Nov 27, 2009


I was crazy about pizzas when I first came to the US. I used to find an excuse every other time to take out one. After being here for a while I got the idea to try it from scratch. It looked difficult at the start but was quite easy when making. It turned out very good and also i could add all the toppings that I wanted

Serves... 2 ppl
Serve option... hot

This is what u'll need....

Maida 3 cup 
Olive oil 1.5 tbspn
Active yeast 8 gm
Salt 1 tspn
Sugar 1 tbspn

For toppings->
Cheese 8 oz
Black olives 10
Pickled cucumber 3 slices
Green bell pepper 3 tbspn
Onion 1 small
Tomato 1 small
Pizza sauce 5 tbspn
Olive oil 1/2 tbspn

Here is the stir....
  • Take half a cup of luke warm water and add yeast, salt, sugar to it. Rest the mixture for about 10-15 mins. For detailed instructions follow the step-by-step instructions here -> How to Proof Yeast
  • Add maida, oil and yeast mixture to a working bowl. Start mixing everything together and gently knead it. Add little water if needed. Initially the dough will be very sticky but kneading for 7-10 minutes will make it into a soft dough
  • Apply few drops of oil to the dough and keep it in agreased bowl covered with a wet kitchen tissue. Heat the oven for just 1-2 mins and then turn it off. Let the dough rest inside it - the slight warmth helps dough to rise. It takes about 40-45 minutes to double in volume
  • Meanwhile chop all the toppings and keep it ready for garnish
  • After 1 hour punch down the dough and knead it for another 5 mins. Once again rest the dough for 40-45 mins and let it double in volume
  • Preheat the oven at 425 degrees
  • Take a cookie sheet and dust it a little. Roll out the dough onto it using your fingers. Put this in the oven for 3-4 mins
  • Remove the pizza base from the oven, Spread pizza sauce followed by toppings. Finally spread a generous layer of cheese (I use mozarella and cheddar)
  • Bake it in the oven for another 18-20 mins or until the cheese has melted completely

Nov 26, 2009

Bisi bela bhath

We love this ... thats what I can say. Its not a tough recipe so making it is always a yes when someone demands at home including me. Started liking this when I used to stay as a paying guest in hyd. Aunty used to make this on sundays and i was sure never to miss it. From then on the fancy has been on.

This is what u'll need....

Chana dal 1/2 cup
Rice 3/4 cup
Onion 1 med
Garlic 3 cloves
Chopped veggies 3 cup - carrot, beans, brinjal, potato, tomato, drumstick
Coconut 2tbspn
Garam masala 1 tspn
Cumin powder 1/2 tspn
Coriander powder 1/2 tspn
Fennel powder 1/2 tspn
Chilli powder 1/2  tspn
Sambar powder 1 1/2 tspn
Tamarind paste 1/2 tspn
Ghee 3 tbspn

Here is the stir....
  • Pressure cook chana dal, onion and garlic for 2 whistle
  • Add chopped vegetables and salt and cook till 1 more whistle
  • In a microwave safe bowl add coconut, garam masala, cumin, coriander, fennel, chilli powder, tamarind paste, sambar powder and water. Cook it for 2-3 mins
  • Wash and add rice to the rice cooker. Pour the cooked dal and veg's mixture followed by the masala mix.
  • Add extra 1 cup of water than you would usually for rice
  • When serving, top it with ghee and have raitha, mixture for sides

Nov 25, 2009

Phyllo pockets sweet/savory

I watch food network a lot. Right from around 11:00 in the morning till my hubby is back from office, I have this channel and another going on one after the other. Its not that I sit and watch every episode but just have an eye on whats cooking. I was seeing this show on tv the other day when my mouth started watering. Its these tiny pockets of phyllo dough stuffed with nuts and honey. Tried it out and it was a success. Once served it was all over in no time ;)

Serves...2 ppl
Serve option... room temp

This is what u'll need....

Phyllo sheets 6
Melted butter 1/4 cup
Almonds 1/4 cup
Cashews 1/8 cup
Raisins 1/8 cup
Honey 2 tbspn
Brown sugar 1 tbspn
Sugar 1 tbspn

Here is the stir....
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Thaw the phyllo sheets and keep it covered with a wet kitchen tissue
  • Put almonds and cashews into a food processor and chop it coarsely. Toss in the raisins and blend it for a min
  • Get the mixture into a bowl and add honey, sugar and brown sugar
  • Take one phyllo  sheet and brush it butter. Top with another layer and do the same process with all the 6 sheets. Final layer should also be brushed with butter
  • Cut the sheet into 6 squares - 1 horizontal and 2 vertical cuts
  • Put a spoonful of the nut mixture into each square and fold it like an envelope
  • Lay all the tiny pockets on a greased baking sheet and brush the top of each pocket with some more butter
  • Bake it for 15-20 mins or until golden brown
  • I also made a savory version of this using a spicy potato mixture as stuffing. It was as good as the sweet one

Nov 24, 2009

Tortilla chips

Tortilla chips are fresh-oven-baked crisps that will satisfy the criteria of a quick and tasty evening snack. My little one loves this too so I make some and store it in an airtight container. It keeps fresh for about a week tho ours dont usually last more than 3-4 days

Serves... 2 ppl 
Serve option... Homemade salsa/sour cream dip

This is what u'll need....

Flour/corn tortillas 3
Salt to taste
Garam masala/ Chaat masala 1 tspn
Olive oil 1 tbspn

Here is the stir....

  • In a bowl add the oil, garam masala and salt. Give it a quick stir
  • Cut each tortilla into wedges and toss them into the bowl
  • Give it a full toss to coat the chips evenly with spice
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminun foil 
  • Line the chips on the tray in a single layer and bake it for 12-15 mins or until golden brown
  • Let it rest for a while before serving

Nov 23, 2009

Carrot cake

Carrot cake is a fun way to get some veggie into our junk filled tummies. Its easy and quick to make and everybody enjoys it always. Specially my 21 month old loves it a lot. The moment he discovers that mommy is into some baking, he starts saying 'cake.. cake ..cake..'. Its just yummy and melts in your mouth. Its so yummy that we never have a chance to keep it stocked for the next day. Made this the day before and it was all gone before we even realized. But this time we had some guests to take a share.

This is what u'll need....

Butter 3/4 stick - room temp
Egg 3
Sugar 1 cup (or) sugar 1/2 cup + brown sugar 1/2 cup
Cinnamon powder 1 tspn
All purpose flour 1 cup
Baking powder 1 tbspn
Vanilla extract 1 tspn
Almonds chopped 4 tbspn
Raisins 3 tbspn
Carrot shredded 1 cup

Here is the stir....
  • Grease baking pan and dust with flour
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Blend butter and sugar to a smooth paste
  • Break in the eggs and blend for another 2 mins
  • Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon and keep aside
  • Mix the dry ingredients to the wet followed by vanilla extract and blend for few mins
  • Finally add shredded carrot, chopped almonds and raisins
  • Fold in everything till they are just blended
  • Pour into the baking pan and bake for about 22-25 mins or a fork comes out clean
  • Can frost it or cream it if wanted. Am not very particular about it cos of the extra cals that they count ;)

Nov 19, 2009

Pepper Chicken

This is a chicken curry that I made for our friends who love spicy food. Everybody loved it yesterday.  You might wanna step up or down with the proportion of spices. It is so easy to make and turns out delicious always. Its an all-time hit in our house. Goes good with rice or chapathis or pooris.

Serves...4 ppl
Serve option... Hot with rice or chapathis

This is what u'll need....

Chicken 2 lbs
Mustard 1 tspn
Cumin 1 tspn
Whole garam masala
Onions 1 large, 1 small
Tomatoes 2 medium
Salt to taste
Turmeric 1/4 tspn
Gg paste1 tbspn
Green chillies 5
Curry leaves
Chilli powder 1 tspn
Coriander powder 2 tspn
Cumin powder 1 tspn
Crushed black pepper 1.5 tspn
Coriander leaves for garnish

Here is the stir....
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard, cumin, whole garam masala
  • Fry finely chopped onions till translucent
  • Put in salt, turmeric, gg paste, green chillies, curry leaves and stir until cooked
  • Add chopped tomatoes, chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder
  • Cover the lid and cook on edium for about 10 mins
  • Toss in the chicken and cook covered for another 5-10 mins
  • Sprinkle crushed pepper and stir for couple of mins
  • Garnish with coriander leaves

Nov 18, 2009

Butter Chicken

Today my hubby wanted to have butter chicken with Pooris. I dont make it often coz its just that all rich and creamy and high calorie stuff. I had a big pack of chicken and its been a while since I made this version so thought it was a good idea. But then we planned to invite one of our friends to join for dinner. My friends are not a big fan of sweet style curries so I thought I should make something spicy for them. I made Pepper chicken for them. Recipe for that follows in the next post. These are recipes from the internet that I have tried many times and have always been a hit. So here is the recipe for Butter Chicken...

Serve option... 4 ppl
Serve option... Warm with pooris

This is what u'll need....

Chicken 2 lbs
GG paste 2 tbspn
Coriander powder 2.5 tspn
Red chilli powder 2.5 tspn
Cumin seeds1 tspn
Salt to taste
Onion 1 large
Tomatoes 2 medium
Green chillies 2
Cashews 6 nos
Heavy cream 1/2 cup
Sugar 1 tspn
Ketchup 2 tspn
Food color - red
Garam masala 1/2 tspn
Butter 2-3 tspn

Here is the stir....
  • Cut chicken into thin slices
  • Add GG paste, 1 spn chilli powder, 1.5 tspn coriander powder and salt
  • Fry this in little oil till the water in the chicken evaporates. Dont cook the chicken fully through. Remove and keep it aside.
  • In the same pan add cumin seeds to the remaining oil
  • Toss in onion followed by gg paste and fry till onion turns golden
  • Pour little water and add coriander powder, cashews, red chilli powder, green chillies and chopped tomatoes
  • Boil the mixture for 15-20 mins and grind it after cooling
  • Heat up a pan and add butter followed by the above mixture. Keep it a little watery
  • Add sugar, salt, color and ketchup. Follow this up with cream
  • Boil for couple of mins and mix in the fried chicken
  • Stir and cook for another 5 mins
  • Sprinkle garam masala just before you are done

Banana split

Me and my hubby love banana split - fried bananas with ice cream. The other day I saw this chef on TV making with so much ease that my mouth started watering and my tummy started singing. Its been a long time since we had it so I thought why not try making when my tummy is inviting me so many times. Tried it yesterday and it turned out yummy. I modified the recipe a little to suit our style.

This is what u'll need....

Ripe banana 2
Maida 1/2 cup
Cornflour 1/4 cup
Cinnammon/Cardamom powder less than 1/4 spn- I used cardamom
Sugar 4 tspn
Baking powder 1/4 tspn
Water to make batter
Ice cream
Raisins/dried fruits/fresh cream to decorate

Here is the stir....

  • Mix maida, cornflour, baking powder, sugar and cardamom powder
  • Add water to make a smooth and thick paste - like for bajji's
  • Heat oil in a pan
  • Peel and cut banana into halves. Split each half into 3 slices lengthwise. Put them in freezer for 5 mins
  • Dip each slice in batter and deep fry in oil
  • Remove and drain them on a paper towel
  • Place three fried banana slice and then top them with tiny scoops of ice cream
  • Top it all off with some raisins/whipped cream/nuts

Nov 15, 2009

Murukku using rice flour

Murukku can never be enuf for anyone... it just tastes too good that there are no words for it and homemade murukku are even more special. I know we get a lot of store bought versions here but it never tastes the same as homemade. They are so fresh and crispy and look so inviting. I made some yesterday and I have not much left today. In fact had some guests too...

This is what u'll need....

Rice Flour - 1 cup
Roasted urad dal powder - 1 tspn
Chutney dal powder/Pottu kadalai powder - 2 tbspn
Oil /Melted Butter - 2 tbspn
Black sesame seeds - 1 tbspn
Oil - for frying
Salt to taste

Here is the stir....
  • Measure in rice flour, chutney dal powder and urad dal powder into a bowl
  • Wash and  clean sesame seeds. Add it to the flour
  • Add melted ghee or oil to the bowl
  • Add salt to taste
  • Use little water to make a soft dough
  • Heat oil in a skillet to medium high
  • Put some dough into murukku machine and squeeze in circles to form the shape
  • Slowly put them in oil and fry on both sides till golden brown and crispy
  • Remove and drain on paper towel
  • Store in an airtight container and it stays good for quite some days
  • Add chilli powder if you want to but we prefer it this way
  • Fry on medium hot oil to maintain colour and crispness
  • Store them only after they are completely cool

Nov 8, 2009

Groundnut Chutney

I had this chutney first when I visited by local guardians house during a weekend .. college days. She was such a sweet lady. Always used to make different things so that I can have a break from the boring hostel food. I have spent real quality time with her and her family... the kids used to love me coming home to play with them. Talking about peanut chutney, I love it and then is when I learnt this quick recipe. I dont make this very often as it is just cholesterol and nothing else. But it is worth having it once in a while

Serves... 2ppl
Serve option... Dosas, idlis

This is what u'll need....

Peanut 1/2 cup
Red chillies 3
Salt to taste
Tamarind very little - 1/4 tspn
Garlic 1 big clove
Mustard 1 tspn
Urad dal 1 tspn

Here is the stir....
  • Fry the peanuts and garlic till they lose their raw flavor and cool them. Remove the skin if it has, I use the ones without cover so no hassles
  • Grind this with red chillies, salt, tamarind and garlic to a very fine paste
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, urad dal. Pour this into the chutney and give it a good stir. Serve with hot idlis or dosas

Nov 3, 2009

Tomato chutney

A simple tomato chutney that is often made at home because of the ease and the taste. The color and texture is also very inviting that you wont hesitate another spoonful to add on. Eaten with lots of options.

Serves... 2 ppl 
Serve option... Hot rice, chapathi, dosa, idli

This is what u'll need....

Onion 2 big
Tomato 3 medium
Garlic cloves 5 big 
Green chillies 4
Chilli powder 1 tspn
Sambar powder 1 tspn 
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds 1 tspn
Urad dal 1 tspn
Oil 2 tbspn

Here is the stir....
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, urad dal
  • Toss in chopped garlic and stir for a few seconds till you can smell the aroma
  • Chop onions and add it to the pan. Follow with salt. Fry till onion turns translucent
  • Toss in chopped tomatoes, chilli powder, sambar, chopped green chillies and cook covered stirring once in a while
  • Remove from heat when oil starts separating from chutney

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