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April 28, 2009

GUJARATI NAMKEEN-in under 5 minutes!

gujarati namkeen.jpg

My ma-in-law comes from Gujarat and has a knack for dishing out particularly delicious snacks, she is a pro at making dhokla, patra, khandvi et all, will be posting recipes of all that yummy stuff soon, in the meantime you can try out this crispy, crunchy, addictive, ready in a snap namkeen, to be enjoyed over tea/coffee or when unexpected guests arrive or as a light snack on it's own.This namkeen is ready in 5 minutes provided you have all the ingredients at hand, and I am sure these ingredients are already sitting in your pantry begging to be made into this gorgeous, simple snack,... so get moving!!For this you require-


  • Raw peanuts-2 tbsp

  • Readymade poppadums-2, roasted

  • Curry leaves- a handful

  • Green chillies-2, chopped fine

  • Puffed rice-2 cups

  • Salt to taste

  • Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp

  • Sugar-1/2 tsp powdered

  • Citric acid- a pinch

  • Oil-2 tbsp

Method-Heat 2 tbsp oil in a heavy bottom pan, add the curry leaves and green chilli, tip in the peanuts, fry for a minute next add the turmeric and cook for 30 sec add puffed rice, stirring well.Add the rest of the seasoning and mix well, cook for a minute more, in the end crush the readymade roasted papads and mix in, your namkeen is ready to serve!You can take it a notch higher and serve with chopped onions, tomatoes ,cilantro and a twist of lime.


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April 23, 2009

Celebrating my 100th post with MOM'S SPECIAL MUTTON PICKLE

mutton pickle.jpg

I am so happy today, this is my 100th post, and what a ride it has been but I think I am happiest cooking and then blogging about it, really!

This pickle is one of my mom's signature dishes, (did I tell you she used to take cooking classes), it is a classic and is soooo delicious, anyone who tastes it once always keeps asking for more, it is Gagan's absolute favorite too and wins hands down over any other non-veg dish.

The pickle is spicy, sour and has a touch of Goan vindaloo style to it I think, it is full of flavor and is very good with paranthas and rice as well as on its own, it is actually my mom's secret recipe and it took a huge amount of coaxing and cajoling to get it out of her!


  • Boneless mutton-1 kg

  • Garlic-3 and a 1/2 whole heads peeled and ground to a paste

  • Mustard oil-1 cup

  • Red chillies whole-5

  • Black cardamom-5

  • Cinnamon sticks-3

  • Cloves-7

  • Cumin seeds-2 tbsp+1 tsp

  • Cayenne pepper(deggi mirch)-1 tbsp

  • Vinegar-1/2 to 3/4 cup

  • Salt to taste


With a sharp knife chop boneless mutton into bite size pieces, DO not wash the mutton, dry roast and grind all the dry masalas together except for red chillies, marinate mutton pieces in about half head of garlic and 1 tsp dry masala, leave for an hour.Now after an hour, heat oil in a pressure cooker add the cumin seeds and let crackle, next add the garlic paste, marinated mutton and all the rest of the ingredients except vinegar, dry roast the mutton for 5 minutes then close lid and give 4-5 whistles, let pressure drop by itself, DO not add any water.Open the lid and on medium flame dry roast the mutton, stirring all the time and adding vinegar little by little, till oil leaves sides of pan , add salt, keep frying till totally dry.

This pickle can be transferred to a clean container and will keep stored in the refrigerator for several weeks,IF it lasts that long!

mutton pickle1.jpg

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April 21, 2009

PUFF PASTRY BISCUITS...from a scratch!

puff pastry biscuits.jpg

I like to have somehing light and salty with my morning cuppa, and usually stick to bakery puffs or salted biscuits, have been looking for a good salty biscuit recipe for ages but believe me I have not been able to come across any, today I chanced upon Artisan sweets where what caught my eye was how to make puff pastry in 20 seconds!, now that got me thinking, no.... running to the kitchen that very instant, and boy was I pleased!, these were the best that I ever made, though not really puff pastry but some darn good salted bicuits.My dad-in-law is diabetic and he always says that I bake all sweet things and never something he can wholeheartedly enjoy, after a bite of these he was ecstatic!,

Do give these yummy little gems a try, they are well worth the effort I promise...AND no more bakery puffs for me, from now on I am baking my own!

I adapted from her Quick puff pastry recipe


  • Flour-2 cups

  • Butter/Shortening-150gms

  • Salt-1 tsp

  • Chilled water as required

  • Cumin seeds-as required

  • Carom seeds(ajwain)-as required

  • Egg white-1


Rub the butter into the flour till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, add enough chilled water to knead into a smooth dough, let rest for 15 mins.Now roll out dough into a large rectangle, dusting the board and rolling pin with flour as required, fold from one side then the other to make a parcel, thus turning it into a smaller rectangle, keep repeating, refer to the tutorial by Artisan sweets and proceed , I wanted something quick, so after repeating this several times and refrigerating once in between, I finally rolled out the dough and cut it into squares with a very sharp knife, brushed with egg white, sprinkled half with cumin seeds and the other half with ajwain, left to chill for another half an hour, then transferred biscuits to a very hot oven(200C), bake for 20 mins. or till fluffy and golden, serve with tea/coffee.These can be sprinkled with sugar and baked like palmiers too for a sweet treat.

puff pastry biscuits1.jpg

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April 19, 2009


tandoori chicken.JPG

We Punjabi's are Tandoori Chicken freaks, you know papaji and tandoori chicken and peg-sheg :), all that!!! the association is so vivid haha!,so is the taste of this chicken, soft ,melt-in-the-mouth tender and sheer delight in every bite.Gagan loved it and declared it to be the best ever!

But after a hard day at work, do you really have the energy for making this kinda thing?, for this one- yessss, this is an incredibly easy way! the better part of the recipe can easily be done ahead of time, and from there on it hardly takes 15 minutes, I have a gas tandoor that I normally used for this, but that got too messy to clean up later, so I decided to adapt from David Lebovitz's Tandoori Chicken recipe, which turned out SOOOO beautifully!


  • Fresh chicken-1 (about 850 gms)

  • Thick yogurt-1 cup

  • Fresh cream-2 tbsp

  • Ginger paste-1 tbsp

  • Garlic paste-1 tbsp

  • Green chillies-2 ground

  • Garam masala-1 tsp

  • Lemon juice-1 tbsp

  • Salt to taste

  • a pinch of orange/red food colour

  • oil for shallow frying


Wash chicken under running water very well, leave in a colander to drain.With a sharp knife make deep cuts in the chicken flesh so that the marinate can penetrate, add all the other ingredients and season, mix well in a large bowl, cover with cling film and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight like in below pic.

marinating tandoori chicken.JPG

When you are ready to eat/serve, heat a heavy bottom pan and heat some oil for shallow frying, add the chicken pieces a few at a time, making sure that they are well coated with all that good marinade, fry for 15-20 minutes till golden and cooked through, serve with some onion salad and sprinkled with tangy chaat masala, oooh delicious!

tandoori chicken1.JPG

Last night after writing this post, I remembered an old joke by Khushwant Singh, here it goes...

A Sardarji was lying on the railway tracks with a bottle of whiskey and some tandoori chicken, a passerby was curious to see what is going on so he asked the Sardarji that what is he doing, the Sardarji replied that he was fed up of his life and was going to commit suicide,"But then why the bottle of whikey and tandoori chicken?", "I DONT WANT TO DIE OF STARVATION TILL THE TRAIN COMES",replied the Sardarji!!!!:):)

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April 17, 2009


dukkus pics 001.jpg

Everyone I know of is looking for a good butter cake recipe and then a better than that and then better than that recipe, the quest goes on and on...I find a fabulous cake recipe and feel this is the best ever until I try out something else and that is better than that, well that's the human mind...deconstructed...

My mom used to take cooking classes when we were kids since she had considerable expertise in Kashmiri food and had learnt a lot of other stuff too, but when it came to baking cakes she felt I had a better hand at handling it, so I started teaching baking in particular, for those classes too, perhaps my first ever professional foray into the cooking world, I think that exposed me to a number of things particularly what students would ask and what answers I should be ready with, this I am talking about when I was maybe 15-16 yrs old, I think maybe I should have taken up a career in Hotel management or Culinary Art or something like that, but what the heck! maybe I can realise my dreams now through this blog...

In my last post I mentioned coming down with this Conjunctivitis, I mean this IS some monster from hell!, I absolutely hated it, it ate up last 10 days of my life and I am running a mile away from absolutely anyone who has it, but there are just some things you gotta endure in life, so my advice to anyone who has it-

  1. GOD help you

  2. Be patient

  3. Be prepared with lots of ice baths, add some rose water to it

  4. Go to the Dr immediately, he will start some painkillers and antibiotics for you

  5. Put those antibiotic eye drops every hour or so

  6. Keep calm

  7. Dont tear your eyes out like I wished I would


Sorry for the long post now coming back to the more serene things in life-BUTTER POUND CAKE, very, very good recipe,no elbow grease, slices very well, soft and fluffy, highly recommended.,yields a really large cake and no expensive ingredients at all...see I told you this is the best ever!!!


  • Flour-2 cups

  • Powdered sugar-3/4 cup

  • Salt-1/2 tsp

  • Milk-3/4 cup

  • Yogurt-2 tbsp

  • Baking powder-3 tsp

  • Egg-1

  • Butter-1/4 cup melted

  • a handful of raisins

  • Vanilla essence-1/2 tsp


Dump everything into a large mixing bowl, adding baking powder in the end, bake at 200C for 40 minutes, TA DA SIMPLE!!!

pound cake.jpg

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April 14, 2009



Summer's are here full blast, and all that one craves is something cool and refreshing, I think kulfi simply rules and there is nothing quite like it in the world!.Making kulfi at home is incredibly easy and uses very few ingredients, I made kulfi using two method's one is to dissolve 5-6 pieces of fresh burfi (Indian wholemilk sweetmeat) in 2 cups of wholemilk, add a teaspoon of flour dissolved in 1 tbsp water and let thicken, add chopped dry fruits, freeze and serve, this is probably the easiest of all ways to make kulfi, if you are in the mood for cooking-from-a-scratch like I was, then follow Deeba's method here for some rich ,creamy kulfi, she uses 1 litre milk and about 3/4cups sugar plus some powdered cardamom, boil till quantity is reduced to 1/3rd, add chopped nuts, cool and freeze in moulds, serve....

This delicious, rich, creamy kulfi is off to Aquadaze's for My favorite things event.I knew that I would be making loads of frozen desserts this Summer, but right now as I type this, the words are blurring before my eyes and I can hardly see what I am typing, Yes, my friends I am down with the worst case of Conjunctivitis (Eye flu), and thought I should make and eat kulfi before I completely lose it, you see nothing... just nothing comes in the way of me and my sweet cravings....!


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April 10, 2009


Pad thai.jpg

I am a noodle lover and will never miss an opportunity to order them when eating out, I sometimes make my own egg noodles too and eat them deep fried on top of a veggie chicken sweet and sour or in a simple stir fry, they are quite easy to make actually, will post more of that later, right now we move onto a new noodle experience altogether.

My knowledge of Thai food was mostly limited to their famous Green and Red curries or Tom yum, until I chanced upon this superb post by Pim aptly titled Pad Thai for beginners that got me thinking and prep work began in right earnest, the result is right in front of you!, though I tweaked the original according to my taste and liking, I was very happy with the end product, try it you will not be disappointed for sure...


  • Rice noodles- 500 gms (I used regular flat noodles instead)

  • Boneless chicken- 250 gms, sliced

  • Peanuts- 2 tbsp

  • Whole red chillies- a few

  • Julienned vegetables- 2 cups(Carrots, capsicum, cabbage,mushrooms)

  • Minced garlic- 1 tsp

  • Seasoning + a few limes/lemons

  • Eggs-2

  • Tofu -few pieces

  • Beansprouts(do add if you have at hand)

  • Oil- 4-5 tbsp

for sauce-

  • Tamarind paste- 2 tbsp

  • Sugar 2 tbsp

  • Paprika- 1 tsp

  • Soya sauce- 1 tsp (instead of fish sauce)


Combine all the ingredients for the sauce and cook till sugar melts, adjust ingredients according to taste.Keep aside.Boil the noodles till done, drain in a colander and drizzle some oil to keep the noodles from sticking together.Heat oil in a wok add the chicken first, then after 2-3 minutes add tofu, garlic, peanuts and chillies followed by the sauce,( I did not cook individual portions, due to the fact that I was already making this for the two of us), add veggies and then noodles, if using eggs, at this point move all the noodles to one side of the pan and break an egg in the middle,let set for 10-15 seconds, season and toss well.Serve with fresh cut limes,extra ground peanuts and chilli powder, simply delicious!

pad thai noodles.jpg

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April 6, 2009


frozen pineapple yogurt.jpg

SUMMER TIME IS HERE...and I am soooo happy, loads of Icecreams, frozen desserts and sorbets are coming up....:).so are skirts, dresses and shorts, aahhh! what a relief from heavy winter clothes, wish summers never end......

Gagan loves pineapple and on our visit to the farmer's market we bought a big one, I thought of making Pineapple Icecream, fruit kebabs, pineapple upside down cake and what not!, but I am glad that I finally settled on this guilt free dessert, one bite and the words that came out of his mouth were, this is divine!, will surely be making this all through the summer, with all different fruits.I am going to be making loads of frozen desserts to beat the heat in the next few months, but this one specially goes to the lovely Aquadaze who is, my first host ever for MY FAVORITE THINGS EVENT ,the theme for the month is Ice creams and frozen desserts, thanks Aqua, simply love your choice of the theme!Do drop me a line at bindiyasingh7@gmail.com, if you too wish to host the event.

pineapple yogurt.jpg

Coming back to the deliciously tangy Frozen pineapple yogurt, which is probably the easiest dessert you ever made, here's how I made it....


  • Pineapple, fresh or frozen- 3-4 slices,drained

  • Fresh yogurt- 1/2 kg

  • Sugar 1/2 cup powdered

  • Pineapple essence- few drops


If using fresh pineapple ,peel and slice, if it is too sour, boil in sugar syrup then cool.Hang fresh yogurt in a muslin cloth for at least two hours.To assemble, take a big bowl and combine the hung yogurt, sugar chopped pineapple and essence, mix well and freeze, soften a bit before serving, garnish with more pineapple and a sprig of mint. wow! so thick and creamy!!delicious!!!

pineapple frozen yogurt.jpg

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April 3, 2009


stewed chicken with vegetables.jpg

I recently read somewhere-"The birth of my blog has been the death of my figure"!,how true is it?,I mean you cook and bake and...taste and taste...(just checking the salt mind you!) and before you even realize it, somewhere around 500 calories are consumed!!, I am on a health spree these days, go for an hours walk and try and eat as healthy as I possibly can.So for today's dinner I made this really fresh, comforting,easy and almost fat free stewed chicken with a zesty mustard sauce, note there is not a drop of oil or butter in the recipe, the chicken and vegetables cook in their own flavorful juices, hmmm no butter chicken for a few weeks I think:(

Here's the recipe...

  • Fresh chicken -1

  • Assorted fresh veggies-250 gms (I used beans, broccoli,carrots,peas,cauliflower..)

  • Mustard powder-1 tsp

  • Milk-1 tbsp

  • Toasted bread-acc. to preference

  • Fresh herbs-acc. to preference

  • Seasoning- salt and fresh black pepper

Method-Combine milk and mustard powder and leave to "mature" for about half an hour.Heat about 2 cups water in a heavy bottom pan, add cleaned chicken once the water reaches a boil.Chop veggies lengthwise add to the boiling chicken, cook for 15-20 mnutes till done and water dries up, add herbs and seasoning of choice.Top with mustard sauce and serve with toasted bread preferably wholewheat(notice it is not buttered), heyyy! indulge, it's fat free and really healthy!!

stewed chicken.jpg

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