Monday, August 17, 2009

Carrot Cornmeal Muffins

1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup raisins or currants
1/2 cup grated carrot, about 1 medium carrot
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup Cornmeal
¾ cup all-purpose flour, stir before measuring
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Heat orange juice in microwave, add raisins or currants. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla until well blended. Combine the dry ingredients and add to first mixture, mixing just until ingredients are moistened. Add raisins and carrot into the batter, fold it lightly.
Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full and sprinkle grated carrot ; bake in preheated 180° C oven for 18 to 2o minutes, or until the muffins bounce back when lightly touched with a finger.

Makes 12 muffins.

Black Pepper Rasam

Rasam – is a South Indian, tangy soup. It is prepared by tamarind or tomatoes, black pepper and other spices. There are various kinds of rasam - Tomato rasam, Lemon Rasam, Ginger rasam, Garlic Rasam, Pineapple Rasam etc. I haven’t tried any of these, the one that I love is the black pepper rasam .

Whenever we go for Thali at any South Indian restaurant, I can simply drink 2-3 bowls of it.

Here is the recipe for the black pepper rasam :

3 big cups water
1 small lemon size tamarind (squeeze out the pulp)
1 medium size tomato
Salt to taste
Oil for seasoning
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 red chillies(halved)
½ tsp hing (aesofotida)
1 small bunch fresh coriander leaves.
5-6 Curry leaves
1 tsp turmeric powder.

For Rasam Powder:
1 tsp Black peppar
2 tsp Dry coriander seeds.
1 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds.
2 tsp masur dal (red lentils)
1 red chili.

Grind rasam powder with all the ingredients.Take a sauce pan,heat oil for 2 mins. Put mustard seed, hing, red chilis in oil. Fry till mustard splutters then add water to it. Add tamarind pulp and salt.Add chopped tomato,fresh coriander leaves,curry leaves,turmeric,and 3 tsp rasam powder to it. Allow it to boil for about 8 thoroughly (about 8 mins). Remove from the flame and serve hot with rice.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


We had a great time yesterday. Invited my in-laws and friends for lunch. Made Prawns Szechuan, mini stuffed steak rolls in mushroom sauce, barbecued chicken with baked potatoes, black pepper mutton, russian salad & lemon rice. My SIL made Pat oleos, which were yummy. A perfect lunch, I must say.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

215 gms brown sugar
250 gms all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 Tbsp instant coffee
1 Tsp baking soda
1/4 Tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 Tsp vanilla
150 gms Almonds toasted & Chopped roughly 150 gms chocolate,roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 180C

To toast almonds: spread on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and place nuts in a bowl. Cool and then chop coarsely. Set aside while you prepare the dough.

Reduce temperature of oven to 150 degrees C. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sift or whisk together the flour, cocoa, coffee, baking soda and salt into a bowl then set aside.

In the bowl beat the eggs and vanilla for about 30 seconds. Now mix in the chocolate/sugar and flour mixtures until a stiff dough forms, adding the almonds.

On a floured surface divide the dough in half. Form each half into a log 12 inches (30 cm) long. Do this by rolling the dough back and forth into a cylinder shape with floured hands. Transfer the logs to the baking sheet, spacing them well apart (width-wise on the pan), and pat to even the shapes. Bake until almost firm to the touch, about 35 - 40 minutes (logs will spread during baking). Remove from the oven, place on wire rack, and let cool for 10 minutes.

Transfer the logs to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife cut the dough into slices. Arrange the slices cut-side down on the baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake until crisp and dry, about 15 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Tips to freeze the prawns

I want to share a tip to freeze the prawns and have them stored fresh for months. Take any plastic tiffin or empty ice-cream box; layer your fresh prawns in it. Add room temperature water covering the prawns and freeze. Once frozen remove it from the box and have all the packets stored in a large plastic bag.. When you want to use just remove one of the frozen packet and thaw. Each prawn will be fresh, not discoloured nor will you have those black juices running out of the prawns which you see when frozen in plastic bags.

Skewered Ginger Garlic Prawns

Its prawn’s season and we are off to the fish market to buy some. A big bucket of medium sized prawns - total weight 19 kgs, its too much so I shared it with my friend. Happily brought squids, red mullet, mackerels along with prawns but now the big task is packing & storing.

I got 7-8 big prawns in the bucket and planning how I should cook them. Thought will fry them with Reichard Masala but I don’t like the jumbo prawns getting curled up in the pan as the big prawns tend to look small. I want them to look big so just peeled off the head and pulled out the vein. Washed them and patted them dry. Marinated them in a chinese sauce and skewered them neatly with bamboo skewers and pan fried them. Made the sauce and gently poured over the fried prawns. Adrian and sabu almost chewed their fingers. After all its me the great chef…. Here is the recipe :

7-8 Big Prawns (head peeled & deveined)
4 Bamboo skewers
3 tbsp Oil (to fry)


3 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
½ tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1 big lemon ( juice & the zest)
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 ½ inch ginger chopped finely
8-10 flakes of garlic chopped finely

Peel the heads of the prawns, pull out the veins wash and pat dry. Leave the skin intact. Keep it aside.

Mix all the above ingredients to make a paste for marinating.

Pour the marinade over the prawns, cover and keep it in the fridge for 1 hour to marinate. (If you are in a hurry do not marinate)

Take the skewer and insert each marinated prawn straight. One skewer can hold 2 jumbo prawns. Now cut the skewer into half so u can have 1 prawn.

Add little oil in a pan, once hot fry the prawns for 2 minute on each side. Remove it on a plate, do not wash the pan.

In the same pan pour the remaining marinade cook till the sauce thickens a bit..

Drizzle this sauce over the fried prawns.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Rose Water Cookies

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp rose water
1 large egg, at room temperature

Sift together the flour and almond meal into a small bowl and set aside. In a medium bow cream the butter until pale yellow. Add the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and rose water. Cream on medium speed until the mixture is smooth, add the egg and mix well. Add the flour mixture. Wrap the dough in a plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a large baking sheet with a foil/parchment paper. Flour your hands. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll them into 1-inch balls. Place the balls about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake the cookies for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until light golden around the edges.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Bottlegourd (dudhi/lauki) Curry (Manglorean recipe)

Bottlegourd is one of my favourites. I make it atleast once a week. I see sour faces at home whenever this is cooked. I like it the most when cooked with channa dal (split chick pea) but sabu enjoys the manglorean style curry, so to keep her happy today I'm going make it the authentic manglorean style. For variations in this curry add dry or fresh prawns.

1 Bottlegourd (dudhi/lauki)(1 Kg peel the skin and cut in big cubes)
2 cups of water.
1/2 tsp salt

Masala for Grinding

6-7 Red Kashmiri Chillies
1 tsp cummin seeds
2 tsp corainder seeds
4-5 black peppercorns
1 flake garlic
5 tbsp dessicated coconut
small lemon size ball of tamarind
5 Tbsp Coconut milk powder
1 & 1/2 cup of water

For Tempering

1 big onion
2 tbsp oil

Peel the bottlegourd and cut it into big peices.

In a deep casserole put 2 cups of water , cubed bottlegourd with 1/2 tsp salt and boil until soft.

Grind all the above masala to a fine smooth paste with 1 1/2 cup of water, add more if you need.

Add the ground masala to the cooked bottlegourd and on high fire give a quick boil.

Adjust the salt and the thickness of the curry> If you dont like it too thick you can add little more water.

Take a pan with 2 tbsp oil, once the oil is hot put onion slices and brown it .

Temper the curry with browned onions.

Enjoy this creamy curry with plain boiled rice.

Variations :
If you want to try with dry prawns ( clean the prawns & dry roast in a pan ) add it to the bottlegourd while boiling.

Similary if you are making with fresh prawns peel it, devein and boil it with the