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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Simple Dessert with a few ingredients

The only thing I’m enjoying about packing is the fact that I’m finding some of my hidden treasures. I found a few recipe books with amazing recipes that I kept in a safe place, only to forget about them. I found this Easy Delicious Tiramisu recipe in an old Woolworths Taste Magazine. It had another name for it and I remember there was alcohol in the recipe, don’t ask me what alcohol as I won’t be able to tell you. I don’t drink it so I’m a little uneducated on anything related to alcohol.

I cannot tell you much more about the recipe because after I used it my helper decided to put it away and now can’t remember where the magazine is anymore. But my packing is not over yet so I’m sure it will pop up somewhere soon.

At least I still remember the ingredients and it is such a simple dessert to make with absolutely no effort at all. Did I mention it is also heavenly, it is creamy with that hint of coffee and my favourite madeira cake.

Most recipes use ladyfinger biscuits but this recipe uses madeira cake and I simply love it. I must admit I did not spend tons of time decorating it although I did regret it after I saw my dreadful photos. Please don’t be put off by my decorating skills, as they say “the proof is in the pudding” so you have got to try it to appreciate it.

I promise to make a show stopping one the next time I try this recipe. Just to have something for my photos I used a round cutter and cut out a little piece, wanted to add a little bit of prettiness to it. I did tell you I was a homecook, didn’t I, in case you forgot.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner this is also an amazing dessert to make, you can try making it into a heart shape. Well, at least if you are the romantic type.

Please do not eat this dessert as soon as it’s made, it must be refrigerated for a couple of hours at least. Trust me it doesn’t taste as delicious if not chilled.

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Easy Delicious 10 minute Tiramisu
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Instructions
  1. Beat the mascarpone, fresh cream and vanilla together
  2. Cut the madeira cake into slices
  3. Cool down the coffee a little, if it is too hot the cake will break easily when dipped
  4. Dip the madeira slices into the coffee and layer it in a dish or a bowl, ensure the bottom is covered
  5. Pour over the excess coffee
  6. Fill the cake with the mascarpone cream filling
  7. Scatter some grated chocolate and crushed amaretti biscuits over it and refrigerate for a few hours before serving
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Refreshing Summer Salad

After seeing a salad posted in the Pick n Pay freshliving magazine I was really inspired to make a similar salad, it looked amazing. This Honeyed Peach and Pesto Salad is heavenly. The original recipe used goat’s cheese and I am not a fan of goat’s cheese. I changed the recipe to suit my tastebuds and it is the best salad ever. And I thought nothing could beat the roasted-brocolli-and-haloumi-salad.

I was definitely mistaken, this Honeyed Peach and Pesto salad has now become my favourite summer salad.

The peach that I used in this salad was perfectly sweet so I didn’t need too much honey. I also didn’t load it with tons of basil pesto, I used a little pesto but wow, I never knew peaches and pesto could taste so good together. My hubby was amazed at how delicious this salad turned out.

We always have feta in our fridge and feta goes well with almost any salad as far as I’m concerned. It tied in perfectly with the other ingredients in this salad, a little bit of sweetness, some saltiness and some crunch. What more can you ask for.

I’m usually not the adventurous type when it comes to food but today I was in a different mood obviously. Just let me say I’m glad I tried something new.

This salad is definitely a keeper and I can’t wait to try making it for some guests soon.

If you are a goddess in the kitchen do try making your own pesto but if you are like me, looking for easy ways to make a meal, just use some store bought pesto. Woolworths makes delicious pesto and I often use it in my dishes, we can’t always make everything from scratch!

Please do try this recipe, you won’t be disappointed, even if you not the adventurous type you will still love it, trust me on this one.

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Honeyed Peach and Pesto Salad
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Instructions
  1. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a pan and fry pumpkin seeds until golden
  2. Add honey and remove from heat
  3. Arrange the peach on a platter. Scatter the feta, lettuce/ rocket leaves and pumkin seeds
  4. Thin the pesto with the tablespoon of olive oil, add more if you want a more runny consistency and drizzle over the salad before serving
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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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Lamb Kebabs
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Lamb Kebabs
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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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Perfect for Afternoon Tea

Are you surprised? Yes I did bake these scones in the airfryer for 8 minutes and they are totally satisfying and yum. You may adjust your time depending on the thickness of your scones. Did you ever think such simple things in life can give us so much joy. Well I was in heaven eating these Easy Buttermilk Airfryer Scones.

I missed my scones, it’s the one thing I make often because not only is it quick but there’s something comforting about having scones with tea. I couldn’t bake for a while now because my oven decided to give up on me. So today I thought why not make some scones in my airfryer and it turned out perfect. You can of course bake yours in the oven for a little extra time, about 10-15 minutes.

I’m sure most of us assume baking scones is the easiest thing to do, well at least I did. Until one day when I overworked my dough and had chewy, horrid scones. I have since learnt the secret to making beautiful, light scones is in how you handle the scone dough and of course using cold butter. These Easy Buttermilk Airfryer Scones are so quick and easy to make and if they are a little rustic looking then you know you’ve done a good job.

Unfortunately scones are not the most forgiving, you work the dough a little more than you should and you will have disastrous scones. I have seen chefs use ice-cold butter, straight from the freezer, grated into the flour. To be totally honest I don’t think I have the patience to grate frozen butter. For this Easy Buttermilk Airfryer Scones I remove my butter from the refrigerator when I’m ready to use it. I then add my flour into the food processor, pop my butter in and give it a quick pulse. This works perfectly for me.

You can also add your buttermilk and egg to the mixture in the food processor. If you give it a pulse just a few times it brings the dough together without overworking it. Thereafter you remove the dough and place it on a flat surface lightly dusted with flour. Just use your hands to press it down to about 2cm thickness.

When cutting the dough press the cutter into the dough but do not twist, press and lift. This technique will then create those rich, buttery layers in your scone.

Looking for more sweet treats then another easy recipe to try is my Shortbread

https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/shortbread/

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Easy Buttermilk Airfryer Scones
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Instructions
  1. Preheat your airfryer for a minute
  2. Add flour and butter to a food processor and give it about 3 to 4 pulses until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
  3. Add sugar and pulse one more time
  4. Add the egg and buttermilk and pulse about 3 times until the dough comes together
  5. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and bring it all together. Flatten the dough with your palms, about 2cm thickness and cut into circles.
  6. Do not twist the cutter when cutting the dough, simply press and lift. This is what creates the beautiful layers in your scones
  7. Brush the top of the scones with eggwash (egg mixed with a few drops of water) or some extra buttermilk and bake in the airfryer at 180 degrees for 8 minutes or in the oven at 180 deg celcius for 10-15 minutes
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South African Recipe

I haven’t spent much time in my kitchen the last few days, it’s been light meals and rushing around. My middle son has started college, and yes he is studying at a culinary school, wants to become a chef so he can teach his mum a few professional tricks. Our home feels empty with 2 of my boys now almost out the house, my 17 year old is staying at the college residence. Although he drove me crazy when he was at home I miss him terribly. The only positive is that I got to cook a Spicy Durban Chicken Curry, only because I didn’t have to hear his moans about the fact that he hates Chicken Curry and even more so if it was chicken on the bone.

This Spicy Durban Chicken Curry will definitely tantalize your tastebuds with it’s robust flavours. There are many different versions of cooking a chicken curry but my favourite is this one, cooked the South African Indian way with no fancy frills, just plain old chicken curry.

If you have eaten a curry cooked in a South African Indian home you will know a lot of our meat dishes are cooked with meat on the bone. The bone adds loads of flavour to the sauce or gravy as we know.

We do cook our chicken curry very similar to the way we would cook a Durban Lamb Curry https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/durban-lamb-curry/ . There’s is no quick fix to cooking a delicious curry, you cannot achieve the same results if you just add all the ingredients to the pot and just cook it in a hurry. You do have to layer the flavours, saute your onion and garlic, roast your spices and let the curry simmer on a low heat. The longer it simmers the more flavourful it becomes. It’s even more delicious if you allow it to stand for a while before serving.

I remember my mum sometimes cooked the chicken curry and then popped it into the oven for a short while, this totally enhanced the flavour of the curry. Like I have mentioned in a previous post it is best to roast your spices and grind them, you can store them in an airtight bottle. I don’t grind a whole lot, just enough to last me a couple of weeks so that way I know it still maintains its freshness. Nothing beats freshly ground spices.

If you love curries then you may also want to try some of these recipes:

https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/mince-curry-potatoes/

https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/gadra-borlotti-bean-curry/


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Spicy Durban Chicken Curry
Spicy Durban Chicken Curry cooked with Indian Spices
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Instructions
  1. Heat ghee and add the whole spices, cinnamon, bay leaf, elachie, black elachie, star aniseed. When it becomes fragrant add onion, chilli and curry leaf
  2. Saute until onion is slightly brown
  3. Add ginger/garlic paste and saute for a further minute
  4. Add the ground spices, coriander, cumin, soomph, chilli powder, masala and turmeric
  5. Mix well, add a few drops of water to prevent scorching and fry for a minute
  6. Add the chicken and potatoes. Season with salt. Simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer for another 5 minutes
  7. Add half cup of water and simmer until potatoes are tender and soft. The tomatoes and amount of water I've added creates enough gravy, however you can add more if required. Please note that your gravy should be thick, not runny
  8. Sprinkle in the garam masala and crush the methi leaves with your fingertips and add it in. Mix well. Turn heat off and allow your curry to stand at least half an hour before serving.
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Refreshing Indian drink with Cardamom and Saffron

There’s nothing more refreshing than a cold drink in summer and this Simple Mango Lassi Recipe is the perfect summer drink. I love mango and I love yogurt so these 2 ingredients make a killer combination, with just a hint of cardamom and saffron.

I first drank a mango lassi at an Indian restaurant, it was super-delicious and I was hooked. So whenever I have extra mango in my kitchen I try and use them for this Simple Mango Lassi Recipe. We don’t often have mangoes lying around because my kids love mangoes and they get eaten up quite quickly. It is summer so we have mangoes in abundance, I think I’m going to have to freeze some before they are out of season again.

I’m really lazy about eating fruit so I prefer to add them to my drinks, it’s why I love smoothies so much too. This mango lassi makes a great breakfast smoothie or works great as a cooling accompaniment to spicy meals.

Making a mango lassi is super easy, all you need is mango and yogurt, You can then add cardamom, saffron and I’ve seen recipes with pistachios, nutmeg, cinnamon. I don’t think I want to add too many flavours to mine. For me it’s just perfect with these simple ingredients.

Mango Lassi has a thick consistency so it’s why I add loads of ice when blending mine. I want it to be drinkable, I suppose you can also add milk to thin it out. I prefer not to add sugar to my drink, I think the mango is already sweet enough so I just a add a little honey. You can add more honey if you prefer it sweeter.

Ripe, sweet mangoes work best for this drink, just ensure you don’t use those stringy mangoes. If you don’t have fresh mangoes you can use frozen ones. I don’t often see frozen mangoes in our stores, they always mixed up with some other fruit so I stick to fresh mangoes.

If you are hooked on mangoes like I am, you will love this refreshing Simple Mango Lassi Recipe.

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Simple Mango Lassi Recipe
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Instructions
  1. Add the mango, yogurt, cardamom and honey together with the ice-cubes to a blender and blend until smooth
  2. Pour into serving glasses and garnish with saffron
  3. You can refrigerate until you ready to serve
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Flavourful One-Pot Indian Dish

I guess the next few weeks you will hear my moans about home renovations. I didn’t fully understand the stress that truly goes with it until now. Despite all my running around and making sure we have a smooth transition into our new home I still have to find the time to cook. Curries are truly a life-saver during stressful times, it’s a one-pot dish and can be made ahead. It’s why I thought this Spicy Lamb Rogan Josh with a crunchy carrot salad will work well with my busy schedule.

Living with my neighbours so close by I am sure they must get that aroma of curry at 10am in the morning. They are either cursing me for making them breath in the lingering curry smell or just because they can’t have some. At least I don’t cook a curry everyday or every morning so neighbours please bare with me until the craziness is over. I love sharing though so if my neighbours do stop by, I really don’t mind sharing my Spicy Lamb Rogan Josh.

Indians are great at sharing, nobody leaves our home without eating something or taking a doggy bag home. It’s a trait I have from my parents and I love it. I do hope my kids can still carry that love of sharing in their adult lives. Although my 10year is quite adamant he will not share his food with anybody…….let’s hope that changes.

Rogan Josh uses similar spices to what we use in our Durban Lamb Curry, it is cooked a little differently but both are equally delicious. https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/durban-lamb-curry/

This recipe makes an aromatic dish with succulent lamb as it’s simmered on a low heat for a long time, this also helps develop the depth of flavour. I know lamb has enough fat content but I did trim off all the excess fat from the leg of lamb pieces that I used. I used ghee and a bit of fresh cream for that added richness. It was mainly for the kids, my 10 year old will probably have it for every meal until the pot is empty, he loves any lamb curry that much, so I did splurge a little. I have noticed that the chefs at authentic Indian Restaurants use loads of onion in their dishes so for this one I added a lot more than I usually do.

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Spicy Lamb Rogan Josh
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MAIN COURSES LAMB
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Instructions
  1. Roast the cumin, coriander, cinnamon stick, elachie, star aniseed, cloves until fragrant. Remove from heat, cool and grind into a fine powder
  2. Heat the butter ghee and saute onion and curry leaf.
  3. Once onion is translucent add the ginger/garlic paste and fry for a minute
  4. Add the cubes of lamb and mix in the ground spices. Add the masala and chilli powder. Mix it all well and saute for a minute or two.
  5. Add the tomato paste and yogurt. Season with salt. Add a pinch of sugar if the tomato paste is too acidic. If you feel the lamb is drying up too quickly you can add about a 1/4 cup of water or slightly more if required.
  6. Turn the heat down to a low settiing and allow curry to simmer for at least 40 minutes. The lamb should be tender and succulent. Add the garam masala
  7. Add fresh cream if you wish and serve hot
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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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