Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tomato & paneer aromatic rice

I love basmati rice. The aroma of basmati rice is simply irresistible. Use bay leaves and cardamom to bring out the best from basmati. It is not necessary that you have to go the extra mile of making it exotic- a simple combination of the right spices is all it takes to win you accolades on your cooking. Even if you don't have many ingredients just cook your basmati rice with bay leaves and cardamom to enhance it's aroma!


2 onions sliced
2 tomatoes chopped
2 green cardamom pods crushed
Kasoori methi leaves (I used dry crushed leaves- also known as fenugreek leaves)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
3/4 tsp garam masala powder
Cumin seeds
Garlic & ginger paste
1 Bay leaf
1 small cup chopped cottage cheese
Coriander leaves for garnishing
2 cups uncooked basmati rice
Salt according to taste
Dry red chilli (broken)


First step is to cook rice with two cups of water over medium flame on a non-stick pan. Allow the rice to cook on its own and do not stir in between otherwise the long grain of basmati tends to break. Once the rice is cooked just give it a slight toss and keep it aside. In a separate wok heat a liberal dose of oil- add cumin seeds and bay leaf. As the cumin seeds begin to sputter add broken dry red chilli and onions. Fry them till they are translucent. Add garlic-ginger paste and cook them over a medium flame for 5 minutes. Toss in the chopped tomatoes and cook till it is incorporated. Add the cottage cheese and cook for a couple of minutes. Now comes our spices- red chilli powder, garam masala powder, crushed cardamom, kasoori methi leaves. Add a bit of oil and mix the spices. The aroma should get your audience up on their feet literally begging you to serve the food immediately! Adjust the salt and blend this mixture to you cooked rice.

Add coriander leaves and a bit of melted butter to make it more silky. Serve hot and watch the rice vanish with the aroma lingering to make it a memorable meal!

You can really do much more with this rice- add different vegetables to make it look colorful or add cloves/cinnamon to give extra aroma. If you are not fond of cottage cheese/paneer just skip it or fry it befor you use if you don't like the raw taste of paneer.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Spicy spinach strudel

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and since we have no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! I made some spicy spinach strudel and with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand I sat by my window to enjoy the snowy Christmas. It is a tasty tea time snack and you can get super creative with the dish!

Ingredients for filling

1 onion (chopped finely)
3 garlic cloves (crushed &chopped)
1 tomato (chopped finely)
1/2 tsp garam masala
Cumin seeds
Coriander leaves
Salt(according to taste)
1 big cup frozen spinach thawed
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp butter

For the base-

4 frozen phyllo sheets thawed
Melted butter for brushing


In a wok add cooking oil and add the cumin seeds. As the cumin seeds begin to sputter sauté garlic and onions till translucent. Mix the tomatoes and fry them for a couple of minutes. Add thawed spinach and cook it till it blends well with the onion tomato mixture. Add garam masala, chilli powder and salt. Cook them for 5 minutes. Before removing from fire add butter and mix it well for a minute. Garnish with coriander leaves. Our stuffing is ready!

On a clean working surface lay one phyllo sheet and brush it completely with butter. Place another sheet on top of it and brush it again with butter. Repeat till you have a stack of four sheets. With the help of a spoon spread the spinach mixture. Fold and tuck the bottom edges over the mixture. Nicely roll it up with the filling inside so that it forms a log. With a knife make slits on top and brush it lightly with butter.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in a oven (200 degree celsius)or till they become golden brown. Serve hot with garlic chilli sauce!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Chocolate covered Shortbread cookies

There is something special in air during Christmas- You can feel it...People buying gifts, houses decorated, cakes, cookies, beautifully decorated christmas trees and the list goes on. You cannot help but get into the holiday spirit and spread some cheer around! Here I am with my Chocolate covered shortbread cookies to please Santa- Hope he enjoys...


2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar (icing)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
180 grams semi sweet chocolate finely chopped


In a bowl mix the salt with the flour thoroughly and set aside. With a hand blender beat the butter till it is smooth and creamy. Blend in the sugar and mix it till it is smooth. Add the vanilla extract. Now blend in the flour and roll it to a smooth dough. Keep the dough in fridge for an hour. After an hour take out the dough and roll it into a thick circle on a lightly floured surface. Using cookie cutter cut the dough into different shapes. Bake for 8-10 minutes in a preheated oven (180 degrees Celsius). Once the cookies are lightly browned take them out and cool them.

For chocolate covering- Melt the chocolate till it is smooth and glossy (put the chocolate in a bowl and place it over a saucepan of simmering water). Once the cookies are cooled, dip one end of each cookie in the melted chocolate and place it on a tray covered with baking sheet. Place the tray in the fridge for 10 minutes till the chocolate has hardened.

Merry Christmas to all! Enjoy your holiday season with family and friend :)


Thursday, December 23, 2010


Ok, I was tagged by Priya from Bon Appetit with the following questions-

  1. Who or what inspired your Food Blogging Journey ?
  2. What was the very first dish you cooked for your spouse/loved one ? What was the reaction?
  3. What is your idea of a romantic meal ?
  4. Name any major disaster in kitchen ?
  5. What are your favourite dishes?
  6. One favourite restaurant and why ?
  7. Do you have a New Year's resolution- and will you be sticking to it ?
Here are my answers for you Priya-

Who or what inspired your Food Blogging Journey ?

I love cooking- experimenting with different spices and flavors...My husband simply adores my cooking and I wanted to keep a journal of my culinary experiments- What a better way than to write a blog? 

What was the very first dish you cooked for your spouse/loved one ? What was the reaction?

Gosh, the first dish I cooked for my husband was a simple potato curry. Those were my initial days of cooking and I merrily added a good dose of red chilli powder to get a good spicy taste. My husband being a perfect gentleman did not complain and managed to eat the dish! Poor thing had to drink about a liter of water to cool down...

What is your idea of a romantic meal ?

My idea of a romantic meal is simple home cooked food- Sit and relish the food with your loved one and talk away till wee hours of night ;)

Name any major disaster in kitchen ?

I am still new to baking. But when the first time I baked a cake it was a complete disaster. It was my husband's birthday and I was super ambitious and wanted to bake a chocolate frosting cake. Well, I would have been successful - I put so much effort in getting things and did everything the recipe asked me to. The only wrong thing I did was to misread the degrees for baking- The recipe required me to bake the cake in 250 degree Fahrenheit. I mistook that as degree Celsius and baked my cake at a high temperature. I had a burnt cake and my husband was back early from office and I had not got him a gift-  The rest is history! You learn from your mistakes...

What are your favourite dishes?

I can eat pizza anytime and even on a full stomach- I love all junk food ;)

One favourite restaurant and why ?

There are some dishes in life that you remember for its exquisite taste- I have eaten at various restaurants in Luzern, Switzerland (the place I work). However, I will remember one of the restaurants called pfistern. Nothing special or exotic about this restaurant. It is a typical small swiss restaurant and I love this one because of the ravioli - the best pumpkin stuffed ravioli I have ever eaten so far! 

My New Year resolution-

Take things lightly, do good, be good, remember almighty and go with the flow

Have a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous New Year.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Spaghetti with Avocado sauce

Somehow the combination of avocado with onions, tomatoes and garlic is magical... I remember eating avocado rolls at one restaurant and boy I was simply floored! Instead of the usual spring roll filling they had made a filling out of avocado with onions, tomatoes and garlic. I will try and make it someday...After eating those rolls, I am suddenly hooked to avocado and here is a good recipe for all you avocado lovers like me. It's pretty simple and takes minimal time/effort to put it on the table. Check out-

Ingredients for the sauce-

2 Avocados (peeled and chopped)
3  tomatoes chopped finely
one onion chopped finely
2 big garlic cloves- crushed and chopped
crushed black pepper (optional)
red chilli flakes
olive oil for cooking
Spaghetti- 450 g


Cook the Spaghetti in salted water. Drain well and set it aside. In a wok add olive oil and toss in the chopped garlic & onions. Cook for couple of minutes then add the chopped tomatoes. As the tomatoes start blending with the onions add chopped avocados and cook on a high flame till avocado becomes a paste and blends well with onions and tomatoes!  Add salt, pepper and red chilli flakes for seasoning. Add the mixture to the cooked spaghetti and toss together in a pan until the pasta is well coated. Serve with grated parmesan cheese (optional).

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I'm back!

Hoooray! I am back to the blogging world after a long break. And I have a treat for the senses! I whipped up a one layer chocolate cake with cocoa and it turned out perfectly divine. I tried out this recipe from a website that I frequently visit- 

If you are a beginner like me in the baking world then this recipe is perfect-


1¼ cup (140 g) all-purpose flour
1½cup (330 g) sugar
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup (170 g) butter
boiling water
3 eggs
150 g chopped walnuts 

Ingredients for frosting

170 g butter

1 teaspoon instant coffee powder dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
340 g icing sugar
1½ tablespoon unsweetened 
cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Take a cake tin and line it with non stick paper and grease the tin. Melt the butter in a saucepan. In a bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and vanilla extract.
Add eggs, melted butter and hot water and mix until smooth. Add chopped nuts.

Bake at 180 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool the cake. Glace with the frosting.


For the frosting, melt the butter in a sauce pan and remove from the heat. Add coffee, mix with icing sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla. Stir until smooth and spread over the cake. Enjoy!


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