Of Spain and Tapas

I often think of the weekend trip I took to Spain with a good friend. It was fantastic. The architecture, the people,the cuisine..ooh the cuisine. It was divine to say the least.

Good food, socializing and conversation are an inherent part of the Spanish experience and we thoroughly enjoyed our visits to various bars in Spain where we
never encountered a dull moment. One classic dish served in bars all over Spain and which I absolutely love is the TAPAS.

Tapas have their origin ingrained into the history of Spain where the story goes that people put pieces of bread over their glass of sherry to keep the dust and flies out. This bread was often topped with ham, sausage or cheese and eventually these pieces of bread-snacks gained popularity and the rest, as they say, is history. According to another legend the credit for the origin of this popular snack goes to Castile’s king the wise Alfonso X. Apparently he owed his recovery from an illness to eating small snacks alongside his drink.But whatever the story the fact remains that tapas are delicious , economical and wholesome food. Any food is susceptible of becoming a tapa and there are innumerable varieties of this simple flexible dish- Boquerones en Escabeche, Patatas bravas, boquerones en vinagre, gallinejas, entresijos, mollejas and callos amongst other limitless varieties and combinations.

These mini-meals may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or warm (such as puntillitas( fried baby squid).Today I have prepared the common, yet deliciously spicy “Patatas Bravas” or Fierce Potatoes as they are so often and rightly known as. This tomato sauce based recipe is simple ,quick and flexible. You can easily adjust the quantity of chilli according to your taste and even convert these lip-smaking miniature morsels into a whole meal.



3 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion , chopped
3 garlic cloves , chopped
240 g can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée
¼ tsp chilli powder
Sugar a pinch
chopped fresh parsley , to garnish
FOR THE POTATOEScut into even cubes evenly
2 tbsp olive oil

Preparation and cooking times
Prep 30 35 mins

In a saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is soft.. Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, chilli powder, sugar and salt and bring to a boil, stirring. Simmer for 15 minutes until soft and pulpy.
Keep this aside.

The Potatoes

Toss the potatoes with the seasoning. Roll the potatoes in the oil until well coated, Place in a roasting tin and roast in a preheated oven at 180 C for 1 hour or until crisp and golden. Alternatively you may also fry the potatoes in olive oil until crisp. I chose the baking method for obvious reasons.


Mix the potatoes with the sauce immediately before serving to ensure that the potatoes retain their crispness. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve warm.

Enjoy with white wine.
Blazing Hot Wok

I am submitting this recipe in my maiden entry to the Regional Recipes Event hosted by blazinghotwok.


Burger- Indian Ishtyle


“It requires a certain kind of mind to see beauty in a hamburger bun.”

There are few things that really do it for me like the good ol burger. Considering that it does involve a certain bit of work, I know that it does sound a bit strange. But once all the work is done and the burger assembled, enjoying in sitting in my terrace with a thick shake on the side is definitely the stuff dreams are made of. Sigh! The joy of a wholesome burger is just something else, delicious, all the way around. So here goes my Indian version ….makes 10-12.

First you need to prepare the potato filling or the ‘tikkis’.


Potatoes – 2 large, boiled & peeled
2 slices white bread
Dried Fenugreek Leaves – 1 Tbsp (Kasoori Methi)
Roasted Peanuts – 2 Tbsp, coarsely crushed
Onion – 1/4 medium, finely chopped
Green Chilies – to taste, finely chopped
Salt – to taste
Roasted Cumin Powder – 1/2 tsp
Chaat Masala – 1 tsp
Dried Mango Powder – 1/4 tsp
Bread Crumbs – as needed for coating tikkis
Oil – for pan frying


Boil, peel and mash the potatoes.

Chop bread slices finely in a food processor, to make crumbs. They should not be ground to a paste. Slightly ‘rough texture’ of ingredients adds to the taste.

Add the Bread, Onions, Peanuts, Green Chilies and Dried Fenugreek Leaves to the potatoes. Mix to blend.

Add the Salt, Chaat Masala, Roasted Cumin Powder and Dried Mango Powder. Mix once again.

Apply a little Oil to your hands and take a portion of the potato mixture into your hands. Roll it into a ball and flatten it out gently. Make it slightly bigger so that it will be only slightly smaller than the burger bun.

Pour out some bread crumbs on a flat plate and dip and roll the ‘tikkis’ to coat completely.

Heat 2-3 tbs. of oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan. I use a non-stick pan, and fry 2-3 tikkies at a time, on medium heat, until nicely brown and crisp on both sides. You may need to add more oil for subsequent batches. They can be cooked up to this stage in advance.

Other requirements:

Grate the following into fine long strips-

Carrot -1,
Cabbage- 1,
Cucumber- 1

Tomato Rings
Onions rings
Salad leaves
Butter, Mayonnaise and cheese spread, as per requirement

Now to assemble the burger, split each bun. On one side spread a little butter and top with a bit of the grated veggies. Place a tomato slice and then the tikki. Over this place the salad leaf. Now on the other side of the bun, apply equally the cheese spread and mayo. Close and press the bun gently. Secure with a toothpick. Repeat for the remaining buns…..

Enjoy with fries or onion rings and a shake. BLISS!

  • February 2023
    M T W T F S S
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