Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Home Made Pulau blend and Chicken Rub


Basic Lemon Chicken Rub

Ingredients :

  • 1 Tabsp Lemon Pepper
  • 1 tsp Coarse Himalayan Salt or flaked sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder/granules
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Fennel Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Parsley
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika

Instructions :

  • Put all the above in a bowl, give it a good stir and mix till well combined.
  • You can double or triple the amounts if needed.
  • Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place. 
  • Use as needed.

For the Pulau chicken, I mixed in an extra of the following to a tablespoon of the above Basic Rub Mix.
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder and 
  • 1 tsp Onion powder/Granules
  • 1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper.

Pulau Spice Blend

Ingredients : 
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt Flakes
  • 1 tsp ground mixed dried bell pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp all spice or garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder

Instructions : 

  • Put all the above in a bowl, give it a good stir and mix till well combined.
  • You can double or triple the amounts if needed.
  • Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place. 
  • Use as needed.


Ginger-Garlic Chicken Pulau


Looks like it's time for me to upgrade my html and blog template to make it a little more 'recipe sharing' friendly so that you can just jump straight to the recipe with a link without having to read all my blah blahs in between 😜 or scroll down with effort. Since there has been an urgent demand for this particular recipe, I shall do my best not to bore you with extras and blog this post to a minimal. As promised, here is the full recipe of my Ginger-Garlic Chicken Pulau. 

NOTE : You will need a heavy bottom pan with a heavy lid....preferably, a Cast Iron casserole with a Heavy Lid. The reason for this is so that the chicken and rice is cooked in it's juices and fat enclosed in a thick heat retaining pan, giving you a very tender and juicy chicken and moist Pulau. IF you do not have a heavy fitting lid, find a way to securely cover a deep cast iron with double layer of foil. we do not want the broth to bubble and spill over. I used my shallow Cast iron pan and hence the reason for slitting the chicken in centre to create a butterfly effect, keeping it flat enough so that the lid can be placed well over the pan. I prefer it this way though...I find that the bones faced down, bring out the full chicken flavour into the Basmati, giving it a really aromatic and flavourful Rice. 

Shallow Cast Iron Pan

It's easy with very little effort but not exactly fast. It needs an hour for the chicken to cook and an additional 25 minutes for the rice. The chicken can be marinated/massaged with your ready 'chicken rub' in just a couple minutes and it's ready to cook. If you have the time, keep the marinated chicken in the fridge for a couple hours or even overnight for maximum flavour. 

Be very careful with handling your cast iron casserole/pan/pot....it is VERY heavy and even more so with food in it and extremely hot. You need safe grip holders/thick oven gloves.

Only ground spices and herbs are needed. You can buy ready mixed from supermarket or make your own.. I personally make my own from only organic herbs and spices. I will post my recipes for the Chicken Rub and Pulau Rice Mix in the next post. If you are buying from the Supermarket, Look for any spice/herb mix called Chicken Rub/Chicken or poultry seasoning and Pulau rice seasoning. I believe the brands Schwartz and Mc Cormick should have these ready mixes. Read labels...most ready seasonings already have salt in it and you do not want to bring on high BP 😌. However, if you are used to having more seasonings,....it's really your personal choice. I prefer mine mild since I am having it with the spicy tangy sauce of blended Chillies, tomatoes, lemon juice and salt. ...maybe a pinch of sugar too :D

Ginger-Garlic Chicken Pulau

  • 1 medium Chicken
  • Chicken or Poultry seasoning 
  • 200gm Basmati Rice
  • Pulau Rice Seasoning.
  • 4 rough slices of ginger. 
  • 2 slices turmeric or 1/2 to 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 4 crushed garlic pods
  • 600 ml Water and salt to taste if you desire.
  • some parsley or coriander leaves for garnishing.
  • extra salt, pepper or spices to your liking. (optional)

Method :

  • Marinate the chicken with chicken seasoning.
  • Once you are ready to cook it, preheat oven to 200-220C. I put mine at 180C using fan as it tends to be hotter than normal. Note that each oven varies with their own personalities...you should know how calm or temperamental your own baby is (oven) πŸ˜†
  • Place the ginger, turmeric and garlic in the centre of pan.
  • Place the chicken on top and slowly pour in the water. Close with the heavy Lid and place in centre of oven. Cook for 1 hour. 
  • in the meantime, you can wash, drain and mix into the Basmati 3 tsp OR 1 level tablespoon of Pulau Rice Seasoning and put aside. 
  • Remove pan from oven and scatter the rice all round the chicken in the water/chicken broth. Add extra salt/pepper IF desired.  
  • Place the pan in oven for a further 25 minutes.
  • Turn the oven off after 25 minutes, leave oven door half open and let the chicken stand in the pan for 10 minutes.
  • Fluff up the rice with a fork and scatter coriander leaves or any other garnishing.
  • Bon Appetit!

So....Comfort or Autumn food? πŸ˜ƒ. Both, I would think. Have been sooooo stressed lately...some comfort food is definitely needed. When I am tired or simply in no mood to cook OR order in, one of my easy ‘pop in the oven’ go to meals would be the Ginger Garlic Chicken Pulau. All that is needed are slices of ginger and crushed garlic, a mix of Pulau rice seasoning & my home made chicken rub and into the oven it goes. When cooked, the chicken is juicy and tender, slides off the bones so easily. Even the rice is moist and not dry....cooked with the chicken juices and fat. The seasonings/spices/herb mixes were made long beforehand and stored in jars just for rainy days like this 😁. This Pulau goes well with any chicken rice sauce, curry or gravy of your liking. I enjoy it though with just a mix of chillies and tomatoes blended with lemon juice and a little salt. Yumm!

Monday, November 30, 2020


Wowww it's been years since I posted anything on my blog 😱😱😱 !! Truth be told, Life and adventures simply took over and I relocated from Malaysia to Belgium and now in the United Kingdom. :) 😜. So much has happened since then....good, not so good and really sad events. I even have 2 beautiful grand daughters now, Maryam Jasmine and Aleena Rose...such delights that I only get to see twice a year when I travel back to Malaysia.  Sadly it has not been so for this year ....2020 has been an unprecedented year for all of us with Covid, Lockdowns, Quarantines and restricted movements. 

My husband and I contracted the virus in March and we are so so thankful that we survived it. It really took a huge toll on our bodies and respiratory systems that even until now we are still not 100% the same as before.

Anyway, onto positive stuff -- Yesterday I posted one of my lazy 'go to' comfort meals on Instagram and Facebook and it had an amazing response from friends and family requesting for the recipe. So yes, this is also one main reason why I have  reactivated my blog to share the recipe with everyone. Plus, 2020 has been so stressful and I need some blogging therapy to rant, vent, share etc etc. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‡

Well, now that my reasons and excuses for not blogging are done...lol....let's get down to business. Sneak preview of my next post ... Ginger Garlic Chicken Pulau. 


Friday, March 6, 2015

Amazing Tips and Uses for used Coffee Grounds

Don’t let used coffee grounds go to waste. Use them around the house, in your garden or in homemade body-care products. Here are some handy and amazing tips/uses which I have researched on and collected from all over the web. 

Simple Body Scrub:
Mix ½ cup of used coffee grounds with 2 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil. Massage all over body while standing in the shower. Leave on for 10 minutes before showering. This mixture will exfoliate your skin. Add a few drops of vanilla extract or essential oil for a refreshing or soothing fragrance....this will make your skin feel great and smelling wonderful.

Body Salt Scrub: 
This rub will leave your whole body feeling soft and rejuvenated. 

Coffee Salt Scrub Recipe:
1 ½ cup coarse sea salt
1 cup coffee grounds (dried)
1 cup oil (I used coconut)
5-15 drops of essential oils

Recipe Directions: In a large bowl add coarse sea salt and coffee grounds and stir; place oil and essential oils into bowl and stir.  Store in air tight jar and use for those days when you need to need a good scrubbing.

Wake me Up Air Freshener: 
Perfect for your house or car. All you need is some coffee grounds and panty hose. You can easily make your own with a pair of ladies stockings and fresh ground coffee. Simply double-up the stockings, fill with coffee grounds and then tie off.

Exfoliating Soap: 
Add coffee grounds to melted soap (either from a homemade soap bar or from scraps of soap bars around the house) and allow hardening to make a light exfoliating hand or body soap with a subtle coffee scent. Use 1 to 2 teaspoons of coffee grounds for every 1 pound of soap.

Hair Conditioner: 
Add a teaspoon of used coffee grounds to your conditioner for extra soft and shiny hair.

Hair Treatment: 
Massage a mixture of 1⁄4 cup coffee grounds and 1⁄4 cup coconut oil into your scalp for a luxurious but deep clean. The caffeine can stimulate hair growth and give your locks fresh luster while dispelling build-up. The coconut oil will moisturize your scalp and hydrate dry strands of hair. Rinse out with an apple cider vinegar rinse. Note: This works best on dark hair, as coffee grounds may stain lighter tresses.

Unclog drains: 
Pour used coffee grounds down the sink or bathtub drain, followed by 3 drops of dish soap and a pot of boiling water. This will clean and clear the drain of clogs and built up grease.

Keep Cats out of your garden: 
Tired of your neighbors cats traipsing through your flowers? Just sprinkle some coffee grounds and orange peel where you don’t want them to walk. 

Freshen your flower Vase: 
Using a coffee-soil mix for your flower vase not only looks cool and lengthens your cut flowers’ life, it also acts as an air freshener in the room.

Flea Bath : 
When you give your dog a bath, add a tablespoon of used coffee grounds to the shampoo to help repel fleas. 

Just like baking soda, used coffee grounds can absorb unpleasant odours. Combine a week’s worth of used coffee grounds in an open jar, then place it in the back of your refrigerator or freezer to naturally deodorise the space.

Scratch Remover: 
Reinvigorate scratched wood surfaces: Mix 1⁄4 cup coffee grounds with 1⁄4 cup warm water and 1⁄4 cup vinegar, let steep for an hour, then apply mixture to scratched wood surfaces using a washcloth. (For smaller scratches, use a cotton swab.) Let the stain sit for about five minutes for light-coloured surfaces, or up to an hour for dark-coloured surfaces, before wiping away. Note: If you are worried about the stain getting too dark, apply in small increments until you achieve the colour you want.

Hand Savior: 
Rub coffee grounds into your palms after handling smelly foods such as garlic, onion or even fish. The grounds will absorb the smell, as well as any oil that may have hitched a ride on your hands.

  • Scour Power. For a quick abrasive cleaner – mix equal parts of old coffee grounds and baking soda. Use to scour away grease and grime from your pots and pans. Rinse thoroughly. (Be careful of using this on surfaces that are susceptible to stains!)
  • For a better-smelling garbage disposal, pour a tablespoon each of coffee grounds and baking soda down the drain to clean the blades. Note: This works best with newer disposal units. If you are unsure about your drain efficiency, consult your owners’ manual for tips.
  • Before cleaning out your fireplace, sprinkle damp coffee grounds liberally over the ashes to cut down on airborne dust as you sweep them up.

DIY Candle: 
Want the warm scent of a coffee shop in your home without roasting beans all day long? Repurpose used coffee grounds into a homemade candle: In a small jar, place a metal-based wick in the center of the container, then fill the jar with alternating layers of coffee grounds and melted beeswax. (Allow the beeswax to solidify between layers.) This candle will release a subtle coffee scent that will help perk you up after a long day—without the caffeine.

Meat Tenderizer: 
Combine 1⁄2 cup coffee grounds with 1⁄4 cup ground pepper and 3 tablespoons kosher salt for a savory coffee meat rub. Sprinkle the rub on your favorite raw meat before grilling. (For best results use fresh, finely ground coffee.)

Coffee grounds make a phenomenal fertilizer. They are slightly acidic, which is great for acid-loving plants such as blueberries, tomatoes, roses and hydrangeas. Plus, they attract worms, who love this gritty material. Coffee grounds help worms’ digestion, yielding great soil in return, and give worms a boost of caffeine, helping them work at double the speed. Dump used grounds into a compost bin or straight onto your garden.

Color Boost:
  • Freshen up your autumn wardrobe. Add a pot of freshly brewed coffee and the grounds to a load of wash, toss in any brown clothing and walk away. The coffee stains the material and keeps dark colors looking great.
  • Thanks again to coffee grounds’ acidic nature, you can deepen the blue color of your hydrangeas—or even turn pink hydrangeas blue—by composting with coffee grounds. Hydrangeas’ color is dependent on the pH of the soil. 

Control Pests:
  • Use coffee grounds inside the home to repel ants. Sprinkle the grounds where ants commonly enter your house.
  • Fill a can or jar with an inch or two of moistened grounds, then line the container's neck with extra sticky double sided tape. The scent will draw cockroaches into the trap.
  • Although there wouldn’t be enough caffeine left in used coffee grounds to kill snails, slugs and other unwelcome garden pests, the pungent aroma will still deter them from disturbing your garden. Sprinkle around the perimeter of your plants. 

Seed Starter: 
Use coffee grounds to help start seeds. With a high carbon-to-nitrogen ratio (almost 20:1), used coffee grounds will release nutrients, including nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, into the surrounding soil as they break down. This is great for young seedlings.

Reset your sense of smell: 
Sniff coffee grounds to clear your nose after testing or sampling different perfumes....this will 'reset' your sense of smell.

Pin Cushion : 
Filling your pin cushion with coffee grounds will prevent your pins from rusting. Plus, it’s like a sachet of good smells every time you use it. Make sure to dry them thoroughly first by spreading them on a cookie sheet and placing them in the freezer for an hour or two

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Goodbye 2014

You made me cry, made me laugh…but it’s time to move on and face new challenges. 

2014 was very eventful and overwhelming. It was a year of good, of bad and even ugly for me, for Malaysia and for the World. My family and I have had to endure the grief and sadness of my niece's tragic and freak accident, deaths in the family and few other setbacks. The warmth and love of family and close friends though have made it all bearable. No “Happy New Year’ wishes, just prayers for everyone to have a better year, and prayers for the family and victims of Flights MH370, MH17 and QZ8501….and the flood victims back home.

I will cherish forever some memories of 2014. There was a balance of highs and lows and I am thankful and grateful for the many things in my life that make it meaningful….namely Family, Love and Health. May we all be blessed with a better and positive new year. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Summer Fruit Cobbler

Summer is almost coming to an end and it was high time to prepare a typical summer dessert before the seasonal fruits become unavailable. You can in fact improvise and use any kind of fruit you have around. This dessert or comfort food is so simple, seasonal and delicious. I made mine with apples, blueberries, peaches and red currents. The merge of 2 sweet fruits with 2 sour ones gave it an amazing flavour and taste.

I totally loved how my apple and peach crumble turned out the other day so I cooked the fruit first in the same manner as the crumble before making the cobbler. You can use fresh or frozen fruits, but when in season, I would rather use all fresh fruit. 

Fruit Preparation :

20gm butter
60gm castor or fine grain sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
1 Stick cinnamon
1 Star Anise
1-2 medium sweet apples cored, peeled and sliced  (I used 2)
3 small or medium ripe peaches, sliced.
1 cup blueberries
1 cup red currents (used as a garnish with vanilla ice cream….but you can add in some to be cooked as well)
***Optional : 1 tsp nutmeg and 1 tsp cinnamon powder - I did add these 2 spices because I love the aroma of the blend of spices with fruit and sugar….amazing flavour!

Method :
Melt butter and add spices. Stir in the sugar until it becomes a light caramel colour.
Deglaze with orange juice. Add the fruits and cook for 5-8 minutes.
Set aside and prepare the cobbler batter.


1/2 cup or 4 oz butter cut into slices
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 - 1 cup granulated sugar (I used only 1/2 cup of fine grain sugar)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup milk 
Vanilla ice cream and fresh red currents for serving.

1. With rack in the centre of the oven, pre-heat to 375° F. Put the butter into a 10-inch skillet or 3-quart baking dish and put the skillet or dish in the oven to melt the butter while the oven is heating.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl until well combined. Add the milk and stir just until combined. A few small lumps are fine.

When the butter is fully melted, take the skillet out of the oven and pour the batter over the melted butter. Do not mix it together. Scatter the fruit over the batter, keeping most of it in the middle of the dish, rather than the edges. Do not mix it in, either.

Bake until the top is a rich golden-brown, 30 to 45 minutes (mine took 30 minutes).

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and some fresh currents.

Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 30 min | Total time: 45 minutes

Bon Appetit!

Author : Nur Diyanah Magness / www.sweetsharings.com

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Cheese and Rennet

It never really bothered me about animal rennet being in cheese when I was in Malaysia because all the cheeses sold were either halal or had no animal rennet in them. Living in Belgium now is completely different and I have to read labels to make sure that processed, packed or canned foods are animal free. The safest is of course to opt for vegetarian products…that is why I do much of my groceries from the Bio Planet. I LOVE cheese but I go for Rennetless Cheeses OR cheeses that contain emulsifying agents that are specifically vegetarian or microbial in nature. It’s truly a relief to know that there are non-animal sources for rennet that are suitable for consumption by vegetarians and people like myself. :) 

Cheese is a solid food made from the milk of cowsgoatssheep, and other mammals. Cheese is made by curdling milk using a combination of rennet (or rennet substitutes) and acidificationBacteria acidify the milk and play a role in defining the texture and flavour of most cheeses. Some cheeses also feature moulds, either on the outer rind or throughout.

Rennet is an enzyme used to make most cheeses and which is usually derived from the lining of calves stomachs, though rennet from other animals such as pigs or goats can also be used. This is definitely not acceptable or welcomed by many people.

Cheese without Rennet
Some cheese varieties can be made without rennet. These include:
  • Cream cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Quark
  • Paneer
  • Farmer's cheese
  • Some types of mozzarella
These cheeses are generally soft and can be packed in liquid. The milk in these cheese types is coagulated using citric or other acids rather than animal byproducts.

The good news is that there are several sources of non-animal rennet that can be used in vegetarian cheese, so vegetarians can have their cheese and eat it, too! Animal-based rennet is expensive, so cheese makers have been searching for other forms of rennin for a long time. Fortunately, there are three other ways to obtain the enzyme.
  1. Microbial Rennet is derived from moulds. Soft cheeses can be made using rennet that has been derived from bacteria. The bacteria itself is created and fermented under controlled conditions, to ensure that the mould is "clean" and safe for human consumption.
  2. Genetically Modified or Engineered Rennet is derived from plants that have been injected with cow genes. It is made by combining bacteria or yeast with the calf genes that contain rennin. Once the initial rennet is made, it can be genetically modified and bio-engineered so that no further animal products are needed to continue reproduction. This type of rennet is safe for vegetarians as long as there is no further animal-based rennet used during the cheese making process.
  3. Vegetable Rennet is made from certain vegetables that have coagulation properties as well. Several sources of plant-based rennet are perfectly suitable to make cheese. Some of these plant sources include: 
  • Wild Thisel
  • Fig leaves or bark
  • Safflower
  • Mallow
  • Melon
  • Stinging nettle

Companies are not legally required to disclose the source of the rennet, so unless the product specifically states a non-animal source for rennet, you won’t know and finding certified vegetarian rennet cheese can be tricky. There are a few other options for vegetarians who want to eat cheese without worry:
  1. Any cheese labeled kosher is safe for vegetarians to eat. This is because kosher foods cannot contain any combination of meat products and milk. Check kosher specialty food stores or markets for these cheeses. 
  2. Other alternatives include soy cheese and other non-dairy cheeses that are made from tofu.
  3. There is even a product on the market that mimics parmesan cheese, but it is made from ground walnuts, called Parma Raw Parmesan Cheese Alternative.

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Green Dream

This juice is packed with vitamin B3, niacin and folic acid. Makes 200ml. I doubled it.

Basic 200ml recipe : 

250gm apple,

50gm celery

50gm kiwi

1/2 lemon

100gm avocado. 

Method : 

Juice the apple, celery and kiwi. Transfer to blender with avocado and whizz for 20 seconds. Decorate with kiwi slices if desired. 

Slurp away and enjoy! 


Nur Diyanah


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Strawberry Yogurt Cheesecake Dessert

Ingredients for 4 servings:

200 g cream cheese
400 grams of yogurt 
130 g strawberries, some blackberries, 1 kiwi or any fruit. 
1-2 tsp natural Strawberry Flavouring
1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar 
5 g gelatine or agar agar (I had some of my halal gelatine which I brought from Malaysia)
250 g strawberries for decoration 

Preparation : 
  1. Dissolve gelatin in 2 tablespoons cold water. 
  2. Add 1 tsp natural flavouring and heat in a water bath. 
  3. Stir until dissolved. 
  4. In a bowl mix cream cheese and yogurt. 
  5. Add gelatin mixture. 
  6. Wash, clean and chop strawberries. beat them in a blender with 1-2 tsp natural strawberry flavouring. 
  7. Strain the puree through a sieve to remove seeds. Add it to the remaining mixture, stir. 
  8. Sweeten to taste with 1-2 tbsp sugar. 
  9. Divide cream into 4 dessert glasses. 
  10. Chill the cheesecake for at least 3 hours. 
  11. Serve with fresh fruit. (I arranged kiwi slices on the side of glasses before pouring the mixture into the glasses.)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Cream Cheese Pudding

Creamy Vanilla Cream Cheese pudding, dressed with strawberry and fresh mint leaf. This is a cheat dessert. Have it creamy and sinful or have it diet friendly with low fat or fat free cream cheese and milk and instant vanilla pudding. 


🍰 8 oz cream cheese (fat free for the diet conscious)
🍰 2 cups milk of your choice
🍰 1 packet vanilla pudding (either regular or sugar and fat free)


🍰 mix together milk and pudding mix as stated on packet with hand mixer.
🍰 Add softened room temperature cream cheese and continue to blend well with hand mixer until smooth.
🍰 Place in ramekins or individual containers and refrigerate for an hour or till firm. 
🍰Best Served with fresh strawberries and mint. 

Bon Appetit!

Nur Diyanah Magness

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Crostini with Goat's Cheese, caramelised onions and figs.

Something different I came up with this evening. Crostini with goats cheese, caramelised onions, figs and toasted nuts.

Goats cheese is not something everyone has a palette for because of it's strong mature flavour. I never used to like it but acquired the taste for it after experimenting with a combination of flavours and tastes that went well together. Caramelised onions have that tangy sweetness to it and figs with honey like sweetness, a perfect contrast with the cheese. 


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil and a little more to drizzle on bread. 
  • 2 small Baguette rolls (2x150gm)
  • 150 gm Goats cheese sliced 
  • 150-200 gm cream cheese mixed with 1 teaspoon of any favourite herbs. I used rosemary, chopped fresh mint and a pinch of freshly ground pepper.
  • 2 Large Onions sliced thinly
  • 1-2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tableapoons Brown sugar
  • Few soft figs sliced (soft center and not too dried)
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Toasted almond flakes and sunflower seeds. 
  • Honey or agave syrup (optional)


  1. Slice onions and fry with olive oil till limp, add balsamic vinegar and cook few minutes then add brown sugar. Cook till no liquid and onions brown and caramelised. Set aside. 
  2. Baguette bread..cut into half and slice horizontally, halving it; place on oven tray.  drizzle or spray little olive oil on each slice and toast in the oven at 200C for 8-10 mins or till slightly brown and crisp. 
  3. While bread in oven, Slice goats cheese and Mix cream cheese with favourite herbs. 
  4. When bread is done, divide the onions equally on each slice. 
  5. Place goats cheese slices on both ends of bread and add a blob of cream cheese mixture in the center of each slice on top of the onions. 
  6. Dress with a mint leaf and toasted almond flakes and sunflower seeds. You can drizzle some honey if desired. 
  7. Serve warm and immediately so the goats cheese slices melt just slightly with the hot toasts, making it a perfect texture. 
  8. Best served with red wine. I personally do not drink alcohol at all, so I take it with NON alcohol red wine....yes it's a perfect match!! 

Nur Diyanah Magness

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mixed Rice Stuffed Aubergine/Egg Plant

Spicy Rice filled Eggplant/Aubergine with yogurt and salad.

This recipe was fully vegetarian but for my second try I added in some minced/ground beef....both ways tasted so good. 

Stuffed Eggplant/Aubergine ready for the oven


  • Optional : 250 gm ground beef
  • 1 cup basmati rice ( i just cooked extra to have extra fried rice on the side. 
  • 2 large aubergines/eggplants
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, halved, finely chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, halved, deseeded, finely chopped (I used one half red and one half yellow)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed (I used 5)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander (I used 1 tsp coriander seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger (I chopped a thumb size dried ginger)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh red chilli or 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric, fresh or dry is fine.
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh continental parsley - I used 3 stalks.
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup yoghurt. Greek, plain or fat-reduced...any will do perfectly fine.
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint (I had no mint so I just made a simple raita mix of chopped tomatoes and chives instead…just as good)
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • pinch of garam masala or chilli powder for the yogurt (only if you like a spicy flavour)

Step 1
Cook the rice in a large saucepan of boiling water for 15 minutes or until tender. Rinse under cold running water. Drain well.

Step 2
Preheat oven to 200°C. 

Step 3
Meanwhile, cut the eggplants in half lengthways. Use a small sharp knife to cut a 1cm border around the edge of each eggplant half. Scoop out the flesh within the border, leaving about 1.5cm of flesh on the base of each eggplant half. Finely chop the flesh.

Step 4
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. If you are using the ground meat, fry till brown. Add the onion and capsicum and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, coriander, ginger, chilli and turmeric and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add the chopped eggplant and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until eggplant is soft. Remove from heat.

Ground beef and capsicum

Step 5
Add the rice, parsley, lemon rind and lemon juice to eggplant mixture, and stir to combine. 

Fried Rice with ground beef

Step 6
Place eggplant shells in a large baking dish. Spoon rice mixture evenly among eggplant shells. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until eggplant shells are soft and filling is golden.

Stuffed Aubergine/Eggplant

Step 7
Place the yoghurt and mint in a small serving bowl and stir to combine. I had no mint so I just added some chopped tomatoes and chives to the yogurt with a pinch of garam masala for a nice flavour. 
Serve with spicy rice-filled eggplant.

Yogurt Salad/Raita

I enjoyed making and eating this meal, was superb! If you like eggplant, Do try it too...you will love it! Bon Appetit!

Nur Diyanah Magness

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mothers Day, every day

There is one precious gift that any parent would want and wish for...and rightly so deserve, and that is to be in their kids daily prayers just as they have their kids in theirs. My mum has been there for me from the day I was born, through all my ups and downs even till today, even thousands of miles away... her love, support, care, advice, words and most of all, her prayers are with me. While appreciation for any parent should be every day of the year, most of us still love to extra appreciate mothers on this special day. I had no idea how hard (yet so rewarding and amazing) motherhood was until I got there myself. So my love and respect for my own mum and anyone out there who has ever raised a child grows more and more every day.

Although I really value the thinking behind Mother’s Day—recognition of our mothers and everything that our mothers have done for us - I think that part of being a mom is turning every day into Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is all about being appreciated for everything they do all of our lives every single day....and as a mother myself, I don’t need anything fancy to show me that.  I just need to look for signs of it in my daily living to turn every day into Mother’s Day. 

Happy Mother's Day to my very own amazing mom..and to all of you mummies and mamas out there!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Herb Potatoes and Eggs - Great anytime, anywhere.

Was totally bored with the usual daily breakfast and oats, So I cooked up something rather different from the norm. -- Herb potatoes and celery with eggs, dressed with a blob of humus, honey mustard and a side of Fresh avocado and tomato.


  • Boiling potatoes, 4 small or 2 medium potatoes, rinsed and scrubbed
  • 2 stalks celery sliced small
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 tabs olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Generous pinch dried herbs or spices, such as oregano, basil, Italian herbs, tarragon, thyme, herbes de Provence, paprika, or ground cumin.(optional).  I added a little mixed masala, rosemary, thyme, basil, dried coriander.
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup grated or crumbled cheese, such as aged or extra-sharp Cheddar, pepper Jack, feta, goat cheese, Gruyere, aged Swiss, provolone, or regular or smoked mozzarella. 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, cilantro or dill (optional)


  • 1. Dice the potatoes pretty small but not super tiny. (You want them small enough so they more or less fit in a single layer in an 8-inch nonstick skillet and will cook quickly. Aim for about 1/2 inch dice–no larger.) 
  • 2. Combine the potatoes, water, oil, and salt in the skillet over high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly, cover, and set the timer for 5 minutes. Let the potatoes cook, stirring once or twice if you think of it, while you prep the rest of your ingredients. By the end of the 5 minutes, the water should have just evaporated and the potatoes should be barely tender and maybe even have started to brown. 
  • 3. Uncover the potatoes and use a spatula to loosen them from the skillet. Cover again and cook over medium to medium-high heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally, 2 to 5 minutes longer. If using dried herbs/spices, sprinkle them over the potatoes now. 
  • 4. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Pour the eggs over the browned potatoes, strew with the scallion, and scramble until the eggs are just set, maybe a minute or so. Sprinkle the eggs with the cheese and fresh herbs, remove the skillet from the heat, and let the whole shebang stand until the residual heat melts the cheese and finishes cooking the eggs. (If you don’t mind losing a little crispness on the potatoes, you can cover the skillet so the cheese melts more quickly and evenly.) Scoop the mess from the skillet, place it onto plates, and pass the forks. 

Adapted from culinary 

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