Tuesday 29 May 2012

RIZ BI DFEEN ~ Lebanese Rice with Chickpeas

Savoury rice with chickpeas  and with the added sweetness of apricots .


30g /1 oz vermicelli
120g / 4 oz basmati rice
120g precooked white chick peas
240 ml  boiling water
12 dried apricots cut into quarters
1 small onion finely diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper powder
1 stick cinnamon
1 tablespoon fresh chopped coriander
2 tablespoons sunflower oil.


1. Wash the rice and soak in cold water for 30 minutes.
2. In a pan add the oil when it is hot add the cinnamon  followed by the onions and sauté until translucent.
3. Add the vermicelli to the onions and sauté until  slightly golden  in colour. Drain and add the rice to the onions  and vermicelli and sauté for 2-3 minutes more.
4.Add the salt and pepper  half  the apricots followed by  240 ml boiling water.Stir.
5. Bring the rice to boil , once it is boiling reduce the heat to lowest setting , cover the pan and cook for 25 minutes.(Do not open pan lid in that time)
6.After 25 minutes open the lid and fluff the rice up with a fork. Transfer it to a serving dish.
Garnish with the remaining apricots and fresh chopped coriander.
Serve  with vegetable stew.

There are many variations in making rice dishes in the Middle East, you may like to try this lovely Reshteh Polow recipe from Persia.

You may like;
Fattoush Salad

Submitting to:
Flavours of Lebanon, event by guest hosted by Sara' Corner

Thursday 24 May 2012

Savory puffed rice snack

Savory and crunchy puffed rice, a fast and speedy snack that can be made in minutes.


120 grams / 4 oz puffed rice (mumra)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon salt( or to taste)
1/2 tablespoon sunflower oil


1. In a microwaveable bowl add the puffed rice.
2. Sprinkle the puffed rice with salt, oil and turmeric powder and mix well.
3. Place the bowl in the microwave and microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring at 1 minute intervals.
4. Leave the puffed rice to cool slightly for 1 minute and check that it is crispy, if it appears a little soft microwave again for further 30 seconds to 1 minute.
5. Remove from microwave and sprinkle with chilli powder.
Serve as it is or as a topping on salads .

You may like;

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Piyaz - Turkish Black-eyed bean salad.

Refreshing and delicious salad with a  tangy kick.


1 small red onion finely diced
1 can precooked black eyed beans drained
8 cherry  tomatoes cut into quarters
1 tablespoon fresh coriander
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and black pepper
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sumac 
1 clove garlic


1.Place the beans, onions , coriander and tomatoes in a bowl.
2. Add the garlic, lemon juice,vinegar salt and pepper, sumac, chilli flakes and cumin powder and toss well.
3. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for 4 hours to allow all the flavours to marinade.
4. Serve with toasted pitta bread.

Submitting to:
 Flavours of Turkey event by guest hosted by PJ of Seduceyourtastebuds.

Monday 21 May 2012

Banana Cake (Eggless) ~ May 21st 2012 Secret Recipe Club

This is my assignment with the Secret Recipe Club.The aim of the club is that you are allocated a blog from which you have to select  a recipe and try  it and blog about it.

My challenge for this month was to cook from Amy's blog "My Savvy Kitchen". I choose the banana bread after much deliberation as there were many delicious vegetarian recipes to choose from. The original recipe can be found here. I have adapted it  to make it  egg less and I baked it in a shallow cake tin  rather than a loaf hence the name banana cake and not banana bread as Amy has called her version.

Delicious banana cake moist and fragrant.


120g/ 4 ozc  unsalted butter
320 g /10.5 oz  light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
480g/ 16 oz plain  flour
2 tablespoons cider vinegar (replacing two eggs)
60 ml  light sour cream
4 tablespoons milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large bananas mashed (240g/ 8 oz)
1 tablespoon icing sugar for dusting.


1.Preheat oven to 175 degrees C/350 degrees F.
2.Butter and flour a large 10inch X 8 inch cake tin
3.In a medium bowl, sieve the  flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder together.
4.Cream butter and sugar ,add in vinegar , sour cream, milk ,vanilla and mashed banana until fully combined.
5. Gently fold in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients
6. Pour the cake mix into the prepared tin and smooth over the top with  a spatula.
7. Bake in a preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or umtil top is golden brown. . To check if cake is done insert  a skewer in the centre of the cake , if it comes out clean the cake is ready.
8 Remove cake  from oven and allow to cool. Transfer to a wire rack.
9. Once cooled dust with icing sugar and cut into slices.

You may like
Eggless chocolate chip cake

Monday 14 May 2012

Fattoush-Lebanese peasant Salad

Fattoush is a simple but tasty salad that is commonly known as peasants salad in Lebanon.It is given this name because it is made from any seasonal vegetable that is readily  available and its very easy to make but absolutely delicious to eat. The original recipe of Fattoush can be found here.


2 Man'ooshe breads
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon garlic paste
1 carrot grated
120 grams/ 4 oz cooked sweet corn
120 grams/ 4 oz diced cucumber
2 medium tomatoes finely diced
1 red onion finely diced
red and green bell peppers finely diced
2 leaves iceberg lettuce finely shredded
2 tablespoons fresh coriander finely chopped
6 small red radish diced

1/2 tablespoon sumac
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (I used honey instead )
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes


1. Mix 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste with 1 tablespoon olive oil and brush this on the man'ooshe flat breads.
2. Place them under a hot grill for 1-2 minutes until crispy.
3. Remove from the grill and cut into 1 inch squares and keep aside.
4. In a jar add the olive oil, garlic, salt, chilli flakes, honey,thyme, sumac powder and lemon juice and mix well. Keep aside
5. In a large bowl add the  carrot, bell peppers, lettuce, sweet corn,onions, cucumber, radish, coriander  and tomatoes and toss together.
6. Add the grilled toasted man'ooshe bread and pour over the prepared dressing. Toss well and serve immediately.

Submitting to:
Flavours of Lebanon, event by guest hosted by Sara' Corner

Friday 11 May 2012

Man'ooshe Lebanese Flat bread

Man'ooshe is a Lebanese flat bread that is widely available in every street bakery in Lebanon. It is commonly served with a spread  called Za'tar made from sumac, sesame seeds and salt and topped with tomatoes , onions and salads of choice wrapped up and enjoyed.The man'ooshe can also be used  as a pizza base and topped with your favourite cheese and toppings.
The authentic recipe for the man'ooshe can be found here. I have adapted the recipe to suit my taste.


500 g / 16 oz plain purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon quick yeast
250 ml hand hot water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 tablespoon fresh coriander finely chopped.

Ingredients for za'tar:

1 teaspoon  thyme leaves,
1tablespoon sesame seeds,
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp red chilly flask,
2 to 3 tbsp olive oil


Mix all ingredients to make a spread.


1. In a bowl combine the flour,salt, yeast and sugar and mix well.
2. Add water a little at a time and make a dough that is soft and pliable.
3.Transfer the dough onto a flat floured surface  and knead for 2-3 gradually  adding the oil.
4. Return the dough to the bowl rub with oil and cover with a tea towel and leave it in a warm place for the dough to rise for 2-3 hours.
5. Once the dough has risen, knock the air out remove it from the bowl onto a floured surface, add the garlic paste and fresh coriander and knead again for 2-3 minutes.
6. Dive the dough into 12 pieces and roll each out into a 8 inch diameter flat bread.
7. Heat a skillet and place the flat bread on it, cook for 2-3 minutes and then flip it and cook for 2-3 minutes more until brown spots appear on it.
8. Remove from skillet and keep wrapped in a clean tea towel and repeat for rest of dough.
9. Serve spread with za'tar or plain with curry of choice or as pizza base.

You can check out how to make Man'ooshe with za'tar here.

Submitting to:
Flavours of Lebanon, event by guest hosted by Sara' Corner

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Baked Falafels ~ Blog hop Wednesday 9th May 2012

This is my entry for Blog Hop Wednesday started by Radhika of Tickling Palates. Its a beautiful concept where not only do you get to make new  blogger friends, cook from their blogs but in return they visit your blog and try out your recipes too.

This recipe is from Swetha of Our Cherished World.The blog has lots of mouthwatering  recipes and I was spoilt for choice in choosing one .For blog hop I selected the Baked Falafel  recipe  sounded very healthy as the falafels were baked rather than fried. I only made slight changes in the recipe, the changes being that I omitted the mint and replaced the whole wheat flour with corn flour. To make the falafel s a complete meal I served them in a platter with Chickpea houmous, sweet red pepper chilli sauce, salad and pitta bread. The Original recipe can be found here.

Spicy and crispy bite size falafels served  in toasted whole wheat pitta bread and garnished with salad.


480 g/ 16 oz precooked white chickpeas
2 Green chillies finely chopped
4 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves finely chopped
1 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Chilli Powder
1 tbsp Ginger Paste
2 tbsp corn flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1.5 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Oil to grease baking tray.

To serve:
4 wholewheat pitta breads
Sweet red pepper chilli sauce
Lemon Hummus
Finely shredded lettuce, grated carrot, diced cucumber, thin red onion slices and tomato slices.

1.Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees C/ 400 degrees F
2.In a food blender add the chickpeas, salt, chilies, coriander powder, chilli powder, baking powder  and lemon juice and grind the chickpeas to form a coarse texture. (You should be able to see some pieces of chickpeas in the mixture)
3. Transfer the coarsely ground chickpea mixture to a bowl, add the chopped coriander and corn flour and mix well.
4. Pinch small lime size balls and form round patties.
5. Line a baking tray with foil and spray it with some oil.
6. Place the chickpea patties onto the oiled baking tray and spray with some more oil, alternatively brush patties with a little oil.
7. Place baking tray in oven and bake for Bake for 40 mins turning once in between.
8. Once the falafels are golden brown remove from oven.
To Serve:
9.Warm the pitta bread and cut a slit in the top.
10. Brush the inside of the pitta bread with houmous and place three falafel pieces inside, top the falafels with sweet red pepper chilli sauce and add some salad on the top.
Serve immediately.

You may like:
Falafels fried version

Submitting to:
Flavours of Lebanon, event by guest hosted by Sara' Corner

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Fondant Icing for cup cake decoration

To make Tiger cake topper you will need:
White Fondant
Food Colours red, yellow, black

Other items
Cocktail stick
Plastic mat to work on
Icing sugar for dusting
Edible Glue to stick the ears and eyes

I recently visited Cake International at eXcel Exhibition centre in London. It is a large show dedicated to Baking and Cake products. Many classes were available to learn decorating tips, tutorials in modelling sugar paste and icing techniques.

I particularly enjoyed the class in modelling animal faces for cup cake toppers. The class was an introduction to working with fondant icing, colouring it and making models from it. As the animals were bright in colours the first and foremost tip was to learn how to colour the fondant in vibrant colours as although it sounds simple enough, too much colour will make the fondant too soft and hard to handle, too little and it will not achieve the required colour.
Here is a video to see how best to colour the fondant.

How to colour Fondant:
Step 1
Take a ball of white fondant and flatten it out.
Step 2
Using a cocktail stick dip it in the food colour and rub the colour on to the centre of the flattened fondant.
 Fold both the sides of the fondant into the centre and roll it up.
Step 4
Knead the fondant until the colour is equally dispersed.

Having learnt how to create my animal cup cake models, I decided to attempt what I had learnt at home. Exited and eager to spend a relaxing afternoon creating my master pieces I made a cup of tea and set about with my project. However things did not quite go as planned, I discovered very quickly that  the technique to colour the fondant  is critical otherwise you will end up with food colour stains on your hands, clothes and surfaces. I also found out  that there is a very likely chance that you will transfer the colour to everything else you touch. This is exactly what happened to me when disaster struck whilst I was working on my creations, first in my haste I knocked over the cup of tea which resulted in the carpet being tea stained and drenched. I had food colour on my worktop, fingers and on my beige chinos too. Flustered that my relaxing afternoon was slowly turning into an afternoon of hell, I proceeded to clear up. Luckily I was able to remove the tea stains  fairly easily using the Vanish  carpet cleaning shampoo. However the food colour stains certainly proved a little more difficult but Vanish  stain removal tips  are wonderful and I managed to clean the stains easily  and finish my tiger cup cake topper without any further mishaps.

How to make a Tiger cup cake topper from fondant icing.

Watch this space as next time I will attempt the other animal toppers with more confidence and with better preparation in case I encounter any more mishaps.

Monday 7 May 2012

Jubilee Lemon cup cakes.

United Kingdom is hosting the Olympics  this year and also celebrating the Queens Diamond  Jubilee celebrations . Every one is excited to welcome such a prestigious occasions and are looking forward to partying  the whole summer through. Preparations for street parties, fund raisers, sporting activities are all in full swing. To get into the party mood ,I was inspired to make some Jubilee Cupcakes . I particularly like the refreshing taste of lemon which reminds me of lazy summer days so I opted to make lemon cup cakes with a mascarpone lemon cream topping.

To top my little beauties I thought a fitting tribute to the queen would be to make fondant crowns to grace the cakes together with a patriotic flag to turn my cup cakes into Union Jack Cakes. 
I hope the British summer does not let us down and our street parties do not get washed away in the down pour however I am sure that  with the large selection of favorite British fayre at the party  such as Victoria sponges, scones with strawberry jam  and clotted cream , cucumber sandwiches, pies and delicious homemade chilled lemonade everyone is going to be happy despite any rain.

Detectable citrusy cupcakes with a creamy lemon topping.


Makes 12 cup cakes

120 g self raising flour
120g sugar
120g  butter
2 eggs (or equivalent egg re placer)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon essence
1 teaspoon lemon juice


125 g mascarpone cheese
90g Icing sugar (adjust to taste)
1/2 teaspoon lemon essence
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice

For Decoration:
To make Red crowns and Union Jack Flags.
Ready to roll fondant icing in red, white  and blue
Icing Sugar for dusting
Silver dreggies
Edible glue
Edible Gold and Blue  glitter


For Cakes:

1. Set the oven to 190°C / 375 º F or Gas Mark 5.
2. Cream the butter, sugar  together until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
3. Break the eggs in a separate bowl and mix them.
4. Sieve the flour  in a separate bowl.
5. Add alternate spoonfuls of egg and flour mixture to the butter mixture till all the eggs and flour are mixed in.Stir in  the lemon juice, lemon essence and lemon zest  Do not over mix.
6. Line cake pans with cake liners and using an icecream scoop fill the liners ⅔ full.
7. Bake the cakes in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. To check if done insert a toothpick into the cake if it comes out clean cakes are ready.
8.Once the cakes are baked remove from oven and transfer cakes to a wire tray to cool.

Mascarpone Cream:

9. Sieve the icing sugar and keep aside.
10. Add the mascarpone to to a large bowl, add the lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon essence and mix.
11. Gradually add the icing sugar  until it is all encorporated in the marscapone.
12. Place a large nozzle into a disposable icing bag  and fill with the marscapone cream .
14. Pipe the cakes with the marscapone cream.

For the Decoration:

15. Roll out the red fondant on a flat surface that has been dusted with icing sugar. Cut out 6 crown shapes from  the fondant and place on  some grease proof paper. Push a row of silver  dreggies at the base of the crown. Place a dreggie at the pointed ends of the crown also.Leave to dry.
16. Cut out 6 small rectangles with the blue icing. and transfer them to the grease proof paper.
17. Roll out white icing and cut some thin strips from it.
18. Roll out the red icing and cut some thin strips from it.(these should be thinner than the white strips)
19.To assemble the flags, using edible glue  stick  the white strips in the shape of an England flag on top of the blue rectangles, on top of the white strips stick  the red thinner strips. (like pic below)Allow the flags to dry.

20. Once the crowns and flags are dry place them on top of the cup cakes.
21. Sprinkle the gold glitter on the crowns and blue glitter on the flags.

This post was sponsored by Baking Mad

You may like:
Strawberry Muffins

Submitting to:

Lets bake Cup cakes and Muffins event by

Sunday 6 May 2012

Round up of Flavours of Russia and Flavours of Turkey

The "Flavours of" Series Two has been a journey across Asia. In the last two months we had stops in Russia and Turkey where we sampled delicious regional food. Thanks to Selena and PJ who guest hosted   these events. Here are the wonderful  round ups.

1st March 2012- 31st March 2012- Flavours of Russia
Guest Hosted by Selena
Round Up

1st April 2012 -30th April  2012 - Flavours of Turkey 
Guest hosted by PJ
Round Up

We are now on our journey to Flavours of Lebanon at Sara's Corner. It would be lovely is we can all support her by participating in the event. You can get more details here.

Thursday 3 May 2012

Hakka Noodles

This recipe has been published in My Favorite Recipe -Take a break magazine issue 6
Hakka Noodles  

Here is the recipe.

Egg noodles stir fried with crispy vegetables and cashew nuts in a spicy garlic and soya sauce. 


120 g Baby corn
1 medium Carrot
1 red Onion
½ green Capsicum
½ red Capsicum
1 clove Garlic
1 tablespoon Garlic chilli sauce
1 tablespoon Dark soya sauce
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoon Sunflower oil
12 Cashew nuts
200g (3 bundles) of medium dry Egg noodles


1. Slice the baby corn into long thin strips.
2. Peel and slice the carrot into long thin strips.
3. Peel and slice the red onion into thin slices.
4. Slice the red and green capsicum into long thin slices.
5. Peel the garlic and cut it into thin slices.
6. Place the noodles into a heat proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Close the bowl with a lid and leave for three minutes after which drain the water and keep the noodles aside.
7. Heat the oil in a wok, when it is hot, add the cashew nuts and fry until golden brown, remove them from oil and keep aside.
8. Add the garlic to the hot oil in the wok followed by all the vegetables and stir fry for 3-4 minutes until vegetables start to brown but retain crispiness.
9. Add the noodles to the vegetables and stir fry for 2-3 minutes further, add the soya sauce and the garlic chilli sauce and the salt.
10. Toss until all the vegetables and noodles are well seasoned with the soya and garlic chilli sauce.
11 Transfer noodles to serving dish and garnish with reserved fried cashew nuts.

You may like:
Chinese Fried Rice

Roundup ~ Lets make Sandwiches Event

Thankyou to everyone who participated in this event and linked up the mouchwatering recipes.
Here is the round up:

Wednesday 2 May 2012

Round Up ~ Lets cook speedy Snacks

A big Thankyou to everyone who linked up to this awesome event.
Here is the round up.

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Announcing Event ~Lets Bake Cupcakes and Muffins .

Cup cakes and Muffins have taken the world by the storm, be it for birthdays or weddings or tea parties or corporate events.Every high street, shopping mall, bakery, restaurant are all tempting us with amazing delectable little cupcakes and muffins .
This event is all about baking an array of cupcakes and muffins,be as adventurous  and as creative as you dare with flavours and toppings.

To Participate:

1.Bake any type of cupcakes or muffins (eggs allowed) please link your post using the linky below by entering your Post Name and Post URL
2. Please link this event announcement with your entry, this is mandatory.
3. Use of logo is not mandatory but usage is encouraged as it helps to spread the word visually if you can use it.
4. Multiple entries are allowed, archived are only allowed if reposted and updated with this event link.
5. In the event of problem using linky you can email me the entry at

Please use this format

Your Name:
Recipe Name
Recipe URL
Image no larger than 300 pixels.

Announcing Event Cooking with love ~Dad

Cooking with love is an event that is the brain child of Sara of Sara's Corner.She introduced this event as a tribute to her grandmother. Each month guest bloggers host an event to cook for a relative. The theme for this month is Dad. For this event  lets cook a favorite dish for our dads, it can be one that he particularly likes or one that brings childhood memories back for you about your dad.

To Participate:

1.Prepare any dish that you would tribute to your dad  vegetarian only (eggs allowed) please link your dish using the linky below by entering your Dish Name and Post URL
2. Please link this event announcement with your entry, and also Sara's blog this is mandatory.
3. Use of logo is  not mandatory but it is appreciated as helps to spread the word visually if you can use it.
4. Multiple entries are allowed, archived are only allowed if reposted and updated with this event link.
4. In the event of problem using linky you can email me the entry at

Please use this format
Your Name:
Recipe Name
Recipe URL
Image no larger than 300 pixels.

Hosting an event and you need linky?
You can get it  free here.