Crispy Fish bites (Paleo, Gluten free)

 I recently started eating Flounder and I love its delicate flavor and its soft, flaky texture.  Since it doesn’t have a strong flavor of its own, it can easily take in the flavor of the marinade the you cook it in. So I have been experimenting cooking it with different spices. It tastes great just pan fried by marinating it lightly with cayenne pepper, salt and turmeric.  A few weeks ago I decided to make these the same way as the ‘Crispy Chicken Bites’ I make with Indian and Asian flavors. Lots of ginger and garlic, along with cayenne and soy sauce (or coconut aminos). Lightly coated with tapioca starch and pan fried to get crispy, spicy fish nuggets!

So glad I decided to experiment – these crispy fish bites are so tasty! They can be perfect as an appetizer or pair it with a salad like I do for a complete meal. My family also loves to just eat it along side our Indian traditional meal of Rice and Dal.

Crispy Fish bites (Paleo, Gluten free)
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer, Main course
Cuisine: Fusion, IndoChinese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
 
Fish filets marinated with the flavors of ginger, garlic and cayenne pepper and coated with tapioca starch and fried to get crispy fish nuggets
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Fish filets, cut into bite size pieces (Use Flounder or any other white fish)
For marinade:
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder or cayenne pepper( skip for AIP version)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger and garlic paste (made by crushing equal quantities of fresh ginger and garlic without any water in a mortar pestle or a food processor)
  • 2 tsp coconut aminos or soy sauce (use coconut aminos for paleo)
  • About 3-4 tbsp coconut oil for shallow frying
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, add the fish pieces and blot dry using paper towels.
  2. In a small bowl, mix all marinade ingredients and stir using a spoon to form a thick paste.
  3. Add this paste to the bowl with the fish pieces. Mix gently using your hands to coat the fish pieces completely.
  4. Add about 1 tbsp oil at a time in a small frying pan and shallow fry the fish pieces in batches until they are cooked well and crispy on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
Notes
For AIP version, skip cayenne pepper

 

Chicken Burrito Bowl (Paleo)

 Mexican food had always been my favorite! I could eat a bean taco any day especially if it was nicely slathered in ‘hot sauce’ and with a dollop of sour cream on the side! Hence, since starting on Paleo a year ago, I had not had a proper Mexican meal. And the past 6 months I have been on the AIP version of Paleo which meant no nightshades and no spices as well. However in the past few weeks I have introduced spices slowly without any issues (I hope!) – I just add very small quantities of cayenne or any hot pepper though to my servings.  Just so that I get a faint taste of the heat without it triggering any flare up.

So anyways, now that I had been able to introduce spices successfully, I was dying to make something ‘Mexican’! During the week of Cinco de Mayo, I saw a lot of bloggers posting recipes of Mexican Chicken Stir fry with rice (caulirice). And so last week I decided to try making a grilled chicken with cauliflower and veggies stir fry. But as I was marinating the chicken, I noticed I had a ripe avocado available and so thought why not go full blown and treat myself to a Paleo Chicken Burrito bowl!  About 30 mins later, I served up these delicious ‘nightshade free’ burrito bowls that were so jam packed with Mexican flavors that all my cravings of the past one year were assuaged. Even without hot sauce there was enough flavor.  The garlic, cumin and the cilantro mainly did the job! And the lemon juice more than makes up for the missing tomato. I licked up the bowl so well that it looked as if it didn’t need any further cleaning when I was done with it 🙂

I also served up some rice for the rest of my family. Yummy dinner that we all enjoyed!

Chicken Burrito Bowl (Paleo)
Author: 
Recipe type: Main course
Cuisine: Mexican, Fusion
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
 
Paleo and nightshade free version of the Mexican Chicken burrito bowl made with grilled chicken, cauliflower rice and guacamole
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs boneless chicken (preferably thigh pieces) cleaned and cut into bite size pieces
For marinating chicken
  • ¾ tsp cayenne pepper (or 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder)
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • About 2 tbsp coconut oil for sautéing the chicken
For Cauliflower rice
  • 1 medium size cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
For the guacamole:
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled and mashed
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped finely
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • ½ tsp sea salt
For the salsa:
  • ½ of a red onion, chopped fine
  • ½ cup cilantro chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
For assembling the burrito bowl:
  • Lettuce, shredded
  • white rice cooked(for non paleo members)
Instructions
  1. Dab dry the chicken pieces with a paper towel. Add all the marinade ingredients to a large bowl and mix well. Add the chicken pieces to this to coat well. Keep aside for 15 - 30 mins.
  2. Heat a large frying/grilling pan and add the rest of the coconut oil. When hot add the chicken pieces and sautee lightly on medium until the pieces are cooked. (You may need to do this in batches since you don't want to crowd the pan).Transfer the chicken pieces onto a dish and keep covered to stay warm and moist.
  3. Shred the cauliflower into small pieces using a food processor or by using a knife to get a 'rice' like texture.
  4. In the same pan that you cooked the chicken, add some more coconut oil and when hot add the cauliflower and the garlic. Saute on medium heat for about a minute until the garlic is toasted. Then add the salt and cover with a lid and cook for about 2-3 mins on low heat until the cauliflower is cooked. Do not overcook otherwise it will get too mushy. Turn heat off and keep aside.
  5. Mix all the ingredients listed under guacamole in a bowl using a masher. Check for seasoning and add additional salt or pepper if needed. Keep aside.
  6. Mix all the ingredients listed under salsa in a bowl and keep aside,
  7. To assemble the bowls, place a few tablespoons of the cauliflower rice into a bowl. Add some chicken pieces. Add the lettuce. Then top with the guacamole and salsa. Mix everything well and enjoy!
  8. Serve white rice additionally if needed.

 

Caribbean Style Grilled Shrimp (Paleo)

Shrimp is an all time favorite of mine!  My parents having been born and raised so close to the coast in Kerala, shrimp was my amma’s ‘go to’ ingredient for added flavor.  Yes she would add prawns in even vegetable dishes to enhance the flavor!. And boy that sure got us kids to eat all their veggies plus lick the plate!  Shrimp or ‘Chemeen’ as they are called in Kerala are used to make so many wonderful dishes like chemeen curry with coconut(thengarachu curry), chemeen varatharachu curry,  chemmeen green mango curry, prawn masala, prawn cutlets,  dried prawns chutney, prawn pickle etc etc.  Gosh my mouth is watering!

So you can imagine my joy when I was allowed to eat shrimp again by my naturopath after having abstained from eating it for more than a year! This is one of the reasons I like my Paleo diet. !

When we had visited Cancun a couple years ago, the resort we stayed in had a beautiful lunch buffet menu. One of the items on that buffet was ‘carribean style’ sizzling shrimp! My husband would grin at me as I loaded up my plate with these wonderfully spiced and perfectly grilled shrimp every single day of the 5 days we were there!

Last week as I pulled out shrimp out of the freezer to grill some quickly for my lunch, on a sudden whim I decided to try making it the carribean style – the way we had it at the resort. Going by my memory of the flavors, I quickly put together a marinade using cilantro, ginger,garlic,lemon juice, pepper, and some honey and this wonderful dish was created in less than 30 minutes.  My son was home that day with me for lunch and we both couldn’t stop marveling at how good these shrimp turned out to be! And they were pretty darn close to the ones we had at the resort!  Chef Mom deserves a pat on the back!  ‘Thank you’ Thank you’ , I say taking my bow as I clean up the table 🙂

I made this recipe again a couple days later since I wanted to share these ‘wicked good shrimp’ as my son had called them, with my husband. That time I tried grilling in the oven since I had pan fried it the first time and the grilled ones came out perfectly too. So I give directions for both ways in my recipe below.  What are you waiting for? 🙂

For a strict Paleo AIP version, omit the chillies and these will still be fantastic I am sure.

Linking this recipe this week to the following link parties:

Saucy Saturdays

Inspiration Galore Project Party

 

Caribbean Style Grilled Shrimp (Paleo)
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer; Main course
Cuisine: Caribbean
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
Shrimp marinated in a tangy, sweet and spicy marinade consisting of cilantro, lemon, garlic and honey and grilled or pan fried in coconut oil to perfection!
Ingredients
  • 16-18 pieces of medium size shrimp (or about 10-12 pieces of jumbo shrimp)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 by 1 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 2 green (serrano) chilies
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ¼ tsp sea salt or as needed
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Place all of the listed ingredients other than shrimp and coconut oil in a food processor (use small grinder) and blend well. Mixture may be a little chunky and that's ok. Marinate the shrimp in this mixture for about 10-15 mins.
  2. Heat a non stick frying pan. Add the coconut oil. Grill the shrimp in the pan and cook 1 min on each side.
  3. If grilling in oven, turn oven to Broil setting. Place the shrimp in an Al foil lined tray on skewers and place on the top rack about 4 inches from the flames. Cook for about 2 mins and then flip once and cook for about 1 minute on other side. Take the shrimp out and serve immediately. (Do Not overcook the shrimp as they will turn hard)
Notes
For a Paleo AIP version, skip the green chillies and use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce

 

 

 

 

 

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Salmon in spicy mustard sauce (Bengali Style Fish Curry)


Bengali style Salmon(Baked)When it comes to eating fish, I don’t think any other state in India can beat the Bongs (bengalis) or the Mallus (Keralites) 🙂 I am so relieved that my naturopath has asked me to continue eating fish as it is beneficial for me. So be prepared for a deluge of fish recipes! Nothing can stop this fish eating mallu now Ha Ha 🙂

Over the past few weeks I have made some variations of the traditional Kerala fish curry, which I will post soon. But today’s post is on the Bengali fish curry where mustard is the star. My friend Samita suggested this recipe to me recently one evening amidst all of us ladies bantering as usual at a recent gathering at her place. Samita, cooks up lovely lip-smacking dishes in a jiffy in her easygoing, carefree manner. She is not the one to fuss over recipes. Nor is she the one to note down exact recipes. And so what she told me went something like this – ‘Indu, why don’t you try making it Bengali style – just make a paste of mustard and green chillies and mix it with the salmon(elaborate hand gesture here showing how the paste is to be applied) and bake it. Mast hoga re! ‘

After that description from Samita how could I not give it a try! Plus it looked too easy! I checked out some online recipes for bengali curry and some of them used tomatoes which my diet does not permit. So in the end I really did what Samita had suggested. It came out wonderful and so tasty. Thank you Samita!

After that I have made it a couple more times now and I additionally strain the paste to get a fine texture for the curry plus it takes away the very pungent mustard taste.  I have also made it over the stove top. And this is one curry that I am sure has come to stay in my kitchen. And you know the best thing about this curry? – it is so darned easy to make!

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Linking to Throwback Thursday this week. Also linking to Fiesta Friday.

Salmon in mustard sauce (Bengali Style Fish Curry)

  • Servings: makes 4 servings when served with rice
  • Time: About 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

6-8 Salmon pieces (boned-in and with skin preferred), about 1 inch thick
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
4 tsp mustard seeds(I used brown mustard only but you can use mix of brown and yellow)
4 green chillies
3/4 tsp red chilli pow
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup water plus 1 cup more water

For tadka(oil garnish)
2 tsp olive oil(or mustard oil)
1/2 trp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp kala jeera (nigella seeds)
1/4 tsp cumin seeds

Method:

If using Stovetop:

Rub the salmon pieces with the salt and turmeric. Keep aside.

In a food processor, blend mustard seeds, green chillies, turmeric, red chili pow and salt with  1/2 cup water to form a smooth paste. Add the rest of the water and blend again. Strain this mixture using a strainer and keep aside.

Take a medium size wide bottomed cooking pot and add the oil (under tadka). heat the oil and add the tadka ingredients. Let cook for about 30 seconds until the seeds pop. Add the salmon pieces to the oil and lightly fry for about 2-3 minutes on side.  Make sure the fish does not stick to the bottom of the pan (Do not Flip them before 2 minutes).

Add the strained mustard mixture to the fish now. Cover and let cook on low heat for about 15 minutes. Cook uncovered for last few minutes until you get curry of desired consistency.

Sprinkle with fresh cilantro leaves! Serve with some cooked plain rice.

If using oven:

Rub the salmon pieces with the salt and turmeric. Take an oven proof baking dish and place the salmon in it in a single layer.

In a food processor, blend mustard seeds, green chillies, turmeric, red chili pow and salt with  1/2 cup water to form a smooth paste. Add the rest of the water and blend again.

Strain this mixture and pour over the fish.

Bake at 400 deg F (200 deg C) for 20 mins. (Covered for first 15 minutes and then uncovered for last 5 minutes)

In a tadka pan, heat the oil and add the tadka ingredients. Let cook for about 30 seconds until the seeds pop. Pour this garnished oil over the baked fish.
Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves. Serve with some cooked plain rice.

Bengali style Salmon(Baked)

 

Chili Peanut Chicken Curry (Chicken in a red chilli peanut sauce)

collage3 If you like Chicken and if you eat Chinese take out, you would have certainly tried ‘Kung pao’ chicken. Kung Pao chicken is a fiery chicken stir fry dish with peanuts which has red chillies for the heat. Just like any other chinese take-out it tastes great while piping hot and when you are really hungry ‘and not in the mood to cook’ 🙂 Usually hubby dear’s chicken curry is what we crave for and he usually appeases us by cooking his ‘special chicken curry’ every weekend. That reminds me that I need to note down his recipe next time he cooks it so I can post it! Anyways, because of hubby’s chicken curry being so tasty, I only rarely get a chance to cook chicken curry. But whenever I do end up making it, I always want to try something new. I absolutely love chicken in any form and since chicken lends itself to so many options, I am always inclined to try different things with it. Mostly I try changing the blend of spices a little bit etc. just so we end up with slightly different flavors in the chicken curry each time. This past week when I got a turn to make chicken curry, suddenly from nowhere ‘Kung pao chicken’ came to mind! Hmm…Red Chillies, Peanuts! Wow! I thought how about I incorporate both into the curry for a red hot chicken curry! My mouth started watering just thinking about it so i absolutely needed to give it a try! And as expected you could never go wrong with chicken curry anyway you cooked it but especially not when you grind red chillies and peanuts into a paste and incorporate into the curry! Finger licking spicy and delicious! YUM YUM just YUM! I am bringing this fiery Chicken curry to Fiesta Friday this week. Be sure to check all the wonderful recipes there! DSC_0135

Chili Peanut Chicken Curry (Chicken in a red chilli peanut sauce)

  • Servings: Serves 4-6 when served with rice or rotis
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print
Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs (about 1 kg) chicken thigh pieces cut into bite size pieces, cleaned and washed
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt

For the ground masala paste

  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 1 inch by 1 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 large Kashmiri red chillies
  • 1/2 cup hot water to grind

For the curry:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • whole cloves 4-6
  • cinnamon stick 1 inch piece long
  • 2 medium size onions, finely chopped
  • above ground masala paste
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium potato cubed (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  • salt additional if needed

Method: Mix the washed chicken pieces with the red chili powder, salt and turmeric. Keep aside. In a food processor grind all the ingredients listed under ‘ground masala’ to a fine paste. In a large cooking pot, add the oil and heat for a minute. When hot turn heat to medium and add the cumin seeds, the cloves and the cinnamon stick. Immediately add the chopped onions and stir for 4-5 minutes on medium heat or until cooked through. Add the ground masala paste to the onions and stir for 1 minute. Next add chopped tomatoes and sauté 3-4 minutes on low heat. Add the chicken pieces to the above mixture and add the water and bring to a boil. Check for salt and add more if needed. Then bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes stirring every 5 minutes or so to prevent the pieces from sticking to the pot. (If adding potatoes, then add them towards the end to cook for about 10 minutes.) Turn heat off. Serve hot with rotis or cooked white rice. Notes:

  1. You can add more water towards the end of cooking time if you like your curry to be more runny.
  2. You can reduce or add more red chili powder per your taste. This version is moderate hot. So add more if you like spicy hot and less if mild.

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