All posts filed under: chilli

Tasty, Thai Thali, #Penastanan, #ubud

We are staying in a Villa in Penastanan Village just outside of Ubud for a few weeks. Of course, Ubud is filled to the brim with great restaurants, but sometimes when we are feeling particularly lazy on our holidays we love being able to just wander up the path to a local Warung in our neighbourhood. Penastanan is blessed with many of these. And now we have Thai Thali to add to the list! Just 3 days ago the newly refreshed and branded Thai Thali Warung had sprung open. (Felt like it appeared overnight!) it is just down the lane (gang) behind the D’Omah/Wayan Juice shop off Jalan Penastanan Kelod. Look/ask for the directions to Gajah Biru Villas and Spa and you will find it opposite there. Here’s a map with my rudimentary markings! We had also snuck in for a quick lunch the other day and tried items from their Indian vegetarian light meals menu. Their Puri (puffy fried Indian bread) and Alu Prantha (Indian bread stuffed with lightly spiced potato mixture) both served …

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3 Cheers for Three Monkeys Cafe, #Ubud

Three Monkeys Cafe in Ubud is set in the middle of Monkey Forest Road’s shopping strip but when you step inside it is an oasis of coolness and peace on the edge of a small rice field that has been preserved. Established by Australian Italian chef Karli Sary, it features a wide ranging menu inspired by her family heritage and travels including Italian pizza, pasta and salad Turkish and Greek favourites, as well as Balinese specialities, catering to many tastes. Recommended to us by our friend and renowned Australian chef Janni Kyrtsis with who is friends with Karli, we enjoyed the setting, the service and a delicious lunch. We had delicious Tiropita cheese pastries with a thyme flavoured honey sauce and watermelon salad with feta, almonds and mint to start. And then tried the Bebek Betutu(grilled Balinese duck) and Beef Rendang, both authentic and redolent with Indonesian spices. A great spot to stop by if you are shopping on Monkey Forest Road and only a ten minute walk from the main Ubud market.

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Superb tastes from across the Indonesian Archipelago – #Nusantara, #Ubud

“Nusantara is the Malayo-Polynesian name of Maritime Southeast Asia. It is a Javanese term which literally means “archipelago” in Old Javanese.[1] In Indonesia it is generally taken to mean the Indonesian archipelago..” Wikipedia In Ubud, Nusantara is synonymous with a super delicious menu representing the flavours and favourite dishes from across Indonesia. With a superb range of sambals to accompany the small and large sharing plates, the menu gives diners the opportunity to try many regional dishes not traditionally offered restaurants. The experience begins with a mixed sharing plate of sambals and salads to start with. The “Berbagi Rasa” (tasting plate) is accompanied by a card explaining all the different tastes on offer. I thought the Bakwan Keladi -deep fried yam with spices, padjri – grilled pineapple in a tangy tamarind sauce and Manisan Mannga – unripe mango marinated with sugar, chillies and lime juice were a standout. Great way to get our plates ready for the taste sensations to come. We followed this with 3 small plates and 4 large plates (group of 5 of us) including delicious stir fried banana blossom, …

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Go for Goreng at Bubu’s, Penestanan

Fried and roasted chicken has had a resurgence the world over. It is on menus from New York to Sydney to Bali in one form or another …southern fried chicken, chicken karaage, chicken popcorn etc… Ayam Goreng or Fried Chicken is of course an absolute Indonesian staple and classic. Unlike Southern Fried Chicken, it is not cooked in batter but marinated and most often twice cooked in a rich mix of spices. The crispy fried floss mixture known as “kremes” served with it is traditionally made by adding extra grated galangal or coconut while frying. The Ayam Goreng at Bubu’s Warung in Penestanan has a definite Balinese twist marinated in Balinese spices and with grated coconut to add crunch to the kremes…or “fried floss” that accompanies the chicken making it super tasty. Next time we go I am going to see if they will share the recipe with me! We always also ask for Balinese Sambal Matah which they freshly make – a hot and tangy combo of eschallots, lemongrass, chilli and coconut oil that …

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Baked Eggs with Merguez Sausages and Chilli

Looking for a spicy start to the new year? Here’s my take on middle-eastern eggs with Lamb Merguez sausages made at our local butcher. (Nick’s Meats at Edgecliff Shopping. Centre for those of you who live in Sydney.) Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes Ingredients (2 servings) 3 large merguez sausages 1 red onion halved then sliced 1/2 teaspoon cummin powder 2 cloves of garlic thinly sliced 1-red chillies finely chopped 1-2 tomatoes halved or if using only one, then cut into 4 thick slices 4 teaspoons butter Olive oil Salt coriander to garnish Pita bread or tortillas to serve Method: 1. Cook merguez sausages in a frying pan on medium heat 10-15 minutes until cooked.Rest and then cut into thick diagonal slices. 2. meanwhile heat 2-3 tablespoons of oilive oil in a separate frying pan, then fry garlic until crispy, add onions and chillies and fry until onions are slightly caramelised and translucent. 3. Remove onions and add tomatoes to the same pan, adding a bit more oilive oil if needed. sprinkle …

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Tomato Curry Sauce ..with hard boiled eggs

Simple but very satisfying! Having tomato curry sauce (or tomato chutney as it is sometimes referred to) in the freezer means you can quickly whip up all sorts of easy meals using the sauce as a base. Just add boiled eggs or meatballs or a tin of beans and hey presto! Dinner is served. Here’s the recipe for the sauce. Tomato Curry Sauce Ingredients: 2 large onions finely diced 5 large fresh ripe tomatoes diced 400g can of diced tomatoes 1 handful of curry leaves 1.5 teaspoon cummin seeds 2 sticks of cinnamon (preferabley cinnamon bark available in Indian grocers but quills are fine if not) 5 cloves of garlic and equal amount of fresh ginger peeled 1 teaspoon chilli powder 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 1.5 teaspoons cummin powder 1 teaspoon salt (or to your taste) 1 teaspoon sugar 2 cups chicken stock (or water) Coriander to garnish Vegetable oil Method: Heat vegetable oil in medium size heavy based pan which has a lid Add cummin seeds, curry leaves and cinnamon sticks and heat gently …

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Hurry into Uncle Chop Chop, NYC

Chop chop” means “hurry” and suggests that something should be done now and without delay. Uncle Chop Chop is one of the hottest new restaurants in New York that is already attracting 5 star reviews from early visitors for very good reason. Opened by two brothers from Australia, Callum and Morgan, Uncle Chop Chop is a laid-back but sophisticated take on Asian Fusion in the heart of West Village. Uncle Chop, Chop – 7 Cornelia Street, NYC https://www.unclechopchopnyc.com The atmosphere is one of a buzzy buzzy Asian “chophouse” and bar and the style reflects the charming, laid-back hospitality of Australians. Here you can enjoy great food in a warm and relaxed atmosphere. Great for groups of friends! The menu is a superb mix of salads, grills, appetisers and curries with the freshest ingredients and scintillating flavours. The accompanying sauces, jams and broths are perfectly balanced and add just the right touch of spice. Dishes are generous and designed to share allowing diners to sample a wide range of the menu. Another reason why it is great for …

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Vietnamese turmeric and dill fish – Ca Ca La Vong at home –

When we were in Hanoi recently we visited the 200 year old restaurant Ca Ca La Vong to try their famed eponymous fish dish. We went to the original restaurant climbing up a ladder- like wooden staircase to reach the upstairs dining room:filled to the brim with locals and tourists enjoying the only dish offered on the menu. Fish flavoured with turmeric, ginger and garlic and then sautéed with dill and onions, it was simple but absolutely delicious. The fish is brought sizzling on a gas cooktop to the table and fresh herbs are added before serving yourself with rice noodles, peanuts and spicy sauce. Of course I had to try to recreate it at home which I did last night with some success. I trawled a few versions of the recipe online, including one from Anthony Bourdain, I settled for a hybrid. We also didn’t have rice noodles at home so I served with steamed jasmine rice …just as good. Here are some pictures from the restaurant itself: And here is my recipe: Prep …

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Hoi An’s Miss Lien Thao tops street food stakes

We found numerous recommendations for Miss Lien Thao’s street food stall on Trip Advisor and online so headed out from Hoi An’s bustling old quarter, across the Japanese Covered Bridge to find out for ourselves. The area across the bridge is known as An Hoi island and is where the night markets full more stalls selling cheap souvenirs, touristy bars and restaurants are located. We walked along the Hoai riverside which is all lit up with lanterns and light installations, away from the hustle and bustle to find a quieter row of street food stalls tucked at the end of the point. Here locals and streetwise tourists were tucking in to delicious local food at local prices. Miss Lien Thao herself welcomed us warmly and we were immediately seated at the end of a long communal eating table, sharing with another Australian family who were already tucking in to delicious looking dishes. The menu is enticing and we wanted to try local specialities…so ordered white rose dumplings, fried “open wontons”, beef noodles, stir fried chicken …

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Roasted Cauliflower, Orange and Baby Spinach Salad

I could just eat a bowl of this salad on it’s own, but it was also delicious with orange glazed Salmon Fillets for dinner. The various elements – the caramelisation of the fried onion mixture, bite of the chilli, crunchiness of toasted almonds and sweetness of the oranges – result in a mouth-watering fusion of flavours and textures. Prep time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 40 minutes Ingredients: Roasted Cauliflower 1/2 Head of cauliflower 1 teaspoon cumin powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons olive oil Onion Mixture 1 large brown onion, finely sliced 1-2 red chillies sliced 2 cloves garlic crushed 2-3 tablespoons olive oil Salad ingredients 2 cups baby spinach 1/2 cup almond flakes 1 orange peeled and separated into segments, seeds removed 1/4 cup coriander or mint leaves roughly chopped Salt and pepper to taste Method: 1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. 2. Remove outer leaves from cauliflower. 3. Mix together olive oil, cumin powder and salt. Rub this mixture all over the cauliflower. 4. Roast cauliflower for 25-30 minutes until cooked through …

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Indian Green Pork Curry with beans

This curry is inspired by Lamb and Spinach – another “green” curry that is a family favourite. The mint and coriander meld with the pork and other spices to create a deliciously fragrant curry. I add green beans for additional “greenness” and serve sprinkled with shards of fresh ginger for added zing, with basmati rice and sweet mango chutney. Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 1 hr 10 minutes Ingredients: 500g pork shoulder diced (with or without bones) 1/2 cup white vinegar 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 large onion diced 5 cloves garlic and equal amount ginger 2 fresh red chillies Handful of curry leaves 2 sticks cinnamon (preferably bark) 3 cardamom pods 3 dried red chillies 1 teaspoon panch phoran (Indian Five Spice Mix) 1 teaspoon turmeric 1 teaspoon cummin powder 1 bunch coriander 1 bunch mint 1 teaspoon salt 2-3 cups water or chicken stock Extra ginger cut into fine strips and coriander leaves for garnish Method: 1. Place pork in a bowl and pour over vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt, set aside …

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Twice cooked Szechuan Chicken

As a cold snap hits Sydney and winter settles in, this twice cooked Szechuan Chicken will give you just the right combination of heat and spice to warm things up. Whilst it might look frighteningly hot, the combination of Szechuan peppercorns, cayenne pepper, large sweet peppers, and dried chillies somehow combine into a delicious warm sweet spiciness rather than mouth-numbing torture! You can of course adjust the amount of heat by reducing the amount of Szechuan pepper, cayenne pepper and dried chillies you use but I would highly recommend trying this adapted recipe of mine to experience a more authentic version of the real thing. I also like using a combination of thigh fillet pieces with some small pieces of bone-in chicken such as small chicken wings but this is optional. Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 35 minutes 500g skinless thigh fillets cut into pieces 2-3 small chicken wings cut into half 1 tablespoon Shaoxing cooking wine 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1/2 cup cornflour 1 teaspoon cayenne powder 1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns, dry roasted …

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Durban-style Lamb and Cabbage Curry

This is another favourite amongst South African Indian families. It’s a great dish for a wintry Sunday like it is here in Sydney today. The sweetness of the cabbage permeates this dish and the resulting curry is somehow more fragrant and lighter than most lamb curries. Flavouring the oil through the gentle frying of the fenugreek, cummin and nigella seeds along with the cinnamon and curry leaves provides the basis for this. The addition of fresh and dried chillies add an extra warming spicy element but by no means is this required if you prefer a milder sweeter curry. The curry sauce is thinner than usual as well so rice is the best accompaniment, and Mint and Peanut Chutney is a delicious alongside it. I suppose this is the Indian version of Norwegian Farikal or Irish Lamb and Cabbage stew. Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 1 hour Ingredients: 750g lamb cut into chunks, or for best results lamb chump chops with fat removed and diced keeping bones in 1 large onion chopped 1 tomato …

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Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

My friend Jennifer recently went to Sri Lanka and came back bearing gifts of Sri Lankan spices…a roasted fenugreek and mustard seed mix and a meat (Masala) spice mix. Looking for inspiration to use these spices I found a chicken curry recipe in Australian chef Peter Kuruvita’s recipe book, Serendip. This recipe is based on his with a few tweaks, it is really a 4 step process beginning with making the thickening mixture, marinating the chicken, getting the ingredients for the braising prepared and then actually cooking the curry. The result is a creamy curry with well balanced spice. Thanks Peter! Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes Ingredients 1. Thickening Mixture: 1 tablespoon long grain rice 2 tablespoons dessicated coconut 2 red chillies, chopped 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 green cardamom pods 2 cloves 2. Marinating mixture 1.5 kg chicken thigh fillets, fat removed and cut into medium size chunks 2 teaspoons cumin powder 3 teaspoons ground coriander 2 teaspoons chilli powder 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 teaspoon roasted fenugreek and mustard seed mix …

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Monkfish with dill, chilli potatoes and watercress

This is my twist on the Rick Stein classic dish of monkfish, potatoes and watercress. The addition of my favourite ingredients – chilli and garlic – plus the dill spices it up and adds delicious flavour. The texture and flavour of monkfish, which is also great in curries, works well with this combination, with a squeeze of lemon brightening up the whole dish at the end. Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 35 minutes Ingredients: 2 medium size potatoes, peeled and cubed 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced 3 whole red chillies 1/2 bunch fresh dill tough stalks removed and finely chopped 1 bunch watercress (about 4 or 5 cups when cleaned and chopped) 2 fillets of monkfish (about 500g) Olive oil Balsamic vinegar 1/2 lemon cut into half again Salt and pepper Method: 1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. 2. Bring a pot of salted water to boil, add potatoes, garlic and while chillies and boil until potatoes are just cooked, about 8-10 minutes. Darin and leave to dry out. 3. Meanwhile, pat monkfish …

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Sugar plum and chilli sauce with Indian flavours

Thanks to @bellyrumbles for your Easy Chilli Plum Sauce Recipe – goo.gl/G2qhsv which I used over the weekend with some adaptions to create a delicious sugar plum chilli sauce. Now I have a heap of it to enjoy in coming weeks! My version follows… Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 50 minutes Ingredients: 1kg of sugar plums chopped with seeds kept for mixture 150 g caster sugar 100g brown sugar 500ml white wine vinegar 10-12 small red chillies 1/2 finger size piece of ginger cut into pieces 10 g salt 2 star anise I tablespoon coriander seeds 1 teaspoon black peppercorns Handful of fresh curry leaves (2 large sprigs with leaves removed from stems) Method: Chop sugar plums into pieces keeping the bits with the stone. Put rest of ingredients in large heavy based non-stick pot and slowly bring to a simmer. simmer for 45-50 minutes until fruit has gone past pulpy to form a sauce Allow to cool for 10 minutes or so Strain in portions through a fine sieve to seperate sauce from …

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Prawn Curry with Fennel Seeds

I recently went to make this traditional family curry and realised I haven’t previously posted the recipe. So here it is, a quick and delicious curry that is perfect for weeknight dinners with rice and salad or as part of a bigger Indian spread. Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes Ingredients: 500g green prawns (shelled and deveined) 2 ripe tomatoes diced finely 1 large onion diced finely 4 cloves garlic and equal amount of ginger, pounded to a paste 1/2 tspoon salt 1/2 tspoon sugar 1 teaspoon chilli powder 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 teaspoon fennel powder 1/2 teaspoon cummin powder 2 teaspoons tamarind concentrate 1.5-2 cups water 2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 1 teaspoon cumin seeds Handful of fresh curry leaves(optional) 1/2 bunch corinader – stems chopped, leaves retained for garnish coriander leaves to garnish Method: Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add fennel seeds and curry leaves and stir until fragrant, taking care not to burn. Add onions and cook gently until almost transparent. Add …

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Beef and black bean with chilli

Last night we decided on Chinese in celebration of Chinese New Year. This recipe is based on Kylie Kwong’s Braised Chicken Drumsticks with black Bean and Chilli but is much quicker made with thinly sliced beef. Of course we have all had Beef and Black Bean Sauce in Chinese restaurants but this dish is a bit different made with salted black beans and “blackened”chilli. I have added green capsicum and mushrooms for a satisfying one dish meal all cooked in the wok. Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes Ingredients 500g very thinly sliced beef (I use rump steak) 1 tablespoon light soy sauce 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 tablespoon malt vinegar 1 teaspoon sesame oil 3 red chillies sliced in half 3 green chillies sliced in half 1 onion sliced thickly 1 green capsicum deseeded and sliced 3 large mushrooms sliced thickly 5cm piece of ginger 4 cloves garlic 1/2 bunch spring onions sliced on the diagonal 1 tablespoon chilli oil (optional) 2tablespoons salted black beans 100ml Shao Hsing wine or dry sherry …

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Lamb Xacuti – Goan curry

Cooking this recipe was inspired by the beautiful story and recipe posted by The Storyteller’s Kitchen Chicken Xacuti but I made it tonight using lamb. It was certainly very delicious and is easy to make but does involve quite a number of steps for the three seperate spice mixes involved. I didn’t have any mace so just gave it a miss but the original recipe calls for it to be included in the masala (dry spice mix). I have added extra coriander and curry leaves and was pleased with the result. I have also divided the recipe up into the different components into groups to help follow the recipe. Hope it helps! This is almost like an Indian version of Indonesian rendang except sharper tasting through the use of green chillies and lots of fresh coriander. We had a tangy cucumber, tomato, carrot and spinach salad with it and plain basmati rice. A very More-ish dish! Prep time: 35 minutes Cooking time: 60 minutes Resting time: 30 minutes Ingredients: Coriander Spice Marinade: 8 garlic cloves …

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