Thursday, May 12, 2016

Grilled baby aubergines with sumac yoghurt

Grilled baby aubergines with sumac yoghurt
Serves 4 as a side

This recipe is inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s Roasted aubergine with saffron yoghurt dish.


For the yogurt:
1 cup double thick yoghurt
1 t garlic, grated
4 T extra virgin olive oil
1 t salt
1 - 2 T sumac, ground

For the aubergines:
500g baby aubergines, sliced lengthways
Olive oil
Salt & black pepper

To serve:
Fresh pomegranate rubies
Fresh coriander


For the yogurt:
Mix together the yoghurt, garlic, olive oil and salt.
Add sumac to taste, keeping some aside for garnish.
Set aside till ready to use.

For the aubergines:
Pre-heat oven to 180°.
Heat a griddle pan to high heat.
Brush sliced side of aubergines and grill until griddle marks appear (this may have to be done in batches, depending on the size of your griddle).
Spread out grilled aubergines on a roasting tray and drizzle with some more olive oil.
Bake in the oven for 30 – 45 minutes until soft.

To serve:
Serve warm aubergines garnished with pomegranate rubies and fresh coriander with the yoghurt on the side.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Perfect Pastries at Patachou

It's no secret that Joburg has a serious lack of decent pastry shops, desserts are often sickly sweet and made with sub-standard ingredients. But we've discovered a gem of a patisserie in Rivonia! Patachou (cute, isn't it?) hand crafts the most beautiful desserts, bakes fresh breads and serves up a range of savoury treats - absolutely devine! 

I'm not big on making desserts for dinner parties, so when the family came over we served up a selection of sweet treats from Patachou and everyone was suitably impressed. Can't wait to try more of their offerings - definitely my go-to dessert shop from now on ;)

For more info:

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Nasi Lemak

This Malaysian national dish has a very special place in my heart, because not only is it utterly delicious, but it was also the first dish my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I shared on our first overseas trip together - the trip where we got engaged!

This is the closest version that I could re-create with limited access to Malaysian ingredients - and it was delicious! The sweet creamy rice balances perfectly against the spicy salty sambal, and with refreshing bites of fresh cucumber and the crunchiness of the peanuts and dried fish between bites, this dish is pretty darn close to perfect.

It's a little bit of effort, but absolutely worth it! Go ahead, try it ;)

PS Nasi lemak was recently voted one of the top 10 healthiest breakfasts by Time Magazine, all the more reason to try it. Read the full article here. It's not just a breakfast dish, it's great any time of the day.

Nasi Lemak
Serves 4


For the rice:
3/4 cup Jasmine rice
400 ml (1 tin) coconut milk
1-2 (about 60 ml) lemongrass stalk (white part only), sliced very finely
Pinch of salt

For the Sambal:
1 T garlic, chopped
10 whole dried chillies, torn (seeds in)
1 1/2 T prawn paste
2 red onions, sliced
1 T peanut oil
2 T tamarind paste
500 ml good chicken stock

1 tsp salt
Pinch of sugar

For serving:
Grilled or fried chicken pieces (one or two per person, depending on the size)
4 hard boiled eggs
Cucumber, sliced thickly
½ cup (or 4 serving packets) ikan bilis (small spicy dried fish with peanuts)


For the rice:
In a steamer, combine the rice, coconut milk, lemon grass and a pinch of salt. Steam for about 40 minutes until rice is tender.

For the Sambal:
While the rice is steaming, combine garlic, chillies, prawn paste and salt in a pestle and mortar. Pound until well combined.
Heat peanut oil in a heavy based pan and fry the paste mixture for about 3 minutes.
Add the onions and fry for another 5 minutes over a low heat.
Add tamarind paste and fry for a minute or two.
Add chicken stock and cook until reduced to a thick sauce.
Season with a pinch of sugar and salt if needed.

For serving:
Use a banana leaf as a plate if you can.
Top hot rice with a dollop of the sambal.
Arrange the sliced cucumber, hard boiled egg, chicken and ikan bilis around the rice.
Traditionally eaten with the hands.

The first time we tasted nasi lemak was in a dodgy little restaurant in Kuala Lumpur.

This was the beginning of our passion for local street food. 

Weird and wonderful ingredients turned out to be one of the most memorable meals we have ever had.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Chilli & Avo Dip

Great recipe for weekend get-togethers. 

Chilli & Avo Dip

250 ml avocado (±1-2 depending on size)
Zest and juice of 1 small lemon
3 T fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
2 T Huletts Golden Syrup
1 T ml olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

Mash the avo and lemon juice together. Add coriander, chilli and golden syrup. Season to taste. Serve as a dip with freshly sliced vegetable sticks, and nachos or as a topping on baked potato.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A surprise dinner at Restaurant Mosaic

There are a few restaurants on my dining bucket list, and for years Restaurant Mosaic at the Orient Hotel has been at the top. Last weekend I could finally tick it off!

Our husbands planned a surprise dinner for the three of us on Saturday evening. All we knew was that we were going to a ‘nice’ restaurant for dinner, and that we had to come hungry ;) After being treated to bubbly in the mini bus and almost an hour’s drive I realised where we were going – what a fabulous surprise!

There are no words to describe all the dishes we savoured that night, but needless to say, it was one of the best meals I have ever had. Next time I’d love to go for lunch, dinner, a sleep over in the exotic hotel AND breakfast ;)

Thanks hubbies! We ♥ you!!

A few of the dishes we had.

We were lucky enough to have the Autumn 'Roots & Shoots' menu.

Restaurant Mosaic is rated #7 in South Africa by Eat Out (

The executive chef at Mosaic, Chantel Dartnall, has won numerous awards, including chef of the year.

Read more about this fabulous restaurant here: 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Gluten Free Crumpets

Joburg has been hit by a cold front, and all I can think about is snuggling up under a duvet with a stack of crumpets dripping in Maple syrup ;)

Gluten Free Crumpets


125ml (½c) rice flour
5ml (1t) xanthan gum (available at most leading supermarkets and chemists)
30ml (2T) Huletts Castor Sugar
8ml (1½t) baking powder
3ml (½t) salt
150ml buttermilk
125ml (½c) full cream milk
2 extra-large eggs, separated
3ml (½t) vanilla extract or 5ml (1t) vanilla essence
10ml (2t) oil
Huletts Maple Syrup and fresh berries to serve

Sift the flour, xanthan gum, Huletts Castor Sugar, baking powder, and salt together.
Mix the buttermilk, milk, egg yolks and vanilla together.
Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour and beat well.
In a clean bowl, and using an electric beater beat the egg whites until soft peak stage, do not overbeat.
Gently fold the egg whites into the flour and milk mixture.
Heat oil in a heavy based frying pan over medium heat. Spoon heaped tablespoonsful of batter into pan leaving space between. Reduce the heat, turn over and cook until golden brown.
Serve warm, drizzled with Huletts Maple Syrup and decorate with fresh berries.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Homemade five ingredient dog treats

I'm so making these for Rocket! I may use carrot instead of blueberries - she'd love that ;)


PS At the moment Rocket is loving home cooked mince with loads of celery, carrot and cabbage.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Hot Cross Pinwheels

Quick, easy and delicious! We couldn't resist them hot, straight out of the oven ;)

Hot Cross Pinwheels
Makes 8

For the wheels:
1 roll (400g) ready rolled puff pastry, defrosted in the fridge overnight
4 T orange marmalade plus 2 T extra for glazing, melted in the microwave
4 T (50g) sundried raisins, chopped
2 T almond sprinkles (finely chopped almonds)
2 t mixed spice
1 t cinnamon powder

For the icing:
1 T buttermilk
1 cup icing sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
Un-roll the defrosted puff pastry, keeping the plastic layer underneath it.
Using a flexible spatula, smear 4 T of the orange marmalade over the puff pastry.
Sprinkle over the raisins and the almonds.
Dust with mixed spice and cinnamon.
Using the plastic wrap to assist you, roll the pastry lengthways to form a log (not too tight as the pastry still needs to raise.)
Wet the last inside centimeter of the pastry with some water or milk and seal the roll.
Trim the edges with a sharp knife.
Cut in half, then in 1/4s then in 1/8ths.
Place a piece of baking paper on a baking tray and grease with Spray & Cook.
Gently form the pinwheels back into rounds and arrange on baking paper, about 4cm apart.
Brush with remaining orange marmalade to glaze.
Bake for 15 - 18 minutes until cooked through.
Remove from oven and immediately transfer to a cooling rack.
Allow to cool.
Mix together the buttermilk and icing sugar.
Pipe crosses over the pinwheels.

Serve at room temperature or warm.

Tip: Add 1 T mixed peel to the filling for an extra citrusy flavour.

for Easter gift ideas