Ok, so after what seemed like an eternal break from cooking (I know it has been only 3 days but I have a bit of an OCD these days when it comes to clocking hours at the kitchen, so much so, that I have even started enjoying chopping! (I know! Call me crazy!)

Anyway, I was going through a rough time with my tummy and its no fun cooking when you yourself are not allowed to eat what you cook!

What started with a single item on the menu turned into a three course dinner 🙂

 

Recipe 12: Chicken, Broccoli and Babycorn in Thai Red Curry

Recipe credits: 

Thai Red Curry
Thai Red Curry

 

 

So I basically did everything that the recipe told me to, it’s a good one (I have tried it before but this time I also added the chicken).

Warning: this does not serve 4-6 (it only served 3 in my case, and one of my guests is really not known for their appetite!)

The sauce did require me to climb on the slab again (at this point I feel I just do it because I get lazy). But it is not as crazy as the pesto-takes less time!

Personal tweaks

1. The obvious one.. I added chicken.. haha.. so what I did was very simple:

– Bought 220 gms of boiled chicken (you can do with 200 gms as well or however you please) cut up into 1 inch cubes

– Before putting in the gravy, I sauted the chicken in medium hot oil. The trick is to remove the chicken from pan as soon as it turns non-pink (this way it retains its softness).. so basically each chicken piece is in the pan for a duration of 10-20 seconds.

2. The gravy that I made initially seemed a little too thick.. So I simply just boiled some water separately and added it to the dish. This could also be due to the fact that I made it with chicken and veggies both and the dish got crowded so if it’s a strictly vegetarian/non-vegetarian dish you should be fine.

3. Oooh! I also added some bits of cut up lemongrass leaves on top at the end. I love the taste of this Thai ingredient!! Refreshing!

Time spent in the Kitchen: 30 minutes hour for the sauce and 30 minutes for the main dish.
Price range of the total cost of all ingredients: INR 150-200

P.S. The fun’s just begun.. Since my mom is vegetarian, so I usually like to make at least one vegetarian dish when I am cooking. So here it goes.

 

Recipe 13: Caesar Salad

Recipe credits: Neeta Mehta’s cookbook : 101 international recipes (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/101-international-recipes/id424166669?mt=11)

Caesar Salad
Caesar Salad

 

Takeaway for the day.. rather “cooking lesson for life”: salads are easy and fun (the best part.. most of them don’t involve any actual cooking.. so you can bid adieu to the burden and stress involved with looking into the pan every few minutes or making worried dashes from the bathroom to the kitchen wondering if the dish is done (Hey! I do it :p))

What you need:

– 1 large chicken breast (boneless)

– 3/4 cup croutons (explained in recipe)

– 1 cup parmesan or cheddar cheese – shredded

– 1.5 tbsp pumpkin seeds (“magaz”), optional

– 1 head lettuce (preferable iceberg variety * this basically means the kind that come in the shape of a cabbage)

For the dressing:

1 tsp mustard paste, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1.5 tbsp lemon juice, 2 flakes garlic – finely chopped, 1/4 cup cream, 1 tsp dried parsley or oregano, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper.

Garnishing:

4-5 round slices of cucumber, 1 tomato – cut into 4 pieces lengthwise, a few black olives.

How to make it edible:

1. Place the chicken breast in a saucepan with 1/2 cup water and 1/4 tsp salt. Cover and boil on low heat for 8-10 minutes or till tender. Cool. Cut the breast widthwise into thin strips.

2. Wash the lettuce leaves in plenty of water to remove grit, keep in ice cold water in a bowl in the fridge till serving time.

3. Shred cheese into very long thin slices with a vegetable peeler.

4. Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk together nicely. Keep in the fridge till serving time. If it turns too thick, add 2 tbsp water to make it slightly thinner at serving time.

5. At serving time, remove lettuce from water and tear into bite sized pieces with your hands. Put on a kitchen towel to absorb any water.

6. Make the croutons: Cut day old bread into 1″ cubes. Deep fry in medium hot oil till light golden. Remove from oil and sprinkle with salt and dried oregano immediately)

7. Put leaves in a bowl, and fill upto half the height. Sprinkle some dressing and add pumpkin seeds. Add tomato and cucumber.

8. Top it with chicken, croutons, cheese shavings and olives. Pour the remaining dressing now and serve.

Personal tweaks:

1. I substituted the cream with milk.. since my mom is not a fan (Also.. coz I did not really have any at home 🙂 )

2. I did not add the chicken.. so that meant extra tomatoes and cucumber.

Time spent in the Kitchen: 30 minutes for the actual salad including time for making the croutons (add the time spent for refrigerating the lettuce to this.. I left it for an hour)
Price range of the total cost of all ingredients: INR 100-150

 

Recipe 14: Basic chocolate cake (my very first attempt and not a complete disaster!)

Receipe credits: http://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipe/mix-all-together-chocolate-cake-L2877.html

Basic Chocolate Cake
Basic Chocolate Cake

 

You know how they say.. “Save the best for the last”.. this does not apply here!!

I get that this was my first baking experience so it had to be a bit of a disaster.. but super silly me.. I did not notice that the amazing recipe I found online did not mention any baking powder or soda.. so yes.. my cake did not rise or fluff or whatever you want to call it!

Otherwise, the portions mentioned in the recipe do taste good and I managed to make a brownie type cake instead of a proper fluffy cake.

Another great saying applicable to my cake.. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!!” (simply coz the more time this cake spent lying around.. the harder it got).

Personal tweaks:

I added 1 tbsp vanilla essence (what I really should have added was some baking powder/soda. )

Time spent in the Kitchen: 1 hour (including baking time)
Price range of the total cost of all ingredients: INR 100-150

 

All in all, if you know how to bake cakes and are just looking for the right proportion of ingredients, this recipe should do you good!

Next time around, I shall try this one with baking powder.

I hope you liked the recipe, and would love to hear your feedback! Do drop in your thoughts in the comments section or shoot me an email!

Day 8 (March 23, 2013): Thai Red Curry, Caesar Salad and Chocolate Cake
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