All posts filed under: chilli

South African Indian Boneless Chicken Curry

A staple in any South African Indian family, my version includes a dollop of yoghurt towards the end which makes for a creamier sauce. This is perfect served just with a salad and rice for a very tasty but healthy meal. Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes Ingredients: 4 medium size chicken thigh fillets, any fat removed and cut into bite-size pieces 2 tspoons ginger and garlic paste (4 cloves garlic and equal amount ginger pounded into a paste) 1 brown onion, cut in half, then finely sliced 1 tomato cut into chunks 2 pieces cinnamon bark or 1 quill Handful of fresh curry leaves 1 teaspoon cummin seeds 3 cardamom pods 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 teaspoon cummin powder 1 tesapoon chilli powder 1 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons Vegetable oil 1 tablespoon plain yoghurt 1.5 cup water or chicken stock Handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped for garnish Method: 1. Heat oil in heavy based pot over medium heat, and then add cinnamon bark, cummin seeds, cardamom pods and curry leaves. 2. …

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Chicken and Mushroom Meatballs with cummin and chilli

Chicken and mushrooms have always been best friends, so I thought why not combine them in meatballs? The addition of chilli, coriander and cummin adds a zing! I had never used mushrooms into meatballs before but it worked really well, adding texture and “meatiness” to the fine chicken mince. These would be good as a starter with a sweet chilli dipping sauce or with salad for dinner. I served them for a late dinner alongside Butterflied Prawns with garlic and chilli and the Caramelised Brussel Sprout and Spinach Salad Prep time: 10 minutes  Cooking time: 20-25 minutes Ingredients 400g chicken mince 4 button mushrooms very finely diced 3/4 cup breadcrumbs 1/2 onion finely chopped 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon of ginger and garlic paste (2 cloves garlic and equal amount ginger pounded to paste) 1-2 red chillies chopped finely 1 teaspoon cummin powder 1 teaspoon cummin seeds 1/2 tablespoon olive oil Method Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius Combine all ingredients,except the olive oil, mix thoroughly check mixture is not too “sticky”. Add more breadcrumbs if needed. Mixture …

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Butterflied Prawns with garlic and chilli

One of my favourite restaurant meals is grilled scampi with rocket salad. I recreate it at home using king prawns and using a frying pan or ridged stovetop grill. it’s a quick, easy no fuss meal but delicious. Just add a squeeze of lemon, a rocket salad, some crusty bread and a nice dry white wine for perfection! Prep time: 15 minutes  Marinade time: 20-30 minutes Cooking time: 5-6 minutes Ingredients 12 large green king prawns 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped 2-3 red chillies finely chopped 3/4 teaspoon of salt 2 tablespoons olive oil Method Shell and devein prawns leaving tail section intact. Butterfly the prawns by slicing down the back of each prawn but do not cut through and then flatten. Place into a bowl, add salt, chilli and garlic and smear prawns well but gently with marinade using rubber gloves. Leave to sit for at least 30 minutes. Salt will draw some moisture from prawns during this time. Drain any excess moisture, then add oil to prawns and mix through. Heat frying …

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“Uncomposed” Carrot Salad with a hint of chilli

This is my favourite salad to serve with Indian curries. Somehow the sweetness of the carrots (and sugar) with the tanginess of the vinegar based dressing, and the hint of fresh chilli complements Indian food perfectly. Composed salads, or what the French call salade composée, are salads where an “assortment of ingredients are arranged aesthetically on a plate and drizzled with vinaigrette, rather than tossed with it”. (http://www.cookthink.com/reference/836/What_is_a_composed_salad) That’s why I call this my “uncomposed” salad. When I was young, my mum made the same salad but arranged it (or composed it) beautifully in tiers of finely sliced/chopped/grated ingredients. The result was almost a work of art! Of course, you can do this if you have time and want to wow your audience, but I just toss it all together! Tastes the same😁 Also, the rocket can be replaced with finely chopped iceberg lettuce for additional crunch! Prep time: 8 minutes  Cooking time: 0 Ingredients: 1 large carrot grated 1/2 Spanish onion finely sliced 1 small tomato diced 1 small Lebanese cucumber sliced into rings …

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Caramelised Brussel Sprout and Spinach Salad

Crunchy, caramelised Brussel sprouts roasted with tangy pomegranate molasses, chilli and garlic and then tossed with crispy baby spinach and twist of lemon. Will change any non-Brussel sprout lover’s mind! Prep time: 5 minutes  Cooking time: 20-25 minutes Ingredients: 250g Brussel sprouts 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses 1 red chilli finely chopped 2 cloves garlic finely chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil 150g baby spinach (or enough to toss with your sprouts) juice of half a lemon salt and pepper to taste Method: Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius Line baking tray with grease proof/baking paper Chop  hard end off sprouts and split in half or leave whole if very small Place sprouts cut side up in baking tray, sprinkle over chilli, garlic, olive oil. Use rubber glove to carefully smear each sprout with olive oil, then sprinkle pomegranate molasses over the sprouts. Bake in oven until sprouts are tender and crisp and caramelised to your liking. (I like them almost burnt) Add to spinach along with lemon juice, salt and pepper, toss and serve!

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Pork Vindaloo with dried and fresh chillies

This pork vindaloo is hot, tangy and tasty with the hotness of dried and fresh chillies balanced by the warm spice mix, tanginess of tamarind paste and sweetness of added sugar. The recipe is an amalgam of a number of Goan and Keralan versions and as with all of them is best the next day after the meat marinates in the gravy overnight. Many of the recipes advise marinating the pork for at least 4 hours or overnight before cooking, but I find the results are just as good with an hour or so of marination. You do need to have you Indian spice cupboard up to date for this recipe but don’t be intimidated by the range of ingredients as the method is very simple. Using pork scotch fillet or pork shoulder which has some fatty tissue produces the best result. Preparation time: 1.5 hours Cooking time: 1 hour – 1.5 hours Ingredients 1 kg pork scotch fillet or pork shoulder diced into medium size cubes 1 cup white vinegar 2 teaspoons salt 1 …

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Spicy Roast Chicken with lemon and onions

This roast chicken is spiced up with an indian marinade and perked up by the lemon and onions that it is stuffed with. Perfect for any occasion from Sunday lunch or simple weeknight dinner. Delicious with roast potatoes, a crisp green salad and a crispy white wine! Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 1.5 hours Ingredients: 1 Whole Chicken (approximately 1.5kg) 3 cloves garlic 1 tsp chilli powder 1 tsp turmeric 1 tsp cummin powder 1 tspn salt 2 tablespoons olive oil 8-10 springs of thyme 1 lemon cut into quarters 1 onion cut into quarters Method: Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Pound garlic cloves in a mortar and pestle. Make marinade by mixing together chilli powder, turmeric powder, cummin powder, salt, crushed garlic and oil in a bowl. Pat chicken dry, rub inside of chicken with ¼ of the marinade. Place a few springs of thyme inside the chicken, then stuff with equal amounts of the lemon and onions. (Save any leftover onions and lemon)     Truss the chicken tying together chicken …

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Fried eggplant and pea curry

This curry is delicious with grilled lamb, fish or chicken or as a main served with dhal, rice and roti for a vegetarian meal. Frying the eggplant pieces before putting the curry together makes the eggplant melt like butter in your mouth. Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes Ingredients: 1 large eggplant cut into cubes 1 onion diced finely 1 cup of frozen peas 1 tomato chopped into medium chunks 2 cloves garlic and same quantity of ginger pounded into a paste Salt 1 tsp turmeric 1 tsp chilli powder 1 tsp cummin powder 1 tsp cummin seeds Handful of curry leaves 6-8 tablespoons of vegetable oil Optional: 2-3 green chillies left whole but split down the middle (remove seeds for milder outcome) ½ cup of water Handful of chopped coriander to garnish Method: Place eggplant cubes in a colander and sprinkle with salt, allow to sit for at least 30minutes. This allows draw some of the bitter juices from the eggplant rather than it all going into the curry sauce. Drain eggplant …

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Durban Indian Meatballs in tomato curry sauce

This is another Durban comfort-food staple. It is often referred to as “lamb kebabs in chutney”. This curry is delicious with roti or rice and a dollop of cucumber raita. I often make extra meatballs and freeze them as they can also be used as an appetizer, just grilled from frozen and served with a  Mint Chutney or Chilli Sauce on the side. These meatballs can also be cooked with borlotti or cannellini beans for an Indian version of the Spanish dish of meatballs and beans in tomato sauce. Adding beans changes the texture of the gravy making it “more creamy” and much heartier than the basic tomato version. Ingredients Meatballs: 1 kg lamb or beef low fat mince ½ onion finely diced 4 cloves garlic and equivalent amount of fresh ginger peeled 1 teaspoon cummin powder ½ teaspoon turmeric powder 2-3 fresh red chillies chopped finely (can be deseeded for less heat0 1/4 bunch of coriander finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons worth) 1 egg beaten 1 teaspoon of salt To make meatballs: Use a mortar and pestle …

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Spice up your life!

Many people from different cultures and backgrounds worldwide have a special place in their hearts for spicy foods, and it turns out that these foods don’t only taste great, but provide wonderful health benefits as well. Although everyone prefers a different level of spice in their foods, it doesn’t actually matter how much your food […] via 6 Health Reasons To Eat Spicy Foods More Often — Our Better Health

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Durban Style Chicken Briyani

Briyani-Breyani-Biryani…, however you want to spell it, is a traditional feast dish in the homes of Indian families. The accompaniments of Grapes Apple Mint Raita, Indian Spicy Mint and Coriander Chutney, Roasted eggplant with cummin and yoghurt and Red Lentil Tarka Dhal with turmeric and ginger make the serving of biryani a true foodie experience. This family recipe includes lentils, boiled eggs, spicy potatoes along with the marinated chicken and golden fried onions which combine for a protein and carbohydrate packed pot of deliciousness. Definitely best kept for special occasions! The chicken can be replaced with lamb for an equally wonderful result. This recipe should be started the day before or early in the morning to allow the chicken to marinate in the yoghurt-tomato based marinade which tenderises and flavours the chicken. The time and effort required to prepare this delicious layered rice dish is definitely worth the effort and the leftovers are especially delicious the day after I have organised this recipe with the ingredients and method for each different steps to make it …

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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

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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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

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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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

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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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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