All posts filed under: spicy

Brash and buzzy: Vietnam House, Saigon

Australian Luke Nyugen’s Vietnam House restaurant in the very centre of busy Ho Chi Minh City is an assault on the senses with bold Art Deco interior design featuring vivid colours and a buzzy atmosphere. It feels exactly right where it is located in the heart of the CBD surrounded by the glitz of the high end designer shops like Louis Vuitton and Gucci and 5 star hotels. The menu features Nyugen’s unique take on Vietnamese food that reflects the influences of growing up in Australia and his time spent in France through the use of imported herbs and ingredients, such as Wagyu beef, dill and salmon. We began with the much talked about soft spring rolls with sesame seared salmon and salmon caviar. The addition of the salmon caviar added delicious bursts of flavour to this entree and the flavour of the salmon went really well with the dill in the rolls. For mains we tried the much talked aboutBraised Wagyu Beef cheek in coconut juice, Phu Quoc green pepper, carrot, shallot served with …

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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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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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Indian Five Spice: Panch Phoran

Panch Phoran is an Indian whole spice blend used mostly in eastern part of India like, Odisha,West Bengal etc. It is also called as Pancha Phutana (In Odisha), pach phoran (In West Bengal), paanch phorana. Panch phoran means mixture of five spices. The spices used in panch phoran are whole seeds and each in equal […] via Panch Phoran — Food Express odisha

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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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Vegetarian Rice Pilau

This is a quick and easy rice dish that is delicious just with Tarka Dhal, raita and pickles, or as a side dish served with Indian Hunter’s style roast lamb or curries. It is even better the day after and can be eaten cold like a rice salad. Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time:10-15 minutes Ingredients: 1 cup basmati rice 4-5 cups water 1 brown onion finely diced 1 carrot diced 1 cup cooked corn kernels (canned is fine) 1 cup of frozen peas 1 tspoon cummin seeds Handful of curry leaves (optional) 1 clove garlic and piece of ginger crushed to a paste 1/2 tspoon chilli powder 1 teaspoon turmeric 1 teaspoon cummin powder Handful of coriander leaves chopped for garnish (optional) 2 teaspoons butter 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 teaspoons salt Method 1. Bring 4.5 cups of water to a boil, add 1 tspoon of turmeric, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 cup of basmati rice. Par-boil rice for 10 minutes until rice is half-cooked, strain and set aside. 2. Heat oil in non-stick …

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Iconic Ikan (fish) at Warung Mak Beng, Sanur

TripAdvisor is full of recommendations for Warung Mak Beng which was established by “Mother”Beng back in 1941 and is run today by her grandson, continuing a long family tradition. Situated near the beach in Jalan Hang Tuah 45 in Sanur, this is the classic “one dish speciality” warung serving only its famous crispy fried ocean fish or Ikan Laut Goreng. It has taken us a while to make the effort to get to this Warung, but I can assure you the trip is well worth the effort of travelling from wherever you are staying in Bali to try their renowned speciality. The fish is crispy brown (almost burnt looking) on the outside but tender and moist on the inside and accompanied a the delicious fish head soup and spicy sambal on the side. My bowl of soup had little evidence of fish head, rather just big chunks of fish that had been stewed in the soup. The soup also had big chunks of cucumber which had absorbed the flavours of the soup and daun salam …

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Warung Pantai shines at Batu Belig Beach, Bali

Pantai means beach in Indonesian and this Warung is true to it’s name, perfectly positioned on the beautiful Batu Belig beachfront, just north (about 10 minutes) of Seminyak in Bali. Warung Pantai’s owner Wayan has a simple motto “work hard, play hard” and her philosophy shines through at her impeccable Warung. The pride in which Wayan and her team take in keeping the Warung spotless and taking care of guests is evident in every aspect of the food and service here. Warung Pantai is my idea of Bali Bliss, with a location that is perfect for a restful day at the beach and a menu to suit all tastes but with particularly good Indonesian favourites such as Gado Gado (steamed vegetables with peanut sauce), spicy prawns and fish and delicious Ayam Goreng (Indonesian fried chicken), Nasi Campur, Nasi Goreng and Satays accompanied by authentic sambals and sauces. The food is cooked off-site just up the road in Wayan’s kitchen in her traditional family compound, in an equally impeccable kitchen, and ferried to your table on …

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Tasty Thai Fishcakes with Sweet Cucumber and Chilli Sauce

Having done my dash with ham and turkey over the last week of Christmas festivities, I thought I’d spice things up for New Year’s Eve with some tasty Thai fishcakes. We were heading to friends to watch the spectacular Sydney fireworks and I wanted to take some treats that can withstand being served at room temperature. This recipe makes about 20 bite-sized Fishcakes or you can make larger cakes and serve them as an entree to a main meal. These fishcakes are so easy to make and are delicious with homemade sweet cucumber and chilli dipping sauce. Making the sauce is worth it as it so much zinger and fresher than bottled sweet chilli sauce and takes no time at all. Fishcakes Prep time including chilling mixture: 45 minutes. Cooking time: 10 minutes Ingredients: 500g firm boneless white or red fish fillets 1 tablespoon fish sauce 1 teaspoon store bought Thai red or green chilli paste 2 red chillies deseeded and diced finely 3 fresh kaffir lime leaves or Thai basil leaves very finely sliced …

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Turkey and Pea Curry Puffs

We are now at the very end of the roast turkey leftovers (promise). Today we were heading to the beach for a picnic so I decided to use it all up by creating some curry puffs. The shredded roast turkey meat goes well with Indian spices and sweet peas and the curry puffs are perfect picnic food. Prep time: 15minutes + 30 mins cooling Cooking time: 15 minutes Ingredients: 1.5 cups shredded roast turkey meat 1 onion finely diced 2 cloves garlic crushed 1/2 tspoon chilli powder 1/2 tspoon turmeric powder 1/2 tspoon cumin powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tspoon cumin seeds Handful of curry leaves (optional) 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1/2 cup frozen peas 1/2 cup water 1 beaten egg yolk for brushing pastries 3 sheets puff pastry Method: Remove puff pastry from  freezer to thaw. Heat oil in pan over medium heat and add cummin seeds and curry leaves until they splutter and are fragrant. Add onions and cook until transparent, then add crushed garlic and mix through for a minute until heated. …

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Ham and Turkey Pizza

Still getting through the leftover ham and turkey and other bits and pieces in the house…so decided to go Italian with homemade garlic bread, a nectarine and baby spinach salad and a homemade, from scratch, ham and turkey pizza using ingredients from the fridge. Prep time: 1 hour Cooking time: 20 minutes Pizza base Ingredients: 4 cups plain flour 7g yeast (1 sachet) Pinch of caster sugar 1 teaspoon of salt 400ml warm water 60ml olive oil Flour for dusting Board Method: Place yeast and pinch of caster sugar with half a cup of warm water in bowl and allow to develop until froth forms about 10 minutes Place flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre of the flour. Add water to centre of well and then mix gently with your hands until well combined, then add olive oil and knead carefully to make a soft, elastic dough, making sure not to overwork. Set aside covered with a cloth in a warm spot to allow to rise …

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Turkey Pad Thai

This dish has now become a traditional Boxing Day dinner for our family. It’s a great way to use up leftover turkey and the spiciness is an excellent antidote to the richness of other Christmas dishes. For an extra chilli hit, serve the Thai sauce nam prik on the side…chopped chilli in equal parts fish sauce and lime juice. Prep time: 30 minutes. cooking time: 15 minutes Ingredients: 1 packet pad Thai rice noodles 2 tspoons store bought Thai red chilli paste 10 large green prawns, peeled with tails intact 1.5 cups Leftover turkey meat 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced 1 cup bean sprouts 3 eggs lightly beaten 2 tablespooons vegetable oil 1/2 cup chopped coriander 1 lemon juiced – about 3 tablespoons 3 tablespoons fish sauce 2 tablespoons white sugar 2 limes cut into wedges 4 green spring onion stalks chopped in half 1/2 cup roughly crushed peanuts 1 tablespoon chilli flakes Method: 1. Boil 2 litres water, then allow to cool to warm, then add rice noodles to soak for 10-15 minutes until …

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Cardamom …warm, sweet and spicy!

Cardamom A fragrantly warm winter spice – I love it and the cardamom season is getting into full swing in my house where two of our top seasonal favourites flavoured with freshly ground cardamom are: Winter Fruit & Spice Cake and The BEST Gingerbread Biscuits via Sugar & Spice & All Things Nice — An Edible Landscape

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Thai Isaan Cuisine

I loved the Isaan cuisine of Thailand which I discovered while travelling in the north of Thailand back in the 90s. This article gave me a flashback. There used to be a great Thai Isaac place at Eastgardens in Sydney…wonder if it’s still there?! Isan food offers much of the best eating in Thailand. Less celebrated globally but hugely popular locally. Although Isan food is less common outside of Thailand, inside the country it can be found everywhere. There are a few qualities and ingredients that seem to dominate: chili peppers, lime, peanuts, dried shrimp, fresh fruits and vegetables, […] via Isan Cuisines — Thai Regional Foods

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Vietnamese crab with tamarind sauce

This looks delicious – thanks Chica Andaluza! I love reading cookery books, mainly to inspire rather than follow slavishly. Except when it’s a style of cooking that’s new to me or a cake recipe which generally needs the proportions of ingredients to be reproduced in balance with each other to achieve a good rise. I’ve had time recently to catch up on […] via Vietnamese crab with tamarind sauce — Chica Andaluza

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Black Pepper Prawn Curry

The sharpness of  black pepper, bite of the green chill and sweetness of the prawns are all melded together in buttery goodness, along with ginger, garlic, curry leaves in this simple curry. Take the time to make the prawn stock as it really adds another dimension nod depth of flavour to the dish. Prep time: 30 minutes (incl making stock) Cooking time: 25 minutes Ingredients: 12-16 King prawns 2 cups water 2 cloves garlic, 2-3 small pieces ginger for stock 1 onion halved, then thinly sliced 3 cloves garlic and equal ginger, pounded to a paste 1.5 tablespoons ground black pepper (best freshly ground in spice grinder) handful of curry leaves (fresh best but dried ok) 2-3 small green chillies sliced lengthwise – can omit, or deseed 100g butter 3 tablespoons vegetable oil Salt Chopped  coriander and slithers of ginger for garnish Method 1. Peel and devein prawns, leave tails on, reserve shells for stock. 2. Place prawn shells in pot and cover with water, add ginger and garlic, bring to a boil then simmer …

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