Chicken Curry with Mint

This year is just ticking by so quickly. Our daughter went back to college for the spring semester and poof she’s back again. Which is fine by us! Before she dashed off to be an EMT at overnight camp for the summer, we tried to make the dinners she liked to get some good homemade food into her. Times like this gets rarer and rarer, as it should be, as she starts leading her life. With one more year of having our son home, we best get on board with the empty nest bit. Despite having an early nasty heat wave, we’ve been lucky with having a decent spring this year so I was happy to make, at our daughter’s request, a Chicken Curry with Mint and my husband made Naan on our grill.

During the heat wave here in town, there was a food festival downtown. Our town had lifted the mask mandate a few days prior as our vaccination rates are pretty high. It was so nice to do something normal but also felt so weird walking round without a mask. We did come away with a few new inspirations for dishes to make at home. Despite the heat, we had a lot of fun letting our hair down so to speak!

Technique for Chicken Curry with Mint

I took inspiration from the book called the Best Ever Curry Cookbook by Mridula Baljekar. The original recipe is call Karahi Chicken with Mint. A Karahi is like a wok. Given where we are currently staying, we can’t use the wok on the glass stove top so I used a skillet. I also adjusted the recipe based on what I had in the pantry. The recipe called for boiling the chicken. I’m not a fan of that technique, I prefer sautéing chicken.

Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet and begin to sauté the chicken. After a few minutes, when the chicken starts to brown add the scallions/spring onions and ginger to the skillet.

I’ve been using minced ginger as I find it’s less waste than buying the fresh and not being able to use it up in time. It still has quite the punch of flavour. Stir well and cook until the scallions/spring onions start to soften.

At this point, add the rest of the ingredients. Instead of fresh tomatoes that were called for in the original recipe I like to used diced fire roasted tomatoes. The flavour is more concentrated which is perfect for this dish. Bring to a simmer and cook for about ten minutes on low medium heat. This is when you should taste test the curry. Adjust any flavours as needed. I added more ginger to this. I should have added more mint as it wasn’t as strong a note as I would have liked. There isn’t any right or wrong way to do this. If you like it, it’s good.

Once the naan is grilled, serve up the Chicken Curry with Mint. It was a lovely spring evening in the back garden listening to the cat birds demanding more grape jelly. They are so vocal! We finished off the evening with having a fire and making s’mores. I love family evenings like this.

Chicken Curry with Mint

Chicken Curry with Mint is a warming curry that is flavourful and very easy to make

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Chicken Curry with Mint
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 3
Author Our Growing Paynes


  • 1 tbsp vegtable oil
  • 1 lb skinless and boneless chicken breast, cut into strips 450g
  • 3 scallions/spring onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger 30ml
  • 14 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice 30ml
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro/coriander leaves 30ml
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped mint 30ml
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet. Sauté the chicken until it starts to brown.

  2. Add the scallions/spring onions and ginger to the skillet. Stir well and cook until the scallions/spring onions begin to soften.

  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer. Simmer on low medium for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavours to come together. At this time adjust any flavours as needed to your liking.

  4. Serve with naan or rice. Garnish with the fresh herbs.

Bok Choi with Shiitake Mushrooms

This longer than intended break from blogging occurred because we had a big change in our lives. As those that follow me know, we’ll be moving back to the UK next year so we would have had to sell our home. We always thought it would take awhile to sell our home as it’s not like a lot of people are clamouring for Queen Anne Victorians. Who’d have thought in a raging pandemic, the real estate market would set itself on fire? So suddenly we were faced with several weeks going flat out to get the house ready and list it. In a few days it was under agreement. So we had to find a rental quickly and get a move on, literally.

This all meant we were too tired and stressed to think about cooking creatively. There were a lot of takeaways and routine throwing meals together. As we’ve settled into our temporary home, we’ve started to breath again and it was time to have fun with cooking again.

My sister loves authentic Chinese food and we were talking about how hard that is to find in this country and I was intrigued about recipes. Luckily, I have a colleague, whose family is from China, and I picked her brains. She gave me a couple of recipes, one of which is this one. I added the rice noodles and seared marinated pork.

Technique for Bok Choi and Shiitake Mushrooms

This is a very easy meal to make, you just need to do a couple things at least an hour before.

Boil water and cover the shiitake mushrooms until they are covered by at least an inch/2.5cm. Set aside to rehydrate the mushrooms. You’ll want to keep the liquid for later.

Trim any tough fat and fibers from the pork. Mix the ingredients for the marinade and make sure the pork loin is coated well. Chill for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375F/190C. Heat up the garlic infused olive oil in a large skillet. Sear both sides of the pork and transfer the pork to a baking dish and cook until done. Cook the rice noodles at this point according the directions on the package.

Depending on the size of the bok choi cut in half or quarter them. Wash and dry them and set aside.

In the skillet the pork was seared in add the rehydrated shiitake mushrooms. Sauté them in the oil for a minute or so and then add the liquid from the mushrooms and the sherry, simmer on low for a couple of minutes.

Add the chicken stock with the corn flour and bring to a boil. Reduce slightly and lower the temperature so it is a low simmer. Season with sea salt and pepper.

Add the bok choi. Keep turning as it cooks so the bok choi is evenly coated with the sauce. Cook until the bok choi starts to soften. I like my greens to be on the crisp side but feel free to cook until soft all the way through. It’s a texture thing with me. Remove the bok choi from the sauce and then add the rice noodles to the sauce and toss until the noodles are evenly coated.

Slice the pork once it’s had a chance to rest for several minutes. Add the noodles to the plate and then layer the pork and bok choi. Serve immediately.

I found this Bok Choi with Shiitake Mushrooms delicious but very mild in flavour. When I talked to my colleague, she mentioned sometimes adding hoisin sauce to make this dish bolder. I will have to try that next time. It was so nice to get cooking again, I can’t tell you.

Bok Choi with Shiitake Mushrooms

A flavourful dish with sherry and mushrooms

Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4


Marinade for Pork Loin

  • 2 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • Sea salt and Pepper
  • 1 lb pork loin 453 grams

Bok Choi and Shiitake Mushroom

  • 3 medium sized bok choi
  • 7-10 dried shiitake mushrooms depending on size
  • 1/2 cup liquid from mushrooms 4oz
  • 3 tbsp dry cooking sherry
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock 4oz
  • 1 tbsp corn starch/corn flour
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 package of rice noodles


Pork Loin

  1. Trim the pork loin of any tough fat or fibers.

  2. Mix the marinade ingredients together and add the pork, making sure it's well coated. Cover and chill for at least an hour.

  3. Preheat the oven to 375F/190C. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Sear both sides of the pork loin and then cook in the oven until done.

Bok Choi and Shiitake Mushrooms

  1. Cut the shiitake mushrooms in half or quarters. Boil water and cover the mushrooms by at least an inch/2.5cm. Set aside to rehydrate. Keep the liquid.

  2. Cut the bok choi in half and clean and dry.

  3. Once the mushrooms have rehydrated add them to the skillet with hot olive oil. Sautè for a few minutes before adding the liquid from the mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes on a simmer, reducing the liquid then add the sherry. Keep it on a low simmer.

  4. Mix the corn starch/corn flour with the chicken stock and mix well so there aren't any lumps. Add it to the skillet and bring to a boil. Stir well so it doesn't catch on the bottom then reduce to a simmer. Season with sea salt and pepper. Add more sherry if needed.

  5. While the sauce is being made, cook and drain the rice noodles.

  6. Add the bok choi to the skillet and turn as it cooks so the sauce coats the bok choi evenly. Cook it to the degree of softness you prefer.

  7. Remove the bok choi and set aside. Add the rice noodles to the skillet and toss so they are coated in the noodles.


  1. Add the noodles to the plate. After resting the pork loin for a several minutes, slice it and place it on the noodles. Add the bok choi, serve immediately.

Roasted Curry Chicken

I got the idea to do this Roasted Curry Chicken during this past weekend when we had a yard sale. There was a definite need for a clear out and I hate throwing things in the tip when someone else might find a use for something. One customer had some butternut squash in her car and she gave me some. As she loves habaneros, we did a trade. I thought the butternut squash would be great with a curry dish. Sadly the squash was rotten from within.

Luckily I bought some Japanese sweet potatoes. They aren’t orange like regular sweet potatoes and aren’t as sweet but their flavour is perfect to pair with a spicy curry.

This dish is perfect for a busy evening. Most of this was cooking while I walked the dogs. It’s important to have quick flavourful and nutritious meals in the back pocket for when life gets hectic. Still need to eat well!

Oh, I had forgotten to mention the excitement we had in my previous post. It was a Sunday afternoon and we noticed some activity in our front yard. Out we went and the people immediately said “don’t go into your back garden!” Turns out there was a 400lb male black bear on walkabout. This photo was about 50 feet from our driveway. A beautiful beast.

Technique for Roasted Curry Chicken

Preheat the oven to 375F/190C. If you have a convection/fan oven, use that.

Slice the Japanese sweet potato and brush with olive oil. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

In a baking dish, place the chicken thighs in the dish. Add the chicken stock and season with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and curry powder. Cover and place the chicken and sweet potatoes in the oven. It will take 30-45 minutes for both to cook. Half way through cooking, remove the cover from the chicken so the skin will roast nicely.

In a skillet, heat up the garlic infused olive oil. Begin sautéing the scallions, red pepper, mushrooms and the habanero. As the habanero came from our garden, I only used half as they pack quite the punch.

Add the minced ginger, tomatoes, chili powder, curry powder, cumin and cilantro/coriander leaves. Bring to a simmer. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

I do love roasted chicken.

The chicken and sweet potato should be done about the same time. Serve immediately after spooning the tomato mixture over the chicken. Enjoy!

Roasted Curry Chicken

A warming meal that is quick and easy to make on a busy evening.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Keyword Roasted Curry Chicken
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Author Our Growing Paynes


  • 2 Japanese sweet potatoes sliced in half
  • 4 chicken thighs with bone in and skin
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock 4oz
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped scallions/green onion 11g
  • 2 tbsp chopped red pepper 18g
  • 1/2 habanero chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes 14oz
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2-1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro/coriander leaves


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F/190C. If you have a convection/fan oven, use that.

  2. Slice the Japanese sweet potato in half lengthwise. Brush the halves with olive oil and then season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Place on a baking sheet.

  3. In a baking dish, place the chicken thighes in the dish, skin side up. Sprinkly the curry powder over the chicken and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the chicken stock. Cover the dish.

  4. Place the sweet potato and chicken in the oven. Cook for 30-45 minutes. About halfway through, remove the cover from the chicken so the skin roasts and gets nice and crispy.

  5. Heat the garlic infused olive oil in a skillet. Add the scallions/green onions, red pepper, mushrooms and habanero. Sauté for a few minutes.

  6. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer. Stir frequently so the tomato doesn't catch on the bottom. Simmer until the sweet potato and chicken are cooked.

  7. To serve, place the sweet potato and chicken on the plate. Spoon the tomato mixture over the chicken and serve immediately.

Chicken Saagwala

I have had to start a low FODMAP diet for health reasons. I was really worried that would mean a narrow range of foods (which isn’t good if you blog about food!) and bland flavours. Thankfully, as this Chicken Saagwala will show, that is not the case. There are plenty of ingredients to choose from, I just needed to change my habits and learn new dishes. I do have to be careful as just because the word low is in the diet name, it doesn’t necessarily mean low fat or calorie!

How are all the parents doing out there with first days of school coming up quickly? Our district is still trying to sort out what to do. They have seemed to settle on dividing the schools in half and one group will go two days and the other two days. They are trying to encourage parents drop off students as they need to reduce those taking the bus. The tricky bit round here is there are several hill towns, up to 45 minutes away, that bus into our district. They state bus windows must be open. That can be a problem as we can have winter start in October. I know there aren’t any easy solutions to this surreal year. Universities are starting to reverse their decision to accept students on campus. Our daughter’s school is one of them so we get to have her home for this semester. I feel for her but am also glad she’ll be safer.

Technique for Chicken Saagwala

I found this recipe from A Little Bit Yummy. Of course I changed it but mainly I was trying to use what I had available. It still follows the low FODMAP guidelines. The only ingredient that I couldn’t fine definitive guidance on was the poblano but it didn’t cause me any problems. But just do your research.

We have lost the plot with the mustard greens we are growing so it was great to be able to use this in a recipe. The greens went like gangbusters but the rest of the lettuce we grew decided to be very indifferent to growing. I love gardening but at times there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason.

In a skillet, heat up the olive oil and begin to cook the cubed chicken breast. Add the garlic chives. Cook for a few minutes.

Add the leek, mustard greens and minced ginger. Cook until the greens begin to wilt down. I really like ginger which is why I put in 2 tbsp. If that is too much for you, just reduce the amount.

Add the poblano, diced tomatoes, cumin, turmeric, ground cloves and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and cook for several minutes so the liquid can reduce a bit. Season with sea salt and pepper.

While I was cooking this, I roasted a sweet potato to accompany this dish. I really enjoyed this dish with the flavours of the fire roasted tomatoes and the bitterness of the mustard greens. I don’t pretend this is full on traditional as if you look at other recipes, there are a few more steps and it looks a lot greener. They also have dairy in it. But I hope you enjoy my version.

Chicken Saagwala

A low FODMAP dish with loads of flavour and easy to make.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Keyword Chicken Saagwala
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 chicken breast, skinless and boneless, cubed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh garlic chives
  • 1 cup chopped leeks, the green part only 80g
  • 1 cup chopped mustard greens 120g
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 poblano, chopped and seeded
  • 14 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • splash of lemon juice
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and begin cooking the cubed chicken. After a couple of minutes add the chives.

  2. Add the mustard greens, leek and ginger. Sautè for a few minutes

  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for several minutes to reduce the liquid a bit.

  4. To keep this low FODMAP, serve this with something like a roasted sweet potato. If you aren't worried about low FODMAP then naan would be perfect.

Poached Eggs and Tofu

I mentioned in my last post of my Tofu Burrito I was struggling with a dish so I had put it aside. It called for hot spring eggs, which are made by covering with boiling water. The recipe is from Harumi’s Japanese Cooking and said it’s very easy to make. Not so! I tried it different ways and all I ended up with was the yoke. I gave up as making poach eggs is faster and I knew what I was getting. So this is my Poached Eggs with Tofu, loosely based on the Hot Spring Eggs.

I love the subtle flavours of this dish and the ingredients are relatively easy to find. With a bit of prep you’ll have an easy lunch to enjoy.

Technique for Poached Eggs and Tofu

About an hour or so before the dish is made a stock has to be made and the tofu needs to be wrapped in paper towel/kitchen roll. Slice two rectangles of tofu per serving and wrap it. Set aside. This helps remove excess water for when you pan fry the tofu. In a cup add equal parts bonito flakes and kelp and cover with boiling water.

Set this aside and let steep for about an hour.

When it’s time to make the dish bring water and a 1/4 cup (2oz) of white vinegar to a boil. Poach the eggs for 3 minutes.

Mix the ingredients for the sauce in a small serving bowl.

Meanwhile, heat up the sesame oil in a skillet. Fry the tofu until both sides are golden and crispy.

Drain the tofu of excess oil and place the eggs over the tofu. Drizzle some sauce over the eggs and top with fresh scallions/green onion.

I enjoyed this with smoked mackerel. I’m glad I switched to the poached eggs as I love the flavours of the dish so it was nice to finally get it together!

Poached Eggs and Tofu

Asian flavours with pan fried tofu.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Keyword Poached Eggs and Tofu
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Author Our Growing Paynes


  • 2 slices tofu (per serving)
  • 2 eggs (per serving)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • equal parts bonito flakes and kelp
  • 2 tsp mirin
  • 1 tsp amino acids or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp stock made with bonito flakes and kelp
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallion/green onion


  1. Boil water and cover the bonito flakes and kelp in a cup. Steep for at least an hour.

  2. Slice the tofu and wrap with paper towels/kitchen roll to remove excess water. Set aside.

  3. Boil water with 1/4 cup/2oz of white vinegar. Poach the eggs for 3 minutes.

  4. Mix the stock from steeping the bonito flakes and kelp with the aminio acid, mirin and minced ginger. Stir well.

  5. Heat the sesame oil in a skillet and pan fry the tofu until golden and crispy. Drain the excess oil from the tofu.

  6. Place the poached eggs over the tofu. Drizzle the sauce over the eggs and top with the scallion/green onions.

Korean BBQ Short Ribs

On date night the other week, one of our go to restaurants had a new menu that included Korean BBQ Short Ribs. I’d never had Korean BBQ but it was really good. They did serve it with an aioli, which didn’t seem authentic but worked.

I did research on the recipe for the BBQ and for the most part it’s pretty consistent in terms of ingredients, though some called for vinegar instead of mirin. As mirin is easy to find, I didn’t think substituting was necessary. I did have to use a regular pear as Asian pears are apparently too exotic for my local shops.

There are a few steps to this dish but nothing is complicated and it’s well worth the effort.

Technique for Korean BBQ Short Ribs

First it’s important to prep the ribs. There will be connective tissue that you want to remove as that will make the ribs tough when cooking.

Use a sharp knife to do this so you don’t take off too much meat in the process.

Prep the marinade ingredients. I won’t lie, grating onions is torture on the eyes. I’ve always been curious how the first human decided onion was a good thing because raw is very strong! But for this marinade you don’t want any big pieces, with the exception of the finely chopped garlic, so grating it is.

Mix well and add the beef. Make sure the beef is well coated. Cover and store in the fridge for at least 6 hours. I then sliced some red onion and covered it with apple cider vinegar.

Marinade the onion for a few hours in the fridge. It makes a great contrasting topping to this dish.

When it is time to grill the beef, warm up the grill to medium. For this, you don’t want to have the heat on high in order to keep the meat tender. You will still get a good sear on the meat. Patience, grasshopper is the way to go here.

While the meat is cooking, prep the other ingredients. We have a lot of fresh veg in our garden so we did up a bunch of veg sticks. For dipping sauces I heated up the beef marinade, mixed some sour cream with ginger and lime, then made a traditional dipping sauce. That sauce was equal parts Gochujang and yellow miso ( 2 tablespoons each), 2 teaspoons of sesame oil and a clove of finely chopped garlic. If you find it too thick of a paste add more oil a bit at a time.

Once the meat has rested, slice it and serve with the sauces and veg.

Use the lettuce as the wrap and top the beef with the toppings of your choice.

We all loved this dish with the all the flavours from the marinade. We will definitely be having this again.

Korean BBQ Short Ribs

A fun and delicious meal with beef short ribs.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Keyword Korean BBQ Short Ribs
Prep Time 6 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes


  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless short rib


  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup Mirin
  • 1/3 cup grated red onion
  • 1 small pear or Asian pear, grated
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp seasame oil
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


Prepping the Short Ribs

  1. Clean the beef by removing the connective tissue and any hard fat.


  1. Mix all the ingredients of the marinade well. Add the beef and make sure it is covered completely. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours.

Cooking the meat

  1. Heat the grill to medium. Cook the meat until it is medium rare. The meat should have a nice sear without the sugars in the marinade becoming burnt. Allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes

Putting it all together

  1. Cut up different veg to accompany the BBQ. Slice the beef and serve with the veg and lettuce leaves. Heat the leftover marinade as a dipping sauce. Chopped green onions and pickled red onions are great toppers.

Honey Ginger Grilled Chicken

I start grilling as soon as the grill can hold its own in the cold weather, usually when the temperatures are hovering round freezing. When the heat and humidity kicks in, the grill goes into overtime. Since it will be a few months before I get tired of salads I made a Honey Ginger Grilled Chicken for dinner and my food bowls.

To be honest, when I do get tired of salads, this would be great with rice noodles and the like. Plus you can make this with pork or fish.

For the dressing, there are many different Asian inspired ones you can choose from but I confess my guilty pleasure is salad cream. We tried to explain it to our stateside friends and they were like is it mayo? No! There were many guesses so I think we’re going to have to share our stash. Luckily, it isn’t hugely price prohibitive to get it delivered. Not like Marmite, where you have to mortgage your house to get it here. Fortunately, my in-laws are coming next week and they are bringing that with them.

Technique for the Honey Ginger Grilled Chicken

I’m not sponsored by any of these but choose the brands you prefer.

The chicken should be marinated for at least a couple of hours. Mix the ingredients together in a bowl. Before adding the chicken check the flavour of the marinade to make sure the balance of the flavours are as you like them. With the honey, you want to make sure the sweetness comes through but doesn’t overpower the rest of the ingredients. As the marinade sits, the volume of the sweetness increases. So at the start have the honey just making the marinade a bit sweet.

Slice the chicken breasts lengthwise. Aside from lessening the cooking time for the chicken it makes it easier when cooking with honey. When using honey, you need to keep the temperature at medium on the grill. I always find that food photography that shows dishes with honey glazes still honey colored deceptive. Honey will brown when cooked. You do have to be careful as it will catch and burn very easily.

After marinating for at least a couple hours, grill the chicken making sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t catch and burn.

I have new cooking grids coming this weekend, can’t wait!

Prep the salad and top with the chicken.

Who says healthy eating has to be boring?

Honey Ginger Grilled Chicken

A honey ginger marinade for a healthy meal.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Keyword Honey Ginger Grilled Chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 1 lb chicken breast, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp lime juice


  1. Mix all the ingredients together. Add the chicken. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Grill the chicken on medium heat. Cube and top on salad. Serve.

Beetroot Raita

Happy New Year everyone! Here’s to a great year. I always try to start out positive as you never know what is going to be thrown at you. At the very least, start on a high note! After the bustle of the holidays it’s time to reconnect and get back to sharing good food. I’m starting with an easy and healthy side dish given that people’s resolve to be healthy is still going strong 4 days into the year. Beetroot Raita fits that bill. It’s an easy dish to compliment those spicy curries.

Technique for the Beetroot Raita.

The red of this beetroot is absolutely stunning.

Some may choose to roast the beetroot, which is perfectly fine. I chose to boil the beetroot to cook. I peeled and coarsely chopped the beetroot into small pieces before cooking. It will cook faster that way.

Mix the spices together and toss the cooled beetroot into the mixture until the beetroot is evenly coated.

Add the plain yoghurt and stir well. Chill in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

It’s a pity that the beetroot couldn’t keep it’s colour. It does work as a nice counterbalance to the heat of the curry and we do love our spicy curry!

Beetroot Raita

An easy accompaniment to spicy curries with beetroot and yoghurt.  

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Beetroot Raita
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Author Our Growing Paynes


  • 1 cup peeled and coarsely chopped beetroot
  • 4-6 oz plain yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tsp ground chili
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, torn
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper


  1. Boil the peeled and chopped beetroot until tender.  Just make sure you don’t let it get mushy.  You want the beetroot to hold its shape.  Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

  2. In a small bowl add the spices and juice together.  Toss the beetroot in the spices until well coated.  

  3. Mix in the plain yoghurt.  Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.  

Kai Phat Khing (Chicken with Ginger) and Will There Be Progress?

Once again the world watches.  Watches while a woman testifies about sexual assault in front of powerful men whose first reaction is to say boys will be boys.  When I was my daughter’s age I remember the world watching as well.  The message was the same then as it is now.  That breaks my heart.

I want better for my kids.  It seems a reasonable ask to for those who have been assaulted to heard and to raise boys to men who know “boys will be boys” is outdated and dangerous.  I’m inclined to believe Dr Ford, given the timeline of who she told.  Whether or not it’s true, I believe a proper investigation needs to be done.  I’m surprised things were delayed and today they are hearing her given how many have seemed to come to a conclusion already.  I don’t believe the proper venue is in the senate.  I’m curious what the result will be but I’m doubtful as much hasn’t changed since Thomas was confirmed 27 years ago.  On the flip side, Cosby has been sentenced so maybe, just maybe the tide is shifting.

Thai Food:

It is a quiet week as my in-laws drove to New York to visit old friends.  I don’t envy them doing the 8+ hour drive.  It is not a very exciting highway, straight and dull.  Hopefully they will have a good trip.

That leaves just my husband and I.  I’ve gone to cooking up a storm for 6 people to 2.  You wouldn’t think it would be difficult to adjust but I always find it hard to do that.  I either end up making too much or too little.  Because we did a traditional roast this past Sunday I had leftover chicken to use up so I thought it would be great to make a Thai dish.  We are both fans of the cuisine and luckily it’s very easy to cook.

Kai Phat Khing (Chicken with Ginger) Technique:

I have a cookery book called The Complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon.  In it, there is a recipe for Kai Phat Khing (Chicken with Ginger) that was a great choice to use up the chicken.  The interesting thing is the first ingredient in her recipe was wood ear fungus.  But the directions never mentioned putting it in the recipe!  At any rate, I used it as a light guide so I could use what I had on hand.

Hen of the Woods and Chicken of the Woods are great meaty mushrooms.

The co-op had hen of the woods and chicken of the woods mushrooms and I wanted them to be the highlight the dish.  Because I wasn’t sure when my husband would be home I prepped all the ingredients first as it only, when using leftover chicken, takes a few minutes to cook.

You can make this in a skillet but it’s better in a wok if you have one.  Heat the peanut oil.  The 2 tablespoons may sound like a lot but when the mushrooms get tossed in, it’s needed.  But first cook the onions for a few minutes.  When the onions start to become translucent add the garlic.

Keep an eye on the garlic!  The oil is very hot and you want the garlic to be golden, not burnt.  If you are using uncooked chicken, start cooking it now.  Add the mushrooms to the wok.  This needs to be cooked for a few minutes given how hearty the mushrooms are. While this is cooking add the ginger and stir well to coat the mushrooms.  The book mentioned making the ginger less “pungent”.  No way!  The ginger is a great flavour, I have no desire to dull it.

Allow the mushrooms to start to brown a bit.

Add the soy sauce/vinegar mixture along with the leftover chicken.

Near the end of cooking add the scallions.  I don’t like them full on raw but you don’t want these mushy or overcooked.

Garnish with a bit more scallion and serve right away.  As per my usual, I asked my husband how he liked it.  He really liked it but then said though you’ll probably not make it again.  Not true, but someone needs to remember and request.  Fingers crossed one of us doesn’t brain cramp.  🙂

Kai Phat Khing (Chicken with Ginger)

A flavourful Thai dish with chicken, ginger and mushrooms

Course Main Course
Servings 2
Author Our Growing Paynes


  • 2 cups Mushrooms, coarsely chopped I used Hen of the Woods and Chicken of the Woods
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup cooked chicken If using raw, use about 1/2 lb cubed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 scallion, sliced


  1. Mix the soy sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar and brown sugar together and set aside.  

  2. Heat the peanut oil in the wok.  Cook the onions until they start becoming translucent.  Add the garlic.  Cook for another minute before adding the mushrooms.  If you are using raw chicken, add it now.  Add the ginger and stir to coat the mushrooms.  

  3. After cooking for a few minutes add the soy sauce mixture.  Stir well.  Allow the mushrooms to begin to brown a bit.  Near the end of cooking add most of the scallions to cook a minute or so.

  4. Serve immediately and garnish with the remaining scallions.

Korean BBQ Steak Salad

I am on a serious Asian flavour kick lately.  With the sticky hot weather it is great to be able to lean on all the flavours but not be heavy.  It also helps me from getting thoroughly sick of salads!  But even with air conditioning, the suffocating heat and humidity the idea of pasta and such doesn’t appeal.

I had made this dish a few weeks ago when we had friends over for dinner and I knew our kids would love it so now that camp is over it was time to make it again.  Their summer adventures are over and school starts next week so we’re getting back into routine again.  Our daughter is applying to universities and our son has four more years left before he flies the coop.  It goes by so fast.

I have a Williams – Sonoma cookery book simply called Asian.  A lot of thought went into that, obviously.  I adapted it based on the ingredients I had on hand.

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I made the dipping sauce/dressing and the marinade at the same time.  I did this several hours prior to grilling.  We’re still working on our bedroom so I knew I also wanted a quick dinner where I do most of the work before we exhausted ourselves painting and installing flooring.

Now I’ve tried the technique that the book mentions twice but without success but I’ll go over it and then just say not to stress or worry about it because you will still get the flavours needed.  They say to make a paste of sugar and garlic with the back of your knife.  I’ve seen it be successful on shows but for the life of me I couldn’t get it to do as it was supposed to.

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Chop up 4-5 cloves of garlic and add a tablespoon of brown sugar.  Attempt to make it into a paste.  Swear a bit then say to the hell with it and add 2/3 of it to one bowl and the rest to a smaller bowl.

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Add 6 tablespoons of soy sauce in the larger bowl and 3 tablespoons of soy sauce in the smaller bowl.  A tablespoon of sesame oil in the large and a couple of teaspoons of the oil in the smaller.  A tablespoon of rice vinegar in each bowl.  A small handful of sliced scallions in each along with a tablespoon of water.   In the larger bowl grate an inch/2.5cm cube of fresh ginger.  Add a dollop or two of the Gochujang paste to the dipping sauce.

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Mix both well.  Set aside the dipping sauce for later.  I had a pound of steak tips so I cubed them to be about 2in/5cm in size.  Toss the meat in the marinade, make sure the meat is well coated and covered.

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Cover and chill until it’s time to grill.

Fire up the grill and put the meat onto skewers.

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Grill it until the desired doneness.  We prefer medium rare for our beef.

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Once it’s done, add it to the salad and use the dipping sauce as a dressing.

Korean BBQ 9 2018It is also great as part of an Asian tapas night or over rice.  But for now we’re keeping it light until the cooler weather finally arrives.  Hopefully that comes soon!