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All work and no play.....







1 cup self-raising flour

cup plain flour

teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

cup cocoa

100 g butter

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup jam (any flavour)

1/3 cup hot water

2 eggs lightly beaten

1 tablespoon jam, extra


Preheat oven to 170 C (moderate).  Brush a deep approx. 23 cm round tin with melted butter or oil.  Line base and sides with paper.  Sift the flours, bicarb of soda and cocoa in a bowl.  Make a well in the centre.  Combine butter, sugar, jam and water in a small pan.  Stir over low heat until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved.  Remove from heat.


Add butter mixture and eggs to the flours and mix with a wooden spoon until combined.  Do not over mix.  Pour mixture into the tin and bake for 35 minutes or till skewer comes out clean (when inserted in the centre of the cake).   Cool for 15 minutes in the tin.  Turn onto a plate.  Heat extra jam in microwave or in a pan.  Brush over the cake.






125g butter

2/3 cup caster sugar

1 teaspoon lemon rind

1-teaspoon vanilla essence

2 eggs lightly beaten

2 cups fine semolina

1-teaspoon baking powder

cup bicarbonate of soda

cup plain yogurt

Blanched whole almonds



11/4 cup caster sugar

1 cup water

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1-teaspoon rose water (optional)


Preheat oven to 180C (moderate).  Brush a shallow 20x30 cm slice tin with oil or melted butter.  Line base with paper, extending over 2 sides. 

Beat butter and sugar with electric beaters till light and creamy.  Beat in lemon rind and vanilla.  Gradually beat in eggs.  Don’t worry if the mixture curdles slightly.  Fold the sifted semolina, baking powder and bicarb of soda into the mixture with a spoon.  Fold in lightly, alternating with spoonfuls of yogurt.  Spread mixture into the tine and smooth the surface.  Place almonds on top evenly spaced, 4 across and 7 down.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until cooked.


To make syrup, place sugar and water in a small pan.  Stir constantly over low heat until sugar dissolves.  Add lemon juice and bring to boil.  Boil rapidly without stirring for 10 minutes.  Add rose water.  Cool by standing pan in a basin of cold water.  Spoon cooled syrup over hot slices.  Leave to cool completely before cutting into squares.  Make sure almonds are in the centre of each piece. 






2 pounds chicken pieces

8 cups water

1 inch piece of ginger

2-3 cloves of garlic (can be omitted)

1 onion, peeled and quartered

4-6 black pepper corns

1 teaspoon salt

1 can of creamed corn (470g)

2 chicken stock cubes

4-5 tablespoons of corn flour

2 egg whites


Add chicken pieces, peppercorns, peeled ginger, garlic cloves, quartered onion, salt to water.  Bring to boil and then reduce the heat.  Simmer for an hour or hour and a half.  Remove any scum from the top.  Strain and reserve the stock.  It should be around 6 cups.  If less, add some more water. 


In a large saucepan combine the stock, crumbled stock cubes and creamed corn.  If you want you can add shredded chicken meat from the boiled chicken pieces.  Bring to boil.  Mix corn flour with 4-5 tablespoons of water to mix a smooth paste.  Add to soup, stirring constantly.  If you like a thicker consistency add more corn flour paste.


Lightly beat egg whites with 2 tablespoons of water.  Add to soup in a thin stream, again stirring constantly.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste.






1 pound fish fillet, skin removed and cut into 1 inch cubes

1 cup plain flour

1/3 cup corn flour

1 egg white

cup water

Oil for deep frying



1 tablespoon oil

3 cloves garlic

cup tomato sauce

cup chilli sauce

 2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons water


Sift flour and corn flour.  Make a well in the centre.  Add egg white and water and mix well.  Heat oil in a large pan.  Dip fish pieces in batter, shake off excess and fry till golden brown.  Drain well.


To make the sauce, heat oil.  Add garlic, tomato sauce and chilli sauce.  Stir and add remaining ingredients.  Add fried fish and mix gently till pieces are coated with sauce.






4 chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces

1 teaspoon salt

1tablespoon corn flour

1 egg white

Oil for frying


6 shallots cut into small pieces

4 oz (125 g) mushrooms sliced roughly

1 bell pepper cut into squares

1 carrot diced

2 oz (60 g) blanched almonds



1 tablespoon corn flour

1 cup water

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 chicken cube


Mix crumbled chicken cube, water, corn flour and soy sauce.  Cook over slow heat till sauce boils and thickens.


Mix chicken with salt, corn flour and egg white.  Deep fry chicken till cooked.  Drain well.  Heat some oil in a pan.  Fry almonds till golden brown.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper.  To the same oil, first add vegetables and then the remaining vegetables.  Don’t overcook.  They should remain crisp.  Add chicken and sauce, mix and heat thoroughly.



MURGHI BADAMI (Chicken with almonds)



2 pounds chicken joints, skinned and cut into reasonable sized pieces

1-teaspoon salt

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped

3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

275g yogurt

50g (2 oz) oil

2 medium sized onions, finely sliced

6 green cardamoms, tops split opened

1-tablespoon ground coriander

teaspoon turmeric

150 mls single cream

- teaspoon chilli powder

50g flaked almonds

1 heaped tablespoon ground almonds

Fresh coriander


Make small incisions on both sides of chicken pieces.  Add salt to garlic and ginger and crush to a fine paste.  Mix with black pepper and lemon juice.  Rub onto chicken and marinate for to 1 hour. 


Heat oil and fry onions till golden brown in colour.  Remove onions with a slotted spoon on absorbent paper.  Add cardamoms and coriander to oil and fry for 30 seconds.  Now add chicken pieces and fry till it changes colour (5 minutes), stirring constantly.  Stir in the beaten yogurt and turmeric.  Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 


Return onions to the pan along with cream, chilli powder and almonds.  Cover and cook for another 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Sprinkle the ground almonds and mix.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Garnish with chopped coriander.





2 boneless chicken breasts, skinned

4-tablespoon oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

3 tablespoons chopped coriander

1-tablespoon caster sugar

teaspoon ground cumin

teaspoon ground coriander

1-tablespoon soy sauce

1 green chilli, deseeded

Salt and pepper to taste



2 tablespoons oil (preferably sunflower)

1 small onion chopped finely

1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped

teaspoon ground cumin

teaspoon ground coriander

8 tablespoons peanut butter

8 tablespoons chicken stock or water

1-2 tablespoons coconut milk


Soak 8 wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes, this will prevent them from burning.  Cut chicken (lengthways) into 8 long strips.  Thread chicken onto the skewers.  Place the ingredients for the marinade in a food processor and process until smooth.  Pour over the chicken and marinate for 6-8 hours.


To make the sauce, heat the oil and fry the onions and chilli till soft but not browned.  Add the spices and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in the remaining ingredients and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.  Keep warm.  Bake loosely covered with foil in hot oven for 10-15 minutes or till done.  You can also grill in oven or barbecue over coals.