Spicy Breakfast Muffins

"I want muffins, and I want them now,

Sweet, savory or spicy, i'll devour them any how!

A cold winter storm, and baked so fresh

Melted cheese and butter, and soft soft flesh

A bite or two, and boy I was hooked

Never did I ever, for spicy muffins look!

Now breakfast is served, and lunch & dinner

I think my friends, we have a baked winner!"

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Street Treat : Bun Omelette

Bun Omelette, true to it's name, is a soft bread roll smothered in butter and stuffed with the most delicious, spicy, omelette ever. It's a common street food in Northern India (although not the most hygienic!) and was a sporadic late night treat for us when my brother & I were home for the holidays from boarding school.

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Herbs Dal (Lentil Curry)

"Herbs" Dal meant nothing to me till a few months ago, when I made a simple spinach lentil curry and my husband says "Oh, this reminds me of our Herbs Dal". Being of South African Indian origin, my husband's foodie language is sometimes just as confusing as their mixed culture, so I decided to dig deeper. I discovered that Indians households in SA make a version of spinach lentils with a bunch of mixed greens & sour leaves. I couldn't exactly find all the 'herbs' they used, so decided to make my version with a few favourite seasonal greens.

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Cucumber 'Noodle' Salad

When I served this at one of my events, I really didn't expect for people to ask me the recipe. Had the plain ol' cucumber salad cut un-laboriously for every childhood meal, suddenly become mainstream? Or was it that in an effort to appreciate complicated food, one had forgotten how simplicity tastes? Either way, I couldn't help but remember those summer days when mum used to serve this alongside a Rajma (kidney bean curry) Chawal night, and we always tried not to look at it (as though it would magically disappear!) - not that we didn't like it, but as kids, who wanted to have anything green!

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Asparagus Poha

“A desi breakfast staple, goes mainstream this spring,

With asparagus for an oomph, I create this seasonal fling.

Humble and easy, this flattened cousin of rice,

Is ready in minutes, and bears nearly no vice.

Cook up for a weeknight, oh you’ll do so on repeat,

After you taste the magic, once you sit down to eat..”

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Watermelon & Cucumber Chaat (Salad)

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"I know I know, summer is over, but can't we celebrate anyway?

Slurp, crunch, savor, the red we love all May...

Spiced like the streets, on a scorching Indian afternoon

It's like those childhood treats, during holidays in June

July has come & gone, and Autumn is taking over the sun

So we'll hold on to the warmth, in this little glass of yum.."

Ingredients

1/2 watermelon, cut into cubes or rounds (using a melon baller)

2 large cucumbers, de-seeded, peeled and cut into 1inch pieces

Juice from 1 lemon

Handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped (the more the better!)

12-15 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

1 teaspoon black/rock salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika or chili powder

1/4 teaspoon dry mango powder

1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder

Salt to taste

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Mix the watermelon, cucumber, coriander & mint and chill for 30 mins. When ready to serve, toss with lemon juice and spices.  Eat fresh. A quick, simple, super healthy spiced fruit salad that will change the way you see watermelon!

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Roasted Chickpea Salad w/ Tamarind Vinaigrette

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"Light & hearty, perfect for fall

Serve as a salad, or simply eat it all

The tang, that replicates flavors of the street

Busy, noisy, with a crowd of Indians at your feet!

An everyday snack, or Chaat as it's popularly known

Oh, for this how many miles I have flown!

Now right at home, I have a healthier clone

Though, I will still jump on a chance to go back home..."

Ingredients

For the Salad

2 cups boiled chickpeas, liquid drained

1/2 red pepper, finely chopped

1/2 green pepper, finely chopped

1 small red onion. diced

1 green chili, finely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

1/2 teaspoon coriander powder

1/2 teaspoon dry mango powder

1/4 teaspoon red chili powder

1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds

2-3 stalks of fresh coriander, finely chopped

Salt & pepper to taste

For the Dressing

2 tablespoons Tamarind chutney (available in all Indian grocery stores)

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Bunch of coriander (leaves + stem), finely chopped

1 tablepoon light olive oil

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

Salt to taste

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Make the Dressing - Mix all the ingredients and refrigerate for an hour to let the flavors fuse.

Make the Salad - Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add the fennel seeds and cook till begin to brown. Stir in the remaining dry spices and roast for a minute. Add the chickpeas, mix well, and cook on medium-high flame till the chickpeas begin to turn crisp - approx 10 minutes. Make sure all the moisture has been absorbed. Turn off heat and cool to room temperature.

Once cooled, add all the chopped vegetables and mix well. Add the dressing, a teaspoon at a time, and mix well. Adjust seasoning and serve fresh.

A sweet & tangy [vegan, glutenfree] salad that compliments the colors of summer and the flavors of fall.

Try this and other delicious 29. creations at our social dining events. Don't like strangers? Simply book a private event!

Raw Grape and Ginger Soup

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"Grapes are a favorite, and not only as wine,

I love them as a snack, natural & fine

Sweet as Fall, they create a soup swell

Raw, vegan, glutenfree, and sugar-free as well!

Just blend it all up, with spices favorite few

Leave it to chill, and there's a recipe new

Not complicated, doesn't take all your time free

Delicious & easy, as easy as cooking can be!"

 

Ingredients

1 pound seedless green grapes

1 inch piece of fresh ginger

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

6-8 fresh mint leaves

1/4 teaspoon paprika/chili powder (adjust to taste)

1/4 teaspoon black salt/rock salt

1/4 teaspoon cumin powder

1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Pinch of salt

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Wash the grapes and remove from stem. Put in a blender along with ginger, lemon juice & mint. Blend till smooth. Stir in all the dry spices (adjust seasoning to taste) and refrigerate for 2-4 hours. Serve chilled.

Yes, that's it!

A refreshing, raw and uber healthy soup to accompany your fall table.

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Fresh Peach Rasam

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“I love biting into a ripe peach

That smells of summer, and the beach,

With juices that trickle down the chin

As I bend over the kitchen sink.

I eat one, then two, then three

And wish I had a peach tree,

I’d then dip them in syrup, bake a pie

Blend into a smoothie, or try in chai

Make chutney, perhaps pickle a few

Brew up this rasam, and serve to you!”

 

Ingredients

4 ripe peaches - peeled, de-seeded and quartered

½ teaspoon mustard seeds

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ teaspoon red chili flakes or paprika

½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder

½ teaspoon dry mango powder

¼ teaspoon black/rock salt

Pinch of salt

Sugar to taste (only if the peaches are not sweet enough)

2-3 mint leaves, roughly torn

 

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Blend the peaches with ½ cup water.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and cook till they begin to splutter. Stir in all the dry spices, mint leaves and peach puree. Bring to a slight simmer & remove from heat immediately. Adjust sugar/seasoning and refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled.

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Tandoori Chicken Drumlets

“Chicken so tender

It melts right through,

With flavor & spices

Oh-so fool proof.

Baked or pan-fried

That’s your call,

But the taste takes you back

To that late-night tikka stall!

Munch away, no guilt

It has not much oil,

But superior in every way

From that [yawn] soup on the boil…”

 

Ingredients

6 chicken drumlets (skin on)

2 tablespoons full cream yogurt

6 cloves of garlic, finely crushed

2 teaspoons grated ginger

1 green chili, finely diced

½ teaspoon cumin powder

½ teaspoon red chili powder or paprika

1 heaped teaspoon coriander powder

½ teaspoon garam masala

¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

Juice from one lemon

Handful of fresh coriander , roughly chopped (leaves & stalk)

Salt to taste

Olive oil to cook

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Wash the chicken pieces and pat try on a kitchen towel.

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade.  Rub the mix all over the chicken pieces, making sure you rub under the skin as well. Refrigerate overnight or for 6-8 hours.

To cook, you can follow either of the below.

Baking method

Pre heat the oven to 400 F. Grease a cookie sheet/ baking tray and line the drumlets, skin side down. Drizzle some olive oil over the pieces. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove cover, turn the drumlets skin side up, and bake for another 30 minutes, till the skin begins to brown.  Give it a quick 5-6 minute broil in the end to crisp the skin. Remove from the oven and let it rest covered for a few minutes.

Stove top method

Heat 2-3 teaspoons olive oil in a non stick pan. Once hot, line the drumlets skin side down (they should sizzle immediately!). Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes on medium flame. Turn the pieces around and cook for another 8-10 minutes or till full cooked. Remove cover, turn up heat to crisp up the skin. Remove from heat and let it rest covered for a few minutes

Serve hot with a dash of yogurt or sour cream and your favorite salad.

Leftover tip: Remove the meat from the bones and refrigerate for a second treat the next day! Can be turned into a delicious lettuce salad, chicken sandwiches, nacho cups or a topping on your favorite pilaf or biryani.

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