All posts by Genevieve

Uzhunnappam – Gluten Free Dal Patties

Indian Dal rice flour patties

These south indian patties are a great little bread to eat with a curry, or even to top with baba ganoush for a tasty snack or light lunch.


  • 1/4 cup urad dal
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/4 cup rice flour (or gluten free flour)
  • 2/3 cup desiccated coconut
  • oil for frying
  • salt


  1. Place the urad dal in a frying pan and dry fry over a medium heat until the dal turns golden brown.
  2. Transfer the dal to a grinder (blender) and grind to a fine powder. Place the powder into a large bowl and set aside
  3. Finely chop the onion, and garlic. Add the onion, garlic and cumin powder to the dal powder in the bowl.
  4. Add the rice (GF) flour and coconut to the bowl as well. Slowly stir in 2 cups of water, or just enough to give a thick batter
  5. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a frying pan at a medium heat (induction 6). Spoon in a large spoon size amount of the batter into the pan, and spread it out to make a round about 10cm across. Cook until crisp and golden underneath (4-5 minutes). Turn over and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pan and serve hot. Repeat for the rest of the batter.

Sweet Potato Curry with Coconut Milk from Karnataka

When we lived in India I needed to go to Cochin in Kerala for work. The market research session I was attending didn’t start until the afternoon, so I had the morning to explore Fort Cochin. There amoungst the alleyways I found a tiny little bookshop piled high with books. A wonderful little treasure trove. From that store I bought a South Indian Vegetarian cookbook which I love exploring. This recipe is based on that for Urulaikizhangu Saagu which is a Potato Curry from Karnataka. Using sweet potatoes to make a Sweet Potato Curry gives it a slightly richer flavor (and a few more vitamins), and I skipped the process of making homemade coconut milk, and stuck to a store bought can for convenience. It is truly delicious!


  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 270ml can coconut milk
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 2cm piece of ginger, peeled, grated
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Spice paste

  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 3 dried chillies
  • 1 Tbsp Bengal gram or Moong dal
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1 tsp Bengal gram or Moong dal
  • 1 dried chilli
  • 1 sprig curry leaves


  1. Peel the sweet potatoes. Cut into 1-2cm cubes. Cook in salted, boiling water until tender. Drain and set aside
  2. Grind ingredients for spice paste in a mill accessory on a blender or food processor. Gradually add 2-3 Tbsp to make a paste
  3. Heat some oil in a large frying pan. Add all the Tempeeing ingredients and fry until the mustard seeds start to splutter
  4. Add the onions to the Tempered spices and fry until golden, around 3 minutes
  5. Add green chilies, ginger, tomatoes, turmeric, and salt. Fry for about 2 minutes
  6. Add 1 cup of water and turn up the heat (from 6 to 7 on an induction cooktop). Simmer for 4-5 minutes stirring occasionally
  7. Turn down the heat (to 6 on an Induction cooktop). Mix in the spice paste and sweet potatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure all ingredient should are well mixed together and the mixture does not catch on the pan
  8. Pour in the can of Coconut Milk and stir to combine thoroughly. Simmer for a few minutes over a low heat.
  9. Serve with rice, idli, dosa, or roti

Gluten Free Pikelets

Liam decided he wanted to cook this morning and had a whole bunch of ingredients out on the bench. Including, cheese, chocolate, eggs, flour, maple syrup and almond milk. “I want to make a cheesey, chocolatey, little pancake” he said. “I’m not sure about the feta and chocolate together, but we could make little pikelets with melted chocolate” I replied, “oh, but there is loads of sugar in pikelets” I muttered. “No problem, we can use maple syrup instead of sugar” he said. And so this recipe was born. A slightly sweeter, thicker pancake mix, with baking powder so that it would rise, and it worked really well.


  • 1 cup (250ml) gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 180ml almond milk
  • pinch of salt
  • a little water


  1. Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix well
  2. Add a little water to get a thick batter, but one that can be spooned into the pan (about 50ml depending on your flour).
  3. Heat a frying pan on a moderate heat (induction 6).
  4. Place a desert size scoop of batter into the pan. Spread it a little to have the batter an even thickness of approx 1/2cm thick.
  5. Cook all the batter in batches and serve warm with melted chocolate, honey, jam and coconut yoghurt, or other toppings of your choice

Sun Temples and Salt Lakes, Gujarat

Driving on the salt lake at Little Rann, Gujarat, India (Februar
Rajastan, the Golden Triangle, and the Taj Mahal are all well known tourist attractions in India. Even Kerala is attracting a following to its backwaters. But India has so much more to offer, that is just a little off the beaten track and attracts far less tourists.
Breathe in a bit of Gujarat
Gujarat is a state best known in India for its industrious people. The home of top Industrialist Ratan Tata (Tata enterprises) and Mukesh Ambani (Reliance Industries), Gujarat has commerce in its blood. It is also the home state of India’s Prime Minister – Narendra Modi. To change the perception that the state is only worthy of traveling there for work, a certain (very big) Bollywood star got paid an obscene amount of money to say the now famous and often repeated words “Breathe in a bit of Gujarat”.
But Gujarat does have more to offer than its industrialists and their money making ability. It is a place full of history, was the home of Gandhi (you can visit his ashram in Ahmedabad) and is worth considering adding onto a longer trip that includes neighboring Rajastan.
The wonders of Gujarat
Bordering onto Pakistan in the north, Rajastan and Madhya Pradesh in the East, Maharashtra (Mumbai) in the South, and the Arabian sea in the West, Gujarat has a variety of landscape, historical and architectural wonders to visit. I am going to focus on the area from Ahmedabad North, known as the Little Rann of Kutch and shown on Google Maps as the “Wild Ass Sanctuary”.
Salt Lakes and Temples

Much less famous than it’s big brother (the Rann of Kutch) my colleagues and even a friendly Gujarati who offered me advice for the visit, assumed we were off to the big brother, despite my protests to the contrary that we were going to Little Rann.

Little Rann lies about 100km from Ahmedabad, through new housing developments, crop fields, and cows. We passed goods trains, trucks and camels as we wound our way through the countryside towards the desert.

Our accommodation was a bit of a surprise. Nestled in the fields down a small road, the dusty entrance wasn’t promising, but a few steps further mud bungalows curled around green lawns. A veritable oasis in the middle of nowhere. While they unfortunately didn’t feed us Gujarati food for dinner, the rooms and lawns at Rann Riders were certainly inviting.

Visiting the salt lakes
From Rann Riders we climbed into jeeps to drive from Dasada to the salt lake and Wild Ass sanctuary of Little Rann.

Barry and Liam walking on the salt lake at Little Rann, Gujarat,

The driver stopped to point out migratory Cranes from Northern India and black winged ducks as we drove towards the flamingos on the drying up salt lake. Hundreds of them stood in the water, but as we tried to get a closer look the dried up mud gave way to slush and our feet got stuck. With a mud bath on our feet we headed off further in the jeep in search of the Wild Asses.

Flamingos on the salt lake at Little Rann, Gujarat, India (Febru

These beautiful white with black accented animals wandered in packs through the brush and sand looking for food. Wild antelope sheltered under a lone tree as the Asses ambled past.

Wild asses walking through the Wild Ass Sanctuary at Little Rann

Further along we came to the salt lakes where local men and women still till the salt by hand. Pulling rakes through the shallow water they spread out the salt to allow the sun to do the evaporation job, and collect up the salt into large sacks using minimal implements. Salt is one of the basic requirements for life, and its taxation and monopolization by the British led to the salt marches of Gandhi, one of the major resistances to British rule, which ultimately led to independence, starting right here in Gujarat.

Man harvesting salt on the salt lake at Little Rann, Gujarat, In

We drove back through traditional villages. Outside mud huts women washed clothes and waved in our direction. Children carried stones on a metal plate on their heads towards men building water lines. A boy on a bicycle tottered to a stop to let us past, his load on the back was too big for the strength of his legs, and he wobbled across the road in our dust as we left. This Gujarat seems a long way from it’s fame as one of India’s best developed states.

Modhera Sun Temple
50km away the Modhera Sun Temple is virtually unknown outside this corner of India. Even a colleague who used to work in this part of Gujarat hadn’t heard of it, or the nearby Patan Temple.

Dating from 1000 AD it features a geometrically carved tank from which worshipers can purify themselves for the worship of the Hindu sun god Surya.

Modhera Sun Temple, Gujarat, India (February 2013)

The temple itself is richly carved and there are also example of erotic art within the carving of the temple. At the time it was built it was seen as an act that brought about fertility and it was neither suppressed nor moralized. In fact it wasn’t until the British reign of Queen Victoria that such things became frowned upon and the long arm of the British empire had its effect in India as suggesting women should be covered, and erotic temple art frowned upon.  Take a look at the exterior walls of the main temple itself to find it.
Detailed carvings adorn the Modhera Sun Temple, Gujarat, India (
We didn’t manage to fit in a trip up to Patan, but the Jain temple of Patan and Rani ki Vav stepwell are both worth seeing if you can fit them into your trip.
Adalaj Stepwell
Heading back towards Ahmedabad, the Adalaj Stepwell in Gandhinagar was built in 1499. Intricately carved, and five stories in depth, it was built by a Muslim king to collect rain water and has long been a stopping off point for travelers to cool down and collect water on their travels. In a state known for its droughts, water collection and protection has long been held high in importance, as the intricate carving on this beautiful stepwell shows.
It is still visited by travelers, although this has now resulted in it being unceremoniously positioned next to a bus stop. Crowds of locals shelter from the heat amoungst the cool shade of the stepwell. Cooled from below by the water, it is a welcome respite from the heat. Behind the stepwell a small park shelters those enjoying a picnic or a game of cricket before traveling further.
Stepwell, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India (February 2013)
To get a little further taste of Gujarat, you can enjoy Big B telling you a little bit more about “Breathing in a bit of Gujarat”
Architecture of Gujarat – including Modhera Sun Temple

Rann of Kutch

Gir Lions

Somnath Sun Temple


Asian bean sprout and Chervil salad

The delivery of Chervil In this weeks Organic food basket delivery has led to us experimenting with what to do with it. Dinner tonight was a simple pan fried salmon with this delicious, but very easy to make salad. The Chervil has a lovely aniseed flavor that really adds to the freshness of the dish.



  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp coconut aminos (or light soya sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp (not too hot) chili sauce


  • 150-200g bean sprouts (tauge)
  • 1/2 red capsicum (pepper), julienned
  • 1 orange, peeled and cut into segments, cut segments in half
  • large handful of fresh chervil, roughly chopped
  • Handful of chopped cashews, pan fried


  1. Finely slice (julienne) the capsicum
  2. Peel the orange and cut it into segment. Cut the segments in half to get chunks of orange approximately 1cm cubed
  3. Chop the fresh chervil roughly
  4. Chop a handful of cashews roughly and dry pan fry (without oil) them until they are golden brown.
  5. Place all the salad ingredients together in a salad bowl
  6. Combine all of the dressing ingredients together in a cup and stir well to combine
  7. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss to combine
  8. Allow the salad to come up to nearly room temperature by leaving it on the bench top for around 30 minutes. This also give the dressing ingredients time to  intensify in flavour
  9. Serve almost room temperature


Gluten Free Gingerbread cookies

These cookies use only 3 ingredients and depending on your preference (and how long you cook them) can be soft and moorish, or crunchy gingerbreads. This recipe makes about 12 cookies, and while they seldom last longer than a couple of days, they could be stored longer in an air tight container if you can resist them that long.


  • 1 cup cashews or almonds
  • 1 cup dates (cheap dried dates is fine)
  • 1 Tbsp ginger powder


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Place the nuts in a food processor with the knife attachment. Blend until the nuts are finely chopped
  3. Add the dates and ginger powder to the food processor and blend until the mixture balls up. If it doesn’t ball up then add a little water. I usually don’t have to add any more than 30-50ml of water, so add a really small amount at a time – you don’t want it too wet, you just want to add enough that it combines the ingredients and balls up the mixture.
  4. Grease a baking tray or the base of a metal oven dish.
  5. Roll the mixture into balls 20-30mm in diameter. Flatten the balls into cookie shapes with your fingers
  6. Cook the cookies in the oven for 10-15 minutes (length of time depends on how wet the mixture is) until the cookies start to harden and go golden (they will also give off a delicious smell). Cool on a wire rack.

Almond Bread

This bread takes just minutes to prepare, and is delicious either as it is with a poached egg, or toasted with hummus or avocado. It keeps for up to a week in an air tight container, or slice it and then freeze it for later (if you manage not to eat it all)


  • 200g almond meal or ground almonds
  • 60g tapioca flour or tapioca starch
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 80ml olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp coconut cream or coconut yoghurt
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • 30g sunflower seeds, toasted

For the topping

  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp sunflower seed


  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius (315 degrees fahrenheit)
  2. Line a 22cm x 12cm bread (loaf) tin with baking paper on the bottom, and grease the sides with olive oil
  3. Combine all the ingredients except the sunflower seeds in a bowl or mixer and stir to combine
  4. Toast the sunflower seeds in a dry pan until golden and then fold into the batter
  5. Spoon the batter into the bread tin.
  6. Top with 2 tsp of sesame seeds and 2 tsp of sunflower seeds (not toasted)
  7. Bake on the middle rack of your oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer or fork inserted into the middle of your loaf comes out clean
  8. Remove from the oven and tip out of the bread tin onto a rack to cool.
  9. Slice and serve as is or toasted.

Gluten Free Apple Crumble

A little winter warmer for nights we need a little extra after dinner.


  • 4 apples
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • Handful of Almonds
  • Handful of Cashew Nuts
  • 50g butter
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon


  1. Heat an oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Peel, core and slice the apples.
  3. Add the sliced apples, honey and 1 tsp of cinnamon to a saucepan. Add 75ml water. Cover and allow the water to boil over a moderate heat. Cook for around 10 minutes until the apples are soft but not yet mushy.
  4. Place the almonds, cashews and 1 tsp of the cinnamon in a food processor. Process until the nuts are finely chopped and almost powdery – there should be still some pieces that are not fully powdered yet.
  5. Slice the butter into small pieces and add to the nut mixture. Process further. As the butter warms up from the processing the mixture will ball up.
  6. Place the apples in a pie dish. Crumble the nut mixture over the top. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes until the crumble is golden brown
  7. Serve with coconut or other yoghurt and if you like it a little sweeter, a little maple syrup.



Lamb shanks with kumara garlic mash

Lamb shanks with red onion reduction and kumara garlic mash

We have had a great time finding butchers since our move to Auckland and while we are lucky to have a really nice one just around the corner from our house, a trip to Hamilton gave us a reason to stop off at the Pokeno Bacon shop and explore the butchery there. These lamb shanks were one of the delicious cuts of meat that we bought there. Looking forward to the next trip south, and the next excuse to stop off there!

This is a hearty dish that really fits with colder weather. The lamb falls off the bone of the lamb shanks, and the red onion reduction gives a nice hearty sauce that goes well with the lamb shanks, but also the kumara (sweet potato) mash. 


  • 2 lamb shanks
  • 2 Tbsp rice flour
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 tomato (ripe)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 5 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 stalks of rosemary
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large kumara (sweet potato) (500g)
  • 1 whole garlic bulb, cut in half across the bulbs
  • 3 Tbsp of coconut or other milk of your choice


  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
  2. Heat a pot of water. Cut an X in the top of the tomato. Dip the tomato into the boiling water until the skin starts to peel off. Remove from the water and peel the tomato. Cut the tomato into small pieces.
  3. Heat a pan to a medium heat. Add the olive oil and 2 cloves of the sliced garlic. Cook until the garlic is golden. Add the tomato pieces and stir. Break the tomato up using a wooden spoon as it slowly cooks. Turn the heat down and allow the tomato to reduce to 1/3 of the starting amount (about 2 Tbsp). Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Put the rice flour into a plastic bag and season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the lamb shanks to the bag and shake the bag to coat the lamb shanks with the flour.
  5. Heat a frying pan with some olive oil in it to a medium heat. Add the lamb shanks to the pan and brown the lamb shanks on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  6. In the same pan, add the onion. Cook for around 5 minutes until the onion is cooked through and lightly browned. Add the other 2 cloves of chopped garlic and stir for 1 minute more. Add the balsamic vinegar and rosemary stalks and turn up the heat. Allow the balsamic vinegar to reduce for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the reduced tomato paste, and 1 cup of water to the pan. Allow to boil on a moderate heat for 3 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat and add the lamb shanks to the pan. Cover the pan and place it in the oven. Cook covered at 180 degrees celsius for 90 minutes.
  9. Remove the pan from the oven and baste the lamb shanks by spooning the sauce over them. Cover the pan again and return it to the oven. Cook for another 45-60 minutes until the lamb is tender and falling off the bone.
  10. Cut the clove of garlic in half through the middle so that all of the garlic cloves have been cut in half. Add them to a roasting dish and place in the same oven as the lamb shanks are cooking in. Cook for around 30 minutes until they are roasted golden. Remove from the oven and set aside
  11. Meanwhile, cut the kumara into large pieces (do not peel it). Boil a pot of water and add the kumara with a little salt to the pot. Boil until the kumara is softened through.
  12. Remove the kumara from the pot and carefully peel the pieces. Add the peeled kumara to a foodprocessor. Remove the garlic from the garlic peel and add it to the foodprocessor. Add around 3 Tbsp of coconut milk and puree the kumara and garlic to a smooth paste. Add a little more coconut milk if required to get it to the desired consistency.
  13. Place the garlic kumara mash in the middle of the plate. Top with the lamb shank and some of the onion sauce.
  14. Serve with greens (we served it with pan fried asparagus with sesame seeds, but green beans or a salad would also be nice).

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Blur – The Magic Whip

Coriander Tahini Dip

Coriander Tahini Dip

Tahini is a wonderful base ingredient for dips. We have been enjoying making many different combinations including this Coriander Tahini Dip. It is great as a dip with sweet potato chips (which we cook in the Air Fryer for a low fat snack) or with raw vegetables.


  • 1 clove garlic, chopped roughly
  • small handful of pinenuts
  • 2 spring onions
  • little pinch of chilli flakes
  • large bunch of fresh coriander
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp tahini
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • olive oil
  • handful of pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)


  1. Add the garlic, pinenuts, spring onions, chilli flakes, coriander, salt, pepper, tahini, lemon juice, and cumin powder to a blender.
  2. Add 4 Tbsp of olive oil.
  3. Blend to a smooth paste. Add a little more olive oil if it is too thick or not blending well.
  4. Serve garnished with pomegranate seeds.
  5. Delicious as a dip with sweet potato chips or fresh vegetable sticks (eg cucumber or carrot).

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: The Decemberists – Five Songs EP