Lemon Basil Squid

I’ve been reading @samar11‘s The Married Man’s Guide to Creative Cooking and Other Dubious Adventures.

No, I’m not married. Heck, I’m not even a man.

I follow @samar11 on Twitter and Tumblr and when announced he was doing a book launch in Bangalore one Wednesday afternoon, I may have died a little.

Wednesday afternoon?

So, I didn’t go. And quietly added the book to my wishlist.

I’d read and re-read pieces from Our Daily Bread (in LiveMint) and My/Our Daily Bread (on The Hindustan Times blog) several times. I wanted this book. But I’ve been spending on setting up the apartment (yes, seven months in and STILL setting up), so I decided to put book-buying away for early 2014.

Until @surajmenon stalked my Flipkart wishlist or just got the my book-needs out of me when I was very drunk some night, and bought me a copy.

I was still reading Gay Bombay and had sworn to not read another book until it was done. I loved the book. I was just awfully slow with it. And I read a half dozen other books while I was reading it. And that just didn’t seem fair any more. Gay Bombay done, I moved on to A Married Man’s Guide the other evening. I’m loving every bit of it. And if you have even the slightest ounce of curiosity or enthusiasm in you to work a kitchen, I urge you to read the book.

Long story short, the squid is something I put together entirely on my own, no recipe look-ups, no nothing. Courtesy current read and author of current read.

I don’t want to sound sappy, but it makes you want to try silly things, fuck up a little maybe, and then try the same recipe again and fix it. And that’s where all the fun is.


3 squids, cleaned and cut (tentacles into rings, body left more or less whole)
5-6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
10-12 leaves of basil, roughly chopped
One green chilli, sliced diagonally
One lemon
Salt, to marinate
Olive oil, to cook


1. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the bowl of squid and add some salt and mix. Leave this for a few minutes, while you prep the rest of the dish.
2. Slice the other half of the lemon, thin, into wheels. (I will admit, I stole the lemon wheels idea from a candied lemon recipe I saw on TV or the web, it just looked so pretty!)
3. Heat some olive oil in a round bottomed vessel and add the garlic.
4. When it releases an aroma and begins to turn translucent, add the sliced green chilli and the lemon rings. Cook for a half minute or so.
5. Now add the squid and cook for a few minutes. Be sure to not overcook the squid. Squid cooks fairly quickly, for one. Two, overcooking it makes it chewy and not-that-great-to-eat.
6. The last half a minute or so, toss in the basil and give it a good stir.

1. This took all of 10 minutes to make. End to end.
2. The squid tasted just right. It had a bitter tinge to it, though. I suspect it was too much basil, which is why I’ve reduced the quantity of basil on the recipe. I used a whole handful.
3. I also noticed that the central flower like body of the squid (yes, Biologists, judge me) takes a little longer to cook than the rings. It might help to cook those for a minute or two, before throwing the rings in.


P.S.: I LOVE the orange table cloth.


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