Prawn Masala with Ground Prawn Heads

Prawn Masala with Ground Prawn Heads

Prawn Masala with Ground Prawn Heads

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.

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Stuffed Brinjal in Peanut Coconut Curry

Stuffed Brinjal in Peanut Coconut Curry

Stuffed Brinjal in Peanut Coconut Curry

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.

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Sticky Lotus Stem and Baby Corn with Peanuts

Sticky Lotus Stem and Baby Corn with Peanuts

Sticky Lotus Stem and Baby Corn with Peanuts

I’m fascinated with the lotus stem’s pattern. Can’t take my eyes off them. I’d never cooked lotus stem and baby corn before and I wasn’t even curious to. This is my first and it was good. It’s a simple stir fry of sorts. A quick wash, a quick black and a quick stir fry. I blanched it to be on the safer side so I knew it was cooked to an extent. After blanching I saw that it was slightly slimy. I washed it all off and then stir fried it in some sesame oil and garlic.

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Prawns and Onion Sauce Recipe

prawns and onion sauce

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.

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Chilli Garlic Oil for Stir Fries, Eggs, and more

Recipe for Chilli Garlic Oil

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?.

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Old Monk Sticky Chilli Chicken Recipe

Old Monk Sticky Chilli Chicken

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.

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Chilli Garlic Noodles with Vegetables

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.

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Creamy Cashew Chicken Curry

Creamy Cashew Chicken Curry

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.

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Spicy Peanut Chicken/Chicken in peanut sauce

Spicy peanut chicken recipe

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.

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