Monday, June 6, 2016

Prawn Sukka

If you follow me on Intagram, you probably know that I was visiting India for a month (If you don't follow me on Intagram - why not?!) Apart from a quick stop over at Singapore, I was mostly in Mumbai. One of my Mumbai food highlights, apart from my mother's fantastic cooking, was the Crab Sukka from Mahesh Lunch Home. Mahesh Lunch Home specializes in Mangalorean seafood dishes and the flavors in the crab dish was off the charts. 

'Sukka' essentially means dry. Here I have tried to recreate the flavors in a dry prawn dish. While cooking this, our building's fire alarm went off - it wasn't me! But I had to evacuate while I was in the process of cooking the spices. Which was SO inconvenient! 1) Because I smelled like a spice drawer; and 2) Because I really wanted to finish cooking this delight and dig in!

Yield - Serves 2

Total Time - 1 Hour

Friday, April 1, 2016

Spinach and Feta Savory Muffins

The concept of "morning tea" was completely alien to me till I joined the New Zealand work force three years ago. I still remember back to my first week of work when I was completely taken aback by the mass exodus that took place every day at 10 am on the dot, for 15 minutes. But oh my goodness I cannot do without it now! I need my mid morning stretch, caffeine and muffin. Especially since I am one of those breakfast-skippers (Yes, I know, bad Bach!) But let's get past that. By the time 10 am rolls in, I am usually famished so I usually need something more substantial than just coffee.

Savory muffins are standard NZ cafe fare and are often accompanied by the question "Heated with butter?" Yes heated but no butter thanks (I have it almost everyday so no butter seems like a good idea) This is not the most economical way to spend 15 minutes every morning because it is actually quite easy to make these muffins yourself so I decided give it a try. This post is actually called That-Week-I-Finally-Got-Off-My-Fat-Arse-And-Organized-Breakfast.

You can make these with any combination of veggies and cheese really - it is entirely up to you. Personally, I wouldn't put eggplants in it myself - but again it is up to you! The muffins I have here are spinach zucchini and feta muffins and they are delicious and hearty.

Yield - 6 Large Muffins
Time - 40 Minutes

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Sri Lankan Beef Stir Fry

Sri Lankan Beef Stir Fry

Last Christmas (no, I didn't give you my heart - great, now that song is stuck in my head) we went to a stuff-yourself-till-you-fall-into-a-coma kind of a family and friends gathering. The food was predominantly Sub-Continental and I had one mouth watering dish that was so simple, yet so delicious that I HAD to have the recipe! So, I hounded the cook of said dish till she relinquished the recipe. She said it was Sri Lankan style beef and the recipe was simple enough. 

Sri Lankan Beef Stir Fry

Now, I don't claim to know much about about Sri Lankan cooking, so I started researching the cuisine on encyclopedia Google and came up a bit empty as far as this beef dish goes. So, I asked one of my Sri Lankan work mates about it. After describing it to her, she said that it sounded like what they call a stir fry. But then she also added a disclaimer: "I can't help you if you have the Sri Lankan community after you with pitch forks." (Thanks, Sala) 

Sri Lankan Beef Stir Fry

This is not like the other quick-cook stir fries I have done in the past on the blog. The recipe calls for A TON of onions which give this dish a natural sweetness. The spices themselves are subtle and it is nothing like the creamy spicy fare you sometimes have to suffer through in Indian/  Sri Lankan restaurants in western countries. 

Yield - Serves 3
Prep Time -15 Minutes + Overnight Marination
Cook Time - 40 Minutes

Sri Lankan Beef Stir Fry

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Dal Fry

Vegan Recipe - Dal Fry

My mom makes the best dal. No really. I know that everyone says their moms make the best something or the other but I am not being sentimental here. I am simply stating a mere fact. My mom makes the best dal. I spent the first 2 years of grad school trying to figure out how she does it (I took classes, read a lot of papers, passed my comps and tried to come with a research project too - but mostly, I perfected cooking dal). I love dal. When I was a kid, I'd come home from school and often sit with a large bowl of dal and down it. To me, it is home plain and simple - true comfort food.

Vegan Recipe - Dal Fry

I can see my dad rolling his eyes if he's reading this. He does not think that dal deserves an honorable mention in any food related discussion. Dal simply exists as side in every single Indian meal. Always. Even my dad can't roll his eyes on this dal fry recipe because it is something that he used to whip up using leftover dal (cooked by my mom of course). It was delicious and deserves its own blog post! 

It is a fantastic source of protein and I would recommend it as an essential part of a vegetarian diet. I generally cook more dal than I need for a meal and freeze the rest for future use.

Yield - Seves 4

Time - 1 Hour

Vegan Recipe - Dal Fry

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Thai Basil Shrimp Stir Fry with Dipping Sauce

Thai Basil Shrimp / Prawn Stir Fry

Remember the Thai Basil Chicken recipe I posted a while back? Of course you do. It took 20 minutes to cook and saved you from ordering in on a crazy weeknight. It was pretty good, but authentic it was not! Which is why I timidly named it "Thai Inspired Basil Chicken". See what I did there? One of the main reasons was that I used regular sweet basil in that recipe, because Thai basil is not readily available in the supermarkets here.

Thai Basil Shrimp / Prawn Stir Fry

Last winter I started some Thai basil seedlings indoors and they have grown into a nice little bush this summer. Look at it! It has had a few trims already but it is a source of much joy in our little apartment. This ingredient is NOT optional! It lifts the dish and gives it such a beautiful distinct flavor that you (or I) will never go back to using sweet basil in our Thai dishes. 

I have several stir fry recipes on the blog. They are true weeknight heroes - fast, easy and healthy. Don't let the word "fry" fool you, with just a couple of splashes of oil and high heat, the veggies and meat cook well and retain their crunchiness - the veggies that is! Which brings me to my ONLY rule about stir fries - quick cooking over very high heat. That is all.

Yield - Serves 2

Prep Time - 20 Minutes

Cook Time - 10 Minutes

Thai Basil Shrimp / Prawn Stir Fry

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