How to remove the bones from Anchovies

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My family loves fresh anchovies. But the pesky little bones are a pain when feeding kids. This is a simple way to clean and remove the bones at the same time.

Ask your fish monger to remove the heads and some of the guts. Wash off surface grime before you start.

  1. Using your thumb start by expanding the tear in the gut all the way to the tail.
  2. The fish will now open up like a butterfly.
  3. Pull out the bone starting from the head.
  4. Its ok, if the bone breaks or a little flesh tears away. Wash off under a running tap.

Once you get the hang of it, its quite easy. I can easily process over 2 kilos of these in under 30 mins. Its just a matter of practice.

Enjoy. This is the kind of mediation that helps keep you healthy and happy.

Mutton Chops Masala

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Getting some mutton chops is the most amount of work you will do in this recipe.

You Need:

  • 300 grams of mutton chops. Or any part with bones.
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste.
  • 1 teaspoon of red chilly powder.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric.
  • 100 ml water.
  • 2 tablespoons of oil.
  • 2 tomatoes.
  • Some coriander leaves.
  • Juice of one lemon.

In a pressure pan, combine the mutton, turmeric, ginger garlic paste, red chilly powder and water. Pressure cook on high till one whistle and then let it simmer for at least 20 minutes. Open when pressure has subsided and remove the mutton.

Let the masala remain in the pan. Add oil. Heat on high till it starts bubbling. Add the mutton and fry in this masala. When the masala starts to burn and caramelize remove the mutton. Add roughly chopped tomatoes, coriander and lemon juice. Deglaze the pan.

When its deglazed, add the mutton back into it.

Enjoy a very simple but yummy mutton chop masala.

Chicken Fillers

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Nothing is satisfying as a nice juicy filling inside any roll. You can this simple chicken filler inside a dosa, roti, tortilla, naan, bun or bread. Great when packing lunch boxes or watching a movie, while having dinner.

You Need:

  • One portion Chicken breast, cut into small pieces.
  • 200 grams of button mushrooms, chopped up.
  • One bell pepper, diced.
  • One onion, diced.
  • Couple of garlic cloves, smashed and chopped up.
  • 1 teaspoon of red chilly powder.
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar.
  • 1 tablespoon of butter.
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh cream.

Heat butter and oil. Saute the garlic and onion. When the raw smell is gone, add the chilly powder. When everything turns red, add the mushrooms and saute on high heat. Keep stirring and when the mushrooms are reduced to half the volume add the bell pepper. Add sugar and salt. Mix in the chicken breast. Cook on high heat and keep stirring. After the chicken is cooked add the cream. Mix in thoroughly and cook for another 2 or 3 mins. Switch off the stove and let it rest for a couple of minutes. This will allow the juices some time to get absorbed.

Lay this filler into any wrap of your choice and enjoy a yummy family meal. Bonus points if you make your kids do this work.

Fish Summer Salad

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  • One slice of Seer fish boneless, cut into small pieces. You can use any fish you like.
  • 1 inch piece of Ginger, finally diced.
  • 1 or 2 green chilies finely chopped.
  • One bell pepper, chopped up.
  • One tablespoon fresh cream.

Combine all the ingredients except the fresh cream. Let them chill out with each other for about 10-20 mins. Use a small pan. Heat a little oil and saute everything on medium heat. Season with salt. Cook till the fish is done. You know this when you slice thru a piece and its all the same color.

Add the fresh cream and mix well. Continue cooking on low heat. When the oil separates and a nice sheen covers everything, its done. This will take mostly take around three minutes.

Serve on a simple tomato and cucumber salad, preferably chilled.

Paan Paraag

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Always ask, Why Not!

So I was shopping for some groceries and spied a packet of Betel leaves. I don’t go searching for paan. But once in a while do indulge in the plain simple variety with just some lime and betel nuts. Betel leaves have a sharp and slightly spicy taste. They worked beautifully in this kheema pulao.

You need:

  • 1/2 cup or approximately 80 grams of Kheema (Minced Mutton).
  • 1 cup of fresh shelled peas.
  • 2.5 cups of rice, washed and soaked in water for at least 20 minutes.
  • 2 Onions, diced.
  • 3 Green Chilies, chopped.
  • 3 Betel leaves, rolled and chiffonade cut (long thin strips).
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric.
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder.
  • 1 dried lemon (optional). Poke holes using a fork.
  • Finely chopped coriander.

Use a pressure cooker. Saute onions and green chilies in 2 tablespoons of oil. Stir in the ginger-garlic paste and when the raw smell is gone, add the minced meat. Cook on high heat, while stirring occasionally. Once it starts to brown up, add the betel leaves. Mix well and try to de-glaze the pan. After 2-3 mins of mixing, add the peas. Let it cook on low-medium heat for about 5 mins. During this time add turmeric and coriander powder. Drain the rice and stir it in.

Use the moisture from the rice to completely de-glaze the pan. When there is no more moisture left in the pan, add 4 and half cups of warm water. Mix in the chopped coriander and the dried lemon. Pressure cook on high, for one whistle. Simmer for 5 mins.

Enjoy a superb burst of flavor that will leave your family guessing about the magic ingredient.

 

Macaroni : Chicken Korma Style

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A simple one pot meal that everyone will love.

You need:

  • 300 Grams of chicken. Avoid using the breast pieces.
  • 3 medium onions, thinly sliced.
  • 3 green chilies, roughly chopped.
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger garlic paste.
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped up.
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder.
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper powder.
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder.
  • 200 ml of curd.
  • 600 ml of water.
  • 200 grams of Macaroni pasta.
  • Chopped coriander leaves.

Whisk the curd, add the water to it. Mix well till no lumps remain and keep aside.

In a pressure cooker heat about 3 tablespoons of oil. Saute the macaroni in it for about 4-5 mins. Remove the macaroni and keep them aside. While this is an optional step it gives the macaroni a lovely flavor boost and is highly recommended.

Saute the onions and green chilies. Once the onions are translucent, add the ginger garlic paste. Fry till its becoming brown but not quite brown. Add the chicken pieces and cook till they are all white on the outside. Add the turmeric, coriander power and pepper powder. Cook till the raw edge has gone.

Add the tomatoes and coriander leaves. Strain the curd water and add it. This will prevent any lumps from getting into the pan. Continue in low to medium heat. Add the macaroni after the contents in the cooker have started to get a bit of boil. The macaroni must be fully covered in the liquid. Pressure cook on high for 2 whistles.

Let the pressure subside completely before opening the cooker.

Enjoy a very delicious meal.

An Eggplant Boat in a sea of Green.

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You need:

  • One large eggplant. When choosing get one with a small ring at its end instead of a line. These will have a lot lesser seeds.
  • 2-3 tomatoes, finely diced.
  • 1 onion, finely diced.
  • Grated cheese.
  • Any greens like spinach or malabar spinach. I used Water Amaranth (local name is Ponnaganti)
  • Pepper as per taste.

First prep the egg plants. Cut into two halves. Then peel about 1 cm of the skin from the center. This will give it a stable base while baking. Scoop out the seeds and flesh from the middle. There must be about a cm of eggplant left in the shape of a boat. Salt the boats and keep them aside. Chop the removed part of the eggplant.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onions, tomatoes and the left over eggplant. Saute on high heat till everything has softened. Season with salt and pepper. Its done when the volume is half of what it was when you started. Let it cool down.

Wash out the salt from the eggplant boats. Wipe them dry. Coat the outside with olive oil. Fill the boat with the cooked vegetables. Grate cheese on it. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 35 mins. Let it rest at least 10 mins, before serving.

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There will be some left over vegetables in the pan. Add some more oil to it. Saute the greens in this, till they are well cooked. Check and add a little salt or pepper if you want. A touch of chilly flakes is always a good idea.

Plate it and enjoy a super healthy meal.