Connections – Poached Fish with Garlic Paprika Sauce

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Surprisingly at sometimes few connections just happens. This was the case with professor from Santiago. By the end of the training, he arranged a group dinner in one of the local restaurant so I could taste fine Galician cuisine. Before reaching the restaurants we stopped by his house where I got to meet his lovely wife and two adorable boys. Briefly he made plans to take me around the city and market along with his family. I was overwhelmed by their kindness and affability. In between I got to know he loved cooking and he is a food blogger too, though it has been dormant for a while (Prof. if you are reading this, the world would love to learn more of your Galician recipes…so please post more!). Oh you know how it works between the food blogger’s the endless topics on love for food, photography, cooking and eating! I promised; next time if I go for training again I will carry a goodie bag of spices so I could cook some for them.

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A guest post by Nisha Thomas from Look who is cooking too – Grilled chicken wings in a chilli garlic sauce

Since you already know the story of me running like a headless chicken, cooking only once or twice a week, spending time with my handsome 1.7 MV pelletron at work for 16-18 hrs and stay like a dead log next day, leaves me unable to generate anything decent to present here. On other hand leaving this virtual place unattended thro which, I got connected virtually with beautiful people around the world, left me pondering. There is no life when I live my days without human connections.
So what’s next? Why not start a guest post series (this was the surprise btw) and ask a helping hand from those beautiful people? Nisha Thomas of Look who is cooking too was first on the list. She kindly agreed. Her space is filled with delectable recipes and witty, transparent, lucid writings promising to leave with a smile and doping an urge to come back for any reason oh not forgetting her gorgeous picture! Honestly I keep Nisha’s blog post to read in the mornings, you know start the day with a light heart. I eye all her chicken/non-veg recipes and I adore these two; especially her mom’s chicken recipe ohhh LOVED it. 
Ladies and gentlemen here is Nisha Thomas, tune in to her blog for more. And bundle of thanks to you Nisha for coming over with my fav chicken! 

I stumbled upon Ananda’s blog ‘A pinch of Love’ quite by chance and if im not mistaken she had just started her food blog. The pictures made me go back again and again and soon we were exchanging comments on each others’ blogs. Then I guess it was the power of Facebook that eventually brought her into my friends circle and there was no looking back. I love the way she pens down her thoughts on her blog and the pics are to die for. If I let you in on a little secret- I sometimes head to her blog and take a peek at the gorgeous salmon soup pics taken in the beautiful snowy setting. There is something about that picture that screams out warmth and cosiness. I am so happy that Ananda asked me to do a guest post on her blog and I hope I have done justice to it with these spicy chicken wings in a chilli garlic sauce.
The recipe was the aftermath of a chicken wing obsession which I have been  am still going through. Once I discovered skinless and cleaned chicken wings, there was no looking back. I love how easy it is to cook with them- marinate, grill and if I feel like it, make a sauce and serve. Since the supermarket stocks only a couple of these at a time, when I find them, I go ballistic and stock atleast 2 packs in my freezer, scared they would suddenly stop stocking them or something. Yeah totally weird behaviour if you ask me. I have become a lunatic when it comes to storing some stuff like this (I’ll leave the story of the frozen Swedish meatballs for a later time). Sadly my freezer has not much space (which Ro thinks is good, because one day he opened the middle rack to find about 10 to 15 packets of frozen chapatis and freaked out). I mean who does things like that? Well me for sure because, believe it or not, I dont know how to make chapathis. So in fear of them stopping the manufacture of these chapatis, whenever i find them i stock them to hearts content.
Anyways, we are not here to talk about my pitfalls are we?. I’m sure you’d like to know more, but let me not steal the limelight from the chicken wings. So these are so damn easy to make and taste amazing with some chilled beer or cider. The best part- you dont need to have a BBQ grill or any such fancy schmancy appliance. Just your oven grill would do. The marinade is a mixture of all sorts of sauces (from various countries that too) and like Ro says, is slightly confused as to which ethnicity it belongs to. But who cares when it tastes so darn yummilicious? So without further ado, here is the recipe for some finger licking food.


Chicken wings- 1 kg
To marinate:
Tomato ketchup- 1 tbsp 
Worcestershire sauce- 1 tbsp
Soy sauce- 1 tbsp
Franks hot sauce- 1/2 tbsp (optional)
Garlic powder- 1 tbsp (or use 1/2 to 1 tbsp garlic paste)
Cumin powder- 1/2 tsp
Dried oregano- 1.2 tsp (optional)
Salt and pepper- to taste
For the sauce
Onions- 1 large, or 2 small, finely chopped
Garlic- 10 cloves, peeled and finely chopped
Ginger- 2 inch piece, peeled and chopped
Tomato- 1 large, roughly chopped
Tomato ketchup- 1/2 tbsp
Soy sauce- 1/2 tbsp
Oyster sauce- 1 tsp
Oil- 1 tbsp
Salt- to taste
Water- 2 tbsp
Cut off the tips from the chicken wings, clean them under running water and pat dry as much as possible. Transfer to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, add all the ingredients under the ‘to marinate’ section in a bowl. Mix well and add salt and pepper accordingly.
Pour this marinade over the dried chicken wings and mix well, coating them as much as possible.
Keep aside for at least 30 minutes, or cover with a cling film and marinate in the refrigerator overnight
Preheat the oven on grill mode and line a baking tray with aluminium foil. I’d advice you to double the layer in order to be prevent the juices from spoiling the tray.
Using tongs place the chicken wings in rows. If your tray is small then you can do this in two batches as well.
Place it on the top most shelf, just under the flaming grill and cook for about 7 to 8 minutes on one side. 
Once the time is up, take them out, turn them over and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes. My wings (that sounds so corny!!) are done in exactly 17 minutes. If i want a more charred look i keep it a little longer but be careful, you dont want to burn it (been there done that, plenty of times..ha)
While that’s being taken care of, make the sauce.
Place a large chefs pan on medium high heat and add the oil.
Once its hot throw in the garlic, onions and ginger and stir fry for a couple of minutes till the onions have wilted and the nice smell of ginger and garlic is obvious.
Add the chopped tomato and continue cooking till it is nice and mushy. Oil doesn’t really have to leave the sides, but make sure the tomato is cooked thoroughly.
In goes the sauces- tomato, soy and oyster. Mix well, add salt and pepper as required after doing a taste test and then the water.
Bring to a light boil and turn off the flame. Keep aside.
Once the chicken wings are grilled to perfection, transfer them to the chefs pan with the sauce.
Place it back on low- medium heat and mix well to coat the wings and lightly heat up the sauce.
Serve hot with a salad or even rice.
Notes: This is not really a spicy dish even after adding Franks hot sauce. Add chilli powder to the marinade (as per taste), if you prefer a more spicier version
If you dont prefer the sauce, the wings are good as it is, especially if its a bbq party or so where you dont want to waste time mixing the two together.
Do the mixing bit just before you serve, as it also heats up the chicken wings in the process.
Thanks to Ananda once again for giving me this fabulous opportunity.


A Mini Flashback – Garlic Masoor dhal and Okra fry

It’s -17 C today and it’s going reach -23 C tonight. I have no issues with coldness. More or less used to it but one problem is coldness makes me lame and useless in the evenings and during weekends. I simply eat and crawl under my duvet. Sigh! It’s been three weeks already I haven’t made any recipe and did a photoshoot, yes you guessed it right I’m digging my recipe bank! Since I haven’t been doing any justice to my blog thought its Mondays let me be productive! So here is it. I have beautiful memory attached to this recipe.

My mum worked as principal (currently retired) for a private school in my home town (Coimbatore) for 29 yrs. The school was managed by three trustees. One of them was very close to our family, they were old couple from Punjab who were like our God parents. Uncle was a great artist, master in abstract oil paintings and aunty was dutiful house wife and very stylish lady. You know olden days people follow strict rules and they have wonderful principles. He was very health conscious man, who used to go for walking every morning at 6:30 AM for one hour and on his way back he used to stop by our house every day except Sundays to enjoy my mum’s tea (used to be his fav) and discuss politics with dad. As kids we used to dislike uncle coming to house just for one reason, coz our mum used to wake us up early and we have be ready to wish Good morning to uncle. But what we used to enjoy is to have lunch at their house. Mostly it will be potluck, mum cooked for them and aunty cooked for us. She was great cook, this used to be one of our fav food, roti, dhal, onkra sabzi, brinjal sabzi, simple salad and masala dahi. Since aunty and uncle didn’t have their own kids, they treated my parents as theirs, me and my sis were pampered!

During my childhood days, I was interested in wall paintings, still I’m. My parents were generous enough to let me draw on the walls. My dad, smart enough, he painted all the walls in the house with oil paints, so I had many chance to reuse. Main reason was they let me grow with my creativity. Every weekend I used to go to uncle house to get trained with strokes and play with colors, he took me to many painting classes, I did improve after that. These days I paint when I’m extremely stressed out on charts and I concentrate mostly on abstract since they don’t need extreme perfection. I simply love to paint on walls becoz they are like big paper to fill in my thoughts and colors. When my sis was expecting her first baby I decorated room with lots of glass painted (where u paint on the glass, later peal and stick it on the walls) toads, stars, doggies, butterflies and dolls just for my niece to enjoy. As days went by, unfortunately uncle became a victim to intestine cancer and we lost him forever, but the knowledge of art he imbibed in me is something I cherish. Slowly we lost aunty due to age factor…but we are still filled with their fond memories. This is the recipe I dedicate to them with lots of love and just to say we miss you! My mum inherited this recipe from aunty and I inherited from mum.

Ingredients

For Okra Fry ( I made very small portion change accordingly)
Okra 150 grams ( Washed, well towel dried and diced in long pieces )
2 tbspn of Oil
2 Large onions ( Diced in large pieces)
2 Medium size tomato ( finely chopped)
1/2 tspn chilly powder
1 1/2 tspn coriander powder
1/2 tspn cumin  powder
Pinch of turmeric
Salt to taste

Method
In a pan fry okras with one table spoon of oil, pinch of turmeric and salt, turmeric helps to keep the greenness in okras. After it is cooked leave them aside.
In the same pan add another table spoon of oil, fry onions till they are transparent, add tomatoes cook till oil comes out. Now add cooked okras and fry for 60 seconds. Add chilly, coriander, cumin powder and desired amount of salt and fry for 2 – 4 minutes till masala is well mixed and serve hot.

Masoor dhal 
Dhal 100 grams
1 tbspn of oil
3 pods of garlic ( Finely chopped)
1 Medium size onion (Finely chopped)
1 Medium size tomato (Finely chopped)
1 1/2 – 2 tspn of chilly pwd  (according to ur taste)
1 1/2  tspn of coriander powder
1/2 tspn cumin powder
Salt to taste
1 tbspn of finely chopped coriander

Pressure cook masoor dhal or pot boil them. Until it is cooked well. Don’t over cook them. Masoor dhal are very small and thin version it doesn’t take very long time to cook. Once it is cooked add cold water this prevents from over cooking.

In a pot, add one table spoon of oil, when it is warm add garlic, fry till turns pale brown, add onions fry it soft and tender. Next add tomatoes, fry till is cooked well and oil just starts to come out. Now add cooked dhal, next add chilly powder, coriander, jeera powder and salt to taste. Boil till the required consistency. Dhal should of running consistency.Garnish with chopped coriander, if deired with few fried garlic.

Enjoy both the recipes with warm roties and simple onion tomato salad.

For salad, finely chop the onions and transfer in bowl of water with few drops of lemon juice, this will mellow the raw onion flavour for about 5 mins. Mix with finely chopped de-seed tomatoes salt and pepper.

Heaven on earth! Finnish summer cottage Part1 – Mint garlic chicken for BBQ

These days am dealing with mixed feeling – happiness and sadness, for the reason that I will be winding up my thesis early next year (fingers crossed) and equally sad that I will moving out of Finland after 5 years. Finland is my 2nd home now and I have been so much into. God know where my next destination will be? So I will miss Finland, as its the best place on earth, when it comes to nature and there are few location in this beautiful country, the  moment I land in those locality I forget myself and the rest of the world. One those types are Summer cottage. For two years I have stayed in summer cottages. Last year it was more fun as many of  my friends were there, and it was very primitive cottage without  electricity, felt like living in middle of forest. We just had cottage to sleep and little kitchen. So it was something like going to stone age staying with nature beside lake side, men did fairly good fishing and we BBQ food and lived like prince and princess of forest. Not forget to mention about almost 24 hrs day light and wonderful smoke sauna.
This year it was few of us, just myself Somjai her husband Tero and Somjai’s Russian friend. So it was more or less a peaceful time, everyone had there own time, basically being yourself. Again our cottage was on lake side but…..Sorry guy am flying to Vienna tonight so will write more in detail in my next post till then enjoy the preview and the BBQ chicken I made for the trip :)
                                                                          The sauna house