Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Pan Seared White Dhokla with Avocado Spread

I tried this recipe which I picked up from an issue of ‘Good Food’ for breakfast today. It was much liked and appreciated. The dhokla is pretty much the basic white dhokla, the searing aspect is what makes it different and the avocado spread makes the entire combination interesting.

White Dhokla


1 ½ cup idli rice (if this is not available you can use any raw rice),
¾ cup urad dal,
¾ cup sour curd,
Salt to taste,
Crushed peppercorns as required,
Coarsely ground red chillies,
Oil as required


Wash and soak the rice and urad dal separately for about 7-8 hours. Grind both of these separately with a little water. Mix both the batters together and add the curds to make an idli like batter. Let this ferment overnight.

Add salt to taste and mix well. Grease a flat platter and pour the batter. Sprinkle the crushed peppercorns and coarsely ground red chillies. Let this steam for about 20 mins or till done.

Cool and cut into squares. Spread some oil on a heated non-stick tawa and place the dhokla pieces on the tawa. Sear the bottoms of the squares till they turn golden brown. Keep warm. Serve with the avocado spread.

Avocado Spread


1 large ripe avocado,
Juice of one lime,
4 sprigs of coriander,
4 green chillies,
3 garlic cloves,
Salt to taste


Scoop out the avocado flesh and immediately sprinkle the lime juice to prevent discolouration. Mash it well with a potato masher. Grind the coriander sprigs, green chillies, garlic cloves and salt to a fine paste. Lastly tip in the mashed avocado flesh and grind again to form a spread of uniform consistency.

Serve with the pan seared dhokla.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Eggless Layered Cake

Today it is a cake after a long time – a not too fancy cake – quite easy recipe if you have all the ingredients at home.


1 tin condensed milk,
100 gms softened butter,
300 gms refined flour,
2 tbsp cocoa powder,
2 ½ tsp baking powder,
1 tsp vanilla essence,
1 cup warm water


Sieve the refined flour and the baking powder thrice together.

Pour the condensed milk into a shallow vessel. Add the refined flour and baking powder mixture into the condensed milk bit by bit and mix well. Also add in the softened butter, vanilla essence and the warm water. Mix well to form a non-lumpy batter.

Pour out half the batter into another vessel and add the cocoa powder into this. Mix well.

Grease and flour a cake tin. Pour a layer of the cocoa-infused cake batter into the cake tin. Carefully pour a layer of the white cake batter. Follow up with the cocoa-infused cake batter. Follow this up with the white batter. Continue till all the batter is used up.

Pre heat the oven. Bake at 190oC for 40 minutes. Demould and cool. Slice and enjoy the fruit of your labour.

Peserat or Whole Moong Dal Dosa

We make this protein packed breakfast item often. This is a very good addition for people who prefer a low-carb diet, just omit the rice. My hubby and I would use this as a substitute for rotis when we were on a no-carb diet for a teeny weeny period. Here is the recipe…


2 cups of whole moong or green gram,
½ cup raw rice,
6 green chillies,
2 red chillies,
1 inch piece of ginger,
½ tsp of cumin seeds,
Salt to taste,
1 small onion
Some coriander leaves
Oil as required

Soak the whole moong and the rice together overnight. Grind it with the green chillies, red chillies, ginger, salt, half the onion and cumin seeds to a fine paste. Add water as required. Once you have the fine paste ready add enough water to make a batter which is a little more liquid than dropping consistency. Add the remaining chopped onions and chopped coriander leaves. Mix well.

Heat a non-stick pan and spread a ladle full of this batter and spread it to make an even round. Drizzle a couple of drops of oil and let cook covered till it is brown on one side. Flip it over and cook for about a minute on the other side. Serve hot with any chutney of your choice.

I served it with onion chutney and pulli inghi (Kerala ginger chutney).

My Experiments with Bread

This post is going to be different and the difference is that it will not have a recipe just the photograph. It is sometime that I have been experimenting with bread but not getting success. What I tried yesterday definitely looked good so I am going to give in to the temptation of posting it…but the recipe will come only after I have perfected this. This bread was good but was not light, pretty heavy like pound cake!

I have already tried this recipe thrice, the first time I felt the yeast was old, the second time I felt the yeast it self was not good (I have read others lament about not getting good yeast in India) and this time I tried to use baking powder along with yeast but still have not reached there yet.

Hubby suggests I try this recipe again with refined flour instead of whole wheat flour and I feel I will try another recipe…till then here is the photograph.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Green Peas Curry

Today I am posting about a green peas curry with a south-indian touch I made some days back. This would taste wonderful with puttu or rice, though I served it with rotis.


2 cups green peas,
Salt to taste,
2 chopped tomatoes,
1 small onion (chopped),
½ tsp ginger paste,
½ tsp garlic paste,
4 tbsp coconut,
1 tbsp cashewnuts,
1 ½ tbsp oil,
½ tsp cumin seeds,
½ urad dal,
½ tsp powdered coriander seeds,
½ tsp powdered cumin seeds,
1 tsp red chilli powder,
½ tsp turmeric powder,
10-12 curry leaves,
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves


Cook the greens with salt and a little water till done.

Grind the coconut and the cashewnuts into a fine paste.

Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds and the urad dal. When the urad dal turns light brown fold in the onions and fry till they turn light brown in colour. Now add the ginger garlic paste and fry till oil separates. Add the coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and tomatoes. Saute this for about 2-3 minutes.

Lower the heat and add the coconut and cashew nut paste with the curry leaves. Let this cook for about a minute. Then add ¾ cup water and let it boil. Add the peas and simmer for 3-4 mins. Serve hot garnished with chopped coriander leaves.

Moong Dal Halwa

Though this is a very famous Indian desert I can actually count on my fingers the number of times I have had it, the first time I had it was at my Mumbai dentist’s daughter’s wedding reception and the second time was at Diwali at a close friend’s place and both of these were absolutely yum. The third time I had this was when I made it the first time during the period when I was very new to the kitchen many years ago and it turned out all lumpy and pretty bad.

I tried it again about a few weeks back and realized why it is not such an often made desert; it is quite a tedious process to make it well. But it did turn out good and that is what matters in the end I guess. So here comes the recipe…


1 cup yellow moong dal,
1 cup ghee,
¾ cup khoya,
A pinch of saffron,
½ cup warm milk,
1 tbsp besan,
1 cup sugar,
Some peeled and slivered almonds


Soak the moong dal overnight or at least for 8 hours. Grind this into a coarse paste using as little water as possible.

Make a one-string consistency sugar syrup using the sugar and 1 ½ cup of water.

Soak the saffron in the warm milk.

Heat ghee and add the besan. Let it turn golden, then add the ground moong dal. Now is the tedious part fry this on a low flame till it takes a golden brown hue…this should easily take about an hour and a quarter at least.

Now fold in the sugar syrup and the saffron flavoured milk. Mix this well and fold in the khoya and cook till well mixed.

Garnish it with the slivered almonds. This tastes best warm.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Cheesy Onion Topping

Again something I had been waiting for my sister’s visit for giving it a try as she is fond of cheese and kids by default are fond of cheese.

I tried this cheesy onion topping on a baguette bread, but it would equally well with any other suitable bread.


8 slices of bread (I used baguette bread),
1 medium sized onion (chopped),
75 grams of shredded cheddar cheese,
1 tbsp olive oil,
1 ½ tbsp of refined flour,
150 ml of milk
1 ½ tbsp butter
1 tsp mustard sauce,


Heat olive oil and tip in the chopped onion. Cook it till soft. Keep aside.

Heat the butter and add the flour once the butter starts foaming. Stir constantly till it is well mixed, now add the milk and cook on a low flame for two minutes.

Remove from heat and mix in the cooked onions, cheese and mustard sauce.

Toast the bread till golden and spread the cheesy onion topping on the bread. Cook it in a pre-heated oven at 200oC for about 15 minutes or grill until bubbling.

Serve it topped with chilli flakes or mixed dried herbs.

Soft Rawa Laddu

There are some rawa or semolina laddus which turn hard after cooling, this recipe is for the soft ones. You can vary the sugar content as per your taste, I used these proportions and some members in the family found it lacking in sweetness and some found it just right…so it is really as per your preference.


250 grams semolina or rawa or suji,
150 grams refined flour,
1 cup finely grated coconut,
1 cup powdered sugar,
3 tsps ghee,
1 cup milk,
1 tbsp chopped cashews,
½ tsp powdered green cardamom seeds


Roast the semolina with the refined flour on a low flame till it turns slightly brown. This takes some time and patience; please refrain from increasing the flame or you will land up with burnt semolina.

Now add the grated coconut, powdered sugar, ghee and milk. Saute till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Add the chopped cashews and powdered cardamom seeds and turn off the heat. Mix this well and cool it slightly.

Take a small portion of the mixture and roll into small balls in your palms.

Another Variation


1 ½ cups of semolina or rawa or suji,
1 ¼ cups of sugar,
½ cup of ghee,
¼ cup raisins,
¼ cups cashewnuts,
½ tsp powdered green cardamom seeds


Roast the semolina till light brown in colour, then add 1.5 tbsp of ghee and fry for another 5 minutes on a low heat. Cool this and powder it with the sugar into a not so fine powder.

Heat the remaining ghee and fry the chopped cashews and raisins till light brown. Then mix in the semolina and sugar mixture and the powdered cardamom seeds. Shape into laddoos while still warm.  

Roasted Chicken

I have waited a long time to try this recipe. It is always fun to have many people around when trying out a ‘not so everyday’ recipe so was waiting for my sister to come. Now that she is here I tried this the other Sunday. This is actually the basic tandoori chicken recipe sans the tandoor of course. I made it in the oven, also I used the wire rack so the pieces would get evenly exposed to the heat. For ease of cleaning I wrapped each of the wires in the wire rack with aluminum foil, which I just pulled out later.


1 chicken cut into large pieces (about 1 kg),
1 tsp spicy chilli powder,
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder,
2 tsp lemon juice,
Salt to taste,
½ cup yoghurt,
1 tsp ginger paste,
1 tsp garlic paste,
1 tsp green chilli paste,
1 tsp garam masala powder,
Mustard oil for basting

For serving

1 onion sliced into roundels,
A pinch of chilli powder,
A pinch of chaat masala powder,
1 tsp lemon juice,
Salt to taste


Clean the chicken well and make diagonal slits on the pieces.

Marinate the chicken in both the chilli powders, lemon juice and salt for about 45 minutes.

Beat the yoghurt, ginger paste, garlic paste, green chilli paste and the garam masala powder (I forgot to add the garam masala powder and it still tasted good) well together. Rub this into the chicken, add more salt if required. Marinate this in the refrigerator for 7-8 hours.

Brush the pieces with a little mustard oil and cook it in on the wire rack of a pre-heated oven (220oC) for 40 minutes. Baste it with the oil at least once during this period.

Marinate the onion roundels with the chilli powder, salt, lemon juice and chaat masala. Serve with the roasted chicken.