Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Syrian Lamb Pillau

Syrian Lamb Pillau

With its very subtle flavours, this dish is a proper healthy family meal. A part of the ancient Syrian cuisine, I was taught this at a very young age by my mothers closest friend. My aunt by choice rather than blood, the most wonderful cook and human being, with the magic to create the most beautiful dining table laden with a delicious array of dishes. 
With her beloved Syria clearly under destruction she is heart broken.
Many of us are at similar cross roads,  having been displaced or immigrated, even if it was out of choice. With these thoughts in mind, I  have decided and wish to now embark on my next cookbook journey which is all about "Food Across Borders " and how Parsi Food has survived. 
In that very same context I am offering this recipe as a "candle of peace and hope". Remembering my aunts homeland lovingly with the  best and universal language of caring, harmony and warmth; food. Knowing in my heart that this form of continuity honours Syria's rich culture, history and heritage over the centuries.

A simple dish of meats, eggplants, tomatoes and rice.

Served 6 to 8 persons

1 kg lamb/mutton/goat meat, in pieces, bone in
1 large onion, cut up in pieces
8 cloves
8 peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods
1 tsp salt
8 cups water

2 eggplant/aubergine; 16 to 18 thick slices
olive oil to brush it
sprinkle of salt

oil to fry
2 large onions, sliced finely 
400 gm of hand cut mince of lamb/mutton /goat  boneless meat

2 large tomatoes sliced
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

3 cups washed basmati rice
3 tbsp tomato paste
juice of one large juicy lemon 

Step 1 

Boil together in a large stock pot  until tender; the meat, onion, cloves, pepper corns, cinnamon, cardamoms and salt in the 8 cups of water. 
Top up with water as needed allowing for about 6 cups of stock  to be left over when done. Strain the stock through a sieve and keep aside.

Step 2

Roast on a cookie sheet, till golden brown; the aubergines, brushed with olive oil. Sprinkle over with salt after it is done.

Step 3

In a skillet heat the oil and fry  the 2 onions until caramelised to a golden brown. Remove and keep aside.
In the same skillet fry the hand cut chopped meat until nicely browned.
Sprinkle  it with salt and the garam masala; continue to cook it for a minute or two. Remove from the flame and keep aside.

To assemble

In a large lightly greased pot arrange the two sliced tomatoes on the bottom.
Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts over it and spread the fried chopped pieces of meat all over. Please the larger boiled pieces of meat and cover it with half the roasted aubergine slices. Cover the eggplants with the washed rice
3 cups of washed basmati rice. Pour 5 cups of the meat stock over ensuring the rice is completely covered. Bring it all to a rapid boil and allow it to cook until you see the top of the rice cooking. Now add the last cup of stock mixed in  well with the tomato paste and lemon juice.
Finally add the rest of  the roasted eggplant/ aubergine slices.

Cover the pan tightly and steam for a good 25 minutes until the rice is cooked through. Allow it to rest for another 10 minutes and overturn it on to a platter.


Add your favourite cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg or other mild crushed whole spices if you wish instead of the garam masala. 

You may need a 3rd extra eggplant/aubergine to get the number of slices needed. The roasted aubergine gives the dish creaminess.

Save the pine nuts for sprinkling at the very end if you do not like them ''cooked''.

For my Parsi Food recipes and its history and origins read The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Potpourri ~ Meat Pies


Little phyllo/filo cups made up of a potpourri of meats, peppers and more make a delicious appetiser on any dinner table. It does taste great with a glass of wine! 
Make it your choice of meat and enjoy the variations as best as you can. Here is my recipe to share.

A tangy, subtly spiced , hand chopped meat minced, eggplant almost caponata and peppadew red chillies.

500 gm ready store made, seasoned, fresh uncooked sausage,  any meat of your choice, chicken, turkey, lamb, pork
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 long Japanese eggplants, chopped into small bits
1 teaspoon paprika powder
1 cup red wine

1 tbsp fresh mint, or any herb of your choice
2 tbsp honey
24 red pickled peppadew chillies chopped, +/4 cup of the pickling liquid from the jar
1 cup of red wine

12 sheets of Phyllo/ filo
2 tbsp melted salted butter

In a pan place all the sausage meat, crumbled, and the finely chopped garlic. Cook until browned. Keep aside. In the same pan heat the olive oil until just hot and add the eggplants. Saute`until golden brown. Return the sausage meat to the pan and allow the eggplant and meat to mix well. Also add the paprika powder and mix it in.  Now add the red wine and bring to a boil, allowing it to bubble until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Add the pickling liquid, and the chopped peppers, then the honey and mix until it all comes together. Add the fresh mint. Check for seasoning and add salt if needed. Most sausage meat has enough salt.

 Preheat the oven to 400F/220C
In two cup cake trays butter all the cups and the tops of the trays.
Now cut the phyllo/ filo sheets in half.
Working very quickly roughly fold the phyllo/ filo sheet and push it down the center allowing each cup to free form.
Brush each one with melted butter.
Place them in the hot oven, reduce the temperature to 375 F / 190 C and bake for 12 minutes until it is just golden brown but cooked through.
Remove and check one shell to ensure its cooked. Fill each one with a generous spoonful of the filling and serve immediately.


I wanted my cups to be crisp at the bottom before filling them. Remove each one, turn it upside down ( very carefully as they are delicate and brittle ) and return it to the oven for 3 minutes to see the bottoms a golden brown.
If you prefer not to use phyllo/ filo ready to bake puff pastry vol au vent shells are available to substitute. However only 18  medium shells will be enough for this quantity.

Most Sausage meat has fat in it. You will not need any oil to start off with. However if there is more than a teaspoon remove it if possible.
Pick your favourite seasoned sausage, some come with fennel, oregano and other 'spices'. This will add to the flavours.
The red peppers are sold in glass jars. They are little red peppers that come in a choice of mild, hot and sweet.
Any wine that is left over will work. If you prefer not to use wine, use a chicken stock or any kind of fruit juice you may have at hand.
Honey substitutes can be maple syrup and golden syrup. Although golden syrup may be a bit sweeter so you may wish to reduce the quantity and taste for the fine balance of choice.

For more recipes from the Parsi Food repertoire, its origins and history read The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Pulled Beef

Pulled Beef

A wonderful recipe to take on a picnic, enjoy an outdoors backyard party or even cook in your bbq smoker. I have prepared this in an oven. While it is hard to reheat, it is best to pull it apart immediately while warm and moist. It can be enjoyed at room temperature with coleslaw, tandoori fries and fresh corn on the cob. Using other meats is an option.

The piece of meat; cooked to perfection is soft, moist and delicious. Simply ''pull'' it with a fork while it is warm. 

Marinate overnight
2 kg/ 4.4 lb piece of boneless meat rubbed with one teaspoon of salt


1 1/2 cup bbq sauce
1 tbsp hot paprika
1 tsp fresly grated garlic
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
6 juniper berries crushed
1 tsp coffee granules
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup beer

Place the meat in baking dish, cover it with foil tightly sealing it to ensure it will not allow the steam built during cooking to escape.
Cook in an oven at 350 F/140 C for 30 minutes, reducing the heat to 250 F/ 120 C for about 2 hours.
Turn the oven off, allow it to stand as is, for another 20 minutes and then carefully remove the cover. Remove the piece of meat into a deep serving dish. With the help of a fork, ''pull it apart''. Now add as much of the gravy as needed, avoiding the 'grease' as best as you can.
Serve the extra in a bowl on the side to spoon over.

The marinated meat should be brought to room temperature before you start to cook.
It is best to have a preheated oven to start off the cooking. Once the heat is built up, we reduce the heat to allow it to 'slow cook' which is the best way to cook this meat.
While the piece of pork used for this is called a ' knacken' , the  cut of beef is called a 'flat bottom'. 
Use a boneless piece of meat that has a bit of fat to keep the moisture through the long process. A cheaper cut of meat serves well for this recipe.

Use your favourite bbq sauce, it is the 'base' of your marinade. The simpler the bbq sauce you pick the better it allows for the other ingredients to share its flavours. 

If you prefer not to use beer, use a sparkling water like perrier, tonic or even a ginger ale will do the job well. 

For Parsi Food recipes, origins and history click on The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Baklava Cheesecake

Baklava Cheesecake

While I ate this freshly baked, just allowed to be cooled at room temperature; it tasted just as delicious from the fridge as well. (When devouring the leftovers next day). It is more about personal preferences. It is after all the "texture" of the cheesecake that continues to change at each temperature you eat it at. 
The phyllo chips that I speak off in my recipe, are a different matter. They are best when served freshly baked and  on the warmer side of room temperature. Once refrigerated they tend to become rather moist and loose their crispness very quickly. 
However, I had none left over to worry about; as everyone had snapped them up! 

While the process from start to finish does seem a tad lengthy and time consuming to prepare, it is reasonably simple. The organising and preparing of the ingredients and allowing for a couple of hours within the vicinity of the kitchen will help. 

I can happily share that I was pleased with the end result; taking this opportunity to thank my creative food artist friend Kainaaz, (who lives just 7,750 miles/12500 km away), for bouncing off such  fun ideas.

A cheesecake that is layered with the flavours of a baklava. These phyllo chips were a huge favourite so don't skip them.

Grind together 
1 cup walnut
1/2 cup sugar
Turn over in a large bowl and cut in 
2 tbsp butter
1 cup chopped walnuts

Press it down on the base.  
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in a preheated oven of 350 F 170 C
Remove and cool.

It will look like a large biscuit.

Cheesecake batter
In a food processor mix until smooth
400 gms paneer
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbsp rose water
juice of 1 lemon; about 1/3 cup
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cardamom powder
4 eggs
1/2 cup cream
2 tbsp flour

add 1/ 4 tsp salt if the paneer is not salty

Pour over the cooled base and bake  in the same preheated oven of 350 F/ 170 C for 10 minutes and then reduce to 300 F 140 C for another 35 minutes. Check that the center is jiggly and sides are just set. Turn off the oven and allow to cool for another 30 minutes or more. Remove. Scrape the sides down, open up the spring form and move to a plate once completely set and cool. 

To finish off bake the phyllo sheets as follows.
Preheat the oven to 375 F / 200 C

Phyllo Chips
Two sheets ready to bake phyllo

Coarsely grind together 
3 tbsp brown sugar 
1/2 cup pistachios

1 tbsp butter 
1/4 tsp saffron
squeeze of lemon juice;  approximately 1 tsp

Place the phyllo on a cookie tray and brush the bottom half with a mix of melted butter, saffron and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Sprinkle it with the mix of sugar and pistachios.
Fold down the half and repeat to brush sprinkle and refold the phyllo sheet.
Repeat the process with the second sheet of phyllo.

Place both on the baking sheet and cut into triangles with a pizza cutter or a knife.

Sprinkle both the sheets with the remaining pistachio mix.

Bake for 12 minutes, remove the tray turn all the pieces over. Return the tray into the oven and continue to bake for 3-5 minutes until lightly golden.

Using the crumbs on the baking tray for the center of the cake sprinkle it over. 
For making the 'red' either add  dry edible rose petals, pomegranate seeds, or simple colour a teaspoon full of the phyllo crumbs with red food colouring by dropping it into a bowl and tossing it until red.

Place the shards of phyllo all around and serve.

For Parsi Food recipes  an its history and origins click for the cookbook The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.

Fish Cutlets~ Baked


Fish Cutlets….. Baked

Many of us love to eat cutlets but find it difficult, messy or simply time consuming to prepare them individually, bread them and then frying them. Here is an easy solution to that. Simply place them as a whole in your flat baking dish, bake them and enjoy. It cuts into squares if you want to enjoy the leftovers as a sandwich. The only word of caution is the pungent smell of vinegar that may linger through the preparation time! 

Unbaked fish cutlet, ready to be baked

Serves 6 to 8 persons


1 ¾ lb salmon fillets
2 tsp salt
water to just cover the fish
8 green chillies
4 tomatoes, seedless
2 cups fresh corriander leaves
2 slices crumbled bread
3 eggs
4 tbsp vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
salt to taste
1 1/2 cups onions, fried to a golden brown

Boil  the fish and salt till just cooked. Remove from the liquid and cool.

In a food processor, turn it on and drop in
8 green chillies
Stop the machine, open and add the tomatoe pieces and corriander leaves.
Give it a pulse or two until broken down. 
Add in and pulse  again, till "just mixed" the bread pieces, eggs, vinegar, sugar and salt to taste. Finally add and pulse, a couple of times until just mixed.  Then finally drop in the cooked fish flakes and the fried onions. Do not over process to a mush. It should be textured and not smooth.

Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 180 C. 
Pour the mixture into an ovenproof dish that has been greased with butter or oil. A 14 inch x 10 inch/ 35 cm X 25cm. Bake this till set and slightly browned about 35 to 45 minutes.
Serve it warm with a crisp salad and warm crusty bread and butter.

Do not over bake as it will become very dry around the edges. Keeping it "moist" is very important.
Keep it half cooked if you are preparing it ahead of time.
It freezes well once half baked. Cool completely before you freeze.
Kids love this with ketchup as a fish burger.
It is better to have a slightly smaller dish to bake in than a larger one for this quantity.

Read and enjoy more on Parsi Food recipes, origins and history in my cookbook

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Gajar Mewa Nu Achar~Carrot Pickle

Gajar Mewa Nu Achar
Carrot Pickle

Here I share a traditional Parsi Food recipe at least over 150 years old from my family archives. It has been tried and tested many times over, each time to excellent results. Adding the best dry fruit available is the only variation in this time tested recipe.

Often referred to lagan (wedding) nu achar by the Parsis of India, it is served with most Parsi Food Feasts; particularly at all weddings and navjotes. 

The pickle is a wonderful blend of the holy trinity of Parsi Cooking. The Tikhu~Khatu-Mithu; spicy with the chillies and spices, sour with vinegar and sweet with the addition of jaggery and dry fruits. The finer the balance, the more flavourful it is.

Small dry figs, dates carrots and a wonderful gajar mewa nu achar.

Makes 3 1/2 kg/ 7.7 lb

11/2 kg jaggery
5 cups fruit vinegar
3 kg peeled and grated carrots
2 whole pods of sliced fresh garlic
5 tablespoon red chillie powder
1 1/2 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon whole black peppers

500 gm dry fruits figs, apricots, dates in large pieces

In a very large pot boil together the jaggery and vinegar. Once all the jaggery has melted strain it through a sieve.  Return it to the pot.
Add the carrots, garlic, salt, chillie powder and whole cloves and black pepper. Cover the pot, lower the flame and allow it to gently cook. Mix it every 30 minutes for 1 hour. Add the dry fruit and continue to cook for another hour. Keep stirring every 20- 30 minute until the achar becomes sticky and comes together.  Bottle in sterile mason jars which have tight vacuum lids.


While the carrots will wither and look smaller once cooked, it is important to pick a thin grater to begin with. Not fine and wispy like hair but something just slightly firmer.
Keep the jars washed and dried; ready to bottle.
While you can bottle the pickle while warm/hot, allow it too cool in the bottle without covering it. Once completely cool seal them tight. There should be no 'sweating' as this can ruin the life of the pickle.
Refrigerate the pickle for up to a year. 
The red chillie powder differs in its heat and will make it less or more spicy. 
While it is meant to be spicy it is not meant to be overpowering the sweet or sour. Remember that fine balance. 

For more recipes, origins and history from the Parsi Food repertoire click on The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Chocolate Cake which is a Dream

Chocolate Cake ~ Dreamy
Here is something one can relate to as 'Death By Chocolate'. Dense, terribly chocolaty and a chocoholics dream cake. Use your favourite kind of chocolate to ensure its success. I like dark chocolate best and generally use a 50% cocoa content. I recommend you also try a dark rather than milk chocolate if you are opting to recreate this old decadent dessert that has always been much appreciated by the old and young alike.
Eating it at room temperature is best, But again, a personal preference. There are many who prefer it chilled. I am guessing you will want to try that out for yourself?

Made this last month for our foodie group called PER

Prepare two 10 inch/30 cm round pans with parchment and butter.
Preheat the oven to 325 F/160 C


7 oz/ 200 gm butter
7 oz /200 gm dark chocolate
9 large egg yolks
1 cup fine white sugar
6 large egg whites

Ganache` icing

1 cup cream
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
12 oz/375 gm dark chocolate

In a pan over the lowest heat, melt together the butter and chocolate.  It should not boil. Keep aside.

In a large metal bowl whip the egg yolks and sugar for approximately 8 minutes; until light in colour and it leaves ribbon like trails.

In another large bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.

Prepare to incorporate the 3 parts of  the cake. Pour the melted chocolate into the egg yolks.
Once it is all mixed in, start folding the egg whites in thirds. Start with 1/3rd, gently and lightly fold them into the egg yolk+chocolate mixture. Repeat with the remaining. 
Pour into the prepared pans.
Bake in the oven for 22 minutes. Test the cake in the center of the cake with a skewer, before removing. It should be clean.

While the cake is baking prepare the ganache.
In a pan heat together the cream, butter and sugar until just warm. Do not allow to boil.
Add the pieces of chocolate into it. Cover. Turn the stove off and leave to melt for 10 minutes.
Mix lightly just until smooth. Allow to cool until it is thick yet soft enough to apply on the cakes.

Once the cakes are cooled. Loosen the sides, overturn on a cake plate and pour 1/3rd of the ganache over the cake. Place the second cake over the ganache and continue to ice the cake with the remaining chocolate ganache.

Refrigerate if the cake is for the next day. Remove for at least an hour or two before serving.
The cake will be dense, yet soft to eat.


All eggs should be at room temperature for best results.

Egg whites must be clean as a whistle. Even a drop of egg yolk will not allow them to beat well. The bowl and the beaters must be clean for success.

If your sugar is slightly large, run it through a grinder you may have.

If you are unsure of putting the chocolate on a stove, put it on a pot of boiling water and allow it to melt with the ''steam''. First reduce the heat to simmer, then place the pan of chocolate over it. Do not allow the pan with the chocolate to touch the water. Remember we need to allow the steam to rise.

This cake is dense and rich. One can only eat little slivers. Although this cake will make 10 generous slices, more can eat from it depending on the age group. 
A bowl of fresh berries, whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, a cup of coffee all go well with it.

I often like to add a few drops of cognac or rum in my chocolate ganache.
It cuts the sweetness and enhances the chocolate flavour.
Add this after it has all melted and before you allow it to cool and turn into the right consistency to become a ganache.

For recipes and origins on Parsi Food refer to my cookbook The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Seekh Kebab

Seekh Kebabs

These  particular kebabs  are named after the tool used to prepare it on, the 'skewer' or 'seekh'. 
Made up of minced meats, the seekh kebabs are a native of the Northern half of Pakistan extending into the North of India as well. Originally the meat was ground on a stone, with another stone, much like the mortar and pestle or a Masala No Pathar (spice-stone) until it was completely macerated to a fine pulp. Using water, ghee or butter to help it along and even cream or milk was used in this preparation. The final product has to be soft. Once cooked it should almost melt in ones mouth in-spite of it being a meat dish.
Beside the method of preparing the meat, the result is just as dependent on the cooking method. Tandoors and open fires are the best options, while the aromas of the coal enhance the taste, the high temperature and  short timing helps caramelise the outside of the kebabs to prefection. . 

The metal skewer itself emits enough heat within the kebab to cook the meat, yet keeping it soft and pinkish while the blazing heat from the outside is meant to crisp and caramelise outer kebab forming almost a skin to keep the kebab together. The true art of a good seekh kebab is how well one manages to skewer it on the seekh; The thinner you manage to keep the kebab the faster it will cook, keeping it moist.

Yet there are plenty of types of Kebabs, an old traditional food of the Persians, Indian, Pakistanis, Afghanis, Turks and the Middle East as a whole. A commonly prepared, timeless street food it continues to be just as popular to date. From food trucks to cafes, fine dining and hotel restaurants, everyone seems to have it on their menu. The choice of herbs and spices as well as the shape and size mainly defines the 'type' it is. Made up of any kind of meat, chicken, vegetables and even paneer/cottage cheese. While the meat kebab can be either minced or in pieces the vegetable and paneer is generally cubed.

One can only imagine the magical flavour of an outdoor bbq pit fueled with wonderful charcoal.
 Simply delectable.

Dressing it up to serve as "Fine Dining"?

Makes 50 kebabs

In a food processor blend until smooth
2 large onions
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 packed cup fresh corriander leaves
10 leaves of fresh mint 
Now add until a smooth pulp
1 generous tsp of garam masala
6 green chillies
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 1/2 tsp red chillie powder
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp jaggery
1 tbsp ghee or clarified butter
3 tbsp cream
8 tbsp bread crumbs
2 eggs
2 generous tsp garlic paste
2 tsp ginger paste
2 kg /4.4lb Mince meat

Remove to a working bowl and refrigerate for a few hours until chilled. 
Mix it well and divide into 24 equal parts. Wet your hands and skewer it up. 
Taking a wooden spoon with a rounded drum stick like handle, working around the 'stick' can be your skewer. Preparing one at a time, remove to place on to a tray lined with parchment. Keep it chilled until ready to cook. 

To start off make your griddle or skillet screaming hot. Add a spoon of canola oil/ghee. Place each kebab carefully ensuring they are not touching the next one. Cook it on a high flame. Turn it after a minute being very gentle. It will cook very quickly. After both sides are nicely browned, cover and lower heat. Cook for another 3 minutes.  Eat with warm naan, a fresh salad made up of sliced onions tomato and a date and tamarind chutney, green coconut chutney and a squeeze of lemon. Do not overcook as they will get harder by the minute.


The length of the kebab can vary, this recipe is for fifty of about 7 inch/18cm long.

Chill the kebab mixture before trying to skewer it. This helps it stick easier. 
Keep it as thin as possible; the thinner they are, the faster they will cook, leaving the meat moist and deliciously soft ~ 'moo-ly-em' is the word which describes it best!

If you have skewers you can leave the kebabs on to chill and use later on a grill or bbq.
Use the fresh coriander with the young soft stalks which are flavourful.
Using medium to lean mince generally is the best. How ever using completely lean mince can make the kebabs dry especially if you use it in a hot tandoor or bbq grill.

The end result; caramelised from the outside and creamy-soft from the inside.

Read my cookbook The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine for the history, origins and more on Parsi Food.

Photograph courtesy  Yashaan Mavalvala and Jehangir Khan

Readers Comments
April 22 

Seekh kebabs ready for girls night tonight👠👠🎉Thank you Niloufer Mavalvala for the recipe....😙

Only change was I baked them in the oven at 425 F Chaalo time to party

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Scotch Egg ~ Parsi style

 Scotch Egg ~ Parsi Style

Clarification of it being a part of the Parsi Food repertoire is important as these "scotch eggs" are only related by name.
Although Fortnum and Mason of London claims they invented the Scotch Egg in the 1780's, it is believed that this English ( or Scot version ) is based upon the Indian Nargisi Kofta a rich Mughlai dish.

While variations of these are relished in cuisines of Belgium, Netherlands, Italy and USA, the original Scotch Egg is a whole boiled egg covered in sausage meat and deep fried with a crust of breadcrumbs. Generally served cold for picnics etc.

Coming back to the Parsi Scotch Egg, the boiled egg is wrapped in green coconut chutney covered with a layer of mashed potatoes, dipped in egg wash and fried to a golden brown.
To keep it smaller, one could use half an egg in each one.

Here is my version with a softer than normal hard boiled egg as I prefer mine creamy and not dry. The crust has got breadcrumbs hence the darker colour.

Makes 4 large Scotch eggs

4 eggs hard boiled, peeled
4 potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed with butter, milk and salt 
1 cup green coconut chutney 
1 egg + 2 tbsp cold water for the egg wash
1/2 cup of oil to fry

Divide the mashed potatoes and the green chutney into 4 equal parts.

Taking one part of the potato in the palm of your hand squash to make a saucer shape, add one part of the coconut chutney in the center and place the egg over it. Bringing the potato saucer cover the egg turning it gently with two hands while patting it to enclose the entire egg.
Repeat with the other 3.

Beat the egg and water to prepare the egg wash. Heat the oil in a shallow fry pan
Dip each prepared scotch egg into the egg wash and gently place it into the oil.
Keep rolling it over each side gently with the help of the back of a spoon. 
When golden brown remove. 
Eat immediately.


It is easier to prepare this when the mashed potatoes, chutney and eggs are chilled overnight.
The chutney has to be thick and not too soft.
The mashed potatoes have to be well mashed and not lumpy. Thick and not creamy. Just properly seasoned with butter, salt and a dash of milk or cream if needed.

You can dip the scotch egg into a bread crumb mixture after the egg dip to hold shape better while turning it in the fry pan.

Using half an egg lengthwise may be simpler to handle.

Boil the eggs as hard or semi hard as you wish.

For delicious Parsi Food recipes, origins and history read The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Chicken in Balsamic and Mustard

                                  Balsamic and Wine Chicken

An easy to prepare chicken dish with lots of garlic, leftover wine, mustard, and the star ingredient balsamic vinegar.

Served 6 to 8 persons

2 kg chicken, in 16 pieces
salt and pepper
2 oz butter
one pod of garlic
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 large finely chopped onion
1 tsp tomato puree
1 cup of white OR red wine
1 tbsp fresh corriander leaves
1 1/4 cup cream
3 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup water

Season the chicken pieces with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

In a pan heat the butter. Fry the chicken till golden brown. Takes about15 minutes; skin side down.
Add to this all the cloves of unpeeled garlic and keep cooking for yet another 10-12 minutes.
Turn the chicken over and cook another 10 minutes.
Now add the balsamic vinegar and let it bubble vigorously.
Remove the chicken and keep aside.

Add to the same pan, the finely chopped onion, sauté it for a few minutes till it starts to colour and add the tomato puree; mix. Pour in the wine, bring to a boil and keep it going till reduced by half. Add to this fresh coriander and finally the cream. Now with a fork, press out all the garlic stir it into the sauce. Finally add the mustard and water and give it all a good stir. Put all the chicken back into to pan, heat it  on a simmer for 20 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.
Serve with crusty French or garlic bread and a tossed green salad.

Use a tbsp or two of fresh chopped chives to finish the dish. If you don't have any sprinke with fresh corriander or any other fresh herb.

Wine should not be cooking wine but whatever you enjoy drinking.
The colour will be lighter or darker dependent on the wine.

You can replace olive oil for butter, or use half butter half oil.

I generally do not use chicken with skin on but this recipe does seem to be the exception. If you prefer skinless it all works but bones are important to the flavour.

Buying a whole roasted chicken, removing the skin,cutting it into 8 pieces and adding the pieces to the sauce to infuse is another option too.

For Parsi Food recipes and origins and history of the cuisine, read The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.