Archive for Lunch

South Indian Inspired Vegan Curry

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This is one of my comfort foods, I love love love shrimp curry in this similar style but lately I haven’t found great shrimps. This curry is equally satisfying. Add a side of fried fish and it will make a complete meal.

 

 

 

South Indian Inspired Vegan Curry

Ingredients

  • 2 cups squash (butternut /acorn / or similar) peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups yuka or any other root vegetable, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup coconut milk (preferably light)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 tsp ginger garlic paste (use fresh, i prefer crushed than paste)
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp oil (olive/ peanut/ coconut)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a thick bottom deep pan heat the oil, add chopped onion and ginger-garlic, follow it with yuka or the root vegetable. Saute' it for a bit and scrap the bottom of the pan. Add curry powder, saute' some more and add a cup of water. Cover and let it cook on simmer for 5 -10 minutes, or till yuka is slightly tender.
  2. Add squash and cover it again, add 1/2 cup of water if needed if water has dried up. cover and cook for 5 -7 minutes. Scrap the bottom as and when needed, don't let it burn.
  3. When yuka is completely cooked (you can fork it without any resistance, more like boiled potato) add salt and coconut milk. Adjust the consistency as per your liking by cooking some more or adding some more coconut milk or water.
  4. Garnish it with cilantro and serve it over fluffy white jasmine rice.
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Not Your Grand Mother’s Matzo Ball Soup

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Make it exactly I say and you will have a perfect matzo ball soup. Pay special attention to making of matzo balls. Serves 2, twice. Or serves 5 people.

Ingredients: 

For soup: 

  • 2 chicken quarters with skin and bone, dark meat only (this is lots of chicken, feel free to use less)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed
  • Salt as per taste, somewhere between 1 tsp to 2 tsp or more

Optional Spices: these will give the additional oomph to your soup.

  • 1 ” cinnamon
  • 3 pods of cardamom (whole cardamom)
  • 5 – 10 black pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 4 cloves
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1″ ginger crushed
  • muslin cloth

For Matza Balls: I made them instant Manischewitz Matzo Ball Mix however not as per their recipe but my recipe.

  • 1 packet of Manischewitz Matzo Ball Mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil

Method:

Tie all the spices except turmeric in a muslin cloth. In a large stock pot boil water and all soup ingredients including spices in a muslin cloth and turmeric but salt. Let everything boil for a 5 minutes then let the chicken cook on medium heat. Once the chicken is cooked (when chicken is cooked it starts to separate from the bone of the drumstick.)

While soup is getting ready start with matzo balls. In a bowl combine 2 eggs and 1/4 cup of oil and beat it for a minute or till transparent strands in the egg disappear. Add a single packet or matzo meal and mix it with a fork, till there is no dry meal left. Don’t over work it. Cover it and set it aside, no need to refrigerate it.

By now if the chicken is cooked, carefully take it out on a paper towel. Debone the chicken and put the bones back in the broth. Add 1 tsp of salt to the broth and taste it, add a little more if you need more, make it little less seasoned that you need. The salt from matzo ball is going to mix with the broth too.

Discard the spices and bones from the broth.

Now divide matzo ball in 5 parts (not 8-10 as the packet says) and lightly, extremely lightly shape it somewhat like balls. If you try for a perfect ball, you will be working the dough too much and the balls won’t fluff. This is the most important part in a great matzo ball soup. Drop the balls one by one in the simmering broth. Cover the pot and let it cook for a good 10 minutes.

If making for more than 2 people take matzo balls that are ready out and add another batch of matzo balls to the broth.

Alternatively you can use the broth next day and add another batch of matzo balls then. Don’t make a huge quantity of matzo ball and save it. The balls taste good only when they are freshly made.

To serve: 

In a bowl place some chicken (the one you deboned earlier) pour some broth and 2 matzo balls. check for salt. Add a pinch or two if you need some more.

 

Kale Walnut Pesto Zoodles

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Kale walnut pesto noodles with shrimp and oyster mushrooms, how much more gourmet can it get?  A recipe that inspired me to write a blog post after such a long time. Recently bought a Spiralizer, if you still don’t have it and wish to eat more fibre, this is something you must add to your tools. It’s my recent obsession, I spiral all possible veggies, even tried it with an onion. In case you are interested in knowing, it doesn’t work.

After an attempt to steal a pesto pasta from a friends lunch at office, I had to go home and make something with pesto.

Spiralizer, craving for pesto and need to eat healthy is what made this recipe happen.

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Ingredients: 

For Zoodle Pasta:

Zucchini 2

For Pesto: 

Fresh Basil leaves 1 cup

Kale 1 cup

Garlic 4 cloves

Oil 2 tbsp

Thai chile 1 (absolutely optional)

Parmesan cheese 3 tbsp (2 for pesto, 1 for decor. Optional again!)

Tasted chopped walnuts 3 tbsp (2 for pesto, 1 for decore)

Salt 1/2 tsp

Some additions if you want: 

Chopped oyster mushrooms 1 cup

Shelled, cleaned, deveined shrimps 1 cup

Halved cherry tomatoes 1 cup

Method: 

  1. Spriralize the zoodles. make zoodles
  2. Put all the ingredients for the pesto in a food processor and chop roughly. Don’t forget to save some walnuts and cheese for the decor.
  3. In a pan saute oyster mushrooms and shrimps, season them with salt and pepper
  4. Mix everything together and it’s ready! The best and healthiest pesto pasta ever.
  5. Next day you can throw the left overs on a tortilla and have a great shrimp pesto taco for breakfast. Like this one!  IMG_3753

 

 

Thai Chicken Green Curry : Glutenfree, Paleo

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Life is getting busy. Too busy to write my recipes not too busy to cook. Hopefully I will never let my life get too busy to cook.

This is the recipe I demoed at Le Cruset’s Assembly Row Location in Sommerville, MA.  Even curry hating people landed up loving it! They came back for 5th and 6th sample. Doesn’t have any spices, only herbs. And the recipe is like a formula, replace a few items and get a different curry.

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Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups Chicken thighs, skinless, boneless, cut into 1″X 1″ pieces
  • 2 cups chopped veggies: carrots, green/red/yellow/orange peppers, onions, green beans, mushrooms, eggplant. Select any or all of these.
  • 1 cup/bunch cilantro
  • 2 cups (or lesser) coconut milk
  • 2 green chili peppers
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method: 

  • For sauce: Combine cilantro, green chili peppers, salt and garlic in a blender and make a paste. Add some water if necessary. Add this paste to coconut milk and set it aside.
  • Heat some oil in a pan and throw in those chicken pieces, sauté them on medium-high heat till they are cooked
  • Add vegetables and sauté on high heat till little tender, just a little
  • Finally, pour in that sauce and simmer for a few minutes. Thicken it to consistency you like. enjoy it with rice!

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Almond and Herb Crusted Chicken: Paleo

Almond and Herb Crusted Chicken: Paleo

Love making versions of fried chicken. Especially the Paleo ones. This one is yummier than you can imagine and fragrance of herbs will remind you of thanksgiving meal.

Almond and Herb Crusted Chicken: Paleo

Ingredients: 

  • Chicken tenders: 7-8 (You can also use boneless chicken breast, cut it into strips. Want to make it even better, put it in a ziplock bag and flatten it with a rolling pin.)
  • Almond flour: 1 cup (I used blanched)
  • Dry rosemary: 2 tsp
  • Dry oregano: 1 tsp
  • Dry sage: 1 tsp
  • Dry thyme: 1tsp
  • Freshly crushed black pepper: 1 tsp
  • Lemon/lime: 1/2
  • Egg: 1
  • Oil: 2 tbsp.
  • Salt: 1/2 tsp

 

Method: 

  • Beat an egg and lemon juice in a fowl with a fork. Soak the chicken stripes in the mix of egg and lemon.
  • While it soaks, in a plate mix rest of the ingredients except for oil and salt.
  • Heat oil in a thick bottom pan, once the oil is hot turn the heat lot medium.
  • Take one chicken tender out of the lemon+egg mix, and press it in the almond meal mix, on both sides. Then place the tender in the pan. Put them only in one layer, with some distance between two tenders. If needed fry them in two or three batches, depending on size of your pan.
  • Fry till crust turns brown on each side. should take about 7-8 minutes, based on heat settings of your stove.
  • Once all tenders are done, sprinkle with some salt, let them cool for a minute and serve immediately with a side of veggies and a lemon wedge.
  • Let me know how it turns out!

 

 

 

 

Breadless ovenfree crab cakes

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It’s been 3 months since we have been eating Paleo. Yes, a step ahead of gluten free. Now we are grain free, dairy free, and yes sugar free. And it’s been 3 months since I posted anything here, was buy experimenting with Paleo. Trying to make them simpler and faster. This is one of them. 4 ingredients crab cakes, 6 patties will be ready in 20 minutes. 

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Ingredients: 

1 1/2 cups crabmeat

1 cup crushed baked potato chips

1 egg

1 tbsp oil

Instructions: 

In a bowl, beat an egg for 30 seconds. Add crabmeat and crushed potato chips. Mush it well. Make 6 patties and pan fry them on medium heat, each side for 5-6 minutes and then flip. None of the ingredients need very long time to cook.

 

Simplest Whole Chicken in Oven, Way Better Than Rotisserie

Just a few simple ingredients and even simpler recipe! No need to tie, no over night freezing, no brine. Just simple crispy and soft chicken.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp oil

Method: 

Chicken

  1. Empty the chicken’s cavity and dry it with paper towels, inside out. 
  2. Drizzle salt and pepper over the chicken, no oil yet. Place the chicken on a baking rack in a baking tray. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 450 deg F and bake the chicken for 50 minutes. 
  4. Take it out and drizzle oil and thyme over it. Bake for another 30-35 minutes. 
  5. You can let it rest for 5 minutes or so and your yummy chicken is ready. 

 

 

Simple Prawns as taught by Sonal, Nirmal’s secret recipe.

Simple Srimp

My best friend Sonal was here, she took 18 hours of long flight with 4 year old Nyla, just to meet me! Now Sonal has left. I miss Sonal. I miss Nyla. And I miss goan food. Not that we had too much of it but when did I need an excuse to miss food. Sonal’s mom Nirmal is one of the best cooks I have ever known when it comes to Goan food. Here is her secret shrimp recipe.

Simple Srimp

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups peeled and deveined shrimps
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded fresh coconut, I used frozen. You just can’t use dried.
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 4-5 finely chopped green chili peppers, you can do without green chilies, for less spicy version
  • 1/4 cup dried kokum, you can use other sour things as a replacement but wont get the same taste as kokum. It’s a key ingredient to this recipe. We tried it with green mango but didn’t turn out the same.
  • 1 tbsp oil

Method: 

  1. Soak kokum in a cup of water and set it aside.
  2. Mix shrimps with turmeric, chili powder and salt and set it aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and add onion, green chilies and coconut. Saute it for a while.
  4. Add shrimps to the mix and saute till shrimps are cooked.
  5. Finally pour kokum water and keep turning the mix till it is dry. Eat it with rice or just by itself. It’s yummy either ways.

 

 

 

Thai Goat Curry

The basic method of making this curry remains exactly same as the 15 minutes Thai Curry.  However this curry takes much longer than 15 minutes. Only because of cooking time for goat. As per my experience goat tastes the best when cooked in slow cooker. You may use pressure cooker also. All that you need to do is cook goat with 3-4 cups of water, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric for 4/6/8/10 hours based on how much time you have. If using pressure cooker then cook for 4-5 whistles. When cooked separate the cooked goat and stock. Use cooked goat exactly the way you would use chicken in 15 minutes Thai Curry. Ofcourse patience pays, so this curry is way tastier than chicken or shrimp curry. 

Thai Curry in 15 Minutes

I have been intuitively making thai curry for at least 2-3 years now. The only mistake I was making was, making it in an Indian way! So it never tasted like thai curry, tasted like a mild Indian curry. This curry is now more thai, because of my newly learnt tips and tricks in that Thai cooking class. And quick of course. 

Little bit of cheating here though, instead of making my own spices, I just used the ready curry paste that you get at the Asian grocery store. The way I was taught in my cooking class. =) 

As you might be aware, you can very well change the ingredients, as long as you use coconut milk and some sort of thai curry paste, it will taste Thai. Use only vegetables for vegetarian or vegan versions. 

Here is the one that I made: 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 chicken breast chopped in bite size pieces
  • 1 cup small shrimps, deveined and cleaned
  • 1 chopped bell pepper
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup chopped dicon
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp thai curry paste
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil

Directions: 

  1. This curry is made on high heat, all the way, and with continuos turning and stirring.
  2. In a bowl mix thai curry paste and coconut milk, and set it aside.
  3. Heat oil in a large wok, when oil is little smoky, add chicken. Let the chicken cook for a while, don’t forget the continuos stirring.
  4. Add shrimp and all the veggies except cilantro when chicken is cooked.
  5. Add coconut milk and thai curry paste to the mix in the wok.
  6. Bring it to boil and reduce to the consistency you like.
  7. Finish with cilantro and serve it with rice or dosa. I love it with dosas!

 

 

 

 

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