Some more harissa..


IMG_4432.JPGI made another version of harissa last week, this one differs slightly from the last one I made as the chilli seeds remain instead of spending hours removing them from the dried chillies – as much because I forgot to take them out!!! Plus there’s a slight difference in the added spices, no carraway seeds in this one. Packed with flavour though :)

IMG_4439.JPGThis recipe is inspired by the recipe in the ‘Vegetarian Tagines & Couscous’ book by Ghillie Basan.

200g dried red Indian chillies
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp sea salt
3-4 garlic cloves
Some chopped fresh coriander
Olive oil – enough to make a paste

Soak the dried chillies in warm water for 2-3 hours, drain them – and remove the chilli seeds now if that’s what you would prefer!!

Put everything in a blender and whizz it into a paste.

Store in a clean jar and add a layer of olive oil over the tip of the paste to preserve it.

Keeps for up to a month.


IMG_4436.JPGI add mine to fresh homous and various recipes.


Loving the colours and the flavours..

I’ve already made several things in my kitchen today, including several spice mixes, some from existing recipes and a couple of new ones that I’ve made as experiments. Spices are such a great way to add flavour to so many dishes and they bring so many health benefits too, and all with no extra calories!! Even better :)

I already have HUGE amount of herbs and spices in my cupboards, and recently I ordered some more unusual ones to play with…so this has been part of my morning…

IMG_4616.JPGI love how the pot looks before its milled, I love seeing the layers of the herbs and spices, it reminds me of those jars of coloured sands you can buy at the seaside!


IMG_4615.JPGDon’t they look cool?! I’ll let you know how my new mixes work out :)

Saturday nights Indian feast..

IMG_4516.JPGLast night I filled the table with an Indian feast for myself and my boys, a wonderful spread of food and flavours, but it didn’t lend itself to photos I’m afraid, I needed an extra pair of hands for that! So I can only share with you the shots from the leftovers of one of the dishes and tell you about the others!!

I made a chicken madras for my boys – the recipe also lends itself easily to becoming vegetarian, just swap the chicken for your choice of vegetable – I roasted sprouts with a jalfrezi spice mix, and roasted cauliflower with a tandoori spice mix, made crispy mini roast potatoes, Shruti’s garlic naan bread and this wonderful vegetable dish for me, based on Abby’s baingan patiala.


IMG_4515.JPGI followed Abby’s recipe and added 5 chopped long red peppers and about 200ml of passata too, and it was VERY tasty :) With my versions of teaspoonfuls I probably doubled all of the spices too!!! Yum!!

IMG_4517.JPGSooooooo much better than an Indian takeaway! It was clean plates all round – and after all that effort, it was all gone in under 20 minutes – isn’t that just the best compliment ever??

Also made this week…

This is a selection of the other goodies to come out of my kitchen this week; some of you will have seen some of them already on Instagram, for everyone else, I hope you enjoy some new ideas..

I made up some fresh batches of chermoula recently, having not made some for a little while, and have enjoyed adding it to all sorts of dishes, I do love the flavours, I’d forgotten just how good it is!!

Chermoula marinated aubergine and paneer..

IMG_4398.JPGCauliflower also marinated in my freshly made chermoula..


IMG_4399.JPGAubergine and solo garlic roasted in my sumac and citrus spice mix..


IMG_4440.JPGRoasted carrots, red onion and garlic dip with chermoula..

IMG_4442.PNGRoasted winter squash dip with added chermoula..

IMG_4441.PNGFreshly made labneh with fresh chunky apple sauce..

IMG_4424.JPGSo much fun in my kitchen!!!

Spinach and mixed nuts cakes..


IMG_4426.JPGMy last post was a week ago celebrating my first year anniversary of blogging; I’ve cooked and made lots of different foods in that week but haven’t been ready to post anything as I’ve been so overwhelmed with all of your lovely responses to my post that I haven’t wanted to move the post down the page! I know, silly really…sentimental thing that I am…I just loved your comments and your support so much. Thank you all over again xx

So, of all the creations that have come out of my kitchen, I now have to decide what to share with you today (they will all come out to play at some point over the next week though, rest assured) and what to bring to this week’s Fiesta Friday, so how about my spinach and nut cakes and my mezze brunch today…

IMG_4482.JPGHere we have a trio of dips, left to right:
Roasted butternut squash homous with creole spices
Sweet potato and chermoula dip
Aubergine and garlic roasted in my own spice mix and whizzed into a dip with tahini sauce


IMG_4484.JPGAnd with the carrot sticks and roasted butternut squash, my spinach and nut cakes:


250g bag baby spinach
Handful almonds
Handful cashews
Handful brazils (all raw nuts)
3-4 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons cumin
4 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons paprika
Salt and pepper
1 egg


In a food processor, chop up all of the spinach and garlic
In a small bowl blender, chop the nuts until the form a crumb
Then mix everything together with all of the rest of the ingredients
I then spooned the mixture into my mini loaf silicone baking trays and baked at 180C for 25 minutes
They’re nice warm, but they set more when they are cold and its therefore easier to pile dips on them!


IMG_4415.JPGYum yum yum!!!! What more can I say? Perfect if you’ve got a bag of spinach to use up like I did!!

Time to head over to Friday Friday and meet all of my wonderful blog friends for the fabulous weekly blog party, co hosted once again this week by the fabulous Julianna and Hilda…check it out, and consider co hosting, it’s great fun, just let Angie know, and whilst you’re there, check out her amazing Chocoflans! Wow!!!

Have a great weekend xx

A year already??

Around now is the first anniversary of this blog; Wowee, how did that happen??? It’s amazing, a whole year of blogging! And 400 posts!!!! Woohoo!

I can only echo what so many have said before me: I truly had no idea of the world I was entering when I started this blog, it’s been a wonderful revelation, I just wanted to write and to talk about what was happening in my kitchen and the world of cooking that I was enjoying. I had no idea about the support that was out there, or the wonderful people that I would meet and the friendships that I would make – I would love to do a roll call, but I would be paranoid about missing anyone out, so I’ll just say: my superstars, you all know who you are and I love you :) Blogworld has become my world, with wonderful daily communication with so many of you, in so many parts of the world, and I just love it!

And because the blogs that we write are from our hearts, I love that I am communicating with like minded souls and people who just genuinely want to share their passions too; no hidden agendas, no unpleasantness, just joy and sharing. Perfect ;)

My cooking and confidence in the kitchen has gone stratospheric this year, I’ve amazed myself with my own inventiveness and fearlessness in the kitchen, I had no idea it was inside me. Who knew I could make so many dips? Or do so much with cauliflower?? And tahini??? Unleashing it with all of your support has been so much fun and so rewarding. Watching my friends and family enjoy my food have been marvellous and watching my boys get stuck in to the food that I make them every day just makes my heart sing. What more can I possibly ask for??

Looking at the most popular posts of the last year, the top twenty is pretty much made up of my intro, my food story, my foodbod food range, all the tabs across the top of the blog, plus several from my ‘Why we blog..’ series and the following top 5 food posts, so I’m bringing these to this week’s Fiesta Friday (and I am so excited to say that my Marvellous Mezze post from last week has been chosen as a feature this week :) yay!!! First time ever!!!) which is being co hosted this week by the fabulous team of Julianna and Hilda…you’re in good hands!

I hope that these posts either spark good memories for you, or introduce you to some new ideas:

Lebanese inspired roasted chickpeas and potatoes


Cauliflower and chickpea shish taouk


IMG_4299.JPGApricot, almond, cashew, coconut and quinoa bars

IMG_4307.JPGRich and fruity goodness balls

IMG_4294.JPGGoodness cakes

I find it so interesting to see what people have liked reading, I’ve had many favourites too and love being able to look back at them and using my self made ‘recipe book’. I love eating food that nurtures my body and soul every day and sharing it with you all, and receiving your positive feedback. My only wish would be to be able to have lots of you at my dinner table to share it with you in person.

I thank you all for reading anything that I’ve ever posted, be it one post or one hundred, I love you for your interest and thank you for your time.

I’ve gained so much through this blog, I hope you have too and that you continue to do so :) xx


The grand reveal…what IS that dip?

So, yesterday, I shared the lunch I made for friends last week including a dip that I invited them all to guess what the main ingredient was…I thank those of you who read the post and those of you who proffered a guess…I fear that no one guessed correctly, either in person or on here, so here it is:

The super fabulous main ingredient in the dip is: BRUSSEL SPROUTS!

IMG_4273.JPGYou didn’t expect that did you??

IMG_4272.JPGGood old fabulous greens :)

I followed my previous experiment and roasted sprouts in spices and olive oil and used the leftovers in this dip..

IMG_4275.JPGGorgeous crispy roasted loveliness :)

IMG_4274.JPGI whizzed them up with tahini and a splash of lemon juice and it created a whole huge whack of flavour and fabulousness. Yum!!!

You see, anything can become a dip!