Tag Archive | Wok Cooking

Indian Spinach and Pork

As you well know by now I do have a pretty good relationship with my WOK.

For only 1 or 2 people producing a delicious meal in no time and with no fuss and most of all without lots of washing-up, a wok is the perfect tool for somebody who is always on the go and often running short of time.

So, therefore I share with you today my recipe for yesterday’s lunch.

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I remembered I had bought a bunch of “Palak” the South Indian equivalent of our Spinach and it needed to be used fairly quickly. I also had some pork left over from a Pork Vindaloo dish. Some nice fresh peanuts I had just bought winking at me from their jar – and so very quickly I had assembled everything I needed and just 30 minutes later (that included the time to take some pictures for you to see) I was able to sit at the table and enjoy my “Spinach and Pork Stir Fry”.

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So, for 1 slightly hungry person you will need:

3 x spring onions, I used only the white, cut into rings
1 x small piece of fresh ginger, very finely chopped
2-3 x garlic cloves, very finely chopped
Some pork (appr. 100 gr), cut into small mouth sized pieces
1 x Tbsp Soya sauce
1 x tsp Honey (or less if you don’t like it too sweet)
2 x tsp lemon juice
1 x bunch of fresh Palak or appr. 150-200 gr fresh spinach, well washed, keep aside in a colander to lose some of the water
1 x tsp Oil
1 x small handful of fresh Peanuts
Salt and Pepper to your taste

To cook:

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Heat Wok with the oil on medium heat. After 2 minutes add your Peanuts, Garlic and Ginger, keep stirring, add Pork and continue stirring for app. 2 minutes or so.

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Add the prepared Palak/Spinach and all the Spring onion rings; stir and cook for a further 2 minutes.

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Mix honey, lemon juice and Soya sauce together and add to the wok. Finally check, and if needed, add salt and pepper.

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Since I like my Palak/Spinach slightly crisp I continue cooking for 2-3 more minutes.

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And that’s it! Ready. Serve with rice.

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Guten Appetit!

Namaskaram, Carina

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Devilish Hot TUNA Curry

As you well know by now we live right on the coast of the Arabian Sea in the beautiful State of Kerala – the land with an abandonment of Fish, Coconut, Herbs and Spices.

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A Keralian household without fish – unthinkable! And of course there are as many different versions of “Red Fish Curry” as there are families in Kerala. This particular curry today is by all means not a typical traditional Kerala Fish Curry, but it is just one of many favourites in our house. This recipe started off one way or another quite differently but over time we perfected it until we got it just right for our own taste – ok, admittedly, one has to like love spices!!! Of course, you can always tone down the heat a notch (or even two or three), but if you do love “the heat” in your curry, then I suggest do not change anything – it is truly so delicious and it will only make you want more.

We love coconut in our cooking, but in this case here we completely omitted this – and don’t you agree, this beautiful red colour looks sooo inviting.

Traditionally this curry is made in an earthenware pot, a “Kalchatti” made out of clay. Unfortunately my “Kalchatti” broke the other day and I have not been able to pick one up from the road side, where vendors selling those for very little money. Somehow cooking this curry in a “Kalchatti” improves the flavour.

So, I made this curry in my normal wok on the gas stove and it tasted equally fantastic (even if I may say so myself!!!).

Again, what you see here in the photographs is just for the 2 of us, with enough left over for the following day, since letting it stand overnight will really improve the flavour. I also used a nice chunk of beautiful Tuna, which JS got from the market.

Ingredients:

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½ x kg Tuna, washed, skin and bones removed and cut carefully into neat cubes
1 ½ x large onions, halved and sliced
5 x green chillies cut lengthwise
8 x garlic, thinly sliced (our garlic is quite small)
1 x Tbsp fresh ginger, finely diced
2 x large tomatoes, deseeded and cut into quarters
Some sprigs of curry leaves
½ x tsp of Mustard seeds
2 x Tbsp of best-of-the-range Fish Masala Powder (I used a local brand Nirapara)
Little oil and salt and pepper, according to your taste
4 x pieces of Kodampuli (Kokkum), washed and then soaked in lukewarm water for 15-30 minutes (do not discard the water)

Method:
1. Soak Kodampuli and keep aside.
2. Wash and prepare Tuna, keep aside.
3. Prepare all your vegetables, keep aside.
4. Heat wok on medium heat and when hot (stay on medium! Heat) add Mustard seeds and wait for them to go ‘pop’ – WARNING: they are real little devils and will spit at you when they ‘pop’ – so do keep your face away.

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5. Now add onions, garlic, ginger, green chillies, curry leaves and a little salt. Stir gently – don’t allow any of this to get dark (you might have to regulate your heat)

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6. Add 2 Tbsp of your Fish Masala Powder, mix, and now followed by tomatoes, all the Kodampuli and half their water – stir again and carefully add your Tuna into this Masala (without breaking any of the pieces).

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7. Add enough water to cover everything well (but, if you want extra gravy, just add a bit more water and the remaining Kodampuli water).

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8. Cook gently on medium heat for 10-15 minutes (keep checking) – Done!!!

9. Cover with lid and let it stand for a while before serving. And of course as I mentioned earlier, this is even far superior the following day.

So maybe you might like to prepare this Curry a day before you have guests.

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Serve this either with plain white rice, mashed potatoes, mashed Tapioca (Kappa Puzhukku), or chunks of nice bread (after all, this gravy is simply delicious).

Namaskaram, Carina

Caribbean Sweet and Sour Mango Chicken

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As I have mentioned somewhere before, when I lived for 3 years in the Caribbean (in Port-of-Spain/Trinidad), I too, like many of the other ‘diplomatic wives’ on this Island, went for a couple of weeks to a charming old Chinese Lady to learn the basics of ‘Chinese-cooking-with-a-wok’. Her name was Suzie Wong! Yes, film buffs of course will immediately connect this name with the very beautiful young actress Nancy Kwan, starring in her first film “The world of Suzie Wong”.

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Wok cooking is so quick and easy to do – then why did I put this onto my kitchen back shelf for quite some years once we had left Trinidad, I kept asking myself. Maybe because I had nearly worn out my own Wok in those wonderful three years – and of course, living on the Island with its multi-racial population, who did not like Chinese food???

So now that I started writing easy to follow (I hope) recipes for elder daughter, living away from home, and her friends, my Wok has come into his own again – certain weeks with a vengeance!.

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So here now a recipe which includes two of our favourite main ingredients – Chicken and Mango. I found this scribbled down note in my box of loose “Recipes from around the world” and immediately I decided late at night to make this for today’s Lunch.

Caribbean Sweet and Sour Mango Chicken

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I used for 2-3 portions:

3 x Chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1 x very large ripe mango peeled and cut free from its large seed and then cut into nice longish strips. Keep aside.
2 Tbsp good sunflower oil
12 x biggish shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1.5 x tsp of fresh ginger, cut into long thin slivers
Some leeks, washed thoroughly and cut into thin rings
3 x garlic cloves, crushed well
1 x cups of green gram beansprouts

To make Sweet and Sour Sauce
2 x Tbsp white wine vinegar
4 x Tbsp of water
2 x Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1 x Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
2 x Tbsp clear honey
2 x Tbsp very good tomato ketchup
1 x tsp cornflour
2 x chicken stock cubes (I used KNORR), crumbled

First start making your sauce.

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Combine all the above mentioned ingredients in a jug incl. the cornflour, which will slightly thicken the sauce. Set aside.

Heat up your Wok (or large frying pan) on medium flame, add oil and after 1 minute also the prepared chicken. Quickly brown the meat for maximum 3 minutes (keep stirring). Transfer with a slotted spoon into a small bowl and keep aside.
Into the same oil add the shallots and the ginger, stir for a couple of minutes only, after which you add your sauce and the mango.
Bring gently to the boil and continue simmering for another 2 minutes.

With this particular dish we like to alternate between long-grain basmati rice and Chinese noodles.

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请享用
Qǐng xiǎngyòng = Enjoy your meal
Carina