Category Archives: Eggs

Omelette Brochettes

We are big time egg lovers and go through quite a few cartons every month. In fact, if its egg curry bubbling on the stove, my son would sniff it a mile away and come running all excited about dinner.

All forms of egg dishes are welcome in our home and fried runny yolk eggs are a hot favourite of the kiddo for weekend brunches. We are lucky that so far, there has been no restrictions at school too because Adi really loves egg sandwiches in his lunch boxes.

Even though there are plenty of different egg dishes I cook, I was still on the hunt for new ones especially that cater to the after-school-hunger-pangs category. With a growth spurt happening, Adi comes home from school totally ravenous and needs something really substantial. And that’s how I came across a similar recipe for Omelette Brochettes in a cookbook called ‘Mini Treats’ by Hinkler Publications.

Omelette Brochettes, a simple and delicious snack - thespiceadventuress.com

This one’s pretty simple to make, almost like a frittata. Though I have used onions, bell peppers and ham, any combination of meats or veggies can be used depending on your preferences.

It’s a really easy and simple dish to make and one you can make in bulk which also makes it as an excellent starter choice especially for children’s parties. If you are a light eater like me, it makes a delicious lunch option too when paired with a simple green salad.

I have not used cheese in this recipe, somehow I don’t like the texture too much if I have to refrigerate and then re-heat it later. But I would,  if I was making it for a party or to have immediately afterwards.

Omelette Brochettes, a simple and delicious snack - thespiceadventuress.com

Omelette Brochettes, a simple and delicious snack - thespiceadventuress.com

Do try it out and let me know if you enjoyed it and don’t forget to tag your creations with #thespiceadventuress while posting on social media so that I can see it too. Happy cooking!

Ingredients:

  1. 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 cup whole milk
  3. 12 large eggs
  4. 1 onion; finely chopped
  5. 8 ham slices; chopped
  6. 2 mini red bell peppers; finely chopped
  7. ½ tsp red chilli flakes
  8. 3 tbsp parsley leaves; finely chopped (reserve a bit for garnish)
  9. ½ tsp dried Italian herbs (a mix of dried oregano, thyme and rosemary)
  10. Salt, to season
  11. Freshly milled black pepper; to season

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan forced).
  • Line an oven pan (32x26cm) with baking paper. (You can also use a square or rectangle cake tin).
  • Heat olive oil in a pan and add the chopped ham; sauté for about 2-3 minutes and then add the onions.
  • Once the onions are softened and translucent, add the bell peppers. Season with salt and allow to cool slightly before adding to the egg mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. Add the chilli flakes, dried herbs, parsley and the cooled onion ham mixture. Season with salt and pepper and whisk well.
  • Pour into the pan and cook in the oven for 12-15 minutes or till the egg has set.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before turning it out of the pan. Cut into squares and serve with your favourite sauce.

Omelette Brochettes, a simple and delicious snack - thespiceadventuress.com

Asian style Prawn Omelette

This was not a recipe I really planned on posting on the blog. But I made it for lunch yesterday and it turned out so delicious and made me so happy that I thought I must put it up for all those lonely souls who work from home and find lunch a boring affair.

Asian style Prawn Omelette - simple and delicious - thespiceadventuress.com

My lonely lunch sob stories periodically makes its appearance on my social media channels and I realised that there are many out there who work from home, freelancers, homemakers etc….who feel the same way. Lunch is often a hurried, last-minute-put-together, whatever-in-the-fridge, leftovers on a plate at least most of the days.

While I do enjoy the creativity involved in re-inventing leftovers, there are days when I want to make something nice and delicious, just for myself. And then, sit down for the meal perhaps with a good television programme or book in hand. A few minutes grabbed all to myself, from an otherwise maddening multitasking superwoman day. Or to make up for some real human contact…

This recipe is adapted from the Chin Chin cookbook; remember the one I won for the Bank of Melbourne’s #socialfeeds competition. The book’s a dream for those who love Asian flavours; so full of stunning recipes. I have cooked quite a bit from it including this mean Massaman Curry and this refreshing Bellini.

And now this insanely delicious Prawn Omelette!

Ingredients:

  1. ½ cup sriracha
  2. 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  3. 2 medium garlic cloves; grated
  4. 5-6 king prawns; deshelled, deveined and chopped into small pieces
  5. 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  6. 3 eggs
  7. ¼ tsp Chinese five spice (optional)
  8. Salt, to season
  9. Bean sprouts, a handful
  10. 2 sprigs fresh coriander leaves
  11. ½ tbsp ginger juliennes
  12. 1 tbsp fried shallots

Method:

  • To make the dressing, mix the sriracha, oyster sauce and grated garlic in a bowl and keep aside.
  • Whisk the eggs well with a pinch of salt. Add the chopped prawns and Chinese five spice and beat well again.
  • Heat oil in a flat pan and pour in the egg mixture. Allow to cook well on one side before flipping over; cook on the other side till done. Roll the omelette and remove to a plate.
  • Garnish with bean sprouts, coriander leaves, ginger, fried shallots and drizzled generously with the dressing.

Asian style Prawn Omelette - simple and delicious - thespiceadventuress.com

 

Andhra Egg Curry

I have begun to read a lot more cookbooks these days compared to a couple of years ago.

Earlier, cookbooks were like glossy magazines to me. Filled with mouthwatering, high quality images, a cookbook was only to gaze at and sigh. In fact it seemed like a distant, unknown world to me akin to reading a film or lifestyle magazine.

But this journey of food blogging has exposed me to the behind-the-scenes part of a cookbook. Today, I understand food in its entirety. Now when I read a cookbook, I try to find the author in every page of the book. What is the author trying to tell me through the book? What is his or her food philosophy? I am finally able to see the blood, sweat and tears that go into collating recipes, cooking all the food, styling, photographing, printing, publishing…..the whole journey flashes through my mind which makes me appreciate it and look much more beyond the glossy pictures.

Today’s recipe comes from a cookbook I have begun to admire much. ‘Indian Kitchen (Secrets of Indian Home Cooking)’ by Maunika Gowardhan is exactly my idea of an Indian cookbook. In fact, if anyone ever gave me an opportunity to create an Indian cuisine based book, it might look very similar to this one.

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Indian Kitchen is a perfect tribute to the vastness and rich culinary heritage of Indian cooking. The book does not focus on a single region; it showcases the gems (some forgotten ones) of traditional Indian cuisine from across the country. Maunika has picked out classics from every region and presented it to us in the most beautiful manner.

And according to me, the ultimate compliment you can give to a cookbook author is to actually cook from her book and that’s what today’s dish is all about.

The Andhra egg curry is one of the dishes featured in the Indian Kitchen. In spite of being quite familiar with the cuisine and flavours of this South Indian state, I have never made an egg curry from this region before. The final flavour of the dish was exactly as I imagined while reading through the ingredients.

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While I have followed the same recipe, adjustments have been made to quantities of spices and aromatics. And I would strongly urge you to do the same if you are trying out my recipe too since the flavours would depend a lot on the brand of spices and ingredients that is used.

Extremely flavourful and delicious, this Andhra egg curry is a wonderful accompaniment to steamed rice, rotis, naan, string hoppers, appams…..just about anything that can soak up the richness of the gravy.

And remember if you try out my recipes, I would be overjoyed to see the pictures and please tag using #thespiceadventuress so that I would not miss it.

Let’s get cooking this tangy, spicy, moreish Andhra style egg curry.

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Ingredients:

1. 8 eggs; hardboiled, peeled and halved
2. 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
3. 1 tsp black mustard seeds
4. 2 medium onions; finely chopped
5. 1 inch cinnamon bark
6. 3 green chillies; slit
7. 2 ½ large ripe tomatoes; finely chopped
8. 1 inch ginger; julienned
9. ½ tsp turmeric powder
10. ½ tsp red chilli powder
11. 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
12. 2 sprigs curry leaves
13. 1 tsp tamarind paste
14. 100 ml thick coconut milk
15. Salt, to season
16. 2-3 sprigs coriander leaves; finely chopped

Method:

• Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan; when hot, add the mustard seeds and allow to crackle. Add the onions and sauté on low to medium heat till light brown.
• Add the cinnamon and chillies; sauté for another minute or two. Then add the chopped tomatoes and mix well. Keep stirring to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom and sauté for another 4-5 minutes on low heat till the tomatoes are completely broken down and become a thick, mushy mixture.
• Add most of the sliced ginger (reserve a few for garnish) and all the powdered spices. Mix on low heat for another minute or till the mixture comes together and oil starts to leave the sides of the pan.
• Add the tamarind and one cup of water. Mix and bring to boil and simmer covered for two minutes. Next, add the curry leaves and thick coconut milk. Mix and continue to simmer on low heat for another minute.
• Season with salt and add the halved eggs. Stir gently so as not to break the eggs and simmer covered on the lowest heat for another 3-4 minutes.
• Garnish with chopped coriander and sliced ginger. Add slit green chillies also if you wish to.
• Serve warm.

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Tomato Egg Chutney

Indian cuisine is perhaps, the most diverse in the world. The cuisine, produce, ingredients, techniques do not just differ from state to state but can be unbelievably diverse within the different parts of a state.

Having spent an entire childhood abroad, my vision of Indian cuisine was largely restricted to my home state, Kerala. Apart from the occasional mithais/sweets that our Gujarati neighbour gifted us for Diwali, I thought everyone ate the same kind of food in India.

That perception largely changed when I settled back in India for my college studies and decided to make the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu as my home. The stark difference in the cuisine surprised me and this coupled with my blossoming interest in culture, food and travel soon opened my eyes to the vibrant, layered and deeply rich Indian cuisine.

Again, the cuisine of Tamil Nadu varies from widely from region to region from the rich and vibrant Chettinad cuisine to the vegetarian fare of the Madras Brahmins. As my life unfolded in this state and post marriage into a Tamilian household, I learnt of the influences, styles and techniques that have given rise to the present day cuisine.

One of the first recipes and probably the simplest that I learnt from my mother-in-law is this tomato egg chutney which was a breakfast regular especially with piping, hot dosas. I did get a bit of a shocker when she told me about adding the egg to the chutney. I simply couldn’t comprehend the flavours inside my head.

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The important thing with this chutney is the texture. The egg is added at the very end and immediately taken off the heat to ensure it stays creamy and does not go scrambled. Reminded me of the shakshuka but the end result was very different.

So, here is the tomato egg chutney – the perfect accompaniment to dosas (I have it as a spread too, slathered on my favourite toast).

This tomato egg chutney is rich with bold flavours, creamy, colourful and of course finger-lickin good!

To this day, my hubby wants to believe that I cannot make this one ‘like his mom’…though I know I make it quite well indeed!

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Ingredients:

1. 4-5 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
2. 1 small red onion, finely chopped
3. 2 sprigs Curry leaves
4. 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
5. ½ tsp Mustard seeds
6. 1/4th tsp turmeric powder
7. ½ tsp Red chilli powder
8. 2 green chilli, slit lengthwise
9. 2 tbsp vegetable oil
10. Salt – to taste
11. A pinch of sugar
12. 1 whole egg

Method:

• Heat oil in a pan and crackle mustard seeds.
• Then add chopped garlic and onion; sauté till light brown.
• Add the curry leaves, green chilli and then add the chopped tomatoes.
• Saute on high heat for about 3-4 minutes and then lower the heat.
• Add the spices along with salt.
• If necessary, add water. (Sometimes, the tomatoes are ripe and juicy in which case extra water may not be required).
• Cover the pan and simmer gently till the chutney consistency is reached.
• Crack in one egg, remove from flame and mix in thoroughly to get a creamy consistency. (If you continue to cook, you end up with scrambled eggs)
• Serve hot with idly, dosa…just about anything.

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PS – This recipe has appeared before on my blog, but I re-shot the pictures and hence the new post.

Egg Biryani

How can I even begin to explain what a biryani means to India? The singular rice dish which gets the nation into a culinary and cultural frenzy. The debates are endless…and democracy gets chucked out of the window! Is our biryani better or yours?

Every state of India has a biryani recipe or rather, a style of making biryani. It is amazing that a dish introduced to India by the Arab traders has become the national dish today. I really wouldn’t go into the history or types of biryani; Google and Wiki can do a good job of it.

Though you can find plenty of recipes for egg biryani all across the web, I decided to post this one because I loved the dish and wanted it to be a part of my collection here.

Egg biryani - an aromatic, mildly spiced fragrant rice dish from India - thespiceadventuress.com

The best thing about egg biryani is that it is the perfect crossover between vegetarian and non-vegetarian. More people are egg-tarian these days and this is a delicious way to enjoy it. It is also perfect for days when you want to go meatless yet want some bold flavours on your plate.

No biryani recipe will look simple; there’s usually a ton of ingredients and steps but believe me, if you systematically follow it, this is one of the simplest dishes to cook. And the only accompaniment you need is a bowl of raita or yoghurt dip.

So let’s get cooking this delicious, aromatic and flavourful egg biryani!

I learnt this recipe from here.

Ingredients:

1. 1 cup of basmati/long grained white rice
2. ghee/clarified butter
3. 1 inch cinnamon
4. 2 cloves
5. 2 green cardamom
6. 1 star anise
7. 2 dried bay leaf
8. ½ cup fresh coriander leaves/cilantro
9. ½ cup fresh mint leaves
10. 2 green chillies
11. 5 cloves garlic
12. 2 inch ginger root
13. 1.5 cups of large onions, finely sliced
14. ½ cup ripe tomato, chopped
15. 1 tsp red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
16. ¼ tsp turmeric powder
17. 1 tsp cumin/jeera powder
18. 1 tsp fennel/perinjeera/saunf powder
19. 1 tsp roasted coriander powder
20. 1 cups thick coconut milk
21. 1 tsp garam masala (adjust to taste)
22. 3 eggs, hard boiled and halved
23. ¼ cup roasted cashewnuts
24. ¼ cup raisins
25. 1 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped, for garnish
26. 1 tbsp mint leaves, finely chopped, for garnish

Method:

1. Wash and soak the rice for at least 2 hours prior to cooking. Drain thoroughly before cooking.
2. Grind the coriander leaves, mint leaves, green chillies, 1 inch ginger and 3 cloves garlic into a paste and keep aside.
3. Grind the remaining ginger and garlic to a fine paste and keep aside.
4. Hard boil the eggs, shell and cut into halves.
5. In a large pan, heat 2 tbsp ghee and lightly roast the cashewnuts and raisins; drain and keep aside.
6. In the same pan, add ½ cup of sliced onions and fry till golden brown; drain and keep aside.
7. Add the remaining ghee to the pan, and add the whole spices
8. After about 15 seconds or when the spices turn fragrant, add the ground green paste and lightly fry on medium heat for a minute.
9. Add the rice along with enough water to just cook the rice (refer to packet instructions for the rice or use 1:1 ration for long grained basmati rice). Season with salt and bring to boil. Once the rice is done, remove from flame and lightly fluff with a fork so that the rice does not turn mushy.
10. In a deep or heavy bottom pan, heat 2 tbsp ghee and add the remaining sliced onions. When the onions turn soft, add the ginger garlic paste and continue to sauté.
11. As this browns, add the powdered spices and sauté for another minute. Then add the chopped tomatoes and sauté till the tomatoes turn soft and mushy.
12. Reduce flame and add coconut milk along with ½ cup water. Simmer for about 5 minutes and add garam masala and season with salt.
13. Next, add the cooked rice to this pan and lightly mix so that you get a marbled effect to the rice.
14. Place the boiled eggs on top and garnish with the roasted cashewnuts, raisins, fried onions, coriander and mint leaves.
15. Remove from heat and keep covered for at least one hour for the flavours to blend and come together.

 

 

 

Egg biryani - an aromatic, mildly spiced fragrant rice dish from India - thespiceadventuress.com

Stuffed Cucumber Salad

For a person who has an insane passion for all things food, many find it incredibly surprising that I own very few cookbooks. I have 4 books, pertaining to food!

And this is even more surprising for those who know that reading is my biggest hobby, one that I share in equal measure with my boys. But whilst we have a huge collection of other books, I have never found myself wanting any cookbooks.

But I find that slowly changing now; guess the passion is becoming an obsession and I do gravitate towards the food section every time I am in a bookstore now. The cookbooks that fascinate me the most are ones from the yesteryears; most of these do not have any amazing photography, exotic ingredients or cooking styles. But these books do have a wealth of information and stays true to the writer’s background, culture and tradition.

And one of the best places to find such treasures is at my local Red Cross charity shop. One man’s waste is another’s treasure! You can find me at least once a month here and I come home laden with vintage props, table cloths, cookbooks etc… You will find things here that are impossible to come across in a regular store and at such incredibly low prices.

One of my favourite cookbooks that I purchased from here is Marguerite Patten’s 1000 Favourite Recipes (and shhh, the book just costed me a dollar!)

A thousand recipes…….and that’s where this stuffed cucumber salad comes from.

This stuffed cucumber salad is the perfect canapé for your spring/summer party. It is easy to make, refreshing, delicious, looks pretty and stylish too.

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I made a few changes to the originally outlined recipe and created my stuffing using boiled eggs, tomatoes, feta, parsley and chives. Pick out the freshest cucumbers that you can find and go for ones with slightly thicker skins so that it holds shape. And to get a contrasting look, I peeled the skin of the cucumber in an alternate fashion.

So let’s get to making stuffed cucumber salad – refreshing crunchy cucumber slices filled with soft mashed eggs, tangy sweet tomatoes, salty creamy feta and fresh herbs.

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Ingredients:

1. 1 large, thick (not the overripe ones) cucumber
2. Salt, to season
3. Freshly milled black pepper, to season
4. 1 tbsp lemon juice
5. For the filling;
• 2 boiled eggs
• 1 tomato, blanched, skinned and chopped finely
• 2 tbsp feta cheese
• 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
• 1 tbsp chives, chopped
• 1 tbsp mayonnaise

Method:

1. Peel the cucumber skin in alternate strips as shown in the picture. This is not mandatory but adds to the visual appeal of the finished dish.
2. Cut the cucumber into thick circles; scoop out the seeded part in the centre leaving just a thin layer at the bottom to hold the stuffing.
3. Season the cucumber slices with salt, pepper and lemon juice. This also helps to draw out the excess water and firms up the cucumber a bit.
4. To prepare the filling, mix the eggs, tomatoes, herbs, mayonnaise and then sprinkle in the feta. Mix well to form a creamy texture; if you think the mixture is runny, then add more eggs or cheese to firm it up.
5. To assemble, line the cucumber pieces, fill with the stuffing and garnish with chives. Place in a platter and refrigerate till serving time.

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There’s just one more day remaining for my first blog anniversary giveaway to end. Have your taken part?

Penne with ham, egg and roasted seasonal vegetables

A sense of belonging – that’s what really matters when you start life in a new country. It has never been friends or family that helped me feel connected or welcome in any new place but rather the food. The accessibility of fresh produce, availability of ingredients and the independence of roaming around the markets – all these have helped me adjust to a foreign environment. Maybe it’s my food obsession or my inherent inability to make friends easily…..

Migrating to Australia was no different. It was the presence of a local market, fresh produce and availability of all kinds of ingredients that made me feel at home here. I cannot altogether discredit the presence of friends in my life – I have made some extraordinary and irreplaceable friendships in my life. But speaking of developing and forging new friendships, it happens always over food for me, even here.

And that were my thoughts and rationale when I decided to take a dish for the Maundy Thursday meal at our local church. Now this was a very new tradition for us – but we loved the concept. A potluck meal shared together by all the congregation members before the main church service. The members could bring any dish but must fall under 3 categories – lamb, vegetarian or fruits. It is believed that Jesus Christ at these at the Last Supper table before He was betrayed and crucified.

Walking into the dining hall with my dish in hand, placing it amongst many others symbolized that ‘sense of belonging’. Isn’t it such a joy to share the food you cooked with others? It is, it truly is, because you are sharing not just food – you are sharing love. I finally belong here!

And here are some of the delicious dishes that were a part of the potluck meal. I made grilled paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and vegetable skewers with yoghurt, saffron and spice marinade.

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Coming to today’s recipe, it is a classic pasta dish – a simple, hearty pasta dish with roasted seasonal vegetables, ham and eggs.

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Apart from the fact that it is an extremely easy one to make, this is a wholesome and healthy dish as it has the right mix of carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals. I used zucchini, tomatoes, red onion and bell peppers but you can use any type of vegetables that are in season. And if you like gooey, runny yolk, replace the boiled eggs with poached ones. Personally, I would go with the poached egg but no other fans at home so did the boiled ones.

To spice up the dish a bit, I used Nando’s peri-peri salt. If you haven’t tried it yet, you must – it adds just the slightest hint of spice and a dash of salt which is perfect for seasoning fries, steaks, roast vegetables etc…

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Recipe Courtesy – Loosely based on a recipe from Coles magazine.

Ingredients:

1. Penne (use any type that you want) – 500 gm
2. Zucchini – 1, diced
3. Spanish red onion – 1, diced
4. Ripe yet firm tomatoes – 2, deseeded and diced
5. Broccoli florets – 1 cup
6. Bell pepper – 1, diced
7. Garlic – 4 cloves, whole
8. Ham – 100 gm, diced
9. Eggs – 4
10. Olive oil – 3 tbsp
11. Nando’s peri peri salt – to sprinkle
12. Baby spinach leaves – 50gm
13. Freshly shaved parmesan – to serve

Method:

• Boil the eggs in salted boiling water; peel, cut into halves and keep aside.
• Line a tray with baking paper and add all the diced vegetables except spinach leaves. Add the whole garlic cloves, sprinkle with peri-peri salt and olive oil. Mix well and roast in oven at 200°C for about 20 minutes or till done. Keep aside.
• Boil the pasta in salted boiling water, drain and keep aside.
• Heat olive oil in a large pan, add the ham and cook on high heat for a minute. Add the roasted vegetables, baby spinach leaves and cooked pasta; mix well and cook for another minute.
• To assemble, divide the pasta into bowl, add 2 halved eggs and shave parmesan cheese on top. Sprinkle the egg with peri-peri salt.
• Enjoy your bowl of goodness!

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Baid Mutajjan (Middle Eastern Fried Hard Boiled Eggs) – Guest Post for Afra Cooking

My 2nd invitation to do a guest post for a fellow blogger. All of you know Afra (the lady who taught us to hide beets in muffins!) For those of you who missed that post, you ought to check her beet muffins.

Afra lives in Netherlands, a far flung exotic land for me and a place I hope to visit someday. She is a high flying finance professional – who not only loves to cook but also manages to find time to run a blog. Phew!

She loves to dish up simple and healthy recipes and her blog features plenty of those; you ought to pay a visit (I am sure you will love the experience).

Now let’s get to the dish that I decided to do for her blog;

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Fried hard boiled eggs are a common feature in many Middle Eastern households but you will find this most commonly in Egypt. I first came across this recipe in the Middle Eastern cookbook, Traditional Arabic Cooking by Miriam Al Hashimi. According to the author, if you take a walk through the markets of Cairo, you can find traders selling tiny packets or cones of blended spices which are used for flavouring the fried eggs.

There are several different variations based on the blend of spices. The one I decided to try was the sumac-sesame seed blend.

Sumac is a flowering shrub and the dried fruit drupes of this plant is ground to get a crimson red tangy spice that is used extensively in Middle Eastern cooking. This spice has a tangy, lemony, citrusy flavour that goes well in salad dressings and with grilled meats. Sumac is easily available these days at most supermarkets or in specialty Middle Eastern food stores.

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This dish makes a delicious and pretty accompaniment or starter to any meal. So head over to Afra’s blog to get the recipe for Baid Mutajjan or fried hard boiled eggs rolled in sumac-sesame seed spice blend.

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Beet Muffins (How to hide veggies in baked goods) – guest post from Afra Cooking

It is quite surprising how the world of blogging introduces you to so many friends, especially those from far-flung countries. Afra is from Netherlands, a country I know nothing about except for the huge windmills and the wooden clogs. It is our common passion for food that brought us together which eventually led to this guest post. Thanks Afra for the recipe; you are a darling to do this for me in spite of your busy schedule. Afra hosts an amazing blog where you can find many such healthy recipes.

Like I have mentioned before, I have not yet got into baking but it is these kinds of simple recipes that encourage novices like me to start baking. A wonderful and ‘nutritious’ idea and a smash hit for your child’s lunch box.

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About the muffins, it is best to let the expert talk;

Lately my focus has been on experimenting with veggie dishes. It is a challenge my sister and I set ourselves – to introduce some new healthy habits to our dinner tables. The deal is that we pick a ‘vegetable of the week’ which we then both have to cook. As I have been having so much fun with this, I knew I had to spread the idea by sharing a vegetable recipe.

So, for my first guest post I present a plate of Beetroot Muffins.

Besides the fact that this recipe contains beetroot, I love that it uses no butter or oil and is free of refined sugar. Instead these muffins are packed with goodness. (One small tip: you can omit the walnuts, but do not skip the raisins. I have tried and was surprised how much this affected the flavour and texture.)
These muffins are delicious when they are still warm from the oven, but they are just as fabulous after being stored in the fridge for a few days, which makes them a great snack or breakfast on-the-go.

Enjoy!

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Adapted from a recipe found on ‘The Healthy Foodie’

Ingredients:

(Makes about 12 muffins)

1. 180g (1 ½ cup) spelt flour (DE: Dinkelmehl)
2. 180g (1 ½ cup) oats
3. 40g (1/4 cup) black chia seeds
4. 1 ½ tsp baking powder
5. 1 ½ tsp baking soda (NL: zuiveringszout, dubbelkoolzure soda, natriumbicarbonaat, DE: Natron)
6. ½ tsp cinnamon
7. ¾ tsp salt
8. 2 medium beets
9. 240ml (1 cup) unsweetened applesauce ( I always keep some frozen apple for a quick Freezer Apple Sauce) http://afracooking.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/no-cook-freezer-apple-sauce/
10. 1 ripe banana
11. 2 tbsp maple syrup
12. 4 egg whites
13. 240ml (1 cup) buttermilk
14. 80g (1/2 cup) raisins
15. 50g (1/4 cup) walnuts

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 210C (425F).
2. Cut parchment paper into squares and line your muffin tin. (If you have a silicon tray you can skip this step, but they do look nicer in paper. You could use regular paper cups, but the muffins have to cool completely before you can eat them; otherwise the paper sticks.) Refrigerate to allow it to thicken.
3. In a large bowl combine oats, flour, chia. Sieve in the baking powder and baking soda. Add cinnamon and salt. Stir to combine.
4. Wash and brush the beetroot. Cut of the stems and grate (using your food processor grater).
5. If using Freezer Apple Sauce, blend the frozen apple in your food processor.
6. In a separate bowl, mash the banana with a fork until it is almost frothy. Add the applesauce, beetroot, maple syrup, egg whites and buttermilk.
7. Stir together the wet and the dry mix until well combined.
8. Chop the walnuts and fold them into the mix together with the raisins.
9. Pour mixture into the prepared muffin pan.
10. Bake for 5 min at 220C (435F) then lower the temperature to 190C (375F) and bake for 20-25 min until they are done – the top is crunchy and when you insert a toothpick it comes out clean.
11. These muffins are lovely warm or cold and can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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Eggs in Tomatoes

When I saw this recipe in the cookbook, Tortoises and Tumbleweeds (Journey through an African kitchen), I knew I had to try it out for 2 reasons. It was such a colourful looking dish and it is an English classic.

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According to the author, this dish is an interpretation of the classic egg, tomato, bacon without which the British cannot really start their day. In the 1930s and 40s, during the times of the Colonial rule in South Africa, this was the dish that the British travelers and officers ate before starting out for a wild safari.

‘Eggs in tomatoes’ may look complicated but believe me, it is really simple. A bit of prep work, but the result is an amazing looking dish loaded with classic English flavours. For me, it has become the perfect English breakfast.

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Ingredients:

1. Large red tomatoes (ripe but firm) – 4
2. Salt – to season
3. Freshly ground black pepper – to season
4. Eggs – 4
5. Breadcrumbs – 250ml
6. Parsley – 30ml, finely chopped
7. Rindless bacon – 8 rashers
8. Vegetable oil

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Method:

• Cut a neat slice off the top of the tomatoes and remove the pith and seeds. Season the cavities well with salt and pepper. Leave upside down to drain excess water; this allows the tomatoes to hold shape while baking.
• Soft-boil the eggs. The best way to ensure soft boiled eggs is to place it in cold water. Bring to boil and let boil for exactly 1 minute. Switch off heat and let stand for 2 minutes. Remove shell afterwards.
• Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Place the eggs inside the tomatoes and line in a baking tray.
• Mix bread crumbs with parsley; season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle this on top of each tomato and then close with the tomato ‘lids’.
• Bake in oven for 8 – 10 minutes.
• Meanwhile, fry the bacon rashers in vegetable oil.
• Serve the eggs in tomatoes with bacon piping hot.
• Eat!

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