Thursday, October 27, 2011

Virtually Fat Free Aubergine, Potato & Chickpea Curry

This one post dish couldn’t be simpler, and its virtually fat free. A lot of the ingredients are interchangeable also. It’s a bit of what you fancy, coupled to what’s lying around in the kitchen.

This is one of my lower fat, low-fat dishes. It’s unbelievably good for you, and you’d never think it was, given that its sooo tasty. When people are dieting, sometimes its automatically assumed that curries are out of the question. But this recipe is proof you can get all the flavour for none of the calories.

The use of different spices in the dish give off a wonderful fragrant aroma, immediately transporting the senses to faraway lands, which is always good. (esp. on cold wintery nights)

Serves 4


·         1 aubergine, cubed
·         1 onion cut into thin slices
·         1 clove of garlic, sliced thinly
·         2 carrots, chopped
·         2 potatoes, peeled and quartered
·         5 tomatoes quartered
·         1 tbsp of tomato paste
·         250 mls of good quality vegetable stock
·         1 tin of chickpeas drained
·         1 tbsp of cumin seeds
·         ½ tbsp of garam masala
·         ½ tbsp of turmeric
·         ½ tbsp of ground coriander
·         ½ tsp of ground ginger
·         2 cloves
·         ½ tsp of cayenne pepper
·         1 tbsp of grapeseed oil
·         2 tbsp of chopped coriander


1.       In a  wok or wide pan on a medium heat, add the sliced onions, garlic and spices and fry in a little oil for 5 minutes.
2.       Add the aubergine ,potatoes and carrots and fry for a further 3-4 minutes.
3.       Add the tomato paste and tomatoes, continuously stirring.
4.       Add enough stock to cover the vegetables and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Stirring from time to time. Top up with stock as needed.
5.       The dish is ready when the sauce has reduced to a thicker consistency and the potatoes are cooked through.
6.       Add the drained can of chickpeas and warm them through.
7.       Scatter with freshly chopped coriander.
8.       You may serve this with naan bread and/or rice, for a full-on feast. But I think the carbs from the potatoes and the protein from the chickpeas are quite filling themselves for a mid week supper.

This is a fantastic quick and easy mid week supper, and it keeps well, so if you have any left you can heat it up in the office the next day for lunch. But also if you are having friends for a dinner party and you have a vegetarian coming for dinner, then this pot can be made in advance and reheated with rice for your veggie diner.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Breakfast for Supper - Baked Tomatoes & Eggs

Have you ever wanted breakfast for supper?!! Sometimes only breakfast will do!!

It doesn't happen that often for me.....maybe Pancake Tuesday and real lazy cook days!!! Well today is one of those days, where I was on the go all day and worked a little later than normal. All I could think about on the drive home from work was baked eggs, and I could barely get in the door fast enough to preheat the oven. My friend Fiona, whom I lived with a few years back introduced me to Baked Tomatoes and Eggs. It didn't sound all that appetizing for me, until one day I saw her cook it and the smell of the slow baked tomatoes was divine.Thanks Fi!

 So now I cook it at weekends, when I have time to cook a slow breakfast; or for a sneaky breakfast supper after work. As always this dish is extremely low in fat, the only indulgent item would be the crusty roll which should accompany the dish. I am however, as always, swaying towards the side of low fat, so I'm using a slice of low-carb brown toast cut into soldiers for dipping, and a crisp green salad.

That's just me though. For a treat, go for the crusty roll. Especially for the first-time wow factor, with a large mug of coffee.

This dish certainly isn't rocket science, and some of you will probably wonder 'can you even call this a recipe?!'....... But sometimes the simplest dishes are the most delicious and comforting. And as I said earlier, sometimes only breakfast will do!!!!

Serves 1


  • 1 crusty roll/or slice of bread toasted
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 3 organic tomatoes
  • 2 sprigs of thyme leaves
  • Sea salt & pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil.
  • 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley (optional)

  1. In a small shallow-ish dish, halve 2 tomatoes and quarter one tomatoes. Make sure you use a dish so they fit snugly.
  2. Sprinkle over thyme, salt and pepper, and oil.
  3. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 45 minutes.
  4. Take the dish out of the oven, make two gaps and crack in two eggs gently.
  5. Return to the oven for a further 5 minutes (soft eggs), or until the eggs are set to your liking.
  6. As a optional extra, sprinkle with flat leaf parsley.But as an absolute must, serve with crusty bread, or toasted soldiers.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mexican Spiced Fish with Tomato & Avocado Salsa

When buying avocados and want to use them immediately, make sure you buy the ready ripe ones, as there is nothing worse than cutting into a hard avocado, lacking in creamy texture and flavour. Last week I bought two avocados with the intention of making a Tricolore Salad. But alas, they were hard as rocks. I put them in my banana bowl at home and they’ve only just come ripe (and bananas are now black, perfect for making banana loaf actually).
This recipe is for a Mexican spice rub and a spicy avocado and tomato salsa. It’s a really quick low fat supper, and if you were to use it as an entertaining meal, add some crush baby potatoes and green beans. The spice rub can be used on any seafood or meat really, its very versatile. Cod is my absolute favourite fish, but these days going into my fish monger I feel guilty for buying it as its getting scarcer. However I’ve found my alternative in colely. If you haven’t tried it I urge to get some next time you’re in the fish shop. It’s the same texture, and very close to the flavour, perhaps a little more robust, and it’s half the price!!! This spice rub goes well with most white firm fish however, so just buy a bit of what you fancy!

Serves 2


·         2 pieces of colely (or other white firm sustainable fish)
·         Olive oil
·         Salt & pepper
·         Spice rub
·         Salsa

Spice Rub

·         2 tbsp of chilli powder
·         2 tbsp of ground cumin
·         1 crushed garlic clove
·         ½ tbsp dried oregano
·         1 finely diced onion

Avocado and Tomato Salsa

·         Juice of a Lime
·         6-9 Cherry tomatoes
·         ½ crushed garlic
·         2 tbsp chopped coriander
·         ½ olive oil
·         ½ diced red onion
·         ½ deseeded red chilli, diced
·         1 avocado, diced
·         ½ tsp of sugar
·         Salt and pepper


1.       Combine the spice rub in a bowl. Pour in a little oil to form a paste.
2.       Rub the spice paste into the fish
3.       Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
4.       Bake the fish for 15-18 minutes
5.       Meanwhile to make the salsa, peel and cube the avocado, quarter the tomatoes, and add the remaining ingredients. (It’s good to let this sit for at least 10 minutes to help the flavours get friendly)
6.       Serve the fish with a dollop of salsa. (the salsa will hold perfectly well for 24 hours in the fridge)

Don't forget to vote for me in Chef's the link

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thai Beef Salad

Following a visit to the scrumptious Kin Khao Thai Resturant in Athlone over the weekend, I’ve challenged myself to recreate my favourite parts of the meal. I’d heard great things about the restaurant, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Being the big greedy guts that we are, we ordered a tasting plate of loads of things I wouldn’t really have ordered in a Thai before for starters. Fresh (uncooked) spring rolls certainly stood out for me. I remember ordering spring rolls in Vietnam years ago and I was utterly disgusted with these ‘raw’ spring rolls arrived (we were obsessed with fried Vietnamese spring rolls at the time, still are if we could get them). Not really having the palate for them, I sent them back and asked them to be cooked. I’d say they must have thought I was a right ejit!!
Anyways once I can figure out how to make the wrapper/or source them I’ll be back with an attempted recipe of them. Oh watch out for my homemade coconut ice-cream later too.
For main I ordered the Thai Beef Salad. I know its common enough, but its not really something everyone would order necessarily when going for a Thai. The waiter, who was Thai, told me that it was a spicy dish. Now, coming from a Thai man, I should have heeded his warning, but instead I simply said with a wave of the hand, ‘yeah, that’s perfect’. To say that steam came out my ears wouldn’t even cover it!!!! It was loaded with chilli and hot chilli dressing to boot, which were a wee bit too powerful for me. But pride getting the better of me, I cleaned my plate and polished off 2 jugs of water. It was so tasty, the beef was perfectly cooked and all the vegetables did act as cooling agents for the intense heat that the dish had.

So now, I’ve attempted to recreate the dish, with definitely a little less intense heat. It’s a real flavourful dish, building lots of flavours and textures into the dish. I’ve kept the salad really light and everything shredded finely so the steak is the star of the show. The dressing is a really light zingy dressing also with the perfect balance of sweet, salty and sour. It took so little time to make I certainly will be making it again for a dinner party, maybe as a starter to one of my Thai curries i’ve previously blogged about!

Serves 1 for dinner, or 2 for a light lunch


·         sirloin beef, trimmed of fat
·         Soy Sauce
·         Juice of 1 lime
·         Salt and freshly ground black pepper

·         1 ½ tbsp fish sauce
·         1 tbsp olive oil
·         1 tsp brown sugar
·         1 cloves garlic, grated
·         Juice of two limes
·         1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

·         1 carrot, peeled and sliced into ribbons using the peeler
·         1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced into strips
·         4  cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
·         red chilli, deseeded and sliced lengthways
·         4 bunch spring onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal
·         ¼ of white cabbage, shredded finely
·         lime wedges
·         tbsp fresh coriander
·         1 bag mixed leaves


1.       Marinate the beef in the soy sauce and lime juice for 30 minutes at least. (This tenderises the beef)
2.       Season well before cooking  on a really hot griddle pan for a few minutes on each side for medium rare.
3.       Remove from the heat and wrap in tin foil, allowing the beef to rest.
4.       Meanwhile, mix all the salad ingredients in a bowl.
5.       Whisk all the dressing ingredients together, if you have left over chilli or spring onions from you salad chopping, it’s nice to add them for a bit of colour to the dressing.
6.       To plate up, place the salad in the centre of a plate, slice the steak on the diagonal, as thinly as you can.
7.       Arrange the thin slices of beef in a circle around the salad
8.       Pour over half the dressing and place the remaining in a dipping bowl on the side.

Don't forget to vote for me guys in Cheffactor, just click on the link below and 'like' my entry:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Greek Salmon Skewers

I’m always cooking salmon with Asian flavours, so I said it’s time it change things up a bit and do something I hadn’t done before. I love feta cheese, its got a really strong flavour to it, so you don’t need as much as you would of some milder cheeses. I’ve also never skewered salmon before, but I will definitely be trying it again, its really reduces the cooking time. I like my salmon a tad on the side of underdone, for just a little bit of dark pink towards the centre, but by all means cook the salmon to your own liking.

Serves 2


·         2 salmon darnes, cut in bitesize chunks
·         1 tbsp Cumin
·         1 lemons’ zest
·         1 Lemon’s juice
·         1 tbsp Dried Oregano
·         1 tsp Olive oil

·         2 Tomatoes, cut in quarters
·         40 g reduced fat Feta Cheese, cubed
·         Black Olives, 5 or 6 halved
·         1 Red onion, sliced very thinly
·         Lemon dressing, squeeze half a lemon and use 1 tsp of olive oil, season well.


1.       Firstly combine the marinade and let the salmon soak up all the juices for 30 minutes
2.       Soak wooden skewers in water
3.       Place the salmon on the skewers, alternating with the olives and tomatoes
4.       Preheat the grill, and then grill the skewers turning occasionally for 6-7 minutes.
5.       Serve with a small Greek salad of feta, olives, tomatoes and lettuce leaves. Use a simple lemon dressing by simply squeezing lemon juice over the salad and a dash of olive oil and toss.

Chef Factor Scallops & Spicy Dhal - Vote Now

Hi Guys,

It's on!!! Voting started this morning. Please do all you can you support me and get voting by liking the link below

Fingers and toes crossed, please share!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Evolution of My Chef Factor 2011 Entry

Please vote for me and get your friends and family to vote me for by clicking on the link below and 'like' Serena's Scallops & Spicy Dhal with Mint Yogurt Dressing

So, what's the story....

I probably haven't much of a chance, but shur as they say, if you're not in you can't win!!!! Cully & Sully are running the Chef Factor competition again this year, with the prize being a 3 month cookery course in Ballymaloe Cookery School worth €12,000. So I've been getting myself organised for entry. Basically to enter you need to submit and photo which includes a dish, you, and the words Cully & Sully. Also you must say why you should win and also discuss your dish you are entering. They will be employing the Facebook 'Like' button, for voting, which makes it a little bit of a popularity test. However they will be selecting 2 wild cards as well for the final down in Ballymaloe with Cully & Sully and Darina & Rachel Allen. So everyone has chance.

Anyways I flupped up a bit, I thought the wanted 500 words for why you deserve to win, and 500 words to explain the dish. When submitting the entry, I saw that was 500 CHARACTERS!!! Duh Serena!!!! Back to the drawing board for revising.

My concept to do something different with the photo was intially STEAMY. I was going to Write Cully & Sully into a steamed window and serve Steamed Thai Dumplings. Cool, right?! Wrong!! The disaster was two-fold. Firstly dumpling were a complete disintegrating disaster, followed by the steamy window not looking so hot either.

Decided to scrap the steamy concept and start again. My concept I went for in the finish was 'Exotic Spices Transport Us'. I made scallops with dhal from a previous post and served it with a cool and refreshing minty yogurt dressing. (
The concept was that the spices transport your taste buds to an exotic lands....I hope that the picture conveys this. Check it out your self below.

Any help with the votes would be greatly appreciated and if you're not already supporting anyone I would be completely grateful if you throw your support to me, and tell all your friends and family to support me. Simply click on the link below and 'like' Serena's Scallops & Spicy Dhal with Mint Yougurt Dresssing.

Thanks Guys.......

PS: Below is the full length version of why I think I deserve to win, along with a description of my dish.


Why I Deserve to Win...

I’ve always loved food and cooking. I suppose my earliest cooking memory, is pretending to be Darina Allen at night time when myself, my brother and sister used have a cereal before bedtime. I remember laying all my ingredients (cereal, milk & sugar) out on the kitchen table and demonstrating to the ‘pretend camera’ in front of me and my audience of two, how to make Crushed Cornflake Cakes and other tasty treats, trying my best to mimic Darina from Simply Delicious. Gone are the days where I play make-believe, but my love for cooking has grown with me throughout the years, and over the last few years it really has gotten to a stage where I would love to make a career out of my passion. If I’m not cooking or talking about cooking, then I’m writing about food, and creating recipes in my food blog. I realised myself things have got to a serious stage when I started to bring cookery books to bed with me at night, much to my new husband’s annoyance.
 As a birthday gift a few months back I attended the Sushi afternoon demonstration in Ballymaloe Cookery School. Not only did I find that course incredible and came away with a new skill; but I wished with all my might that I could be one of those full time cookery students in the school. I do believe I am a good home cook. I am self taught, however there are certain areas where I’m a total novice, and there are so many skills, techniques and cuisines that I’m eager to learn. Winning Cully & Sully’s Chef Factor 2011, and having the opportunity to attend the Ballymaloe Cookery Course would be the next step I need in developing my cooking skills and then perhaps having the opportunity to embark on a really exciting career in the food business.

Serena’s Scallops & Spicy Dhal with a Minty Yogurt Dressing

I really believe in using the freshest of Irish produce in my cooking, but every once in a while, to make some interesting fusion dishes, it’s great to be transported to a foreign land with exotic spices, and that’s exactly what happens when I cook this dish. I love the fact that certain smells and flavours can instantly evoke memories of places travelled or special meals eaten with friends and family.
I came up with this recipe when I was trying to think of something different to accompany scallops to what I I’d normally cook them with, so I thought why not try something Indian?! The dhal is  flavoured primarily with turmeric and cayenne pepper, so be warned it certainly packs a punch . To balance the heat from the spicy dhal, I’ve created a cool minty yogurt dressing as an accompaniment.
 Now for the stars of the show, the scallops! I like to remove the roe from scallops, but it’s a personal thing really. The key I believe, to cooking perfect scallops, is to wash and dry them well, have a really hot pan, massage them with some oil and seasoning, and pan fry for 90 seconds a side.
Et voila!Close your eyes, and allow your taste buds transport you to exotic lands

Everything Happens for a Reason Low Fat Spring Rolls

I'm currently testing recipes for my entry to Chef Factor 2011. For some reason I'd decided on Steamed Thai Dumplings as my winning dish, having never cooked them before, it probably wasn't one of my better ideas. Anyways, I've my wonton wrappers purchased and I was only dying to use and show off my bamboo steamer. After getting my filling prepped, I set about filling and wrapping my dumplings. Even though I had sought advise in Masterchef food forum earlier today, I still managed to flup them up! The filling in the my precious and gently wrapped dumpings became one with the bamboo it lay on. Luckily I did use my head for a split second and tested two dumplings in different manners, but I had to admit defeat not wanting to waste anymore yummy spicy prawn filling. So last minute I banged on the oven and rolled up the filling into spring rolls, threw together a spicy Thai inspired dipping sauce,and saved the day (well the rest of my prawn filling anyway) with my Low Fat  Oven Baked Prawn Spring Rolls, which were so delicious, I actually do believe that these spring rolls were a part of the 'everything happens for a reason' they were so incredibly tasty.....who needs Thai Spicy Dumplings anyways.....

Serves 2


  • 4 wanton wrappers
  • Spray oil
  • Dipping sauce


  • 150g of cooked prawns
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, diced
  • 1/2 red chilli, deseeded and diced
  • 1 thumb size piece of ginger, grated
  • 4 spring onions, diced
  • 3 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • zest of a lime
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime

Dipping Sauce

  • 2 spring onions, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 5 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of fish sauce
  • Juice of a lime
  • 1/2 deseeded red chili, diced
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of sweet chilli sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp of chopped coriander


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  2. In a mini blender and all the filling ingredients at one, pulse 5 or six times.
  3. Line a baking tray with baking paper
  4. Spoon a tbsp of the mixture into the centre of the wanton wrapper
  5. Wet your finger tips, and light dampen the edges of the wrapper.
  6. Roll the wrapper over the mixture, creating a sausage like shape, bringing the edge into the centre
  7. Bring the sides of the wrapper into the centre, and roll the wrapper once more over the opposite end.
  8. Spray with the wrappers with low cal spray, to get a golden colour.
  9. Bake in the oven for 7-8 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, in a bowl, simply combine all the dipping ingredients together and stir well.

Now, I'm glad the I messed the dumplings up!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Swahili Chicken & Spicy Lentils

This dish instantly brings me back to Africa, the fragrant flavourful spice mix........the lentils......,and the green beans that seemed to be put in just about every dish. The yellow split pea lentils are kicked up a notch with cayenne and turmeric, and the chicken breasts are baked in the oven with Garam Masala spices I brought back from a spice farm in Zanzibar, but any garam masala will do if you’re not popping over to Zanzibar anytime soon. This dish is high in protein and iron, high in flavour and very low in fat.

Serves 2


·         2 Chicken breasts
·         1 tbsp of garam masala
·         1 tsp of olive oil
·         200g of yellow split pea lentils
·         400ml stock
·         1 tbsp turmeric
·         1 tsp cayenne
·         1 tbsp of cumin seeds
·         1 tbsp of coriander seeds
·         1 garlic clove minced
·         4 spring onions, diced
·         150 g green beans
·         1 tbsp chopped coriander.


1.       Put the lentils in a saucepan, add the stock and simmer for 45 minutes (make soon the pan doesn’t dry out, add more water if required)
2.       Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
3.       Add the chicken breasts to an oven proof dish, make a few slashes and coat with the garam masala mixture.
4.       Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
5.       In a frying pan, dry fry the cumin and coriander, careful not to burn them, when you can smell the fragrance, take off the heat immediately.
6.       Pound the seeds in a pestle and mortar.

7.       Add the garlic, onions, ground spices and dried spices to the pan with a little onion and fry gently for 5 minutes.
8.       Drain the lentils, add the spices and onion mixture and return to the heat to combine the lentils and to soften them up further.
9.       Put green beans in boiling water for 5 minutes and drain immediately to retain the bright green colour.

A little taste of Africa..... in under an hour!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Low Fat Mozzarella, Pesto & Basil Chicken

Who doesn’t love eating melted mozzarella cheese, all gooey and stringy?! There is something so indulgent about melted cheese, for me it’s a real comfort food. It would seem like something extremely off limits for those of us trying to maintain a low fat healthy diet, right? Wrong!!! I’ve recently discovered low fat buffalo mozzarella cheese that has 50% less fat than regular mozzarella, and by controlling the quantity used, you can still get that comforting melted cheese fix, without straying from the diet.

 I’ve decided that you can have your cheese, and eat it too... .by compromising on another element of a meal, such as potatoes, or pasta or rice, and also by controlling to amount of cheese you put in your meal. Over the weekend, whilst leafing through a food magazine I spotted a recipe for deep fried mozzarella sticks. I felt I’d put on 10lbs by just looking at the picture alone. But it got me thinking, how can I make something low fat and healthy using my half fat mozzarella ball I’d bought in Aldi supermarket last week.... 

So I’ve come up with Low Fat Mozzarella, Pesto & Basil Stuffed Chicken, served with a low fat accompaniment of ratatouille. (recipe in a previous post)

Serves 2


  • 2 skinless chicken breasts
  • 40g of low fat mozzarella cheese, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 tsp of basil pesto
  • 4 sun dried tomatoes
  • 6-8 basil leaves
  • Salt & pepper
  • Cocktail sticks/skewers to secure


1.       Firstly pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
2.       To begin, you need your chicken breast to be really thin, about ½ inch thick. To achieve this, place a layer of cling film on a flat surface, place the chicken on the cling and then cover with another layer of cling film. Get a rolling pin or saucepan with a handle, and start bashing the chicken, until all the fibres have broken down to give you a wonderfully flat chicken breast.

3.       Spread a layer of pesto thinly over each breast.
4.       A 1/3 of the way in from the edge of the chicken place the basil leaves and the mozzarella strips, and sun dried tomatoes
5.       Season well with salt pepper and sprinkle the oregano over the cheese.
6.       Then roll the chicken up, to resemble a sausage like shape.
7.       Secure the chicken with a few cocktail sticks.
8.      lPlace on an oven dish lined with baking paper
9.       Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

10. Serve with low fat speedy ratatouille.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Taste of Zanzibar: Hakuna Matata

Hakuna Matata!
What a wonderful phrase
Hakuna Matata!
Ain't no passing craze

It means no worries
For the rest of your days
It's our problem-free philosophy
Hakuna Matata!

For anyone who hasn’t seen The Lion King, or doesn’t Speak Swahili, Hakuna Matata means, no worries, no bother, no problems!!! And it is a sentiment that you hear several times on a daily basis whilst on Zanzibar.

The people are so chilled and relaxed and obliging, it really is a paradise that makes you leave reality behind, and makes you feel  like you’re wrapped in a welcoming comfort blanket from the Zanzibar people!

Zanzibar is like no other place I’ve ever been(and I’ve been around),the minute you step off the plane you are greeted with a heavy tropical scent, that hits you straight away due to the balmy sea breeze that’s always there to keep you cool!!!I was extremely excited about the Zanzibar part of the trip, as being so into food, and Zanzibar being THE spice island, I knew I was in for a culinary treat, as well as an education in spices.

 After a short flight from Kilimanjaro Airport we arrived in Zanzibar in the evening, just in time for sunset. We were greeted by a staff member from our chosen hotel, The Z Hotel ( )and carried off in a air-con Toyota Luxury car. This was a huge change from spending the previous 5 days in a 4x4 over rough terrain. The hotel is a boutique hotel and to call it amazing, would not even do it justice, and to top matters off the main reason it scored so highly with us was the food. 

We were on a half board basis, meaning breakfast and dinner were included and we paid for lunch and drinks separately. The hotel had two Restuarants, Saruche and Cinnamon. Saruche plated up the most exquisite Swahili fusion gourmet plates, whilst Cinnamon, the bar, was a more relaxed affair serving international fare, with a Sawhili twist. Memorable dishes include the lobster dinner of course which we had compliments of the honeymoon package we were on.  As well as the amazing portions, the lobster was served with a really rich garlic butter sauce and the meat was melt in your mouth divine.

The Swahili curries were spectacular. Indian influence is deeply embedded in the cooking in Zanzibar due to the proximity of Zanzibar to India. Therefore Zanzibar’s speciality is curries. Also as Zanzibar was under Arabian rule for so long, there is a hint of Arabian/Middle Eastern flavours also. Combined with African flavours, the Indian and Arabian influence, cuisine in Zanzibar is very interesting and never boring. 

The Z Hotel often put a unique twist on classic western favourite, such as their take on Mozzarella,Tomato, Avocado, and Basil Salad. ( can’t wait to try to recreate it in a post). Also their club sandwich, was Lobster, Chicken, Bacon and Tomato. I probably won’t be able to afford to recreate that one though. (lol), I might try it with crayfish though, might be interesting!!! In general seafood features heavily on the menu, and sure why not! It's a small island after all. With fishing being the main occupation of its inhabitants. I remember at one stage saying to my husband, “I think I’ll turn into a prawn” I was eating so much of it, but that certainly was no complaint. It really is paradise for seafood lovers, getting to experience fish we never get in our waters here at home, such as kingfish. 

 I think my spice island tour deserves a whole post on its own. Though I will say to be frank, it was an amazing educational experience. Because if you’d have asked me before, where does turmeric, for instance, come from in its original  form, I wouldn’t have had a bulls clue other than its in a lovely jar with holes on the top for sprinkling purposes. So more on that later. All in all the culinary experience of Zanzibar, and indeed of the Z Hotel should go on everyone’s bucket list.

 And if I haven’t enticed you enough, need I mention their 2 cocktail bars, serving up delicious cocktails, such as caprihnas, mojitos and champagne fuzz, as well as more local concoctions, sure to put a fire in your belly and a bounce in your step. Perfect partner for watching their amazing sunsets over the Indian Ocean...

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