Caviar on Crackers

This is a very easy snack and my family’s favourite. I had crackers with me but toasted bread also works well. I made the creamy white layer by beating hung curd with a whisk and added salt and white pepper powder. I chopped an onion, a tomato and coriander leaves for the topping. I had two types of caviar : red and black. I layered the crackers with hung curd, topped it with caviar and chopped veggies. It tastes heavenly.

Crabmeat Filling for Sandwiches, Wraps and Canapes

In these rationing and trying days, my pantry gives me the pleasure of my lifetime. I found some crabmeat in my freezer and I had fresh bread with me.

And here was the heavenly combination that I made earlier and had made wraps and canapes also. Actually speaking, this is just a filling or can work as a dip with nachos or fries.

Makes 10 sandwiches

Ingredients

1/2 a cup of crabmeat

2 tbsps of mayonnaise

2 tbsps of cream cheese

Few sprigs of herb of your choice. I used finely chopped coriander leaves.

1/2 of an onion finely chopped

1/4 of a tomato (seeds removed) finely chopped

1/2 if a spring onion green chopped

1 tsp each of mustard sauce, tomato sauce, any hot sauce

A squirt of wasabi paste (optional)

1/4 tsp of black pepper powder

Salt to taste

1 tsp of olive oil.

Procedure

Combine all the ingredients except onion, tomatoes, spring onion green and olive oil.

Mix it well and keep it aside.

Take olive oil in a small shallow pan and once hot, add onion and fry till translucent. Then add tomatoes and saute. Now add spring onion greens and turn off the flame.

Add this to the mixture in the bowl. Mix well and store it in a box. Use it when required. Spread it on a slice of bread and cover it with another slice.

Or let a dollop of it sit on a cracker or canape. This looks very decorative as a snack on a platter.

Or spread it on a tortilla and make a wrap. Let your imagination run wild.

Chicken Seekh Kabab Curry


In times of rationing my pantry, I came up with something I would like to share with you. I had some Meatzaa Chicken kababs in my freezer and a tomato gravy with garlic. I sliced an onion, sauteed it, added sliced kababs and cooked for five minutes. Then I added my tomato paste and garam masala powder. Covered and cooked for a while and added freshly crushed kasoori methi and some cream before finishing it.Add salt to taste.

Easy Fish Curry

This tasty recipe is fuss free and fast and goes very well with plain rice. It is a delight for everyone begining from kids to old and is a very good quality protein. It cooks in a jiffy and can be cooked in large batches and stored in the freezer. If cooked for kids, chillies can be omitted altogether.

Serves 2

Ingredients

300 gms boneless basa fish (any boneless fish can be used)

1 medium onion sliced finely

1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste

1/2 a lemon

4 lime leaves

2 fat sticks of lemon grass (bruised)

1 cinnamon stick

2 Bay leaves

1 dried red chilli (cut into thin roundels)

1 tbsp of coriander powder

1/2 tsp of turmeric powder

1/2 tsp of red chilli powder

1/2 tsp of garam masala powder

100 ml of thick coconut milk

2 green chillies cut into thin long strips

2 tbsps oil

Salt to taste.

Procedure

Cut the fish into bite sized pieces. Marinate with ginger, garlic paste. Squeeze in juice of 1/4 lemon and keep it aside for ten minutes.

Cut onions into thin long slices. Cut 1/2 lemon into a wedge.

Take 1 tbsp oil in a wok. When hot, add 2 lime leaves and 1 stick of bruised lemon grass. Add the marinated fish and fry on high heat for a minute or so.

Take it out and keep aside. Add the remaining oil to the wok and add all the whole spices. Then add onions and fry till translucent.

Now add the powdered spices and stir fry. Then lower the heat and add coconut milk, salt, lime leaves , cut wedge, lemon grass, green chilli and cover and cook for two to three mins. It is ready to serve.

Egg Fried Rice

This recipe is my way of having a very tasty, hassle-free and filling meal without much preparation. In fact it is an excellent recipe for beginners in cookery world. I wouldn’t claim that this is a very healthy recipe because I have used soup cubes and some people do not like to use soup cubes but, once in a while it is okay to cheat. Moreover seeing the youngsters relying so much on outside food, I believe this is a healthier option. This recipe doesn’t require any accompaniments if you are in a hurry. But I add a few things like soy sauce, rice vinegar with fresh green chillies or schezwan sauce as accompaniments. To give it a healthy angle, at times I serve this with fresh green salad or thick creamy yogurt.

Serves 2

  • 125 gms or 1 cup of basmati rice or Chinese rice
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 to 5 stalks of spring onions (green and bulbs included)
  • 3 – 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 crushed maggi soup cubes either vegetarian or chicken
  • 2 and 1/2 tbsps of oil
  • Salt to taste.

Procedure

  1. Cook rice with a tsp of salt in an open vessel.
  2. Once cooked, drain and keep aside. Make sure it is neither undercooked nor overcooked.
  3. Seperate the green part and white part of the spring onions. Chop them fine. Finely chop the garlic cloves.
  4. Take 1/2 tbsp oil in an omlette pan.
  5. Beat the eggs and make a large omlette and take it out on a kitchen board.
  6. Once it is easy to handle, cut it into tiny squares. Do not add salt to the beaten eggs.
  7. Take a wok and add the remaining oil. Heat it and now add chopped white part of the onions and the garlic.
  8. Saute till transparent and now add the green part.
  9. Immediately add the drained rice, crushed maggi soup cubes and fry the rice till all the grains become oil slicked.
  10. Now add the chopped omlette pieces and mix.
  11. Remove from heat and let it rest for a few minutes.
  12. Serve hot. If you want to pack it for your lunch box, let it cool and pack. Make it piping hot before having. It tastes good even when it is cold.

Chicken Biryani

This is my easy biryani recipe and has always been a favourite with my guests. I marinate the chicken with all the required ingredients and leave it overnight in the fridge but it works well even if it is marinated for an hour. The more the merrier though.If I have too many items to cook, then I make the rice beforehand and keep. But, freshly cooked one is always the best. I use either chicken thighs or chicken legs to ensure uniformity in cooking time.

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My Macher Jhol (Bengali Fish Curry)

The word curry or jhol implies slow cooking with spices wherein each spice has a role to play. Few of them impart their flavour, some render their sweetness and some give the required consistency to the curries. For bengalis, macher jhol and rice combo is comfort food. In earlier times, fish was deep fried before putting into jhol which made it tastier. Nowadays keeping health factor in mind, we shallow fry or at times even grill before putting into the already simmering curry. We add vegetables as per season and availability but believe me there nothing can stop us from cooking macher jhol. If our pantry runs barren we cook it with only potatoes and dal kisses(bori). Today I have shared the recipe of aloo(potatoes), phoolkopi(cauliflower) and bori(dal kisses) jhol cooked the traditional way. Each and every household have their own recipe.

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Sprouted Green Chana(Bengal Gram) Omlette

This recipe is for busy people, can make this in minutes, and have it either for breakfast or for lunch. This can also be packed for lunch boxes for kids and adults alike. We have the goodness of eggs, Chana and other aromatics cooked in a single frying pan. It is filling and takes care of your hunger pangs for almost 3 to 4 hours. I,

ideally make this for lunch, whenever I am on a cleaning spree or repotting my plants or I am busy making my usual pastes to store in the fridge and freezer.

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TomaCoco Chicken

This chicken recipe is a marriage of homemade tangy tomato paste and naturally sweet coconut milk. Today I have two recipes to share, namely a very essential paste made with tomatoes and garlic which sits in my fridge and freezer yearlong and a chicken recipe made by using the paste. It is my request to people who do not like coconut, to try this recipe at least once, to believe it.

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Chicken Liver with Caramelised Onions

Chicken liver is the store-house of vitamins, minerals, iron, magnesium and phosphorus but it is very high in cholesterol. In olden days, doctors advised patients with anemia and vitamin B 12  deficiency, to include liver in their diet everyday. It is good to have liver once in a while even for people who have high cholesterol. This particular recipe is inspired by Mediterranean cuisine. It is very easy to make and the best part is,  all preparations can be made beforehand  and can be sauteed and assembled just before serving. 

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