Super Spicy Shrimp

Home cooked super spicy shrimp marinated in garlic and red chili paste.

This is a simple recipe, made with simple ingredients, you can choose your level of spice depending on your liking, this was super spicy, however you can reduce the number of chilies and put together this yummy dish under 20 minutes.

If your familiar with Kolhapuri theecha, and you have it ready at home or can get a ready made packet, you are free to use that, else you can prepare the marinating paste using the directions below.

Ingredients:

  • Garlic – 1 whole pod
  • Red Chillies – 5-8
  • Vegetable Oil – 2 tsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Shrimps – 10-15 pieces
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2tsp
  • Lemon – 1/2
  • Rice Flour or All Purpose Flour  – 1tsp
  • Vegetable Oil for frying

Preparation:

  1. Soak the number of red chilies you want to use in a bowl of warm water, this will help to soften the chilies before grinding. Grind the chilies, garlic, salt together and add oil bit by bit to help grind into a smooth paste. Avoid adding water.
  2. Clean the shrimps, wash and dry.
  3. Marinate the shrimps with the red chili paste or kholhapuri theecha, turmeric powder and juice of half a lemon. Let it marinate for at least 10 mins, you can keep it longer till about 30 mins.
  4. Dust the marinated shrimps with rice flour or all purpose flour, we are using very little flour, just to give a light coating. it does not have to cover all shrimps or form a layer over them.
  5. Heat oil in a pan, and once hot line the pan with shrimps. cook on one side, then flip and fry on the other side.
  6. Cook the shrimps in batches, once fried on both sides, drain the excess oil on paper napkins and serve with a garnish of chopped cilantro and a wedge of lime.

These super spicy shrimps make a great appetizer or an accompaniment to a main dish.

You may also be interested in Shrimp Chilli FryLemon ChickenDal Palak / Spinach with LentilsSimple Sprouts Curry.

Home Food Guide
Super Spicy Shrimp

 

Chana Masala – Rasoi Magic Review

I love visiting the Indian Stores in Houston, one often finds many new food items, so while the tried and tested regular masala’s are definitely available, one finds a whole lot of ready to eat food packets or a quick fix dinners. This time round i saw the packets of Rasoi Magic Products and i decided to try one and i picked Chana Masala.

The packaging is simple, the instructions are easy to follow, and all i needed for this dish was a can of Chana (aka Chick Peas or Garbanzos) and diced tomatoes. In under 15 minutes, i was ready with a dish of piping hot and spicy Chana Masala. 

A packet of Rasoi Magic - Chana Masala
Chana Masala / Home Food Guide

Ingredients:

  • Chana / Chick peas / Garbanzos – 1 can
  • Tomatoes – 1 (diced)
  • Rasoi Magic Chana Masala – 1 packet
  • Oil – 2 tsp
  • Water – 1 cup

For Garnishing (Optional):

  • Onion – 1/2 (finely chopped)
  • Cilantro (finely chopped)

Preparation:

  1. Open the packet of Rasoi Magic Chana Masla, pour the contents in a bowl add 1/2 cup water to the contents and mix well to a smooth consistency.
  2. Heat oil in a pan,add chopped tomatoes and cook till tomatoes are tender.
  3. add the prepared mixture to the pan and mix well.
  4. Open the can of Chana, drain the beans and add to the pan. Mix well.
  5. Add the remaining half cup of water to the pan and bring to boil.
  6. Garnish with finely chopped Onions and Cilantro. (Optional)

Serve hot with rotis or bread and with a wedge of lime to give a bit of tang to this spicy dish. Overall i would say the Rasoi Magic Chana Masala was flavorful and a made of a quick and tasty meal. And needless to say I am excited to try the other products as well, and meanwhile I highly recommend Rasoi Magic Chana Masala. It was easy to use and the Chana Masla was devoured with relish.

Chana Masala / Chole / Garbanzos
Chana Masala / Home Food Guide

Eggs, Sausage, and Fillo Tart

Phyllo – Fillo – Filo however you call is a delicate dough to handle, available in paper thin sheets, it is generally used by layering the sheets brushed with olive oil. The only reason i bought Fillo , was because the store did not have puff pastry sheets, and i thought to myself, well it looks the same, how difficult can it be. So they were used to make mince puffs, but the lesser said the better, they turned out to be rather dried out and chewy puffs, so i did my research and learnt how Fillo was different, very different from Puff Pastry and used the next roll of Fillo to make this breakfast tart. 

This turned out to be a rather hearty breakfast which was baked, and this makes me so happy. And though i want to loose a few pounds, i am not obsessing over it, rather i am obsessing over cooking healthily (if there is such a word :/ , its supposed to imply ‘more healthy’)

Here is the secret to working with Fillo sheets – 1. they dry up easily so work fast with them and use a damp cloth to keep them covered, this keeps them moist. 2. you need to layer the sheets, and make sure to brush each sheet with Olive oil or butter before you place the next sheet on it. 3. and you may already know the previous two points, the third one is rather important, after you brush each sheet with olive oil or better, you need to brush it with some milk, this helps to keep the sheets moist and makes them flaky after they are baked. This i learnt after going through several online forums and trust me it worked.

So now, getting to the tart, the ingredients that you can use to make this tart are not restrictive, you can use many different variations of this tart, however i recommend you use the Fillo sheets and the eggs as a constant. 

eggs, tomatoes, sausage on fillo sheets
breakfast tart / home food guide

Ingredients:

  • Fillo Sheets – 6
  • Butter – 2 tsp (melted)
  • Milk – 2 tsp

For the Topping:

  • Eggs – 3 or 4
  • Sausage – 2
  • Capsicum – 1/2 (Chopped)
  • Cherry Tomatoes – 4 (halved)
  • Cheese – 1/2 cup

For Seasoning:

  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Oregano
  • Red Chili flakes

Preparation:

  1. Defrost the Fillo sheets as instructed on the packet and have them ready for use. I kept the sheets in the refrigerator over night and by morning they were ready for use.
  2. Brown sausages and break into small pieces, drain the fat and keep aside.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 400 degree F.
  4. Line the Baking sheet with foil, keep in handy a bowl of melted butter and a bowl of milk. Brush the baking sheet with butter, now your ready to start.
  5. Place the first fillo sheet on the greased sheet, and brush it with butter or olive oil and then brush it very lightly with milk, place the next fillo sheet over the first and repeat the process. i used 6 sheets in all, and it made for a nice thin crust tart, however you could use 8-10 fillo sheets.
  6. Once all the sheets are layered slightly fold the edges to create a raised edge to the tart, this will help hold in the eggs and the filling.
  7. Now break eggs evenly apart across the tart, i used three eggs (you could use more depending on the length of the fillo sheets).
  8. Add the toppings  – sausage, tomatoes, capsicum.
  9. Season with Salt, pepper, oregano and chilli flakes.
  10. Top with shredded cheese (your choice).
  11. Place the baking sheet in the ovwn and bake for 10 -12 mins.
  12. The eggs should be set and the edges of the tart should be baked to a golden hue.
  13. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing the tart.

Enjoy this delicious breakfast and stay healthy.

eggs, tomatoes, sausage on fillo sheets
breakfast tart / home food guide

Shrimp Chilli Fry

Here’s a thing – I have always been (still am- at heart) a junk-food-deep-fried-food -loving girl, who never really cared about health or weight issues, till post-marriage, when I have to worry about my hubby’s health and make sure we both eat right. Since I am trying to eat healthy ( who said healthy cant be yummy?) I try to cook those dishes which I would normally cook, but now I substitute fatty foods with healthy foods, or avoid deep frying or add a salad or something such. Hey I am trying….

So for today I made Shrimp or Prawn Chilli Fry, and substituted the deep frying of shrimp to lightly pan frying them, and instead of the regular fried rice or hakka noodles, i served it with Quinoa, which i am learning is a very versatile grain.

Shrimp or Prawn Chilli fry is a delicious Indo-Chinese recipe, easy to cook and requires very little preparation and cooking time. It is an all time favorite dish and so easy to substitute shrimp with chicken or potatoes or even sausages. Its a sure winner in regard to taste and time, so easy to put together for a quick dinner, or even as a side dish while entertaining.

Shrimp chilli fry on Quinoa
Shrimp Chilli Fry / Home Food Guide

Ingredients:

  • Shrimp – 10-15.
  • Onion – 1/2 (finely chopped)
  • Capsicum / Green Pepper – 1/2 (finely chopped)
  • Green Chili – 1 (finely chopped)
  • Garlic – 1 or 2 pods (finely chopped)
  •  Scallion (optional) – 2 (finely chopped)

For the Sauce

  • White Vinegar – 1 tsp
  • Soya Sauce – 1/2 tsp
  • Green Chili sauce – 1 tsp
  • Ketchup – 1 tsp
  • Chili Garlic paste – 1 tsp
  • Siracha Sauce (optional) to taste

For Seasoning

  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Oil for frying  – 2-3 tsp

Preparation:

  1. Wash and dry the shrimps and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a non stick pan, add oil , once the oil is hot toss the seasoned shrimp in the pan. while many prefer to toss the shrimp in cornflour and then fry them, i wanted to avoid the deep frying part, so i tossed the shrimps till they were pink and kept them aside for later use.
  3. Using the same pan i heated a spoon of oil and added the chopped chili and garlic, stir fry them till starting to brown lightly.
  4. Add chopped onion and cook till the onions have a golden tinge.
  5. Add chopped capsicum and cook well, till they are soft.
  6. while the capsicum is cooking prepare the sauce in a separate bowl – simply add all the ingredients and mix well.
  7. Add the shrimp to the pan and mix well, finally add the sauce, mix well and it cook on a low flame for about 5-8 minutes.
  8. garnish with chopped scallions.

I served this yummy shrimp chilli fry on a bed of quinoa and brown rice blend. This truly is a healthy yummy dish. Do let me know what you think of this recipe.

Shrimp chilli fry on Quinoa
Shrimp Chili fry/ home food guide

 

Pan Roasted Sprouts in Lettuce Cups

Sprouts are a healthy food item, i never tire eating it and i always find enough different ways to cook it, everything from Simple Sprouts curry, to Sprouts Patties, Sprouts Salad can be fun and innovative each time with a new ingredient or a new spice to add, making each tasting a little different from the last. 

This recipe is simply pan roasted sprouts, added to lettuce cups making for a healthy appetizer or a light lunch or an easy to assemble side entree. 

Ingredients:

  • Sprouts – 1 cup
  • Olive oil – 1 tsp
  • Garlic – 1 sliced
  • Onion – 1/4 cup (chopped)
  • Tomato – 1/2 cup (chopped)
  • Chili – 1 (finely chopped)
  • Lemon – 1
  • Coriander/ Cilantro – 1/4 cup (chopped)
  • Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
  • Red chili powder (Optional) – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Lettuce leaves

Preparation:

  1. Heat a non-stick pan, add olive oil.
  2. Add a sliced garlic and let it cook till slightly brown, add chopped onion and chopped chili and let it cook.
  3. Once the onion and chili are cooked and start browning , add chopped tomatoes and cook.
  4. Cook till the tomatoes are tender and start releasing juice.
  5. Next add turmeric, garam masala, chili powder and salt.
  6. Mix well and add washed sprouts to the pan.
  7. Mix well till all the sprouts are coated with the spices.
  8. Add juice of one lemon t the sprouts and cook on slow flame for 15 minutes.
  9. Once all the juices have evaporated and the sprouts are cooked to a bite, the sprouts will be dry and have a roasted effect.
  10. If the sprouts still have some water/ juices, cook for some more time on slow flame till the sprouts are cooked dry, Garnish with chopped cilantro/ coriander.
  11. let the sprouts cool, while you assemble the serving plate – arrange lettuce leaves on a plate facing upward so as to hold the sprouts.
  12. Spoon the sprouts into the leaves and serve as is or add a dash of sour cream or sprinkle chaat masala or pickled cucumber.

Pickled Cucumber:

Cut the cucumber into thin round slices, add white vinegar, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of sugar. Let it marinate while the sprouts are cooking. Use as an accompaniment to Pan Roasted Sprouts.

Home Food Guide
Pan Roasted Sprouts in Lettuce Cups

Sabudana Thalipeeth

Simple and easy to cook Sabudana Thalipeeth, which take sabudana and mashed potatoes fried to a crispy goodness.

Sabudana or sago or tapioca pearls are a cooked widely in India, usually during the fasting season. However at our home it would be cooked as a snack or even for breakfast. Sabudana is typically soaked overnight and can be cooked into a variety of dishes – Sabudana Kichidi, Sabudana Vada, Sabudana Thalipeeth, Sabudana Kheer. 

Sabudana Thalipeeth is a according to me a flatter version of sabudana vada, shallow fried in less oil and equally delicious to taste.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sabudana
  • 2 potatoes (boiled, peeled and mashed)
  • 1/2 tsp – jeera / cumin seeds or powder
  • 4 tsp roasted peanuts (coarsely ground)
  • 1 chili (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup coriander/ cilantro leaves (chopped)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt to taste
  • oil for frying

Preparation:

  1. Wash the sabudana and soak them in 1 cup water overnight (there should be enough water to cover all the sabudana, add more if required).
  2. Drain the water from sabudana and add all the ingredients except oil.
  3. Mix well, it should all come together to form a rough dough.
  4. Heat a non stick pan and add some oil.
  5. Meanwhile oil the palms of your hands and take 2 spoons of the sabudana mixture and flatten it to form a round flat disc.
  6. Place the flattened round in the pan and cook both side till it is golden brown and crisp.

Serve warm with a side of yogurt or tomato ketchup. It is a fuss free easy to cook snack, enjoyed by everyone.

Simple Sprouts Curry

Green gram sprouts, also known as mung beans, are rich in fiber, iron, vitamin C, vitamin K and B vitamins, which sums up to be a very healthy food item and along with healthy, it also makes for a tasty meal. While sprouts are eaten regularly in India, here i get them whenever i make a trip to the Indian grocery store. Sprouts are healthy and easy to cook, and it can be prepared in a number of ways, while curry is the simplest, it can be pan- roasted to make a snack, can be used as a filling in patties, can be added to soups or salads, etc.

Ingredients:

  • Green bean Sprouts – 2 cups
  • Onion – 1/2 chopped
  • Tomato – 1 chopped
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1 spoon
  • Curry leaves – 4-5
  • Turmeric – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Red chili powder/ paprika – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Garam masala – 1 teaspoon
  • Oil – 2 tablespoon
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:

  1. Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onion and cook till it starts browning.
  2. Add ginger-garlic paste and curry leaves and cook.
  3. Add chopped tomatoes and mix well, cook till the tomatoes are softened.
  4. Add turmeric, chili powder, garam masala and salt, mix well and let it cook for a minute.
  5. Add sprouts and mix well, add two cups water( the water should cover the sprouts, add more if required).
  6. Cover and cook for 10-15 mins, till sprouts are cooked well.
  7. Alternatively one could let the sprouts cook till most of the water has evaporated and have the sprouts as a semi-dry side dish.
  8. Serve hot with rice, roti’s or bread.

 

Eat Fresh and Stay Healthy !!!!

Sprouts curry 2

Plantain Fries

The aroma of fried plantains takes me back to college days – a flatmate of mine, who was from Kerala, would often cook this yummy treat. It reminded her of home back then, today it reminds me of her.. 

While I have enjoyed plantain on several occasions, I had never attempted cooking it, thought I’d give it a try today. I had brought them a couple of days back, and they were starting to get yellow (from green), I was afraid they would get too mushy (ignorant me) and decided not to delay any further. So I took a plantain and tried peeling it ,how difficult can it be right?  i was so wrong. the plantain was not fully ripe and the skin was stuck to the flesh, i had to use a knife to peel off the skin.. pheww… (it was not that difficult, just wasn’t what i had expected). I had always thought that plantains were just bigger bananas right? well not really, they are from the same family, though plantains are more starchy and less sweet, and they have to be cooked before eating unlike regular bananas which can be eaten straight off. Enough with the rambling. So i cut the plantain into thin slices and batter fried them into crisp golden bites, making for a yummy tea time snack.

Home Food Guide
Plantain Fries

Ingredients:

Plantain – 1 sliced

Self rising flour – 1/2 cup  (All purpose flour with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda)

Sugar – 2 spoons

Salt to taste

A pinch of Turmeric.

Water

Oil for frying.

Preparation:

  1. Peel the Plantain, cut into three parts and then slice them into strips.
  2. Add flour, sugar, salt and a pinch of turmeric in a bowl.
  3. Add a few spoons of water and mix well into a smooth consistency, take care to avoid lumps in the batter.
  4. To check the consistency of the batter, dip the back of a spoon(or your finger) in the batter and see how it coats it, the batter coating should not be too thick but a light coating.
  5. Heat oil in a pan, dip the plantain slices in the batter and fry them to a crisp golden color.
  6. Drain excess oil on a napkin and serve warm.
Home Food Guide
Plantain Fries

Lemon Chicken

Cooking for me often means thinking of something and going along with what i have or can manage to find and often ending up with something else altogether, in this process i end up mixing recipes or trying something new, which sometimes is a disaster or a very rewarding new dish. I have cooked Lemon Chicken before, but i would bake it and cook it slightly differently, however this time i wanted to pan cook the chicken breast and one thing lead to another and i ended up with a yummy looking and tasting lemony-chili-chicken, which i served with a salad which makes me feel like i am eating healthy.

Home Food Guide
Lemon Chicken

Ingredients:

Chicken breast (boneless and skinless) – 2

Lemon – 1/2

Olive oil – 1 spoons

Chili flakes – 1/2 teaspoon

Garlic – 2 cloves (sliced)

Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Preparation:

  1. Wash and pat dry chicken breast pieces, season both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan, add sliced garlic and chili flakes to the oil, till the garlic starts to brown slightly.
  3. Place the chicken pieces and squeeze 1/2 a lemon cook each side for 5 mins, when the chicken is cooked the juices will start flowing from the sides.
  4. Plate the chicken and serve with a salad or grilled asparagus or a side of fried rice and enjoy a hearty quick lunch or dinner.

I hope your enjoying reading / cooking this easy healthy meals. Simple home made fresh food fills my heart with joy and keeps me comforted. Being an expat we don’t know many people here and don’t entertain much, so i jump at every opportunity to cook something new and serve my hubby. I hope you try this lovely dish and leave your feedback.

Home Food Guide
Lemon Chicken

Cheesy Spinach Balls

There are some evenings when hunger strikes and a light snack is what one looks for, so yesterday i went ahead and made some yummy spinach balls, using a few ingredients that were home, resulting in a tasty and healthy snack. 

Home Food Guide
Cheesy Spinach Balls

Ingredients:

Spinach – 1 cup (chopped)

Potato – 1 (boiled and mashed)

Cheddar Cheese – 1/4 cup grated cheese (use more or less depending on your preference)

Egg – 1 (beaten)

Panko crumbs / Bread crumbs – 1/2 cup

Olive Oil – 2 to 4 spoons

Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Preparation:

  1. Add the ingredients to a bowl. Adjust salt depending on the cheese your using, if the cheese is salty add very little or no salt.
  2. Mix well.
  3. shape the mixture into small even sized balls using hands or use a cookie scoop maker to get even size and shape.
  4. Heat a non-stick pan, add about 2 spoons of olive oil and swirl around the pan, add the spinach balls to the pan and cook on all sides. Preferably cook in batches, i cooked in two batches and used 2 spoons of olive oil for the entire cooking.
  5. one could also bake the balls at 350 degrees for 15 mins, till slightly golden.
  6. Once cooked serve warm with ketchup or mint chutney.

This delicious recipe makes for a quick healthy snack or a great appetizer. 

Home Food Guide
Cheesy Spinach Balls