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!
OLD POST – NEW PHOTOS 🙂
Hello Wonderful readers!
So you know how i have been going on and on about how cold its been and how we haven’t been able to step outside cause of the continuous rains. Its actually been more than a week since the rains started and it just doesn’t seem to stop. I was hoping it would rain continuously on the days after Diwali but that did not happen. Those two hours of no rain was filled with the horrendous sound of fire crackers bursting right up the road. It really doesn’t make sense to me. Yes when I was a little girl I loved to burst crackers with friends on Diwali but once I was in high school we never burst them. And it wasn’t like my parents hated it but I understood how bad the side effects are. A close friend of our family lost her husband during Diwali cause of the harmful gases that are emitted during that time. Asthma patients have it really bad during that entire week and so does poor little “pepper” (my lhasa apso) who also has a tough time with all the noise and smoke during Diwali time. That being said I do love lighting lamps around the house and filling our dinning tables with all sorts of sweets. My father LOVES bengali sweets and we make it a point to make as many as we can and buy more 🙂
Well its the week after Diwali, the days are short, cloudy, cold and chilly! The nights are ice cold. My son looks like an apple in the winter cold and he sleeps a lot. Thats why I have the time to make and post photos off late 😛
So we have been making and ordering lots and lots of soup and I decided why not share my simple roasted tomato soup. Its really simple and you do not really need to be there when it all happens. We have it with toasted bread but if I could I would love to have it with a grilled cheese sandwich. But each to their own. This one is my simple recipe.
- Tomatos – 6 – 7 ( ripe and red) all and any kind – red, black, cherry etc
- Garlic – 10 – 12 ( use 2 entire pods cut in the middles for bolder flavor)
- Rose Mary – 1/2 tsp
- Thyme – 1/2 tsp
- Chilli Flakes – 1/2 tsp
- Pepper – 1 tsp
- Salt – according to taste
- Vegetable Stock – 2 cups ( more if required)
- Olive oil – to drizzle over the tomatoes before roasting
- Basil and cream for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 180 C and line a baking tray with foil
- Now cut into 6 equal halves and cut the garlic into 2 halves
- Then add all dry spices – rose mary, thyme, oregano, chilli flakes and a little salt ( you add more later so just add a little at this stage)
- Now mix well to distribute the spice evenly with the tomato and garlic
- Spread the tomato and garlic over the foil evenly and make sure there is space between them to roast evenly
- Pop the tray into the oven and roast for 25 – 30 min ( the skin will begin to shrink and sizzle)
- Once the tomatoes and garlic are ready in a pan add 1 tsp of oil and add the roasted tomato mix
- Pour the vegetable stock. Close and cook for another 15 – 20 mins
- Add pepper and salt and season to your desired taste
- Finally transfer the mixture into a mixture and blend to required consistency
- If you do not like thick soups then bend for little longer that 10 mins and then push the soup through a soup strainer
- Serve hot with bread or grilled cheese sandwiches
Hello my dear wonderful readers,
How are you all doing today? My little boy is down with a fever again and now I am here taking care of him and spending all my time by his side. Over the weekend we took him to a fun play pen and the next day he came down with the cold. This is the second time this is happening after taking him to the same place and the only logical reason would be that he got it from some other kid at the play pen. How do I feel about the fact that parents bring their sick kids to a public area? Well personally I make sure my son is not around other kids when is unwell and if I know he is about to fall sick or is just recovering from one, I inform the family or friends I am about to meet. Well but that’s just me right? So now he is down with terrible cold, running nose, lots of sneezes and needs constant attention. All the while I find comfort in reassuring myself that this is the way his immune system does its job and grows stronger. So lets see.
The weekend was also a surprise cause after many many years, I made a new friend. A wonderful woman, who I can relate to in so many ways and its not often that you come across someone who you can just pour your heart out, the first time you meet them right? So all in all, the weekend was AWESOME!! It was also nice to leave the boys and have a little girl time after a looooooonnnggg time! Just to have a coffee and talk girl to girl and also hear out loud many things I have said to myself but never put to practice, was such a relief!! LOL..
Since the little one is unwell, I wasn’t able to get much cooking done. So, this recipe is my life saver. If you are Indian, then you know that there is noting simpler, comforting and wholesome like a big bowl of Dal and Rice / Chappati. This recipe can be used for a wide array of lentils. The simplest and most common combination is the one I have used in my recipe (below). The use of a pressure cooker just makes it faster and easier. But if you do not have a pressure cooker, you just need a pot with a lid and cover and cook till the lentils are mushy and soft to touch. Traditionally, Ghee / Clarified Butter is used instead of oil, but you could use any oil that you are comfortable using.
- Toor Dal / Pigeon Pea – 2 cup
- Masoor Dal / Red Lentils – 1 cup
- Oil / Ghee – 1 tbsp + 3 tsp
- Cinnamon Stick – 1 one inch stick
- Cloves – 4
- Green Cardamom – 4 ( bruise with the back of a spoon)
- Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp
- Asafoetida – 2 pinches
- Garlic Cloves – 5 Large
- Dry Red Chillies – 4
- Onions – (finely chopped)
- Tomatoes – (finely chopped)
- Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder – 1 + 1/2 tsp
- Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Salt – as required
- Water – 4 cups
- Coriander Leaves – 3 tbsp
- In a large bowl, combine both the lentils and wash thoroughly in running water. Then soak in water for 15 mins
- Now in a pressure cooker or large bowl, add 1 tbsp of oil. One the oil is hot, add the jeera / cumin seeds (1 tsp)
- As soon as the cumin seeds begin to crackle, add the cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, red chillies (3) and asafoetida
- Once the chillies plump up, add the onions. Fry till the onions are pink and almost translucent
- Then add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears
- Next add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder and chili powder
- Now cook till the tomatoes are cooked through (do not wait for it to fry )
- Once the onion tomato paste is ready, add the soaked lentils. ( Discard the water it was soaked in)
- Add the water and 1 tbsp of salt
- Cover and cook for 3 whistles or till the lentils have cooked through
- Once the lentils have cooked through, in a small pan, add rest of the oil. Once the oil is hot add the rest of the cumin seeds, red chili and garlic cloves. Fry till the garlic is golden brown
- Pour over the cooked lentils and garnish with the chopped coriander leaves
- Serve right away along with hot rice or chappatis
Hello My dear wonderful readers,
How are you all doing today? So it was cheat day the other day and I had one of these and OMG I had to give them away cause these doughnuts are so so addictive. Strawberry season is here and I think I would use it in everything and anything. This is my second strawberry recipe for the season and let’s be honest, I can never have enough of these ruby red beauties. These doughnuts are baked and not deep fried so they are more cakey than fried but trust me when I say this, one bite and you wont be able to go back evaaaa!! These pink rings of heaven are the perfect mix of sweet, tart, fresh and “munchy”. Those little red spots on the donuts are the finely chopped strawberries. The key is to dunk them in honey when nice and warm and therefore the lemon sugar melts into the doughnuts and OH MY GOD., the magic is insane!
In fact I baked 12 of these but only 11 got to the photos 🙂 cause these donuts, my friend, are just so awesome!! lol
So while I was baking these my little munchkin decided it was time for him to play in the kitchen as well. So when I was whisking and piping, my little boy was sitting on the kitchen mat, making “rice, mutta (eggs) and cheese ” which is when I was reminded about how I went to the toy store to see if I could get him a kitchen set or a toy oven but to my surprise all the kitchen toys were only in this hideous bright pink with photos of little girls making food. So what I couldn’t understand is – why is that only girls like these kind of games? I mean some of the best chefs in the world are men and they are respected all over the world, then why is it that boys cant be allowed to play with the same kind of toys. Also why is it pink?? I have never come across a pink kitchen my entire life! And no working real kitchen can ever function to its fullest if it where white or pink! Why not have a kitchen that is the same colour as the real thing! Anyway the bottom line is, I decided if he wants to play he can play with the stuff in my kitchen and when he is old enough I will help him learn and understand that there is no job that was either reserved for men or for women. Girl or boy we all deserve equal opportunity and equal respect for the choices we make.
Now back to the doughnuts, just like all my bakes, (unless otherwise specified) make sure the ingredients are at room temperature and the baking tray is well prepared. Try not rushing this step cause these doughnuts will just pop out easily if you do so. Now for the recipe
- Butter – 1 tsp
- Flour – 2 cups + more for dusting the pan
- Baking Powder – 1 tsp
- Oil – 1/2 cup
- Sugar – 1/ 2 cup + more of dusting
- Eggs – 2 large eggs
- Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
- Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 tsp
- Salt – 1/2 of 1/4 tsp
- Nutmeg – 1/4 tsp
- Butter Milk – 3/4 cup
- Strawberry – 1 cup ( chopped fine)
- Red food colour – 1 small drop ( optional)
- Lemon Zest – from 2 limes
- Honey 2 tbsp
- Pre-Heat your oven to 180 C
- Prepare your doughnut pan by brushing butter on the inside of your baking pan. Make sure to butter the hole in the centre too . This recipe makes 12 doughnuts
- Now lightly dust the buttered pan with flour. Invert the pan and shake of the excess flour. Set aside
- In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and sieve twice
- In another bowl, add the oil, eggs, apple cider vinegar , vanilla, sugar and butter milk. Whisk together till the sugar has mixed well with mixture
- Then add the dry mixture to the wet mixture in 3 batches. Make sure to mix well at every addition of dry mixture to the wet
- Once you have all the dry ingredients mixed, add the chopped strawberry and colour
- Mix well to combine
- Now pour the mixture into a piping bag. Snip the bottom and pipe the batter into the prepared doughnut pan
- Fill till 80 % of the hole
- Pop into the oven to bake for 20 mins or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean
- While that is baking lets make the lemon sugar
- In a plate, zest the lemons. Then add 1/2 cup of caster sugar. Now with dry hands, mix the sugar and lemon zest. You will see the sugar turn a light green colour
- Once the doughnuts are done, let them cool for 5 mins
- Then when the doughnuts are still warm, using a pastry brush, brush honey on the face of the doughnut
- Then dunk the doughnuts into the lemon sugar
- Place on a cooling rack to dust of the excess sugar
- Your strawberry doughnuts with honey and lemon sugar are ready