Saturday, July 30, 2011

Steamed Chicken Dim sums

There was some problem using blogger from my home computer. This post is therefore being posted from the clinic. I'll just jump to the recipe

For the filling
  • 250 g minced chicken
  • 5 spring onions finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt to taste
For the wrapper
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • water as needed
Mix all the ingredients for the wrapper and knead into a soft dough. Knead well for about ten to fifteen minutes. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rest for fifteen minutes.

For the filling, bring together all the ingredients and then zap them up for two minutes in a blender. This way the filling won't peep out of the wrapper.

Divide the dough into small balls about two centimeters in diameter. Apply dry plain flour on the dough balls and roll them out into flat round discs. The discs should be thin enough to let light pass through them.

Now spoon out the filling into the center of each wrapper. Imagine the wrapper, placed in front of you, to be a clock face. Start from the 8 o'clock position. Make folds into the edge of the wrapper and pinch each fold shut at the edge. Keep pleating till the entire circumference is done. Now bring the folds together in the center. (This is one of the easiest ways to make a dim sum).

Steam the dim sums on a greased perforated tray for about ten minutes.

Serve them hot with a sauce made by mixing soy sauce, oyster sauce, minced garlic, chilli oil and honey.

Happy Cooking!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Kolhapuri Crab Curry

It isn't everyone who likes the idea of eating a crab. But to those who dare to try, there are rewards of tastes so subtle, of textures so soft they can never found in other food. I have eaten lobster, but to me nothing beats the flavor of a crab. I don't, however, like the idea of dismembering a crab. Which is why I have been putting off making a crab all this time. Besides, I wasn't sure if I was doing it right, and was afraid I would land my family in a physician's waiting room. So when I found relatively inexpensive crabs, large ones at that, with the vendor offering to clean them for me, I jumped at the opportunity!

Something happened, though, which almost made me change my mind. My daughter was admiring the crabs while I bargained with the vendor. They were making her laugh! For a minute she turned around to look at other fish, when the vendor removed them for cleaning. Suddenly she turned around and saw that the crab container was empty. "Mommy, where did the crabs go?" Awww.... I felt so wretched, right at that moment, I fought an impulse to tell the vendor to let the crabs go, and bring them home as pets instead! Sense prevailed, and I told her a little white lie. I told her that the crabs just found a way to escape and ran away! I am such a liar... :-((

Yet everything was okay in the night when I finally cooked my treasure. My daughter loved the meat very much! Thank Gawd!


  • 4 crabs, cleaned
  • 2 medium onions, one sliced lengthwise, the other finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 20 peppercorns
  • 10 cloves
  • 1/4th blade of mace
  • 2 inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1/2 pod of star anise (dagad fool)
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1/4th nut of nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 4 dry red chillies
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cups grated coconut (I used desiccated coconut)
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 lemon sized ball of tamarind
  • salt to taste
Place a heavy bottomed griddle on the burner lopsided, in such a way that the burner directly heats only one side of the griddle. Pour a tablespoonful of oil on the griddle. Start with the coriander seeds. Once they begin to change color, bring them to the side of the griddle which is not in direct contact with the heat. Next add the peppercorns. Once they pop, bring them to the side too. Repeat the above steps with cloves, mace, nutmeg, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom pods, cumin seeds, dry red chillies and finally poppy seeds. Once all these ingredients are done roasting, throw in the onion which has been sliced lengthwise. Mix all the ingredients together this time, and saute well till the onion changes color to golden brown. Now add the coconut and saute again for about five minutes till the coconut yields a coconut-ey aroma.

Turn off the heat and let the roasted spices cool a while. Once they have cooled, blend them to a smooth paste with 1 cup water, turmeric powder, tamarind and salt. 

Now heat the remaining oil in a large wok. Throw in the chopped onions and saute for two minutes. Now add the masala paste. Saute for about five minutes till oil starts separating from the masala. Now kiss your crabs goodbye and place them in the gravy. Add three more cups of water and bring the curry to a boil. Taste the curry and adjust the seasoning. Add more salt if necessary. Lower the heat and cook covered for ten more minutes. 

By this time the neighbors, if non-vegetarians, will have started inquiring what the aroma is all about! Show off proudly indeed!

Serve it hot with chapati, bhakri or steamed rice!

Happy Cooking!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chicken and Lentils Stew

Cooking chicken with yellow lentils was something I had never done until last night. Frankly, I didn't think it would work. But I saw a stew made by Nigella Lawson on her show on TLC (something which I have become addicted to now) and thought, yeah why not? The stew she made, though, had lamb shanks in it. My husband doesn't like lamb meat, so I made the stew with chicken drumsticks instead. The result was good. I did make a few alterations which were not there in the original recipe. Something to make it my own recipe.


  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4th tsp nutmeg powder
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 cups chicken stock (or plain water)
  • 6 tbsp yellow lentils (masoor dal)
  • salt to taste
First make a coarse paste of onions, garlic and ginger. Keep it aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Dry the chicken drumsticks on kitchen towel. Lay them side by side in the oil. Don't crowd them. If your pan is small, fry two drumsticks at a time. Fry them till they are golden brown on each side. Remove them from the oil and keep them aside. 

In the same oil, saute the onion, garlic and ginger paste for 5 minutes with a pinch of salt. The salt helps the onion to cook faster and makes the onions moist. Once the paste has fried well, add the dry spices and the sauces. Stir one or two times, and add the honey. Mix the paste well.

Place the chicken pieces back into the pan. Add the chicken stock or water and add the seasoning. Bring the gravy to a boil. Now add the yellow lentils and cover the pan. Cook on a slow flame for 20 to 25 minutes. The lentils cook and become swollen and softened. They add the thickness to this gravy. Taste once and adjust the seasoning if required.

Serve hot with soft white bread or steamed rice.

Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Garlicky Aloo Palak

It's been a week since I last posted a recipe. Then yesterday I made this really yummy spinach recipe which I had to share. But work having increased in leaps and bounds, I haven't found the energy to get myself to type it up.

Anyway, here it is. Try it and I am sure you will love it too.


  • 1 bunch spinach leaves
  • 2 medium potatoes, boiled and peeled
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 15 to 20 tiny pods of garlic (really tiny ones)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4th tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
Boil 3 cups of water. In a separate bowl, take 4 cups chilled water. It should be freezing cold. Wash the spinach leaves and drop them into the boiling water for a minute. Once the color of the leaves changes to a bright green, remove them from the water and immediately put them in the chilled water. Let them remain in the chilled water for three minutes. Now remove the leaves and put them in a blender and puree them. Watch the lovely green color of the spinach with awe! :-P

Chop the onions. Chop the boiled potatoes in medium sized pieces. Now heat the ghee (clarified butter) in a wok and add the cumin seeds. Now add the garlic cloves and saute them till they just about change their color. Now add the onions and saute them till they are translucent.

Now add the spinach paste, red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric, potatoes and salt and bring the gravy to a boil. Turn the heat down, and simmer for five minutes. 

Serve hot with chapatis or jowar rotis!

Happy Cooking!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Butter fried Golden Anchovies

I know. Golden anchovies are nothing but our humble little cheap fish called Mandeli! I didn't know how else to explain to non-Indians what a Mandeli is. In my quest to find the correct English name for Mandeli, I found 'Goldfish' (a term which almost made  me want to stay off the fish for ever!), and a scientific name 'Coilia dussumieri'. Twists your tongue, doesn't it?

Fish prices have soared sky high these days. A pair of 6 inch long pomfrets costs 500 bucks. Mackerel 100 bucks each! My husband went out to buy some fish today, and came back horrified. He showed me the mandeli he'd bought. They looked fresh, firm and with lovely little orange-silver streaks down their backs. I love mandeli. It's just that the bite-sized fish are just too small to clean easily. They take up all of your time to get cleaned. It gets on your nerve sometimes. But taste-wise they are really super. There is no need to de-bone them. Just pick up one by its tail and pop it in your mouth. Small enough to qualify as a snack.

I have fried these fish many time before. This time, I just did it in a different way. I found the result extremely tasty. Although there is no need to prepare mandeli this way, I think the method that was used, made the flesh cook faster, and it was crispier too. The butter yielded a buttery heavenly taste to the fish. God bless the person who invented butter. He was a genius!


  • 20 Golden Anchovies (Mandeli)
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2-3 tsp red chilli powder (depending upon how hot you like it)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 4 tbsp semolina (rava)
  • 1 tbsp rice flour
Having cleaned the fish well before-hand, dry each fish separately and completely on kitchen towels. This does make them a little sticky but that's okay. Keep the dried fish aside. 

Now spread a large square of cling film (or foil) on the kitchen platform. Put all the fish in the center. Season with the turmeric, red chilli powder, lemon juice and salt and rub all the spices in for a minute. Quickly bring together the corners of the cling film and cover all the fish together. Keep them this way for 15 to 30 minutes. (The fish were so well marinated in only half an hour, it felt as though I had marinated them for over 8 hours. It may be my imagination, but they tasted better.)

Mix together the semolina and rice flour. Heat the butter with oil in a flat griddle or a saucepan. Stir once. You don't want the butter to burn. Quickly roll each fish in the semolina-rice flour mixture and place them on the griddle side by side. Don't crowd the fish. Fry on medium heat for about five minutes on each side, and your gloriously crispy, buttery Golden Anchovies are ready for the taking.

Serve hot, hot, hot!!!

Happy Cooking!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gilki (sponge gourd) Udadamethi

Gilki is not a very commonly consumed vegetable in Goa. And yet udadamethi is a quintessential Goan preparation. Often made with potatoes, raw mango or mackerel, I decided to amalgamate a veggie found in Maharashtra with this fantastic gravy.

The sponge gourd does not have much of a taste. Though, if left unpeeled, it is a little tough to chew. I prefer peeling the gourd before chopping it. Interestingly, a lot of people make chutney from the sponge gourd peels. I am adventurous, but I guess... not adventurous enough!


  • 3 sponge gourds (Gilki) peeled and chopped into small pieces
For the gravy
  • 1 tbsp split black gram (urad dal)
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
  • 4 dry red chillies
  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp thick tamarind pulp
  • 2 tbsp jaggery (Gul)
  • salt to taste
For the tempering
  • 1 tsp split black gram (urad dal)
  • 1/4th tsp fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
  • 1/4th tsp mustard seeds (rai)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 tbsp oil
Dry roast the fenugreek, split black gram and dry red chillies till evenly browned. Mix the above with coconut and blend it to a fine paste with 1/2 to 1 cup of water.

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok, and add the split black gram and fenugreek seeds. Once they have browned a bit, add the mustard seeds, asafoetida and the chopped sponge gourd. Saute for about five minutes till the gourd is evenly cooked. Now add the ground paste, salt, tamarind pulp, jaggery and water and bring the gravy to a rolling boil. 

Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot with steamed rice or chapati!

Happy Cooking!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Kombdi Sagoti - Chicken Xacuti - East Indian Chicken Curry

I don't know if this recipe is Goan, or East Indian. I have eaten slight variations of this recipe in the interiors of Vasai where I grew up, and even in Alibag. The curry is surely spicy, but the spiciness is alleviated to some extent by the gargantuan amounts of coconut, that goes into making this curry what it is. A perfect blend of ingredients. You will be left wanting the gravy more than the chicken itself!

  • 400 g chicken
  • 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 small onion and 2 medium onions 
  • 2 large or 3 medium tomatoes
  • 8 tbsp oil
  • 6 red chillies
  • 20 cloves
  • 25 - 30 peppercorns
  • 1/4th mace
  • 1/4th nutmeg
  • 2 inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1/2 star anise
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 and 1/4th cup fresh grated coconut
  • 1 cup chicken stock (I made mine from Maggi Magic Cubes)
  • salt to taste
Wash the chicken pieces and dry them with kitchen towels. Apply ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, lemon juice and salt onto them and rub it into the pieces gently for a minute.  Set aside for marination. (I kept mine in the refrigerator for over 8 hours. Believe me the difference is dramatic!)

Slice the smaller onion and finely chop the larger onions. Finely chop the tomatoes. Keep them aside.

In a small plate gather all the dry spices. Keep them separated from each other though. Keep all ingredients handy.

Heat a heavy bottomed griddle and pour 3 tbsp oil in it. Place the griddle in a slightly lopsided manner. Not slanting, but the burner of the stove should be heating only one part  of the griddle. This is so that while one spice is roasting, the previous one should not burn, but rather remain just warm.

First place the red chillies on that area of the stove which is directly on the burner. Once they have begun to change their color, use a spoon to slide them to the area which is not directly on top of the burner. Next do the same to peppercorns. Slide them aside. Put the cloves. Slide them aside. (Tip: While the peppercorns and cloves are roasting, invert a large spoon on top of the griddle just over the cloves or the peppercorns. This way if there is a splash of hot oil when the clove bursts, it won't scald you. A trick my mom taught me.)

Do the same for the star anise, nutmeg, mace, cinnamon and cardamom, and coriander seeds. Finally add the cumin seeds and poppy seeds. Once the cumin begins to change color, add the sliced small onion and mix all the spices together on the griddle with the onion. Saute well till the onion changes to a golden brown color. Now add the coconut and saute again till the coconut takes on a golden brown color too. Turn off the heat and let the spice mixture cool.

Once it cools, grind it to a smooth paste with 1 cup of water. Keep the paste aside.

 Heat the remaining oil in a heavy bottomed wok or vessel. (Tip: I use a pressure cooker for cooking chicken. Put the lid with the whistle on once all the ingredients have been assembled, and cook the chicken on the lowest heat possible for 20 to 25 minutes. The meat becomes much more tender this way.)

Once the oil has heated, add the chopped onions and saute them for about 3 minutes till they change color. Now add the tomatoes, and cook well for about three more minutes till they have turned completely soft. Now add the marinated chicken pieces, and the marinade into the  cooker. Cook for about two minutes till the chicken is tender.

Add the stock and cook again for five minutes. Now add the ground coconut and spices paste to the chicken. Taste the gravy and adjust the salt. Now cover the cooker and cook on a low heat for twenty to twenty-five minutes. By this time folks at home will have started asking what is cooking!

Serve really hot with bread, or steamed rice!

Happy Cooking!

Tomates Temperados- Tomato and Peanut Curry

Coconut is a fundamental ingredient of Goan cuisine. Grated, sliced, chopped, dried or fresh, coconut is used abundantly in most recipes of Goa. This recipe has however, no coconut at all. Instead it is a wonderful creamy blend of tomatoes and peanuts.

The cumin is the strongest flavor, apart from the curry leaves. Don't you just love the fantastic aroma of fresh curry leaves frying away in the tempering oil? These are the very aromas that make a house a home. 

  • 6 slightly unripe tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 to 7 curry leaves
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dry red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 3 tbsp coarsely ground roasted peanuts
  • salt to taste
  • coriander to garnish
Chop the tomatoes into one inch cubes. Heat the oil in a wok and add the cumin seeds and curry leaves. Add the onions once the cumin starts changing color. Let the onions fry well for about 2 minutes. Now add the tomatoes and saute well for about five minutes on medium heat till the tomatoes turn tender. Add the dry spices and one cup of water. Bring the curry to a boil. When the water reduces by one fourth, add the ground peanuts. Taste first, and add salt. (Roasted peanuts bought from the market have salt, and you may need to add slightly less amount of salt than you normally do).

Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with any Indian bread.

Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bebinca: The Layered Goan Pudding

The Bebinca is less of a cake and more of a pudding. It is one of the most celebrated desserts from Goa. I first had it a couple of years ago and I have been hooked since then. However, each time, I only had the pleasure of eating a store-bought bebinca. I have been thinking about making it since some time, but never got around to making it.

For my birthday though, I decided that a regular cake was an old-show. I needed something new. Something great. It was a huge hit with Shrikant and even Saee. It was so much better than store bought cakes! I could have slapped on vanilla ice-cream and made it into a super-exotic dessert too! It was really wonderful.

The only spoiler is that it takes a hell of a lot of time. No, it is not difficult to make. Just that the whole process is tedious and time consuming. If you have a lot of time on your hands and you want to surprise your family with something nice, this the one for you.

  • 250 ml thick coconut milk
  • 250 mg sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 75 g plain flour
  • 1/4th tsp nutmeg powder
  • ghee or clarified butter
If you can get store bought coconut milk, it is easier. However I am not so sure about the flavor. What I did was that I grated one whole coconut, and pureed it with 240 ml of water. Then I filtered the husk from the milk and pressed on the husk hard till all the coconut milk is out. Filter it twice again to make sure no husk has found a way into the coconut milk. (This is a tedious process and I had to take the company of my husband's cell phone with its songs to be able to complete it properly!)

Add the sugar to the coconut milk. Mix it well. Keep stirring till all the sugar is completely dissolved. Start whipping. Add the egg yolks one by one. Mix the first completely and only then add the other yolk. Once all the yolks are used up, add the plain flour, nutmeg powder and 1 tbsp clarified butter or ghee and keep it aside.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. Grease the bottom of a baking tin with clarified butter. Pour a ladleful of the smooth silky and liquidy batter into the baking tin. The bottom of the baking tin should be only just covered. Push the tin in the oven and bake till the layer is slightly brown. This takes about ten minutes but the time could differ in different ovens. Pull the baking tin out of the oven, and pour a teaspoonful of ghee on the baked layer, and then pour another ladleful of the the batter on the first layer. Keep doing this till all the batter is used up and you have about five to seven thin layers.

Cool the cake in the tin for a while, and then remove it on a tray and chill in the refrigerator.

Serve chilled!

Happy Cooking Patrao!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chicken Lasagna

When I bought the lasagna sheets from the store, Shrikant had no inkling what I was going to do with them, or even what they are for. He thought it is just another one of my buying spree where I buy all these exotic ingredients for cooking. So yesterday I made Lasagna finally and served it to him. And wonders of wonders! He liked it! He doesn't have too much of a leaning for pasta, but here he was telling me, "I don't know why we have to go out and eat, when you can practically cook everything better here!"

Now that was a complement! But sorry boss, even the chef needs time-out sometimes :-)

Here's the recipe.

  • 1 cup chicken pieces
  • 4 lasagna sheets
  • 1 cup mozarella cheese (or more if you like)
For the tomato sauce
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4-5 pods of garlic
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf (tej patta)
  • 1 small sprig of tarragon
  • 2 basil leaves 
  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • dry red chilli powder as per taste
  • salt and sugar as per taste
For the white sauce
  • 3 tbsp plain flour (maida)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (you can buy maggi magic cubes from the market, and make a stock with one cube in half cup water)
  • salt and pepper to tast
Rub some garlic paste and lime juice onto the chicken pieces and keep them aside for marination.

Finely chop the tomatoes, onions and garlic. Heat olive oil in a wok, and place a bay leaf in it. Now put the garlic and onion and saute till they are evenly cooked. Now add the tomatoes, basil and tarragon and saute for about seven minutes till the tomatoes are tender. Finally add the ketchup, dry red chilli powder as per your taste, salt and sugar as per your taste. Taste it once to see that all the flavors are evenly balanced. Nothing should overpower the other.

Keep it aside and make the white sauce. Mix a little cold water in the plain flour till you get a smooth paste. Heat the stock and bring it to a boil. Now add the flour paste in it and whisk quickly or you will get lumps. Now add the milk and seasonings and bring it to a boil once. (In case lumps do form, do not panic, cool the sauce and put it in a blender. Whisk it once or twice in the blender and you have a smooth-as-a-baby's-bottom white sauce.) Keep it aside.

Cook the lasagna sheets as per the manufacturer's instructions.

Preheat the oven for ten minutes. In a baking tray, first layer the tomato sauce. Place the pieces of chicken on it. Now put t lasagna sheets on the chicken layer. The next layer will be the white sauce and some of the mozarella cheese. Line two more pasta sheets on top of the second layer and put the remaining tomato sauce on top. Coat the top evenly with mozarella cheese and then push the baking tray in the oven for twenty five minutes. Remove from the oven, cut into wedges and serve hot!

The vegetarians can replace the chicken with pieces of cottage cheese (paneer) or tofu. Alternatively they can also use veggies of their choice.

Those who do not have lasagna sheets, can also use any other variety of pasta to layer the lasagna.

I have no picture. I thought my hubby must have clicked some pictures, but he didn't. And now the lasagna is all gone. Sorry folks.


Happy Cooking!

Chicken and Mushroom in Cream Sauce

I saw this recipe in Julie and Julia and have been dying to make it since then. It didn't fail me. It was yummy and the chicken was so soft!

This recipe is not for those who like their chicken spicy, or masaledar! This is for those who like subtlety. It has the right undertones of tarragon and chives and the  garlic... oh, the garlic!

Try and let me know if you liked it.

  • 2 chicken breasts cut into small cubes
  • 10 to 12 pods of garlic
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup button mushrooms sliced
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tarragon
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup fresh cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
Crush 4 to 5 garlic pods with 1 tsp sea salt in a mortar and pestle. Apply this to the chicken pieces. Apply some lemon juice and rub the mixture into the chicken pieces. Keep the chicken pieces aside for an hour.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Dry the chicken pieces thoroughly on kitchen towels and place each one on the frying pan. Keep some space between the chicken pieces. (Drying the pieces of chicken before frying them makes them brown evenly)

Fry them on both sides till they are evenly golden brown and slightly springy to touch. This takes about 3 minutes on each side.

Once all the chicken pieces have browned, remove them from the pan and drain them on kitchen towels once again. Now place the mushroom slices in the frying pan, again keeping space between each piece.

Once the mushrooms have browned well, remove them and drain them.

Remove all the remaining oil into a wok, and place the wok on heat. Add the butter. Crush the remaining garlic with the balance sea salt and put it in the butter-olive oil mixture. Throw in the chopped onions and saute for 2 minutes. Add the tarragon, chives, dry white wine and chicken stock. Boil the mixture till it reduces to about half the original volume. Now add the fresh cream and mix it well. Taste it and then add salt and pepper.

Put the chicken and mushroom pieces in the sauce and serve hot with bread.

Bon Apetit!

Oh, I mean... Happy Cooking!

Kurkuri Bhindi or Jaipuri Bhindi

This is my Saee's favorite recipe and it comes in line with a lot of you requesting bhindi or okra recipes from  me. I am very sorry for the delay though, have been caught up with a lot of work lately. I have a lot of catching up to do here too.

I had hazelnut hot chocolate and chicken crepe here at 'The Chocolate Room' in Thane today. The crepes were so fantastic, they almost had me begging for the recipe. I am going to try and make my version of the same here in near future.

In the meanwhile, savor this recipe. It has all the textures, soft, crispy and crunchy all at the same time.

  • 250 g okra cut into halves and then cut into thin strips (thinner the better)
  • 1 cup gram flour (besan)
  • 2 - 3 tsp dry red chilli powder (or as per taste)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 tsp cumin powder
  • 3 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp fennel (saunf) powder
  • 1 to 2 tsp dry mango powder (amchur)
  • 2 tsp roasted sesame seeds (til)
  • salt to taste
  • oil for frying
Mix all the ingredients and keep them aside for an hour. This acts like a marinade, and the bhindi pieces soak up all the goodness of the spices and the salt to give you that wonderful taste. The salt makes the okra sweat or release water, which makes the besan stick to them. If the besan is still dry before frying the bhindi, add a teaspoon of water at a time. You don't want the mixture soaking wet, just damp enough to make the besan stick to the bhindi.

Heat oil in a wok. Put some of the okra mixture in the hot oil and fry till it is golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels and serve hot! Tastes best with chapati, or just like that!

Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

After a lot of deliberation, consultation and agony over what should be my hundredth recipe, I finally zeroed in on this fantastic but easy Italian appetizer called 'Bruschetta'. Pronounced as brusketta it is made of a French Baguette bread which is toasted and a little garlic is rubbed on to its surface and is topped with a variety of ingredients.

Of course this was not a difficult recipe. Then why did I choose this to be my hundredth recipe? It is meant to be a tribute to the one movie or should I say two people  who started it all in the first place.. Yup, you got it. Julie and Julia. Now this is not a French recipe. But this is a recipe Julie Powell is eating just as she decides that she is going to write her own blog. I fell in love with the look of the recipe as she was making it. I dreamed of being able to make something as beautiful someday.

This is what I made. Take a look at it for yourself and tell me if it appealed to you too.

  • 1 loaf French Baguette loaf
  • about 1/2 stick butter
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 large tomatoes
  • 6 to 7 cloves of garlic
  • 5 basil leaves
  • 1 tsp dry red chilli powder (the original recipe called for pepper, but I added dry red chilli for that extra zing)
  • salt to taste
Slice the baguette diagonally to make elongated slices of about 1/2 an inch each. Toast them in the oven or over a griddle and keep them aside.

Place a pot of water over heat and bring it to a boil. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water and turn off the heat. Let the tomatoes remain in the water for about a minute. Remove the tomatoes and peel the skins. Chop them roughly and keep them aside.

Chop the garlic into fine pieces. Now heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a wok and add the garlic to it. Throw in the tomatoes and basil, salt and dry red chilli powder to taste.

Heat the butter on a griddle and pour one tablespoon of olive oil in it. Now place the toasted bread slices in it and fry well on both sides. Remove them onto a serving plate, and spoon out a portion of the tomato basil mixture on it. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve hot!

Happy Cooking!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Strawberry Cheesecake

One of the best things to happen in the recent times with regards to food, is that Britannia has now launched their own cream cheese. It is readily available in most stores. I found it irresistible to try itout in making a cheesecake then. Still, I found that the cream cheese is slightly salty. I don't know if it is supposed to be that way, but it has lent a tanginess to my cheesecake.

The cake turned out technically perfect. There were no cracks on the surface, and neither was it undercooked. The best part is that the process of making the batter lasted only about ten minutes. So I can safely claim that it is easy.

Overall rating for the cheesecake is 8.5

  • 225 g cream cheese
  • 1 and 1/4th cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp strawberry crush
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4th cup fresh cream
For the crust
  • 3 cups crushed digestive biscuits
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp melted butter
Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease the baking tin with  a little butter.

Mix the ingredients for the crust in a mixing bowl. Pat it compactly in the baking tin and push the baking tin in the oven for about 4 minutes. Remove it from the oven and keep it aside.

Now in a large bowl, take the cream cheese and sugar and beat on a medium speed for about three minutes till the cheese is uniformly creamy. Add the vanilla essence, strawberry crush and beat again for thirty seconds. Now add the eggs one at a time and beat on a medium speed till they are completely incorporated into the batter. Add the cornstarch, and the cream and beat on a very low speed for about 30 seconds. You don't want to overmix the batter.

Pour this batter into the baking tin on top of the crust and push it into the oven. Put a small container containing water at the bottom of the oven. This helps to prevent cracks in the cake. Technically, the recipe said I had to bake it for 50 minutes. However, I found that in my OTG the cake got baked in 20 minutes. So instead of telling you how much time it should be in the oven, I'll tell you how to know when it is baked.

The edges of the cake become raised and completely set, and the exact center of the cake is very slighly wiggly. You know your cake has baked then. Remove it and cool it on a wire rack. Chill overnight in the freezer.

Serve cold with fresh cream and sliced strawberries!

Happy Cooking!

Chinese Chicken Noodles

Sorry folks! I haven't been well the last couple of days. Sunday morning saw me waking up, seeing the world with a slightly skewed perspective. My neck was tilted to the right side, thanks to a massive spasm in some muscle.

Now that I felt slightly better, and that my mom was getting increasingly tired, I decided I would make something today. Still in no position to make chapatis, I decided the easiest thing to make would be chinese noodles. My husband helped me to cook noodles. Thanks sweetheart!

Overall, the average rating for the recipe was : 7.8 (Based on ratings given by three members of my family on a scale of ten)

Here's the recipe
  • 1 packet of egg noodles
  • 1 cup boneless chicken pieces
  • 4 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp oil (preferably sesame oil)
  • 3 spring onions finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup capsicum chopped
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp green chilli sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the egg noodles according to the manufacturer's instructions. Keep them aside.

Now heat the oil in a wok and add the minced garlic to it. Saute on high heat for a minute and add the chicken pieces (drying the chicken pieces with a tissue paper before frying them helps to brown them evenly).

Saute the chicken for about 4 minutes on high heat till it is evenly cooked. Now add the whites of the onions, cabbage and capsicum and saute for only half a minute. Add the soy, fish sauce and the green chilli sauce, salt and pepper. Add the noodles and toss them around for a minute. Finally add the green onion leaves and saute for half a minute.

Turn off the heat and serve hot!

(I do not have my camera here, at mom's house, so there are no pictures. Sorry :-(  )

Happy Cooking!