Pan con tomate – Tapas feast

What’s cooking :

Growing up “l’apĂ©ro” was a big part of our family gatherings. Finger foods and nuts were passed around, drinks and cocktails were served, all while my mother and aunts finished preparing dinner in the kitchen. It was my favourite part of our get-together, and still is. Everybody gathered around the kitchen to report on a few months worth of events and I would hop from one group to another, catching up with all while stuffing my face with the delicious munchies my family prepared.

I’ve never been very good at controlling my urges, particularly when it comes to snacking on savoury bits and pieces. Hors-d’oeuvre are like candy to me. If some are passed around, I get this “kid in a candy shop” impulses: I need to try them all. And it’s always at the expense of my dinner plate, which will stay on the table, barely touched.

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Garlic Tarka Dal

What’s cooking :

If I’m honest, I’m not the biggest fan of chicken curries. I fail to see what it adds to the dish and enjoy eating the sauce, which I could gobble by the ladle, much more than the meat.

When I do a meat curry, however, I select a more pungent protein like lamb or, if chicken is what I’ve got, I marinate and grill it before adding to the sauce. There is no shortcut here, it requires time. And time is what I don’t have in the middle of the week when the curry cravings kick in.

So why have meat at all? After catching myself mopping up the sauce with naan bread and leaving the chicken pieces to one side on more than one occasion, why not just cook the part that I like?

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Buttery and spicy Pav bahji

What’s cooking :

Pav bahji is one of the most famous and much loved street food of Mumbai. It consists of a mash of spicy vegetables slathered in butter, and eaten scooped up with a hot bread roll.

If I had to find a comparable North American dish I would describe it as a fragrant Indian sloppy joe. Messy, comforting and utterly delicious.

Indian cuisine doesn’t have to be complicated. And, like many other cuisines, a well stocked spice cupboard will get you far. The list of ingredients in today’s recipe might look a bit exhaustive, but it uses spices that are used worldwide. They are well worth getting as you’ll use them again and again.

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Asparagus mimosa with capers and parmesan

What’s cooking :

It’s spring, at last: the start of my veggie calendar, where I track time, not with days, but with fruits and vegetables. It’s easy, with a new product hitting the market shelves each week.

At the moment, asparagus season is in full swing, and it would be silly not to share a recipe highlighting their delicate, sweet essence. Paired with eggs is a timeless combination, one that Diana Henry knows well. Inspired by the soft balance of flavours of her asparagus mimosa, I’m sharing my take on this recipe, which is a real homage to one of the first vegetable of Spring.

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Tortillas 4 ways

What’s cooking :

Who doesn’t love a bargain, because I do!

And if you are like me, you probably are feeling like you’re loosing out by settling for small packs when food sold in bulk have such tempting price tags. It’s hard to argue against doubling your purchase for a few extra pence. Jumping from a medium to a large milk bottle means saving almost 50% off the price per liter! Very tempting.

However, after conceding parts of my prized possessions to the kitchen bin I’ve been asking myself if we’re really making good deals or if we are just buying more than we can chew? Could this be the big food-stores master plan?

With their lifestyles requiring flexibility, these questions are especially relevant for the solo cooks. Most food is branded and packaged with families in mind, making manageable size for one difficult to find. Knowing how to deal with bulk purchases is a key ingredient for a healthy wallet and an eco-friendly kitchen.

In this feature, I will give you creative and useful ideas on how to use and consume tortillas to avoid food wastage as well as a few tricks that can be applied to other types of food.

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