Another one of my favourite dishes. It can be made quite thin and drank after meals, or made relatively thick and served with yoghurt. Either option is lovely. So so lovely.


3/4 pot of soya yoghurt (or natural yoghurt if you aren’t vegan)

2 tbsp gram flour

2 green chillies

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds

3 cloves

1 inch cinnamon

8 curry leaves

1 kokum (optional – smashed down in a pestle and mortar)

Lemon juice



1) In a bowl mix the yoghurt, gram flour,  green chillies and water. Leave out for about 30 minutes to get the yoghurt to sour a bit. Mix a bit of sugar in if you like sweet and sour (I love sweet and sour)

2) In oil fry the mustard and cumin seeds until they crackle slightly. Then take it off the heat and add the fenugreek seeds, kokum, cloves and cinnamon

3) Add the yoghurt mixture to the spices. Leave to cook for about 15 minutes on low – medium heat.

4) Season with lemon and salt.


Serve with rice

Kathal tikka

I remember having kathal years ago as it has a texture which can absorb flavours well and is a kind of meat substitute in India. I felt like trying out a tikka marinade and this came out beautifully. In English kathal is jackfruit and it is available in Asian shops. I used a can mainly because we had a can at home and I was too lazy to search the streets for fresh jackfruit. Apparently it’s easily available fresh at Chinese supermarkets.


700g jackfruit

2 tbsps soya yogurt

1.5 tsps gram flour

4 garlic cloves

1.5 inch ginger

3 green chillies (whole, slit through the middle) – If you’re ok with heat, chilli is really to your own taste.

1 large tomato

1.5 tbsp dessicated coconut

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp mustard seeds

0.5 tsp coriander seeds

1 tbsp black sesame seeds

1 tsp black peppercorn

1 black cardamom

1 inch cinnamon

2 bay leaves

salt (I suggest 0.5 teaspoon but your choice)

a pinch of nutmeg

1 tbsp sunflower or coconut oil

a splash of lemon juice


1. In a pan fry the cumin, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, black sesame seeds, bay leaves, peppercorns, green chillies, cardamom and cinnamon for about 1 minute. You will hear popping and it’ll be super aromatic. Don’t burn it. Add desiccated coconut and stir until it goes brown. It browns very quickly so make sure it isn’t burned. Leave to cool for a few minutes.

2. In a blender add your tomato, garlic, yoghurt, ginger, salt, nutmeg and gram flour. You’ll have to chop up the tomato, garlic and ginger so that it blends properly. Add the roasted spice mix. Make it into a fine paste

3. Coat your jackfruit and leave to marinade for 1 hour.

4. For for best results ideally this should be skewered and barbecued. If the weather is crap throw it in the oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes on the middle shelf. Finish it off on the top shelf under the grill for an additional 10 minutes  to get the blackened tikka bits.

5. Finish it off with a splash of lemon juice. Goes gorgeously with nan.

The photo below is from the oven. Still managed to be brilliant without the BBQ.



I’m going through a phase right now where I eat this about 3 times a week. It’s cheap, healthy and versatile. There are many different ways to make it but I’m going to use a simple standard recipe here. Semolina can be substituted for quinoa, cous cous, bulgar wheat…whatever you fancy. Upma is traditionally served as a breakfast food in South India. I generally eat this for lunch and it comes to 300 calories. This recipe serves 1


  • 40g Semolina
  • Mixed veg – I prefer frozen carrots and peas out of laziness.
  • 1 tbsp Sambhar masala
  • A bunch of curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 onion
  • a bit of oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • Red chilli powder
  • peanuts/cashews (optional)
  • Namkeen (I prefer 10g Haldiram’s Plain Bhujia)
  • Lemon juice
  • salt

1) Fry mustard seeds and curry leaves (+ green chillies if you want) and leave to cook (off the heat)

2) Cut and fry half an onion in the same oil.

2) Roast semolina in a seperate pot. Or prepare cous cous, quinoa etc

3) In the fried onions/curry leaves/mustard seed mix add turmeric powder, coriander powder and sambhar masala.

4) Add the semolina, mixed veg and some boiling water. If you’re using nuts then chuck them in here. It’s a good idea to add the salt and chilli powder at this point and stir continuously

5) Keep stirring or you’ll get lumps and that is gross.

6) When it’s ready add a copious amount of lemon juice and serve with namkeen sprinkled on top. As this is a breakfast food it’s gorgeous with orange juice. Flipping love upma.

If you don’t have sambhar masala then it’s not imperative. I think traditionally this is eaten with just green chillies, mustard seeds and curry leaves. I don’t think this is a traditional recipe but this is how I eat it and it keeps me so so happy.