Grilled Mushrooms

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When buying mushrooms always look for clean and bright ones. Stale mushrooms are best avoided and to be honest they don’t store well in our ordinary refrigerators. Use them as soon as possible.

Prepare a simple rub with olive oil, finely chopped green chilies, dried herbs and red chilly flakes. Liberally coat the mushrooms. Line a tray with aluminium foil so clean is easy. 200 degrees centigrade for 25-30 mins and a super yummy treat is ready.

Lima Beans with Mutton

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When I go shopping I revert into the old hunter gatherer state of mind and get very excited as soon as I find something interesting. Spotted a couple of packets of freshly peeled Lima beans in a supermarket. There was no price printed on them and so I took 2 out of the 3 bags kept there. The girl at the billing counter read the bar code and said its five rupees for a packet. I asked to re-confirm because I was honestly shocked at the low price. lima-beans-4

Got them home and decided to make them into lunch for the next day.

Washed them by soaking in water for a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile sauteed onions till they got soft and mellow. Added mutton after some ginger garlic paste. Seasoned with chilly powder, turmeric and coriander powder. Added tomato puree and salt. Then pressure cooked for a whistle on high and simmered for 10 mins.

Once pressure had dissipated opened the cooker and added the beans. Once more whistle and the dish is ready.

Cabbage, Peas and Paneer

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Heat mustard oil. Fry lots of chopped garlic, some coriander seeds and dry red chilly flakes. Once they oil has picked up their lovely flavors add in paneer and fry for a few minutes. Add green peas. Once they are slightly softened, season with salt and garam masala. Then add chopped cabbage in small batches. This will prevent spillover and also get a even mix of spices on the cabbage. Cook covered for 5-7 mins. Don’t overcook the cabbage.

Enjoy a spicy cabbage salad for lunch or dinner.

Saucy Sardines

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Layer a baking dish with finely chopped garlic and coriander. Place butterflied sardines on top. These are sardines from which the middle bone is removed. You can sit with a pair of tweezers and remove all the bones but people like me who are very comfortable eating fish can let it be.

Drizzle olive oil and mix them up. Place lemon and tomato slices on top. If you are very particular about the taste remove the lemon skin as it will bring in a little bitterness. Do not keep any lemon seeds.

If you dont want it saucy then use a flat pan. The baking dish will collect the oils and keep the fish in an poached kind of state.

This recipe is loaded with goodness and a huge kick of flavor.

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Seafood Pilaf

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A very mild Pilaf made with Indian Salmon and Prawns with Basmati rice.

First wash and soak basmati rice for about 20 mins. Pat dry the fish as we don’t want it to sputter in oil. Heat oil and drop in the fish pieces. Sprinkle some turmeric powder on it. Cook till the fish is about 70% cooked and remove from the oil. Saute a lot of chopped garlic, some green chilies and a little ginger in that oil. Add the rice and roast it for a couple of minutes. Just till its heated up. Now add prawns and mix it into the hot rice till their color changes. Add a lot of chopped coriander and season with salt.

Add a cup of milk and bring it to a rolling boil. Add the fish and enough water to cook the rice in. Cover and cook for 15 mins on a low flame. Check. Add some more fresh coriander and check the amount of water. If needed increase the heat so it starts to dry up. Then cover and cook on low heat for another 10-12 minutes.

You can use coconut milk instead of regular milk for a Goan kick to this pilaf.

Moong Bean Dosa

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There are two important parts to this simple recipe.

Soak Moong Beans overnight and wash them well before you put them in the blender with a chopped onion, garlic, green chilly, salt and whole cumin. Use a little water to blend into a paste with rough texture.

Binder, this can be anything from soaked idly rice, rava, rice flour or besan flour. We need a binder because on its own the beans will not be adhesive and they will fall apart. I used rava.

Put a dollop of the batter on a warm pan. Use a spatula to spread it around. It will be about 5 mm thick. If you used soaked rice and ground it very soft then you can make them crispier. Use a little oil to help in cooking. Always use low heat as we don’t want to burn a side while keeping the middle undercooked.

Enjoy with chutney or like me with some idly podi.

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Baked Egg Plant

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Slice an egg plant into two. Unfortunately a part was bad and I hence ended up with two unequal pieces. But its not a deal breaker.  Make deep crisscross patters on the thicker piece. Do not puncture the skin. Put them in an oven and roast at 160 for about 30 mins or until tender.

Cook a lot of chopped up ripe tomatoes in sesame or olive oil with garlic and a green chilly.

Take the egg plant and scoop out the tender middle part without puncturing the skin. Add these pieces into the tomato sauce and cook till its thicker. Add fresh coriander and season with salt.

Fill the sauce into the “boat” and grate cheese on top. Save a little sauce to serve with the finished dish. If you have two boats, then do the same. I had a lid so placed it on top and grated some more cheese.

Bake in an oven for 30 mins or till soft. Serve hot.