Monday, 21 October 2013

Chili Fish...quick fix, spicy and tangy

On a month long vacation and while downloading vacation photos found a few photos which I should have posted before taking offbut the lazy me forgot Lsooo, doing so nowthe first one of the lot is Chilli Fishquick fix, spicy and tangy snack or side dish with a typical Indo-Chinese mealenjoywill try and post more as and when I can

Chilli Fish


  • Fish, boneless fillets, 250gms (I used Sole; you can use any firm white fish)
  • Oil, 1 tbsp

For the marinade:

  • Corn starch, 1 heaped tbsp
  • Dark Soy sauce, 1 tbsp
  • Pepper, ½ tsp

For the sauce:

  • Spring onions/Scallions, white bulb and green tops finely chopped separately, 4
  • Fresh ginger, finely chopped, 1 tbsp
  • Garlic, finely chopped, 1 tbsp
  • Green chillies, finely chopped, 2-3 according to taste
  • Light Soy sauce, 2 tbsp
  • Tomato ketchup, 3 tbsp
  • Red Chilli sauce, 1 tbsp
  • Corn starch, 1 tsp mixed in Cold Water, 1/3 cup
  • Oil, 1 tbsp


Clean and wash the fish fillets. Pat dry and cut into small pieces.

Add them to a bowl with all ingredients mentioned under marinade. Ensure all fish pieces get coated with the marinade mix. Let it rest for about half an hour.

Over medium high heat, heat 1 tbsp oil in a fry pan. In a single layer, shallow fry the fish pieces till golden brown on both sides. Drain and transfer to a serving plate.

Start with the sauce

In the same pan, add 1 tbsp oil.

When the pan is nice and hot, toss in the ginger, garlic and green chillies. After about 15-20 seconds, add in the finely chopped white portion of the scallions. Sauté till they go soft.

Add the light soy sauce, tomato ketchup and red chilli sauce. Mix well.

Add in the cornstarch mixed with water to the pan. Stir well and let it come to a boil.

Switch off the heat and toss in the fish. Mix well but with a very light hand so that the fish gets coated with the sauce but doesn’t break.

Serve immediately topped with finely chopped green portion of the scallions.


  • If you want the fish to be super crispy, make a runny batter with half corn starch and half maida/regular flour, a pinch of baking powder, soy sauce and chilled water. Dip the fish fillets in it and deep fry in hot oil. Pour the sauce over the batter fried fish just before serving.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Falafel...made my way!!

Falafel...of course it is falafel and of course it needs to be deep friedwell, noooo!!!...not if you are obsessive over left over oil and end up frying more and more stuff just so that you can finish all that oil in the pan...and definitely not if you want a hassle free lifesoooo, out came my non stick Paniyaram pan/ Appapatram / Dutch Poffertjes Pan/ Danish Æbleskive pan (yes, the same pan I had used for Daler Bora/Red Lentil Fritters)the only thing you need to take care of is to cook at low I need to mention that this way uses much less oil?...about 3 tsp for the entire batch J



  • Chickpeas, 1cup
  • Onion, 1 medium
  • Garlic, 2-3 cloves
  • Parsley, finely chopped, ¼  cup ( you can use a mix of coriander and parsley or just coriander as well)
  • Roasted cumin powder, ½ tsp (simply dry roast/toast the cumin seeds and grind them to use or skip and increase the quantity of regular cumin powder)
  • Cumin powder, ½ tsp
  • Coriander powder, ½ tsp (optional)
  • Red chili powder, ¼ tsp (optional but gives a nice kick! I have added green chilies as well at times with the mix, but that’s just me J)
  • Pepper powder, ¼ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Lemon juice, 2 tbsp
  • Olive oil, 1 tbsp
  • Maida/ Regular Flour, 2 tbsp
  • Oil, for frying


Wash and soak the chickpeas overnight/8-10 hours in cold water. They will double up in size as they soak, so ensure the bowl you use is big enough and there is ample water for soaking.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas well.  

Put the chickpeas into a food processor with the garlic and pulse till you get coarse bread crumbs consistency. Please be careful while doing this and don’t let the chickpeas form into a paste like consistency as then your falafel will have no texture.

And texture is the reason why I separately grate the onion (squeeze out the juice) and finely chop the parsley by hand instead of dumping everything together in the food processor.

Once done, mix everything together in a big mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate the mix for a couple of hours to let the flavors develop.

Heat the Paniyaram pan on low heat and add a spoonful of the paste into each indent.

Once the falafels start pulling away from the side, add a few drops of oil on the sides of each one. When one side is crisp golden brown and top is set, turn the other side and cook till the other side is also crisp brown

If you are deep frying these: with slightly wet hands, shape into balls in the size you prefer. Test one first to ensure that they don’t break apart. If they do, add a little more flour to the mix. Test again, if it still falls apart, you can add an egg. (see see see, told you my method was so much more hassle free  didn’t I !! J ). Fry on medium heat till golden brown on both sides.

Serve with Hummus and Tzatziki as a snack or stuff in pita pockets with add-ons of your choice

Hummus and Tzatziki recipes are already on the blog here: Hummus recipe  and Tzatziki recipe (I skipped on topping up the hummus with extra olive oil this time and we still loved it J )

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Potato and Zucchini pancakes with Feta Cheese served with Tzatziki...Weekday Blues!!

Potato and Zucchini pancakes with Feta Cheeseand let’s not forget Tzatzikiperfect for a weekend brunch or combine with a light salad for a perfect meal to chase away those weekday bluesyes, unlike normal people who just have to deal with Monday Blues, I, the drama queen, choose to extend them forever and call them Weekday Blues

Potato and Zucchini pancakes with Feta Cheese served with Tzatziki


For the Pancakes:

  • Potatoes, 250 gm
  • Zucchini/Courgette, 250 gm
  • Fresh Mint or Dill, finely chopped, 2 tbsp (optional)
  • Onions, 1 small
  • Spring Onions/ Scallions, only green portion finely chopped, 4
  • Feta cheese, crumbled, ½ cup
  • Maida/Regular all purpose flour, 2 heaped tbsp
  • Egg, 1 large
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Red chili flakes, to taste (optional)
  • Oil, for shallow frying

For Tzatziki:

  • English/Seedless Cucumber, 1 medium size or use regular cucumber and discard the seeds
  • Greek Yogurt, ¾ cup or you can hang normal yogurt for a couple of hours in a muslin cloth and then use that instead, just ensure that it is not too sour
  • Fresh dill or mint, finely chopped, 1 tbsp OR Dried dill or mint, ½ tsp
  • Garlic, minced, 1-2 cloves
  • Lemon juice, 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil, 1-2 tbsp (I always skip)




We need to chill our Tzatziki so start on that first.

Wash, dry and top and tail the cucumber. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the cucumber. Squeeze out the water completely.

Mix the grated cucumber with rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning and keep in the refrigerator while you get on with the rest of the recipe.


Wash, dry and finely chop the green onions. Add to a large mixing bowl.

Crumble the feta cheese and add to the mixing bowl.

If using mint or dill, chop up and add to the mixing bowl.

Using the large holes of a box grater,
  • Onion: (peel), grate, squeeze out the water/juice completely and add the pulp to the mixing bowl.
  • Zucchini: (Wash, top and tail), grate, squeeze out the water/juice completely and add the pulp to the mixing bowl.
  • Potatoes: (wash, peel), grate, squeeze out the water/juice completely and add the pulp to the mixing bowl.

Add in lightly whisked egg, salt, pepper, chili flakes, sprinkle flour over the top and mix everything well together with a fork. Don’t overwork the batter.

Heat 3-4 tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. The base of the entire skillet should be covered by about 1/8 inch of oil layer so adjust the oil quantity according to the skillet size you are using.
Test the oil by adding a small spoon of the mix to the skillet – if the mix sizzles and bubbles immediately the oil is ready.

Scoop heaping tablespoons of the mix into the skillet for each pancake and flatten lightly with a spatula. (I used a cookie cutter ring to shape this time). 

The thinner you make them the crisper they are – so  about ½” thick if you want them crispy on the outside and gooey inside and ¼” thick if you want them really crispy. 

Fry until golden brown and cooked through about 3-4 minutes per side.Drain on paper towels.

Serve hot with tzatziki.

You can make these in the oven as well: 
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Brush baking sheet liberally with oil. Place the baking sheet in the oven for 10 minutes.  Scoop heaping tablespoons of the mix onto the baking sheet for each pancake and flatten with a spatula you would need to this quickly so that that the baking sheet remains hot. Bake until the pancakes are golden brown on the bottom, about 12-15 minutes. Flip the pancakes and bake until they are brown on the other side, about 8-10 minutes.


  • I hate throwing away the water/juice from the veggies (yes, I am my mom after allJ), so I squeeze the water out by taking small handfuls of the grated veggies and squeezing them over a bowl. Once done, I repeat the squeezing bit again to get them really dry. The onion juice goes into the marinade for chicken/meat, I drink up the zucchini and cucumber juice and the potato juice goes on my face to remove the blemishes that old age is bringing in every day. You can do that whole spread out on a kitchen towel and then wringing over the sink bit – but it will not give you that “I am such a good housewife” feel J

  • Keep the peel on the cucumber and zucchini but leaving the peel on or off the potatoes is totally up to you.

  • Keep the grating order as written – potatoes last or else don’t blame me if your batter changes colour to a dark dirty brown!

  • Using dill or mint is optional but it gives a nice flavor dimension, so would suggest that you try using them at least once. I didn’t this time round as I couldn’t find dill and hubz hates mint. Needless to say if you do decide to add either one of them, add the same thing in the tzatziki as well.

  • You can add chopped up spinach instead of zucchini in the pancakes – yummmmm

  • Go easy on the salt first as feta is salty – taste and adjust. And please don’t go easy on the pepper!

  • If you don’t want to use Feta or don’t have it, you can either skip it or use crumbled or grated Paneer/Indian cottage cheese instead.