Friday, August 31

Russian Salad

Sometimes we would like to have a non-boring and filling salad. Russian salad would be one of the most appropriate items in this category. It is creamy and very delectable and yet simple to make. I had made this with things that I had at home but there are other ways to make it which you can find on web.


1.      Carrot – 1
2.      Apple – 1
3.      Capsicum – 1 cup
4.      Crushed white pepper – ¼ tsp
5.      Salt – 1 pinch
6.      Mayonnaise – 1 tbsp
7.      Fresh Cream – 2 tbsp (can be replaced with yoghurt or sour cream as you like it)
8.      Sugar – ½ tsp
9.      Lemon juice – 1 tsp
10.   Herb for garnishing (Mint, Coriander, Basil or so)


Step 1: Make juliennes out of carrot and apple. Mix apple, carrot and cabbage in a bowl and coat with lemon juice to avoid oxidation. Refrigerate salad for sometime.

Step 2: In a small cup take mayonnaise, fresh cream, salt, sugar, pepper and beat until smooth; add few drops    of milk if the paste is too hard and make the dressing to ketchup like consistency

Step 3: Before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and toss them to coat evenly. Garnish with herb of your choice and serve chilled.

Wednesday, August 29

Carrot Rice

I remember those school days when my mom used to try all possible ways to make me eat vegetables because I was choosy with vegetables. I couldn't eat carrot in any form other than raita but that can’t be packed for lunch. So she tried this carrot rice which became favorite dish for me and my friends.



1.        Steamed rice – 2 cups
2.        Carrot grated – 1 cup
3.        Green chillies – 2
4.        Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
5.        Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp
6.        Urad dal – 1 tbsp
7.        Bengal gram – 1 tbsp
8.        Curry leaves – 1 sprig
9.        Onion – ½ cup finely chopped
10.    Ginger garlic paste – ½ tsp
11.    Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
12.    Garam masala – 1 tsp
13.    Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
14.    Coriander – 2 tbsp finely chopped
15.    Salt as per taste
16.    Oil – 2 tbsp


Step 1: Heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds, cumin seeds, add Bengal gram and urad dal, put chopped green chilies, throw in curry leaves and sauté onion in it, and then add ginger garlic paste and turmeric powder
Step 2:  Mix grated carrot, sprinkle salt and garam masala, and cover the lid to cook for 2 minutes by simmering the heat

Step 3: Open the lid, sprinkle chopped coriander and steamed rice and mix thoroughly with light hand to avoid breaking the rice. Adjust salt if required

Step 4: This can be served warm without any side dish or chilled plain curd to complement it


Couple of months back, we invited one of his colleagues who had recently got married for lunch. I wanted to try something really good for the couple. Butter kulcha is my husband’s favourite when he goes to restaurant, so wanted to try it at home. The recipes from internet seemed simple and I gave an attempt and it actually was good enough.

            1.    Refined flour/ Maida – 2 cups
2.       Salt – ½ tsp
3.       Sugar – 1 tbsp
4.       Baking powder – 1 tsp
5.       Baking soda – ½ tsp
6.       Curds – ½ cup
7.       Oil – 2 tbsp
8.       Coriander or kasuri methi to sprinkle on the kulcha (optional)
9.       Butter for brushing the kulchas (in case you want to have butter kulchas)

Step 1: Sieve flour and mix salt, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, oil and curds. Then by adding water slowly make soft dough by working on it for 10 minutes. Be light handed to keep the air in the dough intact for softness

Step 2: Wrap the dough loosely in a wet cloth and leave aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Step 3: open the dough to find it risen in size; divide in small portions, sprinkle dry flour on it and with the help rolling pin roll them into thick kulchas (triple the thickness of phulka). Wet you fingers in water, press over the chopped coriander or kasurimethi and tap slightly on the surface of kulchas.

 Step 4: Heat the tawa, grease with a little oil or butter and rolled kulcha over it. When it starts bulging, keep rotating it, when one side is done flip it and press to see it fully puffed and done.

Step 5:  Brush with butter or place a blob of butter on the kulcha and serve hot with chole masala or any other side dish of your choice.

Garlic & Bread Crumbs Spaghetti

We generally discard the slices of breads at both the ends of the loaf; what I usually do is just collect them in freezer and once in a while I coarse grind in mixer to get nice crumbs which I use for variety of recipes. This time I wanted to use them at a single go as that was lying there for some weeks. I found an interesting recipe to use it that i share here.


1. Spaghetti - 250 gm
2. Bread crumbs - 150 gm
3. Olive oil - 50 ml
4. Garlic cloves - 4
5. Italian seasoning - 1/2 tsp
6. Pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
7. Salt as per taste


Step 1: Cook the spaghetti as per the instructions on the pack, toss with few drops of oil and keep it aside.

Step 2: In a non-stick pan, pour olive oil and grate garlic cloves into it. Heat it in low flame and add bread crumbs when aroma emanates. (I had dry roasted bread crumbs prior to frying them in oil so as to avoid prolonged heating of olive oil)
Step 3: Roast the bread crumbs in the oil till they become crisp and then sprinkle seasoning, salt and pepper.

Step 4: Now add the cooked spaghetti and toss well to coat the spaghetti with bread crumbs and spices.

Step 5: Serve hot with more fresh herbs or olive oil if required.

Paneer Kofta Curry

I tried this first time when my in-laws had come home; they were leaving for a pilgrimage from here. I thought of making something special and this delectable dish occurred to me. I browsed for recipe from website and gave it a very brave attempt.  It turned out well and each of us like it very much. It was a bit heavy though as I had made kulchas with them.


For Koftas:
             1.   Paneer – 1 cup grated
2.       Potato – ¾ cup boiled and mashed
3.       Corn flour – 1 tbsp
4.       Green chili – 1 finely chopped
5.       Aniseeds – ¼ tsp
6.       Salt -1 tsp
7.       Oil for frying
For Gravy:
1.       Tomato – 3
2.       Green chillies – 2
3.       Ginger – 2’’ piece
4.       Garlic – 4 cloves
5.       Onion – 2
6.       Cashews – 10, soaked in water for 30 min
7.       Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
8.       Salt as per taste
9.       Oil – 2 tbsp
10.   Asafoetida – 1 pinch
11.   Turmeric – 1 pinch
12.   Chilli powder – 1 tsp
13.   Garam masala – 1 tsp
14.   Coriander – 2 tbsp finely chopped
15.   Fresh cream – 2 tbsp


Step 1: Mix all the ingredients for kofta except the oil and make soft dough.  Check and adjust for salt and spices; now roll them into small balls until all dough is done. Remember on frying the kofts would swell a little.
Step 2: Now heat oil in a non-stick pan and either deep fry or shallow fry the koftas, either ways they won’t absorb much oil. Add more corn flour to the dough if kofta is oily and soggy, else continue with the rest.
Step 3: In a mixer take roughly chopped tomatoes, onions, green chilli, ginger, garlic, cashew nuts and grind to very smooth paste.
Step 4: Heat oil in the same kadai that you fried koftas (in case you deep fried transfer oil elsewhere retaining 2 tbsp in it), add asafoetida and cumin seeds. Add the masala paste and cover with a lid of 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
 Step 5: Now add chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and sauté until the raw smell goes off and oil starts to separate. This might take some 5 more minutes.
Step 6: Now pour in 2 cups of water and add salt. Mix and cover the lid till the gravy thickens, then add the koftas into it and switch of stove.
Step 7: Top it with fresh cream and chopped coriander. Serve hot with any Indian bread of your choice. 

Cabbage Pulao

Cabbage gets a big No-No at my mother-in-law's home; yet I am very fond of my mom's cabbage porrial that I can gorge on a big bowl of it at once. And knowing few of its enormous health benefits like, it gives us healthy intestine, it has got antibacterial & antiviral properties and not to mention that it is widely used for obesity treatment. I personally adore this vegetable for it is very easy to cut, cook, eat and are available in all seasons and are also have culinary versatility as in, we can make south Indian, north Indian, Chinese,  and most other continental dishes. People don't like cabbage for its smell but pulao overrides this factor, so I attempted cabbage pulao and was honestly good.


1. Cabbage - 1 small (I used red cabbage this time)
2. Onion - 1 large
3. Basmati rice - 1 cup
4. Water - 1 1/2 cups
5. Ghee/ Oil - 2 tbsp
6. Salt to taste
7. Green chili paste - 1/2 tbsp
8. Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
9. Cinnamon - 1" piece
10. Bay leaf - 1
11. Coriander leaves to garnish.


Step 1: Wash and soak the basmati rice for 15 minutes.
Step 2: Chop theonion into thin half circles and chop the cabbage.
Step 3: Heat oil or ghee in the pressure cooker, crackle cumin seeds in it, drop in cinnamon & bay leaf and then add the sliced onion and saute until it becomesnice brown.
Step 4: Add green chili paste, salt and then drain soaked rice and add it to the masala. Roast until spices seep into the rice.
Step 5: Pour water required for the rice to cook and close lid, let a couple of whistles come and turn off the heat.
Step 6: Once the pressure subsides, open and enjoy a wonderful aroma, garnish with chopped coriander and raita to accompany.

Bread Halwa

There are several versions of bread halwa and all of them are very yummy. You can make them with bread crumbs or dry breads or with deep fried bread pieces; use less ghee or more; use milk or not; it turns out differently with these variations yet very tasty. It's a handy recipe for quick desserts.


Serves: 5 scoops 
Preparation Time: Nil
Cooking Time: 15 min

1.     Bread crumbs – 1 cup
2.     Milk – 1 cup
3.     Sugar – ½ cup
4.     Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp
5.     Ghee – 2 tbsp
              6.     Cashew – 2 tbsp


Step 1: In a non-stick pan, heat 1 tbsp of ghee and roast cashews in it. Drain cashews and fry the bread crumbs in that.

Step 2: Add milk to this and simmer the heat; stir occasionally to avoid burning and once the milk is absorbed, add sugar and stir.

Step 3: Now add cardamom powder and 1 tbsp ghee and stir until sides of the pan are clean.

Step 4: Garnish with roasted nuts and serve hot. It is good when chilled as well.

Apple Sauce

Last week I happened to take some antibiotics due to which I had a bad stomach. I was starving and  foraging for some diet for such condition and came across what seemed to be an universal belief, BARB diet; (Bread, Apple Sauce, Rice, Banana). I was curious to try this apple sauce and did so. Believe me it was yum, indeed.


1. Apples - 3
2. Sugar - 1/2 cup (I used jaggery)
3. Cinnamon powder - 1/4 tsp
4. Lemon - 1
5. Water - 1/2 cup


Step 1: Wash, peel and core the apples. Cut them into wedges
Step 2: In a non stick pan, add apple wedges, jaggery/sugar, juice of a lemon (adjust depending on the sourness of the apples), cinnamon powder and water
Step 3: Mix well and heat on low flame until the apple is soft to be mashed
Step 4: Switch of the stove; with the help of a potato masher, mash the apple nicely or with some chunks if you prefer
Step 5: Serve it hot or warm or cold. In refrigerator it can stay for a week. (We finished in a couple of days though)