My friend Viola Gardonis is famous for her Beef Sandwiches. Wherever she goes, there is a tray of neatly cut triangles with a delicious creamy filling. She told me they were super simple to make and sent me the recipe, you know the kind with no weights or measures! I never really felt the need to make them as Vee as we call her is always the sandwich queen and I don’t want to step on her toes, however when she said she couldn’t make our picnic, I decided to give her recipe a go.
I developed the recipe just going by memory of it’s incredible taste. This filling is mildly spiced and is made creamy with Mayonnaise and Mustard that I added for a little kick. I also worked with a half ground and half shredded meat texture so you get something to chew in the sandwich.
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!
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.
Summer screams for Hot Dogs and this year I’m giving these humble Hot Dogs a gourmet spin. Just using toppings, I made a Thai Red Curry Dog, Nacho Dog and a Shawarma Dog. I used Chicken Franks in these recipes, but you could use Beef or Pork sausage as well and instead of a flimsy hot dog bun, I’m using crusty Baguettinis!
Using simple ingredients like Red Curry sauce, crispy Mama noodles, Thai Basil, Cheese, Jalapenos, Salsa, Sour cream Tahini sauce, Pickled Turnips & Parsley, turn an ordinary hot dog into something quite extraordinary!
This delicious recipe brings back my wonderful memories of Istanbul, Turkey! Lahmajoun is a meat flatbread pizza. All the ingredients are ground up together and spread over a thin pizza base and baked till crispy. Cheese is not added typically to this pizza.
In Istanbul, you find people enjoying this as a snack or for lunch or dinner. This dough is made with milk so the base is extra crispy.
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.
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!
Do I even need to explain why Samosas are a phenomenon? Crispy flaky pastry encases a delicious filling in a triangle shape. In other cultures it’s also known as a Sambusa or Samboska, different names for a similar concept. The early history of this delight can be traced to Arabia, Africa and India.
But of course no samosas are created equal. In India, most Samosas are made with a potato filling, but the non vegetarian filling is more popular with Christians and Muslims and are made with a crispier, spring roll like pastry. The sturdier Punjabi Samosas are made with a thicker batter and can stand upright. In this recipe we are combining different types of Samosas to make this delicious Kheema Samosa.
Add the melted ghee or clarified butter or oil if you prefer
Work the dough till all of the ghee is coated with flour. Take your time with this, the flour mixture should feel like soft breadcrumbs. The fat in this dough will create the crispiness in the wrapper
Add anywhere between ½ - ¾ cups of water just enough to bring this to a stiff dough
Cover this with some cling film and leave it to rest for a min of 30 mins
Saute the diced Onions
Add the minced green Chillies and Ginger & Garlic paste
Give this a stir just to remove that raw Ginger & Garlic taste and mix it in with the Onions and Chillies
Add the diced Tomatoes and mix this in
Add the Garam Masala & Chilli powder
Mix this in and add a few tbsps. of water so the spices don’t burn
Add the Kheema
Add ¼ cup of water so it build enough steam for the ground meat to cook
Add Salt to taste and the peas
Mix this well and continue breaking up the lumps if there are any
Cook this for 5 – 10 mins till all the liquid had absorbed or cooked off
Taste for salt again and add more salt if required.
Add ¼ cup minced Coriander and mix it in
Allow this mixture to cool completely. You can also make this a day ahead and use a cold filling.
To create the wrapper I’ve created a template. I took an oval object, gave it a bit more height free hand on a piece of card and just cut it. This template will ensure that I get the same size samosas.
Knead this dough divide this in half and then in quarters
Working on the first quarter, oil the surface and then roll the dough out till it’s a few mm thick. Cut out the oval using a template. Save these scraps for later
Cut the oval in half. give it a light roll again as the gluten keeps contracting and shrinking the dough as it rests
Using plain water I’m just going to dampen the edges
Taking the flat edge, seal the two edges together and it forms a cone
Add the filling using a small spoon. My samosas take about 2 tsps and it will depend on the size of the samosa you want to make
Press the filling down using the spoon. Press down right in the middle where the dough wrapper is the longest and then seal the entire samosa well. Press it down and it should be able to stand up like a soldier
These make about 12 – 14 Samosas and you can either fry them right away or freeze them for later