Category Archives: Cooking international

The orange and poppy seed cake

This cake I made at work but m writing a condensed smaller version which can fit domestic ovens and don’t need a huge amount of eggs etc.

  • Butter 60
  • Oil 60 g
  • Sugar 150 g
  • Eggs 2 nos
  • flour 150 g
  • almond powder 50 g
  • Baking powder -7 g
  • orange -1 slice thinly
  • Vanilla essence
  • Orange flower water
  • Poppy seeds- 5 g

heat sugar with 25 ml water and make into syrup and poach orange slices for a little bit and drain. Cool down syrup

preheat oven to 175 C and get your tin lined with baking paper . Arrange orange slices on base.

cream the butter and oil mix with the sugar syrup .

add eggs and essences. Mix flour almond poppy and baking powder.Fold into the mix and pour into tin.

bake at 175 C for 25-30 mins until done . Cool down and invert. Don’t share ..😆😆

Sourdough loaf

With sourdough there are hundreds and thousands of recipes that you can find but all you need is practice..

This recipe is in two parts and take two days to finish..roughly as in you start one night and the next evening you can have your bread.

part 1

  • Water 100 g
  • Flour 90 gm
  • Rye flour or whole wheat flour – 10 g
  • Sour starter- 10 g
  • Mix and keep overnight
  • The next morning
  • take all starter and add to
  • water 400 g
  • flour 540 g
  • whole wheat flour -60 g
  • salt 12 g
  • then you autolyse this.( Autolyse is a term used by bakers to make you feel inadequate). It’s just light mixing to let the gluten get hydrated .
  • keep for 30 mins . And the you stretch and fold.. ..I’ll try and put some vdos to show this but it’s really simple . You pull the dough and fold into three like a trifold .
  • then rest for 15 mins and repeat and do this 4-5 times.
  • let the dough rest then for 8-12 hrs in the fridge or a cool area so it slow ferments and develops complex flavours .
  • Divide into two boules or baguettes.. pre heat the oven to 230 C.shape and slash the bread. I will look to make a vdo and add that on at some stage .
  • Preheat the tray or stone you are baking on and slide the prepared doughs ( do it on non stick baking paper) Bake for about 30-35 minutes.
  • Cool down on wire rack .

Sour dough -oil poached bread fritters

Actually we are cheating a bit by saying oil poached . I did that just to make it sound healthy. Well it’s great for your mental health when the little monsters you make it for say yummy can we have some more ….but it’s not really poached more like deep fried ..good bye right artery of the heart .

The dough does have oats inside so supposed to reduce your bad cholesterol.But if you truly want to be healthy then you will be and won’t be trolling the internet for ways for heart health.

The good bit is you can say no..Ahh who are you kidding , when u dip one of these puppies in the chipotle tamarind sauce all resolve melts away..

Without much ado..

  • Sourdough starter approximately 200 g
  • Water – 75 ml
  • Oats – 50 g
  • Flour to make into a soft dough- 300 g( can use a mix of wholewheat and white)
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar- 5 g/ 1 t
  • Basil and parsley to flavour or you can add your favorite herbs or even kimchi..
  • Olive oil- 20 ml
  • Oil to gently poach…😆😆😆

The method is to simply mix everything and keep it till it’s very bubbly , then shape into small balls and deep fry poach in oil 😛

Pescado Verracruzana / How Arturo tamed the mighty fish beastie

When i started working in Dubai 20 years back, my immediate boss was a wonderful guy called Arturo Cristiane, from Mexico. He was the man behind the menu at most of our restaurants at the time , till after he left and we made some changes . I remeber in our Latin American restaurant “Pachanga”, we had a brazilian churrasco(vertical spit),a mexican section and the Argentinian grill and a Cuban cigar bar.

On the menu or before rather we got from our Fish supplier Gerard Vouyoukas, a huge snapper one day and Arturo cooked it for lunch with an amazing sauce with onions, tomatoes, peppers and capers.

To a gringo from outside all south america seems the same..Mexico and half baked understanding of nacho chips and not much else. Luckily since id worked for Oberoi Hotels, where we had Casa Mexicana, i was exposed a little bit to Sabores Latinos( or the Flavours of Latin america), some of what Arturo would say made some sense.

so in essence we are making a spicy tomato sauce(not with chilli as such ) but peppers and capers and baking the fish with this sauce so it stays nice and moist.

  1. Fish either whole or fillets -500 g marinade with some lime juice salt and pepper.. How much you ask.well how long is a piece of string..u need approximately 10 g of salt per kg of meat or fish and 1 g of pepper but that is approximate.. some need more some less. Cooking is not an exact science its more about tinkering with combinations and sometimes experimenting till you find the next best thing.
  2. Olive oil-25 ml
  3. onion brown- 1 approximatley 125 g.. a little more or less wont make a huge diffenece
  4. garlic cloves peeled- 3-4 chopped
  5. canned diced tomato- approximately 250 g
  6. capers drained- 1 tsp/ 3 g
  7. olives- 2 tsp / 5 g
  8. capsicum/ peppers- 1 sliced thick approximately 75 g
  9. bayleaf
  10. oregano
  11. epazoate


clean and wash fish with cool water. marinade with half the olive oil, salt, pepper and lime juice. if you are using whole fish we cook it like that.

For the fillets its probably ood to just pan fry and then bake for a few minutes with the sauce/ sofrito

Heat the remaining oil and sauted onion , garlic, bayleaf and add the tomato. simmer for 15-20 minutes. then add oregano, epazoate , peppers, capers and can also add optionally some paprika or chile serrano.

The sauce is savory and tangy and just right for snapper or for that matter any sort of white fish.

Then with the whole fish you can score it and put the sauce on top and bake fr about 15-20 minutes .Serve with some arroz con tomate and you have a wonderful lunch or dinner ready..Have a glass of chardonnay or maybe some dry-ish pinot gris/grigio alongside .

If it was a fillet then after you pan fry you top with the sauce too and bake also its just that you woould bakke for lesser time to make sure the fish does not dry out.

The Cully puff / Vhejetable petties

The name is just me being cheeky and calling it like how the Thai Chef i trained under would call a curry and how the Marathi peoples (i am half marathi) call this artery blocking snack!!

I first ate this at this hole on the wall bakery called ” Santosh bakery” on Apte Road, where one of my close friends Gautam “gotya” kotwal used to stay. They would have a line of people waiting to get them and would invariably be sold out since they made it only 1-2 times a week.

What made it better was that Santosh bakery packed up their shop and moved to 100 mtrs from our house in Pune .Unfortunately by then, i was away in Dubai i think oor could be Chennai then Dubai..

They used t make this by hand and bake them in a puff pastry / flaky pastry and filled with a spicy mix of potatoes and peas and so on. There are more refined versions available all over the world and in different forms( could be a turnover or a sausage roll or something else wrapped in pastry )

My version is something that anyone of you can make at home, pretty easily. There are more complex versions where you make the puff pastry at home and while i can do it quite easily(or train you to make it too).

Not on this post though we are going to keep this succint and short and easy to accomplish.

The recipe below makes about 20 generous sized ones …

Puff/ Flaky pastry- 1kg—ready made one , look for one made without animal fats.

For the filling

oil-25 ml

onion chopped- 1/ 200 g

cumin- 1/2 t- 2 g

turmeric – 1/4 t- 1g

green chilli chopped- 1-2 or more, if you like to live dangerously like my friend Jatin Nandrajog used to at one point of time.

Ginger and garlic- 20 g

chopped vegetables- 100g(carrot, cauli, beans or whatever you fancy really)

green peas-50 g / 2T

cooked and peeled potato-250 g

coriander chopped-as much as you like usually i add abput 2 sprigs of my favourite flavouring herb…stems and all, just make sure you wash it well

So you heat upthe oil and add cumin and saute the onion and add the chilli, turmeric, ginger and garlic. Also add in your chopped vegetables and peas. Make sure the vegetables are cooked and then add in the potato. Check seasoning( is there any salt written there, no because i was checking to see, if you do read everything)

Cool down your mixture and then add in the coriander . then you make the sheets into triangles or rectangles. Seal the edges well and then refriegrate for 15-20 mins. You need to keep these cool, because the pastry gets very soft otherwise.

Preheat your oven to about 180C/ 400 F and brush these with beaten egg or milk if you dont eat egg.

Bake for about 18-20 ,minutes turning midway through to make sure they get coloured evenly.

You can replace the filling with spinach and ricotta or cooked chicken , or mince and will still be very nice.

Enjoy with some spicy suicide sauce or tomato ketchup or dipping sauce of your choice…ill put down some dip and sauce recipes soon too