Sour Bottle Gourd

Bottle Gourd

I wanted to do something wacky and this crazy idea came up. It’s quirky but tastes like fun.

You need:

  • A bottle gourd sliced into thin matchsticks.
  • Juice of a lemon.
  • A couple of peanuts.
  • Coconut oil about 2 tablespoons.
  • Finely chopped Coriander or Dill.
  • Spice mix or just red chilly powder.

Marinate the bottle gourd sticks in lemon juice for at least ten mins. Fry the peanuts in coconut oil. Add the bottle gourd. Cook on low to medium heat for about seven minutes. When the bottle gourd no longer has a raw taste add the chopped greens.

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Mix well and dry it up.

Season with salt and any spice mix.

Chicken & Zucchini in Lemon-Butter Sauce

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You Need:

  • One chicken breast with skin. Patted dry and seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • One Zucchini cut into thick rings.
  •  Juice of two lemons.
  • 20 grams of cold butter.
  • Olive oil.

To prepare the zucchini, use a spoon and pour a drop of olive oil on each ring. Spread it around. Stack rings on top of each other like a column. This will oil both sides in a clean way. Heat a non stick pan. Cook each side of the zucchini on low to medium heat for about 3 mins each.

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Heat olive oil till it starts to shimmer. Place chicken breast skin side down. Keep heat at medium and don’t even look at it for about 7 mins. Flip the breast and cook on all sides. Use a thermometer to check the progress. When the thickest part crosses 65C, add the butter and lemon juice to the pan. Mix then and coat the chicken with this sauce. After 3-4 mins, remove the chicken. It is more than cooked at 70C. If you cross 80C, then there is the risk of overcooking the tender breast and it will become chewy. Let the chicken rest for at least 8 mins before you slice it. This is VERY IMPORTANT.

Enjoy a super low carb and high protein lunch or dinner.

 

Vegan and Keto : Lauki Chaat

You need:

  • A bottle gourd cut into small pieces.
  • Garlic cloves chopped.
  • A green chili finely chopped.
  • Coriander leaves, chopped.
  • Fenugreek seeds, one teaspoon.
  • Mustard seeds, one teaspoon.
  • A quarter teaspoon of turmeric
  • Two heaped teaspoons of Sambhar Powder.

Heat some oil and saute fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and garlic for a minute or two. Add the chopped bottle gourd and sprinkle turmeric and salt. Mix well and let it cook for 4 mins on medium heat. Add chopped coriander and sambhar powder. Cover everything with water . Don’t use more water than is needed. High heat, till water gets nice and hot and then let it simmer for about 15-20 mins. Till the water has evaporated. Let it cool before serving. The lauki must be fully cooked but has to retain a little bite in it.

Optional: Garnish with sev and if you like it, some beaten yogurt.

Protein Overload : Green Beans and Chicken

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Are proteins from vegetarian or animal sources better. The answer is, cook them both together.

This is a super quick recipe but it depends on the stringiness of the beans. If you checked before you bought them, then this recipe should take no more than 15 mins of total work.

You need:

  • Two chicken legs and thighs with deep slits on them.
  • Half a kilo of beans cut into one cm long pieces.
  • 2 teaspoons of red chilly powder.
  • 2 teaspoons of coriander powder.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric.
  • 2 teaspoons of ginger-garlic paste.

Heat oil. Fry the ginger garlic paste in it for a minute. Add the turmeric and red chilly powder. Mix well. In a minute of two the oil will separate. Add the coriander powder and it will become a thick paste. A minute later add the chicken and coat it thoroughly with this paste. Cook for about 5-6 mins. As the chicken cooks, the masala will stick all of the base of the pan. Add beans slowly. Like a fistful at a time. Use the moisture they release to deglaze the pan. When all the beans have been added to the pan and its been almost deglazed use some water and clean the spoon into the pan. There must be a little less than a cm of water in the pan.

Cook covered on low heat for 15 mins. Open and dry it up.

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.

Meat Mash

This is an amazing meat base you can prepare and store on your fridge. Saves a lot of time over the week as you get your meals ready.

You Need:

  • 1 Kg Boneless Meat.
  • 2 tablespoons of ginger-garlic paste.
  • A teaspoon of turmeric.
  • Salt as per taste.

Get any red meat. You can choose a lean cut as well. Do not let the butcher mess it up. Get large pieces and using a sharp knife cut across the grain. Try and keep the fibers less than a centimeter in length.

Wash the meat after cutting in the pressure cooker itself. Then drain the water but don’t squeeze the meat. The amount of water left in the cooker is enough.

Massage in some ginger garlic paste, salt and turmeric.

Pressure cook for one whistle. Then let it simmer for at least 30 mins.

Open the cooker only after it has completely cooled. Cook on high heat to dry it up. Using a strong spoon mash it completely.

Store in a dry container in the fridge. You can freeze it for longer but once thawed do not freeze again.

Spatchcock Chicken with Coriander, Garlic

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You need:

  • A whole chicken with skin.
  • Lots of coriander, garlic and green chilies chopped up really fine.
  • Any oil preferably olive or sesame.
  • Salt.

After you clean the bird, generously salt it and keep it in the freezer. About 2-3 hours before you plan to grill it, remove and let it thaw. Wash out the excess salt. The meat would have absorbed enough salt and do not add anymore at any time in the cooking process.

To spatchcock the bird, use kitchen shears or a sharp knife and remove the back bone all the way to the neck. Lay it down on a flat board with breast facing up. No using your palm, press down till the wish bone breaks.

Mix the oil with the finely chopped coriander, garlic and green chilies. Using your fingers stuff in as much of these into the gap between the skin and meat of the bird.

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The advantage of spatchcocking the bird is that it protects the breasts while allowing the legs to attain higher temperatures.

Grill at 240C for about 45-55 mins. The time depends on the size of the bird. When the legs reach 75C and the breasts hover around 65C, the chicken is ready. You may want to blast it with maximum heat with only top setting for about 4-5 mins.

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Let it rest for at least 10 mins before you start carving it up.

I grilled the back along with the whole bird for my kittens.