Cluster Beans (Gavar) Chutney

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Heat up some oil and lightly saute cumin, curry leaves, garlic and a couple of green chillies. Once fragrant add in coconut and the cluster beans. Cook covered if you are out of  time. But you can also cook open and stirring occasionally. These beans take a little longer to cook. To test if they are done, just eat a piece and check. That is the biggest advantage of cooking vegetarian dishes.  You can taste check at any point of time. Add salt as per taste.

Grind up some roasted peanuts and fried gram(optional) .

Combine everything with a little bit of tamarind pulp. Grind it coarse or smooth. Use a little water to get the right consistency.

Goes great with dosa, idly or hot rice with ghee.

Mung Bean Chicken Porridge

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Soak Mung Beans overnight. Melt butter and some ghee in a thick pan. Add cinnamon sticks, pepper corns, cloves, dry red chilies, onion seeds and fennel seeds. Once they are all crackling add the beans.

Saute for about 3-4 mins. Once they are all super fragrant add chicken pieces and cook till the chicken turns white. Add turmeric powder, salt and coriander powder.

Add water and close the pan. Do not place the weight. Cook on high heat till there is a steady amount of steam being released. Then reduce heat to low and cook for 30-40 mins.

Open and check the volume of water. Reduce it and then add a lot of chopped coriander. Add half a cup of coconut milk and switch off the heat.

Enjoy a very filling meal that tastes out of this world.

Broiled Mackeral

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A kilo of Mackerel costs two hundred Indian rupees. You get 3 to 4  fishes depending on their weight. Slice them along the middle bone.

Wrap foil around a tray. Place fish skin side up. Decorate with chopped garlic, green chilies and lemon slices. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt.

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In a preheated oven, broil this by keeping it on the top shelf and using only heat from the top burner. Two hundred degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. Then move the tray to the middle shelf and switch on both burners. Fifteen minutes like this and its ready.

A fine dine experience for a fraction of the restaurant bill.

Prawns and Mushrooms

Marinate prawns and mushrooms in sesame oil, garlic, chilly, soy sauce and honey. An hour or two is enough.

Stir fry some curry leaves, coconut, coriander seeds, onion seeds and cumin. Once they are smelling awesome add the prawns and mushrooms. Cook on high heat. It will take approximately 8 to 10 minutes. When the prawns turn pink they are cooked but to be very sure, just cover the dish with an airtight lid and switch off the heat.


Baked Sardines

A simple and heathy meal packed with the goodness of Omega fats.
Grind up some pepper, thyme, onion seeds, cumin and salt

Lay it into a baking dish and add Olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Arrange the fishes on top of this and lightly press down with your palm. Roll your palm in an up and down movement. To massage the spices and oils into the fish.

Bake at 200 Celsius. 15 mins on both, 10 mins on bottom and five minutes on top.

Use the extra oils collected in the dish as dressing on a salad you make as an accompaniment.

Balsamized Strawberries & Paneer

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A very simple dish that is neither a desert nor a salad but is just awesome. The flavors blend in such a way that you either love it or you have bad taste.

I wanted to experiment with a bunch of strawberries I picked up the other day. And it definitely worked as as my wife asked for a second serving.

Toasted paneer. Strawberries cooked till they soften up a little. This increases their sweetness level and I would not recommend adding any sugar. Combine them and add some reduced balsamic vinegar. To reduce balsamic vinegar just cook it on low heat till its volume is down by half.

Never stop experimenting with food. In short never ever grow up.