Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Fruit Cake

Last Christmas I had baked a non alcoholic cake but this year I wanted to try the alcohol fruit cake. I started the preparation in the month of October. Soaked all the dried fruits,cherries and candied mixed peel in dark rum for a month and then baked the cake. Now I am just feeding the cake with rum twice every week. I must admit that making this cake takes hell lot of patience as you have to wait for weeks before you can cut it. I am just counting days, 6 more days to go  
Christmas Fruit Cake
Christmas Fruit Cake
680 gms assorted dry fruits (I have used glazed cherries, dried apricot, dried cranberries, dried strawberries, dried pineapple, and candied mixed peel)
200 gms of raisins, chopped into bite size pieces (I have used golden and black raisins)
80 gms (hazelnuts + almonds)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (220gms) dark brown sugar,tightly packed
1 cup unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cup dark rum plus more for brushing the cake
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup ground almonds
1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg powder
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
Juice and zest of 1 orange 
Zest of 1 lemon
Soak the dry fruits in 1 1/2 cup dark rum for a month in an air tight container. Stir the soaked dry fruits every alternate day.

Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees C or 325 degrees F. Place the rack in the center of the oven. Butter or grease a 8 inch springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. 
In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time and beat after each addition.
Add orange juice, zest of lemon and orange. Add the soaked dried and candied fruits along with the rum. Mix well.
Add the raisins and mix again.
In a separate bowl whisk together ground almond,flour,baking powder,salt,nutmeg powder,ginger powder,and cinnamon powder.
Now fold the dry ingredients in the cake batter. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
Transfer the cake batter to the springform pan and spread evenly. 
Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until a long skewer inserted at the center of the cake comes out with few moist crumbs. It took 1 hr 45 mins in my oven and the time can vary from oven to oven so keep a close watch on the cake.
Remove the cake and place it on a wire rack to cool completely. Poke holes on the top surface of the cake with a skewer and brush rum on it. 
Wrap the cake in a plastic wrap and aluminium foil and place it in an air tight container or cake tin.
Brush the cake with rum, twice a week, until Christmas. 
This cake weighed around 1.5 kgs.
  • You can choose assorted dried fruits of your choice. Add more dried fruits if you want to.
  • Stir the soaked dry fruits every alternate day.
  • You can change the quantity of spices (ginger powder,cinnamon powder,nutmeg powder) as per your taste.
  • You can use brandy instead of dark rum.
  • Chop the dried fruits and cherries into bite sized pieces before soaking in rum.
  • To cover the bottom of the pan with parchment paper take a large sheet and then clamp the side ring around the base. Fold the paper towards the top of the pan. This way you have the extended parchment when you remove the clamp. It is easier to handle the cake with this extended parchment. 

Adapted from Stephanie Jaworski's recipe.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Kaddu (Pumpkin) Ki Sabji

Kaddu ki Sabji
 I remember my mother cooking this sabji for us and I would love to eat it with plain paratha. I like the sweet and savoury flavour of this dish. The bengali spice paanch phoran gives it an amazing flavour. When I moved to Dubai after my wedding I made sure to carry paanch phoran in my luggage  Let me go ahead with the recipe now.
550 gms kaddu/pumpkin- seeds removed, skin peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup  parboiled black channa (black chickpea), soak the channa overnight and then parboil it
1 tsp coriander-cumin powder (I have made this powder at home by grinding equal quantity of coriander seeds and cumin seeds)
1/2 tsp turmeric
Salt to taste
1-2 tsp white granulated sugar, adjust to taste (I have added 2 tsp sugar)
2 red dry chillies
1 bay leaf
1 tsp paanch phoran ( a type of bengali spice)
Chopped coriander leaves 2 tbsp
1 tbsp oil
Heat oil in a pan. Add bay leaf, red dry chillies and paanch phoran. When the cumin in paanch phoran starts crackling add the pumpkin, channa and turmeric. Give it a stir to mix the pumpkin with other spices.
Cover and cook on low heat until the pumpkin is soft and mushy.
Now add salt, sugar, coriander-cumin powder and stir. Let it cook for another 3-4 minutes on medium heat or until all the water has evaporated. I like to mash the pumpkin in this sabji as you can see in the picture.
Switch off the flame and add coriander leaves. Mix again. 
Serve it hot with chapati or paratha.
If you like sour and sweet flavour then add 1/4 tsp of mango powder/amchoor to the sabji.
Kaddu ki sabji

Monday, November 4, 2013

Gajar Halwa Barfi

This Diwali I decided to make Gajar Halwa Barfi. Gajar Halwa is one of my favourites so I thought of giving it a barfi form this time.
Gajar Halwa Barfi
Ingredients for Khoya:
3 cups full cream milk
In a heavy bottom pan, bring the milk to a boil.
On medium to low heat cook the milk until it is reduced to a thick consistency. All the water in the milk will evaporate and you will get granulated khoya. You have to keep stirring occasionally in the beginning and towards the end stir continuously so that it doesn't burn.
Ingredients for Barfi:
500 gms carrot
1 litre full cream milk
6 tbsp white granulated sugar, adjust as per taste
1 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
1/4 tsp freshly grounded cardamom powder
Almonds/pistachios for garnishing
Wash and peel the carrots. Grate the carrots using the fine side of the grater.
Take a baking tray and place parchment paper in it.
Melt ghee in a heavy bottom pan.
Add the grated carrots to the ghee and saute for 5 mins on medium heat. Do not let it brown.
Now pour the milk and stir. Simmer and cook until most of the liquid has dried out. Keep stirring occasionally.
Add sugar and cardamom powder,mix well. Add the khoya and cook until all the liquid has dried completely. Now the halwa will start leaving the sides of the pan.
Transfer the halwa to the baking tray. With the back of a spoon spread the halwa. Keep the thickness as per the thickness of the barfi. Smooth the top using a piece of parchment paper.
Garnish the top with almonds or pistachios (I have used almonds) and let it cool completely. Refrigerate for sometime and then cut into desired shapes and sizes.
Gajar Halwa Barfi

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Mango Chutney

I have always loved the Mango Chutney prepared by Bengalis. It is so simple and quick to cook recipe. If you want you can make it sweet or sweet and savoury. It all depends on what suits your taste buds. I like my Mango Chutney a little sweet and savoury. You can use a mixture of sugar and jaggery or only sugar or only jaggery. My suggestion is to add little seasoning at a time, check the flavour and add more if required. If you are someone who prefers a "Khatta Meetha" flavour then this is just for you.
Mango Chutney
1 big sized raw mango
1 tsp panch phoran (panch phoran is a bengali spice which consists of fenugreek seednigella seedcumin seedblack mustard seed and fennel seed in equal parts)
1 tbsp oil
2 dry red chilies
1/4 tsp turmeric
1-2 tbsp crushed jaggery, adjust to taste
1 cup water
3-4 tbsp sugar, adjust to taste
Salt taste
Peel the raw mango and cut it into small cubes, discard the seed.
Heat oil in a thick bottom pan. Add the panch phoran and chilies.
Once the cumin and mustard seeds start to crackle, add the raw mangoes and give it a stir to mix well.
Add salt, turmeric sugar and jaggery along with water. Stir. Do not put all the sugar and jaggery at once. Taste and add more if required.
Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 mins or until the mango cubes are soft. You should be able to mash the mango with a back of a spoon.
Mash few mango cubes to give the chutney a nice thick texture. Check for sweetness. Adjust sugar and jaggery as per your taste. 
Remove from heat and let it cool. This chutney will thicken further after cooling.
Refrigerate in an air tight container.  


Focaccia is a flat oven baked Italian bread. It has a nice crispy outer crust and is soft from inside. You can top it with tomatoes, rosemary,herbs,caramelized onions, cheese, meat etc. Olive oil is one of the key ingredient in this recipe.This Focaccia reminds me of Dominos garlic bread.
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup olive oil (I have used extra virgin olive oil)
1 tsp dried thyme 
1 tsp dried basil (you can also use dried rosemary)
1 3/4 tsp instant yeast 
1/4 tsp honey
1 cup warm water
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp freshly grounded black pepper
1 tsp salt
Olive oil for greasing
In a pan, place olive oil, minced garlic, black pepper, thyme, and basil.
Place pan over low heat and cook until aromatic. Remove from heat before the garlic turns brown.
Place 1 cup of flour in a large mixing bowl along with salt and honey. Add 1/4 cup of the olive oil mixture and stir. 
Now add the instant yeast and warm water. Stir. Add the remaining flour. Stir again. Once the dough comes together transfer it to a floured work surface and knead it for 10 minutes until smooth, form a round ball.
Grease a large bowl with olive oil and transfer the dough in it with the seam side down. Apply some olive oil on the outer surface of the dough to avoid formation of skin. Cover the bowl with a cling foil and keep it in a warm place. Let the dough rise for an hour until it has doubled in size.
After an hour, preheat oven to 230 degrees C or 450 degrees F.
Now take a 9 inch by 13 inch rimmed baking tray (jelly roll pan). Grease it with 2 tbsp of the olive oil mixture. You can also use parchment paper to line the baking sheet and then spread the olive oil mixture over it.
Transfer the dough onto the baking sheet. Stretch the dough out to spread it in the baking sheet. On spreading, the dough will take the shape of the baking sheet.
Use your fingers to make dimples on the top surface of the dough.
Now drizzle the remaining olive oil mixture over the top. Cover the baking sheet with cling foil and let the dough rise again for 20 mins until it puffs slightly.
You can even spread some parmesan cheese on top.
Bake on the bottom rack for 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Transfer Focaccia to a cooling rack and let it cool slightly before cutting it into slices. Serve warm.
The water should not be very hot or else it will kill the yeast. It has to be warm to activate the yeast, around 110 degrees F.
You can substitute instant yeast with 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast. Place warm water, honey and yeast in a small bowl and let it sit for few minutes to activate the yeast. Now add this to the flour along with the olive oil mixture.
You can substitute dried herbs with fresh chopped thyme and rosemary, around 1 tbsp each. 

Adapted from Inspired taste

Friday, August 23, 2013

Chicken Frankie

My husband loves eating Chicken Frankie. He would always ask me to make these at home. He used to eat Chicken Frankie in Mumbai and he missed eating them in Dubai. Today I have decided to fulfill his long time wish. 'Serving Hot Chicken Frankie's for lunch'.
I know this is a long recipe but believe me it is very simple to make.Chicken Frankie is also known as Chicken Kathi Roll in Kolkata.You try this out and I am sure you will not regret.
Chicken Frankie's
Ingredients for filling:
500 gms boneless chicken, washed and cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp chaat masala
1 1/2-2 tbsp oil
1 big onion finely chopped, it would measure around 3/4 cup
1 big tomato pureed along with 4-5 mint leaves, it would measure around 1 cup
2 green chilies, slit length wise
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp kashmeri red chilli powder
1/2 tsp freshly grounded black pepper
4-5 garlic cloves
1 inch ginger
Use a mortar and pestle to make a coarse paste of ginger and garlic.
Heat oil in a pan. Add the chopped onions and green chilies. Saute.
When the onions turn translucent add the ginger-garlic paste. Fry until onions turn light brown and the raw flavours of ginger-garlic are gone.
Now add the pureed tomato. Stir to mix.
Add salt, red chilli powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala, chaat masala, and black pepper powder.
Cook until oil starts to separate.
Add the chicken pieces and mix well.
Fry until the chicken pieces change colour.
Reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan with a lid and let the chicken cook.
It will take around 15-20 mins to cook the chicken.
Remove the lid. Add chopped coriander leaves and stir.
Increase the heat and cook until all the liquid has dried out. You want a dry chicken filling for the frankie.
Remove from the flame and keep aside.
Ingredients for the dough:
1 cup all-purpose flour (maida)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (atta)
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
Water as per requirement
Mix all of the above ingredients together except water.
Use little water at a time to make a soft dough.
Apply little oil on the outer surface of the dough to avoid the formation of a dry crust. Cover the dough with a wet clean cloth and keep aside.
After 20 mins knead the dough again for a min.
Ingredients for rotis:
4-5 eggs
Salt to taste
black pepper to taste
Oil for shallow frying
Beat the eggs. Add salt and pepper and beat again.
Divide the dough and make round ping pong sized balls out of it.
Heat a tawa for making the rotis.
Take one ball and flatten it between the palms.
Dust it with flour and roll it with a rolling pin to form a roti. The roti should be thin and bigger than the normal chapatis. Dust with flour whenever required.
Place the roti on the tawa. Let it cook until bubbles start to appear.
Flip the roti and pour the beaten eggs(just enough to cover the roti).
Spread the beaten eggs on the roti and flip the roti again.
Drizzle some oil around the roti and let the egg cook.
Apply some oil on the top of the roti and flip.
Let the bottom cook for little less than a minute. Remove the roti and place it on a plate.
Ingredients for frankie:
1 medium sized onion, thinly sliced length wise
1 lemon
Chaat masala
Chopped coriander leaves
Warm the chicken filling slightly, it must have turned cold by now.
Add the sliced onion and chopped coriander. Mix well. Remove the green chillies before you start filling the frankie and if you are a chilly lover then add chopped green chilies instead of these.
Take one roti at a time. Place the chicken filling near one side of the roti (divide the filling and  use it as per the number of rotis you have made).
Sprinkle some chaat masala on the roti and the chicken filling. Squeeze some lemon juice over the filling.
Now roll the roti tightly. Start to roll from the filling side.
Wrap with a foil as shown in the picture and serve hot. 
Chicken Frankie

Suji Ka Halwa

Suji Ka Halwa
Suji ka halwa is often prepared in India during festivals and other religious functions.It is served as Prasad. It is also known as Sheera.
I have used 1/2 cup of milk in this recipe but you can replace that with 1/2 cup water. You can also add saffron to this for extra flavour. This is a very simple recipe and hardly takes time to cook. So lets get started...
1/2 cup semolina/suji
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
Cardamom powder  made of 4 pods
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup full cream milk
1 cup water
2 tbsp ghee
1 tbsp raisins
1-2 tbsp chopped or sliced almonds (I have roasted the almonds in a microwave, 100% power for 2 mins and standing time of 1 min)

In a saucepan mix together water,sugar and milk. Bring this to a boil. Keep aside.
On medium heat, melt the ghee in a pan.
Add the suji and mix well. Add raisins and salt. Salt will bring out the sweetness of the halwa.
Cook until suji turns light golden brown and releases a nice aroma. Keep stirring occasionally so that the browning is even. 
Now pour the liquid mixture into the pan and stir. Add the cardamom powder.
Cook until the suji mix thickens and starts to come away from the sides of the pan. Add the chopped almonds and mix well. Remove from heat. 
Suji ka halwa is ready to be served.
Suji ka Halwa

Thursday, August 15, 2013


3-4 tsp instant coffee powder
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup + 1 tsp granulated white sugar
1 cup hot water
250 gms mascarpone cheese, softened
15 -20 lady fingers (Savoiardi)
Unsweetened cocoa powder or shredded chocolate for decorating the top of Tiramisu
1 tbsp dark rum or a dash of marsala (optional), adjust to taste
Place the egg yolks and sugar in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
Whisk until combined and the mixture is hot to touch. Whisk for another 5 mins. The whole process will take around 8-10 mins.
Remove from heat and let it cool completely.
In a shallow bowl, mix together hot water and coffee powder. Let it cool slightly. Now add rum or marsala and stir.
Once the egg mixture has cooled gently fold in the mascarpone cheese using a spatula. 
Take the lady fingers one at a time and dip it into the coffee mixture and place it in the dish or glass you are going to use for serving. You can use a rectangular dish or a dessert serving bowl or glass. If you are using a glass or a bowl then break the ladyfingers to a size that would fit the serving bowl and do this before dipping them in coffee. 
Remember that the lady fingers turn soft as they soak the coffee mix so ensure that you don't dip them for long. So just dip and place quickly.
Place the lady fingers in the dish and cover them with a thin layer of mascarpone mixture. Place another layer of lady fingers on top and finish with mascarpone mixture. This way you can make 3 layers.
Place the dish in the refrigerator and let the Tiramisu set for 3-4 hrs.
Top it with cocoa powder or shredded milk chocolate and serve.   


Adapted from Ann Reardon's recipe.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Kalakand- Indian Sweet

Ingredients to make Paneer:
3 cups full cream milk
6-7 tbsp sour yogurt
In a saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Add 2 tbsp yogurt at a time and keep stirring. Keep adding the yogurt until the milk curdles completely. It may take approx 6-7 tbsp of yougurt.
You can even use lemon juice to curdle the milk. Use whatever you think is suitable for you.
With this recipe I got aprox 3/4 cup tightly packed paneer.
Ingredients for Kalakand:
2 cups full cream milk
Half can of milkmaid
3-4 cardamom pods, powdered
Paneer from the recipe above
Ghee for greasing plate
Pistachios for garnishing
In a heavy bottom pan, bring the milk to boil.
Cook the milk on medium to low heat for 15 minutes or until it reduces to half. Stir in between.
Add paneer, cardamom powder and milkmaid. Cook again on medium heat with constant stirring until the mixture thickens and starts leaving the sides of the pan.
Remove from flame and transfer the mixture onto a greased plate. Keep about half inch thick.
Top it with pistachios slivers.
Let it cool completely and then cut into squares.
Makes approx 6-8 pieces.
You can use milk powder instead of milkmaid. Just mix it in the milk before boiling it.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Coconut Chutney

Coconut Chutney
Option 1:
1 cup grated fresh coconut, tightly packed
1 tsp coriander seeds (dry roasted)
1/2 tsp tamarind pulp
1 inch ginger
2-3 dry red chilies
1 tsp mustard seeds
6-7 curry leaves
1 tbsp oil
A pinch of asafoetida
Salt to taste
Grind together coconut,coriander,ginger,tamarind,and salt. Add water to get the chutney consistency.
Transfer the paste to a bowl.
In a tadka pan heat 1tbsp oil. Add the mustard seeds. When the seeds start crackling add the red chilies and the curry leaves and fry for around 30 secs. Add asafoetida.
Remove from heat and add the tadka mix to the coconut chutney. Stir the chutney to mix all the ingredients.
Coconut chutney is ready to serve. Serve the chutney with dosa or idli.

Option 2
1 cup grated fresh coconut, tightly packed
1 tsp chana daal, dry roasted
1 tsp urad daal (daal that is used to make dosa)
A small piece of tamarind
1 inch ginger
1 green chilly
12-14 curry leaves
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 dry red chilly
Salt to taste
Grind together coconut, ginger, tamarind, green chilly, chana daal, urad daal, 5 curry leaves, a pinch of asafoetida and salt. Add water to get chutney consistency.
In a tadka pan heat oil and add the mustard seeds. 
When seeds start crackling add the dry red chilly,asafoetida and curry leaves. Saute for few seconds and pour the tadka on the coconut chutney. Stir. 
Coconut Chutney is ready to be served.

Mango Ice Cream

I was in Kolkata, India last month and on my way back I got few Langra Mangoes. Today I saw the last one lying in my fridge and I decided to make Ice Cream with it. Thought it would be a nice way to beat the heat in Dubai. I had all the ingredients at home and I just had to mix them together. Wow so easy!!! But the actual problem was to wait patiently until the Ice Cream was set...that's difficult 
Mango Ice Cream
1 ripe mango pulp, I have used Langra mango
3/4 cup whipping cream, cold
1/2 cup milkmaid
1/2-1 cup small mango cubes (optional)
Blend the mango pulp in a blender and strain it to get rid of any fiber.
Add milkmaid to the mango pulp and mix well.
In a separate bowl whisk the cream to form soft peaks.
Fold the cream in the mango and mix gently.
Pour this in an air tight container and freeze it for 2 hrs.
Remove from the freezer and fold in the mango cubes. 
Freeze the ice cream until set. It may take 6 hrs for Ice Cream to set.
Enjoy Mango Ice Cream with your loved ones.
Serves 3-4.
Mango Ice Cream

Monday, August 5, 2013


I love eating Sambar with rice. Sambar is a South Indian Dish served with Idli or Dosa but this is my version of Sambar. You can add vegetables of your choice in Sambar, I prefer eggplant, onion, tomatoes, and drumstick. I have got this tamarind from Goa which is seedless and can be added directly to the curries. So I use the same in Sambar and I add it while boiling the lentil. I don't make Sambar Masala at home so I use the store bought ones. Everest Sambar Masala tastes nice and I prefer that. I guess people in South India make their own Sambar Masala but I am happy with what we get in the store. So lets get started.....
3/4 cup toor daal
1 onion, finely sliced lengthwise or finely chopped
1 inch ginger, grate it or make a coarse paste using mortar and pestle
1 drumstick, cut into 1 inch long pieces
1 medium sized eggpalnt/brinjal, cut into small pieces
1/2-1 cup tamarind water, adjust to taste
1 tomato, chopped
7-8 curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
2 tbsp sambar masala, or as per instructions on the sambar masala pack.
1-2 tbsp ghee for tempering (Ghee brings out a nice flavour so I prefer Ghee for tempering, you can add 1 tbsp or more if you are not concerned about the calories)
1/4 tsp turmeric
Salt to taste
Wash the lentil properly and soak it for a couple of hours. Soaking the daal will help in cooking it faster.
Boil the lentil in a pressure cooker along with the sliced onion and ginger until 2 whistles. I have added 2 cups of water while boiling.
Once the cooker cools, give the daal a stir. The daal should be soft and mushy by now. Add the sambar masala powder, turmeric, salt, tomatoes, drumstick and eggplant along with 1 1/2 cup of water and stir again.
Keep the pressure cooker back on flame to boil until 3-4 whistles.
Once the cooker cools check the consistency of sambar and also add tamarind water. If you think it is too thick add water at this stage. After adding water bring it to boil on medium heat. 
Heat oil in a tadka pan. Add mustard seeds. Once they start to crackle add asafoetida and curry leaves. Saute for few seconds. Temper the Sambar with this.
Serve Sambar with rice, idli, or dosa.
I have seen people boiling the lentil and the vegetables separately and then mixing it together. So it's all up to you. Finally what brings out the taste is the Sambar Masala and the tempering. 
Sambar & Coconut Chutney

Urad Daal Chilla

I have learnt to make Daal Chilla from my Mother-In-Law. She calls this Bhakri. It goes well with coconut chutney or coriander chutney. I also like to eat it with Maggi Hot & Sweet Tomato Ketchup...It's Different:)
This is a very simple recipe which needs no fermentation.
Daal Chilla
1/2 cup split black lentil or urad daal
1/4 cup semolina or suji
2 green chilies
1-2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
2 tsp finely chopped ginger, add more if you like the taste of it
Salt to taste
Water as per requirement
Oil/ghee for shallow frying
Wash and soak the lentil for at least 2 hours. This will make the lentil soft and it would grind easily.
Grind the lentil to a fine paste. If required, add water.
Transfer the batter to a large bowl. Add semolina to this paste and mix well.
Add coriander, ginger, salt and green chilies. Mix.
The consistency of the batter should not be too thick, it should be a flowing consistency.
Heat a non-stick griddle. Take a small ladle of batter and spread it on the griddle to form a thin disc. 
Drizzle oil around the chilla and cook on medium to high heat. 
When the bottom of the chilla starts to brown and there are bubbles on the top surface,turn over the chilla. The bottom surface will always be more brown than the top surface.
Drizzle some oil around the chilla and cook until lightly browned.
Repeat the process for the remaining batter. Serves 6-7 medium sized Chilla.

Browned Bottom of Chilla
Top Surface of Chilla

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Paneer Capsicum

To be honest, like any other Punjabi even I am a big fan of Paneer. You serve me any Paneer dish and I will eat it happily. Paneer Capsicum is one of my favorites. The freshness of capsicum with a blend of curd and tomatoes."Yum" is all that I can say so let your taste buds enjoy the flavour of this yummy dish   
Paneer Capsicum
200 gms paneer cubes, I am using Amul Paneer (Cottage Cheese)
2 green chilies
3 tomatoes
2 tbsp curd
4-5 garlic cloves
1 inch ginger
1/2 cup small pieces of capsicum 
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp kashmeri red chili powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
4 cardamon pods
4-5 cloves
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste
2-3 tbsp oil for cooking
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the paneer cubes until they turn light brown in colour. Remove on a paper towel to soak the excess oil. Use the remaining oil in the pan to cook the tomato paste later.
Grind together tomatoes, garlic, green chilies, and ginger. I measured after grinding and it was approx 1 1/2 cup puree.
Place the pan back over medium heat. Add little more oil, if you think it is not enough.
Add bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamon, and cloves to the oil and saute for few seconds until you get a nice aroma.
Add the tomato puree and cook until oil separates. Stir in between
Add coriander powder, turmeric, salt, red chili powder, garam masla and cook for a minute.
Add curd and cook until oil separates, this can take 3-4 mins. 
Add capsicum and cook for 2-3 mins. You don't need to cook capsicum much. It should remain crisp like you see in chili paneer. 
Add paneer along with 1 tbsp water and stir. Cook on high for 1-2 mins.
Switch off the flame and cover the pan with a lid. I like to keep it covered for at least half an hour to allow the flavours to incorporate in the paneer.
Paneer Capsicum is ready to serve. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rotis.
Paneer Capsicum

Saturday, August 3, 2013

French Toast Or Bombay Toast

Guess what I had for breakfast yesterday....French Toast with honey. You can also call this Bombay Toast but I am not much concerned about the name as long as it tastes good:) This is a simple and quick to make recipe.
French Toast/Bombay Toast
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
4 tbsp sugar, adjust to taste
1/2 tsp cinnamon, reduce the quantity if you don't like cinnamon
6 slices of bread
Butter or Ghee for pan-frying
In a large bowl whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, and cinnamon until the sugar is dissolved.
Transfer this mixture to a shallow bowl in which you can dip the bread slices.
Heat a non-stick pan over medium to high heat. 
Take one slice of bread and dip both sides in the egg mixture.
Place this slice on the non-stick pan. Drizzle some butter/ghee around the corners of the bread and fry until golden brown. Repeat the process for the other side of the bread. 
You can also fry the bread by melting a tbsp of butter on the pan and then frying the bread in it.
Continue to fry the rest of the bread slices in the same way.
Serve French Toast/Bombay Toast with honey or maple syrup or fresh fruit.
Serves 2-3.
French Toast/Bombay Toast

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Chatpati Bhindi Or Okra

I have learnt this preparation from my Mother. I like the tangy flavour in this which comes from tomatoes. I am serving this for dinner tonight with roti, and daal makhani. I have uploaded 2 pictures and both have been taken in different light, so they look different.Try this recipe and I would love to hear your comments and feedback. Enjoy!!! 
Chatpati Bhindi/Okra

260-300 gms Okra/lady'sfinger/bhindi
2 big sized tomatoes (forgot to measure the puree in cup so I will do that next time)
4-5 garlic cloves
2 green chilies
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
2-3 tbsp oil for cooking
Salt to taste
Wash okra and pat dry. Slit the okra lengthwise. If the okra is big in size then further cut it into 2 pieces. Meaning from a big okra you will have 4 pieces.
Heat oil in a thick bottom pan. Shallow fry the okra in small batches. Once the okra starts to get a nice golden brown colour remove it and transfer to a kitchen paper to soak excess oil.While shallow frying sprinkle some salt and turmeric on the okra, just a little bit is enough because the masala will also contain salt.
Blend together tomatoes, garlic, green chilies, 1 tsp cumin, turmeric, and coriander powder. 
Now use the same pan in which you have fried the okra. The oil which is remaining in it after frying can be used for cooking the masala. If you think there is less oil then just add a little bit more to it.
Heat this oil. Add 1/2 tsp cumin. Once the cumin seeds start crackling add the blended paste.
Cook the tomato paste on medium heat until oil separates. Once the paste is cooked halfway add salt.
When the paste is cooked add the fried okra in it. Toss gently and turn off the gas after 1-2 mins. 
Serve this lightly tangy okra(chatpati bhindi) with roti.
If you think that the tomatoes are not sour then just add 1/4 tsp mango powder or amchoor to the masala.
Chatpati Bhindi/Okra

Chocolate Mousse

I always wanted to try a Chocolate Mousse Recipe. But you know how many calories this has :( Yesterday, I finally prepared it. Yes, this rich, creamy, smooth, chocolaty mousse is what I desired to eat not considering the calories in it. So friends, here I present before you a Heavenly Chocolaty Dessert which is simple to make and can be prepared ahead of time. Serve it to your friends and family and get ready to hear some lovely compliments.
No doubt... my weight has increased since the day I started cooking 
Chocolate Mousse
1/3 cup dark chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp water
1/4 tsp instant espresso coffee powder
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large egg, separated 
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp white granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream 
In a bowl whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks. Set it in the fridge.
In another bowl, whisk together egg yolk and sugar  for 2-3 mins or until it turns thick and pale yellow in colour and the sugar also dissolves. Keep aside.
In a small bowl place the chocolate, butter, water and coffee powder. You have to place this bowl on the saucepan so select the size of the bowl accordingly.
In a saucepan, add about an inch of water and bring it to simmer. Place the chocolate bowl on it and cook everything together on low heat until the chocolate melts. 
Spoon 1/4 of the chocolate into the egg yolk mixture and mix it just enough to combine.
Now pour the egg yolk mixture in the chocolate bowl.
Place the chocolate bowl back on the saucepan of simmering water. Add vanilla extract. Cook over low heat for a couple of minutes or until the chocolate mixture slightly thickens. Stir frequently.
Remove the bowl and let the chocolate mixture cool 
In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until it forms stiff peaks.
Gently fold the egg whites in the cooled chocolate mixture taking care not to deflate the egg whites.
Gently fold the chocolate mixture in the whipped cream. Do not over mix.
Pour the mixture in dessert cups or bowls and refrigerate it for minimum 2 hours.
Serve Chocolate Mousse with a dollop of whipped cream. You can also sprinkle some cocoa powder on the cream.
This dessert serves 2.
The whipping cream should be cold so take it out of the fridge just before you need to whisk it.
You can use orange flavoured dark chocolate like Lindt to make an Orange Chocolate Mousse.

Reference: Laura in the Kitchen

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pasta in Sour Cream Sauce

When I cook pasta I prefer adding the pasta to the sauce and tossing it well on low flame. This ensures the pasta is served warm. This way the pasta will be well covered with the sauce. I prepare the sauce and boil the pasta simultaneously such that as soon as the pasta is drained I add it to the sauce. For this recipe you can even add 1 Maggi stock cube to the sauce for added flavour. You may not need extra salt if you are using Maggi stock cube as it is already salty. Add oregano, pepper as per your taste. If you are a Cheese eating fan then you can add grated cheese of your choice to the sauce. Nando's Peri-Peri sauce brings out a nice flavour in the Sour Cream sauce. At times I even add 1 tbsp of Maggi hot and sweet chili sauce. This dish is slightly spicy but suits my Indian taste buds:)
Pasta in Sour Cream Sauce
11/2 cup raw Fusilli
1/2 small capsicum, cut into small pieces (this will be around 1/2 cup)
200 gms sour cream
8-10 small button mushrooms, cut into quarters
2 tbsp Nando's extra hot peri-peri sauce,
1/2 tsp-1 tsp thyme
1 tbsp oil/butter
1-2 tbsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
Salt to taste
Black pepper powder, adjust to taste
Chopped parsley for garnishing
Grated cheese for garnishing (optional)
Heat oil in a pan. Add the mushrooms and toss. 
Cook mushrooms until just tender. Add capsicum and cook for 2-3 mins or until the rawness is gone.
Alternatively, boil water for the pasta. Add salt as per the instructions on the pasta package. Boil the pasta and drain it. 
Add the peri-peri sauce, thyme, oregano, paprika to the mushroom-capsicum and toss.
Add the sour cream and stir all the ingredients well. Add salt and pepper. Reduce heat and cook until the sauce begins to boil. It starts to boil very quickly. 
Add pasta to the sauce. Toss well to ensure the sauce sticks to the pasta.
Remove from heat. 
Remove pasta in a plate and garnish it with chopped parsley and grated cheese.