About Mina Joshi

Mina Joshi writes a vegetarian food blog, www.givemesomespice.com, and as a busy working Cambridgeshire mum, she specialises in quick and healthy authentic vegetarian recipes Both her father and father-in-law were experienced chefs who owned restaurants in East Africa and they shared their recipes and tips with Mina. She started her blog to pass on some of the old-fashioned dishes that might otherwise be lost. Mina believes that nothing beats home cooking and it is her aim to make everyone realise that cooking can be fun. also teaches vegetarian Indian cookery to adults at Evening classes at a Local College as well as in one to one classes in the Student's home where students can then invite friends to taste the dishes they have prepared. Follow Mina on Twitter @GiveMeSomeSpice

Malai Kofta Curry

Before I got interested in cooking, I used to order Malai Kofta Curry whenever we ate out as I used to think that this must be a very complicated dish to make. But believe me it’s not! Not only is it easy to make, it’s not too time consuming either. It’s a fantastic dish to make as it’s rich and spicy but also contains loads of vegetables.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

Time: 45 minutes to cook  (Suggest that you allow more time for the koftas to soak in the gravy before serving)

Ingredients for the koftas:

2 cups of any mixed vegetables – (I used frozen carrots, cauliflower, green beans and peas)
1 cup of diced potatoes (I used small new potatoes)
Small bunch of fenugreek or spinach (whatever is available)
1-2 cups of breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon chilli powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon blended green chilies
1 teaspoon blended garlic
1 teaspoon blended ginger
1 teaspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon garam masala
1 litre oil for frying (I used sunflower oil)

Ingredients for the gravy

2 cups of blended tomatoes (I used Passata as it helps to make a thick gravy)
2-3 small onions
2-3 spoons of melted butter
½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
2-3 cloves
1-2 small sticks of cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon chilli powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon blended green chilies
1 teaspoon blended garlic
1 teaspoon blended ginger
½ teaspoon of garam masala
½ teaspoon of mixture of ground cinnamon and cloves
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
2-3 teaspoons of  brown sugar (or any sweetener)
1 cup of cream – (I used double cream)
½ cup of cashew nuts
2 teaspoons of cornflour (or you can also use chick pea flour)


1. Mix the frozen vegetables, fenugreek and potatoes and cook them until soft.  I washed and drained the vegetables and microwaved them for 5 minutes and again 5 more minutes.  The time would depend on the size of your microwave.

2. When the vegetables have softened, blend them either by using a masher or a food processor.

3. Add the spices – salt, chilli powder, turmeric, blended green chillies, ginger, garlic, garam masala, lemon juice and mix.

4. Now add the breadcrumbs slowly until the mixture feels firm enough to make into small balls. You should get 15-16 kofta balls.

5. Deep fry the kofta balls.  To stop the kofta balls from being sticky -the best way to make them is to either coat your hands with some oil when forming the balls or you can dip your hands in some breadcrumbs. I tried both ways and it worked fine and the koftas fried well without breaking. In the picture below, the koftas on the left were coated with breadcrumbs and the ones on the right with oil. 

6. Now to make the gravy – Blend the tomatoes, onions and cashews in a blender.

7. Heat the butter and add in the cumin seeds, cloves and cinnamon.

8. When the cumin seeds get darker – add in the blended tomatoes.

9. Add the spices, salt, chilli powder, turmeric, blended green chillies, garlic and ginger, garam masala, ground cinnamon and cloves, lemon juice and the brown sugar or sweetener.

10. Add two cups of water to the gravy.

11. When this gravy starts to boil, lower the heat and add in the cornflour.

12. Allow the gravy to cook for 5-6 minutes and add in the double cream (saving a bit for the garnishing) and stir well.

13. Transfer the koftas to a serving dish and pour the gravy over the koftas.

14. Garnish the kofta curry with some cream and cashew nuts.

15. Allow the koftas to soak up all the gravy spices for half an hour and serve hot with rice. Be gentle when serving as you don’t want to break any of the koftas.

Spicy Parathas with Tomato, Onion, Garlic, Ginger & Coriander

My last three recipes have been on Indian sweets so this week, I thought I would share with you my recipe for parathas. Most Indian food is accompanied by rice or Indian breads like chappatis, puris, naan, parathas etc.  This version of fluffy and spicy parathas is perfect with lunch or dinner.

Ingredients for serving 4 people
Time 40-50 minutes

½ cup of passata or blended tomatoes
1 small piece of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
1 small onion
1-2 green chillies (use less if you don’t want to make them too hot)
Small bunch of finely cut coriander
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons oil for the dough
3 cups of chappati flour to make the dough (Available in most supermarkets or Asian grocers – often called Atta)
½ cup flour for dusting the parathas when rolling them.
2 cups oil for frying (I use sunflower oil)


1. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and green chillies to the tomato mixture and grind it all in a blender.
2. Sieve the flour and add in the salt and turmeric and the coriander. I didn’t blend in the coriander with the passata as I wanted the porathas to have some green specks.

3. Add in the 2 tablespoons of oil and mix.

4. Using the tomato mixture, mix the dough. If you don’t have enough tomato mixture, you can use some warm water to finish making the dough . The dough should be nice and pliable. Keep this covered for 20 minutes.

5. Divide the dough into 10 or 12 equal balls.

6. You can roll out this paratha as a round paratha and lightly fry it as per my instructions below or you could use this style to create a “wow factor”.

7.  Roll out the paratha and brush some oil on one side and dust it with some flour.

8.  Fold it in half.

9. Fold it again so it is now a quarter.

10. Dust it with some flour.


10. Now roll it so that it looks like a triangle paratha

11.  Now transfer it to cook on a a frying pan (or tava if you have one).

12. Allow it to cook slightly and turn it. Once the paratha is par cooked, lightly brush it with oil and cook it until it rises.

13. Your parathas are now ready to eat on their own or with any curries or raita.

Images courtesy of Mina Joshi


Like the Gulab Jamuns, Jalebis are one of the most popular sweets within the Indian community. The shape of the jalebis is mostly spiral and it’s made from a variation of flours depending on tradition. In some parts of India, it’s made from gram flour, in some parts from urad dall flour and in some places from plain flour. Most jalebis are small but I have seen large jalebis made the size of a large pizza for some Parsi friends when they were celebrating their New Year.

Jalebis are best eaten fresh and warm. Most tend to go soft and limp if left around overnight. Gujarati’s like to have jalebi and lamba gathia with sambharo, chutney and fried chillies for the Sunday brunch. For those of you living in London and Leicester will have seen the queues outside the Gujarati takeaways on Sunday mornings.

I will admit that it is not an easy sweet to master. I thought that creating the spiral shape would be the hardest part but actually, it’s the making of the jalebi batter to the right consistency which requires real talent. The jalebis when cooked should be able to soak up the syrup and stay crisp.

I grew up watching my father and later my father in law make these hot and fresh during Diwali celebrations and at weddings they catered at but never attempted to make them. I was too busy tasting them. My poor family had to keep trying out my jalebis as I made at least 4 batches of jalebis since Christmas before we were all happy with the results. I am glad that I did not give up.

Ingredients for about 20 -25 jalebis
Time: 1 Hour
Requires preparation

For the jalebi:
2 cups of plain flour
Half a cup of live yoghurt (preferably sharp too)
1 litre cooking oil for frying the jalebis
2-3 drops of orange or red food colouring

For the syrup:
1 and half cups of sugar
A pinch of saffron
A pinch of cardamom powder
A couple of drops of lemon juice


1. Take one cup of plain flour and add the yoghurt to it. Using sharp yoghurt helps with the fermentation of the batter. Add half a cup of warm water and mix well. The batter should be quite thick and smooth.

2. Cover this mixing bowl and keep it in a warm place for about 12-14 hours. I kept my bowl inside an insulated box.

3. After 12-14 hours, you should see little bubbles which means that the batter is fermenting well.

4. Add the remaining plain flour to the mixture and stir well. Also add the food colouring. Getting the right colour can be hard but this can be adjusted if the jalebis turn out a paler colour.

5. Stand the mixing bowl in a bigger bowl which should be filled with hot water. Let this stand for half an hour. The warmth will help with the fermentation of the dough. Whilst the batter is being fermented, prepare the syrup.

For the syrup:

6. In a deep frying pan or saucepan, add the sugar and one cup of water. Allow this to dissolve.

7. The syrup should be of one-thread consistency. To check this, take a drop of the syrup and rub it between your thumb and first finger. When you separate the thumb and finger, the syrup should be thick enough to form a thin string. Add a couple of drops of lemon juice to the syrup. This stops the sugar from crystallising.

8. Add the saffron and cardamom to the syrup and lower the heat.

9. Now it’s time to make the jalebis. Pour the jalebi batter into an empty plastic tomato ketchup or mustard dispenser. You can use any similar plastic dispensers. Traditionally, the chef uses either a muslin type cloth or a metal container called a “lota” with a hole at the bottom. Most chefs take their own jalebi makers with them if they are catering anywhere.

10. Heat some oil in a large frying pan. Once the oil is hot, reduce the temperature to medium. To test whether the oil is hot, drop a few drops of batter to the oil. If the batter rises too quickly to the top, the oil is hot and the heat should be reduced to medium. Gently pour the batter directly into the oil in small spiral like patterns, taking care to make sure the edges are joined to the rest of the jalebi. I started from the middle and made my spiral outwards. (Don’t worry if the shape doesn’t happen – even mis-shapen jalebis taste great and won’t go wasted!)

11. The batter will sink to the bottom and rise up slowly. Turn the jalebis and cook the second side until they are slightly firm, crisp and of a dark yellowish colour. (If you are not happy with the colour of your jalebi’s you can add a couple more drops of the food colouring.)

12. At this stage, remove the sugar syrup (often called Chasni) from the heat.

13. Remove the jalebis with a tong and dip them into the sugar syrup for less than a minute.

14. Remove and finish making the rest of the jalebis. Enjoy them whilst they are nice and warm and sweet!

Images courtesy of Mina Joshi

Tomato Chutney

Whenever I make any kind of  bhajias or samosas  I like to serve them with this tomato chutney/dip.   It’s tangy and sweet to taste but can be made hot by adding chillies if you like hot chutneys.


Time – 10-15 minutes

4 -5  ripe tomatoes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
1 tablespoon splenda or sugar
2-3 cloves of garlic
2-3 green really finely blended chillies (use less or none if you don’t like hot food)
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch of turmeric (optional)
½ teaspoon of cumin/coriander mixture (dhana jiru)
½ teaspoon basil


1.  Make a small cross at the bottom of your tomato and boil it in just enough water to cover it for a minute or two.

2. Once boiled, remove from the hot water and dip the tomatoes in cold water.  This helps to remove the tomato skin quicker.

3. Chop the tomato into really small pieces.

4. Add the rest of your ingredients to the tomatoes and allow this to cook until the tomatoes have really softened.

5. Blend this mixture with a potato masher or electric blender.  You can allow the chutney to thicken more according to your preference.

6.  Taste and add salt or lemon as necessary

7.  Allow to cool.

8.  Sprinkle some basil before serving your tomato chutney.

9.  Any left over chutney should be fine for 2-3 days if kept in the fridge.

Tip: You can use tinned tomatoes if you haven’t got fresh tomatoes.

Alu Chaat (Potato tangy snack)


I had a few days off work this week so it was great to have a relaxing weekend and pretend that I was on holiday. My husband and I were chatting about the foods we used to make when we went on foreign holidays during the days when the Indian ingredients and spices weren’t available in certain countries. One of our favourite meals involved spicing up boiled potatoes to make a chaat. We used to pack a lot of Indian spices and bottles of sauces such as sweet and sour chili sauce or tamarind sauce when we went on holiday. By adding a concoction of these spices and sauces to the boiled potatoes we always managed to make up an exciting snack. We made the chaat this weekend to relive our holiday meals.

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 6-8 medium new potatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 2 tbls olive oil
  • 1 tbls. tamarind sauce
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp cumin and coriander powder
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • handful of chopped coriander
  • handful of sev mamra (You can get ready packs of Bombay mix or Gujarati mix  in most supermarkets)
  • some nuts such as almonds, peanuts etc. (optional)


1. Wash and boil the potatoes with the skin on.

2. Once boiled, peel the potatoes and chop them into small cubes.

3. Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds. Once the seeds get dark, add the chopped potatoes and toss them lightly. Add the salt. chili powder, cumin and coriander powder, sugar, lemon juice, tamarind sauce and chopped coriander and allow this to cook until the potatoes look nice and crispy.


4. Remove the potatoes into 2 serving bowls. Chop the onion finely and sprinkle it on the potatoes. Top this with sev mamra, nuts and finely chopped green chilies to give it a bit of crunch and heat. You can add more tamarind sauce to the alu chaat if you like your potatoes to be a bit tangy.


Do you have any favourite holiday snacks you love making?

Blackberry Jam


This summer, I have tried to make jam out of the favourite summer fruits. The recipe for all is very similar. Most recipes tend to suggest using sugar the same weight as the fruit but I always try and reduce the amount of sugar used as the summer fruits are also sweet. This jam took 12 minutes to make in the microwave.


  • 350 gms blackberries
  • 200 gms granulated sugar (I found the jam very sweet so would suggest reducing the sugar to 150gms for next time)
  • 2 tbls fresh lemon juice


1. Wash the blackberries and chop then into two or three small pieces.


2.  Add the sugar and cook uncovered at high in the microwave (900 watts) for 5 minutes and stir.


3. Cook again for 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and cook for a further two minutes. Allow the jam to cool and transfer to a sterilised bottle.


Really simple recipe which gives such an incredible taste.

Rosecoco (borlotti) beans curry


Rosecoco Beans (also called borlotti beans) are normally found in their dried form.  Their deep pink colour skin is flecked with beige and brown spots. They need to be soaked overnight and cooked until soft. Once cooked, they look very similar to peanuts.  Cooking them in a pressure cooker saves time.  If you are in a hurry, you can get these pre boiled in cans in some supermarkets.


  • 2-3 cups of boiled Rosecoco (or borlotti) beans (note that this is the cooked/boiled amount.  you will need only one cup which when soaked will double).
  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes/canned tomato or passata (I used a mixture of fresh tomatoes and passata)
  • 2 tsbls oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 small sticks of cinnamon
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbls jaggery
  • 1-2 fresh green chillies
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  •  small bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 tbls lemon juice
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic


1.  Once the rosecoco beans have boiled in plenty of water- drain and  rinse out the water as it will be discoloured.  Allow them to cool.


2.  Heat the oil and add in the mustard, cinnamon and cloves.  As soon as they stop popping, add the tomatoes.  If you are using fresh tomatoes, make sure that you remove the outer skin.  To do this, make a slit in the tomatoes and cook them for a couple of minutes in boiling water.  This will loosen the skin. Immerse the cooked tomatoes in cold water and peel off the skin.  Then chop the tomatoes into small pieces. Once they are added to the oil, stir them and cook until soft. Now add all the spices – salt, turmeric, chili powder, jaggery, lemon juice, half the coriander, ginger, garlic and green chillies.  Add half a cup of water.

3.  Once it is simmering, add the boiled rosecoco beans and stir. If your gravy feels too thick you can add some water.  If the gravy feels too watery, you can add blend a teaspoon of chick pea flour (besan) with the gravy in a cup and add it to the curry.  This will thicken the gravy.

4.  Garnish the curry with coriander or fresh green chillies.  Serve this hot with any rice.  We cooked saffron rice. rosecoco


How do you cook your Rosecoco or borlotti  beans? Do share your recipes.

Spicy Buckwheat Pancakes


I used Orgran Buckwheat Pancake mix to make some spicy pancakes.  Buckwheat is not a grain but a fruit seed and part of the rhubarb family of plants.  This link  gives you more information about Buckwheat.

Ingredients for 5 pancakes:
½ cup buckwheat pancake mix
1 small onion -grated
1 fresh green chilly chopped into small pieces
small bunch of freshly chopped coriander
small piece of grated ginger
2 gloves of garlic minced using a garlic press
½ tsp. salt
pinch of turmeric
2-3 tbls oil
1.  Transfer the pancake mix into a mixing bowl.  Add the onions, ginger, garlic, green chillies, coriander, salt, turmeric to the pancake mix.

2. Add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to the mixture and mix it all using a spoon.

3.  Add half a cup of water to the mixture and stir.

4. This water should be enough but if you feel that the mixture is thick and you can a couple of tablespoons of water.

5. Grease and heat a non stick frying pan with oil.  Rub off the excess oil using a kitchen paper.  Pour in a small ladle of the pancake mix and using a tablespoon, spread it into a circle.

6. Once the little air bubbles start to appear, it should be easy to turn the pancake over.  If the pancakes feel dry, you can add a couple of drops of oil to allow them to brown.

7.  Cook until golden brown on both sides. Finish making all the pancakes in the same manner. I didn’t need to add much oil to the pancakes and they cooked fine and tasted great too.

8.  Serve them hot with your favourite sauce.

Paneer and mixed vegetables stir fry


Lately, I have been using paneer in a lot of curries.  This recipe is slightly different from my usual curries as the curry is dry and can be used to eat on its own, or inside a wrap like a sandwich.

Ingredients for 3-4 servings:

  • 2 cups of cubed paneer
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables (I used cauliflower, broccolli, carrots, peas)
  • 2-3 tbls Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbls dhana jeeru ( a mixture of coriander and cumin powder)
  • 2 tbls juice of fresh lemon or lime


  1.  Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds.  Once the seeds go dark, add the paneer and stir it so that the oil coats the paneer. Lightly cook it stirring gently to avoid breaking the paneer cubes. Just allow them to brown ever so lightly.


2. Now all the prepared vegetables to the paneer and sprinkle the salt, turmeric, chili powder and dhana jeeru.  Mix it well and allow to cook on a low heat with the lid on. If the curry feels too dry, add half a cup of boiling water to it.



3.  Once the vegetables soften, add the lemon juice, take the wok off the heat and leave it covered for 5 minutes- to allow all the vegetables to continue  cooking in their steam.


4.  The curry is ready to serve with chappatis or rice.  We like to have this as a filling for tortilla wraps.


High Protein Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was making some basic recipe chocolate chip cookies with oats and my son comes in the kitchen and said “Can you put some of my protein powder  in the cookies?”  Just to explain the protein powder is a supplement people  generally consume immediately before and after exercising and my son is really into his sports and exercise.   Well I am always open to new ideas so I took up his challenge and made these cookies which I think should be called high protein chocolate chip cookies.   I still followed the basic cookie recipe so the results will be good even without the addition of the protein powder.

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients for 20 medium sized cookies

125g salted butter at room temperature
90g brown sugar
1 organic egg
90g self raising flour
100g choc chips
20g rolled oats
100g protein shake powder

Method :

1. Using a coffee grinder – grind the oats for 2-3 spins.

2. In a food processor, mix the butter and sugar until creamy.

3. Add the egg and mix again.

4. Add the self raising flour, oats, protein powder and chocolate chips and mix well.

5. Remove the dough and shape it into a roll; wrap it in foil and put it in the freezer for 30 minutes.

6. After 30 minutes, heat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and prepare the baking tray by lining it with greaseproof paper.

7. Remove the cookie dough and cut into slices 1 cm thick.

8. Slightly shape them round and put them on the baking tray.

9. If you have a fan oven – cook for only 6 minutes. Convention oven will take 10 minutes. I suggest that you keep checking so that the cookies don’t burn.

10. The cookies turned out lovely and soft and had a creamy taste because of the protein powder added to the cookies.

11. Enjoy them with a glass of cold milk like we did.

Tip: You can make the cookie dough in advance and keep it in the freezer for a few weeks.

Crispy Puris


I have recently started teaching at an evening class one evening a week.  At the start of  my cookery classes we have a short quiz  where I introduce either a new spice or a new dish to the class.   For my first ever cookery class I took a sample of my home made farsi pooris for everyone to try and guess the ingredients in the puri.  I wanted to make them realise that by using just a few everyday ingredients one could produce  a tasty snack. Everyone loved the farsi pooris and said that they had never eaten anything like them before. Farsi puris have been a snack in my home for ever so I was surprised that they had never tasted them.  Everyone wanted to learn how to make them so we made them last week.  You can see everyone’s attempt here.  One thing I learned from this class is to make sure that your recipe ingredients and methods are very specific and one should not assume that everyone knows a spice or a cooking method.  E.g my ingredients asked for half a teaspoon of cumin and the whole class brought cumin powder!!  Thankfully, I had plenty of cumin seeds to share with my class.    This made me realise  that something that I thought everyone would know was wrong.  I have now changed my recipe to mention cumin seeds.

Ingredients to make 25 puris depending on the size:

  • 200 gms Plain white flour
  • 70 gram salted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 litre any cooking oil
  • 1 cup warm water


1.    Sieve the flour.

2.    Warm the butter for a couple of minutes -until it looks runny -almost like oil.

3.    Make a dip in the flour and pour in the butter.

4.    Sprinkle on the coarse black pepper and salt.

5.    Roast the cumin seeds slightly on a griddle.  Once you get the lovely cumin aroma, transfer the cumin on to a work top.  Using a rolling pin, roll over the cumin.  This will release the lovely cumin flavours and your puris will have the lovely flavour when you add this mixture to the dough. Continue rolling over the cumin seeds until some of the cumin is crushed a bit.

6. Add the ground cumin seeds to the flour.

7. Using warm water bind the dough. Add the water with caution as you may not need the full cup. The dough should not be too loose as this will make it very difficult to roll out the puris.

8. Now divide the dough into approximately 25 small balls and make them into flattened balls.


9. Roll out the Farsi puri (not too thin) and prick them either with a fork or a knife. Save the puris on a plate or tray.



10. Deep fry the puris in sunflower oil . When you put the puris in oil, wait for them to float up and then keep turning them gently until they are a light golden colour.

11. Remove the Farsi puri onto a kitchen paper. Once the Farsi puris cool, they can be stored in a biscuit tin.

Vegetarian pancakes/omelette


Savoury Pancakes or Gujarati Pudlas made with vegetables and chickpea flour are made from Chickpea flour, vegetables, spice and herbs and look like a pancake, uttapam or a spanish omelette. Savoury Pancakes or Gujarati Pudlas made with vegetables and chickpea flour dish is very popular in most Gujarati homes. It’s one of those quick dishes you can make and enjoy when you are in a hurry. Simple Pudlas can be cooked with minimum ingredients but I like to add some vegetables to mine to make the meal a bit more filling and it’s one way of getting the children to eat their vegetables.


• 2 cups Chick pea flour
• 2 tbls plain flour
• 1 small potato or sweet potato
• 1 onion
• Small carrot
• 1-2 fresh green chillies 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp coriander and cumin powder (often called dhana jeeru)
• handful of fresh coriander
• half a cup sunflower oil for frying
• pinch of soda bicarbonate


1. Sieve the chick pea flour and plain flour on a mixing bowl.

2. Add the grated sweet potatoes, onions, grated carrots, chillies, coriander and the dry spices (including soda bicarbonate) to the flour. Take one cup of warm water and mix to form a batter which should be runny similar to what an egg omelette mixture would look like. You may need to add more water if the mixture looks thick.

3. Grease a non stick frying pan and spread the mixture on the frying pan. Allow it cook until it turns golden brown on one side and cook the second side. Try and use minimum amount of oil.


4. Serve hot with Bombay aloo and coconut chutney.


Cheesie vegetables and pasta with bechamel sauce in yorkshire pudding

IMG_7316Today’s recipe for the cheesy vegetable bake came about by chatting to my younger son who had eaten something similar at a friends place.  The dish turned out to be so delicious that I almost forgot to take pictures of it after we  served it.


  • 3 cups mixed vegetables (I used carrots, peppers, peas, green beans and sweetcorn)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 2-3 cloves of grated/blended garlic
  • 1 cup of mini bow tie  pasta
  • 1 tbls oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 cups grated cheese ( you will need some to add to the sauce and some to add to the vegetables as a topping.
  • 2  giant  frozen yorkshire pudding 
  • 2-3 tsps of oregano

For the bechamel  sauce

    • 3 cups of milk
    • 1 tbls butter
    • 2 tbls plain white flour
    • dash of nutmeg powder


1. Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds.  Once the seeds go dark, add the frozen vegetables and add the salt, pepper and garlic.  Stir fry and allow these to cook until they get soft.


2. Boil the mini bow tie pasta in lots of water and once soft, drain out the water using  a sieve and keep aside.

3.  Add the mini pasta to the vegetables and mix.  Allow to cool whilst you make the bechamel sauce (white sauce)

4. To make the sauce-  Heat the butter and once it melts, add the white flour to form a roux. Allow this to cook until you get a lovely fragrance and it looks like it’s starting to bubble.  Add the milk to it slowly to avoid lumps.  Keep stirring until it gets to a lovely thickness.  Add a couple of scoops of the grated cheese to it and the dash of nutmeg.   Pour the sauce over the vegetables and season it with extra pepper and oregano.


5. Transfer the mixture to the giant yorkshire puddings.  (These are sold in most supermarkets but please note that the ready made ones have eggs in them) and top it with cheese and some pepper and oregano. 


6.  Transfer the  giant Yorkshire pudding into a medium oven (180 degrees C or 350 degrees F or Gas mark 4 for 10-15 minutes. 


7.  Serve this hot when ready.  As mentioned, I forgot to take a good picture of the dish being served.  For those of you who like their food spicy, you can green chilies to the vegetables or have it with a hot chili sauce or chutney.


Date and Tamarind Chutney


This chutney is often referred to as the sweet chutney or Imbli/Ambli Chutney. It’s made using dates which are sweet and tamarind which is sharp and sour so I would say that this is a sweet and sour chutney. No Indian snack is complete without this chutney and the green coriander and chillies chutney.

Ingredients for 2-3 cups of chutney:

12-14 fresh dates – washed and de-seeded and chopped
1-2 teaspoons of tamarind concentrate (you can use fresh tamarind or prepared tamarind blocks too. If using fresh tamarind, use only 3-4 pods of tamarind or just a inch square block of tamarind)
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp chilly powder
1 tsp ground cumin and coriander mixture
¼ inch of ginger
1 fresh green chilly – chopped in 4 pieces
1-2 tbls jaggery (or brown sugar)


1. Mix the chopped dates, tamarind and all the spices apart from jaggery into a deep microwave safe bowl and add 1 cup of water to the mixture. Cook on high for 3 minutes. Stir the mixture and feel to see if the dates (and is using fresh tamarind) have softened. Give it a further 2-3 minutes to allow the dates and tamarind to soften.


2. Strain the mixture. If using fresh tamarind, you may find that it needs a lot more straining and you may have to add ½ cup of boiling water to the mixture to enable you to strain well.


3. Add the jaggery/brown sugar and cook for 2 minutes or until the jaggery or sugar have blended in. You may have to cook it for a minute or 2 longer  if you had to add water during the straining process.


4. The chutney should not be as thick as tomato sauce but more like a dipping sauce kind of thickness. Taste the chutney and add ingredients to make the chutney to your taste.

5. Keep the chutney in the fridge to cool and serve with any Indian snacks.


6. The chutney can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.

Vegetarian Cottage Pie


This cottage pie is made using Quorn Mince. Quorn is the brand name for a range of meat-free ingredients and meals sold here in UK.  Quorn products are  versatile and quick to cook. The mycoprotein used to produce Quorn is extracted from a fungus, Fusarium venenatum, which is grown in large fermentation vats.

Quorn produces both a cooking ingredients and a range of ready meals. It is sold as an alternative to meat and vegetarians love the taste.   The only downside is that the binding agent for Quorn is egg and  vegetarians who do not eat eggs will not be able to eat their products.  Please checkout www.quorn.co.uk for more information.

I used Quorn Mince and mixed vegetables to make my cottage pie.

 Ingredients for 2 -3 servings:

For the topping

5 -6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced largely
1 tablespoon butter
2 tbsp milk
2 or 3 cups of grated cheese
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste

For the Filling

175 g of  Quorn mince
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cloves of  finely grated garlic
1 small Onion
1 cup mixed vegetables – I used peas, corn and carrots
half a can of chopped tinned tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 small vegetarian stock cube or 1 tbsp vegetarian bouillon powder


1. Preheat the oven to 190°C, Gas Mark 5

2.  Using just enough water to cover the potatoes,  cook the potatoes until tender,  soft  and mashable.

3. Meanwhile heat the oil in a saucepan and add the Quorn Mince. Add the salt and pepper and cook the Quorn mince at a medium heat until the mince  starts to slightly brown.

4.  Add the garlic , onions and the mixed vegetables.

5. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, half a cup of water with the Oxo cube/ boullon powder  and allow this to cook very gently on medium heat – stirring all the time, until the mixture has thickened.  The Quorn mince  will absorb all the flavours from the tomatoes and garlic.

6. Transfer the cooked mixture to an  oven-proof dish.

7.  Mash the potatoes with the milk and butter until smooth, season to taste with the salt,  pepper and oregano.

8.   For the topping:  Cover the Quorn mixture with a layer of grated Cheese.

9.  Next cover the cheese layer with the mashed potatoes

10.   If you are feeling adventurous, you can use a piping bag  to decorate the top of the cottage pie.

11.  Cook in the centre of the Oven at 190 degrees Centigrade for 20 minutes.


12.  Serve hot with a variety of vegetables such as  parsnips or Green beans.


Savoury Lentil Cake (Ondhwo/Handvo)


This savoury lentil cake called Ondhwa/Handvo by the Gujarati’s is a perfect dish to serve for weekend brunches, snacks and picnics.  I often serve it at BBQ’s too.

Ingredients for 4 servings: 

2 cups of ground chick pea dall (I soaked 2 cups of  chana dall and blended it in a blender using some water.  You can freeze the left over mixture)
½ cup corn flour
½ cup chick pea flour (Chana flour)
½ cup wheat flour
½ cup yogurt
½ cup chick peas or which should be soaked overnight and then boiled until soft. (you can used canned version too!)
1 onion – chopped finely
1 carrot – grated
1 cup grated cabbage
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables ( you can use any mixture you like)
3-4 cloves of garlic – minced
1 tsp. grated ginger
1-2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chilly powder (optional)
3-4 green chillies – finely chopped (optional)
½ tsp soda bicarbonate
3-4 tsbp lemon juice
1 tsbp sunflower seeds  (optional)

For the tempering:
1 tsp. cumin seeds
4-5 tbsp oil
3-4 tbsp sesame seeds (save some to sprinkle on the top of the ondhwa)
2-3 cloves
1-2 cinnamon sticks
1 dried red chilly (optional)


 1.  Pour all your flours into a mixing bowl and add yogurt and 1 cup of warm water and stir until smooth.

2.  Mix all your vegetables and chick peas in one bowl.  If you are using frozen vegetables, make sure they are defrosted.


3.  Mix the vegetables and the mixed flours in a big mixing bowl.  Add all the spices and the ginger, garlic and green chillies and mix well.


4.  Add the lemon juice, mix and add the soda bicarbonate.  The mixture should now rise a bit.

5. In a separate saucepan, heat the oil and add the tempering mixture – sesame seeds, cloves , cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, dried chillies.  Once the spices stop popping add them to the ondhwa mixture and stir.


6.  Transfer the mixture to a greased cake or bread tin and sprinkle some sesame seeds and sunflower seeds on the top and cook at 170 degrees C for 30 minutes.  Lower the heat after that to 140 degrees for 20 minutes.  Check if its cooked by putting a knife into the middle of the ondhwa.  It should come out dry if its cooked.  The top of the Ondhwa should be crispy and look fairly dark brown.

7.  Serve it hot or cold with any sauce.



Punjabi Samosas – To Fry or Not to Fry?

Samosas are available in most places in the world as little triangle pastries filled with a variety of vegetarian and non vegetarian fillings.  They can be eaten as a snack with a cup of tea or served as a starter with any meal.   Gujarati samosas are usually smaller and crispier.  However, they are a bit complicated to make.  If you are interested, my recipe for Gujarati samosas is here.

This recipe for punjabi samosas is much easier and quicker to make but as with most cooking – preparation is the key to making these.

Ingredients for 30 samosas

6 medium potatoes
6 medium carrots
1 ½ cup of frozen peas
I finely chopped onion (medium size)
A teaspoon of blended ginger
2 or 3 finely chopped green chillies (can be reduced or missed out if you do not like hot food)
Small bunch of finely chopped coriander
1 tsp salt
2 tsps sugar or sugar substitute
1 tbp lemon
1 tsp of garam masala (optional)
1 litre sunflower oil if you wish to try the samosas

For the pastry

2 ½ cups of plain flour
¼ cup of butter
½ tsp of carom seeds (optional)
½ tsp of rosemary
½ cup warm water
½ cup plain flour to help roll out the pastry


1. Add butter, carom seeds and rosemary to the plain flour and mix. Add some warm water a little at a time to the flour to make the pastry dough. The dough should be of a similar consistency to play doh. Cover this dough and leave in a warm place.

2. Dice the potatoes and carrots into small cubes. Wash the vegetables and transfer them to a microwave dish with the frozen peas. Add in the ginger, salt and sugar. Let this mixture cook for 10 minutes, stir and cook again for 10 minutes. The vegetables should now be cooked. Add in the lemon juice and stir.
3. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and add in the garam masala , finely chopped onions, green chillies and coriander and mix well. Allow this mixture to cool. By adding the garam masala and uncooked onions, chillies and coriander at this stage will give the samosas a nice flavour.

To prepare the somasas

4. Knead the dough and divide the pastry dough into 30 small balls ( about the size of half a golf ball). Take one ball and using some dry flour roll out a circle of about 4-5 inches in diameter.

5. One circle will make two samosas. Cut the circle into two, place the samosa mixture on one quarter of the semicircle and pull the second quarter to cover the samosa mixture. Join the edges by pressing them with a fork. Finish making all the samosas and save them on a lightly floured surface.




6. You can now choose the healthy option for cooking your samosas by rubbing/spraying some sunflower oil on the samosas and baking them for 20 minutes at 180 degrees (350 degrees F) or you be naughty and deep fry them until golden brown. I baked half and fried the rest. Both tasted equally nice.

The samosas shown at the top of the recipe were fried and the ones shown below were cooked in the oven:

7. Serve them hot or cold with any dip.

Spinach Curry

I made this really quick and easy Spinach Curry (also called Saag in some restaurants) as we were hungry and didn’t have time to make an elaborate meal. I usually serve spinach curry with khichedi and chapatis but on this occasion we had it with rice and naan bread.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

2 cups of leaf spinach (fresh or frozen)
1 cup of tinned tomatoes
2-3 cloves of fresh garlic
2-3 green chillies (or less)
1tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbs sunflower oil
1 tbs melted butter
1 tbs room temperature butter
half cup fresh single cream
1 tsp corn flour


1. Place the fresh or frozen spinach in a microwave dish, add half a cup of water and cook it for 5 minutes.

2. Allow this to cool.

3. In a blender, mix the tomatoes, garlic, salt, turmeric and fresh chillies.

4. Heat the melted butter and oil and add the cumin seeds. Once the cumin gets brown, add in the blended tomato mixture and allow this to cook for 2-3 minutes.

5. Transfer the cooked spinach to the blender and blend it well and add it to the tomato mixture.

6. Allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes and add in the corn flour.

7. Now add in the fresh cream, stir well and cook for 5 more minutes.

8. Add a small knob of butter and serve it hot with some naan bread.

Stir Fried Rice


I  made this quick and easy stir fried rice for us all when we were all hungry one midnight after playing Monopoly!!

Ingredients for 4-6 servings:

4 cups cooked plain basmati rice
1 medium potato
1/2 cup peas (I used frozen peas)
1 onion sliced finely (I used red onion)
1 fresh carrot
1-2 green chillies for garnishing (optional)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric


1. You need to make sure you have cooked the rice. This recipe would also work with left over rice.

2. Chop your onions finely.

3. Dice the potatoes and carrots into very small cubes.


4. Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds to the oil.

5. Once the cumin seeds get brown, add the onions and allow them to soften.

6. Add the potatoes, carrots and peas.

7. Add the salt and turmeric powder to the vegetables. Stir well and allow the vegetables to cook for 5-7 minutes or until the potatoes soften. When using frozen peas, you do not need to add any water to the vegetables.

8 .Once the potatoes have softened,  add the plain cooked rice to the vegetables and stir gently.


9. Cover the mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes on a low heat.

10. The rice is ready to serve with love. For special occasions, you can garnish it with cashews and peanuts.


Mango and Ginger Cheesecake


The inspiration of this recipe is from a dessert called Eton’s mess which a friend of mine had made and my son loved it. I was looking to make something similar but eggless. I managed to get some juicy Indian mangoes so I used them to make this layered dessert which I have named mango and ginger cheesecake. It’s quick and easy to make and tastes great too. Perfect dessert for the summer.

Ingredients for 5 servings:

250 gms of mangoes (I used 2 large Indian Alphonso mangoes)
1 tsp fresh ginger – grated
1 tsp cardamom – coarsely ground
½ tsp nutmeg – finely ground
3 tbs sugar- finely ground/ Diabetics can use sugar substitute
250 gms Mascarpone cheese
200 gms Philadelphia soft cheese
200 gms Greek style yogurt
2 tsp lemon juice
2-3 drops of Vanilla essence
100 gms shortbread cookies – broken into small chunks


1. Peel the mango and chop it into small chunks. Save 8-10 thin long strips of mango for garnishing.

2. Add the one tsp lemon juice, all the grated ginger and 1 tablespoon sugar to the chopped mango. Mix and cook this for 1 minute in the microwave. (Please note that every microwave has different wattage). Stir the mixture and cook for 1 minute again. Remove the mango mixture, crush all the fruit using a fork and chill the mixture for 30-40 minutes.

3. Mix the mascarpone cheese, philadelphia cheese and greek style yogurt together with the remaining lemon juice. Add the nutmeg, cardomom and 2 tablespoons of sugar or sugar substitute and mix well. If the mixture feels too thick – you can add a spoonful of warm milk to soften it.

4. Take 5 glasses and add a teaspoon of the cheese mixture in each glass. Add a second layer with a spoonful of the chilled mango. Add the third layers with the crushed biscuits. Repeat this layering again twice more finishing with the soft cheese layer.

5. Garnish the top of the dessert with a couple of slices of mango and a piece cookie and chill for at least an hour before serving.


Tip: You can use other fruits such as strawberries and raspberries instead of mangoes. Just adjust the sugar depending on the sharpness of the fruit.

Spicy New Potatoes with Garlic

You can serve these Spicy New Potatoes as a starter or at barbecues with salad too.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

25 small new potatoes
½ tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric
1 tbs chick pea flour (often called besan)
1 tbs ground mixture of coriander and cumin (often called dhana jeeru – available in most supermarkets)
3-4 cloves of minced garlic
2-3 green chillies – sliced into two (optional)
Bunch of fresh coriander
6-8 fresh curry leaves (optional)
1 tsp cumin
2 tbs lemon juice
1tbs sugar or sugar substitute
2 tbs sunflower oil


1. Steam the potatoes and peel the skin.

2. Heat the oil and add in the cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds go brown, turn the heat to medium and add in the potatoes and stir them so that they are coated in the oil. Add the salt, turmeric, chick pea flour and the ground mixture of coriander and cumin. Add the garlic and sliced green chillies.

3. Stir the mixture and allow to cook on a medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Allow the potatoes to brown very slightly and become crisp.

4. Add the fresh coriander and curry leaves if you have them available. Stir in the coriander as this will give it a lovely lemony fragrance of the coriander and curry leaves.

5. Add the lemon juice and sugar and cook for a couple minutes more.

6. The spicy potatoes are ready to be served. They can be served hot or cold.

Tip: By adding the garlic after the tempering allows the garlic flavor to remain stronger.

Spaghetti with Mixed Vegetables and Orange Juice

A couple of weeks ago, I had dinner at a lovely vegetarian restaurant in London where I picked up a recipe card for this dish.  It’s a really nice touch when a restaurant is happy to share their recipes with their customers.  I had to make a few changes to the recipe as I did not have all the ingredients at the time.  The dish turned out great and I hope you will enjoy making it too.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

300 grams spaghetti
300 grams mixed vegetables (I used carrots, broccoli, green beans , green peas and cauliflower)
500 mls semi skimmed milk
100 mls freshly squeezed orange juice
100 mls vegetable bouillon
1 tablespoon olive oil
30 grams fine corn flour
1 teaspoon of salt to add to pasta when it’s boiling
1 teaspoon of olive oil to add to pasta when it is boiling
Salt and pepper to taste
Oregano to garnish


1. In one saucepan, take plenty of water, add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon olive oil to it and cook the mixed vegetables and pasta. (I cook them together but you can cook them separately too if you like)

2. In a second saucepan, mix the cold milk, orange juice, vegetable bouillon. 

3. Put this to boil and keep stirring it all the time to ensure that the milk doesn’t separate.   I was also worried about mixing orange juice and milk but it works fine as long as you keep stirring the mixture. 

4. Once the milk boils, add the corn flour and keep stirring until the sauce thickens.

5. Drain the vegetables and paste.

6. Add the white sauce to the vegetables and pasta and mix. The sauce does thicken as it cools and coats the pasta.

7.  Add the remaining olive oil, salt and pepper and oregano and serve immediately.

8.  This dish was nice and creamy and the addition of fresh orange juice gives it a lovely tangy flavour.

Kidney Beans and sweetcorn curry


Kidney beans and sweetcorn curry is one of my favourite curries .  This curry is very popular with East African Asians who often serve it at events such as weddings.


  • 240 grams of Red Kidney beans (I used a can with the water drained)
  • 100 grams of sweetcorn (I used frozen)
  • 200 grams of passata
  • salt to taste
  •  ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp dhana jeeru (mixture of powdered coriander and cumin)
  • 1 tbls lemon juice
  • ½ tbls brown sugar (optional)
  • small bunch of fresh coriander
  • 2 green chilies sliced in the middle
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (minced using a garlic press)


1.  Drain the water from the can of kidney beans, wash and rinse well.  Transfer this to a saucepan and mix in the sweetcorn.  Add water to cover the mixture and give it one boil and drain the water.

2. In a mixing bowl, mix the passata, garlic, salt, turmeric, dhana jeeru, brown sugar, lemon juice, green chillies and half the coriander. (adding the fresh coriander during cooking helps to infuse the lovely coriander small).

3.  In a saucepan, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds to the oil.  Once the mustard seeds start popping, add in the passata with all the spices and cook for 3-4 minutes.


4. Add the drained kidney beans and sweet corn to the passata mixture.


5.  Allow this to cook for 5-6 minutes and it’s ready to be served hot with any Indian bread such as naan, parathas or rotis.

6.  To make it creamy you add Greek style yogurt or cream to the curry just before serving the curry.

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What do you like your Kidney beans and sweetcorn curry with?

Cheese and Oregano Parathas


I meet a lot of people who love eating Indian food but don’t feel confident about making it at home.  Most of them including my children used to end up buying curry, rice and naan bread from a take away.    That’s when I decided to start sharing my recipes with step by step instruction through my food blog.    It always makes my day when  I receive an email from anyone  letting me  have their views  about any of  the recipes they have tried out.   Do leave your comments on this page if you do try out any of the recipes published on this page as it really means a lot to all the food writers.

In August, I had shared a recipe for Spicy Parathas with tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger  and coriander.  As usual,  I love experimenting with herbs and spices when making any the Indian breads as it just makes the taste a  bit more exciting.  I  made these parathas by adding cheese and oregano and the results were amazing.   Once you have make the dough, most parathas can be rolled out in a similar way.

Ingredients for 8 -10 parathas:

2 cups of plain chappati flour (or strong wheat flour)
1 tsp salt
2 heaped spoonfuls of soft butter
pinch of turmeric
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tbsp dried oregano
I cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup sunflower oil for layering the poratha and frying them


1. Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl.

2. Add the salt, turmeric, garlic, butter, 1 tablespoon oil and organo to the flour.

3. Gently pour warm water to the mixture to form a nice pliable dough.

4. Cover the dough for 30 minutes.

5. Divide the dough into small balls – slightly bigger than golf ball size.

6. Sprinkle some flour on a worktop and roll out one poratha in a circle.

7. Sprinkle cheese on the rolled out paratha and fold the poratha in half covering the cheese.

8. And again in quarter.

9. Sprinkle some flour into this triangle and roll it out again.  Don’t worry about the shape as long as it’s the same thickness everywhere.

10. Fry this poratha gently in a frying pan using a minimum amount of oil.  I just brush the paratha lightly with oil. Making the poratha this way, makes it crispy and fluffy when lightly fried.

11. Sprinkle some more cheese on the parathas and serve with any curry or pickle.

Cauliflower Korma


Whenever I buy cauliflower, I usually make peas and cauliflower curry or a potato and cauliflower curry  but I was looking forward to making cauliflower korma for a change.  A colleague told me that I could get ready made korma sauce from the supermarket but I wanted to create my own korma sauce  using my dad’s recipe.

  • Ingredients
  • 2 cups cauliflower
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 small onions (one to add to the korma sauce and one chopped for the curry)
  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 cup passata
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 4tbls dessicated coconut
  • 10-12 cashews
  • 10 -12 peanuts
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 green chilies cut lengthwise
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsps cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds


1. Prepare the korma sauce as follows:  Using a blender, blend one onion, the dessicated coconut, cashews, peanuts, ginger, garlic and garam masala and keep aside.


2. Cut the cauliflower florets as small as possible. Add them to the peas. Add some salt and turmeric to the cauliflower and peas and boil them in 2 cups of water – until soft.


3. Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds to the oil.  Once the seeds brown, add the chopped onions and tomatoes.  Add some salt to the mixture.


4.  Add the  pasatta and chopped chillies.


5.  Add the blended korma sauce to the mixture and cook for 5-6 minutes.


5.  Add the boiled cauliflower and peas to the korma and cook for a further 10 minutes on a low flame.

6. Serve the cauliflower korma with any Indian bread


Stuffed Peppers

I have always had Romano peppers chopped up either in a salad, pizza topping or rice.  I got some large peppers and capsicums from the farmer’s market and I wanted to see how they would taste stuffed with vegetables or rice. I decided to experiment and stuff them at the same time as when I was making stuffed capsicums.  This resulted in a tasty colourful dish which I love serving to friends when they  pop in for a quick lunch.   This dish makes a great  lunchtime snack but becomes a “Wow” point if served as a colourful starter when you serve your guests. Try it and let me know if I am right.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

2 large romano peppers
3 large capsicums
1 medium onion, chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon of grated or blended ginger
1 teaspoon of blended fresh green chillies (can use more if you like hot food)
3 cups of cooked rice (any rice is fine.  I used Basmati rice)
2 cups of any mixed vegetables chopped finely. ( I used carrots, peas, sweet corn, peppers and green beans)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese.
1 teaspoon salt
½ teasppon turmeric
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon any cooking oil (I used sunflower oil)


1.  Cut a slice off the top of each capsicum , remove centre core and seeds. Save the tops to cover the pepper during cooking.

2.   Slice the romano peppers lengthwise and remove the seeds.

3.    Brush the peppers and capsicums on the outside with the olive oil and then stand them upright in an ovenproof dish and allow them to cook in the oven for 3-4 minutes.

4.    In a saucepan, heat one tablespoon of oil and add in the onions, ginger, garlic and green chilies.

5.   Add the frozen vegetables and stir fry the mixture.  Now add the salt and turmeric as well.

6.   When the vegetables soften, add the cooked rice to the mixture and allow the mixture to cool.

7.    Transfer the mixture into the peppers and capsicum.

8.    Add a cheese topping to the Romano peppers.

9.  Cover the capsicums  with the tops you had sliced off.


8. Bake for 20 -25 minutes in a pre-heated oven at Gas Mark 4 (350°F/180°C) until the peppers and capsicums are tender.

9. Serve this colourful dish hot with a salad or any sauce of your choice.

Some suggested variations:

1. Vegetarians can also add Quorn mince to the vegetables when they are cooking and non vegetarians can add mince meat to the vegetables.

2.  The peppers can be served with salad or even mashed potatoes depending on whether you are having it as a quick lunch or as a starter.

3.  The peppers can also be stuffed with couscous instead of rice.

Most important of all have fun when cooking – be bold with your variations and spices.