Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Palak Paneer (Cottage Cheese in Spinach Sauce)


1 - 10 oz box frozen spinach
1 1/4 cup paneer cubes
1/2 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 long green peppers or 2 green chilies
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tsp haldi (turmeric powder)
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/4 cup half and half
salt to taste

How it's made:

Defrost spinach.
Cook spinach in a sauce pan. Cool and puree with ginger, garlic and chilies.

In a frying pan, heat oil. Add cumin seeds. When they change color, add chopped onions. Cook until translucent. Add spinach puree and salt to taste. Cover and cook for 2-3 mins. Add red chili powder and haldi. Cook for a minute.
Add paneer cubes and garam masala powder. Cover and cook on medium high flame for 3-4 minutes. If the sauce is too thick add 1/4 cup of water ( a little at a time). Adjust seasoning. Add half and half and give one quick boil. Serve hot with puri, roti or rice.

Serves: 3-4

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cantonese Chicken

I googled a little before I could post this recipe as I knew for sure that this wouldn't be the traditional recipe. This was my mothers version which we all enjoyed.


2 cups uncooked boneless chicken cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
6-8 green chilies, finely chopped
2-3 spring onion, green only, chopped
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock or water
1/2-1 tsp cornstarch

For the marinade:
1/2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 green chilies (optional), chopped fine
1/2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)

How it's made:

Marinate the chicken with the above ingredients and refrigerate for an hour or two.

Heat a few tsp of oil in a deep wok or frying pan. Saute chicken on high heat until chicken changes color and is light brown in color. Set aide.

In the same work, heat a tsp of oil. Fry Onions, green chilies and spring onions. Fry until light brown. Add chicken. In the meantime, in a jar with tight fitting lid, combine, soy sauce, chicken stock, cornstarch, pepper and shake well. Add sauce to chicken. Combine well. Adjust seasoning and garnish with spring onions. Serve with Chinese fried rice or plain white rice.

Serves: 2-3

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Birthday Cake - Lawn Mower

This was baked a few weeks ago for my husbands birthday. He maintains the lawn like any professional landscaper and I thought this would be a perfect cake for him.

Personally, I think the cake would have been nicer if it was a rectangular one rather than a round! The grass is made with butter cream frosting with a star tip. Wilton carries grass tip which is next on my list to purchase.

Birthday Cake - With Fondant Flowers

A close friend of mine recently had a week long birthday celebration. She lives her life to the fullest and has a fantastic sense of humor.  She loves the art of creativity and creates amazing creation on crochet.

I decided to try fondant flowers for the first time with the fondant tool kit that I had recently purchased. It took awhile but was a lot of fun to work.

The cake was regular butter cake flavored with lemon juice, lemon zest and marbled with green food coloring.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Goli Baje (Mangalore Bonda)

2 tbsp yogurt
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup all purpose flour (maida)
1 tbsp chick pea flour (besan), heaped
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1/4 tsp ginger, grated
salt to taste
oil for deep frying

How it's made:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk yogurt with water until smooth and no lumps. Add baking soda, sugar, green chili, ginger and salt to taste. Mix well. Add maida and besan to make a thick paste. Set aside for an hour.
Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Drop batter by tsp into hot oil and deep fry until light golden brown. Do not over crowd. They puff almost 3 times the size of the batter that was dropped into oil. Drain on paper towel and Serve hot.

Makes about: 20-30 bite size fritters

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Chicken Ghee Roast

Ghee Roast is a dish that you can find in almost every restaurant at Mangalore, Udupi, Manipal and surrounding towns. Hotel Anupam [which I heard is now renamed to a name that I can't recall :( ], at Mangalore was our favorite restaurant for Ghee roast. I remember the pipping hot dish wrapped in banana leaf and then re-wrapped in newspaper. Most of the time, the newspaper would have blotches of ghee. I'm sure it was cooked with considerable amount of ghee. But it was heavenly!


3 lbs chicken legs, skinned
15-20 Bydagi chilies, roasted
1/4 cup buttermilk
3 tsp cumin seeds
1 whole pod garlic, peeled
10-12 whole black pepper corns
1/2 tsp turmeric
3 tsp vinegar
salt to taste
2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or more

How it's made:

Soak, whole chilies in buttermilk for 2-3 hours. (You can remove the seeds to reduce spice level). Grind to a fine paste with cumin seeds, garlic, pepper corns, turmeric, vinegar and salt. Marinate chicken with ground masala and set aside for 5-6 hours or overnight.
In a iron skillet or deep frying wok, heat ghee and fry marinated chicken pieces on high heat for 5 mins until light brown. Then lower heat, cover and cook until chicken is well done. This is a dry dish.

If you have gravy left behind, remove lid once chicken is cooked and crank up the heat until masala is well coated to the chicken. Garnish with curry leaves (optional). Serve hot. This dish makes a great appetizer and pairs well with chilled beer :)

*For this dish, I prefer cooking with chicken legs or thighs. Chicken breast can be substituted but tends to be a little dry. 
*The same rub can be used for fish and shrimp.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Chicken 65

Yesterday after I got back from work, kids were anticipating a day off from school as "Hercules" was expected to dump several inches of snow. On the days we have snow storms, all of us at home like to dig into something good to eat. For the first time during a snow storm, I was stuck indoors with non stop calls from work. The boys spent a few hours shoveling and they kept walking in and out of the house. With bitter cold temperature this was a perfect snack for them to refuel their energy.
My Mom's recipe for Chicken 65 called for deep frying the chicken. I am not a fan of deep fried food and try to find an alternative as much as possible. This recipe turns out equally good as deep fried chicken. I prefer using dark meat although boneless chicken breast can be substituted.


4 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
4-5 green chilies, chopped fine
1 tbsp ginger, chopped fine
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1 tbsp yogurt
few drops of red food coloring

For the marinade:
2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp rice flour
1 tbsp yogurt
salt to taste
4 curry leaves

How it's made:

Cut chicken into bite size pieces. Wash well and pat dry. Marinate with the above marinade ingredients for  6-8 hrs (Due to lack of time, I let it marinate in the refrigerator for an hour only).
In a shallow pan, heat a tbsp of oil, add curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds (cover pan if required as oil might splatter). Add marinated chicken and saute on high heat for 5 minutes. Cover and cook until chicken is well cooked and light brown. Do not add water.
In a separate pan, heat oil. Add green chilies, ginger and garlic. Fry for 3-4 minutes until light brown. Add yogurt along with food coloring. Mix well together. Add cooked chicken and combine with sauce until chicken is well coated with the sauce. Garnish with curry leaves. Serve hot.

Serves: 3-4

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Pineapple Sheera

Happy New Year 2014


1 cup coarse sooji (cream of wheat)
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 stick butter
1 - 20 oz can crushed pineapple
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
4-5 strands of saffron
a handful of raisin

How it's made:

In a wide pan, melt 1 stick butter. Roast sooji for 5-10 mins on medium high heat, making sure it doesn't get burnt. Add sugar and stir until well incorporated.
In a saucepan, boil water. Add water and canned pineapple to sooji/sugar. Stir continuously making sure there are no lumps. Keep cooking for 5-10 mins. Then add 1/2 stick butter. Keep cooking on medium heat until the whole mixture comes together and it starts leaving the sides of the pan. Add cardamom and saffron. Decorate with raisins or almond slices.