Thursday, 27 July 2017

bengali spiced jaggery biscuits

I’ve recently gone into baking overdrive and have been practically glued to the oven, recipe testing as well as for general treats. Sweets, savouries and a spectacular unicorn cake for my sister’s 30th birthday which topped it all. However a very simple no fuss recipe included biscuits inspired by the flavours of Bangladesh. Sometimes (a lot of times!) I sit there dreaming up recipe combinations or re-imagining traditional dishes as something a bit different.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

raw & vegan chocolate, date & nut truffles - ready in 10!

Last week was one of the best weeks of my life. I prepped and cooked for the photoshoot of my first ever cookbook and was exhilarated and exhausted in equal measure by the end of it. I actually managed to function and cook with zero sleep the night before the last day of shooting. Don’t ask how. Maybe it was the amazing coffee my publisher Emily bought us, and constant nibbling at the sweet treats I’d baked. And of course the lovely people I worked with. Emily, our stylist Josie, assistant stylist Bianca and photographer Peter all helped create wonderful memories that trumped sleep deprivation.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

easy, no-churn mango ice cream for a ramadhan heatwave

It’s nearing the end of Ramadhan, the Muslim holy month where fasting commences from dawn to dusk for thirty days. As is customary, people break their fasts with family and friends and come sunset there’s a table laden with all manner of goodies from savouries to sweets. Fasts are often broken with water and a date, followed by a soup or stew before you get stuck into the feasting. And Ramadhan just wouldn’t be Ramadhan without the sharing of food with practically everyone you know! Last weekend we had family over for iftar and various cousins brought over Bengali sweets, jackfruit and boxes of mangoes. With mango season being in full swing in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh we’re lucky enough to have fresh imports coming in

Friday, 9 June 2017

gooseberry & rhubarb tart with coconut frangipane

My parents’ garden has random spots bearing fruits, berries and herbs. These are mostly unplanned but come summer we reap the rewards by being able to pick fresh produce just a few steps away. While I’m waiting for the figs to ripen so that I can make jam my mother is happy picking unripe and semi ripe gooseberries from the gooseberry bush. A couple of days ago I helped her navigate this thorn laden mini jungle by holding back the branches while she filled a small bowl with these golden-green, jewel-like fruits. 

Thursday, 4 May 2017

coconut, date & raisin loaf - plus news!

It’s been a couple of months since my last post and I’ve returned with some wonderful news. As some of you may know I’m writing a cookbook! It’s something I’ve been working on for almost a year – hence my AWOL status! When I’m not writing and testing recipes for the book I sneak in a few treats for myself and family and friends. This loaf cake is super easy and comfortingly good. I made it with store random cupboard ingredients but it worked fine. My sister’s friend came over, so I thought why not use her visit as an excuse to bake (not that I ever need an excuse!)

Monday, 6 March 2017

Basbousa - a syrupy, semolina cake to do away the blues!

I looked out the window the other day and suddenly noticed pale pink blossoms on trees, as if by magic - heralding Spring! Spring usually means warmth, gentle breezes and a decent level of sunshine. Not in Britain. Our beloved Britain has always done things her own way and you’ll be lucky if you get a few days of Spring in Spring. Right now it’s gloomy and breezy and cold. And what does cold weather mean? Why, cups of hot tea of course – although my English teas have alternated lately with fragrant masala chai. That delicious concoction of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and cloves – and lately I’ve taken to adding a good pinch of crushed black pepper which adds a lovely zing and makes your think of the warmer climes of India or Bangladesh. At least a Bollywood film!

Sunday, 13 November 2016

mujaddara - middle eastern lentil pilaf with caramelised onions

Every culture has a few one pot dishes that are easy to make and are super satisfying. These dishes usually consist of a carbohydrate and some sort of protein. Mujaddara contains both and also has the added benefit of being vegetarian. It’s one of my favourite go to recipes for when I want a simple yet tasty meal. I like it with a dollop of yoghurt and a generous sprinkling of slightly tangy sumac on the side. The lentils should be soft, yet still maintain a little of their shape. Traditionally brown lentils are used but I like to use red split lentils because they’re the ones I often cook with and have on hand. Plus they cook very quickly - which is never a bad thing.