Monday, June 30, 2014

Sumeet's Salad

This one was an off the cuff salad turned out with leftovers in the fridge. Naming it after my friend Sumeet  as we randomly created this recipe while discussing philosophy, meaning of life, process  analytics and rummaging through the fridge for a side dish to our grilled calamari.

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • Salad leaves- 200gm; Mix of lettuce, baby spinach, rocket salad
  • Bell Pepper- 1 large; diced
  • Carrot- 1 medium, julienned
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano- 1 inch; grated
  • Walnuts- 1 tbsp
  • Thyme- 1 sprinkle
  • Rosemary- 1 sprinkle
  • Sage- 1 sprinkle
  • Balsamic Vinegar- 1 tsp

Preparation (5 mins):

Combine chopped bell pepper, carrot, shredded salad leaves and

herbs. Toss with grated parmesan, crushed walnuts and balsamic vinegar. 

Serve chilled.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Seafood Risotto

Back after a hiatus. Know what, it's no fun cooking for oneself. Well, this weekend was a nice break with an old friend. And here I am back with results of our experimentation in the kitchen.

This first recipe, I picked up during a trip to Adria, Italy. Had gone to the Adria International Raceway in Adria.
Couldn't resist posting this one. Still feel the adrenalin rushing through my veins. :P
The racing was super, but what took the cake was lunch at the restaurant. Impressed by the risotto, I cajoled the chef into giving me her recipe. Here's a recreation back home in Muscat.

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • Rice- 1/2 cup, best to use Risotto rice, or else Paella rice. Failing which you can always fall back on Basmati.
  • Cooking shrimp- 200 gm
  • Vegetable Stock- 2 cups
  • Onion- 1/3; sliced thinly
  • Olive oil- 2 tbsp
  • Butter- 1/2 tbsp
  • Parsley- 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste.

Preparations (45 mins):

Heat olive oil in a sauce pan on low setting. Add onions and saute till they become translucent. Add in the rice and keep stirring. 

Onions need to become soft and translucent.
Saute rice for five minutes with onions on low

 Once rice starts becoming transparent, add a little portion of the stock. Keep stirring. The key is not to let it boil but cook the rice slowly in the stock.

Add stock only a little at a time
Dry out stock before adding next portion

As the stock dries out add a little more, and repeat till almost all stock is used.

Add clean prawns only when rice is almost cooked
To finish off add chopped parsley and butter.

Add in the shrimps, remaining stock and cook for 10 minutes. Before finishing, sprinkle parsley (best is if you have fresh parsley or dried variety will make do) and stir in the butter. Serve hot as a second course.


  • The key to a perfect risotto is not boiling the rice but adding stock little by little. Know it feels a little undercooked by Indian standards, but remember here we  are using rice almost like a vegetable rather than the traditional way.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Calamari Masala

A quick fix side dish made from leftover calamari cooked in a fiery Bengali fried style.

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • Calamari- 200gm
  • Plum tomato- 2 medium
  • Garlic- 3 large cloves, chopped
  • Cayenne powder- 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric- 1 tsp
  • Mustard Oil- 2 tbsp
  • Salt- To taste

Preparation (30 mins):

Chop calamari to bite sized pieces.I prefer using the tentacles because they are easier to cook and don't get rubbery. In a bowl marinate the calamari with turmeric, cayenne and salt for fifteen minutes. Heat oil on high in frying pan. Add chopped garlic and stir.

Lower flame and toss in calamari. Cook on low till calamari starts becoming tender. Not if you cook on high or overcook or you end up with what I call vulcanized calamari.

Add in quartered plum tomato's, stir and cover. Cook on medium for 10 mins.

Serve hot as a fiery side dish.

  • You could easily replace calamari with octopus or squid.
  • Frying calamari is the most sensitive part of the process. If you under cook you end up with raw fishy bits, and if you overcook slightly you have rubber calamari. That's why I prefer to cook on a low flame with constant tasting.