Indian Summer Birthday Party

Hola Happy Tuesday!!

This weekend we organised a birthday party…a surprise Indian feast!! We don’t do things by halves, we decorated the garden with lights and lanterns, and set up a shaded Indian seating area with lots of Indian cushions and fabrics draped. It looked amazing.

We all had a hand in the cooking, to start we had meat & vegetable samosas made by one of my Aunts, Onion Bhaji’s made by me but with an old recipe of my Nana’s which my Aunt found:


Nana’s Onion Bhaji Recipe

I also made some dips; Raita which I blizted up to be smooth and green for the starter and left chunky to go with the main, a mango and cashew nut dip which was delicious, click link replace the macadamia nuts for cashews….

my brinjal pickle recipe click link

and a tomato and onion salad.

On the menu for main course; my Aunt Heather marinated a leg of lamb in Indian spices for 48 hours and then slowly cooked it and served it on pilau rice with crispy onions it was delicious.


I made my Chicken Korma recipe here:


I also made a Tarka Dal. This is such an easy side dish curry to make:

Tarka Dal


250g dried Chana Dal (Yellow split pea lentils)

1 tsp Salt

2 Tbsp Oil ( I used Sunflower)

1 heap tbsp Cumin seeds

1 Onion chopped

2 Green Chilli’s pricked

Handful of Curry leaves

2″ Chunk Ginger

3 Garlic Cloves

3/4 Fresh Tomatoes

1 tsp Turmeric Powder

1 tsp Coriander Powder

1 tsp Garam Masala Powder

Fresh Coriander Chopped

Extra Oil for serving


Place boiling hot water over the lentils so it just covers them and the salt. Let this bubble away on a medium heat for about 25 minutes or until the lentils are soft and mushy. Do not drain these once cooked the liquid is needed in the curry too.

In a hand blender blitz up the tomatoes, garlic and ginger to a paste, set aside.

In a pan heat the oil, add the cumin seeds and cook for a minute, then add in the onions, curry leaves and chilli’s and soften on a medium, heat.

Once soft add in the tomato paste you have just made, stir well. Let this cook for a few minutes then add in the turmeric, garam masala and coriander powder.

Fill the hand blizter with water and pour into the pan so you are not wasting any of the tomato paste juices.

Let this bubble for about 10-15 minutes.

Add in the cooked lentils and all of their juices, stir well and taste.

Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with the green chillis on top and a drizzle of oil.


Tarka Dal

Aunt Carol made a slow cooked beef curry which was so tasty. She also made a side dish of Frugard, this was a favourtie of mine as a kid. It is cabbage, prawns, onions and desiccated coconut. As a twist (and as we have them growing) she made it with red cabbage and it was delicious!!



She also made her famous paratha breads which I love, then she went off and did the decorating of the garden…….


We also used the hand painted glasses my talented Aunt Heather makes and sells:




The day was fun, we drank, swam and ate until late!!


Poor Queenie got Bhindi’d












Birthday Boy



Relaxing after a swim

The whole day was beautiful, we love setting up something like this!!

Of course a birthday is not the same without a cake!!! I must admit it does not quite fit in with the ‘Indian’ theme but it was delicious. I made this Chocolate and hazelnut cake, my Aunt Carol created the bunting for me :-)…




This cake was so moist and gooey.

I made a friend’s wedding cake a few years ago and this was the recipe I used then, it went down so well then I thought I would make it again….. it was a recipe I found years ago online and with trial and error I perfected it for the wedding cake tins I was using, here it is…

Chocolate & Hazelnut Cake


4 cups Plain Flour

2 tsp Salt

2 tsp Baking Powder

4 tsp Baking Soda

1 1/2 cups Cocoa Powder (good quality)

4 cups Caster Sugar

2 Cup Oil (I used Sunflower)

2 Cup hot Coffee

2 cup Milk

4 Eggs

2 tsp Vanilla Extract


350g of good quality Dark Chocolate at least 75% cocoa

250ml Whipping Cream (I used double as you can’t get whipping cream here in Spain)

Roasted Hazelnuts for decoration ( I roasted these in the oven at 200 degrees for about 10-15 minutes)


Grease and line 3 sandwich tins (this mixture could make 4 layers but I made cupcakes with the left over batter)

Sift together dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add oil, coffee, and milk; mix at medium speed for 2 minutes. I used a Kitchen Aid.

Beat your eggs together then add slowly to the bowl whilst it is mixing, then add the vanilla;mix for a few minutes more. The batter mix is thin.

Pour into 3 greased and floured 9 inch cake pans. Pour to just over halfway ( leaving approx 0.7cm from top of pan) do not over fill as it will rise. I also made 10 mini cupcakes with left over.

Bake at 170 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Cool cakes for 15 minutes in the pans then remove and place carefully onto wire racks cool completely.

Ganache, break the chocolate and place into a glass heat-resistant bowl along with the cream, heat some water up in a small saucepan and then place the glass bowl above. On a low heat let the chocolate melt, stir after it looks melted. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water as it will split the ganache, make sure the heat is not too high as this will also split the ganache. If this does happen beat in a little icing sugar it will fix it. Once the chocolate is melted and it looks rich in colour, it should be glossy,  take off the heat and stir in the vanilla. Let this cool for a few minutes.

Now trim the cakes so they are all level. Spread ganache between each layer, then give the outer cake a coating of ganache using a palette knife or ruler and even out the icing. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes then repeat.

Then grab handfuls of the roasted nuts and push into the sides.

Viola!!! ❤

So Sunday was a wash out, it was roasting hot outside and we all passed out on the sofa watching movies, eating left over cake. I popped to the kitchen to get a drink and found this…


The cheeky girls had a party of their own and demolished our cushions!! Ha ha xxx

Lulu xx



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