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Recipes

Egg Yolk Salad Dressing

Yesterday we made a salad of boiled eggs and potatoes and made this dressing to go with it. The salad BTW was eaten with a platter containing boiled rice, mutton boiled with spices, grated raw mango, mutton stock, raw cucumber sticks and a single large slice of batter fried aubergine.

Ingredients:

  • Boiled egg yolks x6
  • Olive oil, 7-8 tbsp
  • Pepper, fresh ground, 2 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Chives, chopped, 3 tbsp
  • Garlic, chopped, 10 cloves
  • Water, 1 – 2 tbsp per preference for dressing texture

Method:

  1. Mix it all well
  2. Mix dressing well with the potatoes and eggs, or whatever else you’re using.

Notes:

  • If you don’t have chives, use strong onion instead. You could also use a blend of mustard oil and olive oil to get a similar short of sharpness.
  • Add chilies (green, red or powdered) if you wish

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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

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.
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Recipes

Spanish Omelette, Desi Tadka

Every so often, we meet up with missionaries from a certain Christian order and talk about the Holy Bible and related books. These missionaries are all bright young men, usually far from their homes and families, sometimes their countries, in addition to being polite, friendly and excellent company for discussions of this sort. Having been in their position decades ago, if there’s one thing I absolutely love doing, it is cooking for them.

One of these chaps was 19 years old, and had already lived away from his family for a long time, almost all on his own in the big, wide world. Made us reflect on how sheltered a life Cherie (17 yo) is living.

Two of these young men dropped by yesterday, and after we were done with our discussion, all of us trooped into the kitchen where they peppered us with questions (this was our first meeting) while I cooked for our supper. On the menu this evening, was a Spanish omelette, accompanied by coleslaw, buttered toast and Coke.

This recipe serves 6 as a light meal. The dish however is substantial, easy to cook, easy to eat and tastes quite good. It tastes good when cold/room temperate too, and is a good idea for a picnic or to carry on a train journey as the first meal unwrapped. Leftovers can be made into sandwiches, stuffed into pies or other pastry or rolled into wraps among other ideas.

You’ll need:

  • 2 Potatoes, large, diced
  • 2 Onions, large, diced
  • 1/2 Cup Chicken, boneless, chopped
  • 10 Pods Garlic, chopped
  • Handful Coriander, fresh, chopped
  • 2 – 3 Green chillies, finely chopped (optional)
  • 10 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp Peppercorns, pounded
  • For the tadka / tempering
    • 10 leaves, Kadi patta
    • 1 tsp Black mustard seeds
    • 1 tsp Ginger, fresh, finely chopped
  • Cheese, grated (optional)
  • Oil for cooking
  • Salt to taste
  • Non-stick frying pan large enough to hold the lot

To make it:

  1. Immerse the potatoes for about 8 minutes in boiling water, then drain and let dry.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add the potatoes, stir from time to time, until cooked through.
  3. Add onions, garlic, chicken, black pepper and if using, green chillies too. Saute for a few minutes until the chicken is cooked. Add the chopped coriander. Mix well.
  4. Add the eggs, mix well and let the lot sit there, on a very low flame, covered, until the top is firm-ish.
  5. Flip the entire omelette on to a plate and put it back into the pan, so what was on top, is now at the bottom. Do this a couple of times till the omelette is cooked from within.
  6. If using cheese, place the cheese on top of the omelette and cover it so it cooks.
  7. Flip the omelette onto a platter for serving.
  8. Heat some oil, splutter the mustard seeds, then add the kadi patta and ginger, fry for a bit and pour it on top of your omelette.
  9. Serve hot, with toast and tomato ketchup.

Notes:

  • For step #4, if necessary, keep it the oven with the top element turned on. If you don’t have an oven, heat a roti-tawa really well, and place the tawa atop the pan, not touching the eggs, so its heat will cook the eggs from the top. The same methods can be used to melt the cheese in step #6.
  • If you want a classic omelette, omit the cheese, chillies, chicken and final tadka. Replace the coriander with flat leaf parsley.
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Recipes

Shahjahani Anda Lajawaab

As emperors go, most were a bored, pampered lot. Having people all around who did little more than say ‘yes’, a kingdom to run, plenty of money and war, and decently large houses, they really didn’t have much me-time. When they did have aforesaid time, they spent it doing things they’d already done before.

One one such day, bored out of his wits, saddened by all the wars and definitely hungry, but not for the tried and the tasted, the emperor threw a tantrum, yelled for his head cook and asked him to make a dish for breakfast that would give him the strength of 10 men.

The royal cook decided to use as much butter as he would for a group of 10 and in consultation with his trusted team, knowing the emperor liked eggs, made a dish that used eggs from all four corners of the kingdom – hen, duck, pigeon, quail, partridge, parrots and whatever else his kitchen assistants could lay their hands on. The butter used also came from different animals from all across the land – cows, buffaloes, goats, elephants and all kinds of other mammals.

It took a team of runners to collect the milk and eggs after travelling the vast distances required. Wild hens were the toughest. They fought and pecked and flew up into the air to descend with their talons outstretched, eyes wild and full of fury. The only way the deed could be accomplished was to send married men with dominant wives. The milk and butter were easier, as the animals could be found easily and transported to the palace.

Tragically, the omelette had a bit of eggshell left and the poor cook lost his head over the unwelcome crunch that traumatised the evening of the poor king. The recipe was never cooked again, nor were omelettes made in the royal kitchens for the next 30 years until the king died (of chronic cardiovascular heart disease) and his son took over, who really liked eggs and hadn’t eaten many for 30 years.

The recipe below has been adapted from the fictitious original and uses Amul butter and normal hen’s eggs. The video is at the end of this page.

This recipe is about 6,500 calories and I did it just to use the amount of butter you can see in the recipe below. If you’re doing it yourself, please know that it certainly is delicious, and can be made using sensible amounts of fat and eggs.

Ingredients:

  • 18 eggs
  • 700 gm Butter, in 100 gm portions
  • 700 gm Tomatoes, chopped
  • 700 gm Onions, sliced
  • 500 gm Chickpeas, soaked boiled and drained
  • 50 gm Garlic, minced
  • 25 gm Green chilies, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Jeera, powder
  • 1 tbsp Deghi mirch
  • 2 tsp Chili powder
  • 2 tbsp Garam masala
  • Salt to taste (remember your butter probably has salt already)
  • 50 gm Coriander, fresh, chopped

Preparation & Equipment:

  • Beat 9 eggs
  • Boil 9 eggs, peel, reserve yolk, slice 7, finely chop 2
  • Frying pan large enough for a large 9 egg omelette
  • Pan large enough to hold the onions, tomatoes and chickpeas together
  • Plate large enough to serve the omelette and chickpea mixture together

Method:

  • Melt and heat 400 gm of butter
  • Add onions, saute till beginning to brown at the edges
  • Add tomatoes, saute till beginning to leave the edges / ooze oil
  • Add jeera powder, chili powders and garam masala. Stir well.
  • Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Blend the mixture by either taking it off the fire, cooling it and then roughly blending in a blender, or if you have an immersion blender, use it to roughly blend the mixture in the pan. Set aside. Keep warm.
  • Melt 100 gm butter in a pan and when hot enough, pour in the eggs for your omelette. Spread and tilt as required.
  • When cooked, add the sliced/chopped boiled egg whites to its surface in rows, then roll the omelette inwards, incorporating all the boiled egg whites. Place on a plate.
  • Melt 200 gm butter and add garlic and green chilies, saute for a bit, then add the chopped boiled egg whites, saute for a bit, then add the reserved boiled egg yolks, mash well and incorporate well into the mixture.

Plating:

  • Put the omelette in the middle of a plate on top of the chickpea mixture or add the chickpea mixture on the side.
  • Add the yolk-garlic mixture on top of the omelette.
  • Add the coriander on top of the yolk-garlic mixture.
  • Serve hot, cold or frozen – it’ll still be as unhealthy though it does taste best when hot.
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Recipes

Rice Bowl #1: A Surprise Visit

Cherie had a friend coming over and I so like feeding people in addition to trying to expose kids to flavours they may not have tasted before. This was Holi and we were confined to our quarters all day; a good opportunity to cook, not that I really need one.

Given how much I adore bowl meals, and how great they taste, and how great they look … I went with making a rice bowl for our early dinner.

These bowls have different components and can be as simple or complex as you want them to be. At it’s simplest, your rice bowl could be just rice, broth and one topping. Me? I like ’em grand.

One point of caution: the more the toppings, the bigger the bowl.

As with quite a few, perhaps most of my food, concepts keep forming and are continually considered, discarded and adopted, until the final picture makes complete sense.

The first thing I needed was rice, which Indu took over. I suck at cooking rice. I asked her to please make it sticky. The next ingredient was broth. Now that’s usually tricky, since broths need to taste really good. Something like with Dal-Roti, the dal needs to be delicious or the whole meal is a goner.

Whenever I buy pork, I save the skin for stocks, soups and broths. It’s full of gelatin and is a great use for pork skin, which many tend to discard. So, into the pot of water it went, followed by Tibetan chilli paste, whole onions (with skin, chopped in half), tomatoes (whole, chopped in half), garlic (whole pod, chopped in half), dried basil, aniseed (saunf), peppercorns, green chillies (whole), fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar and vinegar. It cooked on low heat for about 3 hours, was then strained and further reduced until the consistency and intensity of flavours were how I wanted them.

I take quite a bit of pride in being able to rustle up a variety of dishes using only what’s in my kitchen at that point, and this day was no exception. Rummaging through the freezer, vegetable basket and other locations was a fruitful exercise and threw up stuff enough to complete the meal.

A few shrimp turned up in the freezer, which I blanched and tossed with sliced cucumber, sliced carrots, pork bits (trimmed from the pork skin) in a room temperature mixture of soy sauce, fish sauce, lemon juice, sesame oil, sugar and sesame seeds.

This combination is great by itself and maybe some noodles for a delicious cold salad

On one hand there are meals we can literally eat without looking at our plates. That’s one of the reasons we overeat – there’s virtually no interaction with the food. Then there are meals like these that demand interaction and simply cannot be eaten without paying attention to what’s on our plates. I try to make most of my food such.

Cherie took over making Ramen eggs, which have solid whites and liquid yolks. If you like your fried eggs sunny side up and dislike solid, dry, cooked-through, boring yolks as we do, you’ll love Ramen eggs. The rule of thumb is room temperature eggs, perhaps soaked for a bit in warm water to raise their temperature so they don’t crack, cooked for 6 minutes in boiling water and then placed in an ice bath for 3 minutes. The initial 6 minutes cooks the whites and the ice bath stops the cooking process so the yolks remain liquid. Given we don’t really have eggs graded by size in India, you may need to experiment. I find this timing works best with brown eggs that have thicker shells than white broiler eggs. The yolks have vivid orange/yellow hues too and look lovely. They taste better as well.

See how the two eggs on top are squished against each other? That’s because the yolks are liquid inside. This is how you can tell you’ve done a good job without cutting them open.

I found these beautiful soup bowls in Majnu ka Tila (Delhi) that are larger than average, which we usually use for bowl meals. You also want to think about how the food will be eaten. If with chopsticks or forks, ,then the ingredients need to be somewhat chunky so they can be picked up easily and the rice should be sticky or clumpy. If spoons are preferred, then the ingredients must be chopped smaller.

A bottle on the window sill turned up some raw peanuts that were then pan roasted with oil and salt. Cucumber and carrots were cut into sticks and drizzled with sugary vinegar. Spring onion greens were chopped.

For meals to be interactive, the diner must be rewarded for paying attention to the food. Different combinations of flavours and textures are what we need to do so. Think of crisp, crunchy, soft, sour, sweet, chilli and so on that the diner can combine in different ways so as to deliver different experiences with every bite.

Finally, I found a bottle gourd and some kohlrabi greens. The bottle gourd was finely sliced, steamed and soaked in soy sauce. The greens were trimmed, blanched, squeezed (really hard) into a ball, chopped finely (or into bite sized pieces) and then mixed with finely sliced raw garlic, sesame seeds, sesame oil and a sprinkle of salt.

Finally, our meal was ready. What remained was how to plate it. Sure, it’ll be mostly mixed together when eating, but it must still look pleasing at first glance. For example, if the rice were placed on the side with the rest of the ingredients on the other side then the broth would drown half the ingredients and they wouldn’t be seen. After considering a couple of scenarios, I went with rice at the bottom, the toppings on the side and the broth poured into the middle, allowing the broth to be unseen, in favour of the rest being visible.

This meal tasted wonderful, was satisfying to cook and to eat. This format is great for enjoying food and conversation together and makes for a lively table. I hope you cook and like it. :)

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Recipes

Egg Salad – Take 2

Who says egg salads have to be a mess of chopped boiled eggs in a sloppy dressing? Sure, it’s a comforting combination, but you can do better.

This egg salad is a delightful mixture of eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, cheese and flavoured oils that you’ll absolutely love making and feeding to your friends, family and children.

When you eat this salad, there’ll be a surprise in every bite – the crunch of nuts, a burst of moist sweetness from the grapes, the satisfying smoothness of cheese, crisp onions, juicy bell peppers and more.

Nutritionally, this egg salad has very low carb content, some fat and plenty of different nutrients. It’s great as a quick, light breakfast or a snack that’ll satisfy without slowing you down.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Eggs, medium size, beaten, scrambled
  • 1 Bell pepper, red or yellow, chopped
  • 5 cloves Garlic, toasted
  • 1/2 Onion, medium size, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Olives, sliced
  • 10 – 15 Mint leaves, torn
  • Handful Coriander, with stems and roots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Cheese of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon Peanuts, salted and roasted without oil
  • 2 Strawberries, medium size, sliced
  • Handful Grapes, sweet, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 tablespoon Sesame oil, Chinese
  • Half a lemon, juice of
  • Salt and pepper as per taste

Method:

  • Mix all ingredients and serve

Serves 2

When you cook and eat this salad, I want to know how it worked for you, the changes you made, why you made them and what your version tasted like. So, do leave a comment, okay? :)

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Recipes

Phat Green Mama

Yesterday I went to a shopping complex and remembered we didn’t have any vegetables at home. There was a shop in the complex, and I went there, and left in perhaps 5 seconds. Nearly every vegetable there was not only high priced, but wilted and quite sad. You see, theĀ mandi tends to spoil us and that’s where I headed to next. When there, nearly every stall had crisp, fresh greens discarded alongside that apparently no one wanted to pay for or eat. The healthy cheapskate in me took over and I asked for them and every vendor happily stuffed my bag, no questions asked. Now greens tend to wilt and go yellow and other such undesirable colours quite quickly and so we made a lunch almost entirely out of them. I call it, the Phat Green Mama. These are the type of meal changes that have helped me and my clients lose oodles of weight, feel better and ultimately, live better.

Phat Green Mama tastes cool, refreshing, crunchy, very green and is almost entirely guilt free. There’s crunch coming from the fresh greens, warm comfort from the eggs and the not-totally-dry yolks, the mushrooms have their own lovely flavour enhanced by butter and garlic and no carbs. When you’re done eating, you’ll feel fulfilled, satisfied and not at all heavy.

Ingredients:

  • 6 – 7 Beetroot greens, washed
  • 2 – 3 Radish greens, washed
  • 1 packet Mushrooms, washed and trimmed
  • 2 tbsp Garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium Onion, sliced
  • 1 medium Tomato, quartered
  • 400gm Yogurt
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Black peppercorns, freshly ground
  • 2 Eggs, boiled
  • Half a lemon, quartered

Preparation:

  1. Beetroot greens: Separate leaves and stalks, chop stalks, chiffonade leaves, except for four large ones.
  2. Radish greens: Separate leaves and stalks, chop stalks, tear leaves
  3. Mix the olive oil black pepper and salt to taste into the yogurt

Cooking:

  1. Melt butter
  2. Add garlic, brown slightly
  3. Add onions, keep till transparent/pinkish
  4. Add mushrooms, cook for 3 minutes on gentle heat or until cooked
  5. Add salt, mix well.
  6. Take off the heat and add all the chopped stalks.
  7. Set aside.

Assembly:

  1. Place two large beetroot leaves in every bowl
  2. Add beetroot leaves (chiffonade) at their base, to one side
  3. Place mushrooms alongside
  4. Add tomatoes, radish leaves, eggs and lemon as you see fit.
  5. Top with or serve accompanied by the cool yogurt sauce.