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Recipes

Tonkatsu Chicken, Mooli Fried Rice, Egg Salad

We’re trying to adhere to a certain meal protocol on weekdays, with a break on weekends. As per that protocol, there was to be no direct sugar or dairy, and this is what we made.

Each of our bowls had a portion of very crisp Tonkatsu chicken, sliced into pieces, atop some fried rice made with onions and mooli / radish leaves, accompanied by a dollop of creamy egg salad. I forgot to include the Tonkatsu sauce in the picture, which is really a variation of BBQ sauce at our place.

Tonkatsu Chicken

The chicken was made using Panko, flour and seasoned, beaten eggs. Panko refers to Japanese style bread crumbs that are chunkier than normal bread crumbs and result in crisper, coarser outcomes. Take some flour, some beaten eggs seasoned well with salt and pepper and anything else you like, and some panko. Keeping all three in plates is a good idea for easier coating.

I used chicken tenders for this. You could use sliced breast or tenders, whatever is available. Tenders are the pectoralis minor muscles which are located under the breast meat, on both sides of the breastbone.

Heat some oil to medium. Remember to keep the heat at medium as the panko browns really fast. If you’re using breast meat, slice it about 1 – 1.5 centimeters thick and 2 – 2.5 centimeters wide. If you want to use bigger pieces, adjust your oil temperature and cooking time accordingly, as we’d like the pieces to be golden brown when they exit the oil and cooked on the inside as well.

The process is simple. Coat the chicken in the flour first. This ensures a nice, even coating of the egg. Then dip the floured chicken in the egg, then place it atop the panko and coat well, and put it back into egg, then back into the panko, and then into the oil. So that’s flour, egg, panko, egg, panko, fry. Each time you’re out of the egg and panko, drip/shake off the excess egg and crumbs.

Fry for a few minutes on each side until golden brown then remove onto paper kitchen towels. Might be a good idea to slice the first one and confirm its fully cooked so you can confidently do the rest.

Serve with BBQ or Tonkatsu sauce drizzled over.

Mooli Fried Rice

I hate wasting mooli leaves and try to use them in different ways. We also love soy sauce and garlic at home, so that’s what this dish used as well as a dollop of Chua Hah Seng sweet chili paste.

A good soy sauce is a thing of beauty, far removed from the thick, dark crap sold by most Indian brands. We use different soy sauces at home – light, dark and one somewhere in between. Locally brewed ones are the nicest though brands like Kikkoman are delights too. I used Woh Hup Light Soy Sauce for this rice.

For the fried rice, I fried some onions in a little oil, then sliced garlic, then a few finely chopped green chilies, threw in finely chopped radish / mooli greens, added a bit of salt and let the mixture dry out a bit before adding the chili paste and mixing it well. Then came some rice (we cooked the rice a little while earlier, spread it on a plate, cooled it and then broke it up with our fingers), mixed the lot with some soy sauce and the rice was ready.

Egg Salad

For the egg salad, we hard boiled a few eggs, sliced them open and separated the yolks. The whites were chopped coarsely and set aside. The yolks were mashed with a little garlic infused olive oil and when smooth, blended with mustard sauce, mayonnaise, salt, pepper and a bit of milk to make it a little more fluid. A squeeze of lemon goes well, and so does a tablespoon or so of finely chopped raw onions. I also served pickled jalapenos on it, which made for a nice contrast.

And that’s that. This was a satisfying meal that all of us took second helpings for. :)

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Recipes

Spicy Tuna Salad

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

  1. Heat the oil
  2. Splutter the mustard seeds
  3. Add the red chilies, chili flakes, onions, garlic, ginger, kadi patta and chana dal
  4. Saute till the dal is well fried. The onions should be browning around the edges by now.
  5. Add the tuna.
  6. Cook and toss repeatedly for about 5 – 7 minutes.
  7. Serve hot.

Notes

  • 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.
  • This dish
    • 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
Categories
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

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

  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.

Assembly:

  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.