Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cauliflower Manchurian

If there are veggie dishes like these then who needs meat because frankly I think this one tastes much better than it's non-veg counterpart. The cauliflower in this recipe is batter fried to make it crispy and tossed in a spicy , tangy and sweet sauce , so here goes...........


1 meduim sized cauliflower
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 black pepper powder
salt to taste
1/2 cup self- raising flour
1 bunch spring onions chopped
2 tbsp celery chopped
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 green chillies chopped
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp soy sauce
1and 1/2 tbsp green chilli sauce
1and 1/2 tbsp chilli sauce
oil for frying


Cut the cauliflower into small florets and soak it in hot salted water for half an hour.
Drain the cauliflower and marinate it with the chilli powder, pepper and salt .
Mix water in the self-raising flour and make it into a thick batter.
Dip the cauliflower in this batter and deep fry it till it turns golden .
In another pan add a little oil , add the ginger garlic paste, spring onion , green chillies and celery and saute on high heat for a min.
Add all the sauces and fry them for a few min.
Toss the fried cauliflower in the sauce mix and serve immediately.
Garnish with spring onion.


If you don't have self- raising flour then make a batter with 1/2 cup all purpose flour and 2 tbsp cornflour and add a 1/4 tsp of baking soda but it is much crispier with the self-raising flour.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chilli Beef Baked Pasta

I always love my Pasta dishes to be a bit spicy and flavourful and this dish isjust that ,it has a light tomato sauce spiked with dried red chillies and it is topped with a nice creamy cheese sauce which balances the heat from the chillies . This one is a favourite among my family and I always get requests to make this one so here goes..................


1/4 cup olive oil
400 gm beef cut into small cubes
3 cloves galic chopped
5 small dried red chillies
1 bay leaf
1 can of tomatoes
1 chicken stock cube
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
400 gm penne pasta

Cheese Topping

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups milk
100 gm mild cheddar cheese grated
2 eggs lightly beaten
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs


Heat oil in a pan and add the beef and cook on high heat for about 5 min. or until well browned.
Add garlic , chillies, bay leaf, tomatoes, stock and soy sauce and bring to boil.
Add basil and simmer for about 15-20 min.
Remove from heat and discard the bay leaf.
Cook pasta ina large pan of boiling water till just tender and drain.
Combine the pasta with the chilli beef sauce and spoon into a deep baking dish .
Top with the cheese sauce , sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and bake in a 180-200 c oven for about 30 min or until golden .

For the cheese sauce .

Heat butter and add the flour and stir it for a min till the raw smell dissappears.
Gradually Blend in the milk , stir until the mixture is free of lumps and the sauce boils and thickens .
Turn off the heat and add the beaten eggs and cheese to it .


For a variation You can make this with prawns instead of beef . If you cannot find fresh basil leaves you can use the dried one but be careful while using dried herbs because the flavour is strong in dried herbs so only use a little.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wholemeal and Oats bread

I just love the smell of freshly baked bread and you do not get that when you buy bread from outside and believe me when I tell you this it is super easy to make bread at home and the best part is you know what goes into the bread . The only work involved is in waiting for it to rise and to knead , which you have to do a couple of times but it is worth the work you put in and frankly it is a good excercise for your arms , so here goes.......


2and 3/4 cup wholemeal flour 
1 cup white bread flour 
1/2 cup oats 
1 tsp salt 
1 and 1/2 tsp instant yeast 
2 tbsp sugar 
2 tbsp olive oil 
1 and 1/2 cup warm water 


Mix up all the dry ingredients together first ,just whisk it to mix it all up 
Add the water and oil and make a dough (it will be sticky)
put the dough in a greased pan and leave to rise for about an hour 
After it has risen ,knock it back again and leave to rise 
Again knock back the dough and flour a flat surface and flatten it with a rolling pin .
Roll it like you would roll a swiss roll cake and put it in a loaf tin and leave to rise again 
Bake in a 200 degree c oven for 30 min -40 min .


To get a light and fluffy bread , the dough should be a bit wet because the more moisture it has the lighter the bread will be . This is quite a dense bread because of the wholemeal and the oats .

Monday, October 25, 2010

Easy Peasy Chocolate Cake

 There is nothing more satisfying then having a slice of rich , gooey  melt in your mouth chocolate cake and this recipe exactly delivers it .It is so easy to make and there is absolutely no work involved at all , no beating , sifting or whisking , just mix up all the ingredients together and bake it, so here goes.........



1and1/2cups  all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened good quality cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
1 cup chocolate chips .
2 tsp vanilla extract


Mix all the dry ingredients together and just stir it with a whisk to break the lumps ,it's much more easier than sifting it .
Mix all the wet ingredients together and pour it in the dry ingredients and mix it well .
Transfer the contents in a baking dish .
Add the chocolate chips on top of the cake mix and bake it in a preheated oven at 170-180 c for 30-40 min. or till a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Top the cooled cake with the chocolate ganache and leave it to set .

For the gananche .
250 ml whipping cream or single cream
250 gm dark cooking chocolate grated.

Heat the cream in a pan and add the grated chocolate and stir it till the chocolate melts and you get a nice shiny smooth gananche .


Oven temprature might vary due to some size or model . If you have a fan enforced oven then you have to lower the temperature because it gets too hot .


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chocolate Ice cream with Pralines

Yummmmmmm!!!!!! Icecreams, who doesn't like them and that too chocolate .  I had recently invested in an ice cream maker and have tried making various types of chocolate ice cream but this recipe turned out the best , it is a very rich , creamy , chocolatey , smooth ice cream and the best part is if you don't have an ice cream maker you can just freeze it and  whisk it once in the process of freezing and that too turns out great , so here goes


6 egg yolks
120gm caster sugar
300 ml milk
300 ml single cream or whipping cream
225 gm dark chocolate grated
1/4 tsp vanilla extract


Whisk the egg yolks and sugar till the mixture becomes pale .
Whisk in the milk followed by the cream
Cook this mixture in a heavy saucepan over a low heat stirring constantly until it is thick enough too coat the back of a wooden spoon .
Remove it from the heat .
Stir in the chocolate into the hot custard and add the vanilla .
Cover and set the custard aside to cool .
Freeze in an ice cream maker ,following the manufacturer's instructions or freeze it in a flat bottomed container and whisk it once during the process of freezing .

For the pralines .

55 gm blanched almonds
100 gm caster sugar
4 tbsp water

Toast the almonds until they are lightly browned. Spread them on a lightly oiled surface.
Heat the sugar with the water until it dissolves , then boil it to deep golden brown .
Pour immediately over the nuts and leave until cold before crushing them in an electric coffee grinder or  with a pestle and mortar.You can store this mix in an airtight container .

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Simple and Lite Veggie Lasagne

This is a wonderful recipe for all those who want to watch their weight and still eat the delicious stuff without feeling the guilt .When you think of lasgne you think of the white sauce , cheese and the meat sauce , well this recipe has no meat and no white sauce but it still tastes really great , you can trust me on it because even I think that if anything is  delicious then it MUST be bad for you , but this is one such dish  where you can eat it and enjoy it and not worry about your waistline so here goes ............


2-3 medium eggplants
1 large onion chopped finely
4 cloves garlic minced
1 can whole tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium leeks chopped rinely
2 tbsp sugar
200 gm lasagne sheets
1 cup grated low-fat cheddar cheese


Cut eggplants lengthwise into 1 cm slices , sprinkle salt and place in the colander to drain for about 30 min.
Rinse slices under cold water and drain on absorbent paper .
Grill the eggplant in a grill pan with little oil till they  become soft and brown on both sides , this takes approximately 3 min each side .
In a pan cook onions and half the garlic till onion softens .
Add in the canned tomatoes , tomato paste and basil ,simmer uncovered for about 20 min .
Blend or process  tomato mixture until just combined .
Heat the olive oil in the same pan ad leek and remaining garlic and the sugar and cook , stirring for about 5 min until the leeks are soft and browned .
In a baking dish add about 2 tbsp of the tomato mix and then cover with the lasagne sheets ,place in position .
Top with 1/4 of the eggplant,1/4 of the leeks ,1/4 of the tomato mix and 1/4 of the cheese .
Repeat 3 layers ,ending with cheese .
Bake uncovered at 180-200 c oven for about 50 min .

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

 Warm , comforting, delicious , aromatic, I could go on and on and on about cinnamon rolls , they are like getting a big warm hug from someone you love .  The scent of  freshly baked cinnamon rolls will waft  through the house inviting you to just gobble it all up as soon as it is out of the oven , it is like you see in cartoons where the scent will literally draw you towards it  . In this recipe the rolls are made to rise in a warm gooey caramel and then it is baked and all the caramel will just bubble up and make you drool like anything , so here goes ...........


3 cups bread flour
1 cup warm water
1 tsp dried active yeast
1/4 cup caster sugar
75 gms butter( room temperature )
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar

For the caramel
1/2 cup vanilla icecream
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar


Make a dough with water,egg,flour,caster sugar,butter,salt and yeast .
Melt the ingredients for the caramel and pour it into the bottom of the baking tin .
Roll the dough into a rectangle and spread the melted butter and sprinkle the cinnamon powder amd spread the brown sugar evenly everywhere.
Roll it up like you would a swiss roll cake and seal the ends .
Cut into 12 rolls and place them in the baking tin where the caramel has been poured .
Wait for the dough to rise double in size .
Bake at 175-200 degrees celsius for 20-25 min.


You can make it with regular all purpose flour , it turns out great as well but with the bread flour it does make a difference in texture and tatse . You can add nuts as well .

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Indian Bread Pudding/ Shahi Tukda

This is an Indian style bread pudding , it is a very rich ,exotic and flavourful dish . I make this whenever I want an easy dessert  , so here goes.............


6-8 white bread cut diagonally 
450 gm sugar 
600 ml water
a pinch of cardamom powder
oil for frying 
2-3 tbsp rose water 
4 cups milk 
1 can of sweetened condensed milk 
2-3 tbsp all purpose flour 
4 tbspn milk 
1/4 toasted chopped almonds


In a deep pan boil the water and sugar till all the sugar dissolves and add the cardamom powder to it .
Deep fry the bread pieces till it turns golden brown and drain on absorbent paper.
Soak the fried bread in the sugar syrup for a few sec , do not soak it in for long as the bread will come apart .
Arrange the soaked bread in the bottom of a serving dish and just sprinkle some more of the syrup on it . 
Sprinkle the rose water on the bread peices and set aside .
In another pan bring the milk and condensed milk to a boil .
Mix the flour and the 4 tbsp milk into a paste and stir it in the boiling milk and cook it on low flame till the mixture thickens .
Pour this mixture on top of the bread and top it with the toasted almonds and chill and serve .

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Spicy Tuna Pasta

Who doesn't love pasta ? It is easy ,delicious and sometimes healthy  . I simply love pasta and always like to experiment with it .The recipe I am posting today is spicy , tangy and very easy to make . Everyone in my family loves it and I make it all the time , so here goes.........


400 gms pasta ( any kind like penne or fusilli )
1 can of tuna drained
1/2 tspn chilli powder
1/4 tspn turmeric powder
1 small onion chopped
1 tbspn ginger and garlic paste
1 small green capsicum chopped
250 gm button mushrooms quartered
1 large carrot chopped
1 can whole tomatoes
1 tbspn ketchup
1 tspn soy sauce
1 tspn chilli sauce
a pinch of dried basil,dried oregano and dried thyme
5-6 fresh basil leaves
2-3 tbspn oil


Cook the pasta in salted boiling water till al dente.
In a large pan heat oil and add the tuna , chilli powder and turmeric powder and fry it ,stirring constantly .
Then add the onions and the capsicum and fry it for a few min. till the onions turn soft .
Add in the rest of the vegetables and saute them for a few min.
Add the tomatoes along with the ketchup and the chilli sauce and the soy sauce and cook it till the tomatoes soften .
Add in the dry spices and the cooked pasta and toss it all together.
Garnish with chopped fresh basil and grated fresh parmesan .

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spicy Fried Prawns

This is another one of the many favourites that my mom makes . It is the most delicious ,aromatic prawn dish that I have ever tasted and I absolutely love anything to do with prawns. This is quite a spicy dish but you can control the level of hotness by using less chillies . The spiciness and the tanginess of the sauce brings out the sweetness of the prawns .


1 kg prawns
1/2 cup thick set yoghurt
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
5-6 green chillies split in half
8-10 curry leaves
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
25 gms butter
1 tspn oil
Oil for frying


Clean and devein the prawns .
Marinate the prawns with chilli powder, turmeric powder,coriander powder, yoghurt ,salt ,ginger and garlic paste for 1 hr.
Heat oil in a pan and deep fry the marinated prawns , reserve the marinade.
In another pan melt the butter with 1 tspn oil and add the curry leaves and the split green chillies .
Add the tomato ketchup and mix it all up .
Add the fried prawns and the reserve marinade and keep on low heat for 5-10 min.
Serve hot .


You can make this dish in chicken too , only marinate the chicken atleast 4 hours or overnight .

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Vegetable Pulao

This is a very simple , light and delicious dish  . It goes very well with spicy and creamy curries . I have made it with fresh veggies but you can also make it with frozen veggies too , so here goes .....


3 cups good quality basmati rice washed and drained .
1 bay leaf 
2-3 cloves 
8-10 whole peppercorns
3-4 green cardamom
1 tbspn cumin seeds
1tbspn oil 
1 tbspn clarified butter or ghee
200 gms french beans chopped 
1 medium potato cut into cubes 
1 large carrot cut into cubes 
1 medium onion sliced 
1/2 cup frozen peas 
6 cups hot water 
1 tbspn rose water (optional)


In a deep pan ,heat the oil and the ghee , add the cumin seeds , when it starts to crackle add in the rest of the whole spices and fry for a few sec taking care not to burn it .
Add in the onions and saute it till it turns pale .
Add in the rest of the vegetables except the frozen peas and saute for a few minutes .
Add in the rice and saute that for a few minutes .
Add the 6 cups of hot water ,rose water ,peas and salt to taste . 
Bring the water to the boil and simmer it and cover and cook till all the water has evapourated .
Gently mix the rice and veggies with a fork as a spoon can break the rice .


While cooking rice make sure the water is a tad more saltier ,the salt in the rice will be perfect .For a light fluffy rice gently prick the cooked rice with a fork .

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Chicken sauce curry

Today I am going to post a recipe which is one of my many favourites that my mom makes . She used to make this almost all weekends and the aroma of this dish is just droolicious  . My sister and I used to fight for the leftovers and now my kids too love it as much as we do .It is spicy ,sweet and sour and you can feel all the flavours .This dish works very well with a vegetable pulao or just steamed rice is fine too, so here goes.....


1 kg chicken skinned and cut into pieces
3-4 cloves garlic
1 inch pc ginger
5-6 green chillies
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
3-4 dried red chillies
1 tbspn cumin seeds
1 1/2 tbspn coriander seeds
1 cup yoghurt
1 cup tomato ketchup
1 tbspn oil


Grind the ginger, garlic and green chillies coarsely
In a deep pan add the chicken , turmeric ,salt to taste and the ground mixture with a little water and bring to boil and cook till the chicken is almost done .
In another pan dry roast the spices till it gives off a nice aroma and grind it .
In a saucepan heat the oil and add in the yoghurt and the ketchup and whisk it really well , add the ground spices ( add the ground spices depending upon the level of hotness you want ) and salt to taste . When it starts to bubble , take it off the heat and add it to the chicken and mix it well .
Bake in a 200 c oven for about 45-50 min.
Garnish it with fried onions and chopped coriander leaves (optional).