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Monday, July 25, 2022

Sweet Lassi (Yogurt Drink)


Lassi is a popular yoghurt-based drink in India and Pakistan. This recipe is for the traditional sweet lassi (meethi lassi) made from yoghurt, milk, sugar and ice. This refreshing summer drink is best served chilled.

PREP TIME10 minutes
TOTAL TIME10 minutes


  • 2 cardamom pods (optional)
  • 2 cups yoghurt (plain whole milk, natural or pot set yoghurt)
  • ½ cup chilled milk
  • ½ cup chilled water
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 1 cup ice cubes, for serving*
  • Chopped pistachios and almonds, for garnish


  1. Remove the cardamom seeds from the cardamom pods. Crush cardamom seeds in a mortar and pestle (if using).
  2. Place yoghurt, milk, water, sugar and cardamom seeds (if using) in a blender.
  3. Blend until smooth and frothy. You can adjust sugar and water based on personal preference. Add more milk or water if you prefer a thinner consistency.
  4. To serve, add ice cubes in a glass and then pour the sweet lassi on top. Garnish with crushed nuts.


*It’s also possible to crush ice cubes in the blender if your blender has an ice crushing feature.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Cozonac (Romanian Sweet Bread)


Cozonac is a gently sweet bread, a little like challah or brioche, often with a pretty and tasty swirl of nut filling, like in this walnut roll recipe. It's traditionally made for Easter but would be perfect with coffee any time.

PREP TIME45 minutes
REST TIME2 hours
COOK TIME45 minutes
TOTAL TIME3 hours 30 minutes


For the dough

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup (75g) butter
  • 2 1/2 cups (350g) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried instant yeast
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling

  • 3/4 cup (3oz/85g) walnut pieces
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 egg whites

For the glaze

  • 1 egg (will not use all)
  • 1 tsp raw sugar (approx)


  1. Warm the milk, sugar and lemon zest in a small pan over a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the butter, in small pieces. Stir to melt the butter in the heat of the liquid. Allow to cool until lukewarm (80-90F).
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl add the yeast and salt to the flour and mix through. Also, separate the egg whites from the egg yolks into two small bowls. Chill the whites until needed later.
  3. Once the milk mixture has cooled, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the flour mixture, egg yolks and vanilla. Mix to bring the dough together, then knead the dough for a few minutes. (You can either mix with a spoon, then knead for a couple minutes with a stand mixer, or mix by hand and knead on a lightly floured surface for around five minutes.) Once kneaded into a smooth dough, bring the dough together in a ball.
  4. Lightly oil a bowl and add the dough. Cover with plastic or a damp tea towel and allow to rise at a warm room temperature for around an hour, until doubled in size.
  5. Towards the end of the rising time, blend the walnuts, sugar and cocoa powder together in a food processor to form a coarse powder. Separately, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then fold in the nut mixture. Chill until needed.
  6. Once the dough has risen, remove from the bowl and divide into two roughly even pieces. Take one of the pieces of dough, gently knock it back to reduce in size a little, then roll it into a square/rectangle roughly 11 inches square, or slightly longer in one direction.
  7. Take half of the nut filling mixture and spread it over the flattened dough, leaving around 1/2 in without the filling around the edges. Roll up into a log (as you would a cinnamon roll - you can roll either long or short edge, as you prefer, if you made it more rectangle-shaped). Don't make the roll too tight as you want to allow a bit of space for it to expand. Filling and rolling Cozonac Romanian Easter Bread
  8. Repeat with the other piece of dough and filling.
  9. Grease a loaf tin with butter. Take the two rolls of dough and twist them together all the way down. Carefully, place the twist in the loaf tin, tucking the ends under slightly, if needed. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise until it has almost doubled, roughly an hour again. (It may not fill out the tin but that is fine, it will expand more on baking).Shaped Cozonac Walnut Roll
  10. Just before it is ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Brush the top of the loaf with a lightly beaten egg, then sprinkle some raw sugar over the wash. 
  11. Bake the loaf in the middle-bottom of the preheated oven for approximately 35-45 minutes, until it is golden brown on top and cooked through. 
  12. Allow to cool slightly before removing from the pan to cool completely.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Challah Bread


Light and fluffy braided Challah bread is a delicious egg bread that is perfect for special celebrations, weeknight dinners, and everything in between.

Yield: 1 (14 inch) loaf
Prep Time3 hrs 15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time3 hrs 45 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Servings:  people
Author: Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere


  • 1 c water, warmed to 90F
  • ¼ c sugar
  • 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • 4 ½ - 5 c unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp light flavored olive oil or canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolks (save the egg white for the egg wash)

To Top

  • 1 egg white beaten with 1 Tbsp water (from the 1 yolk above)
  • Poppy seed or sesame seeds (optional)


  • Place the warm water in a large bowl. Add the sugar and mix to dissolve. Sprinkle the yeast over top of the water and let it stand for 10-15 minutes, until the yeast starts to foam.
  • Add 2 cups of flour and the salt to the yeast mixture. Mix well. Add the oil, eggs and egg yolk and stir to mix.
  • Add the remaining flour ½ cup at a time, stirring after each addition, until a soft dough comes together.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and begin to knead by hand, adding flour as necessary, until the dough is smooth, soft and slightly tacky (but not sticky), 7-10 minutes. (Alternately, mix the dough in a stand mixer using a dough hook. Knead with the dough hook for 2-3 minutes.)
  • Transfer the soft dough to a clean, greased bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and place the bowl in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 2 hours.
  • Punch down the dough and divide it into 3 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and roll each ball into a rope. Pinch the three ropes together at one end and braid them, being sure to pinch the other end to seal the braid when finished.
  • Place the braided loaf on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Prepare your egg wash and brush the loaf with the wash. Top with seeds as desired.
  • Let the bread rise for 25-30 minutes, until puffy.
  • Preheat your oven to 375F
  • When the dough has finished proofing, brush it with another coating of egg wash, if desired, and place it in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning the pan 180? halfway through cooking time. (If you want a very even and glossy crust, brush the loaf with a little more egg wash when you turn the pan.)
  • The loaf is done when it is golden and sounds hollow if you tap it, (If you have an instant read thermometer, you can take it out when it hits an internal temperature of 180 degrees.)
  • Remove the loaf from the baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Pan de Coco (Honduran Coconut Bread)


Pan de coco is a dairy free coconut bread from Honduras.Often shaped as rolls, they are at home alongside a meal or alone as a snack. 

PREP TIME20 minutes
RESTING TIME2 hours 30 minutes
COOK TIME25 minutes
TOTAL TIME3 hours 15 minutes


  • 1/4 cup warm water (80-90F)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil


  1. Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Stir and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, place the flour, sugar, salt, coconut milk, coconut oil, and yeast mixture.
  3. Attach the bowl and the dough hook to your stand mixer. Mix at the lowest speed for 2 minutes, or until the dough clings to the hook and clears the sides of the bowl. You might need to help it along once or twice by pushing the flour down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. (If mixing by hand, use the instructions in the article above.)
  4. Knead at this same speed for another 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. It will be sticky to touch.
  5. Lightly grease a large bowl, place the dough in it and turn the dough over once to grease the top. Cover with a towel and keep warm until the dough doubles, about 1 to 2 hours.
  6. Place the dough on a floured surface and divide into 12 equal portions. Roll each portion between the palm of your hands and shape into rolls.
  7. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan or two 9-inch square or round baking pans. Arrange rolls in prepared baking pan, cover with a towel and let them rise for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 375F. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  9. Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing.


I used melted butter to brush the tops after baking, but this step is not a traditional one.

Nutrition Information:





 1 roll

Amount Per Serving: CALORIES: 200

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Guacho de Mariscos (Panamanian Seafood Stew)


A hearty dish made with rice, vegetables, calamari, shrimp, mussels and octopus, this seafood stew, Guacho de Mariscos, is a traditional recipe from Panama that can be enjoyed throughout the year.

PREP TIME20 minutes
COOK TIME30 minutes
TOTAL TIME50 minutes


For the sofrito

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 white onions, cut into thin strips
  • 1 ½ green peppers, cut into thin strips
  • 1 ½ red peppers, cut into thin strips
  • ½ c green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 c fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Sazón Goya envelopes
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf

For the rice

  • 6 c water
  • 2 c long-grain rice

Finishing it all off

  • 4 c seafood stock
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 (24 oz) bag of seafood mix (calamari, shrimp, mussels, octopus, crab meat)


  1. Make the sofrito: Heat the oil in a large, heavy bottomed skillet with high sides over medium high heat. Add both types of onions, red and green peppers, cilantro, garlic and bay leaf. Cook for 5 minutes or until they start to soften. Add Sazón Goya and tomato paste. Cook for 3 minutes and set aside.
  2. Par-cook the rice: To a large pot, add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add 2 cups of rice and cook for 10 minutes. Stirring often. Set aside.
  3. Remove 1 cup of sofrito and reserve.
  4. Heat the skillet with the sofrito over medium heat, add the rice (with any remaining water), 4 cups of seafood stock, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the seafood mix. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  6. Serve stew immediately and top with the reserved sofrito.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Akasa / Koko (West African Corn Pudding)

Akasa (or koko) is a fermented corn pudding or porridge from Ghana, with variations in other parts of West Africa. This dish is often served for breakfast with evaporated milk and akara fritters.

PREP TIME5 minutes
COOK TIME20 minutes
TOTAL TIME2 days 25 minutes


For the corn dough

  • 2 heaped Tbsp cornmeal (untreated)
  • 3/4 cup water

For the akasa

  • 3 pods, Grains of selim/uda pods
  • 5 cloves
  • 200g or 1 cup of corn dough*
  • 3 to 5 cups of water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)
  • Sugar (to taste)
  • Evaporated milk (to serve)


For the corn dough (if not purchasing already fermented dough)

  1. Mix the cornmeal and water together to achieve roughly 200g (1 c) of a thick, but wet corn dough. (Not runny, but thick and moist.) (Different cornmeal brands will need different amounts of water to reach the proper consistency.) Add more cornmeal or water as needed to achieve a good dough consistency.
  2. Cover the dough in an airtight container and let ferment on the counter for 2-4 days. (Use a shorter fermenting time if the ambient temperature is warmer. Longer if cooler.)

For the akasa / koko porridge

  1. Remove the grains of selim from the pods. Toast the grains and cloves in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant. Remove from the pan and grind with a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
  2. Place the fermented corn dough in a pot and mix well with a cup of cold water.
  3. Add 2 to 3 cups of boiling water to the mixture and place on high heat to bring to the boil. You will need to stir continuously or have a whisk on hand to get rid of any lumps that form. (Once the porridge thickens, you may add more water until your desired thickness has been achieved.)
  4. When the porridge comes to a rolling boil, add the salt and spices, then you may cover and allow to simmer on a low heat for about 15 minutes.
  5. When the porridge is ready for serving, mix in your desired amount of sugar or sweetener, and top with a dash of evaporated milk. This porridge goes well with akara or beignets.