Making Khaoswey – a Burmese noodle curry dish has been on my mind for the longest time. So this weekend I took it upon me to make it. The weather played the perfect role and Khaoswey it was for lunch on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Its pretty easy rustling up this dish , just needs a bit of preparation. The addition of an array of condiments like fried garlic, fried onions and crushed peanuts adds a lovely texture to the dish. I made a chicken version but a veg version tastes just as great. This one is a must try dish for everyone!
This Noodle bowl with Chicken Broth is just perfect for a quick meal. The heat is already killing us , so we all need easy recipes that can be tossed with very little preps. Once in a while when we need a break from our usual dishes, this is good to go.I used whatever veggies along with chicken were available at home but you could add anything that you wish to. The vegetarians can replace chicken with tofu, turns out extremely well. The noodles i used is the thick – egg noodle variety that I picked from my last trip to new market. Maybe i should write a post on my absolute love for New Market. Have been going there ever since I was a kid and still find is as charming! Unfortunately its the other end of town for me, but then thats no detterent.
My love for cookbooks is no new news! I own a lot of them and its not restricted to any particular cuisine. However sometimes I do miss out on trying something that would be earmarked for months, till I stumble upon them again. So ,its now a conscious decision to cook atleast two or three dishes from each of these books. With this motive , I started reading this beautiful book The Food of Oman by Felicia Campbell. Its a memoir of her exploration of the Omani cuisine, that is still very unknown to the world. She talks about the people, their lives and their delicious food.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the similarity in spices, a huge influence of Indian spices in their cuisine. As its rightly said, food binds the hearts and the world! I could go on and on about the book , but I rather share a lovely recipe with you all. Very similar to the Kerala Chicken stew yet so different. The warmth of this curry dish – Kuku Paaka will nourish your tastebuds. As the book suggested I made some Maldouf – Date Chapati or Flatbreads with pureed dates to go with the curry and it was a match made in heaven.
The addition of vegetables like potato, carrots and beans add to the flavour and makes it a complete meal. The original recipe is a little on the drier side, but I preffered leaving some gravy on to be mopped up with the Maldouf. Btw, Omani cuisine is a treasure trove of flatbreads and to know more I suggest you invest in the book, its truly a collectors item.
A subtle curry dish with vegetables in a toasted coconut gravy as adapted from the Food of Oman by Felicia Campbell
Chicken - 500 gms - on the bone, cut into pieces
Onion - 1 large - finely chopped
Garlic - few cloves - minced
Ginger - a small piece - minced
Green chillies/Fresh red chilies - 2-3 - finely chopped
Coconut powder - half a cup
Ground cumin - 1 tsp
Ground coriander - 1 tsp
Ground turmeric - 1 tsp
Ground cinnamon - 1 tsp
Carrots, Potato and green beans - a handful, cut into cubes
Ghee - 2 tbsp.
Warm water - 1 cup
salt to taste
Place half the coconut milk powder in a non stick pan and roast for 2 mins till fragrant.Remove and keep aside.
In another pan, heat the ghee and sauté the onion, ginger and garlic.
Next add the chicken pieces and the vegetables and sauté for 2 mins.
Put in the dry spices - cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, salt and the roasted coconut milk powder till fragrant.
Add half a cup of water, cover and let the curry simmer till the water dries up.
In a small bowl, dissolve the remaining coconut powder in some warm water and add to the pan. Add the chopped chilies. Cover and let it simmer for another 5 mins or till the chicken and vegetables are cooked through.
Weekdays are for quick cooking and if you are tired of the same old chicken preparation, try this Thai Chicken Curry.Thai cooking is fast,fresh and flavourful and that’s exactly what you need to satiate your palate after a days hardwork. One very important lesson I learnt from my past kitchen management is that its always better to plan a rough menu weekwise and I have been following that from the start of this year. I shop accordingly and that ensures there is no wastage. I definitely do not foolow a strict regimen and often work around the dishes according to what my heart desires on that particular day. I am mighty inspired by Jamie Oliver and always try to catch up on his show Save with Jamie, currently on TLC, every weeknight @ 9. His tips are awesome and I do follow them. Like its always good to stock up on some good quality ready made sauces for whipping up quick meals.
I am a stickler for everything fresh but this Thai curry paste is what I always have in my pantry. A few other stuffs that always find a place in my kitchen wardrobe is a good mustard paste, some cream,coconut milk, a pasta/pizza sauce and mayonnaise. These are my staples to work around with. Now coming to this curry. I tossed up the chicken with some fresh veggies like pepper, broccoli and pak choi , added some readymade curry paste and coconut milk and voila , what you have is a flavoursome healty curry that goes perfectly with rice. Vegetarians, pls omit the chicken and add mushrooms and baby corn, will taste just as awesome.
My sister in law served up this beautiful Pumpkin soup as a part of her Christmas eve dinner and ever since I have been wanting to do something similar in my kitchen. Now I am a pumpkin lover, as a kid one of my favourite meal would be steamed rice with a pumpkin-potato mash and a dollop of butter. Even now I do indulge in such meals sometime while the boys cringe! Coming back to the pumpkin, soup is the only possible way I can make my 8 year old try it.
With minimum labour, it turned out to be stellar. Again the flavours are clean and easy and with a little prep ahead, it can be doled out in a jiffy. I used some leeks ,oregano and parsley for it to come together. My SIL puts loads of lemon grass, which goes pretty well too with pumpkin. Well then, a book and a warm blanket is all you need for some delicious me – time. More on me- time in my next post.
I came back from my winter vacation to a pleasant Kolkata. Cant say it really feels like winter here but the nip in the air kind of makes up for it. And this kind of weather calls for hot broths – fuss free but delicious. Our favourite Chinese joint , a discreet watering hole tucked away in the lanes of Tangra – China town of Kolkata make a mean chicken , mushroom soup, more a broth I would say. Clean flavours , nothing fancy but soul satisfying . I can survive on bowls of steaming hot soups every winter night , but since its not feasible to source it from outside all the time , I make my own. It just needs a little prep ahead, like you make the stock,store the veggies and you are good to go in a jiffy.
Just go with your instinct I say when it comes to seasoning your broth. The simpler flavours you go for, the tastier the soup. Like in this one I just seasoned the stock with garlic, ginger and pepper. Toss together some veggies and boiled chicken in a pan, simmer with the stock and it is ready. Totally a soul satisfying experience.