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Recipes

Swordfish Steak with Bean Mash and Green Peas

Cherie felt like cooking up a meal a few days. We discussed available options, time and difficulty levels and came up with this very nice platter that would make for a nice meal as well as be quick to execute.

Ingredients:

  • Fish steaks:
    • Swordfish steaks
    • Seasoned flour
    • Oil for frying
  • Bean Mash
    • Boiled kidney beans/rajma, 500 gm
    • Lemon juice, 2 whole
    • Butter, 100 gm
    • Green chilies, de-seeded and chopped
    • Onions, 2 medium, chopped
    • Garlic, 10 cloves, chopped
    • Salt to taste
  • Peas
  • Egg, fried

Method:

  1. Wash drain and dry steaks. Dust with seasoned flour and pan fry for a few minutes on each side until cooked. This fish doesn’t have a lot of fat – don’t overcook it or it’ll be too dry.
  2. Mash the kidney beans/rajma with lemon juice butter and gently fried mixture of onions, green chillies and garlic, seasoning as required.
  3. The egg was broken into a hot pan with a bit of oil, then quickly flipped over so the white would cook, and then slid onto each platter, after a total cooking time of about 1 minute. We like our eggs soft and yolks liquid.
  4. Thaw the peas.
  5. Serve up on a plate.

Notes:

  • Substitute with any other mash, though this one is somewhat healthier for most of us.
  • Cook the eggs longer if you wish.
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Recipes Trending

Fries with Chunky Bacon Sauce

Last night we felt like eating something decadent and indulgent and this dish happened. Going by how good it tasted and the few ingredients within, I’m sure it exists already.

Ingredients:

  • French fries or wedges, 3 frozen handfuls, fried crisp
  • Spinach, 3 handfuls, washed, drained and chopped
  • Bacon, 10 thin rashers, chopped coarsely
  • Carrots, 2 medium, sliced thin
  • Onions, 6 small, 3 sliced fine and 3 chopped coarsely
  • Garlic, 20 medium cloves, chopped fine
  • Salt, pepper and chili of choice to taste
  • Water, 1 cup
  • Oil for the sauce and deep frying
  • Cheese of your choice for topping

Method:

  1. Heat oil, fry the sliced onions with a pinch of salt on medium heat until golden brown and caramelised, perhaps crisp, but definitely not dark brown or burnt.
  2. Add garlic, remaining onions and carrots. Saute for a bit.
  3. Add bacon, saute until cooked.
  4. Add water, bring to boil
  5. Add spinach, stir for a bit
  6. Ladle on top of fries, add some cheese, serve.

Notes:

  1. If you time it right, the fries and the sauce can be finished together, ensuring you serve hot and crisp fries with a hot and steaming sauce.
  2. Thicken the sauce a bit if you wish, right after step 5.
  3. If your chopped bacon is clumped together, mix well when cooking so they separate, or they’ll remain clumped together.
  4. I used Tibetan chili paste as well as freshly cracked black pepper. You can use green chilies, red chilies or any other chili hit you feel like.
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Recipes

Scrambled Eggs with Micro Greens

I have this thing for micro greens. They’re easy to grow at home, nutritious, delicious and fun to eat. My favourite are mustard micro greens, for the sharp hits of mustard they release. They’re also great for those of us intermittently fasting, given we need to derive a great deal of satisfaction in a limited eating window, as well as stay away from the carbs for most part.

I also like making meals with lots of little components in there, a bit of this and a bit of that and a dash of this and a splash of that; makes for very interesting and involved eating IMO. These eggs were part of a larger breakfast platter.

These garlicky, scrambled eggs with micro greens aren’t really worth a whole post over, given how easy they are to make. The sole purpose of this post is to say, “See, this is possible”, for some of us who I’ve noticed prefer seeing a positive result and then trying their hand at it; and I so want more of us to adopt micro greens.

Ingredients:

  • Eggs, beaten
  • Garlic, chopped, fried to golden brown, drained
  • Micro greens, snipped from mid-stem, washed, drained
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Butter to cook

Method:

  1. Heat butter on a gentle flame until it’s just beginning to separate.
  2. Add beaten eggs and using a spatula or spoon, stir, and keep stirring until the eggs begin to clump together.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and continue stirring. Remember to take them off the heat when they’re a little moist. If that isn’t the way you usually eat your scrambled eggs, try a spoon at this point, just to see how it tastes. :)
  4. Take off the heat, mix in or top with micro greens and the crunchy, toasted garlic.
  5. Serve hot on toast or as part of a breakfast platter.

Notes:

  1. Beat the eggs until they’re smooth, but not until they’re nothing but foam.
  2. Use as much or as little garlic as you like. We love garlic as a family.
  3. I prefer seasoning my eggs later and not adding salt to the beaten egg mixture. Your call.
  4. This is a great way to get greens into your kids. Doesn’t look like a salad at all.
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Recipes

Amaranth Upma

Amaranth is a grain I suggest quite frequently in the meal plans for my CW90 wellness program. More frequent is inclusion of spinach and then there’s paneer every once in a while. Here’s a quick recipe for upma, that uses all three – amaranth grain, spinach and paneer.

Ingredients:

  • Amaranth grain, 250 gm, soaked 15 minutes, boiled until tender
  • Spinach, 250gm, washed, blanched and chopped
  • Paneer, 200 gm diced
  • Onions, 3 medium, chopped
  • Ginger, 1 inch, finely chopped or grated
  • Green and red chili, 1, finely chopped (or more)
  • Mustard seeds, 1 tsp
  • Arhar dal, 2 tbsp
  • Kadi patta, a whole sprig
  • Hing powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Oil/ghee, 3 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves, handful, chopped

Method:

  1. Heat oil, splutter mustard seeds, saute dal till light brown, add ginger, onions, chilies and hing. Saute some more until the onions are transparent/pinkish.
  2. Add paneer. Saute a little more.
  3. Add boiled amaranth grain. Mix well.
  4. Add spinach. Mix well.
  5. Season and serve hot, garnished with coriander leaves.

Notes:

  1. A tsp of ghee tastes good.
  2. This amount is good for a snack for three. For breakfast or a meal, double the quantities.
  3. Good substitute for wheat semolina / suji based upma.

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Featured

Yogurt, Greens, Oil

Cherie was working late on her fine arts practicals portfolio, and while making a mug of hot chocolate for her, I thought I’d fix myself a little something too. We don’t usually have very many vegetables, snacks or leftovers in the house, buying and cooking fresh for most part. The only exceptions are meats in the freezer and perhaps a roast in the fridge from time to time. That, combined with my almost-obsession with lowering my carb intake, leaves very few snack options. And while there were three whole birds in the freezer, there was no cooked meat to munch on.

This was just a very late night / early morning (3am) snack that I put together and shared and had no intention of writing about it here. When I saw the post had garnered nearly 400 likes, I thought it might just be something that should be recorded. So, here’s probably the simplest recipe on this blog.

The result is a wonderfully aromatic bowl, both oils having their own distinct aromas, with the pepper oil being surprisingly floral. Each spoon is soothing due to the sesame oil and the salt, and there’s a bit of crunch and mustard sharpness from the greens.

Ingredients

Method

  • Pour yogurt into bowl
  • Top with the rest of the ingredients
  • Serve; mix well and eat.

Notes

  • If raw garlic is too strong for you, consider garlic powder or toasting the garlic prior.
  • Some may find this bland. Add a dash of Sriracha sauce if you like.
  • I found the Sechuan pepper oil at Majnu ka Tila in Delhi and couldn’t find any equivalent on Amazon.

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Recipes

Chicken, Aubergine, Carrots

We ate this for dinner last night, and I had a completely different idea of how I wanted this dish to turn out. As it so happened, Indu wanted rotis with dinner and that didn’t really work for what I had in mind.

This dish has a thick, very delicious gravy, and the veggies within become quite soft and juicy. I love whole garlic, even though they don’t add a great deal of their flavour to the gravy or the dish as a whole.

Ingredients

  • Chicken, curry cut, 500gm
  • Brinjal, long, 1 medium-large, washed and cut
  • French beans, handful, washed and cut
  • Carrots, 1 large, washed and cut
  • Onions, 2 medium, peeled and sliced fine
  • Garlic, 40 cloves, whole
  • Garlic powder, 2 tsp
  • Chili powder, 2 tsp
  • Coriander powder, 1.5 tsp
  • Kalonji, 1/2 tsp
  • Star anise, 1 piece
  • Cinnamon, 1/2 inch piece
  • Black peppercorns, 1 tsp, ground from whole
  • Laung, 4 – 5 pieces
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to cook

Method

  1. Marinate chicken with salt, chilli powder and garlic powder for 30 minutes. Drain.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and on high heat, fry the chicken pieces until cooked on the outside. Remove and drain.
  3. In the same pan, on low-medium heat, add all the remaining spices.
  4. Add the onions and garlic; fry till the onions just begin to brown.
  5. Add the chicken, stir well, add the brinjal and carrots; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the beans, and continue to simmer, covered for another 10 minutes, stirring once.
  6. Mix well, so the little gravy there is, covers the chicken and everything else.
  7. Serve hot with rotis.

Notes

  • Increase the spices proportionately if you want more gravy.
  • I used mustard oil to cook
  • You can reduce the amount of garlic cloves if you wish by up to half. If you do, smash the garlic before adding.
  • This recipe results in very soft veggies. If you like them firmer/crisp, reduce cooking time, but remember to put the brinjal in first nonetheless.

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Recipes

Sarson, Rice, Dal

I received a bunch of ingredient suggestions from the Safal Team this month, with one caveat; there should be at least one khichdi recipe amongst the lot. I confess, that while khichdi, is one of my favourite dishes, and I’ll take some care to ensure there’s pickle, raw onions and desi ghee when eating it, I’ve never, ever thought of cooking it, let alone actually cooked it.

safal

This recipe was created for The Right Side of Life, a Safal community on Facebook. If you’re interested in eating healthier and involving food in different aspects of wellness, this is a group for you. We’re planning lots of activities and content for this group that I’m sure you’ll love!

So, this is my first time making any sort of khichdi, let alone some of the more elaborate one’s you’ve probably done. Be kind please. The haldi is missing from this recipe on purpose, so the colour ends up a nice, bright green.

Ideally, I must have pickle, ghee and raw onions with my khichdi.

Ingredients:

  • Step 1
    • Masoor Dal, 1/2 cup, washed and drained (about 100gm)
    • Rice, 1 cup, washed, pre-soaked for 30 minutes and drained (about 200 gm)
    • Salt to taste
    • Green chillies x3 pieces, slit
    • Garam masala x1 tbsp
  • Step 2
    • Sarson/Mustard leaves, 1 bunch, washed and trimmed.
    • Ginger, 1″ piece, finely chopped
    • Garlic, 6 cloves, finely chopped
  • Peanuts, crushed
  • Garnish
    • Chilli Pickle (I used Safal)
    • Raw onions
    • Ghee (I used Mother Dairy)
    • Peanuts, whole

Method:

  1. Put all the ingredients from ‘Step 1’ into a cooker, mix well, and cook until the rice is done, but not too mashed.
  2. Put all the ingredients from ‘Step 2’ into a cooker, mix well and cook for 1 whistle. Remove, drain and puree finely.
  3. Mix the outcomes from ‘Step 1’ and ‘Step 2’ with the crushed peanuts, pour into a plate, garnish with the ingredients from ‘Garnish’, and serve.

Notes:

  • Adjust garam masala and chillies to your liking.
  • Sarson ka saag sometimes has thick stalks. Peel these stalks of the fibrous outer casing, coarsely chop and add to the ingredients of step 2. I would also consider blanching these and adding them to the garnish or whole, like the peanuts, for crunch.
  • The role of the peanuts is for added crunch. I forgot to add the peanut garnish.
  • Given the number of pickles we have in this country, it is easy to vary flavour profiles simply by changing the pickle used.

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Featured

Using a Whole Fish

We ordered a 1.5 kilo Indian basa a few days ago, and cut it up into a bunch of different pieces for different purposes. In case you’re thinking this takes too much time, the whole process took me about 10 – 12 minutes.

  • Head – I don’t like the whole head much and usually keep it for stock. When done, and the head is scraped, quite a bit of extra skin and flesh can be retrieved for gravies or to mix with potatoes and make little fried patties or as a filling for pies etc.
  • Fillets – This is the area above and below the central bony section. We use it for boneless applications where hands aren’t used for eating. Can be used in gravies, grills, stir fries, deep fries etc.
  • Ribs section of fillets and tail – This is a semi circular section, at the front, lower end of the fish, ending just below the head. It has a row of thick bones and can be difficult to de-bone without a fair bit of trouble or making a mess of the piece. We use this for curries, grills and dishes where we use our hands to eat the food.
  • Carcass scrapings – When the fillets are separated from the bone, the choice is to make a cleaner cut, leaving less flesh on the bone but bits of bone in the fillet, or more flesh on the bone and clean boneless fillets. I choose to keep my fillets smooth and scrape off the flesh with fingers/knife and use it for sandwiches, burgers, scrambled with eggs etc.
  • Carcass – This is always reserved for stock and boiled with the head. There’s usually some fat at the edges that I prefer keeping for the nutritional value add.

Using a whole fish will not only cost you less as well as possibly reduce waste on the part of the producer, but you’ll also have a bunch of different parts with different tastes, textures and culinary uses.

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Recipes

Fish, Eggs, Veggies

I had some minced fish in the fridge as a result of thoroughly scraping a carcass, and we used it as part of a dinner spread for the three of us.

You can use this as is, with toast, on toast, in a sandwich, stuffed into a samosa, as a pie filling, onto an open tart, anything really.

Ingredients:

  • Minced fish
  • Eggs, beaten (equal in weight to fish)
  • Carrots, finely chopped
  • Spring onions, finely chopped
  • Spring onion greens, finely chopped
  • Oil as needed
  • Salt, Pepper, Soy sauce, lime/lemon

Method:

  1. Heat oil. Briefly fry onions and carrots.
  2. Add fish, fry till mostly cooked
  3. Add eggs, scramble
  4. Add spring onion greens, mix well.
  5. Season with salt, pepper, soy sauce and a squeeze of lime.

Notes:

  • Season it with whatever you wish. These are my choices. You could use Indian seasonings, or a tadka style seasoning at the beginning or at the end – your call.
  • If using as sandwich filling, remember to drain, not evaporate the water, perhaps mixing the water with mayonnaise or other medium and adding it back to the mixture. Evaporating it might leave the fish and eggs very dry. You’ll need some medium to bind the lot together to make a graceful sandwich that doesn’t spill all over the place.