two cups of milk. Stir vigorously to remove lumps. Add salt and pepper to taste, and maybe a tiny dash of Cajun seasoning to amp the chorizo spice. Add the chorizos and simmer until thickened to the right consistency.

For the biscuits, put in a bowl two cups of self-rising flour and a fourth of a cup  of cold pats of butter. Use your hands to combine the butter and flour so that the flour now looks coarse. Add just enough buttermilk while combining (not too much) so that the dough just starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Flatten onto a surface thickly (1 to 1.5 cm thick), and cut out circles using a glass. Brush the top very lightly with butter. Bake in the oven at 180°C for about 10 min. Serve hot, with a giant serving of gravy! Makes 9-12 biscuits.

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Kite-Flyer

Happy Makar Sankranti/Lohri/Pongal/Uttarayan! I grew up in Gujarat, and to me, this time of the year meant terraces full of kids and adults engaged in kite-flying wars. Keeping with the theme, today's recipe is the easy 20-minute til laddoo (sesame sweets).

To make 8 to 10 small laddoos (about 1.5 cm in diameter), dry-roast about a third of a cup of white sesame seeds in a nonstick pan until golden, and set aside. Do the same to a third of a cup of crushed peanuts, and then to a third of a cup of desiccated coconut. Set aside.

In the same pan, on low heat, now add a tsp of ghee, half a cup of chopped jaggery, and 3 spoons of water. Stir vigorously to dissolve the jaggery in the water. Add a tiny pinch of cardamom powder. Simmer until it boils (bubbles) and starts to thicken a little. Add the roasted sesame, peanuts and coconut to the jaggery solution and mix well, then turn the heat off. The entire thing should become sticky and start to coagulate.

Transfer the contents of the pan onto a greased plate. With ghee on your palms, roll the hot mixture (carefully!) into little balls before everything cools and becomes hard. Serve up the candy goodness like you're not suddenly a majestic Sankranti pro, no big deal.

Monday, January 8, 2018

The Burger Rings

Onion Rings + burger patties = endless possibilities. These are stuffed onion rings that can be used as patties for a slider or as onion rings to serve up at a party or a game night! Get creative.

Cut two large onions horizontally to create large onion rings; put about 12-16 of them aside. Mix 500 g of minced meat/chicken with two spoons of chopped garlic, half a cup of chopped parsley, paprika, salt and pepper to taste, and half a cup of chopped chives. Separately, cut 12-16 little cubes of cheese measuring a little less than 2 cm each side (bite sized).

Set up a breading station with flour, eggs and breadcrumbs. Set an onion ring flat on a clean surface, and stuff with minced meat/chicken mixture; press to the insides of the ring. Stick a cheese cube into the middle. Coat the entire ensemble in flour, then beaten eggs, then breadcrumbs, before deep-frying until browned to your satisfaction. Serve up with Caribbean jerk-mayo, by itself or in a little dinner roll with slaw as a slider!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The New Year Splurge Part 2

2017 began with butter chicken. It's only natural that 2018 begins with dal makhani! Happy new year guys.

Soak 1.5 cup of kali dal for 24 hours; drain and wash. Boil in low heat with salt; set aside.

Heat 2 spoons of butter, to which add 2 spoons of garlic paste, a spoon of chopped ginger, 2 spoons red chilli powder, 1 large tomato paste (or puree 4-5 spoons). Mix well until everything comes together. Then add dal, and stir vigorously. In the last 5 minutes of simmering, add a spoon of crushed kasuri methi. Garnished with fresh slices of ginger and a dollop of butter. It isn't "makhani" for nothing!

Utterly butterly delicious.