This Week in Food Pictures

"A busy week it's been
Successes, failures & new challenges seen,
A lot of cooking, yes lots
From little puddings to flavorful pots,
Trials & errors, recipes that repeat
Bites with crunch, and those with heat,
Events & dinners, people new
Reviewers, readers, and comments few,
Here are the snippets, simple & clean
Of food, colors, and the week that's been..."

It's been one busy week! While I work on the recipes, here are some pictures from all the adventures this week. If only these could fill you up eh!

Come try my food at one of the upcoming dining experiences! Got a large group? No problem! Contact me to discuss a private tasting.

Carrot Pudding with Burnt Sugar Pot De Creme

Event Buffet Table

Curried Cauliflower Soup 

Vegan Semolina Halwa with Orange Compote

Masala Minced Chicken Sliders with Beer Shooters

Popcorn & Chocolate Bread Pudding

Mint Chicken Tikka Salad on Bread Cups
Vanilla Cupcakes with Pomegranate Swirl

Top 10 Recipes & Tidbits From 2013

From exciting experiments to fearless failures, 2013 was a momentous year in the kitchen for me. It was also a year of my first half-marathon, lots of travel (4 different continents!), buckets of coffee, never-ending TLC from family, some downs but many many many ups. 

And as I welcome 2014 with new resolutions, earnest smiles, test recipes and you - my ardent readers, I can't help but look back fondly on some of my favorites from last year. Here is a list of my top 10 recipes (in no particular order).

Make me happy and leave me a comment with your picks will you?

1. Savory Jalebi for the beer guzzlers
2. Caramel Bread Pudding for those with a sweet tooth
3. Curried Guacamole for them Guac fans
4. Carrot Halwa Cheesecake or Parfait for those who love a twist
5. Okra Chips for the healthy
6. Masala Gobi Pizza for the experimental
8. Truffled Mushroom & Cheese Samosa for the bite-sized
9. Whole-Wheat Gougeres for the fancy french
10. Wonder Tea Recipes for all those who need to stop calling it 'chai-tea'!

Not to mention the fun I had creating, plating, feeding and [not] cleaning up for all my dining events! For memory sake, here is a photographic recap of some past events from 2013 - makes me pull my collar up high ;)


A big 29. shout out to all of you who made 2013 more-than-memorable! And remember, keep eating your way through 2014. 

The Last Lunch : A Thanksgiving Photo Journey

"Here's a little jingle
To start your holiday,
Food, fun & family
Or whatever makes you yay!
You don't have to be special
To enjoy a meal warm,
Eat with strangers 
And still soak up the charm..
Put on your best shirt
And grab that festive cheer,
Celebration is about you
So come make friends dear!"

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, I hosted the last EatWith lunch in my apartment. No, I am not quitting. No ways! Just moving apartments.

In the true spirit of the holiday, my menu was an Indian-Inspired-Global-Style-Thanksgiving-Tapas : if there ever were such a thing! The idea was to go beyond America while enjoying Thanksgiving, and bring in that global palate in an authentic 29. style - by fusion or presentation. Thus, each course was served in a style popularized by another country/cuisine, but boasted of Indian flavors. Confused? Read on, you'll know what I mean.

We started on the streets of India. A warm Chicken Chili Soup with winter spices, paired with crisp Cumin Sweet Potato Poppers. 



It was a small group this time so I tried my hands at a sit down meal as well. It was different, and quite enjoyable actually!

The mains courses were:

1. A truly American inspired Turkey Fritters served with a sweet spiced mango chutney and Alfalfa sprouts. It's Thanksgiving, there had to be Turkey!

2. Traveling to Mexico, the guests had a go at Roasted & Spiced Eggplant Tacos with a cold carrot slaw.  [recipe coming soon]

3. Ending the savory courses with an Italian take on pilaf was the Curried Cauliflower Orzo Pilaf, served with some sprinkles for a crunch.







The journey had to bring you back to India eventually. So, the sweet showcase was a Semolina Coconut Pudding with a pomegranate burnt sugar glaze & cinnamon cream. A warm, silky end to a great holiday lunch. Thanks to all those who came, and hello to all those who I'll be seeing at my next few meals...




29. Let's Lunch Event - EatWith Your Eyes


Curried Sweet Potato & Coconut Soup Spoons. A delectable way to begin a Friday. Don't you agree?

29. opened it's doors to a truly diverse group this afternoon. A retired teacher from Argentina, a student from upstate NY, an HR consultant from London/Korea and a Wall st journalist from right here, NYC.

I greeted them with some Iced Clove & Mint Tea & a spoonful of Curried Sweet Potato & Coconut Soup. Yum! My surprise nibbler for the day was a roasted pepper and cream cheese dip served in little Tostitos scoops. I find these things so cute!

The main act was:
1. Grilled Mixed Veg Kebabs - marinated in cumin, coriander, garlic, fresh mint & lime juice, these are a light & colorful way to start a mid-day meal.
2. Fishcakes with Tomato Chutney - as always, a crowd pleaser! 
3. Chicken & Pea 'Sticky' Biryani w/ Cumin Yogurt - In favor of [always] experimenting, I served the yogurt in little glasses on the side. Oh, and I stuck a coriander stalk in each biryani to make it look like a little bonzai pot. How fun & adorable! 
4. Indian Trifle Parfait - with luscious layers of sponge cake soaked in milk, raspberry jam and a personal favorite, chocolate custard! Remember what I always say about chocolate? It's a miracle waiting to happen in your mouth.

A lunch should always be this special. Specially if it welcomes the weekend.

Come join me in my next culinary adventure. You will leave fascinated, full and with a range of new ideas you never thought you needed!

EatWith 29. - A Dinner Recap

"I'll set a table
And invite you home,
And call other people
So you won't feel lone.
There will be food
And a unique sweet,
A casual way
To meet & greet.
People local
And from far away,
Eating around a table
With worries at bay.
Meal with a view
Does it not sound fun?
There is no catch
Ok..all except one.
You must listen
When I advice give,
And if I talk too much
You must forgive.
And at times other
Relax, unwind, enjoy,
Consider it a date
With a sort-of convoy.
Brunch, lunch, dinner
Or simple ol' tea,
Oh won't you...
Come EatWith me?"

I always get nervous when cooking for new people. Specially if the group is as diverse as the one that came over last Friday.  Take 1...Take 2...Take 3.


The Menu was similar to that done for the EatWith Team Tasting, with a few alterations:
1. Added the Chilled Fresh Mint & Clove Tea for something to sip on as everyone mingled. 
2. Replaced the Chicken mince with Tofu mince (same recipe, made with broken down firm tofu) as a vegetarian substitution for one of the guests. Oh, and I served it on edible bread spoons instead of the ceramic one. What can I say, I like vegetarians.
3. Added some Mixed Veg Grilled Skewers, again to substitute the Prawns. I am such a fan of grilled vegetables. Super easy to make, they taste wonderful warm or at room temperature. It's almost embarrassing when they steal the show. 

I also added a little zing to my decor by using candles and bunched flowers for the buffet table. Like most of my events, I had printed menus that guide the guests through the courses and what they're eating - specially for those who do not know Indian cuisine. A few of them decided to pocket the menus. I hope that's a good sign.


Many more events coming up. Please stay tuned with my updates via Events, Facebook or EatWith. I hope you will visit the 29. kitchen soon for some delicious out-of-the-ordinary treats!

People starve for justice, I am justly feeding those who starve. Peace.

Indian Tapas with EatWith



Yesterday, the EatWith team came to visit the 29. Kitchen. 

Celebrating home-chefs and home-cooked meals, EatWith urges you to dine in homes around the world. Much like what I am trying to do with 29. in NYC.  Oh joy! So I just had to have them over.

With a nip in the air welcoming fall, I set out to prepare a unique 4-course menu that showcased a variety of Indian flavors. We started with a Tangy Corn & Peas Chaat (cold) and Chicken Keema Bites (warm). Having a warm and cold starter ensures that there is something for every palate. Lucky for me, the ladies enjoyed both!

Conversations trailed to the smell of Spiced Lentil Quinoa served aside a fresh-off-the-pan garlic sautéed Prawns. Dal is a lovely way to cook this grain, and replace that everyday oh-so-boring rice. With a side of fish, it's a complete meal! Amidst all the laughter, I know they were waiting for seconds., and the look when I got it to them? Precious. I live for such moments. 

We ended the meal with a layered Carrot Halwa Parfait. With mushy carrots slow cooked in milk and sandwiched between crunchy biscuits and coconut flakes, what's there not to love? Did I mention it was topped off with a dollop of maple whipped cream? This was one of my better dessert success stories, and I am dancing all over again for it.

*You can get a taste of this very menu at the next available 29. eventCome in for a bite!

Recipes
2. Spoons of Chicken Keema Bites
3. Spicy & flavorful Lentil Quinoa Pilaf with Garlic Prawn Skewers (recipe only on EatWith)
4. Shots of sweet Carrot Halwa Parfait

Curried Tilapia & Celery Rice Bowl

“Fresh as the sea
And healthy for you,
This curried dish
Is satisfying too.
A mouthful of comfort
And flavors that fill,
Quick meal for a busy day?
Yes, it fits the bill.
So leave behind
That red meat today,
Eat fish my friend
And keep those pounds away!”

Ingredients
1 cup steamed rice (great way to use leftovers)
½ pound Tilapia fillet (or any white fish)
1 plum tomato, diced
½ green pepper, finely chopped
1 stalk of celery, diced
½ red onion, sliced lengthwise
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 green chili, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh coriander, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh mint, finely chopped
Juice of ½ a lemon
½ teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons curry powder or any mixed masala such as Kitchen King
1 teaspoon coriander powder
4 tablespoons light olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and green chili and sauté till onions begin to turn transparent. Add the tomatoes, turn heat to medium and sprinkle some salt to allow the tomatoes to sweat. Cover and cook till tomatoes are tender.
Mix in the green pepper, celery and all dry spices (except the garam masala). Cover and cook for another 2-3 minutes to let the vegetables soften slightly (I like to keep a crunch but if you prefer to have them soft, cook for an extra 3-5 minutes).
Uncover and place the Tilapia filet on top. Sprinkle with chopped coriander, mint, lemon juice, garam masala, salt & pepper and cover to let the fish steam. Tilapia cooks rather quickly, under 10 minutes, so make sure you don’t over cook. Once cooked, remove cover to dry an excess liquid. Break the fish into small pieces (don’t over mix or the fish will become into a mash) and give it a quick sauté on high heat. Serve hot on top of rice for a quick and healthy meal. 


Castello Moments - A Tale of 3 Cheeses

SPONSORED POST

I'm cheesed. It's been one hell of a satisfying month. 

With the samples I received from Castello Moments, namely the nutty Classic, melting Weissbier and the rich Hirten, I have been making mouth-watering, dream-worthy goodies all month long. My waistline might be complaining, but the head isn't listening. All's fair in food & cheese I say.

From a cheesy twist to the classic Indian dhokla to an everyday Pasta dinner, cheese does make the world a slightly better place to live in. We also had some friends over for a wine and cheese gathering, and made little cheese & vegetable fritter appetizers (recipe to be up soon) to go along. Wine with cheese, and more cheese. How could it go wrong! It was rather hard to share the cheeses I have to admit, but I suppose it had to be done. I also recently met with an accident and was on bed-rest for a week with a head injury. I somehow never thought that the doctor would recommend eating cheese for concussions. Ok, I exaggerate, but I just needed an excuse to keep me going. And a Castello Moments adaptation on these Gougeres did wonders for my recovery! Made me question - Is there anything you can't make with cheese?? I can confidently say, No.

And while the 29. kitchen has been bubbling with melting moments, my fellow bloggers have had their own share of fun and experimentation. Click on the links below for some exciting recipes, cheesy substitutions, intriguing ideas, random musings and more.

And while you read, don't forget to make yourself that perfect Castello Moments grilled cheese to go along...
  1. Potato Gratin from Lemon-Sugar
  2. Savory Cheese Crackers from An Edible Mosaic
  3. Cheese Tasting & Pairing from Girli Chef
  4. Spinach & Cheese Bake from The Village Cook
  5. Cheese Inspiration & Recipes from Taste Food Blog
  6. Cauliflower-Au-Gratin from Foodie Fiasco
  7. Cheese Cookies from Funand Food Cafe
  8. Three Cheese Flatbread from Itsybitsy Foodies
  9. German Picnic Salad from Daring Gourmet
  10. Roasted Sausages & Summer Veg with Garden Fresh Pesto from My Humble Kitchen
  11. Wine & Cheese Pairing 101 from The Roasted Root
  12. Four Creative Crostinis from Shared Appetite
  13. Cheese Ice Cream and a Cheesfest from The Colors of Indian Cooking
  14. Cheesy Grits, Shrimp Tacos w/ Classic Castello and Tomato Crostini from 30a Eats
  15. Cheese Platter Perfection from Cooking with the Books
  16. Lemon Artichoke Pesto Pasta from Anecdotes And Apples
  17. Chive Chili Cheese Souffle from Camille
  18. Brocolli & Red Onion Quesadillas from Cooking Westchester
  19. Paignets from From Brazil to You
  20. Cheese Souffle from Home Made Delish
  21. Alpine Pizza from Fritos and Foie Gras
  22. The Gooey Affair from The B Critic
  23. Gougeres from Blogging Over Thyme
  24. Beer Cheese Pairing from Kitchenette Blog
  25. Braised Short Rib French Onion Soup from Sea Weed & Sassafras
  26. Cheese & Caramelized Onion Biscuits from Chef Karolina
  27. Wine Tasting, Toas-tite Grilled Cheese, Chicken Couscous and Truffle Mac&Cheese from Where and What in the World
  28. Roasted Garlic Beer & Cheese Dip from Lizzy Pancakes

Win a Private Cheese Tasting in your own home - enter by clicking on the banner below. Castello Moments and this post is a collaboration between the blogger and Arla Foods USA. 
Win Castello Cheese Tasting

Masala Shrimp on Papdi (Indian Crackers)

“This curry so easy
Is a meal on its own,
But with a slight twist
Becomes a street food known.
Seafood lovers
Now need not sob,
They now have their chaat
With fish on top.
Spicy & quick
Eat it in a bite,
And store the leftovers
For that binge at midnight.
But lock your doors
For neighbors may get close
And steal it all
From under your nose!”

Ingredients
½ pound cleaned shrimps
2 large plum tomatoes, diced
½ onion, sliced lengthwise
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (or olive oil if you want a lighter version!)
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon dry mango powder
Salt & pepper to taste
8-10 papdi (indian crackers), pani puri (puffed indian crackers) or regular crackers
Heat the butter in a non-stick pan. Add the garlic and onions and cook till onions turn translucent. Stir in the tomatoes, along with all the dry spices. Cover and cook on medium flame for 6-7 minutes, till the tomatoes are tender and thoroughly cooked. Add the shrimps, along with ¼ cup water and cook for another 5-6 minutes till the shrimps are cooked. Turn flame to high and sauté till any excess liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat.
Serve a piece of prawn on top of a papdi/cracker. Sprinkle with fried onions & freshly chopped coriander for a crunch! Simple & divine!


29 Indian Tapas in 29 Days - A Recap

March 1st to 29th were exciting, yet trying days for me. I made a promise to the virtual food blogger world that I will come up with 29 new & original recipes for Indian Tapas in the 29 days that followed the launch of my business

Did I succeed? You tell me! And be kind - I am petrified of failure. 
How did it feel? Apart from aching arms (from the cooking), numb taste buds (from all the tasting) and sore eyes (from all the photo taking & editing), it was quite a ful-'filling' experience. 

For those who missed it, or are lazy to search for the recipes, here is a quick recap. 

29. will be taking a short break for an upcoming event. More recipes to follow after that! Till then, try these and tell me which ones were your favorites? Please comment on this post and let me know!
  1. Mint Chicken Dumplings
  2. Curried Guacamole
  3. Indian Macaroons
  4. Hakka Noodle Petites
  5. Drunken Semolina Cakes
  6. Indian Sushi
  7. Beer Bread Pakora
  8. Peach Gujia Parfait
  9. Rice Cake Bhel Puri
  10. Samosa Cups & Mini Naans
  11. Paneer, Edamame & Carrot Stew
  12. Onion Parantha Cones with Pickled Tomato Chutney
  13. Okra Chips with Yogurt Sriracha Dip
  14. Eggless Caramel Bread Pudding
  15. Brown Rice Kimono Balls
  16. Hot Chocolate Barfee
  17. Shrimp Red Curry Idli Pops 
  18. CousCous & Mint Chicken Tikka Cups
  19. Spinach Corn Deep Dish Pizza Bites
  20. Cucumber Boats
  21. Masala Chai Cookies
  22. Paella-style Spinach Biryani
  23. Farro Dosa with Curried Chicken Salad
  24. White Chocolate-Thandai-Malibu Mini Mudcakes
  25. Chicken & Farro Siu Mai
  26. Mango Phirni on Edible Spoons
  27. Broccoli Pakora (Fritters) Sticks
  28. Masala Gobi (Cauliflower) 'Pizza'
  29. Turkey Poori Rolls with Chili Mango Chutney

Shrimp Red Curry Idli Pops

“Between Asia and India
Amongst coconut grove bends,
There sat a priest
Who worked on fusion trends.
He combined this & that
And tasted with a knowing look,
To make sure the new staple
Was worthy of a book.
He owned many a field
And all the rice he grew
Went either to his tummy
Or into an experiment new!
Thus emerged some gems
Born out of grating, grilling & chops,
And while Thailand mastered the curry
He was converting Idlis into pops.”
What do you eat with red curry? Well, rice of course. And what is Idli made of? Rice! That's the simple inspiration behind this dish.
Ingredients
(Makes around 16 mini muffin sized Idlis)
1 cup white rice, soaked overnight
1/3 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons greek yogurt
6 tablespoons cup fine semolina
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon split chickpea or yellow lentils
½ teaspoon garlic ginger paste
2 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
½ cup prawns, shelled & deveined
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped
A pinch of asafoetida
Salt & pepper
Method
Blend the soaked rice to a fine paste with 1/3 cup water, and mix with the coconut milk. Keep aside for 20 minutes.
Roast the semolina in a non-stick pan till it begins to turn brown. Keep aside to cool.
Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and cook for a few minutes. Once they begin to splutter, add the garlic ginger paste, red curry paste, all the dry spices and the prawns, along with 1/3 cup of water. Cover and cook till the prawns are cooked. Remove the prawns from the curry and keep aside. Continue to cook the curry till any excess water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and cool.
In a bowl, mix the rice paste, semolina, yogurt and red curry paste. Pour into mini idli pan and steam for 20 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Top with the cooked prawns and serve. A Thai-South Indian fusion!
Feeling lazy? Just substitue the rice, coconut milk, yogurt & semolina with a cup of instant idli mix. Would work just the same.

Don’t worry if you do not own an Idli maker – I don’t either! That’s the beauty of DIY remedies! You have the following options:
1. Bake them at 300 F for 10-15 minutes.
2. Microwave them at high for 7-10 minutes. (not a big fan of this as it makes the idlis slightly harder than steaming or baking)
3. Make your own steamer- this is what I did. Take any deep large pan and fill a little water in it. Put a smaller cake pan (or any pan that has a flat bottom) upside down inside this to make a little stand on the water. Bring the water to boiling point. Now put the idli batter in mini muffin/cupcake pans and put that on top of the ‘stand’. Cover and steam for 15-20 minutes. (refer to pics in the end)


(Setting up the DIY steamer)

The Naidoo Fishcakes

<!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Cambria; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0cm; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Cambria; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} p.MsoListParagraph, li.MsoListParagraph, div.MsoListParagraph {margin-top:0cm; margin-right:0cm; margin-bottom:0cm; margin-left:36.0pt; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-add-space:auto; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Cambria; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} p.MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst, li.MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst, div.MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst {mso-style-type:export-only; margin-top:0cm; margin-right:0cm; margin-bottom:0cm; margin-left:36.0pt; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-add-space:auto; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Cambria; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} p.MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle, li.MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle, div.MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle {mso-style-type:export-only; margin-top:0cm; margin-right:0cm; margin-bottom:0cm; margin-left:36.0pt; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-add-space:auto; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Cambria; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} p.MsoListParagraphCxSpLast, li.MsoListParagraphCxSpLast, div.MsoListParagraphCxSpLast {mso-style-type:export-only; margin-top:0cm; margin-right:0cm; margin-bottom:0cm; margin-left:36.0pt; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-add-space:auto; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Cambria; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page Section1 {size:612.0pt 792.0pt; margin:72.0pt 90.0pt 72.0pt 90.0pt; mso-header-margin:36.0pt; mso-footer-margin:36.0pt; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} /* List Definitions */ @list l0 {mso-list-id:576521191; mso-list-type:hybrid; mso-list-template-ids:-569339170 67698703 67698713 67698715 67698703 67698713 67698715 67698703 67698713 67698715;} @list l0:level1 {mso-level-tab-stop:none; mso-level-number-position:left; text-indent:-18.0pt;} ol {margin-bottom:0cm;} ul {margin-bottom:0cm;}


“A bite of these
Brought childhood back
A pampered lunch
And a warm afternoon nap,
Those carefree times
When he made a din
So granny spent hours
Cooking just for him,
Now far from home
He craved the feel
His delish fish
Like hugs in a meal,
So off I went
To re-create the past
Chop & mash
Win the competition fast,
Did I succeed?
The pics speak true
The stock grows thin
Left are the last few,
His family smiles
Faces glow in bliss
She must be a Naidoo
If she can make fishcakes like this!”

Ingredients
For the cakes
1 Tin Mackerel fish in brine (approx 400gm) or 2 Tilapia filets (approx 1 pound)
Handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 stalks green onion, finely chopped
2 large potatoes, boiled and mashed
8 green chilies, finely chopped (fewer if you don't want them too spicy)
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoons Indian masala (I used kitchen king, you could use any ready masala you have at home)
1 egg
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
Salt to taste

Others
1 egg
Breadcrumbs
Oil for shallow frying

Method
Remove the middle bone from the tinned fish and squeeze out the excess water with your palm – fish must be dry.  If using Tilapia, boil the fish and cool. Flake the fish with your fingers till its broken into fine pieces. Now mix in the remaining ingredients for the cakes and blend well (best to use your hands) till the mixture is firm enough to roll. Make 18-20 cylindrical patties out of the mixture

Beat the other egg in a bowl. Dip each fish cake in the egg, and then into breadcrumbs. Fry or shallow fry till golden brown on each side. Serve hot with a cup of masala chai.  

Sole with cooked pepper salsa

“Why must you a fish fry
When grilled tender, brown
Out of the oven it does fly
Onto a plate eager & waiting
Along with a sauce varied
That simmers on the edge
Flaky, with buttery goodness
It becomes a pledge”
Ingredients
2 fresh fillets of Sole or Cod (or any light white fish)
For the Marinade
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar
½ teaspoon thyme flakes
½ teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon fresh garlic & ginger paste
Salt & pepper to taste
For the Salsa
½ tomato, diced
½ cup of diced red and green peppers
¼ onion, sliced lengthwise
Leftover marinade from the fish
Fresh coriander leaves
Lemon juice
Pre heat the oven to 180 deg C
Mix the ingredients for the marinade. Make slight slits in the fish fillets and toss it in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 4-5 hours
Drain any excess marinade from the fish. Heat it in a pan. Add the onions and tomatoes and cook till tomatoes are tender. Add the pepper and cook for a few more minutes on low heat. Sprinkle coriander and lime juice and remove from heat.
Put the Fillets on a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes. The fish should begin to flake on touching with a fork. Then turn the oven to grill and grill on 200 deg C for another 5 minutes to get a crisp surface. Remove and serve on a bed of the salsa. A light and quick meal!

Salmon Fillet w/Spicy Butter Sauce & Peri-Peri Mash


“A Salmon,
Swimming up the river,
Crowned in orange
And glistening silver.
The same Salmon
Silly as a bell,
Caught in a fisher’s net
Oh! what the hell.
Cold, lifeless
No glam, no wow,
May as well cook it
And eat it now.”
Ingredients
For the Salmon Fillet
1 Salmon Fillet, 150-200gm
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon black pepper
4 cloves, 2 crushed 2 whole
Salt to taste

For the Butter Sauce
6 tablespoons salted butter
2 gloves of garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon grated ginger
2 red chilies, diced
2 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon dried parsley
Salt to taste

For the Mash
2 potatoes, boiled
¼ cup milk
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons peri-peri sauce
1 teaspoon Indian chat masala
Salt & pepper to taste

Marinate the Salmon in 1-tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper and refrigerate for 2 hours.

To make the sauce: Heat the butter in a pan. Once melted, add lemon juice (or 1 teaspoon white vinegar), ginger, garlic, salt and red chilies and simmer on low flame for a few minutes. Remove from heat.

To make the mash:  Mash the boiled potatoes in a pan. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and blend till the mixture is creamy and smooth.

To make the fillet: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan. Place the salmon fillet (skin side down) and turn the flame to medium. Cook for approx 5 minutes each side, depending on your preference. 

Alternatively, preheat oven to 175 degree C and bake the fillet for 8-10 minutes, carefully turning it in between so it’s evenly cooked on both sides.
Place some mash on a plate. Put the fillet on top and drizzle the lemon butter sauce over it. Serve hot with a side salad or steamed vegetables.