Monday, 23 March 2015

Freyja's horse-sized winged cats; more about mythological felines

Do you know in Norse mythology that the Goddess Freyja is often depicted riding through the skies on her golden chariot?  The chariot is pulled by two large blue cats, a gift from the God Thor.

Friday, 20 March 2015

PATRIPATAN A Mythological Cat - South East Asia

Have you heard of Patripatan?  A cat in Hindu mythology?

It was a monk's cat.  When his rival went to heaven in Devendiren and came back with a flower from the parisadam tree, the monk sent his cat to do the same thing.  The cat was kept in heaven for 300 years as one of the goddesses fell in love with him.

When he returned to earth, he brought not a flower but a whole branch of the sacred tree.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Black cats...lucky or not???

In the UK and Japan, seeing a black cat cross your path is considered good luck.  Did you know the same encounter means bad luck in the United States?

In Scotland it is thought to bring prosperity.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Quick lamb curry to go with vegetable rice

Yesterday I posted a vegetable rice with turmeric.  So here is a quick lamb curry to go with it.

Ingredients:  For 3 people

1 onion, finely chopped
Some vegetable oil to fry, or ghee if you prefer
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
Half a kilo of fillet neck lamb, diced......use a kilo for more than 3 people
2 tablespoons of paprika
1 teaspoon of dried chillie or chillie flakes
8 cloves
8 cardamon pods
1 pot of Greek yoghurt

Put some oil or ghee in a heavy bottomed pan and fry the meat until it is sealed.  Take the meat out with a slotted spoon and leave it aside on a plate.

Then fry the chopped onion in the oil or ghee in the same pan if you like, and when the onions are golden add the garlic and stir for a minute.  Add the cloves and cardamom and let them spit a little in the oil.  Stir in the paprika and chillies.

Fold in the Greek yoghurt on a very low heat and add a little water.  Put the meat back in and bring to a simmer.  Cook for about an hour on a low heat on the hob.

Great for a Friday night meal with vegetable rice (see earlier post).

Monday, 9 March 2015

Vegetable rice with turmeric to accompany curry


1 dessertspoonful of vegetable oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped or crushed
8 cloves
8 cardamon pods - green
2 teaspoons of turmeric
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
Coriander leaves, washed and chopped with a few stalks chopped as well
1 teaspoon of salt and a few grindings of black pepper
Water to cover

Additional options
a few frozen peas
a few fresh green beans topped and tailed, then cut in half


Put the oil in a pan and fry off the onions and carrots until the onions are a golden colour, then add the garlic, cloves, cardamon, turmeric, coriander and potatoes.  Stir for a minute to incorporate the turmeric.  Then add the salt and pepper and cover the ingredients with water, just a fingernail over the ingredients.  Bring to the boil and put a tight fitting lid on the pan (with a small tea towel between pan and lid or a piece of tin foil.  Turn the heat to very low (preferably with a diffuser) and leave for 20 minutes.  Take off the heat and leave for 10 minutes before peaking inside.  It should be fluffy and the vegetables cooked through.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015


Home-made Vegetable Soup

1 onion, peeled and chopped into slices
3 carrots, peeled and cubed
2 leeks, chopped in slices
Quarter of a white cabbage, sliced
2 large potatoes cubed
A few frozen broad beans
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
1 chicken stock cube
1 teaspoon of green pesto
2 pints of water
A splash of Worcestershire sauce
Mixed Provencal herbs to taste (2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon of oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
100g of orzo pasta

Put the leeks, onion and carrots in a large saucepan with the stock cube and water.  When softened, add the other ingredients and give it a big stir, before leaving to simmer for 20 minutes.

Serve with half a lemon and crusty bread and butter

Variations could include:

Adding frozen peas or sweetcorn
A tin of white beans
A handful of left over cooked chicken

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Borrowed from Gino D'Acampo Chicken recipe

Chicken with melted mozzarella and tomato pizza sauce


4 medium, skinless, boneless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 x 125g mozzarella balls, drained and finely sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crispy Italian salad to serve


Using a sharp knife, slash each chicken breast four times, cutting through to the middle of the breast.  Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and gently fry the garlic and the chicken over a medium heat for 2 minutes on each side until golden all over.

Pour in the chopped tomatoes and oregano and season with salt and pepper.  Cook uncovered over a medium heat for 8 minues.  Halfway through the cooking, turn the breasts.  meanwhile pre-heat the grill to it's highest setting.

Remove the pan from the heat and place the sliced mozzarella on top of the chicken breasts.  Grind over some black pepper and place the pan under the grill for about 1 minute or until the cheese starts to melt.

To serve, pour some of the tomato sauce into the middle of 4 serving plates.  Top with the chicken breast and enjoy with a side salad.

PS....I didn't use the grill as mine makes the kitchen smokey, so I just popped them in the oven (in an ovenproof dish) at 180C for about 20 minutes.