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.


  • 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


  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.


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

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.


  • 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


  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.


  • 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.


Roast Pork with Green Beans

This was a midnight snack and turned out much better than I expected. The sour mango went beautifully with the savoury pork and the crunch of the beans elevated the otherwise dull texture of the pork.

I plated the two components separately, though the two should be mixed together while eating – more fun that way.

Set 1: Ingredients for Vegetables:

  • Green beans, chopped
  • Onions, chopped
  • Raw mango, grated
  • Garlic, chopped

Set 2: Ingredients for Pork:

  • Roast pork, large dices
  • Chinese cooking wine
  • Ghanaian Bitters
  • Soya sauce (light)
  • Thai fish sauce
  • Ginger powder

Set 3:

  • Mint leaves


  1. In a little oil, toss all the ingredients in set 1. Remember to keep the onions somewhat crisp and the beans definitely crunchy. Season as desired.
  2. In a little oil, toss all the ingredients in set 2. Remember, there’s lots of salt-bearing components in there, so be careful when seasoning.
  3. Plate as desired. Sprinkle mint leaves over the lot.
  4. Serve hot as a main course or cold as a salad. Work well both ways.

Couscous, Beans, Spinach & Eggs

After a walk in the morning, Indu and I like sitting out in the balcony, watch the sun come up, sip tea and share breakfast. Sometimes, a groggy, bleary-eyed Cherie joins us.

I’m experimenting with a rajma-galauti kebab recipe, and had a pile of boiled rajma (kidney beans) available. Starting from there, this platter came together, with spinach pancakes, some spiced up couscous and a bit of hot, green chutney to bring it all together.

The pancakes were really soft, softer than I thought they’d be. Parathas make me lethargic and I tend to avoid them as beloved as they are though a bit of carb indulgence on a weekend is nice.


  • Pancakes
    • Spinach, blanched and pureed, 1 cup
    • Flour, any – besan (chickpea), whole wheat, maida, 2 tbsp
    • Eggs, beaten, 2 nos
  • Couscous
    • Couscous, cooked in salted water, 50gm
    • Onions, chopped
    • Coriander, chopped
    • Garam masala, per taste
    • Olive oil, extra virgin, per taste. Go easy.
  • Rajma, boiled
  • Olives, bottled
  • Green chutney
    • Coriander, garlic, ginger, onion, green chillies, lemon juice


  • Pancakes: Mix the lot, adjusting for consistency. Pour on to a pan, cover and let the top side steam. They’re prettier this way.
  • Couscous: Mix the lot, adjust seasoning.
  • Chutney: Blend the lot, adjusting for personal taste. We went heavy on the garlic, choosing a somewhat coarse texture.
  • Assemble and serve


Spiced Ham with Mixed Beans

Each day, it becomes an effort to find ways and things to cook, such that we don’t overdo our macro nutrients. My other challenge is to keep sugar low in addition to regularly breaking traditional culinary norms, so Cherie doesn’t end up with the same culinary compulsions we have, such as our fixation with rice or rotis with every meal.

This is an interactive meal, with three components – the beans, the spiced ham and the salad, each with their own textures and flavours.


  • for the Spiced Ham
  • for the Mixed Beans
    • Black eyed peas, 1 cup, boiled and drained
    • Chickpeas, half a cup, boiled and drained
    • Sesame oil
    • Salt
  • for the Salad
    • Cucumber, sliced
    • Tomato, diced
    • Carrots, strings, trimmed at one end, stored in ice water until use


  1. In a little oil, fry the garlic, the the onions, then the sauce (per taste), the ham and finally the carrots, until they’re cooked or you’re happy with the result. Since none of the ingredients¬†need cooking per se, you can stop the cooking anytime you want, for instance, if you wanted the carrots crunchy.
  2. Toss the beans with sesame oil and salt and mix well.
  3. Sprinkle a bit of lemon juice on to the salad and mix well.


  1. If you cut the carrots into strings, lay them out first.
  2. Overlap the bottom of the carrots, which are bound to be unruly, with the beans.
  3. Place the salad on one side of the carrots, along with a wedge of lime.
  4. Place the spiced ham on the other side of the carrots.