Monday 4 April 2016

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

Caramel and Cinnamon are wicked combinations. It entices you and you cannot stop at one. This is a wonderful autumn cake when the best apples are in season. The crisp weather ensures that we enjoy this warm cake for tea.


For the sauce and topping
•       3-4 Granny Smith apples very thinly sliced apples
•       115g salted butter
•       135g brown sugar
•       1 teaspoon cinnamon
•       ½ teaspoon nutmeg
•       ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
•       ¼ teaspoon dry ginger powder (optional)
•       1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•       ¼ cup toasted and chopped walnuts/ pecan nuts  

For the cake
•       115g unsalted butter
•       200g brown sugar
•       2 large eggs
•       ¼ cup milk
•       185g plain flour
•       1 teaspoon baking powder
•       ½ teaspoon cinnamon

1. Generously grease a square 8-inch cake pan and line with baking paper at the bottom.
2. Sauce: Melt butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan until smooth and thickened slightly. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger powder and vanilla. Pour the caramel into the greased cake pan and top with the apple slices while the sauce is still hot. Top with chopped nuts.
3. Cake: Preheat the oven to 160 degree C fan-forced oven. Beat butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add eggs and milk and beat until incorporated. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Pour the batter on top of the caramel and apple layer in the cake pan.
4. Bake for 45 minutes to 60 minutes (until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean). Let cool for 10 minutes. Invert onto a plate and tap the top until the cake comes out onto the plate.

Serve hot !

Friday 1 April 2016

Eggs in a Nest for Breakfast

Eggs baked in potato nests, served with avocado and sprinkled with coriander leaves.

I usually sprinkle my breakfast eggs with parsley. Coriander leaves together with avocado gives a fresh hint to the breakfast dish.

Serves 4: (1 egg per serve)


  • 3 small-medium sized potatoes, shredded
  • A handful of shredded cheese (a blend of parmesan and cheddar cheese)
  • 1 - 1/2 tsp plain flour/ rice flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1 ripe avocado, chopped
  • Coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • Cooking oil spray

1. Preheat oven to 180°C (fan-forced).
2. Mix together shredded potatoes, cheese, plain flour, salt and pepper in a bowl. 
3. Spray the inside of 4 pie dishes with oil  so that the potato baskets do not stick. Divide potato mixture into 4 portions, fill each pie dish. Using fingers press them down the middle and onto the sides and mold the potato mixture as nests. Bake for 15 minutes.
4. Reduce oven temperature to 160°C (fan-forced).
5. Crack an egg into each pie dish. Bake again until the egg white sets but the yolk is still soft and runny (around 15 minutes).
6. In the meantime, cook bacon in a pan.
7. Place the bacon on a plate and put the baked eggs on it. Top with chopped avocados and sprinkle with coriander leaves.

Serve hot!

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Murg Mughlai

Murg Mughlai, popularly known as Chicken Korma, is very much an Indian curry; though quite surprisingly, it stands out from the other blazing, fiery curries from India. Its roots can be traced back to the cooking techniques from Persia which became an integral part of Indian cuisine during the reign of the Mughal Empire. The meat is first braised (seared using high heat) and then slow cooked for long hours in a gravy to create an exotic curry.

As the name sounds, this dish befits to be served on a King's plate. It is royal with its rich, creamy, nutty flavours yet subtly spicy which is certainly deceived by its pale looks.

Personally, this dish is reminds me of my best friend Sanee. During our early days of cooking experiments before marriage, we learned to cook this, with help from her Mom over the telephone, who herself was an excellent cook. Though we have to admit that our first trial was an utter failure, we learned from our mistakes and have been improving on the dish ever since.


To marinate and braise
  • 1/2 kg boneless chicken thighs
  • 3 tsp ginger paste
  • 3 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp ghee/ clarified butter
For the Sauce/Gravy:
  • 2 tbsp ghee/ clarified butter 
  • 3 cups brown onions, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 3/4 tbsp garlic paste
  • 8 green chilly, whole
  • 1 aniseed
  • 8-10 small green cardamom pods
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 5 cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2-3 tbsp almond flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1 - 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • a generous pinch of saffron
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup - 1 cup of hot water
  • sliced almonds to garnish
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 large onion, thinly sliced into half moons
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp raisins 
  • Slivered almond, to garnish
  • Coriander leaves, to garnish


1. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil. Add a pinch of sugar and add the sliced onions. Fry the onions till they brown and caramelize. Remove onions and set aside.
2. Fry raisins in the same oil and set aside.

1. Sprinkle salt on the chicken pieces and rub in along with lemon juice. Combine the rest of the ingredients for the marinade and marinate the chicken and leave in refrigerator overnight or for at least 2 hours.
2. Grill chicken pieces on high for a few minutes until chicken is just done and brown on all sides. Baste chicken with ghee in between grilling and turn over the chicken pieces. Use 3 tbsp ghee for this.  

The Gravy
1. Heat 2 tbsp of ghee in a pan, add aniseed, cinnamon, cloves, green cardamoms and bay leaves and sauté. Add onions, green chili pepper and salt and sauté at medium heat till the onions starts to get light brown.
2. Add ginger paste, garlic paste  and sauté the onions at low to medium heat till oil separates. Add ½ cup of hot water and salt and bring it to a boil. Cook/simmer till the paste thickens a bit and there is no extra water floating on the top.
3. Add grilled chicken to the gravy and toss well to combine. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes.
4. Lower the heat and let the temperature of the pan come down a bit. Whisk the yogurt together with sugar and almond powder till smooth and creamy. Add this mixture to the gravy and let it simmer at low heat for about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of hot water and simmer it down to your desired consistency of the sauce, if required.
5. Add half of the caramelized onions (set aside some for garnish), heavy cream, saffron, white pepper powder and garam masala. Stir everything in, partially cover it and allow it to gently simmer at low – medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until you see a thin film of ghee appear as the top most layer above the sauce.

Garnish with slivered almonds, caramelized onions, raisins and coriander leaves. Serve hot with pulao or roti. 

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Fish Curry with Canned Sardines

I am sure that you all would agree to life being a race now. We are all, either running after something or running for something. Even when cooking is your passion there are times when you look around for some easy to prepare meals that leave you satisfied at the dining table.

Thursday 3 October 2013

Chicken, Bean and Vegetable Soup in Pressure Cooker

Soup is synonymous with cold to me. Soup is quick. Soup is easy. Soup is nutritious. Soup is comforting. So is warmth. Soup is whole. Soup is hearty. Soup is complete. Soup is contentment.

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Orange and Almond Cake

You look high and low for recipes when you fall in love with a food. And sometimes it is hard to satisfy your palate with what you make because your hand creations cannot match the great taste that you enjoyed for that food the first time. The Orange and Almond Cake is one such recipe for me. It was a sweet yet refreshing and light dessert. I've been working to perfect this recipe for a long time and I stroke it rich when I landed on the Food Safari show in SBS one day where they presented this exhilarating dessert as a classic Passover confection from the Mediterranean, Morocco and the Middle East.

Friday 20 September 2013

Heuvos Rancheros Con Frijoles Al Horno

This Mexican-style Baked Beans and Eggs makes a scrumptious and flavourful breakfast for those who love to break into their day like a king. Yet, the benefits are more than sees the eye. It is low-GI, which means you have sustained energy for a longer time during the day. It is packed with proteins which helps in muscle development. The tomatoes have lycopene which is a powerful anti-oxidant.