This recipe is an attempt at recreating meen pollichathu, that famous Kerala fish preparation. I made it with barramundi and the result was surprisingly delicious. Happy to present to you this version. And no banana leaves were used either😉.
1 big barramundi about 1.2 kilos chopped up
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon juice
2 big onions chopped fine
2 big juicy tomatoes chopped fine
4-5 green chillies
1 Tb ginger chopped fine
1 Tb coriander powder
1Tb chilli powder ( more if green chillies are not hot)
little turmeric powder
3 Tb coconut milk powder mixed to a paste with 1/2 cup of water
Clean fish, chop into fairly big pieces and marinate with salt, pepper and lemon juice for an hour. Then shallow fry lightly for a couple of minutes in very little oil.
Fry the chopped onions. When soft add the ginger, chillies and tomatoes. Fry nicely till oil floats. Add all the spices. Now add the coconut milk paste and cook till most of the water dries up. It should still have a little sauce left. Taste for salt.
Preheat oven to 180C. Take a tray big enough to fit all the fish in one layer. Lay a piece of foil then a piece of baking paper, both big enough to wrap around the fish well. Smear some of the sauce in the bottom. Now place fish on the tray and pour over the sauce over. Cover tightly with both baking paper and foil seeing that it is air tight.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Note: if you want you can use banana leaf to wrap fish, flavour will be better. But even made without the leaf it tasted awesome.
Any fleshy fish can be used, like snapper, trevally, kingfish etc.
Eggplant is such a versatile vegetable, lending itself to all sorts of flavours and cuisine. Since I am a bit on the compulsive side when it comes to cooking I am constantly searching for new ways to cook vegetables. And eggplant being a hero in my house it was no different today when I sought a new recipe to prepare dinner with eggplant. And I found this one. Eggplant cooked with a few spices and yogurt yielded a great dish which I will be making often.
2 cups creamy yogurt
3 Tb mustard oil
salt to taste
1Tb fennel seeds roast and powder
11/2 Tb red chilli powder
1 tsp asafoetida
2 tsp ginger grated
1/4 cup water
Chop the eggplant into slightly big pieces and salt them. After half an hour drain and rinse dry.
Grind the roasted fennel seeds, powder and mix with the rest of spices. Add water to form a paste.
Heat the mustard oil in a pan and add the paste. Fry till oil floats. Now add the eggplants stir for a few minutes then cover and cook till soft but not falling apart. Reduce heat to very low.
Add the whisked yogurt and cook for five minutes.
The mustard oil is a must because it really gives a good flavour to the dish.
Recipe source: divine taste.com
After roasting Brussel sprouts the following way it has become one of my favourite vegetable. Easy to eat by the bowlful. Really.
750 g Brussel sprouts
4Tb extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup honey
salt and pepper to taste
Wash and cut sprouts in half. Bring some water to boil and cook sprouts for 5 minutes. Drain.
Mix the honey, oil, Sriracha and vinegar with salt to taste. Rub on the sprouts and roast in a preheated oven for 10-15 minutes at 200C. Keep an eye so it does not burn. Taste one then another because it’s so good. Then some more. Serve the rest. Yum.
A Middle Eastern cake where the cake is, after baking, soaked in syrup. As days go by the taste actually improves and if that sounds improbable try it out! It keeps for a week if wrapped well. And it’s another recipe from Ottolengi so you can’t go wrong, naturally.
180 ml sunflower oil
240 ml orange juice
160 g orange marmalade
4 medium free-range eggs
grated zest of an orange
70 g caster sugar
70g dessicated coconut
90 g plain flour
180 g semolina
2 Tb ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder
200 g caster sugar
140 ml water
1Tb orange blossom water( I did not use it)
Preheat oven to 180C. Whisk oil, juice, marmalade, eggs and zest. Separately mix all dry things and add to wet. Mix well. It will be runny.
Grease and line two 500g loaf tins. I baked in one loaf tin and one 23 cm square pan. Fill the tins dividing filling evenly. Bake for 45-60 minutes or till a cake tester inserted comes out clean. Mine took 50 minutes.
Meanwhile near the end of baking time melt the sugar with water, bring to boil and as soon as the cakes come out of the oven gently pour over the cakes, dividing the syrup equally. Leave to set for some time. When cooled remove from pans and cool completely.
Original recipe suggest serving with some Greek yogurt flavoured with a drop of orange blossom water. I have not tried this out.
I found that the cake made in the square pan was great because I could cut the cake into dainty squares.
Recipe source: Jeruslaem by Ottolengi and Sami Tamimi
A beautiful salsa from Ottolengi’s Jerusalem book. Tart, sweet and yummy all at once. You have to try it to believe it.
100g beetroot( about 1 medium)
30 g pitted kalamatta olives
1/2 a red onion
1/2 tsp each coriander and cummin seeds toasted and crushed
1 tsp chilli powder
a handful parsely
1Tb olive oil
Boil Beetroot in water till soft. Cool and dice. Peel the orange and the lemon halved, remove the white bits and cut into small pieces. Add to Beetroot with the olives and sliced onion.
Mix the oil and spices with the lemon juice from the lemon half and add to Beetroot with some salt. Leave aside for at least 10 minutes.
The original recipe served this with grilled fish. I served it as a side with rice.
Recipe source: Jerusalem by Ottolengi and Sami Tamimi
A healthy tasty salad with fennel,dates,carrots mixed with nuts and dressed with a simple dressing and all brought together with cheese. I had to make alterations to the original recipe since I did not have some of the ingredients.
1/2 red onion(original recipe used torpedo onions)
a handful slivered almonds(original recipe used pistachio)
1/2 cup slivered dates( I used cranberries)
2/3 cup salt cured olives chopped( I used kalamatta)
1/2 cup shaved manchego cheese( I used ricotta salatta)
2Tb white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Slice the fennel in thin slices. Chop carrot into thin coins. Slice the onion very thin. Add the nuts, dates and olives.
Mix the oil and salt with the vinegar whisking to make a dressing. Pour over the salad. Top with shaved cheese.
I can see my salad is pretty different to the original. But it still tasted delicious.
Recipe source: QUITOKEETO
Anjum Anand’s New Indian cookbook is a delightful book chock full of great recipes, all simple and doable which for me is a big “yesss”. This Cannellini curry is all the more great because there is no soaking of beans etc. Open a can or two of cannellini beans, add a few spices, some coconut milk made tangy with tamarind and voila you have a bowl full of goodness to have with bread, roti or rice. I have made a few minor changes to the original recipe to suit my taste.
1 tsp mustard seeds
pinch of asafoetida
some curry leaves
1 onion chopped fine
3 cloves of garlic chopped fine
1/4 ” piece of ginger grated
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 big tomatoes
1 tsp brown sugar
salt to taste
1 x 400g can cannelini beans drained
a marble sized tamarind soaked in 1/4 cup water
coriander leaves to garnish
Fry in oil the mustard, asafoetida and curry leaves. Add the chopped onion and fry till golden. Now add the garlic and ginger, fry for a few minutes then add the tomatoes. Fry till oil floats.Add the spice powders, coconut milk and 3/4 cup water. Boil and simmer covered for 10 minutes.
Now add the drained can of beans, sugar and tamarind paste. Mash the beans against the sides of the pan to thicken the gravy a bit. Taste to adjust the salt etc garnish with coriander leaves and serve .
Recipe source: Anjum Anand’s New Indian
This Bengali style of cooking snake gourd is easy, tasty and delicious. The fact that it is quite different from my usual preparation of snake gourd is an added bonus.
500 g snake gourd
1/2 a coconut grated
1 tsp mustard seeds
a small piece of ginger
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste
1 fresh green and 1 dry red chilli
1tsp of nigella seeds, fenugreek, mustard and cummin seeds together not each
oil to cook
Wash snake gourd remove the middle bits and slice thinly.
Grind ginger and mustard and set aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add the seasoning spices. Then add the chillies, coconut and turmeric powder. After 3 minutes add the snake gourd and cook till done. Add salt, sugar and the ground paste fry for 3-4 minutes and remove.
This is a dry curry. If lots of oil is used it tastes even better😜
Recipe source : Traditional Indian cooking by Amiya Chaudhuri
Being an upma fan I have generally sneered at polenta. Can’t beat our upma I used to think because polenta is a kind of upma right, the bland watered down one that is. Well ignorance is not always bliss and my curiosity got the better of me. I decided to try it out. Delicious! It had its drawbacks. It had to be eaten ASAP while still hot and runny. And a lot of butter and cheese equals tasty polenta. ( I still have to work out how to use the brick-like left over bit. Fry it maybe.) And it takes some time to cook.
I topped the polenta with some zuchini and mushroom mix. And pesto.
1/2 cup polenta
2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup pecorino/ parmesan
1 small zuchini
4 mushrooms (any kind will do)
1/2 an onion
Few stalks of thyme
Boil water with salt and add the polenta whisking till it cannot move easily. Now reduce heat to very low cover and cook for 30 minutes whisking every 10 minutes. At the end of cooking add the butter and cheese mix and serve with topping.
For topping fry the onion, zuchini and mushrooms chopped fine till it is well fried then add thyme and salt. Place on the polenta with a couple of tsp of pesto on top. I have a pesto recipe posted earlier.
Serves 2 generously
Glancing through Rick Stein’s’s India cookbook I happened upon this recipe and gave it a go. It did not fail to impress.
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel
1 tsp cummin
5 garlic cloves
4 dry red chillies
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup coconut
2 green chillies
1Tb ginger paste
400 g squid cleaned weight
50 ml tamarind juice
1 tsp brown sugar
Dry roast the coriander, fennel, cummin and red chillies. Grind coarsely then grind to a paste with the garlic, coconut and turmeric with some water.
Heat 3 Tb oil in a kadai, fry the onion till golden then add the ginger and green chillies. Fry a couple of minutes then add the tomato chopped fine. After a couple of minutes add the paste. Fry for 5 minutes. Now add the chopped squid and salt. After 3 minutes add the tamarind water bring to a gentle boil and remove. Add the brown sugar. It is important to cook the squid for a short time otherwise it becomes rubbery. I added more chilli powder to make it more spicy.
Recipe source: Rick Stein’s India