Green Chili Pickle, from Syl

“So many chilies. Given a heap away. But they keep growing in such abundance on the bushes in our compound. Not wanting to see them go to waste I thought about pickling them. A friend suggested I look up Nisha Madhulika’s FB vlog for a reliable recipe. So I did, and here’s the result.” The…

Indian Olives ?

Saw this recipe in a magazine or newspaper or something in India, couldn’t quite get my head around it, but it does sound interesting. Orange and Chaat Masala Olives 30 black Spanish olives 4 cloves garlic 1 sprig rosemary 4 to 5 thin slices whole orange, peel on 1 tsp dried red chili flakes 3…

Iron rich meal suggestions

Back to Sango, and the latest on her Intermittent Fasting successes (which are quite mind-boggling and extensive. Less 20 kg now, with glowing skin and uber energy). Some tips and suggestions. All sources of iron should be eaten with Vitamin C rich food such as spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, bean sprouts, dried beans, lentils,…

Fish Tikka a la Sango

Another one of Sango’s easy-to-prepare dishes; prepare in advance … cook in minutes ! 500 gms seer fish (Spanish mackeral), skin and bones removed, cut into 1.5 x 1.5 inch cubes 3/4 cup hung curd * salt to taste 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1/2 tsp paprika 1 tsp garam masala 1 tbsp each…

The Silver Palate Carrot Cake

To die for !! I tasted this cake first  over 20 years ago when a handsome young man visited us and a nubile young lass made this cake for the said bachelor and invited us all over. He was impressed, they got together for a bit. They broke our bed but did not make it…

Veronica’s South Indian Chicken Curry

So this is a basic version of a go-to recipe – robust, tasty, easy to make, and quite the staple with rice, chappattis, naans, parathas … 2 chicken breasts, in pieces 1 big onion, chopped 2 tomatoes, skinned, pureed 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste 1 tsp turmeric (haldi) chili powder – to taste, depending on how…

Pam’s Masala for Curries

Mona brought with her a small bottle of masala powder and produced magic in the kitchen. This was her mother, Pam’s, basic masala powder, made fresh every year, which she   sent to her daughters in Dubai and Shanghai. The curries are to die for. Masala for Chicken and Meat Curries 1/2 kg dry chilies…

Kumari’s (quick) beetroot (a side dish)

I saw her grating, stirring, tasting and serving – all in a few minutes. This was it. Beetroot, grated green chili (as required), de-seeded and sliced OR one or two dried red chilies OR a dash of chili powder I tomato, chopped 1 big onion, chopped Juice of lemon – to taste salt In a…

Sangeeta’s Quinoa, Chia & Flaxseed crusted Chicken

Another from Sango’s kitchen, table, imagination, research, cookbook … 200 gms chicken breast boneless Marinade 1 cup buttermilk 1 tbsp Coleman’s double superfine mustard powder,  into a paste with 1 tbsp cold water salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste 6 cloves of garlic finely grated finely chopped herb of your choice, basil or…

Sangeeta’s Beet Hummus

I have the very very good fortune of knowing gifted, intuitive cooks who – apart from being close friends – are willing to share recipes, thoughts, innovations, suggestions. Sangeeta is one such, and one of my dearest treasures is the handwritten cookbook she gifted me over 30 years ago. Now a passionate advocate of Intermittent…

Sylvia’s Poached Chicken

With Syl’s recipes, the making is as easy as the reading. Thanks much. 2 or 3 chicken breasts Garlic paste or ginger-garlic paste whatever herbs you have lying around tiny amount of salt and pepper (just for the flavour) few peppercorns a bay leaf few cloves 1 tsp chicken stock powder boiling water, to cover…

Pam’s stir-fried Paneer

Another light, easily made dish. Stir fry, serve. Paneer is a fresh cheese from South Asia, particularly the Indian subcontinent. It is unaged, acid-set, non-melting farmer or curd cheese, made by curdling heated milk with lemon juice, vinegar or any other food acids. paneer, cubed a bit of oil whole jeera (cumin) pinch of sugar…

Kuko’s Grilled Peppers

I know this sounds like a no-brainer … but when served piping hot, with meat and salad on a cold Gurgaon evening, music playing, wine in hand and catching up with old friends after yonks, it was delicious beyond belief. Green, red and yellow peppers, sliced, de-seeded, pith removed olive oil crushed garlic oregano salt…

Kuko’s Broccoli-Date-Pomegranate Salad

Another winner from the Kuko table ! Source and mix. Serve. Broccoli florets, steamed Pitted dates, sliced pomegranate arils toasted almond slivers honey mustard dressing Honey mustard dressing 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar 1 tsp mustard powder 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp salt 1 tsp pepper 2 tbsp dijon mustard 3 tbsp olive oil…

‘Kitchadi’ elevated to a party dish !

Lentil and rice based Indian comfort food – heartwarming, nourishing, filling and especially for those days when you don’t have much stuff at home or want to finish bits and bobs of vegetables. We usually make it on Mondays, when supplies are low, we haven’t yet been grocery shopping and I want to spend as…

Kuko’s Celery Soup

Continuing the Kuko kitchen legacy … an absolutely delicious soup in its simplicity. Celery, chopped 2 big onions, chopped garlic, crushed chicken stock dash of cream 1 boiled potato (optional) for a thicker soup 1 tsp sugar salt, pepper 1 tbsp port wine In olive oil, saute the celery, onion and garlic. If using the…

Veronica’s well-loved ‘Ayam Kuning’ aka ‘Yellow Chicken’

Veron is an ace in all dishes Indonesian and this was a particular hit with my niece, visiting from university and interested in trying out different dishes. This one is for you, Pooj ! 5 chicken drumsticks a 2″piece of fresh ginger a 3″ piece of fresh turmeric a 2″ piece of galangal 1 stem…

Kuko’s Mutton in Cream

So, spending a night with old friends in Gurgaon, after years and years, and there’s this splendid dinner served piping hot on a cold December night. Old friends, terrific food, music, wine and much reminiscing … This dish was particularly delicious. Mutton with bone, cubed garlic paste red wine vinegar olive oil oregano, or mixed…

Kuko’s (Indian) twist on a salad dressing

To give regular salad dressing a bite … … sputter in olive oil, some mustard seeds, curry leaves and a couple of dry red chilies. Mix this into the vinaigrette and lift with the addition of a couple of tablespoons of fresh orange juice. Goes brilliantly with grated carrots. Pix off the web, with thanks,…

Christmas is Coming ! (1)

Festive times and festive evenings draw near and people on social media have now discovered the most indulgent dessert ever and they just can’t seem to get enough of it! The gluttonous red wine chocolate brownie is now red hot on social media …  Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake 200g plain chocolate 170g salted…

Apricots. Apricots. Apricots.

The fruit is everywhere, warm, orange, gold, offering all kinds of suggestions.                       Sauces. Appetizers. On the side. Three recipes I haven’t yet tried. Sound delicious though. As an accompaniment, from Alon Shaya, Executive Chef and Owner of Shaya in New Orleans. Stir together :…

Kumari’s chicken

On a visit to Chennai last week, Mum’s helper, Kumari, brought this steaming dish of chicken to the table. It was delicious with a paratha and a pat of ghee ! Chicken, in pieces 1 big onion, diced fine 1/2 (or more, as per taste) tomato, diced 1 tsp or so ginger-garlic paste 1/2″ cinnamon…

Selvi’s Chicken Curry with Broad Beans

One of the nicest chicken dishes I’ve had in a while. The addition of  beans – avarakkai in Tamil, aka Indian broad beans – elevates the dish to a satisfying level. Its delicious, filling and different; all it needs is a dish of piping hot rice or a couple of hot chapattis off the tawa….

Sweet Paul’s Famous Feta & Lemon Dip

Came across this first in his cookbook and then online – will be trying it out very soon. Looks and sounds terrific. This is the most blogged, tweeted, and pinned recipe I have ever created. It’s also one of the simplest recipes ever. Just a few ingredients, 2 minutes in the food processor, and voila,…

Patates Bravas by Navzer

A tapas dish from Spain, this is Navzer’s version, served on a cold Vancouver evening, quite the shining star among an abundance of delish platters. potatoes with skin, in small pieces, or small potatoes halved olive oil mayonnaise any hot sauce paprika or crushed red chili flakes chopped garlic, about 4 to 5 cloves squeeze…

Elsie’s Brinjal ‘meykewerti’ (in Malayalam, a vegetable dish)

brinjals (aubergines) of any kind, cut in thinnish long wedges 1 big onion, sliced 1 heaped tsp ginger-garlic paste chili powder, to taste 1 big or 2 small tomatoes, chopped salt 1/4 cup tamarind water (soak tamarind pulp in hot water for a bit, and extract clear tamarind water) a couple of spoonfuls fresh grated…

Elsie’s Prawn Curry

Another dish, south Indian, and easy to make (along the lines of the egg curry … with a couple of omissions and additions). prawns, cleaned, de-veined, shelled 1 big big onion or 2 small small onions (I love the sound of this !!), chopped or sliced 1/2 inch piece of ginger, crushed 3 cloves garlic,…

Elsie’s Egg Curry

So, another friend is visiting and I have mined her trove of easy-home-food recipes in an attempt to coax Mum into eating … … because when I try Mum’s recipes, they are never up to par as far as she is concerned. Mona suggested I don’t even try to replicate her recipes, but offer different…

Sweet Summer Kale Salad

Discovered in Kitsilano, Vancouver, this salad and dressing was outstanding ; the kale elevated by the sharp contrasts between the piquant, nutty and sweet accents. Kale Chopped apples Cranberries Almonds Dressing olive oil orange juice balsamic vinegar shallots, diced garlic, diced honey red chilies oregano sea salt pepper Most pictures borrowed from the web.

Elizabeth’s Sardine Curry

David and Elizabeth have been endlessly kind, preparing different kinds of food to entice Mum into eating. Sardines, suggested David, a curry of sardines, the easiest thing to make. I had not heard of sardine curry, and the next thing I knew was Elizabeth had made and sent across two versions, one spicier than the…

Mum’s Mango Chutney which turned out to be Dad’s recipe

There is this accompaniment – a mango chutney or chamandi as it is known in Malayalam – which was and is a household favourite, to die for. So, with Mum at home, we decided to revive old traditions and boy oh boy, did it vanish in seconds ! 2 raw green mangoes (the sourer and…

Mulled Apple Juice

During Lent, and for those who abstain, this one was googled off the net and went down a treat. Dinner for 10 and many refraining from alcohol, so it was chaas (spiced buttermilk) or fresh tender coconut water with chia seeds and mint or mulled apple juice. 1 liter apple juice strips of orange peel…

Kumari’s Mutton & Drumstick Curry

Kumari, Mum’s helper, brought a gift of six fresh, bright green murungakas – as they are called in Tamil – with the injunction, complete with recipe, that I was to take it to Singapore and cook it for Mum, with mutton.The murungas had been gathered from her garden, and from the tree across the wall,…

Dahi vadas aka dumplings in spiced yoghurt a la South India

Delish beyond belief. Now craving South Indian cuisine. curry leaves 1/2 tsp cumin seeds 1 inch knob ginger 2 green chilies (or more, according to taste)  2 handfuls urud dhal, washed, cleaned and soaked for 6 hours or overnight in water Grind all of the above with minimum water added, adding it judiciously and a…

Rice Dishes

Tried out a number of easy rice dishes, all good, all quickly done. You could either use a rice cooker or make it in a pan. Coconut Rice 1 cup rice big onions, chopped green chili cinnamon stick, broken 1 cup coconut milk 1 cup water Salt Sputter the cinnamon stick in hot oil, add…

Murgh Methi Malai aka Chicken with Cream and Methi

This chicken dish was done in a very short time. The fresh fenugreek leaves made all the difference, I think, compared to the dried ones. Whatever the reason, this one is a winner. 500g chicken breasts or thighs, cubed 3 big onions, on the smaller side 6 cloves garlic 1 inch knob of ginger 2…

Prawn Aglio Olio

Mona has been turning them out, dish after dish, and here’s the latest. Spaghetti, cooked al dente in salted water with a dash of olive oil, reserve a bit of the water Prawns, marinated for 10 minutes with oregano, black pepper, salt and a dash of lime juice (optional) Red chilies, sliced garlic, finely diced…

Saturday Lunch

When family visits, its food, drink and long conversations well into the afternoon. Menu : Bubbly Roast chicken with pumpkin and sweet potatoes Blanched asparagus spears with brussel sprouts and diced prosciutto Greek Salad (a variation) The leaves were fresh and crisp, the avocado just right. Added pomegranate arils, cubed feta, sliced button mushrooms and…

Mona’s Pumpkin with Black-eyed Beans

Another of her simple superlatives … great with plain rice. South Indian to the core, and lovely. A sprig of curry leaves a handful of fresh grated coconut 1 tsp jeera (cumin seeds) 1 or 2 green chilies, deseeded 1/2 tsp haldi (turmeric powder) Grind the above ingredients to a fine paste. black-eyed beans red…

Mona’s Fish Curry with Raw Mango

My sister in law is visiting, she is one of those gifted people, intuitive and instinctive around food (like Syl, Jen and Kalpana) and everything she makes is simple and superlative. This is her South Indian fish curry, whipped up in no time. 1 kg mackerel   (aka tenggiri, batang … ), cleaned, sliced and…

A Beer Marinade for Chicken

Rooting around for something different, to marinate 3 chicken legs overnight for a quick lunch with a salad. Nothing much in the fridge, except the beer, and a few onions. Came out pretty well, except tried to pan fry instead of grilling it and that didn’t cook the chicken, so turned everything into a pressure…

Prawn Barley Risotto with Chili Gremolata

Here’s another one, part of the weekly mission to source and try out ‘something new’, something different. This was interesting and the addition of a fresh fig salad both brightened and lightened the density of the risotto. Olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped fine 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 1/2 cups pearl barley 4 cups…

Watermelon Steak Salad

On a visit to Vancouver a few weeks ago, I had a phenomenal Tuna Watermelon Salad at the Fable Kitchen in Kitsilano, with chunks of seared tuna tossed with feta, cucumber, egg, anchovy and guanciale (cured meat from Italy, prepared from pork jowl). I came across another watermelon salad recipe and it was pretty good….

Roasted Pear and Apple Roquefort Salad

This one’s a winner – saw the recipe somewhere and remembered to try it out. Light, and satisfying. Prepare earlier, assemble before serving. 2 pears and 2 apples, cored, sliced into 1/2 inch rings Olive oil, as required salt and cracked black pepper arugula 60g proscuitto, sliced 60 g crushed pistachios 60g Roquefort or other…

Grilled Fruit with a Palm-sugar-Rum syrup

Came across this recipe, haven’t tried it out but sounds delicious. 2 bananas, unpeeled, sliced in half lengthwise 2 slices pineapple, peeled, cored 2 mangoes, unpeeled, sliced to obtain 4 cheeks Syrup 1/2 cup gula melaka or palm sugar, chopped small 1/2 cup water 1 tbsp dark rum Garnish Roasted peanuts Mint leaves Heat a…

Indonesian Vegetable ‘Urap’

This is an easily repeatable dish – brings a different flavour to the table and the vegetable. Very interesting. 500g winged beans, washed, sliced crosswise in 0.5 cm pieces 300g cabbage, sliced in 1 cm pieces 3 large red chilies, sliced 4 or 5 bird’s eye chilies, sliced                                                             ) 5…

Phil’s Seafood BBQ

Fresh from start to finish : from wet market to grill ! It was a very early a.m. wake up, to get to the wet market as the stalls were opening and the fish unloaded … Tekka, stirring to gleaming scales and slippery heaps on the one side, vegetables being unpacked in another, eggs heaped,…

Elizabeth’s & David’s Biryani in a Rice Cooker

Elizabeth kindly shared her biryani recipe – most interesting as the rice was cooked in coconut milk instead of water. It was utterly delish and needed no accompaniment other than a raita … perhaps not even that !   2 cups basmati rice, cleaned 2 ½ cups coconut milk ( use the ‘first’ milk and…

A Cleansing Crunch of a Salad

Beetroot, Carrot, Sprouted Mung Bean and Mint Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing Some days you just feel your palate need a cleansing crunch and this salad is perfect for it. I just happened to have the ingredients on hand and hoped it would work – and it did. I medium sized beetroot cut in thin…