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Remembering my Grandfather ...with a bowlful of gratitude

Today is my grandfather's birthday and a very special man he was. Fondly called by us .. Daddyji, a doctor by profession , he was a WHO expert in Afghanistan on anti Malaria operations . Then back in India he worked as the Director of Anti Malaria operations and then retired as the Additional Director General of Health , Government of India . I celebrate him and his work today.We have realized it was so significant then and more so now. Here's to all the medics and health care workers who tirelessly work for keeping nations healthy. May they find the time to share a bowlful of lovingly made food with their families.

He was very fond of good food and my grandmother cooked for him some of her delicious delicacies daily. Yes, he was very lucky ...

Today I dedicate to him and all the medics a simple bowl full of home made falafels, fishcakes and salad..something that can be savoured by a family together in such times....

Examining a child for Malaria in Afghanistan

With the Prime minister and Health minister of Afghanistan and with the King Zahir Shah.

Both are easy to prepare , and loved by both children and adults ...can be eaten as is or with bread, make burger or sandwiches or put them in a roll...

These recipes are taken from , Saffron Tales , By Yasmin Khan .

Bandari Fishcakes with fennel and farm fresh lettuce salad

Kuku- ye mahi ...a speciality from Bandar Abbas


300 gms potatoes, peeled and roughly diced Sea salt and black pepper 200 gms of skinless fillet of fish ¼ tsp cumin seeds 50 gms , bunch of coriander leaves chopped 25 gms ,bunch of parsley leaves , chopped and extra reserved for garnish 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves 2 nos. garlic cloves , crushed A pinch of cayenne pepper ¼ tsp turmeric Zest of ½ lemon 1 medium egg Flour for dusting 3 tblspn olive oil

For the Salad 1/2 bulb of fresh fennel, sliced very finely length-ways

1/2 bunch of farm fresh lettuce

2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tblsp lemon juice

1 tsp sumac

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

If you don't have sumac, use zest of lemon mixed with some sea salt .

To prepare :

1. Put the potatoes in a pan full of boiling water with a generous pinch of salt , boil and then simmer till done. Drain , mash and keep aside in a small bowl. 2. Chop the fish into 5 mm dice and add it to the mashed potatoes . Dry roast cumin seeds , grind them and add it to the mixture.

3. Add the fresh herbs , fenugreek , garlic , cayenne, turmeric , lemon zest , egg ,1 ¼ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp of pepper. 4. Mix it well and mould into 8 round patties . Dust with a little flour , I used quinoa , and place it on a plate , cover and chill.

5. Meanwhile prepare the salad by mixing and tossing all the ingredients together. 6. Heat oil in a fry pan , cook the fish cakes for 6-8 minutes on a medium high heat , turning every few minutes until golden brown and well crusted , Garnish with Parsley and serve with the sauce.

Fennel and farm fresh salad

Herby Baked Falafels with Salad Shirazi


30 gms bunch of parsley

30 gms bunch of coriander

4 garlic cloves, crushed

4 spring onions , trimmed and roughly chopped

2 cups of organic chickpeas in brine

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp coriander seeds

Zest of ½ unwaxed lemon

1 tsp baking powder

2 tblsp cornflour

2 tblsp lemon juice

Olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

¼ tsp black pepper

25 gms sesame seeds

For the Garlic dip

3 tblsp of Greek Yoghurt

1 clove of garlic , crushed

½ tsp sea salt


To prepare:

Mix all the ingredients and whisk.

To Prepare the falafels

  1. Blitz the herbs , garlic and spring onion in a food processor until very finely chopped .Drain the chickpeas and rinse very well. Pulse until evenly combined and fairly smooth . Spoon this mixture in a large bowl.

2. Dry roast the cumin and coriander seeds , grind them and add with the lemon zest , lemon juice , 2 tblsp olive oil , baking powder and cornflour ,salt and pepper to the bowl with the chickpea mixture and use your hands to mix them very well. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.

3. Pre heat the oven to 230 deg C . Line a large baking tray with baking parchment and lightly grease it with some olive oil.

4.Sprinkle some sesame seeds onto a plate.Place 2 tblsp of olive oil in a small bowl . Roll the falafel mixture into 16 equal sized balls.Use fingers to lightly coat each ball in some oil and sprinkle the sesame seeds on each falafel. Place on a baking tray and cook for 30 minutes until they are firm and crunchy. Ensure that its evenly baked .

Salad Shirazi


3 small cucumber s

3 medium sized tomatoes, deseeded and halved

½ red onion

4 nos. radishes ,trimmed


1 tsp dried mint

3 tblsp extra virgin olive oil

3 tblsp lemon juice

½ tsp sea salt

½ tsp black pepper

To prepare :

  1. For small cucumbers , half length ways and dice into 5 mm cubes.

  2. Dice the rest the same size and mix .

  3. Whisk the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the salad and toss well.

Enjoy together with pita bread and garlic dip...

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