Monday, March 2, 2015

Suji Halwa - Semolina pudding

If you are from the Indian subcontinent, you certainly know about suji Halwa. This pudding is served on many occasions. From festive to religious events, it is one of the most recognized sweet dishes in South Asia. While there are many ways of making suji halwa, I have found my own method and the result is a moist, melt in your mouth suji halwa. If you are a fan of the drier version which is more common in Mauritius, this might not be the recipe you are looking for I am afraid.

2 Cups of Suji (semolina)
1 Cup of sugar
3/4 cup of excellent quality ghee also known as clarified butter
1 tsp Cardamom powder
1-2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp Saffron strands
31/2 Cups of hot water
Chopped nuts (pistachios and almonds)


Add saffron strands to hot water and let stand
Heat ghee in a thick bottom pan
Add Cinnamon stick and suji and fry while stirring constantly until suji turns light golden brown in colour and starts to give a very nice aroma (Do not move away from stove during this process as semolina can burn very easily)
Add cardamom powder and keep stirring
Now pour hot saffron water slowly while mixing continuously (Careful ! when pouring hot water to suji it can splatter , use caution !!!!!) add sugar and mix well on low heat until all water is absorbed (this might take 5- 10 mins)
Adjust sugar according to taste - some people might like it slightly sweeter, in that case increase quantity to 1 and 1/2 cups
Remove from heat , add nuts and serve hot

Notes: Adjust water if necessary , you might need a little more or less depending on how coarse or fine your semolina is .

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sopa de platanos - Plantain soup Puerto Rican style

One of the great things about travelling is you get to learn new cuisines and dishes you could never have imagined were possible by using certain ingredients. During my visit to Puerto Rico, I had the opportunity of meeting amazing people and introduced to great food. One dish that stayed with me was the plantain soup. I have had plantain in Mauritius in many different ways , in curries, fried, as chips but never as a soup and it was delicious ! I promised myself to make it at home and share the recipe with all of you. I added a little twist in it with turmeric as well as scotch bonnet pepper. Try it, it is very easy to make and you will certainly impress many .


4 plantains (make sure they are green as ripe plantains cannot be used in this recipe)
3 cloves of garlic
1 large onion chopped finely
1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp of finely chopped scotch bonnet pepper
chopped coriander leaves
2 TBS of oil


Peel and chop plantains in big chunks
Keep around half plantain and using a sharp knife slice finely (add salt pepper and fry in oil for the plantain chips as decoration- see picture below - this is optional)
Chop onion and garlic cloves finely
Heat oil in pan
Add onion and garlic and fry until onion is transparent
Add plantain as well as scotch bonnet pepper , turmeric and paprika
Fry for a bit and add chicken stock and allow to boil for 25 mins
Using a blender , puree the coup until smooth
Adjust salt ad add pepper
Simmer for another 5 mins
Serve hot with plantain chips and coriander leaves

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mug Brownie

I was having a craving for something sweet after dinner on a Saturday night and came across this too easy to be true recipe for a microwave mug brownie that I HAD to share ! It was like I said very easy to make with ingredients you certainly would have in your fridge / pantry. I used a very good quality cocoa powder and I drizzled my home made salted caramel sauce on top ! I can see this be a delight served with vanilla ice cream as well.


2 TBS of butter
2 Tbs of milk
Vanilla essence
2 Tbsp of good quality pure cocoa powder
4 Tbsp of all purpose flour


Melt butter and whisk in milk , vanilla , salt and cocoa powder
Now add sugar and mix
Add flour slowly and mix well
Pour in a mug
Microwave on high for 60-80 seconds

Double / Triple amount of ingredients if you are making more than 1.

Voila !

Spinach with Chicken- Paalak Ghosht

Ingredients :

2 packs of frozen spinach
1/2 inch of ginger finely grated
3 green chillies
1 tsp of salt
3 Tbs of Dried methi also known as fenugreek leaves (Kasuri Methi)

B :
1/2 kg of chicken (legs and thighs cut into 3 pieces )
1 large onion sliced
1 Tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp of kashmiri mirch powder or red chilli powder
1 tsp of turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
Salt to taste
1/2 cup of plain yoghurt
1 tomato chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds
Oil around 6 Tbsp


Defrost spinach and cook in a pot with 1 cup of water
Add ginger and green chillies
After 20-25 mins of cooking add the methi leaves and salt and cook for another 5-10 mins
Set aside

Heat oil in a large pan
Fry onions until light golden brown
Add cumin and methi seeds
Fry for a few seconds
Add chicken and mix well
Add ginger garlic paste , dry spices and continue to stir
Now add yoghurt and tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water and allow to cook on medium heat
After 15 mins, add the cooked spinach
Cook on low heat until oil separates from the spinach
Adjust salt if necessary

Serve hot with chapati or pulao

Enjoy !

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Indian style samosas

Everyone loves indian samosas, these tiny pockets filled with spicy potatoes and peas with their flaky crusts are perfect to have on any occasions. They are not very complicated to make even though it involves multiple steps. Do give it a try , they cannot be compared to the commercial samosas, it is worth the attempt !

2 1/2 all purpose flour
1 tsp of Ajwain (carom seeds- they look like minuscule cumin seeds but with a completely different flavour !)
4 TBS of melted ghee or oil
1 cup water (approximately)
1 tsp of salt

Enough oil for deep frying

2 large potatoes
2 cups of peas (use canned or frozen )
1 onion finely chopped
1 TBS ginger garlic paste
1 TBS of chopped red chillies or less according to preference
1 tsp of coarsely ground coriander seeds
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp of amchoor powder (or use 1 tsp of lemon juice )
1 tsp of kasuri methi (Dried methi leaves - optional )
2 TBS finely chopped coriander leaves

To prepare filling :
Boil potatoes until soft and mash roughly
Heat oil in pan and add onions until golden brown
Add ginger garlic, coarse coriander seeds and red chillies
Fry for a few mins and add  potatoes and peas
Stir fry and add all other spices (cumins seeds, garam masala, cumin powder, kasuri methi , coriander leaves and amchoor powder or lemon juice)
Add salt and mix well and adjust spices and salt according to taste
Allow to cool completely

To prepare crust :
Add ajwain seeds and salt to flour
Add melted ghee / oil and mix well until crumbly
slowly add water and mix until you end up with a dough that is not overly smooth
set aside for at least 15 mins
Divide into small balls and roll flat into an oblong shape (see pictures below )
Divide each disk into 2 so that you have 2 semi circle shapes
Add water on the straight side of the semi circle and shape into a cone
Fill with potato and peas mixture and seal using water to have a triangular shape
Heat oil on medium high and fry samosas until golden brown
Serve hot with tamarind and mint chutney

Roasted Eggplant and Garlic soup

Fall season is here and the crisp, breezy afternoons call for hearty, warm , comforting soups. I made this roasted roasted eggplant and garlic soup recently. Not only was it easy to make but it was so incredibly tasty with the smoky taste of the eggplant and served with some grated swiss cheese it was the perfect soup to have on a cold weekday evening.


3 medium size eggplants
1 head of garlic
1 onion chopped finely
2 TBS of olive oil
2 TBS of butter
1 litre of chicken stock or vegetable stock
1/4 cup of cream
2 TBS of chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp of white pepper powder
Optional - 1 cup of grated swiss cheese , paprika


Pre-heat oven at 400 degrees F
Put a few slits on the eggplants and place on a tray , add the head of garlic and drizzle with 2 tbs of olive oil
Roast eggplants and garlic until cooked through and skin is dark in colour
Remove and allow to cool (This part can be done the day prior and keep refrigerated until ready to use)
Peel eggplants and garlic and discard skin
Heat 2 tbs of butter
Add onion and fry until transparent
Add eggplants and garlic and fry for a few mins
Add chicken stock and adjust salt if necessary
Using a hand blender pulse soup until it turns into a smooth texture
Add pepper, cream , chopped parsley and allow to simmer gently for another 15 mins
Serve hot with bread , grated swiss cheese and paprika

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Easy Almond cookies


3 Egg whites
3/4 cup of sugar
1/4 Cup of white all purpose flour
4 TBS of melted butter
2 cups of thinly sliced almonds
Few drops of almond extract


Heat oven to 375 Degrees F
Line a baking tray with baking paper

Whisk egg whites, add sugar and beat well
Fold in flour , Sliced almonds and melted better
Mix well and add Almond extract
Spoon the cookie mixture on prepared tray and flatten with the back of the spoon to create a perfect round shape
Bake for 15- 20 or until lightly brown
Serve with a cup of tea or coffee