Sichuan chili oil

This is the home made version of a famous chilli sauce called Lao Gan Ma but this is better because we make it from scratch. This I learnt actually from my student Hao Wang ..

  • chilli flakes- 2 T / 20 g
  • chopped garlic- 1 t/ 10 g
  • Oil -50 g
  • sesame seeds- 1 t / 5 g
  • chilli powder/ paprika-1 t
  • fermented dry black beans -1t/ 10 g
  • sugar- 5 g
  • stock powder / ji jin – 1t/ 5 g
  • sesame oil- 1 t/ 5 ml

It’s fairly simple to make and stays for months in the fridge . Heat the oil and saute the garlic and beans and once it smells aromatic add chilli flakes-Do Not BURN.. then add the sesame seeds and let brown lightly .finally add the chilli or paprika and sugar , stock powder and sesame oil. Chill and serve with dumplings and so on..

Pan frying TECHNOLOGY

not really technology but just simple tricks to make sure the fish you are pan frying does not stick horribly and break up as you try to take it out. Same technique works for chicken , lamb ,beef , even 🦘 .

It’s as simple as that.line your pan or roasting tray with baking paper and as long as you don’t go overboard with the heat you are safe to cook all you want with much less sticky goo to clean off your pans .

The orange and poppy seed cake

This cake I made at work but m writing a condensed smaller version which can fit domestic ovens and don’t need a huge amount of eggs etc.

  • Butter 60
  • Oil 60 g
  • Sugar 150 g
  • Eggs 2 nos
  • flour 150 g
  • almond powder 50 g
  • Baking powder -7 g
  • orange -1 slice thinly
  • Vanilla essence
  • Orange flower water
  • Poppy seeds- 5 g

heat sugar with 25 ml water and make into syrup and poach orange slices for a little bit and drain. Cool down syrup

preheat oven to 175 C and get your tin lined with baking paper . Arrange orange slices on base.

cream the butter and oil mix with the sugar syrup .

add eggs and essences. Mix flour almond poppy and baking powder.Fold into the mix and pour into tin.

bake at 175 C for 25-30 mins until done . Cool down and invert. Don’t share ..😆😆

Sourdough loaf

With sourdough there are hundreds and thousands of recipes that you can find but all you need is practice..

This recipe is in two parts and take two days to finish..roughly as in you start one night and the next evening you can have your bread.

part 1

  • Water 100 g
  • Flour 90 gm
  • Rye flour or whole wheat flour – 10 g
  • Sour starter- 10 g
  • Mix and keep overnight
  • The next morning
  • take all starter and add to
  • water 400 g
  • flour 540 g
  • whole wheat flour -60 g
  • salt 12 g
  • then you autolyse this.( Autolyse is a term used by bakers to make you feel inadequate). It’s just light mixing to let the gluten get hydrated .
  • keep for 30 mins . And the you stretch and fold.. ..I’ll try and put some vdos to show this but it’s really simple . You pull the dough and fold into three like a trifold .
  • then rest for 15 mins and repeat and do this 4-5 times.
  • let the dough rest then for 8-12 hrs in the fridge or a cool area so it slow ferments and develops complex flavours .
  • Divide into two boules or baguettes.. pre heat the oven to 230 C.shape and slash the bread. I will look to make a vdo and add that on at some stage .
  • Preheat the tray or stone you are baking on and slide the prepared doughs ( do it on non stick baking paper) Bake for about 30-35 minutes.
  • Cool down on wire rack .

Chintu..the brave boxer with the largest heart

We have always been a family of dog lovers and have had many a dog all of whom have touched our hearts in a unique way.. Chintu was one such who beat the odds all the time and had such an optimism about him that was heart warming to see .He loved us all to bits and would sulk if he saw another pup getting some cuddles more than what he did ..

This story is about how he beat the Russel’s viper and survived his snake bite the time around 1998/99.

I worked in OAS Bombay at the time and would often go back home to Pune to meet my parents and all the doglings.. One such evening when I landed home it awas evening I saw Aai and Baba on the platform/ deck outside the house and a prone Chintu.

Apparently they saw him barking in the bushes and then attack something which they found later to be the dead body of Russel’s viper.He then took a few steps toward them and collapsed.

Then being doctors they decided they must do whatever it could be to save our brave boy.Deep my brother went to Sassoon hospital to grab antivenin and atropine.

We sat up all night alterately holding him while Baba my father injected him every hour with antivenin and then Atropine . The next day I had to return back to work and Bombay. In the morning our boy Chintu woke up and took a few woozy steps but made a full recovery.

A year or so later he would leave the house to go-to Talegaon where he spent the rest of his days on our family friends poultry farm .

Sometime later in another dog Anamika got bitten too but couldn’t be saved. She did leave for us two lovely gifts whom we named after her and a friend’s sister Anne Marie and Mika who had stories of their own.

stories of foods from the world over, laced with a hint of sarcasm and some black humour, its not for everyone, but then never was meant to be..