Tandoori Chicken with Mango Raita and Coconut Rice

I shared one of our family’s new(ish) favourite dinners on my Instagram story last night and the people went CRAZY! I can’t remember the last time I had such a requested recipe. So here we go, here’s an utterly unauthentic recipe for Tandoori Chicken with Mango Raita and Coconut Rice. Don’t die of shock that I’ve posted on my blog: Yeah, I know it’s been a hot minute. I have a website… Who knew?

By the way, sorry about the crap photo – I didn’t realise I’d be posting it on here and I don’t have another photo to use. Oh well! Side note, I really need to get some of those fancy backdrops for photos, like, you know: A real food blogger… Snort.

Tandoori paste for the chicken – you can use any.  I bought some Tit’illating Tandoori Paste by Pepper and Me from my local Bin Inn (my best Lockdown find, didn’t know Rotorua Bin Inn stocked Pepper and Me (#obsessed #happydays). The inclusion of the mango in the raita means my cucumber-dodging teenager will happily eat it. I pretty much only use Puhoi Valley Greek Yogurt in this recipe: I love the creamy texture, it’s not too tart… In fact, I can, and do, eat this right out of the tub by the spoonful. As for the coconut rice, well: It’s a bit indulgent, but feel free to cook regular rice, sans coconut cream.

As for the chicken – ditch any thoughts of using chicken breast: Thigh is where it’s at. I love thigh: It’s hard to overcook. Ha. The chutney I used on the side of this is a South African Classic – Here’s a link to it at Countdown – it’s easily available: Here in NZ at least!

Tandoori Chicken with Mango Raita and Coconut Rice


  • 6 chicken thighs – skinless and boneless
  • 4 tlb tandoori paste
  • 3 tlb natural Greek Yogurt (I use Puhoi Valley)
  • Coconut Rice
  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 1 (400 ml) can coconut milk
  • 1+ ½ cups of water
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Raita
  • 1 can mango, drained and diced
  • ¾ telegraph cucumber, diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • ½ - ¾ cup of yogurt
  • 1.5 cup of spinach leaves, finely diced
  • Large handful of mint leaves, chopped (can also use coriander)
  • 1 tsp lemon or lime juice
  • ½ tsp of chilli flakes/fresh diced chilli or chilli powder (optional) – optional
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Optional to serve: Mrs Balls Chutney


  1. Chicken: In a large bowl, combine yogurt and tandoori paste. Pat chicken dry. Add to the paste. Stir to combine. Cover then pop in the fridge, ideally overnight to marinade, but an hour will work at a pinch! To cook: Pull the chicken out of the marinade and cook via one of the following methods: Airfryer - 180 degrees, 20 minutes (turning half way through); BBQ: Cook on an oiled grill on the BBQ at a high temp for for 3 mins each side; Oven bake: Preheat oven to 200 deg C; Place the chicken in an oiled roasting tin. Drizzle with melted butter and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. After cooking (regardless of method): Cover with foil and let it rest for 5 mins. Slice.
  3. Rice: In a medium sized pot, rinse the jasmine rice several times until the water runs clear. Drain any excess water and add the coconut milk, water and salt. Bring to a gentle boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for covered for 15 minutes. After 15 mins, turn the heat off, and let sit for 8 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.
    Raita: Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Serve the rice, alongside the chicken and raita (and Mrs Balls Chutney) Add some sliced tomatoes if you want to get really fancy. Garnish with chopped mint or coriander.
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The Skin Wardrobe Must Haves

My must-haves from The Skin Wardrobe? Good question!

It’s no secret that I have fallen, hook line and sinker, in love with The Skin Wardrobe, a Kiwi-owned business that imports Scandi Beauty.

To think this all started when The Skin Wardrobe Catherine got chatting to a mutual friend, Melissa at the school gates (thank for the intro Melissa!). Catherine subsequently reached out via Insta to say hi and ask if I’d like to try a blush brush! The rest is history. Fast forward, I own a substantial amount of the range (some gifted, some purchased myself). I reach for The Skin Wardrobe products on the daily.

Here’s my The Skin Wardrobe Must Haves…

Side note, I tried to pick my top 5 products, but couldn’t… So here are my top 11 instead.

the skin wardrobe must haves

MaketheMake Vitamin B Flawless Filter Foundation – Scrumdiddliumptious for normal, combo and oil skinned peeps, this medium to full coverage foundation applies with a matte finish. By God, it lasts all day.

How to apply? I reckon it’s best applied with the MaketheMake Sheer foundation brush (also a fave, keep reading) OR, a beauty blender.

Three tips: Take your time blending it in, this isn’t a foundation you can apply in 30 secs. Secondly, don’t judge how it looks straight off – this looks its best after a few mins: It settles magically into the skin. Thirdly, dry skin girls, drop some foundation onto the back of your hand and mix in one or two drops of facial oil – voila – perfection, you’ll get a lovey slightly dewy glow.

Another top tip, because I’m that excited about this foundation, on days when you just want a little bit of coverage, use a reduced amount of this foundation, add a drop of moisturizer, and mix: There’s your tinted moisturizer. You are welcome.   

For colour reference, I’m the colour N3 in summer and when I use fake tan in winter. Otherwise, my no tan, winter colour, is 2.5.

Edit: September 2021: I still love this foundation – but I’m now wearing The Omega Stick Foundation on the daily – it’s heavenly. 

the skin wardrobe must haves

MaketheMake Capric Face Palette (apricot)… Long story short, I can’t remember when I last used a different blush or highlighter. This is a multi-palette with three different shades and functions: Blurring or finishing powder, blush, and highlighter. For the blurring powder, use this after your foundation to set it in place. It has a slight glow to it – I love using this at night (I find that it doesn’t quite ‘lock’ my foundation in place for all-day wear, but she’s fab at night). The blush is divine. If you’ve watched my Insta in the last few months, it’s all I’ve worn. Note, I’ve tried the Berry palette, I much preferred the tone of the Apricot palette.

the skin wardrobe must haves

MaketheMake Capric Golden Bronzing Palette – I was gifted this, full disclaimer. It is stunning and rivals the Hourglass spendy (but gorg) bronzing palettes. I use the matt bronzer to contour and the one in the middle to bronze my cheekbones and on my forehead where I’d usually tan for a sun-kissed glow. This whole palette, incidentally, is stunning as an eyeshadow palette in its own right: Use the matt shade through your eye socket and blend the shit out of it. Then, run the glowy (middle) bronze colour all over your eyelid and pop some of the highlighter on the centre of your eyelid and on your brow bone. A bit of eyeliner, a lick of mascara, good to go!

Top tip: This palette will bring you back to life if you are hungover, so get it before Xmas and New Year. I have the shade deep, though I think I could equally have got the light one.

Lernberger Stafsing Toner Mist – This the second time I’ve purchased this bottle of glorious-ness. Oily skinned girls GET IN: I credit the niacinamide ingredient in helping me, finally, get on top of my oily skin! $60 well spent, which is a big claim, as this is at the upper end of what I like to spend on skincare.

This toner is so good, I bought a bottle for my teenage son to help get 14-year-old breakouts under control. I need to buy bottle number three shortly. Tip: You can also use this to set your makeup, or freshen-it up during the day.  

the skin wardrobe must haves
These look a bit manky. Just keepin’ it real with not-so-spotless makeup! LOL!

MaketheMake Niacinamide Soft Focus Primer – Disclaimer, this isn’t the best at helping keep my foundation on (I’m an oily skin girl that’s always battled with makeup sliding off). What I do love about this, however, is that it both blurs the pores slightly (I’ve got big ones, so I’m a good test) and it adds glow – which is fantastic on makeup clients with dry skin.

MaketheMake Hyaluronic Light Diffusing Highlighter – Turns out this has won a shit-tonne of awards. I can see why. It’s got fine light-reflecting (pearl, apparently) pigments, which leave a natural glowy finish. Dry skinned girls: Mix this in with your foundation, sit back and watch the magic happen! I apply this at the end of my makeup along the top of my cheekbones and in the inner corner of my eye, using my index finger to pat it in and blend.

Oh, I do love me a cream highlighter and this is, particularly if you have aging skin, a delight: Cream products are less harsh (long story short, I could write a whole new blog post on that topic!).

This Hyaluronic Light Diffusing Highlighter is every bit as good as my other fave highlighter, MAC Hush Cream Colour Base. Now, all that said, I don’t use this as much as I used to, coz… Read above.

Maria Akerberg Dual Cosmetic Pencil Sharpener – Best sharpener I’ve ever used. Sorry MAC. It’s got two holes – one for big pencils, one for your regular sized skinny numbers. It’s got German precision blades. Flash. This would be an outstanding Christmas stocking filler for a beauty lover who thinks they’ve got all the Beauty Things. Also, it’s only ten buckers.

MaketheMake Brushes: I’ve raved about these before: The Sheer Foundation Brush, Bronzing Brush and Sheer Blush Brush. They are my most reached for brushes: As a makeup artist and makeup junkie – I own a lot of makeup brushes, so this is quite the endorsement!

Maria Akerberg Hand Cream Beautiful – OMG. I’m an old lady writing a blog post that includes hand cream. This is simply wonderful.

the skin wardrobe must haves

MaketheMake Squalane Melting Foundation – Quite probably the most random beauty product, but a stunner. This is a versatile, buildable foundation that comes in a powder, but then melts into a silky cream on your skin for a natural, luminous finish. I use this to set my foundation on days when I want super full coverage, like a night out. I love that you can use it as a foundation – OR as a powder. In all honesty, I haven’t quite worked out how it works: But I love it. I’m the shade N3 (same as my foundation).

the skin wardrobe must haves

MaketheMake Vitamin C Soft Compact Bronzer – This is a foolproof, stunning bronzer. If you are new to makeup and think your skin could do with a bit of waking up – get this one. It’s golden, but not Trumpy orange. The result is an ‘alive’ sunkissed finish. Not sparkly,  it has more of a matte finish. I recommend this product to so many people. Why? Because it works for everyone. When I travel, I take this, I love the gigantic mirror: I can see my whole face. I apply this with the bronzing brush mentioned in number 6 above. You can also use a blush brush. I’m the colour SB2 as a point of reference.

I’d like to say “and that’s it”, but in all honesty, there are so many more products from The Skin Wardrobe that I think are must haves. So, this is just your starter list team! Sorry, not sorry. A notable mention, I think, is the Xlash Cosmetics eyelash serum. I’m three weeks in and think Magic Things are starting to happen, but I want to reserve judgment for six weeks: Which is usually when lash serum takes its full effect (Edit – September 2021, have patience with this, it takes a while, but it does happen).

Groan… I just realized I didn’t include the MaketheMake Concealer brush. Dammit, Janet.

See the problem with this range? It’s all epic!  There are just so many The Skin Wardrobe Must-Haves. What are your must haves from The Skin Wardrobe? Let me know!

Lastly, don’t forget I have a discount code you can use for The Skin Wardrobe purchases – Lou5 will hook you up with 5% discount. It all counts, right?

PS Here’s a photo of me wearing: The Flawless Filter Foundation, Golden Bronzing Palette, Capri apricot palette, and… a whole heap of other products!

the beauty foodie


Anti-chafing shorts: Say bye to chub rub

Chub rub shorts. Anti-chafing shorts – basically shorts that save your inner thighs from getting chafed from chub when wearing skirts and dresses. Such preventative measures mean you don’t walk around on holiday walking like a cowboy e.g. putting a big downer on life. A lot of the places online focus more on shorts for men for holidays, like those you can see here, but having these during such times can be a real lifesaver.

As a curvy girl, ahead of a work trip to India & Singapore (Delhi would be 40+ degrees) I needed anti-chafing shorts. I got some and road tested ’em. Here’s my findings.

Background – Anti Chafing Shorts

I put the call out a few months back and put out the call on Facebook and Instagram: “I’m going away to a very hot climate and don’t want chub rub. I need some anti-chafing shorts: What do you recommend?” Bugger me, this struck a chord: I got quite the response!

Armed with All the Intel, I set off to Tauranga and Mt Maunganui with my dear friend Portia (and her son – he joined in helping!) on an Anti-Chafing Shorts Shopping Mission. I didn’t bother to look in Rotorua, frankly, we are limited for shopping options – let’s not go there. Suffice to say there are one thousand reasons people should visit Rotorua (check out this blog post), but shopping is not on that list!

Here’s the suggestions I received for anti-chafing shorts:

anti-chafing shorts


Bali Blog: Where to stay

Villa Desa Roro
Villa Desa Roro

I’d been to Bali on various business trips, coming in on a Business Visa Bali but never as a tourist! I figured it was about time I enjoyed the Island for it’s most well-known features. So, last July we took off to Bali with friends: 7 nights at a fancy villa, then another week, just hubby and I: No kid. Just us… Bali bliss. This villa wasn’t exactly like the luxurious beachfront villas you would find on Isle Blue, but it definitely had everything we needed for a relaxing time. We enjoyed our holiday so much we are going back to Bali in August, this time with our boy, for a week. Since that holiday I’ve had so many people reach out asking for tips and recommendations. Questions include ‘where to stay?’ Or, ‘do we choose a villa or a hotel?’ are key FAQs. There’s an abundance of accommodation options in Bali and trying to decide where to stay can be mind-boggling – I know, I’ve been there! So, here’s a post that I hope might help if you are trying to navigate how to holiday in Bali.

Where to stay? What location?

Firstly, a disclaimer, I don’t have all the answers. We were in Bali for just under two weeks and we stayed in four different locations, three different places in Seminyak and at a resort in Ubud. There are a whole heap more locations in Bali that you could stay, including plenty of budget accommodation options – but I can’t tell you about these: I haven’t been there yet.

With that out of the way, knowing what I know now about Bali if this is your first trip I’d recommend staying half of your time in Seminyak or Canguu, then heading northeast into the cooler climes of the mountain town of Ubud.

What’s the deal with each location? Here’s a breakdown – of the only four locations I know! (more…)

Gooey Chocolate Torte

Gooey Chocolate torteI whipped up this Gooey Chocolate Torte last night ahead of The Neighbours coming over for dinner (and ahead of a quick trip to the pub for pre-dinner drinks).

Now, when some food bloggers say “they whipped X up” I do a slight eye roll. Rarely, IMHO, do foodie bloggers whip something up. However, I promise, this WAS whipped up.  It took 7 mins to prep then 35 mins to bake.  Now, I’m sharing the recipe as I posted the steps as I made it on my Instagram story – and never have I had as many messages as since I had Botox in Bali.  I personally find reading recipes on Insta a pain in the bum… So because I’m occasionally thoughtful, here’s the recipe here too!

So here’s the recipe for my Gooey Chocolate Torte which takes extra brownie points for being made in ONE POT = Sod all dishes my friends. You are welcome.


Pulled Pork Hawker Rolls

pulled pork hawker rollsPulled Pork Hawker Rolls: My new favourite food.

When we went to Queenstown on holiday in January a number of blog followers told me we had to go to Josh Emmett’s Madam Woo. We listened. Unfortunately, we didn’t have Hawker Rolls and I got told off. Apparently, these are “the schizz”. 

Back up the bus. What’s a hawker roll? Malaysian street food, in the form of a deliciously decadent fried roti filled with the freshest, tastiest meats, veggies and sauces.  Think humble wrap, or a burrito, on steriods, that’s what a hawker roll is.

So, as I can follow rules sometimes, we went back the next day and had Hawker Rolls for lunch. I died and went to culinary heaven.  Yes, I wholeheartedly concur, these were ‘The Schizz’.  

On our return home,  with me still happily reminiscing my first Hawker Roll mouthful, I played around in the kitchen. Eventually, thanks in part to my Aussie friend Tam who sent me this amazeballs pulled pork recipe (which I slightly adapted), I came up with this tasty dish: Pulled Pork Hawker Rolls.  The last three dinners I’ve cooked for friends has been this: It is both a showstopper and crowd pleaser!   

Now, I know the recipe might look complicated, but it’s not: It’s one of those ‘whack it in the slow cooker and forget about it for a while’ type dishes. In fact, when I made this on Sunday, I got everything prepped, popped it in the slow cooker and sent Hubby a text asking him to turn it on at 12 noon. Off I went to the beach, returning four hours later to delicious cooking smells wafting through my house. This is my kind of dinner party dish. (more…)