“When someone cooks with love, the meal deserves to be celebrated. You get dressed, choose a killer playlist, and pour a glass of wine then sit down to share the magic with your loved ones.” — Brendon D’Souza
Hello Everyone! How’s life? It’s Brendon D’Souza from CookWithBrendon.com here. By day I work in sales and around the clock I spend the countless hours we have in lockdown doing my favourite thing – cooking for my loved ones and developing recipes for my blog.
After 6 years at my former blog Brendon The Smiling Chef, I realised there might be a space for online cooking classes and social get-togethers for like-minded foodies. After running a number of free workshops with my colleagues and friends I’m so ready to take it to the next level and open up the classes to the world. Let me know if you would like to join in the fun!
Now more than ever is the perfect time to try and find clever little ways to use up leftover bits and pieces you find in the kitchen. This curry will allow you to do exactly that, and is inspired by the flavours of Laos, Thailand, India, and Australia altogether.
By no means do I claim to be the creator of this dish. As I’m sure you’ve seen over your socials it gained cult status recently when Nigella Lawson wrote about it in her 2020 TV series and cookbook Cook Eat Repeat. It’s such a great way to transform something that would otherwise be destined for the bin. I was surprised to learn that banana skins are packed full of potassium so I’m hoping it’s doing that extra bit of good for my insides too.
I’ve also taken the liberty to use up some leftovers for this dish including a batch of leftover marinara sauce and some roast sweet potatoes. So you can absolutely feel free to swap out some of the ingredients for others which you may have at hand. Don’t forget to tag #CookWithBrendon so I can see your creations. Let’s cook!
PREP TIME 30 MINS| COOKING TIME 30 MINS| SERVES 2-3
2 ripe bananas
2 medium red onion, sliced
1/2 tbsp castor sugar
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup basmati or jasmine rice
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 cup canned tomatoes
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 cup diced sweet potato (or use regular potato)
1/2 cup frozen peas (or any other fresh or frozen green veg)
1 bunch coriander
Start this recipe 1 hour before serving time.
Banana Peel: Peel the bananas. Slice off the tops and tails.*
Place the banana peels into a large heatproof bowl with 1/2 tbsp salt. Cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 30 mins. This helps to tenderise the skins and they will change in colour from yellow to brown which is totally fine.
Pickled Onion: While the bananas are soaking. Finely slice 1 onion and place into a glass or ceramic bowl with the rice vinegar, castor sugar and 1/2 a tablespoon of salt. Give it a stir and then set aside. Repeat every 10 minutes or so while you’re making the curry and the onions will turn a vibrant pink and tenderise by the time you’re ready.
Remove the banana peels from the soaking liquid** and pat dry with a paper towel. Slice the peels finely into batons.
Coconut Rice: Place the rice into a medium heatproof saucepan. Cover with enough cold water to reach 2-cm above the level of the rice, then add the coconut milk. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil. When it is bubbling, immediately turn the heat off and pop on a tight fitting lid and let it sit there***. The rice will continue to absorb any liquid while you prepare the curry.
Banana Peel Curry: Heat a medium saucepan over a low heat. Add 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil, the cumin, coriander powder, and turmeric. Cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes to toast the spices, and then add the marinara sauce****.
Add 1 tablespoon of crushed ginger and the banana skins, and cook, stirring over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add 1/2 a cup of vegetable stock or water and bring to the boil. Cook for a further 5 minutes or until the banana peels are tender.
Add the sweet potato, frozen peas, coconut milk, and chopped coriander stems, and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the veggies are cooked through. Finally, add the coconut milk and stir until combined.
Serve with the coconut rice and pickled onion. Enjoy!
*These can be composted. Save the banana flesh for another use (I’m thinking everyone’s favourite lockdown banana bread!).
**The minerals found in the banana peels such as potassium, phosphorus and calcium, will leach into the water. You can then use this liquid fertiliser for your plants.
***I use my Mum’s absorption method trick to cook my rice and it works every time!
****I’ve used 1/2 a cup of leftover marinara sauce with onion in it but you could easily substitute for 1 small onion and 1/2 a cup of crushed tomatoes.
Give this recipe a try and if you do be sure to tag #CookWithBrendon in your posts when you do!
I’m trying really hard to grow @cookwithbrendon on Instagram and now TikTok so if you have a second to visit and give both a follow I’d be so grateful.
Hello Everyone! We’re venturing forward on our Flavours of Southeast Asia journey through Malaysia with a dish that’s very close to my heart. Now, you probably already know that there are countless recipes for mee goreng (fried noodles), that vary depending on its country or region of origin, but tonight in particular, I will be sharing a Mamak-style mee goreng dish; a staple of ours that we would always order when my family and I were at our favourite roti canai eatery.
Mamak is a local word used to describe people of Indian-Muslim origins in Malaysia; and thus with these two cultures merging together created a unique dish known as Mee Goreng Mamak, or in English, Mamak-style Stir-Fried Noodles. It is normally made with fresh egg noodles, boiled potatoes, fried tofu, and Chinese greens of choice that is tossed in a delicious sauce, but you can also bulk it up with other proteins such as chicken, squid, or seafood. Pork and beef are typically avoided for obvious reasons.
If you’re looking for a way to change up your weeknight noodle meals, then this is a recipe you should definitely try out. It’s quick, easy, and made with ingredients that you can easily source at your local market or grocer. Mee Goreng Mamak is a delicious blend of spicy, savoury, sweet, tangy, smoky (from all that wok hay), and sticky flavours in a single dish. The recipe that I will be sharing tonight is perfect for ovo-vegetarians.
PREP TIME 15 MINS| COOKING TIME 30 MINS| SERVES 4
For the sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp sambal paste
2 tsp white granulated sugar
For the noodles
2 x 500g packs fresh yellow noodles, washed and drained*
4 pcs firm tofu, fried and cut into chunks
2 medium-sized cooked potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 large free-range eggs
Handful of celery leaves
1/2 cup bean sprouts
Oil, for cooking
Chinese cabbage, blanched
Red pepper, sliced
Lemon wedges, optional
*Fresh yellow noodles are usually oiled. Rinse it in cold water to loosen up the threads and remove part of the oil, or you can quickly blanch it in hot water and drain before using.
Sauce: In a medium-sized bowl, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Set aside until ready to use.
Mee Goreng Mamak: Add oil in a large pan over high heat. Add the garlic and white/light green part of the spring onion and sauté until the garlic is lightly golden and fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the yellow noodles and fry for about a minute or two. Push the noodles to the side and add the eggs. Let the eggs cook a little to set and then mix it into the noodles.
Add the fried tofu, cooked potatoes, celery leaves, and the sauce mixture to the noodles. Toss until the noodles are evenly coated with the sauce, frying for about 3 to 4 minutes. Try not to mix too hard or it will break up the noodles into tiny threads.
Add the remaining spring onion and bean sprouts. Give it another quick toss, about a minute or so for the bean sprouts to cook.
Once done, transfer to individual serving plates and serve with red peppers and Chinese cabbage (or any greens of your choice). Garnish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and enjoy immediately while hot!
Hello Everyone! If you haven’t already guessed it, or if I haven’t already told some of you (for a special project this coming August), the theme for this year on the blog is Colours of the Rainbow! Tonight, and for the rest of the month of May, I will be continuing on with the colour yellow.
If you love simple ingredients with beautiful, massive flavours, then you’ve found the right recipe! This Aloo Kadhi, or in English, Indian Potato Curry, has incredible flavours that are hard to beat. Even though I ended up mashing almost half of the potatoes in this curry, mine didn’t turn out as thick in consistency as I would have wanted it to be, but that’s easy to fix – just mash up more potatoes!
This recipe may not have all the authentic spices found in a traditional Aloo Curry, but I can guarantee it tastes amazing! Vidhya, I know you still read my blog posts after so many years, so please don’t grill me on this dish *cheeky grin* Anyway, it’s terrific with freshly made puri, a crisp and puffy Indian bread, or with paratha, an unleavened Indian flatbread made with whole wheat flour.
Before we dive into tonight’s recipe, please take the time to check out where I drew my inspiration from. The original recipe is on Scrambled Chefs by Aena.
PREP TIME 10 MINS| COOKING TIME 35 MINS| SERVES 3-4
6 medium-sized potatoes, wash, peeled, and cut into small cubes
3-4 pcs whole cloves
2 pcs star anise
1 pc cinnamon bark
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 thumb-sized fresh turmeric, julienned
2 cups water (or vegetable stock)
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 & 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 & 1/2 tsp ground paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp yellow curry powder
Salt, to taste
Handful of blanched kale leaves, to garnish (optional)
Add the coconut oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the cinnamon bark, star anise, and whole cloves; sauté until fragrant, about a minute or two. Be careful not to burn the aromatics. Then add the minced garlic and fresh turmeric and sauté until golden brown and fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the potatoes into the pot, together with the ground paprika, chilli flakes, curry powder, and turmeric powder. Season with salt, to taste, and then give it a good mix, cooking for about a minute or two.
Add the water or vegetable stock and bring to a gentle boiling. Cover the pot and leave to cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. If desired, use a fork to mash up some of the potatoes to thicken the curry to the consistency of your liking. Let it simmer, partially covered, for 5 to 10 more minutes.
Check and taste to see if the curry needs additional seasoning. If so, season with a touch more salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Once done, transfer to a serving dish and top with some blanched kale. Or, if you’re not a coriander hater like myself, go ahead and top your Aloo Kadhi off with a sprinkle of chopped coriander.
Serve hot with some freshly cooked Indian bread of choice. You may also choose to enjoy this dish with some freshly cooked basmati rice if you’re a starch on starch kind of person. Enjoy!
Cut the potatoes into small-sized cubes if you want the potatoes to cook faster. The bigger the potato pieces, the longer it will take for them to cook all the way through.
Cook the potato curry on low to medium heat. Potatoes are root-based starches that thicken up and soften more easily when cooked on low heat. Therefore, when you cook the curry on low heat, not only will it cook the potatoes all the way through, it will also make the curry thick and at the right consistency.