Super Fresh Lemongrass Fish

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It can’t get simpler than this!

You need:

  • A fish that can be baked comfortably like Pomfret, preferably weighing between 300-500 gms.
  • ¬†Lemongrass about 2 tablespoons after chopping into small pieces.
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic.
  • 2 green chilies.
  • Two tablespoons of softened butter.

Wash and pat dry the fish. Make slits about a centimeter apart. Pulverize the lemongrass, garlic, chilies  and some salt in a mixie. Massage it into the fish and try and fill it inside every slit. Let the fish marinate in this fragrant mix for at least 15-20 minutes.

Wrap foil on a baking tray.  Rub one tablespoon of butter on the foil. It should be in shape and size of the fish. Place the fish on top of this butter. Rub the remaining butter on the top of the fish.

Place tray in a preheated oven and grill for 30 mins at 180C.

Chicken, Aubergine with Crackling Basil

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You need:

  • Salted Chicken Breast.
  • 1 large Aubergine.
  • 2 tablespoons of Rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon of Paprika.
  • Basil Leaves
  • Butter
  • Vegetable Oil.

The prep works starts before you freeze your chicken after getting it home. Rub some salt and a little turmeric(optional). When the chicken waits in the fridge, this will work its way into the flesh.

Thaw the chicken and wash off the salt. Pat it dry. Completely dry. There should be no moisture or wetness in it.

Combine rice flour and paprika. Rub this all over the chicken breast. It must be dry to the touch with no wet spots.

Heat a teaspoon or two of oil in a heavy pan. When its hot, lay down the chicken. Add butter on the sides. Let the butter melt and find its way around the chicken. Let it cook on medium heat till the color has changed in at least 75% of the chicken. Flip it over. After 3-4 mions, use a thermometer to check. If its 65C+ immediately remove and let the chicken rest.

Rub the rice+paprika on cut pieces of the aubergine.

In the left over butter in the pan, add a little more. Saute basil leaves in this. In about two three mins they would have made the butter very fragrant. Remove the leaves and keep them with the resting chicken breast. In this fragrant butter add the coated aubergine slices. Cook on low to medium heat flipping maybe once or twice. Till the aubergine has softened and cooked thru.

Enjoy a super star meal.

 

Shalgam (Turnip) with Mutton

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Two part recipe where we first cook the meat while separately preparing the turnips. Combine them towards the end and make them beautiful.

You Need:

  • Half a kilo of Turnips.
  • 300 gms of Mutton.
  • 2 Large Onions chopped.
  • 2 Medium tomatoes chopped.
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger garlic paste.
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric.
  • 1 teaspoon cumin.
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds.
  • 3-4 Dry red chilies.
  • Dill or Coriander leaves.
  • Some carrots, optional.

Cut the turnips into thick pieces. Apply salt and let them sit in a colander for about 15-20 minutes. Wash them, pat them dry and shallow fry in oil till a light brownish crust forms.

Saute cumin, coriander seeds and dry red chilies in hot oil for 3-4 minutes. Add the onions and cook till translucent. Sprinkle turmeric and add the ginger garlic paste. When raw smell is gone, add the mutton. As it turns white, add the tomatoes and salt. Use the moisture being released to fully deglaze the pan. Add a little water. Pressure cook on high for one whistle and then simmer for 10 minutes.

Open the cooker and add the turnips, carrots (optional) and either dill or coriander leaves. Pressure cook on high for one whistle and then switch it off.

Serve hot with roti’s or rice.

Constructing a Quick and Simple Salad

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Bring together these elements and make it a part of your lunch.

You Need:

  • Base: Shredded cabbage. Cheap and easy to use.
  • Sweetness: Pomegranate seeds. Loaded with goodness.
  • Color and Crunch: Diced Carrots.
  • Spice: Diced red onion.
  • Glue: Any mayonnaise or spread. Used here is 2 tablespoons of Spicy Harissa.
  • Freshness: Basil leaves.
  • Omega 3: Add in some toasted seeds.

That is all we need. Add the ingredients in any quantity you want.

Sous Vide at Home

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Sous Vide is a french cooking technique that has received a lot of attention. I don’t have a sous vide machine at home. Nor have I experienced this technique before. But ever since I saw a couple of videos, I was hooked.

Finally took the plunge and am simply amazed by it. Its finger licking good.

You need:

  • About 500 grams of meat with bone. I used the neck, but its much more convenient to use the shanks.
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.
  • 3 green chilies chopped.
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic paste.
  • Some julienne’s of ginger.
  • Cling film or a large zip lock bag.

Combine all the ingredients and rub it on the meat. If you have pets at home, they will love to nibble on the left over bones. My cats loved the nooks and corners of the neck piece.

If using a zip lock bag, place the meat inside and squeeze out as much air as possible. Use clips to suspend it in water for cooking.

If like me you don’t have a large zip lock bag, use cling film. Place the meat inside and roll it up. You may need two or three wraps to get it fully covered. Then finally make a sling and tie up the long ends. Suspend from a wooden spatula and use a tea cup to provide adequate tension to prevent rolling.

The meat packet must be fully covered in water. Let it cook on the lowest heat setting. If you have a thermometer check the temperature every 20-30 mins. If it crosses 80C, remove a cup of hot water and add two cups of cold water. See to it that the temperature is in the 70C-80C range. The reason for using meat instead of chicken is to not worry about overcooking.

Two hours of this simmering and the meat is fully cooked. Remove and carefully unwrap. Do not waste any of the liquids that are collected inside. Save them.

Sear the meat in a hot pan. Slice and serve with any sauteed greens. Drizzle the saved juices before serving.

 

Chicken with Mustard Beets

Chicken with Mustard Beets

You need:

  • Boneless Chicken Breast cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Garlic paste a little more than a teaspoon.
  • Paprika powder about 2 teaspoons.
  • 5 medium beets thickly grated.
  • 2 medium carrots thickly grated.
  • 2 tablespoons of mustard sauce.

Use a spoon to evenly coat the chicken pieces with the garlic paste, paprika and salt. Grate the beets and carrots, while the chicken marinates.

Heat a pan. Lightly drizzle oil. When its hot, add the chicken and spread them around. Watch as the color changes from pink to white. When the pink is less than the white, flip them around and cook till done. Do NOT overcook. There will be a little burnt residue sticking to the pan. Do NOT disturb it. Remove the chicken pieces and keep aside.

Put in a quarter of the grated beets and use them to deglaze the pan. Add in the remaining beets and carrots. Cook on medium heat for about 6-7 mins. When they have sufficiently softened add the mustard sauce and mix well. The mustard not only adds in a lot of flavor but also makes the beets get a nice and glamorous sheen on them.

 

Chilly Lemon Baked Fish

You need to prepare a simple base

  • The pulp from two lemons.
  • Six dry red chillies soaked in hot water for ten minutes and then pureed.
  • Three tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Seven cloves of garlic chopped.
  • Coriander leaves and stems, chopped.
  • Some salt.

Used here two black Pomfret. But you can also use red snapper, sea bass etc.

Cut and arrange the fish in a thick baking dish. Try and avoid keeping the skin in contact with the dish. Once satisfied remove individual pieces and coat with the base. This will avoid slimy skin when the fish is cooked.

Oven temperature of 210C. Cover with foil and bake for twenty minutes. Remove the cover and continue baking for another twenty mins or it’s done.

Lay cooked rice or millets. Drizzle on it the juices that had collected in the baking dish. Carefully place the fish on top of it.

Serve a five star dish to your lovely families.