Friday, 30 September 2016

Béchamel sauce

Béchamel sauce or White sauce is the base for most Italian and French dishes. I love the versatility of Béchamel sauce, where you can enhance or change the flavour by using herbs and spices. The Béchamel sauce is the base for my next recipe, cheese and pistachio soufflé. This is a fool proof recipe, enjoy. 


1 tablespoon of plain flour 
1 tablespoon of olive oil / butter
400ml of milk
2 bay leaves
A pinch of grated nutmeg
Freshly milled white peppercorn (optional)


Place a saucepan on a medium heat and melt the butter

In a separate saucepan add the bay leaves to the milk and warm the milk for about 3 minutes

Add the flour to the melted butter and using a wooden spatula/ plastic whisk mix everything together into a roux. 

Mix for about 3 minutes , add 100ml of the warmed milk and stir till well combined 

Keep adding 100ml of milk each time and whisk the mixture continuously (this is to prevent any lumps forming) 

Keep stirring till you have a double cream and smooth sauce.
This should take about 8 minutes

Season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg.

Reserve the mixture till you're ready to use it.

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Monday, 19 September 2016


'Gari' is a popular West African food which is made out of cassava. It's used the same way, one would couscous and its a staple in most homes.

The process of Gari making includes peeling of the cassava(as shown below) and grating it into a mushy consistency . 

The grated cassava is then placed in a Jute/ Mesh sack, weighted down and left for 3-7 days to ferment(where extraction of its juices and cynide characteristics takes place). 

Grated Cassava

By the 3rd day, most of the juices are  extracted, leaving a somewhat dry coarse texture. 
The Gari is then sieved to get rid of any odd bits and fried till dry (in a huge clay or metal pot). It's usually fried  with Palm oil, for a yellowish colour or without for a pale cream colour.

Uses of Gari/ Cassava (Yuca) 

If you attended boarding school (especially in Ghana) one had 'Gari', the survival ingredient in their 'Chop box'.
 The best boarding school recipes included a sweet variation of mixing the Gari  with milk, water, sugar and peanuts, (popularly known as 'Soakings' in Ghana).

Another popular recipe is where the Gari is sprinkled with water and served  with Shito (the Ghanaian Black Chilli sauce).


'Shito' is a black pepper sauce made from chillies, dried shrimp or crayfish powder and dried herring powder, which is synanimous with Ghanaians.

Agbeli Kaklo

'Agbeli Kaklo' is a savoury snack made from grated Cassava and onions, which is then deep fried. Its best eaten with slivers of Coconut. 

I love adding the 'Ndudu twist' to traditional African dishes, hence I created a softer and crunchy version of Yuca balls with an Apple sauce and chilli flakes. 


Gari is also served with beans stew (popularly known as Red Red). Recipe for the Red Red is available on my blog. 


Another popular recipe for Gari is 'Gari Fortor', where the Gari is mixed with a spicy tomato based sauce and served alongside the ever popular 'Waakye' (the Ghanaian rice and beans). 


Gari is also used to make the ever popular Attieke, where the Gari is mixed with Olive oil and water. Be inspired to add different ingredients (eg Feta cheese, Wagashi (the West African cheese) Apricots, nuts etc to your Gari for that 'Ndudu' twist. 

I used Gari for my West African interpretation of scotch egg by wrapping it around a soft boiled duck egg. 

The most popular use of Gari is for 'Eba' (mixed with hot water and salt and cooked into a dumpling) which best accompanies sauces and soups like Spinach sauce, Okra soup, Melon seed sauce etc. 

I've only just mentioned a few ways that Gari is eaten. Leave comments below on how you enjoy your Gari. 

 All photos and recipes are by the owner of this blog.

Saturday, 17 September 2016


This recipe was created by accident (even though the inspiration came from the Ghanaian  Groundnut soup) and I'm excited to share it. 
It started off with a blend of Ginger, Aniseed and Pimenton , which was used to marinade the Lamb Shanks overnight. 

There are days when I just don't feel like cooking (which means I find an easy dish to make, even if it's time consuming). The idea of a one pot dish was appealing, as it meant there would be less washing and I could relax.

I realised I had run out of stock (I prefer to make my own) and I had to think of a substitute. I found half a bottle of Peanut butter and the idea of the sauce was created. 
I served this dish with Jasmine rice , which was the best decision ever. Hmm 😋😋


Serves 4
Preparation time  10 minutes
Cooking time       2hrs 20 min

4 Lamb shanks
30g Ginger 
150g of Groundnut or Peanut paste
3 large shallots/Red/White onions (I omitted this, as I'm following a FODMAP diet).
1 teaspoon of aniseed 
1 teaspoon of Pimenton (smoked Paprika) 
1 tablespoon of crayfish powder
4 chopped spring Onions
1 habanero chilli
1 large Tomato
30g of roughly chopped Parsley. 

1 tablespoon of Coconut oil
250g of Jasmine rice
280ml of water
Salt to taste

Blend the Ginger, 2 Shallots , Pimenton and Aniseed into a smooth paste.

Rub the spice blend over the Lamb shanks , place in a bowl with a lid and marinade overnight in the fridge.

Pre heat your oven to 180*c, remove the Lamb from the fridge and bring to room temperature.
 Pour the contents into a deep clay pot or casserole dish and place in the oven. Increase the heat to 200*c and bake for 20 minutes. 

Add the Peanut butter, the remaining shallot/Onion and Tomato to a blender. Add 1 litre of water and blend to silky smooth consistency. 

Take the Lamb out of the oven and pour the blended spiced Peanut mix into the dish. 
Cover your Claypot or Casserole dish and place it back in the oven. 
Reduce the heat to 180*c and bake for 1hr. 

Using an Oven glove, take the Lamb out of the oven,add the crayfish powder, stir and place it back in the oven.  

(This ensures the Lamb absorbs the sauce and its moist, when cooked). 

 Cook the Lamb for another hour. 

20 minutes before the Lamb is cooked, start preparing the rice (see below).

Jasmine Rice
Wash the rice till the water runs clear. 
Melt the Coconut oil in a saucepan on a medium heat. 
Add the washed rice, fry and stir constantly for about 3 minutes 
Add the water and stir.
Let the rice boil, 
Turn the heat to the lowest setting, 
Cover with a scrunched up baking or greaseproof paper (this will trap the steam). Cover with the lid and leave the rice to cook for 18-20mins

Remove the Lamb from the oven carefully (with an oven glove)and add the chopped spring Onions and Parsley. Stir and leave to rest for about 10 minutes. 
Check the rice as it should be cooked by now. 

To serve
Scoop a portion of the Jasmine rice into a deep bowl, add the sauce to the side, sit a Lamb shank on the sauce and sprinkle with your preferred herbs.

 Best served with homemade Lemonade or a dry white wine. 

All photos and recipes are by the owner of this blog. 

Thursday, 8 September 2016


600g rack of Pork ribs
50g of fresh Ginger
5 Juniper berries
4 Pineapple Sage leaves
20g of fresh Thyme
2 large peeled & chopped shallots
1 clove of garlic
1 Jalapeño pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

In a blender add the Ginger, Garlic,Jalapeño pepper, Shallots, Thyme, Sage and a Juniper berries. 

Blend till you have a smooth paste. Add little water , if required for an easy blend and set aside. 

Rub the rack of ribs with the spice mix. Marinade first least 24hrs or for best results overnight in the fridge. 

Preheat your oven to 180*c. Bake for 45 minutes. 

Serve with your favourite salads, Chips or rice. This was served with Kelewele (a spicy , fried ripened Plantain cubes), a popular Ghanaian snack. 

All photos and recipe are by the owner of the blog. 

Thursday, 1 September 2016


Every Friday night, I tend to create recipes with leftover ingredients in my fridge. On this occasion I had Shitake mushrooms, Chiquito peppers, shallots and frozen peas.
I decided to create a crunchy vegetarian fried rice for dinner. Watching my husband go for seconds with the muffled sound of 'hmm', 'hmm', with each bite he took, made me smile and helped with my decision to blog about  the recipe. This recipe is to inspire, hence try using any vegetables of your choosing and enjoy. 

 My secret to a perfect, fluffy  rice, is to rinse the rice thoroughly and leave to sit for about 5-10 minutes, before cooking. 
This process cuts the cooking time and requires less water. Enjoy!

Serves 6 
250g long grain rice
300ml of vegetable stock
2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
250g of diced Shitake mushrooms 
5 medium sized diced Chiquito peppers 
250g of frozen peas 

2 large finely diced shallots
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 finely diced garlic
100g of crushed roasted peanuts 
1 finely chopped green chilli (optional)

Add the vegetable stock to a saucepan and place on a medium heat. 
Place your rice in a colander and wash under a cold tap till the water runs clear. 
Leave your washed rice for about 5-10min.
Carefully add the rice to the vegetable stock (which would be hot, hence handle with care) and stir. 
Cover the saucepan with it's lid and increase the heat for 2 minutes, till it boils. 
Turn the heat down to a low heat and cook the rice for 18-25min. 

Cooked long grain rice

Once the rice is cooked, please set aside till later.

In a wok, on a high heat, add the coconut oil and heat up for about a minute 
Add the diced shallots and fry for a minute, making sure you constantly stir.

Add the diced Shitake mushrooms and diced garlic, and cook for another minute before adding the chopped Chiquito peppers. 

Stir fry the mixture for about 3 minutes 

Add your cooked rice to the mixture 

 Stir till well combined 

Add the dark soy sauce and stir continuously for about 3 minutes 

Add your frozen peas

Stir fry for further 3-4 minutes 

Add the crushed peanuts and stir for another minute. 

Remove from the heat and serve immediately. 

 All photos are by the owner of this blog.