Indian-style kale with chick peas and coconut

This is the best way to eat kale (other than deep-fried!) that is full of intense flavors, is luxuriously creamy and absolutely divine!

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1 tbsp butter
1 onion, finely chopped
thumb-sized piece ginger, grated
2 heaped tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp tomato purée
7 oz kale, large stalks removed, leaves finely shredded
14 oz can chickpeas, drained
1 cup vegetable (or chicken) stock
2 oz unsweetened grated coconut (or fresh coconut, grated)
4 heaped tbsp Greek-style yogurt
1 tbsp mango chutney

To serve
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tbsp freeze-dried curry leaves (optional)

Heat the butter in a deep frying pan, add the onion, then soften gently for 5 mins. Turn up the heat and add the ginger and spices; fry for 2 mins until fragrant. Stir in the tomato purée.
Add the kale, chickpeas, stock and two-thirds of the coconut, stir well, then cover the pan. Bring to a simmer and let the kale steam for 10 mins until very well wilted. Mix in the yogurt and chutney, then season to taste – don’t boil once the yogurt has gone in. Remove the pan from the heat, and leave it covered to stay warm.
Heat the oil in a small saucepan. When it’s hot, add the garlic (and curry leaves, if using) and sizzle for 30 secs-1 min until the garlic begins to turn golden. Spoon the oil, garlic and curry leaves over the chickpeas and kale, then finish with the remaining coconut.

Spiced Mocha Lassi

This is a terrific recipe from Bobby Flay and the only thing you need to do in advance is make the spiced coffee ice cubes. They are well worth having in the freezer as the flavors are incredible when you drop a cube into this drink. A wonderful and different breakfast drink.

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Serves 4


2 cups hot espresso
1/4 cup sugar
1 strip orange peel
8 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2-inch piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped


3/4 cup to 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (or more to thin down the drink)
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 ripe banana, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder

Make the spiced coffee ice cubes:
Combine the espresso, sugar, orange peel, cloves, cinnamon sticks and ginger in a medium bowl until the sugar dissolves.
Cool to room temperature, and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. Strain the coffee mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl and discard the solids. Divide the mixture among 2 ice cube trays and freeze until solid, at least 2 hours.

Make the lassi:
Add 3/4 cup orange juice, the yogurt, banana and cocoa powder to a blender and puree until smooth (if you’d like the lassi to be a bit thinner, blend in the remaining 1/4 cup orange juice).
Add a few spiced ice cubes to the blender and puree. Pour the lassi into glasses and add 2 more spiced ice cubes to each glass.
Serve immediately.

Roasted figs with pomegranate molasses and orange zest

This is a heady dessert from Ottolenghi. I have not adapted it as there is nothing I could add to enhance these exciting flavors!  I can’t emphasize enough how crucial it is to choose good, sweet, squidgy figs, no matter what you do with them. It makes all the difference.


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Serves 4

3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
4 thyme sprigs, 2 whole and 2 picked leaves
Skin of 1 orange, 3 long shaved strips and the rest grated
8 fresh figs, cut in half lengthways
4 oz mascarpone
4 oz  Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp icing sugar

Put together in a large mixing bowl the pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, 2 thyme sprigs, 1 tablespoon of water, the orange skin strips and a pinch of salt. Mix well to dissolve the sugar and then stir in the figs. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together in a small bowl the mascarpone, yoghurt and icing sugar until smooth. Keep chilled.

Remove the figs from the bowl (keeping the marinade) and arrange them snugly inside a small baking tray, roughly 8″ by 8″, the cut side facing up. Sprinkle the figs with the remaining sugar and put under a hot grill, clearing about 15cm from the grill. Grill for 10 minutes, or until the sugar has caramelised and the figs softened.

Meanwhile, pour the marinating liquids into a small saucepan, bring to the boil and then simmer for 2-4 minutes or until the sauce is reduced by half and has a consistency of runny honey.
Transfer the hot figs to serving plates and spoon over any leftover syrup from the baking tray, then drizzle over the sauce reduction and sprinkle with picked thyme leaves. Place a spoonful of the yoghurt cream on the side or on the figs and sprinkle over the remaining orange zest.

Serve at once.

Roasted carrots with cumin yoghurt

This is a gorgeous dish and the little “stubby” carrots roast so well with a really deep flavor. The cumin yoghurt lends a “Middle Eastern” quality and all in all, it’s a must.

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Serves 8

3 lbs Thumbelina or other small carrots, scrubbed and cut into 2″ pieces
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup plus tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup plain Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro (coriander) leaves with tender stems, plus more for garnish
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 450 F.
Toss the carrots with the orange juice, thyme, bay leaves and 1/4 cup olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper.
Roast,tossing halfway through until golden brown and soft, 30 – 35 minutes; remove bay leaves

Meanwhile, toast the coriander seeds in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat, tossing, until fragrant, about 1 minute; transfer to a plate. Repeat with the cumin. Let cool and coarsely chop.

Puree the coriander seeds, cumin, yoghurt,lime juice, 1/4 cup cilantro and remaining 2 tbsp oil in a food processor until smooth; season with salt and pepper.

Serve the carrots topped with the cumin yoghurt, cilantro and sesame seeds

Spicy whole roasted cauliflower

What more do you need with this gorgeous food, than a salad?

This recipe has you slathering cauliflower in a spicy yogurt marinade and roasting it at a high temperature. The result is an amazingly delicious dish that’s as dramatic in presentation as it is easy in preparation. Serve it with a big green salad (I suggest lime juice and olive oil for the dressing) for an easy weeknight supper.

Spicy whole roasted cauliflower

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 head cauliflower
1½ cups plain Greek yogurt
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 tbsp chile powder (or less , if you don’t like spicy)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp curry powder
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400° and lightly grease a small baking sheet with vegetable oil. Set aside.
Trim the base of the cauliflower to remove any green leaves and the woody stem.
In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt with the lime zest and juice, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, curry powder, salt and pepper.
Dunk the cauliflower into the bowl and use a brush or your hands to smear the marinade evenly over its surface. (Excess marinade can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days and used with meat, fish or other veggies.)
Place the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the surface is dry and lightly browned, 30 to 40 minutes. The marinade will make a crust on the surface of the cauliflower.
Let the cauliflower cool for 10 minutes before cutting it into wedges and serving alongside a big green salad.

Lime and Pomegranate chicken thighs


This is a recipe from another great food blog, “A View from Great Island”
Very clean and zingy tasting and great for a healthy, light dinner.

Serves 2

For the chicken
1 cup Greek yogurt (I used 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup pomegranate juice (not the juice drink)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)

For the glaze
2 cups pomegranate juice (I used 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (I used the juice of 2 limes)
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Set the oven to 400F
To marinate the chicken, put the yogurt, pomegranate juice, salt, garlic and chicken in a large zip lock baggie. Massage everything until well combined. Put in the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight. I turned the bag over once or twice.
To make the glaze, put all the glaze ingredients in a saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and boil for about 20-25 minutes until reduced and thickened. Set aside.
Preheat a grill pan over medium high heat until screaming hot. Take the chicken out of the marinade, and let the excess liquid drip off before setting the chicken, skin side down, on the grill. Don’t move it for a minute or so until it gets nice dark grill marks.
Flip the chicken over, and then transfer to a baking pan that has been lightly brushed with olive oil. Bake the chicken for about 30-40 minutes, or until done through. Spoon a generous amount of glaze over the chicken, and garnish with the pomegranate seeds and lime wedges. Serve right away.

An easy chicken curry


I made this for dinner tonight and it was very successful. So flavorsome and yet not too complicated, as long as you have the spices on hand. I roast my own cumin, then grind it, but you don’t have to.

Serves 6
2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger root
1 heaped tbsp curry powder
1 heaped tsp ground cumin
1 heaped tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper ( or more if you like heat)
1 tbsp chicken stock or water
1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup full fat plain yoghurt
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp salt
1 heaped tsp garam masala
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Cut the chicken into large cubes and sprinkle it with 2 tsp salt .
Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat and brown the chicken pieces well, in several batches.
Transfer the browned chicken to a plate and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium high and add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring until the onion is translucent, about 5 to 8 mins.
Stir in the curry powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne and 1 tbsp chicken stock into the onion mixture. Stir well so that any brown chicken bits come off the bottom of the pan and add to the flavor and the spices are well mixed in with the onions.
Mix in the tomatoes, yoghurt, 1 tbsp chopped cilantro and 1 tsp salt into the mixture.
Return the chicken to the pan, along with any juices from the chicken.
If it looks as if it needs some more liquid, you can pour in about 1/4 cup chicken stock, but I didn’t need to.
Sprinkle the chicken with the garam masala and 1 more tbsp chopped cilantro. Mix in and cover the skillet, simmering for about 20 minutes.
Sprinkle the dish with the fresh lemon juice before serving with hot rice


Roasted pineapple with mint, pistachios and honey

This was recently posted in Bon Appetite Magazine, but I happen to have been making this very simple dessert for a while.

Serves 4

1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tbsp flowery honey
1 medium ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, cut lengthwise into 8 wedges
1/4 cup creme fraiche or Greek yoghurt
1/3 cup natural unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp torn fresh mint leaves

Preheat the oven to 450 F
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Stir the first 3 ingredients together in a large bowl until the sugar dissolves.
Add the pineapple wedges and toss to coat.
Let this marinade, tossing occasionally, for 10 to 20 minutes.
Place the pineapple, one flat side down, on the prepared cooking sheet; Reserve the marinade.

Roast the pineapple for 15 mins. Turn, brush with more marinade and roast until tender and caramelized, 10 to 20 minutes.
Drizzle over with the remaining marinade and let the pineapple cool slightly.

Divide the pineapple among plates. Spoon the creme fraiche or yoghurt alongside.
Garnish with the nuts and fresh mint.

Chicken Tikka Masala

A real stunner from the best Indian cook book writer around. Madhur Jaffrey.

Serves 4 to 6

For the chicken tikka

1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1” pieces
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp root ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp chili powder
6 tbsp  cream
1/2 tsp garam masala
3 tbsp sunflower oil

For the masala

4 tbsp sunflower oil
1 cup onions, halved and finely sliced
1 tbsp root ginger, peeled and finely grated
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
3/4 tsp chile powder
2 tsp paprika
4 tbsp plain yoghurt
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/4 tsp garam masala
4 tbsp cilantro leaves

*You will need 4 long flat metal skewers for this recipe.

For the chicken tikka

Put the chicken in a bowl and rub in 1/4 tsp salt and the lemon juice. Prod the chicken pieces lightly with the tip of a knife and rub the seasoning in again, then set aside for 20 minutes.

Add the ginger, garlic, cumin, paprika, chili powder, cream and garam masala. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours, though longer will not hurt.

For the masala

Pour the sunflower oil into a large, preferably non stick lidded pan and set it over a medium-heat.
When the oil is hot, add the onions.
Stir and fry until they are brown, for about 8 minutes,
Add the ginger and garlic and continue to fry, stirring, for a minute.

Add the ground coriander, turmeric, chili powder and paprika. Stir for 10 seconds, then add a tbsp of yoghurt.
Stir and fry until it is well absorbed.
Add the remaining yoghurt in this way, a tablespoon at a time.

Add the tomatoes and fry for 4 minutes or until they turn pulpy.
Add the stock and 1/4 tsp salt and bring to a simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes.
The sauce should turn thick.

Stir in the garam masala and cilantro leaves, taste and add more salt if necessary.
Shortly before you eat, preheat the grill to it’s highest setting.

Thread the chicken pieces onto 2 – 4 skewers – the flat sword-like ones are best.
Brush with 3 tbsp of oil and balance the skewers on the rim of a shallow baking tray, so that the meat is suspended and does not touch the tray.
Place about 5 inches from the source of the heat and grill for 6 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned, cooked through and charred in places.

When the chicken skewers are cooked, reheat the sauce and fold in the chicken.

Serve immediately


Wild rice, tomato, mozzarella, pistachio and mint salad with tangy yoghurt dressing

A very healthy, interesting salad. A winner! Another great recipe from Aida Mollenkamp

1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
1/2 cup plain Greek yoghurt
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for the tomatoes
3 tbsp champagne vinegar
Kosher salt and grund black pepper
pinch of sugar
1lb grape or cherry tomatoes
5 oz mixed baby greens such as kale, chard and tatsoi
8 green onions (scallions) , white and pale green parts thinly sliced
1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios
1/2 oz fresh mint, leaves torn just before serving
8 oz (or one large piece) of buffalo mozzarella

For the wild rice – Place 2 cups water or broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add a pinch of salt and stir in the wild rice. Bring everything back to a boil before reducing the heat to low to maintain a simmer.
Cook until the rice is chewy and tender but the grain is still intact, about 35 to 45 minutes.
Drain the rice in a sieve or fine-mesh colander, turn out onto a rimmed baking sheet and spread it out to cool.
Meanwhile, make the dressing.

For the dressing – Combine the yoghurt, olive oil, vinegar and a splash of water in a jar, close, and shake until well incorporated. To taste, dip a lettuce leaf in the dressing then add more sugar, salt or pepper , as desired.

For the salad – Halve the tomatoes and combine with a glug of oil and a pinch of salt, toss to coat and set aside briefly, at least 5 minutes. Meanwhile, tear the mozzarella into small chunks or if they’re ciliegine tear them in half.

When ready to serve, arrange the greens , tomatoes (without any juices) and scallions on a serving platter.
Toss the cooked wild rice with half of the dressing, then add to the salad.
Top with mozzarella, pistachios and mint and serve with additional dressing on the side