Friday, August 31, 2012

Roasted Banana Cake

Bananas are not really on top of everyone's favorite fruit list, but they are an excellent source of potassium and energy. Inundated with a surplus of bananas recently, i turned to my irresistible creation: the Roasted Banana Cake. It is a recipe developed over years of experimentation, and its temptingly perfect :) 

You will need:

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 and 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup fine semolina
1 tsp baking pd
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1tsp vanilla extract
4 bananas
1/2 tsp cinnamon pd
1/2 tsp clove pd
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 tsp dark rum
1/2 cup hot water

Method: Slice bananas thickly and place on a square sheet of aluminium. sprinkle with the brown sugar, vanilla, rum and spices. wrap into a loose package and bake at 180 C for 15 minutes.

cool and mash roughly. beat together the butter, eggs and sugar till light and fluffy. Add the banana mix. sift the baking pd , flour and salt and fold into the batter alongwith the semolina. mix the baking soda with the hot water and add last to the batter. pour into a greased 6 egg cake tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 C for 35-40 minutes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Warm Potato and Egg Salad

Happy Independence Day, India! Its a holiday and Iam in no mood to cook! But my rumbling stomach demanded attention and i decided to toss up some tri-colour fun :) I adapted this recipe from the GoodFood India magazine, and gotta say it had my hubby literally lickin his fork clean!

To make the WARM POTATO AND EGG SALAD you need:

Boiled potatoes, 250gm (quartered)

Eggs, 4
Bacon, 70 gm
Olive oil, 2 tbsp
Red wine vinegar, 1 1/2 tbsp
Mustard powder, 1 1/2 tsp
Water, 3 tsp
Baby spinach, 50 gm

Method: Mix the mustard powder and water, and keep aside. (You could also substitute this with store bought Dijon Mustard). Ease the eggs into boiling water and cook for 7 minutes. Take off heat and immediately shift the eggs into a bowl of cold water.
Whisk together the mustard paste, olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and let it rest for a couple of minutes. In the meanwhile, cook the bacon till sizzlingly crisp.
In a bowl, toss together warm potatoes, bacon and spinach with the prepared dressing. Top with the shelled and quartered eggs and serve with a side of crusty bread.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Chocolate Doughnuts

The first shower of the season had me splashing away like a kid. After months of heat and humidity, the cool water refreshed everything around. Of course, all that rain dance had me craving for some strong coffee and hot chocolate doughnuts. This recipe belongs to my dear friend Sonal, and every bite reminds me of the icy Himalayan rains, made warmer by her love <3

So while i demolish yet another batch, you can roll out your own deep fried indulgence :-)
Eggs - 2
Caster Sugar - 1/2 cup
Butter / Oil - 4 tbsp
Refined Flour - 2 1/4  cups
Cocoa powder - 1/4 cup
Baking powder - 2 tsp
salt - a pinch
Milk - as required
Icing Sugar - as required.

Method: Mix all the dry ingredients together, and slowly add the eggs and oil to form a soft dough. If the dough feels a little tight, incorporate a little milk. Do not knead the dough. Keep aside for for 45 minutes. Now place the rested dough between two layers of cling film and roll out with the help of a rolling pin. Do not roll too thin or thick. With the help of a biscuit cutter or a sturdy cap, cut out rounds and poke a hole in the middle with your finger. Deep fry in hot oil till puffed, golden and crisp. Generously dust with icing sugar and serve up with some hot coffee!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mushroom-Tofu Stir Fry

A simple, protein packed stir fry bursting with flavour, that can be rustled at a moment's notice. Its always a hit with weight watchers and foodies alike. And there's nothing better i like than rolling it up in a hot, buttered chapati for a satisfying meal-on-the-run!

To make the MUSHROOM TOFU STIR FRY, you will need:
Mushrooms, 200gm (quartered)
Herbed Tofu, 300 gm (cubed)
Tomatoes, 1 cup (diced)
Onions, 2 (quartered)
White pepper powder, 1 1/2 tsp.
Smoked paprika powder, 1/4 tsp.
Garam masala, 1/4 tsp
Ginger- garlic paste, 2 tsp
Caraway seeds, 1 1/2 tsp
Butter, 2-3 tbsp

Method: Heat butter and sizzle the caraway seeds in it. Add the onions and saute till transparent. Add the ginger-garlic paste, paprika, salt and pepper. Toss in the mushrooms and cook till soft. Tip in the tomatoes and garam masala and stir for 3 minutes. Gently mix in the tofu. Take off the heat and its ready to serve!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tossed- Up Spaghetti

When i read this recipe in GoodFood India, I couldn't resist trying it immediately... the vibrant colours and fresh flavours enticingly beckoned me and i just couldn't resist!!! So here's another recipe to liven up your summer lunch... the TOSSED -UP SPAGHETTI requires:

Spaghetti- 400 gm
Red Onion- 1, finely chopped
Lemon- 1, zest and juice
Capers- 4 tsp
Extra Virgin Olive Oil- 6 tbsp+ extra to drizzle
Red chilli- 1, finely chopped
Sugar- a pinch
Chives- handful, snipped
Cherry Tomatoes- 500 gm, quartered
Bocconcini- 250 gm, torn
Mint- 1 bunch, leaves torn.

Method: Marinate the chopped onions in the lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper. Leave aside for 10 minutes, till the onions sweat and soften. Add the capers, oil, chilli and sugar to the onion mix. Adjust seasoning. Boil the spaghetti, drain, toss with a little olive oil and cool. Mix in the onion dressing, tomatoes and half of the fresh herbs. Adjust seasoning and toss well. Chuck in the Bocconcini and toss gently through the pasta. Divide into bowls, drizzle a little olive oil and top with rest of the fresh herbs. Serve with a chilled glass of Proseco on a warm summer afternoon :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Marinated Vegetables.

In continuing with the summer theme, let me share one of my personal favorites in no-stress cooking. Marinated  Vegetables are so easy to make that even the biggest kitchen-phobe would toss it with a smile. I found this recipe in the Good Housekeeping India magazine, and have used it for years to wow the guests at my dinner parties. And the best part? My waistline loves the fresh n light meal :)

To make Marinated Vegetables you will need:
1 medium cauliflower, broken into florets
1 cup peas
2 red peppers
1 green pepper
200 gm mushrooms, quartered
1 yellow pepper
200 gm french beans, sliced diagonally
10 carrots, sliced diagonally
1 small broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 kg baby potatoes
5 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
(of course, you could substitute the veggies with any seasonal produce you enjoy)

MARINADE: 2 tbsp olive oil
                       1 stick cinnamon
                      2 bay leaves
                      4 cloves
                      3 onions, sliced
                      5 cloves garlic, minced
                     1/2 cup vinegar
                      1/2 cup water
                     2 tbsp sugar
                     1 tsp dried rosemary
                     salt, pepper and red chilli powder, to taste.

Method: Steam all the veggies till crunchy but done. Boil and peel the potatoes. Heat oil and add the whole spices. Add the onions and saute till brown. Add the garlic and saute till golden. Then add the rest of the marinade ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce flame and simmer for 8 minutes. Season well. Pour the prepared marinade on the steamed veggies and leave at room temperature for a few hours. Garnish with basil just before serving with dinner rolls or pasta. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Cold Pasta Salad

Summer's here and the body wants something cool. Gone are the winter delights topped with rich gravies and dry fruits to keep you toasty all night. Now all I want is something light and fresh. Something cool and quick! And this Cold Pasta Salad is an absolute breeze! Few quick steps and I have a satisfying meal ready to be pulled out of the refrigerator at a moment's notice!

1 1/2 cups cooked macaroni
1 tbsp mustard powder
1 tsp honey
1 medium apple, chopped
2 cups natural yogurt
1/2 cup cold milk
1 large capsicum, sliced thinly
1 carrot, shredded
a handful of toasted walnuts
salt and pepper to taste

Method: Whip the yogurt lightly in a bowl with the milk, mustard powder, salt and honey. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss gently. Sprinkle with some freshly crushed peppercorns and pop in the fridge till you get hungry. Add some more cold milk if the pasta gets too dry. Also feel free to add any combination of fruits and veggies that work best for you. :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Chana-Kairi Chutney

The best part of Summers are the wide array of mango dishes.. sweet, savoury, raw, ripe.... u name it and every region can produce its own repertoire of  Mangifera Indica!
The Chana- Kairi chutney is a staple in every Maharashtrian home. A dry, coarsely ground side dish, it packs a punch of flavour and can elevate the humblest of meals. 
This chutney can be made without the mango as well, but personally, i love the punch of the tangy raw mango.  
To prepare the Chana- Kairi Chutney you will need:
1 cup chana dal (split Bengal gram)
5 green chilles
2 tsp cumin seeds
pinch turmeric
3 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp sugar
pinch asafoetida
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 medium raw mango, grated
red chilli powder and salt to taste

Method: Soak the chana dal for 3-4 hours. Run in the food processor with the green chillies and 1 tsp of cumin seeds. Take care to ensure its coarsely ground and not a fine paste. Mix in the raw mango, red chilli powder, salt, sugar and turmeric. Heat oil in a wok. Add the mustard seeds, asafoetida and the remaining cumin seeds. Mix in the chana dal and cook on a low flame. When the mixture starts to dry, cover and continue to cook till the grains start to separate and the moisture evaporates. Serve as a side to any meal!

> While the dal cooks, ensure you stir requently to prevent it from sticking to the pan. 
> If the chutney seems a little too dry, heat some oil in a pan and mix into the chutney with a splash of warm water.
> For an uncooked version, simply temper the ground dal and spices with a mixture of mustard seeds, asafoetida and red chilli powder.
> Store in the refrigerator for upto 2 weeks. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fish Tenga

Fish Tenga literally translated to Fish Sour, traditionally comes from the north eastern state of Assam in India. It  has a fresh, tangy taste that lingers in your mouth without any of the fishiness. The ingredients are few and easily available, and this dish is an absolute breeze to make. Serve it warm with rice on even the warmest day and you will still walk away feeling light but satiated.

To make FISH TENGA, you will need:

1 kg fresh water fish (Rohu is the traditional choice)
1 large potato, boiled and mashed
6 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
2 green chillies, roughly chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
turmeric powder
salt to taste
mustard oil to shallow fry

Method: Smear the chunks of fish with turmeric and salt and keep aside for 10 minutes. Heat mustard oil in a   pan. Fry the fish to a light gold on both sides and drain on a kitchen towel. In a wok, heat a teaspoon of the leftover mustard oil (from the frying pan). Add the fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add the chopped tomatoes and cook till softened and well mashed. Add the green chillies and mashed potato and cook till you get a lump free homogeneous mixture. Season with salt and mix well. Now, stirring constantly, add little water at a time, till you get the curry to your desired consistency. (Assamese like their curries watery and I end up adding almost 750 ml of water.) Once the mixture starts bubbling,  gently add the fried fish. Simmer for a couple of minutes, add the lemon juice and let it come to a gentle boil.  Serve with some plain, steamed rice and dig in!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Achari Paneer

Most vegetarians in India, and definitely all Punjabis love their paneer. This cottage cheese made from buffalo's milk is a staple at every meal hosted. Be it breakfast, lunch, dinner or even cocktail snacks!!The blandness of the 'paneer' lends itself beautifully to a host of culinary variations. And one extremely popular Punjabi version is the ACHARI PANEER.
To make this tangy, spicy dish you will need:
Ing: 1 cup paneer, cubed
       1 tsp fennel seeds
      1/4 tsp mustard seeds
      5-6 fenugreek seeds
      1 tsp nigella seeds
      1/2 cumin seeds
      1/4 tsp asafoetida
      1 onion, sliced
      1/2 tsp turmeric pd
      1/2 tsp chilli pd
      1/2 tsp black salt
      3/4 cup fresh yogurt, whipped smooth
      1 tsp chopped mint leaves
      1 tbsp oil
      salt to taste

Method: Heat oil in a pan and sprinkle the asafoetida. Then add all the seeds and let them sizzle. Mix in the chopped onion and saute till transparent. Add the turmeric, chilli pd, black salt and paneer. Mix well and saute for a minute. Add the curds and a sprinkling of whole wheat flour. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Serve hot with rice, rotis, naan or mint paranthas.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Rajasthan is home to unique flavours that transcend the mundane to ethereal. This is one such dish that traditionally originates from the royal family of Rohet Garh, near Jodhpur. This recipe is very versatile and can be adapted to most vegetables and meat.

To make Safed Aloo, you will need:
 Ingredients: 1/2 kg small potatoes, peeled and washed
                    4 tbsp oil
                    3-4 cloves
                    7-8 peppercorns
                    2 black cardamoms
                    2 sticks cinnamon
                    2 bay leaves
                    1 1/2 tbsp ground onion paste
                    1 1/2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
                    1 cup curds
                    2 tsp coriander seed powder
                    1 tbsp dessicated coconut, mixed with water 
                    1 tbsp poppy seeds, ground to a paste with water.
                    4 dry, red whole chillies
                    1 tsp honey

Method: Soak red chillies in warm water for about 1/2 an hour. Drain and keep aside. Mix the curds and coriander powder. Heat oil in a pan and add the whole spices. When they sizzle, add the potatoes and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the onion and ginger-garlic paste, and cook on medium heat till oil separates. Stir at regular intervals. Now add the coconut and poppy seed pastes and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the curds mixture and cook on low flame till oil separates. Now add 3/4 cup water and the red chillies. Cover and cook till potatoes are done. The potatoes should be tender yet firm, and the gravy should be slightly thick. Stir in the honey and serve hot. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ashtomy Khichuri

It literally translates to eighth day rice. Traditionally eaten on the eighth day of the Hindu festival of Durga Puja by Bengalis, it is sanctified as an offering to the Goddess. Its quite simple to make but the result is finger lickin good! And its a full meal in itself.

To make ASHTOMY KHICHURI, you will need:

1 cup risotto rice,washed 
1/2 cup red (masoor)lentils, 
1/2 cup yellow mung lentils (washed, dried and roasted)
2 large potatoes, quartered
2 large onions, quartered
3 long brinjals, cut into 4
1 small cauliflower
150 gm red pumpkin (cut into 3 cm pieces)
1 medium radish, cut into chunks
1 sweet potato, quartered
1 cup peas
5 cm piece of ginger, ground to a paste
4-5 slit green chillies
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp nigella seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp aniseed
2 bay leaves
3 red chillies, whole
1 tsp turmeric pd
1 tsp red chilli pd
2-3 tsp sugar
2 tbsp clarified butter (ghee)
1/2 cup mustard oil
salt to taste

Method: Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, till it starts smoking. Turn off heat and cool slightly.
Drop in the red chillies, bay leaf and all the seeds. Turn on the heat and when seeds crackle, add the vegetables. Mix well for a couple of minutes till the veggies are well coated with oil and spices.
Add the rice and lentils and cook for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, except ghee, and stir around. Add 8-9 cups of water and mix well. Cook on medium heat till veggies and rice are cooked through.
Mix in the ghee and serve hot.