When life gives you apples, pickle them…

‘An Apple a day, keeps the doctor away’ is a very famous and well said thought. However, I would say you can have the apple in any form. Whether you like it in the form of an apple pie or an apple pickle. 

Today, I ought to speak about this amazing, sharp- tasting, pungent but not too much, yet delicious apple pickle I enjoyed at my cousin-Aunt Prema’s place… She’s always been an amazing cook. I love her food and it’s a blessing to have her here in London… 


This apple pickle is sharp, pungent, sweet, sour and spicy(but not too much, just the right amount). It is something I would definitely love to eat with rice, some dal and maybe a papad… it is a wonderful accompaniment to any meal.

So, this recipe from the chef herself is quick and easy to make yet titillates your taste buds in such a way that you’ll definitely be left longing for more..

However, this is a type of pickle which should be refrigerated and consumed within a week. 


You can either peel the apples and use them or leave the peel on… 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4-5 large Apples, washed, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp Turmeric powder 
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 
  • 2 1/2 tbsp mustard seeds 
  • Few curry leaves
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Cumin seeds 
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder 
  • Salt to taste 
  • Sugar to taste 
  • Juice of 1 lemon or 1 1/2 tsp vinegar

METHOD:

Wash and peel the apples. Dice them, apply salt and keep them aside. 

Heat oil in a pan. Add 1/3 of the mustard seeds, curry leaves and garlic, sauté it. Add Turmeric powder. Keep aside.

Dry Roast fenugreek seeds, Cumin seeds and mustard seeds together.  Grind it into a coarse powder. Keep aside. 

Add the apples to the oil mixture. Add the ground powder. Add chilli powder, salt and sugar to taste. Add lime juice/vinegar and cook until the apples soften.

Enjoy the pickle with rice, bread or however you like it…

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Ambot tik- Hot and Sour Goan curry

Hi folk! It’s been a long time… over a week,I think… so what’s new?! Finally, I’ve started working! Amazing place and wonderful people! Shall give y’all an update about it soon! 

So coming back to today’s recipe… yet another quick and easy recipe… There are two ways this can be done. Firstly, an easy recipe using the Recheado paste from my last blog post or the second way which is a little elaborate yet the yummier way and a recipe from Avozinha(grandmom) and Moira mama(mom-in-law). This curry which is also my favourite is quick and easy to make too.  

Traditionally, this curry is made with a variety of fish, like sweet water fish, king fish, baby shark, prawns,etc. However, those of y’all who are veggie lovers don’t have to be disappointed… y’all can always use the base curry recipe for vegetable preparations.

Ambot in Konkani (official language spoken in Goa) means sour and this sourness in the curry generally comes for tamarind, dried raw mango, raw mango powder, or dried kokum or even Vinegar. Tik means hot or spicy which is derived from the red Kashmiri chillies, green chillies and pepper. 

These are some of the key ingredients to make this stunning curry! 

Being here in London, it is easier to find fish like salmon, trout, etc. So, for this recipe I used two large Yorkshire Trouts.

The following recipe is my version of making the famous ambot tik.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large Yorkshire Trout (cleaned and cut into 4 pieces) 
  • 4 tbsp Recheado masala 
  • 2 red onions (thinly sliced) 
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tomato (thinly sliced) 
  • 2 green chillies (slit in the middle) 
  • Water as much as required (for the gravy)
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste
  • 1 tbsp Oil

METHOD:

Heat the oil in a pan and once hot enough add the cumin seeds and green chillies. Sauté it for a while until the cumin starts crackling. 

Add the onions and sauté for 2 mins. Add the tomatoes and leave it on a medium flame for 1 min. Sauté it well… add all the dry powders and fry it a little longer. Do not let it burn. Add the Recheado paste and fry the whole mixture well…add water. 

Boil the gravy for a while and later add the fish and let it cook until the fish is done. Do not stir the gravy once the fish is in. Add salt and sugar to taste. Do not add too much sugar because it will get too sweet. Once the gravy is thick enough, turn off the flame and serve hot with steamed white rice.

Tip to remember: One can adjust the amount of paste used according to ones preference. 


So, this second recipe is the classic ambot tik recipe…as per my family…

Grind some Garlic, red Kashmiri chillies, tamarind, kokum with a little water. Add a dash of vinegar, some salt and sugar to taste. 

Sauté some cumin seeds, sliced onions, and chillies. Add a little Turmeric and fry the paste in it. Add enough water and the cleaned fish and your good to go…cook until the fish is done! 

You can also add a little dry mango powder for extra sourness. 

Enjoy this too with hot steaming rice or bread..

How to create the perfect Recheado Masala


With life moving at such a speedy pace, we hardly have enough time to cook a wholesome and extensive meal in the kitchen…That’s when such masalas come in handy… 

Recheado or this red masala is a must have paste in the Goan kitchen. As the name suggests, which is also derived from the Portuguese language, it is generally used as a stuffing and goes amazingly well with fish or meat preparations. My favourite would be Recheado bangde or Recheado Mackerels. It is my all time favourite food with some prawn curry and steaming hot rice. 

This paste can be used for a variety of other recipes. I would use it to make some pickles or sorpotel or even some ambot tik which are all Goan recipes. With a little variations you can also use this stuffing paste to pickle sausage meat or even stuff raw mangoes and pickle them. 

This paste has a very spicy and tangy taste to it. In Goa, this paste is mainly made in abundance and bottled up for the monsoons or even used throughout the year in many recipes. Some people also used it to marinate piglings and then roast the meat on firewood. I certainly want to try that out one day though I am not a very big fan of pork except Goan Sausages! Who doesn’t like them?😃

Being in London and with life here being so busy, this Goan masala is just wonderful and always comes to the rescue. It’s like bottling up readymade or homemade garlic-ginger paste which always comes in handy while cooking. You can use it as a base for curries too. 

So, this recipe version of the paste is from my loving new mom, ‘Moira Mama'(that’s what Nigel and me call her while talking,because now we have two mamas☺️). 


You can also use this paste to stuff vegetables. Don’t forget to check out my Stuffed Grilled Okra recipe. 

You can make this paste with however many kilos of chillies you want and preserve it. For this recipe I’ve used quarter kilo of dried red Kashmiri chillies. It’s best refrigerated, but if the weather is cool enough like here in London, then you can even leave it out at normal room temperature as the vinegar used acts as a preservative. Here, again I would prefer to use Goan vinegar which is made from the coconut toddy. You could also substitute it with Palm vinegar. 

In olden days, people in Goa used to use a rogdo or fator (grinding stone) to make this paste. Nowadays everyone just uses a grinder or blender. I would love to use a rogdo again, that’s like working out in the kitchen and is a perfect arms and muscle exercise. Can’t wait to go back home.

I think I should write more about such posts, like essentials in the kitchen or quick base recipes for most cooking. 

For now go on and try this out…

If you aren’t in India or any Asian country then you’ll certainly find these chillies in Asian or Indian grocery shops. 

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1/4 kg Dried Kashmiri chillies 
  • 1 medium sized ball of tamarind soaked in vinegar until soft
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds or Jeera 
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder or Haldi
  • 1/4 inch ginger 
  • 2-3 pods Garlic
  • 5-6 Cloves 
  • 2 inches cinnamon stick
  • 1 onion 
  • Salt to taste 
  • Sugar to taste 
  • Vinegar enough to make a thick paste

METHOD:

Grind the chillies, cumin, Turmeric, ginger, onion, cloves and cinnamon in a little vinegar until well combined and roughly ground.

Then add the tamarind, Garlic and more vinegar. Add vinegar according to the consistency you want for the paste to be. Do not make it too runny. Grind to a fine thick paste. 

Add salt and sugar to taste. Do not add too much sugar as you won’t want it to be too sweet. You can always adjust the recipe for sweetness according to whatever preparations you’ll use it, as per your taste. 

This paste can be stored if properly preserved upto months. 

Enjoy! 

Succulent Lamb Ribs in Red Wine

​Hello folks, what are y’all upto this weekend? 

As for me, I can finally start working again (that was a really long break)… So, I am job hunting, trying out more recipes, planning for my future blog posts, and preparing for a cake order I’ve got… that’s what my near future looks like… 

Today,  I am back with another special ‘Weekend Chef’s recipe’… It’s another of his loves found at Amsterdam. 

Amsterdam is known for freshly brewed beer(check out the Heineken Experience incase your visiting the place), proffertjes (tiny version of fluffy pancake bites) and the ultimate racks of ribs (to name a few of the food and beverage favourites of the Dutch).

So, during his recent short vacay to Amsterdam Betney tried out these amazing beef ribs… 

As quoted by him, “After exploring Amsterdam on the first day, I returned back to the hotel exhausted and hungry. It was late. I checked the menu and wasn’t too happy about everything on it. So, I decided to inquire with the chef about what was special for that day…” 

The chef asked him if he was new to the place, to which he agreed. So, he asked him to try out beef ribs which were also the specialty of that day. He informed him that if he didn’t taste any well grilled or roasted or braised ribs in Amsterdam then it’s like he’s brought gold while diamonds were sold at the same price. 😆

He ordered for the ribs. The quantity wasn’t much yet the quality was to die for. The meat was perfectly cooked and tender which left him in awe. 

The next day, he decided to explore further and was on a quest to taste locally made ribs. 

He found this cosy cafe called Satellite Sportscafé in the heart of Amsterdam. They served a variety of meats. He had Spareribs which were served with a buttery large Jacket potato, some sweet chilli sauce and a mixed salad. 


This meat was well cooked in a smoky barbecue sauce. The meat could be easily removed from the bone. So, that’s when Meytek(what we fondly call him) decided to try out his own version of ribs as soon as he was back to London. 

He calls this he’s Asian version of ribs roasted in red wine. The red wine further tenderises the meat, thus flavouring it immensely. 

He used lamb spareribs for this recipe. The ribs were so meaty, juicy and crispy at the ends. That’s one of the best things I’ve tasted Meytek make, besides his famous Chicken Biryani. 

These delectable racks of ribs are fun to make without any hassle. They are flavoursome and it’s a worthy tasting recipe. These ribs can be served as a starter or a main dish served with fries, or jacket potatoes or even mashed potatoes. A side salad or some boiled veggies wouldn’t be too bad. 

Lamb Spareribs are cuts of the lamb breast primal which generally come in large pieces. These ribs contain more bones and fat than meat. They are mainly prepared by simmering or braising in a flavoured  and well seasoned gravy (here we used Red wine). They are either roasted in the oven, grilled or barbecued. 


These ribs have to be marinated for upto 8 hours or even better overnight before cooking to bring out the flavour and tenderness of the meat. A perfect marinate adds a lot of moisture to oven baked ribs without compromising on the flavour. 

Do not forget to brown the meat well on both sides in a pan before roasting it in the oven. Also, these ribs hardly need any extra oil or fat while cooking. Browning it in a pan will also help the fat to ooze out thus cooking the meat even better. 

He first made slits on the meat with a sharp knife. This helps the flavours to sip in the meat. 

This recipe allows you to cook 1kg of Lamb Ribs. For the marination, use one finely chopped onion, salt, pepper, freshly pounded few of garlic cloves, half an inch ginger and one chilli paste, 2tbsp Garam Masala or mixed whole spice powder, a dash of Soya sauce and a light drizzle of red wine. Heat a pan, add a some butter, few crushed garlic pods, some tomato purée…sauté it well for a minute or two. Add half a bottle of red wine. Set the mixture aside. 

In a baking dish, first place the pan fried ribs and then pour this mixture over. Cover it with a foil and let it roast in the oven at 220’C until the meat starts separating from the bones. This should take about half an hour to 45 mins. Remove the foil from the top and turn the rack on the other side. Leave it in the oven for another 15mins until all the wine mixture has dried out. 

You can have this by itself (which I prefer) or you can accompany it with either some Nando’s sauce or some Dorritos sauce(as recommended by the weekend Chef,Betney aka Meytek). 


I would certainly go back to this recipe from time to time because it is that amazing. I can definitely call this my delicious craving. Do try it out and make it yours too… 

Bon Appetite! 

Spongy Orange Scones

Nothing amazes me more than trying out something new in baking and always getting excellent results out of it. The smell of freshness and baked goodies always make my day… 


These freshly baked scones do not only smell amazing but every bite into it, has a flavour of  freshness. This comes from the tiny pieces of orange peel put into the dough.


I can assure you that these scones taste amazingly delicious. If you are looking for a very orangy recipe then you definitely need to try this one… it is like an orange feast decked in a snack sized spongy scone for all you orange lovers out there. These scones have finely chopped orange peel, a couple of spoons of orange marmalade, and the pulp of oranges.

I had a lot of oranges lying around at home. So decided to incorporate a couple in my scones recipe… I love the outcome! I can certainly call this one of my delicious cravings. They are like small spongy, light and fluffy cakes yet have a slightly crisp top and bottom, and caramelised sides. I used these easy- peel oranges for this amazing recipe. You can have these scones as an evening treat with your tea or for breakfast in the morning or even as a brunch snack… They are very easy and quick to make. You can have them plain (which I prefer) by themselves or with some butter or any flavoured jam or marmalade. 

As long as I remember, I tried scones only after coming to London…I love them, both the sweet and savoury kind…Nigel, loves them too. He used to survive only having scones when he first came to this country. You can imagine how much he loves them! 

Another aspect I like about this recipe is that the scones don’t turn out to be too sweet. It’s the exact amount of sweetness you’ll need if you do not have a sweet tooth. 

Enjoy the recipe…


INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 cup self raising flour
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar 
  • 2 orange peels finely chopped (approximately 1/4 cup) 
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 125g cold butter (the one used for biscuits and pastry) cut into cubes 
  • 2tbsp Orange marmalade 
  • 2 small whole puréed oranges (approximately 1/3 cup) 
  • 1/3 cup cold Yoghurt 
  • 1/8 cup Cold milk


METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 180’C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and dust on some flour. 

Begin with peeling two oranges. Do not throw the peels away as you have to incorporate it into the dough. Scrape off the white bits which are inside the peel with a sharp knife and cut the peel into fine bits. 

Mix together into a large bowl all the dry ingredients i.e. flour,sugar, salt, peel and baking soda.

Throw in the cold butter cubes and marmalade. Mix well with your finger tips until it resembles breadcrumbs. 

Tip: Only use your finger tips so that the butter doesn’t melt.

Add in the mixture of cold milk, Yoghurt and puréed orange. 

Mix until well combined. Do not over mix.

Flour a flat surface well and place the dough on it… dust the top well with flour and roll it into a 2 inch thick sheet carefully without destroying the texture of the dough… Cut the dough into 9-10 equal pieces. Place each individual piece on the baking tray and bake for 20-25mins until the top gets slightly golden. 

Remove from the oven and separate each piece and place them on a cooling rack to cool evenly.. 

Serve them as an accompaniment to a hot cup of tea or coffee and with some jam/marmalade or butter. 


Thank you so much for stopping by!! 

Love, 

Vania❤️

Delectable Gingersnap Cookies

I believe that Baking brings loved ones and friends together. My little (not so little now) cousin Mark loves baking, cooking and trying out various new things which he is exceptionally amazing at doing. He used to visit my home often and specially during summer vacations when my other cousins were down from Mumbai. We used to have amazing barbecues at home, sleepovers with cold coffee mounted with ice-cream treats, play GTA and Counter-Strike on the computer(the most fun part of it was learning the cheat codes by-heart), cousin-get together parties,  family picnics…just to name a few of our fun adventures. I truly miss those good old days… 

So during one such adventure of ours; Mark, Gale(my youngest sister,my baby) and I decided to bake these beauties.

These cookies should generally snap when broken into two and hence the name, but I personally prefer them to be a little chewy and soft. I think that’s the whole concept of making cookies…they should always  be chewy and not crisp like biscuits. So, I add brown sugar to my cookies instead of normal white caster sugar which gives them this lovely texture. 

The finely chopped candied orange peels added to this cookie dough, makes these cookies even more irresistible.You can also substitute the orange peels with finely chopped glazed cherries. 

Trust me on this… It is very easy to eat quite a lot of them in one sitting! 

These cookies are a perfect treat with your evening tea… Autumn and Winter,according to me, are the best weathers to try out these delicious cookies… Ginger in generally, are one of those root- spices which can keep you warm…

So go ahead and try out this recipe…

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup melted butter, plus a little more for greasing the baking tray
  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour or maida
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • A Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ginger powder or 2 inch freshly grated ginger.
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup 
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 4 tbsp finely chopped candied orange peel or finely chopped glazed cherries

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 325’F/ 160’C. Grease a baking tray and line it well with baking paper. 

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda,ginger powder, salt; and set aside. Incase you are substituting the ginger powder with freshly grated ginger, do not add it to the dry ingredients or it will form lumps. We do not want that to happen… So, in that case, leave the fresh ginger aside to be added later.

In a separate bowl, whisk together  the lightly beaten egg and sugar until well combined. Add the cooled melted butter and corn syrup to this mixture… You can also add the freshly grated ginger at this stage. 

Combine the wet and dry ingredients together. Next add in the finely chopped candied orange peel or the substituted glazed cherries. Mix well until a soft dough is formed. 

Form the dough into small lime-sized little balls and place them on the baking tray leaving enough gap in between two balls. This is done because the cookies spread on the baking sheet while baking. Press each ball gently with your thumb just to flatten them a bit.

Bake them for 15-20 mins. Avoid over baking as we do not want them to get tough. 

Once done, transfer the baked cookies onto a cooling rack to cool. These cookies can be stored in an airtight container for upto 2 weeks. 


The ‘ULTIMATE’ Roasted Harissa Chicken

Live life with a little spice said someone someday…

Spicy food isn’t my thing. Chillies are my worst enemies while I am in the kitchen besides onions, which while being cut always make me cry (how amateur of me to say that), spicy food surely brings a tear to my eye and leaves me with a running nose…

However, all said and done… today’s recipe isn’t about me… it is about our good friend and weekend chef (Mr. Betney Pereira, fondly known as Meytek)…

We call him our Weekend Chef 👨‍🍳 because he’s mostly free on weekends as he’s new job demands him to work otherwise… So, he was driven to try out this recipe with a little inspiration from his colleague who is from Africa. 

This friend of his brought some homemade harissa curry which was served with hot rice, for lunch one day and asked Betney to try it out… Meytek fell in love with the flavour because it had a mild pungent taste yet it was so flavourful. That’s exactly what I felt when I tasted the roasted chicken… it was an explosion of flavours in my mouth…

The Harissa sauce which is the key player of today’s recipe, is a blend of roasted red peppers, an array of spices, a couple of herbs and enough amounts of oil… It is native to the North African region and is mainly found in the Moroccan, Libyan and Tunisian cuisines.


This Harissa sauce revs up the whole roasted chicken. It can also be used as a dip (I would prefer it with momos because that’s what I thought of when I first tasted Betney’s Asian version of the sauce, by itself), with fish and meat preparations, in a sandwich, or however it pleases your taste buds. 

How many of you like the flavour of Roasted garlic? Isn’t it amazing? So, throw in a lot of unpeeled garlic and enjoy it once the chicken is ready…
Also, throw in some lemon slices and sprigs of Rosemary to give the chicken a little more flavour. Rosemary adds a typical flavour to roast chicken in general. Added to this recipe, it lifted it up without over powering the flavour of the chicken.

This chicken can be served with plain rice, pulao (maybe even Garlic Pulao), flatbread or naan, chapatis or wraps, or even as a wholesome comfort meal with veggies. Or even with plain pulao like we did…

Whisk up some yoghurt and flavour it with a little cumin. This helps in soothing your tongue incase you find the chicken a little too fiery. It does compliment the roasted Harissa chicken.

This is a very quick and easy recipe and especially something you can make over the weekend when you do not want to spend too much time in the kitchen.

This chicken is crispy, juicy, tender with a little heat and a burst of various earthy flavours.

Tip to remember: Marinate the chicken overnight to let all the flavours envelop the chicken well…

So, Meytek decided to play around with various ingredients to come up with his Asian version of the Harissa sauce…

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 whole chicken with the skin on, washed and cleaned

Harissa sauce: 

  • Roasted peppers
  • Roasted garlic
  • Whole spices (1 star anise, 2 cardamom pods,1 bay leaf, 3 cloves, 1″ cinnamon stick)
  • 1 tbsp Mixed spice powder 
  • Herbs (2 sprigs Fresh Rosemary and 1/4 tsp thyme)
  • 2 tbsp Roasted tomato and roasted garlic sauce 
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp roasted chilli sauce 
  • 3 tbsp Paprika 
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • 1 tbsp garlic-ginger paste

Veggies for roasting:

  • 1 packet Mushrooms (washed and cut into fours) 
  • 2 red onions,finely sliced
  • Red, yellow and green peppers, julienned 
  • A sprinkle of olive oil 
  • A pinch of salt to taste 
  • A sprinkle of mixed spice


METHODS:

Preheat the oven at 180’C. Wash and prep the chicken. Apply salt and keep aside.

Tip to remember: All ovens aren’t the same and the temperatures in each might vary and require some adjustments. Increase or lower the temperature of your oven according to what suits you best.

The chicken thighs take longer to cook compared to the chicken breast. So make slits on the entire chicken with a sharp knife to let the heat and flavour penetrate in. This allows the chicken to cook evenly and also makes the final product look amazing. 

Take all the ingredients for the marinate and sauté them in a pan with the olive oil. Once cooled, purée it and marinate the chicken with it for 8 hours or overnight. This allows all the flavours to get into the chicken well. 

Prep a baking tray with some oil and throw in the veggies. You can add whatever veggies you like but we added some mushrooms, garlic, onions, and peppers. Sprinkle on some mixed spice powder and some salt to taste. Drizzle on some more oil just to coat the veggies well… 


Sit the marinated chicken on the veggies. The chicken and veggies have a symbiotic relationship when in the oven and work well in harmony. The juices from the chicken cook the vegetables and the steam from the veggies in turn cook the chicken from below.


Roast it in the oven for 1 hour 20 mins or until the chicken is cooked throughly well. 

We served it with a cumin flavoured homemade yoghurt dip and some plain pulao.

You’ll certainly love this recipe, like we did and even turn on your oven to try it out.  

Smaaklike ete! (Enjoy your meal!) in Afrikaans.

NUTTY ORANGE POLENTA CAKE (Gluten Free)

If you love cakes but yet want to stick to your diet and remain healthy, keep reading….

Hi folks, welcome again…

Frankly,neither am I a diet guru nor someone who is much so bothered about gluten free or vegan or vegetarian foods.

So, now this question arises: What about this gluten free Cake??

So here’s the story WHY? 

I used to work as a bakery assistant in a restaurant cum cafe few months back which was mostly dedicated to healthy foods, which were mainly vegan, gluten free… Oh- so-healthy! 

The owner wanted to revamp the dessert menu and being Italian she wanted to incorporate Polenta into it… 

For all of y’all who do not know what Polenta is, this is for you all. Polenta is a cornmeal made from maize which is dried and ground. It is pale yellow in colour and almost looks like semolina or rava. Polenta is an essential in Italian cooking…

Besides being tasty, this cake also fuels your body and soul, helping you feel great yet not too stressed about ruining your dietary requirements by having something sweet. 

Oranges added to this cake makes it fruity, citrusy and also is an excellent source of Vitamin C.

Coconut Sugar or Coconut Palm sugar could be considered as an unrefined sweetener which also gives you a handful of nutrients. This helps to flavour the cake and gives it almost a caramelised feel.

The nuts in the cake, especially pine nuts being very buttery give the cake an amazingly scrumptious taste.

Cardamom added gives the cake a very different fragrance. I love Cardamom. It is a very important part of my masala chai too…which by the way I am enjoying now, while writing this blog post…

I could call this one of my delicious cravings because I love the flavour of oranges with cakes. 

As the weather in London is getting much cooler and fall is arriving soon, with Halloween stuff slowly entering the market…soon it’ll be time for Christmas… Cakes and sweets stand out at Christmas so this cake will be just perfect as an early winter comfort food too… 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 150g Gluten Free Bread Flour
  • 100g Almond Flour 
  • 100g Polenta
  • 275g Coconut Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder 
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • Pinch of Himalayan Salt
  • Handful of pine nuts 
  • Handful of cashew nuts roughly chopped
  • Finely grated zest of 3 oranges
  • Juice of 3 oranges 
  • 1/2 cup Soya Milk
  • 3/4 cup Olive Oil

Garnish: Cut thin slices of oranges and place them in the lined baking tin. Do not forget to sprinkle some coconut sugar over it so that it caramelises when baking, thus, cooking the orange slices.

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180’C/350’F/Gas mark 4. Grease an 8 inch round cake tin, then line the base and sides well with greaseproof paper (baking paper).
  2. Mix the dry ingredients i.e. gluten free bread flour,almond flour, polenta, coconut sugar, cardomom powder, baking powder and baking soda, Himalayan salt together with the orange zest(rind). Keep aside.
  3. Mix together all the wet ingredients i.e. orange juice, Soya milk and olive oil in a separate jar as it will be easier to pour into the dried ingredients without creating a mess. Keep aside.
  4. Dust the pine nuts and cashew nuts with a little bread flour until coated properly with the flour.

This helps the nuts to distribute evenly in the batter without letting them sink to the bottom while baking. That’s a very important tip to remember while adding nuts or some chunks of chocolate or even fruits to a cake batter.

5. Next mix the wet ingredients in the dry ones well and finally fold in the nuts.

6. Add the batter into the tin which already has the sliced oranges in.

7. Bake for 50-55mins or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Another tip to know that the cake is done perfectly well is when the cake leaves the sides of the tin.

 8. Remove the cake from the tin carefully by flipping it over.

So, enjoy baking this wonderful and healthy piece of art while I sit here and sip on my masala chai…☕️

Mama’s Garlic Pulao



Hi folks, I hope y’all are alright…

Today’s recipe is to me, what chocolate is to kids…

This ‘Garlic Pulao’ as mama(my mom) calls it, is so full of flavour and is to die for (at least according to me). I’m glad I can finally share it here… this recipe brings back memories of my childhood too when we used to ask mama to make pulao as a treat for us on Sundays when we would be home or after coming from Sunday school….I could eat two plates full of it and then laze around in bed…haha! 

The aroma of it when ready is….oooooh!!! So AAAAAMMMMAAAAAZZZZZIIINNNNNGGGGG!!!!! 

A couple of flavours added to this dish like a bay leaf, a cinnamon stick, few cloves and peppercorns just lifts up the flavour and intensifies the aroma of the dish altogether.

It is very simple to make but can keep your tummy full for a long time…

I think it’s quite healthy too…Garlic does have a lot of health improving benefits, I must say… Garlic in your food can keep the blood pressure under control and also keeps the cold and flu away…so this recipe could certainly keep you healthy if you’ve got a flu running in the air around you…

This dish is also one of my first recipes which I loved to make when I officially realised my love for cooking…

Back home, pulao used to generally be like a must-have Sunday lunch menu item…it still does, but as I am away from home and when I don’t feel like cooking an extensive menu then pulao is like my go-to recipe as it can be had all by itself like a wholesome meal or can be accompanied by a chicken/vegetable or meat dish or even some homemade pickle…

So here goes mama’s garlic pulao recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pod Garlic finely chopped
  • 1 onion finely sliced (optional)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Few cloves
  • Few peppercorns
  • 6-7 maggi cubes(chicken stock cubes)
  • 2 cups of Basmati Rice
  • 4 cups of water
  • Pinch of tumeric powder (for colour) 
  • Salt to taste

METHOD:

  • Heat the oil and ghee in a deep bottom pan and add the finely chopped garlic.
  • Once the garlic starts sweating and the rawness disappears, add onions and sauté it well until the onions get translucent. 
  • Add the whole spices-bay leaf,cinnamon stick,cloves and peppercorns and also the tumeric powder. Fry it for sometime.
  • Then, add rice and water according to the measurements. So, the ratio of rice to water should always be 1:2 which is one part of rice to two parts of water. This measurement always gives you the perfectly cooked rice…
  • Add salt to taste and also the maggi cubes… give it a nice stir and keep the flame on medium- low 
  • Cook the rice with the lid on for 15-20 mins or until the rice is done and all the water has dried up.
  • Serve hot with some homemade pickle.

ENJOYYYYYY!!!😀

Mushroom Chilli fry- fusion food

Hi guys! Hope y’all are all set and ready for the weekend…I’m a little unwell today but when sick-blogging about one of my delicious cravings is all I need to make me feel a little better…

As promised… here’s a simply and easy on your pockets recipe which can certainly be part of a wholesome dinner meal which can be accompanied with hot chappatis or naan or even rice…

This recipe is a Goan-Chinese food amalgamation and hence I would categorise it as a fusion food…


All you need are some mushrooms, peppers(capsicums), lots of garlic and onions…some masalas for taste and tadaaaaaaa…you’re dish is ready…😁

Serves 3

INGREDIENTS:

  • 200 gms baby white button Mushrooms sliced
  • 3 bell pepper cut into small squares I took a green one, a red and yellow one just for a little colour variation 
  • 2 large white Onions cut into small squares
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped
  • Handful of coriander leaves finely chopped for garnishing
  • 2 tbsp Madras Curry Powder
  • 3 tbsp Oil for frying
  • Few white sesame seeds for garnishing
  • 2 garlic pods finely chopped (I love a lot of garlic in my food-besides being very flavourful it is also very healthy to incorporate garlic in meals-it can keep ones blood pressure and heart problems under control)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Maggi cube for taste
  • Freshly crushed black pepper
  • 2 tbsp Soya Sauce

METHOD:

Firstly heat the oil well in a pan and add the finely chopped garlic…sautée it for a while until the garlic sweats and leaves its flavours.

Then add the onions and sautée it until they turn a little golden and the colour of rawness can no longer be seen. One can a little salt to speed up the process. Once done add the green chillies and stir for some time…

Add the mushrooms and fry them until cooked… later add the bell peppers..I like to add the bell peppers last as I like them to be left crunchy and fresh.

Add soya sauce, maggi cube, pepper, curry powder and fry for another 2-3 mins. Add more salt if needed.

Turn off the flame and garnish the chilli fry with fresh green coriander and white sesame seeds. Give it a nice mix.

Serve it with some hot rice and curry or some hot chappatis/ roti/ naan/bread.

Enjoy!