Monthly Archives: January 2015

Cauliflower Tandoori

I find it funny or is it unbelievable that I learn to make cauliflower tandoori from a British chef and not an Indian one! I made this for our New Year lunch and I just couldn’t get enough of it. The cauliflower must not be overcooked cos the crunch gives the whole dish the texture required.

Recipe:( adapted from Gordon Ramsay Great Escapes)

  • 1/2 a big cauliflower,washed and cut into big florets( about 450 g)
  •  300 ml Greek yoghurt
  • 3cm ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 heaped tsp chilli powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chat masala ( I didn’t have any)

Fried onion rings ( now this is the highlight of the whole recipe)

  • 2-3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and cut into rings
  • 4 tbsp. tomato puree or tomato paste
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp chat masala
  • handful of coriander leaves to garnish

Blanch the cauliflower florets in a pot of salted water for 2-3 minutes, until barely tender. Drain and refresh in a bowl of iced water then drain it.

Get a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients to make a marinade and add the blanched cauliflower florets. Toss to coat evenly.

Place them in a lightly oiled baking tray and loosely cover with cling film and chill for a few hours in the fridge ( I chilled for just an hour)

When ready to cook, pre heat the oven to 200 deg C. Uncover the baking tray and place it in the oven for about 10minutes until the cauliflower is golden brown and tender .

While cauliflower is in the oven, fry the onion rings in a pan with some oil and add the tomato puree and a pinch of salt and pepper. When onions are soft and golden brown after about 6-8 minutes, add the garam masala.

Stir well and fry for another minute. Take the pan of the heat and and keep warm.

Serve the cauliflower with the onion rings spread on top and garnish with coriander leaves.

Enjoy!!

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Vegetarian noodles with Chilli Paneer Fry

It’s 6 pm, kids are at the park ( courtesy of my neighbour) and I am having a splitting headache. A quick meal is what I want and this recipe is super easy and the ingredients are so versatile you are bound to have it in your fridge. And I have to admit something…I can be super lazy when it come to dicing..slicing..julienne vegetables or onions. I just take my grater out and grate the ginger and garlic straight into the wok! So all in all, easily done in 20 minutes. In fact you can even plan this one as a dinner on a weekday. The best would be to julienne the vegetables in the morning or the previous day.

Recipe:

  • 3 packets of maggi noodles
  • 3 cups of vegetables ( julienned- I used 1 carrot, 1 green capsicum, 5 French beans and 1/2 a purple cabbage)
  • 2 tbsp. of soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. garlic chilli sauce
  • 1 tbsp. of tomato paste or 2-3 tbsp. of tomato sauce
  • pepper
  • 1 tbsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar

Get a pot of boiling water and throw in the maggi noodles with 1/2 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of oil. Cook for about 2 minutes, then drain and keep aside.

Ok get your wok out, some sesame oil , throw in the ginger garlic paste, fry till lightly browned and aromatic.

Now put in the julienned vegetables and stir fry for about 3 minutes on high heat , then lower the heat and put in the sugar and continue to fry the veg.

Add the chilli sauce, soy sauce and tomato paste and continue to stir fry on medium heat. Put the noodles into the wok now and mix evenly with the veg sauce.

Continue to stir fry on medium heat till the noodles are slightly dry, add some pepper, another 2-3 minutes of stir fry and dish out.

Serve with chopped spring onions as garnish

Chilli Paneer Fry ( adapted from Cooking and me blog)

Recipe:

  • 1 cup paneer cut into 4 cm rectangles ( or large cubes)
  • 1/2 capsicum, cut into 6
  • 2 medium sized onions- cut in half and each half cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 green chillies slit in half and deseeded
  • 1.5 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp. garlic chilli sauce
  •  3  tbsp. tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp. cornflour diluted in 3 tbsp. water
  • 2 cloves grated garlic
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 2 tbsp. corn flour
  • pepper
  • some water
  • salt

First get a bowl big enough to hold the paneer and put into it the flour, pepper, salt and mix in some water to make a thick paste. Now put the paneer in and mix, so evenly coated without breaking it. Leave for about 5 minutes.

Get your wok, add some oil , medium heat, put in the paneer pieces. Fry till golden brown in colour, take it out and sit on some kitchen paper to drain excess oil.

In the same wok, add the capsium, chilli and onions. Fry till lightly browned and chilli is blistered.

Add the soy, chilli and tomato sauces and fry on high heat for about 30 seconds. Lower the heat and add the ginger garlic paste , fry for a further 1-2 minutes .

Now add the fried paneer pieces, mix well and let it heat through. Check for salt ( I don’t add extra cos there’s enough salt from the soy sauce).

Finally add the diluted corn flour mixture and stir fry on high heat for 1-2 minutes. Dish out and serve with chopped spring onions for garnish.

Serve both dishes hot and you’ll love it! Enjoy

Baked Fish

This recipe turned out delicious..adapted from the Greedy Italian Cookbook. Simple and delicious . That’s the way cooking should be. Not forgetting super healthy!

Recipe:

  • 2 sea bass/trout about 450g each
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 50g ground hazelnut
  • 8 slices of anchovies
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 40g pine nuts
  • handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 eggs- beaten
  • breadcrumbs 50g ( I actually used panko which turned out good)
  • salt and pepper
  • 40g of freshly grated parmesan

Pre heat oven to 200 deg C.

Add anchovies, pine nuts, ground almonds, hazelnuts and garlic into food processor and whizz till you get a paste. Put into a bowl and add into it the beaten eggs, parmesan, salt and pepper ,breadcrumbs and chopped parsley.

Wash and pat dry both fish. Take the filling and stuff into the fish’s belly cavity .Put into a baking tin and tie with string in 3 places. Make a few cuts on the fish between the string tie. Drizzle with olive oil and season again with some salt and pepper.

Bake in the oven at 200 deg C for about 25-30mins. I noticed the fish didn’t get much colour towards the end , so I changed the settings to grill function for the last 10 minutes. Served with chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Perfecto!

Enjoy!

Egg Biryani

Another one pot wonder which would be lovely for Sunday Lunch or for a dinner party. I made this for Sunday lunch and served with raisin mint raita and of course pappad. Super yumm!

Recipe: adapted from Cooking and me food blog

  • 1 cup basmati rice

Grind together

  • small bunch of mint
  • small bunch of coriander leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 inch ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups of onions sliced long
  • 1 cinnamon about 2 inches
  •  3 cloves
  • 3 cardamom seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, ripe
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp jeera or cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 green chillies- deseeded
  • 2 cups thick coconut milk ( optional)
  • 1.5 tsp garam masala/biryani powder
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cashews, raisins for garnish

Wash basmati rice and soak for 1/2 hour

Get a heavy based pan and add 2 tbsp. ghee. Fry the cashews till lightly browned, drain and set aside

In the same pan, fry half the onions till browned then set aside( for garnish)

Grind mint, coriander, salt, ginger and garlic , set aside

In the same pan, add some vegetable oil and fry cinnamon, cloves, cardamom seeds and bay leaf for about 15 seconds, then add the ground mixture continue to fry for about 1 minute on medium flame. Now add soaked and drained rice. Add 1.5 cups of water and let it cook( you can transfer into a rice cooker or cook in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles). Once rice is cooked, fluff gently with a fork. Keep aside

Hard boil the eggs. Place 4 eggs into a pot and fill with tap water till submerged. Bring to a boil, then close and simmer for 15 minutes.

Get a pot, add 2 tbsp. vegetable oil and add remaining sliced onions. Fry till browned on a medium flame then add ginger garlic paste. Saute for about 30 seconds then add the fennel seeds, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin seeds.

Cook for about 30 seconds then add cubed tomatoes, more mint and coriander leaves. Continue cooking till tomatoes get mushy. Now pour in the coconut milk (dilute with 1/2 cup water ) and mix slowly till everything is incorporated into each other. Simmer for about 10 minutes .

Now add garam masala or biryani masala and check for salt. Done !

Take the masala and add to the rice in spoonfuls and slowly mix to incorporate masala into rice. I prefer to not over mix it as I prefer the marbled look.

Slice eggs in half and arrange on the rice. Pat rice on top of it so that the flavours are enhanced. Leave to rest for 30 minutes – 1 hour.

Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with fried onions, raisins, cashews and chopped coriander.

Enjoy!

Teriyaki Salmon with Soba Noodle Salad

Ever felt too lazy to go out and eat or just too lazy to slog in the kitchen for too long. This is another winning recipe from Chef Gordon Ramsay.Easily put together in 30 minutes . Try it and tell me how you like it.

Teriyaki Salmon

I just love eating salmon and the flavour is definitely enhanced with 2 hours marination but 20 minutes did fine by me .

Recipe:

  • 2 cm piece of fresh ginger, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. mirin ( rice wine )
  • olive oil
  • 4 salmon fillets ( about 500g in total)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Put the ginger and garlic into a bowl and mix with soy sauce, maple syrup, mirin and a drizzle of olive oil

Place the salmon fillets in a dish, season with salt and pepper and pour the sticky dressing over them. Cover with cling film and set aside in the fridge to marinate up to 2 hours, but 20 minutes works good too.

Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and a dash of oil. When hot , add the salmon, skin side down, reserving the marinade. Cook for 2 minutes, then pour in the reserved marinade and cook for a further minute or so, until the salmon fillets are opaque halfway up the sides. Turn them over and cook on the other side for 3-4 minutes, basting with the sauce so that the salmon is well coated. Add a splash of water if the sauce is too thick.

Serve the salmon on individual plates , spooning over any remaining teriyaki sauce left in the pan.

Soba Noodle Salad

Serve this with some protein on the side , which can be the Teriyaki salmon or Sweet and sour  chicken

  • 300g soba noodles
  • 100g kale, stalk removed, leaves shredded or torn ( you can also use kalian)
  • 150g sugarsnap peas, topped and tailed, halved lengthways
  • 3 carrots peeled and sliced into ribbons ( use a vegetable peeler)
  • 2 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 3 cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil1-2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1- 1 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 sheet of nori seaweed, finely sliced (optional-but it really gives depth to the dish)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the soba noodles according to the packet instructions. When almost cooked, add the kale, sugarsnap peas and carrots to the pan to blanch. Drain once noodles are tender.

Add all the remaining to the noodle mixture, season with little salt and pepper, stir well and serve

Enjoy!

NO KNEAD BREAD

Seriously..No knead bread? Yep you heard right people. There’s just something about a house filled with the smells of freshly baked bread..I luv it! This recipe was adapted from Matt Preston’s recipes . Yes the towering Matt Preston with the cravat from Masterchef Australia. The recipe is the simplest of breads I’ve baked and the results are stunning. Try it and you won’t stop making it! Recipe:

  • 1 kg bread flour ( I tried Organic flour and somehow it tasted way better)
  • 1 tbsp dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp fine salt
  • 950ml lukewarm water

Get a large bowl, add the flour, yeast, salt and mix well. Now add the water till well combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it into the refrigerator overnight. Take bowl out next morning for at least 1 hour before baking and let it come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 220 deg C Line two baking trays with tin foil and divide the dough into half. Place half on one tray and bake for 1 hour. Watch the bread if it’s getting browned too fast , if yes cover with tin foil and continue baking. The other half can be made into small rolls or a few rolls and a smaller log loaf. Serve with butter and apricot or raspberry jam. Super yumm! Go try it tonight !

Thai Rice with Curry Paste and Green Herbs

Want to wow your family and friends? Well this is one of those recipes full of flavour..and who would have thought of making fried rice out of green curry paste! Gordon Ramsay of course! 🙂

Serve with Sticky Spiced Chicken Wings and Stir Fried Green Beans with Soy and Peanut Dressing ( absolute winners!)

Recipes

  • 300g cooked basmati rice, preferably a day old or chilled for at least 4 hours
  • vegetable oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Lime wedges to serve

For the Curry paste

  • 2 large green chillies
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, roughly chopped
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • small bunch of coriander
  • 1 shallot, peeled and chopped
  • juice of 1 lime

First make the curry paste. Put all the ingredients into a food processor or blender with 1-2 tbsp. vegetable oil plus a pinch of salt and pepper and blitz until smooth.

Place a large frying pan or wok over a medium-high flame and add a tbsp. of vegetable oil. When hot add the curry paste and stir over the heat until aromatic( about 2-3 minutes).

Add rice to pan, stir well and cook for about 4-5 minutes, until rice is heated through. if necessary, add another dash of oil to prevent the rice from sticking to the pan. Taste and adjust the seasoning as you wish. Transfer to bowl and serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!

Sticky Spiced Chicken Wings

Perfect…actually more than perfect…yummilicious!

Recipe:

  • 5tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp. palm sugar/brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finally chopped
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes or chilli powder
  • 16-20 chicken wings,depending on size
  • 4 spring onions, sliced diagnoally to garnish

If using block tamarind, place it in a bowl with 2 tbsp. hot water to dissolve it. remove any seeds.

Put tamarind paste in a large bowl with with the oil, sugar, fish sauce, garlic and chilli and mix well, Add the wings and use your hand to toss them thoroughly in the mixture. Cover with cling film and marinate in the fridge overnight or for at least 1 hour ( I do 2 hours and it’s perfect)

Preheat oven to 180 deg C/ Gas 4

Line a roasting tin with foil( to make it easier cleaning up later) and place the marinated wings in it. Roast for about 25-35 minutes, until cooked through and sticky!

Serve wings plain as finger food or with Thai rice as described earlier.

Enjoy!

Stir Fried Green Beans with Soy and Peanut Dressing

This requires some last minute stir frying but you can part cook the beans in boiling water in advance and finish it in the wok. Literally takes minutes to put it together…and nobody would believe you took 4 minutes to create this delicious dish!

Recipe

  • 300g French beans, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp. crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • vegetable  oil for frying
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

Blanch the beans in boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain and refresh in ice cold water ( to stop it from cooking further)

Put the peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar and brown sugar in a bowl and mix together. Add 1-2 tbsp. of hot water to loosen the mixture if very thick. Stir until cooled and sugar is dissolved.

Place a heavy frying pan or wok over medium heat and add a dash of oil. Add the garlic and cook for a minute until golden. Toss in the beans and cook for 2-3 minutes until beginning to blister slightly on the outside..

Lower the heat and add the peanut dressing . Stir well.

Transfer the beans to a serving bowl and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds

You are gonna love this! Enjoy