A foodie family's diary of travel, food, and photos

Why make your own Pickling Spice

October 12th, 2012 | Posted by Ruby in Condiments - (Comments Off on Why make your own Pickling Spice)

You may wonder why anyone would want to make there own pickling spice when it’s easy enough to buy ready made – only problem is it s not always that easy to find.  And of course when you make your own you can adjust each of ingredients to suit your own palate.  So here it is.

I’ll be posting some recipes that use these pickling spices shortly.

Pickling Spice Recipe

2 Tablespoons mustard seed

2 Tablespoons black peppercorns

2 Tablespoons coriander seeds

2 Tablespoons whole allspice

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

6-9 bay leaves crumbled

1 cinnamon stick broken (about 2 inches/5 cm)

2 teaspoons whole cloves

1 teaspoon ground ginger



1.  Lightly toast the mustard seeds, coriander seeds and black peppercorns then smash with a rolling pin

2.  Mix all ingredients together

makes about 3 small spice bottles



Feta and Coriander Samosas

August 20th, 2012 | Posted by Ruby in Condiments | Lunch | Snacks | Starters - (Comments Off on Feta and Coriander Samosas)

Feta and Coriander Samosas

It has been a few years since I last had these tasty morsels.  In fact the last time was in Kenya.  I spent about a year living in Karen, Nairobi and one of the regular haunts for expats was the Talisman Restaurant and this was definitely one of there most popular starters (there’s is served with a tomato chilli sauce which is equally yummy).

Sitting in front of the roaring fire having pre-dinner drinks I could never resist ordering a few portions.  This is my take on an old favourite.

Recipe for Feta and coriander samosas

Ingredients (makes 12)

1 small bunch of fresh coriander finely chopped

200 grams feta cheese

4 sheets of phyllo pastry (sheets usually about 40cm x 30cm)

melted butter



  1. Crumble feta with back of fork in a bowl
  2. Add chopped coriander
  3. Lay 1 phyllo sheet on flat surface and brush with butter
  4. Lay 2nd sheet on top smoothing over buttered surface
  5. Cut this double sheet layer into 8cm lengths along the shorter dimension (see photo below)
  6. Place 1 heaped teaspoon on feta mixture in top most corner of strip and start folding tightly as shown
  7. Brush final edge with butter to seal
  8. Repeat until all pastry strips are used then repeat from point 3 with remaining pastry sheets
  9. Place samosas on greased baking tray and brush tops with butter
  10. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden


Recipe for Sweet chilli dip


½ cup sugar

½ cup water

1 red chilli finely sliced

½ carrot finely grated along length of carrot



  1. Place water and sugar in saucepan and bring to boil
  2. Boil over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced by 1/3
  3. Add chilli and carrot to liquid and allow to cool

Dip can be stored in airtight jar in fridge for 2-3 weeks