Tag Archives: healthy

Pulled Jackfruit Taco with Sugarcane tortilla


As you know I love cooking with what’s in season, go visit the local markets, pick up some produce, get some inspiration, bring it back to the kitchen and make something fun. This time when I visited India in Summer, although it was ultra blistering hot, I mean we are talking 108F and 90F at night, it did not stop me from going to the market.

I picked up some raw jackfruit, mangoes from the market and on the way home stopped off to grab a drink of fresh sugar cane juice. As I was driving home, I started thinking about my summer vacations growing up.

It used to be super hot where I grew up, but we still enjoyed our afternoons. A everlasting game of monopoly, carom board, playing cards and endless conversations were so much fun. Every summer we also visited my Nani (maternal grandma). She lived in Mumbai and the train ride to her place used to be another event we looked forward to every summer.

My Mom is a great cook and an amazing planner.  So she would pack perfect food for all our train journeys. One of the dishes was this roti/poli/tortilla made from sugar cane juice, called ‘Rasachi Dashmi’.  It not only tasted awesome but was perfect for the train journey as it stayed good without any refrigeration and tasted great cold.

My nani would always have alphonso  mangoes waiting for us along with other things from konkan and she would make the best Poli in the world. We would devour the mangoes with poli and ghee.

Kokam, Tadgola and so much more. Fragrant yellow jackfruit would fill the air. I will share more recipes using the ripe or yellow jackfruit soon.

One of those things was raw/green jackfruit. She would make the best bhaji with it, with lots of red chilies and tender cashews.

My nani is no more, but her memories I cherish through various foods. My kids are not so lucky to just hop on a train and visit their Nani, my Mom. The 10K miles is a long distance to cover. But we always take family trips in vacations, sometimes local, sometimes even staycations but always make time for family.

I know how important it is to spend time and make memories. We are all big time foodies so more often than not the destinations are picked based on the variety of food we get to eat. We love to explore local cuisines and produce, always a local market visit is included in the vacation plan.

One of the favorite destinations is Mexico, I just love Mexico. Its nice and warm, people are very friendly, I can speak the language and most of all, amazing food. I can visit Mexico many times and nto get tired.

Mexican food is probably my second most favorite food after Indian food. Whenever we visit Mexico, II make sure we go to the local markets and try some amazing dishes. Last time we visited this restaurant in Maztlan, El Precidio and everything there was incredible.



I love Mexican food as it highlights seasonal produce, perfect balance of spice, sweet, savory and just satisfying meal. I love the use chilies in many ways, I love how they use traditional cooking methods to get some complex flavors in dishes like Mole.

One of the most commonly known Mexican foods is Tacos. Simple yet flavorful, incredibly versatile.

Today’s dish is inspired by the  summer vacations, both mine and my kids’s and its tribute to the local produce.

Pulled Jackfruit Taco with Sugarcane juice tortilla


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I would love to know about your summer memories and foods. Please share in comments.



Borani banjan- Eggplant in garlic yogurt sauce

Borani banjan- Eggplant in garlic yogurt sauce

Let me confess, I love eggplants in any shape and form. Stuffed, roasted, pan- fried with chick pea flour, I love them all. So for me saying that this is one of the favorite ways to cook eggplant is a big deal.

A friend of mine had made this when I had dinner at her home a few years back and since then I make it at least once a week.

For the past 2-3 years I have been very mindful of what I cook. I have been trying and making an effort to eat only organic whenever possible. I also have been trying to buy only local produce and majority of that from the farmers market. I love going to the farmers market. I love the vibrant colors, the freshness in the air.

I love it when I get to interact with the person who has worked on bringing such great produce to me, I love chatting with them as it gives me a feel for where my food comes from and provide a connection. It also gives me a great sense of appreciation when I learnt that they load up the trucks at 5:00 in the morning to bring the fruits and vegetables to the market.

I love to make things with that produce and share it with them. Last few weeks I have been making yummy strawberry roll ups, I brought some to the vendor whom I buy my strawberries from, it was so nice to be able to share it with them.

So back to my eggplant , I ate this first time and I fell in love with it. I love yogurt, I love mint and I love eggplant, so it was no surprise that I love this recipe.

It is very simple and you can make the two parts ahead of time and assemble it as you are ready to serve.

Borani banjan


  • 1 Large eggplant, sliced
  • 1/2 onion sliced
  • 1 large tomato , sliced
  • 2 green chilies
  • a few mint leave
  • a sprig of Cilantro
  • Sauce
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 1/4 tsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp dried mint leaves


Cut the eggplant in 1/4 inch thich uniform slices. Sprinkle with some salt and set aside for 30 mins.

In the meanwhile slice the onions & tomatoes  in  slices, slit the green chili and remove the seeds if the chili is very spicy.

After 30 mins, the eggplant will give out some water. Sprinkling with salt  removes any excess bitterness the eggplant might have.

Heat some oil in a pan and shallow fry the eggplant slices until they are cooked. Make sure the heat is not too high, we want the eggplants to cook but not get crispy.

Take the cooked eggplant on a plate. In the same pan, heat some more oil and layer the onions in a single layer, saute till they are soft.

Top them with the slices tomatoes and slit green chilies. We don’t want the tomatoes to get browned but instead sort of get stewed. Add the chopped mint leaves and cilantro as well.

Top the tomatoes and onions with the cooked eggplant and let it cook for about 10-15 min on a low flame.

For the sauce

Mix all the ingredient for the sauce in a bowl. Keep the bowl in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

When you are ready to serve, make sure you bring the eggplant to room temperature. I feel it tastes much better that way.

To serve

Take the cooked eggplant mixture, mash it ever so slightly and top it with the yogurt mixture.

Today I served it with Mejadra, Turkey kabab. More on that later.

Soya Pyaaz Ki Seekh kabob


I love summers. Abundant produce, long days and backyard barbecues. I love anything and everything that comes off the grill. The smoky aroma it imparts to the food is so appetizing. We have grilled all the way till October, even when it is raining with an umbrella in the hand, umbrella not for us but for the grill 😉

Today it was a gorgeous evening, the first moon was in the sky. It marks the beginning of Ramdan.  It was not too hot, prefect temperature to have a meal on the patio.

I love summer produce and can almost go vegetarian in summer but then the kabobs call my name, and I melt.

This recipe today sort of helps me be vegetarian on Monday. It is perfect for the #meatlessmondays and the grill.

I love watching all food shows but there are some favorites and master chef is one of them. I loved the indian version more because there was Vikas Khanna and there was Ranveer Brar ;). Recently I got a chance to meet with Vikas Khanna( thanks to a dear friend)

A local organization Women’s now is hosting a cooking competition  and Ranveer will be the judge, so now I can not wait to meet Ranveer.

Today’s recipe is based on his recipe. I made a few tweaks, it is a keeper


1.5 cup soya chunks or 1 cup granules

1 large potato

1/2 onion finely chopped

1-2 green chilies chopped

1 tsp Shahi Jeera

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp crushed coriander seeds

1/2 tsp red chili powder

1 pinch cardamom powder

1-2 drops of liquid smoke

A few mint leaves chopped

Cilantro chopped

Salt to taste


  • Boil the potato, peel and mash well.
  • Soak the soya chunks in hot water for 15-20 mins. Drain and squeeze out excess water.
  • Pulse in the food processor to get a minced meat like consistency.
  • In a pan heat the oil, add jeera when the oil is hot. Sauté for a few seconds.
  • Add the chopped onions and chilies and sauté on medium heat till brown.
  • Add these onions to the soya mixture along with potatoes and rest of the ingredients.
  • Make patties and shallow fry in a pan or make long rolls and shape lo a kabob on a skewer. Cook till crispy outside.
  • Remember everything else is cooked so make sure you don’t let the kabob dry out.

I served it with a Rose-strawberry coconut smoothie with chia seeds, it seemed to somehow compliment the colors of the sky.

Savory butternut squash


I have been making an effort to eat local and eat what is in season. To help with this initiative, I only shop at the farmer’s market as much as I can. The only exceptions are curry leaves and mango.

My kids sometimes complain that I always find some type of squash in the market, they are right, you will always find some kind of squash in the market. The butternut squash is typically available in fall. The market I go to, one farmer carries organic apples and different kinds of squashes. I love butternut squash since it holds its shape fairly well even after cooking.

When I was ready to cook this squash, my friend Hrushikesh posted this recipe. This recipe reminded me of the subji that is served as a Prasad ( a blessing) at a a very famous temple. I visited it when I was in 7th grade. I fondly remember sitting on the floor and eating this subji with thick whole wheat rotis on a plate made with dried leaves. I did not know what Bio degradable or compostable meant, now I appreciate that plate even more.

So I decided to try the recipe right away and the outcome was delicious. It can be easily tweaked to be eaten as a fasting food as well.

Savory butternut squash

Pumpkin Subji


3/4 kgs of pumpkin chopped in squares of about 2″ x 2″ (peels on)
3/4 cup  grated dried coconut
1 tbsp Poppy seeds ( खसखस )
2 green chillies finely chopped
2 medium sized dried chillies
1 tbsp  cashews chopped
10-15 fenugreek seeds
2 tsp Corriander powder
1 full stem of curry leaves
2 tbsp Raisins
1/2 cup of water

For tempering
1 1/2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
A pinch of asafoetida


Peel the squash and cut in cubes.

If you are using pumpkin, you can leave the skin on as it helps keep the cubes intact and does not get mushy.

Heat the oil in a wok. When hot, add cumin seeds, turmeric powder and asafoetida.

Add the raisins, curry leaves, green & red chillies, cashew nuts, fenugreek seeds,poppy seeds and roast it for about 2 mins.

Now add 1 tsp of corriander powder (the remaining 1 tsp goes in at the end) and roast it for another minute or slow on a low flame.

Add a few drops of water if it starts to burn.

You can add more chillies if you like, since the squash has its natural sweet taste, sugar or jaggery is not required
Now add the cut pumpkin cubes, there’s no need to steam it as these cubes do get cooked well.

Add 1/4 cup of water and cover this with a lid for about 3-4 mins. Check after that add some more water and let it cook for another 4-5 mins or until done.

Add the roasted dry coconut & 1 tsp of Dhaniya powder.

Cook it till its done.

Serve it hot with roti or Teekhi puris.


Chicken tikka vietnamese Spring Rolls


When I have an idea in mind, I can not rest easy until I execute on it. One such idea was variations on the Vietnamese Spring rolls. I wanted to try making an Indian version, I thought it would go really well with the concept.But before we talk about that recipe, let me tell you my  first encounter with these spring rolls.

The first time I ate these spring rolls when I was pregnant with my first child. I had a terrible time with the morning sickness and could not keep anything down. Around that time we were invited to my husband’s colleagues wedding reception. The bride and groom both were of Vietnamese origin and so at  the celebrations the food served was Vietnamese.

Forget eating and enjoying, I could not even stand the smell of most of those things. It had a lot of fish sauce,and all kinds of meat. Everyone tried to see what I can eat, offered so many things but nothing felt right at that time. Then someone got these interesting looking things that they called ‘Spring rolls’. They were nothing like the ones I knew from back in India. They did not look fried and almost looked transparent. I loved those..I loved the fresh basil and mint and the crunchy bean sprouts… it was perfect.

I have been making these for a while now and love making variations.

Today’s variation has a Indian touch. The meat used is the pickled chicken, I think it compliments the fresh mint and cilantro.

This recipe for the Achari chicken is a perfect addition to the fresh ingredients of the spring roll. You can also use chicken tikka or any other nicely seasoned meat. I have made this with marinated Tofu/Paneer to make the vegetarian/vegan version. It tastes just as well.

Achari chicken spring roll

Achari chicken spring roll



  • 3/4 lb boneless Chicken ( for vegetarian option use Tofu/Paneer)
  • 2 ½ tablespoons Achari Masala
  • 1/4 lb Hung Yogurt (this is basically yogurt hung in a cheese cloth)
  • 1 tablespoon refined flour
  • 2 tablespoons Mustard Oil

Other ingredients

  • Bean Sprouts
  • Few green lettuce leaves
  • Thin rice noodles, cooked according to the packet
  • Julienned carrot
  • Few mint leaves
  • Few cilantro leaves
  • Few Rice paper sheets



  • Heat Mustard Oil in a 10 inch nonstick pan until it smokes.
  • Add Achari Masala to the pan. Cook the spice mix for 20 seconds, then remove from heat. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  • In a glass bowl, mix yogurt and cooked spices well. Make sure to include the oil.
  • Cut cubes of chicken & marinate it with the pickled curd marinade for minimum 60 mins.
  • IMG_3233

Now cook the chicken on medium flame, add refined flour and cook for 8-10 mins. Once cooked evenly, keep it aside.


Dip the rice paper in cold water for 5 seconds. Take it out and shake off the excess water. Make sure you use cold water and also don’s leave the rice paper in the water for too long. Although when you take it out, it might still feel stiff but it does soften up.


Lay the wet rice paper flat on a board. Layer all the ingredients. In works the best to start with a piece of lettuce, this helps provide a base and stability to the roll. Now continue with the rice noodles, Chicken, sprouts, carrots, cilantro, mint.

Now roll like a burrito making sure that no vegetables are poking out. We want our spring roll to look pretty.


Make sure that you keep these covered so they don’t dry out.

Cut in half and serve. Depending on the flavor of the chicken you can pair with the right sauce. For example when I make it with an indian flavored chicken, I serve it with a Tamarind-date chutney.




Grilled Harissa shrimps


I love spicy food. When I go the farmers market, I am always looking for the spiciest chili. So in summer when we get the fresh red thai chili in the market, I make at least a couple of batches of Harissa. It can perk up any dish pretty quickly.

I like to make these shrimps using Harissa, the dish comes together very quickly and can be served as a main dish or a salad.

Shrimps don’t need a lot of marination so this dish can be made in 20 minutes.

Although Harissa is Tunisian I feel that the Mediterranean flavors compliment it well. So I decide to bring those along.I also brought in some more Mediterranean flavors with a quick salad. I took some yellow and Red cherry tomatoes, chopped Persian cucumbers and mix them with fresh chopped mint and topped with feta cheese.

Here is the recipe.


  • 20 large shrimps
  • 1 large clove of garlic crushed
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tbsp Harissa
  • 1 tbsp oil


Mix all the ingredients except to form a paste. Now add shrimps and mix well. Make sure all the shrimps are coated evenly with the paste.

Let them marinate for 20 mins or so.

Pomegranate molasses not only provides the sweetness to balance the heat from Harissa but also add a tangy flavor & color to the shrimps.

Grill on a grill plate or bbq. Brush the shrimps with some oil of needed to prevent them from sticking to the grill.

I like to thread some tomatoes or large zucchini pieces along with the shrimps, I feel it adds a Pop of color and texture.

You can serve the shrimps as a side with brown rice and some grilled fruit. Today I grilled some nectarines, the sweetness of the grilled fruit complimented the spice of harissa.

You can mix them with a lot of chopped herbs like basil and cilantro and serve as an appetizer.  I love making this version in summer when the herbs are in abundance in the market.



I use Harissa in many dishes, like Pumpkin Shrimp curry, or Cheddar Muffins. Enjoy!

Simple Buttermilk Spinach curry



As you learn more and more about Indian cuisine, you will notice that not only every region has its own cuisine and delicacies but also different food is made at different occasions.t is believed that different food bring in different qualities to your body and mind.For e.g. whenever there is a religious occasion, typically food is cooked without onion and garlic.

Yesterday was one such special day, it is believed that Lord Vishnu the creator goes to sleep on this day. A lot of Indians keep a fast on this day.

Today I decided to make a meal which had no onion or garlic. My kids love Indian food, so decided to make their favorites.

This particular curry is very typical of a brahmin household. In brahmin cuisine, you will see heavy usage of milk products along with ginger and Cumin. This recipe can be made with any of the greens except Fenugreek, I feel that it tastes way too bitter.


2 cups of cleaned washed and chopped Spinach leaves

1/4 cup raw peanuts

2 tbsp Chana daal

1 cup Buttermilk ( If you don’t have buttermilk you can use Yogurt blended with some water)

2 tsp Besan ( Chick pea flour)

1 green chili, split in two pieces

1 clove of Garlic ( optional)

1 pinch of Asafoetida

1/2 tsp Jeera ( Cumin Seeds)

1 pinch of Sugar

Salt to taste

Oil or Ghee for tempering


Soak the peanuts and Chana daal in water for 30-40 mins. Add some salt and set aside.

In a pressure cooker add some water. In a steel pot add the chopped spinach with 2 tbsp of water and the bowl with soaked peanuts and daal.

Pressure cook for 2 whistles.

When the cooker is cooled down, take out the spinach and mash with a ladle or your hand.

Mix in the cooked Peanuts and Chana Daal.

In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk with the chickpea flour, sugar and salt. Make sure there are no lumps of chickpea flour. Add water if needed to make a mixture that is like a thin smoothie.

Add this mixture to the spinach mixture.
Now you can make it two ways. You can make Tadka ( tempering) in a pot and add the spinach mixture and cook. Or, cook the spinach mixture and then temper it later. Both work great.

First method:

Heat oil or ghee in a sauce pan. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and saute for 10 sec. Add green chilies, and chopped garlic( if using). If you add garlic, leave out the Asafoetida.

Saute till the Garlic is a little browned.

Add the Spinach mixture and cook on a really low flame, stirring frequently. Cooking on a low flame ensure that the buttermilk does not curdle and allows the Chickpea flour to cook completely.


Here is the second method:

Cook the spinach mixture in a pot.

bhaji without phodni

Make the tempering in a ladle. I use the iron one. I love it since it has a long handle and does not get hot, and it helps me get some extra iron in my diet.


Add the tempering ( oil mixture) to the cooked Spinach mixture

bhaji with Phodni

Add chopped cilantro and serve.

If you want to serve it with rice, you can make it a bit thinner. If you want to serve it with Roti/bread, you can make it a bit thicker.

I love eating it even on its own. It tastes great hot or cold.

Tonight I served it with whole wheat roti( Indian bread), sautéd Tondli and home made cultured butter.

Veggies on the barbecue


Veggies ready for the grill

Stuffed peppers

I love making this pepper, they are so colorful and appetizing. They are almost sweet in taste and pair well with spicy fillings. They are perfect bite size, you can just pick it up with the stem and pop it in your mouth. I try to make a couple of varieties, one with the vegetarian filling and the other with some meat.

Take 1: Vegetarian



2 potatoes boiled and mashed

1/4 red onion finely chopped

1/2 tbsp chopped mint

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

1 serrano pepper finely chopped

1/2 tsp Saunf, roasted

1/2 tsp Cumin seeds

1/4 tsp Coriander seeds

1/2 tsp Black salt

1/2 cup grated paneer

1 pinch of Kasoori Methi


Take all the dry spices, roast lightly & pound it in a mortar & pestle. I feel grinding fresh spices make a huge difference in the taste of the dish.

Mix everything together.

Make slits in the pepper and fill it with the stuffing.

You can pan fry them but I think I like them the most when they are grilled. I have this pan that you can use on the grill, I love it. You get the flavors of the charcoal grill and can easily cook the peppers & flip them easily. I also use it to grill the fish, make Paneer Tikka.


Brush the peppers with some oil, and cook till you see some nice black spots.


Spiced Cauliflower

tri color cauliflower

I am one of those people who love, love cauliflower. I make Cauliflower soup which is a perfect beginning for a winter meal. I can eat a whole head of cauliflower for a snack, roasted, steamed all of it. So I decided to try the cauliflower on the grill..my favorite way of cooking.

This is so simple to make but turned out really great.



1 head of Cauliflower broken into bite size pieces

Oil to cover all the pieces

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp Chili powder

1/2 tsp dry ginger powder

salt to taste

2 tbsp Chickpea flour ( Besan)


Make sure all the pieces are of similar size, that way when you cook them, they will get cooked at the same time.

Mix the cauliflower pieces with oil, and toss it very well. You dont want to be stingy when it comes to oil, it is needed to make these pieces crispy. And most of it will burn off on the grill.

Mix in all the dry spices including salt.

Now add besan and mix well.

Cook it in a basket. I love this idea since it is easy to keep tossing as it is cooking.


Cook until crispy. Make sure you keep the heat medium, if it is too hot, the pieces will be burnt but not cooked through.

Marinated Vegetables

BBQ Basket

You can not go wrong with this recipe. The vegetables are so flavorful and the grill adds an additional layer of flavor. I use whatever I have on hand, though it always has some sort of peppers and mushroom. This time I used, red bell pepper and shishito peppers and some zucchini. I love adding large pieces of onions, they taste amazing when they are nicely caramelized on the grill.

Basically you make a vinaigrette  and toss whatever you have on hand in it.


6 cups Mushrooms whole

2 cups Shishito peppers

1 red onion quartered and then separated into single layers

1 zucchini cut into bite size pieces

1 red bell pepper cut into large square

2 cloves of garlic crushed

1/3 cup olive oil

2-3 tbsp  Balsamic Vinegar

Fresh crushed black pepper


4 tbsp chopped fresh herbs like Parsley, mint, basil


Mix all the ingredients except the vegetables in a large bowl, whisk it well. Toss in all the vegetables and keep aside for at least 2 hour.

Grill it in the basket, tossing to make sure it is grilled from all the side.


Grilled cherries

When I first read about it, I thought it was completely crazy but decided to give it a try. It is a painful process to pit the cherries but I think this recipe makes it worth it.


4 cups of pitted Cherries

1 tbsp Agave nectar

2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

1 tbsp butter


Layer the cherries on an aluminum foil on the grill tray on the grill. This will ensure that all the juices stay inside. Cook for 7-8 mins. While it is cooking mix the rest of ingredients.Pour over the cherries and cover the cherries to make a packet.

Cook for another 10-12 mins. Take the whole packet on a plate, open carefully. What you will see inside is a ooey gooey yummy fruity topping. 🙂

You can serve with vanilla ice cream..but I think it tastes the yummiest with ‘sweetened ricotta cheese’.










Grilled trout with herbs


I love summers especially since we can enjoy barbeque outside. There is something special about this time of the year when you get abundant  vegetables and fresh herbs in the farmers market, all the produce is at its peak and taste great.


I love summers also because we can grill out side. You can just have meats and veggies ready and when everyone gathers, just throw them on the grill and you got yourself a meal. There are two camps when it comes to grill, the coal one and the non-coal one, we for sure belong to the first one. In my opinion nothing beats the taste of fresh corn on the cob just grilled to perfection on the coals. The chicken tikka with the smoky flavor of the coal tastes amazing. So as you can see we love grilling with coals.

So today we had a few friends over for BBQ. I had marinated a lot of veggies, made some stuffed pepper , there was fresh corn on the cob, some couscous, masala chicken and my son decided to make some fish.

Veggies ready for the grill

When it comes to fish I am very picky, not because I want to be  but because of the fact that I can only eat fresh water fish. I am ok with catfish, bass etc but can not eat salmon.

So when my son decided to make trout and that too whole fish, I was a little skeptical but decided to go along. He went and bought the trout from Whole Foods, and made it with very simple ingredients..but man it tasted so yummy. It was delicate yet flavorful.


4 whole fresh water trouts

few sprigs of dill

few leaves of sage

few sprigs of parsley

few taregon leaves

2 lemons sliced

salt & pepper

Olive oil

Trout 7


With a sharp boning knife slice the fish horizontally.

Apply some olive oil both inside & outside.

Sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Layer the inside with some herbs and lemon slices.

Trout 2

Let it sit for 10-15 mins covered.

Trout 1

Brush the grill with olive oil. And place the fish gently on the grill.Cook for 3-4 mins on the first side and then a couple of minutes on the other side.

To serve

Take the main bone out, take the fins, head and tail off. Make into fillet and serve. My son did an amazing job of taking the main bone out and filleting the cooked fish.

Thai basil chicken


If I had to pick my favorite food it is obviously Indian, I grew up in India and that was the only cuisine I ate until I came to the USA. When I came to the United States is when I tasted Mexican and Thai cuisines. And now these two cuisines are my favorites. I love the use of fresh herbs in thai cuisine. Galangal, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and of course Thai basil. These aromatic herbs add a lot of flavor without any fat and most of these also have medicinal properties. In spring you get many kinds of basils in the farmers market and one of these basils is ‘Lemon Basil’- it has a unique flavor which is a combination of lemongrass and basil. I love it. Today’s recipe is super simple and can be made in 15 mins if you have all the ingredients ready.

Thai Basil Chicken


2 chicken breasts, chopped in small pieces 4 cloves of garlic 4 thai chilies ( adjust as per your spice level preference) 1/2 tsp oyster sauce 1/2 tsp sweet soy sauce 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce 1/2 tsp sugar A handful of basil leaves


Make a coarse paste with the chilies and garlic. Don’t make it extra fine. I feel like the ingredients are simple and so is the technique. I prefer using mortar pestle for making the chili garlic paste.   Heat oil in the pan. The pan should be super hot. Make sure you are ready with all the ingredients, you don’t want to eat burnt garlic. Sauté the garlic paste for a few seconds making sure it does not burn. Add chicken pieces and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add the liquid mixture of soy sauces, oyster sauce and sugar. If the chicken is cooked, add the basil leaves and turn the heat off.   Cover and let the basil flavor infuse in the meat.      Serve with brown or white rice. Vegetarian option It is made exactly the same way as the chicken. I like to use vegetables like mushrooms, snow peas, broccoli, bell peppers and onions. Make sure you cook the vegetables on high heat so that they don’t give out water and become soggy. Once ready you can also mix these vegetables into your chicken to combine to make a wholesome dish. I always  include vegetables in our meals and also if you have any vegetarian friends they can also enjoy the lovely flavor of the lemon basil if you make this variation.