Saturday, December 11, 2010

Jammie Bodgers

Yesterday, as I was struggling to keep my eyes open in the 2 hour math class, it suddenly began to rain. I say suddenly, 'coz it was totally unexpected at this time of the year.The sound of the pouring rain, alongside the lecturer's lecture sounded like  a lullaby to our ears- as a matter of fact, our lecturer mentioned this too. I had read that in India, the first shower always leaves the smell of fresh sweet mud.Well, this was not the first shower, probably it was the last shower of the year, but the smell of mud was overpowering. So much so that, I found myself taking deep breaths, enjoying the smell of mud, pure mud. It was one of the few days, when I was glad to be in India.
Rain has this power to refresh our mind. The water clears our mind and we feel energized.At the same time, it makes us lazy, and I could already see myself enjoying my coffee on my sofa, reading a book and enjoying the sound of the rain. And then I began to wonder, what should I prepare to go with my coffee? First I thought of preparing some tea cake, something spicy and flavourful. But then, that would be too typical. Then I decided to prepare some sizzling brownies(brownie a la mode). I felt that would be the perfect combination for a dark rainy evening(did someone say my mind works in a strange manner?). So the sizzling brownie was settled and I went back to solving my math problems and occasionally glancing at my watch.
When I came home, I realized we didn't have any ice-cream in the freezer and there was no way I could buy one at that time. So the brownie was forgotten and I got myself occupied with some other work. But now when I look back, I think these Jammie Bodgers would have been a lovely treat. I had prepared these about a week back. They are super easy, really quick and taste better than the store brought ones.

Jammie Bodgers
Makes about 15 large cookies
Refined flour (maida): 2 cups
Frozen butter, chopped: 125 grams(I used refrigerated ones)
Caster sugar: ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon
Egg, lightly beaten: 1
Vanilla essence: 1 teaspoon

Strawberry jam: 4-5 tablespoons(I used Kissan mixed fruit jam)
Unsalted butter, softened: 50 grams
Icing sugar: ½ cup

Method :
Sift the flour into a bowl and rub the butter with your fingertips. Add the
sugar, egg and vanilla essence and mix into a soft dough. Knead the dough
gently on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease two baking trays.
Roll out the dough thinly on a lightly floured surface and cut into rounds with a two-and-a-half inch cutter. Re-roll the trimmings and cut into more rounds. You should get around thirty rounds.
Place fifteen rounds on a baking tray. With a small three-fourth inch heart-shaped cookie cutter cut out the centres of the remaining rounds. Place the cut-out rounds on the second baking tray. Bake in the preheated oven for about twelve minutes or until pale golden. Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
For the filling, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Spread the butter cream evenly on the whole cookies. Spoon a little jam over the butter cream, place the cut-out cookies on top, pressing gently so that the jam fills the heart-shaped space.

I used a doughnut cutter for fifteen rounds and a cookie cutter of the same diameter for the remaining fifteen rounds. Also, I found it difficult to roll out the whole dough, so I took lemon-sized balls of the dough and rolled them out.Buttercream is used as an adhesive, so don't omit it.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Simple Beef Bolognaise Cannelloni

Having a sister a year elder to you is the best thing that can happen to anyone. She is your best friend when you need someone beside you. She is your teacher when you need help in your studies. She is your partner when you wanna do something your mom would never approve of. She is your counsellor when you need one. And once in a while, she becomes the villain who has come to destroy your life and hinder your freedom ;). Nada, I dedicate this post to you.
Last week Grandpa had come India. Nada had called me up and asked what should she sent for me through him. I told her I don't need anything...ok, i did ask her for some things, but what she sent me really moved me. She had sent me cannelloni shells and lasagna sheets, both of which I had been missing after coming to India. She had also sent me a couple of tart pans and muffin cups. Though I really wanted them, I hadn't asked Nada to sent them, and yet she sent them. That was ssooooo sweet of her. Nada, I LOVE YOU!!
I used the cannelloni shells to prepare beef cannelloni. I didn't follow any recipe. I simply tried to recreate the taste of the cannelloni served at Ponderosa-without ricotta cheese coz i hate ricotta cheese in my cannelloni. And I should say, I did a good job, but I am sure I could have done better with a little more planning. I filled the shells with beef in bechamel sauce and poured bolognaise sauce over the shells. I had placed the shells in one small and one large Pyrex dish. But the sauce managed to cover only the larger dish. I was in no mood to prepare more bolognaise sauce, so I used some store bought tomato sauce for the second dish. It turned out to be extremely tangy. But the next day, Voila! it tasted just like Ponderosa's.
Recently a new reality show named "Masterchef India" started airing on star plus. A couple of weeks back, on children's day, some kids were made to judge the dishes prepared by the chefs. Inspired by this format, my sisters decided to judge my cannelloni. So, as soon as I removed my cannelloni from the oven, my 2 younger sisters, my bro and 3 of my cousins, all of them seated themselves on the dining table and began to shout for food. I got 8s and 9s for my cannelloni...not bad,huh.?
In the following recipe, I have doubled the amount of bolognaise sauce. Feel free to experiment...


For the meat filling:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups minced beef
1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp Italian seasoning, or to taste
2 tsp chilly flakes, or to taste
salt, to taste

For the bechamel sauce:
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
a pinch of nutmeg

For the bolognaise sauce:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
5 tomatoes, quartered
1 tsp chilly flakes
3 cups water
5 tbsp tomato sauce(optional)
salt, to taste

20 ready-to-cook cannelloni shells
200g cheddar cheese, grated
50g mozzarella cheese, grated

For meat filling:
Heat oil in a saucepan. Saute onion and garlic till onions begin to lose its colour. Add beef. I used some green chillies too. Saute till the beef is cooked. This might take some time. Add about 1/3 cup of water if needed, but remember, we need the filling to be dry. Add the seasoning and switch off the flame.
For bechamel sauce:
Heat butter in a sauce pan. Add the flour and saute till they combine well. Add all other ingredients. Bring it to a boil. Let it simmer till it becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pour it into the meat filling and mix well.
For bolognaise sauce:
Blend the tomatoes in a food processor. Heat oil in a deep saucepan. Saute onions till they become transparent. Add all the other ingredients. Bring it to a boil. Adjust the seasoning and remove from flame.
To assemble:
Smother 1/4 cup bolognaise sauce into the Pyrex dish. Fill the meat into the cannelloni shells. You can use a teaspoon to fill them and use the opposite end of the spoon to push it in. However, I was more comfortable using my hands. That way , I can control the amount of meat the goes into my cannelloni. Remember, overfilled cannelloni don't taste good.
Place the filled cannelloni in the Pyrex dish. You can use 2 dishes if the don't fit into one. Do not place the shells one upon the other. Pour the bolognaise onto the shell. Top with the cheeses and bake at 200C for 30 minutes or till cheese become golden brown.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Eggless chocolate mousse-A sweet punch

This month's sweet punch challenge was a little hatke(different) from the usual ones. This month, we were given 3 recipes: tomato souffle, eggless chocolate mousse and a cholate mousse and asked to prepare any one of them. I prepared the eggless chocolate mousse. Not that I have a problem with raw eggs in my mousse, I just went for the eggless version since the recipe was from Nigella Lawson, a famous celebrity chef whom I have been following lately.
It was super easy, just melting the ingredients, folding in cream and refrigerating it. But as I always say, I can ruin even the best of the world's recipes. And that is exactly what I did. For starters, I burnt my chocolate. And then my cream refused to become creamy and looked more like milk. At the end, I was left with a chocolate sauce that tasted scrumplicious, but was nowhere close to a mousse. Without any hope left, I poured the "sauce" into induvidual serving bowls and refrigerated them. What I had after one hour was a dense, rich chocolate pudding close enough to be called a mousse.The next day, it tasted even better.

These are the things I am going to remember the next time I prepare this:
When melting, see to it that the marshmallows are placed in the bottom of the saucepan and the chocolate is at the top since marshmallows take the longest time to melt and since chocolate is sensitive to heat. Keep an eye on the chocolate while it is melting and don't go off to wash the dishes like I did. Use good-quality cream and not any old tin of cream lying in the pantry. Watch Nigella's videohere for more details. Mohammed enjoyed his mousse with Parle- G biscuits

Eggless Instant Chocolate Mousse:

Recipe Souce :Nigella Lawson via Ria's Collection
Serves: 7

Mini marshamallows - 150 g (you can use regular marshmallows too)
Butter-50 g, softened
Chocolate- 250 g (I used a mix semi-sweet ), chopped into small pieces
Hot water-60 ml
Cream-284 ml
Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
In a heavy-bottom saucepan, melt the marshmallows,butter,chocolate and water together, stirring every now and then.
Meanwhile, whip the cream with vanilla until thick.
Fold it into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth mixture. ( I let the chocolate cool very well for the fear that the cream might melt.)
Pour into individual ramekins and let it set in the fridge for about 1 hour.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Banana Cake

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Recently, Abba had been to Sakaleshpur. When he returned, he brought large bunches of bananas(the smaller variety) with him. There was a lot, and Umma was not sure how to finish them. So during the weekend, Umma asked me to prepare banana bread. Now I am a girl who tries to avoid bananas as much as possible. Therefore, I was reluctant, but at the end, I agreed. I found a recipe which sounded good to me. I went upto the kitchen and began to check if all the ingredients were available. Yes,  you guessed it right. We were short of 1 ingredient-eggs.
Me: But we don't have eggs at home!
Umma: Oh, can we get an eggless banana bread recipe?
Me: (recalling my flour-tasting eggless brownies)Actually, I don't share a good relationship with eggless cakes.
Umma: C'mon....there will be some good recipe.
Me: Ok......
And I found THE eggless banana bread recipe. I wouldn't call it banana bread since it had a cake texture. So here is my banana "cake" recipe.
1 cup sugar (  3/4 cup if using Indian granulated Sugar)
3 bananas (I used 12 small ones)
4 tbsp melted unsalted butter(I used salted butter and left out the salt)
2 tbsp yogurt/curds/dahi
1 and 1/2 cup all purpose flour (Maida)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla essence / extract
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional- i used pistachios and almonds instead)

  1. Pre Heat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit / 180 degree centigrade
  2. Mash the bananas, add sugar, yogurt and mix.
  3. With a hand beater add butter, salt, and flour till incorporated. (You can just mix them in too)
  4. Mix the Baking Soda with the milk and add it to the above mix along with the vanilla essence.
  5. Mix in the walnuts and stir till everything is well blended.
  6. Pour this batter in a greased bread tin and bake for about 50-60 minutes or till a tooth pick inserted comes out dry.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon rolls have always been an all-time favourite of mine. As you walk through the first floor of City Centre in Doha, you are mesmerized by the smell of cinnamon rolls baking in Cinnzeo and before you know it, your legs are carrying you to the cinnamon rolls stall. As you reach your destination, you see the chef rolling out his dough and smothering god-knows-how-many-cups of butter onto it. You take one look and start thinking about the calories.You let out a silent sigh and carry on with your shopping, dejected.
This is the main reason why I decided to make my own cinnamon rolls. I wanted a "healthy" cinnamon roll. I'm not talking about a zero-calorie zero-cholesterol cinnamon roll, but at least something I can eat without feeling guilty about it.
After a lot of net-surfing I came up with this recipe and have been following it for about 1 year. The rolls taste better that the ones you get from bakeries specializing in cinnamon rolls(read Cinnzeo) and aren't half as fattening as theirs. One of the reason why I like this recipe is because it does not ask for butter to be smothered on the dough. But it also means that when you cut them into rolls, some of the cinnamon-sugar will spill out, but I don't mind it one bit. Every time I prepare these, they disappear even before I prepare the glaze. I have managed to prepare the glaze only once :)


1 cup milk
3 tbsp butter
3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 tsp yeast
1 tsp salt

Cinnamon sugar:
6 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon powder

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Microwave butter and milk for 30-45 seconds. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast and salt. If the milk is not hot, the yeast won't act and if it is too hot, the yeast will die. So see to it that the milk is lukewarm. Beat well. Add enough flour to get a soft dough. Make a ball and keep it covered for 2 hours(when I am in a hurry, I keep it for just 1 1/2 hours and it works fine).
When it rises, roll the dough into a 15x11" rectangle(neet not be perfect, just an estimation). Mix the sugar and cinnamon powder to prepare cinnamon sugar. Sprinkle evenly over the rolled dough. Roll the dough and cut into slices. Depending on the thickness, you will get 20-30 slices.As I had mentioned, some of the cinnamon sugar may come out when cutting into slices. This can be sprinkled on top of the rolls. Place the rolls in your baking dish, 1/2" apart, and let rise for 30-45 minutes. Bake in a preheated(375 F) oven for 20 minutes. If you are not using glaze, serve them hot.
To make the glaze, mix all the ingredients and pour over hot rolls. Let it cool before serving if you are using glaze.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Molten lava cake

I am a very lazy girl. That explains the inactive blog. And the fact that my sweet punch challenge has been posted after 2 days from the due date. And the fact that I hadn't even tried it out until thursay, that is, on the day it was due.
This month's challenge was molten lava cake hosted by Divya.
Nada left this month and I totally lost my mood. I didn't feel like preparing anything. She would call me almost everyday asking me if I had prepared the lava cake, and I would tell her that I'll do it later since my exams had started. It's not like I wasn't interested. Molten lava cake has always been in my to-do list. I even attempted to prepare it once. But it turned out to be a fudgy muffin-without a molten centre.Anyway, I kept delaying it, until thursday, when I decided that I would take part in the challenge, no matter what. So I go whipping and melting and baking. The cake was super easy to prepare but I wasn't sure if it would turn out to be success. After all, a person like me can turn the best recipes into a flop one. I began to get nervous when the top was not cooked even after 15 minutes. After 20 minutes, I removed the pan from the oven and inverted one of the muffin cups onto a plate. Fingers crossed, I cut open the muffin. And boy, was I dissppointed!! Though the centre was moist, it did not ooze out, like Hetal and Tanuja's (from I decided to click a picture anyway. And as I was  taking a photo, you know what I saw on the cam screen??? Hot molten lava oozing out............mmmmm. I was soo happy. My sisters and brother wanted me to prepare it again. What better compliment could a cook wish for??

Molten Lava Cake
Recipe source -
Makes 6 large cakes


Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate – 4 oz (113g)
Butter – 4 oz (113g)
Eggs – 2
Sugar – 1/3 cup (75 g)
All-purpose Flour – 1/4 cup (40g)
Butter – for greasing ramekins


1. In a double boiler, melt chocolate.(I microwaved for 30 sec)
2. In a medium mixing bowl, beat Eggs and Sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Once chocolate is melted, remove pan from heat and add in butter. Mix until the butter melts fully.
4. Add chocolate/butter mixture into the eggs, add all-purpose flour and mix until well incorporated.
5. Butter bottom and sides of ramekins (small glass/porcelain bowls) and pour in mixture about 3/4 way full.
6. Place ramekins on a baking tray and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 C) for 10 – 15 minutes. Shorter for gooey (molten) inside, longer for stiff inside.
7. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream.(I think I preferred it without ice cream.Nothing comes between me and my rich chocolate lava cake :P)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Golden onion quiche

I have always wanted to join a regular cooking event. One that would compel me to make challenging recipes every now and then. But most of the events were either closed to newcomers, or they were too challenging for a beginner like me. Nada is the one who told me about this event, A Sweet Punch, which started a few months back. A Sweet Punch is just what I have been looking for.
So, when I heard about it, I was so excited, I quickly sent them a mail asking them to make me a member. I recieved a mail the same evening, and I was so glad to be a part of this event. But the immediate next mail almost gave me a heart attack. It read "Savoury September: Golden Onion Quiche"....


I am in 5th grade. I decide to make a lemon tart pie all by myself. I prepare the base and press it into a pyrex dish. I squeeze the lemons for making the pastry cream. And then I begin grating the rind of the lemon peel. It is so difficult, I decide to simply cut the peel into cubes and add them to the cream. The pie turns out really bitter and the tart base refuses to come out of the dish.

I am in 8th grade. My aunt, Noorialama is coming to visit us and I decide to make a chocolate tart for her. I follow the instructions word-to-word. The tart turns out too sweet and the base is crumbly and "buttery".

I am in 9th grade. I am simply going through my dictionary, trying to learn new words(Yeah, I know. I was so jobless!!). I come upon this word, Quiche[kee-sh] which refers to a rich unsweetened custard pie, often containing ingredients such as vegetables, cheese, or seafood. I was excited to try it out. I surf on the net, trying to find a recipe. After a lot of searching, I had an idea of how it should be and decide to make my own quiche, using the basic quiche ingredients. Fearing that the quiche may not come out of the pan, I line the pan with a parchment paper. The end product smelt of eggs and the parchment paper stuck to the base. I resolve never to bake anything that has a tart shell. 

I am in 10th grade. My aunt, Jeshalama sends me a lemon squares recipe by Martha Stewart and asks me my opinion on the recipe. I decide to try it out despite being skeptical about it. The lemon squares couldn't be better. They were the perfect treat for a lemon-lover(which I am not, but this is what Nada told me). Anyway, I decide that this would be my last tart.

Back to reality

I really didn't know what to do. But Nada's encouraging words gave me the himmat to accept the challenge. Ria had posed this challenge. Nada has been blog-surfing alot lately and Ria's blog is one of the few blogs that she follows religiously. She keeps telling me that Ria's bro is so lucky and that she wishes she too had a sis who would prepare goodies for her everyday(obviously referring to me).

Coming back to the quiche, another problem I faced was the pan. I wanted a tart pan with a removable base, but I couldn't find it anywhere. Last Sunday, I accepted defeat and decided to use my regular round cake tin.

The preparation was quite easy.
First, sieve maida, baking powder and salt. I like to use a newspaper while sieving. It reduces the number of dishes to be washed and is great for the messy cook in me.
Then I added frozen butter cubes, though the recipe called for grated butter.
Mix it well to form a crumbly dough.
Add in the eggs and cold water if required---I didn't.
Form a soft dough. Turn it onto a lightly floured surface.
Roll it so that it is a little larger than your tart pan base.
Now comes the tricky part- transferring the dough into the pan. Everytime I lift it, the dough would fall apart. Finally I cut them into 4 quarters and joined them in the pan. Trust me, once it is baked, no one will know it . ;) You are supposed to trim the edges, but I did not have any loose dough hanging outside the pan.
Keep it aside. In a saucepan, heat some olive oil.
Add chicken or whatever you wish. You could use paneer, mushrooms, name it.
Next, I added sliced onions, though the recipe called for diced ones. Saute it till it becomes golden brown. I know, mine are not caramelised, but I was too lazy. So, I was satisfied with this colour. And yeah, I added some salt while sauteeing to speed up the "browning" process.
Beat 3 eggs. Mix with milk and mozrella cheese. Pour into the onion mixture, along with a generous sprinkling of pepper. Pour this into the quiche pan.

Bake till a skewer poked into the center of the quiche comes out clean. Remember, undercooking the quiche will give you a quiche smelling of eggs.

Cut them into wedges and serve.
Verdict: A very filling dish. Had it for Iftar. Tasted better the next day. Definitely a keeper.

Serves 4


For the pastry:
Maida -200g
Butter (frozen) -100g (preferably unsalted)
Baking powder-1/4 tsp
Salt-to taste
Beaten egg-1
Ice cold water-as required ( which will be a few drops)
Sieve maida ,salt and baking powder together. Grate in the butter and mix it with the flour with your fingertips till it resembles coarse sand.
Add in the beaten egg and water and gather it into a soft dough.
Roll it out on a lightly floured surface and lift it up carefully and line the tin that you will be baking it in.If it breaks up and you need to do a patch work, big deal! It wouldn't be seen outside! ;)
Which ever tin you are using, make sure the dough comes a little way up the sides, so that it can hold the filling in.

Boiled and shredded chicken-1/2 c ( you can substitute it for paneer or other veggies of your choice)
Onion-250 g ,chopped
Milk-1 c
Cheese-100g (cheddar will work fine)
Beaten eggs-3
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil- as needed.

Heat oil and slightly fry the chicken/paneer til it is golden brown. Add in the onions and fry till onions have caramelised.
Switch off the flame.
Add milk, cheese, beaten eggs, salt and pepper and mix well.
Pour into the pastry case and bake for 25 mins or till golden brown .
Let it cool in the tin completely . Serve it in wedges.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Blueberry cake

Among other items, Nada had brought a box of blueberries when she came down to India. Jeshalama had sent it through her. We tasted a couple of them. Though they tasted good, they weren't the type type of fruit you would want to nibble on through out the day. So into the freezer went the berries, and it hibernated in there till yesterday morning, when I, Nada and Hiba dada, 3 jobless teens, decided to make something out of it. Nada quickly went online and chose a blueberry cake recipe, that looked awesome(link added). We decided to prepare it, copied down the recipe, checked if all the ingredients were at home, and that was it. Our energy had drained out and we kept saying that we'll do it after sometime. Finally we began the preparatons at 8 in the night. We had a fun time working together. Finally the batter was ready and we poured it into the square pan. We realised that the batter had formed a thin layer in the pan, which meant the pan was too large. "Don't worry. The cake will rise and become fluffy" said Nada in a confident tone, which set us into fits of laughter. Next, we sprinkled blueberries. Then came the streusel topping. Frankly seaking, none of us had any idea as to what does it mean. We simply sprinkled pea-sized portions of the topping all over the cake and popped it into the oven. After half an hour, when took a look at the half-baked cake ,I couldn't help exclaiming "WOW". The streusel topping had melted and looked amazing. The cake was ready by around 10:40 and the pan was empty by 11:15. Heehee, that must be a record time. Everyone enjoyed the cake, the soft and spongy cake, topped by sweet n' sour blueberries and a crisp streusel topping...what more could you ask for?


Streusel Topping:

1/3 cup (45 grams) all purpose flour
1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (56 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces (I used salted butter)

Cake Batter:
1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt (I used salted butter and thus did not use additional salt)
1/4 cup (56 grams) (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup (80 ml) milk
2 cups fresh blueberries (I used 1 1/2 cups)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Butter an 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm) square pan or an 8 inch (20 cm) round cake pan or line it with parchment paper.
For streusel topping: In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and ground cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a fork until it resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside while you make the cake batter.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add the flour mixture, alternately with the milk, and beat only until combined. Spread the batter onto the bottom of the prepared pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula.
Evenly arrange the blueberries on top of the cake batter and then sprinkle with the streusel topping.
Bake for about 40 - 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Chicken Lajawab

Chicken- 1, cut into small pieces
Onions- 6, big, sliced
Ghee- 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds- 2 tbsp, roasted and powdered
Ginger garlic paste- 2 tbsp
Green chilli paste- 2 tbsp
Garama masala powder- 1 tbsp
Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
Tomatoes- 2 medium, peeled
Curds- 1/2 cup
Cashewnuts- 1/2 cup
Kasoori methi- 1 tbsp
Marinate chicken in 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste, little curds and salt for 15
minutes. Saute onion till brown. Cool and blend with tomatoes.
Heat ghee in a kadhai. Add green chilli paste. Stir for a while. Add ginger
garlic paste and fry till aroma comes. Add garam masala and cumin seeds.
Saute for 2 minutes. Add onion tomato paste, chicken and salt. When chicken
is cooked, add cashew nut paste. Let it boil. When it boils, add 2 tbsp ghee
at the center of the gravy.When ghee melts, add kasoori methi.
Optional: Wash and heat a piece of charcoal on direct flame. When spark
comes, add it to the curry. Remove charcoal before serving.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Kadala pozcichathu(fried dal snack)

Soufanammai prepared this one. It is a simple evening snack that you can keep munching into and never get tired of.
  • Split gram dal- 500 gm
  • Rice(paccheri)- 2 cup
  • Egg - 1
  • Salt- to taste
  • Maida- 1/4-1/2 cup (if needed)
  • Blend rice, egg and salt with a little water in a blender until it forms a not-so-wattery batter.Add a little maida if it gets wattery.
  • Pour a little batter into a bowl.Add some dal. The dal should be well coated by the batter.
  • Fry in hot oil on high flame.
  • Remove the dal when it becomes hard and gets a light golden colour. Remember not to add all the dal into the batter in one go, add only as much is needed to make in one batch.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Basic Bread

When I was small, one of my favourite books was the Famous Five series. Often, in this book, there would be instances when the Five would go to farms and the 'wife of the farmer' would prepare freshly baked bread for them. The way the bread was described, I began to fancy baking my own bread. And then, as I grew big, and began following blogs, I read people's stories on how they prepared bread. According to them, it was super easy, and when the bread is ready in the oven, the whole house is filled with this smell that is incomparable. This inspired me to bake my own bread, and I got this recipe from Shilpa akka( The bread was ready in a jiffy, with very little hardwork(though you should wait for it to proof, and and you will find yourself getting restless). However, I have one complaint--my house was not filled with that smell. Though the bread smelt great, it did not act like a 'house freshener':D. Nevertheless, it is a simply great recipe that I have been using since quite a long time and it has never failed.

3 cups all purpose flour
1 and 3/4 cups water(approx)
1 tea spn honey
1/4 cup chopped olives/roughly ground flax seeds
2 tea spns active dry yeast
1/4 tea spn red chilli flakes
1 tea spn salt
2 tbl spn butter
For brushing:
1 tbl spn butter
Dried oregano or basil

Add salt and honey to luke warm water. Add yeast and leave it for 10mins to get active.

Add all other ingredients.Roll into 2 balls. Mix and leave it in a warm place till the dough doubles in volume (It took approx 1hr for me).
Now take the dough on a clean surface and knead dough for about 2-3mins. Shape it into desired size and keep on the baking tray.

Leave it for another 30mins till they proof again. With a knife, put a cut on the dough. Preheat the oven at 450F for 10mins.Bake the bread for about 15mins.
Take out and brush some butter on the bread. Sprinkle oregano on top.Bake again for about 15mins. Serve with olive oil and zaatar.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Baked chicken

A couple of days back, we had a small get together at home. Umma asked me as to what I would be preparing, I began to rack my bains for something different. I settled for oven baked chicken as I felt it would be healthy. The chicken baked beautifully, not too hard and not too soft, with a perfect blend of spiciness and tanginess. I didn't even get a chance to click pictures, so if anyone of you tries it out, you are welcome to send me the photos and I will upload them.


1/2 kg chicken, cut into small pieces

1 tsp coriander seeds

3/4 tsp cumin seeds

6 cloves garlic(you can reduce the amount of garlic if you are using the larger variety)

1 small piece ginger

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp vinegar

1/4 cup yoghurt

2 tsp chilli powder



potato wedges, onion rings, quartered tomatoes(optional)


Marinate chicken with salt and juice of 1 lemon. Keep it aside. Grind ginger, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, cumin and corinader seeds to a smooth paste. Mix with curds, chilli powder and salt. Add the chicken and mix it well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Place the chicken pieces on a greased baking tray and bake for 10 minutes on moderate heat. Turn the chicken over and baste ghee over the chicken. If you wish, you can add veggies now. Bake on high heat until the chicken becomes charred brown(similar to tandoori chicken). Turn the chicken again and baste ghee. Bake until the chicken becomes brown and all the liquid evaporates. Serve hot.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Microwave chocolate cake

The first time I read about these cakes (about 1 year back) I was like "WOW! No more waiting for half an hour for your cake. Now I can have a hot steaming cake in 5 minutes, and that too all to myself." So I quickly went into the kitchen and whipped up all the ingredients in my mug and mirowaved it. You know what came out? A long cake with a texture close to rubber and taste- well the lesser said the better. What made me even more angry was Nada's *I told you not to try it. Now I will not eat it for you* look. About a week later, I saw another recipe of the cake. I felt it would come out good this time as it was from a blog I followed regularly and the people who had commented also said it was good. So I rushed to the kitchen and began preparing them. Alas! Yet again, I had to finish the whole cake myself. You would think that I had learnt my lesson by now. But no...when I recieved another recipe of a 5 minute cake in my inbox, I was just as much excited to try it out, as much I was the first time I had seen it. But I never got an opportunity to try it. I was always busy with one or the other work, until recently, when one evening, all the ladies had gone shopping, Noora and Naila were with the usthaad and I and Nada were babysitting Maahi. Nada, in her helpless tone, asked me to prepare something. When I announced that I would prepare these cakes, she was like " but 5 minute cake". But I did not heed to her and prepared it anyway. And you know what, this time it was perfect. It was perfectly sweetened and the smell of uncooked flour was also not there. And I was glad the recipe yields 2 mugs of cake, as 1 wouldn't be enough.

  • 4 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp coffee powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp vamilla essence


  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Add oil, milk, vanilla and egg. Mix well.
  • Pour into 2 microowave safe mugs. It might cover only 1/3 of the mug, but don't worry, its going to rise.
  • Microwave the mugs on medium for 1 minute. It will rise.
  • Leave it for 10 seconds and then microwave for 30 secondson medium.
  • Make sure not to overcook. The center mght look a little undercooked, but that's fine.
  • Invert the mug onto a plate, or simply dig into your mug with a spoon.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mango curry

When I was small, this was prepared annually. Every year, during the mango season, we'd get these small fibrous mangoes called "kaatu maanga" translated "wild mangoes" from India. This was one of my fav curries. Then after some time, we stopped bringing them from India, though I don't know why. Anyway, when Uppa came to Qatar last week, he brought these mangoes, and I was delighted. After so many years I got an oppurtnity to taste this again. mouth is watering.

10 kaatu maanga/ wild mangoes
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 springs curry leaves
3-4 dried red chillies
2 green chillies, slit open
1/2 cube jaggery
1/2 cup coconut milk(optional)

Peel the mangoes.

Soak the peel in 2 cups of water, changing the waer about 3-4 times, so that the peel becomes thin and you have about 6 cups of mango water. Keep the water aside and discard the peel.

Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add curry leaves and both chillies. Fry for 1 minute.

Add the mango water, jaggery and salt. Add mangoes, one by one. If you wish to add coconut milk, add now. Heat the curry, till it boils vigorously. Switch off the flame and keep it covered for 2-3 minutes.
Pour the curry into individual bowls and add one mango into each of the bowls. You can serve it with rice, though I prefer to have it plain.