Saoji Mutton

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It was in 2005, I had to deliver a workshop at Nagpur and that’s when I first savoured this lip-smacking dish at the Pride hotel. Fortunately for me, there were several occasions when I had to keep coming back to Nagpur and every time I made it a point to request the banquets to serve this dish for lunch.
9 years later, on a foodies group called Experimental Cuisines I saw the recipe for Saoji Masala posted by Shilpi Sanyal. Shilpi very kindly obliged me with an online tutorial and what followed is here.

Pungent. Earthy. Robust. Piquant. These are some of the words that come close but don’t really do justice to this dish.
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Mini Frittata’s

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It was one of the days when I felt like eggs for breakfast and somehow the thought of sunny sides up or scrambled eggs or an omelet didn’t sound good enough. I quickly rummaged the fridge and i found some chirizo’s and some pitted green olives. While I set them up on the counter, I thought I heard some sun-dried cherry tomatoes call out to me. 🙂 I scanned the shelves again and found some dried oregano too. So I quickly sliced one chorizo and sauteed them lightly in a non-stick sauce pan. I divided these into 2 portions and got them to fit into 2 silicon pancake moulds. I then poured 2 beaten eggs into the moulds and seasoned them with salt and pepper. I then tossed in equal portions of the halved green olives and the sun-dried cherry tomatoes into the 2 moulds. I finally dusted the surface of the eggs with some oregano and then covered them and let them cook on a low flame for about 5 minutes. I like my eggs wet and if you want your set – you might have to let them stay for some more time. Here they are. They went well with last night’s milk pull-apart rolls.
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Mini Frittata's

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It was one of the days when I felt like eggs for breakfast and somehow the thought of sunny sides up or scrambled eggs or an omelet didn’t sound good enough. I quickly rummaged the fridge and i found some chirizo’s and some pitted green olives. While I set them up on the counter, I thought I heard some sun-dried cherry tomatoes call out to me. 🙂 I scanned the shelves again and found some dried oregano too. So I quickly sliced one chorizo and sauteed them lightly in a non-stick sauce pan. I divided these into 2 portions and got them to fit into 2 silicon pancake moulds. I then poured 2 beaten eggs into the moulds and seasoned them with salt and pepper. I then tossed in equal portions of the halved green olives and the sun-dried cherry tomatoes into the 2 moulds. I finally dusted the surface of the eggs with some oregano and then covered them and let them cook on a low flame for about 5 minutes. I like my eggs wet and if you want your set – you might have to let them stay for some more time. Here they are. They went well with last night’s milk pull-apart rolls.
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Roasted Beetroot and Garlic Soup

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A couple of days ago, while rummaging through the fridge, I found a few beetroot’s that looked perfect for some soup. And the previous ‘oil-free’ soup felt good and I figured I could play some more. Turned out well. My parents – Dad’s 90 and Mum’s 78 both loved it. Dad even commented about it a day later. Roasted beetroot and garlic take on a mellow, rounded and delicately sweet flavor. And the color is just ‘undescribable’! So, here goes:
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Carrot and Ginger Soup

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Most evenings, Sudha and I do a soup and bread dinner. It’s simple and wholesome and light and healthy and there’s always some veggies that one can play with. Plus there’s something very gratifying in dunking a nice fat piece of home-made bread into a steaming serving of thick soup. So, when I got invited to  a facebook event called ‘Oil-free-cooking’, I paused and said to myself – but there’s hardly anything I make without some fat – except the lean breads of course. And as I peered into the non-stick pans perched on the kitchen wall, I said to myself – what the hell – how will I ever know unless I play? So, here’s some PurePlay without a drop of oil.
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Stir Fried Lotus Root that turned into a salad

Stir fried Lotus RootGinger, garlic, sliced lotus root, red chillies, green onions, sesame seeds, sesame oil, soya sauce. Heat the oil. Marinate all the other ingredients in soya sauce. When the oil is hot, lower heat and toss in all the ingredients. Let them sizzle and when you smell heaven turn off the heat. I took out a few slices of the lotus to check if they were cooked – you’ll know because they’ll be crunchy and full of flavor from all the other ingredients. Was fun cooking it and eating it too. 🙂

 

And there was some left over that became a Stir Fried Lotus Root Salad. Added some cream cheese, caramelized red and yellow peppers and some crisply fried curry leaves. Turned out to be quite an adventure on the plate and the palate.
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Rice tossed with fried Sardines

 

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Recycling always pays! Especially when one has transported a good catch from Calicut waters.
Step 1 – fry sardines (coated with chilli powder, turmeric powder & salt) in coconut oil with a few sprigs of curry leaves and rosemary (just for kicks). When the fish is done, add a dash of soya sauce (just for kicks again) and swirl around to whatever music is playing. Set the fried fish aside.

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Mussels in Egg Plant Blankets

 

2014-01-03 20.19.42Every time I used to visit Calicut (Kozhikode) my mom invariable packed me some semi-fried Kalumakkai (Mussels). These would promptly be devoured in a day or two. Sometimes, Sudha would stash away a handful of these for the proverbial rainy day. During one of the my raids on the freezer, I discovered some beauties. I also spotted some egg plants in the veggie tray. I heated up some coconut oil in a frying pan and tossed the semi-fried mussels in them till they were nicely browned and crisp at the edges. While they were getting done, I sliced the egg plants length-wise and baked them in the oven for a few minutes till they were lightly browned. I then rolled the fried mussels on some freshly chopped coriander leaves and slivers of ginger. And then wrapped them in the baked egg plant slices. Here there are:
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