Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Homemade Peach Lemonade

 بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

With the Summer months fast approaching nothing beats sipping on an ice cold lemonade, homemade ofcourse! Unfortunately I have an allergy to some fruits, which limits what fruit in can have, however cooked the fruit or poach and its not a problem. I absolutely love peaches, sadly it is one of my 'forbidden' fruits. I sit and watch others eating juicy fruits and I have to say I do feel it's tad bit unfair. So in order to beat this I try to add the fruit I am allergic to, into cooked dishes or desserts, i know its not the same as having them raw and most probably kills off many nutrients, but for me there is no choice. 
Anyway leaving that aside, I decided to make a Peach Lemonade, this drink is super easy and you can get the children involved in helping you. Serve this to your guests as a pre-dinner drink. Guaranteed they wont be disappointed. 
Fruity, refreshing and delicious, give this a try and taste the Summer!

Peach Lemonade


6 riped peaches
1 cup of fresh lemon juice
1 cup of sugar
3 cups of water
zest of 2 lemons
1 sprig of mint
1 bottle of peach flavoured sparkling water, you can use plain sparkling or any soda of choice.


1. Cut peaches into small pieces and add to a pan along with the sugar water and lemon zest.

2. Heat on medium till sugar melts and syrup begins to thicken.


3. When Peaches soften mash with potato masher.


4. Add the mint leaves and leave to simmer for a few minutes more. Then turn off heat.

5. Once cooled strain through a sieve.

This is the pulp that remains, now as you know I don't like to waste and I most certainly didn't want to waste all this goodness, so I had a change of plan! I decided to add the pulp to a blender along with the juice and whizz up all together.

6. When all done it looks different in colour than before (see pic below). But taste definitely intensifies.

7. Add the lemon juice and mix well, pour half into a glass pitcher, depending on size of pitcher. Then pour the sparkling peach water to the top.

8. Pour into glasses add ice cubes and garnish with mint leaves, then sit back and enjoy the sunny days sipping on  cooling peach lemonade. :)


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Green Masala Chicken with Feta Cheese

 بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Ever had one of those days when you don't know what your doing with a recipe and just try your luck and hope for the best? Well this was one such recipe, I decided I wanted to make a green masala curry but add a twist, a different flavour, couldn't quite figure out what until I opened my fridge to find some feta cheese and thought AHA! A ligthbulb moment! Wasn't quite sure where and when I would add this so I just played along and added when I thought....."Oh this will be a good time!" :)
May I say how delightful it turned out too! The feta added a subtle tangy flavour which complimented the mint, fenugreek and coriander, giving this dish an overall creamy rich texture. 
I love it when a plan comes together! :)
My cousin happened to pop in for tea as I was cooking so she ended up being my guinea pig food taster! Much to her delight she liked it so much she decided she would try it out at weekend for her family. So my lovelies, why not give this a try and see what you think!

Serves 6-8 people


4lbs of boneless chicken
1 bunch of fresh Coriander
1 bunch of fresh Fenugreek leaves
5 sprigs of fresh mint leaves
4 cloves of garlic
2 inch piece of ginger
Juice of 1 Lemon
200g of Feta cheese
3-4 onions
11-12 green chilies (you may use more or less depending on how spicy you want it)
5 Tablespoons of Olive oil
4 tablespoons of Ghee
3 teaspoons of salt or to taste
3 teaspoons of Garam masala
2 teaspoons of cumin seeds (One to add in beginning and one to use for tempering)


1. Wash chicken thoroughly and leave to dry.
2. To make the marinade, in a blender add the mint, fenugreek and coriander leaves along with the garlic, ginger, and lemon juice, one teaspoon of salt and 2 tbsn of olive oil. Add half of the block of feta cheese. Blend to a smooth paste. 

3. Mix the marinade with chicken and leave to marinate at room temperature for minimum of Half an hour.

4. In the meantime take the onions and chop roughly, blender to make into a paste. Heat 3 tbsns of olive oil, add 1 tspn of cumin seeds and then add the onion paste. If you wish you may add 2-3 green chilies here, but this is optional. Cook till all water in onion paste has cooked out. See pics below.

5. Now add the marinaded chicken to onion paste and mix well. Cook on high heat, the chicken will release water, cover and let it cook on low heat for about 15 minutes. 

6. Now turn up heat to high and cook to dry out the water, as water is drying add the rest of the feta cheese, and mix well.

7. Keep stirring on high heat till water evaporates and the masala is sticking to the chicken. When this has been achieved turn off heat and set aside.

See how masala sticks to the chicken

8. Now for tempering, heat the ghee in a small frying pan, then add to it quarter of an onion thinly sliced, 4-5 dried red chillies, 1 tspn of cumin seeds heat until sizzling and onions are going a golden brown colour, then pour over the chicken. 

9. Garnish with mint leaves and serve with fresh warm chapatis. :)

Bil hana wa ash-shifa

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Aubergines with green lentils

بســــــــم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 Patlicanli mercimekli mualla, Aubergines with green lentils is a traditional dish from southern Turkey, cooked in Olive oil with dried mint. This is a beautiful recipe that is full of goodness, and amazing flavours.

(This will serve roughly between 8-12 people)


2 cup green lentils
4 medium eggplants (aubergine)
4 medium onions, thinly sliced
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 red bell pepper and 2 green pepper, cut in half and thinly sliced. (Or you can just keep it to red pepper)
2 cans of chopped tomatoes in juice
1-2 cups of olive oil and some extra olive oil for sauteing eggplants
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried mint
2 cup water


1. Wash lentils and cook for about 15 minutes till tender, drain and set aside.

2. Slice aubergines in half ans cut into half moon shapes, lay out on a tray and sprinkle with salt and leave for 10 mins till water releases from them. Then squeeze and dry with paper towel.
3. In a pan heat about 3 tbsns of olive oil and saute the aubergines, do this in batches rather than squeezing them all in one pot. Once sauteed remove and set aside.

4. In a bowl add you partially cooked lentils, peppers, onions, garlic, mint and seasoning. Mix well, check seasoning, add more if needed.

5. Now in a wide pan add 3 tbsns of olive oil and place a layer of aubergines ( just half of them) then add half a layer of the mixed vegetables evenly, then place rest of the aubergines on top and remaining vegetables, ensuring even layers.

6. Add 2-4 cups of water and cover, cook for 45-50 minutes on medium to low heat.
7. Check from time to time and stir gently.

8. Once cooked leave to cool down and serve with either warm crusty bread or even grilled chicken!

Serving suggestion.
For rice and vermicelli pilaf recipe click the link below.

Bil-hana wa ash shifa'a.

Vermicelli Rice

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

This is a popular side rice dish served often in the Mediterranean regions, from Cyprus going across to the Middle East. It is a tasty simple recipe that compliments any main course.


(This recipe is for one cup of rice only so adjust to however many cups you usually make)

1 cups basmati rice
2 tablespoons of Vermicelli (I use the fatter ones)
2 cups of water
2 tbsp salt or to taste
2-3 tbsn of ghee or if you prefer sunflower oil


1. Wash rice till water runs clear and then leave to soak for about 20-30 minutes.
2. Melt ghee in pan and add the vermicelli and brown. Be careful not to burn, stay close and keep stirring. 


3. Now add the rice and stir well till rice is coated and mixed well with noodles.

4. Add the water and salt to taste, mix and leave to cook until water is soaked up. 

5. When water has be mostly soaked up either put into oven at 5 degrees Celsius or soak a clean dish cloth in water, ring out and place on top of pot as not to touch the rice. Put lids on and fold the parts of cloth hanging over on top of lid, turn heat low and allow rice to cook. If you have a diffuser or a tava place this at bottom of pot.
6. After 5 mins turn off heat and allow to sit for another five mins. Then remove lid and carefully with a fork fluff up rice. 

7. Serve as side dish with meal.

Bil-hana wa ash shifa'a! :)