Monday, December 12, 2011


Winters bring the best of everything... celebrations and food. The garden is just overflowing with fresh colourful veggies, begging to be picked! And one of the best ways is to make this very warm winter special one-pot pulao! Colourful and favour- full, its perfect when the sun in the garden beckons and you want something quick and easy!!

The Ingredients for Beetroot Pulao are
1 cup rice
1 medium sized beetroot, cut into bite sized cubes
1 1/2 cup mixed veggies, chopped roughly 
2 sprigs curry leaves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 inch cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
3-4 green cardamom, crushed lightly
4-5 cloves
1 green chilli, slit
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
a pinch red chilli
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 cup basmati rice
1 1/2 cup water
2 tbsp coconut milk
Method: Soak the rice in water and coconut milk. Heat a tbsp of oil in a pressure cooker. sizzle all the whole spices and curry leaves. add the chilli and onion. saute till translucent. add the ginger garlic paste and saute for a couple of seconds. add the rest of the ingredients and salt to taste. Cook for two whistles (approx 5-10 mins). garnish with coriander and serve with curds and poppadums!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


With winters just round the corner, sniffles are fast beginning to make an appearance. And the best way to combat this is with a hot glass of spicy South Indian Rasam. Besides warming your body and clearing your nasals, this drink is probably one of the most appetizing digestives. So what are you waiting for? Lets starting making our TOMATO RASAM.

Ing: 3 large tomatoes
       2 tbsp tamarind pulp
      1/4 tsp turmeric pd
       1/2 tsp chilli pd
     1/4 tsp asafoetida
       3 cups boiling water
      salt to taste
Rasam Powder: 1 tsp Cumin seeds
                           1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
                          8 peppercorns
Method: Combine all the ingredients for the rasam powder and microwave at 70% power for 2 minutes. Cool and grind. Pierce the tomatoes with a fork and Microwave at full power 4 minutes. Peel and discard the skin and run in the blender till coarsely mashed. Combine the hot water and tomatoes. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the rasam powder. Microwave at full power for 4 minutes. Serve hot with steamed rice or slurp like a soup :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Coconut Burfee

I admit i have a major sweet tooth! And one of my favorite childhood memories was sneakin Coconut Burfee while the clan took it's afternoon siesta :D
To put it simply, coconut burfee is a kind of fudge-like square of coconut heaven! It is easy to make and lasts days at room temp (well, that is if you resist temptation!!!). Iam biased here and like only my granny's recipe. The rest just don't match up. The measures are approximates rather than standards as is the norm with most old recipes. I have tried to simplify the guesstimates as far as possible. And for the very first time, sharing this family heirloom, you will need:

1 portion (ie 1 cup/glass/mixing bowl/ any constant measuring device)  grated fresh coconut
3/4th portion sugar (if you want to get really perfectionist, then it is 7/8th of a portion!!!)
Just enough milk to cover the sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence or green cardamom powder

Method: Heat the milk and sugar on medium flame, till the sugar melts. Take care to avoid crystallization, and keep stirring. When the syrup reaches a thick  dropping consistency, (beyond one-string), add the coconut. Let it cook awhile till it begins to bubble and thicken. Stir occasionally. When the mixture starts to dry slightly and sticks to the sides, turn off the gas. Add the essence and let it stand for a minute. Before it cools, quickly pour onto a well greased plate. Cut into squares once slightly cooler but not completely cold.
Pig out whenever you need a quick sugar fix ;D

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pasta for One!

Lets be honest, everyone loves pasta...but often the effort prompts a takeout, especially if you are cooking for just one. So the other day when Ma decided she wanted pasta for dinner it prompted a long pros-cons discussion. But hey! when she wants pasta, she gets pasta!!! Rustling this pasta for one was a real breeze, just a few ingredients from the trusty cupboard and we were good to go :)

a handful of uncooked Spaghetti
2 cheese-chicken sausages
4 flakes garlic
1/2 tsp mixed herbs
2 1/2 cups hot stock or boiling water
2 tsp olive oil
salt  and pepper to taste

Method: Heat oil in a pan and fry the sausages till well done. Take out the sausages and in the same oil fry the minced garlic till brown. Add the stock/water, herbs, salt and the spaghetti. Cook till pasta is done. Typically, all the liquid should be absorbed by this point. If required, add more stock/water. Sprinkle pepper and top with  sliced sausages. Just dig in and go mmmmm!!
And hey, don't forget, all cooking is open to re-invention...share yours :D

Friday, September 2, 2011

Amritsari Fish

North Indians are not usually known to be voracious fish eaters. They prefer the robustness of chicken and meat. So you have many varieties of tikkas, kebabs, biryanis and curries originating from Punjab, but no fish dish!!! But every rule has an exception, and this rule does too...
Amritsar is the Holy City, situated in Punjab.And Amritsari Fish is popular street food that is light, crisp and well, yummy! Its a tangy, Indian version of batter-fried fish and quite simple to make at home. 

King Fish- 1 kg
Vinegar- 3tsp
Red chilli pd.- 2 tsp
Carom seeds- 1 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste- 4 tbsp
Lemon juice- 1 tbsp
Chickpea flour- 4 tbsp
Egg- 1 (whisked)
Salt to taste
Chaat masala- to garnish

To start, marinate the fish in salt and vinegar for 20 minutes. Make a batter with all the rest of the ingredients, except chaat masala. Add more Chickpea flour if the batter is too thin. Pour onto the fish, coating each piece well. Keep aside for another 30 minutes. Heat oil in a wok or deep fryer. Fry the fish to a crisp brown, taking care not to burn it! Sprinkle with chaat masala and serve hot with a chutney or sauce.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mawa Cake

Cooks all over the world have this knack of experimenting and converting a dish to their own. Indians are no exception, and perhaps nothing exhibits this more than the very adaptable Cake! Yes, we do have our cake and eat it too!!
When the Portuguese came to India, they brought their baking skills along, and the locals took a liking to the sight, smell and taste and modified it to suit local ingredients. Today, every tea-shack boasts it own little slice!
One of the most remarkable mingling of Indian tastebuds meets foreign baking, is the Mawa Cake. The ingredients used are those of traditional Indian sweets, but the baking gives it a whole new texture and dimension!

To make this hugely popular MAWA CAKE, you need:
100 gm mawa (evaporated milk)
100 gm refined flour
100 gm butter
100 gm powdered sugar
1/4 tsp green cardamom powder
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp rose essence
2 eggs (well beaten)

To make this cake, cream the butter and sugar till pale and fluffy. Sift all the dry ingredients together. Crumble the mawa into the butter-sugar mix and incorporate till smooth. Add the eggs slowly and keep beating till you get a smooth and homogeneous mixture. Fold in the rest and pour into greased baking tin. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C and bake for 35 minutes. Serve warm, straight out the oven :)

Monday, August 29, 2011


Protein packed Indian style pancakes....well, that's a mouthful to say! So, lets jus stick to the Indian name: Cheela.
Generally a dish found in the northern part of the country, it is similar in looks and preparation to a breakfast favorite down south! The only real difference lies in the ingredients, thus changing the taste slightly. Cheelas are quite filling and can be eaten for any meal, though the Indian tendency is to have it either as a snack or for breakfast.
Here's the ingredients you'll need to make

1 cup whole green mung (soaked for a couple of hours)
2 1/2 tsp dry mango powder
1 green chilly (finely chopped)
1/2 tsp coriander powder
salt to taste

Method: Grind the soaked mung beans with a little water. Add the seasoning and enough water to make a batter of pouring consistency, slightly thicker than a pancake batter.

Grease a hot griddle and drop a tablespoon of batter onto it. Spread it in a circular manner, going as thin as you dare! The thinner the layer, the crisper and quicker it will cook. cover with a lid and cook till golden on one side. Flip and cover and cook the other side as well. Fold carefully and serve with chilled, plain yogurt.

To really jazz it up, you could stuff it with a cottage cheese filling or a fresh veggie salad! But I love it just the way it is, straight off the griddle!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Coffee in a Cake!

Decided to indulge the caffeine craving and my sweet tooth with a double kick of coffee cake. I found this recipe years ago in a Microwave cookbook and adopted it immediately for its simplicity and instant-ness!
So even if you are an absolute disaster in the kitchen or an impatient cook, this recipe is ideal for you. Hey, you could manage this even if you were just 10!
So lets get started on our

you will need : 125 gm butter
2 tsp vanilla
150 gm brown sugar
2 eggs
150 gm flour
30 gm custard pd
1 tsp baking pd
3 tsp coffee pd
125 ml milk
To make this cake, simply run everything in the food processor till almost double in size. Pour into a greased dish. Microwave at 60% power for 6 minutes, and again at 100% power for 3 minutes. Let it rest for 5 minutes, and then simply dig in!!

If you prefer the conventional baking, then simply bake the prepared batter in a pre-heated (180 C) oven for 35 minutes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ginger Snaps

My house is filled with the spicy aroma of ginger. Its not winter, but gingersnaps are practically an essential at my place, given that they are mom's favorites! This weekend i decided to treat her to some freshly baked ginger delights. I found the recipe on epicurious and modified it to my pantry :D The result was crisp, warm, soul stirring treats!

Here's how to go about makin my version of GINGERSNAPS:

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg (small)
1 tbsp fresh ground ginger root
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp ginger wine
3/4 tbsp orange zest
1/2 tbsp orange juice (i used packaged)
1 1/2 cup refined flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon pd
1/4 tsp clove pd
1/2 tbsp dry ginger pd

And that's the end of the ingredients list. It gets easier from here :)

Cream the butter and sugar really well, till pale and fluffy. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Divide into rwo small logs and wrap these logs in clingfilm. Freeze for a minimum of 24 hrs. Take out a log, slice into 1/4 inch rounds and bake in a pre-heated oven for 14 minutes. each log will give you approximately 20 cookies. Enjoy with a hot cuppa and a good book :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sheesha, Schezwan and Chai!

When you see MASH from outside, it looks like an old forgotten 'garden restaurant'. Indeed when you enter, the decor bears testimony. But look beyond the faded rugs and scarred tables, and you see a place thrumming with the vibrance of youth.
This outdoor cafe is one of the most popular student hangouts. Seated at either the Arabesque diwans or the cafeteria like benches, you can have your fill of some of the yummiest food at really affordable prices.
The diverse menu has on offer Iranian, Chinese and Indian. But what really makes this joint a hot favourite, is their wide array of sheeshas! (Sheesha, you ask? Its another name for the hookah, the hubble bubble, the smoke water pipe...get my drift?!) For just rs. 120, you can choose any flavour and sit for an unlimited number of coal changes! Got a better deal? My pick of flavours are the cigar-pan rasna combo and the kacchi kairi-mint. Of course, you could customize your own :)
Coming back to the food, you could choose from the massive helpings of beef curry-rice, the schezwan noodles or the many fresh fruit juices. My top picks are the jujeh kebab (succulent, mildly flavoured chunks of grilled chicken), the chicken lollipop (crispy coated drumsticks), chilly paneer (spicy Chinese style cottage cheese) and the home-style french fries. And you could top it all with some sinful Chocolate Mousse (only Rs. 40!!!!) and the refreshing Iranian chai!
With jus a couple of hundred in your pocket, stop by anytime and kick your shoes off at Mash!

Location: opp Palace Orchard,
NIBM Annexe,
Pune, India.

Timings: 11 am - midnight!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Savoury Sago

Sago are little pearls of starch, called Sabudana in India and often used interchangeably with Tapioca. While in most parts of the world, Sago is often dished up as a sweet, sticky pudding, India has a tastier alternative as well.
So today, my kitchen is dishing up a savoury version of sago. Or as we call it,


Ingredients you will need:

Sago - 1 cup
Roasted Peanut powder - 1 and 1/2 cup
Green Chillies - 3 (roughly chopped)
Oil - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - a pinch

So lets start by washing the sago with boiling water. Do it a couple of times, drain and keep aside. When it swells and softens, it is ready to use!
Mix the peanut powder with the softened sago and separate the sticky sago grains as you go along. (You may have to get your hands dirty for this!)
Heat oil in a wok and throw in the cumin. When it splutters, add the green chillies and fry lightly.
Now add the sago-peanut mix and toss it all around.
Add the salt. Mix well. Lower the heat and cover.
Let it cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly in between.
How do you know its done? Well, when the colour darkens, the grains separate and lose their stickiness, and the whole mixture leaves the side of the know you are good to go.
Jus toss in the sugar and serve piping hot!!

You can enjoy it with some chilled plain yogurt, or just as is. And if you wanna add a little extra punch, jus throw in a diced, boiled potato while d chillies cook and follow through the same as the above.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Kucch Meetha Ho Jaye...

In India, every auspicious occassion is marked with "Kucch meetha ho jaaye.." Translated it means, "Lets have something sweet!" So what better way to mark the beginning of this blog than with something sweet :)
Its my grandfather's bday and it has been far too long since I'd baked for him. But being none too friendly with eggs and chocs, and a diabetic; it is rather a daunting task to find a cake that he'd relish. Until I hit upon one of maa's ol recipes! So presenting, the


Ingredients you'll need:

Dates : 1cup (chopped)
warm water : 1 cup
Sugar: 1 cup
Flour: 1 cup
Butter: 3/4 cup
Semolina: 1/2 cup
Baking powder: 1 tsp
Baking soda: 1 tsp

To begin,

Soak the dates in warm water for 15-20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Sift all the dry ingredients together.

Cream the butter and sugar till pale and fluffy.

Add the dry ingredients to the batter to obtain a crumb-like texture.

Now add the dates and the water and mix well.

Pour into a greased and dusted cake tin. Bake for 35 minutes, and

VOILA!!! Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on the side :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Chomping Ahead...

Food has always been a passion. As has writing and photography. It took me 7 long years to connect the three and chomp ahead with the courage to launch my own food blog. Here i will rave and rant about food, share recipes and techniques, discuss food temptations...and in general everything with food. So is it different from other food blogs??? Maybe...Maybe not...You'll just have to keep watching this space to find out :)