Ginger and Cilantro Latkes (and Troubleshooting the Batter)

The chilli latkes vanished speedily the last time I made them, even in the mouths of babes aged 2 and 4. These ginger and cilantro ones are similar, and in a second batch, I added one grated zucchini too, which made no difference to the taste but definitely helped the conscience 😉  In a food processor, add the onion, about an inch of fresh ginger, four garlic cloves, give it a whizz, then turn it into a pan and saute till fragrant. Add that to the grated potato, with or without zucchini, with a massive handful of chopped cilantro. I added a tablespoon of cornmeal for crunch, don’t forget the other ingredients. Serve with sour cream, or applesauce, or a sweet chilli sauce (the latter would have been the clear winner with the Maccabees, I assure you).

Here are some tips on how to get the latke batter just right. (more…)


December 14, 2009. Tags: , , . Asian, Cultural Feasts, Festive, Hanukkah, Herbs, Hors D'oeuvres, Jewish, Savories. 2 comments.

Wrap of Lamb

Now that you’ve roasted a whole leg of lamb, how does one make the refrigerated leftovers look appetising again? Stick them in a wrap for lunch in a snap!

  • roast lamb leftovers, sliced
  • tzatziki, a few tablespoonfuls
  • salad leaves or spinach, handful
  • wholewheal wrap/s, as needed

  1. If eating immediately (as opposed to packing a school or work lunch), the lamb may be heated gently in a 200C oven for 10-15 mins, in aluminium foil. When done, slice thinly
  2. Prepare the wraps – spread tzatziki over the wrap
  3. Dot with tabasco if desired, arrange salad leaves on top
  4. Top with meat and roll up
  5. As an alternative to the tzatziki, yoghurt may be used, flavoured with some fresh, chopped mint leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice

(All text and photos or images are copyright protected. Please do not reprint any stories, recipes or photographs without the author’s permission.)

January 21, 2009. Tags: , , . Dinners, Herbs, Mains, One-dish meals. Leave a comment.

How to Make Thai Green Curry

That was a long wait for Part II, wasn’t it? Any Thai curry, pungent in aroma and a cacophony of flavours, is usually worth it. Besides, that recipe for the curry paste was hanging about with no closure and I need to get it out of the way before the holiday items make their appearance. Accept my apologies please and don’t be shy about licking that pan clean. That sounds ludicrous but it’s exactly what one of our friends did during an infamous dinner party some years ago 🙂

  • Garlic, 6 cloves, sliced
  • Lime leaves, about 6
  • Lemon grass, 2 sticks each cut in half (no ends)
  • Thai holy basil, several stalks of
  • Galangal, four or five thick slices of
  • Fish sauce, 2 tbsp
  • Brown sugar, 1-2 tsp
  • Coconut cream, 1/2 cup
  • Canola oil, 2 tbsp
  • Chicken, fish or beef, diced, about 200g (2 fillets)
  • Green curry paste (click on the title for details) – 1 tbsp
  • Stock or water, 1/2 cup
  • Green aubergines, small ones – three of them, cubed
  • Lemon juice of about 1/3 lemon
  • Optional – for added heat, add 2 chopped chillies
  1. In a pan, saute the garlic till fragrant and add the curry paste
  2. In a separate pan, warm up the coconut cream. Do not boil
  3. Add the coconut cream to the curry paste mixture, stir till it thickens
  4. Add fish sauce, galangal, lemon grass, sugar and allow to simmer
  5. Throw in the diced chicken, fish or beef
  6. Add lime leaves, basil, stock and aubergines
  7. Take off the heat when the meat is cooked. If you’re using fish, this will take just a few minutes.
  8. For added richness, add a few tablespoons of cream!
  9. Remove solid bits of lemon grass, galangal and unwieldy bits of herbs if necessary before serving
  10. Further vegetables may be added when the meat goes in – try courgette/zucchinni, peas, pea aubergines, red or green peppers, sweet potatoes
  11. This amount will feed 2-4 people

(All text and photos or images are copyright protected. Please do not reprint any stories, recipes or photographs without the author’s permission.)

December 19, 2008. Tags: . Asian, Dinners, Fish, Herbs, Mains, One-dish meals, Soups, Thai, Vegetables. Leave a comment.


At long last, I have organized some herbs in my garden, after years of putting up with bruised basil and wilted cilantro and mint in measly, expensive, environmentally unsound store-bought packets. These herbs would look sad and droopy, and even if they were perky when I bought them, they would commit suicide en masse as soon as I’d plucked the first handful, torn with grief at the fate of their brethren.

I had proud and ambitious plans. A lovely large white container from a deceased indoor plant was diverted toward the herby project. Potting soil was purchased and the neighbourhood scoured for the best potting-herb offerings.

Then, I got lucky. Tubs of already planted herbs of different flavours magically appeared at a store nearby, as if having heard my inner groans about the task at hand. The decision took two seconds, and a family of sage, rosemary, parsley, thyme, chives and spearmint had found a new home. Oh, what possibilities await!

I’ll still have to scout around for the oft-used cilantro, basil, fennel, dill, marjoram…

May 11, 2008. Tags: . Herbs. Leave a comment.