Cowpea Beans Stir-fry with Coconut / Alasande Palya

Cowpea Beans Stir-fry

Cowpea Beans Stir-fry with Coconut / Alasande Palya

Cowpea beans have been a regular fixture at home. French beans were slightly more expensive compared to cowpea ones. That’s why they made the cut. They’re simply stir fried with a tadka of mustard seeds, urad and channa dal, curry leaves and dried chillies. The dals give it a nutty flavour and add a crunch to the dish. There’s no masala or too much salt to kill these beans. Adding freshly grated coconut in the end gives the dish some added texture and freshness.

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Pan Roasted Chicken

The story behind this dish: I was locked out of my own home and my flatmate was going to take over 2 hours to get home. I had all the ingredients for a chicken curry. OK, not all but I had the chicken and random vegetables. Like a true damsel in distress I sat on the stairs waiting for someone to rescue me. Just then I see my friend and thankfully, neighbour walking her dog. I popped over to her place (yes, I turn British every now and then) and we decided to have an impromptu get together of friends over some food and beer. I worked with whatever I could find in her pantry.

Ingredients:
Chicken breast – 1
Mixed seasoning (paprika, dried herbs, salt) – 2 tsp
Lemon juice – 2 tsp
Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Vegetables like beans and carrots – 1 cup cut up

Method:
1. Rub the seasoning, garlic paste, lemon juice and salt to taste thoroughly on the chicken breast and leave it to marinate for an hour.
2. Get some beer or juice for yourself and have a good time with your friends.
3. Heat a pan with olive oil.
4. Place the chicken breast and let it roast for 5 mins.
5. Turn it around and let it cook for another 3-4 mins.
6. Take it off the pan and keep aside.
7. In the same pan tip the cut vegetables in and saute for 5 mins and take it off.

Serve the chicken with the vegetables. If you have garlic bread, then nothing like it.

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Bruschetta

Bruschetta

There was this one scene in Julie&Julia, where Julie is in conversation with her husband while cooking dinner. She dices tomatoes, a little later she flips a few baguette slices on the griddle turning them golden brown. Next thing you know, the tomatoes are nesting on the baguette and she’s garnishing them with fresh basil. I must have rewound and gone through the scene like 7 times at one go. It looked absolutely beautiful and it definitely helped that her husband loved it. So many months have gone by and now is when that scene would come to life in my kitchen. Technically in Upasana’s kitchen. Did it exactly how I played it in my head. But of course by now you should know we do bend the rules here and there. So we added a little extra for some zing. Cheese! Straight from Paris.

5 slices

Ingredients:

5 slices of baguette (you can use any other kind of bread slices)

2 chopped tomatoes

½ yellow capsicum finely chopped (green or red would also do just fine)

1 basil leaf for each slice

A pinch of fresh thyme for each slice (substitute with dried Italian seasoning)

Grated cheese to top the bruschetta (we used gouda)

1 clove of garlic

1 tbsp olive oil for toasting baguette

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Method:

Sauté the finely chopped yellow capsicum and keep aside. Toast baguette in olive oil on both sides. Rub garlic on each slice to infuse the flavor into the baguette. Top it with the chopped tomatoes, approximately 1 tbsp for each slice and the capsicum. Sprinkle a pinch of thyme and season with salt and pepper. Now add basil finely chopped or the whole leaf. Top this off with cheese and serve.

It works really well as an appetizer for a dinner party. Yes, you can show off. I would 😉

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