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Crustless Courgette, Mint and Feta Tart

September 16, 2013 in savoury tarts and pies, Vegetables

Do not be put off that this comes across as an ordinary boring sounding dish – the combination of ingredients in this recipe with the use of herbs and lemon take this to another level. It’s a delightful tasty dish and the recipe is from our local cookbook author, Jane-Anne Hobbs. I enjoy her dishes – it’s always packed with the most interesting flavours which obviously is my kind of food.

Taking pictures was an afterthought on a busy day.



Crustless Courgette, Mint and Feta Tart

12 courgettes, topped and tailed

a little lemon juice

3 T (45 ml) butter

1 T (15 ml) olive oil

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely grated

4 large free-range eggs

½ cup (125 ml) natural yoghurt

½ cup (125 ml) cream

a handful of finely chopped fresh mint (about 3 T / 45ml)

2 T (30 ml) finely chopped fresh dill

1½ cups (375 ml) crumbled feta cheese

the finely grated zest of half a lemon

½ cup (125 ml) flour

1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder

salt and milled black pepper


To top:

12 cherry tomatoes, halved


Grate the courgettes on the coarse side of a cheese grater and sprinkle with a little lemon juice.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic and the grated courgette. Fry over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the courgette has wilted slightly and any excess liquid has evaporated.

Tip into a large bowl and allow to cool slightly.


Whisk together the eggs, yoghurt and cream.

Add the mixture to the courgettes, along with all the remaining filling ingredients.

Stir well to combine.

Tip the mixture into a well-greased oven proof dish.

Press the cherry-tomato halves into the filling, cut side up.

Bake at 180 ºC for 30-40 minutes, or until slightly puffed and golden, and just set in the middle.



















September 2, 2013 in Salad, Vegetables

During my childhood broccoli and asparagus was rarely seen at meal times in most Indian homes – some might say I was lucky – I started eating fresh asparagus over the last few years and I love it – broccoli is another story. Broccoli is a recommended vegetable in most diets and healthy eating plans so I had to find a way I could enjoy this vegetable.


This salad is currently my favourite way of eating broccoli. The poppy seed dressing that I use is a recipe by local chef, Sharon Glass. I found that buying individual fresh vegetables can be expensive (I only do this when I have a large gathering). I prefer to buy the pack of fresh vegetable mix of asparagus, mange tout, baby corn and green beans from Woolies as it’s more economical. I usually prop myself in front of the telly when preparing the broccoli into very small florets.


It can be eaten as a meal (perfect for meatless Monday) or served as a side dish.







1 x small head of broccoli, broken into very small florets

1 x fresh vegetable mix (asparagus, mange tout, baby corn and green beans)

1 x pack of salad greens (baby spinach and watercress and rocket)

Handful of pecan nuts, broken into small pieces

1 Tbs sunflower seeds

1 Tbs pomegranate

1 Tbs pumpkin seeds



125ml (½ cup) mayonnaise

10ml (2 tsp) mustard powder

175ml (_ cup) sunflower oil

60ml (¼ cup) white vinegar

2.5ml (½ tsp) minced garlic

60ml (¼ cup) sugar

10ml (2 tsp) poppy seeds

coarse salt and pepper


Whisk all the dressing ingredients together until the mixture thickens. Leave aside for the flavours to develop while you prepare the vegetables for the salad.


Steam the vegetables in the microwave for slightly less than the recommended time as the vegetables must be al dente. Allow to cool.

Arrange salad greens on to a platter.

Dry the vegetables before placing on top of the salad greens.

Drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle the pecan nuts, sunflower, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate.




























August 28, 2013 in snacks savoury, Starters, Vegetables

Not having experienced eating street food in India as yet I was fascinated when our children took me and Rajen to Southall which is a predominately Indian suburb in London. Most of the people were dressed in traditional Indian clothes – I felt as if I had stepped into a Bollywood movie – and walked around bug eyed with delight. There was a vendor selling freshly fried sweetmeat called jalebi (which is a batter piped into hot oil, once cooked – it is then soaked in a thick syrup mixture) – it’s a crisp crunchy heavenly sweetness.


Some of the restaurants had names that made me smile

. We eat in a restaurant, Gifto’s Lahore Karahi, and some of the dishes we had  were chicken tikka, lamb with butternut,paratha and falooda crush.


I could have eaten only just the starter – it was a vegetable samoosa (giant size) smothered in the most delicious channa chaat.



I bought some chaat masala from one of the stores there and finally got around to making a aloo channa chaat.

It’s different, healthy, delicious, quick to prepare and inexpensive. It can be eaten as a snack, or as a starter spooned over a samoosa.


Aloo Channa Chaat


1 can chickpeas (drained)

1 medium sized potato, boiled, cut into cubes

1 green chilli, finely diced

I small tomato, finely diced

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 Tbs finely chopped fresh coriander

2 Tbs Lemon juice

¼ tsp chaat marsala (sold in most Indian spice shops)

Salt to taste


Mix all the ingredients together. Serve with yoghurt flavoured with finely chopped mint.





















March 28, 2013 in savoury tarts and pies, Starters, Vegetables


Wishing fellowbloggers a Happy Easter and wonderful food. The weather in the mornings in Gauteng are a chilly reminder that the warm sunny days that can be spent lazing and entertaining on patios will soon be coming to an end. We have to make the most of what we can currently enjoy hence I did some entertaining last weekend and served these delicious and interesting look tarts as a starter.

I have had this recipe book,Savoury Quiches and Flans, for a while but it was only when I watched Lorraine Pascale in an episode of Easy Baking on the cooking channel  demonstrate how to make these pastry shells that I felt confident to tackle this recipe. These tarts do not require special baking utensils and are easy to make and the filling has an unusual combination of ingredients and the end result is very tasty and was a hit with my guests.



200g feta, cubed

75g peas, lightly cooked

185g can olives, pitted and halved

Handful of fresh mint, chopped

50ml olive oil

1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard

375g pack puff pastry

Beaten egg, to glaze


Preheat oven to 190C.  Prepare the filling by mixing the feta, peas, olives and mint.

Stir in the olive oil and mustard. Set aside.

Unroll the pastry. Cut into 8 equal rectangular pieces.

Score a thin border on each with a sharp knife taking care not to cut through the bottom of the pastry.

Place the pastry on a baking sheet.

Brush the pastry edges with egg. Bake for 10 minutes until golden.

Remove from the oven and scrape out the inner pastry.

Bake the pastry shell for 1 minute.

Spoon the filling into the pastry.

Bake for 5 minutes.




December 10, 2012 in curry, Vegetables


This coconut vegetable curry is an old family favorite – one that I have been making for more than a decade. I cooked this curry over the weekend for lunch for my vegetarian friends – it quick and easy to make and absolutely delicious. I served it with freshly baked garlic tava naan – (recipe posted previously).

It’s perfect for meatless Monday.



25mls cooking oil / ghee

2 cups mixed vegetables (sliced)

1 onion, finely sliced

1 red chilli, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste

½ tsp tulmeric powder

1 tomato, finely diced

1/2 cup desiccated coconut or freshly grated coconut

1 tsp sugar

Salt to taste

125ml fresh cream

Fry the onions and chopped chilli in oil or ghee on medium heat until the onions are lightly browned.

Add the garlic, turmeric and curry paste. Add the tomato and mix well.

Add the vegetables, salt, sugar and coconut.

Mix well and simmer for 4 minutes. Add the cream and mix well and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Serve hot with basmatic rice, roti or naan.





November 7, 2012 in Vegetables

After the debacle regarding the value of the prizes won by Masterchef SA (said to be in the region of R 8 000 000) Deena Naidoo,  has finally opened his restaurant, Aarya, in Montecasino  last week. He is currently writing a weekly food column in a local Indian newspaper, Post. His recipe for a vegetarian lentil and rice bobotie is an interesting adaptation  of the traditional spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping.  After trying out his recipe I have to admit it’s fabulous and give him credit for being such a creative cook he certainly understands how to blend the different flavours and make it work.

For those like me who did not know the origin of the traditional bobotie – it is said to have originated in the island of Jakarta which was the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company. It probably arrived in South Africa with the advent of slaves and political exiles mainly Javanese. These people became known as the Cape Malays and have had a tremendous influence on South Africa’s culinary scene.



250ml lentils

30ml sunflower oil

1 medium onion, grated

1 tsp salt

1 ½ tsp turmeric

5ml chilli powder

5ml ground cumin

250ml cooked basmati rice

80ml milk

80gr raisins

1 grated apple

Custard Topping

2 eggs

160ml yoghurt

Bay leaves to taste

Soak the lentils overnight in water. Cook until al dente. Drain and keep aside.

Soak the cooked rice in milk.

Heat a large pan. Add the oil and sauté the onion, together with the spices. Add the lentils, raisins, apple and rice to the onion mixture and season to taste.

Pack tightly in a greased ovenproof pan (18 x 14cm).

Mix the topping ingredients together and pour over the lentil and rice mix. Garnish with bay leaves.

Cover with foil and bake at 180 C for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for another 20 minutes until the topping is set.



October 18, 2012 in curry, Vegetables



The iconic Nelson Mandela Bridge was illuminated pink on Tuesday night, 3 October 2012  to mark the launch of the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign spearheaded by international skincare company Estee’ Lauder and the City of Joburg. This year the awareness campaign is celebrated under the theme “Courage. Believe in a world without breast cancer”, highlights Estee Lauder’s 20 year commitment to defeating breast cancer through education and medical research.

In 2000, the company started a campaign to illuminate notable landmarks all over the world to call attention to breast health and early detection in order to save lives. In 2010, the campaign earned a Guinness World Record for most landmarks illuminated for a cause in 24 hours.

My daughter, Lovely Linda, did a 21.5 km walk to raise funds in London’s Shine campaign – she dedicated her walk to my friend, Elizabeth.


One of Lovely Linda’s favorite is my butternut curry and it’s a dish that she looks forward to whenever we visit. Although it’s a very simple dish with minimum ingredients it’s delicious. It’s excellent either as a side dish or a vegetarian meal.


1 x medium butternut, peeled, cubed and rinsed.

30mls cooking oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 – 3 dry chillies  ( can be adjusted according to taste)

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon salt

Fresh coriander to garnish

Put the cooking oil into a pan and add the onions and dry chillies. When the onions start to brown add the mustard seeds.

When the seeds start to splutter add the cubed butternut and salt. Mix well. Lower the heat and cook the butternut for about 8 – 10 minutes, stirring frequently

. When the butternut starts to soften, add a little water (45mls) – mix well and cook for about 10 minutes adding more water if necessary until the butternut is fully cooked.

Garnish with coriander.



October 8, 2012 in savoury tarts and pies, Vegetables

The last few days we experienced extremely hot weather in Gauteng – I do prefer the warmer weather – having an early start to the day –with the gardens starting to look beautiful and birds chirping but I did not enjoy being stuck in traffic in hot weather despite air con because of the Sandton marathon – definitely inconvenient and inconsiderate. Now that I got that off my chest-  on Sunday we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at the popular restaurant, Tashas, in Melrose Arch to celebrate my friend, Joey’s  birthday –sitting outdoors and enjoying the ambience.  On Saturday we had some vegetarian friends for lunch and I served this corn and aubergine pie (two of my favorite veggies). The pastry for this pie is absolutely delicious – much as I enjoy pastry I avoid recipes that call for making my own pastry. This pastry was easy to make, requires no rolling and the combination of the nuttywheat, nuts and cheese results in a most delicious pastry  and is worth the effort.

This also makes for a perfect Meatless Monday dish served with a salad.


Serves 10


1 x 410gr can creamed sweetcorn

500 ml aubergine, chopped and fried ( I used 2 medium sized aubergine )

250ml (1 cup) chopped onion, blanched

6 jumbo eggs (or 7 – 8 smaller eggs), beaten

250ml (1 cup) cheddar cheese, grated

250ml (1 cup) milk

250ml (1 cup) cream

2 vegetable stock cubes, crumbled


250ml (1 cup) nutty wheat flour

250ml (1cup) cake flour

10ml (2t) baking powder

125g butter

75g margarine

250ml (1 cup) cheddar cheese, grated

250ml (1 cup) chopped nuts

Mix the ingredients for the filling together and pour into the unbaked pastry shell.

To make the pastry: Sift the flours and baking powder and rub in the butter and margarine, or mix in the food processor. Add the cheese and finally the nuts (do not process for long once they are added). Press into a large greased ovenproof dish ( 22 cm x 35 cm).

Pour in the filling and bake at 180C until set (about 45 minutes).

Serve with salads and fresh granary bread.



October 1, 2012 in Starters, Vegetables

The Hindus observe a month long fast known as Purtassi from September 17 to October 17 to honour Lord Vishnu. During this fast (which is to cleanse the soul) they stick to a strict vegetarian diet and refrain from all worldly and carnal pleasures. Mothers can be hard pressed to come up with interesting meals to keep their disgruntled children satisfied and motivated to stick to the month long fast.

This aubergine sandwich recipe is delicious and easy to make. It can be served either as a vegetarian starter or a side dish. It can also be prepared early and then baked for 10 minutes just before serving. I have been making this dish for a few years and it has always been popular.

There are 3 stages in preparing this dish: Grilling the aubergines ( I have previously tried frying the aubergines  and did not enjoy it as the aubergines absorb too much oil – I prefer to grill them – its healthier as well)

Cooking the tomato sauce for the filling

Assembling the sandwiches and then baking for 10 minutes.




4 medium aubergines

Oil for grilling or frying the aubergines

1 large onion, finely chopped

40mls cooking oil

7.5ml cumin seeds

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 x 400gr can tomato and onion mix ( or 4 medium fresh tomatoes, peeled and grated)

2 green chillies, chopped (optional)

½ tsp chilli powder (optional)

½ tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

Fresh parsley to garnish

100gr feta cheese


Slice the aubergines into 2cm thick rounds and place in a dish of salted water for approx. 10 minutes. Drain the aubergines and dry using paper towels. Brush both sides of each aubergine slice with olive oil and grill until cooked using a griller or a non-stick frying pan. Keep aside while you prepare the tomato sauce filling. Place the 40ml oil into a pan. Add the onions and cook until the onions just begin to brown. Add the cumin seeds, garlic and chopped chillies. Stir and now add the tomatoes, chilli powder, sugar and salt. Mix well and cook until the sauce thickens – approx. 10 minutes.

To assemble the sandwich:


Preheat the oven to 180. Place grilled aubergine on to a baking dish. Spread the cooked tomato sauce onto the aubergine and sandwich with a second round. Spread extra tomato sauce on top of each sandwich. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Crumble feta cheese on top and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately with a raita made with Greek yoghurt.



July 24, 2012 in savoury tarts and pies, Vegetables

This month has been very interesting with regard to local cooks –it’s just a few hours before the first SA Masterchef is announced  – its been entertaining and impressive  watching the series – am sorry to see it end.  It’s also the month in which a fellow blogger (Scrumptious SA) has launched her first cookbook, Scrumptious Food for Family and Friends by Jane-Anne Hobbs. I have been using some of her recipes for some time now and am a fan – I absolutely love the way she uses ready -made bread dough and the detail and useful tips she gives to ensure success – the herb, feta rice salad is to die for – my ratings have gone up with my friends and family.  This is a recipe book that will be joining my collection of must haves.

I made the Easy Sweetcorn, Coriander and Chiili Crustless Egg tart a few weeks ago from a recipe that Jane-Ann had posted in 2009 – she says that she tasted this tart at a school-mommy tea party and got the recipe from Zaheera. It’s delicious – even scrumptious!!!.

Zaheera’s Easy Sweetcorn, Coriander and Chilli Crustless Egg Tart

1 420-gram tin of creamed sweetcorn
1 fresh green chilli, deseeded and finely minced or chopped
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped fresh coriander [cilantro]
1/2 cup (125 ml) coarsely grated green pepper [bell pepper]
60 g cold butter, grated on the coarse side of a cheese grater
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (125 ml) cake flour
1 and 3/4 tsp (8.7 ml) baking powder
1/2 cup (125 ml) grated cheddar
3/4 t (3.7 ml) salt
freshly ground black pepper

1 T (15 ml) poppy seeds (or toasted sesame seeds)

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter a 20-cm round or square ceramic dish, or a non-stick metal quiche dish. Put all the ingredients, except the poppy seeds, into large bowl, and mix well to combine. Pour the mixture into the buttered pan and sprinkle the poppy seeds on top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until slightly puffed and golden-brown on top. Serve warm, or, if you’re making this as a snack, allow to cool completely and cut into small squares.

Serves 4 as a main course, or 8 as a snack