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" I am neither especially clever nor especially gifted. I am only very very curious" - Albert Einstien. I honestly think life is an eternal quest of knowing oneself. As I try my hands on various recipes, I am trying to rediscover my hidden traits and talents. I have immense pleasure sharing it to the world and say 'if these recipes worked for me, it would certainly work for you as well'. I am sure the journey of thousand miles should begin with the first step. Now I have taken my first step towards writing this blog and hope to keep it going with all of your support and motivation. All my readers, I would like to thank you very much for visiting my blog and making use of them to the fullest. Good luck!

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Very Berry Muffins!

On a nice spring morning, walked along the lushy green pastures to a local produce market to find the most fresh berries of the season. These berries were irrestible and amazingly fresh! Could not wait to blend all of them into something that most of us would enjoy. The Very Berry muffin bursts with flavor and the buttermilk adds to it.


- All purpose flour -                  2 1/2 cups
- Granulated  White Sugar -     3/4 cup
-Baking Powder                -     2 teaspoon
-Baking  Soda                   -    1/2 teaspoon           
- Salt                                 -    1/4 teaspoon
- Zest of 1 Orange or Lemon
- Egg                               -      1
-Buttermilk                      -      1 cup
-Vegetable, Canola Oil    -      1/2 cup
-Vanilla extract                -      1 teaspoon
-Fresh or frozen berries (Strawberry, Blueberry, Rasberry, Blackberry)  - 11/2 - 2 cups


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the  muffin tray with with liners or a non stick cooking spray each muffin cup measuring 2 3/4 x 1/1/2 inch (About 12 muffin cups).

In a measuring cup whisk toghether the wet ingredients,egg, buttermilk, vanilla extract and oil.

In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and the zests. Fold in the berries. With a spatula, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Make sure it is not overmixed just to retain the texture of the muffin or they may become tough. Fill each cup almost full with batter using 2 spoons or an icecream scoop. Place in the oven and bake till 20- 25 mins. Make sure when a tooth pick inserted comes clean. Let it cool for 5- 10 mins.

- If using frozen berries, make sure you bake for extra 5- 10 mins
- I tried using some nuts as well. Walnuts and pecans.

Adapted from Australian womens weekly best food cookbook and JOB

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Keylime Pie

Keylime pie
Key Lime Pie originated in Key West, Florida by the local residents referred to as "Conchs". The original version was made before the days of refrigeration.There were no cattle in the area so the only milk available was canned milk originally brought in by ship, later by train. This is why the recipe uses canned milk and not fresh. Also, the traditional key lime pie would not be cooked. The acid from the lime juice would set and thicken the egg yolks. Key lime pie starts with a sweet and grainy graham cracker crust is filled with a creamy smooth lime flavored filling, and topped with lots of whipped cream.
Graham Cracker Crust:
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
5 - 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3 large egg yolks, room temperature
One 14 - ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice (can use regular limes)
2 teaspoons grated lime zest (outer skin)

1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar

Proceedure :
Key Lime Pie:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the oven rack in the center of the oven.
Butter or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 inch pie or tart pan.

Graham Cracker Crust:
Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter.
Press the loose mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan forming a crust Bake for about 10 minutes or until set and lightly browned.
Remove from oven and wait for it to completely cool down.

Using your electric mixer, beat the egg yolks until pale and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Gradually add the condensed milk and beat until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat in the lime juice and zest.
Pour the filling over the crust and bake for about 10 - 15 minutes, or until the filling is set. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once it has completely cooled, cover and refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Once the filling has chilled, in the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the whipping cream and sugar until soft firm peaks. Either pipe or place mounds of whipping cream on top of the filling. Can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
People whose tastebuds crave for a little tang, this is your perfect dessert!!!

Joy of Baking
Grigson, Jane. 'Jane Grigson's Fruit Book'. Penguin Books London. London: 1982.
Stewart, Martha. 'Martha Stewart's Baking Book'. Clarkson Potter/Publishers. New York: 2005.
Walter, Carole. 'Great Pies & Tarts'. Clarkson Potter/Publishers. New York: 1998.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Eggless Chocolate cake

Eggless Chocolate Cake

The best part of this cake is that despite it being eggless, it retains its moisure and is absolutely delicious. Another wonderful part is that it uses just one mixing bowl to make this entire cake. Saves a lot of time in cleaning and very little mess. I usually frost this with molten chocolate with heavy cream and it is sinfully tasty! It would work great as a birthday/anniversary cake or even a casual desert.

- All purpose flour - 1 1/2 cups
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Unsweetened Cocoa -1/4 cup
-Baking powder -1 teaspoon
-Baking Soda -1 teaspoon
-Salt - 1/4 teasoon
-Unsalted Butter - 1/3 cup (melted)
-Warm water - 1 cup
-Lemon juice - 1 tablespoon
-Vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon
- Semi Sweet Chocolate - 6 ounces ( I use Bakers or Ghriradelli) ( Chopped)
- Heavy Cream - 3/4 cup
- Unsalted Butter - - 1 tablespoon ( room temp)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees
2. In an 8 inch square/Rectangle pan, add flour, sugar, sifted cocoa powder baking powder, baking soda and salt. Give it a nice stir.
3. Add the melted butter, water, lemon juice, and vanilla extract to the flour mixture. Using a spatula, mix everything well. Make sure all the ingredients come together smoothly. Bake for 35 mins and make sure when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let it cool completely.

Frosting :
- Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream and butter and let it come to a rolling boil. Pour out the boiling butter and cream mixture over the chocolate. Let it stand for about 5 mins. Using a fork, stir it smooth. Then let it sit in the room temperature for about an hour and then beat it ganache untill it is light and creamy. Using a knife or spatula spread it over the cooled cake.

PS: Use M&M's to decorate, or any kind of icing of your choice.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Badam/ Almond Cake / Halwa

Badam Halwa:
I am sure most of us aware of the nutrional value of Almonds. Almonds are loaded with protien, Calcium, Magnesium, and Pottassium. Halwa is a rich comforting dessert and is popular in lot of cultures around the globe. There are different kinds of halwa's.. Carrot, Wheat, Semolina, Nuts Etc.. Some with milk, some with condensed milk etc. Particularly I love badam Halwa for its richness and its divine taste.
-3 cups of Badam
-Add milk to cover it
-4 tablespoon ghee
-3 cups sugar
-Food color
- 2- 3 Cadamom
1. Soak the badam in water for about 2-3 hours and peel the skin. Alternatively, drop the Badam in boiling water for about 30 mins and peel the skin. Or buy the blanched badam's - they work great too.
2. In a blender, add the Badam's and add milk just to cover it. Run the blender to grind it into a coase paste.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee in a nonstick pan and add the badam mixture to it. Start stirring the mixure. Add sugar to this mixture. Now it should be a quite liquidy mixture. Keep stirring. After a while you would begin to notice that the mixure is cooking. Continue to stir without taking your hands of the laddle.
4. Add some saffron bits, food color and cardomam and continue to stir. The key here is to not to burn the mixture. It is very easy to get this burned. So continue stirring and you will see the mixture begining to thicken. Stir Stir and Stir for abt 30 mins totally. Add 2 tablespoon ghee to make sure that the halwa is not sticking to the pan.
5. When the halwa is not sticking to the pan and you see it is just about easy to take it off the pan, that is when you know your halwa is ready. Transfer it into a plate/ tray. Halwa begins to solidify when it is cooling. So when you see it is still in a semi - solid stage take it out and transfer it. I cooked it a lil more and it became a cake, but if you want it in halwa consistency transfer it when it just is in semi- solid stage.
This is the best sweet I have ever eaten . Enjoy!

Apple Pie

Apple Pie
Usually Apple pie is one of America's favorite dessert. I personally love Apple pie because of the spices and the brown sugar'd apples which yeild a divine taste. Usually you can use any firm Apples which would stand the heat from baking them. I have made Apple pie several times and each time I made them, I tried different combinations of Apples. I have used Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Rome and Braeburn. You get these apples year around and I usually buy it from the local farmers market as I reaslised they are of superior quality and flaovor. The base of the Apple pie - the pie crust can be bought from the store, however I make it myself, that ways it is easier for me to tweek it a lil bit to adjust to our tastebuds. This recipe was orginally taken and from Joyof Baking and Rose Levy Beranbaum Pie and Pastry Bible who says this pie needs to be baked on a baking stone which gives the bottom crust fully brown and wonderful taste. This apple pie can be served just as is or it tastes even better with vanilla icecream or whipped cream.

Pie Crust:
-1/2 cups All-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon Salt
-2 tablespoon granulated white sugar
-1 cup unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into cubes
-1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

Apple Pie Filling
-2 1/2 pounds apples (about 6 large), peeled, cored, and sliced
-1/4 cup granulated white sugar
-1/4 cup light brown sugar
-1 tablespoon lemon juice
-1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
-1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch (corn flour)
Pie Crust:
1.Take the flour, salt, and sugar and mix until combined. Then add the butter and using a hand mixer or your processor, mix until the mixture resembles coarse meal (Say about 15 seconds).
2. Add 1/4 cup water in a slow, steady stream, until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water. Use your hands and knead into a ball. This again should resemble a chapati dough.

3.Divide the dough in half, flattening each half into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour before using. This will chill the butter and relax the gluten in the flour.

4.After about an hour or more, remove one portion of the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 12 inch circle. Fold the dough in half and gently transfer to a 9 inch pie pan. Brush off any excess flour and trim the edges of the pastry to fit the pie pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
5. Then remove the second round of pastry and roll it into a 12 inch circle. Transfer to a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator.
Apple Pie Filling:
1.In a large bowl combine the sliced apples, sugars, lemon juice , ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
2.Let the apples macerate at room temperature for 30 minutes to three hours. (I usually keep it in the fridge overnite.)Then, place the apples and their juices in a strainer that is placed over a large bowl (to capture the juices). Let the apples drain for about 15-30 minutes or until you have at least 1/2 cup of juice.
3.Spray a heatproof measuring cup with a nonstick vegetable spray, and then pour in the collected juices and the 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Place in the microwave and boil the liquid, on high, 6 to 7 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to about 1/3 cup . (Alternatively, you could place the juices and butter in a small saucepan and boil over medium high heat on the stove - This has worked the best for me all the time that I tried this dish.)
4. Meanwhile, take the top pastry crust from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes so it has time to soften . Transfer the drained apples slices to this pastry crust nd mix them with the cornstarch (corn flour). Then pour the reduced syrup over the apples and toss to combine. Moisten the edges of the pie shell with a little water or milk and then place the top crust over the apples. Tuck any excess pastry under the bottom crust and then crimp the edges using your fingers or a fork. Using a sharp knife make five 2-inch slits from the center of the pie out towards the edge of the pie to allow the steam to escape.
5.Cover the pie with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill the pastry while you preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F . Place the oven rack at the lowest level. Place a piece of aluminum foil on the pan to catch any apple juices. The apple juice will definitely wooze out and make sure you have an alumnium foil below. Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes or until the juices start to bubble through the slits and the apples feel tender (not mushy) when a toothpick or sharp knife is inserted through one of the slits. Make sure to cover the edges of the pie with a foil ring to prevent over browning after about 30 minutes.
6.Remove the pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 3-4 hours before cutting. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or softly whipped cream. Store at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
Makes one 9 inch pie.
Lattice Crust:
If you would like to make a lattice crust, as in the picture, roll the top pastry into a 13 inch circle. Using pizza cutter, cut the pastry into 2 cm strips. Place the strips of pastry on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. Once the bottom crust is filled with the apple slices, remove the lattice pastry from the refrigerator and, starting at the center with the longest strips and working outwards, space the strips about 2 cm apart. Use the shortest pastry strips at the outer edges. Then, rotate pie plate a quarter turn, and repeat the process with the rest of the strips. Weave the top strips over and under the bottom strips. Trim the edges of the strips, leaving a 1 inch overhang. Seal the edges of the pastry strips by folding them under the bottom pastry crust and flute the edges of the pastry. Brush the lattice pastry with milk and sprinkle with a little sugar.
-The Pie and Pastry Bible - Beranbaum, Rose levy.

Dal Makhini

Dal Makhini
My husband is a great fan of Dal Makhini. It is the easiest dish I have ever prepared and the creamy texture of this dish is absolutely divine. Makhini in hindi is buttery and this dish totally lives up to it:) Its nutional value is no less. One cup of the Black urad Dal has about 27 grams of Protein. The spices blend together so well and gives out a complex flavour. If you are entertaining a wondering what to prepare, Dal Makini would be your best bet. Here you go with the recipe.

1 cup whole urad dal (Black Lentils)
1/4 rajma (Red Kidney Beans)
Abt 10 channa dal (Bengal gram dal, also Ok to use chickpeas/garbanzo beans)
1/2 inch ginger, peeled and Grated
2 – 3 Garlic cloves
2 Green chillies
salt to taste

1 tspn cumin
2 – 3 garlic and cloves
2 - tomatoes or 1/2 can Tomato paste
1- Onion
Cilantro to garnish
2 Teaspoons butter
1/2 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon or more chilli powder
1/2 tspn garam masala
1/2 tspn Turmeric powder


1. Soak all the lentils together for few hours. Say about 3-4 hrs. Wash and rinse them .

2. Pressure cook them with Ginger, Garlic, Cloves, Tomato, Onion, Garam masala, Chilli Powder, Turmeric powder and Salt. Make sure you keep them in a low fire and let it go atleast 5 - 6 whilstles. That is when, the lentils cook well together and gives out a wonderful texture.

3. Once the lentils are cooked, using the back of a laddle, gently mash the lentils till they come together. In another pan warm up some butter and toss in the Jeera and add these lentils. Stir in the cream till and cook in a low fire for about 10 mins. Now you should get a nice creamy consistency. Add salt if required.

4. Garnish with Cilantro. Serve with Jeera rice or Rotis!

Cuban Beans and Jasmine Rice

Cuban Beans and Jasmine Rice:
Dry beans lend themselves well to slow cooking and when they slow cook, the spice blend in well to emit a nice complex flavor which is absolutely authentic and wonderful. This recipe was extracted from 'Cooking light' in which they say this recipe is a protien rich.
- 1 pound dried Black beans
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups chopped Onion
- 1 1/2 cups chopped Red bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped Green pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
- 2 teaspoon ground corriander
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground oregano
- 2 teaspoons sherry or red wine vinegar
- 2 cans diced tomatoes and green chilles - drained
- 3 cups Jasmine Rice
Hot sauce (optional)
1. Soak the beans for about 8 hours. Drain beans.
2. Combine beans, 2 cups of water and the next 1o ingredients in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for atleast 5 hours or untill the beans is tender. Stir in Vinegar and Tomatoes. Serve over rice and sprinkle with Hot sauce.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Paneer Jalfrezi

Paneer Jalfrezi
For most people from India, Paneer is one of the favorite ingredients that they would like to toss in their dishes. Paneer is high in protien and it is absolutely versatile. Paneer retains it shape and texture when fried, boiled in curry sauce and can even be grated. There are many dishes that you can create out of paneer. Here is one of my favorite dishes. I personally like Paneer Jalfrezi for the fact that I can toss in some veges, which would keep up to the nutritional value of the dish as well. Check out the recipe below and leave me a comment to let me know how your dish turned out to be.

Tomato - 3( Diced) Or Tomato paste - 1 can -
Onions - 2 ( Big) (Diced)
Paneer - 1 packet ( make sure it is cubed and fried, or please cut and fry the paneer till the sides become golden brown)
Colored Capcicum/ Pepper - 3 ( I used Red, Yellow and Green Peppers)
Green chillies - 3
Ginger - 2 teaspoons
Garlic - 3 pods
Red chilli Powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Garam masala - 1 teaspoon
Black pepper ( Freshly ground) - 1/2 teaspoon
Corriander seeds/ Dhania - 1 teaspoon
Jeera - 1 teaspoon
Butter - 2 teaspoons
Salt to taste
Lemon Juice - 1 teaspoon
Cashew - 3 teaspoons

1. Take butter in a cast pan and warm it up. While the butter is getting warm, toss in Jeera, Corriander seeds and Onion. Wait till the onion gets to a golden brown color. Add the diced tomato, green chilli, Cashew, garlic and ginger. Fry it a lil more. Add a lil salt to the mixture and you will see the mixure generating a lil water. Let the mixure cook well till the tomato - onion mixture becomes nice and mushy. Bring the flame to low and continue to fry it. To this, add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and black pepper. Make sure everything cooks in a low flame for some time. This ways all the spices blend well. After everything is incorporated well, turn the flame off and let it cool for sometime. Using a blender, blend the cooled mixture into a fine paste. The key is blending into a real fine paste.

2. Take another pan and add a teaspoon of butter and fry the paneer. When the paneer is getting fried add the Colored Peppers/ Capcicum. Fry till the peppers become tender. Add the groung tomato - onion mixture to this. If the gravy is too thick, add some cream or milk to give it a creamy consistency. Finally add salt to taste and garnish it with sping onions and Cilantro.

Paneer Jalfrezi is ready to be served with Naan/ Roti or Jeera Rice.

Note: The recipe is written for hot spicy tougue's. Please feel free to adjust the spice level. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cauliflower in Mugalai Gravy!

Cauliflower in Mugalai Gravy!
- 2 small sized Cauliflowers
- 1 teaspoon - turmeric,
- 1 teaspoon Garam masala
-1 teaspoon Chilli Powder
- 3 green Chillies
-1 tablespoon Ginger,
-1 tablespoon Garlic finely chopped
-1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
-2 teaspoons Coriander seeds
-1" piece Cinnamon broken or 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
-4- 5 green Cardamoms
-2 tablespoons Cashewnuts
-2 large Onions finely sliced
-4 tablespoon milk
-1 cup Tomato puree (Hunt Tomato puree is good)
-1 cup water
-2 tablespoon Grated Paneer
-4 tablespoon oil
salt to taste
-Fresh cream and
-finely chopped cilantro sprigs for garnishing
1. In a cast pan toast together cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon, cardamoms and cashewnuts till they are slightly brown and aromatic. Add 2 teaspoon of oil and fry the onion till it turns golden brown. Allow to cool. Grind together onions, toasted spices, green chillies and chopped ginger-garlic. The key here is make sure the mixture is completly ground well into fine paste.
In a stock pot bring enough water and a little salt to a rapid boil. Turn the stove off and then place the cleaned cauliflowers in hot water for about 10 minutes. Make sure the cauliflowers dont cook too much, otherwise it looses its shape and becomes tender and mushy. We are trying to retain the shape of the cauliflower.
Heat half the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan till hot. Add the cauliflower. Cover and cook while stirring occasionally on medium level till the cauliflowers are browned lightly and cooked. It is very important that when you fry the cauliflower you are gentle with it. Make sure it does not loose shape. Slowly remove fried cauliflowers and set aside.
Add the remaining oil, heat it till hot and fry the paste on till the oil separates. Add the turmeric powder, garam masala . Add the tomato puree, water and sprinkle salt to taste. Mix well. Reduce the flame and add the milk slowly while stirring to get a thick gravy. Add little of this mixure on to the cauliflower. While the cauliflower marinates in the gravy for sometime add some water to the remaining gravy to get a desired consistency. Add some of the chopped fresh coriander, grated paneer and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Pour the gravy into a bowl. Now place the stuffed cauliflowers in the same pan and pour the gravy over it evenly. Cover tightly and keep on low flame for about 5 minutes or till it is heated through fully. Alternatively arrange the cauliflowers topped with gravy on a serving plate and heat through in a preheated oven.
Garnish with fresh cream and finely chopped coriander leaves.
Serve it with Jeera rice or Roti/Nan

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pineapple Orange Muffins!

Pineapple - Orange Muffins!
When I first made them, I was so doubtful about the whole recipe. It has an whole 8 ounce can of crushed Pineapple and it has Orange zest, extract and Juice. I was thinking it is going to be super tangy and usually tangy stuff hurts my throat. I was just amazed how this the Pineapple, Pecans and the Oranges come together to give a flavor explosion. None of the ingredients stand out, and this recipe is a perfect example of how different things can yield to one common flavor. This recipe is all about flavor and it works very well for a dessert with fruits like in the picture or can be served during breakfast along with yogurt. Either ways it tastes wonderful.
1/2 cup - Pecans
2 cups - All-purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon Baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 teaspoon pure orange extract
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 - 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
For the Glaze:
1/2 cup - granulated white sugar
1/3 cup (80 ml) fresh orange juice
1)Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . Toast the pecans for 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool and then chop them roughly.

2) Greast 36 miniature muffin pan.

3)Take a large bowl and combine, the flour, salt, and baking soda. Make sure you whisk them well.

4) Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using a hand mixture. Add the egg and beat until it blends well. Beat in the sour cream, orange extract, and orange zest. Finally add the flour to the mixture and beat just until everything comes together as a thick batter. Now as the last step fold in the toasted pecans and drained pineapple.

5)Fill the muffin tray little by little. Make sure they are half filled.
6) Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned While the muffins are baking combine the
7) While the muffin is baking get together the glaze ingredients (sugar and orange juice) in a cup.

8) Once the muffins are totaly done, and sprinke the glaze over the muffins while they are nice and warm.
Your Pineapple orange muffins are ready!
Extracts : Joyofbaking