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September 30, 2007


that too made from a scratch!, including the base, all ready in 15 minutes, what more can you ask for!, In my previous post about Instant Donuts I mentioned Instant gratification, this is again one of those recipes that gives me exactly the right dose of it and let me tell you I am very pleased with the results this recipe gives a perfect, crisp base and a delicious cheesy taste,but MAKE THIS RECIPE INTO A THIN CRUST BASE ONLY which is what I PREFER not a thick one, it is simply not designed for that and you will be disappointed., so no waiting hours for the dough to rise! Get ready to switch on the oven right now....

pizza chef

PIZZA-There is agreement that pizza may have been developed by peasants in Naples,Italy. This early pizza consisted of flattened bread dough with olive oil, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese.NOW it is a Universal favorite.


(makes 3 medium sized one's)

  • Refined flour-1 cup
  • Olive oil/butter- 2 tbsp.
  • Salt-1/4 tsp.
  • Sugar-1/4 tsp.
  • Baking powder-1/2 tsp.
  • Milk- 7-8 tbsp.or as required

For the Topping- use as per your requirement and liking

  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Capsicum
  • Tomato ketchup
  • Mushrooms
  • olives
  • pineapple
  • sweet corn
  • pepperoni/shredded chicken
  • chicken/paneer tikka/chilli chicken bits
  • Any kind of cheese(provolone/gorgonzola/ cheddar/mozzarella)
  • Oregano/italian seasoning- as desired
  • chilli flakes
  • anything else you like


Pre-heat oven. Combine all the ingredients for the base together (except milk),slowly add milk to make into a soft ,pliable dough, divide into three balls, roll out thinly like a chapati, prick with a fork , bake for ten minutes.20092007450            

the rolled out pizza base

Take out the base, spread out about 2-3 tbsp. of ketchup first and then all the toppings (chopped up/sliced) that your heart desires sprinkle the oregano, or

for Pizza Margarita-use only  ketchup ,spread 1/2 cup grated cheese, sprinkle oregano and bake


                  grating the cheese

Bake for 20-25 minutes or till base is crisp and crunchy, and cheese is golden and bubbling.... bite in...YUM! 2009200745120092007454                                                     Instant Italian thin-crust pizza

flowers and pizza 

Good things in life-Flowers and Hot Pizza!

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September 27, 2007

DEVILLED EGGS..with green chilli pickle

Enough to get you drooling right???, the mere mention of green chilli pickle does this to me specially the one's pickled in mustard seeds, yummy!, this is a cool cocktail snack with a zing, and is always a hit at all get-togethers! and to top it all it's as easy as ABC!

eggs                                  fresh brown eggs


  • Eggs- 6 (hard boiled)
  • Pork/chicken ham or salami- 1/3 cup, finely chopped
  • cheddar cheese- 1/3 cup, grated
  • mayonnaise- 1/3 cup
  • pickled green chillies-2-3, (depending on how hot you want it).
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • chopped cilantro/coriander for garnishing


Cut eggs into halves and remove yolks carefully, mash them up in a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, as well as the green chilli pickle, chopped fine ,do this very carefully, WARNING: DONT TOUCH YOUR EYES OR FACE AFTER CHOPPING THESE, PREFERABLY USE GLOVES, refill back into the egg whites, garnish with cilantro,and serve!, see I told you it was that easy!.

devilled eggs2                           devilled eggs- ready to serve

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September 24, 2007


Muffins! make me go all mushy, drooling and falling in love all over again, these have a little jam treat baked right inside them! ,liked my both kids and grown-ups, split them open-and they are so pretty looking too!

C'mon make them with me step-by-step , this recipe is so forgiving it is difficult to go wrong!


(makes about 10 medium sized ones)

  • Refined flour- 1 cup
  • Powdered sugar-1/4 cup
  • Baking powder- 1 1/2 tsp.
  • salt- 1/4 tsp.
  • egg-1
  • Milk- 1/3 cup
  • Butter- 3 tbsp.
  • Vanilla essence- 1 tsp.
  • your favorite jam- 5 tsp.


Preheat oven at 180 deg.C .Cream together butter and sugar together till light.I am whisking everything by hand since I think you can control the folding and beating much better, but you can use an electric beater too.20092007462

Add the egg and vanilla essence


Add flour, baking powder, salt and the milk.20092007466

I am using tart moulds here, but you can use regular muffin trays, lined., put the batter into mould halfway through ,like so-20092007467

Put half a tsp. of jam into the middle making sure that jam does not touch the sides of

the moulds


Cover up with more batter ,carefully ,sort of like spread it over them covering well on

all sides like in the pic below-


Bake for 20-25 mins till puffed up and golden on top.20092007474

Enjoy over cups of hot tea/coffee with friends!20092007477 20092007479                                      delicious plump jam-filled muffins-split wide open!

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September 22, 2007


LOVE AT SO MANY LEVELS –That’s what I think of when I make this,since this is my hubby's absolute favorite!

Lets go step by step to make this awesome concoction of lamb meat and yoghurt and other ingredients right off your kitchen shelf.

Step 1-EASY:


  • Onions-2 medium sized, ground.
  • Thick Yoghurt-1 1/2 cup, beaten.
  • Mutton-1/2 Kg.
  • Desi ghee,(clarified butter)-4 Tbsp.
  • Ginger- garlic paste –1 Tbsp.
  • Black Cardamom –1 whole
  • Cloves-3-4
  • Cinnamon-1 inch pc
  • Black pepper-1/2 Tbsp.
  • Bay leaf-1
  • Salt to taste
  • Garam masala-1/2 tsp
  • Green chilli-1 deseeded and sliced

Step 2-EASIER:


Method: Heat ghee in a heavy bottom karahi, add the ground onions, ginger -garlic paste and brown them very carefully they should be very well browned; this needs constant stirring and vigilance. WARNING –Do not let the onions burn!!!!

Start adding the curd little at a time till all of it is used up. Grind all the spices together except for the bay leaf and add to the gravy along with green chili and whole bay leaf. The gravy should have turned thick by this time giving off a heavenly aroma. Now add washed and dried mutton pieces and continue roasting and stirring on a low flame for another 15 – 20 minutes.

Heat 1 cup of water and add it to the mutton, transfer to a pressure cooker, add salt and give at least 8-9 whistles.

WARNING AGAIN this is sure to attract all those loved ones at home to the kitchen!



“LAJAWAB DAHI WALA MEAT” is ready. Eat it hot with tandoori parantha or tawa wali roti and of course onion salad.


Lajawab Dahi-wala meat -A truly epicurean experience

Note- This entire post was so beautifully written by my dear sis while I made it and shouted out the recipe to her!, Thanks payal for being such a sweetheart!

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This post is for my parents - my dad who was almost a Kashmiri himself, been born and brought up in Srinagar, (may his soul rest in peace), and for my mother, because of whom I am what I am today.

KASHMIR VALLEY the kashmir valley

Most of my ancestors had lived for some time or the other in the Kashmir Valley, and as long as I can remember- despite being a typically punjabi family, kashmiri cuisine had firmly interwoven itself in the weft and warp of our lives.I made Rogan Josh for the first time when I was 11yrs old!.

As a child I remember, there used to be lavish parties thrown by my mother, who is an extremely gifted cook herself ,and for some very special guests "WAZWAN" was prepared. Let me give you a little introduction about wazwan, it is a unique concept and means "WAZ"-the chef person with the rare culinary skills passed on through generations, an artist who is obsessively and passionately involved with his art and who is one of the priveledged few flag bearers of this great Kashmiri tradition,"WAN" is the shop with the abundant supplies of meats and delicacies.


the vasta waza

My mother learnt much of Kashmiri Cuisine from the "VASTA WAZA"(head-chef) who is assisted by a court of waza's, the title conferred on a chosen few after years of apprenticeship.

The traditional Wazwan consists of 36 courses, each dish has it's own tradition and brings to mind- memories of momentous events and of special occassions.

wazwan2 wazwan3

the traditional preparation of wazwan

Thus the Wazwan is not a simple meal but a ceremony, first the "TASH-T-NARI" is passed around so that you can wash your hands, it would be sacrilege to use anything but your fingers to eat this meal.

People sit in fours to eat this meal, which is considered auspicious, I remember being a part of this meal a number of times. A large plate called "TARAMI" is used(my mom has a collection of these as well as of samovar's), which is heaped with rice and the first few courses,each successive course follows separately to allow you to savour the distinct flavors.

The cuisine of Kashmir has evolved over hundred's of years, the major influence was of Kashmiri pandit's -who use a lot of yogurt and turmeric and no onions or garlic, food is mainly cooked in mustard oil.The typical Kashmiri dishes are-

  • Chaman qaliya (cottage-cheese squares in gravy)
  • Dum Oluv (potatoes cooked in yogurt gravy)
  • Nadir Yakhn (lotus stem in a delicate yogurt sauce)
  • Hak(with nadir/vangan) (a local variety of greens)
  • Nadir Palak (lotus stem with spinach)
  • Mujh Chetin (a sharp radish and walnut chutney)
  • Rista (meatballs in a fiery red gravy)
  • Rogan Josh (tender lamb cooked with kashmiri spices)
  • Tabak Maaz (ribs of lamb simmered in yogurt till tender, then fried, can be served as a snack/side-dish)
  • Daniwal Korma (a mutton curry with lots of coriander)
  • Aab Gosht (spicy lamb curry)
  • Marchwangan Korma (an extremely hot lamb preparation)
  • Kabab (minced meat roasted on skewers over hot coals)
  • Gushtaba (a velvety textured meatball in white yogurt gravy,a speciality)
  • Yakhni (delicately spiced yogurt curry)
  • Phirni (a dessert of rice flour thickened in milk set in earthenware cups with nuts and "varq"-silver leaf)


wazwan dishes

wedding wazwan

wedding wazwan-pounding meat for gushtaba's

Phirni is the dessert served at the end of the meal,a delicious preparation of rice flour and milk, the entire meal is washed down with "KEHVA" served in the "SAMOVAR"-green tea flavored with spices and served with slivered almonds in it, truly warming!

To date all of the above dishes are prepared in my mom's and uncle's home and will be posting some authentic recipes in the coming weeks.

Yesterday we went for an authentic Kashmiiri meal to Dilli Haat(opp. INA Market),New Delhi, since this is the only place in Delhi serving Wazwan, and maybe a few others.My uncle,aunt and cousin ordered a typical meal, enjoy the pics.


the kashmiri stall

20092007456 gushtaba's in a lovely yogurt gravy


Rogan josh - lamb cooked in fiery red curry

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September 21, 2007


My friends and family say that this is the best that they have ever had!, it is bursting with the flavor and goodness of bananas, even if you have never baked before ,I promise you it is so great you would want to make it again and again...

The key is to use over-ripe bananas or bananas that are past-it, you can use the batter for muffins too.This bread is very soft & moist and will remain so even after several days, though it doesn't last more than half an hour in my home!

The best part is that during baking my entire house fills up with a to-die-for heavenly aroma!


(makes 1 medium-sized loaf), (serves-6 :only in theory)

  • Refined flour(maida)- 1 cup
  • Bananas- 4 medium sized- mashed well (about 1 cup)
  • sugar- 1/2 cup powdered
  • baking soda- 1/2 tsp.
  • Salted butter (Amul)-1/4 cup (50 gms.)
  • salt- 1/4 tsp
  • vanilla essence- 1 tsp.
  • egg-1
  • cinnamon & nutmeg- a pinch each


Preheat oven-180 degree C. Cream butter and sugar together very well in a large bowl.

19092007430                        creaming butter and sugar together

Combine flour, baking soda and salt together. Add the egg to the butter-sugar mixture and beat well, add mashed bananas, whisk till well blended.

19092007431                                  mashing-up the bananas

Stir flour mixture into banana mixture, stir TO JUST MOISTEN.

19092007433                    the batter poured into tin-ready for baking

Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes.

19092007436                        the nicely-browned banana bread

Let cool for ten minutes before turning out of pan.

19092007437 19092007439              delicious, flavorful banana bread- ready to be devoured!

This is my entry for JFI-Banana hosted by Mandira of ahaar-

( http://ahaar.blogspot.com/2007/09/jfibanana.html)

JFI logo

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Have been looking for a recipe to send over to Asha of Foodieshope (RCI-Karnataka) for at least the past week, but my search did not turn up any results, being North Indian ,here I was treading unknown territory!....but to think about it was I really???

I can rustle up several  South Indian dishes ...and thinking about it ,Rasam is one of those, it is my comfort food..... in a class of it's own, my panacea, can't get enough of it, all in all singularly spectacular! Hope it fits the bill Asha!


  • Tomatoes- 3 large, sliced
  • Onion- 1 medium sized, sliced
  • Green chillies- 2 chopped
  • Tamarind- lemon sized ball ,soaked and strained
  • Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp.
  • curry leaves- 5-6
  • asafetida(hing)- a pinch
  • top water of red-gram dal- as required
  • refined oil- 1 tbsp.
  • Black pepper and salt to taste
  • pinch of sugar

19092007440                              ingredients for the rasam


Heat oil, add mustard seeds and curry leaves and let sputter, add tomatoes and onions, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients , simmer for another 10-15 mins. ,the Rasam is ready, serve with rice.

19092007444                                   the ready tomato rasam

Over to Asha now-


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September 20, 2007


"Amaranth greens, also called Chinese spinach, hinn choy or yin tsoi , callaloo, thotakura (telugu) , tampala, or quelite, are a common leaf vegetable throughout the tropics and in many warm temperate regions. It is very popular in Andhra Pradesh. They are a very good source of vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, riboflavin, and folate"

This is what the Wikipedia says ,so I thought, if something can be that good ,why not give it a try?...and I was not at all disappointed, in fact it's now a part of my regular meals, it's so great, apart from being so healthy, they taste sooo good!. This is the first dish I ever tried- combining it with toor dal and the results were amazing!

18092007410                                   the beautiful red variety

  16092007392                              the green variety- chopped up




  • toor dal-1/3 cup,(washed and drained)
  • fresh amaranth leaves-2 cups, (washed & chopped)
  • tamarind- a walnut sized ball, (soaked in 1/2 cup water)
  • cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
  • sambhar powder-1 tsp
  • green chilli- 1 chopped
  • asafetida(hing)- a pinch
  • curry leaves- 5-6
  • turmeric powder(haldi)-1/2 tsp.
  • oil- 1 tbsp.
  • salt to taste
  • sugar-1/4 tsp.


Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add cumin seeds and curry leaves as well as the dal ,fry for a few mins., next add the green chilli ,sambhar pwdr., asafetida, turmeric,and the amaranth leaves, along with 1 cup of water remember to wash the leaves very well, so that any little particles of mud sticking to it are washed off, close the lid of the cooker and give at least 4-5 whistles, let pressure drop by itself.

Open the cooker,adjust quantity of water, give it a good stir to mash up everything together,it should be thick, lastly add the strained tamarind juice, salt and sugar, cook for another 5-10 minutes. Serve with either fresh-hot rice or chapatis along with papad and yogurt- a complete meal.

Note-Toor dal (yellow pigeon peas) is called tuvar dal (Gujarati), arhar dal (in Uttar Pradesh & Bengal) or kandi pappu (Telugu), tuvara parippu (Malayalam) or tuvaram paruppu in (Tamil).


   amaranth-dal , rice and papad-under the golden rays of the sun

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September 19, 2007


Another super-fabulous recipe from my mother's kitty!... and while your guest's fawn all over over it , you can prettily say-"Oh that!, that was no trouble at all!.This is one of those snacks that is effortless but looks and tastes like a professional put it together!

              my pics010                                       cheese log with salted biscuits on the side


  • fresh cottage cheese(paneer)-250 gms
  • cheddar cheese-1/4 cup(grated)
  • onion- 1 medium sized finely chopped
  • green chilli- 1 sliced fine
  • fresh ginger- 2' piece(finely chopped)
  • roasted zeera(roasted cumin seeds)-1 tsp. coarsely powdered
  • juice of half a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh coriander(cilantro/parsley)leaves- finely chopped


Grate the cottage cheese or crumble with your hand, knead it till you get a kind of soft pliable dough, add all the rest of the ingredients except for coriander leaves and season with salt and pepper.

cottage cheese 

the mashed-up cottage & cheddar cheese

Take the dough into your hands and shape into a cylinderical  log ,this will be pretty easy to do (refer to first pic ),take a large piece of home foil and spread out the coriander leaves on it,make sure they are dry, moving quickly and carefully roll the log in the coriander leaves till all sides are fully coated, wrap the foil around it retaining the same basic log shape ,i.e roll it up in the foil, twist the sides of foil to seal and chill in the refrigerator for an hour at least.

chopped coriander              

           juicy-chopped coriander


This is the interesting part, roll open the foil ,you will get a perfectly shaped cylinderical shaped log covered with coriander leaves, place on a serving tray, add fresh salted /monaco biscuits /cheese-crackers /canapes /saltines  to the side and place a knife, guests cut out a roundel from the log place it over the biscuit and eat!

The best part about this snack is

  • It's a no fuss dish, guest's help themselves so you don't have to worry about serving.
  • Can be made hours ahead, no last minute panic.
  • The taste of bhuna(roasted) zeera literally shines through
  • people wonder how the log was made with all the ingredients inside it,since it solidifies totally into a compact cylinder shape
  • Tastes wonderfully refreshing with drinks
  • A totally perfect snack for vegetarians

mon2ch crackerscrackers1 

a variety of crackers can be used

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September 18, 2007



 okra flower                 

the pretty okra flower.....

  fresh okra                 

turns into fresh-green okra.....

 okra slices       

is sliced into roundels....

 row of spices           

with the addition of these.....

(from left to right row -cumin pwdr, salt, red-chilli, turmeric, amchur, and garam-masala)



now for the recipe....


  • okra- 1/2 kg
  • onion-1 large
  • cumin powder-1 tsp
  • red chilli-1/2 tsp.
  • turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp.
  • amchur(dried mango pwdr.)-1 tsp
  • garam masala-1 tsp
  • salt- acc. to taste
  • oil- 2 tbsp.


Heat oil in a heavy bottom skillet, add the okra and chopped onion,cover and cook till okra is tender on the inside and crunchy on the outside, stirring occassionally , be careful not to stir too much as it will cause more of the sticky stuff to ooze out.

Lastly add all the spices and salt ,give a quick stir and serve hot with chapatis or paranthas .

Tips for handling okra-

For a beginner making okra  for the first time it can turn into a nightmarish experience if proper precautions are not taken, these are some tips I have found useful-

  • Always wash and DRY the okra before starting whether on paper towels or under the fan, the drier the okra is the less gummy liquid it will ooze out, i have even discovered that cutting it up and storing in an airtight container in the fridge for a day also helps.
  • Try to keep the stirring to a minimum because that causes the okra to break up and again more gum
  • Always buy fresh,tender okra that snaps easily and is not too big or hard  to the touch.
  • Always add salt and spices at the end of the cooking process

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