Browse Tag by Yoghurt
Dinner, Lunch

ChiQuin Biryani

Biryani, be with any type of meat and/or vegetables is very popular during special occasions across the India subcontinent, and of course amongst immigrant Indian families across the world.

Traditionally, we have always enjoyed chicken biryani at home, such as the Eid (feast) after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan (Eid-ul-Fitr or Feast of Fast breaking) or 60 days later for Eid-ul-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice). Mum’s also made it for birthdays, family gatherings and so forth, and I have enjoyed it at weddings, engagements and other events.

As much as I love this speciality dish, I wanted to modernise it for my health and fitness needs. Therefore, I used only fresh ingredients (mum likes using frozen garlic and ginger), swapped the olive oil for coconut oil and used quinoa instead of rice! (I know what you’re thinking, I should rename this blog Spiced Up With Quinoa!).

You will need 3 saucepans for this, 2 medium sized ones and one large one, which you can line with aluminium foil like we do at home for easy washing.


Chicken Mix

2 chicken breasts

100g lentils

100g soya yoghurt (you can add any type of yogurt; I am lactose intolerant!)

1 onion

1 red onion

1 tomato

4 cloves of garlic

1 cm of ginger

1 cm haldi (turmeric)

1 long red pepper (didn’t have this available at the time!)

1 long green pepper

1 long red chilli

1 long green chilli (didn’t have this available at the time!)

1 spoon dried coriander

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

1 pinch of saffron

Coconut oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 litre of filtered and boiled water

1 tin of chopped tomatoes (you can use fresh if you wish but it’s quicker and easier to use a can!)



200 g quinoa

Coconut oil

400 mL of filtered water, boiled


ChiQuin Ingredients
ChiQuin Ingredients


Chicken (saucepan 1)

  1. In a saucepan on ¾ heat, melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (put the water on to boil);
  2. Slice and dice in the onions, and stir regularly until the mix starts to bronze;
  3. Add the garlic (I cut the garlic knobs up, press them in a garlic crusher and add them directly into the saucepan) and ginger to the saucepan and stir;
  4. To the mix, add one freshly chopped tomato, 100g soya yogurt, dried coriander, turmeric and a half a teaspoon of salt (feel free to add gharam masala);
  5. Chop in the chillies and peppers (if you want your dish less spicy, add the chillies in with the other vegetables in point 7);
  6. Cook this mix while stirring gently until the water evaporates (points 1-6 should take 5 minutes cooking time);
  7. Begin preparing the quinoa;
  8. Cut the chicken breasts into cubes, add to the saucepan and cook until all raw bits disappear, stir gently;
  9. Turn the heat down to a quarter, add salt to taste, cover with the lid and leave the mix to cook for about 10 minutes;
  10. You are now ready to mix with the quinoa!

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes


Quinoa (saucepan 2)

  1. In a saucepan on ¾ heat, melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (boil 500 mL filtered water);
  2. Add in the quinoa and mix with the coconut oil (helps to keep the quinoa grains separated);
  3. Add in 200mL boiling water and a ½ teaspoon of salt;
  4. Allow the quinoa to simmer, turn the heat down to a quarter, and cover with the lid;
  5. Check on it 3 to 5 minutes later and gently turn the quinoa over with a plastic or wooden spoon to ensure you keep your quinoa seeds in tact;
  6. Allow the quinoa to simmer until the quinoa is cooked (add more water if needed) and all the water has evaporated;
  7. You are now ready to mix with the chicken!

Preparation time: 1 minute

Cooking time: 15 minutes


ChiQuin Biryani (saucepan 3)

  1. Spread 1/3 quinoa at the bottom;
  2. Spread 1/2 lentils over the quinoa;
  3. Spread 1/2 of the chicken mix over the lentils;
  4. Spread remaining 1/2 lentils over the chicken;
  5. Spread remaining 1/2 chicken mix over the lentils;
  6. Spread remaining 2/3 quinoa over the chicken;
  7. Cook on half heat for 15 minutes, and check the chicken with a knife to see if it has almost cooked through;
  8. Transfer onto an elevated gauze or saucepan (to stop the bottom quinoa layer from burning) for 15 minutes on 1/4 heat;
  9. Check to see if chicken has cooked and the mix is to your liking;
  10. You are now ready to eat!

Preparation time: 2 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves up to 2-4 people –I made enough biryani to last us another day!

Let me know how you get on and please feel free to provide feedback!


Chiquin Biryani
ChiQuin Biryani
Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Snack, Teatime

Super Soya Yoghurt

Super Soya Yoghurt

When one is on the type of restricted diet that I am because of my acid reflux, IBS, and lactose intolerance, and leads a very active lifestyle encompassing my quest for a 6-pack where I attend the gym 5 times a week and dance salsa several evenings a week, one has the absolute need for highly nutritious food for needs to replace the forbidden food! I can’t have dairy so milk and Greek Yoghurt are out! I can’t have refined carbs so cereals, bread, rice and pasta are also out!

But I am a man! I need fibre! I need sugar! I need roughage! And I don’t want to have to reduce myself to raw carrot and sugar snap peas all the time (I do enjoy them but come on, every single day?!) for a snack when I want and need something filling!

Enter my Super Soya Yoghurt! I created this initially with porridge but after speaking to my PT who suggested removing the oats and dairy, I decided to switch to simply using soya (which he disagrees with!). This dish takes about 10 minutes to put together because I have all of the ingredients in separate tubs (yes, I am THAT particular!) and packs a serious nutritional punch encompassing all of what we need! We have a plethora of vitamins, minerals, healthy carbohydrates/sugars, fibre and protein, that’s what makes this yoghurt super!

I tend to have this has a small meal when I don’t want to have cooked food, usually late afternoon or evening, and with a cup of Spicy Masala Chai, it definitely hits the spot!

My collection of Dried Fruit, Nuts, Seeds, Spices!
My collection of Dried Fruit, Nuts, Seeds, Spices!


250 mL Soya Yoghurt

Natural Forever Bee Honey

Dried Fruits

1 teaspoon Dried Cranberries

1 teaspoon Pitted Dates

1 teaspoon Banana Chips

1 teaspoon Apricots Whole Pitted

1 teaspoon California Seedless Raisins

1 teaspoon Sultanas

1 teaspoon Currants

1 teaspoon Dried Blueberries

4 Prunes Whole Pitted

4 Sun Dried Mango

4 Dried Apple Rings

4 Diced Pineapple pieces

8 Diced Papaya pieces


4 Whole Cashew Nuts

4 Brazil Nuts

4 Walnut Halves

4 Pecan Halves

8 Macadamias

8 Hazelnut Kernels

4 Almonds


1 teaspoon Pine Kernels

1 teaspoon Pumpkin Seeds

1 teaspoon Sunflower Kernels Hulled

1 teaspoon Brown Linseed


Sprinkle of ground Cinnamon

Sprinkle of ground Nutmeg


  1. Add all the dried fruit, nuts and seeds in a bowl.
  2. Pour in the soya yogurt.
  3. Squeeze on the natural bee honey.
  4. Sprinkle the ground cinnamon and nutmeg on top.
  5. Mix it up and dig in!
My Super Soya Yoghurt
My Super Soya Yoghurt

Preparation time 10 minutes

Eating time 10-15 minutes

Let me know how you get on and please feel free to provide feedback 🙂

Dinner, Lunch

Mighty Mung

Mighty Mung

Mung, or moong, is a green bean that’s popular over the Asian subcontinent, and very popular in our household! Mung is a good mix of proteins, carbs and fibre and is a staple food in India, where my family come from. It is popular among those who are vegetarian and vegan, so if you want a nutritional punch without the meat and dairy, this is the dish for you!

Growing up here in England, we had mung at least once a week! Traditionally, we had it with my mum’s delicious chappati, and my dad and I used to lap it up, by breaking the chappati up into little pieces and mixing it in the mung and digging in! My mum would also add yoghurt to the mung for thickness and taste, so I have continued with that but changed from dairy to soya yoghurt because of my lactose intolerance, acid reflux and IBS – believe me, the payback is definitely not worth it, not even a little bit… Think the film Bridesmaids…!

Nowadays, I am off the refined carbs due to my digestive issues with carbs and also my health and fitness reasons – there is a reason this is fitness food blog – which is my quest for a 6-pack! I am not that far off currently but I am going to motor on with this no refined carb and no dairy diet, it’s working for me both in terms of my health and fitness 🙂

One of the things I am trying to do is increase the nutritional value of all of our traditional dishes whilst removing the refined carbs. In this case I decided to add coloured vegetables in the form of chilli and peppers to increase the complex carbs and upped the protein by adding some tofu! The result is a delicious mix that has surprised me over and over again by how tasty it turned out, and it impressed my dear mother too! With my modifications, you get your protein, carbs and fibre, spice and taste all in one dish, what more could you ask for? 🙂

Prepped and ready to cook!
Prepped and ready to cook!


1/2 onion

1/2 red onion

2 spring onions

3 cloves of garlic (I love garlic in my food)

1 cm of ginger

1 cm haldi (not tamarind as I say in the video, my apologies!)

1 red chilli

1 green chilli

1/2 long red pepper

1 long green pepper

1 fresh tomato

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

200g tofu

Olive oil



1 tablespoon dried coriander

100ml soya yoghurt

1 litre of filtered and boiled water

First full fresh coriander

2 saucepans, 1 medium, 1 small


  1. In the large saucepan, add 500mL filtered boiling water and add in the 100 g mung. Stir, cover with lid and allow to boil on ¾ heat for at least 30 minutes, or until all the mung have split;
  2. Continue to check on the large saucepan every 10 minutes or so for water and stir (add more water if you need, and trust me, you will need to! With the rest of the boiled water in the kettle, prepare a cup of tea!);
  3. In the small saucepan slice and dice in the onions (hold back the green leaves of the spring onions until the end), add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and allow the onions to turn brown whilst stirring;
  4. Once the onions brown, add the garlic (I cut the garlic knobs up, press them in a garlic crusher and add them directly into the saucepan), chopped ginger, haldi and tomatoes, curry leaves and dried coriander;
  5. Continue to stir gently until the tomato cooks through;
  6. Check on the mung (should be done around the 30-minute mark), and if the mung beans have popped, add in the contents of the small saucepan, chop in the red and green chillies (add them later at point 8 if you want your mung less spicy) add ½ teaspoon of salt and stir;
  7. Turn the heat down to a quarter, taste the mung and add salt and black pepper to taste;
  8. Chop in the red and green peppers, stir and cover with the lid and to cook for about 5 minutes;
  9. Add the chopped tofu and spring onion leaves and cover for 5 minutes;
  10. Feel free to add any coriander to finish and you are ready to eat!
Mung is served!
Mung is served!

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Eating time: 15 minutes

Serves up to 4 people

I made enough for the next day as we had a busy weekend ahead!

Let me know how you get on and please feel free to provide feedback J