Tuesday 30 April 2013

Announcing Event - Lets cook rice dishes

 Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or Oryza glaberrima (African rice).It is a cereal grain and it is the most widely consumed staple food for a large part of the world's population, especially in Asia and the West Indies. There are more than 100 varieties of rice  available in different parts of the world and there are thousands of different ways to prepare dishes using rice be it in grain form, powdered form, in savory dishes to sweet dishes and even rice wine.
This event is all about cooking with Rice in any form.

To Participate:

1.Prepare any  vegetarian recipe with rice as the main ingredient  (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, this is mandatory.
3.Use of logo is  not mandatory but it helps to spread the word 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.

Announcing event -Flavours of France

We are now travelling to France in our Flavours of series 4 Europe.
Shruti's Rasoi is guest hosting this event.Please do drop by her blog to participate in this event.
To get more details please click here.

Monday 29 April 2013

Coconut Srikand with strawberries(Gujarati sweetened yoghurt dessert)

Shrikand is a sweetened yoghurt dish that is made from hung yoghurt and flavoured with saffron and  cardamon Occasionally fresh fruit such as mango or pomegranate is added to it before serving.In Gujarati cuisine, shrikand is eaten as either a side-dish served with a puffed bread called poori or served as a dessert. It is commonly served as part of a vegetarian thali in Gujarati restaurants and festivals.
I have given the Gujarati shrikand a twist by making it with coconut yogurt and serving it with fresh strawberries.

Creamy and delicious yoghurt flavoured with sweet coconut and cardamon and served with fresh English strawberries and a sprinkling of pistachio nuts.


1 tablespoon chopped pistachio nuts
3 tablespoons icing sugar(plus 1 teaspoon for strawberries)
1 teaspoon cardamon powder
8 strawberries
2  450 g tubs of  Rachels organic Greek style coconut yoghurt
1  tablespoon fresh coconut


1.Place a large muslin cloth in a colander and pour the coconut yoghurt into it. 
2. Gather the muslin up and tie a knot in the top.
3. Place the colander in a bowl to catch the water that will drain from the yoghurt. Leave the yoghurt to drain over night in a cool place or the fridge.
4. In the morning transfer the drained yoghurt into a large bowl and discard the drained water.(This is called hung yoghurt)
5. To the hung yoghurt add the icing sugar and cardamon powder and fold gently till all the sugar is incorporated. Place in refrigerator to chill.
6. Hull and chop 4 of the strawberries into small pieces, place the strawberries into a bowl and add 1 teaspoon icing sugar and mix.(you can omit this if strawberries are very sweet)
7.In a dry pan  toast the coconut to brown it slightly. Once coconut has started to brown transfer it to a dish to cool.

To assemble:
8.Slice the remaining 4 strawberries and line 4 serving glasses with them.
9. Spoon the coconut shrikand into the serving glasses.
10. Spoon the chopped strawberries on top and garnish with the toasted coconut and pistachio nuts.
Serve chilled.

NB- the yoghurt I used was already sweetened and  had coconut in it if you use plain unsweetened yoghurt than add extra sugar to taste and two tablespoons of fresh grated coconut  at stage 5 of this recipe.

The Rachel's organic Greek style coconut bio live yoghurt used in this recipe was sent to me by Rachels to sample.The yoghurt was extra thick, rich and creamy, it was blended with organic coconut pieces and the  organic creamed coconut that gave the yoghurt a lovely texture with a subtle coconut flavour. 

Rachels yoghurt range comes in many delicious flavours such as gooseberry, honey, ginger, peach and passion fruit, strawberry and rhubarb,blackcurrant,vanilla, lemon and ginger,raspberry,rhubarb,mango pineapple and passion fruit and also cherry.The yoghurts are all made from locally sourced organic milk and organic ingredients. The yoghurts are available in  the 450 g size and also come in small 150 g pots for individual servings, kids packs as well as multi packs to suit all  requirements. also produce organic milk, butter and rice puddings in their range which is available at most large supermarkets.
I would like to Thank Rachels for sending me lots of coconut and strawberry and rhubarb yoghurt to sample.
All the views in this post are my own.

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Friday 26 April 2013

Topical Fizz Mocktail~A refreshing tropical mocktail to celebrate one day of sunshine.

Yesterday for weeks of miserable weather Britain saw some sunshine.Now if you live in the UK you will know that British weather is very unpredictable so you have to be very spontaneous when the sun comes  if you want to make the most of it.To celebrate the gorgeous sunshine as we enjoyed lunch in the garden I made this delicious mocktail by using the Funkin Brazilian cocktail mixer that was sent to me by Funkin to try.We also recreated  the cranberry and ginger beer teaser by using the Cosmopolitan Funkin cocktail mixer.You can find the recipe for Ginger beer teaser here.

Funkin cocktail mixers are are made with 100% natural fresh fruit .They are made using natural ingredients and are free from all artificial colours, flavours, preservatives and additives.I love these mixers are they are versatile and you can create an array of cocktails by adding spirit or delicious mocktails by adding non alcoholic beverages to the mixers to create stunning non alcoholic mocktails.

Taste of tropics with a burst of refreshing lemon in every mouthful.


100 ml of Funkin Brazilian cocktail mix
3oo ml of bitter lemon
2 slices of lemon
ice cubes


1.In a tall jug add the Brazilian  cocktail mix, followed by the bitter lemon, ice cubes and stir.
2. Pour into tall chilled glasses and garnish with a slice of lemon.
Enjoy the mocktail with a burst of sunshine.

You may like :
Citrus Cooler Mocktail

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Red Chilli and garlic marinade and a Pyrex product review.

Red chilli and garlic Marinade – A spicy marinade that will spice up any vegetables for the perfect barbecue.


8 red dried chillies
1 green chilli finely chopped
6 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
1 small red onion peeled and diced
100 ml olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice


1.Soak the chillies in water for 30 minutes
2.In a blender add the garlic, onion, green chillies.
3.Drain the red chillies, cut them open and remove the seeds and discard. Add them to the blender
4.Puree the ingredients to form a fine paste.
5.Heat the oil in a pan and add the puree and the salt cook it on medium heat for 5-6 minutes until the rawness of onion and garlic is cooked out.
6.Remove from heat and add the lemon juice ,cool the marinade. It will keep for up to 1 week in refrigerator and can be used as required to marinade vegetables, paneer, tofu or quorn.

Pyrex has been a trusted cookware and kitchen brand since 1915 and is best known for its heat resistant glass range of bake ware, ovenware, prep ware and storage solutions.
Pyrex glassware have introduced their new 4-in-1 Plus range which allows you to  cook, store, freeze and reheat food with just one product.
The glass dish is made from borosilicate glass, which offers superior thermal shock resistance and it comes with a an innovative smart lid, each smart lid features a steam valve, making the product perfect for microwave cooking and reheating. 

 The 4 in 1 range is Ideal for picnics or packed lunches, the smart lid also enables the dish to be made completely air and liquid tight, keeping food fresh for longer and enabling easy transportation. The glass dishes also incorporate large handles to give you a safe grip when handling the product.

The glass dish and smart lid are both dishwasher safe and stain resistant. The borosilicate glass is also highly hygienic, as it does not retain tastes or flavours. Items within the Pyrex 4-in-1 Plus range are priced from £5.99 and are available from stockists nationwide. To find out more about the entire Pyrex cook and kitchenware collection and locate your nearest stockist, visit

Cooking is a science in its self, ingredients change form and give new flavour when experimented with and combined together. So it seems apt to have the correct equipment in the kitchen to ensure accurate measurements of the ingredients. The new Kitchen Lab collection from Pyrex includes two stunning products the Measure and Mix beaker and Measure and Shake jug, both of which are made from blown glass. The Shake jug comes in two sizes and comes with a rubber stopper.It is perfect for shaking marinades, salad dressing and can be used to store the dressings and  marinades  too.

The Measure and Mix beaker is ideal for measuring flour, sugar, rice and liquids making it perfect for creating anything from delicious cakes to a warming risotto.

 The beaker is also suitable for heating milk, chocolate and butter in the microwave, particularly useful for those budding bakers. The beaker is available in three different sizes, 250ml, 500ml and 750ml, and with clear markings and a precise pouring lip making it easy to transfer the liquids without spilling.
 I have been lucky to try out the Measure and Mix beaker and Measure and Shake jug in my kitchen. I have found both items extremely useful  as both come with clear to read measurements on the side, they are both easy to clean and the measure and shake jug is perfect for storae with the secure rubber lid.

Thankyou to Pyrex for sending me the 4 in 1 dishes, the beaker and shake jug to review. All the views in this post are my own

You may like:
Chilli sauce marinade

Monday 22 April 2013

Gazpacho salad-Summer Salad with toasted croutons ~ Secret recipe club challenge 22nd April 2013

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 assigned blog was Eat Laugh love .The blog writer Denise  has a lovely selection of recipes and I immediately fell in love with this Gazpacho Summer salad recipe. I recreated the recipe with  a few minor changes.

Colourful and vibrant summer salad with a tangy and aromatic dressing.


2 crusty bread rolls
1 tablespoon garlic infused olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper
2 large tomatoes cut into small pieces
3 inch cucumber diced
1 bowl of mixed capsicums diced
1 bowl iceberg lettuce shredded
1 medium carrot grated

For the vinaigrette:

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1.Cut the bread rolls into small inch pieces and put them into a bowl, drizzle some garlic infused olive oil and add salt and pepper.
2.Toss the bread cubes and transfer them to a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven 180 degrees C / 375 degrees F  for ten minutes until golden brown and crispy.
3.In another bowl add the tomatoes, cucumber,peppers,lettuce and carrots and toss together.
4. In a screw top jar, add all the ingredients for the vinaigrette and mix well.
5. Pour this vinaigrette over the mixed salad and toss well.
6.Add the toasted bread cubes to the salad and toss again.
Serve immediately

You may like:
Moroccan Couscous salad in a jar

Friday 19 April 2013

Greek-Baklava rolls .

Bakalava~ Delicious layers of crispy flaky pasty filled with protein packed nuts and sweetened with a sweet syrup.


60 g / 2 oz shelled pistachio nuts 
60 g / 2 oz flaked almonds
60 g / 2 oz walnuts
2 tablespoons golden syrup
60 g  / 2 oz butter (melted)
4 sheets phyllo pastry

Sugar Syrup:

240 g / 8 oz sugar
125 ml water
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Special equipment:

1 cm diameter wooden dowel (stick)
Baking Tray


1. Coarsely chops the nuts and place them in a bowl, add the golden syrup and mix well.(Mixture should be fairly dry.)
2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F
3. On a flat surface place 1 sheet of phyllo pastry and brush it with melted butter. Spread half the nut mixture onto it .

4. Place the wooden dowel at the longest end of the phyllo pastry and start rolling the pastry over the dowel encasing all the filling.Keep the dowel with the rolled pastry to one side covered with damp cloth.
5. Spread the second sheet of phyllo on the surface and brush with melted butter. Place the roll of pastry with the dowel in it at the long end and tightly roll the 2nd phyllo sheet over the already rolled 1st roll.
6. Place the roll of pastry in front of you on the flat surface. Holding the pastry with both hands scrunch it up on the dowel to form pleats.The pastry roll will be shorter now as its been scrunched together.

7. Hold the roll with one hand and gently remove the dowel rod.
8. Grease a baking tray and place the roll on it. With a sharp knife cut the roll into 2 inch pieces.
9. Repeat the procedure for the other two phyllo sheets using remaining filling.
10. Once both rolls are made, brush some more butter over them . Place the baking tray in the oven to bake for about 30 minutes or until pastry turns golden brown.
11. Place the sugar, lemon juice and water in a heavy bottomed pan  and bring to boil.

12. Boil the syrup for 8 -10 minutes and then remove from heat.
13. Remove Baklava from oven and gently spoon over the sugar syrup over the baked rolls .
14. Leave the syrup to soak into the pastry for 2-3 hours before eating.

The baking tin that was used to bake the  Baklava was  was sent to me by Mermaid.
Mermaid make a really lovely range of all British collection of high quality cookware that offers a solution for every baking need from roasting dishes and trays through to cake tins and moulds. Mermaid is very popular and it is  loved by professional chefs and home cooks alike, they have been established since 1953. In their Baking  tins they are currently on offer 25cm (rectangular), 21cm (round) and 15cm companion size. I was offered  the rectangular 25ch  tin to sample. The quality of the tin was superb,it was sturdy but light weight at the same time. It is made from hard anodised aluminium which eliminates hot spots and ensures even cooking all the way through. Thankyou to Mermaid for the lovely baking tin/ pie dish to try.

You may like:
Greek Halwa
Another version of Baklawa

Submitting to:
Flavours of Greece Event by guest hosted by PJ of seduce your tastebuds.

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Greek Halwa

Greek Halwa ~ a rich and fragrant sweet semolina dessert that is flavoured with spices such as cinnamon, cloves, star anise and garnished with nuts. 


Sugar Syrup
60 g / 2 oz sugar
250 ml water
3 cloves
1 stick cinnamon
1 star anise

60 g / 2 oz fine semolina
60 g / 2 oz unsalted butter
few pistachio nut to garnish


1.Add the water and sugar to a heavy bottomed pan . Add the cinnamon, cloves and star anise and bring the water to boil.
2. Allow the sugar to dissolve completely .Once all the sugar has melted  turn off the heat and remove the cloves, cinnamon and star anise.
3.In a heavy bottom pan add the butter and let it melt, once it has melted add the semolina and roast the semolina in the butter for 7-8 minutes until semolina changes to a nice golden brown colour.
4. Add a ladle full of sugar syrup to the semolina and mix , keep adding small amounts of syrup until all is used up.(Don't be tempted to add all the syrup at once as the semolina will start to spit and bubble and can cause burns to your hand)
5. Once all the sugar syrup has been added , keep stirring the semolina until it thickens and stars to leave the side of the pan.
6. Once halwa has thickened remove from heat.
7. Transfer the halva to a serving bowl and garnish with pistachio nuts.

You may like:

Submitting to:
Flavours of Greece Event by guest hosted by PJ of seduce your tastebuds.

Houmous- Chickpea dip.

A rich and creamy Mediterranean dip, with a hint of garlic, perfect dip for any snack.


15 ounces cooked  white chickpeas,( precooked in can) rinsed and drained
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon white pepper powder
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste (tinned chickpeas are already salted)
1 tablespoons fresh chopped coriander ( optional)
Pinch of paprika for garnish


1.In the bowl of a food processor, combine all the ingredients except coriander.
2.Puree until smooth consistency.
3.Fold in the coriander with a fork.
Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with paprika.

Serve as dip with toasted pitta bread cut into strips or fresh vegetable sticks or potato/corn chips.

You may like falafel

Submitting to:
Flavours of Greece Event by guest hosted by PJ of seduce your tastebuds.

Sunday 14 April 2013

Spiced rice with Asian spice Hemp seeds

Fast and speedy stir fried spicy rice with Asian  flavoured Hemp seeds


16 oz precooked  cold boiled rice
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 green chilli finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1 tablespoon Asian spices hemp seeds
1 teaspoon lemon juice.
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds


1. In a large bowl add the cooked rice.
2. Add the salt, turmeric, chilli powder and green chillies to the rice and mix together.
3. Add the olive oil to a wok and allow it to heat up.
4. Add the mustard seeds to the hot oil and wait for them to splutter.
5. Add the rice and toss gently in the wok for 3-4 minutes.
6. Add the hemp seeds and toss again for 1-2 minutes.
7. Add the lemon juice to the rice and toss again.
8. Transfer the rice to a serving dish

Serve the rice with some cooling cucumber raita.

The Asian spice hemp seeds used in this recipe were sent to me by Good Hemp company. I also baked Hemp seed and Oat cookies with the cinnamon flavour hemp seeds.

You may like:
Tunisian style spicy rice

Friday 12 April 2013

Amba Haldi -white turmeric Pickle

Amba Haldi is also known as Curcuma Aromatica, white turmeric or mango ginger. It is grown in the Himalayan region of India and it is only available in the monsoon region.  It contains curcumin, vitamin A, protein, fatty acids, minerals and carbohydrates and has anti-inflammatory properties as well as strong antibiotic ones. Due to its many medicinal properties it is used in skin care and to get rid of throat infections and nasal and tracheobronchial congestion. It can be consumed raw or it can be dried and used in powder form. Amba Haldi is delicious eaten raw in salads or eaten in the form of pickle. 

Made without oil or spices this simple preserved Amba Haldi pickle is healthy and delicious . With its salty and tangy flavour it is a perfect accompaniment to rice dishes.


120 g/4 oz Amba Haldi
Juice of two large lemons
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder


1. Peel the Amba Haldi and either cut it into thin round slices alternatively you can cut it into juliennes.
2. Place the Amba Haldi in a sterile jar and add to it the lemon juice, salt and turmeric.
3. Mix well and store in the refrigerator.
4. It can be eaten immediately.

You may like:

Submitting to:
Lets Cook Pickle event by

Monday 8 April 2013

Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons a lovely ingredient that can be used  to give dishes a tangy citrus flavour , commonly used in  Middle Eastern and Greek style dishes these preserved lemons add a citrus zing to many dishes.


8 unwaxed lemons washed and dried.
4 tablespoons salt
Juice of two lemons


1. A large screw top jar that has been sterelised by washing in boiling water and dried in the oven.
2. Cut a cross in the top of each lemon but keep the base intact.
3. Fill the slits made in the  lemons with salt.
4. Tightly pack the salted lemons into the jar and top with more salt between the lemons.
5. Pour over the juice of two lemons into the jar.
6. Screw the lid tightly and leave the jar in a cool dry place for 5-6 weeks.
7. Shake the jar daily to distribute the juices formed by the salt and lemon juice.

8. Lemons are ready to be consumed once they have gone soft and changed from a bright yellow to an almost orange colour.Takes about 5-6 weeks.
To use the lemons wash the access salt off the lemons and use them  to make pickle, add them in salads, marinades and many Middle Easten/ Greek dishes dishes.They will last up to a year once they have been preserved.The preserved lemons can also be eaten as they are or made into Indian pickles.

You may like:
Carrot Pickle
Preserved lemon pickle

Submitting to:
Flavours of Greece Event by  simplyfood guest hosted by PJ of seduce your tastebuds.
Lets cook Pickles event by


Thursday 4 April 2013

Preserved lemon Pickle

Delicious tangy and spicy lemon pickle made with preserved lemons.


Preserved lemons:

8 small lemons
2 tablespoons salt
Juice of 2 lemons

Spice mixture:

1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
8 red dried chillies
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
10 black peppercorns


1. Wash the lemons and dry them.
2. Slit the lemons but not right to the bottom so that the lemon is in four quarters but bottom in intact.

3.Sprinkle some salt in the center of each lemon and place the lemons in a streriliesd jar.
4. Add any remaining salt to the jar and add the juice of two lemons.
5. Close the lid and leave the jar in a cool dry place.Once a day shake the jar to mix the lemons.
6. After 3-4 weeks the lemon skin will soften and change from the bright  yellow to a dull yellow this indicates lemons are ready for use.

Pickle spice:

7. Dry roast the fenugreek seeds, and mustard seeds for 2-3 minutes and transfer to a grinder.

8. Dry roast the red chilies for 2-3 minutes and transfer them to the grinder.
9. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and grind this spice mixture to a fine powder.(Do not be tempted to add too much salt as lemons are already salty from being preserved salt.)

To make pickle:

10. Drain the preserved lemons and cut them into quarters.
11. On a tray place some kitchen paper and spread out the lemons to dry out for 1 day
12. The next day cut the lemons into bite sized pieces and place them into a bowl.
13. Add half the spice mixture and reserve the rest for use on another occasion.
14. Add the peppercorns to the lemons
15.Heat oil in a pan , when it is hot add 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds and wait for them  to splutter.
16.Take the oil off the heat and wait for it to cool slightly.
17. Add the oil to the lemons and mix well.
18.Transfer the pickle to a sterilised jar and store in cool dry place for a day to allow spice flavours to infuse.
19. Pickle is ready to eat next day.

This recipe was adapted from Jayshrees blog Samayalarai. She made the pickle with limes, I have also changed the quantity of the spice mixture slightly and used sunflower oil instead of ginelly oil.

You may like:
Carrot pickle

Submitting to:
Lets cook pickle event by