Thursday, 28 March 2013

Wholewheat Hot Cross Buns

This is the first time I've ever made Hot Cross Buns and they turned out delicious. I went for the healthy option and used wholewheat flour as I love the taste of brown bread.
Please give this recipe a try :)

Ingredients :
4 cups wholewheat flour
1/2 cup of sugar
1 egg
2 tea spoons ground cinnamon
1 tea spoon ground allspice
1 tea spoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons fast active yeast
1/2 a cup warm water
4 table spoons of milk (room temp)
Currents or dried fruit as needed

Preparation Method:
Sift flour into a large bowl
Add yeast and all the dry ingredients to the bowl and give it a good mix.
Lightly whisk an egg in a small bowl and add to the other ingredients along with the milk and water.
Mix until a nice dough is formed  adding more flour if it's too sticky.( don't make the dough too tough)
Form the dough into a ball.
Grease a bowl with butter turning the ball of dough into it to cover it with butter.
Cover the bowl with cling film and place in a warm (draft free) place to allow the dough to double in size.
Once the dough has doubled, lightly punch the air out of it and knead it lightly 4-5 times.
Pre heat the oven to 180
Roll out rounds to your preferred size (bearing in mind that they will rise in the oven)
place the buns on a greased oven dish and using a knife score out a cross on each of the buns.

For the Cross:
Mix some plain flour and water together to make a smooth paste and put in a piping bag or do what I did (use a zip lock bag) and make a tiny snip in the corner.
Pipe the flour onto the scorched crosses and let sit until your ready to put them in the oven.

Place the buns on the middle shelf and bake for 20 minutes, turning the oven down to 150 for the last 5 minutes.
Enjoy as they are or toasted with yummy butter :) 

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Sayj's Red Hot Chili Sauce

This is my 2nd attempt to make Chili sauce, I made some yesterday but it was very acidic so I scrapped it and changed the recipe all together to make the perfect chili sauce :) I hope you like it.

2 tomatoes peeled and roughly cut up.
5 cloves of garlic ( whole)
1/2 onion diced
5 Red Birdseye chilies
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons brown sugar (you can use white)
1 pinch of cumin and coriander powder.
Large pinch of dried chili flakes.
1/cup of water
1 table spoon of white vinegar.

Preparation Method:
Put all the above ingredients in a pan and boil til nearly all the liquid has been absorbed in the mixture.
Remove pan from heat and let it cool slightly before putting the mixture into the the blender.
Whizz in bursts until you get a smooth sauce adding a little water at a time and blending until you get the consistency desired. Pour back into the pan and bring to the boil for the final roasted taste.
pour cooled chili sauce into a jar or bottle ( I used an empty olive oil bottle)
Store in the fridge and use when needed )
The taste gets better in time :)
I hope you like this recipe.

Strawberry and Disaronno bakewell cake

This cake was actually an experiment which turned out gorgeous, so I decided to post the recipe on my blog. instead of using ground almonds which is in the traditional bakewell recipe, I substituted it with Disaronno which is an Amaretto. It tasted amazing.

4 oz butter/margarine (room temp)
4 oz sugar
4 oz Self Raising flour
1 tea spoon Baking powder
2 eggs
2 table spoons of Disaronno (Amaretto)
Fresh or Frozen strawberries
Raspberry jam

Preparation Method:
Pre heat oven to 180
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time and mix well.
sift in flour and baking soda and mix together.
Now add the Disaronno and mix the batter well.
If the batter is too thick, you can add a little milk or warm water to it.
Pour half the mixture into a greased and floured cake tin and dot the strawberries in.
Drop some blobs of jam in the mix.
Add the rest of the cake mix on top of the strawberries and jam and spread carefully with a pallet knife.
Place in the middle shelf of your oven and cook for 30-40 minutes. ( check after 25 minutes with a skewer) Ovens vary in temp so yours may take less time.

Enjoy with a cuppa :)
I hope you like this recipe.
 I used Disaronno but feel free to use any Amaretto of your choice :)

Monday, 25 March 2013

Wholewheat Pitta Bread

Wholewheat Pitta Bread

These delicious pitta Breads are are healthy and very easy to make. They can be enjoyed with your favourit Hummus or split in half to make pockets and filled with whatever you like :)
2 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoon fast active yeast
1 tea spoon salt
1 tea spoon sugar
2 table spoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup warm water
Plain flour for dusting

Preparation Method:
Sift flour into a large bowl
Add salt,sugar and yeast and give it a little mix.
Add Olive oil.
Add warm water gradually and stir wit a knife (gently) until the dough comes together.
At this point the dough will be slightly sticky, but don't panic as this is what you want.
Form the dough into a ball and lightly grease it with olive oil and place back into the same bowl which should also be greased with the oil.
Cover with cling film and place in a warm area for an hour until it doubles in size.
When the dough has risen,lightly punch the air out of it and knead 2 or 3 times until it becomes nice and soft.
Pre heat the oven to 180
Divide the dough into small balls and roll out into rounds.
Be careful not to put too much pressure on the rolling pin as you don't want it to be too thin,the thickness should be the same all around.
use flour for dusting if the dough is too sticky to roll ( not too much as it will shrink the dough)
lightly grease an oven tray and place your rolled out pittas onto it.
place in the middle shelf and cook for 7-8 minutes only.
Serve while warm or put them in a zip lock bag once they have cooled down and use when needed.
Enjoy :)

Chili-Cheese Hummus

Chili-Cheese Hummus

I really fancied some spicy Hummus so I decided to make a fresh batch :) Hummus is a Middle Eastern chickpea dip which is enjoyed with warm pitta bread or in my case whatever I fancy :) its very healthy and easy to make. Once you start making your own Hummus you will never buy shop bought again. Go on give it a try.

Ingredients :
1 can of chickpeas (drained) or dried chickpeas soaked over night.
1 tea spoon 3G paste
1/2 tea spoon salt
pinch of cumin and coriander powder
Large pinch of sesame seeds(lightly toasted)
Half of a red/green chili ( deseeded)
2 table spoons of Extra virgin Olive oil
Cayenne pepper to sprinkle on top.
Grated cheese (as needed)

Preparation Method:
Toast sesame seeds in a dry pan until they get some colour and the oil gets released.( be careful not to brown them or it will make your hummus taste bitter.) This should take only 2-3 minutes shaking the pan occasionally)
Put all the ingredients together in a blender and blend until you get a smooth paste. 
Scoop the hummus into a serving bowl and make a swirly pattern in it, then drizzle some olive oil on top and put a few whole chickpeas on top for decoration and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to finish it off :)
Serve if eating right away or store in the fridge until ready to eat.
The Hummus lasts for 7-10 days if kept refrigerated.


I decided not to make tahini for this recipe as I didn't want to make a full batch, Instead I just toasted the the sesame seeds and put them strait into the blender with the other ingredients. (you don't have to add it, it tastes just as good)
If you want to make tahini, it's very easy.

1 cup lightly roasted sesame seeds
1/cup Extra virgin Olive oil

Preparation Method:
Blend both ingredients together to make a fine paste and store in an air tight container in the fridge.

Each time you make a fresh batch of hummus, just add as much as you like and blend.

I hope you enjoy this recipe :)

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Doughnut Cupcakes

Doughnut Cupcakes

If you ever fancy a doughnut but don't have any at home and can't be bothered to leave the house to go to the shops to get any, here's your answer to a great fix.
These Doughnut cakes taste exactly like shop bought doughnuts but the only differences are that they are risen and not fried. The texture of these cupcakes are amazing. Give it a try, I was amazed at the taste :)

1 and 1/2  cup of plain flour
2 eggs
2 tea spoons baking powder
1/2 tea spoon salt
4 table spoons of vegetable oil
4 tablespoons of milk
1 tea spoon vanilla extract
1 tea spoon ground nutmeg
Melted butter to brush onto cakes
Sugar for rolling

Preparation Method:
pre heat oven to 180
whisk eggs and sugar together.
Sift in the flour and baking powder .
Add salt and nutmeg.
pour in oil and milk and add vanilla extract.
Mix the batter up well and add to cup cake liners.
Place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 12 minutes. If the skewer comes out clean, they are ready, if not, leave them in for a minute or two.
Once the cakes are ready brush melted butter over the tops and roll in the sugar to coat.
Enjoy :)

Potato cakes

Potato Cakes

This Potato cake recipe is extremely easy and quick and so delicious to eat on their on or in a bun with ketchup or if you like chili like me you can add a splash of Tabasco :)

Potatoes for mashing  (as needed)
grated cheese (as needed)
1 tea spoon 3G paste
pinch of cumin and coriander
1 red onion diced
pinch of red chili powder (optional)
pinch of onion salt (optional)
Olive oil for pan frying 
Flour for dusting

Preparation Method :
Heat a skillet on medium heat.
Prepare mash and let it cool until you can handle it without getting burnt.
Add all the ingredients together and mix well with your hands.
Form the the potato cakes into rounds and flatten slightly.
put some flour on a plate and dust each side of the potato cake with flour.
drizzle a little olive oil onto the skillet and place the potato cakes on it leaving a little space between them to make them easier to flip.
cook on both sides until golden brown and serve.

I made the first batch with a drizzle of olive oil to fry and the second batch was dry fried. I found the dry fried ones worked better for me.

You can use an egg in the mash to help with the binding if you wish. ( I chose not to)
Be very careful when flipping the potato cakes as if you flip them too soon the will fall apart. they slide around freely in the pan when they are ready to be turned.

I hope you enjoy this recipe :)

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Vagharela Bhat ( Fried Rice)

Vagharela Bhat

If you're ever stuck for what to with left over rice, this is a yummy snack to make in a jiffy :)
When I was young, mum use to make this for us as an afternoon snack and I loved it. I use to eat it with tomato ketchup ( yes you read correctly lol) it was delicious and still is but now I eat it with a good dollop of plain yoghurt.

Leftover rice
tea spoon of turmeric
1/2 tea spoon of red chili powder
Pinch of asafoetida
1 tea spoon 3G paste
salt to taste
pinch of mustard seeds
stick of cinnamon
2 table spoons of cooking oil
Plain yoghurt to serve

Preparation Method:

Add oil to a large pan and heat on a medium heat.
Add mustard seeds and cinnamon stick to the oil and when the seeds start to sizzle add in the asafoetida.
Then add in your rice and gently stir through.
Sprinkle on the chilli powder, turmeric, salt and then add the 3G paste.
Give the rice a good mix( gently) until everything is combined and the rice has a lovely yellow colour ( add more for brighter colour)
Make sure the rice is piping hot before serving.
Enjoy with a dollop of plain yoghurt. Or ketchup :)
I hope you try this out :) you won't regret it.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013


Thepla ( Indian savoury flat bread)

Thepla are a popular Gujarati snack bread which is enjoyed with Chunda( Mango pickle) or any other Indian pickle.  I love eating them with plain yoghurt spiced with cumin and coriander powder, chili powder and salt( yummy)
These are very tasty and easy to make and great for picnics and long journeys. They are tradionaly made with methi ( fresh fenugreek leaves) but I replace them with coriander.

2 cups of whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 tea spoon salt
1 tea spoon 3G paste ( ginger, garlic, green chili)
1/2 tea spoon turmeric
1/2 tea spoon red chili powder
1 tea spoon sesame seeds
Chopped coriander
3 table spoons plain yoghurt
Oil for drizzling
Plain flour for dusting.

Preparation Method:

Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix into a dough.
Knead for a minute to make the dough come together.
If the dough is too firm add a little more yoghurt.
warm some cooking oil in your palms and spread over the ball of dough and leave it to sit for 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into balls just a little bit bigger than a golf ball and press them down a little.
Dust a ball with flour on both sides and using a rolling pin gently roll out a circle taking care not to press too hard. ( the thickness should be the same all around the thepla. dust the dough as needed if it gets too sticky to roll, however do not use any flout towards the end of rolling as this will result in a dry thepla.

Cooking the Thepla:
Heat a skillet or frying pan to a medium heat.
Place a Thepla on the skillet.
As the Thepla starts cooking the colour of the dough will start to change  and have a dryer look.
Flip the thepla using a spatula, you should see golden brown spots on the semi cooked side.
Wait a few seconds and drizzle 1/2 a tea spoon of oil on the thepla and spread it around with the spatula.
Flip the thepla again and using the spatula, lightly press the entire thepla, this will help the thepla all the way through.
Flip the thepla again and lightly press making sure it's golden brown on both sides and remove from the heat.
Repeat till all the theplas are cooked.
Enjoy with some Chunda and a lovely cup of masala chai.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Chunda (Hot sweet and sour mango pickle)


This pickle is very easy to make . It's a traditional Gujarati recipe which is common to many Indian households.
In India this preserve is made in a long process, the mango  and sugar combined is left out in the hot sun to naturally dissolve the sugar to make it syrupy. then the other ingredients are added to make the chunda. This pickle goes great with a savoury flat bread called Thepla (which I will be making tomorrow )
As we don't have heat like they do in India and flat roofs where we can go and dry our ingredients etc, I have a great recipe here which uses the same ingredients but is done very easily on the stove. It tastes exactly the same :)

1- 2 Raw green mangoes ( hard)
1/2 tea spoon turmeric
2 tea spoons salt
2 tea spoons red chili powder
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
2 cups of sugar
large pinch of cumin seeds (roasted)

Preparation Method:
Peel and grate mangoes ( grate on large side of grater) and.
add to a pan.
Then add the salt ,turmeric, chili powder, cloves and cinnamon stick and mix well.
Let the the mixture sit for 15 minutes.
Then add 2 table spoons of sugar at a time and mix till dissolved .
Put the pan on a medium heat and stir often until the sugar turns syrupy . After 4-5 minutes bubbles will start to appear on the surface. Remove the pan of the heat and let it cool completely.
While waiting for the mixture to cool, add whole cumin seeds to a dry pan and and roast on a medium heat until they get slightly darker in colour ( be careful not to burn them)
Crush the seeds to make a coarse (not fine) powder and add to the mixture and mix well.
Pour the mixture ( cloves and cinnamon sticks too) into clean dry air tight jars and store in the fridge or cool dry place.
This pickle will last for 1 year( great eh) :)
Enjoy with Thepla, rotis, anything you wish really!

Note: It is absolutely crucial that you do not over cook your mixture or the sugar will crystallize later .

Monday, 18 March 2013

Al's No nonsense Noodles

Al's No Nonsense Noodles

 My other half cooked up these delicious quick and easy noodles for a late lunch, so I thought I'd share the recipe with you all to try :)

2 table spoons of oil
Half of an onion (diced)
1 tea spoon 3G paste
dark soy sauce 3-4 splashes
worcester sauce (spalsh)
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
Quorn chicken style pieces. ( as needed)
Egg noodles( or any noodles that you prefer)

Preparation Method:
Add oil into a large pan.
Add onions and stir around til tender.
Add 3G paste and quickly stir in.
Add the Quorn pieces in and mix thoroughly.
Then add the soy sauce, worcester and chili powder and mix through.
Cook on a medium heat until quorn pieces are tender and have soaked up the flavours.
Cook noodles in a pan of boiling water for 4-5 mins until tender.
Drain the noodles and add them to the pan with the other ingredients and mix together.
I f you feel that it looks quite dry, add more soy sauce.
Make sure it's piping hot before serving.
Enjoy :)

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Chewy Gooey Granola squares

Chewy Gooey Granola Squares.

These granola squares are extremely easy to make so have a go :) you won't be disappointed. 

Mixed fruit Muesli ( I used Jordans) as needed
4 table spoons golden syrup ( you can use honey instead)
Mini marsh mallows ( as needed)
Chocolate (if using)

Preparation Method:
Pre heat oven to 180
Add all the above ingredients into a pans and warm through on a medium heat until the mixture becomes nice and sticky.
Pour the mixture into a foil pan or oven dish of your choice and place on the middle shelf of the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Let the mixture cool slightly before drizzling melted chocolate on top ( if using) then chill in the fridge for 2 hours
Cut into bars or squares and enjoy :)

Blueberry Cheesecake

Blueberry Cheesecake

This was my first attempt of making a cheesecake and I'm really impressed with the outcome. 
I always thought that making a cheesecake would be a daunting process but I couldn't have been more wrong :)
I will definitely be making another one :) It was delicious.

1 tub cream cheese( I used Philadelphia)( room temp)
4 table spoons of fresh cream (optional)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tea spoons vanilla extract
8 plain biscuits for base ( I used Hobnobs)
2 table spoons of butter/margarine
Punnet of Blueberries
Preparation Method :
Pre heat oven to 175
Put biscuits( cookies) in a food bag and bash with the back of a spoon or rolling pin until you get fine crumbs.
Add butter into a pan and melt on a gentle heat.
add Crumbs and mix together( it should look like wet sand)
Line a round cake tin with tin foil leaving extra to hang  over so it makes it easier to lift out and also makes for easy clean up.
Press the biscuit crumbs onto the base and press down firmly with the bottom of a glass or spoon.
Add cream cheese to a large bowl and soften with a wooden spoon and add the sugar and mix well.
Add cream and vanilla essence and and mix through.
Add one egg at a time and whisk til combined.
Then add the blueberries leaving some aside for the topping. 
mix the batter well and pour onto the biscuit base.
Place the cake tin on an oven tray and put in the oven on the middle shelf for 30 mins.
After the cooking time your cheesecake will have a slight jiggle ( that's what you want) and it will brown slightly( that's fine)
leave it to cool until ready to chill in the fridge.
Chill for 3 hours (yup 3 hours eek)
15 minutes before the end of chill time, put the remaining blueberries in a pan with 1 table spoon of sugar and splash of water and heat while stirring all the time( making sure you don't mash the berries)Bring the mixture to a boil and take the pan of the heat.
As the mixture cools down it will thicken up like a sauce.
Make sure it is completely cool before putting it on your cheesecake or else it will sink through (and you'll cry).
Cut a huge slice and indulge :)

1. you can replace the cream cheese with cottage cheese but make sure it blended to make it smooth.
2. Replace sugar with honey or Agave nectar.
3. You don't have to use eggs ( they are used to make the cake rise) it tastes and bakes just as good without them)
4. use any of your favourite fruit :)
5. you don't have to add fruit into the batter before baking, you can just use it for the topping and keep it vanilla flavoured.