Latkes – page 74

When I decided to make this, as a side to serve with Tal Tukra, I knew that this was a potato meal that had its place in the Jewish cuisine. My mum, when I chatted with her about what’s for supper? immediately recognised the same. My mum is too cool! The most unassuming walking food-ictionary!

I’m not a fan of potatoes and Better Half works around them in a curry, so for health reasons (unnecessary starchy carbs) for me primarily, and given Better Half ignores them in a meal, I don’t ever usually store patats in my soulofthehome. There’s gems, marrows and even sweet potatoes to replace them.

The recipe calls for 4-6 potatoes. I went with 2 medium-sized ones and adjusted the rest of the ingredients accordingly to match this quantity.

I didn’t get it right at the first serving. What a disappointment. I now have this sense of knowing (without yet tasting) whether a new dish is going to be a win or a fail. I knew this dish was a fail before I even tasted it. It needed to be ‘cooked through’ a lot more and then too browned. Serve it up as a pancake, not a casserole chunk. So we disregarded the ‘casserole chunk’ and the next day I remedied the dish.

The recipe specifies spreading the mixture across two pans, so I realised that I needed to spread the mixture out a lot more shallow than I had it initially. Drizzled olive oil and baked and then browned it under the grill under it was crisp and golden.

Verdict: I am averse to attempting this again anytime soon. The first serving has scarred me from believing this recipe deserves an encore. Also, I used chives instead of spring onions – not a bad idea, in fact very complementary, but I reckon I used way too much chives so it overpowered the flavour of the dish. I do like that this recipe though lands itself on the healthy side of preparing latkes (rather than frying ’em)!

This is what it looked like as a failed ‘casserole chunk’:

This is what it’s meant to resemble really…a lot more shallow setting and more crispened and golden:

Posted in Easy Peasy, Healthy Carbs, Side dishes, Snacks, Treasury of SA Indian Delights, Vegetable | 1 Comment

Tal Tukra (Sesame Seed) Chicken – page 42

This sounded and looked pretty good. Once I got into the swing of preparing this, I realised that it’s pretty much spot-on the same as Chilli Chocolate Chef’s version of Kentucky Chicken.

I sliced and malletted the chicken fillets and then seasoned as specified in the recipe. I suggest using a third-less (or even half) of the mayo/yoghurt/milk quantities specified (regardless of whether you make half or the full quantity of the standard recipe), as I had a lot of leftover marinade with some really potent seasoning in it that went to waste. If you need more marinade to coat the chicken pieces, then just add in more of the ingredients instead of wasting it upfront.

I didn’t have cream crackers, so instead blended available Provita biscuits! Once it’s blended, you can’t tell Provita from Cream Cracker! ;) Tossed in a good quantity of sesame seeds (I used my discretion here as I really enjoy the sesame seed texture).

I must admit that I did not refridgerate the coated pieces overnight, or even for at least 12 hours – rather within an hour I set the chicken to bake. I reckon keeping it in the fridge may help with having the coating stick better to the chicken? Not sure, but I think it’s all about that…which isn’t a bad thing at all.

Verdict: Better Half isn’t a fan of crumbed-anything, though when we had the Kentucky Chicken he enjoyed it and we even had the leftovers in a schwarma the next day. For these Tal Tukra chicken pieces, it’s essentially the same meal, so yes, the same sentiment. I do suggest refridgerating the chicken as instructed for at least 12 hours, so that the coating doesn’t slip off. Also be certain to grease the tray well. I forgot to do so and the crumbing was compromised because of this slip-up

Baked sesame seed chicken with a side of latkes

Posted in Chicken, Mains, Side dishes, Snacks, Treasury of SA Indian Delights | 1 Comment

Fish in Yoghurt Sauce – page 107

This, I found a bit similar to the Fish Kalya that I made recently, in that the marinade has a dairy-base: yoghurt (though for the Kalya I used sour milk), and there’s fried onions involved.

I made the standard recipe and used Woolworth’s boxed hake pieces, which was 500g spot-on. Meaty beauts pre-cut into thick pieces. For the marinade, I used all the ingredients listed barring the optional gharam masala, and instead of freshly grated coconut, I had sliced dry coconut (so I used a wee bit more yoghurt to stir the dry spices and combine). Smeared the fish well and left it to absorb the spice effects for optimal flavour.

Marinated fish pieces set aside in the fridge

In the meanwhile, I fried the onions (without the specified curry leaves, I didn’t have this on-hand. What a shame as curry leaves flavour certain fish dishes SO well!), added in the remaining masala and yoghurt (added a heaped teaspoon of gram/chana flour to the yoghurt, as the recipe warned against curdling, so best to add in some flour). Braise the masala carefully for a short time, taking care not to burn the spices.

Add in the marinated fish pieces and simmer until done. The recipe suggests sticking the fish into the oven to bake, if one doesn’t prefer cooking it to completion on the stove. I went for the stove option.

Verdict: Blogging this I realised that there was coconut in the marinade. The flavour didn’t carry through at all (so best perhaps to use freshly grated coconut as the recipe instructs). Easy to make, fool-proof and ranks amongst the traditional ‘masala fish’ dishes. I served this with chana dhar! What a traditional score!

Awful photo…. sigh. Chana dhar served with the fish….this meal MUST be eaten with brown roti for the perfect meal combination!

Posted in Fish, Indian cuisine, Lentils, Mains, Treasury of SA Indian Delights | Leave a comment

Kakra Finska Biscuits – page 214

The recipe title doesn’t give do to tickle the senses, but then, I don’t fully understand Gujerati. Kakra is the name of a family-favourite rusk that my Fooi would make since I was a little child. ‘Kakra Biscuits’ it was simply named, and my Fooi would make at least 9 cups-worth of this yeasty dough at a go, and share it amongst the relatives. I was the first in line, and happily cracked these beauts in my saucer-of-tea and scooped the dunken bits that were softened in tea. Heaven! Childhood memories…I love!

Though reading this specific recipe’s details, it sounded nothing like the ‘kakra biscuit’ that I grew up greedily enjoying,. Still, I was definitely going to be try this out. A basic biscuit dough, sliced and white-washed with beaten egg and topped with a sugary-slivered almond mixture. S-O-L-D.

Easy to make the dough. I hardly even kept the dough in the fridge for all that long to firm-up (as it’s winter in South Africa at the moment). Sliced the dough into thin discs and laid out on a baking tray. About 4 dozen+ discs, so not too shabby for a batch of baking. As for the almonds, I did not blanch them. I personally prefer the taste and the look of almonds with the skins still on ’em. Just sliced them in the food processor, tossed in the sugar and set aside.

There’s a muddle with the sugar in the ingredients’ listing vs method. Use the castor sugar (1/4 cup) with the butter at the onset. For the almond mixture, mix with 1 Tbls normal sugar (or is it 1 Tbls castor sugar? I used normal).

I baked these for about 30 minutes (as opposed to 20, as I wanted these to get as golden as they could, before burning!)… The only downer though is that the (excess?) almond mixture spills off the tops of the biscuits. So either, white-wash sufficiently with the beaten egg white or don’t sprinkle too much almonds on top of each bikkit. The spillover is just tossed into our cereals in the morning. Yum yum!

Verdict: I personally never enjoy anything with almond essence, so I don’t love these. Better Half loved the look of these, dunked 3 at one-go, so thankfully they will be enjoyed. Unless he explicitly loves these and asks again for them, I may not necessarily be making them again (and that’s simply because I do not absolutely love almond essence)

Posted in Baking, Treasury of SA Indian Delights | Leave a comment

Chicken with Onions – page 114

This recipe is under the big, bold heading: Weight Watcher Recipes. No surprise here that there’s a dedicated section, in light of the purpose of why this special edition was released: healthier, more time-efficient meals for the modern-day housewife. Voila! The release of the purple Indian Delights.

This is a basic masala chicken recipe, just that there’s no vagaar upfront with oil and onions. So what’s the difference? Marinate the chicken as one would do usually. Set aside. When ready to cook up, use a non-stick pan/spray and sear the chicken on high heat to seal the meat (I used chicken fillet pieces so the searing led to almost-cooked pieces), then simmer with the addition of: sliced raw onions (recipe suggests grating) and diced tomatoes. I landed up adding cubed green peppers too.

Still needing a lot of simmering. At this point, I added in: oil + tomato puree + turmeric

To be honest, I did not like the smell of the raw onion added in at this stage, so I zapped all the weight-loss of this dish (well, partially zapped…) and poured a tablespoon-ful of oil to give the onion something more to cook in, other than the water/juices of the chicken and other veggies. I then dashed in some turmeric and a tablespoon-ful and two of tomato puree. Then only was I content and let the pot simmer gently. I did not finish off the meal with the sprinkling of gharam-masala…no biggie, I reckon.

Verdict: I’ll make this again and will include the improvisations most definitely! The sliced onion effect lent a nice texture to the dish. I served this up with wholewheat roti for dinner, and the leftovers again for a lunch meal, with noodles as a pasta meal

Posted in Chicken, Easy Peasy, Mains, Treasury of SA Indian Delights, Weight Watching | Leave a comment