Everything’s Better With Bacon!

So, most of you that know us as a couple, also know that Varun loves surprising me with little things here and there! It’s one of the best parts about being married to him ❤

So, last Saturday, he woke up early and left for a haircut. I was fast asleep and everyone who knows me knows never ever to wake me up early on a weekend! Well, Tyrion obviously didn’t get the memo, so he began pawing me at about 8:30 and I was forced to wake. Grumpily, of course! As soon as I stepped out into the lounge, though, Varun shooed me back in saying he’s making me breakfast and that I shouldn’t come out until he was done. I told him, “What’s the big deal, it’s just bread and eggs! Why can’t I just come out?!”

But of course, he threw me out anyway. 20 minutes later, he comes with this embarrassed look on his face and said, “Ok, I’ve plated up. Now, you can come out.” And there I went, half expecting an omelette and bread, when I saw one of the prettiest things ever plated up by him! Check out the pictures 🙂

1471928_10153083360827830_2888684013192551937_n

Ingredients:

Butter: 1 tsp

Bacon (Shoulder Bacon): As much as you want!

Egg: 1

Rosemary (finely chopped): As required

Basil (finely Chopped): As required

Green chillies (finely chopped): 1

Paprika: As required

Salt and pepper

Process:

1.       Spread melted butter all over the inside of a ramekin

2.       Place Bacon strips in ramekin lengthwise, until the inside is completely covered by

3.       Sprinkle a little rosemary, basil and paprika and chillies on this

4.       Crack an egg into the ramekin

5.       Sprinkle some more rosemary, basil and paprika on top along with some pepper

6.       Bake on 220 degrees until the  bacon looks firm enough to pull out of the ramekin and the egg looks done

7.       Pull the bacon cup out (it should slide out easily) and serve with love!

Like I always say, BEST HUSBAND EVER! ❤ Do try it out and let us know how it was!

11061954_10153083360762830_1396182935379718222_n

Advertisements

Not Shellfish At All For Sharing!

So, yesterday, I saw a post about a Prawn Biryani and drooled profusely for the next 10 minutes. I messaged Varun at work and told him we needed to try this.

Now, I prefer shrimps to prawns so we tweaked it a bit but the end result was quite splendid. Do try this at home and for all the vegetarians, I am so sorry! I promised a few vegetarian posts but I haven’t lived up to it yet! I will, I promise. Don’t give up on us just yet 🙂

Ingredients: 

Spices:

Cloves: 4

Green cardamom: 3

Cinnamon: 1 inch stick

Cumin: 1/2 teaspoon

Bay leaf: 1

Remaining ingredients:

Shrimps: 500 grams

Rice: 2 cups

Onions: 2 sliced

Tomatoes: 2

Green chillies: 3

Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tablespoon

Yogurt: 1/2 cup

Red chilli powder: 2 teaspoons

Turmeric powder: 1/2 teaspoon

Coriander powder: 1 1/2 teaspoon

Oil: 2 tablespoons

Process:

1) Wash and soak the rice.

2) Wash the shrimp well and dry it. Marinate it with salt, red chilli powder (half of it) and turmeric powder. We kept it aside for about 30 minutes.

11110243_10153016512657830_3161367923011142957_o

3) Add the spices into a vessel with heated oil. Fry till the raw smell disappears. Next, add the sliced onions and fry till golden. Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for another 3 minutes.

10690113_10153016513127830_7227805827569203084_n11139358_10153016513082830_162334349963624008_n

4)  Next, add the chopped tomatoes and sliced green chillies and keep frying till the tomatoes are completely broken down and well cooked.

5) Add yogurt to this, mix well and add the remaining red chilli powder and the coriander powder. Cook this for 5 minutes or so.

6) Next, add the marinated shrimp and mix well. As shrimp cooks extremely fast, do not fry this for too long – maybe just for 2 or 3 minutes.

7) Add the rice to this, mix it well and add salt (well, taste it first).

8) Your shrimp biryani is ready as soon as the rice is cooked!

11295603_10153016512622830_1792254160422066853_n

This was one of the fastest biryanis I have ever made – it took only 40 minutes or so. Tyrion even took a nap on my arm while I waited for the rice to cook 🙂

11270598_10153016512847830_2211142687717890411_o

I was quite impressed and extremely hungry too! But even Varun thought it was great, so there you go!

11270606_10153016513027830_3727050201623809358_o

Do try it and let us know how it was.

Love,

P&V

Local is Lekker!

So, it’s been a while since we posted our last post. It’s been a crazy week with two long weekends that made work even more hectic! But this is a post about last Saturday when we made a lamb curry potjie with our closest friends. A potjie is a three legged cast iron pot ( looks exactly like a cauldron) that’s used on an open flame.

Capture

This post is not as much about the recipe as it is to introduce the South African way of life to all my loved ones in India and abroad.

5

I tried taking lots of pictures but after cooking for about 4 hours,  we were so hungry that we didn’t get a good one of the end product.  Sorry 😦 so here’s goes:

Lamb Curry Potjie
Ingredients

Lamb: 2 kilograms
Oil: 5 tablespoons
Onions: 4 large (sliced)
Ginger-garlic paste: 1.5 tablespoons
Red chilli powder: 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder: 2 teaspoons
Cumin/jeera powder: 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder: 1/4 teaspoon
Lamb stock: 4 cups or so (we used the cubes)
Yogurt: To thicken
Salt: To taste

Whole spices
Black peppercorns: 16
Bay leaves: 2
Green cardamoms: 4
Cloves: 6
Cinnamon stick: 1 large

Extra vegetables
Carrots: 4
Baby potatoes: 1 packet
Marrows: 5 or 6

Process
1) Place the potjie pot on an open flame and add oil. Once hot, add the whole spices and fry.

2) Next, add the lamb pieces to sear and seal all the juices.  This should take about 8 to 10 minutes. Take the meat out and keep it outside.

8

 

2) Add the onions and begin frying. Once golden brown, add the ginger-garlic paste and continue cooking till the raw smell disappears.

12

9

 

3) Add the masalas and keep stirring.  Fry for about 7 minutes or so.

4

4) Add the seared meat to this and mix everything well. As we were doing this outdoors, we didn’t have warm stock so dissolving the cubes was quite a pain as you can see! Next, we add the stock to the potjie.

11

5) Cook for about 10 – 15 minute and let it start boiling.  Add the carrots and potatoes. Cover and cook for as long as you can (we cooked it for about 45 minutes)

6) Marrows cook the fastest so we added them in the end. We didn’t want our friends to suffer with the spice, so we add yogurt at this stage. The curry also became a lot creamier once we did so.

7) Finally, check the seasoning. Add salt and pepper if require.

And that’s it! We were out in thethe clubhouse cooking for about 4 hours and had a wonderful time. But the highlight for us was watching these guys eat with their hands, some of them for the first time! We actually had to tutor them 😀 but they were such good sports!

12

310

 

Ps: A special mention to our resident Braai expert, Amore, for keeping fire nice and hot!

6

Love you guys!

 

Dad Knows Best!

My dad is one of the best cooks I know. Period. His home-made bread, paellas, chicken curries, tajine-cooked meat or veggies – it’s all perfection!

10150641_10152361286136575_4969217565788314123_n

So, after Varun and I got married, the Rao family came to spend some time at home with us in Chennai. Papa made his famous ‘Shikari Chicken’ that day and everyone was left licking their fingers and the plate!

The name Shikari Chicken came about when Papa, as a cadet in the academy, was sent out on his recce. The cadets obviously did not have access to a lot of appliances or ingredients. They used the basics and this mouthwatering dish was born! Please do try it and thank my Pa if you loved it!

Shikari Chicken

1610913_10152963658302830_2355752883829711278_n

Ingredients

Chicken: 400 grams

Onions: 2 (sliced)

Green chillies: 3 (slit)

Garlic cloves: 3 (cut into halves)

Oil: 1 1/2 tablespoons

Asafoetida: A pinch

Meat/chicken masala: 1 teaspoon (optional)

To marinate:

Red chilli powder: 1 1/2 teaspoon

Turmeric powder: A pinch

Cumin powder: 1/2 teaspoon

Garam masala: 1/2 teaspoon

Yogurt: 1 tablespoon

Salt and pepper: To taste

Process

1) Marinate the chicken in all the ingredients under ‘To marinate’ for about 20 minutes or longer.

11141134_10152963658112830_1097182130362115567_n

2) Heat oil in a pan. Add the onions, garlic cloves and green chillies. Fry for about 6 to 7 minutes or until golden brown.

11049110_10152963658212830_2392372894844264983_n

3) Add the marinated chicken and keep frying for 5 minutes. Add some water into the dish you used to marinate and pour that into the pan.

11088239_10152963658347830_8904764741430835521_n

4) Keep cooking till you get the consistency you want. Add the asafoetida and for extra taste, we sometimes use a teaspoon of meat/chicken masala. We usually like it dry-ish and serve it with rice or rotis.

And that’s it! Do try it out and let us know how you liked it!

Love,

P&V

Steaks with a red wine reduction, prosciutto asparagus and honey-glazed butternut

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend!

So, on Saturday afternoon we made the Biryani and you can find that here. At night, we wanted to try something different after all the Indian food during the week. So, we made a simple dish with lots of little elements!

We ended up with steaks with a red wine reduction, prosciutto asparagus, honey-glazed butternut and mashed potatoes. It was quite the feast and I really couldn’t finish my steak because every element was so filling! No, worries, Varun had it the next day for brunch. 🙂

So, here goes. Please do try this at home, you’d love it!

Steaks with a red wine reduction, prosciutto asparagus, honey-glazed butternut and mashed potatoes

11179978_10152956924032830_8575893572682194316_n

Ingredients:

Steaks

Lazy aged steaks: 2

Coarse sea salt: Freshly ground (to taste)

Whole peppers:  Freshly ground (to taste)

Red Wine Reduction

Pinotage wine: 1 ½ cups

Bay leaves: 2

Whole garlic cloves: 4

Onion: 1 small (diced)

Beef trimmings: 2 heaped tablespoons

Carrot: 1 (grated)

Celery: 1 large (finely chopped)

Shallots: 2 (finely sliced)

Olive oil: 1 tablespoon

Butter: To thicken

Chicken stock: 2 ½ cups

Black pepper powder: To taste

Prosciutto asparagus

Asparagus: 8

Prosciutto: To wrap

Sea salt: To taste

Pepper: To taste

Honey-glazed butternut

Butternut: 2 (cut into large cubes)

Pecan nuts: 15

Honey: 4 tablespoons

Cinnamon: 1 large stick (roughly ground)

Salt: To taste

Pepper: To taste

Mashed potatoes

Potatoes: 2

Milk: 2 tablespoons

Salt: To taste

Pepper: To taste

Process:

Start with the honey-glazed butternut and red wine reduction as these take the longest. The steaks take about 10 minutes to cook, depending on how you like it done (we like it medium rare, so that’s about 6 minutes on a pan)

Honey-Glazed Butternut with Pecan Nuts

10314749_10152956923227830_7526739142552301415_n

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Lightly oil an oven safe dish. Mix the butternut and pecan nuts with the ground cinnamon. Add salt and pepper to taste and spread honey evenly over the entire dish and mix well. Cook in the oven for over an hour.

11178194_10152956923102830_3041307489352364713_n

Red Wine Reduction

11174884_10152956923447830_9159128276194552904_n

11160676_10152956923372830_2603713716276739333_n

In a small saucepan, add the red wine, bay leaves, shallot and garlic and place over a medium heat. Let this reduce to half a cup.

11182102_10152956923737830_3044273143810740379_n

Heat olive oil in another saucepan over medium heat. Add beef trimmings and fry, stirring occasionally until brown. Add the carrots, onions and celery. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock and mix well and cook for 20 minutes. Add the red wine reduction to this and mix well. Simmer for 10 minutes. Finally,add butter to this to thicken followed by pepper for taste.

11037761_10152956923552830_6421708845216615709_n

Prosciutto Asparagus

11141252_10152956923637830_6958468422293079636_n

Boil the asparagus in water for 5 minutes and place in cold water immediately after. After 5 minutes, drain all the excess water. Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan on medium to high heat and fry the asparagus until crispy. Once it has cooled down a bit, wrap the asparagus with long streaky bacon. Fry again until bacon is cooked (on low heat).

11011257_10152956923912830_6383984651060464499_n

Steaks

Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Lightly drizzle olive oil and let it marinate for a few minutes. Add some olive oil to a frying pan on medium heat and add the steaks on. Cook for 6 minutes on each side (or to your liking) and take off the stove and let it rest.

Mashed Potatoes

Boil potatoes well. Once they cool down, mash them properly. Add salt, pepper and milk/cream to make it creamier.

Lessons learned:

1) Asparagus is such a yummy vegetable!

2) Cook with wine and might get a glass to drink if the chef feels like sharing!

3) Too many cooks may spoil the broth but too many elements makes a dish even more awesome!

Let us know what you think!

Love,

V&P

Weekend Treats!

So, it’s finally the weekend! After a lazy Saturday morning, I decided to make a Spicy Biryani. Biryani is our guilty pleasure and we try and make it every second weekend or so! It’s take a while but the final product is just so worth it! So, here’s the recipe:

10599562_10152952664937830_8689616033779675928_n

 

Spicy Chicken Biryani

Ingredients

Basmati rice: 2 cups
Chicken: 500-600 grams
Ginger-garlic: 1 1/4 tablespoons
Onions: 2 (sliced)
Green chillies: 4 (sliced)
Tomatoes: 1 (chopped)
Red chilli powder: 2 teaspoons
Turmeric powder: 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder: 1 1/2 teaspoons
Garam masala: 1/4 teaspoon
Yogurt: A little more than a cup

To temper

Oil: 1 1/2 tablespoons
Bay leaves: 1
Cloves: 5
Green cardamom: 4
Cinnamon: A large piece

Process

1) Wash the chicken well, dry it and marinate with 2 tablespoons of yogurt, 1 teaspoon red chilli powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons of coriander powder, 1/4 teaspoon of Garam masala, 1 teaspoon of ginger garlic paste and salt for about 30 minutes.

2) Wash the rice well and soak it.

3) Heat oil in a large vessel. Once hot, add the ingredients listed under ‘To temper’.

3) Once the tempering is done, add the sliced onions and green chillies. Fry for about 3 minutes.

4) Next, add a teaspoon of ginger-garlic and fry till the raw smell dissipates. Add the chopped tomato next and keep fry till it is mushy and cooked.

5) Add the remaining masalas (red chilli powder and turmeric powder). Mix well and add the marinated chicken. Fry this for about 5 to 6 minutes.

6) Next, cover the vessel with a lid and let it cook for about 8 minutes. The chicken should be 3/4 cooked by the time you are done.

7) To this, add a cup of yogurt and 2 to 2 1/2 cups of water and let is cook well and boil. Reduce the heat.

8) Add the soaked and drained rice. It should take about 15 to 17 minutes for the rice to cook.

And that’s it! That’s our Spicy Chicken Biryani recipe 🙂 And like I said, it might be a bit of work but the feeling of accomplishment you feel after is totally worth it!

Red Hot Chilli Peppers?

Hey everyone, sorry for the radio silence at our end! Yes, yes, we’ve still been eating. Starving doesn’t work for us. It’s just that we’ve both started new jobs and it’s been a little crazy. But we will post something new every chance we get. So yesterday, Varun’s boss gave him a whole bag of chillies. Strange, eh? Well, they looked like tiny red bell peppers and I wish I had taken a picture of them. But I’ll try find one off the Internet and show you.   CaptureThat’s the chilli/bell pepper on the left!

 

So, anyway, we were wondering what to cook for dinner as usual. I wanted something north India and Varun wanted mince. Yeah, there are days when we can’t see eye to eye on what we want to eat! So, I made my Punjabi Rajma Masala, which I did not document as I just took a recipe off the net.

Varun freaked out when he found out that we were out of mince (remember, I made Seekh Kebabs, oops!) and pretty much turned into the Incredible Hulk! After calming him down (read: having a shouting match!), he decided to make a chicken fry with the new chillies. Let me tell you, it was ahhmmaazziinngg! Here is the recipe:

Varun’s Garlic Chilli Chicken

Ingredients

Oil: 2 tablespoons

Curry leaves: 10

Green chillies: 4 (slit)

Strange red chillies that looked like tiny bell peppers: 2 (minced)

Garlic: 2 teaspoons (chopped)

Onions: 2 medium diced

Coriander/dhania powder: 1 1/2 teaspoons

Turmeric/haldi powder: A pinch

Red chilli powder: 1 1/2 teaspoons

Vinegar: 3 tablespoons (this might seem like a lot, but don’t worry, we’ll cook it out)

Chicken: 400 grams (diced – bite size)

Salt to taste

Process

1. Heat oil in a pan. Add the slit green chillies and minced red chilli/bell peppers. Fry on low heat for 2 minutes

2. Add garlic and fry for 5 minutes (still on low heat)

11103011_10152948463207830_685443271451091925_n

 

3. Add onions and fry till translucent

4. Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt and fry for 1 minute

5. Now, increase the heat to medium to high. Add chicken and fry till cooked

11068388_10152948463272830_4812069996968713482_n

7. Add vinegar (spread it well) and fry till the smell dissipates.

And that’s it! The Incredible Hulk was happy and so was I! It took us about half an hour to 40 minutes (or 2 episodes of The Office) for the entire meal and then we passed out due to exhaustion! 🙂 Sorry we don’t have a picture of the finished product, we were just really famished! Stay tuned till next time!