Beef & Barley Stew

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The holidays are now behind us – we’re exhausted, depressed and have all those bills to look forward to. Most people are now starting to eat healthy again, since most of your clothes are probably a bit snug! I just returned from a fabulous vacation from San Fran and LA and put on some serious pounds eating my way through the West coast. Once Jan hits, the cold weather becomes more obvious, grey and unbearable. Enter soups and stews for a warm hug in a bleak January.

Using an inexpensive Beef Blade steak, this Beef and Barley stew also includes Mushrooms, Potatoes and Kale for a hearty meal. There’s a fine line between a soup and a stew – if you prefer this in a soup format, add more liquid to this recipe and it’s good to slurp.


1 cup Coriander root

8 oz Beef blade steak

1 tbsp Peppercorns

1 cup Garlic cloves

2 + 1 tbsps Soya sauce

1 cup sliced Spring Onions

1 liter Beef stock

2 cups sliced Mushrooms

1 – 2 cups water

1 cup cubed Potatoes

1/2 cup cooked Barley

½ cup baby Kale

3 tbps Spring Onion leaves

Cut the beef into small cubes

Make a coarse spice paste by pounding together the coriander roots, peppercorns and garlic

Heat up some oil and saute the spice blend

Add the beef and saute for colour

Add the spring onion bulbs

Add the soya sauce followed by the stock cover and cook till the beef is nice and tender

Add more soya if needed

Add the mushrooms and continue to cook

By now the beef is tender and the stock has reduced

Remove the beef and mushroom bits

Add water to the left over thickened stock and add the cubed potatoes and allow to cook

Add the kale and the spring onion leaves

Add the beef and mushroom back into the pot, add more water and stir

Add the cooked barley

Cranberry Clementine Moscow Mule

Cheersto the season! This year I decided to make a delicious festive cocktail toserve at my holiday open house. Moscow Mules are all the rage, but these festive ones are a super hit!


Per serving


2oz, 60ml shot of vodka
200 ml of Cranberry juice
200 ml Ginger Beer
Frozen Cranberries

Sprig of Rosemary

Squeeze of Clementine juice

 Add the ice, top up with the vodka & cranberryjuice and pour over the ginger beer.Add frozen cranberries and the rosemary as garnish and finish with a squeeze of clementine juice

Kul Kuls – Crispy fried Holiday Cookie

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Kul Kuls are my favorite sweet treat over the holidays. It’s fair to say that it doesn’t feel quite like Christmas, unless I make a batch of these crispy deep fried dough springs. This recipe is adapted from my Aunty Celie’s recipe that I prepared a few years ago. The recipe is pretty much the same,

I just added some semolina for extra crispiness. This special dough is made with flour, eggs, milk, sugar and the star ingredient – melted ghee. This turns the dough into a golden hue. The dough is then flattened and rolled on a comb to create a spring like look.

Kul Kuls – Crispy fried Holiday Cookie


  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1 3/4 cup Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 700 gms sifted all purpose Flour
  • 3 tbsps Semolina
  • 175 - 200 ml melted and cooled Ghee


  1. Mix together the yolks, sugar, milk and salt
  2. Using a paddle attachement start adding in the semolina and flour
  3. Halfway through switch from a paddle attachment to a dough hook
  4. Add the melted ghee and keep kneading
  5. Turn it out on a board and knead by hand
  6. Divide, wrap in plastic wrap and chill
  7. Divide into small pieces, press down to flatten and then roll on a comb
  8. When you have them all prepared, deep fry in hot oil and keep aside

Chicken Patties

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These Chicken Patties are reminiscent of the the patties sold in bakeries in Mumbai (Bombay) & Goa. Layers or buttery puff pastry encases a creamy Chicken filling. The filling is super easy to make using Bechamel and cooked Chicken to make a simple filling! These can be made year round but especially spectacular over the holidays! Try this for yourself!

Chicken Patties


  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 2 tbsps Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1.5 cups cooked diced Chicken
  • 1 tsp dried Parsley a
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Dash of Hot sauce
  • 1 kg Puff pastry
  • 1 beaten Egg


  1. Prepare the filling - melt the butter, add the flour and the milk a little at a time
  2. Add the cooked chicken and the parsley, mix and then cool
  3. Add salt, pepper & sauce
  4. Cut the pastry into circles, you need 3 circles per patty and this will make 24
  5. Brush the bottom circle with the egg wash and add 1 tsp of the filling
  6. Add the second layer of pastry and brush with egg again and then add the final layer
  7. Make a depression with a smaller cutter and prick the outer layer with a fork
  8. Bake for 25 mins

Jerk Turkey – Thanksgiving Special

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Every Thanksgiving, I like to try something different with my Turkey. Jerk is so popular on my channel, that I don’t know why I never tried this before. I wondered whether to go with a dry or wet rub, but after much consideration, I decided that my original Jerk marinade recipe that was shared with me by my good friend Mary Rocto was best.

I made up a batch and although you don’t need all of it for the bird, I used it in everything, the brine, the stuffing, roasted veg, gravy and I even marinated a cauliflower to make a Jerk Vegetarian Turkey for my vegetarian guests that was a big hit!

I followed the same principals of Turkey awesomeness that I do every year – try to use fresh, brine, dry the bird, apply an amazing marinade and cook for the appropriate time using a Turkey calculator.

Years ago I spatchcocked my Turkey, this is great if you are in a rush as it reduces the cooking time considerably.

Some of my viewers have shared that they think cooking a turkey is a daunting task, if that is the case with you, start with a Chicken and work your way up.

Jerk Turkey – Thanksgiving Special


  • Jerk marinade
  • 1/2 cup Oil
  • 1/3 cup Vinegar - 60 ml
  • 1/3 cup dark Soya
  • 1/4 cup Lime juice
  • 1/2 cup Orange juice
  • 3 teaspoons of Pimento allspice - these spice berries are also called Jamaican all spice
  • 3 teaspoons of salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 stalks of small spring onions scallions 1/3 cup (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger (chopped)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tbsps Garlic (3 large cloves)
  • 3 scotch bonnet peppers ( substitute habanero, Jamaican pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves
  • Brine
  • 1/2 cup Salt
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 4 litres Water
  • 2 tsps Jerk marinade
  • Slices of Limes & Oranges
  • Turkey 7.6 kgs (16 lbs and 7oz)
  • For garnish - optional
  • Thyme & Grilled Pineapple & Orange slices
  • For gravy
  • Turkey neck, Onion, Mushrooms, Garlic


  1. Prepare the Jerk marinade by blending all the ingredients together
  2. Prepare the brine and brine the turkey for about 24 hrs, making sure to turn it half way through
  3. Drain and dry the turkey completely
  4. Reuse the slices of limes and oranges by placing in the cavity for flavour
  5. Marinate the skin of the bird on both sides, in the cavity and under the skin
  6. Add some veg to the bottom of the pan so it can flavor the gravy
  7. According to the weight of this bird, this will cook for 4 - 4.5 hrs unstuffed
  8. Cook covered for the first hour and then cook uncovered
  9. Place a piece of foil on the top of the bird as that is the part that tends to over brown
  10. Turkey does not really need to rest like meat does, but you don't want to be carving a super hot bird either

Pad Thai

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I can’t begin to tell you how much I love Pad Thai. It’s my favorite to order at my favorite restaurant Suko Thai and they never disappoint. Replicating Thai food has never been an issue for me, but somehow I just wasn’t truly happy with my Pad Thai results.

I tried this at least 50 times over the last few years. It wasn’t until I decided to prepare a Thai feast for my overseas guests that I decided to dust off the old recipe notes and try again. I re watched videos by all my fave Thai creators including non Thai ones and realized that the secret was in the sauce. Sure you can buy store bought Pad Thai sauce but the freshness from the sauce recipe is second to one. Most recipes just call for a bunch of sauces to be added together with palm sugar, but I decided to cook the sugar and tamarind together first to give it a nice syrupy texture. The addition of shallots and garlic in addition to the lime juice adds to the amazing flavour.

This recipe sure calls for a LOT of ingredients, but the good news is that these days they are pretty easy to find at an Asian grocery store. And the best part of making this yourself is that you can customize it – I like my Pad Thai dry, but you make like it saucy! I also like to control the amount of protein besides eggs I add to the dish. For simplicity, I added Shrimp, but you can also add Chicken to the dish if you like. You can also make this with Beef.

Pad Thai


  • Pad Thai sauce
  • 2 cups of water
  • 8 oz - 226 gms Palm Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp Chilli oil
  • 1/2 cup finely minced Shallots
  • 1/2 cup minced Garlic
  • Juice of a Lime
  • 8 tbsps Fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp of the Tamarind concentrate
  • 400 gms of Rice sticks or Vermicelli (Pad Thai noodles)
  • 1 + 1 tbsp Chilli oil
  • 1/2 cup minced Shallots
  • 1/4 cup minced Garlic
  • 1/4 sweet Daikon preserved Radish
  • 3/4 cubed Tofu
  • 1/2 cup dried minced Shrimp
  • 300 gms Tiger Shrimp
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 cups Bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup Chinese Chives or Garlic Chives
  • Chopped Peanuts to garnish


  1. Prepare the sauce by boiling the water and adding the palm sugar and the tamarind
  2. Cook this till the sugar dissolves and gets syrupy and take it off the heat
  3. In a saute pan add the chilli oil and sauce the shallots and garlic
  4. Pour the syrup through a strainer and bring to the boil
  5. Add the lime juice, fish sauce and tamarind concentrate
  6. Refrigerate for best results
  7. Soak the noodles in barely warm water for 15 minutes
  8. Heat up some oil and add the shallots followed by the garlic and allow these to saute for a minute
  9. Add in the radish & tofu and follow with the minced dried shrimp
  10. Move everything over to one side and add more oil and cook the Shrimp
  11. When it starts to turn orange, mix it with the other ingredients and keep cooking till fully orange
  12. Add the drained noodles followed by the prepared sauce - I used 2 cups you can use more for a saucier Pad Thai
  13. Move everything over to one side again and beat in the eggs and scramble them
  14. Allow them to set before mixing.
  15. Finally toss in the bean sprouts and chives and toss to cook
  16. Serve with the chopped peanuts

Calcutta Kolkata style Chilli Chicken — Bong Eats recipe

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I LOVE Chilli Chicken. I usually just follow my mom’s recipe, which I have made my own over the years. I was about to make it for a potluck, when I scrolled through my YouTube feed and noticed that my friends Insiya & Saptarshi from Bong Eats published a Kolkata style Chilli Chicken. As I’m a BIG fan of trying new things, I decided to give their recipe a test drive.

It’s very different in terms of process from my simpler version, but their crispy morsels of Chicken are second to none. They’ve attributed this breading style to Kenji Lopez-Alt from Check out their recipe here.

I’ve never been to Kolkata former Calcutta, but I have plenty of Bong friends and have tried many a Bengali dish. If you like to try new things, this recipe will not disappoint! Make sure to check out the Bong Eats channel and give them a shout!

Calcutta Kolkata style Chilli Chicken — Bong Eats recipe


  • 500 gms (1 lb) Chicken cut in cubes
  • Marinade
  • 2 tbsps each Ginger & Garlic + pinch salt crushed
  • Egg white of one egg
  • 1/3 cup dark Soya
  • 1/3 cup Chinese Cooking wine
  • 1 tsp crushed Peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp of Corn starch
  • Breading
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Sauce
  • 2 tbsps dark Soya sauce
  • 2 tbsps light Soya sauce
  • 2 tbsps Chinese cooking wine
  • I need to add 2 tbsps vinegar and I prefer to use the homemade vinegar I always have in my fridge - this is just green chillies soaked in vinegar
  • Add 3 tbsps Ketchup
  • Add 2 tbsps chilli sauce
  • 1/2 cup Chicken stock
  • 1 tsp fresh pepper
  • And a pinch of Aji na Moto or MSG
  • Cornstarch slurry - 1 tsp Cornstarch and water
  • Other
  • 2 green chillies ( 2 tbsps)
  • 2 cups red Onion quartered and seperated
  • 1 cup green Pepper cut in squares
  • 2 tbps each minced Ginger & Garlic
  • 2 Spring Onions sliced diagonally for garnish


  1. Prepare the marinade and marinate the Chicken in half
  2. Mix the flours, baking powder and salt together and add the other half of the marinade to make a damp and crumbly breading
  3. Prepare the sauce and the other ingredients
  4. Heat oil in a wok and add the onions and peppers
  5. Add the sugar to help caramelize the onion
  6. Add the green chilies and minces ginger and garlic
  7. Add the sauce, bring to the boil and add the slurry
  8. Dip each piece of chicken in the flour mixture and deep fry
  9. Once done toss the cooked chicken in the gravy
  10. Garnish with Spring Onions

Steak & Salad Roll

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I love Middle Eastern food! This simple Steak Salad Roll is loaded with flavor from the Tahini sauce, pickled Turnips, fresh veg and grilled Steak.

Steak & Salad Roll


  • Tahini Sauce
  • 1 cup Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Tahini
  • Pinch Salt, Aleppo Pepper, Sumac & dried Mint
  • 2 tsps minced Garlic
  • 2 tbsps Olive Oil
  • Salad
  • 2 cups Romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup each fresh Mint & Parsley
  • 1 cup cubed Cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup pickled Turnips
  • 1/4 cup sliced Olives
  • 2 - 3 tbsps prepared Tahini sauce
  • Steak
  • 4 Steaks 500 gms each
  • 1 tbsp or more Olive Oil
  • Pinch Salt, Aleppo Pepper, Sumac & dried Mint
  • Arabic Pita bread


  1. Prepare the Tahini sauce by adding all the ingredients together
  2. Prepare the Salad by adding all the ingredients together and adding some Tahini sauce
  3. Marinate the steak and cook on a hot grill for a few minutes each side
  4. Let it rest and cool and cut into strips
  5. Cut the Pita in half and smear with the Tahini sauce
  6. Add the Salad, the Steak and roll
  7. Secure with some parchment paper
  8. You can also eat this as a salad

Phirni or Firni – Broken Rice Pudding Dessert

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Phirni or Firni is a broken rice pudding served cold. Similar to Kheer that is made with whole rice and is served both hot and cold. It’s scented with Cardamom and Saffron and garnished with Pistachios or other nuts.

A couple of years ago I brought back these terracotta pots or madkas after eating some Kulfi in India. I washed and dried these carefully and packed them well in my suitcase. These were the inspiration to make this Phirni, however you can set them in small bowls, ramekins or even in a large bowl to serve family style.

Phirni or Firni – Broken Rice Pudding Dessert


  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • Seeds of 5 Cardamoms
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 liter Milk
  • Pinch of Saffron
  • Nuts to Garnish


  1. Soak the basmati for an hour
  2. Drain the water and then pulse it till it looks like granules
  3. Heat the ghee and saute the cardamom seeds
  4. Saute the rice
  5. Add the sugar and the milk
  6. Keep stirring till the milk is reduced by half
  7. Add the saffron
  8. Keep stirring till the milk thickens and the rice is cooked
  9. Cool and add some saffron strands and sliced pistachios to garnish
  10. Chill before serving


Meal Prep – 3 Make Ahead Breakfasts

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Meal Prep – 3 Make Ahead Breakfasts


  • Mason Jar Omelettes (makes 2 jars)
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tbsp sliced red Chilli and chopped Coriander
  • 2 tbps diced chicken wieners
  • 1 tbsp of Spring onion
  • Egg & Salmon Salad stuffed croissants (makes filling for 8 Croissants)
  • 4 hard boiled Eggs
  • 2 tbsps Mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • ½ cup diced smoked Salmon
  • 1 tsp diced Dill
  • 8 Croissants
  • Egg Burritos (makes enough filling for 6 Tortillas)
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 tbsps Milk
  • ¼ cup diced Chicken wieners
  • ¼ cup diced Mushrooms
  • ¼ cup diced green Peppers
  • ¼ cup canned black Beans
  • ½ cup Spinach
  • 1 tsp Taco seasoning
  • ¼ cup finely diced Coriander
  • 1 tbsp x 6 Salsa per Burrito
  • 2 tbsps x 6 of grated Cheese per Burrito
  • 6 Tortillas


  1. Mason Jar Omelettes (makes 2 jars)
  2. Grease the jars(for ease of cleaning) and drop 2 eggs in each
  3. Add Salt and Pepper
  4. Divide the rest of the ingredients between the two jars
  5. This can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for 2 – 3 days
  6. Shake before cooking
  7. Remove the lid and place on a sheet of kitchen towel(for easy clean up) in the microwave
  8. Microwave first for one minute and stir
  9. Microwave for the second minute, but watch carefully and if the egg rises too much and is in danger of spilling, stop the timer
  10. If still looking a little uncooked, zap for 10 seconds at a time
  11. Cover with a clean lid if taking this on the go
  12. Egg & Salmon Salad stuffed croissants (makes filling for 8 Croissants)
  13. Dice the hard boiled eggs
  14. Add the Mayo and the Mustard and all the other ingredients and mix well
  15. Refridgerate overnight
  16. When ready to serve, lightly toast the Croissants and make a well in the top center
  17. Stuff with the filling
  18. Salmon rose garnish and dill leaf is optional





Next I’m going to prepare some Egg & Salmon Salad stuffed croissants. I’m going to start with 4 eggs that I’ve hard boiled. The easiest and fasted way to dice these is to use your egg slicer, cut one way, flip, and cut the other … there … done!


I’m going to add a few tbsps. of mayonnaise and a tsp of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper and roughly a ½ cup of diced smoked salmon!


I’m also going to throw in a tsp of diced dill as this goes so well with mustard and salmon. Stick this in the fridge.


When you’re ready, lightly toast your croissants and make a well in the center and stuff with this delectable filling. Just to be fancy, I’m going to garnish with a salmon rose and some left over dill sprigs. This makes a great grab and go breakfast but also a great item to serve at a brunch or fancy breakfast.





I’m almost at the end of my egg carton, next I’m going to prep some Egg Burritos

In a saute pan that I’ve heated up, I’m going to add some oil, and ½ a cup of diced onion and spring onion.

, I’m just going to crack all 4 eggs into a bowl.

Season your eggs with salt and pepper

I’m also going to add 4 tbsps of milk for a silky texture

Next I’m going to throw in ¼ cup of diced Chicken weiners

¼ cup diced Mushrooms

¼ cup diced green Peppers

What’s a burrito without beans? I’m going to also throw in ¼ cup of canned black beans. And for some extra nutrition, ½ cup of Spinach


For flavor, I’m adding 1 tsp of Taco seasoning, mix this in.


Next I’m going to pour in the beaten eggs.


Just going to add some more salt & pepper and start to scramble it. Once cool I’m going to add ¼ cup finely diced Coriander.


Now watch carefully


I have an 8 inch Tortilla laid out on a piece of foil. Add a couple of tbsps. of the filling,  a tbsp. of salsa and about 2 tbsps of grated Cheese.


First fold in the sides, using your thumbs, fold the top half in and almost tuck this under the filling. Roll over the other side. Bring the rolled burrito up to the f=top of the foil and roll to seal. The burrito encased in this foil will keep it’s shape.


Let’s watch this again ..


fold in the sides, using your thumbs, fold the top half in and almost tuck this under the filling. Roll over the other side. Bring the rolled burrito up to the top of the foil and roll to seal.



Once your burritos you can stick them in the fridge, or you could even freeze them.


You can either stick them in the oven for 20 mins to reheat, or if you don’t have the time, remove the foil, microwave first and then just toast for a few minutes. These burritos are a deeeelicious and hearty way to start your day.