Nut Brittle


Mixed Nuts (Almonds, Pistachios, Cashew nuts) – 1 Cup
Poppy Seeds / Khus Khus – 2 tbsp
Cardamoms – 4 -5
Sugar – 1 Cup
Ghee Clarified Butter ( ghee)- 1 tbsp


1. Slice all mixed nuts. Powder the Cardamom seeds.
2. In a heavy bottomed pan, add ghee and sugar. On low heat melt the sugar.
3. When the sugar is melted and caramelized to a light brown color add the sliced mixed nuts, Khus Khus, and powdered cardamoms. Mix till nuts are coated well with the caramelized sugar.
4. Pour this mixture onto the back of a thali/ greased plate or on a rolling board.
5. Using the back side (flat side) of a cup, flatten the mixture like a thick chapatti or disc. You can use a rolling pin to roll the mixture. This has to be done very quickly as the mixture begins to harden as soon as it is removed from heat.
6. Before mixture begins to set score lines where you want to break the varo as this will make it easier to get uniform size pieces when set as Varo will break on the scored lines .
7. Leave the rolled Varo to set for some time.

Break into pieces and store in air tight containers

Spicy Sauted Potatoes with Sweetcorn & Peanuts

There are thousands of varieties of potatoes in the World and most of us will have certain favourites for certain dishes.  Most of us who cook regularly, will have worked out which potatoes to use for curries, chips, etc. The ones I used for this recipe are the ones used mostly for making jacket potatoes – a variety called Estima. These potatoes can be baked or boiled and really make great jacket potatoes. I love having jacket potatoes as a quick snack but sometimes, I prefer to have them spicer with a hint of Indian spices. One of the ways of making the potato spicer is to sauté it with the spices. Every time, I make this I experiment with the spices and condiments. Please use this recipe as a guide but enjoy trying out different variations.


2 large jacket potatoes
½ cup of sweetcorn
½ cup of peanuts
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
1 tablespoon of oil
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
Some fresh coriander (optional)
1 green chilli (optional)
2 teaspoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon sugar to taste (optional)
Honey mustard sauce to taste (optional)
Grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese (optional)


1.  Wash the potato and  score it in the middle with a sharp knife.

2.  Boil the potatoes in a saucepan of water or wrap them in a wet kitchen paper and cook them in the microwave. I prefer to steam them in a pressure cooker.

3. Once cooked, peel the potato, cut them into cubes, sprinkle the salt and pepper or chilli powder to the potatoes.

4. In a frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and add the cumin seeds.

5. Add the peanuts and allow them to brown slightly.

6. Now add the sweetcorn.

7. Add in the potatoes and stir well.

8. Add the sugar, lemon juice and fresh coriander (and the green chilli if you like hot food) to the potatoes. If you like honey mustard, add this just before serving the dish.

9.  Allow the potatoes to sauté well.

10.  If you like cheese, you can sprinkle some grated cheese on top of your potatoes when serving.

11. Serve this hot.

Images courtesy of Mina Joshi

Savoury Puffed Rice Snack

Savoury and crunchy puffed rice, a fast and speedy snack that can be made in minutes.

Preparation 5 minutes
Cooking time 3 minutes
Serves 2 people


120 grams / 4 oz puffed rice (mumra)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 tablespoon sunflower oil


1. In a microwaveable bowl add the puffed rice.
2. Sprinkle the puffed rice with salt, oil and turmeric powder and mix well.
3. Place the bowl in the microwave and microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring at 1 minute intervals.
4. Leave the puffed rice to cool slightly for 1 minute and check that it is crispy, if it appears a little soft microwave again for further 30 seconds to 1 minute.
5. Remove from microwave and sprinkle with chilli powder.
6. Serve as it is or as a topping on salad.

Baked Potato Skins

potato skins 3b

Delicious oven baked cheesy potato skins with a spicy sweet corn filling.

Preparation Time- 10 minutes
Microwave-10 minutes
Baking time- 25 minutes
Serves- 4


4 medium white baking potatoes
125 grams / 4 oz grated cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons cooked sweet corn
2 spring onions finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
Oil for brushing


1. Wash the potatoes and prick them with a fork.
2. Microwave them on high for 8-10 minutes or  until cooked.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/  175 degrees C
4. Remove the potatoes from the microwave and cut them in half length ways.
5. Using a spoon scoop out the potato flesh carefully leaving some potato on the skin.
6.Brush the potato skins with a little oil ( helps to crisp the skins up nicely) and place them on a baking tray in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes till they crisp up.
7. In a bowl add the scooped potato mixture, add to it half the cheese, sweet corn and 3/4 of the spring onion. Add to it the salt and pepper and mix together.
8. Remove the potato shells from the oven and immediately fill with the potato mixture.
9. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining cheese and spring onion.
10. Finally sprinkle with some chilli flakes and place the skins back into the oven for another 10 minutes until cheese melts and turns slightly brown.
11. Remove from oven and serve hot with a side salad.

Moroccan Roasted Almonds

Salted crispy almonds that you will not be able to stop munching.

Preparation Time 5 minutes
Baking time -20 minutes
Serves 2-3


240g / 8 oz Almonds
1 tablespoon salt


1. Wash the almonds and drain them .
2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F.
3. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and sprinkle half the salt on it.
4. Spread out the almonds in thin layer over the salt and sprinkle the remaining salt over them.
5. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Almonds should be crisp with a white salty crust.