I’ve religiously been watching Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals on TLC, familiar recipes, easy to do. He’s trying to reach out to the busy family or person who is afraid to try new things. All the recipes can be found on his website. I did my own 5 minute meal yesterday…
Whenever the DH is away I lose all enthusiasm for cooking a meal. It’s just no fun cooking for one…anymore. The first week I made a vat of dal and an assortment of subzis and it lasted every meal for a week. Needless to say, I’m a little tired of dal now. When he’s away I tend to revert to my staple of thair saatham (curd rice) and potato fry or masala egg burji and toast.
A big bowl of a simple salad with a mint or yogurt dressing has been our lunch staple for almost six months now, due to the healthy living and all. But as tasty as these salads are, I just had to have something else for a change. Yesterday my leftover simple salad got a chinesey makeover.
I have only recently discovered the nutty joys of Sesame Oil (til ka tel). In India we tend to use it for lighting lamps at temples or during diwali because it is very cheap. But it is fantastic for chinese cooking and apparently has a high smoking point so is good for deep frying. It has a distinct nutty flavour that will lend itself to all the ingredients in the pan. I got his bottle, a Thai import, at Nilgiris.
Throw 1 or half a tablespoon of sesame oil in a frying pan, chuck in your cut salad (I had pre-cut my salad of onions, green chilli, tomatoes, carrot, capsicum, peas and purple cabbage) and saute for a minute on high heat.
Add a tablespoon of soy sauce, a teaspoon of Sambal paste (the Indonesian/malay staple of fried red chillies, garlic and dried prawn or shrimp i,e Ikan Bilis). We brought back around 6 bottles of Sambal paste from KL – all different brands so we had a variety. We are on Tean’s Gourmet now and it is so far the best. You can buy Sambal paste in any store like Nilgiris but we only get the Wo Hup brand here which is too sweet for my liking.
I had some pressure cooked beef (half a kilo whole slab pressure cooked in our home made thousand year old sauce of soy sauce, shaoxing wine, ginger, garlic, chilli power, pepper) in the freezer, so cut a few thin slices and threw that in as well. Sadly all our BBQ pork sheets from Penang are now all over. (Yes, we are such hopeless foodies that even brought back BBQ pork from Malaysia)
Add the cooked, cold rice (if not cold, rice will clump together) and saute for two minutes. Move everything to the side of the pan, whip up an egg and layer it thin on the free side of the pan till it cooks. Cut it in to strips in the pan and mix with the rice and veges. No salt is needed as the soy sauce and sambal paste contain enough salt to season the dish.
So simple but in the end, it was the sesame oil and sambal paste that did it.