There are two kinds of people during lockdown – those who are craving their favourite take-outs and those that have become master chefs in their own right. Local radio and television presenter Kriya Gangiah and comedian Nicholas Goliath are two people who have really pushed their culinary skills to their limits during this lockdown.
What started out as some friendly Instagram banter has become a fully-fledged food fight as the two celebrities try and outdo each other with their culinary creations. “I love to cook and I have been enjoying the freedom to recreate some of my most loved recipes as well as try a few new ones,” Kriya says of her love for food. “It seems Nicholas Goliath and I have the same taste in food because we have been really impressed with what the other has been whipping up during this period. So much so that we challenge each other to really put our best foot forward and create some really delicious, but easy dishes.”
Here are three easy recipes Kriya and Nicholas have experimented with over the past few weeks:
Kriya’s Easy Home-Made Falafel
“I love middle eastern food and not being able to get my fix from my favourite restaurant was starting to get to me,” Kriya explains. “So, I decided it was time to pull out this old recipe and enjoy a batch of homemade falafels. P.S. you can also freeze the batter to use later.”
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 can sweet corn, drained (Optional, but adds a special element)
4 cloves garlic
1/4 onion, roughly chopped
2 tbsp. freshly chopped coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
1. Lightly roast the chickpeas and sweetcorn in the oven to get rid of any excess water.
2. Throw everything into a blender, pulse until mixture is coarse—do not over blend!
3. Roll into little falafel balls and chill in the fridge while the oil heats up.
4. Fry falafels until golden, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. You can season with salt if needed.
Enjoy these with pita bread and a homemade tzatziki sauce.
Nicholas’ Creamy Butter Chicken
Butter Chicken has been a staple in our family for years and my six-year-old son helped us develop this new recipe we use in our household,” Nicholas says. “With winter being right around the corner, this is the perfect comfort meal!”
For the marinade:
1 lemon, juiced
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp masala
1-2 tsp hot chili powder (depends on how spicy you like i)
200g natural yogurt or cream (I sometimes add a little extra for more gravy)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp ginger garlic
1 green chili, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
1 tsp garam masala
3 tbsp tomato purée
50g flaked almonds, toasted
500g skinless boneless chicken breasts
1) In a medium bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and toss with the marinade. Cover and chill in the fridge for one hour.
2) In a pot, heat the oil and add the onion, ginger, garlic and green chili. Fry on a medium heat until onions are soft and golden.
3) Add the spices with the tomato purée and cook for a further two mins until fragrant, then add the marinated chicken.
4) Cook for 15 mins, then add any remaining marinade left in the bowl.
5) Simmer for 5 mins, then sprinkle with the toasted almonds.
6) Serve with your freshly made roti and enjoy.
Kriya’s Effortless Roti
“I always like a good challenge and when Nicholas started sending me pictures of all these mouthwatering dishes he has been whipping up, I knew the challenge was on,” Kriya says. “After seeing his delicious Butter Chicken recipe, I knew that I wanted to make some homemade roti. Having roti was always a treat in our house. My mom used to make 3 batches at one go so we got roti rolls for lunch at school as well – which I loved! It was always fun helping her in the kitchen and it turns out that paying attention then helped me perfect my roti-making style.”
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup boiling water
1. Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Crumb in the butter. Try not to melt the butter with your fingers
2. Pour in the boiled water and mix into a dough.
3. Roll the dough into a ‘log’ and slice into 12 equal pieces, roll these into balls.
4. With a rolling pin, roll each piece out on a flour dusted surface. (Don’t worry if you don’t get them round the first time, I still struggle)
5. Place the roti on a hot pan, when small bubbles appear, flip the roti over.
6. Drizzle with melted butter, then flip the roti again, drizzle again and then flip for the last time.
7. Serve while still warm