Thursday, 30 January 2014

Potato/ Aloo sandwich, Potato and Bread roll ups

Potato Bread rolls

This is so much fun to make and eat, I am just showing a potato filling but you can make endless variations sweet or savory, fill it with egg, chocolate or paneer …it’s amazing for breakfast, tea time or an easy packed lunch J
So here’s what you need,


White Bread- 8 slices
Potato- 2 large, boiled and mashed.
Coriander, finely chopped- 1 tsp.
½ a Green chilly, finely chopped
Cumin seed- ½ tsp
Mustard seeds- ½ tsp
Turmeric- ½ tsp
Chaat masala- 1 tsp
Chilly powder (optional)
Coriander powder (optional)
Butter- 2 tbsp.
Water to seal the rolls
You will also need a rolling pin.

1. Prepare the potato filling; in a small pan heat a tsp. of oil add in cumin and mustard seeds allow to splutter.
2. Add the turmeric, add in the potatoes, spices, chaat masala (leaving some for garnishing) coriander, chilly and salt to taste. Mix well and allow cooling. 

3.  Remove the crust (which can be used to make bread crumbs) of the bread and using a rolling pin roll out so it looks flat and thin, like a sheet.

4. Once, the potato filling cools down, place about a tbsp. of the filling rolled up on the flattened bread, and roll up the bread.

5. Dip your fingers in water and gently dab them on the end of the roll just to seal it, continue the same with the rest
6. Then place them all in a row with the open end facing up, cover with a damp paper towel or cloth. And let it rest for 10 minutes (this is essential step or your rolls would begin to crumble when you toast them)
7. finally, place the griddle/ pan on high to medium heat, place some butter and toast the rolls starting with open ends facing the pan then turn,

once both sides are toasted, transfer to a plate, serve it hot-  sprinkle some chaat masala and serve with some ketchup...Yumm!!!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Chilly Chicken/ Chinese fried chicken

Chilly chicken/ Chinese chicken fry is a crispy battered chicken stir fried in Chinese sauces and garnished with spring onions. This is a delicious starter or a perfect accompaniment to Noodles and fried rice. Green chilies give it a bit of a kick however it would be just as delicious without the chilies. And now I am going to let my other half (A) take over.
  Today P has been very kind to give me this opportunity to put this recipe in her blog.  Her passion towards cooking has always inspired me cook and improvise. This recipe originally comes from my mother and I would like to give her all the credit. I have tweaked it a bit :).I and P have served this dish as a starter in many dinner parties and also had it as a main course along with noodles and fried rice, and every time it has been a hit. Whenever I make this starter P compliments it with the perfect main course. Do try the recipe and if you think that a golden tweak can make it even better, do tell us. We would be more than happy to adapt.

Prep time:  30 minutes

Serves: 4


For Marinate:
Chicken thinly sliced even pieces- 700 gm
Soya sauce 2 tbsp.
Vinegar 1tsp.
Chilly sauce 1tsp.
Salt to taste (about 1 tsp.)
For the deep frying:
Plain flour 1 tbsp.
Corn flour 1 tbsp.
1 egg
Oil for deep frying.
For the stir fry:
2 cm Ginger shredded
5 cloves Garlic shredded
2 green chillies chopped (optional
Corn flour 1tsp.
Chilly sauce ½ tsp. to 1 tsp (depending on how spicy you like it)
Ketchup 1 tsp.
Spring onions- sliced greens only (3)
Salt to taste

1. Mix all the marinate ingredients in a bowl  and leave aside for 30 minute
2. Add in the plain flour, egg and corn flour; if the batter is  too  runny add in a little more corn flour.
3. Heat the oil for deep frying,  fry all the chicken pieces and place on an absorbent kitchen towel. 


     4.In a small bowl, mix 1 tsp. of corn flour, 2 tsp. of soya sauce, 1 tsp. of chilli sauce, a tsp. of ketchupand 2tbsp  of water. 
    5.Heat a tbsp. of oil in a wok, add the ginger,garlic,chillies and saute, and then add the fried chicken and sauté for another minute.At last spread the above mixture(step 4) across the chicken and mix well for a minute. This will give a nice coating of the sauces to the chicken.
      6.Transfer it to a serving plate garnish with some spring onions and serve!  

Chilly chicken/Chinese fried chicken

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Veg Noodles / Stir Fry Noodles

Veg Noodles/ Stir Fry Noodles

Today I am here with my other half, and we have decided to share with you one of our scrumptious vegetable Noodle dishes. With loads of vegetables it’s a super healthy and super quick lunch or dinner.
I find it hard to get Hakka noodles here and so I use spaghetti instead of egg noodles, and I recommend you to try it. However this is a recipe that will work with any noodles, just refer to pack instructions to cook your noodles.

Prep time: 20 Minutes
Serves: 2-3
Noodles -250 gm (or spaghetti)
Thinly sliced Garlic- 3 cloves
Thinly sliced Ginger- 2cm
Green Pepper, Red Pepper/ Yellow Pepper- 1 small thinly sliced
Carrot Shredded-1
Spring Onion- 3 stalks chopped (greens and onions separated)
Green chilli-1 (optional)
Cabbage Shredded- hand full
Light Soya sauce- 4 tbsp.
Chilly Sauce- to taste
Veg Stock cube-1
Salt to taste.
  1.  Boil Noodles or Spaghetti in a sauce pan of salted (2 tsp.) boiling water drizzle about a tbsp. of oil. Meanwhile chop all the vegetables. If using Noodles, after draining rinse with cold water and drain to stop them from cooking anymore and toss in some oil. ( I skip all of this and just use spaghetti )

  2.   Drain and leave aside.
  3.  In a wok, heat about 2 tbsp. of oil and sauté ginger garlic to remove the rawness.
  4.  Add in the Vegetables, starting with Carrots, onions (leave the stalks aside), peppers, cabbage sauté  on High flame or about a minute (try not overcook the vegetables). Season with salt and   Pepper.
  5.   Add in the Noodles and crushed vegetable stock cube. Mix it well
  6.   Finally add in soya sauce and chili sauce and sauté for a minute, Garnish with spring onions and        serve!

Chinese cooking can not be  easier than this, so why not skip the take away and try these delicious, healthy noodles!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Valentines special Hot Chocolate

Hot Chcolate

Who doesn’t love chocolate; tell me do you know anyone?And with   Valentine’s Day just around the corner all I can see everywhere is chocolates.

 Which also got me thinking what should I make on Valentine’s Day Breakfast? Breakfast, yes but not just any breakfast it has to be special, well I will figure that out anyway but it’s definitely not going to be tea or coffee it’s going to be  Hot chocolate! My OH’s favorite.
Hot chocolate is a perfect pick-me-up drink, and is not reserved for special days alone so I couldn’t resist making one. And this hot chocolate recipe is simply irresistible so why not give it a shot…. 

Serves: 2
 150 gm of your favorite chocolate bar or cooking chocolate (Milk or Dark, I prefer milk and I used a hazelnut milk chocolate bar)
2 Mugs of Milk
Drinking chocolate powder  
For garnish: whipped cream and grated chocolate to garnish or some drinking chocolate.

Boil the milk in a sauce pan add the chocolate and mix well till all the chocolate melts (I used crushed as it contained nuts, and strained it in the end).  Use a whisk for a frothy consistency; Reheat it in microwave if you like.
Transfer to the mug, sprinkle some drinking chocolate powder (I like it extra chocolaty). If you are going to use whipped cream to garnish add the drinking chocolate powder and stir, then top it with cream and grated chocolate and Serve.

So this valentine’s day whether your alone or with your friends or with that someone special, start off your morning with this delicious hot chocolate, in fact why wait so long !!!

Friday, 24 January 2014

How to Make Phulkas/ Roti on an electric hob – Indian Flat bread

 If you are planning to start dieting or simply want to eat healthy, Phulkas are really a great way to cut down on your calories, Not much oil goes into making phulkas . As opposed to chapatis, phulkas are lighter and smaller. Make this small change to your diet and I bet you will see some results, provided you are not loading it up with 2 tbsp. of ghee or butter or oil.
Many people hate cooking on electric hobs, one reason is we are used to cooking on a gas stove and second the unnecessary need to add water in cooking, with which you end up eating diluted or liquidy food. I might have overcome my fear to cook on an electric hob, I would still love to have gas stove, meanwhile I really have to make peace with it and continue cooking.
And honestly it is not that bad, So let’s start with simple phulkas, they are light and healthy. Making phulkas is a breeze, if you master to make the dough right; getting a round shaped phulka in the beginning is however acceptable if you have some really supportive people around, my husband is lucky I was well trained when he met me. However, my brother has been my guinea pig and has eaten chapatis of all shapes, textures and sometimes burnt without complaining I love him for that and for all the motivation he has been giving me. And sometimes I secretly used a steel plate to get my rotis right, just to get complimented from my mom (as if she  wouldn’t know) funny days!
However, I am proud of myself as I trained my husband to make phulkas who has never done this in his life before and is now good at it. So this recipe is perfect if you have never made it before or just skip the method and look at how to make the phulkas.

Wheat flour/ Atta for the dough and some more for dusting
Salt to taste
Oil (optional)
What you will need:
Pan/ Tawa, rolling pin and a cooling rack/baking rack.


To make the Dough:

I have never measured the flour or water to make phulkas in my life, however this is really a rough measurement that you could use as a guideline,
In a bowl, add 1 cup of flour to it add a pinch of salt and drizzle some oil( say ½ tsp.) add water spoon by spoon, you might need less than or more than a half cup and start kneading till the dough leaves the sides of the bowl  and the bowl looks  clean, if the dough looks too dry just dip your fingers in water, and lightly dab your fingers on the dough cover it and let it rest for 10 to 15 min, after which with greased palms knead the dough again and rest it till ready to use. Kneading is the key to make soft dough, not too soft not too hard just pliable.
I find the resting step crucial to make soft Phulkas.

To make the Phulkas:

Now, place the rack on the hob on high heat and place the tawa on top of it,

make small balls from the dough (making it in the beginning  you can be assured all the phulkas will be  the same size) and using some dry flour roll it out not too thin as a papad or not too thick as a nan just medium thick, dusting some flour as needed.
Place it on the hot tawa( getting rid of as much dry flour as you can by flipping it in your palms)

and within seconds turn it over and cook till you can see the phulka bubbling ( you might not see it, but just till the side facing the pan is cooked).

This is the time you lift the tawa and flip the phulka on the rack (uncooked side facing the rack) and it should fluff up almost immediately, and that’s it, it is ready.

 Follow the same with the rest. Keep a check on the heat, if the pan is too hot your phulkas might start burning so keep a check. Even if it doesn’t fluff up it will still taste fine and might just be a matter of practice.

Wrapping it in a foil you can be assured it stays fresh longer and applying a little oil it will stay fresh and soft till lunch time. I skip this step and wrapping it in the foil also works well for me. Remember if you are going to reheat it don’t heat it more than 2 to 3 seconds as that would turn them hard. Leaving the left over dough wrapped in a cling film and placing in the fridge, you should have it fresh for the next day.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Caramel Pudding with a Hint of Orange (Orange Crème Caramel) - Easy Dessert

Caramel pudding
Orange Crème Caramel 

I am super lazy when it comes to making desserts, especially when planning a 3 course meal I am always on a look for a fancy looking yet easy to make dessert (also something that is not heavy ).  Caramel pudding is probably one of the most common desserts sometimes known as a Flan and of course the posh name Crème Caramel. However, a posh name doesn't make it complicated it will still remain the easiest dessert ever.
My sister Poonam makes the best caramel pudding and she makes it in a Pressure cooker. Here is the Caramel Pudding Pressure cooker recipe
And here’s a recipe for a refreshing super light super easy Orange caramel pudding that I adapted from her recipe and food wishes

Serves: 4


½ cup Sugar (and a little more if you want to make the garnish)
1 Egg
3 Egg yolks
A pinch of salt
¼ cup Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
½ Cup Crème Fraiche (you can replace this with double cream)
½ Cup whole Milk
Grated rind of half an orange (orange zest)

  1. Pour the milk in a sauce pan add the zest of half orange and bring to a boil, allow cooling completely.
  2. Place four ramekins in a Deep baking tray, and spray the ramekin with cooking spray or I just use a kitchen towel dipped in a little oil to coat my ramekins.
  3. Preheat the oven to 150ᵒC
  4. Melt the ½ cup sugar over a medium heat until  all the sugar is melted and turns to a lovely caramel ( remember swirl the stainless steel pan, do not stir this could cause sugar to crystallise
  5. Pour the caramel in the ramekins, just covering the base of the ramekins.
  6. In a bowl whisk eggs and the sugar, then add a pinch salt, add the crème fraiche (or double cream) whisk again and strain the orange infused milk, add the vanilla extract and mix well.
  7. Pour the mixture over the caramel layer in the ramekins leaving some room on the top.
  8. Bain Marie method: Pour boiling water to the tray, enough to cover the base of the ramekins and place the baking tray in the oven bake for 25 to 35 minutes, firm with a wobble. ( I bake mine for 25 Min however the wobble test will be your ultimate guide)
  9. Leave the ramekins covered with cling film in the refrigerator for couple of hours before serving. ( you could also plate it and then let it rest in the fridge)
  10. To plate, use a sharp knife to loosen the edges of the pudding, place a plate on the top of the ramekin and invert it.  Place the caramel garnish on top or just some orange zest and voila!

For the Garnish:
One way to make it is add a little extra sugar to the caramel and after pouring in the ramekins make random designs on a non-stick paper. Other way is to plate the pudding and microwave the remaining caramel from the ramekin and make random designs on a non-stick paper (I usually use a grease proof paper coated with some oil).

Whats your favourite Dessert?

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Baigan Ka Bharta and Aubergine pâté / Veg pâté with Crusty bread and zesty sour cream

Aubergine( baigan Bharta) with Crusty bread and zesty sour cream

Baigan bharta can be served as a main course dish with Rice and Phulkas. Baigan bharta is a traditional Indian Aubergine mash eaten for main course.

However this is my take on the traditional recipe to suit all the palettes. Although some people make pâté in a terrine or a bread tin, the recipe I am showing here is rather simple and would not require that. Aubergine pâté can be served with crusty bread, a perfect vegetarian dinner party starter. This is also a make a head dish, so less to worry on the day you have to serve. It can be served warm. I serve mine with zesty sour cream it goes so well with the Aubergine mash but replacing it with some salad or chutney is also a very good idea.
If you are a vegetarian this is a perfect recipe for you, and if you are a vegan you will only have to skip the sour cream.

Serves: 3 to 4
For the Baigan Bharta / Aubergine (Eggplant) Mash/ pâté
One firm glossy and heavy Aubergine
3 small onions finely chopped
3 small tomatoes finely chopped
1 tsp. ginger garlic paste
3 to 4 Curry leaves (optional for the pâté)
1 green chilly seeds removed chopped (optional)
A pinch Hing/ asafetida (optional for the pâté)
½ tsp. Cumin seeds
½ tsp. Mustard seeds
½ tsp. Chilly powder (optional for the pâté, substitute with Black pepper)
Turmeric powder (1/2 tsp)
Coriander powder (1 tsp)
Blanched Peanuts crushed (1/4th cup)
Water (1 cup)
A tbsp. Oil
Salt to taste
Coriander to garnish
To serve (for pâté)
A loaf of Crusty bread or as required per serving.
Sour Cream (2 -3 tbsp. per serving)
Zest of a Lime (grated rind of 1 lemon)


Step 1 (Smoky Aubergine)
Although there is a long list of ingredients you can skip some of the ingredients for the pâté.
Start by scoring the aubergine ( not too deep, roughly to ease removing the skin after its baked), massage a little oil all over the aubergine , cover it with foil place it on a baking tray and place in the oven for 220ᵒC ( for a fan assisted oven, for other ovens 220 to 250ᵒC will work) and bake for about 40 minutes, however check after 35 minutes between  as you don’t want the aubergine to burn, just the skin has to turn brown and interior has to become soft ( as shown in the picture below) for a smoky taste.

Other way to do this, which is also slightly quicker way to do it is insert a fork in the aubergine and roast it to get a similar effect. However, it’s very messy and I can put it in the oven and forget about it so I use the oven ;).
Step 2:
1.Heat the oil in a large saucepan, Add the about a  ½ tsp of cumin and mustard seeds each allow to splutter, if using curry leaves and a pinch of Hing add it now.
2. Fry the onions, ginger garlic paste and tomatoes( adding a little salt at this point will speed up the process)  for about 12 – 15 minutes or until mushy. Add the spices and a green chilly, stir well. Add a ladle of water and cook on low flame, for a mushy consistency.

3. Check on the Aubergine, using a fork or knife, remove the browned skin; transfer the fleshy aubergine to a bowl and mash.

4. Add the mashed Aubergine to the tomato and onion gravy, cook for 5 minutes or until well incorporated. Adjust seasoning (add salt at this point) Add the crushed or powdered peanuts at this point. And turn of the heat. Garnish with finely chopped coriander

5. You could serve it at this point if serving as Baigan Bharta, if serving as pâté, blend it to a smooth consistency.
6. For the zesty sour cream, add the grated rind of a lemon to the sour cream.

7. Serve the pâté alongside the zesty sour cream and toasted or griddled crusty bread.


Deciding on the mash or Pate is tough , I love both ! and you?

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Mango Lassi/ Mango smoothie/ Mango mocktail

Sunday was such a nice day, sunny and warm( at least when I was sitting at home and looking outside ;))  felt like  spring is already here and that called for a drink but not just any drink, but Mango Lassi my favorite.
Lassi is usually made of yoghurt and although enjoyed on its own, flavoured lassi is also very common.

If you love Mango your definitely going to love Mango lassi.


A can of Alphonso mango pulp ( I would love to use fresh mango but this is not something you'll find here)

Yoghurt about a Cup

milk( there is no fixed amount but roughly no more that 1/4th cup)

2 tbsp. Sugar.

Mint leaves to garnish or  a slice of ripened mango.

Ice ( optional)

Serves: 4 


In a smoothie maker or a blender add the mango pulp and yoghurt and blend it, this would be a thick consistency. Add  a little milk and sugar to taste and blend. If you would like it less thick you can increase the amount of milk. you could add ice in the blender if serving immediately if not leave it in the fridge.

Pour it in a glass filled with ice cubes garnish it  with a mint leaf  and its ready. Slurp!!!

What is your Favourite sunny day drink ?

Cucumber Raita / Yoghurt and cucumber salad


Cucumber raita

  Indian food is incomplete without a raita, raita is made of yoghurt and you can make endless variations to a raita. Cucumber raita is very cooling and goes perfectly with meat dishes or even vegetarian dishes, however me and my Mom can eat it with anything even with plain white rice or roti. And my husband can find a excuse to finish it and can eat it just on its own.That said, I still recommend you eat this with some protein and dont get carried away by its taste.

So heres the super easy super tasty cucumber raita,

You will need


1 cucumber grated

1 and a 1/2 cup yoghurt

salt to taste

and for Tadka/  Tempering   ( this is optional and will taste great even with or without it )

oil  ( you could use olive oil, I used sunflower oil )
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds ( or cumin seeds)
curry leaves 3 to 4
split green chilly, seeds removed ( optional)


Peel and grate the cucumber ( I use the food processor grater , super easy) , transfer it to the bowl ( I use a single bowl to make it and serve it, saves washing up time ;)) mix in the yoghurt and add salt to taste .

In a small pan drizzle some oil ( about a tsp.) once the oil is heated up add the mustard seeds, lower the heat or turn it off and add the curry leaves and split chilly(optional). transfer this to your cucumber and yoghurt mixture and there it is  Cucumber Raita, ready in 5 minutes.

leave a comment if you like this recipe or share your variations!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Easy Hyderabadi Chicken biryani / Dum Biryani

  If you have been to Hyderabad you will know what I am talking about, journey to Hyderabad is incomplete without eating biryani from the award winning Paradise restaurant. Hyderabadi biryani is famous not just in Hyderabad but almost every part of India and also internationally. Biryani used to be one of the famous dishes in the kitchens of Mughal emperors( most basmati rice advertisements depict that). This dish although brought to India by travellers is still extremely popular in India and is also one of the favourites of all chefs. Which is why you will see more than one chef travelling to India to decode the recipe for all ( for e.g.: Rick Steins odyssey and  a travel show on Planet food). Although it looks like the most difficult dish with endless ingredients to balance, believe me it’s not its very easy and truly delicious.
   For a gist, traditionally biryanis were made in copper pots and dough was pasted around the rim of the pot before placing the lid to lock in the moisture and was cooked on slow flame for hours, which is also called “Dum” effect. Though its sounds great you do need a lot of patient’s for that so here’s a recipe that’s super quick (except the marinating time) and that too without compromising on the taste.

Prep time: 20 minutes ( marinating time 4 hrs to overnight)
Cook Time:40 minutes 

Chicken- 800 gm (or 5-6 chicken drum sticks)
Yogurt- 1cup
Oil-1/4th cup
Ghee - 1/4th cup ( or less if you like)
Coriander – one small bunch
Mint- 18- 20 leaves
Green chilli-2 (optional)
Chilly powder (optional)
Turmeric – 1 tsp.
Juice of 1 lime.
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tbsp.
Fried onions- ½ cup
Garam masala-1 tsp.
MDH hyderabadi biryani masala -  2 -3 tsp. (if you don’t have this you could grind the whole spices mentioned below)
Whole spices- 3 bay leave, 1 stick cinnamon, ½ tsp. shahi jeera, 2-3 cloves, 3 -5black pepper, 1-2 star anise, green cardamom, black cardamom
Basmati Rice – 2 Cups
Orange food colour - 1/2 tsp diluted in 1 tbsp. of water


Wash and Score all the chicken pieces, use a kitchen towel to dry the chicken pieces ( to remove all the excess water).And place it in a wide bowl like a baking bowl.
Massage the chicken with ginger garlic paste, turmeric, chili powder, lime juice and salt (1 tsp.) and leave for about 10 minutes covered.
Next add the yoghurt,  super finely chopped coriander( leave some for garnishing), mint, green chilly,garam masala powder, hyderabadi masala and another tsp of salt and mix it well in the chicken almost coating every single piece of chicken. You may also increase or decrease the spices and the yogurt depending on the size of the pieces.
Then add, crispy fried onions (leave some for garnishing and also for cooking) to the marinate and  1/4th cup of oil (you could also use the oil you use to fry the onions or regular oil if your using store bough friend onions) and mix it really well. Wrap it up with cling film. And marinate for at least 4-5 hours or overnight (in the fridge) for best results.

Next day or after 4hrs of marinating, remove the marinated chicken from the fridge and bring to room tempt. Meanwhile rinse the basmati rice thrice and soak it in water for minimum 30 minutes.
Take a deep nonstick,  pot coat it with ghee  or with cooking spray if you don’t like ghee (almost as if you were lining a cake tin) pour the marinate and add some fried onions  leave aside. Keep a medium sized strainer or a colander handy.

In a separate pot bring about 2 L  or 1.5 L  of water (only fill the pan 3/4th leaving some room) to boil add a tsp. of oil and drizzle some ghee (just like when you’re making spaghetti), 2 tsp. of salt and all the whole spices tied in a muslin cloth (you could add it all in without the muslin cloth and remove it while straining or leave it in if you don’t mind spices in your rice). Once the water is boiled, drain the soaked rice and add this rice to the boiling water. Now be really careful and keep a watch if you have soaked the rice enough you will see that the rice will start cooking almost immediately and you only need to cook the rice about 70 to 80%, aka rice grain that is brittle yet raw to eat.
At this point  turn off  the heat, and using the strainer add the drained rice to the pot with the marinated chicken, the remaining rice just strain it using a colander and add all of it to the pan, make about three holes in the rice with a back of a spoon and drizzle some ghee. Garnish with coriander and fried onions and also  add diluted orange food color. (I don’t use rose water but if you want you can sprinkle it at this point). Now, quickly cover the pan with a foil and press down all the foil to lock in the moisture and cover it with a lid and then turn the heat on.

On High flame cook it for 5 minutes, after 5 minutes place a tawa/ flat pan under the pot and reduce the flame to medium cook for about 25 mins ( don’t try to open it before 20 mins) its best to set a timer  and start making Cucumber Raita to go with it. In about 20 to 25 minutes you should be able to smell the biryani or if you can’t smell it it’s the right time to lift the foil and smell it .Turn off the heat , plate it up and tuck into tender lightly spiced chicken and perfectly cooked rice with a cooling cucumber raita mmm…Delicious!!! What do you think?
Hyderabadi Chicken biryani with cucumber raita


heres a step by step guide to how to cook rice by drain method