Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Curried Pumpkin

Great for vegetarians, this easy and tasty Indian-style vegetable curry is delicious served with rice. Adjust the amount of chili to suit your palate. Recipe serves 4-6.


1 pound (500 g) pumpkin
1 onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons (prepared) freshly crushed garlic
2-3 teaspoons freshly chopped chili
6 curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 cups coconut milk


1. Peel and seed pumpkin. Cut into large pieces.
2. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan or deep fryer. Cook uncovered over low heat until pumpkin is tender.
3. Serve hot with rice.

Mini Cream Puffs

These deliciously light choux pastry puffs have an exquisite lemon and cream filling. Serve for dessert or as a special afternoon tea treat. Recipe makes about 18 puffs.


1/2 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
2 ounces (50 g) unsalted butter
2 large eggs, beaten
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 ounces (50 g) unsalted butter
Finely grated rind and juice of 2 small lemons
3/4 cup caster sugar
7 fl oz (200 ml) carton double cream
Icing sugar, to sift
Mint leaves and strawberries, to decorate


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a large baking tray with melted butter, then sprinkle lightly with cold water.
2. Sift the flour onto a square piece of greaseproof paper. Put the butter in a heavy-based saucepan with 5 fl oz (150 ml) water.
3. Place saucepan over a low heat until the butter melts. Increase heat to medium and bring to the boil. Working quickly, pour all the flour in and beat with a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and beat vigorously, just until the mixture forms a ball and leaves the sides of the pan. Cool slightly.
4. Beat in the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition, until smooth and glossy. Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes, or until well risen, golden brown and crisp. Leave to cool in the oven, with the door ajar, for about 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack; pierce the side of each puff with a sharp pointed knife to release the steam.
5. For the filling, put the eggs, butter, lemon rind and juice and the sugar into a heatproof mixing bowl. Stand over a pan of simmering water and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to heat gently, stirring constantly, for 20-25 minutes, or until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
6. Cut the mini puffs in half horizontally and remove any soft dough. Spoon the filling into the base and top evenly with the double cream.
7. Replace tops and sift lightly with icing sugar. Transfer to a serving plate and decorate with mint and strawberries.

Tip: Water is sprinkled over the buttered baking tray to create steam in the oven, which helps the choux pastry rise well, yet remain tender, during baking.

Turkish Corn Bread

An easy yeast-free bread using polenta (cornmeal) as a base, and natural yogurt which gives it a slightly sour-dough flavor. Recipe makes 2 loaves.


8 ounces (250 g) polenta (cornmeal)
4 ounces (125 g) plain wholemeal flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/3 cups low-fat natural yogurt
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil


1. Thoroughly mix polenta, wholemeal flour, sugar and baking powder.
2. Beat eggs, add olive oil and yogurt. Mix well. Stir in the other ingredients.
3. Put mixture into 2 lightly oiled bread tins or a high sided cake tin and bake for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
4. Test if the bread is cooked by inserting a skewer or satay stick. It should come out cleanly.
5. Allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring the bread to a wire rack.
6. Allow to cool almost completely before cutting and serving with strongly flavored soups or casseroles.