Tag Archives: recipe

Chickpea curry and corn salsa

2 May

My dear husband has an annual one month detox that sends my cooking (and my nerves) into quite a spin.

Chickpea curry with corn salsa

No alchohol, vegan, no dairy, no wheat, no salt and no oil. Nothing like a good old cooking challenge. I think we have eaten every single pulse and grain out of our pantry. Anyway this diet really makes you think about the qualities of different vegetables. Corn is great for adding sweetness. In this recipe the corn salsa gives a nice fresh contrast to the curry.

Chickpea curry
1 onion chopped
1 red chilli sliced
2 cloves of garlic sliced
2 cm piece of ginger sliced
4 tbsp water
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 cinnamon stalk
6 cloves
3 tomatoes
1 cup (2.5dl) of water
2 cups (5dl) of cooked chickpeas (I use dry ones, but I am sure you can substitute with canned)
1 cup (2.5 dl) chopped coriander

Whiz up the water, onion, garlic, chilli and ginger until you have a smooth paste. Pour into a frying pan and add spices. Fry until fragrant and dry. Add the water and tomatoes and cook for at least 20 minutes. Add chickpeas and continue cooking for five minutes.

Corn salsa
4 cobs of corn boiled and stalked (yields about 3 cups (7.5dl) of corn if using tinned)
1 red onion finely chopped
1 finely sliced red chilli
¼ cup (0.75dl) apple cider vinegar
2 limes squeezed for juice
1 tomato chopped
½ cup chopped coriander

Combine all the ingredients for the salsa and leave to marinate in the fridge for atleast 30 mins. Toast pitas and fill them with these and some crème fraiche or more healthy plain yogurt (if you are not doing the diet)

Roasted parsnip, caramelized onion and chorizo tart

25 Mar

Just to do something other than a noodle-based recipe (I tend to go through cooking phases- deep in the noodle phase now), here is a quiche. I hate the soggy-based quiches that you get in most places so this recipe was quite a revelation for me.

Parsnip, chorizo and caramelized onion tart

The key to a good shortcrust pastry is not over working it. This pastry base recipe comes from Leiths Techniques Bible- one of my all time favorite cookbooks. It covers just about every technique you can think of and provides a nice breakdown of what could go wrong. Enough advertisement, here is the recipe:


Pastry base:
225g plain flour (for the ones amongst you who don’t own a scale – go buy one! No seriously flour weighs about 60g per dl so you need just under 4 dl)
½ tsp salt
2 egg yolks
165g unsalted butter, softened cut into cubes
2-3 tbsp cold water

Sift the flour and salt together on a work surface and make a well. Put the butter and egg yolks in the well. Combine the butter and egg yolks with your fingers in a pecking motion until you have a paste. Fold the flour on top of the paste and sprinkle it with the water. With a palette knife “chop” the flour into the butter. Continue chopping until there are no floury patches left and the mixture begins to stick together in lumps. Gather the pastry into a rectangle and use the side of the palette knife to smear it against the surface into a smooth dough. Don’t worry if it is not completely even (don’t overwork it). Wrap the pastry in cling film and press it into a disc. Let it sit in the fridge until it becomes firm. Work on the filling in the mean time.

400g parsnips cut into long wedges (try to make them the same size)
Olive oil
1 medium sized onion sliced
1tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
2dl cream
1 dl sour cream
2 eggs
60 grams of cubed chorizo (spanish cured chorizo)
30 grams grated parmesan
1 tbsp chopped sage
salt and pepper

Drizzle the parsnips with some oil and salt and roast them in the oven until cooked. Caramelize the onions on a low temperature with the vinegar and brown sugar until nicely softened. Whisk the cream, sour cream and eggs together and stir in the chorizo, parmesan, sage and salt and pepper.

Heat the oven to 190 degrees. Take the pastry out of the fridge and press it onto a pastry base with your fingers. Line the inside of the pastry with baking paper and fill it with rice or beans. Bake the base in the oven until it is cooked but not overly brown. Place the parsnips and onion on the baked pastry base and pour the creamy filling over them. Bake in a 210 degree oven until filling starts to brown (approx 25mins).



8 Feb

I often go on about how excited I get about Ottolenghi recipes. One of the many many highlights at their restaurant is the bread basket. It contains this amazing spicy cornbread that I have never found a recipe for. This is my attempt at creating one by reading through numerous cornbread recipes. This one is moist due to the buttermilk and rapeseed oil and the chillies give it a great kick. Serve at a braai and dip into some great quality olive oil like Vesuvio or Morgenster. Or enjoy in the winter with a soup.

Chilli cornbread

2 cups flour
2 cups polenta
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup rapeseed (canola) oil
1 cup + 0.5 cup grated cheddar (medium,extra vintage maybe a bit dry)
2 chopped chillies

Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and oil. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Don’t overmix! Mix in 1 cup of the grated Cheddar and the chillies and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Heat the oven to 180 C.  Pour the batter into a pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated Cheddar.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.


28 Jan

My mother-in-law has been giving me these huge bunches of basil every time I see here. Beautiful dark green leaves and a scent that sweeps you away. Today she gave me some more – then I finally got it. Do you want me to make some pesto for you? YES. She said she thought I would never ask.

Pesto is really simple to make yourself and you can add all sorts of herbs and nuts or even tomatoes. Here is a classic one

100g basil leaves, destalked

60g lightly toasted pine nuts

2 small cloves of garlic

40g parmesan/grana padano ( I used the latter one as Klein Rivier actually makes a decent grana)

1/2 tsp salt

Nice olive oil (Don’t use olive oil that doesn’t taste nice… crap in, crap out), Amount depending on desired consistency.

(semi-dried tomatoes for a nice variation)

Pound all the ingredients in a mortar and pestle and enjoy.


Banana bread

27 Jan

Comfort food delight… I think the secret to a great banana bread is buttermilk and canola oil. Come to think of it that combo works for a lot of baked goodies.

Moist bananabread

2 eggs
1 dl buttermilk
1 dl canola oil
2 medium bananas
2.5 dl brown sugar
3.5 dl flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
50 g chopped pecans/walnuts

Heat oven to 200C. Oil a loaf pan and line the bottom with baking paper (works well for other recipes as well if you hate having something stuck to the bottom).

Beat the eggs enough to break them upp and combine with buttermilk, oil and mashed bananas. Sift together the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt. Add to banana mixture and stir in pecans. Mix well. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake 45 for minutes.

Mushroom & pearl barley risotto

26 Jan

I have grown up being spoiled by the amazing quality of wild mushrooms in Finland. Mmm the chanterelles and porcini.

Anyway you can make this with an exotic mushroom mix. You need a little plastic container of fresh ones. Works well with arborio rice for a more traditional risotto.


For two:


225 g Pearl Barley rinsed in cold water

200g fresh exotic mushrooms roughly chopped

about 1 litre of beef stock (home made is best)

1 onion finely chopped

1 clove of garlic finely chopped

1 stalk of celery finely chopped

1/2 bottle of white wine

2 sprigs of thyme

1tbsp of balsamic vinegar

1dl sherry

squeeze of lemon juice

grated parmesan

butter and oil

roughly chopped fresh parsley



lightly fry onions and celery add garlic and continue frying for a bit. add pearl barley. Stir until lightly browned and then add thyme. Combine beefstock and wine and bring to a boil. Add stock mixture in small doses (about 1 cup at a time) and stir until absorbed. Once absorbed add sherry and stir until absorbed. Add balsamic vinegar and a squeeze of lemon juice. Fry chopped mushrooms in butter on a frying pan. Serve with fresh parsley, grated cheese and rocket.

Chorizo & razorclams

26 Jan

Made this one ages ago. We don’t have access to razorclams here : (makes a good starter. This would probably work well with nice fleshy fish like monkfish or with scallops.

Ingredients for two:

1 shallot finely sliced

1 clove of garlic finely sliced

16 razor clams

100g ish chorizo sliced (small dried chorizo sausage)

1/2tbsp paprika

1/2 bottle of white wine

parsley, coriander, mint and chives roughly chopped

salt & pepper

groundnut oil & nob of butter for frying

Lightly fry shallot and garlic until soft but not brown. Add chorizos and fry for a bit. Add wine and paprika and boil until starts to reduce.  Add clams and cover with a lid. Add fresh herbs and take of heat once shells have opened.


Mussels with white wine and chillies

26 Jan

We had a glorious weekend thanks to Mike & Liz and their beautiful home in Misty Cliffs. On sunday morning before breakfast we did a little scavenge for mussels and here is how we enjoyed them.

Ingredients for two:

30 Mussels

pretty much a whole bottle of white wine
1 bulb of fennel, finely sliced

1 onion sliced

2 cloves of garlic sliced

1tbsp paprika


2 chillies

pinch of cayenne pepper

coarsely chopped coriander and parsley

Prep the mussels. Cut the beards off as well as any little friends growing on top of them. Discard any that do not close or have cracks in their shells. Leave in a colander.

Soften onions, garlic and fennel in butter. Add the rest of the ingredients (except herbs) and let it boil for a bit. Add the mussels and fresh herbs and close the lid. Mussels are ready as soon as they have opened. takes about 5-10 mins. Serve in bowls with plenty of sauce and crusty white bread.

Butternut ravioli with sage butter

25 Jan

I have made this one many many times. Always slightly different. I got the tip for sage butter from a new friend in Cape Town and I think many dishes will be crowned with few drops of that from now on..

500g butternut squash 2cm cubes
olive oil
100g soft goats cheese
1 red onion thinly sliced
2tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 clove garlic crushed

Pasta (per serving):
100g 00 flour
1 egg
1/2tsp olive oil

For serving
bunch of sage leaves
50g butter
olive oil
Grana padano cheese

Make a well with the flour and pour eggs and olive oil in. Slowly incorporate into flour and work until smooth. Let rest in the fridge for 30 mins and then roll it out. A pasta machine comes in handy here. I usually roll mine to the second finest setting.

While the pasta dough is resting, prepare the filling. Place the butternut squash cubes in a roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and black pepper and add thyme and rosemary. Roast in the oven on grill setting until nicely brown and cooked. transfer to a bowl and puree with a hand blender. Put the red onion, vinegar and sugar in a small pan and let it simmer until the onion is cooked. Add the cooked onions, garlic and goats cheese to the butternut squash and mix well. Add salt to taste.

Form the raviolis and set them to dry on some baking paper. they need to dry until they feel leathery. Boil for 3 minutes and dry. Heat up the butter, olive oil and sage in a frying pan and let the sage leaves turn slightly brown. Plate the raviolis pour some sage butter and parmesan over them. Serve with rocket and some nice balsamic vinegar.

Lemongrass pannacotta

25 Jan

This is a pudding I created for NYE with what we had lying around in the fridge.

3 gelatine leaves
200ml milk
250ml double cream
1/2dl sugar
1 stalk of lemongrass crushed
two lime leaves, ideally kaffir lime leaves but I just picked from my lime tree (as a Finn I am very excited to say that)
50ml milk

Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for a few minutes. Heat milk, double cream and sugar carefully to a simmer. Take off heat, add lemongrass and lime leaves and leave to sit for half an hour. Discard lemongrass and lime leaves. Taste and add sugar if needed. Boil 50 ml milk and add gelatine leaves. Cool a little and combine with lemongrass mixture. Pour into ramekins and leave them in fridge for three hours. If in a hurry start them off in the freezer. Once they have set dip them in hot water for a few seconds and then carefully turn them upside down onto a plate. Garnish with some fresh mint.