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10 September, 2015 00:00 00 AM
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Sraboniís Kitchen Diaries

Y&I Desk
Sraboniís Kitchen Diaries

First up, I’d like to introduce myself. I am Sraboni, and I am a high-school graduate with guts. Why you ask? Because I had the audacity to start my own online cake business in my teens. A person has to be incredibly stupid to do that, I tell you. But when passion called out to me, it was sort of impossible for me not to respond. Hence, my little Facebook-based cake store, Forbidden Layers, came into being. Over there, we aim to appease your tastebuds with sweet treats!
Coming back to my kitchen diaries, I don’t only do desserts, I cook savory dishes, too. By cook, I mean I really, really cook. From sweet to spicy, from hot to cold, from mild to pungent __ I like to conduct culinary experiments, and I’m here to share my successful creations.
This week, I’d like to share three of my 20-minute twisted inventions: ‘Tunilicious Tom Yum Shrimp Curry’, ‘Spaghetti with White Pesto Sauce’ and ‘Happy Roasted Veggies’.

Tom-Yum Shrimp Curry

Most of us are familiar with tom yum shrimp soup, even tom yum noodles… But have you ever tried tom yum flavoured curry?
This curry goes extremely well with fragrant rice. And it is real easy to make.  In this recipe, I am also going to tell you how to make tom yum paste at home easily _ and it’s going to save you a LOT of money

So here goes…

Ingredients:

For Tom Yum Paste:
1/2 a cup of ginger, 1/2 a cup of garlic
10-12 dried red chillies, soaked in warm water for 10 min
Few sticks of lemongrass (with stalk), chopped
A teaspoon of turmeric paste (or half of a whole turmeric cut into small pieces)
Half a cup of lemon juice
1/2 a teaspoon of sugar
Rind of a whole lemon, sliced
Salt to taste
A few lemon leaves (optional)

Directions:

Blend all the solid ingredients in a food processor. Heat a wok and cook the blended paste, stirring continuously. Just a warning: this step will create a very smoky environment in your kitchen, so be careful. The paste will release its own oil and smell really good! Now add the lemon juice and cook for a little longer, stirring all the while. The paste will be done when it turns bright red and oozes oil. Don’t try to taste this, it’s really spicy. Store the paste in a jar. You can keep it fresh for weeks in the fridge.  This recipe makes almost a cup and a half of tom yum paste. And you will only need a couple of spoonfuls for the shrimp curry.

Now the Curry….

Ingredients:
1/2 kg of shrimps, dressed and cleaned
2 tablespoons of tom yum paste
2 bell peppers (any colour, I prefer one green and one yellow for colour)
A teaspoon of oyster sauce
A teaspoon of honey
Half a cup of coconut milk
One onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of coconut oil for frying
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves, for garnish

Directions:

Heat oil in a saucepan and fry the onions and garlic till tender. Add the shrimps, tom yum paste and stir for a few minutes. Then add the rest the spices and keep stirring until reduced. Add coconut milk, seasonings and cook with the lid on for 20 minutes on low heat, turn off the gas, sprinkle coriander leaves and cover again. Let the dish rest till you are ready to plate up. Serve warm, garnished with some more fresh coriander leaves and lemongrass. Tastes best with jasmine rice.

Spaghetti with White Pesto

This white pesto adds a creamy touch to plain old spaghetti. Plus, it’s real quick to make, too! Just manage some basil paste or fresh basil and some cream, and you’ll see the magic in minutes. I came up with this sauce when I was cooking for an old friend who visited my home in Bangladesh for the first time. My friend loves Italian food, and she still mails me about how much she misses my white pesto!

Ingredients:
A bunch of fresh basil, crushed to a paste, or, a tablespoon of basil paste
A tablespoon of olive oil
A small pack of roasted cashew nuts
Salt and pepper to season
2/3 of a can of cooking milk
A teaspoon of honey

Directions:
Blend the basil paste, cashews and olive oil in a blender to a smooth paste. Heat the cooking milk in a small saucepan, add the paste mixture and stir till incorporated. Then season with salt and pepper. Add the honey and stir till the sauce thickens a little bit, but not too much, because it will turn thicker when it cools. Smother on top of cooked pasta (I prefer spaghetti) and serve warm

Happy Roasted Veggies

Ingredients:
One whole bell pepper, chopped
One large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper for seasoning
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
1 teaspoon of soy sauce
One carrot, sliced
Half a cup of peas
One large tomato, sliced
Half a cup of olives, pitted
2 tablespoons of olive oil, for frying

Directions:
In a large saucepan filled with salted water, boil the carrots and peas. Drain. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Fry the onions and garlic till tender, add chopped bell peppers and spices and stir till it starts cooking. Keep stirring for a few minutes. Set aside on a plate. In a large baking dish, pour some more olive oil and half a teaspoon of butter, and then add the boiled vegetables. Add salt and pepper and mix. Cover with aluminium foil and bake in an oven, preheated at 150 degrees Celsius, for 20 minutes. Once done, you’ll see the veggies change colour and become more vibrant. Serve warm with your favourite pasta or rice dish, or just enjoy on its own

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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