During my 10day stop in Ho Chi Minh, I stayed at the Ngoc Thao Guesthouse in the backpacker area. The owners and everyone who worked there were very friendly and helpful with whatever we needed. They offered to prepare a typical Vietnamese meal for us where we would get to go shopping with them to the local food market, help them cook and then finally eat with them. The other time, one of the girls who works there, Tran, took me for breakfast to her favourite place which is actually a few tables set up in somebody’s house. Let me tell you, it was best Mi Quang I’ve had (see featured image of this post). I hope I can treat her to breakfast someday!
Back to recipes, there will be 3.
Sauteed Morning Glory – This one is dead easy but we really enjoyed it and decided to put it up lest I forget by the time my travels are over.
Braised chicken with ginger – This one was everyone’s favourite
Sour Fish soup – a light soup for those hot summer days
Delicious chicken cooked in a mild spinach based sauce. I fell in love with this the first time my mom cooked it for me.
- 1.25kgs chicken on bone (drumsticks or thighs)
- 1/2kg spinach, rinsed
- 125gms coriander
- 4 green chillies
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup pre-fried onions, blended to a paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 green cardamoms
- 1/4th star anise
- 3tspn Kitchen King masala (or any other chicken masala)
- 4tspn fresh ginger garlic paste (ratio 1:4 ginger to garlic)
- 1.5tspn coriander powder
- .5tspn cumin powder
- Salt, to taste
- 8tbspns sunflower oil
- Marinate chicken with 1tspn ginger garlic paste and 1/2tspn salt for 1hr.
- Boil chicken on low flame till half cooked, around 30mins.
- In another pot, boil spinach. Blend this with fresh coriander and green chillies.
- Heat oil in a wok. Add the bay leaf, cardamoms and star anise.
- After 30secs, add onion and fry on high heat till it turns pinkish.
- Add ginger garlic paste and fry for 3mins.
- Turn heat to low. Add kitchen king masala. Fry for 2mins.
- Add tomatoes, coriander powder, cumin powder, pre-friend onion paste. Fry for 5miins or till raw taste of masalas is gone.
- Add spinach puree, fry for 5mins.
- Add chicken, cover and cook till chicken is cooked through.
- Serve with fresh rotis!
One of my all-time-favourite dishes! Basmati rice cooked in a delicate but delicious lamb stock is an absolute treat! Thanks mum for this recipe 🙂
- 1kg shoulder or neck cut lamb (with bone), cut into 2 inch pieces
- 500gms basmati rice
- 250gms yoghurt, whisked
- 1tbspn red chilli powder
- 6tbspn fresh ginger garlic paste (1:4 ginger to garlic)
- 1/2cup pre-fried onions
- 2tspns Salt
- 3 medium potatoes, quartered and soaked in salted water for 30mins
- 12tbspn sunflower oil + extra to fry potatoes
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 black cardamom
- 10 black peppercorns
Spice bag (secured in muslin cloth)
- 4 bay leaves
- 10 black peppercorns
- 5 green cardamom
- 5 black cardamom
- 1tbspn coriander seeds
- 1tspn cumin seeds
- 1tspn khus khus (poppy seeds)
- 5 cloves
- 2 inch long cinnamon stick
- 1tbspn fennel seeds
- In a pot, boil lamb with 2.5cups water, 1tspn salt, all of ginger garlic paste and spice bag till lamb is cooked, around 1.5 – 2hrs. Retain the water/stock.
- In another pot, heat some oil and fry the soaked potatoes till they turn crispy on the outside (the potatoes won’t be cooked through at this stage). Set aside.
- When meat is cooked through, heat 12tbspns oil in another pot and add Tadka ingredients. Remove spice bag from the meat and squeeze the juice from the bag in the pot with tadka.
- Mix red chilli powder with whisked yoghurt and add to tadka. Cook for 5mins and add cooked lamb to this mix (without water)
- Add potatoes and rice to lamb. Cook till you can see oil coming out.
- Add remaining salt. Add 4 cups of lamb stock (add additional hot water if needed) and bring to a boil.
- Simmer rice for 10-15mins till stock has almost evaporated. Scatter pre-fried onions and mix very gently.
- Cover pot with foil and then put the lid on. Cook for another 10-15mins or till the rice is cooked.
- Turn off heat, remove foil, keep the pot partly covered with the lid and let stand for 10mins.
- Serve with a mixed salad or raita.
This is one of my favourite bhajis (greens). Although in most parts of the world, dill is used as a garnish, in India it is prepared as a dry curry. (Any greens prepared as curry is called bhaji). This is my mum’s recipe; It’s very simple and healthy and tastes splendid with sorghum rotis smeared with ghee.
- 1/2kg dill (called shepu in marathi), chopped
- 1/4cup yellow split moong dal, rinsed and soaked for atleast 30mins
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 3 big cloves garlic and 3 green chillies, ground to paste
- 1 onion medium, chopped
- Salt, to taste
- 3tbspn sunflower oil
- Heat oil in a wok, saute garlic till golden.
- Add onions and fry till they turn reddish. Add garlic and chilly paste and fry for couple of mins.
- Add dal and fry for another 2-3mins.
- Add dill, 1/2 cup water and stir. Cover and cook on low flame until lentils and cooked and most of the water is absorbed.
- Adjust salt and serve with fresh rotis!