Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Almond cookies

This is the first time I tried making cookies. It was successful attempt! Hopefully will try some variations soon!!

1 cup wheat flour
3/4 cup ground almonds
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
dash of salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg white
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Stir together flour, ground almonds, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  2. Stir flour and ground almond mixture into the creamed mixture. Mix with hands and make a dough. Cover with plastic wrap; chill for about 2 hours.
  3. Shape dough into small balls and place them in the cookie cutter, flatten slightly with the index finger. Place them 2 inches apart; Preheat oven at 200°. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until set but not browned.

**Makes about 3 dozen almond cookies.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Vegetable Biryani

I always used to think making Biryani is time consuming and never ever gave it a try. It does involve a lot of patience- cutting the veggies, making the masala, frying the onions. But it was fun doing it and when people appreciate your food it worth the effort you have taken!
You need to follow the recipe to the T, the measurements that I have given below can serve 4-5 people.
Biryani masala- Recipe is given in the masala section 

2 cups Basmati Rice
1 cup Mixed Vegetable (cauliflower, carrot, french beans)
1/2 cup gms Green Peas
2 medium size potatoes sliced to cover the base of the pot
4 medium Onions (pureed)
Salt to taste
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
Garam masala- 2 tsp Cinnamon, 4 Cloves, 4 Black Peppercorns, 2 star annise, 2 bay leaves
4 Tomatos (pureed)
1/2 cup Yogurt (curd)
4 tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 tsp Red chilli powder
2 tbs biryani masala
2 medium onions finely sliced (for frying)


  1. Wash the basmati rice well before cooking. Drain all the excess water and keep aside for 15-20 minutes. Heat a tsp of veg oil, add the rice, Add 5 cups of boiled water and 1 tsp of salt. Steam the rice till the grains are well cooked. Keep aside for later use.
  2. Cut all the vegetables into small cubes/pieces. Heat 2 tsp of oil and add all the vegetables. Partially cook them.  
  3. Take 2 tbs of oil in a pan and add the dry spices mentioned above. Stir for about half minute. Then add pureed onion paste and saute them for a minute till oil starts to separate. Add tomato puree. Saute till you get aroma of the spices and oil starts to separarate from the corners. Add salt and red chilli powder and stir well. Let this puree saute for at least 20 minutes. Add 2 tbs of Biryani masala (add it according to the taste) Add the yogurt/Dahi. Heat it for about 10 seconds.
  4. Add all the fried vegetables to this sauteed gravy.
  5. Take 1 cup of oil and fry the sliced onions till dark brown. Put it on a tissue paper to get rid of excess oil.
  6. Start layering the pot. Spread the potatoes at the base and cover the entire pot with potatoes. Add a layer of vegetable gravy. Add few fried onions. Now add a layer of the rice. Once this is done add 2nd layer of the vegetable gravy, fried onions and rice. Put the layer of fried onions on top of the rice. 
  7. Place a hard bottom tawa under this pot and steam the pot for 1/2 hour or till you start getting the aromas of the potatoes and biryani being cooked. Serve hot with a boondi raita or curd.
** Adjust the garam masalas in the tempering according to your taste, keeping in mind the spices are already used in biryani masala

Biryani Masala

This powder is used for any type of Biryani.


bay leaf  4
black cardamom 4
black cumin 1 tsp
cinnamon sticks 4
cloves  8
coriander powder 2tbsp
cumin powder 1 tbsp
dried plums 10 (optional)
fried onion 2tbsp
ground cardamom 10
pepper corns 10
pomegranate seeds 1 tbsp
red chilli powder 1tsp
turmeric 1/4 tsp


  1. Dry roast all the above spices, Take a blender add all the spices and make a powder.
  2. Store the masala in an airtight container for upto 5-6 months


Monday, 22 October 2012

Salmon Curry

Salmon is popularly known as 'Rawas' in western Maharashtra. It is used to make curry or fish fry. The process is quite similar to the other fish curry I have posted with little changes in tempering of the curry.

For marination

6-7 Rawas fish (curry pieces)
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
salt as per taste
red chilli powder 1 tbs
ginger -garlic paste 2 tsp

tamarind paste 2 tsp (depends how sour you want your curry to be)

For curry
200 ml coconut milk
4 cups of water
fresh coriander leaves 1/2 cup finely chopped (for garnish as well as tempering)
3 tbs oil
garlic crushed (for tempering)
hing a pinch 
kashmiri red chilli powder 1tbs 

  • Clean the fish, and marinate with turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt and ginger- garlic paste. Keep it marinated for 2 hours
  • Heat oil in a pan, add crushed garlic. After the garlic starts to change the color add kashmiri red chilli powder, hing and fresh coriander leaves. Add the marinated fish pieces. Do not stir. Let the pieces stay in that pan for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add 4 cups of water when you see the oil separating from the tempering. When the water starts boiling stir the fish pieces and add the coconut milk. Add salt if needed. Garnish with the remaining coriander leaves.
  • Serve with rice

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Choco- Walnut cake

1 cup walnut pieces
4 tbs unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tbs vanilla essence
1 cup brown sugar/ demerera sugar (powdered)

  • Combine the  walnuts and 1/2 cup water in a blender or a food processor and puree to a coarse mixture
  • Mix butter and powdered sugar till soft and creamy. Keep aside.
  • Sieve wheat flour, add the baking powder. Keep aside.
  • Beat the eggs with vanilla essence with help of your hand mixer. The eggs will become fluffy and light. Add this mixer to butter and sugar. Mix well. Add the wheat flour spoon by spoon. Finally add the walnuts. Combine well into a cake batter.
  • Pre heat the oven/ microwave at 180 degree. Grease a baking dish. Bake the cake for 30 minutes or until the skewer inserted comes out clean.

Ajwain Paneer- A quick starter!

A quick cottage cheese (paneer) starter that takes not more than 5  minutes for the entire process! Try this when you have unexpected guests coming over for a meal and trust me you will not fail at all! A dear friend shared this recipe and I tried it when we had some guest coming over last weekend.

200 gms cottage cheese (paneer) cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tbs ajwain seeds
1/4 tbs turmeric powder
1 tbs amul butter
Salt as per taste

  1. Cut the cottage cheese (paneer) into 1 inch cubes. Mix turmeric powder, ajwain and salt and mix well with cottage cheese (paneer)
  2. Heat a grill pan, melt the butter and put all the paneer pieces on the pan. Grill from all the sides for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Serve hot with pudina chutney or any dip of your choice.