Best sausage rolls ever..hands down

Sausage roll are the quintessential foods in Nz and down under, and most of the offerings in the shops just don’t cut it. .they are full of fillers and rubbish and have as much flavour as a discarded pizza box.With my classical training at The Oberoi Delicatessen ,where we would make all manner of charcuterie inhouse with no breadcrumbs in sight..Here we go .

  • Minced meat – 500 g( yes it’s a lot but you can make and freeze them., Chicken or pork is good
  • Salt 3 g
  • Chicken stock powder-2 g ( get a digital scale )
  • Garlic 10g
  • Fennel seeds-1 g
  • Cumin ground -1 g
  • Mixed herbs( thyme, oregano)-1 g
  • Nutmeg- pinch
  • paprika – 5 g or chipotle 1 g
  • pepper – pinch
  • Milk powder- 25 g
  • Eggs-1 – (1/2 in the mix and half for eggwashing.)
  • Puff pastry – 400 g approximately
  • fennel seeds or cumin seeds to go on top.

Mix the minced meat with all the dry ingredients an add in the egg in the end. Commercially we also add in about 100 g of ice in a big sort of a blender , which makes the whole mix a whole lot more moist when cooked.

To assemble these you need a largeish strip of puff pastry(try to get the butter version, its a lot better). Approximatley 10 cm s wide by 20 cms long.

make a sausage sort of shape with the meat and put in the middle of the pastry. egg wash the edges and seal the pastry forming a round sort of a shape. Eggwash the top as well and sprinkle with some fennel or cumin seeds.

Rest in the fridge for 15-20 mins and then bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 18-20 mins…drool over it and say Thank you lord for this amazing sausage roll , its like manna from heaven

Lamb kebab for Inzi

I made a version of this during the disastrous cricket world cup in the Caribbean, while working for the Hilton Trinidad and conference center.That was the then Pakistan cricket team captain Inzamam Ul haqs birthday. That was a disastrous world cup for both Pakistan and India.

Pakistans coach Bob Woolmer died under mysterious circumstances after their first rund loss , fortunately for us, not in Trinidad but in Jamaica. India lost their game against Bangladesh and were knocked out of the world cup.

Today’s recipe Is similar to what i made then..but I’ve always tweaked my recipes to make them work better.

these quantities will make about 16-20 small kebabs

  • lamb mince- 500 g
  • Onion chopped fine 1 medium one ..75 g
  • oil- 10 g-
  • Green chilli -1-2 chopped fine
  • Coriander sprigs 1 chopped
  • Mint fresh 1 sprig chopped
  • Garam masala powder- 1/4 t or large pinch
  • Salt- 3 g/ 1/2 t
  • Chicken stock powder- 2 g
  • turmeric – pinch
  • Ground ginger and Garlic- 20 g.
  • lemon juice- 1/2 lemon

Heat oil and saute onion till translucent. When Cool add all the other ingredients. At times ive even added a bit of cream cheese to make the kebabs stay moister.

Cook on a griddle or a frying pan till just done…do not overcook and make them dry!!

Sabudana khichdi

This is a very traditiional breakfast food, served in Maharashtra , and made usually by the ” Bamans/Bramhins”. Luckily i was half of one so got to taste this delicacy many a time as a child. The sago or tapioca pearls are made from the sap of the tapioca,( Dont ask me how, because i have never researched that).

To date there are several tradional eateries in my town of Pune, where this is served only once or twice a week, depending ontheir menu or when it used to served as a fasting food.Some oof those places like ” Sri Uphaar Gruha”, maintain their tradition.Another place where i would eat this a lot was at Deccan Gymkhana Tennis Club, where an old guy called Appa was running their canteen. 2018 when i went to look alas, the whole place had chnaged and the canteen disappeared. Even Sri Uphaar gruha had moved from its share a bench with some unknown stranger and only 15 seat capacity to just down the road in a more spacious place. Fortunately the food was still good

Ok before we meander too much lets get back to the job in hand .

  • Sago/ Sabudana pearls(large sized )- 200 gm/ approx 1 cup
  • peanuts shelled, peeled roasted – 2 T/ 40 g
  • Green chilli- 1 medium
  • Potato 1 medium(125 g or so ) cooked and peeled
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar- to taste
  • cumin / jeera seeds- 3 gm/ 1 t
  • Ghee/ clarified butter- 10 g/ 2t
  • Oil- 10 g/ 2 t
  • Red chilli powder – pinch

The pre prearation starts the night before, when you soak or just wash the sago pearls. What i like to do is just wash in a strainer and wash a few more times after and they will swell up./Alternately you can also soak with the barest minimum water to just come up to the surface level of the pearls in a bowl.Beware too much water and the tapioca starch in it will make it into a sticky yuckey goeey mess. Practise and experience helps.

The next morning the soaked pearls should be swelled up and easy to separate not clumped up. To the sago we add crushed peanut+chilli which we blitzkrieg together in the blender. ( Not too fine mind it , we like some texture in it).We also add salt and some sugar to taste. its not a sweet dessert so the sugar is just to balance the chilli and make it oomph.

Heat the oil and ghee and add the cumin, cook it till turns browner but not burnt then add the cubes of potato and saute them till they are coated and not very mushy. The next step is crucial too to ensure you dont get stodgy khichdi.

Add in sago mix and stir very lightly.keep on a medium/ low heat and cover just for a minute. you might need to add more oil/ ghee .Any longer and the pearls over burst and get mushy, we just want them translcent and slightly sticking to each other.

Garnish with chopped coriander and shredded coconut and or cucumber and yoghurt relish and sing an ode to ye olde masters Appa..

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 .

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..