Thursday, December 22, 2011

Reason for the Season

Recipe: Honey-Roasted Almonds

It's Christmas time !!!!

The house is filled with the fragrance of freshly baked plum cakes, cookies and other Christmas goodies.

There's an excitement in the air as friends and family plan their holidays, put up the Christmas tree and decorate their houses.

People are rushing to get the perfect gift for loved ones and trying to be Santa for their little ones. 

Many like to celebrate this season by helping people in need.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Baking away the Blues

Recipe: Plum n' Pom Cake

Last week, my son and I caught a big bad bug... After a couple of sleepless nights and a couple more sick days, I was down in spirits too... Scary mountains of work were looming large! Or probably it was just that "work" has a way of seeming gigantic and insurmountable when we are sick. To make it worse, I was at the verge of losing the chance to do something I had so much wanted to, all because of the bad timing of the fever.

By the end of the week, I was depressed, irritated, sick and was also driving everyone around me nuts. I needed some serious brightening up...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Warmth in a Dish

Recipe: Pasta with Crunchy veggies, mushroom and sausages in white sauce.

It was a cloudy and wintry Saturday morning. The cold wind blowing through the windows sent shivers across the house. I was all set to make a fiery red fish curry with a generous drizzle of coconut milk to beat this cold weather hoping that the heat of the red chilli powder, the tang of the malabar tamarind and the creamy comfort of coconut milk would knock us out of our hibernation-like existence. The fish was thawing on my kitchen counter and I was getting all the ingredients ready for the curry... I broke open the last of my  stock of coconuts and to my dismay it was rotten inside....

Friday, November 18, 2011

Frozen Fruity Passions

Recipe: Passion Fruit Frozen Yoghurt

In my childhood days, even though my mother had a full-time job which took up 9 hours of her day, I remember her slaving over a hot stove before she left for work to ensure that her family had good and nutritious food to eat. Since we had ravenous appetites, we would eat up whatever she made for us. After that, when she was away at work, my brothers and I would raid her kitchen cupboards :) This is not because we were hungry or anything. But because we knew for sure that she would have stashed away some goodies like nuts or dried raw mango pieces or jaggery in order to cook something special for us when she got time.

After our kitchen-cupboard-raiding-and-gobbling escapades, we made it a point to keep everything back just as they were. Later, when she would look for the stashed stuff to cook something with it, the boxes and jars would be much lighter and when opened, they would be empty most of the time :) And we all would have a hearty laugh when she would claim that there isn't any corner in the house where she can stock food items for longer than a day thanks to super sleuths like us.

My personal favourites from mom's stashes were olives in brine, tamarind in gooey jaggery syrup and dried raw mango pieces. Yes, I loved all things that were sour and tangy (and no, not just pregnant women crave for such things). This love of sour and tangy foods runs in the family - mom, grandmom, my cousins, my son, all of us love it.

Passion fruit is one among the favourite fruits in my house and the passion fruit variety that grows in my parent's farm is very sour and tangy. Its sweet and fruity fragrance is so wonderfully intoxicating.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Creamy Greens

Recipe: Palak Paneer / Pan-grilled paneer cubes in a creamy spinach gravy

Palak is not very common in the traditional cooking of my hometown. Amaranth on the other hand,  is very much favoured - infact it is cutivated in every home garden and periodically harvested for quick stir-fries with coconut and light spices (commonly known as "cheera thoran" and "cheera mulagittathu" in my native language). And hence for a long time, "spinach" meant amaranth leaves to me and we never ventured into having any palak dishes.

One fine day, long ago, I was out with friends at a restaurant. Palak paneer was ordered by one of them.  The moment I tasted the luscious, creamy green gravy with buttery paneer cubes, I loved it immediately.  And I could hear the foodie in me say - move over amaranth, palak is here to stay! Since then, palak shared the same position in this foodie heart of mine as the other green leafy veggies. And I absolutely love my greens.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Festival Bright

Recipe: Ribbon Pakoda / Kokkuvada

Isn't it interesting how "darkness" is usually associated with "evil" and "light" with "good"? One of the meanings of the word "darkness" is "the absence of light"....

A small flame is all it takes to dispel darkness...

It is that time of the year again, when the houses are adorned with small clay lamps which are filled with oil and lighted in order to signify the triumph of good over evil. The air is filled with the smoke of bursting fire-crackers and sounds of laughter and mirth fill the streets as the festival of Diwali is celebrated.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Perfect Ending

Recipe: Passion Fruit Yoghurt Panna Cotta with Pomegranate

As much as I love the perfect ending to a good story or movie, I also love having a perfect ending to a wonderful meal. But most of the times that I have guests over I'm usually fussing over the other things such as the starters and the main course or tidying up the house, making sure at least most things are in their place.

This finally leaves me with no time to plan for and make an elaborate dessert. And I end up serving the easiest dessert I can think of - which is mostly store-bought ice-cream with some custard and fruits. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tagged and Pan-Grilled

Recipe: Pan-Grilled Potatoes with Oregano and Olive oil

Maintaining a food blog is not as easy as it looks. Cooking is one of my favourite things to do. And for a person like me, who gets easily bored with the usual food at home, it comes naturally to experiment and try out different things.

But photographing the results and documenting it needs a lot of time, patience and (most importantly) good, natural light. Even though I cook almost everyday, the only time I get to click good pictures of the food is during the weekends. The other week days, I am unable to photograph because I am at work for all the times of the day that have the best light. And hence most of the cooking and photographing for the blog happens during the weekends.

The rest of the work that goes behind every blog post - reading about food and photography, deciding what to cook for the blog, editing the pictures, writing down the post, reading and re-reading the post goes on slowly in the next 1-2 weeks, whenever I can squeeze it in or sometimes even during the weekend, that is, if I am not too exhausted with all other things that are packed into it.

Inspite of all the hard-work, having a blog on something that interests me does give me an immense sense of satisfaction. It is my creative outlet, my stress-buster and best of all, I get to meet (virtually) so many talented  people with similar interests.

Monday, October 3, 2011

All the World's a Stage..... for Food

Easy Fried Rice
Mushroom and Cauliflower in soy and garlic sauce

Is the media bringing the countries of the world together? I was trying to cook Chinese food, inspired by an Australian show, in an Indian kitchen a few weeks back. There are many food-related shows on TV which tantalizes the viewer to try out different cuisines and dishes from all across the world.

Of all the shows, I like Masterchef Australia the most. Simply because, its all about the food and the various techniques to cook it. AND.. they showcase a variety of cuisines - not just Australian or European. In fact, I was surprised to see a Masterclass on Indian food :) And it was quite an interesting and different way of making a curry though staying true to the basic principles of curry-making.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Cake for Celebrations

Recipe: Brandied Peaches, Bavarian Cream and Chocolate Gateau

In our quest for the perfect life, there seems to be hardly any time to sit down with loved ones and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. We seem to be in a rush all the time. With the rising cost of living and basic amenities, I wonder if we can ever slow down.

Life would have been unbearably robotic and monotonous, if weren't for the small celebrations of milestones, anniversaries, birthdays, etc. These have become occasions when close family and friends gather together and have a good time.

And what better dessert for such welcome interruptions in our race against time than.. cake! Just perfect to celebrate the occasion, to celebrate the wonderful people and mostly to celebrate togetherness.

Here is a cake that I made for 2 very special people to celebrate their years of togetherness on their wedding anniversary.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Toasty Trials

Recipe: Tomatoes on Toast

Is it just me? Or does it happen to everyone?

Just the thought of returning home from work sends my digestive juices to over-drive.

When faced with such extreme cravings, I usually end up grabbing the first thing that I can get my hands on which is usually the store-bought packaged snacks - mostly biscuits, Indian savoury deep-fried snacks, chikki, etc. And unfortunately, most of them are high in calories.

This is one of the easy-to-make, kinder-on-the-heart and satisfying snacks that I've recently discovered - Tomatoes on Toast and it doesn't take much time to whip up.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Time for Payasam

Recipe: Parippu Payasam / Mung bean Pudding

So many events have been happening since the last few weeks and Onam is also here that I thought it was good to celebrate it all with something sweet, something smooth and silky and something that did not involve baking.

Do I hear you ask "What events?". Well here they are

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Price of Spice

There was a time long ago, when spices were more expensive than gold and India abounded in them. Of them, pepper was highly prized and often black pepper was referred to as "black gold". This brought many traders and explorers to the coasts of India in search of fortunes.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Flowers of the Field

"See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these."

I'm blessed with both a Mom and a MIL who love plants. They grow everything they can get the seeds / branch / sapling of.

They have always tried to impart this knowledge to me but ended up watching in confounded horror as every plant I touched or tried to grow just withered away!

The harsh truth was clear -  I did not inherit the green-thumb-gene from mom and it seemed unattainable inspite of their patient guidance. Now my only hope is that my son has inherited this prized gene from his grand-mothers. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Blushing Beauties

Recipe: Blushing Beauty Cupcakes

Last month I had the wonderful opportunity of spending a few days with 4 sweet little girls aged between 7 months to 5 years - one is my friend's daughter and the other 3 are my nieces. I fell in love with their heart-warming smiles, their wonderful stories, their gentle play, innocent eyes and pink blushing cheeks.

Though I love my son's curious mind, wild imagination and spontaneous actions, I thoroughly enjoyed the calm and serene world of little girls.

These 4 little girls are the inspiration for these cute little cupcakes. I'd like to call them Blushing Beauty Cupcakes.

Apart from the fact that the batter for this cake can be easily whipped up in a blender (!),  let me also tell you that there is a surprise ingredient in these. Can you guess what is the gorgeous pink colour on the top of these cupcakes?


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

To Roast Or Not To Roast

Recipe: Pepper Roasted Chicken

Even though Indian cuisine boasts of a wide variety of thick luscious curries and spicy gravies, when it comes to chicken I have a liking for having it roasted/grilled. I simply cannot resist the wonderful aroma of roast chicken.

It had been cold and cloudy since the past couple of weeks in Bangalore. And I was craving for something with a zing to it...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fruity Endings

Recipe: Banana Mango Tango

The best thing to do after a meal of kerala delicacies (apart from licking your fingers clean) is to mash a banana in your plate (the very same plate from which you just had your food), top it up with some fresh home-made curd and a sprinkling of sugar or a dash of gooey jaggery syrup, mix it up and slurp it down :)

That is my favourite ending to a "naadan" meal. The below dessert is a twist to that old classic :)

I'm sure there will be many such interesting closures to a meal. What are your favourite ones?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Red Meat with Red Chillies

Recipe: Beef Roasted with Red Chilli Flakes

Even though red meat has been getting a lot of bad publicity these days, I just cannot stop eating it completely. I need to get my dose of red meat at least once in 2-3 months. Besides, red meat is rich in iron. Eating it in moderation should be fine.

So here's what I made :)


Actually I made it sometime back and got time to write the post only last weekend.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Time of Bliss

When it's finally that time of your life....
A time to be thankful for everything that has happened so far...
A time to show people how special they are ...
And a time to enjoy the sweet company of friends and family...
It's also a time you wished, you could stop time itself :)
Yes.. in such times, it's the perfect time to have a chocolate!!!
Make sure that it's one that you like best - be it dark chocolate or orange-flavoured or...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Convergence of Cuisines

Recipe: Beef in Chilli Garlic Sauce

The world seems to be converging, don't you think? There are people travelling to different lands and building homes there, different cultures inter-mingling and so on.

Man being the inquisitive creature that he is, has always been travelling and exploring new lands throughout history. Though in recent times, due to advances in aviation technology, travelling is much easier and more affordable.

Then again, who says that you have to travel to see the world. The power of the internet makes information about any place or anything available at our fingertips!

Amidst all this, there are different cuisines merging as people learn to adapt to different tastes and also as they try to adapt new tastes to their styles. The resulting convergent cuisine abounds in the best traits and tastes of multiple cuisines.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mango Mania

Recipe: Mango Frozen Yoghurt / Mango Froyo

What is the best thing about a ripe mango?

Its sweet and fruity flavour?

The wonderful fragrance?

Or the juicy flesh?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Flavour Packed Awesomeness

Recipe: Tandoori Chicken with Olive Oil

Whoever said "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach" wasn't talking about my husband :) J is a person who eats just enough to get by - so unlike me, who dreams about chocolate, roast chicken and cheese-dripping Pizza slices all the time.

Probably that is why J is still the same weight as he was on his wedding day whereas I have gained many  kilos and changed many sizes :P (though I will continue attributing weight gain to the rigours of a woman's life especially pregnancy :) )

There is just one dish in the whole wide world that J loves to indulge in - Tandoori chicken!!! So I learnt to make this dish early on in our marriage :) by buying some tandoori masala (Though I forget which brand it was) and following the recipe on the back of the pack :) The tandoori chicken made using that recipe was so simple and yet so amazing. And so I stuck to it all these years. But I guess it's pretty much a standard recipe.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Ice Cream Specials

Recipe: Ice Cream Cake

There is something about an ice cream cake that makes it extra special (more than just the usual scoops of ice cream or a normal cake).

I remember that as children, we used to love having an ice cream cake for celebrations. But they were always pretty expensive to buy - even the simplest ones. After much coaxing and drooling when we finally manage to convince our parents to buy one, the entire thing would be devoured in seconds :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Butterscotch and Pecan

Recipe: Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream

When my good friend V (she blogs at The V kitchen..) sent me pecans from US last month, I was overjoyed. This nut tastes and looks a little like the walnut. But it does not have that woody taste that walnut has. This is also lighter and crisper than a walnut (and thankfully unlike the walnut, a pecan does not look like a mini version of the human brain)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Time to Feast - Kerala Kitchen May 2011 Round Up

What's been cooking in the Kerala Kitchen in May?

Lots of mouth-watering delicacies - each one wonderful in its own way.

So folks, its time to set the table (or rather lay the banana leaves) for an astounding feast from God's own country!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cookie n Spice

Recipe: Speculaas (Eggless)
I had been wanting to try out a cookie recipe for so long. But since there are truckloads of different biscuits and cookies available at the shops, I didn't get around to making any until yesterday.

Speculaas is a cinnamon and ginger flavoured sweet cookie. The interesting thing about this is the range of spices used. The thought of biting into these sweet and spicy cookies made me curious and eager to try them out.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spice up the Staple

Recipe: Chicken Slow-Roasted in a Green Chilli and Coriander Gravy

Do you get bored eating the same kind of food everyday?

I know I do.

Though it felt like ages since we had chicken, I was in the mood for a different combination of flavours. My standard red chilli-tomato-coriander base that I make for non-veg dishes wasn't exciting enough.

But then again, not everyone in my family likes to eat vastly different foods very often.

I wanted to try out something that will break the monotony of the usual flavours but also something that would go well with our staple food of rice, cooked buttermilk and vegetable side-dishes. That way, I could satisfy my family's need to hang on to the comfort of "naadan" food as well as my raging appetite for new foodie avenues.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tuning To Tuna

Recipe: Tuna Sandwich

We get these really soft, square-shaped, pull-apart buns here called "Butter Pavs". These kind of buns are mainly used in the Indian fast food dish Pav Bhaji.

Every time I see these freshly baked butter pavs in the shops, I start craving for a sandwich. So on this particular day, when I came home laden with these yummy buns, I was so happy to find that I had some canned tuna in my cupboard.

I love a Tuna sandwich anytime.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chips Hi-jacked

Recipe: Homemade Jackfruit Chips / Chakka Varuthathu

This is a favourite crunchy snack amongst Keralites.

Yes, it is another jackfruit dish for today's post :) The foodie in me feels that I just have to share my love of this fruit with you and thereby post one more of the yummy ways to use it in cooking.

This is the last jackfruit post. I promise! (At least till I get my hands on more jackfruit)

If you want to check out the other dish that I had made with jackfruit, click here (it has pics of the tree and the whole fruit as well) and to read more about this wonderful fruit click here.

If there is such a title as the King of Chips then homemade jackfruit chips will win hands down. Potato chips, banana chips or any other chips pale in comparison to this awesome chip.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Special Events For You and Me

Do you sometimes feel certain things happen just for you ?

I do :)

Like what I saw out the window when I returned home after work today.

Just moments before my eyes landed on this view, I was feeling drained and stressed out. This was just what I needed to get recharged again.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Guest post: Granola bars

Recipe: Granola bars

You all know my good friend V right? For those of you who don't, V and I were colleagues and cubical-neighbours. And quickly became great friends. The otherwise dull work-days seemed so much nicer with her around to listen to my cribs, advices (:P), successes, failures, etc. She also always had something to munch on :) So whether I was hungry, stressed out or just looking for a chat, life seemed better after I stopped by her cube.

Today's post is a guest post from her :) Thanks V for the gorgeous granola bars. I'm drooling already. Do check out her blog for more mouth-watering delectables.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Colours of Summer

If I had to describe Kerala in a colour, GREEN would be apt. Even in the midst of summer, Kerala is filled with lush greenery...

When I was in there last week, I managed to photograph some of the other colours of summer along with the gorgeous shades of green.

Yes, I photographed the gorgeous bee :) Though it wasn't very happy having a camera pointed at it. And threateningly buzzed at me. I fled from the scene as fast as I could...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jack in the Parcel

Recipe: Steamed Jackfruit Parcels / Kumbal Appam

It's jackfruit season and the jackfruit trees are full of them.

Jackfruit is eaten in many forms in Kerala. In fact, even the jackfruit seeds are cooked / fried and relished. The raw jackfruit is a good source of carbohydrates and cooked with coconut and spices and eaten as a main course and substitute for rice. A certain variety of raw jackfruit can also be fried to make jackfruit chips. When the jackfruit is ripe, it is very sweet and can be eaten uncooked as a fruit or made into a variety of sweet dishes.

With such a large number of jackfruits at our disposal when we were in Kerala, we made many dishes out of them and had our cravings satisfied.. at least for a while.

The recipe I'm posting today is of a really easy and common dish in Kerala, made with ripe jackfruit and roasted rice-flour. They are traditionally wrapped in the fragrant Malabathrum (Elamangam / Edana) leaves and steam cooked. Malabathrum leaves have a lovely cinnamon-like fragrance. This fragrance is imparted to the dish when it is wrapped in these leaves and steam cooked.

In case, this particular type of leaves are not available, this dish can also be made wrapped in banana leaves and then steam-cooked. On doing so, since the dish will not have the wonderful smell from the Malabathrum leaves, a tiny pinch of cinnamon powder can be added to the dough before steaming it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Flame of Life

Life is like a candle flame,
Flickering in the winds of time.
But when the flame goes out,
What is it that happens?
Is it just void nothingness?
Or a new eternal blaze?

What a tragic situation it is, if after struggling through this life there is nothing to look forward to and just void nothingness awaits us beyond...

I had written down the above lines in my journal during my school days - the days when I had the time to ponder upon life, search for reasons and write down my thoughts....

We are in our hometown since a week. We celebrated Easter in Kerala this year and thankfully remembered the loving God and the empty grave that testified 2000 years ago that the end of this life is just the beginning of another...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Venturing Into Eggless Cakes

Recipe: Eggless Cupcake with Whole wheat flour and Demarara Sugar 

The other day, when I discovered that my good friend V was blogging, I was overjoyed! Besides being one of my most treasured friends, she has always been an encouragement to me when I started my blog and offered valuable suggestions and even tried out my recipes! (thanks V!)

One evening, V and I decided to guest post in each other's blog. Why, you may ask? I dunno.. Just for the fun of it. I mean, why not? When she laid down her conditions of no non-veg and no eggs, the hard-core non-vegetarian in me fainted...

The veggie-lover-cum-healthy-eater part of me decided to take up the challenge. After a little thinking and research, I decided to substitute the eggs in my cake recipe with apple sauce :) And out came this gorgeous and yummy eggless cupcake.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Chat About Chaat

Recipe: Low Cal Dahi Papdi Chaat

Who doesn't like chaats with their spicy, sweet, tangy and crispy combinations?! My favourite is the dahi papdi chaat especially during the summers! It's so refreshing to dig into a plate full of curd, crispy papdis, potatoes / channa (chickpeas), seasoned with the sweet and spicy chutneys and garnished with chopped coriander leaves. With chaat shops in every corner of Bangalore, its very easy to satisfy your chaat cravings.

If you actually think about it, chaats are not so bad for health if you remove the deep-fried stuff like the papdis, sev, pooris etc. The rest of it - curd, chutneys, boiled potatoes, channa, sprouts or pomegranate seeds, etc are good stuff. 

And so began my quest to make the low-cal dahi papdi chaat. I started thinking of ways to replace the deep-fried stuff in them. I finally decided to make baked poori instead of papdi. Baked poori is crispy and crunchy and tastes similar to papdi, provided the dough is rolled out thin.

For the low-cal sev, I spent quite sometime racking my brains. I finally got it - dry roasted crushed instant noodles! Though sev is not an important component if the chaat. I feel it can be left out without any difference in taste to the chaat.

Dahi Papdi chaat also has plain boiled and cooked potato / channa (chickpeas) or sprouted beans. But on that day, I had some channa masala leftover from lunch, that I wanted to use up. It really doesn't matter whether you add plain cooked channa (chickpeas) or a channa masala.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chocolate Caramel Extravaganza

Recipe: Chocolate Coated Caramels

What happens when a chocoholic realizes that she is caramel-crazy too? Bad things happen! Especially to her hips... Unless she makes sure to increase her exercise-time!

But food-wise, it's a really awesome thing to happen. These are totally worth it - the extra exercise and additional hours at the gym!

These chocolate coated caramels are so good and so addictive. It's easy to polish off the entire batch in one sitting. So beware people! Make sure to distribute them to neighbours and family members as soon as possible before you unknowingly reach for another.. and yet another... and then before you know it, it's all over! And it's all inside you!

These are really easy to make and are excellent gifts as well.

History in the Making

Anna Hazare is the stuff of legends. On April 5th 2011, when he began a fast unto death in order to pass the anti-corruption Lokpal bill in the Indian Parliament, people and the media were wondering if Gandhian methods would work in today's day and age.

Before we knew it, his movement gained momentum and there were people all over India supporting Anna Hazare. It is reported that at least 150 people joined Anna in the fasting and many others gathered in different parts of the country to show their support. It was heart-warming and inspiring to see so many of the common people taking a public stand against corruption. And the best part of this movement was that it was not related to any political party. In fact, politicians were not even allowed to visit the site of protest. This was a movement of the common man who bore the brunt of all their actions - whether good or bad.

Within 5 days, the Government agreed to this 72 year old man's demands and Anna Hazare ended his 97-hour hunger strike. People all over the country rejoiced in this victory. Anna says that this is just the beginning and the real struggle is in drafting the new legislation. Even then, Anna Hazare has succeeded in igniting a fire in the hearts of many Indians.

Questions does arise as to how this bill will be formulated and implemented successfully. Nevertheless, this has showed us that there is a ray of hope and a glimmer of light in the dark abyss of corruption. There will be a better tomorrow as long as the people of this Nation stand united against any force that tries to create barriers amongst them.

You can read more about Anna Hazare here.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Caramel Crunch

Recipe: Caramel Candy Apple Slices

Are you in the mood for something sweet n' fruity, tart n' crunchy? Then, you must try these Caramel Apples. I never realized, till I tasted these beauties, that caramel with apple is such a wonderful combination. They are just like a match made in heaven :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Joys of Baking Cakes

Recipe: Marble Cake

I love baking cakes. Have I mentioned that before? I love baking cakes for the below mentioned reasons
Reason 1) I love eating cake-batter
Reason 2) I love eating cake-batter
Reason 3) I love eating cake-batter

Recently, there is another reason why I like baking cakes so much - I get to do it along with my favourite helper - my little boy :)

My son loves operating the cake mixer! Though he prefers doing it all by himself, the over-protective mother in me is always right beside him when he does it. And also he isn't allowed to switch on and off the power or bring his fingers near the mixer hooks. I tell him that he's got to be 18 (!) to do that... After a little pointless negotiating about the age, he listens to me and is happy to be holding the cake mixer and beating the batter :)

The only problem I face when I bake cakes with my son is that it gets difficult to stop him from eating the cake batter (salmonella poisoning from raw eggs?!). The person who said "Nothing is Impossible" got to be kidding. Just try stopping a 4-year old from eating cake batter when you are gorging on it yourself :P That, my friends, is the perfect definition of the word "Impossible".

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Cool Victory

Recipe: Strawberry Yoghurt Ice Pops

It's cricket fever in India. And the temperature is running high!

Whenever the Indian Cricket Team plays, its not just the players who are involved. It's an entire nation of fans! Fans are as involved in the game as the players. Some of them are so tensed that they can hardly sleep properly the night before. The religious fans resort to seeking God to plead for the team's victory. The superstitious fans tend to blame themselves or their actions for things ranging from loss of wickets to the low scores.

In India, cricket is not just a game. It's much more. I'm not an ardent cricket fan. But when I see the people around me, I realise that there's at least a billion hearts beating for Team India. And after their victory, there's a billion people celebrating with them.

Last wednesday's victory saw the night sky being lit up with fire crackers, people on bikes speeding away waving the tricolour and shouts of joy and dancing from all over.

The day of the Cricket World cup final is here and if that is causing you to burn in anticipation, then here's a great way to cool down and hope for the very best to come. .

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Layered Challenge

Recipe: Chatti Pathiri for the Vegetarian Soul

Call me Layer-o-phobic if you want, but cooking anything with layers intimidates me. Be it a layered cake or kerala porota or even puff pastry. Dishes with layers is just not my forte! (The only layered dish that works out for me is the dum biriyani. But that's because it was a perfect recipe handed down to me by my mom)

This month's Kerala kitchen challenge made me a little nervous - it had 12 layers (gulp!) And not only that, I had to come up with a veggie version of it - no meat, no eggs. I was thinking if I should sneak out of this challenge (he he..). After some encouragement from fellow bloggers (thanks Magpie!), I finally decided to give it a go - all 12 layers of it! And the rest (as they say) is history.

This is definitely a yummy and stylish dish. The different flavours mingled in a way I never imagined, thereby  creating that perfect harmony. The original recipe is from the very talented food blogger Ria. Thank you Ria, for introducing this wonderful dish to us - the dish called chatti pathiri. Or in other words, 12 layers of coconut-milk soaked crepes with yummy filling in between

The recipe for the crepe called for eggs. But since I was making the specially customized veggie version, I didn't use eggs. I also knew from prior experience that the mixture of all-purpose flour and water (minus the eggs) will be very rubbery when cooked. Hence I added a little bit of baking powder to make the batter a little light.

For the veggie filling, I made a dry gravy with mushrooms. I also added fried brinjal in alternate layers.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Summer Respite

Recipe: Ginger Lime Soda

The Indian summers are relentless. The scorching heat saps the energy from all living things.

In between the blinding bright days and hot humid nights, there is a longing for the rains to arrive quickly to give respite. The occasional summer rains give momentary relief. But that doesn't reduce the temperatures for long. It seems to get hotter after the summer showers as though the sun is back with a vengeance!

Bangalore is supposed to have a more tolerable climate than most other places in India. Unfortunately Bangalore itself is so hot these days.

With the heat on the rise, cool drinks and ice-creams gain popularity. One of the favoured drinks during the hot climate is lime soda.

I've added another ingredient to this popular drink that takes it to the next level of thirst quenching - a little bit of ginger! Ginger combined with the fizz of the soda makes this drink perfect for the long merciless summer.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Snacking in Satisfaction

Recipe: Peri-peri Corn on the Cob

There are certain times during the day apart from the usual meal-times, that my appetite is in hyper-active mode. And stuff like fruits and vegetables don't satisfy as they get digested in nanoseconds and leave me just as hungry as before.

In such times of immense digestive power, I need something really filling and tasty to stop me from reaching out for junk food. Some of my favourite things to eat then are chicken sandwiches, dosa and sambar, muesli with cold skimmed milk, avalose podi (a snack of roasted rice flour and coconut) with mashed banana and so on.

During one such ravenous evening, we were making steam-cooked corn on the cob. That is when my husband reminded me of the corn we used to get at Nandoos - which was served with their yummy peri-peri sauce. Thanks to Latha's recipe, I had attempted peri-peri chicken before and it was a phenomenal success. So I knew peri-peri sauce was an easy thing to make and hardly takes a couple of minutes to whip up.

I slightly modified the peri-peri marinade which was used for the chicken to make a lovely dipping sauce (or rather slathering sauce) for the corn. In fact this sauce can be had with fresh vegetables/fruits as well - carrot and cucumber sticks, raw guavas, etc. And even as a tangy, fiery sandwich spread or a marinade for grilled paneer.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Canvas of the Sky

The last couple of evenings in Bangalore, the sky has been really beautiful. Hues of red and blue delicately blending just before being taken over completely with black.

And yesterday, after darkness blanketed our side of the world, we had the opportunity of witnessing the spectacular visual treat of one of the brightest full moon nights :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

An Award :)

The lovely Ambreen from Simply Sweet and Savoury has given an award to this blog. Thank you, Ambreen.

The rules of this award are:
1.Accept the award. Post it in your blog with the name of the blogger who has given you this award with a link to his/her blog.
2.Pass it on to 15 other blogger friends…. to keep the ball rolling.
3.Let the nominated blogger know about their award [leave a comment in their most recent post].

It was tough to decide to whom to pass on this Award due to the vast number of talented bloggers on the net. Also, since this award is not specific to foodie blogs, I have included some non-foodie bloggers as well.

So here are the 15 bloggers to whom I am passing on this award (in no particular order).

1) Anoop of Anubimb
2) Smitha of Smitha's Spicy Flavours
3) Nikhil Merchant of Nonchalant Gourmet 
4) Saminey of Saminey Sajan Vinod
5) Anjali of Inspiration. Thoughts. Life
6) Aparna of Working Indian Moms
7) Nupur of One Hot Stove
8) Gokul Murari of To kill boredom
9) Valli of More Than Burnt Toast
10) Harish of Get Lost Get Going
11) The Incorrigible Indian of The Incorrigible Indian
12) Whitesoul of White Soul Haven
13) The Phoenix of A whiff of life
14) Jim and Bruce of Draw The Dog
15) Aritra Sen of Fractal

Ok folks, the ball's in your court now ;) Please keep it rolling...


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