Meals of memory | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 13, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 13, 2018

Meals of memory



3 cups basmati rice, cooked

200gm vermicelli

2 tbsp olive oil

400gm can chickpeas, drained

1 tsp cumin powder

¾ tsp cinnamon powder

Salt and pepper to taste

2 medium onions, thickly sliced


Rub a whole chicken with a mixture of salt, olive oil and curry powder. Roast in a preheated oven at 180° C for an hour.

For rice, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan and sauté onions until browned and caramelised. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the chickpeas and cumin in the same pan. In another pan, fry the vermicelli in a little oil until lightly brown. Add a little water and cook until soft. Drain and add a little salt, pepper and cinnamon powder, and mix well. Next, add the cooked rice and chickpeas, and mix well. Transfer to a large platter, top with caramelised onions and toasted nuts of your choice. Now place the roasted chicken on the top of the rice and serve.



2 tsp sesame oil

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp soya sauce

1 garlic clove crushed

Vegetable oil for brushing

800gm beef stir fry strips or tenderloin steak

2 carrot finely sliced

1 cucumber (outer part only) finely sliced

Small bunch coriander, chopped

2 red chilli, finely sliced

Mint leaves and coriander, for garnish 


In a bowl, mix the sesame oil, brown sugar, fish sauce, soya sauce, and garlic with 3 tbsp water and set aside. Brush the grill pan with oil and heat under a medium high heat. Season the meat strips with salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes; if using steak, cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove the meat and set aside. Divide the carrot and cucumber into four plates. Arrange the meat strips or steak sliced into thin strips on top. Add the dressing, followed by the chopped coriander and sliced chillies. Garnish with mint and coriander and serve. Noodles are the idea accompaniment.



500gm minced lamb

1 onion finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp smoked paprika

Handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

60 ml olive oil

For Mint yoghurt—

250ml yoghurt

1 lemon juice and rind

Handful of mint leaves, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Mix together all ingredients for koftas, except olive oil. Season, then divide into ten portions. Shape each portion around a wooden kebab skewer into a 5cm sausage. Press meat mixture together tightly and refrigerate for an hour. Heat olive oil in a frying pan then fry kebabs for 3-5 minutes each side or until golden brown and cooked. Mix all yoghurt ingredients together and season. Serve with kebabs.



400 gm tinned pilchards in water, drained

2 slices white bread, crumbed

1 lemon, juice and rind

50ml parsley chopped

1 bunch spring onions, chopped

15ml mayonnaise

1 egg

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Flour for dusting

Oil for shallow frying

For potato salad, mix together—

300g baby potatoes, boiled

200gm green beans, boiled

4-5 pieces cherry tomatoes, halved 

2 tbsp butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Mix the first eight ingredients and season. Reserve a tablespoon of spring onions for garnishing. Shape the mixture into patties with floured hands and set aside. Heat oil in a pan and shallow-fry a couple of fishcakes at a time until golden brown on both sides. Serve fishcakes with the potato salad.



1 Egg

1 cup oil

2 cups cider vinegar

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper or to taste

½ tsp cayenne pepper

¼ tsp each, garlic powder, nutmeg, ground cloves and celery salt

Chopped coriander, as desired

1kg chicken wings, cut at joints, wing tips removed

Celery stick, to garnish

Cream cheese dipping sauce, to serve


To make sauce, beat the egg in a medium bowl, add oil and beat again. Add vinegar, salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, nutmeg, cloves, celery salt and coriander. Stir well. Dip wing pieces in this sauce and place in shallow roasting tin. Bake for 10 mins at 180° C, turning and basting with sauce several times until wings reach desired crispness. Remove from oven, drain and place on a warm plate, garnished with celery sticks. Serve with cream cheese dipping sauce.



1 tbsp oil, plus more for frying

4 tbsp finely chopped water chestnuts

2 tbsp finely chopped green onions

2 tbsp soy sauce, plus extra for dipping

1 tbsp minced ginger

250gm raw shrimp, shelled and finely chopped

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp sesame oil

½ tsp chili oil

1 tbsp corn flour mixed with 1 tbsp water

12 wonton wrappers


Sauté the ginger and green onions in a tablespoon of oil in a wok over moderate heat for a minute, then add the shrimp and water chestnuts and cook for another minute. Add the sugar, sesame oil, chilli oil and soy sauce, and stir. Combine the corn starch and water in a small bowl, then add this to the shrimp mixture. Transfer the mixture to a plate and let it cool. Spoon a tablespoon of the filling into the centre of each wonton wrapper and fold the corner over the filling, tucking the point underneath to make triangle shapes. Pinch the wrapper around the shrimp filling to enclose it. Pull the side corners under the filling and use a little water to seal the edges. Put the wontons on a baking sheet and cover them with a damp cloth as you prepare the remaining ones. You can freeze them at this point for up to 2 months if you want. Heat a pot of oil to 190°C and fry the wontons in batches for about 2 minutes or until they are golden brown. Drain them on paper towels and serve with soy sauce for dipping.

Photo: Collected

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