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.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Carrot Ularthiyathu or Carrot Stir Fry

I don’t use carrots in any of my every day recipes, I mean not in sambars, not in thorans, not in fried rice….you get the picture!....its mainly coz my husband will immediately complain about the dish turning sweet coz of that. But give it to him fresh in a salad n’ it will be over in minutes….so we normally have it in our salads…but my veggie food quest gave me the idea to make this today I had it with chapathi. You can have this with rice, sambar/rasam n’ its good too. The best part as usual is how easy it is to make :)


1. Carrots - 3-4 (sliced)
2. Onion - 1no - medium (sliced)
3. Green Chilies- 1-2nos (split into 2)
4. Red Chili Powder – ½ tsp
5. Turmeric Powder- ¼ tsp
6. Garam Masala- ½ tsp
7. Black Pepper- 2-3 crushed (optional)
8. Salt
9. Mustard Seeds - ½ tsp
10. Curry Leaves- 8-10
11. Oil- 2 tbsp
12. Water


Step 1: In a wok, heat oil, add mustard seeds n’ curry leaves. Add the sliced onions and green chilies and fry it till the onion turns pink.

Step 2: Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, black pepper powder and salt to this and stir well allowing the masala to cook.

Step 3: Add the sliced carrots to this and mix well. Sprinkle a little water on this, cover n cook for 10-15mins. (keep checking it to ensure it doesn’t get burned)

Step 4: Stir well for another 4-5mins n’ its ready.

Punjabi Paneer Makhani

I was going to make Chicken Kadai, but the lady who comes to help me with cooking n’ cleaning (she comes 3 days a week) was coming today n’ she doesn’t touch non-veg (at all) so I thought might as well make something I can take her help on. I wish I hadn’t asked for her help, I asked her to make tomato puree in the mixer grinder n’ a portion of my kitchen was splattered with tomato puree, she had stuffed too much into the small jar n’ hadn’t closed the lid properly before turning it on. :( So anyway we had a lot of cleaning work along with cooking in the 90mins she comes to work….so I got busy with cooking n’ she got into cleaning. I like finishing my cooking for the day in the morning before I go off to work that way when I reach home I don’t have a mountain of work waiting for me.

The first recipe book I ever bought was Nita Mehta’s Indian cooking. The reason I got it was to learn some north Indian cooking for my husband….i have never tried this recipe before n’ it’s shame that I hadn’t tried it before….there is something so alluring about a simple recipe. I guess after all that struggle (in my case just mental) today morning when a dish comes out well, that’s rewarding enough. I have deviated from the original recipe a little, but I have clearly mentioned them so you can avoid those steps if you feel like it. Do try this recipe…its really nice.


1. Paneer- 250 gms ( cut into cubes)
2. Tomato- 500gms (I used only 3medium ones) or (if you are using ready made tomato puree I guess ¾ or 1 cup will do)
3. Cashew- 3 tbsp (coarsely crushed)
4. Jeera- 1tsp
5. Ginger Garlic Paste- 2tsp (preferably fresh)
6. Ghee/ Oil- 2tbsp (I used a non stick pan n’ used only 2tsp)
7. Kasturi Methi leaves- 1tbsp
8. Tomato Ketchup- 1tsp
9. Kashmiri Chili powder- ½tsp (reduce the amount if you are using ordinary chili powder)
10. Coriander Powder- 2tsp
11. Garam Masala- ½tsp
12. Milk- 1 ½cup
13. Cream- ½cup (optional)
14. Salt- 1tsp or according to your taste
15. Water- as required
16. Oil- 3tbsp (to lightly fry the paneer cubes, again this step to fry paneer is not there in the original recipe, I thought I’d like it better if its ever so lightly fried)
17. Green Chili- 2nos (finely sliced) the original recipe does not ask for this, but I was scared the sweetness of the dish won’t suit us, so you can skip this if you want.
18. Sugar- as required or ¼ spoon (this is not there in the original recipe either)


Step 1: Soak the cashew pieces in hot water (half a cup) for 10-15mins. Adding a little water (2-3tbsp) grind the cashew into a thick paste. Keep it aside.

Step 2: If you are making Tomato puree at home, cut each tomato into 4 and boil it for 5mins in half a cup of water. Keep it aside to cool. Make a thick paste in the grinder.

Step 3: Fry the paneer cubes in oil and keep it aside.

Step 4: In a pan heat Ghee and add jeera to it. Once jeera turns brown add the ginger garlic paste to this and fry it till the color changes.

Step 5: Add the tomato puree to this and fry it. (till the mix becomes dry and dark in color n oil starts oozing out) I added my chopped green chili and fried it along with the puree.

Step 6: Add kasturi methi and tomato sauce to this. (on low fire)

Step 7: Add coriander powder, chili powder, garam masala, and salt. Since I had reduced the amount of ghee to 2 tsp I had to add some water at this stage as the mixture was really dry. Stir it till the masala is cooked well.

Step 8: Add the cashew paste to this n’ mix well. Taste it to see if its too sour n’ add a little sugar to balance the taste.

Step 9: Heat the milk to be added (just 1 min in the microwave will do) and pour the warm milk into the above. Stir well. The original recipe asked us to keep the gravy aside to cool n’ then add the milk. But I figured adding hot milk to the hot gravy will do the trick as I was running out of time.

Step 10: At this point the gravy will look really rich n’ thick n’ smell nice. Add the paneer pieces to this gravy stir it for another 4-5mins. The curry is ready.

Step 11: If you are adding cream, do so at this stage and stir lightly (more like folding). And take off the fire immediately. Add a dash of cream on top before serving.

I'm posting this recipe before my husband eats it for lunch today, normally i will wait for his verdict. But i'm sure he will love this with chapathi..:) I think this will be best served with Chapathi or Tandoori Roti or Jeera Rice...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Chicken Masala

This chicken curry is something I can make in my sleep…i have made it so often…i don’t even know how I started making it in the first place….its a combination of a recipe from my mom n’ some other recipe I saw somewhere…either ways…its on my quick fix list…if I ‘m feeling really lazy or I’m short of time…but I want to make an impression….then I make peas pilaf and this curry n’ my husband is a happy man….he really likes it…so here you go


1. Chicken- 900gms (medium to small pieces)
2. Onion- 2nos (medium- chopped)
3. Ginger Garlic Paste- 1tsp (preferably fresh)
4. Tomato- 1no (chopped)
5. Green Chili- 1no- Slit into 2 (optional)
6. Chili Powder- 1tsp (use kashmiri chili powder if u don’t like spicy food)
7. Turmeric Powder- ½ tsp
8. Coriander Powder- 1 tsp
9. Garam Masala- ½ tsp
10. Cumin Powder- ½ tsp
11. Bay leaf- a small piece
12. Cinnamon- a small piece
13. Jeera- ½ tsp
14. Cardamom- 4nos
15. Cloves- 2-3nos
16. Black Pepper- 1tsp (coarsely crushed)- less if you don’t want it to be spicy
17. Salt- 1tsp or as required
18. Oil- 4tbsp (I use only 2 most of the time)


Step 1: Pressure cook the chicken pieces adding salt and crushed black pepper. No need to add any water. One whistle is enough.

Step 2: In a wok, heat the oil n’ add Bay leaf, Cinnamon, Cardamon, Jeera and Cloves.

Step 3: Add chopped onion and fresh ginger garlic paste to this. Sauté it until the onion turn golden brown.

Step 4: Add chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala, Cumin Powder to this. Add a little water if the mixture seems too dry. Allow the masala to cook well and oil to separate.

Step 5: Add chopped tomatoes to this. Allow it to cook for a 4-5mins n’ then mash it with a potato masher (if u don’t have this, as round bottom spoon should do). You can add ready tomato puree (½ cup) instead. Allow it to cook well and oil to separate from the gravy.
Step 6: The chicken will have a small amount of liquid/stock inside the pressure cooker. Add this to the above gravy and mix well. Add the slit green chilies if you are using them at this stage.

Step 7: Add the chicken piece to this gravy n’ cover it n’ cook it for another 5-10 mins. You can add coriander leaves for garnishing before serving.

I think its best served with any rice dishs or chapathis (might be a little too dry for chapathi). When I’m serving this with chapathi I will try n’ increase the level of water slightly in step 4.
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