Chicken with Grilled Fruits (Apple, Leek & Asparagus)

Chicken with Grilled Fruits (Apple, Leek & Asparagus)

Sometimes you end up making great mistakes. I once kept cut fruits in the microwave to prevent them from attracting flies while made my tea. Then the doorbell rang and I forgot all about the fruits. In 15 minutes, by stroke of chances, I ended up grilling the cut fruits in the oven. These were some pineapple and pear cubes. A few minutes of grilling gave such surprisingly lip smacking results that I made it up in my mind to do regularly with dishes. Here, I grilled up some cut apples and asparagus alongwith my homegrown leeks. The grilled fruits completely took over the fragrance and flavor of the chicken. Do try and enjoy 🙂  !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2 to 3
  • Preparation time : 25 minutes

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Chicken pieces, 1/3rd chicken, would be around 400 grams : I spent a good amount of my time in Punjab state. Chicken is the prime meal most of the time there. I had an instance, when said that I did’nt want to have non veg on a specific day, and abrupt came the reply from my host then, that it’s not no veg – “It’s just chicken” 😀  . Chicken obviously is a popular white meat loaded with nutrition especially proteins. 
  • Apple cubes, shaved, from 1 apple : Apple or pear any one can be used here. They have similar tastes on cooking, have similar prebiotic benefits and high iron content. 
  • Leek, 1/2 inch pieces of 1 full leek : I grow leek in my garden. It grows super easily in any garden and requires minimum taking care. They are milder and more flavored than an onion. It is also very healthy for blood vessels, bones, heart, digestion, vision etc. I am always inclined to use leek for the sweetness instead of red onions and also the leaves of these leeks. 
  • Vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon + enough for cooking : Use any vegetable oil. We are using butter in this dish so a light odorless oil would be sufficient. This would suffice in marinate and pan frying of chicken.
  • Salt : I used Himalayan pink rock salt. It’s almost 5 times more expensive than my table salt. But hey, very little of it is required, so why not. It is supposed to be the cleanest salt on the planet today with amazing benefits like regulating water content, maintaining ph balance in the body, strengthening the metabolism in us. Tastes a bit coarse, so that works out for me too.
  • Mixed herbs, 1 tablespoon : It’s a dried mix of basil, parsley, oregano and rosemary. Not my first choice since most of my herbs come from my garden
  • Black pepper powder, to taste : Hot and mildly pungent, black pepper is good for digestion, skin, respiration and is a good antioxidant too. On tables across the world salt n pepper are partners in relation.
  • Garlic cloves, 5 : Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Asparagus, 1 inch pieces of 2 asparagus : With a nice earthy and crunchy texture, asparagus regulates blood sugar levels and has high content of fiber, Vitamin A, E, C & K.
  • Chicken stock, 1/2 cup : A well made chicken stock doesn’t allow the other flavors, spices, herbs and ingredients to overpower the flavor of chicken in the dish. I like making many stocks, do check out how I made some mutton stock published earlier.
  • Sugar, 1 tablespoon : Regular table cane sugar.
  • Vinegar, 1 tablespoon : Vinegar preserves the flavors in my dishes very well, so I don’t mind frequenting it. Prime reason for it’s preservative qualities are the amounts of acetic acid and anti bacterial present in it. And yes of course, the sour essence is brought out very well with vinegar.
  • Butter, 2 tablespoon : Good butter has high soluble fats which are a better grease than margarine. It gives a mild salty taste to the fillet. BTW, India is the largest producer of butter in the world. Nice trivia 🙂 

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Grind the garlic cloves and mix pepper, dried mixed herbs, 1 tablespoon oil and salt. Marinade the cleaned pieces of chicken and set aside.
  • Heat rest of the oil in a shallow pan. Add the chicken to it and stir for 15 to 17 minutes. Be sure that the chicken is done as per your requirement. Now take this off the flame.
  • To the same pan (chicken removed), add some butter (1/2 tablespoon) and heat till it melts. To this add salt pepper (a pinch each) and add the chopped asparagus and apple. Saute’ for 4 minutes and take off the flame and set aside.
  • Now take the pan and heat the remaining butter (1 & 1/2 tablespoon) in it. Add the leek, sugar and salt in it and stir for 2 minutes. Add vinegar to this and let it cook for a minute more.
  • Pour the chicken stock in it and cook well till the fluid is reduced to half.
  • Time to decorate your platter. Place the chicken first. Pour the stock cooked right now over it and then top it up with the stirred apple & asparagus.
  • Be pleased with your work since everyone else is going to be 🙂

Storage : A day or so max. Not that it doesn’t store well, it’s just that the texture of the dish changes.

Missing Something ? : This is a complete indigenous attempt, so you are free to add your favorite seasoning. Remember NOT to garnish this chicken.

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Rosy Basa Fillet

Rosy Basa Fillet

Late evening walk-in. Can’t even rush to the market or have the courage to order. How do you turn the famished soul into a delightful one ? Well, let me introduce you to another of my ingenuous go to recipe. Just half a beet pulled from my garden by my kiddo and a couple of basa fillet in the freezer will turn your famished and lethargic evening into pure bliss. The taste of the fillet is great and the color is so charming that it makes heads turn inadvertently infallibly every time it’s served around. It’s a G-man, MCMH Original recipe. Enjoy 🙂 …… and yes, there is no rose in this Rosy 😀 , just the color.

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2 to 3 famished to delighted seafood lovers
  • Preparation time : 20 minutes of slow grilling + 30 minutes of marinade.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Basa Fillet, 2 normal size : Pengasius or basa is a popular catfish with a sweet tasting, soft  meat with very little of no bones in big pieces of fillet. I wouldn’t say that it’s the top nutritious fish in the water but it is certainly a very easy and friendly one to serve.
  • Sea salt, to taste : I prefer sea salt in my sea food. Reason = It’s coarse, tastes authentic, is not processed and has all natural minerals originally intended.
  • Black Pepper, ground to powder, 4 – 5 corns : Hot and mildly pungent, black pepper is good for digestion, skin, respiration and is a good antioxidant too. On tables across the world salt n pepper are partners in relation.
  • Lemon juice, 1/2 a lemon : Sour effect of the dish comes from here and bring along with it, the Vitamin C benefits to eyes, hair and skin.
  • Rosemary, dried will do, 1/2 teaspoon : Unfortunately, rosemary doesn’t grow well in Delhi so have to do with dried. Rosemary is a great antioxidant and anti inflammatory and is great for the nervous system too. Since it grows well in the hills, rosemary has a great woody pine fragrance. Still, I would any day choose freshly garden harvested rosemary.
  • Basil, dried powder, 1/2 teaspoon : It has practically all the properties of basil but drying reduces everything. I added dried basil here to give mass and temprate the flavor of dried rosemary and parsley.
  • Basil, sweet, fresh, broken, 1/2 teaspoon : Anti aging, anti cancer, anti bacterial herb is a great garnish due to it’s sweet and mixed spice aroma. Here a harvested a handful of sweet basil from my garden. As always, break their leaves and avoid chopping them. This retains their essence best.
  • Parsley, dried powder, 1/2 teaspoon : Again, not a priority in choice. I had to use dried parsley since it was mid summers. Parsley has a much low essence when dried. It is mildly bitter. It has beta carotene and vitamin c to fight cold and flu. I am sure it is the best breath freshener that you can grow in your garden.
  • Galangal, 1/2 inch : Again an antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal spice. It tastes earthy and citrus. I love galangal though it’s very tough to grow, unlike the cousin ginger. It is also very tough to chop or paste since it has strong fibers.
  • Olive Oil, 1 tablespoon : Keep the oil light so as not to interfere with the flavor of your dish either in odor or in taste. Besides, olive oil is a great antioxidant, anti inflammatory, is good for heart and weight management.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Grate the beetroot finely. Grate the galangal too and mix them both.
  • Spoon the grated beet (+galangal) and mix the dried spices i.e. the black pepper, the dried basil, the dried parsley and the dried rosemary. Mildly grind them using your mortar & pestle.
  • Marinate the fillets with this mix and keep aside for 30 minutes. I generally poke the fillets with a fork to allow the marinate to get deep inside it.
  • Now set the temperature of your microwave at 425 degrees or just above medium heat  and place the marinated fillets inside.
  • Grill it for 20 minutes turning 3 to 4 times and checking the softness of the fillet.
  • Garnish with broken sweet basil and serve to devour 🙂

Storage : Please do not even think about it. Refrigerating will harden the texture and turn the color much less cheerful.

Missing Something ? : You may choose to season the fish with some dried oregano or fresh chopped parsley. I’ve said this in one more dish of mine, the pan fried red snapper too 😀 !

Oyster Masala

Oyster Masala

One food that I’ve been most curious about since childhood has been oyster meat. All possible questions populated my mind like “How do we obtain it ? ” to “How do we eat it ?” everything bombarded my quite thoughts about oyster meat. It so lasted till recently when I finally crossed the cusp and stepped into learning much about oysters and their cooking styles. And I learnt quite a lot too. Now, we all know that oysters are so tender that they are eaten cooked, semi cooked and even raw as delicacies all over, but what most of us must learn is that it is a protein rich and mineral rich shell creature with low fats and calories. They are amazing in weight control, blood circulation and I wish I could suggest it to a friend of mine who has osteoporosis, since it works great in the situation to strengthen bone. 

 

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2 to 3 seafood lovers
  • Preparation time : 15 to 17 minutes

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Oyster meat 250 grams : Fluidic and tender, oyster meat is a good antioxidant and as written earlier, since it has very little fat and calories, it is great in weight management and increasing the energy levels in a person. Notwithstanding, oyster meat is a good aphrodisiac too. I get them at local seafood delivery even in off season, so not too difficult to lay hands upon even in Delhi.
  • Green chillies, split, deseeded 3 : Great for eyes and skin, green chilies are the healthiest ones to bring in the bitter zing in any dish. I used them here, freshly plucked from my garden to bring in their essence. I deseeded them well to ensure it being kids friendly. I pick the less bitter ones from my garden.
  • Ginger, grated, 1 inch : Ginger is consumed by us dried, fresh and chopped, ground dried or as a paste. It can be stored for very long and is extremely easy to grow in your garden It relieves nausea and is a pain killer. It has a warn, sweet and woody.
  • Onion, chopped, 1 medium size : I generally use the red, mild onions with white layers inside. They have a fair taste and are great in controlling blood sugar.
  • Tomato, chopped, 1 medium size : Tomato not only acts as a great anti oxidant and giving us Vitamin K – C etc., it also gets the sweet & fresh essence on a high in this dish. I use the regular round ones from my garden generally.
  • Coriander leaves, chopped, 1 tablespoon : Again, this comes straight from my garden. Gives an orangy zest, coriander is again a blood regulator. A bunchfull can be pulled out anytime from the corner of the garden.
  • Turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the dish. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory. Though I’ve started growing turmeric in my garden, it’s not been used as a dried spice yet.
  • Garam Masala, 1/2 teaspoon : The ever popular Indian concoction of spices helps in weight loss, pain fight, immunity boost etc. True to its name, it’s hot and powerful. Imagine being the blend of around 10 powerful spice essence. Indian kitchen = Garam masala. 
  • Salt to taste : Use sea salt if available.
  • Coconut oil, for pan frying, should be around 2 tablespoon for 250 grams oyster meat : Odorless, tasteless with a sweet essence, coconut oil is very useful for greasing the seafood dishes.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Wash and dry the oysters.
  • Cut onions in thin long slices.
  • Cut green chilies in long halves and de-seed them.
  • Heat a pan on medium flame. Pour 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Keep it on medium flame only since increasing flame will evaporate the oil and you’ll have nothing to grease your pan and no fats for the dish 🙂
  • Add onions to the pan. Saute the onions till they turn golden brown.
  • Now add ginger, chilies and tomatoes to it and stir further for 2 minutes.
  • To this add the oysters’ meat and mix well.
  • Add half cup water and cook well for 7 minutes. You can cover with a lid to making sure to stir frequently. Do not over cook, else, you will end up loosing the tenderness completely.
  • Now uncover your dish, take off the flame serve after garnishing with chopped coriander.

Storage : No Nope Not at all .

Missing Something ? : Skip the chilies if there are kids being served. You can slightly change the pattern by sprinkling half of the garam masala after the dish is cooked and before the garnishing.

Pan Fried Red Snapper

Pan Fried Red Snapper

Snapper is an elegant fish. It’s generally found in the atlantic and in lower pacific. I’ve had some amazing dishes in snapper whenever I’ve visited the south east asian countries. It is simple to make, plentily flavor full and chunky in nature. I do not make it much for the kids since like tilapia etc. it is high in mercury levels. It has a sweetih taste and blends well with most spices in moderate quantities. Do try this one and enjoy 😉

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 4 to 6 seafood lovers
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Red snapper, whole cleaned : Red snapper is a very good looking elegant fish. It looks amazingly good lying whole on a platter. It is extremely tasty too but due to high levels of mercury in it, I do not offer them to the kids. Once a month, sinning make no difference 🙂 . 
  • Mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon : Mustard tastes fro sweet to sour, bitter to steaming hot. But it’s great for digestion and respiration and strengthens bones and teeth. I use it here for the bitter sour essence.
  • Honey, 1 tablespoon : Honey is a good anti oxidant and controls cholesterol levels. It compliments the mustard very well, just like in a mustard sauce.
  • Ginger paste, 1 teaspoon : This south asian spice king is a great compliment to garlic. It helps us in getting rid of morning sickness, nausea and muscle pain as well. It’s tea is a widely used generic organic medicine.
  • Lemon juice from 1 lemon, around 1 tablespoon : Sour effect of the dish comes from here and bring alongwith it, the Vitamin C benefits to eyes, hair and skin.
  • Vinegar, 1 tablespoon : Vinegar preserves the flavors in my dishes very well, so I don’t mind frequenting it. Prime reason for it’s preservative qualities are the amounts of acetic acid and anti bacterial present in it. And yes of course, the sour essence is brought out very well with vinegar.
  • Garlic ground, 1 teaspoon : Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Sea salt : It’s coarse and gives a true essence to seafood.
  • Coconut oil, 2 tablespoons : I use coconut oil often since it heats up fast and well, has not taste or fragrance of it’s own, hence no interference in the original spices.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Start with the traditional criss cross cuts on both sides of the fish. The fish is big and chunky, you need to be careful here. I had a 10 inch pan, so  snapped off the head portion to make it fit in my pan.
  • Rub salt and lemon juice and set aside for 5 minutes. Then wash off gently. This takes off the foul smell if any and readies the fish for cooking in brine.
  • Now coat the fish properly with a mixture of ginger paste, garlic paste and vinegar. Make sure to insert the spice mix well in the cuts of the fish, since the fish is thick and chunky in itself.
  • Now heat the coconut oil in the pan at low heat. High heat will evaporate the coconut oil.
  • Add mustard seeds and wait till they sputter. This will take a minute at max.
  • Now place the fish gently in the pan. Cook well for 10 minutes, turning a few times to prevent the fish skin from sticking to the pan.
  • Serve hot and steaming 🙂

Storage : You can seal and refrigerate for a couple of days, but please be mindful that fish meat will get firmer with time and may not be as delicious as after the first cooking .

Missing Something ? : You may choose to season the fish with some dried oregano or fresh chopped parsley.

Jhatpat Seekh Rolls

Jhatpat Seekh Rolls

A lovely exhaustive evening, everyone out together, there was laughter there was shopping, there were friends there were moments. But, THERE WAS NO FOOD…..

So you walk in the home, switch on the lights, and where do you head to expectantly…. The Kitchen or The Refrigerator !! And who’s cooking 😦 No one. Here’s the troubleshooter for the moment. You just need some cheese slices, a chapati, some basic available seasoning and the world is at your feet 🙂 ….

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 1 roll each will douse the fire in the bellies
  • Preparation time : 5 minutes, literally

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Chicken seekh kebabs, whole, 2 : Skewered mince meet, mixed with chili flake, cumin, crumbs, yolk and several other things. You will forget asking about any health benefits once you bite into a seekh kebab on a cold rainy evening 😀 
  • Chapatis, 2 : A wheat rolled bread which is inadvertently a staple of India, a chapati is a health powerhouse. It is high in calories, proteins, fiber, carbohydrates while moderate in fats. Chapatis and veggies make a complete north Indian platter.
  • Cheeses slices, 2 : These bring the oomph factor. Cheese slices will good amount of saturated calories or carbohydrates. Not everyone will appreciate, but the kids and the famished adults will adulate !
  • Onion rings, 1 medium onion : High in Vitamin C, the fresh raw onion rings will bring in the juicy crisp feeling in the rolls.
  • Green chutney, 3 teaspoons : Green chutney is typically made of coriander, mint, green chilies, cumin, ginger, salt and lemon juice. Again, you can hardly not find it in a family restaurant pre order served. It has all the health benefits of the herbs ground and also is extremely refreshing and helps in digestion.
  • Chaat masala, for seasoning : Again, one of the most popular Indian seasoning for salads etc. Chat masala is typically made by dry grinding coriander seeds, cumin, carom seeds, rock salt, mint, mango powder and a few other things. Again, besides all the digestive and other heath benefits, the chat masala brings in the ‘Xing’ factor in the rolls.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Lay the chapatis flat and place the cheese slices. 1 each in the middle.
  • Cover each chapati now with a layer of onion rings, crisp and fresh sliced.
  • Sprinkle sufficient chat masala to tingle your senses enough.
  • Place small dollops of green chutney all across the layout now. Do remember, whatever comes last in the layer actually sinks deepest in your roll.
  • Now place your seekh kebabs, 1 in each chapati and rolls well.
  • Use ketchup if you want and gobble them up !!

Storage : You don;t store your hurry up snacks, do you ?

Missing Something ? : Change the seasoning to oregano if you want to but do not replace green chutney with pesto. That will reduce the ‘Xing’ and make it too cheesey.

Mangalorean Pomfret Curry

Mangalorian Pomfret Curry

It’s  no secret now that I am a seafood FANATIC ! The pomfret is my favorite fish of all. For me it rates above all tuna, salmon, mackerel and surely above all carps. Being seasonal and illusive, the pomfret also plays pricey with me :-D…

Pomfret has been my go to fish for so long now, but I have made it a point to stick to just 3 to 4 ways of cooking it. That way I keep bettering the experiences every-time. The silver pomfret is so pretty that it practically glistens and draws me across any meat shop 🙂 …. This is a mangalorian style curry with whole pomfret unlike cut pieces and I’ve managed to make minor iterations in it giving in to my palate’s preference !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 4 active kids or 2 greedy adults 😀
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes to cook + 5 minutes preparation

….and we need (ingredients)

  • White/Silver Pomfret 1, about 400 grams : Pomfret is so good looking, soft silver white fish. Due to their round shape, they look so good as a whole on a platter, so I always cook it without cutting. In India, most pomfrets come from the Indian ocean’s coastal area. It is also very popular in Indo Chinese countries lie Indonesia, Thailand etc. White pomfrets are great for your heart, bone joints, skin and respiratory system.
  • Vinegar, 1 tablespoon : Vinegar preserves the flavors in my dishes very well, so I don’t mind frequenting it. Prime reason for it’s preservative qualities are the amounts of acetic acid and anti bacterial present in it. And yes of course, the sour essence is brought out very well with vinegar.
  • Salt : Try to use only coarse sea salt for seafood.
  • Lemon juice, 1 teaspoon : Sour and acidic, with a good amount of citric acid, we add lemon here not just to enhance the sour essence but also to use it’s hydrating and digestive qualities.
  • Turmeric 1/2 teaspoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the dish. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory.
  • Curry leaves 4 – 5 : There isn’t a household in India which does not have a curry leaves plant. They have high amount of calcium, carbohydrates, fibre, iron, phosphorus, Vitamin E, B, C and A hence helping heart, hair, skin and fighting infections. Here I add them for their extreme spicy aroma.
  • Tomatoes chopped 2 small : Filled with potassium, magnesium and Vitamin A, C & K, tomatoes form the base of the gravy.
  • Leek / Onion greens : Onion fragrance without the strong pungency. Good source of fibre and antioxidants.
  • Garlic 4 – 5 cloves : Simply my Pungent King, pungent, spicy and sweet flavor is accompanied with benefits of combating cold and reducing blood pressure.
  • Coriander powder 1 teaspoon : Coriander lowers blood sugar and pressure and is a great digestive besides bringing light citrus flavor to the gravy.
  • Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon : Cumin has an amazing earthy, musk flavor essence. It is said to be the second most popular spice on the planet. It improves digestion, sugar control, weight loss etc.
  • Coconut oil, 2 teaspoon : Odourless, tasteless so as to only grease the pan for the curry.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Start with the traditional criss cross cuts on both sides of the fish.
  • Coat the pomfret with turmeric, salt and lemon juice and keep aside for 10 minutes. This takes away the foul smell if any. Now wash off mildly.
  • Grind the garlic cloves in salt and vinegar coarsely and coat your pomfret with it and keep aside
  • Heat a pan now. Add some oil (preferably coconut) on medium flame. Add the cumin to it and let it crackle.
  • Now add the leek or onion greens to it and stir for 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes to it and stir further for 3 minutes till the onion greens and the tomatoes are dried off water.
  • Add 2 cups of water and the curry leaves and cook for 2 minutes till all spices are well absorbed and a loose curry is formed.
  • Now add the fish to it and cook for 10 minutes turning twice (carefully enough not to break the fish). If you want more steam, you may cover you pan and check the cury after every 3 minutes.
  • Serve steaming hot with steamed rice and the treat is all yours.

Storage : No chance, even if you are alone you’ll wipe it off clean :-P.

Missing Something ? : Use sea salt was authenticity. May add cinnamon or sugar (1/2 teaspoon), to enhance the fragrance and make the taste more kids friendly. Little pepper powder (1/4th teaspoon) can also be done. After all, we are trying all iterations here, right !!

Surmai / Kingfish in Tangy Masala

Kingfish in Tangy Masala / Surmai South meets West fillet

Nearing the end of FIFA World Cup 2018 and welcoming the monsoons in Delhi, it’s a wash time literally. The plants get washed, the city gets washed, the toxicity in the sir gets washed and most so, the heat gets washed. So much washing pulls me to my favorite pass time, experimenting with seafood.

Seafood is so easily gobbled since it’s light, nutritious, filling and amazingly tasty. I have tried here to blend the two essences of southern and western coastal Indian cuisines so as not to make a mess of each, rather to create a nice new flavor. Am sure you can chip in with your variations and suggestions. Read on !! 

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 4
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes
  • Serving Size : 2 to 3 pieces each

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Kingfish fillet, 2 – further cut into 10 pieces total. Will be around 500 gms  : Kingfish is popularly known in Indian markets as Surmai. This is a pinkish fish with firm texture and high fat content. Its popular and easy for kids to eat since it has very less bones. It is also caled king mackerel and is found in South & Central India. High in protiens,this would be slightly expensive than the regular carp in the market.
  • Coriander seeds, 2 teaspoon, roasted : With a warm, nutty and orange essence the coriander seeds are great for eyes, digestion, joints, skin and abdomen. 
  • Curry leaves, 10, broken : There isn’t a household in India which does not have a curry leaves plant. They have high amount of calcium, carbohydrates, fibre, iron, phosphorus, Vitamin E, B, C and A hence helping heart, hair, skin and fighting infections. Here I add them for their extreme spicy aroma.
  • Turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the dish. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory.
  • Tamarind, 3 teaspoon : Tamarind fights cancer and helps in digestion. It is a good source of Vitamin C and anti oxidants. It brings the basic sour and tangy flavor to the gravy of the dish.
  • Coconut oil, sufficient for pan frying, should be around 3 tablespoons in a 10 inch pan : Keep the pan frying with cocnut oil at a low to medium heat only, else it evaporates quickly. It does not leave any flavor or color on the dish and is great for cholesterol control.
  • Garlic cloves, 10 – 12 : Pungent, spicy and sweet flavor is accompanied with benefits of combating cold and reducing blood pressure. Clearly my pungent king 🙂
  • Green chilies, 2 long ones : The pinching tougue biter, the green chilies are great for skin, hair and eyes due to their high Vitamin C & E content. I grow at least 3 varieties in my garden much to the kitchen’s delight.
  • Ginger 2 teaspoons : Ginger is consumed by us dried, fresh and chopped, ground dried or as a paste. It can be stored for very long and is extremely easy to grow in your garden It relieves nausea and is a pain killer. It has a warn, sweet and woody.
  • Onion/Leek greens, 1 cup chopped : I grow leek in my garden. It grows super easily in any garden and requires minimum taking care. They are milder and more flavored than an onion. It is also very healthy for blood vessels, bones, heart, digestion, vision etc. I am always inclined to use leek for the sweetness instead of red onions and also the leaves of these leeks. 
  • Coriander, for garnish : The reasons for garnishing with coriander would be so as to compliment the coriander seeds ground and added in the marinate for the dish.
  • Salt to taste : 😀  Use sea salt to make the flavor more authentic.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Coarsely grind the ginger, garlic, chilies and coriander seeds in a mortar and a pestle. Be coarse for a grounded feel.
  • Add salt, turmeric and tamarind to it and mix well.
  • Coat the fillet pieces with the spice paste and keep aside for 10 minutes, while you do the next steps. It will be great if you poke the fish with a fork lightly but densely. This would take the flavor deep inside but not enough to disintegrate the fillet.
  • Now heat the coconut oil in a non stick pan.
  • To this add the onion or leek greens and saute well for 2 minutes on medium flame.
  • Add curry leaves and saute further for 2 minutes.
  • Now place the fillet pieces in the pan gently and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add 1 cup water and cook well for 8 minutes till the water dries off completely.
  • Take off flame, garnish with coriander and serve.

Storage : Make small portions, they are an easy cook. I don’t suggest refrigerating this.

Missing Something ? : You can skip garnishing and may replace regular salt with some coarse sea salt for more authentic essence.

Amazing kids special egg salad

Sassy Egg Chaat / Salad

Hey ! I’ve been silent for the longest ten days of my short blogging life so far. Was vacationing in the Kumaon hills at my uncle’s estate. Too overwhelmed with that right now and would share that adventure soon.

For now I’m sharing a quick snack to cheer all evenings. It’s a typical 12 months brain fade savior. This egg chaat is nutritious and uses whatever is stocked in the fridge and delivers hmmmms & ooommphs easily.

 

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 4 active kids or 2 famished adults
  • Preparation time : 10 minutes to boil the eggs, 5 minutes otherwise
  • Serving Size : 4 to 5 forkings each

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Boiled Eggs, chopped in 4 pcs. each : Always remember to allow the boiled egg to reach the room temperature before using it in a salad. This would prevent flavor loss and retain the crispiness of the salad. I learnt that egg white has lower fat and cholesterol than the yolk but has over half of the protein of the egg in it. It’s a wonder food for active and growing kids. An Indian child would have always heard “Sunday ho yaa Monday, roz khao Andey” .. self explanatory 🙂 (1 egg per day, anyday & everyday)
  • Tamarind 1 teaspoon : Tamarind manages body heat well and helps in weight loss and heart regulation. It boosts digestion and immunity. Tamarind brings tanginess in the dish, hence the name prefix “Sassy”
  • Tomato ketchup 1 teaspoon : Ketchup is a kitchen essential and adds to the tanginess besides bringing in slightly sweet flavor. I used the sweet cherry tomato ketchup which I make annually. 
  • Crushed laddoo 1 : This little ball of sweet is a delight for all kids. I crush it and mix here to get the sweet flavor and it’s fat content through the ghee used to make it.
  • Lemon Juice of 1 lemon : Sour and acidic, with a good amount of citric acid, we add lemon here not just to enhance the sour essence but also to use it’s hydrating and digestive qualities.
  • Lettuce Leaves chopped 5 – 6 : Lettuce is amazing in summers (though hard to find in this season). It’s so hot in Delhi in summers that all my lettuce dries up (if any is left) by early march itself. It has over 90% water and very low fiber. It gives us Vitamin C, potassium, calcium to us adding the mild peppery and crunchy flavor to the salad.
  • Parsley 2 twigs (for garnishing) : I grow moss green, long leafed, Italian varieties of parsley till late April. It is mildly bitter but an amazing garnish. It cures bad breath, diabetes and boosts our immunity. One can much the sweeter varieties fresh & raw from a harvest.
  • Tomatoes chopped 1 : I know that over 50% of the salads have tomatoes or tomato based sauce in them. Tomato not only acts as a great anti oxidant and giving us Vitamin K – C etc., it also gets the sweet & fresh essence on a high in this dish.
  • Cumin roasted 1/2 teaspoon : Cumin has an amazing earthy, musk flavor essence. It is said to be the second most popular spice on the planet. It improves digestion, sugar control, weight loss etc. Roasting it makes it easy to mix in the salads and chaats. A non roasted seed would need irritable grinding by teeth while eating.
  • Basil leaves (sweet) broken, handful (4 teaspoons) : There are so many types of basil that I do not know the count. I grow 5 types in  my garden for use. Basil grows throughout the year. It propagates through seeds and cuttings very easily. Here I use sweet basil which has a mild and minty flavor appropriate for this kind of salad. Basil is the king of herbs and has amazing benefits like being anti cancer, anti bacterial, anti microbial, anti oxidant etc. I use basil in curries, salads, soups and almost anything I can.
  • Bhujiya, 1/2 cup : Bhujiya is the indigenous crispy snack of India. It’s a rare Indian who does not know at least 8 – 10 types of bhujiyas. Every region of India has it’s own type. I add it here to bring in the chaat flavor, the salt, the crunch, the “Indian ness”

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Mix the cumin, tamarind, ketchup, basil leaves and tomatoes lightly by tossing.
  • To this add the chopped boiled eggs, crushed laddoos and bhujiya and squeeze the lemon juice over it all. Mix it all well but lightly so as not to wreck the texture of the salad. I suggest tossing and mixing only.
  •  Place it all broken lettuce leaves and top it up with chopped parsley.
  • Allow the hungry pangs to devour well 🙂
  • I didn’t add salt in this one. There’s ketchup, bhujiya to make up for the same

Storage : Couple of hours of refrigeration max. Any later and the salad gets soggy.

Missing Something ? : If you know what magic can Chaat Masala do for Indian salads, then feel free to sprinkle some before the lemon juice is squeezed .