Tag Archives: Main Course

Comfy Coconut Pilaf

Mildly sweetened basmati rice with nutty aroma acquired from simmering in fresh coconut milk  spiced with fragrant mint leaves is the perfect dish for any spicy curry or stew. The whole spices jazz up the coconut milk  and the golden yellow of the turmeric takes you to a tropical paradise. This makes a great accompaniment for barbeque parties and potlucks. Freshly made coconut milk and coconut oil is essential for this recipe. Use fresh or frozen grated coconut to make coconut milk. Try not to use canned coconut or dehydrated coconut powder that will compromise the taste. It’s better not to substitute any other oil in place of coconut oil.

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Chapati (Whole Wheat Flat Bread)

Chapati/ Chapathi is an essential Indian flat bread/ griddle bread (looks like Tortilla) made with whole wheat flour. This simple and hearty low gluten, low calorie bread is healthy and appeasing. ‘How to make soft chapatis?’ Google and you’ll find umteen recipes, youtube videos and related articles. I have done this several times before mastering the chapati making technique. Most of the recipes seem so simple with few sentences of instruction. I wish it was that easy. It wasn’t for me. After many trial and error preps and producing leathery, shapeless, amoeba like chapathis, I finally figured out what works best for me. And if you ask people who make soft chapathis, they repeat the same method that you tried countless times with no avail. If you are one of those who can make soft rotis (chapatis) by flattening the dough between your palms using  just flour and water, don’t bother reading further. This recipe is for ‘Roti Newbies’.

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Bashed Potatoes

Spuds – That’s how potatoes are called in the ‘Emerald Isle’. A true Irish would die without having potatoes atleast one meal a day. It is the quintessential Irish food. You will be surprised by the varieties of potatoes served in a meal and every meal, common ones being mash and roast with gravy made with meat drippings. After spending half a decade in Ireland, how can I not love like potatoes. Despite the fact that potatoes are naturally gluten free, it still gets a strike for making people fat. Once in a while, It is alright to have a ladle of mash and gravy. Creamy mash is one among my comfort foods list. Continue reading

Bloody Orange Bread (Whole Wheat Bread)

Lately, I’ve been fixated with baking breads using whole wheat flour. I get immense satisfaction when it turns out well. And, I exactly know what goes into that loaf booming with nutrients of the fresh ingredients from my pantry. The extra perk is, completely preservative free food for the family. I had a few blood oranges at home, out of which a couple was suffering from borderline anemia. It was mutation gone wrong. Hence, I treated those as the primary ingredient for my Orange Bread. The end product was a delicious homemade whole wheat loaf mildly sweetened with fresh OJ and fortified with toasted wheatgerm and flax meal sprinkle. It has a delicate citrus flavor with a moist crumb.

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Artisan Style Pesto Bread

This bread whether skilfully crafted or candidly prepared has great flavour and superior texture to any store bought breads. You need a little patience while it bakes because of it’s tempting aroma when in the oven. Free of preservatives and with fresh herbs, this will definitely tickle your palate. I used homemade dill pesto and whole wheat flour to make this rustic and hearty boule. And it’s nutritious and healthy :) Continue reading

Cranberry Mint Pilaf

Glossy cranberries with it’s tarty-tangy flavor and the aromatic warm mint sautéed in oil and a hint of spices come together as a subtle tasting rice dish with a scarlet red hue. This is light and excellent along with chicken, lamb or by itself. Continue reading

Oats and Wheat Idli (Steamed Savory Cake)

Idli is a staple breakfast in South India. For some reason, PR hates regular idlis. Hence, I had to come up with a different version of idli that is added to our menu. Oats and wheat seemed as a healthy substitute to rice and lentil. Plus there is no planning ahead and fermenting the batter in this recipe. This tasted very much like rava idlis. I used carrots, but any shredded vegetables can be added to the batter. Continue reading

Brown Rice Spaghetti with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto (Gluten free)

Who doesn’t love pasta? I love pasta for it’s shape – tubular, spirals, angel hair, ridged, ruffled, grooved, twisted, stuffed, twirled, curled, elbow shaped, little spindles, diagonally cut, bronze cut, bow-ties, corkscrews, wagonwheels, dumpling like, pea pod shaped, conch shells, stamped coins, cock’s comb shaped, flat sheets, basket shaped, half moon shaped, star shaped, purse shaped and lots more.

Specialty pastas have added ingredients, such as vegetable colors and flavors, herbs and other seasonings. Spinach - green color, Carrots – orange color, beets or tomatoes – red color, black beans – brown color and squid ink – black color. Herbs and seasonings include basil, rosemary, black pepper, garlic, lemon peel and chilli..

It’s interesting to know that a Pugliese blend pasta named ORECCHIETTE MARITATE  literally means ‘married’ (the round orecchiette and the long casarecci consummate their ‘marriage’ when cooked together)

My knowledge about Pasta was limited to cray fish pasta cooked in tomato sauce in Swensen’s, Singapore. Until, I saw the display of different types of pasta in a food shop in Ascona, Lugano. I stood enthralled by the available variety of Italian staple. Since then, Pasta is one of the regulars in my list.

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Shredded Chicken Porridge (Congee)

Singapore,the ‘Food Paradise’ with the influx of food vendors offers a variety of inexpensive food. Rice porridge with chicken was always available in the ‘hawker centre’ near my apartment block. It’s light and easily digestible, served warm it is comforting on a rainy day. It’s one of those dishes you will want when you are sick. Continue reading