Chilli cheese toast with roasted bell peppers

Chilli cheese toast

Updated with new pictures!

I don’t think I’ve met anyone who hasn’t had a chilli cheese toast at some point in their life. From being a favourite at the local bakery to making one yourself as a teen, the chilli cheese toast has always been around. And so many variations of it. The simplicity of it makes it so comforting. With a cup of coffee or tea, I like my chilli cheese toast with loads of cheese and the right amount of chilli. I steer clear of masala or chilli powders and add only fresh green chillies, finely chopped.

Continue Reading

Carrot and lemongrass soup

Carrot and lemongrass soup recipe

lemongrass soup

After my roasted pumpkin soup, I’d decided go try on different kinds of soups that can work as a meal on its own. Hearty and nourishing is what a soup should be for me. It’s also a great way to get some veggies into my diet. As far as soups go, I like vegetable soups that are thick and hearty, broth style clear and full of flavour if they’ve got meat. This soup has all the aromatics it needs to fill your home with fragrance – coriander stems, ginger and lemongrass.

2016-09-03-15-22-46

2016-09-03-14-27-14

Soup is bubbling away

Serves: 3 people (the hungry kinds)

Prep time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 15-20 mins

Ingredients:

Carrots – 2 chopped to small cubes (roughly 2 or 2.5 cups)

Onion – 1 chopped

Garlic – 3-4 cloves

Ginger – 2 inch piece (alter according to your preference)

Lemongrass – 1 stalk chopped

Green chilli – 1/2 chopped (omit if you don’t want any heat)

Coriander stems – a handful chopped

Coconut milk – 1/2 cup and 1 tsp for garnish

Chicken/vegetable bouillon cube – 1 (adds good flavour but it’s optional)

Water – 1 cup

Oil to cook

Method:

Heat some oil and saute the chopped onion till soft and translucent.

Add ginger and garlic.

Now tip the carrots in and saute.

Pour the water and coconut milk, and add the rest of the ingredients.

Turn the flame down and let it cook for 15 mins, covered.

Take it off the flame and puree it in a blender or use a hand blender. If you’re putting it in your blender, wait for it to cool down a little.

Once it has been pureed, put it back on the flame. Check if the consistency is right for you. If you want to thin it, add some more coconut milk or a splash of water. Bring it to a boil and take it off the heat.

Now you can serve it as it is or run it through a sieve. I didn’t use a sieve and got bits of ginger in my mouth while enjoying the soup. I didn’t mind it, but I’m sure some of you would.

Garnish with a spoon of coconut milk (or not) and some coriander leaves.

Continue Reading

Sticky honey chilli chicken

Sticky honey chilli chicken recipe

honey chilli chicken

Remember the Chilli honey paste recipe from a while ago? This was sitting in the fridge since then and I needed to use it before it found itself a permanent spot at the back of the fridge. I had some boneless thigh pieces marinating in ginger garlic paste sitting in the fridge as well. This is the best thing I could do with them. I simply pan fried them till they were nice and browned and cooked through and then tossed them in the chilli honey paste mixed with soy and fish sauce. Makes for a great appetizer as well.

Yield: 2 portions

Ingredients:

Boneless chicken – 4 thighs cut into pieces (you could use 2 -3 boneless breasts as well)

Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp

Soy (dark/honey soy) – 1 tbsp

Chilli honey paste – 2 tbsp

Fish sauce – 1 tbsp (if you don’t have it, leave it out and add salt to taste)

Sesame oil – 2 tsp

Honey – 1 tbsp

Method:

Marinate chicken in ginger garlic paste overnight or for a couple of hours.

Heat oil in a nonstick pan and cook chicken in it till browned and cooked through – say around 2-3 mins per side depending on the size of the pieces. Keep aside.

Mix sesame oil, soy, fish sauce, chilli honey paste and honey together.

Heat the pan again and pour the sauce mixture into it.

Let it bubble up for 2 mins.

Toss the cooked chicken in the sauce till coated well.

Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and coriander leaves.

Continue Reading

Smoked beetroot hummus with toasted pita bread

Smoked beetroot hummus recipe

beetroot hummus

 

2016-08-14-16-25-00

(That’s how I smoked the beets)

The first time I had beetroot hummus was in Bangalore at Pepper Cafe. I remember loving the very idea of playing with hummus. A couple of days ago, I was browsing YouTube and came across a video of a lady making beetroot hummus.  Took it further and smoked my beet before blitzing it with the rest of the ingredients. It resulted in  smokey hummus, and what’s not to love about that?!

Yield:

2 bowls of hummus

Ingredients:

Beetroot – 1 large

Cooked chickpeas – 1/2 cup

Tahini – 2 tsp (grind 3 tbsp white sesame with 1/4 olive olive oil to a paste to make tahini)

Olive oil – 1/4 cup

Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp (optional)

Paprika – 1/2 tsp (optional)

Smoke – 2 pieces of charcoal  with 1 tsp olive oil (smoking is optional though)

Salt to taste

2016-08-14-16-26-14

(Tahini)

beetroot hummus

Method:

Preheat oven at 200C for 15 mins.

Wrap the beet in aluminum foil and pop it in the oven and cook for and hour.

Let it cool completely before cutting it up into pieces.

If you’re going to smoke it, then place the beetroot pieces in a wide pan, leaving space in the middle for a small bowl (katori) with the hot charcoal in it.

Pour a spoon of olive oil on the charcoal and quickly close put a tight lid on the pan. Let this sit for 7-8 mins.

In the meanwhile, make tahini.

Once the beetroot has been smoked, put it in your processor/blender and blitz it till it has broken down coarsely.

Add the chickpeas, tahini, salt, paprika, cumin and garlic. A splash of water will help get things moving in the blender.

Blitz away till you get to desired consistency.

Put it in a bowl and garnish with coriander leaves and some olive oil.

Serve with toasted pita bread or veggie sticks.

Continue Reading

Peri Peri hummus – Spicy, sour and delicious

breakfast pita pocket
Recipe for Peri Peri hummus

peri peri hummusHummus is one of my favourite foods. And when it’s laced with Peri Peri sauce, the regular hummus gets a spice kick like no other. It can be used as a dip for chips, sandwich spread, or if you’re like me, you’d eat it as it is. I soaked a few too many chickpeas and ended up making two kinds of hummus. One of them was this, and it was delicious. If you plan ahead, hummus can be put together in just a few minutes without much effort. With a few garnishes, it’s sure to be a hit! Don’t forget to serve it with toasted pita bread.

Yield:

One big bowl (hard to give exact yield here)

Ingredients:

Chickpeas – 1 cup soaked overnight or for at east 8 hours

Olive oil – 1/4 cup

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Garlic – 4 cloves

Tahini – 2 tsp (tahini is 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds blitzed with 2 tbsp olive oil to make a paste – adjust olive oil according to desired consistency of paste)

Peri Peri sauce – as much or as little as you want

Salt to taste

Method:

Cook the soaked chickpeas with double the amount of water in a pressure cooker – let one whistle out on high heat and then cook for 10 mins on low.

While the chickpeas cook, make your tahini.

Once the chickpeas are cooked and cooled, blitz it in your blender/processor along with olive oil, tahini, garlic, salt and cumin.

You’re looking for a coarse yet spreadable mixture. You might have to stop every now and then to scrape the sides of the mixer’s jar to blitz again.

Pour this into a bowl and swirl around some Peri Peri sauce.

Garnish with coriander leaves.

Continue Reading

Chilli Honey Roast Potato Wedges

I could say it’s a party favourite, but I won’t. Simply because I made these for my vegetarian friend, and it wasn’t a party. It was finger food for while watching a movie, before we all dropped one by one and slipped into deep slumber. These wedges are spicy with a hint of honey for balance. You can add whatever you’d like if spicy isn’t your thing. You can make them lemony, cheesy, loaded with herbs, peppery, or just plain with some salt.

PhotoGrid_1451579528820

Ingredients:

3 whole potatoes, cut into wedges

Generous sprinkling of spicy condiments

Chilli oil and olive oil to drizzle over

3 tbsp honey

Fresh herbs (for after the baking)

Dried herbs (during baking)

Salt to taste
Method:

Toss wedges in the spices, salt and herbs.

Drizzle chilli and olive oil and mix well.

Bake in pre-heated oven for 40 mins.

Drizzle the honey over wedges.

If you have fresh herbs, sprinkle them after the wedges are out of the oven.

Serve with a mayo or creamy dip, or even just ketchup!
Continue Reading

Sambal Chicken in 10 mins

sambal

As usual I kept snooping around for easy chicken recipes on the internet and came across this. Seemed really simple and it is. I also happen to have a jar of sambal oelek paste. Guess what the ingredients at the back of the jar says? Dried red chilles, water, salt, thickening agents. Well, at least I have a nice jar. If you aren’t stupid enough to buy the paste, just make some and store it in the fridge. It’s just common sense to do so. Next time I’ll add shallots, garlic and ginger to knock some flavour punch to the paste. Anyway, moving on to what I made.

Continue Reading

Pepper Chilli Chiken

I had a few friends over for lunch on Sunday. Wanted a simple menu and so it was – Thai red curry (seafood), Pepper chilli chicken and Salted caramel sundae. I’ve made the Thai red curry multiple times before, but always with chicken – still trying to forget about the time I used sabut chillies instead of Kashmiri ones and set everyone’s tummies on fire. This time it was with fish and prawns. I’ve also made various kinds of pepper chicken and chilli chicken. This one’s a quick version. Do give it a go.

Ingredients:
Boneless chicken thighs – 6 (cut into bit size pieces)
Ginger paste – 1 tsp
Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Brown (or white) – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
(Marinate chicken with above ingredients for a couple of hours or overnight)
Onions – 2 med (chopped)
Garlic – 3 large pods sliced
Green chillies – 3 (cut into big pieces)
Whole black pepper – 1 tbsp crushed
Soy sauce – 1 tbsp
Sesame oil/regular oil – 2 tbs
Regular oil – enough to shallow fry the chicken

Method:
1. Shallow fry the chicken pieces in oil and set aside.
2. Saute garlic, chillies and onions in sesame oil (or regular sunflower oil), till onions are translucent.
3. Add the soy sauce and a pinch of salt.
4. Toss the chicken pieces along with the pepper into this and mix well.

You could garnish it with spring onions if you’d like. I didn’t. Works great as an appetizer or even as filling for a roll!

Continue Reading

Egg Masala

This is an almost perfect side dish you can whip up in under 5 minutes (provided you have boiled eggs in hand). My original plan of Keema (or Kheema, I don’t care) Pav didn’t work out, I resorted to this dish.

Ingredients:
Boiled eggs – 4
Oil – 1 tbsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder – 1/2 tsp
Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

Method:
1. In hot oil, add jeera and curry leaves. Wait for them to splutter.
2. Add the spice powders and salt along with ginger garlic paste.
3. Saute for a minute, before adding eggs.
4. Mix well and serve.

Goes well as a side with dal and rice or rasam and rice, or maybe a as a sandwich filling. My favourite bit is how the curry leaves get crispy in the end.

Continue Reading

Pepper Chicken

I’m yet to explore the length and breadth of Tamil cuisine. But Chettinad, is still love. Unlike the usual onion-tomato based curries, this one is onion-pepper based. Its spiciness comes from green chillies and whole pepper. The fragrance of curry leaves when it splutters in hot oil is the perfect start to cooking this dish. I tried my hand at something that would come close to Chettinad style chicken.

Ingredients:
Chicken – 1/2 kg
Green chillies – 3 chopped
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – fistful
Onion – 1 chopped
Garlic – 3 pods chopped
Lemon juice – 2 tsp

Ingredients for spice mix:
Whole pepper – 4 tsp
Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
Cloves – 3-4
Cinnamon – 1/2 inch

Method:
1. Dry roast all the ingredients for spice mix and grind it to a powder. Keep aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and let them pop.
3. Add curry leaves and let them splutter.
4. Now add onions and saute with the green chillies and garlic.
5. Add the spice mix and salt and saute for another 2 mins.
6. Add chicken, mix well and let it cook for 10 mins.
7. Add lemon juice and take off flame.

Best when served with plain dosa.

Continue Reading