Recent Posts

Sweet and Sour Carp

Sweet and Sour Carp

The original recipe for this came from a Russian/Phillipino family.  What makes it utterly fantastic is the use of the ginger as a vegetable rather than just a spice.  It’s one of the best sweet and sours we’ve ever had and Corinne loves it. Ingredients […]

Simple Garam Masala

Simple Garam Masala

Many Indian and East Asian recipes use a garam masala.  Your choice of masala can greatly influence the taste of a dish.  Here’s a simple garam masala recipe that works great with most curries. Ingredients 6 heaped tablespoons coriander seeds 6 heaped tablespoons cumin seeds […]

Prawn Balti

Prawn Balti

Originally from a restaurant in Birmingham, I’ve modified this recipe from a chicken balti recipe.

If you want to use chicken rather than prawn, use a skinned and deboned chicken breast cut into 1″ cubes, but add it between steps 4 and 5 and make sure it is cooked through completely before serving.

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium tomato , chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger and garlic puree
  • 10 medium prawns, shelled and deveined, tail on if desired
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 small chopped chillies
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped

Method

  1. Heat a wok, frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the oil and chopped onion and fry until translucent and soft.
  2. Add the chopped tomato and stir for 2 minutes, combining.
  3. Add the ginger and garlic paste and stir for a minute.
  4. Add the turmeric, paprika and chopped chillies and stir for a minute.
  5. Pouring in 200ml water or fish/vegetable stock and add the salt, cumin, garam masala and the fenugreek.
  6. Add the prawns and simmer for about 7 minutes. Add a touch more water/stock if needed but balti are meant to be quite dry and eaten with Naan bread.
  7. Serve sprinkled with chopped coriander.
Tagen, Tagine, Tajine

Tagen, Tagine, Tajine

Depending on where you’re from or which dialect of Arabic you choose to use, it’s basically a casserole pot. We went hunting with Mum and Dad trying to find a Tagen, as Mum uses a Moroccan-style one at home, which has a conical lid.  There […]

Indian Giver

Indian Giver

It’s always been hard to find a decent Indian meal in Hurghada.  Now it’s almost impossible as the Indian restaurant in the Marina has now shut down. I’ve been gradually building up my collection of herbs and spices, with the assistance of friends returning from […]

All about the food

All about the food

img_3771As we’re not travelling around at the moment, I thought I’d share our experiences with food in Egypt and around the world.

There are many challenges when cooking abroad, such as not being able to obtain the necessary ingredients, different names for different things, seasonal variations.  All of this makes it fun to improvise and modify recipes as required.

img_3770One of our favourite tips here is with fresh herbs.  Coriander, Parsley, Dill and Mint are the four regularly available herbs here, and are around 1 LE for 2 bunches.  Left to their own devices, they will wilt and dry out within the day (during the summer).  Placed in the fridge you may get 3 days out of them.

We’ve found a way to prolong the life of these herbs, and the trick also works with spinach and rocket as well.

img_3772After buying the herbs, we wash them and then chop the bottom of the stems off.  With Coriander, this gives the bonus of retaining the roots, which we freeze for future use in tagens, curry sauces etc.  We then wrap a piece of folded kitchen towel around the bottom of the stems and place them in a bowl (homemade here, from the sliced-off bottom of a water bottle).  Add a couple of millimetres of water into this, then place the bowl and herbs into a small plastic bag.  We use bags that we have been given when we buy groceries from the local shops.  Tie the handles of the bag loosely and put the result in the door of the fridge.

We then have easy-to-access fresh herbs that stay fresh for much longer.  Sometimes as long as two weeks!

Anyway, we hope you enjoy our ramblings.