Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Shrimps in spicy orange sauce

I have just started eating sea food and was wondering , what took me so long...I have been born and brought up in northern part of the country , where sea food was rare to get...We ate fresh water fishes and that too not on a regular basis....I think that was the reason that though I am a die heart Non vegetarian , I had some inhibition for sea food....

Then one day,I gathered all the courage and announced that I want to eat prawns today....And Mohit  very gingerly took me to a fancy place for my very first encounter with these beauties....Now I have started cooking shrimps and prawns at home, and like to experiment with them....So here is what I did with my batch...

All you need is ( adopted from

Oil-4 tbsp
Shrimps-300 gms
Ginger-1 inch piece( grated )
Garlic-10-15 cloves( grated )
Juice of one orange
Soya sauce-1 tbsp
Rice vinegar-1 tbsp
Honey-1 tbsp
Red chili sauce-1 tbsp ( can adjust )
Cornflour-1 tsp
Water-1 cup
Coriander leaves- 2tbsp ( chopped )

Method of preparation

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan
Fry shrimps from both the sides , till cooked ( 2 minutes on each side )
Heat another pan and add 2 tbsp oil
Add ginger and garlic and fry for a minute
Add orange juice, soya sauce, red chili sauce, honey and rice vinegar
Mix cornflour in little water and add to the pan
Add remaining water and cook for 2 minutes , till gravy thickens
If the gravy is too thick, add some more water
Add the prawns and coriander leaves remove the pan from heat
Serve hot with rice

Monday, February 27, 2012

Coffee and chocolate muffins with coffee glaze

It's time for Daring Baker's challenge and our host Lisa has chosen Quick bread for the month......

According to epicurious Quick Bread is a bread 

 that is quick to make because it doesn't require kneading or rising time. That's because the leavener in such a bread is usually baking powder or baking soda, which, when combined with moisture, starts the rising process immediately. In the case of double-acting baking powder, oven heat causes a second burst of rising power. Eggs can also be used to leaven quick breads. This genre includes most biscuits, muffins, popovers and a wide variety of sweet and savory loaf breads.

I decide to make muffins and tried to experiment with coffee ....I made a coffee and walnut cake sometime back and everyone loved it.....This time, apart from coffee, I decided to add chocolate to my muffins....

Coffee and walnut bundt cake 

The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

Muffins came out very soft and moist....The trick is to not over mix the wet and dry ingredients...Just give the mix a quick and swift stir and your muffins will be very soft ....So here is the recipe...

All you need is

All purpose flour-250 gms
Oil-100 ml
Baking powder- 2tsp
Baking soda-1\2 tsp
Sugar-200 gms
Vanilla extract-1 tsp
A pinch of salt
Cocoa powder-4 tbsp
Plain yogurt-120 gm
Dark coffee-150 ml
Dark chocolate-100 gms ( broken into pieces )

For coffee glaze

Coffee powder-1 tsp
Milk-1 cup
Confectioner's sugar-1\2 cup

Method of preparation

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C
Grease a muffin tray
In a bowl, whisk together all purpose flour,baking soda, baking powder,cocoa powder and salt
In another bowl, beat the egg with sugar
Add vanilla extract and oil
Mix well
Add coffee and yogurt
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients
Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix
Do not over mix at this stage
Fill the muffin tray with batter 
Insert a chocolate piece in the center of the muffin
Bake for 15-20 minutes
Cool the muffins in the tray for 5 minutes
Take out from the tray and cool on the wire rack

Coffee glaze

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl
Keep aside
Brush on the muffins while they are hot

Friday, February 24, 2012

Chicken in coconut milk gravy

I got a big can of coconut milk some days back and almost forgot it in my refrigerator.....Luckily I decided to clean my fridge yesterday and discovered that only 3 days were left for it to pass it 's expiry date....I have never cooked using coconut milk before, but was always tempted by those yummy looking curries all over the net...So I dedicate my cooking ,to coconut milk for a couple of days from now....This chicken curry is the first thing I made and trust me ,it turned out awesome....We had it with naan ,but you can eat it with rice as well....Do give it a try....

All you need is

Oil- 3tbsp
Curry leaves-1 twig (optional )
Dried red chili-2
Onion-2( medium, chopped)
Tomato puree\paste-3-4 tsp
Ginger garlic paste-1 tsp
Coriander powder-2 tsp
Turmeric powder-1\2 tsp
Red chili powder-1 tsp ( adjust according to your taste )
Garam masala powder-1\2 tsp
Cumin powder-1\2 tsp
Chicken breast-2-3 (cut into small pieces )
Coconut milk-11\2 cup
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves to garnish

Method of preparation

Heat oil in a pan
Add curry leaves and dried red chilies
Add onion and fry till golden brown
Add tomato paste and fry for a minute( add little water if the masala is too dry )
Add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell is gone
Keep adding little water if you feel that the gravy is too dry and sticking to the bottom of the pan
Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder and garam masala powder
Fry for 3-4 minutes
Add 1\2 cup water to the pan and add chicken pieces
Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes
Add coconut milk and cover and cook till chicken is done
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves
Serve hot with rice or naan

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book review-Southern Flavours

As a child, we ate south Indian food very occasionally and our knowledge of South Indian food was restricted to Dosa, Idly and Sambhar....These three things were all when we thought of Southern flavors....But as I grew up and came to Bangalore after my marriage, I realized that there is huge choice of food in the southern cuisine....Now South Indian cuisine has became one of my favorites... So when I got the opportunity to review this wonderful book Southern Flavours by Chandra Padmanabhan, I was much overjoyed....This is her fourth book and a must have for all the beginners and experts alike of south Indian cooking...

The Book has a beautiful cover page which instantly draws attention and inside the book,there are beautiful clicks of the  recipes wonderfully presented with  garnishing of mustard seeds and curry leaves....

The book has a vast selection of recipes from Tamilnadu, Kerala , Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka....It covers basics from How to cook rice to which utensil to use for what kind of cooking...And the section with the suggested menus for buffets and a la carte is just wonderful....

The content is divided into 8 sections covering basics, Sambhar and Kuzhambu, rasam, poriyal and kootu, rice, snacks, sweets and accompaniments....

There are a lots of notes and tips with each recipe to make the cooking even easier and the variation ideas gives more choices to the readers.....

Another thing that I liked about the book was the mention of the time needed for the preparation and cooking time for the recipe....

I am a newbee in South Indian cooking and as a layman, this book proved to be a real help...I could make a few recipes from this book like a pro, as the instructions were very easy and understandable...This book is definitely a keeper for a novice cook or a new wedded bride....

I tried a couple of recipes from the book ...Rasam came out wonderful with the use of freshly grounded Rasam Podi...This book is going to help me long way...

Rasam Podi

All you need is

Dried red chilies-11\4 cup
Coriander seeds-21\2cups
Cumin seeds-1\2 tbsp
Black peppercorn-1\2 cup
Curry leaves-2 sprigs
Tuvar dal-3\4 cup
Chana dal-1\4 cup
Turmeric powder-1 tsp

Method of preparation

Roast each ingredient ,except turmeric powder, separately in a dry frying pan over low heat tossing gently for a few moments( Roast chillies, curry leaves and spices, till fragrant ,and dals ,till golden )
Cool and combine all ingredients including turmeric powder
Grind to make a fine powder
Store in an air tight container and use as required

Verum Thakkali Rasam ( Tomato Rasam from Tamil Nadu )

All you need is

Husked, split pigeon peas (tuvar\arhar dal )-1\4 cup
Ripe tomatoes-5-6 (pureed )
Rasam podi-2 tsp (make as descibed above)
Asafoetida powder-1\2 tsp
Salt-1 1\4 tsp


Ghee-2 tsp
Mustard seeds-1\2 tsp
Cumin seeds-1\2 tsp
Dried chili-1 ( halved)
Black peppercorn-1\2 tsp (powdered )
Curry leave-1sprig


Fresh coriander-2 tbsp ( chopped )

Method of preparation

Wash dal and drain
Place in a pressure cooker with one cup of water
Cook under pressure for 5 minutes
Open cooker when cool
Add 1 cup of water to make thin dal
Whisk well and keep aside

Combine pureed tomatoes, Rasam podi, Asafoetida and salt in pan
Mix well and simmer over low heat for 10-12 minutes

Add dal and bring to boil
Lower heat and simmer, till Rasam froths up
Remove from heat

Heat ghee for tempering in another pan
Add remaining ingredients for tempering, in the order given
Fry over moderate heat, till mustard seeds splutter
Stir content of pan into Rasam

Garish with coriander leaves and serve hot

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Coffee and walnut bundt cake

This is a wonderful cake recipe.....I don't know from where I learned it , but it was there in my recipe book....I took it for a get together and everyone there liked it...Do give it a try ....

All you need is

All purpose flour-2 cups
Butter-200 gm
Sugar-1 cup
Baking powder-1 tsp
Walnuts-1\2 cup
Instant coffee powder-2 and 1\2 tbsp
Vanilla extract-1 tsp
A pinch of salt

Method of preparation

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees C
Grease and flour a 10" bundt pan
In a bowl whisk together all purpose flour, salt and baking powder
Beat butter and sugar in a bowl till light and fluffy (2-3 minutes)
Beat in the egg one at a time
Add coffee powder and vanilla extract and beat well
Ad flour to the mixture little by little and mix with a spatula
Don't over mix at this stage
Fold in the walnuts
Pour the batter in the pan and bake for about an hour or until a knife comes out clean
Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes
Take out from the pan and cool on a cooling rack
Serve warm

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Upside down onion and potato tart

Do do do try it...It's  a very simple and easy to do recipe and it tasted awesome...It took me 10 minutes from start to popping the pan in the oven and in a matter of minutes my entire house was filled with the wonderful aroma of potatoes baking with the cheese.... (recipe source-

 All you need is

White onion-1( large, thickly sliced )
Butter-21\2 tbsp
Dried Parsley-1 tsp
Potatoes-2 (large, very thinly sliced )
Salt to taste
Black pepper-1 tsp
Chili flakes-1 tsp
Cheddar cheese-1\2 cup
Parmesan cheese-1\2 cup
Olive oil- 2tbsp

Method of preparation

Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees
Place butter in a pan and add parsley
Arrange onions in a single layer and fry from both the sides til light brown
Arrange the onions rings in a tart pan in a single layer
In a bowl, mix together potato slices, cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and chili flakes
Arrange the potatoes on top of the onion and sprinkle the remaining cheese from the bowl all over the tart
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown
Serve hot straight from the oven

Friday, February 3, 2012

Strawberry Honey Butter

I had a few strawberries lying in my fridge and when I saw this very tempting looking strawberry flavored butter at ,I was game......It took a few minutes to be done and tasted wonderful with the beagles....So here is the recipe...

All you need is

Butter-1\2 cup (softened )
Strawberries-10-15 (pureed)
Lemon juice- 2 tsp

Method of preparation

Add strawberry puree, lemon juice and honey in a pan
Cook for 3- 5 minutes
In a bowl, beat butter and strawberry puree for 3-4 minutes
Let it sit for an hour before using
You can refrigerate the butter for 3- 4 day

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