Tuesday, 28 July 2015



Another nawabi preparation. 
Nawabi means rich and the richness of the dish comes from almonds, cashews and cream. The royals sure knew how to eat and have a good time. 
The khansamas or royal cooks must have had a tough time head scratching and coming up with new dishes all the time. The use of rich aromatic spices and dry fruits added that extra element to each dish. 
I have a few books on Mughlai cuisine and in each recipe I found that the dishes had spices like cinnamon, cardamom, saffron etc. dry fruits like cashews, pistachios, pine nuts, cashews were used in abundance. Ghee added the fragrance. All in all each dish is a rhapsody of flavour and taste.


1 chicken, cut in to pieces
2 onions, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
3 garlic pods, chopped
1 “ ginger chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 green cardamoms, small piece of cinnamon
2 tbsp coriander powder
 1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
Salt to taste
½ cup cream

Apply some salt on the chicken pieces and keep aside.
Blanch the cashews and almonds. Skin the almonds.
Heat some oil. Add the garlic and ginger and saute. 
Add the onions and cook till translucent. 
Add the tomatoes and cook some more. 
Add the cashews and almonds and fry for some time. 

Take off the heat, Cool and then grind the whole mix to a paste.
Heat some more oil. Add the whole spices. Now add the chopped onions and cook till pink and translucent. 
Add the dry masalas and sprinkle a little water. Sauté the masalas well. 
Add the onion-cashew-almond paste and fry some more. Now add the chicken pieces and fry on high flame. Cook till the chicken is well coated with the masala. 
Add a cup of water, bring to a boil, cover and cook till the chicken is done. Check the seasoning. 
Switch off heat and add the cream. Garnish with some roasted cashews.

Egg Biryani

Egg Biryani

There are days when thinking of what to make for lunch is the most cumbersome task. These are the days when I take a short cut. The best short cut is a biryani. 
I have tried out many chicken and mutton biryanis and so this time I decided to make Egg Biryani. It is a simple process and pretty quick to make. If you want you can make it in the “dum” style. But like I said..this recipe is for lazy days and doing the “dum” process is simply too much work.


5 hard boiled eggs
1 ½ cups long grain rice, washed and soaked
3 onions sliced fine
1 large onion, sliced fine (for making barista)
2 tomatoes, sliced fine
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 star anise/phoolchakri
4 tbsp curd
2 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste

First make the barista.
Heat ½ cup oil to smoking point and then put in the sliced onion. Fry till the onions are well browned. Keep aside.

In the same oil fry the boiled eggs. Keep aside.

Add cumin seeds and star anise to the hot oil. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and saute.
 Add the 3 sliced onions and cook till the onions are pink and translucent. 
Add the tomato, cover and cook till the tomatoes are done. Add the cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. 
Once the masalas are well cooked add the curd and saute well.

 Now add the soaked rice, eggs and browned onions. 

Add 3 cups of water and boil on high flame. 

Keep cooking on high flame without a lid till the water is almost evaporated. Now turn the flame to low, cover with a lid and cook till the water evaporates completely and the rice is well cooked. You can garnish the dish with chopped coriander leaves. 

Friday, 24 July 2015

Arrabbiata Sauce

Arrabbiata Sauce

A luscious, creamy, garlicky tomato based sauce to have with your pasta. No more introduction is required for the Arrabbiata Sauce!


2 onions, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
5 tomatoes, blanched and chopped
3 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp red chilli flakes
3 tbsp fresh cream
1 tsp dried oregano

Heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and saute. 
Add the chopped onions. Cook till the onions become soft. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, sugar, salt, pepper and chilli flakes. 
Cover and cook till the whole thing comes together. The tomato should be cooked and mushy. 
Take off the heat and cool a little. 
Take about ¾ of the mix and puree it well in the mixer. Now add it to the rest of the mix. Put it back on the gas again. Check the seasoning. 
Now add the cream and oregano. Switch off the flame. Your Arabbiata sauce is ready. It should be served warm with pasta.

Cashew Brownies

Eggless Cashew Brownies

I firmly believe that you can never have enough brownies. Brownies are traditionally made with walnuts but cashews taste as good. For me brownies have to deliciously chocolaty and so I prefer using melted chocolate rather than cocoa powder. Chocolate makes the brownies denser and tastier.
I have to bake everyday because my son wants to take cake with him for tiffin. For him it has to be chocolate all the time. And it makes me happy to see his face light up every time I bake a chocolate cake. He is my muse and my inspiration.


1 12 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup chopped chocolate
3 tbsp butter
½ cup curd
¼ tsp baking soda
1 cup castor sugar
½ cup chopped cashews
½ cup butter, softened
3 tbsp milk

Line and grease a 8”cake tin. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Put the chopped chocolate and 3 tbsp butter on a double boiler and melt the chocolate. 
Whip it well and keep aside to cool. 
Beat the sugar and ½ cup butter till pale and frothy. 
Add the milk and beat some more. 
Add the melted chocolate and mix well. 
Add the baking soda to the curd and once it froths then add to the batter. 
Sieve the flour and baking powder and fold into the batter. Pour into the baking tin. Sprinkle the chopped cashews on the batter. 

Bake for 30-40 minutes. If you feel the cashews start burning then place a foil on top after 20 minutes. 

Friday, 3 July 2015

Olive Mustard Tangy Dip

Olive Mustard Tangy Dip

The fun thing with making dips is that there is no hard and fast rule. You mix and match, balance the sweetness and acidity, throw in unusual ingredients and your dip is done.  And then your guests are left guessing and appreciating.

This Olive and Mustard dip is tangy with a little mustardy zest. I have used a typical Bengali mustard sauce called Kashundi. However if you do not have the kashundi you can use any mustard sauce.


½ cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp Kashundi
2 tbsp chopped onions
1 tbsp chipped green olives
1 tbsp chopped black olives
1 tbsp of the brine the olives are kept in

Mix all the ingredients well with a spoon. 

Keep in the fridge for half an hour. you can have these with chicken nuggets, fish fingers or sliced carrots and radish. 

Dundee Cake

Dundee Cake
Recipe source : bbcgoodfood

I have often seen pictures of the Dundee Cake and I just love the way the golden brown almonds are arranged on top. So I looked it up and here is what Wikipedia baba has to say about the Dundee Cake. 
This cake originated in 19th century Scotland and was originally mass produced by a marmalade company. The almonds were added because Mary, Queen of Scots didn’t like glace cherries on her cake.
I used to think it must be really difficult to make this cake but then I decided to take the plunge. The cake took some effort but it was worth it. Never be afraid to try out new things. The worst that can happen is that you will fail once and learn what not to do the next time.

100 gms blanched almonds
100 gms ground almonds
180 gms butter
18 gms light muscavado sugar
225 gms plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp apricot jam or marmalade
2 tbsp milk
3 large eggs
420 gms mixed dry fruits ( I used cashews, raisins, tutti frutti and candied peels)

Grease and line a springform tin. 

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
For the blanched almonds put the almonds in a bowl and pour boiling water over it. Let it sit for 20 minutes and then the skin will peel off easily. Skin the almonds and keep them whole.
Cream the butter and sugar till pale and fluffy. Add the apricot jam/marmalade and mix well. Add the eggs one at a time. Sieve the flour and baking powder and slowly fold into the batter. Now add the ground almonds and fold in.

 Add the mixed dry fruits and fold. 

Pour the batter in the cake tin. Level the top with a spatula. Now arrange the almonds on the cake.

Bake at 170 degrees for 45 minutes. Then lower the temperature and bake for another 50-60 minutes. I prefer putting a foil over the cake after some time. So after the first half an hour of baking was done I put a foil on top.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Cheese Kulchas

Cheese Kulchas

It is amazing what all we can learn in a group. Ever since I became part of the different food groups on facebook I have learnt a lot about different cuisines, been inspired by wonderful home bakers and have accumulated a lot of recipes.
One such recipe belongs to a lovely lady called Reem Khan. She has a unique way of presenting the simplest dishes. I have learnt to make this Cheese Kulcha from her.


2 cups flour
¼ cup warm water+1 tsp sugar
1 ½ tsp yeast
1 tsp salt
Warm milk to knead the dough
Grated mozerella cheese (for the filling)

For garnish

Chopped garlic
Sesame seeds
Nigella seeds
Chopped green coriander
( I have not given precise measurements for the garnish because it is upto you how much or how little you want to apply)

Sprinkle yeast on the mixture of warm water and sugar. Keep aside for 15 minutes till it froths. Add salt to the flour. Now add the yeast mix. Now start kneading the flour using warm milk till you get a pliable and soft dough. Apply some oil on the dough and keep it in an oiled bowl. Cover with a cling film and leave for about 2 hours. The dough will double in size.

This dough will make about 4 kulchas. Make four balls. Take one ball and gently roll it out a bit. Put grated cheese in the middle and close it into a ball. Roll out the ball as thin as you can go. Wet your hands and pat the kulcha. Now sprinkle sesame seeds, nigella seeds, chopped garlic and chopped green coriander. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Bake the kulchas for 6-7 minutes till they are golden brown. Take them out. Apply some butter on top. Your kulchas are ready. 

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 ...