Main Courses

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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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…)

Zoodles with avo pesto cream and haloumi


I got home from exercising after work one night last week and the cheesy aroma of toasties hit me as I walked in the door.  “Hi”, hubby said. “Want toasties for dinner?” Whilst I was rapt he’d been proactive, thanks, but no thanks, I didn’t want toasties. I’m trying to avoid bread and starchy carbs at the moment. Why? Oh, you know…. I had a bloody good holiday and ate (and drank) with reckless abandon.  I refuse to weigh myself so I have no idea of the damage: I gauge my weight by the fit of my clothes.  Unfortunately my jeans and I to have momentarily parted being friends and, hell, a new skirt I got at the start of the December is saying “yeah nah, you can’t wear me!” Holy moly, it staggers me how quick I can do damage to my waistline.  Anyhow,  somewhat predictably, I’m on that post New Year’s health regime (and I’m motivated, so long may that continue) so no toasties weren’t really on my dinner cards.  With a rumbling tummy I rummaged in the fridge, fighting off cravings for bread or pasta. Then, out of nowhere, healthy, creative and delicious inspiration struck!  I love it when that happens.   This zoodle with avo pesto cream and haloumi dish was the result of that inspiration and cured me good and proper of my pasta and cheese cravings.   Conveniently I was aided by having a perfectly ripe avo on hand that needed devouring and I’d made a batch of basil pesto I’d made a few days previously.  FYI My stock standard pesto recipe is here by the way, noting the recipe is actually is for coriander pesto, but to make basil pesto just replace the calling for coriander with basil, easy as!

I posted a photo of this dish on my blog’s Facebook page and it got a bit of interest.  In fact, by the time I woke up the next morning, my UK foodie Aunty, Angie, had been to Tescos, made the recipe and eaten it and sent me a message of the finished dish with claims of “Delicious! We loved it and we’ll be making this again!”   Cool!  Since then two of my colleagues have made it for dinner and they’ve given me raving feedback.  Lastly, I’ve also made it again and this time I served it up to my vege-dodging husband.  He declared it “beautiful and delicious” (he’s not known for his compliments, so this is a revelation).

I know the recipe is on Facebook, but experience has taught me it’s not easy to re-find recipes I post there, so here it is, blogged, you know, all proper like. (more…)

Thai Chicken Cakes with Peanut Satay Sauce (kid friendly dinner!)

thai chicken cakes with peanut satay sauceMonday morning struck, I’m totes out of cooking inspiration.  I grabbed two chicken breasts out of the freezer to defrost and vowed that, by the time 5.30pm rocked around, I’d have thought of something vaguely creative and appetising to feed the family.  To be brutally honest, whilst I adore cooking, I don’t enjoy mid week cooking. Time is at the essence, we are all hangry and usually I’m cooking two meals to appease two foodie adults and one gorgeous, but bloody fussy eating, nine year old.   I don’t have enough time during the week, frankly, to faff around preparing two meals. But I usually do. Aggh.

But this is a good news story: Inspiration did strike in the form of these Thai Chicken Cakes – and – talk about hit the jackpot!  Despite my reservations, my boy scoffed this dinner!   Bear in mind my expectations were low: I didn’t have any hopes of him eating them with salad (or the satay sauce – and he didn’t… But it was easy to sub these out for carrot sticks and sweetcorn. I can deal with that without blowing a valve.  Anyway, dinner was totally delicious, it was a 30 minute dinner and it was EASY.  So easy, in fact, we’ve had this dinner twice this week!   (more…)

Tomato and Coconut Soup with Fish Dumplings

Tomato and Coconut soup with fish dumplingsI found this little ripper of a recipe in Cuisine magazine years ago.  I used to make this all the time when I was at uni and my (fellow foodie) buddy Ants would come over for dinner on a Sunday night. More often than not, I’d make this and we’d devour it. I also used to make this for the family I used to nanny for (I’d trek to work with my food processor tucked under one arm as they didn’t have one).  The kids used to polish this off.

I have also successfully made it substituting the fish with chicken (thighs or breasts, both work!). If you stay true to the recipe and use fish, be aware that the fish really takes hardly any time at all to cook. Note, you will need a food processor to make this. (more…)

Chorizo, chicken & bacon casserole

I’ve been trying to get a bit more organised with week night dinners lately and, at the same time, I’ve been getting creative with my slow cooker. The creativity for this dish started when I scored a six pack of chorizo sausages from Countdown on sale for $4 and figured I’d try my luck with them in the slow cooker. This was the result, purely trial and error – with, ha ha, no error. We’ll be having this warm and hearty dish again!

chorizo chicken and bacon slow cooker


Slow cooker BBQ Pulled Pork with Kicked-up Slaw

We’ve been having a fair bit of pork in our house, largely as I’ve been doing a bit of dinner prep in the morning and engaging my slow cooker in an attempt to eradicate ‘6.00pm dinner madness’.   So, as a lover of my slow cooker, pulled pork, and anything with a BBQ sauce (coz everything is better with a sauce, as I’m sure Manu from MKR would agree) I’ve been trying to perfect a slow cooker pulled pork recipe, accompanied by a BBQ sauce that’s got no refined sugar (Sugar Free September last year has changed how I view sugar for life).

Anyhow, I’ve been faffing around in my kitchen trying to perfect this recipe to get it to the point where it’s blogworthy. TAAA DAAA:  My kitchen play time is done: This is a mighty fine dinner I’m rapt to be sharing with you!   Bonus too: The delicious BBQ sauce is ‘sugar free’, though I have used honey to sweeten it (I wonder if apple puree would work? I’ll try that next time).   The addition of kicked up slaw is a must in my opinion: I can’t get enough Broccoslaw (as mentioned in my recent March favourites blog post) or Sriracha Hot Sauce at the moment.

Give this a go – I reckon you’ll rate it as much as we do!

PS: Do I need to mention that a great mayonnaise to use in the Kicked Up Slaw is this one?

PPS: This meal is delicious with cauliflower mash, roast potatoes, or good old fashioned mashed spuds.  Knock yourself out.

slow cooker pulled pork with kicked up slaw