Thursday, June 27, 2013

Home made Indian banquet

- Coconut Water Dahl 
- Curried Vegetables
- Quinoa

Coconut Water Dahl - Curried Vegetables - Quinoa
This menu can be cooked at the same time and all will cook in about 20 minutes ... on the table in about 40 minutes even with preparation being taken into consideration ... why not give it a go as its ingredients  cost very little and when served decorated as described could easily be taken for authentic Indian cuisine by your family. 

Curried Vegetables


  • Prepare what ever vegetables you prefer ... I have used large chunks of pumpkin, sweet potato, broccolini and baby spinach leaves.
  • In a adequate saucepan place a little oil and fry off a couple of teaspoons of mustard seeds, and the same of cumin seeds along with a couple of bay leaves until popping and fragrant.
  • Sprinkle into this mix a good dessert spoon of curry powder and then add the root vegetables and stir to coat and start the cooking process ... 
  • Finally cover with water and bring to the boil then lower the heat and cover to cook for about 15 minutes ... add the lighter vegetables such as broccoli about halfway though and finally the spinach that just needs to wilt add at the very end and stir through to serve. 

Coconut Water Dahl


  • In a large saucepan soften off a diced onion for a few minutes and then add a couple of teaspoons of fresh grated ginger a couple teaspoons of ground cumin a touch of cayenne pepper to your liking and a 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric ... when fragrant 
  • add 2 cups of red lentils and 2 cans or 600 ml coconut water and 400 ml water and cook for 15-20 minutes ... add more water as this cooks if you prefer a soupier rather than thick Dahl.
Quinoa (as an alternative to rice)
  • Cook about a 1/2 cup per person by the absorption method instructions on the packet and by using coconut water or ordinary water or a mixture of both will give you a nice sweet flavour.
Serve these dishes in the centre of the table presented in individual bowls and sprinkled with fresh coriander, piping hot ... top the Dahl with a little natural yoghurt or serve on the side so the family can add their own as they choose. I don't make mine spicy at all however if you do the yoghurt becomes a cooling source of flavour.

If there are any left overs ... heat and serve the next day ... curries intensify in flavour the following day ... Yummo!!!



Friday, June 14, 2013

Potato Topped Chunky Salmon Pies

These are very simple individual pies which can be cooked and ready to serve in no time flat ... great for a breakfast to impress a light lunch with a salad or an evening meal with vegetables ... I have even eaten this for afternoon tea ... because I can!

Potato Topped Chunky Salmon Pies


  • I made four pies with a simple short crust pastry by using about 3/4 cup of plain flour about 100 grams of cold chopped butter processed into a crumb mixture and bought together into a soft dough using an egg. Purchased pastry sheets will simplify this dish even further. 
  • I have non stick, pop out bottom flan cases. I ran a fork over the pastry base of the pies and blind baked the pastry until just golden to keep them crisp ... do this first or while you prepare the filling.
  • Meanwhile put on some potatoes to cook for the mash topping ... 3 medium sized potatoes did my four pies.

The filling couldn't be simpler and can be modified as with all recipes to suit your own tastes. I have used salmon here but I intend to use barramundi and oysters next time to try and reproduce my all time favourite pie ever tasted when crossing the Nullarbor.
  • Gently soft fry some finely diced onion with a large knob of butter. Try not to get too much colour on these.
  • To make the thickened white sauce add a couple of tablespoons of plain flour and fry the flour for a minute or so to cook it through.
  • Gradually add to this enough milk, a little at a time, whisking as you go to keep it smooth until you have quite a thick sauce ... by keeping this thick your pies will hold together nicely.
  • Stir through to coat about 200-300 grams of chunky diced salmon, a large handful of a tasty cheese like a crumbled feta or maybe a blue cheese along with a hand full of fresh herbs of your choice such as parsley, chives, dill or all of these. Season carefully as some cheeses are quite salty and white pepper to suit ... you don't want to over cook at this stage as the fish will get its final cook when browning and heating to serve.
  • Turn off the heat and cool this mixture down in the fridge for a few minutes before adding to the cooled pastry bases.



  • Compile the pies and top the mash with a little grated cheese. When you are ready to serve bake in a moderate oven until golden brown and heated through.



Friday, June 7, 2013

Quinoa (Anzac) Cookies

Can they get any more delicious - absolutely!
Quinoa (Anzac) Cookies


My inspiration comes from my cousins (Judy Miragliotta) recipe of yummy traditional Anzac Biscuits however for my delicious morsels I have changed it to suit me and made them with Quinoa flakes instead of the traditional oats used in Anzacs and another bonus twist I have added 50/50 coconut flour and plain flour ... you can use just plain flour if you choose but I just love the extra coconut flavour boost.



  • Mix all of your dry ingredients together in a large bowl ... 1/2 cup plain flour, 1/2 cup coconut flour, 1 cup of quinoa flakes, 1/2 cup raw caster sugar, 3/4 coconut (desiccated or the moist shredded one).
  • In a small saucepan melt together 150 grams of butter and two extra large tablespoons of golden syrup ... gentle simmering roll for a minute or two to achieve a nice caramelised golden colour.
  • To this mixture add a 1/2 teaspoon of bi-carb soda that has been dissolved in two dessert spoons of water ... while the mixture is still frothing add it to the dry ingredients and combine.
  • Form into biscuit size balls and flatten them to bake on baking paper in a gentle oven until golden brown ... these biscuits are very soft when first out of the oven so let them cool on the tray so as not to break them.



Mixing up a recipe to suit yourself and your family or adapting the ingredients to hand is what in my opinion cooking is all about. Loads of fun trying new ideas. Some will be successful like this one and some not so. 
Give your ideas a go you may be pleasantly surprised.