Mo begs for luck

20 people come for late afternoon snacks to my place, and I have never hosted such a big event. Because I was lazy enough not to get a caterer, the plan is to make the following snacks/tapas which won’t be too much of a trouble to make. I have never hosted more than 6-7 people at a time, and this seems big. The menu for now:

  1. Patatas bravas.
  2. Shrimp something which i have no clue about, I will probably call it lemon drizzle or something
  3. Bite sized Teriyaki chicken, which can be done really fast, I think, because the marinade is from a bottle
  4. Bell pepper rolls with tuna stuffing which I saw the pic of and looks very attractive.
  5. Prosciutto with Rock Melon, because I would like to eat it myself.
  6. Chips + Mango Salsa (Pi’s recipe)

What else do you recommend? Tips?

And make it quick.

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Cynic’s cabbage in cutlets clothing*

Lets face it – cabbage is a blah vegetable.

 It has no character, no will power, no taste no nothing. It’s rather like those folks in a Governmental office. Pale, potbellied and billious green who will be damned if they do any work for you.

Which is why finding any good cabbage recipe is a momentous occasion worthy of many ballads and poems. Since I cannot write ballads ( ask Mo, sigh) and can manage only bad poems, I shall instead just share the recipe.**

Cabbage ( half a head) ~ 1/2 kilo – grated

Two large onions – grated

Approx 1 tsp of the following

Chilli Powder

Roasted Coriander powder

Garam masala

Pinch of Turmeric

Pinch of Amchur powder

2 tbsp of Besan ( Chickpea flour)

~ 75-100 gms of Rice flour ( you need enough for it to get bound properly)

Salt to taste

Mix the whole thing together, pat it into a cutlet, and shallow fry it on a tawa on low fire.

You can change the individual masalas depending on taste.

This can be served as an accompaniment, or sneaked into bread slices for unsuspecting kids or cabbage-hating-spouses .

* Note to self: STOP ALLITERATING

** I have actually made this today, so if I am inspired enough, I might actually take the effort of taking a photograph and posting it.***

*** Remember, this site’s USP are its lazy cooks. You cant expect lazy cooks to take photos and put them up now, can you?

Pi pirouettes to the Twist and Salsa.

Pi, who dances like magic,  teaches some easy steps to  us, the ones with two left feet in the kitchen.

1. Baby Carrots/Corns with a Roasted Twist:
——————————

A quick and healthy snack.

Ingredients:
Baby carrots or baby corns: as many as you want or
Coriander Powder
Roasted Cumin Powder (bhuna jeera, the one used in Raitas usually)
Red chilli powder or Paprika (if you want it spicy)
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Lime
Honey

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the baby carrots on a tray.
Brush olive oil.
Season with salt, pepper and paprika (or red chilli powder)
Roast it in the oven for 15-20 mins or till they look roasted
Once roasted pour lime juice for the tangy taste (you can skip this if you do not want the sour tinge), some honey (you can skip this if you don’t want the sweet tinge)
Sprinkle Coriander powder and Cumin Powder
Serve

2. Mango Salsa:
————–
Ingredients:
Mango cubed (could be the sweet or sour mangoes) – 1
Jalapeno peppers (chopped) – 2-3 depending on how spicy you want it
Avocado (diced) – 1
Corn (steamed frozen corn) – 1/2 cup
Lemon juice – 1 lemon
Salt
Cilantro – chopped coarsely
Roasted Cumin Powder – 3/4 tsp

Instructions:
Mix everything
Chill
Serve with tortilla chips.

PS: Now, do the jig.
PPS: I always wanted to try making Mango Salsa, but nobody ever gets tired of Tomato Salsa.

Mo

g’s chicken katti roll

And this one is a guest post by the lovely G at 42. Who has demystified something as complex sounding as a katti roll – what more could you ask for?

Ingredients:

RRLV*:

Pre-cooked frozen boneless chicken breast strips
[Your favorite brand] Tandoori chicken Masala
Coriander/ Mint / Green chilli*** chutney / Pesto from the store
Frozen Malaysian Parathas
A little oyl
1 small onion
lemon / vinegar
salt to smell

LLLV**:

Boneless chicken breasts
Ginger & Garlic paste
Pinch of turmeric
Coriander powder tt****
[Your favorite brand] Tandoori Chicken Masala
Homemade Coriander / Mint Chutney
Frozen Malaysian Parathas
Some oyl (yes, that’s more than a little oyl)
1 small onion
lemon / vinegar
salt to smell*****

Oh, alright homemade coriander/mint chutney:

1 mother / friend / friend’s mother
1 telephone

How:

(Hard-workers deserve to know first):

1. (Thaw and) Cut chicken breast into bite sized pieces. Remember the pieces become bigger when cooked, so cut them slightly smaller than you’d like them.
2. Lightly rinse in warm water. Add ginger-garlic paste, all spices & salt, squeeze a little lemon and mix properly (with fingers :P). Let it marinate for  bit.
3. Put some oil in a wok; when it’s sufficiently heated, add the chicken. Sauté, and keep at it every few minutes.
(If you coincidentally happen to be humming Ada, aay hay Ada at the time, sautéing at every Adaaaaaaa would be a good pace)
4. Sprinkle some more Tandoori Masala if you want to kill time or need a distraction. But don’t blame me later if it’s too much 😛

6. On the side, make the Paratha as per the packet instructions.

7. I’m assuming you’ve already made the coriander chutney 1-2 days ago. I never really make coriander chutney for this roll, but I invariable make the kathi role if I’ve already made the chutney.

8. Halve and slice onions reasonably thin. Drizzle lemon juice or vinegar. Add salt.

9. Smear Chutney on Paratha, add the chicken, add onions, roll (the Paratha :P) eat.

(Wokay, now you lazy bums):

1. Microwave breast strips  for 30 sec to a min (till they’re softish).
2. Start making Parathas simultaneously
3. Add a little oyl, Tandoori Masala to the chicken, lemon, salt. Mix thoroughly, nuke again.
4. If Paratha is burnt by now, take another one. Maybe you should just wait till the chicken is done 😛
5. Do 8 & 9 above.
* Really Really Lazy Version
** Lie-Lie Lazy Version
*** Only if you enjoy the after-dance
**** to taste
***** Alright, even salt to taste – (don’t tell me you actually smelled it :P)
****** You’re right Cyn, this is fun! 😉

Thanks for humoring me, you three! Was fun posting 🙂

Cyn’s footnotes

We want more! We want more! We want more! Recipes I mean.

Also could you fedex the rolls to my address? Thanking you verr muchly

Cynic’s Environmentally-Friendly* Maharaja Samosas

How to recycle leftover food and give it a totally new look
Ingredients
Left over potato sabzi (dry) or mince (for you carnivores)
Papad (Not roasted)
Oil for frying
 
Preparation
Cut Papad into half
Moisten the papad
Put a little bit of the sabzi/mince
Wrap the moist papad around it
Deep fry
 
Voila.

For all you non-lazy folks who want to do the stuffing from scratch (bah) – here are a couple of stuffing recipes **
 
Vegetarian
Boiled and mashed potatoes
Add the following masalas – Chilli (Or chilli powder), Cumin (Jeera) powder, Dry Mango ( amchur) powder, Garam Masala, Roasted Coriander powder, Coriander, salt to taste
Optional add-ons – finely chopped onion, finely chopped garlic, boiled green peas
  
Non-vegetarian
Saute onions in oil
Add ginger-garlic paste
Add tomato puree
Add the minced meat
Garam masala + Salt + Chilli Powder + Turmeric + Coriander powder + Bay leaf + Cinnamon + Salt to taste 
Optional add-ons – boiled green peas

* How does this save the environment?
Well, when the cook needs to expend minimum energy AND recycle left over stuff, that’s going to result in one happy cook. Happy cook definitely is better for the environment than an unhappy one isn’t it?

**The interesting thing about these stuffing’s is they can also be converted into cutlets. Just add crumbled bread slice (without the crust) – so that it absorbs the extra moisture and provides binding and shallow fry it on a tawa.

Also please note that the recipe maker has managed to sneak in four recipes into one post. Energy conservation again!

Mo takes Roshan’s Istanburyani for a taste drive.

Warning: Not a 140 second recipe. Very uncomplicated though.

Roshan shared his recipe for a Biryani Mashup with me a while back, and I refused to post it because I don’t trust the PhD’s.

I tried it yesterday, and it turned out surprisingly good. More importantly, it was surprisingly easy. Bold, italics, underlined. Why did I always assume it was complicated?

The only screw-up is that this really can’t be made in small quantities. Must be made for a whole bunch of starving gatecrashers who should have  skipped breakfast and lunch to have dinner. And you may still have leftovers. Not quite the thing for a romantic dinner for two.

Anyway, without further ado, over to Roshan..

—–

Istanbuli” or Stamboli as Rose* insists is a Persian flavored rice dish. I figure the etymology of it due to perhaps Turkish influences. But perhaps Rose is right and Stamboli is just a Persian word for this dish.
Biryani is a flavoured rice dish popular in the Indian subcontinent.

Common elements of both:
Flavorful cooking of meat in a thick sauce as a precursor.
“Dumming” of half-cooked rice along with the meaty-sauce.

Distinguishing elements.

Istanbuli uses onions and garlic with spices in tomato sauce for the gravy. Biryani gets it gravy from onion-garlic too but the gravy materializes out of cooking yoghurt.
Lentils and Garbanzo beans (chickpeas/chhole) are added to Istanbuli along with the meat.

In any case.. here’s the recipe for Istanburyani as I call it.

0. Make sure you have some softened lentils/garbanzo beans (I used black beans soaked overnight and a can of garbanzo beans)**

1. Marinate some meat of your in masala and yoghurt with spices. I used lamb***, in mango chilli powder, turmeric, salt, and garam masala. I recommend at least one hour.

2. Start off sauteing well chopped onions with green chillies and dried spices like cardamom, cinnamon, etc on slow heat.

3. Add in chopped tomatoes when onions are glassy and look super-tender.

4. Add marinated meat and pour in the tomato sauce.

5. Slow cook. Really, low flame. Some 40 mins or so. Check every 20 mins, stir, adjust etc.

6. The meat has released all its fat? And the gravy looks good ?

7. Add in the lentils, beans. whatever u planned. Drop in some more yoghurt, maybe some coconut cream (I also added coconut flakes for the sake of south India) and some chopped coriander.

8. Another 20 mins, slow cook.

9. Half cook basmati rice. means cook it as u normally do but for lesser time and with lesser water.

10. Get huge vessel or baking tray. Layer up the curry/meat sauce thingy.. and the rice in alternate  layers.  Bake in oven or slow cook on SUPER LOW flame. if on flame. put some oil in vessel first and use the first layer as rice.   Then you get what the persians call “TahDiq” .. the crusty crispy rice at the bottom.

11. Dum it****. Mix. Serve with raita or some cooling salad.

Spices/ proportions / etc..  use creativity and brains with prior cooking experience.

Mo’s footnotes:

* Name Changed to protect privacy. Hhhehhe.

** I skipped this.  No beans for me.

***I used chicken and  added mint leaves (Pudina). Kickass, I tell you.

****Put a tightfitting lid on top, and let it steam. Go for a walk, check your email, tweet..

Having said all of that, this recipe is a total oppositesexmagnet. Thanks Roshan, if it wasn’t this near-namesake problem, I would be writing louu-letters on pink paper with red ink, dotting my i’s with hearts, and burping  sweet-nothings in morse code.

Okay, the last part was a bit disgusting, but marriage proposals, and other suggestions, to be mailed to bhajifried@gmail.com – will forward to the concerned party.

Sunshine Girl’s upside to the sunny side-up.

[Guest post by first commenter sunshin3girl.]

Doesn’t involve sunny side ups, it’s an easy peasy egg salad. More like, easiest peasiest why-don’t-we-have-fun-with-boiled-eggs-more-often recipe.

Tangy Egg Salad

This quick and easy salad is a hit, every time. What’s more, it fills you up too.

Ingredients:

1. Eggs (At least four to make a plate full.)
2. Olive Oil
3. Spices: Red Chilly Powder, Salt, Oregano, Black Pepper is optional (Adding both red chilly and black pepper gives HOT results.)

Steps:

1. Hard-boil the eggs*.
2. Once done, let them come to normal temperature and then carefully shell and cut into half vertically. More careful you are with this step, the better the appearance of the salad.
3. Scoop out the yolk from all eggs. In a bowl, add one teaspoon olive oil, the yolks, and the spices to taste. Mix well until it forms a thick paste.
4. Now fill each of the egg-halves with the paste. The paste goes where the yolk came out of, of course.
5. Put in the refrigerator to cool. You could make some garnish out of carrots/radish, coriander, mint, or butter lettuce while you wait.

Dig in!

PS: If you are really like decking up your food (like me), you could add a tiny drop of chilly sauce/ketchup on each egg-half.

Mo’s  gyaan.

* How to boil an egg: I was told that the recipes are too complicated, so here’s the youtube video for help.