Goan Pork Vindaloo

A good Pork Vindaloo is a must-have at any gathering, party or special occasion in most Goan households. Today, I’m sharing a much loved recipe in our family – my father’s Pork Vindaloo. It is such a simple recipe, but results in such a spectacular curry. You are going to enjoy this one. It is perfect to serve around the Holiday season, because this can be made a day or two in advance. In fact, the flavors are even better if it is served a day after it is made. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

 

Goan Pork Vindaloo


1 kilo boneless pork (pick a slightly fatty cut)
1-2 tbsp oil
1 – 1 1/2 onion, finely chopped
Salt, to taste
Vinegar, to taste
1 tsp sugar

For the masala – 
12 Kashmiri chillies, deseeded
6 black peppercorns
5 cloves
3 green cardamom pods
2″ cinnamon
6-8 large garlic cloves
1 1/2 inch ginger
Vinegar, to grind to a paste

Cut the pork into chunks and set aside.

Grind all the ingredients for the masala to a fine paste using vinegar. (Ideally Goan vinegar is used. If you don’t have access to it, malt vinegar or red wine vinegar will work well too.)

Heat some oil in a large pan. Saute the onions till they have softened and start caramelizing.

Add the masala and fry off well for a couple of minutes.

Add the pieces of pork and salt, to taste. Stir well to coat all the pieces with the masala and let the meat fry off for a few minutes.

Add enough water for the pork to cook through and achieve the consistency you want. I used about 2 cups of water. (You can add more water, if required, later on, when the meat is cooking.)

Cover and cook till the meat is tender.

Check for seasoning and adjust as required.

Add 1 tsp sugar to balance out all the flavors.

Serve hot. This Pork Vindaloo goes very well with some steamed rice, a Peas Pulao, some bread or sannas too.

Enjoy!

 

Peri Peri Chicken Wings with a Blue Cheese Dip

Chicken Wings – a perfect dish to serve up at a party or game night, or even with a nice big salad for a quick weeknight meal. Either way, these are super delicious and while looking through the blog recently, I realized that I haven’t shared many chicken wings recipes here. So today, I’m going to rectify that. I bring you some spicy, delicious Peri Peri Chicken wings. These are made from scratch and bake off in the oven. So there’s very little hands-on time required for this recipe. All you have to do it put together a simple marinade paste and then work on a dip, a salad or anything else you’d like to serve these wings up with.

Here’s the video recipe for you –

Peri Peri Chicken Wings


1 kilo chicken wings (split the wings and either set the tips aside for a stock or discard. I bought Marco’s Wing Nibbles from Woolworths that has this stage dealt with so you use the wings as is.) Salt, to taste
Chopped parsley, to garnish

For the marinade –
8 birdseye chillies
4-6 large cloves of garlic
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp extra hot Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp black pepper powder
Juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 lime
1 – 2 tbsp vinegar

Grind all these marinade ingredients to a past.

Wash the chicken and pat dry.

Season with salt.

Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss to coat the chicken pieces well. Set aside to marinade for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Lightly grease a baking dish. Place the chicken wings in a single layer.

Bake for about 30-40 minutes or till cooked through, flipping them over about halfway through the the cooking process.

Blue Cheese Dip


1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 – 1/3 cup of Blue Cheese crumbled
White pepper powder, to taste
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Mix all the ingredients together. Serve up.

The Perfect Caramel Popcorn

Who’s up for some popcorn? And not just any ordinary packet of store-bought popcorn, but an amazing Homemade Caramel Popcorn. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, popcorn is one of my favorite snacks. In the past, I’ve used those microwavable packets too, but ever since I learned how to pop my own corn at home, I just make it from scratch. It is so easy and so much more economical than the store bought bags. Not to mention, that you’re saving on all that unnecessary packaging too.

I’ve tried so many variants of flavoring while experimenting at home. Some savory and some sweet. Today, I’m going to share with you my favorite version of Caramel popcorn. The corn takes a couple of minutes to pop, the caramel sauce comes together in a few minutes, then all you do is toss everything together and leave it to cool down and set for a few minutes. 
What you get is the most amazing crunchy popcorn, seasoned lightly with a little salt, to taste, covered in the most beautiful caramel sauce. Is there anything else you could want in a snack? Yes, this is a slightly indulgent snack, but we all deserve a treat every once in a while, don’t you think so?
Let’s have a look at the recipe.

Caramel Popcorn
Yields: 3-3 1/2 cups of popped corn
For the popcorn

1 1/2 – 2 tbsp cooking oil, any unflavored oil will do
1/4  cup popping corn
Salt, to taste
For the sauce – 
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar (finegrain / caster sugar works best)
1/8 tsp baking soda
To make the popcorn – 
Heat a large, heavy bottomed vessel. Add the oil and let it heat up. 
Add 2-3 corn kernels and let them pop. This is when the oil is at the right temperature. At this stage, add the rest of the corn to the vessel. Put a lid on and leave very slightly ajar. 
Swirl the pan around every now and then. 
When the popping slows down and almost stops, take the vessel off the heat and immediately sprinkle some salt over. Toss the corn and salt to season well. 
To make the caramel sauce – 

Heat a small saucepan over some medium heat. 
Add the butter and sugar to the pan and let it all melt down, stirring every now and then.
Once it melts, watch the pot carefully as the sugar will turn color very quickly and could burn. 
When you’ve reached a nice caramel color, immediately take it off the heat and add the baking soda and stir thoroughly.
Quickly pour it over the popped corn and stir through to coat the popcorn with the sauce. 
Turn the popcorn out on a lightly greased baking tray and leave it to cool and set. 
Enjoy!

Spinach, Feta and Ricotta Rolls

Back when I was working at my last job, a colleague, who happened to be my work bestie, introduced me to this treat. We’d take our breaks together whenever we could and hop over to Muffin Break. Our Muffin Break outlet made the best Spinach and Feta Rolls (sidenote – their Bran muffins were to die for). But I’d never noticed these little beauties before this. I was on a first name basis with its Non-vegetarian counterpart – the sausage roll. I’ve had quite a few of those. But on this particular day, when we went over to Muffin Break, she ordered a Spinach and Feta Roll to go with her coffee. Needless, to say, I was intrigued. So I ordered one for myself too. And the rest, as they say, is history.

From that day on, if I ever need to grab a bite and am in the mood for something savory, I pick up one of their Spinach and Feta Rolls. They are seriously good. And, I like to think that I’m getting a little extra Spinach in my diet that day.

So getting back to yesterday. When I found myself with a big basket of Ricotta cheese and a bag of Spinach I needed to use up, I decided to see if I could use the two together and come up with something delicious. After a little looking around, I found just the thing. I’ve based my rolls on a similar recipe I found online and I just switched it up to my liking. This time around, I used store bought Puff pastry. I had a packet in the freezer that I wanted to use up too. This recipe has just 2 basic components – the pastry and the filling. The filling is really easy to put together. You just mix up all the ingredients and your ready to go. The verdict – These rolls are really good. They’re not exactly like the Muffin Break ones. I am now convinced that there is some flour added to their filling, possibly to bulk it up. But these homemade rolls can give them a serious run for their money. And this time, I know for sure that there’s a heap of spinach in there. And everyone knows that Spinach with Ricotta and Feta is a match made in heaven. So let’s have a look at these Spinach Rolls, shall we?
Spinach, Feta and Ricotta Rolls
Makes 18 rolls
3 sheets Pampas all butter Puff pastry
200g Feta Cheese
300g Ricotta Cheese
150g Baby Spinach, finely chopped
Red Chili Flakes, to taste
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1 egg
Black sesame seeds, to sprinkle over
Preheat your oven to 180ºC.

Place the baking tray in the oven.

Thaw 3 sheets of puff pastry. The pastry should be soft enough to work with but still cold. If it warms up too much, it gets sticky and difficult to work with.

Crumble the feta into a bowl.

Now add the Ricotta and crumble that in as well.

Add crushed black pepper to taste.

Taste the mix and add more salt if you want. I didn’t need to add any salt at this stage.

Add the spinach and red chili flakes. Mix well.

Crack the egg into a small bowl. Whisk and keep aside.

Working with one sheet at a time, cut the sheet in half.

Spoon the mix to form a long log in the center of each half of the pastry (lengthwise).

Brush one side (along the length) of each half of the sheet with the whisked egg.

Roll the other side of pastry over the spinach into a tight log. The egg will help seal the pastry.

Place the rolls on greaseproof paper, seam side down. Repeat with the rest of the pastry.

Carefully place the paper onto the heated tray.

Brush the tops of the rolls with the whisked egg (egg wash).

Crack some black pepper on the top of each roll and sprinkle some black sesame seeds on the rolls.

Bake for about 30 minutes or till golden brown in color.

Serve hot.

Quick and Easy Treat for Easter – Chocolate Nests

I have kept my Easter prep for too late this year. I’m usually a lot more prepared than this. However, a minor accident had reduced my mobility this past week. I am on the mend but still not back to 100%. So I wanted to keep my treats quick and easy.

With that in mind I whipped up some Chocolate Nests. I love this recipe. It takes 3 ingredients and half and hour to make a batch. This is a very versatile recipe so you can make as big or small a batch, as you’d like. It is also a flexible recipe, so you can use the chocolate of your choice and mini eggs of your choosing too. So, if like me, you’ve left Easter prep for the last minute, try out this recipe. It is very popular with the little kids … and the big ones too.

Wish you and your loved ones a Happy and Holy Easter!

Chocolate Nests
Makes 8 Nests

100 grams Chocolate (I used Dark chocolate)
100 grams ready to serve Noodles
Mini Speckled Eggs

Chop up the chocolate roughly and melt using a double boiler. If you haven’t worked with a double boiler, watch the video linked below to see how you can use a simple saucepan and bowl to make one. (You can also melt the chocolate in a micowave using a microwave safe bowl and in 30 second increments.)

Toss the noodles into the chocolate and mix gently to coat the noodles in the chocolate completely.

Using a spoon and either a spatula or a butter knife, scoop out portions of the noodles onto a tray lined with baking paper. Shape to form rough circular shapes and make a little dip in the center of each nest.

Place the mini eggs in the dents created.

Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Serve.

You can watch the video recipe here –

Witches Broomsticks …. another savory Halloween treat

So continuing from my last Halloween post, here’s another quick and easy savory treat I put together for the same party. If you haven’t yet read that one, go check out the Monster Eye Crackers I posted about here.

If you’ve been around these parts before you know the most important part of food for me is taste. It helps if it is quick and easy to make and bonus points if it is cute and quirky too. This little treat ticks all those boxes. I found this one in quite a few places on the internet and decided that I had to try them out. They are perfect to make for a Halloween themed party. I will admit that the cheese stringers were a little fiddle to begin with, but eventually things started moving along much faster. And, considering there was zero cooking involved, I still give this little snack a thumbs up. Kids will love the novelty of these ‘Witches Broomsticks’. I made these to serve at an office party and the adults couldn’t keep their hands of them either.

These snacks also use only 3 ingredients – pretzel sticks, cheese stringers and fresh chives. There is not much of a process involved either, so let’s get straight to the instructions.

I hope you make these savory treats this Halloween and enjoy them as much as we did.

Witches Broomsticks


Pretzel sticks
Cheese stringers
Fresh Chives

Start with the cheese. Cut the cheese stringer sticks into about 1 inch pieces or one thirds.

For each of these pieces, cut up or pull apart two thirds of the length of it to make the bristly edge of the broomsticks.

Now simply pierce the uncut end with a pretzel stick.

Finish them off but tying with a piece of fresh chives.

Serve up.

What treats are you planning for this Halloween??? 

‘Monster Eye’ Crackers – a perfect savory option for Halloween

** This post contains affiliate links.

Around this time of the year, especially if you partake in the Halloween festivities, you will find yourself inundated with candy and other sweet treats and bakes. In a nutshell, a sugar overload. While I love my cakes and sweets / candy as much as the next guy or gal, if you are like me, you will need a little bit of savory to cut through all that sweetness.

Last year, I was really excited about Halloween. We were supposed to have a big Halloween party at my workplace. However, as luck would have it I quit that job in early October to focus on building up a little business. When my colleagues threw me a small farewell party, they decided to roll with the Halloween theme. I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to whip up a few treats. These little cracker bites were one of them. I will share the rest of them with you over the next few days. My job was extremely physically demanding and boasted quite a few really long days. So I had to come up with treats that were quick and easy to put together. I knew the candy part of the party would be taken care of, so I stuck with the savories.

These Monster Eye crackers are perfect for a party or get together. They are a Halloween Play on cheese and crackers. They can be whipped up really quickly with all of 3 ingredients. So, I knew I was going to make them. I was a little skeptical about them considering how simple they are, but let me tell you, they vanished really quickly. I wish I had made more. If you decide on making these, make sure you make a big batch. So to make these, all you need are crackers. I love the Eton crackers found in Aldi stores locally, but if you cannot get your hands on them, Ritz Crackers will work just as well. You can use any other crackers you’d like. Now that the crackers are sorted, the next ingredient is the cheese. I used Kraft Cheese Slices, but again, you can use any cheese slices you like. The last ingredient you need are olives. You can use Pitted Kalamata olives or pitted Green olives, if you prefer.

The process is fairly simply, and works fastest if you create an assemble line. I hope you enjoy these little snacks this Halloween as much as we did.

Monster Eye Crackers


Eton crackers (You can also use Ritz Crackers)
Kraft Cheese Slices
Pitted Kalamata olives

You will also need a circle cookie cutter, just a little smaller than the size of the crackers you choose to use.

Cut the cheese slices into circles using the cookie cutter and keep aside.

Cut the pitted olives in half and keep aside.

On a serving platter, place the crackers in a single layer.

Top the crackers with a circle of cheese and top that with half an olive.

And that’s basically it. Serve up.

Enjoy!!!

Chicken Wings in Angry Sauce

I can barely remember the last time I enjoyed some good chicken wings. It must have been atleast over 4 years ago when my brother whipped up some at a family BBQ. I had a big hankering for some and picked up some Chicken Wings the other day. Now, I do know how my brother makes his version but I thought it would be a good idea for him to do a guest post around here sometime. Now I just need to get him to do it.

Anyway, I wanted to try making something different and when I came across this recipe, it was a no brainer. I mean it has a concoction called Angry Sauce. How cool is that! I was really excited to try it out. The recipe seemed fairly simple. What I really loved about it is that the wings are baked. There is no frying involved. Yet, you are left with a beautiful crispy skin on the wings and that is just how I like it. It does make this recipe healthier. They are then dunked in a flavorful sauce and tossed. What you end up with is a really tasty, sticky plate of wings that is bound to be a hit at your next party or gathering. There is hardly any hands on time required for this recipe which makes it perfect for a party. And that Angry sauce is so good, a little spicy, tangy and sweet all at the same time. Yummmm. I do hope you try this recipe out. And if you do, I’d love to hear what you think of it.

Chicken Wings in Angry Sauce
Adapted from: Food & Wine


2 pounds chicken wings (split the wings and either set the tips aside for a stock or discard. I bought Marco’s Wing Nibbles from Woolworths that has this stage dealt with so you use the wings as is.)
1 – 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 – 2 tbsp gochujang (Korean red chilly paste) (depending on how hot you want the sauce)
1 tsp tabasco sauce
1 tsp red chilly powder
1-2 tbsp water
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. (I just used a Pyrex baking dish and lightly sprayed with olive oil.)

Toss the wings in the olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Toss well to make sure all the wings are well coated.

Place the wings skin side up on the prepared baking tray and bake for about 40-45 minutes until they are cooked through and the skin is crisp.

While the wings are baking, in a small bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients for the sauce, except the spring onion and sesame seeds. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more water to thin it down a little.

Taste the sauce and adjust the spice, salt, sweetness or sourness, as needed.

Drain off any fat that has rendered from the wings while baking, and toss the wings in the sauce till it is well coated.

Sprinkle with the spring onion and sesame seeds.

Enjoy!!!




*** This post is not a sponsored post and I haven’t received any compensation from either Marco’s or Woolworths. 

Green Pepper Poppers

Do I have a treat for you today, or what? If you’re like me and love cheese, love something spicy and are on the lookout for quick and easy appetizers or finger food you can serve a crowd, you’ve come to the right place. These little cheese bites are so, good. With a little crunch from the bread crumbs, these little bites, I think would be lovely with some chilled beer. It would be ideal on a game night, specially if you have folks over to watch the game. Be warned, these are addictive, so you might want to make enough to cater to the crowd you’re expecting.
Each pepper gives you 2 pieces. Typically, these bites are made using jalapeno peppers, but in Mumbai it is close to impossible to get jalapeno peppers, so I opted for ‘Bhavnagari Chillies’, the next best thing. Its also really easy to increase or decrease quantities here, so just go for it. You won’t regret it.

Green Pepper Poppers


1 dozen Bhavnagari Chillies / jalapeno peppers
1/2 cup Cream cheese
Bread crumbs, as required
Red chilly powder, to sprinkle over
Chives, to sprinkle over

Wash the peppers and pat dry. (I leave the stalks on, I think it looks cute like that.)

Slit the peppers in half.

Whisk the cream cheese till it becomes smooth and creamy. Do not over whisk.

Using a spoon, fill the pepper halves with the cream cheese. Alternatively, you can use a pipping bag to pipe the cream out. This time around, I used a spoon.

Sprinkle a touch of red chilly powder, the bread crumbs and some chives.

Place on a baking tray and bake in a hot oven @ 170ºC, till the crumbs are crispy and slightly browned.

Serve hot.

Beef Cutlets

This is another treat, thats really tasty, very moreish and can be served as a side at a meal or coupled with some homemade fries or mashed potatoes and a salad, is a meal in itself. Whenever I make these, I always like having a few extra, which I simply refrigerate and keep for another day. It stays good for about 3-4 days, it may last longer, but we always manage to finish it off by then. You simply bring it to room temperature and heat it in a skillet, covered, and you’re good to go.

P.S. I won’t be posting for the next few days, since I’m headed out of town for a week. See you when I get back. I have so many recipes lined up to share with you guys, I can’t wait to get those posted. So make sure you come back. 🙂

Beef Cutlets
(Makes about 10 depending on size)

250g ground beef (beef mince)
1 large or 2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2″ ginger, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 egg
1/4 tsp black pepper powder
1/4-1/3 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
Salt, to taste
2 slices of bread
Bread crumbs, to coat the cutlets
Vegetable oil, for frying

Soak the slices of bread in water for a few seconds, drain out all the liquid and crumble. Mix together all the ingredients except the bread crumbs and vegetable oil.

Make sure all the ingredients are well mixed and evenly distributed.

Shape into cutlets.

Coat with bread crumbs.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Carefully place the cutlets in the pan and let it cook on a medium heat till its done to your liking. Turn over and cook the other side as well.

Repeat till you’re done with the meat mix, adding more oil to the pan as and when you need to.

Serve hot with some fries and a salad, and some spicy tomato ketchup.

Enjoy!!!

This recipe is linked to –
What’s Cooking Thursdays
Full Plate Thursdays
Thrilling Thursday
It’s a Keeper Thursday