Saffron Almond and Rose Oat Porridge

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This recipe wasn’t supposed to be like this. I started off by soaking some steel cut oats in a bowl of water overnight with the intention of making some heartwarming Oats porridge for breakfast since the temperature is in the minus 30 degrees Celsius. It’s freezing cold and only porridge as fuel in the morning gives us the warmth to venture outside!

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Back to my oats…..soaked overnight.

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Rinsed out the water in the morning, added some more and put it to boil. That’s where everything normal ended, as I opened my spice cupboard to get some cinnamon but saw my fancy new bottle of Spanish Saffron that was calling out to go into the porridge.

Unable to resist the temptation, I added the saffron, followed by slivered almonds, chopped up pistachios and some rose water whilst I was at it too along with some crushed dried rose leaves. Some sugar and milk joined in the mix and a little pinch of salt.

Once it had thickened up nicely, I added some more chopped nuts and dried rose petals for garnish as well some extra crunch.

It was a beautiful, fragrant and heart warming breakfast. None of the boys complained about anything, and they still wanted some more for their mid-morning snack! A recipe to save as I know this one will be demanded every time I soak the oats… tonight! Its only -37c with wind chill right now with some more snow predicted for tonight. *sigh*

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Saffron Almond and Rose Oats Porridge
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A decadent and heartwarming bowl of Oats Porridge, made with roses, almonds and saffron
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 4
  • Steel cut oats, soaked overnight in water
  • A handful of almond slivers
  • A handful of pistachios, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • A tbsp of dried rose petals
  • A few strands of saffron
  • Water and milk as required
  • A pinch of salt
  • Suger to taste
  1. Boil the oats in water on medium heat and add the saffron and the nuts (reserve some for garnishing).
  2. Add the rose water and the rose petals and allow to cook for about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the milk and cook until the oats are fully cooked.
  4. Stir in a pinch of salt and add the sugar to taste.
  5. Serve hot with some extra chopped nuts and dried rose petals as a garnish.




Creamy Chickpeas and Spinach Curry

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This is the first curry I have made in a few weeks, following the Carpol tunnel surgery on one of my hands. I did get a bit of help from my 11 year old, as my sous chef in the kitchen to make our lunch so I cannot take all the credit. He is also one of the reasons why all the onions and tomatoes were minced into the curry sauce so he doesn’t see them.

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Our lunch consisted of Basmati rice with cumin and peas, a quick Onion and tomato Salad sprinkled with Mango powder and fresh lime zest and juice, as well the creamy Chickpeas and Spinach curry.

I usually make our chickpeas spicy and with a very tart flavour, as I like the traditional Pindi chanas, so this was a very pleasant change where I used similar ingredients but a little variation made them nice and creamy instead.

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Creamy Chickpeas and Spinach Curry
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Creamy and delicately spiced Chickpeas with Spinach Curry
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small bunch of baby spinach, roughly sliced
  • ½ cup finely chopped onions
  • 2 fresh green chillies, finely chopped (adjust to taste)
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ inch piece of fresh turmeric, grated (or 1 tsp turmeric powder)
  • 1 tbsp Chana masala
  • 1 tbsp cumin coriander powder
  • ¼ cup diced tomatoes
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp clarified butter
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  1. Heat clarified butter in a pan, saute the onions until translucent. Add the fresh turmeric, ginger and green chillies and cook for a further couple of minutes before adding the garlic and the diced tomatoes. Cover the pan and reduce the heat, letting the sauce cook for a couple of minutes.
  2. If you want a smooth sauce, then blitz it in the blender before returning to the pan.
  3. Stir in the chickpeas followed by all the spices, stir well. Add the spinach, and a ¼ cup of water. Cover the pan and reduce the heat. Let the curry cook for about 10 minutes or until the chickpeas have softened.
  4. Using the back of the spoon, smash some of the chickpeas in the pan, before stirring in a little bit of the cream and a little butter. Stir well and serve hot.




Savoury French Toast

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I have always loved French Toast for breakfast. As a child, it was always a treat to get French toast in the morning and it was usually on our days off School or in the School holidays that we got these.  For some reason, we never ate French toast when we went out so it wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that I discovered that the version of French toast that I had been eating all my life was not the norm every where else. Initially I thought the cafe had my order wrong, but on checking the menu I realised they had in fact detailed it as sweet.

I went through years without eating French toast as I couldn’t cook in my twenties and I didn’t know how to make them. When I got pregnant with my son at the age of 30, what do I crave for? French Toast! Fortunately, my sister in law knew how to make them and she taught me how simple it was to make. I ate French Toast, Fries and drank Coke throughout my pregnancy as I couldn’t eat anything else.

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Over the years as my cooking skills developed and I learnt to play around with spices, I changed this recipe a little to suit how I liked them and this is one of our family favourites.

Savoury French Toast
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An Indian spiced French Toast - savoury and spicy served with homemade chutney and spicy ketchup.
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4-6
  • 8 slices of a day old bread
  • 4 eggs
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp green chilli paste (adjust to taste)
  • ¼ tsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp cumin coriander powder
  • 1 tsp crushed dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
  • Oil to shallow fry
  1. Slice the bread into triangles or rectangles, any shape of your choice. I like triangles as they look pretty and the edges get very nice and crispy.
  2. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add all the ingredients (except for the oil)
  3. Heat oil in a shallow pan, on medium high heat.
  4. Dip the bread slices in the egg mixture and slowly add to the pan. I like to cook mine on slightly lower heat as it helps crisp up the bread.
  5. Cook 2 minutes on one side, and then turn over to cook the other side for 1 minute.
  6. Drain excess oil off on kitchen paper.
  7. Serve hot with a cup of tea and home made chutneys or spicy ketchup.