Saturday, November 16, 2013

Irish Stew

The second one in the stews. soup series from the weekend. Not exactly what purists would call an Irish stew, but inspired from it.

Ingredients (Serves 3):

  • Mutton- 200 gm (I actually was buying mutton for a kebab recipe, when I chanced upon the idea to do a stew with the bony parts. So dressed the meat away from the bone for kekab's and used the remainder for the stew)
  • Carrot- 1 large, diced
  • Potato- 1 large, diced
  • Raddish- 150 gm
  • Onions- 1 large, chopped
  • Garlic- 4 large cloves, chopped
  • Pepper- 2 tsp 
  • Parsley- 1 handful, chopped
  • Salt- To Taste

Preparation ( 1.5 hrs):

Cut mutton into small pieces. For the bony pieces, leave a little meat around the bones while dressing. In a large sauce pan, add  mutton, potatoes, onions, pepper, garlic and salt. Boil on high for 1 hr.

Add in raddish and chopped carrots. You could use turnips (didn't get them at the supermarket, hence used raddish). Simmer on medium heat for 1/2 hour. Throw in parsley for flavour and your stew is ready to serve.

Pumpkin and Mushroom Stew

Tis' the season for warm stews and soups. This post and the next one are stews done over the weekend. As usual, my recipes are not for purists, but just everyday take on good food inspired by eating out, reading or just a flight of fantasy. Don't follow strict recipes, but cook with what's at hand, trying to recreate flavours with what I have, can be done easily, is cost-effective. This one was inspired by a lovely Pumpkin Soup with Truffle Oil from the al Nahda Resort last month. Unable to locate truffle oil in Muscat, I substituted with sesame oil. Not a bad outcome, I would say.

Ingredients (Serves 1):

  • Pumpkin- 150 gm, diced
  • Mushrooms- 4 large, chopped
  • White Onion- 1/4 chopped
  • Pepper- 1 tsp
  • Salt- to taste
  • Sesame Oil- 1 tsp
Preparation (25 mins):
Microwave chopped pumpkin, white onions in 3cups of water at a high setting for 10  mins. Add pepper, salt, chopped mushrooms. Microwave for 5 mins on high. Add in sesame oil and microwave for a further 5 mins.
Serve hot with bread rolls. If you want you could add a dollop of butter for taste. (Was so hungry that I started eating before I realized I had to take a pic of the finished stew. :) )

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Veggie Bake

Quick dinner recipe for the nights you really don't feel like something heavy.

Ingredients (Serves 2):
  • Eggplant- 3 small, tender, thinly sliced
  • Zucchini- 4 small, thinly sliced
  • Pumpkin- 100 gm, thinly sliced
  • Mushrooms- 6 button mushrooms, sliced
  • Olive oil- 2 tbsp
  • Basil- 1 tsp
  • Black pepper- 1/2 tsp, coarsely crushed
  • Oregano- 1 tsp
  • Salt- to taste

Preparation ( 1 hr 10 mins):

Layer veggies in a baking dish starting with eggplants on bottom, followed by zucchini, pumpkin and mushrooms. Sprinkle salt, basil, oregano, pepper and olive oil. Wrap dish in foil. Pop into pre-heated oven at 135 C for 1 hr.


 Serve hot.


  •  If you want to make it a bit more savory you could crumble in a little Roquefort into the mix.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Baked Potato with Cream of Anchovies

Quick one when you really don't feel like cooking. Just want some comfort food to curl up on the sofa.

Ingredients (Serves 1):
  •  Potato- 1 medium sized baked
  • Anchovies in oil- 50 gms
  • Cream Cheese- 100 gm
  • Parsley, Cilantro, Black pepper for a twist.
  • Salt to taste
Preparation (35 mins):

Wrap potato in foil bake at 180 C for 25 mins. Mash, keep aside. Shred anchovies, fold in cheese, microwave at  180 C for 5 mins. Mix anchovy sauce thoroughly, add onto potatos. Add a twist of parsley/ cilantro, black pepper. Add salt. Turn around. And you are ready to go.

  • You could also add in mushrooms to the sauce. Forgot to buy them myself.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Veggie Tajine

It's winter again. Slow warm afternoons rolling into peaceful evenings rolling into cool nights. Time for slow food. Nothing like a heartwarming smoky 'tajine'. A Berber chef I am not, but here's my adventure this evening. This one's dedicated to Sting and Cheb Mami- Gonna do this one while I listen to Desert Rose :)



Ingredients (Serves 1):

  • Baby aubergines- 3 diced
  • Tomato- 2 diced
  • Bell pepper, green- 1diced
  • Onion- 1 large, diced
  • Garlic- 2 large cloves, shredded 
  • Ginger- 1/2 inch, shredded
  • Bay leaf-2 
  • Thyme- 1 tsp
  • Cumin- 2 tsp
  • Turmeric- 1 tsp
  • Cayenne pepper- 2 tsp
  • Olive oil- 2 tbsp
  • Salt- To taste

Preparation (105 mins):

Place aubergines in a baking dish, layer with onions, bell peppers & tomato's. Add ginger, garlic, salt, cayenne, thyme, cumin and bay leaves. Pour olive oil on top.

Wrap in foil. Pop into oven at 125 C for 90 mins.


Once done, open foil. Stir the mixture so that the flavours get mixed. 

Serve hot with unleavened Arabic or pita bread. Buen provecho.


  • Sit back and enjoy. :)


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Salmon Blinchiki with Cream Cheese and Spinach

What to do with a odd piece of salmon. too small to grill for a standalone meal, and too large to throw away without a pang of guilty conscious. And what about cleaning out the fridge before going on long holiday.

Perforce tonight's dinner options were scrambled eggs (eggs and milk leftover), cereals with milk, bread and cream cheese, pancakes (leftover mix from yesterday's brunch), salmon something, honey with (strawberries, papaya, watermelon) and boiled spinach. And as it goes after an inventory of perishables and long and deep soul searching came this delight.

Ingredients (For 4 Blinchiki's ):

  • Enough batter- I had half a bottle leftover from yesterday.
  • Enough salmon- OK, I had about 100 gm salmon marinated since last evening)
  • Enough Spinach- I had to finish the better part of a 400 gm bag
  • Cream cheese- 2 tbsp (Alas, this could not be finished)

Preparation (30 mins or less):

 Ok, I had the salmon ready (rebel without a cause). Had marinated the diced salmon with 1 tsp olive oil, salt, 2 tsp malt vinegar, and a pinch each of thyme, rosemary and coarse black pepper last night. Though I would stir fry and eat with bread and cream cheese. Discovering half finished (very expensive) pancake butter and 1/2 pack of spinach (equally expensive), tried this recipe.

Stir fry the salmon with as little oil as possible.

Microwave spinach at medium for 90 secs. Make pancake. 

Fill with cheese, spinach and salmon. 

Dinner's ready.


  • Not to forget the half a bowl of leftover strawberries. With a drop of lime they made wonderful 'postres'

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Buckwheat Porridge

Buckwheat porridge or 'Kasha' is a common breakfast food in Slavic Europe. While great for breakfast with milk or just plain boiled, I concocted this hybridized version- Slavic buckwheat meets Indian Khicdi  for a quick dinner last evening.

All you health food aficionados, give this a try. High in fiber, contains all eight essential amino acids and gluten-free. Best of all cooks quickly with minimal interference.

Ingredients (Serves 1):

Buckwheat: 1/4 cup
Did not have cream, hence substituted with leftover cheese powder from Pizza Hut
Egg: 1 boiled
Butter: 1 tbsp
Cream: 2 tbsp
Garlic: 1 clove, chopped finely
Green chilli: 1 small, shredded
Green coriander:  1 tbsp, chopped
Pepper: 1 tsp
Salt: To taste


Preparation (Cooking time 25 mins):

Roast buckwheat with salt for 5 mins in microwave at medium setting. You can skip this step, but I feel it enhances the texture and flavour. 

Add 1 cup water to the roasted buckwheat, garlic, chilli and microwave at medium setting for 15 mins.

Fluff the mixture, the buckwheat should be breaking out of their shell. Add 1/4 cup water. Stir in butter, cream/ cheese, pepper and cook at low setting for 5 mins. 


Fluff mixture again and leave for 5 mins so that excess water is soaked up. Garnish with egg and coriander. Serve hot.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Summer Dacha Salad

Ok, this salad has nothing to do with a 'dacha', but I was introduced to a variant of this by a friend while we were discussing Russian summers. Hence my Marketing twist- Summer "Dacha" Salad.

It's a quick nifty one, barely takes five mins to throw together. Extremely healthy, and high in fibre, protein and water. So here's to a quick recipe for summers- in Russia or anywhere else. 

Ingredients (Serves 2):
Cucumbers- 3 medium
Tomato- 2 large
Dill- 1 handful
Corriander- 1 handful
Boiled eggs- 3 (Soft)
Sour Cream- 250 gm
Salt- To taste

Preparation (5 mins):

Shell eggs, mash with sour cream (Its easier this way than the way I did which was mixing cream at the last). Chop vegetables, add to the mashed eggs. Add salt to taste. Whisk and serve. If you want you could add any other herbs that you feel like, I had dill and coriander left over from the previous two nights cooking.

приятного аппетита!

Baked Herb Salmon

Quick one for those days when you come back from work, too tired to whip up something elaborate yet feeling hungry and guilty enough for a proper home cooked healthy meal. This one takes less than half an hour (if you have the stuff ready). Just pop in the oven and by the time you are back from a jog/ swim/ long shower, it's ready-Herby and healthy. Mmmmm

Ingredients (Serves 4):

Salmon fillet: 4 - 150 gms each (I prefer the tail, as they are thinner and one of the leaner cuts, which cook fast)
Olive oil: 2 tbsp
Vinegar: 1 tbsp
Honey: 1 tbsp
Oregano: 1 tsp
Rosemary: 1 tsp
Pepper: 3 tsp, coarsely ground
Dill: 4 sprigs for garnish
Salt to taste

Preparation (Time: 5+ 25 mins):

Set oven to pre-heat at 200 C. Clean fish, set aside to dry.

Mix vinegar, honey, olive oil in a small shot glass. Throw in a pinch of salt. Keep aside for glazing.

Now baste the fillets with a small portion of the glaze, sprinkle with salt, rosemary, oregano and of course, crushed pepper. Wrap in foil and pop into oven (at 180 C) for 15 mins. Turn over, and bake for another 10 mins at 150 C. You will know the fish is done when it becomes opaque and flakes off on a fork.

Garnish with a few sprigs of dill. Serve hot with mustardsauce.


Guessing that you would not want wine on a week night. Accompany with a chilled glass of water with a quarter of a lemon and a couple of sprigs of mint. No sugar, no salt. The ice-cold water will open up your palate to the herby flavor of the baked fish.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Mustard Sauce

Inspired by my Bengali love of everything ‘mustard’ and a recent sojourn to the French part of Switzerland where piqued by the recent horsemeat controversies and French chef’s ‘horsing’ round in the kitchen, I happened to try a ‘entrecote de cheval à la sauce moutarde et pommes de terre grelots. Was much better than I had expected it to be.

Anyway, here’s my adaptation, with a Bengali twist.

Ingredients (For a meal for 4):

Mustard powder: 3 tbsp
Mustard seeds: 2 tsp (the coarsely ground seeds, give the sauce a ‘bite’)
Butter: 3 tbsp
Olive Oil: 4 tbsp
Vinegar: 1 tbsp (if you prefer a more pungent sauce, leave out the vinegar)
Garlic: 1 large clove (chopped fine)
White wine: ¼ cup (optional)
Cream: ½ cup
Dill: 3-4 stalks; finely chopped

Preparation (5-10 mins):

Heat the butter and olive oil on low flame. Add the garlic. Leave till garlic starts getting translucent. Reduce flame, add wine. Reduce to half the volume. Add mustard powder, mustard seeds, vinegar, salt to taste while constantly turning to a smooth paste. Reduce heat and fold in the cream.


Cover and let simmer for 5 mins. Add chopped dill. Remove from flame.


Goes great with baked fish, grilled veal or a barbecued joint of lamb. Bon appétit