Category Indian

Spice up Your Holiday Potluck: Mississauga’s White Gold

Spice up your holiday potluck party with exotic and inexpensive finger food that will please the palates of adventurous eaters and vegetarians. Easy peasy; no cooking required. Pick up an assortment of restaurant-quality, sweet and savory, vegetarian Indian baking from Mississauga’s White Gold Food.


Dhokla is a moist, savory cake made from chickpea flour and yogurt – a healthy dose of fibre and protein. The regular “non-spicy” version has a garnish of tempered black mustard seeds, sesame seeds, hot green chiles, and fresh coriander leaves: gentle heat and fresh green flavour against the mellow nuttiness of the chickpeas and tang of the yogurt, all in one deeply satisfying bite. The “spicy” version is made with ginger and green chiles and is dusted with chile powder – take a walk on the wild side, this baby is hot. Serve with very spicy, hot green chutney (coriander, green chiles, and yogurt) but lovely just solo.


Of course, samosas are always a big hit at a party and White Gold’s samosas are delicious. Choose regular; the spice level is just enough to give a golden warmth. Apparently, the spicy version is not for the faint of heart. Serve with tangy-sweet tamarind chutney….mmm!


I’ve never been a pakora fan (those often greasy, tasteless globs of fried batter with a hint of vegetables). But White Gold has awoken the inner pakora lover in me. Their pakoras are not greasy and are packed with a flavourful combination of potatoes, onion, spinach, carrots, eggplant, and cauliflower in chickpea batter, fried to perfection.

Some Indian desserts are almost sickly sweet but there are a few that I like in small doses and White Gold makes them mouth-watering.


Burfi means fudge. I adore White Gold’s mango burfi (middle right): tangy, pure mango pulp balances the rich sweetness of the fudgy evaporated milk. Anjeer burfi (top) is made with figs and almonds while Khajoor burfi (bottom) is made with dates and almonds. Elaichi peda (middle left) is like a cross between shortbread and fudge: sweetened evaporated milk dumplings made with the very best cardamom.

Owned and operated by a local family who use only top quality ingredients and prepare their authentic products with the utmost care. White Gold supplies their quality baking to restaurants and markets but thankfully, they have a storefront take-out counter, filled with all sorts of goodies, open to the general public. Google maps has pinned the address incorrectly on Laird. It is at the back of 3176 Ridgeway in unit #48.

At this time of year, I love seeing the Diwali lights and fireworks across our city. Happy Diwali!

White Gold Food
3176 Ridgeway Drive,
Unit 48, Mississauga,
ON L5L 5S6
Telephone: 906-607-6776


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Hubby’s Favourite Weekday Chicken: Curried Mustard Chicken

The say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach but I’m not entirely certain of that. My husband comes from a family of great cooks. He, himself, survived a year of chef school. So I was downright nervous the first time I cooked for him, in that tiny kitchen of my upper duplex apartment in Little Burgundy, Montreal. My friend assured me her ‘foolproof’ recipe for chicken would cast him under my spell with the first bite (that Best of Bridge recipe with mustard, curry powder, honey, and butter). Would you believe I managed to blow the recipe? It was the worst chicken I have ever made! He ate every bite like a true gentleman and fell in love with me anyways.  I’ve created our own healthier version of Curried Mustard Chicken that he now adores. (Honey, this link is for you – a little trip down memory lane or should I say 2222 rue Coursol. I still love that little, white dormer kitchen window).

As easy as this recipe is, it is well worth searching out a few special ingredients. Based in Mississauga, Ontario, Arvinda’s makes artisanal, premium Indian spice blends, using Canadian grown spices whenever possible, like mustard seed and coriander. I love Arvinda’s Curry Powder; it is a rich, fragrant blend of spices – so fragrant that I often pop the lid just for a whiff. Definitely my favourite curry powder, outshining any others I have tried to date. Use Arvinda’s Curry Powder and not their Curry Masala for this recipe. You can find Arvinda’s finely crafted range of Indian spice blends in fine food stores throughout Ontario. Check their website for a store near you.

I really don’t like typical grocery store garlic salt. Get yourself a bottle of The Garlic Box Roasted Garlic & Sea Salt and bring your recipes up a notch. Made with roasted Ontario-grown garlic; finely crafted in Hensall, Ontario. Check their website for where to buy.

Use whatever chicken you prefer. We eat skinless; my husband prefers thighs, so I cook both thighs and breasts. For a treat, Burton Meats sells a beautiful, restaurant-style Chicken Suprême: a boneless chicken breast with the skin and upper portion of the wing bone attached. Gently force your fingers under the skin to rub a little of the sauce both under and over the skin – the end result will be incredibly moist and flavourful (you can choose to discard the skin after cooking). Check their website for two Mississauga retail locations.

Olive’s Curried Mustard Chicken
Serves 3 – double the recipe to serve 6

Sauce (makes 10 tablespoons – enough for 3 servings):
6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Arvinda’s Curry Powder (mild curry powder)
1 teaspoon Garlic Box Garlic Salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper

3 chicken breasts or 6 chicken thighs or 3 Chicken Suprêmes


  1. Preheat oven to 375F. In a medium bowl, whisk sauce ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  2. Arrange chicken in a single, evenly-spaced layer on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking tray. Spread sauce thickly and evenly on all sides of chicken. I like to throw the lemon halves on the baking tray to caramelize while the chicken roasts. Bake until chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 35 to 40 minutes depending on what cut you use. Using tongs, carefully squeeze the lemon over the chicken (juice will be very hot).
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GTA West’s Finest Dosas: Mississauga’s Guru Lukshmi

Ever since an Indian friend introduced me to dosas at Guru Lukshmi – a restaurant, she asserted, that serves the finest, authentic South Indian vegetarian cuisine in our region – I have been hooked. The food has the flavours of India that I love but without heavy sauces and rich meats it tastes bright, clean, and healthy. Fresh, quality ingredients are prepared using traditional family recipes that have been passed down – and mastered – through generations of the family who owns Guru Lukshmi.

Don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with this type of Indian cuisine; Guru Lukshmi’s menu will guide you through the many choices. South Indian cuisine is usually hotter so start out with mild choices and work your way up.

Rasam soup is a fiery blend of lentil, tamarind, and tomato juice – not for the faint of heart. I can’t handle the heat but my husband loves it.

Sambhar is a spicy soupy stew made with tamarind, vegetables, lentils, red chili peppers, and spices.  Chutneys are fresh delights: the tomato chutney seems to be the hottest, the coriander chutney is sweet and bright, and the coconut chutney is cooling.

Idly are two soft pillows of ground, fermented, and steamed rice and lentils – sponges for the wonderful sambhar and chutneys you dip them in. You can order them plain with sambhar, coconut chutney, and tomato chutney on the side for dipping (photo below);


or order them “dipped” (as Sambhar Idly) and they come soaked in spicy sambhar sauce and topped with ghee, chopped tomato, fresh coriander, sweet purple onion, and coconut chutney (photo below). Either way, they are quite filling and should be shared as an appetizer.


The dosas are absolutely addictive: traditional South Indian crepes (made of fermented rice and lentil batter) that are delicate and crispy, yet deliciously satisfying. Create your own custom dosa by selecting one of many flavourful pastes, toppings (onions, green/red peppers, coriander, ghee butter), and whether you want to include a potato filling (“aloo masala”: a mild potato stuffing with fried onions, herbs, and spices), and cheese.  You can also specify the spice level, amount of oil (cholesterol-free vegetable oil), and texture (soft, medium, or crispy). My preference is mild and crispy.

How do you eat a dosa? Tear off a piece with your fingers and dip it into your sambhar and one of the chutneys or take the messier route and pour the sambhar onto your dosa, tear off a piece and dip it into some chutney. It’s fun to double dip, mixing two or three chutney flavours with each bite.  Dosas come with sambhar and three chutneys (tomato, coriander, and coconut).

My favourites are Guru Lukshmi’s signature dosas that are so flavourful the family had them trademarked to prevent others from copying their creations. Mysore Bhaji Aloo Masala Dosa is spread with a mild mysore paste (garlic, herbs, and spices), aloo masala potato stuffing, fresh onion, coriander, green and red peppers, butter, and secret spices – it is uniquely ambrosial (photo below). Though it is rated mild on the menu, the heat is head-tickling and sinus-clearing but pleasant and not painful; a great choice for those who can handle what I think of as medium heat.


When I want something a little less filling, I order the Vegetable Spring Dosa (a.k.a. diet dosa) without the aloo masala potato stuffing but with cheese and coriander paste.  It is stuffed with shredded carrot, green cabbage, sweet purple onion, sweet green pepper, chopped tomato, and a hint of ghee (photo below). Fresh, bright, clean, and just spicy enough to warm me nicely from my ears to my toes.


Opened in 2003 by husband and wife team Kumar Gurutharan and Thana Lakshmi, Guru Lukshmi has since moved from its Erin Centre Boulevard location to Derry and McLaughlin, while steadily gaining popularity. On my latest visit, I arrived when the restaurant opened at 11:30 a.m. on Friday and easily found seating; by 12:00 p.m. the restaurant was full and shortly after, a healthy line-up formed. Apparently it is busier on the weekends – the reason why the owners have recently allowed reservations with some seating saved for walk-ins. Service is efficient, fast, and friendly. Décor is chic Indian: dark walls with silver wall decorations and pretty lights.

Guru Lukshmi
7070 Saint Barbara Blvd Unit 45 & 50
(Derry and McLaughlin)
Mississauga, Ontario L5W 0E6
Telephone: 905-795-2299
Monday & Tuesday: 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Wednesday: closed
Thursday: 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Friday: 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Reservations are welcome – read the reservation policy here:

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Olive’s Keep Calm & Carry On Christmas Survival Guide: Make-Ahead Holiday Hors d’Oeuvres

Here is my holiday line-up of make-ahead, easy-assemble, or store-bought hors d’oeuvres, ranging from comforting to exotic, that are so delicious they will make you the talk of the town.


Paneer Tikka Stuffed Mini Potatoes

Makes 32 halves

My Paneer Tikka Mini Potatoes are stuffed with an exotic combination of Indian spices tamed by rich coconut milk, tomato paste, and soft paneer cheese. Mmm…cheese, potatoes, and a touch of the exotic in a make-ahead, freezer-friendly recipe – everything I am looking for in a special occasion hors d’oeuvres.

It’s well worth seeking out Arvinda’s Tikka Masala spice blend for this recipe. Based in Oakville, Ontario, Arvinda’s makes artisanal, premium Indian spice blends, using Canadian grown spices whenever possible, like mustard seed and coriander. Their Tikka Masala is a lively blend of all natural ingredients, including fresh organic garlic from Stratford, Ontario and fresh ginger.   It’s hot but the tiny amount in this recipe will blanket you in a pleasant (not painful) warmth with layers of flavour. You can find Arvinda’s finely crafted range of Indian spice blends in fine food stores throughout Ontario. Check their website for a store near you.

Paneer cheese is a mild, fresh, farmer white cheese. It is now widely available in many supermarkets or Indian grocery stores.


16 mini Yukon Gold potatoes, uniformly medium-sized
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup (scant) finely diced paneer cheese
½ teaspoon Arvinda’s Tikka Masala spice mix
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons tomato paste
½ cup canned coconut milk, well-shaken

Finely chopped chives, green onion, or cilantro



  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut potatoes in half so that each half will sit upright. Dump on parchment-lined baking sheet. Add oil and salt; toss to coat potatoes evenly. Arrange on baking sheet cut side up and evenly spaced so potatoes aren’t touching each other. Roast in a 375°F oven until just tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet.


  1. Using the pointed end of a vegetable peeler or a small spoon, carefully scoop flesh out of potato into a medium bowl, leaving a thin wall of flesh lining the potato skin. Roughly mash the flesh with a potato masher or fork.
  2. Add stuffing ingredients to mashed potato; mix well. Mound stuffing in potatoes halves.
  3. If serving immediately, arrange on parchment-lined baking sheet; bake at 375°F until hot throughout and cheese is soft, 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle garnish of your choice over top of each potato. Serve warm.
  4. Or place in an airtight container, separating layers with parchment paper, cover and store in the refrigerator overnight. Bring to room temperature while preheating oven to 375°F degrees. Arrange on parchment lined-baking sheet and bake until hot throughout and cheese is soft, 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle garnish of your choice over top of each potato. Serve warm.
  5. Or place in an airtight container, separating layers with parchment paper, cover and freeze up to 2 weeks. Bake from frozen in a 375°F oven, arranged on a parchment-lined baking sheet, until hot throughout and cheese is soft, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle garnish of your choice over top of each potato. Serve warm.



Muhammara: A Seductive Syrian Dip

You’ll find my recipe for a seductively delicious dip, that is festively colourful and healthy. in my post Mississauga Meet Muhammara: A Seductive Syrian Dip. This intriguing little number has layers of flavour and texture: roasted sweet red peppers, crunchy walnuts, acidic tomato paste and lemon juice balanced by sweet and tangy pomegranate molasses, and a warm spicy heat that slowly unveils itself. It’s a breeze to make at the last minute with most items stocked in the pantry, or it can be made ahead and refrigerated for a couple of days. or even frozen for up to 2 weeks. If you would rather purchase ready-made Muhammara, my post tells you where to buy a good one.


Cheddar Cayenne Cookies

Makes 4 logs (about 24 cookies in each log)

Adapted from Cheddar Crisp Appetizers

These savory cookies have a rich, cheddar flavour with a bit of a spicy kick. They are delicious on their own but spoon on Rootham’s Tangy Red Pepper Jelly or Yummies in a Jar Apple Sage Jelly and they become extra special. Make the dough ahead, roll it into logs, and freeze for up to 1 month; then simply take the dough out a few minutes before slicing and baking to serve your guests freshly baked cheddar cookies with pizzazz.

I’ve adapted a Chatelaine recipe by adding a touch of cream for moistness and a cup of grated old cheddar cheese for even more cheddar flavour. I use Stirling Creamery European-Style Churn 84 Salted Butter which has a rich butter flavour from 84% butterfat. Stirling also makes an unsalted version of Churn 84 but it’s hard to find in our region – you might find it in Sobey’s. If you would prefer to use unsalted butter, increase the salt in the recipe to 1 teaspoon.


2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp table salt
½ tsp ground cayenne pepper (optional)
1 (250 g) container MacLaren’s Imperial Cold Pack Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 cup Stirling Creamery European-Style Churn 84 salted butter, cut into small cubes
2 tsp Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons 35% cream
1 cup grated old cheddar cheese


  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and cayenne; stir with a wire whisk until evenly distributed.
  2. Break up MacLaren’s Imperial Sharp Cold Pack Cheddar Cheese with a fork before dumping it into the large bowl of a food processer; pulse a few times to break down to large crumbs. Add butter, mustard, and cream; process until smooth, stopping machine to scrape down sides with a rubber spatula as necessary. Add grated cheese and flour mixture; pulse, occasionally stopping machine to scrape down sides with a rubber spatula, just until mixture comes together.
  3. Scrape dough on to a large piece of parchment paper. Gently form into a ball by kneading gently once or twice. Divide dough into 4 equal sections. Place 1 section on another large piece of parchment paper. Roll dough section gently to form an evenly shaped log, about 1-1/2 inches wide by 6 inches long. Wrap in parchment paper then twist ends to seal. Repeat with remaining dough. Refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight. Or wrap logs in aluminum foil and seal in a resealable freezer bag, label with baking instructions, and freeze up to 1 month; remove from freezer for a few moments before slicing and baking.
  4. When ready to bake, place oven rack on bottom shelf; preheat oven to 400°F. Slice one well-chilled log into 1/4-inch thick rounds; arrange (evenly spaced) on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake one sheet at a time, on the bottom rack, just until edges are slightly golden brown, about 8 minutes; immediately remove cookies from cookie sheet and place on rack to cool. Repeat with remaining logs, removing 1 log at a time from the fridge.
  5. Best eaten the day you bake them but still good within a few days after baking, if placed in a sealed container and refrigerated. Serve at room temperature with apple sage or red pepper jelly. Look for Rootham’s Tangy Red Pepper Jelly or Yummies in a Jar Apple Sage Jelly at gourmet food shops such as The Shop For All Reasons in Streetsville, gourmet grocery stores such as Cousin’s Market in Port Credit, or fine cheese shops such as Mill Street Cheese Market in Georgetown (see my Grocery Store Directory). Or click on the product link to go directly to the product website for store locations.



Sorry about the cheesy photo. I got a little carried away with the deer.

Hot Cheddar Dip

Enough to feed a crowd.

Adapted from Hot Cheese Spread from Best of Bridge

I’ve amped up the Hot Cheese Spread recipe from Best of Bridge to replicate the flavours of a dip I served in the ‘80s and loved, but lost the recipe. Artery-clogging but so delicious, I only serve this decadent dip at Christmas.

Make it ahead and store in the fridge for a few days. It makes enough to feed a crowd, so sometimes I split one batch into two if I have two smaller gatherings to attend. I have even frozen it, which isn’t ideal because the oil separates while baking, but once you have drained off the oil, you are still left with a ton of flavour, a lot less fat, and a bit of a stringier dip.


1 cup slivered almonds
3 cups grated old cheddar cheese
2/3 cup finely chopped green onions (5 or 6 green onions)
1 garlic clove, finely minced
½ teaspoon curry powder
Dash cayenne powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup mayonnaise


Baguette crisps such as Ace Bakery Olive Oil & Sea Salt Mini Crisps


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread almonds out in a single layer on baking sheet and toast lightly, just until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Immediately remove from baking sheet to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix cheese, onion and garlic together. In a separate bowl, combine curry powder, cayenne powder, and salt. Add soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and mayonnaise; blend thoroughly with a whisk. Fold into cheese. Add almonds. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Pack into an oven-proof serving dish. Bake immediately, or cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for a few days. Bring to room temperature before placing in a 350°F preheated oven. Bake just until hot throughout, about 15 minutes. Wonderful served with Ace Bakery Olive Oil & Sea Salt Mini Crisps.



Tomato Bocconcini Basil Skewers

If you can get your hands on some really good cherry tomatoes and real buffalo mozzarella mini cheese balls, this festively-coloured hors d’oeuvres is easy-assemble and healthy. Click on my post Easy Breezy Summer Apps and scroll down for the recipe and details.

Keep calm and carry on. Love, Olive.

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Hot Off The Olive Press: November 1, 2013

Food Events:

The Shop For All Reasons will be hosting a Chocolate Tasting this Sunday November 3rd 2013, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. What a great opportunity to discover some top-quality lines of finely crafted chocolate, including Olivia (from Quebec), Tcho (San Francisco), Amedei (Italy), Rogers (Victoria), and M Thompson (Toronto). Owner John Viola has built up an impressive gourmet section in this lovely Streetsville gift shop. John is passionate about the gourmet lines he carries and happy to share his knowledge of them with you. Think about stocking up on some gourmet chocolate for Christmas baking or gifts.

The Shop For All Reasons
228 Queen Street South
Streetsville, ON L5M 1L5
Telephone: 905-858-9623

Food Trucks:

Curb Your Appetite Food Truck Wednesdays will deliver gourmet food trucks to the curb of CIT Financial, 5035 South Service Road, near Appleby Line, Burlington. Running the next three Wednesday nights from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., November 6th, 13th, and 20th 2013. Visit Ontario Food Trucks website for more info:

Farm Market Finds:

Springridge Farm will be hosting an Author Meet & Greet Book Signing event, featuring celebrity chef Ricardo and his new cookbook, Slow Cooker Favourites. Sunday November 3rd 2013, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. **RSVP: [email protected]**

Springridge Farm
7256 Bell School Line
Milton, Ontario
L9T 2Y1
Telephone: (905) 878-4908

Restaurant News:

Renovations have been completed and The Host restaurant in Mississauga has recently reopened, with a new modern look and new menu. The Host serves fine Indian cuisine. Please note that The Host is reserved for a private corporate dinner event on Thursday November 7, 2013.

Happy Diwali! I love watching the colourful fireworks bursting over the Streetsville horizon during the festival of lights.

The Host
33 City Centre Drive
Mississauga, ON L5B 2N5
Telephone: 905-566-4678
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