Chilli shrimp paste

chilli Paste – With just 4tbsp of oil

Meet the best taste enhancer for fried rice, noodles and stir fries! Dried shrimps has a distinct flavour and in this recipe, it is being stir fried with chillies and onions along with sauces in perfect proportions to win anyone’s taste buds!

While experimenting on this great taste bud winner, I came across a method to minimise the amount of oil used in it.  Instead of deep-frying all the ingredients as everyone usually does, I stir-fried, using only a couple of tbsp of oil.

Surprisingly,  the taste was supreme, despite not being drenched in oil like many available brands in the shop shelves. Taste this once and you will never buy any supermarket brands.  Make a large batch and fill into a glass bottle and store in the fridge. It will sit in the fridge fresh and aromatic for about a month.

Ingredients needed:

Dried shrimp1 cup
Chopped onions1/2 cup
Sugar2/3tbsp
Salt1tsp
Soy sauce3/4tbsp
Ginger and garlic chopped2tbsp
Chilli flakes1tbsp
Vinegar1tbsp
Ingredients

You will need the following ingredients: (You can add more of any of these according to your taste)

Let’s make

  • In 2tbsp of oil, fry the dried shrimp and keep aside
  • Add 1tbsp more oil and fry onions and keep aside
  • Add 1tbsp of oil and fry chilli flakes, chopped ginger and garlic
  • Bring all together and give a good mix
  • Add soy sauce, sugar and salt
  • Add vinegar
  • Check the taste and add more salt and sugar accordingly, until it is just the right flavour you are looking for!
  • Crush all into a paste using a hand blender
  • Your delicious chilli paste is ready!

Egg Roti – Delicious Sri Lankan Street Food

These warm, spicy egg rotis are very popular Sri Lankan street food among urban and village folks alike and it is hard to find anyone who has not tasted these. Now that the trend is to make all these street food at home more hygienically, I have taken the opportunity to post my mum’s authentic recipe here.

The street food vendors usually drench the dough with oil and make it more appealing in appearance but to keep it less in calories and healthy, I added the minimum required oil, keeping the taste intact!

Remember to serve these straight out of the pan to be eaten piping hot!

So, let’s get started;

Make the dough for rotis

You will need

 All purpose flour 2 cups
 Salt 1/2 tsp
 Olive oil (Any cooking oil would do) 1 tbsp
 Sugar 1/2 tsp
Baking powder 1/2 tsp

Knead

  • Rub flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and oil together
  • Add lukewarm water little by little and knead for about 5 – 8 mins until the dough doesn’t stick on to your fingers
  • Divide into equal sized balls giving an extra kneed to each ball
  • Rub oil on each ball.  Place on a tray a little apart from each other
  • Cover with a wet tea towel or a cling film and let them rest at least 1hr
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Egg mixture

You will need

Eggs6
Chilli powder1 tsp
Salt1/2 tsp or to taste
Pepper powder1/2 tsp
Chopped onions1/2 cup or more
Chopped green chillies2 green chillies
  • Beat eggs in a bowl, season with salt and pepper powder. Keep aside
  • Keep the chopped onions and green chillies on a plate

Time to make egg rotis

  • Take a dough ball, oil your fingers and flatten it and then, carefully stretching from the sides, make it look like a handkerchief
  • Heat a flat pan, spray oil and place the stretched dough on it
  • Now pour some of the egg mixtures on the roti, letting it run all over the pan
  • Throw a handful of chopped onions and chopped green chilli. You can sprinkle more chilli powder for a fiery taste
  • Cover and cook for 2mins
  • Fold the egg roti in half. Some egg mixture might run out but you can fold it with the roti
  • Flip both sides alternatively and cook until the middle is not raw
  • Take out from the pan. Brush oil on both sides
  • You can cut the egg rotis into equal size triangles and serve with ketchup for kids
  • Serve them for adults with a steaming cup of sweet plain tea with ginger pieces floating on top
  • Enjoy!
prawn devilled

Chilli Prawns – Quick And Easy Fiery Prawns As A Side Dish

This is most certainly not for the faint-hearted! The chilli base in this dish will shock your tastebuds but in a very enticing way! They will demand more and more and you will end up addicted!

King prawns are best for this dish.  Rub a little lemon juice after giving them a good clean up to take that fishy smell away.

Make this dish on a cold and miserable rainy day to make the atmosphere a bit lively!

Ingredients needed;

King Prawns – washed, deveined, shell removed250 g
Red, Green,Yellow bell peppers1 each cubed
Brown sugar2 pinches
Soy sauce2 tbsp
Garlic cloves 3
Onion 1 big cubed
Ginger garlic paste1 tbsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp each
Salt1/4 tsp
Chilli powder1/2 tbsp
Chinese chilli paste1 tbsp heap
Oil1 tbsp
Juice of lemon1 tbsp

Let’s Make;

Marinate

  • Rub salt, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and lemon juice on prawns
  • Keep aside for 20 – 30 mins

Stir fry

  • Heat up oil and stir fry prawns under medium flame until cooked
  • Push the cooked prawns to a side of the pan and drop cubed bell peppers, garlic cloves and cubed onion
  • Stir fry all together for a few minutes.  Do not let the peppers and the onion lose their crunchiness
  • Add soy sauce, sugar and a bit more salt if required
  • Mix Chinese chilli paste
  • Stir fry vigorously under high flame tossing the veggies and prawns together
  • Switch off the flame and let the pan sit for a few mins to allow all the flavours to blend
  • Serve with noodles or rice as a side dish
devilled prawns

salmon pan fry

Pan-Fried Salmon Fillets – Delicious fish for dinner tonight!

Pan fried Salmon fillets

This crispy, golden, pan-fried salmon fillets, mixed with aromatic spices, is a very satisfying dinner choice, served with a couple of slices of garlic bread, and an assortment of steamed veggies.

The combination of spices give a real fusion to the fish; moreover, tossing the fillets on semolina has taken a very rebellious turn comparing to the usual – mild, just-salt-and-pepper version of the Western-style marination.

While pan-frying the fillets in olive oil, you will notice the juices running out merrily, tempting you to burn your fingers, trying to grab a little piece from a side and pop it into your mouth!

Remember to scrape the juices and toss on the fillets and they will taste heavenly!

So, let’s make it;

Ingredients needed:

 Salmon fillets with skin removed 2 medium size
Kashmiri red chili powder 1 tsp
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tsp
 Turmeric 1/4 tsp
 Pepper powder 1/4 tsp
 Lemon juice half a lemon
 Olive oil 1 tbsp
 Salt 1/4 tsp
 Semolina 2 tbsp
 Olive oil for shallow frying 2 tbsp

Let’s make it :

  • Combine chilli powder, cumin and coriander powder, turmeric powder pepper powder, olive oil, salt and lemon in a wide bowl
  • Massage the fish fillets thoroughly with the marination
  • Cover and leave for 20 min in the fridge
  • Take out, sprinkle semolina all over the fillets covering both sides
  • Heat a pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • Shallow fry until golden
  • Serve immediately with  garlic bread, steamed veggies or with noodles
salmon pan fry

King fish fillets deep fried

Fried King Fish Fillets – Golden, crispy fish for a healthy dinner

These fish fillets with golden crispy coating and soft inner flakes taste delicious when served straight out of the frying pan.  A perfectly healthy dinner choice with an assortment of steamed veggies tossed on a dollop of butter. Fresh or frozen King fish  is the best choice for this recipe for its soft flaky texture.

Let’s make the fish fillets:

Season

  • Wash and pat dry and scrape the skin off from the fish fillets
  • Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper
  • Keep aside

Make the batter

  • Mix 1/4 cup of plain flour with water to make a thick batter
  • Add a few pinches of turmeric to give colour little salt
  • In a flat plate, spread a cup of golden breadcrumbs

Dip it / Wrap it

  • Now, dip fish fillets in the batter
  • wrap in the breadcrumbs

Fry

  • Deep fry both sides until they turn into golden brown colour
  • Let them rest on a kitchen paper
  • Serve with a wedge of a lemon on the side
  • Best served with steamed veggies to make a hearty and healthy meal

Now prepare the veggies:

Take any choice of veggies, wash and cut them into any shape you prefer. Just peel the garlic cloves. (Broccoli, Cauliflower, Green beans, Carrots, Peas, Okra, Cabbage or any other of your favourite vegetable will go just right with this platter)

Steam

  • Place all the veggies and garlic cloves in the steamer and steam until the veggies are soft but their colour should be intact.  If you steam a longer time, their natural colours turn dull.

Toss on butter

  • Heat a wide wok and drop a teaspoon of butter and let it melt.
  • Toss the veggies in butter, season them with salt and pepper.
  • Your vegetables are ready!!
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Hashbrowns homemade

Homemade Hash Browns – Flavourful and crusty potato patties

Make these crisp, golden-brown hash browns for your supper tonight !!

Serve them on a heap of a green salad, plain couscous or noodles to make it a perfectly healthy and satisfying meal.

Bon appetit !!

What you will need; 

Potatoes (preferably waxy)3
Onion and a large green chili chopped 
Salt, chili or paprika powder to taste 
Pepper powder1 tsp
Plain flour4 tbsp
egg1
Olive oil or any other oil to shallow fry

Let’s make it;

Grate

  • Peel and coarsely grate the potatoes and chop the onion very thinly.
hash brown

Squeeze it

  • Place the grated potatoes and onion in the middle of a tea towel and squeeze dry.  This will let all the excess liquids to drain out

Mix it

  • Place the potatoes, egg, salt, pepper and plain flour in a bowl and mix thoroughly using your hands.
  • Add green chili, chili powder and  adjust the taste at this point

Shape it

  • Place a boll of the mixture on your palm and make a thick, round pattie.
  • Dust both sides with plain flour
  • Make a few more

Fry it

  • Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil on a non-stick pan and gently place them on it
  • Shallow fry on medium flame  both sides until golden
  • Place on a wire rack to cool off slightly
  • Serve immediately with ketchup or sweet chili  sauce

Tip:  Avoid eggs and add an extra tbsp of flour to make it a vegetarian version

Easter egg baskets

Egg baskets – A perfect party treat for kids

Throwing a party for kids could be tricky, as you need to consider hard on yummy treats as well as the appearance of them.  Even if your choice of snacks is great in taste, if they do not look pretty, kids will not get properly amused.

egg baskets3

Try these pretty egg baskets for kids parties or small family gatherings and notice the delight in their faces at the sight of this pretty treat. These are perfect to pack in for a picnic too. The creamy centres in the egg white rounds taste delicious, so make sure to season the egg yellow mixture perfectly.

You will need the following ingredients;

Large Eggs4
Mayonnaise2tbsp
Salt n pepper powderto taste
English mustard or mustard cream1/2 tsp
Vinegara few drops

Let’s make them :

  • Boil the eggs for 10 min adding a drop of vinegar to bring the egg yolk to the middle
  • Cut the eggs right in the middle with a sharp knife
  • Next, scoop out all the egg yolks and place them in a bowl
  • Add a dollop of mayonnaise, English mustard, salt and pepper into egg yolks and mix thoroughly until all come together
  • Now slice the bottom  egg white parts so that they could stand without being wobbly on a plate
egg
  • Fill the hollows of egg white parts with the egg yellow mixture
  • Spread thinly cut red / orange tomatoes, carrots, spring onions, red/yellow peppers or any other choice of colourful veggies
  • Thinly strip a spring onion leaf and make a handle and insert the corners either side, using a toothpick
  • Arrange them on a plate and serve with ketchup or on their own
  • Smile !
fish roti

Sri Lankan Fish roti – Popular Sri Lankan Street Food

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These spicy and delicious triangles, filled with fish and potato mixture are a typical Sri Lankan street food loved by everyone as a snack or a filling mealtime choice. This easy recipe will give you the privilege of making these delicious fish rotis at home.

You can make the filling on the previous day and store in the fridge to make the process a bit easier and less time-consuming.

If your taste buds prefer a vegetarian version of the same, try this delicious vegetable roti by clicking the link below ;

So let’s get ready with all the necessary ingredients and make them;

1st Step : Make the dough

Ingredients for the dough;

Plain Flour2 Cups
Sugar1 tbsp
Salt1 tsp
Any oil2 tbsp
Baking powder1 tsp

Knead

  • Mix everything together and knead  adding water little by little until it doesn’t stick onto your fingers
  • Knead for 5 – 8 mins more while dipping fingers with oil until the dough is soft and rubbery
  • Now, break into equal pieces from the dough  and roll them into balls as the size of a medium egg
  • Dip each ball in the oil and arrange them on a tray, allowing space between for them to rise. Dab a little oil on each ball. Oil makes the flour to be softer and stretchy
  • Close with a cling film and let to rest for 2-3 hrs in a warm place
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2nd Step : Make the filling

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Prepare the fish:

  • You can use tinned mackerel, pilchards in brine or tuna in brine for an easier choice
  • If you prefer fresh tuna, Kingfish, Marlin or Thalapath fish for this filling, place fish pieces in a pan and fill the water just above and add pepper powder, salt, a dash of turmeric, a bit of curry powder and a clove of gamboge.  Cook the fish until soft and all the water runs out and keep aside

For the filling you will need;

Fish (tinned tuna or mackerel in brine)1/4 cup
Salt 1/2 tsp
Ground black pepper 1 tsp
Garlic chopped 3 cloves
Green chilli chopped 1 or 2
Onion or shallots chopped1 large
Boiled potatoes1/2 cup
Carrots – cut into thin strips 1/2 cup
Spring onions chopped or leek cut thinly1/4 cup
White Cabbage – shredded thinly 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder/Mild curry powder/Chili powder1/2 tsp each
2 Crushed cardamoms and a cinnamon stick 
Lemon juicea few drops
Oilve oil or any other oil1 tbsp
  • Heat up oil in a wok, add cardamoms and the cinnamon stick
  • Add chopped garlic and curry leaves
  • Throw a handful of  thinly chopped red shallots or onion and brown them
  • Add  chopped green chilli
  • Then, toss shredded carrots and cabbage.  Stir fry until the veggies are softened.  Do not overcook
  • Roughly crush the boiled potatoes and toss them next
  • Add chilli powder, curry powder, turmeric, salt and pepper
  • Mix all together and lastly, add fish
  • Stir fry a bit more and adjust the taste at this point
  • Finally, squeeze a few drops of lemon juice on top and mix all together
  • The filling is ready now.  Cover and keep aside

Assemble everything. Final step

  • Lift up the cling film and take a ball of dough and flatten it to make a round-shaped disk on an oiled plate. (Oil your fingers well while doing this)
  • Place a heap of filling in the middle
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  • Fold into a triangle
  • First, bring the right edge to the middle
  • Then the left side and the bottom, all the way to the middle
  • Next. the top must come to the middle too
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  • Finally,  it should look like a perfect triangle like this; ( make the sides widen and shape it up with oiled  fingers )
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  • Place the triangle roti on a well oiled and heated up pan and bake turning frequently until all the sides are baked well
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  • A wooden spoon placed across the pan is a brilliant way to support the rotis when the sides are baked
  • Once all the rotis are baked properly, let the steam escape by placing them on a wire rack
  • Let them cool off completely
  • Serve with ketchup on the side or on their own
  • Finish off with a steaming cup of plain tea with ginger and sugar
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Fish and chips

Best Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips - Classic recipe

Fish and chips, a much loved take away meal of the working class in England, originally served wrapped in old newspapers, was indeed a nostalgic memory for those who have tasted it.

During the time, when the working-class diet was bleak and unvaried, fish and chips came as a tasty break from the norm and a pay-day treat.  Over the years, it has won the hearts of the rich and poor alike and now one of the most sorted dishes in upmarket restaurant chains too.

My several attempts to produce something reasonably closer to what the pubs in England serve,  turned out to be a mouthwatering success! I used sparkling water instead of beer to produce a beautiful bubbly batter for fish, keeping in mind that it must be kids friendly too.

For best results,  I recommend Codfish with its natural flavours and flaky texture.  Plaice or Haddock could also be used in place of Cod with considerably satisfying flavours. Also, make sure you store sparkling water in the fridge until needed as chilled water helps to bring out the best bubbly batter.

Make sure you serve the fish straight out of the frying pan to keep its best taste, mouthwatering flavours and texture intact.

So, let’s Fish and Chips for dinner tonight.

You will need the following ingredients;

Cod/Haddock/Plaice4 fillets (defrosted or fresh)
Plain flour1 cup and 1/2 more to dust the fish
Salt1 tsp
Ground pepper powder1 tsp
Baking powder1/2 tsp
Sparkling water – chilled
(straight from the fridge)
 1 small bottle
Oil to deep fry 

Let’s make it:

Prepare the fish

  • Defrost fish, pat dry with a kitchen towel, sprinkle salt and pepper  and keep aside

Make the batter

  • Place the cup of plain flour in a bowl and add a little salt, pepper and baking powder
  • Then, gradually pour sparkling water onto it, while whisking the flour until it becomes a thick runny batter

Deep fry

  • Next, using tongs,  dip the flour-coated fish fillet in the batter and shake off the excess
  • Deep fry in hot oil, turning both sides under medium flame
  • Remove from oil when the fish turns into golden brown
  •  Place on a kitchen towel briefly to drip off the excess oil and serve immediately with ketchup, oven-baked chips and boiled green peas
  • Enjoy the best ever Fish and Chips!!
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thilapia fillet

Pan-Fried Tilapia – with grilled cherry tomatoes on the side

panfried

These fleshy fish fillets, with a very appetizing crispy outer layer, is very flavourful, which could be served as a  main meal with lots of vegetables or grilled tomatoes on the side.  

This unique recipe was passed on to me by one of my Goan friends who is an expert in producing mouthwatering fish dishes in every mealtime.  Roll the fish fillets on semolina was her top tip as it gives such an addictive crunchiness and crispiness when they come out of the pan.

So, gather the necessary ingredients and let’s make it;

What you will need:

Fish fillets (Tilapia)4
Onion1 chopped finely
Whole coriander seeds2 tbsp
Whole cumin seeds1 tbsp
Whole Kashmiri chilies3-4 deseeded
Garlic3 cloves
Tamarind pulp1 tbsp
Semolina1/2 cup
LemonJuice of 1/2 lemon
 Salt a few pinches

 Let’s make :

  • Wash, pat dry the fish fillets and season with salt and pepper
  • Grind chopped onion, deseeded Kashmiri chilli, salt, turmeric, garlic cloves, cumin seeds and coriander seeds to a paste, using a wet grinder or the hand blender
  • Add tamarind pulp and lemon. Lightly grind until all come together
  • Take the paste out, pat on one side of the fish fillets
  • Place semolina on a plate and wrap both sides.  Shake off the excess
  • Heat up 2-3 tbsp of olive oil in a wide pan and place fish fillets side by side
  • Pan fry under low flame
  • When one side is fried enough, carefully turn on to the other side.  Fry both sides until golden and crispy
  • If the oil runs out, sprinkle a bit more on top of the fillets
  • Serve hot.  Delicious with grilled tomatoes on the side
panfried

Grilled Tomatoes

cherry tom

 These beautiful, grilled, cherry tomatoes look and taste great as a side dish when you are serving baked/grilled fish or meat.  Also, without a doubt,  the burnt taste blended with light sourness and sweetness of the cherry tomatoes will enhance the taste of your main dish.

The grilling process is as follows:

  • Get the cheery tomatoes with the stem intact.  Prick each one lightly with a toothpick
  • Place on a baking tray lined up with a foil
  • Sprinkle salt and olive oil
  • Grill under 200 C oven
  • Serve warm with their juices braised on tomatoes

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