Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Chicken 65

A dish that is always seen in a typical South Indian restaurant menu. This dish has always been a favourite among kids as well adults, something that is always ordered as a starter or side dish. The story behind how this dish got its name has many versions, as well as the way how this dish is made also has many versions. The weather here now leaves us with the craving to eat something hot and spicy. So gave a try to this spicy and juicy chicken dish. I have used yoghurt in this recipe, but I feel lemon juice or vinegar could have also been used instead of yoghurt, that would have been equally good too. You can try it that way too!
A perfect starter, this can be added to your New Year party menu:)
For marination
1/2 kg boneless chicken cut into small cubes
1 Tbsp ginger- garlic paste
1 Tbsp kashmiri chilli powder
1 Tbsp crushed black pepper
2 Tbsp corn flour
1 egg beaten well
 a pinch of red food colour(optional)-(I didn't use)
For the masala
1 cup yoghurt
few curry leaves
2-3 green chillies slit
1/2 tsp crushed red chillies
1 Tbsp ginger- garlic paste
2 Tbsp tomato ketchup
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
2-3 sprigs of spring onion, chopped for garnishing
salt to taste
oil for frying

  • Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients under marination and keep it overnight in the refrigerator or at least for 3-4 hours.
  • Fry the chicken pieces in hot oil until dark red in colour and keep aside, drained onto a kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil.
  • In another pan, heat approximately 2 Tbsp oil. Add the mustard and cumin seeds. Once it splutters add the curry leaves too.
  • Now add the ginger-garlic paste, crushed red pepper and fry for a second. Remove the pan from the flame and add the yoghurt and tomato ketchup. Mix well and return it back to the flame.
  • Add the fried chicken pieces and mix well.
  • Add the green chillies, garam masala powder and cumin powder. Check salt and add as required(as there is already salt added to the fried chicken).
  • Cook till the masala is fully absorbed by the chicken and it becomes dry.
  • Garnish with the chopped spring onions and serve hot.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Fruit Cake

Merry Christmas to all !
 Won't your Christmas be incomplete without a classic Christmas cake on the table? If there is no time left for a traditional Christmas cake that involves the months long procedure of soaking the fruits and nuts in rum, preparation of the caramel syrup etc, you can give a try to this simple fruit cake that can be made easily without rum or juice, not even eggs. What more this doesn't even require a beater to whip up the ingredients. If not for Christmas this cake is perfect for tea time too.

300gms mixed dry fruits( black raisins, chopped dates, walnuts, glaced cherries, cashewnuts)
125 gms soft  brown sugar
125 gms unsalted butter
200 ml brewed tea(preferably Earl Grey flavour)
2 tsp ground allspice powder(powder 1 stick cinnamon, 2-3 cloves, 2 cardamoms, a small piece of nutmeg with a pinch of sugar)
finely grated zest of 1 orange
225 gms self raising flour, sifted
1 Tbsp warm honey


  • In a saucepan place the mixed fruits and nuts, sugar, butter, tea and allspice powder. Heat until the butter melts, stirring occasionally.
  • Bring it to a boil. Allow it to boil for 1 minute. Then remove from heat and add the orange zest. Mix and set aside. Leave this overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius. Grease and line a 6 or 7 inch baking pan.
  • Fold the sifted flour into the fruit mixture. Mix gently then pour it to the prepared baking pan and bake in the oven for 50- 55 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and brush the top of the cake with warm honey.You can also place some ccaramelized nuts on top.
  • Leave it to cool completely and then turn out and serve in slices and enjoy.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Chettinad Chicken Biriyani

An aromatic biriyani cooked in a pressure cooker wherein the rice is cooked with the chicken infused with the richness of coconut milk and spices. This biriyani was bookmarked in my to make list since a long time, finally made it as per the recipe in my dear friend Rafee's blog. She has got an amazing collection of biriyanis and moreover each recipe I have tried out from her place was absolutely lip-smacking.

1 kg chicken, cut into medium pieces
3 cups basmati rice, washed and drained
3 tbsp ghee
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 cardamoms
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
3/4 tsp fennel seeds
3 large onions, sliced thin
4-5 green chillies ,slit
2 tbsp ginger paste
2 tbsp garlic paste
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
1-1/2 cup hot water
1-1/2 cup coconut milk
a handful of mint and coriander leaves chopped

  • Heat ghee in a pressure cooker(you must use a big one). Add the cloves, peppercorns, cardamoms, cinnamon, bay leaf and fennel seeds and fry for a minute.
  • Now add the sliced onions and green chillies. Saute until the onion turns translucent.
  • Add the ginger paste and garlic paste. Saute well until the raw smell goes.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes turn mushy.
  • Add the coriander powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder, chicken and salt. Mix well and cook until the chicken is three fourth cooked.
  • Pour the hot water and coconut milk. Add the rice, half of the mint and coriander leaves and mix well. Close the cooker. Put on the whistle and cook on medium flame.
  • Once the cooker gives off one whistle, switch off and allow the pressure to go by itself.
  • Once the cooker is ready to open, open and fluff up the rice with a fork.
  • Garnish with the remaining coriander and mint leaves.
  • Serve with an onion raita, pappad and pickle.

*You can garnish with ghee fried cashewnuts and raisins too.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ari Unda


1 cup matta rice
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1/2 to 3/4 cup grated coconut
1 1/4 cup grated jaggery
1/2 teaspoon powdered cardamom
A pinch of salt


Wash matta rice 3-4 times in water and drain.
Heat a non stick pan and add rice to it.
Stir on medium flame for 15 -20 minutes until the rice pops up.
Turn off the flame and allow it to cool.
In the same pan dry roast cashew nuts  on low flame until the colour changes to light brown.
Grind the roasted rice and  cashew nuts to a coarse powder.
In a bowl,add rice,cashew nuts,coconut,jaggery,cardamom powder and salt.
Mix everything well with hands and make small balls out of it and serve.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Bread Uthappam

 A quick and instant breakfast dish- uthappam with bread.
3 slices of bread(crusts removed)
3 Tbsp semolina
3 Tbsp wheat flour(atta)
1/4 tsp yogurt
1 onion chopped fine
1 green chilli chopped very fine
1/4 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
1/4 tsp finely chopped ginger
 2 Tbsp finely grated carrot
1 tsp finely chopped coriander leaves

  • Cut the bread slices into small pieces.
  • Blend the bread pieces with semolina, yogurt, atta and salt, by adding little water into a smooth and thick batter.
  • Transfer the batter to a bowl and add the onion, green chilli, jeera, carrot, ginger and coriander leaves.(You can also add chopped tomatoes and capsicum)
  • Mix the batter well. The consistency of the batter should be neither too thick nor too thin. It should be a semi thick batter.
  • Heat a skillet and grease it lightly. Pour a laddle full of the batter and spread it into the consistency of a thick pancake.
  • Drizzle some oil around the uthappam and allow it to cook  on a low flame for about two minutes.(You can cover and cook to ensure even cooking). Open and flip over to cook the other side too for about two minutes.
  • The uthappam should be golden browned on both sides.
  • Serve these uthappams with coconut chutney or coriander chutney.

Recipe adapted from here( with some changes by me)  and inspired by my friend Reshmi. Thankyou Reshmi for that inspiration.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cabbage Manchurian

2 cups grated cabbage
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup  gram flour
1 tablespoon corn flour
1/2 cup cold water
2 green chilies chopped
3-4 crushed garlic flakes
1 table spoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon pepper powder
1 onion chopped fine
2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste
Spring onions for garnishing
Oil for frying


  • In a bowl, mix cabbage,carrot,onion,gram flour,salt,coriander leaves and pepper powder.(Don't add water, as water from the cabbage will make it moist enough to make balls)
  • Make small balls out of the above mixture.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry these balls until golden brown and keep aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a seperate pan.
  • Saute garlic and greenchilies.
  • Reduce the flame and add salt and soy sauce.
  • Gently add the fried balls and mix gently so that the sauce coats the balls.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon corn flour in 1/2 cup water and add to the above mixture.
  • Reduce the flame and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Turn off the flame and garnish with chopped spring onions.
  • Serve hot with fried rice.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Simple Tomato chutney

This is one chutney which I make frequently at home, as this is the easiest and simplest chutney which you can make in no time. A chutney that goes along perfectly well with your dosas and idlis.

1 ripe tomato
1 onion
1 tsp chilli powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp coconut oil

  • Grind the onion and tomato with salt and chilli powder.
  • Transfer into a serving bowl.
  • Drizzle coconut oil on top. Mix and serve with hot and crispy dosas.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Kaju Katli



1 cup cashew nuts(kaju)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon rose water
few saffron strands(optional)
1 tablespoon ghee.


  • In a dry grinder,grind  the cashewnuts(kaju) to a smooth powder.
  • In a pan, make sugar syrup by boiling sugar,rose water,saffron and water on low flame until it reaches one string consistency.
  • Now add the cashew powder and stir on low flame until it thickens and reaches a soft dough consistency(this will approximately takes 8-10 minutes).
  • Transfer the dough to a plate.
  • When the heat is enough to handle add 1 tablespoon ghee and knead well.
  • Flatten the dough and place it on a greased butter paper.
  • Roll the kaju dough with a rolling pin.
  • Cut into diamond shapes.
  • Cool and store in an airtight container.

*If there is crack on the dough while rolling,place a butter paper on top and roll for a smooth even surface.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Hyderabadi Dum Chicken Biriyani(Kachi style)

 This beautiful and aromatice traditional biriyani was actually scheduled to be posted during the Eid holidays. But somehow it got delayed due to some engagements. Anyhow as it said  ' better late than never'. 
Now this recipe was shared to me by my little one's classmate's mom Zara. Thankyou Zara for sharing this authentic dish of your place. It was really yummy! The smell that lingers in your home when this biriyani is getting cooked is really droolworthy. So off to the recipe of HYDERABADI DUM BIRIYANI- Kachi style i.e the uncooked meat is cooked along with the rice.
1 kg chicken, cut into medium sized pieces
1 kg basmati rice, washed well
1/4 cup oil

 For the marination
2 Tbsp fresh ginger- garlic paste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
4-5 green chillies + a handful of mint leaves and coriander leaves(all grinded into a paste)
500 gm yoghurt
6-8 medium sized onions, sliced thin and fried in oil till golden brown and crisp
salt to taste

For the rice
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
 1 tsp shahi jeera/black cumin
3 broken cinnamon sticks
4 cardamom
3 cloves
 4 green chillies
 few mint leaves
3 bay leaves

1-2 Tbsp ghee
a pinch of saffron mixed in 1 Tbsp warm milk
 juice of 1 lemon
handful of chopped mint and corainder leaves

  • Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients under marination(except the fried onions) for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
  • Boil water for the rice with salt, garam masala. shahi jeera, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardomom, green chillies, mint leaves and bay leaves.
  • Add washed and drained rice to the boiling water and cook for just 5 minutes.( The rice grain should break into two pieces when pressed with the end of your thumb i.e. just 1/4 cooked). Drain the rice and keep aside.
  • Crush the fried onions with your hands and add it to the marinated chicken.
  • Take a heavy bottomed big vessel and pour 1/4 cup oil and layer the marinated chicken at the bottom of the vessel.
  • Layer the rice on top the chicken.
  • Sprinkle the top of the rice with chopped mint and coriander leaves.
  • Drizzle the ghee, lemon juice and saffron milk mixture on top.
  • Close the vessel with a tight lid. Seal the edges with a dough made of maida/wheat flour+water (or you can even seal it tightly with aluminium foil).
  • Cook this on very low heat for 20 minutes. Once you start to get the aroma increase the flame to  medium low and cook for 5 minutes more. Switch off and relish the beautiful aroma that engulfs you as you open the dum.

* The same recipe can be done with mutton too. The only variation is the cooking time. Mutton will take approximately 45 minutes to get cooked and moreover tender mutton must be used.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Almond & Coconut Ladoo

The time when the forces of good won over the forces of evil.
 The time when victory stood with truth.
Wishing everyone a Happy Vijayadashami!
 Lets celebrate this auspicious day with some sweet ladoos:)

1 cup fresh grated coconut
1/2 cup jaggery
1 Tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2- 1 cup coarsely ground almonds

  •  Melt the jaggery in little water and strain to remove the impurities if any and keep it aside.
  • Add the grated coconut to the jaggery and cook until the jaggery is almost absorbed by the coconut.
  • Add the ghee , vanilla essence and mix well.
  • Add the  ground almond little by little mixing well until you get the mixture into such a consistency that you can make small balls out of it and that it holds its shape.(You can grease your hands with a little ghee to prevent the mixture from sticking onto your hands)
  • Roll these ladoos in ground almond powder and serve.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Oats payasam- A guest post for Sweets & Spices

 September has been a festive month with Onam and over here Onam celebrations continue until the next festival pops up and that probably is going to be Eid which is almost round the corner now.

Sweet indulgence has also increased with the increase in celebrations. It was just as we were planning to cut short the sugar intake when Aara of Sweets & Spices asked whether we can do a guest post for her lovely blog. Now, for a sweet person like her who runs a blog with again a sweet in its name, we had to definitely make a sweet dish. Now, as I mentioned sweet cravings are always there but then just to justify ourselves we decided to do a 'payasam' with the staple food of today - "the humble oats".

Thankyou Aara for making us feel so special. Please hop on to Aara's space for the recipe of 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Punjabi Capsicum Masala

1 large capsicum, cut into squares
1 Tbsp cashew nuts
1 tsp black sesame seeds
1 large tomato, roughly chopped
1 medium sized onion , roughly chopped
1 inch piece ginger, roughly chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 green chillies
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 cloves
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
3- 4 Tbsp oil
salt to taste

  • In a pan, dry roast the cashew nuts . Once they start to change color to light brown, add the sesame seeds too and roast until the nuts are roasted well.
  • Once cooled, powder this nut and sesame mixture and keep it aside.
  • In the same pan, add 1 Tbsp of oil and roast the capsicum pieces until they are almost roasted(the skin of capsicum should be speckled brown). Remove the capsicum pieces from the pan and set it aside.
  • Grind together the onion, tomato,ginger, garlic,green chilies and coriander seeds into a fine paste and set aside.
  • In the same pan that the capsicum was roasted, heat 3 tbsp of oil. Add the cumin seeds, cloves and bay leaf to the oil and saute for a few seconds.
  • Pour the grinded onion tomato mixture and cook until the water evaporates from the gravy and it turns almost dry.
  • Add the chilli powder and salt.Cook for a minute and then add 1 1/2 cup of water(you can add more water depending upon how thick you want your gravy to be). Mix well and let it come to a boil.
  • Now stir in the nuts powder and roasted capsicum. Let it cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add more water if you feel the curry is too thick.
  • Sprinkle the garam masala powder finally and mix. Serve hot with piping hot chapatis or parathas.

Recipe adapted from here with slight modifications

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Gothambu ela ada

1 cup wheat flour
a pinch of cardamom powder
3/4 cup grated coconut
4-5 Tbsp sugar(more if you desire more sweet)
1 tsp ghee 
2 banana leaves, cut into squares
  • In a bowl  mix the grated coconut with sugar and cardamom powder and keep aside.
  • Heat the banana leaves on a hot tawa quickly turning both sides just to make the leaves soft. This is done to prevent the leaves from breaking when you wrap it up.
  • Smear ghee on all the leaves so that you can remove your ada once cooked, easily from the leaf.
  • Mix enough salt in the wheat flour. Add water to the flour until you get a sticky consistency batter. It should not be too thick neither should it be watery, just in between the two stages.
  • Now add lemon sized portions of this batter on each of the banana leaf pieces.
  • Wet your fingertips and spread out the batter on the entire surface of the leaf.
  • Layer the coconut sugar mixture on top of the spread out batter.
  • Fold the leaf in half and fold the sides inside to wrap it up  entirely.
  • Steam these wraps in a steamer or idli cooker for about 15 minutes or until cooked.
  • Once cooled remove the ada from the leaf and serve with a cup of hot tea.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Parippu Pradhaman (Onam Special)

500 grams cherupayar parippu(moong dal)
1 kg jaggery
11/2 cup water
3 1/2 cups thick coconut milk
8 cups medium thick coconut milk
8 cups thin coconut milk
4 tablespoon ghee
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
a pinch of salt
cashew nuts and coconut pieces for garnishing


  • Wash and drain moong dal.
  • Melt the jaggery by adding 11/2 cup water and keep aside.
  • Heat 3 tablespoon ghee in a  pan and fry parippu for 4-5 minutes on low flame.
  • Add the melted jaggery and still well for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add light coconut milk and once it starts to boil  add medium thick coconut milk.
  • When the above mixture becomes half the quantity and the dal gets cooked, add thick coconut milk and stir well (do not boil).
  • Add salt,dry ginger powder,cardamom powder.
  • Stir well and turn off the flame.
  • Fry the coconut pieces and cashew nuts in 1 tablespoon ghee and add to payasam.
  • Serve hot.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Coriander Mushroom Curry

250 gms fresh mushrooms(any type)
3 onions, cut into chunks
a handful of fresh corinader leaves
2-3 cloves
few peppercorns
1 cardamom
1"stick cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
3-4 green chillies
2-3 Tbsp yoghurt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
2 Tbsp fresh cream
oil as required


  • Cook the onion chunks in boiling water until translucent. Drain from the water and cool. Once cooled grind the onions with the coriander leaves into a smooth paste.
  • Heat oil in wok and add the cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and peppercorns. Saute for a few seconds and then add the green chillies(chopped fine), ginger paste and garlic paste. Fry for a few minutes or until the raw smell of garlic n ginger goes off.
  • Now add the onion and coriander paste and saute well until oil starts to separate from the sides. 
  • Now add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt and fry for a minute.
  • Remove the wok from the flame and add the yoghurt and mix well. Add one cup of water too, mix well and return back to flame.
  • Cook on a medium low flame for a few minutes. Add the mushrooms and mix well.
  • Add the cumin powder and fresh cream. Mix well and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked.
  • Sprinkle the garam masala powder on top and serve hot. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Honey Glazed Dragon Chicken

For marination
250 grams boneless chicken cut in small cubes
2 tablespoon corn flour
1 egg white
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlicpaste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon chili sauce
1/2 tablespoon vinegar
Salt as required

For the Gravy
1 teaspoon garlic chopped
1 teaspoon ginger chopped
1 small capsicum of your choice cut in squares  
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon tomato sauce
1 teaspoon chili sauce
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 1/2 tablespoon honey
Oil as required
Salt as required
Spring onions for garnishing

Marinate the chicken pieces with all the  ingredients under marination and keep aside for 10-15 minutes.
Fry the marinated chicken pieces and keep aside.
In a bowl mix soysauce,tomatosauce,chilisauce and keep aside.
Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a pan
Saute chopped garlic and ginger until light brown.
Add all the sauces and stir.
Add chili flakes ,salt and mix well.
Add the fried chicken pieces to the gravy and stir for a minute. 
Make sure that the chicken pieces are well coated with sauce.
Add honey and give a good stir.
Add capsicum, mix well and turn off the flame.
Garnish with chopped spring onions.

Bhindi Masala

1/2 kg ladiesfinger, sliced diagonally
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
1/2 tsp black sesame seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 green chillies, slit
2 tomatoes, chopped

  • Heat 2-3 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the sliced onions until golden brown. Drain onto a kitchen paper and keep aside.
  • In the same oil fry the sliced ladiesfinger in batches until slightly brown and crisp. Drain this also onto a kitchen paper and keep aside.
  • Now to the same oil(add more if required) add the chopped garlic and sesame seeds and saute for a few seconds.
  • Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder and 1 tsp water(to prevent the powders from burning) and fry well for a minute or two.
  • Add the tomatoes,salt and green chillies and cook till the tomatoes turn mushy and oil starts to separate from the sides. This will take around 5-7 minutes.
  • Now add the fried ladies finger and onion and mix well. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Teekha Murgh

3-4 Tbsp mustard oil/ vegetable oil
1 tsp kalonji/nigella seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 Tbsp garlic chopped
200 gm onion chopped
150 gms tomatoes chopped
1 tsp ginger chopped
2-3 green chillies chopped
2 Tbsp curry leaves
1 kg chicken, cut into small pieces or boneless chicken cut into small cubes
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp red chilli powder
1 tsp black pepper powder
1 tsp cumin powder(roasted)
salt to taste
1 pinch black salt
2-3 tsp fresh coriander leaves chopped
1 tsp chopped mint leaves


  • Heat oil and add the kalonji and fennel seeds. Once the aroma of these seeds comes out add the chopped garlic and saute for a while.
  • Add the chopped onion, tomato, ginger and green chillies. Stir fry until onion turns brown.
  • Meanwhile, fry the curry leaves until crisp. Crush and keep them aside.
  • Add the chicken, tomato paste and mix well. Saute for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add all other dry spices and mix well.
  • Cover and cook on low flame for 10 minutes.
  • Add the fried and crushed curry leaves and mix well.
  • Serve garnished with coriander leaves and mint leaves.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dates Sesame Ladoo

1/2 cup white sesame seeds
4-5 soft dates,deseeded and chopped
1/4 cup desiccated coconut +1 tablespoon for garnishing
1 tablespoon honey

  • Dry roast sesame seeds in a pan until it turns light brown colour.
  • Keep aside to cool.
  • In the same pan add dessicated coconut,stir for 30 seconds and turn off the flame.
  • Crush sesame seeds in a grinder for 3-4 seconds.(Better to use pulse option in the grinder).
  • In a bowl add sesame seeds,chopped dates, desiccated coconut and honey.
  • Mix well  using hand .
  • Take a small amount of mixture and roll it in hand to form a ball / ladoo shape.
  • Roll the prepared ladoos in the remaining desiccated coconut. 
  • Store in an air tight container.