Sunday, 31 October 2010

Spiced pumpkin mini loaves

Happy Halloween peeps! So were you dressed up as the slutty nurse or the horny devil???  ;)
I had quite an eventful weekend with all the pub hopping and partying leaving me absolutely hung over and a wee bit bummed that my lovely cousins headed back to the US this evening. It was a really wild week and lemme just leave it at that.

With regard to the pumpkin, it was eventful as well. I had never ever tasted pumpkins and this time I decided to pick a small one and carve. Ended up with indeed a teeny tiny one and had no choice but to just stare at it and say how darn cute it looked. And then Ro got me all worked up to carve and I decided to head to the grocery store at 8 in the night. A trip that would have taken me 15 mins in total took over half an hour..talk about my absent mindedness. I was still unusually excited about the carving even after that long chakkar and so went ahead and did it anyway..well drew it all out and then got Ro to do it (that's really the trick you know). We were mighty pleased with the outcome and here's a pic...
Now I couldn't throw away the pumpkin so after googling quite a bit and when I put this question on FB, my brothers friend H who also happens to be a grad. from The Culinary Inst. of America suggested pumpkin bread and I knew that was it. So here goes:

Recipe halved from here
Pumpkin purée- 1 cup
Granulated sugar- 1 1/2 cups
Water- 1/2 cup
Vegetable oil- 1/2 cup
Eggs- 2
Plain flour- 1 1/2 cups
Baking soda- 1 tsp
Cinnamon powder- 1 tsp
Nutmeg- 1/4 tsp
Baking powder- 1/2 tsp
Ground cloves- 1/4 tsp
Salt- 1/2 tsp
I had no clue how to make pumpkin puree and so blindly followed DK's version from here
In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spice powders
In another large bowl, using a spatula or wire whisk, mix together the pumpkin purée, sugar, water, oil and eggs till well combined.
Mix in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients bit by bit and mix till well combined and lump free.
Pour into a greased loaf tin or mini loaves and bake in an oven pre-heated at 176C for 60 to 70 minutes and if it is in mini loaf tins then for about 30 to 40 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
Once done cool on wire racks and store in an air tight container for up to a week.
It was an incredibly moist cake and im in love with the flavours. Dab some cream cheese frosting on it and its a perfect Autumn tea-time snack.
Sending this to Monthly Mingle event hosted by Deeba, brainchild of Meeta, and the theme this month is Fruit in baking. 

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Minced meat- 2 ways

This is a pretty lame post and and even lamer pic...no patience for food styling and all. So apologies in advance.
Remember I mentioned my cousins were visiting..well we ended up partying it hard over the weekend and was lethargic whole of Monday. Needless to say, we had a blast, but in the process these are the things I learned:
1. Red wine gives me a hang over
2. Gin and tonic is my new found love which brings me to the next point
3. NEVER mix your drinks
4. Next time think a hundred times before deciding to order an entire case of wine off the Internet.
5. Thank the inventor of the dish washer again and again.

So after all that I spent whole of yesterday in bed watching silly mallu movies and making do with left over food for dinner. Had to get off my ass today because of some important deadlines I had to meet but I'm still pretty pathetic with regard to stamina. I have to rest and be ready for Thursday when they will be back from Ireland :)
I had only mince meat and that too quite a bit of it and so decided to go berserk with it since it was raining and windy and incredibly cold to go out and do grocery shopping.

Basic kheema recipe
So with half kg minced meat I made a kheema sorta thing and used that for my empanadas. I was kinda bored with my basic mince meat recipe and so tried out this recipe by PreeOccupied which came out really well. Its a keeper I'd say!

Pizza dough Empanadas
I made use of my leftover pizza dough to make these simple empanadas and they taste pretty darn good.

Pizza base mix- 1, 100 gm packet kneaded according to instructions. Alternatively, follow this recipe.
Cheddar cheese- 1.4 cup (optional)
Butter melted- 1/2 tbsp
Flour- to dust the working surface

Pre heat the oven to 220C
Once the dough has puffed up the first time, knock it back and make about 6 to 7 lemon size balls out of it.
Dust the working surface with enough flour and roll each of it into a circle or oval shape.
Fill with enough mince meat (about 1 tbsp for each circle) and cheddar cheese (if using) and cover carefully. With the tip of your finger, seal it and use a fork to create impressions around the edges if you want to.
Place them on a baking tray lined with a baking sheet because oil might ooze out and make a mess. You don't want to end up scrubbing the tray.
Using a basting brush, generously butter the empanadas for that brown colour. You can also do the same with egg if you please. I was lazy.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes and serve hot with sour cream:)

Minced beef Kebabs (seekh kebab)
With the remaining 200 grams I decided to make seekh kebabs. Something I was very doubtful about, but turned out incredibly yum and it was so darn easy to make.

Minced lean beef- 200
Onion- 1 small, roughly chopped
Green chillies- 3, thinly sliced
Coriander leaves- 1/4 cup, washed and roughly chopped
Kashmiri chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
Garlic paste- 1/2 tbsp
Egg- 1 small
Gram flour- 1 tbsp
Salt- to taste
Wooden skewers- 8 or more

Soak the wooden skewers in water for at least 20 minutes
Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl till well combined. If it happens to a be a bit loose, add some more gram flour.
Take small portions in your hand and press it on to the skewers, binding well. If its too heavy then it might fall off (yup I learned from my mistake).
Place them in a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake in an over preheated at 220 C for 20 minutes, turning them occasionally.
You get absolutely delicious and juicy beef kebabs. Serve them with cucumber raita or just a salad.
Notes: Use bread crumbs instead of gram flour
You can make them into patties as well and use the same for burgers.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Kadai channa masala

Its cold and windy and as long as I'm indoors the weather is my bestest friend. But sadly for me, that doesn't happen quite often. I have guests whole of next week and as much as I'm looking forward to having them around, sightseeing in London in this weather can be a bummer. On the other hand it is indeed soup and stew weather and so I am happy about that bit.
This is the first time I've tried making channa masala and must say it wasn't as awesome as I've remembered it to be! I mean I'm talking about the Saravana Bhavan ones from Chennai which is so darn awesome, I'm drooling just thinking about it. My laziness even got me to buy one of those instant ones which I think was alright, but not the best obviously. There was absolutely nothing wrong with this curry and Ro loved it, but I just didn't think it hit the right spot..you know what I mean right??? Anyhoo, if you think I need to change something or the way I make it, let me know and I'm more than happy to give it another shot :)
Recipe has been loosely adapted from one of Lekshmi Nairs.

Cooked chickpea- 1 cup
Onion- 1 roughly chopped (optional)
Garlic paste- 1 tbsp
Kashmiri chilli powder 1/2 tbsp or less
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder- 1 tbsp
Tomatoes- 4, puréed
Green chillies- 2, sliced
Ginger- 1 tbsp, chopped
Coriander leaves- a handful
Garam masala powder- 3/4 tsp
Kasoori methi powder- 1/2 tsp
Sugar- 1.2 tsp (optional)
Water- 1 cup (or as required)
Salt- to taste
Oil- 1 1/2 tbsp

Heat oil in a kadai and add the garlic paste. Saute till the raw smell goes.
Reduce the heat a bit and add the Coriander powder, Chilli powder and Turmeric powder. Mix well till its cooked..about a minute or so.
Add onions and sauté for about 3 to four minutes...just to lightly cook it. (skip this stage if you are not adding any)
Add the puréed tomatoes and stir well. 
Half way through, add the green chillies, sliced ginger and salt and give it a good mix and cook till the water evaporates and the oil separates...a mushy consistency
Add a cup of water and wait for it to lightly boil.
Add the cooked chickpea at this stage and mix well.
Add the garam masala and kasoori methi powder and half of the coriander leaves, give one final stir and let it boil for a further 5 minutes.
You can also add sugar at this stage to enhance the taste a bit.
Garnish with remaining chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with poori's, chapathis or even pita bread.
Notes: If you want a thicker consistency, grind about a 1/4 cup of cooked chickpea into a fine paste and add just before you add the whole chickpea.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Easy peacy chicken tart

How are you all doing? Been a while isn't it? Well I have just been super duper busy with something or the other and must say I'm not complaining. Except that I haven't had the time to hit the gym and that's not something I'd like to get used to. I also haven't really had time to visit your blogs as much as I'd like and I apologise for the same. 
This tart is really the easiest to make if you have the base ready. And by ready I mean store bought. Yes, my dilemma about not being able to roll out dough continues and the one time I tried, I ended up with a torn dough and then tried to mend it with some more dough and altogether it wasn't a pretty scene. That's when I discovered the savoury tart cases at Sainsburys...neat! I shall however give you the recipe for the base, just in case you might be interested:) (of course you will be, because not everyones handicap like me when it comes to rolling dough)
So here goes, a Sunday brunch favourite of ours.

For the tart base:
Plain flour- 200gms
Chilled butter- 100 gms
Baking powder- 1/4 tsp
Egg- 1, beaten
Ice cold water- a few drops
Salt- to taste
For the filling:
Chicken breasts- 2 medium sized (approx 200 to 250 gms), cleaned and diced into small pieces
Pepper powder- 1 tsp
Salt- to taste
Paprika- to taste (optional)
Onion- 1, roughly chopped
Tomato- 1, roughly chopped + 1 for decoration if required
Frozen green peas- 1/4 cup
Milk- 1/2 cup
Eggs- 2
Salt and pepper- to taste
Cheddar cheese- enough to sprinkle on top
Oil- 1/2 tbsp
To make the tart shell, mix the butter along with the flour, baking powder and salt till it resembles a coarse mix.
Add the egg and the water as required and mix till it forms a dough.
Knead for about 5 minutes and then roll it out, a little larger than your tart tin and carefully place it inside with the edges coming up a bit. Press it down well and cut off the extras.
Poke the dough with a fork in a few places and bake in an oven preheated to 170C for about 10 minutes. Ideally you fill it with baking beans when you do so, but I didn't have any, so baked it as it is.

While that's taken care of, make the filling.
Boil the chicken with salt and pepper and paprika (if using) till it is cooked. If the pieces are large, shred them. Keep aside
In a frying pan, heat the oil and saute onions and tomatoes till they are slightly cooked. You don't need it to brown or release oil or anything.
Add the cooked chicken, green peas and mix it all together. Check for seasoning and add as required.
Keep aside to cool for a while.
Beat the eggs and the milk together and season well with salt and peppah!

Assembling:
Once the tart base is pre-cooked. Take it out of the oven and fill it with the chicken mix. Try not to stuff too much in. Its ok if you have leftover chicken, I used it for a sandwich :)
Pour the egg mix into the tin, on top of the chicken. Try and get it as even as possible. Again, big deal if its not...being rustic is a charm I'd try and work on :)
Sprinkle enough cheese on top, arrange a few sliced tomatoes on top and bake at 170C for 20 to 25 minutes, or till it is slightly firm.
Once done, cool on a rack for 5 minutes, and carefully remove it onto a chopping board. I didn't want to slice them in the tin because for one, mine was a brand new non stick tart pan and two, its a bit difficult to get it out without creating a mess, for me that is!
Do do whatever suits you. Slice them in wedges and serve with a salad. I'd say brunch is ready.
Notes: You can really do any filling of your choice. I once did a mushroom and chicken mix. I'm sure paneer would be a great option as well.
I pre-cooked the tart base because the first time I made this, I thought the base was a bit undercooked and all doughy!
If you want to Indianise it, add a dash of meat masala while boiling the chicken.
You can freeze it and it would definitely last a week or if you just refrigerate it, definitely for 3 days. Its a perfect make- ahead breakfast item.
The above measurements fill two tart cases of that size, but the base recipe is just for a large 9 inch tart.


PS: All you guys who wrote in asking for the icing recipes and tips on cupcake decorating, I shall definitely get down to it once I bake and decorate something on my own first. Thanks a lot for those beautiful comments as well. You guys made my day. Hugs { }

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Cupcake decorating class

I was on the look out for a cake decorating class here in London and that's when I came across the class at Bea's of Bloomsbury in Holborn. I have had so many failed attempts at making butter cream and cream cheese icing that I realized unless someone showed me how to go about it- procedure and consistency wise- I wouldn't succeed. Trust me, this is talking from experience...I have wasted icing sugar, cream cheese and butter by the truck loads because I goof up quite often when it comes to frosting. 

Bea...one of the sweetest people I've met is a pastry chef and owner of the quaint lil tea shop called Bea's of Bloomsbury and her basic class on cupcake decorating was all that I was looking forward to. She even let a friend join in absolutely free of cost, making up for rescheduling the class. We got there at around 5.45 and was totally made to feel at home. Bea brought over a plate full of cupcakes for us to dig into and we did, shamelessly, rather! The red velvet with cream cheese was brilliant and so was the vanilla with passion fruit frosting. So after we had our mouths full we cleaned up, put on our aprons and Bea gave us a small introduction about herself, her transformation into being a pastry chef and what her class would cover. She conducts different classes at her restaurant, details of which are on the website and I assure you, it would be absolutely worth it, if ever you want to give it a shot.
The class started off with Bea showing us how to make the perfect, silky smooth chocolate ganache, followed by taking us through the processes of getting the perfect Italian butter cream consistency and then of course my favourite, the cream cheese frosting methods. We were then taught how to make cones with butter paper, fill it with melted chocolate (white and dark), fold it and draw designs, write out names etc etc. Once that was perfected, Bea showed us how to fill, hold and use a pastry bag to frost cakes and cupcakes. Then came the best part, we were given an array of cupcakes to decorate on...with Bea showing us some easy piping ideas and decorating methods throwing in quite a lot of interesting tips for storage, colouring and fixing issues which I thought was incredibly useful. She laid out about a hundred different sprinklers with various themes, glossy glitters, shiny dusts and fancy flowers...all for decorating. I literally went crazy decorating and so did the others. She cleared any doubts we had and asked us to take our own sweet time decorating the cakes...so yes we were at Bea's of Bloomsbury till around 9pm  decorating, laughing, eating and having a jolly good time. I left the shop happy, high on sugar and with 2 boxes full of cakes decorated by yours truly. So hopefully the next time I bake a cake, I wouldn't be stuck when it comes to frosting and will remember all that Bea taught us. Here are some of the cakes I perfected, and some I destroyed :)
Vanilla cake with raspberry icing

Vanilla cake with vanilla icing


Celebrating Pinktober, the National breast Cancer Awareness Month with this raspberry butter cream frosted cupcake.


Red velvet with cream cheese frosting


...and these are some I did after I lost my patience
(from left to right: blueberry frosting, cream cheese, vanilla, chocolate ganache)

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Borrowed recipe- Achaari Murgh (Chicken curry with pickling spices)

Well..so much for planning to post a recipe every day huh? Just got crazy busy with one thing or the other and I had to abandon the blog. Was on a movie marathon this weekend and now I'm totally tipsy on a massive cocktail, but I had to post this before I hit the sack.

I first had achaari murgh last weekend at a Hyderabadi restaurant. We went there to have Dum biryani which was horrible and ended up liking the achaari murgh instead. Well we decided on that after quite a hiatus, but nevertheless enjoyed the achaari murgh a lit. So I then thought I'd recreate it at home and went on a ballistic search. Google threw me a lot of recipes, but I settled on the one Soma of eCurry posted on her blog. Even though the taste wasn't anywhere close to the one I had at the restaurant and the colour wasn't as red (gorgeous) as hers, we thoroughly enjoyed the curry and I'm sure I'll be making it again. Thanks a lot Soma.
Notes: I followed her recipe to the dot, except I halved it and I didn't have nigella seeds with me, so avoided that as well. I am not too sure if that changed the flavouring a whole lot.
I also used vegetable oil instead of mustard oil
Puréed 3 tomatoes instead of grating them or using the paste.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Mini Oreo cheesecakes (aka Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes)

Let me see if I can post a recipe every single day of this week...or at least a picture post maybe??? Well this enthusiasm is nothing but some new prop stuff I picked up and I'm now figuring out ways to use it..talk about screwed up priorities huh? ..well that's me  folks:)

So I had some guests over for lunch last weekend and I spent whole of Saturday morning researching on easy-to-make, individual serving desserts. Came across a few mini cheese cake recipes and finally rounded it off to the Oreo cookie cheesecake because it meant I didn't have to crush the base with butter etc. and the mini versions meant lesser cleaning up since you could use muffin cases. 
They came out pretty well, except that the 1st batch I made on Saturday evening for the party, in between all that hungama and chaos (ya a husband who said he'd help around but just sat there strumming his guitar)  was a lil sharp with regard to taste, a lil salty too..which I think is because of the sour cream???? I actually don't know! But the 2nd batch, I made a day later (with much more calm and composure and without the annoying strumming of a Beatles song in the background) turned out great. I am posting both the versions here and personally my choice was the 1st set, but Ro preferred the second which was more like New York cheese cake on top, with and Oreo cookie crumb bottom. Take your pick. Either ways, its an excellent dessert, absolutely creamy and a great idea for fancy individual servings or even as a  bite size dessert.

Recipe 1, makes 7 muffin cups (adapted from here)
Oreo cookies for the base- 7 whole
Oreo cookies- 3, crushed or chopped into medium size pieces, both the cream and biscuit
Cream cheese- 227 gms (8 oz)
Granulated sugar- 1/4 cup
Vanilla extract- 1/4 tsp
Egg- 1 large, beaten
Sour cream- 1/4 cup
Salt- a pinch
Arrange the muffin liners in the muffin pan and place one whole cookie inside each muffin cup.
Using a hand held mixer or in a free standing mixer, using paddle attachment and on low speed beat the cream cheese till light and fluffy..about 2 minutes.
Add the sugar gradually, mix until smooth, and then the vanilla extract. All this on low speed.
Add the beaten egg, mixing well till combined.
Pour the sour cream and the salt and beat until everything becomes nice and creamy.
Using a spatula, fold in the chopped Oreos.
Spoon in the mixture into the cookie-laid muffin cups carefully. You can fill it up 3/4th or full.
Bake in an oven pre-heated at 135C for 20 minutes or till its just set.
Take it out and cool inside the muffin pan itself.
Once entirely cool, chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours. I chilled it overnight.
Just before serving remove the muffin liner and then either invert it with the cookie on top, or  carefully lay it on serving plates, drizzle with some choco sauce if needed and serve with all ya love:)

Recipe 2, makes 6 muffin cups (loosely adapted from here)
(I fooled around with this one and it just sank like that)

Oreo cookies- 1/2 cup (about 6 to 7 cookies along with the cream, ground) .. I love my immersion blender for this:)
Butter- 20 gms (I used a lil less)
Cream cheese- 187 gms (approx. 6.5 oz)
Granulated sugar- 1/2 cup
Egg- 1 large
Vanilla extract- 1/2 tsp

Pre- heat oven to 170C
Lay the muffin cases with muffin liners
Mix the ground oreo's and butter together till slightly coarse.
Divide them equally among all the muffin cases, pressing them down firmly.
Bake them for 8 minutes. Set aside to cool while you get the filling ready.
Using a hand held mixer or in a free standing mixer, using paddle attachment and on low speed beat the cream cheese till light and fluffy..about 2 minutes.
Add the sugar gradually, mix until smooth, and then the egg, mixing well till combined.
Pour in the vanilla extract and mix till well combined, it should be nice and creamy.
Pour the filling on top of the pre-baked oreo cookie base till partially full and bake for 20 minutes till just about set.
Switch off the oven and let it cool inside, and then chill in the refrigerator till you are ready to serve them.
Notes: The second method fetched me only 5 cookies and i presume it is because the cookie layer was a bit too thick. You can make it thinner and you'd end up with six I guess.
I would reduce the butter a wee bit the next time.
You can double the recipe and make as many as you require.


PS: All you Beatles fans, I don't have anything against them, but listening to the same song all day, kinda gets to you after a while, especially when you are sweating it out near the hob and the other half is relaxing with a beer. I definitely need to imbibe some Lady Gaga music into him ;)

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Fish Molee

My brother , younger to me by 3 years, buzzed me on g talk the other day saying he was super bored with making the usual rice and chicken curry for dinner every day. He somehow ended up on my blog and that too on my fish molee post and asked me for clear cut directions on how to make it. I asked him to read on, to which he said, 'I don't have time to sit and read your mindless banter' ...ha so much for a lil blog promotion. I cant blame him, my mom and dad think I steal pics off the Internet and post them on my blog. The reason they think so is because....last year when I went home everyone asked me to make this and that off my blog and I refused to budge...I wouldn't even move a spoon, leave alone cook. Now why would you want to slog it out in the bloody kitchen when you are on vacation?????? And then finally I moved my butt and decided to make Tiramisu for a party. Thanks to the humid weather, the mix wasn't holding well and I threw my hands up in the air and said...sorry, I can cook only in London....Amul ice cream is a good dessert idea you know! Well, that kinda sealed the deal.
So any way, coming back to the recipe... I tried to explain how to make the molee after reading the nonsense I wrote about a year back, but I don't think I did that good a job. He was lost at, 'do you get King Fish there?' I felt confused, so I imagine he did too. We had guests over last weekend and I thought, why not make the fish curry and serve with some bread, just to convince myself I didn't do that bad a job. To my luck, I found Tilapia fillets at the local groceries and yup, this time the curry tasted a wee bit different, but the colour and consistency remained the same from what I remember. I wonder what Im doing wrong...My guests said they liked it..I guess I'll just have to take their word for it eh?
...moving on to the pics...recipe has been recreated from my first trial, just that I didn't do any tadka.
BTW does any one know why this curry is called Fish Molee/ Molly??? Was it named after a mallu or Kottayam kochamma called Molly??? Sorreee..stale joke (although I like to bug Ro saying so)

Monday, 4 October 2010

Indo-Chinese Chilli Fish

That name itself cracks me up...Indo-Chinese, cuisines far apart, yet so incredibly tasty when put together or so I thought till I tasted authentic Chinese grub. I never missed 'Indo- Chinese' food to be honest, when we moved to the UK. Everyone harped on how the authentic Chinese was so not good and the Indian inspired ones were way better and Ro and myself used to thoroughly cherish the authentic 'far cry from Indian' Chinese food at the Chinese restaurant very close to where we live. Everything from the prawn crackers to the huge orange wedges they serve as dessert (on the house, BTW) appeal to me. I love the fact that it doesn't taste half Indian. I like it an awful lot, that this Indian inspired chilli fish tasted quite bleh to me and I vow to hence forth stick as close to the original as possible.

I came across this recipe on you tube and its by Lekshmi Nair. Did a few tweaks here and there and although the end result looked nothing like hers, it made up for dinner on a cold, rainy and windy night.

Tuna fish steak- 500 gms (or any firm fish), cleaned and cut into medium size chunks

For the marinade
Pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
Dark soy sauce- 1 tsp
Salt- to taste

For the batter
Corn flour- 1/4 cup
Plain flour- 1/4 cup
Egg- 1, lightly beaten
Water- a lil less than 1/4 cup
Salt- a pinch
Oil- enough to shallow fry the fish

For the sauce
Green chillies- 4, slit lengthwise
Chopped garlic- 1 tbsp
Chopped ginger- 1 tbsp
Spring onions- 1/4 cup, whites and greens separated
Onions- 2, roughly chopped
Capsicum/ bell pepper- 1, roughly chopped
Kashmiri chilli powder- 1 tsp 
Chilli sauce/ ketchup- 2 tbsp
Soy sauce- a dash
Corn flour- 1 tbsp
Water- 1 1/2 to 2 cups
Salt- to taste
Marinate the fish pieces with pepper powder, soy sauce and salt. Keep aside and get all the other things ready..the chopping, peeling etc.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and get the batter ready.
Mix together the corn flour, plain flour, salt and egg. Add enough water to this mix to make a thick batter.
Add the marinated fish pieces to this batter and mix well to coat them more or less evenly.
Fry the fish in batches and drain on paper towels. I preferred to shallow fry them. I also ended up eating quite a few of it..yummeee :)

In a wok, heat some oil. Use the remaining oil from frying for this.
Sauté the ginger, garlic and green chillies till nice and fragrant.
Add the white part of the spring onions, give it a stir and then add the onions and sauté till slightly translucent.
Once the mix becomes a bit wilted, add the chopped capsicum and sauté for about 3 to 4 minutes, it doesn't really have to lose its crunchiness.
Add the chilli powder and mix well.
Pour the water, stir and then add the chilli sauce. Leave it on medium- high heat to slightly boil. Add the soy sauce and salt, if required, at this stage.
Throw in the fried fish pieces and mix thoroughly. Keep it on medium flame and simmer for a few minutes.
Dilute the corn flour with very little water and add to the mix, to make a thicker gravy. Stir and keep on medium flame for a few more minutes.
Add the green bits of the spring onions, give a final stir and take it off the flame.
Serve hot with fried rice, noodles or even roti.

Notes: The original recipe called for sugar, red food colour and celery. I omitted all these, and added the spring onions instead of the celery. She didn't add ginger as well. I just couldn't think of Chinese food without ginger:)
The chilli sauce she used was that yellow one, which I didn't have, so used chilli ketchup instead.