Khichdi

1 to 2 tablespoons GHEE or clarified butter
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cumin or jeera
1 bay leaf or 1 sprig of curry leaves (optional)
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ginger grated or ginger paste
1 small onion chopped (optional)
1 green chili slit or 1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 small tomato deseeded & chopped
1/8 teaspoon turmeric or haldi
salt as needed
1/2 cup rice (or quinoa, steel cut oats, millets)
1/2 cup MOONG DAL or skinless petite yellow lentils (or any other dal)
3 to 4 cups water (use 4 cups for porridge consistency)
1 pinch asafoetida or hing (optional)
1/2 tablespoons GHEE for topping
optional ingredients
1 medium carrot cubed
8 french beans cut to 1 inch length
1 small potato cubed

Add rice and dal to a pot. Wash them at least thrice & drain water completely.

Heat ghee in a pressure cooker or pot on a medium heat. Saute bay leaf & cumin on a low flame for 1 min. Then fry ginger until fragrant & sprinkle hing.

Fry onions and green chilies until the raw smell of onions goes away.

Add tomatoes, carrots, beans, salt and turmeric and saute for 3 to 4 mins. Then add drained daal and rice. Saute for 3 to 4 mins.

Pour 3 cups water for mushy consistency and 4 cups for porridge like consistency. Stir well & taste the water. Add more salt if needed.

Pressure cook for 2 whistles on a medium flame for a mushy khichdi. Cook for 4 to 5 whistles on a low to medium flame for porridge consistency.

If cooking in a pot, cook until soft adding more water if needed.

Pour 1 tsp ghee on the hot khichdi. Serve with papad and pickle.

Instant pot Khichdi:
Press saute button (medium) & pour ghee. When the ghee melts, add in bay leaf and cumin. When it sizzles then add in onions & chili. Fry until transparent.

Next add in ginger, hing, tomatoes, all veggies & turmeric. Saute for 2 to 3 mins until tomatoes turn mushy.

Add & saute drained rice & lentils for another 2 to 3 mins.

Next add in salt & pour water. Deglaze the pot by scraping the bottom with a spatula to remove bits of food stuck in there if any. Mix well & taste the water. Add more salt if needed. Secure the lid & move the steam release handle to sealing.

Press the pressure cook or manual button (high pressure). Set the timer to 8 mins. Or you can also press porridge button & set timer to 9 mins.

Once it is done, the instant pot beeps, then press cancel and switch off. Wait for a natural pressure release for 10 minutes & release the rest manually. When the float valve drops, open the lid & stir gently.

If you like soupy khichdi, add some hot water to bring to consistency you like.

Top with some ghee & serve khichdi with plain yogurt, pickle or papad.

Toor Dal

FOR THE DAL:
1 cup toor dal (split yellow pigeon peas)
2 Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup raw whole peanuts

FOR THE TEMPERING
1/4 cup/55 grams ghee
1 sprig fresh curry leaves
3 small pieces Indian cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
3 red dried chiles, such as chile de árbol
3 cloves
1/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
Pinch of asafoetida

Prepare the dal: Soak the pigeon peas in a large bowl of warm water for about 1 hour. (They will have swelled a little.) Thoroughly rinse the soaked pigeon peas with fresh water, then tip the drained pigeon peas into a pot.

Add tomatoes, turmeric, salt and 5 cups water, and bring to a boil over high. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until very tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to purée some of the dal, leaving some intact and getting some very smooth, or whisk vigorously to break up some of the soft dal. Stir in the peanuts and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the dal is very tender, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust with salt. If the dal has become too thick for your liking, stir in a splash of water.

Prepare the tempering: In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the ghee. When hot, carefully add all of the tempering ingredients (the mustard seeds will sputter!) and swirl the pan until you can smell all the toasted spices, about 30 seconds. Pour everything over the hot dal.

Toor Dal with Tamarind

400g toor dal
3 tbsp vegetable/sunflower oil
1 tsp of fenugreek/methi seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
10 fresh curry leaves
2 inches fresh ginger, finely grated/chopped
a good pinch asafoetida/hing powder
2 small chillies, chopped into three
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp tamarind concentrate
100 mL water
2 tsp salt

Soak the toor dal in a bowl of water for 20 minutes or overnight if you are well organized. This simply makes the cooking time a little quicker but is not essential (unlike some lentils which you have to soak over night – red kidney beans and green mung beans for example). Make sure the water is sufficiently above the level of the dal. You rinse it through after so the exact amount is irrelevant.

Once the 20 minutes soaking are up, rinse the dal through a sieve and place in a large pan and cover with boiling water. This time the water should only be a little bit above the dal. Gently cook the dal so that it softens, this will take around 20-35minutes (more of you have not soaked). You may need to add more water if it gets soaked up whilst softening. It’s not an exact science so don’t worry too much on water amounts – sometimes I have it more ‘soupy’ in consistency than others. Remove the scum from the top of the pan, which occurs when cooking the dal. When it has softened, leave to rest whilst you finish off preparing the rest of the ingredients. To test it has softened squeeze a lentil between your thumb and forefinger. If it soft it is ready for the next stage, however, if the lentil remains hard you will need to boil it a little longer.

In a large karahi or frying pan heat up the oil and then add the fenugreek/methi, cumin and black mustard seeds. They will begin to pop so make sure you keep the heat low. Move them around the pan for 30 seconds before adding the curry leaves and give a good stir.

After three minutes cooking time add the chillies, fresh tomatoes and asafoetida/hing, fresh ginger, chilli powder and turmeric and mix in well together.

Once the tomatoes have softened – this will take a few minutes, add the tamarind concentrate and water and stir. You now want to deposit the pan with the toor dal into your karahi/frying pan with the other ingredients, or vice versa, depending on which pan is larger. Stir in well together and add a little extra boiling water to clean the pan and then turn that water into the main pan.

Add the salt to taste and leave to simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Serve with rice or Indian bread or simply on its own. I often like to squeeze in a little fresh lemon or lime as well.

Moong Dal Khichdi

1/2 cup rice
1/2 cup moong dal I used moong dal dhuli
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon hing powder also know as asafoetida

1 teaspoon ghee
1 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
1 green chili finely chopped
1 large tomato chopped
1/4 cup green peas
salt to taste

Take 1/2 cup rice and 1/2 cup moong dal in a bowl. Soak it in enough water for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, drain the water and set aside.

Add the rice and dal to a pressure cooker and add around 3.5 to 4 cups water. Add salt, turmeric powder and asafoetida and pressure cook on high heat for 5- whistles.

The rice and dal will cook and be very soft and mushy, set aside.

To another pan on meidum heat, add ghee and oil. You may use only oil to keep it vegan.

Once the oil & ghee is hot, add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Wait till cumin seeds start sizzling and mustard seeds pop up.

Add chopped ginger and green chili. Saute for 30 seconds or so or till the ginger starts turning light golden brown in color.

Add chopped tomatoes and green peas. Cook for 2 minutes, you don’t want the tomatoes to get too mushy.

Add the cooked rice and dal to the pan.

Mix till well combined, add salt and adjust to taste.

Garnish with cilantro and serve the moong dal khichdi with some extra ghee on top. Also it’s usually served with some papad, achar (pickle) and yogurt on the side.

NOTES
Use only 2 cups of water if you want a more pilaf/pulao like consistency for your khichdi. This recipe is for a porridge like khichdi.

You may use other veggies in the khichdi like spinach, carrots, onion.

To make it vegan, simply skip the ghee and use oil only.

The khichdi tastes best when it’s warm. It will become thick once you keep it inside the refrigerator. Simply add more water and little salt and bring it to a desired consistency when heating it up again.

Bhindi Masala

1 1lb okra/bhindi
3 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, sliced thinly or ? cup sliced onions
1 large tomato, chopped or ½ cup chopped tomatoes
2 green chilies, slit
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste or ½ inch ginger along with 3 to 4 medium garlic crushed to a paste in mortar-pestle
1/4 tsp turmeric powder/haldi
1/4 tsp red chili powder/lal mirch powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder/dhania powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder/jeera powder
1/2 tsp dry mango powder/amchur
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves, crushed
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves/dhania patta
salt as required

Rinse the bhindi/okra in water. then wipe dry them with a kitchen towel or just allow to dry them naturally in a plate. (making sure they are completely dry eliminates the gelatinous texture of okra)

Slice off the crown and tip of each bhindi. then slice them vertically.
also slice 1 medium onion. chop 1 large tomato and slit 2 green chilies. crush the ginger and garlic in a mortar-pestle.

Heat 3 tbsp oil in a thick bottomed shallow frying pan. add the sliced onions.
saute them till they start turning light brown.

Add 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste and the green chilies. Saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.

Add the chopped tomatoes. stir well.

Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin and dry mango powder. Mix the spices with the rest of the onion-tomato masala. Saute this mixture till the tomatoes become pulpy and you see oil releasing from the sides.

Add the chopped bhindi/okra, season with salt, and stir very well. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and cook on a low flame or simmer. Check after 4 to 5 minutes a couple of times. Continue to cook the bhindi fry on a low flame till the bhindi is done. You will have to check after every 4 to 5 minutes so that the bhindi does not get too browned or burnt. Stir every time when you check it. If the okra is becoming too browned or getting burnt, then sprinkle 1 to 1.5 tbsp water all over. stir, cover and continue to cook.

Once the bhindi is done, add garam masala powder and kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves, and cilantro, and stir well.

Sri Lankan Coconut Sambol

1 coconut grated
5 dried chilies
6 small shallots
2 limes juice of
1 teaspoon Maldive fish (Optional)
salt

Using a mortar and pestle make a paste with the dried chilies and a pinch of salt.

In a bowl, mix together the shallots, coconut, and chili paste.

Add the Maldive fish if using.

Add the fresh lime juice.

Add salt to taste.

Mix everything together and taste, adjust as your palate dictates. The end result should be sweet, sour, savory, hot, and a heavenly bite.

Serve alongside curry.

Sri Lankan Shrimp Curry

Prawns /Shrimp
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and cleaned
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Sri Lankan Curry Powder

Prawn/ shrimp Curry
3 tbsp coconut oil
4 garlic cloves minced
1 inch piece ginger, minced
1 medium sweet onion chopped finely
1 Tbsp Sri Lankan Curry Powder
1/2 tsp ground fennel
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
12 curry leaves
3 pandan leaves
1/3 cup coconut milk
2/3 cup water
2 fresh red chili peppers more or less to your heat tolerance
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp Cilantro chopped, finely

Sprinkle the salt and curry powder over the shrimp and mix well and set aside to marinate while you cook the curry.

Heat a frying pan over medium high heat, and add the coconut oil. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, a generous pinch of salt and reduce the heat to medium and cook the shrimp heads until they soften – a few minutes.

Add the curry powder, fennel powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, curry leaves and stir frequently for about 5 minutes, until the spices are fragrant and have formed a paste with the onion, garlic and ginger.

Add the coconut milk, 2/3 cup water, fresh red chili pepper, lime juice and stir to combine. Bring to a boil.

Cover and simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes until the mixture is thick.

Add the peeled prawns/shrimp into the curry base and gently mix to combine and completely coat the prawn/shrimp with the sauce. Add a bit of water if the sauce is too thick, or you would like more sauce.

While stirring, bring the mix to a boil. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, or just until the prawns/shrimp is cooked through and is pink. Season with salt to taste.

Turn off the heat and cover the pan with a lid and let the prawns/shrimp sit in the sauce for a few minutes.

Sprinkle cilantro to garnish if using, and serve with steamed Basamati rice.

Sri Lankan Roasted Curry Powder

4 Tbsp coriander seeds
3 Tbsp cumin seeds
2 Tbsp black peppercorns
2 Tbsp basmati rice
1 Tbsp black mustard seeds
3 tsp whole cloves
2 tsp green cardamom seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds

Place the rice in a non-stick pan.

Heat over medium heat until the rice starts to turn light brown.

Add the rest of the spices and roast for few more minutes until the spices start to become aromatic. Keep moving the pan to prevent the spices from burning.

Remove from the heat and let the spices cool down.

Once cool, use a spice grinder (or a mortar and pestle) to grind the spice mix into a powder.

Store in an air tight container.

Sri Lankan Spiced Chickpeas (Kadala Thal Dala )

2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
10 curry leaves
4 dried red chilies chopped into large chunks
1 large onion finely diced
2 15 oz. chickpeas cans (drained)
Salt to taste
Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan.

Fry the mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves and chilies for around 30 seconds until you hear the seeds pop.

Add the onions and cook until soft and golden.

Stir through the chickpeas and add salt to taste. Sauté for a few minutes until heated through.

Serve warm as a snack or as a side to your meal.

Japanese Spicy Pickled Daikon (with Korean, Chinese, and Indian Variations)

1 pound daikon radish
15ml (1 tbsp) table salt
125ml (1/2 cup) sugar
125ml (1/2 cup) apple cider vinegar
125ml (1/2 cup) water
30ml (2 tbsp) sea salt
2 red chillies, washed and finely sliced
60ml (4 tbsp) dill, washed and chopped
Peel the radish and then slice it thinly as desired.

Sprinkle with salt and leave for 2 hours in order to draw out moisture.

Place the salt, sugar, vinegar, water and chillies in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Continue stirring the pickling mixture until all the salt and sugar have dissolved. Set aside to cool down.

Squeeze the excess moisture out of the radish.

Layer the vegetable along with sprinklings of dill in a sterilised, airtight storage container.

Pour in the pickling liquid, ensuring all surfaces of the radish are covered.

Wait for at least 2 days, but preferably 1 month, for the flavours to develop.

Variations:

Korean Pickled Daikon
You can easily turn this pickled dikon recipe into a kimchi-style recipe. All you need to make this a kimchi pickled daikon recipe is the chilli paste kimchi is made with. This includes the Sunchang Gochujang hot pepper paste. Just mix as much hot pepper paste as you see fit.

Chinese Pickled Daikon
You can easily make a Chinese-style pickled daikon. Simply add the following traditional Chinese ingredients and spices below, such as:

star anise
cloves
cassia or Chinese cinnamon
sesame seed oil
fennel seeds

You can also consider these additional ingredients:

cabbage
Korean radish
carrots
scallions
zucchini
gingergarlic
turmeric

Pickled Mooli
You can also make this an Indian-style recipe. Just add some turmeric powder or these turmeric substitutes. Next add ginger, curry powder, garam masala mix and fresh chillies or chilli paste. This way you can incorporate as much Indian flavour as possible.

Coconut Mango Frozen Yogurt

1 cup plain coconut water
1/2 cup sugar
1 small mango (about 10 ounces), peeled and diced
1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
1 cup light coconut milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut

In a small saucepan, combine the coconut water and sugar and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 6 minutes. Let the sugar syrup cool.

In a blender or food processor, puree the diced mango with 2 tablespoons of the sugar syrup. Transfer 1/4 cup of the puree to a bowl and whisk in the Greek yogurt, coconut milk, lemon juice and the remaining sugar syrup. Pour the mixture into a glass baking dish and freeze for 1 hour, until frozen around the edges. Whisk the mixture to break up the clumps and return to the freezer. Freeze for about 2 hours longer, whisking frequently, until the mixture is nearly frozen. Spread the remaining mango puree on top and, using a butter knife, swirl it into the yogurt. Freeze until nearly solid.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the shredded coconut over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until it’s golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer the coconut to a plate and let it cool. To serve, scoop the frozen yogurt into bowls and top with the toasted coconut. Alternatively, in a tall glass, layer the coconut between small scoops of the frozen yogurt, like a parfait.

Sheet Pan Gobi

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets – stems sliced thick
2 turnips, sliced thick (optional)
1 large onion, sliced
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp ground cumin powder (roast this slightly before using for better flavor)
1/2 tsp chili powder (to taste)
Salt to taste
1 lemon
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and more for late

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Drizzle some olive oil on the bottom of a sheet pan and set aside.

Combine the vegetables in a large bowl.

Add the 3-4 tbsp olive oil and all the spices to the vegetables.

Add salt to taste and half of the chopped cilantro.

Mix it all very well and then put on the sheet pan.

Place in oven and cook for about 15 minutes, then take them out and mix them around in the sheet pan so that they cook evenly. Place it back in the oven and cook for an additional 15 minutes or so until done.

You will have to check the vegetables from time to time to make sure they don’t burn.

Check seasonings and adjust flavors to taste, squeeze some lemon juice on the cauliflower, garnish with cilantro and serve hot or cold.

Spiced Bread Egg in a Hole

1 large egg
1 1/2-inch-thick slice bread, sourdough or rustic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
Pinch of ground cayenne pepper
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Crack the egg into a small bowl or container with a spout. Using a glass or measuring cup, cut out a circle in the middle of the bread, being sure to leave at least a 1/2-inch of bread on all sides.
In a medium nonstick skillet, use a wooden spoon to stir together the oil, turmeric, coriander, cayenne and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Add the bread and its middle and heat the skillet over medium heat. When the bread starts to sizzle, gently pour the egg into the hole. Cook until the bottom of the bread is crispy, about 2 minutes.
Using a spatula, gently flip the bread and continue cooking until the egg white is cooked through but the yolk is still runny, another 2 minutes. Serve.

Indochinese Schezwan Chicken

250 grams chicken or 1/2 lb cubed boneless
1 egg white (refer notes on brine)
1/4+teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed pepper
1 teaspoon soya sauce (chose naturally brewed)
3 tablespoon Corn starch or (white corn flour)
1/4 cup oil or as needed for frying or grilling

other ingredients:
1 tablespoon sesame oil or any
2 to 4 dried red chilies (refer notes)
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn ground (refer notes)
1 teaspoon garlic chopped
1 teaspoon ginger chopped
2 to 3 sprigs spring onions or scallions (greens & whites separated)
1 tablespoon soya sauce (naturally brewed)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoon red chilli paste or 1 tablespoon chilli powder or 15 red chilies (notes)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt (adjust to taste)
1/2-teaspoon ground pepper or pepper powder

Make the red chilli paste by mixing red chilli powder with 2 tbsps water. Or Soak red chilies in hot water for 30 mins and drain. Blend them with little water to a smooth paste. Set aside.

To a large mixing bowl add chicken, salt, pepper, soya sauce & flour. Add egg white & mix everything well until the chicken is well coated.

Heat oil in a pan for deep frying. When the oil is medium hot, gently slide the chicken pieces one after the other. (fry them in batches) Fry them on a medium high flame until crisp and golden. Remove to a plate.

How to make szechuan chicken:

Turn off the stove & remove the oil to a small bowl, retaining 1 tbsp in the pan. Cool down the oil a bit and then fry the red chilies until crisp without burning.

Add the ginger garlic. Saute them on a high flame for 30 seconds. Then add the spring onions whites & fry for 1 min. Add the ground sichuan peppercorns & saute until aromatic for 30 seconds. Next add red chili paste, soya sauce, sugar, vinegar and very little salt. Stir well.

Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons water or oil and allow the sauce to bubble & thicken slightly. Taste the sauce and add more chilli paste, sichuan peppercorns, sugar, salt, vinegar etc to suit your taste.

Stir in the fried chicken and toss on the highest flame for 1 minute until the sichuan sauce coats the chicken well. Sprinkle ground pepper and spring onion greens.

Garnish schezwan chicken with more spring onion greens. Serve hot with noodles or fried rice or as a appetizer.

Garlic Paneer

1 1/4 cup paneer. cubed
6 large garlic cloves
1 tsp vinegar (apple cider vinegar)
5 to 6 red chilies kashmiri (seeds removed)
1 tsp sugar
salt as needed
1 tbsp oil
1/2-tsp cumin or 1 small strand of mace
1/2-cup onions chopped
coriander leaves or celery as needed for garnish
1 tsp soya sauce naturally brewed – optional

Blend together garlic, chilies, sugar, salt and vinegar with 2 to 3 tbsp water.
Heat a pan with oil and allow cumin to sizzle.

Fry onions until golden. Add the sauce and cook until it thickens and the oil separates.

Add paneer and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with coriander or celery.
Serve garlic paneer hot.

Indochinese Chili Shrimp

Brining (30 mins, optional)
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt preferably sea salt
1 cup water

For marination:
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp corn flour
1 tbsp plain flour or maida (organic or unbleached)

For sauce:
1 1/2 tbsps oil for frying prawns
1 tbsp olive or sesame oil for sauce
1/2 cup capsicum cubed or bell pepper
1/4 cup Spring onions or ½ cup cubed onions layers seperated or as desired
1 tbsp garlic chopped
1 to 2 green chili slit
1 1/2 tbsps. Chilli sauce
1 to 1 1/2 tsp soya sauce (low salt)
1 to 1 1/2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp chili powder with 2 tbsps water or 1 tbsp chili paste
250 grams deveined prawns about 8 to 12 large
1/2 tsp pepper crushed
1/2 tsp sugar

Devein and clean the prawns well. Rinse them under running water.

Add sugar and salt to a bowl. Pour 1 cup of water. Stir well and add the prawns to this liquid.

Set aside for 30 mins, meanwhile proceed with other preparation.

Drain the water completely from the prawns and add corn flour, plain flour and pepper. Mix every thing well and set aside for 10 mins. This helps the excess moisture from the prawns to be released and make the flour moist.

Heat oil in a pan and fry the prawns on a medium heat. Gently flipping to and fro. Since they are brined the cooking time reduces to half. So they just get done under 3 mins, though it depends on the size of the prawns. The prawns swril and take a C shape when are done. Do not overcook they will turn hard and rubbery.

By then the flour coated over the prawns turn crisp. Set these aside to a absorbent tissue.

How to make chilli prawns:

Clear up the pan and add more oil. Saute garlic until fragrant. Add chilies, capsicum and onion cubes or spring onions. Sprinkle very little salt and sugar.
Saute on a high flame just for one to 2 mins until the bell peppers are half cooked yet retain their crunch.

Add chilli sauce, chilli paste, soya sauce, vinegar and pepper. You will also need to add 2 tbsps of water.

Mix and allow the sauces to bubble. Taste this and add more spice or sauce if you like.

Switch off the stove and add the prawns.

Toss well and add spring onion greens if you have in hand.

Serve chilli prawns immediately to enjoy the crust.

Indochinese Schezwan Paneer

2 tbsp red chili paste (or 7 to 8 red chilies)
Hot water to soak chilies

For batter:
3 to 4 tbsps corn flour
3 to 4 tbsps all purpose flour or maida (organic)
salt as needed
1/4 tsp pepper
water as needed to make the batter
200 grams paneer

to make schezwan paneer:
oil for deep frying
1 to 1 1/2 tbsp oil for seasoning
3/4 tbsp. garlic chopped finely
1/2 tbsp. ginger chopped finely
1/2 tsp schezwan pepper or 3 to 4 crushed (optional)
2 tbsps spring onion whites chopped
2 to 3 tbsps celery chopped (optional)
salt as needed
3/4 to 1 tsp sugar
3/4 tbsp soya sauce
3/4 tbsp vinegar ( or tomato sauce)
4 tbsps water
1/4 cup capsicum (optional)
1/2 to 3/4 cup water
1 tsp corn flour or corn starch or arrow root powder

Deseed & soak red chilies in hot water. Set aside for 30 mins. Blend them well with just 2 tbsps of water to a smooth or coarse paste. Discard the rest of the soaked water.

To a mixing bowl, add cornflour, maida, pepper and salt. Pour water just enough to make a free flowing batter of slightly thick consistency. Add the paneer bites and coat them in the batter well.

Heat oil in a kadai for deep frying. When the oil turns hot, drop the batter coated paneer in the hot oil. Fry them on a medium high flame until the paneer bites turn crisp. Drain them to a kitchen tissue.

Making schezwan paneer:

Heat oil in a pan or wok. Fry ginger garlic for a minute. Add spring onions, celery and schezwan peppers. Saute for 2 mins. Add red chili paste, salt and sugar. Fry for 2 to 3 mins. Remove the schezwan pepper.

Pour water and cook until the mixture leaves oil.Pour soya sauce and vinegar or tomato sauce. Mix and saute for a minute.

Add capscium and fry for 2 mins.

Mix corn flour with water. Pour that to the pan. Mix well and cook until the sauce thickens. Check the taste and adjust the spice and sourness as desired.
Turn off the stove. Cool this sauce a bit.

Add the paneer and mix well to coat the sauce.

Serve the schezwan paneer hot with noodles or fried rice.

Chicken Manchurian

250 grams chicken breast boneless, (cubed or minced)
1/2 egg white (1 egg white for 1/2 kg chicken)
1/8 tsp pepper coarsely crushed
1 tsp soya sauce (Prefer naturally brewed)
2 pinches chili powder (optional, for color)
2 tbsp corn flour
1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour or maida (or rice flour)
1 tsp ginger garlic paste or minced
salt little
oil as needed for frying

for manchurian sauce:
1 tbsp garlic chopped finely
1/2 tbsp ginger chopped finely
1 medium onion chopped finely or 2 tbsps spring onion whites
1 tbsp soya sauce (use more for intense flavor)
2 tbsp red chili sauce
2 tbsp tomato sauce optional
1 tsp vinegar (add more if needed)
1 cup water or chicken stock
2 tsp corn flour (3 for gravy)
3 tbsp water to mix with flour
salt little
1/2 to 1 tsp sugar
3/4 cup capsicum or bell peppers cubed
2 tbsps scallions or spring onions greens

Mix chicken with soya sauce, salt, ginger garlic paste, red chili powder (optional) and pepper powder.

Add egg white and flour. Mix well. Set aside for at least 1 hour.

If you have used chicken cubes then skip this step. If you have used the mince divide the mixture to 12 portions. Make balls. If you don’t get round balls, that’s just fine.

Heat oil until hot enough to fry. Test by sliding a small portion of the batter to the hot oil. It has to rise without browning. This is the right temperature.
Deep fry chicken on a medium flame until golden & crisp. When the chicken is done cooking bubbles will begin to reduce. Remove the fried chicken to a kitchen towel. Please make sure the chicken is cooked completely inside before you add it to the sauce.

Making sauce:

Stir in the corn flour with 3 tbsp water in a small bowl. To another small bowl, add vinegar,soya sauce, tomato sauce (optional) and red chilli sauce. Mix all of these and set aside.

Transfer the oil to a bowl and retain only half a tbsp. Fry ginger garlic until aromatic. Fry onions or scallion whites until transparent.

Add bell peppers and fry for 2 minutes. Pour the sauces.

When they begin to bubble, Stir the corn flour mixture & pour it along with 1 cup water or stock.

The sauce begins to bubble and thickens. Taste the sauce and add in more salt or any sauces you desire. Turn off the heat. Then add fried chicken & spring onions.

Stir and coat the chicken with the sauces. If you have made to chicken balls then cook for 2 mins.

Garnish with spring onions and serve chicken manchurian as a appetizer.

Indochinese Lemon Chicken

300 grams chicken boneless cubes or breast
1 1/2 tbsp oil
1 tsp ginger paste
1 1/2 to 2 tbsp lemon juice
salt as needed
1/4 tsp lemon zest (optional)
3/4 tsp red chili powder
1/8 tsp turmeric

other ingredients:

1/2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp ginger chopped or minced
1/2 tbsp garlic
1 green chili slit
1 onion large , chopped
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp cajun spice mix or garam masala
1/2 tbsp soya sauce
1 Handful celery or mint or coriander leaves

Marinate chicken with all the ingredients mentioned under marinade. Set this aside for about 1 hour 15 minutes. It can also be refrigerated for longer to over night.

Heat a pan with oil, add ginger and garlic and fry until nice smell begins to waft.

Add onions, chili, sugar and salt. Fry until the onions turn pink.

Add marinated chicken and stir. Fry until the chicken is half cooked.

Add spice powder and stir. Fry for about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add soya sauce and mix well.

Cook until the chicken is soft and tender. Any taste can be adjusted now, more chili powder, spice powder,salt or soya sauce can be added to reduce the tang.
Add mint leaves and fry until they wilt. Chicken should just be moist but not with dripping sauces. Cook to evaporate any excess moisture.

Serve lemon chicken with onion wedges as a side to fried rice, noodles or rice.

Paneer Manchurian

200 grams paneer
1/4 cup plain flour or maida
3 tbsps corn flour or corn starch
Salt as needed
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (optional) replace with pepper powder
Water as needed to make batter
Oil for frying

Making manchurian sauce:
1 tbsp oil olive or sesame oil
1/2 to 3/4 tbsp garlic minced
1/2 to 3/4 tbsp ginger minced
1/4 cup spring onion whites chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup capsicum chopped or bell pepper
1 tsp corn flour or corn starch or arrowroot powder
1/2 cup water (you may need little more, use as needed)
1 1/2 tbsps soya sauce (use naturally brewed or organic, I used kikkoman)
2 tbsps tomato sauce (I used homemade sauce)
3/4 to 1 tsp sugar
1/2 to 3/4 tsp vinegar (use only if needed to give a mild tang)
Salt as needed (use only if needed, I used about ¼ tsp)
2 tbsps Spring onion greens

Heat oil in a kadai for deep frying paneer. While the oil heats, add corn flour, maida, salt and chilli powder to a bowl. Add water just enough to make a free flowing batter. The consistency must be moderately thick, not too thick or too runny.

Dip the paneer cubes in the batter and deep fry in hot oil. Stir often and fry on a medium heat until golden and crisp. Drain them on a kichen tissue.

Add 1 tsp corn flour to a bowl and add water. Mix and make a lump free slurry. Keep this aside.

How to make paneer manchurian:

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wide pan. Regulate the flame to high. Add ginger garlic and saute for a min for the nice aroma to comes out. Next add spring onion whites and fry for a min or two. Add capsicum and saute for another minute.

Pour soya sauce, tomato sauce and corn slurry. Make sure you stir the corn slurry once before pouring to the pan. Add more water if needed. Reduce the flame to medium and add sugar. Stir and check the taste of the sauce.Add pepper, salt and vinegar if needed.

Allow the sauce to turn thick. Turn off the flame.Add the fried paneer and spring onion greens. Toss the paneer in the sauce well to coat evenly.

Serve paneer manchurian hot.