Steamed Eggs with Crispy Pork

For the meat & marinade:
4 ounces ground pork (110g, can substitute ground chicken or beef)
1 1/2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon ginger (minced)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
For the egg mixture:
3 eggs
water (same volume as eggs)
vegetable or chicken stock (same volume as eggs)
salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon sesame oil

To cook the ground meat:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 scallion (finely chopped)

Marinate the ground meat:

Combine the ground meat with all the marinade ingredients. Stir until the meat has absorbed any standing liquid. Marinate for 15-20 minutes while you prepare the egg mixture.

Make the egg mixture:

To make the egg mixture, crack 3 eggs into a liquid measuring cup and note the volume. Pour the eggs into a large bowl, add salt, and beat for at least 1 minute.

Measure the same volume of water, and add it to the bowl. Do the same with the stock. Whisk the mixture all together along with 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and make sure everything’s well combined.

Steam the eggs:

Place a heat-proof shallow bowl in a steamer over high heat. Be sure any water in your steamer will not be able to bubble up and touch the bowl during the steaming process.

Once boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer. Then, pour the egg mixture into the heated bowl through a fine mesh strainer.
Cover the steamer, turn up the heat to high, and steam the eggs for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes have elapsed, shut off the heat, but keep the steamer covered. Let stand for 14 minutes with the lid firmly covered. Cook the meat during this time.

Brown the meat:

Heat a wok over high heat until it starts to smoke. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Brown the marinated meat over high heat until any liquid has cooked off and the bits of ground meat are crispy. Avoid stirring too much in order to give the meat a chance to brown and crisp.

Add in the chopped scallion, mix well and turn off the heat. Once the steamed eggs are done cooking, remove from the steamer, top with the cooked meat, and serve!

Stir-Fried Green Beans

For the pork & marinade:
8 ounces ground pork (225g, can substitute ground chicken or beef)
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons ginger (minced)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

For the rest of the dish:
3 tablespoons oil (divided)
1 pound green beans (450g, chopped to ½-inch pieces)
2 tablespoons garlic (minced)
1/2 red bell pepper (diced finely)
4 red chilies (chopped, optional)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt (a pinch, or to taste)
2 tablespoons water

Combine the ground meat with all the marinade ingredients. Stir until any standing liquid has been absorbed by the meat. Marinate for 15-20 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the chopped green beans. Stir and spread the beans into a single layer. Cook for 30 seconds. Then stir and repeat the spreading step several times until the green beans are slightly charred, wilted, and cooked through. Turn the heat lower if needed to avoid burning. It takes about 5-8 minutes to cook the green beans this way. (To speed up the cooking, add a few drops of water each you stir, to create some steam.) Transfer the cooked green beans to a dish and set aside.

Now add 1 tablespoon oil to the wok, with the heat turned up to high. Add the ground meat and brown it. Don’t stir too much; give the meat a chance to brown and crisp. Once the meat has browned, reduce the heat to medium.

Next, add the garlic, bell pepper and chilies. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Add in the cooked green beans, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, r, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper, a pinch of salt (to taste), and 2 tablespoons water. With the heat all the way up on high, stir-fry for a final 10-15 seconds and serve.

Cambodian Lemongrass Chicken with Holy Basil (Cha Kreung Satch Moan)

For the Kreung:
3 stalks lemongrass, bottom 4 to 5 inches only, outer leaves discarded, sliced into thin rounds (65g once sliced)
One 3-inch knob galangal, peeled and sliced into thin rounds (35g once sliced)
Two 4-inch knobs fresh turmeric, peeled and sliced into thin rounds (25g once sliced)
12 makrut lime leaves, preferably fresh, sliced very thinly crosswise
1 small shallot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds (25g once sliced)
5 medium cloves garlic, peeled (25g)
1/2 cup holy basil leaves, very tightly packed (12g; see note) or Thai basil leaves (25g)
For the Stir-Fry:
1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil, divided
2 pounds (900g) boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 3 breast halves), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices, divided
One 3-inch piece fermented mudfish (prahok) (35g), cut in half, divided (optional)
2 teaspoons (10ml) Asian fish sauce, divided
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cube (6g) chicken bouillon, such as Knorr, crumbled to a powdery consistency, divided
1 cup holy basil leaves, very tightly packed (40g), divided
4 jalapeños (150g), stemmed, halved, and seeded, then cut on a bias into 3/4-inch strips, divided
Kosher salt

For Serving:
Steamed white rice

For the Kreung: Using a large granite mortar and pestle, combine lemongrass, galangal, turmeric, and makrut lime leaves and grind to a smooth but slightly fibrous paste. These are the toughest, most fibrous ingredients in the paste, so it will take 5 to 10 minutes for the paste to form. Once the paste has formed, add shallot and garlic and pound again to smash them into the paste, another 3 to 5 minutes longer. Add basil to the mortar and pound until it is fully incorporated into the paste.

For the Stir-Fry: In a wok, heat 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add roughly half of the kreung to the wok, stirring and scraping constantly with a wooden spatula to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. At first, the paste will snap and pop as it begins to release moisture. Continue stirring until all visible moisture has cooked off and the paste has thickened and darkened slightly, 1 to 2 minutes.

Increase heat to high, then add half of the chicken to the wok, along with 1 piece of mudfish (if using) and cook, stirring, until chicken is coated in the kreung and has turned white on the surface, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in half of fish sauce, sugar, and bouillon and scrape browned bits from the bottom of the wok (some may still adhere). Stir in half the basil. Once basil has wilted, reduce heat to low and add half of jalapeño slices, cooking until warmed through but still crisp. Season with salt to taste.

Scrape contents of wok into a serving bowl and discard fermented fish. Rinse and dry wok, then repeat with remaining oil, kreung, chicken, and other ingredients.

Serve stir-fry right away, passing steamed white rice at the table.

Chicken with Garlic, Chilies, and Peanuts

2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
4 5- to 6-ounce chicken breast cutlets, pounded to an even 1/4-inch thickness
Ground black pepper
3 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
4 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts reserved separately
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/3 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons salted butter, cut into 2 pieces

In a medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce and the chicken, turning to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes. Pat the cutlets dry with paper towels, then season with pepper.

In a nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering.

Add the chicken in a single layer and cook until well browned on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes total, flipping once halfway through. Transfer to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm.

Allow the pan to cool for a couple minutes, then add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and scallion whites. Cook over medium, stirring, until the mixture is fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Off heat, add the sherry, the remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, half the peanuts and any accumulated juices from the chicken.

Return to medium and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Off heat, add the butter and stir until fully incorporated. Pour the sauce over the chicken, then sprinkle with scallion greens and the remaining peanuts.

Basic Stir-Fry Sauce

1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon brown sugar (or granulated sugar)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a jar with a tight lid (must hold 2 cups of liquid), combine all of the stir fry sauce ingredients together and shake well.

This sauce should keep for a few weeks in the fridge.

To use:

MARINATE YOUR PROTEIN

Marinate 12 ounces of sliced beef, chicken or pork with:

2 tablespoons water
A pinch or more of baking soda (for beef only)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch

PREPARE AROMATICS

Mince 3 cloves of garlic, grate a teaspoon of ginger, and perhaps slice 1 or 2 scallions into 2-inch lengths.

SLICE VEGETABLES

Prepare the vegetables ahead of time, slicing celery, carrots, bell peppers, snow peas, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, and/or broccoli. Use whatever you like and make sure to cut the vegetables small/thinly enough so that they’ll cook quickly (i.e. a couple of minutes).

PREPARE YOUR THICKENER

2 tablespoons water mixed with 2 tablespoons cornstarch.

SEAR MEAT

Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to your hot wok (it should be almost smoking). Add the meat, sear on both sides, and set aside.

ASSEMBLE STIR-FRY

Add another tablespoon of oil and add the garlic and ginger. (If you also sliced scallions, you can add the white parts of the scallion at this stage.)

After a few seconds, add the vegetables and stir fry for 1 minute or until just softened.

And add in the seared meat.

Bring to a boil and stir in the cornstarch slurry until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon (you may need a little more or a little less cornstarch slurry depending on how much sauce you added and how high your heat is). Add the green parts of your scallions (if using), and cook for another 15 to 20 seconds.

Serve over rice.

Xinjiang Big Plate Chicken (Da Pan Ji)

Marinade
1 tablespoon Chinese light soy sauce
1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Other ingredients
4-5 chicken thighs, preferably bone-in, cut in large bite-size pieces (cut with a meat cleaver or have butcher do so)
3 tablespoons Chinese light soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons Pixian chili bean paste (doubanjiang)
2 teaspoons Chinese dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
6 slices of ginger
3 scallions, sliced thinly on the diagonal
6 whole dried Chinese chilies
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
2 teaspoons cumin
4 star anise
3-inch piece cassia bark or 1 cinnamon stick
1 pound white potatoes, roughly chopped into 1-1 1/2 inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces
8 to 12 ounces fresh or dried wheat noodles (wide is traditional)

Marinate chicken pieces for 20 minutes in marinade ingredients: soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sesame oil and cornstarch.

In a separate small bowl mix sauce ingredients: 3 tablespoons light soy sauce, Pixian doubanjiang, dark soy sauce and Shaoxing wine.

Heat wok over medium flame and add 3 tablespoons oil. Add garlic, ginger, scallion whites, dried chilies, Sichuan peppercorns, cumin, star anise and cassia and stir around until mixture becomes fragrant, for about 2 minutes, making sure that it doesn’t burn.

Turn heat up to high and add marinated chicken. Stir-fry until chicken is partially cooked and starting to take on some color, making sure not to burn the spices.

Make a well in the center of the wok, add the sauce mixture and cook briefly. Add 3 cups water, mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover wok and simmer for 10 minutes for bone-in chicken (5 minutes if using boneless).

Add potatoes to the wok and return to a boil. Lower heat, cover wok and simmer 5 minutes. Taste, and add salt if needed. Add bell peppers, cover wok and simmer an additional 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil and cook noodles according to package directions, aiming to have them done just as the stew is done.

If you would like a thicker consistency to the stew, mash a few of the potatoes with a fork. Just make sure to retain enough sauce for the noodles!

Transfer hot noodles to a large wide plate or bowl and cover with the chicken stew. Garnish with scallion greens and serve immediately.

Shrimp and Dragon Fruit Salad (with Variations)

1 dragon fruit, any varieties will work
8 Large shrimp unpeeled, deveined
3 cups Spring salad mix

Sesame plum dressing:
3 Tbsp plum sauce
2 tsp apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp water
Fresh herbs and aromatics:
Small bunch of fresh cilantro leaves roughly chopped
1/4 red onions peeled and thinly sliced

Toppings:
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup roasted peanuts

Cut the dragon fruit in half and then peel the skin off and cut the flesh into large cubes. Set aside and let them chill in the refrigerator while you prepare other things.

Prepare the dressing by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Steam the shrimp with the shells on, on high heat for 2 minutes or until they are cooked through.

Peel off the skin after they have cooled down a little bit. Steaming the shrimp with the shells on is to prevent the shrimp from curling. It’s really just for presentation and makes the shrimp looks bigger.

Assembling the salad:
Place the salad greens in a large mixing bowl.

Add sliced red onions.

Add freshly chopped cilantro leaves.

Add the cooked shrimp.

Add dragon fruit pieces.

Pour on the dressing when you are ready to serve the salad

Sprinkle on some sesame seeds.

Add some roasted peanuts.

Give the salad a gentle toss to mix everything.

Serve immediately.

Notes: This salad is highly customizable. You can change up the dressing, the toppings, the type of greens and veggies you want on the salad, the protein. Here are some suggestions:

Protein: Leftover chicken meat, pan-fried tofu, tempeh, chickpeas, seared scallop, seared ahi tuna.
Topping: Avocado cubes, tortilla strips, crispy chow mein noodle strips, wonton strips.
Dressing: Any vinaigrette dressing, sweet balsamic vinegar.

Kandhari Murgh Tikka (Chicken with Pomegranate Molasses)

850 gms skinless boneless chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces
300 mls thick yoghurt/ Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp gram flour/ chickpea flour
1 tbsp garlic paste
1/2 tbsp ginger paste
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or less if you want a mild heat)
110 mls pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp dried pomegranate seeds
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
Butter for basting

Add the gram flour and the yoghurt in a bowl. Mix well to get rid of any lumps to form a thick paste like consistency. Gradually add the ginger and garlic paste, chilli powder, molasses and pomegranate seeds along with the garam masala powder & salt.

Tip in the chicken pieces and mix well making sure to coat them well in the thick marinade. Leave to marinate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 200c/ Gas mark 6. Thread the chicken pieces onto wooden skewers and place them on a wire rack. Roast the pieces for 7-10 minutes.

Turn them over & baste with melted butter. Put them back in the oven for 5-7 minutes until they are cooked through and slightly charred around the edges. Serve the kandhari murgh warm with roti or parathas, lemon wedges and an onion salad.

Tandoori Chicken Tikka

450 gms skinless boneless chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces
2 tbsp thick yoghurt/ Greek yoghurt
2 tsp chickpea flour/ gram flour
4 cloves garlic
1 inch piece ginger peeled
1 green
1 tsp mild paprika
1 green chilli
1/2 tsp chilli powder (or a little more if you’d like it spicy)
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp coriander powder
Pinch cinnamon powder
Pinch of saffron crushed
Salt to taste
Butter for basting
1 tsp chaat masala
Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Salad & chutney to serve

Add the ginger, garlic and green chilli in a wet grinder and blend to a smooth paste. Mix the yoghurt with the gram flour in a bowl to get rid of any lumps to form a thick paste like consistency. Add the ginger, garlic chilli paste, paprika, chilli powder, garam masala and coriander powder. Also mix in the ground cinnamon, saffron and salt. Stir well and tip in the chicken pieces and mix well making sure to coat them in the thick marinade. Leave to marinate for a few hours or even overnight if you prefer.

Soak wooden skewers in water. Preheat the grill on medium. Shake off the excess marinade and thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers and place them on a wire rack. Cook under the grill for 15-20 minutes. Turn the skewers every 5 minutes & baste with melted butter until the juices run clear and they are cooked through slightly charred around the edges.

Serve warm over roti or parathas sprinkled with chaat masala and lemon juice along with mint chutney and salad.

Kali Mirch Murgh Tikka (Indian Black Pepper Chicken)

500 gms skinless & boneless chicken cut into bite size pieces
5 cloves of garlic
1 green chili
200 gms hung yoghurt/ Greek yoghurt
1 1/2 tsp corn flour
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp white peppercorns
1/2 tsp green cardamom powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
Green peppers (optional)
Melted butter for basting

Add the garlic and chilli in a wet grinder with a splash of water & blend to a puree. In a mortar and pestle add the black and white peppercorns grind coarsely & set aside.

Add the yoghurt to a mixing bowl along with the corn flour. Mix well making sure there are no lumps. Now add the paste, ground peppercorns, cardamom powder, garam masala powder and salt. Marinate the chicken pieces in this mix for a couple of hours or preferably overnight.

Soak wooden skewers in water for 15-20 minutes this prevent them from burning. Preheat the oven to 200c. Thread the chicken pieces onto skewers along with the green peppers. Brush a wire rack with a little melted butter. Place the skewers on the wire rack and cook for 15-20 minutes until slightly charred around the edge and cook all the way through. Turn the pieces half way through the cooking process and baste with butter.

To serve place the chicken on warm flat bread with a sprinkle of chaat masala, some mint chutney and onion rings.

Pineapple Fried Rice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 lb (225 g) ground chicken (or ground turkey)
2 eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt
3 cups cooked rice, overnight rice works best, separated by hand (*Footnote)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup mixed veggies (snow peas, carrots, and/or corn)
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/3 cup roasted cashews
1 lime , cut into wedges
Chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish (Optional)

Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet (or a wok, or a carbon steel skillet) until hot. Add the eggs. Let cook without touching, until the bottom is set. Stir and chop with your spatula to separate the eggs into small bits. Once the egg is just cooked (it’s OK if some parts are still a bit runny), transfer it to a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoon of oil and the ground chicken. Stir and chop with your spatula to separate it into small bits. Cook until the chicken turns mostly white.

Add the rice. Stir and chop to further separate it into single grains. Cook until the rice is heated up, 2 to 3 minutes. If you’re using a wok or a carbon steel skillet, the rice might stick to the pan. You can add a bit more oil and use your spatula to release the rice.

Add the soy sauce and curry powder. Stir to mix well.

Add the pineapple, bell pepper, frozen veggies, green onions, and sprinkle with salt. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add back the scrambled eggs and cashews and toss again. Carefully taste the rice. Sprinkle more salt and stir to mix well, if needed. Transfer everything to a big plate.

Serve hot as a main dish or side dish.

Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk

Oil – 2 tbsp
Whole spices – 1 inch piece cinnamon, 2 cloves, 2 cardamom pods
Onion – 1, finely sliced
Ginger – 1 inch piece, finely chopped
Garlic – 4-5 pods, minced
Green chilies – 1-2, chopped or slit
Tomato – 1, chopped (or tomato paste – 1 tbsp)
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder – 1/2 sp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Black pepper powder – 1/4 tsp (can use at the end, if you feel the curry needs more heat)
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Coconut milk – 1 1/2 ups
Chicken – 3/4 – 1 lb, around 400g
Potatoes – 1, cubed
Water – 1/2 cup

For tempering:

Oil – 1 tbsp
Small shallots – 3-4 (or 2 tbsp chopped red onion)
Curry leaves – a few
Black pepper corns – 5-6, lightly crushed
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp, lightly crushed

Heat oil in a pan. Add the whole spices and when they become fragrant, add the onions, ginger, garlic and chiles till onions are softened and starting to turn lightly golden.

Add the tomato and saute till mushy.Add the masala powders and mix well.

Add 1 cup of coconut milk and bring to a gentle boil. Then add chicken, potatoes and water, cover and cook till chicken is tender. Open the lid and add the rest of the coconut milk and simmer till curry is slightly thickened. Remember that it will thicken further once cooled.

In a small pan, heat the oil for tempering, add onions and curry leaves and fry till the onions are browned. Add the crushed black pepper and cumin seeds towards the end. Add this tadka to the chicken curry, mix and serve.

Chettinad Chicken Curry (Chicken in Roasted Coconut Curry) with Variations

To marinate the chicken:

Chicken – 1 lb, around 500 gm
Yogurt – 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp
Black pepper powder – a pinch
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Lemon/lime juice – 2 tsp

To dry roast and grind (see Notes too):

Whole dried red chilis – 6-8 (as per heat level desired. If you are still apprehensive, I suggest using just 4-5)
Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp
Black pepper corns – 1-2 tsp ( depends on your heat level, but do not skip it entirely)
Cinnamon stick – 1? piece
Cloves – 3
Cardamom pods – 2-3
Nutmeg mace – a small piece
Kalpasi or black stone flower – a small piece (I used a small piece of star anise here)
Coconut – 1/4 cup, freshly grated

For the curry:

Oil – 3 tbsp
Curry leaves – a small handful
Onion – 1 large-sized, finely chopped
Ginger – a thick 1? piece
Garlic – 4-5 cloves
Green chilis – 2
Tomatoes – 2, chopped
Water – 1 cup
Salt – to taste
Lime juice – 1 tsp
Cilantro leaves – a few, to garnish

Wash and cut the chicken into small pieces. Combine with the marinade ingredients and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
Heat a large skillet on medium heat and add all the ingredients to be dry roasted. Lightly roast stirring every now and then till the coconut is golden brown and the spices are fragrant. Cool slightly and grind to a smooth paste with a bit of water. Keep aside.

Make a paste of the ginger, garlic and green chilis as well. Or you can substitute with 2-3 tsp of ginger-garlic paste and a couple of chopped green chilis. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a large pan and add the curry leaves. When they crackle, add the chopped onions and saute till they are golden.
Then add the ginger-garlic-green chili paste and saute well till the raw smell goes away. Now add the tomatoes and cook till they are mushy and well combined.

Add the prepared spice paste and saute for a few minutes. The gravy should be thick, dark and very fragrant.

Add the marinated chicken pieces and mix well to coat with the gravy. Add water and salt and bring to a gentle boil. Now cover the pan and cook on medium heat till chicken is done.

Open the lid, check seasoning and squeeze some fresh lime juice.

Reduce the curry to desired thickness. Remember that it will thicken upon cooling as well.

Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve.

Notes:

In case you do not have dried red chilis, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and garam masala ingredients, you can use the respective spice powders. Start by roasting the coconut on medium heat till lightly golden. Add the spice powders towards the end and roast further till they are slightly aromatic. If you add the spice powders at the beginning and then start roasting the coconut, you run the risk of burning the spice powders and this may make the curry bitter.

For a vegetarian version, add cubed potatoes and other vegetables, making sure that they are all similar in size, to ensure even cooking.

You can add boiled and halved eggs to the curry as well.

If you feel the curry has thickened too much, gently boil it again with a bit of hot water to loosen it.

Indian Country-Style Chicken

Oil – 2 tbsp
Curry leaves – a few
Red onion – 1, thickly chopped (or, use 1 cup of small Indian shallots)
Ginger – 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Dried red chilies – 8-10 (whole or de-seeded or cracked open depending on your heat level)
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Chicken – 1 lb, boneless and cut into small pieces
Salt – to taste
Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp (use roasted and ground cumin for best results)
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp

Heat oil in a pan or skillet. Add curry leaves, red onions (or shallots) and ginger. Saute till onions are red. Now add the red chilies. I add most of them whole and de-seed the rest. Saute for a few more seconds.

Add the turmeric powder and mix well. Add chicken and combine thoroughly. Season with salt, reduce the heat, cover and allow the chicken to cook in it’s own juices. The chicken will let out some liquid, so you don’t need water at all.

When the chicken is done, open the lid and increase the heat to thicken the gravy. Add garam masala and roasted cumin powders and cook for a couple more minutes, till most of the liquid evaporates.

Kadai Fish (or Chicken, Shrimp, or Paneer)

Whole spices – 1? piece of cinnamon, 3 cloves, 3 pods of green cardamom, a tiny piece of mace and 8-10 black pepper corns
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder – 2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Oil – 3 tbsp
Dry bay leaf – 1-2
Red or green bell pepper – 1, de-seeded and cut into thick strips
Onions -1 large, finely chopped
Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tbsp (made from a 2? knob of ginger and 8-10 cloves of garlic)
Green chilies – 2-3, chopped
Tomato – 2 large ones, chopped
Fish – 1 lb, boneless and cut into chunks (any white fish will do)
Water – 1 cup
Salt – to taste
Garam masala powder – a generous pinch
Fresh ginger – 1? piece, julienned, for garnish
Cilantro leaves – a few, for garnish

Dry roast the whole spices on low heat till they are fragrant, cool slightly and coarsely grind them in a mortar-pestle or spice grinder. Keep aside.

Dry roast the masala powders on low heat and keep aside.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a kadai/wok and saute the bell peppers for a minute or two. They must be just cooked and not turn mushy. Remove and keep aside. We will add it to the curry only at the end so that they still retain their texture.

Heat the remaining oil in the same pan. Add the onions and saute till lightly golden.Then add the ginger-garlic paste and green chilies and saute till the raw smell goes away.

Add the tomatoes and saute till they turn mushy. Now add the ground whole spices and the roasted masala powders and saute for another minute. Add a cup of water and bring the gravy to a boil.

Add the fish pieces and mix lightly to coat well in the gravy. Season with salt, cover and simmer to cook the fish, maybe 5-7 minutes.

Open the lid and simmer further to thicken the gravy to your liking. Mix in the previously sauteed bell peppers, sprinkle garam masala powder on top and remove from heat.
Serve hot, garnished with thin slices of ginger and some torn cilantro leaves.
Variations:

You can use prawns, chicken or lamb instead of fish, though chicken and lamb will require a longer cooking time.
Try paneer or tofu for a vegetarian version.

Balochi Chicken: Piquant Spiced Roast Chicken with Anardana Spiced Sweet Potato Mash

For the sajji masala, grind together:

2 tbsp. cumin seeds
2 tbsp. whole black peppercorns
6 green cardamom pods
3 tbsp. coriander seeds
1/2 tsp each kalanamak (black salt), optional, and sea salt
1 tbsp. lemon juice or 1 tbsp. amchoor (dried mango powder, if available)
1 tbsp. whole fennel seeds

For the chicken:

5kg/3¼lb whole chicken
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. sajji masala (as above)

For the mash, combine:

3 sweet potatoes, cooked in an oven until soft, peeled and mashed
2 tsp chaat masala
1 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves
10 mint leaves, chopped
1 green chili, chopped
squeeze of 1/2-lime

Rub the whole chicken with the salt, pepper, 1 tbsp. of sajji masala and crushed garlic.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Put the chicken into a roasting tin and loosely cover with foil. Roast in the oven, basting the chicken with the oil until it is cooked through, the top is golden and the juices run clear when the thickest part of the meat is pierced with a skewer.

Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes then cut into quarters. Sprinkle leftover ground sajji and lemon juice over the chicken and serve with the spiced sweet potato mash.

Green Masala Chicken Curry

Make the masala paste by combining the following in a blender and make into a paste:
1/2 large bunch of coriander leaves
15 mint leaves
1 thin green chilli
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp brown sugar or jaggery
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp crushed garlic

Other ingredients:
500 g full fat natural yoghurt
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 chicken breasts, diced into bite-size pieces

Whole spices:
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp whole coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
10 black peppercorns
2-3 green cardamoms, bruised
7-8 cloves

Whip the yogurt and add the green masala paste.

Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan on medium head and once oil is hot, put in the whole spices and stir and cook until an aroma builds. Now add the green masala paste and fry until the oil starts to rise on the top of the yogurty mixutre.

Now add the chicken and stir, turn the heat low and leave covered to cook until chicken is done. You may need to give the chicken a stir every now until done. Add a bit of water to the curry if you think it is drying out a little.

Serve hot with some pillau rice or plain boiled basmati rice.

Chicken and Green Bean Stir Fry

For the chicken and marinade:
12 oz. (340 g) boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

For the rest of the dish:
1/2 cup chicken stock or water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
Fresh ground white pepper
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
1 pound string beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
Instructions
Add all the marinade ingredients to the chicken in a bowl, mix well with your hands so the chicken absorbs all the marinade liquid, and set aside.
Prepare the sauce by mixing together ½ cup stock or water, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce, ¼ teaspoon sesame oil, a pinch of freshly ground white pepper, and 2 teaspoons cornstarch.
When ready to cook, preheat your wok over medium high heat until it’s almost smoking. Add 2 tablespoons oil to the wok and sear the chicken until it’s just browned. If your wok is as hot as it should be, the chicken should not stick. Turn off the heat while you transfer the chicken to a separate bowl. Leave any oil/fat in the wok.
Add 2 additional tablespoons oil to the wok, and add the string beans in a single layer. Sear the string beans on one side, about 1 minute. Stir-fry the beans for 30 seconds, and then add ¼ cup water to the wok. Cover the wok and allow the green beans to steam for 60-90 seconds (still on medium high heat).
Add the garlic and stir-fry for another 30 seconds. Spread the Shaoxing wine around the wok to deglaze it, stir-frying for 15 seconds. Then add the sauce mixture and bring it to a simmer.

Add the chicken back to the wok and stir-fry everything together for another 30 seconds. The cornstarch in the sauce mixture will thicken it. When the sauce is at the consistency you’d like, plate and serve immediately with rice.

Curry Laksa

1/3 cup vegetable oil (80ml)
2 bone-in chicken breasts (skin removed)
3 pandan leaves (shredded and knotted)
12 oz bean sprouts (trimmed) (340g)
6 oz beehoon (dried rice vermicelli), soak in warm water for 30 minutes to soften (170g)
12 oz fresh yellow noodles or dried yellow noodles (225g)
8 oz shrimps (peeled and deveined) (225g)
1 can coconut milk (14 oz/400ml)
4 oz deep fried tofu (sliced) (113g)
Salt to taste

Spice Paste
5 shallots (peeled and halved)
3 cloves garlic (peeled, and halved)
3 dried chilies (seeded and soaked in hot water to soften)
1 stalk lemongrass (slice bottom third into rings)
1 1/2 inch ginger (peeled and thickly sliced)
1/2 cup curry powder (50g)

Garnish
1/2 cucumber (julienned)
3 to 4 sprigs mint leaves (stems removed)
1 lime (cut into wedges)
4 to 6 tsp fried chili paste

Blend all spice paste ingredients with ¼ cup (60ml) water until smooth. Pour mixture into a bowl. Mix with curry powder to form a thick paste.

Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir fry spice paste until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add chicken breasts and cook until opaque, about 3 minutes.

Pour in 6 cups (1.4 liters) water. Add pandan leaves. Cover and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, fill a separate pot half full of water. Bring to a boil. Scald bean sprouts for about 20 seconds. Remove with a metal strainer.

Add beehoon (dried rice vermicelli) and cook for 2 minutes. Remove with metal strainer.

Cook fresh yellow noodles in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes and dried yellow noodles for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove with metal strainer. Set aside.

Remove chicken breasts from curry soup with tongs. When cool enough to handle, shred meat and discard bones.

Lower shrimps into curry soup with a metal strainer. Allow shrimps to cook for 3 to 4 minutes until shrimps curl and turn pink. Remove and set aside.

Pour coconut milk into soup. Add deep fried tofu and season with salt. Bring it up to a boil and allow coconut milk to heat through. Turn off heat.

Place a portion of noodles, bean sprouts, some shredded chicken, and shrimps in a bowl. Pour curry soup over noodles and vegetables. Garnish with cucumber and mint leaves.

Serve Immediately with fried chili paste and lime wedges.

Mongolian Chicken

10 oz. boneless and skinless chicken breast cut into cubes
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or Shaoxing rice wine , optional
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoon oils
2 cloves garlic minced
1- inch piece ginger peeled and sliced
6 stalks scallions cut into 2-inch strips
White sesame optional

Sauce:
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon dark soy sauce

Marinate the chicken with soy sauce, rice wine (if using), sesame oil and corn starch. Stir to mix well.

In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients for the Sauce together. Stir to mix well. Set aside.

Heat up a skillet or wok on high heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon oil and add the chicken. Toss and stir fry until the surface turns white but not completely cooked. Dish out and set aside.

Clean up the skillet or wok with paper towels, and add the remaining 1 tablespoon cooking oil. When the oil is heated, add the garlic and ginger, stir fry until aromatic. Add the chicken and do a few quick stirs before adding the Sauce. Stir continuously until the sauce thickens and the chicken is cooked through. Add the scallions, stir to combine well. Top the chicken with some sesame and serve immediately.