Waiting for KFC

We have been waiting for the local KFC to open in our city in Sweden, where we live. This was supposed to happen in March, but due to Coronavirus it’s still in the waiting. Meanwhile, I have been following the YouTube channel Glen & Friends for a while now, and they have a series of programs dedicated on cloning the original KFC recipe. My version of this recipe is loosly based on Earls version presented in episode 9 of the series. One of the ingredients of my version is probably only to be found in Sweden (MSG substitute) and I also used a French spice mix I already had at home instead of rosemary, thyme and summer savory. To this day KFC has not opened its doors in our town. But I did make a scrumptious meal of fried chicken that A said wasn’t far off from the KFC she has had in USA. Oh, and an impulse purchase of a fryer went a long way for this adventure!

Ingredients

  • 9g White pepper
  • 9g Black pepper
  • 1.5g Coriander Seeds
  • 1.5g Ginger
  • 0.75g Clove
  • 0.75g Allspice
  • 1g Red Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 5g French herb mix
  • 10g Aromat (exchange for MSG and some garlic salt)
  • 55g Salt
  • 200g Cake flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Cup of milk
  • 2-3 lb Chicken legs

Method

Grind all the whole spices and mix everything and add salt. Mix 37g of the spice mix with the flour in a big bowl and set aside.

Whisk the egg and milk together in a big bowl and dip the chicken legs. Here’s a trick to avoid getting both hands sticky in this process— With one hand (the wet one) dip one chicken leg at the time into the flour and spice mix and then with the other (the dry one) cover the chicken leg with the flour mix and shake of the excess and put aside. Fry the legs in hot oil 330F for about 13-15 min. Make sure they are not burnt; it’s done when the chicken turns a beautiful golden brown color.

Slow-cooked Chili Pork Belly

One of us loves pork more; the other likes her red and green chili’s. This recipe appeals to us both for those reasons and much more. It’s simple, hearty, and we usually eat it with rice and a quick salad. I am also celebrating my three years in Sweden today, so we cooked one of our fav pork dishes for dinner.

Ps: This recipe is not for the faint hearted and copious amounts of red chili, ginger and garlic make it absolutely wonderful! We also used our garden’s fresh cilantro for the first time this season.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 Lb Pork Belly, cut into medium size cubes
  • 2-3 Red Chilis (green is fine too, but it makes the dish hotter)
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 inch ginger piece, finely chopped
  • Organic chicken stock (I used 2 cubes, aim for 2.5 cups)
  • 1 yellow onion sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • Japanese soya sauce
  • Lots of fresh cilantro for garnish
  • Salt if needed (since the recipe has soya sauce)
  • Oil to cook

Method

First marinade the pork in a pan with soya sauce for 20 minutes. There should be enough soya sauce so each piece is covered. In a pan heat oil and fry all the pork and don’t leave any remnant soya sauce. Fry everything till the pork has changed color to a nice brown and the soya sauce evaporates to have oil floating. Set aside the fried pork. In the same pan, heat some more oil and sauté the chopped onion, garlic, ginger, red chilis (at this stage leave a little bit of fresh garlic and ginger for the end) . As the mix starts changing to golden, keep sautéing and when everything is fragrant and soft, add the red and green sliced bell peppers. Mix everything well, add the chicken stock and stir everything. Put the fried pork with any oils left in the pan into this mix. The whole thing should be stirred for 2-3 minutes and then left to simmer with occasional stirring. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan so nothing sticks. Cook for at least 25-30 minutes till the color is a gorgeous dark brown and check for salt. If the gravy is drying up, add some hot water to make sure it is not a dry dish. The pork is almost done now; sprinkle the left over fresh ginger and garlic on top and garnish with lots of fresh cilantro. Eat with hot rice and a salad!

“Panic Chicken”

Today was Swedish Mother’s Day! It was one of the loveliest days at the end of May, with clear blue skies and screaming greens. We had our first visitor in months— C’s mother came for a visit and I decided to cook something nice in honor of Mother’s Day. I started cooking a fiery pepper chicken with some red chillis, pepper and garlic. Half way through, C’s mom looked at my ingredients and wondered if she would be able to handle it. Yikes! I panicked. Rest was a journey of how to transform a fiery chicken to a creamy coriander garlic chicken. If I can say so myself, I’m totally impressed by myself today. And they were too, only didn’t know the story behind it.

Ingredients

  • 2 lb Chicken (thighs or with bones)
  • 2 tsp Tabasco sauce or any hot sauce
  • 1 big red chilli or jalapeño chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 teaspoon flour
  • Freshly ground pepper (black and white)
  • Chicken stock (I only get cubes here, and used two)
  • 2.5 tbsp fresh cream
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • Fresh coriander (lots of sprigs and leaves) some finely chopped and leave some sprigs for final garnish
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil

Method

In a bowl put the chicken and mix: Tabasco sauce, chopped green pepper. Mix well and coat the chicken with it. Sprinkle some white pepper over it and set it aside. Next, in a pan, heat oil and sauté the garlic, red chilli, finely chopped coriander for few minutes. Put the onion powder in this mix and whisk in the flour quickly. Pour half the chicken stock (one cube for me) over this and blend everything very well so lumps don’t form. Keep whisking and if it gets too thick, pour hot water as per consistency. It was at this stage I had some trial and error going on since I had decided to transform the pepper chicken idea into something else. Add the fresh cream at this stage and make sure you keep stirring the sauce that is forming. Sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper in the sauce. Check for salt. Set aside from heat.

In another pan, heat some oil and put the whole chicken, green pepper and hot sauce mixture. Fry over medium heat till the chicken starts turning golden. Put the other half of the stock into the pan and keep stirring. As I mentioned, my chicken stock was in cube, so I had to blend it in hot water and pour over the chicken. Keep cooking in medium heat till you see the chicken is fully cooked. Transfer this whole pan into the pan that contains the coriander and garlic sauce. Mix really well and check for salt. Finish with some fresh coriander sprigs over it. The flavors of this dish are wonderful: garlic and coriander in a cream based sauce. On another day, I’ll cook the original pepper chicken I had intended. For today, I’m glad the people who ate this were happy and reached for second helpings!

Warm rolls

These pandemic times have really urged a bit of self suficiency into our life. Many a times, we have run out of bread after a grocery cycle and didn’t want to go out or start a small batch of grocery delivery. Hence the bread making at home. We have done a good rye so far, and some slider rolls (in recipe section), but this was a first. It’s wonderful as breakfast rolls, warmed in the oven and served with butter, or with just about anything you prefer!

Ingredients

  • 25g Fresh yeast
  • .5 qt Water
  • 1.5 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbs Oil
  • 1.2 qt High protein flour

Method

In a pitcher, crumble the yeast in water and stir until everything is dissolved. In the bread kneader bowl put the rest of the ingredients, and turn on the kneader. Pour in the liquid and knead the dough for 15 minutes. Let it ferment for at least 45 min. Divide the dough into 16 parts and form round balls by stretching the edges and pulling them underneath. Put them on a baking sheet and let them ferment to double the size. You’ll be amazed how much they swell and rise up into perfect balls. Brush some water on top of each roll and then sprinkle some tiny bit of flour on the water part. (This creates a nice effect when the baking is done). Turn on the oven at 250C and when it’s ready, bake the rolls for 11-12 min. Eat at least one hot with lots of butter. Smacking good!

Gulab Jamun (Indian sweet)

Gulab Jamuns are popular Indian sweets, very easily available in every corner of the country, but rarely made at home. My American son at 5 once asked me if I could make him some “rose berries”, a direct translation of gulab jamun. I had said, no, and that I would buy it from the store. That was in USA; in Sweden, I haven’t found the sweet anywhere close to me. I explained to C that it’s quite impossible to make it at home, and I miss eating it. He took it up, of course, as a challenge to make it from scratch. And here one fine day, I had somebody asking me if the “khoya” was okay (condensed milk till it solidifies, used for sweets)! I had never made khoya at home in my life. This was a treat and an exciting journey to see him make gulab jamun to perfection at home. They were delicious, with rose water and pistachios, just like the ones in India.

Ingredients

  • 2 qt Whole milk
  • 1/2 cup All-pupose flour
  • 1/4 tsp Baking powder
  • Milk
  • Pistachios, to garnish
  • 1.75 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Water
  • Some Green cardamon pods
  • Pinch of Saffron
  • 1.5 tsp Lime or lemon juice
  • 1 tsp rose water

Making the Khoya

Now is the time to bring out the pan and your patience, because this will take time. Pour the milk into a pan, preferably non stick and gently start to simmer the milk. The mission is to boil away everything, yes almost all the liquid and turn the milk into a solid dough. The thicker it gets the more you need to stir. When done, you can shred the khoya so it will be easier to mix with the flour. This stage can be done in advance.

Making the Gulab Jamun

Mix the flour and baking powder and add the khoya. This should be mixed into a dough and you might need to add some milk of the consistency goes too dry. Make sure not to add a lot of milk and see what the dough consistency needs. This dough needs to be smooth without air-cracks in them. Make small rounded doughs in your palm and keep aside. Again, make sure the small balls for frying are smooth.

Making sugar syrup for Gulab Jamun

Mix sugar and water and put on boil for few minutes. Before it boils, add cardamom, saffron, hint of lemon juice for acidity and rose water. Boil for 4-5 minutes. Your syrup is ready.

Frying the Gulab Jamun

Heat oil in a vessel to medium. We checked to see if the oil is ready by dropping a small piece of dough into it. If the dough rises slowly with bubbles then the oil is ready for frying. Also, at this point, make sure the syrup is warm for dipping immediately after frying the gulab jamun. In the heated oil, fry the small rounded doughs in a batch of 4, so there is enough space for them. Take out when they are golden and immediately dunk them into the hot syrup. After everything is fried and submerged into syrup, store in a cool place. It can be refrigerated for later use also.

“Drink your Greens” Immunity Smoothie

It isn’t just the pandemic that made us start with crazy veggie smoothies. We have been having smoothies with fresh beetroot (to be posted another time), or this one, as we call it, “Drink your Greens”. It’s actually pretty tasty and the ginger honey combo can never go wrong! Plus, after a glass, you are satisfied that you had your greens for the day! Sometimes a second glass doesn’t hurt.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 qt Cold Water
  • 1 Whole apple
  • 1/2-1 Lemon
  • 1 in Ginger
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • Frozen Kale
  • Frozen Spinach

Method

Put it in a blender and mix the bazooka out of it (hate the auto correct on my Swedish phone but you’ll understand). Pour into glasses and drink up!

Memorial day sliders

Memorial day weekend in NJ for my partner used to be with friends and barbecue and she mentioned that they would often buy sliders as a side dish for the party. In Sweden, this past memorial day weekend, we were wondering what to do, as it is we have been social distancing here. But I surprised my Indian-American partner with homemade sliders from scratch. They turned out really well, and if you notice the recipe carefully — one of us has a meticulous measurement system going on in our cooking. The other throws things when it needs to be… not criticising, but as you will learn, we have a very eclectic household. Sliders, memorial day style!

Ingredients

  • Milk, 500ml (17oz)
  • Dry yeast, 15g (0.5oz)
  • Flour, 750g (26,5oz)
  • Butter, 50g (1.7oz) room temperature
  • Salt, 15g (0.5oz)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Prime rib, grinded (or other good meat)
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Slider method

Heat oven at 420 F. Heat the milk till lukewarm and rehydrate the yeast in it. That is, it should be mixed well in the milk and dissolved. In a mixer, or bread kneader, mix flour, salt and butter and our the milk with yeast into it. Let the kneader churn the mix for about ten minutes. Leave the dough to ferment for a while. Make small little rounds out of the dough to make small sliders of each round and lay on a baking tray. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of sliders. Cover the tray with a cloth and this should ferment for at least one and half hours. Put the baking tray in the oven for 10 minutes. Your sliders are done!

Burger method

Mix grinded beef or lamb with garlic, salt, pepper. Make small little rounds of the meat, put each little mound between a baking sheet and flatten with the back of a pan so a perfectly flat burger comes out. Fry the burger in a pan as per your meat preference. Cut open the slider halfway, putting the burger, and accompaniments to your choice. We had it with honey mustard, tomatoes and some onions. Cheese is good too, the American way!

Ghee or Clarified Butter

We tried searching for ghee in the stores here in Sweden but the only kind we found was no where near the the real ghee I have had in my childhood. South Asian grocery stores in USA have some good ghee, and I am told that Malmö and other large cities have grocery stores that might carry ghee, but the travel isn’t easy and we have been in a ‘do it yourself’ mode, so here it is- our version of ghee! Also, this is for our friend Peter, from Hungary, who loves ghee.

Ingredients

Two 500 g blocks of salted or unsalted butter

Method

In a large pan put the two blocks of butter and melt in low heat. As the butter melts, continue to a boil when things start foaming up a lot in the pan. This should take some good amount of time (make sure it doesn’t burn). The trick is to make sure to remove the pan from heat when you see the protein from the butter turning brown. Don’t let it turn too dark brown. Remove from heat and let the browned protein settle at the bottom. Pour the lovely caramel smelling ghee in a jar. This can be used as garnish in dal, Biryani, over toasts or as my Swedish partner in crime states, just eat a spoonful!

PS: I don’t waste the solids left at the bottom; my childhood memory consists of sitting in the kitchen and eating it with a spoon. I love the taste of the remnants left in the pan. Try it!

The creation of SvenssonGhosh Kitchen

Welcome to our site. I have been thinking of collating and putting together a space where all that we cook for ourselves and our families stays in one little corner. This pandemic has naturally made us rethink food in various ways, how to eat better, waste less and cut down on meat. These recipes are from over the years, offer nostalgia to childhood or are a testimony to time with family. We are a family with different transcultural experiences from three different countries and we try and live that through our food too!

The SvenssonGhoshs 🙂

Ginger chili fish n veggie ramen

Ingredients

Cod or flounder, soya sauce, ginger, garlic, 2 onions, freshly ground pepper, cornflour, green pepper, cherry tomatoes, lots of green chillies (for us but you can go easy on it), vinegar, red chili sauce or any food hot sauce like sriracha would do; fish or vegetable stock, fresh coriander, scallion and a pinch of sugar, I didn’t add extra salt as the soy sauce takes care of that. 2 pack Egg noodles. Cornflour and plain flour (small amounts to coat the fish) Ps: As you can see, this recipe has no defined measures for ingredients as everything was thrown in a hurry and what my mother would say “andaj” in Bengali—that is a strategic guess work. It works, trust me!

Method

Cut medium cubes of cod/ founder (I made it with cod); marinade with soya sauce, ginger, garlic and black pepper. Add a thin layer of cornflour and plain flour and mix well. Put aside for 30 mins. Fry the fish until golden, keep aside. In same oil, fry thinly sliced onions, fresh garlic, thinly sliced ginger red and green capsicums, diced tomatoes (optional but it adds a nice sweetness) and green chilies. As they are sautéed enough, put vinegar and red chilli sauce and some more soya sauce (not too much since has it already, go easy on this now). As the whole thing is blended well, add fish or vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Check for salt and if it’s too hot add some sugar. The sauce is ready. On the side, boil noodles and fry them (I didn’t deep fry too crispy, and made it shallow fried). Put a base of noodles in a bowl, top with the fried fish and pour over the soupy sauce. Add fresh coriander and scallions on top. It’s so good!