Sunday, September 28, 2014

Curry Madness - Kofta AKA Meatball Curry Recipe

In the last 3 months this weekend has been historical of sorts. I have been cooking full blow, hoping to feed the hungry mouths as well as storing some for the coming week's dinner.

Usually I like to plan our menu such that we alternate between rice, pasta, noodles and capati through the week. However right now, given certain circumstances that the picky eater Jeev has a certain preference over rice (how typical?!), I have tweaked our menu to have rice more often. And to ensure the non egg/meat/chicken/fish eating kid gets his nutrition, I have several tricks up my sleeves.

From my observations, Jeev eats rice with gravy or soup pretty well. As such, I have devised several tactics in making him eat his vegetables and other proteins without realising it. And let me tell you a secret, it also works well in making the big Baby (the hubby) to eat his vegetables too.

First thing, I need to cook something with gravy or a thicker version of soup. Stews and curries work just great. What I do is I add chicken stock, ghee/butter/virgin coconut oil, boiled lentils and vegetables chopped small into the gravies that I make. And a little extra effort is making pilaf or briyani-inspired rice with sautees of spices, vegetables and cook in chicken stock. Not to forget those rich oil/butter/ghee. I call it glorified rice.

The weekend's menu was different varieties of curries. On Saturday I made this creamy salmon curry with spinach. What better way to feed him the goodness of fish oil and spinach? The recipe is same as my creamy butter prawn with spinach, except that I replaced the prawns with salmon. I marinated the salmon in turmeric and salt before pan frying it.

Next, on Sunday I wanted to make minced meat curry, instead I opted to turn it into meatball curry, known as kofta curry. As usual, I had to load this curry with some finely chopped veggie goodies, so it had to be green pepper, leek and celery.

There is so much of texture in the gravy due to the chopped veggies. This recipe is not spicy and perfect for kids who love their curries over rice or capati.

The meatball recipe is almost the same as what I shared previously here.

You need:
Minced chicken/pork (I used a mixture of both)
4tbsp tomato puree
2 cloves garlic, chopped
green pepper & celery, chopped, and divided into two portions
1 egg
coriander leaves, chopped
leek, chopped
onion, diced
tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp onion+garlic+ginger paste
2tbsp cumin powder
1tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1tbsp curry powder
1/4 cup evaporated milk/yogurt
some garam masala
star anise/cinnamon stick
bay leaves
some water
oil for frying
Salt and pepper


1) For the meatballs, mix the minced meat, 2tbsp tomato puree, garlic, one portion of the green pepper and celery and egg. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
2) Form balls with wet hands and pan fry till cooked. I used a frying pan which allowed me to cover for 3-5mins while cooking. Set aside.
3) Sautee the star anise, cinnamon stick onion, and leek. Once it browns, add the onion+garlic+ginger paste. Sautee till fragrant.
4) Add the tomatoes, green pepper and celery and sautee for 5 mins before adding cumin, coriander, curry and turmeric powder. Add your desired amount of water, some bay leaves and allow the spices to come to a simmer for 10 to 15mins.
5) Add 2 tbsp of tomato puree and let it simmer 5 mins before adding the milk or yogurt.
6) Let it simmer for 5 mins before adding in the cooked meatballs. Sprinkle some garam masala over the curry.
7) Once it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and sprinkle the chopped coriander leaves before serving.

While preparing the meatballs, I had enough to make patties for our burger dinner. Killing two birds with a stone always helps in times of need! I usually add oats to the meatballs to soak up the moisture, but I kinda of omitted it here, and loved the moist final result!

This curry is not just perfect with rice or capati, you could also turn leftover rice and curry into baked curry rice with meatballs!

Happy trying!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Getting The Baking Fix With Granola Bars And A Focaccia Hack

I keep thinking about it. it is always in my mind. The addiction is so strong, even though it takes a lot of effort to achieve it, it is just something I miss so much! Baking, that is!

Baking or cooking in general takes a lot of processes in preparing, cooking and cleaning in the end. Yet it is so satisfying when you take the first bite, or watch your loved ones savouring it and asking for more after more. And the best is when you get motivated to make it again the next time, getting the chance to improve it, and get more compliments from your beloved audience! Such is the high feeling of producing yummy-ness in the kitchen.

Lately my hubby got nuts about nuts, yeah so he got crazy about eating cashew nuts and stuff, I decided why not make some granolas and put some of the nutritious seeds I had in the freezer for a while. I had bought them for some nutritious buns, which never happened, because, predictably we were more into cheesy and sweet buns.

I used the recipe online recommended by a friend, by Chef Michael Smith (remember Chef at Home?) turned out so simple to make, I did it on a weekday after my dinner.

I initially had the ambitious idea of cutting in into nice little bars and eating them so gracefully like TV ads. We, however, are not living in an ideal world. Likewise my granola bars. They refused to come out nicely cut in bars, or rectangle shapes, so I just digged them out with my hands, and rolled them into balls.

As much as I try not to, even my granola got desi. The granola bars turned granola laddus. And I started getting laddu orders for Diwali. True story!

And here is a hack that I am so excited to share, which I recently tried in the comfort of my own home. Ever since my successful attempts in making focaccia, I have been missing it so much. I had bought these mixed herb pita bread and I felt the LED lights blinking in my head! I brushed them with EVOO and sprinkled with some cheese. I baked it like for ten minutes or so, and VOILA you have short-cut focaccia!

What are the kids up to? Oh, the usual. School, making me tired, going Legoland, and then making me tired again. Here's them posing for the entrance. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Mom's Time Out

What happens when mom takes time out, and dad is in charge?

MOM’S TIME OUT is a social experiment that explores modern gender roles by doing just that. Frazzled mothers from 3 families across Asia go on an all-expenses-paid 5-day-getaway and leave their husbands in charge. Witness the men being fished out of water as they learn to take on their newfound roles and be completely surprised by the work that entails.

For more information about #MomsTimeOut, check out:

Tune in to the second episode that airs tomorrow, Thursday 4th September, ASTRO Lifetime's Channel, 709 at 9pm (SIN/HK) for MOM’S TIME OUT of Lifetime’s 1st Asian Production. And be in for a pleasant surprise viewing!

Meet the Families

Christopher & Julie Pang, with Marcus (12yo), Michael (8yo) & Matthew (4yo)
From Singapore, meet the Pangs… Dad Christopher and Mom Julie run a successful boutique real-estate company and have 3 boys (12-year-old Marcus, 8-year-old Michael and 4-year-old Matthew). Christopher and Julie often quarrel about their differing parenting principles – Dad is more for corporal punishment while Mom is all about positive reinforcement. What will happen then when Mom is away?

Jason & Leishia Kalaichelvams, with Arianna (4yo) & Olivia (2.5yo)
From Malaysia, meet the Jasons... Dad Jason is a motivational speaker who is a self-confessed workaholic who totally loves his job and probably often prioritizes it above his family. Mom Leishia is a homemaker and freelance writer who cares for their two daughters (4-year-old Arianna and 2.5-year-old Olivia). Will things spiral out of control when Mom is not around?

Kenneth & Emerald, with Briah (2.5yo)
From the Philippines, meet the Baileys… Dad Kenneth and stay-at-home Mom Emerald have a 2.5-year-old daughter Briah who is adorable but can be quite a handful! With Dad being the sole breadwinner of the family working night shifts since Briah was born, he now has to take on one of the toughest challenges of his life to care for his daughter while Mom is away. Will he be able to handle it?

Stand to WIN a 3D2N stay at Angsana Lang Co, Central Vietnam when you download the ScanAd app on your Apple & Android devices. Open the app & scan it while watching the show to access more content on Mom’s Time Out. You can also share & learn opinions from other parents when you take part in the weekly discussion on the app. 


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