Grandma always told me that with prawns, ‘the bigger the better’ doesn’t always work. She loved little prawns. She said it tasted way better than the big ones. And these were delicious little nuggets of flavour. Especially in my homemade chilli garlic oil. I’ve made bigger prawns in chilli garlic before and they too were super tasty but these little ones needed their own post.
My recent trip to Sri Lanka was filled with food, people, culture, and lots of fun. And I snuck in a round of shopping for local ingredients too. I ate string hoppers, egg hoppers, crab, fish, prawn, lobster, watalapan, kiribath and so much more! I remember downing passion fruits like they were tequila shots.
Cooking without a recipe is a lot of fun. Given you know your way around techniques, spices, and flavours. A few days ago, we had a couple of friends over for lunch. They were anticipating a hearty and delicious meal since it was I who was cooking. Had to keep my reputation intact, you see. There was a kilo of mutton and a few potatoes. I figured I’ll make the usual mutton and potato curry. But then I changed my mind the last minute to try something new. And it turned out super tasty! So here’s the recipe for my Mutton Curry with Potatoes.
I absolutely LOVE pastes and marinates. Anytime I find fresh chillies of any kind, I make sure I pick some up. Throw in garlic and a couple of other ingredients and you have yourself something delicious and fiery in a jar. Ideally, something like this is great as a condiment, curry base or marinade.
Some of the best foods are the simplest with just a handful of ingredients and basic skills. One such is this Chilli Garlic Prawns. You must have had it in a pub somewhere or even at a local seafood eatery. It’s as basic as pan frying prawns in some oil, chilli powder and garlic.
Before anything, I’d like to declare that Chinita’s in Bangalore serves the best Mexican food. As it is there’s severe dearth of cuisine in ur country, let alone the good kind (I’m not going to say authentic because I’ve never been to Mexico and eaten there). And please excuse me Taco Bell doesn’t count (their quesadilla isn’t the worst thing in the world though).
Badanekai or eggplant or brinjal or call it by any of its name was never popular at home. Not my mother’s, not mine. But a few days ago I wanted to make a nice baingan bharta. You can’t go wrong with that now, can you? But instead I did a complete 180 flip and decided to make a yoghurt based relish or as we call it, pachadi. I’ve made many kinds of pachadi before, and this kind would be a first. I had already roasted the eggplant over flame and was cooling it down. Simply mixing it with whisked yoghurt, salt and a tadka meant for a quick side dish.
Prawn masala sounds familiar and comforting. The ground prawn heads sounds off? It shouldn’t. All these years of watching Masterchef Australia had to come in handy some time. I know of many Indian recipes where the entire prawn is used in curries or even fried. But only in Masterchef did I see contestants use the heads of prawns and shells of crustaceans to make bases for sauces, soups and oils. I used this trick to give my prawn masala a big prawn punch.
Stuffed Brinjal in Peanut Coconut Curry sounds like it’s very similar to bagara baingan. It is very similar. Although, I stuffed the little brinjals with a dried coconut mixture, shallow fried it and then simmered in a peanut and coconut base sauce. I definitely winged this one and put up a picture on my Instagram stories. Turns out quite a few of you love your baingans and asked me for a the recipe. So, without giving you all some spiel about how lightening and inspiration struck me when I saw some peanuts in my kitchen, I’ll just tell you how I made it.