Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chocolate Brownies

Guys!!! I am baking a cake for the first time. That too taking it to my uncle's place for christmas. All excited and nervous about the baking. I remember being an assistant of my elder sister who is a professional in baking cakes. But that was a long time ago. My mom was telling me to bake a fruit cake for Christmas but when I decided to bake a cake it was too late to soak the fruits in rum. Then finally decided to bake chocolate brownies. You can take a brownie to the next level by adding a layer of frosting. And that is what I did with these Chocolate Brownies. I started with a brownie that has a deep chocolate flavor and a dense fudge-like texture and top it with a smooth and glossy Ganache frosting. I am looking forward to taste it. These choclate rich brownies are delicious at room temperature, refrigerated, or even frozen — our favorite way! You can make and ice the brownies up to two weeks in advance, and keep them frozen. It is definitely going to be our treat on Christmas day as we are eagerly waiting for an end to the lent. 25 days of no sweets and chocolates are making myself and hubby craving for some. The stage was all set and so was I !! So take your seat folks, buckle up and enjoy the ride. The show is going to begin.

Recipe Source:


Chocolate Brownies:

4 ounces (120 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Ganache:

3 ounces (90 grams) semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter


Chocolate Brownies: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. 

Melt the chocolate and butter in a large stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Next, whisk in the vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Finally, stir in the flour and salt. Pour into a buttered pan and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Remove from oven and let it cool.

Chocolate Ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk or spoon until smooth. Let cool to room temperature and then spread the ganache over the brownies. I like to store these brownies in the refrigerator. They can also be frozen.

Makes 16 brownies.

I am sending this to Baking for Beginners -II

I am sending this to Divya's event

Paneer Biriyani

Biryani is always considered a treat for special ocassions. I’m guessing all the hardwork and not to mention time associated in making this luscious fulfilling aromatic meal has definitely got something to do with it. There are over 30 varieties of Biryani made in India - and I can confess I haven’t tasted them all! For me, my mom has always been and always will be the Biryani Queen, for only she is fit to wear that crown. Her biryani is well known and loved among all the people we know, and that means every person each member of our family has ever invited into our humble home. Here I am trying my own version of paneer biriyani.This is a delicacy which myself and hubby dear looking forward during the lent season.


400 g (Paneer Cubes)
2 1/2 cups basmati rice
2 onions
1 piece ginger
5 garlic cloves
2 tomatoes
1/2 cup yogurt
4 cloves
2 cardamom
1 inch cinnamon stick
salt - To Taste
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder


Fry the paneer lightly and drain. Wash basmati rice in plenty of water and soak in sufficient water for half an hour. Peel and finely slice onions. Peel ginger, garlic and grind together to a fine paste. Wash tomatoes and make a puree in a blender. Whisk the yogurt and keep aside. Boil five cups water in a thick-bottomed vessel, cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon, and one teaspoon salt. When the water starts boiling rapidly, drain the soaked basmati rice and add. Cook for eight to ten minutes, stirring frequently or until the rice is three fourth done. Drain. Heat oil in a non-stick pan, add sliced onions and stir-fry over high heat for two to three minutes or until the onion turns translucent. Add ginger-garlic paste and cook briefly. Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and turmeric powder. Stir-fry briefly and add the pureed tomatoes. Continue cooking over high heat for another two to three minutes, stirring continuously or until masala is fairly thick. Add the yogurt and garam masala powder. Stir well and cook for two minutes more. Add the paneer and salt to taste. Stir-fry over high heat for two to three minutes and remove from heat. Arrange the cooked rice and paneer masala in alternate layers in an oven proof dish. Bake for 15 minutes.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Paneer Butter Masala

Aah! The wonderful aromas from Mom’s kitchen. Ohh how I miss and crave for those days! From elegant dinners to slow-cook afternoons, there’s definitely going to be a dish to satisfy your need of the moment. While I love to indulge myself, but sometimes I tend to look for simple pleasures. That’s just when I turn to my tried and tested recipes of family favorites. No doubt, a slow-cooked over-the-stove-top simmering pot of goodness always makes you drool, but sometimes I want short-cuts. Simple, easy,  quick, but definitely something to swoon over…

Recipe Source: My Mom


Paneer - 400 grams
Nuts - 1 Handful
Ginger- Galic Paste - 1 tsp
Butter - 3 Tbs
Cream -  3 Tbs
Tomatoes - 3
Onions - 3
Green Chillies - 4
Kasuri Methi - 1/4 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp


Cut paneer into cubes and fry lightly and drain. Heat 2 Tbs butter. Add onions and green chillies. When light brown add the powders and roast. Then the ginger - garlic paste and roast. Then the tomatoes. When oil separates, set down and cool. Blend in mixie with the nuts. Add little water to the ground masala. Boil with the fried paneer, adding enough salt and the kasuri methi. When the paneer is soft and the gravy is thick, add 1 Tbs butter and the cream and set down.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Baked Macaroni And Cheese

You are in no mood to cook. Yet you like to eat something tasty.
You are in no mood to go and eat in a restaurant. Yet you have to do something.


Recipe Source:  My Own


1 (8 ounce) package macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded good quality
1/2 cup breadcrumbs


Preheat oven to 400°F.Cook and drain macaroni according to package directions; set aside. In a large saucepan melt butter. Add flour mixed with salt and pepper, blend. Pour milk and cream in gradually, stirring constantly. Bring to boiling point and boil 2 minutes (stirring constantly). Reduce heat and cook (stirring constantly) for 10 minutes. Add shredded cheddar cheese little by little and simmer an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese melts. Turn off flame. Add macaroni to the saucepan and toss to coat with the cheese sauce. Transfer macaroni to a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Kaju Gobi Masala

For the last one month, especially since I started a food blog, I have been on a cooking spree. I try to make new dishes, using different recipes and different ingredients. I’ve tried my hand at making things that I’ve never made before and thankfully, most of them have turned out great, leaving hubby dear asking for more! This dish came to me when I was tired of eating the usual stuff, and wanted a dish that would have a little more zing to it. Do try it out, its a nice change fom the usual and delicious to the end!

I hope this blog grows into something I will cherish and treasure forever. I know I already do. I value all the comments you send me with all my heart and hope that I continue to keep you interested and tuned to my wonderful, ever-growing list of culinary goodness.

Recipe Source: My Mom


Cauliflower - 1/2 kg
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
Cashew Nuts - 100 gms
Onions - 3


Put the cauliflower florets in hot salted water. Fry it in little oil. Drain.

Heat oil. Add the onions and when light brown, add the ginger garlic paste and roast. Cool. Grind the mixture with the nuts.

Heat  1 Tbs butter. Add the ground onion mix and roast for some time. Add the cauliflower and salt as needed.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie is an English dish, traditionally made with lamb or mutton. Americans typically make Shepherd's Pie with beef. Naming conventions aside, Shepherd's Pie is essentially a casserole, lined with cooked meat and vegetables, topped with mashed potatoes and baked. I used beef for making it.This dish is my all time favorite. The recipe is actually from my mom and I tried to build on that. I always had the feeling that it was very difficult to make. But it is not that difficult as I thought. But I should say it is time consuming. 'A' had a hectic day at office. So I thought I will make his favourite dish . I gathered the ingredients I thought I needed and went rummaging through my moms famous recipe book to find the recipe.

Recipe Source : My Mom


1 kg meat
1 Handful red onions
1 handful garlic cloves
1 piece ginger
8 green chillies
2 tsp pepper powder
2 glassess water

Cook in cooker with weight. After 8 minutes, open and set aside 3 glassess stock. Mince the meat. Add 2 Tbs vinegar and keep.

4 large onions sliced long
4 Tomatoes finely sliced
8 Tbs Maida.

Heat oil. Fry the onions, when transluscent add the tomatoes and when oil seperates add the mince meat and mix. Cook the mince meat until it turns brown. Then add the maida and mix well for some time. Add the stock and boil and set down. Transfer the meat to a greased baking dish.

Potato Layer:

1 kg potatoes
2 Egg yolks
4 Tbs Milk
4 Tbs butter or ghee

Wash the potatoes and cook in pressure cooker with weight for 10 minutes with level water. Peel and mash the potatoes. Mix all the other ingredients. Spread over the meat in the baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chicken Biriyani

I have suddenly been bitten by the blogging bug. These days flipping through food blogs have become one of my favorite pass times, whether I make something out of it or not is a different question. The recipes should look really impressive and kinda easy to make, for me to come to that - "Try-it-out" mode. It's been quiet a long time that I am thinking about making Biriyani.It is something I ate with enjoyment, I had never dreamed that one day I would make these! As usual I asked my mom about the recipe. I religiously note down each and every step. I read through the whole thing and I must admit that I was a bit apprehensive about whether I can make it or not. Finally I rolled my sleeves in the afternoon and got down to start the preparation. So here is a virtual feast for all my friends out there with a chicken Biriyani.

Recipe Source : My Mom


1. Rice - 1kg
2. Chicken - 1.5 Kg
3. Garlic - 1 Handful
4. Ginger - 7 Big Pieces
5. Green Chilly - 10 
6. Tomatoes - 3
7. Curd - 1 cup
8. Turmeric Powder - 1 teaspoon
9. Nuts - 1 Cup
10. Raisins -  1 Cup
11. Ghee - 1 Cup
12. Onions - 1 Cup
13. Coconut - 1 cup
14. Cardamom - 5 Each
15. Cinnamon -5 each
16. Cloves - 5 each
17. khus Khus - 2 Tablespoon
18. Jeera - 1/2 tsp
19. Lime Juice - 4 Tablespoon
20. Salt - To Taste



Grind nuts and raisins. Boil the rice. Add cardamom, cinnamon, lime juice and paste of nuts and raisins to the cooked rice.


Grind garlic, ginger, green chilly, tomatoes and apply on the chicken by adding curd, salt and turmeric powder. Cook the chicken in this paste and make the gravy very thick. 

Garnishing Layer:

Fry the onions first and when it turns light brown color add coconut and khus khus.

Put half portion of rice, ghee, and garnishing layer in the baking dish. Add chicken on top of it and put the balance rice. Add little ghee and 1/4th cup milk. Bake for 15 minutes at 180 deg c.  

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bread Halwa

Breads holds an important part in my daily food. I love bread in any form, whether it is plain uncooked bread or croissants ,Bread pudding , Bread uppuma, ...The list goes on........ During my childhood days I remember eating plain Bread by dipping in coffee. I can eat it even without butter or jam.. While I was staying in a hostel bread was my rescue from spoilt food. My husband don't like bread much. So these days I am not hogging on to bread the way I did it in the past. I was having a big sweet craving and I was planning to make Gajar Ka Halwa. Even though my husband is not so fond of sweets but he likes Gajar Ka Halwa. To my disappointment I couldn't see a single carrot inside the fridge. I was tempted to make a sweet to satisfy my taste buds. My creativity made me to use bread instead of carrots. My mom used to make different varieties of Halwa. But I haven't ever heard about using bread for halwa. I got even more excited and decided to try it out. You can try it out next time when you are having a craving.

Recipe Source : My Own


4 slices of bread
5 tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp ghee
1 cup boiled milk
Few roasted nuts

Method to Make:

Cut the bread into small pieces. It is optional to remove the corners. Roast the bread slices in 1 tbsp ghee till golden brown. Heat the milk and add the bread pieces to it. Keep stirring till the bread absorbs the milk and becomes soft.  Add sugar and nuts.  Mix well till sugar melts.  Add ghee and stir for a minute.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fish Crumb Fry

Hey Guys, here I am again with a fish recipe. This one is from my Granny's household. My Granny's home is a meeting place for everybody. She loves entertaining guests. She used to cook very well but being plagued with all kinds of ailments has pretty much retired from cooking these days. But even now whenever I visit her she makes it a point to instruct the maids to prepare the dishes which I love the most. There was one cheduthy who used to come to help my granny whenever she has guests. That lady makes awesome food. My mom had taken few recipes from her. At that time the word 'Cooking' barely had root in my vocabulary. But even now I very well remember the taste of the food which she cooks. I was thinking of trying one of those dishes. I asked my mom about the recipe and I was surprised myself by hearing how easy and simple it is to make. When you are pressed for time and you have to make lot more dishes to fill your table top this dish is a good bet. Guys and girls, take out your pan and aprons and be ready for a short and rewarding cooking experience.

Recipe Courtesy: Rosy Cheduthy

Method to make:

Fish: 1 KG [ I used Fish Fillet ] 

Grind: 2 pieces ginger, 1/2 handful garlic, 1 Tbs pepper and 1 Tbs khus khus.Add salt and lime juice to make a thick paste. Apply on fish and keep for 2 hours.Then dip in beaten egg, roll in bread crumbs and press on both sides. Deep Fry.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fish Pie

Something's Fishy -  Fish Pie

After moving to U.S myself and my hubby didn't have an opportunity to have fish.Having fish almost like everyday at my home I was tempted to have some. My actual plan was to bake a meat pie.But when I saw good fish at the super market, I grabbed on to it.

Recipe Courtesy:

Usha Benny , My Mom


Fish Fillets - 1/2 kg

pepper Powder - 1 tsp

Red Onions - one Handful

Green Chillies - 6

Garlic Cloves - 5

Ginger - 1 small piece

Salt - To Taste

cook the fish in little water by adding all the above ingredients.

White Sauce:

Butter - 3 tablespoon

Red Onions - One handful sliced

Maida- 2 Tablespoon

Milk - 1 Glass

Eggs - 2

Grated cheese - Half Cup

Pepper Powder - 1/2 teaspoon

Salt - To Taste


Heat 3 tablespoon butter, fry the red onions, add maida and roast and set down.Add one glass milk and little water, little by little without forming lumps.Keep on fire and add salt, pepperpowder and beaten eggs and set down.Add the grated cheese and mix.

Put a small layer of chesse sauce in a pyrex dish.over that put the fish.Then put all the remaining cheese sauce.
Bake for 15 minutes till the top is reddish.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Inspiration to cooking

It's been a while since I am thinking about starting my own food blog. All thanks to my hubby dearest who accepts all the hits and flops from my kitchen and giving me motivation in writing all my experiences about the art of cooking. I was very skeptical about cooking during my college days. I always thought cooking is not my forte.Being the youngest in the family and completely pampered by my dad, I never had to enter the kitchen. My mom, a veteran in cooking and my lovely sisters used to make all the delicacies I like whenever I visit them. My mother was always worried about my lack of interest in cooking. I used to tell her I will learn it all by myself when necessity comes. After marriage, I started experimenting recipes.I soon realised that cooking is an art and found myself interested in baking.

I decided to start my blog with some of my baking Recipes.I am dedicating this blog to my mom who passed on all her culinary skills to me.

Mummy - I would love to try out all your recipes.