16 December 2012

Butter Cookies with Chocolate Leaves

Time for the jingle bells and celebrations.. Its that time of the year when the whole world is celebrating. Its the time for festive cooking. This year lets gear up and give our friends and family home made gifts from our kitchen. How about butter cookies with a twist? Butter cookies with chocolate leaves.

Recipe adapted from here

For the cookie dough:
All purpose flour - 400 g
Sugar - 125 g
Butter - 200 g (I used unsalted cold butter)
Egg - 1
Salt - 1/4 tsp

For the chocolate leaves
Dark chocolate - 200 g
fresh rose leaves

Preheat oven to 180 degree C for 15 minutes.
Chop the butter into cubes.
In a mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients and knead it to form a ball.
Divide it into 3 portions and knead again.
Place one roll at a time on butter paper/ parchment paper and roll it out to a thickness of 0.3cm.
Pile each flattened dough in between parchment papers and freeze for 30 minutes.
Remove from freezer and cut out the dough using cookie cutters of your choice.
Place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment and freeze again for 15 minutes.
Bake for 10 - 15 minutes or until it is just browned at the edges. (I baked it for 20 minutes).
Transfer it to a cooling rack.
Now to make chocolate leaves wash and pat dry rose leaves preferably small ones.
Melt chocolate using a double boiler method or in a microwave.
Using a small paint brush, paint the back of the leaves with chocolate. It has to be a thick even layer.
Place it slowly on a baking sheet and freeze for 60 minutes.
Remove from freezer and gently peel out the leaves.
Use melted and cooled chocolate to fix the leaves on to the cookies and place in the refrigerator until set.

Always preheat the oven before baking.
If you freeze the cookies after cutting it out they don't lose shape.
While cutting out leaves, leave a part of the stem too so that it is easier to hold and paint the leaf with chocolate.
Place the chocolate leaves on the cookie only after the cookie has cooled down.

02 December 2012

Dosa / Indian Rice and Lentil Crepes

Who does not like a crispy dosa. I can have it at any time of the day be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. Masala Dosas have become famous all over the world now. This is one breakfast that everyone loves at home. And the most frequently ordered breakfast at our resort. We always have cooking classes for our long stay guests on request and it feels so good to see them watch in awe how these beautiful crepes are made. And jump with joy when they get it right through trial and error. :) So as per my guests request here is the recipe for dosas we make at home.

Dosas are best made on a cast iron griddle. The texture is so different and lovely compared to the non stick pans. Dosas taste best with shallots sambar, coconut chutney and potato masala. We usually make coconut groundnut chutney at home.

Par boiled rice / Idly rice - 3 cups
Urad Dal / Skinned black gram (whole) - 1 cup
Chana Dal / Split chickpeas gram - 3 tbsp
Methi Seeds / Fenugreek Seeds - 1 tsp
Salt - as required

Soak all the ingredients except salt for 6 hours or minimum 3 hours. Fill with water so that the ingredients are submerged and there is water 2 inch above it.
Grind it into a paste (but not very fine paste, it should be slightly grainy) in a wet grinder. It should coat a spoon well.
Let the batter ferment overnight.
Add salt before making dosas.
Heat the seasoned griddle. It is very important that the griddle is of the right temperature. Drizzle little water and it should sizzle and evaporate immediately.
Turn the heat to medium low.
Take a laddle or even a small steel bowl and pour a laddle (approx 1/4 cup) of batter on to the griddle. Then start making concentric circles using this laddle or bowl in a quick motion.
Turn the heat to medium high.
Drizzle little oil or ghee on the dosa. Use a spatula to evenly spread the oil.
When the dosa turns golden on the edges and leaves the pan flip it. Turn the flame to low.
When the dosa is done flip it back and roll it.  Serve hot with sambar, coconut chutney and potato    bhaji. 

Tips to make the perfect dosa:
1. It is very important that the batter ferments well. If you are living in a cold region place the batter in a warm place. You can preheat an oven for 5 minutes. Switch off and then place the batter in it to ferment. Don't forget to close the oven. :)
2. The consistency of the batter should be thinner than idli batter and not too runny. If the batter is too thick add little water to get the right consistency. So it is better to add only as much water that is required to grind it. Water can be added later also.
3. Make sure the batter is stored in a vessel that can hold twice the amount of batter.
4. The griddle temperature should be right. If it is too hot you will not be able to spread the batter. If you have seen dosas made in open kitchen restaurants you will see that water is splashed on the griddle, wiped clean and then the dosa batter is poured.
5. If you have difficulty removing the dosas from the cast iron griddle smear little gingelly oil on it and wipe off with a kitchen tissue. Or dip a piece of onion in this oil and smear on it.
6. Chana Dal gives that golden colour to the dosas and fenugreek gives the fluffiness to the batter.
7. You can refrigerate the batter and use it for 2-3 days. But make sure you bring it back to room temperature before making dosas.
8. If you are making paper dosa just scrape off the excess batter from top of the dosas and there is no need to flip it. Just roll it once done.
9. It is better to have these crisp dosas as soon as you make it. The more you keep it, dosas become soggy and lose their crispiness.
10. Do not use the cast iron griddle used to make dosas for any other cooking purposes.

25 November 2012

Walnut and Figs Pudding with Toffee Sauce

The best part about having a blog is that you are motivated to try out new recipes all the time and that whenever friends think of gifting they have no doubts about what to get  :) One of our guests and friend Egbert got this fresh packet of walnuts all the way from Kashmir. Thanks Egy. Puddings are my weakness and always enjoy it when others make it for me. It's sheer laziness to make them. I usually sit back and enjoy the puddings that my sis Nishna makes. 

Walnut and figs are my favorites. I found this recipe at 'What Katie Ate' blog while looking out for recipes with nuts. Since we don't get pecans here, I substituted it with walnuts. Loved the taste of figs and walnut in the pudding. It is a really rich pudding and the toffee sauce gives that subtle  flavour in between. With the Christmas season coming up this pudding is gonna win many hearts.

Dried Figs - 175 g cut into 1/4 inch strips
Strong Coffee - 50 ml * see notes 1

Walnuts - 3/4 cup chopped into small pieces
Unsalted Butter - 90 g (at room temperature)
Brown Sugar - 150 g
Eggs - 2 lightly beaten
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Self Raising Flour - 175 g
Hot water - 125 ml

For the toffee sauce:
Unsalted Butter - 125 g
Brown Sugar - 175 g
Instant coffee powder - 1/4 tsp (my addition to the recipe)
Cream - 125 ml


Preheat oven to 180 degrees for 15 minutes.
Grease and prepare a 1 L pudding basin or bundt pan.*See notes 2
Chop the figs and walnuts.
Prepare the coffee and soak the figs in it for 15 minutes.
Place the butter and sugar in a bowl. Mix it well.
Lightly beat the eggs and add it to the bowl.
Sprinkle the baking powder.
Tip in the flour and mix well with a wooden spatula.
When smooth add in the soaked figs along with any coffee left and walnuts. Mix well.
Now add in the hot water and combine well.
Pour the batter into the pudding basin or bundt pan.
Cover the surface with a baking paper and then cover tightly with foil.
Bake for 50 - 60 minutes or until the skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. *See notes 4
Meanwhile make the toffee sauce. Place the butter and brown sugar in a sauce pan on low heat till the butter has melted and sugar dissolved.
Add in 1/4 tsp instant coffee powder and mix well.
Stir in the cream and increase heat to medium. Bring it to just below boiling point and reduce heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes.
Turn the pudding on to a plate and pour the toffee sauce on top.
Top it with the nuts if you wish.
Serve warm.

1. To prepare strong coffee boil 50 ml water and add in 1 tbsp instant coffee powder. I used Nescafe.
2. I used a non stick bundt pan. So I did not line it. If you are not using one then line it with baking paper.
3. Place the pan on the middle rack in the oven.
4. Time required to bake may differ. Check after 30 minutes.

20 November 2012

Chemmeen Masala / Prawns Masala

There are some old recipes written by hand and kept in my favorite recipe folder. These are ones that came to my rescue after marriage. Most of them are my mom's, amma's, aunts or cousins and some them of them from the web world. This is one recipe I got from a website but at that time never thought of writing down which site it was from. I have special memories associated with each of these scraps of paper. It surely makes me smile. I am sure it will make you smile too. So here is the recipe for prawns masala.

Prawns - 280 g shelled and deveined

For Marination:
Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Salt - as required

For Masala:
Onions - 2 cups tightly packed, finely chopped
Green Chillies - 1 slit into two
Ginger Paste - 1 tsp
Garlic Paste - 1 tsp
Kashmiri Chilli Powder - 1 tbsp
Coriander Powder - 2 tbsp
Tomato - 1 cup finely chopped, loosely packed
Coriander Leaves - 1/4 cup finely chopped
Water - 1 cup
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - as required

Marinate prawns with pepper, turmeric and salt. Leave it marinated for 1/2 hour.
Heat oil in a kadai/ wok.
Add in the ginger, garlic paste and saute for 10 secs.
Now add in the chopped onions, chilly and saute till light brown.
Tip in the masalas and stir well for 1 minute on low flame.
Stir in the tomato, add 1/4 tsp salt and saute. Close and cook on low till tomatoes are mashed well.
Open the lid and add the prawns. Mix well.
Add 1 cup water, check salt and let cook on low for 10 minutes.
Open and cook on high for another 5 minutes till the gravy is thick.
Remove from stove and garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve with rotis or rice.

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18 November 2012

Mutta Choru / Egg Rice

When it comes to weekends I always go in for one pot meals. I am sure by now everyone has gotten over the celebration mood and back to work on full swing. It's always fun when festivals arrive. There is so much activity and happiness around. But the good news is that the festive season is not over yet. We still have Christmas and New Year. 

This weekend I would like to share an easy recipe with you all. Something the kids will love instead of the usual rice and curries. My son always comes from school asking 'what is special for lunch today?' It is really hard to please these little pranksters. What I like about this recipe is that it does not have too much of that egg-y taste. It is a mild version which I found in one of my Amma's old cut outs from Vanitha magazine. So here it is..

Short Grain Rice - 2 cups
Water - 4 cups
Ghee - 1 1/2 tbsp
Salt - as required

Eggs - 4 medium
Pepper - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Salt - as required

Onions - 2 large (finely chopped)
Chilly - 1 or 2 slit into 2 ( as per tolerance level)
Oil - 1 tbsp

Coriander Leaves - 2 tbsp finely chopped
Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs

Clean and wash the rice. Drain water and transfer it to a colander.
Boil 4 cups water and add salt as required.
Heat the ghee in a non stick kadai or pan.
Fry the rice in it for five minutes stirring continuously on medium to low flame.
Pour the boiled water into the rice. Bring it to a boil on high flame. 
Close with a lid and cook for 15 minutes on low flame. While cooking toss the rice once after 10 minutes.
Crack the eggs into a bowl. Add in the turmeric, pepper, coriander powder and salt. Fluff it well using a fork or wire whisk till well incorporated.
In a  medium size pan heat the oil. Fry the onions and chilly till slightly brown in colour.
Add in the egg mixture and scramble it.
Now add in the cooked rice. Toss and mix well.
Garnish with curry leaves and coriander leaves.
Serve with cucumber raita, pappad and pickle.

1. Short grain rice refers to what we call ghee rice / Neychottari in Kerala also called as Kaima Rice/ Jeerakasala Rice. The picture of it is shown below. This is best in making biriyani.

2. After pouring in the boiled water into the rice just stir once. Stirring too much will make the rice mushy. So check the salt in the water before pouring it into the rice.
3. Do not fry the rice for more than 5 minutes. The right time is when the grains start breaking.
4. You can chop the chilly fine, if you are making it for adults. And increase the number depending on your spice tolerance level.

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09 November 2012

Chenna Payas / Cottage Cheese Pellets in Thickened Milk - Diwali Special

Chenna Payas is a must try sweet famous in Bengal and Orissa. Soft cottage cheese balls are cooked in thickened milk. It is served chilled. Other Diwali Sweets you could check out here are - RasogollasJalebis, Carrot Halwa and Badam Halwa
I am sure all are geared up for the Diwali celebrations.Wishing all my well wishers, readers and blogger friends a happy, fun filled and safe Diwali!

Recipe Source: 100 great recipes of India

For the soft cottage cheese (chennas):
Milk - 2 1/2 litre
Vinegar or Lemon Juice - 4 tbsp

For the sugar syrup:
Sugar - 300 g
Water - 5 cups or 1 litre
Refined Flour - 5 tsp

For the thickened milk / rabri:
Milk - 1 liter + 1/2 cup( to cook the remaining cottage cheese)
Sugar - 4 tbsp
Green Cardamom Powder - 1/2 tsp
Saffron - a few strands

For garnish
Almonds - 2 tsp (slivered)
Pistachios - 2 tsp(slivered)
Saffron - a few strands

Boil the milk in a pan. When it starts to boil reduce flame. Add the lime/ vinegar. Continue to cook and stir  till the milk curdles completely.
Drain it into a muslin cloth kept in a sieve. Wash the cottage cheese thoroughly under running water.
Lift the cloth from all four sides and twist it to remove water content.
Transfer it to a wide mouthed bowl to knead. Mash the chenna well.
Press the dough and push it in the opposite direction from you. Keep repeating this till you get soft cottage cheese. Knead for approximately 5 minutes. Keep aside.
Now start to prepare the sugar syrup. Boil water in a wide mouthed pot. Add sugar and stir till the sugar is fully dissolved.
When the syrup starts to boil lower heat and add the refined flour. Stir well.
Let the syrup become frothy. Continue to cook on very slow flame.
Meanwhile start preparing the chenna balls. They should be very small in size (approx a little bigger than the size of a Kabuli Channa). Make chenna balls from 3/4 of the cottage cheese.
In another pan pour the milk to prepare the rabri / thickened milk.
Bring the milk to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer till it is reduced to 1/3 the quantity. Add in the sugar and stir till fully dissolved.
In the meantime, transfer the chenna balls into the sugar syrup. Continue to simmer until they swell to double the size (approximately 20 minutes).
Remove the dumplings or chenna balls using a slotted spoon and keep aside to cool.
In a kadai boil 1/2 cup milk. Add in remaining well mashed chenna and cook till the mixture begins to leave the sides.Remove from heat and let cool.
When the milk for the rabri has been reduced to 1/3 the quantity, remove from heat and add in the saffron and cardamom powder. 
Add in the cooked chenna mixture to the milk and continue to cook for 10 - 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
When cool gently lower the dumplings or chenna balls into the mixture. 
Serve chilled garnished with pistachios, almonds and saffron.

1.Once you add the vinegar or lime keep stirring on low flame till the milk curdles completely.
2.The chenna or cottage cheese is washed to remove the taste of the vinegar or lime and also to make it soft.
3.Twist the muslin cloth well to remove water completely.
4.The cottage cheese needs to be kneaded well to make a nice soft dough.
5.The dumplings should not have any crack else they will break on cooking.
6. The sugar syrup should be frothy and of one string consistency before you add in the dumplings. Smear a little syrup on your forefinger. Press it between your thumb and forefinger. Slowly pull. You can see a string form.
7.Use a wide mouthed pot or kadai to make the sugar syrup so that the dumplings fit into it without overcrowding.
7.While serving if the rabri is too thick add in some milk.

03 November 2012

Vendakka Mezhukkupuratti / Okra Stir Fry Kerala Style

Okra / Ladies Finger is one of my favorite vegetable. Venda Mezhukkupuratti is an easy to make side dish for rice.

Tender Okra / Vendakka - 300 gms
Onion - 1 medium size thinly sliced
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Pepper Powder - 1/4 to 1/2 tsp (depending on spice tolerance)
Salt - as required
Coconut Oil - 2 tbsp

Wash and pat dry the okra.
Chop it into round pieces.
Heat oil in a non stick kadai or pan.
Stir fry the onions till translucent.
Add in the turmeric powder, pepper powder and salt. Stir for 10 secs.
Tip in the okra and stir. Check salt.
Cover and cook on slow flame. Stir in between.
Cook till okra is well cooked and coated with the masala.
Enjoy with rice.

Do not add water.
You can slit 2 chillies and add. Remember to remove it before serving.

27 October 2012

Mangalore Buns/ Bhubhus Rotti

Having spent almost 7 years in Mangalore, everything about this place is dear to me. Just love the food be it vegetarian or non vegetarian. After making my favorite Sannas and Neer Dosas, this time I tried the buns. The soft and fluffy buns are a treat with tea/coffee.


Refined Flour - 4 cups
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp

Ripe banana - 3 (small)
Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 1 cup
Curd - 5 tbsp
Ghee - 2 tsp
Oil - for deep frying

Sieve the flour, salt and baking soda 3 times.
Powder the sugar and add it to the flour along with cumin and ghee.
Mash the bananas and add it in.
Add the curd 1 tbsp at a time and knead it into a smooth firm dough.
Wrap it in a dry cloth and leave it for almost 6-7 hours.
Make small balls and roll it out like puris but a little thicker.
Heat oil. Fry the buns on medium flame on both sides till golden brown in colour and fluffy.
Transfer it to a plate or sieve lined with kitchen roll.
Serve with tea or coffee.

Measure 3 3/4 cup flour and mix first. Add in the rest if required to make a firm dough.
Powder the sugar after measuring it.
Make sure you use only as much curd as required. The water level in the curd differs. Use thick curds. 
Use ripe bananas and add it as soon as you mash it to avoid browning.
Before frying, test if the oil is hot by dropping a piece of the dough. It should fluff and come up immediately.

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11 October 2012

Thenga Mulaku Chamanthi / Coconut Chilly Chutney

Thenga Mulaku Chamanthi is one of my favorites since childhood. I still remember my Grandma making this on the ammi kallu (stone grinder) in a jiffy. It tastes so good with rice or with Kanji (rice porridge).

Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Dry Kashmiri Chilli / Piriyan Mulaku - 4
Garlic / Veluthulli- 3 cloves
Shallots / Cheriaulli - 4
Tamarind/ Valan Puli - size of a garbanzo bean
Curry leaves/ Kariveppila - 4 leaves
Salt - as required
Water - 4 - 5 tbsp

Dry roast the chilly for approximately 10 secs.
Mix all the ingredients except water in a dry grinder and grind it.
Add water and grind. Leave it slightly coarse.
Remove, check salt and serve.

You can use short dry red chillies instead of Kashmiri Chillies. In that case you will need just 2 nos. Adjust as per tolerance level.

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30 September 2012

Ayala Chuvannulli Curry / Mackerel Shallots Curry

Fresh Mackerel - love them. It is one of the 10 super foods to prevent heart disease. It is an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids and minerals which help body prevent heart problems. And if it is a yummy curry like this one I can have any amount of it.

Recipe Source - Shantha Aravindan

Mackerel / Ayila - 3 large cut into 3 pieces
Tamarind / Puli - size of a lime soaked in 2 cups water
Kashmiri Chilli Powder / Piriyan Mulaku Podi - 2 tbsp
Ginger / Inji - 2 tsp finely chopped
Garlic/ Veluthulli - 5 finely chopped
Green Chilly / Pacha Mulaku - 3 slit into 2
Tomato / Thakkali - 1 large roughly chopped
Salt - as required
Shallots / Chuvannulli - 1 cup finely chopped
Curry Leaves / Kariveppila- 1/4 cup finely chopped
Fenugreek Powder/ Uluva podi - 1/4 tsp
Coconut Oil / Velichenna - 2 tbsp

Cut and clean the Mackerel. Discard the head. Cut it into 3 broad pieces.
Soak the tamarind in water. Squeeze the tamarind in the water to extract the pulp. Strain and pour it into a wok/ pan.
Add in the chilly powder, turmeric, ginger, green chilly, garlic, tomato and salt.
Slowly add the fish.
Let it come to a boil on high flame. It will take appoximately 5 minutes for the fish to cook after it comes to a boil.
In the mean time, mix the shallots and curry leaves in the coconut oil. Squeeze well with hand and mix for 30 seconds.
Once the fish is cooked add the shallot mixture. Stir slowly. Check salt. Bring to boil for 30 seconds. Remove from flame and tip in the fenugreek powder on top.
Keep it closed for 15 minutes. Serve with rice or even chapathi.

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27 September 2012

Malabar Chemeen Biriyani / Malabar Prawns Biriyani

It's been a while since I cooked prawns. Just avoid it for health reasons. But it is still one of my favorites. Whenever I used to make rice with prawns my usual hassle free recipe is the Prawn Pulao but this time I wanted to try something different. Just love these one pot meals. 


Short Grain Rice / Neychottari - 2 1/2 cups
Cloves/ Grambu - 5
Cinnamon/ Patta - 2" two pieces
Cardamom/ Elakka - 1
Mace/ Jatipathri - 2
Fennel Seeds/ Perumjeerakam  - 1 tbsp
Star Anise/ Thakkolam- 1
Nutmeg /Jathikka - 1/4 piece
Water - 5 1/4 cup (for rice) + 1/4 cup (for masala)
Clarified Butter/Ghee - 2 tbsp

For Marination:
Prawns - 550g (cleaned)
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 3/4 tsp or as required

For Masala
Onions - 5 medium size thinly sliced
Ginger - 2" long piece
Garlic - 10 cloves
Chilly - 1 (increase as per tolerance level)
Tomato - 3 finely chopped

Coriander Powder - 2 tbsp
Biriyani Masala - 2 tsp
Coriander Leaves - 1/2 cup
Mint Leaves - 3 tbsp
Oil - 2tbsp + for frying onions + for shallow frying prawns
Salt - as required

For Seasoning
Fried Onion - 2 thinly sliced


Preparation of Ghee Rice:
Wash and strain the rice.
Measure 5 1/4 cup water and boil it along with the spices - Cloves, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Mace, Cumin Seeds, Star Anise and Nutmeg.
Add salt and bring to a boil.
In the meantime in a kadai/ non stick vessel heat the ghee and fry the rice for 5 minutes. Keep stirring.
Strain and pour in the boiling water into the rice. Stir once slowly. Check salt and close tightly. Lower flame. The rice will be done in 10-15 minutes.

Preparation of masala:
In a small kadai fry the onions and transfer it to a plate lined with kitchen tissue.
Shallow fry half of the prawns for 2-3 minutes. Transfer it to a plate lined with kitchen tissue.
Make a paste of the ginger, garlic and chilly.
Heat oil in a kadai/ wok. Saute the ginger garlic chilly paste.
Saute the onions. Tip in the masalas and saute for 1 minute on medium flame.
Make a paste of half the masala.
Pulse the mixer with 1/4 cup water to remove all the masala in it. Add back the paste along with the water and chopped tomatoes into the kadai and saute till tomatoes are soft.
Add the prawns that has not been fried along with the mint and coriander leaves. Mix well and cook for approx 3 minutes till prawns is cooked.
Now add the fried prawns.

Layering the rice and masala:
Fluff up the rice using a fork.
Layer first with half of the masala then the rice into the kadai. Sprinkle the fried onions.
Transfer the rest of the masala, the rice and remaining fried onions. Close the kadai with a lid and cook on low flame for 10 minutes.
Serve hot with cucumber raitha, pappad, mint chutney and pickle.

I prefer to make  a paste of half the masala as I don't like to see too many onions in my biriyani. This is optional.
Only half of the prawns are shallow fried. The uncooked prawns when cooked with the masala gives the distinct flavour to the masala and the rice.

12 September 2012

Tomato Rice

One easy way to get rid of the monotony of having white rice or boiled rice everyday is to make tomato rice. Healthy and yumm.. And the best way to make kids have their share of tomatoes. One tomato is in itself power packed with nutrients. And it is said that Indian tomatoes are the most tasty ones.  I prefer to make something quick and easy on Sundays rather than elaborate meals.

Basmati Rice - 3 1/2 cup

Ghee - 2 tbsp
Split Chickpeas/Chana Dal/ Kadala Parippu - 3 tbsp
Split Black Gram/Urad Dal / Uzhunnu Parippu - 2 tbsp
Cashew Nuts - 12 nos
Cumin Seeds / Jeera - 3/4 tsp
Asafoetida/ Kayam Podi - a pinch
Dry Red Chillies/ Kashmiri Mirch/ Piriyan Mulaku - 2 

Onion - 1 cup finely chopped
Green Chilly- 2 slit
Cloves/ Laung / Grambu - 4
Mace/ Javithri/ Jathipoo - 2
Cinnamon Stick / Dalchini/ Patta - 2 (each 2 inch long)
Ginger - 3 tsp shredded
Curry leaves - 12 leaves
Tomatoes- 3 cups chopped fine
Tomato Puree - 3 cups
Red Chilli Powder - 1 1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Fresh Coriander - 1/2 cup

Rinse the basmati rice in cold water. Transfer to a bowl and fill water approx 1 inch above the rice and let soak for 30 minutes. Drain.
Cook the rice in a pan with enough water to cover it. Drain the rice when it is 3/4 cooked.
Heat ghee in a pan. Lower the flame.
Add the chana dal and fry till golden.
Add the urad dal and cashews.
Now add the jeera, asafoetida and red chilly.
Sprinkle in the cloves, cinnamon and mace. Cook till they are aromatic and crackle.
Turn the flame to medium high. Add the onions, ginger and green chilly. Stir till onions turn transparent.
Add the tomatoes,  puree and the curry leaves. Stir well.
Add the chilli powder and turmeric powder. Stir.
Add salt and cook for 10 minutes on low flame.
Check salt, add the cooked rice and toss gently to coat the rice with the tomato mixture.
Add the coriander leaves and fluff up the grains of rice with a fork.
Check salt and remove from fire.

Make sure you soak the rice well and do not break them while washing.

05 September 2012

Sachertorte - A Viennese Special

Sachertorte is one of the famous and fabulous cake from Vienna. It is an all time favorite chocolate cake. It was invented by Franz Sacher in 1832. It is supposed to be a masterpiece of Austrian cuisine. 
It is a superb, deep, moist chocolaty cake with the glossy ganache. This is a very rich cake - A treat for special occasions.The best part is that it can be prepared a day before as the taste improves if left for a day. 
I prepared this for my Amma's 60th birthday. Love you Amma. Hope you have many many more wonderful birthdays. 

Recipe Source : BBC Food

Unsalted Butter - 140g
Caster Sugar - 115g
Cooking Chocolate - 140g
Vanilla Extract - 1/2 tsp
Eggs - 5 separated
Plain Flour - 55g 
Ground Almonds - 85g

For the topping and icing
Apricot Jam - 6 tbsp
Chocolate - 140g
Double Cream - 200ml
Milk Chocolate - 25g

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Grease and line a 9 inch round cake tin.
Melt the chocolate using a double boiling method and let it cool.
Cube the butter. Beat it in a bowl until really soft.
Add in the caster sugar. Mix it well in a cake mixer or using a hand mixer until soft, thick and light in colour.
Add the melted chocolate into the butter sugar mixture.
Add in the vanilla extract. Whisk the mixture till well incorporated and colour is even.
Separate the egg white from the yolk.
Add egg yolks one at time into the bowl and whisk.
When the egg yolks are well combined sift in the flour.
Mix in the ground almond. Fold in the mixture well.
In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites on full speed till soft peeks are formed but not dry.
Take about 1/3 rd of the egg white and stir into the chocolate mixture vigorously.
Add in the rest of the egg whites. Fold it into the mixture till well incorporated.
Transfer it into the cake tin. Make sure it does not stick up on the sides. Level it.
Bake for 45 minutes or until it starts leaving the sides and crusty on top.
Let cool. Turn out and remove the paper.
Heat apricot jam in a pan and brush it evenly on top and sides of the cake

To prepare the icing
Break the dark chocolate into pieces.
Heat the cream until piping hot and pour it on top of the chocolate. Mix well till chocolate is melted.
Let cool a bit.
Then pour it on the center of the cake. Tilt the cake to the sides so that the icing flows and cover the cake on all sides. Spread it using an offset spatula.

You can also make icing writing ( I skipped this step)
Break the white chocolate into pieces and melt it using double boiling method.
Transfer it to an icing bag. Pipe 'Sacher' on top and leave to set.

Make sure you separate the egg yolks carefully.
To beat egg whites to stiff peaks make sure the bowl is totally dry. Not a drop of water.
Use fresh eggs only. It gives more volume.
Make sure you whisk it to the right point where peaks ar formed as you lift up the beater. If you beat more it becomes dry and breaks into pieces. It will be white and fluffy.
You can make the cake a day in advance and make the icing on the day.
I used the Amul Fresh cream which has only 25% milk fat as we do not get the double cream with 48% milk fat here in my place.

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26 August 2012

Gothambu Payasam - Onam Sadhya Vibhavangal 16

Wishing all my dear friends and readers a Happy Onam! May this Onam bring you lot of happiness and prosperity.

It's been a long break for me from blogging. I know at least some of you have been wondering if I quit blogging totally. Happy to be back.

Onam is just two days away. I am sure everyone celebrating this festival is all geared up to make flower carpets, make a nice feast and of all enjoy totally with family and friends. I would like to share a dessert recipe this time and adding it to my collection of Onam Sadhya Vibhavangal.

Gothambu Payasam / Broken Wheat Kheer
Recipe Source: My mom


Broken Wheat/Kuthiya Gothambu - 2 cup
Water - 8 cups + 1/2 cup

Coconut Milk(First Extract)/Onnam Pal  - 2 cups * see notes 1
Coconut Milk (Second Extract)/ Randam Pal - 4 cups
Jaggery/ Vellam - 600g* see note 2
Salt - a pinch
Cardamom - 4 pods
Sugar - 1 tsp
Ghee - 2 tsp
Raisins/ Kismis - 1/4 cup
Cashewnut - 1/4 cup
Coconut pieces / Thenga Kottu - 3 tbsp


Wash and pressure cook the wheat with 8 cups water for 6 whistles. Press it between your fingers and check if it is well cooked.see note 3
Transfer the cooked wheat to a non stick pan/ kadai. Add in the second extract coconut milk. Keep stirring and cook till thick and half in quantity.
Meanwhile melt the jaggery in a pan by adding 1/2 cup water. Stir in between. see note 4
Remove the husk of the cardamom and powder it in a mixer dry jar by adding 1 tsp sugar.  see note 5
Strain and add the jaggery to the wheat mixture and stir well. 
Tip in the cardamom powder.
Keep stirring and the payasam will become thicker. Switch off the flame.
Add in the first extract coconut milk.
Heat a small pan, add ghee and fry the coconut pieces. When it is browned scoop it and transfer to the payasam. 
In the same ghee fry the cashews. When golden brown transfer it to the payasam. Switch off the flame and fry the raisins in the ghee. When it bloats up transfer it to the payasam. see note 6
Pour the remaining ghee into the payasam.
Stir well. It will get thicker as it cools down.
Serve hot or cold.

  1. I used 1 1/2 big coconut to extract milk.
  2. This is a moderately sweet payasam .If you wish to make it sweeter add more jaggery approx 750g.
  3. It is very important that the wheat is well cooked. Once you add in the jaggery it will not cook. It should be soft when you press it in between your thumb and index finger. Do not overcook as it tends to stick to the bottom of the cooker.
  4. Jaggery needs to be strained as there will be impurities in it.
  5. It is easier to powder cardamom by adding sugar. Else you will need to powder large quantity.
  6. It is better to switch off the flame and fry the raisins as that heat is enough to fry it else it may get burnt.
Hope you haven't missed my Onam Sadhya Series. Click on the links below for all the recipes.

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09 July 2012

Homemade Wheat Bread

What is more welcoming than the smell of freshly baked bread that too at home. I have been so eager to bake one at home. And so glad that I have overcome this fear of baking bread. At my place it is so hard to find wheat bread and this has been my motivation too. It turned out so good and everyone at home gave a thumbs up for this one. :)

Recipe adapted from: Tammy's Recipes
Makes 1 loaf

Warm water - 1 cup + 1/4 cup
Honey - 2 tbsp
Milk - 1 tbsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Brown sugar - 2 tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Wheat Flour - 1 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp
All Purpose Flour - 1 1/2 cup
Active Dry Yeast - 2 tsp
Sugar - 1/2 tsp


  • Preheat the oven at the minimum temperature (30- 40 degree C) for 2-3 minutes and switch off.*see note 1
  • In a mixing bowl pour 1 cup warm water. Add in the milk, oil, honey, brown sugar and salt. Mix well.
  • Mix yeast in 1/4 cup water and 1/2 tsp sugar till it dissolves. *see note 2
  • Tip in the flours into the mixing bowl along with the yeast. 
  • Knead the dough well for approx. 10 - 15 minutes. Dust in 2 tablespoon of wheat flour and knead. Lift it from the ends towards you to the center and push it away from you with the heel of your hand and turn the dough. Continue to knead till it is not very sticky and but a little too soft. 
  • Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough into it. Roll the dough so as to coat it with oil.
  • Cover with a towel and leave it in the oven till it doubles in size.( approx 45 minutes)
  • Remove the bowl from the oven. Transfer the dough to a counter dusted with wheat flour.
  • Punch down the dough on the counter and knead again till smooth and supple.
  • Press down the dough to make a rectangle shape approx 3/4 inch thick. Then start rolling it. Pinch the ends and seal it.
  • Lightly grease a loaf pan. Place the rolled dough into it. Place it in a warm place and let rise for 30 minutes when almost doubled in size. *see note 8
  • Place the oven rack in the middle. Preheat it to 180 degrees C.
  • Place the loaf pan in a sheet pan and place it in the oven and bake for 30 - 35 minutes.
  • Remove from pan, cover with a towel and let cool a bit. 
  • Slice with a serrated knife or preferably bread knife.

Baking Tips:

  1. Else preheat oven to 200 degree C for 60 secs and switch off.
  2. Make sure you use fresh yeast.
  3. Sugar helps to feed the yeast and help it to rise faster. It also adds taste to the bread. But  too much sugar will cause the bread to rise too fast and collapse.
  4. Salt helps to control fermentation but never add it along with the yeast as it will kill the  yeast.
  5. Use ingredients at room temperature.
  6. The dough must be thoroughly kneaded to help develop the elasticity. It also gives the proper texture.
  7. Avoid dusting too much flour as it will affect the texture of bread.
  8. I used a 24cm* 10cm silicon loaf pan
  9. The final rising time may vary. The dough should rise above the pan.
  10. If the bread gets browned too soon cover it with a foil.

03 July 2012

Nadan Chakka Pradaman / Country Style Jack Fruit Pudding

I enjoy having payasam but only on rare occasions do I really go to make it. The only reason being that it is time consuming. :) Just love to have the payasam made by mom and amma. Today I tried my mom's special Chakka Pradaman recipe. 

Just love having ripe jack fruits but this time they were ripe only after the rains started so it was better not to have them without cooking. The aroma of the payasam wafted all around the house and everyone kept peeping in to the kitchen to see if the pradaman was done. It tasted divine and I was so happy getting all the compliments. ;)


Jackfruit (Hard variety  / Varikka Chakka) - 800g+ 2 cups
Jaggery - 1 kg
Grated Coconut  - from 2 big coconuts
    First milk      - 1 1/4 cup
    Second Milk - 5 1/2 cup
Water - 1 cup + 1/4 cup + 4 cups
Cardamom Powder - 3 big pods
Cashew - 25g
Kismis - 25g
Ghee - 1 1/2 tbsp
Salt - a pinch

Clean and chop jackfruit into small pieces. Reserve 2 cups
Melt jaggery in a stew pan / deep pan by adding 1 cup water. Keep stirring in between till it melts completely on medium flame.
In the mean time extract the coconut milk. To extract the first milk add 1/4 cup warm water. Pulse it in a mixer and then extract milk using your hand or a spoon (pressing it in a hand sieve).
Add 4 cups of warm water again and pulse it to extract the second milk.
Filter the jaggery to remove any impurities. Pour it into a wide mouthed non stick deep pan.
Cook the jack fruit in the jaggery on medium to low flame.
Once the jack fruit is cooked cool it and grind it into fine paste. Transfer it to the same wide mouthed pan.
Using a balloon whisk stir the mixture to remove any fiber.
Continue to cook the ground paste.
Add the second milk and let cook on low flame for 10 minutes.
Add the reserved jack fruit pieces. Let cook on medium flame till it is soft and cooked.
In a small pan heat the ghee. Roast the cashews till golden. Transfer it to a plate and then roast the kismis. Reserve the ghee.
When the jack fruit is cooked add the first milk.
Tip in the cardamom powder, cashew, kismis, ghee and salt.

To powder cardamom add 1/2 tsp sugar along with the 3 pods to the dry jar mixer and pulse it. Remove husk.
Jaggery means sugarcane molasses. I used the dark brown ones. You can also use the light coloured ones or a mixture of dark and light 1:1.
Payasam tastes good even if it is served cold. So you can enjoy it even the next day if refrigerated.

24 June 2012

Low Fat Brownies

These are moist and chewy and can't tell they are low fat. Easy to make and tastes good with a cup of coffee. 

Recipe Source: Sanjeev Kapoor

Cocoa Powder - 3 tbsp
Refined Flour - 1 cup
Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
Caster Sugar - 1 cup
Skimmed Milk - 1/2 cup
Egg whites - of 2 eggs
Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 1/2 tbsp

Preheat oven to 180 degree C.
Grease and line a 8 inch square tin with parchment paper.
Mix the dry ingredients - cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda  and sift it into a bowl.
Add the castor sugar and mix well.
Beat the egg whites and add it to the bowl.
Now add in the milk, vanilla essence, oil and mix until just combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
Bake for 25 minutes or until firm to touch.
Once baked let the brownies cool in the tin.
Lift the parchment paper on the sides and transfer the brownies to a plate.
Refrigerate it for 30 minutes. Cut it into squares.

Do not over mix.
Make sure you leave enough parchment paper on the sides of the tin so that you can lift the brownies with ease.