Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Moutabel / Eggplant Dip

This is a great alternative to the traditional hoummous dip . It is great to eat with hot pita bread or Pita crisps. It is usually made by grilling the eggplants but I have made them easier by using the microwave . This dip can be made in 10 min , so here goes ..........


1 large eggplant
2-3 tbsp tahina paste
1 garlic clove minced
1/2 cup yoghurt
paprika powder to sprinkle
1 tbsp olive oil
juice of half a lemon
salt to taste
a handful of pomegrenate seeds


Prick the eggplant with a fork .
Microwave on high for 2 min and then turn the eggplant and again microwave on high for another 2 min.
Cut the eggplant into half and scoop out the flesh .
In the blender add the eggplant, tahina , yoghurt , lemon juice and salt .
Transfer it into a bowl and add the paprika powder , olive oil and the pomegrenate seeds and serve chilled.


If you want a more chunkier dip you can mash it by hand . To get the smokey taste , after microwaving , split the eggplant in half and just fry the flesh side of the eggplants in a pan with a little olive oil.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

I love , love muffins because it is so light and yummy and above all very easy to make . I make these muffins almost all the time because everyone loves them in my house and it is a big hit with all the kids .It is very easy to whip up a batch of this , so here goes ...............


1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 salt
2 tbsp sugar
2tbsp honey or maple syrup
1/2 cup yoghurt
1/4 cup water
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp melted butter
3 tbsp chocolate chips


Mix all the dry ingredients together
Mix all the wet ingredients together and add it in the dry mix .
Next add in the chocolate chips .
Pour it in a greased  mini muffin tin till quarter full .
Add a few chocolate chips on top .
Bake it in a preheated oven at 180 c for about 10-12 min .

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Banana Bread

I had been waiting for the bananas to ripen to give banana bread a try .Finally they ripened but unfortunately one of them went missing , probably in my hubby's tummy ,so I hid the two that was left because I don't have the patience to buy bananas and wait for it to ripen again . I made this bread with only two bananas and was scared that the bread won't be moist but in the end I got a nice ,sweet , moist and flavourful bread and the best thing is it is super easy to make , no beating or whisking , just mix it all up that is all the work you have to do . After all the waiting I did for the bananas to ripen the bread was gone within seconds . It was quite a hit with my kids especially my son who is a very picky eater , I actually sprinkled chocolate chips for his benefit (chocolate is his weakness), so here goes...........


2 very ripe bananas
50 gms butter room temp
90 gms sweetened condensed milk
a pinch of salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
a handful of chocolate chips (optional)


Mash the bananas with the butter in a bowl with a wooden spoon
Add the sweetened condensed milk ,egg, salt , vanilla and baking soda and mix them .
Finally add in the flour and mix it all up and transfer the contents into a greased and floured small loaf tin .
Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top if using any .
You can also put all the ingredients in a food processor and give it a blitz.
Bake in an 180 c oven for 1 hr .
Cool on a wire rack .

Use only really ripe bananas , the ones where brown spots have appeared on the outside ,these ones are really sweet and soft .

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cheese Rolls

My kids love the fried cheese stick you get from outside and I have tried making them but never succeeded because it turns into one hot gooey mess in the oil so I put the cheese in a spring roll wrapper and dip them in egg and breadcrumbs and fry them , adding salaami to it is something I learned from the food network channel and let me tell it takes these cheese rolls to a whole new level . This one is super easy to make and even more better to eat ,so here goes............


10 spring roll wrappers 
a slice of salaami or mortadella for each wrapper 
1/2  cup grated mozarella 
1 egg mixed with 2 tbsp water
1 cup bread crumbs 
2 tbsp grated parmesan
a pinch of dried basil


Beat the eggs with the water.
Brush the edges of a spring roll wrapper with the egg mix
Lay the salaami on the wrapper
Put a little of the grated mozarella on it
Roll the wrapper sealing the edges .
Mix the breadcrumbs with the parmesan and the dried basil .
Dip this roll in the egg mix first and then the breadcrumbs mix.
Deep fry the rolls and serve hot with ketchup or even better, marinara sauce.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Orange Rolls

This recipe is a nice alternative to the traditional cinammon roll. The subtle flavour of orange really balances out the rich , buttery dough . Be careful while making these because there is a tendency to gobble up the whole batch by yourself , it is simply irressistible with the rich , fluffy dough and the zesty orange filling that goes into it and especially the aroma of these rolls , so here goes ...........


1 batch of  cinammon roll dough
Grated zest of 2 oranges
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup white sugar


Mix the butter , sugar and the orange zest .
Roll out the dough into a rectangle .
Spread the orange butter onto the rolled out dough.
Roll up the dough along the long edge.
Cut the roll itno 1 inch slices and place it in a baking dish .
Leave it to rise for another hour .
Bake in a preheated 200 c oven for about 20 -25 min .

For the glaze

1/2 cup of icing sugar
2 tbsp orange juice

Mix the two ingredients into a paste and drizzle it over the rolls .

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Chicken Shawarma

Shawarma is one fast food which we won't be guilty of eating because it is quite healthy compared to the other fast foods and it is quite popular too world wide .I learned this trick from the foodnetwork channel on how to cut the meat just like the ones you can get from the shawarma vendors on the street . the chicken is first marinated and layered and baked in a dish and the pita  is coated with a nice tangy tahini sauce . Many type of fillings are used like pickles, green leafy veggies and even french fries , personally I don't like pickles so I omit them but traditioanlly pickles are served along with it ,so here goes my version........


4 chicken breasts sliced into halves horizontally
3-4 garlic cloves minced
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 cup thick-set yoghurt
1/4 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste
4 pita breads
lettuce a bunch
3 cucumbers sliced
1/4 cup tahina paste
juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup yoghurt
salt to taste
2 garlic cloves minced
a dash of hot sauce for each sandwich (optional)


Mix the yoghurt with the minced garlic cloves , paprika,vinegar ,cardamom powder,salt and pepper .
Marinate the chicken in this mixture and arrange the chicken pieces in a layer in a small baking dish for a min of 4 hours or preferably overnight.
Add 2 tbsp of olive oil on top of the chicken and bake it for 30-40 min in a 200 c oven.
After baking you get one big chunk of chicken . Remove this from the baking dish and slice them horizontally ,as you slice you get shavings of chicken just like you would at a shawarma stall.
Next make the tahina sauce by mixing the tahina paste,yoghurt,garlic ,lemon juice and salt to taste. If the sauce is too thick add a little more yoghurt.
Spread the tahina sauce on the pita bread , add the chicken shavings , lettuce and cucumber along with a dash of hot sauce of you like .
Roll up the pita bread and grill it or you can have it as it is.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rice and Semolina Pancakes

Here is yet another recipe from my mom's collection . I absolutely love this pancake and it is quite easy to make too , well not easy as the normal pancakes but the little work that you put in is worth it because it is a soft , slightly sour pancake which goes very well with spicy curries and also you can eat it with coconut milk and sugar sprinkled on it .It absolutely tastes delicious both ways. It is sort of like vellappam but in this one coconut is not used so the fat content is less, so here goes........


2 cup basmati rice
1 tbsp urad dal or split black gram
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 cup semolina
2 cup water
1/4 cup warm milk
1/4 tsp baking soda
salt to taste


Wash and soak the rice,fenugreek seeds and urad dal  overnight.
Add 1 cup water and grind it .
Heat the remaining water in a pan and add the semolina to it and cook it till it turns into a thick paste .
Add the semolina paste into the rice and mix it up in the blender again , if necessary use more water.
Add the baking soda and salt to taste and cover and keep it in a warm place to ferment for about 4-5 hrs .
Mix in the milk to make a smooth batter , add in more milk if the batter needs it but it should not be watery.It should be a fairly thick , fluffy batter.
Now heat the pan and pour a ladle of batter into it .
When small bubbles start appearing just cover it for a min and then your pancakes are done .

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Spaghetti With Meatballs

This is my kind of comfort food .Mmmmmmm....... moist meatballs in creamy ,tangy sauce.This is one dish which is a surefire hit with the kids as well as adults . This sauce can be served with any kind of pasta but I feel this works very well with the spaghetti because  the sauce just clings to the long strands of the spaghetti , ooooooooh just writing about this makes me want to have this dish all over again .Before I drool all over my keyboard here it is..........


For the meatballs
500 gms minced beef
1 medium onion finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves minced
a pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp dried basil
1 egg
2 slices bread soaked in 1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce

2 cans whole tomatoes
2 medium onion chopped
4-5 garlic cloves minced
2 tbsp ketchup
3 tbsp fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste

400 gms spaghetti


Heat a tbsp oil in a pan and add the onions and garlic for the meatballs and saute them till onions turn soft .
In a bowl mix the rest of the ingredients for the meatballs including the sauteed onion and garlic and roll them into small balls .
Fry them till all the sides are browned and set them aside .
Now for the sauce ,in a saucepan heat  a tbsp of oil used for frying the meatballs .
Add the chopped onions and garlic and fry them till they turn soft .
Add the canned tomatoes and bring it to a boil stirring it constantly .
Add the freshly chopped basil leaves and season with salt and pepper .
Puree this mixture and pour it back in the saucepan again .
Add the meatballs to the sauce and cook it in the sauce for about 5- 10 min .
Cook the spaghetti  till al dente .
Toss the spaghetti in the sauce and serve with some freshly grated parmesan.


This meatball sauce can also be used as a sandwich filling , just top it off with some cheese and grill it till it melts .

Monday, November 8, 2010

Spicy Fried Chicken Drumsticks in Coconut Gravy

This is a typical South Indian malabar stew but with a twist , usually the meat is cooked raw in the gravy but here the chicken is marinated and fried and then put in the gravy . The chicken is spicy and crispy and the sweetness of the coconut is well balanced because of it . All the flavours blend together very well . It goes very well with steamed rice, appams , chappathis and even crusty breads, so here goes ..........


12-15 chicken drumsticks
10-12 small shallots or sambhar onions
3-4 garlic cloves
1 inch pc ginger
5-6 green chillies
5-6 dried red chillies
1 tbsp vinegar
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
6-8 whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 inch pc cinammon stick
4-6 green cardamom
3-5 cloves
10-15 curry leaves
2 medium onions sliced
2 green chillies split lengthwise
1 tomato chopped
2 cups hot water
4 tbsp coconut milk powder
1 tbspn coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves


Grind the sambhar onions/shallots,green chillies , red chillies ,ginger, garlic ,vinegar into a paste and add the turmeric powder and salt to taste and add this mix to the chicken and marinate it for 2-4 hours .
Deep fry the chicken pieces and set aside .
In a deep pan , heat a tbsp of  oil and add the whole spices .
Add the curry leaves, sliced onion and split green chillies and saute them till the onion turns soft.
Add the chopped tomatoes and the reserve mixture if any and fry them till the tomatoes turns soft .
Add the fried chicken and mix it all together.
Dissolve the coconut milk powder in the warm water and add  it to the chicken and heat it till it  boils .
Add the coarsely ground peppercorns and garam masala
Lower the heat and simmer  for about 10 - 15 min till the gravy turns slightly thick .
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot .

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Scrambled eggs with crisps

I always make this dish when I have leftover chappathis . It is perfect for breakfast and also good for a light lunch or dinner . It is very simple and easy to make and you can also experiment with it by adding leftover chicken or veggies . Here I have made it with a   simple , spicy srambled egg mixture , so here goes.........


2-3 chappathis or tortillas
2-3 eggs lightly beaten
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 green chillies finely chopped
5-10 curry leaves
salt & pepper to taste
Chopped coriander leaves (optional)


Roll the chappathi into a cigar and cut into thin strips .
Fry these strips till they become crisp and set aside .
Heat oil in another pan and add the curry leaves , then add the chopped onion and green chilles and fry them for a few min.
Add the beaten egg and stir it with a wooden spoon till the egg is done and turn off the heat .
Toss the chappathi strips into the egg mixture .
Garnish with chopped corinader leaves and serve hot .

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

This cookie is just chocolate heaven ,yummmm!!!!!!! When you bite into this cookie , it is so rich and the chocolate chips just melts into your mouth .This cookie is perfect for all those chocoholics out there because you get a double dose of chocolate. My kids absolutely love them and it is super easy to make . You can freeze the dough for later use too. It tastes absolutely heavenly right out of the oven , so here goes ............


200 gm butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
50 gm melted dark chocolate
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp baking soda
1 and 1/2 cup chocolate chips


Mix the flour , cocoa powder,salt and baking soda and set aside.
In a large bowl  cream the butter and the sugars till light and fluffy .
Add in the egg , the vanilla extract and the melted chocolate.
Add in the flour mix a little at a time .
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Put the dough in the fridge for a few minutes .
Roll the dough into 2 inch balls and place them apart in a baking sheet .
Bake in a preheated oven 180 c for 22 min for a softer cookie and 25 min for a crispier one .


To make the cookies more decadent you can add 1 tsp of grated orange zest and add chopped almonds or pecans .For another variation you can add a tsp of espresso powder.
Before baking the cookies just stick the dough in the fridge for a few min .