Thursday, 30 May 2013

Spicy Lamb Mince Curry with Fenugreek leaves using a Pressure Cooker.

Minced Lamb pressure cooked with Whole Spices and Fenugreek leaves to a juicy soft tenderness. Enjoy with rice, parathas or rolled in chappatis.

To Make Spicy Lamb Mince Curry with Fenugreek leaves using a Pressure Cooker.
Serves: 3-4 | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 30-40 minutes
Lamb Mince: 250 grams
Tomato: 2 small chopped
Big onion: 1 finely chopped
Green chillies: 3 nos chopped
Coriander leaves: 1/2 cup chopped finely
Fresh Methi leaves: 1 cup leaves seperated from stem, washed and coarsely chopped.
Ginger-Garlic paste: 3 tsps
Cardamom pods: 2 nos
Black Cardamon: 1 no.
Bay leaf: 1
Cinnamon stick: 2 inch piece
Kashmiri red chilli powder: 2- 3 tsps ( adjust according to spice/heat levels)
Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
Salt and lemon juice to taste
Oil: 2.5-3 tbsps


1. Place a cooker on the fire and pour oil into it. After the oil heats up, add cumin seeds, crushed cardamom pods, bay leaf and cinnamon stick and saute for a few seconds. (Do not allow the spices to burn). Add the chopped onions and green chillies and saute well on low flame until the onions turns light brown. Then add ginger- garlic paste and saute for another 3-4 minutes.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes, chopped coriander leaves, add 1 tsp of salt and fry well till the tomatoes soften and the fried mixture turns into softened pulp with oil oozing from the sides. Add the spice powders and fry for another minute or till aromatic.
3. Add the minced meat, mix well to incorporate the meat well into the masala. Break any lumps. Fry on a medium flame for 5-7  minutes. 
4. Add enough hot water to just cover the minced meat mixture by an inch. 
5. Close the cooker and place the weight. Cook on a high flame for one whistle then lower the flame and cook on a low flame for a further 10-12 minutes. Turn the flame off, let pressure drop by itself. Open the cooker, add the chopped methi leaves cook for a further 5-7 minutes till leaves are cooked. Adjust salt, squeeze over lemon juice. Serve hot.


1. The methi or fenugreek leaves can be substituted with chopped spinach leaves. 
2. The lamb mince can be substituted with beef, turkey or chicken mince.

Have a great weekend friends!

Yours in Taste,

Carol Pereira

Friday, 24 May 2013

Barbequed King Prawns in a Coriander, Chilli and Lime Marinade.

Perfect for those Sunny days!! Foodie friends, its time to slather on your suncream, put on your sun hats and fill up your glasses, for the sun is finally peeking through  :)
Do dust off those barbies, light up those coals and let them glow!!

Enjoy these juicy and delicious barbequed (can be even oven grilled) king prawns marinaded in a simple sauce thats bursting with fresh flavours of freshly ground coriander leaves, green chillies and garlic brought together by olive oil and zingy lime/ lemons.

For Barbequed or Grilled King Prawns in a Coriander, Chilli and Lime Marinade.
Serves 4 | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Barbequing time: 6 mins
King prawns: 20
Green chillies: 2
Cloves of garlic: 2 nos.
Small handful of fresh coriander leaves
Olive oil: 50 ml
Lime or lemon juice: 1 large
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 x wooden skewers

1. Soak the wooden skewers in cold water for 10 minutes, so they don’t burn when you put them on the BBQ later.
2. Finely chop the fresh coriander leaves, green chillies and garlic then place in a mortar along juice of 1 lime or lemon, 1/4 tsp of sea salt and crush with a pestle to get a smooth paste. Then add around 50 ml of olive oil to the ground paste. Mix well. Add pepper to taste. Adjust salt, adjust sourness by adding more lime juice if needed. Keep aside.
3. Prepare the prawns by Butterfly them and deveining them. Place the prepared prawns in above marinade. Leave to marinate for 1 hour.
To learn how to butterfly prawn watch this video.
4. After an hour thread 5 prawns on to each skewer. Place the skewers on the hot bbq for a 2-3 minutes on each side. Serve hot. If grilling in an oven place the prawns on the top shelf of an oven at 250C and allow the prawns to grill for 3- 5 minutes till the shells start to turn pink and the flesh white.

Enjoy the bright and warm weather friends. I am off to spend the weekend with lovely friends. I look forward to all your lovely comments, feedback and foodie pictures!!

Yours in Taste, 

Carol Pereira

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Afghan Style Mutton Pulao, Qabili Palau, Kabuli Palao, Qubuli Uzbaki.

Delicate grains of  Basmati rice parboiled till tender, then delicately tossed  with a rich gravy of  browned onions and whole spices,  flavoured with the delicious juices of tender lamb or chicken, sealed in a large pot and baked gently and slowly, till the rice is long, fluffy and distinctly seperate, served in a large platter with a lavish garnishing of carrot slithers, plump raisins and crunchy nuts. 

A dish that is truly worth its grain, served at all weddings and functions, the National Dish of  Afghanistan, also known popularly as 'Qabili Palau' , 'Kabuli  Palao', 'Qubuli Uzbaki' or 'Afghan Style Mutton Pulao'

This dish is a reflection of the country's undeniably unique cuisine with contrasting tastes and food that is neither spicy nor bland.  A country where rice dishes are considered the "king" of all foods and are the best part of any meal, a place where  certainly reputations can be made in the realm of rice preparation. 

Do try out this authentic Afghani recipe from A food blog that is filled with stories of the life, culture and food of Afghanistan.

If you would rather not mix sweet and savoury tastes, you might want to give this dish a miss. For all those who love a hearty flavoursome, delicately spiced rice dish, this one is not to be missed.

To Make Qabili/ Kabuli Palao with Lamb
Original Recipe for Afghan Chicken Pulao: 
Recipe Adapted to make Lamb Palao.
Serves 6-8

For the meat and sauce
Tender Lamb Chops: 750 gms (or lamb shoulder chopped into large pulao size pieces)
Yellow onions, peeled and diced finely: 2 large
Olive oil or vegetable oil, divided: ½ cup
Ginger-garlic paste: 2 tsps ( my adaptation)
Ground cumin: 2 tsp
Ground cardamom: 1 ½ tsp.
Ground black pepper: ½ tsp or add more for hotter palates
Browning sauce such at Kitchen Bouquet (optional)*: ½ tsp
Salt to taste
For Garnish
Carrots, peeled: 3 large
Black raisins: 1 cup
Slivered almonds: ½ cup
Sugar: 1 tbsp.
Water: ¾ cup 

For the rice
Basmati rice: 3 cups
Water: 12 cups hot water
Salt to taste
Oil: 2 tbsp. 

1. Wash rice several times remove starch then let it drain in a colander.
2. Wash the cut meat and allow to drain in a colander.
3. Dice the onions finely.
4. To Cook the Meat:
Choose a wide pan (non stick preferably) that is at least a couple inches deep and large enough to fit all the meat. Pour the oil in the pan and saute the onions over high heat, stirring quickly, until golden brown (5-10 minutes). Don't allow the onions to burn.
5. Next add the ginger garlic paste and fry for 2 more minutes, then add the drained meat and cook the meat over medium-high heat for 6 minutes, turning from time to time so all sides turn golden brown. The onion will start to caramelize and begin to turn into a thick sauce.
6. Add enough hot water to just cover the meat, let it come to a boil then cook the meat on a very low flame till the meat is tender and cooked (may take 35- 50 minutes to an hour). Check 2- 3 times in between, so as to not allow meat to burn, add more water if required to cook the meat. Once the meat is cooked, seperate it from the brown gravy and keep aside. If the gravy is runny allow the gravy to slightly thicken open on a medium high flame. The sauce should turn a dark brown. If your sauce does not take on a dark color you can add the Kitchen Bouquet to give it color. Once the gravy has thickened stir in the cumin, cardamom and black pepper powders into the gravy. Continue to cook on low flame for a further 5 minutes. If you would prefer a more spicy gravy add more powdered pepper. Turn off the fire. Keep aside.
7. To Make the Garnish:
While the meat is cooking, cut the carrots into long matchsticks, about 4 inches long and 1/4-inch thick. Make sure that they are not too thin. In a large frying pan add ¾ cups of water and bring to a boil, add the carrots and cook until tender and a deep orange hue, 5 to 7 minutes. Keep a close eye on this to make sure you do not overcook them. Once the carrots are done, drain any leftover liquid out of the pan. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil, raisins, almonds and sugar to the carrots. Stir fry quickly over medium-high heat and keep stirring for about 3 minutes. The raisins will look plump; the carrots will take on a nice sweet flavor. Remove from heat and package the carrots mixture into a sealed aluminum foil pouch about the size of a small paperback novel.
8. To make the Rice.
Measure 12 cups of water in a large pot with a fitted lid. Add salt to taste. Bring the water to a boil. Add the rice to the water and boil until it is al dente (80 percent cooked, though still slightly crunchy). This will take just a few minutes depending on the rice you use. You will have to taste it to check for doneness. Do not overcook it. Drain the rice and put the rice back into its cooking pot. To it add the thickened lamb brown gravy. Coat the rice gently with the gravy. Arrange the cooked meat pieces on top of the rice. Try to cover the meat pieces with the rice. Set the closed aluminum package of carrots on top of the rice. This will keep the carrots warm and deepen the flavors without mixing with the rice yet. Make holes through the meat and rice using the back of a wooden spoon .Cover the dish with 2 sheets of aluminium foil and then place a lid which covers the pan completely.
9. Place the dish in the centre of a preheated oven at 500F/250C  (temp given is for 
a conventional oven, adjust temp accordingly for fan-assisted oven) and bake for 15 minutes.  Then drop the temperature down to 250F or 120C (temp given is for a conventional oven, adjust temp accordingly for fan-assisted oven) and bake for another 20 minutes.

Arrange the meat pieces on a large platter, cover with the rice. Sprinkle the carrots, raisins, and almonds on the rice. Serve with a simple salad.

1. The meat in this dish can be substituted with Chicken.
2. I used lamb chops but you could substitute with any tender cut like the shoulder of lamb.
3. Most recipes I went through online for this dish asks for the carrots to be fried in lots of oil, in this version the carrots are precooked in water first then quickly stir fried in a little oil, making it healthier.

I hope you do try this recipe and enjoy it. Would love to know your thoughts on it.

Yours in Taste,

Carol Pereira.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Mangalore Bunt Style- Simple Fish Curry without Coconut.

Mangalore falls under the rich and bountiful Konkan region of the South-West coast of India. This coast is lush with paddy fields, coconut-laden palms and sun kissed beaches. You will never tire of eating in Mangalore. Home to several communities ( to mention a few: the 'Mangalore Christians', 'Bunts' and 'Moplah community' ) it is endowed with a rich culinary heritage. Utilising the coconuts and red chillies grown locally, each community has its very own technique of combining spices and ingredients together to create dishes with very distinctive flavours.
The Arabian sea, the rivers and ponds that traverse the land are teeming with varieties of delicious fish. Be it Mackerals, Sardines, Pomfrets, Kingfish, Prawns, Clams or Crabs the Mangalorean house wife has perfected over generations the art of creating delicious curries, fry ups or dry dishes using ground spice pastes or powdered spice blends, all to suit the flavour and texture of the fish at hand .

Todays fish curry is my version of Bunt's  Special Fish Curry. The 'Bunts' known for their liberal use of local red chillies and coconut in combination with coriander, cumin, fenugreek, ajwain, pepper create the most delicious spicy, fragrant, flavourful curries.

This fish curry is made using the 'Bunt Chilli powder' also known as the 'Bunt Thal da Podi' or 'Kundapur or Badakai Chilli Powder'. It is a roasted blended spice powder that uses a combination of various whole spices like cumin, coriander seeds, peppercorns, methi/ fenugreek seeds, turmeric and dried garlic.  Every Bunt family has its own recipe to make this versatile spice blend. It is used to spice up chicken, red meat, fish, eggs, vegetables. One can create their own spice powder or buy it ready made from any Mangalore store in Mumbai or Bangalore. The homemade version however tends to be more fragnant and flavourful. 

Do try out this hot and flavourful curry and let me know your thoughts on it.

To Make Mangalore Bunt Style- Simple Fish Curry without Coconut.
Serves: 4-5 | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes.
Mackerals: 4 medium sized, clean and cut
Oma seeds: pinch
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Green chillies: 3 slit
Onion: 1 medium sized chopped finely
Ginger: 1 inch chopped finely
Garlic : 4 large flakes chopped finely
*Bunt chilli powder/ thal powder: 1 tbsp or according to your taste. See recipe below.
Tomatoes: 2 small chopped finely.
Tamarind extract/Vinegar: to taste or Kokum: 3 nos ( traditionally tamarind is used as souring agent in Bunt cooking) I use kokum or vinegar if I run out of tamarind.
Salt to taste

1. In a large vessel heat 3 tsps of oil. When hot add the oma seeds and cumin seeds and curry leaves and green chillies and fry on a gentle flame till fragnant. Then add the finely chopped onions, ginger garlic add a pinch of salt and fry on a medium to high flame till onions turn lightly brown.
2. Add the Bunt /thal powder and fry quickly for 2-3 secs before adding the tomatoes. Add salt 1/2 tsp and fry till tomatoes turn soft ( 3-4 minutes). Then add a cup of water, adjust the salt add the tamarind extract/ vinegar or kokum to taste, close the lid and allow the curry to gently bowl for 4-5 minutes. Open the vessel taste salt/ sourness adjust.

3. Add the fish pieces flat in a single layer, turn the vessel in gentle round movements to swirl gravy over fish pieces, close lid and cook for a further 7-8 minutes on a medium high flame till fish is cooked.

Turn off heat, serve hot with boiled rice or white rice.

To Prepare Bunt Chilli Powder or 'Bunt Thal da Podi' , 'Kundapur or Badakai Chilli Powder'
Can be used to prepare 1 kg of chicken or fish curry.
Byadgi or Bedagi chillies: 20 nos
Coriander seeds : 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Peppercorns : 1 tsp
Methi seeds: 1/8 tsp
Haldi Powder : 
1/8 tsp 
Dried Garlic flakes: 4-5 cloves

1. Clean & remove the stalks of the chillies.
2. Roast a handful of chillies on a heavy bottomed pan over medium flame. The chillies must turn brown & crispy when you break them with your finger. Remove & follow the same procedure until all the chillies are roasted.
3. Roast rest of the ingredients seperately over slow flame.
4. Cool. Place roasted spices in coffee grinder, add the dried garlic flakes and powder.
5. Sift using a metal sieve.
6. Stores in a airtight box, keep in fridge. Keeps upto one year.

Note: The Bydagi chillies are also called Kaddi chillies are very mild in heat with a deep red colour. If substituting with any other chillies use your discretion and adjust quantity accordingly.


Yours in Taste,

Carol Pereira

Monday, 13 May 2013

Italian Salvia Fritta or Sage fritters.

If you love the Japanese 'tempura' or the Indian 'onion bhajji' you will love these delicate Italian fritters made from fresh fragnant Sage leaves. We first tried these fritters in Florence, Italy in a small little fish joint and thoroughly enjoyed them. The crispy and light beer batter delicately covers the fragnant sage leaves, every bite is magical as it dissappears into nothingness within seconds.

A delicious accompaniment for drinks the Italian way!!

To Make Italian Salvia Fritta or Sage fritters.
Serves: 4| Preparation time: 15 minutes | Resting time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes.
For the Batter:
Sage: fresh and healthy leaves 30-40 leaves
Flour: 100 grams or a little less than a cup
Cold Beer: 125 ml
Salt: to taste
Eggs: 1 egg white
Olive oil: 1 tablespoon.
Oil as required to deep fry

1. Place the flour into a bowl add the chilled beer slowly little at a time, whisking briskly to create a medium-thick batter.
2. Add the salt, oil and mix to get a homogeneous mixture.
3. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let the batter stand for at least 30 minutes.
4. Wash and dry the sage leaves well.
5. Fill a pan with oil to a depth of about 3/4 of an inch, and place over a medium-high heat. While the oil is heating, in a clean dry bowl whisk an egg white together with a pinch of salt till stiff peaks form, then gently fold the egg white into the batter.
6. When the oil is hot ( check by dropping a bit of batter into the oil, the batter should sizzle immediately and brown quickly or alternatively use a thermometer and check the temp should be around 360F. Dip the sage leaves one by one in the batter and then fry them quickly in hot oil in small batches turning them on both sides. When the sage leaves turn golden brown ( should take between 1-2 mins), remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and place them to drain on absorbent kitchen paper.
Serve hot.

The batter can be prepared with chilled carbonated water instead of beer, but the latter (containing yeast) will help to create a lighter crispy batter during frying.


Yours in taste,

Carol Pereira.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Bachelors Chicken Sukka or Mangalore Style Spicy Chicken with Coconut.

Chicken Sukka is a popular and much loved dish among Mangaloreans.  Every family has their own way of making it. Some families follow the traditional way of making the Chicken Sukka, by grinding down spices in a stone and then cooking the meat in this paste, finishing off with a final garnish of roasted coconut and onions. This dish tends to be richer, full on flavour and delectable, but time consuming.

For those of us who have a busy lifestyle, for busy moms, kitchen novices or Bachelors, todays Chicken Sukka recipe may come as a blessing :) It is a simplified version to make this dish in a jiffy without breaking a sweat and with minimal fuss. It is prepared using the versatile Mangalore Bafat/ Baffat/ Bafad powder that is used to spice up many a dish. Check out my mom's Bafat powder recipe here

To make Mangalore Style Bachelors Chicken Sukka
Serves: 4 | Preparation time: 30 minutes| Cooking time: 30 minutes


Chicken (small pieces): 1 kg

To Marinade:

Baffat powder: 1 tbsp
Lime/ lemon juice: 1
Salt to taste

Green chillies: 2 slit
Curry leaves: 3 sprigs
Coriander leaves: a big handful very finely chopped. Keep aside 2 tbsps of chopped leaves for garnish.
Mangalore Bafat powder: 2 tbsps or according to taste
Onions : 3 large sliced finely
Grated coconut: 2 handfuls
Oil: 2-3 tbsps
Salt as per taste

1. In a bowl marinade the cut chicken pieces with the Marinade ingredients (lemon juice, salt and Bafat powder). Keep aside for 10 minutes while you prepare the slicings.

2. In a heavy bottomed non stick pan take 2 tbsp oil add the  slit green chillies and curry leaves and fry for a minute. Add the marinaded chicken and finely chopped coriander leaves and fry the chicken on a medium heat without adding any water till half cooked. Then add the Bafat powder and mix the chicken well. Cook till done.
3. In a non stick pan fry the sliced onions  and grated coconut seperately till light brown and keep aside. Add the fried onion and coconut mixture to the cooked chicken and mix well. Taste for salt and sourness and adjust.  Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve along with white or boiled rice, piping hot Mangalore Style saar or lentil soup and enjoy!
I hope you do try and enjoy this simple version. If you did enjoy this post, do drop me a line on my Facebook page or at, would love to hear your comments on it. 

Have a lovely weekend
Yours in Taste,

Carol Pereira

Friday, 3 May 2013

Egg free and No-Churn Tender Coconut Ice cream.

 I first came across the concept of 'Tender Coconut Ice cream' on my recent trip home. A post dinner drive to the Naturals Icecream parlour a couple of minutes from home is simply not be missed. A few flavours packed into boxes,  we would rush home to indulge our senses and our already bursting bellies to some luscious creamy ice creams..hmmm. Of the many delicious flavours on offer at Naturals 'Pistachios, Roasted Almonds, Custard apple/ Sitaphal, Strawberry' name a few.... 'Tender Coconut' is a definite favourite. 

Back in the UK  I have been been looking forward to warmer weather for a long long time, its been the longest winter ever. The sun has finally made its appearance and Spring has SPRUNG!! if that means anything. The temperatures are higher, days are longer and flowers are finally in bloom :) 

This icecream was on top of the to-do list of the many recipes lined up to celebrate summer.  Made with simple cupboard ingredients, it is Fuss free| No-churn | Cream free | and Egg free and definitely the creamiest natural Coconut Ice cream ever despite the absence of cream or egg yolks. For the flavour of Coconut I used coconut milk and a can of condensed milk for the sweet creaminess. I had a couple of chewy coconut biscuits in my pantry cupboard and a pack of frozen tender coconut bits lying in my freezer. Incorporated both into my icecream for an absoulutely divine Coconutey icecream. Although the next time I will puree the tender coconut to tinier bits so that I can enjoy the creaminess of the ice cream even more.  Do try my version of this icecream and let me know your thoughts on it. You could however perfectly enjoy the flavours of this ice cream minus the coconut biscuit topping.

To Make an Egg Free, No-Churn Tender Coconut Icecream. (Vegan Version can also be made using Vegan Condensed Milk)
Serves: 10-12 | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Freezing time: 3-4 hours
Nestle Condensed milk: 1 tin (394ml), for a Vegan version use Vegan Condensed Milk (made with Soya milk) or make your own homemade lactose free condensed milk
Coconut milk: 1 tin
Vanilla extract: 2 tsps
Rum/ Vodka: 2 tbsps (optional keeps the ice cream crystal free)
Tender coconut slithers: 3/4 cup. Try to get tender coconut that is neither too tender or too mature, but in between.
Coconut biscuits: 2 nos (optional) for topping.

1. In a big glass bowl beat together coconut milk and condensed milk to incorporate air and make the mixture light and frothy. ( electric beaters will work great)
2. Add vanilla extract and rum and beat again for a minute. Pour the ice cream into an airtight container and freeze for 45 minutes to an hour till slightly thickened. Take the icecream out from the freezer add the tender coconut pieces and gently mix to fold in the coconut bits. Add a couple of crumbled coconut biscuits to the top, lightly press, close and return the ice cream to the freezer for a further 3-4 hours or until set. 

I used the regular Condensed milk for this icecream.
1. For a vegan version of this Icecream you can buy Vegan Condensed Milk online here.
Or make your own homemade lactose free condensed milk.
2. More interesting information on health benefits of coconut milk here.

Your in Taste,

Carol Pereira.