Broccoli and Beef Stir-Fry

Broc1Did you know that Broccoli is a superb source of Vitamin C, K, A, Folate, Fiber, Manganese, Tryptophan, Potassium, Vitamin B6 & B12, Magnesium, Protein and Omega 3 fatty acids. Besides this, it is also a great source of Iron, Calcium, Zinc and Vitamin E. Amazing to know. And 1 cup consists of only about 45 calories. So, when I happened to see them at the supermarket, grabbed this super vegetable and thought I would try making Broccoli and Beef Stir-fry, a dish that I had recently.

Broc5 I browsed the web for a recipe and came up with a big list. I zoomed in on the one below and believe me, it was superb and amazing. It is important to have it freshly made; straight from pan to plate, otherwise the Broccoli may lose its crunchiness. A must try, if you like Chinese Food….. :)

Ingredients :

3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
1/2 cup water, plus
2 tablespoons water, divided
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
750 grams boneless beef , cut into thin strips or small cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4 cups broccoli florets
1 small onion, cut into wedges
1/2 cup soya sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
hot cooked rice plain / or yellow rice.


In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons water and garlic powder until smooth. Add beef and toss. In a large non-stick pan over medium heat, stir-fry beef in 1 tablespoon oil until beef reaches desired doneness. Remove and keep covered so that it stays warm till needed.

Broc7Stir-fry broccoli and onion in remaining oil for 4-5 minutes. Return beef to pan.

In a bowl, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and remaining cornstarch and water until smooth; add to the pan.

Broc3Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes till dry.

Serve hot with steamed rice or a yellow pulav rice.   Can be even served as a starter. Broc4

Radisson Blu® Launches UAE-Wide Dine and Drive Promotion

When you are in the United Arab Emirates, coming across a sales promotion of “By Two, Get One Free” is so widespread that that you feel uneasy to walk-in if there is no such added attraction; wondering is something is lacking.  I was elated and delighted when I noted that even some top notch Hotels/Restaurants in the area have also joined the band-wagon.
Radisson Blu, one of the world’s leading hotel brands, recently announced the launch of its UAE-wide Dine and Drive promotion where patrons of the brand’s many restaurants will have the opportunity to win one of the two of the latest Mazda 2’s and dine for free in their outlets. The promotion is already underway and runs until May 31st as Taste of Dubai is already over. Regular guests will be given a dining passport in which they can collect a stamp each time they dine at a Radisson Blu restaurant. After collecting three stamps in their passports guests will receive the AED 300 meal voucher and automatically be entered into a raffle to win one of the two Mazda 2’s.

I know of many Foodies in Abu Dhabi, who have an affinity for anything “RADISSON”, so this offer was too tempting to refuse. I have personally experienced the RADISSON mania and the dynamic dining options of the Radisson Blu Abu Dhabi, Yas Island. Restaurants at the hotel range from traditional Italian cuisine at Filini to broad international buffets at Assymetri. Enjoy an alfresco meal at either establishment, and then top it off with an after-dinner drink at Fast Track Lobby Bar. Lounge by the pool with a drink in hand from Shams Pool Bar, or peruse more than 20 other dining spots within walking distance of the hotel.
The catered food was such a gastronomical delight and the service so impeccable, that I was willing to spread the word on this fantastic “too-hard-to-miss” Dine and Drive offer.
Since Radisson Blu first arrived in the United Arab Emirates, the brand has managed to cultivate a loyal base of guests. With this promotion, diners will have the chance to participate in the country’s vibrant food and drink scene, whether on Yas Island, the ultimate leisure and entertainment destination; overlooking the Indian Ocean in Fujairah; taking in the culture in Sharjah; or in Dubai. The dinner voucher is valid in all Radisson Blu restaurants, including those at the Radisson Royal and Park Inn by Radisson, across the UAE, offering guests a chance to sample award- winning local and international cuisine.
Recognized as one of the world’s leading hotel brands, the Radisson Blu has more than 270 hotels in operation in 62 countries, with nine hotels in the UAE alone, in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah
For more information, please visit

For further information please contact:
The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
Elaine Nettleton, Manager PR & Communications MENA
Tel: +971 50 457 9556

Bring on the Chef in you says BON APETITE, and all the best for winning the MAZDA.
Cheers to the DINE AND DRIVE Promotion from Radisson Blu !

Restaurant Review – Nando’s Abu Dhabi


NANDO’s,   home of legendary Portugese flame-grilled PERI-PERI Chicken, has spread its wings in the UAE and has finally landed in the Capital city ABU DHABI.  The Nando’s cockerel is now ready to warmly welcome all its Abu Dhabi fans in its new nest at the World Trade Center Mall.  The restaurant is located on the third level of the Mall and will be open from 12 noon – 12 midnight on weekdays and from 12 noon – 1 a.m. on weekends.

“We are absolutely delighted to have finally opened our first restaurant in the capital and to have brought the Nando’s experience and PERI-PERI taste close to our Abu Dhabi fans”, said Suhail Gidwani, CEO of Nando’s UAE.

At Nando’s Word Trade Center Mall, customers will have a sizzling experience while enjoying the uniquely butter-fly cut halal chicken.  Marinated for 24-hours in a spicy, traditional sauce and then flame-grilled to perfection in a choice of lemon & herb, mild, or for those who date, hot or extra hot, PERI-PERI Nando’s legendary Chicken, popular all over the world,  is now available in Abu Dhabi for the first time.HB5Q9301

Walking into the new Abu Dhabi restaurant,  customers will enjoy the universal Nando’s experience and relaxed atmosphere while surrounded by an interior designed to evoke the brand’s heritage.  Rich and earthy colours are mixed with real and natural materials, including timber and heavy clay textures.   Large Portugese terracotta pots are displayed around the restaurant along with original South African paintings to create a visual feast for the eye.  One of the unique elements of the restaurant is the beautiful clay wall, carved with an African pattern, a contemporary re-interpretation of the African Mud hut walls.

Spread over 6000 Sq. Ft, the new Nando’s, located next to the Cinema,  can host over 220 guests seated around the indoor table and the al fresco dining area – shaded by olive trees.  The outdoor areas provide a comfortable and intimate atmosphere to enjoy a meal.

HB5Q9243Bring on the Chef in You, were privileged to be invited to its opening,  which was graced by the South African Ambassador.   South African drummers,  a giant sized Barcelos Cockerel, the Mascot of Nando’s and guests and media were present for the grand opening.

HB5Q9252I must  say that the truth about Nando’s Chicken is that once you have taken a bite, it certainly wont be your last.   A favourite with family too, as we have tasted Nando’s at Malaysia, Singapore,  and Thailand too.  And our youngest son, goes…YAY…NANDO’s, whenever,   he sees a Nando’s signboard….and he wont budge until he has had his tummy full.

HB5Q8936Please visit NANDO’s and if you do so, dont leave without ordering the Espertada or Cataplana;   this is one of their topper on the Menu.

To tempt your taste-buds there is Peri-Peri Chicken,  Wings Platters,  Appetizers of roasted vegetables, hummus and pita, chicken livers, Portugese Rolls,  Burgers, Pitas, wraps, salads and sides.

HB5Q8924For drinks you have a choice of hot-drinks like Americano, Cappucino, Espresso, Galao (Portugese for latte), Tea, Chilling drinks and designer drinks too.

To end on a sweet note there is Caramel Cheese Cake, Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Walnut Brownie, Honey Biscuit Cake and Ice Cream & Chocolate Sauce.

So the next time you are wondering where to go for lunch or dinner,  try Nando’s !!!  you are going to love it for sure.

French Beans Side-dish

beans 032 This Beans Side-dish recipe is so effortless that I was wondering if it was too simple to have on the blog, but then I reflected that some of the best things in life are simple things which we overlook and under-rate.

bobeans5Recipes are like a coloring book, the sketches are there, it is up to you to flavor and color it as your palate desire. So go ahead and make it as simple or as elaborate as you want.

• 500 gms french beans chopped
• 3 tbsps oil
• 3/4 tsp mustard seeds
• 1 green chillies chopped fine
• 1 dry red chilly shredded
• 1 teaspoon veg powder or sambar powder or chilly powder ( use either one only)
• 6-8 curry leaves washed and dried
• 1 large onion chopped fine
• 1 tomato chopped fine
• 3/4 cup fresh grated coconut
• Salt to taste

• Heat the oil in a shallow pan and add mustard seeds. When they stop spluttering add the curry leaves and green and red chillies and sauté a little.
• Now add the onion and fry till it turns soft
• Then add tomato and veg powder (or whichever you are using)
• Add the green beans, salt to taste, little water and cook till they are done.
• Add the grated coconut and mix well. Cook for another minute and then turn off the flame.
• Serve hot with rice or chapatis




Restaurant Review – Peppermill Abu Dhabi

By : Chivonne D’Cruz

“Bring On The Chef In You”  was privileged to be invited to a special lunch by  Peppermill restaurant,  located in Wahda Mall,   to showcase various items on their menu and highlight their unique cooking styles and preparations.    Keeping me good company were Judith Serrao and Darren Serrao;  and it was an enjoyable lunch with good friends and  tantalizing food.  The ambiance, planning and layout was beautiful with classic decor.   The music was soft and pleasant,  enabling the diners to have a conversation with one another, while listening to the soft tunes playing in the background.

DrinksTo start off,  we were given introductory beverages, Fresh Lemon or Mint water, Masala Spiced Chai (tea) and another special drink called the “Deep Blue Sea”,  which was a mix of Lychee and lime.  On a personal note, the mint flavored water stood out and was refreshing and not too overpowering. The Masala Chai was at perfect room temperature,  making it very easy to drink and enjoy. 

Also served were Pappadums & Crackers with an assortment of chutneys and sauces.


On to the food items now, the tasting commenced with “Adraki Tomato Shorba” , which was a ginger flavoured tomato soup, blended with fresh herbs and spices and drizzled with fresh cream.  This was a very innovative dish because the tomato and ginger flavor profiles complimented one another in perfect harmony.  The Chef personally came to our table and explained how this was done and we were awed to know that the tomatoes and ginger were simmered on a slow fire for 4-5 hours.  This appetizer held its own charm and was a positive way to commence the food tasting, making us excited to see what was next on the menu.

kebab2An assortment of various kebabs were presented to us, sample style, and consisted of the following:

Malai prawns

“Tandoori Malai Prawns”, a combination of prawns, cheddar cheese and yogurt spiced with ground ginger garlic and cardamom;


“Machli Pepper Tikka”, tender pieces of fish marinated with yogurt and pepper;

lam chops

“Barrah Kebab”, tender lamb chops marinated with spiced yogurt and cooked in a clay oven;


Khumb Khazanah”, fresh mushrooms stuffed with spinach and cheese topped with cashewnuts and spices, cooked in a clay oven.

The kebab platter had something for everyone; the Tandoori Malai Prawns were soft and not overdone, giving diners the melt in the mouth feeling and very lightly spiced, something people who like mild food can appreciate and enjoy.

Keb platerThe Machli Pepper Tikka was medium spicy, with an excellent marinating mix of Yogurt and Pepper.  Spice lovers would definitely enjoy the bold flavors of the Barrah Kebab, both flavorful and richly spiced. Finally the vegetarian option was the Khumb Khazanah, it was excellent use of a fresh mushroom with spinach, cheese and cashewnuts that stole the show, giving us something to remember with its light flavor and spices, and at the same time something new and innovative.      

On to the main course, the appetizers and the Kebabs definitely opened up an appetite and we were not disappointed at the large spread that was the main course.


The dishes for the main course were: “Jhinga Tadka”, Prawns simmered in fresh coconut Milk with Mustard and Curry Leaves;


“Goan Fish Curry”, tender pieces of fish simmered in fiery red gravy with kokum and finished with freshly pressed coconut milk;


“Sikandari Raan”, an entire leg of baby lamb marinated in aromatic spices and slowly cooked / the stock, served with potatoes;


“Chicken Xacuti”, chicken cooked in spicy coconut gravy with exotic spices;


“Makai Methi Palak”, fresh baby corn, chopped fenugreek and spinach tossed in tomato, onion and chopped garlic;


“Dal Makhani”, black whole lentils simmered in a crock-pot with tomatoes and cream.

Accompaniments with the curries / gravies were assorted breads: “Naan”, soft leavened flat bread made from refined flour and baked in clay oven, Plain/ Butter; “Cheese & Chilli Naan”, naan stuffed with shredded homemade soft cheese and chopped green chilli; “Tandoori Roti” , unleavened flat bread made from whole wheat flour and baked in clay oven; “Onion Kulcha” , leavened flat bread made from refined flour, onions and stuffed with chopped onions and baked in tandoor.


In addition to the different breads, there was also biryani and rice selections: “Gosht Biryani”, tender pieces of lamb infused with spices and herbs steamed to perfection with long grain basmati rice, saffron and topped with onions and fresh mint; “Murgh Biryani” , boneless pieces of chicken and herbs steamed to perfection with long grain basmati rice, saffron and topped with onions and fresh mint; “Steamed Basmati Rice” , simply steamed long grain basmati rice “Vegetable Raita.”  

    SH Tuk To describe the Jhinga Tadka was reminiscent of a Thai yellow curry but with an Indian touch and the shrimps were cooked to perfection. The Goan Fish curry and Chicken Xacuti were spicy with the bases for both of them being coconut, still the flavor profiles did come out and they were good dishes that did leave a tingling on the taste buds after having them. The Sikandari Raan was well presented and a visual treat, with the baby potatoes being cooked perfectly and the lamb just sliding of the bone. The vegetable dish Makai Methi Palak gave a very interesting way of incorporating spinach with not the typical vegetables such as cottage cheese or potato, rather with the crunch of fresh baby corn in a thick tomato, onion and chopped garlic sauce. The Dal Makhani, added a touch of cream and that definitely brightened up the dish and made it all the more enjoyable. Definitely for the main courses gravies it would have to be the chicken Xacuti, Sikandari Raan and the Makai Methi Palak that were the stand outs. 


Moving on to the assorted breads, none of them had a chewy feeling when biting into it. They were fresh and warm, just the way that bread coming out of a clay oven should be, the Cheese and Chilli Naan was excellent along with the simple Butter Naan.

The presentation for the Biryani was Dum style and it was beautifully offered with the bread/dough on top of it and the spices and the aroma that comes out when the bread/dough  is removed really makes one want to try the rice, which came in two flavors- lamb and chicken, served with vegetable Raita that was lightly spiced with fresh vegetables. It was a tough call on which Biryani was the better one, as both of them had their own flavors and tastes that the respective meats gave. The steamed rice was a good option to also put in the tasting menu for people who did not want either Biryani but still wanted to have some rice and also was a good accompaniment with the many curry and gravy dishes that were being served.


At this point, people had eaten, taken out pictures of the food and to end things on a sweet note, we were not disappointed when we were presented a single plate of three desserts, all made sample size. The desserts consisted of: “Shahi Tukda” , toasted brioche caramelized and served with pistachio kulfi ice cream drizzled with saffron sauce and topped with a biscotti; “Gulab Jamun with Rabri” , deep fried milk dumplings stuffed with almonds and pistachios served with sweet condensed milk; “Gajar Halwa”, classic Indian dessert made with grated carrots and milk reduction.  


The Shahi Tukda was deconstructed so that was a new twist on it, the crunch of the biscotti along with toast of the mini brioche bread and served with the cold ice cream was treat for the senses, the Gulab Jamun was fresh and with the ingredients definitely gave a whole new twist to the classic.


Lastly the Gajar Halwa was excellent and was not too sweet but at the same time totally hit the spot.


Thank you “Peppermill” for the fabulous experience.   I think you have hit the nail on the head with the concept of Colonial  Indian Cuisine.


The  restaurant caters to everyone, on different levels, with a nice warm, and cozy ambiance  and excellent service.  The waiters are always ready to help, are well informed of the dishes and make excellent recommendations and are always there to serve you.   


Peppermill will undoubtedly become a favourite spot for  the local residents and visitors alike,  and if you have not made a reservation yet,  then what are you waiting for ?

                                                             By :  Chivonne Dcruz

Dill Buns

Dill Buns 2First of all do excuse me for the long hiatus.   Pressing personal and professional commitments kept me away  from our blog,  but though I was  physically away,  my mind was always there and thoughts of our lonely blog plagued me often.

Dill Buns 7I had prepared these Dill Buns a long time ago and thought it opportune to post it now.  These Buns are soft and delicious and  I bet my last dirham that you cant stop at one.

Dill Bunds 8Do try them and enjoy.

Ingredients Needed :

450g  flour
1 teaspoon  salt
40g  (roughly 1/2 cup) yoghurt
20g  (roughly 2 tablespoons) sugar
1 cup or less  (250g)  milk
1 tablespoon oil
1 small egg
1 teaspoon yeast
2-3 tablespoons chopped  dill

150 grams (roughly 2 medium potatoes) of mashed potato

Dill Buns 4Add yogurt to the warm milk.  Dissolve sugar and yeast in this jug and leave aside for 10-20 minutes till foamy.

Take a large bowl and add flour, salt, potato, egg, dill and oil.  Mix and then add the yeast mixture to it and knead till a soft dough is formed.

Cover with a damp tea towel and allow to rise for 2 – 3  hours.

Dill Buns 1After 2-3 hours, punch the dough and form fist sized balls.   Arrange  randomly about 1/2 inches apart,   in two circular or square baking  trays or heat-proof glass dishes.   Leave to proof for 1 hour, covered and till they are joined together and look intertwined.

Dill Buns 5Brush with melted butter and then egg yolk on the top and sprinkle with dill or sesame seeds (optional).

Pre-heat over to 200 deg. C and bake for about 30 minutes or till they are golden brown.

Remove and brush the top of the hot buns with some more melted butter.       Dill buns 9

Serve when warm.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Bell Pepper – 4 (any color, more the colors they look nice :) )
Oil – for brushing the bell pepper
For the filling:
Mince – 1 cup
Onion – 1, diced
Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Spring Onion – 4, diced
Tomato – 1
Green Chilli – 1
Bell Pepper – 1/2, diced
Black Pepper Powder – 1 tsp
Cinnamon stick – 1
Cloves – 2
Bay leaves – 1
Salt – to taste
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
Dry mango Powder – 1 tsp
Olive oil – 1 tbsp
Peas – ¼ cup
Chopped coriander leaves
Mashed potato
Egg 1 (beaten well)
Kitchen King masala – a pinch
Salt to taste
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Cook mince and add salt to taste.
Cut the bell pepper on the top, remove the seeds and brush with oil on all the sides.
Pre-heat the oven to 350F (170C)
For the Filling:
In a pan, heat olive oil, add the bay leaves, crush cloves, cinnamon sticks and add to it.
Add the chopped spring onions, green chilli and onions and fry till the onions turn golden color.
Add the tomato, bell pepper and cook for couple more minutes.
Add all the masala powder and salt and allow to cook for few more minutes till the flavor blends in.
To this add the cooked mince, peas and mix well and garnish with chopped coriander and set aside.

Fill the cut bell peppers with this mince filling till 2/3 of each bell pepper.
For the Toppings:
Mix mashed potato, masala, salt and egg and top it up over the mince filling. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese over it and place it in a greased baking pan, I used the Pyrex cup cakes non-stick tray, in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes and serve hot with Ketchup on the side!

Lamb Tongue Chilly Fry

Tongue 2After the over-dose of sugar during the Christmas Season,  here is something spicy and different that you will surely enjoy.    My son was raving about the Braised Lamb Tonuge that he had in Goa;  and he surprised me when he got us some from the local supermarket.  I agreed to cook them on the condition that someone cleaned them and handled them, to which he readily agreed.  It turned out pretty good (as per them).

 Here is the recipe :-


Lamb Tongue     4 Nos.

Ginger – 2 ” bit

Garlic cloves – 8-10 Nos.

Cinnamon -2″

Onions – 5-6 large

Cumin Seeds – 2 tablespoons

Cloves – 8

Pepper corns – 8-10 Nos.

Chilly Powder/Bafat Powder – 2 teaspoons (or more if you want it extra spicy)

Bay leaves – 2-3

Curds – 1 cup

Coriander leaves for garnish

Extra  garam masala powder – 1/2 teaspoon for garnish.

 3-4 potatoes -  made into cubes and deep-fried and kept aside.

Tongue7Put the tongues, bay leaves, and salt into a pressure cooker and boil till done.  Drain the tongue and let cool and then peel off the skin from the tongue and discard.  Cut  into cubes or slices and keep aside.


Heat the oil in a large pan, slice the onions and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until softened and brown flecks are formed.  Dry grind all the spices.  Grind ginger/garlic.  To the browned onions add the ginger garlic paste and saute,  then add the ground spices and stir for a minute or two.  Add the chopped tongue and fry for a few minutes.  Add water  or stew left behind when pressure cooking the tongue and stir till it is nicely fried and oil/ghee starts glistening.

Tongue5Add curds,  1 tablespoon at a time, till all the curds is incorporated.  At this point check the seasoning and add if anything required and cook till the meat is tender.

Tongue6By now the gravy will have reduced and  you should have a thickish gravy.  Garnish with the mixed spice powder and coriander leaves and fried potatoes and mix well.

Serve immediately with freshly made chappaties or bread rolls.




A lovely sweet to prepare during Christmas time. They are fun to make and I involve the whole family to make them,  just to get them all in the mood for Christmas.  The men/boys :) in my family  were made the ball-makers,  while I rolled/shape the balls into Kulkuls.  They keep very well if stored in a airtight container.

kk7Ingredients :

Flour 1 Kg (maida)

Eggs -3-4

Thick milk of 2 coconuts

Sugar and salt to taste

KK3Add eggs, coconut milk (little by little) salt and sugar to the flour,  which has been sifted and kept in a big bowl.  Form a soft dough (like chappati dough) and set aside for a while-covering it with a damp cloth.

KK1Then form kulkuls on a fork or comb and place on a greased plate.   {You could buy a new packet of combs, wash them in warm water and apply a little oil to the combs to ensure easy removal of the kulkuls when done}.

KK8Deep fry in hot oil till golden.  Remove on paper towels and using two paper towels wipe them so that all excess oil is removed.  Then air them on a flat platter till they cool down.

kk6For icing :  The next day – prepare sugar syrup of half kg. sugar to 1 kg flour.  Add 1 cup of water to the sugar to make into syrup and keep on a slow fire.  When it thickens and coats the back of the spoon, add the kulkuls and hold the vessel with two kitchen towels and toss the kulkuls up and down in the pan so that the sugar syrup is coated evenly on the kulkuls.  Pour quickly onto a flat surface or big platter and separate them them with a fork or ladle to prevent sticking.  Air them so that they cool down quickly.  When cool store in an air-tight container.  Keeps well for about 12-15 days.

kk6Some of the pictures above are without icing;  but they taste lovely with the icing and my youngest son always said they look like snow on the kulkuls.   As we were already high on a over-dose of sugar, I refrained from icing all of them,  though I would prefer to ice them all.


Christmas Menu….’Pure Indulgence’

Republishing an old post……….. may assist you if you are in a dilemma about what to cook for the season.  Enjoy.


Dear  Members, Readers and Well Wishers,

“Bring On the Chef In You” wishes all of you a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.  We do hope we have appeased your senses with our round of ‘Christmas Goodies’ made especially for you.   We thank you for your visits to our site,  which has been going beserk lately;  though our comments section does deserve a better treatment, don’t you think?    All of us have been working hard and ‘Cooking Up A Storm’ ;) (sort of) for you.  We have come up with a rapid-fire round of dishes, which can adorn your dining table this season.  So what are you waiting for …. go,  don on that apron, sharpen your knives and ‘cook up your own storm’  this CHRISTMAS;  with our Christmas Menu…”Pure Indulgence”.  You don’t have to do all of them from A-Z;  but pick up a few and charm your way into your husband’s,  friends,  lover(s),  kids,  neighbours and of course your guests hearts…………

 Are you ready for this ????????????


Beef Bites :

Beef Bites

½ Kg.  tender beef (cut into bite size pieces),   ginger – 1” bit,  garlic 7-8 cloves,  chilly powder (1 teaspoon),  1 green chilly,   1 onion (for grinding),   All spice powder (1 teaspoon),  sliced onion (2 big), stew-powder (1 teaspoon),   bay leaf (2),  3-4 cloves, 2 sticks cinnamon,  2-3 pepper,   2 cardamoms, 1 teaspoon tomato ketchup, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce,  2 tablespoons thick curd,  few coriander and mint leaves.

Grind fine the ginger,  garlic, 1 onion,  green chilly and coriander and mint leaves.  Powder fine the cinnamon stick, cloves &  pepper-corns.  Add to the ground masala.  Then add all spice powder, stew powder and chilly powder.  Set aside.    Add oil/ghee to a nonstick pan and keep on low heat.  Add the bay leaf – then add the meat in batches and sautee it – remove when browned on all sides  (which will take 2-3 minutes).  Complete all the meat this way and keep aside.   In the same pan, add onions and sauté till brown flecks appear then add the ground masala and fry till the oil brims to the surface.  Add the fried meat with juices, if any, and saute for some time.  Add curds and mix quickly till incorporated.   Add Worcestershire sauce and tomato ketchup and salt to taste.   Keep frying till the meat is well cooked and you have a dry masala which clings to the meat.   Insert few toothpicks into the bites and serve hot.

Ham and Vegetable Puffs :

Ham and Vegetable Puffs

Ham – 200 grams,  sausages (4-5) cut into tiny bits,  mixed fried veggies (carrots, peppers, cauliflowers,  yam, peas, potatoes- cut tiny pieces and deep fry),  1 onion (minced), coriander leaves (cut fine), 1 teaspoon chilly powder,  1 egg for brushing..   Heat 1 teaspoon of oil and sauté the onion. Then add ham, sausages and fry for a few minutes.  Add chilly powder and the mixed fried veggies and salt to taste.  Garnish with coriander leaves.     Thaw the puff pastry and cut each square into two equal triangles.   Put a teaspoon of filling in the center and seal all the edges. Gently press with fork on all open sides.   Lay on a cookie sheet and brush all over with egg with a pasty brush.  Preheat oven to 180 deg c.  Bake for 15-16 minutes till they are puffed up and golden brown on the surface.  

Spicy Sausages :

Spicy Sausages

1 Packet frozen sausages (I used ‘Doux’ chicken sausages),   tomato ketchup(5-6 tablespoons), worcestershire sauce (2 tablespoons),  coriander leaves for garnish,  1 spoon of  chilly powder or bafat powder.

Cut the sausages into slanting pieces.  In a non-stick pan…add little butter and saute the sausages,  quickly add the chilly powder/bafat powder and fry for sometime,  add sauces and stir fry….   When done garnish liberally with finely cut coriander leaves.

Vegetable Sticks with Dip :

3 cucumbers, 3 carrots, 2 red peppers, 2 green peppers,  1/2 cauliflower cut into small florets and steamed in microwave.  Cut the cucumbers, carrots and red peppers into strips and arrange neatly in bundles on a serving platter.  Add a dash of salt and pepper to cauliflower and steam.   Serve with your favourite dip.  I used mayonaise to which I added a few corriander leaves and a few drops of lime.

Salty Biscuits with Cheese and Sausages

1 or 2 packets of Salty Biscuits (I used TUC), cheddar cheese (Kraft) –grated,  sausages (cut into fine bits),  1 onion, 1 tomato,  chilly powder,  spice powder, 1 tablespoon olive oil, dash of sugar, few coriander leaves cut fine.     Saute the minced onion in olive oil, add tomato, chilly powder, spice powder,  sugar and fry till dry.   Grate the cheese.  Lay the biscuits on a flat platter,   add a teaspoon of sausage mixture,  sprinkle with grated cheese and garnish with coriander leaves.

Corn and Kidney Beans Munchies

1 packet of  puff-pastry squares,  1 egg, 1 tin of sweet corn, 1 tin of kidney beans,  salt, lemon small(1), chat masala (1/2 teaspoon),  olive oil, 1 green pepper (cut fine).  Drain the tins of sweet corn and kidney beans.  Add chat masala, olive oil, green pepper, lemon juice and coriander leaves.  Toss and mix.

Cut each puff pastry square into 4 squares with a pizza cutter or zig-zag runner.   Arrange on a cookie sheet and brush liberally with beaten egg.  Preheat oven to 180 deg C and bake for 15-18 minutes till the squares puff up.  Remove from cookie sheet and transfer to a flat platter.  Top with corn and bean mixture.  Serve immediately.


Roast Chicken

Roast chicken

Marinade for Chicken

3 tablespoons ginger/garlic paste

1 green chilly paste

2  tablespoons chilly powder or bafat powder

1 tablespoon tandoori masala

1 cup thick curds

½ teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoons all spice powder

(Make a thick paste of all above)  +  little salt to taste

1 Plump chicken (1500-1800 grms) – wash in and out thoroughly.   Pat dry with a paper towel.  Rub  lemon juice, salt and butter all over chicken…. (Juice of 2 lemons, 2/3 tablespoons soft butter and salt)  over and under skin and in the cavity as well.

Take care not to tear skin.  Then rub the paste above all over chicken (paste will be thick and  quite a lot) and dunk the chicken in it for ½ hour to 1 hour. 

Vegetables – onions (3), peppers (3), Carrots (4), potatoes (4), Spring onion (1 bunch), mushrooms (1 tin), cauliflower – Any other vegetable of your choice.

Cut big chuck size pieces of all the vegetables.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on vegetables+ Olive oil 4-5 tablespoons.  Toss and keep aside.

In a large roasting tray…first lay down the vegetables.  Add little extra olive oil/butter.  Then keep the chicken on the vegetables which will have thick marinade all over it. 

Preheat oven to 180 deg. C and keep the chicken for roasting for 2 hours,  basting every 15 minutes with remaining marinade and juice collected at the bottom of the roasting tray.  At the end of 2 hours all the liquid will be evaporated,  the vegetables will be browned all over and the chicken after basting will be golden brown all over.  Basting the chicken with the marinade is important to keep the meat moist and tender.

Serve hot on a large platter…garnished with the roasted vegetables and extra coriander leaves sprigs.  Carve the chicken to serving sized pieces and serve along with roasted vegetables and squeeze a lemon on each individual serving plate. 

Beef Rogan

Beef Rogan Ghosh

1 kg  tender beef,  3” piece ginger, 1 pod garlic,  8 big onions,  3 tablespoons jeera,  4/5 pieces 2” cinnamon,   10 cloves,  10 cardamoms,  6-8 pepper corns,   3 tablespoons bafat powder or 3 tablespoons chilly powder,  2 cups curds,  3 bay leaves, 1 flat tablespoon mixed spice powder, (extra cinnamon, cardamoms and cloves for frying whole – few).   Cut and wash beef till water runs clear.  Drain on a colander so that all water drains out.  In a large non-stick vessel,  brown the beef in small batches and keep aside.  Grind the ginger and garlic to a fine paste.  Grind the jeera, cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, peppercorns and bafat powder to a fine powder.  Cut the 8 onions into fine slices.  In the same vessel  that the beef was fried and which has a residue of oil/ghee, add the bay leaves and the extra cinnamon, cardamoms and cloves and fry for a minute.  Then add the sliced onions and required salt and fry till the onions are golden (this is important).  When lightly browned, add the ginger/garlic paste and fry for sometime,  then add the powdered spice dry powder and stir for sometime.  Add the beef and any juices left behind and keep frying till the meat is nicely fried and oil/ghee starts glistening.  Add curds, 1 tablespoon at a time, till all the curds in incorporated.  At this point check the seasoning and add if anything required.  Test if the meat is cooked;  and depending on this add a little water and cook till beef is tender.  By now you should have a thickish gravy.  Garnish with the mixed spice powder and coriander leaves and fried potatoes (optional).

Chicken Muglai with Almonds

Chicken Mughlai with Almonds

4/5  inch ginger, 10/12  cloves garlic, 1 cup almonds, soaked in water, blanched and ground to a fine paste. 8-10  tablespoon vegetable oil,  4 pcs 2”  stick cinnamon, 2 bay leaves, 8-10 cloves, 10 pods cardamom,  10 medium onions, sliced,  3 tablespoons jeera, 2 tablespoons chilly powder/bafat powder, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1.5 cup yogurt, 1 tin nestle cream, ½ teaspoon mixed spice powder,  1 big chicken cut into big pieces, coriander  leaves for garnishing, extra cloves, cinnamon, cardamoms- a few…for frying in oil before putting the onions.

Grind the ginger, garlic, almonds with water and keep aside the paste.  Dry grind the jeera, the spices, the chilly powder and bafat powder and keep aside .

Heat oil in a non-stick pan and fry the chicken until it turns golden brown. Keep it aside.  In the same pan add some more oil/ghee and add the extra cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves. Fry until bay leaves turn brown. Put in the onions and stir fry until they get brown specs all over. Pour the ginger/garlic/almond paste from the blender and fry for a couple of minutes until the oil separates.  Add the jeera/bafat/chilly/spices dry ground mixture.  Add 1 tablespoon of yogurt and fry for 30 seconds. Keep adding tablespoons of yogurt and fry until you get a consistent mixture. Put the chicken and fry for sometime and cook gently till chicken is tender and cooked;  then add the whipped cream and salt and cook gently for a further 2-3 minutes. Add mixed spice powder  and coriander leaves and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Garnish with a few roasted whole almonds.  Serve hot with chappaties or parota.

Veal Chilly with Peppers

Veal Chilly Fry with Peppers

1 Kg Veal,    4-5 coloured peppers,  3-4 onions,   ginger garlic paste – 2 big tablespoons,   4 tablespoons curds,   stew powder – 2 tablespoons, spice powder 1 teaspoon, chilly powder 1 tablespoon,  sliced onions 4,  bay leaf. 3 pcs cinnamon sticks.   Put oil in a pan and brown the beef in small batches and keep aside.  Fry the coloured peppers for a few minutes and keep aside.  In the same oil add a bay leaf and then add the cinnamon and sliced onions and fry till the onions get brown flecks.   Add ginger garlic paste and fry.  Add the stew powder, spice powder and chilly powder and fry for some time.  Add the fried beef/veal,  and fry for some time, then add curds and salt and fry for some time.  As the veal is very tender, it  cooks very fast and should be done by now.   Add the fried peppers and add seasoning if needed.  Garnish with coriander leaves. 

Vegetable Fried Rice

Vegetable Fried Rice

Make rice in microwave … 2 cups rice add little less than 4 cups water.  Keep on high for 23 minutes till rice is tender (my microwave takes 23 minutes for this quantity – you should be knowing how much time your MW takes).  Fluff up the rice and keep aside.  In a large pan,  add butter and few cardamoms and cinnamon and saute chopped coloured peppers till soft.  Add any other vegetables that you like.  Add salt,  white pepper powder,  soya sauce(1 tablespoon), worcestershire sauce and lemon juice and a dash of sugar.   Add rice and mix and garnish with coriander leaves finely cut.  Serve hot.

Pork Kebabs

Spicy n Sweet Pork Kebabs

1 Kg pork cut into bite sized pieces.  Make a marinade out of 1 cup brandy, 1/2 cup tomato ketchup, 1 tablespoon brown sugar,  1 tablespoon vinegar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons bafat or chilly powder, 6 cloves garlic minced, 1/2 tsp dry mustard, salt and pepper to taste.  Keep the pork marinated for 5-6 hours in the marinade.  Take oil in a non-stick vessel and fry the meat on slow fire till all the marinade is dried up.   Keep adding water 2 tablespoons at a time till the meat is cooked up.   Serve hot on a flat dish pricked with toothpicks

Pork Indad

Pork Indad

1.5 kg pork.  For grinding 12-15 red kashmiri chillies deseeded,  2 tablespoons bafat powder, 6 green chillies, 4 onions, 1 spoon jeera, ½ teaspoon turmeric, little tamarind, 1 pod garlic, 10 pepper corns, 10 cloves, 2 pieces cinnamon sticks, 2 spoons vinegar, ½ cup brandy, 2 spoons of sugar, 2 cups water and salt to taste.  ¼ kg potatoes.

In a vessel add oil and fry the meat pieces (cut into thick chunks) and remove aside.  Fry the potaoes in the same oil and keep aside.  Then add ground masala and other ingredients and fry for some time.  Add the meat pieces and keep frying till the masala brims with oil and starts leaving the sides. Taste and add seasoning if any required.   Add 2 cups of water and keep boiling till meat is tender.  When done add the fried potatoes.  Serve hot.



Ingredients :-
1 packet lamb mince – (minced twice)
4 onions finely minced
Half pod garlic
2” ginger
2 green chillies
Big bundle of coriander leaves
Lemon juice
2 eggs
2” piece of Cinnamon
4-5 cloves
Pepper powder
Pinch of turmeric powder
1 tsp (stew powder or  your favourite masala)
3-4 Potatoes –boiled and mashed
2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup (optional)
Bread crumbs as required

Wash and dry the mince.  In a small vessel, heat a tablespoon of oil, add cinnamon and cloves and onions and saute the onions till they are transparent.  Add the finely chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies and stir fry for a minute or two.  Remove and keep aside. 

In the same oil  add the mince and fry for sometime.  Add spices and just a little water and cook till the mince is done…. Cool and keep aside.

In another big bowl..put in the boiled potatoes and mash them till no lumps remain.  Add the cooled mince, {discard the cinnamon and cloves at this point},  the fried onion mixture,  sauces, coriander leaves, lemon, stew powder and salt.   Mix and adjust seasoning as desired….if you want it spicy add more chilly or more stew powder.

Form equal round ball and flatten them on a cutting board with a butter knife.  Shape the cutlets into rectangular or round shapes. 

Beat up two eggs with 2-3 tablespoons of water (not till frothy – just till the yolk dissolves).  Dip the shaped cutlets into egg wash and then coat with bread crumbs.  Assemble all of them like this and keep on a flat platter and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.

In a shallow non stick pan – add a little oil  and shallow fry the cutlets on both sides till golden brown.   Use a fork to turn over (I feel this is easier than using a flat spatula). Drain on tissue paper and serve hot.

Pork Bafat with Sanna

Pork Bafat

1.5 Kg pork, 10 cloves, 2 pieces cinnamon, 6 green chillies, 7 onions, 2 pods garlic, 1″ piece ginger.   Cut onions into chunky piecs.  Cut garlic into 2 or three slices and ginger cut very fine,  slice green chillies.  Grind together to form a thick paste,  15 pepper corns, 12 dry chillies, 1 spoon jeera, 2 spoons coriander, little turmeric + 2 tablespoons bafat powder + 1/2 onion. Plus soak some tamarind in water and keep aside.

Add  just a tablespoon of oil in a non-stick vessel and brown the meat in batches for 2-3 minutes.  Remove and keep aside.  In the same vessel, add the chopped onion and sliced ingredients and cinnamon and cloves. Then the ground masala.  Stir fry for 2-3 minutes…add meat, salt to taste and vinegar.  Cook till meat is nearly done,  then add tamarind water and simmer till meat is tender. 


Lamb Curry with Coconut Milk

Lamb with Coconut Milk

1 Kg Lamb, 1/4 Kg. Potatoes, 2 cups thick coconut milk.  For grinding :  4 green chillies, 4 kashmiri chillies, 2″ big ginger, 8 peels of garlic,  8 cloves,  3 -2″ pieces of cinnamon, 2 teaspoons kuskus, 2 teaspoons jeera, 8 pepper-corns, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 2 big onions , a small ball of tamarind, few mint leaves and a bunch of green coriander leaves.  Grind together and make a fine paste.  In a pan add ghee and brown one thinly sliced onion.  Add the  masala paste and fry till oil brims to the surface and the paste changes colour.  Add the meat and fry for sometime.  Add water and cook till the meat is nearly done..add salt then add potatoes and cook till soft.   After potatoes are cooked add the coconut milk and simmer for a minute…do not overboil after the coconut milk has been added.  Serve hot with pancakes or  bread or rotis.

Prawn Biryani

Prawn Biryani

1 Kg. prawns, 8 big onions,   3 tablespoons ginger garlic paste, coriander and mint leaves (a bunch), green chilly 8-deseeded, jeera 1 tablespoon, badeshep 1 tablespoon, 1 big tomato, chilly powder/bafat powder 1 tablespoon, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves (few), curds ½ cup, lemon juice, yellow colour, butter or ghee and coriander and mint leaves for garnish.  Grind ginger, garlic, coriander and mint leaves, gree chilly, jeera and badeshep, chilly powder and cinnamon and cardamom and cloves and tomato  into a fine paste.  Slice 8 large onions.  In a vessel add butter or ghee and fry the 8 sliced onions till golden brown and crisp.  Remove and keep aside.  In the same oil, add the ground masala and fry till oil starts to separate from the masala.  Add prawns and curds little by little.  The add little lemon juice and salt to taste and cook till prawns are done.

Make 3 cups long grain rice and fluff up the rice so that grains are separate.  Arrange the rice, fried onions and coriander leaves and prawn masala in layers till all the rice and masala is over.  Put the vessel in the oven for 5-10 minutes.   Serve onto a large platter and garnish with more fried onions.  Serve accompanied with curd raita.

Tendli with Cashewnuts

1/2 kg tendli, few curry leaves, few cashewnuts, mustard seeds, 1 onion, 1 green chilly, 1/2 cup fresh coconut, 1 tomato, 1 tablespoon or more vegetable powder,  little jaggery and salt to taste.  Take little coconut oil in a vessel,  add mustard seeds and when they splutter add curry leaves, onion and green chilly, then tomato, vegetable powder and jaggery.  Add cut tendli, salt to taste and water and simmer till nearly done.  Add fresh coconut and cashewnuts and simmer for a further 4-5 minutes.

Creamy Chicken Tikka Kebabs

Creamy Chicken Kebab

Boneless chicken cubed into squarish pieces,  ginger garlic paste about 5/6 tablespoons,  salt to taste, white pepper powder 1 teaspoon, egg whisked 1,  cheddar cheese grated -3/4 tin (small tin), 8 green chillies deseeded and chopped fine,  nutmeg powder 1 teaspoon,  coriander leaves-chopped, cornflour 2 tablespoons,  cream – 1 tin,  oil/butter for basting.  Rub ginger garlic pase and salt and white pepper onto the chicken cubes.  Keep aside for 1/2 an hour.  Add cheese, green chillies, corriander, nutmeg powder, cornflour and cream to the whisked egg. Mix well and add to the chicken mixture and marinate for sometime.  Skewer the chicken cubes and roast in an oven/grill or you can even shallow fry them on a pan. Brush with remaining marinade and baste with butter till well grilled on all sides.  Serve sprinkled with lemon juice.


Jam Rolls

Jam Rolls

This is delicious served warm either as a cake or a dessert.   3 eggs, ½ cup powdered sugar, 1 cup flour,  1 teaspoon baking powder,  2 tablespoons boiling water, ½ cup jam, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar (extra).  Grease a 25cm x 30 cm swiss roll pan, line base and sides with wax paper.  Grease the paper well.  Beat eggs in a small bowl with hand beater for about 4 minutes until thick and creamy.  Gradually add sugar until dissolved between each addition.  Fold in sifted flour and water.  Spread mixture into prepared pan and bake in moderate oven (160 deg C) for about 15-18 minutes till it is lightly brown on top.  In the meanwhile warm jam in a saucepan over low heat.  When done turn the cake immediately on to wax paper sprinkled with extra sugar.  Trim edges of cake. Spread hot jam evenly over hot cake.  Roll up from the short side using the wax paper as a guide.   Do not wait for the cake to cool.  Make it into a large sausage covered with wax paper.   Cut into ½” slices and serve.

Mississippi Mud Cake

Mississippi Mud Cake

This is a very dense cake; serve with whipped cream if desired.  250 grams butter chopped, 150 g dark chocolate –chopped, 2 cups sugar, 1 cup hot water, ½ cup whiskey, 1 tablespoon dry instant coffee, 2 cups flour,  2.5 teaspoons baking powder, ¼ cup cocoa, 2 eggs lightly beaten.  Grease a 23cm square slab pan, line base with paper. Grease paper.  Combine butter, chocolate, sugar, water, whisky and coffee in heatproof bowl and stir over hot water until chocolate is melted and mixture smooth.  Cool to lukewarm.  Stir in sifted flour + baking powder + cocoa (sift them together) and then the eggs.  Fold gently till all is mixed but take care not to deflate the mixture too much.   Bake in a slow oven (150 deg c) for 1 hour 20 minutes or till toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  When cool dust with icing sugar. Cut into squares and serve.

Double Delight

Double Delight

1 packet lime jelly, 1 packet rasberry jelly, 1 397 grams condensed milk tin.  Whipped cream and cut nuts for decoration.  Make jelly as per the instruction on the packet.   Make one colour first…add 1/2 condensed milk, when the mixture is at room temperature.   Pour into serving glasses till half full and leave to set in refrigerator.  When set,  make the other coloured jelly and add the balance 1/2 tin condensed milk and stir.  Pour into the serving glass, which already has the red colour already set.  Put in refrigerator to set again.  Top with cream and sprinkle a few chopped nuts on top.

Strawberries and Chocolate

Stawberries and Chocolates

10-12  berries,  250 grams of hersheys milk chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons butter.  Royal icing  (mix together 2 tablespoons of meringue powder,  2 tablespoons water and stir in icing sugar about 1 cup or more,   till you get a thick runny white mixture-  if it is too thick just add water a tablespoon at a time – till you get the right consistency).  Melt chocolate and butter over a bowl of heated hot water till nice and smooth.  Dip 3/4 of the strawberries in the chocolate mixture and leave to dry on a waxed paper.  When dried drizzle the royal icing mixture. 

Strawberry Panna Cotta

Strawberry Panna Cotta

1 cup buttermilk, 1 cup nestle cream, 1 cup whipping cream, 1 tablespoon vanilla essence, 1/3 cup sugar (add more if desired), 3 teaspoons or 1 envelope unflavoured gelatin powder, 3 tablespoons cold water, 1/2 cup strawberry pulp, few fresh strawberries for garnish, 2 drops of pink colour.

Soak gelatin in cold water.  In a saucepan, heat the buttermilk, cream, whipping cream, sugar, strawberry pulp and vanilla essence.  Bring to a slow simmer.  Remove from heat and mix the gelatin, while whisking the mixture slowly.  Pour into individual serving cups and chill for 4-5 hours in the fridge.  Once set garnish with cut strawberries and nuts.

Custard Tarts


Custard Tarts

 1 stick (115 grams) unsalted butter, ½ cup sugar, ½ cup almond powder, 1 large egg, 1 cup flour,  ¼ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest.  Combine butter with sugar, almond and egg and beat at low speed. Add flour, baking powder and lemon zest and beat until a soft dough is formed.  Put the dough on a plastic wrap and flatten to a disc.  Refrigerate and chill.  Roll the dough and cut into rounds to fit the tart pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes till golden.  Cool on wire rack.  Make custard as per instruction in packet.  Pour custard into the baked tart shells and top with cherries or fruit of your choice.

Chocolate Cake and Custard

Chocolate Cake & Custard Cups

5-6 slices of chocolate cake,  4 cups readymade custard cups (I use Al Marai),  4 strawberries, 2 tablespoons icing sugar,  ½ cup cashewnuts chopped into bits.  Crumble cake and make cake crumbs.  Pour the custard into 4 icecream bowls,  sprinkle with cashewnuts all over the top of custard.  Top with the cake crumbs till the brim.  Put icing sugar in a sieve and gently shake over each cup.  Top with strawberry on each cup.

Chocolate Cocktail Creams & Assorted Milk Chocolates

Assorted Chocolates

Chocolate Cocktail Creams

There is nothing better than having chocolate after dinner.  These Chocolate Cocktail Creams, filled with dark chocolate and genuine spirits in cream centers, will surely get you into the festive spirit.    The assorted chocolates will leave you in a quandary, wondering which to pick.  Its Christmas folks, and its comes just once a year,  so indulge and take a taste of each one and chill out.