Red Hot Chilli Peppers Meet Lamb Rogan Josh in this 3rd Dip from 50 Easy Indian Curries by Penny Chawla

Red hot chilli peppers meet Lamb Rogan for this 3rd Dip of 50 Easy Indian Curries (Smith Street Books, March 22) by Penny Chawla, the self styled 'curry queen' of Sydney.

Lamb Rogan Josh

Serves 4

A famed dish from the beautiful state of Kashmir, the fiery red colour of rogan josh comes from the chillies that are added in generous quantities. Rogan josh is usually cooked with tomatoes, but they are omitted here to allow the flavour of the lamb to shine through even more. 

Rogan Josh


1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) boneless lamb shoulder or leg, cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) pieces

375 g (1 1/2 cups) natural yoghurt

1 teaspoon sea salt

60 g (2 oz) ghee

1 cinnamon stick

2 teaspoons green cardamom pods, bruised

4 brown or black cardamom pods, bruised

1/2 teaspoon cloves

3 onions, chopped

2 tablespoons ginger and garlic paste

1 tablespoon Kashmiri chilli powder

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

large handful of coriander (cilantro), chopped

1 teaspoon garam masala

Paratha, to serve


Combine the lamb, yoghurt and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a large bowl. Cover and set aside to marinate.

Heat the ghee in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the cinnamon, cardamom pods and cloves and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the onion and remaining salt, reduce the heat to medium–low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20–25 minutes, until golden brown. Add the ginger and garlic paste and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.

Add the lamb mixture, chilli powder, paprika and turmeric to the pan. Mix well and bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 11/4–11/2 hours, until the lamb is tender. Stir in the coriander and garam masala and season, to taste.

Serve with paratha on the side.

(* Reproduced with permission from 50 Easy Indian Curries (Smith Street Books, March 22) by Penny Chawla, the self styled 'curry queen' of Sydney. Photo copyright: Emily Weaving)

Rub the Fish, Bengali Fish Curry Recipe via 50 Easy Indian Curries from Smith Street Books by Penny Chawla

Rub the fish!

Here are second dibs from 50 Easy Indian Curries (Smith Street Books, March 22) by Penny Chawla, the self styled 'curry queen' of Sydney.

Bengali Fish Curry

Serves 4

Bengalis love their fish. Whether it’s served for lunch or dinner, at an engagement or wedding, fish will always appear on the menu. This recipe is one of the simplest to make. The mustard paste gives the dish a slight wasabi-like kick, without overpowering the delicate fish. The best way to eat it is to ditch that cutlery and use your fingers.


4 x 150 g–200 g (5 1/2 oz–7 oz) mackerel steaks

sea salt

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

3/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

1 small onion, roughly chopped

6 small green chillies or 4 long green chillies

60 ml (1/4 cup) mustard oil or vegetable oil

4 fresh or dried bay leaves

lemon wedges, to serve

Steamed basmati rice to serve

Bengali Fish Curry


Rub the fish with a sprinkling of salt and half the turmeric.

Grind the mustard seeds in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Blend the ground mustard seeds, onion and half the chillies in the small bowl of a food processor or blender to a smooth paste. Add a small amount of water to get the mixture moving, if necessary.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium–high heat. Cook the fish for 1–2 minutes each side or until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate.

Add the onion paste, remaining turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the bay leaves to the pan, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes or until fragrant. Add 375 ml (11/2 cups) of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then return the fish to the pan and add the remaining chillies. Reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer, covered, for 5–6 minutes, until the fish is just cooked through. Season with a little more salt, if necessary.

Serve with lemon wedges and steamed basmati rice.

(* Reproduced with permission from 50 Easy Indian Curries (Smith Street Books, March 22) by Penny Chawla, the self styled 'curry queen' of Sydney. Photo copyright: Emily Weaving)

Blooming Flower of a Dim Sum Dumpling, Ika Shumai, Squid Bites We Serve from Otsumami by Atsuko Ikeda

Blooming flower of a dim sum dumpling, Ika Shumai, squid bites we serve from Otsumami by Atsuko Ikeda (published by Ryland Peters & Small, 2022)



Shumai are the steamed dumpling favorites at dim sum restaurants. They are traditionally Chinese, but this particular version is definitely Japanese and actually comes from my hometown, Yobuko in Kyushu. This town is known for its fish market and particularly for the translucent squid or ika you can get there. Ika Shumai are steamed squid and white fish dumplings, which are beautifully wrapped in thin strips of gyoza wrappers to emulate a blooming flower. The squid gives a natural sweetness to the dumplings, while the strips of gyoza wrapper add an airy, fluff y texture to your mouthful.


10 gyoza wrappers

6 large lettuce leaves

English mustard, to serve

Squid dumpling

Ingredients, Filling: 

200 g/7 oz. cod, skinned and roughly diced

120 g/4½ oz. fresh squid, roughly chopped

1 egg white

1 shallot, finely chopped

½ tsp peeled and finely grated fresh ginger

¼ tsp fine salt

1 tsp golden caster/granulated sugar

1 tbsp sake

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

2 tsp fish sauce

3 tbsp katakuriko (potato starch)


2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp mirin 

2 tbsp soy sauce

20-cm/8-inch steamer



To make the su joyu dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

For the dumpling filling, put the cod and half of the squid in a food processor. Pulse to make a paste. Add the egg white and pulse again to combine with the  fish paste – this will help give it an airy texture.

Tip the fish mixture out into a mixing bowl, then add the remaining chopped squid, shallot, ginger, salt, sugar, sake, sesame oil, fish sauce and katakuriko. Mix until well combined, then chill the dumpling filling in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make two separate piles with five gyoza wrappers each on a chopping board. Slice both piles of the gyoza wrappers into fine strips, as thin as matchsticks, then separate the layers so that they don’t stick together. Place the gyoza strips in a sealed container until ready to use.

Bring a steamer to the boil.

Wet your hands a little to stop the fish mixture from sticking, then divide the mixture into twelve 35-g/1¼-oz. portions. Shape each one into a ball. Mix the gyoza strips to a give a messy texture (rather than having them all neatly positioned). Cover each fish ball with a nest of gyoza strips. 

Use tongs or chopsticks to place three lettuce leaves at the bottom of the steamer to stop the dumplings from sticking to the surface. Place six dumplings into the steamer (spaced apart as they will swell up when cooking). Cover with a lid and steam over medium heat for 7 minutes.

Take the dumplings and the lettuce leaves out of the steamer, then repeat the cooking process with the remaining lettuce leaves and dumplings.

Serve the dumplings hot, with dots of English mustard on top and the su joyu dipping sauce.

Otsumami cover

(* Excerpted from Otsumami: Japanese Small Bites & Appetizers: Over 70 Recipes to Enjoy with Drinks by Atsuko Ikeda, published by Ryland Peters & Small 2022 / Photography by Yuki Sugiura (c) Ryland Peters & Small 2022)

Not Just Another Yard Sale, Location, Rich Mix from Paintings to Distinct Clothing and Garden Fare

Right Location, Rich Mix from Paintings to Distinct Clothing and Garden Fare Make for Successful Yard Sale

As in retail, you will get buyers, not just passing by visitors , if you have the right ingredients and not just a mass of things for people to dig through the piles.

Yard Sale Paintings

How to Not have Just Another Yard Sale?  Concierge Mondays # 20

You Can't Wear that Bonnet of a Galette des Rois from Lenotre Epiphany Cakes 2021 designed by Camille Ortoli

You cant' wear that bonnet of a Galette des Rois from Lenotre 2021 Epiphany Cakes selections on January 6.

It was designed by Camille Ortoli who I guess is the same artist best know for her Designer Papier creations.

Bonnet galette des rois lenotre camille ortoli

Galette des Rois comes in 3 versions, Chocolat, Dried Fruits and Candied Citrus.

For more mouth watering, check Épiphanie : Les plus belles galettes des rois 2021 on Elle-A -Table (December 18, 2020)

The article is in French yet even those whose French is halting can enjoy the visuals of the piece.

Learn more about the January 6- Epiphany tradition, read Having an Epiphany on January 6 with Galette des Rois, a French Treat (January 2010, from our pages).

(* Galette des Rois image from Lenotre Facebook page)


Soft Pillow of Eggs for Brunch, Eggs Edamame Bean Sprouts from Greenfeast, Autumn, Winter by Nigel Slater

Soft pillow of eggs for brunch, Eggs Edamame Bean Sprouts recipe from Green Feast Autumn, Winter (Ten Speed Press, September 2020) by Nigel Slater.


A soft pillow of egg. A tangle of vegetables.

Serves 2

Greenfeast_Eggs Edamame Beansprouts_Page_1_Image_0001


edamame beans, shelled

7 oz/200g

green onions 8

bok choy 7 oz/200g

garlic 3 cloves

large green chiles 2

peanut oil ¼ cup/60ml

bean sprouts 7 oz/200g

eggs 6

nigella seeds 2 teaspoons

cilantro a handful


Bring a pan of water to a boil, add the edamame, and boil till tender — about eight minutes. Drain and refresh in a bowl of ice water.

Finely chop the green onions, discarding the roots and any tough dark green leaves. Shred the bok choy. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Finely slice the chiles.

Warm half the peanut oil in a large, shallow pan, fry the green onions, garlic, and chiles till soft, then add the shredded bok choy and lastly the bean sprouts, tossing them in the hot oil and cooking for three or four minutes till softened.

Break the eggs into a bowl and beat them lightly with a fork. Add the cooked and drained edamame and the fried vegetables. Season with a little sea salt and black pepper and fold in the nigella seeds and cilantro.

Warm the remaining oil in a large oven safe frying pan, pour in the omelette mixture, and fry over moderate heat for about eight minutes, until the edges have set and the middle is still almost liquid. Heat the oven broiler. Place the frying pan under the broiler and continue cooking for two or three minutes until the center of the omelette is lightly set. (Ideally, it should be a little runny, verging on the point of setting.) Cut in half and serve.

To the basic mixture you can add pretty much any vegetable you have on hand, from fried mushrooms to steamed shredded cabbage. The cooking time is brief, so most vegetables will have to be lightly cooked first. Brassicas such as long-stemmed sprouting broccoli work very well, as do any late autumn beans. I especially like steamed mustard greens.

Greenfeast Autumn Winter COV

(*Reprinted with permission from Greenfeast: Autumn, Winter by Nigel Slater, copyright©2020. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography copyright: Jonathan Lovekin © 2020)

Pari des Libraires, Paris Readers Love Letters, Postcards and Songs to People Who Are Bookstores Soul, June 12-26

It opened on June 12 and runs until June 26. Le Pari des Libraires is a chance for book lovers in French capital to write love letters, postcards and songs to people who run their bookstores and bring them to life.


The 2020 edition's godmother (maraine) was Leila Slimane.

(* Image of this year's poster borrowed from -Ville de Paris- website)

Cacasse a Cul Nu to Pied de Cheval Oyster on 'Let's Eat France' Magical Culinary Tour

From Cacasse a Cul Nu (Ardennes) to Pied de Cheval Oyster (Brittany), there is a lot to chew on in 'Let's Eat France' (Artisan Books, October 2018) .

Let's eat france

Our guide, Francois-Regis Gaudry and his friends take us on a magical culinary tour of the hexagon featuring 1,250 specialty foods, 375 recipes, 350 topics and 260 food masters.

Taste this rich heavy tome in small bites so you don't get an indigestion.