Tuesday, 17 November 2015
With half of a sugar pie pumpkin lying around in the fridge and waiting to be used up, it is time to share another decadent sweet treat. Five weeks away from the holidays and the house is already feeling quite spirited with the frequent baking and festive dishes. So, by popular demand, chocolate loaf cake is au rendez-vous with a twist of fresh pumpkin which is from where this cake packs in its luscious fudgey appeal. While you cannot distinctly taste it, the pumpkin contributes much to the texture of this relatively low-fat cake. Married with warming hints of cinnamon, coffee and molasses, it adds just enough of a rich caramel flavour for that feeling of contentment that we all look for from a bite of chocolatey indulgence or from life itself. Whoever claims not to like chocolate is just lying with a passion.
From time to time we need to stop, and smell the roses, or eat chocolate cake, for there are no ordinary moments in life.
Wednesday, 11 November 2015
Briyani, in Mauritius, is quite fittingly synonymous with celebration. Traditionally this dish is served at many special occasions and gatherings — weddings, engagements, religious ceremonies, having guests at home, the new year celebrations, office parties or even just for a picnic at the beach. The latter is probably one of the most typical Mauritian scenery, as I stroll down memory lane and recall the fascinating days of my childhood and teenage years. You would think that a picnic down the beach would call for light and easy meals, but for many families, spending a day at the seaside would also mean meeting relatives that they might not have seen for a while. For cause of merriment, a big pot of briyani placed on a camp fire, was the highlight of the day.
Sunday, 1 November 2015
A little bit further up from where I live, the streets are decked with huge pumpkins sitting in big cauldron-style pots outside every shop. In a battle of David, aka the squirrels, against Goliath, aka the pumpkins, well naturally David won — some of these gigantic squash have already been victims to the pesky yet adorable nibblers, with big holes carved out of them. Although, in this case, it seems that Jack's lanterns have been sabotaged! But the tougher pumpkins are just sitting outside, quite wastefully (in my opinion), to the whims of the weather. The idea of carrying one home crossed my mind but I did not. When I mentioned before that I wished I had food bigger than me that I could bite in, well I realised I had just found it! Pumpkins can really grow to be huge — an excellent food source for the cold months if they are well kept or preserved.
Thursday, 22 October 2015
As pumpkin season gears into full swing, I just could not forgo the chance for another addition to the already bountiful amount of pumpkin recipes on the internet. While Cinderella's fairy godmother is busy transforming an ordinary pumpkin into a magnificent carriage, food bloggers around the world are also magically turning pumpkins into delectable dishes. Pumpkinfy everything!
Sunday, 18 October 2015
Waking up from its summer hibernation, the oven is back up and baking. Warmer days are now long gone as the lovely aromas of baked treats gently fill the air with a cosy homeliness. Goodies apart, the side bonus of the agreeable warmth from the oven is just enough for the next few weeks before the heaters are turned on for the bitter colder months ahead.
If apples are not going into an actual recipe, I most of the time don't really buy them. When it comes to eating fresh fruits on their own, I tend to go for all the rest except apples unless they are the Pink Lady variety. In this recipe though, I have used Canadian-grown Cortland apples which are abundant at the moment.
Sunday, 11 October 2015
For their brief appearance during the midsummer gearing towards the end of the season, fresh beans in the pods are somewhat of a gem these days. Honestly, one week later, they were all gone from the stalls at the fresh produce market. That said, it is probably not surprising though since, for sheer convenience, their canned or dried versions are by far more popular. However, if you are lucky enough to find some fresh beans in the pods in your area, you sure would do right to grab a few handfuls of them. For their meaty toothsome appeal, fresh beans have this vibrant aliveness that makes their canned or dried counterparts pale in comparison. They can most certainly be used pretty much the same way — either to complement or as the main ingredient in a lot of dishes from simple soups, salads, dips to comfort pasta dishes or hearty sauces, stews and curries.
Monday, 5 October 2015
Traditional Mauritian Roti and Fillings — Part 3/3: Rougaille Sauce and Coriander (Cilantro) Chutney
Before closing off this series of 3 posts, I have to admit that the idea of jumping on a plane to go and experience the roti from the streets of Mauritius did cross my mind. For sure, this whole series has taken my tastebuds for a little trip back in time, reminiscing about the mouthwatering aromas that steams out upon opening a pack of freshly purchased roti and the intricate flavour delight of biting into a hot roti.
Wednesday, 30 September 2015
With tomatoes at the heart of the sauce, the typical Mauritian curry is much lighter than coconut milk based sauces. In fact, coconut milk is a less common ingredient in Mauritian-style curries. Quintessentially, the Mauritian curry is a Creole-style sauce with just enough spices for a heart-warming aromatic dish. Despite being much lighter, it is not for the least shy on flavour.
The white bean curry is one of the most common filling that is served with the Mauritian roti that is sold on the streets. While this post is part of a series of three, featuring the traditional Mauritian roti and the fillings that go along with it, you can certainly enjoy this curry over rice too.
Sunday, 27 September 2015
Embedded in the local food culture, rotis have been puffing on the Mauritian tawas for decades. Served with a few dollops of the typical white bean curry and rougaille sauce, roti or dal puris are the ultimate street comfort food that also happen to be accidentally vegan.