Pooris are not a frequent meal in our house. so when we do decide to have pooris it has to be perfect. Don't you agree?  I have posted another recipe for poori here , where I use only atta and rava. They are good too. But it doesn't hold its puffy shape like this recipe for a long time.

 I chanced upon ria's recipe for poori's where she promises a poori which doesn't go flat even after awhile. So I was too tempted to try it.................... and true to her words the pooris held its shape for quite sometime. Very impressive. It's always nice to serve food pleasing to the eye ;)

Just make sure not to stack the pooris after frying. Place them next to each other for it to hold its shape.
Serve hot with channa masala or potato masala.

atta/ wheat flour/ chapathi flour - 1 cup
maida /all purpose flour - 1/2 cup
rava - 1/4 cup
besan/ kadala maavu - 1 tbsp
sugar - 2 tsps
salt - 3/4 tsp
oil, heated - 2 tbsps
water to knead - as required
oil for deep frying the pooris

  • Put the atta, maida, rava, besan, sugar, salt in a bowl and give it a mix.
  • Add in the heated oil and crumble it into the flour using your fingers. 
  • Add in the water little by little to form a dough. (similar consistency as chapathi dough.)
  • Knead for a few minutes until smooth.
  • Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • Make small balls (depending on the size of the poori)
  • Roll out each ball of dough into a circle, Slightly thicker than a chapathi.
  • Grease your rolling pin with oil to help you roll out the dough with ease. DO NOT add flour to roll out the pooris.
  • Do the same with all the dough balls.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan to deep fry the pooris.
  • You can test if the oil is ready by dropping  a tiny piece of dough into the oil. If it comes up to the surface immediately, then the oil is ready to fry.
  • Fry on low heat. Drop one rolled out poori into the oil. With the back of your slotted spoon, slightly press on it till it puffs up. Then turn it over for a few more seconds. 
  • Once its slightly browned you can remove from the oil and drain on a kitchen towel.


I've had my eyes on this cake ever since my sister gifted me this cookbook for my birthday last year. The cookbook is by chetna makan and is titled 'The Cardamom Trail'!!.......... and this particular cake was on the cover looking ever so grand! 

Just take a look at the ingredients! Yummm..........can't you just guess the taste already?? It was wayyyyyyyy better than what I had expected. It was like eating a kulfi cake! LOL! 
I had to stop myself from licking the batter. I was alternating between smelling and letting out excited screams. My older daughter who was also helping me with the cake, kept giving me these wierd looks. 
Well.............only true indians will understand!!!
P.s -  I'm  a huge cardamom fan!

My younger daughter, Miesha absolutely loved the icing! She licked the whisk clean!;)
and those who follow me on instagram,,,,,,,,,,,she managed to de shell the required pistachios by the time I was done with the batter! :D


for the cake:
unsalted butter, softened - 225g
caster sugar - 225 g
eggs - 4
self raising flour - 250 g
baking powder - 1 tsp
cardamom seeds crushed to a fine powder - 1 tsp
milk - 100 ml
pistachio nuts, roughly chopped - 50 g
white chocolate chips - 50g

for the icing :
white chocolate - 150 g
unsalted butter, softened - 150g
vanilla extract - few drops
pistachio nuts, finely chopped - handful (for garnishing)

  • Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees. Line 2 x 20 cm round cake tins ad line them with parchment paper.
  • To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar together with an electric whisk or stand mixer with the whisk attachment till light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs one at a time ensuring it is well incorporated between each addition.
  • Now, add the flour, baking powder, cardamom and milk. Beat for about 1 minute until mixture is light and creamy.
  • Fold in the pistachios and white chocolate using a spatula.
  • Once mixed, fill the prepared tins equally with the batter.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cakes come out clean.
  • Leave the cakes to cool in the tins.
  • Once the cakes are completely cooled, make the icing.
  • Break the chocolate roughly in a microwavable bowl and stick it in the microwave for short intervals of 15 seconds, stirring between every interval. Once the chocolate has completely melted, keep aside.
  • Using an electric beater, cream the butter till pale and fluffy. Add in the melted chocolate and vanilla extract.Beat and mix well until light and creamy.
  • Cut the tops of the cakes if need to to make it even. Spread half the icing on 1 cake. Put the second cake on top. Spread rest of the icing on top of the second cake. Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios.


I'm always in search of recipes to sneak in veggies for my children! They love eating pasta...... and its one of the easiest way I can hide the veggies in the sauce by blitzing it. And after they finish eating their meal its the big reveal..........they get so surprised and look at me like I'm some super hero (which  I am!!!!!) who makes them healthy........... for real!

My daughters both love basil pesto. So hiding the broccoli in it was no big shakes. The cheese, garlic and the basil hide the broccoli too well. You can substitute the pine nuts for other nuts you already have in your pantry. Almonds and pistachios are popular choices. 
The adults can fancy it up a bit with sundried tomatoes, black olives and chili flakes! My favourite!

for the sauce:

broccoli, florets - 1 heaped cup
sweet basil leaves - 50 g
pine nuts - 1/4 cup
extra virgin olive oil - 1/4 cup + 1/4cup
lemon juice - 1 tbsp
garlic - 3 cloves
cheddar or parmesan cheese, grated - 1/4 cup
salt and pepper 

for the pasta:
pasta - 2 and a half cups
cooking cream - 1/4 cup
parmesan cheese, grated - for topping
sun dried tomatoes, chopped - for topping (optional)
black olives, sliced - for topping (optional)
chili flakes - topping

  • Blanch the broccoli florets in boiling water for 5 minutes. Later, run it under cold water. Keep aside.
  • In a blender, add the broccoli, basil, pine nuts, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper and pulse till everything is blitzed. Add in the cheese and give it another whizz.
  • Place the mixture in a bowl and add the 1/4 extra virgin olive oil on top. now the sauce is ready. At this point you can refrigerate the leftover sauce in a clean dish for a few days.
 Now to make the pasta:
  • In a heavy bottomed pan bring some water to boil. Salt it add the pasta to it. Cook as per instructions on the packet.
  • Before draining the pasta, reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta water.
  • Now, in a heavy bottomed pan on medium heat,add the pasta, cream and spoon in the required amount of sauce. mix well and bring to boil. Switch off the flame. You can add the reserved pasta water to adjust the consistency you desire. Add in the black olives and sun dried tomatoes if you are adding it.
  • Serve hot and top with parmesan cheese and sprinkles of chili flakes.


This is my all time favourite dish! Served with hot hot rice and applams! Smack! Anyday ......anytime............alll the time! 

For those of you who don't know this dish...........It's a very famous South Indian dish which is sour from the tamarind and is balanced out with the sweetness from the jaggery/ palm sugar. It is thicker than the usual curries. There is no thickening agent used. It's made thick with just simmering for a longer time. Thats how it gets its name. 'Vatha' meaning 'simmered'.


manathakali vathal - 3 tbsps
sesame oil/nallenai - 1/4 cup
mustard seeds - 1 tsp
fenugreek seeds/ vendhayam - 1 tsp
small onions/ chinna vengayam - 15
garlic - 6
tomato, pureed - 1
curry leaves - 10
sambar powder - 1 tbsp
red chili powder - 3 tsps (depends on your spice level)
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
hing/asafoetida powder - 1/4 tsp
tamarind - big lime size soaked in 1 cup water
jaggery 1 tbsp
salt to taste

  • In a wok, heat the oil.
  • Add the manathakali vathal and fry for about 2 minutes on medium flame.
  • Remove from the oil and keep aside.
  • Next, add the mustard seeds. Let it splutter. 
  • Add in the small onions, half the curry leaves and garlic and fry in the oil for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • When the garlic is about to change colour, add in the sambar powder, turmeric and chili powder.
  • Let it fry in the oil for about 30 seconds.
  • Add in the tomato puree and stir. Add the salt.
  • Next, strain the tamarind and add the tamarind water. You can add another cup of water to the tamarind pulp and add the second extract too. Bring it to boil.
  • Add the manathakali vathal. After 3 to 4  minutes you can add in the jaggery and the asafoetida. Close the lid and let it simmer till it reduces to half the quantity.
  • When you reach the desired consistency (slightly thick) you can add the remaining curry leaves, close the lid and switch off the flame.


Ribbon pakoda from Grand Sweets (Chennai) has been one of our staples in the snack section of our pantry while growing up. Now it has become my daughter's favourite. So each time we go back to Chennai we bring back packets of these to freeze!

I've tried making these before but never got the right texture. Something was always amiss!I get discouraged and promise myself Il never attempt to make these again. But ....but...but..........when it comes to cooking.......I never give up and this time I nailed the recipe. It was nice and crisp and slightly spicy. Just the way we like it.

rice flour - 2 cups
besan/ kadala maavu - 1 cup
red chili powder - 1 and a half tsps
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
white sesame seeds - 1 tsp
crushed cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
hing / asafoetida powder - 1/4 tsp
hot oil - 3 tbsps
salt - 2 to 3 tsps 
water to knead into a dough - as needed ( I used 1 cup and 3 tbsps)
oil for frying
murukku press with the ribbon pakoda shape plate

  • In a bowl, mix together the rice flour, besan, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, hing, sesame seeds, crushed cumin seeds and salt.
  • Add in the hot oil and rub it into the flour mixture.
  • Now, slowly add in the water to form a soft dough. 
  • Heat oil for frying.
  • Oil the murukku press on the insides, and put some dough inside.
  • When the oil is hot, squeeze the press over the oil in a circular motion.
  • Don't overcrowd the pan.
  • Once it is cooked and becomes browned, you can remove from the oil and drain on a kitchen towel.
  • Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  • Once it cools, press down the murukkus so they break down into smaller pieces. 
  • Store in an airtight container.


This is such an easy recipe which I've been using for about 10 years now. It's a keeper and never gets old. Rizwana and Parveen aunty .......thank you! It's the best:) 

I used to religiously sit and 'dum' (process of half cooking and half steaming the rice with the chicken gravy) the Biryani. So much of time, so many vessels to clean! 

Thanks to this lockdown when everybody takes short cuts so did I..............in making Biryani :D
Just used the rice cooker and dumped the rice and the chicken gravy inside with the water...........and ta da..........its done! The grains are nice and long, The taste is'nt sacrificed ANDDDDDDDDDDD you can go and take a shower without worrying if the rice will be burnt or not!LOL!

The recipe below is perfect for our family of 4. Tastes best with a side of brinjal pachadi or even just a simple onion and cucumber raita and some applams.

basmathi rice - 2 and a half cups ( I used the rice cooker cup which is 180 ml per cup)
chicken - 5 leg pieces 
cinnamon - 1/4 inch piece
cloves - 3
cardamoms - 2
yoghurt - 1/2 cup
oil - 1/4 cup
ghee - 1 tbsp
onions, thinly sliced - 2 big
green chilies, slit - 5
tomato, chopped - 1
ginger garlic paste - 3 tbsps
red chili powder - 2 tsps
shan biryani masala powder - 1 tbsp
mint/coriander leaaves, chopped - 2 tbsps
lime juice - 2 tbsps
salt to taste

  • Marinate the chicken in the yoghurt with some salt and refrigerate overnight.
  • Wash and soak the basmathi rice in water for about 30 minutes.
  • In a wok, heat the oil and the ghee. Add in the cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms.
  • Add in the onions and green chillies. Saute, cover and cook on low to medium flame till the onions soften and turn slightly brown.
  • At this point add the ginger garlic paste. Saute for 2 minutes or so!
  • Add the marinated chicken (without the yoghurt) and saute for a few minutes. Add some salt, chili powder and the shan biryani masala.
  • When the chicken has changed colour add in the tomatoes. 
  • After the tomatoes have started to disintegrate, Add the yoghurt from the chicken. Mix well, close the lid and let the chicken cook.The chicken will cook fast. say about 10 to 15 minutes.So If need be you can add about half a cup of water .
  • Once the chicken has cooked through add in the mint/coriander leaves. Check for salt.
  • Switch off the flame and add in the lime juice.
  • Transfer the mixture to the rice cooker. add 3 cups of water. (See notes)Add the basmathi rice too. Give it a quick stir. Check for salt again. At this point the liquid must be slightly salty.
  • Switch the rice cooker on !
  • usually 1 cup of basmathi rice needs 1 and a half cups of water.
  • so for 2 and a half cups of rice iI require 4 cups of water.But the chicken mixture already had some gravy/ water in it. so I added only 3 cups of water and it turns out perfect.