Friday, February 28, 2014

Paneer Soya Masala

This dish is one of my favorites, which I make often at home, especially when we are on a vegetarian diet. I have often heard from many that they don't like soya because it has a raw taste. Yes, soya does have a raw taste that makes it stay away from the menu of many. Here you can try out this recipe, where the raw taste of this nutritious ingredient is not going to irritate your taste buds, as the soya chunks are roasted in butter before they are tossed into the gravy. Try out this recipe and soon you will be an ardent lover of this marvelous textured vegetable protein.

150 gms soya chunks/meal maker
200 gms paneer cubes
2 medium onion, chopped 
2 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 Tbsp chopped ginger
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp meat/mutton masala powder(I used Eastern brand)
1 Tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp oil
coriander leaves, chopped to garnish

  • Boil the soya chunks in plenty of water with salt. Once it doubles in size, drain and once cooled, squeeze out the water from the chunks.
  • Heat butter in a non-stick pan. Add the squeezed soya chunks and roast on a medium low flame for 5-7 minutes or until the chunks are slightly roasted. Keep this aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Saute well until onion turns golden brown.
  • Now, reduce the flame and add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and meat masala powder. Saute well until the raw smell of the powders goes off.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and salt. Mix and cover and cook on medium low flame for about 5 minutes.
  • Open, mash the tomatoes well and continue to cook until the oil layer starts to show on the top.
  • Add the tomato ketchup and garam masala powder. Mix well.
  • Toss in the roasted soya chunks and paneer cubes. Mix everything well, so that the masala coats the soya and paneer evenly. Cover and cook for 5 minutes on low flame.
  • Open, mix well and serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Garlic&Herb Potato Wedges

Potato wedges are something that most of us love to have. They are in a way a good alternative health wise too to their cousin, the very old 'french fries'. Its really difficult to get the kids away from french fries. These oven roasted potato wedges are good in every possible way, first of all as they are baked and not deep fried, second because olive oil is used and third there is the goodness of garlic and herbs in it. So what more alternative to you need to feed the kids as well as the grown -ups. A perfect snack for parties too!
 Off to the recipe of the garlic and herb flavoured potato wedges.

4 medium potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed
3 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves. minced
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 tsp salt

  • Preheat oven to 200 degree Celsius
  • Cut each potato into half lengthwise first. Then cut each half lengthwise into four equally sized wedges.
  • In a large mixing bowl, toss the wedges with the remaining ingredients.
  • Line a large pan with foil and place the wedges with the skin side facing down.Space the wedges evenly so that they get cooked uniformly.

  • Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until the wedges are well browned, tender and crusty edged.
  • Serve immediately, sprinkled with more salt if desired.

Recipe source- here

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Prawns Vada

500 gram prawns,cleaned,deveined
1/2 cup grated coconut
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2-3 shallots
4-5 green chilies
2 sprigs curry leaves
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

  • In a grinder, crush the prawns slightly  and keep aside.
  • Grind coarsely the coconut, shallots,green chilies,curry leaves,cumin seeds,garlic,ginger and turmeric.
  • Mix prawns with the above mixture and add the required amount of salt.
  • Heat oil in a kadai.
  • Wet the palm of your hand with water and place a small ball of vada mix on it.
  • Press it down slightly and make a small hole at the center using one finger.
  • Drop it slowly into the hot oil.
  • Fry the vada until golden brown on both sides and drain on to a tissue paper.
  • Serve hot with chutney of your choice. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese frosting - Valentine's day special

250 gms all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp red food colouring(gel or liquid)
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
1 tsp baking soda
For the cream cheese frosting
227gms cream cheese, at room temperature
227 gms mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup icing sugar
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream(cold)
1 tsp chocolate sprinkles

  • Preheat oven to 175 degree. Butter two 9 inch round cake pans and line the base with baking paper and keep aside.
  • Sift together the flour, salt and cocoa powder and keep aside.
  • Beat the butter until soft for 1-2 minutes using an electric mixer.
  • Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add the vanilla extract and beat well until well combined.
  • In a cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food colour.
  • Add the flour and buttermilk mixture alternatively to the butter mixture, beating on a low speed.
  • In a separate cup mix the baking soda with the vinegar. As soon the mixture starts to fizz, quickly fold this into the cake batter.
  • Divide the batter evenly into the two prepared pans. Smooth the top with  a spatula or back of a spoon.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for around 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  • Once done allow the cake to cool completely on  wire rack. Once cooled, you can do the desired frosting between the two cakes and on top of the cake on top.
  • Here I have done cream cheese frosting and have sprinkled some chocolate sprinkles on top.

For the frosting
  • Beat the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese until smooth.
  • Add the vanilla extract and icing sugar and beat again until smooth.
  • Keeping the mixer on a low speed, gradually add the heavy cream, whip until the frosting is thick enough to spread.You can adjust the amount of sugar and cream until the required consistency is acquired.
Recipe adapted from

Friday, February 07, 2014

Apple Walnut Cake

This recipe is towards a healthier side.The usage of oil / fat is to its minimum,making it yet a virtuous and delicious choice.

200 gram apples,peeled,cored and finely diced
50 gram walnuts,roughly chopped
150 gram soft light brown sugar
250 gram self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
3 1/2 tablespoon sunflower oil
3 1/2 tablespoon milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
butter for greasing
icing sugar/whipped cream,to serve

  • Preheat oven to 180 degree celcius
  • Grease a 9" baking dish and line the base with baking paper.
  • Mix the apple and sugar in a bowl and keep aside
  • Sift over the flour,baking powder,cinnamon and salt and fold in.
  • In a separate bowl beat the eggs,oil,milk and vanilla extract.
  • Combine well the above mixture with the apple and sugar.
  • Fold in the walnuts and pour into the prepared tin.
  • Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes,until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool for a few minutes in the tin.
  • Serve hot with whipped cream or dust with icing sugar once the cake is completely cooled.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Uppumanga Arachukalakki

A typical traditional dish made at most of the homes in Kerala, on days when something has to be made quickly and when vegetables are less in stock. These brined mangoes used to always be there in stock in every home in Kerala in 'bharanis' during those olden days.
Now they are readily available in packets at the supermarkets!
3-4 uppumanga/tender mangoes in brine
2 green chillies
1/2 cup grated coconut
1 cup whisked yoghurt or buttermilk
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 whole red chilies
few curry leaves
1 Tbsp coconut oil


  • Roughly chop the uppumanga/tender mangoes in brine.(Discard the seed if it is not tender)
  • Coarsely grind the mango pieces with the green chillies and keep aside.
  • Grind the coconut adding little water to a very fine paste.
  • In a bowl mix the grinded coconut, crushed mango and chilli. Pour the whisked yoghurt on top and mix everything well.
  • Heat coconut oil in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds. Once they start to splutter add the whole red chillies(broken into pieces). Switch off the flame and then add the curry leaves.
  • Pour this into the yoghurt, mango and coconut curry. Mix well and keep covered for few minutes.
  • Serve with hot steamed rice, any stir fried vegetable, pappad and pickle or mulakku kondattam.

* Check for salt, only just before serving as usually salt is not required as the mangoes are already salted.
* You can even add a small piece of ginger while grinding the coconut.

*Brined gooseberries/uppilita nellika can be substituted for mangoes and follow the same recipe to make Nellika arachukalakki.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Kurumulakku Mutton/ Pepper Mutton

1 kg mutton cut into bite sized pieces
3 medium onion sliced thin
1 1/2 tablespoon ginger finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon garlic finely chopped
2 sprigs curry leaves +for garnishing
2 1/2 -3 tablespoon coriander powder
2 1/2 tablespoon crushed pepper powder
1 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon vinegar
Salt to taste
3 tablespoon coconut oil
1 green chili chopped, for garnishing
1 tablespoon of chopped coriander
2 tablespoon of chopped mint leaves

  • Clean the mutton and cook  in a pressure cooker with some salt and turmeric powder and keep aside.
  • Heat coconut oil in a heavy bottomed pan.
  • Add  sliced onion and saute until  brown.
  • Add curry leaves, garlic and ginger and saute until raw smell goes off.
  • Reduce the flame and add coriander,garam masala, pepper powder,vinegar and salt(if required).
  • Saute for a minute and add the cooked mutton.
  • Stir on high flame until the water evaporates and the mutton turns dark brown colour.
  • Finally add chopped coriander and mint leaves.
  • Garnish with chopped green chilies and curry leaves.
  • Serve hot with rice/rotis.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Watermelon, feta cheese and olive salad

1 kg ripe watermelon, seeds removed and cut into cubes
50 gms pitted black olives, sliced
250 gms feta cheese, cut into cubes
1 onion sliced thin
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chopped parsley
1 tsp chopped mint leaves
2 Tbsp lime juice
salt and pepper to taste.

  • Pour the lime juice over the sliced onions, mix and keep aside for 10 minutes.
  • Add the olive oil, salt and pepper to the onion and lime mixture and mix well.
  • In a large salad bowl, add the watermelon chunks, olives and feta cheese.
  • Add the chopped parsley and mint to this.
  • Pour the prepared onion,lime and olive oil dressing on top and mix everything well and serve.