Coconut-y Rice Flatbread/Roti from Goa

Goan Rice Flatbreads Roti

I have such good memories of Goa, both from my first trips there over a decade ago and my recent trip early this year. Three weeks sitting on a beach eating Indian food – you can imagine the wonderful heaven I was in.

So a couple of Goan recipes in The Kitchen this week. Today, an easy Rice Flat Bread. Continue reading

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A gentle, quick Asparagus Soup, so good for you

Asparagus Soup

Wanting a quick boost, I resorted to my favourite quickie – a blended asparagus soup. It is so easy, and asparagus is plentiful and cheap at the moment. Continue reading

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Phanta Tea (Basil Tea) – for when you need to rest

Phanta Tea

Phanta tea is very good for you, especially in early spring. Ayurvedically, it is good for sinusitis, flu, hayfever, bronchitis, asthma and some fevers. (Consult your Ayurvedic practictioner.)

It is gentle and calming, reducing Vata and Kapha, but raising Pitta. Drink it at a time that you can relax and take some bed rest. It is best to avoid cold for a couple of hours after drinking.

Tulsi is the Holy Basil of India, with a taste somewhere between mint and basil. You can often buy Tulsi tea in organic and health shops. If I can’t find Tulsi, I make this tea with ordinary basil and it still works wonders. Continue reading

Posted in 09 Early Spring, Drinks and other liquids, Indian, Teas, VEGETARIAN | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kampung Ghee Rice: Malaysian Village Rice

Kampung Ghee Rice

So many recipes exist for Ghee Fried Rice, a Malaysian dish often called Kampung Ghee Rice. Kampung refers to its village origins. This is a wonderfully fragrant rice, lighting up your whole house with its warm spice fragrance. I was first introduced to the recipe by my friend and cook extraordinaire Franz. Thanks Franz.

Franz’s recipe uses a kilo of rice. I never cook that much at one time, so have used smaller quantities.

It is a dish that you can cook on your stove top or in your rice cooker, even your pressure cooker, should you so desire.

For rice cookers – if yours allows you to fry off ingredients in the rice cooker before closing the lid, it is very easy. Otherwise, fry off the spices in a pan on the stove-top and then add this to your rice cooker and cook in the normal way.

Note that basmati rice takes a little more water to cook than your normal rice.

Kampung Ghee Rice

Continue reading

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Quick Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jam

So very long ago I used to make Strawberry Jam in the middle of the night. I was going through a period of sleeping difficulties, and, hating lying in bed trying to sleep, I would get up and make jam. It can be made and bottled in just over half an hour, using the microwave.

It is a “fresh” jam – that is, make it in small batches, store it in the fridge, and make another batch when it is gone. Truly, it is wonderful. Continue reading

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Vegetable Sticks with Spices – Kachi Tarkari – Indian/Parsi Crudites

Kachi Tarkari

I have never had Jicama before – a type of yam that is quite gorgeous. It is also called Mexican Yam. It is delightful and refreshing when raw – not unlike an apple in texture and flavour.

They have been around our Central Market for a couple of weeks now. The shape always intrigues me. They are quite expensive, so I picked out a smaller one, intent of having it with some other vegetables as a Parsi Crudite with salt and spices in the evening. Continue reading

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Indian Decadence with Bananas and Coconut: Banana Coconut Fry: Pazham Varattiyathu

Banana Coconut Dessert

Who knows where this recipe came from! In the middle of a pile of over 800 photocopied and hand written recipes, there it was, perhaps for many years.

Yes, there it was, a tempting decadent siren of a dessert. 6 minutes only to make — easy to whip up after a hot curry or when unexpected guests arrive. It is sweet and buttery, so a small amount is enough.

The scribbled notes look like I was copying them down as someone told me the recipe, but I can’t remember who that might have been. So many recipes collected over so many years. But wait ….. ! It might have been in a cooking session I had with a Chef at the Leela in Kovalam, Kerala. Would that be right? It is the only thing I can think of. {Update: Yes, it is a Keralite dish, also common in Tamil Nadu I believe. Pazham Varattiyathu.}

In the West, we don’t cook much with bananas, preferring them raw, sliced, generally on top of desserts or sweet breakfast dishes. In India and SE Asia, the variety of bananas is much larger and they are used in sweet and savoury dishes, baked, roasted, deepfried, sauteed, steamed, or cooked long and slow to a beautiful sweet mash.

The combination of bananas, ghee, sugar and cardamom, even coconut, is quite common, and often bananas are fried in ghee and then sprinkled with sugar and cardamom. This recipe takes the simplicity of that dish to another level, while remaining remarkable quick and easy.

Keep frozen coconut in the freezer – it is far better than desiccated coconut. If you can’t find it in your supermarket, any Indian shop will have it.

The only change I would make to this recipe is to add a little cardamom powder.

Enjoy! Continue reading

Posted in 09 Early Spring, Banana, Dessert, Indian, VEGETARIAN | Tagged , , | 3 Comments