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!

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