My family’s favourite meals
Hi folks! So here I am continuing the 16 day blog challenge which you can read about here.
Today I’ll be talking about what my family’s favourite meals are that I cook. For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I do quite a lot of cooking, yes even before we got stuck in this global pandemic. Often not out of choice but necessity and turns out people really like my cooking videos. But I’ve never really blogged about recipes here but I might do if the response is positive.
I’ve written three recipes that are easy and simple to make and loved by my children especially. When I asked them what they like the most they mentioned a few, and I ignored the nihari and pilau because they’re long-winded and not for everyone. So I stuck to the more basic, daily recipes.
This is a recipe taken from an ancient cookery book that belongs to my mother-in-law. Ok not quite ancient but by some lady called Shehzad Husain from the 80s. Here is the recipe which is originally for prawns but I use tilapia or panga fish which you can find in the ‘World food’ or ‘Asian’ section in the supermarkets or in your local Pak/Indian/Bengali/Turkish frozen section. The fish is usually sold in 400-800g packets.
1 tbsp oil
half tsp kalonji/nigella seeds
half tsp mustard seeds
a few curry leaves
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
half tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
half tsp cumin powder
1 tsp salt
400-800g tilapia/panga/white fish defrosted
1-2 tbsp single cream
fresh coriander for garnish (optional)
- Blend the tinned tomatoes if you want a smoother sauce. To the blended tomatoes add the ginger, garlic, chilli powder, coriander, cumin powder, salt and mix.
- In a medium sized saucepan, fry the nigella seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves until they start to splutter. (30 secs)
- Add the tomato mixture to the pan and cook on medium heat for about 7-8 mins or until the oil separates, stirring every few minutes. If there is splashing turn the heat down.
- Slice the fish into medium sized pieces (2 inch wide, 3 inch long), larger than bite size as it will break when cooking otherwise.
- Add the fish to the tomato mixture and give it one stir, bring to the boil and simmer for about 10-12 mins or until the fish is cooked through. Keep an eye on this as if you leave it too long the fish will flake and break.
- Add the cream just before serving, mix, add the coriander and serve with white rice.
Another fish dish! It’s funny because this is basically the only fish we eat as a family other than fish fingers or battered cod! ‘Salmon noodles’ is simply pan fried salmon plonked on top of a bowl of noodles. Add some veggies on the side and you have a delicious healthy meal. In fact I make a lot of noodle dishes as everyone seems to love noodles. Other favourites include, chicken and beef noodles (also pictured below)!
Here are the ingredients to marinate two salmon fillets (approx 250g):
juice of half a small lemon
1tbsp soy sauce
half tsp chilli flakes
After marinating for at least 30 min, I pan fry the salmon in a bit of olive oil, skin down on medium heat for 2-3 mins. Then turn the salmon over, lower the heat and put the lid on and cook for 10 mins. Again do not over cook. Over cooked salmon is a travesty!
I use medium egg noodles which I boil according to instructions – 1 nest per person. Once boiled and drained add the following:
1 tbsp soya sauce
1tbsp oyster sauce
Drizzle of sesame oil
1tsp sesame seeds to sprinkle on top. (optional)
Mac n Cheese with a twist
Another easy week day wonder. My twist on this classic American favourite includes adding salami in the pasta and jalapeños sprinkled on top. Now I only sprinkle jalapeños on half the dish as my daughters can’t handle the heat. The salami adds a lovely smoky flavour, like carbonara and an extra bit of protein too.
First step is making white sauce. I use a pretty standard white sauce recipe, but add one teaspoon of mustard and of course lots of cheddar cheese at the end. Once I’ve boiled the pasta which funnily enough is never macaroni but penne/fusilli/rigatoni (I prefer larger pasta for this dish), I transfer to a large oven proof dish and mix in the cheesy white sauce. Here I’ll add the salami, I usually use this Spanish one . Then more cheddar cheese is sprinkled on top as well as a bit of milk if the mixture looks dry. I also keep a mozzarella ball in the freezer and if I remember to defrost it then I’ll add this to cut in pieces. Then bake for about 30 mins at about 180 degrees.
And there you have it, three very easy but family pleasing recipes! What are your family favourites?