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Tuesday, 31 March 2020 19:39

Socca Bread deals

This is a large chickpea pancake from Provence area in France also called farinata. Traditionally cooked in wood ovens on copper disks, roughly cut and served hot or warm. It can take variations i.e to add chopped rosemary in the butter mix or curry or turmeric, garlic or pesto too. But do not restrict yourselves. Have it in squares with a dip of your choice, go South American, Asia, and Middle East, even go European and add horseradish cream and chopped smoked salmon with some leaves. Make it as a pizza bread base and top it up with cooked ratatouille, or tossed vegetables, tomato base stir fry and again top it up with fresh salad leaves for a bigger meal deal.


In France, my travel times I had this everywhere with olives on the side when ordering aperitifs the right time! Perfect with dry vermouth and a glass of proper chardonnay! 


Have fun, easy to make and do create your deals!


PREP TIME: 5 to 10 min

COOKING TIME: 6 to 8 min



1 cup chickpea flour (4 1/2 ounces)

1 cup water

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan and drizzling

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon za'atar or cumin or else



Prepare the chickpea batter. Whisk the chickpea flour, water, olive oil, and salt together in a medium bowl until smooth. Let rest for 30 minutes to give the flour time to absorb the water.


Preheat the oven and then the pan. Arrange an oven rack 6 inches below the broiler element and heat to 450°F. About 5 minutes before the batter is done resting, place a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven and turn the oven to broil.


Add the batter to the prepared pan. Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven. Add about 1 teaspoon of oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pan when the pan is swirled. Pour the batter into the center of the pan. Tilt the pan so the batter coats the entire surface of the pan, if needed.


Broil the socca for 5 to 8 minutes. Broil until the top of the socca begin to blister and brown, 5 to 8 minutes. The socca should be fairly flexible in the middle but crispy on the edges. If the top is browning too quickly before the batter is fully set, move the skillet to a lower oven rack until ready.


Slice and serve. Use a flat spatula to work your way under the socca and ease it from the pan onto a cutting board. Slice it into wedges or squares, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with the za'atar if using.


NOTE Socca is best if eaten immediately after baking while still warm, but can be refrigerated and re-toasted for up to 1 week.

Photo taken at home with my mobile during lockdown!


Published in Eats
Sunday, 29 March 2020 20:17

Indian Baked Penne with Vegetables


Whole meal penne pasta

2 tbsp. finely chopped red onion, 2gl. garlic, chunk of ginger

3 Bay leaves, 3 cinnamon sticks

Finely chopped courgettes, aubergines, celery

Green peas

Small broccoli florets

Pinch of red chilly

2 tbsp. garam masala

1 tbsp. turmeric powder

1 tbsp. coriander powder

2 tbsp. tomato paste

½ pint vegetable stock

Salt & pepper

¼ fresh lime

(Coconut cream optional) 


Cream sauce

3 tbsp.  Chick pea flour

3 tbsp. sunflower oil

1 ltr unsweetened Almond milk

2 Star anise

½ tbsp. cinnamon powder

Salt & pepper



In a large sauce pan heat the oil and toss the onions, garlic and ginger, bay leaves and cinnamon stocks until soft. Add all the vegetables except the broccoli and stir until golden brown. Then add the broccoli florets for a minute and add all the dry spices. Stir for a minute or two and add the tomato paste and the vegetable stock. It should be saucy but not juicy. Cook for a few minutes until all is cooked, add salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze the lime and optionally you may add a couple of spoons of coconut cream. Leave to rest on the side until you cook the pasta in hot water. Drain the pasta and mix with the vegetable mixture.


Cream sauce- In another pan heat the oil, add the flour and stir constantly as if you make a roux as a base for a cheese sauce. Be careful not to overheat but you need to cook the flour. Then add your almond milk a little at time not to curl but mix well with the flour mixture. Keep stirring and adding a little of milk at the time until it becomes a thick cream. Add the star anise, salt and pepper, and a little at a time the vegetable stock but mix some with the cinnamon powder and add at the end. Keep on low fire stirring until the cream thickens.


Let it rest for a minute and then pour over the pasta evenly. Sprinkle with some fresh crushed peppercorns and cinnamon dust.


Bake in the oven for 45 minutes in 220 c.


Note : Mobile photo at home during ‘stay safe at home’


Published in Eats
Sunday, 29 March 2020 19:54

Creamy Mushroom & Turmeric Orzotto

Plant based recipe, simple and delicious on its own or with an herbal green salad!



2 cups whole wheat orzo

2 cups sliced mushrooms

2 table spoons chopped onion

2 gloves crushed garlic

2 bay leaves

1 tin coconut milk (2 cups or 400 ml)

2 tbsp. pumpkin kernels

2 tbsp. designated coconut

½ tbsp. turmeric

Vegetable stock (4 cups or 800 ml)

Soya bean oil 3 tbsp., salt/pepper, nutmeg



In a cooking pot, add the soya bean oil and when hot toss the chopped onion, garlic and bay leaves until soft and slightly golden. Add the orzo and stir in the turmeric, pumpkin kernels and designated coconut, followed by the coconut milk and the vegetable stock. Stir continually to avoid sticking at the bottom of the pot.


Add salt and pepper and keep stirring until the orzo is cooked. It should be by now creamy and runny, if not add a little more stock or water. Let it rest for 5 minutes covered and off the heat to further absorb the liquids and complete its cooking. Serve in bowls and add some nutmeg, pumpkin kernels and designated coconut on the top.


Tip- squeeze a few drops of fresh lime to add that extra kick, and if you like it spicy add some chili powder together with the turmeric!





Published in Eats

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