Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spicy Sole Fish Fry

Yesterday, I was craving for the spicy tandoori fish  from Kabab and Currys which is one of their best dishes and one that we order every single time we are there. Luckily, I found some fresh sole fish filets in Costco and ended up making it for dinner and enjoyed it thoroughly with my family.

This is my quick and easy Kerala style recipe and all you need is a pestle and mortar for making the marinade, allow it to marinate in the fridge for some time, and fry it when it is time for dinner.


Sole fish filets -10-12
Ginger - 1-2" piece (peeled and sliced coarsely)
Garlic - 5-6 cloves (peeled)
Pearl onions - 5-6 (peeled)
Chilli powder - 1-2 tbsp (depending on your spice level)
Pepper powder - 1-2 tsp (depending on your spice level)
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4-1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil or Coconut oil for frying


Use a pestle and mortar to make a paste of ginger, garlic, pearl onions, and all the spice powders (chilli, coriander, turmeric, pepper). Add a little water if necessary. 


Clean the fish filets and put them in a bowl. I use a traditional Kerala style clay pot for all of my seafood preparations.

Apply the marinade to the filets using your hands making sure it is applied on both sides of the fish. Taste the marinade and check to see if the proportions of salt and spices are okay. If not, add some more and mix well.

Once you have finished applying, close with a lid and leave it in the fridge for some time (the longer the better).


Add some vegetable oil/Coconut oil to cover the bottom layer of the pan and heat it on amedium flame. Once you notice some slight smoke forming, add 2 or 3 filets one by one to the pan. Do not crowd the pan. Allow it to turn golden brown and then flip it. Sole fish filets are very delicate, so be very careful when you flip them over to the other side to avoid breaking up the filets.

Once the fish is done, transfer them to a plate lined with tissue paper and lay them on that. Serve it with a side of julienned red onions and green chillies dressed with lemon juice and salt. Enjoy this yummy spicy sole fish with steamed rice and dhal, sambar or rasam.   Bon Appetit!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers Day 2012

Today marks the first anniversary of my blog and also the day I get totally pampered by my family.  I am so happy and proud of myself for starting this blog and updating it with posts of my favorite food and places without fail. I have totally enjoyed this one year with my blog. My knowledge of food has also increased tremendously. Even in my wildest of the dreams, I had never pictured myself as a baker but since last summer, I tried my hand at baking and have been enjoying it thoroughly.

I love traveling to places with my family and seeking out good food. So here we were today visiting Sonoma Valley which is considered to be the birth-place of wine-making in California.

Lately this county is also known for its world class gourmet restaurants and the amazing specialty food shops. I had read so much about this place on Yelp! and other food magazines that I was so eager to pay a visit and I  couldn't have chosen a better day to visit.We passed by a lot of vineyards as we drove to this place.

This is definitely one of the best places for foodies. As we happily strolled in this town we ended up in this alley where we spotted  "The taste of Himalayas" which  I recalled having  very good reviews from yelpers and just across from it was "Murphys Irish Pub".

 Well, since we were inhaling Indian food 99% of the time we decided to do the honors at the  "Murphy's Irish Pub".

The weather was so good, so we decided to sit outside. We ordered their special for the day-Clam chowder made with Little neck clams, House-made chicken pot pie with a side of fries and Fish tacos. The beer-battered cod fish fillets were perfectly fried for the fish tacos and came with a side of avocado, radish and cabbage salad, and pico de gallo.

Clam chowder with little neck clams

Fish tacos with avocado, radish and cabbage salad and pico-de-gallo

House-made chicken pot pie with fries

For dessert, we ordered their Bread pudding with an Irish cream caramel Sauce which was absolutely delicious.

Bread pudding with Irish cream caramel sauce

The Irish cream caramel sauce was so good that we literally licked the plate clean.

I must say that the food was quite good and we enjoyed everything that we had ordered.

After lunch we continued our stroll around the remaining part of this quaint little town glaring at all these gourmet restaurants and various food shops catering to everybody's needs like this specialty shop for Dogs.

Three Dog Bakery

This place reminded us so much of Italy since it had so many alleys and when we go inside these cute little alleys, you are surprised by these  beautiful fountains and murals on the walls and then you see all these hole-in-the-wall shops and restaurants. This shop below carried a variety of ceramics beautifully crafted and painted  from Egypt.

Then we visited Epicurean connection which was being raved so much on Yelp! for its cheese making classes, yummy soups,  sandwiches, breads, jars of their house-made dijon mustard, pickles, sauces, and tons of other items it carried in its modest little shop.

This place has definitely surpassed what I had pictured in my mind. I was blown away after visiting this beautiful wine county. I thoroughly enjoyed this Mothers Day by visiting this quaint little town which had everything that interested me and will definitely pay a visit soon for tasting more food. Hope you all enjoyed Mother's day as much as I did.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Squid sauteed in spicy grated coconut (Kanava thoran)

Pondering over what to make for dinner, I was in Whole Foods looking for some inspiration from the seafood section and spotted some fresh Squid/Calamari, one of my favorites among seafood. It is called "Kanava" in Malayalam.  Suddenly, I had this idea of putting together a simple home cooked meal with hot rice, dal, pappad, and squid thoran. "Thoran" in Keralite cooking is basically any vegetable or seafood mixed with coarsely blended grated coconut  and spices. 

Cleaned squid with tentacles - 2 pounds
Onion - 1 big (finely chopped)
Grated coconut - 1 cup
Turmeric powder - 1-2 tsp
Coriander powder- 2 tbsp
Chilli powder - 1 tbsp
Pepper powder - 1/2 tbsp
Coconut oil - 2-3 tsp

For Tempering:

Mustard seeds - 1-2 tsp
Pearl onions - 5-10 (finely chopped)
Dried red chillies - 4-5
Curry leaves - 1-2 sprigs
Grated coconut - 1-2 tsp
Vegetable oil
Salt to taste


1.  Cut the squid into small bite size pieces and wash them well. Boil them in a covered pan with a little water, turmeric powder, and some salt. Cook for about 5minutes. 

2. On a medium flame, heat a pan and dry roast the spice powders (coriander, chilli, and pepper). Grind this  roasted spice powder coarsely with the grated coconut. Use some water for grinding.

3. Heat 2-3tsp of vegetable oil in a shallow pan or clay pot on medium flame. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped onions  and fry them till they are translucent. Drain away the squid water and add all the boiled squid to the onion mixture.

4.Add the coarsely ground masala to this and mix well. Add 1 sprig of curry leaves and cook this mixture with a lid for 5 minutes.

5. Open the lid and stir well, check for salt and see if the masala has incorporated well with the squid and the oil has separated on the sides. 

6. In a different pan add 1-2tsp of coconut oil. Once it is hot, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Now add the red chillies, chopped pearl onions, 1-2 tsp of grated coconut and fry till the onions and the coconut turn golden brown. Now add the curry leaves. 

7. Add this seasoning to the squid curry.

 Enjoy this dish with steamed rice!

Pasta with homemade Spinach Pesto

There are days when you really don't have any energy left or nothing motivates you to cook. Yesterday was one of those days for me. But I had a bag of spinach that I desperately wanted to finish and decided to make this simple pasta dish with homemade pesto sauce. I have to tell you that it was so flavorful that my kids were licking their plates clean.

Making Pesto sauce is very simple and you can alter the recipe with ingredients that you like. The measurements also depend on individual taste. I love to taste the pesto as I add the ingredients and process it in the food processor. I would say it is like making chutneys or any other condiments.


Spinach - 2 cups
Garlic cloves - 4-5
Pine nuts - handful
Grated Parmesan cheese - 1/3 to 1/4 cup
Olive oil - 1/2 cup or more
Salt to taste


Wash and drain the spinach leaves, put them in the food processor, and pulse it a few times. Now add the remaining ingredients to it and puree them. Keep adding the olive oil while pureeing, so that everything gets pureed well. Mix this with your favorite pasta. Store the remaining Pesto sauce in an air tight container. Remember to add more olive oil before storing. There should be a layer of olive oil above the pesto sauce. If not, the Pesto will loose its green color.


Choose any pasta that you like and cook them in boiling hot water till they are al dente. Drain them and keep them aside. Since this is a simple pasta dish I have added some more flavors to it. 

Heat the sauce pan on medium flame. Add the oil from a can of anchovies. Also add 3-4 anchovies and allow it to dissolve in the oil. If you are not an anchovy fan, just add olive oil.  Add some red crushed pepper flakes and some capers. Add the drained pasta to it and mix it well. You can even add some lemon butter sauce or just a little bit of cream to the pasta to give it more flavor and creaminess. 

Now switch of the flame, add the pesto sauce, and mix it well to incorporate everything.
Bon Appetit!