Posted in Food, tagged chillies, cooking, cumin seeds, curry, dal, dall, dhal, eating, Food, garlic, Indian food, mustard seeds, pigeon peas, recipe, spices, toor, turmeric on 18 January, 2014|
1 Comment »
When the Vicar and I lived in Singapore, we had a lovely neighbour who was from Mumbai/Bombay. We celebrated the Millenium on her roof and shared recipes. And the Vicarage cat came to us through her feline loving contacts. Nomi also taught me to cook dhal. Spiced lentils is a staple of Indian cuisine, and there are heaps of different recipes. When I cooked this recipe for our Tamil church friends, though, they pleasingly said that it was ‘restauarant dhal’.
- 3 cups of toor lentils (not the oily ones) – these are yellow pigeon peas and can usually be found in specialist Asian grocers (or Tescos in our tow-un). If you can’t find them yellow split peas or red lentils would work as well.
- pinch asafoetida (if you can find it, otherwise not a biggy – it’s meant to decrease the wind quotient of the lentils, but doesn’t really affect the taste)
- vegetable oil
- 1 tbspn black or brown mustard seeds
- 1 tbspn cumin seeds
- 1/2 cup of curry leaves – dried or fresh if you can find them
- 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
- 1-2 green chillies, chopped fine OR 1 tspn chilli powder OR 1 tspn crushed dried red chillies (use a smaller amount the first time you make this & increase next time if you’d like your dhal spicier)
- 1 tspn turmeric powder
Cook your lentils in water according to instructions. I use a pressure cooker so I can cook them in about 15 minutes (plus all the time taken for the pressure cooker to calm down so I can open it without scalding my nose). When the lentils are cooked, you can add your asafoetida to make them less fartful. Then heat a good slosh of oil in the bottom of a frying pan. This oil will be flavoured and added to your lentils, so don’t skimp or you won’t be able to distribute the spiciness too well. I cover the bottom of my pan in oil – about 4-5 tbspns I guess. Heat the oil and then pop in the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Once the leaves start to discolour and the mustard seeds start to get lively, add the garlic, chillies and turmeric. Once the garlic has cooked and taken on some colour, add the spiced oil to the lentils. And stir and serve. This is brilliant with rice, naan, chappatis or pitta. And freezes really well. Great for lunch or supper with another curry.
The spiced oil
And a pot of dhal
Read Full Post »
Posted in Food, tagged Asian, Chinese, cooking, easy, eating, fast, fish, Food, ginger, Japanese, main course, noodles, quick, recipe, rice, simple, soy sauce, vegetables, Vicarage Recipes on 9 January, 2014|
1 Comment »
This is a Vicarage favourite (apart from with the Engineer, who has a Thing about fish). Very simple and quick to make, and great with rice or noodles and stir fried veg. It’s loosely based on a recipe from a great little series of recipe books (Periplus mini) I bought in Singapore, but alas unavailable in the UK.
These are per person – and are very flexible. I just tend to slosh the soy about and add a bit less juice, then scatter sugar/honey and ginger over.
- a salmon steak (smaller or larger, depending on budget and fish consumption preferences)
- 2 tbspns light soy sauce
- 1 tbspn lime or lemon juice
- 1 tbspn runny honey or brown sugar
- 1 tspn grated fresh ginger
Pop your salmon steaks in an oven proof dish (ceramic or pyrex, not metal) and pour over the sauce ingredients above. Leave to marinade if you have a few minutes, otherwise pop straight under a hot grill for 8-10 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and a little blackened on top.
We ate it with steamed rice and some cabbage stir fried with garlic, soy and a little sugar.
Read Full Post »
At Christmas, my sister bought some great easy-use chopsticks for the kids. They are joined together at the top so are a good way for kids to learn to eat Chinese food in a fun way and not starve. It’s an excellent way to learn not to drop food on yourself. And you can always use a spoon at the end!
Read Full Post »
Posted in Food, tagged chicken, chicken rice, Chinese, claypot chicken rice, cooking, dinner, eating, family meals, Food, ginger, main course, main meal, Malaysia, one-pot dish, pickled chillis, recipes, rice, Singapore, South East Asia, soy sauce, tea on 10 December, 2010|
2 Comments »
Last night we ate one of our favourite Malaysian dishes for tea at the Vicarage. I love to cook this reminder of our 51/2 years in South-East Asia. And to provide ginger warmth in a chilly kitchen. It’s easy, delicious and only uses a single dish (tho’ you might want to use a wok for some greens on the side aswell). It’s expandable for lots of people and is not too foreign for most visitors. Anyone who occasionally eats takeaway Chinese will love this.
Claypot chicken rice and bok choi
- Chicken pieces (preferably skinned dark meat on the bone, chopped into bite size pieces by your local Indian butcher – but otherwise skinned thigh pieces are probably easiest or thigh fillets if you have bone-haters dining) – 1 to 2 thigh or drumstick pieces per person
- Rice (we love Thai fragrant jasmine, but any will do) – about 120ml per adult and 60ml per child (dry measure)
- Big chunk of fresh ginger (2-3″ here)
- Soy sauces, light and dark (1-2 tbspns of each)
- Oyster sauce (1-2 tbspns)
- Sugar (1 tbspn)
- Oil – sesame (1 tbpn if you have it) and vegetable (2 tbspns)
- Extra treat for authenticity – pickled green chillis (chopped) on the side, marinaded in soy sauce
Ready to serve
You need about an hour from preparation to serving for this dish. But there’s time to supervise piano practice and maybe do some laundry in that hour. Or even drink a cup of tea. Or blog a recipe. You don’t need a clay pot to cook it either – I use a casserole dish. Mine has a glass lid which makes it easier to tell if stuff is cooked, but a cast iron casserole or a good sized saucepan would be fine. It’s rather easier with a non-stick pan because of the crunchy ricey bits (see below).
First pop the rice on. I have a rice cooker which has a cup sized at 160ml. For three adults and three fairly hungry children I used 4 cups. I cheated and used the rice cooker to measure the water to the right level, but the Malaysian way, which works just fine, is to put water in so that your forefinger, laid flat on the top of the (pre-rinsed) rice, is covered by the water. Put the cover on the pan and cook the rice until all the water is absorbed. This should take about 15 minutes.
Whilst the rice is cooking prepare the chicken and let it marinate in its sauce. You can quickly drizzle on the soy sauces, the oyster sauce, the sesame oil and add the sugar before mixing the pieces about to ensure that the marinade is coated over the chicken. Then you want to get the ginger’s juice without the pulp. The best way to do this is to first peel your piece of ginger and then grate or blend it. Pop the chewed up ginger pieces in a sieve and press down with a spoon to get the ginger juice out over your chicken portions. I used my chopper attachment from my stick blender to whizz the ginger first and a small plastic sieve.
Once all the water is absorbed into the rice, pop the chicken pieces and the marinade on top, together with the vegetable oil. Cover the pot again and leave it to cook on a low heat for 20 minutes. Don’t open the lid, as this will prevent the chicken from cooking thoroughly, as it steams on top of the rice.
After 20 minutes, open the lid and get a spoon and mix the chicken into the rice. You should find that some of the rice at the bottom of the pan has gone all crispy. Mmmm. Replace the lid and cook for a further 15 minutes on a low heat. Whilst this is going on, you might want to cook some veg. It was Bok choi (with garlic, soy sauce and a little sugar) for us last night.
At the end of the 15 minutes, mix the rice and chicken up again to extract some more lovely crunchy ricey bits and serve with the veg and a side of chopped pickled green chillis in soy sauce for added zing. Warming, filling and family friendly.
Pickled chillis - ingredients and finished condiment
Read Full Post »