Tag Archives: Snacks

Tomato Takatak

On the rare occasions I browse through recipe books, I have been always flummoxed by sun-dried tomatoes. I know what sun dried tomatoes are. I love them. But I am damned if I know where I can obtain them.

So in the spirit of necessity is the mother of invention, I set out to conjure them up. Common sense dictated that putting cut tomatoes in the sun was not the likely solution. Ants would eat them. Or I would forget about them or in the Indian sun, they would become chargrilled tomatoes.

That’s when I had an eureka moment – let us try the microwave! Not content with just trying out the tomatoes, I added some what I call my pizza-ingredients – and voila, a fairly interesting appetizer type thingummy was born.

Ingredients:
2 crisp red tomatoes cut vertically into four
3 cloves of garlic – crushed
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste
1/4th tsp Basil
1/4th tsp Oregano
1/4th tsp Freshly ground Pepper.

Instructions

Place the tomatoes face down on a flat microwave dish. Add all the other ingredients to it.

Microwave for about seven minutes ( or more if you prefer that slightly brown, crisp taste)

And you can try it with combinations, add the odd onion, put it on browned, buttery toast, put it with onions and lettuce and make it into a salad, add olives and some o-love will happen ( as usual, we try to give full paisa vasool in the recipes, four for the price of one)

Not what one would call a filling meal, but it can deceive your brain + stomach into thinking its eaten actual continental.

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In which Mo whips up some Tapas

I begged for luck, a lot of people came. It was great fun and may be attributed to the sangria. Frankly,  I dont know how authentic it is, but I called it spanish. The trick is that even if the dish is not exotic, one must have an exotic name for it. So there, g, does that answer your koschen?.
Oh, and not all the ingredients will be available everywhere, so you can experiment.

1. Mango Salsa minus the corn (because I forgot to buy it). Served with tortilla chips. No jalapenos, I used old fashioned green chillies. You need the chillies for the flavour, not the spice.

Preparation time: 20 mins.
Audience reception
: Alright.
Chef’s difficulty rating
: 1.5
Cheat code
: Eat bits of the mango. An inspired cook works better.

2. Parma ham + Melon taken off the super market shelves, wrapped around melon with party toothpick in. Of course mine didn’t look as attractive as the one below, because it’s hard (read: nearly impossible) to cut it into equal sized pieces.

love love

love love

Wrap pieces of Parma Ham around Melon/Rock Melon. I love this. Though it’s exhausting, I love eating it, so I love making it. One should always make food they enjoy.

Preparation time: 30 mins.
Audience reception
: Brilliant
Chef’s difficulty rating: 5.  There is no cooking involved, but wrapping ham around the melon can get tiring.
Cheat code: There is no need to cut the melon evenly. Oh, and put a few drops of lemon on the melon, here and there, because I like the sound of it.

3. Moroccan Kababs

One needs to figure out a way to skewer them. If you have a way, it will be brilliant. Alternately cook them in a pan and put toothpicks.

Meat: Chicken Breast. Use chicken breast because it’s easy to cook.

Marinade: Chopped garlic + Lemon + Paprika + Oregano + Salt. Leave it overnight in the fridge.

Garnish: Parsley

Preparation time: 40 mins. Involves chopping chicken and putting meat through the skewers.
Audience reception: fingerlicking good.
Chef’s difficulty rating: 4.5. Effort is in threading meat into the skewers. Borrrrrrring.
Cheat code: Soak the skewers in water first, else they burn.

4. Prawns with lemon drizzle.

Prawns are fun to cook because they get done fast.

Meat: Prawns. Get frozen tiger prawns. Something which still has the tails. DO NOT struggle with the de-veining. It’s not worth it.

In a pan, put oil, bits of chopped garlic. And then the prawn.

Add lemon rind. Then squeeze the juice of a lemon. Put parsley on top.


Preparation time: 20 mins. 
Audience reception: A bit of the alright
Chef’s difficulty rating: 2/5
Effort: is in threading meat into the skewers. Borrrrrrring.
Cheat code: Microwave the prawns?

5. Patatas Bravas

Ah, the world famous spanish aloo chat.

Image source: BBC good food

Image source: BBC good food

Meat: Fry chopped potatoes. Add salt to them. Oh, the best part, you don’t have to peel the potatoes. 🙂

Brava Sauce: In a pan, or as they say in cook-ese, heavy bottom skillet,  put Chopped garlic + Coriander and cumin powder. Then add the tomato paste (from a can). Add a bit of sugar, and salt. and paprika. If you can lay your hand on some cooking sherry/ red wine, pour some of it in. All of this makes the whole sauce a little sour, so I added a bit of sugar to correct.

Preparation time: 30 mins. 
Audience reception: Tending to good. I made lots, and I still have leftovers.
Chef’s difficulty rating: 2.5 /5
Effort: is in chopping the potatoes. Since you dont have to peel them, works better. 🙂
Cheat code: Reheat sauce before serving.


6. Roast bell pepper/Cherry tomatoes with Tuna stuffing

Preparation time: Forever 
Audience reception: Not many people ate it.
Chef’s difficulty rating: 15 on a scale of 1-5
Effort: DONT TRY THIS AT HOME. The most disasterous thing I have ever made.

You still want this recipe?

Ah, yes, anyone wants my sangria recipe – let me know.

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?

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!