Mexican chickpea/ chicken noodle soup

I am not sure if Mexicans eat linguini in their soup but I did try out this soup and it was really hearty and tasty. Will definitely  make it again. I made a few small changes to the original recipe from Feasting at home blog. It has some great recipes there.


2 Tb oil

1 onion diced fine

4 garlic

2 cans chickpeas or 500gm chicken breast

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cummin powder

2 tsp chilli powder

2 tsp coriander powder

2 tsp chipotle sauce from the jar and a chipotle chilli chopped

1 Tb tomato paste

3 Tb jalapeño chilli slices from a jar

4 cups each stock

4 cups water

100 Gm linguini

1 lemon

For garnish: avocado, spring onions, coriander leaves, corn chips


Fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes. If using chicken, brown chicken for five minutes then add all the spices. If using the chickpeas add it now drained and rinsed. I used one can of chickpeas and one can of black Mexican beans.

Add the tomato paste, chillies, stock and water. Bring to boil then add the pasta and cook till pasta is done. Season with salt and lemon juice.

Serve hot with all or any one garnish.

Recipe source:




Heavenly Travel cake

The name of the cake caught my eyes first. And reading through the recipe the final marmalade glaze sold me. I had to try it, and it proved to be a keeper of a recipe. When I gave it to a family member to taste the verdict was ” heavenly, heavenly”…. So, without anymore dawdling here goes.

Things you will need:

204gm plain flour

11/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cardamom powder

1 tsp ginger powder

1/2 tsp salt

250 Gm white sugar

1 lemon

4 eggs

120 ml heavy cream

11/2 tsp vanilla essence

75gm butter melted

For glaze:

1/3 cup marmalade

1/2 tsp water

Whisk together and keep.


Preheat oven to 350F or 160C.

Grease well and then dust a loaf pan with flour.

Mix the flour, spices and salt and sieve. Rub the sugar and zest of lemon for a few minutes between your fingers. Now add the eggs one at a time to the sugar and whisk well each time. Add the juice of lemon then the cream. Mix well. Add the flour mix in two portions. Finally add the melted butter and essence. Gently mix together.

Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 70-75 minutes checking to see if done with a cake tester.

Remove from oven and after five minutes turn it onto a rack. Glaze with the maramalade and water whisked together.

Leave to cool then devour. The beauty of this cake is it keeps well with no taste deterioration even after a few days. Although it won’t last long, if storing keep in fridge tightly wrapped.

Recipe source: New York Times



A colourful salad

I love this salad, just the colour makes me happy. Easily put together, this is a keeper of a recipe.

It is very easy to adapt this recipe to your taste. Add what you want, taste test the dressing and make it yours.

You will need (as I made it)

2 handfuls of shredded red or white cabbage

1 carrot shredded

Lots of mixed salad leaves

Bunch of mint, coriander and Thai basil combined

A handful of roasted peanuts

A bundle of rice vermicelli cooked and cooled


3Tb fish sauce

3Tb lemon juice

1/2 Tb brown sugar

1Tb chilli sauce or Sriracha sauce

Vegetarians can use soy sauce or mirin instead of fish sauce.

Cook vermicelli, not too soft. I just soaked it in hot water for sometime. Drain and cool.

Mix everything else. Dress close to serving. Best eaten fresh.

I have sometimes added roasted broccoli and red capsicum to amp up the veggies.

Serves 2

Coconut Slice

To my ever growing collection of cookbooks is this addition

Chockful of delicious stuff waiting to be baked!

I tried the the easiest one from the book.

Coconut slice: fills a 23cm square tin

100g dark chocolate ( at least 56% cocoa solid)

150g caster sugar

200g dessicated coconut, not the sweet variety

50g dried sour cherries ( I used cranberries)

50g pistachios chopped

50g whole almonds chopped

100 g butter melted

2 eggs

Line the tin with baking paper, up the edges too.

Melt the chocolate till smooth. Pour into the lined tin to cover surface and chill in fridge till firm.

Preheat oven to 170C fan heated.

Mix all the dry stuff. Melt butter and pour over and mix. Beat eggs lightly and add, mix and pour into the tin over the chocolate.

Bake for 10 minutes, turn tray around and bake 8-10 minutes more or till the coconut is golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes then pop into the fridge to cool for at least 2 hours.

Once fully cold remove from tin, peel back the baking paper and using a warm sharp knife cut into desired slices.


Pumpkin curry

A truly lip smacking pumpkin curry. I had it noted it down from some site and recently tried to make it. It was delicious. You will need goda masala for it. If you want recipe for it leave a comment and I can write it down.

You will need

500gm  pumpkin

3Tb coconut

3 Tb sesame seeds

3 Tb peanuts

1 tsp tamarind

1 tsp red chilli powder

salt to taste

1 Tb jaggery/ brown sugar

3 tsp goda masala

1 tsp turmeric powder

To season:

mustard, asafoetida and fenugreek seeds, a little of each

Dry roast coconut and sesame. Grind with tamarind and peanuts.

Season in oil  the mustard, fenugreek and hing. Add the chopped peeled pumpkin and cook with salt and turmeric powder. Cover and cook till nearly done. Add the paste and rest of the ingredients. Cook for five minutes and remove.

You can add water to cook pumpkin. I did not have to since the pumpkins here cook fast.

Recipe source: some genius!


Lunch salad

This salad is one I make often. All the salad ingredients can be stored in the fridge for a few days. The dressing  can be stored for a few days too. Dress the salad  at the time you want and you have a protein packed, healthy lunch. The taco chips are a must for texture!


3Tb mayonnaise

3Tb yogurt

2Tb olive oil

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 clove of garlic

a handful of coriander leaves

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp cummin powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp honey

Process the above till you get a smooth dressing.

Salad Ingredients

Romaine salad or any salad leaves

cabbage, red or white

black beans or rajma from a can

cheddar cheese cubed

Cherry tomatoes



taco chips

Toss the salad ingredients, add the dressing to your taste.

Adapted from The Faux Martha blog

Raw Beetroot and herb salad

This salad from Ottolengi is practically a meal in a plate with all the nuts and herbs piled on to the Beetroot and dressed simply. Delicious for a hot summers day.

Roast in a hot oven the following:

30g flaked almonds, 15g sesame seeds, 45g pumpkin seeds

till done, for about 5-6 minutes in a 180C oven.

Peel and cut into thin strips

300g Beetroot.

Mix in 40g basil leaves

20g parsely

30g dill

20g coriander leaves

10g tarragon leaves( I did not use it)

1-2 tsp chilli flakes

2 tsp lemon zest

-Add the nuts with

3Tb lemon juice

75 ml olive oil

salt and pepper

Toss and serve at once.

Recipe source: Plenty More by Ottolengi


Eggplant and prawns

Vegetarians please look away. This is a spicy concoction of eggplants and prawns cooked with chilli but the addition of ground up cooked prawns makes it particularly delicious.

1 large eggplant or 3 smaller ones

1 onion sliced thin

1 tsp garlic and ginger paste

5 green chilli slit

1 tomato

15-20 prawns cleaned

1 tsp turmeric powder and salt

1 Tb chilli powder

1 tsp nigella

salt and sugar to taste

Chop eggplant into smallish cubes. Clean prawns and marinate in little salt and turmeric powder for 10 minutes.

Fry the prawns in some hot oil for a couple of minutes in a kadai and keep aside. Remove about 7-8 prawns and grind to a coarse paste.

In the same pan fry nigella seeds followed by the onions. When it is golden add the chillies, garlic and tomato. After a couple of minutes add the eggplant. Add the chilli powder and fry till cooked and oil floats.

Now add the whole prawns and ground mix and fry for a few minutes. Season with salt and sugar.

Serves 4

Recipe source:


Double chocolate banana bread

This is a ‘bread’ for chocolate lovers. From Deb of the famous Smitten kitchen blog. Decadent, with chunks of chocolate and cocoa powder, and some banana to, um, make it healthy? It’s definitely a keeper of a recipe.

1 cup of mashed banana

115 g melted butter

145 g brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp baking soda

1/ 4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup plain flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

200g chocolate chips or chunks of chocolate

Mix the melted butter, sugar, egg, vanilla essence and banana.

Sieve the flour, soda, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon.

Mix dry to wet ingredients. Add the chocolate. Gently fold.

Grease a 9×5″ loaf pan fill it with the mix and bake in a 170C fan forced oven for 55- 60 minutes.

Cool in the tin for ten minutes before turning out.

Keeps for 4 days

Recipe source: Smitten kitchen

Vegetarian samosa shepherds pie

The moment I saw the title I knew I had to make it. I mean samosa, shepherds pie and vegetarian to boot? Had to be good. And it is good. Although you might have to suspend your disbelief a tad, because a samosa made with lentils and mushrooms?

But apart from that it is a delicious way to cook lentils and potatoes like a pie. I tweaked the original recipe to make it taste like a samosa, well sort of, and amped up the spice to suit my chilli oriented taste buds.


750g potatoes

2/3 cups coconut milk

1 onion

4 garlic

1″ ginger ( my addition)

3 green chillies ( not in original recipe)

250 g mushrooms

1 cup crushed tomato ( I used crushed can tomatoes)

1 cup puy lentils ( this lentil, also known as French lentils, holds its shape after cooking and is best here. You don’t want mashed lentils) ( original recipe used split peas)

1 cup frozen peas

1 tsp each coriander powder, cummin powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and Garam masala powder ( original recipe used just two tsp Garam masala powder)

1 tsp kasuri methi ( my addition)

some curry leaves ( my addition)

Coriander leaves ( my addition)

salt to taste


Cook the peeled and chopped potatoes in salted water till soft. Drain and mash, adding the coconut milk. Set aside.

Cook the washed lentils in water till done. Drain and add salt to taste.

Cook the peas and keep.

In some olive oil fry the onion, chilli, ginger and garlic all chopped fine. Add the curry leaves too. After 5-6 minutes add the mushrooms, chopped fine. Stir for a few minutes then add the crushed tomatoes and all the spices. Cook till almost dry, then add the lentils and peas. Season well and finally add the kasuri methi.

Take an 8″ dish, fill it with the lentil mix. Spread the potato mash on top and cover the surface. Create lines with a fork.

At this point you can leave the dish as is and bake it when you want it.

Bake in an 180C preheated oven for 35 minutes. If you want some colour you can grill it for a few minutes.

Serve with micro herbs or with plenty of  chopped coriander as I did.

Serves 6

Recipe source: 101