May 25, 2021

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Cakes are traditionally sweet and savoury. Cakes differ from bread, in that they are richer and are eaten by themselves, rather than as an accompaniment. They are generally made from a mixture of flour, fat, eggs, sugar and other ingredients baked together and are also iced or decorated. They could also contain honey, fruits and nuts.

They come in many shapes and styles, some of the commonly found shapes are; round, square, rectangle, oval, etc. However, the most popular shape remains round and the methods in which they are produced vary from different regions and cultures.

To learn more about the popular types of Cakes, you can go through the introductory lesson  - Cakes... Baking Made Easy! 

About the Pineapple Upside Down Cake 

Pineapple Upside Down Cake is a classical American cake that is baked in a single cake tin using pineapples, sugar and maraschino cherries placed decoratively at the bottom of the tin. The cake batter is then poured onto the fruit and baked in the oven. Once the cake is cooled, it is served turned over.

This Dish 

The dense bittersweet flavour of the caramelized pineapples and cherries complement the light vanilla spiced sponge cake.

Recipe Card

Ingredients Quantity
Butter 150 gm
Sugar 150 gm
Eggs 3 pieces
All purpose flour 225 gm
Baking powder 15 gm
Salt 1.5 gm
Vanilla 1 ½ tsp
Pineapple juice from the can 120 ml
Pineapple rings 6-7 rings
Glazed cherries 6-7 pieces
For the Base of the Pan
Brown sugar 75 gm
Butter 30 gm


Method of Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180˚C.
  • Sprinkle the bottom of the baking pan (8 ½ inch diameter x 2 ½ inch height) with 75 gm of brown sugar. Chop 30 gm of butter into small pieces and sprinkle evenly over the sugar. Place pineapples around the tin in a decorative manner (as desired) and place a maraschino cherry into the centre of each ring. Set aside.
  • Into a large bowl sift flour, salt and baking powder together.
  • In another large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  •  Add vanilla essence.
  • Beat in one egg at a time alternating with one tbsp of flour, as the egg and butter will not mix, making the mixture looking curdled.
  • Fold in the remaining flour with a spatula. Do not use the handheld electric mixer / Planetary mixer to fold in the flour, as it will overwork the mixture and make the cake heavy and dense.
  • Fold in the pineapple juice to get the right consistency.
  • Pour the batter over the pineapple slices, and spread the batter without touching the sides of the tin and bake at 180˚C for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  • Trim the peaked top of the cake with a bread knife to level it.
  • Turn the cake out upside down on a wire rack and cool.
  • Serve on a serving platter with a custard-based sauce.

March 23, 2021

Seafood, Lesson #4 – Classic Fish and Chips

Any kind of aquatic life that is regarded as a food fit for consumption by humans is called seafood and includes fish and shellfish.

Fish are of two kinds, either 'Round fish or Flat fish' and come from Saltwater (Ocean) or Freshwater (Dams, Rivers, and Lakes). On the other hand, shellfish include various species of Molluscs (Squids, Mussels, Oysters, Octopus) and Crustaceans (Lobsters, Crabs, Shrimp).

The most important factor to look into when choosing fish for a dish is the colour of the flesh. The flesh is described as either 'white or dark' and the dark-coloured fish can range from a pinky-red to orange or even brown in colour. The oil content within the flesh determines the colour; the higher the oil content the darker the colour.

Classification and category of fish and shellfish help determine the method of cooking that could be suitable for each kind.

To learn more about the points to keep in mind when choosing fresh Fish, fresh Molluscs, fresh Crustaceans, and some popular types of Seafood, you can go through the introductory lesson: Seafood… Cooking Fish, Shellfish, and more!

Seafood Recipe of the Day - Fish & Chips 

Fish & Chips is the undisputed national dish of Great Britain; it has become the cultural & culinary symbol of the country and instantly recognized as British the world over.

From the 1870’s the fish and chip trade spread rapidly, especially in London and in the cotton & wool manufacturing towns of the Pennines and soon becoming a readily accessible hot, nutritious meal for many factory and mill workers then.

This Dish

A beer-battered fish that is deep-fried, served with potato chips and tangy lemon mayonnaise on the side.

Recipe Card

Ingredients Quantity
Medium fish fillets (haddock or cod) 8 pieces
Flour (extra for dusting) 1 ¼ cup
Sea salt ½ tsp
Black pepper (Freshly ground) ½ tsp
Cornstarch 4 tbsp
Baking powder 1 tsp
Non-alcoholic Beer (Very cold) 1 ½  cup
Vinegar 1 tsp
Potatoes (large) 4 pieces
Vegetable oil for frying
For Lemon Mayonnaise
Mayonnaise 2/3 cup
Lemon zest (finely grated) 2 tsp
Lemon (juice) ½ tsp
Black pepper (Freshly ground) as required
Salt as required
For Garnish
Lemon wedges as required


Method of Preparation:

  1. Slice potatoes with skin into chips. Parboil the potatoes for 5 minutes, drain and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  2. Combine all ingredients for the lemon mayonnaise and put in a ramekin and place in the fridge to chill.
  3. Pour the sunflower oil into the deep fat fryer or a large frying pan and heat it to 180˚C (just below the smoking point).
  4. Mix the salt and black pepper together and season the fish fillets on both sides.
  5. Deep fry the potato in the oil until they are golden and crisp. Place on a paper towel to soak excess oil and set aside.
  6. Whisk the flour & corn starch together with beer, vinegar and baking powder until it has no lumps(add the beer a little at a time). Coat each side of the fish fillet in a little of the extra flour, then dip into the batter and allow any excess better to drop off.
  7. Holding one end, lower the fish into the oil one by one, carefully. The size of your fryer will determine the number of fish you can fry at a time. Make sure not to overcrowd the fryer.
  8. Cook for around 4 minutes or so, until the batter, is golden and crisp.
  9. Serve on a plate or in a paper cone with lemon mayonnaise.


For similar recipes please visit What's Cooking Today?  and to enhance your knowledge & skills in food and cooking check out the programs offered by ICCA Dubai.

March 16, 2021

Meat, Lamb… Lesson…#5 Lamb Tagine

Tagine (in Arabic “ نجاط ”) is historically a cooking pot originating from North African “Berbers” and the dish is named after the pot it is cooked in, which is a unique clay earthen pot that has a wide, circular shallow bottom while the lid of the Tagine is shaped into a rounded cone, allowing food to be heaped into a peak, for cooking.

Tagine is a Moroccan signature dish that was traditionally cooked by placing the Tagine over coals. Now it is popularly used in North African cuisines like Algerian and Tunisian.

Now the name Tagine also refers to the slow-cooked savoury stew cooked in the Tagine which may vary from meat to chicken or fish along with fruits or vegetables, that is combined with a variety of spices such as saffron, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon or cumin.

This Dish

Lamb chucks coated in a flavorful spice mix and slow-cooked in its juices until the meat is tender, directly served in a Tagine Pot with chopped herbs sprinkled on top.

Recipe Card

Ingredients Quantity
For the lamb
Lamb shoulder (trimmed, chunks) 1 kg
Cayenne pepper 1/4 tsp
Ground black pepper 2 tsp
Paprika 1½ tbsp
Ground ginger 1½ tbsp
Turmeric 1 tbsp
Ground cinnamon

(half the amount of spice mix is used for the lamb and the other half for the gravy)

2 tsp
For the gravy
Onions (grated) 2 large
Olive oil 3 tbsp
Garlic (crushed) 3 cloves
Tomato juice (puree) 570 ml
Canned peeled tomatoes (chopped) 2 cans
Apricots (dried, cut in half) 1/2 cup
Sultanas/ raisins 3 tbsp
Flaked almonds 3/4 cup
Saffron (soaked in hot water) 1 tsp
Lamb stock 3 cups
Honey 1 tbsp
Coriander (chopped) 2 tbsp
Parsley (chopped) 2 tbsp
Salt As required


Method of Preparation: 

  1. In a bowl add salt, cayenne, black pepper, paprika, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and mix to combine.
  2. Place the lamb in a large bowl and toss it with half of the spice mix. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge.
  3. Preheat the oven to 150˚C.
  4. In a saucepan on medium heat, add 2 tbsp of olive Add grated onion and the other half of the spice mix, lower heat and cook for 10 minutes until onions are soft. To this, add crushed garlic and cook for 3 minutes.
  5. In a separate frying pan, heat the remaining oil and brown the cubes of lamb on all sides, then add the browned meat to the saucepan.
  6. De-glaze the sauté pan with ¼ pint of tomato juice and add these juices to the saucepan.
  7. Add the remaining tomato juice, chopped tomatoes, apricots, raisins, sultanas, flaked almonds, saffron, lamb stock and honey to the casserole.
  8. Bring to the boil, cover with a fitted lid, place in the oven and cook for 2-2½ hours or until the meat is meltingly tender.
  9. Place the lamb in a Tagine or large serving dish, sprinkle the chopped herbs over it and serve.


For similar recipes please visit What's Cooking Today?  and to enhance your knowledge & skills in food and cooking check out the programs offered by ICCA Dubai.

February 19, 2021

Vegetables, Lesson #5 – The Vegetarian Moussaka

The word “vegetable” was first recorded in the English language in the early 15th century and was derived from the Medieval Latin word “vegetabilis”, which means 'growing, flourishing'.

Vegetables are part of our daily life with its everyday usage and eaten in a variety of ways, either raw or cooked. They play an important role in nutrition, as most vegetables are low in fat and calories but at the same time, bulky and filling.

They are an important source of dietary fibre and essential vitamins like vitamin A, K, C, E, and B6, minerals, trace elements and are also an important source of anti-oxidants.

Vegetables when included in the diet, have been found to remarkably reduce the incidence of cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic ailments.

Vegetable Recipe of the Day - The Vegetarian Moussaka

The English name for "moussaka" comes from Greek 'mousakás', which is derived from the Turkish 'musakka', which actually came from the Arabic word 'musaqqa‘ah (مسقعة)', meaning "chilled". Some even believe that the Arabs introduced moussaka in Greece, from where they brought the eggplant.

Moussaka is an eggplant (aubergine) or potato-based dish and often includes ground meat, in the cuisines of the countries of the former Ottoman Empire, with many local and regional variants. 

The recipe here is simple and packed with lovely layered roasted vegetables and Feta cheese slices, then topped with yoghurt and Parmesan cheese.


Recipe Card

Ingredients Quantity
Potatoes (sliced) 2 large
Eggplant (sliced) 1 large
Onion (sliced) 1 large
Garlic (crushed) 2 cloves
Red peppers (deseeded, sliced) 2 pieces
Thyme (extra for garnish) 2 tbsp
Olive oil 4 tbsp
Cherry tomatoes (halved) 1 cup
Tomato puree 1 cup
Feta (sliced) 1 cup
Yoghurt 1 cup
Eggs 3 pieces
Parmesan (grated) 1/2 cup
Zucchini (sliced) 1 piece
Salt & pepper As required


Method of Preparation: 

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  • Place the sliced potatoes in a roasting tray with the eggplant, zucchini, onion, garlic and peppers, then season the vegetables with salt & pepper.
  • Sprinkle with thyme, drizzle with the olive oil and mix.
  • Roast the vegetables for 15-20 minutes, turning the tray halfway through the cooking process. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, until tender and scorched at the edges. Remove from oven.
  • Then for the next part of the cooking, reduce the oven to 160°C.
  • To layer: Place half of the roasted vegetables in a casserole/ovenproof dish, then layer over half the tomato purée and all the Feta. Top with the remaining vegetables and tomato purée.
  • In a bowl, mix the yoghurt, eggs and Parmesan until smooth and pour over the vegetables. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
  • Make sure the yoghurt mix is firm before serving.
  • Garnish with thyme leaves.


For similar recipes please visit What's Cooking Today?  and to enhance your knowledge & skills in food and cooking check out the programs offered by ICCA Dubai.

February 9, 2021

Eggs, Lesson #5 – Eggs Benedict

Chicken Eggs are incredibly the most nutritious and versatile of foods, widely used in a range of dishes; both savoury & sweet, including baked goods.

Eggs are very important in most areas of the food industry, and some of the common preparation of eggs include scrambled, fried, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, omelette and also pickled.

Although cooked in several different ways, on their own, they are extensively used in a wide variety of food. The egg whites help give volume, thicken, bind mixtures, glaze surfaces and the egg yolks help to emulsify.

To learn more about the Health Facts of Eggs and the popular Egg Dishes around the world, you can go through the introductory lesson - Eggs... In So Many Ways!

Egg Recipe of the Day

The Eggs Benedict is classic comfort food and we couldn’t agree more!

One of the most famous stories behind this dish was from Chef Charles Ranhofer of Delmonico’s Restaurant in the US. He came up with this classic egg dish for one of his regular patrons, Mrs Le Grand Benedict. He then published a recipe called “Eggs a’la Benedick” in his cookbook “The Epicurean” published in 1894.

Another story being from a traditional French dish named oeufs bénédictine, consisting of a brandade (a puree of refreshed salt cod and potatoes) spread on triangles of fried bread. A poached egg is then set on top and napped with hollandaise.

For most people, Eggs Benedict is comfort food and we couldn’t agree more! It is all about textures and flavours coming together, from the English muffin to the crispy bacon and the Hollandaise sauce!

This Dish

This dish is simply about textures and flavours coming together, from the soft &  dense English Muffin to the sharp & crispy bacon and overflowing richness of Hollandaise sauce!!


Recipe Card 

Ingredients Quantity
Eggs 4 pieces
Water 3 cups
Vinegar 2 tbsp
Salt as required
English muffins (split & buttered) 4 nos
Bacon 8 slices
For Hollandaise  
Fresh egg yolk 1 piece
Butter 1 cup
Water 1 tbsp
Cayenne pepper a pinch
Salt as required
Lemon juice if required
Vinegar 2 tbsp
Peppercorn, crushed 2-3 corns


Method of Preparation

For the Hollandaise

  • To clarify butter: Melt the butter in a saucepan on low heat, once it starts bubbling; skim the foam using a tablespoon and discard into a bowl.
  • Make sure to skim only the whitest bubbles that are at the surface; continue until there are no more bubbles and all the fat is clear.
  • In a small sauté pan on medium heat, add the peppercorns and vinegar, reduce to 1/3. Add 1 tbsp of water and simmer for 1 minute on medium heat. Take off heat and strain the mixture using a tea strainer into a small mixing bowl, set aside to cool.
  • Whisk the strained reduction along with the egg yolk in a clean bowl on a bain-marie until it doubles in volume. Take the mixture off the heat when it reaches a ribbon consistency.
  • Emulsify the clarified butter into the whipped yolk mixture by adding little at a time and finish with lemon juice, cayenne pepper and salt to taste.

For Poached Eggs

  • In a large, shallow pot, bring a mixture of water, salt and vinegar to a boil. Turn down the heat to poaching temperature.
  • Break the eggs into a bowl one at a time, being careful not to break the yolks.
  • Slide the eggs into the poaching water and poach until done, for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the eggs carefully with a skimmer or slotted spoon.

To Serve

  • On a hot pan without using oil, pan fry the bacon and toast the split and buttered English muffin. If toasting the muffin in the same pan as the bacon was fried, then butter is not required.
  • Top each English muffin with sliced bacon.
  • Then top with poached eggs.
  • Spoon over warm Hollandaise sauce to cover the poached eggs and serve immediately.


For similar recipes please visit What's Cooking Today?  and to enhance your knowledge & skills in food and cooking check out the programs offered by ICCA Dubai.

February 5, 2021

Sandwiches, Lesson #5 – Classic Beef Burger

A sandwich is a combination of one or more varieties of food items, such as cheese, vegetables, or meat, put together and placed on top or in between slices of bread as ready-to-eat food. Sandwiches are generally eaten as a snack or could be served as lunch or dinner, even taken to work, school or picnics as packed food. Depending on the kind of filling, they could be savoury or sweet.

Sandwich Recipe of the Day - Classic Beef Burger 

In the late eighteenth century, the largest port in Europe was in Hamburg, Germany. Sailors who visited Hamburg ate this sandwich and brought back with them the term "Hamburg Steak". Due to its popularity and also to attract German sailors, the eating stands along the New York City harbour offered, "steak cooked in the Hamburg style".

A Hamburger (also called a beef burger, hamburger sandwich or cheeseburger when served with a slice of cheese) is a sandwich consisting of one or more cooked patties of ground meat, usually beef, placed in between two round buns.

Hamburgers may be cooked in a variety of ways, including pan-frying or barbecuing and served with lettuce, bacon, tomato, onion, pickles, cheese along with condiments such as mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup or relish.

This Dish

The warm toasted bun compliments the succulent grilled beef patty paired with the cooling mayonnaise, juicy slices of tomato, and served along with crispy French fries.

Begin lesson to learn how to make this delicious Sandwiches recipe!


Recipe Card

Ingredients Quantity
Lean minced beef 500 g
Egg 1 large
Onion (Minced) ½ cup
Bread crumbs ¼ cup
Worcestershire sauce 2 tbsp
Garlic (Minced) 2 cloves
Sea salt ½ tsp
Black pepper ¼ tsp
Parsley 1 tbsp
Olive oil 2 tbsp
To serve
Burger buns 4 pieces
Mayonnaise ¼ cup
ketchup ¼ cup
Iceberg lettuce leaves 4pieces
Ripe tomato (thinly slice) 1
Red onion (thinly slice) 1
French fries As required


Method of Preparation

  1. In a bowl, mix ground beef, egg, onion, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, sea salt, and pepper until well combined. Divide mixture into four equal portions and shape each into a patty about 4 inches wide.
  2. In a grill pan over high heat add olive oil (let it heat) and lay the burgers. Grill burgers, turning once until browned on both sides, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill.
  3. Lay buns, cut side down on the grill and cook until lightly toasted, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  4. Spread mayonnaise and ketchup on different sides of the buns. Add lettuce, tomato, burger and onion. Cover with the other half of bun.
  5. Serve with French fries.


For similar recipes please visit What's Cooking Today?  and to enhance your knowledge & skills in food and cooking check out the programs offered by ICCA Dubai.

February 2, 2021

Appetizers, Lesson #6 – Stuffed Portobello Mushroom

Appetizers are dishes that we serve prior to the main course to whet our appetites and also to set the right tone for the main meal.

‘Appetizer’ specifically refers to building an appetite. Hors d’oeuvre, another word for Appetizer, literally means “outside of the masterpiece”.

The varieties of appetizers are limitless. They could be preparations of raw or cooked, marinated meats, fish or vegetables served hot or cold in small portions. They require little to no preparation, even simply served as roasted nuts, brined or raw cut fruits or vegetables.


Appetizer Recipe of the Day - Stuffed Portobello Mushroom

Portobello mushroom is of Italian origin and gets its name from Portobello, a small town in Italy.  It has a very memorable, rich flavour and a meat-like texture that enables it to be substituted for other meat-based proteins thus making it a delicious vegetarian option.

Portobello Mushroom retains its flavour even after cooking, which makes it work well in the soups, stews, baked or grilled. However, it is best used when stuffed with ingredients such as fresh herbs, variety of cheeses, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and onions, due to its large size.

This Dish

The Portobello mushrooms are stuffed with a stuffing made with sautéed garlic, mushroom stems, sundried tomatoes and fragrant herbs, topped with cheese and breadcrumbs for a delicious flavour and crunchy texture.


Recipe Card 

Ingredients Quantity
Portobello mushroom 4 pieces
Olive oil for brushing
For the Stuffing
Garlic (minced) 4 cloves
Rosemary (fresh/dried) a sprig
Oregano (fresh/dried) 1 tsp
Parmesan cheese (grated) ¾ cup
Sun-dried tomatoes (chopped) 10 pieces
Mozzarella (diced) 1 cup
Bread crumbs 1/2 cup
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Salt & pepper as required


Method of Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
  • Wash the mushroom and pat it dry.
  • Remove brown gills from the undersides of mushroom caps using a spoon, and discard Remove and chop the stems.
  • In a sauté pan heat olive oil and sweat garlic then add mushroom stems, sundried tomatoes and herbs, season lightly with salt & pepper (cheese and sundried tomatoes are salty). Take off heat add parmesan cheese stir, and set aside.
  • Brush the tops of the mushrooms with olive oil.
  • On a baking tray, divide the mixture evenly into the 4 mushroom caps and mozzarella cheese then top each with the breadcrumb and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Put it in the oven and bake until cheese is melted for about 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot.


For similar recipes please visit What's Cooking Today?  and to enhance your knowledge & skills in food and cooking check out the programs offered by ICCA Dubai.

January 29, 2021

Salads, Lesson #6 – Thai Beef Salad

Salads are dishes consisting of raw or cooked vegetables, meat or seafood, which may be mixed with a sauce or topped with a dressing. They can be served as appetizers, main courses, side salad or dessert salad.

Salads are hot or cold, classical or contemporary, cooked or uncooked, simple (with one ingredient) or compound (with many ingredients) and may also include leftovers from a previous meal or carbohydrate ingredients like pasta, fresh or dried herbs like oregano, poached or boiled eggs or even lentils.

Salad Recipe of the Day - Thai Beef Salad

Thai salads often do not have raw vegetables or fruits as their main ingredients but use minced meat, seafood, and noodles instead.

Thai salads are not served as entrées but normally eaten as one of the main dishes in a Thai buffet, together with rice (depending on the region this can be glutinous rice or non-glutinous rice) or the Thai rice noodle called Khanom chin.

This popular beef salad is not just an appetizer but also a delicious accompaniment, as part of any meal. Using fairly common ingredients, this Thai recipe is quick and easy to make. Grilling good quality beef, adding thinly slice vegetables, tossing with your very own Thai-style dressing and serving with fresh vegetables on a hot summer day makes this dish a great light lunch.

The Thai Beef Salad is tasty and juicy stir-fried strips of beef, with sour & spicy dressing, mixed with noodles and thinly sliced spring onions, mixed greens, topped with roasted peanuts and a wedge of lime on the side.

Recipe Card

Ingredients Quantity
Tenderloin steak (cut into thin strips) 300-400 gm
Salt & ground black pepper As required
Cooking oil 2 tbsp
Mint leaves (chopped) 1 tbsp
Fresh coriander leaves (chopped) 1 tbsp
Red onion (thinly sliced) ½ cup
Spring onion (thinly sliced) ½ piece
Thai red chilli (finely chopped) 1 tsp
Sesame oil 1 tbsp
Soya sauce 1 tsp
Fish sauce 2 tbsp
Cherry tomatoes (quartered) 8 pieces
Cucumber (sliced) ½ cup
Brown sugar 1 tsp
Rice vermicelli (noodles) 2 handfuls
Water As required
Mixed greens ½ cup
Lime juice ½ piece
To Garnish
Roasted peanut (roughly chopped) ½ cup
Lime (wedges) 1 piece
Thai red chilli (thinly sliced) 1 piece
Spring onion (chopped) 1 tbsp


Method of Preparation:

  • In a bowl, soak the rice noodles in water, until soft. Then plunge the noodles into boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, drain the noodles and plunge in a bowl of cold water to stop the noodles from overcooking.
  • Make a dressing by combining the chilli, lime juice, brown sugar, fish sauce, sesame oil, soya sauce and season with salt and pepper. Do a taste test to get a good blend of sweet, sour and salt, which is very important in Thai cuisine.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine cherry tomatoes, mixed greens, mint leaves, fresh coriander, onions, spring onions, cucumber and noodles.
  • Add the dressing and toss well.
  • Season the beef strips with salt & pepper. In a wok/saute pan on high heat, add oil and stir fry the beef for 2 minutes until crisp and tender.
  • To serve, place the cooked beef on top of the plated salad and drizzle with peanuts, chilli (optional) and lime wedges. Serve the rest of the peanuts on the side.


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January 22, 2021

Making Good Soups, Lesson #5 – The Minestrone with Beef Strips

Soups are liquid food, generally served warm or cold. They are made by combining a range of ingredients such as stocks, vegetables, meat, etc. and are generally served as a starter or the first course in any meal.

Soups can be traced back as far as 20,000 BC, have evolved according to local ingredients and tastes. Originally, the term used for soups was “broth”, but the name “soup” is actually derived from the old French word “Soupe” which means, “bread soaked in broth”.

In the classical kitchen, soups were considered as a complete dish in themselves, because of their rich nutritional value and were served as breakfast or dinner. However, soups are now served as a starter rather than the main course.

To learn more about the different types of soups, you can go through the introductory lesson - Making Good Soups

Soup Recipe of the Day - The Minestrone with Beef Strips

Minestrone to the Italians means a “Big Soup". This thick soup has a lot of ingredients in it, like pasta, beans, meat, and vegetables, a real delight especially during winter. 

There is no set recipe for the Minestrone Soup; the absence of any fixed recipe is what makes this soup very unique. The Minestrone varies widely across Italy and all over the world, usually made out of vegetables and meat, could be pure vegetarian as well.

This Dish

Minestrone is a thick Italian soup made with vegetables, beef strips, and also pastas. With all base ingredients in the soup, it is also considered a full meal in itself.

Recipe Card 

Ingredients Quantity
Tenderloin (cut into thin strips) 200 g
Onion 3 tbsp
Leek 2 tbsp
Celery 2 tbsp
Carrot (peeled) 3 tbsp
Cabbage/kale 2 tbsp
Courgette 2 tbsp
French beans/peas 3 tbsp
Potatoes 3 tbsp
Tomato purée 3 tbsp
Tomato concassé 5 tbsp
Garlic (minced) 2 cloves
Olive oil 3 tbsp
Chicken stock 600 ml
Sea salt & pepper as required
Macaroni or any small pasta 40 gm
To Garnish
Parmesan/Grana Padano (shavings) as required
Extra virgin olive oil as required
Cherry tomato (quartered) 4 pieces
Basil/pesto sauce a sprig


Method of Preparation

  1. Cut vegetables into Paysanne. Keep separate from each other.
  1. In a medium saucepan, on high heat add olive oil and sear the beef strips, then lower the heat and add onions and garlic, leeks, celery, carrot and sweat without colouring.
  1. In a separate medium saucepan, heat chicken stock.
  1. Add the tomato purée, mix well and add in the tomato concassé. Season with salt and pepper as required.
  1. Add the boiling stock to the sautéed vegetables, simmer for about 5 minutes. Then add in the potatoes and pasta and simmer for 5 minutes.
  1. Finally add the courgettes, French beans & cabbage and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
  1. Serve hot topped with parmesan cheese shavings, extra virgin olive oil, cherry tomato and basil/pesto.

Note: to make tomato concasse, immerse tomatoes in hot boiling water for 30 seconds, remove and plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process.

Peel tomatoes, cut into quarters, remove the seeds and chop into small pieces.


For similar recipes please visit What's Cooking Today?  and to enhance your knowledge & skills in food and cooking check out the programs offered by ICCA Dubai.

January 7, 2021

Oriental Quail with BBQ Sauce

The name “poultry” comes from the French word “poule” which is actually derived from the Latin word “pullus”, meaning small animal.

Poultry is one of the most commonly consumed types of protein not for one but many good reasons; It is lean meat, available in plenty, and has a very neutral flavour that goes very well with any palate. Poultry is the second most widely eaten type of meat after pork, accounting for over 30% of the total world meat production and sixteen billion birds are annually raised for consumption.

There are several kinds of poultry and they include Chicken, Turkey, Duck, Goose, and Quail.

About Oriental Quail with BBQ Sauce

Quail is a small game bird with dark tasty meat with a delicate flavour; remarkably different when compared to the other wild game birds that are known for their strong taste as their meats are less tender than that of the domesticated animal.

The best way to handle quail meat is to cook it quickly and paying much attention during the cooking process as by overcooking, it will toughen up and dry the meat.

As quail is game meat, it is best to pair it with sweet-sour fruity flavours. 

This Dish

The grilled quail pairs very well with sauces, also add a flavourful twist to the dish.

Recipe Card

Ingredients Quantity
For the Quail
Quail 8 pieces
Canola oil for brushing
Sea salt & crushed black pepper as required
For BBQ Sauce
Canola oil 2 tbsp
Yellow onion (diced) 1 piece
Pomegranate (juice) 1 cup
Orange (juice) 1/4 cup
Pomegranate molasses 1/4 cup
Red vinegar 1/4 cup
Light brown sugar 3 tbsp
Cinnamon (sticks) 2 pieces
Orange (zest) 1 piece
Ketchup 1/2 cup
Dijon mustard 1 tbsp
Sea salt as required
Crushed black pepper as required


Method of Preparation:

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add the onions and sweat until soft. Add the pomegranate juice, orange juice, pomegranate molasses, vinegar, sugar, cinnamon sticks and orange zest and cook until reduced by half. Add the ketchup and cook for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat, whisk in the mustard, salt and pepper and let cool slightly. Strain and remove cinnamon sticks before using. Keep aside about 1 cup of the sauce for serving.
  3. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  4. Heat the grill to medium-high for direct grilling. Brush the spatchcocked quail with canola oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put breast-side down on the grill and cook about 3 minutes.
  5. Brush the quail with BBQ sauce (Baste) and place on an oven tray, and put in the oven for 5 minutes until cooked through.
  6. Serve hot with a drizzle of the BBQ sauce and green salad of your choice on the side.

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