Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Banana Apple Almond Smoothie

Here's one of my favorite smoothie which I make frequently.  We all enjoy having this yummy, healthy smoothie.


2 Bananas
1 Apples
1/2 cup almonds
1 cup yogurt
1 tbsp honey


In a blender, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth and pour into glasses. Serve immediately.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Pot Roast (Mutton)

Again a long break. This time it was really really long. Lot of changes happened in between, the biggest one was shifting from Singapore back to Chennai. Feels great to be back home. It took me months to settle down, I should say still settling. But of course the cooking and experimenting went on. I just couldn't find time to sit and type them all down. But now I will. Friends have started asking for recipes when I post pics in my FB page. So here we go, a new beginning and fresh new year. Wishing each and everyone a wonderful new year 2015.

Now today it's Pot Roast. Frankly I would have preferred beef for making this. I had only mutton with me so Mutton Pot Roast it is!!

It's like a long time dream come true. I didn't know it was this easy. The cooking time is over 2 hours but still worth the wait :).

1/4 Kg Meat
2 carrots
2 onions
2 potatoes
1 celery stick
5-6 garlic cloves
Bay leaves
Olive oil
Rock Salt
1 Lemon
1 cup wine

  • Marinate the meat with freshly ground pepper, rock salt and lime juice. 
  • Heat a pan over medium flame. Pour a tsp of olive oil. Brown the meat for around 10 mins on all sides.
  • In a deep heavy bottom pan, add 1 tbsp of oil. Add all veggies, herbs, some more pepper and salt as needed. Crush the garlic and add to the veggies. Mix well. Fry until a nice golden colour.
  • Add the wine at this point if you prefer to use the wine, else skip this step.
  • Add lil bit water or stock, just enough to submerge the veggies. 
  • Place the browned meat in the middle of the pan. Reduce the heat to low.
  • Close the pan and cook for 2 hours. At the end of one hour you may want to turn the meat once.
Yummy mutton pot roast is ready to be served!

  • If you have veg/beef stock you can use it for a better flavour.
  • When the meat is ready it will be very tender and easy to pull apart. 
  • If possible marinate the meat and keep in refrigerator overnight for better results.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Poached Egg Curry

Made this poached egg curry for breakfast with idiyappam. Usually at my home we have potato stew  or potato curry for idiyappam. At my hubby's home they have idiyappam with coconut milk. I prefer it with curry since I like the spicier version.

4 eggs
2 potatoes- cut into cubes and cooked
2 onions, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
Same amount of ginger as garlic, minced
2 green chilly, slit
4 tsp Coriander Powder
2 tsp Chilly Powder
½ tsp Fennel Powder
¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
1 cup grated coconut
Oil (I used coconut oil)
Curry leves

  • Grind the coconut to a smooth paste using very little water.Set Aside.
  • In a pan heat the oil, saute the ginger  and garlic adding one after the other.
  • Add the onion and little salt and saute. Stir well and cook covered in medium heat stirring occasionally until it turns golden brown.
  • Remove lid, add the green chilly and curry leaves and stir well.
  • Add the chilly powder, turmeric powder. Fennel powder and coriander powder. Stir well and cook on low heat until you get a nice aroma.
  • Add the water and adjust the salt if required and boil.
  • Add the ground coconut paste and stir well and simmer.
  • Add the cooked potatoes into the curry and stir once.
  • Crack the eggs one at a time into a bowl without breaking the yolk.
  • Add the eggs into the curry very slowly one at a time taking care not to break the yolk.
  • Do not stir the curry. Cover and simmer gently till the eggs are cooked well.
  • Turn off flame and serve with idiyappam/ appam/ roti.
  • While adding the egg, make sure that the eggs do not overlap. Leave some space after each addition.
  • Adjust spice according to taste

Friday, 22 November 2013

Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Butter cream Frosting

Do you like cupcakes? What a question right? :) I don't think there will be many people around who don't love these little beauties. We, at home, can sit and finish one complete batch at one go!
This recipe is adapted from 'Joy of Baking'. The butter cream frosting is slightly different here. The moment the cupcakes were out of the oven, sonny dear started asking, "Mamma can I have one, pleaseeee?". So I didn't melt the cocoa as in the original recipe, just added them as is for the frosting. 

50g cocoa powder
240 ml boiling hot water
175 g all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
113 g unsalted butter, room temperature
200 g white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence

Chocolate frosting:
3 tbsp cocoa powder
100 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
160 grams icing sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

  • Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.
  • Put the cocoa powder in a small bowl. Add the boiling hot water and stir well to get a smooth mixture. Let it cool to room temperature.
  • In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using an electric mixer. 
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Add the vanilla essence and continue beating.
  • Add the flour mixture and mix well. 
  • Add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.
  • Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full with batter and bake for about 16 - 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. 
  • Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing. 
For Frosting
  • Beat the butter until smooth and creamy using an electric mixer. 
  • Add the sugar and beat until it is light and fluffy. 
  • Beat in the vanilla extract and the cocoa powder. 
  • Beat until frosting is smooth and glossy. 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Garlic Chicken

When you need a quick fix, try out this super easy Garlic Chicken. You can have it as is with some salad or make a sandwich out of it.

1 Chicken breast - cut into small pieces
2 tbsp Olive oil
4-5 garlic cloves
Oregano (optional)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Salt to taste


  • Crush the garlic and mix with the oil.
  • Add the garlic-oil mixture to the chicken and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Keep aside for half an hour (the more the better!)
  • Heat a pan, place the chicken pieces in the pan and cover and cook in medium heat.
  • Remove the lid and turn the chicken pieces to cook the other side.
  • Sprinkle little bit of oregano on the chicken. Stir it well.
  • Cook again until the water from the chicken dries out and the chicken browns a little.
  • Serve with some salads or use as sandwich filling.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Home made Beef Lasagne

We had some friends visiting us for my Amma's birthday, some very close friends with whom we can take the risk of trying out new dishes ;). The hubby has been telling about making Lasagne for a long time so we decided to make Lasagne, or rather hubby to make Lasagne and me to eat it ;). As a backup, I made Pathiri, chicken curry with coconut milk, rice and daal too :). The lasagne was soo yummy that the backup dishes went straight into the refrigerator he he he.
I always thought Lasagne was packed with cheese in every layer but I was wrong! Try it out people and decide for yourself :).

Bechamel Sauce (White Sauce) - Recipe here
Olive oil
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper
Lasagne sheets
Cheese (I have used a mix of Parmesan, cheddar and mozzarella)

Bolognese sauce - ingredients are given below

To Marinate
500g minced beef
2 tsp dried Oregano
a small bunch of fresh basil or dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary

To Grind
2 tomato
2 cloves of garlic

To chop
2 onions
2 celery sticks
1 small carrot


  • Marinate the minced beef with the ingredients under the label 'To marinate'. Add freshly ground pepper and salt to taste and keep aside.
  • Puree the tomato along with the garlic. Keep aside.
  • In a chopper, chop the ingredients under the label 'To chop' or you can cut it using a knife into small uniform cubes.
  • In a pan, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and saute the chopped onion, carrot and celery sticks with a little salt in medium heat.
  • Saute for around 15 mins or until the veggies are softened, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the marinated beef to the pan and mix well. Cook covered for about 10 mins. Water will start coming out from the beef hence additional water is not required.
  • Take the lid off and add the tomato puree, salt and pepper and cook covered for another 20 mins stirring occasionally.
  • Take the lid off and cook for another 30 mins stirring occasionally making sure that the sauce doesn't dry up. Add a little water if you think its drying out. Switch off the stove and keep the Bolognese sauce aside.
  • Take an oven proof dish and grease it with olive oil.
  • Spread the Bolognese sauce in the dish. Spoon in a layer of white sauce. 
  • Follow with a layer of lasagne sheets. Spoon another layer of Bolognese and white sauce and followed by a layer of lasagne sheets.
  • Finish with a layer of bolognese sauce and white sauce. Sprinkle the cheese over the top layer.
  • Cover the dish with an aluminium foil and bake in oven at 180 C for 30 mins.
  • After 30 mins, remove the foil and bake it for another 20 mins until it starts bubbling and the top layer is a nice golden color.
Yummy lasagne is ready :). We were so eager to taste the lasagne that we forgot to take snaps right after we took it out of the oven :). But before we finished it, took the below pic :)


  • Follow the instructions on the lasagne pack for cooking it. The one we used did not require any pre cooking. If the lasagne sheets need to be cooked, then bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagne sheets in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain lasagne, and rinse with cold water.
  • You could add cheese in each layer, we didn't want it to be too heavy hence added it only on the top layer.
  • You could try the recipe with chicken or veggies.
  • You can do away with the cheese also.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Bechamel Sauce (White Sauce)

Bechamel Sauce or White Sauce is one of the classic French sauces and is used very commonly in French Cuisine. It is prepared using a mixture of butter and flour (the French call it Roux) and is cooked in milk.


1 litre milk
100 g butter
100 g plain flour
grated nutmeg
salt to taste

  • Melt the butter in a heavy bottom saucepan in medium heat. Do not let it brown or else the taste and color of the sauce will change.
  • After the butter is melted completely, stir in the flour.
  • Cook the mixture in medium heat for 6-8 mins until it turns into a golden color. Do not let the mixture turn to a brown color.
  • Add little bit of milk and stir well to loosen the mixture.
  • Pour the remaining milk and keep stirring continuously using a wooden ladle until the mixture thickens. You will get a smooth ,glossy, creamy sauce.
  • Add a generous pinch of salt and little bit of grated nutmeg
  • Cook in low heat for another 5 mins stirring occasionally and turn off the heat.
Use this delicious sauce to make your favorite dishes. We used it for making lasagne. It could also be used as a base for souffle, pie etc.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Kara Boondi

Made this a long while ago, but forgot to update the recipe here. In fact, not only this there are many more! Will update all those very soon :)


1 tsp red chilly powder (or to taste)
1 cup Chickpeas flour (besan)
2 sprigs curry leaves
1/2 cup peanuts or less
A pinch of asafoetida
Oil for deep frying
Salt to taste


  • Mix the besan with red chilly powder, asafoetida and salt to taste. 
  • Add water little by little to achieve the dropping consistency.
  • Heat oil in a pan and drop few drops of the mixture to check consistency. 
  • If you get round boondis which are not very transparent, the consistency is correct.
  • Pour the remaining mixture into the hot oil using a slotted spoon.
  • Deep fry in medium heat till boondis are golden brown.
  • Drain the excess oil.
  • Fry the curry leaves and peanuts and add to the boondis with little chilly powder and salt (if required) and mix well.
  • Store in an air tight container.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Banana Cake

Banana - As it turns more yellow, the antioxidants in it increases somewhat it seems and this helps in protecting against cancer and heart diseases. I am not able to sell this idea at home, i.e. to get people to eat the very ripe bananas. So what do we do now? The hubby says make banana cake and I thought why not?

This is a very easy recipe, you don't need electric mixer or cake mixer to make this.
125g butter
150g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
1 egg
3 very ripe bananas
190g self raising flour
60ml milk


  • Beat the egg and keep aside.
  • Mash the bananas and keep aside in a big bowl.
  • In a saucepan, melt the butter, sugar and vanilla essence over medium heat.
  • Remove from heat and add this to the mashed bananas. Mix well.
  • Add the egg and mix well.
  • Stir in the flour and milk. Mix well.
  • Pour into a greased tin and bake at 180 C for 35 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave it cool, yummilicious banana cake is ready!!!

  • Use some walnuts, it will be an awesome nutty cake, I didn't have any with me :(
  • Recipe adapted from allrecipes.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Thikkadi (Rice dumplings in Beef/Mutton Stew)

I am very happy today. I made Thikkadi :). The happiness is not just because of this yummilicious dish but also since it is much much different than our usual city style cooking, quick fixes :). This takes me back to my childhood days, festival seasons, meeting all cousins and above all a variety of snacks, some of which I haven't had in many many years :(. One such snack is Orappam, my aunt used to make it and it's just out of the world. Unfortunately I do not have the recipe for the same, maybe I need to google it out, but not sure whether I can find any recipe which would be like my aunt's recipe.

Ok now let's get back to Thikkadi. I got this recipe from a Facebook friend, Haseena. She has this recipe in her page (Saute, fry and bake) as well. I have never had Thikkadi before so I am not sure about how it actually tastes and whether mine was any close to the actual one :). But I can tell you one thing for sure, you will not regret trying out this recipe :).


For Thikkadi / Dumplings

1 cup Rice flour (Idiappam Flour)
1 1/4 cup water
Salt- to taste

For Beef/Mutton Stew

1/2 kg Beef/Mutton
2 cups Shallots - sliced
5-6 Green chilies (Or to taste) 
1 inch piece  Cinnamon 
2 Cloves  
1 tsp Cumin seeds  
1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds
3 tbsp Coriander powder 
Oil (Preferably coconut oil)
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves

To grind

1 cup grated coconut grated
1 tbsp Cumin seeds
2 tsp coconut oil


  • In a saucepan, boil the salt and water together. Add the rice flour when the water is bubbling hot. 

  • Cover and let it stand for about 2 mins in low flame. Mix well ensuring no lumps are formed and switch off the stove.

  • Knead the dough with your hand, taking care not to burn your hands, the mixture is really hot!!
  • Make gooseberry sized balls out of the dough and flatten it a bit and keep aside.

Beef/Mutton Stew
  • Heat coconut oil in a pan and fry the cumin seeds and coconut.
  • Fry until you get a nice aroma and the color changes to golden brown.
  • Cool and grind to a coarse mixture. Keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker.
  • Add cinnamon, cloves, fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds.
  • Once the seeds starts spluttering, add the shallots and fry till it browns.
  • Add the beef, green chilies, coriander powder and salt to taste.
  • Stir well and saute for 5 mins until the color of the meat changes.
  • Pour 6 cups of water and pressure cook on high for 3 whistles (or until meat is cooked)
To cook dumplings
  • Boil the stew. Make sure enough gravy is there to cook the dumpling. If required, add more water and season accordingly.
  • Add the dumplings in batches to the gravy. Once the dumplings are cooked they will float on top.

  • Repeat until all dumplings are over. 
  • Once all the dumplings are cooked and floats on top add the ground coconut powder. Mix well and add the coriander leaves and switch of stove.
Yummilicious Thikkadi is ready to serve :)

More about Thikkadi in Haseena's words from 'Saute, fry and bake'...
"Thikkadi is an authentic dish of the Ravuthar community of the northern TamilNadu. The southern districts make a similar dish called Takkadi but the flour used is different and the texture and taste also differs."
Thikkadi is similar to pidi made in kerala, the difference being Thikkadi is cooked in mutton gravy while pidi is steamed separately and added to the gravy. Very interesting right :)

  • The original recipe calls for mutton, I did not have mutton with me but wanted to desperately try this out, hence made with beef.
  • While kneading the dough, care should be taken not to burn your hands. Dip your hands in cold water in between kneading and making balls.
  • Use little flour in your hands so that the dough does not stick to your hands. I did not use any, it didn't stick to my hands :).
  • The original recipe does not use coriander leaves.
  • In the original recipe, some rice flour is sprinkled on the dumplings after they are made before they go into the stew.