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

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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

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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!


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
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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

Vegetable lentil coconut curry (vegan)


This bowl of lentil curry which is bit of a twist on traditional dahl makes for such a cozy and filling weekday dinner that can be enjoyed both with rice or just as soup and is not only comforting but also nutritious and easy, not to mention completely plant based and unbelievably delicious.

This can be tailor made to suit your taste buds. It can be made spicier or more sombre and is a great way to clear the crisper drawer of any lingering forgotten vegetables.

All you need are some vegetables of choice and here I have beans, carrots, spinach and pepper along with the very essential flavour base that’s made of onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes. Also soaked lentils, coconut milk and turmeric, coriander powder, garam masala, red chilli powder and cumin seeds.

chop the vegetables into bite sized pieces and boil with soaked lentils until the lentils and vegetables are soft. Do not boil spinach along with the veg and lentils.

Chop the tomatoes, onions, ginger and garlic and keep aside.

In a large pan heat some coconut oil

Add in the cumin seeds and let them splutter

add the onions

with some salt and cook until golden brown.

add the ginger and garlic

and cook until it no longer smells of raw garlic.

Now add the tomatoes followed by spices that are coriander powder, turmeric, garam masala and red chilli powder.

Stir well to combine and keep stirring until the tomatoes are cooked.

Now add the coconut milk and bring to a boil

and add in the spinach if using.

The curry at this stage will be quite thick and you might need to add water.

Let it simmer and come to a boil and this will really draw out the flavour from the coconut milk.

Add the cooked lentil and veg. I might have cooked mine too long but that’s fine.

Add some salt because the curry will need it.

I also ended up adding some more chilli powder because I like this curry a bit spicy.

Let it simmer for a few minutes before turning off the flame and putting a lid on to let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

Depending on how thick or thin you want this curry water can be added.

Serve hot with flatbreads or rice or just help yourself to a large bowl and let it nourish and heal you this winter.


Ingredients

Red lentils : 60g
Yellow lentils: 100g
Coconut milk: 250g
Tomatoes : 200g (2 medium)
Onion: 150g (1 medium)
garlic and ginger chopped: 1 tbsp each
Chopped veg: 350-400g
Coconut oil: 1 tbsp
Water: 700mls
Spinach: 100g (optional)
Salt to taste

Spices
Cumin seeds, red chilli powder, turmeric : 1 tsp
Coriander powder, garam masala: 2 tsp

Recipe instructions:

Soak the lentils overnight or at least 3-4 hours before cooking. Add the chopped vegetables to the lentils and cook until softened. Leave out the spinach if using.

For the flavour base dice the tomatoes, onions, ginger and garlic and keep aside.

In a large pan heat some coconut oil and add the cumin seeds until they splutter. Add chopped onions and some salt and cook until the onions are golden brown in colour. Add ginger and garlic and cook until the garlic no longer smells raw. (roughly a minute). Add in the chopped tomatoes along with the spices and cook until the tomatoes have softened.

Pour in the coconut milk and let it simmer before finally adding in the spinach if using. Add some water to thin out the curry and some more salt.

Let it come to a bubble before finally adding in the cooked lentils and vegetables.

Put a lid on the pan and let it gently simmer for a few minutes.

Lastly check for seasonings and add more salt or other spices as needed.

If it’s too thick then you can add some water but let it come to a boil again after that.

Serve hot.

Pesce con olive e pomodoro


Fish with olives and tomatoes. It’s an Italian classic or so they say in Italy, not the kind one would find on a menu but more like a proper home cooked meal and why not because fancy as it looks and sounds this a very simple dish to put together.

It’s not convoluted with flavours and is in fact minimal almost in terms of seasoning which is why it’s important to use good quality ingredients seeing how there is no cloaking device to this dish.

The ingredients are few and simple. There’s fish of course. Try and use boneless fresh fish fillets. I’ve used basa. There’s onions, tomatoes, potatoes, oregano, black olives, lots of olive oil, salt and pepper.

We want to start with a base layer. Coat the baking tray or dish with a thin layer of olive oil.

And layer with potatoes. Use thinly sliced potatoes for this dish. I used a mandolin to get the necessary thinness.

Sprinkle over some salt and pour over half the olive oil and bake at 200ºC for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked and have developed some colour.

Once out of the oven layer the thinly sliced onions and chopped up tomatoes.

And sprinkle over some salt

and pepper

before finally adding the fish.

Top with olives and oregano and sprinkle some more salt. Don’t go heavy handed with the salt. Sprinkle sparingly since almost every step has a bit.

Finish with a generous drizzle of olive oil before baking at 200ºC at for 20 minutes or until the fish is just cooked.

Let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

This can be eaten just as is or with a hunk of good bread.


Ingredients

Fresh fish fillets: 250g
Potatoes: 300g (thinly sliced)
Onions: 1 medium (thinly sliced)
Tomatoes: 250 gms (chopped into bite size or use cherry tomatoes)
Olive oil: 15-20mls
Black olives: 70g
Fresh Oregano: 1 large bunch or 2 tsp dry oregano
salt and pepper.

Recipe instructions

Brush the baking tray or dish with some olive oil and layer with potatoes.
Sprinkle over some salt and bake at 200ºC for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are mostly cooked and have developed some colour.
Layer the now cooked potatoes with thinly sliced onions and tomatoes and sprinkle some more salt and pepper.
Place the fish on top and cover with olives and oregano, either dried or fresh.
Finish with a generous amount of olive oil before baking at 200ºC for another 20 minutes or until the fish is just cooked.
Let rest for a few minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Vegan spring rolls


Wrapped in rice papers crammed with crunchy vegetables and piled with a delicious marinated tofu, these spring rolls which I do agree are a much larger almost dumpling sized kin to their fresh and slimmer relatives are a perfect treat either as a snack or even as a post workout meal when eaten in huge quantities since these are annoyingly delicious and guiltless and making them isn’t nearly as tedious as one would think.

Of course cooking anything in the kitchen requires a bit of work and these aren’t as much work as one would think and in fact they’re rather fun to make.

The filling is entirely personal and often depends on what’s present in the refrigerator; also a great way to use leftover vegetables.

The ingredients which I used were tofu, thinly sliced carrots, capsicum, avocado, cucumbers, coriander and leftover roasted asparagus. Like I said, the filling depends entirely up to you and the contents of your fridge.

You want to slice your carrots in a way that they’re almost julienned, so begin by slicing them lengthwise

and slice them lengthwise again to get matchsticks

also slice the rest of the veg as thin as manageable.

Slice firm tofu in long strips and the firmer the tofu the better its tenacity to not crumble.

we need flavour in these spring rolls since everything else is going to stay raw and crunchy with a play on textures, the tofu in question needs to have a punch and marinating it for a few minutes really does the trick.

Sizzle the marinated tofu on a very hot pan with a drizzle of oil.

let it char on both sides for a minute or so

Before finally adding the marinating liquid the tofu sat in. Let it cook and bubble and get absorbed.

And here you have it. What was once a rather pallid looking block of protein is now a bronzed vivacious looking filling for our spring rolls.

Now for the assembly which is where the fun begins. You need a large plate filled with water which can fit the rice papers, a clean damp kitchen towel and all the accoutrements sat neatly in front so the conveyor belt process can work.

Begin by immersing the rice papers in water on both sides for a few seconds until the entire surface is wet but not wilting.

Then transfer it to the damp paper towel

and begin layering the vegetables. I start with coriander first just so the rolls look pretty after getting rolled up, however because I stuffed them to spilling the final outcome wasn’t prettiness but greed and so the layering didn’t much matter but if you want to make them look presentable and dainty then maybe fill them a little less audaciously.

then came leftover asparagus. It’s absolutely optional. You can instead use cabbage, shredded lettuce or whatever you feel like.

next came in avocado

closely followed by capsicum and carrots

and finally tofu and cucumbers.

Next comes the rolling part where you gently but with purpose and intent enclose the vegetables in their transparent rice veil by folding the now very sticky rice paper over in a manner of wrapping.

and fold the two opposite ends to meet the first roll. Doesn’t matter if there are small tears in the paper or if all the vegetables don’t stay inside the first fold because we will roll it again.

Keeping the wrapping firm

Since the rice paper is sticky it will stay glued and the chances of making mistakes are few. Roll it up until it’s a roll.

something like this and there you have it. Giant spring rolls to stave off any hunger pangs.


Ingredients

Rice papers: 4 to 5
Firm tofu: 200g
Carrot: 1 small
Capsicum: 1 small or half a large
Coriander: 1 large bunch
Avocado: 1 half
Cucumber: 1 small
asparagus: 3-4 roasted and halved.

For the tofu marinade
Sesame oil: 2 tsp
Light soya sauce: 1 tbsp
Apple cider vinegar: 2 tsp
Sriracha or any chilly sauce: 2 tsp
Brown sugar: 2 tsp

Recipe Instructions

Slice vegetables into thin slices. Cut tofu into strips and marinate for 5-10 minutes. Heat some oil in a pan and gently place tofu strips until browned or lightly charred for a minute. Turn them over and after half a minute pour the marinting liquid in the pan. Let it bubble and thicken for another half a minute before turning off the heat. The tofu should be glossily bronzed on both sides.

Lay out all the ingredients for the rolls in front and fill up a large plate, big enough to fit the rice papers with water.

Dampen a clean kitchen towel and keep in front. Gently lower the rice paper in the plate with water and wet it on both side for a few seconds. Do not let it begin to soften. Transfer on the damp kitchen towel and begin layering the paper close to the edge near you to form into spring rolls.

Once the vegetables are stacked, fold over the now soft and sticky rice paper once. Fold the opposite ends on the sides to stick over the first fold and roll again to seal the edges.

Enjoy with some soy sauce or your favourite dip.

Wholewheat bagels


Do you ever wake up and suddenly remember something delicious you had months ago and feel the sudden need to recreate that moment or eat something similar? I’d ordered a bagel sandwich while out for brunch and though the sandwich was pretty lacklustre, the bagel in question was extraordinary and so it stuck and one day I woke up craving a bagel.

Bagels aren’t as easily available where I live and so it’s better and more entertaining to make some yourself which is exactly what I did and these came out pretty good, though I do intend on tinkering and tweaking a bit more with the recipe.

Whole wheat bagels with absolutely everything on top, fluffy on the inside and chewy on the out!

The premises are the same as any leavened bread. Start with some risen whole wheat dough. Recipe here. You also need some sugar, baking soda, and a mixture of whatever seeds or toppings you’d like on the bagel. It could be as simple as salt and sugar or a mixture of poppy, sunflower, black and white sesame seeds as I have here.

Divide the dough into equal sized dough balls. I made a total of eight from a kilo of dough for medium sized bagels. Each dough ball is 125g. You can make larger fewer bagels or smaller.

Make even sized balls

and let rest covered for 25-30 minutes.

Once they’ve slightly risen poke a hole in the centre and stretch the dough around to create a doughnut shape which is essentially also the bagel shape.

Like so.

Bring some water to the boil and add in sugar and baking soda.

Once the water comes back to a boil slowly drop in the bagels

and let boil for a couple of minutes on each side

use a long spoon or chopstick to flip them over.

Fish them out of the boiling water once you see them floating, cover generously with the toppings and bake for 15-20 minutes at 200ºC until crisped and browned at the top.

Enjoy!


Ingredients and recipe instructions for whole wheat dough.
Ingredients for bagel

Wholewheat bread dough: 1 kilo
Sugar: 1tbsp
Baking soda: 2tsp
Poppy seeds: 1tsp
Black sesame seeds: 1tsp
White sesame seeds: 1 tsp
Sunflower seeds: 1tbsp


Recipe Instructions

Make the whole wheat dough a day before and let rise overnight in the fridge. Let rest at room temperature for an hour before dividing the dough into eight equal sized portions.

Roll each portion into a ball and let rest once again, covered, for 25-30 minutes.

Poke a hole in the middle of each dough ball and stretch around the hole to create a doughnut like shape.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add in the sugar and baking soda.

Once the water comes back to a boil slowly drop in the bagels carefully, not spilling any water. Let boil for a couple minutes on one side before carefully flipping using a chopstick or a long spoon and boiling on the other for the same time.

Fish out onto a baking tray and sprinkle over the toppings.

Bake at 200ºC for 15-20 minutes until the top has browned.

Let rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing. The outside should be chewy and the inside fluffy, and since these are whole wheat bagels the texture within will be a bit denser than the usual refined flour ones, but they will be just as delicious.

Black rice salad


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This was a sudden salad in that it came to happen rather abruptly in my repertoire while I was experimenting with a bit of culinary expansion in terms of recipes and cuisines and the sight of black rice always invited me with such fascination and enigma that I caved in and bought a few kilograms to experiment with and this salad was the result of a thrilled happenstance.

I hadn’t expected the results to be as delicious because this is a fairly simple recipe but seeing how it’s near impossible to be content with a small bowl of this black rice salad I found myself making it more of it almost every chance I got.

Black rice tends to be far less starchy and more pronounced in its nuttiness and provides a perfect vehicle to harmonize with simple, accurate flavours that work in tandem.

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It’s a fairly large amount of ingredients and this salad works to serve not just as a side dish but also as a meal. Great as a post-workout snack or dinner this salad does double duty. The vegetables you use depend on their seasonal availability but as long as there’s crunch, piquancy and dried fruit to balance it all it can’t go wrong. A bit of sweetness in terms of dried fruit is most desirable because it elevates the mood, texture and taste of this salad.

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Chop the vegetables, cheese and chillies in fairly small pieces. Deseed the chillies if they’re too spicy.  I have also scooped the seeds out of this cucumber. It’s an optional step.

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Chop oregano and rosemary fairly fine. Use dried herbs if you can’t find fresh ones.

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Put the chopped cheese and vegetables into a bowl

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along with the herbs

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and raisins

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Add lemon and salt

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followed by a drizzle of olive oil

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and mix

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until evenly combined

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add cooked black rice to the vegetables and mix well.

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There we have black rice salad. Cover and let rest for at least an hour before serving.

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It is delicious, colourful and nutritious. Won’t you please try it.


Ingredients

Black rice: 250g

Tomatoes: 3-4 small

Cheese: 100g

Chillies: 2

Herbs: rosemary and oregano fresh or dried mixed herbs

Capsicum red: 1 small

Raisins: 2-3 tbsps

Olives: 2-3 tbsps

Cucumber: 1

Lemon: 1 tbsp

salt to taste

Olive oil: 2 tbsps

NOTE: To cook black rice soak them the night before or for at least 5-6 hours and cook using 1:1.5 black rice to water ratio.

Use whatever vegetables and cheese are seasonally and easily available.


Recipe instructions

Chop the vegetables and cheese into small bite-sized pieces. If using fresh herbs mince them fairly fine and add to the bowl with vegetables and cheese along with the raisins, salt, lemon juice and olive oil.

Mix well until evenly incorporated and add the cooked black rice and mix again.

Let sit in the fridge for an hour before serving.