Year: 2011

Chilli Lemon Cauliflower FI

Chilli Lemon Cauliflower

It’s the simple pleasures in life I’ve always appreciated the most; chapattis with mango pickle, paratha dipped in raita and from time to time, maybe peanut butter and banana sandwiches (let’s keep that one between us). From sitting on a Mombasa beach nibbling on maize, smothered with lemon and red chilli powder, to scoffing cassava fries doused in citrus hot sauce in university halls, these flavours are an integral part of my food memories. I think it reason this combination works so well is because the chilli heat is mellowed out with the sharp acidity of fragrant lemon. Indeed, it’s not only Indian and East African dishes which take full advantage of this mouth-watering duo – just think about your favourite Mexican salsas and Thai salads made with the native lime. I never remove seeds or membrane from fresh chillies – I don’t see the point. However, if you prefer to remove them for a mild flavour then remember to adjust your use of lemon accordingly. A general rule of thumb is that the hotter …


Cardamom Tofu Curry

I stuffed myself with Palak Paneer last night. I feel terrible about it and actually had a bit of trouble sleeping. I think it’s time to give that beautiful cheese a break (at least for a little while, anyway). On The Rebound What’s a girl to do when she’s decided to cut the one true love out of her life? Then it dawned on me; I’m going to replace paneer with something similar, something I won’t feel as guilty about. Hi tofu, remember me? We used to have a healthy relationship before I lost all my inhibitions to full-fat Indian cottage cheese. Simple Infusions If you ever asked me what my favourite spice was, I think I’d probably cry. There are so many to choose from and limitless possibilities in terms of creating breathtaking new flavours. Cardamom is one of those spices that’s never really at the forefront of a curry. Well let me tell you something, it really should be given the chance. A combination of both green and black cardamoms impart musky flavours …


Dudhi Na Muthiya (Steamed Bottlegourd Dumplings)

The prospect of an Indian breakfast is sometimes just the kick I need to pull myself from my cosy bed. This usually only ever takes place on weekends or during time-off from the day job, so it’s always a welcome treat. Along with a spicy breakfast, there’s nothing more satisfying than using up leftovers. This recipe for Dudhi Na Muthyia hits both of those spots. They’re made using grated bottlegourd (doodhi/lauki), cold leftover rice, chickpea flour and a medley of subtle spices. The dumplings are then formed into log-shapes and gently steamed to lock in plenty of flavour and moisture. Once cooled, the cooked muthiya are quickly sautéed with sesame seeds and curry leaves to add that final dimension of flavour and a gorgeously crisp, golden texture. So many people prefer them straight from the steamer without sautéing them first – perhaps a consequence of impatience more than anything else. I have been known to finish them off before I actually finish off the recipe, not that I should actually be admitting to this. I …


Cashew Nut and White Chocolate Burfi

A love of sweets must run in my blood. Back in Kenya my grandfather worked in a sugar cane factory, boiling up vats of syrup bigger than a fully-grown wildebeest. He even knew syrup temperatures without having to use a sugar thermometer. My grandad’s passion for cooking with sugar led him to become one of the best sweet makers and teachers I’ve ever known. My other grandfather was head chef to one of the most well-known sugar merchants’ in East Africa. He’d rustle up the most spectacularly orange chickpea flour fudge and be ready to teach anyone willing to learn. Being just a tot when he passed away, my mum passed on his wonderful recipes to me. Indeed, the very nature of both my grandfathers’ livelihoods depended on the sweet stuff, which is why I put my love of sugar down to it pumping through my veins. What the fudge? These diamonds of sweet fudge have a delicious, crumbly and chewy texture from the ground cashew nuts. Laced with ground cardamom and vanilla extract, floral …

aloo paratha

Aloo Paratha

I fell in love with paratha at the age of four, when I was the proud owner of various miniature kitchen utensils that looked like they’d been manufactured in toy town. I’d use my hot pink chapatti board and rolling pin to make baby paratha, which my mum would cook and my pa would wolf down with gusto, whilst telling me I was a great chef. And that was all it took – I had discovered my love of Indian breads. Forget your typical puff of glitter – for this strange little Indian Barbie, childhood was all about that magical cloud of chapatti flour. Indian breads, without a doubt, are perceived as the fiddliest things to make at home, especially if you’ve never done them before. Aloo Paratha are made by stuffing mashed, spiced potatoes and onions into chapatti dough and rolling so that the dough envelopes the layer of filling inside. Then they’re lightly sizzled in ghee, butter or oil until golden all over. Once cooked, the filling will remain enclosed in the crisp …

Classic Vegetable Biryani

Classic Vegetable Biryani

There is a word in Indian cooking that used to send a chill down my spine every time it was uttered – biryani. I was never suspicious of the biryani because it’s difficult to cook, but because it’s typically served as a main course. As a little girl, rice had always been a side dish for me – something to go with the daal or to soak up a sauce. It didn’t matter if the rice was bland because there were other dishes on the table to perk it up. But when I discovered the world of biryani, there was a shift in balance – the rice had become the star of the show and everything it was cooked with had to taste good. If it didn’t, the whole dinner went to pot. But now I’m a fully-fledged member of the biryani lovers club, I’m here to offer a lesson in how easy preparing it can really be, provided you know the basics. Spice notes Spice mixtures for biryanis tend to vary depending on the …


A Whole New World

I finally made it! The blog is in its final transition and I’m adding the finishing touches as we speak. I didn’t really think I’d make it in one piece. Please potter about the site and check out the new features. If you have any problems, you know where to find me. Get your taste buds ready, I’m back in business. How have you been? I’ve missed hearing from you all so much!  


Eggless Saffron and Lemon Shrikhand Doughnuts

Just a speedy note before I round up all of the dishes from our Mughlai season this weekend (for your eating pleasure). This is going to include all of the royal-inspired recipes plus more, so stick around for some really yummy dishes so you can create a banquet fit for kings and queens. Yesterday, a KO Rasoi recipe for Saffron and Lemon Shrikhand Doughnuts was featured in the Food Network UK Month of Doughnuts calendar in support of National Doughnut Week (7th-14th May). In addition to this, the recipe also went out in their fabulous food newsletter which you can sign up to here: Sign up to the Food Network UK newsletter in order to get my new Food Network UK recipes delivered to your inbox fresh from the kitchen. I thought I would join in the fun and go dough-nuts too – and so my recipe for Lemon and Saffron Shrikhand Doughnuts was born. Please visit the site to take a peek at how I created this recipe and as always, have a go …



Guess who’s back? Over the next four weeks I’ll be running a series called Indian Cooking Step-by-Step in which I’ll be exploring classic recipes from a handful of Indian regions. Join me as I prepare Khaman – a Gujarati favourite in under 50 minutes. I’m not too proud to admit that I’m a terrible teacher, but when it comes to cooking Indian food, I can’t help but put my two pence in. I become a wannabe Gujarati (hailing from the state of Gujarat in western India) Mary Poppins who’s full of the old-school tips I picked up watching various female family members squabble over how much ginger to put in the daal. Khaman are fluffy, steamed, savoury cakes made with chickpea flour and a divine topping of tempered mustard seeds, sesame seeds, curry leaves, shredded coconut and coriander. The tempered topping is the most magical part of the recipe, as hot oil with sizzling spices is (very carefully) splashed with water, and then drizzled over the top of the delicately-spicy savoury cake. The result is …


Eggless Chocolate and Rose Cupcakes

 Eggless Chocolate and Rose Cupcake recipe   I’ll always hold eggless baking close to my heart. The level of science involved in baking, eggless baking in particular, is beyond me.  These eggless Chocolate and Rose Cupcakes were made especially for Food Network UK’s month of cupcakes – the most delicious tribute imaginable.   They’re light, airy and not to sweet. I added a little bit of plain yogurt to keep them moist inside because dry chocolate cupcakes are a big no no in my book. This eggless cupcake recipe has never failed me and the addition of rose syrup gives it that exotic twist I crave so often. You however, can use any flavours to like.   My frosting is chocolate cream cheese and rose cream cheese, swirled together using a piping bag filled with both flavours. It’s super simple and give you a perfectly pretty finish. Get the recipe    >> Get my top tips for eggless baking  So how have you been? The new site is coming along nicely and I’m hoping to …


Gone, But Not For Long

Hello lovely people of the blog. So annoyed at myself for taking such a long time to write this. I wanted to drop you all a line and let you know why I’ve been so scarce the past few months – I promise there’s a good reason behind it. I’m redesigning a brand new KO Rasoi. Not that there’s anything wrong with the one I hold so close to my heart right now, but I want to add more functionality and give you all a better site to potter about. Before this, I had looked into getting it done professionally but I’m such a fusspot and very particular about things. It has to be just right. I will be popping back from time to time, adding a couple of new recipes here and there but until the new site launches, I hope you can bear with me and stay tuned for our bright new future together. In the meantime, if you’re at all interested in my daily musings, food-related chit chat with just a little …


Eggless Peach and Cardamom Bakewell Tarts

Peach and Cardamom Bakewell Tarts Like Beyoncé, who transforms into her alter-ego, the confident ‘Sasha Fierce’ on stage, I had to take on a new persona before I embarked upon making my first pastry for the latest Food Network UK recipe challenge using seasonal peaches. But a three-octave vocal range and bootylicious behind wasn’t going to help me in the kitchen – not today anyway. To make the perfect tart, I would need to become someone whose skills lay in the art of flour and butter, a pastry mastermind. And then it hit me – I needed to become Andy Bates. The recipe itself is a simple concept. It’s a pepped-up version of the very English Bakewell Tart, using traditional ground almonds in the tart shell, peach jam, an eggless almond sponge mix, fresh peach slices and a cardamom-spiked mascarpone cream to serve. Sounds adventurous but if I, the world’s worst pastry maker, can do it, you shouldn’t have any problems. Be sure to check out the blog post and recipe and please leave a …