Recent Posts

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Happiness is >> A crisp crust and a gooey chocolaty warm walnut brownie with ice cream!

brownie post

Made this over the weekend. Took these images only a day later and did not microwavew the brownie and hence you can;t see the real texture of it- the gooey center, especially. Nevertheless, it came out just right.

Used this recipe.

Monday, 26 April 2010

A lil peak into KG’s kitchen




Thursday, 22 April 2010

The man decides to cook >>Veggie Martelli

What happens when your husband decides to cook? You end up doing dishes, tons of it. Even if it is just bread and some concoction he cooks up. OK it was nice. But still, he took like one hour to make just that. And for the want of a better name, he named his dish after the vegetable market he bought his veggies from. :D But for all the effort he put in, I think it deserves a mention on my blog. :D



All that he used-

A couple of slices of Ciabatta bread

For the topping-

6 to 8 figs – chopped (MUST)

100 gms Cottage cheese cubes (paneer)

1 small can of sweet corn

1 big can of kidney beans

1 chopped red bell pepper

4 spring onions- sliced

1 big can of tomato puree

2 Zucchinis

1/2 tsp oregano

2 tsp olive oil

Tabasco sauce- lots of it (or as per your taste :-) )


Tzatziki Sauce (a greek sauce- exactly like mint raita!!)






(Just mix it all up. Be sure to use thick creamy yogurt)


In a pan, heat the olive oil . Add chopped Zucchini and bell pepper to it. Sauté for a few seconds and add the rest of the veggies  including the spring onions, figs, canned corn, kidney beans and cottage cheese. Once the zucchini is a lil soft, pour the tomato puree and mix well. Add salt, tabasco, oregano and mix for a minute. Turn off gas :D

Toast the Ciabatta bread with some olive oil or  butter, or just plain. Arrange the topping on bread and finish with the Tzatziki sauce and serve.

It was quite different in taste. The bits of figs, corn, kidney beans, cottage cheese combined with the crunch of the bell pepper and the Tabasco tang, did it for me!! I was floored. :) Thanks, ma love.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Shubho Nabo Borsho >> Pati Shapta/ Crepes with Coconut Stuffing

Its Bong New Year folks! And not just Bengali, a host of others too! Won’t say much, but just that I was really craving for a festive feel in the middle of this dreary Sydney winter. So I decided to make Pati Shapta, a traditional Bengali sweet dish made with flour, rice flour, semolina and milk with coconut and Jaggery stuffing. I didn’t have rice flour so made do with whatever I found in the pantry and the result wasn’t bad at all.

So, Shubho Nobo Borsho my readers!


For stuffing, mix shredded coconut and jaggery in a pan until sticky. I used about 2 cups of coconut and 3/4 cup of jaggery. Keep mixing it on low fire until brown and sticky.

For the crepes: Make a batter of 7 table spoons of all purpose flour, 3 tbsp of Semolina and milk to make a batter. The batter shouldn’t be too thin or thick either. Just right to make a crepe. Add a spoon of sugar and a pinch of salt to the batter and leave for 2 hours. On a non-stick pan spread the batter with a spoon and make crepes.

Add some filling to the crepe and roll it.

Pour Sugar syrup over this. (used 1/2 cup of sugar with equal measure of water for the syrup).

If you want more details on the recipe, just leave a comment.

See ya soon!

Monday, 5 April 2010

First Guest Post>> Journomuse’s Rava Idli and Sambar!

This was long over due. A guest post on my blog every month. But why? when I have enough and more to post myself? Well, its simple. I don’t belong to the old school of thought like my aunts and grand moms, who cooked behind closed kitchen doors- a precaution to hide their patent recipes. I belong to the gen-x school of thought where recipes, like a glass of whiskey, must be shared.

So, Tne Good LIfe gets its first post from Journo Muse. It was more of a – here KG, you better publish this or your dead, kind of threat.

:D I had to oblige, what with her being my senior at college et al. :D :D


Here’s Journomuse’s contribution, where the sizzling southie journalist writes how to make the most satisfying Rava Idlis and Sambaar, in the easiest possible way, from a quaint little room in London. And somewhere in the end of her Rava Idli-Sambar saga she begs one of us to please please try this out! So then, go on and oblige her. :)


Hi guys,

The Ketchup Girl invited me here...So here I am, with my battered bag of ingredients and even more battered set of utensils, feeling like a roadside vendor asked to cater to a gourmet audience...So I shall try and keep this short...
I'm no great cook, I cook to survive and food made well does make me orgasmic, but mine - no one has ever accused me of botching up their meal but no one has wondered why I never turned a chef either, so there....No great expectations please....
Now that we have done away with the niceties..let's get down to business....
I'm a true blue Malayali, but one who doesn't like rice, is allergic to sea food and who is happy when good healthy oil-free ( largely!) food is presented before her. And since I am a walking mass of contradictions, I tend to cook for myself and inviting others to sample my offerings..
So when Ketchup girl asked me to share this with you, I said why not....
Ok, now it's time for the ingredients. If you don't have any of the below, I suggest you go to the nearest super market, and stock up your shelves. Once that is done, come back here and then begin the process anew...

There's something to be said about knowing that you have all the ingredients for the recipe you are reading about,  right in front of you on your shelves. That sense of joyful euphoria is, I believe, very essential to not botching up the dish!!
So here goes, 250 grams of Rava or suji or semolina as it is called. If you are in India, you could even get it pre-roasted. But elsewhere, you might just have to toss it about on a hot pan, till it starts going golden slightly.
About a tub of yoghurt, should be roughly the same as 250 g...I tend to go by instinctive measures so giving you mathematical figures is a tad difficult...Women reading this, you, I'm thinking understand me easier...Men, I'm really really sorry...but this is the best measures I could come up with...

Mix the two together...Add salt as you like it....Mind you, they are Idlis, don't make them overly I suggest a small teaspoon...Rest I shall leave it to you....
To this, add some lemon juice because there's little chance abroad that you shall get yoghurt sour...if you are in a tropical climate, leave your yoghurt out for half a day and it should be sour enough....But if like me, the true blue South Indian, you like your Idlis tangy sour, then lemon juice is your best bet...two tablespoons should be a good measure...oh and while you are at it, slip in a pinch of baking soda too to let the batter rise a teeny weeny bit...Keep it aside for about half an hour...

And when you have some time to kill, why don't you rustle up some Sambar to go with your Rava idlis??? Here comes the next rejoinder....
I already told you I'm no gourmet chef...and Ketchup Girl might not even publish this guest column she wanted...For now I'm going to tell you things sacrilegious to any proud, self-respecting cook...I take shortcuts where ever possible...I just try to replicate the taste to the closest and keep it the healthiest...Nothing else matters, like that song...
So on my shelves you shall find jars of tomato puree and in my freezer, you shall find assorted frozen vegetables that help you rustle up a quick meal that looks like you have put in a lot of time and effort to throw it all together....I like the thought of that...
So here goes Sambar in a microwave ( coz I don't have a pressure cooker)....Soak the Dal (lentil) for a while or if you are in England or elsewhere, I'm sure you get fast-cooking Dals...If you have that like me, toss some Dal into a glass pot, hot water about 2 measures to one measure of Dal, add turmeric and chilli powder to it, and keep it to cook for about 8mins on high heat in the microwave....Meanwhile, take out all the veggies you fancy from the freezer - I took out a pack of assorted and some frozen okra...Yes, you heard it right, they chop them fine and freeze them so that lazybones like me don't need to do much...If you are meticulous enough to buy and chop them, trust me nothing like it...
Once the Dal is cooked, take that out, add the frozen okra, one large chopped onion and one large chopped into chunk potato into the Dal...To this add, two heaped tablespoons of tomato puree and stir it right in...Squeeze out one fistful of pre-soaked tamarind and pour the thick brown juice into the glass pot. Add two heaped tablespoons of Sambar powder ( I swear by Eastern Sambar powder, but I'm sure MTR or any other would do fine too, though I'd say don't go for a North Indian brand...They don't get the smell really right!). To this add a pinch of hing or asafoetida...Also add about two cups of water to this...I like my sambar a little runny and not too thick...Adjust water according to the way you like yours...
Now pop that back into the microwave for another 10 mins...and while the sambar is cooking, taking a little oil in a pan, add some mustard seeds, dried red chillies and about a stalk of curry leaves into it and let it splutter all over your stove. And when you pop the sambar out of the microwave, add the garnish right on top of it and give it a lusty stir...Add freshly chopped coriander leaves over it and then let that aroma tell you that this is one hell of a cracking sambar...
And now that the sambar is ready, and the batter has sufficiently risen, make the rava could add some assorted vegetables to the batter and some green chillies for that kick of spice..
Psst again...If you don't have those idli moulds, worry not...Get out the steel katoris...Lightly oil the insides....Heat water in a comfortably large saucepan with a lid meanwhile...Fill the katoris to about 1/3rd it's height. And then slowly lower it into the boiling water...Now close the lid and put some weight on it, so that you have a homemade pressure cooker!!!!

For those who have never attempted rava idlis before, don't forget the knife test to check if the insides are done, before taking the katoris out and letting it cool a bit...Once cooled, just knock them against your plate that you are serving in and they slide out like they were just waiting for your command...
The ideal way, but not the prettiest, is to ladle out the sambar onto the rava idlis which have been served into shallow bowls...It might not look really pretty, but you can have your money back, if it is anything less than authentically yummily South Indian...but with a twist....there are many shortcuts and the entire meal is ready..from conceptualisation to implementation in 45 minutes!!!!!


Oh and if any of you guys try making this and it turns out as good as it did for take a couple of pictures. I forgot to, so this boring post has no yummilicious pictures...Im sure Ketchup Girl will only be happy to add them and tag you...Please please, someone try it out...:)

Happy Eating,

Thanks Journomuse! :D I promise, I’ll soon try it and post a pic too ! Hug!