Thursday, March 28, 2013


I have been longing to bake bread for ages!!! Yes thats true. Always wanted to, but have been ever so lazy. The thought of kenading the sticky dough, leaving it to rise, then punch it again, then leaving it to rise - all sounded soooooooo boooooriinnng.. But then I had to do it one day, and I sure did - and I sure enjoyed it.

What I enjoyed THE MOST is the yeasty sour smell that was around me. Yes I sooooooooo loooooovveed it. Reminding me of bakeries baking fresh bread, but more than that, it was the smell that took me back to my mom. Yes, yeast was sooo significant to my mom making velleappams in our kitchen. In all of Mayur Vihar where we lived, all our Malayali family friends came upto her and asked her to make these for their house. I proudly have to say, that hers were the best appams in town!!!

It is sad to say the least that I myself have never tried my hands on that recipe. It happens so that all these years, even after getting married, velleappams were just a "wish" away. I just had to tell her and they would be ready as soon as the fermenting aloud it to be. It was a great feeling. But now that I am miles away I miss that advantage very much. But it has been a lot to my advantage. I have learnt to cook so many things that I so easily relied on her to do for me!!!

Well getting back to the bread making. I one day decidied to bake bread, and rolled up my sleeves. Took some flour, added some salt and sugar, mixed the yeast and warm water and sugar, gave it a stir - did a little bit of this, did a little bit of that and in the end added some candied fruits I had in my refrigerator!! This was what I got in return.

Dont ask me for the recipe, coz I really dont remember the measurements and the details.  I never made a note of it, and these pics have been lying in the draft for long. So sorry about that. Not to mention that I did bake bread twice After this once, but never got a chance to click and post!!!!.

But the result was sweet soft buns. 

We all enjoyed

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I cant think of a flavour that would be universally loved by ALL. No there isint!!?? Please correct me if I am wrong - chocolates "some like it, some dont", sweet "some like it, some dont", sour "some like it, some dont". Even something as lovable as a potato, I have heard some people say they dont like it, and that is to my utter amazement!!!

I realize this when I live here in Nairobi, where someone like my household help runs miles away from chillies or pili pili as she calls it. When I am dousing a teaspoon of chillies or chopping green chillies into my curries after I take out her share, her eyes are splitting wide open sometimes i feel they will just pop out. And she asks me "how much pili pili do you eat?", "I cant do without it Aunty" I say!! There are some for whom too sweet is never too sweet, while I cringe and put back the spoon. I never liked "too sweet". What is perfectly salted for me, is sometimes too salty for DH. So no two tastes can ever match, can they??

 My next recipe is somewhat like that, or maybe it is not. Its bell peppers and cottage cheese. Some just hate the taste of bell peppers but others love it. It is only after coming here that I first tried yellow and red peppers and I found that they have a lot less strong flavour than the green ones. Since then, I have favoured them. Not just do they do add a lovely colour to the dish, but also add the flavour. Its a simple to do, yet flavourful dish. No harm trying :)

Ingredients :-

250 gms - cottage chesse or paneer (diced into cubes)
1 red bell pepper - (diced into cubes)
1 yellow bell pepper (diced into cubes)
1/2 green bell pepper (diced into cubes)
1 big onion - diced into cubes
2 medium tomatoes - pureed
4-5 pods garlic - grated
1/2 inch ginger - grated
1 tbspn - cream
1/4 tspn - turmeric / haldi powder
1/4 tspn - red chilli powder
1 tspn - corriander / dhania powder
1/2 tspn - garam masala powder

Recipe :-

In a wok add a tbspn of oil and add the onions. Fry on low heat till they get soft and pink.
Try doing it on slow heat so as not to burn it.
Add the ginger and garlic and fry well
Add the turmeric and fry well
Add the corriander and chilli and garam masala and fry well
Add the tomatoes and fry till the oil separates. Add salt to your liking.
Now add the bell peppers and mix and cover and cook for about 5 minutes
Add the cottage cheese and cream and toss everything together and cook for about 2 minutes on high. Close the flame and garnish with corriander leaves.

Serve with fluffly rotis or naans.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Yeaahh whats life without this cock-a-doodle-doo bird.  You wouldnt have eggs, you wouldnt have butter chicken, you wouldnt have chicken pakoda, you wouldnt have ............the list is endless.  Isint it?

When I got married to a guy who is a preferred vegetarian, I out of sheer love decided I too would follow suit and discard the "meat" variety from my palate.  Rajeev never asked me to do so, but I volunteered. 

The pain started when I walked into mum's house and saw her making delicious chicken fry!! Hmmmm, "beta kha lo".  "Nahi mummy mein nahi khaoongi".  Translated into English for my friends who dont understand Hindi "daughter, please eat this" "No mom, I wont".  All this while my stomach was rumbling and grumbling.  My hands were jumping up and down to just pick up on peice and pop into my mouth.

I came home that night, sad, but still determined not to give up.  I stood upto my decision for............all for 6 months!!!! Yes, that was all that my will power could stand.  My mom's wonderful chicken dishes, I could not hold myself back!!  If that was funny.

Now I am a mom myself, and I have a 2 year old who digs into chicken like Popeye digs Spinach!!! Mamma chincken want!!! Yes that's what she says, somedays as soon as she opens her little brown eyes in the morning.

Well, so I really cant imagine what life would be without CHINCKEN

I had Methi Chicken lately at Open House and was determined to try it at home, and so I did for a gathering of friends, and it sure was delicious.

Here's my version

Ingredients :-

500 gms - boneless chicken
2 big onions - grated
6-7 pods of garlic
2 big tomatoes - pureed
1 cup - methi / fenugreek leaves
1/2 tspn - garam masala
2 tbspn - thick yoghurt (you could add cream if you dont like the sournes which is actually negligble)
2 tbspn - dhania / coriander seed powder
1 tspn - turmeric powder
2 tspn - chilli powder
2 pods - cardamom
bay leaves

Method :-

Clean, clean, clean the chicken (very important)
In a wok add about 3 tbspn oil
Add the cardamom pods and the bay leaves
After about 1/2 a minute add the grated garlic.
Then add the onions and a big pinch of salt
Fry well, till about reaching golden brown
Add the turmeric powder, mix well till the raw smell is gone
Add the dhania powder and fry well
Now add the tomato puree
Fry till the oil starts showing indicating that the masala is cooked
Now add the yoghurt and the chicken
Fry on high for about 5 minutes
Now cover and cook till the chicken is done
If want a little gravy you could either add some more beaten yoghurt or plain water
Lastly add the cleaned fenugreek leaves and cook on high for about 2-3 minutes.
Finish off with garam masala and green chillies