Sharmi on the Trot

Travelling, Exploring, Eating…

Archive for the tag “bell peppers”

Decadent Weekend Breakfast on a Weekday!

So what if it’s a weekday? It doesn’t stop me from creating weekend breakfasts. In fact, I feel all the more happy because as I dig into delicious food, I feel a spring in my step. The day starts well and generally it ends on a rather happy note.
There are many variations of this North African dish – Eggs with bell
peppers or Shakshuka. Mexico celebrates eggs with tomatoes as Huevos Rancheros. I try to walk on an unconventional path and often make a mixture of the two. And I often eat it on Sundays with a large mug of coffee — it’s heaven in the pan!

Ingredients
2 Eggs
1 small bell pepper (chopped)
1 small carrot (chopped)
1 small onion (chopped)
4 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1 small tomato (chopped)
2 button mushrooms (chopped)
2 tbs tomato puree
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp chilly flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
Salt to taste
Coriander to garnish

Method
– Heat the oil in a pan.
– Saute the onion, garlic and chilly flakes till the mixture is soft and has a lovely reddish tinge.
– Add the bell pepper, carrot and smoked paprika. Cook till soft.
– Add the mushrooms, tomato and salt to season.
– Add the tomato puree and oregano. Cook till everything is nice and squidgy.
– Make a small parting in the middle of the vegetable mixture and crack the eggs.
– If you like your eggs to be runny, cover the pan with a lid for about
a minute till it cooks. I cover it for about 3 minutes till the yolks
cook through. Garnish with coriander.
– Enjoy either with bread or as it is, straight off the pan!

Yes, that's what breakfast looks like!

Yes, that’s what breakfast looks like!

A close up! Enjoying the hot eggs!

A close up! Enjoying the hot eggs!

PS: I love making this for family or friends. It tastes much better if
you make it for about 4-5 people.

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Chicken and Spinach tossed in Oyster Sauce

I was recently chatting with a friend on a day when Delhi experienced sudden showers. I was literally in bed all day and only dragged myself out to eat. The weather was perfect for deep-fried goodness and lots of coffee.
We Indians love the Indo-Chinese concoctions we’ve created – Sweetcorn soup, Chicken Manchurian and the classic Chilly Chicken. So when O mentioned her homemade versions of chilly chicken (she makes it dry, deep fried or lathered in gravy) it instantly made me drool. So out came the pans, laziness all forgotten. Keeping O’s recipe in mind, I played around with the basic to create something hot and delicious, perfect for a rainy evening.

Ingredients
500g boneless chicken (cut into bite-sized pieces)
1 cup baby spinach
8-10 cloves of garlic
1 inch ginger
1 big onion
1 green bell pepper
2 tbs Dark Soy sauce
2 tbs Vinegar
2 green chilly (optional)
3 tbs Oyster sauce
1 tbs vegetable oil
Salt to taste
Coriander to garnish

Method

– Grate about 5 cloves garlic and the ginger together. Mix with salt,
soy and vinegar and add to chicken. Marinade for 30 minutes.

– Chop the remaining cloves of garlic, onion, bell pepper and chilly.

– Heat the oil in a wok. Add the garlic, onion and chilly first. Once
softened, add the bell pepper and fry for about 2 minutes.

– At this point add the marinated chicken. Then the Oyster sauce.

– Once the chicken is almost cooked through, add the baby spinach and stir everything in the pan till done to perfection.

– Garnish with coriander and serve hot!

I felt like eating it straight out of the pan!

I felt like eating it straight out of the pan!

All pretty and healthy!

All pretty and healthy!

Of Remy and Ratatouille

I enjoy watching animated films, I really do. I love the colours, the soundtrack, the plots; animation takes me back to my childhood days when my grandfather would bring video tapes of Disney films and the two of us would watch them in the evenings. Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella…

Last weekend I re-watched Ratatouille. I love the film. It’s a film which leaves me salivating, eager to try new flavour combinations I could never even have imagined could work. The film just makes food so appealing that it makes you hungry watching Remy (the little rat) create magic in the kitchen thanks to Linguini’s hands.

The fresh veggies

The fresh veggies from the market

But what left me wide-eyed was at the end of the film. It was the mishmash of green, yellow and red — the Ratatouille — he created I couldn’t stop dreaming about. All perfectly sliced and standing tall in a baking dish. It just looked so ridiculously delicious that even a staunch non-vegetarian would drool over it. Just as Anton Engo’s (the food critic) cold heart melted tasting the simple flavours, I knew I had to try and make it.

Thus, I went to the market and picked up fresh veggies and tried to recreate the hearty French regional vegetable dish. (It’s not perfect and pretty but believe me, tasted heavenly!)

Standing tall before the remaining tomato sauce gets drizzled

Standing tall before the remaining tomato sauce gets drizzled

Ingredients
1 zucchini (thinly sliced)
1 eggplant (thinly sliced. I couldn’t get the small ones so used a bigger size and cut it in half)
1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper (thinly sliced. Again, I couldn’t get smaller sized ones so I just cut it in half)
1 cup tomato puree or 2 fresh tomatoes pureed
4 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
1 small onion (thinly sliced)
3-4 tbp olive oil
1 tsp dried herbs
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 200 degree C.

In a small sauce pan heat 1 tbp olive oil. Add the garlic and onions and saute. Add the tomato puree and season with salt and pepper. Keep aside.

In a baking dish, put 3/4 of the tomato sauce at the bottom. At this point, layer the thinly sliced vegetables on top of it. Drizzle over the rest of the olive oil, dried herbs, salt and pepper and the remaining tomato sauce.

Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.

Serve with freshly toasted bread, rice, cous cous or just plain with some good quality cheese. (I used the versatile Ricotta)

A good dollop of ricotta on top and buttered toast

A good dollop of ricotta on top and buttered toast

A better view!

A better view!

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