December 31, 2009

Happy New Year !!!!

Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring, happy bells, across the snow:

The year is going, let him go;

Ring out the false, ring in the true.
                                                                                                             Alfred Lord Tennyson

December 29, 2009


Samosa are  probably the most popular Indian snacks. Its perfect for these cold days. Served with nice coconut mint chutney its soo yummy!! But this time I made Tamrind chutney as hubby was in the mood for something teeka to go with it...and my kido..he didnt need anything he just kept on nibbling one!!
This is a recipe that I got from my mother in law.



  • 2 cup all purpose flour 
  • 2 tablespoon sooji 
  • salt to taste 
  • 2 tablespoons oil 
  • Lukewarm water enough to form a soft smooth dough (about 1 cup)  
  • 4 large boiled potatoes peeled and chopped into small cubes.
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp chilie powder
  • 1 tsp corriander powder
  • 2 finely chopped green chilie ( u can use more chilie powder instead of the green chilies)
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp lemon juice.
  • Salt to taste
Making the dough
  • Mix the flour, sooji, salt, oil and salt togather to make a soft dough, adding water as needed
  • Knead the dough for about 1 to 2 minutes to make the dough smooth and pliable. like our chapthi dough
  • Set the dough aside for 15 min and cover it with damp cloth.
The filling

  • Heat oil in a pan, Add cumin seeds green chilies and ginger garlic paste. Saute for few seconds.
  • Add coriander powder , red chilie powder and stir for few seconds. 
  • Add green peas and turn heat to medium and stir until tender. 
  • Add the potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in garam masala powder and salt.  
  • Remove from flame and let the filling cool
Making the samosa.
  • Take a Lemon sized ball of the dough and roll it out into a 6 inch circle. Dont roll it out too thin
  • Cut the circle into half through the center (semi- circle)
  • Take one of the semi circle and spread water along the its edges.
  • Now bring the straight edge together to form a cone, press the edges well together.
  • Hold the cone in your hand, and fill the cone with 2 tablespoon of the filling.Press the filling down slightly.
  • Close the top of the cone by overlapping one edge on another. Press down firmly so that its sealed well and no filling spills out.
  • Repeat the process with the rest of the dough.

For frying

  • Heat oil in a deep pan on  medium heat.
  • When the oil is hot ( add a small piece of dough to check) add the prepared samosa a few at a time.
  • Fry the samosa for 2-3 minutes or less. Turn it and fry it again for 2-3 minutes. It should turn into a golden brown color.
  • Remove and serve with nice chutney of your choice
  1. Do not increase the heat as this will cause the samosa to brown quickly and the inside layer wont cook well.
  2. Kneed the dough well to get crispy samosa
  3. Samosa can be made ahead of time and frozen.

December 25, 2009

Hummingbird cake

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I dont know why this is called Hummingbird cake but the name is very interesting isnt it..No..No..I didnt put in  hummingbirds..just what the recipe called for..pecans,pineapple and banana among other things. I used my 9x9 baking pan for this instead of the round ones. and also used pecans to garnish the whole cake instead of adding it to the frosting. The rest followed as such

  • 1 cup  pecans, toasted and finely chopped 
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour  
  • 2 cups  granulated white sugar  
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda  
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt  
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon  
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 3/4 cup safflower or canola oil  
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
  • 1 - 8 ouncecan crushed pineapple, do not drain
  • 2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3-4 medium sized bananas)
Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1/4 cup  unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature  
  • 1 pound box  (about 3 2/3 cups) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted 
  • 1 teaspoon  pure vanilla extract 
For Garnish
  •  finely chopped pecans as needed


FOR The cake
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Butter or spray two - 9 x 2 inch (23 x 5 cm) round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with a circle of parchment paper. { I uesd my square baking pans}
  • Place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop finely. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. Set aside.
  • In another large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, vanilla extract, pineapple, mashed bananas, and finely chopped pecans. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until combined. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. After about 10 minutes invert the cakes onto the wire rack, remove the pans and parchment paper, and then cool completely before frosting.


  •  In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and cream cheese, on low speed, until very smooth with no lumps.
  • Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat, on low speed, until fully incorporated and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract .
  • Place one cake, top side down, onto your serving platter. Spread with about a third of the frosting.
  • Gently place the other cake layer, top of cake facing up, onto the frosting, and spread the rest of the frosting over the top and sides of the cake.
  • Press in the chopped pecans on the top and sides of the cake.
  • Refrigerate the cake for about one hour so the frosting has time to set.


December 23, 2009

Coconut Shrimps

I got this recipe from Oprah Magazine followed it as such. I added a little chilie sauce to make it a little spicy!

  • 1 1/2 cups white rice flour  
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour  
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt  
  • 2 1/2 cups cold club soda 
  • 2 tbsp chilie sauce ( optional) 
  • 2 pounds large shrimp , shelled and deveined  
  • 4 cups shredded unsweetened coconut  
  • 3 quarts vegetable or canola oil
  • Line 2 cookie sheets with waxed paper or plastic wrap.
  • In a large bowl, whisk rice flour, all-purpose flour and salt to combine. Add club soda and whisk until smooth. Mixture should have consistency of pancake batter; add more club soda if necessary.
  • Spread coconut on a plate.
  • Pat shrimp dry with paper towels; add to batter and toss to coat.
  • Remove shrimp from batter one at a time, letting excess drip off. Dredge in coconut.
  • Place on prepared cookie sheets. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while oil heats, or up to 4 hours.  
  • Pour oil into heavy-bottom pot.
  • Heat oil over medium-low heat .
  • Carefully drop shrimp into oil, about 8 at a time and fry until golden brown and just cooked through, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
  • With a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels, skimming coconut from oil between batches.

December 21, 2009

Healthy Sardine fry

These days everybody is into healthy eating. But I must confess its something that is very hard for me to do. Every day I will tell my hubby "You know what, no more junk foods from today. We will eat only healthy foods". He will give me a smile and say "Ok dear, as you say"!! Wondering what the smiles for!!!
Well behind that smile is all the unspoken dialogues. The smile can be translated into something like this " Oh how many times have i heard you say this. There is no way that u can go more than 2 days without eating something junk. hmmm..healthy eating ha ha ha !!!" This is whats behind that innocent little smile of his.
Its true yaar! Very hard for me to control. I go out Il get packets of chips, donuts, and that cute little cupcakes and everything else. and biggest of all cheese burger and fries!! man i just love that it.
I keep telling my mom abtout this nad she says you need to control especially since we have a history of high cholestrol in th e family. Then its moms advise, use less oil in food dont eat from outside, avoid red meat, dont eat fried thinsgs and the list goes on. So my mom gave me this recipe of Sardine fry which use no oil at all and I must say its delicious. Even my kido ate 3 piece of the fish!!!


  • Cleaned Sardines -  6
  • Medium onion chopped -1
  • Medium Tomato finely chopped -1
  • Ginger chopped- 1 tsp
  • Garlic chopped 1 tsp
  • Red chiliy powder -1 tbsp or as per ur taste
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 tbsp
  • Curry leaves- a few
  • Salt as needed
  • Grind the chilie powder, turmeric, salt, curry leaves,ginger and garlic into a smooth paste without adding any water.
  • Add the finely chopped tomatoes to this paste. Mix well. The mixture will be a little watery
  • Take the sardines and make slits on the sides of the fish.
  • Apply the made paste on the fish and marinate for 15- 30 minutes.
  • Heat a large non stick pan on medium flame.
  • Add the chopped onions into the pan and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Reduce flame to low.
  • Now take the sardines one by one and lay it over the sauted onions.
  • Add the remaining masala on top of the fish.
  • Turn the fish after 1 minute. Keep turning the fish every 1- 11/2 minutes till all the masala gets coated on the fishand the fish turns to brown color.
  • Remove from flame and serve as a side to rice


December 16, 2009

Kerala Beef fry

This is one of my favorite beef recipes. Erachi porichathum porattem..yum tastes so good. During hostel days we used to have this from our canteen like everyday. There used to be four of us and just one plate of food. And we always ended up fighting for the last piece. Our pockets were always empty by the end of the week spending it mostly on food (hostel food was yuck!!), shoes, and gifts. So had to be stingy, till the next flow of cash came.

College days were a blast. Would love to relive those days again exactly the same way. No changes at all (OK maybe one or two changes).but most of the part It was just fun and exciting. Couldn’t wait to wake up and get to class. Not to hear the lecture of the teachers but just to be with my friends. My wonderful friends! Life would not be the same without them.

The worst classes I ever took I think was statistics used to wonder what the hell am I going to do with statistic in computer programming???? The teacher used to enter thru one door and we used to leave thru the back door. And it had to be done in the precise time. The moment she puts her one foot in we had to be out! Else we will be caught. Although I must say I have never been caught!! He he he…No No I wasn’t a bad student I always got good grades. It’s just that I hated that particular class!! But when the exams approached how I wish I had attended the class coz I couldn’t understand anything. But then again, I had my friends to help me out. Those late night discussions and early morning study classes did great for us! Such wonderful memories!!

Anyways coming back to the recipe,Even though i love beef my husbnd doesnt take it  much so dont make it often.  But my cus, Shehi ,send me the picture yesterday after she made the beef fry. So decided to take advantage of her beutiful pic and post it!

Here is the recipe


• Beef 1/2 kg

• Onion 1 big, sliced finely

To marinate:

o Chili powder 1/2 tbsp

o Coriander powder 1 tbsp

o Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

o Pepper 2 tsp

o Ginger & garlic paste 1 tbsp, crushed

o Garam Masala 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp for sprinkling

o Bite size coconut pieces (thengakothu) – 1/4 cup

o salt

• Coconut oil

• Green chilies -2-3

• Curry leaves

• Lemon juice 1 tsp.


• Marinate the beef with all the ingredients under “To marinate” for one hour.

• In a pressure cooker add the marinated beef and the onions and half a cup of water and cook till it is done

• In a frying pan, add some coconut oil and add the curry leaves, coconut slices andthe green chilies . Sauté for 1 minute.

• Add the cooked beef along with the water.

• Sauté till all the water is gone and all the masala gets coated onto the beef on a low medium flame. Sprinkle ½ tsp of garam masala.

• When the beef turns dark brown add 1 tsp of lemon juice, Mix well and remove from flame.

Serve with roti, poratta or rice

December 15, 2009

Melting Moments

My son loves cookies... When ever you ask him what he wants to eat he will start his list..his favorite eggs. If you tell him no eggs than its cookies, if no cookies then its chapati, then banana , orange juice and then finally milk. He has been pestring me for cookies for a few days now. So since its the holiday season and everybody is busy making cookies and cakes I too decided to make some cookies.
I got the recipe from joyof baking. The name itself was soo good, melting moments, and sure enough it tasted good too. It was really very delicate, and felt like it melted in the mouth for a cookie.
I didnt change the recipe at all.Why mess with a perfect recipe ha!

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch (corn flour) 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt  
  • 1/4 cup powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar  
  • 1 cup  unsalted butter, room temperature  
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract  
  • 1 cup (110 grams) powdered (confectioners) sugar, sifted



  •  In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch and salt. Set aside.  
  • In the bowl of your electric mixer , cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract.
  • Add the flour mixture and beat until incorporated.
  • Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least one hour or until firm.  
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  • When dough is firm, form into 1 inch  balls and place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets spacing about 1 inch apart. Bake for about 12 - 14 minutes or until the edges of the cookies start to brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, line another baking pan or tray with parchment or wax paper. Sprinkle the confectioners sugar onto the bottom of the pan and roll the cookies in the sugar.




December 14, 2009

Tapioca Pudding


This is a very simple recipe for making tapioca pudding. You can flavor this anyway u like. I made this a couple of times. Once I made this using cardamom flavor and the other times using vanilla essence. Both have different taste. I love to have this with fruits and nuts but it tastes good as such too.
Tapioca pearls can be found in our asian stores by the name sabudana( thats what was there on my packet).
or can be found in the baking aisle of most stores.



  • 1/2 cup Pearl Tapioca
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk.
  • 2 tbsp sugar or more according to ur liking
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence 
Before cooking:
  • Look athe the instruction for cooking tapioca at the back of the packet. Some have instruction to soak over night and the othersfo an hr or so. So do as the packet say. Here, my packet said to soak for 45 minutes but I soaked it for an hr.
  • The cooking time for tapioca pearls will differ. Test with a few tapioca grains to get the correct cooking time.
  • Tapioca is cooked when it turns translucent in color.

  • Soak the tapioca in enough water as directed on the package.
  • In a heavy bottomed vessel add the milk,salt and the strained tapioca and bring to boil over medium heat. Do not increase the temperature as this wont give the tapioca enough time to get cooked. Stir continuously.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce the flame to low and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Slowly add the sugar,condensed milk and the vanilla essence.
  • When the milk starts to thicken, remove from flame. It will thicken more as it cools
  • Serve cold. Garnish with nuts or fruits of your choice.





December 12, 2009

Fish stuffed Roti/Paratha and an award!!

My son is a big fan of chappati's since a few days( not sure how long it will last). He needs chappati for breakfast, Lunch an dinner. He will come up to me and say" Mommy, Givmme chapti pease". If I ask him what he wants with chapti his answer is always egg! But then one time he said "mommy no egg. Ayaan eat fish!!" Wow was I surpried that day! A big long sentence!! So I took out a Tilapia fillet and just marinated it with a little chilie powder and salt and stuffed it into his chapti.He really did enjoy it!! My husband on seeing this said he too wants fish stuffed chapti. So this is how I ended up making this dish!This is a big hit  now.Both pappa and son loves it! I sometimes try adding some veggies into it. but my son always fugures it out and will pick out the carrots and peas. So now I smash them so well that he cant find it!

This is the recipe.

For the masala.
  • Tilapia-  5 big fillets ( Can use any fish u like )
  • Onion- 1 medium finely chopped
  • Tomato-1 small chopped
  • Green Bell Pepper 1 small ( Remove the seeds and Chopped, OPTIONAL)
  • Ginger Garlic paste 1 Tbsp
  • Green chillie 3-4 grounded to a paste.
  • Tuirmeric powder 1/4 tbsp
  • Chilie powder 1/2 tbsp ( Depending on yor taste)
  • Corrinader powder 1 tbsp
  • Garam masala powder- 1/2 tsp, divided
  • oil
  • salt as needed

For the dough
  • Atta -3 cups
  • salt as neeed
  • oil 1 tbsp
  • Warm water to mix the dough (a little more than 1/2 cup)

Making the dough.
  • Mix the Atta with salt and oil. Slowly add the warm water to the flour and knead well to forma a mass. The dough should be formed into a nonsticky elastic and smooth mass. Keep aside!
For the Fish masala.
  • Marinate the fish with the chilie powder, 1/2 the garam masala and salt and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet, add the Fish and cook till its done. Remove from pan and keep aside.
  • In the same pan add the chopped onions and cook till it is soft and translucent.
  • Add the ginger,garlic and chilie paste and saute for a few minutes.
  • Add the coriander powder,Tumeric powder , salt and the remaining garam masala and mix well.
  • Add the tomato and the Bell pepper and cook till the tomato is really soft and the bell pepper is cooked well.
  • Add the fish fillets and break the fish into small piece with the spoon.Mix well.
  • Cover and cook on low flame for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from flame and let it cool.
Making the roti.
  • Take a small lemon sized ball and roll it out into thin circles abbout 5 inch in diameter. Move this on to a plate.
  • Take 2 large spoons of the fish masala and spread it on the rolled out roti.Spread it evenly.
  • Roll out another roti to a size as of the first.
  • Place this roti on top of the first roti layerd with the masala. Using your finger press the edges of the roti and seal it well.(This will make the roti to puff up well and get cooked inside.)
  • Slightly roll the roti using the pin again. 
  • Repeat the proces with the remaining dough and masala.
Cooking the roti.
  • Preheat a tava on medium heat and grease it with little oil.
  • Gently lift the stuffed chapati and place it on the tava. Let it cook for 30- 45 seconds.
  • Apply some oil on the uncooked side and turn the roti. Let it cook till u can see it slightly puff up then turn it again.
  • Slightly press the edges so the edges are also cooked. The roti will puff up very nicely. Remove from flame. Repeat the process with the rest of the roti's. 


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