Sunday, November 24, 2013

Onion Pakoras

Easy to make and perfect on cold , snowy or rainy days with a cup of tea. Lovely combination !


1 large yellow onion sliced
2 Cups of besan or chickpea flour (available in both regular and ethnic stores )
1 tsp of garam masala
2 green chillies finely chopped
1 tsp of coriander powder
1/2 sugar
2 tbs of lemon juice
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying


Marinate onion in lemon juice, salt , coriander powder , garam masala powder and sugar - Allow to rest for 10 mins
Add green chillies and besan and slowly add around a 1/4 cup of water to make a thick batter
Adjust salt
Heat oil in pan
Deep fry spoonfuls of pakoras until golden brown
Serve hot with hot sauce / Chutneys

Kalia de poulet - Chicken Kalia

The blend of sweet and spicy spices make this a rich dish that is usually served on special occasions such as Eid , the muslim festival . It can be accompanied with basmati rice, bread or naan and usually a carrot salad. This is chicken Kalia as I remember my grandmother making it .


1 kg chicken legs and thighs
1/2 kg potatoes peeled and fried
1 cup of golden fried onions
1 tsp of spanish saffron soaked in a little bit of warm milk
1/4 cup of coriander leaves chopped
1/4 cup of mint leaves chopped
2-3 green chillies
1/3 cup of ginger garlic paste
1/4 cup of crushed onion
1 cup of full fat yoghurt
2 tbs of roasted ground cumin seeds
1 tbs of garam masala
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
2 sticks of cinnamon
6 eggs boiled and peeled
salt to taste
4-5 tbs oil
1/2 cup of warm water


Marinate chicken with ginger garlic paste, salt and yoghurt overnight
Add all other dry spices including cinnamon sticks , mint leaves, coriander leaves , green chillies , onion paste and 3/4 of fried onions
Mix until all chicken pieces are well covered with spices, herbs and yoghurt and allow to rest another 30 mins or so
Heat oil in a pan
Add marinated chicken and fry for 5 mins
Add potatoes and water
Mix well and cook covered on low heat for 20 mins
Add eggs and saffron milk and cook uncovered for another 10 mins
Kalia is done once oil starts to separate from the gravy which should be thickened by that time
Add rest of fried onions and serve hot

Before frying potatoes add salt and a little bit of yellow food colouring - This will give the potatoes and nice golden colour in the kalia

Poulet Croustillant - Crispy chicken Mauritian style


4 Chicken breasts cut in long thin strips
1 tbs crushed garlic
1 tsp white pepper powder
2 tbs light soya sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup of corn starch (or cornflour )
Oil for deep frying


Clean and pat dry chicken strips
Add Crushed garlic , pepper powder , soya sauce , oyster sauce and eggs
Marinate for 2 hours
Place cornstarch in a Ziploc bag and add marinated chicken strips (This can also be done in a big bowl with a cover)
Shake bag so that chicken pieces are well coated with corn flour
Heat oil in a pan until medium hot
Fry chicken strips until golden brown
Serve with hot sauce

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Korean BBQ Beef


1 lb of beef sliced thinly
1 tbs of crushed garlic
1 tsp of Red chilli powder
2 tbs of dark soya sauce
1 tbs of brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of green onions sliced roughly
1 tbs of sesame oil
sesame seeds (optional)


Marinade beef with all the ingredients and refrigerate overnight
Heat grill and place beef and cook until brown
A flat griddle can also be used
Serve with salad or over rice

Add toasted sesame seeds on top

Gâteaux Bananes - Sweet Banana Fritters

Another popular one from Mauritius - A very ingenious way to use over-riped bananas if you are tired of the usual banana bread. Popular with afternoon tea or simply as a warm dessert with cream .


3 Ripe Bananas
5- 6 tablespoons of sugar
1 1/2 cup of flour 
1 egg lightly beaten 
1/3 cup of milk 
1 tsp of vanilla extract 
Oil for deep frying

  • Mash bananas leaving a few chunks
  • Mix in flour , beaten egg , milk sugar and vanilla 
  • If batter is too thick add a little bit more milk to get the right consistency which should fall off spoon easily but not overly liquid 
  • Heat oil in pan on medium heat 
  • Add spoonfuls of banana batter in oil
  • Fry until golden brown
  • Set on paper towel
  • Add icing sugar on top or serve hot with cream 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Croquettes de poulet à la mauricienne - Chicken croquettes

This appetizer is very easy to make and enjoyed by kids and adults alike- Serve with a hot and spicy chilli sauce


1 chicken breasts cut into small- medium size
1tbs of light soya sauce
1 tsp of cornflour

1 and 1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp of baking powder
1 egg
cold water
salt and white pepper
Oil for frying


Marinate chicken pieces with pepper , soya sauce, cornflour and set aside
Mix flour with salt and white pepper , baking powder and lightly beaten egg
Add cold water and mix to form a thick batter (Batter should be neither too thick nor too thin)
Add chicken pieces to Batter
Take a piece of chicken and coat with a tablespoon of batter
Pour into medium hot oil and fry until golden brown
Serve hot with chilli sauce

Vindaille de Poisson - Mauritian fried fish in dry mustard sauce

Vindaille de poisson is almost like a pickled fried fish that can stay for a long period of time with the mustard, turmeric, oil and vinegar acting as a preservative. Commonly eaten on a freshly baked french baguette or with rice accompanied by lentils . The crunchy onions and green chillies make vindaille tastes very unique. In Mauritius , vindaille is usually made with Fresh Tuna fish. However, you can make it with any white fish Filet.


1.5 kg of Fish deboned, cleaned and cut into big chunks
Salt and pepper
1 tbs crushed garlic
1 tsp of turmeric powder
Oil for frying


2 Tbs Mustard seeds- Crush to a coarse paste in a motar and pestle with a little bit of water
2 medium sized Onions
5-6 cloves of Garlic
2-3 tbs of Oil
1 tbs of Turmeric powder
Green chillies according to taste
1 tbs of Vinegar


Pat dry fish with paper towel and marinate with salt , pepper , 1 tsp of turmeric powder and 1 tbs of finely crushed garlic set aside
Heat oil in a pan
Fry fish until golden brown

Chop onions in big chunks
Slice garlic and green chillies length wise
Heat oil in pan until very hot
Add garlic and Onions and stir continuously
Add Mustard paste and turmeric
Stir for 2 mins
Add green chillies
Remove pan from heat immediately and continue to stir
You may or may not need to add extra oil at this stage
Add fish to this masala mixture and mix well until all pieces are well coated
Adjust salt
Keep mixing and lastly add the vinegar
Allow to rest and serve with bread or rice

Onions and garlic should remain crunchy and not overly cooked nor should they turn brown (see picture for texture and colour)
Important to work very fast and stir continuously

Macatia Coco - Mauritian coconut buns

These soft sweet buns filled with coconut in the centre are a delight with a cup of tea in the afternoon. Well loved by mauritians , spreading butter on these warm coconut buns make them irresistible. There used to be street vendors , locally known as "marchands macatia"who would go around neighbourhoods on their bicycles selling these buns. We would hear them from a distance on Saturday afternoons screaming "Macatia Coco" . The temptation would be too big for us not to rush out and get a few of them !


4 Cups of flour
1 cup of lukewarm milk
1 pack of instant dry yeast
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of melted butter
1 egg
pinch of salt

3/4 cup of Grated coconut
1/4 cup of sugar


Put flour in a bowl , make a well in the centre and add 1/4 cup of lukewarm milk and yeast
Stir and let the yeast dissolve
In another smaller bowl mix sugar , salt and the egg
Slowly add the rest of the milk to the egg mixture
Pour this wet ingredients to the flour and start kneading by hand - Dough will be extremely sticky at this stage
You may do this in a stand mixture if you prefer
When the milk is well incorporated add the melted butter to the dough
Keep kneading until the dough is glossy - You might have to adjust by adding a little bit more flour or milk as required- Might take 5-10 mins
Place dough in a warm area to rise until double in size
In the meantime mix grated coconut with sugar for the filling
Divide dough into small buns (15-18 buns)
Flatten each bun and tuck in a tablespoon of the coconut and sugar mixture in the middle and close on all sides to make a bun again
Brush top of buns with some extra melted butter
Arrange in a tray and Bake at 375 F until golden brown around 20-15 mins

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tandoori Chicken and paneer Quesadillas

An indian touch to the mexican dish ! Great combination.


4 Tortillas sheets
2 cups of chicken breast marinated in tandoori spices and grilled in the oven 
1 medium size onion sliced
1 cup of cheddar cheese or any other cheese of your choice such as Mozzarella 
1/2 cup paneer cut into cubes 
1/4 cup of plain yoghurt
2 tbs of mayonnaise 
salt and pepper
2 tsp of lemon juice
chopped green chillies 
chopped coriander leaves
4 tbs of oil


Slice grilled tandoori chicken breasts and set aside 
Mix yoghurt / Mayonnaise/ Salt / Pepper / green chillies / lemon juice 
Spread this mixture on half of tortillas 
Add chicken slices and onions
Add paneer if using 
Add Cheddar Cheese / Mozzarella cheese 
Add coriander leaves
Fold tortillas in half
Heat a tbs or 2 of oil in a non stick pan or flat griddle 
Place tortilla sheet and press firmly with a spoon 
Allow to toast until golden brown 
Flip and Grill on the other side.

Serve hot with the spicy yoghurt sauce 

Falooda Mousse

I absolutely love the delicate flavour of rose water. Inspired by the indian rose syrup drink Falooda, I came up with a mousse that was reminiscent of that flavour- A Falooda mousse. Light and airy with the delicate , sweet aroma of Rose water.


1 Can of evaporated milk (Carnation brand used )- Chilled in the refrigerator preferably overnight
2 Tbs Gelatine powder (Halal Gelatin available in most Arabic / Mediterranean stores)
Little bit of water about 3 tbs to mix gelatine powder
2/3 cup of sugar
2 Tbs of Rose water or a few drops of Rose extract
Few drops of red food colouring
Chopped pistachios
Shredded red colour agar agar for decoration (optional)


Open can of evaporated milk and whisk in a bowl until extremely frothy and thick
Gradually add sugar and continue to whisk
Add water to gelatine power  and microwave on high for 20 -25 seconds- Mix well until there are no granules left
Now add the gelatine powder to the whipped evaporated milk mixture and continue to whisk
Pour in serving dishes of your choice (Individuals or one medium sized )
Leave to set in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or more
Add shredded agar agar and pistachios before serving

Use almond flavour and green food colouring instead of rose flavour 
Mango puree can also be added to the carnation milk for a mango mousse 

Down Memory Lane

I came across one of my most treasured items recently , my hand-written recipe copy book which I started when I was 16 years old ! As I went through the pages , I could not believe that I actually hand wrote recipes as I came across anything interesting . It brought back such beautiful and sweet memories and also self realization that cooking has always been part of who I am, my real passion. I still am fascinated by new recipes and try to innovate in my kitchen. I believe true passion never dies .....I feel blessed that I am able to share this love with all of you !

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Gateau Arouille - Mauritian Taro Fritters

These taro fritters are loved by all Mauritians , they are extremely popular. Taro is a root vegetable which is used in different ways. They are normally accompanied by a spicy chutney or hot sauce. This appetizer originated in the Chinese community of Mauritius. However, today they are enjoyed by all. I remember the ritual of buying these taro fritters in the morning, piping hot from our favourite vendor during my student life at Loreto Convent of Port-Louis. Sweet memories !


1 medium sized Taro root vegetable (easily available at Asian stores in Canada)
1 tsp finely grated ginger
2 tbs of sugar
1 tbs of black bean sauce
4 tbs of arrowroot powder or Cornstarch
Oil for deep frying


Peel and shred Taro finely
Add all the ingredients and mix thoroughly
Heat oil in a pan
Make small golf sized balls with taro mix
Fry in oil on medium heat until golden brown
Serve hot with a spicy sauce

Fry on medium heat only - If oil is too hot , taro fritters will turn brown fast and remain uncooked inside  (It does take longer to fry )
Substitute the black bean sauce with salt if preferred
Some taro roots have more moisture than others, adjust amount of arrowroot powder / cornstarch accordingly
When forming the balls with the shredded taro , they should come together into a compact ball easily
Do not add water !

Corn and Shrimp fritters

Great appetizer to be enjoyed with some Sirachan hot sauce on any day !


2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbs instant yeast
1 medium can sweet corn
1/2 cup of cream of corn
1 1/2 cups of shrimps chopped in small pieces
1 tsp of finely chopped scotch bonnet pepper
1/2 cup of green onions finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 tbs of fish sauce (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of warm water
Oil to Fry


Add yeast to flour and mix with warm water until it becomes a thick batter
Add all other ingredients and mix well
Allow to rest and double in volume in a warm place
Batter should not be too thin but rather thick . However should still fall off fairly easily from a spoon
If batter is too thick add a little bit more water but not too much
Heat oil in pan
Pour a tablespoon of batter in oil at a time
Fry on medium-high heat until golden brown
Place on a plate with paper towel
Serve hot with Sirachan chilli sauce


Add light soya sauce instead of fish sauce
Use green chillies or Jalapenos instead of scotch bonnet pepper
Chicken can certainly be substituted for the shrimps (have the same amount of small cubes of cooked chicken breasts)

Spring salad with blue cheese and honey mustard dressing

This salad is perfect for spring or any time of the year ! Can be accompanied by a nice roast beef or filet mignon.


 Half  pack of Arugula and half pack baby spinach
 1 handful of pecans nuts
 1- 2 Bosc pears sliced
 Few pieces of blue cheese according to taste (omit completely if blue cheese is not to your liking )
 1 tbs honey to toast the walnuts

1/4 cup of olive oil
Juice from half a lemon
1tbs of honey
1 tsp dijon mustard
Salt to taste


Wash and drain greens
Toast pecans with a tbs of honey in a pan on low heat - set aside to cool
Whisk all ingredients for dressing and keep in the fridge until ready to serve
Arrange mixed greens on a plate
Add pecans , sliced pears and blue cheese
Drizzle with dressing
Enjoy !

Replace blue cheese with goat cheese 
Bosc pear (brown skin pear ) is best for this salad as it's dry and crisp
Increase the dressing amount and keep in a tight lid container in the fridge for later use

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Les crêpes salées

French style crêpes is very popular in Mauritius, these are eaten more like a snack in the afternoon. You can make both savoury and sweet crêpes. The recipe will be pretty much the same except that you will need to add sugar to the sweet version (for the same amount add 4 tbs of sugar instead of the salt and herb).
The crêpes featured here are savoury with lots of green onions and thymes and served with a coriander and green chilli chutney.


2 cups of all purpose white flour sifted
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups of milk
salt to taste
yellow food colouring - a pinch
1/4 cup of chopped green onions
a few thyme sprigs
2-3 tbs melted butter for the pan


Add flour , salt and food colouring to a big bowl
Whisk eggs and milk together
Add liquid to flour
Whisk thoroughly and add all the herbs
Allow to rest for at least half an hour
If batter is too thick and does not fall off spoon easily add a little bit more milk
Heat a non stick flat bottom pan
Brush with butter
Using a ladle , pour batter in pan and swirl around so that the whole surface of the pan is coated
Wait for 30 seconds or so
Flip crepes around and cook for another 10-20
Remove from pan and serve hot

Batter needs to be fairly fluid
DO NOT flip until you are certain the bottom has cooked through- it will start detaching off the pan easily . This is when you can flip

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Egyptian Basbousa

When I got my funky Mediterranean glasses for mint tea, I was looking for the perfect treat that would go with them for that great picture. I came across several Egyptian Basbousa recipes and pictures. This is a semolina and yoghurt cake soaked in rose water syrup and it looked very appealing. This was something I have never attempted before so I was excited ! In this recipe , I decreased the amount of sugar considerably compared to other recipes I found and it was just sweet enough. Let me tell you IT IS A MUST TRY !!!! It is a fabulous moist cake with that delicate and exotic rose water flavor. I fell in love. It is a treat I will make more often for sure.


2 Cups of Semolina
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 Cup (1 stick) of Butter at room temperature
2 eggs
3/4 cup of low fat yoghurt
1/4 cup of cream
2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 tsp of salt
A few slivers of almonds

2 Cups of sugar
1 and 1/2 cups of water
Rose water flavor
METHOD : Boil water and sugar till thick . Allow to cool before adding the rose water flavor

  • Preheat oven at 325 degrees F
  • Beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy
  • Add salt and cardamom powder and mix well
  • Now add eggs one at a time and beat slowly
  • Beat yoghurt with cream together and set aside
  • Mix Semolina with baking powder
  • Now add Semolina to Butter and egg mixture alternating with the yoghurt and cream
  • Mix well until completely incorporated
  • Pour in buttered dish
  • Add slices of almonds on top of cake 
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top
  • Once outside the oven , pour the rose syrup on top of cake uniformly but very gently and slowly (You do not require to poke the cake - Semolina cake will absorb the syrup within minutes)
  • Allow to cool and cut in squares or diamond shapes, remove from baking dish and put on a tray or plate
  • Serve with a mint tea

If you want the cake to be even less sweet, eliminate the sugar completely from the cake. The syrup will be enough. You can serve it with some fruits. However, I found that 1/4 cup added to the cake mix was just perfect.
You may use full fat yoghurt and omit the cream altogether
Next time, I will add some shredded coconut as well

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mango and Lime cooler

Summer is here and what better ways to enjoy great beverages after those long hours working in the garden or just chilling on those breezy summer evenings. Here is one of my most favorite non-alcoholic drink . Mango and Lime cooler . So refreshing with fresh mangoes and very easy to make.


2 ripe mangoes sliced and pureed
Juice from 2 limes plus the zest
Simple syrup (made from one part of sugar and 1 part of water - Boil until thick )
500 ml of soda or plain water


Mix the pureed mangoes , lime juice and zest plus the syrup
Add the chilled soda or plain water and ice
Mix well
Adjust lime juice and or syrup as required
Serve chilled

Easy and healthy fish en papillote

En papillote is a French style of cooking in which the food (fish, chicken or vegetables) is put into a folded parchment paper (Aluminum foil paper can be used as well) . The paper holds in the moisture while cooking the food while less or no oil is required thus making it a healthy way of cooking.

I decided to do a trout en papillote with fennel which was incredibly moist and tasty


Trout fillet or any other fish or your choice
2 tbs of olive oil
Juice from one lemon
Salt and pepper
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1 Fennel sliced
A few thyme leaves


Wash fish and pat dry
Place slices of Fennel on parchment paper add a little bit of salt
Put fish on top of fennel slices rub with salt , pepper and garlic
Add lemon juice and drizzle with olive oil and place thyme leaves on top
Fold parchment paper on all sides to close it like a parcel
Place on a tray and bake at 375 degrees F for 15 to 20 mins

Quatre Quarts au citron

Quatre Quarts is a popular French cake from the region of Britany whereby the equal amount of Butter , Sugar , Flour and eggs are used . The end result is a tasty ,buttery pound cake like texture. I used individual molds to make mine but feel free to use a regular mold.


4 Eggs
1 Cup of sugar
1 Cup of self raising flour
1 Cup of butter
1/4 tsp of salt
Juice and zest of 2 lemons


Preheat oven at 350 degrees F
Melt butter and set aside
Beat eggs with sugar until the mixture becomes pale in color
Add flour and salt and beat slowly
Now add melted butter and whisk until well incorporated
Add lemon juice and zest
Pour in individual mold or a regular 9 x 9 mold and bake for 20-25 mins

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chicken Jalfrezi

I have had some of the best Indian dishes in the UK. One of the most popular being chicken Jalfrezi. This is my own version of this spicy curry that is easy to make and a refreshing change from the usual butter chicken !



3 chicken breasts cut in medium sized pieces
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp garam masala
salt to taste
1 medium onion sliced
coriander leaves
1 red pepper chopped (optional- not used in this recipe)


1 large onion roughly chopped
3 gloves of garlic sliced
1 green chilli
1 tbsp. coriander powder
1 tbsp. cumin powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 large tomatoes chopped
2 red chillies (optional- if mild taste desired -so not use)
salt to taste
Oil for frying


Add all the spices (cumin , coriander , turmeric and garam masala powder ) salt to the chicken pieces and allow to marinade in the fridge for 30 mins or so

Fry the onions and garlic until golden brown
Add the green chillies , all the spices (cumin, coriander, turmeric and garam masala powder ) and the chopped tomatoes and fry until tomatoes are soft
Add salt and stir well
Remove from heat
Allow to cool for a few mins and put in a food processor and give it a good whizz and set aside

Heat 2 tbs in a clean pan
Add the chicken and stir continuously
Add the 1 medium size sliced onions , red peppers if using as well as red chillies
Stir till chicken is cooked through and peppers are soft
Now add the tomato and brown onion gravy prepared earlier and simmer for 15-20 mins on low until oil separates from the gravy
Adjust salt if required
Sprinkle with chopped coriander leaves and a little bit of garam masala before serving with rice or freshly made chapatis / naan

Crispy Potato Bhajia

These crispy potato fritters also known as bhajias are best served hot with any kind of chutney or hot sauce. They make for a quick and spicy appetizer any time. Can't really go wrong with potatoes let alone fried potatoes in batter !

Enjoy :)


4 medium size potatoes
1 cup of chickpea flour
1 tbs of cornflour
3 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp salt
2 cloves of garlic - crushed
2-3 green chillies - crushed
1 small bunch of coriander leaves finely chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Just a little bit of water to mix potatoes


  • Slice potatoes as thinly as possible and soak in a bowl of cold water
  • Mix all other ingredients together
  • Drain potatoes but do not pat dry (this will make it easier for flour to stick to potatoes)
  • Add potatoes to flour and mix until well coated- A little bit of water might be required to make sure the potatoes are well coated on both sides
  • Allow to rest for 15-20 mins
  • Heat oil in a pan on medium heat
  • Fry potatoes until golden brown and potatoes cooked through inside
  • Serve immediately

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Roast Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary

There is something very homely and welcoming with the aroma of a roast chicken. Accompanied with mash potatoes and gravy , it is one of the best comfort food. The left overs make for great sandwiches and the soups.


1 Whole chicken cleaned, washed and pat dry
3 gloves of garlic crushed
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup of unsalted butter melted
Bunch of Rosemary
2 lemons
1 big onions sliced thickly


Season chicken with salt and pepper inside out really well
Rub with crushed garlic inside and all over chicken
Fill cavity with Rosemary and 1 lemon cut in half
Tie with a piece of kitchen thread wings down
Arrange onions on Baking tray
Place chicken on top of onions (This will bring excellent flavor to the chicken and also prevent it from steaming as chicken will not tough base of tray )
Brush chicken all over with melted butter
Place other vegetables of choice (Mini potatoes, carrots ) in tray
Roast in oven for 1 hour 15 mins
Remove and allow to rest for another 5-10 mins
Serve with vegetables and gravy

Napolitaines de l'ile Maurice

No National celebrations would be complete in Mauritius without Napolitaines ! The famous buttery, melt in your mouth cookies sealed with strawberry jam and the traditional pink icing on top is the national sweet treat of the island. Not sure of the origin of those delightful cookies but they certainly  bring back lots of childhood memories. Here is the recipe:


4 Cups all purpose flour
2 cups of butter softened
1/2 tsp salt
Red fruit jam (Strawberry or Raspberry)


4 Cups of icing sugar
Couple fo tbs of cold water
1 pinch of pink food coloring


Heat oven to 375 degrees C
Mix flour , salt and butter
Work dough so that it comes together into one big ball (DO NOT OVERWORK DOUGH) - This step can be done in a food processor as well
Chill slightly in the fridge (5-10 mins)
Roll dough out (approximately 1/2 inch in thickness) and use a cookie cutter to cut into shapes of choice - Traditionally small circles preferred
Bake in oven for around 15 mins - cookies should not turn brown
Remove from oven and place tray on rack and allow to cool completely

IMPORTANT - Do not move cookies while still hot as they will break into pieces- It is critical to allow them to cool completely

Once cookies are completely cool, sandwich 2 cookies with jam (take one cookie , flat surface down and put some jam on top , now take another cookie and place flat surface downward on the jam )


Add water and coloring to icing sugar
Mix well
Put icing on each cookie


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mixed Berries Pavlova

There is a big debate as to whether the origin of Pavlova is Australian , Russian or from New Zealand. No matter what, this is a beautiful dessert that you can easily impress your guests with. It might look intricate but a very easy one to tackle as long as you use the proper technique of beating the egg whites and adjust your oven to the recommended heat. You can serve it with other fruits of your choice. The original recipe I had, called for 1 cup of sugar, I cut it to 3/4 and thought it was sweet enough. There are other recipes with cream of tartar . This one without the cream of tartar has worked well for me (second time I made it) that's why I stick to this recipe.

4 egg whites at room temperature
3/4 cup of sugar
a pinch of salt
1 tsp of cornstarch
2 tsp of white vinegar
1 tsp of vanilla extract

2 cups of whipping cream
2 tbs sugar
Fruits of your choice - In this case mixed berries

Heat oven at 300 degrees C- Once Pavlova is in, reduce to 250 degrees C
Place a grease proof paper on a baking tray

Beat egg whites and salt with an electric mixer until soft peaks form
Add the sugar slowly (a tablespoon at a time ) and continue to beat until thick and glossy (for 2-3 mins)
Add cornstarch, vinegar and vanilla extract and fold into the egg mixture
Now with a spatula , spoon mixture into a circle on your greaseproof paper(make it around 8 inches or so)
Place tray in the oven and immediately reduce heat to 250 degrees
Bake for 1 hour
Turn off heat
Allow to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar

Once completely cool :
Whip cream with 2 tbs of sugar until thick
Spread gently on Pavlova cake
Decorate with fruits
and VOILA !


Monday, February 11, 2013

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake

I recently developed a taste for salted caramel desserts. I had the best salted caramel ice cream and salted caramel milkshake on my trip to England late last year . I instantly fell in love with the incredible combination of sweet caramel and salt . When I had the opportunity a couple of weeks ago to make a birthday cake for a teenager turning 18 , I thought a salted caramel chocolate cake would be just perfect . I made the cake in 3 steps- I started with the caramel sauce 3 days prior and kept it in the fridge. I made the cake the day before (which I strongly recommend as it makes it a lot easier to spread the caramel on) and on the day of , I made the frosting and finished with the decoration.
It is extremely important to wear kitchen gloves while making the caramel sauce as it will bubble and become very foamy when the cream is added. Do not panic ! Just add the cream very slowly , a little at a time while stirring continuously.
Use Maldon , Fleur de Sel or Himalayan Pink salt only. DO NOT USE table salt as it will be too harsh and salty for this recipe.

There will be leftover caramel sauce- Refrigerate - warm to loosen a bit and use on vanilla ice cream !

It is a time consuming cake to make but oh so worth it !

2 Sticks unsalted butter softened
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
Pinch of salt
4 eggs
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate , melted over pot of boiling water and cooled
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

  • Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F
  • Butter 2 x 9 inch non stick round cake pans and line each pan with parchment paper
  • Sift flour , cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together
  • With and electric mixer on medium-high speed , cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  • Add eggs one at a time mixing until completely incorporated before adding each additional egg
  • Mix in the chocolate and vanilla making sure to combine really well
  • Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk in 3 batches starting and ending with the flour mixture. Make sure to mix really well without over beating
  • Pour half the batter in each pan and spread it evenly
  • Bake until a toothpick comes out clean around 25-30 mins
  • Remove the pans from the racks and allow to cool for 10 mins
  • Loose edges of the cakes from the pan with a knife and then turn them onto racks
  • Remove the paper and let the cakes to cool completely

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CARAMEL SAUCE (Can be made up to 3 days ahead of time)

4 Cups of granulated sugar
1/4 cup of corn syrup
1/4 cup of water
2 cups of cream
2 sticks of cold unsalted butter cut into pieces
1 teaspoon of salt (Maldon, fleur de sel or Himalayan pink salt)

  • Combine sugar, corn syrup and water into a saucepan over high heat
  • Cook until mixture is dark amber in color (Approximately 15 mins)
  • Remove from heat and carefully pour in cream very slowly (mixture will start to foam and may splatter - Be very cautious during this step and use protective kitchen gloves - Add cream very slowly - Do not rush)
  • Continue to add cream until everything is well incorporated
  • Return to heat and cook for about 2-3 mins
  • Pour into bowl and add salt and mix well
  • Let cool slightly and add butter 1 piece at a time
  • Allow to cool completely

500 Grms good quality semi-sweet chocolate melted
2 sticks of unsalted butter room temperature
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder

  • Whisk together cocoa powder with 2 tbs of warm water and set aside
  • Beat sugar and butter with a pinch of salt until light and fluffy
  • Gradually add melted chocolate and cocoa powder and mix until well combined
  • Let stand at least 30 mins before using


Slice cakes horizontally so that you get 4 round slabs
Spread the caramel sauce on top of each layer and on top of final layer
Decorate with chocolate frosting as per your liking
Sprinkle some salt sparsely on top of cake

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Japanese Cheesecake

Ever since I saw Japanese cheesecake in the bakery section at the Chinese store, I was fascinated by the texture. I wondered how it would taste like, as from the look, it did not resemble a traditional cheesecake at all but more of a sponge cake. I finally found a recipe and tried it out. The result was light, airy and fluffy cake. Not overly sweet , best served with fruits .


250 grms cream cheese
6 eggs separated
1/2 cup cream or full cream milk
3 tbs butter
1/2 cup flour
2 tbs corn flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp  tartar powder
2 tsp vanilla extract

  • Melt butter with milk in a double boiler
  • Add cream cheese (left at room temperature )
  • Mix everything well and there should be no lumps
  • Allow to cool
  • Add egg yolks one at a time
  • Slowly add flour and corn flour and mix well
  • Add vanilla extract
  • Mixture should now be smooth . Set aside
  • Whisk egg whites on high speed
  • Add tartar powder and keep beating the eggs
  • Add sugar slowly
  • Egg whites would have doubled in volume and very thick at this stage
  • Gently fold into the cream cheese egg yolk mixture
  • Pour into mold that was lined with parchment paper
  • Bake au Bain Marie at 300F for 1 1/2 hours
Allow to cool and serve with fruits

Clam Thin crust pizza

As I was watching "You gotta eat here" show on Food TV, I was drooling just looking at the host biting into a thin crust clam pizza that looked divine. I tried making my own version from what I saw that day and the result I have to say was fantastic ! There is nothing like home made pizza dough. However, if you find it too time consuming you may use bakery bought ones. This recipe yields 2 thin crust pizza dough .

3 Cups all purpose flour plus extra for dusting
1/4 cup of whole wheat flour
1 package quick rise yeast (2 1/2 tsp)
1 tbs sugar
1 tbs salt
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs cornmeal
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs chopped garlic
1 can baby clams drained
2 tbs lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaves parsley
2 cups good quality Buffalo mozzarella cheese grated
1/2 cup Romano cheese grated
  • In a food processor pulse flour , yeast, salt and sugar
  • With motor running, add water and olive oil in a steady stream and then pulse until dough comes together in a rough mass
  • If the dough does not come together, add 1-2 tbs of water and pulse again
  • Let rest for 5-10 mins and pulse again for 25-30 secs
  • The dough should not be sticky , transfer to a lightly floured surface and form into a smooth ball
  • Place dough in a large oiled bowl , turn to coat with oil and cover with plastic wrap
  • Let the dough rise and double in size for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours
  • Turn onto a lightly floured work surface punch it down and divide into 2 equal pieces
  • Allow to rest for another 10 mins before proceeding with toppings
  • Drain clams and add chopped parsley leaves, lemon juice , olive oil salt and pepper set aside
  • Heat oven to 500 degrees F
  • Spread Pizza dough on tray . For an extra thin crust , prick with fork all around (skip this step if you like it thicker)
  • Brush with the olive oil
  • Sprinkle the edge with cornmeal for an extra crispy edge
  • Add chopped garlic
  • Add 1 cup of cheese Followed by the clams
  • Add the rest of the cheese including the Romano cheese on top
  • Bake until edge is golden brown and cheese is bubbly (Around 10 mins )
  • Allow to rest for at least 2 mins before slicing

Gujrati style yoghurt - Shrikhand

Yoghurt is strained overnight and once all the water has been removed , you are left with a thick , creamy product . This is whipped with sugar and from there just use your imagination to flavor this popular Indian dessert. From mango pulp to saffron , from pistachio to cardamom , you can make it as simple or as elaborate as you want. Best served cold as a counterpoint to hot and spicy dishes I have used pomegranate and home made pomegranate coulis that complemented exquisitely with the sweetness and richness of the thick yoghurt .


1 tub of good quality organic full cream yoghurt (Liberty or organic meadows are quite good)
2/3 cups of sugar
1/2 tsp of cardamom powder
Pomegranate seeds
2tbs lemon juice
1 tsp of cornstarch

  • Use a cheese cloth and hang yoghurt over bowl to drain overnight
  • Discard whey and take thick yoghurt left in cheese cloth and put in a bowl
  • Add sugar and whip thoroughly
  • Add cardamom powder and mix well
  • Take a cup of pomegranate seeds and press in a sieve to get around 1/2 cup of juice
  • Add 2 tbs of lemon juice and cook on low heat
  • Add cornstarch until just thick enough , remove from heat and sieve to remove skim on top
  • Pour whipped yoghurt in glass, add pomegranate coulis and more yoghurt on top
  • Finish with pomegranate seeds

Make a mango coulis instead of pomegranate and serve with fresh mango pieces when in season.
Use saffron instead of cardamom for a bright yellow color

Spicy Kerala Style Mussels

I love seafood ! Being an island in the midst of the Indian ocean , seafood is an integral part of the Mauritian cuisine. I was recently gifted with a Kerala cookbook and was totally amazed by the array of seafood dishes in it. I was completely inspired by the Oyster dish "Ularthiyathu" . I used the same recipe but made it with mussels instead.


400 grms mussels (Steamed in water and shells removed)
1 Big onion chopped
2-3 Green chillies chopped
1 small piece of Ginger
8 flakes of garlic
1/2  cup grated coconut
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbs of oil
2 -3 curry leaves
1 tbs fresh lime juice
salt to taste
1 tsp mustad seeds

  • Grind coconut , ginger, garlic and green chillies and set aside
  • Heat oil in a pan
  • Add turmeric powder, curry leaves, mustard seeds and chopped onions - Sautee well
  • Add mussels , coconut paste and stir
  • Allow to cook for a few minutes
  • Add lime juice and leave to simmer on low heat for 2-3 mins until quite dry
  • Serve with bread , rice or chapatti

Sago Gula Melaka (Malay style Tapioca pearls)

This sweet treat is so simple with minimal ingredients yet so refreshingly tasty after a heavy meal. Feel free to use Brown sugar instead of the Gula Melaka (which is a palm sugar). The taste of Gula Melaka is quite unique though , if you are able to find it (available at the Chinese grocery stores)  give it a try.
1 1/2 cups of Tapioca pearls (Also known as Sago pearls)
200 grms of Palm sugar (Gula Melaka )
1 can -250 ml of coconut milk
2 tbs of water
Pinch of salt
Enough water to boil sago pearls
  • Boil water in a saucepan , add in tapioca pearls and keep stirring to make sure that they do not stick together. Cook until pearls are translucent
  • Strain and wash away excess starch in cold water
  • Put pearls in individual cups or glasses and allow to set in the fridge
  • Boil coconut milk in a saucepan, stir constantly until thick . Allow to cool and add a pinch of salt
  • In another saucepan , melt the palm sugar with the 2 tbs of water on low heat
  • Once syrupy set aside to cool
  • Remove sago from the fridge- add sugar syrup and coconut milk to each glass
  • Serve cold

Lobster Mac and Cheese

I have been craving for a good lobster mac and cheese for a while. When I went for grocery 2 weeks ago , I could not resist the fresh lobsters in the tank. They were too appealing and when the guy behind the counter told me "We can cook it for you if you'd like " ! I was sold :)  - The thought of putting live lobsters in a pot of boiling water makes me a bit squeamish . This was an offer I simply could not resist. Off I went with my 2 cooked lobsters and my White cheddar ,Swiss and Gruyere cheese.


300 g Elbow Macaroni ( I like to use Barilla brand- just a personal favorite )
2 Lobsters fully cooked and cut into big chunks (keep the shells and other parts to make a great Lobster Bisque)
1/4 cup of butter unsalted
2 Tbs of flour
2 cups of warm milk
4 cups of grated cheese combined ( I used white cheddar, Swiss Emental and Gruyere)
Few sprigs of thyme leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
Panko bread crumbs (optional to your liking )


Cook Macaroni according to instructions until al dente- Keep aside
Heat butter in a pan
Add flour and cook until slightly brown
Slowly add the warm milk (if cold milk is used sauce will be lumpy)
Whisk until it turns into a smooth paste (not too thick - add more milk if required)
Add nutmeg , thyme leaves, pepper
Now add the cheese and mix well until completely melted - Add salt only if required
Add the pasta and lobster and stir well to coat
Pour into individual casserole dishes (or a medium sized one)
Ready to eat as is or if you wish , sprinkle panko breadcrumbs on top and broil on high for 2-3 mins until bubbly


It is sometimes daunting to look for cheese that does not contain Rennet (animal based enzymes ). However, a lot of brands now use bacterial culture as opposed to Rennet such as Agropur

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Moist Chocolate Cake with chocolate ganache

Happy 2013 to everyone ! It's been a while since I posted anything on my blog. I have been extremely busy at work and did not do much cooking over the holidays. This morning I woke up with an urge to get cooking ! I was not sure what to make as the first post of 2013. While asking my sister for suggestions, she told me a "Chocolate cake with chocolate Ganache" would be a great start. Now, I am not a huge fan of chocolate ( I am more of an ice cream girl !) but thought it was a great idea as I have not made a chocolate cake in ages. I had a recipe in my high school recipe collection and this is the one I tried . The result was a very moist chocolate cake .


1 Cup Good quality Cocoa powder
1/2 cup of boiling water
1/4 cup of evaporated milk
1 tsp instant coffee
1 Cup of flour
2 tsp Baking powder
vanilla essence
2 eggs
1 stick of butter
1 cup of sugar
Pinch of salt

8 ounces of semi sweet chocolate
3/4 cup of evaporated milk (or cream can also be used for a richer texture )
2 tbs butter


Heat oven to 350 and grease a small baking tin
Add boiling water to cocoa powder, coffee granules and mix thoroughly
Now add the evaporated milk and mix well
Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy
Add eggs one at a time until lemony in color
Add vanilla essence
Sieve baking powder, flour and salt
Now fold in flour and cocoa powder paste alternately in egg mixture
Fold as gently as possible starting with flour and ending with flour
Pour in baking tin
Bake for 50 mins (or until skewer comes out clean when tested)
Allow to cool

Ganache is just a French word for chocolate sauce which can be used in multiple ways

Pour hot cream or evaporated milk on chocolate
Mix well until chocolate is completely melted
Now add butter and beat well until smooth and glossy
Allow to cool at room temperature or in the fridge

Once cake is ready pour Ganache on top

Serve with a cup of coffee or tea


Sauteed Tiger Prawns

I love seafood and when it comes to Tiger Prawns I like using as few ingredients as possible so that the sweet taste of the prawns do not get overpowered. I sautéed those juicy prawns in ginger, garlic, dried red chillies , salt and pepper . They turned out to be absolutely phenomenal.

1 box of Tiger Prawns (if using frozen or 12 fresh )
1 head of garlic
1 small piece of ginger (to make around 1 tbs of finely chopped)
1 tsp of dried red chilli flakes
Pinch of sugar
1/4 cup of water
2 tbs oil (preferably peanut oil otherwise vegetable oil)
salt and pepper to taste

Clean prawns and pat dry
Add salt and pepper
Heat oil in a wok
Add finely chopped garlic and ginger
Fry for a bit and add Prawns and keep stirring
When Prawns start to change color to red, add water and allow to cook for a 2 mins
Now add sugar and fry till all liquid is absorbed
Add the chilli flakes and mix well

Serve with rice or can be eaten with hands as is !