Vegetarian Mexican delight..!

Guacamole

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Very Easy
  • Print

If there is one thing that Mr. A loves and can dish out personally, then it has to be that One-mean-Guacamole..!! He makes it sound like rocket science but going through our recipe here, you would realize that it is child’s play. Excellent as an evening dish. Completely vegetarian and easy to prepare. Traditionally used as a dip (along-with Nachos), you may just go ahead and eat it all out if you don’t have chips.

Ingredients

  1. Avocados – 2
  2. Green Chillies – 1
  3. Chopped Onion- 1 medium sized – required half
  4. Tomato – 1 medium size – required 3/4ths
  5. Coriander (Cilantro) – One fistful
  6. Lemon – Half
  7. Salt

Directions

Step One

Wash the avocados and scoop out the fruit into a steel or glass bowl. Discard the seed. Steel or glass bowl – because we need to mash the fruit with a masher or spoon and you don’t want to spoil or leave scratches on your non-stick or ceramic vessels.

Tip:

(a) Picking out Avocados can be tricky. In order to prepare a Guacamole, we need the fruit to be slightly ripe. Extra-ripe means the fruit has already darkened and softened beyond our taste and Under-ripe means that the fruit is very hard inside and we wouldn’t be able to scoop it out  completely. It wouldn’t even mash well. Picking the right fruit comes with experience of picking it several times. So don’t fret if you get it wrong the first time. The Avocado needs to press slightly when you buy it from the market.

(b) After scooping out the fruit do not leave it open for too long as Avocados have a tendency to darken when kept in the open just like Apples. The oxidation turns it brown. Hence we need to be quick here.

(c) Choice of Avocados is really important. I have personally experienced that Mexican or American Avocados taste better than the Kenyan or Ugandan ones. However, the former are thrice as expensive than the latter. 

Step Two

Mash the Avocados until they are slightly chunky. Do not over-mash them into a smooth pulp.

Step Three

(a) Take the Onion – half as suggested in the ingredient list and chop it finely. Do not leave big chunks.

(b) Similarly Chop 3/4th of  a Tomato into a similar size. Make sure of discarding/ draining the liquid and the seedy part of the tomato away.

(c) Take a fistful of Coriander and chop them into tiny pieces as well.

(d) Cut the single green chilli into tiny pieces.

Step Four

Empty the chopped Ingredients into the bowl where we have kept the Mashed avocados ready. Mix well to ensure consistency of the chopped ingredients spread all over the mashed avocados.

Step Five

Squeeze the juice out of half of the lemon into the mixture. This splash of acidity balances the richness of the Avocado.

Step Six

This is important. Avocados are bland. It doesn’t have a heavy flavor unlike all other fruits and in addition it is pretty heavy/rich. Hence, we need to supplement it with a good dose of salt. This could be more than what we use for preparing other foodstuffs and at the same time different people would have different tastes.

My suggestion would be to sprinkle a full tea-spoon of salt > Mix the mixture well > Taste it > Add more salt if you cannot taste the salt yet > Stop when you are satisfied.

Step Seven

Serve with some Nacho chips. If not, take that spoon and dig in..!

Tip:

(a) The most important aspect in preparing a Guacamole is “Ratio”. If any of the ingredients increases then it may result in a lop-sided flavor. So make sure that you don’t add extra tomatoes/onions/lemon juice or chillies. It HAS TO be just right. 

(b) One Avocado serves one person.

Advertisements

Keep Calm and Eat Meatballs..!!

Chilli Lime Meatballs

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  1. Minced chicken- 500 gms
  2. Spring onion- finely chopped- 1 cup
  3. Green Capsicum- finely chopped- 1 cup
  4. Cilantro- finely chopped-1 cup
  5. Green Chilli- finely chopped- 3 tsp
  6. Garlic powder- ½ tsp
  7. Lemon juice- 3 tsp
  8. Cheddar cheese- 3 tbsp
  9. Salt- as per taste
  10. Extra virgin Olive oil- 1 tbsp

For the Simple Guacamole/ Avocado base:

  1. Avocado- 1
  2. Lemon juice- 2 tsp
  3. Pepper
  4. Salt

Directions

Step One

Finely chop the capsicum, spring onion, cilantro and green chillies. In a mixing bowl, mix minced chicken, spring onion, capsicum, cilantro, garlic powder, cheddar cheese and green chillies. Add the lemon juice and salt, and mix it well

Step Two

Roll small sized balls of the chicken mix and keep it aside. Freeze it for about 15 mins so that the balls are well set.

Step Three

In a medium skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, place the balls carefully into the pan, cover the lid and cook for 15 mins on each side. Keep aside, once the meatballs are cooked.

Step Four

Wash and peel an avocado. Mash it into a pulp. Squeeze 2 tsp of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. The Avocado preparation can be used as an accompaniment. See Tip below.

Tips:

  1. Avocados are generally very bland and need external flavoring like salt. In fact, it needs a generous amount of salt. Add salt to the Avocados after measuring the amount of salt that you have already used in the meatballs and as per taste. This is so that you don’t over or under-utilize salt. 
  2. This is a simple Guacamole, more like mashed avocados. The usual and main ingredients of a Guac are missing in action here as we don’t want to take the attention away from the meatballs and maintain the balance of flavors here. We’ll do a separate post on how to make an Guacamole soon!  🙂

Step Five

Serve it as a starter or convert it into a low carb meal.

Vapiano – Bahrain

Last weekend, we decided to go shoe shopping for Mr. A at the City Center Mall (Bahrain). To our huge disappointment, we failed to find a pair for him that he would absolutely love. Nevertheless, that didn’t curb our hunger from taking us to Vapiano. Keep Reading..!

An Indo-Chinese Veg Rice preparation!

Hungry? Care to have 5,000 of something ? Try this Fried Rice recipe with all your favourite veggies..!!

Vegetable Fried Rice

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  1. Rice- 1½ cup
  2. Ginger-garlic paste- 1 tsp
  3. Finely chopped Onion- 2 medium sized
  4. Finely chopped Capsicum- ½ cup
  5. Finely chopped carrots- ½ cup
  6. Finely chopped beans- ½ cup
  7. Finely sliced Baby Corn- ½ cup
  8. Sweet Corn kernels- 1 cup
  9. Green Peas- ½ cup
  10. Oil- 1 tsp
  11. Vegetable Stock cube (Maggi)- 1 cube
  12. Soya sauce- 1 tbsp
  13. Pepper- 1 tbsp
  14. Salt

Directions

Step One

Cook the rice in about 3 to 4 cups of water for 15 to 20 mins. Add quarter tsp of salt. Once the rice is cooked, set it aside to cool.

Step Two

In a non-stick pot, heat 1 tsp of oil. Once the oil is hot, add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 10 seconds on high heat till the raw smell disappears. Add the finely sliced baby corn; allow it to cook for about 10 mins.

Step Three

Simulataeneously, in a separate vessel, boil both green peas and sweet corn kernels with a pinch of salt. Once it is cooked, drain the green peas and sweet corn and set it aside.

Step Four

Once the baby corn is partly cooked, add the finely chopped beans and carrots. Saute for about 2 mins. Add in the cooked green peas and sweet corn. Then, add the finely chopped capsicum and onions. Add in the vegetable stock cube and season with pepper. Add a tablespoon of soya sauce.

Step Five

Add the cooked rice and mix well. Garnish with finely chopped spring onion (optional) and serve along with some Cauliflower or mushroom manchurian.

Tip: Fried rice must always be cooked on high flame to help retain the crunchiness of the vegetables. Squeeze ½ lemon or add salt to avoid the rice from getting mushy. A wok is the most appropriate vessel to make fried rice; alternatively use a pot. Couple the vegetable fried rice with some cauliflower (gobi) or mushroon Manchurian.

Shrimps and Rice!

I got back from work wondering what to do with the left over rice in my refrigerator. It was one of those days where I didn’t feel like some simple rice and cooked lentil gravy, but was rather enthusiastic about trying something new. As a lawyer, I spend most of my day reading huge bundles of papers, and day/night doesn’t matter- clients want everything YESTERDAY. All I want is to end my day in a completely different world. After glancing across the kitchen, I could see that I have the left-over rice, some vegetables, soya sauce and marinated shrimps. How about a fusion of Indian and Chinese ingredients to make some shrimp fried rice, especially to suit the taste of Mr. A who loves spices? I quickly chopped some onions and vegetables, made some ginger-garlic paste; tossed it all in the pan, seasoned it with pepper, salt and soya sauce. Mixed it together with shrimp and rice for a small Indo-Chinese treat. In this simple recipe, I have used ingredients that are easily available in most kitchens, in case one suddenly decides to cook Fried Rice!

Shrimp Friend Rice

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  1. Shrimp- 1 cup
  2. Rice- 500gms
  3. Chopped Beans- 1/2 cup
  4. Chopped Carrots- 1/2 cup
  5. Chopped Capsicum- 1/2 cup
  6. Chopped onions- 2 or 3 tablespoons
  7. Spring onion- 1/2 cup
  8. Ginger garlic paste- 2 tablespoons
  9. Pepper- 2 teaspoons
  10. Soya Sauce- 2 tablespoons
  11. Vinegar- 1 tablespoon
  12. Salt

For Shrimp Marination

  1. Chilli Powder- 2 tablespoons
  2. Turmeric Powder- a pinch
  3. Lemon juice- 2 tablespoons
  4. Salt

Directions

  1. Fry rice grains. Boil water and put the rice along with some salt. Keep aside.
  2. Marinate shrimp in Chilli powder, turmeric powder, lemon juice and salt for around 1 hour and cook in medium flame. Once cooked, fry the shrimp for about 2-3 mins.
  3. In a pan, add oil and saute onions and ginger garlic paste. Once the onions turn light brown, add the vegetables and season with pepper powder and salt. In about 10 mins, add soya sauce and vinegar.
  4. Mix this mixture thoroughly with the rice and shrimp, so that the flavors blend in well.
  5. Shrimp Fried rice is ready to be served.