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

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Chicken Puff Pastry

I have a weakness for puff pastries, the thin flaky layers with something spicy hidden inside is just too good to resist on a rainy day.
The filling I used for this, is a Middle Eastern version, but you could try any type. Also I used store bought puff pastry sheets. Still not cheffy enough to make my own pastry sheets. (nor do I have the time!)


2 sheets puff pastry
1 lb ground chicken/lamb/beef
1 onion chopped finely
2 cloves garlic chopped finely
1 tomato chopped finely
1/2 bunch parsley chopped finely
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
a pinch of sumac (optional)
Salt to taste

4 tbsp corn/canola oil


Heat oil and fry pine nuts till golder brown. Keep aside on a plate.
In same oil, fry onions on medium heat. Fry for 10 mins mixing constantly till it turns pink. Add garlic and fry for 3 mins. Add minced chicken and fry till cooked. Add all powders - black pepper, salt, garam masala, cumin powder, red chilli powder, sumac (if using).
Mix in parsley and squeeze a small wedge of lemon. Fry on high for a few mins.
Grease a baking pan with butteer/oil. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
Fill in puff pastry sheets, seal the edges. Brush the top with an egg wash (egg white). Can brush a little butter on top (optional).
Bake in oven for 15 mins till the puff pastry turns golden brown. flip the pastries over and cook for another 15 mins.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sambar - South Indian Vegetable Stew


During my childhood, sambar was such a staple in my house, that I used to hate it! Can't believe I love it so much when I started preparing it on my own. So easy to prepare and you really don't need anything else when you have it with rice. Goes very well with idlis too. (I hated idlis too, but I still brought an idli thattu (idli maker) all the way from Pathanamthitta to New Jersey, so I better well make some!)

Credit: I followed Vazhayila's recipe to the T. Came out just like the way my mom used to make it.

Split Red Lentils (Split Masoor Dal) or Split pea lentils (Toor Dal) - 1 cup
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Salt to taste
Water - 1 1/2 cup
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Onion chopped - 1
Green chili - 2-3
Vegetables chopped - 2 cup (any veg of your choice, i prefer carrot, potato, ashgourd (padavalanga), drumstick (moringa oleifera), ivy gourd (tindora/kovakka), french beans)
Tomato - 1 or 2, chopped
Tamarind pulp - 1/2 tablespoon
Sambar powder - 2 table spoon (storebought or homemade)
Asafoetida (Hing) - a large pinch
Salt to taste

For Tempering:
Curry leaves
Mustard seeds
Dried red chili  - 2

Wash and drain lentils. Add lentils with salt and pressure cook with just enough water for 3 to 4 whistles. If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can use a regular saucepan and cook the dal until its soft.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large dutch oven and saute onion and green chilies for a couple of minutes.
Add diced vegetables and saute for 2-3 minutes, followed by tomato.
Dissolve tamarind pulp in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of warm water and mix with Sambar powder.
Add this along with cooked lentils to the pot, with just enough water. Bring it to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low, cover and let simmer for 20 mins.
Uncover when cooled, simmer again for a couple of minutes, add a pinch or two of asafoetida and chopped cilantro (optional).
Tempering:-Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When it starts to splutter add red chilies and curry leaves. Pour it over the sambar. Serve hot (or some people like it cold too) with Idlis, Dosa or Rice.

Kerala Chicken Roast

 Kerala Chicken Roast
This is the first time I used a whole organic chicken rather than buy separate pieces. When I was in high school, my parents wanted me to learn this 'very important' skill, so that I don't disappoint my future in-laws. Who knew back then that they would turn out to be pure vegetarian lol! I used to squeal touching raw meat, though I loved devouring the cooked versions. On a dreaded weekend, my dad dragged me into the kitchen and forced me to cut the whole chicken. It felt like an operating table, my mom on my left side, and dad on my right, giving directions to a novice surgeon! Only difference was that, the novice was screaming, looking disgusted, even crying! After that day, I did it again, I guess 12 years later, minus the squealing and minus the parents. But with my husband on my side, on the verge of throwing up every time I tore it open and pulled apart the skin. I felt he was acting like the 16 year old me. I was surprised that I still remembered every step of the procedure. I decided to try something different this time, a Kerala style chicken roast.

Credit: I followed vahchef Sanjay Thumma's recipe. His videos are so hilarious, such a joker!

Here's the recipe:

1 whole Chicken - cut into medium sized pieces, without skin
1 tbsp red chilli powder
1 pinch turmeric
1 tbsp coriander powder
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp cumin seeds
10 pearl onions sliced fine
2 sprigs curry leaves
2 tbsp coconut grated fresh
1 tbsp broken cashewnuts (optional)
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp pepper pwd
4 green chillies
1 pinch garamasala
2 tbsp oil
2 sprigs coriander leaves
salt as per taste

Take chicken clean and marinate with chilli powder, salt, coriander powder, turmeric, ginger garlic paste mix well and keep a side for 4hrs.
Now take a pan add oil, add cumin seeds, sliced pearl onions and fry for 5 mins on medium flame. Then add curry leaves mix well, and add grated coconut and cashewnuts (if using) and mix for a couple of minutes. Now add the marinated chicken mix well and close it with a lid and cook till the chicken is done, around 10 minutes. The chicken will ooze its juices out. Remove the lid and add vinegar.
Once the chicken is 90% done add pepper pwd, half slit green chillies, kerala garamasala, mix and cook till the chicken is dry.
Once the chicken is dry, top it with chopped coriander leaves.

Kerala Chicken Roast Topview