April 28, 2005

Summer time favourite

Home made iced tea with a dash of lemon. Mmmmmmm...Heavenly!

P.S. Please ignore the Smirnoff stirrers :-)

March 29, 2005

Dilli Ka Butter Chicken

1. Marinate a kg of chicken in about 200 gm curd, salt, red chilli pd,
garam masala and leave it overnight in the fridge.

2. Blanch 4-5 tomatoes and chop them roughly.

3. Chop 3-4 onions and saute in 2T butter. Add 1T ginger garlic paste
and continue to cook till the onions turn pink.

4. Add the tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are tender and the oil
starts to float on top. This should take about 20 mins.

5. Cool this mixture and puree in a blender. Return to the flame and
cook again for about 5 mins.

6. Add the chicken with the marinade, salt, and seasoning (if required).

7. Cover and cook for about 15 mins or till the chicken is done. Add
kasoori methi and some fresh cream. Mix well.

8. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with naan, paratha or roti!

March 28, 2005

Caramel Custard

Last night, I made dessert after a long time. Sid and I not being dessert freaks, I'd almost given up trying to please the sweet tooth. The custard turned out delicious but a little less firm than what I wanted. I served the caramel custard after a meal of Salad and mushroom Spaghetti.

Here goes the recipe for caramel custard:

Serves 2

1. Boil water in a steamer or saucepan. The level of water should be 1 cm lower than the top of the steaming mould.

2. To prepare caramel, heat 2t sugar in a mould on a low flame till it melts and turns golden. Keep turning the mould so that the sides get coated as well. Keep aside and let cool.

3. In another bowl, whip one egg lightly. Add 1T sugar, 150 ml milk, and ¼th tsp vanilla essence and stir till the sugar dissolves.

4. Strain the mixture and pour it gently into the prepared moulds. Cover with foil or greaseproof paper and secure with a rubber band.

5. Place in the steamer, cover and steam for approximately 30 minutes or till done. Check: A toothpick inserted should come out clean.

6. Cool in a pan of cold water, remove from mould and serve either warm or chilled.

February 11, 2005

Spaghetti in Mushroom Sauce

Pasta. All shapes and kinds. With all its different sauces. I love them all! So, here's another of my tried and tested recipes.

1. Boil 150gms spaghetti in salted water till al dente. Plunge in cold water, drain and keep aside.

2. Sauté a cup of chopped onions in 2T butter till onions turn pink.

3. Add a cup of chopped mushrooms and sauté till mushrooms are cooked.

4. Remove from heat, cool and puree the mixture in a blender. Save some mushrooms to add to the sauce later.

5. Return to heat and boil once. Add salt, freshly crushed pepper, chopped mushrooms and cook for a minute.

6. Add 1t of cream and the spaghetti. Toss and cook for a minute.

7. Serve immediately.

February 08, 2005

Bengali-Style Baby Baingans

Last night we had a simple home-cooked meal of dal, chawal and baby baingans (eggplant). I ate rice with my hands -- that's an achievement! The dal-chawal was standard fare, but the baingan was different and special. Try this:

1. Slit long baby baingans along their length and sprinkle salt on them. Set them aside to sweat for an hour.

2. Blot with kitchen towels and they’re ready to be cooked.

3. Heat 2 T oil in a pan and sauté ½ tsp each of cumin, mustard, fennel, fenugreek, and onion seeds (kalonji).

4. Add a cup of finely chopped onions and cook till onions turn golden.

5. Mix ½ tsp each of turmeric, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, salt and 2 tsp tamarind paste with a cup of water. Add to the onions and cook for 2-3 mins.

6. Add the baingans to this mixture, cover and cook till tender.

7. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with dal-chawal.

Update: Added picture

January 31, 2005

Easy Lazy Chicken

This is one of my favorite chicken recipes and it requires neither time nor culinary skills, but tastes delightful. In fact, we did not take a single picture when we last made this preparation, which proves how lazy Sid and I were at the time.

1. Marinate about 500gm chicken (preferably with bones) in 2 Tbsp vinegar, salt, and 2 tsp crushed pepper. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge.

2. Melt 1-2 Tbsp butter in a pan and sauté the chicken (without marinade) till it turns golden brown.

3. Add the marinade, some more freshly ground pepper (yup, I'm a sucker for fresh pepper!) and salt, if required. Cover and cook for 10min or till the chicken is tender and smells heavenly.

4. Garnish with chopped coriander or basil leaves and devour with bread or butter rice.

January 19, 2005

Tan vs. the Universe

It is wonderful to be married to a fellow foodie. A couple weeks ago, Tan decreed that the Universe had unfairly starved us of Mexican food. I wholeheartedly (and on an empty stomach) agreed. A quick trip to the supermarket later, we defied the cumulative power of the Universe and bit into these delicious tacos, topped with generous amounts of cheese.

Tan supplemented the tacos with some surprisingly refreshing beet soup. I was a little suspicious of the soup at first, with no fond memories of beetroot to soothe me, but the doubts melted soon after Tan added the cheese. It was yum.

Your serve, universe.

January 11, 2005

Chicken Dimsum

Here's what I made a few days back: Chicken Dimsums. It is one of my all time favourites, and now it is Sid's too. We frequently have meals consisting entirely of dozens of dimsums, and sometimes even the restaurant staff serving us has expressed amazement!

Dimsums are fairly simple to make. That is, *IF* you have the wonton wrappers ready. Making wrappers and rolling them out is quite painful, but I did that the first time I made dimsums at home. But a few weeks back, I came across frozen spring roll wrappers -- the bulb in my head switched on and shone brightly, and later that day we had dimsums made with spring roll wrappers.

Without any doubt, the original (but painful) recipe tasted better, but readymade wrappers saved us a lot of time and effort. If anyone knows anywhere in Bombay to get readymade wonton wrappers, please do let us know.

Another essential ingredient in the 'dimsum experience is tangy lemon sauce. Without this, dimsums are only half as much fun. For now, just slurp on the picture alongside.

PS: We have conducted a delicious survey of Chinese restaurants serving dimsums (ask for chicken 'sui-mai') in Bombay. And the winner -- head and shoulders above anyone else -- is Ling's Pavilion in Colaba. Remind them to serve their lemon sauce alongside, or they'll forget and you'll wonder what we raved about. Honorable mention: Royal China, near VT -- excellent dimsums, but horribly overpriced. Avoid: street vendor at Phoenix Mills -- trust us on this.

December 22, 2004

Grilled Chicken Wings

This is another of Sid's favourites. No prizes for guessing why. :-)

1. Marinade: Mix together 4 T soya sauce, 1 tsp ginger garlic paste, 2 T honey, salt, 1/2 tsp fresh pepper and a dash of mustard powder.

2. Marinate six chicken wings in the soya sauce mix. Keep it overnight, or better still, for a day in the refrigerator.

3. Heat the grill and cook the mainated wings on it. Baste alternately with butter and the marinade. Turn once or twice till the wings are tender and juicy.

4. Serve immediately with roast potatoes and soup.

December 21, 2004

Iced Coffee

My experience with Iced Coffee was never memorable till I took the Thai Airways flight from Bangkok to Phuket. The breakfast on board was nothing less than crappy, but the Iced Coffee (mmmm...) completely made up for the lack of palatable food. You may think I found it delicious because I was on my honeymoon. Maybe.

Here's how I replicated it at home:

(To serve 2)

1. Boil two and a half glasses of water, add 3 tsp instant coffee powder and 2 tsp sugar. You could add a 1" stick of cinnamon for added flavour.

2. Simmer for 2 to 3 mins.

3. Remove from heat and let it cool. Then chill in the refrigerator for an hour.

4. Fill ice cubes in two (preferably tall) glasses and pour the coffee into it. Add about 1 to 2T milk and stir gently to create a swirl.

5. Serve immediately. It tastes (and looks) fantastic.

December 17, 2004

Fish Napoli

This unscheduled recipe goes out especially for Jack, who was the first to leave a comment on this site. I have no pictures of this (yet), so you will have to make do with this illustration instead. Ofcourse, the dish looks nothing like this, but its the best I could do. Here we go ...

We ate at Shatranj Napoli last Friday, an Indo-Italian restaurant with minimalistic decor but excellent service. The mixed drinks were subpar and the entree left a lot to be desired. But the appetizers were awesome, especially the fish. Yumm! Oh yeah, especially the fish.

This is how it was made (I think). As always, try at your own risk. But please be nice enough to let me know if it turns out really bad -- I shall wait to hear from you before making it for myself. ;-)

1. Marinate four fillets of fish with the juice of one lemon and a sprinkling of salt for 20 mins.

2. Soak a teaspoon of peppercorns in a tablespoon of vinegar for an hour or so. Crush coarsely and keep aside.

3. For the sauce, melt butter in a pan. Sauté 3 teaspoons of refined flour (maida) for a minute.

4. Remove from heat and add half a cup each of milk and chicken stock, stirring constantly to prevent lumps.

5. Return to heat, simmer and cook till the mixture starts to thicken.

6. Add the crushed peppercorns, season with salt and a dash of soya sauce and cook till creamy. Stir in a spoonful of cream to add more taste (and many more yummy calories).

7. Pour on the marinated fillets and bake in a preheated oven for 10 mins.

8. Serve hot as an appetizer or as the entree with bread and soup.

December 16, 2004

Please do not drink and drive

After an office party last night, three colleagues were involved in a bad car crash. Two of them are in intensive care. Their car flipped over several times at a high speed after it drifted too far to the side of the lane and hit a road divider. The car is badly smashed -- its occupants are lucky to be alive.

Please do not drink and drive. It is not worth it.

Fungi On Toast

My latest possession is a book of finger-licking stuff you can make with mushrooms. I love mushrooms in every form: in soup, in pasta, as a starter, grilled, with chicken, and on toast! This one became a favourite after I whipped it up this weekend. Ladies and gentlemen, I present: Fungi on Toast!

1. Heat 2 T butter in a pan and saute 2-3 finely chopped onions till they turn pink and smell fragrant.

2. Add about 200 gms of chopped mushrooms and cook till the mushrooms are soft.

3. Now, add a cup of milk, salt to taste, freshly ground pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Cook till the milk begins to thicken.

4. Simmer and add one cup finely grated cheese. Stir till the cheese melts. You could also add a dollop of cream to thicken the mixture.

5. Toss in a handful of chopped tomatoes and finely chopped coriander leaves and stir. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

6. Lightly toast bread slices, top with the mushroom mix, and toast again.

7. Serve hot with mustard and ketchup.

Sweet Corn Jiffy Soup

This is for people who came back from work late evenings. This is for people who forget to make preperations before they leave for work. This is for people who forget to do grocery over the weekend. This is for people who have only 15 mins before they die of starvation. This is what I made last night for dinner: Sweet Corn Jiffy Soup.

1. Melt a teaspoon of butter or olive oil in a pan and saute a can of sweet corn (cream style) for 3-4 mins.

2. Now open a pack of soup powder and mix in gradually with the sweet corn so that there are no lumps. I used Maggi's chicken soup powder.

3. Add 5 cups water and bring to a boil.

4. Now, simmer and add salt, freshly ground pepper, a few drops of vinegar and soya sauce.

5. Whisk an egg and pour into the the boiling soup, stirring with a fork to get egg threads.

Serve hot with garlic bread and steamed veggies.

December 15, 2004

Sunken Lagoon

This concoction looks wierd, with an awkward blue blob at the bottom of the glass, and, I assure you, it tastes equally strange. At high society do's the bartender would in hushed tones remind you that finer tastes take time to acquire, and -- trust me on this -- he means that you should sip this drink slowly, smiling softly all the while and resisting the temptation to wince.

Ironically for a drink with such lofty ambition, the Sunken Lagoon's parentage is somewhat sub-standard. It was born out of a thirst for alcohol, a desperation to use a brand new bottle of Blue Curacao and a bar closet as bare as old Mother Hubbard's.

But all that is heresay. Here's how it is made: Mix 60ml dry gin and 30ml lime cordial (on ice) in a cocktail shaker; add ice cubes to a tall glass and pour this mixture in. Slowly add water till just below the top of the glass. Now add a blob of blue curacao, let it drop slowly into the water and allow it to gently fall and settle at the bottom. Embellish with crushed mint if you're really snooty. Drink slowly. And remember, if you don't like it at first, that this is a taste you will have to cultivate ...

December 13, 2004

Roast Potatoes

This is one of Sid’s absolute favs. Actually, give him anything with oodles and oodles of butter, fresh pepper, cheese, etc and he’ll drool bucketfuls on the kitchen floor.

If you try this recipe, don’t go overboard with the butter unless, of course, you are serving it to Sid.

1. Wash baby potatoes and pierce them with a fork. Dry with a kitchen napkin.

2. Tear a large sheet of aluminum foil and fold it into half to give double thickness. Place the potatoes in the middle of the foil.

3. Add 5 large dollops of butter, salt, freshly ground pepper and some chopped coriander. Bring up the sides and fold or scrunch the foil together to seal.

4. Cook in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the baby potatoes are tender. You can also make the same in a microwave. Simply put the potatoes in a micro-safe dish, cover and cook for about 7-8 mins or till tender.

5. Serve hot as a side dish or snack.

December 09, 2004

Sweet beginnings: Saffron Kulfi

I was contemplating which recipe to post first. What could be better than a sweet beginning, I thought. Though I don't have much of a sweet-tooth but a kulfi has always been my weakness. Love the ones Mom makes.... Mmmmm. This is my version of Saffron Kulfi.

1. Boil a liter of milk (preferably full cream) with 4T sugar in a heavy bottomed pan for 15-20 mins. Keep stirring all the while.

2. Add half a tin of condensed milk, lower the heat and keep stirring.

3. Add crushed cardamom seeds, chopped pistachos and slivered almonds.

4. Soak 2 pinches of saffron in a tablespoon of milk and keep aside for 10 mins. Add to the kulfi mizture and cook till it becomes thick.

5. Pour the mixture in a kulfi mould or an ice-tray. Freeze till done.

6. To get rid of the icicles from the kulfi, put the frozen kulfi in the blender. Whisk for a min and pour into the mould/tray again. Freeze till done. (This step is optional)

7. Serve garnished with saffron, almonds and pistachios.

Tan Can Cook!

We are such foodies. Hence, this blog. It was Sid's idea to start a food blog where I could show-off my culinary skills and he, his newfound love for making cocktails.

All culinary creations here would be either original or my adaptations of the original. The cocktails definitely would be original -- I cannot imagine Sid's wierd concoctions follow any known path. All pictures on this page would also be by Sid.

Hokay... ready? Here we go...!