A Very Berry Tart

I welcome you in the New Year with this beautiful berry tart. A biscuit and butter base topped with cream cheese and lemon curd and crowning it all the raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and cherries. What better way to welcome the New Year!

Wishing you all a wonderful, healthy, prosperous and happy New Year.

Recipe follows in my next post…

Fetta with cherry tomatoes

Bidding this year farewell with a cherry tomato concoction. Lovely with crusty bread or crackers.

Thank you to all of you who read my blog and commented.

Fry in some olive oil 2 garlic chopped. Add a punnet of cherry tomatoes cut in half. Add 2 Tb capers and a pinch of sugar and a pinch of chilli powder. After 5 minutes remove from heat.

Place a block of fetta on a tray and pour over the above mix. Cook under a hot grill for 5-8 minutes.

Recipe source: onceuponachef.com

Fruit cake

Wishing you all a Very Merry Happy Christmas.

After a lot of deliberation I decide to bake a fruit cake. I love fruit cake and don’t see why it needs to be baked only for Christmas😉. But being Christmas and I wanted to bake and send it away for someone, I went ahead and did the needy, ie look for a good recipe! There are a number of recipes online, some seemed pretty daunting. I finally chanced upon Nigella Lawson’s recipe which seemed pretty much straightforward and easy. And it did prove so and a delicious recipe too. So for anyone interested, here is a fruit cake you can bake even after christmas😀

The cake preparation was the easy part, preparing the tin was wild! I had to line the tin, grease it, line it with double layers of brown paper etc. You can find good instructions online. I just googled and did it. Basically there should be three layers of brown paper and one of foil for base. Double layer of brown paper for the sides with the end extending above the height of tin.


Raisins 700g

Currants 300g

Glace cherries 100g ( buy the real ones)

Pecan or walnuts chopped 150g

Bourbon or brandy 400ml

Butter 300g

Dark brown sugar 180g

Lemon zesr 2 tsp

Eggs 4 large

Black treacle or molasses 2Tb

Plain flour 300g

Ground almonds 150g

Clove powder 1/2 tsp

Cinnammon powder 1 tsp

Ginger powder 1/2 tsp

23 cm round tin

Oven temperature 150C

Baking time  23/4 – 31/4 hours

Makes about 16 slices


To prepare the fruit you can either steep the fruits in the brandy for a few days or mix fruits with brandy and bring to boil and switch off. Leave it overnight.

Next day at time of baking preheat oven to 150C. Prepare tin.

Cream the butter and sugar, butter at room temperature, till creamy, adding the zest. Add eggs one at a time beating well each time, then beat in the treacle.

Sift dry ingredients. Add alternatively with the soaked fruit to the creamed mixture. Fold in well, add the nuts.

Pour into prepared tin and bake. Once done cover tin with a double layer of foil at once to keep cake soft and set aside. When fully cooled remove cake from tin and wrap in foil. Store in an airtight container.




Mussel Fry

Mussel Fry

500 g cleaned mussels

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

salt and pepper a teaspoon each

2 green chilli

1 Tb ginger and garlic minced

a handful curry leaves

2 Tb water

4 pearl onion/ shallot

3 garlic

1 green chilli

2 onions

1/4 cup grated coconut( fresh is best but I used dessicated)

1-2 tsp of red chilli powder

1 tsp each coriander and fennel powders


Mince the garlic, green chilli and ginger very fine. Add the cleaned shelled mussels with the turmeric powder, salt and pepper, and the minced mix. Cook with the 2Tb water till it dries up, under medium heat.

Chop onions into long thin slices. Heat 2-3 Tb oil and fry till golden. Crush together the pearl onions, garlic and green chillies. Add and fry for a few minutes till the raw smell goes away. Add a little turmeric powder, coconut ( no need to grind) the spice powders and the chilli powder. Add the mussels and fry till oil appears at the edges. Garnish with plenty of curry leaves.






Vegetable chowder

After having tasted a seafood chowder recently I made a vegetarian version, a bowlful of vegetables cooked with stock, milk and garnished with cheese. Simply yum. It is a very forgiving soup. You can add any vegetable you like as long as there is some potatoes involved somewhere along the process. It acts a thickener and gives the soup some body if you know what I mean.


2Tb butter

1 red capsicum

1 onion

2 potatoes

1 carrot

1 zuchini

1/2 cup of peas or corn

1Tb thyme leaves

2Tb plain flour

1/4 cup water

2 cups full cream milk

2 cups stock

1/2 cup cheddar cheese

salt and pepper

1 tsp chilli flakes


Wash and prepare vegetables chopping into similar sizes.

Heat the butter in a large pan. Fry the onion. When golden add the vegetables and fry for a few minutes. Now add the milk and stock along with the thyme and bring to boil. Simmer till vegetables are cooked. Now season with salt and pepper to your taste. Add chilli flakes.

Mix the flour in water and add to chowder. Boil for a minute or so.

Garnish with the cheese and stir well.

Serve with a crusty bread

Serves 4



Mackerel curry


1 kilo mackerel fish (ayila) cleaned and chopped

1 tsp turmeric powder


2 big onions

2 garlic

a thumb size piece of ginger

curry leaves

1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds

1 tsp mustard

2 Tb Kashmiri chilli powder

2 tsp spicy red chilli powder

1 Tb coriander powder

3 pieces of fish tamarind/ gamboge

curry leaves


oil to fry

coconut oil as garnish



Clean fish and chop. Marinate in turmeric and salt. Keep aside for fifteen minutes.

Chop the onion, garlic and ginger. Fry in oil till golden. Meanwhile mix all the spice powders in a little water to make a paste. Add this paste to the onion and fry till oil floats. Keep aside to cool then purée it.

Soak the gamboge in some water for 15 minutes.

Fry in oil the mustard and fenugreek seeds. Now add the purée and the tamarind with the soaked water. Boil for five minutes. Add the fish and enough water to cover the lot. Taste for salt and simmer for 15 minutes. Top with curry leaves. Serve after a few hours for flavours to develop. Some coconut oil on top  as garnish will enhance the taste.

Serves 4

Recipe source: goodfood seeker.com