Monday, 30 July 2012

Pumpkin Soup

200 gms yellow pumpkin
1 carrot
1/2 onion
4-5 garlic
1 small tomato
1/2 potato (optional)
1 inch cinammon (optional)
2 cloves (optional)
salt as per taste
ground pepper (as required)
1 tsp Amul butter
fresh cream for garnish

  1. Pressure cook pumpkin, onion, garlic, carrot, tomato and potato till 3-4 whistles. Grind well in food processor after it cools down.
  2. Heat a non stick kadai and add Amul butter. Add this mixer and bring it to a boil. Add water and make it a soup consistency.
  3. Add salt and pepper as per taste (remember you have already added cinammon and cloves. So add pepper as required)
  4. Serve hot. Garnish with little cream (optional)

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Sabudana Khichadi

Sabudana Khichadi is enjoyed in the major towns of Maharashtra like Mumbai, Pune. it is available as street food and is widely enjoyed by everyone throughout the year. It is the dish of choice when somebody is observing a fast. 

2 cup sabudana (Sago, Tapioca)
1 1/2 cup roasted peanuts powder
1 tbs jeera seeds
1 boiled potato
1/2 lemon juice
1 tbs sugar
salt as per taste
4 green chillies (cut into pieces)
coriander leaves for garnish
2 tbs clarified butter (homemade ghee)

  1. Dry roast the peanuts till they turn brown in colour. Remove the skin from the peanuts and coarsely ground the peanuts in a food processor.
  2. Soak the sabudana for at least 6-8 hours. (2 cups of sabudana soak in 8 cups of water) Once the sabudana is soft, drain all the excess water and let it rest for sometime. Add sugar, salt, peanuts powder to the sabudana and mix well. Keep aside.
  3. Heat ghee in a non stick pot. Add jeera, green chillies and boiled potato. Let it splutter. Add the sabudana mixer to the pot and mix well. Put the lid on and let it steam for a while. Add lemon juice. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Sabudana khichadi is also eaten with curds.

Pound Cake

This is a recipe I have been using for many years now. The first time I tried my hands at baking was when I was in college. I'm a huge fan of pound cake and the perfect way to eat it is with a hot cup of chai (Tea). These days I prefer to use wheat flour for baking the pound cake! Here my recipe for the perfect pound cake...

400 gms wheat flour
200 gms unsalted butter (room temperature)
200 powdered sugar
4 eggs (room temperature)
1 tbs baking powder
1 tbs vanilla essence
1 cup milk (if needed)
1/2 tps salt
1 lemon zest (optional)


  1. In a large bowl sift wheat flour, baking powder and salt. Keep it aside
  2. Pre heat oven/ microwave at 180°C. Butter the baking dish. Keep aside.
  3. Using your spatula beat the butter and sugar till it is soft and creamy. Scrap the sides from time to time.

4. Beat the eggs with vanilla essence with help of your hand mixie. The eggs will become fluffy and light. Add this mixer to butter and mix well. The mixer will look cuddled but this is OK. 
5. Add the wheat flour and lemon zest (if using). Mix well until combined. You may feel the batter looks dry, add little milk to the batter till you get the right consistency (it should not be runny, make it into a thick paste like)  
6. Bake for about 50 to 60 mins or until the skewer inserted comes out clean. The top of your cake should be golden brown.  I baked a few in muffin stand

7. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack about 10 mins.  
8. You can store this cake in an air tight container for a week. Warm the cake a bit before serving it tastes better!!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

General Tao's chicken

General Tso's chicken (sometimes Governor Tso's chicken, General Tao's chicken, General Tsao's chicken) is a sweet and spicy, deep-fried chicken dish that is popularly served in North American Chinese restaurants.
1 kg boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
2 cups onions- finely chopped
8 small red dried chilies, seeds removed
Cornstarch slurry
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 egg
1 cup cornstarch
for the sauce
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup white wine
1 litre chicken broth
  1. Place sauce ingredients in container with a lid and mix well. Keep aside. Mix well before using.
  2. Mix cornstarch slurry in a large bowl- the mixture will be strange consistency but trust me it works. It will be VERY thick almost paste like. Dip in chicken pieces using a fork remove ONE chicken piece at a time and let the excess mixture drip off.  Deep fry the chicken pieces and remove excess oil by placing the pieces on a tissue paper.
  3. In a separate wok or a large pot add a small amount of oil (you can use the same oil which was used for frying the chicken pieces) 
  4. Add green onions and hot peppers and stir fry about 30 seconds.
  5. Stir sauce mixture, and then add to pan with onions and peppers, cook until thick. If it gets too thick, add a little water. The thickness of the sauce should be similar to what you get when ordering this at a restaurant.
  6. Add chicken to sauce in wok, and cook until it is hot and bubbly. The quicker this is done the crispier the chicken stays.
  7. Serve with rice

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Spaghetti Pasta in White sauce with veggies

1 cup chopped onion
400 gms spaghetti pasta
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp cracked black pepper
2 cups milk
3 tbsp plain flour (maida)
30 gm butter
1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
1 cup broccoli florets
1/4 cup sweet corn (optional)
1 cup chopped/sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup diced carrots (optional)
1/2 cup chopped french beans (optional)
2 tbsp grated cheese (processed/cheddar/ parmesan)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp olive oil/veg oil

  1. Cook the pasta as per the instructions on the cover. Drain water and keep aside.
  2. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on the broccoli and steam cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a pan add the onions, cook on low heat until the onion is transparent, add garlic and cook on low heat for another minute.
  4. Add the carrots and french beans, stir, cover the pan and cook for 5 min or till the carrot is almost cooked.
  5. For white sauce- 
  6. In a bowl, sieve the flour, add 1/2 of the milk and beat or stir to a smooth paste, gradually add the rest of the milk while stirring and ensuring there are no lumps. Melt the butter and add while stirring into the flour-milk mix. Add pepper, cheese. White sauce is ready.
  7. Add the sweet corn, mushroom and dried herbs to the pan - cook for a further 3 minutes on medium heat. Add the white sauce to this pan. Stir continuosly.
  8. Add the pasta, stir, add salt to taste and then the broccoli. Turn the heat off and mix everything.
  9. Serve hot and sprinkle more grated cheese on top if you wish.

Note: If the white sauce becomes lumpy, grind it well in the mixer to get rid of the lumps. You can add some diced chicken with the onions if you like and follow the rest of the recipe.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Batata vada/ Potato vada

Batata vada or potato vada is the most common snack of Maharashtra. It is usually eaten with a Pav (bread) and called as 'Vada Pav'.I have just given the recipe for making vadas. If you want to make the 'Vada pav', just put the vadas in between a pav (bread) and enjoy it with garlic chutney and salted green chillies.

There are quite a few variations to prepare the potato stuffing. I like to season with spices, chopped onions and ginger garlic paste before combining with mashed potatoes

6-8 medium sized boiled potatoes
1 small piece ginger
4-5 flakes garlic
4-5 (or more) green chilies,
1/2 cup coriander leaves (chopped)
1 small onion (finely chopped)

1 teaspoon turmeric powder
8-10 curry leaves (optional)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 tbsp oil

2 cups gram flour (besan)
approx. 1 cup water
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chili powder(optional)
salt to taste
oil for frying

  1. Grind ginger, garlic and green chilies together into a paste.
  2. Peel and mash potatoes with a potato masher (or simply use hand). Do not mash completely. Let some small chunks remain.
  3. Add ginger, garlic and green chili paste, coriander leaves, chopped onions and salt to the potatoes.
  4. Put 1 tbsp oil in a pan/kadai. Add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add turmeric powder and curry leaves. Pour this tempering over the mashed potatoes and mix gently.
  5. Make small flatballs of mashed potato mixture.
  6. Add some salt, turmeric powder and chili powder to the gram flour. Add water gradually and keep mixing with a spoon or wire whisk. Remove lumps if any. The batter should not be too watery or too thick. If lifted by a spatula, it should flow in a ribbon like consistency.
  7. Heat some oil in a pan. To check if oil is heated enough, drop some batter in the oil. If the batter immediately floats on the surface of the oil, the oil is ready. Also make sure that the oil is not too hot. Else, the vadas turn dark from the outside before they are actually done from the inside.
  8. Now dip each ball in the batter, letting the excess batter drip off and slowly add to the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pan, or the temperature of the oil reduces which in turn slows down the frying process. Like this, fry all the vadas until golden. Remove on a paper towel and drain. Batata Vadas are ready.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Chicken Keema

250 g - minced chicken (cleaned and washed well)
2 - medium size onions (finely chopped)
2 - tomatoes (make tomato puree or finely chop the tomatoes)
1 tbsp - oil
2 tbsp - ginger-garlic paste
2 tbsp - coriander and mint leaves (chopped)
1/2 tsp - garam masala powder
a pinch - turmeric powder
1/4 tsp - red chilly powder
1 tsp - roasted coriander powder
2 boiled eggs for garnishing the keema

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick kadai or pan and saute the onions on a low flame till golden.
  2. Add ginger garlic paste and tomatoes (In case you are using tomato puree add it) Mix well.
  3. Add all the dry masalas and saute on a low flame till oil separates. You need to saute for a longer time till colour of this paste changes to dark red.
  4. Add the minced chicken and cook on a low flame for about 45 minutes.
  5. Add coriander leaves. Add water (if needed) 
  6. Mix well and simmer for 10 mins.
  7. Serve hot with pav/bread. Garnish with half cut boiled eggs