Big Breakfast

Because nothing says weekend like a big breakfast…

Now with Samuel Kabir eating solids our mealtimes have become so much more fun. It’s so entertaining watching him try new things, roll his eyes or smile with glee each time he tries a new food. One thing is for sure the boy loves his food. Who wouldn’t I suppose with foodie parents like us two.

My favourite part of the week has to be cooking and relishing weekend brunches with my family. Recently I decided to make my own spiced breakfast beans and crispy breakfast potatoes. Needless to say there were cheesy scrambled eggs and beautiful crusty grilled sourdough. 

 

While I’m a complete believer in convenience and using canned baked beans would’ve been just fine. Since it’s the question of nutrition for little SammyK I make no compromise. Besides when homemade beans are so easy to make and ready in 15 minutes, why wouldn’t you make them at home.

Ingredients:  18 Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

For the beans

  • One can of reduced salt cannellini beans
  • One small onion, chopped
  • Two medium tomatoes, chopped
  • Half a bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • Two pods of garlic, finely chopped
  • One teaspoon cumin powder
  • Half a teaspoon of rosemary leaves
  • Salt to season 
  • Three tablespoons of olive oil

For the potatoes 

  • Three to four medium-sized potatoes, cubed
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • One teaspoon of mixed Italian herbs 
  • Salt to season 

For the eggs

  • Eight eggs
  • Quarter cup of milk
  • Half a cup of grated tasty cheddar
  • Salt to season
  • One teaspoon of olive oil

Begin by rinsing the beans thoroughly to wash off the salts and rind. On the other hand parboil the potatoes until slightly tender.

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Heat oil in a pan. Add garlic and onion, cook until aromatic. Now add tomatoes, herbs and spices and let the tomatoes stew on a medium heat for five to seven minutes.

  
Once the tomatoes are soft add the beans and half a cup of water. Mix well and cover the pan, let the beans simmer for 10 minutes.

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In the meantime, heat oil in another pan. Add mixed Italian herbs, once aromatic, add the potatoes. Toss well and cook until potatoes are cooked through and crispy.

  

To make the eggs. Whisk the eggs and milk in a bowl. Heat oil in a pan, add the eggs and turn the heat low. Keep folding the eggs in until scrambled and fluffy. Add grated cheddar and mix through. Garnish with cracked pepper. 

Your lip smackingly delicious big breakfast is ready to serve. If you are sharing this with your little one, take out relevant portions for him/her and then add salt for seasoning to the remaining. All the meat lovers feel free to add chorizo in beans or bacon on the side. Or just take my word that you won’t miss the meat if you eat a well cooked vegetarian meal once in a while.

  

So what are you waiting for. Pile it all up on a big plate and enjoy with a nice cup of coffee. Meanwhile in our house SammyK demolished his food and then went on to feed his furbling.

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Upma (Savoury Semolina Porridge)

One of my Mums favourite…

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Baby SK made the impossible, possible! He managed to get his Nanimaa (maternal grandmother) on the plane to Australia. I couldn’t get her to come visit me, not once in the seven years I’ve been in this country. However knowing her first grandson was soon going to make an appearance, made it a simply irresistible offer.

My parents arrived a week before baby SK was due, of course little did we know the little man was going to be true to his half Indian heritage and arrive almost two weeks later. Anyway I made the most of the free time by doing things I love and as you know one of my top favourites is cooking for my family. 

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I introduced my parents to the concept of ‘brunch’.  Sleeping in till 11:00am meant my parents and I were going to be brunching a lot. After all I had to cash in on any sleep inns I could get before baby SK came because after that a good night’s sleep would only be a dream. 

Now my mum doesn’t eat eggs which makes serving up a delicious brunch a little bit of a challenge. A sign of a good cook though is the ability to adapt their culinary style to suit every, well almost every palette. So one morning I decided to make Upma and it went down a treat. Here’s the recipe. 

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Ingredients: 13  Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

  • 250gms of raw semolina
  • 100gms of channa dal
  • 100gms of roasted peanuts
  • Four tablespoons of freshly grated or desiccated coconut
  • One medium onion, finely chopped 
  • One to two green chillies, finely chopped 
  • One tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • Eight to ten curry leaves
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • One teaspoon mustard seeds
  • One teaspoon cumin seeds
  • One heaped tablespoon ghee
  • Salt to season 

Begin by soaking the channa dal in warm water and keep aside.

Roast semolina on a low to medium heat lightly browned and aromatic. Keep aside.

In another pan, heat ghee. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and let them splutter. Now add curry leaves, let them splutter until aromatic.

Add onion and grated ginger, cook until onion is translucent. Now add the channa dal, peanuts and half the coconut. Mix the ingredients well. Cook this mixture on a medium heat for five to seven minutes.

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 Now add about 500ml of water and let it bubble. Then add the roasted semolina and stir continuously, ensuring no lumps are formed.

Add lemon juice, the remaining coconut and season with salt as required. Stir and cook the semolina on a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. 

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 Your upma is ready to serve. I served it with a side of hot and crispy butter toast and a cup of masala chai. Just as my mum likes to eat it. 

Smashed Peas with Poached Eggs and Avocado

Smashed avocado is so yesterday…Smashed Peas are here to stay…

As a devout foodie I can tell you nothing, absolutely nothing is more important than breakfast. Particularly on a Saturday morning after a wonderful sleep in, what could be better than a delicious breakfast plate waiting for you. My husband and I love surprising each other with breakfast in bed every now and then, believe me it’s a great old trick among others to keep that spark alive.

The other day we were still laying in bed at 11:00am, after all it was a Saturday. I said to my husband you know what I had a dream, where you brought me this delicious plate of green goodness for breakfast. He indulged me and asked what was on the plate, without any hesitation I began to describe – avocado, peas, fresh herbs, eggs and toast with lots of butter. Ha! yes I do recall my food dreams vividly, after all that’s how I get most of my cooking inspiration. Anyway so my husband just chuckled and continued to play on his phone and for some reason I fell back to sleep.

The next thing I know I was woken up by my dream, but this time it was a reality. My plate of green goodness was right in front of me and behind it all was my gorgeous husband. I know right – LUCKY ME!

Today’s breakfast/brunch is my dream on a plate. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Ingredients: 8   Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2

  • Four free range eggs
  • One avocado, sliced
  • Two cups of frozen peas
  • 10-12 fresh mint leaves
  • One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • A nice loaf of sourdough bread
  • Half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to season

Everywhere around Melbourne, smashed avocado seems to be a raging breakfast sensation. I say honey your days are over because smashed peas are here to stay! This recipe is built on a bed of smashed peas flavoured with mint, extra virgin olive oil and lemon – a combination that will simply knock your jocks off. LOL!

Steam the peas for about five to seven minutes, until soft. In a bowl add the steamed peas, fresh mint leaves, a tablespoon of extra virgin olive, juice of half a lemon and salt as per taste. Using a stick blender coarsely blend all the ingredients. Your smashed mint peas are ready!

For poached eggs – the first step for perfect poached eggs is to use the freshest eggs. The next step is to get yourself a wide casserole type pan and bring water to a boil. Add one teaspoon of vinegar and a pinch of salt. Once the water has boiled let it simmer. Crack each egg in a small bowl drop them in the pan one by one, you’ll see them begin to cook immediately. Depending on your pan, a really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes and a soft to firm one will need 4 minutes (it depends on the size of the eggs and whether you’re using them straight from the fridge). To check whether they’re done, remove one carefully from the pan with a slotted spoon and give it a gentle shake. If it feels too soft (use your instincts), put it back and give the eggs a little longer in the water to firm up. Once the eggs are cooked remove them on to kitchen paper and dry off.

While the eggs are poaching get your toasts ready, it is essential to use really good bread with this recipe because life is too short to eat bad bread.

To plate up – make a bed of smashed peas, surround it with avocado slices, top it up with toast and poached eggs. I added some of the leftover smashed peas on the top too, because I just can’t get enough. Finally season with some cracked pepper, dig in and get ready to fall in a food coma.