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July 2014

Slow cooked beans and chicken casserole

Its been a rainy day.Its been a rainy week. The only thing to do on this kind of day is to put something on the fire to stew slowly and fill the house with its aroma while listening to music and reading. The anticipation of a warm, filling dinner makes the monsoon greys less dreary.

So out comes the latest cook pot, a handmade ceramic dutch oven which is unusual because it is flame proof , withstanding direct heat on the stove top and if necessary can be popped in the oven too.

Since I have friends from Mexico staying I thought the following dish would give them a taste of home.

This is a nice for solar cooking too . 1-IMG_1534


125 gms dried mixed beans, (kidney beans, chick peas, black eyed beans, green peas) , rajmha, kabuli channa, green peas,black beans, chawlai

1/2 tablespoon vegtable oil

1 small red onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 green or red chilli

1 large green pepper/simla mirchi, cut into 1/2 in pieces

3 tomatoes , pulped into juice in a blender

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 tablespoon chilli sauce

1 chicken bouillon cube or 1/2 cup chicken stock

1 teaspoon brown sugar

200 gms minced chicked



  1. Wash and soak the dried beans in 500 ml of boiling hot water for an hour. Drain.
  2. Heat the oil and fry the garlic and chilli for a minute. Add the onion and saute till golden brown.
  3.  Add the green pepper bits and saute for a few minutes. 
  4.  Add the pulped tomatoes, chilli sauce, vinegar, sugar and salt.  Cook for five minutes.
  5. Add the beans and 400 ml water to the pot and cooked on very low heat for 3 hours. You can use a heat diffuser under the pot if necessary.
  6. Add the minced chicken and mix to seperate the bits. Cook for another hour.
  7. Garnish with grated cheese and chopped coriander.

Eat with crusty bread or a warmed tortilla. Delicious!

Handmade Studio Ceramic Cookware from Stove top to Oven to Table

 Most of my readers know that I do not accept advertising in my posts and rarely promote anything unless I love the product . This is one of those rare occasions when I am moved to write about a great product , and am so enthusiastic because , besides other things, is made in my hometown Pune, Maharashtra, India by a talented potter and inventor called Ninad.

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Dutch Oven perfect for dal, soup, one dish dinners and slow cooking

 I first bought a large Uruli type serving dish for a friend and returned to buy more when she responded with high praise for the lovely dish .

Since then I have been buying his line of gas top / ovenware dishes . These withstand high levels if direct heat and can , unlike other ceramic cookware, be used directly on the stove top . They can also be popped into the oven and are beautiful enough to transfer straight to the table to serve in.

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Frying pan


They are come in three useful shapes. A handi shape like a pot , a Dutch oven shape and a saucepan shape .

I use the shallow one for frying eggs, sautéing vegetables and making sauces . The deeper 1.5 liter Dutch oven I use for one dish dinners and soups . The great thing is, I start by frying garlic , onions, and spices on the stove top and carry on to prepare the base sauces before adding the rest of the ingredients and transferring the dish to the oven. When all is cooked it goes straight to the table .Just like a cast iron pan but less heavy and so much prettier.

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Shepherds pie before popping into the oven

I love using the dishes and the taste of food cooked in them. Ninad ships everywhere and his prices are amazingly reasonable for handmade studio cookware . Check it out at