Chicken Meatloaf

Chicken Meatloaf

This is an extremely moist and flavourful meatloaf that goes well with a green salad and mashed potatoes. I use Ching’s Secret brand of red chilli sauce that is delicious in this dish. I also soak the bread in skimmed milk that keeps the loaf moist. I also use a mix of red chilli sauce and tomato purée for the topping. The addition of olives, jalapeño peppers and dried oregano gives the meatloaf a robust taste.


Chicken mince 500 g

Bread, roughly chopped 4 cups

Skimmed milk 1 cup

Olives 10

Jalapeño pepper 2, chopped

Oregano 2 tbsps, dried

Red chilli sauce 1 cup, divided into two

Tomato purée 5 tbsps

Salt to taste

Onion 1 large, chopped

Vegetable oil 2 tbsps

Olive oil to grease the loaf pan


Add the vegetable oil to a wok and sauté the onions till they turn golden brown.

Add the chicken mince and cook for 15 minutes till all the water evaporates.

Soak the bread in milk and add to a bowl. I use rye bread or sourdough bread, but any artisanal bread works.

Add the olives, jalapeño peppers, 4 tablespoons of red chilli sauce, oregano and salt to the bread.

Toss well and add the mixture to the cooked mince.

Add salt and mix well.

Transfer to a greased loaf pan and pack it down tight.

Mix the rest of the red chilli sauce and tomato purée and pour on top of the meatloaf.

Bake in 190 degree C oven for 50 minutes.

Cover with aluminium foil and leg it rest for 10 minutes.

Serve hot with a green salad and mashed potatoes.

Cabbage leaves stuffed with chicken and rice

Cabbage leaves stuffed with chicken and rice

I was inspired by the Polish dish Golabki to experiment with Indian basmati rice and minced chicken. The gardener brought me fresh cabbages and the result is this really delicious dish. It makes a very satisfying dinner or Sunday lunch.


Cabbage 1 large

Basmati rice 2 cups, cooked

Chicken 500 g, minced

Onion 1 large, chopped

Coriander leaves 1/2 cup, chopped

Salt to taste

Red chilli powder 1 tsp

Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Green chillies 2, chopped

Garlic 2 cloves, minced

Egg 1

Vegetable oil 3 tbsps

Cheddar cheese 100 g, grated

Peperoncino flakes 2 tbsps

For the sauce:

Olive oil 2 tbsps

Onion 1 medium, chopped

Tomatoes 2 medium, chopped

Tomato paste 200 g

Tomato sauce or readymade pizza sauce 200 g

Fresh basil leaves 10, shredded

Cream 3 tbsps

Italian herbs, dried 1 tbsp

Water 1 cup


Heat water in a large pan and let it come to a boil. Immerse the head of cabbage in it and boil for 2 minutes. Switch off the heat and let the cabbage blanch in the water for 2 minutes more. Take out the cabbage let it drain on a plate.

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok and add the onions. Sauté for 2-3 minutes till the onions turn golden brown.

Add the green chillies and garlic and sauté for another 3 minutes.

Add the washed and drained chicken mince and cook for 2 minutes. Stir to break up any lumps.

Add the salt, red chilli powder and turmeric. Cook till the water evaporates.

Add the cooked rice and mix well.

Break the egg directly into the rice and mix well.

Add the coriander leaves and mix well. Switch off the heat.

Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onions. Sauté till they turn translucent.

Add the basil leaves and tomatoes and cook till they turn soft.

Add the tomato paste and tomato sauce. Add the dried Italian herbs and water. Cook for 20 minutes on low heat till the sauce thickens.

Take an ovenproof dish and spread some of the sauce at the bottom.

Separate the cabbage leaves and stuff each leaf with some of the rice and chicken mixture. Roll it up and arrange in the dish.

Pour the sauce over the stuffed cabbage leaves.

Sprinkle generously with cheese.

Sprinkle peperoncino flakes on top and bake in a 180 degree C oven for 25 minutes till the cheese melts and turns brown.

Chilli Cheese Toast

Chilli Cheese Toast

I have grown up with Chilli Cheese Toast. I loved ordering it all the time and I still go back to it often. It is like a security blanket. It takes me back to my childhood and a less complicated, happy life.


Bread 2 slices of any bread

Mozzarella cheese 1/2 cup, grated

Green chillies 3, minced

Coriander leaves, minced


Arrange the slices of bread on a wire rack. I prefer sourdough bread, but any bread that has a bite to it is good. You can use country loaf or whole wheat bread.

Sprinkle generously with mozzarella cheese.

Sprinkle minced green chillies and coriander leaves.

Bake for 8 minutes in a 230 degree C oven.

Serve hot.

Za’atar Manaqish (Flat bread with spice)

Za’atar Manaqish (Flat bread with spice)

This Middle Eastern bread with the flavourful za’atar spice is an ideal snack. It can be served with a green salad, lab Meh or feta cheese. I was introduced to za’atar when I was suffering from nausea and it cured me. I have been a fan since.


(Makes 20)

All-purpose flour 3 cups

Yeast 3 tsps

Water 1 cup

Sugar 2 tsps

Olive oil 2 tbsps

Salt 1/2 tsp

Za’atar spice 4 tbsps mixed with 4 tbsps of olive oil


Add the sugar to lukewarm water and sprinkle the yeast on it. Mix and let it stand for 5 minutes.

Mix the salt and olive oil with the flour. Use your fingers to rub in the oil.

Add the yeast mixture and make a dough.

Sprinkle flour on the counter top and knead the dough for 10 minutes.

Transfer the dough into a greased bowl and let it rise for 2 hours. The dough should double in volume.

Punch the dough and make 20 balls. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.

Using your fingers punch the dough into flat circular discs. Spread the za’atar and olive oil mix on top.

Bake for 12-15 minutes in a 200 degree C oven.

Serve warm.

Broccoli and Mushroom Pasta

Broccoli and Mushroom Pasta

This dish with garlicky cream sauce with peperoncino flakes and aged cheddar cheese is delicious and healthy. You can use any pasta though I have used macaroni. The broccoli and capsicum give it a lovely fresh green colour.


Macaroni pasta 2 cups, cooked al dente

Broccoli florets 1 cup

Capsicum 1 medium, sliced

Mushrooms 200 g, sliced

Garlic 10 cloves, minced

All-purpose flour 1 tbsp

Milk 1 cup

Fresh cream 1 cup

Salt to taste

Pepper powder 1 tsp

Peperoncino flakes 1 tbsp

Cheddar cheese 1 cup, grated

Olive oil 2 tbsps

Butter 30 g


Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy bottomed frying pan.

Add the garlic and sauté for a few seconds. Take care not to burn the garlic.

Add the mushrooms and fry till all the moisture evaporates. When the mushrooms turn brown, add the broccoli and capsicum. Fry for 2-3 minutes.

Add the flour and fry for a minute. Add the milk and stir till it thickens. Add the salt and pepper powder.

Add the cream and mix well.

Add the pasta and fold it into the sauce. See that the pasta is completely covered by the sauce.

Garnish with cheese, peperoncino flakes and coriander sprigs.

Cheesy Sausage and Vegetable Stew

Cheesy Sausage and Vegetable Stew

This dish is cooked in a slow cooker for about five hours so that the flavour of the sauce and the meat permeates the vegetables, making a hearty meal by itself. A great dish for family dinners, especially in winter.


(Serves 10)

Sausages 10-15, diced

Potatoes 2 large, peeled and diced

Capsicum 2, diced

Carrots 3 large, peeled and diced

Spring onions 8, diced

Milk 1 1/2 cups

Water 2 cups

Fresh cream 1 cup

Salt to taste

Italian herbs 2 tbsps

Cayenne pepper 1 tsp

Pepper powder 1 tsp

Tomato pasta sauce 4 tbsps

Cheddar cheese 250 g, duced

Coriander leaves, a large bunch, roughly chopped


Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook for 4-5 hours till the potatoes are cooked.

Serve hot with Rustic country loaf, bacon and tomato bread, focaccia bread or Brazilian corn bread.

Banana Oat Loaf

Banana Oat Loaf

This is a great loaf for breakfast. It is healthy and tasty and can be made the night before or even early in the morning if you prefer a warm slice.


(Serves 4)

Bananas 2, mashed

Oat flour 1 1/2 cups

Butter 50 g

Condensed milk 1/2 cup

Yoghurt 1/2 cup

Baking soda 1/2 tsp

Baking powder 1 tsp

Walnuts 1/2 cup, chopped


Cream the butter and condensed milk together using an electric whisk.

Add the yoghurt and whisk at high speed.

Add the mashed bananas and whisk for a minute.

Mix the oats flour, baking soda, baking powder and walnuts in a separate bowl.

Add it to the liquid mixture using a cut-and-fold motion.

Grease a bread loaf pan and pour in the batter. It will be thick, but that is ok.

Bake in a 170 degree oven for 40 minutes. Let it cool in the pan. Slice and serve.

Banana and Chocolate Pie

Banana and Chocolate Pie

I had pastry left over from the lemon tart I made and decided to make a banana and chocolate pie. It is a light dessert that goes well after a soup and meat dinner.


Pastry pie crust

Banana 1

Chocolate chips 1/4 cup

Honey 3 tbsps


Make the pie crust according to the recipe given here.

Lightly dust the countertop and roll out the pastry dough to form a 1/4” thick disc. Cut out a round the size of round baking tray and use the dough you count out to border the disc.

Bake in a 180 degree C oven for about 20 minutes till the crust is flaky and light brown.

Take it out of the oven and pour a tablespoon of honey.

Slice the banana and line the middle of the baked crust.

Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and pour the rest of the honey.

Bake in a 180 degree C oven for 15 minutes.

Let the pie cool and slice into wedges.

Country bread

Country bread

This rustic country loaf is healthy, tasty and easy to make. The mix of bread flour and whole wheat flour makes this a bread for all occasions. It goes well with soups and also makes great sandwiches.


Bread flour 3 cups

Whole wheat flour 1 1/3 cup

Olive oil 1/3 cup plus for greasing

Italian herbs 2 tbsps

Yeast 3 tsp

Salt 1 tsp

Sugar 2 tbsps


Mix all the ingredients and make a dough in the bread machine or stand mixer.

Roll the dough on to a floured surface and knead for about five minutes.

Shape into a ball and let rest covered in a greased bowl for two hours. I leave it overnight in winter.

Punch down the dough and give it a second rising.

Keep a tray of water in the oven and bake in a 210 degree C convection oven for 40 minutes. Spritz with water a few times during the first 15 minutes.

Cool on a rack, slice and serve.

Eggless fudge brownie

Eggless fudge brownie

This fudgy brownie is light, but does not compromise on taste. The yoghurt and sugar give the fudgy texture to the brownie.


Dark chocolate 125 g

Cocoa 1/2 cup

Drinking chocolate 1/2 cup

Butter 85 g

Sugar 1 cup

Hot water 1/4 cup

All-purpose flour 3/4 cup

Baking powder 1/2 tsp

Corn flour 2 tbsps

Salt 1/2 tsp

Yoghurt 1/4 cup


Melt the butter, chocolate, cocoa and drinking chocolate in a microwave at 30-second intervals till it becomes a smooth thick sauce.

Add the sugar to the hot water in a bowl and whisk for four minutes.

Add the chocolate sauce and whisk well.

Add the all-purpose flour, corn flour, baking powder and salt and mix with a folding action. Do not over mix.

Add the yoghurt and mix it in.

Put into a greased tray and bake in a 170 degree C oven for 25 minutes.

Cool overnight in the refrigerator and slice into squares.