Indian Vegetarian Dish


Yellow Dal is comfort food at its best, it is a simple dish but a staple in most Indian homes. Growing up my mum always cooked us Yellow Dal with Rice and it something we devoured. I’m so glad I’ve introduced this Yellow Split Pea Dal Recipe to my kids. On our meat-free days my boys are content with a bowl of steaming rice and dal.

The yellow split peas is boiled until it’s soft and it is then cooked with a variety of spices. The tempering of the spices is what takes the dal to a whole new level. My favourite way to serve this dish is with rice but you can have it with your favourite bread too.

Everyone has their own method of cooking this dish. I remember my mum spending hours tempering her spices and creating a delicious mix to add to her dal. I must admit I am a lazy cook, for me it’s the easy way out as long as my food still tastes delicious without the added effort I am happy. It is about the flavour after all, right?

We call it yellow dal due to the fact that turmeric is added to it, this is what gives this Yellow Split Pea Dal Recipe a beautiful golden hue. I find my dried beans and peas takes much longer to boil in Johannesburg, due to the high altitude. If you didn’t know this “low air pressure causes boiling water to evaporate more quickly in high altitude”, now you should understand why our dried beans and peas take longer to cook. It’s why I have invested in a pressure cooker, makes life so much more simple.

This recipe makes a great dish for vegetarians and you can make it ahead and freeze. My fussy family will never eat food that’s pre-cooked and frozen but I have frozen cooked dal in the past, heated and served it to them. They didn’t know the difference. My hubby even went to the extent of complimenting me on how delicious the dal was, or should I say “leftover dal”. I hope you get to make a fresh pot of dal and enjoy!

You may want to try some of my other vegetarian recipes from my blog too, here’s the links below: https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/dhall/

https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/sauteed-okra-lady-fingers/

My friend Sonila makes a delicious Yellow Split Pea Soup, so if you want to try something different check her recipe out at:

https://mediterraneanlatinloveaffair.com/instant-pot-yellow-split-peas-soup-with-spinach/

https://mediterraneanlatinloveaffair.com/instant-pot-yellow-split-peas-soup-with-spinach


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Yellow Split Pea Dhall Recipe
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Instructions
  1. Soak dhall overight or for a few hours. Add the 3 cups of water with the turmeric and boil on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker until it's soft and smooth
  2. Heat butter ghee or oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds. Once it starts bursting add spring onion (optional) curry leaf, chilli and onion and sauté until onion is translucent
  3. Add garlic and fry for a minute
  4. Add the tomato and cook on a low heat until the tomato is cooked
  5. Add the cooked dhall and season with salt, Add more water and bring to a boil, allow it to simmer on the stove for about 20 minutes. Water can be added according to your preference, if you prefer a thick dhall add less water, if you prefer it more liquid then add less water.
  6. Garnish with coriander
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South African Indian Dish

I have no time to try out new recipes so I am sticking to my old time favorites, at least until we move. Nothing beats the comfort of familiar homecooked food when stress levels are high. So if you need some comfort food why not try this Spicy Lamb Kebab Chutney, a typically South African Indian version of meatballs.

The tomato sauce or chutney for this sauce is made from tomatoes with a few simple spices and can be used as a base for many other dishes too. You will see from the recipe that the kebabs are spicy so you don’t need an overly spiced chutney. Feel free to reduce to the amount of chilli and chilli powder according to your preference.

Spicy Lamb Kebab Chutney is also a great make ahead dish. It freezes well so you can cook a big batch and freeze them for those lazy days or if you need a meal in a hurry.In our home we usually serve this lamb dish with Roti or naan bread, you always have to have that bread to dunk into the tomato chutney.

The lamb kebabs can be shallow fried or cooked in the oven but be sure not to overcook them. It just needs a few minutes of cooking on each side, they need to be tender and succulent.My food processor is one of my most loved gadgets in the kitchen, makes life really easy. I used mine to blend the ingredients for the kebabs, I didn’t make mine into a fine paste. I prefer my onion and herbs a little chunky but you can make yours into a smooth paste, especially if you don’t really like tasting the onion

Please do try my recipe and I would love to hear your comments.

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Spicy Lamb Kebab Chutney
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Instructions
  1. To make the lamb kebabs add one onion, 2 green chillies, ginger/garlic paste, kashmiri chilli powder, cumin, turmeric, garam masala, salt, mint and coriander leaves to a food processor and process until it resembles a rough paste or smooth if your prefer
  2. Chop up the spring onion and add to this mixture. Add mince and egg and mix it well
  3. Divide the mixture into equal sized balls and side aside
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil and fry the lamb kebabs and set aside. Be careful not to overcook them.
  5. For the Chutney Heat 2 tablespoons oil and add the onion, chilli and curry leaf
  6. Saute the onion until it's translucent. Add the garlic and saute for another minute
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Cooked the South African way with the addition of Coconut Cream.

Green Bean Curry has always been a popular dish in our home, except that we never cooked it with any sort of cream or milk. This Green Bean Curry with Coconut Cream is a first for me but it was amazing. I have seen recipes for Green Bean curry with coconut milk, cooked the Sri Lankan way. I thought let me follow my usual recipe and just add coconut milk to it and see what it tastes like but only to discover I had no coconut milk. I settled for coconut cream instead.

Surprisingly this Green Bean Curry with Coconut Cream tasted divine, I was a bit sceptical about what it would taste like but I loved it. Will definitely be cooking this dish again. We do cut up our green bean a little differently when using it in a curry, it is sliced thinly and sort of diagonally, I think the reason for this was for quick cooking time. Not sure if there’s another reason but it’s how my mum did it and it works well.

If you want an even more simple green bean recipe then maybe you should try this fried green bean recipe https://itsallaboutthekitchen.coif .za/recipe/fried-green-beans/

You can serve this Green Bean curry with some Basmati rice or roti. I personally prefer it with roti, almost all veggie curries taste delicious with roti. I haven’t yet posted a roti recipe but you can check out my tips on getting perfect rotis https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/roti-making/

Will definitely try and share a recipe soon. The South African way of making roti is definitely not the same as it’s made in India but it’s what we are used to, soft, buttery rotis.

Please do try this recipe. You are most welcome to mail me at any time if you need help with my recipes. I love sharing and I always love to help. It’s great when I hear from people that have tried something that I’ve posted, makes my blogging journey worth it.

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Green Bean Curry with Coconut Milk
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Instructions
  1. Heat oil, add onion, fenugreek seeds, curry leaf and chilli
  2. When onion is translucent add garlic and fry for minute
  3. Add masala,, chilli powder and turmeric. Add a few drops of water and fry for a minute
  4. Add the sliced green beans and season with salt. Simmer on low heat until green beans is cooked
  5. Add the coconut cream and cook until it's heated through. Serve hot
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Easy One-Pot Dish

I hope you’re all having a great weekend! I had a lovely morning with my friend Michelle, she took me out for a pre-birthday breakfast at my favourite place called Harpers and what a delicious one it was. It’s always nice to have a break catching up with girlfriends, sometimes I get so caught up with being busy I forget what it’s like to relax and have a meaningful chat with friends. This past week I met my friend Donna and today it was Michelle so I’ve had my fix for the next few days. My birthday is in a few days and I’m too scared to even mention my age anymore. After that lazy morning this Spicy Lemon Garlic Fish is the perfect quick and easy dinner.

This world of blogging can be very daunting somedays and I have been a little stressed the past few days as I just couldn’t get the technical side of things right. So you can imagine breakfast with my friend was a welcome relief.

I also have a darling blogging buddy Sonila Cami who runs the blog called Mediterranean Latin Love Affair . She is so kind and helpful through this journey and always encourages and motivate me to do better. I am slowly connecting with more people in the blogging world and it feels great to know that I am not alone in my struggles to get things right. The world is full of amazing people and I am so grateful to have them in my life.

Sometimes we have a goal in mind but don’t always look at the bigger picture. It’s what I often do, jump into things without really analysing it enough. Like what I did with my blog, I jumped in and I thought it would be a walk in the park but was I in for a surprise. It is hard work and it takes constant learning, I am learning something new every single day or should I say every hour of every day. It’s not as easy as clicking a pic and typing a recipe.

Just a little word of advice, go live your dream but just be a little more prepared than I was, you will enjoy it so much more. Now that I’ve got all that off my chest let me get on with sharing my Spicy Lemon Garlic Fish recipe.

Fish can be a delicious protein but it has to be perfectly cooked. Also ensure that your pan is heated before you cook your fish or it will stick. I did not use a non-stick fan but my fish was still intact. It also only requires a few minutes on the heat so keep an eye on it.

Please do try my other fish recipes, just click on the link below:

https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/moroccan-fish-skewers-with-saffron/

https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/spicy-hake-fishcakes/

https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/fish-biryani-basmati-rice/

https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/thai-style-salmon-fishcakes/

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Spicy Lemon Garlic Fish
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Instructions
  1. Marinate fish with cumin, chilli powder, garlic, lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate for half an hour
  2. Heat the olive oil on medium/high heat and sear fish on both sides, about a minute per side. Set aside
  3. In the same oil saute the green pepper together with the chilli and garlic. When the pepper is almost cooked, add the tomatoes and cook until it starts to burst
  4. Return the fish to the pan until it's cooked. Season with more salt if required. I cooked the fish for about 3 minutes on each side. However, time will vary depending on thickness of the fish
  5. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the fish and remove from heat.
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I guess my family can only do so much roast veggies and salads. Today it’s a Creamy Spicy Chicken Pasta, my kids favourite comfort food.

This easy Creamy Spicy Chicken Pasta Recipe is so simple, you can have a meal on your table in less than 30 minutes. It’s comforting, spicy and oh so yummy!

I love spicing up my chicken before I add them to pasta. It makes it all the more delicious. I’ve tried making it with cajun spice, garlic and chilli, hot chilli sauce and many more spicy variations. Everyone needs a bit of spice in their lives every once in a while, even on a hot summer’s day.

If you are daring enough you can even add a bit of chilli when marinating your chicken with the spices for this recipe.

Making a white/bechamel sauce can be intimidating at first, I was scared to make one when I was younger too. Mainly because I thought I would have a lumpy sauce, and yes I did have lumpy sauce in my early days of cooking. However, I quickly figured the secret to getting a smooth sauce, my trusted old whisk, it works like magic. Use a whisk to stir your sauce and you will never have lumpy sauce again.

As we all know Chicken Breasts are also tricky to cook, it can overcook very easily and the it becomes all chewy. Nobody wants that as it just ruins a good dish. I cook my Chicken Breasts on medium to high heat and I cook it just enough on both sides, usually about 4 to 5 minutes per side. I make a little slit in the centre of the breast to check if it’s cooked, no fancy gadgets required.

My kids love a saucy dish so I add a little less pasta to this Creamy Spicy Chicken Pasta just so they can enjoy that sauciness. You can add more pasta if you wish. When boiling your pasta you need to pop your pasta into a pot of boiling water, add some salt and it’s good to go. I do not add oil to my pasta as I find that the sauce adheres to the pasta better without the oil.

Here’s a list of some of my other delicious Chicken Recipes:

https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/lemon-garlic-chicken/

https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/chilli-chicken-indo-chinese-recipe/

https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/butter-chicken/

Another delicious recipe to try from https://mediterraneanlatinloveaffair.com

https://mediterraneanlatinloveaffair.com/creamy-spinach-and-mushrooms-chicken/


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Creamy Spicy Chicken Pasta
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Instructions
  1. Marinate the chicken breasts with the chilli powder, cumin, garam masala, ginger/garlic paste, lemon juice, buttermilk and some salt and pepper. Refrigerate for an hour.
  2. Make the white sauce by melting the butter on medium heat. Add the flour and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove the mixture off the stove and whisk in half the milk, a little at a time. Using a whisk prevents a lumpy sauce.
  3. Return the sauce to the heat and keep stirring. Add the remaining milk and cream and stir until it thickens forming a smooth, silky sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Should cook for about 8 minutes. Place a clingfilm over the sauce to prevent a skin forming on top and set aside
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium to high heat and fry the chicken. About 4 minutes on each side until chicken is soft, tender and cooked all the way through
  5. Boil pasta in a pot of boiling water with some salt, should be al la dente. You can chop up the chicken breasts and mix it all together with the sauce and pasta or you can mix the pasta with the sauce and place the sliced chicken on top. I prefer to mix it all together as the flavours really get in
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I have fond memories of this dish growing up, Yellow Potato Curry with Cumin. You must wonder why the name Yellow Potato, well that name comes from the addition of turmeric that turns the potato into a beautiful hue of yellow.

My mum often made us sandwiches topped with this curry and a spread of grated mango pickle/atchar on top. It was the most delicious thing ever. I didn’t think my sandwiches were anything to rave about when I was at school. However, I had a friend that thought I had the most scrumptious food in my lunchbox and couldn’t wait for me to share my mum’s delicious sandwiches with her. Who would have thought sandwiches made with Yellow Potato Curry with Cumin would be such a hit.

Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and has great health benefits, it’s why I love using turmeric in my cooking. The added bonus is that this dish is vegan and the addition of mint adds a new spin to the classic recipe. Mint may not always seem like the perfect herb to pair with potatoes but the flavour is amazing.

The best way to eat this dish is with freshly baked bread. Although my family prefers rice or roti. Do try it with some bread and let me know what you think, it may be an overload of carbs but it’s worth it. If you have some pickle/atchar in your cupboard even better, nothing beats the cumin potatoes with that hint of tanginess.

It’s not even suppertime and I’m already salivating. The best food is made with simple ingredients, it’s why I’m not into gourmet food, takes too much effort with way too many ingredients. I don’t have the time nor the patience for that. I will leave that to the experts. Well if you looking for a quick dinner then this is your recipe. You may also want to try some of my other great potato recipes.

https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/old-fashioned-potato-salad/

https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/indian-inspired-fried-potatoes/


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Yellow Potato Curry with Cumin
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Instructions
  1. Heat oil and add cumin seeds
  2. Once the cumin seeds start to burst add the onion, curry leaf and chillies
  3. When the onion is transluscent add the potatoes and turmeric. Season with salt
  4. Saute the potatoes for a minute. Add half cup of water and simmer on a low temperature until potatoes are soft and tender. During the cooking process you can add a little more water if it dries out before the potatoes are cooked
  5. Mix in the mint leaves and serve hot
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Happy New Year Everyone! I’ve had a bit of a slow start to the New Year but I’m all rearing to go again. Holidays are not good for me, it really slows me down and takes me a while to get back into the flow of things. At least I’m starting off on a good note with a healthy recipe, Perfect Roast Vegetable.

I won’t promise to share all healthy meals throughout the year because I love baking and I won’t be happy if I can’t share my sweet treats. However, I will share a fair spread from sweet indulgence to healthy and simple. Just the way we all love it, it’s called balance.

You don’t need to put in much effort to make perfect roast vegetable, takes just a few minutes to put it all together, pop it into the oven and you good to go. I am Indian so I add a little spice wherever I can, that includes my roast vegetable. It has loads of flavour with a slightly caramelized exterior and tender on the inside, super delicious.

Sometimes I can be a little lazy in the kitchen so this is my go to side dish when I have my moments. And for those lazy days it’s even better when you can buy the pre-cut vegetable, how much easier can life get.

If you are using firm vegetable like the butternut used in this recipe, I suggest you cover it with foil for the first few minutes, This technique really does help in speeding up the cooking process. It also helps to cut all your veggies a similar size to get your veggies to cook evenly. You really don’t want bits of undercooked veggies at serving time.

Be careful not to crowd your vegetable when baking them, a large roasting pan or even your cookie sheet works perfectly well. I line my sheet with some parchment paper before spreading out my vegetable.

Seeing it’s meat-free Monday for most of us you can use this recipe for your dinner tonight, if I had my way I will add some grilled halloumi and make a meal of it. If you looking for another great side dish do try this amazing Brocolli Salad https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/roasted-brocolli-and-haloumi-salad/

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Perfect Roast Vegetable
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius
  2. RInse vegetable well and drain all the excess water
  3. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together. You can add a little more olive oil if required. I did not add salt as the seasoning had enough salt but you can add more if you wish
  4. Line a the roasting pan with some parchment paper, spread the vegetable evenly. Cover with foil and bake for half an hour
  5. After the half hour, remove the foil and cook the vegetable further until it's cooked and slightly caramelized. My cooking time was exactly an hour
Recipe Notes

If you are using a variety of vegetables you can start by cooking the veggies that take longer too cook first and after a few minutes add the more tender veggies.  I also add my thyme with the stem and I pick them out once the veggies are cooked, if you have time you can pick the leaves and add it to the veggies

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I did post another version of my Vegetable Breyani or Biryani previously. However, this South African Vegetable Biryani is a long winded version and I would say more delicious. It is worth all the effort you put into it though.

This flavour-packed rice dish is an absolute favourite amongst vegetarians and goes down a treat even with meat-eaters. I call this South African Vegetable Biryani my “wedding version” as it tastes just like the one that was served at Indian weddings.  Especially if it’s accompanied by Dhall, you can double the recipe here, and a crunchy carrot salad. In South Africa Vegetable Biryani is typically served with dhall, do try it and you will thank me.

My list of spices may seem like a lot but it is these long list of spices that brings this delectable recipe together. South African Vegetable Biryani is a bold and flavorful dish. If it’s too spicy for you then you can always cool it down with some yogurt or raita. Lots of different vegetable can be used to create this dish but I prefer to use firm vegetable. There’s nothing worse than a mushy biryani. You have to be careful not to overcook your rice too.

Cooking the Biryani in the oven for an hour definitely keeps the grains whole and separated. I find that I am more in control of my cooking when it’s cooked in the oven. Biryani can easily scorch on the stovetop, if you not careful and it can be easily overcooked too. Rice is usually half-cooked before being added to the spiced veggies and you can add some turmeric or a little sprinkling of egg-yellow food colouring for the yellow colour. I love the addition of potatoes and you can steam and fry your potatoes. This method keeps the potatoes whole and speeds up the cooking process.


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South African Vegetable Biryani

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Instructions
  1. Cook the rice together with the elachie, cinnamon stick, some salt and turmeric (only if you not using food colouring) and set aside. If you are using food colouring sprinkle some over the rice but do not mix yet.

  2. Steam potatoes for a few minutes until almost cooked, season with some salt and shallow fry. Set aside

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon vegetable or light olive oil. Add the cumin seeds and once it starts to burst add the cinnamon stick, black cardamom, star aniseed. Once fragrant add the bay leaf and onion together with the thyme and curry leaf

  4. Once onion is translucent add the ginger/garlic paste and fry for a minute

  5. Add the ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, soomph, chilli powder and masala. Add a few drops of water and cook for a couple of minutes

  6. Add the vegetable, mix well. Season with salt. Cover and cook on medium heat. After 5 minutes add the mint and tomatoes. If your vegetable is drying up too quickly add some water and lower the temperature until the vegetable is cooked and tender.

  7. Add the rice and potatoes to the veggies. Mix it all together. Add a cup and a half of water. Scatter the cubes of butter over the rice and cook in the oven at 180 degrees celcius for 1 to 1&1/2 hours.


Recipe Notes

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For the vegetable, you can steam it for a few minutes until it's tender or you can cook it from scratch with the spices. I did steam my vegetable before adding to my spices. When adding the food colouring to the rice let is stand for a few minutes before using a fork to mix the colouring into the rice, this way it you will create little specks of colour in the rice. Do not substitute the butter with margarine, the flavour will definitely not be the same.


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I consider this to by my Old-Fashioned Potato Salad and I promise you will love it. Although I have another recipe I use, which is a French style potato salad I still prefer this recipe. The great thing about my Old-fashioned Potato Salad recipe is that there’s no fancy ingredients used. Simple ingredients that can be found in your pantry, is used to make this amazing salad. So you can have this Old-Fashioned Potato Salad anytime you wish.

My week has been a little stressful and I felt like some comfort food. What better than a creamy potato salad.

We have been looking for a new home for almost a year and we have finally found a home that we love. It didn’t occur to me just how stressful buying a new home can be. There are a million things to sort out and most of it will be my responsibility, that I do know already.  I am a stay-at-home mum and most people, including my husband, thinks we just sit around and make ourselves pretty all day. I’m already feeling the strain and we haven’t even started packing yet.  I hope I survive from now until the day we move…wish me luck! When I’m stressed I look for comfort in food and that’s not a good thing. Luckily I’m not stressed 365 days a year.

If you do make this potato salad I suggest you use waxy potatoes. Waxy potatoes have a creamy, moist, firm flesh which usually holds its shape long after it’s cooked.

Mayonnaise is definitely what adds to the creaminess of the salad together with the eggs. Not many people add eggs to potato salad but the eggs makes all the difference in creating a delicious potato salad. You can also opt for a light mayonnaise or some yogurt but if you already eating carbs then I suggest use that mayonnaise and go all the way. You can gym afterwards.

If you are crazy about potatoes like I am then you will also love my recipe for Indian Fried Potatoes

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Instructions
  1. Boil your potatoes in some salted water until they are cooked. You will know they are cooked when you poke a knife though it and it slides in easily. You can cube the potatoes and then boil but I prefer boiling them whole. I cut them up once they are cool.
  2. Boil 3 eggs, remove the shell and set aside. I boil my eggs by adding them into a saucepan with cold water. Once it starts to boil I then turn the heat off and cover the saucepan, leaving it on the hot stove for about 10 minutes. I then take it off the stovetop and remove the shells, this way I get perfectly boiled eggs all the time. If you want soft eggs you can remove it off the hot stove a little sooner.
  3. Once the potatoes are cool, add in the chopped onion and the chopped eggs. Season with more salt and pepper if required. Mix in the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard. You can add more mayonnaise if your prefer. Garnish with parsley and a little sprinkle of paprika. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
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I hope you all had a great weekend.   This amazing Creamy Butternut and Sweetcorn Bake recipe is from my sister in Australia, it is so delicious so I have to share it with you. She made this often when she lived in SA and everyone fell in love with it.  Creamy Butternut and Sweetcorn Bake makes a perfect side dish, especially when braaiing. It just goes so well with braaied meat. It is not the healthiest dish to make as it’s loaded with cheese and cream but everything in moderation.

We don’t have this dish very often, probably once or twice a year but it is so worth making it. Although I’m not crazy about Cream Style Sweetcorn it works amazingly well in this dish. It was so delicious that my family cleaned out the dish, there were no leftovers. Trust me even the picky eaters will eat this.  It’s amazing how cream and cheese makes everything taste heavenly, why does everything that taste good have to be bad for you. Life is so unfair. I sound like my kids, telling me life is not fair when they can’t have their way.

Butternut can sometimes get a little boring so this takes your butternut to a whole new level. We often have butternut that’s steamed or grilled so let’s call this our butternut treat. If you are vegetarian you can have this Creamy Butternut and Sweetcorn Bake with a refreshing green salad and maybe some crusty bread….mmmm sounds mouthwatering.

In my instructions I did say “smash your butternut” and not “mash” because you really don’t want a pureed bake. The butternut should have some texture so it’s not a mushy bake. When steaming your butternut and it is slightly undercooked that’s okay, it will cook further in the oven so don’t stress too much about that. I hope you love this dish as much as we do!

 

 

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Creamy Butternut and Sweetcorn Bake
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Instructions
  1. Steam the butternut until tender
  2. Preheat oven to 180 deg celcius. Smash the butternut once cooked and place in a oven proof dish.
  3. Pour the cream style sweetcorn over the butternut and roughly mix it together, don't over mix. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the chilli flakes
  4. Pour the fresh cream over. Sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese on top. Sprinkle a little paprika over the cheese and bake for about 45 minutes.
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