Thursday, May 27, 2010

Salsa de Mango with Spicy Shrimps

Well i was hoping my next post would be about our favourite hangouts in Bahrain, after all we lived like tourists in Bahrain the last week we were there (except the last day that is...which was insanely busy n' tiring). But that is taking more time n' me getting back into the kitchen today kinda made me want to do this post right away. After hours of travelling, a tiring day we reached home n' it just feels so right!! It has started raining in Kerala already, not pouring but enough to keep the heat at bay.

There is an insane supply of fresh mangoes at home n' i have been freaking out on them, which has already resulted in a pimple on my face, a clear indication that i shouldn't overdo it...but what the hell...i just can't resist plucking one n' eating it...

Amma was making Shrimps today and i have been dying to try this Mango Salsa recipe that i had come across sometime back. I fell in love with the colors the first time i saw it n' the taste didn't disappoint me. Amma's Spicy Shrimps recipe was very similar to the Prawns Chili Fry recipe i had put up earlier n so i'm not putting it up here again. The Mango Salsa was a perfect accompaniment to the spicy shrimps, so here you go...


1.Mango: 1cup (cut into small cubes)
2.Tomatoes: 1/2 cup (seeded n' cut into small pieces)
3.Cilantro/ Coriander Leaves: 1tbsp (chopped)
4.Red onion:2 tsp(finely chopped)
5.Salt: 1/4 tsp(or as required)
6.Lime Juice: 1/2 tsp (or as required)
7.Black Pepper: a pinch (optional)
8.Green Chili: 3/4tsp ( seeded and veins removed, finely chopped)


Step 1: Combine all ingredients. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Step 2: Toss before serving.

Best served with some hot spicy seafood or grilled chicken or serve it with tortilla chips and give it a Mexican angle. ;)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cooking Utensils- Must Have List- (My 'i might not find them again- but would like to own them'-list)

Like some of you who visit my blog already know, i'm relocating back to India from Bahrain. I was having a chat with my friend, Maria from Maria's Menu, and she was warning me that we don't get a lot of ingredients and kitchen gadgets that we get here back in India n' sometimes when you do get them, it turns out to be really really expensive...

That being the case, i decided to make a list of things (non perishable) like cooking utensils n' gadgets i'm gonna take along with me. I don't know if i have mentioned this before, but cooking for me is a new found love so while in India i never took note of what are the kinds of things i will find there. So please don't get offended if i say i'm gonna take cupcakes/muffins paper moulds with me from here. I just mean, i don't know where i will find them back home n' so it's better to take some with me than go searching all over......I'm a newbie to baking with a secret desire to become better at it, but i haven't tried anything much with it...but I found this article online n' i thought it is helpful for me to choose some basic things i want to take with me....

For the all round cooking with utensils n' gadgets, i found this website really helpful, and this one i'm sure most of the things mentioned here would be avialable back home, but this atleast helped me frame a list of things i should have. Try out the other related links n' you might find more info on things you might be interested in...

It's been over a week since i visited blogs of my friends here n' the main reason is i find blogs really inspiring n' i end up feeling like i want make something nice instead of eating out n' i don't have the things i might need with me....which is very frustrating to say the least....i don't know how soon my kitchen would be functional once we reach back as we need to find a place to stay once we reach Bangalore. I have some new dishes in my draft to post, but need to find the snaps. Hopefully, i will do it over the next couple of days as i have nothing to do at work these days. We have been eating out most of the days or have been getting invitations to eat at our friends i'm shamelessly eating like a royalty with no credit to the thought on my mind that if i eat like a pig there is a very good chance i might end up looking like one too....:(

Mutton Masala- n' my Relocation Challenges

Ok, this post has been living in my draft long enough i guess....i made this a while ago but i was lazy to type the recipe from the book n' it's just been lying i decided to take control of the situation n' type out the whole thing late last evening.

There are just way too many changes happening in my life right now...we are relocating back to india (from bahrain) n' we are slowly selling of things we don't (or rather can't) take back home n' will have to start sending off things home that we want to take back with with all that happening...i'm gonna be fridge-less, oven-less, gasburner-less n' most likely pots n' pans less for a month or a little while longer....imagine that???....i'm dreading the thought...but at the same time it feels like it's gonna be a challenge to win if you guyz don't find me here for a while, or if you find my serving dish n' cooking dish is the same you will know why.....i'll be back with a lot of energy n'zing in sometime....but for the time being i'm thinking what will our meals be like this coming please do wish us well...:)...again this recipe is from my Nita's Mehta's here you go...


1. Mutton: 500gms (preferably use pieces with bones)
2. Onions: 4 medium (chopped)
3. Ghee or Oil: 5-6tbsp (used only 3tbsp)
4. Bay Leaf: 1no
5. Garlic: 8-10 flakes (crushed to paste)
6. Ginger: 1" piece (crushed to paste)
7. Salt: 3/4tsp or as per taste
8. Red Chili Powder: 3/4 tsp
9. Garam Masala: 3/4tsp
10.Turmeric Powder: 1/2tsp
11.Coriander Powder: 1tsp
12.Cumin Seeds: 3/4tsp (crushed)
13.Tomatoes: 4 large (pureed)
14.Green Chili: 1 (chopped) (the original recipe didn't ask for this)
15. Water: 1cup


Step 1: In a pressure cooker heat oil or ghee. Add the bay leaf and chopped onions. Stir fry for 4-5mins on medium flame till onions turn light brown.

Step 2: Add ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute

Step 3: Add the mutton pieces and cook for 15minutes on medium heat stirring every few minutes.

Step 4: Add the tomato puree to the above and mix well. Stir for 10-12 minutes on high flame.

Step 5: Add salt, red chili powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, coriander powder and crushed cumin seeds to the above. Mix well and cook for 3-4minutes.

Step 6: Add 1 cup water, mix well and close the cooker. Allow it to cook till 2 whistles. Keep on low heat or another 15mins. Remove from fire. Let the pressure drop by itself.

It's ready, transfer it to a serving dish, garnish and serve it hot with chapathis. Honestly, i was more in love with the picture than the dish itself, but i know a lot of mutton lovers in my family n' would love to make this for them again. The only change i'm gonna make is add some more spice to this. It wasn't spicy enough for RJ. ;)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Noodle Omelette (or Should I say) Noodle Frittata

This happens to be my 50th post and seems like it took me a long while to reach sister n' mom saw my foodblog only recently and were quite impressed that the skinny gal who would eat only pickle n' tamarind (most of the time even for meals) is considering a variety of dishes now...:D...i remember how i used to trouble amma when i'm back from school (actually even when i was in college) for an evening snack...somehow that was the most important meal of the day for me then. I was easy n' difficult (according to amma) to feed. ;)...easy coz you could give me my favourite dishes everyday n i wouldn't complain. But now that i have started cooking n' RJ is like me...i have started appreciating how this habit can be difficult as well...coz its so boring to make the same thing over n' over again...;)

Anyways my recipe today was something my mom used to make for me....especially as an evening snack...i used to like this a lot n' i decided to make this for RJ recently...give it a try especially if you have kids...they will love this...adding cooked chicken pieces to this can even make this a meal i guess....;) here you go...


1. Noodles: 100gms
2. Eggs: 4nos
3. Onion: 2nos medium (sliced)
4. Tomatoes: 1no (chopped)
5. Taste Maker: 1 sachet (or as required)
6. Cheese: 2-3 tsp (grated)
7. Butter: enough to grease the pan
8. Salt: to taste (keeping in mind that the tastemaker has salt as well)
9. Green Chili: 1no (seeded n' chopped)


Step 1: Cook the noodles and keep aside.

Step 2: Saute the sliced onion till tender.

Step 3: Add the tomatoes and the green chili to this and cook for a while.

Step 4: Add the tastemaker, if using at this stage.

Step 5: Mix in the cooked noodles with the above.

Step 6: Beat the eggs well and pour half of it into a non stick pan. Add the noodles mixture to this. Let it be for a minute or less.

Step 7: Sprinkle the grated cheese on top of this. Pour the rest of the beaten egg on top.

Step 8: Cover it with a lid n' cook on low flame. Add salt if required and its ready. (I flipped it with great difficulty just to ensure that both the sides are cooked evenly. If you don't want to flip it n' covering the pan with the lid is not giving you the results you desire...just pop this into the oven for a while n' that should ensure the top is cooked well without you having to flip it.)

So here i'm dedicating my 50th post to my amma...the most important person in my life.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tawa Pilaf- Chaat Style

I have been watching the Sanjeev Kapoor cooking shows on n' off for a while now. If you have seen his shows, you must have noticed how quick they are n' he makes it look like its hardly any work. I have never been good at keeping everything ready n then cooking, i go with the flow n' run all around n' pick things from here n' there. That could be one reason why i have never been able to manage step by step photos on this blog, maybe i will save some time too but i'm not too sure if n' when i will do all that...

So anyways i came across this recipe on his show for tawa pilaf, i have always wanted to try it n' decided to watch the whole show and decided to try it too. But once i finished making it and tasted it, i felt like it was more like a 'Tawa Pilaf-Chaat' than the authentic pilaf (i'm sure there will be an authentic Vegetable Pilaf recipe of Sanjeev Kapoor's somewhere, i plan to i find it n' give it a try)...go through the ingredients list and you will know why i wanted to call it a's really really easy to make, especially so if you have some left over plain rice and want to try something different. So here you go...

* i made enough only for one person, and i'm mentioning the quantity used according to that. (you see i'm still on my "cooking for one" week)


1. Cooked Rice: 1cup
2. Oil: 1/2 to 3/4th tsp
3. Cardamom: 1no
4. Jeera: 1/2tsp
5. Onion: 1no (chopped)
6. Ginger Garlic Paste: 1tsp
7. Tomato: 1no (chopped)
8. Capsicum: 1/2 piece (chopped)
9. Green Peas: 2tbsp
10.Carrot: 1 small (cut it into small cubes)
11.Beans: 4-5nos (thin slices)
12.Pav Bhaji Masala: 1tsp
13.Red Chili Paste: 1/2tsp (i used paprika powder instead)
14.Lemon Juice: 2-3 drops (add only just before serving)
15.Salt: as per taste
16.Coriander Leaves: 2tsp (chopped)

* though the original recipe didn't ask for it, i added one chopped green chili too


Step 1: Heat Oil in a kadai, add the cardamom and jeera. After 20seconds, add the chopped onion
and ginger garlic paste n' fry it until lightly brown.

Step 2: Add the chopped tomatoes and the other vegetables that you are using. Add a little water and cook for 5mins.

Step 3: Add the pav bhaji masala, chili paste and salt. Allow the masala to cook and you will see oil separating.

Step 4: Add the cooked rice and mix well. Let it cook for a while.

Step 5: Add the chopped coriander leaves and sprinkle the lemon juice. Mix it well and it's ready.

Serve it hot with some masala papad and raita.

p.s. i had called the recipe vegetable biryani by mistake.....they broadcasted the show again i realised the recipe here is Tawa Pilaf by Sanjeev Kapoor n' not Vegetable Biryani. I'm really sorry about the error.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chopped Egg And Avocado Sandwich

My "Cooking for One" challenge is still on and i woke up really early today...spoke to my sister n' she wanted my Punjabi Paneer Makhani recipe n' i had to sent to her on once that was done i still had time to get ready for work n' decided to make something that feels really fresh...I have 6 posts in my draft that i made which i haven't posted yet...just no time!!!! Month ends are a busy time at work. But this was so good...i just couldn't wait to post it....

Also, i really need to dedicate a post to two of my good friends, Veerendra Mishra and Preetha P (non-bloggers)who found it really hard to believe that i can cook... actually quote unquote..."cook, style n' take decent pics" even i'm still surprised...;) i'm dedicating this post to them ;)...also i have made an Avocado Milkshake along with this post...i remember when i was working with them in ABN AMRO Bank- Bangalore, i used to order this so often...i can't seem to remember the name of the chain of fruit juice shops we used to order it from..:(...anyways i'm told it's full of good cholesterol....

I'm a big fan of Avocado or Butter Fruit (as we fondly call it back home), when my friend introduced me to Guacamole for the first time....i got addicted to it for when i came across this recipe i was 'Oh so keen' about trying here you go...(pls note i'm going to give the measurements enough to make just one sandwich...please adjust accordingly if you want to make more....)


1. Egg: 1 large (hard-boiled, peeled and chopped)
2. Onion: 2-3 tsps (chopped)
3. Parsley Leaves: 1 tbsp (chopped)
4. Dry Oregano: 1/4 tsp
5. Dijon Mustard: 1/4 tsp
6. Chili Mayonnaise *: 1-2tsp (yeah i went a little overboard with it...;) )
7. Ripe Avocado: half piece (the avocado needs to be halved, seeded, meat scooped out and diced)
8. Salt: to taste (just keep in mind that the Mayonnaise & Dijon Mustard will already have salt in it)
9. Black pepper: to taste (freshly ground)
10.Brown Bread: 2 slices (i have used a brown bun here but you can use any bread of your choice, lightly toasted)
11. Cheese of your choice: 1no (optional) (i didn't use it)

* i used chili mayo coz i love the flavour, you can use plain. but if you do want to use it and you only have plain mayo with you, all you need to do for a quick fix is just add chili flakes to your mayo n' mix well.


Step 1: In a bowl, mix the chopped Egg, Onion, Parsley, Dijon Mustard and Mayonnaise together.

Step 2: Toss in the chopped avocado, sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper and gently mix well.

Step 3: Lightly toast the bread slices. Scoop a generous amount of the chopped egg and avocado on a slice of bread, add a slice of cheese (if using) and top with another slice of bread.

Here's a snap of my Avocado Milk Shake, i had the other half of Avocado which i didn't use in the sandwich right? i made the milk shake with you can see it's served in a Big Beer Glass...i was missing RJ n' decided to have the milk shake in his Beer Glass (a gift from me)...and as you can see it was a i could have only this for breakfast and i got the sandwiches with me for lunch...;)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Grapes and Banana Smoothie- My 'Remember Me by Smoothie'

Ok...i realise i made a big mistake by telling who ever was asking me that it isn't all that hot out here in Bahrain yet....this was last week n' this week it's scorching hot n' humid out here n' RJ is travelling for 5 Days...that means i'm cooking for one...normally it's with great difficulty that i reduce the ingredients and make a meal for 2...

Now that i have to reduce to a serving of one...i'm failing miserably n' that also means i'm sorta overeating...;)...but i'm blissfully making things i love to have n' hence i refuse to notice the fat on my thighs...;)...during this week's shopping RJ was commenting that 'i'm like a girl in a candy store' next to the vegetable n' fruits counters...which he doesn't see...he is an affirmed meataholic.

Leaving all that aside...i decided to make a smoothie...when i utter the word smoothie what comes into my mind are those extremely beautiful berry drinks in amazing colors...but berries other than strawberry are so expensive out here...i won't be able to justify my overindulgence...we get blueberry, raspberry, blackberry and redcurrants...they all look pretty in their cozy small box... a box the size of my palm will cost nothing less than USD 6 or roughly Rs.270/-.

As usual i'm i wanted to make a smoothie for RJ before he leaves n' decided to make do with some really ripe sweet black grapes n' extra ripe bananas....i saw some smoothie recipes were asking for it to be served in Hurricane glasses..didn't have a clue what they were n' decided to look it up only to realise that the glass we got when we ordered a cocktail in Hard Rock Cafe- London was a Hurricane glass...quickly made up my mind to serve this smoothie in that glass....this was sorta of my version of "Remember Me by Smoothie" for RJ... was pretty nice...quick fix, tasty n' cheap...Oolala...


1. Black or Red Grapes: 2 handful (seedless)
2. Bananas : 2 large
3. Ice cubes: 1 cup
4. Milk: 1/4 cup
5. Mint Leaves: 4-5 (crushed) (optional)
6. Sugar : 3-4tsp (optional)


Step 1 : Place the bananas and grapes into a blender and mix until it is a "smooth" liquid.

Step 2: Add the ice and blend until crushed.

Step 3: Add milk and sugar n' crushed mint leaves if using, mix until smooth.

Step 4: Pour into a hurricane glasses and serve immediately.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Puliyogare or Tamarind Rice

When I moved to Bangalore from Kerala, I got to try a lot of new cuisines. New to me I mean. When I started working I lived in a paying guest accommodation for a while. They were a really nice Kannadiga family and the aunty there used to insist on me eating at least some of the food that she makes at home. Almost all the things made there were unfamiliar to me. But out of all the things I tried what I loved the most in Kannadiga food has to be Poliyogare. I was missing Bangalore so much last week i wanted to dedicate a post to Puliyogare and eat some as well. ; )

Puliyogare is a South Indian rice preparation usually eaten as a snack. Puli means sour taste and Ogara means rice in Halegannada, thus Puliyogare translates as sour tasting rice. Puliyogare is also known as Huli anna or Tamarind Rice in some parts of Karnataka.

It is traditionally made using steamed or boiled rice mixed with tamarind juice, groundnuts or peanuts, coriander, coconut, red chilli, curry leaves, jaggery, pepper, mustard, fenugreek, turmeric, asafoetida, urad dal, and cumin. I

Puliyogare is particularly known to be a specialty of the Iyengar community, and some of the best puliyogare can be found in South Indian Sri Vaishnava temples, associated with the Iyengar community.

I have always loved tamarind, the fact that we have a really big tamarind tree at home could be one of the main reason why. Yet we have never made this dish at home. So I had no clue where to begin, n’ didn’t know who to go asking. Then I noticed that MTR- Puliyogare mix is readily available here and I decided to give it a go. It turned out just perfect, just the way I remember n’ like it. RJ doesn’t like it at all…but with the mix that is ready…it doesn’t feel like I’m doing double work with making something for me n’ something else for him. This mix is ready to use and just add this to cooked rice n’ it’s ready. After making this I decided to check the blogging world for some good recipes for Puliyogare n’ came across 2, one from Malas Kitchen and other one from Red Chillies. I decided to bookmark these for later... :)...if you are unable to get the ready mix, i would suggest you give the recipes here a try...have a nice weekend...:)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Baby Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Balsamic/Honey Vinaigrette

Recently, i came across this recipe on Fight the Fat Foodie and i just had to give it a try. The fact that i had most of the things needed for the recipe with me kinda helped. I just loved this, had i not seen this recipe there, i wouldn't even have thought a combination like this was going to taste this good. A special thanks to Scott for posting this recipe...:D

The recipe called for minced Shallot...which i didn't add...I made enough just for 2 people and i added Bread Bites that we get in retails shops here to get an extra my version of this recipe is little less healthy i guess...:)

A pic of the Twistos-Bread Bites that i used in this salad is given here....the link will give you the Calories in these :(...but it does not put me see it tastes really nice...:D


1. Baby Spinach: 200gms
2. Strawberries: 100gms (sliced)
3. Olive Oil: 2tbsp (extra virgin -if possible)
4. Balsamic Vinegar: 2tbsp
5. Garlic: 1 clove (minced)
6. Honey: 1 tbsp
7. Twistos- Bread Bites: 1/2 cup (optional)


Step 1: To make the vinaigrette, combine balsamic, garlic and one of the strawberries (crushed).

Step 2: Slowly whisk in the oil.

Step 3: Combine spinach, strawberries and dressing, add the bread bites if you are using it n' serve immediately.

To get my husband to eat greens is a big task for me...but he loved this n' that just made this Salad even more special...definitely going to feature in my kitchen again......:)

p.s. this snap has also gotten accepted in tastespotting...still leaving me feeling i'm on top of the world...;)

I'm sending this post to the Serve me Some....Salads event hosted by Madhuri of Cook-curry Nook.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spinach Salad with Alfalfa Sprouts and Feta Cheese

I posted some of the food pics on my facebook profile and i came across this snap i had taken a while back n' had forgotten to post it here...the recipe was downloaded....but i made a few changes n' omissions here n' there...the reason why i decided to give it a try was coz i had found this packet of Alfalfa Sprouts and wanted to make something with here you go..


1. Spinach: 450gms (cleaned and dried)...(i didn't have any when i wanted to make this so i used lettuce instead...)*
2. Alfalfa Sprouts: 1/2 cup
3. Feta Cheese:1/2 cup (crumbled)
4. Apple: 1no (sliced into matchsticks)

* i'm sorry i left the name of the dish as a spinach salad itself even though i didn't use it myself...the reason why i didn't change the name to a lettuce salad is cause i really think that this will taste even better with spinach than lettuce.

Dressing Ingredients:

1 Yogurt: 1/2 cup (low-fat)
2. Garlic: 2 tsp (minced)
3. Fresh Parsley: 1/2 cup (chopped)-(i added mint leaves instead)
4. Light Mayonnaise:3 tbsp
5. Dijon mustard:2 tsp
6. Fresh Basil: 1/4 cup chopped (didn't have any with me)
7. Orange Juice: of one orange
8. Salt and pepper to taste
9. Sunflower seeds: 3 tbsp (to garnish) (i added pomegranate seeds instead)


Dressing Instructions:

Step 1: In a medium sized bowl whisk all dressing ingredients together starting with the yogurt excluding sunflower or pomegranate seeds .

Step 2: Cover and let stand in the refrigerator for 1 – 2 hours to allow the flavour to develop.

Salad Instructions:

Step 1: In a large bowl toss the spinach together with dressing. Add the remaining ingredients (sprouts, feta cheese and apple) and top with Sunflower/ Pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Broccoli & Asparagus Stir Fry

Ok...this will have to be the simplest recipe i will ever post. Have you ever thought to your self...if you could be a vegetable what would you be??? (or has this thought only occured to me??...considering my love for veggies)...anyways...if i could be a veggie i would want to be Broccoli...i can't tell you how much i love broccoli...i owe this love affair to Sandra, my best friend. We used to go for Jazz classes, come back hungry n' gorge on broccoli stir i'm dedicating this post to her...:D

A little fact i read about Broccoli on Wikipedia which i didn't know before...Broccoli evolved from a wild cabbage plant on the continent of Europe. Indications point to the vegetable being known of 2,000 years ago. Since the Roman Empire, broccoli has been considered a uniquely valuable food among Italians. Broccoli was first introduced to the United States by these immigrants, but had not become widely known until the 1920s. The benefits of broccoli are greatly reduced if the vegetable is boiled more than ten minutes.

Broccoli is high in vitamins C, K, and A, as well as dietary fiber; it also contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties. A high intake of broccoli has been found to reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. Broccoli consumption has also shown that it is beneficial in the prevention of heart diseases.

If i want RJ to eat this i have to give him some fried beef along with it...(i think beef n' broccoli is a great combination) that asparagus is in season i decided to partner it with broccoli n' i loved here you go...


1. Broccoli: 500gms
2. Asparagus: 200gms
3. Butter: 3-4tsp (i use indian Amul Butter coz i just love it)
4. Salt: as per taste or 1/2 tsp (if you are using salted butter like me..reduce the quantity)
5. Black Pepper: 2 pinch (optional)*
6. Garlic: 1no (crushed) (optional)*
7. Lemon juice: 2-3 drops (optional)*

* the reason why i have mentioned these as optional is coz i mostly don't add them...i like it simply with butter n' salt...but adding these might give a zing if you don't like it plain)


Step 1: Cut off bottom fourth of asparagus, and discard, as it is tough and stringy. I cut rest into 3-inch pieces each. (To set the color of the asparagus, briefly blanch in boiling water.)

Step 2: Slice the broccoli into medium pieces.

Step 3: Add butter into a hot wok. If you are using garlic add it to the butter once the butter has melted. Add broccoli and asparagus to this. Stir well.

Step 4: You will see the both broccoli and asparagus pieces turning into a bright green colour. This indicates it's done. Add salt and black pepper and sprinkle some lemon juice if you are using it and it's ready. (But like i said... i like having it with just butter n' salt....)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Murgh Makhani urf Butter Chicken

Butter chicken or Murgh Makhani is an Indian dish from Punjab, they say this dish is among the best known Indian foods all over the world. The origins of butter chicken can be traced back to Delhi, during the period of Mughal Empire. While the dish's general recipe is well known, the actual flavor can vary from restaurant to restaurant even within India. Its gravy can be made as hot or mild as you like so it suits most palates. Butter chicken is usually served with naan, roti, parathas or steamed rice.

The recipe i have used here is again from Camellia Panjabi's 50 Great Curries of India. This dish is really creamy and so tasty. What really surprised me was how rich this curry is, i have loved having Butter Chicken in restaurants but only when i got down to preparing it did i realise how rich it is...hence i'm against the idea of making this an every week chicken dish at home....So i'm bookmarking this recipe for guests.;)


1. Chicken : 900g (use small pieces on the bone or boneless pieces)
2. Oil: 4-5 tbsp

For the marinade:

1. Yoghurt: 2 cups (full-fat or a carton of plain yoghurt)
2. Garlic Cloves: 6nos
3. Fresh Ginger: ½” piece
4. Red Chili Powder/ Paprika: 3/4 tsp
5. Coriander Powder: ¼ tsp
6. Cumin Powder: ½ tsp
7. Garam Masala Powder:
8. Salt: ½ tsp
9. Lime Juice:

For the makhani sauce:

1. Tomatoes: 700g
2. Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves): ½ tsp
3. Chilled Butter: 75g
4. Paprika: ½ tsp
5. Vinegar: few drops
6. Garam Masala Powder: ¼ tsp
7. Salt
8. Single Cream: 40g


First prepare the marinade

Step 1: Place the yoghurt in a piece of muslin and leave to hang to allow the whey to drip away ( I have read this is how you make “hung curd” but I didn’t do this as I thought the yogurt I’m using is thick enough).

Step 2: Purée the garlic and ginger in a blender (I just crushed them into a coarse paste using a good mortar and pestle) Add this and the marinade spices, salt and lime juice to the yoghurt and mix well.

Step 3: Make gashes in the chicken if using pieces on the bone. Marinate the chicken in the yoghurt mixture for at least 1 hour, preferably 2; for best results leave overnight.

Once this is done and you are ready to cook

Step 1: Heat the oil in a large, thick-bottomed skillet and put in the chicken with the marinade. Cover and cook over a low heat until done. Turn the chicken over during cooking.

Step 2: While the above is going on scald the tomatoes for the makhani sauce and peel off the skin. Reduce to a semi-pulp with a fork or potato masher.

Step 3: Put the tomato pulp into a frying pan and cook for 5 minutes or so until the liquid has evaporated slightly.

Step 4: Add the chilled butter and paprika; after the butter has melted, let it cook for just 1 minute. Taste… if it has no sourness; add a few drops of vinegar.

Step 5: Add the kasuri methi and garam masala powder and salt to taste.

Step 6: After 30 seconds, add the cream and stir. The sauce is now ready. Add in the chicken pieces and mix well. Serve immediately.

p.s. my snap for this dish has also gotten accepted on foodgawker....yeah yeah yippee yippee....;)

Our Everyday - Dal Tadka

Dal refers to at least 60 kinds of dishes made from beans, peas or lentils. One of the most common dals in India is made from channa, the Indian chickpea. Another, made of lentils, is known as Masur. It is quick and easy to make and in raw form has a beautiful, orange-pinkish color, hence some people refer to it as red lentils.

I used to use Toor Dal before we moved to Bahrain, but once i started using Masur Dal, i realized this is much more lighter and easier to cook. Now we have Dal Tadka as part of our meal almost everyday. So here you go...


Makes 4 servings

1. Masur Dal: 1 cup
2. Water: 4 cups
3. Onion: 1 small (Sliced or Chopped)
4. Cumin Seeds: 1/2 teaspoon
5. Turmeric Powder: 1/2 teaspoon
6. Ginger Garlic paste: 1 teaspoon (mix equal parts fresh ginger and fresh garlic)
7. Chili Powder: 1 teaspoon
8. Salt: 1 teaspoon
9. Tomatoes: 2nos (diced or chopped)
10.Green Chilies: 3nos (slit) or 2 nos (chopped)
11.Tamarind Paste: 2-3tsp (optional) or lemon juice (optional)
12.Garlic: 4 whole cloves, (sliced)
13.Dried Red Chilies: 3nos
14.Coriander Leaves: 2tablespoon (chopped)
15.Oil: 1 tablespoon


Step 1: Wash and drain dal. Boil dal in water with sliced onion, 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, turmeric, ginger-and-garlic paste until lentils are soft (usually less than 10 minutes).

Step 2: Mash the mixture and add chili powder, salt, tomatoes, green chilies and tamarind (or lemon) juice. Boil until it is a thick soup (add water as necessary), about 1/2 hour.

Step 3: Set the dal aside and let cool.

Step 4: After it cools, blend the dal in the blender or food processor and pour into large saucepan. ( i avoid this step, i want my Dal as simple n' stress free as possible)

Step 5: Heat 1 tablespoon oil and brown the other 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds. Add sliced garlic and dried chilies. Brown and pour over dal, add the chopped coriander at this stage and stir. Now its ready to be served with rice or bread.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dahi Aloo Curry

With summer here, i'm trying to find news ways of adding Dahi/Yogurt into our meals, other than the south Indian dish Mooru Curry (buttermilk curry)that goes really well with rice and some fried fish or meat, i haven't tried many.

I came across this recipe by Monica Bhide, an engineer turned food writer, who is the author of Modern Spice: Inspired Indian Flavors for the Contemporary Kitchen. Read more at her blog A Life Of Spice. She mentions that the key to making this curry is to watch the heat when you add the yogurt. If your pan is too hot, the yogurt will curdle. Just lower the heat, add the yogurt slowly, and you will be rewarded with a fantastic curry. It's apparently served at Tabla restaurant in New York City, a contemporary Indian-French restaurant.


1. Oil: 3tbsp
2. Mustard Seeds: 1 tbsp
3. Cumin Seeds: 1 tbsp
4. Red Chili: 1no (crushed)
5. Curry Leaves: 3 sprigs
6. Turmeric Powder:1/2 tbsp
7. Ginger (fresh): 2-inch piece (peeled and minced)
8. Yellow Onion: 1 small (peeled and thinly sliced)
9. Serrano Green Chili Peppers: 2 (fresh)
10.Tomatoes: 2 Small (diced)
11.Whole Milk Yogurt: 1 liter
12.Water: 1 liter
13.Potatoes (fingerling potatoes): 10nos (boiled n' cubed)
14.Salt to taste
15.Pinch of sugar


Step 1: Heat a large stew pot over moderate heat and add the oil after the pot is hot.

Step 2: When the oil shimmers, add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds pop, add cumin, red chili and curry leaves.

Step 3: Cook for 1 minute, then add ginger and turmeric and cook for another 20 seconds.

Step 4: Add onion and green chilies and saute for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 more minutes.

Step 5: In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt and water together.

Step 6: Turn the heat to low. Let the pan cool down for about 5 minutes. Add the yogurt and water to the pot along with the potatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes stirring constantly. Be sure the heat is low or the yogurt will curdle.

Step 7: Season with salt and a pinch of sugar.

The only changes i had made to the above recipe were, I used the red Indian onions instead of yellow ones, i didn't have any fingerling potatoes, i used the regular ones and i used the regular Indian green chilies. Also, i didn't add this much water.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hot White Chocolate

My attempts at making Hot Cross Buns for this Easter failed miserably, it's depressing to even talk about it. So just to prove that some does turn out right when i bake, i tried BC's Chocolate Swirl Cake again...and came out so nice and soft. I pinned up a smile back on my face. :)

I love Hot Chocolate from almost everywhere, even the ones we get in train stations back home....but my favourite has to be from Columbus Cafe. (a special note.... i don't like the ones from Starbucks or Costa Coffee.) So when i came across this recipe i thought, i just have to give this a here you go...


1. White Chocolate: 175g
2. Milk: 1.5 ltr
3. Coffee Essence: 1tsp (or Instant coffee powder: 2tsp)
4. Orange Flavoured Liqueur: 2tsp (optional)

For Serving:

1. Whipped Cream
2. Ground Cinnamon (optional)


Step 1: Finely chop the white chocolates.

Step 2: Boil the milk in a heavy saucepan and bring it to boil (bubbles will form around the edge of the pan)

Step 3: Add the chopped whitechocolates, coffee essence or powder and the orange flavoured liqueur, if using. Stir until the chocolate has melted.

Step 4: Divide the hot chocolate among 4 coffee mugs. Top each with a rosette of whipped cream and a sprinkling of ground cinnamon, if using. Serve immediately.

I had to do my bit n' deviate a little....i didn't have any whipped cream so decided i could use some froth after step 3 i waited a while n' poured it into a blender and gave it a whisk....i mean i didn't do it for more than 30secs...they say pouring hot liquid into the mixer/blender is not at all the next time i try this (in a situation like this)i will use a hand blender.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lohbia aur Khumbi (Black Eyed Peas with Mushrooms)

Black-eyed peas are called Lohbia in Hindi. Combined with tomatoes and khumbi (mushrooms), lobhia can make a very hearty vegetarian meal. I tried this for the first time and really liked it. This recipe is from the book "Indian Cooking" by Madhur Jaffrey.

Pulses are a part of our everyday food. I used to not like it as much when i started cooking. But now, truth be told, even i enjoy it a lot. Started off with Punjabi Rajma Curry (Red Kidney Beans curry) n' then i started using Moong Dal, Masoor Daal (red lentils), Toor Dal, Black Eyed Peas & Brown n' White Channa regularly. Where i don't like non vegetarian food, RJ just loves it, n' where i love vegetarian food, RJ just hates it. So we had to find a balance somewhere and thankfully legumes came to our rescue. So here you go...


1. Black-eyed peas: 1 cup
2. Tomatoes: 1cup(chopped)
3. Oil : 1/2 cup (i used only 3tbsp)
4. Cinnamon stick: 1 inch piece
5. Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
6. Onion: 1 cup(chopped)
7. Garlic: 5 cloves (diced)
8. Khumbi (mushrooms): 1 cup (sliced)
9. Coriander Powder: 2 tsp
10.Cumin Powder: 1tsp
11.Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
12.Cayenne: 1/4 teaspoon (i didn't have this so i added nearly a tsp of kashmiri chili powder instead)
13.Coriander/Cilantro Leaves: 2tbsp
14. Salt: as required or 1tsp


Step 1: The first thing you must do is soak the lobhia in water over night or for 7-8hours. This will make the beans soft and manageable.

Step 2: Then, boil pre-soaked lobhia for 40 minutes or until very soft. (i cooked them in a pressure cooker instead for 15-20 minutes on medium flame, i added salt along with this)

Step 3:Then, briefly boil tomatoes, peel off skin, and chop into large chunks.

Step 4:Heat oil in a kadai (frying pan) and add cumin and cinnamon. Soon after, add garlic and onions.

Step 5: Once the onions turn golden brown add khumbi (mushrooms) and fry for 5 minutes.

Step 6: Add the tomatoes, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, and cayenne. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, till the oil separates. (i added the powders first to ensure that the masala is cooked well and only then did i add the tomatoes.)

Step 7: Add the cooked lohbia to the above stir it to mix well and leave it covered for another 15minutes. (the water in which the lohbia was cooked can be added along with this according to the consistency of the final gravy that you require.)

Check for salt n' add more if required and add the chopped cilantro, stir well and let it sit on low heat for another 5 minutes and it's ready. This is best served hot with rice, chappathi or Naan...

It's only recently that i read about the event My Legume Love Affair and i'm sending this post for the 22nd edition of the event hosted by Ruchikacooks.

Also, sending this to the Vegetable Marathon Event- Beans hosted by Anita's Kitchen.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chettinad Egg Kurma

I have been making my Egg Masala Dry for what seems like forever and last week i decided it's high time i tried something else with hard boiled eggs. I have the book '50 Best Curries of India' by Camellia Panjabi and decided to give her recipe Egg Kurma Chettinad a try. She mentions that this recipe is adapted from the home of Mr.A.Ramaswamy, who is the Raja of Chettinad. I expected it to be far more spicier than it actually turned out to be, i think it's coz i used Kashmiri Chili Powder instead of the normal chili powder. But this recipe is definitely something i'm gonna treasure.


1. Eggs (hard boiled): 6nos
2. Coriander Powder: 3tsp
3. Chili Powder or Paprika: 1 1/2tsp (i used kashmiri chili powder)
4. Fennel Seeds: 1tsp
5. Cumin Seeds: 1tsp
6. Turmeric Powder: 1/2tsp
7. Fresh Ginger: 1/2inch piece
8. Garlic Cloves: 2nos
9. Coconut Milk: 200ml (she mentions that you can alternatively use 100gms of grated or desiccated coconut instead.i used ready coconut milk as i find it easy)
10. Oil: 2tbsp
11. Fenugreek Seeds: 1/2tsp
12. Fennel seeds: 1/2tsp (second lot)
13. Cinnamon Sticks: 2 inch piece
14. Onions: 225gms (finely chopped)
15. Tomatoes: 225gms (finely chopped)
16. Salt: as per taste
17. Lime Juice: of 1/2 a lime (i didn't use this)


Step 1: Peel the eggs and halve them lengthways

Step 2: Put coriander powder, chili powder, fennel and cumin seeds, turmeric powder, ginger and garlic into a blender with 2 tbsp water and puree into a thick paste.

Step 3: If you are using coconut instead of milk, put the coconut into a blender with 400ml of warm water. Liquidise, then strain the coconut milk and set aside.

Step 4: Heat the oil in a kadai/wok and fry the fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds and the cinnamon for 10seconds. Add the onion and fry until lightly coloured. Add the spice paste and saute for 7 minutes. (It will darken in colour since it contains a lot of coriander.) Add a few drops of water if it sticks to the bottom of the kadai. Then add the tomatoes and saute for another 2-3minutes.

Step 5: Add 600ml (1/2pint) of warm water with salt to taste, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, to make a smooth gravy. just before serving, add the coconut milk and bring to boil. Add the lime juice, taste and add more salt if necessary, and gently lay in the hard boiled eggs with the yellow facing upwards. Carefully scoop into a serving dish.

If you want to freeze this curry, omit the coconut and eggs, but add lime juice and salt and freeze. Then use it to make egg curry as and when you need, topping it with coconut milk at the time of reheating.

I deviated from the above recipe only to the point where i boiled the eggs along while i was browning the onions and also made the paste in the blender in the meantime. I added the halved eggs only in the serving dish instead of just before serving. Like i said this recipe is definitely a keeper.

p.s: this is my first photograph that is accepted at (the other famous food porn website-) TasteSpotting. I'm thrilled!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mushroom Ragout On Garlic Toast

Pronounced mushroom ragooo, is really an easy dish, and it is so tasty. We love our mushrooms in any form. This was one of the things i made for our valentine's day dinner this year and had forgotten to update it here. When i was going through my food snaps folder i came across this snap and scolded myself for not posting this sooner. So here you go...


1. Mushrooms- 2 pounds ( I used the regular button mushrooms)
2. Butter- 2tbsp
3. Salt and Pepper- ½ tsp each
4. Sherry Wine- 1/3rd of a cup
5. Chicken Stock- ½ a cup
6. Garlic (Chopped)- 2 cloves
7. Thyme- 1tbsp
8. Heavy Cream- 1/2cup


Step 1: Melt butter in pan, when it starts to froth, add the sliced mushrooms to the pan along with salt and pepper. (this will make the water come out, put it on high flame for the water to cook up completely)

Step 2: Add the chopped garlic.

Step 3: Once the garlic is cooked, add the wine and the chicken stock, stir for a while.

Step 4: Add half the thyme to this and stir for a minute and add the cream. Stir for another minute or so and it’s ready.

I deviated from the original recipe a little, I didn’t have sherry wine with me and added a little caramelized sugar (2tsp)instead. But it was really good. Serve it with garlic toast n’ you would just love it.

From the snap here, you can make out that my garlic toast is really an improvised version of an actual garlic toast...but chef John from whom i got the recipe for Mushroom Ragout said that the easiest n' freshest garlic toast at home is to make some toast, spread a little soft butter on it n' rub some fresh crushed garlic on it...n' voilà your garlic toast is ready. ;)

Gajar Ka Halwa

I didn’t have anything to do on the last Saturday afternoon (a Sunday afternoon equivalent in the Middle East) and decided to make something sweet. This dish is so easy to make, plus I had some Khoya left over from making Phirni and wanted to finish it. I still have some more left over and will have to hunt down recipes to use them. If you have some recipes using khoya, please do let me know, i would love to try them. :)

I came across the recipe to make Loki (Gourd) halwa as part of a shahi cooking show. Forget making RJ eat it even I don’t like Loki, so I decided I’ll just be a plain jane n’ try Gajar Ka Halwa. I used the recipe from my Nita Mehta's cookbook. Honestly, this one caught me by surprise. I didn’t think it would taste this nice, maybe it was coz of how fresh the carrots were. Anyways, do try it…


1. Carrot: ½ kg (shredded)
2. Milk: 1 cup
3. Sugar: ¼ cup (I used brown sugar instead n’ hence had used ½ cup)
4. Ghee: 2tbsp
5. Almonds: 5-6 (shredded)
6. Raisins: 10 (I didn’t add them)
7. Cardamom: 3-4 (powdered)
8. Khoya: 100gms (grated)


Step 1: Boil one cup milk in a clean kadai/wok.

Step 2: Add grated carrots and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, till milk dries.

Step 3: Add the almonds and raisins. Stir for a minute or so.

Step 4: Add sugar. Cook till the mixture turns dry again. (I didn’t dry it completely as I thought it might be nice to leave it a little wet n’ gooey)

Step 5: Add ghee and stir it for another 10minutes on low flame.

Step 6: Add the grated khoya and mix well.

This can be served hot or cold.

I'm sending this for the event Left Over Delicacies hosted by Daisy Blue of Spicy Lounge as i have used the left over khoya from making Phirni...:)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chocolate Truffles with Orange Essence

Actually, i'm being kinda cheeky here, this shouldn't be a separate blog, but i wanted to post the snap separately n' hence decided to make this a new post instead of adding it with my Chocolate Ganache recipe.

With an exotic name like "Chocolate Truffle" one would expect the recipe to be complicated, i know i did. But it's so easy n' simple. Simply put, chocolate truffles are made with a Chocolate Ganache center coated in chocolate or cocoa powder. Now that i'm putting up the recipe here, i'm thinking i should've tried some variations of this...maybe the next time i make it...i'll just do that. Like i had mentioned before, they say your truffles will be as good as the chocolate you are using. So get the best you can buy.


1. Heavy Cream: 1/2 cup
2. Dark Chocolate: 1/2 cup (chopped)
3. Salt: a small pinch
4. Orange Essence : 2 drops
5. Soft Butter : 1tsp (unsalted)
6. Cocoa Powder: 3 tbsp
7. Chopped Nuts: 3tsp (i added crushed almonds)


Step 1: Put your chopped chocolate into a bowl.

Step 2: Add cream into a pan and heat it over medium fire and as soon as it comes to a simmer quickly pour it over your chopped chocolate. (Do not boil it, or it will spoil the cream) Make sure all of your chocolate is covered with the cream and just let it sit there for a minute.

Step 3: Add the soft butter and whisk it with the chocolate and cream together.Keep stirring, till you get a thick n' glossy chocolate sauce.

Step 4: Add a pinch of salt, orange essence and the chopped nuts. Give it a little stir. (minus the nuts your chocolate ganache is ready )

Step 5: Serve it into a dish and pop this into the fridge for 2hours to set.

Step 6: Take this out of the fridge (depending on the room temperature) keep it outside at least for 15-20mins before you are ready to make the truffles.

Step 7: In a pan (with slightly raised corners), add the cocoa powder. Scoop out the chocolate mixture using an ice cream scooper to get those perfect ball shapes or alternatively just use a spoon n' mould it into a round shape as best as you can. Keep them in the pan with the cocoa powder and lightly shake the pan from side to side allowing the balls to roll all over n' get a nice coat of cocoa powder n' it's ready.

You can even add a dash of Brandy (along with the orange essence) to get an extra kick. Roll the chocolate balls in a crushed biscuit mixture, or crushed mixture of nuts to get a different look instead of just cocoa...serve it immediately.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Banana Bread- my first baking adventure

My first baking adventure, so to speak has to be this. I have never tried baking other than with Betty Crocker mix, i have never found the need to bake from scratch when BC has such an easy n' good cake mix made available. Well, all that changed when Ruby my friend baked some Banana Bread n' got it to office. I just loved how simple n' undemanding the bread/cake felt. What she gave us was more like a cake than a bread.

But i was inspired n' i just had to give it a try. The recipe i'm using is by a Pakistani cooking expert- Shireen Anwar. It is so simple, i baked it twice already. Mine came out exactly like a bread. Gave it to friends from office n' they said they liked it. We had it with some hot coffee in the morning n' it tasted even usual i made this before heading off to work with little time to spare for a creative photograph. Pardon, the crinkly look on the side, it is coz of the baking paper i had used to line the baking pan which on my second try i realised was not even necessary. :(


1. Banana: 3nos (medium)(mash it into a thick paste)- use the extra ripe ones if possible
2. Flour: 2 cups
3. Baking Soda: 1/4 tsp (i didn't have any with me, so i didn't use this)
4. Baking Powder: 1tbsp (since i didn't add baking soda i used 1 1/4 tbsp of baking powder)
5. Vanilla Essence: 1tsp
6. Oil: 1/2 cup (i used sunflower oil)
7. Caster Sugar: 3/4cup (i used brown sugar instead n' hence took 1cup)
8. Eggs: 2nos
9. Walnuts: 1 cup (broken/crushed)
10 Yogurt: 1/2 cup
11.Butter: 1tsp (mainly to grease the pan, add the extra bit into the mix)


Step 1: Grease a baking pan with butter and keep it aside. Pre heat the oven on 180°C.

Step 2: Mix all the ingredients other than flour, baking powder and walnuts. Beat everything together at a low speed. Don't over beat just enough to mix well.

Step 3: Add the flour n' baking powder in portions into the above mixing it at the same time to avoid any lumps to form.

Step 4: Add the walnuts and mix well.

Cooking time should be 45-50mins depending up on your oven. If required, check only after 35minutes to see if it's already done. Since i used brown sugar it wasn't very sweet and i liked it that way. So if you prefer your cakes sweet, use caster sugar itself.

All thanks to An Open Book (who let me know about this event) i'm gonna send in my first entry for an event. The event is Bake Off and it's hosted by Champa from Stories from an Indian Kitchen. Don't know if my entry will qualify, but no harm in trying i guess. :)

Rogan Josh

I have never cooked mutton in my kitchen before n’ in all honesty can’t even say I have eaten mutton. RJ eats it, but very rarely. We had been to a barbecue last weekend, our first time by the beach n’ RJ n’ Jeff did some novice fishing too, RJ caught his first fish (one of the smallest I have seen getting caught fishing) but we thoroughly enjoyed the night. In retrospect I’m thinking I should’ve taken more snaps of the food served that day, but I haven’t taken many snaps. We barbecued prawns, tofu (for me, didn’t get paneer), mutton n’ chicken n’ for the sides had a sour cream potato salad, couscous salad and some bread. It was a feast considering we were by the beach. Thankfully it was not windy or hot, the temperature was just right.

As usual I’m digressing, what I wanted to say was RJ just loved the mutton chops that were barbecued that night n’ this weekend when we were doing our shopping, I told him maybe one of these days I should try making something with mutton too. He enthusiastically told me to buy some mutton n’ try something the same day, I was thrilled to the say the least. So I got a packet (this was the least complicated I thought, as I know next to nothing about how to buy mutton) of fresh Pakistani Mutton Chops (I had to remove the fat before cooking).

You know what I found most surprising when I was cooking the meat? The distinct aroma, for some reason I have always associated a raw n’ strong smell to mutton, but that wasn’t the case at all, I actually enjoyed the smell n’ RJ finishing off four pieces in one go....that made me feel great. :) That is also one reason why the snap looks the way it does, I forgot to take snaps once I finished cooking, it was already so late. :( I literally had to make RJ wait before his second helping to get this shot. Another recipe I followed from Nita Mehta’s book…so here you go…


1. Mutton: 500 gms (you needn’t use chops)
2. Ghee/ Oil: 7 tbsp (this is what the recipe calls for but I used only half of this)
3. Cloves: 3nos
4. Cinnamon Stick: 1 inch piece
5. Black Cardamom: 2nos
6. Bay Leaf: 2nos
7. Asafoetida (hing): ½ tsp (dissolved in 1tsp water)
8. Fennel Seeds: 1 ½ tsp (powdered)
9. Dry ginger powder: ½ tsp (I didn’t have any so didn’t use this)
10. Ginger Paste: 1tsp
11. Onions: 4nos (ground to paste)- I never grind onion in a mixer, I never like the taste when I do this. So instead I finely chop the onions and fry them well.
12. Red Chili Powder: 1 ¾ tsp ( I used Kashmiri Chili powder considering the dish is a Kashmiri specialty)
13. Salt: as per taste or 1 ½ tsp
14. Black Pepper Powder: ½ tsp
15. Green Cardamom: 7nos (powdered)
16. Yogurt: ¾ cup (the recipe says ‘optional’, but I did use it) beat well till smooth.
17. Water: as required
18. Saffron: dissolved in water (I didn’t use this)


Step 1: Heat ghee/oil in a cooker. Add cloves, cinnamon, black cardamom and bay leaf. Fry for 1-2 minutes.

Step 2: Add the mutton pieces and hing water. Fry for 15-20mins till well fried. The mutton should become brownish in colour.

Step 3: Heat a little oil in another kadai and add the chopped onions and fry till lightly brown and add fennel powder, dry ginger powder, ginger paste, red chili powder, salt and pepper and sauté for a minute more. Allow the masala to cook.

Step 4: Add the above to the mutton in the cooker. Stir for a minute or 2 and reduce heat and add powdered cardamom and curd. Keep stirring till it boils.

Step 5: Add ½ cup water. (the book calls for only half a cup of water but if you want the dish to have more gravy, I think you should add at least 1cup) Close the cooker and allow it to give 2 whistles. By now the mutton should have become tender.

Step 6: Open the cooker once the pressure drops. Keep on low heat for another 10minutes (especially if you think there is more gravy than you need). Add saffron and simmer for another 2-3minutes and serve hot.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I have never been a big fan of Phirni...but RJ just loves it. On the first night in Bhopal during this vacation, we had gone to Jahan Numa Palace in the night to have some treats from their cafe....this is one place i have to go every time we go to Bhopal. We ordered for Phirni as our dessert n' it was the best i have ever had. You know how it is served in matkas (earthen jugs/pots), it's just so Indian...n' when i came across this recipe last week i just had to give it a try. But i didn't have any matkas with me n' had to use my ramekins instead. The ingredients are a little more complex than i normally use, but i preferred this recipe to the condensed milk recipes available online.


1. Milk: 500ml
2. Rice: 1/2 cup
3. Khoya: 1/2cup
4. Sugar: 1 1/2cup
5. Milk: 1 ltr
6. Almond: 1/2cup (crushed)
7. Cardamom Powder: 1/2tsp
8. Kewra: few drops


Step 1: Soak rice in 500ml milk

Step 2: Boil milk adding sugar.

Step 3: Grind the soaked rice and milk (rough grind not in a paste form)

Step 4: Once the milk is boiled, ground rice n' milk mixture to this n' let it cook for a while.

Step 5: Before it thickens too much, add khoya and cardamom powder into this and let it cook for a while. (thicken it)

Step 6: Add chopped almonds and kewra essence.

Step 7: Serve it directly into matkas or into individual serving bowls & refrigerate before serving.

Getting the correct consistency is important. I think i should have thickened it a little more than what you can see here. But the taste was rewarding, so i was happy.

This is my first photo that has gotten accepted on a food porn website..FoodGawker, look here . I'm thrilled to say the least. Thank you FG...;D

Finally...this image is accepted at TasteSpotting too....Oh Bliss!!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Chicken Bharta

Honestly, I wasn't sure about the snap i'm putting up. But the recipe is good and turns out really well. So i couldn't resist putting it up. I was so late for work, there was just no time for my average effort at creativity. Maybe the next time i make this dish, i'll have some more time for a better snap...:)

So coming back to the recipe, i feel like i'm rediscovering 'Nita Mehta' all over again, i mean i have had her cook book with me for over 5yrs n' have taken it out rarely. So anyways, thats my mistake, now that i have taken it out, i'm finding such really nice recipes in there. I had separated the boneless pieces when i was making my Chicken Karahi and used those pieces to make this dish. So here you go...


1. Chicken (boneless): 500gms (cubed)
2. Onions: 3 nos (chopped)
3. Saboot Dhania (coriander seeds): 1 ½ tbsp
4. Dry Red Chili: 2nos
5. Ginger: 1 ½ inch piece (chopped)
6. Garlic: 10 flakes (chopped)
7. Tomatoes: 3nos (chopped)
8. Tomato: 1no (puree in a mixer)
9. Garam Masala: 1tsp
10. Coriander Powder: 1tsp
11. Amchoor: ½ tsp
12. Green Chilies: 2nos (whole)
13. Coriander: 2tbsp (chopped)
14. Kasthuri Methi: 2tbsp
15. Oil: 5tbsp
16. Salt: to taste


Step 1: Put coriander seeds and red chilies on a tawa. Keep on fire and roast lightly till it just starts to change color. Do not make it too brown.

Step2: Crush the coriander seeds to split the seeds. Break the red chilies with hands into small bits. Keep aside.

Step3: Heat oil in a wok and add chopped onions, cook it till golden brown.

Step 4: Add crushed coriander seeds, ginger and garlic. Stir for a minute or so.

Step 5: Add chicken and stir fry for 4-5minutes on medium heat.

Step 6: Add chopped, pureed tomatoes and red chilies to the above and cook for another 4-5mins.

Step 7: Add salt, garam masala, dhania powder and amchoor. Mix well. Cover and cook on low heat for 6-8minutes.

Step 8: Lower the heat, stir, add whole green chilies, coriander leaves and kasthuri methi leaves. Cook for another 4-5minutes or till done and serve hot.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Darbar Ki Karahi

Ok...i know i had declared my previous chicken curry recipe to be the easiest ever. But trust me this is equally easy...and what i loved the most about this recipe is that (apart from the fancy Indian name that is) the texture of the looks like it's straight from an authentic Indian restaurant. Karahi Chicken is simply put chicken cooked with tomatoes and cilantro. Honestly, one of the best chicken recipes i have ever tried, my sister has already made it thrice...well the recipe sounds so simple you have to try it...:) here you go....


1. Chicken: 500gms
2. Tomato: 500gms
3. Onion: 1no (sliced)
4. Kasturi Methi Leaves: 1 tbsp
5. Ginger Garlic Paste: 1tbsp (preferably fresh)
6. Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
7. Chili Powder: 2tsp (i used kashmiri chili powder)
8. Salt: as per taste or 1tsp
9. Green Chilies: 5nos (3 whole and 2 slipt in the middle)
10.Coriander Leaves/Cilantro: 1bunch
11.All spice Powder: 1/2 tsp (i used garam masala)
12.Lemon: as per taste
13.Oil: 1/2 cup
14. Water: 1/2 cup (use more according to how much gravy you want)
14.Ginger: cut into thin strips for garnishing (optional)


Step 1: Deep fry chicken until it cooks a little. Roughly 10-12mins.

Step2: Fry onions till brown, add methi leaves (on law flame) add turmeric powder, chili powder, salt, ginger garlic paste. Allow the masala to cook well.

Step 3: Add the chopped tomatoes (add just a little water if required)

Step 4: Add the chicken pieces to the above. Add water and cook for 15 minutes covered.

Step 5: By now you should get a nice rich gravy.Add the green chilies, coriander leaves & all spice powder/garam masala. Stir well, leave it on the flame for another minute or 2 and its ready.

Squeeze the lemon juice over the curry just before serving otherwise it will spoil the taste. :) Best served with Ghee Rice, Pilaf or any Roti or Chapathi...

Khasta Bhindi

I guess it's kind of safe to say this feeling of wanting to update my blog with some interesting recipe gives me a feeling close to preparing for an important exam. Today morning i couldn't sleep well and woke up really early like 4.30am n'tried to get some more 5.30 i was wide awake and decided to get up do some cooking before i head to work...i prefer to finish my cooking in the morning, that way when i reach home in the evening i can laze around....:)

So i was going to make some Bhindi Stir fry (i know boring! right??) yeah anyways...that was on my menu for myself and some Chicken Karahi for RJ...then i remembered Nish from Look who's Cooking too had posted a Tarla Dalal recipe for Masala Bhindi the other day...i also remembered there was something similar by Nita Mehta in her book "Learn to cook with Nita Mehta"...decided to give it a go...came out well but i can't seem to make out with what should i be having these....:(...i had them with chapathi n' i wasn't sure that's how it is meant to be eaten...if you have some suggestions, please do let me know....Oh by the way...i know this is another fancy name but 'Khasta' actually just means 'flaky''s just that i would prefer the name "Khasta Bhindi" to "Flaky Bhindi" anyday...;)


1. Bhindi: 250gms
2. Cornflour: 2tbsp
3. Ajwain(Carom seeds): 1tsp
4. Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp
5. Chaat Masala: 2tsp
6. Chili Powder: 1/2 tsp
7. Ginger: 1tsp (crushed)
8. Gram Flour: 1/2 cup
9. Salt: to taste or 1/2 tsp
10. Lemon Juice: 1tbsp
11. Oil: 5tbsp (add a little more later if required)


Step 1: Wash and pat dry the bhindi

Step 2: Cut the head and not the pointed end. Slit each of the bhindi into two pieces lenghtwise.

Step 3: Heat the oil in a wok for frying.

Step 4: Mix all the ingredients, corn flour, ajwain, turmeric powder, chaat masala, chili powder, ginger, gram flour and salt with a very little water. The batter should be really thick.

Step 5: Sprinkle the lemon juice to coat the mixture onto the slit bhindi. Do not keep it aside, fry immediately till crisp.

The coating of the mixture and frying can be done in 2 batches. Once fried drain on paper napkins and serve hot.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Chocolate Ganache

The simplicity of this as always was the what caught my eye.....Ganache is chocolate with heavy cream, and it has a very creamy texture. When you pour ganache over a cake, it just flows like the river on top of a gorgeous cake.


1. Heavy Cream: 1/2 cup
2. Cooking Chocolate: 1/2 cup (chopped)
3. Salt: a small pinch
4. Vanilla : 2 drops


Step 1: Put your chopped chocolate into a bowl.

Step 2: Add cream into a pan and heat it over medium fire and as soon as it comes to a simmer quickly pour it over your chopped chocolate. Make sure all of your chocolate is covered with the cream and just let it sit there for a minute.

Step 3: Whisk the chocolate and cream together.Keep stirring, till you get a thick n' glossy chocolate sauce. They say the ganache is only as good as the chocolate you'll be using. So choose your chocolate well..:)

Step 4: Add the salt and the flavouring to the chocolate mixture at this stage. You can also use different flavouring like orange, mint etc instead of vanilla...i used vanilla coz that was all i had.

Step 5: Let is cool and thicken a little n' it's ready for you to glaze over your cakes n' cup cakes.

If you have extra, simply store it, refrigerate and warm it in the microwave to use it again.

Cucumber Raita

I have always been fond of Curd…..buttermilk happens to be my favourite drink….yeah at this day n’ age when women all over are talking about drinks like cosmopolitan, margarita, bloody mary n’ sex on the beach…being their favorite, I’m still, true to my form, saying I prefer a nice homemade buttermilk….:D..just imagine it being served on a hot n’ humid day….wah! my mouth is watering… as usual I’m digressing…so like I was saying in the 3 years since I started cooking…I have made raita often….but there was always something missing… wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be….then recently I had it at a North Indian restaurant here named “Bombay Chopatti”…n’ I realized one of the key ingredient is Cumin Powder…. maybe there are ways to make it even better n’ there are more key ingredients I don’t know about… but for now I’m really thrilled about how good this tastes. It’s best served with biryani n’ pilaf.

1. Cucumber- 2nos (sliced into medium sized pieces)
2. Onion- 1no (sliced thin)
3. Tomato- 1no (deseeded n’ chopped)
4. Green Chili- 1-2nos (deseeded n’ chopped)
5. Yogurt/Curd- 100-150gms
6. Cumin/Jeera Powder- 1/4tsp
7. Water- as preferred (I use very little)
8. Salt- as per taste

Step 1: Mix sliced cucumber, onion, tomato n’ green chili add salt n’ toss this. Deseeding the tomatoes seem to ensure a nice flavor instead of strong taste…n’ that’s why I do it this way…:D

Step 2: Whip the curd into a nice smooth paste and add this to the above.

Step 3: Add as much water as you want the thickness to be n’ garnish it with the cumin powder n’ refrigerate n’ mix this only just before serving…

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Calzone Inspired Chapathi

Yesterday i was supposed to make 'Calzone'. I came across this recipe for the same on Sanjeev Kapoor's show in Star Plus or is it Sony??? anyways...i didn't get to watch the whole program...but i decided to give it a try. I wasn't sure about the measurements n' decided to IMPROVISE. I feel really silly saying it out loud here...but i have to anyways....just so that i don't make this mistake again....after kneading the dough...i kept in covered in the fridge for 4-5hrs...:(...can you believe that? n' when i reached back home last night i went to the fridge (all excited)to check on the dough n' to see how much it has risen...n' i found this really hard ball in my greased bowl....n' i was so disappointed...(it still didn't click!!!)....

i went on to make Chapati n' Egg Masala for dinner n' while rolling the chapati, it struck me...why don't i try making a Calzone inspired chapatis...i wasn't sure what i needed but i wanted to give it a try anyway...but first i said to myself let me finish making dinner coz what if this one doesn't turn out nice...boy i was in for a surprise alright...:) here you...judge for yourself...n' did i say...this recipe is really simple too...;)


1. Wheat Dough- 2 balls (the size of golf balls)
2. Onion- 2 medium (sliced)
3. Mushrooms- 3-4 (sliced)
4. Broccoli- 3-4 florets (sliced)
5. Oregano- ½ tsp ( i used dry oregano leaves)
6. Black Pepper (fresh)- ½ tsp (crushed)- (add more if you want it spicier)
7. Salt
8. Butter- 2tsp (since i was trying this for the first time...i wanted some help here n' added around 3tsp :)
9. Goat Cheese- 1tsp for each (optional i guess...i added it coz i had some left over)
10. Mozzarella Cheese- 1tsp for each (shredded)...(add more if you want..;)


Step 1: Heat a pan n' melt butter in it (till it foams) n' add the sliced onions to this. Sauté till the onion are a golden brown (n' this smells divine ;)

Step 2: Add the sliced mushrooms to this. Let it cook for a while. (A little amount of liquid should ooze out from the mushrooms) Stir it till it shrinks back into the mushrooms...

Step 3: Add the sliced broccoli to the above. It will change it's color to a dark green in about 3-4mins n' that's how we get to know it's done...

Step 4: Add Oregano, black pepper n' salt and its ready...

Step 5: Roll out your Chapati n' fill a half of the circle with this filling, add the soft goat cheese, n' top the filling with some shredded cheese.... leaving a little area on the edge to fold n' close the chapati. Fold it into a half circle n' close the corners by pressing it with your fingers or a fork.

Step 6: Heat a pan n' let the above filled chapati cook on low fire. Cook both the sides n' the total for at least 8-10mins to ensure the insides are cooked. Spread a little butter on both the sides and it will take on a golden brown shade...n' it's ready...

As you can see i basically used whatever i had at home as a filling...i think you can use just about anything for a filling n' serve it as snacks for kids n' they would love it....:)...also since this was an experiment i made only enough for two. Please increase the measurements if you want to make more...:)

p.s: at the end of all this i saw the dough i had kept aside to throw had become so soft n' it was beginning to did i not remember that the dough needs to be left in a warm place for it to rise??? instead of inside the fridge??

A special thanks to Nish from Look Who's Cooking Too for giving me this badge (my first one ever...didn't get any even when i was in school ;)...i'm truly touched...i want to pass it on to....malluspice (one of the first blogs i started reading), cookingandme (i came across her blog when i wanted to learn more about food photography) and mariasmenu (coz she makes cooking look simple, fun and you can easily make out she loves what she is doing). Gals....please grab the award, brag about it, display it on you blog and link it back to whoever awarded it to you, share 10 things about yourself and pass on the award to anyone you like.

Now for 10things about me....i truly had a tough time doing this....which was strange considering how i love to talk....:)

1.I don’t like every day cooking. I look upon it as a chore. I mean I hate to cook when the reasons are ‘hunger’ or ‘it’s meal time’n’ reasons like that. But it’s for the sheer pleasure of it I get really excited about cooking.

2.The main attraction for blogging these days seems to have something to do with the new camera we have. I love taking photographs and making things/people look beautiful.

3.I’m a non vegetarian skewed towards veg food more than non veg food :)

4.I don’t like fish…I love crab, prawns, mussels n’ occasionally like fried pieces of fish but I’m over particular about how it should be.

5.I don’t crave for sweet food, but I love (more like worship) spicy food. I can eat pickle with just about anything.

6.My family is my strength.

7.If it weren’t for the strict upbringing (by my father…which I hated at the time) I would have never had the strength of character I have today.

8.The thing I enjoy the most about Bahrain is my work place….for the first time in my life I have a boss with a sense of humour.

9.The place I earned my independence was Bangalore, so for me the 8yrs I spent there will forever be a highlight of my life. I will always love that place more than any other place.

10.Something I enjoy more than anything else in the world has to be shopping. It gives me an adrenaline rush like no other….i (almost) can’t resist anything that’s on sale n’ especially if I think it’s a steal for that price.
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