Category Archives: Appetizers

Spicy Salmon Sliders (with Kashmiri Chilli Mayonnaise)

I enjoy sliders more than full sized burgers simply for the fact that most often, I cannot finish a burger by myself. But sliders are like little morsels of deliciousness that are the right size for smaller human beings like me.

Also sliders are fun and exciting party food, perfect for any kind of season. Most of the elements can be prepared ahead of time which leaves you relaxed on the day. Paired with a creamy homemade mayonnaise with the vibrant flavour from Kashmiri chillies, this is a party canapé like none other.

Spicy Salmon Sliders (with Kashmiri Chilli Mayonnaise) - thespiceadventuress.com

Spicy Salmon Sliders (with Kashmiri Chilli Mayonnaise) - thespiceadventuress.com

Any kind of fleshy fish without tiny bones can be used for making the patties. Prawns, crab meat and lobster meat are all good options too. Since salmon is an oily fish, there is no need to add any other binding agent (except for a bit of breadcrumbs) but if you are using a white fish, you may need to add potatoes or more bread crumbs so that the patties will not break while frying. And shallow frying or grilling would be the best option instead of deep frying.

Even though I have used the word spicy, these sliders are not super hot but there is plenty of flavour from the spices and aromatics. And don’t get thrown off by Kashmiri chillies in the mayo; these are a variety of chilli from India that has an intense red colour but less heat when compared to others. But you may use any sort of mayo that you wish to.

Spicy Salmon Sliders (with Kashmiri Chilli Mayonnaise) - thespiceadventuress.com

Spicy Salmon Sliders (with Kashmiri Chilli Mayonnaise) - thespiceadventuress.com

Brioche buns are the perfect pick for making sliders like these; soft, buttery and delicious. If you live in Australia, I suggest the ones that you can find at Breadtop. You will need to visit early though; gets sold off within a few hours itself.

Spicy Salmon Sliders (with Kashmiri Chilli Mayonnaise) - thespiceadventuress.com

Ingredients:

For the salmon patties:

(Makes about 12-13 patties)

  1. 450gm skinless salmon fillet
  2. 4 tbsp coarse bread crumbs
  3. 1 egg (600gm)
  4. ½ red onion; finely chopped

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Supreme Seafood, so please visit their website for the full recipe (a really special one too as this marked the 50th recipe that I have created in collaboration with the company)

Full recipe….

Spicy Salmon Sliders (with Kashmiri Chilli Mayonnaise) - thespiceadventuress.com

Mushroom & Sundried Tomato Hummus Toasties

On a slightly chilly evening, about two months ago, I sat down with my pen and diary to plan out the blog posts leading up to Christmas. There was so much I wanted to cook and post, especially traditional dishes like roasts, cakes, cookies etc…..

And somehow I just never did any of those which I had planned so meticulously. Instead I found myself cooking whatever my heart fancies based on a spur-of-the-moment idea or ingredient. In short, bid goodbye to my best laid plans.

If this had happened a year back, I would have become super stressed about the whole thing and worried about blog stats, traffic etc… etc…. But 2016 taught me the biggest lesson of all; to enjoy what I do above all else and the rest will fall into place. I found my unique voice in terms of food and photography, a space I am very comfortable in. No more comparisons with what others are doing anymore. I learnt to say no to the zillions of emails that have nothing to do with my vision for the blog and learnt to embrace the differences that make me stand different in the crowd. Inner peace and clarity….at last!

Moving onto my recipe for the day; I was actually looking for inspiration to create a vegetarian canapé for my Christmas party, something I could prep ahead of time and just assemble on the day of the party. Browsing through Pinterest, I found quite a few versions of the avo toasties which sort of got me thinking along those lines and ta da……the idea for these delicious Mushroom and Hummus toasties took shape.

Mushroom & Sundried Tomato Hummus Toasties - a delightful vegetarian canape for the festive season - thespiceadventuress.com

I loved how these toasties turned out and the minute I got the approval from the boys, I knew it had to go on the blog. So here you go guys…..a very delicious vegetarian starter that can be enjoyed in any season.

P.S.: The sun dried tomato hummus makes an excellent dip…in fact, I am planning on making an extra batch of the hummus for the party which will go on the cheese board. And my little boy loves it slathered in his pita roll.

Sun dried Tomato Hummus - a delicious dip for the festive season - thespiceadventuress.com

Mushroom & Sundried Tomato Hummus Toasties - a delightful vegetarian canape for the festive season - thespiceadventuress.com

Ingredients:

(Makes about 20 toasties depending on the length of the baguette)

For the hummus:

  1. 1 cup chickpeas (soaked overnight)
  2. ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes (with the preserved oil)
  3. 2-3 tbsp tahina (sesame seed paste)
  4. 3 medium garlic cloves
  5. 1 lemon
  6. Salt, to season
  7. 3-4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

For the toasties:

  1. 1 baguette (I used the sesame seed crusted one for extra flavour); thinly sliced
  2. Olive oil
  3. 200gms white mushrooms; sliced
  4. 200gms brown mushrooms; sliced
  5. ½ inch ginger
  6. 1 tsp paprika
  7. Juice of ½ lime
  8. ½ tsp dried thyme
  9. Salt, to season
  10. 2-3 sprigs fresh coriander leaves; finely chopped
  11. 1 cup sun dried tomato hummus

Method:

To prepare the hummus:

  1. Boil the chickpeas with a bit of salt till well done and lightly mushy. Drain and keep aside.
  2. Add the garlic cloves and the juice of ½ lemon to a food processor or blender and whizz.
  3. Then add the sundried tomatoes along with the preserved oil and 2 tbsp tahina. Blend well for at least 2 minutes.
  4. Next add the boiled chickpeas with a pinch of salt and blend well till smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust with lemon juice, salt and tahina if necessary.
  5. Remove to a bowl, create little depressions with the back of your spoon and add the olive oil on top.

Note – The texture of the hummus is better when preparing the chickpeas from scratch as opposed to using tinned ones. But if you are pressed for time, you may use the tinned chickpeas too.

If using the hummus as a dip, add more olive oil and garnish with black olives and a pinch of paprika.

To prepare the toasties:

  1. Preheat the oven (fan forced) to 180°C
  2. Line a baking tray with oven proof paper and place the baguette slices; drizzle with olive oil lightly and bake till light golden brown. Takes about 8 minutes depending on the oven. Remember that the slices only need to crisp up.
  3. Remove and keep aside.
  4. To prepare the mushrooms, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan and add the mushrooms. Cook on high heat for a minute and then add the grated ginger. Continue to cook for another minute and then reduce heat. Add the paprika, dried thyme, juice of ½ lemon and season with salt. Remove and keep aside.
  5. To assemble the toasties, spread a little bit of the hummus over a baguette slice and spoon some mushrooms on top. Do this for all the slices.
  6. Arrange on a platter and garnish the toasties with chopped coriander leaves and a touch of paprika.

Mushroom & Sundried Tomato Hummus Toasties - a delightful vegetarian canape for the festive season - thespiceadventuress.com

Mushroom & Sundried Tomato Hummus Toasties - a delightful vegetarian canape for the festive season - thespiceadventuress.com

Mushroom & Sundried Tomato Hummus Toasties - a delightful vegetarian canape for the festive season - thespiceadventuress.com

Mushroom & Sundried Tomato Hummus Toasties - a delightful vegetarian canape for the festive season - thespiceadventuress.com

 

Spicy Tuna Croquettes

Eat, drink and make merry! The season of festivals, summer barbeques, potlucks and parties are upon us. I even know a few of my friends who are already preparing lists and planning for Christmas and New Year.

I am not doing anything of that sort because the maximum I can plan ahead is for a week. So I tend to go with the flow figuring out things as and when it happens. And this weekend, I get to enjoy the liberty of ‘being fed’ rather than cooking and feeding others which I am doing all the time. The break is much anticipated….

So keeping in mind the mood of the upcoming season, I am planning on adding recipes that are perfect for entertaining. Most of these are dishes that feature highly every time I entertain at home; simple, delicious and can be prepped ahead. And I am starting the series with these delicious Spicy Tuna Croquettes.

Spicy Tuna Croquettes - perfect for the party season - thespiceadventuress.com

There is nothing novel about tuna croquettes; it is one of the most common seafood snacks that you are likely to find across the globe. The flavours are often different depending on the cuisine and almost always made using canned tuna.

But today, we have some deliciously spicy tuna croquettes that have been made from fresh tuna fillets. The texture is different to what you would get with canned tuna; I find these croquettes lighter and melt in the mouth.

I learnt to make these from my mom and all those who hail from Kerala (especially if you have lived in Middle East) would identify with this. Nothing’s changed except that I used fresh tuna which actually makes a bit of a difference. If Panko breadcrumbs are available, do use it instead of regular breadcrumbs; you get a much crunchier coating.

Fresh Tuna fillet - food photography - thespiceadventuress.com

Spicy Tuna Croquettes - perfect for the party season - thespiceadventuress.com

The croquettes can be prepped ahead and frozen if you are making a large batch. Make sure to roll in breadcrumbs and then freeze to avoid it from sticking to each other. You could also use the same mixture to make tuna burgers; just make patties instead of croquettes. In fact I do this all the time; reserve one half of the mixture for patties which makes delicious lunch boxes the next day.

And the perfect accompaniment for these crunchy delights is some pickled red onions and mint coriander chutney.

Do try it out and hope you enjoy it as much as we do. And if you make it, please do tag me on your social media posts #thespiceadventuress so that I could see it too.

Ingredients:

(Makes approximately 30 croquettes)

  1. 500gm fresh tuna fillet
  2. 1 large potato (approximately 300gm)
  3. 1 medium red onion; finely chopped

This post is bought to you in collaboration with Supreme Seafood, so please do check out the full recipe here.

Spicy Tuna Croquettes - perfect for the party season - thespiceadventuress.com

Spicy Tuna Croquettes - perfect for the party season - thespiceadventuress.com

Grilled Chicken Skewers (with Fresh Herbs and Chillies)

I have a small balcony garden at home, not too many plants but I do grow most of the herbs and a few leafy greens. And the hailstorm that we experienced last week was not very complimentary to my gardening efforts. Since I do not have too much space inside my apartment to move all the plants, I decided to be selective and move in only the curry leaves and basil along with a few other ornamental ones. But with the wind raging all day, all my herbs took a real beating. And then the hail started!

Hailstorm in Melbourne - thespiceadventuress.com

Since I wasn’t sure if the plants were going to survive, I cut off all the herbs and thus ended up with a huge amount of parsley and a bit of coriander, mint and some rosemary too.

I didn’t want the herbs to just wilt off in the fridge especially the parsley so decided I must do something delicious with it. Chimichurri came to my mind immediately especially since I have made it before. I had some chicken thigh fillets stocked too so the decision was made; I will grill the chicken and have it with the chimichurri. But tweaking is something I love to do and what I finally ended up with was these absolutely gorgeous Grilled Chicken Skewers with fresh herbs and chillies.

Herby and delicious - Grilled Chicken Skewers (with Fresh Herbs and Chillies) - thespiceadventuress.com

Veered away from the traditional chimichurri as I was thinking of a marinade and not a sauce. So I wanted more flavour which is why the fresh red chillies and ginger ended up in it. Along with the freshness from the parsley, coriander and basil, this marinade has the depth of flavour from the aromatics and that mild kick from the chillies. Long red chillies which are not very fiery are best for this style of marinade.

Herby and delicious - Grilled Chicken Skewers (with Fresh Herbs and Chillies) - thespiceadventuress.com

Herby and delicious - Grilled Chicken Skewers (with Fresh Herbs and Chillies) - thespiceadventuress.com

The chicken skewers turned out so good that I decided to share it with all of you. An extremely easy dish to make, hardly any prep work except for chopping up some herbs and a very affordable one too especially if you grow herbs. Perfect for an easy and healthy weekday dinner.

We had these grilled chicken skewers Middle Eastern style served up on my trusted wooden board. So pita bread, chicken skewers, garlic dip, tzatziki, olives and a green salad. Even better the next day to take to work….just put it all into the pita and roll it up for a delicious wrap for lunch. Winner, isn’t it!

Herby and delicious - Grilled Chicken Skewers (with Fresh Herbs and Chillies) - thespiceadventuress.com

Hope all of you enjoy these grilled chicken skewers (with fresh herbs and chillies). And if you make it, I would so love to see it so please tag me in all your pictures using #thespiceadventuress. Have a great weekend folks!

Herby and delicious - Grilled Chicken Skewers (with Fresh Herbs and Chillies) - thespiceadventuress.com

Herby and delicious - Grilled Chicken Skewers (with Fresh Herbs and Chillies) - thespiceadventuress.com

Ingredients:

  1. 500gms chicken; cubed into even sized pieces
  2. 2 heaped tbsps herb marinade
  3. Salt; to season
  4. Juice of half a lemon
  5. Bamboo skewers

Herb Marinade:

  • 1 cup parsley; finely chopped
  • ½ cup fresh coriander leaves; finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil; finely chopped
  • 3 medium garlic cloves; grated
  • ½ inch ginger; grated
  • 1 ½ fresh red chillies (long variety); seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups olive oil
  • Salt; to season

Method:

  • Soak the bamboo skewers in water for 15 minutes to prevent burning.
  • To prepare the herb marinade, place all the ingredients in a bowl and add the olive oil. Season with salt.
  • Place the cubed chicken pieces in a bowl and add the marinade, salt and lemon juice. Mix well to combine.
  • Skewer the chicken pieces and allow to refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Heat a grill pan (or frying pan) to high and place the skewers on top. Since olive oil is already added to the marinade, no extra oil is required.
  • When grilled on one side, turn over, baste with more marinade and cook. Repeat till you get good caramelization all over and then finish off in the oven (another 2-3 minutes). You can continue to baste with the marinade as required.
  • Serve warm with dips, salad and pita bread.

Note – The marinade can be prepared in bulk; stays well in the refrigerator for upto 3 days and upto a month if  frozen.

Herby and delicious - Grilled Chicken Skewers (with Fresh Herbs and Chillies) - thespiceadventuress.com

Herby and delicious - Grilled Chicken Skewers (with Fresh Herbs and Chillies) - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

 

 

 

Tabakh Maaz (Kashmiri style Lamb Ribs)

Kashmir – a mysterious, beautiful land that always evokes a deep sense of calmness and peace within me.

Ironic, isn’t it…especially given its turbulent geo-political issues. I have never visited Kashmir except through the thousands of breathtaking photographs of the place but everytime I think of the land, it’s ‘Garden of Eden’ that I remember. And everytime I visualize Adam and Eve eating that apple, its pictures of Kashmir that flash through my mind.

Travelling through Kashmir remains one of the top wishes on my bucket list, and particularly visiting the saffron fields and picking out the flowers; I want to experience that at least once in my life. Though today’s dish has nothing to do with saffron, it has all to do with the cuisine of the region. Tabakh Maaz or Kashmiri style Lamb Ribs!

Tabakh Maaz (Kashmiri style lamb ribs) - a traditional dish that forms an integral part of the wazwan - thespiceadventuress.com

A very traditional preparation of the region, Tabakh Maaz is one of the integral dishes of a wazwan. (You can check out more about wazwan on the Internet or read my mutton roganjosh post). And I learnt this recipe too from my dear friend, Supriya who remains my expert on Kashmiri cuisine. I am a lucky gal indeed!

Making Tabakh Maaz is rather simple but one which takes a bit of time and some good quality ingredients. It is a brilliant example of how spices flavour a fish without adding any heat. The lamb ribs are slow cooked in a broth flavoured with whole spices and then fried off in ghee. It is rich and indulgent, a dish that warms you from within and definitely not one if you are calorie-conscious.

I left the fat layer on the ribs for that extra flavour but you can choose to trim it off. Traditionally it is served as 2-3 ribs together on the bone but I have kept it 1-2. Tabakh Maaz is usually a starter type dish of the wazwan but I had it as the main protein for dinner, so served it with Afghan style bread, cucumber yoghurt dip with sumac and a fresh green salad. One of the ways of adapting a traditional recipe to your family’s needs.

Whole spices to make Tabakh Maaz or Kashmiri style lamb ribs - thespiceadventuress.com

Tabakh Maaz (Kashmiri style lamb ribs) - a traditional dish that forms an integral part of the wazwan - thespiceadventuress.com

So here we have a very traditional lamb dish from Kashmir – Tabakh Maaz or Kashmiri style Lamb Ribs.

Ingredients:

  1. 500 gms lamb ribs; cut into 2-3 pieces
  2. 2 inch cinnamon bark
  3. 3 black cardamom
  4. 5 green cardamom
  5. 2 dried bay leaf
  6. 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  7. 1 tbsp crushed fennel seeds
  8. ½ tbsp dried ginger powder
  9. A pinch of asafoetida/hing
  10. 2 large garlic cloves; crushed
  11. 1 tsp turmeric powder
  12. Salt, to season
  13. 1 cup milk
  14. 2-3 tbsp ghee/clarified butter

Method:

  1. In a heavy bottomed vessel, add the lamb ribs and fill with water, enough to just cover the ribs.
  2. Bring to boil and remove the scum that floats on the surface.
  3. Then add all the spices, garlic and season generously with salt. Also add 1 cup milk and stir well to combine.
  4. Cover the vessel, reduce the flame and slow cook the ribs for 1 hour or till the meat has become tender and almost fall off the bone.
  5. Remove from heat and take out the ribs slowly and keep aside. You can either keep the ribs in large chunks or cut into smaller pieces.
  6. Heat another flat pan, add the ghee and add the ribs one by one. Fry on medium to high heat till one side has caramelized before turning over. Remove when the other side has also caramelized well.
  7. Serve warm.

Though the basic recipe for making Tabakh Maaz is the same across the state, there can be variations from region to region. For eg: Kashmiri Pandits soak the ribs in plain yoghurt before frying it off in the ghee.

Note – The broth in which the ribs were cooked has a beautiful flavour. It can be strained and use as a stock for making soups and risottos.

Tabakh Maaz (Kashmiri style lamb ribs) - a traditional dish that forms an integral part of the wazwan - thespiceadventuress.com

Tabakh Maaz (Kashmiri style lamb ribs) - a traditional dish that forms an integral part of the wazwan - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crab Salad with Asian Herb Dressing

It’s been a pretty ‘meh’ week so far and I can’t wait for it to get over. My health took a beating and what followed were days of extreme fatigue and tiredness. And I think when women fall sick, we tend to suffer more emotionally than physically.

The week actually started off on a really good note. On Monday, I went on an impromptu lunch date with two of my girlfriends and we had a really good time. Those stolen couple of hours for ourselves were a blessing in our otherwise harried lives. But the euphoria didn’t last long because by the end of the day, I started feeling weak and terrible.

I hardly got any cooking done, surviving on takeaways and basics the whole week. I am quite behind on deadlines but I really couldn’t care less. A big lesson I have learnt is to listen to your body and slow down when it tells you to and I am doing just that. And since I hadn’t tried out anything new, I decided to share with you guys a gorgeous salad that I did a while ago for a client – a Crab Salad with Asian Herb Dressing.

Crab Salad with Asian Herb Dressing - a light, refreshing and gorgeous salad - thespiceadventuress.com

If you like delicate flavours, then you will love this crab salad. It’s light and summery with a hint of heat from the chillies and aromatics. And that fresh herb dressing only adds to the sweetness of the crab meat.

Purchasing crab meat can be an expensive affair and I would recommend getting those huge mud crabs and taking the meat out yourself. A bit time consuming but way more affordable. And if you have kids, get them onto it…will keep them silent for a while though you might end up with shells all around.

Crab Salad with Asian Herb Dressing - a light, refreshing and gorgeous salad - thespiceadventuress.com

Crab Salad with Asian Herb Dressing - a light, refreshing and gorgeous salad - thespiceadventuress.com

Excellent as a refreshing salad on its own, but it can become the most gorgeous looking party canapé just as easily. I used fried Indian pappads to become a crunchy vehicle for this beautiful salad. You can find all sorts of small sized pappads in Indian stores (sometimes in major supermarkets too). I used the masala pappads for that extra dash of flavour but you can use plain/pepper or cumin studded ones. Generally as an accompaniment, I tend to roast the pappads but for a canapé, I prefer fried as it stays crisp for longer.

You could also opt for crackers or mild flavoured potato crisps….anything crispy that doesn’t overtake the sweet freshness of the salad. A glass of sparkling and this pretty canapé is bound to get conversation flowing….

Crab Salad with Asian Herb Dressing - a light, refreshing and gorgeous salad - thespiceadventuress.com

Crab Salad with Asian Herb Dressing - a light, refreshing and gorgeous salad - thespiceadventuress.com

And as always, I love to hear from you when you have tried any of my recipes. Feel free to drop a comment, mail or share on social media (remember #thespiceadventuress so that I will not miss it). Have a great weekend folks!

Ingredients:

  1. 400gms white crab meat
  2. 1 small Lebanese cucumber; chopped finely

Read the full recipe here…..

Recipe developed, styled and shot for Supreme Seafood.

Spiced Kangaroo Triangles

I often get the ‘raised eyebrow’ expression when I say that I occasionally eat kangaroo meat. While a couple of my friends are fascinated that I have experimentative tastebuds, most of them are quick to judge in the negative.

We have become so judgemental these days, even when it comes to food. It is the era of the global palate, yet we have divided and compartmentalized ourselves in so many food groups – non vegetarians, vegetarians, eggetarians, vegans, paleos with each group trying to sound more righteous than the next.

Why can’t food be just what it is meant to be – to nourish our bodies and our souls. Eat what makes you healthy and happy without judging and having an opinion on another’s diet!

Judgements aside, kangaroo meat is both delicious and healthy. While it is easily available in Australia and quite affordable too, it can be difficult and expensive to procure if you live elsewhere. It is important for me to purchase all the meat I consume from a verified, sustainable source and for kangaroo, it is ‘Gourmet Game’, a trademark of Macro Meats.

I have cooked with kangaroo before and it was a delicious experience. This time, I wanted to experiment with the mince and the inspiration for these Spiced Kangaroo Triangles came from the meat samosas that are famous in India.

Spiced Kangaroo Triangles - a delicious party snack with roo mince - thespiceadventuress.com

Though I started out with the idea of samosas, I wanted to simplify the whole process making the snack a little easier and quicker to make. Samosas can be a bit technical if you are not used to making it often. So instead I decided to do a simple stuffed triangle using store bought puff pastry sheets…like I said, making it simple and easy for everyone. Also these triangles are baked so no deep frying involved which is another plus.

Spices and aromatics are the magic ingredients here which transform the kangaroo mince into the most delicious filling. These spiced kangaroo triangles make the easiest party snack. The filling can be prepared ahead of time and all that you need to do on the day is make the triangles, a bit of egg wash and bake.

Spiced Kangaroo Triangles - a delicious party snack with roo mince - thespiceadventuress.com

Spiced Kangaroo Triangles - a delicious party snack with roo mince - thespiceadventuress.com

Use any kind of meat mince that you wish to, lamb, beef, chicken, all make great options. Or a vegetarian one with the classic ricotta and spinach or spiced potatoes. Just try it once and I am sure you will be making it over and over again….believe me, I have been making it a lot.

Ingredients:

Note – Makes about 30 triangles

  1. 1 kg kangaroo mince
  2. 3 medium red onions; finely chopped
  3. 3 garlic cloves; grated
  4. 1 tbsp ginger; grated
  5. 3 green chillies; finely chopped (adjust to heat preferences)
  6. ½ tsp turmeric powder
  7. ¾ tsp red chilli powder
  8. 1 tbsp coriander powder
  9. ½ tsp roasted cumin powder
  10. Salt, to season
  11. 2 tbsp coriander leaves; finely chopped
  12. 1 tbsp mint leaves; finely chopped
  13. 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
  14. Puff pastry sheets (each pastry sheet makes 4 triangles)
  15. 1 egg beaten; for egg wash
  16. White sesame seeds; for garnish

Method:

  1. In a large pan, dry roast the mince till it has browned well. Brown in batches on high heat if the pan is small so that the mince is dried out and not stewed in its own juices. Remove and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in the same pan and add the onions; sauté for 2-3 minutes on medium heat and then add the ginger, garlic and green chillies. Sauté till the onions are light brown, reduce heat and add all the spice powders. Season with salt, add the mince and mix well to combine. Finish off with the coriander and mint leaves. Remove and allow to cool completely before stuffing in the triangles.
  3. In the meantime, thaw the frozen pastry sheets.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan forced oven) and line an oven proof tray with baking paper.
  5. Cut each pastry sheet into 4 equal squares.
  6. Place about 2 tbsp of the meat mince in the centre of each square. Brush egg wash on all the four sides of the square and fold diagonally to form a triangle. Press lightly at the edges and place on the baking tray. Repeat for all others.
  7. Finally, brush egg wash on the top surface of the triangles and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
  8. Bake for about 12-13 minutes or till the triangles are golden brown on the surface.
  9. Enjoy warm with sweet chilli sauce.

Note – The cooked mince freezes well to be used at a later date. I make it in bulk, freeze in batches and always have a pack of puff pastry sheets in the freezer; very handy for after school hunger pangs and unexpected guests.

Spiced Kangaroo Triangles - a delicious party snack with roo mince - thespiceadventuress.com

Spiced Kangaroo Triangles - a delicious, party snack with roo mince - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vietnamese Prawn Spring Rolls (with Sweet n’ Spicy Dipping Sauce)

The looong Easter weekend is finally over and it’s back to work today. Well, not quite for me as the little fellow is at home for his term break. So technically, the holiday mood continues…

Last term holidays, Adi handed out invitations to his friends for play dates without asking me. So I found myself caught in completely unprepared situations having to think on the spur for interesting snacks to feed the brood. Though eventually that play date fell upon another mom’s shoulders, I didn’t want a repeat of that scenario this time too so decided to stock up on some finger food before hand, something I know children love to munch on.

And that is how these Vietnamese Prawn Spring Rolls came to be.

Vietnamese Prawns Spring Rolls - The ultimate party snack for kids and adults alike - thespiceadventuress.com

We are all familiar with spring rolls especially the deep fried ones. Perhaps, one of our all time favourite ones in the snack list. There are so many fillings that can be used, both vegetarian and non vegetarian. But I must admit that I am partial to pork and prawn spring rolls.

One of the best spring rolls that I have eaten is at a small Vietnamese restaurant near home. They serve thin, crispy spring rolls to be dunked in a delicious dipping sauce. And traditionally, these spring rolls are eaten wrapped inside lettuce leaves and a couple of mint leaves. Though generally iceberg lettuce is used, I enjoyed this with cos lettuce this time. Let me tell you, once you have it this way, you will not want to eat spring rolls any other way.

The cool crispiness of the lettuce followed by the crunchy deliciousness of the spring roll finishing off with minty freshness and all of it tied together by the sweet and spicy dipping sauce.

Vietnamese Prawns Spring Rolls - The ultimate party snack for kids and adults alike - thespiceadventuress.com

So you get the point…it is delicious!

Now Adi is not too fond of the lettuce/mint leaves/dipping sauce combo; he just prefers dunking it in store brought sweet chilli sauce. And I am sure his buddies are gonna think the same. But all of us do agree on one thing that these Vietnamese prawn spring rolls are the best.

Psst…..I also managed to sneak in some extra amount of carrots. I am sure the mummies are gonna love the idea.

If you are making spring rolls for the first time, then you might take a bit of practice to get it right but hey, it’s no rocket science. I hope the images are helpful or you can just watch any ‘how to make spring roll’ video on YouTube.

collage

Apart from these spring rolls, I am also planning to make these Chilli Chicken Bites and Upma Cutlets. Do you have any easy suggestions that I could try out? Would love to hear all of it….

Without wasting any more time, let’s get frying these delicious Vietnamese prawn spring rolls!

Ingredients:

(Makes around 26 rolls)

For the spring rolls:

  1. 1 packet spring roll pastry (small )
  2. 300 gms prawns; deshelled and deveined
  3. 1 large carrot; grated
  4. 1 medium onion; finely chopped
  5. 1 tbsp garlic powder
  6. 1 tsp sugar
  7. 1 tsp black pepper
  8. Salt, to season
  9. Paste mixture for sealing the pastry:
  • 1 tsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp water
  1. Vegetable oil; for deep frying

For the dipping sauce:

  1. 2 tbsp vinegar
  2. 3 tbsp fish sauce
  3. 2 tbsp sugar
  4. 1 cup water
  5. ½ tsp chilli paste (optional)

To serve:

  1. 2 heads of Cos lettuce; leaves separated
  2. A bunch of mint leaves

Method:

  1. Mince or finely chop the prawns. Remember it should have a bite so do not overmince to a paste like texture.
  2. Add the carrots and onions along with the garlic, sugar, pepper and salt. Mix well to combine till you get a uniform consistency.
  3. Mix the flour and water to get a paste like consistency which is to be used for sealing the ends of the pastry.
  4. It is faster if you separate your pastry sheets in advance and store in an air tight container or zip lock bag to prevent drying out. Alternately, you can separate the sheets that you want and then wrap in a damp cloth, removing one at a time.
  5. Place the sheet in a diamond shape (i.e. one pointed end of the sheet towards you as depicted in the picture).
  6. Place a small amount of the filling at the end towards you (do not overload with filling as this tends the roll to break open while frying). Hold the edge and fold over the filling towards the other end and then pull it tightly towards you so that the filling is nestled tightly inside. The tighter the roll, the better will be the shape of your spring roll and also helps it from breaking in the oil.
  7. Fold the other two ends towards each other and roll the whole thing into a cylinder. Seal the end with the flour paste to secure it tightly. Place in an airtight container and cover with lid immediately to prevent drying out.
  8. Repeat the same for all the rolls.
  9. Heat enough oil in a deep pan to deep fry the rolls. To check if the oil is hot enough, insert a chopstick or wooden spoon; if you can notice bubbling around the wooden part, then the temperature is right. Do not over heat the oil as this will burn the rolls outside without cooking the inside prawn meat.
  10. Also, fry only 4-5 rolls at a time in a medium sized pan. Overcrowding leads to a temperature drop which results in soggy rolls.
  11. Fry the rolls in batches and place in a strainer. Remove after a few minutes to a kitchen paper. Avoid stacking up to ensure that the crispness stays longer.
  12. To prepare the dipping sauce, mix together all the ingredients; taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
  13. Serve on a large platter with the spring rolls, lettuce, mint leaves and dipping sauce so that each person can customize to individual taste preferences.

Note:

  • Spring roll pastry sheets come in both small and large sizes. I have used small ones in this recipe but if you are using large, then adjust the recipe accordingly.
  • Prawn meat can be substituted with any meat of choice. You can also make a vegetarian version with mashed veggies of choice.

Vietnamese Prawns Spring Rolls - The ultimate party snack for kids and adults alike - thespiceadventuress.com

Vietnamese Prawns Spring Rolls - The ultimate party snack for kids and adults alike - thespiceadventuress.com

Our Helicopter Ride + a Recipe for Grilled Scallops with Garlic Butter and Chillies

Hello beautiful peeps, how have all of you been?

It was a busy last week with my little champ turning 7. How time flies…..it seems just yesterday, this tiny bundle of joy was placed in my arms and now he’s already 7. And I know soon that’s going to be 17 and the very thought makes me tear up. Of course, I want him to grow up and experience all the beautiful things life has to offer but I want it slow, real slow.

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Life just seems to be passing by too quickly, which also makes me realize the importance of being more present in each passing second. The importance of being with my son, my family and being really present so that I truly savour the beauty of the moment. The world seems to be gushing by and if we don’t consciously slow down, our lives would just turn robotic.

And so we decided to do things a little differently this year for Adi’s birthday. Instead of the traditional cake/party routine, we decided to splurge on a helicopter ride around our beautiful city, Melbourne. Ticking one off our bucket list…..

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It was not a spur of the moment decision; it was a planned one for which we saved up for over a year. Adi was given the task of saving up all the coins that came into the house in his piggy banks (yup, we have more than one). A small, everyday task that we believe, will teach him the value of saving up money and working towards a dream or a goal.

We chose Heli Experiences for our ride and the package deal for three which included half an hour ride over the Melbourne city. There are plenty of packages across Australia so if you are interested to know more, check out their website (nope, not sponsored).

Though we have flown in plenty of airplanes over the years, the thrill and exhilaration of a helicopter ride compares to none other. After a small briefing on safety precautions, we were belted and tucked in to be flown for a once in a lifetime experience over the most liveable city on earth – Melbourne. And what a beautiful and panoramic view she offers!

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We giggled and laughed through the ride, hardly able to conceal our excitement. An experience that will stay in our memories for a lifetime and beyond.

How do you usually celebrate birthdays in your family? I would love to hear your experiences…..

Ok…so now that we have come back to earth, I have a duty to perform and that’s share a brilliant recipe with you guys. And today, it is going to be ‘Grilled Scallops with Garlic Butter and Chillies’

Empowered by the oyster experience, I decided to try my hand at scallops this time.

Grilled Scallops with Garlic Butter and Chillies - a simple and gorgeous looking party canape - thespiceadventuress.com

Scallops are a delicacy, one that has to be cooked with the right sort of flavours to enhance and not overpower its taste. Grilling scallops in its shell lends a smoky flavour which when combined with the garlicky butteriness and that hint of heat from the chillies creates magic on your tastebuds.

This dish is just perfect for Easter; adds that special touch to a lunch or celebration if you are planning one. It is really simple to prepare; the garlic butter can be made ahead and then it’s only a matter of assembling and grilling on the day. And if you have a barbecue or charcoal grill, get the boys to do the job for you.

Scallops - food photography - thespiceadventuress.com

Grilled Scallops with Garlic Butter and Chillies - a simple and gorgeous looking party canape - thespiceadventuress.com

Make sure you remember to buy scallops with the shells; it’s just not for the taste alone but also for the presentation. Quite a glamorous entrée at any party!

So get your hands on some fresh scallops and indulge in some ‘foodporn’!

(Inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe)

Ingredients:

  1. 8 scallops; cleaned (with one shell each intact)
  2. 1 large red chilli; sliced thinly (large ones have less heat)

Read the full recipe here.

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Grilled Scallops with Garlic Butter and Chillies - a simple and gorgeous looking party canape - thespiceadventuress.com

Disclaimer – Recipe developed, styled and shot for Supreme Seafood.

Baked Oysters with Garlic, Curry leaf and Kashmiri Chilli

I am a rather new entrant to the world of freshly shucked oysters.

Remember vividly my first experience…..it was at a restaurant two years ago. A friend had invited us and he ordered a plate of fresh and Kilpatrick oysters. Now me and my hubby were very hesitant to try the fresh ones; squeamish about trying raw seafood. But the friend said, ‘just don’t think it’s raw; shut your brains and open only your taste buds’. And I would call that the best advice ever, because both of us got hooked to it.

Freshly shucked oysters - food photography & styling - thespiceadventuress.com

Freshly shucked oysters are such a delight for the taste buds. I agree that there are many to whom it may not sound very appealing. But for those who love it, it is an amazing experience. Of course goes without saying that it has to be fresh, super fresh so make sure you always get it from a trusted seafood store. For me, I am spoilt for choice living next to the Dandenong Farmer’s Market.

As much as I would love to feast on these beauties by the dozen with some chilled white to accompany, I decided to create a delicious recipe with my Indian culinary roots for inspiration. For me, this recipe as all about taking everyday ingredients (especially in an Indian household) and pairing it with the freshest Australian oysters. Call it fusion or inspiration or any other adjectives you wish to…..

Baked Oysters with Garlic, Curry Leaf and Kashmiri Chilli - Soft, plump and juicy oysters are oven baked with a garlic and curry leaf butter emulsion, coriander leaves and Kashmiri chilli powder - thespiceadventuress.com

Baked Oysters with Garlic, Curry Leaf and Kashmiri Chilli - Soft, plump and juicy oysters are oven baked with a garlic and curry leaf butter emulsion, coriander leaves and Kashmiri chilli powder - thespiceadventuress.com

Soft, plump and juicy oysters are oven baked with a garlic and curry leaf butter emulsion, coriander leaves and Kashmiri chilli powder. Do me a favour; don’t overcook these beauties or feel the necessity to overload the oyster with the garlic emulsion or add a ton of chilli. Restraint is key; only then will the aromatics, herbs and spices do their job and enhance the flavour of the oysters.

I baked these in the oven but you use can use a charcoal grill or barbecue for the same (just make sure you keep it covered).

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Baked Oysters with Garlic, Curry Leaf and Kashmiri Chilli - Soft, plump and juicy oysters are oven baked with a garlic and curry leaf butter emulsion, coriander leaves and Kashmiri chilli powder - thespiceadventuress.com

So no more waiting when these gorgeous oysters with garlic, curry leaf and kashmiri chilli are waiting for us! As with many of my seafood recipes, this is part of an ongoing project with Supreme Seafood, so head over to their FB page for the full recipe. And if you make it, please tag me (#thespiceadventuress) on the post so that I will be able to see it too.

Ingredients:

  1. 8 freshly shucked oysters (ask your fishmonger to leave the oyster meat in one half of the shell)
  2. 3-4 tbsp butter

For full recipe, click here….

Baked Oysters with Garlic, Curry Leaf and Kashmiri Chilli - Soft, plump and juicy oysters are oven baked with a garlic and curry leaf butter emulsion, coriander leaves and Kashmiri chilli powder - thespiceadventuress.com

Baked Oysters with Garlic, Curry Leaf and Kashmiri Chilli - Soft, plump and juicy oysters are oven baked with a garlic and curry leaf butter emulsion, coriander leaves and Kashmiri chilli powder - thespiceadventuress.com

Baked Oysters with Garlic, Curry Leaf and Kashmiri Chilli - Soft, plump and juicy oysters are oven baked with a garlic and curry leaf butter emulsion, coriander leaves and Kashmiri chilli powder - thespiceadventuress.com

Recipe developed, styled and shot for Supreme Seafood.

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