TIRAMISU - NO ALCOHOL



Eid mubarak to all my friends who are celebrating! What better way to finish our festival feast other than this rich tiramisu!

This is one of our favourite desserts. Rich and creamy and filled with coffee. 
This recipe uses no whipped cream. The richness and thickness comes from beating the eggs alone. I have tried an eggless version too......which uses whipped cream to give you the creamy texture. It's as good. but since we have tried this recipe with eggs we love this one better.:)

Alot of recipes use whipped cream. but its not authentic and the taste for this recipe is wayyyyyyy better!






My pan was 24 cms by 13 cms

INGREDIENTS:
savoiardi biscuits - 20 to 24 (depending on the size of the pan used)
eggs, separated - 3
sugar - 3/4 cup
marscapone cream cheese- 500g
vanilla essence - 1 tsp
strong coffee or expresso - 1 and 1/4 cups (I used 4 tbsps instant coffee powder dissolved in 1 and                                                  1 and 1/4 cups hot water)
cocoa powder for dusting

PROCESS:
  • Cool the coffee.
  • Put the egg yolks and the whites in separate bowls.
  • The bowl with the egg yolks must be a heat proof bowl. Now to the bowl with the egg yolks add in the sugar. 
  • Then place a saucepan of water over the stove on low heat. Place the bowl with the egg yolks and sugar on top of the saucepan. The water in the saucepan must not touch the bowl.

  • Using a hand whisk or electric beater, whisk the egg yolks and sugar well until pale yellow.
  • The yolks will cook in the steam and become slightly thick and pale yellow. (I used an electric beater for 5 minutes) Remove from the flame. Set aside to cool.

  • In a big bowl, place the marcapone and vanilla essence and gently smoothen it with a spatula. DO NOT beat it. Keep aside.

  •  Now with an electric beater whisk the egg whites for a few minutes till stiff peaks form. 

  • Now, add the marscapone to the egg yolk mixture and gently fold it in.
  • Then, gently fold in the egg whites. Only mix till everything is well incorporated. REMEMBER TO BE GENTLY AT ALL TIMES.
  • Now to assemble. Smear some marscapone cream mixture on the base of the pan.
  • Dunk the savoiardi in the coffee one by one and place it neatly in a row on the base of the pan. (Do not soak. Dip and remove quickly. We do not want it soggy)

  • After one layer of the biscuits, spread half the marscapone cream mixture on top in an even layer.
  • Do one more layer of the biscuits and another layer of cream on top.
  • Refrigerate it for atleast 6 to 8 hours to set.
  • Dust with sifted cocoa powder on top before serving.
  • Serve cold.
NOTES:
  • Do not substitute marscapone with any other cream cheese. The taste will not be the same.
  • The only point to remember while making this tiramisu, is to be gentle while handling marscapone because we want to maintain that creamy thick texture. If we over handle or mix it too much it will become watery or thin.
  • Also be gentle while folding in the beaten egg whites. Too much mixing will deflate them.
  • Do not soak the savoiardi biscuits in coffee for more than a second . It will become too soggy and as a result the dessert might become slightly watery. Tiramisu is a thick creamy dessert.

VEGETABLE CUTLETS/TIKKIS




These vegetable cutlets are so healthy and very kid friendly! Have I got your attention already?GREAT!:)

They are so crispy on the outside and soft and delicious on the inside. These patties make great veggie burger patties too! PLUS they freeze so well! My daughter loves these ......so whenever I have the time....................and patience to sit and roll these out, I make a biggish batch to freeze.
They come in so handy when we are stuck on lunch box ideas. Also so handy for after school snacks or teatime snacks............just pull them outta the freezer and shallow fry them on low flame. No need to defrost.




Makes about 18 cutlets
INGREDIENTS:

oil to saute
onions, chopped - 2
tomatoes, chopped - 2
beetroot, roughly chopped - 2
carrots , roughly chopped - 2
potatoes, roughly chopped - 2
ginger garlic paste - 2 tbsps
red chili powder - 1 and 1/2 tsps
garam masala - 1 tsp
turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
coriander powder - 2 tsps
cumin powder - 1 tsp
fresh coriander leaves - 2 tbsps
salt to taste


for shaping and rolling:
cooking oats  - 1 cup approx (can also use breadcrumbs)
eggs, whisked - 2
breadcrumbs 

PROCESS:

  • In a pressure cooker, heat the oil and saute the onions until lightly browned.
  • Add in the ginger garlic paste and saute for about 30 seconds.
  • Add in the tomatoes and salt and cover and cook for a minute or so until the tomatoes are mushy.
  • Add in all the vegetables. Saute for a minute.
  • Add in the red chili powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, cumin powder and coriander powder and let it cook for a minute.
  • Lastly add in the fresh coriander leaves.
  • Add in the required water (just enough) and pressure cook for a few whistles till the vegetables are cooked through.
  • When done, carefully release the steam, and put the pot back on the flame and cook till all the water has evaporated.
  • Keep stirring continuously since it is very easy to burn the bottom.
  • Once the water has completely evaporated, roughly mash the veggie with the back of your spatula/spoon. Remove from the flame and let it cool.

  • Now to shape the cutlets-  In a shallow plate keep the breadcrumbs ready.
  • In another bowl, keep the eggs ready.
  • Now, the veggie mixture will be too soft to shape. So we add just enough oats to help maintain the shape when moulded.
  • After you add in the oats to the veggies, mix well and you can start shaping.
  • Take some mixture and shape into a cutlet. Then drop it into the eggs and coat well. Next place it on the breadcrumbs and let it cover the whole cutlet.
  • Do the same for the entire vegetable mixture. At this point you can freeze them by placing them in neat layers in a box with sheets of baking paper in between so they don't stick to each other.

  • Heat oil in a wide pan/skillet for shallow frying.
  • Shallow fry them on low flame till nicely browned on each side. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  • Enjoy them hot with ketchup/ chili sauce on the side.

PANEER MALAI KOFTA




This dish is a very famous paneer/cottage cheese dish served in North Indian restaurants.
Paneer and potato balls(koftas) are deep fried and served in a rich and creamy tomato based curry. It goes so well with any indian flat bread. although butter or garlic naans are super delicious. you can check the recipe for butter naans here.

This is extremely tasty and a great option for vegetarians eating at North Indian restaurants.
It takes a bit of time to knead the paneer/cottage cheese. This is done similar to how we knead the paneer while making rasagolas. The key is to have a very smooth paneer and potato mixture. Once this is ready everything can be done quickly.





INGREDIENTS:
for the koftas:
boiled potatoes - 1 cup packed(approx 2 medium potatoes. see notes)
paneer,,grated and kneaded smooth - 1 cup packed (about 200g. see notes)
fresh coriander leaves 2 tbsps
cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
green chilies, seeds removed roughly, chopped - 3
ginger, grated - 2 tsps
cornstarch - 1 and 1/2 tbsps
pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
salt to taste
cashewnuts,chopped - 1tbsp (optional)
raisins, chopped - 1  (optional) 
oil for frying

for the curry base (to saute and blend)
oil - 1 tbsp
cinnamon stick - small 1/2 inch piece
cloves - 4
cardamom - 2
onions, roughly chopped - 2 
tomatoes, roughly chopped - 3 medium
green chillies - 2
cashewnuts - 15

for tempering:
butter - 2 tbsps
ginger garlic paste - 1 heaped tbsp
red chilli powder - 2 tsps
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
coriander powder - 1 tsp
garam masala - 1/4 tsp
cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
sugar - 1 tsp
kasuri methi - 1 tbsp
milk - 1/2 cup
fresh cooking cream - 1/4 cup

PROCESS:

  • To make the koftas- In a mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients under 'for the koftas'. Now roll the koftas out into small lime sized balls (or maybe slightly bigger). I got 12. 

  • Heat oil in a kadai for frying the koftas. Drop the koftas into the hot oil and cook them on low flame till browned on the outside. Drain on paper towels and keep aside.

  • Now to make the curry-. Heat oil in a wok. add in the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom.
  • Next, add in the onions and green chilies. 
  • Once the onions have started to change colour, add in the cashewnuts. Saute for a  minute or 2.
  • Next add in the tomatoes and salt. Cook for 4 minutes or so till the tomatoes have cooked through. Remove from the flame and let it cool.
  • Once the onion and tomato mixture has cooled, transfer it to a blender and blend till you get a nice smooth paste. You can add in 1/2 cup water while blending to get a nice sauce. You can add an additional 1/2 cup water to the empty blender to get the remaining bits of sauce stuck in the corners. It's precious:)
  • Strain the sauce. So now we are left with a smooth, glossy sauce.
  • Now for tempering- In the same wok, heat the butter.
  • Add in the ginger garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric powder and fry on low flame for a few seconds.
  • Add in the strained onion tomato curry base.
  • Simmer the curry base and add in the coriander powder, garam masala, cardamom powder, sugar and salt if required.
  • You can see the oil will start to separate after a few minutes. Then add in the milk and cream. Crush the kasuri methi with your fingers and add that too. 
  • Add in the paneer koftas and drench it with the curry and switch off the flame.
NOTES:


  • To make the koftas, mash and knead the potatoes for a few minutes till it's completely mashed and smooth. I just used my hands and knuckles to mash it up. 


  • Knead the paneer for a few minutes until smooth and like paste. If you feel the paneer is dry, you can add a few drops of water while kneading.


  • I did not add cashewnuts or raisins to the koftas as we like a smooth texture.



  • PARUPPU RASAM







    Rasam  is a staple dish in South india. It is made from tempered tamarind water. There are so many varieties of rasam these days which are all delicious in their own way.
    Drench your white rice with rasam and pair it with some applams/pappads and some spicy fried egg and your meal is made.

    Rasam equals fast cooking. But if you have slightly more time you can serve it with any of these common sides - potato fry, beetroot poriyal or any veggie stirfry or if you are looking for non vegetarian options you can try spicy prawn masalachettinad prawn masalachicken karahipepper chicken masala .



    INGREDIENTS:
    to dry roast and blend:
    chana dal - 1 tsp
    dried red chili - 2 or 3
    whole black peppercorns - 1/4 tsp
    coriander seeds - 2 tsps
    cumin seeds - 1 tsp

    other ingredients:
    toor dal - 1/2 cup
    tamarind - 1 ping ball sized ball soaked in 1 cup water
    tomato, roughly chopped - 1
    fresh coriander leaves, chopped - 2 tbsp

    for tempering:
    ghee - 1 tsp
    oil - 1 tsp
    mustard seeds - 1 tsp
    dried red chili - 1
    curry leaves - 8
    turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
    garlic cloves, crushed lightly - 5
    hing/asafoetida - a pinch


    PROCESS:

    • cook the toor dal with the required water until completely cooked and mashed. keep aside.
    • In a pan, dry roast all the ingredients under the 'to dry roast and blend'. Switch off the flame when the dal starts to change colour. Cool and then bend it to a powder.
    • Squeeze the tamarind and extract the juice from it. Add another 1 cup water to the pulp and extract the juice from it for the second time. So now we have 2 cups of tamarind water.
    • Place it in a saucepan along with the tomato and you can add another 1 more cup of water if its too sour. 
    • Add some salt and let it boil.
    • When the water level has come down and the tomato has become nice and mushy add the cooked lentils and simmer for 2 minutes or till the required consistency is reached. Switch off the flame.
    • In another small pan heat the oil and ghee. Add in the mustard seeds.
    • When it starts spluttering, add in the garlic, dried red chili and the curry leaves. 
    • Saute for few seconds and add our freshly ground spice mix and turmeric. Add the hing and saute for a minute and then pour it into the pot of tamarind water. Add fresh coriander leaves and close the pot.

    CRUNCHY GRANOLA - THE BEST!



    I usually eat cereals for breakfast because its something which is readily available in hand when your in a hurry. .......and busy moms  like us are ALWAYS on the go! 
    I never ever sit down and have breakfast. I'm the person who prefers to finish all my work in the morning itself so I can have sometime to relax later........so very often I realize I havn't eaten my breakfast halfway through cooking and then just eat a bowl of cereal while I'm cooking! It's the easiest for me.

    I saw this granola on my insta friend's gram a few weeks ago! Prerna's instagram is 'cooking with happiness' and she has alot of healthy recipes.
    It seemed too perfect and tempting that I had to give it a go! That golden brown granola was something I couldn't forget ! So I had to make it!:)
    Waited patiently till she posted the recipe.............and bam! I'm OBSESSED!! Super duper  delicious!
    I had a bowl with some creamy flavoured yoghurt ! YUM! So crunchy and the right amount of sweetness and everything!
    YESSSS! My week is sorted!!






    INGREDIENTS:

    to mix and roast:
    rolled oats - 1 and 1/2 cup
    almonds - 1/3 cup
    pumpkin seeds - 1/4 cup
    dried coconut flakes - 1/4 cup
    chia seeds - 1tbsp
    flax seeds - 2 tbsps
    jaggery powder - 2 tbsps
    cinnamon powder - 1/4 tsp
    pinch sea salt
    honey- 3tbsps (or maple syrup)
    coconut oil - 3 tbsps

    to add later:
    raisins - 1/4 cup
    dried cranberries - 1/4 cup

    PROCESS:
    • Toss all the ingredients under 'mix and roast' in a bowl. Mix well.
    • In a wok, on low flame roast the granola mix. Keep stirring continuously.
    • Roast till it becomes slightly brown. Switch off and add in the dried cranberries and raisins. Mix well and let it rest in the pan for a few minutes. It will become nice and crisp.
    • After it cools, store in an airtight container.
    Notes:
    • I'm not too fond of using the oven. I prefer the stove top for cooking if possible.
    • Normally people use an oven to roast the granola, stirring it every 3 minutes for about 20 minutes or so at 180 deg.
    • But i preferred using a stove top.

    CHICKEN BURGERS




    These burgers are a healthier version of the usual greasy ones you get at restaurants. Definitely fits the label 'homemade'.
    Another easy recipe where we can just mix the ingredients to make the patty and then grill it on a skillet with very less oil. Once the patties are ready ...................its party time! Call in everyone to make their own burgers. ............the kids usually love to assemble their own burgers!


    Another great way to sneak in veggies. I have used carrot here. But you can use beetroot, zucchini etc. Just remember while using zucchini or any veggie that has a high water content to squeeze out the excess water before adding it to the minced meat and make the patties immediately.
    and also no one will know that there is oats in there!;)




    INGREDIENTS:
    for the chicken patty:
    boneless chicken, ground - 500g 
    ginger garlic paste - 2 tbsps
    chilli powder - 2 tsps
    turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
    onion powder - 1 tsp
    carrot, grated - 1
    egg, lightly beaten - 1
    cooking oats - 3/4 cup
    fresh coriander leaves, chopped - 2 tbsps
    salt and pepper 

    other ingredients:
    burger buns - 6
    lettuce/ rocket leaves
    mozzarella or cheddar cheese slices -  6
    tomatoes/ onions/jalepenos (optional)
    mayonaise/tomato ketchup/ chilli sauce 


    PROCESS:
    • In a mixing bowl, add in all the ingredients under the list 'for the chicken patty'. mix well.
    • In a frying pan, heat some oil. ( I just used enough oil to cover the base of the pan)
    • Depending  on the size of the patty you require take the chicken and mould it into a disc shape using your hands.
    • Place it on the hot oil and cook for a few minutes on each side till cooked. It must be browned. Press down gently to help the insides cook.
    • Drain on a kitchen towel.  
    To assemble:
    • Cut your burger buns through the middle.
    • On the base bun place whatever greens you are using.
    • then comes the hot patty and top it with the cheese.
    • On the top bun you can smear your mayo and other favourite sauces and then close the burger.


    PINEAPPLE AND CUCUMBER SALAD



    Is this recipe post blog worthy? I think so!

    Well...................my sister and I talk a few times a day......and share everything with each other !So during our conversation yesterday, when I told her about this salad............ and that this was going to be my next blog post, she was dumbfounded. She told me I was doing great on my blog and giving such great content and and asked me why I wanted to ruin it with this recipe! LOL! 
    I get that this recipe is not rocket science.  But still....................its delicious! and the viewers can get some idea out of this right??
    Anyway we had a good laugh and she will always be my best and worst critic!

    This salad is a delicious, easy salad with a burst of flavour! its definitely more interesting to snack on this compared to a plain bowl of cucumbers or pineapples!RIGHT?




    INGREDIENTS:
    pineapple, cubed - 1 and 1/2 cups
    cucumbers, cut lengthwise and then sliced - 1 cup
    fresh coriander leaves, chopped - 2 tbsps
    onion, chopped - 1 or 2 tbsps
    salt and pepper

    PROCESS:
    • Just toss all the ingredients into a bowl and serve immediately.

    MUTTON DALCHA




    Muslim mutton Dalcha is a very famous dish. It's very often cooked in Muslim households with one eye closed hahahahaha.............and also at weddings........and goes so well with ghee rice
    I've never been a big fan of this dish until recently. It's a lentil dish made from mutton bones........slightly sour.......and delicious!You pair it up with ghee rice .......and any dry dish like Chicken Karahi or spicy prawn masala or some chettinad prawn masala to name a few. your belly is a happy belly!

    Most often the veggies used for this dish are raw mango, brinjal, potatoes, carrots or raw banana! You can pick and choose according to your likes.


    I got help from my favourite cousin Neelu!She's an absolute sweetheart! She immediately sent me a very elaborate recipe the next minute!!!!!! Now who does that??!! Anybody else would have probably said "ask me later when I'm not busy!!" Thanks Neelukins!!!
    She's one hell of a cook! She's a pro at not only cooking but her plating and presentation skills are on point too. Guess she got her skills from her mum who is a tigress in the kitchen! That's a totally different story for another day! Maybe I can beg them to donate a few recipes for my blog !:) .................Well............anywayyyy coming back to me........:D so maybe that's where I got my passion for cooking!!:)
    (Pssssssst.....Neelu I just made you famous! Can you give me your crab recipe next??:D)


    INGREDIENTS:
    to pressure cook:
    mutton bones (chest which has alot of fat) - 1/4  kg
    toor dal - 1 cup
    channa dal - 1/2 cup
    ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
    onion, sliced - 1
    tomatoes, chopped - 2
    cumin powder - 1 tsp
    coriander powder - 1 tsp
    green chillies, slit - 2
    turmeric powder - 1 tsp
    red chilli powder - 1 tsp
    salt to taste (half salt because we will add the rest while sauteing)

    Other ingredients:
    oil to saute
    onions, sliced - 1 small
    ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
    raw banana, cut into 2 inch pieces - 2 or 3
    round brinjal, halved and then quartered - 2
    red chilli powder - 2 tsps
    fresh mint/corainder leaves - 3 tbsps
    cinnamon powder - slightly less than 1/4 tsp
    tamarind - 1 lime sized ball soaked in 1 cup hot water and strained and then add 1/2 or 1 more cup of                    water to the pulp and strain again
    coconut milk - 1/4 cup
    salt to taste

    PROCESS:
    • Wash the dal and lamb and cook it in the pressure cooker with the rest of the ingredients under the 'to pressure cook' list with the required water for about 5 to 6 whistles. (or till the lamb is cooked. )Once cooked, keep aside.
    • In a wok, heat the oil and saute the onions till slightly browned. 
    • Add in the ginger garlic paste. saute for about a minute. Add in the chilli powder.
    • Next, add in the veggies. Saute for a minute with some salt for a minute.
    • Add in the tamarind water. close the  pot and let it simmer till the veggies are cooked.
    • Then add in the lentil mixture from your pressure cooker and stir. Check for salt and add the cinnamon powder.
    • Add in the fresh mint/ coriander leaves and simmer for a few minutes till you have reached the required consistency.
    • Finally add in the coconut milk and simmer for a minute. Done!
    NOTES:
    • Dalcha becomes thick when it cools down. So just add more water when you are re heating before serving. 


    CHICKEN KARAHI



    Chicken Karahi is a very popular dish in the Pakistani Cuisine. Karahi is a hindi word for our steel or iron kadai with handles on both sides. 

    I got this recipe from Vijaya Selvaraju's channel. She's got lovely recipes and I've been eyeing a few!
    The dish is slightly spicy and prepared with lots of spices. It's absolutely delish and can be paired with ghee ricecoconut milk rice or even chapathis! It's a perfect side dish to almost any curry even dal.

    Chicken Karahi is also so easy to make and uses fewer ingredients than most recipes! also its super quick and easy. Once we have got our spice mix ready, half the work is done already!





    INGREDIENTS:
    to blend:
    cumin seeds - 1 tbsp
    coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
    black peppercorns - 2 tsp
    dried red chillies - 4 
    garam masala - 1 tsp
    turmeric powder - 1 tsp

    Other ingredients:
    chicken drumsticks - 5
    chicken thighs - 2
    oil to saute
    cardamoms - 2
    onions, sliced - 1 big
    tomatoes, chopped - 2 medium
    ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
    yoghurt, lightly whisked - 4 tbsp
    kasuri methi - 1 tbsp
    salt to taste

    PROCESS:
    • In a small blender, blend together all the ingredients in the 'to blend' list. Keep aside.
    • In a wok, heat some oil. You need to be a bit generous!
    • Add in the cardamoms and the onions. Saute till they become golden brown.
    • Add in the ginger garlic paste and saute for about a minute.
    • Next add in our freshly ground spice blend and let it nicely fry in the oil.
    • Add in the tomatoes and the salt. Stir and cover and let the tomatoes get nice and mushy. This may take a few minutes as we do it in low flame.
    • When they are nice and mushy and your left with a nice thick paste, add in the chicken.
    • After about 2 minutes, add in the yoghurt and mix well.
    • Add in about 1/2 cup of water or as required to cook the chicken. Close the pan and simmer.
    • Stir regularly. All the water must evaporate and you must be left with a nice thick masala. 
    • At this point add in the kasuri methi and mix well for a minute or two and then you can switch off the flame. Delicious!

    CARROT KHEER/ PAYASAM



    This is a very easy dessert to make. Great to make when you have guests over. It can be prepared quite easily and quickly without any pre-planning.  This recipe saves you the trouble of grating the carrots. (which is a pain!!)
    Here, the carrots are slow cooked in sweetened milk and then garnished with fried nuts.

    Payasam or kheer which are milk sweets are very easy to make........... and this recipe using carrots are a refreshing change. This is slightly on the thicker side. If you want to make it thinner so you can drink from a glass, just add more milk and adjust the consistency as preferred.


    Serves 2 to 3
    INGREDIENTS:
    carrots,peeled - 250g
    milk - 1 and 1/2 cups
    sugar - 1/4 cup
    almonds, blanched and skin removed  - 12 
    saffron - a small pinch soaked in 1 tbsp ht milk (optional)
    cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
    milk powder - 4 tbsps
    ghee - 2 tbsps
    cashewnuts - 6
    raisins - 6

    PROCESS:

    • Boil or steam the carrots well till a knife glides in with ease. I used a pressure cooker.

    • Next, using a blender grind the carrots and almonds together to a smooth paste. You can add some milk to help.
    • In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the ghee. add the cashewnuts and fry on low flame. Once they start to brown add in the raisins. They will plump up immediately. Remove the cashewnuts and raisins from the ghee and keep aside on a plate.
    • Next, to the remaining ghee, add in the carrot and almond paste. Saute for a minute or two on low flame. 
    • Then, add in the milk and sugar and simmer. keep stirring so the bottoms don't burn.
    • When the milk has reduced and you have reached the required consistency, add in the milk powder, cardamom powder and saffron milk. Using a whisk, nicely mix till there are no lumps from the milk powder.
    • Remove from flame and garnish with the fried cashewnuts and raisins. Serve cold or hot.




    SHAHI PANEER




    Shahi paneer is a very popular North Indian dish. The word 'Shahi ' meany royalty!  It originated from the Mughlai cuisine. Iit is made from nuts and spices and cream! and is generally a rich dish!So it has to be fit for the king!:)

    This dish can be paired up with any kind of roti- naans, chapathis , romali rotis or even rice.
    We loved this dish. Although the girls didn't enjoy it as much as they enjoyed the other paneer dishes like the paneer lababdarpaneer butter masalapalak paneerlahsooni methi paneer to name a few.
    Maybe they didn't like the whole spices which we grind into this dish. Oh well!We cannot please everybody!!!!








    INGREDIENTS:
    to saute and blend:
    paneer, cubed - 250g
    oil - 1 tbsp
    cinnamon - 1/2 inch piece
    cardamoms - 2
    cloves - 3
    green chillies - 2
    onions, roughly chopped - 2 big
    ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
    tomato, chopped - 1 big
    cashewnuts - 10
    almonds, blanched and skin removed - 10
    raisins - 10
    cumin seeds - 1 tsp
    coriander seeds - 1 tsp
    whole peppercorns - 5
    turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
    fennel powder/ sombu - 1/2 tsp
    salt to taste

    for tempering:
    butter - 2 tbsps
    ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
    red chilli powder - 1/4 tsp
    kasuri methi - 1 tsp
    saffron - a small pinch soaked in 1 tbsp hot milk(optional)
    honey - 1 tbsp
    milk - 1/2 cup
    fresh cream - 1/4 cup
    yoghurt. whisked - 1/4 cup

    PROCESS:

    • In a wok, heat the oil and add in the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.
    • Then add in the onions and green chillies and saute till slightly browned.
    • Add in the ginger garlic paste and saute for about 30 seconds till the raw smell goes.
    • Then, add in the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, turmeric powder and fennel powder. Saute for about 30 seconds and then add in the almonds, cashews and raisins. Again saute for about 30 seconds.
    • Lastly add in the tomatoes and salt. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds.
    • Then add in about 1 cup of water. Cover and let it simmer for a few minutes till the tomatoes are nice and mushy and the water level has gone down.
    • Remove from the flame and let it cool.
    • Once it has cooled completely whizz it into a smooth paste in a blender. add some more water in the blender and swish it around to remove the remaining precious paste sticking in the corners. 
    • pass this mixture through a sieve. This ensures that we have a smooth and silky curry base. Keep aside.
    • In a wok, on low heat,heat the butter. Add in the ginger garlic paste and let it cook in the butter for a few seconds.
    • Then, add in the red chilli powder and let it fry in the butter too.
    • Next, pour in the onion tomato mixture and mix well.
    • The oil will start to separate, add in the yoghurt, milk and cream. Let it cook for a a minute or two. Once you have reached the required consistency add in the honey, kasuri methi and the saffron milk.
    • Add in the paneer cubes and simmer for a minute or two. Switch off the flame and cover.

    KOZHI SEMIYA/ IDYAPPAM BIRYANI




    This recipe has been in our household for eons. It is so delicious, simple and great for dinner parties! We make a simple chicken masala and then add the idyapams. It's a great way to use any left over Idyappams.

    Idyappams also known as string hoppers are made from rice flour. A simple dough made from rice flour, salt and water and then passed through Idyappam moulds and then steamed. It is very famous in Kerela (known as nool puttu)but also in many parts of South India.

    It is nice when it is spicy. But when we have children in the house you can always reduce the spice and serve it with some raita or just plain yoghurt.




    INGREDIENTS:
    chicken drumsticks - 6

    oil to saute
    ghee - 1 tbsp
    cinnamon - 2 inch piece
    cardamoms - 2
    cloves - 4
    yoghurt - 3 tbsps
    green chillies,slit - 5
    onions, chopped - 2 big
    tomatoes, chopped - 2 big
    ginger garlic paste - 2 heaped tbsps
    red chilli powder - 1 and a half tsps
    cumin powder - 2 tsps
    coriander powder - 2 tsps
    turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
    mint/coriander leaves - 1/4 cup packed
    idyappam/string hoppers - 15

    PROCESS:
    • In a wok, heat the oil and ghee. add the cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms.
    • Add in the onions and green chillies and saute.
    • Once the onions have turned golden brown, add in the ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw smell goes.
    • Add in the red chilli powder turmeric powder, cumin powder and coriander powder and saute in the oil for about 30 seconds or so. Add in splashes of water to keep the spices from burning in the pan.
    • Add in the chicken and let it cook in the spices. Mix well. Add salt too.
    • after about a minute or so add in the tomatoes. Cover and let it cook for a few minutes on low flame till the tomatoes get mushy. Add in yoghurt. mix and add in the mint/coriander leaves.
    • After about  2 minutes add in some water, about 1 cup or the required amount of water for the chicken to cook. Cover and simmer.
    • Stir at regular intervals to prevent any burning. We must cook it till the entire water evaporates and we are left with a thick masala.

    • Once we reach that stage switch off the flame and close. Let it cool almost completely.
    • After it has cooled, crumble the Idyappan gently with your fingers and add it to the masala. let it coat the masala.
    NOTES:
    • The masala must be NEVER be hot when adding the Idyappams. Otherwise it will become mushy. So always cool it to room temperature before adding the Idyappams.
    • If the Idyappams have been in the fridge, warm it in the microwave or steam it first. then cool it down and then add it to the masala. This is because if the Idyappams were in the fridge it will be very stiff and will not absorb the masala.

    CRISPY RAVA DOSA



    Rava dosa is a South Indian dish. You can call it a lacy crepe with lots of holes on it! Rava is the tamil word for semolina or sooji. Rava dosa is one of my favourites and I always end up ordering it when i go to Saravana Bhavan! It is so easy to make. Just dump all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk well.

    It's so crispy and delicious! Tastes lovely with any chutney and sambar. My favourite is the coriander and coconut chutney. You can also check out the recipes for coconut chutney and sambar.

    This recipe comes in very handy on occasions when you havnt pre- prepped anything and your too lazy to really chop up anything and cook. It just needs a 20 minute sitting time before you make the dosas.




    INGREDIENTS:

    rava/ sooji/ semolina - 1/2 cup
    rice flour - 1/2 cup
    all purpose flour - 1/4 cup
    yoghurt - 2 tbsp
    curry leaves, roughly torn - 8
    cumin - 1/4 tsp
    whole black peppercorns - 1/4 tsp
    ginger, grated - 1/2 tsp
    green chilies, chopped - 2
    fresh coriander leaves, chopped - 1 tbsp
    salt to taste
    water - 2 and a half cups
    chopped onions (optional)
    lightly fried cashewnuts (optional)


    PROCESS:
    • Put all the above ingredients in a big bowl and whisk well. That is the batter for the rava dosa. Let it rest for 20 minutes. Don't let it rest for more than 2 hours at room temperature because it might turn sour since we have added yoghurt.
    • Now heat a non stick flat dosa pan. 
    • Using a scoop ladle, nicely mix the batter, since the ingredients will settle at the bottom of the bowl. So stir it well each time you scoop the batter out.
    • Scoop the batter and pour it on the pan starting from the edges moving inwards. If there are gaps in between just pour a few drops to cover it .
    • Cook on LOW FLAME and patiently wait for it to crisp up and brown. Drizzle some ghee or oil over the surface and corners of the rava dosa.
    • Once it has become slightly brown remove it from the pan. NO NEED to flip and cook on the other side.

    CORIANDER AND COCONUT CHUTNEY

                 

      This chutney goes well with dosa, idlis.Stays fresh for a few days under refrigeration.

    INGREDIENTS:
    to blend:
    fresh coriander leaves - 1 cup (packed)
    coconut, grated - 3/4 cup
    garlic - 2 cloves
    green chillies - 2
    lemon juice - 1 tsp
    salt to taste

    to temper:
    oil - 1 tbsp
    mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
    urad dal - 1/4 tsp (optional)
    curry leaves - 5
    dried red chilies - 1

    PROCESS:
    • using a blender, blend all the ingredients under 'to blend' list. add little water to get the required consistency.
    • to temper, heat the oil in a small saucepan, add the mustard seeds. once they start to splutter add the urad dal, curry leaves and dried chillies and off the stove. 
    • pour the tempered oil into the chutney . mix.
    • tastes good without tempering itself.

    BEETROOT PASTA - IN 15 MINUTES!




    OMG! This recipe is an absolute treasure.
    Firstly........ its super easy. 
    Secondly, its healthy
    Thirdly its quick!! 
    Fourth..........its beautiful! Look at that colour guys! 

    Both my girls loved it! But they like beets.....so.....! 
    When I saw this recipe on Nadiya Hussains cooking show, I was siper impressed. She promised her viewers zhe would be done cooking the whole sauce by the time the pasta was done cooking!and it was done! Cool huh?

    I was a bit wary about the simplicity of the ingredients at first. About how much taste and flavour it can really deliver.............but guys trust me......its da bomb! The garlic really comes through and please don't skip the feta coz thats the cherry on the top!

    I cooked my beets earlier in the day and refrigerated them. You can even use the pre -cooked vacuum packed ones for a quicker meal. So dinner was done in 10- 15 mins! What a blessing for busy mums......or dads!And so healthy too! BONUS!



    INGREDIENTS:
    spaghetti - 230 g

    to blend:

    cooked beetroots - 330 g (see notes)
    garlic cloves - 4
    chilli - 1(i used the dried red chilli)
    salt to taste
    extra virgin olive oil  - 1/4 cup

    topping:
    feta cheese - 90 g
    lemon juice - 1/2 tsp
    mint leaves, chopped - 2 tbsps

    PROCESS:
    • Boil the spaghetti as per instructions on the packet. Drain and set aside.
    • While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Using a blender, whizz up all the ingredients under the 'to blend' list. Keep aside. That's the sauce.
    • To make the topping, crumble the feta in a bowl, add in the lemon juice and the mint and mix.
    • Mix the sauce with the spaghetti. Plate it and serve with some feta on top.
    NOTES:
    • You can cook the beets by boiling them in water or steaming it. Whichever way works fine. Just make sure its soft enough for a knife to go through it easily.
    • Or you can use the pre -cooked vacuum packed beetroots if your running out of time!

    Printfriendly