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.
Chilli Pork with a Sticky, Spicy, and Salty Sauce
There’s something devilishly good about licking the remains of a heavenly chilli pork off your fingers. I had made some a few months ago when I discovered my second love – the pork vendor at INA. There used to be one online vendor who sold pork meat in Gurgaon and that wasn’t even good meat. But the INA market in Delhi is where all the action is. I was kicking myself for not having been there in my almost 4 year stay in Gurgaon. Better late than never, I guess. This was my second visit and I went to the same vendor I did the last time. His was the only shop that was always crowded. He didn’t have time to swat the flies of the meat, unlike the neighbour vendors who looked at his customers longingly.
Tofu Scramble with Vegetables and Vermicelli
This recipe, like most recipes, doesn’t come with a backstory like how I saw the tofu and lightning struck along with the idea of scrambling it with vegetables. No. It was simply out of sheer laziness and stomach rumbling hunger that made me cook at lightning speed. And once I cooked the tofu scramble and veggies together in some randomly mixed sauce, I realized I needed to eat it with something or else I’d get hungry soon after I’d wash my plate. What cooks faster than regular noodles? Vermicelli. 5 mins. Done.
Spicy Egg Curry / Anda Curry Recipe
Remember I made that bowl of delicious and comforting spaghetti in marinara and fresh basil? There was a cup worth of marina leftover from it. Instead of throwing it away or making a round of pasta, I turned it into a spicy egg curry. Everyday anda curry is one of my favourite dishes. Very easy to make and is ready in a matter of minutes. By adding chilli powder and meat masala or garam masala, the marinara isn’t marinara anymore. A great way to use up leftover sauce is to turn it into something completely different.
Fiery Prawn Noodle Soup Recipe
I’ve always hesitated to buy seafood in Gurgaon because, well no sea. But since I’m currently unemployed with no place to be and nothing else to do, I thought I’d buy some good looking seafood and cook some delicious things. Some big prawns and blue crab caught my fancy at the supermarket and I promptly picked them up. The prawns were plump and gorgeous, costing just about the same as they do back home. So did the blue crab. Anyway, with the prawns, I knew what I wanted to do. A spicy Thai style fiery noodle soup. That’s also because I spotted some fresh Thai red chillies.
Batate Saung / Potatoes in a fiery sauce
..well, as fiery as you want it to be. Batate saung traditionally is a Mangalorean dish. If I have to narrow it down further, it’s a Konkani dish. Konkani style fare is most sought after vegetarian food in Mangalore, as I remember it. That’s why grandma took on to making some of them at home regularly. Most of their dishes are light and relatively healthy. But this batate saung was something else. Fiery, sour and delicious. Using only onions, potato and a spice paste with chillies, coconut, coriander seeds and tamarind, this one takes just about 15-20 mins to make.
Another Chicken Curry Recipe
Yes, this is yet another chicken curry recipe and that’s why the title remains. More often than not, many recipes have the same ingredients and methods of cooking. But every once in a while you can change a couple of things and turn it into a new dish. I was binge watching Chef John’s Food Wishes channel on YouTube because there is hardly anything more entertaining than when food and humour come together. Anyway, in one of his Indian recipes he grinds the onion and tomatoes together before adding it to his dish. The norm is to grind them to pastes and purees separately and then go about your business. This method was different.
Recipe for thouthe koddel / Mangalore cucumber curry
Thouthe koddel is what I grew up eating. Grandma and mother would make it at least once a week. It’s spicy, sour and is balanced perfectly well with a little jaggery. Like most Mangalorean curries, this one too has a coconut based ground spice mix. Koddel can be made with many vegetables – ash gourd, okra/lady’s finger, Malabar spinach and others. But my koddel was made with Mangalore cucumber, also called Madras cucumber, Thouthe in Tulu and southe kai in Kannada. It is a part of the cucumber family and the texture is close to that of bottle gourd, but tastier. Ideally it shouldn’t be turned into mush. Thouthe pieces should hold their shape and form and have a bit of give when you bite into them.
We all love a good nibble of French fries or plump potato wedges every once in a while. But the fast food kinds are such a put off with all that grease. Yes, such food is meant for comfort. The soggy mess that they turn into when you order in though makes you want to whip up a batch yourself. Well, with an oven and a nonstick pan, you can. While I’d love nothing more than to simply let the potatoes roast away in the oven till golden brown with a crisp skin, I realize I don’t have one of those big beautiful ovens. Mine is a small OTG and I get by with it.
For those days in the middle of the week when you feel like ordering in because you’re too lazy to cook, or want something spicy, this chilli chicken is perfect. I didn’t plan for it. I was going to order in some greasy Chinese on a cold weeknight. But I remembered I had some boneless chicken marinating in the fridge and that I should use it before it goes bad or something. The marinade was just ginger garlic paste and some paprika. Simply pan roast the chicken with onions and capsicum with soy, hoisin or honey, chillies and crushed pepper. It’s alright if you haven’t marinated it as well. Best part – it comes together in under 20 mins!