Tag Archives: Asian Cuisine

It was a Japanese Style Night!

Asian cuisine is the absolute way to go. I mean Asian women are predominately slim and fit, so it must be the cuisine and way of eating it that keeps them that way. Chopsticks are incredibly slimming. Not because you eat the wood but because of how you go about eating your food. One small bite at a time.

Fabulous right? It is said that if you eat your meal slowly you will become full quickly which is likely how Asian women stay so slim.

So I guess we should all be eating sushi for the rest of our lives! Not that I would mind as I love it!

Although sushi is fantastic, so is what I made for last nights meal.

Onigiri is very similar to sushi in the way that it is made of rice and most commonly wrapped around with nori (seaweed), the only difference from sushi is that it’s small while onigiri is usually the size of your palm. Maybe even bigger.

Onigiri

I first encountered onigiri when I lived in Brazil and my Japanese friend brought onigiri to us once for a snack. It was amazing. This little rice ball filled with small slices of nori made my mind whirl. I loved it so much.

Well for last nights meal I didn’t quite make the traditional onigiri ball with plain Japanese rice and seaweed, but went for a different take on it. Mostly because my mom abhors nori and my dad isn’t keen to have any starch in his diet.

I got the recipe to make these protein-packed onigiri balls from BittersweetBlog. Her creation of this treat featured lentils, the most difficult legume to ever make a dish attractive! Though because the lentils did not have to be made into a mush-like consistency, the dish didn’t look as unattractive as any other lentil-filled meal I have ever made.  So that was good! Here is the direct link to the recipe I followed and below will be my re-written recipe.

Onigiri before Forming Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups (300g) sushi rice
  • 2 cups (470ml) water
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup (10g) fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 cups (400g) lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups (940ml) water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions:

  1. In a small pot, bring water to boil while at medium heat. Once water is boiling add sushi rice and immediately turn heat to low while covering pot with lid to cook rice. Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes. Once cooked rice should absorb all the water.

  2. While rice is cooking, in a large pot combine lentils and 4 cups water and bring water to a boil. Once at a rapid boil turn down heat until lentils are simmering. Add 2 bay leaves and allow lentils to cook uncovered. Lentils should cook 20-30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan/wok and add onions to hot oil to sauté. Once onions become translucent and begin to brown ever so slightly on the edges (approx. 10 minutes), add ½ teaspoon of salt and turn heat down. Continue to cook at a low heat stirring occasionally until onions take on a caramelized deep brown color. This should take approximately 30 minutes. Once onions are at desired color remove from heat and add balsamic vinegar and spices. Mix thoroughly and keep aside.

  4. Once lentils are finished cooking, drain excess water and remove bay leaves. Season with salt and keep aside.

  5. When rice and onions are warm enough to touch mix together with lentils and chopped parsley and add additional salt to mixture.

  6. Scoop out about 1/3-1/2 cup of onigiri and press into rounded triangles within your palms. If rice mixture isn’t holding allow to cool further. Or you could place a sheet of nori just beneath your onigiri form and fold the onigiri on your desired shape. Remember that water is necessary to keep nori folded on your onigiri.Onigiri wrapped in Nori

  7. Serve immediately. You can also wrap your onigiri (with and without nori) in plastic wrap to save for another time. Ensure your onigiri is in the fridge to keep firm.

Although this is not the normal onigiri recipe, it came out quite well. I was definitely content but I adore seaweed and rice. All one needs is a little soy sauce and all is good.

We had the onigiri with a Japanese style chicken. This being normal grilled chicken with a soy sauce type liquid poured into the sliced chicken. This sauce contained soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ginger, and white wine (because we couldn’t find sake). To me the sauce tasted very similar to teriyaki, but not as sweet. It was a unique taste, that’s for sure. The recipe we followed was from the Best Recipe Box, the direct recipe is here. So if you want to do a lentil nori wrapped origini with the chicken you now can!

Final look for Onigiri

I’ve been eating the onigiri all through the morning as a breakfast. Which probably isn’t the best thing for someone, but I am very American in the way that I eat leftovers for breakfast. I’m known to eat pasta, rice, soup, and now onigiri for breakfast. I also like to have cereal and yoghurt for dinner or a late night snack. How odd am I? Oh well, the onigiri was delicious and I hope you all enjoy it too!

And if you are wondering, I ended up making sixteen onigiri rolls, most with seaweed but five were plain rice and lentil onigiri rolls. Though the original recipe said 24 rolls can be made.

Anyway, happy eating everyone!

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Lentil Curry Meatless Monday

It has been a very long time since I’ve had a Meatless Monday and you know what? Today I’ve got a Meatless Monday Meal for y’all! Woohoo!

So my dad thinks he should go on a diet and his version of a diet is meat and veg. Well since I do not eat most of the meat he likes I thought I would give him a protein packed vegetarian meal. The best protein packed ingredient that I know he also enjoys would have to be lentils so that is what I made for dinner tonight, something very lentil filled.

I got the recipe from here but I was very dissatisfied by the way it was written. Both the instructions and the grammar were atrocious. Though it could just be that I dislike poor spelling and grammar. So if you are like me and dislike poorly written recipes just read below and you will see my version of the recipe!

Spinach Lentil Curry

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (200g) dried red lentils
  • 5 cups (565g) spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¾ cup (115g) red onion, diced
  • 1 small green chili
  • 2 cups (470ml) water
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • A pinch red pepper flakes

Instructions:

  1. Sauté the red lentils, spinach, half the garlic, red onion, and green chili in a large pan until spinach has wilted. Then pour water and bouillon cube into pan and allow lentils to cook. When lentils are finally soft drain water (though keep it to adjust consistency of curry).

  2. With a handheld food processor or potato masher mash cooked lentils and vegetables to a semi-purée with chunks. Add salt for more flavour.

  3. Use stock water to make a more curry-like consistency.

  4. In a small frying pan fry the remainder of the garlic, add cumin, mustard, and red pepper flakes. Cook until a smooth hot consistency.

  5. Pour hot garlic-mustard mixture into lentils and mix well.

  6. Serve with rice and/or naan.

Lentil Spinach CurryI’m sure cumin seeds and mustard seeds would have made a better combination for the flavouring but I just used American mustard and cumin powder from a jar. Why buy something you won’t end up using another day?

I do not know if you all know of my background in the hospitality industry, but I had a teacher who would call the handheld food processor a dildo and now to this day I call that device the dildo. Thanks Mr. Young! There are a few items that I sexualize due to my teachers actually. Mr. Young made certain kitchen devices sexual while Mr. C would make the professional coffee machine in the restaurant dirty. I guess it is a good way to remember what to do and how to clean things. Kind of like acronyms to help you remember certain things in school.

Anyway this was my meal for the day and it went pretty well. I am definitely full and believe my parents are too. Lentils definitely rock and keep us well fed!

If you all end up making this I hope you enjoy it too! Curry is always nice for a cold day for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere.

Happy eating!

Indian Pumpkin Heaven

It is meatless Monday again, and another day to enjoy pumpkin. Yay pumpkin!

Today I made a big batch of pumpkin puree and decided freezing it would make for a good idea. At least for the next time I make something which needs puree. I can tell you that this will be soon.  I’m in the mood for pumpkin cookies…

But for now? For now I made a pumpkin curry.

Lots of Pumpkin Curry

You all should know I have a thing for Indian cuisine by now. I mean Trinidadian cuisine is more Indian than Caribbean and I do love a good curry. Delicious.

So here is today’s meal that I got from here:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cup (495g) pumpkin puree
  • 2 cans (800g) canned tomatoes in their juices
  • 2 cups (500ml) vegetable stock
  • ½ cup (125ml) coconut milk
  • 2 cans (448g) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (224g) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 Tablespoons red curry paste
  • 3 Tablespoons agave nectar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot or skillet, heat olive oil and cook onion and garlic on medium heat until soft (approx. 5 minutes)

  2. Add pumpkin, canned tomatoes, vegetable stock, coconut milk, black beans, and chickpeas. Add 1 tablespoon of curry paste and stir well. Season with salt and pepper and add another tablespoon of curry paste (keep in mind that some are spicier than others) add final tablespoon of curry paste if you can handle heat.

  3. Mix well before adding three tablespoons of agave nectar to your curry, this will balance the flavours.

  4. Bring to a boil and make sure all ingredients are mixed well together. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes on a very low simmer.

  5. Serve over rice or quinoa.

 I served mine over the yellow rice I’ve previously made when I first moved here. But it didn’t taste as good as it did that day.

Do you ever have that? Where you make something (just as you did previously) yet it doesn’t taste the same? It makes for difficult times!

Pumpkin Curry and Yellow Rice

I love how it looks colorful, though it is only red, black and white. Like that riddle: What’s black, white, and red all over?

My curry! And a newspaper… the real answer is a newspaper.

Anyway, I hope this interests you as much as it did me and my pumpkin obsession!

अपने भोजन का आनंद लें
Or as they say in English: Enjoy your meal!

Here’s a Pilaf for Meatless Monday

I had planned to make dinner at three in the afternoon, but you know what happened? I couldn’t for the life of me find the bay leaf! And I needed that bay leaf! I searched high and low for it and came up empty. So instead I had to wait for 5 o’clock to roll around so I could ask mom where she had hidden it.

Well when she came she too could not find the packet of bay leaves. It is as though they have gone missing!

Well luckily dinner is super-fast and easy tonight, with our without the bay leaf! So I just started dinner at five, two hours later than I had hoped. But I can tell you I did make some homemade raita at three-ish. That can hint off the theme for tonight’s meal.

But if you are not so culturally experienced in cuisines, tonight’s theme of a meal comes from India! And you know what? It fits with Meatless Monday!

Indian Pilaf with Raita

I love Indian cuisine. So much that I told my parents the other day that I should fall in love with an Indian so that his mama and I can be in the kitchen together so I can learn proper traditional Indian food. Sounds good does it not? I guess I should go down to Durban for that. Apparently that is where all the Indians are located in South Africa.

Anyway, I got the recipe from here, but pretty much followed the recipe except for the fact that I didn’t have a bay leaf. This fact really annoys me.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup (250g) Jasmine rice
  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 1 cup (170g) frozen assorted vegetables, thawed
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small tomato, chopped small
  • 1 Large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green chili, chopped finely
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • Juice from one lemon
  • A handful of fresh cilantro, washed and chopped

Spices

  • Salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon Tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mango, baked
  • ½ teaspoon Garam Masala

Instructions:

  1. Wash and soak rice in water for a half hour, while soaking add all spices excluding cumin and Garam Masala together in a small bowl and set aside.

  2. In a large pan, heat oil and cook cumin until its aromatic (10 seconds)

  3. Add minced garlic, ginger, and green chilies to oil and cumin mix, fry for a minute and then add chopped onion and cook until lightly caramelized.

  4. Once onions are lightly browned, add spices in small bowl to mixture as well as thawed vegetables. Mix and cover and cook for five minutes.

  5. Add chickpeas and chopped tomato to mix and combine.

  6. Now add strained rice and 1 ½ cups water to mixture and gently fold in. Allow mixture to begin to boil at medium heat and cover and turn to simmer. Cook rice for 10-12 minutes or until rice is cooked completely.

  7. Once rice is cooked, add lemon juice and stir lightly. Turn heat off and add Garam Masala to the mix.

  8. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and raita to lessen bite.

  9. Enjoy!

Pretty easy right? Yum yum. But do you know how to make raita? If not here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • ½ cucumber, grated
  • 1 cup (250ml) Greek yoghurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon, Garam Masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Instructions:

  1. Grate half a cucumber (with skin on) and press until dry with paper towels. Once drained place in a small bowl.

  2. Add minced garlic and yoghurt and mix thoroughly.

  3. Sprinkle Garam Masala and mix well.

  4. Once ready to serve, sprinkle chili on top and enjoy!

So the recipe for the raita I got from here, but it didn’t have garlic in it and well I LOVE garlic (plus isn’t raita meant to have that spicy kick that garlic makes?) so I added that key ingredient.

If you checked out the original recipe for the pilaf you would have noticed that it called for Mango Powder. If you were anything like me you would have wondered what the hell that was. Well I googled to see how to make it and was pretty bummed to find out it takes five days to create. BUT if you are interested in creating it click here to find the recipe.

Vegan Indian PilafIf you aren’t a fan of spicy I would opt out from adding chili powder to the raita, otherwise follow all that is above. It should make a spectacular meal that you will very much enjoy!

I know I did.

So if you make this meal I hope you do enjoy.

As they say in Hindi:

अपने भोजन का आनंद लें or

Apanē bhōjana kā ānanda lēṁ

Asian Salad Dressing is the Best Salad Dressing

Last year when I lived in Nova Scotia, I fell in love with something. No it wasn’t poutine, although I can tell you that Nova Scotians love their Poutines! No, what I fell in love with was roasted sesame salad dressing.

One time when I was at our staff cafeteria I was plating up greens of all sorts and decided to try a new salad dressing which just so happened to be dark brown with little white specs in it. Now I know most people would be iffy about such a thing, but why be so cautious when experimenting is that much more fun! So I poured this brown liquid over my salad and sat down at a table. I then took my first bite and my mouth experienced an explosion of flavour and I was officially hooked.

Since returning to the Netherlands, I’ve been trying to make sesame dressing from scratch. The first time it was pretty good, but then the second and third time just didn’t hit my stomach the right way. So I basically gave up.

But then on Monday I decided to go downtown to give in to my need to spend money on cosmetics (could I sound any more like a girl), during this time I popped into my favourite biological supermarket and bought some wonderful things like instant miso soup, pumpkin crackers, and green tea. I also found my favourite salad dressing.

Roasted Sesame Salad Dressing

Since buying this beautiful salad dressing, I’ve been adding it to almost everything! I even found an excuse to eat the salad dressing with oven baked Lays chips! It is fabulous having this in my life again!

Dinner

 Now I know that this plate does not look as attractive as the other ones I’ve posted on here, but my wonderful salad dressing is here!

And if you’re wondering, my meal of choice consists of:

1) a baked potato with margarine, cheddar cheese, Greek yoghurt with lemon juice, and freshly chopped chives.

2) a mixed salad with sliced cucumbers and chopped red pepper with my sesame dressing

3) a breaded soy patty (that makes me think of milanesa)

All quite unattractive but über delicious!

For those of you who live in the States and Canada, Kraft has this salad dressing as well. If you haven’t yet tried it, I suggest you do so immediately!

Happy salad eating!

Jam Packed Nutritious Curry!

I am so glad that even though my family is carnivorous, they enjoy vegetarian meals. I guess that makes them more omnivorous, but I like deeming any red meat eaters as solely carnivores.

For tonight we all enjoyed a wonderful meal of curry with pumpkin and chickpeas.Pumpkin, Chickpea, and Spinach Curry on a bed of Brown Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 small pumpkin, chopped (I used a store-bought bag of chopped pumpkin)
  • 1 ½ cup Spinach
  • 1 cup Kale
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 ½ cans cubed tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Handful chopped coriander

Spices:

  • 1 Tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander
  • ½ Tablespoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Place a large pan on the stove at medium-low heat and allow coconut oil to warm up. Once liquid add chopped onion and garlic and cook until translucent and fragrant. Add spices to the onion mixture and allow to become aromatic.

  2. Pour in cubed canned tomatoes and coconut milk and mix well.

  3. Add chopped pumpkin to liquid and allow to simmer for 10 – 15 minutes. Once pumpkin is soft add chickpeas.

  4. Once warmed up, add spinach and kale to curry and allow to become wilted and serve immediately. Top with fresh coriander and enjoy.

Pumpkin, Chickpea, Kale, and Spinach CurryYou can serve this with a side of bread or on top of some rice. I went for brown basmati rice as that is all we had. This meal was actually made of whatever goods we had in our house. Well mostly that is. My mom had to run to the grocery store as soon as we found out we didn’t have cumin in any of our spice drawers. That was pretty disastrous. Well not really, improvisation is an easy task, but cumin is great for a lot of other dishes too.

As for the use of both kale and spinach – I ran out of spinach so I decided to add more green with some kale. Usually meals contain either one or the other, but what’s wrong with both!?

This meal is my mom’s favourite. Last year when I first made it during my month of making pumpkin obsessed meals, I had to make it two or three times because she loved it so much. This though is the first pumpkin curry of 2014. Not bad eh?

And it is a great way to show my Dutch pride with an orange looking meal. Although it is 100% Indian being a curry and all. Oh well, orange meal to show my Dutch pride during the end of the Olympics and an Indian meal to show my love to my Indian boyfriend? That sounds better.

If you end up making this you can exclude the kale from the mix and use 2-3 cups of spinach instead. Also if pumpkin isn’t on hand, go for butternut squash! Both are equally delicious.

I hope you enjoy your meal! Or rather बॉन एपेतीत as said in Hindu. 

Brown Rice Seaweed Salad with Sesame Seeds

Can people become lazy for a long period of time? If so, I’ve become lazy when it comes to posting food on this blog. It hit me at the end of January and has continued through to the second week of February. It is killer. I have at least two recipes which should be posted on here. One for a Sweet treat and another for a healthy meal. And yet, here I am procrastinating like a child with her assignment.

Well, before I post those two entries that need to be written out, I’ve got tonight’s meal ready to see the face of BounceAroundintheKitchen.

So besides being lazy as ever, I have also recently fallen in love with two foods. Those such being seaweed salad and chimichurri sauce.

I made a batch of chimichurri sauce as soon as I came home from the grocery store. I didn’t even have a plan to eat it with something, I just knew I wanted it and made it. I then ate it in a pita bread. Who needs butter for bread when you’ve got chimichurri sauce? Delicious.

But the real star of tonight’s show is dinner. If you were thinking it had something to do with seaweed salad then you’re rather smart! Or at least have some great insight.

Seaweed Salad with Brown RiceIf that doesn’t call out to you then I do not know what will! Although if you do not eat seaweed then I know that won’t be calling out to you. But it should, because it is so tasty!

I found the recipe here, but tweaked it just a bit.

Ingredients:

Salad

  • ½ cup dry brown rice
  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • ¾ cup seaweed salad
  • 1 orange pepper, julienned
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, for serving

Dressing

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sweetener of choice (maple syrup, agave or honey)
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Bring rice to boil as per what box instructions say.

  2. Mix all ingredients from dressing together and allow flavours to combine as you chop the bell pepper and green onions.

  3. Once rice is cooked, drain and place in bowl. Add bell pepper and green onions. 

  4. Open store bought container of seaweed salad and add to rice mixture. 

  5. Then roast some sesame seeds in a frying pan and add to mixture.

  6. Once ready, add dressing to mixture and enjoy!

Dressing and Salad mixtureThis has got to be one of the easiest and most delicious meals I’ve made in a while. I truly love the flavour combinations in this dish that I am sure you would like it too. I mean with the tangy flavour of the store bought salad with the roasted taste of the sesame seeds and oil plus the sweetness from the honey? Absolutely fabulous!

A complete must try!

Enjoy your meal.

Or as they say in Japanese: Douzo meshiagare!

Dinner where Indian Curry meets Cajun Shrimp

When you live in a world of expatriates you learn to find normality in multiculturalism. Be it by just living amongst several different people  of different backgrounds or eating multicultural cuisine types, you are more open to the foreign aspect of life. With all my moves, I now live a life of cultural combinations.

So last Sunday when my mom went out for her friend’s birthday gathering it gave both my sister and I a free day to enjoy shellfish such as shrimp. Mom does not like shellfish which means her children do not eat it either, this means when she leaves the house we can enjoy the small things she dislikes. The top of the food pyramid of products which cannot be had when mom is home is shrimp.

Because mom knew she was going out Sunday night she decided to buy chickpeas and spinach knowing full well that those are two items I love to either cook with or just have to eat, so I decided to make a chickpea and spinach curry to go with my shrimp. This is where my multiculturalism comes in. For our Sunday dinner my little sister and I had a chickpea curry over a bed wild rice with a side of spicy Cajun shrimp and a yoghurt dip with lemon and chopped cilantro. Yes, that is a combination of Cajun (from Louisiana) and Indian cuisine.

Luckily the two together tasted delicious although it was very foreign. I mean who combines such things? What a weird confused cuisine type of night.

Chickpea Spinach Curry and Cajun Shrimp

Here is the recipe for the Spinach Chickpea Curry:

  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • ½ cup chicken or vegetable broth, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoons minced (or grated) fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 15-ounce cans chickpeas
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Combine spinach and your preferred broth in a powerful blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Set spinach puree aside.

2. Heat butter in a medium pan over medium-low heat. As soon as it melts, add the ginger (1/2 teaspoon for a milder ginger flavor) and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Turn heat to low and add garam masala, cumin, coriander and curry powder. Toast the spices for 3-4 minutes, until they are fragrant and take on a deep color.

3. Add spinach puree to the pan, along with the lemon juice. Cook for about a minute, to bring the flavors together, then add the chickpeas. Continue cooking until the chickpeas are heated through and all of the watery liquid cooks down leaving a puree. Add more broth if you end up needing to make adjustments to the consistency. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Suggestion: serve with rice.

When I made this I used just a bit too much broth making the simmering process for the chickpea spinach curry lengthy, but using half a cup should make the simmering (thickening) process much shorter for a quicker meal.

Below you can see the recipe for the Spicy Cajun Shrimp:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound (500 grams) shrimp
  • Shrimp Seasoning:
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon curry powder
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne
    pinch cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1 (6 oz) container plain yoghurt
  • ½ Tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • Naan bread (optional)

Directions:

1. Mix together the above spices. Sprinkle half of shrimp over 1 pound of peeled shrimp.

2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp to pan — try to get the spiced side down — and saute 5 minutes until done, flip shrimp around and add remainder of spices and cook further.

3. In the meantime chop cilantro and mix with plain yoghurt and lemon.

3. Toast a few pieces of Naan (such as Kontos brand) and serve with cooked shrimp, a spoonful of plain yogurt, chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of lemon.

Now I know the combination of both Cajun and Indian seems quite bizarre, but it tasted pretty darn good. Although I know my sister likes chickpeas a lot and thoroughly enjoys shrimp, so that could be why.

If you think about giving this a shot, you may prefer the different parts of the meal separate. I won’t judge!

Spinach Chickpea Curry with Cajun ShrimpBut it does taste wonderful, separate or combined! So give’er a go!

¡Y buen provecho!

Tofu Curry on a bed of Mash

I’ve been living life all wrong and I realized this today. Why eat mashed potatoes when everyone knows they are so filled with calories when you can have a wonderful substitute which is so much better for you and that much more delicious? I realized that potatoes are so not the way to the heart but cauliflower is.

For dinner tonight I’ve made cauliflower mash with a tofu curry. This meal is extremely easy and so good. Keep in mind that I did not even have all the spices needed, so if I find it good how it is then imagine what it would be like with the correct spices! Heaven!

Tofu curry on a bed of Cauliflower Mash

To make this I made the mash first but in reality I could have done it whilst the spices and tofu were combining in the pan. Alas I used the same pan for both the mash and the curry so I did the mash first then washed the pan and made the curry.

In light that one should make the curry before the mash I will provide you with the recipe for the curry first. With that the recipe I followed can be found here, while the recipe for the mashed cauliflower can be found here.

  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • ½ Tablespoon ginger, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • ½ cup green peas
  • ½ cup tofu, cut into small pieces
  • Water as needed
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish

Spices

  • 2 teaspoons Turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a pan and add onion, garlic, and ginger to oil and sauté until brown.

  2. Once fragrant, add spices and mix well. Then add chopped tomato and green peas and mix well. Next add tofu and mix.

  3. Add enough water to make a gravy and allow to simmer blending flavours together.

  4. As flavours bind make your cauliflower mash.

Cauliflower Mash

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ teaspoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoons goat cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a medium pan pour water inside (an inch in depth) and add about ½ teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Once boiling add cauliflower and allow to steam for five minutes or so.

  2. Once soft, drain cauliflower of water and add milk, butter, and goat cheese to mix. Blend well with stick blender or place into food processor and mix until smooth.

  3. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.

By the time the cauliflower mash is complete your curry should be finished as well. Now you can place enough of the mash in a bowl-plate and make a little hole in the centre to put more of the curry in. Add the curry to the cauliflower mash and enjoy.

Tofu Curry with Peas on a bed of Cauliflower Mash

Want to know a weird and funny fact about the stick blender? When I used to work in the kitchen upon getting my education in the hospitality industry my one teacher would call it a dildo. Because of that whenever I see this tool I have to hold back on calling it such an awful thing. Mr. Young if you’re reading this you’ve changed my view on such a simple thing like the stick blender for life!

Well this meal was completely filling. So much so that I actually couldn’t finish my plate. I tried, I really did, but I just couldn’t succeed.

Unable to FinishThat’s when you know it is truly too good that you want to finish but just can’t go through with it.  I would like to make this again, maybe with the correct herbs if that is possible. The cauliflower mash will be a must, that’s for sure.

I hope you also make this. You won’t regret it!

As they say in Hindi, कृपया भोजन का आनंद लीजिये !
(please enjoy your meal)

Easy School Night Dinner of Ketjap Tofu

It is Tuesday night and I only came home to my parents place around four. Mom had already finished making the meal for both her and Daddy as well as my sister if she came home. It was Ketjap (pronounced as “ketchup”) pork with green beans and rice.

In that little time I had to make my own meat dish. So I made Ketjap tofu.

This is by far the easiest dish ever.

Ketjap Tofu on a bed of Rice

All you need is a meat of your choice such as pork, chicken, or tofu.This is the recipe I followed:

  • 1 box of tofu squares (175g)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons Ketjap Manis
  • ½ cup of rice (125g)

Directions:

  1. Start by cooking rice as per instructions.

  2. Then in a frying pan heat olive oil and cook garlic.

  3. Add tofu squares to garlic and fry until lightly browned.

  4. Add one tablespoon of Ketjap Manis to tofu mixture at a time until tofu is flavoursome. You can add additional tablespoons of Ketjap if you want to make a thick coating of “sauce” around tofu.

  5. Drain rice and top with Ketjap Tofu and enjoy.

If you do both the rice and the Ketjap tofu at the same time it could take under ten minutes of cooking. Although I doubt most rice dishes take under ten minutes to cook. The rice I chose is cooked in 8 minutes though so the meal was basically complete in ten minutes time.

For those of you who are not from the Netherlands, I just found a fantastic website which is dedicated to everything Dutch but is located in the States. This website offers you everything from Delfse Tiles (Delft Tiles), Drop (Salty Licorice), Wilhelmina Pepermunt (the Queens Mints), and Klompen (Dutch wooden Shoes – Clogs)! It has literally everything. Even all Conimex food products which are used in Dutch cuisine. If you live in the States you should definitely check out http://thedutchshop.com/ I am sure you will love it.

If you end up making this meal I hope you like it.

As they say in the Netherlands,

Eet Smakelijk!