6 Easy meals in under 30 minutes

Short on time doesn’t have to mean short on flavour. Mastering the art of getting food on the table quickly is a matter of having the right basics in the pantry or freezer, planning ahead and and knowing what you want to make. So having a menu of 30 minute basics can be a lifesaver. Bookmark this post so you’ll be able to find it quickly when you need a little helping hand in the kitchen.

Cajun Grilled Calamari Salad

Image source: Adobe Stock

2 Calamari Steaks cut into thin strips or 350g Calamari Rings
2 tsp Cajun Spice
2 tsp Lemon Juice
2 tsp Fine Garlic
1 tsp Crush Dry Red Chillies
Salt to taste
Crack of Black Pepper

Mix all the spices and marinate your calamari. Set aside.
Assemble your salad ingredients. I like to have wild rocket, Feta Cheese and Sundried Tomatoes with other salad greens and ingredients but you can use salad combo you like.
Heat a pan on medium. Add some olive oil. Fry off the Calamari for 3 mins on each side. Layer on top of salad.
Recipe: Munira Allie

Thai Green Chicken Curry

Image source: Adobe Stock

2 Chicken breasts diced
1Tbsp Thai green curry paste – add more or less depending on how hot you like your curry
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
1tsp brown sugar
1 tsp fish sauce
1 cup frozen peas

Add a little oil to a pot on medium heat. Add the green curry paste and saute for a minute till fragrant. Add your chicken and cook till it’s opaque and just cooked through. Then add the coconut milk, water, brown sugar and fish sauce and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes. Add the peas and simmer till the peas are just cooked but still have their bright colour. I like this curry thin and serve it in bowls over plain white rice. I drench the rice in the curry and eat it with a spoon. It’s great with paapar and a little kumquat pickle on the side. Keep a tissue nearby cos it can be quite hot.

Portuguese Prawns

Image source: Adobe Stock

1kg Prawns (Buy them deveined, with heads off)
5 tblsp Butter
2 tbl Fine Garlic
2 tblsp Lemon Juice
3 teaspoons Portuguese Spice
2 tblsp Butter
1 tsp Chilli Powder
2 tsp Dried Parsley
1 cup Nandos Hot
3 tblsp Quality Dhanya Sauce
1/2 Cup Fresh Cream

Mix 5 tblsp butter, garlic and lemon juice with a fork. Rub the prawns with the butter-mix and try to get them into the groove of the prawn. Butter must not be melted. Place the prawns in a tray. Sprinkle the Portuguese spice over the prawns. Bake for 10mins on 180 deg.

In a seperate pot melt 2 tblsp butter, add dried parsley, Chilli powder and sauces. Add cream and reduce heat. Pour over half the sauce over the prawns and bake prawns for another 10mins. Pour over the balance of the sauce just before serving. Enjoy with Turkish Flat bread and salad.
Recipe: Munira Allie

Healthier Butter Chicken

2tbsp oil
1 tbsp butter
1 large onion sliced
2 tsp whole cumin
500g Chicken breast cubed
1 tsp crushed chillies
1 tbsp garlic n ginger
1 tsp paprika
5ml black pepper
50g tomato paste
2 tbsp peri-peri or chilli sauce
1 cup double cream yoghurt
handful chopped coriander

Heat oil and butter on medium heat. Add cumin and sizzle. Add onion and braise onion till soft and just starting to brown. Add chicken and spices and stir about till chicken is firm and cooked. Add tomato paste and braise a bit in the pan. Then add the yogurt. Heat through till it starts bubbling. Don’t overcook as it will split. Add chopped coriander and serve.

Boiled Egg Tarkari

4-5 Boiled eggs, peeled and sliced into 5mm rings
3 Onions sliced finely
2 Stick cinnamon
2 cardamom pods
1/2 to 1 tsp fine Garam Masala
1 tsp fine dhanya (coriander)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 green chilli chopped
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Cracked black pepper
handful of fresh dhanya (coriander) chopped

Heat 2 to 3 Tbsp oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add your stick cinnamon and cardamom and allow to sizzle. Add the onions and saute till browned. Add the spices and chilli and saute till fragrant. Add about a 1/2 cup water and cook till it forms a gravy consistency. Now add your sliced boiled eggs, salt and pepper and carefully mix. Try not to break the eggs too much. Heat through. It should be a dryish gravy. Add a little more water if it looks too dry. Add the fresh dhanya and mix in lightly. Serve with roti and pickles.

Burundi Special

A dish inspired by a Fast Food place I once ate at in JHB but can’t remember the name 😁

1 tin Baked Beans
1 tsp Butter
1 tsp Crushed Garlic
1 tsp Crush Red Chilli
2 Tbsp Mrs Balls Chutney
10 to 12 fried Viennas cut into thumb size pieces
Enough fried chips to cover a casserole dish – spiced with Paprika (use frozen chips and fry before assembling)
Onion rings to pack on top
1 cup grated Sweetmilk (Gouda) cheese
1 cup grated Mozarella
Origanum to sprinkle on top

Heat Baked Beans with butter, garlic, Chilli and Balls Chutney. Place into a Casserole dish. Add viennas on top. Pack the spiced chips on top. Make sure they are tightly packed. Top with onion rings and the cheeses. Sprinkle origanum. Bake on 180 for 10 min (time depends on how long it takes for cheese to get slightly brown). Serve with salad if you like or on its own. Makes for a good Saturday lunch.
Recipe: Munira Allie


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