Tag Archives: Aerobatics show

Postcards from Bahrain and Sumptuous Spaghetti with Chicken Balls

27 Dec

And the celebrations continue this festive season. Even in this part of the world, the whole month of December is dotted with holidays and that makes it easier to step into high spirits. It takes every ounce of my will power not to bake something everyday. After all I do want to fit into a decent party dress on New Year’s eve.

As an expat, this tiny archipelago of 33 islands never ceases to surprise me with the bounty of new experiences it has to offer. Just when I sit back to think, I have seen all that Bahrain has to offer, there’d be an interesting something announced. December has been a month full of such beautiful surprises for me and my family. The weather is gorgeous with the winter sun shining down only to spread some good cheer. People are in great spirits and there is a smile on everybody’s face. I feel year -ends can give you that feeling of closure and the anticipation of starting afresh in the New Year. Unresolved issues can wait in December while you enjoy great food, time with friends and the holiday season.

So during this holiday season, I took some short trips with family and friends around the island and visited some beautiful places.

We visited the ‘Tree of Life‘ which is a 400 year-old 32 feet high North American mesquite tree. The tree stands lonely in the heart of desert. It stands as a symbol of strength, hope and longevity for Bahrainis and expats alike.

The weekend found us jumping with excitement at a Wild Life Park – Al Areen. Mimi was so ecstatic spotting all the animals that she had only seen in her picture books. Huge tortoises, Oryx, Ostriches, Emu, all kinds of migratory birds, giraffe ( this was first time I had seen one and I was so excited) and other wild animals. We had the best time walking around and looking and taking pictures of these animals in their near-habitat enclosures.

We also took a trip to an island close by called Al Daar. We had a splendid time at the beach, splashing about in the waves, building sand castles with Mimi, soaking up some winter sun and lazing around in hammocks.

16th, 17th, 18th , 19th were National Holidays in Bahrain celebrating the King’s Accession Day and the National Day. There was a wonderful Aerobatics show for people to see at a beach. Three tiny planes swirled, twirled and somersaulted in mid air giving all the spectators the chills and the thrills.

End of the year also witnesses the biggest sales in the island and I have had a gala time picking up wonderful stuff at 70% discount and less. The shopping spree will continue until the end of this month and I am so looking forward to it.

As an expat the other way to be entertained and to entertain your friends is to either go out for dinner or invite each other for one. Planning and sorting dinner menus for friends has become a norm this month and I have enjoyed it to the hilt. This gives me an opportunity to try different cuisines and recipes. For one such dinner night, I made some sumptuous Spaghetti and Chicken balls and other Italian fare. It is my own recipe since all the Spaghetti and Meat balls recipes called for using minced beef. For this reason alone I have never tasted this Italian dish before in restaurants. I thought I might try and adapt by using chicken mince and to my great relief and joy, it came out wonderful.

Recipe for Spaghetti and Chicken Balls

Ingredients

Spaghetti – 300 gms

For the Chicken Balls ( will yield 14 balls)

Chicken mince – 325 gm

Ginger – 1/2 inch, grated

garlic – 3 cloves, grated

Egg – 1 no.

Parsley, chopped – 1/2 cup

Pepper – according to taste

salt – according to taste

Oil – for deep frying

For the Sauce

Onions- 3 , chopped

garlic – 5 cloves , crushed

Tomatoes – 1 no. , chopped

Tomato paste – 2-3 tbsp

Oyster sauce- 1 tbsp

Sweet chilli sauce – 2 tbsp

oregano flakes – 1 tsp

pepper – according to taste

salt – acc. to taste

oil

Preparation

1. Start by prepping for the chicken balls first. Bring together minced chicken, grated ginger, grated garlic, egg, salt, pepper and chopped parsley. Mix well and make balls.

2. Heat enough oil in a frying pan and drop the balls to deep fry them. Keep them aside for later use.

3. To make the sauce, first fry chopped onions until translucent and then add crushed garlic to it.  Then add chopped tomatoes and cook well. Let the mixture sweat well before you add the tomato paste and keep stirring.

4. In a while, you would see the colour of the sauce changing and all the onion-tomatoes would have mashed well by then.

5. To this add oyster sauce, sweet chilli sauce and oregano flakes. Keep stirring and add water if you find the sauce getting too thick.

6. Finally add salt and pepper according to taste.

7. Pour the sauce over the chicken balls and keep aside until it is time to serve.

8. Break Spaghetti into half and put them in a pot of boiling water with salt and little olive oil. Cook as per instructions on the packet or until al dente. Drain.

9. When it is time to serve, place spaghetti on a plate and pour the chicken balls and sauce at the center and serve hot.

10. Garnish with basil.

My friends enjoyed the meal so much that they came back for seconds and thirds. For me personally, Spaghetti and Chicken balls is the new Lasagna. I hope you try it and let me know how you like it.

For the first time in many years, I feel I am truly at home and I have come to love Bahrain bit by bit. I haven’t a clue about what is in store for us in the future; whether we’d stay here or move. But I have decided to explore this country in every possible way and take it with me wherever I go.

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