Tag Archives: stir fry

Methi Dana ki Sabzi (Indian style Fenugreek Seeds Stir-Fry)

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to a friend’s home for a  girls’ lunch meet-up where I came across one of the most interesting dishes using fenugreek seeds.

My friend was so excited to serve this dish because none of us had ever heard of or seen this preparation before. Many of the girls thought it was a lentil dish but I did figure out that it was fenugreek seeds from that mild hint of bitterness. Though I use fenugreek seeds a lot in my cooking, it has always been as a spice and never as the main ingredient.

Fenugreek seeds - food photography -

And even before the thought entered my head, my girlfriend had decided that I must share it on my blog. Love it when people get so excited about my work and want to share unique and amazing recipes with me for the blog. Deeply indebted for having friends who are always willing to share their knowledge.

This is a traditional dish from India, commonly prepared in some parts of North India. I haven’t seen anything like this from the southern part of India or from any other part of the world; please correct me if I am wrong.

Now the reason why fenugreek seeds are generally used sparingly is because of its mildly bitter taste. But when I tasted this dish, it was hardly bitter….just a mild aftertaste if you eat the stir fry on its own and almost none if paired with rotis.

Methi Dana ki Sabzi (Indian style Fenugreek Seeds Stir-Fry) -

And my friend told me that’s because the fenugreek seeds are first boiled in a particular manner, washed thoroughly and then used for the stir fry. The recipe is an extremely simple one and the only care to be taken is in the cooking and washing of the seeds which I have outlined below.

So please do give it a try, it’s a really unique and interesting way to consume fenugreek seeds.

(Thanks a lot to my friend, Alka who not only taught me how to make this dish but also came home the day I was making it to ensure it turns out perfect. Also my hand model for the day!)

Methi Dana ki Sabzi (Indian style Fenugreek Seeds Stir-Fry) -


  1. ½ cup fenugreek seeds/methi
  2. 1 small red onion; finely chopped
  3. 1 tsp ginger; grated
  4. 1 tsp garlic; grated
  5. 1 green chilli; chopped
  6. ½ tsp cumin seeds
  7. A pinch of hing/asafoetida
  8. ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  9. ½ tsp red chilli powder
  10. ½ tsp coriander powder
  11. ¼ tsp garam masala
  12. Salt, to season
  13. 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
  14. Coriander leaves; chopped for garnish


  1. Pour 5 cups of water into a saucepan and place over low to medium heat.
  2. When the water has become slightly warm, measure out the fenugreek seeds using a spoon or measuring cup and add to the water (do not touch the seeds with your hand or wash it before adding)
  3. Bring to boil and then simmer till the seeds are cooked. If you want to check if the seeds are cooked, use a spoon to remove a few from the water and discard after checking. The fenugreek seeds will plump up lightly and the water also turns dark while cooking. The seeds are cooked when it has become soft but still has a bite to it (it might still taste slightly bitter at this stage).
  4. Once cooked, place the saucepan with the seeds in it under a trickle of running water. Do not disturb or touch by hand. You can see that the water begins to run clear after some time. When the water runs completely clear, strain into a colander and keep aside.
  5. To prepare the dish, heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds. As it begins to splutter, add the asafoetida followed by the chopped onions. Sauté for a minute and then add the chillies, garlic and ginger. Sauté till the onions are lightly browned.
  6. Add the turmeric, red chilli, coriander powder and garam masala. Mix well and tip in the fenugreek seeds. Season with salt and cook till the extra moisture from the seeds have dried out.
  7. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  8. Keep the dish for at least 30 minutes before having it.

Note – As I mentioned, the only care that needs to be taken is not to touch the seeds by hand at any point till the dish is done. A lot of dishes on the internet using the fenugreek seeds are prepared by soaking the seeds overnight, wash and then use for cooking. I tried out this method too but found that though the seeds do not taste bitter after soaking, it does develop a bitter taste once cooked.

Methi Dana ki Sabzi (Indian style Fenugreek Seeds Stir-Fry) -





Chicken Stir fry (with Chilli, Garlic and Coriander)

‘Time Flies’ is an age old adage but the supersonic speed at which the flying is happening in my life currently leaves me so lazy to cook. Too many work and personal assignments that leave me completely drained of time and energy that the everyday meals has become such a chore.

And more often than not, it is not the actual cooking that takes time but rather than the planning of ‘what to cook’! So I decided to pull out my cookbooks (the few that I have) and find inspiration amongst the pages.

Today’s recipe is adapted from ‘The F-Word’!

Chicken Stir fry (with Chilli, Garlic and Coriander) - simple and delicious -

Yup, you heard it right. This fantabulous book by Mita Kapur is one of my most treasured ones because it is more than just recipes. It is a glimpse into Mita’s food crazed family and her constant juggles as a working mother. The recipes are from around the world with no borders whatsoever and perfectly suit my style of cooking. I have written more about this book here, if you would like to have a read.

And one of my all time favourite recipes from the book are these Malai Kebabs (minced chicken patties with spices, aromatics and cream).

This time, given the time situation, I chose a simple chicken stir fry. Just a handful of ingredients stir fried in a wok topped over rice or noodles; makes an amazing dinner in no time at all.

Chillies are a key ingredient and I have used both Thai red chillies and large green ones. The original recipe has much more heat but with a 7 year old at home, I had to tone down the heat factor. But it depends on what you like; adjust the number of chillies accordingly.

Always use boneless thigh fillets for making stir fries as the meat is much more tender and juicy while the breast meat often tends to go dry. And of course the wok, never undermine the importance of this cooking vessel in getting that perfect stir fry. A good quality wok is a must have in your kitchen!


  1. 500gms boneless chicken thigh fillet; cut into bite sized pieces
  2. 3 Thai red chillies; chopped
  3. 3 sprigs fresh coriander leaves (with roots); chopped
  4. 4 garlic cloves
  5. 2 large green chillies
  6. 2-3 tbsp fish sauce
  7. 2-3 tbsp oyster sauce
  8. 4-5 tbsp vegetable oil
  9. Salt; to season

For garnish:

  1. 2 sprigs fresh coriander leaves; chopped
  2. 1 spring onion (leafy part); sliced


  • Using a mortar and pestle, pound the red chillies, garlic and coriander leaves into a coarse paste; keep aside.
  • Heat 3-4 tbsp oil in the wok and add the chicken pieces. Stir fry the chicken pieces on high heat till 3/4ths done and remove.
  • In the same wok (add a bit more oil if necessary), add the pound chilli mixture and sauté on low heat for about a minute. Add the oyster sauce, fish sauce and whole green chillies; also return the chicken pieces to the wok.
  • Stir fry on medium heat till done; add salt only if necessary.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and spring onions
  • Serve hot.


Chicken Stir fry (with Chilli, Garlic and Coriander) - simple and delicious -



Back to School with Smash Lunch Boxes + a Recipe for Easy Lunchbox Pasta Stir Fry

I think life has become a series of shopping lists, one after the other. Still getting over the effects of the Christmas list and it’s time already for the ‘back to school’ list. Sigh!

But in all fairness, life must go on and so does the shopping list. And one of the top spots in the back to school list is always reserved for a new lunch box.

Now we all agree that the lunch box is such an integral part of the school life. Apart from the fact that it is a source of nourishment and good health for our little ones, it is also an integral part of school memories. I can recollect so many fond memories when it comes to school lunches and so will all of you.

So presenting to you my favourite brand of lunch boxes from Smash. I discovered this brand two years back and haven’t looked back ever since. In fact, I even wrote a blog post about it last year; there is also another easy lunch box recipe so do check it out.

Back to school with Smash -

Smash is an Australian brand so that means they totally understand our needs and requirements better. All the products are BPA free and extremely durable and reliable. In fact, all the lunch boxes, drink bottles from last year are still in great condition and the only reason I would change is because I received these samples to test out. (The old ones will be donated to the local Red Cross, and I strongly urge you to do so too if your old ones are in reasonably good condition)

The new designs out this year are so bright and colourful making it real fun for the kids. Our favourite happens to be this one shown below…of course it has to be blue because Adi is in that phase where ‘pink is for girls’. I like how the compartments are divided in this model and also the fact that there is an outer insulated case (removable) which also has the new Blue IQ antibacterial lining. The wipe-clean formula helps to keep the case clean devoid of any sort of mould or mildew, smells fresh and also protects the life of the lunchbox.

Smash lunchbox and outercase with Blue IQ antibacterial lining -

Smash has an extensive collection so there are plenty of choices for all sorts of lunch requirements. I love the add-on containers in various sizes, shapes and colours which mean that the food can be kept divided. The yoghurt container is so cool; it keeps it chilled and my son absolutely loves his during summer. The tube shaped box for wraps and rolls are so cool too.

Back to school with Smash lunch boxes -

Back to school with Smash lunch boxes -

Back to school with Smash lunchboxes -

Smash has a good collection for the grownups too especially taking into account the male/female preferences. I remember my hubby cribbing about the lack of ‘male’ colours till we started using Smash. Now he has his favourite blue and brown case which I must admit is really cool.

I also love the ‘Soup, Salad, Smoothie’ containers that were launched this year. Extremely thoughtful designs; for eg: the salad container has a separate portion for the dressing which means goodbye to soggy salads for lunch. I have been using these containers a lot while travelling too. Sturdy and great for road trips.

Smash products are available easily at many department stores and leading supermarkets like Coles, Woolworths, Officeworks, Target, Kmart and David Jones.

Smash office lunchbox collection -

Now that we have chosen the perfect lunch box, let’s go ahead with the perfect lunch too – a delicious easy to make Pasta stir fry with Mortadella and an assortment of vegetables.

For those who are new to Mortadella, it is basically an Italian sausage or luncheon meat that can be purchased from a deli. Often had as a cold cut like ham or salami in a sandwich, but I am going to lightly stir fry it for this recipe. If you do not have Mortadella, you can substitute it with ham, salami, sausages or any other kind of meat. Or even skip it all together if you want a vegetarian version. The only thing to remember while purchasing from a deli is to ask the staff to cut it into a thick chunk instead of thin slices.

Apart from the fact that this dish is ready in less than 30 minutes, I also like the fact that there is no sauce involved which makes it a great lunch box option; tastes great even when it has gone a bit cold. I usually prepare this pasta stir fry for dinner which doubles up for the next day’s lunch for all of us. One dish for everyone in the family…..

Pasta stir fry with Mortadella and an assortment of vegetables -

Pasta stir fry with Mortadella and an assortment of vegetables -


  1. 300 gms pasta curls
  2. 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  3. 200 gms Mortadella (cut into a single thick chunk); diced
  4. 2-3 garlic cloves; chopped
  5. 1 large red onion; diced
  6. 1 cup mushrooms; diced
  7. 1 red bell pepper; diced
  8. 1 zucchini; diced
  9. 1 ½ tsp chilli flakes (adjust to preference)
  10. 1 tbsp mixed dried Italian herbs (a mix of oregano, thyme, rosemary)
  11. Salt, to season
  12. Freshly milled black pepper; to season


  1. Cook the pasta as per packet instructions in salted boiling water and keep aside; reserve a little pasta water too.
  2. Heat oil in a large pan and add the chopped garlic; sauté on low heat for a few seconds and then add the diced Mortadella; stir fry on high for a minute.
  3. Next add the onions and mushrooms; continue to stir fry for another 30 seconds. Finally add the zucchini and bell peppers; mix well to combine and season with salt, pepper, chilli flakes and Italian herbs. Reduce heat and cook for a few seconds.
  4. Add the cooked pasta with ½ cup past water and mix well to combine.
  5. Remove from heat and enjoy; or ensure it’s cooled well before packing into lunch boxes.

Pasta stir fry with Mortadella and an assortment of vegetables -

Disclaimer – This post has been brought to you in collaboration with Smash Enterprises but the opinions expressed and recipe are entirely mine.

Vegetable Stir Fry with Gochujang (Korean Chilli Paste)

Are you an extrovert, or an introvert, or someone in between?

I was an extrovert as a child, introvert as a teenager and an introvert’s extrovert in my adult life. Life takes us all through phases; high and low, good and bad, happy and sad…all of which leave profound marks on our character and personality. And there is only one way forward – to evolve with time.

Change is inevitable and the only constant in this world. I resisted it for the longest time in my life; despising it instead of embracing it. It pushed me into alleys of dark despair and loneliness…a sense of unwantedness. Till one day when I realized that I am meant to flow, evolve, adapt and change with the waves of time.

So do we change our entire being, transform ourselves into someone we don’t recognize? No, we don’t; we only adapt, shed the unwanted baggage retaining our core essence as a human, as a person. We reflect inwards, separating the chaff so that we end up with the purest grains.

For me, food takes the same journey of change. With time, my taste and preferences change. And when boredom strikes from the old and known, I need to recharge and experiment in my kitchen; not for the blog but to satisfy my inner need for change. It keeps me happy, it keeps me satisfied and motivated.

Today, I embrace this change in the form of an ingredient or rather a condiment – Gochujang.


Gochujang, Korean chilli paste -

Gochujang or Korean chilli paste is a spicy and pungent condiment that is prepared from fermented soybeans, hot chilli peppers, glutinous rice and salt. It adds that oomph, savoury and spicy kick that Korean food is known for. The heat is there at the back of your throat but you just can’t stop eating!

Darkish red in colour, piquant, smoky and rich to taste and a paste like consistency, Gochujang also has a small amount of sweetener added to it to draw out maximum flavour from the chillies. Traditionally fermented in large earthen jars, this condiment is central to Korean cooking and gives the food a unique flavour. Though not scientifically proven, it is believed that this condiment has nutritional benefits and is rich in several vitamins.

Many of the traditional dishes from Korea use gochujang as one of the key ingredients. But I am using it today in a simple stir fry – an under 30 minute dish which is simple to make, has loads of veggies, a bit of cheese and oh so delicious! Some sticky white rice or a simple fried rice to go along and it becomes the perfect weekday dinner.

Vegetable Stir Fry with Gochujang (Korean Chilli Paste) -


Vegetable Stir Fry with Gochujang (Korean Chilli Paste) -


I have added some Havarti at the end which just about melts when the wok reaches the table. You could go with tofu or paneer (Indian cottage cheese) if you want something firmer. Also no hard and fast rules as to the choice of veggies; I like texture in my stir fries which is why the addition of almonds and sesame seeds. You could also make a non-vegetarian version with chicken, prawns, lobster, scallops….endless options. And of course, don’t undermine the importance of a good carbon iron wok; the perfect vessel for all your Asian adventures.


Vegetable Stir Fry with Gochujang (Korean Chilli Paste) -


  1. 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  2. 1 medium zucchini; cubed
  3. 1 red onion; cubed
  4. 1 orange bell pepper; cubed
  5. 1 cup white button mushroom; halved
  6. 100 gm havarti; cubed
  7. 2 large garlic cloves; finely chopped
  8. 2 tbsp gochujang
  9. 2 tbsp soy sauce
  10. 1 tsp palm sugar
  11. Salt, to season
  12. 2-3 sprigs coriander leaves; torn
  13. 1 tbsp almond slivers
  14. 1 tsp roasted white sesame seeds
  15. 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil


  • Heat oil in the wok and add the chopped garlic. Sauté for about a minute or till the raw smell of the garlic goes away.
  • Then add the gochujang and cook for another minute or two on low heat. Add soy sauce and palm sugar and mix well to combine. Check seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  • Increase the heat to high and add the onions and mushrooms. Toss well and cook for 30 seconds; then add the cherry tomatoes and zucchini. Cook for a further 30 seconds on high.
  • Then add the bell peppers and season with salt. Toss through and remove from heat.
  • Transfer to a bowl and garnish with coriander leaves, almond slivers and sesame seeds.
  • Add the havarti cubes just before serving.

Note – How much gochujang to add to your dish should be a personal one. The quantities I have mentioned keeps it medium spicy taking into account my little champ.


Vegetable Stir Fry with Gochujang (Korean Chilli Paste) -

Vegetable Stir Fry with Gochujang (Korean Chilli Paste) -


Malvani Fish Fry

The combination of school hols and cold winters is not exactly the most inspiring time for me to cook. In between work, activities and freezing your butt off, I hardly feel like entering the kitchen and on some days, it almost seems like a punishing chore.

Comfort food and familiar tastes seem to reign high during this time. So there are a lot of curries, fried food and saucy pastas on the menu. Not a time to watch your waistline!

My definition of fried food is a little different to others. For me, it is mostly seafood – I am so very partial to fried fish and there are a zillion ways to do it too. A bowl of rice, this lentil curry and some fried fish; that’s the way I am keeping sane this season.

Today’s fried fish recipe comes from the coastal regions of Maharashtra, India. The cuisine is often referred to as the Malvani style of cooking.

Malvani Fish Fry - a crunchy, mildly spiced fish fry from India -

There are a lot of similarities between the Malvani and Konkani (this is the term used for Goan cuisine) style of cooking. Seafood is big in both cuisines given the proximity to the coastal region. A common seafood preparation is the rawa fish fry, in which fish pieces are first marinated with a wet spice paste and then coated with coarse semolina/rawa and shallow fried.

The use of coarse semolina is ingenious; it gives that instant crunch without needing any egg or flour; also, there is no need for deep frying to get the crispy exterior. Now, that’s a winner! I have tried the same technique to make chicken nuggets and my kiddo loved it.


Malvani Fish Fry - a crunchy, mildly spiced fish fry from India -

The Malvani fish fry is a delicious, crunchy preparation usually made with kingfish, mackerel or pomfret but today, I have used Indian anchovies/nethli. Being a small fish with a single line of soft bones, the anchovies when made this way is super crunchy and the perfect, delicious starter to any meal. And of course you have to eat it, bones and all.


1. 400gm Indian anchovies (Nethli); cleaned with heads and guts removed
2. 1 tsp turmeric powder
3. 2 ½ tsp red chilli powder (adjust to heat preferences)

For the full recipe, visit here.

Malvani Fish Fry - a crunchy, mildly spiced fish fry from India -

Malvani Fish Fry - a crunchy, mildly spiced fish fry from India -

Recipe developed, styled and photographed for Supreme Seafood

Stir Fried Chicken with Lime Leaves and Garlic – Guest post for Something is Cooking

Asian stir fries are really simple to prepare, quick and perfect for weekday dinners. Most people tend to overload stir fries with many ingredients which actually detract from the main flavour of the dish. For a good stir fry, you must use only a handful of ingredients and let the flavours shine through.

This chicken stir fry recipe featured in Adam Liaw’s cookbook, Asian after work, is perfect for those rushed weekdays when cooking really becomes a chore. You can even marinate the chicken and freeze it over the weekend which enables you to dish up this stir fry in under 15 minutes.

Stir Fried Chicken with Lime Leaves and Garlic -

The marinade incorporates classic Asian flavours – salty, sweet and nutty. The crispy texture and the citrusy notes from the lime leaves work well with the smokiness of garlic lifting the flavours of the fried chicken – pair it with a simple vegetable fried rice and you have a true Asian meal in no time at all.

Stir Fried Chicken with Lime Leaves and Garlic -

Today’s recipe is a guest post for Shalzz of Something’s Cooking. I have known Shalzz for over a year now…and what I like best about her is the joie de vivre she brings to every conversation. An army wife with a career in IT, she has a very balanced approach to life which enables her to touch base with her love for writing and cooking.

Shalzz loves Asian flavours so this one’s for you dear…stir fried chicken with lime leaves and garlic.


1. 4 boneless chicken thighs, cut into thin strips
2. 8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3. 10 kaffir lime leaves, veins removed and shredded
Read more

Stir Fried Chicken with Lime Leaves and Garlic -

Chicken Stir-fry with Chillies and Basil

Balance of flavours – this is key to preparing delicious food. But I find this challenge slightly more daunting when I cook Chinese food. Juxtaposition of so many flavours in a single dish – sweet, sour, salty….endless!

If you are a newbie to Chinese cooking, then it is always better to start off with simple dishes where you have more control over the flavours and ingredients. The list of sauces used in Chinese cooking can get a little overwhelming if you are a beginner. This simple chicken stir-fry is a classic and is inspired by a similar recipe by Les Huynh (a self-taught chef specializing in Asian cuisine) from his best selling cookbook ‘Blue Ginger’.

It’s simple, quick with just a handful of ingredients, perfect for a mid week meal.  A perfect accompaniment to noodles, fried rice or simply as a starter.

Chicken Stir-fry with Chillies and Basil -


  1. Chicken thigh fillet (skinless) – 500 gm, finely sliced or cut into thin strips
  2. Garlic – 4 medium cloves
  3. Long red chillies – 2-3 (adjust to heat preferences)
  4. Dark soy sauce – 2 tbsp
  5. Raw Sugar – 1 tbsp
  6. Semi dried Basil leaves – 1 tsp (use fresh basil if you have)
  7. Salt – to taste
  8. Vegetable oil – 2-3 tbsp
  9. Sesame oil – a few drops


• Pound garlic and chillies into a coarse paste using a mortar and pestle or a food processor.
• Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan/wok. Add the chilli-garlic paste and fry on medium heat constantly stirring for 1-2 minutes.
• Add the chicken pieces and then add soy sauce and sesame oil. Cook on high heat till the chicken pieces have cooked. Add sugar, taste and season with salt as desired.
• Add the basil and toss well to combine.
• Remove from heat and garnish with fresh basil.

Chicken Stir-fry with Chillies and Basil -

Broccoli Mushroom Rice

I consider ‘leftover rice’ to be a boon as it means I can dish out a simple yet interesting rice dish the next day, team it up with a raita and dinner’s ready. Strictly for days when you are too tired to even think of cooking yet do not want another take-away.

This one is more like a rice stir-fry; broccoli florets and brown mushrooms sautéed on high heat with a dash of soy sauce. The choice of vegetables is entirely individualistic; use the idea and create your own rice stir-fry with what’s available in your refrigerator.



1. Rice (any variety; I used leftover rice but you could make it from scratch) – 2 cups
2. Broccoli florets – 1 cup, blanched/steamed
3. Brown mushrooms – 1 cup, diced
4. Soy sauce – 1 tbsp
5. Tomato chilli sauce – 1 tsp
6. Ginger – 1 tsp, grated
7. Salt – to season
8. Pepper – to season
9. Vegetable oil – 2 tbsp.


• In a wok, heat oil and sauté the mushrooms for a minute on high heat.
• Add broccoli, grated ginger, soy sauce and tomato chilli sauce and sauté for another minute.
• Season with salt and pepper; add rice and mix thoroughly to combine.
• Serve hot.


And since this is a recipe using leftovers, I decided to enter it for the leftover makeover contest being hosted on Cutchi Kitchen (


Pasta Stir-fry (with asparagus, broccoli, peppers and snow peas)

Once in a while, I like to go off the heavy pasta sauces and have it light and simple. And this is my go to dish then – the veggies keep changing but the concept is the same.

This dish is more like a warm pasta salad but a complete and fulfilling meal in itself. And a good way to get children to eat vegetables too. A pinch of chilli flakes provide the spicy edge for our Indian taste buds but you can skip it for a neutral flavour or add a dash of tomato sauce too. My kiddo likes it with the chilli flakes though.

Adi loves to take these kind of pasta dishes to school; and I am more than happy because he really enjoys the veggies when cooked this way.

Pasta Stir-fry (with asparagus, broccoli, peppers and snow peas) -



1. Pasta curls – 250 gms
2. Asparagus – 1 bunch, sliced diagonally
3. Broccoli – 1 small head, cut into florets
4. Snow peas – 50gms, sliced diagonally
5. Red bell pepper – 1 small, thinly sliced
6. Red onion – 1, sliced
7. Olive oil
8. Salt – to taste
9. Pepper – to taste
10. Chilli flakes – 1 tsp
11. Dried Italian herbs – 1 tsp


• Cook the pasta in salted water till al dente. Drain and keep aside.
• In a large wok or pan, heat olive oil and add sliced onion. Saute for one minute.
• Add asparagus, broccoli, bell pepper and snow peas and sauté for another minute or two.
• Add the cooked pasta, chilli flakes, dried herbs and season with salt and pepper. Stir fry on high heat for a minute.


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