Doesn’t Haggis taste like Kheema ?


Yes it does. Ask all, of the 3 Indians, in my office, who had it. Basically none of us had ever tasted haggis and frankly didn’t want to.

It was one of those dishes that one laughs off, like chicken’s feet, jellied eels, balut and rotted shark. But our beloved Scottish colleague, who we tortured with all sorts of Indian curries  decided it  was payback.

One holiday back from Scotland she arrived armed with Tablet (it will rot your teeth and give you a heart attack), shortbread biscuits and Haggis !  She laid the haggis out on a plate and cut it into small portions for us to taste.

I was the first one in. She is basically a vegetarian and avoid-white-sugar the kind of person. Kind of person I trust in the taste buds department. So very gingerly I took a wee bit and ……went in for seconds… and thirds.

“It tastes like kheema, You (scots) stole our kheema receipe” I said gleefully.

The other 2 Indians who were slinking along the wall got the courage. They agreed it tasted like kheema…..and in a flash all the haggis was gone !

What is kheema you ask ? Its a spiced minced mutton dish. You can substitute minced beef or lamb. I also just read a minced chicken/turkey kheema receipe.

Here is the standard kheema receipe.  How Ma would make it and how I made it for last night’s dinner party.  Sorry I forgot the quantities ( ie gms ) and eyeballed it.


  1. Minced meat
  2. Frozen peas
  3. ginger-garlic paste
  4. minced onions
  5. canned tomatoes is natural juice
  6. salt, turmeric, cumin powder, corriander powder, chili powder, little bit of sugar
  7. bay leaf
  8. cinnamon
  9. cardamon
  10. cloves
  11. raisins

Method: Marinate meat with half of the Chilli powder, Turmeric, Salt, Cumin and Corriander powder, pepper, garlic paste and little bit of apple cider vinegar. Marinate for atleast 1 hour. Braise it and set aside.

Heat Oil.

  1. Add bayleaf, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamon and raisin. As soon as you get the aroma add
  2. the minced onions. Fry till transparent
  3. Add the remaining ginger-garlic paste
  4. fry till golden brown
  5. add canned tomato Plus a can of water (basically rinsing the tin out)
  6. Add the remaining cumin-corriander powder, turmeric, salt and pepper. bring to a boil
  7. add the braised meat, bring to boil
  8. cover and simmer for 30 mins (checking to see its not sticking)
  9. add the peas, thawed
  10. simmer for another 30 mins uncovered
  11. check to see everything is cooked and flavours have married eachother
  12. remove from heat

I did not add a chopped corriander garnish but you definitely can.

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How green is my world ?

Like most of us I try and be as green as I can without breaking my back or my bank balance. I don’t live in the convenient world of Trader Joes. I live in HK where anything that’s good for the planet costs an arm and a leg or sometimes, not available.

Since China requires animal testing I am guessing even Mac, Bobbi Brown and the like do animal testing to sell in China (?) and hence my cosmetics may not be cruelty free. And Noor and Zeb dont mind some blush and mascara from time to time.

What I do:

I use Body shop whereever I can with toiletries and things like cotton buds or room fragrance oils  etc ( I can not stand their makeup sorry)

I reuse my ziplock bags. Even when they lose their grip I use bulldog clips to close them. I throw them when they tear basically.

Drying my bags upside down or upside down on bottles – thats the best, they dry super quick

I only use BARs of soap (no plastic to recycle)

I use TUBE dispensers which means I can balance them upside down till the last drop is out and THEN…wait for it, I cut them so I can continue to use the product that’s still inside.

I roll my toothpaste tube up to get as much as I can out of it.

I use Earth Choice cleaning liquids

I buy Free Range Eggs and poultry (Aus and NZ because I trust them )

Sustainable fish – stamped as such.  (Aus, NZ or Canada)

Truth be told we are a couple, and mainly vegetarian so though the meat and eggs are expensive in HK, we can sustain that without breaking our bank balance.

I use containers with lids – so less clingfilm to use. Those without, I use a saucer to cover the bowls – just like our grannies did in the good old days.

I reuse ALL the plastic covers that bread comes in. They make really handy ‘containers’ to carry fruit, wrap something etc.

I don’t use makeup remover pads or towelettes. I use the Body Shop facial sponge or face cloth with my body shop makeup remover.

I am so obsessed with saving water that even running taps in Movies and TV shows bother me.  I unsubscribed to a beauty Vlogger as she kept her tap running as she did a brush cleaning video ! really ?? dont you know ? Save the Planet 101. So Lather your dishes FIRST and then rinse them out. Same with the shower and brushing your teeth.

Recycling is still not as aggressive, or convenient in HK as it is elsewhere so we need to do what we can. We are still a country in education. But people are aware and the government is taking measures and we will get there ,but in the meantime….

Making Orange Lentil – Masoor Dal

Masoor Dal
Masoor Dal

Dal . Written with a single “a” but its an “aaa” sound. Pronounced with a soft D, not Dh, but like “the”. A comfort food for most Indians. After a hard days work some Dal-Roti or Dal -Rice and most of us are happy.

My go to dal is Masoor. Orange lentil. Everytime I have people over I make this dal. I make it for me and hubby. Maybe its the only dal I am confident of making

how cool is this pic ?
how cool is this pic ?

First things first. Rinse the lentils till water runs fairly clean. Then boil it. Till it looks like this. Do NOT overboil otherwise these turn into Lentil GLUE ! But dont worry you have more than enough time between nicely done stage and overboiled glue stage.

I boiled it and then churned it. You can use a handheld blender
I boiled it and then churned it. You can use a handheld blender

Remember to check for the following

1. remove the white bubbly scum that rises to the top once water starts to boil

2. add water if needed

Once done I churned mine  with a wooden churner to blend the seeds nicely. Just twisting it between my palms.


Then I assembled Mustard seeds, curry leaves (which I am growing in pots), green chillies, chopped tomatoes and onions

IMGP2197 Purists like my Mother, will ONLY ever make Masoor dal with ONLY  dry red chilli and caramelised onion. Sometimes a single tomato, but I ? I do what I want 🙂

  1. Anyway heat oil, add the mustard seeds – HAVE A SPATTER SHEILD READY ! these pesky buggers burst and leap everywhere around your kitchen, on your face. Burst dont Burn them
  2. Add in your curry leaves
  3. Either chop your chillies or make a slit long the length and add that in.
  4. Add the onions, a wee bit of salt. And fry till golden.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes,
  6. turmeric, salt to taste.

Once all flavours are homogenised, add the boiled dal mixture with 1/3 quantities of water. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a nice rolling simmer.

Remember to stir your dal well. Nicely boiled lentils, become thick and can stick to the bottom.

You can garnish this with fresh corriander ( chinese parsley) leaves but its not necessary.

Let me know how you went, ok.