Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Silver Carp with Italian Beans

Servings - 4

  • Silver carp - 1 lb(450 gm), cut into 1.5 inch cubes
  • Italian Flat Green Beans - 1 lb (450 gm), cut into 1.5 inch long pieces
  • Onion - 1 med, finely chopped
  • Garlic Cloves - 2, crushed
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Chili powder - 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp

  • For Marinade:
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp

  • 1. Clean and cut up the fish into 1.5 inch cubes/pieces. Make sure you drain all the water from the fish after washing it. In a bowl mix in the salt, turmeric and chili powder for the marinade and coat the fish pieces evenly and set to marinate for 1/2 hour.
  • 2. Meanwhile prepare the beans by removing the tips and the tails. Chop them in 1.5 inch long pieces. Make sure you have washed and drained the beans before chopping them. *
  • 3. In a non-stick wok, heat 3 tbsp of oil. When the oil is smoking hot, add the fish and saute for 4-5 min, till they are golden and crispy on the edges. Remove and let it rest on a plate.
  • 4. Add the onions to the pan. You should not need any more oil, however if you do, add couple of tbsp more before adding the onions. Saute the onions till they are translucent.
  • 5. Add the garlic, salt and half cup of water. Add all the dry spices to the pan and simmer on med heat till the water evaporated and the oil separates from the spice.
  • 6. Return the fish cubes to the pan and stir to coat all the pieces evenly with the spices. Simmer on med heat for 4-5 min. The fish should reach a reddish colour.
  • 7. Add the beans and stir in gently to coat everything together. Cover and cook on low heat for about 15-25 min, till all the the beans are cooked through. Stir in occasionally to make sure even distribution of the flavour. Serve on a bed of rice.
* You can alternatively use frozen beans. However, fresh beans taste better and cook faster too. You can also replace the beans with snow-peas

Monday, December 29, 2008

Cajun Spiced Barramundi

Cajun spices or the Cajun cuisine, originated from the French cooking, is a style of cooking popular in Louisiana, South America, that uses a blend of spices depended on paprika powder, cayenne pepper and black pepper. It also uses an aromatic blend of vegetables, onion, bell peppers and celery, usually referred to as the 'Holy Trinity' .
In my version of the Cajun style, I have left out the use of celery, and I add the the onions and the bell peppers at last half of the cooking rather than at the start. Enjoy!

Servings: 4


  • Barramundi fish fillets - 1.5 lb ( cut into 3 inch wide pieces)
  • Jalapeno* - 2 lrg, cut into long thin strips
  • Onion - 1 med, cut into long thin strips
  • Roma Tomatoes - 2, cut into long thin strips
  • Onion powder - 1 tsp
  • Garlic Powder - 1 tsp
  • Paprika Powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Cayenne pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
  • 1. Wash and pat dry the Barramundi fillets with a paper towel. Place them on a flat surface or a cutting board.
  • 2. In a bowl, mix all the dry spices together for the fish and rub the fillets with the spice mixture all over. Marinate for half hour.
  • 3. In a large non-stick pan, heat 1/2 cup of canola oil. Saute the fish fillets, 3-4 min on each side. Cook the fishes in batches so as to avoid stewing in the juices released by the fish . Once cooked remove and place them on a plate to rest.
  • 4. Once all the fillets are done, add the thinly sliced onions and 1/2 tsp salt to the oil. Do not add any extra oil. Saute the onions for few min till they are translucent.
  • 5. Add the jalapeno and the sliced tomatoes and saute for 3-5 min. Add half cup of water. Stir to combine everything and simmer until the water evaporates a little. Return the fish fillets to the pan and flip gently to coat all over with the pan gravy. Simmer on low heat for 5 min or till the sauce thickens and sticks to the fillets.
  • 6. Serve the Cajun spiced Barramundi fillets on a bed of rice.
* Remove the inner flesh and the seeds if you do not like the heat. You can also use green chilies in stead.

Nutmeg Rice

Servings: 4

  • Basmati Rice - 3 cups
  • Clarified Butter - 4 tbsp
  • Green cardamon - 4-5 pcs
  • Whole cloves - 4-5 pcs
  • Cinnamon stick - 1 inch
  • Dry Bay leaf - 1
  • Salt - 1 tbsp
  • Ground Nutmeg - 1/2 tsp
  • Ground Cumin - 1/2 tsp
  • Whole pepper corns - 1 tsp
  • Ginger paste - 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic Paste - 1 tsp
  • Onion - 1 med, thinly sliced

1. Wash and drain the rice in a colander.
2. Heat the butter in a non-stick pot, add the cardamon, cloves, cinnamon, and the bay leaf. Saute till the seeds start to pop. Add the onions and salt. Saute till the onions are translucent.
3. Add the garlic and the ginger paste and saute for a few min. Add 1/2 of water and the dry spices (nutmeg, cumin, black pepper), saute till the water evaporates. Add the rice and saute for 4-5 min, till the rice develop a colour.
4. Add 6 cups of water, using the same cup you used for measuring the rice, and bring to boil on high heat. After 4 - 5 min, stir in the rice gently, lower the heat to low-med and simmer for 15 min, covered.
5. After 15 min, turn of the heat off and let it to rest for at least 10 min before serving. Serve with fish or any other meaty side.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Spaghetti Meatballs

Servings: 4

  • Spaghetti - 1 lb
  • Canned Crushed Tomato - 1 lb (450gm)
  • White Vinegar - 2 tbsp
  • Sugar - 1 tbsp
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Ground Nutmeg - 1/2 tsp
  • Green Beans - 1 cup, cut in 1 inch pieces.
  • Onion - 1 lrg, finely chopped
  • Parmesan cheese - 1 cup, grated
  • Italian/flat leaf parsley - 1 cup, finely chopped

  • For the meatballs:
  • Ground Beef - 1 lb
  • Ginger paste - 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic paste - 1 tsp
  • Jalapeno - 1, finely diced
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Italian seasoning - 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
  • 1. Mix everything together for the meatballs. Form into balls, 1 lb beef should make about 20 balls. Cover and refrigerated for about 1/2 hour- 2 hours max, for the ingredients to settle together.
  • 2. Meanwhile, in a large pot heat 3 tbsp of oil, add the onions and saute till translucent.
  • 3. Add the canned tomato, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir to combine and simmer on low-med heat for about 10 min, stirring occasionally.
  • 4. Add 2 cups of hot water, cover and simmer on low-med heat for 20 min.
  • 5. Meanwhile, take the meatballs out of the refrigerator and saute them on a non-stick pan for about 3-5 min, turning the meatballs to brown all over. You do not need to add any oil to the pan, since the meatballs, as soon as they hit the heated pan, will release the fat content and that will the allow enough lubricant for the meatballs to be sauteed.
  • 6. Brown the meatballs in batches, so that it will not release too much juice to be stewed. You are not looking for the meatballs to be fully cooked. They need to be sauteed just to create that charred up look. Once all the meatballs have been browned all over, transfer them to the tomato sauce.
  • 7. After adding the meatballs, cover and simmer the tomato sauce on low heat for about 30 min to let the meatballs finish cooking. Add 1 cup of water if the sauces tend to thickened too much. Stir the sauce occasionally to avoid lumping.
  • 8. Add the spaghetti and the green beans to the meatball sauce. Stir to combine, simmer on low-med heat for about 15-20 min, or till the spaghetti and the beans are cooked through.
  • 9. Serve the spaghetti with 5 meatballs for each serving, topped with a generous amount of grated Parmesan cheese and the chopped parsley.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Cilantro Chicken Curry

Servings: 4 - 6

  • Chicken - 1 whole ( 2-4 lb/ 1-2 kg), cut in small pieces
  • Onion - 1 lrg, thinly sliced, lengthwise.
  • Cilantro - 1 cup, chopped
  • Jalapeno - 1*

  • For the marinade:
  • Cilantro - 1 cup, chopped (or about 10-12 sprigs)
  • Jalapeno - 3*
  • Garlic cloves - 3-4
  • Ginger root - 2 cm
  • Yogurt - 1 cup
  • Milk - 1 cup
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Black salt - 2 tsp
  • Sugar - 2 tbsp
  • Cumin powder - 2 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  • Ground nutmeg - 1/2 tsp
  • Ground hot spice - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1 tsp
  • 1. Clean and wash the chicken, and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • 2. In a blender, blend all the ingredients together for the marinade.
  • 3. In a sealable container, place the chicken pieces and pour the marinade over. Marinate the chickens, sealed, soaking in the liquid for 24 hours refrigerated or minimum of 2 hours.
  • 4. On the day of cooking, Take the chicken out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature before cooking.
  • 5. Pick the chicken pieces up from the marinade, make sure to drain them carefully, saving the liquid. Heat 2 tbsp of butter (you can alternatively use olive oil or canola oil) in a non-stick pan, brown the chicken pieces on each side, in batches. If you put all the chicken pieces together in the pan it will release the juices and become a stew rather than a saute.
  • 6. Once browned remove the chicken pieces from the frying pan and rest them on a plate.
  • 7. Add a bit more butter to the pan, add the onions and saute till they are translucent.
  • 8. Add the saved marinade to the pan, and simmer on medium heat till they thicken up and you see the butter separating from the gravy and floating on top.
  • 9. Add the chicken pieces back into the pan, add 1 cup of water , stir to combine and simmer on low-med heat, uncovered for about 15 min.
  • 10. Meanwhile in a food processor, blend in the remaining jalapeno and 1 cup of the cilantro with half cup of water, till finely crushed.
  • 11. Add the cilantro and jalapeno paste to the chicken, stir to combine and simmer on med heat, uncovered, for 15 more min.
  • 12. Before turning the heat off, taste the gravy to see whether it has a mild sweet flavour. If not, add 1 more tbsp of sugar, stir it in and turn the heat off. The taste of the curry will be sweet, sour and hot.
  • 13. Serve hot with flat bread or rice.
* You can alternatively use green chilies. If using green chilies, substitute 2 chilies for 1 jalapeno. If you do not like the heat, then before blending them, cut them in half and take out the seeds. This will allow your dish to still have that fresh green chili flavour without being too hot.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Spaghetti alla Bolognese

Spaghetti alla Bolognese, or the Bolognese sauce is a meat and tomato based sauce, named after Bologna, Italy. The traditional Bolognese sauce uses a variety of ingredients such as carrots, celery, panchetta, and red wine, along with the ground meat and tomato paste. In my version I have not used them, instead I added olives and some herbs (which are usually skipped in the traditional version)

Servings: 4

  • Spaghetti - 1 lb (450 gm)
  • Canned Tomato - 1 lb jar
  • Minced Beef - 1 lb (450 gm) (you can also use chicken or turkey mince)
  • Soy sauce - 2 tbsp
  • Canned Pitted Olives - 1, drained, roughly chopped
  • Onion - 1 large, diced
  • Garlic cloves - 1 tsp, minced
  • Dried chili flakes - 1 tbsp or to taste (depending on heat preference)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese - 1/2 cup
  • Italian seasoning or dried oregano - 1 tsp
  • Salt & pepper - to taste
  • 1. First prepare the soffritto*. In a large non-stick pan, heat 3 tbsp of oil . Add the chopped onions, saute till translucent. Add the garlic and saute a bit more.
  • 2. Add the minced beef and some salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Saute till the meat has changed colour to brown.
  • 3. Add the soy sauce, olives, Italian seasoning or the dried oregano, chili flakes and saute for 3-5 min.
  • 4. Add the canned tomato and a cup of hot water and simmer on low heat for about 10 min**, or till the colour changes to a deep red and the sauce reduces down to a thicker consistency.
  • 5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta following the packages instructions, till al dente. Drain.
  • 6. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and simmer for 15 min on medium heat, so that the pasta will absorb the sauce flavours and the sauce will thicken and stick to the pasta.
  • 7. Turn of the heat, and stir in 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese before serving.
*Soffritto means the base of any dish, where cooking the aromatics, such as onion, garlic, celery, etc, are cooked in oil or sauteed slowly.
**The longer you cook the sauce the better it tastes, so if you have time, simmer it on low heat for about 2-4 hours. The richness of the taste difference will amaze you. However my version is for a busy or an impatient cook (which I tend to be when I am starving)
***If you like, make extra amount and refrigerate, as I do since the left-overs taste even better the following day.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Beige Khichuri with Chili King Prawns

The traditional Khichuri (which is usually bright yellow/orange coloured) usually has more spices, such as turmeric, cumin, etc and also more types of lentils. The cooking process is also a little bit more complicated. This version of my Khichuri does not go to all those lengths but still tastes fantastic and is the perfect solution for a busy or amateur cook. Since, I do not use all the dry spices, my khichuri looks beige coloured, and its easy on the tummy. :)

Servings: 4

  • For Khichuri:
  • Sona Masoori Rice - 3 cups*
  • Masoor Dal/ red splits lentils - 1.5 cup
  • Onion - 1 sml, finely chopped
  • Garlic Cloves - 2, crushed
  • Ginger paste - 1 tsp
  • Green Chili - 2 sml, finely chopped
  • Mustard oil - 2 tbsp
  • Salt - 1.5 tsp (or to taste)
  • For Chili King Prawns:
  • King Prawns - 1 lb(450 gm, or about 12 pcs)
  • Onion - 1 med, thinly sliced
  • Cilantro - 1/2 cup, chopped coarsely
  • Garlic powder - 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Paprika powder - 1 tsp
  • Chili powder - 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • 1. Clean and devein the prawn, leaving the shells on. **
  • 2. Mix in all the ingredients for the chili prawns, except the cilantro and the onions, in a bowl and marinate the prawns while you cook the rice.
  • 3. Wash the rice and the lentils together and let it drain in a colander.
  • 4. In a pot, put the drained rice and lentils, add the onions, garlic, ginger, chili, salt, and the mustard oil. Mix to combine. Add 7.5 cups (2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice and 1.5 cup for the lentils ) of water using the same cup you used for measuring the rice.
  • 5. Put the pot on high heat, covered, till the water comes to a boil. Once boiled, stir to combine everything together, lower the heat to medium, cover and let it cook for 15 min, undisturbed, that means do not go in, opening the lead or stirring the rice. If you stir your rice too many times, it will release the starch which will make the rice sticky.
  • 6. After 15 min, check the rice to see whether all the water from the surface has evaporated or not. If it has, then turn off the heat and let it rest, covered, for 15 min before serving. If you still see some moisture on the surface of the rice, then cook for few more min on med heat and then turn the heat off. Your Khichuri is done.
  • 7. Meanwhile, on a non-stick pan, heat 4 tbsp of butter. Add the chopped onions and saute till translucent.
  • 8. Add the prawns and saute till they curl up and turn bright red. Once all the juices released from the prawns are evaporated, your prawns are ready. Top them with the chopped cilantro.
  • 9. Serve the prawns on a bed of the beige coloured khichuri.

* You can use any type of medium grain rice. I prefer Sona Masoori, because it has a nutty flavour and the rice, when cooked, is not sticky or does not lump up.
** To devein a prawn/shrimp, keeping the shell on, you first need to remove the heads. Then make a slit or puncture mark on the tip, middle, and lower back of the prawns, through the shells. Make sure not to make a deep wound, which will cut through the vein as well. Place your knife tip through the slits of the shells and pick up a point of the vein through the slits marks, and pull it out. The veins will come out whole, leaving the prawns clean. You might have some trouble the first time, in which case you can just make a cut along the back of the prawn and just pull the vein out. However, the other option makes the prawns look prettier.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pulled Turkey Sandwich

Servings: 4

  • Boneless Turkey Breast Fillet – 1 lb (450gm)(you can alternatively use chicken breast fillet)
  • Onion - 1 small, finely chopped
  • Jalapeno– 1, finely chopped
  • Dijon mustard sauce – 3 tbsp
  • Ketchup – 5 tbsp
  • Black pepper – ½ tsp
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Cilantro – 2 tbsp, chopped
  • Lettuce – 1 leaf per sandwich
  • Sour cream – 4 tbsp
  • Bread rolls – 4
  • 1. Wash and pat dry the turkey fillet with a paper towel. Cut them in strips.
  • 2. Mix in the Dijon mustard sauce, ketchup, salt, and black pepper in a bowl to make the marinade*.
  • 3. Marinate the turkey strips for half hour.
  • 4. In a non-stick pan, heat 2 tbsp oil. Add the onions and saute till translucent.
  • 5. Add the turkey strips, along with the marinade and the chopped jalapeno. Saute for 3-5 min.
  • 6. Add 1/2 cup of water, and simmer on low-med heat, till the extra water is evaporated. Adding the extra water will allow the turkey to stay moist.
  • 7. While cooking, break the turkey meats with a wooden spatula, so as to avoid lumping. This will give the cooked turkey, the impression of been pulled from a whole roasted turkey.
  • 8. Once the turkey is cooked, arrange the sandwiches. Toast the buns on both side.
  • 9. Place a leaf of lettuce on the heal(bottom-half) of the bun, topping with a generous amount of the pulled turkey, Cilantro, and 1 tbsp of sour cream. Place the crown (top-half) of the bun. Serve.**
*For some brands, the mustard sauce tend to be very salty, so add only 1/2 tsp of salt. You can always add more if you need it.
**If you like it hot like me, before placing the crown, season with some more black pepper.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Chicken Tikka BBQ

Servings: 4

  • Chicken drumsticks or cut-up pieces – 3 lb(1.5kg), skin on*
  • Tikka Spices (From Shan ready spices) – 4 tbsp
  • Chili powder – 1 tbsp
  • Cumin powder – ½ tbsp
  • Garlic - 1 tbsp, crushed or paste
  • Ginger – 1 tsp, grated or paste
  • Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
  • Yoghurt – 2/3 cup
  • Canola/vegetable oil - 1/2 cup
  • 1. Wash and pat-dry the chicken pieces with a paper towel.
  • 2. Mix in all the ingredients for the marinade and marinate chicken in the mixture for minimum of 2 hours to up to 24 hours, in the refrigerator.
  • 3. On the day of the grilling, take the chicken out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature, at least for 1 hour, before cooking. Mix in half a cup of oil, coating all the chicken pieces evenly.
  • 4. Grill on a BBQ Grill till they are cooked through, turning every 5/7 min. Save the marinade for basting. If the chicken pieces seems dry then brush a little of the marinade on them, before each turn.**
  • 5. Serve hot with a side of garden salad.
* You can use skinless, but the skin on chicken stays more moist while grilling
**Alternatively, to barbecuing, you can also cook them in the oven. In this case, preheat oven to 350°F(180° C), spray a baking tray with olive oil spray. Do not add the 1/2 cup of oil to the chicken. Instead, place the chicken pieces on the tray and spray some more oil over the chicken pieces. Bake for 60 min, turning the pieces every 10 min.
***Once the chicken is cooked through, broil (top grill of the oven) the chicken, 5 min on each side, till the chicken turns crispy. ( If your oven does not have a separate grilling section, then just turn on the top heating coil only of your oven to brown and crisp the chicken.) Pay extra attention while broiling. Since the chicken is already cooked through it will burn very quickly if you leave it alone, even for a while.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Roasted Baby Eggplants with Beef Stuffing

Servings: 4

  • Ground/Minced beef - 250 gm (1/2 lb) , can be substituted for chicken or turkey or even fish*
  • Baby Eggplants - 8 pc (when buying, ensure all of them are similar in size, about 3 inches long)
  • Peas - 1/2 cup, cooked.
  • Onion - 1 lrg, finely chopped, divided in half
  • Garlic cloves - 2, finely minced (or 1 tsp of garlic powder)
  • Ginger paste - 1 tsp (can be substituted for ginger powder, but the fresh one tastes better)
  • Tomatoes - 3, finely chopped (can be substituted for a can of diced tomato)
  • Ketchup - 2 tbsp
  • Soy sauce - 2 tbsp
  • Chili flakes - 1 tsp (or to desired heat)
  • Italian seasoning - 1 tsp (optional, can be substituted for fresh herbs)
  • Italian cheese blend - 1/2 cup (or only Parmesan cheese will be fine)
  • Salt & pepper - to taste
  • 1. Wash and pat dry the eggplants with a paper towel. Using your knife, cut the tip of each eggplant in a zigzag manner to create a top/lead. With a spoon, scoop out the internal flesh of the bottom part, to create a cavity for the filling. Make sure the wall of the cavity is about 1/2 cm thick, otherwise when stuffed, the eggplants will break while cooking.
  • 2.Meanwhile, in a pan, heat 2 tbsp of oil. Add half of the chopped up onions. Saute till they turn translucent. Add the garlic and the ginger paste to infuse the oil with their fragrances.
  • 3. Add the minced beef, chili flakes, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Saute on medium heat till the beef turn brown. Taste for salt to make sure its the right amount, taking into account that the Soy sauce is salty.
  • 4. Add the scooped up flesh of the eggplants and stir in till cooked through. Remove from heat and let it cool.
  • 5. Once the beef has cooled down, mix in the cheese.
  • 6. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the bottom parts of the eggplants**. Scoop each eggplant with the beef mixture. Top them with the cut out leads and bake for 30 - 35 min on 400°F (200°C) or till the eggplants are cooked through.
  • 7. While the eggplants are roasting, make your sauce/gravy to go with it. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan. Add the remaining half of the chopped up onions. Saute till translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes, ketchup, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning***. Add 1/2 cup of hot water and simmer on low heat for about 30 min or till the tomatoes melt in and make the gravy thick.
  • 8. Pour the gravy on a shallow dish and sprinkle the peas on top. Once the eggplants are done, arrange them on the bed of the red sauce and serve with pasta or rice.
* If using fish, then on the 2nd step, while cooking the stuffing do not add any ginger as it will over power the flavour of the fish. However if you like ginger, then you are welcome to use it. The types of fish that I have tried, which tastes good in this recipe are Tuna, Salmon and Crab meat.
** Remember that the stuffing has enough seasoning, so salt the eggplants, taking that into account. I personally do not salt my eggplants, as I like the sweet flavour of it when it is roasted.
***If you are using fresh herbs instead of the dried herbs, then do not add them at this stage. Once the gravy is fully cooked, just before adding the peas, stir in the freshly chopped herbs. This will ensure the fragrances to be intact.

Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb-Garlic Butter

Servings : 4

  • Turkey Breast - 1, 5-6 lb, cleaned up and brined*
  • Butter - 1/2 cup, at room temperature.
  • Garlic cloves - 4-5, crushed
  • Cilantro - 1/4 cup, chopped finely
  • Italian/ Flat-leaf parsley - 1/4 cup, chopped finely
  • Capers - 2 tbsp, chopped finely
  • Ready made Pesto - 2 tbsp
  • Salt & Pepper to taste.
  • 1. In a bowl, mix in the butter, garlic, cilantro, parsley, capers, pesto, salt, and pepper to make the herb-garlic butter.
  • 2. Prepare the turkey breast, by cutting a slit, on each side of the breast, horizontally, to create a cavity for the spiced butter.
  • 3. Also, on the top of the breast, make 4-5 slit marks, on the skin of the breast.
  • 4. Take spoon full of the butter mixture, and generously rub it in the cavity created, stuffing the cavity with the butter on each side of the breast.
  • 5. Rub the remaining butter on the top of the breast and also below the breast, on the underside.
  • 6. Place some vegetables** of your choice, on a roasting tray and place the turkey breast on top, so that it sits perfectly.
  • 7. Bake on 400°F(200°C) for about 1.5 hours. Check the turkey by inserting a knife on the deepest part, if the juices run clear, your turkey is cooked through.
  • 8. The juices from the turkey will seep down to the vegetables and flavour them. However, there might be too much of over flowing juice that need to be reduced. So, once the turkey is cooked, take it out of the oven, remove from the roasting pan and place it on cutting board. Cover with a foil and let it to rest for 20 min.
  • 9. Meanwhile, return the roasting tray with the vegetables back in the oven and roast for 20 more min. This will allow the vegetables to soak up all the juices and become crispy on the edges.
  • 10. Once cooked, serve the turkey with a serving of the roast vegetables and freshly baked bread rolls.
* Brinning means, soaking the turkey in a solution of water , salt, and sugar. You can also spice up your brine by adding other spices. I have used a simple solution of water, salt, and whole black peppers, and soaked the turkey breast in the solution for 2 days, refrigerated.
** I used a combination of Idaho potatoes, broccoli, baby carrots and one large onion quatered. Once peeled and cleaned, sprinkle some salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil over the vegetables before placing them on the roasting tray.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chicken Boti

Servings : 6 - 8


  • Chicken - 4-5 lb (2 kg) bone-in, cut into small, 1.5 inch size, pieces,
  • Fresh Tomato - 4-5, cut into long thin strips
  • Green Capsicum/bell pepper - 1 lrg, cut into thin strips
  • Onion - 1 lrg, cut into long thin strips
  • Whole Green cardamon - 5 pcs
  • Whole cinnamon - 1.5 inch stick,
  • Whole black peppers - 6-7 pcs
  • Whole Cloves - 1/2 tsp
  • Anise seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Dried Bay leaf - 1-2
Spice mixture:
  • Fresh Garlic clove - 4, crushed
  • Fresh Ginger paste - 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin powder - 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder -2 tsp
  • Chili powder - 2 tsp (the dish is meant to be hot, but you can use less up to your preference)
  • Paprika powder - 1.5 tsp (Paprika is not hot, but adds a distinct smokey flavour and colour)
  • Ground Nutmeg - 1 tsp
  • Ground Hot-spice - 1 tsp
  • Lemon/lime juice - 2 tbsp
  • Salt - 1 tbsp (or to taste)
  • 1. Cut the chicken into small, 1.5 inch long pieces, leaving the bone-in (you can use bone-less, but the bone-in chicken tastes better). Wash and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • 2. Prepare the spice mixture and rub it in the chicken, coating all the pieces generously. Cover and marinate in a sealed dish, in the refrigerator for about no more than 24 hours (minimum 1/2 hour).
  • 3. The next day, take the chicken out of the refrigerator and leave to come on room-temperature for about 1/2 hour, before cooking.
  • 4. Heat 1/2 cup of oil in a non-stick wok, add the cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, anise seeds, bay leaf and the whole black peppers. Saute till the seeds start popping, add the onions.
  • 5. Saute the onions till they turn translucent and a little brown on the edges. Add the chicken and saute on medium heat till they turn crispy on the outside and reaches a dark reddish-brown colour.
  • 6. Add the tomatoes and the capsicums , stir in to mix everything.
  • 7. Cover and cook on low heat for about 30 min or till the tomato blends in and creates a thick, sticky gravy*, stirring occasionally. Before turning the heat off, taste for salt, as by using the tomatoes the salt ratio will be down, so you might need to add a bit more salt depending on your taste.
  • 8. Serve with Naan bread** and a simple salad.
* If you want more gravy or a thinner version, then when you add the tomatoes, add a cup of hot water and don't add the capsicums yet. After the 30 min, once the tomatoes have melted down and gravy gets rich and thick, add the capsicums on top. Cover and turn the heat off and let to rest for about 10 min before serving. This will allow the capsicums to be softer but still stay crunchy.
** You can also serve it with the Polao or simple rice, in which case I like to make the chicken with the thinner gravy.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stir Fried Spaghetti

I came up with this dish one day, when I wanted to have some Asian inspired stir-fried noodles, and had to do good with whatever ingredients I had available that will be close to it. The result was far away from any Asian noodles, but still it was sooooooooooooo yummy that I had to share.

Servings: 4

  • Spaghetti - 1 lb (450 gm)
  • Chicken breast fillet - 1, deboned and cut into thin strips
  • Baby Spinach Leaves - 2 cups
  • Fresh Roma tomato - 2 large, each cut into 8 cubes
  • Breakfast beef sausage patties - 4, cut into bite size cubes.
  • Garlic powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt & Pepper - to taste
  • Place the cut-up tomatoes on a baking dish, sprinkle some oilve oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper on top, and broil/grill for 5- 10 min, untill they shrivel up. You can also use roast tomatoes instead, if you like.
  • Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti as instructed on the package. Drain.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a non stick-pan, add the chicken, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Saute till they are cooked through and browned a bit.
  • Add the sausage pieces and saute for 3-5 more min, till they crisp up.
  • Add the pasta and stir fry with the chicken and sausages for few more min (3-5).
  • Just before taking it off the heat, stir in the roast tomatoes and the spinach. Turn of the heat and stir to mix everything up evenly. The residue heat will wilt the spinach down.
  • Serve and enjoy.