Iraqi Kebabs

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I love any kind of Arabic kebabs. Growing up in the Middle East, I am no stranger to all kinds of Arabian delights. We lived across the street from an Automatic Restaurant( a chain of restaurants popular all over Abu Dhabi & Dubai) My Dad would order a bunch of kebabs and creamy hummus and garlicky Toum every Friday and we would hungrily devour them. Middle Eastern flavors are mild yet delicious, simple with layers of complex flavours.

 

I learned how to make these by watching a few YouTube videos online. I love the little flecks of tomato and onion in these kebabs and wanted to learn how to make them. The first try was a little bit of a disaster. I loaded on way too much meat and it literally fell off the stick and succumbed to the flames of my BBQ.

These can be made of Lamb or Beef and is lightly spiced with garlic, onion, tomato, turmeric, cayenne, cumin, white pepper & parsley.

I’ve tried this recipe a few times now and if you watch the video, I will highlight some easy steps to take to get successful results. I can now make 16 kebabs at a time for a fraction of the cost of take out – sweet!

Iraqi Kebabs

Ingredients

  • 2 cups diced white Onion
  • 4 cups diced Tomato
  • Salt
  • 1.4 kgs (3 lbs) ground Lamb or Beef
  • 1 tsp crushed white Pepper
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 3 tsps Cumin
  • ¼ cup Parsley
  • 2 tsps Salt
  • Extra Sumac & Salt
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/iraqi-kebabs/

Kingfish Caldine -Caldeen – Caldinho

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I am originally from Goa, so I love to make dishes that I’ve tasted growing up. This Fish Caldine or Caldinho as it’s known to the Portuguese purists, can also be prepared with Shrimp or Veggies is a mild and mellow curry compared to many other more fiery Goan curries. Typically local fish like Pomfret or Surmai is used but any fish would be suitable. I’m using the hearty Kingfish fillets in this recipe.

Tamarind, coriander seeds, cumin, peppercorns, onions and red chillies are ground together to make a golden yellow curry paste and it’s enhanced with coconut milk to make a beautiful gravy bath for the Okra and the fish.
Kingfish Caldine -Caldeen – Caldinho

Ingredients

  • Fish Marinade
  • 1 lb slices of Kingfish
  • Juice of a Lime
  • 1 tbsp Ginger & Garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • Masala
  • 2 red Kashmiri Chillies
  • 1 tsp Peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 cup diced Onion
  • 1 cup grated/shredded Coconut
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • Walnut ball size of Tamarind
  • 1.5 cups or more Water
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 cup diced Onions
  • 3 green Chillies slit
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 4 - 6 Okra slit in half
  • 1/2 cup pureed Tomato
  • 2 tbsps canned Coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Marinate the fish and keep aside
  2. Prepare the masala base by first warming up the whole spices and grinding them
  3. Grind the wet spices - garlic, onion and coconut with some water
  4. Add the turmeric, tamarind and the ground whole spices and as much water as needed to make a runny paste
  5. Strain the masala and save the milk
  6. Gather the parts from the strainer, return to the processor and strain again - I repeated this three times
  7. Heat up some oil and lightly saute the fish on both sides and keep aside
  8. In the same pan, add the diced onion and chillies and pour in the coconut extraction, salt and allow to come to the boil
  9. Add the Okra and allow to cook
  10. Add some coconut milk (optional)
  11. Add the fish back in cover and cook for another 5 - 7 mins
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/kingfish-caldine-caldeen-caldinho/

Chicken Lollipop – Crispy Chicken Wings in a Lollipop shape

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Chicken Lollipops are Chicken wings turned into a lollipop shape by scraping all the meat from one side to another. It’s marinated in spices and then deep fried in a crispy gluten free batter. This snack, starter or appetizer is very popular in Mumbai, former Bombay, India and all over the world.

Chicken Lollipop – Crispy Chicken Wings in a Lollipop shape

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Chicken wings, drumettes & wingettes
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 tsp Ginger & Garlic paste
  • 1 tsp red Chilli powder
  • 2 tsps Salt
  • Batter
  • 1 cup Chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup Rice flour
  • 1 - 2 cups Water
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp red Chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger & Garlic paste
  • Red food coloring
  • 1/4 cup chopped Coriander

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Lollipops as shown in video
  2. Marinate with the lemon juice, ginger and garlic paste, chilli powder & salt and keep aside
  3. Prepare the batter by first mixing the 2 flours with water a little at a time to remove lumps, add all the other ingredients to make a batter
  4. Dip the lollipops in the batter and deep fry till the exterior is crispy and finish cooking in a hot oven.
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/chicken-lollipop-crispy-chicken-wings-lollipop-shape/

BBQ Chicken Cafreal

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Beloved to Goa on the Konkan coast of India is the iconic Chicken Cafreal. Not much has been documented about this recipe made with whole roasted and ground spices like Peppercorns, Cloves, Cumin seeds, Cinnamon and Poppy seeds, Vinegar, Green Chillies, Ginger & Garlic, Coriander, Turmeric, Tamarind pulp & Salt. This is rumoured to have been brought over to Goa by the Portuguese from a colony they occupied in Africa. It’s also known to have been either called Galinha or derived from a recipe similar to Galinha which simply means fowl or Chicken.

 

There are many recipes, that use a green of hara masala in India and while most people just think that this is just another Hara Chicken, it really isn’t. Many of the ingredients are similar but the addition of cloves, vinegar and tamarind, make it totally unique.

 

Typically this recipe is made with Chicken legs, either the thigh and drumstick or just drumsticks. I’m using boneless Chicken thigh today as it will cook faster but it’s also great to take and share at a potluck. Traditionally this is pan fried to lock in those flavours. In my older Cafreal video, I pan fried this indoors and then finished cooking them in my oven to ensure the meat was cooked all the way through. This summer, I cooked these on my outdoor skillet, the large surface enabled me to get a large batch on, the hot surface cooked it faster and I can just close it and allow the BBQ to continue to cook it all the way through!

Check out the behind the scenes at the TGF Picnic!

BBQ Chicken Cafreal

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Cloves
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp black Peppercorns
  • 2 inch stick of Cinnamon
  • 2 tsps of Khus Khus (White Poppy Seeds)
  • 1 tsp Haldi or Turmeric
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Vinegar
  • ¼ cup sliced Garlic
  • ¼ cup sliced Ginger
  • ¼ cup sliced green Chillies
  • 4 cups fresh Coriander (leaves and stems)
  • 1 tsp piece of Tamarind soaked in 1/4 cup water
  • 4 lbs skinned boneless Chicken Thigh

Instructions

  1. Roast the whole spices – Cumin seeds, Peppercorns, Cloves, Cinnamon and Khus Khus together in a dry pan and leave aside to cool
  2. Grind to a powder once cooled
  3. In a food processor add the Vinegar and roughly chop the chillies, garlic and ginger and blend
  4. Add 1/2 the coriander, the spices a tsp of Turmeric and some water to help it blend
  5. Add the second half of the coriander, 1- 2 tsps of salt and the soaked Tamarind(be sure to remove any seeds)
  6. Pour the mixture over the Chicken and leave to marinate for a few hours and preferably overnight
  7. Shallow fry on all sides and bake in the oven for 30 mins if required
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/bbq-chicken-cafreal/

Kimchi Fried Rice

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If you love Kimchi, you’re definitely going to LOVE this Kimchi fried rice. Kimchi typically made with cabbage but not exclusively. It is brined and fermented. Recently my friend Chef Sang Kim popped into my kitchen and showed me how to prepare Kimchi. It’s a bit of work, but once done you have a large batch to enjoy or share with family and friends. Check out that video here –

Once you have some Kimchi whether it’s home-made or store bought, Kimchi fried rice is merely a few delicious steps away.

Kimchi Fried Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Kimchi
  • 2 tbsps Kimchi brine
  • 1 tbsp Gochujang or Pepper paste
  • 1 tbsp light Soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp Sesame oil
  • ¼ cup sliced Spring Onions
  • 1 cup Mushrooms
  • 1 cup Broccoli & Green Pepper
  • 3 cups cooked Jasmine Rice
  • Fried Egg
  • Spring Onion leaves
  • Sliced red Chilli

Instructions

  1. Drain the kimchi and reserve the brine
  2. Add the gochujang and sesame oil to the brine
  3. Chop up the drained Kimchi
  4. Heat some oil and saute the spring onions, mushrooms, broccoli and green pepper
  5. Add the rice and all the marinade and mix well
  6. Add some spring onion leaves
  7. Fry an egg till the yolk is just set but still runny and add salt, pepper, spring onion leaves and red chilli
  8. Top the rice with the egg and serve
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/kimchi-fried-rice/

 

Tangdi Kebab – Kalmi Kebab

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Tangdi in it’s simplest translation means leg and refers to the leg of a Chicken. This BBQ Chicken preparation is either marinated in a cream base(Kalmi), Red spice blend(Tandoori) or a Green spice blend(Hara). Sometimes, just the drumstick is served and other times you will get the drumstick and the thigh together.

 

India & Pakistan and the surrounding countries are famous for these kekabs with their delicious smoked taste that is traditionally cooked in a tandoor. Most people don’t have tandoors in their homes, so I’m going to cook this on my BBQ. You can also use a frying pan or the oven.

Tangdi Kebab – Kalmi Kebab

Ingredients

  • 10 – 12 Drumsticks
  • 1st marinade
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 1 tsp each Ginger & Garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 2nd marinade
  • 1 cup Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Gram flour
  • ½ cup of grated Cheese
  • 2 tbsps of minced green Chilli
  • ½ tsp each of Ginger paste & Garlic paste
  • ½ tsp of red Kashmiri Chilli powder
  • ½ tsp of Haldi
  • 1/2 tsp of dried Fenugreek or Kasuri Methi
  • 3 tbsps Cream
  • For Basting
  • Mustard Oil
  • Dried Fenugreek

Instructions

  1. Prepare the hung yogurt by adding it to a cheese cloth and giving it a gentle squeeze to remove the extra water
  2. Prepare the drumsticks by removing the skin and make gashes in the flesh
  3. Marinate it with the 1st marinade for a minimum time of 30 minutes
  4. Follow with the 2nd marinade
  5. BBQ on all sides till cooked basting with the mustard oil in between
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/tangdi-kebab-kalmi-kebab/

 

 

 

Smoked Salmon Vietnamese Rolls

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I first tried Vietnamese Spring Rolls more than 10 years ago when one of my Asian co-workers brought in a large platter for a potluck. It was a very traditional filling with Shrimp and it was love at first bite. Since that day. I always have rice paper wraps in my pantry. They are inexpensive and can be so easily customized. I’ve made the traditional Shrimp version so many times but for a change I wanted to try Smoked Salmon. This one is a winner. Not only is it big on taste with the Salmon and fresh herbs but it’s also a NO COOK recipe, something I so very rarely do.

These Vietnamese Spring rolls are packed with Spinach, Smoked Salmon, Cucumber sticks, spiced Bean noodles and topped with fresh Mint, Coriander & Thai Basil. It’s served with a spicy & tart dipping sauce.

 

Follow my YouTube video for tips and tricks to making these and you’re off to the races!

 

These rolls are filling and also healthy. I recently took a batch with me to a friend’s house to enjoy after a brisk walk. They loved the rolls and absolutely adored the dipping sauce as well!

Smoked Salmon Vietnamese Rolls

Ingredients

  • 25 – 30 Rice paper wraps
  • 1 cup Spinach
  • ½ cup Mint
  • ½ cup Thai Basil
  • ¼ cup Coriander
  • 1 – 2 Cucumbers cut in sticks
  • 300 gms Bean thread Noodles
  • 500 gms Smoked Salmon
  • Sauce
  • ½ cup Lime Juice
  • 5 tbps Fish Sauce
  • 2 tsps Red Curry Paste

Instructions

  1. Because the size of the wrap varies, your ingredients listed are approximate
  2. Prepare the sauce by mixing the lime juice, fish sauce and red curry paste together
  3. Prepare the bean thread by soaking it in hot water for a few minutes and then draining it completely
  4. Add 4 tbsps of the prepared sauce to the bean thread and mix it in
  5. Soak a sheet of rice paper in room temp water till soft and place on a kitchen towel
  6. Pat the front side dry
  7. Add Spinach, Salmon, Cucumber sticks, a bit of the bean noodles and finish with the herbs – Coriander, Mint & Thai Basil
  8. Fold over one side and pull it just so it makes contact, then tuck in the sides and roll
  9. Store on top of parchment paper to prevent sticking and cover with more parchment paper to prevent drying out
  10. Serve with the dipping sauce
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/smoked-salmon-vietnamese-rolls/

 

Dahi Vadas – Dahi Wadas

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This is a pretty incredible concept … we take all the trouble to make a crispy vada and then we soak it in water and douse it with Yogurt! While it sounds strange, the results are stunning. Vadas are a crispy lentil dumpling deep fried and eaten with chutney or served dunked into a Sambhar or Vegetable curry. Typically a Medhu vada resembles a donut. It’s make with a hole in the center and this enables the Vada to properly cook right through the center. These Vadas in my recipe are a miniature version that are just scooped and dropped into hot oil. This smaller size is a much more practical size especially in something like Dahi Vada where you don’t have the space to eat a big portion. This size is also great for parties and potlucks!

 

The crispy vadas are soaked in a mildly flavoured beaten yogurt and then topped with spices, coriander, pomegranate seeds, crispy fried lentils and curry leaves. The results are delicious and every bite is a taste of heaven you get a bit of sweet, salty, spicy all at the same time. The bursts of sweetness from the pomegranate is a perfect contrast to the chaat masala and chilli and is made luxurious with the creaminess of the yogurt. Dahi wadas can be eaten as a snack, served as an appetizer and also as a side. Enjoy!

Dahi Vadas – Dahi Wadas

Ingredients

  • adas
  • 1 cup Urad Dhal (Vigna mungo, black gram, urad bean, minapa pappu, mungo bean or black matpe)
  • ¼ cup Wwater
  • ¾ tsp black Salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh cracked Pepper
  • ¼ tsp Mustard Seeds
  • ¼ tsp Chaat Masala
  • ¼ tsp Red Chilli powder
  • Pinch Asafoetida or Hing
  • 1 tbsp. finely diced fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced green chilli
  • 1 tbsp of chopped Coriander
  • Optional ½ tsp of Baking powder
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

  1. The first step is to soak the Urad dhal in water for about 8 hours
  2. Wash the dhal and grind to a paste with the help of a little water, leave this for 6 – 8 hours to ferment in the fridge
  3. Add all the ingredients and mix well
  4. Using an ice cream scoop drop the batter into the hot oil and allow to turn a nice golden brown while the inside cooks till it’s nice and spongy
  5. Drain them on some kitchen towels to absorb the excess oil
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/dahi-vadas-dahi-wadas/

Crab Xec Xec – Goan Crab Curry

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This beloved Goan to the core recipe has a strange name but BIG on flavor. Crab Xec Xec or Shek Shek as it’s called is made by roasting Spices, Coconut, Onions, Ginger & Garlic together and simmering crab in it. The contrast between the roasted masala or spice blend with the sweetness of the Crab is heavenly.

Of course in coastal Goa, seafood is fresh right out of the Indian Ocean. Here in Canada, I make do with frozen Ceylon Blue swimming crabs – they are still from the Ocean though. I find the use of these pre cleaned & pre cut Crab really convenient, but you can use whatever type of Crab you like.

There are many types of Crab curries served in Goa but with it’s unmistakable roasted flavour, the Xec Xec is unique.

Check out my playlist here for other Goan recipes

Crab Xec Xec – Goan Crab Curry

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of Crab
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Turmeric
  • Spice blend
  • 12 Kashmiri Chillies
  • 2 tsps Coriander seeds
  • 2 tsps black Peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 cup fresh grated Coconut
  • 1 cup diced Onion
  • 1 inch piece Ginger
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 inch ball Tamarind in ½ cup hot Water
  • 1 cups Water(approx.)
  • 2 tbsps of coconut oil
  • 1 cup of sliced
  • 2 tbsps sliced green Chillies
  • ½ a tsp of Turmeric
  • ½ cup Water
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander to garnish

Instructions

  1. If using frozen crab, make sure it’s defrosted and rinse well before adding salt and turmeric and leave aside
  2. Soak the tamarind in hot water, once soaked remove any seeds
  3. In a tava or pan, roast the whole spices, followed by the coconut till brown and then add the onion, ginger & garlic
  4. Make a powder spice blend by adding the Kashmiri chillies after they’ve been de stemmed and de seesed together with all the other whole spices
  5. Add the coconut, onion, ginger and garlic, soaked tamarind and the water as needed to blend to a smooth paste
  6. Heat up a saute pan and add the coconut oil, and saute the sliced onion and green chilli slices
  7. Once the onion is golden brown, add the masala or spice blend together with the turmeric and allow to heat up
  8. Add the crab and salt to taste
  9. Add water to the processor and add this in as well
  10. Cook the crab for about 7 mins on each side
  11. Serve with rice and a simple salad
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/crab-xec-xec-goan-crab-curry/

Korean Fried Chicken

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Korean Fried Chicken

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs boneless Chicken thigh
  • 2 tbsps ground Ginger
  • 3 tbsps Shaoxing Wine
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 - 3 cups Cornstarch
  • Sauce
  • 3 tbsps Ketchup
  • 2 tbsps Gochujang or Chilli Pepper paste
  • 2 tbsps minced Garlic
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 2 tbsps light Soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garnish - Sesame seeds & Spring Onion leaves

Instructions

  1. Cut the chicken into strips, 3 or 4 pieces per thigh
  2. Marinate the chicken with the Shaoxing wine, ginger, salt and pepper and leave for 30 mins
  3. Dip the pieces of chicken in cornstarch and deep fry
  4. Make a slurry with some cornstarch and water and add some pepper
  5. Dip the chicken in this slurry and deep fry for the second time
  6. Add all the sauce ingredients together and bring to the boil
  7. Pour this over the crispy chicken, garnish with sesame seeds and spring onion leaves and serve immediately
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/koreanfriedchicken/