All posts filed under: chilli

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Indian Spiced Crab with crispy wafers

This makes a delicious canapé served with crispy thin wafers or mini pappadums on the side. Also be perfect on betel leaves if you can source them. Buying the pre-packed  crabmeat makes this a very quick and easy recipe to make. I made this recipe up on Christmas Day and it received good reviews from the family so thought I would share…unfortunately no end product photos! Prep time: 5 minutes  Cooking time: 10 minutes Ingredients 1 x 400g/500g tub of crab meat (available from seafood shops or supermarkets in Australia) – fork through crab meat to break chunks up 1 onion finely diced 1 tablespoon of ginger and garlic paste (2 cloves garlic and equivalent ginger ground to a fine paste) 2 sprigs of curry leaves removed from stalk 1/2 cinammon stick (preferably cinnamon bark) 1/2 teaspoon cummin powder 1 red chilli finely diced (can be omitted) 1 tspn black mustard seeds or nigella seeds 1.5 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil salt to taste Handful of coriander leaves, very finely chopped Method: Heat oil in …

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Prawn Caldine with tamarind and ground almonds

Prawn Caldine with tamarind and ground almonds

This recipe is inspired by Rick Stein’s version with a few adjustments to make it an easy mid-week dish. It is lightly spiced but the addition of green chillies adds a hint of heat. The tamarind water adds a sweet sour component which complements prawns or fish brilliantly. The ground almonds add another dimension and help to thicken the sauce but can be omitted if you prefer. Prep time: 15 minutes  Cooking time: 15 minutes Ingredients: 500g fresh or frozen prawns(defrosted), preferably with tails left on OR 500g firm white fish 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1 tsp turmeric powder 1 tsp black peppercorns 1 tsp cummin seeds 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 1 onion thinly sliced 4 cloves garlic and equivalent amount of fresh ginger 2 tablespoons ground almonds (optional) 400ml coconut milk 3 tablespoons tamarind water (made using tamarind seeds or concentrate) 4-5 mild green chillies, cut into long strips coriander to garnish salt vegetable oil Method Place peeled (and defrosted) prawns/fish chopped in pieces in a bowl and marinate for 10 minutes or so …

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Thai Red Roast Pork Noodle Soup

Noodle Soup with Thai Red Roast Pork

The weather in Sydney this weekend has been awful with very high winds and torrential rain. It feels like winter has really arrived. Of course this  is perfect weather for heart warming soups, roast and casseroles. What a great excuse for comfort food! This soup is a perfect antidote to winter blues and just as good in summer as it has a light chicken stock base. You can really season this to your taste and leave out the fresh chillies if you prefer a less spicy option. You will need Thai Red Roast Pork for this recipe which will extend your preparation time if you are making yourself and not “cheating” and buying it at your closest Chinese BBQ store. Same goes for the chicken stock – of course homemade is always nicer but if you don’t have time or any frozen in the fridge then store bought is fine. It is good to fry the finely chopped garlic to  a crisp; and also roast and crush the peanuts, so that is out of the way …

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Spicy Prawn Rice with carrots, peas and mushrooms

This is a delicious combination of ingredients that is lovely as a dish on its own with a yoghurt raita and salad, or served alongside  grilled chicken or lamb. It’s like an Indian risotto but you don’t have to stand over it stirring!  Perfect for entertaining as it can be made ahead of time – it’s even better the day after! It’s also great for a shared spread or picnic as it can be served at room temperature. You just need to allow prep time as there a few steps prior to assembling the dish and cooking in the oven. You can also leave out or reduce the chilli powder and green chillies to make it less spicy. Prep time: 30 minutes  Cooking time: 1 hour Ingredients: 500g green prawns shelled and deveined 1.5-2 cups basmati rice 2 medium carrots roughly diced 350 grams of button mushrooms roughly diced 1/2 cup of peas 2 large onions sliced in rings 150 grams of butter for frying prawns 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil for frying prawns …

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Review: Posh Indian at Bombay Club Washington DC

The Bombay Club is right in the heart of Washington DC’s executive quarter, just a few blocks from the White House. Frequented by American Presidents and Hollywood stars this is not your everyday Indian restaurant. It was rated by GQ India as the third best Indian restaurant in the world. (Read full article http://www.gqindia.com/live-well/food/7-best-indian-restaurants-across-globe/ ). Intrigued by what we had read and heard about the restaurant we saved it for our last night in DC and we were not disappointed. From  the plush padded seats, starched linen tablecloths and the tinkling from the pianist in the corner, the atmosphere is reminiscent of a Raj-era exclusive club. For entree we chose the highly recommended Spicy Duck Kebabs- Minced duck, chilies, ginger, nutmeg and garam masala and the Dum Ka Shrimp marinated in black pepper, saffron, yogurt, cardamom. The kebabs were divine and spicier than we expected which to us bode well that the Bombay Club hasn’t “dumbed” down the spicing for Western palates too much. The prawns were more subtly flavoured and delicious too. For mains we ordered …

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Baked fish with spicy Tahini and onion sauce

Baked Fish with spicy Tahini and onion sauce

This is my take on a traditional Lebanese sauce to go with baked fish. It’s simple to make and the cholesterol free Tahini(sesame paste) sauce I use makes it a much healthier option than cream. The lemony, garlic flavours combine with the nutty flavour of the Tahini and sweet, slightly caramelised onion and spicy chilli into a delicious creamy topping to go with the baked fish. We had it here with a mixed salad including  artichokes which complimented the middle Eastern flavours well. Prep time:  5 minutes. Cooking time: 20 minutes Ingredients: 500g firm fish fillets like  flathead or snapper 1 lemon finely sliced into rings 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice 1/3 cup Tahini sauce 3 tablespoons olive oil 3 cloves garlic crushed 1 medium onion thinly sliced in half moons 1 large red chilli finely chopped 1/3 cup cold water 1/ 2 teaspoon cummin powder 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (optional) 1/2 teaspoon salt fresh ground black pepper 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or coriander Method: Heat oven to 200 degrees celcius (400 Farenheit) Line an …

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Indian brunch with potato curry, dhal, roti and coconut sambal

Quick Coconut Sambal

This sambal is a delicious spicy, sweet accompaniment to all sorts of Indian meals. Traditionally made with freshly grated coconut, I just use desiccated coconut which I first “rehydrate” a bit by soaking in coconut milk(from a can). If you are a coconut fan, then you will find this pretty more-ish. Very nice as a side as part of an Indian brunch with Mild Potato Curry, Red Lentil Dhal and  Wholemeal Roti Prep time: 30 minutes  No Cooking required Ingredients: 1.5 cups desiccated coconut 1 cup coconut milk for soaking 1 green chilli chopped 1 small eschallot or spring onion chopped 1/2 a finger length of ginger chopped 1/2 teaspoon salt Method Soak desiccated coconut in coconut milk for 25 minutes or so Drain coconut milk from desiccated coconut, pressing down well, reserve coconut milk Put rest of ingredients into a food processor or spice grinder and blend to a coarse paste, add a teaspoon of the coconut milk to loosen slightly and whizz briefly. Serve

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Mild potato curry

Mild Potato Curry

This mild potato curry is quick and easy to make. Recently on a rainy Sydney day we were in the mood for an Indian breakfast, or more accurately brunch, so I made this accompanied by my Red Lentil Dhal, Easy Wholemeal Roti and Coconut Sambal. The resulting meal took us straight back to the streets of India  where these types of vegetarian combinations are favourites for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This Potato Curry is also a good staple side dish that can be whipped up quickly and is particularly nice with grilled fish. Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes Ingredients: 2 medium size potatoes peeled and cut into smallish cubes 1 onion diced 1 tomato cut into large chunks 8 curry leaves (optional) 2 cloves garlic and same amount of ginger crushed into paste 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds 1 stick cinnamon 1 teaspoon cummin seeds 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 teaspoon cummin powder 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 cup of water coriander to garnish Method Boil potatoes first …

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n with salted black bean sauce

Steamed Pumpkin with salted black bean sauce

This dish is inspired by Australian celebrity chef Neil Perry’s Spice Temple cookbook which features the recipes from his well known Sydney restaurant. Spice Temple features spicy regional Chinese cooking inspired by Neil Perry’s travels and his love of Chinese food. The combination of the sweet steamed pumpkin with the salty black bean sauce and slight spiciness added by the dried chillies makes for a great vegetarian side dish. It’s a perfect accompaniment to pork, like the Crispy Asian Pork Belly Salad, or would be nice with grilled lamb cutlets too. The Chinese ingredients in this recipe are worth adding to your pantry if you don’t already have them as they are commonly used in other Chinese dishes, especially Sichuan dishes. The black beans used here are not to be confused with normal canned black beans which are not fermented. Rather theses are salted and fermented black beans that form the basis of the salty seasoning used in Chinese dishes such as “beef in black bean sauce”. Don’t use readymade black bean sauce which is …

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"Amazing" chicken Marylands with tomato, thyme, garlic and eschallots

Amazing Chicken Maryland with tomato, thyme, garlic, and eschallots

The combination of these classic ingredients cooked slowly in the oven creates a succulent chicken dish that is healthy and full of flavour. Of course, I can’t resist adding some chilli for a bit of a kick but it is just as lovely without. You can also add large cubes of potato which absorb the juices as they cook. (You might need to add a bit more stock during the cooking if you use potatoes.) Served with a simple green salad and some crunchy bread to mop up the juices, “amazing chicken”, as our family calls it, is a great staple for weeknight dinners or as a main dish for casual lunches. Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 1hr-1.5hrs Ingredients: 4 chicken marylands or 6 chicken thigh fillets 6 cloves of garlic 1 large tomato cut in large chunks 2 red chillies sliced in half(optional) 8 eschallots Half a bunch of thyme, leaves stripped off stalks Salt and crushed black pepper 1/2 cup chicken stock or water 1/2 cup dry white wine 3-4 tablespoons Olive …

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Fish Briyani with tomato chutney and turmeric rice

Fish Briyani with Tomato Chutney & Turmeric Rice

This Fish Briyani is based on a recipe from my Aunty Vimala who inspired my interest in cooking when I was young. I can still vividly recall the enticing smells of spices cooking and the delicious flavour combinations that came from her kitchen. I wrote this recipe down, taking notes as she made it, when I last visited South Africa in 1997. The spicy tomato chutney, fresh herbs, sweet caramelised onions and lightly fried fish combine to create a more-ish, layered fish dish that is delicious on its own or with youghurt, mango or mint chutney and pickles to the side. This is a lovely dish to serve as part of a buffet lunch or dinner as it is actually nicer warm, rather than piping hot, and even better the next day. Don’t put off by the number of steps and spices, it really is a matter of making each of the components seperately and then combining into the completed layered dish. Once you’ve done the prep it’s just a matter of putting it in …

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Fresh mussels in Thai style broth

Mussels in Thai Broth

An easy, healthy and delicious main courses or starter – can be served with crispy bread rolls or jasmine rice. Make sure you use fresh mussels. It’s all the better made using homemade Thai prawn stock(see recipe below) but bought fish or chicken stock will do if you are short on time. Prep time: 10 minutes  Cooking time: 10 minutes Ingredients: 1 kg of mussels, beards removed (do not use any broken mussels) 1 small brown onion finely diced 2 cloves garlic finely chopped 2 pieces ginger/fresh galangal finely chopped 1-2 hot red chillies chopped 1 teaspoon fish sauce 1 teaspoon sugar 6 coriander stalks and roots cleaned and chopped, leaves reserved for garnish thai basil for garnish 750 ml prawn or fish stock 2 tablespoons vegetable oil Method: Heat oil in large pot that has a tight fitting lid Add onions, garlic, ginger and chillies and sautéed over medium heat until onions are translucent Add coriander, stock, fish sauce and sugar Add mussels, fit on lid and bring stock to boil. Shake pan and …

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Review: Smorgasbord of Indonesian specialities at Hujan Locale

Hujan  Locale in Ubud is the latest offering in Australian chef and entrepreneur Will Meryck’s “chain” of contemporary Asian restaurants in Bali, including Sarong and Mama San in Seminyak. Tucked away in Jalan Sri Wedari, off the main street – Jalan Raya Ubud, the atmosphere is reminiscent of a Singapore ore Vietnam colonial interior, featuring a mix of wood, bamboo, tiles and even a chandelier. The warm, inviting interior is filled with diners the night we visit. Bookings are highly advisable. We asked for a table upstairs which gets the through breeze and views over the street to one side and a Balinese family compound on the other. The menu features a diversity of dishes inspired by the various regions of the Indonesian archipelago with most ingredients supplied by local farmers. It is a smorgasbord of Indonesian delights and uncompromising in it’s inclusion of chilli and spices, so would not recommend if you don’t like spicy food. We choose the Pig Ear’s served with sambal spiced aioli and a crackling and the Gorengan or “fried platter” …

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Babi Guling fresh off the spit at Warung Ibu Suna

Bali Review: A real Babi Guling experience at Warung Ibu Suna, Kedewatan

Having set out at 7.30am to do the Campuhan Ridge walk in Ubud before the sun got too hot, we decided we would have breakfast/brunch on the way back to Penestanan. The walk starts from stairs near the Campuhan Bridge that take you down to the river bed where you negotiate crossing over rocks to more stairs that lead up to the impressive temple on the other side, and the actual start of the “trek” up the ridge. We were lucky to have the aid of a makeshift bamboo “bridge” to get us across. The walk itself up the ridge affords stunning views across valleys on both sides. After about 3km of rolling hill climbs, you reach the village of Tegallalang with it’s rice fields and then walk another 4kms or so through the village of Kedawatan towards Jalan Sangiangan, the main route into Ubud. This stretch involves very steep hill walks between Tegallalang and Kedwatan and we certainly worked up a sweat and an appetite! Just as we leaving Kedawatan heading towards Ubud, we …

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Nasi Goreng Java at Warung Mendez in Ubud

Javanese dining in Ubud – Warung Mendez Penestanan

After a wonderful Christmas eating lots of delicious traditional English and Australian food, we are now in Bali for a fortnight of feasting and relaxation up in the hills of Ubud. There won’t be too much cooking but certainly a lot of eating planned. We have been regulars to Bali over the last ten years and can’t help but feel instantly relaxed when we get here through the combination of the warm Balinese hospitality, heat of the tropical sun and diversity and quality of the food. This visit we are staying in the village of Penestanan on the edge of the rice fields, once quite a sleepy part of Ubud but which has now been populated with great cafes and restaurants, spas and villas. We started our first day here lazing by our pool before choosing to lunch at Warung Mendez, a restaurant specialising in Javanese cuisine. From tempting appetisers and soups to specials such as slow cooked goat’s leg and Tempe fried in a special spring onion batter, deciding on what to eat is …

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Snapper in Indian "Crazy Water"

Snapper in Indian “Crazy Water” Broth

This dish is based on the Italian inspired recipes by Marcella Hazan and Neil Perry for “fish in crazy water”. Having previously made and enjoyed Neil Perry’s recipe, I had found the original light broth reminiscent of the texture of the South Indian soup known as Rasam that often accompanies meals. This version is of my own creation and includes the distinct aniseed flavour of star anise and the fruity sweet-sour flavour of tamarind. You can also easily play around with the combination of herbs and spices to suit your palette. This dish is perfect to serve with blanched spinach for a light and healthy dinner. Prep time: 15 minutes  Cooking time: 55 minutes Ingredients: 2 large snapper fillets with skin on 3 large, very ripe tomatoes 3 cloves garlic 3 red chillies 1/2 tspn sea salt small handful coriander leaves small handful mint leaves 1.5 tsp tamarind concentrate or 2 tspns tamarind juice 1/2 tsp turmeric 2 star anise 60ml olive oil 900ml water Method Place tomatoes in bowl of boiling water, then peel …

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Zesty lamb and spinach curry with mint, chilli and lime

Lamb and spinach curry with lime

This is my version of lamb and spinach curry which is fresh and zesty through the addition of mint, coriander and lime to the traditional lamb and spinach combination. It goes really well served with rice or naan/flatbreads, and a side salad of tomato and cucumber. Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 50 minutes Ingredients: 750g diced lamb 1 bunch fresh English spinach, cleaned, washed and chopped finely 250g packet of frozen spinach defrosted 1/2 bunch mint – leaves only 1/2 bunch coriander – chopped 2 tablespoons ginger and garlic crushed paste 1/2 lime cut into thirds, other half reserved 2-3 red chillies, left whole 1 onion finely diced 1.5 tomato chopped 1 tspn salt 1 tspn cummin powder 1/2 tspn chilli powder 1/2 tspn turmeric 2 pieces cinnamon 4 cardamom pods 1 tspn cummin seeds Handful curry leaves 3 tbspns vegetable oil Method Heat oil in large heavy based casserole pot Add cinnamon, cummin seeds, curry leaves and cardamom pods and cook until fragrant, taking care not to burn the spices Add onions and …

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Thai flavoured chicken, vegetable and noodle soup

Thai flavoured chicken and vegetable noodle soup

I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather with the flu and the only thing I felt like eating was a light but flavoursome chicken soup. This version of chicken soup combines Thai flavours like galangal and lemongrass with fresh green vegetables and poached chicken and is full of goodness but omits the traditional coconut milk which often features in Thai chicken soups like Tom Ka Ghai. Prep time: 5 minutes  Cooking time: 1 hour Ingredients Poached chicken and stock 4 thigh chicken fillets on the bone, skin and fat removed 1 carrot peeled and chopped in large pieces 4 celery stalks chopped in large pieces Large knob of fresh galangal peeled and chopped Large knob of fresh ginger peeled and chopped 1 stalk lemongrass bruised then chopped roughly 4 cloves garlic 4 stalks spring onions chopped roughly 1 red chilli chopped 2.5-3 litres water Soup 1/2 brown onion sliced finely 2 handfuls of honeysnap peas 5 button mushrooms sliced thickly 1 stalk bok choy finely chopped 4 cloves of boiled garlic retained from the stock …

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