Aaaaah the beauty of curry, ey? I grew up on dad's delicious, slow cooked chicken and potato curries and always fondly remember traveling to England and being treated to my first curry feast at our family friends' favourite curry house. I was absolutely in love with the beautiful little copper dishes, the unique tandoori flavours and the unexpected sweetness of a peshwari naan.

While I am more likely to choose a Jalfrezi nowadays, then, my go to curry would have been a Korma. The coconutty creaminess of the gravy, the crunch of roasted almonds and shredded coconut paired with a tangy dollop of lime pickle - heaven!

Trying to recreate this curry house favourite never occurred to me. I was probably too afraid to face the calorie count of the ingredients used. "More ghee you say?" 

I think my imagination was more vivid than the truth and today I wonder why I didn't try this amazingly delicious dish earlier. It's easy you guys. I mean super dooper easy. It's not the same as the one you get from your favourite curry house, but nevertheless it's delicious. You know what else? It's not even that unhealthy and the easiest thing ever. So there I've told you, now make it!!!

If you are on a Paleo/Legume+Potato-free diet pair this with some cauliflower rice. The Aloo Palak would be just as tasty without the chickpeas and with sweet potatoes instead of potatoes. Yum!

Etta xo

COOKS 45mins

  • 4 good size chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1 tin coconut milk (make sure you get a good one that isn't only water and hasn't got any weirdo additives - the creamier the better) Also you might need a bit more, depending on how dry and how spicy you like your Korma to be, so keep an extra tin on hand
Korma Curry Paste 
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh root ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 2 fresh green chillies, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons desiccated coconut
  • 2 tablespoons ground almonds
  • 1 small bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1tbsp coconut oil
  • 4tbsps flaked, toasted almonds, to garnish
  • salt and pepper
  • steamed basmati rice to serve
  • lime pickle to serve 

Aloo Palak with Chickpeas
  • 300 g spinach, fresh or frozen
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2cm fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1-2 green chilis, chopped with seeds
  • 200 g waxy potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 2tbsps coconut oil + a bit more to sautee the spinach
  • 2 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tin chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk (take this from the tin you are using for your korma)
  • salt

    For the Chicken Korma

    1. First you need to make your curry paste. Peel the garlic and ginger. Put a frying pan on a medium to high heat and add the spices for toasting to the dry pan. Lightly toast them for a few minutes until golden brown and starting to release their fragrance, then remove the pan from the heat.
    2. Add the toasted spices to a pestle and mortar and grind until fine. Once you have a powder add the ginger, garlic and chillies and grind with the spices until you almost have a paste. Then add the rest of the ingredients and grind some more until you end up with a smooth-ish paste. If it's all too thick you might want to add a teaspoon of melted coconut oil. Alternatively, and much easier, you can do all this in a food-processor.
    3. Add the tablespoon of coconut oil to a large saucepan over a medium heat. Once melted, spoon your curry paste into the pan and fry until thoroughly mixed with the oil and lovely and fragrant. This will take about 2-3 minutes. Now pour in your coconut milk and stir well. Season with salt and pepper then leave to simmer for 5 minutes.
    4. Slowly lower your chicken breast strips into the gravy and make sure they are well coated. The reason why I put the chicken into the gravy without browning it is that it makes it much more tender and it allows the meat to take on all the lovely flavours from the sauce.
    5. Simmer the curry over a medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce is nice and thick and the chicken is cooked through.  
    For the Aloo Palak
    1. Add a little coconut oil to a frying pan over a medium to high heat. Fry the garlic, ginger, onions and green chillies for about 5 minutes until soft then add the spinach and cook until wilted. 
    2. Remove the spinach from the pan and roughly chop with a large knife. Set aside.
    3. Boil your potatoes with half a teaspoon of salt and the turmeric until they are cooked. This will take approximately 10 minutes.
    4. Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan and add the cumin seeds and the chopped spinach and simmer for a couple of minutes.
    5. Now add the chickpeas, potatoes, garam masala, coriander and cumin powder along with a little water if too thick. Season with salt and pepper
    6. Simmer for about 5 minutes until the chickpeas are tender and the potatoes have absorbed the spices.
    7. Stir in the coconut milk.
    Serve your Korma topped with some toasted almonds a dollop of lime pickle, basmati rice and the Aloo Palak. This is one serious curry feast you guys!


        Ok... so this wasn't a date nor was it at night but you know categories and all that. Most importantly it was Dan's birthday... and Dan wanted to go and breakfast in Central London... at 9am... on a Saturday. Horror, I know!

        Now the thing is when Dan goes and carefully chooses a food destination you will a) know that he has done his research and b) you are pretty certainly in for a treat. Oh and of course if it's your friend's birthday you grant them any wish (within reason).

        Dan chose the Riding House Café on Great Titchfield Street and boy did we have a breakfast.
        First of all I have to gush about the interior, which is so effortlessly thrown together. It's a bit like bootfair meets your nan's house and hangs out in an artist's industrial studio for a Great Gatsby inspired brunch. You lost me there? Seriously go and check it out... it's beautiful.

        Now where do I start when it comes to food and drink? There were six of us and there were eight dishes. You know, you just have to try it all.

        It took us about 30 minutes to decide what we wanted and we kept salivating over the menu whilst sipping on perfect flat whites and taste-bud tickling, freshly squeezed juices.

        I eventually went for the Eggs Hussar, which really were hussaaar - poached eggs, ox heart tomatoes, ham, spinach, sauce hollandaise and bordelaise all on a beautifully toasted slice of sourdough. Paired with the Smokey Chorizo Hash, poached eggs, mushrooms and spinach I shared with Mat, we had ourselves breakfast perfection on a plate.

        There was Müsli with Greek Yoghurt and plenty of fresh fruit, a Full English, your usual suspects such as Eggs Benedict and Royal and then there were the "desserts". Ooooh the sweet options were to die for. We had the softest, melt in mouth Challah French Toast with clotted cream and the fluffiest Buttermilk Pancakes with blueberries and a nutty sweet maple syrup. You hungry yet?

        Our waiter Michaelo was attentive but not intrusive he was always happy to help and any special wishes were no problem at all. This is what I call first class service.

        There is nothing I could fault at the Riding House Café and while it is a little more expensive than your usual breakfast destination it is definitely worth it.
        Rating 9.5/10

        Breakfast for six (eight dishes), coffees and juices came to approximately £100
        (I am not 100% sure on this one as we got treated by Dan's mum - Thanks Bina :-*)

        The Riding House Café
        43-51 Great Titchfield St
        W1W 7PQ


        This has truly been the longest time I have been away from my blog. Certainly not voluntarily. So I have decided to call it my summer break. As always life's been busy and there are so many changes coming up my head is spinning. They are all good though and I will let them slot into place first, blog very sporadically and then place my little blog back into my life. I want blogging to come naturally again and look forward to featuring my cute, new balcony furniture in upcoming food posts as well as barbeques, picnics, travel... oh there are just so many things.

        In the meantime I'll leave you with this most charming picnic photograph that tells stories of warm summer weekends spent with friends, munching on the most delicious goodies, sipping ice cold bubbly and talking and laughing into the early hours. 

        See you all soon.

        Etta xo

        Photo via

        FOOD ENVY #8

        I've been scouring my Pinterest on this sunny Friday afternoon for a bit of food inspiration, because if I have another roast chicken salad I might turn into a roast chicken ;)
        As I only have another five days of the Paleo Challenge left to get through I thought I'd share some of my favourite Pinterest Paleo finds with you.

        One of them is Chia Seed Puddings - creamy, healthy yumminess in a bowl. This ancient super-seed will give you protein, fibre and Omega 3, which stands for one substantial breakfast (or desert ;)) without feeling heavy or bloated afterwards.
        The beef burgers with sauteed spinach and caramelised onions in a portobello mushroom "bun" has been tried and tested and is amazingly delicious.

        Pinterest has been my saviour throughout this challenge. There are tons of inspirational and super tasty recipes up there. 

        Happy weekend everyone.
        Etta xo

          1 // 2 // 3 // 4
        For more inspiration, inside and outside the food department, you can follow me here


        I am currently on day 21 of the Paleo Challenge (whoop! only 9 days to go) and still don't mind having courgette spaghetti with my bolognese or eating nuts and raisins instead of the compulsory 4pm HobNob. What I do mind is not being able to have normal coffee in the morning (decaf with almond milk just isn't the same) and I miss cheese and my favourite lentil stew. Only every now and then, but nonetheless. 

        I am all over making fricassees with coconut cream instead of dairy cream and having lots of salads and roast chickens and veggies... but breakfasts have been oh so hard. My usual go to breakfast would have been a slice of wholemeal toast with jam or a bowl of porridge with a nice steaming cuppa. Can't have either :( So during the week it has been chia seed puddings and fruit salads. Nice, but this gets boring after a while. Even harder are the weekends, where I'd devour a hefty bacon sarnie or fried eggs on toast. 

        This weekend I've found an absolute gem of a Paleo breakfast recipe.  Sweet Omelette with Summer Berries. Sweet Omelette what?! Hey, why not, we all love a nice Tamago Nigiri why not turn it into sweet breakfast. 

        Trust me, you'll love this!

        Etta xo

        SERVES 2
        PREPARATION 5mins
        COOKS 10mins

        • 3-4 large free range eggs
        • 1tbsp raw honey or maple syrup (if you're not paleo use 1 1/2 tsp of sugar)
        • a dash of coconut milk (or normal milk)
        • 50-75g frozen summer berries
        • 3tsp raw honey or maple syrup (if you're not paleo use 1tsp of sugar)
        • 1tsp coconut oil (or butter)
        • coconut cream to serve (optional, we didn't have any)
        The amount of sweetener is optional and varies depending on your preference. I usually don't like ultra sweet things so if you are looking for a sugar rush brekkie add a bit more honey/maple syrup.

        1. Place the frozen berries with the 3 teaspoons of honey into a saucepan and heat up over a medium heat. Leave to bubble for about 10 minutes or until warm and reduced down a little. Depending on your taste buds you might want to add a little more honey.
        2. While the berries are bubbling away, whisk the eggs, 1 tablespoon of honey and coconut milk until well combined, creamy and bubbly.
        3. Melt the coconut oil over a medium heat. Once hot add the eggs. Turn the heat down to medium low and place a lid over the pan. Leave to cook for 3 minutes or so then flip over and cook on the other side for a minute or so. You want your omelette to be cooked but not dry. 
        4. Fold the omelette in half and serve with the berries and a drizzle of coconut cream.


          Oh hi day-14-of-the-Paleo-Challenge, you've stayed for a while. 

          I'm on cup three of my "new" favourite fruit and mint tea, snacked on some nuts and raisins and had one mahuuusive salad for lunch. No bread, no coffee, no milk, no sugar... the list goes on.

          And the reason for this massive change? For the past couple of years I've not been feeling myself. I've been suffering from awful headaches, every day, and would have to have at least two doses of either paracetamol or ibuprofen to ease the pain. I was always tired, getting up in the morning was such a drag and not to mention the bloatedness. Every single piece of clothing felt uncomfortable... I felt uncomfortable. 

          So after weeks of researching what I should do, trying to get an allergy test (unsuccessfully), jumping from the Candida Diet, to the 5:2 Diet, to a Juice Detox I just woke up one morning and started the Paleo Challenge. There wasn't any planning really, I got up and made myself a fruit salad and herbal tea and said to Mat: "For the next 30 days this is what I am doing."

          The first few days were sooo hard. I felt even more tired, had headaches and joint pains and after day five I just though, this really isn't working. If it wasn't for Mat I would probably have given up. He didn't let me ;) So I continued watching all my friends munch on french fries, drink beers and wines while I painstakingly julienne peeled my courgette spaghetti and begrudgingly ordered a mineral water with fresh lime.

          Two weeks in and I feel so much better. No more headaches, no more joint aches, I'm ok getting up in the morning and no more bloatedness. While I know that this isn't a lifestyle for me, the Paleo Challenge has taught me that I do not NEED potatoes, bread and rice with every meal. I won't starve if I just have a bowl of fruit for breakfast and almond milk is really quite nice. I have also learned that too much garlic doesn't become me and neither do peppers and that a banana is much more filling than a 99p cheeseburger. But I do miss my real coffees with real milk, I miss a bit of feta in my salad, a lovely slice of mum's freshly baked sourdough bread and the occasional cheeky G+T or red wine. That's what I am planning to re-introduce... in small measures but nonetheless. 

          The lifetime change this 30-day challenge has brought for me is to think a bit more about what and how much I eat, to look at the ingredients more often than not and kill the little hunger with some nuts or fruit rather than go for the biscuit tin. 

          I'll try and keep you updated with some simple recipes over the next couple of weeks and of course on my progress. The next challenge will be tackling my "phobia" of exercise :P

          Hope you enjoy this short foodie-chapter in my life. To kick it off, here's a yummy recipe of spicy chipotle pork ragu with courgette spaghetti. 

          Etta xo

          PS  I'd like to say a big massive thank you to all my friends and colleagues for bearing with my currently fussy eating and drinking habits. You've all been super patient, understanding and supportive. Thanks you guys!

          SERVES 4
          PREPARATION 10mins
          COOKS 45mins-1hr

          • 500g lean pork mince, at room temperature
          • 2 small onions, finely diced
          • 1 carrot, finely diced
          • 1 celery stick, peeled and finely diced
          • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
          • 6-7 chestnut mushrooms, finely diced
          • 2-3 medium to large pickled chipotle, roughly chopped
          • 3tbsps chipotle pickling juice
          • 2tbsps tomato puree
          • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
          • 5 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
          • salt and pepper
          • extra virgin coconut oil or olive oil
          • 2-3 good size courgettes, sliced into "spaghetti" with a julienne peeler or spiraliser 

          1. Heat the oil over a medium to high heat and sautee the onions, carrot and celery for about five minutes until they start to soften. Add the garlic, mushrooms and tomato puree and cook for a further 3-5 minutes making sure not to burn the garlic.
          2. Once your veggies are soft, add the mince bit by bit and fry until it starts to brown. Then mix in the chipotle, chipotle pickling juice and chopped tomatoes and stir well. 
          3. Leave to bubble away on a medium heat for half an hour or so stirring occasionally. Season with salt (I use approximately 1tsp but this is really up to you) and black pepper and mix in the thyme leaves.
          4. Cook for another 15-30 minutes until the sauce has thickened and has that lovely meaty flavour. (the longer you cook this the better it will taste!)
          5. When your ragu has another 15 minutes left, place your courgette "noodles" into a large bowl and season with some salt. Pour over boiling water and cover with a plate. Leave to sit for five minutes (or longer if you like them softer) then drain in a colander and let the noodles steam dry (let them sit in the colander for a little). You can also microwave them instead by placing them in a bowl with a tablespoon of water and some salt. Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes.
          6. Serve the courgette noodles topped with the ragu and if you aren't on the paleo diet some grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!


          This has been a bit of a lengthy hiatus :( No I didn't forget! I have tons of posts planned and written and then so many things happened that just threw me. You know when you have visitors every weekend of the month and errands to run and people to visit and maybe just aren't feeling the blogging for a bit. As simple as that! This is the first time I have broken my routine and New Year's resolution of blogging regularly (at least twice a week). It's ok though, because sometimes you just need to mix it up a little and take a break, right?

          So today I thought I'd tell you about how we went to London Bridge the other week for a Pub Quiz and Bingo and I won. I'll tell you about the time we went to the Old King's Head and played Quingo!

          I suck at Pub Quizzes (you don't want me on your team)! I spent my childhood in rural Germany, we watched hardly any telly and mainly spent our days riding our bikes and evenings playing board games. So if you ask me what the most popular children's series in 1994 in the UK was I would not have a clue. (It was probably Tigerentenclub in Germany :P) If you ask me who the landlord of the Queen Vic in Eastenders was in 1987, I will look at you with a blank stare. What I am saying is that we didn't win at the Pub Quiz, and I am sure it was my fault.

          I did win at Bingo though. Two rows baby, £15 cash in hand and being embarrassed by a burly northern quiz-master.

          It'd be nice to make this a tradition. To find a local pub where we can go if not weekly then maybe every other week and maybe one day I will absolutely smash it at the old pub quiz. Probably when they ask the question: What was the most popular children's programme in Germany in 1994 ;)

          PS ... oh and do you see that sandwich?! Chorizo aaaand Pulled Pork aaand yum yum skin on fries. Happy belly!


          As much as I love a Sunday Roast, the thought of preparing one always fills me with dread and a tiny bit of fear. First of all you are dishing out a hefty amount of cash for a piece of meat and the chances of it going wrong (i.e. it being over or undercooked or you just generally messing up the timing) are sooo high.

          Not such a big deal when I am just cooking for Mat and me. He is very forgiving! Pretty huge deal when I have five people round for dinner. As I didn't know when people were going to show up and I have one family member in particular that takes punctuality not too seriously, your usual beef, chicken etc. was a no-no. 

          Then I came across this recipe and was immediately sold! Pork shoulder is one of the more affordable cuts and if cooked correctly produces the most succulent meat and beautiful crackling. It doesn't matter if it sits in the oven for a little longer or has to rest under a double layer of tin foil for an extra half an hour. The end result is seriously tender, fall apart meat and crunchy, bubbly crackling.

          I simply served this with roast potatoes and bacon and rosemary red cabbage. Everyone loved it and I was a happy bunny!

          So if you are a Sunday Roast novice this is one for you! Six hours in the oven you say? It might be a little more expensive on the electrics but hey the money you are saving on the cut of meat is a lot!


          Etta xo

          SERVES 6
          PREPARATION 30mins
          COOKS 6hrs

          For the roast 
          • 2 kg shoulder of pork, bone-in, skin on  (Note: I used a cut without a bone as that is all I could get my hands on at the time. If you can, ideally, you'd get a cut with the bone still in but no big deal if you can't ;))
          • sea salt
          • freshly ground black pepper 
          •  2 red onions, halved 
          •  2 carrots, peeled and halved lengthways 
          •  2 sticks celery, halved 
          • 1 bulb garlic, skin on, broken into cloves 
          •  6-8 bay leaves 
          •  600 ml water or vegetable stock
          • 1 glass of red wine 
          • a dash of double cream
          For the potatoes 
          • 12 good size roasting potatoes (I used King Edward), peeled and quartered and left in a bowl of water to rest
          • sea salt and black pepper
          • olive oil
          For the red cabbage
          • 1 medium size red cabbage, outer leaves removed and finely shredded
          • 6 rashers of smoked bacon, diced
          • a knob of butter
          • a dash of red wine vinegar
          • 3 sprigs of rosemary, leaves only
          • 2tbsps brown sugar
          • salt and pepper
          • 250ml beef or vegetable stock
          For the apple sauce (you can also just buy a jar of this but I love making my own as it is so simple)
          • 4 Bramley cooking apples, peeled, cored and diced
          • rind of half a lemon (just use a peeler to get this)
          • 2tsp sugar
          • dash of water

          1. Pre-heat the oven to 220˚C.
          2. Place your pork on a clean work surface, skin-side up. If your pork hasn't been scored yet, get yourself a small sharp knife and make scores about a centimeter apart through the skin into the fat. Make sure not to cut into the meat.  If the joint has been tied already, make sure you don't cut into the string. If it hasn't been tied roll it tightly and tie using this technique. If you haven't done this before you might need a second pair of hands.
          3. Rub salt right into all the scores you've just made. Turn the roast around and season the underside with salt and pepper. Place in a roasting tray skin side up and roast in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes until the skin starts to crisp up and just turn into crackling.
          4. Turn the oven down to 170˚C. Tightly cover the meat with two layers of tin foil and roast at the reduced temperature for four and a half hours.
          5. In the meantime you can prepare your cabbage. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Fry the bacon and the rosemary in the butter for about five minutes or until the bacon is crisp. Remove from the pot.
          6. Add the sugar to the butter and keep stirring until it starts to caramelise (you might have to add a little water if you feel it's getting too dark too quickly).
          7. After about 5-10 minutes add the cabbage and stir to cover it with the caramel. Cook for a couple of minutes until it starts to soften then mix in the bacon/rosemary and deglaze the pot with a dash of red wine vinegar. Careful this will be super hot and vinegary so avoid any deep breaths ;)
          8. Give it all a good stir, add the stock then turn the heat down to low/medium and cover with a lid. Leave to simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring it occasionally to stop it from sticking. Once the cabbage is nice and tender you can turn off the heat and leave it until you are almost ready to serve.
          9. Once your meat has been in the oven for four and a half hours, baste it with the fat in the bottom of the tray, take it out carefully and place onto a chopping board.
          10. Pour out most of the fat (save for your roast potatoes) then place your carrots, celery, onions, bay leaves and garlic in the bottom of the tray and move them around a bit until the are coated in the pork fat. Place the pork on top of the vegetables and put back in the oven (without the tin foil this time) and roast for another hour.
          11. Drain your potatoes and generously season with salt and pepper. If you have enough fat from the roast pour that over the potatoes if not drizzle generously with olive oil. Give it all a good stir and place onto a roasting tray. Once your pork has another 15 minutes left in the oven place the potatoes on the rack below your roast and cook for 45minutes until the potatoes are crisp on the outside and fluffy in the middle.
          12. For your apple sauce, put your diced apples into a bottom heavy sauce pan with a dash of water and the lemon rind. Cover with a lid and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are falling apart and are the consistency of a compote. Mix in the sugar and take out the lemon rind, then leave to rest until you are ready to serve.
          13. When the pork is cooked, take out of the oven, place onto a serving platter, cover with two layers of tin foil and leave to rest while you make the gravy and your potatoes finish roasting. At this point you might want to start heating up your cabbage again.
          14. Spoon away any fat in the tray, then place the roasting tray onto your hob over a medium/high heat. Add the glass of wine and deglaze the tray, making sure you get all the lovely brown bits. Leave to simmer for a minute or so then add your stock/water. Simmer for a further five minutes then, using a stick blender roughly blend the veg. You don't want a puree but want to break everything up a little. Our blender has a life of its own and splashes everywhere so you might want to transfer everything to a large bowl. Pour everything through a sieve into a good size saucepan, pushing through the soft veggies. Place onto a medium heat and leave to simmer for a few minutes until the gravy starts to thicken. Season with salt and pepper and add a dash of cream.
          15. Well and now I guess you are ready to serve. You can either slice the pork or just pull it apart. I know this is a long old post and looks like a lot of work but as far as roasts go this is easy-peasy and worth every single hour. Enjoy!