Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pav Bhaji


1 large carrot, cubed
1 potatoes, cubed
1 capsicum, chopped
1 cup cauliflower florets, chopped
1 cup cabbage
8-10 beans chopped
1/4 cup green peas
1 onions, finely chopped
2 green chillis, slit length wise
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/4 tsp turmeric pwd
1/2 tsp red chilli pwd
1 1/2 tbsps Pav Bhaji Masala
3/4 tsp sugar (adjust)
salt to taste
1 tomato, finely chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp butter
fresh coriander leaves for garnish
1 1/2 tbsps oil
Pav Bread


Pressure cook potatoes, cauliflower, peas, beans and carrot,cabbage along with 1 cup of water, till soft. Drain any left over water and keep aside. Mash all the cooked vegetables using a masher.

Heat oil in a vessel, add the green chillis and onions and saute for 4 mts. Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for another 3 mts. Add capsicum and saute for 2 mts.

Add the chilli pwd, turmeric pwd, pav bhaji masala, sugar and salt. Combine well. Add the tomatoes and cook until soft, approx 5-6 mts.
4 Add the mashed vegetables along with a cup of the drained vegetable stock and cook on high for a mt. Reduce flame and simmer for 14-15 mts.

The gravy will begin to thicken. Adjust the salt, if required. Turn off heat and add butter and lemon juice and combine. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Toast pav slightly in butter.Serve hot with bhaji


Lime size Tamarind
1 small tomato
1/2 tbsp Rasam Powder
3 Garlic pods
a pinch turmeric
chopped Coriander leaves

a pinch of Hing
Mustard seeds
cumin seeds
urad dhal
channa dhal
3 red chillies

Soak tamarind in 1 cup of warm water.squeeze the tomato in the tamarind water.
Heat a kadai,add a tsp of oil and add all the seasonings.Add the tamarind ,tomato juice extract ,turmeric powder, salt, hing, rasam powder ,garlic pods and coriander leaves,cover and bring to boil.switch of the stove.serve.

Tip:Do not overboil the rasam.

Potato Fry

Potato fry is a everyone's favourite dish.It is well paired with Sambhar and rice.It can be made in different ways with different spices.You can never go wrong in making this dish.However you make it, this dish is going to tastegood.The only chance that you could go wrong with this dish is the addition of salt.So be sure in adding salt.

Potato cut in cubes
red chilli powder
Home made sambhar powder(instead use 1 tbsp dhaniya powder and 1/2 tsp of cumin powder)
Seasonings(Hing,mustard,urad dhal,channa dhal,cumin seeds)

Steam ,cut potato cubes uing a steamer or boil it.(Steaming cooks the potatoes evenly and maintains its shape.)Keep aside
In a pan,heat a tbsp of oil and add all the seasonings.once it splutters add all the spice powders and salt.(put in a low flame so you dont burn the powders and the seasonings).saute for 30 sec and then add the potatoes.Fry for 2 mins.Garnish with coriander leaves.Serve.


Sambar is a vegetable stew or chowder based on a broth made with tamarind and toor dal, and is very popular in the cooking of southern regions of India especially in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Each state in the South prepares it with a typical variation, adapted to its taste and environment.
A wide variety of vegetables are added to sambhar often served with plain rice,idli and dosa.The taste of the sambhar is derived from the spices added to it.This is a almost a everyday dish in south india


1 small lime sized ball Tamarind
1/4 cup Toor Dal
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
2 teaspoons oil
Salt to taste
2 slit green chillies
few Curry Leaves
1 medium chopped onions or can use a handful of small onions
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 small tomato
2 tablespoons sambar powder
few chopped coriander leaves
1 cup of a vegetable of your choice(i use carrot,beans and Drumstick)
Seasonings(Hing,mustard,cumin seeds,urad dhal,channa dhal and curry leaves)

Cook Dhal in a pressue cooker adding a pinch of turmeric and hing.Boil the vegetables in water separately.Once done Keep both aside.
In a kadai add all the seasonings.Once it splutters add green chillies,chopped onions and a little salt,saute for a while and add tomatoes.once the tomatoes soften add the sambhar powder,turmeric, saute and then add the tamarind extract.Boil for a min and add the dhal and the boiled vegetables.Add salt mix well add a little water if required and simmer for a while.Garnish with coriander leaves.Serve.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thomas the Tank Engine Cake!!!

The Making:

This 3D cake was made from scratch for my son's 2nd Birthday who was so crazy about Thomas.It was lot of work but had fun making it and was worth it.It was a chocolate cake with Buttercream icing.I used Fondant for making the face and the Engine master.the wheels were are also made out of fondant.It was very much easier to use and be creative with.I used dowel rods to support the cake.Overall the cake turned pretty good as expected although the cake was slightly tilted.
It was hard finding a cake box that would actually fit the cake.since the cake was tall we had to cut the clear lid which goes on top of the cake box and covered the cake using a clear wrap.

Here is a list of tools and products I used:

3 batches Buttercream frosting
Hershey's Cocoa powder (to add to black frosting, this will help you achieve a true black)
12"X18" sheetcake pan (may also use 12"X18")
Wax paper
Cling wrap (plastic wrap)
9"Cake decorating spatula
Wilton gumpaste tools for creating Thomas facial features
Wilton Colors Black, Blue, Red, Yellow
Wilton Fondant
Small rolling pin
Powdered Sugar for dusting work surface
Crisco shortening
Piping bags and tips
Piping Gel for the back of Thomas face and wheels
cookie stick for holding Thomas face
dowel rods to hold the cake in place
cake board

Buttercream Frosting recipe:


2 lbs powdered sugar (leave about 1/4 cup in bag) Never use beet sugar!
1 stick butter room temp (do not use margarine or butter substitute)
1/2 cup of Crisco (regular, not butter flavored)
1/2 cup of milk or water
1 tsp clear vanilla extract (you may use regular vanilla extract, but if making white icing will give it a bit of a tint)
1/4-1/2 tsp almond extract (imitation or regular)
1/8 tsp salt

Beat together butter and shortening in your mixer, add vanilla, almond extract, 1/4 milk or water (half of that called for in recipe), and salt. When well mixed, add sugar a cup at a time. As frosting gets thicker, add enough of the remaining milk or water until the consistency seems right. You may or may not need the entire 1/2 cup.
Scrape sides of bowl and mix on high speed for 8-10 minutes.Cover your bowl with a warm damp towel to keep the frosting from drying out.

This frosting can be stored in the fridge for 2 weeks, or in the freezer for 6 months.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Veg Stew

This is a very simple kerala dish often had with Iddiyapam.The cooking time is very less.Just have to combine all the ingredients and let it boil. It is amazingly delicious and a simple dish.Yum!!


1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp oil
1 cup diced potato
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup cauliflower
1/4 cup peas
1/8 tsp Pepper powder
6 garlic
1 small chopped onion
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp ginger garlic(gg)
1 or 2 slit green chilies


Heat a pan and add a little oil and butter.Add Bay Leaf ,Cardamom ,Cinnamon,Cloves.
Add chopped onion,gg and vegetables.Add salt,pepper powder,coconut milk,green chillies and water.cook until the vegeatbles are tender.and serve with Iddiyapam.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Amish Friendship Bread

Papdi chaat


1 cup maida/all-purpose flour
1 tbsp oil or ghee
salt to taste
water for kneading
oil for deep frying


In a mixing bowl combine maida,oil and salt .Slowly add water and make a smooth dough. Leave aside covered with damp cloth for 15 mts.

Knead the dough again for a min.roll the dough and make small round rotis using a cookie cutter . Make deep dents in each rotis using a fork or knife.

Heat enough oil for deep frying in a heavy bottomed vessel. It should be on medium high and once its hot, slide the roti into the hot oil and allow to cook. Flip over and fry the other side till light golden brown. Don’t fry too much as it will turn too dark. Remove on to absorbent paper

Cool and store in an air tight container and use when required.

Note: Ensure the oil is hot enough before frying the papdi. If the oil is not hot enough, the papdi will absorb a lot of oil. Alternately, you can roll out a big sized roti and cut it into diamonds.

Place 4-5 papdis, layer each papdi with chopped or mashed boiled potato and boiled chickpeas. Next spoon green chutney and sweet tamarind chutney. Spoon sweetened curd/dahi. Sprinkle some chopped onion and chaat masala. Finally finish off with sev and coriander leaves. Serve immediately.

Veg Fried Rice

There are many ways of making fried rice.This is my own way of making it and it tastes absolutely awesome.It is very simple,easy,fast and light.This dish has to be done on a very high heat and quick.so get all your ingredients ready before you start cooking.


1 cup Bastmati Rice
1 cup chopped vegetables (carrot,beans,cabbage)
1 tsp green chili paste
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp vinegar
chopped green onions
ajino moto(optional)
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
olive oil or vegetable oil


Boil rice in a rice cooker using only 2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice.Squeeze 1 Lemon into the water.

After the rice is done.cool and keep aside.

Heat a wok add a tbsp of oil fry the rice for a min.remove to a plate.

Wipe the wok and put it on a high flame.To the wok add a tbsp of oil.Swirl the oil to coat the pan and add the minced garlic,ginger and spring onions(white part only).
Add the chopped vegetables .saute for like 30 secs then add a tsp of soy sauce,chili sauce and vinegar.Add salt ,ajinomoto and rice.
Saute for a min .garnish with the green part of spring onions.
Remove to a serving dish.

Chicken Tandoori

Methi Matar Malai

Methi Matar Malai is a wonderful yummy Mughlai Dish which is rarely found in Restaurants.It tastes so great with rotis and sure is a five star dish.It is amazingly delicious and a big hit especially when you serve it to your guests.This dish is made with very simple ingredients.


1 cup big chopped onions
2 tbsp chopped cashews or 8 pieces
oil or butter
cumin seeds
bay leaf
1 tbsp Dhania powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp Garam masala powder
1/4 cup curd
1 big chopped tomato
1 tbsp malai
coriander leaves
1 tsp Kastoori methi


Heat a pan in a medium flame.Add a tsp of oil or butter.Fry the onions for 2 mins
cool and grind the onions with few pieces of cashew.Grind coarsely and set aside.

Heat a Pan add a tbsp of butter or oil add cumin seeds,bay leaf and the grinded paste.saute for a min and then add chilli powder,dhania powder ,turmeric and garam masala powder.saute and then add dry methi leaves,curd and chopped tomatoes.saute until tomatoes are barely seen.Add salt coriander leaves and water to required consistency.The mixture should be to a gravy consistency.Finally add malai to garnish.serve with roti.

Baby Corn Manchurian

15-16 baby corn, each cut diagonally into two
1 1/2 tbsps maida/all-purpose flour
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp rice flour (optional)
1 tsp ginger-garlic-green chilli paste
few tbsps water
salt to taste

For sauce:
1/4 cup spring onions, finely chopped,
1 capsicum, finely sliced
1/2 tbsp finely minced garlic
1/2 tsp finely minced ginger
1-2 finely chopped green chillis
1/2 tsp red chilli pwd (preferably Kashmiri)
1 tsp soya sauce
1 tsp chilli sauce
1 1/2 tsps vinegar
2 tbsps tomato sauce
1/2 tsp brown sugar (optional)
salt as required
1 1/2 tbsps sesame oil
1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves

Heat oil for deep frying in a heavy bottomed vessel.

In a bowl, combine maida, cornflour, rice flour, salt, ginger-garlic-green chilli paste and water to make a thick paste. Dip the washed and drained baby corns into the batter such that its well coated. Place each piece that is well coated with the batter into the hot oil. Reduce flame and deep fry till the baby corn is almost cooked. Increase the flame towards the end of the cooking process and fry the baby corn till it turns golden brown. Remove onto absorbent paper and keep aside.

Heat oil in a large wok and once the oil is piping hot, add the chopped garlic and stir fry for a few seconds. Add the green chillis and ginger and stir fry on high for a few seconds.

Add the whites of spring onions and stir fry on high for 3-4 minutes, constantly tossing them. Add the sliced capsicum and stir fry for another 3 mts. They should retain their crunch.

Reduce to medium heat and add the brown sugar, soya sauce, tomato ketchup, chilli sauce and vinegar. Combine well and cook for 2 mts. Add 3 tbsps of water and cook for 2 mins.

Add the deep fried baby corn and combine. Toss on high flame for 1-2 mins. Turn off heat.

Chicken Manchurian

1/4 kg boneless chicken, cut into fine pieces
6-7 tbsps spring onion whites
3-4 tbsps spring onion greens
1/2 tbsp chopped garlic
1/2 tbsp chopped ginger
2 tsps soya sauce
1 tbsp chilli sauce
2 tsps vinegar
1 tbsp corn flour + 5 tbsps chicken stock or water
1/2 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsps tomato sauce
1/2 tsp red chilli pwd (preferably Kashmiri)
salt to taste
1 1/2 tbsps sesame oil
oil for deep frying

For marinade: (marinate chicken with below ingredients for at least 15 mts or 1 hr)
1/4 tsp pepper pwd
1 egg white
salt to taste
1 1/2 tsps ginger-garlic-green chilli paste
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp maida/all purpose flour
2-3 tbsps corn flour
1-2 tbsps of water, if required


Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel, make small balls of the marinated chicken and carefully drop into the hot oil. Cook on low medium flame and towards the end of the cooking process increase flame to high and deep fry to a golden brown shade. Drain with a slotted spoon and place on absorbent paper. Keep aside.

Heat a heavy bottomed vessel, add oil, add the chopped garlic and saute on high flame for about 30 secs. Add the chopped ginger and green chillis and saute for a few more secs. Add the spring onion whites and saute for 3 mts on high flame.

Reduce to medium heat and add the brown sugar, soya sauce, tomato ketchup, chilli sauce and vinegar. Combine well and cook for 2 mts. Add 1/4 cup chicken stock or water and cook for a mt. Add the deep fried chicken balls and cook for 4 mts. Adjust salt, if necessary.

Add the cornflour water and cook, tossing the contents, for 4-5 mts until the mixture becomes little thick.

Add the chopped spring onion greens and combine. Garnish with more spring onion greens.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cranberry Chocolate Shortbreads


1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (40 grams) fine yellow or white cornmeal
1 tablespoon (8 grams) rice flour or cornstarch (corn flour)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (50 grams) dried cranberries (or cherries)
1/4 cup (45 grams) white chocolate chips or chunks
1/3 cup (80 ml) finely ground pistachio nuts (optional)


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Have ready a 8 inch (20 cm) tart pan with a removable bottom.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl whisk together the all purpose flour, cornmeal, rice flour, and salt. Add this mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and beat just until incorporated. Fold in the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.

Press the shortbread dough evenly into the tart pan. Prick the surface of the shortbread with a fork to prevent the shortbread from puffing up. Then, using a sharp knife, score (make shallow lines) the top of the shortbread into 12 even pieces. If desired, sprinkle the top of the shortbread with finely ground pistachio nuts.

Place in the preheated oven and bake until the shortbread has turned a nice biscuit color, about 40-50 minutes. Transfer shortbread to a wire rack to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before removing from tart pan. Place the shortbread round on a cutting board and cut into 12 wedges (along the lines scored). Cool completely on a wire rack.

Makes 12 shortbread wedges.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kung pao chicken

1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp sambal
1/4 cup naturally brewed soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2lbs dark chicken meat (from the legs/or thighs)cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/4 cup corn starch
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 tbsp grapeseed or canola oil
3tbsp minced garlic
2tbsp minced ginger
1tsp coarsely ground szechuan peppercorns
2cups carrot nubs,sliced 1/4 inch dice
1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts

In a small bowl combine the sugar,sambal,soy sauce,sesame oil and the lemon zest and juice and stir to dissolve the sugar.set aside.
In a large bowl,combine the chiken and the cornstarch and season the salt and pepper.Toss the chicken to coat it lightly in the cornstarch,remove the chicken to a plate,and set it aside.
Heat a wok over high heat.Add 2 tbsp of the oil and swirl to coat the pan.When the oil hot, add half the chickenand stir fry,separating the pieces,until the chicken is cooked through 3 - 4 mins.transfer the chicken to a plate ,add 2 more tbsp of the oil,swirl and when the oil is hot,stir fry teh remaining chicken.transfer teh chicken to the plate.
add the remaining tbsp of oil and swirl.when the oil is hot add the garlic,ginger and peppercorns and stir fry until softened, about 30 seconds.Add the carrots ,celery and peanuts and stir fry until the flavors have combined,about 2 mins.Add the sugar mixture and when it simmers,return the chicken to the pan.stir to combine.

make a bed of the rice on a platter,top with thw stir fry,a nd serve.

Buffalo Wings


chicken wings (frozen or fresh)
Salt and black pepper (optional)
Hot sauce
Fryer or large skillet
Medium skillet
Large mixing bowl
Cooking oil
Sharp knife

For Baked Wings:

Baking sheet
Aluminium foil

For Broiled Wings:
Broiler pan

Step 1: Preparing the Chicken

You can buy your chicken wings either fresh or frozen. It's cheaper to buy them fresh and then cut them yourself, but if you're crunched for time, don't be afraid to go for a bag of pre-cut frozen wings.

Fresh Wings

If you've got fresh chicken wings, you'll want to cut them. One of the benefits of hand-cutting is that you can ensure perfect portion size with every cut.
Take the wing and spread it apart so there is space between the joint.
Using a sharp knife, cut between the joints.
Cut off the tips, then discard.

Frozen Wings

If you decide to go with a bag of frozen wings, give them enough time to completely thaw. Once they thaw, drain off excess water and pat them dry. Any excess water or left-over ice crystals could cause dangerous splatter when you transfer the wings into the hot oil.

Step 2: To Bake, Broil or Fry

For healthier buffalo wings, you'll definitely want to bake or broil them, but bear in mind that they won't turn out as crisp as deep fried chicken wings. No matter which method you decide to use, take caution and check your wings to make sure they are fully cooked.


Baking is definitely going to be the more health-conscious choice, as you can drain away the fat while it's cooking. One of the disadvantages of baking is that the wings won't be as crisp.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Spread the wings out in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Season wings with salt and pepper.
Bake them for twenty minutes.
Drain off the fat.


Broiling is a great way to not only drain away the fat while the wings are cooking, but to ensurer that they are more crisp than traditional baking.
Preheat your broiler.
Place wings on a broiler pan about 4-5 inches from the broiler.
Broil on each side for about ten minutes.


For the perfect crisp, deep frying your wings is the best bet.
Season your wings with salt and pepper.
Heat your oil to 350-375 degrees for wings that are both crispy and juicy.
Add wings, but don't overcrowd them.
Stir once while frying to keep them from sticking together.
Fry for 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden.
Once fully cooked remove to a paper-towel lined plate to drain off excess grease.

Step 3: The Marinade

The best time to get your marinade ready is while your wings are frying or baking, that way it's still hot when you're ready to combine it with your wings.
Melt a half of a stick of butter.
Gradually pour in one cup of hot sauce.
Add in one tablespoon of vinegar. Vinegar is essential when your trying to the authentic Buffalo wing taste.
The increasing popularity of Buffalo wings has created an interesting market of pre-made sauces exploring everything from barbecue and garlic to chipotle and extreme jalapeƱo. Some of the sauce mixtures are so hot they come in names like fire and nuclear. Pre-made marinades offer variety, and they save on preparation time, which are both good if you're entertaining a lot of people.

Note:If using pre-made sauces do not add vinegar.Jus add butter to the sauce.

Step 4: Garnish and Serve

FRIED: If your wings have been fried, pour the marinade into a mixing bowl and begin tossing the fried wings in the sauce and serve. Some recipes instruct that you return the marinaded wings to the oven to reheat so the sauce really soaks into the wings.

BROILED: For broiled wings, remove from the broiler pan and toss them in marinade. They're ready to plate and serve.

BAKED: If you've baked your wings, you'll want to take brush sauce over your wings with a pastry brush after they've been cooking for about twenty minutes. Cook them for an additional ten minutes, then turn over and coat the other side. Bake for another five minutes.

After you've plated your Buffalo wings, be sure to garnish the plate with the favored companion of cut celery and blue cheese or ranch dressing. The creaminess of the dressing will help take the spicy edge off.


Serving up homemade Buffalo wings like a pro will definitely make your house a favorite party spot. Friends and family will be begging you to host the next Super Bowl party, after school event, or weekend card game. Buffalo wings also make a great snack or casual dinner for those nights you want to spice things up, but would rather not go out.