Category Archives: Recipe

Spicy chicken gizzards in Bafat masala

This is a rough and ready recipe because I wasn’t really following any particular recipe myself, and was just making it up as I went along. This is the first time I have cooked or eaten gizzards, and I must say I’m pleased with the results.

Note: I used a homemade Mangalorean Bafat masala that I have lying around. You could use garam masala or curry powder or any other such spice mix as a substitute.

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Saoji Chicken

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This recipe, from the Nagpur region of Maharashtra, has been adapted from the Saoji Mutton recipe in Aditya Mehendale’s book ‘Rare Gems’. This recipe works equally well with mutton (lamb), chicken, prawns and even paneer for the vegetarians among us.

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King Prawns and Courgettes Masala

Ingredients

  • 1 red Kashmiri chilli
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 5-6 black peppercorns
  • 2” stick of cinnamon
  • 2 petals star anise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cardamom pods, split open
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine or crushed
  • 2” ginger, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (optional, adjust as per required heat)
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 400g king prawns, shelled & deveined
  • 1 medium courgette, cut into quarters lengthwise then sliced 1/2” thickness
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • Heat the oil, then add the whole spices, curry leaves and Kashmiri chilli
  • When the spices start to release their aromas, turn the heat to medium and add the garlic. Don’t let it burn, just cook until it starts to turn golden.
  • Add the onions. Cook until the onions begin to brown. Keep stirring as you don’t want the onions to burn.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes start to break down. Add a dash or two of water if needed to prevent the mix from sticking or burning.
  • Add the turmeric and powdered spices. And cook for a further few minutes.
  • Add the prawns, mix well and cook for a minute or so
  • Then add the courgettes, cover and cook for a couple of minutes on low heat. Then turn the heat up to high, and cook, stirring constantly for a few minutes until the prawns are cooked and the courgettes are still crunchy.
  • Add salt to taste.

Moroccan Marinade

The other day I brought home a couple of fresh mackerel, gutted and cleaned. As I cast about for recipe ideas, I spotted a couple of Moroccan fish recipes, using a couple of variations on a chermoula as a marinade. With that as inspiration, I dug out my heavy duty mortar & pestle and have it a good wash. I don’t use our mortar & pestle all that much, but every time I do, I keep wondering why I don’t use it more. I think it’s a mental block; even though I know it doesn’t take too much effort or time for a simple paste, there’s still that hesitation. It’s not my first tool of choice, and that’s purely out of habit rather than anything else, I think.

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Spicy harissa lamb chops with wild rocket and pomegranate


These lamb chops are a firm favourite in our household. We usually get a french-trimmed rack of lamb and then cut them up into individual chops (although there are probably cheaper ways of doing this dish). Then divide them into portions for two, rub in some marinade, and freeze in a ziploc bag. On days when you don’t feel like making too much of an effort, it’s an easy job to defrost a packet, put them in the oven for 15 minutes and have a great meal ready in a jiffy.

I find the Moroccan flavours go amazingly with lamb, with the slightly bitter rocket and tangy sweet pomegranate providing a wonderfully tasty counterpoint.

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Avocado and Poached Egg on toast

  
Another edition of the Avocado Breakfast. This wonderful ingredient can be used with so many others, the combinations are endless. 

  • Put some chunks of perfectly ripe avocado on crunchy toast. I haven’t buttered the toast as the avocado serves the purpose. 
  • Mash up the chunks roughly with a fork and spread them about a bit so that they cover the toast. 
  • Top with a poached egg and then a sprinkle of salt and a few dashes of sriracha. A runny poached egg is perfect as the yolk can run and mingle with the avocado. 
  • Serve immediately. 

Kheema Pav

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One of my favourite dishes is Kheema Pav, which is mince served with the ubiquitous Mumbai bread rolls. There are many versions of this dish, mainly variations in the way the meat is cooked. As an apprentice Marine Engineer I used to spend a lot of time in and around the Mumbai docks, where there is an abundance of the small Muslim cafés and restaurants. These restaurants specialise in a multitude of meat dishes cooked in a particular style, that are not easily available elsewhere. And so, the Kheema Pav served there has a particular nostalgic attraction in my mind. After many years of trying to recreate the taste at home, I came across a recipe that triggered ‘that taste‘ in my mind (thanks to Farrukh Aziz). And now, finally,  I’m able to make my version of this wonderful dish, tweaked to be healthier, with the use of alternate meats (like chicken or turkey) and much less oil than they use in the restaurants, but still with the key flavours that remind me of those idyllic days.

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