Category Archives: Food

Hey Sand Stars!

I’m super excited to be working on WONDERFUL projects in the realm of music and my other passions. However, I had to make time to do some Eid baking as the Muslim festival of Eid-al-Fitr is this week!

One of my favourite childhood treats was Hungarian Tart, which Momma Littlepianodiva would often make for us to have with our tea- we felt so posh! 🙂



Hungarian Tart

Here is the recipe I used:

2 tblspn castor sugar

125g butter

1 beaten egg

2 tbsp cooking oil

Half tsp vanilla

2 tsp baking powder

2 cups flour

Apricot/strawberry jam for spreading


Icing sugar

Cream the sugar and butter, then add cooking oil and vanilla essence. Beat the mixture well and slowly stir in the beaten egg. Sift the flour and baking powder. Knead the mixture into a dough and divide into two portions. Lay the first portion in a greased cake tin and prick with a fork. Spread jam liberally across the top of the dough and grate the second portion of dough on top. Dust cinnamon powder on top, just before baking for about 30 minutes in the oven, at 180 degrees Celsius. When baked, dust icing sugar on top and cut the tart into squares whilst hot. Serve by itself or with vanilla cream or custard.

Bon appetit!

Live, Love & Laugh!




Hey Sand Stars!

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of dining onboard Bateaux Dubai; Dubai’s premiere dinner cruise experience, with two members of my team.

Bateaux Dubai was launched in 2004 and cruises along Dubai Creek, passing Dubai’s unique heritage sites such as the Grand Mosque and Dubai Museum. Run by JA Resorts & Hotels, the sight-seeing and dining experience is of a high standard and focuses on quality in terms of customer service and food. I was honoured to even have been asked to perform a few pieces on the onboard piano during the evening! 🙂

The cruise leaves at 8h30pm and returns to dock at 11pm sharp; I felt a bit like Cinderella having to return back to reality albeit a little earlier than midnight 😉

The food and general ambience was relaxed and not too formal, which is perfect for those of you who love getting dressed up and eating fine food but in a more personable atmosphere than the high end eateries in Dubai.

Have a look at some of the photos below (PS: the food is DELICIOUS- my favourites were the Roasted Beef Rossini, prepared for me sans alcohol and the Chocolate Fondant. There are delectable vegetarian options, too.)

To book a cruise: Bateaux Dubai or call +9714 814 5553.



Canadian Lobster


Roasted Beef Rossini


Chocolate Fondant


My team and I with the Chef De Cuisine onboard. All food is freshly prepared onboard the Bateaux Dubai.


Tahmeed Omar (Pho-Tah) & Rahma Himid (Grace & Garbo)


The magnificent view from the deck


A very happy and satisfied Littlepianodiva 😉

Chop It Up

Hey Sand Stars
A while back I made a yummy (even if I do say so myself) birthday dinner for a loved one. The main dish was lamb chops with roast potatoes. It turned out to be a big hit with the family, so I thought I’d share the recipe. Let me know if you try it out!
Chops: 1 1/2 kg.
1 tspn salt
1 heaped tspn garlic and ginger paste
2 heaped tspn barbecue spice
Half tspn black pepper
1/2 tspn tandoori spice
1 tblspn Mrs Balls Chutney
1 tblspn Thai sweet chilli sauce
Worcester sauce
Paprika sprinkled
Leave the meat in the marinade in the fridge for a few hours to really soak in.
Boil the potatoes first until done.
Tandoori spice
Black pepper
Paprika for colour
Place in Air-Fryer or oven until golden-brown.
Serve with saffron rice.
Bon Apetit!
Live, Love & Laugh ‘Littlepianodiva’ Style!
A meat-lover's dish.

A meat-lover’s dish.

Confessions Of A (Foodshop)Aholic

Hey Sand Stars

OK. My name is Malika. And I’m kind of, sort of a shopaholic. CALM DOWN. I’m not a crazy ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’-kinda gal that buys LOADS of stuff on credit, but I have to admit that I’m very easily tempted by something pretty and shiny (OK, I lie; I mostly buy food!!!) 🙂

It’s true. I’m a foodshop-aholic. I eat out loads but EVERYTHING ALWAYS LOOKS SO GOOD! It takes a bit of meditation to draw my attention away from a creamy, voluptuous-looking chocolate cupcake from Magnolia Bakery or the smell of freshly fried chips (reminds me of home!)

I find it incredibly strange that I have willpower to walk by Bloomingdales or Harvey Nichols or Jimmy Choo, but I cannot drive away that NEED for something yummy to be in my tummy!

Once, after a performance, I travelled across the entire city of Dubai to get to a chocolate bar that served my favourite dessert. That’s bad, right?

Ok. So the first thing is that I realise my little issue; step one checked! The second, is that I’m at least focussing on the health aspect and thus reminding myself that perhaps eating two hotdogs is not the best thing for my poor little arteries (haha; I’m kidding. I’ve never done that- or have I??)

I’ve started giving myself ‘allowances’ for eating out and try to stay away from bakeries and food-shops during the ‘no-go’ times. It helps to have my eyes diverted by a cute guy walking down the street, but unfortunately one cannot count on that… 😛 During meetings I only allow myself something to drink and it helps to be focussed on business at hand.

Also, it helps to keep my wallet change and card free when going out for walks just in case I get the need for caffeine/chocolate/cake/apple crumble/that thing over there that looks yummy…

Now, excuse me while I get back to my journey to recovery. And, no, that isn’t my wallet behind my back…

Live, Love & Laugh ‘Littlepianodiva’ Style!



Attempting to hide my wallet; from myself ;) Photography by Tahmeed Omar. Top by Pr. Price. Wallet by Carolina Herrera.

Attempting to hide my wallet; from myself 😉 Photography by Tahmeed Omar. Top by Pr. Price. Wallet by Carolina Herrera.

Five-Minute French Toast

Hey Sand Stars

I have been SWAMPED for the past month with work and there are times when I just want a little comfort food (ok, all the time…) Anyway, I love little treats that are quick and don’t take up time away from my piano or the PC or meetings.

Growing up, Momma Littlepianodiva would always make something yummy for breakfast over weekends and French Toast was her thing!

Here’s a recipe for this scrumptious delight that literally took me five minutes. Serve with a cup of tea and enjoy:

Sliced bread

1 egg

1 cup of milk

Sugar to taste

Butter the bread on both sides. In a bowl, beat egg, milk and sugar until dissolved. Drench the bread in the mixture and fry on medium heat until both sides turn brown. You can add fresh fruit and a dollop of cream if you’re feeling extra fancy 😉 !

Bon apetit!

Live, Love & Laugh ‘Littlepianodiva’ Style



An easy-peasy French Toast recipe.

An easy-peasy French Toast recipe.

Scrumptious Salmon

Hey Sand Stars

I’m a huge lover of salmon fish. In my home, we usually have fried, cajun-spiced fish but for a much healthier alternative: baked/grilled salmon is perfect:

Salmon fillet

Crushed red chillies

1 green chilli

2 tblspns fried onion

1 tspn honey

¼ tspn mustard seeds

Soy sauce

Lemon juice

Thai sweet chilli sauce

Black pepper



Heat oven to approximately 200 degrees Celcius.

The salmon fillet should be cleaned and washed well. Add the marinade of red chillies, mustard seeds, salt, pepper, Thai sweet chilli sauce (1 tspn), one cap-ful of soy sauce and drizzle with lemon juice. Leave to marinate for a while.

Once the oven has heated, set the fish in onions and a green chilli, in aluminum foil in a baking dish, and bake it for 30-35 minutes; stopping to turn the fish pieces 15 minutes into the baking time.

Serve with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

Bon apetit!

Live, Love & Laugh ‘Littlepianodiva’ Style



Sadly, all the salmon was eaten up before I could take a pic! I found this photo online at the final product looks similar ;)

Sadly, all the salmon was eaten up before I could take a pic! I found this photo online at the final product looks similar 😉

Baked Bolognese

Hey Sand Stars

Last week I made a delicious pasta and meat dish grilled in the oven to give the bolognese a slightly baked taste. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did! 🙂

Beef meatballs (about 12 meatballs)
3 tblspns puréed tomato
1 cup onions braised in sunflower oil
1 heaped tspn barbecue spice
1/4 tspn chili powder
1/4 tspn chilli paste
1 tspn coriander
1/4 tspn black pepper
1 heaped tspn ginger and garlic paste
1 tblspn Mrs. Ball’s chutney
Worcestershire sauce
Cheese (yellow and white cheddar)
Fresh green coriander for garnishing
Macaroni pasta (I used 6 handfuls)
1/4 tspn salt or more, as needed

Set oven to ‘grill’ function at about 180 degrees Celcius.

Heat the onions and sauté with tomato. Blend until tomato and onion bits are less visible. Add spices and cook on medium heat for approximately 10-15 mins. Add meatballs and drizzle Worcestershire sauce over the meat. Cook for approximately 20 minutes.

Whilst the sauce is cooking, boil pasta with a little olive oil and grate the cheese.

Layer the cooked pasta at the bottom of an oven dish and pour meatballs and sauce on top. Layer cheese and coriander on top and bake/grill until cheese is melted.

Bon apetit!

A pasta and meat sauce dish for family dinner.

             A pasta and meat sauce dish for family dinner.