Thursday, November 29, 2012

Keeping the kid busy on a holiday - Savoury Cheese Muffins

Unexpected mid week holidays are so welcome..but it also means you got to think of smart things to keep the active toddler in the house busy.My little fella gets bored doing the mundane things so after 2 rounds of snakes & ladders, half an hour of playing with the cars and watching television  and wants to do something new.Today however i thought that why not get him involved in some cooking!I have recently bought this fabulous book by Martha Day which has tons of easy recipes on baking...i flipped through the pages and found this amazingly simple Cheese muffins recipe.The ingredients listed were everyday basics so I decided to give it a shot. The kid got all excited and helped me with mixing and topping the muffins with loads to cheese and look.... this is what the outcome is!!


Plain flour - 200 gms

Butter - 55 gms ( melted)

Baking powder - 2 tsp

Sugar - 2 tbsp

Salt - half tsp

Eggs - 2 nos ( lightly beaten )

Milk - 125 ml

Cheddar cheese - 2 cubes ( cut into small dice)

Paprika - 1 tsp( optional)

Dried Thyme - 1 tsp


Preheat oven to 200 deg C. Grease and prepare a cup cake try.

In a bowl sift and mix all the dry ingredients - flour , baking powder ,sugar,salt and paprika.

In another bowl mix the milk, beaten eggs, melted butter and thyme and whisk them together.

Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.No need to smoothen the mix.

Place  a heaped spoon of the mixture in to the cups, sprinkle some cheese cubes  then drop another spoon of the batter on top.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 mins till it gets golden brown on top.

Cool on a wire rack and enjoy with your little ones!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Winter Greens - Cauliflower and Green peas Gratin

Experiments are an integral part of my cooking. Sometimes I fail , but then there are times when I come out with flying colours! Yesterday i tried something new - a simple dish but truly yummy. I have very fond memories of winter time of my childhood. My grandmother would give us bowl fulls of steamed cauliflower, peas and potatoes simply sauteed in butter, seasoned with salt and pepper and it used to be so yummy. So what i made here is simply an adaptation of this.


Cauliflower florets - 1 cup (parboiled)

Green peas - 1 cup ( parboiled)

Pasta or macaroni - 1 cup (boiled and drained)

Cream - half cup ( i used  amul cream )

Tomato puree  - 4 tbsp

Milk - half cup

Salt - to taste

Pepper - to taste

Grated cheddar cheese - 1 cube grated

Butter - 1 tbsp ( for sauteing the veggies)


In a non stick pan heat butter. Add the boiled veggies and the pasta. Fry for a minute. Add the tomato puree. Mix well.

Next tip in the milk and the cream, stirring continuously to prevent the cream from curdling.

Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the mixture into a baking dish. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top and bake at 200 deg C for 15 mins.

Serve hot.

You could add broccoli, baby corn, carrots, beans just whatever your heart desires. The non veg lovers can add boiled chicken , sausages...But since I have two picky eaters at home I usually have to work around with the tried and tested ingredients.

Happy cooking folks!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Something for lazy sunday afternoons - Simple Chicken Roast

Sundays have always been very special for me..that one day when i can literally let my foot down. No morning rush , time limit to pick up kiddo from school and all those stuffs.But in our house Sundays does mean good food! I like keeping it simple on such days. I do cook up elaborate meals at times but today I decided to do something super easy that doesn't require much supervision on my part. Both the boys in the house are chicken lovers so " Simple Chicken Roast" today. Its extremely easy and fast to make and so tasty. All you need is a nice big piece of chicken, some veggies that we use everyday and some olive oil and herbs. The good thing is that nowadays such a wide variety of dried herbs are available in the super markets. I make sure to pick up different kinds and then mix and match. Oregano and red chili flakes being my absolute favourites.

Ingredients :

Chicken - 1 piece leg or breast ( depends on what you have )

Spring onions - 4 nos ( you can easily use normal onions )

Potato - 2 nos parboiled

Tomatoes  - 2 nos , cut into halves

Crushed garlic - 5-6 pods

Olive oil - 4 tbsp

Orange juice  - 2 tbsp

Salt - to taste

Crushed peppercorns - 2 tsp

Oregano - 1 tbsp

Red chili flakes - acc to taste


First of all make a marinade with olive oil , orange juice, crushed garlic , salt,pepper,oregano and chili flakes. Mix well in a bowl.

Arrange the chicken ( make slits on the chicken piece to that it can absorb the marinade well ), potato , tomatoes , spring onions in a baking tray . Pour the marinade on top and mix well.

Bake in a 250 deg C oven for 15 mins. Then reduce the temp to 200 deg C and let it bake for another 40 mins till the chicken is tender.

Serve with buttered rice. This dish has a scope for a lot of can add mushrooms, baby corn, cauliflower...the list is endless. So here's hoping that you are going to give it a try with your own twists to it!!

Happy Sunday to all.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Back after long - Chicken Meatballs in chilli garlic sauce

Hello everyone....I am back to doing what i love doing after a long time. Not that I have not been cooking ...just that the past one month has been so busy with all the festivities in the air..Durga Puja, Lakshmi Puja, my lill doll's (niece) annaprashan , Diwali , Bhai dooj..there has been a lot of food involved!!!! So today after a long hiatus I decided to make something special at home and treat the husband to a good home cooked meal. With limited groceries available at home ( been too lazy to go shopping too ) I decided to make a Chinese lunch. A simple fare of egg fried rice and Chicken Meatballs in Chili garlic sauce...for a nippy winter afternoon this would be wonderful.

Ingredients :

For the meatballs:

Chicken mince - 200 gms

Soya sauce - 1 tsp

Red chili sauce - 1 tsp

Tomato ketchup - 1 tsp

Black pepper - 1 tsp

Worcestershire sauce - 1/2 tsp

Egg white - 1

Salt  - to taste

Cornflour - 1tbsp

Refined oil - for frying


Mix everything together and let the marinated chicken rest for half hour.In a deep pan add oil , once the oil is heated , make small balls of the mince and fry till golden brown in colour.
Drain on a kitchen towel and keep aside .

For the sauce:

Onion - 1 large ( finely chopped )

Ginger - 1 tbsp ( finely chopped)

Garlic - 1 tbsp (finely chopped )

Green chillies - 2-3 nos

Red chili sauce - 1tbsp

Soya sauce - 1 tbsp

Vinegar - 1tsp

Sugar - a pinch

Cornflour - 1tbsp dissolved in a cup of cold water

Refined oil - 1

Coriander leaves - a handful shredded for garnish

Method :

In a nonstick pan add the oil. Next tip in the ginger - garlic - onion - green chillies and fry till brown in color. Once done add in all the sauces one by one and fry for a minute.

Add the fried meatballs , mix well with the sauce. Add the cornflour mixture according to the consistency that you want. Remove from heat and garnish with coriander.

Serve hot with steamed rice or with a simple egg fried rice!!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Going Back to School - "Ghugni"

Food memories.I have so many memories that I associate with food...with someone who cooks it in a particular way,something i ate somewhere many years back, food associated with growing up years..they all become such vivid memories.One such dish is the "Ghugni" - a curry dish made of dried white peas.This dish takes me down the memory lane and takes me back to my school days in Haflong  where i spent some beautiful years while growing up.Many wouldnt know about this lovely pristine little hill station nestled in the N.C Hills of Assam.By the virtue of my dad"s posting there I had the privilege of living there.

                                            pic courtesy - google
Now coming to my school " St. Agnes Convent " - reverence is all i have for it! It surely made me the person I am today instilling a strong value system in my life.

pic courtesy - facebook school page
Now for the food connection.My school had this quaint little canteen that was run by few young girls who came from the villages and stayed in the hostel accomodation run by the sisters.There would be just a few food items available and the star being Ghugni or 'chana' as we would call it then.I remember to be the first in the queue as soon as the recess bell would ring to buy and savour a platefull!!! not to forget all the coaxing I had to do with my mom to allow me not carry a lunchbox fom home.

Over the years I have tried innumerable times to replicate that taste but have never been fully successful.Something would always be a miss - maybe it was the love with which it was made that the simplest of food will taste so good.Today again i tried to take a walk down the memory lane. Heres the recipe for u to try -

Ingredients :

White dried peas - 1 cup ( soaked overnite and boiled in the pressure cooker with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp turmeric

Chopped onion - 1 medium

Chopped tomatoes - 1 medium

Green chillies - 5-6

Garlic paste - 1 tsp

Ginger paste - 1 tsp

Refined oil - 1 tbsp

Method :

In a pan , add the oil , fry the chopped onions, ginger, garlic paste till light brown in colour.

Next add the tomatoes and fry till the water dries up.

Toss in the boiled peas , taste for salt. If required add a little more. Mix well , garnish with green chillies and serve.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Back after good times - Aloo phoolkopi diye chanar dalna

So I have been away for long but I was not away from good food. I am just back from a fabulous holiday in Delhi, fully pampered by my sister and sis-in-law.The amount of food i consumed its not funny and to top it got some really cool goodies along - some gifts ,some i bought. I did a lot of food shopping , braving the afternoon heat , loitering around Khan Market , picking up baking stuffs from SDH, crockeries from Good Earth...I had a great great time. I have come back with a lot of enthusiasm and fervour to cook more good food and also take up baking a bit more seriously! But today I decided to do make something traditional and cooked up " Aloo phoolkopi diye chanar dalna"  - thats cottage cheese curry with potatoes and cauliflower. Extermely simple but very delicious.Btw also wanted to share a good news that my blog has already had a little more than 1000 hits ...1042 to be precise!!!!!!

Ingredients :     

Paneer - 200 gms

Cauliflower florets - 1 cup parboiled

Potatoes diced - 1 cup  parboiled

Paanchphoron - 1 tsp

Bayleaves - 2 nos

Jeera paste - 2 tbsp

Ginger paste - 1 tbsp

Red chilli powder - 1 tsp

Turmeric - 1 tsp

Salt - to taste

Sugar - a pinch

Garam masala paste ( elaichi and dalcini ) - 1 tsp

Green chillies - for garnish

Ghee - 1tbsp

Refined oil - for frying around 2 tbsp


In a pan add some oil , fry the paneer cubes, cauliflower florets and the potatoes till light brown in colour.

In the same oil , splutter the paanchphoron seeds and bay leaves. Next tip in the cauliflower and potatoes. Add turmeric, ginger paste, jeera paste, salt and sugar.
Fry the masala well adding some water so that it doesnt burn.  

Once the masala is fried well, add water to adjust the consistency of the gravy. This is usually a light gravy. Add the paneer cubes and let it simmer in the gravy for 5 mins.

To finish add the garam masala paste, green chillies and a dollop of ghee on top.

Serve with steaming hot rice.      

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Taming the Yeast - Crusty Cheese Bread

Baking bread had been on my mind for a long time now. The first time i tried, the yeast just refused to behave , refused to rise and I ended up with some buns that were like stones : ( But I too refused to give up and went around the markets scouring different brands of yeast. With a lot of suggestions from fellow foodie friends / bakers from a popular foodie page I could manage to bake my first set of yummy buns. Take a look....

Making this set of buns gave me immense satisfaction and I decided to give bread baking another shot . This time something I picked up an easy recipe adapted from Martha Day and made a "Crusty Cheese Bread" . The original recipe had onions in it but I skipped that and instead added some herbs - oregano and parsley. And this is how it turned out...

Ingredients :

Warm water  - 300 ml

Dry active yeast - 2 tsp (7 gms) This is easily available at the grocers, or you may have to
                                          look around a bit.

Sugar - 1 tbsp

Sunflower oil - 1 tbsp

White flour - 450 gms  

Salt - a pinch

Mixed dry herbs - 2 tbsps ( I used oregano, parsley and red chili flakes )

Grated cheddar cheese - 1 cup ( keep aside 2 tbsp to sprinkle on top for baking )

Milk - 2 tbsp ( for glazing )


Put the water in a jug , sprinkle the yeast on top, add the sugar. Mix well and keep aside to rise for 10 mins. After 10 mins the mixture should have become all frothy and bubbly. If not then the yeast is not right.

In a bowl , add the flour, salt,herbs, grated cheese and make a well in the centre.Add the yeast mixture and the oil gradually, incorporate the flour and mix to a soft dough, adding extra flour if reqd.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for 8- 10 mins until the dough is smooth and springy. Put it in a greased bowl , cover with a damp towel and let it rise for 1 hr or until doubled in bulk.

Once it has risen , transfer mixture to a floured surface, knock out the air bubbles by kneading the dough softly. Divide the mixture into two halves and roll out into a longish shape , like a roll.

Place on baking sheets and make diagonal cuts along the top and sprinkle the remaining grated  cheese on top.Glaze with milk.Cover and leave for another 30 mins until well risen.

Preheat the oven to 180 deg C. Bake the rolls for 20 - 25 mins until it becomes brown on the top.

It might seem that its a tough job to make a bread but trust me once you have done it a couple of times there will be no fear and all that you will get is sheer joy.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cheesy Corn Souffle and some fond memories.

Some food can be so comforting at times and this one is one such dish. The first time i tasted this one dish it was made by my mother-in-law and i immediately fell in love with it. I mean a combination of cheese and corn can only be so heavenly.Over the years i have kind of mastered this dish and have been making it in a lot of variations.Sometimes I would turn it into a mushroom - corn souffle or at times would just dunk in chicken pieces into it..but truly whatever i have done with this dish it has always turned out to be a winner.So today I am sharing with you the original of course can add your own twists to it!


Sweet corn kernels( par boiled) - 2 cups

Egg - 1 nos

Cream - half a cup ( alternatively you could also use milk)

Grated Cheddar cheese - half cup

Salt - to taste

pepper -to taste

Mozzarella /Pizza cheese - for topping


Coarsely grind in a mixer the following : sweet corn kernels,grated cheese,cream, salt and pepper.

Pour the mixture into a baking dish , top with the grated mozzarella / pizza cheese and bake for 25 mins at 200 degrees Celsius.

You can of course add your own variations to the same  by adding mushrooms, sausages, bacon bits,boiled chicken or some mixed herbs.

So go ahead, experiment and create a beautiful dish.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Vanilla Muffins for my Muffin

All the adulation i got for making that Almond cake has really got into to my head (just kidding ). The family is having to eat a lot of cakes every other day!! Not that they mind (well i hope so ) Today of course i baked these cute " Vanilla Muffins" for my little fella. Super easy to make these muffins, am sure is going to bring a big smile on his face when he gets back from school today.


Plain flour - 2 cups

Sugar - 1 cup

Baking powder - 2 1/2 tsp

Milk - 1 cup

Eggs - 2 nos

Salt - 1/2 tsp

Butter / refined oil - half cup ( I used refined oil )

Vanilla essence - 1 tsp


Pre heat oven to 250 degree C

Mix flour, sugar , baking powder , salt in a large bowl. Add the milk , oil and vanilla to the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed for 1 min.

Add eggs to the mixture and beat for 1 min on medium speed, then on high speed for another 1 minute.

Bake in cupcake moulds for 15 - 20 mins

Try this today and bring a smile on the face of ur loved ones!

PS - Since i had some time in hand, ended up frosting the muffins with choco butter cream.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Must try - Quick Oriental Rice

I had promised my teachers in the school that I would treat them to some home made  chicken today i got down to doing that. But I realised that there were a couple of them who were vegetarians so i better make something nice for them too..why should they be left out. Honestly after making that biryani i was fully exhausted and didn't really have the enthu to do some elaborate veggie dish.I just started tossing in a few things and the outcome was simply superb!I made an easy "Oriental tossed rice". Here is the recipe and btw was a bigger hit than the biryani : )


Basmati rice - 2 cups par boiled

Chopped onions - 1 medium

Corn kernels - half cup

Chopped capsicum - half cup

Chopped coriander - a handful

Chili flakes - 1 tbsp

Oregano - 1 tsp

Salt - to taste

Olive oil - 1 tsp


In a pan heat the olive add. Add the chopped onions, once it turns light brown in colour add the chopped capsicum and corn kernels. Fry for a couple of mins and toss in the par boiled rice. Season with the chilli flakes, oregano and salt. Mix well and remove from heat.

Serve with sliced lemons.

Now cooking cant get easier than this !!!!!

Baking Delight - Almond Cake

Last evening I made something that made me super happy had to share it with all. Now first let me confess, baking cakes is not my comfort zone. It takes a lot of patience and dedication to make those perfect cakes. But I have been trying for long now to  make a pretty looking cake at least once.So yesterday I decided to give it a shot.I started with making a plain sponge cake but ended up making something that made me very proud.I put up a pic on one of the well known foodie page on FB and appreciations have been flowing in since morning.Here"s my recipe of " Sponge Cake with butter cream frosting and caramelised Almonds"


For the Sponge cake :

Flour - 1 1/2 cup (sifted)

Sugar - 1 cup

Eggs - 3 large

Salt - a pinch

Baking powder - 1 tsp

Almond essence - 1 tsp ( u could use 2 tbsp lemon juice also )

Warm milk - 6 tbsps


In a mixing bowl, beat eggs for 5 mins until very thick and light yellow in colour.Add sugar gradually beating constantly.Add the almond essence or the lemon juice and mix well. Next tip in the dry ingredients ( flour, baking powder) gradually and fold into the mixture. Lastly add the warm milk, mixing quickly and blending thoroughly.Pour into a greased pan and bake at 250 deg for 30 mins.

Pls note that don't let the cake overcook.

De mould and let the cake cool completely before getting on to the next step.

Ingredients for Butter cream :

Butter - 100 gms at room temperature

Icing sugar - 100 gms


Beat the butter until light and fluffy. Better if you use an electric hand blender.Once that is done , add the icing sugar gradually, beating gently into a thick paste.

Ingredients for Caramelised Almonds :

Almonds - half cup

Sugar - half cup

Water - 6 tbsps


In a pan add the sugar and water and put it on high heat. Once the mixture starts simmering add in the almonds and let it cook till the sugar mixture turns brown and caramelises.

Remove from heat and let it cool.
Keep aside a few whole almonds for garnish and grind the rest into crumbs for decorating the sides of the cake.

For putting the cake together..First , frost the cake with the butter cream on all sides and as smoothly as u can. Never mind if its not so neat first time around! Mine wasn't too: ))

While the butter cream is still soft apply the crumbed almonds onto the side of the cake.(This is a messy process but fun too ). Decorate the top of the cake with the whole caramelised almond and  refrigerate the cake for 3- 4 hours so that that icing sets well.

Serve proudly!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Tasty Kadhi

Have been away from my blog for a while now and how much i missed being in the kitchen.Weddings, invitations to birthday parties and lunches and my mum"s visit kept me away from the kitchen.Also mum being in town means i get days off from the kitchen as she takes over and pampers us with her yummylicious creations.She made a whole lot of goodies while she was here which would get polished off even before I could take a picture of it!!!She went back yesterday  and i finally got back to my kitchen.After eating all those lovely food over the last few days i decided to make something very simple - "Kadhi with moong dal pakoras ". The traditional recipe uses pakoras made of besan but i thought of making it a bit more healthy!

Ingredients :

Curd /Yoghurt - 2 cups

Besan - 3 tbsp

Moong dal - half cup soaked in water

Haldi - 1 tsp

Dry red chilies - 4 nos

mustard seeds - a tsp

curry leaves - 6 -7 leaves

hing /asafoetida - a pinch

refined oil -  1 tbsp

Chopped ginger - 1 tbsp

Chopped green chillies - 1 tsp

Salt - to taste


For the moong dal pakoras :

Soak the moong dal for couple of hours , grind it into a paste with little water. Add  salt ,chopped ginger and green chillies.
Heat oil in a non stick pan , fry small pakoras and keep aside.

For the Kadhi :

Mix curd , besan, salt ,turmeric. Add half cup water and and whisk well into a light paste. Put this mixture in a pan ,put it on heat and let the mixture simmer. Keep stirring continuously or else the mixture might curdle.Once it starts simmering, add the moong dal pakoras and remove from heat.

For the tadka (tempering ) :

In a pan, add a tbsp of refined oil. Once the oil heats up add the mustard seeds, dry red chillies and curry leaves. Once it starts crackling pour over to the kadhi mixture.

Serve hot with plain rice and enjoy the goodness.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Bhetki Paturi

My husband loves "Bhetki Paturi " - bhetki fillets, smeared with a mustardy spice mix, wrapped in banana leaves and cooked. This item is mostly found in the Bengali wedding menu!!! And also wen ever we go out dining to these Bengali cuisine speciality restaurants husband always has to order this one dish. So last Sunday i decided to give making it a shot at home. The only issue were the banana leaves but my sweet maid came to my rescue and got me a nice big green leaf from her home.Now there was no stopping me.Presenting the wonderful Bhetki Paturi...even i was amazed how easy it was to make it.


Bhetki fillets - 8 pieces

Lime juice - 1 tbsp

Mustard paste - 4 tbsp

Cream - 2 tbsp

Turmeric - 1tsp

Salt - to taste

Mustard oil - 3 tbsp

Whole Green chillies - 8 nos

Banana leaves - cut into squares


Clean and pat dry the fillets. Marinate with a little salt and lime juice and keep aside.

Make a marinade with mustard paste, cream, turmeric, salt and mustard oil.Marinate the fillets in this and keep aside for 10 mins.

Take one square of the banana leaf, place a fillet along with some mustard mix, top with a green chilli. Wrap the banana leaf and make it into a small parcel securing the top with a toothpick or u could use a thread. Similarly make parcels of all the fillets.

Place a tawa or a flat pan on the gas stove. Arrange all the parcels on the tawa and cover it with a lid. Let it cook on low flame for 7 mins on each side. You would notice that the banana leaves would turn colour into light brown.

Your dish is ready. There are other methods too of cooking the fish parcels - like you could steam it too. But grilling them in the pan gives it a very good flavour.Just to add that hubby had three of those and later complained of over eating!!

Chicken Qorma - Light and Fragrant

So you can see that we have got a new look. This is actually because of my Dad who commented the other day that my page looks a little nude and i should make it more glitzy and glamorous.  This is the best i could manage considering i have very limited technical know how.But the cooking continues. Today i was in a hurry but wanted to make something special nevertheless. So i made this "Chicken Qorma" that is completely my mums recipe. There would be many versions of this that you could find but this is the no frills one.Some basic ingredients and u have this really light and fragrant chicken gravy dish.

Ingredients :

Chicken - 500 gms ( i used boneless but it tastes better with the one with bones)

Curd/yoghurt - 200 gms

Onion paste - 2 tbsp

Ginger paste - 1 tbsp

Raisins - a handful

Cashews - a handful

Whole garam masala - 2 each of green cardamom, cloves and cinnamon

Green chillies - 4-5 nos whole

Salt - to taste

Sugar - 1 tsp

Ghee - 1 tbsp

Method :

Clean the chicken and marinate it with the curd.Keep aside.

In a pan, add the ghee, splutter the whole garam masala.

Next tip in the onion - ginger paste and fry until golden brown in colour.

Once that is done, simply add the chicken along with the curd. Add salt, sugar, raisins, cashews, and the green chillies.Cover and let it cook and simmer for 15- 20 mins.

Check if the chicken is cooked, if not let it simmer for another 5-7 mins.

Serve hot with plain rice.

Now isn"t that easy peasy to make!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gourmet food made Easy

After some serious cooking over the weekend I decided that Monday is going to be one easy day for me. So I did not bother much about lunch and made do with some leftovers from last night. But by evening I started getting restless and once again landed up in the kitchen. Most of you would find this crazy but the kind of solace i find in the kitchen i find nowhere else. I raided the fridge and found some lovely chicken breasts lying around.I don't like making any gravy dish with chicken breast as they tend to get very hard and chewy as u cook them. So last night i decided to go the conti (nental) way!! And what turned out what something truly gourmet in taste and presentation. I made " Pan fried chicken breast in a white wine sauce" with some creamed potatoes and grilled tomatoes by the side.

Ingredients :

For Pan fried Chicken:

Chicken breast - 2 pieces

Salt - to taste

Crushed pepper - to taste

Olive oil - 2 tbsp

White wine - half cup

Butter - 2 tbsp

Whipped cream - 1 tbsp

For Grilled Tomatoes :

Tomatoes - 2 large

Dried  oregano - 1 tsp

Olive oil - 1tsp

For Creamed Potatoes :

Boiled potatoes - 2 large

Milk - half cup

Salt - to taste

Pepper - to taste

Grated cheddar cheese - 1 cube

Butter - 1 tsp

Olive oil - 1 tsp

Parsley - for garnish


Lets first start with the creamed potatoes.

Mash the boiled potatoes so that there are no lumps. I usually grate the boiled potatoes for a smooth finish.

Heat butter and olive oil in a pan , add the mashed potatoes , add the milk and mix well so that it gets a creamy texture. U could adjust the quantity of milk accordingly.

Toss in the grated cheese , salt( keep a note that cheese is salty too ) and pepper . Mix well and keep aside.

Now lets get to the chicken.

Wash and pat dry the chicken breasts. Make slits all over and marinate with salt , pepper and olive oil. Let it rest for half an hour.

Heat up a pan till its smoking hot, put in the chicken breasts ( i did not use any more oil as the marinade had olive oil already ). Fry on each sides for 5-7 mins each. You could also toss in the tomatoes along side the chicken like i did or grill them separately in the oven.

Once the chicken starts getting a light brown colour, take them off the pan and keep aside. Same with the tomatoes.

Now in the same pan , put in the white wine. Once it starts simmering, add the butter , some crushed pepper and finish with the cream. This is your sauce.

Take a plate . Put a few spoonfuls of the creamed potato sprinkled with parsley on the side. Arrange the chicken pieces, pour the sauce on top. Serve hot along with the grilled tomatoes.

I served this with some fresh home made buns ( more on that later ) and needless to say made the husband super duper happy!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Healthy Chicken

The other day I was wondering what new can I do with the boneless chicken lying in the freezer. I figured that I also had some fresh veggies – carrots and French beans lying around. So I decided to tweak the recipe of the classic chicken stew and converted it into a healthy "Chicken with Veggies in a spicy broth!! Used the everyday spices but the result was simply awesome.

Ingredients :
Boneless chicken – 300 gms
Carrots – half cup diced
French beans – half cup diced
Potato – half cup diced
Tomato – 1 diced
Onions – 1 medium chopped
Garlic – 2 pods crushed
Ginger – 1 tbsp chopped
Pepper corns – 8-10 nos
Bay leaves -  2 nos
Kashmiri red chilli powder – 1tsp
Coriander powder – 1tsp
Chicken stock  - 2 cups or just use warm water
Salt – to taste
Butter -  1 tbsp

In a pressure cooker , add the butter, next add the bay leaves and peppercorns. Put in the chopped onion, crushed garlic and chopped ginger. Saute till the onions get a light brown colour.
Next add the chicken pieces and the chopped vegetables. Saute the veg and chicken for 5-10 mins till they turn a light brown in colour. Add in the dry spices – coriander powder and kashmiri chilli powder and salt.
Cook the masala for 2 mins and add the chicken stock or warm water. Once the gravy starts simmering put on the lid of the cooker and cook till 2 whistles.
Serve this with buns or just plain white rice – tastes yummy with anything.  If you like ur curry very spicy can add a few green chillies too!

Char Grilled Pomfret

Pomfret is a fish that i haven't eaten ever but cook it a lot coz this is one of husbands favourite fish. You could just give him a pomfret fry and dal-rice and he would be a happy soul. But the creative bug in me dosent let me do so. I like to marinate the fish in some simple spices and then grill it most of the times. Here is the recipe for "Char grilled Pomfret " - ideally should be done on a coal grill but since that's not possible always i just bake it in an oven or you could simply shallow fry in a pan as i did today as i was super pressed for time.

Ingredients :

Pomfret fish - 2 whole fish

Spring onions - a handful chopped

Coriander leaves - a handful chopped

Tamarind paste - 1 tsp

Dry red chili - 2 nos

Garlic - 2-3 pods

Turmeric powder - 1tsp

Olive oil - 2 tbsp

Salt - to taste

Method :

Clean the fish ,make slits on both sides of the fish, rub salt and turmeric and keep aside for 5 mins.

For the marinade :

Grind together - spring onion, coriander leaves, dry red chillies, garlic, tamarind paste and 1 tbsp olive oil together into a coarse paste.

Marinate the fish in this mixture for half an hour.

Take a non stick pan , add 1 tbsp olive oil , once the oil heats up properly add the fish along with the marinade and fry evenly on both sides till the masala mixture gets a charred ( not burnt )texture.

Alternatively, grease a baking tray with olive oil and bake the fish at 250 C for half and hour.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Blockbuster Prawns

Last two days was pretty frenzied so could not really produce anything spectacular in the kitchen. We did ok with simple dal - rice routine but today being Saturday something special had to be done. Husband was already looking forward to some sumptuous food and what better and easier than cooking a prawn dish. I decided to go back to a basic dish which uses minimalist ingredients but tastes simply WOW. Presenting here the recipe of the classic " Chingri Malai Curry " - my way!!

Ingredients :

Medium sized prawns  - 500 gms ( shelled and deveined )

Onion juice - 1 cup ( now this is nothing fancy, just grind 2 large onions in the mixie and strain the juice through a sieve )

Ginger paste - 1 tbsp

Whole garam masala - 2 each of cardamom,cloves and a stick of cinnamon

Bay leaves - 2 nos

Coconut milk - half cup ( i used the ready made tetra pack ones )

Turmeric - 1tsp

Kashmiri red chilli powder - 1 tsp

Ghee - 2 tbsp

Sugar - 1 tsp

Salt  - to taste

Green chillies - 4-5 for garnishing

Method :

Wash and clean the prawns. Marinate with salt and turmeric and saute in refined oil. Keep aside.

In a pan, add the ghee, then add the bay leaves and the whole garam masala. Once they splutter add the onion juice and the ginger paste.

Let this cook for 10- 12 mins, till the water of the juice dries up. Next add the turmeric powder, kashmiri red chilli powder, sugar and salt. Mix well and cook for another 5 mins or until the masala starts leaving oil on the sides.

Add half a cup of warm water so that it prevents the masala from burning.Once the gravy starts simmering add the coconut milk ( pls keep stirring while u add this to prevent curdling ) and cook for 2 mins.

Next add the sauteed prawns . Mix well, cook for 2 more mins and remove from heat.Garnish with slit green chillies and serve hot  with plain rice - simply yummy!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Chicken Delight

Honestly speaking by Wednesday i get into this mid week groove and don’t really like getting into cooking elaborate dishes and stuffs.But after the Tuesday veg day dedication the family looks forward to digging into some non veg stuffs!! So today i stuck by with chicken and made a dish thats so easy to make( using the everyday onion –ginger-garlic paste)  but gives the feel of a party dish. This is also one dish i have cooked many a times for friends and family and they have immensely enjoyed it ( even if i may say so myself !!! ) Hope many of you will try out this easy recipe of “Methi Chicken” that am sharing today.

Ingredients :
Boneless chicken – 300 gms ( use could also use the ones with bones, turns out just fine )
Onion paste – 6 tbsps
Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
Curd – 3 tbsp
Kasuri methi – 1 tbsp  ( keep it soaked in some warm water so that the re is no bitterness of the methi)
Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Whole garam masala – 2 each of green cardamom , cloves and cinnamon stick
Salt  - to taste
Fried onion slice – 1 onion deep fried in a tbsp of oil
Refined oil – 2 tbsps
Warm water – 1 cup for cooking

Method :

Marinate the chicken  with curd,kashmiri red chilli powder and coriander powder. Keep aside.
In a pan, splutter the whole garam masala and add the onion – ginger – garlic paste.Fry this mixture well on low flame till the paste turns nice golden brown in color. ( its very imp to fry on low flame or it will burn or not cook properly and leave a taste of raw onion later )
Next add the chicken along with the marinade and cook for  10-12 mins adding water every time it dries out.The chicken also gets cooked easily in the process.
Once the water dries out and the gravy becomes thick, add the salt, kasuri methi and half of the brown onion slices.Mix well and remove from heat.
Garnish with slit green chillies and the remaining brown onion slices.

Do try this and find the compliments pouring in!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Crispy Bites

Fish is an essential part of everyday Bengali cuisine and there are times when you are just so tired of making the same old gravy style dishes. Bhetki is one such fish that is enjoyed in my household both by my husband and surprising also my four yr old son and what better way to cook it but the crispy way.The recipe of "Crumb fried Bhetki" that i have here is super simple and the end result simply superb!!

Ingredients :

Bhetki fillets - 8 -10 pieces
Ground pepper - 1 tbsp
Parsley (chopped or i used the dried version ) - 1 tbsp
Lemon juice - 3 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Ginger paste - 1 tbsp
Egg - 2 nos
Bread crumbs - 1 cup ( I just grind rusks or toasts into a powder)
Refined oil - for frying

Method :

Wash and clean the fish fillets and pat them dry.

Marinate the fillets with lime juice,salt,pepper,parsley,ginger paste.Mix well and keep aside for half an hour.

Beat the eggs in one flat dish, season with salt and pepper.

Spread the bread crumbs on a plate. Dip the marinated bhetki fillets in the egg mixture, roll in the bread crumbs.

Pan fry the fillets on low flame till the fillets gets golden colour on each side.

Serve hot with kashundi ( Bengali version of the mustard sauce ) and fresh salad of cucumber and onions.

This fish will just melt in your mouth - trust me !

Monday, July 23, 2012

A pinch of Saffron

Every Tuesday morning I wake up wondering - God what should i cook today. The family being ardent Hanuman ji fan we dedicate this day to him by sticking to vegetarian food ( quite a task for us meat and fish lovers ). Having maxed out on dishes like Palak Paneer, Paneer masala and the likes today i decided to do something new to the Paneer! A pinch of saffron and the outcome i must say was wonderful. So here it is, my version of "Kesariya Paneer" - paneer gravy dish laced with the delicate flavours of saffron.

Ingredients :

Paneer  - 200 gms - cut into small rectangles
Boiled onion paste  - 5 tbsps
Cashew/Raisin/Almond  paste - 2 tbsp
Ginger paste - 1 tsp
Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Curd - 1 tbsp
Cream - 1 tbsp
Whole garam masala ( green cardamom/cloves/cinnamon ) - 2 each
Refined oil - 1 tbsp
Warm water - 1/2 cup
Salt - to taste
Saffron - a pinch ( soaked in warm milk )

Method :

Cut the paneer in small rectangles and keep aside. You could also lightly saute the paneer and keep it soaked in a bowl of warm water to keep it soft.

In a non stick pan , add oil , splutter the whole garam masala.

Next add the boiled onion paste and cook for 2 mins. Pls note the onion will not change color and we want a white gravy.

Then in goes the kaju - kishmish - almond paste, curd and salt.Cook for another 2-3 mins till oil starts appearing on the edges.Add the warm water and let the gravy simmer for another 2 mins.

Now add the paneer cubes and the cream. Mix well. Finish by adding the saffron infused milk.

Your beautiful "Kesariya Paneer" is ready to be served. Today am serving it with some palak paranthas - cheat way to feed the 4 yr old some green veggies!

Gourd Exotica!

Now who likes to eat bottle gourd ( Lauki )..very few votes there i guess! But honestly it is one of those vegetable that i cook a lot and mainly for this one dish. This recipe that i am sharing today is actually a very simple one but somehow transforms a mundane veg like lauki into something so exotic. "Lau Chingri" or bottle gourd with prawns is a dish so commonly made in all bengali kitchens...something i have grown up eating. So here it version!

Ingredients :

Bottle gourd (lauki) - 1 medium sized finely chopped
Small sized prawns - 250 gms shelled and deveined
Paanch phoron - 1/2 tsp
Dry red chillies - 2
Ginger - 1 tbsp finely chopped
Green chillies - 2 or 3
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - a pinch
Ghee - a dollop for garnishing
Mustard oil - for cooking

Method :

Clean the prawns and marinate with a bit of turmeric powder and salt. Fry this is hot mustard oil for 5 mins or till the prawns get a golden brown colour.

In a pan, add 1 tbsp mustard oil, once the oil is hot splutter the paanch phoron and red chillies.

Next add the finely chopped gourd and fry for 2 mins.Once the gourd starts to soften up and release water add the turmeric powder and chopped ginger.Cover and let it cook till all the water evaporates.

Now add the salt ,green chillies (slit into half) and sugar, mix well and let it cook for another minute.

Lastly add the fried prawns,mix well and finish with a dollop of ghee.

"Lau chingri" or Gourd exotica as i call it is ready to be served.

There is also a vegetarian version 'Lau Moong" where just substitute the prawns with dry roasted moong daal!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sweet nothing

For  a long long time now i have loved cooking. The inspiration here has been my Maa. She is definitely the most fantastic cook ever. Belonging to a foodie family helped too!! As i grew up and started my experiments in the kitchen i could sense that it would give me an immense sense of joy to accomplish cooking a dish. There have ofcourse been many hits and misses but i would continue with my experiments. Then love and marriage happened and thankfully i have ended up with a man who loves food and encourages  my stints in the kitchen! So now finally after all these years have mustered up my spirits to do something related to food and cooking that constitutes such an important part of my life in a focussed manner. Hence the idea of this blog.

Today i am sharing a recipe that has been a personal favourite coz this was one of the first dessert i learnt making as a schoolgirl .

The Caramel Pudding

Ingredients :

Eggs - 3
Condensed milk - half tin
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Sugar - 2 tbsp

Method :

Mix together the eggs ,condensed milk and vanilla essence. Whisk together with blender for 2 mins till it becomes airy and light.

In an aluminium cake tin,  put in the sugar and some water and put it on the stove for the sugar to caramelise. Once the sugar starts changing colour remove from heat.

Pour the egg mixture into the tin.

You can now steam bake the pudding in an oven for 40 mins or steam it in the pressure cooker for half an hr.

Once done ,let it cool and then serve chilled.

This is one of those easy breezy desserts that my 4 yr old son loves too just as i did as a kid!!!!