Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Special Sweets for my Special Friends!

It's not a special day but this special post is for all my close friends who have always been my support system, in my good times and not so good times. having good friends is truly a blessing.

Just a sweet little SMS, a chat over a cup of tea or quick messages on Watsapp, always being there when one makes serious decision like of one should buy a particular dress or not, talking on the phone, purposely fighting for fun, the unnecessary nagging, sending pictures (I am talking about you, Herr G) to irritate and making the other jealous and most importantly, being present in trying times. I am really lucky to have such amazing friends in my life and they mean the world to me.

A virtual treat for all my special friends and a big, big, big hug to all of you. Thanks for being a part of my life. 

This base of all the sweets in this box is of badam barfi (see my recipe here), badam apple (see my recipe here), badam square with edible glitter and silver balls, triangle with edible colour and decorated with edible glitter gel, badam tokri filled with nutella, garnished with candied ginger, spiral painted and decorated with indian paan mukhwas and a red coloured heart. 

Go, be creative and surprise your close ones with this box of sweets and have a good time :-)

Monday, July 29, 2013


The first time I ever heard of and tried Murtabak was in Singapore last year. I was so intrigued by the way it was made that I thought that I had to make this as soon as I got back home. I did make this, and that too a number of times, but the recipe got lost in my drafts and didn't see the light of the day. Today, finally, I very proudly present my Murtabak recipe.

Unfortunately, the place where we had this dish in Singapore didn't let me video but I did find this video on Youtube. I was completely awed while watching the guy flip the dough really quickly, and it was paper thin in no time and then it went on to the hot pan, then came the filling (we asked him not to put egg), fold, add a ladle full of oil or butter, roast and ta da da... the Murtabak is ready. I do have the picture of the final dish...

I didn’t manage to flip the dough as the guy in Singapore did, but I was successful in making it paper thin even without that ;-) I filled it with my favourite Baingan ka Bharta. I was very satisfied with the result and am planning to make a sweet version soon :-)

Murtabak originated in Yemen, which has a sizable population of Indian origin; through Indian traders it has spread back to their home countries, to India and Southeast-Asia. The word Mutabbaq in Arabic means "folded". The dish referred to as Murtabak is a multi layered pancake that originated in the state of Kerela. The word "mutabar" is the correct name for the particular dish referred to incorrectly as "murtabak". "Mutabar" is an amalgam of two words, "muta" (being the Kerelite word for egg, a significant component of the dish) and "bar", an abbreviated form of the word barota, or "bratha roti" (the bread the egg is added on to make the dish). The bread base or pancake on which it is then spread over is referred to in Hindi as "pratha roti" or "pratha". (Note the difference in pronunciations, pratha and brata). Courtesey: Wikipedia 


For the dough

1 cup - all purpose flour
2 tbsp - melted ghee
a pinch of salt
1/3 cup - lukewarm water
a pinch of sugar
1 tbsp - sunflower oil + to grease the bowl

For the filling

1 - aubergine (approx 350 grams)
1- onion, finely chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 big tomato, finely chopped
1 tbsp - sunflower oil
1/4 tsp - cumin seeds
5-7 pieces of curry leaves
1/2 tsp - red chili powder
1/2 tsp - cumin powder
1/4 tsp - coriander powder
1/8 tsp- garam masala powder
salt to taste
1/8 cup - cream
1/8 cup - coriander leaves, finely chopped

For the chutney

80 grams - coriander leaves, finely chopped (I also used the stalk)
1 - green chili, finely chopped
1 tbsp - ginger, peeled, grated
1 big tomato, finely chopped
1 tbsp -sunflower oil
1 tsp - sesame seeds
salt to taste
lemon juice to taste

1 1/2 tsp - sugar
a generous pinch of garam masala


For the filling

1. Prick the aubergine and roast it in a preheated oven (200 degrees C) until the skin scorches. Take out the aubergine, and cool it by putting in water, peel off the skin and mash the pulp. Keep aside
2. Heat the oil in a non stick pan, add the cumin seeds and curry leaves, after half a minute, add the finely chopped onions and saute until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a minute and then add the mashed aubergine and saute for 7-8 minutes on medium heat.
3. Add the tomatoes and all the spices and saute until tomatoes are fully cooked. Add the cream and cook for another 3-4 mins. Lastly add the coriander leaves.

For the chutney

1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the sesame seeds and cook for a few seconds. add the tomatoes, ginger, chili and cook for a couple of mins. Add the rest of the ingredients (except lemon juice) and cook until the tomatoes are soft. Lastly add the lemon juice and remove the pan from the heat.


1. Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Add the ghee and using finger tips, incorporate the ghee fully. Make a well in the centre of the flour mix, add the lukewarm water and knead into a dough. Continue kneading for 5-6 minutes. Add the 1 tbsp of oil and knead again for a couple of minutes. Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a wet muslin cloth and let the dough rest for an hour or so.
2. Grease lightly the work top and take a small portion of the dough and spread it out using your finger tips. I tried flipping but failed miserably, so very cleverly, I stretched the dough as far as I could and then used a greased rolling pin and rolled out the already stretched dough as thin as I could.
3. Heat a non stick crepe pan, carefully put the stretched dough on to the pan, put the filling and fold like an envelope. Add very little ghee and roast the Murtabak from both the sides, on medium heat. Serve with the chutney You can follow this video here too.


Friday, July 12, 2013

It's all about inspiration and upma with a twist!

One needs to be properly inspired and motivated to one's jobs and I am no exception to this rule. My biggest inspiration is my darling hubby, he is responsible for a large part of the cooking I have learnt in the previous years. Not that he taught me how to cook, but he always appreciated my cooking, even if something turns out to be not perfect, or I forget to add salt or sometimes added a bit too much. His ever so supportive and loving nature transformed this novice cook into a decent one.

I also get a lot of inspiration from the places I visit, the different varieties of delicious food that I try , by talking to people and listening to their stories. This upma's recipe's idea was born when I was talking to a friend, who once was invited by someone and had to suffer a really badly made badam halwa (sweet almond indian dish). She said, and I quote, "That halwa looked and tasted like a white chutney, without salt". Well, after the dose of our daily banter we both got back to our work but this statement stuck in my mind.

Both my hubby and I have a habit of talking about our day during dinner. So I narrated this story and also my friend's comment. Immediately he said, „Why not?“ and I asked him what he meant, and bang came the reply, „ It would taste good, this Almond Chutney“. This was enough and I was pondering through out dinner and finally I said, „Badam Upma“. He nodded and said, „Why don't you try it out, if it comes out well then you can put that on your blog“. That's the story behind this innovative and interesting and if I may add, delicious upma. I served the upma with an instant and easy to make chutney. 


75 grams- almonds, soaked overnight and blanched
3 tbsp – sunflower oil
a generous pinch of cumin seeds
a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing) 
1 – green chili, finely chopped
½ cup – low fat milk
½ tsp – peeled and grated ginger
1 tbsp – raw mango, peeled and grated
1 tbsp – dessicated coconut

a generous pinch of black pepper powder (optional) 
1 tbsp – coriander leaves, finely chopped 
1 tbsp – onions, peeled and finely chopped 

For the tempering
1 tbsp – sunflower oil
1/8 tsp – mustard seeds
a generous pinch of asafoetida
a pinch of cumin seeds

7-8 pieces of curry leaves 

For garnishing

lime wedges 

For the Instant Chutney
1/8 tsp – turmeric powder
1/4 tsp red chili powder (adjust according to your taste)
1/4 tsp – cumin powder
1/2 tsp – coriander powder
1/4 tsp – lemon juice (adjust according to your taste)
1 tsp – sunflower oil

Mix everything in a bowl and your chutney is ready.


  1. Coarsely ground the blanched almonds and keep aside. 
  2. Heat the 3 tbsp of oil in a pan on a medium heat, add the cumin seeds, asafoetida, finely chopped onions and chili and saute until the onions are soft. 
  3. Add the almonds and saute for a minute, stirring continously. Add the ginger, raw mango, dessicated coconut, pepper powder and mix. Add the milk and cook, stirring continuosly until the milk is all absorbed. Add the coriander leaves and remove from the heat. 
  4. Heat the oil for tempering, in a small pan, add the asafoetida, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Switch off the heat as soon as the mustard seeds starts crackling. Keep aside 
  5. Put the upma in a small bowl and invert it out on a serving dish, pour some of the tempering on the top and garnish with a lime wedge and serve with the chutney. 


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Back with Chocolate Paneer Tikka!

It feels so good to be back. I missed this dear space of mine, the lovely comments, my fellow bloggers and their recipes.

All this while, I didn't stop cooking, I was still trying out new stuff, my experiments in the kitchen was on. Today's recipe is a result of one of such experiments.

A few days ago, while working out in the gym , an idea struck me (I know, wrong timing but thats me...) I had a very clear picture of this dish in my mind. Immediately after the gym, I picked up all the ingredients required, from the local store and rushed home. I made the chocolate paneer, obviously I had no choice but to wait until the paneer was set. The rest of the recipe is fairly easy and fast. Once the paneer was set, I arranged everything exactly how I pictured it.

My hubby is a big paneer enthusiast. He was amazed by the idea loved this sweet tikka. Blueberry compote not only completes this dish but also enhances the taste of the tikka. 


For the chocolate Paneer

1/2 litre - milk 3.5% fat
1/2 tbsp - dark cocoa powder
3 1/2 tbsp - castor sugar
1/2 tbsp - calcium lactate

For the Blueberry Compote
1 3/4 cup - bluberries
1/2 cup - grape juice 
1 cinnamon quill
a generous pinch of clove powder

2 tbsp - muscovado sugar
4 tbsp - water

Rest of the ingredients
1 - kiwi, peeled and cut into cubes
6-7 small pieces of pineapple from the can


  1. Add the cocoa powder and sugar to the milk and follow my recipe of "how to make paneer" Once the paneer is set. Keep the paneer block  in the fridge for half an hour and then cut into cubes.
  2. Place all the ingredients for the compote in a pan and cook on a medium heat, stirring occasionaly until the berries are soft. 
  3. Thread the paneer pieces onto the skewers along with the pineapple and kiwi pieces. 
  4. Spoon 1 tbsp of berry compote in shot glasses and serve the tikka. 

Serves- 6-7


Monday, February 11, 2013

Especially for you my friend - Espresso Panna Cotta with Spiced Cherry Compote!

“A friend is, as it were, a second self” (Marcus Tullius Cicero)

I have so many things, stories, incidences running through my mind that I could write pages, but when I sat in front of my computer, fingers on the keyboard, I am thinking, how to begin and what to write. I didn't find any other appropriate quote that could define us and our friendship.

Today might be an ordinary day for the rest of the world but very special to us. It's been so many years since we last met but that hardly changes anything between us. We still manage to be each others support system, even if we sometimes talk just once in a month. We can still understand each other's silences on the phone and start from where we last left off.

I miss our good old days and all the fun, our shopping excursions, the craze for watching the movies first day-first show, trying out every new restaurant in the city and our desperate measures to collect cash to do all this. Thinking of all this is enough to brighten up my day. I hope we will be able to meet up soon and relive all these beautiful moments again. 

Today's recipe is especially for you my friend. I just cant stop laughing now and finding it really funny that we are talking recipes, who once didn't know abc of cooking. I experimented with agar-agar as I promised you, and I think the result is quite satisfying. So now it's your turn :-)


80 ml - sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup - cream, around 40 % fat
1/4 cup - greek yogurt (you may also use thick hung curd)
1 espresso (approx 30 ml), cooled
1/3 cup - milk
1 tsp levelled - agar agar powder

For Cherry Compote
125 grams - cherries, washed and pitted
2 tbsp - muscovado sugar
2 small pieces of cinnamon sticks
2 pieces of star anise
1/4 cup - water

For decoration (optional)
Sorry for not providing the exact sugar measurement for the decoration but I followed this video here
 to make the sugar nest.


  1. Bring the cream to just before a boil and remove from the heat.
  2. Mix the agar agar powder and the milk in a pan. Place the pan over a medium heat and stir until agar agar dissolves properly. It should not take more than a minute.
  3. Mix the hot cream to the milk-agar agar mixture and mix well to get an uniform mixture. Let it cool.
  4. Mix together the cooled espresso, condensed milk and the greek yogurt in a bowl and keep it aside.
  5. Add the slightly warm agar agar cream mixture (if you are able to put your finger in the mixture to the count of 10) to the condensed milk-yogurt mixture and mix well. 
  6. Sieve the mixture and pour into the moulds and place the moulds in the fridge to set. It will set in an hours time. 
  7. For cherry compote- Place all the ingredients in a pan and cook on medium heat until the cherries are slightly soft. Remove from the heat. 
  8. To remove the panna cotta from the moulds- dip each mould in hot water for 5 seconds and then carefully turn out on the serving plates. Just before serving carefully place the sugar nest on top of the panna cotta and serve it with hot cherry compote.

The panna cotta was soft, shiny, creamy and good to taste. It had a slightly grainy texture because of the yogurt. You can completely ignore the yogurt and use cream instead, if you mind the grainy texture.



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