Sunday, October 26, 2008

Accompaniments to edible items

... and at Pallavi's behest, I documented this fine installation under our kitchen sink.
First prize for most generous contribution to this artwork goes to Sudeep, to Pondi goes the lifetime achievement award, Nityan has already been awarded the "Best Behaved Drunk" by Sujoy and I would also like to award the "Martyrdom Award" to him for being the tireless man behind the commestibles.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Baked Chicken

Here's another easy one. I remembered about the picture only after we'd eaten it up!
Preheat your oven at 180F (medium oven).
Chop onion rings and garlic and cover the bottom of your baking dish with these.
Place the chicken pieces on this bed of onion and garlic.
Put more onion rings and garlic on the chicken; crush rosemary, peppercorns and sprinkle all over. Also sprinkle some salt.
Pour olive oil to coat all the chicken pieces and onions nicely.
Pour in a cup and a half of pineapple or orange juice.
Bake for 45 mins (keep checking to see if it's becoming too dry, turn the chicken once in a while and add olives towards the end)
I cooked about 5 pieces of a giant grandfather chicken (much better to get a smaller, more succulent bird) for which I required 2 large onions and 5 large cloves of garlic.

Tomato Sauce

So, this was a really good tomato sauce I made the other day and it's easy peasy. Remember to be generous with all ingredients and slow-cook the sauce for a long, long time. It helps a lot if your kitchen is stocked with fabulous raw material (I happened to have some great olive oil and fine grade olives).Blanch about 7 medium sized tomatoes, cool and blend and keep aside. Chop three medium sized onions: first halve, then cut half rings, then make fine bits of the rings.Chop plenty of garlic finely: I use about 5 cloves, sometimes more depending on the size. Chop half a large carrot into tiny cube bits like the onions.Pour plenty of olive oil in a saucepan (enough to cover the onions nicely) and also add in a tbsp of butter.Cook the onions on a high flame and keep stirring till they are nice and translucent NOT BROWN. Add in the garlic and some piri piri or dried Goan red peppers midway and cook away till the onion and garlic are soft and cooked.Add in the blended tomato, the carrots, as much as mixed herbs as you'd like and half a chicken stock cube, salt and several crushed pepper corns.Add in a bit of water depending on how thick or thin you'd like your sauce, cover and cook on sim for about 30 minutes. That's it! Add chopped olives once the sauce is cooked, cook your pasta and keep some grated Parmesan or Grand Pardano on the side.Yenjoy!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fish in Mango Mustard Curry

Ok this mother's recipe fish dish looks complicated but its fairly simple and pretty fast to make. It's from the east coast of Northern Andhra and Orissa. The first time you make it, might be slightly tricky. The second time around, you'll have a better idea of the proportions. The third time, it'll be perfect! And that's how many times I made it.

Fish (surmai/kingfish) - 10 to 12 pieces
1 tbsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Salt or to taste
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Sprinkle the turmeric powder and salt on the pieces of fish. 
Make sure all the pieces are rubbed in on both sides
Heat the oil in a non-stick pan
Fry the pieces of fish lightly until they are firm enough not to disintegrate in the curry.

1 large raw green mango (make sure its sour)
1/4 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 small cup of water

Peel the mango and cut it up roughly
Boil it in half a cup of water (or less as the mango gives out some water) with salt till tender
Let it cool and blend it in a mixer

Mustard Paste
10 pods of garlic (i put a whole bulb)
2 green chillies
1 tbsp jeera
1/2 tbsp mustard seeds

Grind the garlic, green chillies and jeera till you get a rough paste
Add the mustard seeds and give it quick grind till the mustard seeds are roughly broken (Grinding it more will make the paste too bitter)

Add mango pulp in a cooking vessel with 3/4 litre water (should make enough curry for the fish)
Add 1 tbsp of sugar (un-heaped)
Bring to boil and add the fried fish pieces
Boil for another minute till the fish is cooked and turn off the fire
Add 1 tbsp of the mustard paste and gently stir (do not add too much as the curry will turn bitter)
Add salt after tasting the curry and gently stir

4-5 pods of garlic crushed
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp jeera
2 red dry chillies
1/4 tsp methi seeds
few curry leaves
1 tsp vegetable oil

Heat oil in a small frying pan
Add mustard and jeera
Add the rest of the ingredients and fry

Add the seasoning to the fish curry and gently stir.
Garnish with a handful (or more) of chopped spring onion stalks
Serve with steamed rice
Like all sour dishes, it tastes better the next day.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Mutton Stew

This is one of mums classics in the comfort food category. a one dish meal to be mopped up with bread/toast and a salad on the side.

1 kilo meat/lamb
Medium size piece of ginger
1 bulb garlic (or to taste)
5-6 whole black pepper + a liberal sprinkling of ground pepper as well
A dash of Soya sauce ( a teaspoon or so)
A dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 lime
A sprinkling of thyme
2-3 bay leaves
salt to taste
a chicken soup cube ( or stock if its there)
Bacon 2/3 slivers, cut in to large pieces

Marinate the meat in the ginger/ garlic /soya sauce /worcestershire sauce/ pepper/thyme/bay leaves and lime
set aside for half an hour

boil 2 carrots, 2 /3 potatoes and 2 onions separately

In a little oil fry the bacon lightly and then brown the meat that has been marinated.
Add the water which the vegetables have cooked in and a dash of red wine (two table spoons), chicken cube or stock plus salt
and pressure cook.

Once done add a dash of cream and serve.

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Last Word in Fusion Cuisine

View of the Spiti Valley
I have to share with all you foodies on this blog a unique dish I tasted on a recent trip through Lahaul and Spiti, which I thought was a complete breakthrough in innovation. The only other tourists we saw on that route at this time of the year were Gujaratis from Bombay. Which meant that they were shakahari and that too Jain, sans onion and garlic. At one of the places we stopped for the night, dinner we found much to our excitement, was Chinese. There were just us and a Gujarati family for dinner. Amidst the veg fried rice, veg noodles, ubiquitous chilli paneer, what do I find? Gatte Manchurian! Who among you has had something that beats this?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

mushroom risotto


olive oil and butter
1 or 2 onion chopped
1 or 2 celery stick chopped
garlic (2,3,4 cloves as you like) chopped
cup of risotto rice (or paella rice if no can do)
splash of white wine
stock - home made - we use chicken - lots of/ with water
bay leaf (we believe fresh is better)

olive oil
green chilli
splash of white wine

parmesan cheese

1. in one pan (heavy bottom) fry up the onion garlic chilli and mushrooms slowly, till they are dark and have let off moisture

2. in another pan (similar ) fry the onion garlic and celery slowly till softened. add the rice and fry till it goes translucent

3. add the wine to the rice which should boil off quickly, stirring the rice. then gradually add the bay leaf and the stock bit by bit stirring, letting the rice absorb the stock, until the rice is softer, but not completely mushy - al dente.

4. mix the mushrooms for a bit.

5. put on plates, and grate parmesan over the top, with black pepper, and maybe a little bit of posh olive oil.

6. serve warm, rather than hot - it makes a big difference.

anything can be added instead of mushrooms, the risotto base is fairly standard.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More Goa

Mackeral Rechiad and Prawns rawa fry at lisa's house in Goa last month...divine.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Bombay to Goa

It's been a very long satisfying gastronomical journey, first in Bombay and then in Goa. With some new restaurant finds and some seriously delicious home meals, John's yummy herb/roast chicken with roasted vegetables, amazing papad pizza and by far the best burger in the whole world at Indigo Deli, berry pulav at Brittania, Ruchi's Spagetti, Anoop's Fish in green mango and lisa's prawn curry with drumsticks and prawn rechiad stuffed in squid...all in all a feast fit for many kings, some pictures for now, recipes to follow i hope! (john, ruchi, anoop, liza!)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday Lunch ala Nityan

Made a delicious Pork Vindaloo and beans and coconut ala Nityan today for family lunch at home, marinated for a day and cooked for 3 hours...feeling very lazy so will post tomorrow, some pictures for now. Love

Pork Vindaloo

1 kg Pork with fat and no skin ( leg )
1/2 kg lean pork
3-4 spoons vinegar (any white or Goa vinegar)
2 large onions (mash/ pulp)
1 whole pod garlic
Nice large piece of Ginger
grind ginger and garlic together in to a paste
1 teaspoon zeera powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 and a half teaspoon chilli powder ( i used a mix of kashmiri mirchi and normal sabut red mirchi ,freshly ground )
11/2 -2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Clean pork and marinate with all the above ingredients, mix nicely and let it sit in the fridge for 12-24-48 hours! ( I did 24)

Put Pork in to a large non stick type cooking vessel on the small flame on simmer for an hour, no oil required (the fat will more than compensate!) you will find water has been released, half cover and let it cook for another 30 to 40 mins . Check salt/ vinegar/ red chilli levels and add if needed. after and hour and a half of cooking add
1 1/2 inch piece of Cinnamon
15-20 pepper corns
5-8 cloves

For the next hour slowly stir the meat, the gravy will thicken, take it off the fire when you see the right consistency. It has a thick small amount of gravy . So total cooking time is 2 and a half to three hours. very simple and highly satisfying, thanks Nityan for this superb discovery! It can be mopped up with bread/ pao's/ sannas!

and for the Beans;

Take Half a kilo French beans, chop really fine after removing the strings etc
Half a grated coconut (or a large heaped handful)

Heat a little oil in a kadhai and put in
1 Teaspoon Black urad dal ( which can be soaked for 10 -15 min to soften)
1 Teaspoon Black mustard seeds
3 Broken red chilli's
a dash of hing if you want

Put in the copped beans and cook for 5 minutes on medium to low fire
mix in salt
Cover and cook for a few more minutes/ keep tasting to make sure the beans don't get overcooked, they should remain slightly crunchy
Close the gas and add the grated coconut and mix, that's it!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


So this one is a tried and tested beauty which always brings back memories of Goa. Even though I'm vegetarian now, I still have to make this prawn rechad for my friends here in Toronto who can't get enough of it. There are various versions, but this is my recipe. And with a collection of these malabar spices, who can go wrong?

Prawn Rechad
1" stick cinnamon
5 cardamom pods
7 cloves
1 tbsp black peppercorn
3 kashmiri chillies
1 pod garlic
3 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 lb prawns
salt to taste
vegetable oil

So clean the prawns and set them aside. In a bowl, soak the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, chillies, pepper and cloves of garlic in the white vinegar. Add the salt and sugar, and grind to a paste. (Add more vinegar if necessary). Combine this potent mixture to the prawns and mix well. Heat some oil in a frying pan, and fry the prawns until red, succulent and juicy.
Serve hot.....with ample amount of drinks. Personally urak with soda and lime, or fenny or a good old gin and tonic does the trick.

Let's meet in goa.