Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Dinner

 Christmas dinner~ its a pure family time when everyone gathers around at the kitchen table to enjoy what my mums makes, the only person missing was my brother this time, never the less mum is sending me some of her Turkey roast on my route back to Bangalore tomorrow. That's right my holidays are over and its back to the grind and  it's back to the workstation.
Our Christmas dinner menu consisted of Appam and Turkey Roast (Naadan style), Pan Seared Salmon. The drink~ Homemade Red Wine and for Dessert Christmas Cake.

Appam and Naadan Turkey Roast
The recipe on Appam has already been posted on 18 December, 2009. For the Kalappam that has been used here the batter has to be thick. Once the tava is hot enough, ladle a spoon of batter, cover and cook till done. And flip over the other side to cook as well.

Ingredients for the Turkey Roast
Turkey - 4.5kg with skin cut into medium pieces
Onions - 5 large ones finely sliced
Potatoes - 5 large ones peeled and cut into thin wafers
Coriander powder - 5tbs
Chilly powder  - 3tbs
Ginger garlic paste - 4tbs
Cumin powder  - 2tsp
Mustard seeds - 2tsp
5 spices whole - 3tsp (cardamom, clove, cinnamon, star anise and fennel)

Marinate the turkey with chilly powder and salt and set aside for half an hour. Into a large pan, dry roast the 5 spices and keep aside. Then pour in vegetable oil and fry the sliced potatoes till crisp and keep aside. Into the remaining oil, brown half the quantity of sliced onions and keep aside to garnish. Saute the remaining onions till almost brown, and tip in the turkey and fry the turkey pieces till brown. Cover and cook for 15minutes. Into another pan, splutter the mustard seeds, and roasted spices and saute the rest of the masala powders (ginger-garlic paste, coriander powder and cumin powder) till the fat separation happens. Transfer the sauteed masala to the cooked turkey and gently combine the masala and turkey. Once combined, put the lid on the pan and bake into a cool oven for 15mins at 140 C. Once baked spoon the fried onions and top with crispy potatoes. Serve hot with appams.

Pan Seared Salmon

Pink Salmon - 250gms
Black pepper powder
Lemon juice  - 2-3tsp
Salt to taste
Shredded cucumber and carrots to garnish

Rub salt and pepper onto the salmon and keep aside for 10minutes. Into a flat pan, heat olive oil and sear the salmon on both sides till done. Shred Lebanese cucumber and carrots onto a plate, bed the salmon on top and squeeze lemon juice and serve immediately.

Red Wine

Water - 12litres
Grape Juice - 12litres
Sugar - 4kgs
Yeast - 1-2tsp

Mix all the ingredients together and leave to ferment in a closed barrel. You would need to stir the liquid once everyday during the fermentation period. The process should take about 14-21 days. After the fermentation period, strain the liquid into another barrel or cask and let the wine age.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Brown and White Cucumber Sandwiches

A light snack to please anyone and satiate a 4'o clock hunger pang or even woo a guest for a nice tea party.

Brown Bread - 1 loaf (at least a day old)
White Bread - 1 loaf (at least a day old)
Lebanese Cucumber - 6-7 cut into very fine roundrels.
Butter - 3tbs
Light Mayonnaise - 5-6tbs
Tobasco sauce - couple of dabs (depending on one's spice levels)

Into a mixing bowl, melt butter and mix in the mayonnaise and then dab in tobasco sauce. Spread the buttery spread onto one slice of brown bread, arrange the cucumber rounds and  cover white bread. Slice of all the edges and cut the sandwich into small rectangles or squares and arrange alternatively onto a large platter. Serve with some cherry tomatoes and ketchup.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A warm brew ~ Orange Tea

With temperatures being 10-11 Centigrade in the evening, I'm forever scouting for something to keep me warm. At the same time I don't want to overdo myself with several hot cups of tea and coffee both enjoyed equally with milk and sugar. I thought why not try something for a change. So here's a brew I enjoy now!!

[Serves - 2]
2 cups of hot water
1 Yellow Lipton tea bag
1/2 cup of orange juice
1-2 cloves
1 inch cinnamon stick
1-2 tsp of lemon juice
Sugar to taste

Into a saucepan, boil water and leave the tea bag for about 3-4minutes along with the cloves and cinnamon let it simmer uncovered. Take it off the flame and add in the orange juice and lemon juice. Strain and add sugar to taste and enjoy the warm refreshing cuppa!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I have grown eating Hummus all my life.Teamed with plain khubbus, julienne d vegetable sticks or sandwiched in a Shawarma, the taste of it has now lingered onto Satish's (hubby) palate as well.


1 cup of chickpeas (soaked overnight and boiled)
1/4 cup liquid from boiled chickpeas
3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini/ sesame seed paste (you could totally do without this as well)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

Blend all the ingredients except olive oil until thoroughly mixed and smooth. Transfer to a bowl and create a depression in the center and tip in the olive oil. Serve with khubbus/ pita bread or even Chapathy.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

BBQ Chicken

Like I mentioned in my previous post on bbq'ed plantains, mum had the chicken marinated in her barbecue marinade the night before we arrived. For the barbecue you would need..

Chicken thighs - 1kg cleaned and slits made across
Sweet Paprika Powder - 6-8tbs
Ginger garlic paste - 2tbs
Black Pepper powder - 1tbs
Lemon juice - 2tbs
Lemon zest grated  - 1-2tsp
Salt to taste
A hot grill ready with hot coals

Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients, cling wrap and store into the refrigerator overnight. Grill the chicken over a hot coal and enjoy with some pita bread, hummus, moutabel and some green salad.

Papaya Pickle

A pickle adds that delicate tang to our lunch or dinner. It can even be a luxury item particularly during school boarding days when pickle jars would be brought out at night to be sandwiched in rotis or slices of bread stolen from dinner. In college hostels they were fuel for all night emergency study sessions. And for lonely graduate students they were a taste of home.

Green Papaya - 750gms semi ripened cut into 1cm fingers
Garlic - 1/4cup finely chopped
Ginger - 1/4cup finely julienned
Kashmiri Red chilly powder - 3tbs
Turmeric Powder - 1/2tsp
Fenugreek Powder - 1/2tsp
Asafoetida - 1/4tsp
Vinegar - to taste
Mustard seeds - 2tsp
Green chillies - 5-6 finely chopped
Jaggery  - 2-3tbs you could even substiute it with raisins or chopped up dates
Salt to taste

Into a large bowl, rub salt onto the papaya and keep aside. Into a saucepan, heat olive/ canola oil and splutter mustard seeds. Saute the ginger and garlic till evenly browned, add in the green chillies and saute till the aroma from the chillies are released. Combine in all the powders and saute till the fat separation starts to take place, and then add in the papaya. Cover and cook on low flame till the papaya becomes tender. Once the papaya is cooked add in jaggery and combine again on low flame. Take the pickle off the flame add salt and vinegar to taste. The pickle should be stored in the refrigerator.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Almond cake topped with a fruit cocktail

Brewed a strong cup of coffee, donned on my apron (this time I got a nice colorful one from my mum..felt like a real time chef..) and I was ready to bake a birthday cake for my mother-in-law. While she gets going with her famous Mutton biriyani, raita, pappad and pickle, I'm surprising her with a cake baked with love....
Thought I send in this for the event Show me your cake hosted by Divya Vikram.

Flour - 1cup
Baking powder - 1tsp
Castor sugar - 1 1/3cup
Almond paste - 3/4 cup
Salted Butter - 250gms
Eggs - 6 large ones
Vanilla Extract - 1tsp
Almond essence - 1tsp
Fruit cocktail - 1 Can (small)
Icing sugar to sprinkle

For the syrup:
Open the can and do not drain the liquid. Empty all the contents into a non stick saucepan and over low flame lightly heat it infusing the cocktail with a 1tsp of lemon juice, 2-3 cloves and a stick of cinnamon. When the cocktail is warmed through, take it off the flame and leave it to cool.

For the cake:
Blanch and peel the skin of the almonds and grind to a fine paste without water and keep aside. Beat the eggs separately and keep aside.Sift the flour and baking powder and keep that aside too.
Preheat the oven to 170 C. Grease the cake tin and flour it. In a food processor, process the sugar and almond paste for about 3 minutes so that the paste is further made fine just incase it was not ground well. Then add the butter and process till the batter is nice and fluffy. Through the funnel drizzle in the beaten eggs little by little. Then add the vanilla. Next comes in the sifted flours till it is all incorporated well. Pour this into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 35-40 minutes.

Baking time so depends on the kind of oven you are using so just check in on your cake at the end of 35 minutes with a toothpick or skewer till the it comes off clean. This cake is absolutely moist and can be kept outside for storage. After the cake has cooled down, sprinkle with icing sugar.
Just before cutting the cake, spoon the fruit cocktail right in the center of the cake and moisten the cake with the syrup. Or else you could slice the cake and serve the fruit cocktail and some good quality vanilla ice cream side by side.

Appam with Seer Fish Pollichathu!!

I tell you nothing beats the taste of home cooked food, that too food cooked by mum. I'm on vacation in Kuwait with my parents and it was a welcome treat for breakfast, I love my mom's appams. My brother, while seeing us off at the airport reminded me to master the techniques of 'mom's appams', or else don't return is what he said. Now do I have a task to master in two weeks?!


Raw rice -2 cups (long grained rice soaked in water for 6 hours)
Par Boiled rice - 1cup (cooked rice)
Yeast - 1/4tsp
Sugar - 3tbsp
Coconut grated -1cup
Water - as required

Grind the raw rice, cooked rice and coconut together into a blender using water as required. Once the batter is ground well, add in the sugar, yeast and salt and blitz the batter well. Empty into a large vessel and leave to ferment overnight. Make lace appams onto a appam chatti and serve hot. If the batter is too thick you could make small appams that look like dosas.

Meen Pollichathu

Seer Fish Fillet - 500gms
Coriander powder - 3tbs
Red Chilly powder - 1tbs
Turmeric Powder - 1/2tsp
Ginger and garlic paste - 1tbs
Fenugreek powder - 1/2tsp
Cumin Powder - 1tsp
Onion - 1 finely chopped
Green chilly - 1 slit
Coconut milk - 1/2cup
Salt to taste

Into a large frying pan, saute the onion till pink. Add in the ginger-garlic paste and saute for 2-3minutes. Then add in all the masala powders (coriander, chilly, turmeric, cumin and fenugreek powders) and saute till the fat separation happens. Pour in 1/4cup water and mix in the masala, tip in the slit green chillies and slowly dip the fish. Cover and cook till the fish is done. Once the fish has become nice and soft, pour in the coconut milk. Whirl the pan, to let the coconut milk be thoroughly mixed. Throw in some fresh curry leaves and serve with appams.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cake and Wine ~It's Christmas Time!

What's Christmas without cake and wine. Even better is when you get to assist mom to make the cake and wine. She already baked one beforehand, and waited till I came to make the second. I'm sending in this as  my entry to 'Show me Your cake' event hosted by Divya Vikram.

Christmas Cake

Butter - 8oz
Sugar - 8oz
Eggs - 5 separated
Plain flour - 12oz
Brandy/ Rum/ Orange juice - 3tbsp
Salt - 1/2tsp
Mixed Spice - 1tsp
Vanilla Essence - 1tsp
Lemon and Almond Essence - few drops
Baking soda - 1/2tsp 
Almonds/ Cashew nuts - 200gms
Cherries - 125gms
Raisins - 300gms
Sultanas and Currants - 450gms
Dates - 200gms
Mixed peel - 125gms
Caramel Syrup - 3tbsp
Pineapple Preserve - 1/4cup
Orange Marmalade - 1/4cup

Chop all the fruits and nuts and soak with the brandy overnight. Sift the mixed spice, baking soda and flour and keep aside. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add in the egg yolks and cream well with the butter and sugar. Then beat in caramel syrup and add in the sifted flours little by little each time and keep aside. Whip egg whites till stiff. Fold in egg whites to the soaked fruits till the fruits are well combined. To the creamed batter add in the pineapple preserve and orange marmalade and mix thoroughly. Add in the fruits and egg whites and evenly mix the batter. Into a greased 9" cake tin, line with aluminum foil and pour in the mixture. Bake in a cool oven at 140C for 3 hours.

White wine

Water - 10litres
White grape juice - 10litres
Sugar - 5lbs
Yeast - 1 to 2tsp

Mix all the ingredients together and leave to ferment in a closed barrel. You would need to stir the liquid once everyday during the fermentation period. The process should take about 14-21 days. After the fermentation period, strain the liquid into another barrel or cask and let the wine age.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Barbequed Plantains

The first night of our vacation in Kuwait, my mom had the barbecue all set in celebration of her grand child visiting her. Of course we had chicken and sausages being char coaled, we had plenty of fire that we thought we'd barbecue the plantains too. You wouldn't want them rotting away. Mum said in her childhood days, barbecued plantains were a regular at her house using smoked coconut husks.

Ripe Plantains - 1kg
Aluminum foil

Tightly wrap aluminum foil around each plantain and barbecue the plantains on the grill for 15-20minutes till well cooked. Unwrap the foil and enjoy the simple delectable musa with some sugar or honey.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mocca Shake

My son created an absolute ruckus, while we driving back from playschool past the Corner House (Ice cream Parlor) road in Kammnahalli. I was forced to stop and buy him a Strawberry Cone, while I treated myself to a Mocha Thick Shake. I thought I'd recreate the same shake at treat my husband. So my version of the Mocha Shake.

Cold Milk - 1cup
Instant Coffee Powder - 1 1/4tsp
Vanilla Ice cream - 3 scoops
Hershey's Chocolate Sauce- 4tbs
Ground Cinnamon - a pinch
Sugar optional

Blitz in all the ingredients into a blender, and serve immediately. You could garnish it with some chocolate chips, sprinkles, gratings or even sprinkled coffee or cocoa powder.

Tip: You could use your judgment on the amount of coffee or chocolate sauce that is being used here to suit your preference.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

3 P's ~ Pumpkin, Potato and Puris!

Ahmedabad, known as 'The Manchester of the East' is a city full of gastronomical surprises. This is one such recipe, authentic to the Gujurathis, a side dish to be rightfully accompanied with hot- puffed puris.

Pumpkin and Potato

Potatoes - 300gms
Pumpkin - 400gms
Onion seeds - 1tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1tsp
Sesame Seeds -1tsp
Coriander Powder - 1tbs
Chilly Powder - 1/2tsp
Fennel Powder - 1/4tsp
Tomato -1 finely chopped
Cinnamon - 1stick
Asafoetida - 1/4tsp
Cloves - 3-4
Ginger-garlic paste - 1tsp
Cardamom - 1-2pods
Bay Leaf - 1-2
Suagr -1tsp
Salt to taste
Chopped Coriander leaves to garnish

Splutter the mustard seeds, add in the onion seeds and sesame seeds and fry for a minute. Then add in the cinnamon stick, cloves, bay leaf, and cardamom pods and let the spices release the fragrant aroma. Tip in ginger garlic paste and saute for 2 minutes, then add the powders- coriander, jeera, turmeric, chilli and salt and saute till the fat separation happens. The chopped tomato and asafoetida comes in next, cook till the tomatoes turns soft and is well blended into the masala. Add in the diced potatoes and pumpkins also add in the sugar, coat the vegetables well with the masala. Add in about quarter cup of water, cover and cook till the potatoes and pumpkins are tender and the masala turns semi dry. Serve hot with chopped coriander leaves. 


Atta - 1cup
Maida - 1/4cup
Salt to taste
Warm water

Into a food processor, add in the powders and salt. Using warm water process till a dough is formed and comes off the sides of the bowl. Roll into thin puris onto a floured board. Deep fry into hot oil till puffed and golden brown. Using a slotted spoon lift each puri and drain out any excess oil.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Rainbow Vegetable Noodles with Crispy Vegetables in Garlic Sauce

Noodles is one thing everyone especially my toddler gets excited for or looks forward to. I mean if I could make noodles everyday for the father and son....I've got one happy family.

Crispy Vegetables in Garlic Sauce

Garlic Sauce
Tomato Ketchup - 1/2 cup
Tomato paste - 4 tbs
Onion - 1 small finely chopped
Garlic - 1 1/2 tbs finely chopped
Ginger - 1tbs finely chopped
Chilly paste - 2tbs (red chillies without the seeds soaked in vinegar and ground)
Oil - 2tbs
Sugar - 1tsp
Salt to taste

Heat oil and saute the onion till pink. Add in the ginger and garlic and fry till lightly browned. Tip in the chilly paste, and tomato paste sugar and salt and saute for about 2 minutes. Then add in the ketchup and bring to a gentle simmer. If the sauce gets too thick you could spoon in some warm water to loosen the consistency. Simmer for about 2 minutes and take off the flame.

Crispy Vegetables
Boiled Vegetables - 2 cups (cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms and baby corn cut into bite sized pieces)
Plain Flour - 50gms
Egg - 1
Corn Flour - 25gms
Baking Powder - 1/4tsp

Beat in the egg, add the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt to make a batter. Dip each on vegetable into the batter and deep fry till golden brown. Drain on absorbent towels and keep aside.

Vegetable Noodles

Noodles - 1 family pack of Tom Ramen noodles
Duck Eggs - 2 whipped separately
Yellow Bell pepper - 1/4cup julienned
Red Bell pepper - 1/4cup julienned
Green Bell pepper - 1/4cup julienned
Carrots - 100gms julienned
Beans - 100gms diagonally cut
Ginger  - 1 inch sliced and julienned
Garlic - 3 pods sliced and julienned
Soya sauce - 2tbs
Tobasco Sauce - couple of dabs from the bottle
Sugar - 1tsp
Red Wine Vinegar - a spritz

Into a big pot of boiling water, add in some salt and a 1tbs of oil, and cook the noodles for about 10 minutes. Once the noodles is cooked, strain and run some cold water over it, drain and keep aside.
Heat a wok and lightly coat with vegetable oil. Once the wok is hot, tip in the ginger, garlic and sugar, saute till the aroma is released. Tip in the carrots and beans and saute till almost cooked. Tip in the peppers, and saute for a minute. Pour in soya sauce, a couple of dabs of tobasco, a generous spritz of red wine vinegar and fry till all the vegetables are well coated with the sauces. In the meantime, whip the duck eggs one by one and fry separately to make two plain omelets without seasoning. Cut the omelets into thin strips. Add it into the combined vegetables to get it lightly coated with all the sauces yet retain colour. Check in on the seasoning of the vegetables.

Onto a plate, bed a spoon of noodles topped with the vegetables. Just before serving, put the fried crispy vegetables into the garlic sauce and serve.

Tip: If the fried vegetables are put into the garlic sauce much before serving, the dish would turn out to be soggy and would lose its crunchiness.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hors d'oeuvres ~ Pan Brown Chicken

Pan browned chicken a recipe from one of Ramani Aunty's series of Poultry dishes. This makes an excellent, side dish as well as main course.

Chicken with skin - 750gms
Boiled vegetables - 1 cup of potatoes and beans
Yellow and Red Bell peppers - 1/4cup steamed and julienned
Vegetable Oil - 2tbs
Cinnamon Powder - 1/2tsp
Cloves Powder - 1/4tsp
Chilli Powder - 1/4tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon Juice - 1tbs

Pat dry the chicken pieces.Into a large bowl mix together the cinnamon, clove, chilli, turmeric powders along with the lemon juice and salt. Rub evenly onto the chicken. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap. Let the chicken marinate for 2 hours. Into a wok, heat the oil and brown the chicken pieces till is evenly roasted on all sides. Pour about a cup of warm water, cover the pan tightly and let the chicken cook for about 20minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken onto a dish. Serve the chicken with pan juice and boiled vegetables.
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