Thursday, February 28, 2008


Its been a long time I have been putting away posting this.....I dont know why. But now I have to absolutely do it, coz I feel guilty whenever I think of it.

Before the year ended I had posted the Best of 2007, wherein I had mentioned that I had received a gift from Hotel Choclat....after much hue & cry - I finally got the packet one day.

I was excited beyond words - not that I had never won a competition before, but this really meant something for me.. Cooking is a passion in my life, n me having won for soemthing which is so close to my heart - really really meant a lot to me. N moreover I had soo many people who seemed so absolutely proud of me - my husband, my MIL, my parents, my friends - all of them....& I was gleaming. When I opened the packet I was shocked to see that the packet had been messed with, n there were open wrappers lying in the box. I suspected this coz the box did weigh lighter than the first time it had come for delivery & was given back because of an unpaid Customs Duty Bill from the Consigners behalf. Me being me - was not ready to give up on ethics, n I needed to get the courier guys by the neck to find out where the box went. Then there was suddenly my husband, who very calmly said - "you know what, just let it go - even this one box is very precious & enough for us". I was totally touched & I was left without a word to say....I just gave him a big hug n said "so be it". There were 16 pcs that I got, I honestly kept one pc each for all those who had so eagerly waited for the box to arrive, n the rest (which was very very little) we both shared. I treasure the book - hopefully I shall be able to give some of the recipes a try. My name shows here in the winners list

I will always, always cherish this memory in my heart. No joy can match this profound love.

Pictures are all that I can share with you - my wonderful friends - without whom I wouldnt be doing I what I am doing today with a good part of my day i.e., BLOGGING.

Thank you.

Friday, February 22, 2008


I am not a apple lover, but my husband is - I have this recipe for a long time, n I took it from the Hersheys site - n when I had some leftover apple pie stuffing, I didnt know what to do with it, so I thought I'd make this recipe finally. Of course, me being me, did make a few alternations here n there...but it was one of the best things I've ever baked. I didnt like the topping bit, but I had someone at home to devour didnt bother me much..

Ing -
For the apple topping
1 apple
2 tbspn of raisins
1 tbspn cherries chopped
1 tbspn walnuts chopped
4 tbspn - sugar or brown sugar
1/4 tbspn - cinnamon powder
a dash of lime juice
1/4 tbsp - flour

Just mix everything togeter & keep aside.

For the brownie
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar (if you like a much sweeter cake you can make that 3/4)
1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
2/3 cup butter / oil / shortening
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method :
Preheat oven to 180 C.
Seive the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in bowl.
Cream the butter & sugar.
Add water, egg and vanilla essence - beat until smooth and well blended.
Mix the flour into the paste & beat well to incorporate.
Grease a loaf tin & pour the batter into it.
Carefully spoon apple topping evenly over chocolate batter - DO NOT STIR.
Bake for 1 hr or more till the topping is set & a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

This is a keeper of a recipe. I might not add the topping the next time, but the brownie was sure excellent. It had a very lovely taste & an excellent texture.

N there's one thing I've seen all cakes taste better the next day ;-)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I think no Cuisine uses "lentils / daals" the way Indian cuisine does. The recipes are endless, the spices used is exhaustive & the results are always excellent. Some like their thick n creamy, there are others who like the watery consistency, n still others who prefer it mid-way i.e., not thick but a bit watery.

I prefer mine thick. Perfect to scoop up in a morsel of chappati, or mush it up with rice, or better - eat as it is.

I love black daals better than yellow ones too. I guess these are also personal preferences. Coz my husband likes yellow rather than black - so I keep it fair, n make both equally.

This particular combo is a favourite of mine. This version that I am giving you is the simpler one. The same combo is used to make the famous Daal Makhani, which I shall make some other day & post the recipe separately. This is a simpler & less caloried version, but the taste is great in its own way.

Ing -
1 katori - urad sabut (black one with skin on)
1/4 katori - rajma
1 inch pc of ginger
5/6 flakes of garlic
3/4 flakes of garlic (separate)
a pinch of hing
1/2 tspn - turmeric / haldi
3/4 - green chillies
1 jumbo onion or two medium ones
a pinch of sugar
salt as per taste
1 tspn - garam masala
1 tspn - jeera / cumin seeds
Either juice of 1 lime or 1 tspn of amchur powder


Soak the daals overnight.
Take a pressure cooker, add 1 tspn of oil in it.
Grate the ginger & the garlic (or make a paste of both) & fry the same in that oil.
Add salt, & the lentils & cook for about 20 mins.
In a kadai - heat some ghee (for the real taste) or add half-half ghee-oil, or if you are way too concious just add any oil of your preference.
When hot, add the jeera till it sputters. Chop the garli flakes kept seaparately & fry till just about brown.
Add the hing.
Add the garam masala & stir well.
Separately add the lime juice or amchur into the daal & mix well. Test the salt & add if more required.
Now add half the tempering into the daal & mix well.
The rest of the half use for garnish

I served this hot plain rice & some gaajar-shalgam pickle & aloo paappad for a fulfilling lunch


Hi there

I know its late....but this is the Ginger Wine my mom made for this Christmas so I am updating it with pics.

Hope you like it....the wine was as tangy & sweet as ever!! Loved it to the last drop!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Tired of making the same old palak-paneer, I wanted to do something different with the palak....something I thought would retain the creamy texture of mashed palak & yet add a zing to the dish. Strage are we sometimes - right?? There are times when we yearn for the comfort of the "known", & yet there are times when we are struggling to come out of the "known" i.e., the routine etc. etc. Strange is this being called "human".....well coming back to my palak...this is what I finally did with it.

Ing -
1/2 kg - spinach / palak washed chopped & microwaved for 8 mins (stirring once in between)
1/2 cup - peas (boiled)
1 onion
2 tomatoes
3/4 garlic flakes
1/2 pc ginger
50 gms - khoya
2 tbspn - cream
1 tspn - garam masala
3/4 green chillies
2 tspn - corriander / dhaniya powder
1/4 tsp - sugar

Method -
Grind the onions & tomatoes along with ginger & garlic into a smooth paste
In a pan add some oil & when hot fry the paste adding a little salt till the oil separates.
Now add the garam masala, corriander powder - fry well
Grate the khoya & add into the pan & mix well
Add the cream too & mix well.
Coarsely grid the spinach with the chillies (before griding remove any excess water)
You can use that water as a stock for anything else
Add this paste into the already cooked masala
Add the sugar & the peas
Mix well & let cook for another 5 minutes

The dish was excellent & I will surely make it more often. If you cant find khoya you may substitute it with 2 tbspn of cream or finely grated paneer.