Butter Croissants and Coffee

One of the most best aromas on a beautiful morning

Samosa Chaat

Snack a little

Seekh Kabab

Try something different!

Decadent Chocolate

Do not forget to indulge once in a while

Steamed goodness

Various cooking methods bring variety in your palette

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kesari Bath - An Indian Semolina Dessert

I was working from home today. Now as good as that may sound, it actually sucks coz you still gotta work when other entertaining stuff just stares at you and mocks at you! Ok, I give in to the TV and leave it on, mostly mute since I have to be on conference calls. Today's call was a disaster! The neighbour's dog decided to practice its barking skills at the same moment I had to take the call. Since I bought this new Nokia phone (I'm used to Sony Ericsson phones), I simply could not find the damn mute option! And my boss in France was like, do I hear a dog out there? Has anybody not bothered to feed it? Aaaaaaaghh... I decided not to utter a word until my turn in the call comes. God I felt like strangling that son of a bitch (literally it is one, so it may not even think I'm swearing at it grrrr)!
Enough of digression. So I was just stuck with piles and piles of work, so I could not really budge away from my laptop. By evening, I started to get a terrible pang of hunger and needed to satisfy it with somethin nice and sweet and well deserved for all the damn hard work (and embarassment caused by that dog!).
I know I had a cup of rava left and lots of nuts to use up before they go bad. So decided to try the kesari bath! Too bright? I only had orange red colour and a little more than I thought fell into my recipe when I gave it a light tap :-P I think the orange goes really well with my blog's background!


Here's the recipe:
Credit: http://teluguabhiruchulu.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/krishnastami-recipes/


1 Cup Rava (Semolina)
1 Cup Sugar
5 Piece Pistachios, slivered
5 Piece Almonds, slivered
1/4 tsp Cardamom powder
10 Raisins
2 Pinches saffron, soaked in 1 tbsp warm milk
3 tbsp Ghee
Few drops yellow colour (I had only orange red)
2-1/2 Cups water

Take a large heavy pan and heat ghee in it.
Add rava and roast over low heat for about 7 to 8 minutes until aroma exudes, keep stirring.
Meanwhile, put water on medium-high heat, add sugar and bring it to a boil.
Add this water to the rava, little at a time, mix well.
Combine more boiling water with it if grain is hard.
Add the remaining ingredients except colour, save a little amount of almonds and pistas for garnishing.
Cover and simmer until ghee separates.
Combine colour with it, mix well.
Garnish Kesari Bhath with almonds and pistas.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Chicken Parmesan and Spaghetti


I bought a chunk of the original Parmigiano-Reggiano from Spar about a month back. I've used it while making different Italian dinners but have been wanting to try the Chicken Parmesan, and I decided to try it out when my sis came to visit me on a weekend. Oh, it was super tasty! I'm thinking of repeating it again for dinner tonight.
Parmigiano-Reggiano is the original Parmesan cheese from Italy. Its a bit grainy and salty to taste, so be careful about adding salt to your dish when using this cheese. You can identify if the cheese is original by checking the seal on the outer ring which has Parmigiano-Reggiano printed on it.

Inspiration: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/simple-chicken-parmesan/detail.aspx


For one serving:
Chicken Breast - 1 breast half
Butter - 5 tbsp.

For chicken coating:
Coating 1:
All purpose flour (Maida) - 50 grams

Coating 2:
Egg - 1, beaten

Coating 3:
Bread crumbs - 100 grams
Parmigiano-Reggiano(Parmesan cheese) - 50 grams grated.
Oregano, Garlic bread seasoning - 1 tsp (optional)
Ground black pepper - 1/2 tsp.

Spaghetti: A bunch

Spaghetti Sauce:
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp.
Garlic - 2 cloves, minced finely
Tomatoes - 2, chopped
Onion - 1 chopped
Tomato puree - 5-6 tbsp.
Water - 1/2 cup
Parsley - handful, chopped
Basil - 1tsp chopped (I used flakes since I did not have fresh ones :( )
Pepper - 1 tsp.
Sugar - A pinch
Salt - to taste


For Spaghetti:
Boil water in a pot, add a pinch of salt and put the spaghetti into it. Also add a tablespoon of oil into it. Allow it to cook. Make sure spaghetti has a thin layer of oil coating, otherwise it would stick to each other after draining. Drain and keep aside.

For Spaghetti sauce:
In a pan, heat olive oil. Do not heat it too much like other oils. Add garlic and allow it to start sizzling. Add onions and allow it to soften. Now add tomatoes and mix again for 2 minutes. Add the tomato puree and a pinch of sugar. If the sauce starts to stick to the pan, add some water to it to get desired consistency. Add parsley, basil, pepper and salt. Simmer until sauce thickens a bit and flavors meld, 10 to 12 minutes. Cover and keep warm. If you have black olives, chop them and add that as well.

Chicken Parmesan:
Wash and clean the chicken breast. Put the chicken breast into a plastic bag. Take a heavy bottomed pan and whack the hell out of it! Lol.. just batter it so that its flattened until its about a quarter inch thick.
Spread out maida on one plate. Pour the beaten egg in another plate. And in a third plate, mix all ingredients of Coating 3 and have them all ready. Heat a frying pan and add butter into it.
Dip both sides of the pounded chicken into the flour first, then dip it into the beaten egg, now transfer it to the bread crumb and parmesan mixture. Make sure chicken is well coated. Now place it on the frying pan and fry till golden brown on both sides. Top each with a portion of the cheeses. Broil cutlets, 4 to 5 inches from heat source, until cheese melts and is spotty brown.

Serve with spaghetti and top it with the spaghetti sauce. Yummmm....

If you dont have Parmesan then you could try with Mozzarella or any other cheese you like..
Chicken Parmesan and Spaghetti

Chicken Spring Rolls

Chicken Spring-Rolls

These are an all-time favourite starter for me. I dream of these lovely juicy crispy rolls that we used to order from the famous Gulf Royal Chinese Restaurant in Riyadh. The chicken spring rolls with that sweet and light tomato sauce was something to die for!! So I've been having this craving for quite some while now, and I've been disappointed by all the spring rolls I've had from India so far.. maybe I have not been trying them at the right place, but they're usually very small, thin and dry without any of the goodness that the Chinese ones in Riyadh had. I've done a bit of googling to find the ultimate recipe. Instead I've found more than one good recipe and kind of tried to use all the ideas I liked in them. So these were my inspirations to my final product:

1. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/chicken-spring-rolls-recipe/index.html
2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/chickenandvegetables_89282
3. http://food.sify.com/nonvegrecipes/ingredient/Chicken_Spring_Rolls-131329

My Recipe:


For the filling:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon grated ginger
2 carrots, julienned
5-10 French beans, julienned
1/2 or 1 cup very finely chopped cabbage
2 large spring onions, finely sliced lengthways
1 - big capsicum (very finely sliced)
2 ounces rice stick noodles, blanched and chopped
1/2 cup shredded cooked chicken breast
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce (I used mushroom soy)
2 tablespoons chopped coriander

1 package frozen spring roll wrappers, thawed
1 egg, beaten
Vegetable oil, for frying


Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a wok. Add minced garlic and grated ginger first. Before it turns brown add the cabbage, carrots, french beans, spring onions and capsicum. Toss till the cabbage starts to wilt (is just limp). Add the noodles and chicken; continue to cook until heated through. Sprinkle pepper. Stir in the hsoy and oyster sauces, toss to coat the mixture. The filling should be moist but not wet. Remove from heat, and allow to cool. Toss in the chopped coriander.
Lay a spring roll wrapper on a flat surface on an angle so it looks like a diamond. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the filling near the bottom corner of the wrapper and fold up to enclose the filling. Fold in the 2 sides. Paint the top seam of the wrapper with beaten egg. Continue rolling up to form a tight cylinder.

Pour about 1-inch of oil in a skillet and heat to 350 degrees F. Fry the spring rolls for 2 minutes, turning to cook all sides. Drain on paper towels before serving. Serve with spring roll sauce. I used the readymade one but you can make your own too. Below recipe is from: http://www.thaifood.food-recipe-cooking.com/spring-roll-01-th-nv.htm

I havent tried it out yet, but hope to try next time I make spring rolls.


1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 fresh red chilli
1 tablespoon tapioca powder

Procedure: First of all take the chilli and grind it well. It should disintegrate into very small pieces and not be ground to a smooth paste, now keep the ground chilli aside. Next, take an empty cup and put two tablespoons of water in it, add the tapioca powder to this water and mix it well.
Add 1/4 cup water to a pan and then add the sugar, ground chilli, salt and vinegar, mix all the ingredients well. Now put the pan on a low flame and allow the mixture to boil. As the mixture starts boiling add the tapioca water into the mixture and stir well. Allow the mixture to boil for around 30 seconds more, then turn off the flame. Your dipping sauce is now ready and should be allowed to cool to room temperature.

My notes: I think its very important to not have any of the filling exposed through holes in the wrappers especially at the edges. Because if oil gets into the filling and makes it very oily, its not going to be worth eating. So if its difficult to cover it all using one wrapper, add a second wrapper on it. I couldnt tell which had two wrappers and which had one as they were tightly wrapped.
I also think that if the egg coating doesnt help in sticking the wrapper's edges, a paste of cornflour and water could be used. I stuck to the beaten egg but next time I would try the cornflour paste (my mom used to seal it with cornflour paste as far as I remember).
The sauce that was served in GRCR (Gulf Royal Chinese Restaurant) was like a very dilute tomato ketchup like sauce. I have no idea how they made it but could not find any recipe on the net after 5 mins of research. If anyone who bothers to read this blog finds one, please let me know.

PS: I know I dont have all that many readers or followers for this blog. Just 3 followers, out of which one is myself :P, the other is my sis and the other one is my bf lol! But I know I get a few hits from other countries such as the US, Malaysia, UAE, Kuwait, even Germany, UK and Thailand!! Thank you all for visiting, please feel free to leave in any comments about what you think of this blog or even suggestions. Thank you again, you silent readers! I know even I dont really bother to always leave comments on the blogs from which I get inspired and use as credits here, but sometimes I do.

Coconut Chutney - for Dosas or Idlis

Coconut Chutney

A must have with dosas!

Credit: http://www.tarladalal.com/Coconut-Chutney-(idlis-and-Dosas)-1653r


1 cup grated coconut
2 small green chillies , chopped
1 tsp grated ginger (adrak)
1 tbsp roasted chana dal (daria)
salt to taste

For The Tempering
1/2 tsp mustard seeds ( rai / sarson)
1/2 tsp urad dal
1 red chilli , broken into pieces
2 to 3 curry leaves (kadi patta)
1 tsp oil


1.Put the coconut, green chillies, ginger, roasted split gram and salt in a blender with a little water and grind to make a fine paste. Keep aside.
2.Prepare the tempering by heating the oil and adding the mustard seeds, urad dal, red chilli and curry leaves and stirring till the mustard seeds crackle. Pour this tempering over the chutney and mix well.
3.Refrigerate and use as required.

My note: I actually pour the chutney into the tempering and mix rather than the other way round. I prefer cooking the ground mixture for a couple of minutes, adjusting water for consistency, and bring it to a boil before I take it off the heat.

Serve with crisp hot dosas. Also use milagai podi on the side with some gingelly oil poured on top of it. Enjoy!