Coconut cake 2.0


Another day, another cake. There is never a justifiable excuse or reason to not make or eat cake and though baking a cake is far more strenuous than simply buying one, I am a firm believer in homemade cakes being a lot better than shop bought ones. For starters these can be tailor made to your specific tastes and needs, and most importantly at least for me is the absence of icing or frosting. Yes, hate me if you will but I do not like cream filled, thickly frosted cakes whatsoever. The cakes I prefer should be suitable to be had with tea or coffee and it’s these no frill cakes, saturated with flavour and perfect crumb that make my day, and yours too if you bake it.

There already is a stunningly delicious coconut cake recipe on this blog, and the reason I added another coconut cake recipe here is because this one is a relatively easier with some extra texture and somewhat lesser fussy ingredients. I contemplated making this in a blender and gave up on the idea because I didn’t want to wash my bulky blender, but you can if you want to. Just goes on to show how easy and quick this recipe is.

The ingredients in question are vanilla, sugar, flour, shredded coconut (lots of it), butter, baking powder, eggs and some lemon extract which I have wrongly written as orange extract

In a clean bowl mix together soft room temperature butter, sugar and lemon extract. Substitute with lemon zest if you have lemons on hand. There isn’t a lot of creaming and beating and whipping here. For this initial process of mixing I would however suggests a whisk and not a spatula. A mistake I went on to correct.

Add the vanilla extract after a brief mixing of butter, sugar and lemon extract. This is homemade vanilla extract. Mix in the eggs one at a time.

Once all the eggs are mixed in add the flour and baking powder and mix well.

I also added a few tablespoons of milk into the batter while mixing in the flour. The batter should be thick but of dropping consistency before the addition of coconut

Finally add in the shredded coconut and mix briefly until everything is lusciously combined.

Finally pour the batter into a well greased cake pan. This batter will make one large cake or two smaller sized ones. One to eat at home and the other to give to a friend.

bake at 170ºC for 45 -60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let cool for at least 20 minutes before taking out of the pan.


Recipe ingredients
Butter: 115g
Flour: 300g
Baking powder: 2 tsp
Shredded coconut (Unsweetened): 200g
Eggs: 5
Sugar: 200g
Vanilla extract: 1tsp
Milk (optional): 2 tbsp

Recipe instructions

In a clean bowl beat in the butter with sugar and lemon extract or lemon zest if using. Add in the vanilla, give it a brief mixing and add the eggs one at a time. Beat in each egg into the mixture thoroughly. Once all the eggs are incorporated into the batter, add the flour, baking powder and milk if the batter gets too thick.

When all the flour is mixed add in the shredded coconut and mix well.

Pour into a well greased cake tin preferable a 12 inch or two smaller cake pans and bake at 170ºC for at least 45-60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake. The edges of the cake start pulling from the cake tin when the cake is completely done.

Let the cake rest on a rack for at least 20 minutes before serving.

The addition of so much shredded coconut lends the cake more texture and results in a better crumb. The cake tends to dry a little which works better for this flavour than a more moist one.


Chicken Pulao (g.f)


This one-pot meal has everything one could possibly want. It’s got looks, taste, flavour, nutrition, satisfaction and satiation. This is a Bollywood movie of a recipe and all too easy to make, to eat, to love what’s more the leftovers eaten the next day are just as delicious if not better.

The ingredients are bone-in chicken, onions, tomatoes, ginger-garlic, green chilies, vegetables of choice, yoghurt, coriander powder, turmeric, salt to taste, garam masala, black cardamom, cloves, green cardamom, cinnamon, cumin seeds, bay leaves and rice.

The ingredients are a bit much but they’re necessary for this recipe to come a full circle.

In a large pot of choice add some ghee and just as it melts add in the whole spices.

Just as the spices become fragrant add in the thinly sliced onions and the slit green chillies.

Add some salt and stir together. We want the onions to soften and colour slightly

Just as the onions get a slight tan add in the chicken pieces and the ginger garlic.

add in the turmeric powder and stir together to combine.

At this stage we want the onions to infuse their flavour with the ginger garlic and chicken and for that, we need to let them all cook together before proceeding. Adding a bit of water prevents the onions and chicken from sticking. Cover the pot and let everything simmer together for 5-8 minutes. Keep checking to see that nothing is sticking to the pot and add some more water if needed. This step is absolutely essential as it fuses all the flavours from the spices into this dish.

After some time you will see all the onions have cooked down to nothing save their delicious flavour. Now add in the tomatoes and the spices that is coriander powder and garam masala.

Stir to combine and add in the yogurt. Mix well and once again cover and let everything cook for another 5 minutes on a low flame.

Now we can add in the vegetables and the rice.

Add some more salt and water and let everything come to a boil before finally covering it and lowering the heat to its lowest possible setting and cooking for about 10-15 minutes or until such time as all the water has evaporated and the rice is cooked.

Once cooked let the pot stay covered for a few minutes before serving with some onions and chopped coriander.

This recipe once you’ve assembled all the ingredients is so much fun to cook, as the alchemy of all the flavors unfolds and everything turns into this amazingly unmatched one pot dish which is a must try!


Recipe ingredients

Bone in chicken: 500g
Vegetables of choice : carrots, cauliflower, peas etc 200g
Basmati rice : 200g
Onion: 1 large
Garlic cloves: 5-6
Ginger: 2 inch piece
green chillies: 2-3
Tomato: 1 small
Yoghurt: 50g
Ghee: 40g 
Salt: to taste ( I used 2 tsp)
Water: to cook the rice (I use twice the amount of rice)
 --
Whole Spices
Black cardamom: 1-2 
Cloves: 2-3
Green cardamom: 3-5
Bay leaves: 1 large
Cinnamon: 1 stick
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
--
Powdered spices
Turmeric: 1 tsp
Coriander powder: 2 tsp
Garam masala: 1 tsp

Recipe instructions

Soak the rice at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Thinly slice the onions and green chillies. Crush or mince together the garlic cloves and ginger. Chop the tomatoes into small cubes.

In a large pot on medium flame heat the ghee and add in the spices just as the ghee melts. Stir them together until fragrant and add in the sliced onions and green chilies with some salt. Cook the onions until softened and just beginning to turn golden.

Add in the chicken pieces with ginger garlic and turmeric. Stir and cover the pot and let it cook down for about 5-8 minutes on medium low flame. Add some water if necessary and keep checking to ensure that nothing burns. This step will not only cook the chicken but also fuse its flavours with the spices.

After about eight minutes add in the tomatoes, remaining dried spices which are coriander and garam masala and yogurt and stir together to combine everything before once again letting it all cook for about five more minutes.

Now add in the vegetables, soaked rice, some more salt and water. Let it all come to a bubble before slowly cooking it all covered on a very low flame for about 10-15 minutes.

Check after the 8 minute mark to see if the water has evaporated and the rice is cooked.

Once done, keep the pot covered and let it rest for a few minutes before serving with onions and some chopped coriander or absolutely nothing because this pulao is so delicious on its own you barely need anything else with it.

Enjoy

Tomato chutney (vegan, g.f)


This multi faceted chutney almost deserves to be a side dish because that’s how utterly good and useful it is. If you’re not using it to enhance everyday foods to oomph their taste then perhaps try using it as a spread on toasts, as a topping on boiled rice, as a dip for your chips or fries or even frittatas. This chutney works wth everything and keeps well for a week in the fridge and I love to have an abundance of it because how delicious is every savoury snack eaten with this chutney? It is a revelation indeed.

The ingredients are tomatoes, tamarind pulp, green chillies, cashews, garlic, ginger, asafetida, dried red chillies, curry leaves, mustard seeds and cumin seeds.

The chutney needs to be cooked and the ingredients are simple and not as excessive as they might appear here.

If you’re using ready to use tamarind pulp out of a packet then use it just as.

Heat 2 tbsps oil and add in the dried red chillies with cumin and mustard seeds. Stir around and let them come to a splutter.

Once the seeds gets cracking add in the ginger and garlic, green chillies, cashews and the tamarind pulp.

Stir around until well mixed. Add in the curry leaves and let eveything get a slight bit of colour.

Tumble in the tomatoes

Stir, add salt and let them cook until they’ve reduced. If the mixture feels dry, add in some water, I added half a cup of water to help the tomates turn into a mush, because a mush is what we need.

Let the tomatoes cook down and disintegrate completely before finally turning this tomato stew into a chutney. You can let this cook for longer to get a more enhanced taste. I let mine cook for about 10 more minutes.

Let the cooked tomatoes rest until not very hot, and blend.

And finaly here we are!


Recipe ingredients

Tomatoes: 4 to 5 medium sized
Nuts: (cashews or almonds) 30-40g
Cumin seeds: 2 tsp
Asafetida: 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds: 2tsp
Curry leaves: a handful
Garlic: 6-8 cloves
Ginger: 2 inch piece
Green chillies: 2 to 3
Dried red chillies: 2-4
Oil: 2 tbsp
Salt: to taste (I used about 3 tsp)
Tamarind pulp: 50g
Water: 100mls (if needed)

Recipe Instructions

Heat oil in a pan and add in the dried red chillies, mustard and cumin seeds until spluttering. Immediatey add ginger and garlic along with green chillies and stir around. Add the nuts along with the tamarind pulp and curry leaves and let it all cook together for a few minutes until fragarant. Tumble in the chopped tomatoes, add salt and cook until all the tomatoes have turned to a mush. Add some water if the mixture feels dry.

Once the tomatoes have cooked down, cover the pot and let cook for another ten minutes before turning off the flame and letting the mixture rest for a few minutes before blending into a chutney.

Once completely cool, store in an airtight jar. It will keep well for a week, if it lasts that long.


Vegetable pancake (plant-based, g.f)


These plant-based, gluten-free gems of nutrition that I call vegetable pancakes are popularly called ‘cheela or chilla’ in my country and serve as a popular breakfast item. Delicious and filling as they are, I have tried to make these go a little further with the addition of soaked mung beans that not only add to the fibre but also up the protein and they needn’t only be eaten as breakfast. I often bulk these babies up as I have done here with plenty of veg to make it a lot more filling and wholesome as proper lunch. These are quick, easy and most certainly something different to break from the same old.

The ingredients are chopped vegetables of choice. I have here some mint and coriander, tomatoes, onions and carrots with mung beans, chickpea flour, cumin, dried mango and coriander powder, asafetida, red chilli flakes and salt. You also need enough water to make a batter.

The stars of the show are chickpea flour which makes the base of this pancake, thus making it gluten-free and mung beans that work great if they are sprouted. Soaked overnight also work which is what I have here.

In a bowl add the flour with the spices and some chopped coriander. Pour in water and whisk to a smooth batter.

Mix well and ensure no lumps are formed. The batter should be of pouring consistency. Cover and leave it to rest for at least 15 minutes. This rest period is absolutely necessary for not only the flavours to absorb better but also for the chickpeas flour to absorb water and swell. If the batter thickens after the rest period, add more water to bring it back to pouring consistency.

Add a couple teaspoons of oil to a hot pan and using a clean kitchen towel or paper spread around the pan. This will evenly coat the surface of the pan with oil while absorbing the excess. Ladle some batter on the pan. Make sure the pan isn’t too hot.

Spread the batter in circular motions using the back of the ladle.

while the batter is still wet on the top add in the chopped vegetables and mung beans. Gently press into the batter to ensure they stick. Keep the heat on medium low.

Spread some oil on the edges of the cooking batter to ensure that it doesn’t stick.

Slide a spatula along the sides to check the doneness of the pancakes. I like them a little crisp. These can either be flipped or folded.

I prefer to fold them.

Serve hot with your favourite chutney or dips.


Recipe ingredients 

Chickpeas flour(besan)- 200gms
Cumin powder- 2 tsp
Red chilli flakes- 1 tsp
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
Dried mango powder- 1 tsp
Asafetida- a pinch
Salt to taste
Water as needed
Oil
Chopped vegetables of choice
Sprouted Mung beans- 100 gms  

Recipe instructions

In a clean bowl mix together the flour with spices, salt and enough water to make a pourable batter. Add some chopped coriander (optional) and whisk together to form a smooth batter with no lumps.

Cover the batter and let rest for at least 15 minutes.

Heat a pan on medium-low heat and spread some oil using a kitchen towel or paper to evenly coat the surface of the pan. Spread about half a ladleful of batter using the back of the ladle in an even circle.

Top the pancake with vegetables and mung beans and let it cook for a few minutes. Spread some oil around the edges of the pancake to ensure it doesn’t stick.

Using a spatula, lift the edges of the pancake to check for doneness and fold once cooked to liking. Serve hot.


Note*- the first couple pancakes might stick to the pan but the rest will not once you get the flow of it. Don’t let the pan get too hot or the pancakes will not evenly spread.

Chicken tikka salad


This summer had me realizing all my salad dreams. I don’t know how it came to be but I found myself wanting to eat salad almost everyday for lunch and thusly creating all my favourite preparations into salad forms. Maybe it’s the crunch that I wanted or perhaps the effects of the extreme heatwave and unforgiving humidity had me needing all that was abundant and high in water content. Whatever the case maybe, I am delighted to have actually munched my way through hundreds of lettuce heads this year.

This chicken tikka salad is no different. Abundant with fantastical spices of a traditional tikka and light in its delivery, laid on a bed of raw vegetables, this salad has it all, that is the oomph of traditional flavours with a zingy dressing that won’t make you miss the naan.

Of course there are days when these succulent pieces of chicken wrapped in naan or stuffed between a couple slices of bread do the needful, but on days when you’re looking for something light and yet special this tikka salad is an uncompromising substitute.

the ingredients are simple. Chicken, yogurt, cumin, pepper, ginger and garlic paste, red chilly powder, fenugreek leaves, lemon. yogurt and your favourite vegetables for salad.

Slice the chicken into bite sized pieces. In a bowl marinade the chicken with lemon, fenugreek leaves, ginger garlic paste, cumin, pepper, red chilli powder and yogurt. Add some oil and mix.

Once mixed, cover and let rest for at least ten minutes before cooking.

In the meantime we can make some dressing for the salad with some yogurt, black pepper, cumin powder, salt, garam masala and lemon.

Prep the vegetables for the salad by cleaning and chopping them into bite sized pieces. You can use whatever vegetables you like to eat raw.

I like to grill the chicken for tikka only because I love the stripes but it’s not needed. A regular skillet works just as fine if not better. Cook the chicken on both sides until well cooked and slightly charred for the smoky resonance.

The vegetables I’ve used here are lettuce, onions, carrots and cucumber. It’s really up to individual preference here. I have tried substituting shredded cabbage for lettuce and it works just as well.

Drizzle the yogurt dressing on top and enjoy.

This is a simple recipe with such complex flavours that you’d never realize it took you barely thirty minutes to put together this fabulous meal.


Ingredients

Chicken - 200-350g
Yogurt- 50g
Fenugreek leaves- 2 tbsp
Red chilli powder- 1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste- 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon- 2 tsp
Cumin powder- 1 tsp
Black pepper- 1 tsp
Oil-2 tsp

-----

For the dressing

Yogurt- 1 tbsp
Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder- 1/2 tsp
black pepper- 1/4 tsp
salt to taste
Lemon- 1/2 tsp

--
for the salad

lettuce- 1 head
carrots- 1 medium
Cucumber- 1 medium
Onion- 1 small
Coriander leaves

Recipe instructions

Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces and mix into a bowl with lemon, fenugreek leaves, dried spices, yogurt, ginger garlic paste, salt and oil. Mix well and let rest at room temperature for ten minutes.

In a small bowl mix together the yogurt, garam masala, cumin powder, black pepper, salt and lemon to prepare dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wash, clean and prepare the vegetables by choppin into bite sized pieces.

Heat a grill or skillet and lay the marinated chicken pieces. Cook on both sides for at least 5 minutes or until completely cooked and slightly charred and smoky. Let cool for a few minutes before adding to the vegetables.

Lay the cooked chicken over vegetables and drizzle with the yogurt dressing.

Serve.


Miso fish summer rolls


Rice paper rolls that are stuffed fat with savoury umami tastes of miso flavoured fish, lettuce and other vegetables to create something of a salad that offers crunch, twang of spice and zingy freshness that is much needed this summer.

The ingredients are rice paper, fish fillet, miso paste, lettuce, shredded carrots and peppers, mint leaves, coriander, soy sauce, vinegar (not pictured), red pepper flakes, garlic clove

for the Miso marinade we mix together soy sauce, minced garlic, miso paste, vinegar and red pepper flakes. The marinade is quite salty and the fish comes out extremely flavourful and saltier than usual but we need it to be so to be able to balance the fresh blandness and crunch of the rice paper and the vegetables.

Slather the fish fillet generously with the marinade and bake at 190ºC for 15 minutes.

let the cooked fish cool for a few minutes before slicing or chopping. I have sliced it into 4 strips because I was making 4 salad rolls. They can be chopped up as well.

Wet the rice paper on both sides briefly before laying it down on a damp clean cloth. A minute later the translucent rice paper will turn into this transparent sheet of starch.

Here is the fun part. This is as much craft work as I will do this year. Layer some lettuce because it forms a sort of bottom for the rest of the vegetables and is easy to build up. Pile up the fish, carrots, mint and coriander

Roll it up, fold in both the sides and voila!

Okay this is fun. This time I added just a single layer of lettuce and rolled it by first pinching in the ends and then rolling it up.

Also made some dipping sauce by mixing some green chillies in soy sauce, This is entirely optional but so good!!

Mmm, delish I tell you. This is such a wonderful lunch. It’s a salad, its a roll it’s both!!


Miso fish summer rolls.

Recipe ingredients 

Rice papers- 3-4 nos
Miso - 2 tbsp
soy sauce- 2 tsp
Vinegar - 1 tsp
Red chilli flakes- 1 tsp
Garlic clove- 1
Sugar/honey/sweetener (optional)- 1 tsp
Boneless fish fillet- 150gms
vegetables of choice 
(lettuce, shredded carrots,peppers, coriander, mint)

Note: sweetener not needed if using a slightly sweet miso. You can use either light or dark miso. 

Recipe instructions – Make a marinade with the soy sauce, vinegar, miso, crushed garlic and chilli flakes. Coat the fish fillet generously and bake at 190ºC for 10-15 minutes or cook on a stove top.

Once cooked/baked let it cool before slicing or chopping.

Wet the rice paper on both sides before laying flat on a damp cloth. A few minutes after it has softened and become transparent start laying the fish and vegetables on the end closest to you before finally rolling to make a wrap. Pinch the opposite ends before to make a tighter closed roll.

Serve with some chilli infused soy sauce or sweet chilli sauce.

Enjoy!


Folded Kimbap


Folded kimbap! It looks like a brethren to the onigirazu and in a way, it is, except that this is a Korean version and in all probability, mine isn’t as authentic as one would expect but it doesn’t have to be. I don’t think this recipe was created for food snobs to pass judgements upon its authenticity, but rather to have fun with. The nori sheets that are the Kim in this case, are folded to make a sandwich of sorts rather than roll into traditional kimbap’s, and it is fun in the food crafts sort of way to create your own version of this kimbap.

I have used here Nori sheets, sesame oil, cooked rice, roasted sesame seeds, kimchi, sliced cheese and some vegetables and ham

The list of ingredients can be as varied or as little as possible. You need nori sheets, sticky rice and any vegetable or meat of choice, preferably thinly sliced or shredded. I love using kimchi in this recipe for that salty-sweet pungent spicy taste but you can just as easily add some sriracha to your veg for a similar effect.

prepare the rice for stuffing by adding to it sesame oil, salt and roasted sesame seeds.

Take a clean pair of sharp scissors and cut the seaweed wrap only halfway through the middle.

Start by adding a thin layer of rice to one part and creating a different flavour profile for each part. I have added here sliced ham, sliced cheese and kimchi with some cucumbers.

Begin creating the kimbap by folding each part of the seaweed on top of each other. Start by lifting the bottom part with the rice and folding it over to the part above.

Fold the left part over to the right like closing a book and then back down to the bottom to make a full square.

These are some combinations. I have added sliced avocado, carrots and cabbages to one on the bottom left to make a vegetarian version. The one on the right has a thin omelette and some mozzarella cheese.

Fold and wrap with some paper or cling film before slicing.

Wrapping in cling film works better.

Serve with your favourite sauce. I loved how easy they are to pack in a lunch box. A perfect picnic food.


Ingredients 

Cooked sticky rice: 130g
Nori sheets: 3-4 nos
Sesame oil: 2 tsp
Roasted sesame seeds: 1 tbsp
Vegetables of choice: thinly sliced carrots, cucumbers, avocado.
Kimchi
Sliced ham/meat of choice
(tuna is excellent in this recipe)
Shredded or sliced cheese of choice.
Omlette

Recipe Instructions: Lay the nori sheet in front of you, its rougher surface facing the top and using a pair of sharp clean scissors, cut through the middle stopping halfway across.

Into the cooked rice add in the salt, roasted sesame seeds and sesame oil and mix.

Add a thin layer of flavoured rice to the bottom left of the seaweed paper and continue adding a different ingredient to each part of the sheet. You should have four different ingredients. Fold over to top the bottom left portion of the sheet with a rice layer and continue to fold toward the right and then back to the bottom.

You should end up with a deliciously bulging square of stuffed nori. Wrap it tightly in clingfilm before slicing it.

Serve with your favourite dipping sauce.

Sweet potato and orange chickpeas salad (plant based)


This sounds most odd, this flavour combination of oranges with chickpeas and sweet potato but I promise you it isn’t. Its taste falls somewhere between the realm of spicy and fruity, lightly sweet dusted with faint hues of exotic vibrance which comes in part with the addition of cinnamon and cumin powered with sweet citrusy tang brought together with a thin sesame dressing. This salad is fabulously different and makes for a lovey accompaniment to meals if not eaten as a meal in itself.

we need some sweet potatoes, boiled chickpeas, capsicum, an orange divided into two parts, sesame seeds, black pepper, cumin and cinnamon powder, mustard and some salt

Chop the sweet potatoes into bite sized pieces, add in the cumin and cinnamon powder with some salt and bake at 180ºC for 20-25 minutes until cooked.

Place the baked sweet potatoes into a large bowl and set aside.

Roast the sesame seeds and pound to a fine powder.

In a bowl mix together the powdered sesame seeds with juice of half an orange with some lemon

Add in some salt, pepper and mustard and mix well to make a dressing.

the dressing should be of thin consistency. Chop the peppers and deseed+skin and devein the remaining half of orange, slicing it into segments.

To the bowl of baked sweet potatoes add boiled chickpeas

Add in the chopped casicum and orange slices along with the sesame dressing. Mix well and serve.


Ingredients 

Sweet potatoes: 200 gms
Cooked chickpeas: 210 gms
Capsicum/Bell pepper: 1 small
Orange: 1/2 medium size
Salt : to taste
Cinnamon powder: 1 tsp
Cumin powder: 1.5 tsp
__________________________

For the dressing 

Orange juice: 1/2 orange 
Roasted sesame seeds: 2 tbsps
Mustard: 1 tsp
Lemon juice: 1 tsp
salt to taste
pepper: 1/2 tsp (or more according to taste)
Oil: 1/2 tsp (optional)

Recipe instructions : Cube the sweet potatoes and add salt, cumin powder and cinnamon powder. bake at 180ºC for 20-25 minutes or until fully cooked. Set aside.

Chop the capsicum and devein+segment the orange.

Make the dressing by pounding sesame seeds to a powder and mixing in it the freshly squeezed orange juice from the remaining orange with lemon juice, salt, pepper and mustard. Add in the oil if using and mix to form a thin dressing.

In a large mixing bowl toss together the sweet potatoes with chickpeas, chopped capsicum, orange and the dressing.

Enjoy!

Post workout potato and egg salad


Are you in no mood to cook anything but still want to eat something delicious and nourishing especially after a rigorous workout that has sapped your will to cook? Are you in a mood for a hefty crunchy salad that oomphs it up with a dressing so deliriously flavourful with a kiss of the piquant that is just as easy to carry in your lunchbox and eat while sitting at your work desk?

If you are nodding your head to al these questions then look no further because I have a salad which is just the right mood. High protein, low fat and full of colourful veg that is the fiber you need.

This is my easy boiled potato and egg salad with a spicy dressing which has no step by step pictures because it is really is that easy.

Ingredients

Eggs: 2 hard boiled

Potatoes: 1-2 medium

Vegetables: carrots, capsicums or peppers of choice, onions.

Coriander: 1 small bunch chopped

Lemon juice: 1-2 tsp

Mayonnaise light : 1 tbsp

Grain Mustard: 2 tsp

Yogurt: 2 tbsps

Salt to taste

Pepper: 1/2 tsp

Paprika: 1/2 tsp

If you want it spicier add some extra red chilli powder or crushed red peppers.

Recipe instructions

Cube the boiled potatoes and slice the vegetables either into thin shreds or into bite sized pieces. The vegetables you use are up to you.

Boil the eggs and cube or slice them.

Make the dressing by mixing into a bowl the yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, spices, salt and lemon juice. Mix well with a spoon. The dressing will be thick and deliciously coat all the ingredients of your salad.

In a large bowl tumble in the vegetables and eggs and drizzle over the dressing. Toss the salad to coat evenly.

This salad can be eaten immediately or packed into a lunch box for a delicious healthy meal.

Enjoy

Lemongrass scented carrot and apple soup (vegan)


This isn’t just a soup but an absolute sensation, not least because it’s coloured very spring appropriate but also because it’s so fantastically delicious that you’d need excuses to make it over and over again. The earthy sweetness of carrots with the juiciness of apples which is offset every so gently with an undercurrent of lemongrass makes every spoonful a strange delight that though a bit familiar is also something of a mystery. Calming, comforting and almost too easy. This is a soup for all occasions.

the ingredients are apples, carrots, ginger, lemon, lemongrass, black pepper, soy sauce, cumin powder (not pictured), onion(not pictured)

Note: I have used lemongrass stalks here, if however you cannot find them or have no access to them then simply use 1 heaping tablespoonful of Thai yellow/red curry paste.

chop the apples and carrots into bite size pieces

Heat the coconut oil in a large pot and add in the chopped onions. (The onions aren’t pictured, but you need them)

add in the ginger and saute for a minute

before adding in some salt

and lemongrass. If you’re using curry paste then add it after the carrots and apples have cooked down slightly.

Mix in well and saute for a few minutes

finally add in the carrots and apples. Give them a quick turn in with the flavourings and this needs nothing more than cooking down to a soft mush.

The vegetable and fruit will leach out a lot of juice but I’m still adding a bit more water just to let everything simmer gently while I get on with laundry life.

cover the pot and let it cook on a low-medium flame. Keep checking occasionally, giving it a stir to coax the fruit and veg into softening.

After ten minutes of cooking the apples had softened to a pulp but the carrots still had a bite to them and we want to make everything smooth. If you’re using curry paste then this is the right time to add it.

While everything is still cooking and slowly becoming softer, add in the seasonings. Soy sauce

ground cumin. It was not pictured in the ingredients list but it’s an important part of this process.

and black pepper. Mix it all well and cover the pot again to let everything mix and soften. Add more water if needed.

FInally, after almost twenty minutes of cooking everything was as needed. Soft and mushy.

At this stage you can retrieve the lemongrass

and add more water to bring up the quantity that can make it easily blendable and soupy.

I am using a hand blender, but you can use a mixer or even a manual soup strainer as needed.

also add in a big squeeze of lemon.

depending on how you enjoy your soups, you can make it as smooth or as chunky. I like mine somewere in the middle.

and there you have it! Delicious, hearty and sweet with that unique fresh tang distinctly lemongrass which somehow turns into a soft hint of citric note, subtle and deep.


Ingredients

Carrots: 500g - 700g
Apples: 2 large or 3 medium
lemongrass: 2 stalks (if using curry paste then use 1 heaping tablespoon)
onion: 1 medium
Ginger: 1 inch piece
Cumin powder: 2 tsp
Black pepper: to taste
coconut oil: 2 tbsps
lemon juice: 1 tbsp
salt: to taste
water : 500mls + as needed 

Chop the vegetables and fruit into bite sized pieces. You can even grate the carrots for quicker cooking.

Recipe instructions: In a large pot heat the coconut oil and add in chopped onions and ginger. Saute for a minute and add in salt and lemongrass.

Give it a mix and cook for a minute before adding in chopped carrots and onions. Let cook until soft. (Add the curry paste if using once the carrots and apples have softened)

Add in soy sauce, pepper and cumin powder and stir together and let cook before completely softened into a mush.

Retrieve the lemongrass stalks. Add water and blend to form into a soup. Bring to a simmer before finally spritzing with lemon juice.

Serve hot