Sunday, 22 December 2013

Caribbean Fruit Cake for Christmas!!

This Christmas Cake recipe was first posted in December 2011. It has been reposted again this year as it is a really good cake.

For Christmas this year I have chosen to make an exotic fruit cake. Not the regular every year Christmas cake but a prize winning one with a Caribbean touch.

This cake was made and presented by Kirstie Allsopp at Devon County Show, and it won her first prize. She was given the recipe by cookery teacher Rosie Davies of Cooking with Rosie.
Why not make this year's Christmas special by sharing this lovely fruit cake with your loved and dear ones. 

Well since I originally posted this recipe in the last week of November, I have managed to make this cake. I  now present you with some images of this beautifully moist and scrumptious cake. I must admit that I did adapt the original recipe to suit me and have made a note of all the adaptations in the recipe below. As I had my fruits  soaking in rum since the past couple of weeks I decided to skip the step of heating the fruits in the alcohol as the original recipe recommended. I also added some apricot jam to the fruits to give it a new dimension of flavour.  

As I couldnt resist the temptation of trying out this cake....and my curiosity got the better of me, hubby and myself tried a small piece. I must say this cake is  spicy, fruity, moist and delicious...true to its word. Every bite is loaded with plump fruit. If you are one that doesnt like a lot of fruit in your christmas cake then this recipe is not for you. I will continue to feed the cake with more rum weekly right upto Christmas, just to keep in moisture and spirit high!!...........hmmm.  For those of you looking for the original recipe here it is. This recipe is a sure keeper!

My Adapted recipe for Carribean Fruit Cake:
900g of your favourite mixed dried fruit 
9 tbsps of rum
225g butter
225g soft brown sugar
Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
2 tbsps honey
4 large eggs, beaten
225g plain flour
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
170g chopped mixed nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, pecans)
3 heaped tsps of apricot jam
Approx. 6 tbsps rum to pour after cake comes out of oven.
Caster sugar to decorate.

1. If your dried fruit is not prewashed, wash it all thoroughly, then chop up the larger pieces so they·are about the size of the sultanas and currants. Dry the fruits and then soak all the fruits and nuts in rum or alcohol of your choice. Add the jam. Mix well. Fill the fruit into an airtight bottle, and keep in the fridge for a week ( I soak for a month) before baking the cake,  however if you are short on time, then take the fruits add the alcohol of your choice, bring to a gentle boil and simmer for 2–3 minutes. Set aside and allow to get cold. The fruit should absorb all the liquid. 
2. Preheat the oven to 150°C/Gas mark 2. Line a 20-cm cake tin with two layers of grease proof paper, making sure the paper around the sides goes about 5cm above the rim of the tin so that none of the mixture escapes as it rises.
3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar with the finely grated zests of the orange and lemon. Pour in the beaten eggs and mix well. Sieve the flour with the mixed spice and ground nutmeg and fold into the egg mixture. Now stir in the soaked dried fruit and chopped nuts. Add the honeythe juice of one lemon or orange and milk as much as required to produce a mixture that has a soft dropping consistency. 
4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, smooth the top, then make a shallow dent in the middle so that the cake will rise evenly as it cooks.
5. Wrap a thick layer of brown paper or newspaper around the outside of the tin – as high as the lining paper – and secure with string. Place the tin on a baking tray lined with more brown paper and bake for 3 - 4 hours. Check the cake halfway through the baking time – if the top is getting too brown, cover it with a piece of brown paper.
6. Check the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer in the middle – it should come out clean. Remove the cake from the oven, prick it all over with a fine skewer and carefully pour the 6 tbsps of rum into the holes. Allow the cake to cool completely before removing from the tin (usually around 2 hours).
Keep the cake covered in 2 layers of baking paper and a layer of foil. Feed it every 2 days with 1 -2 tsps of rum to keep it moist and luscious........Enjoy!!

Have a Merry Christmas!!

Yours in Taste,

Carol Pereira

Monday, 12 August 2013

Eid Mubarak and A Delicious Muslim Biryani Recipe!!

Who can resist a delicious Biryani? Not me nor any rice lover that I know. A wholesome dish of rice and vegetable or meat served with a raitha, my definition of gastro nirvana :)

Delicate long grains of Basmati rice gently cooked with fragrant whole spices, layered with a deliciously spicy chicken gravy thats bursting with the flavours of  powdered spices, ginger-garlic, tomatoes and yogurt. Heightened by the flavours of saffron infused milk, golden fried onions, raisins or prunes, fresh coriander, mint leaves, citrusy lemon  and powdered garam masala.

I am always on the lookout for good Biryani recipes, and over the years have requested many of my Muslim friends to share their family recipes with me. This traditional family recipe comes all the way from the Sind Province of Pakistan shared by a good friend Salmeena Khan. Thank you Salmeena for generously  sharing this recipe with me. This recipe shall be cherished by many, and be surely treasured by many in the coming generations. Wishing all my Muslim readers and friends,
All the happiness and Joy of this world, May God's Blessings be with you always.
****EID MUBARAK**** "

To Make Muslim Biryani
Recipe Source: Salmeena Khan
Serves: 6-8 | Marinating time: 3-4 hours or overnight | Prep time: 30mins | Cooking time: 40 mins (to cook chicken and rice) | Dum time: 20-25 mins
To Marinade Chicken
Chicken or Mutton: 1.5 kgs
Thick Yogurt: 250 gms
Red chilli powder: 2 tsps
Coriander powder: 2 tsps
Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste.
Green chilies: 5 slit
Coriander leaves chopped: 2 tbsps
Mint leaves chopped : 2 tbsps

For the Chicken Gravy:
Large onions: 3 sliced finely
Green cardamoms: 8
Black pepper: 5 nos
Cumin seeds: 2 tsps
Cinnamon sticks: 2 inches
Black cardamom pods: 4

Raisins or prunes: handful (I used raisins)
Bay leaves: 2
Garlic paste: 2 tsps
Ginger: 2 tsps
Red chili powder: 1 tbsp or reduce for less heat
Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
Fennel powder: 3/4 tsp
Tomato: 500gms chopped
Salt: 2 tsps or to taste.
Oil: 1 cup 

For the Rice:
Basmati rice: (soaked in water for atleast 1/2 an hour): 5 cups
Salt: to taste
Lemon juice: 1 lemon
Bay leaves: 2 nos
Cinnamon sticks: 3 nos.
Black cardamom pods: 3 nos. 

For garnishing
Mint leaves : 1/3 cup finely chopped
Coriander leaves: 1/3 cup finely chopped
Browned onions reserved in step 2
Saffron milk: A pinch of saffron to infuse in 1/4 cup of warm milk
Lemon juice: 1/2 lemon
Rose water: 2 tsps
Garam masala: 1/2 tsp

Step 1: Marinade the chicken and keep overnight or for at least 3-4 hours
1. Take the thick yoghurt in a bowl, beat well, to it add powdered spices and  salt to taste. Add the slit green chillies, chopped mint leaves, coriander leaves mix well. Finally add the cut chicken to this mixture, mix well. Cling film bowl and rest overnight in the fridge.

Step 2: Make the Chicken Masala
1. In a large non stick vessel take oil and heat it. Once hot add the finely sliced onions and fry until it is light golden brown. Keep aside 1/3 of the fried onions on a tissue paper for the final garnishing required while layering the biryani.
2. To the remaining brown onions in the pan add the whole spices ie cloves, cardamoms, black pepper, cumin seeds, cinnamon, black cardamom pods and bay leaves and fry till fragnant. Next add the ginger and garlic pastes and fry for 4-5 minutes till the raw smell goes away. Next add the powdered spices (chilli, coriander, fennel powders) and fry for 30 seconds before adding the tomatoes and the salt. Fry the tomatoes till they turn soft and moisture completely dries up. Add the marinaded chicken and yoghurt mixture to the vessel, mix well. (Add water only if needed to cook chicken) The chicken usually lets out water. Close the vessel and allow the chicken to cook for 30-35 minutes on medium heat until almost done, stirring in between. The gravy should be semi thick. You will know when the chicken is ready as the gravy turns darker in colour and oils starts floating to the top.
4. Next check for salt, squeeze over lemon juice to your taste turn off the heat.

Step 3: Prepare the Rice
1. Wash the rice in a large bowl till the water runs clear, then soak the rice for about 20 minutes. Once 20 minutes are done drain the rice in a colander and keep aside.
2. As the rice is soaking prepare the water in which it will cook. In a large vessel boil around 15 cups of water (you need to make sure the vessel you cook in is large enough to accomodate the water and the rice. If the rice has enough room to cook in you can see the grains of rice dancing about freely as it cooks and the grains freely lengthens to its maximum length. But if the vessel is too small the rice will not have enough room to cook in, the grains of rice will tend to stick to each other and clump. 
3. Once the water comes to a boil, add the bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, black cardamom. Close the pot and let the spices let out their flavours into the water for 3-4 minutes before you add the rice.
4. Add the rice to the boiling water, stir gently. Add salt to taste (add a bit more salt). Add lemon juice to the boiling water and a dash of oil to help keep the grains of rice fluffy and seperate. Let the rice cook for 6-8 minutes or till the rice is half done. To check this, take a grain of rice and press it between your index finger and thumb, if it breaks leaving a white seed of uncooked rice in the center  your rice has cooked just right. Turn off flame and drain the rice immediately to a colander. Spread out the cooked rice to a large tray to allow it to cool. 

Step 4: Bringing it all together or Assembling the Biryani
1. Take a large pot that is oven safe. Grease the base lightly with oil.
2. Place half the cooked rice at the bottom of the pan. Evenly distribute the pieces of meat over the rice. Then pour the gravy evenly over the meat. Add the remaining rice over the meat, level the rice gently to form an even layer. 
3. Sprinkle over the chopped coriander and mint leaves and reserved browned onions.
4. Using the back of a spoon make  a few tunnels through the rice and meat layer. Pour in drops of saffron milk through some tunnels. Through the remaining tunnels pour in drops of lemon juice and rose water. Sprinkle over a garam masala powder. You could add a few drops of ghee over the rice.
5. Seal the pan with foil and then place a lid over it. Place in preheated oven at l80 C for 25-30 mins. Gently mix it before serving.
Serve with a cucumber and tomato raitha.

NoteSalmeena includes boiled potatoes in the recipe, which I skipped as I ran out of potatoes. But will update the recipe when I use potatoes the next time

Do drop  me a line if you do make this biryani. Would love to know your experience.

Yours in Taste,

Carol Pereira

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Canned Tuna Spicy Fish Cutlets.

A few weeks ago I rambled about how Mangaloreans a fish loving breed cannot do without fish....well if you missed that post do head over here to learn more about our fish loving madness.

Well at times when our fresh and frozen fish supplies are low or when there is an urge to eat fish that is not curried or fried, then off we go rummaging through our stash of canned reserve. Fish stored in cans can be truly handy. Canned fish is available all year round, and is a must have stock cupboard ingredient. I stock up on canned tuna, sardines and salmon. These little canned treasures can be used to make a delicious fresh and tangy fish salad with chopped, onions, tomatoes loads of lemon juice and green chillies. At other times they can be converted into a batch of spicy, moist and delicious cutlets that can be quickly served up as nibbles, piping hot of the pan with some Maggi hot chilli sauce or as an accompaniment to a homely meal of plain rice, mangalore saar and vegetable sukke.

Well a couple of  months ago I  received a message from Joe D'Souza (a member of this blog, now  turned friend :) who wrote to me saying:

Did some cooking on d weekend, tried fish cutlets,
Came out Yummee,
Just like my moms!
But this was a kinda diff recipe,
Given to me by my sisters colleague

......and share this wicked cutlets recipe with us, he did! Many thanks Joe!!
These cutlets will surely take you home...they are savoury, spicy and as you rightly put it... YUMMEE!!

I adapted the recipe a bit, and  included mashed potato to bind the cutlets, and pepper and green chillies to spice them up a notch, but you could use breadcrumbs and red chilli powder as Joe did for heat instead. They can be either deep fried or shallow fried, I shallow fried them.

I must say if you like canned tuna you will love these babies. Try them out.

Recipe for Canned Tuna Fish Cutlets
Recipe Contributed by: Joe Dsouza
Makes 12 -14 mini cutlets| Serves: 3-4 
Canned Tuna Fish: 1 standard can
Onion(chopped): 1 large
Tomato: 1 small
Green chillies finely minced: 2-3 nos
Garlic cloves finely minced: 2 large or 4-5 small
Ginger finely minced: 1/2 inch
Potatoes: 1 large boiled and mashed
Black Pepper powder: 3/4 tsp
Coriander leaves finely minced:1 tbsp
Garam masala powder: 3/4 tsp
Oil: 2 tbsps
Bread crumbs to coat cutlets: 1/2 cup
Eggs:  2 nos for coating the
Oil for shallow frying

1. Carefully open the lid of the canned tuna and drain all the water or oil from the can.
If using regular fish: Clean and cut the fish. Cook it with 1/2 tsp of pepper powder and salt and and a pinch of turmeric. Shred the fish using your hands. Keep aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan. Add the finely minced onion,  ginger, garlic and green chillies and fry till their raw smell goes then add the chopped tomato and fry for a further 4-5 minutes till the tomatoes softens and moisture dries out.
3. Add the flaked fish to the pan and toss well to mix. Continue to fry the fish till all the moisture in the fish dries out. Will take around 6-7 minute on a medium flame.
4. Next add the mashed potatoes. Mix well. Sprinkle over the pepper powder and garam masala powder. Mix well. Finally sprinkle over the chopped coriander leaves.
5. Take the pan off the fire. Check for seasonings and adjust. Be careful while adding salt as the canned fish can be quite salty. Using fingers mix the cutlets well for even distribution of ingredients.
6. Allow the mixture to cool.
7. Using a tablespoon measure for mini cutlets or a 2 tbsps measure for larger cutlets, roll the mixture in the palm of your hands to make small balls then shape them using your fingers to your desired shape.
8. Once all the balls are formed, cling film and keep them away in the fridge till ready to fry. Once ready to fry dip them in beaten egg and roll in bread crumbs
9. Deep or shallow fry the cutlets in hot oil till the breadcrumbs turn a nice golden brown. Drain onto a tissue paper and serve piping hot.

If you have not heard about the Mangalorean Cook Book I am giving away, then head over here and make sure you enter for the Giveaway

Also checkout the current entries for the Giveaway, vote for your favourite picture/dish by 'liking' or 'sharing' the picture/ pictures. Thank you !

Till my next post,

Have fun cooking and dont forget to soak up all the sun!!

Yours in Taste,

Carol Pereira

Friday, 26 July 2013

Simple Chicken Curry with Potatoes without Coconut.

Potatoes in a curry....oh yeah...anyday!! I am a sucker for potatoes in a curry. Be it an egg curry, mutton or beef curry or the famous Goan sausage curry, its gotta have potatoes in it :)  
If you have never tried adding potatoes to your curry, and you are wondering what the obsession is all about, let me tell you.

It is bewildering as to how the most ordinary potato, absorbs all the wonderful flavours from a curry as its cooks, to magically metamorphose into a delicious spice packed bomb. Each starchy bite releases these wonderful savoury spicy flavours into your so delicious and gratifying.

Well todays dish is a mildly spiced semi thick chicken curry that is bursting with the flavour of fragrant spices like cumin, fennel, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, pepper corns and green chillies. Much akin to a stew but without the added calories of coconut milk, it makes a perfect accompaniment to chappatis, panpole/ neer dosa or puris. Why not savour the simplicity of its flavours.

To Make Simple Chicken Curry with Potatoes without Coconut.
Serves: 4 | Preparation time: 30 mins | Cooking time: 40 minutes.
Chicken: 1 kg ( I used 8 medium skinless thighs)
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Oil to fry: 1-2 tbsps
Onions: 1 large roughly sliced
Tomato: 1 large finely chopped
Potato: 1 large, cubed into 2 inch pieces.
Water: 2 cups
Salt to taste
Vinegar to taste

To Grind Spice Paste/ Masala
Onion: 1 medium sized
Green chillies: 6-7 nos.
Ginger: 2 inches
Pepper corns: 8-10
Cumin seeds: 1tsp
Fennel seeds/ Saunf: 3/4 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
Cardamoms: 2 pods
Cinnamon: 1 inch stick
Cloves: 4 nos

For Seasoning:
Medium onion: 1/2  thinly sliced
Oil: 2 tsps

1. In a wide non stick vessel, take oil, once hot add the curry leaves, fry for 30 seconds, add the chicken pieces one by one into hot oil in a single layer and allow one side to slightly brown on a high flame, before turning to the other side to brown. Should take 3-4 minutes each side. Then add the onions and tomatoes, cubed potatoes, pour over hot water, add salt to taste, close lid and allow the chicken to cook on a medium flame till almost done. Should take around 25 minutes.
2. As the chicken is cooking prepare the masala/spice paste. Place all the ingredients for the masala into a grinder/ blender add a little at water and grind finely.
3. In a non stick pan take a little oil, when hot add the sliced onion for seasoning and fry till brown, then add the ground masala and fry well for around 7-10 minutes. Add this fried masala/ spice paste to the chicken curry and gently stir making sure not to break the potatoes. Add more water  if required to for a thinner gravy. Adjust salt and add vinegar to taste, allow the mixture to gently simmer for 5 more minutes before taking off the heat.

Serve with  chappatis, panpole/ neer dosa or puris.

Looking for more Chicken Curry recipes, why not give these a try?
Mangalore Chicken Curry with Roce/ Coconut Milk (Kori Ghassi)  
Mangalore Style Pepper Chicken Curry  
Goan Chicken Xacuti without Coconut
Mangalorean Chicken Stew with Vegetables.

Have a lovely weekend friends,

Yours in taste,
Carol Pereira

Friday, 19 July 2013

Simple Mangalore Tomato Saar or Tomato Soup without lentils.


Who can resist a steaming hot bowl of tomato saar to either drown your rice in or to sip as an appetiser before or after a meal? Well not me, or any Mangi that I have come cross.

This tomato saar recipe is for the LAZY....sorry beg your pardon!! did I just say that...ahem.. YES I DID!! because many a times I fall under that bracket, or should I be cheeky and say this recipe is for the canny, who are conscious of their time and would rather use a few shortcuts to produce a suprisingly delicious tomato saar, with absolutely no compromise on flavour, restaurant quality!! One that will give your spouse the impression that you have been sweating over boiling tomatoes, peeling their skins and pureeing them, then pounding spices, etc etc... to produce this delicious concotion!! When you have done none of that....hahaha.

 Well I promise you this, give this tomato saar a try, you will never go back to slogging over another one again. Perfectly ripe soft tomatoes work brilliantly for this recipe, though canned chopped tomatoes work better :) 

Enjoy this delicious tangy and piping hot tomato saar either plain as is, or spice it up with your favourite rasam powder. 

Well this tomato saar needs to be eaten in the right way for maximum pleasure :) 
Pour the piping hot tomato saar over your rice (for me the rice has to be swimming in the saar) then using your finger tips coat the rice with the piping hot saar, making sure you do not burn yourself ! then scoop mouthfuls of this delicious mixture into your mouth, accompanied with fried fish and vegetable. When all is done, lift up the plate to your lips and drink off any remaining saar, the orphaned bits can be polished off by licking your fingers....slurpp!!! 

Once you are done, put your feet up and revel in the feeling of completeness, or if you cannot resist, dive in for some more :). Repeat and enjoy!!

To make Simple Mangalore Tomato Saar/ Rasam
Serves:4 | Preparation time: 3 minutes | Cooking time: 20-25 minutes.
Tomato large red and ripe: 3 nos or 1 can of chopped tomatoes
Garlic cloves : 4 crushed
Turmeric powder:1/2 tsp
Rasam powder: 2 tbsp
Tamarind extract: 1 tbsp or to taste
Curry leaves: A few
Coriander leaves: 2 tbsps
Oil: 2 tbsp
Hot Water: 3 cups
Salt: to taste

Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Dry red chillies: 2 nos (broken into halves)
Hing: 2 large pinches

1. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add mustard seeds and when they crackle, add broken red chillies, curry leaves and hing and saute for a while. Add crushed garlic and stir for another minute.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes and salt and stir,  allow the tomatoes to cook on a medium to high flame till they are softened and the juices dry out, should take 7-8 minutes.
3. Add the turmeric powder and rasam powder to the softened tomatoes and fry for a minute on a medium heat.
4. Then add the tamarind extract and mix well. Add the hot water. Mix well. 
5. Close the vessel and cook the saar on a low flame for about 7 - 10 mins. Taste for salt. Adjust. Sprinkle over chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot.

Would love to know if you enjoyed this Mangalore Style Simple Tomato saar

If you liked this Tomato saar you might want to give these Mangalore saars a try too

Have a great weekend friends,

Yours in Taste,

Carol Pereira

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Kids Special: Fish pie with Red peppers and Broccoli.

There are 3 ways Baby A enjoys fish. One is fish fry, the second is fish fingers and his favorite by far is Fish Pie.

Baby A was first introduced to Fish pie at his nursery. Well I have tried my hand at different fish pies for Baby A, but this one seems to be his favourite. The sweet flavour of the red peppers and the creamy white cheese sauce marries the fish and vegetables wonderfully together, making this dish very palatable.  Try it your little one might enjoy it.

To Make Fish Pie with Red Peppers and Broccoli
Serves: 2 | Preparation time: 15 mins | Cooking time: 10 mins| Baking time: 10 mins
Salmon: 1/2 fillet or 3 inch by 3 inch piece
Butter: 1 tsp
Garlic : 1 flake finely chopped
Onion: 1/2 finely chopped
Red pepper: 1/2 small cubes
Brocolli: 5 florets chopped to same size as peppers
Flour: 2 tbsps
Milk: 1 cup
Cheddar grated cheese: 3 tbsps
Salt and pepper to taste
lemon juice to taste

1. In a non stick pan take a knob of butter, add garlic fry for 2 minutes on a medium flame till soft, add the onion and fry for 3-4 minutes, then add the pepper and broccoli and continue to fry on a medium heat for 5 minutes tossing every now and then.
2. Add the flour to the fried vegetables and toss to coat all the vegetables. Fry till the flour turns a nice light brown. Add a cup of warm milk to the vegetables and stir gently to allow the flour to dissolve in the milk. Lower the flame and allow the mixture to come to a gentle boil. Add the cubed salmon pieces and stir. After 2 minutes when the sauce appears to be thickening at the sides of the pan and the salmon seems to have turned lighter in colour, add the grated cheese, mix well, taste for salt, adjust, add a pinch of pepper a few drops of lime juice and stir.
3. Pour the mixture into a oven proof dish. Place in a preheated oven at 180C and bake for 10 minutes.

Allow the pie to cool down a bit before serving.

If your little ones enjoy pies you might want to try these Chicken ones too:
Simple Baked Chicken pie
Creamy Chicken Pie with Peppers

Have a great Sunday friends,

Yours in Taste,

Carol Pereira

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

South Indian Green Chilli Chicken Dry.

Do you ever go through phases where you would really like to enjoy a chilli hot meal, so hot that your nose is running, eyes are tearing and taste buds are losing the will to live?? 

Well thankfully I rarely go through these 'hot chilli phases', but when I do, the dish I instantly think of is the 'Chilli Chicken Dry dish' served at most Andhra Restaurants in Bangalore, India. 

Small pieces of chicken on the bone tastefully marinaded with ground green chillies, cooked, then stirfried with yet more green chillies, then finally drowned in a green chilli sauce, a dish that is sooo tasty yet so endearingly hot that it drives your senses crazy... enjoyed with a cooling lager or buttermilk or coke....its heavenly hell on a plate ;)....
...if that makes any sense at all !

Well this is a pretty decent version of the original HOT Andhra restaurant version. You might actually enjoy the combination of heat, tang and spices without blowing your lid off. Those with a milder palate might want to pass this one.

To Make  Chilli Chicken Dry.
Serves 2-3
Chicken pieces (with bones) cut into small pieces: 1/2 kilo
Indo Chinese Green chilli sauce: 2-3 tbsps or according to taste (available in Asian stores)

Cornflour: 1 tsp dissolved in 1 tbsp of water to thicken the final sauce

For the Marinade 

Green chilies: 5 nos

Ginger garlic paste: 1 tbsp
Onions: 1/2 small; finely chopped
Lemon/lime juice: 1 no.
Turmeric: 2 pinches
Curry powder or Garam masala powder: 3/4 tsp
Salt to taste

For Seasoning:
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: few sprigs
Ginger: 1/2 inch finely chopped
Garlic: 3 cloves finely chopped 
Green chilies slit (remove the seeds): 6 nos.

1. Chop the green chillies and onions to be used in the marinade. Add to a blender with all the other marinade ingredients and grind to a fine paste without adding any water. Add enough salt. Marinade the cleaned and cut chicken in this ground paste. Pour a tbsp of melted ghee or oil over the chicken, coat well, cover the bowl with cling film and allow to marinade for atleast 3-4 hours or better still overnight in the fridge.
2. Next day take chicken out of the fridge an hour or so before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature for uniform cooking.  Take a wide bottom nonstick pan add all the marinaded chicken pieces, close lid  and allow the chicken  to cook well on a medium flame adding 2-3 tbsps of water if needed, stirring in between. When chicken has fully cooked turn off the flame.

3. In another non stick pan take a tbsp of ghee or oil, add the cumin seeds, curry leaves and slit green chillies and fry for a minute, then add the chopped ginger and garlic and stir fry fry till garlic slightly softens. Add the chicken with any remaining gravy and stir fry for 3-4 minutes. Add the bottled green chilli sauce around 2-3 tbsps, toss the chicken well in the sauce, taste for salt and sourness, adjust accordingly.To get the restaurant finish you could dissolve a tsp of cornflour in 2 tbsps of water and pour this into the chicken sauce, allow the sauce to thicken toss the chicken well to coat. Serve hot with chinese fried rice.

For those of you who dare to try this dish out, I would love to know how you got on.

Enjoy friends,

Yours in Taste,
Carol Pereira.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Garlic Butter Stir fried Prawns with Black pepper and Crushed Fennel seeds.

I have been upto my ears the past couple of weeks, its been so hectic, my life has been swamped with household chores, a couple of house get togethers, cooking cooking more cooking and a teeny bopper whose been testing boundaries. Well I am so pleased to now say that the busy period is over for now, the dust has settled, the lil one is asleep and I finally have found the time to put my feet up and do one of the things I enjoy the most....BLOG!!
So with a Smile on my face I give you todays recipe, a simple and delicious prawns stir fry thats bursting with flavours of butter, garlic, curry leaves, freshly ground black pepper and crushed fennel seeds. This dish needs hardly any preparation. Only cleaning the prawns and pounding a few fennel seeds. The rest is just putting things together. The crushed fennel seeds adds a wonderful dimension to the prawns. Do try it out. Its Yumm!!

Tender juicy prawns thats first marinaded, then quickly stir fried in butter thats flavoured with pureed garlic and fresh curry leaves, then delicately spiced up with freshly ground black pepper and crushed fennel seeds.

To Make Garlic Butter Prawns with Black pepper and Crushed Fennel Seeds.
Serves: 2 | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes
Prawns: 10 large
Garlic paste: 2 tsps
Turmeric powder: 1/2 level tsp
Salt : to taste
Lemon juice: 2 tbsps
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Coarse Black pepper powder: 1/2 tsp or to taste
Fennel seeds/ Saunf crushed: 1/2 tsp ( crush in a mortar till almost fine)
Butter/ Olive oil : 2-3 tbps.

1. In a bowl take turmeric powder add 2 tbps of lemon juice and salt to taste.
2. To the marinade add the cleaned and deveined prawns. Let it marinade for at least 20 minutes. 
3. In a large non stick pan melt butter. Once the butter starts bubbling add the curry leaves fry till the leaves changes colour (1 minute), add the garlic paste and stir fry on a low flame for 3-4 minutes. Turn up the heat to a high flame add the marinaded prawns one by one to the pan without the marinading juices, lay the prawns flat without crowding the pan. As soon as the prawns starts changing colour to pink on one side flip the prawns over to the other side to fry. Frying the prawns shouldnt take more than 3-4 minutes in total. Once both sides of the prawns have turned pink sprinkle over the black pepper and crushed fennel or saunf powder. Add a dash of lemon juice if desired, toss well. Stir fry another 30 seconds then take the pan off the heat. 

Serve the prawns hot as a starter or as an accompaniment to a main meal.

Have a great weekend friends,

Yours in Taste,

Carol Pereira.