Recent Posts

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Roasted Eggplant and Date Raita

Here's a simple yet innovative  Raita recipe that I made after having it several times at a dear friend's place. Raita is a yogurt based side dish and is usually served along with rice dishes. 

You'll need:

2 and a half cups of unsweetened yogurt (I use Yoplait)
1 medium sized onion
1 tomato
2 green chillies chopped
1/2 a bunch of Coriander leaves- chopped
1/2 eggplant cut to medium size for roasting
6-8 seedless Dates
salt to taste
1/4 tsp Roasted Cumin power

Beat yogurt in a blow and chill. Roast the eggplants until brown/roasted (preheat oven to 180 degrees and place eggplants on a tray. Bake/roast for about 10-12 minutes. Turn sides occasionally for even browning on both sides) or pan roast them with a little bit of olive oil if you desire. 

Season yogurt with salt and cumin powder and beat well. Top the yogurt with the rest of the ingredients and mix just before serving. This Raita is meant to be thick and not watery. Serve as a side with Rice or rotis, as you may desire.

See you soon!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

A wholesome lunch >> Chickpeas with soya granules & baby potato curry with Wheat, Oat and Quinoa Roti


Ma made this often. She used dried green peas instead of chickpea. My daughter loves chickpea and so does her dad. So decided to use that instead of dried green peas. The soya granules I used here was to give the curry a texture and ‘chicken mince’ like feeling to con my daughter, who refuses to eat anything vegetarian. Of course the health benefits of soya are all well known. Thrilled to say, it worked!





For the curry:

250 gms chickpeas soaked over night and pressure cooked to three whistles

2 Baby potatoes – boiled and peeled (optional)

1 and 1/2 tomatoes or 2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 big onion chopped

1 tablespoon of tamarind soaked in 1/2 cup warm water – with your fingers pulp the tamarind and juice it with the help of a strainer to make half a cup of tamarind juice/pulp.

Soya granules soaked in warm water and squeezed (or as per packet instructions)

1 tablespoon fresh ginger - grated

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon red chilli powder (optional) – I didn’t use because of my li’l one

1 and 1/2 teaspoon Coriander dry powder

salt to taste (approx 1 tsp)

1 inch cinnamon

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon Ajwain or Carum seeds

2 cloves

Oil or ghee – 2 tablespoons

Coriander leaves for garnishing



Heat oil in pan/wok and add bay leaf, cinnamon, carom seeds and cloves. In a few seconds add to this chopped onion and sauté it with ginger  for 2 minutes. Once translucent add tomatoes/tomato paste and sauté more. Add turmeric, chilli, coriander powder and mix well till the tomatoes are soft. Add the soaked soya chunks and mix well. Next add boiled chickpeas and potatoes. Add salt and mix more. Add about 1/2 cup water to this and cover the pan and cook of low flame for 10 minutes. One needs to cook this well for the chickpeas to soak in the masalas. Now, add the tamarind juice to this and cook for 5 minutes more. Check seasoning. Finish with a little bit of Garam masala if you wish. Garnish with coriander leaves before serving with hot rotis.




For the Rotis.

Knead 1/2 cup oat bran, 5 tsp quinoa, 1 cup of whole wheat flour into a soft dough and make chapatis or rotis out of it. If you want to make phulkas then don’t add quinoa for the rotis don’t fluff up when put to fire.


Voila! Here’s your high fiber, low GI, protein rich lunch ready!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Anniversary Cake. Chocolate, of course!

Made this cake for our Anniversary early this month. There is something very inherently sexy about Chocolate cakes, don’t you think?. This was no exception. Seemed like just the right thing to bake for the anniversary.

Simple, rich and very satisfying ! This is a mix of many recipes. I think what did the trick was the use of Lindt chocolate and Almond meal. The latter added a beautiful texture, the former, richness and personality :).






  • 200g Lindt dark chocolate
  • 200g butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 -4 eggs (use 3 if they are extra large ones)
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk

For the icing

  • 200g dark chocolate – Lindt or Nestle, chopped
  • 1/2 cup thickened cream




  1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line base of a round cake pan.

  2. Place chocolate in heat proof bowl and microwave, uncovered, on 50% heat/medium for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every minute, until it melts and is smooth. Set aside to cool for about 6 minutes.

  3. Using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time.  Add melted chocolate, combine well. Sift flour and cocoa together. Fold half the flour mixture into butter mixture, little at a time. Add half the milk. Stir gently to combine. Repeat with remaining flour mixture and milk. Spoon into pan and level the surface of the mixture. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

  4. Chocolate icing: Combine chocolate bits and cream in a  microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered,  for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon, until almost melted. Stir until smooth. Set aside for 15 minutes .

  5. Spread over cake only after the cake has completely cooled down.

  6. Decorate with fresh fruits or chocolate shavings.


Surprise spouse :)!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Pui chorchori >> Ma’s favourite

I found just a few stems of Pui or Malabar Spinach in the Indian store. Its rather difficult to get it here in Sydney. Any Sydneysiders reading this, who know where I can get Pui in abundance, please do let me know! :-)


So Pui as its referred to in Bengali and Poi in Oriya, is a family favourite.  Sharmila’s recipes on Pui are awesome, if you haven’t already read them. Pui at home is made with lots of veggies in ‘chorchori’  (mix vegetable) style. I think chorchori, especially with Pui must be had on Sunday afternoon for lunch with lots of hot steamed rice accompanied by a chicken, mutton  or fish curry, followed by an afternoon siesta! No Sunday lunch is complete with out the quintessential siesta :)




You’ll need:


  • 11/2 tablespoons mustard oil
  • 1/2 tsp of Paanch Phoron ( a pinch of each- Nigella, fenugreek, cumin, fennel, radhuni/celery seeds)
  • 3 slit green Chillies
  • 1 inch fresh Ginger- grated
  • 3-4 stems of Malabar spinach/ Pui – roughly chopped with the stem
  • 1/4 diced pumpkin
  • 6-7 cauliflower florets (you can also add french beans and other vegetables of your choice. Just don’t miss out on pumpkin)
  • 1/2 cup Peas
  • 1 diced Potato
  • 1-2 Carrots – chopped length wise
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
  • Paste of 2 tablespoons of Poppy (poppy) and 1 tsp mustard seeds (soak for 2 hours and grind to a thick paste)




Heat oil in a wok/kadhai. Add panchphoron and let it splutter for a few seconds. Add slit green chillies and grated ginger and sauté for 4-5 seconds.  Add the diced pumpkin first of all the vegetables and sauté it for 2 minutes.  Add cauliflower and let it soften a little. Add the rest of the vegetables and mix well. Cover the wok and on medium flame let it cook for 3-4 minutes. Uncover and add the dry masalas- chilli powder, turmeric, salt, sugar). Mix well and its now it’s time to add the Malabar spinach/Pui. Mix well and leave it covered for a few more minutes. Don’t over cook it. Remember Pui is made best on low to medium flame. That’s what ma says!

Once the Pui softens, and all the other veggies are cooked, add the poppy-mustard seed paste to it and mix well. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Turn off heat and let it stand covered for sometime. Transfer to bowl. Serve hot with rice and ghee.




Until next time!

Very Berry, Strawberry >> Strawberry Mousse!

I wanted to make chocolate mousse. But my Pink rascal, erm…princess, insisted on a ‘pink’ mousse. Ok, your highness, here you go.
The man at home tried it first and said the flavour of Strawberries were over powering and the mousse was not subtle. But my guests loved it :). Just because he managed a one week challenge and I humoured him on my ‘exclusive’ blog, he thinks he can critique anything I make. Who are you, dude? Anthony Bourdain?

strawberry mousse

strawberry mousse3

Well, I did use extra strawberries.  So, if you want your mousse to taste subtle, then just add a little less. :-)

You’ll need:
  • 400 gms strawberries, pulped
  • a little more than1/2 cup, icing/castor sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon gelatin
  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


  1. Combine water and gelatin in a  small bowl over a larger bowl of  boiling water. Do not dissolve it over direct heat. Wait until it completely dissolves. Allow to cool to room temperature.

  2. Pulp the strawberries and add sugar to it. Mix well until combined. Add lemon juice and the cooled Gelatin to this. (Don’t let the gelatin cool too much, then it sets and hardens.)

  3. Using a beater, beat the egg whites till soft peaks are formed. In a separate bowl repeat the process with the thickened cream.

  4. Slowly add the egg whites into the strawberry mixture. Fold.

  5. Add the whipped cream to this. Fold again.

  6. Spoon into little ramekins or bowls of your choice and refrigerate for at least 4-5 hours.

  7. Before serving top with mint and strawberries.

If you have a different method of making Strawberry Mousse, do share!
So long, then!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

The 7 day cooking challenge >> Take a bow, sweetheart!

The man offered to cook for 7 nights for us. Didn’t know if this was a trick offer or a genuine one. But gave him a chance nevertheless. I had nothing to lose. He decided to call it-  ‘I can cook too – 7 day cooking challenge’. LOL. That’s what I did. But, soon I had to gulp those LOLs down, for he indeed kept at it and made some of the most authentic dishes, effortlessly.

Though he did ask every 2 seconds- ah what are ‘cardamoms’ and ‘is this what a bay leaf looks like?’. But I won’t deduct points for that. I think he was just being sure and erm, inquisitive. :-)

I’m really ashamed that I ate up most of the dinners without taking pictures. Really sorry. But hey, you know what? I think its the perfect excuse for him to go on another challenge, when I’ll be ready with a charged camera!!

Sharing a few here with you all.


1. Spanish Paella : Brown rice, chicken stock, veggies, chic peas and tomatoes! Oooh la la!

Turned out just right!




The man in action!


2.Posto- Potatoes and cauliflower is a paste of poppy seeds!

A  Bengali delicacy and my favourite Bengali vegetarian dish!



3. Spicy Prawn Curry – Prawn, potatoes, tomatoes in a spicy gravy.

Best had with piping hot steamed rice.


spicy prawn


4. And now for the winner – Moroccan Chicken with fried rice!

moroccan chicken2

moroccon chicken1

(I want to kick myself for not clicking this picture with my camera. But We were getting late and had to eat the mutton like right then! So my iphone it was.)

5. Bengali style Mangsho – Mutton Curry with potatoes.

He really deserved a standing ovation for this one :D

For the recipe was rather tedious. But he managed just fine!

mutton picassa



So, what do you think? As for me, I’m going back to campaigning for more!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

My little girl makes ‘Fairy Bread’

So, she’s been behaving. Watching television when I want her to and turning it off accordingly. She comes back from school with ‘stickers’ on her hands for all the ‘help’ she has offered at school. And then, she’s been smothering me with kisses. Means just one thing. It’s time for a treat. So I asked her what she wanted and she said, she’d like to make “Fairy Bread’ . “It’s yummy mum, and I learnt how to make it in school”.


We set to make it today for breakfast. It was a bright sunny, happy morning. As instructed I laid whatever she wanted, on the table.

1. Bread cut into triangles.

2. Sprinkles (pink ones please, mumma)

3. Butter (I want it soft, mum)

4. Plates

5. Knife for the butter

6. M n M’s (to be had after breakfast as dessert, please, mumma?)


My 4 year old takes on from here!

So, mumma’s friends, this is how we make it. Look carefully, please.


1. First spread butter on the triangles. Like this.




2. Then sprinkle the pretty pink sprinkles ALL over the bread. Okay?

rentoys1 It can be messy. So wear an apron like I did.


3. Then look at it in amazement! And say ooooooooooooooo!


4. Take a bite. Enjoy!




Should I? Shouldn’t I?


Who cares!


I hope you enjoyed making Fairy Bread with me, Mumma’s friends!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

A Casserole and some images

Made a veggie bake and a Chicken Casserole over the last two weeks. Whatever else I made is not worth mentioning here.  I’ll just blame Sydney’s wet and dreary winter. Leaving you with a few images. The recipes are the usual nothing striking and different. Though for the casserole I used curry powder and sour cream. It was quite a hit!


chicken casserole1

chicken casserole2



steamed veggies


cheese sauce


I really hope I buck up and come back with more :)

Monday, 28 June 2010

Not-in-a-mood >> Fish Stir Fry

I was in no mood to cook. Decided whatever needs to be done, will have to be in half an hour. So this was the result. What do you think?

Coat 250 -500  gms fish with salt and turmeric. 
Pour 2 tablespoons oil and add the fish when oil is hot. Let it brown on both sides. Push aside the fish pieces and in the centre where some oil remains (add a little if its too less), add 1 spoon of coriander powder, 1/2 tsp of chilly powder, 1 tsp garlic crushed, 1-2 tablespoon tomato ketchup, 1/4 tsp soya sauce, 2-3 slit green chillies. Mix the mixture and coat the fish pieces with it. garnish with coriander.

Serve as a side with rice.

Haven't been cooking much. Will be back soonish :-)!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The Rocks, yet again!

So, I was at The Rocks again. This time it was a prelude to my Birthday. I love The Rocks so much, that I would, if I could set up a permanent stall there and sell hot Kochuris to this absolutely delightful crowd that throngs it on Friday through Sunday. Some day perhaps. :D

I stopped by at the Museum of Contemporary Art to see the latest exhibition and then headed to the Rocks Market. The Rocks is indeed something else in Winters. Besides, it was a great day with the sun out, and a band playing. The little cafes and restaurants had a lot of interesting menus on display. One menu said- ‘quick 30 minute three plate lunch.’ The Guyllian cafe looked as inviting as ever.

(I still cannot believe I went without my camera. And my Iphone had very little charge left. So, anyway, managed to click a few pictures. )

I began with a mug of Shandy at Lowenbrau, my absolute fav place at The Rocks.

lowen brau1

And then, I just had to attack the food stalls, without any further delay!

 I started with steamed King Prawn Dim Sum. It wasn’t out of the world. However, because it was being freshly made and was piping hot, it was good.

glenmore dimsums 

Decided to settle for some Gozleme for the main course - stuffed Spinach, cheese and chicken Gozleme. Piping hot, straight out of the pan. Mind blowing.

gozelmo warmified

Next time I go without my camera, I’ll give up blogging. Arrgh.

gozleme warmified


fine food stores bbq warmified

 japanese warmified The Kyoza looked very appealing. But I had to keep good spoace in the tummy for a visit to Guyllian’s for dessert!

kyoza  Olive Oil on Display. Can’t remember the estate they came from. Have you tried tasting different oils? Its a lot of fun.

oilve oils warmified


And while I was busy devouring the Gozleme, this band went on with Eagle’s - ‘when we’re hungry, love will keep us alive’. It was kinda funny :-)band warmified

And now for the 100% pure pleasure :D. By the time it came to my table my phone was dead. All said and done, next time around rocks, you must hit GUillians and have their 100% Pure Pleasure Dessert!

100 percent pure pleasure

So, when are you planning a visit to The Rocks? Chances are you’ll find me there too, soon :D

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Petite N Pretty>> Mini Carrot Cup Cakes

My 4 year old hates veggies. She can go to any length to avoid eating her portion of vegetables – she is perfectly capable of  looking furtively around and if the coast is clear, walk as quietly as a cat and chuck her bit in the garbage bin. :D

I had to do something. I manage giving her spinach by pureeing it and adding it to chicken curry and lentils. But carrot had to be disguised beautifully. A simple orange looking cake won’t deceive her. She is far too intelligent to not see through the trick. So I had to bake these fancy looking ones. No rocket science this- just bought decorations and made chocolate frosting on these mini cups.



mini carrot cup cakes

mini size happiness

petite n pretty


You’ll need:

1 and 3/4 to 2 cups self-raising flour

1 and1/2 cups of brown castor sugar 

1 and 1/2 cups grated carrot (you can add more- depending on you ‘carrot tolerance meter’)

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

2 pinches of nutmeg

2 pinches of salt

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 300f.

Sift the flour with cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Mix with a hand blender/mixer sugar and vegetable oil for about 30 seconds , then add eggs to it. Mix a little more. Add the grated carrot and mix further. Add the flour slowly and mix until all ingredients blend completely.

Spoon batter to little cup cake moulds or pour into a lined cake tin and bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes (for cupcakes), for 40 mins (if a full cake) or until browned (and do the fork/stick test!)

Cool on rack and decorate as you wish with M&Ms, marshmallows or cream cheese frosting. I had come chocolate pre-mix frosting in the pantry, so used that. But carrot cakes go best with cream cheese frosting.

Needless to say, she gobbled them all up!