We keep this chutney around the house as it’s useful for quick stir fries, an easy dip and even a dynamite mug of soup.
Dried red chili, 150gm, soaked
Garlic pods, 150gm
Salt, 2 tbsp
Sugar, 1 tbsp
Vinegar, white, half cup
Vegetable oil, half cup
Water as required.
Blend all the ingredients together, using the soaking water for the chilies as required to facilitate the blend.
If using for soup, straining the final liquid makes it more pleasant to drink. You’ll also need to adjust the seasoning.
The salt in this chutney is a little lower than required for a dip. This is to prevent overdoing the salt when using in stir fries that could have other salt-bearing flavors, such as soy and fish sauce.
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.
Garlic, chopped, fried to golden brown, drained
Micro greens, snipped from mid-stem, washed, drained
Salt and pepper to taste
Butter to cook
Heat butter on a gentle flame until it’s just beginning to separate.
Add beaten eggs and using a spatula or spoon, stir, and keep stirring until the eggs begin to clump together.
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. :)
Take off the heat, mix in or top with micro greens and the crunchy, toasted garlic.
Serve hot on toast or as part of a breakfast platter.
Beat the eggs until they’re smooth, but not until they’re nothing but foam.
Use as much or as little garlic as you like. We love garlic as a family.
I prefer seasoning my eggs later and not adding salt to the beaten egg mixture. Your call.
This is a great way to get greens into your kids. Doesn’t look like a salad at all.
There’s this Korean salad I first tasted about a decade ago and fell in love with it immediately. Subsequently, as a family, the three of us adore it and use it every place we can. The only boring part, is cleaning the spinach.
The best part of this dish for me, is the heavenly aroma of that delicious sesame oil. Take care you use the Chinese style and not the south Indian version. Both are very different.
The ingredients are simple and it graces most platters well, going with most other foods, meat or vegetable. There are a few ingredient variations, and you could try adding your own special touch when you make it at home.
Spinach, blanched, squeezed and chopped
Mix all the ingredients together.
Serve as a side dish or as part of a platter
Ingredient variations include roasted sesame seeds, finely sliced green chillies (deseeded or not) and whole, blanched and squeezed spinach instead of chopped, among others. You do what works best with you.
The quantities depend on your tastes. A whole bunch of spinach is usually enough for a single person as a whole course. The same bunch is usually enough for the three of us as part of a larger meal.
A few years ago, we breakfasted at a Gujjar table, with a meal of chilli garlic chutney, buttermilk, bajra rotis and white butter, the combination known as chaaya-chatni. The prodigious quantities of white butter I ate that morning will never will repeated.
This chutney is a slight variation of that one, which we still fondly remember.
Red chillies, dried, soaked in water overnight, 50 grams
Garlic cloves, peeled, 50 grams
Roasted Sesame oil, 2 tablespoons
MSG, finely ground, one fourth teaspoon
Sugar, 1 teaspoon
White vinegar, 3 tablespoons
Water in which the chillies were soaked, as needed
Blend the lot, adding the water as needed.
Use quickly or store in an airtight jar with a layer of sesame oil over it.
The strength of different brands of vinegar differs. Add sparingly for sour notes per your taste.
MSG is optional.
Use for stir fries, marinades, with parathas, noodles and more.
I discovered sweet potatoes very late in life, and began cooking with it even later. This is one of my favourite dishes, and it’s a lovely blend of textures and flavours. There’s crisp and crunch and smooth and soft, plus sweet and savoury and garlic all at once in every bite.
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!
Sweet potatoes, washed boiled and thickly sliced
Spring onion greens (the green portion), sliced
Garlic, sliced or chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon wedges or juice
Ghee or butter for frying
Heat ghee, butter or oil in a pan, enough for shallow frying
Fry the sliced sweet potato until golden brown and crisp on each side. Take off the flame and keep warm.
Add more ghee, butter or oil in a pan, enough to saute the amount of spring onions you have in mind.
Fry some garlic in there until it begins to turn brown. Add the spring onions and a few seconds later, a sprinkle of salt. Cook until it’s as tender as you like.
Serve as a snack, appetiser or side dish with a few wedges of lemon.
Sweet potato slices can be as thick or thin as you like
Don’t fry the sweet potatoes for too long or they’ll go dry
When boiling the sweet potato, you know it’s cooked when a knife or fork poked in, goes in easily and comes out just as easily.
You can use any type of oil/fat you prefer
The spring onions will reduce in quantity after cooking. Use a little extra.
You can use the whites of the spring onions too if you want.
Experiment with orange juice instead of lemon for a twist.
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.
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:
Immerse the potatoes for about 8 minutes in boiling water, then drain and let dry.
Heat oil in a pan, add the potatoes, stir from time to time, until cooked through.
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.
Add the eggs, mix well and let the lot sit there, on a very low flame, covered, until the top is firm-ish.
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.
If using cheese, place the cheese on top of the omelette and cover it so it cooks.
Flip the omelette onto a platter for serving.
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.
Serve hot, with toast and tomato ketchup.
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.
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.
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)
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
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.
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.
There’s this very cliched and common blend of spices that results in a fairly typical south Indian flavour profile, and it’s one I particularly enjoy. Last night whilst putting together a salad, I used this to top the lot and it tasted wonderful. If you’re using tuna, as I did, you might find it somewhat dry. If so, a dab of mayonnaise (the white gloop, not the real stuff) alleviates the dryness and even adds to the overall experience.
500 gm Tuna fillet, diced, washed and drained
1 tbsp Yellow mustard seeds
1 handful Kadi patta / curry leaves
2 tsp Chana dal / split and polished baby chickpeas
1 tbsp Ginger, fresh, finely chopped
1 tbsp Garlic, fresh, finely chopped
1 large Onion, coarsely sliced
1 tsp Chili flakes
3 – 4 Red chilies, dried
Salt to taste
Oil as required
Heat the oil
Splutter the mustard seeds
Add the red chilies, chili flakes, onions, garlic, ginger, kadi patta and chana dal
Saute till the dal is well fried. The onions should be browning around the edges by now.
Add the tuna.
Cook and toss repeatedly for about 5 – 7 minutes.
Please use black mustard if you prefer and reduce the quantity if you wish. I like my mustard.
Sometimes, tuna fillets have quite a large bit of dark meat, which I don’t particularly like the taste of. I repeatedly soaked and drained the diced tuna until the colour was lighter and then drained it one final time for cooking.
can be eaten as a salad
will go well with boiled potatoes
works nicely in a sandwich or a wrap.
makes a nice filling for a pie, with potatoes
tastes good stuffed into a paratha, mashed with some potatoes and seasoning
can be bulked up by tossing with some cooked pasta