Thursday, April 28, 2011

Beef Cutlets

This is another treat, thats really tasty, very moreish and can be served as a side at a meal or coupled with some homemade fries or mashed potatoes and a salad, is a meal in itself. Whenever I make these, I always like having a few extra, which I simply refrigerate and keep for another day. It stays good for about 3-4 days, it may last longer, but we always manage to finish it off by then. You simply bring it to room temperature and heat it in a skillet, covered, and you're good to go.

P.S. I won't be posting for the next few days, since I'm headed out of town for a week. See you when I get back. I have so many recipes lined up to share with you guys, I can't wait to get those posted. So make sure you come back. :)

Beef Cutlets
(Makes about 10 depending on size)

250g ground beef (beef mince)
1 large or 2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2" ginger, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 egg
1/4 tsp black pepper powder
1/4-1/3 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
Salt, to taste
2 slices of bread
Bread crumbs, to coat the cutlets
Vegetable oil, for frying

Soak the slices of bread in water for a few seconds, drain out all the liquid and crumble. Mix together all the ingredients except the bread crumbs and vegetable oil.

Make sure all the ingredients are well mixed and evenly distributed.

Shape into cutlets.

Coat with bread crumbs.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Carefully place the cutlets in the pan and let it cook on a medium heat till its done to your liking. Turn over and cook the other side as well.

Repeat till you're done with the meat mix, adding more oil to the pan as and when you need to.

Serve hot with some fries and a salad, and some spicy tomato ketchup.


This recipe is linked to -
What's Cooking Thursdays
Full Plate Thursdays
Thrilling Thursday
It's a Keeper Thursday

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Skillet Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Today's post posed quite a dilemma for me. I almost didn't do this post, but then I decided that this delicious sandwich was too good to pass up. Its such a simple sandwich to put together, which is why I had second thought about posting it, but the taste obviously won that battle. I couldn't help thinking of those that might be out there that haven't tried this sandwich before. I know I hadn't till a couple of weeks ago.

It so happened that early one evening, I was famished. I needed to eat something and I needed it at that very moment. I had just returned home from grocery shopping and didn't bother to pick up anything to munch on. I'm glad I didn't. Not eating junk food is always a good thing, isn't it? So there I stood, before my open refrigerator, staring blankly at what was on the shelves, willing for something to shout out and relieve those hunger pangs. And friends, its during those moments of almost delirious desperation, that I decided to try this sandwich out. It took me just a few minutes to make since theres no need to wait for the butter to soften or even grate the cheese, and when I tasted it, it was so much better than I could've ever imagined. It was pure bliss. Later that evening, I treated my husband with one and he asked for a second one after just taking a bite. Thats how good it was. This has become a favorite in my house. I hope you will try it out too.

What I like about this particular grilled sandwich is that you don't need any fancy equipment. Everyone has a skillet lying around in their kitchen, so this is a grilled sandwich that everyone can enjoy.

Skillet Grilled Cheese Sandwich
(Makes one sandwich, but you can easily make as many as you wish)

2 slices of sandwich bread
1 slice of cheese (you can use any variety you like)
A couple of tsp butter

Place the slice of cheese between two slices of bread.

Place a dollop of butter in a skillet over low to medium heat. You don't want the butter to burn.

Place the sandwich in the pan and let it brown off, uncovered till a little crisp.

Carefully turn the sandwich over, place a couple of smaller dollops of butter on the sides of the pan and lift the edges of the sandwich to help it under. Brown off that side of the sandwich as well.

Take off the heat. I cut it into two rectangular pieces, but you don't have to, cut them any way you like, if you want to cut it, or leave it whole.

Eat while its still hot.

Look at all that golden melted gooey goodness of the cheese.

This recipe is linked to -
Recipes I Can't Wait to Try
Whats Cooking Wednesday
Real Food Wednesday
What's On The Menu Wednesday
Hearth And Soul

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fish Cakes or Fish Cutlets

Its been really long since I last posted here. Believe me, I missed it and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't because we were getting ready for Easter, then after the family get together I was recovering from Easter and yesterday my computer decided that it wanted the day off. So there was nothing much I could do about it. But I'm glad to be here today. I will be busy through this week with a wedding order and then on Saturday I'm off on a holiday for a week. Golly gee, I'm so excited, I can hardly wait for the weekend. But before I go I'd like to share something really yummy with you guys - fish cakes or what we call fish cutlets.

I love these cutlets. We don't make them too often, and I've always wondered why. We love them, they're crunchy little treats, and the flavors are to die for. It goes so well with a humble meal of rice and lentils, more commonly known as dal-rice and turns it to something quite extra-ordinary. If that doesn't float your boat, how about using it to make yourself a yummy fish burger?

Whatever you decide to do with it, I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I mean, whats not to? For this recipe I used Kingfish slices. You can use any other white fleshy fish, but try and avoid the smaller varieties. Also, I've never really paid too much attention to quantities with any cutlets, its more about the mix feeling right to the touch. However, I have tried to give you an idea of the quantities I used. Feel free to adjust them as you like.

Fish Cutlets

4-5 large slices of fish
3-4 cloves of garlic
A pinch of turmeric powder
1 onion, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
Salt to taste
1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1" ginger
1 egg
1-2 slices of bread
Bread crumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying

In a vessel, boil the slices of fish with a pinch of turmeric powder, salt, whole cloves of garlic and a little water. The fish needs to be cooked through. Let it cool.

While this is happening, chop up the onions, ginger, chillies and the coriander leaves and keep aside.

De-bone the fish, making sure that no bones are left behind. Its rather unpleasant to find a fish bone in a cutlet.

Add the chopped onions, chillies, ginger and coriander leaves.

Crack into this 1 egg.

Soak 1-2 slices of bread in water for a minute and squeeze out all the liquid and add one slice, crumbled to the mix. Using your fingers, make sure that all the ingredients are mixed well. Try and form a cutlet, if it holds well, you're good to go. If the mix is too moist, crumble the other slice of bread into it and mix well.

Check for seasoning and adjust if needed.

Shape little portions of the mix into tightly formed cakes or cutlets. Coat with bread crumbs.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large flat pan and fry the cutlets on a medium flame till they are golden brown. Turn over and brown the other side as well. The fish is already cooked, all you want to do is let the cutlets get a nice brown color and in the meanwhile heat right through.

Serve hot.

This recipe is linked to -
My Meatless Mondays
Just Another Meatless Monday
Meatless Monday
Mangia Mondays
Mouthwatering Monday
Tuesdays At The Table
Delectable Tuesday
Tuesday Night Supper Club
A Little Birdie Told Me

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Goodies 2011 and a Big Thank You

This morning I feel full of life, I'm excited and humbled at the same time. I'm really happy today. And, in a big way, I owe it all to you, my awesome audience, yes you, all of you who take the time out of your very busy lives  to read my posts and comment on them. You truly are wonderful. It is because of you that the most amazing thing happened a couple of days ago. 

I got a call from a lifestyle journalist from the Times of India (only the biggest newspaper in the country). They were doing a feature on Easter celebrations in Mumbai and had somehow reached my blog space based on the popularity (read number of page hits) of the Easter Goodies series that I posted in the last few days. They wanted a small telephonic interview with good ol' me. I couldn't believe it, and even though most may think it's really no big deal and of course its just a fleeting mention of me in the article, it never would have happened if it wasn't for you. Since I wasn't too sure if I was dreaming the whole thing up, I didn't mention it to anyone yet. However, they ran the article in today's paper and yes I'm in it :) :) :) 

If you want to look it up, you can find it here.

Back to business, here's a glimpse of the Easter goodies I whipped up this year. Look at these pretties all set, waiting to be fancied up.

Aren't they pretty. You know I love to use just a plain white royal icing to dress these up. Here's a peek at what they look like after they're iced.

All packed with color co-ordinated ribbon, ready to go.

Some of you wanted a tutorial  on how to make these goodies, though I didn't have the time to get it done this time around, here's what the moulds I use look like.

Once again, thank you all!!!
Have a Holy and Blessed Week ahead!!!

Cabbage Fugad

I don't know about you, but I've started noticing a trend of late. I have been posting quite a few traditional Goan recipes. I can't help it, thats where my roots are and honestly I love the food. I promise you though, it won't be the only thing I post on this blog. I love experimenting with all kinds of cuisines, specially the ones that we don't find easily in this part of the world. So please bear with me while I share my love for Goan food on this blog from time to time.

One such recipe is a cabbage stir fry preparation. Its one of the simplest ways to cook a vegetable, I tell you. With a few basic ingredients, unlike most Indian food that calls for a long list of ingredients, this is a mildly flavored vegetable dish that many will like.

Cabbage Fugad

1 small head of cabbage, shredded (about approx. 300-400 gms)
A little less than 1/4 tsp. mustard seeds
2 onions, chopped
2 green chillies, slit
2 tbsp grated coconut
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
A pinch of asafoetida (optional)
4-5 curry leaves
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt, to taste

Heat the oil in a vessel. Add the asafoetida and mustard seeds and let them sputter on a medium flame. Be careful not to burn them.

Add the curry leaves and the green chillies and let them release their flavors.

Add the chopped onion and sauté till the onions have become translucent. Add the turmeric powder and stir well. 

Tip in the cabbage and stir well to let the spices evenly coat the vegetable. Add salt to taste.

Add a small splash of water. Cover and cook till the water has almost dried up.

Check to see if cabbage is done to your liking, if you like it cooked more, add some more water, cover and cook.

When the water has almost dried up add the coconut and stir through. Cover and let it continue cooking for a couple of minutes. Turn off the flame.

Serve hot with some warm chapatis. 


This recipe is linked to - 
Full Plate Thursday
Whats Cooking Thursdays
Thrilling Thursday
It's a Keeper Thursday

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pancakes for the Breakfast Club!

I'm reposting these for a fun event I'm participating in called "The Breakfast Club" hosted this month by Krithi of Krithi's Kitchen. This wonderful event was started by Helen of "Fuss Free Flavors". Do head over and participate. This month you need to link up Pancakes.

1) American Pancakes with Honey

2) Coconut Pancakes

I can't wait for the round up. This is going to be so much fun!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Crunchy King Fish Slices

Here's is a wonderful take on the King Fish, also known locally as Surmai. This is a large fish and the flesh is very meaty. I simply crumb fry the slices of fish after marinating it in some spices. Nothing can be simpler. The marinade is not complex and the process is simple. So the next time you have some fresh king fish, give this a try. Along with the crunch you get from the crumbs and the meaty flesh, you can also taste the subtle flavors of the marinade and they come together beautifully.

Serve this with a nice fresh salad and some bread and you have a lovely light meal. Traditionally, this would be served with some Goan Fish Curry and Rice or some wonderful Dal (Lentils) and Rice. I will get posts up on those as well. But for now, enjoy this recipe.

Crunchy King Fish Slices

4 slices of King fish
Salt, to taste
A combination of lime juice and Apple cider vinegar, to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
A little besan (Chickpea flour)
Bread crumbs, to dredge
A couple of spoons vegetable oil, to shallow fry the fish slices

Please note that these quantities are just a guide. Feel free to adjust them to your liking. Also, quantities will depend on size of the slices of fish.

Sprinkle the salt, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, turmeric powder, chilly powder and besan on both the sides of the slices of fish and gently rub it over to spread it onto the slices. You may need to add a few drops of water to help you with this process. Please be gentle, you don't want to break the slices.

Keep aside for atleast 15 minutes.

Heat some oil in a pan.

Dredge the slices of fish in the bread crumbs to coat well. Carefully place the slices in the pan and let it cook on a medium flame till it has browned on one side. Flip over gently and cook the other side as well, adding more oil to the pan, if needed. 

Make sure you cook it on a medium flame and not a high one. A high flame will simple brown the outside, but leave the insides raw. Also, its best to have thinner slice of fish than thicker, they will cook faster.

Serve hot.


This recipe is linked to - 
Hearth and Soul
Whats on the Menu Wednesday
Real Food Wednesday
Recipes I Can't Wait to Try

Coconut Coriander Chutney - Savory Sandwich Spread

A coconut coriander chutney is probably one of the humblest of all sandwich fillings. It has so many wonderful flavors that mingle to form one well balanced spread. There is absolutely no cooking involved, which is a welcome relief in these sweltering conditions. I've jotted down the quantities and the ingredients that I use for the chutney in this post, but you can play around with them to get the flavors you prefer. In India, theres probably hundreds if not thousands of recipes for this chutney. This is one my grandmother and mother used, but my husband tweaked and I'd dare say perfected it. Its not too spicy so even children can enjoy this, and believe me they do.

This chutney keeps very well. So you can make it ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to a week and use it as and when you need to.

Here's a few options on what you can do with this spread -
1) Chutney sandwich - Spread it over some buttered slices of bread. I think it goes well with slightly toasted slices as well.

2) Chutney Cheese sandwich - Butter a slice of bread and spread some of the chutney over it. Top with a slice of cheese or grated cheese, whatever you have at hand. Cover this with another slice of bread.

3) Veggie Delight sandwich - Butter a slice of bread and spread some of the chutney over it. Place some slices of tomato and cucumber on it. Cover this with another slice of bread.

These are just a few sandwich combos to get you started. I'm sure you'll come up with many more and I'd love to hear about them. And oh yes, how can I forget -

4) With rice - On days of fasting, my mum used to serve us this chutney with a small portion of warm, plain rice to get us through the day.

Coconut Coriander Chutney

1/2 a fresh coconut, grated
1 large bunch of fresh coriander, leaves and tender stalks
6 small cloves of garlic or 2 large cloves of garlic
3/4" ginger
1 green chilly
1 tbsp sugar
1 walnut sized ball of tamarind, soaked in 1/4 cup water
Salt to taste
A few mint leaves (optional)

Tip all the ingredients except the coconut into a blender or food processor. Blitz to form a puree.

Add the coconut and blitz again. You can leave this spread as coarse or grind it as finely as you like. I like it ground fine but not too fine. You may need to add a dash of water to help the ingredients grind well.

Taste and adjust the flavors, if needed.

Store in a container, refrigerate for up to a week and use as and when needed.

This recipe is linked to -
Mouthwatering Mondays
A Little Birdie Told Me
Tuesdays At the Table
Tuesday Night Supper Club
Delectable Tuesday
Let's Do Brunch

Monday, April 18, 2011

Methi Parathas - Whole Wheat Flatbread with Fenugreek Leaves

These parathas are another one of my favorite savory breakfast items. Like the Aloo Parathas, it can be served with some unflavored yogurt or pickle. But I like it served pipping hot with a dollop of butter and a mug of good hot coffee. To me that sums up a great breakfast. The parathas are easy to make because there is no stuffing involved, all the ingredients are mixed together to form a dough. They can be made the previous night and kept in  refrigerated in a covered container. All you need to do the next morning while the coffee is brewing, is warm it on a tava (griddle) and you're all set. 

Usually fenugreek is known to have a bitter-ish taste. These parathas however aren't. For this recipe, I don't use the baby fenugreek leaves but the larger ones. Another thing to keep in mind, is that when you are cleaning the sprigs of fenugreek leaves, make sure you pick only the leaves and not the stalk, no matter how tender you may find the stalk to be.

You might want to allow a couple of extra parathas per person as these are not as heavy as the Aloo Parathas are and they are very more-ish. I added a couple of hot green chillies. You can either deseed them to cut down the heat or simply cut down the amount of chillies if you are not used to spice. Also, if you are calorie conscious, you can leave out the ghee and these parathas will still be tasty.

Methi Parathas
(Makes 12-15)

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 cup fenugreek leaves, chopped 
1 tsp carrom seeds, rubbed between the palms of your hands to release their flavor
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tbsp ghee / clarified butter + extra to smear on the parathas while they're cooking (optional)

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients well to make sure they are well distributed. 

Make a well in the centre and gradually add enough water to bind into a pliable dough.

Divide into portions the size of a golf ball and keep ready.

Roll this out to a thin disc on a floured surface.

Place this on a well heated tawa / griddle and roast for a while moving it around till light brown spots appear on one side. Turn over and cook on the other side till light brown spots appear on the other side as well.

To finish off, spoon a few drops of clarified butter on the paratha and spread. Flip over and repeat this on  the other side letting it roast for a few seconds after you add the clarified butter to the side.

Serve hot with butter and a mug of hot coffee.

You can leave out the clarified butter if you want an even healthier version, but it does wonders for the taste.

This recipe is linked to - 
Just Another Meatless Monday
My Meatless Mondays
Meatless Mondays
Let's Do Brunch
Not Baaad
Mangia Mondays

Herbs and Flowers in my platter- Fenugreek leaves 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Monster Cookies

I think these bad guys need no introduction. Their reputation definitely precedes them. This was the first time I tasted one, let alone made one. I was very pleased with the way they turned out. They were nice and chewy. There are so many flavors and textures in there. In every bite you can taste the peanut butter, the chocolate and the candy. I think this is also a lot healthier than the average cookie since this recipe uses no flour. It just uses old fashioned oats, which are packed with fiber, which is really good for your health. This cookie is now one of my favorite ways to eat oats :)

When you sit down to eat these cookies, please make sure that you have a tall glass of milk to go with it. The experience will be totally blissful.

Monster Cookies
Adapted from: Itsy Bitsy Paper

1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs
3/4 tsp light corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups peanut butter
4 1/2 cups old fashion oats
1 cup M&M’s candies (or Smarties or Gems)

Preheat oven to 175º C.
Lightly grease cookie sheets and set aside.

Cream together the butter and the sugars.

Add the eggs, peanut butter, corn syrup, and vanilla extract and beat well.

Add the oats, baking soda, and salt and stir well.

Stir in remaining ingredients.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out batter onto the cookie sheets, leaving some space between them. Flatten them out a little.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. The center of the cookies will be slightly soft. 


Note: I halved the recipe and got about 20 cookies.

This recipe is linked to -
Sweet Tooth Friday
Fun with Food Friday
Sweets for a Saturday
The Homespun Bake Shop
Mangia Mondays

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Potato Chops

Most of you have heard of lamb chops, pork chops etc. but I'm pretty sure you're wondering what on earth is a Potato Chop. Its one of my favorite little treats. I usually make these at quite a few dinners and parties. My mum used to make these for our birthday parties and other gatherings and I tell you these are simply the best. To give you a gist of it, its like a cottage / shepherd's pie that you can almost call finger food, except that its a little larger than finger food but you get the picture. It is also the perfect way to use up any leftover beef mince (only you might want to make sure you don't use any pieces of potatoes that may be in the mince). If I'm making some mince just to make the chops, I leave out the potatoes, because the mince is stuffed in a pocket of mashed potato anyway.

They taste best if served hot with some tomato ketchup. They also keep well, refrigerated. All you do, is pop them in a pan, cover and let it heat through on a low flame before serving. These chops are a good option to consider as travel food for a road trip.The crumb coating gives this a nice crunchy exterior.

Potato Chops

1/2 a recipe of Beef Mince (You can substitute mutton mince, if you don't eat beef)
4-5 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp cumin powder
A pinch of turmeric powder (optional)
1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1 egg
Bread crumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying

Make half a portion of beef mince and keep aside. This should come down to room temperature before you proceed with this recipe.

Boil the potatoes only when you are ready to make the chops you need to work when the potatoes are still warm. Cold potatoes make handling difficult.

Peel and mash the potatoes well. Make sure there are no lumps. Add salt to taste, cumin powder, turmeric powder and coriander leaves and using your hands mix well to ensure all the spices and herbs are evenly distributed. Feel free to adjust the quantities of the spices and herbs used to suit your taste.

Take a portion of the mashed potato, the size of a tennis ball, roll into a ball and flatten to form a thick disc on the palm of your hand. Place a spoon of the mince in the center and bring the sides of the potato disc up and over the filling to cover it well. Make sure that no mince is sticking out. If you feel the need to add more potato to it, feel free to do so. The mashed potato merges well. Shape it to form a patty and keep aside. Continue till you've used up all the mashed potato.

Crack an egg in a shallow bowl, wide enough to fit the chops. Beat well to incorporate the white and the yolk.

Pour some bread crumbs onto a plate and keep it ready. I have a little assembly line going for this, starting with the chops at one end, followed by the bowl with the beaten egg, the bread crumbs and a plate lined with some absorbent kitchen paper at the other end.

Heat some oil in a pan.

Briefly dip a chop in the egg and turn over, making sure it coats the chop well.

Dredge it through the bread crumbs making sure the potato chop is well coated. This is what will give it a good crunch.

Carefully place in the pan with the heated oil and shallow fry till it takes on a nice golden brown color. Turn and let the other side fry as well till it gets golden brown.

Carefully take it off the pan and place on some kitchen paper to drain out any excess oil.

NOTE: You don't need to fry these one at a time, place as many as your pan can accommodate, making sure theres a little space between them to help you turn these over.  

Here's what it looks like on the inside -


This recipe is linked to -
What's Cookin' in the Kitchen
Feed Me Tweet Me Follow Me Home
Friday Potluck
Fat Camp Friday

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Beef Mince with Potatoes and Peas - a.k.a Beef Kheema

My parents are both wonderful cooks and I've learnt many a kitchen trick from them. Most of the food that I cook is based on something or the other that they made. Ofcourse, the lack of written recipes, leaves me with no choice than to improvise with ingredients and quantities as I go along. You see, both my parents mostly cook without any recipe and they eyeball not only quantities of ingredients used, but the ingredients themselves. It happens so often, my mum or dad whips up something spectacular and then when they're asked for a recipe, its always you can do this or that or even the other. Pretty frustrating, I tell you! I now know better and if I like something, I try and get them to dictate a recipe, which I hurriedly scribble on a paper napkin or something, before they claim to have forgotten, or confused between a couple of ways about how they usually make it.

So you see, when they come over for a meal, I have pretty high standards to live up to. One dish, I know for sure, I make much better than both of them do, is a minced beef with potatoes and green peas. Today, I'm going to share that recipe with you. I love this preparation.

Here are some serving options -

  • with fresh bread
  • in a toasted sandwich
  • with plain rice
  • with a wheat chapati, naan or roti
  • in a tart shell
  • within puff pastry layers
  • in a potato chop
  • with a lovely pulao
  • over some pasta
  • as a pizza topping
  • .... and many more
One thing to note though, is if I'm using it in a potato chop or using it as a tart filling/puff pastry or in a toasted sandwich, I cook it till all the juices have dried up, to avoid a soggy mess when used. For other purposes, I leave take it off the heat before it absorbs all the moisture, leaving a little gravy.

Beef Mince with Potatoes and Green Peas

1/2 kilo minced beef, (I pick up lean meat)
2 large or 3 medium sized onions, finely chopped
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 green chillies, finely chopped
5-6 curry leaves
1" cinnamon
6 cloves
5-8 black pepper corns, whole
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 potato, cubes
1/3 cup green peas
3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt, to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1-1 1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped

Heat the oil in a large vessel. Carefully tip in the cinnamon stick, cloves and pepper corns. When they warm up and release their flavors, add the curry leaves and let it sputter. Be careful not to burn it.

Add the onions and green chillies and sauté till the onions have softened, stirring to avoid burning.

Add the ginger garlic paste and let it fry off for a couple of minutes, stirring well to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the vessel and burn.

When the onions have slightly browned, add the turmeric powder, red chilly powder and garam masala powder. Still well and let the spices fry out for a few seconds.

Add the minced beef, and sear it well on a medium high heat, till it browns, stirring well. 

When you see that all of it has browned, (no pink patches should be visible) and it has released some of its juices, add salt to taste and the Worcestershire sauce. Add the cubed potatoes and green peas. Stir well and let it cook for about a minute or so.

Add about a cup of water to the pot. Let it come to a boil. Cover and simmer till the meat is cooked. If you see that there's too much liquid left in the pot after the meat has cooked completely, cook uncovered on a medium heat till the liquid has been absorbed, stirring occasionally.

Lastly add the chopped coriander leaves and stir it in.

Enjoy it hot!!!

This recipe is linked to -   
Full Plate Thursday
What's Cooking Thursdays
Thrilling Thursday
Its a Keeper

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Healthy Spring Rolls

I know, you're thinking 'How can spring rolls be healthy?' These I know for sure are at least healthier that the deep fried variants. Theres no flour, no oil, its almost like a salad. When I saw this on Candace's blog, I knew that I had to try them out. I'm glad I did. If you're looking for an interesting side, not to mention impressive looking one, once you get the hang of it, these spring rolls are the way to go. They are an interesting way of serving up some greens. The best part is, there's practically no cooking involved and the rolls are so versatile you can use whatever you like (or have at hand) for the filling. These rolls are light and tasty, you can leave out the seafood and make it completely meatless. I think it would add a nice touch to any party spread too.

To be honest, I was pressed for time when I made these and hadn't really planned on making them. So I had to make do with whatever I had on hand and improvise as I went along. I didn't have a dipping sauce at hand and didn't have the time to whip one up at the last minute. The next time I make these, I think I'll make the sauce in advance. Anyway, I knew there had to be something saucy to go with the rolls. So what I did was, combine a cocktail sauce that I use for my shrimp cocktail with these rolls. You could think of these as shrimp cocktails in a wrapper =o)  I was quite happy with the way they turned out and I plan on serving these at the next party or family gathering, whichever comes first.

Healthy Spring Rolls
Adapted from: Mi Chiamo Candance

4 sheets of Rice paper
A few prawns, peeled, de-veined and boiled for a few minutes with a pinch of salt till tender
Some iceberg lettuce, chopped fine
A carrot, julienned
A cucumber, julienned
A few fresh coriander leaves whole
2-3 tbsp Mayonnaise
1 tsp tomato sauce/ketchup
A few drops of Tabasco sauce
Salt, to taste
Freshly crushed black pepper, to taste

The trick to assembling these well, is to prep everything and keep it ready.

For the cocktail sauce, mix the mayonnaise, ketchup and Tabasco sauce in a bowl. Taste and adjust the flavors to your linking. If you like a hit of spice, you can use a tomato-chilly sauce and some extra Tabasco sauce.

Cut up all the veggies and keep aside.

I slit my prawns in half, lengthwise, like Candace suggested.

To assemble the rolls - 

Place warm water in a shallow dish large enough to fit your sheets of rice paper.

Dip the sheets of rice paper in the water for a few seconds till they have softened and then place them on a flat tray or cutting board.

Place the ingredients prepped for the filling in the center. I placed the coriander leaves first, I like how they look through the wrappers. Place the veggies and prawns. Season with a light sprinkle of salt and pepper. Spoon some of the cocktail sauce over the filling and roll the wrapper tightly to form a spring roll.

Just to give you an idea I included the first sheet I rolled. It wasn't rolled snug enough.Its the first one on the left. I wrapped the others tighter and I think they look so much better than the first one.

I hope these instructions can be understood. I now realize that it would have been simpler if I had pictures for each step. In any case, you can visit Candace's blog for a step by step pictorial demo. Her spring rolls are really pretty.


This recipe is linked to -
A Little Birdie Told Me
Hearth and Soul
Tasty Tuesdays
Tuesday Night Supper Club
Tuesday's at the Table
Delectable Tuesday
Tasty Tuesday
Recipes I Can't Wait to Try
What's On the Menu Wednesday
Real Food Wednesday

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Glimpse of Spring - A Basket of Flowers Cake

This is a cake I'd made a couple of years ago. I know it'll bring some cheer to those of you longing for warmer weathers. I for one, can't wait for summer to end. I think I've had my share of the heat. This cake is really simple to put together. This cake is covered with marzipan and fondant and decorated with royal icing and gumpaste flowers. Everything is made from scratch. I will try and put up a step by step post when I make this again. It will also dress up an Easter table well. I think it makes a lovely gift for Mother's Day too.

It is a heart shaped cake with a basket weave pipping to resemble the basket, dotted with gumpaste daisies and royal icing pipped leaves, finished off with a bow made out of curling ribbon.

Caldeirada or Goan Fish Stew

Goa - what can I say about this little piece of heaven? Well, our ancestors hail from Goa and ever since I was a little girl, we spent most of our summer holidays there. Even today, my husband and I love going there. We drive down for a few days whenever we get the chance. Goa is along the West Coast of India and the place really needs no introduction. Folks from all over the world holiday here. It has some really amazing beaches, lots of Portuguese influence in the culture (the architecture, the way of life and the food) and, in my opinion, some of the best food, especially the traditional Goan seafood preparations.

This recipe is a mild stew compared to the otherwise spicy food found there. This is the second time I've made it and I've got to tell you I love it. Its easy to make, the flavors are clean, the colors are really vibrant and have I mentioned that its really delicious. You really should try this, you wont regret it. This one is definitely a keeper for me. The recipe I used is from this really great book that I picked up a couple of years ago called "The Essential Goa Cookbook" by Maria Teresa Menezes. This is a book I use very often and I've never been disappointed.

Adapted from: The Essential Goa Cookbook

6 slices large fish, or 6 small fish whole (I used Kingfish)
10 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1" ginger, chopped fine
4 green chillies, chopped fine (I used 3)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
3 large onions, sliced to get rings
3 large tomatoes, slice to get rings
1 tbsp vinegar (I used Apple Cider Vinegar)
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt, to taste
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped, for garnish

Clean and wash the fish. Apply a little salt and keep the fish aside for about half an hour.

Mix the ginger, garlic, chilly and turmeric powder and a little salt in a bowl. 

In a shallow pan, arrange half of the onion slices to form a layer. Layer half the tomatoes over it. Place half the fish over it and sprinkle half the spice mix over it. Repeat the layers with the rest of the onions, tomatoes, fish and spice mix. 

Over this, pour the olive oil, vinegar and one cup of water. Do this carefully so as to not disturb the layers. 

Cover the pan and cook on a medium heat till the fish is done. Shake the pan gently and tilt it to prevent the contents from sticking to the pan. 

Turn off the heat when the fish is cooked and sprinkle with the chopped coriander leaves. Cover and let it sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

We had this with some plain rice. 


This recipe is linked to - 
Meals on Monday
Meatless Monday
Just Another Meatless Monday
Mouthwatering Monday

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Homemade Doughnuts - Three ways

I'm really excited as I write this post. Those of you following my blog will know that I've been venturing into the world of baking with yeast lately. Obviously this is just the tip of the ice berg. There is so much more I need to learn and try. But so far its been great fun. So when I made these doughnuts yesterday and they turned out great, I was thrilled to bits. Now, for the past couple of weeks, I've been craving doughnuts. Sinful, luscious, indulgent doughnuts. Strangely this craving pops around over the weekend. The past couple of weekends have been a little busy, so I really haven't been able to do anything about this craving for a long time. But this weekend I needed to get my doughnut fix. I really didn't want to stop by the mall and pick up a box of doughnuts. I wanted to try making them on my own. I had bookmarked a recipe that I liked a few months ago. And please don't laugh, but I really wanted to try out this doughnut cutter that I'd picked up over a year ago. I tend to do that every now and then, buy stuff planning to put it to good use, but sometimes it gets pushed right back to the deep dark recesses of my shelf and doesn't see the light of day for a while. But now I can happily justify this impulse buying. **wink*wink**

These doughnuts are fried, but are not in the least bit greasy. They are ever so light and did I mention, really delicious. The dough is not too sweet, just the way I like it. And I think I got a little carried away while dressing them up. I had some with a vanilla glaze, some with a chocolate glaze and some dipped in cinnamon sugar. The cinna-sugar ones were my favorite. I would also suggest making sure your vanilla glaze is nice and thick or else it won't be seen. You can't really tell but the vanilla glaze is supposed to be a lovely yellow. In any case, they are really delicious, so no one will really mind. I halved the recipe and I got 19 doughnuts. I guess your yield will depend on the size of you cutter. The recipe below is the full one that should yield 30. 

Homemade Doughnuts
Recipe from: La Mia Vita Dolce

4 tsp Active Dry Yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 cup lukewarm milk
3 tbsp caster sugar
100g butter, melted
3 eggs
4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
Vegetable oil, for deep frying

Activate the yeast by placing the water, milk, sugar and yeast in a bowl. Keep aside for 10 minutes. It will turn into a frothy concoction, indicating that the yeast is active.

Mix the flour, butter, eggs and the yeast mixture to form a sticky dough.

Cover with a damp cloth and keep aside for about 45 minutes or till the dough has doubled in size.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface till it becomes smooth and elastic.

Roll on a lightly floured surface and cut out. Place the doughnuts on lightly greased baking paper. Cover with a tea towel and keep aside for about 30 minutes to rise.

Heat oil for deep frying. Carefully fry the doughnuts on a medium flame till golden brown. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper.

For the chocolate glaze - 
(Makes enough to glaze the whole batch)

2 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup warm milk
1 tbsp light corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

Sift icing sugar and keep aside.

Combine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted.

Decrease the heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted.

Turn off heat, add the icing sugar, and whisk until smooth.

Dip the doughnuts in this glaze and sprinkle as desired. 

For the Vanilla glaze
(Makes enough to glaze the whole batch)

¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
Gel paste food colouring (if using)

Warm the milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan set over low heat.

Add the confectioners’ sugar and whisk slowly until well combined.

If tinting glaze, using a toothpick, add a drop of gel paste at a time, whisking to combine well, until you’ve reach the desired colour.

Remove from heat and set over a bowl of warm water (you may have to reheat over low heat occasionally).

Dip the doughnuts in the glaze and sprinkle as desired.

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

1 cup caster sugar
Cinnamon powder 
1/4 cup Melted butter

Mix the caster sugar and enough cinnamon powder, till you get the intensity of flavor you are looking for.

Dip the doughnut very briefly in the melted butter and then dip in the sugar and cinnamon mix to coat well.

This recipe has been linked to - 
Sweet Tooth Friday
Sweets for a Saturday
My Meatless Mondays
Mangia Mondays
The Homespun Bake Shop
Not Baaad
Made it on Monday

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ice Tea - The Lemon and the Strawberry way

UPDATE: If you don't have loose tea leaves in your pantry, you don't need to buy some just to make this. Simply use tea bags to make the tea and then proceed as mentioned below. Enjoy!

In my part of the world, summer is upon us in all its glory. Sometimes I think that besides a couple of weeks that we can call the monsoon and an even shorter time span that we call winter, what we experience is varying degrees of summer. How I long for colder weather. Anyway, to help deal with the heat levels around here, we make a good pitcher of Ice Tea. We've tried a couple of flavors and I think they're simply lovely. We've also sampled the ready powdered stuff that you get, brands like Lipton and Nestea and stuff, but let me tell you, there's nothing better than the real deal. It takes a few minutes more to make, but its so worth it.

Lemon Ice Tea

3 cups water
1/2 tsp tea leaves
2 lemons / limes
Sugar, to taste
Sprigs of mint, to garnish
Ice cubes, as required

Bring the water to a boil. 

Tip in the tea leaves and let it simmer for about 30 seconds to a minute. If you like a stronger tea flavor, let it simmer longer. If you prefer it mild, you should take it off the stove sooner.

Strain the tea to get rid of the tea leaves. Add sugar to taste. (You can substitute with a sweetener of your choice.)

Let the tea cool down.

Add the juice of about 2 limes. Again, taste and see how much citrus you'd like.

Give it a good stir.

Decant in glasses with lots of ice. 

Garnish with a sprig of mint or a wedge of lime.

Strawberry Ice Tea

For this variant, make the tea just like you would for the lemon ice tea.

Add the sweetener of your choice. 

We like to add some lime juice to this as well. It adds a nice touch. Of course, quantity needs to be adjusted to suit your preference.

Lastly, add some strawberry puree or crush to this and stir well. Don't forget to top the glass with some ice. What you see at the bottom of the glass is a whole strawberry to munch on after you're done with the drink.

Make your own ice tea. You will get hooked, and yeah, in the bargain you'll beat the heat as well.

This recipe is linked to - 
Recipes I Can't Wait to Try
What's on the Menu Wednesday
Real Food Wednesday
Works for me Wednesday
Delicious Dishes
This Week's Cravings
Seasonal Indulgence - Series Summer Coolers

summer coolers event saffronstreaks

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Easter goodies #4 - Marzipan Petit Four Easter Eggs

Like I'd promised here, today I'm going to show you a little something that I did to change up these marzipan Easter eggs. One of my clients, last year, needed something to take along to work for his colleagues. He didn't want something as big as the regular Easter goodies since quite a few of the guys at work were bringing something or the other. So this is what I did. I hand rolled the marzipan into small eggs (the larger ones are made using a mould). Pipped a little royal icing border and a single flower. I had no idea they would turn out this adorable, since this was the first time I made them. I sure do hope I get the opportunity to make these again. I had fun with them. They are ideal if you need to take some treats for a large number of people. It also turns out easier on the pocket than the larger pieces. Here they are in their individual little paper cups, ready to go. Aren't they pretty? (If I do say so myself).

I've added one of my favorite marzipan recipes. Click here to view it.

This fun idea is linked to -
Crafty Soiree
The Homespun Bake Shop
Sweets for a Saturday
Meals on Monday
Easter Party

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Easy Garlic Rolls with Red Chilly Flakes

Since I'd had my first encounter with yeasted bread and managed these beautiful, yummy burger buns, I got a little more adventurous and decided to start experimenting with yeast a little more. The other day when I was browsing through a few blogs, I came across these garlic rolls. I immediately knew I was going to make them. I'm sure this doesn't surprise you. If you've been reading this blog, right from the early days I've been proclaiming my love for garlic, literally shouting about it from the rooftops (or atleast doing the blog-equivalent of it). My fourth blog post was about these wonderfully delicious Garlicky baked potato wedges, if you haven't tried it yet, you should, its really good. Anyway back to the garlic rolls.

The dough came together really well. I made a mini version of the actual rolls, since we wanted to have them as snacks. Am I glad I did that! They resulted in slightly crunchier outsides, with a lovely garlic flavored buttery insides. We just couldn't stop eating these. A word of advice, if you intend making these (and you should, you really should) make sure you have enough, or else you may not get your hands on even one of them. I skipped the coriander leaves and the carrot used in the original recipe and added some chilly flakes for a little spice. You can leave it out, if you don't like your food spicy and you'll love it nonetheless.

Easy Garlic Rolls with Red Chilly Flakes
Adapted from: Cooking is Easy

For the dough:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup warm water
3/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar

For the spread:
5 tbsp salted butter, at room temperature
3-4 cloves garlic, grated

In a bowl, tip in warm (not hot) water, sugar and yeast. Cover and keep in a warm place for 5-10 minutes till it gets frothy and bubbly. (This means your yeast has been activated.)

In a large bowl, tip in the flour and salt and mix so the salt is evenly distributed. Use the yeast solution to knead it to a soft dough. The dough will be a little sticky. Leave it as it is. (Don't add more flour.)

Cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for about 40 minutes. The dough will double in size.

Make the garlic butter spread by simple mixing the ingredients together. (You could add herbs to the spread, if you fancy.)

Knock down the air in the dough, roll out on a lightly floured surface till you get a rectangular piece about 1/4" thick. Spread most about 2/3 of the garlic spread on it. With the longer edge towards you, roll up the dough, starting with the end closest to you, working you way towards the outside.

Using dental floss, cut into pieces and place them in a lightly greased baking dish. Spread the rest of the garlic spread on the top.

Sprinkle with some red chilly flakes. Cover it with a damp cloth and keep aside for another 20 minutes.

Bake them in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes or till lightly browned on the top at 180ºC.

This recipe is linked to -
Meals on Monday
Meatless Mondays
Just Another Meatless Monday
My Meatless Mondays
Mouthwatering Mondays
Mangia Mondays
Lets Do Brunch
Not Baaad
Tuesday Night Supper Club
Tuesdays at the Table
Hearth and Soul
Tasty Tuesdays
Delectable Tuesday
Tasty Tuesday
A Little Birdie Told Me
Let's Break Bread Together

Secret Recipe Club