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I have always wanted to make a braided loaf of bread – those shiny knots are so beautiful and appealing. As with any kind of home made bread, this requires an investment of a few hours. Which is why it is only quite recently that I tried out a challah bread recipe I found on The Kitchn. It turned out so well and was such a hit with my bread loving husband that I had to make it again. This time I was determined to take a few pictures and share it here. In my naivety, I thought that sharing a traditional kosher challah recipe would be perfect for the occasion of Passover that’s coming up.

how to make challah

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We love Asian food in all its guises – diverse Indian dishes and subtly flavoured Chinese ones, the various kinds of nasi you get throughout south east Asia, the fusion cuisine of Malaysia…the list goes on. I have also always loved recreating these dishes in my own kitchen. Whenever an attempt at making a rendang or a nasi lemak turns out well, I am over joyed!

asian satay recipe

Indonesian cuisine is very dear to Peter’s heart (what with the Dutch connection to Indonesia) especially as he grew up in Holland. As a child, a visit to the local Chinese restaurant was a much anticipated event for him. These Chinese restaurants actually serve a combination of Chinese and Indonesian dishes, something that’s unique to them and cannot be easily found outside of the Netherlands.

asian grilled chicken

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As far as food trends go, coconut oil has been in the news for only a little while now. It has been touted as a miracle worker – good for your skin, hair and health too. I find it slightly amusing because where my family comes from, coconut oil is a commonplace ingredient. It is used not only in cooking but also as a natural moisturiser. As kids, we were forced to slather ourselves in the oil from head to toe, including our hair, before every shower.

I am happy that with the newfound glory of coconut oil, I can find it in any ordinary supermarket. If you have ever wondered what to use this very nutty flavoured oil for, then make this chocolate cake and you’ll be hooked. Did I already mention that it is also great for your skin and hair?

cake with coconut oil

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I am always on the lookout for interesting fish recipes as seafood lends itself very well to unique flavour combinations. The same piece of salmon can be used to create a French bistro style dish, a spicy Indian curry or as in this case, a dish with Middle Eastern flavours. I got the ‘Jerusalem’ cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi as a gift more than a year ago. Ever since, I have tried numerous recipes from it, a few of which have already become firm favourites. The ‘salmon steaks in chraimeh sauce’ recipe was one on my must-try list. The other day, when I found some decent salmon fillets in the supermarket, it was time to dig out the book and try out this dish.

salmon in tomato sauce

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I’ve been going through some of my favourite cookbooks and marking new recipes to try out. One such book that I remember buying with much anticipation was ‘Good to the Grain’ by Kim Boyce. Since I’d only ever tried one of it’s many fabulous recipes, it  was time to experiment with many more of the wonderful baked goods this book has to offer. This book shows you how to incorporate whole grain flours into everyday baking making it easier to enjoy treats guilt free.

 

banana and cranberry muffins

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Aubergine (eggplant for my American friends) has always been one of my favourite vegetables. It’s the perfect ingredient to add to any sauce from pasta to curry and works especially well with Indian spices. In fact, a simple side dish of aubergines were always a staple in my home.

eggplant with indian spices

eggplant paneer curry

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Plantain fritters definitely fall in my category of comfort foods. It brings back memories of those far and few train journeys of my childhood from our hometown on the Southeastern coast of India to my father’s village in Kerala, on the Southwestern coast. The monotony of the more than 30-hour train journey was broken as soon as we entered the lush green coastal landscape of Palghat – the first stop in Kerala. This is where you would hear cries of ‘pazham pori, pazham pori’ from vendors selling steaming hot plantain fritters wrapped in plaintain leaves. My father who otherwise was strict about not feeding us kids anything that was not home made, would give in to our sullen looks and we would all look on in anticipation as he purchased a few of those golden nuggets. Big chunks of plantain fritters and greasy palms were the one saving grace of that otherwise never ending journey!

plaintain and coconut fritters

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