Sep 28, 2012

Microwave Idli

Microwave Idli
A quick healthy breakfast

Idli is a south Indian snack or breakfast item made of rava(semolina) and curd batter. It’s steamed so it is extremely healthy. The recipe is very basic and you can add spices to it, or make special relishes or chutneys to go with it according to your tastes. The coconut chutney goes best with this. It’s made in a steamer traditionally, but with the common use of microwaves in our homes, making idli is not very quick and effortless. All you need is a microwave and a microwave safe idli maker(moulds). I got mine with my whirlpool microwave itself, but you can easily buy one from the utensil store or a supermarket.

Serves 4
Cooking time 5 mins
Prep time 10 mins
Semolina/Rava 1 ½ cup
Curd 2 cups
Baking powder ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Oil for greasing the moulds

  • Make the batter for idli by mixing the curd and semolina in a bowl. Mix well.
  • You can add little water if required to get a thick smooth consistency.
  • Add salt and baking powder. Mix well. Let it stand for 8-10 mins.
  • Grease the idli moulds.
  • Put 1 spoonful of batter in each mould.
  • In the outer container, put ½ cup water.
  • Place the moulds in the container and cover the lid.
  • Put the container in the microwave for 4 mins on 100% power (750W)
  • When done, take the moulds out and let them rest for 1 min.
  • Take out the idlis and let them rest in a plate for 1 min.
  • Serve with coconut relish or any chutney of your choice.

Chef Tips: You can also add a pinch of turmeric powder and red chili powder for taste and colour to the idlies.

Sep 26, 2012

Mutton Chaap (Goat’s meat ribs)

Mutton Chaap (Goat’s meat ribs)
Triple tested and tried recipe for beginners and experts too – Get perfect mutton each and every time.

Mutton chaap or the goat’s ribs is a delicacy in most parts in India esp northern and eastern regions. Mutton chaap forms a staple in Kashmiri non-vegetarian foods. It can be made in a lot of ways, dry, with gravy,spicy or mild, brown or red gravy and so on. I created this recipe the first time I was making non veg meal and surprisingly it turned out amazingly good. I guess beginner’s luck! But I kept following and improvising that recipe over months, and now it turns out perfect each time. You can make it in 45 mins flat and no preparation ahead needed other than ingredients. You can make it in a dry version for the starters and add water to gravy later to serve as a main course with roti, naan or rice. Must try and I recommend this from experience. This is my treasured and foolproof recipe.

Serves 4
Cooking time 45 mins

500 gms Mutton Chaap
4 medium onions
2 green chillies
10 garlic cloves
1 inch ginger piece
A bunch Fresh green coriander 100 gms
1 tsp Hing
1 tsp Jeera
½ tsp Red Chili Powder
1 tsp Dry coriander powder
½ tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Meat Masala (any-I used Everest)
Salt to taste
3-4 tbsp Oil to pan fry

  • Finely slice all 4 onions. Chop the garlic, ginger and chilies.
  • In a pan, heat 1 tbsp oil. Add garlic, ginger ,green chilies and ½ of the sliced onions.
  • Heat till onions get browned. Turn off the gas.
  • Chop the coriander.
  • In a mixer grinder, make a paste of this browned onions Masala and coriander.
  • In the same pan, add little more oil and just sear the mutton chaaps. Searing means heat the oil and then just pan fry the chaaps so that the sides turn a little brown. Heat 2-3 mins only on each side. Keep aside.
  • In a pressure cooker, heat 1 tbsp oil. You can take the same oil in which you seared the mutton.
  • Add hing and jeera. When jeera splits, add the rest of the sliced onions.
  • Keep the flame on medium. Stir till the onions get light golden brown.
  • Then add the Masala paste made in the mixer. Add the spices and the meat Masala and salt. Mix well.
  • Add the mutton pieces to this Masala and mix well so they are coated nicely with the Masala and absorb all flavours well.
  • Then add 1 glass or 200 ml water and increase the flame.
  • Cover the lid and cook for 3 whistles.
  • Then open the lid and cook on low flame for 5-10 mins till the gravy/sauce is reduced to the desired consistency.
  • Check with a knife or eat a small piece to see if mutton is cooked properly.
  • Turn off the gas, and take out only the pieces if serving as a starter or add a little water and make a thin curry and serve as a main course with rice.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander and onions on the side and serve hot this tasty yummy hearty homely appetizer!

Sep 25, 2012

Refreshing Apple Avocado Cucumber Salad

Refreshing Apple Avocado Cucumber Salad
Tasty healthy and quick salad with a really easy recipe. The dressing that’s used is made with common ingredients of our pantry and can be used in almost all salads. Cuucmber and apple make this salad really refreshing and avocado gives it a textural dimension. You can also add pear and olives to the salad. This is act as a complete meal for weight watchers, and they can add even berries to add more antioxidants.

Serves 2-3
Preparation time 10 mins
Salad Ingredients
Apple 1
Avocado(Butter fruit) 1
Tomato 1
Cucumber 1
Black Olives 1 tsp
Extra Virgin olive oil 2 tsp
Vinegar 2 tsp
Mustard sauce 1 tsp
Salt and pepper to taste
Homey 1 tsp

Salad Dressing
Take vinegar, olive oil, mustard sauce, honey and salt & pepper in a cup and mix well.

  • Dice the apple, cucumber, butter fruit/avocado and tomato.
  • In a salad bowl, take all the diced veggies and fruits and pour 2-3 tbsp of dressing on it.
  • Mix lightly and serve the healthy salad before or with the meal.

Sep 23, 2012

World Cuisines Quiz!

Let's see how much we all know about the world cuisines outside our kitchens!

Share this quiz link with friends and have some fun!

Sep 21, 2012

Kanda Poha - Pressed rice with tempering of Onions and Mustard seeds

Kanda Poha

Pressed rice with tempering of onions and mustard seeds
Poha is a typical breakfast in Maharashtra and many parts of UP and MP. Healthy and tasty and very quick to make, it’s perfect for breakfast especially when you got very less time to cook and eat it! This can be made in a lot of variants, kanda poha or poha with onions being the most common and popular.

Pohe or poha is a snack made of flattened rice. Flattened rice (also called beaten rice) is dehusked rice which is flattened into flat light dry flakes. These flakes of rice swell when added to liquid, whether hot or cold, as they absorb water, milk or any other liquids. The thicknesses of these flakes vary between almost translucently thin (the more expensive varieties) to nearly four times thicker than a normal rice grain.

Flattened rice can be eaten raw by immersing it in plain water or milk, with salt and sugar to taste, or lightly fried in oil with nuts, raisins, cardamoms, and other spices. The lightly fried variety is a standard breakfast in Malvaa region (surrounding Indore) of Madhya Pradesh. It can be reconstituted with hot water to make a porridge or paste, depending on the proportion of water added. In villages, particularly in Chhattisgarh, Poha or Chivra is also eaten raw by mixing with jaggery

In Indore, poha is cooked with lightly frying mustard seeds, turmeric, chili powder, finely chopped onions and then moistened poha is added to the spicy mix and steamed for a few minutes. Jalebi is often eaten with poha.
Flattened rice is in a way, a convenience food and very similar to Bread in usage ( in making breading for meat or for adding crunch) .

Onions, chopped 2 medium
Pressed rice (poha) thick variety 400 grams
Salt to taste
Oil 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida a pinch
Curry leaves 6-7
Peanuts 1 tbsp, 20-30 nuts
Green chillies, chopped 2-3
Turmeric powder ½ teaspoon
Lemon juice 2 teaspoon
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped 2 tablespoons

Kanda poha
  • Wash the poha in a colander.
  • Poha should be moist but not mashed.
  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Add mustard seeds and when they splutter add asafoetida and curry leaves.
  • Sauté for half a minute and add onions and continue to sauté.
  • Add green chillies and mix.
  • Add turmeric powder and mix. Sauté for two minutes and add poha.
  • Mix and cook till poha is heated through and looks uniform.
  • Add lemon juice and mix lightly. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with tea!

Chef Tip: You can also sprinkle some sev or alu bhujia for garnishing. Boiled potatoes or shredded coconut can also be added when adding poha.

Besan ka Seera

 Besan ka Seera
Besan ka Seera
A dessert which is a home remedy for cold and dry throat! This besan ka seera or sheera, is really delicious, very easy to make and is especially beneficial for any throat related issue or severe cold. It’s made with Besan (Gram flour) and Ghee (clarified butter), so it sooths the dry throat and makes for a great dessert as well. It’s always served hot, so often made during winters. You can add nuts such as almonds, cashews and raisins to it, and it’s very healthy and nutritious for growing kids. Try the recipe at home and let me know how it went..I hope you try it for taste first and not when someone’s down with cold.

Serves: 4
Cooking Time: 30 Mins
Besan (Gram Flour) 1 ½ cups
Sugar 3/4 Cup
Ghee (Clarified butter) 1 tbsp or ½ cup
Water 3 cups
Crushed nuts and raisins : 1 cup [optional – Do not add nuts when serving for cold/cough as nuts make the throat dry]

Besan Seera with milk
  • Heat ghee in a nonstick pan.
  • On the other stove, bring the water to a boil and dissolve the sugar in it. Keep aside.
  • To the ghee, add besan. Keep the flame on lowest as the besan burns quickly.
  • Keep stirring every 10 seconds so the besan doesn’t burn.
  • After 10-12 mins, you’ll notice a smell of besan like laddoos or a very distinct smell of roasted gram flour. Cook till the ghee starts separating.
  • At this time, add nuts and keep stirring for 1-2 mins more till the besan gets light brown in color.
  • Then slowly add the sugar water and keep stirring so lumps don’t form.
  • Turn off the stove, and serve hot garnished with chopped almonds.

Chef tip: You can also add a little milk in the water, i.e. 2 cups water 1 cup milk , to dissolve the sugar. For cold though, do not add milk as milk tends to increase chest congestion.

Sep 19, 2012

Aloo Mutter – Potato & Peas Curry

Aloo Mutter – Potato & Peas Curry
Aloo Mutter
Aloo Mutter
My mouth starts watering when I think of the school days when I came back from home and mom had this curry ready for lunch. This is one of the basic Indian curry recipes and can be changed for any of the other vegetables you can add to it. You can also add Paneer in the same recipe to make mutter paneer or add cauliflower or gourd. I’ll edit for the other recipes and post very soon. Do send in any special requests or any queries. Till then, read the recipe for this luscious curry and get applauded by your family and guests!

Serves 4
Cooking Time 30 mins
4 medium sized potatoes
1 cup Peas
1 onion finely chopped
2 tomatoes pureed
1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
1 tsp Jeera/cumin
1 tsp Coriander powder
½ tsp Hing/Asafoetida
1 tsp garam Masala
1 Green Chili
½ tsp red chili powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Oil 1 tbsp

  • Wash, peel and dice the potatoes.
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add hing and jeera.
  • When jeera splits, add the onions, ginger garlic paste, and chopped green chili.
  • When onions turn light golden brown, add the tomato puree and mix well. Recue the flame to lowest.
  • Keep stirring every 2-3 mins till the tomatoes get cooked and paste gets thick.
  • Add the dry spices, potatoes and peas. Mix well.
  • Add 2 ½ cups water and salt to taste.
  • Turn on the flame to medium. Cover the lid and cook for 2 whistles.
  • Turn off the stove and let it rest.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with roti or naan.

Sep 18, 2012

Mutter Paneer (Cottage Cheese & Peas Masala)

Mutter Paneer
Cottage Cheese & Peas Masala
Recipe for the melt in your mouth paneer Masala is here. This thick gravy paneer recipe is a must have for everyone who gets guests at home! A crowd pleaser and vegetarians love it. Spicy, thick, flavourful and delicious. You can have this with roti, naan or even rice. For rice, you just have to add more water to the recipe. For a different taste, you can also fry the paneer before putting in the curry if you like firm texture.

Serves 4
Cooking Time 30 mins
200 gms Cottage Cheese / Paneer
1 cup Peas
1 onion finely chopped
2 tomatoes pureed
1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
1 tsp Jeera/cumin
1 tsp Coriander powder
½ tsp Hing/Asafoetida
1 tsp garam Masala
1 Green Chili
½ tsp red chili powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Oil 1 tbsp

  • Cut the cheese into cubes or triangles as you like. Keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a non stick pan/wok. Add hing and jeera.
  • When jeera splits, add the onions, ginger garlic paste, and chopped green chili.
  • When onions turn light golden brown, add the tomato puree and mix well.
  • Reduce the flame to lowest.
  • Keep stirring every 2-3 mins till the tomatoes get cooked and paste gets thick.
  • Add the dry spices, and peas. Mix well.
  • Add 1 ½ cups water and salt to taste.
  • Turn the flame to low, cover with lid and let it simmer for 10-15 mins.
  • Add the paneer. Turn off the stove, cover and let it rest for 5 mins.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with roti or naan.

Chef’s Tip: Add potatoes or cauliflower for variety. If a small amount of paneer Masala is leftover, you can keep it in the freezer. For the next meal, boil 2 potatoes and to the curry with ½ cup water and cook for 10 mins. Another dish is ready!

Arbi (Taro root) ki Sabji

Arbi or Taro root fry
Arbi ki Sabji Taro root Fry
Arbi or Taro root is a vegetable looking like a small ginger and has a lovely texture of sweet potato. You can make it whole in a curry or sliced in a side dish style. I loved this dry arbi sabji as a kid and even now. It goes really well with curd when dry. Some people have a tendency to get dry throat when they eat Taro root/arbi. If that‘s the case, you can try using the boiled Taro root curry. Here, I am sharing the traditional recipe of my naani’s house. Do try it once and let me know how it was!

Serves 4
Cooking time 30 mins
Arbi - 500 gms
Onions medium – 2
Hing – ½ tsp
Cumin seeds/Jeera – 1 tsp
Red chili powder – ½ tsp
Dry coriander powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Garam Masala – ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tbsp

  • Wash the arbi and peel the skin.
  • Cut the arbi into half lengthwise and then slice it into medium thickness slices.
  • Slice the onions similarly.
  • In a nonstick pan, heat oil.
  • Once hot, add hing and jeera.
  • When jeera splits, add the onions.
  • Stir the onions, and let them cook till they get translucent/light pink.
  • Keep the flame on medium. Then add the arbi and mix well.
  • After 5 mins, mix again and leave again for 5 mins on medium flame so that some slices of arbi and onions get crispy.
  • Now reduce the flame to lowest and add chili powder, turmeric, dry coriander, garam Masala and salt.
  • Mix well. Sprinkle a little water in the pan and cover with a lid. Let it cook for 10-15 mins till the arby gets a little soft.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with roti and curd.

Sep 16, 2012

Three Cheese Pizza

Delicious Traditional 
Three Cheese Pizza
Three Cheese Veg Pizza
Dominoes is gonna charge you almost 500 rs or 10$ for this pizza, and you can make the same at home for say 150 rs max! That too because cheeses are slightly expensive. But you substitute maybe gouda for processed cheese and have a tasty Italian affordable meal in the comfort of your home!! Ingredients are easily available in all basic grocery shops, and cheeses you can easily get in any supermarket. I tried this recipe after watching an Italian show and I wanted to make a pizza from scratch. As I was kneading the dough, I heard the dominoes three cheese pizza ad on tv!! Luckily my sister in law had come from Germany a few days back and I had all cheeses in the fridge! I invited my school friend over for dinner, and trust me, the meal was great! It’s mostly a basic recipe for a veg pizza, but non vegetarians can all chicken or sea food as per their taste. I’ll post for non veg pizza very soon. Do try it, I’m sure your kids would want you catering for their next B’day bash!!
Click here to know more about the History of Pizza!

Serves 2 large pizzas or 3-4 medium ones
Ingredients for the Dough
3 cups (400g) plain flour
2 tsp dried yeast
2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
3 tbsp olive oil

Method for making dough
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 30-60 minutes
  • Place flour, yeast and salt in a bowl and mix. 
  • Gradually add the water and olive oil then knead by hand for 7-10 minutes until the dough is smooth. 
  • Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap. Set aside in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes to an hour until it almost doubles in volume.
  • Knead dough gently for a few minutes to remove some air. 
  • Divide dough in two and roll out pizza bases. Sprinkle a little flour on the bench before rolling to prevent dough from sticking.

Toppings for the Veg Pizza
½ Red and green capsicum each – finely sliced
1 Tomato diced
1 onion finely sliced
Black olives 1 tbsp
Paneer 100 gms cut into small cubes [optional]
Cheddar cheese ½ cup
Mozzarella Cheese ¾ cup [or processed cheese]
Gouda Cheese ½ cup
Processed cheese 1 cup
Pizza Sauce
3 medium tomatoes pureed
½ Onion finely chopped
Garlic cloves 5
Olive oil 1 tbsp
Oregano 1 tsp
Basil 1 tsp
Salt and pepper to taste
Making the sauce
  • Heat olive oil in a small pan. Once hot, add crushed garlic cloves.
  • Once garlic is soft, add onions and sauté till they become pink.
  • Add tomato puree, oregano, basil, pepper and salt.
  • Mix well, and cook for 5-6 mins on medium flame, till tomatoes form a homogeneous mixture.

Making the pizza
  • Roll out the dough in the shape of the pizza base, round and thicker than a roti. 
  • You can later press with your fingers instead of belan/rolling pin.
  • Spread 1 spoonful of tomato sauce made on the pizza.
  • Sprinkle ½ cup processed cheese on the base. (For a large pizza. Reduce cheese if it’s a smaller pizza)
  • Arrange the toppings on onions tomatoes, capsicums, olives and Paneer on top.
  • Sprinkle mozzarella, cheddar and Gouda cheese on the top of these veggies.
  • Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C or 350F.
  • Bake for 20-25 mins till the cheeses have melt and browned a little on the edges.
  • Cut into 4 or 6 slices each and serve with ketchup. You can also sprinkle some red chili flakes on top if you like it spicy!
Click here to know more about the History of Pizza!

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