Sunday, 9 June 2013

Masala Fried Prawns

I think most people I know agree that prawns are their personal favorite seafood. In fact I have a friend who's allergic to prawns and still ate them! Obviously I was a little bit surprised when his face swelled up to twice its size! But such is the love for prawns.

When I used to think prawns I would think Goa. Sitting in a shack somewhere on the beach eating prawn curry and prawn masala. That was until we went to Diveagar!

To celebrate my 21st birthday Regina and I decided to go to Diveagar. It's a tiny little town on the coast around 210 km from Pune, just off the Mumbai - Goa highway. To make things more interesting we decided to take me 9 year old second hand Activa! The route was beautiful and was incredible fun albeit tiring and the road was terrible. After 6 hours of riding we reached at 11 o'clock at night and crashed.

Next morning we were starving. Being on the coast we wanted to eat some seafood but there wasn't a restaurant in sight! We went to the one shop there was and asked where we could get some lunch. He told us that we'd have to place an order an hour in advance and we could ask for anything we wanted! No points for guessing what we asked for - prawns!

Lunch was incredible, we were served a delicious fish curry, rice, rotis and a plateful of delectable prawns. Considering all the ingredients were so amazingly fresh, our taste buds went on a riot. The prawns were cooked perfectly, had a slightly spicy 'masala'; but still retained their true 'prawny' flavor! The most intriguing part was that the prawns had an almost sweet flavor, its difficult to describe such pleasure!

We haven't been to Diveagar again, and unfortunately, never managed to get the prawn recipe. Imagine my happiness when this recipe came out spot on, and took me straight back to Diveagar. Here's to nostalgia.. and prawns!

Ingredients -
  • 250g shelled Prawns
  • 1 medium Onion, roughly chopped
  • 7-8 cloves Garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1tsp red Chili powder
  • 2tbsp Lemon juice
  • 2tbsp Coriander (stalks and roots), roughly chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 2tbsp Oil
Fry the garlic and onions in the oil till they are golden and fragrant. Add the chilli and fry for a further minute.

Place the onion mixture, coriander, salt and lemon juice in a food processor and grind to a smooth paste.

Mix the prawns with the marinade and allow to sit for a couple of minutes.

Fry the marinaded prawns (in the same dish that you fried the onions; you won't need to add any more oil) till they are cooked through and the marinade has dried through.

Garnish with the coriander leaves and a few wedges of lemon. Serve hot. 

The Best Fudgy Chocolate Brownies

Who doesn't love the chewy, fudgy, chocolatey, crunchy goodness of freshly baked brownies! They're like the perfect cross between fudge, cookie and cake and go oh so well with ice cream.

This recipe for fudgy chocolate brownies was found by my grandmother who is the best cook I know. She got me to make them and agreed that they are the best brownies she's had so far! They come out chewy, fudgy and warm on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Easy to make and so yummy.

Ingredients -
  • 10 tbsp Butter
  • 1 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract/Essence
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 3/4 cup Walnuts (Optional)
Mix the butter, sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a microwavable bowl. Microwave at 30 second intervals, mixing in between, until all the butter is melted and the mixture is relatively smooth. It may appear grainy but that will be taken care of once the rest of the ingredients are added. (If you don't have a microwave you could use a stove, be sure not to burn the ingredients).

Let the mixture cool a little bit till it is warm to the touch. Add the vanilla extract and eggs and stir well. Add the flour and if using walnuts add as well. Fold it all together till the flour is completely incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a cake tin lined with foil (to make it easier to take it out) and bake at 325 F for 20 - 25 mins until a toothpick poked in the middle comes out with just a few crumbs. Take out and let it cool before slicing.

Gobble them up just like that or serve with ice cream.

Oatmeal Cinnamon Cookies

I have heard about oatmeal cookies so often; but have somehow never eaten them or even tried to make them. My mother enjoys eating oat porridge (I don't) and therefore, I saw a huge bag of oats in my kitchen shelf a few days ago. Understandably, something had to be made!

I knew that the basic idea of oatmeal cookies was that you replace some of the flour with lots and lots of oats. It was too late in the night to bring out all the 'heavy equipment' and that is why this is the easiest recipe ever. Even I was surprised by the results - crisp yet chewy at the same time. 

This recipe makes 12 medium sized cookies

  • 1tbsp soft Butter
  • 3tbsp Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 2 cups Oats (I used regular instant oats)
  • 2tbsp Cinnamon
Beat the sugar and butter till it is light and creamy, add the egg and beat for a further minute.

Add the flour and oats to the egg mixture and gently mix in. You will be left with a rather sticky dough.

Divide the dough into 12 equal parts and roll into small balls. Arrange on your baking sheet, and flatten slightly till they are about 1 cm thick disks. Sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon over each cookie. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 200C for 10 minutes, and a further 3-4 minutes at 225C. Allow to cook slightly and then place on your cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Creamy Coconut Prawn Curry

Every year; I go to West Bengal to visit my father. It is a refreshing change from the heat and the traffic in Ahmedabad. Also; I get to eat prawns to my hearts content.

Manas Da is one of my fathers closest friends; he is a wonderful person with a voice like an angel. His wife is incredibly sweet, and we somehow manage to converse even though we barely speak the same language! Considering my father is Marvadi, we never used to eat meat in the house till my father decided to build an outhouse. Before that (and even now), it was Manas Da who would satisfy all my meat cravings. It was he who introduced me to prawn heads and made me fall in love with them!

Manas Da and his family are true food lovers and appreciate good food. Understandably, they are also incredible cooks, especially his wife and mother. I still remember the taste of the prawn curry Moni used to make.

This recipe finally materialized in Pune when I was truly desperate for prawns. It may not be absolutely authentic, but it sure is delicious.

Recipe inspired by Manas Da and his wife Moni; two amazing people and true food connoisseurs; who enjoy eating just as much as they enjoy feeding people.

  • 1kg shelled Prawns
  • 2 fresh Coconuts, grated
  • 2tbsp Ginger, roughly chopped (do not peel the ginger as the skin holds a lot of flavor)
  • 1tbsp Cumin seeds
  • 5 green Chilies, roughly chopped
  • 2 onions, ground to a paste
  • 3tbsp Mustard oil
  • 1tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1tsp red Chili powder
  • Salt to taste
Marinade the prawns in the turmeric powder and chili powder for a few minutes. Heat the mustard oil in a deep wok and fry the prawns till they are almost cooked; set aside.

Grind the ginger, cumin and green chilies to a fine paste.

Mix 4 cups of hot water in the grated coconut and squeeze through to get the coconut milk.

Pour a small amount of the coconut milk (this will act as your oil) in the wok (the same one you fried your prawns in to retain as much of flavor as possible) and heat. Mix in the onion paste and the ginger paste and fry till the mixture is cooked through (you will notice a little bit of oil releasing on the sides and the mixture will be rather fragrant). Add the prawns and fry for a minute. Pour in the remaining coconut milk and simmer on a low flame for a further five minutes. You can now add salt as per your taste. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Kalonji and Onion Seeds

Kalonji is widely used in Indian cooking. They are little black colored seeds and add a nice peppery flavor to your cooking. They are mostly used in pickles and achaar. People often refer to Kalonji as Onion Seeds. This is not true!

The botanical name of kalonji is Nigella Sativa. They look almost exactly like onion seeds, but the flavor slightly differs. Onion seeds are rarely used in cooking and are mainly for actually growing onions!

Although you will find many sources that say onion seeds and kalonji are the same; even I thought they were; this is not the case! Kalonji and Onion Seeds come from two completely different families.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Indian Working Hours

Working in an international call center, it is difficult to find out what the official working hours for the respective countries are. It is only due to my work that I discovered that different countries have different work weeks and break patterns. For example, UAE takes their week off on Friday and Saturday with Thursday being a half-day. Their timings are also incredibly different, they work for a couple of hours in the morning and then take an elongated break till the evening when they start working for a couple of hours again. Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia follow a similar pattern. This is incredibly different to India.

India's work week is Monday to Friday, with Saturday being half day in a few organizations. The work day generally starts at 9:00am and finishes at 5:00pm/6:00pm. Lunch break takes place in the afternoon, from 1:00pm to 2:00pm.

This post may not seem of much concern to most of us, but after having to spend hours to find out official break timings and working hours for a number of countries, I'm sure this will help at least some one!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Garlic Salt

I was in Hyderabad for a couple of days last year. We went to a shopping mall to pick up some supplies and I went completely insane. There was so much to choose from. There were even things that you wouldn't think existed! I came across a section that was entirely devoted to salt - garlic, onion, coriander, ginger, celery and so on. Not being a millionaire, I chose from all these options and picked up a jar of garlic salt. It got finished in two weeks!

I have a close affinity with garlic, the flavor of garlic speaks to me and I use it extensively in my cooking. Therefore, I decided to try making a batch of garlic salt. It worked out perfectly! This makes a small bottle garlic salt.

Ingredients -
  • 3 pods Garlic
  • 4tbsp Salt
Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Cover the garlic with salt and place on a tray. Let it dry out completely in the sun for a couple of days. Blend the garlic and salt to a fine powder in a food processor; store in an airtight jar. 

Aloo ka Paratha

Parathas are a type of roti. They are layered which makes them heavier than normal rotis. You can have plain parathas which are layered with oil making them flaky and crisp; or, you can have stuffed parathas. The most popular fillings being potato, cauliflower, white radish/daikon (mooli), cheese, even left over rice! Parathas are best when they are piping hot, the traditional condiments are yogurt or raita, chutney, butter and pickle.

This is a basic recipe, you can add some grated ginger or garlic, aromatic spices, and tweak the measurements around to suit your taste-buds. This recipe makes 7-8 large parathas.

Ingredients -
  • 6 medium sized Potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 2 medium sized Onions, finely chopped
  • 4 green Chilies, finely sliced
  • 1tsp Salt/Garlic Salt
  • 1tsp red Chili powder
  • 800g Atta
  • Water
  • Oil for cooking
Mix the mashed potato, onions, green chilies, red chili and salt together. Taste the mixture and you can add more spice according to your taste. Let the flavors be a little strong as they will become subdued once you stuff them in the atta dough. Divide the potato mixture into 8 even balls

Place the atta in a large dough, add enough water and knead to form a soft dough. You will need about a glass and a half of water. Divide the dough into 8 even balls.

Take one ball of dough and flatten it out slightly, place one ball of the potato mixture in the center and bring up the sides of the dough to get a large ball (potato on the inside, dough on the outside). Flatten this potato-dough ball out with your fingers, and use a rolling pin to roll out to a thickness of about 1/2cm. Cook the paratha on a non-stick frying pan for a couple of minutes on each side, then add half a teaspoon of oil to each side and cook till it is golden brown. Serve hot.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Gooey Center Chocolate

The paternal side of my family is massive. My grandfather had four brothers and three sisters, each having a couple of children, who then went on to have some more; so you can imagine how many cousins I have! Every couple of years, the family tries to come together for some event - a wedding, an anniversary or even a funeral! It was in one such event that I met my cousin Rashi after years.

After a few days of gossiping and exploring; we entered the kitchen. Rashi enjoys cooking and eating just as much as the rest of the family. She's the one who taught me this simple recipe, which has an incredibly fancy result!

Ingredients -
  • 4tbsp Condensed milk
  • 20g Butter
  • 250g Chocolate
Melt all the chocolate over a double boiler and keep aside. (I will upload a post on how to temper chocolate properly later).

Beat the butter till it is smooth and slightly pale. Add the condensed milk and 100g of the melted chocolate. This mixture will form the gooey centers.

Pour little amount of chocolate in your molds and swirl around so that all the sides are completely covered. Upturn the mold over your bowl of chocolate and gentle tap to remove any excess chocolate. Allow these shells to set in the fridge for a couple of minutes. Pipe small amounts of the previously made chocolate mixture into the shells till they are three fourth full. Allow to set again for a few minutes. Cover the shells completely with chocolate and set till the chocolate is completely firm. Pop the gooey center chocolates out of the molds and enjoy!

Spicy Lemon Pickle

Any kind of pickle or achaar can spice up a boring dish. My debut with pickle occurred for a very random reason. I was walking out of my society when a lady stopped me and handed over a bag full of lemons. Confused I asked her who they were from; my neighbor had sent them for my grandmother. That's when inspiration struck! There wasn't much I could do with a kilo of lemons apart from make pickle of it. This is an incredibly simple recipe and the amounts can be tweaked according to your tastes. The advantage of making your own pickle is that it will taste exactly how you want it, and there are no preservatives. The measurements that I have given make a rather spicy pickle, incredibly delicious!

Ingredients -
  • 20 medium sized Lemons, quartered
  • 3tbsp red Chili powder
  • 5tbsp Sugar
  • 5tbsp Salt
  • 1 cup of sliced Ginger
  • 3 green Chilies, sliced length-wise
  • A large glass bottle
Soak the bottle in some hot water to sterilize it. Allow it to dry completely in the sun.

Squeeze the juice from the lemon quarters into the bottle and throw the skins in as well. Add all of the remaining ingredients. Close the bottle tightly and shake till everything is combined completely. Place the bottle in the sun for a week shaking it occasionally. The pickle will be ready in about two weeks.

Note - if you want the pickle to mature faster, you can further halve the lemon quarters!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Banoffee Pudding

Ingredients -
  • 1 tin Condensed milk (400g)
  • 4 Bananas, sliced
  • 1 cup crushed Biscuits
  • 20g Butter
  • 200ml fresh Cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • 50g Chocolate, grated
Put the condensed milk in a heavy bottomed saucepan and cook on a low flame till the color darkens slightly and the mixture thickens to a sticky toffee like texture.

Mix the crushed biscuits with the butter and line the base of a glass dish with this mixture. Pat the mixture slightly till you have a rather firm base.

Arrange the sliced bananas over the biscuit base. Spread the toffee over the bananas; cover completely with the whipped cream. Sprinkle the grated chocolate on top. Allow the pudding to set in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours. Serve cold!


This recipe makes about 8 medium sized, thin crust pizzas.

Ingredients -
Pizza dough
  • 800g Maida
  • 200g Semolina (suji)
  • 2 1/2tsp Yeast
  • 1tsp Salt
  • 1tsp Sugar
  • 650ml Water, lukewarm
Tomato Sauce
  • 3 Onions, roughly sliced
  • 5-7 cloves Garlic, peeled
  • 3tbsp Tomato Ketchup
  • 750g Tomatoes, blanched
  • 5 green Chilies, roughly chopped
  • 1tsp Sugar
  •  Salt and pepper to taste
  • 500g Cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Sausages, sliced
  • 1 cup Capsicum, diced into 1cm squares
  • 1 cup Jalapeno peppers, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Onion, diced into 1cm squares
  • 1 cup Salami, diced into 1cm squares 
Pizza dough

Mix the flours together in a large bowl. Mix the water, salt, sugar and yeast together in another bowl. Allow it to froth up a little; this could take about 5-7 minutes. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and combine till you have a sticky dough. Lightly dust your workspace or platform with some flour and tip the pizza dough onto it. Knead the dough till it is smooth and elastic. This will take about 10 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the pizza dough into it. Cover with cling film and allow to rise till double - about two and a half hours.

Tomato Sauce

Fry the onions and garlic in a large wok till the onions are golden. Add the blanched tomatoes and green chilies; allow to cook for a couple of minutes. When the mixture has slightly reduced add the tomato ketchup and gently stir through. Pour this entire mixture into a food processor until it is relatively smooth. Pour it back into the wok, add the sugar, salt and pepper. Allow the mixture to simmer on a low flame for about ten minutes.

Punch out the air from the pizza dough and divide into eight segments. Take one segment, and flatten it out on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pizza out to the size of your baking tray, about 1cm thick. Lightly dust your baking tray with some semolina (suji). Place the rolled out pizza onto the tray.

Spread about 2tbsp of the tomato sauce evenly over the pizza. Sprinkle a little bit of each topping over the tomato sauce. Cover the entire pizza with cheese. Cook in an oven preheated to 250C for about 15 minutes. Serve hot!

Note -

Sprinkle your workspace and baking tray with semolina instead of flour to get a crisper pizza.

Don't overload the pizza with toppings or the pizza will become soggy. The measurements that I have given are enough for 8 pizzas.

You can put whatever toppings you wish to; this is just an idea, and what was available here! Some options could be bacon, meatballs, paneer, chicken and so on.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Chicken and Corn Bake

A bake is incredibly comforting. Warm and delicately flavored, it is the perfect combination to a roast chicken, or you can even eat it on its own.

A few days ago, I got a call from my brother. I was at work so was talking incredibly softly, he insisted that I come home that instant. I cut the call saying I would see. Instantly, my sister called me. She was adamant that I come home. I wasn't left with much of a choice, I told my manager that I had to run and went home. My siblings are awful. They wanted me to make a chicken and corn bake!

Ingredients -
  • 3 cups Corn, boiled
  • 300g Chicken, preferably breast pieces
  • 5 cloves Garlic
  • 50g Butter
  • 4tbsp Flour
  • 500ml Milk
  • 200g Cheese, grated
  • Dried herbs (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Egg white
 Place the chicken in a shallow saucepan and pour enough water to almost cover the meat. Add salt and pepper to taste and the garlic. Allow to boil the chicken is tender and cooked through. Strain out the liquid and keep aside. Remove the bones from the chicken and chop into small pieces.

Mix the butter and flour in a deep saucepan. Cook for a minute or so till the flour becomes 'furry'. Slowly add the milk while vigorously beating, making sure no lumps form. Add the grated cheese to the sauce till it melts through. Add the chicken broth you kept aside in the previous step. Allow the sauce to gently thicken while stirring occasionally. This should take about 10-15 minutes. Add the boiled corn and chopped chicken to the sauce. Sprinkle some dried herbs and salt and pepper to taste on top. Pour the entire mixture into a baking dish and sprinkle some cheese or whipped egg white on top. Bake in an oven preheated to 250C for about 15-20 minutes. Serve hot.

Note - if you are not happy with the thickness of the sauce then you can mix some more flour in a little bit of water and add this mixture to the sauce. If you feel that it is too thick then you can add some more milk or the water in which you boiled the corn. Do NOT add plain water, using broth enhances the flavor while water will merely dilute it.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Meatballs - Indian style

There's a little eatery in Ahmedabad called Famous. Only three things are available there - meatballs, meat samosas and freshly baked buns. No matter when you go; there will always be a crowd at Famous. No wonder; the food is amazing!

Understandably; I wanted to try and replicate the meatballs from Famous. They are crisp and crunchy on the outside, and melt in your mouth on the inside. The flavors are rather intense, slightly spicy, with lots of mint and aromatic spices. I tried this recipe in Bengal, but put too much salt! I tried it again in Ahmedabad, perfect!

Ingredients -
  • 250g Mutton, minced
  • 2tbsp Garlic, minced
  • 1tsp Salt
  • 2tsp Pepper, ground
  • 5 Cloves
  • 2 pods Cardamom (elaichi - green)
  • 1tsp Cinnamon powder
  • A handful of roughly chopped Mint
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Egg
  • 2tbsp Semolina (suji)
  • Oil for deep frying
Grind the cloves, cardamom, pepper and cinnamon together. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Take a marble sized amount and fry it to check for taste. You can adjust the spices accordingly. Form the remaining mixture into small balls and lay them out onto a plate. Heat the oil in a deep wok and fry 5-6 meatballs at a time. They take about 5-7 minutes to cook. Place them on some tissue to soak any excess oil. Serve hot!

Note - use a teaspoon or two of mint and coriander chutney mixed with a bowl of yoghurt as a dip. This dip counters the spiciness of the meatballs perfectly!

The Jackfruit Fiasco

Jackfruit (kathaal) is an interesting vegetable. It grows like leeches on a tree and has a tough; prickly skin. Even peeling the vegetable is a task. You need to oil your knife and hands and hack away until the whitish flesh is unearthed. I actually like the texture of jackfruit; its similar to meat, and if you make it properly it can be quite delicious. My family in Bengal cooks this vegetable quite often; but because I'm a spoiled brat there, I've never seen how they cook it.

I was on the way back from work when I decided to stop at the Dilli Darwaza Sabji Mandi (vegetable market); and pick up some supplies. I got some lovely tomatoes, onions and potatoes; when my eyes fell on the jackfruit. My friend Palak urged me into picking some up, but I was still skeptical. I had never cooked the vegetable before! She re-assured me by telling me how simple it was and that she would come home to help and direct. I fell head-first into the trap and went home with a smile on my face and a bag of jackfruit in my hands.

Jackfruit is NOT easy to cook! Palak did NOT come to help! I chopped the vegetable into inch sized cubes and removed the seeds and the sticky gunk around the seeds. I had been told to fry/boil the vegetable till it is soft and cooked through. I did both. I then chopped up a huge amount of onions, garlic and tomatoes. I fried the onions and garlic in some mustard oil and added the tomatoes. I then continued to make the masala in the regular way; adding red chili powder, coriander and cumin powder and whatever masalas I could see in the kitchen cabinet. Cooking the masala till a little oil had released. I then mixed the cooked jackfruit into the masala, added some water, and waited to see what would happen. After about five minutes; I decided it was time to taste, certain that it would be absolutely amazing. I dipped my spoon into the kadhai (wok) and popped a piece into my mouth. The very thought of that moment brings tears to my eyes. It was bitter! Horribly so! I don't think I have eaten anything so bitter in a terribly long time. Cursing under my breath I called my paternal grandmother; she laughed when I told her what had happened. Said that you always have to taste the jackfruit after boiling it to make sure it isn't bitter. Why oh why didn't I know that?!

Moral of the story - call Sudha Ma when in doubt!

Although this round of jackfruit was such a disaster; I am definitely going to try it again. Maybe next year, or in 2020. Either way, I shall keep you updated!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Cheesy Garlic Bread

The old city in Ahmedabad is a true treasure box. The 'Teen Darwaza' market is fabulous. Think of a product, and you will find it there. From incredibly useful things to the most random things too!

I have wanted to bake my own bread for years now. Unfortunately; I've never managed to find yeast in any of the kirana stores or supermarkets even. Predictably; I managed to come across some dry yeast in the city at a place called Bhagwati Stores. Experimentation was bound to start!

Bread is suspiciously easy to make; as with doughnuts, you just require plenty of patience, and a wee bit of muscle. This is a basic bread recipe, and you can tweak it to your tastes. Additions of sun-dried tomatoes, preserved meat or even slices of onion could be interesting! The advantage of making your own bread is that you can do whatever you want with it.

Ingredients -
  • 500g Flour
  • 250g Atta
  • 2 1/4tsp Dry Yeast
  • 2tsp Sugar
  • 1 1/2tsp Salt
  • 450ml warm Water
  • 200g Cheese, grated
  • 4tbsp minced Garlic
  • 60g Butter
Pour 150ml of the water in a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. You will know that it is ready to use once the mixture looks slightly frothy.

Mix the flours, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Rub 40g butter into the flour mixture till it is slightly crumbly. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture; add enough water to bring the dough together. It should be slightly sticky.

Sprinkle some flour on your platform or workspace, and tip the dough onto it. Knead the dough till it is smooth and elastic. This will probably take anywhere between 10-15 minutes. Place the dough in a large bowl (lightly greased), and cover with cling film. Leave the dough to rise till it's double in size in a dark, warm place. This could take anywhere between 2-3 hours.

Once the dough has doubled; tip it onto your platform and punch out the air. Knead it for a couple of minutes and allow it to rest for a further ten minutes before you start to form your bread. Flatten the dough out into a rough rectangle about 3/4 inch thick. Smear the remaining butter on the dough, and evenly sprinkle it with the grated cheese and minced garlic. Roll the dough into a log. You can now push and pull the dough till you have the desired size and shape. I just pressed both ends till it was rather nice and stout. Place your rolled dough onto a lined baking tray and cover with a clean tea towel. Allow it to rise till double in a dark, warm place. This should take about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 170C and bake for 35-40 minutes. The easiest way to check if its ready is to tap the bottom of the loaf. If it makes a hollow sound then it is ready! Let the bread cool for a couple of minutes; slice and enjoy!

Chewy Fudgey Cookies

Cookies are oh so comforting! The fact that they're incredibly easy to make, gives them even more appeal. Crisp and crunchy on the outside; with an incredibly fudgey, gooey texture on the inside. If you love chocolate; you will love these.

The discovery of these cookies happened last night. After having a satisfying meal of a juicy mutton burger
(recipe coming soon); we wanted something sweet to eat. Considering that it was already past midnight; it also had to be fast and easy to make. That's when these cookies came to the rescue!

Ingredients -
  • 1 Egg, cold
  • 150g Chocolate, melted
  • 200g Chocolate, chopped into small pieces/chocolate chips
  • 130g Flour
  • 110g Sugar, granulated
  • 2tsp Baking Powder
  • 125g Butter
  • 1/4tsp Salt
Beat the butter and sugar together till the mixture becomes pale and fluffy. While continuously whisking, pour in the melted chocolate; and then the egg. Stir in the flour, salt and baking powder till you have a thick, creamy batter. Fold in the chocolate bits/chips.

Preheat your oven to 170C. Line a baking tray with some foil or parchment paper (you could also just grease the tray with butter and then dust it with flour). Scoop out large mounds of the cookie dough and place on the tray; at least 3 inches apart. These cookies spread to 3-4 times their size while baking. Bake in the oven for about 15-16 minutes. Let them cool for a couple of minutes on the baking tray and then let them cool completely on your wire rack. They are amazing when they are warm; and just as yummy the next morning!

Note - you may think that the cookies are still raw after 15 minutes; trust me, they are not. They should still be incredibly soft on the surface but the base should be slightly set. They will harden as they cool. If you bake them for too long then they are going to lose the fudgeyness!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Doughnuts (donuts)

Doughnuts are delicious morsels of fried dough. They are crisp and crunchy on the outside; and amazingly soft on the inside. Traditionally doughnuts are formed into a ring; but you can make them in whichever shape you like! You can fill them with cream or fruit preserves; or glaze them with chocolate; or even just roll them in sugar and cinnamon. What I'm getting at is - doughnuts are versatile! This simple recipe can be tweaked according to your tastes; whatever they may be! The dough is made with dry yeast, and then left to rise till double. You then punch out the air; shape your fried goodness, and leave to double again. The only thing you need with this recipe is patience; everything else is easy peasy!

This recipe has been requested by my friend, Krishna :)

Ingredients -
  • 300g Flour
  • 4-5tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2tsp Salt
  • 50g Butter
  • 1 1/2tsp dry Yeast
  • 1 Egg
  • 120ml warm Milk
  • Oil, for deep frying
Mix the flour and yeast together in a large bowl. Rub the butter into it till the mixture is crumbly and resembles coarse bread crumbs. Mix the sugar and salt through this mixture. Create a well in the middle, and put the warm milk (not too hot or the egg will curdle; not too cold or the yeast won't activate) and egg into it. Bring the mixture together with your hands or a flat spoon/spatula, till you have a slightly sticky dough.

Sprinkle a little flour onto your platform or workspace, and place the dough on it. Knead the dough till it becomes smooth and has a small amount of elasticity in it. This will take about five to seven minutes. Put the dough in a large (lightly greased) bowl; and place in a warm, dark place till it has doubled in size. This will take about 2 hours (depends on the weather and the temperature of wherever you place the dough!).

Once the dough has doubled, punch it a little to remove the air; and roll out to 1cm thickness. Cut it in whichever shapes you want. I used a large glass for the main circle; and a bottle cap for the inner hole. You can use cookie cutters as well. Gather up the left-over dough, and keep rolling and cutting till you have used it all up!

Line a tray with some paper, and place the cut doughnuts on it. Cover the tray with a clean tea-towel and place in a warm, dark place till they have doubled in size.

Heat up your oil in a deep wok. When you put in a small amount of dough it should color immediately and swell up slightly. Fry 2-3 doughnuts at a time; being careful not to overcrowd the wok. The doughnuts will only take about 30-40 seconds a side; remove from the oil when they are golden brown all over. Place on some tissue paper to soak up any excess oil.

You can roll the doughnuts in a mixture of ground cinnamon and icing sugar; or glaze them with some melted chocolate and sprinkles. You can also use a piping bag to 'inject' fruit preserves or whipped cream into them. Enjoy!

Note - I don't know how long these last as they got gobbled up in 15 minutes flat :)

Sunday, 7 April 2013


Ah cookies... What would the world do without them! Come in different shapes and sizes, taste amazing warm and equally so cold, can be chewy and soft or crunchy or even both! Can be iced or coated or just gobbled up straight out of the oven. Can put a smile on absolutely anyone's face!

Cookies have been around since the beginning of recorded baking history, the first signs of them dating back to the 7th century AD in Persia! In the hundreds of years that it has evolved the cookie is now one of the most popular foods in the world.

The cookies shown in the pictures here not only look amazing but taste even better! I can honestly say that the chocolate chip (chunks rather) cookies that Regina makes are by far among the yummiest things I have ever eaten!

If anyone in Ahmedabad, Gujarat would like to place an order for cookies or chocolate please feel free to contact us on

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Holi - the festival of Color!

Holi is a very important festival in India. It is celebrated sometime during March; and essentially brings the onset of summer (Spring is not very prominent in this part of the world). Holi is celebrated for two days, the second day is called Dhuleti. On Holi, a large fire is lit in the evening and various offerings are made to the fire - papad, popcorn, water, dates and so on. On Dhuleti, people play with color and water and there is a lot of fun and frolic involved. There are a number of reasons behind this festival; mythological, ecological and even psychological. With the help of my paternal grandmother Sudha Devi; I've managed to find out and log all the various reasons!

Mythological - the story is set in Ancient India. There was a great, but tyrant king - Hiranyakashyap; who was incredibly powerful. Unfortunately, the power went to his head and he wanted all his courtiers and people to pray to him instead of Lord Vishnu. Ironically; his son, Prahlad; was a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu, and simply refused to bend to his fathers wish. He went to the extent of telling Hiranyakashyap's followers that Lord Vishnu was the real God, and not Hiranyakashyap. The kings argument was that when people were hungry or were in need; it was him who they come to; Lord Vishnu couldn't do anything at such times.

Frustrated by his sons behavior, Hiranyakashyap attempted to kill Prahlad innumerable times; but to no avail. Finally; he devised an evil plan with his sister Holika.She had received a boon that she could not be burned. So, the two siblings decided that they would make a large fire and tell Prahlad to sit on Holika's lap right in the center of it. Prahlad agreed as he had complete faith in his lord. The boon did not work for Holika and she burned to death while Prahlad emerged without a scar. This is the reason for burning a fire on the day of Holi.

Ecological - the Holi fire is made out of cow dung and wood. Cow dung is known to be an antiseptic; the smoke caused from the fire kills all the germs and little insects in the atmosphere.

Psychological - the second day of Holi is called Dhuleti. This is the day when everyone plays with powdered color and water. Dhuleti is the day to wash away all the past misunderstandings and problems with your friends and family. It is also to welcome summer with joy. The reason behind playing with bright colors is because there are many emotions in life, and various colors represent those emotions.

In a similar manner, there are various tastes in life, and they represent the various emotions. That's why, one will eat all the different flavors on Holi - sweet, sour, salty, bitter and spicy.

Each family, and each region of India has there own way to combine these flavors into one. My family uses Gudd ka Bhaat and Dahi Vada to represent these flavors.

Gudd ka Bhaat

Ingredients -
  • 1 cup Rice
  • 3/4 cup Jaggery (gudd)
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1tbsp Ghee
  • 2 Cloves (long/laving)
  • 2 Cardamom (elaichi)
Melt the jaggery in the water and keep aside. Heat the ghee slightly and add the cloves and cardamom. Fry the rice in the ghee and spices for about a minute. Add the sugar mixture and allow to cook until the water has all been soaked and you have a sticky rice. Serve hot.

Dahi Vada

Ingredients -
  • 3/4 cup Mung dal
  • 1/4 cup Urad dal (white lentil)
  • 1 1/2 cup Yogurt (dahi)
  • 50 grams Tamarind (imli)
  • 50 grams Jaggery (gudd)
  • 3tbsp red Chili powder
  • 3tbsp Cumin 
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying
Wash and soak the two dals for a couple of hours or even over night. Grind to a fine paste with a little bit of water. Form the batter into small balls and fry for a couple of minutes or until the vadas are cooked through. Dip each vada in some water for a couple of minutes and then squeeze out the water by placing a vada between your hands.

Soak the Tamarind in 1/2 cup of warm water for a couple of minutes and then strain to get a thick sauce.

Melt the jaggery in a pan with a few table spoons of water, add 1tbsp of chili powder to it.

Roast the cumin seeds till the oils in the spice release, and grind to a fine powder

Strain the yogurt so that it is smooth and creamy without any lumps.

Place the soaked vadas in a shallow bowl. Pour the yogurt on top. Then, pour the tamarind and jaggery sauce over the yogurt. Sprinkle the remaining chili powder and cumin powder. Serve cold.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Fried Potates and Sour Cream

This is one of my favorite meals. One may think that having such amounts of cream could be incredibly heavy, but the tartness from the lemon counters the richness of the cream.

I don't even require anything on the side when I have fried potatoes and sour cream! Although, you could serve it with roast chicken. That's what the family generally does.

Ingredients -
  • 4 medium sized Potatoes
  • 150ml cream, chilled
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 2 Green Chilies, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp finely chopped Spring Onion
  • 1tsp Mixed Herbs (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Oil, for deep frying
The trick to getting potatoes that are crisp on the outside but soft and fluffy on the inside is to fry hot potatoes! So, boil and peel the potatoes and slice each one in half. Heat oil in a deep wok, fry the potato halves in batches of three or four; till they are lovely and golden on all sides.

Add the lemon juice to the cream and whisk until the cream forms hard peaks. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Serve the hot potatoes with dollops of the cold cream.

Chinese Chews

These chewy cookies have been a favorite in my house since before I can remember. I don't know where the name came from; but it stuck. Chinese Chews are essentially dates and peanuts coated in a thin layer of batter and baked. Its the dates that add the chewy factor. These cookies are incredibly nutritious and just as yummy!

Ingredients -
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 2tbsp Sugar
  • 50g butter
  • 1 1/2 cups Dates, de-seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Peanuts, roasted and shelled
Beat the butter and sugar till it is light and fluffy. Add the egg, and fold in the flour. Mix the dates and peanuts into the batter; until everything is evenly mixed. It may seem like there isn't enough batter for the amount of dates and peanuts you are adding; trust me, its enough!

Evenly smooth out the mixture onto a greased baking pan. You could also make individual clusters. The layer should be about an inch thick. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 170C for about 15 minutes. Allow the Chinese Chews to cool completely and store in an airtight jar. Enjoy!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Tomato Basil Pasta

My mother lives in a land far far away called Timbaktu. Yes, Timbaktu. Although this Timbaktu is a village around a six hour drive away from Bangalore and is an NGO where my mother works as the project coordinator for the school. The Timbaktu Collective is a very intriguing place where lots of very interesting things are always happening. To know more about the Timbaktu Collective please visit:

The one thing that grows really well in my mother's garden is basil. So, as a result, it tends to be used in as many ways as it possibly can! This recipe of her's is one of the more luxurious meals you can get in a place like that and tastes good without the basil as well.

Ingredients -

  • 4 fistfuls (400g) Pasta of your choice
  • 1 large Onion, finely sliced
  • 8 medium sized Tomatoes, blanched
  • 1/4 cup Ketchup
  • 6-7 cloves Garlic
  • 3 dried Red Chillis, halved
  • 9-10 fresh Basil leaves, chopped
  • Spring Onion shoots, chopped
  • Cheese (optional)
  • Olive Oil (optional)
  • Herb Seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the pasta with a teaspoon full of oil and keep aside. The best way to make out if its done is to taste a piece!

Finely chop the blanched, skinned tomatoes and keep aside.

Heat oil (preferably olive oil) in a sauce pan and saute the garlic till it turns reddish pink. Add the chillies and stir about for a minute. Add the finely sliced onions and saute till they become transparent. Add the tomatoes and ketchup and cook for a while. Add any herb seasoning that you may have like oregano or Italian seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5-6 minutes and if too thick add water till desired consistency is reached.

Add the chopped basil and spring onions and give it a quick stir. Pour over pasta and grate cheese on top before digging into this scrumptious meal! Serves: 4

Friday, 22 March 2013

Spinning Tomatoes

I have a rather large family; and it is close to impossible to get everyone together in one place. After I don't know how many years, we decided to go out for dinner a few days ago. My brother Ayush works at a restaurant called Spinning Tomatoes in Ahmedabad; and that's where we decided to go!

The restaurant has a rather interesting theme to it. They have tied up with the Spin Dance Academy, and have live dance performances every evening. The restaurant and academy are divided by large glass doors. And the diners can even look in on the dance rehearsals and practice! The restaurant was bustling with energy and it had a very good vibe to it. Although it was a Wednesday evening, it was practically full!

The only let down of the restaurant is that it is all vegetarian! That is why I was a little skeptical about it. Strangely, my views on vegetarian food are now slightly altered.

Considering the fact that all of us were rather hungry; we couldn't wait to order. For starters we called for Pizza Strips and the 3 Dip Platter. The Pizza Strips had a thin, crisp crust; and were topped with cheese, olives, red and yellow peppers and onion. The perfectly sized, delicious mouthfuls were well thought out of as they didn't have the monotony of a full pizza. The 3 Dip Platter was served on a wooden platter. There were three dips - hummus, tazazki and a fresh tomato salsa. The hummus was smooth and very delicately flavored. The tazazki was essentially creamy yoghurt with cucumber and mustard. Comparatively, the salsa wasn't that great, but it went well with the other dips. Crusty bread, carrot and cucumber sticks and pita bread crisps were also arranged on the platter. Aesthetically, the dish was incredibly appealing; and it tasted just as delicious!

Next came the main course, we had the Garden Skillet, Mexican Hot Pot and the Combination Cannelloni. The Garden Skillet was essentially a mix of vegetables in a strong pepper sauce. It was served with garlic bread which was the perfect accompaniment. The Mexican Hot Pot was served in foil, and was rice cooked in a tomato sauce with various interesting ingredients thrown in. The Combination Cannelloni was pasta stuffed with cottage cheese and spinach. It was covered with a cheese and tomato sauce. Absolutely delicious. The spinach had a bright green color which I considered to be very appealing; but my brother Joy thought it to be a bit on the gory side. Well each to his own I suppose!

The Dessert Skillet was served on a platter. A variety of delicious treats - chocolate eclairs, chocolate mousse, a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, a scoop of chocolate ice-cream and an amazingly fresh chocolate cake. The entire platter had been drizzled over with a generous helping of chocolate sauce. Truly decadent!

By the end of the evening, I was stuffed till my ears. I could barely breathe. This place has definitely changed my opinion on vegetarian food. I'm definitely going there again to try out everything on the menu!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Ham and Cheese Quiche

Quiche is something we've been making at home ever since I can remember. Or probably I remember it so clearly because the whole house smells mouth watering if there's quiche in the oven!

The vegetarian version of this recipe saved my life during my Xth standard home science practical board exam!

The only real tricky part to making a good quiche is getting the pastry right. Therefore this recipe has two parts to it. First, the pastry and then, the incredibly easy quiche.

Ingredients -

  • 150g Flour
  • 3 Tablespoon Oil
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • Ice Cold Water
Mix the flour salt and sugar in a bowl. Add oil little bit at a time and using two forks to toss until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Now slowly add cold water and continue to mix until the dough just about comes together. Do not over mix!

Wrap it in cling film and flatten to a disc 1 cm thick. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until firm.

Roll out the dough as then and evenly as possible and line your pie dish. Trim the edges. 

Using the pointy end of a fork, poke small holes in the pastry so that air doesn't get trapped between the pie dish and the pastry.

This same pastry is used for pies, tarts, quiche etc.

Quiche Filling
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Cheese
  • 1/3 Cup Milk
  • 100g Ham, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp Cream (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Beat the eggs till they're a little fluffy. Add the remaining ingredients and gently mix together to keep the fluffiness of the beaten eggs. Add salt and pepper and pour into the pie dish.

Bake at 170C for 20 minutes.

Vegetable Pulao

This pulao is slightly different from the normal. That's because the ratio of rice to vegetables is 1:3! This may seem like a lot, but it is incredibly tasty; and the perfect way to eat healthy.

We eat this dish at least twice a week. It is simple to make and hardly takes half an hour from start to finish! The best part about it is that you don't even need any additional curry or gravy with it! It has more than enough flavor on it's own.

Ingredients -
  • 2 large Onions, sliced
  • 1 cup Peas
  • 1 cup Cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup Carrot, diced
  • 10-15 cloves Garlic, peeled and bashed with a stone
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 2 inch stick Cinnamon
  • 2 green Cardamom
  • 2 black Cardamom
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1/2tsp Cumin powder
  • 1/2tsp Coriander powder
  • 1tsp red Chili powder
  • 3tbsp Oil
  • 1 cup Rice (any long grained rice would do)
  • 2 cups Water
Heat the oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan. Add the garlic, cloves, cinnamon, green cardamom, black cardamom and bay leaves; fry till the spices are fragrant and the garlic is slightly browned. Throw the onions in and fry till they are golden. Add the cauliflower and carrot; saute for a couple of minutes.

Wash the rice thoroughly and add to the vegetables. Pour the water and sprinkle the remaining spices on top. Stir till everything is evenly mixed. Put a lid on the pan and allow the rice to simmer on a low heat for about ten minutes. Now, add the peas and stir the rice once more. Cover and cook for a further ten minutes or till the water has evaporated and the rice is cooked through.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Chicken Cacciatorre (Simplified)

This was the first "fancy" recipe I ever learned how to make. However, there really isn't much to it! It's so incredibly simple to make, a quick throw-it-all-in recipe which tastes absolutely delicious.

Chicken Cacciatore goes very well with any bread. I would suggest corn bread or simple garlic bread.

Ingredients -

  • 500g Chicken
  • 3 Onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 boxes Tomato Puree
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil to shallow fry
  • Splash of White Wine (optional)

Brown the chicken in a shallow pan with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a larger pan heat oil add garlic and onions and fry till onions are pink, nearing translucent. Pour in the tomato puree and ketchup and cook for 5-6 minutes.

Toss in the bay leaves and the chicken. Sprinkle seasoning as per your taste, cover and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Add a splash of wine just before serving and enjoy!

Biscuit Fudge

This recipe is one of my all time favorite dessert recipes. It instantly takes me back to when I was 6 years old, which was when I got my first taste of this decadent dessert.

Coincidentally, I found out later that Regina uses nearly the same recipe! The only difference was what we soaked the biscuit in; I in warm milk and she in coffee water!

Ingredients -

  • 250g Chocolate
  • 100g Butter
  • 1 tsp Coffee
  • 1 cup warm Milk OR Coffee Water mix
  • 1 pack (200gm) Marie Biscuits

Melt the chocolate and butter together and add the coffee to it. You could just stop here and eat this mix with a spoon and have a bad stomach and a smile on your face!

The idea of this dish is to layer the biscuits and the chocolate sauce. So soak the biscuits in warm milk or coffee water mix (don't let them get soggy!) and place them at the bottom of the dish forming a neat layer. Over this, evenly spread a layer of chocolate sauce. Next comes another layer of biscuit and then chocolate sauce; repeat this till you have used up all of the sauce and biscuits.

If you want it to look even fancier than it already does you could add a layer of crushed biscuit on top.

Refrigerate for 4-5 hours and serve.

Baingan ka Bharta

This is one of my favorite sabjis. It is spicy and really packs a punch. It is simply perfect with rotis and some curd or raita to cut the spice. I even managed to convert Varun from a baingan hater with this recipe!

Ingredients –
  • 500g Baingan (Aubergine/eggplant, the round fat ones)
  • 2 Onions, sliced
  • 2 Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 square inch Ginger, minced
  • 5 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 3tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste (baingan soaks up quite a bit of salt)

Roast the baingan over the stove till it is nice and blistered.

Allow it to cool slightly, and peel off the burned skin. You don’t need to be very careful about getting all the skin off. A few bits of skin in your sabji will give a lovely smoky flavor. You could also roast the baingan in a tandoor or barbeque. Once you have peeled the baingan, mash it with a fork. It doesn’t need to be completely smooth.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions. Once the onions are slightly translucent throw in the ginger and garlic; fry till the onions are browned completely.

Next, put the tomatoes in and add all of the spices (apart from the salt). Continue to fry the masala till a little oil releases from the mixture.

Add the roasted baingan to the masala and cook for a couple of minutes. You can add salt at this point. Serve hot with rotis and some raita.

Peanut Butter

Ever since I can remember I've been in love with peanut butter. As a kid I would sneak into the kitchen when no one was around and gobble up a nice big spoonful and then scurry out, making sure there were no traces left behind.

In fact, my love for peanut butter was so deep that I once got caught red handed by my mother and all she said was,"Go ahead!" I wasn't going to pass up such an opportunity so I dipped the spoon in and had a nice, big, not so yummy mouthful of ginger garlic paste!

This recipe gives only a rough idea of quantities as some people may prefer their peanut butter sweeter than others would. 

Ingredients -
  • 300g Peanuts
  • 2-3 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2-1 tsp Salt

Roast the peanuts on a medium flame until they turn brownish and let them cool. Place the peanuts in a grinder with the desired amount of sugar and salt and grind till it starts to come together. This may take a while as you will have to keep opening the grinder and scraping down the sides as it tends to get stuck all over the place. Also, check for sugar and add if required.

This recipe does not require any oil as the peanuts release more than enough oil to reach the desired consistency. If you prefer your peanut butter smoother, simply grind it for a while longer!

Bacon Wrapped Chicken

If you're looking to cook a special meal for that special someone, this is the perfect recipe! Although this dish looks amazing and tastes sinfully delicious; it is incredibly easy to make. You can happily pocket all the praise and act as if you were slaving away in the kitchen all day long! And trust me, the look on that special someones face when they bite into this juicy treat is worth the effort!

Ingredients -
  • 3 boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 100g Cheese OR 1 box of Cheese Spread
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 6 strips Bacon
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
Before you start preparing the dish you need to prepare the chicken breasts. Fillet the breasts along the length as you would fillet a fish and beat down with a mallet or rolling pin till they are about half a centimeter thick. You may find it easier to do this by placing the chicken between two sheets of cling film. Slice each breast fillet into half, so that you are left with 6 strips of chicken.

Grate or spread a generous amount of cheese onto the chicken strips and dot with butter. Add some finely chopped garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Starting from one end roll the strip of chicken into a tight cylinder; don't worry if a little cheese falls or oozes out, you can always push it back in.

Lay out a strip of bacon and place the rolled chicken on one end. Holding both the chicken and the end of the bacon strip, roll again and fasten the loose end of bacon with a toothpick. This should give you 6 neatly wrapped, already delicious looking rolls of chicken wrapped in bacon.

Place these in a lightly greased baking dish and bake at 175C for 25 minutes and then at 200C till the outer layer of bacon crisps up slightly.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Cheese Sauce

Cheese sauce is one of the best things that happened to the planet. It can be eaten with practically anything; and can really spruce up a boring dish. This recipe makes around a cup and a half of thick, yummy sauce. 

Ingredients –
·         ½ cup Milk
·         200g Cheese, grated
·         20g butter
·         2 tbsp flour
·         1 green chili, finely chopped
·         2 cloves garlic, minced
·         2 tbsp celery, finely chopped
·         2 tbsp spring onion, finely chopped
·         1 tsp dried oregano
·         Salt and Pepper, to taste

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan and add the flour. Fry for a couple of seconds and pour in the milk, whisk quickly to get a thick sauce. Add the grated cheese while continuously stirring till the cheese has melted. Add all the remaining ingredients to the sauce. Serve hot with boiled and fried potatoes.

Note – you can use this sauce as a sandwich spread for the next day.