Sunday 30 March 2014

Easy peasy cookies

I always found baking to be too complicated but now that I have started doing it, it seems quite simple. I put in a few ingredients and I got a cookie! ;) This is a super simple recipe and perfect for baking beginners :)


125 gms self raising flour
60 gms unsalted butter
60 gms brown sugar
1 & 1/2  tbsp 100% cocoa powder
pinch of salt (if using salted butter, don't add additional salt)
2-3 tbsp milk of your choice


Preheat the oven at 175 C. 

Line a baking tray with grease-proof paper. Grease the sheet with some oil.

Cream the butter and sugar together. Sift in the flour, salt and cocoa powder.

Combine well, adding the milk as required to form a soft dough. Roll the dough into walnut size balls. Place the cookies on the grease-proof paper and flatten them slightly.

You could also roll the dough a cm thick with a rolling pin and make shapes of your choice.

Leave some space between the cookies for them to expand and bake for 10-12 minutes. 

The cookies should be firm on the top. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool for further 5 minutes.

These cookies are crunchy on the outside yet slightly soft on the inside.

Saturday 29 March 2014

Lunch at Meat & Shake

I woke up quite late today and it was such a lovely day! We immediately made lunch plans and stepped out to take in the sun. We decided to go to Meat&Shake in Tooting. I have been here before and really liked the ambience and the burgers. Here are some pictures :)

Rhubarb & Custard shake

Lamb ardo burger with Feta Cheese

I loved the presentation!

Lamb ardo burger again with Sweet Potato Fries

Truffle Shuffle Burger
After stuffing ourselves we walked around Tooting for a while. A lovely Saturday afternoon!

Monday 24 March 2014

Green goodness - smoothie/drink

I am totally into smoothies lately. My current favourite is this spinach, banana and coconut smoothie. A must try! :)


1 medium banana

200 ml pure, unsweetened coconut water
1 tsp coconut oil
2 handfuls of washed spinach leaves.


Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. 

Friday 21 March 2014


Affogato is an Italian coffee based beverage/dessert. A shot of espresso is poured on vanilla ice-cream - the bitter espresso is perfectly set off by the creamy and sweet ice-cream. My first experience of affogato was in an Italian restaurant London. This is my version of an Affogato with the ingredients I had.

Serves 2


Vanilla Ice-cream - 4 scoops (I used clotted cream Ice-cream)
Coffee - 2 shots of espresso


Make the espresso. I made it in my little moka pot :)

Keep the bowls ready with ice-cream (2 scoops per bowl). When the espresso is ready, pour it over the ice-cream just before serving. 

The clotted cream ice-cream gave it a wonderful creamy texture. This also solved my dilemma of whether to have ice-cream or coffee after dinner :)

Tuesday 18 March 2014

Egg bhurji (Spiced scrambled eggs)

Since there were pav (white rolls) left over from Sunday, I decided to make egg bhurji to eat with it yesterday. I find it to be one of the best last minute meal solutions. Everyone I know has a different version of making egg bhurji.  This is the version I made. :) 


1 medium onion finely chopped
1 small tomato chopped
4 eggs
3 tbsp milk
2 green chillies finely chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1  tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/4 tsp chilli powder (adjust the chilli as per taste)
Chopped coriander or parsley for garnish
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil 

In a bowl whisk the eggs with some salt and the milk. Keep aside.

In a pan heat 1 tbsp oil. Add the cumin seeds until they sputter. Add the onions and fry until translucent. Add the chillies and fry for a minute. Then add in the chopped tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes. 

Add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala and fry. Add 2 tbsp (or a bit more if needed) water to avoid the spices from burning. Cook for 4-5 minutes.

Add the eggs to the pan, mix well with the spices  and cook on reduced heat until the eggs are scrambled. Try not to over cook them and leave them slightly moist. 

Garnish with coriander or parsley. Serve with pav or bread.

Sunday 16 March 2014

White bread rolls (pav)

The 'pav' is an accompaniment to some specific Indian dishes. It is essentially a white bread roll but is softer, lighter in texture and, in an undefinable way, is absolutely fantastic. I couldn't find this texture in the regular supermarket rolls here and so I attempted it at home.

It is quite a long process but is not difficult - just requires some advance planning. :)


350 gms white bread flour ( you can use all purpose flour) + a bit more for dusting and forming the dough 

2-1/2 tsp Dried active Yeast
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp butter (I used unsalted so adjust the salt accordingly if using salted butter)
50 ml lukewarm water
275 ml milk (I used whole milk)


Add the yeast and sugar to the lukewarm water and leave aside to froth for 10-15 minutes, preferably in a dark place.

Warm the milk and add the butter to it. Mix it well till it melts.

When the yeast froths up, add it to the milk and butter mixture, Add the flour bit by bit to this, combining everything together, forming a sticky dough (If the dough is too sticky to work with, add some more flour to help bring it together).

On a clean work surface dust some flour, transfer the dough onto the surface and knead well for 8-10 minutes to form a smooth dough. Dust a bowl with some flour and place the dough in it. Leave the dough to rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

After an hour the dough would have risen to almost double in size. Punch the dough a couple of times to remove the air and give it a quick knead.

Make 12 equal size balls from the dough. Grease a baking tray with some oil or butter and place the dough balls on the tray. 

Leave equal space between the dough balls as these will expand.Cover the tray and leave to  rise for about an hour. 

Preheat the oven to 170 C. After an hour the dough balls will have risen and stuck together. Place the tray, uncovered, in the oven and bake for 30 minutes and they are ready!

Freshly baked pav tastes good just own it's own too! :)


Friday 14 March 2014

Plain barfi (Indian milk sweet)

I am crazy about milk based Indian desserts - they just trigger so many happy memories, taking me back to festivals or celebrations in India or sometimes just enjoyed as occasional treats.

I attempted making barfi at home and it just felt like an achievement. Not very often, but I make barfi sometimes, especially when there is a lot of milk which needs to be used up. It does require some patience but it's worth the wait.


1 litre whole milk
2 tbsp lemon juice
A few strands / a pinch of saffron
3/4 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
40 gms sugar
Pinch of cardamom powder
A few sliced almonds or pistachios


Grease a plate with some ghee and keep ready for later.

In a wide non-stick pan bring the milk to boil (approximately 5 minutes) on a medium flame stirring continuously (to stop it from sticking to the pan). 

When the milk is warm, take out 2 tbsp in a bowl. Add the saffron strands and leave aside.

Let the milk in the pan boil for a couple of minutes before adding the lemon juice, a tbsp at a time, to make it curdle. 

Once the milk starts curdling, remove 1 cup of the whey. 
Let the curdled milk boil until it is reduced and the whey has almost completely evaporated. Now add the sugar, cardamom powder, saffron milk and ghee. Mix well and cook until the mixture thickens and comes together.

Remove onto the greased plate and use a spatula to shape into a square (or as square as you can manage :) ). Garnish with the sliced pistachios or almonds.

Let it cool, then refrigerate for at least an hour. 

Slice into smaller squares. Indulge! Try to stop yourself at one. Fail miserably, and eat them all ;) 

Sunday 9 March 2014

Light chocolate walnut brownies

I was watching a brownie recipe on TV and was shocked with the amount of butter that went in. Still wanted to eat it though so decided to create a healthier version :)


100 gms flour
2 tbsp oil
40 gms unsweetened cocoa 
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
150 gms muscovado or brown sugar
150 ml unsweetened applesauce (click on the link for recipe)
120 ml low fat sour cream
75 gms dark chocolate (at least 60%) - 50 gms melted, 25 gms roughly chopped
20 gms roughly chopped walnuts
2 medium eggs


Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease a baking dish (approx 9 inch) with oil. Line with grease-proof paper. Brush the grease-proof paper with some oil too. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa. In another bowl whisk the eggs. Add oil, sour cream, apple sauce, brown sugar and melted chocolate to the eggs and combine well.

Pour the flour into the egg mixture slowly combining it well. Add half the chopped chocolate and walnuts to the mix and combine.

Pour the batter into the greased dish and sprinkle the rest of the chocolate and walnuts on top. Bake for 30 minutes. Check if it's cooked by inserting a skewer or a toothpick (it should come out relatively clean).

Serve with ice-cream


Saturday 8 March 2014

Unsweetened apple sauce

I needed unsweetened apple sauce for a recipe so decided to make some at home. It is so simple, there is absolutely no need to go out and buy a jar. 


500 gms apples
3 cloves
A stick of cinnamon 
1/4 cup water and some more if needed

Roughly peel all the apples and core them. Slice the apples about 1 cm thick. Add the apples to a saucepan with 1/4 cup water. 

Add the cloves and the cinnamon stick. Cover and let it simmer on a low flame for 15-20 minutes. Add a bit more water if it starts drying out. Conversely, cook them uncovered if there's too much water. What you're looking for at the end are well softened apples with very little liquid. 

Once the apples are cooked, remove the cinnamon stick and cloves. Either purée the apples in a food processor or mash them with a potato masher. I used the food processor. 

This apple sauce can be used in various low calorie baking recipes :)

Sunday 2 March 2014

Simple halloumi and pesto wrap

My husband and I had been to Greenwich market and I was looking forward to eating the halloumi and lamb wrap, but guess what, they were out of halloumi! 
Since then my taste buds have been crying for halloumi - I just had to have it! 
I decided to make a simple wrap and was very satisfied with the results :)


Tortilla Wraps - Any kind (I used the wheat and white wraps)
Halloumi cheese  (I used Papouis light with mint)
Green pesto ( I used the light version)
1 tomato 
Chilli in vinegar (optional)


Cut the halloumi cheese in 1 cm thick pieces. Try not to cut them very thin. Also cut the tomato in 1 cm thick slices.

Place a pan on medium heat. Grill the halloumi for a minute on each side until lightly brown.Remove and keep aside.

Heat the tortilla for a minute on both sides or in the microwave for 30 seconds. Apply 2 tsp of pesto on the wrap.

Place the tomato slices and then the halloumi. I added a chilli on mine to make it spicy.You may add other ingredients such as salad, mayonnaise etc

Wrap and enjoy. 


Saturday 1 March 2014

New Year resolutions?

It's March already??? Where did January and February go? Not that I have been super busy or anything but I have been doing quite a few things, trying to keep up with my new year resolutions and I have just completely neglected my blog! 
One of my new year resolutions and one which was pretty high on the list was to update my blog regularly. So going forward I plan to give it some attention and some TLC. xx

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