Prawns and Onion Sauce Recipe
I almost called this a faux XO sauce. It’s a good thing I didn’t. This prawns and onion condiment is so delicious I almost at it all by itself. Its sticky, funky, saltiness flavours makes it hard not to add to everything. Like in XO sauce, I too used dried prawns here along with onions that are caramelized till they’ve mutated into the most delicious dark sticky sweet mass. I’m not aroused, I promise. A little bit of this and a little bit of that, a little cooking here a little mixing there – and then you have this jar of deep dark delicious goodness. I’m over selling. I’ll stop now. Last thing. You can use this as a condiment with any Asian dishes (or boring takeout dinners), even add it to stir fries for extra flavour and of course, eggs.
Recipe for Chilli Garlic Oil
If you’re ever wandering the feeds of Instagram and stumble on to mine, check out the highlights. I’ve got this recipe there. Chilli garlic oil has to be one of my favourite condiments of all time. There’s the ruby red oil that can be used to stir fry things in or simply drizzle your eggs with. Then there are those tiny little nuggets of gold – garlic and chilli flakes – that have crisped to perfect crunchiness. It elevates any boring dish to new levels of deliciousness. I don’t like saying “next level”. What is next level? Who’s seen the next level?.
Old Monk Sticky Chilli Chicken
A bottle of Old Monk and chilli garlic paste got me going with this Old Monk sticky chilli chicken. To be honest, it was Nigella Lawson’s tequila lime chicken that made me do it. That’s why you should let me watch her all day every day. Anyway, she did some fiery chicken with tequila and lime. I went a similar way but instead of tequila I had a bottle of Old Monk in the house, so I used that. What goes well with rum? Chilli, lemon and honey. I added coriander stems, ginger and lemon zest in the marinade to give it more punch. It was awesome.
Chilli Garlic Noodles with Vegetables
Noodles are versatile and are the best when you want a quick dinner. Simply toss some veggies or meat in with some sauce and your meal is ready. One evening, at the grocery store, I found these vegetable noodles. They looked like the kind you make pad thai with. The flat and slightly thicker ones. I bought a packet for myself to make a quick dinner. It was a chilly evening and I knew I wanted something spicy, chilli garlic like, and easy to put together.
Creamy Cashew Chicken Curry
I forgot that I ran out of red chillies. As I rummaged through my pantry with creaky doors and my fridge, whose freezer door I must get fixed, I didn’t find much that would excite me. But the optimist that I was, I found this half-full packet of cashew nuts. And in a corner of the fridge, there was this small bowl of grated coconut and a couple of spoons of leftover coconut milk in its little carton. About a fourth of a cup. That was enough for me to hustle up a Sunday chicken curry. This time it was going to be a creamy cashew chicken curry.
Spicy Peanut Chicken Recipe
The best thing about having Asian sauces in your fridge and pantry is that you can whip up a really good meal in just a few minutes. This spicy peanut chicken recipe is the result of a jar with just a spoon of peanut butter, fish sauce, char siu sauce, soy, and chilli paste. It’s one of the quickest meals I’d fixed myself in recent days. And I cannot put into words how much I loved it. You can tweak the sauce too. If you don’t have char siu, use oyster or hoisin. If you don’t have any of those, simply use peanut butter, soy, chilli paste, and honey.
Green Chutney – Green chilly and coriander based
The green chutney is a staple at home to go with any kind of idli or dosa. The colour comes from green chilli and coriander leaves. That’s why it also tastes very fresh. You can alter the amount of either of the ingredients to suit your taste. But by keeping the chillies on the low means you get to taste all other ingredients. Otherwise, it’s just a spicy chutney.
Red Chutney – Red chilli and garlic based
Red chutney is my personal favourite and a favourite at home. Like many, this one too starts off with coconut. It is made with only red chillies, ginger, garlic and coconut. A tadka of channa dal, urad dal, mustard seeds and curry leaves are added for some crunch and texture. And look how pretty it is!
Spaghetti in Marinara and Fresh Basil
Sure, you wouldn’t need a recipe for a basic marinara sauce for your bowl of spaghetti. But I wanted to share this anyway because it tasted great. Lots of garlic and good tomatoes make for a simple yet delicious sauce. Fresh basil gives the dish freshness. I added some dried thyme and paprika as well. Tossing the cooked spaghetti in this sauce and topping it with fresh basil and grated cheese turned a dull midweek day lunch into a delicious meal. Bowl-lickable is what I’d call it.
Pork Masala – Hot and sour pork curry
I don’t know what to call this – pork masala or hot and sour pork curry. Either way, it turned out pretty good. It was surprising to see boneless pork on Bigbasket the other day and I ordered some. Sunday lunch was this pork masala and it was finger-licking good. As always, I rely on freshly ground spice mixtures and I made one for this curry too. I’ve made pork bafat or Mangalorean style pork before with freshly ground bafat powder. This one though is very different. I wanted something sour and spicy.