Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Daal Bajia

These lentil fritters are crispy on the outside and soft inside. A very popular snack on the inner streets of Mombasa, Kenya and in the homes during Ramadan. It is usually served with tamarind chutney and coconut chutney.
Makes 20 -1 inch round fritters

Equipment needed

Food processor
frying ladle


1/2 cup split Black eyed beans (chora daal) you can get them at South Asian grocery stores
1/2 cup split green gram (moong daal)husked

For best results soak the above split lentils overnight.

Next day, drain the water from the lentils and add the following and grind to a coarse paste-
2 cloves garlic
2-3 green chillies

Then add

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder ( use less if you want less spicy)
1/2 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
2 tablespoons fresh chopped coriander
1 onion finely chopped

Mix well and you can fry it immediately or fry later.
When ready to fry, heat the oil o medium heat and mix the batter well ,scoop with your fingers some and using both hand flatten it into a patty shape. Slowly let it slide into the prepared oil. After a minute or two using a spoon turn the fritter over to cook on the second side. It should be deep golden on both sides. Remove and drain on a plate with paper towel. Serve with coconut and tamarind chutney.

Coconut Chutney

1 green mango grated
1 cup fresh or frozen grated cocnut
1 small bunch coriander leaves, chopped
1 green chill, chopped
1/2 cup water

Blend the above on a high speed till well incorporated. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and serve

Tamarind Chutney

1/2 cup tamarind pulp/whole
1 cup warm water

Soak it for a while and then using your fingers squeeze to get the pulpy juice. Using a strainer drain and discard the seeds or leftovers.

To the tamarind pulp you squeezed add
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small clove of garlic squished
1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes

Mix well and serve.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Matbosha- A Sweet Swahili Delicacy (#EidEats2018)

This is an amazing delicacy made with rice flour, the shapes look like red blood cells but are white in yummy coconut milk sweet syrup. This is a MUST  dish in Mombasa household during Ramadhan and when you love it so much why not make it on EID!
  Beware! This is an addictive dish 😋

Equipment needed
2 medium size pots
1 wooden spoon

The Dough

1 cup rice flour
2 cups water

Put the water in a pot on medium heat and bring it to warm then add the rice flour and stir continuously till well mixed . It should form a soft but well combined dough. Reduce the heat completely and let it stand for about 5 minutes to cook the dough thoroughly.
Let it cool while still covered (I usually use a tea towel and the lid to cover it, it prevents condensation).
When it's nice and cooler to the touch, divide the dough into 4 balls and taking one ball at a time make small marble sized balls about 1/2 inch  (make sure the rest of the dough is well covered to avoid drying out).
Using your fore finger press it into the ball to make a bowl shape. Continue with the rest of the dough balls.

Coconut Syrup
5 cups water
5-6 tablespoons coconut powder
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
1/2 cup sugar (you can add more if you like it sweeter)
1 tablespoon rice flour

On medium heat bring the above ingredients to a light boil .
Add the rice dough bowls (the red blood cell shape balls) in it one at a time, make sure you don't stir at this point.
Let it heat up nicely then using a wooden spoon stir very gently.
Bring it to a light boil, switch off and let it stand for about half hour to cool.
Pour in a nice serving bowl and serve.

Linking this to EidEats2018 hosted by www.chocolateandchillies.com/ , www.flourandspiceblog.com


Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Quick Fix Dinners

The below dishes can be served with salad, fries, naan or baked potatoes. Mix & match and enjoy!
I'll soon post the pics! Sorry.

Jeera Chicken 

 1 chicken cut into 8 pcs                                               Utensils to use- 1 large bowl
 salt to taste                                                                    9 by 13 inch glass oven proof casserole dish
2-3 green chillies, chopped
 1 Tblsp half crushed black pepper
 1/2 tsp turmeric pd
 2 lemon juice, I add a bit more 😉
 1 Tblsp half crushed cumin seeds
 Marinate the chicken in the above spices and half-cook on low flame. Put the chicken into an oven proof dish and cook in the oven till well done. It takes about half hour to 45 minutes total ime. Oven temp- 200 C.

 Chicken Drumsticks 

10 Chicken drumsticks
 salt to taste


1 cup yogurt                                                    Utensils to use- blending machine
2-3 green chillies                                             Cookie tray lined with tin foil
1tsp chilli pd
1tsp turmeric pd
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin pd
1 Tblsp ginger-garlic paste
1 Tblsp gram flour
1 bunch coriander leaves
 Marinate the drumsticks in the blended masala and when ready to cook, arrange on a tray and broil at 350 Fahrenheit till well done, flip and broil on the second side. Make sure it does not dry out.

Grilled Chicken

1 chicken cut into 8 pcs
salt to taste
1tsp chilli pd
1tsp turmeric psd
1tsp garam masala
1 Tblsp tomato paste
1 lemon juice
2 Tblsp ginger-garlic paste

Marinate the chicken in the above masala for 6-8hrs. Grill and reserve the marinade. Grind 3-4 tomatoes, add 1 lemon juice, salt and chilli pd and put in the marinade (if it's not thick enough add  1Tblsp tomato paste). Heat 2Tblsp oil and add the tomato mixture. Cook till it is thick, add the grilled chicken and put it in heated oven 1 hr prior to serve.

Grilled Chicken-2

1 whole chicken-slit in butterfly. 
salt to taste
1 lemon juice

Marinate mix:
1/2 cup yoghurt
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper pd
1/4 tsp turmeric pd
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp rosemary ( dried or fresh)
2 Tblsp Olive oil

Clean the chicken well and rub the salt and lemon juice. After preparing the marinate, coat the chicken well and leave it aside for 6-8 hours. Broil well on both sides making sure not to dry it out.

Garam masala can be store bought at any South Asian grocery store or you can make your own by grinding the below spices in a coffee grinder

1 Tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon whole cardamoms
1 tablespoon cinnamon pieces
5 cloves
1 tablespoon black pepper

Lightly roast on a frying pan before grinding it.

Tip:  The secret to any barbecue or broiling is the marinate. The longer you keep the meat for marination the tastier it becomes.


Fish Tikka

1 kg Red snapper fillet
2-3 Tblsp Tikka masala (the red one) readily available at Indian stores
2 lemon juice
salt to taste
1Tblsp garlic paste
1/4 cup olive oil

Wash the fish and rub salt and lemon juice for half hour. Make a paste with olive oil, tikka masala & garlic paste and rub into the fish. Leave for  4-5 hours then grill the fish, turn and let it broil. Serve hot with fries and salad or baked potatoes and salad.

Alfredo pasta

After moving to a new place it has been a challenge to find the perfect Alfredo sauce that my children would love and finally using 2-3 recipes together this is the outcome:

Alfredo Sauce

1tsp garlic paste
1Tblsp butter
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
3-4 Tbsp mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese (if available) or cream cheese
1/4 cup cream
salt & black pepper to taste
parsley leaves chopped

Heat oil & butter, add in the garlic. Stir fry and add the cheeses and cream. Stir till everything is well blended and add the salt & black pepper. Cook till it simmers. Mix the parsley leaves and pour the sauce over cooked pasta.

Something Malaysian

500 gms spaghetti or Chinese egg noodles
salt to taste
3 Tblsp oil
1/2 tsp black pepper
150 gms shelled shrimps, cooked
100 gms tofu thinly sliced
150 gms boneless chicken, cut into cubes , cooked
100 gms shredded cabbage
1 carrot julienned
1 large onion sliced
1 capsicum julienned
2 spring onions cut diagonally
2 Tblsp dark soy sauce
2 Tblsp chilli sauce
2 Tblsp tomato ketchup
1 Tblsp tomato paste
1 Tblsp chilli flakes
1 tsp garlic, chopped
2 Tblsp vinegar
1/2 cup water
1Tblsp corn starch
3 tomatoes cut into 8 pcs

Cook spaghetti and if using egg noodles soak in hot water.Heat oil and sauté the garlic, add onions and cook till it sweats. Add in the vegetables, when soft add the shrimps, tofu and chicken. When cooked add the cooked spaghetti/ noodles. Add in the soy sauce, tomato ketchup, tomato paste, chilli sauce, vinegar, chilli flakes, salt & black pepper. Add in the tomatoes and let it cook till soft. Stir well and add the cornflour mixed in water. Garnish with spring onions, coriander leaves and lemon. Serve hot.

Spice of Life-Afghani

If you are ever in Toronto, Canada be sure to eat at Bamiyan Kebob, the amazing Afghan eat out! You won't stop at one visit, for sure!
Here is a recipe close to what they make after many trials.

Chapli Kebab

1 kg minced meat
salt to taste
2 tomatoes chopped
2 onions chopped
1 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp coriander seed powder
1 tsp cumin seed powder
1 Tbsp dried pomegranate seeds powder
1 tsp garam masala
2 green chillies chopped
1/2 bunch coriander leaves chopped
1 Tbsp chilli flakes
1/2 cup whole wheat flour

oil for shallow frying.

In a chopper mix the ginger-garlic paste, onion, tomatoes, coriander seed pd, cumin seed pd, pomegranate pd, green chilli, chilli flakes, coriander leaves and garam masala.
Mix the blended spices together with the minced meat, add salt, egg and the whole wheat flour. Mix well and keep the meat mixture in the fridge for 6-7 hours. Heat a frying pan, add oil and make flat burgers and fry till brown on both sides. Serve with rice, roughly chopped lettuce, chopped onion-tomato & coriander leaves salad and tomato chutney.
Tomato chutney: 3 tomatoes. coriander leaves, 2 green chillies and 1 small onion- blend all together with 2 Tbsp vinegar.

Thai Curry paste recipes

The most common curry pastes used in Thai dishes are the Green curry paste and red curry paste. Below are the recipes from a book ( I wish I could get the name, I had borrowed it from a library) with authentic taste and flavour. The recipes below make about 20 Tablespoons of curry paste.One to two tablespoon is enough to make one serving.

Green Curry Paste

50-60 small fresh green chillies (the birds eye chilli)
1 tsp sea salt
70gm shallots
80 gms garlic, peeled & finely chopped
3 Tbsp finely chopped galangal
1 tsp finely choppd coriander root
2  Tbsp white peppercorns
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 Tbsp shrimp paste ( you can use fish sauce as a substitute)

Crush all the ingredients using mortar & pestle or blend in a chopper like I do ;)

Red Curry Paste

10 large red chillies
20 gms shallots, peeled and chopped
40 gms garlic, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp galangal, chopped
4 lemongrass stalks, chopped
2 tsps finely chopped kaffir lime peel
1 Tbsp finely chopped coriander root
1 tsp white peppercorn
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 Tbsp shrimp paste

Crush all the ingredients using mortar & pestle or blend in a chopper.

To make the curry, take the curry paste of your choice saute in oil, add meat of your choice, brown it. Cover to half cook and add thick coconut milk, lemon juice and vegetables of your choice. Check the salt and season according to your preference.

Something from Portugal

After many trials, recipe search and blending 3 or more recipes, the periperi chicken was a success! Enjoy!

Roast periperi chicken

Peri Peri roast chicken
1/3 cup  Peri Peri Sauce (below)
1tsp Fresh ginger, minced
1 Garlic clove, minced
1 Lime juice
1tsp Dried chilli flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    For the roast chicken, combine all of the ingredients together, rub over the chicken, cover and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. 
    Preheat the oven to 180˚C. 
    Place the chicken into a roasting tray and pour the marinade over the chicken. Bake for 80 – 90 minutes, basting frequently. 
    Periperi sauce
    1/2 cup vegetable oil/olive oil
    1/2 red sweet pepper
    2 tsp salt
    70ml white vinegar
    1/2 lemon juice
    5 cloves garlic
    2 Tblsp oregano

    small red chillies-
    1-3 for mild sauce
     4-6 for Hot sauce
     7-10 for Very Hot sauce
    10 & up- Crazy Hot


    Chop peeled garlic, sweet red pepper and chillies into small pieces (discard stems, but keep the seeds from chillies and sweet pepper)
    Heat vegetable oil or olive oil in a large sauce pan on a low to medium heat, when oil is hot, add the chopped garlic and sweet red pepper, the juice of half a lemon, the white wine vinegar and simmer gently for 10 minutes
    Remove pan from heat, add the chillies, oregano, salt and stir thoroughly

    When sauce has cooled, blend it into a fine puree.

    Paneer Tikka Masala

    If you like the restaurant style Paneer Tikka Masala, this is a very tasty homemade version,you'll forget the restaurant one!

    for the paneer tikka:
    250 grams paneer, cut into½ inch squares
    1 medium green capsicum, diced
    ½ cup thick yogurt
    1 lemon juice
    1 tsp cumin seeds, 2-3 green cardamoms,1 strand of mace - ground into a fine powder.
    ½ tsp red chilli powder
    ¼ tsp turmeric powder
    2 to 3 pinches of nutmeg powder
    2 tbsp gram flour
    ¼ tsp red food colour
    3 tsps of oil
    salt to taste

    For the gravy
    2-3medium tomatoes, ground - which would yield approx 1 cup tomato puree
    1 cup full fat yogurt - whisked well till smooth
    ¼ to ½ tsp red chilli powder
    1 tsp coriander powder
    ¼ tsp turmeric powder
    ½ tsp garam masala powder
    ½ tsp of ginger-garlic paste
    ½ tsp kasuri methi or dry fenugreek leaves (optional)
    2 to 3 tbsp cream
    1 cup water
    2 to 3 tbsp oil or 2 tbsp butter
    a few coriander leaves for garnishing
    salt as required
    making the grilled paneer tikka:
    1.     Whisk the yogurt till smooth. add all the spices, herbs, gram flour, lemon juice, salt mentioned above. mix well.
    2.     Add the paneer cubes & capsicum, coat it well. Marinade for a minimum 1 hour in the refrigerator or overnight in the refrigerator.
    3.     Thread the paneer cubes on wooden or metal skewers, you can use a charcoal grill( which gives a flame flavour) or you can put it under the electric grill.
    4.     The paneer should be golden brown on all sides.
    preparing the gravy

    1.     puree the tomatoes and keep aside.
    2.     whisk or beat the yogurt till smooth, keep aside.
    3.     heat oil in a pan. Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté  till there is no raw aroma.
    4.     add the tomato puree and continue to sauté for 3-4 mins.
    5.     add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder and garam masala powder. stir well.
    6.     cook well till you see oil leaving the masala paste from all sides and the whole mixture starts getting together. This should take 10-15 mins on low flame.
    7.     remove the pan from the fire, add yogurt and the leftover marination, stir well.
    8.     return the pan on fire and add water and salt.
    9.     stir well and simmer for 8-9 minutes on a low flame till the curry thickens a bit and you see fat or oil on the top.
    10. add the grilled paneer tikka cubes & bell pepper to the gravy and simmer for a minute or two on low flame.
    11. then add some crushed kasuri methi and cream. stir. switch off the fire and the paneer tikka masala ready to be served. garnish with chopped coriander leaves and  lightly spread cream in a thin line.
    12. serve with naan, rotis or jeera rice.