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.

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 1, 2021

Fresh & Dry Pasta, Lesson #4 Gnocchi Bolognese

Pasta is noodles of different shapes made from an unleavened dough of durum wheat flour and can also be made with flour from other cereals or grains. Pasta has become one of the most loved dishes around the world, as it is affordable, easy to prepare, versatile food and can be served as an appetizer, salad, starter, main course, or even as a dessert.

Depending on what the recipe calls for, pasta are both, in the dried (pasta secca) and fresh (pasta fresca) forms. Fresh pasta is hand-made with eggs and flour, rolled out, cut into desired shapes, and cooked. The shelf life of fresh pasta is short, and being delicate, works well with rich cream sauces.

About the Pasta Recipe of the Day -  Gnocchi Bolognese

Gnocchi is thick, soft dough dumplings that may be made from a variety of ingredients such as semolina, ordinary wheat flour, egg, cheese, potato, breadcrumbs or similar ingredients. Gnocchi is eaten as a first course, as an alternative to soup or pasta.

The Bolognese sauce, known in Italian as “ragù alla Bolognese”, is a meat-based sauce originating from Bologna, Italy. The Gnocchi perfectly blends with the meaty taste of the Bolognese and instantly takes you to an authentic Italian household.

This Dish

The Gnocchi is shaped perfectly into small dumplings, tossed into the meaty flavour of the Bolognese, helping the Gnocchi soak in a rich flavour and is garnished with Parmesan cheese.


Recipe Card

Ingredients Quantity
For Gnocchi
Potato 300 gm
Flour 100 gm
Nutmeg 1 pinch
Egg yolk 2 piece
Water 3 liters
Salt as required
Olive oil 1 tbsp
For Bolognese sauce
Beef mince 180 g
Onion (chopped) 1 tbsp
Carrot (chopped) 1 tbsp
Celery (chopped) 1 tsp
Garlic (chopped) 1 tsp
Rosemary (fresh) 1/2 tsp
Tomato paste 2 tsp
Tomato puree 100 gm
Brown beef stock 250 ml
Parmesan cheese (grated) 1 tbsp
Salt as required
Crushed black pepper as required
Olive oil 2 tbsp


Method of Preparation

  1. Boil the potatoes with skin on, until cooked
  2. While the potatoes are boiling start the Bolognese sauce mixture; in a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil and sauté onion, celery, carrot and
  3. Add beef and sauté until dry and the beef is then added tomato paste, tomato puree and cook for another minute.
  4. Add the stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes or until the right consistency is
  5. Check the seasoning of the sauce and finish with

To make the Gnocchi Dumplings

  1. Peel the potato skin and push through a sieve to get a soft mash without any lumps. Into this potato mash mix the flour, salt, egg yolk and nutmeg, to form a soft Form smooth dough, but do not knead, as the Gnocchi will become tough.
  2. Divide into small dumplings and shape.
  3. Add the gnocchi into the boiling salted water. Poach until it floats to the surface. Toss the gnocchi dumplings into the sauce. Serve hot garnished with Parmesan.


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.

December 25, 2020

Eggs, Lesson #4 – The Scrambled Eggs Sandwich

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 

There are absolutely no limits to the variation that one could create by adding a range of ingredients to this very basic and classical Scrambled Eggs recipe.

Some of the ingredients that can be added are chopped fresh herbs, grated cheese, diced and sautéed onions and cooked bacon, etc. Overcooking the egg in this dish is a common mistake. For starters, Scrambled Eggs should never be even the slightest bit brown that means that they are burnt! A perfect Scrambled Egg is soft and moist.

Scrambled Eggs are generally served on toast as an open sandwich.

Recipe Card 

Ingredients Quantity
Milk 8 tbsp
Eggs 8 pieces
Cream 4 tbsp
Butter 3 tbsp
Salt & pepper as required
Smoked Salmon (chopped) 4 slices
Bagel 4 pieces
Chives (finely, chopped) 1 tsp
Dill 4 sprig


Method of Preparation:

  1. Break eggs into a bowl.
  2. Whisk them well with milk and season to taste before cooking.
  3. Heat the butter in a pan over low heat.
  4. Add the beaten eggs.
  5. Stir them with a spatula for less than a minute and add cream.
  6. Stir until light and fluffy.
  7. When scrambled take off the heat and mix in the salmon pieces and chives.
  8. Serve on a bagel, garnished with a sprig of dill.


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.

December 8, 2020

Appetizers, Lesson #5 – Hummus & Baba Ghanoush

The earliest known recipe for a dish similar to Hummus is recorded in a cookbook published in Cairo during the 13th century.

Hummus is made of cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. As an appetizer and dip, hummus is scooped with flatbread such as pita and eaten as it is. However, outside the Middle East, it is also served with tortilla chips or crackers.

Hummus is generally served as part of a meze or as an accompaniment to falafel, grilled chicken, fish or eggplant and usually garnished with chopped coriander, parsley, caramelized onions, whole chickpeas, olive oil, paprika, sumac, olives and pine nuts.

Baba Ghanoush in Arabic means "spoiled/pampered father". According to Middle Eastern food lore, Baba Ghanoush alludes to an elderly, toothless father whose daughter mashed his food because he wasn’t able to chew.

Baba Ghanoush is a thick dip or spread made of mashed eggplant, also listed in restaurants in Western countries as ‘eggplant caviar’ and usually made with pureed, roasted eggplant, olive oil and seasonings.

About this Dish

Hummus is made from blended chickpeas with tahini, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice while Baba Ghanoush is made from mashed roasted eggplant.

Both Hummus & Baba Ghanoush are cold dips usually served with freshly made pita bread.

Recipe Card
Ingredients Quantity
Dried Chickpeas (soaked for 12 hours) 100 gms OR
Cooked Chickpeas 225 gms
Coldwater/ice cubes 70 ml
Tahini 35 gms
Garlic 1 clove
Lemon Juice 2 tbsp
Salt ½ tsp
Olive Oil 20 gms
For Garnish
Olive oil 15 ml
Paprika as required
Eggplants (medium) 2 pieces
Onion (small, finely chopped) ¼ piece
Garlic (finely chopped) 1 clove
Red /Green Pepper (finely chopped) 2 tbsp
Lemon juice ¼ cup
Olive oil ¼ cup
Cumin Seeds (toasted &crushed) ½ tsp
Salt as required
Tomatoes (finely chopped) 1 small
Parsley  (finely chopped) ¼ bunch
Mint (finely chopped) 2 tbsp
For Garnishing
Pomegranate seeds 1 tbsp
Pomegranate molasses as required
Green mint Few leaves
Olive oil 2 tbsp


Method of Preparation

For Hummus 

  1. Wash the soaked chickpeas and simmer in plenty of water for 4 hours until they become soft and tender. The chickpeas can be boiled in a pressure cooker to shorten the cooking time.
  2. Blend the chickpeas in the food processor until
  3. Add the cold water/ice cubes in batches until the desired consistency is reached and blend for another
  4. Add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt and blend for 2
  5. Finally, add the olive oil and adjust the Hummus must be tangy, rather than salty.

The flavour of tahini and garlic must be subtle and not overpowering.

Tip: For a better flavour the water from the cooked chickpeas can be frozen into ice cubes and used while blending the hummus.

For Baba Ghanoush 

  1. Pierce the eggplants using a fork or the tip of a knife, then roast in the oven on very high heat until the skin is charred/ burnt or it can be roasted directly on a gas flame until the skin is burned and the eggplants are cooked. If roasted on a gas flame, the eggplant must be constantly rotated to ensure even cooking.
  2. Cool and peel the eggplants. Ensure that the charred black skin particles are completely removed, else they will be visible in the Baba Ghanoush.
  3. Place the eggplants in a colander and put them in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  4. Using a knife, cut the eggplants into small pieces, and then add the onion, garlic, bell peppers, lemon juice, olive oil, season with salt and cumin.

Mix using a fork in a mashing movement.

  1. Add the tomatoes, parsley and
  2. Adjust the seasoning and sourness.
  3. Pour the mixture into a serving plate and sprinkle some pomegranate molasses, pomegranate seeds and olive oil on top.
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.

December 4, 2020

Salads, Lesson #5 – Shrimp Caesar 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 - Shrimp Caesar Salad

There are several stories about the Caesar Salad. One of the popular ones being, Caesar Salad was named after the Roman Emperor, Julius Caesar.

However, according to another, Chef Caesar Cardini’s daughter claimed that, on the 4th of July 1924, her father, Chef and Restaurateur Caesar Cardini made do with what he had by making a quick salad and dressing out of the remaining ingredients lying around in his kitchen. Further, he is said to have added a dramatic flair of table-side tossing “by the chef”, to help engage the unexpected rush of customers in order not to turn them away.

Another story by the partner of Caesar Cardini, Paul Maggiora, is that the Caesar salad was actually made for American airmen from San Diego and was also called as the “Aviator’s Salad”.

Whatever its origin, it is clear that this salad was put together and made popular at Caesar Cardini’s restaurant. As it grew in popularity in Caesar’s restaurant, it so got the name “Caesar Salad”.

Caesar Salad can be topped with grilled chicken, steak, or seafood, to make it more nutritious and wholesome. Certain Mexican restaurants may improvise by substituting tortilla strips for croutons or Cotija cheese for the Parmesan. 

This Dish

This dish has all the components for a classical salad, from the lettuce to the delicious Caesar dressing and the crunchy croutons, topped with juicy marinated grilled shrimp and parmesan shavings.


Recipe Card 

Ingredients Quantity
Shrimp (peeled & deveined) 100 g
Olive oil 2 tsp
Lemon (juice) 1 tbsp
Garlic (minced) 2 cloves
Salt & pepper as required
Romaine lettuce (chopped) 1/4  head
Caesar Dressing  
Mayonnaise (light) 2 tbsp
Anchovy fillets (rinsed, minced) 2 pieces
Parmesan cheese (grated) 2 tbsp
Lemon (juice) 1 tbsp
Caesar Dressing  
Mayonnaise (light) 2 tbsp
Bread 2 slices
Melted butter 1/3 cup
Garlic (finely minced) 4 cloves
Salt & pepper as required


Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 160˚C/325˚F.
  1. In a bowl, mix the minced garlic with melted butter, salt & pepper. Using a pastry brush lightly brush both sides of the bread with the butter mixture.
  1. Cut the buttered bread into cubes, put on a baking tray and bake for 7-8 minutes or until croutons are crisp and brown.
  1. Preheat a grill pan over a medium-high Toss shrimp with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper, toss again and grill until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
  1. Transfer the shrimp to a plate and drizzle with the lemon juice.
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk the Mayonnaise, chopped Anchovy fillets, grated Parmesan and Lemon juice to make the Caesar dressing.
  1. In a large bowl, toss the dressing with the lettuce until well coated.
  1. Place the tossed lettuce in a serving dish, top with the croutons, shrimps and Parmesan shavings.

Tip: tossing the lettuce leaves in the dressing, gives it more flavour, rather than just drizzling the dressing on top.

Click here to find more such interesting recipes.

November 24, 2020

Cakes, Lesson #3 – The Eggless Carrot 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 Eggless Carrot Cake 

Eggless Carrot Cake is a cake made by using the creaming method, made along with spices & walnuts, topped with a cream cheese frosting and best decorated with marzipan carrots.

The cake has been enjoyed since the medieval ages as during those times, sugar was scarce and a commodity only royalty could afford. Hence, bakers would use carrots in their cake because it was one of the sweetest vegetables apart from beetroot, however, carrots were easier to come by and provided the required sweetness to the cake.

Today, you will find a variety of carrot cake recipes and is one of England’s favourite tea time cakes.

This Dish 

This dense yet light sweetened cake with the grated strands of carrot layered with the salty-sweet cream cheese frosting compliments each other. The carrot and cream cheese balance the sweetness making it a delicious teatime cake.

Recipe Card 

Ingredients Quantity
All-purpose flour 340 gm
Carrot (grated) 1 cup
Yoghurt 400 ml
Vegetable oil 120 ml
Milk 5 tbsp
Castor sugar 110 gm
Vanilla essence 2 tsp
Cinnamon powder ½ tsp
Baking powder 1 tsp
Baking soda 1 tsp
Salt ½ tsp
Walnuts (chopped) 1 cup
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
Butter 200 gm
Icing sugar 80 gm
Cream cheese 240 gm
Lemon zest ½ pc
To Finish
Walnuts (Chopped) ½ cup
Icing sugar ¼ cup


Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C.

For the Carrot Cake

  1. Line the bottom of three 8-inch baking pans with melted butter and baking
  2. Grate carrots finely in a bowl and set
  3. Sieve the all-purpose flour, cinnamon powder, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl add the yoghurt, sugars, salt, milk and vegetable oil. Whisk well together until the sugar is completely dissolved and then add the vanilla essence and give it a quick
  5. Add the grated carrots into the liquid mixture and stir until
  6. Fold the dry mixture into the batter and mix until a smooth well-combined batter is achieved. Lastly, fold the walnuts into the batter.
  7. Pour the batter into the lined cake tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the centre comes out
  8. Transfer the tins onto a wire cooling rack. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then invert and carefully peel off the butter paper. Allow it to cool well before icing. Even the slightest warmth will cause the frosting to

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Bring the butter and cream cheese to room
  2. In a mixing bowl, using a handheld electric mixer / planetary mixer, cream butter until smooth and creamy, add icing sugar and continue to whisk together until pale and creamy. Add the softened cream cheese and zest, mix on a low speed until incorporated or mix with a spatula to avoid the cream cheese from curdling. Cover and set in the

Assemble the Cake

  1. Once the cake is cool, using a 10 mm plain nozzle pipe the cream cheese frosting on the first layer, place the next layer on
  2. Using a tea strainer or sifter, dust the top of the second layer with icing
  3. Garnish with whole or chopped walnuts.

November 20, 2020

Tarts & Pies, Lesson #4 – The Chicken Pot Pie

Tarts and Pies are generally made of a pastry crust base, with fillings that are either sweet or savoury. They are both quite similar in structure. In fact, the French word “tarte” also means Pie. A pie is usually covered, with a filling on the inside, whilst tarts have a filling over the pastry base and are generally left uncovered.

Pie Recipe of the Day - The Chicken Pot Pie

Pot Pies first came to be in ancient Greece where they placed cooked meat into open pastry shells are known as “Artocreas”. This dish became so popular that it quickly spread all across Europe. But then, it wasn’t until the Romans who added a top shell to the Pot Pie to make it into an actual pie. Pot Pies are filled with vegetables, chicken or beef, also fruits and generally served with a side salad making it a balanced meal.

This Dish

A rich buttery shortcrust pastry here balances well with the tender chicken and vegetable stew that’s covered with a top layer of flaky golden-brown crust pastry.

Recipe Card 

Ingredients Quantity
Chicken breast (diced) 500 gm
Olive oil 3 tbsp
Salt As required
Freshly ground black pepper as required
Water 7 ½
Chicken bouillon cubes 2 pieces
Unsalted butter 60 gm
White onions (chopped) 2 medium piece
All-purpose flour ¾ cup
Cooking cream ¼ cup
Carrots (diced) 1 large piece
Peas (frozen) 1 cup
Potatoes 1 medium piece
Pearl onions 1 cup
Mushrooms (sliced) ½ cup
Leeks(finely sliced) ½ cup
Fresh parsley leaves 1cup
For the Pastry
All-purpose flour 400gm
Kosher salt 1 ½ tsp
Baking powder 1 tsp
Cold Butter (cubed) 220gm
Eggs (beaten) 2 pieces
Salt & pepper as required
Iced water ½ cup


Method of Preparation: 

For the Chicken Stew Filling

  1. In a saucepan, boil water with the chicken stock cube until dissolved and bubbling, turn off the heat and set aside.
  2. Then chop chicken breast, add salt and cracked pepper and set
  3. Cut carrot, mushroom and potato to 1x1 cm
  4. Chop the parsley, white onions and pearl onions
  5. Bring the already boiled stock back on the heat and boil the potatoes for about 10 minutes, then add carrots and peas. Once the vegetables are cooked, strain the stock saving the
  6. In a big saucepan, melt the butter, add olive oil and chicken and pan fry for a few minutes on medium
  7. Add the chopped white onion and sweat on low heat. Add the mushrooms, pearl onions and leek, sweat until transparent and dry in
  8. Add flour and parsley to the saucepan and stir for 2 minutes on medium heat until the mixture is brown in
  9. Add the cooked potato, carrot and peas into the saucepan and mix until well until
  10. Pouring the stock liquid a little at a time and mixing continuously, add 5 cups of stock into the saucepan and stir until all the liquid has been added and the mixture is
  11. Add the cooking cream and cook until bubbling and the sauce coats the back of a spoon. This will take a few minutes. Taste and season as
  12. Spoon the Chicken Stew into the ramekins, ¾ full and leave to set in the chiller for 15

For the Pastry

  1. Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add butter and pulse a few times or until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and it comes
  2. Remove the dough out onto a floured board and gather into a ball, make sure not to knead the dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and allow it to rest in the fridge for 30
  3. Once cooled, divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch
  4. Preheat the oven to 375˚F, 180˚C.

Assembling the Pies

  1. Brush the outside edges of each filled ramekin with the egg wash. Place the rolled out dough over the ramekins. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top, for the steam to escape when cooking. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked
  2. Place on a baking sheet and bake until the top is golden brown, for 20 minutes.
  3. Best served warm with a side salad.


November 17, 2020

Cookies & Biscuits, Lesson #4 The Shortbread Cookies

Cookies are small, thin, flat, and cake-like baked treats. The name cookie is derived from the Dutch word “Koekje”, meaning “small or little cake”. Cookies are also known as “Biscuits” in England & Australia, in Italy, they have many names including “Amaretti” & “Biscotti”, the Spanish call them “Galletas” and in Germany, they’re known as “Keks”.

Bakers in the past used to bake a small amount of cake batter to check the right oven temperature to bake and so in the process, cookies came into existence accidentally during this process of making “test cakes”. Cookies now are made from a variety of different cooking techniques and ingredients to produce cookies with a range of different textures, styles and shapes.

To learn more about the popular types of cookies and biscuits, you can go through the introductory lesson - Cookies And Biscuits… Bite-sized Delights!

Cookies & Biscuits Recipe of the Day - The Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread is of Scottish origin that came to be from 16th-century shortcakes. These cookies are traditionally prepared by using one part white sugar, two parts butter, and four parts flour by weight; however, some modern recipes contain the use of wheat flour for a more healthy option. Traditionally, shortbreads were served for special occasions such as Christmas, New years & Weddings but now are a world favourite and used for any occasion.

This Dish

The delightfully light buttery flavoured shortbread cookies are sweetened with sugar-crystals on the surface and then baked to a crisp light-gold colour.

Recipe Card

Ingredients Quantity
All-purpose flour, sifted 100 gm
Corn flour 90 gm
Salt 1 gm
Butter 125 gm
Icing sugar, sifted 50 gm
Lemon zest 3 gm
Vanilla essence 1 tsp


Method of Preparation: 

  1. Preheat oven to 160˚C with a wire rack in the middle of the
  2. In a large mixing bowl sift the flour with the salt & cornflour until combined, set
  3. In another large mixing bowl using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy (about a minute).
  4. Add the sifted icing sugar to the creamed butter mixture and beat with the handheld electric mixer until smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon
  5. Gently stir in the flour with a rubber spatula just until a soft dough is
  6. Flatten the dough into a disc shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least 10
  7. Line two baking sheets/trays with baking
  8. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to 5 mm thickness.
  9. Dock the dough with a fork and cut into desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie
  10. Place the cut shapes on the prepared baking sheets/trays and place in the fridge for about 15 minutes. (This will firm up the dough so the cookies will maintain their shape when )
  11. Bake for at 160˚C for 10 - 12 minutes, or until cookies are very lightly browned. Cool on a wire
  12. Serve plain or with strawberry or raspberry jam in a

November 13, 2020

Seafood,The Marak Samak

‘Samak’ means fish in Arabic, while Marak Samak means “Fish Stew”. Marak Samak is cooked differently from one Middle Eastern country to the other; some cook it as a stew while others make it more like a curry. In this dish, the fish is paired with a stew, much like the traditional Yemeni meat and bone broth ‘Marak’.

Seafood Recipe of the Day

Marak Samak is a spicy fish casserole. The fish is simmered on low heat with tomatoes, fish stock, garlic, chilli, and Lumi until cooked.

In this recipe, you will learn the techniques of preparing fish for stewing, sautéing and simmering. Apart from these techniques, you will also learn how to handle the ingredients and equipment used in cooking Marak Samak.


Recipe Card 

Ingredients Quantity
Canola oil 3 tbsp
Onion (sliced) 100 gm
Garlic (mashed) 5 cloves
Lumi (dried lime) (dried, finely crushed) 2 pieces
Turmeric ½ tsp
Cumin 1 tsp
Ground coriander 1 tsp
Salt & black pepper As required
Chilli pepper (green/red, whole) 2 pieces
Tomatoes paste 30 g
Tomatoes (blanched, peeled & chopped) 500 g
Tomato (juice) 100 ml
Fish stock 300 ml
Grouper/ hammour fillet (cut into cubes) 1 kg
Coriander (chopped) 1 bunch
Dill or fennel leaves (chopped) 1 bunch
Lemon (juice) 6 tbsp


Method of Preparation

  1. Season the fish cubes lightly with salt, black pepper and half the lemon juice; set aside.
  2. In a saucepan pour oil, add onions and sweat until wilted then add the garlic, chilli, lumi, spices and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. To this add the tomatoes paste and cook for a minute.
  4. Then add the tomatoes, tomato juice and fish stock, and cook for another 5 minutes and then season with salt & black pepper to taste.
  5. Simmer on low heat for around 20 minutes.
  6. Adjust seasoning, add in the fish and cover the fish with sauce, cooking gently over a slow fire with lid on for around 10 minutes until the fish is well cooked.
  7. Remove from the fire, add the fresh coriander & dill and then simmer for about a minute.
  8. Serve with Mashkhol rice or steamed white rice.

Tip: For a better taste, the fish can be marinated with salt, white pepper and lemon juice for around 10-15 minutes before cooking.

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