Mangalorean style pork curry / Pork bafat

pork curry

Also called Bafat Pork and Dukra Maas.

A friend/colleague from my Bangalore Zomato days moved into my flat a month ago. We share a common love for pork. The Mangalore style in particular. Thankfully his mum sent him her recipe for Dukra Maas and we managed to find some pork here in Gurgaon (no not those dirty pigs running around the city!).

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Pan roasted chilli chicken with spicy mushroom sauce

Pan roasted chilli chicken with spicy mushroom sauce  is one of those dishes you build as you go. I had chicken and a few condiments along with a few basil leaves. The weather demanded for something spicy, of course. Actually, the weather never demands anything, I just needed a an excuse for something spicy. This took barely 30 mins in all. First, pan roast the chicken and then make the mushroom sauce, top with fresh basil. Simple.

chicken mushroom sauce

Ingredients:

3 boneless chicken breasts (I cut them horizontally so they cook fast)

2 tbsp ginger garlic paste

Chilli oil to cook them in – If you don’t have chilli oil, use regular oil and add chilli paste or powder in the marinade.

(Marinate chicken in the ginger garlic paste and chilli paste/powder if needed along with salt)

Ingredients for sauce:

1 box mushrooms, sliced

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, grated

1 tbsp chilli paste or 1 tsp chilli powder (adjust accordingly)

2 tbsp fresh cream

Water

Salt

Any condiments if you have. I had some smoked paprika mixed with other herbs and spices from Chile. You could alternatively use chicken seasoning, or pasta seasoning that you get in the market these days. You can do without it as well or use anything else that you might have in your pantry.

Method:

While you prep for the sauce, let the marinated chicken sit aside.

Heat chilli oil and cook the chicken. Let them brown well on both sides. 4 – 5 mins each side. Keep aside.

In the same oil (add more if required), tip in the onions and cook till they turn translucent.

Now add the grated garlic.

Add mushrooms and cook them out.

Add chilli paste and cook further. If you have any spices or condiments to add, do so now.

Add a splash of water. And then the cream.

Let it bubble on medium heat. Place chicken in the sauce. Top with fresh basil or parsley.

I served this with rice. You could do it with pasta or even toasted bread.

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Breakfast in a jar

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If you like sweet breakfasts, this should be your go to one. It’s healthy, it’s filling, it’s sweet without any added sugar, it’s got strawberries and it comes in a jar! The last one is optional, of course.

All you need is hung curd, strawberries, bananas, muesli of your choice. If you want it sweeter, add honey to the hung curd.

Layer it in a jar or a bowl. Eat.

I don’t have time to eat breakfast at home. What I try and do is, take it to go. Something like this is awesome to eat at your desk (which I don’t suggest you do). And hey, who doesn’t love a little something sweet in a jar?!

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Strawberry Cake

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There are two fruits that I look forward to every year. Mangoes in summer and strawberries in winters. In between there’s banana (no pun intended but hahaha!). Now is when you get the good stuff, where in a box of strawberries, all of them are plump, red and delicious. A couple of months down the line, you’ll find barely tolerable ones on top and ones at the bottom I’m sure would be from last winter. Anyway, I got myself a couple of boxes and straightaway baked a simple cake studded with these rubies. I looked up a few recipes and all of them were similar to one another. I followed Martha Steward, of course.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup milk/cream

1/2 tsp salt

Enough strawberries to stud the cake with. I used very few. I’d suggest use more placing them very close to each other.

Method:

Mix the dry ingredients together – flour, salt and baking powder.

In another bowl, mix butter and sugar till light and fluffy.

Add the egg and vanilla. Mix.

Add the dry ingredients and mix till incorporated. The batter at this point will be a little too thick. I suggest adding a couple of tbsp more milk.

Halve strawberries and place them (cut side down) on the batter in the cake tin.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 40 mins or till centre is firm.

I served this with lightly whipped cream and cream cheese.

 

 

 

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Diwali at home in Bangalore

I live in the dusty city of Gurgaon. I don’t like the city, like many of those who move here for work from other parts of the country. What I do love – people I work with. That’s why whenever I get a chance to hop on a plane and go home to Bangalore, I make a big deal of it. Mom’s food, my dog – Cookie, dad’s stories, sister’s stories, and just nostalgia makes me warm and fuzzy.

This time the occasion was Diwali, or as for us South Indians, Deepavali. A week’s break and it had to be spent at home. I get home on a Saturday, just in time for lunch. What’s for lunch you ask?

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Fish curry, of course. Spicy, tangy and coconut-y curry where plump sardines were swimming. OK, that was mean, but the curry was delicious. See what I did there?

Post lunch, I walked around near home because that’s what you do when the weather kicks all kinds of ass. I headed to Shoppers Stop to get myself a pair of running shoes. It’s not a good time to step into a mall or any large store for that matter, when it’s Diwali (shopping) season. I didn’t find shoes, but I found something better *evil grin*. Plates and pretty tea cups. Actually, the tea cups were gigantic. It’s almost a hybrid of coffee mugs and tea cups. Anyway, I walked back home.

The next best meal came by after two days. Crab curry. This one’s probably the best thing mom’s cooked in years. She outdid herself. Crab lends so much flavour to its curry, it’s unbelievable. IMG_20151110_125610

The next day I took the bus and went to MG Road. I love how green it is right in the middle of the city over there. It’s great to walk around, especially when it’s drizzling. Did I tell you the weather was great. One of my favourite places for breakfast or any other meal in Bangalore is The Egg Factory. I absolutely love eggs and got myself a nice omlette and a hot chocolate. Sitting by the window, reading, and holding on to every minute that seemed to slip away with every bite and sip I took.

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A trip to Chikamagalur was on the cards. My sister’s husband belongs to the place and his family lives there amidst their sprawling coffee and pepper plantations. We were invited to lunch and the menu included idiyappam, mutton curry, fried fish, chicken masala, poori, rasam, rice. We wandered around the estate and trust me, the air was so clean my lungs were definitely loving it.

 

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I miss my dog immensely. Just look at her.

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It was definitely sweater weather and boy, was it simply amazing. But it’s never not a good time for Corner House. I got myself their classic and my favourite, Hot Chocolate Fudge. Which by the way, is the best.

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Before I left Bangalore, I had to have my share of *cough* beef *cough*. I hope nobody heard that. Anyway, I was loitering around the city as usual and was around Commercial Street. That’s when Peppa Zzing happened. Cozy little place, this one’s got the most delicious burgers. And there’s beef. Win-win! I got myself the Peppa Zzing Beef Burger. Service was quick and in a few minutes my face met the burger and I slapped on a big old grin like an idiot. I couldn’t be bothered about what was happening around me as I tucked myself into this burger which had caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, the juiciest and the most flavourful beef patty, in house mayo and a fried egg. There was a party in my mouth and no one else was invited.

burger

Oh and I forgot to show you my running shoes. I did run. Look at all the food I demolished during my stay!

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I rummaged through some old stuff at home, hoping to find something old and forgotten. And I did. Mom’s diary, recipe diary actually, from 1993. I found a few pages with my handwriting. Mom must’ve been dictating and I would’ve, like any food loving diligent child, made note of everything. The picture below has my mother’s notes though.

diary

Lastly, I couldn’t leave the city without my favourite filter coffee. Got one straang cup from Maiyas.

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I didn’t leave with a heavy heart or a sad face. I was glad to be home, but I also did look forward to coming back to Gurgaon to resume work and my routine. As much as you love going back to visit your family, the novelty wears off in a couple of days and you find yourself a tad restless and wanting to fly back to the nest you made and call it home. Rightly so.

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Chicken and Mushroom Soup

PhotoGrid_1447603235910I’m back to Gurgaon after a week long Diwali break in Bangalore. Imagine the food that’s been consumed while I was there. I’ll put up another post about it. Anyway, since I’m back and it’s almost winter, almost, I wanted to get started with soups. I’m not a soup person by and large, but Thai flavours get me going. This time I did attempt one. I didn’t make a soup paste for this one since I didn’t have that kind of time on my hands. Therefore, this is very simple to make. Like my flatmate says, it went straight to his soul missing his stomach.

Ingredients:

3 pieces chicken on the bone (preferably leg and thigh pieces)

1 chicken bouillon cube

Handful of coriander stems (just twist the bottom part of the coriander bunch you have)

4 cloves garlic

1 inch ginger piece sliced

3 lemongrass crushed

1 tbsp grated galangal

2 large green chillies or 1 tsp red chilly paste

1 pok choy torn into pieces

1 cup sliced mushrooms

3 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp olive oil

Fish sauce and soy sauce for seasoning

:

Cut out the chicken flesh from its bones and cut it into tiny pieces. Keep the bones aside.

Heat the oils and add ginger and garlic to it.

Add chicken bones and let it brown.

Add a litre of water and to it add – bouillon cube, coriander stems, lemon grass and garlic. If you want it spicy, add the chillies at this point.

Let this come to a boil, and then lower the flame to minimum. Let it simmer for 30 mins.

After 30 mins, scoop the bones and coriander stems out.

Add rest of the ingredients and let the chicken pieces cook.

Finish with a garnish of coriander leaves and spring onions.

Notes:

  • Don’t worry of you don’t have all the ingredients. Feel free to make it your own by adding or omitting anything you feel like
  • Add cooked noodles to this and you have a noodle soup

 

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Molten Lava Cake

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To be honest, Dominos had spoilt this little treat of a cake for me years ago. But since I’m just back from a week long Diwali break, I needed to continue the food coma I was already in. It isn’t winter yet, but summer seems long gone. A warm chocolate cake with a molten centre oozing liquid chocolate goodness seemed just about right. I looked up a few recipes online and settled with the one from Food and Wine. Instead of caramel, it’s chocolate filled.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

3/4 cup dark chocolate

1/4 cup salted butter

1/4 cup sugar (I used brown, you could stick to regular)

2 small eggs

1 small block/cube dark chocolate (1 inch approx)

Method:

Grease 2 ramekins (10 oz each) with butter and dust with a mix of 1 tsp cocoa and 1 tsp flour, and keep aside.

Melt chocolate and butter in microwave for 1 min. Stir any bits of chocolate. Don’t keep it in the microwave for long, else the chocolate will burn.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar for 3 – 4 mins till light and pale.

Add the chocolate mixture into this egg and sugar mixture and mix till blended.

Tip the 1/4 cup flour and gently fold it in.

Pour the batter 1/4 way through the ramekins, place the chocolate block and pour the remaining batter to cover.

In a preheated oven of 200 C, place the ramekins and bake for 20 mins. The top should be slightly cracked and centre should be wobbly.

Let it sit for 10 mins before you take them out of the ramekins. Use a butter knife on the sides so the cake doesn’t stick to the ramekin walls. Turn it upside down and pat on the bottom so the cake falls out on your palm. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

 

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Chocolate Cake with Mocha and Salted Caramel Icing

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Anjana is my colleague who sits beside me, and it was her birthday. There was a cake overkill in the office and I made my generous contribution too. We had my cake for breakfast. In you FACE, other cakes! It was my usual chocolate cake, the recipe which came from mum, who in turn got it from Padma aunty (her friend from the 80s). Now don’t ask where Padma aunty got it from. I’ll give you the recipe for the icing here.

Mom’s Chocolate Cake

Salted Caramel Recipe

Ingredients for the icing:

1 cup dark chocolate cut into pieces

1/4  cup salted butter

3/4 cup fresh cream

1/2 pack or 75 grams of cream cheese (I used Britannia), room temp

1/2 cup powdered sugar

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Method:

1. Heat cream in a saucepan with butter till it bubbles on the sides.

2. Pour it over the chocolate and let it sit for 5 mins and then stir till smooth.

3. Whip the cream cheese till smooth and add the powdered sugar and mix well.

4. Add a little of the chocolate mixture into the cream cheese mixture and mix till incorporated and smooth.

5. Now add this mixture into the melted chocolate and mix well.

6. Let this sit for at least an hour so it thickens as it cools and is of thick enough consistency to spread on the cake.

7. Once this is done, spread on cake and pipe the salted caramel as you please over the chocolate icing.

I scattered a few Gems over this because it was supposed to be a birthday cake. Yes, I’m aware of the fact that it looks like a cake for a 5 year old (also that I decorated it like a 5 year old would). It was a hit at the office. So, booyah!

 

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Salted Caramel

caramel

 

Who would have thought – adding little salt in your usual caramel changes everything in this world. OK not world, but it changes everything for caramel lovers at least. Like me, for instance. After the splish and splash of bubbling caramel on the pan, put some salt and that’s it. Salted caramel would have happened. Details below for half cup caramel.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup cold salted butter

1 cup fresh cream

2 tsp salt

Method:

1. In a nonstick pan melt sugar till it turns amber colour. Basically completely melted and brown.

2. Drop the butter and mix quickly.

3. After butter melts, add cream. Now you have to work quickly with this because you will be in the splash zone and this is not a water park. Mix quickly and let it bubble for a minute.

4. Take it off the heat and add salt.

This should make more sense:

caramelmaking

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