Friday, 27 March 2015

Chicken Roulade with Creamy Spinach

Chicken Roulade with Creamy Spinach

Roulade literally means “to roll” in French. And that is exactly what you do with the meat. You pound it, roll it, wrap it snugly and then give it a nice warm, soothing bath. And the meat is ready to be served up in all its glory. It can be a meal in itself or you can serve it as a starter. You can experiment with the fillings. Try chopped dry fruits, olives, shredded veggies, cream cheese, and so on ..the list is endless.


4 chicken breasts
Salt to taste

For the filling
2 cups chopped spinach
5 garlic pods, chopped
½ cup chopped cheddar cheese

Place the chicken breasts on a flat surface. 

Using a meat mallet pound it gently to flatten the meat. Be gentle while pounding otherwise you might tear the meat. 

As you pound sprinkle some salt on the chicken so that it gets incorporated with the meat.

To prepare the filling heat some oil. Saute the garlic pods and add the spinach. Sprinkle some salt and fry on high heat till the spinach wilts. Add the grated cheese. Turn of the heat and cool a little.

Place some filling on the chicken lengthwise and then roll it up tightly. Wrap up the breast piece with some twine. Do the same with the rest of the chicken breasts.

 Now wrap them well in cling film.

Heat some water. Once it starts boiling lower the heat and put in the rolled up chicken pieces. Simmer for 15 minutes. The chicken breast will be cooked by then. Once they are cool, unwrap, take off the twine and cut into roundels. This serves as an excellent snacks. 

Cheem Chochodi

Cheem Chochodi

Chochodi is Bengali means a hotch potch of fresh summer vegetables. Summer time in India can be quite taxing if you are not living in a hill station. It is sultry, humid and hot..Oh so hot!!

The cuisine of a place develops keeping in mind the availability of food and also the weather. During summer days it is not possible to have oily, spicy stuff. The chochodi is a very light preparation with just a tempering, freshness of local vegetables and basic ginger paste. It also has a mustard-poppy seed paste which gives it that extra oomph. 


200 gms flat beans/cheem, halved
2 potato, cut into small cubes
1/2 tsp Nigella seeds
3 tbsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp khus khus
2 green chillies
salt to taste
1 tsp turmeric powder pinch of sugar

Soak the mustard seeds and khus khus in some water for half n hour. Blend to a paste alongwith some salt and green chillies. 
Heat some oil. Add the Nigella seeds. Add the beans and potatoes and saute on high flame. Pour in the mustard paste, salt, turmeric powder and salt. Fry for some time. Add 1/2 cup water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer. Once the beans are soft and the water almost evaporated then the dish is done. 

Sleepy Salami

Sleepy Salami

It is  fun to be young! You can play all you want, sleep all you want and yeah, eat all you want!!

And you gain this realization when all this is behind you!
I don’t remember the last time I ate something good and didn’t feel guilty and start counting the calories. As a kid you have a great metabolism, and also you are always running around and getting exercise without planning to. Whatever you eat is digested soon and you are hungry again.

My preteen son is at this stage. He is hopping and running around. He is hungry all the time. And while he enjoys all kinds of food I can only sit and wonder where my golden years went.

What do you do when your kid demands something to eat at midnight? Too tired to cook something; too late to order anything. Open the kitchen and all you have are eggs and some cold cuts. Well I made a Sleepy Salami. Salami slices in a blanket of fluffy, white eggs!


For one serving
2 salami slices
1 egg
Salt and pepper to taste

Beat the egg with some salt till frothy. Heat a pan and add some oil. 
Once the oil is hot pour the egg and rotate the pan till the egg covers the whole pan. 
Place the salami slices on the egg. 

Fold over the sides of the egg on top of the salami. 

Now fold it in half so that one salami is on top of the other. 

Cook both sides. Place on a plate and sprinkle some pepper.

Kofi Chingdi/Prawns N Cauliflower

Kofi Chingdi/Prawns N Cauliflower

There is something special about mom’s food. Roaming all over the countryside I have sampled various kinds of cuisine and loved most of them. Married fifteen years; I have been away from home fifteen years. But whenever I come home and have mom’s food I am happy. Those smells and flavours take me back into my childhood. There is something comforting in those dishes. They remind me of the value of home, of family.

Bengalis and fish! I need not say much about that. One of my top five picks among sea food is prawns. When I was younger my grandfather used to get prawns for me regularly. And he would also ensure I got the maximum number on my plate. I was a pampered child and even now when I eat prawns they make me feel so good..not just because they taste awesome but because deep down I associate them with that feeling of being special.

Prawns have an abundance of flavour and when you mix them with any kind of vegetable it exalts the dish. Here too the prawns add that creaminess to the cauliflowers and I can simply polish off a whole plate of rice with this one dish.


1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets
1 potato, cubed
8-10 prawns
Salt and turmeric to apply on the prawns
1 tomato, sliced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1” ginger, grated
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp garam masala
Mustard oil for cooking
1 tsp ghee
A pinch of cardamom powder
A pinch of cinnamon powder

Apply some salt and turmeric powder to the prawns and keep aside for half n hour.

Heat some mustard oil. Once the oil reaches smoking point lower the heat and fry the prawns for a minute or two. Once they turn reddish take them out. 

In the same oil add the cumin seeds. Once they start spluttering add the cauliflower and potato. Saute on high heat for some time. Add the grated ginger and sliced tomato and saute some more.
 Add all the dry masalas and fry. 
Once the masalas are incorporated into the veggies add a cup of water. Bring it to a boil.
 Add the prawns, cover and cook till the cauliflowers are done. Switch off the heat. 
Add the ghee, cinnamon and cardamom powders.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Sticky Gooey Truffle Cake

Sticky Gooey Truffle Cake

Every cake has a story. Mine is that every time I promise my sis-in-law a cake and something or the other comes up and that cake remains just a promise. This cake has been baked specially for her. 

It has to be a chocolate cake and a decadent one. The idea was to make a truffle cake. However I tweaked with the ingredients a bit and I waited for the cake to be baked first before I went on to the truffle part. 

I rarely can lay my hands on certain not-so-usual cake ingredients such as crème fraiche, sour cream, half-n-half and I always have to improvise or substantiate. When I came across sour cream I simply grabbed it and decided to use it in my next bake. 

I wanted the cake to be a bit fudgy because for me decadence starts with fudginess and that stick-to-your teeth texture. So extra egg yolks and less flour. The batter turned out so sloshy and liquid that I had my doubts about the outcome. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. I had my 8”pan greased and lined and it was absolutely full of batter. So if you are making the cake go for a 9” pan. I baked at a lower temperature as I didn't want the cake to rise quickly and fall over the sides. Even if you are using a bigger pan bake at this temperature as it makes the cake rise slowly and evenly. 


1 ¼ cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tbsp. baking soda
2/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup water
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
100 gm butter
200 gm chocolate, chopped
1  ½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar

Grease and line a 9” cake pan.
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.
Melt the chocolate and butter together in the microwave for a minute. Beat well till smooth. 

Mix the cocoa powder and water well and bring to a boil. Switch off heat and beat till smooth. Once it cools down add the chocolate mix to it.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. 
Whip the eggs and egg yolks. Add the two sugars and whip for about ten minutes. The mixture will be frothy and glossy. Now add the sour cream and whip again. Add the chocolate-cocoa powder mix and whip. Now fold in the flour. Since the quantity of flour is less you have to be careful that there are no flour lumps left behind. Also do not overmix. Pour the batter in the cake tin and bake for 60-70 minutes. Cool the cake completely.

For the ganache

200 gms chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup cream

Melt the chocolate and cream in the microwave for 1 minute. stir vigorously till glossy and smooth. 
Cut the cake into two layers. Spread ganache on the first cake layer. Cover with the second layer. If the ganache oozes out then good!

Spread rest of the ganache on the top and sides of the cake. Put in the fridge to chill so that the ganahe sets properly. The cake is best eaten after keeping in the fridge overnight. 
If you want a smoother finish on the cake then apply a thicker coat of ganache and smoothen. 

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Death by chocolate cupcakes

Death by chocolate cupcakes
Recipe source : Sally’s baking addiction

It is the month of March. Delhi weather is changing. It is the most worrisome period because you feel both warm cold at the same time. The season of flu and viral fever. 

The only good thing about this weather, I feel, is that it is good for baking. What an absurd thing to say, right? Well I will give you my reasons. 

This is the perfect weather for room temperature butter. It is neither frozen solid, nor melted down into a puddle. When it is cold I have to keep the butter outside in the sun for that perfect consistency. In summers I keep shoving it in the fridge and taking out again to see if it just right. Too solid or too liquid destroys the fluffiness when you beat it with sugar. 

Also the chocolate compound is very pliable now. It doesn't melt and stick to your fingers. It is not so hard that you bruise your palms chopping them. 

So, like I said perfect weather for baking, especially chocolate cakes. 


100 gms butter
50 gm chocolate
½ cup cocoa powder
¾ cup flour
½ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
2 eggs
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. 
Melt the butter and chocolate together for one minute in the microwave and beat well till smooth and glossy. 

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder. Whisk together the eggs, sugar and brown sugar till frothy. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk again.

 Add half the flour mix, beat and then add half the buttermilk. Repeat the process again. Do not overmix. Spoon into cupcake cases and bake 12-14 minutes. 

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Pocket Paratha

Pocket Paratha

Have you ever got a keeda in your head, a bug, a tick? Well I have that often and when that happens I simply have to work on it as soon as yesterday!!

If you are a Bengali living in Delhi then the best place to be is in Chitarranjan Park, which is also called mini Kolkata. Here you get the food, grocery, music, conversation, sweets, in fact the whole shebang. If you go to the markets in evening you will be enveloped with all kinds of food smells. There is the quintessential phucka, jal muri, chops and cutlets, egg rolls, mishti doi, shandesh, and Oh so much more!

What is  missing nowadays, however, is the Mughlai Paratha. 10 years ago whenever you came to the market there were always these huge Mughlai Parathas frying away in a pool of oil. 

As the name suggests it is indeed Mughlai, very royal. There is a filling of mutton mince, chopped onions, green chillies and beaten egg. Deep fried these are crunchy with the filling oozing out with every bite.

But these beauties are missing from the market nowadays. When asked the cooks told me that people have stopped eating these Mughlai parathas because they are deep fried white flour and so quite unhealthy. Well that is true but how can my visit to CR Park be complete without them?

So now we come to the keeda/bug. I had been dying to have a Mughlai Paratha for quite some time. Like most people, I too was counting the calories. Still the tick would not stop ticking! The bug would not stop bugging! I decided to make a variation of the parathas at home with a few changes. I will make pocket parathas. They will be smaller in size and will not be deep fried.


3 cups maida/flour
1 tsp salt
½ cup curd
½ cup milk

For the filling

Chicken filling
Here I have used chicken sausages. You can use chicken mince if you want.

2 chicken sausages, chopped
3 tbsp chopped onions
1 green chilli, chopped
1 egg
Salt to taste

Paneer filling

1 cup grated paneer
3 tbsp chopped onions
1 green chilli, chopped
1 egg ( If you want a pure vegetarian pocket paratha you can just skip the egg)
Salt to taste

Sift the maida and salt. Mix together the curd and milk. Knead the maida using the milk+curd. Knead well till you can feel it becoming silky and smooth. Wrap with a clingfilm and keep for 2 hours. 

For the filling mix all ingredients together with beaten egg. 
Lightly dust the working surface with flour. Divide the dough into four balls. Roll out one of the balls as thin as possible. Place half the paneer filling in the middle. 

Fold the longer sides over the filling. 

Then fold in the other two sides making a pocket. 

Heat some oil. It is totally up to you how much oil you want to use. The parathas taste best when they are deep fried (of course)!! However I have used less oil and cooked on low heat so that they are cooked through and yet absorb less oil. 

These taste god without any vegetables or side dishes. I prefer just a dab of ketchup and I am good to go. 

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Strawberry Cake

Strawberry Cake

 I got 3 packets of fresh strawberries today. Yaaayyy!!! And ever since then I have been imagining what all I can do with them. 

So first up on the agenda is a simple Strawberry Cake. The cake is a simple vanilla cake and I have garnished the top with halved strawberries. As the cake bakes the strawberry flavour is infused in the batter. It will not be overly strawberry like but with each bite you can chew on the baked glazed strawberries. 

There is something so fine about fresh fruit be it the taste or the fragrance. And there are so many fruits that can be incorporated into cakes, fresh, mulled or pureed. Berries are always a good choice for cakes, be it blackberries, strawberries, mulberries, etc. 

Once we were driving from Bhatinda to Dehradun during the strawberry season. The foothills near Dehradun are good grounds for this berry and all along the roadside we found vendors selling strawberries by the kilos. The only problem with this fruit is that it bruises easily. So out of the 3 kilos we bought we could actually eat only the topmost layers. The ones below went bad the very next day. Learning from that experience I decided to make cakes and smoothies and finish off this lot as soon as possible. 


100 gms butter
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 egg
½ cup milk
1 tbsp vanilla essence
6-8 strawberries, halved

Preheat the oven at 170 degrees Celsius. Line and grease a 8” cake tin. 

Beat the sugar and butter  till light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Add the milk and vanilla essence. 

Sift together the flour and baking powder. Fold into the egg mixture. Pour the batter into the cake tin. Place the halved strawberries on the cake. Sprinkle some sugar on the strawberries.

 Bake at 180 degrees for 10 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 160 degrees and bake for 30 minutes. 

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 ...