Thursday, 17 July 2014

Baked Crusty Mustard Chicken

Baked Crusty Mustard Chicken

It is very addictive to have some finger licking good. Specially when you are around kids who love all this fried stuff. 
My son simply loves eating at KFC. Even if it only one a month I feel it is one time too many. After all healthy eating habits start at home. 
Every time we eat junk food we overload our body with unhealthy omega 6 fatty acids which can lead to heart problems. The saturated fats, MSG, maltodextrin etc surely enhance the taste and make us keep coming back for more. However look at the potential health problems that may crop up.

This recipe is totally oil free. There are no flavour enhancers. 
Chicken has its own flavour which is complimented by natural ingredients. I have not double dipped the chicken pieces in bleached white flour. Instead  cornflakes have been used to give it that crunch.

 I am hoping to wean my son off the deep fried stuff onto something healthier that will also satisfy his taste buds. My son is my ardent fan and critic and if he says he likes it then I am happy.


500 gm chicken pieces
Salt to taste
3 tbsp mustard paste (If you don’t like the mustard flavor you can simply use 2 tbsp fresh ginger garlic paste.)
2 tbsp flour
1 egg
Juice of half a lime
2 tbsp sugar (This has been used to balance the pungency of the mustard. If you are using ginger garlic paste you must omit this)
3 cups cornflakes

Mix the chicken pieces with the rest of the ingredients. Marinate for one hour. 

Finely crunch the cornflakes with your hands. Do not put them in a blender. If the cornflakes are crushed too fine they won’t give that crunch. Roll the chicken in the cornflakes to coat them well.  

Preheat the oven at 220 degrees Celsius. Bake the chicken pieces for 20-25 minutes. 

Baked Fish Paturi

Baked Fish Paturi

Eat light! Feel light! So true during these blistering summer months. 
Fish is one product that can be made in so many ways. Grill it, fry it, steam it! Starter or main dish! It hardly takes any time to cook. Even if you are frying it even the littlest bit of oil would suffice.

Fish Paturi or fish wrapped in banana leaf is a Bengali delicacy. The love affair that Bengalis have with fish is beyond words. The best thing is that Bengali cuisine is rarely heavy on oil, ghee or spices. It is more aromatic that helps in bringing out the natural flavour of the food.

Fish paturi is usually made with Hilsa (slurp!! Oh the God Of Fish!!) or bhetki. However I have made it with Basa which tastes as well if not better. 

The real problem was getting hold of banana leaves. Where will I find banana leaves in the land of Kikkar trees.  The arid desert conditions don’t allow the growth of foliage. 

I improvised and decided to wrap the fish in aluminium foil and bake it in the oven. It was delicious. Agreed that the banana leaves give a different kind of flavour to the dish. 

Wrapping them in foil had a distinct advantage. The fish juices were not able to run out and the fish was cooked in its own flavourful juice. I opened the parcel, took out the fish and allowed the juice to drip all over them. And what was left, I licked!!


500 gm fish (Basa/Hilsa/Bhetki)
5 tbsp khus khus/poppy seeds
3 tbsp mustard seeds
2 green chillies
Salt to taste

Grind together the poppy seeds, mustard seeds, green chillies and salt to a fine paste. Cut the fish into big cubes. Marinate the fish pieces in the paste for at least 1 hour.

Check the seasoning. I have not added turmeric deliberately because I want my fish to be flaky white beauty. You can add turmeric if you wish.

Preheat the oven at 230 degrees Celsius. Wrap the fish pieces in aluminium foil. 

Bake for 25 minutes. 

Monday, 14 July 2014

Peekabo Cake

Peekabo Cake
 Eggless Banana Walnut Choco Peekabo Cake

Last night I couldn’t sleep. I kept tossing and turning and guess what entered my subconscious mind? 

Bananas!!! I have a bunch of bananas that are slowly turning black and mushy. Don’t feel like throwing them away. Didn’t feel like baking a simple banana cake. So as I tossed and turned I started formulating a recipe. I will make a Peekabo Cake.

Come morning and I felt like a witch (good one) stirring up a concoction in her cauldron. A little bit of this and that, a pinch, a smidgen and a dash.

First up the cake is going to be eggless. So curd and baking soda.

Next, bananas!! The very ripe one goes directly into the batter and the firm one brings into play the Peekabo element. 

What’s Peekabo you might say! Remember the game we play with toddlers. Hide your face behind your palms, pop out and then say “Peekabo”. The white bananas will be playing peekabo out of the rich darkness of chocolate.

Ever since I have used cornflour to make cake flour at home I have fallen in love with the texture it gives to the cake. So in goes some cornflour and some cocoa powder.

Stir up the cauldron and ……….


1 cup flour
¼ cup cornflour
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 cup castor sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
150 gm butter, melted
1 cup curd
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 very ripe mushy banana
1 firm banana, cut into very thin roundels
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

Mix together baking soda and curd and keep aside for five minutes till it turns frothy. Sieve together flour, cornflour, and baking powder. Add the chopped walnuts. 

Beat together sugar, melted butter and mashed ripe banana. Add the vanilla essence.

Add half the flour, beat well and add half the curd. Repeat the process.

Pour half the cake batter in the cake tin. Now spread the sliced bananas in an even layer. 

Pour the remaining batter over the bananas.

Bake for 25 minutes.

When you slice the cake you will see the white banana layer doing peekabo..

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Shahi Paneer

Shahi Paneer

400 gms paneer, cubed
Paste 1
3 onions
6 garlic pods
Small piece of ginger
Paste 2
¼ cup cashews
2 tbsp almonds
¼ cup curd
Khada Masala/Whole spices
1 tsp shah jeera/caraway seds
1 bay leaf
4 green cardamoms
2 black cardamoms
Small piece of cinnamon
4-5 cloves
Other spices
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala
¼ tsp cardamom powder
¼ tsp sugar
 Salt to taste

Boil the ingredients of paste 1 for 10 minutes and grind to a paste once they are cool.

Soak Cashews and almonds in warm water for some time and make paste 2 with the curd.

Heat some oil. Add the khada masala/whole spices. Once the seeds start spluttering add the onion paste. Sauté till the water evaporates. 
Add the coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder, salt and sugar. Sauté for 2 minutes and then add the cashew-almond-curd paste. 

Sauté again till oil separates. Add some water, bring to a boil and add the paneer pieces. Cover and cook for some time.

Serve garnished with some kasuri methi.

Simple white cake

Simple white cake

It’s July and there are no signs of rain!! It’s hot. It’s humid. It’s suffocating. The kitchen is the last place you want to be. Cooking has come down to minimal. I think The Man upstairs is stoking up a huge fire in his kitchen because it sure feels like an oven down here.

Baking is such an addiction that even in such dire circumstances my hands itch to mix and beat and whip and bake. So here is a simple white cake with almond essence. It is a no fuss, no nuisance cake. Just mix the dry ingredients together, mix the wet ingredients together and finally mix the two lots.

I have baked the cake in a loaf tin but it can be baked in a round or square tin as well. Totally up to you!

A simple white anytime cake.


1 cup all purpose flour
¼ cup cornflour
3 egg whites
1 tsp almond essence
1 cup+ 2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
100 gm butter, softened

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

Line a loaf tin with baking paper and apply some oil to it.

Mix the wet ingredients, i.e., milk, egg whites and almond essence together.

Mix the flour, cornflour, sugar and baking powder together.

Add the butter to the flour mix and beat well with a hand mixer. 

Now add the milk mixture in two batches. Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for 30 minutes.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Mayonnaise Cake

Mayonnaise Cake ( Vegetarian)
Recipe Source : Rose Levy Beranbaum’s book “The Cake Bible”

It is simply amazing how people come up with different recipes. I, in my wildest dreams, would not have imagined incorporating mayonnaise into a cake. Rose Levy Beranbaum’s book “The Cake Bible” is a veritable treasure chest of recipes. It is definitely my go to book in case of “something different”.

As the author explains in her book this recipe was invented by the wife of a mayonnaise salesman who wanted to help her husband expand his work. Simply ingenious!! The cake does not have any butter or oil or egg. Since the original recipe is made with egg mayonnaise the egg and oil requirement is catered for. Mayonnaise is an emulsification of eggs and large amounts of oil and this adds to the moistness in the cake.

 I, however, have used eggless mayonnaise making this a completely vegetarian cake. The cake has turned out so moist that it is impossible to make a clean cut in the cake. It is dark brown in colour, crumbly in texture and has an amazing balance of sweet and salty. The amount of sugar used is less when you compare it to the amount of flour and cocoa powder being used. Moreover the mayonnaise has the tartness of vinegar and additional salt is added to the batter. It is not an extremely sweet cake. It has its own unique flavor that just stays in your mouth tempting you to take one more bite, and then another and another!!!


1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp vanilla essence
¾ cup mayonnaise
2 cups cake flour
1 cup castor sugar
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

First of all don’t be put off by the mention of cake flour. I, too, don’t have access to cake flour. However it is easy to create a substitute. For every cup of all purpose flour, take out 2 tbsp of the flour and replace with 2 tbsp of cornstarch. So, for this recipe, you will take pout 4 tbsp of all purpose flour and add 4 tbsp of cornstarch.

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.
Add the boiling water to the cocoa powder. Whisk well to ensure that no lumps remain. Keep aside to bring it to room temperature. Whisk in the mayonnaise and vanilla essence.

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Slowly add the cocoa mixture. Beat for 1 minute till all the ingredients are mixed properly. Pour the batter into a greased cake tin. Bake for 25 minutes. Once done the cake will start shrinking from the sides. 

Cool. Cut. Eat. And then start making another one!!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Oregano Bread

Oregano Bread

Once you start making bread at home you will never buy them form the market. It is not only the process but also the immense satisfaction you get when you slice through the loaf. 

The smell of baking is irresistible. It flows through your home and invades your senses. It does take some time and practice to get it right but believe me it is worth all the effort. The best part is you can add and mix and tweak to create your own flavors.


1 cups flour
¼  cup milk
1 tbsp water
½  tbsp yeast
½  tbsp sugar
½  egg, beaten
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp oregano

Mix together warm water, 1 tbsp warm milk and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast and let it sit till it blooms. If it doesn’t bloom then throw it away and try with a fresh packet of yeast.

Mix together salt and flour. Mix together remaining milk and oil. Add ¼  cup flour and mix well. 

Add the beaten egg and make a smooth paste.

 Add the yeast mix. 

Now slowly add the flour mixing all the while. After adding the flour if you find that the dough is too sticky then add another 1-2 tablespoon of flour.

Now comes the important part. KNEADING. If you want your bread to be soft you have to knead to activate the gluten. Knead well for at least 10 minutes. 
To test if you have kneaded enough do the window pane test. Take a big chuck of dough and holding by both thumbs start stretching the dough. The more tenacious it is, the more time it takes to break the better it is. Ideally it should form a thin membrane without breaking.

Apply some oil on the dough, cover with a cling film and keep aside for about 2 hours till it doubles in size. 

Now pat the dough into a loaf tin. Leave covered for 15 minutes. Sprinkle some oregano on top.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Bake the bread for about 15 to 20 minutes. When you knock on the top it should give out a hollow sound.

Slice the bread and use as you want. 

Make sandwiches or garlic bread. I personally like cheese garlic bread as it goes very well with omelets. 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Shahjahani Dal

Shahjahani Dal


½ cup chana dal
½ cup coconut cream
2 green cardamoms
2 cloves
1 stick cinnamon
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
2 green chillies
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder

Boil the lentils with some salt. Heat some butter. Add the cardamoms, cinnamon and cloves. Sauté the onions and green chillies.
 Once they turn translucent add the tomatoes. Now add the dal and turmeric powder. Add some water and bring to a boil. 
Now add the coconut cream. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Heat some ghee for tempering. Add the red chilli powder and pour over the dal.

Banana Walnut Choco Chip Cake

Though I bake everyday, it has been ages since I posted anything new on my blog. Last year saw lots of changes ...