Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Orange and Almond Cake

You look high and low for recipes when you fall in love with a food. And sometimes it is hard to satisfy your palate with what you make because your hand creations cannot match the great taste that you enjoyed for that food the first time. The Orange and Almond Cake is one such recipe for me. It was a sweet yet refreshing and light dessert. I've been working to perfect this recipe for a long time and I stroke it rich when I landed on the Food Safari show in SBS one day where they presented this exhilarating dessert as a classic Passover confection from the Mediterranean, Morocco and the Middle East.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Heuvos Rancheros Con Frijoles Al Horno

This Mexican-style Baked Beans and Eggs makes a scrumptious and flavourful breakfast for those who love to break into their day like a king. Yet, the benefits are more than sees the eye. It is low-GI, which means you have sustained energy for a longer time during the day. It is packed with proteins which helps in muscle development. The tomatoes have lycopene which is a powerful anti-oxidant.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Vada Kootu Curry

Busy cooking. But yet couldn't let this day pass without the Trivandrum-style Vada Kootu Curry...

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Goan-Style Prawn Curry

It is a cool Sunday morning. There is nothing better on a day like this than to wake up early, when the rest of the house is still in deep slumber from which, it seems, they may not wake up. This is the time I enjoy the most because I can be for myself without any "Where?"s, "Whats?" and "Hows?".

The day looks perfect for a bake. But I am lazy. Should I cook? May be not. Sundays are meant to be lazy, right?

The sun's rays stream through the windows right into my eyes and though I cannot see the ocean, it reminds of home. It is a perfect day to take a stroll down the beach, watching the ladies waiting for their men to return from the sea. Hoots and hows from the fishermen from their boats in the sea fill the air. I think they have a great catch today. They are passing signals to the men on shore to be ready for them. There are children playing in the waves oblivious to what is going around them.

And then I suddenly remember that my home is still miles away from me. Can I catch a glimpse of "my ocean" in all its glory ever? I hope the innocence of those people still lingers in their hearts.

Back to where I am now - I have a recipe that is not from home but from a place that is very similar to home: Goa - the land of beaches. It is a Goan-style Prawn Curry (credits to Sonia D'souza from Goa for her recipe) which stands out from the Kerala-style inspite of the similar spices used.

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: around 20 minutes
(The recipe follows rough estimations. Please make changes to suit your taste)

  • 500g prawn meat
  • 3/4 cup dessicated coconut
  • 3 green chilly
  • 1 tsp garam masala, adjust to taste
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1" ginger, crushed
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 - 2 tsp kashmiri chilly powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1 - 2 tsp white vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
To temper
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 3 - 4 dry red chilly
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
1. Place a pan over medium heat and add oil. Stir in onion, ginger, garlic and salt and continue to cook until onion becomes light brown in colour. Add ground cumin, fenugreek, pepper, turmeric and kashmiri chilly powders and mix well. Remove from flame and let it cool. Grind this very little water to make a thick and creamy paste.
2. Dry roast dessicated coconut until it starts to change colour to a light brown. Set it aside to cool. Then add green chilly, garam masala and just enough water to make a thick creamy paste.
3. Add prawns in a deep pan over medium heat with salt and no water. Cook until half done. At this stage the prawns will shrink in size and there will be liquid in the pan. Mix ground onion paste and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Then add ground coconut paste and continue to cook until done. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Pour in vinegar just as you remove the dish from heat and mix well.

Set aside for at least 8 hours.

4. Heat remaining oil to temper in a pan. Splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves and dry red chilly. Pour it onto reheated prawn curry and serve hot with rice.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Spicy Apple Pecan Tea Cake

Apples, in my opinion, are the most versatile of fruits. They are crunchy when eaten fresh; this makes a very good addition to a refreshing salad or can be eaten as is. Cooked - they are soft and can be made into pies or tarts. Make them into a juice which can be served fresh in a glass or can be turned into cider or vinegar. With flavours that run from sugary sweet to ones that raises your eye-brows, apples can find a place in every dish - tagines, cakes, cookies and the list is endless.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Grilled Salmon with Lemon Risotto topped with Creamy Prawn Sauce

Today is the first Sunday of September, a special day for us Australians because we are celebrating Father's Day. Interestingly, Father's Day was not started to show the children's love to their fathers but only to complement Mother's day which was widely celebrated to honour motherhood. Personally, I feel that fathers and mothers should be honoured and thanked for all the sacrifices they do for their children and grandchildren everyday day of their lives, until they part from us.

But who are we to blame the chance for a celebration. Most of you may have already planned for a great day; but there could be a handful of you still looking out for something to surprise the special person in your life. What about cooking something for him? If he loves seafood and happy to go Italian, here is a recipe for you - Pan Grilled Salmon with Lemon Risotto served with a Creamy Sauce of Prawns and Sun-dried Tomato.