Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Giveaway the Instagram Foodie Bag

I love food photography and you will have read in my previous post about my new Instagram Bag. The Instagram Bag is a special bag for those who have both a love of food and a passion for photography. 

The bag is a complete solution for a portable photography Kit. It consists of a zipped bag with, 8 postcards with photography tips, reflectors and 4 photography backdrops . 

I am really excited to share that I have two Instagram Bags RRP £39.95 to giveaway  (1 per winner) courtesy of the Paper Bag Co

How to Enter:

·         Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
·         Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
·         Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this Giveaway
·         Closing date – 16th June 2021 12.00 am

How Rafflecopter works:
  1. You will need to complete the mandatory entry first usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box. Please note your comment will not show immediately as it needs to be moderated however rest assured it will appear on the site, so carry on with rest of entries.
  2. Login to Rafflecopter click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
  3. Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if its not all bonus entries will become void. 
  4. Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.
  5. For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 

  • This giveaway is open to all readers over 18 who live in the UK.
  • The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter (which uses and announced on this page.
  • Prize:  2 x Giveaway  Instagram Bag(1 per winner)
  • simplyfood is hosting this giveaway in collaboration with Paper Bag Co . Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. They reserve the right to withdraw the competition at any time should any unforeseen circumstances arise, in case that the prize is not available a similar prize of same value will be substituted.  No monetary compensation will be given.
  • Paper Bag Co will be responsible for sending out the prize to the winner, by entering you are **consenting** to share your address for the prize to be sent and be contacted by email to notify you if you have won the prize. 
  •  Please note to be compliant with the new GDPR rules by entering the giveaway you are consenting to allow simplyfood to contact you if you win the prize. Your data will NOT be used for any other marketing purposes.
  • All entries will be verified, failure to follow instructions correctly will result in participants being disqualified. Please do not cheat.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 17 May 2021

A thankyou to all my subscribers

I have been writing this blog for a number of years and absolutely love sharing my recipes with all my readers.The blog has grown from strength to strength and I get motivation from all the love that you readers show me through follows, likes and comments. I just wanted to share a little update about what I have been doing during the last 18 months during the Covid Period and the numerus lockdowns.

During Covid times it has been harder for all of us and many people started to cook more. I had many requests to do recipe videos. From January 2020, I  started a  recipe youtube channel to compliment the blog and work side by side. 

I have also started to feature more vegan and gluten free recipes as requested by many of you. You make like these Baked Onion Bhajis and this Garlicky Broccoli and Cauliflower stir fry

Since I was concentrating on building up the youtube channel, the blog was playing a secondary support role, however the you tube channel is now established and running well so I hope to update the blog more frequently and bring you all exciting new recipes.

Alongside the youtube channel, I also moved my cookery classes to virtual classes on Zoom. I teamed up with a friend and together we offer vegetarian and vegan 1-1, group classes and corporate classes too. You can check out the schedules of the classes on our eventbrite link. We also offer gift vouchers which make nice gifts. You can check out more details about my cookery classes here .

I was also really fortunate to be featured on Out and About Show on Zee Tv. I featured four of my favorite recipes on the show. It was a wonderful experience and a very enjoyable one.

There is also a blogger update and those of you who have subscribed to my blog via email through feedburner will now receive regular post updates through instead. This is because feedburner are no longer offering this service. You will not need to do anything, the transition will happen naturally and you will receive the updates as normal. If you are new to the blog and not yet subscribed then you can do so by adding your email in the widget in the sidebar of this blog, this means that you can get all the new posts straight into your inbox to check out at leisure.

Once again thank you for all your support and visits without which this blog would not be where it is.
Please do let me know any recipes you want me to feature in my forthcoming posts.
I am also available on other social media platforms. I would love it if you follow me there too.

Thank you once again for your continued support.
Love Nayna


Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Baked Onion Bhaji -Vegan -Glutenfree

Onion Bhajis are my favorite tea time snack, it reminds me of winter months when it is cold and raining and my mum used to serve these delicious piping hot bhajis with steaming hot cups of tea. I have vivid memories of pulling them apart and dipping them in tangy spicy green coriander chutney and devouring the whole plate. 

The spicy crispy bhajis were absolutely delicious and I really wanted to recreate them. My mums bhajis were always fried and as a kid we ate lots of them without any worries. Now as an adult and the change in our lifestyles, I wanted to recreate a healthier version of the same so in this recipe I baked them instead.

What are Bhajis?

Bhajis are a fried snack that originates from the Indian subcontinent. They are usually served at tea time with a cup of tea and dips. In the western world they are often served as an appetiser or starter in restaurants.They are also known as pakora, pakoda, bhajis, and bhajiyas.

Can the bhajis be air fried or deep fried?

Yes  the authentic way is to deep fry them,but the healthier option is to air fry them or bake them.

Is there a big difference in the fried and baked version?

As always anything that is fried alwa s tastes better, but the baked versions have all the flavour and are so much healthier to eat.

Are these gluten free and vegan?

These onion bhajis are totally vegan and gluten free.The main ingredients are vegetables, gram flour and spices. In certain regions they are also made using rice flour.

Can I freeze the bhajis?

Yes you can freeze these bhajis after making then and warm them upin a preheated oven after removing them from the freezer.

What can I serve the bhajis with?

You can serve these onion bhajis with green coriander chutney, yoghurt and mint chutney or tomato chutney. Kids can  enjoy them with ketchup too. of course you also need steaming hot cups of masala chai

Baked Onion Bhaji Onion Bhajis are a healthier version of the traditional fried onion bhajis that are typically served as a teatime treat in India.
Yield: 12 piecs
Author: Nayna Kanabar
Baked Onion Bhaji

Baked Onion Bhaji

Baked Onion Bhajis are a healthier version of the traditional fried onion bhajis that are typically served as a teatime treat in India. Often known as pakoras, bhajiyas and also bbhajis, they are normally deep fried so they are crispy on the outside and soft inside. They are served with chutneys as a appetiser.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 35 Min


Baked Onion Bhaji
  • 2 medium onions 300g peeled and sliced
  • 180g Chickpea Flour
  • 30g Rice Flour
  • 1 Tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 Tsp ginger paste
  • 1 Tsp finely chopped green chilli
  • 2 Tbsps Fresh coriander finely chopped
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 Tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1/3 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp sunflower oil for batter
  • 2 Tbsps sunflower oil for brushing the muffin pan and top of bhajis
  • 3 Tbsps Water ( may need a little more or less depending on flour)


  1. Peel and slice the onions into very thin strips and keep aside
  2. In a bowl add the chickpea flour, rice flour, garlic, ginger, finely chopped chillies, coriander, salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder, bicarbonate of soda and 1 tablespoon of oil and mix together to combine.
  3. Separate the onion slices and add them to the flour mixture and toss together the onions and the flour mixture.
  4. Add three tablespoons water and mix, the spice mixture should stick to the onions but it should not be too wet.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/375 Degrees F
  6. Brush a muffin pan generously with oil using a pastry brush.
  7. Pinch lime sized balls of the bhaji mixture and fill each cavity in the pan with the mixture.
  8. Brush the tops of the onion bhajis with oil and bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, turning the bhajis after 10 minutes of baking.
  9. Once cooked transfer the bhajis to a serving platter and serve with green coriander chutney.


You can deep fry or shallow fry these onion bhajis.



Fat (grams)


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Net carbs


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The nutritional information provided is an approximation calculated by an online calculator. Please consult a professional dietitian for nutritional advice.

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @simplyf00d on instagram and hashtag it #cookwithsimplyf00d
Created using The Recipes Generator

You can see the video recipe below:


There are lots of teatime snacks that you can enjoy. How about these sweetcorn bhajiyas, these 
rice bhajiya, these samosas and these dhoklas. Have you had any type of bhajis before? Which is your favorite? Do share in the comments below.

    To Pin

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Bombay Halwa with Almonds and Pistachios

What is Halwa?

Halwa is a sweet dense confectionery that is very popular in South East Asia, India and Middle East. There are many types of halva such as Greek Halwa, Semolina Halwa, Pumpkin Halwa. The combination of ingredients, textures and flavours are numerous . 

What can Halwa be made of?

  • Semolina
  • Couscous
  • Quinoa
  • Corn flour
  • Wheat Flour
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits

Can you make Vegan Halwa?

Yes you can veganise the halwa by cooking it in coconut oil, sunflower spread , vegetable margarine,or any vegan spread.

Can you make Gluten Free Halwa?

Yes you can by making the halwa with fruits or vegetables and also grain such as Quinoa and where you need to add milk you can use any plant based milk

Is it possible to make a sugar free Halwa?

Some Halwas you can add coconut sugar, Jaggery or dates to sweeten them.

What temperature do you serve the Halwa?

Some halwas that are set are normally served at  oom temperature, others that are not set can be served hot or chilled.

I am making Bombay halwa in this recipe which is a set halwa made with corn flour. It is also known often as Karachi Halwa  and it is a dense halwa with a jelly like texture which needs to be kept refrigerated  to store. You can give this halwa any flavour such as rose, orange or pistachio. I have added saffron to this one as it imparts  a lovely flavour and goes well with the almonds and pistachio.

Bombay Halwa with Almonds and Pistachios Halwa , an Indian sweet fudge with almonds and pistachio
Yield: 36 small pieces
Author: Nayna Kanabar
Bombay Halwa with Almonds and Pistachios

Bombay Halwa with Almonds and Pistachios

Bombay Halwa with an added touch of almonds and pistachios makes it a really delectable sweet that would be perfect to serve for any occasion. Delicately flavoured with saffron and cardamom, it is a quick and easy sweet to make and enjoy.
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 20 MinInactive time: 5 HourTotal time: 5 H & 35 M


  • 25g Almonds 
  • 1 cup hot water to soak almonds 
  • 150g Corn Flour 
  • 500 ml water 
  • 250g Sugar 
  • 250ml Water 
  • Pinch saffron 
  • 1/2 Tsp lemon juice 
  • 1.5 Tsps Cardamom Powder 
  • Few drops yellow food colouring 
  • 4 Tbsps Ghee (Clarified Butter) plus 1/2 Tbsp for greasing pan
  • 2 Tbsps Coarsely chopped Pistachio Nuts


  1. In a bowl add the almonds and cover with hot water and leave to one side to soak for 10 minutes.
  2. After 10 mins peel the almonds and remove the skin.
  3. Pat dry the almonds and halve them, leave to one side on kitchen paper to dry further.
  4. In another bowl sift the corn flour and add 500ml water and mix together to make a slurry. Keepit to one side.
  5. To make the sugar syrup add 250 ml water to apan, add 250g sugar, lemon juice and saffron and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes until mixture starts to become slightly sticky.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and start adding the corn flour slurry in a thin trickle to the sugar syrup, stirring constantly while adding it.
  7. Add 2-3 drops of food colour and 1 tbsp ghee and keep stirring  continuously. the mixture will start to thicken.
  8. Add another 1 tbsp ghee and keep stirring.
  9. The mixture will start to get shiny and thicken more, at this stage add 2 more tbsps ghee and still keep stirring. 
  10. The halwa will now start to leave the sides of the pan, add half the flaked almonds, half the chopped pistachios and 1.5 tsp cardamom powder. Mix well and remove the pan from the heat.
  11. Grease atray will some ghee and spread the halwa in the tray, smooth it out using a spatula.
  12. Garnish with remaining almond flakes and chopped pistachios. Press the nuts down slightly into the halwa with the help of the spatula.
  13. Leave the halwa to set for 4-5 hours and then cut into small square pieces.


You can add any colour of food colouring of choice.



Fat (grams)


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Fiber (grams)


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Sugar (grams)


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Sodium (milligrams)


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The nutritional information provided is an approximation calculated by an online calculator. Please consult a professional dietitian for nutritional advice.

Similar Recipes

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @simplyf00d on instagram and hashtag it #cookwithsimplyf00d
Created using The Recipes Generator

Have you ever tried Halwa? What is your favorite Indian  ? Do share in the comments below. I love all types Indian Confectionary, especially Semolina halwa and these Milk Peda

To Pin

You can watch the video of this recipe below:

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

The Instagram Bag Review

I love food photography and have a huge obsession for collecting props such as plates, spoons, bowls, brass and pewter ware as well as terracotta homeware. For food styling, it is important to have different props to show off the foods you have prepared, this also includes making use of accessories napkins, pretty spoons, cutlery and backdrops. I make and paint all my own wooden boards for my food photography and food videos. However the wooden boards are heavy and not really portable, so I was looking for a solution of purchasing some portable backdrops that would be easy to store and stansport. Something that I could use for instagram flat lays too. My search led me to The Instagram Bag from Paper Bag Co.

What is The Instagram Bag?

The Instagram Bag is a special bag for those who have both a love of food and a passion for photography. The bag is a complete solution for a portable photography Kit.

What’s included in the bag?

The Stylish 12oz black canvas bag with internal pocket, mesh divider and zip closure. Together with tube of backdrops, reflectors, postcards it comes with, there is room plenty of room to hold extra items such as a camera, mini tripod, a notebook and pencil. The perfect on the go photography bag.

8 Postcard Set 

The handy postcards have lots of useful tips for photography.  Here is a rough synopsis of what's on the cards, which are really informative and packed with lots of handful hints and tips ofr capturing the perfect food photo.

  • Card 1 Frame and Grid- This gives you info about photo composition.
  • Card 2 Find good light- Great tips about lighting.
  • Card 3 Manipulate your light- This shows use f reflectors.
  • Card 4 Find the angle- Think about the best angle to photograph your dish.
  • Card 5 Odd numbers work- It is recommended that arrangements for food photography are set in odd numbers.
  • Card 6 The rule of thirds-Always position your subject for photography using the rule of thirds.
  • Card 7 In the background- Using a range of backgrounds to compliment the dish to enhance the photo layout.
  • Card 8 Edit your images better- Great tips about final editing of photos.

One set of Reflectors

I really liked the compactness of the reflectors which fold down into the zipped bag.

4 Photographic Backdrops 

The four backdrops included are really beautiful, in my kit there is a rust black metal, teal finish, marble and a stone finish. Each backdrop is unique and perfect for styling my food photos.
I have taken some photos using these amazing backdrops to show how beautiful they are and how they enhance the photograph.

The Green fenugreek really stood out on the rustic stone backdrop. I love how natural the back drop looked like stone, although it was paper.

The teal backdrop was perfect for styling and photographing the fresh garlic bulbs.

The fresh bunch of the radish with the green leaves looked great photographed on the marble backdrop. I loved the backdrop as it had a nice matt finish for photographing and did not cause reflections.

My most favorite backdrop is the rust tin finish. It was great to photograph the strawberries on it. They looked so amazing on the backdrop.

The photography backdrops included in the Instagram Bag are from Black Velvet, there is an enormous range of backdrops, so many to choose from their website. The Instagram Bag retails at £39.95 which includes postage and packing, You can purchase it from the paperbag co

#gifted -I was gifted the Instagram Bag, all the views and opinions expressed are my own.
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