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Joined: December 21st, 2009

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October 17th, 2022

Pasta e Fagioli from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

An easy and delicious soup. I used lardons for the meat. We were thinking that chicken sausages would be good, saucisse de volaille or merguez de volaille, cut in quarters lenghtwise, then into little... read more >

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kaye16's Reviews

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1460 recipes reviewed. Showing 1 to 50Sort by: Book Title | Date | Rating | Recipe Title

100 Essential Curries. Madhur Jaffrey (My Kitchen)

By Madhur Jaffrey
Ebury - 2011

21st November 2012

Diced Potatoes with Spinach

Very good and easy to make.

There are some errors in the recipe, but nothing too major.
- Dice the potatoes into 2cm (1/4in) cubes ... probably should be 3/4in. The picture clarifies.
- My 2cm-ish cubes took much more than 6 minutes to cook. Maybe 10 or so.

I made a half recipe as a large side dish for two.

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21st November 2012

Mushroom Curry

This recipe appears in Quick & Easy Indian Cooking. My review is here.

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I forgot to start this early to allow time for 60min simmering. Oops. But I remembered that in Quick and Easy Indian Cooking, Jaffrey gives the option of simmering a dish for 60min or pressure cooking it for 20min (with less liquid). So I did that instead. Resulting in very tender pork in a yummy sauce.
I bought some organic tomatoes that turned out to be tasteless, so I'm sure this would be even better with proper tomatoes.

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200 Budget Meals (Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook)

By Sunil Vijayakar
Hamlyn - 2008

4th May 2018 (edited: 4th May 2018)

Rice Noodles with Lemon Chicken

This was quite good. Not sure it's "budget" -- how many people have things like rice noodles, sweet chili sauce, fresh parsley, and fresh coriander sitting around the house? (Well, I usually do, but I don't think I'm a typical cook.)

It's also fast, which is nice.

- My boneless chicken breasts were also skinless. That worked fine.
- My rice noodles do not get "done" sitting 10min in just-boiled water. They need to simmer for a bit. This isn't a problem.

Served with the Stir-Fried Ginger Broccoli (recipe on bottom of page) as suggested.

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Tasty, but didn't make very good patties. This can be my problem, since I've always had a problem with them.

- Used two 140g cans of crab, which left me a bit short there.
- Didn't want to use up my fresh bread, so used about half the amount of panka for the "filling".
- Used a store-bought nem sauce rather than making the chilli jam.

Two of us piggies ate all 12 patties between us. Probably this would be a better starter with three patties each for four people.

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The kebabs were good, and the smashed potatoes with crème fraîche, chopped cilantro and red chili, and spring onions were a treat.

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The salmon was ok, good enough, but nothing special.
But we both liked the lime courgettes/zucchini, even DH who is not a zuke fan. Long thin strips sautéed, then tossed with lime zest, lime juice, and chopped mint. Yum.

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26th May 2018 (edited: 20th November 2021)

Spicy Pork Rolls with Minted Yogurt

This was a hit.
There were no pork scallops in the shop, so I used turkey scallops instead. The filling was a little soupier than paste. I spooned what wouldn't stay in the rolls on top before baking.
Very delicious.

I forgot to make the Minted Yogurt, but neither of us missed it.

Made again, still a hit. Again with turkey scallop; veal scallop might be nice. Pork scallops would be good if I can ever find them.
Really, the rolls with the soupy paste/filling are so tasty, no extra sauce is needed.

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28th May 2018 (edited: 28th May 2018)


Interesting and good, sweet and spicy.
I made a half recipe and cooked in two individual casserole dishes. Used Thai red curry paste for the "medium curry paste".

The recipes says you can make a "stylish starter" by cooking in 4 individual ramekins. Since the recipe serves 4, those are some pretty serious starters. Maybe 6 or 8 would be a better number.

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Website: 28 Cooks


1st July 2013 (edited: 1st July 2013)

Herbed Fava Beans

A super salad of favas, simple to make once you've dealt with the favas. The fennel seeds were a perfect complement for the beans. There is a bit too much sauce for the beans. I had more shelled, peeled beans than required but could have used only half the vinaigrette.

I didn't really read the directions for preparing the beans well, since I do this several times a season now. The usual advice is to boil the beans for 30 seconds to 1 minute before shock-cooling them and peeling. 28 cooks has you boil them for 3 full minutes, which would leave you with mush, I think.

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Website: 28 Cooks


29th October 2015

Baja Fish Tacos

Very good food. Definitely a do-again.
I was cooking for two. Used lieu noir (no idea of English name).

- I had a 250g package of coleslaw-ish stuff, looked like about 6 cups. I made all the sauce (which was for 2 cups of coleslaw and should have been at least doubled). Used no honey. There was *more* than enough sauce.

- I made the Sazon by blitzing 1/4 teaspoon each of coriander seeds, cumin seeds, annatto seeds, garlic powder, coarse salt, and black peppercorns in the spice grinder. This was enough for the full recipe, but was not too much for two.

The coleslaw is good enough to serve on its own.

Yummy stuff altogether.

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30 Minute Indian: Cook Modern Indian Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less. (30 Minute Cooking)

By Sunil Vijayakar, William Reavell
Laurel Glen Publishing - 2000

30th June 2016

Spicy Pan-Fried Cod

Made a half recipe with lieu noir, which seems to be a distant cod relative.
Pretty good and easy (and fast) enough to make.
The instructions have mix a bunch of spices and "dust" it on the fish, but the spices include grated fresh ginger and a crushed garlic clove (I grated mine), so the result is more like a paste to be spread on. Never mind, we liked it.

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2nd July 2016

Lime Pickle

Have put this together; now waiting 10 days for results.

- Makes "1 jar" it says. This is a mightily big jar. Ten limes in sixths fills most of the largest (2-1/2qt?) of the nested pyrex bowls most people (my age, at least) have. I'm guessing I'll get it in a 1-liter/quart jar when it's ripened.
- First time I've ever seen so much asafoetida in one recipe--1/2tsp! (When I took a little Indian cooking course a long long time ago, our teacher said the little container of asafoetida that you buy would last a lifetime. I may have to buy a new one before long, or die soon.

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3rd July 2016 (edited: 3rd July 2016)

Shrimp with Curry Leaves and Fenugreek

Very tasty recipe, and fast.
Made half recipe, with half of most spice, but a whole red chile. The result was not challenging.
Served with Jeera Rice.

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3rd July 2016

Jeera Rice

Very good rice. This may become my standard rice dish. Half recipe was a generous serving for two.

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Easy and really yummy. I tasted at some point and added more tamarind, since I thought more of that nice sour taste was needed to balance the sweet of the dates. Next time I'll double the tamarind asked. But definitely a next time. This is a favorite.

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8th July 2016

Spiced Beets

This jumped to the top of the queue as a favorite.
We can get 500g vacuum-packed packages of cooked beets, which I used for a whole recipe. Might use a bit less coconut milk next time, since there was a bit too much sauce.
Two of us ate a lot; this would probably only serve three unless they were dainty eaters.

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8th July 2016

Coconut Rice

Pretty good, and good for using up that extra bit of coconut milk leftover from another course.

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24th July 2016

Cauliflower Relish

We didn't like this much at all.
- The cauliflower should be in bite-sized pieces. For a relish? I think it should be pretty well chopped up, not bite-sized.
- We found it too crunchy for a relish, but this could be because the pieces were too big.
- Nothing special taste-wise.

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24th July 2016

Gujariti Carrot Salad

Ok, but Madhur jaffery's Gujerati Carrot Salad is better.
Honey not needed.

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24th July 2016


A really nice salad. Needs to be made a bit ahead of time so the flavors settle down. Nothing particularly "Indian" tasting. Would be good as a side for a bbq.

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24th July 2016

Tandoori Chicken

Good enough, but nothing very "tandoori" here.

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24th July 2016

Seekh Kebabs

These were pretty tasty, if a bit dry.
- I had only 350g of ground beef (rather than 400g) and made only eight kebabs (rather than twelve). Even with the full amount, twelve would have been more like smallish meatballs.
- I didn't add nearly enough salt, so we had to salt them at the table.
- The meat mixture wasn't firm enough to stay put even on my flat skewers. I ended up turning them by hand and using some wooden skewers to hold three or two together in the right position. I think it would be better to start with a pair of wooden skewers in each kebab.

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24th July 2016

Kashmiri Lamb Chops

Cooked these under the broiler. Delicious. They'd probably be good on the grilled on the barbecue too.

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We really enjoyed this one. No banana leaves; parchment paper works fine.
Salmon fillet, topped with cilantro, mint, garlic, ginger, red chiles, ground cumin, ground coriander, brown sugar, lime juice, and coconut milk that had been blitzed into a sauce.
Very tasty and the salmon was nicely done.

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24th July 2016

Fish Mollee

Quite good and very easy to make. Used cod. (Shrimp can also be used used.)
N.B.: There is an error in the ingredient list, which says only "4 fresh green chilies, deseeded and". The following line is missing. I finely chopped mine.

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24th July 2016

Jeera Potatoes

These were a hit.
If you have everything ready (potatoes boiled, flavorings prepped), they finish up quite easily at the last minute.

Vijayakrar says these potatoes go well with chicken and fish dishes, but we thought they were quite fine with lamb.

Jeera, it turns out, is alternative name for cumin seeds.

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24th July 2016

Broccoli Sabzi

I covered the broc while it was cooking and finally added a bit of water for the last minutes to help the broccoli cook it since the pan seemed a bit too dry to me.

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24th July 2016 (edited: 24th July 2016)


Maybe meant as a side? We had it for dinner

Should be made with rice and moong dal. I thought I had moong dal on the shelf, but it turned out to be chana dal, which takes a bit longer to cook. A quick look online showed split peas as a substitute. I happened to have some yellow ones (but no green ones-->inventory failure), so used those. I soaked them for a while with the rice, but that didn't really work. They were still a bit on the crunchy side at the end.

In spite of all the spices (cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorns, ginger, green chiles, cumin seeds, and ground coriander), this was quite a bland dish so the Lime Pickle was a nice addition.

I don't think this should be thought of as a 30-minute dish. Moong dal or split peas, either need more time to cook.

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24th July 2016


I was curious about how you can turn out a 30-minute naan. The answer is that you can't. This recipe takes a minimum of an hour. And, while the result was more or less edible, to me it tasted of baking powder.

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24th July 2016


Made this quite some time ago (2008, didn't realize I'd had this book that long). My notes say ...
Tasty but too thick. Covered cooking was 3x 5min. Might try 2x 5min.

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24th July 2016


Reasonably good taste. Poor texture, poor instructions.

- I used basmati rice, rather than jasmine, since that's what I keep in-house and I didn't think to buy jasmine this week. These cook the same as far as I know
- The result calls for 2-1/2 cups milk. I used almost the whole liter, and the "pudding" was still as stiff as could be.

The recipe has another unclear ingredient/instructions. It asks for 1 teaspoon of crushed cardamom seeds. I suppose he means for you to take the seeds out of the pods and crush them. That's what I did. But this is a 30-minute cookbook. Why not just use ground cardamom?

Very unhappy with this one and trying to think what to do with a bowl of stiff rice pudding to make it edible.

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24th July 2016

Chettinad Chicken

Very good. Onions and chicken thigh meat in a tasty sauce.
Next time I'll coarsely chop the garlic cloves instead of just crushing them as instructed.

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25th July 2016 (edited: 25th July 2016)


Um, find another recipe. Madhur Jaffrey's paneer works.
This recipe says it makes 5oz of paneer; mine weighed in less than 4oz.

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25th July 2016

Mutter Paneer

(I'm unsure if this is meant as a main or a side. I served a full recipe as a main, over plain rice. Two of us could eat it all. It would have served three easily.)

Not bad at all. Can't say it was fast, though. Too much measuring, chopping, etc. Once that's done, it goes together quickly.

(Dhanajeera seems to be a 1:2 mixture of ground cumin and ground coriander.)

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28th July 2016

Onion Bhajiyas

The major problem with this recipe is that it calls for too much salt. That 2 tsps should probably be 1/2 or maybe 3/4 tsps. (I reduced to 1 tsp and they were still too salty.

I've been making Madhur Jaffrey's Onion Fritters/Onion Bhajias for quite a while. Those are tasty, but not really crispy. The major differences I see between these recipes are that Jaffrey uses an egg and a full cup of besan, rather then 5 tablespoons here, and Vijayakar adds baking powder. I wonder if that isn't the magic "crispy" ingredient?

I will definitely try this again, using much less salt and adding Jaffrey's extra spices (turmeric, cayenne, cumin seeds, and ground cumin). But we're definitely going in the right direction with our onion bhajis now.

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28th July 2016

Bombay Chicken Masala

Good stuff. Easy.

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28th July 2016

Tomato Fish Curry

Easy and tasty.

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29th July 2016

Lamb Kebabs

Good stuff.
I did mince the garlic cloves, rather than crush them.
Rather than baking meatballs, I made patties and we bbq'd them.

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23rd December 2020

Ginger Chicken

Half recipe for two, although I'm fairly sure the two of us could have eaten a whole recipe. It was delicious.

At the end of cooking, I thought it was a bit soupy still so I stirred in a bit of potato flour mixed with water. Zap, it was perfect.

A really delicious main course within 30 minutes.

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The 30-minute Cook

By Nigel Slater
Penguin Books Ltd - 2006

Very good and very easy. Chop up some herbs and press into strips of salmon. Sauté till this fish is almost ready, stir in something creamy (crème fraîche, cream, etc.), add a squeeze of lemon and bob's your uncle, as they say.

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20th April 2014

Lamb Hash

A really nice and easy way to use up odds and ends or leftover cooked lamb. Seasoned with nothing but salt and pepper -- delicious!

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20th April 2014 (edited: 1st May 2016)

Lamb in a Spiced Gravy

Use up cooked lamb slices in an Indian-ish creamy tomato sauce. Not really sure why the lamb needs to be slices, shreds or chunks would work just as well. There was lots and lots of sauce (I've frozen extra to use for something). Good stuff though.

1may16: Made this again with less water/stock and less meat. This was fine. Very good.

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Slater says this is a hot version of Madhur Jaffrey's Gujerati Carrot Salad. Personally I think Jaffery's version is better, and I'm not sure why a hot version is needed.

Slater has you frying thickly sliced carrots for 10-15min till they are tender. Maybe my "thick" was too thick, but they weren't really thinking of being finished after 15min, so I added a bit of water and cooked covered for a while, then cooked a bit more to get rid of the water before adding the mustard seeds.

Good enough, but I'd rather have Jaffrey's cold salad. Less work and it's quickly done.

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22nd April 2014

Spiced Fried FIsh

Very nice. Fish strips tossed with lime, spices, and besan, then deep fried. Yum.

I used swordfish, which was on sale today. Was a nice choice since it's a firm fish.

Definitely a do-again.

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Pretty tasty. Easy. Fast.

Recipe says it serves 2. Of course, when it asks for a pound of lentils, you have to wonder about that. I expect we'll get two meals for two out of this, served over rice.

I expect the final simmering should be covered, at least partly. My lentils were pretty dry when done.

The dish wanted lots of salt (I added only a bit) but some nice lime pickle easy took care of that.

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Interesting and versatile recipe. A vegetarian main, although it could easily accommodate meat.

I used some blue cheese with the mozzarella. Although the mozza melts nice and stringy, we both liked the taste of the blue with the eggplant, so might skip the mozzarella next time.

We thought a thin slice of tomato or maybe roasted red bell pepper might be nice. A thin slice of a dried ham might be good.

Next time I might skip the flour and just wipe a bit of oil on the eggplant and cook the sandwiches on a grill pan, rather than frying them.

Good as made, and lots of ideas go on with.

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29th December 2015 (edited: 1st January 2016)

Thai Chicken Salad

A main dish for two. Quite tasty, easy, and fast.

- I thought this was a trifle salty; Ed thought it was almost uneatably salty. This is odd, since he's usually the one adding salt at the table. There was too much sauce, so it might to do reduce the soy and fish sauces a bit.

- I used aiguillettes of duck, the small narrow muscle behind the breast proper, from the freezer, no skin involved. Worked fine. The somewhat stronger taste of duck compared to chicken breast is probably better.

- Oops, no carrots in the house! I peeled some broccoli stems for the crunch. They worked fine, but we missed the color.

- It's December and there's mint growing outside. Wonder if we'll have winter this year.

All in all, we liked this even though it was salty. A satisfying meal.

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365 Easy Mexican Recipes (John Boswell Associates Book)

By Marge Poore
William Morrow & Company - 1994

This was a really nice, simple-to-make side. I had no red potatoes, so used some small Amandines; didn't peel them, but did cut into quarters mostly. Put frozen peas into a sieve before draining the carrots there. Quite nice.

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365 Ways to Cook Pasta

By Marie Simmons
Harpercollins - 1996

A good take on a classic. Easy.
I used (homemade) seedless tomato sauce.

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