Almond Pudding

This recipe for almond pudding is a middle eastern one, and I got it from Anissa Helou’s book, Sweet Middle East. The pudding is subtly flavored with almonds, and garnished with pistas. It is delicious, to say the least, eaten at room temperature or better still, cold from the refrigerator. And oh! I added regular granulated sugar instead of organic cane sugar to the pudding.

It is a simple pudding to make but I love its fresh, delicate taste. I must admit I had no clue how it would taste before making it, I’d never tried making something like this before, but I was pleasantly surprised when the pudding was ready.

And, here’s an interesting tidbit. This pudding is called Kishk Al-Fuqara in Arabic. Fuqara means poor in Arabic, but as the author herself says, none of the ingredients in this dish are associated with poverty so how the name came about is a mystery.

We’ve all relished a variety of middle eastern savory dishes but the sweets and desserts of this region remain unknown to many of us. Try this dessert at home, whether you’re a novice, cooking expert, traveler, or just a TV food programme addict.

Almond Pudding

Make this delicately flavored almond pudding for an occasion or anytime. Your folks will love it.

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 60 gms or 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 40 gms or 1/4 cup rice flour or cornstarch
  • 60 gms or 1/3 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • Some slivered or chopped pistachios
  1. Put 3 1/2 cups milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally-watch it toward the end so as not to let it boil over. As it starts to boil add the almond meal. Turn the heat to medium low and let simmer, stirring regularly, until the almond meal has softened, about 10 minutes.

  2. In a small bowl, mix the rice flour or cornstarch with the remaining 1/2 cup milk, stirring until completely smooth. Slowly whisk the starch mixture into the simmering milk and cook, whisking all the time, for about 5 minutes until the mixture has thickened.

  3. Add the sugar and continue whisking until completely dissolved. Taste and adjust the sugar to your liking. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond extract.

  4. Pour the pudding into one large serving bowl or 4 to 6 individual bowls. Let cool. Serve at room temperature garnished with pistachios or refrigerate to serve chilled, garnishing the pudding just before serving.

Punjabi Pakora Kadhi or Dumplings In A Sour Curd And Gram Flour Curry

This curry or kadhi as it is called in Hindi and Punjabi is a delightful yellow in color. The color being fabulous besides, it tastes great too. It is much sought after in Punjabi food restaurants and is made a lot in Punjabi homes. I’ve eaten it very often in my North Indian friends’ homes when we were in the Air Force.

I can’t help but think, that those times in the Air Force were so different. We lived in Air Force camps, all of us united as one family, no difference whether we were Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians or Jews. We never gave a thought to our neighbour’s religion. We shared our food, books, games, school, our feelings and our friendships. Our mothers were our backbones while our dads were out flying. Our parents were our strength and taught us never to discriminate. I’ve kept alive many friendships from those days, some forty years later. These are sad times when people fight over the most petty of matters and violence is the rule of the day. I hope my blog serves as a path to love and peace through cooking and food.

This recipe is inspired by one from Nita Mehta’s Vegetarian Curries, a small book which packs a delightful punch of vegetarian curries and other vegetarian recipes. It’s also reasonably priced. So you can get it from your favorite bookstore or online.

If you have elderly people in your home you can make the pakoras with grated onions and potatoes instead of finely chopped ones. The pakoras will literally melt in the mouth.

Punjabi Pakora Kadhi

Make this mouthwatering Punjabi style curry for your loved ones.

For Curry

  • 3/4 cup gram flour
  • 2 cups sour curd or yoghurt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • chilly powder to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 3-4 dry red chillies
  • 4-5 curry leaves

For Pakoras or Dumplings

  • 1 big onion, finely chopped
  • 1 big potato, finely chopped
  • 1/2 piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilly powder
  • A pinch of soda bicarbonate
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup gram flour
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Oil for frying

For Tempering or Tadka

  • 1 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp red chilly powder
  1. Mix curd, gram flour, salt, turmeric, red chilly powder and 5 1/2 cups water. Beat well till smooth and no lumps remain.

  2. In a heavy bottomed pan heat the oil and put in the cumin and fenugreek seeds.

  3. When the cumin seeds begin to turn brownish, add the dry red chillies and curry leaves. Fry for one minute.

  4. Add curd-water mixture and stir till it begins to boil. Then lower the flame and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring in between. Keep aside.

  5. Now to prepare the pakoras, mix the gram flour with water to make a paste like consistency. Add the rest of the ingredients for the pakoras except the oil which you must keep for frying them. Mix well.

  6. Heat the oil for frying and drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil and fry, gently turning the pakoras around, till they’re golden brown all over.

  7. Add pakoras to the curry a few minutes before serving. 

  8. To temper the curry, heat the oil in a small pan, reduce the flame and add cumin seeds, when they turn golden brown, add the red chilly powder and quickly remove the pan from the fire and overturn it onto the hot curry. Serve hot.

If you don’t have a love for chillies, like my dad, then add just the green chillies and no chilly powder anywhere else, like I have done.

Taste the curry when it is cooking and adjust for seasoning.

You may also sprinkle some finely chopped fresh coriander leaves as garnish before laying the curry on the table.

Saboodana Khichdi or Spiced Tapioca Pearls

Saboodana Khichdi, fresh from the pan.

Just like Julie Andrews sings These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things in the 1965 musical Sound of Music and goes on to tell us some of her favorite things in the song, if I sang this song, which I love, I would mention Saboodana Khichdi made by mom.

The recipe for this savory tapioca pearls snack, usually eaten for breakfast, at tea time, or during periods of fasting, because it doesn’t contain garlic, onions or even asafoetida, is an heirloom family recipe. And you must try it to believe how tasty the dish turns out.

I’d rate it as a slightly difficult dish to make because the saboodana or tapioca pearls must be bought fresh, not powdery in the packing, but whole rounds. They must be soaked in just the right quantity of water- just enough to soak them overnight, but not completely drowned in water. When you soak them in water like this they will swell up by the next morning. And you can move ahead with the recipe.

The swollen saboodana after soaking in water overnight

Roughly ground, roasted peanuts.
Potatoes chopped into small cubes, chillies, coriander, curry leaves, and lemon for garnish.
Saboodana mixed with sugar, green chillies, coriander, peanuts and salt.
Ready to eat Saboodana Khichdi

Saboodana Khichdi

Eat this tasty snack for breakfast or teatime, hot and fresh.

  • 200 gms saboodana or tapioca pearls
  • 6 tbsps ghee or clarified butter
  • 1 tspn cumin seeds
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 2 medium sized potatoes, chopped into small cubes
  • 1 cup roasted, peeled and roughly ground peanuts
  • Some finely chopped coriander
  • 2 to 3 finely chopped green chillies
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 lemon cut into 4 slices
  1. Take a medium sized, flat, broad based vessel. Put in the saboodana and soak in water about 1/4 inch above the level of the saboodana. Don’t let the saboodana drown in too much water. Let soak overnight. In the morning, the saboodana should have soaked in all the water, swollen up and if you press one, it should not have a hard centre.

  2. Put the ghee in a thick bottomed pan and heat on medium flame. When hot put in the cumin seeds and curry leaves and fry till a nice aroma emanates, about one minute. Ensure that the cumin seeds do not burn and turn black. 

  3. Now put in the chopped potatoes into the ghee and add just enough salt for only the potatoes. Cover the pan with a thali, put some water on top of the thali and let the potatoes cook on a slow flame.

  4. Meanwhile, lightly toss the soaked saboodana in its vessel. Add the green chillies, finely chopped coriander, sugar, roughly ground peanuts and just enough salt for the saboodana. Remember, you’ve already added some salt to the potatoes.

  5. Now, bring down the cooked potato pan from the flame and put the saboodana into the pan, quickly and gently tossing and mixing. 

  6. Put back the pan on the flame and cook on low flame for 2 to 3 minutes. Your saboodana khichdi is ready. Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve hot.

The soaked saboodana should not be soggy and should not have a hard centre when pressed. It should have swollen when soaked overnight and the water should have been absorbed.

When tossing the saboodana before adding the peanuts, green chillies, chopped coriander leaves and salt, toss gently to separate the pearls so that they don’t stick to each other, so that when you add this saboodana mix to the pan of cooked potatoes, they do not stick and form lumps but are beautiful, separate, pearls.

Aloo Parathas With A Difference

You’ve eaten aloo parathas or Indian breads made with whole wheat flour and a stuffing of spiced mashed potatoes. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t like them. They’re so yum, you can have a hearty breakfast of them or even have them as part of a meal.

This recipe is a twist on the regular aloo paratha. Instead of filling the spiced potato mix in the dough after binding it, in my version, I mix the mashed potatoes and spices with the dough and bind them all together. Believe it or not, this way, when you cook the parathas, they’re so soft and melt in the mouth that you won’t be able to stop at just one.

Children and especially older people love them because as I said they’re so soft. Not just that, they taste awesome too. So next time you plan to make aloo parathas try them my way. Infact, my granny made these for mom for her tiffin box and all mom’s classmates would pounce on them and polish them off in the wink of an eye.

So here’s the recipe.

Aloo Parathas With A Difference

The epitome of homemade, eat them freshly made, hot from the tawa(skillet).

  • 500 gms boiled, peeled and grated potatoes
  • 3 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilly-ginger paste
  • salt to taste
  • A handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • Some flour to sprinkle on the discs while rolling
  1. Put the boiled and grated potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add the three cups of whole-wheat flour to the potatoes.

  2. Add the onions, spices, chilly ginger paste, salt and the fresh, finely chopped coriander to the potato flour mix.

  3. Now put in the oil, a little at a time, gently binding the dough as you go along. The dough should be firm, not too soft.

  4. Divide the dough into 12 equal sized balls.

  5. Put a skillet on the stove on medium flame.

  6. Take a ball of dough and with a rolling pin, roll out a circle of approximately 5 1/2 to 6 inches. You may want to sprinkle flour to help roll out the circle of dough.

  7. Now, lay the disc on the skillet and cook on each side till brown spots appear. Reduce or increase the flame, adjusting it to control the heat while cooking the paratha. Spread a teaspoon of butter or ghee on the cooked paratha. Similarly make the remaining parathas.

Sprinkle a little dry flour on the discs while rolling them out. This will make it easier to roll them out.

To keep the parathas hot while you finish making them, keep them wrapped in a clean, cotton cloth napkin. 

British vs American Terms Used In Baking

Photo credit: Jordane Mathieu

How often does the name of an ingredient or a piece of baking equipment leave us totally bewildered? What does the term mean? Some people call cookies biscuits, the American version is cookies and the British version, biscuits. There are so many words like these and depending on which book you’re referring to, a British publication or an American one, or more confounding still, an Australian one, baking ingredients and equipment can confuse. And then of course there is the Indian version too, and it gets even more confusing. But mostly, Indians used British English because of our historical past. Now however, with the internet and so much of American influence, many people use the American equivalents here in India too.

I took these ingredient and equipment terms from a wonderful book called The Best of Baking.

So here are some British baking terms with their American equivalents. I’d love it if you’d add to these in the comment section of this post.


apple, cooking (British) / apple, baking (American)

apple purée (British) / apple sauce (American)

bicarbonate or soda (British) / baking soda (American)

biscuits (British) / crackers or cookies (American)

biscuit mixture (British) / cookie dough (American)

black treacle (British) / molasses (American)

cake mixture (British) / cake batter (American)

chocolate caraque (British) chocolate curls (American)

chocolate, plain (British) / chocolate, semisweet (American)

chocolate vermicelli (British) / chocolate sprinkles (American)

cocoa powder (British) / unsweetened cocoa (American)

coconut, dessicated (British) / coconut, shredded (American)

cornflour (British) / cornstarch (American)

cream, single (British) / cream, light (American)

cream, double (British) / cream, heavy (American)

digestive biscuits (British) / graham crackers (American)

flour, plain (British) / flour, all purpose (American)

gelatine (British) / gelatin (American)

glacé cherries (British) / candied cherries (American)

icing (British) / frosting (American)

raisins, seedless (British) / raisins, seeded (American)

scones (British) / biscuits (American)

semolina (British) / semolina flour (American)

shortcrust pastry (British) / basic pie dough (American)

soured cream (British) / sour cream (American)

sugar, icing (British) / sugar, confectioners’ (American)

sultanas (British) / seedless white raisins (American)

vanilla pod (British) / vanilla bean (American)

yeast, fresh [25 gms, 1 oz] (British) / yeast, compressed [1cake] (American)


baking tray (British) / baking sheet (American)

base ( British) / bottom (American)

cake board (British) / cake plate (American)

cling film (British) / plastic wrap (American)

cocktail stick (British) / toothpick (American)

deep cake tin (British) / spring form pan (American)

double saucepan (British) / double boiler (American)

dough or mixture (British) / batter (American)

flan tin (British) / pie pan (American)

grease proof paper (British) / wax paper (American)

knock back dough (British) / punch down dough (American)

liquidiser (British) / blender (American)

loaf tin (British) / loaf pan (American)

muslin (British) / cheesecloth (American)

palette knife (British) / spatula (American)

pastry or biscuit cutter (British) / cookie cutter (American)

pastry case (British) / pie shell (American)

piping pag (British) / pastry bag (American)

polythene (British) / plastic (American)

prove dough (British) / rise dough (American)

pudding basin (British) / oven proof bowl or pudding mold (American)

sandwich tin (British) / layer cake pan (American)

stoned (British) / pitted (American)

sugar thermometer (British) / candy thermometer (American)

Swiss roll tin (British) / jelly roll pan (American)

whisk eggs (British) / beat eggs (American)

Black Pepper, Dark Chocolate, And Cranberry Bread

This fantastic bread inspired by and adapted from Samantha Seneviratne’s recipe is worth dying for! It’s healthy, not so much sugar or butter in it and tasty too, the freshly ground pepper gives it a luxurious, smoky flavor. Seneviratne has Sri Lankan roots and her baking recipes contain delicious spices grown in her homeland.

Make it for guests, they will love it, and eat it warm from the oven. Of course you can store it in the fridge, Ahmedabad summers don’t allow you to keep anything outside for too long, and eat it cold, it still tastes awesome.

The pepper flavor in it intensifies over a period of a day or two. And I put in a real pepper punch, 2 teaspoons instead of 1 1/2 like she said. Then I also used cranberries instead of tart cherries because I didn’t have them and used salted butter instead of unsalted. The bread came out fabulous.

So go ahead and enjoy the recipe.

Black Pepper, Dark Chocolate And Cranberry Bread

Delicious, with chocolate chunks, cranberries and a pepper punch so good this bread is a bite of heaven.

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 255 gms (2 cups) plain flour, plus more for dusting the pan
  • 2 tspns freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tspns baking powder
  • 1/2 tspn soda bicarbonate or baking soda
  • 1/2 tspn salt, if you’re using unsalted butter.
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 65 gms (1/2 cup) semisweet chocolate (50-60% cacao), chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/ 175 degrees C. Grease and flour a 4 1/2 inch by 8 1/2 inch loaf pan.

  2. In a medium bowl, mix the plain flour, pepper, baking powder, soda bicarbonate, and salt if using.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then add the vanilla.

  4. Add half the flour mix, and beat gently until just combined. Add the sour cream and milk and mix briefly. Add the remaining flour and beat until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks and cranberries.

  5. Put the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until golden brown in color, approximately 50 minutes, or when a skewer inserted into the bread comes out with some moist crumbs sticking to it.

  6. Let the bread cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove the loaf from the pan, turn it right side up, and let it cool completely.

Go by your nose when it comes to checking to see if the cake is baked, not just the time given in the recipe. Every oven is different and if the cake smells baked it’s time to take it out of the oven even if it’s sooner than the given time in the recipe.

Sprouted Fenugreek And Potato Vegetable

Sprouted fenugreek or methi dana as it is called in Hindi is excellent for health. Fenugreek sprouts aid in digestion and help lower blood sugar levels and so are great for diabetics. They also help reduce acidity. These tiny wonder shoots also prevent dandruff and give you radiant skin. Fascinating?!

So today, I’m posting a delicious recipe for fenugreek sprouts and potato vegetable. I’ve made this recipe with sprouted fenugreek seeds (seeds soaked for 24 to 36 hours) and they look like the picture above when they sprout, with little shoots on them. Of course you can make them with soaked fenugreek seeds too. Then you must soak them not until they sprout but until they just swell up and turn a little sticky.

The vegetable is a little bitter because of the fenugreek in it but it is very tasty. Try it and I promise you will love it.

Get healthy! in the most delicious way possible.

Fenugreek Sprouts And Potato Vegetable

Made my granny and mom style, this recipe is delicious.

  • 1/2 cup cleaned fenugreek seeds soaked in 1 cup water for 24 to 36 hours
  • 500 gms boiled and peeled potatoes cut into small pieces
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 3/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tsp chilly-ginger paste
  • Chilly powder to taste
  • Salt to taste
  1. Measure I cup of sprouted fenugreek seeds and keep the rest in the fridge to eat a teaspoon at a time every day.

  2. In a small bowl mix the spices-turmeric powder, coriander powder, asafoetida and chilly ginger paste- with two tablespoons of water. Keep aside.

  3. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Put in the cumin and mustard seeds and when they begin to pop put in the spice mix. Staying away from the fire, stir and cook for a minute or two.

  4. Now add the chopped tomatoes and cook till the oil separates from the tomatoes and spices.

  5. Add the fenugreek sprouts and 3/4 cup water and cover and cook for 5 to 6 minutes on a slow flame.

  6. Uncover, add the potatoes. Add chilly powder and salt to taste. Cook for 3-4 minutes more. Adjust the spices to taste.

  7. Serve hot with Indian breads: chapatis or parathas.

Go ahead and make this recipe with soaked or sprouted fenugreek seeds. Either way, the dish will taste yummy.

To sprout the fenugreek seeds, soak them in a bowl of 1 cup water. Initially they will swell up. Now remove the excess water from the bowl, allow to sit in a covered bowl or in a wet, squeezed muslin cloth, and depending on the temperature in your area, the shoots will sprout in about 24 to 36 hours.

Peanut Butter Cookies


Have a fascination for peanuts, peanut butter and cookies too? This may be just the combination for you. Peanut butter cookies. Eat them warm or cool, but they won’t stay long in those airtight containers. Because they’re so damn delicious. With pieces of chunky peanuts, besides the peanut butter itself in the batter, these are irresistible.

Peanuts grow in Saurashtra, close to where I live in Ahmedabad, and every year in January when we go to the village we get back peanuts with us, peanuts in their covers, and peanuts the covers of which have been removed. So with so many peanuts, we make all kinds of dishes. We put them in poha( spiced flattened rice), we add them to dals, we fry them and eat them mixed with onions and spices and we make chutnies with them. And of course, peanut butter cookies! Life doesn’t get better than this.

I’ve chosen this recipe of peanut butter cookies from The Cookie And Biscuit Bible. The book is full of goodies you can make, from cookies and biscuits, to brownies and chocolates.

So here is the recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes 20-24


115 gms/ 1/2 cup butter at room temperature, diced

125 gms/ 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 egg

5 ml/ 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

225 gms/ 1 cup crunchy peanut butter

50 gms peanuts

115 gms/ 1 cup plain ( all purpose) flour

2.5 ml/ 1/2 teaspoon soda bicarbonate ( baking soda)

pinch of salt


1 In a medium or large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer till light and fluffy.

2 In a small bowl mix the egg and vanilla essence, then mix into the butter mixture.

3 Stir in the peanut butter and peanuts and blend thoroughly.

4 Sift the flour, soda bicarbonate and salt into the mixture and stir gently to form a soft dough. Donot overmix.

5 Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes until firm.

6 Preheat oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F/ gas 4. Grease two baking sheets.

7 Take teaspoons full of the dough, make into balls, press flat into rounds and make a criss cross pattern with the tines of a fork. They should each be 6 cms in diameter. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes or until lightly colored.

8 Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Once cooled you can store them in an airtight container.


Kacha Pakka Carrot Vegetable

Ours is a polarized country, a polarized world even. Still, we all want to be happy. This post includes a recipe, yes, but I am also writing this post because peace and love and unity are important for humankind. I want peace and unity between India and Pakistan and Hindus and Muslims within India.

Below is a poem I wrote some years ago that sadly is still relevant today.

The scourge of barbed wire fences,

The scourge of urban ghettos,

The scourge of my brother under subjection.

When did we turn against each other?

Spew venom and hatred at each other?

Divide ourselves across borders,

Hindus, Muslims? Indians, Pakistanis?


There is no worse vice than this,

When we behave this way,

Mazhab nahi sikhaata, aapas mein bair rakhnaa,

But we trample upon human goodness,

Hide behind past lives and reincarnation.

The scourge of barbed wire fences,

The scourge of urban ghettos,

The scourge of my brother under subjection.


I’m moving on to the recipe I mentioned to you about earlier. I’m happy when I cook and blog, and we all strive for joy.

This recipe is called Kacha Pakka Carrot Vegetable or semi cooked carrot vegetable.

Serves 4-6


750 gms peeled and grated winter carrots

3 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

10-12 curry leaves

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/4 teaspoon asafoetida

Chilly powder to taste

Salt to taste


1 Heat the oil in a deep bottomed pan on medium heat.

2 Add the mustard seeds and when they begin to pop, add the curry leaves. They will begin to sputter.

3 Add the turmeric powder and asafoetida. Cook for a few seconds.

4 Put in the grated carrots, chilly powder and salt and cook on high heat for 3 to 4 minutes.

5 Remove from flame and serve hot.





Fruit Mincemeat


I got this recipe from a lovely cookbook in the British Library many years ago. The book was so good that I photocopied it from end to end but unfortunately didn’t copy the cover page. Strangely enough nowhere inside was the name of the book written. So I’m at a complete loss as to who the author of this wonderful fruit mincemeat recipe is.

The recipe is not very boozy and although the original recipe had brandy in it I put rum instead. I’ve also changed the quantities of some of the fresh and tinned fruits in it.

This makes an excellent gift for someone who likes to bake. You can make mince pies, marzipan mince tarts, mince muffins: the delicious list is endless. Fruit mincemeat is usually made at Christmas time but since here in Ahmedabad all the fresh fruits are still in season, I decided to give it a go.

So here is the recipe.


Fruit Mincemeat

Makes 1 kg


450 gms mixed dried fruit such as raisins, candied peel, candied ginger, cranberries, currants

25 gms glacé cherries, chopped

25 gms blanched almonds, chopped

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, grated nutmeg, ground cloves and mixed spice

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon and half orange

55 gms soft brown sugar

55 gms butter

55 gms tinned pineapple, chopped

1 banana, chopped

1 dessert apple, grated

100 gms grapes, halved

2 tablespoons rum


1 Put the dried fruit, cherries, almonds, spices and zest and juice into a mixing bowl and leave to soak for 2 to 3 hours.

2 Stir in the sugar.

3 Melt the butter in a large saucepan, and on high heat toss the fresh and tinned fruit for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool completely.

4 Mix the the cooled fresh and tinned fruit with the dried fruit. Add the rum and give it a good stir.

5 Cover and store in the refrigerator for no more than a week or in the freezer for 3 months.