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.

Bacon and Potato Pie

Bacon and Potato Pie

This recipe was shared with me by a friend and I would make it very often for my son when he was a teenager. This is certain to be a hit with every hungry teenager and it is quick as easy to make. It makes a hearty meal because of the meat, potatoes and cheese, and it is easier to make than ordering takeout.


(Serves 2)

Streaky bacon 200 g

Potatoes 3 medium, sliced

Mushrooms 1 cup, sliced

Oil 1 tbsp

Italian herbs 2 tbsps

Cheddar cheese 2 cups, grated

Salt and pepper to taste


Snip the bacon roughly with a pair or scissors to 1” pieces and add it along with the mushrooms to heated oil in a frying pan. Fry till the mushrooms are brown and the bacon is cooked.

In a baking tray, pour a tablespoon of bacon grease. Arrange a layer of potato slices. Add a layer of the bacon and mushroom mixture. Add a layer of overlapping potato slices. Sprinkle a layer of cheese and Italian herbs. Add another layer of potatoes.

Repeat the layers again. Finish with a thick layer of cheese.

Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste and herbs.

Bake in a 180 degree C oven for 20 minutes till the cheese is bubbling.

Rest for 10 minutes and serve with a green salad.

Spinach and Egg Rice

Spinach and Egg Rice

This is a dish you can make if guests surprise you. It takes hardly any time. Ten minutes to assemble the dish on the gas and six minutes in the microwave, and voila, it is ready. It is a balanced meal with rice, spinach, mushrooms, egg and cheese. The flavours of Italian herbs and red chilli flakes give it a gentle boost.


(Serves 3)

Cooked rice 2 cups

Onion 1 large, chopped

Spinach 6 cups, chopped

Mushrooms 1 cup, chopped

Eggs 2

Cheddar cheese 1 cup, grated

Italian herb mix 1 tsp

Chilli flakes 1 tbsp

Pepper powder 2 tsps

Salt to taste

Vegetable oil 1 tbsp


Take cooked rice, basmati or any long-grained variety is best. If it is made the night before and kept in the refrigerator, it is even better. Fluff it up with a fork and keep aside.

Add oil to a wok and fry the onions. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 3-4 minutes.

Add the spinach and continue to sauté for another 4-5 minutes till the leaves are wilted. Add chilli flakes, Italian herbs and pepper.

Add the rice and salt and mix well.

Transfer to a glass microwave dish and spread it evenly.

Break the eggs over the rice, sunny side up.

Sprinkle salt and pepper and spread the cheese over it.

Microwave it for 6 minutes and serve hot.

Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese

A comfort food and a favourite with my son throughout his schooldays was Mac and cheese. I used to make it three or four times a week. I use sharp English mustard and chilli flakes, which impart a unique flavour to the dish.

The chilli flakes add a piquant flavour


Elbow pasta 2 cups
All-purpose flour 3 tbsps
Butter 2 tbsps
Olive oil 2 tbsps
Salt to taste
Pepper powder 1 tsp
English mustard 1 tbsp
Milk 1/2 litre
Cheddar cheese 1 cup, grated
Italian herbs 1 tbsp, dried
Peperoncino chilli flakes 1 tbsp


Boil 6 cups of water with 2 tbsps of salt. Add the pasta and cook till al dente. Drain.

Add the butter and olive oil to a heavy bottomed saucepan. I use Amul salted butter as I feel it gives a better flavour to the dish.

Add the flour and sauté on low flame till the raw smell of the flour is gone.

Add the milk gradually, whisking all the time. Add salt, pepper and mustard. Add the Italian herbs. Cook till the sauce thickens. It should not take more than three minutes.

White sauce

Layer the pasta, white sauce and cheese in an oven proof dish. My trusted dish that I bought from John Lewis in London almost 15 years ago is the one I always use to make mac and cheese. Sprinkle the peperoncino chilli flakes on top.

Bake in an 180 degree C oven for 25 minutes.

Serve hot.

Cheese bread

Cheese bread

This bread is easy to make. I make this in the bread maker, which means it is super easy. I usually put in everything after breakfast, wait for the proving to be over, add the cheese topping, and the bread is ready for lunch.

Full of cheesy flavour


(Serves 4 persons)

Milk 1 1/8 cups
Bread flour 3 cups
Butter, salted 4 tbsps
Mozzarella cheese 1/2 cup, grated
Cheddar cheese 1/2 cup grated
Brown sugar 1 tbsp
Oregano, dried 2 tbsps
Salt 1 tsp
Yeast 2 tbsps
Cheddar cheese for topping 1/4 cup


Heat the milk in the microwave for 30 seconds. It should be lukewarm.

Pour it into the bread-maker pan and add everything else in the order given above, except for the cheese for the topping.

After the final kneading cycle and before the baking starts, add the cheese topping.

Let the bread cool before slicing it. Enjoy with clotted cream mixed with dill and bacon bits.