A Varuval to remember

I love a good spicy dry fried mutton varuval.  I remember scorching hot days sat eating  varuval and rice on banana leaf at the local mamak for Sunday lunch.

Now I am plant based, I decided to recreate my favourite Indian mamak dish with organic tempeh and chestnut mushrooms.


Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 packet organic tempeh chopped
  • 10 pieces chestnut mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 20 cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 2 tbspn curry powder
  • Cayene Pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbspn cumin seeds
  • Clearspring avocado oil
  • Himalayan pink salt


  • Pour a generous glug of avocado oil into a hot pan.
  • Add cumin seeds and fry
  • Then add curry powder, turmeric, cayenne pepper
  • Stir fry till fragrant
  • Add chopped tempeh and mushroom
  • You may want to add a little more oil if pan looks dry
  • Add cherry tomatoes
  • Stir fry till cherry tomatoes are soft and release juice
  • Add salt to taste

Enjoy with quinoa, rice or roti, will be posting my buckwheat and flax roti recipe soon.





Healing diets and going plant based

My kitchen is becoming a plant based healing sanctuary.   I started studying a mind expanding Healing Diets course and it has helped me in ways I never thought possible.  I distil my water, have a food dehydrator, going to slow press my homegrown wheatgrass.

I have been on a 3 day water only fast, a 7 day fresh lemon, maple syrup, cayene only fast and a green smoothie fast.  I have done an enema on myself (easy and very pleasant).  Increased my daily consumption of fresh greens, fruit, nuts and seeds.  Swapped refined sugar for maple syrup, mollases, dates, applesauce etc.

The fasts helped me recognise my emotional attachment to food, to understand and not feel guilt for comfort eating and to enjoy every thing that I put into my mouth. My body deserves the best!

My emotional, mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing increasing with every lesson.  I am grateful to Bonny Casel of London Institute of Natural Medicine.  A course I have been wanting to do for some years and finally started in November 2017.

My Friday takeaway reflects my love of plant based meals.  I prefer to cook and sell what I truly believe is the best for my customers.  Ensuring I use the highest quality ingredients to produce tantalising Southeast Asian dishes, meat and dairy free.

I am not purely vegan, in fact, I am not purely anything.  I am just Giselda, who follows an evidence plant based diet daily and indulges in nostalgic food cravings from time to time.  As someone who is genuinely curious about the cultures and food trends of others, I would not be able to refrain from tasting local dishes that are not purely plant based and dairy free on my many travels.

I also gain inspiration to create my plant based meals from tasting all different types of food.  London being my main taste center!  I am and always will be, a curious food tasting world traveller.   The lucky one, who grew up in a household of fantastic cooks in Malaysia, a country of diversity in food, religion and race.

I believe a fresh organic locally sourced plant based diet excluding meat, dairy, seafood, sugar, processed food is best for optimal health.  I practice this in my daily life.  I have seen an amazing increase in my energy levels and overall health.  I sleep better at night too.  My yoga asana’s are easier to execute and my mind less foggy for meditation.

I am looking forward to learning more about the goodness of humble plants, herbs, spices.  I cannot wait to create delicious recipes to share.

Here’s to a cleaner, healthier mid life growth 🙂 !!!

Love, peace and gratitude always

Giselda  – Giselda’s Food, It’s not only what you put in, it’s what you don’t!!

Perks of being a yellow split pea!

One rainy afternoon and a craving for Amachi’s dhal and rice.  Having no red lentils (a favourite), I decided on yellow split peas – yum!!!

Whilst the dhal was cooking, I made roti using some of the boiling water from the cooking dhal, generous glugs of Hemp oil, a pinch of sea salt and Doves Farm wholemeal spelt flour.

I love the gentle English rain.  A far cry from the pounding giant raindrops on the aluminium tin roof of my childhood home in Jalan Laxamana, Kuala Lumpur.


  • 250g yellow split peas
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • A large pinch Maldon sea salt
  1. Boil the above in a medium sized pot.  1 ltr of water per 250g peas but top up if it boils down too quickly
  • Good glug Rapeseed or Hemp oil
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 inch ginger julienned
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbspn curry powder
  • 4 pieces dried birds eye chillies (omit if you dislike heat)
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • Quarter lemon for fresh lemon juice
  1. Once peas are cooked and soft to the bite, turn off heat and drain liquid.  Keep liquid to moisten the dhal if it dries as you cook.  The liquid can also be enjoyed as a hot drink.
  2. In a pan, fry the garlic and ginger.
  3. Add the cumin seeds, the curry powder and dried chillies.  Fry till fragrant.
  4. Add the cooked spilt peas, stir and add a little cooking liquid if too dry.  Then add the tomato puree.
  5. Stir till ingredients are well combined.  Cook on low heat for another 5 minutes.  Ensure salt is to your liking.  Take off the heat and add fresh lemon juice.

Enjoy with your Roti!!


Wellbeing Live 2017

I was invited to do a cookery demo for Health and Wellbeing Live.  I decided my Rye bread goreng recipe had to shown and shared.  I came up with this recipe for my childrens school lunch box.

Rye Bread Goreng recipe

A quick easy to cook, nutritious stir fry

Ingredients- Serves 2

2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1/2 red onion or 1 stalk spring onion sliced
2 pieces of organic Rye Bread- cut into bite sized pieces
100g smoked tofu
1 organic free range egg
1 stalk celery
Liquid aminos to taste
Quartered cherry tomatoes
Sea salt flakes and cracked black pepper to taste
Handful fresh parsley
Handful nuts of choice (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan
  2. Add onion- fry ’til slightly coloured
  3. Add Rye Bread and smoked tofu (or fresh fish/meat)
  4. When Rye Bread is crispy around the edges, move to the side and crack an egg into pan. Fry the egg ’til cooked
  5. Add chopped celery
  6. Add liquid aminos to taste
  7. Take off heat and add quartered cherry tomatoes
  8. Season with sea salt and cracked pepper
  9. Stir through fresh curly leaf parsely
  10. Garnish with toasted nuts (optional)


Jom Makan! (Let’s eat!)

Lunch at Giselda’s

I made this duck tart as an introduction to my food when I invited Rebecca Randall of Health and Wellbeing Live for lunch.  I will be showcasing my cooking demos.


I bought the ingredients from Shipbourne Farmers Market.  This wonderful market is open from 9am – 11am next to the Chaser Inn.  I love how the little church is also used to house some of the products.

Ingredients for pastry

200g Doves Gram flour
100g Doves Rice flour
3 Tbsp Kentish Cobnut Oil (I used Edward’s at Shipbourne Farmers Market)
1 Organic Egg
Large pinch of Pink Himalayan salt
Cold water


In a large roomy bowl combine the Gram and Rice flours.

Add the salt and mix well.  Rub in the Cobnut oil till the mixture looks like crumbs.  Add the egg and bring it all together with enough cold water.

Roll out the pastry to 1/2 an inch and line a fluted tart tin.  Pierce the bottom with a fork in several places.

Cook in a pre heated oven for 10 minutes.

Ingredients for Filling

250ml Oatley Oat Cream
2 Organic eggs
2 Tbsp Liquid Aminos
1 Tbsp Clearspring Mirin
1/2 Tbsp Almond Butter
1 Wild Duck Leg (from the game stall in Shipbourne Farmers Market) roast as per instructions, and shred.  Scrap juices into a bowl to mix with filling
3 chopped stalks of wild garlic (seasonal) or chopped fresh spring onions
1 handful fresh Coriander
Small handful Cobnuts


Pour the Oat cream into a large measuring jug,  whisk in the eggs, Liquid Aminos, Mirin, Almond butter.  Set aside.

Layer the chopped wild garlic on the bottom of the tart tin pre-lined with pastry.

Add the shredded duck.

Pour in the Oat cream mixture and add the chopped coriander and roasted cobnuts.

Cook in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celcius for 40 minutes or till the filling is only just slightly wobbly.

Oodles of Noodles Kanada-Ya, St Giles London

So 3 friends went off to the big city on the train to search for a very little Japanese restaurant filled with oodles of noodles! (Ramen to be precise.)

We queueProcessed with VSCO with f2 presetd in anticipation with several other Japanese people (always a good sign) and a couple of Americans.  The restaurant opened its doors at exactly 12 noon and we were told where to sit.  The restaurant sat 20.   They only served you if you were physically present.  So no pre-ordering for late friends!

Orders were taken promptly.  I sat sipping on my green tea with roasted rice whilst waiting for my food.   The food arrived swiftly and perfectly cooked.

Our starters were chicken karaage with Japanese mayo and BBQ pork with a chilli sauce.

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The 3 of us sat in sublime silence enjoying every bite of our chicken and BBQ pork.

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Then the steaming hot bowls of  pork ramen arrived.  We were recommended the ‘hard’ ramen option as the noodles settled into their right texture as we ate.  Ching had ordered ‘regular’ and her noodles became too soft.  My soup was spiced and the other two not.  We all three ordered a boiled egg as the added extra.  A good choice, the egg was delicious.

I alternately added thinly julienned ginger or spicy pickled vegetables to my spoonfuls of ramen.    These were ‘free’ to help ourselves on the table.  I love different textures and flavours and wasn’t disappointed.

The whole experience was definitely to be repeated.  Perhaps with Elise and Tara.  Maya might be enticed with the crunchy fried chicken but ramen nor pork a favourite.

Their complete menu is available online.





Of Rotis and Doves

I want to share my Roti recipe, with a nutritional twist.  I used Doves Farm organic wholemeal Buckwheat flour and Psyllium husks.

The humble Roti, a nutritious flat bread, eaten in many countries, known by different names.  A basic filling food that is cheap on ingredients and deeply satisfying to make.  I enjoy the ritual of squidging the dough, rolling it out and cooking it on a hot plate.  The rolling out in a circle and ‘air bubbles’ when cooking, a challenge for me as a child,   I still don’t roll them out in a proper circle but hey! I think I have mastered the ‘air bubbles’:)

We traditionally made them with ‘atta’ (fine wholewheat) flour.  I have been experimenting with the wonderful range from Doves Farm.

I met Clare Marriage 10 years ago, when I ran my food business in Wiltshire.  We were both members of Slow Food Berkshire.

I love that the business is family run and very socially conscious.  I have had much pleasure helping them at their “Free From’ exhibition stalls in London Olympia, Liverpool, Glasgow and their ‘Children in need’ charity tent at Car Fest, Hampshire.

I used their organic flour at my organic cafe in Kuala Lumpur,  their gluten free range of flours, pasta, bars and biscuit unbeatable on flavour and quality.  It’s lovely to have access to their full range here in the UK.

Giselda’s Fibre rich Roti


500g Doves Farm organic wholemeal Buckwheat flour
1tbsp Psyllium husks
3tbsp Olive oil
2 large pinches of salt to taste
3 cups boiling water


Mix flour and Psyllium husks in a large (roomy) bowl.  Add olive oil and salt.  Add boiling hot water and mix with spatula in a slicing motion.

Once the dough is cooled to touch, gather dough and form into a ball.  Take ball out of bowl and work on a floured surface.  Dough should be soft and elastic.

Roll into ping pong ball sized pieces and press down flat using palm of your hand.  Then roll out thinly.

I generally roll out a piece while the other is cooking.  This is a great opportunity to get your child (partner, friend, neighbour) to help.  I often chat with my girls about their day while we bond making Roti.

Cook on a hot flat pan.  Keep warm on a plate under a tea towel.

We eat them with curry.

They were also popular at our organic cafe filled with cheese, mashed avocado, tuna, etc and toast on a hot flat frying pan, recipe to follow.

A ‘Midlife Growth’ !

No more ‘Midlife crises’ 🙂

Giselda’s Food is officially open for business.

Many months spent working on recipes and menus.  Lots of food tastings with my girls and close friends.  Lazy Sunday lunches and midweek surprises.

My food journey started many years ago in Malaysia.  I grew up in a family of food lovers.  Travelling many miles with my father to try the best bowl of Shitake mushroom Bah Kut Teh (a delicious herbal Chinese soup).

My mother always carrying a rice cooker on trips to the beach and cooking the most amazing food in our little hotel room (back in the days when one could smuggle appliances into hotels!)

Sitting with my grandmother and stirring chopped up pieces of banana core in a pan of water to gather the stringy bits.

Aunty Susan producing mouth watering meals with the simplest store cupboard ingredients.

Then travelling and living in many different countries and learning different cultures through food.