Thursday, 8 August 2013

Paneer Pulao

Its time for some slurpy paneer pulao... Paneer just goes with anything and here we will see how wonderful its going to taste with some rice.. With no further ado, here you go -- recipe of this mouth watering item..

Ingredients :

Basmathi Rice : 250 gm
Paneer : 250 gm
Butter : 10 gm
Onions (Medium Sized) : 3
Cinnamon ( Long stick) : 1
Bay Leaf (Long) : 1
Cloves : 2
Cardamom : 2
Salt : To Taste
White Pepper : To Taste
Oil : 1 tsp

Preparation Method:
  1. Cook rice in pressure cooker adding little salt and one spoon of butter for one whistle and keep aside. Once the pressure is released , spread the cooked rice in a large plate and let it cool. Alternately can cook rice in Rice Cooker also.
  2. Cut paneer into cubes and fry them with little butter.  Soak it in little warm water.  Keeping the paneer cubes in warm water will soften it.
  3. In a pan heat oil and butter and add cinnamon, bay leaf , cardamom, cloves and let them splutter. Then add onions and fry till golden brown. Add salt and fry for some 3 mins.
  4. Add the this to the rice plate along with the fried paneer(of course after draining the water) and mix well. Finally add white pepper powder . Now your Paneer Pulao is ready to be served.While mixing use a fork so that the rice grains would not break.

Tips & Tricks :
1. Onions split/ cut into thin long pieces will makes it good looking.
2. White pepper should be added only after removing the food from flame as it will turn the food to taste bitter.
3. Kids never say a no for Paneer. Exhibit your creativity while cutting the Paneer especially while serving this to Kids - Triangle, Hearts , Rings ..... who stops you.Even kids who don't like will ask for another round.
4. Can be accompanied by Dhal, side dish , Papad and obviously Raitha.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Lychee Kheer / Lychee Payasam

Tasted Lychee Fruit for the first time and it was so yummy .It is nutritious too .It has Vitamin C and B Complex and high fiber content too.The juicy whitish flesh will be heavenly when it traverse through our food pipe :) . I wanted to present it in a sweetened version and tried making a kheer out of it . It turned out so well.My neighbors and my husband enjoyed it very well that I had only a little to taste.

Here is the recipe of my trial with Lychee Kheer .

Ingredients :

Milk : 1 ltr
Chopped Lychees [ Peeled - Deseeded ] : 1/2 cup
Sugar : To Taste
Ghee : 1/2 tsp
Condensed Milk (Optional) : 1/2 Cup
Vanilla Essence (Optional) : 1 tsp
Cashew Nuts and Almond : To Garnish

Preparation Method:
  • Add little sugar to Lychee pieces and keep it aside for 30 minutes.
  • Heat milk in a thick bottom vessel to boil and keep stirring in simmer until the quantity is reduced to half..Ensure to stir often so that the milk is not burnt.
  • Add condensed milk to this and let it boil for 2 minutes.
  • Add vanilla essence .
  • Add sugar to adjust sweetness and stir well
  • Add the Lychee Pieces and garnish with cashews and almonds roasted in ghee.
  • Lychee Kheer / Payasam is ready to be served.

Tips and Tricks:
  • We can add some saffron strands to enhance the flavor and color.
  • Adjust the quantity of condensed milk for increased sweetness.
  • Drain the ghee well before adding cashews and almonds to the Kheer as the ghee will float on the top which might not be preferred by all.
  • Keeping stirring constantly so that the milk is not burnt.
  • Tastes great when served chill.

Eggless Bread Apple Pie

Eager to watch my version of  presenting "life of pie"? Here you go on how I succeeded in preparing Crispy Bread Apple Pie in Pressure Cooker.With no Oil and very less butter.

Ingredients :

White Bread Slices : 2
Green Apple : 1
Cinnamon Powder/Dalchini : 2 tsp
Sugar  : To Taste
Salt : To Taste
Butter : 1 tsp
Vanilla Essence : 1 tsp

Preparation Method:

For the crust :

  • Take white bread.Remove the brown ends.
  • Roll it thin using a rolling pin.
  • Take a small cup (preferably with a smooth finish ). Grease it with butter.
  • Carefully Press and spread the rolled bread in the cup similar to how we line bowls with butter paper.Don't worry if it breaks up as another press would join them together.If you get a fold,press them together to make it a single layer.Slightly spread some butter on top of the bread.

  • Meanwhile preheat the pressure cooker.Place the slotted plate which usually comes with the cooker.Close the lid without the washer and weight.Heat it in High Flame for about 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Turn the stove to simmer and carefully place the cup and close.Wait for about 20 to 30 minutes.Take it out and let it cool in room temperature.

For the stuffing:
  • Peel and remove the seeds of green apple and cut it into small cubes.
  • Add Cinnamon Powder , Lemon Juice ,Vanilla essence , Sugar and salt to it. Stir it and leave it for 3 minutes.
  • Saute this mixture in medium flame till apple gets cooked and the syrup gets separated.Enjoy the nice aroma :) .

Building the pie:
  • Stuff the baked bread with the apple mixture.
  • Carefully roll the edges previously cut from the bread.
  • Cover the stuffing horizontally and then across.Slightly dip the edges of the rolled pieces in water which will help us to stick it to the tart shell in just a press.
  • Slightly grease the cups again and place the stuffed shells and carefully place them in preheated cooker in simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Check if the top layer of bread gets slightly brown and hard.If it is still soft,let it remain heated for some more time.
  • Take it out and serve warm.Crispy Apple Pie is ready.

Tips & Tricks:
  • You can use brown bread instead of white bread.
  • I used a soft bread .So it was easy to use to use the brown edges.If the edges are very hard , you can roll another bread and cut them into long thin slices.
  • Adding Vanilla essence is optional.
  • Diabetic can skip sugar and adding salt is also optional .
  • You can add honey instead of sugar.
  • Can cut the apple into thin slices instead of cubes.
  • Red apple can also be used instead of green apple.

HaraBara Veg Salad

Need a healthy snack ? No cook - No Bake one ? That too easy and quick to prepare.Here you go with a healthy snack which would be exciting and attractive for kids too.

Corn Kernels : 1/2 cup
Carrot :
Cucumber : 1
Tomato : 1
Violet Cabbage : 100 gms
Lemon ( Indian Lemon - Small ) : 1
Salt : To Taste

Preparation Method:
  • Peel the skin of carrot and chop the carrot into small cubes.
  • Cut the Tomato and remove the stones and pulp and cut the outer skin into small cubes.
  • Chop the cabbage into small pieces.
  • Thaw the frozen corn.
  • Mix all vegetables and add lemon juice to it.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Harabara Veg salad is ready .
Tips and Tricks:
  • It is optional to add chopped onion,coriander leaves , Pudhina leaves..
  • Sprinkle some Pizza seasoning while serving for kids . You will get no complaints.
  • Optionally add other salad dressing like basil,oregano topping or pepper.
  • You can add Mayonnaise too to make it creamy.

Idli Milagai Podi / Idli Podi

My Mom's style of preparing Idli Milagai Podi at Home in minutes.

Urad Dal : 1/4 cup
Channa Dal : 2 tbsp
Kashmiri Red Chilli / Paprika  : 1 Cup
Salt:To Taste
Oil:To Roast

Preparation Method:

1. Dry Roast Urad Dal , Channa Dal and Red Chilli separately in oil.

2. Let them cool at room temperature.
3. Grind them all together to a fine powder in a mixer grinder or Spice grinder.
4. Add Salt and mix with a wooden spoon.
5. Store in an airtight container.
Optionally add separately roasted sesame seeds while grinding which will give good flavor.

Have it with Idli / Dosa with gingelly oil.

Some people use to add little sugar to reduce the spicyness.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Bread Nutella Biscuits

Wanna prepare biscuits easily?With extra flavor?And that too without deep fry or Ovens ? Yes you can - in just a Tawa with no oil.

I had a bread left over and thought of preparing some rolls with it. Ufff then you have to think about something to stuff in.Then flashed an idea of preparing biscuits out of it.But did not want to use oil for deep fry.

Thus came the Tawa fried Bread Nutella Biscuits.Kids will definitely love it -my neighbor's son really loved it and it became an hit with my hubby too.

White Bread Slice : 1
Nutella : 1 tsp
Butter (to brush)  : 1 tsp

Preparation Method:
  • Take a bread slice and remove the brown corners.

  • Carefully press it using a rolling pin into a thin layer.

  • Spread the Nutella on the rolled slice evenly.Keep the Nutella in room temperature for some time so that it will be easy to spread.
  • Slowly roll the bread lengthwise.Slightly press the corner so that the roll would not open while slicing it.

  • Slightly brush the outer layer with butter.
  • Cut it into slices of about 5 mm thickness. Optionally brush little butter on both sides of the slices.

  • Heat a Tawa and place the slices on it. Maintain low flame.

  • As the slices are thin,they will get roasted quickly.Make sure you turn them often.
  • Remove them from the Tawa once the biscuits turn brown and you get a nice baked smell.
  • Bread Nutella biscuits are ready to serve.

Tips and Tricks:
  • Using butter is optional.But we may have to roast it for longer time to get the crispness.
  • No- no to Chocolate flavor or Nutella? Use your favorite Jam instead.
  • Roll the bread breadth-wise if you want more spiral slice. 
  • Use Brown Bread / Multigrain Bread / Gluten Free Bread  instead of white bread.
  • If you want more sweet and crunchiness between the layers,drizzle some sugar after spreading the Nutella uniformly.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Cassata Icecream

Ice creams............I go crazy on Ice creams..Just had two scoops as I got tempted on typing the word here :)...My father in law used to fill the freezer regularly for me with ice creams as I had the habit of having it daily...And I gained good husband stopped his dad from doing it :(...I love to have Pistachio,Butter Scotch and Tutty Fruity flavors the most,specially loaded on the top with nuts.Then is my favorite "Cassata " - The blend of minimum 3 flavors of ice cream layers that too beautifully bounded with each other and with crunchy nutty crust.Most of the brands in India serve casatta with chocolate / Strawberry flavor as one of the layer...I can manage with strawberry but I don't like chocolates in ice cream or cakes..That portion of my Cassata would go to my hubby or brother always.

After started staying out of India,I was craving for this ice cream and unable to find it anywhere.I use to spend minimum 15 minutes in the ice cream racks of super markets to search for it or at least some ice cream with cake in it.I could not.I was starving for it and my hubby questioned "why can't you try it at home". Then i decided to try it as one among my other experiments in Kitchen. And  I got a reason for making this - for my wedding anniversary. My first choice was to get some flavors from BR and prepare this . But wanted my hubby to experience my hand's touch in each layer while he tastes it.Thus was born the 100 % home made Cassata Ice cream.

Note: I have not included the steps to prepare the ice creams and cake here as there is a choice of using ready made ice creams . It is a very simple and easy to prepare recipe.The links for the recipes would be enabled shortly.

Ingredients :

Vanilla Sponge Cake [I used Home made Eggless Vanilla Sponge Cake] : 1
Tutty Fruity Ice Cream : 3 Scoops
Vanilla Ice Cream : 3 Scoops
Pistachio Ice Cream  : 3 Scoops
Broken mixture of Cashew nuts and pistachios : 1/2 cup

Prep Method:

1. Take a flat bottom dish with height approximately 4 inches.If you have a loaf tray then well and good.I did not had any such pan and hence I used an old Ice cream box which was freezer safe. There is no restriction in choosing this, but you would need sufficient height for the layers to be thick enough.

2. We can use a butter paper such that it clings out of the box slightly which would help us in removing the ice cream from the box to serve.This is optional as I didn't use it and also my ice cream was set perfectly that it popped out as a cute baby without creating any mess :)...

3.Take the Vanilla sponge cake and cut it to fit the bottom of the box and of height about 3/4 inch. I prepared  the cake using the big cooker separator in my Pressure cooker and hence it was easy for me to cut it to fit my box.This cake will be our bottom most layer. Note: Ensure the top and bottom of the cake spread here is flat enough . We have to carefully remove the domed top layer of the cake (if it is not a flat store bought one) as this is the base holding all the other layers.

3.Take the Tutty Fruity Ice cream out of freezer and let it melt slightly in room temperature so that it will be easy to spread it and the layer also will be of uniform thickness.Spread the ice cream evenly on top of the cake of about 3/4 inch thickness as a flat layer. Optionally you can add some more tutty fruity in case they are not prominently visible. Cover the box with Aluminium Foil and then with the box cover.Store in freezer for minimum 30 minutes so that the ice cream gets adhered to the cake and is properly set.

4.Similar to how we layered the Tutty Fruity Ice cream, take out the Vanilla ice cream and let it melt slightly and spread it uniformly on top of the Tutty Fruity layer. Do not apply more pressure while spreading as we are layering on top of an ice cream and there are chances that the layers may not look good.Freeze it to set .

5. Similarly, spread the Pistachio flavor and let it set for about 10 minutes.The lesser time here is for garnishing the top with the nuts.

6. Uniformly spread the broken nuts on top of our last layer.Slightly press (do not be harsh as the nuts will be submerged in the ice cream completely) the nuts with the back of a ladle so that they are slightly rooted in the ice cream and would not fall off while cutting into slices.We are almost done.Put it back in freezer for 20 more minutes.

7.When the ice cream is fully set, take it out and invert the box Slightly tap on the top and sides of the box and slowly remove it. Once it is fully out carefully hold it and invert it such that the cake is the bottom most layer.The nuts would have already set so they wont fall off.

8.Carefully cut the cake into slices and enjoy the blended taste of all the layers.

Notes :
  • The ice creams I used were home made and would melt easily when kept out for longer time.So,store the remaining pieces back in freezer and take out just before consuming.
  • There is no restriction in the number of layers. But better to have 3 or 4 layers of ice cream. In case more flavors are needed reduce the thickness of the layers slightly.
  • You can combine your favorite ice creams and order them with a good contrast between each layer so that you give it a pleasant look.
  • Using a cling film or butter paper before placing the cake in the mould will help you in removing the ice cream out easily,but it is better to have minimal folds while setting it to the height of the box.
  • The mould I used was slightly tapered at the bottom and the last layer will be slightly covering the cake.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Pulpy Cucumber Orange lassi shots

I use to watch the Master Chef India series and in the punjabi cuisine special week . I watched them preparing varieties of lassi and got tempted to have a good lassi. Also,I had too much of buttermilk which was about to expire in 2 days and I wanted to consume it somehow.My husband insists me on having cucumber and fruits everyday.I follow his orders but wanted to have some variations in having the same.Why cant I have them all together and here comes Sweet and Pulpy Cucumber-Orange lassi shots from my kitchen.

Ingredients :

Cucumber : 1
Buttermilk/Labaan . I used Full fat one : 2 Cups
Orange. I used Valencia Orange bigger in size : 1
Water : 1/2 Cup
Sugar : To Taste

Prep Method:

Peel off and grate the cucumber and keep it aside.Cut the oranges into two halves and extract juice in manual/electric juicer.Ensure that the orange shell is not damaged as it is required for serving.You will need a blender or the juicer jar of a mixer grinder.You can also use the traditional blending stick (Maththu) for preparing lassi. Add the lassi, grated cucumber, orange juice and sugar in the blender and beat it till it becomes frothy.Add water for required consistency which can be ignored as per wish.Pour it into the Orange shells and enjoy the taste of the lassi in a new and tasty serving dish in small small quantities.

Tips and Variations:

* Honey can replace sugar.
* You can use Yogurt/Curd and health conscious people can go for Low fat ones.
* Diabetic?Can go for salt and pepper instead of sugar.Even it would taste good without salt.
* Add chat masala,amchur,salt and chilly powder instead of sugar for a spicy desi version.
* People who do not like the pulp of cucumber can make the cucumber into a fine paste and then adding buttermilk and orange juice.

Apricot Pickle

I have not tasted apricot fruit earlier and don't know how to select it while buying.First time got tempted towards it by its color and bought some 6 to 7 apricots just by examining the outer skin of it ..I could not wait to taste them, they were looking very beautiful while cutting ..First piece in my mouth...ooops..My reaction was same like baby's first lemon reaction :) .It was so sour..

I should search on how to select/choose apricots.I did not want to waste the same and I could have tried some other sweet stuff but I was afraid that it may consume more sugar to send off the sourness.

Fortunately , I had planned for curd rice that night and myself and my husband do not like Pickles (apart from home made mango pickle with chilli powder without oil).Then flashed an idea on trying out preparing pickle out of it.Just gave a try and it came out so well.Here is the recipe of Apricot Pickle from my kitchen.

Chopped deseeded Apricot.I used small cubes cut from 6 Apricots. : 1 cup
Chilli Powder : 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds (to temper) : 1 tsp
Salt : To Taste
Oil.I used Corn Oil : 1 1/2 tsp
Green Chilli(Slit Lengthwise) :1


Add salt to finely chopped apricot pieces and marinate it 15-30 minutes.Heat oil,Add mustard seeds and allow to splutter.Then add green chilly chopped lengthwise/into bigger pieces.Add the apricot pieces and let it cook for 5 minutes.Ensure it is not burnt.Add chilly powder and keep stirring for 2 minutes,add salt to taste and turn off the stove.Allow the mix to cool well.Transfer to a air tight jar/bottle and store in refrigerator.


* I prefer to add less oil in food.This can be altered as per wish similar to chilly powder and salt.
* Sesame[Gingelly] oil/Olive Oil can replace corn oil.
* Better to use slightly harder Apricot [ not too ripe ] to have a better flavor.
* If you do not prefer to add chilli powder,you can exclude it and adjust the quantity of green chilli as per taste.Also,grating green chilli/chopping it into fine pieces will go well with this.
* Preserve it in an air tight box, preferably a glass jar .It stayed well for 3 weeks.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Spicy Corn On Toast with White Sauce

I love Corn very much and whenever I go to any restaurants I look for something in menu card having corn/sweet corn.Thanks to my sister and brother in law who took us to the restaurants Mathura and Eden at Chennai and made me try the corn on toast.Wow. I love it very much and got addicted to it that whenever I go to these restaurants or I find it on any other menu card,I order it.I have never felt overdone with its taste.After being away from Chennai,I was missing it badly and wanted to try making it at home.I referred to the version on Ms Chitra @ ChittisKitchen . Mine is almost the same except for the quantities and the cheese I used.

Though I tried it with white sauce for the first time,it tasted so well and now I have many fans for this in my family. So here is the recipe of Spicy Corn on Toast from my Kitchen.It is very easy to make and quicker too.I use to finish off everything within 15 - 30 minutes.

Recipe for Corn on Toast with red sauce will be here shortly.

Spicy Corn On Toast


Boiled corn kernels.I used frozen kernels. : 1 cup
All Purpose Flour(Maida) : 4 tsp
Milk : 2 cups
Salt : To Taste
Grated/Crushed Feta Cheese : 1/4 Cup
Butter : 1 tsp
Bread Slices:4
Green Chilli(Finely Chopped) :1

Prep Method :

Heat Butter in a frying pan and saute onion and green chilli till onion turns translucent.Add maida and fry for 2 mins.Ensure the mixture is not burnt.Add 2 cups milk and stir continuously and make sure no lumps are left out.The mixture will turn creamy with a good aroma.Lower the heat,add cheese and salt to taste.Add corn kernels and keep in simmer for 2 mins and make sure that it is not burnt.

Toast bread slices in parallel with butter(optional) and spread the corn sauce on the toast.Serve Hot


* We can season the sauce with oregano seeds/Pizza seasoning.
* Adjust maida and milk for required consistency of the sauce/gravy.Try to avoid adding more maida at last to get rid of raw maida flavour.
* If you are running out of milk or feel the quantity is too much,can dilute it by adding some water.
* The sauce will become thick when it cools and would appear too heavy to eat.Hence ensure it has a creamy consistency ( neither too watery nor too thick ).
* Can cut the bread slices into pieces and consume slightly soaked.It tastes very good.
* Adding cheese is optional.Feta cheese can be substituted with Paneer,mozarella or tofu.Cheese can be avoided by fitness lovers.
* We can add pepper powder/chilli powder for more spicy flavour.
* Adjust the quantity of green chilli based on the spicyness.