Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tomato Tart

Baking Tart was on my To-Bake-List since quite a long time and i finally ordered a Tart pan on Amazon and i was all set to make my very first Tart and as usual my guinea pig was my family and some friends....and the Test results were successful and the Tart was a hit !!!

It had a nice crusty crust with well done filling and nothing was burnt - Aditya said "it has a right blend of spices" and everything was just so right it.....


1 tbspn chopped garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1/2 recipe of Pie Dough
1 cup ounces Ricotta cheese
1 1/2 pounds firm but ripe tomatoes (4 medium), cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Shredded cheese for topping
Italian seasoning (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 1/8-inch-thick circle, about 12 inches in diameter. With a dry pastry brush, brush off the excess flour; roll the dough around the rolling pin, and lift it over a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Line the pan with the dough, pressing it into the corners. Trim the dough so that it is flush with the edges; transfer to the refrigerator to chill, about 30 minutes.
  3. Spread garlic evenly on the chilled crust. Sprinkle with half of the Ricotta cheese. Arrange the tomatoes on top of the Ricotta cheese, in an overlapping circular pattern. Season with salt, seasoning and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining Ricotta cheese, and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and Shredded cheese. Transfer to oven. 
  4. Reduce temperature to 400 degrees. and bake until crust is golden and tomatoes are soft but still retain their shape, 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool for 20 minutes, and serve warm.

Tart / Pie Dough


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup cold water


  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.
  2. With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.

Dark Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Last weekend i was so looking forward to the new target opening up within a mile from my apartment and to be honest it really did make me happy to finally spend couple of hours there..... I and one of my very good friend Rhonda had visited Target and when we were hungry we decided to have a cup of coffee in Starbucks which was located in it.

I decided to go for my favorite Cafe Mocha ~ No Whip - 1 pump of chocolate with Almond Biscotti ... while i was chatting with Rhonda and nibbling on Biscotti i said - " Rhonda i think i can bake this stuff " and being a very good friend of mine she agreed and said "Sure you can!" and that motivated me to take this one step and bake these dark chocolate almond biscotti's.

I did lot of homework on how to bake them and i was missing out on one or the other ingredients mentioned. Some said i need pistachios, some said i need some different kind of sugar... but i had to bake them at any cost so this baking devil in me is quiet... so i decided to bake with what i have at home and these biscotti's turned out to be really well - i replaced pistachios with Almonds and used a normal sugar what i had and chocolate chips with unsweetened chocolate so they are not very sweet. Believe me it did taste the same i had in "Starbucks".... I'm not exaggerating my baking here but these Biscotti's really made me feel good about myself :)  and they are damn easy ~ trust me !!!!


2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for baking sheet
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for baking sheet
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup chopped Almonds
4 oz unsweetened chocolate


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a baking sheet; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.In a double boiler melt chocolate and keep aside. 
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs; beat until well combined, scraping down sides of bowl if necessary. Add flour mixture, and stir to form a stiff dough. Stir in almonds and melted chocolate.
  4. Transfer dough to prepared baking sheet; form into a slightly flattened log, about 12 by 4 inches. Bake until slightly firm, about 25 minutes. Cool about 5 minutes. Reduce oven to 300 degrees.
  5. On a cutting board, using a sharp serrated knife, cut biscotti diagonally into 1-inch-thick slices. Arrange biscotti, cut sides down, on baking sheet, and bake until crisp but still slightly soft in the center, about 8 minutes.

You can enjoy these with Tea/Coffee or just a lil snack as they are very light, crunchy and less in FAT !!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Coconut Laddoo

Laddoo's are Aditya's fav and i think every other Indian loves them :)
These coconut laddoos are very easy to make and are not very sweet in taste... and whenver you offer them you will always get a compliment :) in return..... I learnt them from my Mom and here goes the recipe...

Ingredients -
1 small can - Condensed Milk / Milkmaid (in India)
3-4 cups - Dessicated coconut
1/2 cup - Dessicated coconut for layering
1/2 cup - Sliced Almonds (Optional)

Method -
1] In a saucepan, warm up the Condensed milk.
2] Add desicated coconut and Almonds to the saucepan and mix well for 3-4 mins till themixture looks cooked.
3] Take it out of the heat in a dish and make small laddoos out of it and roll it in the 1/2 cup dessicated coconut.

That's it - isnt it easy :)
Try it out :)

Lemon Cookies

I was going through my refrigerator and saw these nice fresh Lime lying there and the first thing came to my mind was lets Bake Lemon Cookies !!!

But i had this big question in front of me - how do i bake them? then i started adding all the ingredients i thought will be required and made these cookies and they came really well - they are less sweet, gives a hint of lime and not at all buttery :) just the way i like them ..... and luckily these were appreciated by friends and family as well ....and guys they are EGGLESS .....


2 1/2 cups All Purpose flour
3/4 cup Sugar
1 cup butter, softened
Zest of 1 lemon ( Medium size)
Juice of 1 lemon ( used the same lemon from which i scraped the Zest)
2 tspn Baking Powder
1 tspn Baking soda


  1. Mix all the dry ingredients except sugar in a large bowl and keep aside. 
  2. In a bowl, mix sugar and butter. Beat with hand till the mixture becomes creamy. Do not overdo this step as it will introduce lot of air in the mixture which is not good for cookies. 
  3. Add lemon juice and zest to the sugar-butter mixture and mix well. 
  4. Add this mixture into the dry ingredients and knead a dough. 
  5. Make 1/2 inch balls out of this dough and press them with hand and place on parchment paper on cookie sheet. 
  6. Preheat oven at 350 degree F. Bake these cookies for 15-20 mins - Monitor in between, if you see cookies are turning golden brown, take them out from the oven. 
  7. Let the cookies cool on the cooling rack for 10 mins and they are ready to eat.
These cookies are really good with Coffee :) and very light as well. 
Enjoy !!!


Cupcakes ~ Yummmmm !!! thats what comes to my mind when i hear the word Cupcakes :) I had been to Indian Grocery store and i picked up Tooty-Fruity packet.... All Indians must have eaten tooty-fruity cake or tooty-fruity ice cream for sure and when i saw this packet i thought of baking a cake first; but then i thought lets try Cupcakes and i also was baking a Marble cake for one of my dear friend and some batter was left so decided to make Chocolate cupcakes as well. And both the experiments were really successful - they were Yummmy :)  Simply loved them !!! so did my friends and family.

1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup tooty-fruity pieces
1 tbspn cocoa powder


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Process whole pistachios, sugar, and salt in a food processor until finely ground.
  2. Add butter, vanilla, and eggs, and process until smooth. Add flour, and pulse until just combined.
  3. Divide batter in two bowls. In one bowl add the tooty-fruity pieces and in other bowl add cocoa powder. Mix well and fill in the muffin cups.
  4. Preheat the oven at 350 degree F.
  5. Bake until firm and pulling away from liners, about 28 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.
Enjoy these yummy cupcakes - they are light, spongy and less sweet :)

Baked Mathri


1 cup Wheat Flour
1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour (or Maida)
1/4 cup Sooji or Rava
1 tbspn Ajwain Seeds
1 tspn Black Pepper
Salt as per taste
2 tbspn Oil
Cookie Cutters (optional)


  1. In a container mix all the dry ingredients and keep aside.
  2. In a small pan, heat oil and then add to the dry mixture. Mix well.
  3. Knead the dough using water and wrap it up with moist cloth or cling film for 1 hr.
  4. Later, divide the dough into 2-3 balls. Roll each ball and using fork poke the rolled dough. This will help the Mathris to stay flat.
  5. Using cookie cutter cut the rolled dough into shapes you like. If you dont have cookie cutter, you can use any small bottle lid and cut the shapes.
  6. Preheat the oven at 350 degree F (180 degree C). Arrange all the cut shapes on cookie sheet and Bake for 13-15 mins. 
  7. Remove the cookie sheet when Mathris turn golden brown. 
Enjoy this healthy snack with Tea / Coffee or just like that :)

Watermelon Ice Cream Cake


2 pints pistachio ice cream or add Green Food color in Vanilla (that's what i did)
1 pint Vanilla Ice Cream
1 quart Watermelon Sorbet
Handful of Chocolate drops / chips
1 six-inch-round layer Vanilla Sponge Cake


  1. Line a 3-quart metal mixing bowl with plastic wrap, and leave the edges overhanging. Place lined bowl in freezer for 10 minutes; this will be the mold. Chill the bowl of an electric mixer as well.
  2. Place pistachio or Green Vanilla ice cream in the chilled mixer bowl. Using the paddle attachment of the mixer, beat on low speed until ice cream is spreadable, about 30 seconds. Remove chilled mold from freezer. Using a rubber spatula, coat inside of mold with all the pistachio ice cream, making a 1/2-inch-thick layer. Return mold and clean mixer bowl to the freezer for 30 minutes.
  3. Place vanilla ice cream in chilled mixer bowl. Beat on low speed until spreadable, about 30 seconds. Remove mold from freezer. Using the rubber spatula, coat pistachio layer with the vanilla ice cream, making a 1/4-inch-thick layer. Return mold and clean mixer bowl to freezer for 30 minutes.
  4. Place sorbet in chilled mixer bowl. Beat on low speed until sorbet has softened, about 1 minute. Fold in chocolate chips. Remove mold from freezer. Pack sorbet into center, making an even layer that comes to 1/3 inch below the top of the ice cream layer. Cover sorbet portion with sponge cake; trim cake if necessary. Return mold to freezer until completely hardened.
  5. To serve, place a serving plate upside down on top of the mold. Holding plate against mold, invert both. Place a hot wet kitchen towel over the mold. Remove the metal bowl. Immediately before serving, remove the plastic wrap.

Vanilla Sponge Cake


  • Unsalted butter, for pan
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch-square baking pan. Line pan with parchment paper, and butter again. Flour the pan, and set aside. In a small bowl, sift together flour and cornstarch; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks, vanilla, and 1/2 cup sugar on high speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Transfer the egg-yolk mixture to a large bowl. Wash and dry the mixer bowl and the whisk attachment.
  3. Combine egg whites and salt in the mixer bowl, and beat on medium speed until whites hold soft peaks, about 1 1/2 minutes. With mixer running, slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Continue beating until stiff and glossy, about 1 minute.
  4. Fold the egg-white mixture into the egg-yolk mixture. In three additions, fold the reserved flour mixture into this new mixture. Transfer the batter to prepared pan, and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into middle comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool; turn out cake, and wrap it in plastic wrap until ready to use.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Dark Chocolate Truffles

February a month of love...Love is in the air ~ that's what people say :)
Well for us its a month of Birthdays, anniversaries and ofcourse Love ...... I'm a BIG fan of chocolates - i simply love them and can eat them almost anytime, but since last few years have been gaining control over them to check my weight..... I know there are many of you who will say ... "Richa you don't need to loose weight"...and when i say "I was fat once" there are many who will say "You are joking".... Well my old friends who have seen me they will agree that yeah i was fat once :) :)

Anyways coming back to the topic of truffles - i simply love them, they are creamy and heavenly in taste and as a matter of fact they are very easy to make so here goes the recipe for the yummiest truffles.... which you can make on Valentines Day for your loved ones....I'm thinking of making few around Valentines Day for my friends....

for filling-
1 cup - Bitter-sweet chocolate chips
6 tbspn - Heavy Whipped cream
1 tspn - Butter or shortening

for coating-
1/4 cup - Bitter-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup - Heavy whipped cream
1 tspn - Confectioner's sugar

1] In a bowl put chocolate chips and keep aside. In a pan bring heavy whipped cream to boil. Add butter. Mix well and sieve in the bowl of chocolate chips.
2] Mix with a fork and let the chocolate melt till you get a smooth paste. Dont whisk too much. Stir and refrigerate overnight.

1] In a bowl put chocolate chips and keep aside. In a pan bring heavy whipped cream to boil. Add butter. Mix well and sieve in the bowl of chocolate chips.
2] Mix with a fork and let the chocolate melt till you get a smooth paste. Dont whisk too much.

Final Step
1] Take a cookie sheet and place parchment paper (butter paper) on it.
2] Take out the filling from refrigerator and make small balls with hand.
3] Dip the balls into the coating mixture and pick them with a pair of fork. Place on the cookie sheet. Repeat the steps till filling mixture lasts.
4] Refrigerate the truffles for 15 mins. Take them out and decorate the way you want and refrigerate again. Take them out just before serving.

I decorated my truffles with Pink buttercream as i had one and chocolate shavings which again i had tried at home. They looked good and tasted even better ... Yumm Yumm Yumm !!!! So next time you want truffles you know whom to call :P :P
I loved them from the bottom of my heart :) :)
Enjoy !!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chocolate-Orange Ganache sandwich cake

Ganache ~ creamy, chocolaty, lustrous thick liquid when comes in front of your eyes - one is bound to say Yummmm!!!! I have been reading a lot about Ganache lately and wanted to bake a cake in which i can use it as well as add some extra variety to it...

Its been a crazy week lately, I'm down with severe headache since last 7 days, my lil one and hubby are down with flu.... its very depressing to see your lil one sick and not smiling.... Finally today i thought of baking a cake which is my recipe (based on my experience now in baking cakes have reached a level of mixing ingredients i like and creating a new one) ... This cake came out really well - Light, chocolaty with hint of orange and not very rich in calories :) I used the Ganache in between two layers and not as icing on the cake, but you can use it the way you want....

for Cake:
1 cup - All-purpose flour
1/2 cup - Sugar
1/2 cup - Butter
1 tspn - Baking powder
1 tspn - Baking Soda
2 tbspn - Cocoa powder
2 oranges - peeled and pureed (Take the zest and keep it aside)
2 Large eggs
1 tspn - Vanilla extract

for Ganache:
1/2 cup - Semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup - Heavy whipped cream
1 tspn - butter
2 tbpsn - Orange Zest (Use the orange zest for Ganache and orange pulp for cake)

1] In a container, put chocolate chips and keep aside. In a pan, add heavy whipped cream and bring it to boil. Add butter and mix it well. Sieve it in the chocolate chips and mix till chocolate melts completely. Let it cool. Add Orange Zest and keep it aside. Your chocolate-orange Ganache is ready.
2] In a food processor, whip the eggs and keep them aside.
3] In a food processor, mix butter and sugar and whip it. To this add all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, orange puree, vanilla extract and cocoa powder. Mix it nicely till you get a light and fluffy mixture.
4] Preheat the oven at 350 degrees F and pour the batter in a baking pan. Bake it for 40 mins or till the skewer comes out clean.
5] Once the cake is cooled, cut it in two parts horizontally. Spread the Ganache in between. Add nuts if you like and put the top layer on this.

Your cake is ready.... Its easy and tastes great with anything... You can enjoy this with tea/coffee as its very light or as a simple light dessert... It is a perfect dessert when you want to eat something nice but not very rich and creamy..... We simply loved the cake.... and i'm gonna make it again :) :) what about you???

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yoghurt with Berries and Cereal

It was 10:30 in the night and as usual i was hungry... generally i go to kitchen and get a big bowl of cereal for myself. Today i felt like having something nice yet healthy so i can go off to sleep without guilt.... i get those guilts when i indulge myself into a rich dessert and i skip desserts for next 10 days :D
i took a good look into my refrigerator and i saw fresh Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries waiting for me ..... and i got an idea to use all of them with Yoghurt and cereal... I know this is a very common recipe but guys what if someone who is unaware of comes and read this blog - i will help one soul satisfy his hunger in a better way - so here it goes.....

Handful of Strawberries (chopped), Blueberries and Blackberries
2 tbspn - Plain Yoghurt ( i had Low fat - that made me feel good)
handful of your fav cereal ( i had Kelloggs oat & honey)

1] Mix all the berries in a bowl.
2] Add Yoghurt on top of it.
3] Sprinkle your fav cereal

That's it - Enjoy your guilt-free, healthy and yet Yummy dessert...
I simply enjoyed it and wanted more and more :)

Handmade fresh Pizza - right from scratch

Today was one of those days when i was motivated to bake something different and which i have never tried - trust me the list is big enough.... But i had this urge of making Pizza base at home and it came out really well... So guys next time you want to eat pizza you know whom to call for it :) trust me its easy....


Pizza base- (this proportion makes one pizza base)
1/4 tspn - Active Dry yeast
1/8 tspn - Sugar
1/8 tspn - Salt
3/4 tspn - Olive Oil
3 tbspn - Warm Water
1/4 cup - Whole Wheat flour ( or All-purpose flour)

Pizza Sauce-
1 - ripe tomato
1 tspn - dried Oregano
1 tspn - dried Basil
Salt as per taste
1 - Garlic bud (finely chopped)

Capsicum - chopped
Olives - sliced
Onions - chopped
Cheese - as per requirement
(you can add as many toppings you want)

Pizza base-
1] In a medium size bowl, dissolve dry yeast and sugar in warm water. Set aside for 10 mins.
2] Into this add salt and olive oil.
3] Add flour to this mixture and start making a dough out of it. Knead till the dough is not sticky.
4] Apply some oil on a separate bowl on the sides and place the dough in that. Cover the bowl with a cloth. Keep aside for 1 hr atleast untouched.
5] After 1 hr, you should see the dough doubles in size. Take the dough and roll it with rolling pin and give a desired shape (generally round or square).
Your Pizza base is ready :)

Pizza Sauce-
1] Make tomato puree (simply churn tomato in a mixer and take it out in a bowl).
2] Add Oregano, basil, salt and Garlic.
3] Spread it on the pizza base evenly.

Final Assembly-
1] Add all the desired toppings on the pizza base having sauce on it.
2] Pre-heat the oven at 425 degrees F. Put the pizza base on the pizza pan / cookie sheet / flat baking pan and Bake for 8-10 mins. You will see the base is cooked.
3] Broil/grill the pizza for 1-2 mins or till the cheese becomes slightly brown.

Your Hot Pizza is ready to eat.
We loved this pizza and have decided to make it again with different toppings.
I made it of whole wheat and didn't add too much of oil or cheese - so its Healthy yet delicious....
So guys next time you want to eat Pizza you know where to call ;)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Blueberry Cake

This weekend was full of birthdays and some parties so i was most of the time in kitchen preparing something for those occassions.... Took chicken tikka to one of the birthday party, took Marble cake and tilgul (sesame seed and jaggery sweet) to one of the party and made a Blueberry cake for one of my friends birthday.....
She loved blueberries and i thought why not make a cake using them.... and when the final product came out i was happy... All the time when i was baking and decorating this cake i was thinking - is this a special cake? if somebody gifts me this cake on my birthday will i like it? i worked hard on this cake keeping these things in mind till the time i got answer as "Yes"....

1 cup - All purpose flour
1/2 cup - Sugar
1/2 cup - Butter
3 - Eggs
2 tspn - Baking powder
1/2 tspn - Baking soda
1/2 cup - Fresh Blueberries
1/4 cup - Milk
1 tspn - Vanilla extract
a pinch of Salt

1] In a mixer/beater, beat the eggs and keep aside.
2] Beat sugar and butter and keep aside.
3] Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda and add to the sugar-butter mixture. Beat it nicely. Add milk and beat again till the mixture is smooth.
4] Add beaten eggs and vanilla extract to the above mixture and beat till it becomes light.
5] Take a baking cake pan. Butter it and sprinkle flour on it. Spread blueberries evenly on the pan and pour the batter on top of them.
6] Pre-heat the oven at 350 degrees F. Bake the cake for 40-45 mins or till the skewer comes out clean.

Decorate it with your favorite icing / frosting or can simply be enjoyed the way it is. I had made simple buttercream icing with a Pink food color.

Enjoy this yummy cake anytime you want !!!
I loved baking this cake and decorating it too :)

Chicken Tikka

It was Friday (not the 13th) but 14th Jan :) and i was invited for my friend cum neighbor Rhonda's birthday party. Everyone who was invited was getting something to eat and as Rhonda loves Indian cuisine i thought of making chicken tikka and believe me everyone just loved it..... There was lots of food including Apple pie, wheat salad, crackers, pumpkin pie, lentils & kielbasa stew, chips and not to forget the birthday cake... and ofcourse my chicken tikka :)

Chicken Marinade-
1.5 lbs - Chicken (make medium size pieces)
3 tbspns - Dahi (plain yoghurt)
2 tspns - Ginger-Garlic paste
1 tspn - Red chilli powder (can add more if you are a spicy eater)
salt - as per taste
1 tspn - turmeric powder
1-2 tspns - Tandoori Chicken masala (can add more if you are a spicy eater)

8-10 wooden skewers (dip them in water atleast 1 hour before grilling)
Flat pan for grilling / baking

1] In a container, mix all the ingredients mentioned under Chicken marinade and set aside for 3-4 hrs.
2] Preheat the oven at 400 degrees F
3] Arrange marinated chicken pieces on the skewers and place them on the Flat baking pan. Bake for 12-15 mins or till the chicken is tender and turns golden brown.
4] Broil for 3-5 mins. Turn the skewers so all sides of chicken are broiled.
5] Enjoy these tikkas with Mint chutney/dip

Mint chutney recipe:
4-5 tbspns - Plain Yoghurt (Dahi)
2-3 tspns - Mint concentrate (easily available in Indian stores)
Salt - as per taste
1 tspn - Sugar
1/2 tspn - Chat masala

1] Mix all the ingredients in a container and your Mint Chutney / Dip is ready

Enjoy this recipe as appetizer or hog them and skip a meal.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mum's Chicken curry

I haven't seen anyone who doesn't like his mom's food... we are brought up with those aromas and learn to love them with a dash of mum's love.... My mom is a very good cook though if told to her she will not acknowledge.... but according to me she certainly is and her best dish is Chicken curry... me and my brother use to hog when mum use to make this dish. It use to be planned well in advance and generally on Sundays. My mom is a doctor but a teacher in medical college and use to be very busy on weekdays.... So sunday use to be our feast and we were never bored of her chicken curry... i miss those sundays but she still makes it for my brother and dad and i'm so jealous of that fact....Even if Gordon ramsay cooks chicken curry for me - that won't be special the way my mom's chicken curry is to me.. nobody on this earth can match it.... That's the bonding i guess but i truly believe in this :)

I still remember when i was studying Engineering i had few friends from Delhi who use to be home-sick and use to crave for home-made i use to request my mom to cook some extra chicken for them.... I use to take a big container of chicken for my dear friends... it use to be fun watching them fight over it... they use to bunk classes to eat it as if it stays in the classroom everyone will be after it .... One of my very good friend Jaspal use to take it to hostel giving a reason that he is just dumping the box and coming back...but infact he use to go and finish it off completely :D :D and my other friend Vishnu always use to be the one who use to satisfy his craving by licking the sides of the container as he never use to bunk..... Ahhh !!! i miss them :)
and i miss my mum's chicken curry so i try to make it whenever i can ... but i can't match her taste to be frank ... but here is the recipe which she keeps telling me....
I made this for the New year potluck party this time and many liked it ...
Here goes the recipe -

Chicken marinade-
2 lbs - Chicken
2 tbspn - Plain Yoghurt
1 tspn - Ginger-Garlic paste
1 tspn - Turmeric powder
2 tspn - Tandoori chicken masala
1/2 tspn - salt

Gravy -
3 - White Onions - large size ( If you are in India then you might require 6-7 onions as size is comparatively small) - cut into large pieces
1 - Tomato - cut into large pieces
Fenugreek leaves ("Methi") - handful
Coriander leaves - handful
5 tbspn - Oil
1 tspn - Ginger-garlic paste
1 tspn - turmeric powder
2 tspn - Tandoori chicken masala
2 tspn - Red chilli powder
Salt as per taste
1/4 cup - milk cream or butter

Garam Masala mixture-
1 tspn - Coriander seeds
2-3 - Black pepper
1-2 - Bay leaves
1-2 - Star anise
1-2 - Cloves
1-2 - Cinnamon
1-2 - Elaichi
1 tspn - Cumin seeds

Chicken Marinade-
1] In a container, Add chicken pieces, yoghurt, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, tandoori chicken masala and salt.
2] Mix well and keep it aside for atleast 3 hrs. You can also keep it overnight in refrigerator.

1] In a mixer, add onions, fenugreek leaves and coriander leaves. Chop them fine like a paste by adding very less water. This will look slightly green.
2] In a pan add oil. Add Garam masala mixture and saute for half a min. To this add the Ginger-Garlic paste and Onion paste. Cook the onions till it starts leaving oil. This may take lot of time but believe me its worth the taste.
3] Make tomato puree in mixer and add to the pan. Let it cook for 10 mins. You will see the paste and oil is separated nicely. This is a indication of cooked paste.
4] Add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and tandoori chicken masala and saute for a min.
5] Add marinated chicken to this. Close the lid and let it cook for 10 mins. You will notice chicken starts leaving water and becomes tender. Don't add water it spoils the taste. Let it cook in masala till chicken is soft and tender.
6] Add milk cream or butter and let it simmer for another 5 mins. If you think gravy is too thick then add some Hot water. Taste it. Add extra salt or red chilli powder if you are a spicy eater.
7] Let this simmer for 10 mins and your chicken curry is ready. Garnish with Coriander leaves.

Enjoy this with hot parathas or rotis or rice.

Spinach Quesadillas

My family loves Mexican food ... we had been to one of our fav Mexican joint here "Sol Azteca" .... and my fav is Spinach Quesadillas ...

I have this habit of analysing the ingredients while eating..... i'm not a food critic but i like guessing ingredients while eating - that helps me in not referring to the recipes when i cook.... So last time when i was enjoying my Spinach Quesadillas my mind was working on what all has gone inside .. i opened it couple of times to see what's in there - thats stupid to do i know but i desperately wanted to know what am i eating..... so i can cook at home.... and i was successful ... its easy !!!

Every 2 weeks we have started visiting Farmers market in Raleigh with one of our friends... I love going there as it gives me a feeling of "sabji-mandi" in India... except you get different variety of vegetables and the ones which are common between India and US - sizes here are larger.... Farmers market has all the organic vegetables and fruits at a reasonable price which kind of attracts me....So when we went there this time .... i couldn't go and buy the vegetables as my lil one was in deep sleep in his car seat... kids look so sweet when they sleep and i didn't want to wake him up... so asked Aditya to go and buy..... When he was back he happily showed me 3lbs of Spinach... and i was wondering what am i gonna do with so much Spinach... we love spinach but 3 lbs is way too extra.... but i figured out a way to store them fresh in my freezer so they last long.... that gives me a chance of having a Spinach week... So i made my fav Spinach Quesadillas.... and we loved it....

2 cups - Spinach leaves - chopped
1/2 cup - Corn kernels (frozen)
1/4 cup - Onions - chopped
1 tspn - Oil
1 tspn - Chilli flakes
Salt as per taste
1/2 cup - Mozarella cheese ( less or more, the way u want)
2 - Soft Tacos - readily available in market, i generally buy whole wheat ( if you are unable to find these, just make thin whole wheat chapatis)

1] In a pan add oil. To this add Onion and let it cook. Add Spinach leaves and corn.
Close the lid and let the Spinach cook.
2] Add salt, chilli flakes to the mixture and let it cook without lid so the water in the Spinach is evaporated. Once cooked keep aside.
3] Take a pan and let one side of taco cook. Turn it and now place the above Spinach mixture in one half of it. Sprinkle some cheese.Then fold the Taco as shown in the pic above.
4] Let the Taco cook and be crispy. Turn the side of the Taco and let it become Crispy.

Enjoy it !!!!
Its very easy to make and tastes amazing.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Veggies in manchurian sauce

Chinese bole to manchurian !!! I had been to "Around the world market" (indian store here) where i picked up Ching's Manchurian sauce and luckily i had most of the vegetables needed for it.. so thought of giving it a try and came out pretty well.. This dish compliments very well with steamed rice...

2-3 tbspn - Ching's Manchurian sauce (can be found easily in any indian store)
1/2 cup - water
1 - capsicum - chopped
2 - carrots - chopped
1 cup - Cabbage - finely chopped
1 tbspn - Ginger - peeled and chopped
1/4 cup - corn kernels
1 cup - Spring onions (green onions) - chopped
salt as per taste
1 tspn - Olive oil

1] In a pan, add Olive oil. To this add all the veggies. Saute them nicely for a min.
2] Add Manchurian sauce and water to this. Add salt.
3] Close the lid and let it cook for 5 mins or till the veggies are cooked. If needed, add more water.

Enjoy this with hot steamed rice.. it tastes amazing!!!

Sandwich French toast

I was going through Meeta's food blog and saw a very nice recipe for breakfast. As i finished reading it i knew Aditya will love it as he is a big fan of Eggs. I didn't make the exact recipe but i added some personal touch to it by adding different ingredients. But i would deeply thank Meeta for inspiring me :)

Weekend mornings are always the lazy ones in my family. We all start our day by 10am in the morning... my lil one will also co-operate on getting up late on weekends ... thank god !!! So i generally try to make something heavy for breakfast (well i should rather call it Brunch) so i can take a break from making lunch :D
So here it goes Sandwich french toast....

4 - slices of bread
2 - Eggs
Any Bread spread ( i had my Cranberry marmalade and Nutella)
a pinch of salt or sugar
1 tbspn butter

1] Apply your fav spread on the bread and make sandwich. Cut them diagonally so you get 4 triangles.
2] Beat the eggs. Add sugar if your spread is sweet or Add salt if your spread is not-sweet. Beat the eggs nicely.
3] Take a shallow dish and keep 4 triangles on them. Pour the egg mixture so the bread is thinly covered with egg mixture. Keep them for half an hour.
4] Later, take a pan and add roll the butter evenly onto it. Place the triangle and let it cook. Turn the triangle and let the other side cook properly. Repeat this for all the 4 triangles and your breakfast is ready.

This is a very very simple dish and can be made as per your creativity. So go ahead add whatever you want in between the bread and make french toast. Aditya (my hubby) just loved them.....It is a heavy breakfast so your family won't bother you for 2-3 hrs :) :)
try it out!!!

Jam filled chocolate cookies

When i was a kid me and my brother use to love Jim-Jam cookies .. i think all kids love those cookies.... Recently i had made Cranberry marmalade and i thought of trying my hands on Jim-Jam cookies using it. For the recipe of Cranberry marmalade click here

1 3/4 cup - All purpose flour / Wheat flour ( i used wheat flour to give healthy touch)
1/2 cup - melted butter ( you can use more butter instead of milk)
1/2 cup - Sugar
2 tbspn - cocoa powder
2-3 tbspn - Cranberry marmalade (check the link for recipe above)
2 tbspn - cold milk
a pinch of salt
2 - Egg yolks beaten
1 tspn - baking powder
1 tbspn - powdered sugar

1] Separate the egg yolks, add sugar and butter. Beat and Keep aside.
2] Mix All-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt in a container. Add egg mixture to this and start kneading. Add milk as required to make a soft dough.
3] Knead till dough becomes soft and make small balls from it.
4] Make a well in each ball with your finger and add Cranberry marmalade in that with a small spoon.
5] Arrange the cookies at a distance of 1-2 inch on a cookie sheet or any flat baking pan.
6] Pre-heat the oven at 375 degree F and bake the cookies for 10-12 mins. Cookies are done if the botton becomes brown.
7] Once out of the oven, sprinkle powdered sugar on them. They look lovely !

Enjoy these cookies with a Jam in it :)
We are enjoying these cookies with Tea/Coffee or just like that....

Friday, January 7, 2011

Cranberry Sauce / chutney / marmalade

I always had this urge of buying fresh cranberries from market and i did it last week without knowing how they taste. First thing i did after dinner was to wash cranberries and taste them... and i had this big sour face :D i never thought they would be so sour. I realised i have always had sun-dried cranberries and they are sweet so that means it has loads and loads of sugar and that's against my eating habits.... I'm a person who hates sweet / extra sweet... i can only eat light sweet else everything is a poison for me ... i lack that sweet touth but that's just me... my hubby is exactly opposite - he loves anything which is sweet.. anyways back to cranberries... so once i tasted them i decided no one in the family will eat this sour...not even me..they exceeded my tolerance of eating sour too... so decided to make a Cranberry sauce /Chutney / marmalade and it came out pretty well... so here it goes... you can enjoy it with Bread as a "Spread" or with Chips as a "dip" or with a roti as a "jam"... try your own way of eating this... and enjoy the sweet n sour taste of it :)

Fresh Cranberries - 1 small packet ( generally its a 1lb packet)
Apple - 1 - peeled, cored and chopped
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Water - 1 cup
Cinnamom - 1 stick
Cloves - 1 or 2

1] In a pan, add water, sugar, cloves and cinnamom. bring it to boil.
2] Add Cranberries and apple and cover the pan with lid.
3] Let it boil for 10-15 mins and check if its cooked. If not, boil for some more time. The mixture should look like a paste, if it doesn't then try to mash apple cubes and cranberries with a spoon and let it cook for 5 mins.
4] Cool the mixture and pour in a jar / container. Refrigerate it once its cooled.

That's it - its simple... just assemble all the ingredients, mix them and boil them and u get a nice sweet n sour sauce which can be used in multiple ways. Well i have used it in various ways but will post about them here later... Till then Enjoy !!!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hara Bhara Chana

Since the time i landed in USA(its been 6 months now) i was craving for Methi (Fenugreek leaves) and recently saw them in one of the Indian stores.... I grabbed more than my hands could hold as if there is no tomorrow.....

Later i cleaned, washed and packed them in Ziploc and stored them in freezer so they stay fresh for longer period. Last 1-2 days i was bored of making a typical Indian Maharashtrian dinner and thought of trying something in my Laboratory (my kitchen). As i was going through my refrigerator and thinking what all i have and what can i cook which will add some variety to that monotonous dinner... there in freezer i saw my very fav Methi... i thought for a sec what should i add to this to make it special....Chhole (or Chana) came to my mind....Ok Richa time to give it a try.... So here it goes my very own, very very simple, healthy Hara Bhara Chana (its a Fancy name) if you want a simple one then "Methi-Chana" would work but i'm happy with Hara Bhara Chana (gives me a feeling that i cooked something which you can eat in restaurants :P ).... but that's me !!!

Well, this time i tried a different mode of my camera to capture the right shot but alas I'm bad at it and that's my new year resolution - to learn Food Photography....
till then try making this recipe and enjoy it with whatever you like...

Chhole (Kabuli chana) - soaked overnight and boiled - 1 cup
Methi (Fenugreek leaves) - a bunch
Onions - finely chopped - 1/2 cup
Mustard seeds - pinch
Kokum - 1 or 2
Turmeric powder - 1 tspn
Red Chilli powder - as per taste
Garam Masala - as per taste
Salt - as per taste
Oil - 1 or 2 tspn

1] Add oil to the heated pan, add mustard seeds once oil is hot. Let them pop.
2] Add chopped onions and saute for 2 mins.
3] Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and salt to this. Saute it.
4] Add boiled Chhole (Kabuli Chana) and saute for 2-3 mins. Add Kokum and saute.
5] Add Methi (Fenugreek leaves) to this, saute and let it cook for 5 mins without putting the lid on the pan.

Garnish with coriander leaves and enjoy this with roti / paratha.
It is a very light sabji which can be made in 5 mins and is healthy too. It has green veggies, less oil and less spices. We loved it and ended up eating it like a snack.

Enjoy !

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Marble Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9 inch round pan.

  • Place flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, butter or margarine, eggs, vanilla, and milk into mixing bowl. Beat slowly to moisten, then beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for about 2 minutes until smooth. Reserve 3/4 cup batter; pour the remainder into pan.

  • Stir cocoa into the 3/4 cup reserved batter. Drop by spoonfuls over top of white batter. Using a knife, swirl the cocoa batter into the white batter to incorporate it in a marble effect.

  • Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until an inserted wooden pick comes out clean.

  • Enjoy this cake with Tea/Coffee or as a light dessert :)

    I had baked this cake for New year party so used the Christmas tree cake pan and decorated it with few M&M's

    Have fun and Happy New Year