Sambal Telur (spicy eggs)

2 or 3 eggs, boiled and shelled
1 Asian shallot, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp ginger, crushed
2 red chillies, sliced
1/2 tsp trasi powder (toasted shrimp paste)
1 tomato, chopped
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp palm sugar
1 tbls soy sauce

Heat 2 tbls oil and fry shallot, garlic, ginger and chillies until
golden. Add trasi – mix well. Add tomato – cook until pulpy.
Add vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and 1/2 cup water –
simmer until thick and smooth.
Add eggs and heat through. Halve eggs to serve.

Inspired by ‘nasi campur’ at Warung Wardani, Denpasar – Bali

Gaeng Daeng (red curry paste)

8 large dried red chillies
1/2 tsp salt
3 coriander roots
2 tbls lemongrass, chopped
4 Asian shallots
6 cloves garlic
2 tsp galangal powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp ground white pepper
2 tsp gapi (shrimp paste)
rind of half a kaffir lime

Soak chillies in water several hours until soft – drain.
Pound or puree all ingredients together until
they form a smooth paste. Makes about 7 tbls.
Keep for 2 weeks in fridge or 6 months in freezer.

Inspired by paste vendors in Municipal Market, Trang – Southern Thailand

Gai Pad King (chicken ginger)

350g chicken meat, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
40g ginger, shredded
30g dried wood fungus, soaked until soft
1 tbls soy sauce
1 tbls fish sauce
1 tbls rice vinegar
1 tsp palm sugar
2 spring onions, sliced
1 long red chilli, sliced

Heat 2 tbls oil and fry chicken, then onion,
garlic and ginger until chicken is browned.
Add torn wood fungus, soy sauce, fish sauce
vinegar, sugar and spring onion whites – stir 3 minutes.
Mix in spring onion greens and serve.

Inspired by Ma Kin Ni eatery, Ko Mook – Southern Thailand

Sate Lilit (minced fish sate)

250g fish fillet, finely chopped
2 long red chillies
2 red bird’s eye chillies
1 tsp fresh galangal, chopped
1 tsp fresh turmeric, chopped
2 candlenuts, roasted
1 tsp lemongrass, sliced
1 clove garlic
3 Asian shallots
1/2 tsp palm sugar
2 tbls fresh shredded coconut
3 lime leaves, shredded
2 tbls coconut milk
1 egg
6 wide bamboo skewers, soaked in water

Puree together chillies, galangal, turmeric, candlenuts, lemongrass, garlic,
shallots and sugar. Heat 1 tbls oil and fry paste until aromatic – cool.
Combine cooled paste with fish, shredded coconut, lime leaves, 1 tbls coconut milk and egg.
Shape about 2 tbls of mixture around each skewer very firmly.
Barbeque, basting with extra tbls of coconut milk until cooked.

Inspired by nasi campur at Warung Wardani, Denpasar – Bali.

Mu-er Rou (wood fungus with pork and egg)

300g pork, sliced
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp rice wine
3 eggs, beaten
25g wood fungus, soaked in water until soft
40g ginger, shredded
1 leek, shredded
1 tbls rice wine
1 cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar

Combine pork with cornflour, soy sauce, sugar and
rice wine – marinate at least 15 minutes.
Heat 2 tbls oil and fry eggs into an omelette until
almost set, then stir into chunks and set aside.
Heat 1 tbls oil and stir-fry pork until browned,
move to one side of wok, add ginger and leek, stir well then mix with pork.
Add rice wine, then wood fungus (torn into small pieces if necessary).
Add cucumber, then soy sauce, sugar and eggs. Mix well.

Inspired by Zhong Ye Gong, eatery near Forbidden City – Beijing.

Plah Nam Prik Ma-muang (fried fish with green mango)

White fleshed fish like tilapia or catfish
is good for this recipe…

1 greenish mango, shredded
2 Asian shallots, sliced
1-2 long green chillies, sliced
2 tbls fish sauce
2 tbls lime juice
2 tbls palm sugar
1 whole fish (about 700g), splayed
lettuce leaves to serve

Combine mango with shallots, chillies,
fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar.
Dust fish with cornflour and fry until cooked and crispy.
Serve on a bed of lettuce with mango relish on the side.

Inspired by Kaloang Home Kitchen, Thawet, Bangkok

Mango Pickle

1 greenish mango
salt to taste
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp asafoetida powder
2 tsp mustard seeds

Cut mango (with skin on) into 1cm dice.
Mix with salt, chilli, turmeric and asafoetida.
Heat 2 tbls oil, sizzle mustard seeds and add to mango.
Mix well.

Inspired by random thali hall, Alappuzha – Kerala

Palak Paneer (spinach and cheese)

1 bunch spinach, chopped
2 green chillies, chopped
1cm ginger, chopped
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3 tomatoes, pureed
1/2 tsp chilli powder
200g paneer, cubed

Cook spinach in a spinkle of water with green chillies
and ginger – puree with hand blender and set aside.
Heat 3 tbls oil and sizzle fenugreek seeds.
Add onion and fry until golden.
Add garlic and cumin – fry 30 seconds.
Add chilli powder and tomato – fry 5 minutes.
Add spinach – cook 3  minutes. Add paneer and heat.

Inspired by Hotel Moti Mahal, Uttarkashi – Uttar Pradesh.

Pau Bhaji

1 potato, finely chopped
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup cauliflower, chopped
1/2 cup zucchini, chopped
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, pounded
1 tsp ginger, pounded
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 small green capsicum, chopped
1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/2 tbls pau bhaji masala ++
1/4 lemon in wedges
2 tbls red onion, finely chopped
2 tbls coriander leaves, chopped
6 pau (small bread rolls)

Boil potatoes, peas, cauliflower and zucchini in minimal water until soft – set aside.
Heat 1 tbls butter and sizzle cumin seeds. Add onion – fry until soft. Add garlic and ginger – fry 1 minute.
Add green chilli – stir. Add tomato and salt – cook until mushy. Add capsicum – cook 3 minutes.
Add turmeric and chilli powder, then pau bhaji masala – mix well.
Add vegetables and their cooking liquid – mash to desired consistency and cook 10 minutes.
Heat knobs of butter with some extra pau bhaji masala, split pau and heat face down in spiced butter.
Serve bhaji with pau, onion, coriander and lemon wedges, with extra knobs of butter on top of bhaji.

Inspired by dhaba in Trimbak, Maharashtra