fayskitchen: an unconstrained fusion of flavors

The making of the bun-less burger — June 11, 2016

The making of the bun-less burger

I’m back.. It’s been too long!!! After almost a year of neglect (my apologies), the blogging revival has been kicked off with ‘The making of the bun-less Burger’, which has become one of my favorite quick & easy meals.





The making of the bun-less Burger:

1. Realize there are drawbacks to not eating carbs & accept with enthusiasm (because there’s a yummy alternative).
2. Pop a free-range non-processed pure beef (or whatever your preference is) burger in the oven for 20 mins (in my case jalapeño beef courtesy of Woolworth’s Tygervalley meat counter supplied by Excellent)😁
3. Steam some cauliflower & broccoli in the microwave – yes that easy! – for 5-7 minutes. Use a potato masher to make brocauli rice
4. Stir some fat-free yoghurt, camembert cheese, dried rosemary & lots of black pepper over some heat & make a yummy sauce.
4. Make a bed of baby spinach & top with brocauli rice
5. After resting beef burger for 3 minutes place on top of green veggie bed
6. Cover in sauce, avo & rocket
7. Twist some more black pepper on top & you have a pretty looking Bunless Burger.

I’ve varied this recipe over the last 6 months a few times, replacing brocauli rice with a giant portobello mushroom & creating a beet-mayo to go with it. This has been by far my favorite burger accompaniment. It doesn’t always have to be boring tomato sauce 🙂

If you giving a try, enjoy tucking into comfor food without the guilt if you avoiding carbs!

Bon Appetite 🍳


Sweet potato oven fries — August 13, 2015

Sweet potato oven fries

A quick post this one. One of my favorite things in the world is potatoes, my hips surely do love them. I’d say a wee bit too much. So the next best thing. Sweet potatoes & even better sweet potato oven fries. Now I used to be all too eager to buy the frozen type until I realized the crispy coating was not all that healthy. So I bring to you a simple, yet healthy recipe.

You can use either white or orange flesh sweet potatoes. I prefer orange.

I used 1 large orange sweet potato so the seasoning needs to be adjusted should you use more than 1.

Preparation Time: 40 minutes (Technically it’s 10 minutes as you just wait and turn for the other 30 minutes.)

1 large sweet potato
2 pinches of rough sea salt (you can skip this if you are being uber healthy)
1 tsp dried herbs
1 tsp chilli powder
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 tbsp of olive oil

Alternate seasonings: black pepper, paprika, chilli flakes, wasabi powder, mustard powder, garlic powder & cumin.

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Cut sweet potato into sticks. Try and cut them evenly so that they cook evenly in the oven. (I am clearly not too good at this :/ but mine turn out good nonetheless)

Mix all the ingredients together.



Coat an oven tray with spray & cook or cover tray with a baking sheet.


Spread potatoes evenly on the tray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes or so for even baking. The time will depend on the cut & evenness of fries. Once it’s starts to brown & crisp you’ll know it’s done.

Season with more herbs or salt (to your preference) once you remove from oven & it’s still hot.


I love this just as is with an assortment of ketchup, sweet chilli & Dijon mustard. But also perfect with steak dinner as pictured.

Bon Appetit

Spicy Caramelized Onion, Butternut & Shrimp Soup —

Spicy Caramelized Onion, Butternut & Shrimp Soup

My sincerest apologies, I have fallen off the blogging wagon. But I’m back and eager to post recipes again. I dedicate this post to my cousin Tasneem Khan, who spurred me on to not delay it any longer. Your prawn pasta awaits you when you decide to visit x

Primary ingredients:
Olive oil to cook with
1/2 onion finely chopped
1/2 butternut cubed (1 cup)
1 small orange sweet potato cubed (1 cup)
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp red chilli flakes
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger powder
Salt to taste

Additional ingredients:
1 tbsp fresh cream/Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
1/4 cup of shrimp

Add some olive oil to a pot, caramelize the onions (put some aside for serving). Add the rest of the primary ingredients above & half cup water. Cook till soft adding additional water where necessary. Essentially you’re steaming the butternut & sweet potato till its soft. This should take 30 mins.

Remove the pot from stove & let cool for 10 minutes. Then blend into a purée.

You can now place it back on the stove on medium to high heat, adding 1/4 cup boiling water. Once it starts bubbling, add 1 tbsp fresh cream (or more if you’d like it rich in flavor).

I fried some shrimp in butter, crushed garlic, red chilli flakes & salt & then added the purée. I also put aside a few shrimps to serve.


All in all took an hour to make.

The primary ingredients is essentially what you need to make a basic butternut soup. Just add cream or yoghurt to make it creamy.

Additionally what’s great is that you can freeze the purée and just defrost and flavor as I did below by adding yogurt & infusing with coriander (dhanya) and serving with creamy vegan Danish Feta & Rye bruschetta. Perfect healthy alternative or meat free Monday alternative 🙂


Bon Appetit

Pho Ga inspired — June 10, 2015

Pho Ga inspired

Adapted (very) Pho Ga: Vietnamese chicken noodle soup. It’s that time of the week, aka: BOWL DAY, aka: So exhausted I can only do 1/2 an hour more on my feet! So I did not have any lemongrass or 3 hours to simmer a broth!

No recipe, just an idea of how I went about it:

Lots of red chilli flakes, whole red chilli, more chilli paste, crushed black pepper, star anise, garlic, Asian pickled ginger, root ginger, cashews, fresh chopped red & yellow paprika peppers, green beans, mushrooms, soy, hoisin & reduced fig oil & chicken. Brown rice gluten free, cholesterol free, noodles. All chopped & in the pot within 10 mins, (methodically done). Simmered, ok I lie, reduced on medium heat within 20 mins to a delicious , quick, abridged Pho Ga 😁 sans coriander🙈 The lime & avo, all my own doing & just to be properly rebellious, I served it in a miniature tagine.


PS. Needles to say, following my last post, Part 3 of 3 will be delayed.

Bon Appetit
The Recipe Rebel aka faymissfay

Crayfish (Lobster) Bisque with a Thai twist — June 9, 2015

Crayfish (Lobster) Bisque with a Thai twist

I really enjoy mixing & abridging & just the idea of various flavors from different nations in one dish. The world is becoming globalized & integrated, why shouldn’t our food embrace the same trend?!

This Part 2 of 3 as I mentioned in the post prior to this, where I made prawn ravioli & froze it to be used in this recipe.

Serves 3
Preparation time approximately 45 minutes

Paprika purée:

1/4 white onion chopped
A handful of cashew nuts
3 tricolori fresh paprika peppers (orange, red & yellow) chopped
1 tbsp sliced pickled ginger (the kind you get with your sushi)
1 tsp mixed herbs
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp reduced fig oil
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp chopped coriander
Salt to taste

Heat a pan with a tbsp of garlic infused olive oil to medium heat. Add all the above ingredients in the same order as above to the pan & sauté for 5 to 7 minutes. Before the peppery paprikas become too soft remove & let cool for 5 minutes.

Once cool, blend the ingredients into a purée consistency.

Other Ingredients:
6 cleaned & deveined crayfish/lobster tails cut down the middle (use a kitchen scissors for this, makes the cooking life much easier)
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp garlic & ginger paste
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup coconut cream

Heat a sauce pan with the butter on medium to high heat. Add the crayfish/lobster tails, garlic & ginger, herbs & peppers and cook for 5 minutes.

Still on medium to high heat, add the paprika purée. Add some water to the paprika dish to swirl around and empty into the pot as well. Stir for 2 minutes until the excess water starts disappearing, before the purée starts getting sticky add the 1/2 cup of coconut cream.

Stir & watch the pot very carefully for another 3 to 5 minutes as the stove should still be on medium to high heat. The coconut cream should begin reducing & thickening somewhat. A bisque is not really a thick sauce, but also not the thin consistency of a clear soup. In the middle is about right. Let simmer on low-medium heat for 5 minutes.

(If you want a bit of a thicker consistency or you add too much liquid you don’t know how to get rid of, you can make a faux roux by whisking a tbsp of flour in a 1/4 cup of milk and add this to the bisque. When I use coconut milk & not coconut cream I sometimes use this roux to get to the right consistency.)

In another pot heat some salted water and add the frozen ravioli to it. I made ravioli the doze of Lindt balls, so I made 24 to serve amongst 3 bowls. Cook the ravioli for 4 to 5 minutes.

Once done, strain & divide between 3 bowls. Using a ladle, share the bisque & 12 segments of lobster tails by pouring over ravioli. Grate some Parmesan cheese & sprinkle some coriander over. Serve with a fresh French baguette & some butter.

Bon Appetit

Ravioli making —

Ravioli making

This is part 1 of 3 of the 3 course meal I’d served this last weekend. I’d like to dedicate this post and the next two posts to two fantastic women in my life, Samantha & Anisha. Samantha is like the guardian angel sister every girl needs. Always filled with gentle yet sage advice on life & career. The nicest person, a strong successful career woman and a mother & wife too. The quentessential woman. We don’t always get to see each other or chat, but out of the blue on the suckiest day, an email as bright as the sun will appear in your mailbox from Sammykins. I was so fortunate to spend the better part of the last Saturday with her & her gorgeous bubbly 6 month baby boy.

On Sunday I was doubly lucky to have my very dear friend Anisha & her equally wonderful fiancé, Ruw, over for the lunch I am going to share with you. Anisha was my very first HR manager and she may as well be my older sister who has looked after me well enough since I was 21. Another strong, successful, formidable woman. The epitome of youth & class. Always ready to sternly guide me when necessary and my cushion for when I stumbled with all the newly grown up things I have encountered over the years. She’s one of the people I know I cannot imagine this life without. A consistent friend with a heart so big that she radiates with beauty from the inside out.

Both these ladies have witnessed all the major changes in my adult life & never once have they envied any success, instead they have spurred me onward and upward. Always complimentary and encouraging. Food has long being a passion & a dream of mine and of most of the people close to me, their response to this new journey I am on has warmed my heart as they seem to genuinely support me and are truly motivating. So if you ladies read this, thank you so very much! You both mean so much to me!

OK, now for Part 1: Ravioli Making

Pasta dough:
1 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 cup on stand-by
1 large eg
1 tsp fine salt
1/4 cup water


Mix all the ingredients together by kneading the dough well and adding more flour in order to make the dough smooth, and to work out the stickiness. The dough should not be sticky. This takes a bit of arm muscle work.

Once the dough is smooth, wrap it in some plastic cling wrap and let it rest at cool room temperature for half an hour.

Whilst the dough is resting, prepare a filling:

I made a 3 cheese, prawn and fig filling. I chopped it in the blended to make it easier to fill.

Prawn filling:

1 cup of small peeled prawns (I didn’t bother to get meaty large prawns as I intended on mincing them anyway)
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp chopped chives
1/2 tsp smoked red chilli flakes
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
2 tbsp reduced fig oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh yellow paprika
Salt to taste

Sauté the above ingredients in 1 tbsp of butter & 1 tbsp of olive oil for 5 minutes. Let it cool for 5 minutes before adding to the blender.

Add 2 tbsp of cheddar, Parmesan & feta cheese into the blender & using a chopping setting. Blitz till it is a coarse ‘mince’ but not too fine.


Once your pasta dough has rested, you can put it through a pasta machine on the finest/narrowest setting to get it paper thin. Or, like me you can put some muscle into it and roll it out with a rolling pin by dividing the dough into smaller pieces to roll out. I made 3 different folds, 2 that required a square sheet and 1 that needed to be cut round. You can use a pizza cutter and cookie cutter respectively to get those shapes for folding.

Fill the ravioli with the prawn and fold into a desired style.


There are a number of ravioli folds you can google. I remembered a Turkish manti fold from a Turkish cooking class I attended recently. There’s also tortellini style, Samoosa twist style… All you need to do is Google ravioli or wanton folding styles for some tutorials. I really just did my own thing and it worked out ok. Some recipes call for water to seal. I found that I didn’t really need it and simple gentle pressing of the dough together sealed it.

Alternative ravioli fillings: feta and spinach, mince (i did some with the ostrich mince I will use in part 3 of 3 of my next posts as I had left over dough after my prawn filling finished, mushroom, cream cheese, chicken and corn… anything that won’t seep out and which and will taste yum inside pasta.

The lovely thing is that you can freeze the ravioli & I suggest using within a month. When you are ready to cook it, boil some water and bring it to a simmer. Pop the frozen ravioli in for 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Prior to cooking the ravioli, prepare a sauce to serve it in. I made a crayfish/lobster bisque with a Thai twist, which is Part 2 of 3 🙂

Just a sneak preview of the 3 course lunch… Recipes to follow if you’re interested!


Bon Appetit


Hyderbadi-Moroccan Lamb Shank — May 26, 2015

Hyderbadi-Moroccan Lamb Shank

I have cooking FOMO (fear of missing out). On Friday my colleague mentioned that when things settled down a bit at work, he was going to cook some lamb shank. So on Friday after work, I was picking up some groceries from SA’s favorite premium grocer, Woolworths & I walked pass some lamb shank at the butcher’s counter. I decided there and then, I am going to cook them free range lamb shanks for the first time in my life this very weekend.

I had come across a number of recipes on how to cook lamb shank. I knew I would want something different to the usual red wine slow cooked versions I had seen. I’d also come across some Indian and Moroccan recipes and was inspired by the familiar spices. I naturally combined them to create a dish I am definitely adding to my “ways to wow” arsenal of recipes.


2 front leg lamb shanks

Lamb shank coat:
1 heap tbsp of flour
1 tsp fine salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried herbs
1 tsp smoked chilli flakes

Mix all the ingredients above together. Dip the lamb in the flour coat. Heat a pan with a tablespoon of canola oil to medium to high heat. Dust off the lamb shanks and lighly seal and brown the shanks for 1.5 minutes on each side. Then set aside.


Hyderbadi-Moroccan Sauce:
1/2 white onion sliced
2 whole star anise
3 cardamom pods
Finely sliced root ginger from one ‘arm’ of ginger
1 tsp of crushed garlic
2 tsp of garlic and ginger paste

Add some oil to a sauce pan. Add the above ingredients to it, slightly browning the onions.

Thereafter add the following ingredients:

1 tsp cumin (jeera) powder
1 tsp cardamom (elachi) powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric (hardi) powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 small lemon zest and juice

Stir this into the onions and sauté for 2 minutes on medium heat.

(Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius)

Thereafter add:

1/3 cup jam tomatoes
1/3 cup of yoghurt raita
1 tbsp of tomato paste
Salt to taste
A handful of chopped fresh coriander
1 tablespoon of the leftover flour from the coat above mixed into 50ml of milk
1 tablespoon of pickled ginger (I used a ginger and pineapple jam)
Stir this into a sauce for 5 minutes, adding a 1/4 cup of water if it becomes to too thick. It is meant to cook through and thicken in the oven.

You can substitute the flour & milk with cream or coconut cream too.


Coat an oven dish with a lid or a tajine pot with spray and cook to avoid the sauce and lamb shanks getting stuck & burnt. Add the 2 shanks and pour the sauce over. Make sure you have enough sauce to just cover the shanks. Top with a bit of chopped coriander and any lemon zest if you wish. Cover with the lid.

Turn the oven down to 150 degrees celsius. Pop the dish in the oven. After an hour, turn down the heat to 120 degrees celsius. Leave for another 45 minutes. Then turn the heat back up to 180 degrees celsius for 15 minutes before serving. When you take it out the oven you should be able to see the bone exposed as if it was frenched by the butcher before hand.


I served the lamb shank with ginger & Dijon mustard sweet potato mash.


Bon Appetit

Sweet & Savory Butternut Fritters — May 17, 2015

Sweet & Savory Butternut Fritters

I remember watching Pumpkin Patch when I was younger & nagging my mum to make me some fritters. I think ever since, I’ve loved all forms of squash vegetables. They are THE comfort vegetable food & I’m all about comfort.

I initially wanted to just make some cinnamon butternut fritters, but then I became hungry. So, I went out & got some fresh kingklip fillet & decided to make some savory butternut & corn fritters too!

Sweet cinnamon butternut fritters

3/4 cup mashed butternut squash
3 tsp castor sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 small egg

Makes 10 

Mix all ingredients in order of the list above, together. It should resemble an easy to pour batter.

Heat a frying pan with canola oil up to 1/2 cm. Basically you going to shallow fry the fritters in medium to high heat.

Spoon batter into frying pan, bearing in mind the batter does spread. In 33cm frying pan I managed 3 at a time. Fry for 45 seconds on each side, twice!


Drain excess oil on roller towel or brown paper.

You can keep it in the oven warmer till you are ready to serve.

Just before serving, mix some cinnamon & sugar & sprinkle over warm fritters. A squeeze of lemon & it’s the perfect tea time treat.


Savory butternut & corn fritters

1 cup mashed butternut squash
1/4 cup creamy style corn
1/4 cup grated white cheddar cheese
A handful of fresh coriander/dhanya
2 tbsp finely chopped white onion
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 small eggs
1 tsp smoked red chilli flakes
1 tsp fine salt
1 tsp mixed dried herbs

Makes 10 

Mix all ingredients in order of the list above together. It should resemble an easy to pour batter.

Follow the same frying method above.


I prepared a Lemon Butter Kingklip fillet for dinner, which was accompanied by my savory fritter.


Helping me write this blog post (hours later) is a cinnamon fritter & a cup of earl grey tea.

Bon Appetit

A Hug in a Bowl — May 12, 2015

A Hug in a Bowl

aka Mum’s chicken soup

Last Saturday was my mum’s birthday. I mentioned in my previous post that I don’t live in the same city as my parents. I’d been pretty flat out for 4 days last week with the flu. So, I called mum to check how her day had been going & still being very much the needy child, I also wanted to know how to make chicken soup as I was just about done with the store bought kind. Now, I have experience with creamy, modern day soups but I always took it for granted my mum would always make the chicken soup & look after me. Alas, “one day when I’m big…” really arrived with this flu.

On the phone my mum tells me simply in less than 2 minutes: “Oh it’s easy… Cut the chicken into small cubes. Braise the chicken for a few minutes in quite a bit of garlic and ginger. You can use chilli powder, but add more of the ‘other’ spices (in our household we have 6 jars of core indian spices we cook with including…), i.e. cumin, coriander, fennel. Add your vegetables and a bit of fresh coriander, add water.” So how does it not stay watery mum?: “Mix some maizena (cornflour) in half a cup of milk. Add this to the pot and let it cook on medium to high heat for 45 minutes.”

This is where I had that childhood nightmare memory of once eating some ‘soup’ a relative made us when I was young and it was boiled vegetables in salt water. One of the reasons I was possibly always scared of making this specific soup.

But I attempt this because I am desperately in need of healing. With a few of my own little adaptations, of course.

Serves 6

Cooking Time: 1h30min

1/2 small chicken (skinless)
1 cup of par cooked elbow macaroni cornetti
750g cubed fresh veg (I was sick so I bought a soup bag from the grocer which had the most important ingredients: carrots, potatoes, butternut, onions, celery and parsley)
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin (jeera) powder
1 tsp coriander (dhanya) powder
1/2 tsp fennel (saunf) powder
3 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp smoked red chilli flakes
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp sliced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
1 tsp mixed herbs
Salt to taste
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp maizena (cornflour) or regular flour
Handful of fresh coriander (chopped)


Cut the chicken into small cubes. Do not debone the chicken. The bones create flavor in the soup, which is needed especially since I don’t believe in powdered stock. Add all the spices and paste to the chicken. In a big pot, heat some olive oil and add the chicken, braising it for 3-4 minutes on medium to high heat. Add the the coriander and thereafter the vegetables. Add boiling water, doubling the volume occupied in the pot. Bring the stove down to a medium heat and let cook for 30mins.


Once you see that the liquid level has fallen in line with the chicken and veggies, add the maizena/flour and milk you have whisked together in a jug. Add the noodles and some more boiling water to just cover the ingredients and let cook on medium heat for another 30 minutes. You should see the liquid thicken slightly. The noodles will also help create ‘body’ for the soup.

I switched off the stove and left it on the plate for another half hour. I was so pleasantly surprised when I put a spoonful in my mouth and it tasted just like my mums! It felt like a hug in a bowl…


Bon Appetit

Humpday Pizza craving — May 6, 2015

Humpday Pizza craving

It’s the middle of the week. I love my job, but today I feel a little brain drained. I’m also craving pizza, despite my efforts to keep weekday meals low-carb. Today, my life needs pizza!

So we make Pizza…

Preparation & cooking time: 20 minutes

I used a 33cm par-baked thin crust pizza base I bought from the dough house.

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius

Tomato sauce Ingredients:
1 tsp garlic infused olive oil
1/4 chopped white onion
1 finely cubed jam tomato
1 tbsp tomato sauce/ketchup
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp crushes chilli paste
1 tbsp chopped dhanya/coriander
Salt to taste

Heat up a frying pan to high heat. Add the olive oil & onions. Before onions brown add the rest of the ingredients above. Stir and turn down to medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes.


Pizza Toppings:
Sliced onion
Sliced beef pastrami
Gouda or mozzarella cheese
1 tsp mixed dried herbs

Spread tomato sauce on base & add the rest of the toppings. Bake in oven for 10 minutes.


Pizza decor:
Roughly chopped basil & rocket leaves
Sliced avocado
Pomegranate seeds

Arrange on baked pizza. Lastly sprinkle some crushed black pepper over.


Serve hot…


Bon Appetit


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