tagged ‘spices’

Chickpea & red pepper coconut curry

in Savoury, Taste -

A mildly spicy vegetarian chickpea & red pepper coconut curry is full of fragrant spices, and finished off with fresh coriander and lime juice.

Chickpea & red pepper coconut curry

There’s few smells that enchant me as much as curry spices, cooking away along with chopped onion and garlic. It’s a strong, bold scent, never overwhelming though, but utterly satisfying. My knowledge of curries is still quite limited, yet that smell alone is incentive enough for me to learn more, experiment more, cook more, discover more, enjoy more. For the time being, my quite timid efforts focus on flavours which are anything but simple, yet are starting to feel familiar. [READ MORE]

Spicy hot toddy

in Small bites, Taste -

Mildly boozy and seriously spicy, this hot toddy will do wonders both for your immune system and your spirit! Bottoms up!

I meant to share this for a while now, as it has become my favourite remedy for winter colds. To be perfectly honest, up until recently, I had no clue what a hot toddy was. I am not a big fan of whiskey and I don’t care for hot beverages which are not black coffee. Still, there’s always whiskey around here and thanks to the vibrant English weather, there’s also the occasional cold. So, in an effort to keep winter colds (and blues) at bay and in memory of the very cool Robert Burns (Happy Birthday!), here’s my version of a hot toddy and the story behind it. [READ MORE]

Homemade dukkah

in Small bites, Taste -

Fragrant, spicy and crunchy, this Egyptian savoury spice blend has the right amount of heat, is very addictive, versatile and so easy to make at home.

Homemade dukkah

I don’t remember the first time I came across dukkah; what I do remember is how crazy in love I fell. Listen, crunchy texture in food tends to make me very happy. Peanut butter is always crunchy (although I often cook with the smooth variety) and granola stays in the oven just a tiny bit longer; when I make pie using filo pastry, I try to call dibs on all the extra crispy corner pieces and as much as I love hummus, crunchy chickpeas always trump it. I won’t even get into milk chocolate with hazelnut or almond chunks- they pretty much sum up half of my childhood and don’t want to get soft now. [READ MORE]

Spicy & lemony linzer cookies

in Desserts, Taste -

Spicy-lemony-linzer-cookies

These past few days, I’ve been longing for some extra Christmas spirit-ness and festiveness and joy and whatnot. The house is fully (yet not full on) decorated, our Christmas jumpers are out and some most of the presents are wrapped; yet there was something missing. I couldn’t put my finger on it for a while and then it hit me: baking! I hadn’t done any festive baking this year. You know what I’m talking about: the kind that’s easy and comforting, that makes the the house smell of cloves and cinnamon and citrus and butter, the kind that leaves you with small delicious bites, to be displayed on the coffee or dining table for everyone to enjoy. [READ MORE]

Apple, pear & cardamom pie

in Desserts, Taste -

Apple, pear & cardamom pie

It’s cold! And sunny! And cold, dammit, so very cold! But hey, it comes with the season, along with a few other things, so lovely and so close to my heart: leaves with the most stunning colours, Halloween and Bonfire night right around the corner and, you guessed it, delicious, hearty food. I honestly can’t get enough of fall’s fresh produce: crispy carrots and so many pumpkins, leeks and sage, swede, celeriac and beautiful wild mushrooms. And the fruit! Oh, all the different varieties of crisp apples and sweet juicy pears, which all just beg to be used in a pie!  [READ MORE]

Marbled egg, pickled carrot & asparagus rice salad

in Savoury, Small bites, Taste -

Marbled egg, pickled carrot & asparagus rice salad

Easter is practically here, you guys! I realised this just a few days ago and I have to say, it really caught me by surprise- it’s so early! This year there seems to be a mahoosive gap between Catholic and Greek Easter and since I’ve been accustomed to the latter, I guess I really dropped the ball on the whole Easter situation. Still, since I LOVE celebrations of any kind at absolutely any time of the year, I’m definitely up for a speedy seasonal dish, filled with delicious flavours and bright springy colours:  hello, marbled egg, pickled carrot & asparagus rice salad! [READ MORE]

Kidney bean & dark chocolate chilli

in Savoury, Taste -

Chilli-4

Two. That’s exactly how many meat recipes I have here. And it’s not wonder. See, I like meat, I really do. But it’s not my favourite thing to eat, hence, when I prepare meals, look for and test recipes, it’s almost always not on my mind. Also, I have to admit, I’m quite ignorant when it comes to ways to cook it. I don’t know meat well at all and until I do, I prefer to stay away. So, I stick to fish and vegetables and pulses instead, things I know, love and cook on a heavy rotation, hopefully without my meals becoming boring or repetitive. [READ MORE]

Blackberry Cointreau mulled wine

in Taste -

Blackberry Cointreau mulled wine

It’s proper winter here in London. It’s cold and windy and you need about a bazillion layers in order to step out but not freak out (at least I do). I hate the cold, but let me tell you, I LOVE winter! Maybe not as much as say, autumn and all its beautiful colours; or summer and its perfect vegetables & fruit and all the ice-creams and time spent at the beach; I love winter because of the coziness that comes with it. It’s the season that invites gatherings at home, heart and body warming meals, decadent desserts and comforting drinks. [READ MORE]

Favourite spices

in Inspiration, Small bites, Taste -

Favourite spices

I often think that cooking is like putting together an outfit. Your basic ingredients are the garments and spices are all the little things that make an outfit special, like a great hat, a colorful scarf, a beautiful simple belt, a distinct piece of jewelry, a nice deep red lipstick or a killer pair of pumps. Your outfit would be ok without them, but, adding one or more of those accessories instantly elevates it and makes it shine. Same with spices: you can do without them, but honestly, why would you when just a pinch of this and a dash of that can make a simple dish all that more interesting and appetising? [READ MORE]

Carrot & mango cake with cream cheese lime frosting

in Desserts, Taste -

CarrotCake-620-3

Even though I love all desserts almost equally, I tend to play favourites: cookies are usually my go-to, followed by pies and little fruity and chocolatey bites. Cakes are not at the top of my list; I think that’s probably because they are often associated with childhood baking memories, of which I don’t have that many. My mom rarely made any cakes (safe for this delicious, festive one), and when she did, usually in our house in the country, she had to fight our super temperamental oven: all desserts that went in there would come out almost always half burned- but we almost always ate them (apart from that one time, when she accidentally sprinkled a whole cake with corn flour, instead of icing sugar. I think we held off on that one). [READ MORE]