Tag Archives: spice rub

Beef steak Tortillas, Avocado Salsa, Chilli Mayonnaise

School holidays are here again. And for me, that means to take a semi-break; to slow down a bit on the work front and do only the absolute necessary stuff and not take up any demanding projects.

Even with menu planning, the focus is on easy to put together dishes that would free up time to spend with Adi and also take him to different holiday activities. How are you spending the school holidays? Do let me know in the comments below if you have any exciting activities or holiday trips planned…

When it comes to easy to put together meals, tacos always make it to the list. There are a zillion options and with a bit of prep, you have an amazing meal for the whole family to sit down and enjoy together.

Today, I am making these delicious Beef steak tortillas along with homemade avocado salsa and chilli mayonnaise.

Beef steak Tortillas, Avocado Salsa, Chilli Mayonnaise -

The best thing about using a good quality porterhouse steak is the fact that it is not just delicious, but cooks really fast. While I generally like to cook my steak medium rare, I have gone for well done this time since Adi was having it too and he prefers it so. But well done does not have to mean dry; if you sear both sides of the steak on a grill pan and then finish off in the oven, then you get a really juicy well done steak. And always allow to rest before slicing.

And for that extra flavour, a simple spice rub was used for the steaks which really add to the deliciousness.

Beef steak Tortillas, Avocado Salsa, Chilli Mayonnaise -

Usually for our tacos, we go with a guacamole or avocado crema and a separate salsa (like this mango salsa when mangoes are in season or a spicy Poblano salsa). But this time, made the process simpler with an avocado salsa. I used a nearly ripe avocado; the creaminess of the avo coats all the other ingredients when tossed through which gives the satisfaction and deliciousness of both a guacamole and salsa rolled into one.

Finally coming to the mayonnaise, if you have ever tried homemade mayo or aioli, you will never want to eat the store bought ones again. Agreed buying it is convenient and provides a better shelf life, but there are always a long ingredient list of substances that is not the best for your body. While it might seem difficult initially, making a mayonnaise at home is easy and once you get the hang of it, you will be more than happy to make a weekly batch.

Beef steak Tortillas, Avocado Salsa, Chilli Mayonnaise -

So let’s get cooking these delicious beef steak tortillas with avocado salsa and chilli mayo….


  1. 2 large Porterhouse steaks
  2. Salt, to season
  3. Olive oil; for grilling
  4. 1 packet mini tortillas
  5. Fresh coriander leaves; to serve
  6. Lime wedges; to serve
  7. Shredded lettuce; to serve

Spice rub:

  1. 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  2. 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  3. 1 tsp fennel seeds
  4. 2 tsp dried Italian herbs
  5. Olive oil

Note – Reserve some of the spice rub before making the paste to sprinkle over the final tacos.

Avocado Salsa:

  1. I semi ripe avocado; diced
  2. 1 red onion; finely chopped
  3. 1 tomato; finely chopped
  4. Lime juice, as required
  5. Salt, to season
  6. 1 tsp pickled jalapenos; finely chopped
  7. 1 tbsp coriander leaves; finely chopped

Chilli Mayonnaise:

  1. 1 egg yolk
  2. Salt, to season
  3. 1 bird’s eye chilli (add more according to preferences)
  4. 1 small garlic clove
  5. 1 lime
  6. Vegetable oil


  1. To prepare the spice rub, dry roast the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds on low heat till aromatic. Cool and blend to a coarse powder. Mix the dried Italian herbs and enough olive oil to make a coarse paste.
  2. Place the steaks on a plate, season with salt and rub the spice paste on both sides. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes before grilling.
  3. To prepare the chilli mayo, grind the garlic, chilli and a pinch of salt using a mortar and pestle. Add the egg yolk and the juice of half a lime to a processor and blend till smooth. Slowly add the oil in a thin trickle, processing at the same time till the thick, emulsified consistency of the mayo is achieved. Add the chilli paste, season with more salt and lime juice if necessary and process for a few more seconds. Remove to a bowl and refrigerate till use.
  4. To make the salsa, add all the ingredients to a bowl and toss well.
  5. To grill the steaks, oil and heat the grill pan to smoking hot and place the steaks. Cook on both sides for 2-3 minutes depending on the thickness for medium rare. (For a well done yet tender steak, preheat the oven to 180°C before grilling. Grill for 2 minutes on either side and then finish off cooking in the oven for another 2-3 minutes). Rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
  6. Lightly warm the tortillas and place all the components on a serving
  7. To assemble a taco, spread some chilli mayo on a tortilla, add some lettuce followed by steak pieces. Top with avocado salsa, coriander leaves, sprinkle a pinch of the spice rub followed by a generous squeeze of lime.

Beef steak Tortillas, Avocado Salsa, Chilli Mayonnaise -

Beef steak Tortillas, Avocado Salsa, Chilli Mayonnaise -






Grilled Chicken Drumsticks with Coffee Spice Rub

I have an obsessive and passionate relationship with coffee.

Though our love affair began only in my mid-20s, it has been a whirlwind one right from the start. I fell hook, line and sinker for this rich, dark beverage without which my day just cannot start.

My first ever sip of coffee was at my college café; and the only reason I began to drink it was to keep my eyes open during the long lectures on DNAs, RNAs, cloning, viruses and the like…..But somewhere along the way, the relationship deepened and soon I realized that this affair was going to be a lifelong one.

I have tried different kinds of coffee since, but it’s the cappucino style that I enjoy most. My coffee has to be strong, sweet (the ‘three sugar please’ line always gets me stares here), rich and full bodied. The caffeine has to hit my senses and awaken it!

Unlike many coffee afficinados, I admit that I like my instant coffee granules. While in India, I was the Nescafe gal but now loyalties have shifted to the Moccona camp. But it is also true that the flavour and aroma of freshly ground coffee beans is like none other…..Next, on my shopping list is a French press and I am slowly but surely inching towards my first Nespresso.

So when my husband’s colleague gifted him a packet of Grata Espresso (Farmhouse Artisan Coffee), I was over the moon – yet another coffee to savour. Yes, friends have started gifting us anything and everything pertaining to food – ingredients to homewares to props!

My blogger brain wanted to do something more with this pack of amazing ground espresso strength coffee. That’s when I remembered the coffee spice rubs so famous in barbecue country. So out came my mortar and pestle, the little pots of spices while I set out to create my own version of a coffee spice rub.

with title

You don’t really have to be a coffee lover to enjoy this spice rub, but you need to be a lover of intense, aromatic, dark and full on spice marinades to enjoy this one. And this one is for the meats; so you can slather it on chicken, ribs, steaks, cutlets…..just about anything meaty and can absorb intense flavour.

I had initially prepared grilled lamb cutlets with this coffee spice rub but then my computer decided it had enough of me and crashed last week and I ended up losing all the photographs I shot. So this week, I made it again with chicken drumsticks which just proved how delicious this spice rub can indeed be.

There isn’t much to this recipe except for making the coffee spice rub. Make it in bulk and store it away in an airtight container for upto 6 months. And just as I said, there is so much you can do with this one. Next, I am thinking of marinating some boneless chicken pieces to make lunch box wraps for the week. Get the idea?

So let’s get on to this grilled chicken drumsticks flavoured with this intense, rich, sweet and aromatic coffee spice rub.


1. 7 chicken drumsticks (with skin)
2. 4 ½ tsp coffee spice rub
3. Salt, to season
4. Vegetable oil
5. Lemon wedges, to serve
6. Pickled cucumbers, to serve
7. Alfalfa sprouts, to serve
8. Yoghurt; beaten and spiced mildly with roasted cumin powder

Coffee Spice Rub:

1. 4 tsp ground coffee (espresso strength)
2. 3 tsp salt
3. 3 tsp brown sugar
4. 4 tsp red chilli powder
5. 1 tsp black pepper
6. 1 tsp onion powder
7. 1 tsp garlic powder
8. 1 star anise, powdered
9. ½ tsp cayenne powder
10. ½ tsp turmeric powder
11. 1 tsp coriander powder
12. 1 tsp roasted cumin powder


1. To prepare the coffee spice rub, mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container.
2. Place the chicken drumsticks in a non reactive bowl or ziplock bag, add the spice rub and drizzle with vegetable oil (approx 2 -3 tbsp). Season with salt (remember the spice rub already has salt) and rub it all together and ensure the chicken has been coated well. Marinate for at least 6 hours, overnight is recommended.
3. Allow the chicken to come to room temperature before grilling.
4. Preheat the oven to 200°C fan forced.
5. Place the drumsticks on the grill and cook for 10 minutes at 200°C; then lower the heat to 180°C and cook for another 10 minutes. Turn once and cook for another 5 minutes or till done.
6. Serve hot with lemon wedges, yoghurt, pickled cucumber and sprouts.

Note – Pickled cucumber and the yoghurt lends a tangy flavour which goes beautifully with the rich intense flavour of the chicken.



%d bloggers like this: