Coconut tilapia curry

While living in Toronto, I was spoilt with some really good Thai restaurants. However, there isn’t a Thai restaurant near us that truly wows us. So, trial and error has got us to a point where we no longer need to drive out to a good Thai restaurant, chez nous kitchen beckons instead! And the best part of most Thai curries is they are easy to whip up allowing me to get a delicious, filling and health dinner to the table in 30 mins or less. And you can make a one-pot meal by adding vegetables to the curry.

Servings: 4 Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 (6 oz) skinless tilapia fillets ( or vegetables like tofu, baby corn, bamboo shoots, if you want to keep this vegetarian)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, small, diced fine
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 4 tbsp red curry paste ( or to taste, depending on the paste you use and spice level)
  • 1 15 oz can of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (if vegetarian, omit fish sauce and brown sugar, and add salt to taste)
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup carrots cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1/4 cup cilantro or basil leaves, for garnish

Method:

  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. When oil is hot, add in the onions and ginger. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until the onions turn soft and translucent.
  • Add in the red curry paste and stir for 1-2 minutes
  • Add half of the coconut milk to the pan and stir in, until the coconut milk and the curry paste are well blended. When the milk starts to bubble, add in the remaining coconut milk. Stir well for a minute
  • Add in the fish sauce and brown sugar and bring the curry to a boil
  • Lower the flame, add in the carrots and green peas
  • Stir and then add in the fish
  • Cover and let cook on medium-low flame for 5-6 minutes until the fish is cooked through
  • Remove from flame and garnish with the cilantro/basil leaves
  • Serve with brown rice

Burmese Khao Suey

A curried noodle soup in an aromatic coconut milk broth combined with chicken, and varied condiments make for one hearty and comforting meal! If there’s one food the kids want when they go to Aunty Marilyn’s house is this delicious Khao Suey. This dish is said to have originated in Burma, now called Myanmar, and is said to have come to East India with people who migrated during World War II. It is widely served in Myanmar, Laos, and Norther Thailand. The dish has a few different versions and is also spelled differently like khaosay, khao soi, etc. If you like Indian or Thai food, you will enjoy this dish.

Guidance:

  • Protein Option: This dish tastes amazing with boneless chicken but  I used bone-in chicken thighs to get the richness that comes from cooking meat with bones. You can also add tofu, carrots and other vegetables for a vegetarian version
  • Noodles option: Egg noodles are typically served with khao soi but I have used angel hair noodles and also ramen, and they worked great
  • Speed-to-table: You can use store bought fried garlic and fried onions
  • Condiments: Condiments amp up the flavor. Fried garlic, fried onion, roasted peanuts, lemon wedges, and cilantro are the most popular accompaniments. Sliced boiled eggs, jalapenos, finely sliced red onions, and green onions are other options

Servings: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20-35 minutes (depending on using the pressure cooker/stove top and boneless or bone-in chicken thighs)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 cups red onions finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger minced
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 lbs bone-in, skinless chicken thighs (if using boneless chicken, cut into bite size cubes)
  • 1 can (14oz) coconut milk
  • 3 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp soya sauce
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp gram flour
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 8oz noodles – angel hair pasta

For garnishes:

  • 1 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 5 garlic cloves, cut into fine slices
  • 3 inches ginger, cut into fine long slices
  • 2 limes cut into wedges
  • 4 eggs boiled and cut into quarters
  • 2 spring onions chopped finely
  • 1 cup fried onions or 1 large red onion cut into fine, long slices and
  • 1 tbsp oil if preparing the fried onions and garlic at home

Method – Ninja Foodi / Instant Pot:

  1. Pre-heat the Ninja Food/ Instant Pot by selecting the Sauté function
  2. Add the sesame oil. When hot, add the onions, garlic and ginger, sautéing it, until the onions are soft and translucent – about 4-6 minutes
  3. Stir in the coriander powder, red chili powder and turmeric. Stir for about a minute
  4. Add in the chicken and lightly fry it, stirring for about a minute
  5. Add in the coconut milk, fish sauce, soya sauce, and the broth. Stir for a minute
  6. Now cancel the Sauté option and turn on the Pressure Cook option
  7. Close and Pressure Cook for 10 minutes. If using boneless chicken, pressure cook for 3 minutes
  8. While chicken is cooking, make the noodles, following the instructions on the noodles box. Prepare noodles and keep aside
  9. In parallel, while the soup is cooking, prepare the fried onion and friend garlic garnishes: In a pan, heat the 1 tbsp oil and fry the garlic until crisp and golden on very low flame. Remove and set aside. Add the onions to the pan, fry until crisp and golden. Remove and set aside
  10. Take a bowl and mix in the gram flour and water to create a fine paste, removing any lumps
  11. When time is up for the chicken, release the pressure, remove lid and turn back the sauté option. Stir in the gram flour mix to thicken up the soup, cooking for 1 minute
  12. Serve in bowls, squeeze in lime juice and add your choice of garnishes

Method – Stove Top:

  1. In a medium saucepan, add the sesame oil. When hot, add the onions, garlic and ginger, sautéing it, until the onions are soft and translucent – about 4-6 minutes
  2. Stir in the coriander powder, red chili powder and turmeric. Stir for about a minute
  3. Add in the chicken and lightly fry it, stirring for about 2-3 minutes
  4. Add in the coconut milk, fish sauce, soya sauce, and the broth. Simmer for 5 minutes if using boneless chicken cubes or for 30 minutes (covered) if using bone-in skinless chicken thighs
  5. While the chicken is cooking, cook the noodles following the recipe on the noodle box, until al dente
  6. In parallel, while the soup is cooking, prepare the fried onion and friend garlic garnishes: In a pan, heat the 1 tbsp oil and fry the garlic until crisp and golden. Remove and set aside. Add the thinly sliced onions to the pan and fry until crisp. Remove and set aside
  7. Take a bowl and mix in the gram flour and water to create a fine paste, removing any lumps
  8. When the soup is ready, stir in the gram flour mix to thicken up the soup, cooking for 1 minute
  9. Serve in bowls, squeeze in lime juice and add your choice of garnishes

Mango Pineapple chia seed pudding

This easy make-ahead recipe is a clean, dairy-free, filling breakfast. Chia seeds are considered a superfood because they pack a nutritional punch with very few calories. So, go-ahead and make this for breakfast, or a mid-morning snack, or even a dessert for after dinner!

Ingredients

  • 14 oz coconut milk one can
  • ½ cup Oat milk (or almond milk)
  • 3 tsp maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice. If your fruit is sweet, the sweetener is optional)
  • 2 tbsp vanilla protein (optional)
  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • 1.5 cups cubed mango fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks fresh or frozen

Method:

  • Using a mixer, blend all ingredients except the fresh fruit (Alternatively, whisk with fork or hand mixer gently to blend ingredients and avoid chia seeds from clumping)
  • Pour the mixture into two large serving bowls or 3-4 smaller bowls
  • Top with mango, pineapple dividing equally across the bowls
  • Keep in refrigerator to thicken for atleast 2-3 hours
  • Can be served straight out of the fridge

Kulfi – A rich, Indian ice-cream

Nothing entices kids more than the sound of the ice-cream truck on a hot summer day. In India, that sound was the ringing of a bell, as the kulfi cart came rolling down the street. At that time, for 10 paisa, he’d pull out a stick with kulfi out of a metal cone. Kulfi, a traditional Indian ice-cream, is richer, denser and creamier than regular ice-cream. Flavored with saffron, cardamom and pistachios, not only is it a delicious summer treat but can be stored in the freezer for when guests stop by.

Serves: approximately 20 (small Dixie cups)

Ingredients:

  • 14 oz sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 12 oz Evaporated Milk
  • 16 oz Cool Whip whipped topping
  • 16 oz Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 3/4 tsp Saffron threads
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/2 cup Pistachios / Almonds coarsely chopped

Method:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sweetened Condensed Milk, Evaporated Milk, Heavy Whipping Cream and Cool Whip
  2. At medium speed, using a hand mixer, mix all ingredients together for a minute
  3. Fold in the saffron threads, cardamom powder, half the nuts and beat for another minute
  4. Pour mixture into small Dixie-style plastic cups. Sprinkle remaining chopped pistachios/nuts on top
  5. Cover cups with foil and insert a wooden popsicle stick into the center. Alternatively, mold in ice cube trays or in a popsicle maker
  6. Freeze Kulfi for at least 4 – 6 hours, preferably overnight
  7. Serves approximately 20

Apple Cinnamon pancakes

Pancakes are a kid breakfast favorite. But given how much the kids love it, adding in fruits and limiting the sugary syrup make for a healthy breakfast option. I couldn’t get my pancakes fluffy until I realized it was the fat-free milk. Buttermilk is the trick. The first time I used buttermilk, I was amazed with how fluffy the pancakes became and, the kids said I finally mastered restaurant-grade fluffy pancakes!

Servings: 16 pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large-sized red apple, grated
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Method:

  1. Whisk the flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder together
  2. Separately, beat eggs, then brown sugar until sugar dissolves
  3. Add buttermilk, vanilla to the egg mixture and whisk for a minute
  4. Whisk the flour mixture into the milk mixture until combined with a few lumps
  5. Add in the grated apple and stir in gently. Avoid over-mixing
  6. Take a tablespoon of butter. Melt into a skillet over medium heats. Drop 2 tablespoons of batter per pancake into the hot skillet. Cook until bubbles form on the surface of the pancake and edges are set, about 3 minutes. Flip the pancake and continue to cook for about a minute until puffed in the center. Transfer to a oven-proof plate and keep warm in the oven while cooking the rest of the pancakes.
  7. Serve plain or with a drizzle of honey


MeatLoaf

Almost every summer growing up, we took the train to visit my grandparents in Goa. Often, that trip was made along with other family friends or relatives. The best part of the almost 3-day journey, was the food. Chutney sandwiches, patties, potato chops, cutlets, meatloaf sandwiches, a veritable feast. Now, we enjoy meatloaf sandwiches for picnics, school lunches, and road-trips. Quick and easy to make, it’s good to have on hand. You can refrigerate it or freeze it for a month and use when needed. See the serving options below the recipe for the different ways you can enjoy this!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground Turkey (my mom used beef so that’s an option too)
  • 1/2 lb Pork Bacon (minced or diced finely)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 slices Bread (soak in water and squeeze dry)
  • 1 tsp Mustard powder (or use Dijon Mustard – 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper powder
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauces
  • 2 tbsp Ketchup or hot sauce
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tsp red food color (optional, I’ve avoided it)
  • 1/2 tsp or less Butter

Method:

  1. Use the butter to grease a small pan that can be used in a pressure cooker
  2. Beat the two eggs
  3. Mix the eggs into ground turkey, along with all the other ingredients, except the butter. Be careful not to over-mix the meat, which can result in a tougher loaf.
  4. Transfer the mix into the greased pan
  5. Place the pan in the pressure-cooker and pressure cook it for 15 minutes with a slow release thereafter

Serving options:

  1. Make a sandwich. Butter the bread, spread some ketchup and mustard on the bread and add a layer or two of the meatloaf
  2. Cut the meatloaf into small squares, dip in egg, coat with flour and fry lightly and serve as an appetizer
  3. Dice a small red onion finely, along with 2-3 sprigs of cilantro. Add to 1 cup of mashed meatloaf, along with 2 tsp hot sauce (or to taste). Serve on crackers or toasted bread

Make Ahead Instructions:

You can make meatloaf one day in advance and store it the fridge (uncooked) in a well sealed container. 

To freeze meatloaf:

Place uncooked meatloaf in a loaf pan or freezer safe container and cover well. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the meatloaf in the fridge overnight, and then cook as directed. 


Shakshuka

Growing up, our parents always made us start the day with egg – half-boiled, sunny-side up, omelets, or scrambled. If we got lucky, there was a “sidish” with it (meat curry left-overs from dinner, the previous night). Then I stumbled on Shakshuka, an Israeli dish – a one-skillet recipe of eggs baked with a tomato-red pepper sauce and a mix of spices. Served with a pile of pita or challah bread, it’s a delicious start to the day. Another great add to the list of egg recipes for breakfast. (And, I’ve also used it for a quick dinner meal, when I was just too tired to prepare something more elaborate).

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped (we love garlic!)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder or to taste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes with their juices, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (or to taste)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Hot sauce
  • Optional: Feta or other cheese
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium.
  2. Add onion and bell pepper. Saute until very soft, and onions are translucent
  3. Add garlic and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes
  4. Stir in cumin, chili, and paprika, and cook 1 minute
  5. Pour in tomatoes and season with salt and pepper
  6. Simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed
  7. Using a large service spoon, make wells in the tomato sauce
  8. Gently crack eggs into skillet in tomato wells
  9. Season eggs with salt and pepper
  10. Cover and cook until eggs are just set, 7 to 10 minutes or to your liking
  11. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with hot sauce.
  12. Optional: Sprinkle feta cheese or other cheese
  13. Serve hot with pita or challah



Sev Puri

Sev Puri

Sev Puri is a delicious recipe as a snack, an appetizer, and a party-favorite!

Ingredients (For 1 person):

  • 6 flat puris
  • Green Chutney
  • Sweet Chutney
  • Garlic Chutney
  • Sev
  • Tomato – 1 medium sized
  • Potato – 1 medium sized
  • Greek Yogurt – 1/2 cup
  • Onion – 1 small

Prep:

  • Lay out your puris on your plate
  • Boil and peel your Potatoes, cut them into small cubes
  • Cut up your Tomato and Onion into small pieces

Making the Sev Puri

  • Take your potato cubes and evenly spread them over each of the puris
  • Add in your tomato on top of the potato
  • Add in your onion on top of the tomatoes
  • Drizzle your yogurt on top of the vegetables
  • Drizzle Sweet, Garlic, and Green Chutney on top of yogurt
  • Add on your sev on top of each puri
  • Enjoy!