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Tag Archives: paprika

Zigni (Ethiopian/Eritrean style Beef Stew)

I travel the world through food, and today I am taking you to East Africa!

It was ‘berbere’ that introduced me to East African cuisine, specifically Ethiopian cuisine. Suddenly my world opened up to a whole new spectrum of flavours and dishes. From this traditional tomato salad to a grilled fish recipe inspired by my new found love for berbere, I wanted to learn more about the vast expanse called African cuisine which is as colourful as its land, culture and people.

This time, I did not just re-visit Ethiopia but learnt of the existence of a whole new country, Eritrea.

Sharing borders with Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti, Eritrea has a fascinating cuisine with borrowed influences from all these bordering countries. And I learnt that berbere was hence, commonly used in Eritrean cuisine too. Today’s dish, Zigni, is a great example of that.

Zigni (Ethiopian/Eritrean style Beef Stew) - thespiceadventuress.com

Zigni is essentially a beef stew spiced with berbere and simmered in a tomato based gravy. It is a relatively spicy dish, but nothing crazy. If you can handle an Indian curry, you can enjoy this one too.

Ever since I discovered berbere, it has become a staple spice paste in my kitchen. Very flavourful from both whole spices and aromatics like garlic but it is the paprika that gives it that classic red colour and the spice hit. Hot paprika needs to be used for berbere and not the sweet or smoked version, both of which will alter the final taste of the spice paste. Fenugreek is another crucial ingredient along with other whole spices like cumin, cardamom, coriander, pepper etc….

Just as with all spice blends, berbere too has variations but the key spices that go into the paste remain the same. And that goes for the preparation of Zigni too…I found quite a few variations of this dish but the general idea remains same. So it is really important to research a bit, read up many recipes from as authentic a source as possible before trying out traditional dishes like this. The version that I have made is adapted from a couple of recipes and the recipe of berbere is from this African cookbook.

Berbere - thespiceadventuress.com

Traditionally Zigni is had with Injeri, a soft spongy sourdough risen flatbread which is an amazing combination. While I have had Injeri before, I do not know how to make it so paired this beef stew with garlic herb foccacia. Any sort of bread with a spongy texture is idea with Zigni to soak up all the juices of the stew.

So let’s get cooking this traditional dish of Eritrea – Zigni!

Ingredients:

  1. 1 kg beef; cubed
  2. 1 can diced tomatoes
  3. 4 spring onions (only the white part); sliced
  4. 2 garlic cloves; sliced
  5. 1 small onion; sliced
  6. 3 tbsp berbere (click here for recipe)
  7. ½ tsp sugar
  8. ½ cup fresh coriander leaves; finely chopped
  9. Vegetable oil
  10. Salt, to season

Method:

  1. Heat 4-5 tbsp oil in a deep bottom pan; sear the beef cubes in batches and keep aside.
  2. Add more oil if necessary and when medium hot, add the garlic, onions and spring onions. Cook till softened and then add the berbere.
  3. Mix well to combine and cook on low heat for a minute.
  4. Next add the tomatoes and mix well. Add the sugar and season with salt. Cook on medium for 2 minutes and then add the seared beef cubes.
  5. Also add 2 cups water and bring to boil. Taste and season with salt if necessary.
  6. Simmer and cook till the beef pieces are tender and soft (stir occasionally and add more water if necessary).
  7. Finish with fresh coriander leaves mixed through.
  8. Rest for at least 30 minutes before serving for the flavours to develop.

Zigni (Ethiopian/Eritrean style Beef Stew)

 

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Spanish style Sausage and Potato Bake

The almost ‘one tray’ bakes and roasts are fast becoming a favourite in our home.

While it’s warm, hearty and comforting during winter, it’s also very easy to put together. That’s why I have been trying a lot of these nowadays. Today’s dish is a sausage and potato bake but with Spanish flavours to add that extra oomph of flavour.

Spanish style Sausage and Potato Bake - thespiceadventuress.com

This is a very simple dish but a really flavourful one. So it’s important to get sausages that are of top notch quality. Don’t go for the generic supermarket ones, the kind you tend to buy for backyard barbecues. Instead go for the gourmet ones that are prepared from top quality mince and also seasoned well.

For this dish, I chose chorizo since it’s the best for a Spanish style bake.

Instead of a sauce, I went with a sautéed onion bell pepper mixture that was flavoured with paprika, garlic and turmeric as the accompaniment to the sausages and potatoes. Baking it all together in a pan not only makes it easy but increases the overall flavour of the dish.

Spanish style Sausage and Potato Bake - thespiceadventuress.com

This Spanish style sausage and potato bake can be had as a meal on its own but I added a side of saffron rice and paired it with a nice Tempranillo. Looks fancy but actually a really simple dish.

Ingredients:

  1. 6 chorizos
  2. 4-5 Kipfler potatoes; cut into wedges
  3. 2 red onion; finely sliced
  4. 2 red bell pepper; pith removed and finely sliced
  5. 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  6. 2 garlic cloves; finely sliced
  7. ½ tsp turmeric powder
  8. 2 ½ tsp smoked paprika
  9. 1 can diced tomatoes
  10. ½ cup kalamata olives
  11. Salt, to season
  12. 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley; finely chopped

Method:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180°C
  2. Heat olive in a pan and add the onions. Sauté on high heat for 2 minutes and then add the garlic and bell peppers. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes or till the onions and peppers are softened.
  3. Add the turmeric powder and smoked paprika; mix well to combine.
  4. Then add the diced tomatoes and cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes. Season with salt and add the potatoes and sausages to the pan. Mix well to combine so that the sausages and potatoes are coated well with the onion pepper mixture.
  5. Transfer to a baking tray and arrange in such a way that the sausages and potatoes are on top for even cooking.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove to turn the sausages and continue to bake for another 20-25 minutes till the potatoes are roasted well.
  7. Remove and add the olives and parsley.
  8. Serve warm with saffron rice

Spanish style Sausage and Potato Bake - thespiceadventuress.com

Spanish style Sausage and Potato Bake - 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

 

Mexican Prawn Tacos with Mango Salsa

Looking at the title, are you wondering where the hell did I find ripe mangoes?

This recipe was developed for a client a while ago when mangoes were in season but I somehow never got around to sharing it with you guys. And since we are moving homes this week, I thought of making these tacos again since I had some leftover prawns in the freezer. That’s when it struck me that I haven’t shared these awesome tacos with you, so here we go – Mexican Prawn Tacos with Mango Salsa.

Mexican Prawn Tacos with Mango Salsa - easy and delicious - thespiceadventuress.com

The star of these tacos is ofcourse the prawns that has been cooked in a rich Mexican style tomato sauce with oodles of flavour. All the ingredients are pantry and refrigerator staples, nothing fancy at all. Just get your hands on fresh local prawns and the job is done. Any type of salsa may be used; the mango salsa was a delicious addition because of the sweetness which balanced out the spice kick from the paprika in the prawns.

Mexican Prawn Tacos with Mango Salsa - easy and delicious - thespiceadventuress.com

Mexican Prawn Tacos with Mango Salsa - easy and delicious - thespiceadventuress.com

Not going to keep you longer with small talk today…I am plainly tired from all the packing, cleaning and scrubbing going on so I promise we will talk more when I have finished with all the moving stuff.

And if you love tacos, then you need to check out this one too.

Ingredients:

For the prawns:

  1. 300 gms large prawns; deshelled and deveined
  2. 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  3. 1 small red onion; finely chopped

For full recipe, click here.

Mexican Prawn Tacos with Mango Salsa - easy and delicious - thespiceadventuress.com

Mexican Prawn Tacos with Mango Salsa - easy and delicious - thespiceadventuress.com

Recipe developed, styled and shot for Supreme Seafood.

Penne with Chilli Squid in a Roasted Tomato Sauce

We tend to eat a lot of pasta dishes during the colder months. I tend to be rather grouchy and lazy when the cold, damp weather arrives which translates into easier, one pot, packed with flavour dishes in the kitchen.

This dish ticks all the right boxes in that regard. It comes together really quickly, doesn’t require a ton of prep work and is the perfect dish to retreat to the couch with especially that Masterchef 2016 has begun. A glass of wine too perhaps, and you would feel grand.

Penne with Chilli Squid in a Roasted Tomato Sauce - simple, delicious and full of flavour - thespiceadventuress.com

Roasting vegetables is a great way of intensifying flavours which is why this roasted tomato sauce is just so delicious. Diced tomatoes with onion, garlic and thyme, onto a baking tray and in the oven for 15 minutes; blend and your sauce is ready. How easy is that! And this can be made in bulk and frozen in batches as it works as a delicious base sauce for any kind of pasta dish.

Fresh Tomatoes - food photography - thespiceadventuress.com

Roasting vegetables - food photography - thespiceadventuress.com

Given my love for seafood, I chose to play around with squid rings for this recipe but if you don’t eat or like squid, there are tons of other options. Like I always say, the recipe is just a guideline and you must embrace and make it your own. Prawns and lobsters work brilliantly or you can keep it vegetarian with just the mushrooms or your preferred assortment.

It’s interesting how climate affects me and my style of cooking these days. I have noticed that I tend to play around more with chillies when it’s cold than any other spice. So it’s a generous helping of chilli flakes and hot paprika to season the squid rings and mushrooms.

If I want to bulk up the dish and make it for two days (which I sometimes do when I have work commitments), I prepare the sauce and the squid mixture and store separately. Pasta is cooked only at the time of the meal so that it is served warm, straight off the pan which all of us know is the best way to eat it.

Penne with Chilli Squid in a Roasted Tomato Sauce - simple, delicious and full of flavour - thespiceadventuress.com

Penne with Chilli Squid in a Roasted Tomato Sauce - simple, delicious and full of flavour - thespiceadventuress.com

So here you go; Penne with Chilli Squid in a Roasted Tomato Sauce – an extremely simple pasta dish that speaks volumes of flavour.

Ingredients:

  1. 500 gms ripe red tomatoes; quartered
  2. 1medium red onion; diced
  3. 4 large garlic cloves

Find the full recipe here.

Penne with Chilli Squid in a Roasted Tomato Sauce - simple, delicious and full of flavour - thespiceadventuress.com

Recipe developed, styled and shot for Supreme Seafood. 

Southern Fried Chicken with Paprika Wedges

Fried chicken – The ultimate global comfort food!

I remember vividly of a childhood eating my fair share of KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken, is there anyone who doesn’t know it!). It was the only form of fast food that was welcome in our house simply for the fact that fried chicken was the only thing that my dad would eat outside South Indian cuisine.

Without going into the debate of health and junk food, I did enjoy the flavours of KFC, at least till I learnt to make a decent version of fried chicken myself. What can get more comforting than biting into a crispy chicken leg that eventually melts in your mouth. And accompany it with fries and ketchup…..greasy but good for the soul!

As my cooking skills strengthened and so did my knowledge of oven cooking, I learnt of ways to achieve a similar texture and flavour of fried chicken without actually deep frying. The fries got replaced with wedges and the store bought mayo slowly gave way to homemade aioli.

And of all the different varieties and styles of fried chicken, this Southern version staunchly remains my favourite just because it has liberal amounts of my favourite ingredient in it….spices.

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Southern fried chicken is another comfort food offering that originated in the US. The chicken pieces are tenderized by marinating in buttermilk and then coated with flour mixed with spices like cayenne pepper. But today, I am adding more crunch to the coating in the form of crushed cornflakes and Panko breadcrumbs. And we have not just cayenne for the chilli kick, but smoked paprika and Indian red chilli powder because I like it hot!

If you have an oven, then ditch the fryers and skillets; spray some oil and oven bake at high temperatures to get the same crispy exterior and your stomach will thank you for it. We also have paprika wedges instead of classic fries to accompany this Southern fried chicken. Homemade mayo and barbeque sauce complete this comfort food package making my weekend a delicious affair.

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Why don’t you make yours delicious too?

Ingredients:

For the chicken:

1. 1 kg chicken; broken into 6 pieces
2. 2 cups buttermilk
3. 3 tbsp barbeque sauce
4. 2 cups crushed cornflakes
5. 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (use ordinary crumbs if you do not have Panko)
6. 3 tbsp wheat flour
7. 1 tbsp smoked paprika
8. 1 tsp red chilli powder
9. 1 tsp cayenne pepper
10. 2 tsp onion powder
11. ½ tsp garlic powder
12. Salt, to season
13. Freshly milled black pepper, to season
14. Vegetable oil

Note – Adjust the spices to suit your heat preference.

For the wedges:

1. 4 medium potatoes
2. ½ tsp paprika
3. ¼ tsp Italian herbs
4. Salt, to season
5. 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil

Method:

To prepare the chicken:

• Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl, pour the buttermilk and barbeque sauce on top. Season with salt and pepper; keep aside for at least 2 hours or overnight as time permits.
• Preheat the oven to 250°C. Line a tray with baking paper and lightly brush or spray with vegetable oil.
• In a bowl, mix the cornflakes, Panko crumbs, flour, cayenne, red chilli, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and season with salt and pepper.
• Remove each piece of chicken from the buttermilk and coat with the cornflakes mixture. Press gently so that the crumb adheres to the chicken and place it on the baking tray. Repeat for all pieces. Make sure that you do not crowd the tray; if necessary, prepare in batches or on 2 trays.
• Lightly spray or drizzle the chicken pieces with oil and bake for 10-12 minutes at 250°C. Then decrease the heat to 200°C and bake for another 10-12 minutes. Keep an eye on the chicken and take care it does not burn.
• Flip the chicken pieces over gently, lightly spray or brush with oil and bake again at 200°C for another 15-20 minutes or till done. Check after 10 minutes to see if any pieces are done (the wings may cook faster than the breast pieces) and remove if necessary.

To prepare the wedges:

• Peel the potatoes, cut into wedges (leave the skin on if you wish to) and parboil in salted boiling water for 8 minutes.
• Drain and allow to air dry.
• Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan forced). Line a tray with baking paper.
• In a bowl, mix the potato wedges with paprika, herbs and lightly season with salt (remember you cooked it in salted water). Drizzle a bit of oil and line the wedges on the tray without crowding too much.
• Roast in the oven for 15 minutes turning once in between or till golden brown and done.

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Grilled Berbere Fish – and food conversations on Facebook groups

I have been quite an active member of several Facebook food groups. In fact, my decision to start a blog was inspired by the encouragement I received from these food groups. Though I am a member of more than a dozen groups, there are only a few that inspire me or are really close to my heart. A quick shout out to my foodie friends out there…..

Kannur food guide (KFG) – ‘A home away from home’, that’s what KFG means to me. I was a total stranger to the group when I joined but now, it seems as if I have known most of them forever. A really warm, friendly and non-judgmental group, it is not just a place to have great fun-filled food conversations but also a place where you can forge great friendships.

Chef at Large (CAL) – I am a recent entrant to this food group. But this is my go to place for the most innovative and intellectual food conversations. There are many serious foodies in CAL and you will get to see a very high level of dishes here. The members here possess serious food talents and expertise; and I have gained immensely to broaden my culinary knowledge here. CAL is the brain child of Sid Khullar who is also the Managing editor for the food emagazine, CALDRON.

Home Chefs Guild – Another warm, friendly and interesting group where home cooking is truly celebrated. Again, I was a total stranger to this group but have made quite a few foodie friends out here. And during a casual chat with one of the group admins, Biji, we realized that we were actually neighbours back in my home town but never met then. The world is indeed a small place and the best way to bond is over food!

Today’s dish features high on my fave foods list – grilled fish. And this time, I used the famous Egyptian marinade, Berbere paste to spice up my fish. Fiery, spicy and pungent, the Berbere paste can be used to flavour both meats and seafood. It has quite strong flavours and a little goes a long way; if you want it less spicy, reduce the quantity of paprika.

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Berbere paste – Adapted from Tortoises and Tumbleweeds (Journey through an African Kitchen) by Lannice Snyman

Ingredients:

Berbere paste:

  1. 2 tsp Cumin seeds
  2. 6 cloves
  3. 1 tsp cardamom seeds
  4. 1 tsp Coriander seeds
  5. 1 tsp red chilli powder
  6. 4 garlic cloves
  7. 2 tbsp hot paprika
  8. ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  9. ½ inch cinnamon bark
  10. ½ tsp black pepper powder
  11. ½ tsp fenugreek seeds

For the fish:

12. 1 whole fish (I used trout but any type can be used)
13. Red tomato – 1, sliced
14. Lemon – 1, sliced
15. Salt – to season
16. Vegetable oil – for grilling the fish

For the salad:

17. Red onion – 1, finely sliced
18. Black olives – sliced
19. Lebanese cucumber – 1, sliced
20. Tomato – 1, sliced
21. Vinegar – 1 tbsp
22. Salt – to season

 

Method:

To prepare the berbere:

  1. Dry roast the whole spices till aromatic, cool and grind to a fine powder. Add the remaining powdered spices along with garlic and grind to a paste.

To prepare the fish:

  1. Clean the fish well, wash and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Score on both sides and season with salt. Rub the marinade onto the fish and coat well. Line slices of tomato and lemon inside and over the top of the fish. Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or even longer as time permits.
  2. For the salad, mix all the veggies and just before serving, season with salt and vinegar.
  3. Heat the grill to high and drizzle vegetable oil. Place the fish with the lemon and tomato slices on top and grill for 10 minutes. Remove the lemon and tomato slices and carefully turn over the fish and grill on the other side till done.
  4. Serve hot with the grilled lemon, tomatoes and salad.

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Chreime (North African Fish Stew)

Chreime is a traditional fish stew that is popular among the North African Jews and is commonly prepared using expensive fish cuts during festivals like Passover and Rosh Hashanah. But since the sauce is quite fiery, rich and delicious, this stew is also prepared using less expensive fish in the ordinary households.

I came across this recipe in a cookbook dedicated to Israeli cuisine, ‘The Book of New Israeli Food’ by Janna Gur. The book is an exhaustive and informative culinary journey into Israeli cuisine, one which has developed taking in influences from the Jews and the Arabs equally. I truly recommend this for all those who want an insight into this vast cuisine which goes beyond hummus and shawarma.

Paprika and cayenne pepper are the dominating flavours lending a spicy fieriness to the sauce. Garlic adds extra heat but the secret star is caraway which takes the flavours to a whole new level. A delicacy usually prepared with grouper or amberjack, I made this dish using white pomfret steaks. And the first thing that struck me as soon as I tasted the stew – this tastes so much like our Kottayam fish curry! Which made me wonder if the Arab traders of yesteryears influenced the Syrian Christians of Kerala to come up with their signature fish curry.

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Ingredients:

1. White pomfret steaks (use any type of fish with firm white flesh) – 1 kg, cleaned and washed
2. Vegetable Oil – 3 tbsp
3. Garlic – 6-7 cloves, crushed
4. Paprika – 2 tbsp
5. Cayenne pepper – 2 tbsp
6. Caraway – 1 tsp, powdered
7. Cumin – 1 tsp, powdered
8. Tomato puree – puree from 1 large tomato (the original recipe used tomato paste in which case, only 2 tbsp will be needed)

Method:

• Heat oil in a wide pan; add the garlic and powdered spices. Keep on low heat to prevent the spices from burning.

• Add the tomato puree and sauté till the oil clears. Add 1 cup water and cook covered for 2 minutes on medium heat. (Do not add too much water as the gravy can get quite watery then).

• Add the fish steaks to the sauce and cook till done. The gravy must have a sauce-like consistency and take care not to overcook the fish.

• Serve the hot fish stew with steamed rice or freshly baked bread.

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Pasta, White Sauce and Paprika Mushrooms

Whenever I make basic pasta sauces, I always prepare in bulk and store away in the freezer for lazy weekday nights. So there was one remaining jar of white sauce languishing away in the freezer and decided to come up with this dish. I had also bought a packet of smoked paprika and was dying to use it in some form or the other.

Didn’t really have a culinary plan when I started out making this dish but somewhere along the way, the dish evolved. The spicy sweetness of the paprika mushrooms went quite well with the cheesiness of the white sauce. A very comforting meal!

Pasta, White Sauce and Paprika Mushrooms - thespiceadventuress.com

Ingredients:

  1. Pasta (any type can be used); 400 gms
  2. White button mushrooms – 2 cups, cubed
  3. Smoked Paprika – ¾ tsp
  4. Olive oil
  5. White sauce:
  • Maida/flour – 1 tbsp
  • Butter – 1 tbsp
  • Milk – 1-2 cups
  • Red onion – ½, finely chopped
  • Green bell pepper – ½, finely chopped
  • Oregano – to season
  • Salt – to season
  • Black pepper powder – to season
  • Parmesan cheese – 1 cup
  1. Parmesan cheese – grated, to serve

Method:

Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, drain (reserve 1 cup water) and keep aside.

To make the mushrooms:

  • Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan and add the mushrooms. Sauté on high heat for about 30 seconds.
  • Next season with paprika and salt and toss well.
  • Sauté for another 30 seconds and keep aside.

To make the white sauce:

  • In a large pot, add butter and the chopped onions and bell peppers. Sauté till the onions are softened.
  • Then add flour and mix well, cook for a minute or two to remove the raw taste.
  • Add 1 cup milk, little by little, and stir on low flame. Continue to stir on low flame till a creamy consistency is attained.
  • Add the cheese and season with salt, pepper and oregano. Mix well to combine. If the sauce feels too thick, add more milk. Remove from heat and keep aside.

To finish, add the mushrooms and pasta to the white sauce and mix well to combine. To loosen up (if necessary); add a little bit of the reserved pasta water.

Serve warm with grated parmesan. Enjoy with a glass of chilled white.

 

 

 

 

 

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