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