Archive | March 2013




To all of you out there around the world my family and I wish you a very peaceful and





I just could not resist!

To-day is Saint Patricks Day and a very old and famous song entered my head and refused to leave me alone most of today. I am sure many of you have heard “When Irish Eyes are smiling…”  and even know the lyrics.


Since I do not have any pictures referring to this song I took the liberty and turned the headline into “…when children’s eyes are smiling…” to match the 2 photographs which I love.


And you? What do you think?

Have a good start of yet another week.

From me to you


Spring is just around the corner!!!

According to Wikipedia the 20th of March heralds the official entering of Spring (even if some of you dont believe this – but it is true).

somewhere in Nottinghill Gate, London

somewhere in Nottinghill Gate, London

little light in a darkish corner

little light in a darkish corner

Whilst I will be in my kitchen cooking for next weeks postings I leave you with just a few visual little treats (and yes, we both miss the Season in the UK).

a tuscan window

close to home

A charming little church-yard  off Kensington High Street, London

A charming little church-yard off Kensington High Street, London

Tuscan window boxes

Tuscan window boxes

Have a peaceful, happy and relaxing week-end.

From me to you


Mysore – Part III

For the next few months  this is going to be my last report from Mysore.

On our last night here at The Regaalis Hotel we had ordered 3 different dishes from Executive Chef Aga and for me it was

Zaffrani Kajuwala Murgh


500 g              boneless chicken

50 g                Amul cheese (or mild cheddar)

50 g                Amul cooking cream

05 g                green cardamom powder

Some              chopped coriander leaves

01 tsp            white pepper powder

15 g                ginger paste

15 g                garlic paste

100 g               hung curd (thick yoghurt)

50 g                cashew nut paste

To taste           salt

1-2 nos            green chilly, chopped

Method of Preparation:

Cut the chicken into small pieces and marinate with ginger, garlic, cheese, hung curd and chopped coriander, green chilly and the cooking crème. Check seasoning.

Allow chicken to marinate for about 1 hour.

Cook the marinated cubes of chicken on a skewer in a clay pot oven (or under a grill, turning frequently) until 3/4th done.


Cashew Base Gravy:

100 g                 whole cashew nuts

2-3 nos              green chilly

50 g                    sliced onions

30 ml                 Ghee or Oil

15 g                    ginger paste

15 g                    garlic paste

100 g                  yoghurt

To taste             salt

05 g                    white pepper powder

1 pinch of          saffron strands

2-3 nos               green cardamom, whole

Method of preparation:

Soak and puree the cashew nuts in warm water.

Empty the paste in to a container.

Take some water in a pan, add the sliced onion and green chillies and cook until soft and opaque. Puree the mix once cold. Keep the puree aside.

Take some oil or ghee (clarified butter) in a pan, add the pureed onion, saute for 2 to 3 minutes and add the ginger and garlic paste, cashew nut paste, green cardamom powder, add a cup of water (200 ml). Continue to cook on a slow flame for the next 10 to 20 mins or until the oil starts to separate from the gravy and begins to ‘float’. Add the saffron strands, previously soaked in milk for at least 10 to 15 minutes, and check for taste and seasoning. Keep gravy aside.

Andrea1-12Mix the Murgh Malai kebab in to the cashew gravy and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Garnish with fresh crème, fresh coriander and cashew nuts. Sprinkle some saffron strands on top.

Zaffrani Kajuwala Murgh is now ready to be enjoyed with oven fresh Parantha or steamed rice.

This is, as you can see, quite a rich dish. But do not try and cut out the cashew nuts, or the dish becomes something quite different. And once in a while I like to indulge – but I assure you, there is no space for pudding or ice cream left afterwards!

So, and as I bid you ‘farewell’ for today from this ancient city of Mysore, I leave you with just a few pictures until next time. We have already earmarked a whole day at the Royal Palace and its surroundings and I know that Andrea will be only too happy to show you around.



Statues are handcarved out of those kind of granit blocks.


Flowers for the Temple




A lorry load of Party Supporters


A house entrance decorated for a social function

Mysore – Part II

–  Mutton Curry Rogan Josh –

As you will remember from my previous posting, our time in Mysore was hectic, full of appointments, in short, we were a bit rushed off our feet and not able to enjoy this beautiful ancient city – until the next time!


The swimming pool at our lovely hotel “The Regaalis” looked so inviting but we had to forego the pleasure of a refreshing swim and also the Barbecue in the evening. Instead we chose to have our meals in the pleasant restaurant – and by the look of it, it surely was a very popular choice by the large number of local- and foreign guests.

Chef Aga prepared for Jo a most delicious Mutton Curry – I can even now whilst writing this smell the aroma coming out of the Kaddai in which it was served in.


Oil                                                                           4 Tbsp

Leg of Lamb                                                         800 g

Onion, sliced                                                       200 g

Tomato, pureed                                                 250 g

Ginger paste                                                           35 g

Garlic paste                                                             25 g

Kashmiri Chilly Powder                                     15 g

Dhaniya (Coriander) Powder                           15 g

Whole Garam Masala                                           05 g

(a mix of cinnamon, cloves, black cardamom and bay leaf)

Black pepper powder                                          05 g

Chopped Coriander                                              for garnishing

Salt                                                                               to taste

Bay Leaf                                                                      02 to 03 nos

Method of Preparation:

Cut the Lamb leg into 35 to 40 g pieces and keep aside.

Slice the onions, puree the garlic and ginger separately. Chop the coriander leaves and cut ginger into juliennes.

Heat the oil in a pan; add the whole Garam Masala and the sliced onions Fry the onions till golden brown. Add the ginger and garlic paste. Mix in the lamb pieces and continue to stir for few minutes.

Add the pureed tomato and continue the cooking for the next 02 to 03 minutes. Add in the Kashmiri chili powder, Dhaniya powder, black pepper powder and check for the seasoning. Add water and continue the cooking till the lamb is cooked well and the gravy starts to thicken and the oil separates from the gravy and starts to float on the top of the pan.

Once the lamb is well cooked empty this into a serving dish, garnish with chopped coriander and ginger juliennes.

Mutton Curry Rogan Josh is ready to be relished with some Roomali Roti or some steamed rice.


This dish also tastes very nice using beef.


Mysore and ‘Petter Pan Fish’

No, this is not a spelling mistake and to be frank, I was not even able to find out why exactly this dish was called ‘Petter Pan’.

Having driven by car for 13 hours to see our youngest daughter, Andrea, we were able to take her out of her College for at least one day and two nights and moved her into our hotel “The Regaalis” in Mysore – the City of Palaces.


Of course we were more than happy to be with her for at least those few hours, but we did not have time to go and visit the Royal Palace (again) – which really is nearly a whole day affair (and worth a blog entry by itself), if one wants to do it properly. It is certainly worth it and if you can plan it try to go on a Sunday evening, when the whole Palace is illuminated with thousands of small lights.

The Regaalis is a very pleasant 4-star hotel not too far from the city centre with swimming pool and an excellent reputation especially for its local cuisine. I was taken into the very spacious kitchen to meet ‘the man in charge’ of this gastronomic territory, Executive Chef Aga Thammar Murthuza, who, in his own words, “… wishes to make the dining experience of each and every guest of his a special one….” And he most certainly did not disappoint any of us.


Andrea chose the above fish dish from the menu and Chef happily parted with his recipe for me to share with you. I promise it is really delicious. In fact I went to my local fish market nearby this morning to see if I could get Basa. And lucky me, I was able to get a nice piece which I will make tomorrow for lunch. If you cannot get Basa fish, any other white (softish) fillet will have to do – but take pain to pull out all the little bones before you cook this fish (I have a thing about bones in fish and will forego to eat even the most delicious dish if there are any bones left!).



Basa Fillet                                                               500 g

Salt and pepper                                                     to taste

English Mustard Powder (or readymade)      1 tsp

Lemon Juice                                                         3 Lime

Capers                                                                   10-15 no’s

Blanched Spinach                                                50 g

Baby Potatoes                                                      50 g

Chopped Parsley                                                  15 g

Assorted Vegetables                                            50 g (Broccoli, Zucchini, Carrot)

Garlic                                                                       10 g

Method of Preparation:

Slice the fillets of Basa, marinate with fresh lime juice, mustard powder, salt and pepper.

Allow fish to marinate for 5-10 minutes.

Grill the marinated fillets on a griddle.

In the meantime roughly chop the garlic and the blanched spinach.

Heat 1 tsp of butter in pan, add the chopped garlic, sauté till golden brown, add the spinach and stir for 35 to 40 seconds. Boil the assorted vegetables, drain the water, sauté the vegetables with some butter, a pinch of salt and some dried herbs. Toss the boiled baby potatoes with some butter and chopped parsley. Finally heat some butter in a pan, add the Capers and the lime juice and stir for a couple of seconds.

Once the fish is completely done, dish it out on to a plate. Add some sautéed Garlic Spinach, Parsley, Baby Potatoes and the butter sautéed Vegetables. Top the fish with the caper-butter sauce. Garnish with some chopped parsley and a slice of lime and enjoy the first of our three “Regaalis” dishes created by Chef Aga.