Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mug Brownie

I was having a craving for something sweet after dinner on a Saturday night and came across this too easy to be true recipe for a microwave mug brownie that I HAD to share ! It was like I said very easy to make with ingredients you certainly would have in your fridge / pantry. I used a very good quality cocoa powder and I drizzled my home made salted caramel sauce on top ! I can see this be a delight served with vanilla ice cream as well.


2 TBS of butter
2 Tbs of milk
Vanilla essence
2 Tbsp of good quality pure cocoa powder
4 Tbsp of all purpose flour


Melt butter and whisk in milk , vanilla , salt and cocoa powder
Now add sugar and mix
Add flour slowly and mix well
Pour in a mug
Microwave on high for 60-80 seconds

Double / Triple amount of ingredients if you are making more than 1.

Voila !

Spinach with Chicken- Paalak Ghosht

Ingredients :

2 packs of frozen spinach
1/2 inch of ginger finely grated
3 green chillies
1 tsp of salt
3 Tbs of Dried methi also known as fenugreek leaves (Kasuri Methi)

B :
1/2 kg of chicken (legs and thighs cut into 3 pieces )
1 large onion sliced
1 Tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp of kashmiri mirch powder or red chilli powder
1 tsp of turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
Salt to taste
1/2 cup of plain yoghurt
1 tomato chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds
Oil around 6 Tbsp


Defrost spinach and cook in a pot with 1 cup of water
Add ginger and green chillies
After 20-25 mins of cooking add the methi leaves and salt and cook for another 5-10 mins
Set aside

Heat oil in a large pan
Fry onions until light golden brown
Add cumin and methi seeds
Fry for a few seconds
Add chicken and mix well
Add ginger garlic paste , dry spices and continue to stir
Now add yoghurt and tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water and allow to cook on medium heat
After 15 mins, add the cooked spinach
Cook on low heat until oil separates from the spinach
Adjust salt if necessary

Serve hot with chapati or pulao

Enjoy !

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Indian style samosas

Everyone loves indian samosas, these tiny pockets filled with spicy potatoes and peas with their flaky crusts are perfect to have on any occasions. They are not very complicated to make even though it involves multiple steps. Do give it a try , they cannot be compared to the commercial samosas, it is worth the attempt !

2 1/2 all purpose flour
1 tsp of Ajwain (carom seeds- they look like minuscule cumin seeds but with a completely different flavour !)
4 TBS of melted ghee or oil
1 cup water (approximately)
1 tsp of salt

Enough oil for deep frying

2 large potatoes
2 cups of peas (use canned or frozen )
1 onion finely chopped
1 TBS ginger garlic paste
1 TBS of chopped red chillies or less according to preference
1 tsp of coarsely ground coriander seeds
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp of amchoor powder (or use 1 tsp of lemon juice )
1 tsp of kasuri methi (Dried methi leaves - optional )
2 TBS finely chopped coriander leaves

To prepare filling :
Boil potatoes until soft and mash roughly
Heat oil in pan and add onions until golden brown
Add ginger garlic, coarse coriander seeds and red chillies
Fry for a few mins and add  potatoes and peas
Stir fry and add all other spices (cumins seeds, garam masala, cumin powder, kasuri methi , coriander leaves and amchoor powder or lemon juice)
Add salt and mix well and adjust spices and salt according to taste
Allow to cool completely

To prepare crust :
Add ajwain seeds and salt to flour
Add melted ghee / oil and mix well until crumbly
slowly add water and mix until you end up with a dough that is not overly smooth
set aside for at least 15 mins
Divide into small balls and roll flat into an oblong shape (see pictures below )
Divide each disk into 2 so that you have 2 semi circle shapes
Add water on the straight side of the semi circle and shape into a cone
Fill with potato and peas mixture and seal using water to have a triangular shape
Heat oil on medium high and fry samosas until golden brown
Serve hot with tamarind and mint chutney

Roasted Eggplant and Garlic soup

Fall season is here and the crisp, breezy afternoons call for hearty, warm , comforting soups. I made this roasted roasted eggplant and garlic soup recently. Not only was it easy to make but it was so incredibly tasty with the smoky taste of the eggplant and served with some grated swiss cheese it was the perfect soup to have on a cold weekday evening.


3 medium size eggplants
1 head of garlic
1 onion chopped finely
2 TBS of olive oil
2 TBS of butter
1 litre of chicken stock or vegetable stock
1/4 cup of cream
2 TBS of chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp of white pepper powder
Optional - 1 cup of grated swiss cheese , paprika


Pre-heat oven at 400 degrees F
Put a few slits on the eggplants and place on a tray , add the head of garlic and drizzle with 2 tbs of olive oil
Roast eggplants and garlic until cooked through and skin is dark in colour
Remove and allow to cool (This part can be done the day prior and keep refrigerated until ready to use)
Peel eggplants and garlic and discard skin
Heat 2 tbs of butter
Add onion and fry until transparent
Add eggplants and garlic and fry for a few mins
Add chicken stock and adjust salt if necessary
Using a hand blender pulse soup until it turns into a smooth texture
Add pepper, cream , chopped parsley and allow to simmer gently for another 15 mins
Serve hot with bread , grated swiss cheese and paprika

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Easy Almond cookies


3 Egg whites
3/4 cup of sugar
1/4 Cup of white all purpose flour
4 TBS of melted butter
2 cups of thinly sliced almonds
Few drops of almond extract


Heat oven to 375 Degrees F
Line a baking tray with baking paper

Whisk egg whites, add sugar and beat well
Fold in flour , Sliced almonds and melted better
Mix well and add Almond extract
Spoon the cookie mixture on prepared tray and flatten with the back of the spoon to create a perfect round shape
Bake for 15- 20 or until lightly brown
Serve with a cup of tea or coffee

Hyderabad style chicken biryani


1 Kg of chicken legs and thighs cut into 2 pieces
1/4 cup of oil

2 Tsp of red chilli powder
1 Tsp of turmeric powder
2 Tsp of cumin powder
1 Tsp of coriander powder
1 Tsp of red chilli flakes
1 TBS Shahi jheera (Black cumin seeds- If not available use regular cumin seeds)
1/2 Tsp of mace powder
1/2 Tsp of nutmeg powder
A Few peppercorns
2 Cinnamon sticks
4 Green cardamom pods
2 Black cardamom pods
5-6 cloves
4 TBS ginger garlic paste
3 bay leaves
Salt to taste

2 Cups of thick yoghurt
2 Large onions sliced finely
1 Cup of freshly cut mint and coriander leaves

4 cups of basmati rice soaked in water for at least an hour
Few Peppercorns
2 Cinnamon sticks
4 Green cardamoms
2 TBS Ghee (Clarified butter)
Pinch of red and yellow food colouring
2 Tsp of saffron soaked in warm milk
A Few drops of kewra water (screw pine water - optional )
A pot of water to boil rice

Wash and pat dry chicken pieces. Marinate with all the ingredients from A and leave in the refrigerator overnight
Once ready to cook - Remove chicken from the fridge and allow to rest at room temperature

Meanwhile - Boil a pot of water , add a few drops of oil and salt to taste and all the whole spices under C

Heat oil in a pan
Fry onions until lightly brown
Add chicken pieces , add a little bit of water and allow to cook until chicken is completely cooked through and gravy is dry
Add All ingredients from B and mix well
Adjust salt according to taste

Cook rice in boiling water until 1/2 done . Do not cook completely
Drain rice
Take a pot and add melted ghee at the bottom
Add half the rice followed by the chicken
Top with remainder of rice
Now add food colouring, saffron milk and kewra water
Cover with a foil paper and put  lid on
Cook on medium low heat for 15 mins and completely low flame for an additional 10 mins
Allow to rest and serve hot with yoghurt raita

Crème Brulée

So easy to make and if you have left over egg yolks after you have had to use only the white for something else, it is the perfect dessert to attempt !

Here is the recipe :


4 Egg yolks
2 Cups of liquid cream
1/4 Cup of sugar
1 Tsp of vanilla beans
4-6 Tsp of sugar for topping


Heat oven at 350 Degrees F
Beat egg yolks with 1/4 cup of sugar until creamy and lemon in colour
Heat cream until just warm enough
Add a little of the warm cream to the egg mixture and whisk thoroughly to temper eggs (do not add all the cream at once as you could end up with scrambled eggs )
Once you have added all the cream slowly to the egg mixture , add the vanilla beans
Fill 4-6 ramekins with the mixture
Pour hot water in a tray , place the ramekins in the hot water bath
Bake in the oven for 25 - 30 mins
Remove from oven and allow to cool
Sprinkle sugar on top of each and using a blow torch caramelize the sugar on top. If you do not have a blow torch, this may be done in the oven under the broiler
Refrigerate and serve chilled with fresh fruits

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Persian inspired bread pudding

The moment I smelled the Iranian Saffron at the spice souk in Dubai, I knew that it was a class above the more commonly used spanish saffron. The scent was a lot more pronounced and I could not resist purchasing a small box which was wrapped like a precious gift . Well Saffron IS one of the most precious spices available ! The aroma it released after baking was well worth the price I paid for it.

I wanted to make something sweet with this iranian saffron and I thought of a bread pudding - Persian style. I have made the pakistani shahi tukra before ( toasted bread slices soaked in syrup and served with cream and nuts ). I took that as my base and then allowed my imagination to run free. The end result was a delicately saffron flavoured bread pudding served hot. Well worth the effort !


Bread slices (Around 8-9 slices)
2 cups of full cream milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup of sugar
Pinch of Saffron
A little bit of oil or melted ghee to toast the bread

Optional : Malai - (milk boiled an reduced into thick cream)


Heat oven to 375 F
Brush bread slices with oil or melted ghee and toast in a pan or oven until golden brown on both sides
Whisk eggs in milk, add sugar and saffron strands. Let stand for 15 mins
Arrange bread slices in a greased pan
Pour custard mix on top and allow to rest for 5 mins
Bake in oven for 20-25 mins

Serve hot with nuts and cream

Murg Salan- Pakistani style chicken curry

Salan is a pakistani dish with gravy- a curry if you will . Salan can be made with lamb, beef, chicken or vegetables. There are a variety of ways to make salan . This is my own recipe after I have essayed a few of them. I have adjusted the ingredients until I ended up with something that I really like. It is very easy to make, a basic curry but so flavourful . You may fry your onions ahead of time and use when required. Salan can be served with chapati , roti or naan.

Here is the recipe

1 kg chicken legs and thighs
1 Tbs of crushed garlic to marinate chicken
1/2 tsp pepper powder
1 cup of yoghurt
2 large onions sliced
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 Tbs of ginger paste
2 Tbs of garlic paste
1 Tbs of crushed green chillies

Salt to taste
1 tsp of red chilli powder
2 tsp of kashmiri chilli powder if not available use regular paprika powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp of nutmeg powder
1/4 tsp of mace powder (optional- also known as Javetri)
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 cup of oil

Clean chicken and marinate with salt and 1 Tbs of garlic and pepper powder and set aside
Heat oil in a pan
Add sliced onions and fry until brown
Once onions have turned into a nice golden brown colour add cumin seeds and fry
Now add the ginger, garlic and green chilli paste and mix well
Add chicken to the mixture and keep stirring until all pieces have been coated in pan
Add all dry spices except for garam masala (red chilli powder, Kashmiri or paprika powder, Turmeric powder, nutmeg and mace powder )
Add yoghurt and keep stirring
Add around 2 cups of water and mix well
Allow to cook on medium high covered
Cook until gravy is to the consistency of your liking (some people like a dryer sauce- in that case cook longer )
Once gravy has reached the required consistency , add garam masala and adjust salt

Serve hot with chapati

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Butter Chicken

Creamy , spicy and the most popular indian dish in North America. Best served with naan or rice. Authentic Butter chicken has a key ingredient in it that gives it the distinct flavour and that is kasuri methi. Without Kasuri methi (dried methi leaves ) butter chicken is not authentic ! Unfortunately there is no substitute for this. I have come across many recipes for butter chicken some use Kasturi methi others don't . Some use almonds while others use cashews . I have come up with my own version of it . I find that cashews give the butter chicken a creamier texture, you may use almonds as well if you prefer. But when it comes to the kasuri methi , it's a must . Give it a try !



1 kg of chicken breasts cut into pieces and dry with a paper towel
1 Tbs of lemon juice
1/2 cup of plain yoghurt
1 tsp of garam masala
1 Tbs of ginger garlic paste
1 tsp of red chilli powder
2 Tbs of oil or ghee

Add all ingredients to the chicken and marinade overnight or for at least 2 hours - Grill in the oven until cooked or you may also cook in a pan on the stove and put aside


4 Tbs of butter
2 Tbs of fresh ginger garlic paste
3 cardamoms
2 cinnamon sticks
2-3 cloves
1 tsp of methi seeds (fenugreek seeds)
1 Tbs of kashmiri chilli powder or paprika (these are not spicy)
2 Tbs of chopped green chillies
1 Tbs of Kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves (lightly roast the leaves in a pan and crush them for the best aroma )
10-12 almonds or cashews soaked in water and ground into a paste
2 cups of tomatoes crushed
1 Tbs tomato puree
Salt to taste
1/2 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs of heavy cream
1 tsp of garam masala


Heat butter in a pan on medium heat
Add cardamoms , cinnamon sticks , cloves and fry until fragrant
Add methi seeds , chopped green chillies and ginger garlic paste and mix well
Now add crushed tomatoes and tomato puree , salt and cook covered on low heat until the butter leaves the side of the pan
The pan should now have a thick paste
Add water (around 2 cups ) and mix well and continue to cook on low to medium heat
Add almond or cashew paste and stir well
Now add the grilled chicken pieces , kasuri methi leaves and sugar stir and cook for 15 mins
Mix well so that all chicken pieces are well coated with the gravy for 5 mins
Lower heat and add cream and garam masala
Add green chillies and chopped coriander leaves on top if desired

Optional - if you want to achieve the bright red colour of butter chicken served in restaurant you may add a drop of red food colouring in your gravy.

Serve hot with naan or rice


Merveilles is a favorite , this deep fried, crisp bread is served with hot sauce or coriander chutneys. You still find the vendors on the beaches or the street of the Capital district Port-Louis selling these marvellously light and crispy goodies .


2 Cups of all purpose flour
3 tbsp of oil or ghee
Salt to taste
Sufficient water to make a dough
Oil for frying


Sieve flour
Add salt , oil or ghee and sufficient water to make a dough
Dough should not be too hard nor too soft
Let it rest for 15 mins
Divide into smaller portions
Roll out as thinly as possible into a disc and prick the surface with a fork
The above step is very important so that the "merveilles" don't puff up while frying
Heat oil and fry the "merveilles" until crisp and golden in colour
Serve with coriander chutney or hot sauce

Coconut Lagan

A Mauritian delicacy, Coconut Lagan is a rich and decadent sweet. Can be eaten as a dessert or with tea in the afternoon. The sweet fragrance of cardamom and the rich aroma of semolina roasting in ghee make it irresistible .


1 1/4 cups of Freshly grated coconut or desiccated coconut if fresh is not available
2 1/4 cups of milk
1/4 cup of semolina
1 1/2 tablespoons of ghee or butter
3 eggs
1 can of condensed milk
1 can of Nestle thick cream (small can of 155 g)
1 tsp of cardamom powder
3 tablespoons of slivered almonds


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a shallow baking dish
Add milk to coconut and let stand for 5 minutes (if fresh grated coconut is used make sure you press to get out all moisture first)
Braise semolina in ghee until light brown in colour and add the coconut milk mixture
Bring to a boil and cook until thick by stirring constantly and making sure it is free of moisture (this could take around 10 mins - Important to use a heavy bottom pan or a non stick one )
Allow this mixture to cool down
Now add the beaten eggs and the cardamom powder
Add the condensed milk and Mix well
Lastly add the cream and fold in the mixture without over beating
Sprinkle the slivered almonds on top and bake in the oven for 30 to 45 mins or until light brown on top
Allow to cool and cut into squares or diamond shapes

*If Nestle thick cream is not available you may substitute with the same quantity of khoya or ricotta cheese *