Sunday, June 30, 2013

Easiest Dessert Ever - Fruit Trifle with Vanilla Custard

Even I am baffled to have made such an easy dessert which tasted so yummy for my friends who were dropping by over the weekend. I focused on the drinks and starters and totally forgot that I need to make something sweet too. As my mother-in -law often says that dessert is the most important part of any meal!  I searched my stores cupboard and found a tin of fruit cocktail. Thus a brilliant idea struck me..why not make a fruit trifle.Aah... so many memories of Maa making tutty-frutty for us as kids. And every time we went to a restaurant for dinners we (me and my sis) always wanted that.  But a trifle needs cake crumbs and I had none..not even store bought cakes..those Britannia ones. Thanks to google I found a recipe to make chocolate muffins in 2 mins in the micro. Now there was no stopping me.Let me also share with you the muffin recipe me its so handy.

First am noting the easy choco muffin recipe and then we move on to the trifle which actually has no cooking except for the custard ..its just an assembly job.

For the muffins:

Plain flour - 1 and 1/2  cup

Castor sugar - 1 cup

Cocoa powder - 1/2 cup

Baking powder - 1 tsp

Oil / butter - 3 tbsp.

Cream - 3/4th cup ( I used Amul cream )

Curd - 3/4th cup


In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients and mix well.

In another bowl mix all the wet ingredients.

Now add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture gradually mixing well with a spoon.

Put a spoonful of this mix into muffin moulds ( microwave safe) and bake for 2 mins at high power.

They will be ready. Surprised?? Even I was!My little boy ate up a few muffins just like that!

For the trifle:

Fruit cocktail - 1 small tin ( easily available in the supermarkets . I always have in a tin in stock)

Vanilla custard - 2 cups ( prepare the custard acc to the instruction given on the pack)

Cherries - for garnish


Its best to serve these in individual glasses or cocktail bowls but you could make it in a glass dish(those borosil ones) as well.

First make a layer of the chocolate muffins crumbled in the glasses.

Next put in the fruit mixture along with a little of the syrup in which the fruits are soaked.

Then again a layer of the cake crumbs.

Lastly pour in a few spoon fulls of the custard and garnish with cherries.

Chill for an hour and serve!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A rainy morning and some Mango Cinnamon Cake

The monsoon has finally arrived in the city and I cant be more thrilled. Well, if you decide to overlook the mud, the slush, the bad traffic, pathetic roads and the patchy feeling then monsoon is actually the most beautiful season. I mean just see all the green around you ..its so soothing. My plants are so happy and there is a lush green carpet of grass in my garden.

So, when I woke up in the morning today I decided to bake a cake. To be honest I really have to push myself for baking as you all know by now is not my forte.But then life is all about facing your fears and overcoming them..too much gyan. Coming back to my cake..I opened the newspaper and was so happy to find a beautiful mango cake looking at me!In an instant I decided to bake one. The recipe given there seemed a bit complicated to me so I decided to use my basic sponge cake recipe and add mango to it. It was a chance I was taking and I am happy that it worked well. Take a look here...


Plain flour - 2 cups

Fine sugar - 1 1/2 cup

Refined oil - 1/2 cup

Eggs - 4 nos

Baking powder - 1 tsp

Mango pulp - 1 cup ( I used overripe mangoes..whizzed then in the blender and sieved out the pulp)

Cinnamon powder - 1 tsp


Preheat oven to 200 deg C. Grease and line a round baking dish.

Whisk the eggs and sugar till pale in colour. Add the oil and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients - flour and baking soda.

Fold in the dry ingredients into the oil mixture. Lastly add the mango pulp and cinnamon powder and fold it into the mixture.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin and bake for 40 min till done.

Once done, cool on a wire rack.

Let the cake cool completely. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top and cut into equal slices.
Just a note here - The cake turns out a little dense so I recommend serving it with some whipped cream or better still some vanilla ice cream.

There you go - Mango Cinnamon Cake - oh so yummy!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Weekend cooking - Pork Vindaloo

I have now come back from my long summer break and have slowly started settling down in my space. To be honest by the end of it I was kind of missing it all. The husband had been fending for himself for too long now so the very first thing I decided to do is make him a nice pork curry. As usual I scoured the net for recipes and finally decided to make a vindaloo - it seemed a pretty easy dish to make.Of course many of you know about it as I have been hounding my readers on facebook with teasers! Well finally the dish was made and devoured by husband ( he had it for dinner last nite , for lunch today and says will have it for dinner again),,,so you see this is what keeps me going with love and care and feeding my dear ones! My little boy however added his one bit and insisted that Papa should eat some bhindi too along with the pork! I don't know how my husband coped with note the recipe here.


Pork  - 500 gms curry cut

Onions - 2 medium finely chopped

Garlic - 10 cloves minced

Ginger - 1 tbsp. minced

Kashmiri red chilli powder - 2 tsp

Refined oil - 1 tbsp.

Vinegar - 1 tbsp.

Hot water - 2 cups

For the marinade:

Cumin - 1 tbsp.

Dry red chilli - 6-8 nos ( adjust acc to your spice levels )

Peppercorns - 1 tsp

Cinnamon - 1 small stick

Turmeric powder - 2 tsp

Vinegar - 1 tbsp.

Salt - to taste

Cloves - 5-6 whole

Dry grind all these spices together and mix with the vinegar . Rub the pork pieces well with this marinade and leave it overnight.Leaving it overnight is a very important step as it definitely makes the pork succulent.

For the gravy:

In a thick bottomed pan add the oil. Once the oil heats up add the chopped onion,minced ginger and garlic and fry well till golden brown in colour.

Once that is done add the marinated pork along with all the juices . Roast the pork well till it gets a nice brown colour.

Add the two cups of hot water and the 1 tbsp. vinegar. Cover and let it simmer for 30-40 mins. By then the the gravy would have thickened and the pork cooked to perfection. Do taste for salt before you take it off the heat and add a little more if required.

There it is - your Pork Vindaloo is ready to be served with hot plain rice.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Zomato Bloggers Meet and some Malaysian Food

There are many perks of being a blogger and for me the best part is the friends I get to make with fellow bloggers. Recently I have become a part of the Kolkata Food Bloggers group ( thank you Kamalika for the initiative to get us all together) and life since then has been so much more fun. Today was one such fun day ...our bloggers group got invited for lunch by Zomato - your go to website for everything you need to know about eating out.
We were invited for lunch to a restaurant called Straits which specialises in Malaysian and Singaporean food.On reaching the venue we were greeted by the young and warm team of Ishita , Sohini , Angikaar , Devika and Saurav from Zomato... And at once we were made to feel at home.

the interiors of Straits

another view of the restaurant

Once everyone settled in we did a brief introduction of ourselves and by that time the food started coming in! We started with a refreshing juice of sugarcane and grenadine along with some Popiah - a version of the chicken spring roll.

The rolls were crisp and the filling of minced chicken along with some grounded peanuts was just right. The conversations kept flowing and so did laughter! Just then the main course was served. It was a platter of coconut rice ,chicken rendang , sambal egg and a side of peanuts of anchovies.

 The portions were big considering a small eater like me and to be very honest I couldn't do justice to the platter. Dessert was flavourful Sago Gula Meleka' which was sabudana soaked and served with creamy coconut cream along with some icecream. I quite liked it!

All in all it was an afternoon full of chatters , of meeting new people  and basically so much fun. I am signing off here with some images from the meet .

the Straits menu

loved their placemats
this was at the entrance
and that's us! Pls excuse the bad quality of the picture.
goodies we got from Zomato
To know more about Straits you can check out their details on Zomato here

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fishy tales - Tel Koi - Spicy fish curry

I have been so fascinated by Koi Maach..I tried googling for its English name but didn't find a satisfactory name so am going to stick with "Koi". As a child I dared not eat this fish as it is full of small sharp bones but the taste is just so unique so I would ask maa to clear the bones and put the flesh on my plate and I would devour it. Over the years it is only when I visit Maa that I get to eat Koi maach.By the way even today she has to clear the bones for me but that's what moms are all about! "Tel Koi" is her speciality and this is her recipe that I am sharing with you today.

It is a very Bengali fish as far as my knowledge goes and this recipe that I am sharing is a spicy one in onion -ginger gravy and is best enjoyed with plain steamed rice. I would also advise anyone trying this dish that you must get the fish cleaned from the market as its almost impossible to clean it at home.

I suddenly remembered another story about cleaning Koi my thammas home I would see the Koi maach being cleaned on a bed of ash as it is otherwise too slippery even to hold. Life is made of such wonderful food memories that I could just go on and on : )


Koi maach - 4 - 6 nos washed and cleaned.

Onion paste - 4 tbsp.

Ginger paste - 1 tbsp.

Cumin paste - 2 tsp or you could use cumin powder same quantity

Turmeric - 1 tsp

Red chilli powder - 1 tsp or adjust acc to your spice levels

Bay leaves - 2-3 nos

Green chillies - 6-8 nos half slit

Mustard oil - 4 tbsp. for frying the fish + 2 tbsp. for gravy + 2 tbsp. for garnish

Salt - to taste


First of all, take the cleaned koi fish , rub with turmeric and salt and fry in hot mustard oil.

Keep the fried fish aside.

For the gravy:

In a pan heat the mustard oil. Add the bay leaves.

Next add the onion and ginger paste and fry till brown in colour. It is important to slow roast the paste so that there is no pungent smell of the onion.

Once browned add the cumin paste , turmeric , red chilli powder and salt. Fry well. Add water as required while frying.

Once the masala starts leaving oil on the sides ,know that it is ready. Add a cup of warm water.Once it simmers add the fried fish and the green chillies.

Let it simmer for 2-3 mins. Just before you turn of the heat add 2 tbsp. of raw mustard oil to the gravy. This Maa says makes all the difference!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pure bliss - Sabudanar Khichudi ( sabudana khichdi) - the bengali way

Today I am going to share a recipe here that I can proudly claim as heirloom. "Shagur khichudi" or sabudana khichdi is a speciality in our household and usually cooked on the Tuesdays of Jaishtha month of the Bengali calender. This recipe is very different from the traditional way one would make sabudana khichdi.But i can vouch that once you have made it the way its cooked for bhog you will just love it.The two ingredients used here is moong dal and sabudana..and just a few spices for tempering.In our household it is served with an array of bhajas ( fried veggies)


Moong dal - 2 cup ( washed and soaked in water for 10 mins)

Sabudana - 1 cup ( soaked in water for 10 mins)

Ghee - 4 tbsp

Paanchphoron - 1 tsp

Dry red chilli - 3-4 nos

Bay leaves - 2-3 nos

Ginger - 2 tbsp finely chopped

Green chillies - 4-5 slit

Sugar - 1tbsp

Salt - to taste


In a thick bottomed pan add the ghee. Once the ghee is heated splutter the paanchphoron , bay leaves and dry red chillies.

Next add the soaked moong dal and fry thoroughly till the dal changes its colour.

Now add the chopped ginger. Add 6 cups water,cover and let the dal boil till cooked and the consistency adjusted.

Add the sugar and green chillies next and give it a good mix.

The next step is to add the sabudana. We don't want to overcook the sabudana.Once you have added the sabudana just let it simmer for 5 mins and it  will be done.

The last step is to add the salt to taste. Do not add the salt earlier as then the sabudana will not cook properly.

Serve hot with an array of bhajas - we had it with potol (pointed gourd) , aloo(potato) begun (brinjal) and kumro(pumpkin). It is sheer bliss i tell you.