Hello my wonderful readers!
How have you all been? As you can see, I haven’t really had much time to blog and cook as I have been spending time at the school and after with my little one. I stay at the school along wth my baby and once we are back we continue with activities etc together. Not cause blogging is not as interesting, its just that it really feels nice to spend time with Adi. In the last few weeks, as a mother there are so many changes in my little one and its just the best. I couldn’t imagine not sharing these changes with him. The perks of staying home with your baby, I guess 🙂
For March – April the temperatures are soaring like crazy and apparently they are only going to get worse. So I decided to make a little lemon sponge cake for the evening tea. The cake is light and spongy and so so delicious. Paired with a cup of tea this makes the perfect summer evening tea.
As the days go by there is this reality that hits you that these moments, hot, cold, summer or rain, will never come back. Little precious moments with the little boy and as a mum the only thing you want is for your little one to be able to make decisions on his own with a sensible head. As a parent we are so so weak. Some times even if its for his good, it takes a lot out of me to keep a straight face when I am trying to explain why he should do some thing . Or when I ask him if he wants to go to school and he replies with “OR THE MALL? ” like its really an option .. lol…. secretly I think he enjoys the car / auto ride to and from the school more than anything. He holds the railing behind the auto driver and pretends to be driving the auto with all the expression and sound effects the auto and its driver. Once we are home, everyday he makes a fuss to enter home. Cause he knows its time for lunch and then his afternoon sleep which is such a struggle!! But in all its the best feeling to see his little black straight hair flutter gently when he runs to jump, his little look from the corner of his eye when I ask him to keep back things or when I say “What did Amma say?” and he says ” No Skweeeeming ” … These little moments make my heart warm and every moment worth living. Oh my there I go again about how I love my little honey bee.
Ok back to the recipe. You want all the ingredient at room temperature and do not forget to butter and dust the pan WELL!
- Flour – 1 + 1/2 cups
- Butter – 1 cup
- Eggs – 3
- Butter milk – 1 Cup ( whisked well)
- Caster Sugar – 1 + 1/4 cup
- Vanilla Extract – 1 tbsp
- Lemon Zest – from 2 lemons / 1/4 cup
- Lemon Juice – from 2 Lemons
- Baking Powder – 2 tsp
- Extra butter and flour to grease and dust the pan
- Extra powdered Sugar for dusting
- Pre Heat the oven to 180C
- Grese and dust a pan with butter and flour. Make sure to tap out the excess flour
- Now in a large bowl, add the butter and sugar . Cream till pale and fluffy
- Then add the eggs one at a time. Make sure to cream the mixture well and incorporate as much air as possible.
- In a large pan, mix the flour and baking powder. Sieve the mixture thrice to incorporate air and to distribute the Baking powder well in the flour
- Now into the butter and egg mixture, add the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract and mix well ( if you are using a hand whisk this is easy, the same can be done with a hand held whisk)
- Next add the butter milk to the lemon egg mixture and mix well
- With a spatula divide the flour mixture into 3 and slowly fold the flour into the buttermilk butter egg mixture ( wet mixture)
- Once you have added all the flour to the wet mixture, your batter is ready! ( do not over mix the batter)
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and tap to release bubbles
- Pop the cake tin into the pre heated oven and bake for 45 – 50 mins or till the tooth pick inserted comes out clean
- Cool completely on a cooling rack and then turn it out onto a plate
- Finally dust with powdered sugar and lemon slices !
Enjoy your summer Tea party ❤
Hello my wonderful readers,
Do you follow my Instagram feed? Many a times Appam is our preferred breakfast and it is super easy to make once you have the batter. Much like the dosa batter but I use yeast in this recipe. There are recipes that do not include yeast but I love that lovely fermented smell that comes from the yeast and frankly its more like a – ‘Soak, Dump , Grind and Rest’ method. The reason it is called a Lace Hopper is because of those wonderful intricate lace like weave that it has on the outsides. The inner centre of the circle is thicker and the outer ring is crispier. These are perfect with a coconut milk based egg curry. The recipe for which I will share later. You could also pair with left over curry from the previous day.
My son started school this week and man now I know how it feels to be a mum of child going to school!! no am not talking about the work that goes into getting him ready for school but the fact that this little human being is already ready to start his formal education! The school is like no other school we have ever seen. It believes in being as natural and close to the environment as possible. Infact as you enter into the school you wonder where the building and concrete structures of the school is. Lots of lush green, children learning under trees, no foot wear, greeting each other with a namaste. In all, this is the perfect place for my little one. While the little one is inside his little environment, I sit outside and just breathe! all the fresh air and the sounds of chirping birds, the occasional squirrel running around. It feels like a Gurukula straight out of the Mahabharata! In all this new change is one my little bunny is trying hard to cope up with but is also something he looks forward too. Wish me luck people! I hope he likes it for all the years to come..
So back to the recipe! This recipe makes easily 20 appams and you have 3 breakfasts from the week sorted.
Now before I get into the recipe, I wanted to tell you this. Traditionally appam is make with ” Kallu” / palm wine / Toddy . It helps in the fermentation and it gives the appam its unique smell. But Kallu is hard to find and yeast gives you just about the same smell so why not? My grandmother lives on a property that houses almost 5 dozen coconut trees and so back in Kerala toddy is easier to come across and the appam is so so good! Also the heat and the humidity of the place also helps in making the perfect batter. This is my straingforward recipe and it works all the time. All you need to make sure is it to keep the batter in a warm place of your kitchen over night. Not in the fridge! Not near a window with cold air blowing in etc. A nice warm corner for the yeast fairy to work her magic!
- Ponni Rice – 2 cups
- Boiled cooked rice – 1 cup
- Desiccated Coconut – 1 cup
- Yeast – 1 tsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp + 3 tbsp
- Warm Water – 3 cups ( more if required)
- Coconut oil for greasing the pan
- In a large vessel, wash the Ponni rice. Then soak the rice in water for 5 -6 hours ( 12 hours is best) I usually soak in the morning and do the rest after dinner
- After the rice has soaked in the water for sufficient time, in the bowl of your grinder or blender, add the soaked rice, cooked rice and desiccated coconut
- In a small bowl add 1/2 cup of warm water and 1 tsp of sugar. Then add the yeast and let it stand still till the yeast becomes frothy ( activated yeast)
- Then add 2 cups of water to the blender jar with the rice and coconut and blend to form a nice smooth paste. There shouldn’t be any coarse rice pieces or coconut pieces
- finally just before you remove the blender jar from the machine, add the yeast water and the rest of the water and run the blender for 1 min.
- Now use a large vessel / container for the fermentation.
- Pour the batter into the container and add 2 tbsp of sugar. Mix well and combine.
- Now cover the container loosely and set it on a plate. Place the container in a warm place over night. By the next morning you will see the batter rise up and be bubbly
- This is because of the yeast in the batter . Your batter is ready
- Now heat up your appam chatti. ( Appa chatti is a vessel that is used to make these hoppers, the market is flooded with teflon non stick pans, but I DO NOT USE any teflon / non stick pans in my kitchen, so if you are interested in buying a pan I suggest you look for a iron pan, the one I own is from — the Village Fair
- Heat your Appa chatti on a medium flame. Once it is hot grease the pan lightly with coconut oil. I dip a cotton cloth in oil and then spread it around the chatti
- Now using a ladle pour the fermented Batter into the chatti. Slowly swirl the chatti round to spread the batter to all the sides of the chatti and then place it back in the flame. You will notice that the batter settle back to the centre. That is fine, that is what gives it that fully centre and crisp side. Now if you do not like it to thick, just reduce the amount of batter and rotate the chatti for a little longer that way all sides are crisp yet not too thick. Also make sure to use mittens or use a cotton cloth to hold the sides of the chatti
- Close with the lid and cook on medium flame for 3 -4 mins
- Once it is done, take off the lid and let it cook for 1 min.
- Finally using a soft wooden spatula loosen the sides of the appam
- Then slowly loosen the centre and transfer to a plate!
- Your appams are ready! Serve with egg curry, or Kadala curry
Hello my Dear Wonderful People!
How are you all doing? Happy Valentines day! A day for love, a day to be loved and a day for love to be loved! Yup.. Its one whole day when we get to show our special people that they matter to us. And unlike many people, I absolutely love the idea of having this day. No it doesn’t not mean that we can’t show love on other days, and if you see it like that then I feel sorry for you. If you giving me another chance to show you how much you mean to me and you make it mandatory on the 14th of every Feb then I am taking it! Cause you know what? no matter how hard I try, some days, I forget to tell you how much you mean to me. Somedays I try but I might not be able to get to you cause you were having a bad day. But today I am going to take that day. Also maybe 20 years from now, this day might not mean as much as it does today but so what? Today is what matters right?
So on this special day, I decided to make my husband his favourite deep fried snack. These cutlets. I do not make them often, infact the last time I made them was close to a year ago. Simply cause they are deep fried and they involve quite a few steps. But once you make them, you could make a large batch and freeze them and use them as and when you want. That is what I did this time 🙂 This recipe is from my grandmother and her cutlets are out of this world. These little bites of heaven are perfect for a evening snack or a great side for dinner time. There are many variations to these cutlets, some people add cashews to the meat and some others fry the meat and add rice flour. My recipe is quite straightforward. Boil / cook each part of the recipe. Combine , dip , coat and fry! FINISH!
- Chicken – 500 gms ( boneless)
- Potatoes – 4 large
- Onions – 3 cups ( chopped fine )
- Green Chillies – 10 ( adjust to taste)
- Ginger – 4 inch knob
- Garlic – 14 cloves
- Turmeric Powder – 2 tsp + 1 tsp
- Coriander Powder – 4 tsp + 1 tsp
- Garam Masala Powder – 3 tsp
- Pepper Powder – 2 tsp
- Fresh Coriander Leaves – 1 cup ( chopped)
- Mint leaves – 1 cup (chopped)
- Salt – 1 tsp + 2 tsp + 1 tsp ( adjust to taste)
- Oil – 2 tbsp + more for deep frying
- Eggs – 2 ( beaten )
- Bread Crumbs – 1 cup ( more according to shape of cutlet)
- Peel potatoes and boil till soft. Set aside
- In a pressure cooker add the chicken pieces. Then add 1 tsp turmeric powder + pepper powder (2 tsp) + Coriander powder 1 tsp + 1 tsp salt. Pressure cook the chicken for 3 whistles. ( If you do not have a cooker, just use a pot and boil the chicken till cooked well.)
- Once the chicken is cooked, open the cooker and look for water. If there is excess water, cook the chicken on high flame till all the water has evaporated. Same for when cooking in a pot. Once all the water has evaporated, set aside to cool down
- Then in a blender, blend the chicken to form a coarse paste. Make sure not to grind it too much. You want some chucks of chicken to remain
- In a large flat bottom pot, add 2 tbsp of oil. Once the oil is hot. add the onions and fry till golden brown. During this time in a mortar and pestle add the ginger + garlic and green chillies. Crush to form a nice coarse paste
- Add the ginger paste to the onions and fry till the garlic looses its raw smell
- Then add the rest of the turmeric powder + coriander powder + garam masala powder. Give it a good mix and fry till the masala has cooked well into the onion mixture
- Set aside to cool. During this time lets get our assembly line ready 🙂
- In one plate add the boiled potatoes + the onions spice mixture. Add the fresh mint and coriander
- Mix with your hand to evenly distribute all the ingredients. Then add the ground chicken
- after you have mixed the chicken with the rest of the spiced potato mixture, make small patties of equal size and set on a large cookie sheet or plate
- Now with one hand dunk the patties into the light beaten egg mixture and then into the bread crumbs to coat evenly
- Set aside in a large plate ready for frying!
- In a large wok or Khadai, heat oil
- Once the oil is hot ( on medium heat) fry the patties till golden brown
- Reserve on kitchen paper to drain excess oil
- Serve right away with ketchup!
Hello my dear wonderful readers!
Is it Thursday already???? Some times I cannot believe how the days go by. My little monkey a.k.a my son 🙂 is also growing up so fast. Let me tell you why I say that. My little boy has a cold and till yesterday what comes so easily to us, was the hardest thing for him. What is that one thing that we often do when we have a cold? we blow our nose! But my little 2 year had no clue how to blow his nose. All he would do is a “kaaaarrkkkkkkkk” sound into a tissue if I ask him blow his nose. Yesterday some how, I asked him to do the same and guess what?? it worked!!! He actually blew his nose!! Now I know you are thinking OMG what is this woman talking about! So here is something, parenting is such a roller coaster, that every single minute you learn and you grow. You do not have to be a parent to a human, it could be a cute little pup or cat or any animal you want to appreciate what i am saying. When they are tiny they are so fragile that once they start showing signs of growing up, every step calls for a celebration. At least I do. Your child is a celebration of your life. The joys I have found as a mum are unparalleled and can never be forgotten.
Now coming back to this recipe. It was actually a test recipe but given that I made quite a few yesterday and only 4 remain, I think it would be apt to share the recipe with you all. So I asked my dear husband to buy some fresh thyme for a dinner I was making and he got this huge packet of thyme so needless to say, you might see a lot of “Thyme” based recipes coming your way 🙂
Strawberries and thyme are a match made in heaven. So if you wanna make a fun snack with fresh strawberry jam or even store bought organic jam then this is just the one. When I was a little girl my mum would always make me have a jam sandwich and a tall glass of milk on the table just before I went out to play. This recipe reminds me so much of those days.
The bread is not just any bread. It is the most fluffiest, softest, tastiest bread ever. Because of the addition of butter and eggs this bread is just delicious just by itself too. The little thyme adds a certain mystical, lemony smell and taste. Winter mornings with a cup of tea and these buns are the perfect breakfast in bed option too.
Ingredients for the bread :-
- Flour – 2 cups
- Sugar – 5 tbsp
- Yeast – 2 tsp
- Salt – 1/4 tsp
- Milk – 2/3 cup (warm)
- Water – 1/3 cup
- Eggs – 2 (lightly beaten)
- Butter – 105 gms (softened and at room temp)
- In a bowl combine milk, sugar and yeast. Set aside till frothy and bubbly
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the flour and butter. With the hook attachment mix till a bread crumb consistency is achieved
- Then add the eggs and mix well
- Next add the yeast mixture and milk in a steady stream with the mixer on low
- Once you are done, add the salt and let the dough mix for 10 – 12 mins on medium speed
- Mean while oil a glass bowl with 1/2 tsp of oilve oil and set aside
- Now you will notice that the dough is quite wet but that’s ok, continue mixing till the dough is nice and elastic
- Finally tip the elastic dough into the prepared bowl
- Cover with a cloth and set in a warm place till the dough doubles in size ( 1 – 3 hrs)
- During that time. Lets assemble the ingredients for the filling
- Strawberry Jam – 2 cups ( depends on how thin you roll out the dough)
- Fresh Thyme – 4 tbsp
- Caramel – 3 tbsp ( or as required)
- Egg – 1 (whisked well)
- Butter for greasing
- Pre Heat your oven to 200 C and grease a cupcake tray with butter. Set aside
- Flour your work counter with flour and dump the flour into the counter. Make sure to deflate the dough in the bowl first
- Slowly knead for 1 min till it forms a ball. Divide the ball into 2 equal halves
- Then using a rolling pin, roll out a rectangle 40 cm x 20 cm
- The using a pastry brush, evenly spread the jam over the rolled out dough ( if it very thick pop it into the microwave for 30 sec)
- Once you are done with the strawberry layer, sprinkle the thyme leaves
- Then drizzle the caramel over it
- Now slowly starting from the longer side roll inwards. Flour your hands, if you find the dough is sticky
- Once you have a nice long roll, cut into equal circles. I used a thread for this. Slip a thread under the log, come around it from both side, make a tiny knot just once and pull tight through
- As you make the circles place it in the prepared cupcake tray
- Once you are done with all of the dough in the same manner, using a pastry brush, lightly coat the tops of the rolls, with the eggs wash
- Pop into the oven for 30 Mins or till golden brown. Once done, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack
- Allow to cool till warm to touch, then pop them out of the cupcake molds and place on a cooling rack to cool completely
- Serve with hot milk or tea
Hello my Dear wonderful readers!!
Its the weekend and this time I have made some thing rich and indulgent for you. This dish is inspired from the famous Malai Kofta, which is a croquette made with paneer / cottage cheese and potatoes. It all started with the fact that I had a little white basmati rice left and I wasn’t sure what kind of gravy to prepare along with it. Now it might come as a surprise to you, but we usually serve red rice at home. I mean the fat grainy kind. So white basmati is like having refined sugar in our coffee ( we usually add palm sugar).
After last week festivities I also had some khoya left in the fridge. So I decided to go all out and make a rich, creamy indulgent curry to pair well with rice and a salad. The recipe is divided into two steps. First making the Kofta and then the curry. Just to give it an “imperial” feel, I wrapped the koftas in silver warq. That is totally optional.
Ingredients for the Kofta :-
- Chicken mince – 500 gms
- Onions – 1 cup ( chopped fine)
- Khoya – 200 gms
- Green Chillies – 3 medium (sliced)
- Ginger garlic Paste – 1 + 1/2 tbsp
- Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp
- Besan / Gram Flour – 2 tbsp ( only if required)
- Oil – to deep fry + 2 tbsp
- Silver warq (optional)
- In a heavy bottom pan, add the oil
- When the oil is hot, add the onions and ginger garlic paste. Fry till golden brown
- Then add the green chilies, chilli powder, garam masala powder and fry 1 min
- Add the chicken mince to the onion mixture and cook till all the water has dried out completely. Make sure you have all the water evaporated. Add salt according to taste
- Set aside to cook down
- In another bowl, slowly kneed the khoya till its nice and smooth
- Add to cooled chicken mixture into a blender jar and add the khoya
- Blend together for a nice thick paste
- Now grease your hand and make small lime size balls with the mixture. Add gram flour if you find that the mixture is not holding shape. But do not add too much as it will not taste that great
- Finally heat oil in a deep pan on medium. When the oil is hot, add the prepared chicken balls and fry till golden brown or slightly dark brown (that’s how we like it)
- Reserve on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Cover the balls with silver leaf at this stage ( optional)
Ingredients for the curry :-
- Onions – 2 cups
- Tomato – 1 cup
- Cardamom – 5
- Cinnamon – 1
- Bay Leaf – 1
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Fresh Cream – 1/2 cup
- Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
- Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. When the oil is hot, add the cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf
- Once the spices release their aroma, add the onions and fry till translucent
- Then add the tomato, turmeric and chilli powder. Season with salt according to taste
- Fry till the tomatoes are cooked well
- In a blender, puree the above mixture
- Now again reheat the same pan with the blended mixture. Add fresh cream and mix well to combine.
- When it begins to boil, add the chicken kofta and give it a mix without breaking the kofta
- Your Chicken Koftas are ready.
- This dish pairs well will simple hot rice , pappads and a salad or even chappati / naans
Hello My Dear Wonderful Readers!
How are you all doing today? So my next recipe for the season is the Rice and Urad Dal Murukku. In case you have never had these before, let me tell you, this is the Indian version of a deep fried snack that comes in a number of variations that is a staple at your 4 o clock tea / coffee. Yes, we love to have a little some thing to “bite into” every evening. But of late these savory snacks have been reserved only to be savored during festivals such as Diwali etc. So I decided why not make a batch of these pinwheels. They are really easy to make but you do need a “Murukku Maker / Press” The theory is the same as a piping bag for cream, just that the mixture is tighter and thicker so you need a little more force when squeezing them.
These murukku makers are available in both brass and stainless steel. I have the brass one and they come with various ends / nozzles just like your piping tips. Best enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee these Murukku’s can last 2 – 3 weeks if kept in an air tight container. Make sure to use a good brand of oil. I used rice bran oil and you are sorted for a long time 🙂
- Rice Flour – 3 cups
- Urad Dal – 6 tbsp
- White Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
- Black Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
- Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Pepper Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp ( more if you like it pungent )
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – 3 tbsp
- Oil to fry
- Water to bind ( depends on the quality of the rice flour)
- Heat a heavy bottom Khadai and fry the urad dal till they start turning golden brown. Make sure to stir continuously or else the dal might burn
- Once they are ready , add into a blender and powder to a fine powder
- In a large plate/ even your kitchen counter, drop the rice flour, urad dal powder, salt, white and black sesame seeds, pepper powder and asafoetida. Give it all a nice mix with the tips of your finger to spread the ingredients evenly
- Then add the 3 tsp of oil and mix into the mixture till they almost resemble bread crumbs
- Finally add water little bit at a time to make a nice tight dough. Remember all you need is the dough to come together
- Take small portion of the mixture and run it through the murukku maker to see if you are able to make nice round circles. If you find that the circle keeps falling or breaking then you need little more water in the dough
- Once you have your dough ready, heat oil in a khadai ( enough to be able to deep fry these wheels)
- Cut a baking paper into equal sqares and at the back draw circles of equal size. you can use these as a stencil to make all your murukkkus
- Now attach the start tip to the murukku maker and fill the barrel with the rice flour dough
- Slowly make round shapes of the murukku on your prepared baking paper
- Start from the inside and go round towards the outside
- Once you reach the outside, pinch the end towards the murukku
- Once you oil is nice and hot ( make sure the oil is always at medium flame not too hot and not too cold)
- Fry these in batches of 2 – 3 depending on the size of your khadai. Wait til they turn golden bown on both sides. Keep turning them when in the oil for even browning
- Lay them on kitchen paper tower to soak up the excess oil
- You Murukku is ready! Store in an air tight container
Hello my Dear Wonderful readers!!
So I am back with my next recipe and that is my easy peasy Milk Powder Peda! These are super easy to make. Traditionally you will note that this sweet is make from Khoya and if that is easily available to you then you could make it that way too. But I am a mommy of a two year old and I run the kitchen and the house along with looking after him without any help. So any quick Indian sweet recipe is always welcome. These sweets are a favorite among people of all ages. My husband absolutely loves these and they are made every year around this time. So I am off to making more Diwali recipes and I leave you with this beauty!
- Milk Powder – 2 cup
- Condensed Milk – 400 gms ( 1 can)
- Cardamom Powder – 1/4 tsp
- Saffron – 15 strands
- Milk – 1 tbsp (warm)
- Ghee – 4 tbsp + to apply on hand while rolling the peda
- In a small glass, combine the warm milk and saffron strands and let it rest while we get on with the rest
- In a heavy bottom non stick pan, add ghee. Once the ghee has melted add the condensed milk
- Now using a spatula, mix the condensed milk and ghee well till you see bubbles begin to form on the side
- Then add in the milk powder and move quickly
- Mix well and continuously stir till there are no lumps left. Using the spatula, press down on all the lumps and give it a good mix
- Next add the saffron soaked in milk and the cardamom powder
- Give it a good mix
- Cook the mixture till you see that it begins to form a single big lump
- Then take it off the heat and set aside to cool
- Meanwhile grease a plate with ghee and apply some on your hands too
- Now slowly make small roundels with equal quantities of the mixture in the palm of your hand
- Set aside on the greased plate. This works well when the mixture is still warm and not too hot to touch
- Once you are done with all the pedas, make small indent with you finger or use a stamp to make an impression on the top of the peda and place pistachio slivers, saffron strands etc
- Your home made milkpowder pedas are ready!