Welcome to my Blog

Hmm you'll say...yet another food blog! And I'll beg to differ, although I must say my recipes are not hi-funda, and sometimes the pictures do not do justice to them (I'm working on that) but you'll find them extremely easy to cook, hassle free and down right delicious.
So if you are a newbie in the kitchen department or has not ventured into the kitchen for some strange reason (like me)...then you have come to the right place.

Happy Cooking!

On My Table Runner

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Diwali!

Image source: Google

Wishing all the bloggers a very joyous and colorful Diwali. Hope the year ahead brings prosperity, well being and love to everyone.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Eid Mubarak

Eid Mubarak to all the Bloggers, hope this Ramadan went well with everyone.
May Allah bless us all and always keep us under HIS grace.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Gobi Manchuria

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This appetizer has been a favorite with me, way back in Hyderabad...this was when Dhabas were booming all around, it was a patent name on the menu cards. The name is familiar to Chicken Manchuria...probably because they look identical. The only thing I resisted adding was the food color. Anyways, here are the ingredients.

2 cups cauliflower, washed and cut into decent sized florets
3/4 cup chana besan flour
oil as needed
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
a pinch of turmeric powder
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
a pinch of baking soda
1 green chilli, chopped
chopped cilantro to garnish
water as needed

Mix all the ingredients except cauliflower florets. Let the marinate sit for sometime.

Dip the cauliflower florets and mix in well. The mix should not be very runny, make sure it is thick and cling well to the cauliflower.

Heat oil in a deep based pan and fry till gloden brown, serve with mango chutney or sauces of your choice.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Kofte Pyaaz

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...translated as Meatballs in thick Onion gravy, is another recipe which uses the tempting kofte I prepared the other day. Anyways, as for the recipe, its absolutely worth trying, amazing flavors to savor coupled with the sweet taste of onions give this gravy a unique touch.

olive oil 4 tbs
14- 15 meatballs/kofte
4-5 onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 cup water
1 green chilli, slit
4 cardamoms
cilantro to garnish

Heat a wok and add the onions, as they begin to get a brown tinge add ginger garlic paste. Stir a while and add salt, turmeric powder, cardamoms and green chilli.

As the onions starts to get golden...add red chilli powder and stir briskly. Splash in some water, let all the ingredients mix in well.

Shut the lid and let it cook on medium...for 10 min's max. By now the onions should start to leave oil. Slip in the kofte and garnish with cilantro. Serve warm with naan or rice.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

French Beans in Onion

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This is the most basic of Indian cooking. French beans are very versatile, you can prepare it in gravy or just boil them and season with salt and pepper (that's how my older son likes it) they taste just as good!

3-4 tbs oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 cups water
1 lb or more french beans, cut in 4 pieces
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ginger garlic paste

Heat oil and slide the onions, as the onions start to slightly brown add ginger garlic paste and stir briskly.

Add salt and turmeric powder and stir in well. By now the onions will have browned. Add red chilli powder and let everything blend in well.

Add half the water and the cut french beans and shut the lid, check after a few min's to see if the beans have gone tender.

Add the remaining water and cook on a medium flame till tender and oil starts to seperate. Serve!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Delish Fruit Cups

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Now here's one dessert that has no sugar...the flavor totally rides on the fresh fruits and whip cream. Assembling the dessert is a breeze once you have all the ingredients ready :) Again there are no limits to the kind of fruits you want to add, I put whatever I had handy.

1 apple
1 orange
1 banana
1 cup cantaloupe
1 cup grapes
1 cup mango
2-3 tsp fresh apricot
2-3 tsp black raisins
3-4 dates

Cut all the fruits in desired sizes, layer them in a serving bowl.

Scoop a dollop of whip cream on top and sprinkle black raisins, dried apricots and dates. Serve cold!

Potato Fritters

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Here's another fried crispy delicacy straight for the iftar table...easy to make and simply great to eat. Here is the recipe...

4 tbs oil
2 potatoes, skinned and sliced
1 1/2 cup chana besan flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 green chilli, chopped
1/2 onion, sliced
Cilantro as needed
A pinch of baking soda

Slice the potato using a mandolin, Immerse them in cold water and keep aside.

Mix all the other ingredients and add the potatoes, let them sit in the mix for sometime.

Heat oil and deep fry them till golden brown. Serve hot with ketchup or Maggi tomato sauce.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Kofta Pulao

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This is another form of Biryani whick is hugely popular in Hyderabad. Its my personal favorite too along with so many other delicacies in Mughlai Cuisine.

This is also my first ever entry to any event and I'm sending it to RCI: Authentic Hyderabadi Cuisine at Mona's blog Zaiqa. It also happened to be my older son's birthday and I thought what better way to celebrate it than with this fabulous pulao. It certainly bought a smile on his face :)

4 tbs oil for frying onions

Marinate Mix
2 cups yogurt
1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 turmeric powder
2 tbs ginger garlic
3 onions
32-35 kofte/meatballs
1 green chilli, slit

Note: I deliberately kept the spices in the yogurt to a minimum because the meatballs in itself are very spicy and once all of it is cooked, its gonna taste awesome.

For Boiling Rice
6 cups basmati rice washed and soaked in water for 30 min's
5 tsp salt
Garam masala (6 cardamom, 2 sticks cinnamon, 4 whole black peppers, 4 cloves, 2 tsp shahzeera and 2 bay leaves)

For Garnish
a few strands of saffron soaked in milk
3 tbs lemon juice
4 tbs ghee
1 whole bunch or more of cilantro

Heat oil and thinly slice the onions and fry them until golden brown, freeze them for a while and crush them lightly before garnishing.

In the remaining oil, add the marinate mix and cook till oil seperates, add the meatballs just long enough for them absorb the spices. Let it cool.

Boil rice and add the salt and garam masala...till half done. Strain the rice in the collander and oil a baking dish liberally with 2 tsp oil.

Spread the rice and top it with the cooked meatballs, ghee, lemon juice, saffron soaked in milk, fried onions and cilantro. Add the second layer of rice and top it with any leftover garnish.

Preheat the oven to 350*F and bake for about 1/2 hour. Serve with Tamate ki Chutney or Mirchi ka Salan, like I did and enjoy!

Note: I dug up the draft for Mirchi Ka Salan and blogged it recently, follow the link if you are looking for the recipe ;)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Qeeme ke Kofte

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Or Ground Lamb Meat Balls...is a very simple and totally Hyderabadi recipe. Now with Ramadan round the corner there's an upsurge in cooking activity, with elaborate Iftaars and Saheris'. So here I am with this excellent recipe which can be combined with a variety of gravies, cooked with onions or in the form of Kofta Pulao.

2 tbs olive oil
3 lbs ground lamb
10 tsp salt
6 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
4 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 green chillies, finely chopped
cilantro and mint finely chopped as needed
2-3 tbs garam masala*
(2 tsp black cumin seeds, 20-25 cardamom, 2-4 sticks cinnamon, 10 whole black pepper, 4 cloves)

Thaw the qeema and wash it thorougly under running water. Drain it well, in it add all the above ingredients and let it marinate for an hour or so.

Make small round balls and fry them slightly on medium heat. Makes approximately 80-90 meatballs, which can be freezed and used as needed.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Quick Fried Prawns with Spices

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Ah finally a recipe to bring me back to blogging. I had been cooking of course but nothing spectacular and worth blogging. Plus I was just being lazy and enjoying the Olympics' season and on top of that the hot weather was also a reason for not staying in the kitchen for long!

I had bookmarked this recipe too long. Its taste is a complete surprise and the flavor will leave you licking it up and wanting more. Full of zest and down right delicious one dish meal!

This one is for you Kate...for pulling me back to blogging, time and again ;)

1 lb shrimps, cooked and deveined
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp mustard seeds
4 green cardamom pods, crushed
4 tbs cup ghee or butter
1/2 cup coconut milk
2-3 tbs cilantro, chopped
salt and black pepper powder as needed


Wash the prawns under cold running water and pat dry, add ginger garlic paste, chilli powder, turmeric, mustard seeds, and cardamom seeds in a bowl. Add the prawns and toss to coat them completely with the mixture.

Heat a wok until hot, add the ghee or butter and swirl it around until foaming. Add the spiced prawns and stir-fry for about 2 min's until they start turning pink.

Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for about 3-4 min's till the prawns are cooked through and oil seperates.

Season to taste with salt and black pepper powder. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mango Lassi

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Ah we are knee deep in summer, and what better way to beat it than with this lassi. And mango being my perennial fave...you will find my place flooded with either fresh mango or the next best thing, its pulp. This lassi is very easy to make and tastes heavenly.

850 gms can mango pulp
4 tbs yogurt
6 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cup milk
Ice as needed

Blend the mango pulp with the milk and yogurt in Vitamix. Add sugar and ice and blend till it becomes thick and creamy. Serve chilled!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mango Tomato Chutney

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This chutney is very spicy and at the same time sweet to taste. It was so delicious that it got over in the first serving itself! The recipe asked for green mangoes but it looked too appealing and I decided to make it with the sweet mangoes I had at hand ;p

1 Mango, peeled and cubed
2 large tomatoes, cored, blanched and deskinned before chopping
20 curry leaves
3 tablespoons ghee or butter
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup chopped green onion
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon salt
Cilantro to garnish

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, melt the ghee, add the mustard seeds. As the seeds begin to pop add the curry leaves, stirring briefly until wilted.

Add the tomatoes, cumin, red chilli and turmeric. Stir, then cook on low heat for about 10 minutes.

Stir in mango, cover skillet, and cook for another 10 minutes. Add salt and green onion, cooking uncovered for about 3 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Bagare Baingan

{Eggplant in Saucy Tamarind Gravy}

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This is another recipe which goes great with Biryani, Bagara khana or even plain rice! There has been many versions of this gravy but I always trust Mommy dearest for the ultimate taste.

11-12 eggplants/baingan
10 curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
4 tbs dessicated coconut
4 tbs til
1 handful peanuts
1 tsp khash khash
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbs oil
1 cup tamarind puree
1 large onion, finely sliced
1 green chilli, slit
Cilantro to garnish

Heat oil and fry the onion till crisp and golden brown. Using a slotted spoon remove and freeze for a while.

Dry roast, coconut, peanuts, khash khash and til and once they are cool enough, grind them seperately.

Boil the tamarind in water and let it soak completely, remove and strain the pulp in a bowl. Mix the ground mixture and make sure it has blended well in the puree.

Wash the eggplants and trim the head a little, make a + cut at the bottom, soak them in salty water.

Heat oil in a big saucepan and fry mustard and cumin seeds, as they begin to splutter add the curry leaves. Slide a slit green chilli and stir for a while and add the eggplants.

As the eggplants start to glaze, pour the tamarind puree and ground mixture. Finally add the fried onions and cilantro, shut the lid and cook till oil seperates.

Note: Too much onions can make the gravy too sweet and ruin the tangy flavor, make sure you balance the tamarind and onions to your taste.

Coconut Cilantro Chicken

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Now here is one recipe which will undoubtedly make your family drool...an exquisite combination of flavors which will leave you wanting for more.

Well I got a little carried away with all that Cilantro :p

2 lb boneless chicken
1 onion
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
2-3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
13.5 oz can coconut milk
3 green chilli
6 cardamom
1 stick cinnamon
1 tsp black cumin seeds
1 cup water
almost 2 bunches of cilantro or more

Clean the chicken of excess fat and cut into bite size pieces. Chop the onion finely.

Heat oil and add the cardamoms, cinnamon and black cumin seeds. Add green chilli and the chopped onion and as it starts to turn slightly brown put ginger garlic paste and stir in briskly.

Sprinkle salt and red chilli powder and immediately add the chicken cubes. Stir it well and make sure the chicken is coated well in the mixture.

Now add coconut milk and water along with half the cilantro, mix it well and shut the lid. Keep checking to see if the chicken is cooked through.

Add more water if you want it a little extra gravy. Garnish with the remaining cilantro and serve hot with either rice or naan.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Lamb in Fragrant Spinach Sauce

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I recently bought a cookbook judging merely by its cover, which looked absolutely delish and mouth watering. Now as I was browsing the recipes on my kitchen island, my hubby glanced and said "Another cookbook?" when he actually meant "Oh God another round of experiments". But I quickly put his doubts to rest with this recipe ;p and boy was he happy!

The cookbooks a good buy...the collection of recipes is however brief but very precise, delectable and surprisingly easy to make. Here's the cookbook by Mridula Baljekar, from the Food Lovers' Collection.

I decided to make the recipe on the cover, although it didn't turn out to be in the exact rich color, it tasted heavenly...next time I should probably put a little less spinach. Here's the list of ingredients, some of which have been altered according to my taste.

1 lb boneless lamb
1/3 cup yogurt
2 tbs vinegar
2 tbs gram flour or chana besan
1 tsp turmeric
4 tbs oil
2 inch cinnamon stick
5 cloves
5 cardamoms, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 onion
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 tsp black cumin seeds
1 tsp red chilli powder
5-6 tomatoes, chopped
3/4 cup warm water, plus another 4 tbs
1 tsp salt to taste
1 tsp sugar
9 oz fresh/frozen chopped spinach
2 tsp ghee or butter
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 cup light cream

Take yogurt in a glass mixing bowl, add vinegar, gram flour, turmeric and beat till well blended. Remove excess fat from the lamb and add it in and let marinate for 4-5 hours.

Heat oil, fry cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, bay leaves and stir gently for a few sec's. Add the onion and fry till its tranlucent, put ginger garlic and cook for an additional 5-6 min's, until the onion is gloden brown.

Add black cumin seeds and red chilli..cook a further 5-6 min's, stirring frequently, add warm water and cook till oil seperates from the paste.

Add the marinated meat and increase the heat, until meat changes color. Sprinkle salt and sugar and the 3/4 tsp water. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for almost 1 hour.

Meanwhile blanch spinach in a large saucepan of boiling salted water and cook for 2 min's. Drain and plunge into cold water.

Heat ghee or butter in another saucepan and add ginger garlic paster and garam masala, stir until slightly brown. Drop the spinach into this spiced butter and stir to mix in thoroughly.

Add the spinach mixture to the curry, stir in the cream. Mix well and let it simmer uncovered for 2-3 min's. Once nicely mixed, remove from heat and serve.