Monday, February 28, 2011

Parsi Red Chicken Curry

Hey, want to have something fiery and hot !!! I am a person who loves spicy food. Parsi red chicken curry , you can make it as spicy as you want. It has a lovely red color. Don't be shocked by seeing the number of red chillies used in this dish. You can reduce the numbers to satisfy your spice levels. The red chillies are de - seeded  to reduce the hotness. It will go well with pulao or fried rice. After moving to the U.S this was the first dish I made when I had some guests. It was a big hit. It has become 'A' favorite. Whenever I make fried rice he force me to prepare this dish. I am a person who wants to try different dishes. But during his b'day I couldn't reject his request and made it. I could see a big smile on his face. 

Let me warn you this ain't for the faint hearted !!!!

Recipe Source : My Mom


Chicken - 1 kg


25 small de - seeded kashmiri chillies
25 gms cashew nuts, soaked,
8 cloves garlic
1 small piece ginger
1 tsp jeera

Apply half the ground paste on the meat with 1 1/2 tsp salt and keep for 1 hour.

Fry : 4 onions chopped finely (Here onions are very big so I used 2)
3 tomatoes chopped
2 Tsp tomato sauce
1 tsp sugar

Method :

Heat oil. Fry onion till brown. Add remainder of the ground paste and saute well. Now add the tomatoes and saute. Add the meat and cook. When 3/4 th cooked, add the tomato sauce and simmer. When cooked add the sugar and mix and set down. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Banana Fritters Aka Pazhampori

The name itself makes ever keralites mouth water. Bananas are abudantly available in kerala. In most of the keralite households I have seen that bananas are eaten after a meal. But 'A' and I don't enjoy to eat it raw. But if it's given as fritters , then we won't be having a count of how much we are eating. Each time 'A' visits home , amma used to make it. He called me from office and asked me to make it. Luckily I found plantains in the Indian store. Now I know what should I do to make him come home early from office :-) .

Recipe Source : My Own


In The Mix

Large ripe plantains - 3

All purpose flour – 1/2 cup

Milk – 1/2 cup

Water – 1/2 cup

Salt to taste

Sugar – 4 tsp (Depend upon your sugar needs)

Oil – Enough so the banana pieces are half submerged in it when frying


Peel and cut the plantains in half and then each half into three pieces.

Mix all of the above except the oil together with a whisk. The amount of ingredients can be adjusted according to your taste buds.Dip the cut plantains into the prepared mix.

Heat oil in a pan and when hot enough, add the dipped plantains one by one. Fry on each side for 1 min or so and drain on paper towels. Enjoy !!!

I am sending this to kerala kitchen contest hosted by Ria


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cream Cheese Brownie

I am in a mood to tell a story. I don't know whether many of you are aware that I have three elder sisters and I am the youngest in the family. Yes, we are a bunch of girls and the population is increasing in number with me having five nieces and one nephew. So when all of us are there at home, lot of noice and cacophony will be there. I have a way to bribe kids to make them behave well. When I go home during holidays I carry a bunch of chocolates with me. I will tell the kids whoever behaves well will get chocolate, others won't even get a bite of it. All my sweety pies religiously followed it. When I am out of stock I will ask dad for help. 

We are visiting 'A' cousin this weekend. They have three adorable kids. I have only seen their snaps. What best idea than making a chocalate-y treat for them.  So I rolled down my sleeves and started preparing these dense fudge textured brownies. There are many types of brownies, but I am introducing you to a perfect combination - A chocolate brownie with a layer of cream cheese. The tanginess of cream cheese and richness of chocolate makes it perfect. I have bookmarked this recipe long back. Finally got a chance to prepare this. Let's see whether I will be able to get the kids to my side !!!

Recipe Source :


Brownie Layer:

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

4 ounces (115 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1/2 cup (65 grams) all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Layer:

8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature

1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Have ready a 9 x 9 inch  square baking pan that has been lined with aluminum foil across the bottom. 

In a stainless steel (heatproof) bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (with a wooden spoon) after each addition. Stir in the flour and salt and beat, with a wooden spoon, until the batter is smooth and glossy and comes away from the sides of the pan (about one minute). Remove 1/2 cup of the brownie batter and set it aside. Place the remainder of the brownie batter evenly onto the bottom of the prepared pan.

Then, in the bowl of your food processor (or with a hand mixer), process the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla, and egg and process just until creamy and smooth. Spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the brownie layer. Spoon small dollops of the reserved brownie batter evenly on top of the cream cheese filling. Then with a table knife or wooden skewer, swirl the two batters without mixing them.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until the brownies start to pull away from the sides of the pan and the edges of the brownies are just beginning to brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate the brownies until they are firm enough to cut into squares (at least two hours). Once chilled, remove the brownies from the pan by lifting with the ends of the foil and transfer to a cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut into 16 squares. It is a good idea to have a damp cloth nearby to wipe your knife between cuts. These brownies can be stored in the refrigerator for several days.

P.S I used a  round baking pan. A square baking pan will be ideal for cutting the brownies into pieces.

I am sending this to Divya's event

Monday, February 14, 2011

Shortbread Cookies

“Love isn't finding a perfect person. It's seeing an imperfect person perfectly.”

 Sam Keen quote

 Like I said earlier February is a month of celebration for me, starting with hubby's b'day and valentines day and my sis birthday. This is our first valentines after marriage. So it was even more special to us. I started giving 'A' hints about it a week back. Otherwise I am sure he would have forgotten  :-) .  But I gasped in surprise when he banged the door bell with a bunch of treats for me.  Let's come to the post now. Otherwise I will not stop on my blah blah blah !!!

Shortbread is a classic Scottish dessert that consists of four basic ingredients: flour, sugar, vanila extract and butter. It is generally made during holidays. It can be made in different shapes and sizes. You can get the desired shape by using your favourite cookie cutter. You can bake it in any tart pan or a rectangular pan. It is baked at a low temperature to avoid browning. When cooked, it is nearly white, or a light golden brown. It may be sprinkled with more sugar while cooling. It may even be crumbly before cooled, but will become firmer after cooling. I am just putting down the basic recipe of a shortbread cookies you can make variations by adding chocolate chips or coffee powder according to your taste and preferences. Flowers and hearts are popular on Valentine's Day , so I used my heart shaped moulded cookie pan for baking it.  

Recipe Source:


1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon (1 gram) salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup (30 grams) powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) pure vanilla extract


Shortbreads: In a separate bowl whisk the flour with the salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes).  Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated.  Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour or until firm.  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) with the rack in the middle of the oven. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until cookies are very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

Shortbread cookies can be kept in an airtight container for about a week or they can be frozen.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Brownie Tart

I wanted to bake a tart for so long and I was waiting for the right occassion to come. I have purchased the pan long back and was eagerly waiting for a reason to bake. Then my cuz told me her mom is coming to stay with her for a few days And it's been ages since I saw aunty. What better reason I should have to bake this yummy - licious goodie. It never occured to me to bake a brownie tart earlier. For my humble mind, brownie and tart are two different things. When I saw a recipe to mix both of it I was even more happy. This brownie tart has a nice fudgy texture. It's chocolate flavor is been highlighted by the use of both semi sweet chocolate and cocoa powder. The toasted pecans will add the crunchy effect for the elegant desert. The striking fact which make this desert unique is the addition of polka dots which cover the surface of the tart. The main bonus is that you can make the desert well in advance and keep it refrigerated for several weeks. All the party hosters keep that in mind !!! An easy striking desert on the table when your guest arrives!!!

Recipe Source:


Brownie Tart:

1 cup (110 grams) pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped into pieces

14 tablespoons (200 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

3 ounces (85 grams) semi-sweet chocolate

1/2 cup (45 grams) unsweetened cocoa

1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated white sugar

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 ounces (85 grams) regular cream cheese, cut into pieces 

1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt


2 ounces (60 grams) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy whipping cream


To toast nuts:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and toast nuts for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop into pieces.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Set the oven rack in the middle of the oven.

Grease, or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray, a 9 inch (23 cm) fluted tart pan with a removable bottom, and then line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

In a heatproof bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the butter and chopped chocolate. When the chocolate has melted transfer the mixture to a larger bowl.

Beat in (I use a hand mixer) the cocoa, then the sugar, into the chocolate mixture, until incorporated. (If you are doing this by hand, use a whisk.) Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract and then beat in the cream cheese, until small pieces remain. Add the flour and salt and mix by hand just until the flour is incorporated. Stir in the nuts.

Place the tart pan onto a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Pour the batter into the tart pan and spread it evenly with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. The batter will fill the pan almost to the top.

Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the batter has set. If you insert a toothpick about 1 inch  from the edge of the pan it should come out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes. Then, with the end of a wooden spoon that is well greased (I spray it with Pam), make holes (spacing them evenly about 1 inch apart into the top of the brownie tart. As you insert the end of the wooden spoon into the tart twist the spoon to prevent the tart from tearing. You should have about 20 small holes. Then, with a small spoon fill the holes with the ganache. The ganache will sink as it cools so add more ganache, as needed. Let the tart cool completely and then cover and refrigerate. It is best to make this tart the day before serving to allow the flavors to blend. This tart will keep in the refrigerator for about two to three weeks.

While the tart is baking make the Ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a small heatproof bowl.  Set aside.  Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring just to a boil.  Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes.  Stir until smooth.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I wanted to post a simple dish after posting the two choco - licious beauties. This is a dish which is very popular in all kerala households. It's none other than our Upma. It's a healthy breakfast meal and it is very easy to prepare. I should give a heartfelt thanks to the person who invented cereals. Myself and 'A' have cereals for breakfast for almost five days of the week. It's during weekend that we will have a break from the routine. When comes to food 'A' is not at all fussy. We usually eat this with sugar or pickle. Today 'A' told me that he will help me in kitchen and made this dish. My mom adds milk in it instead of water. It gives more taste for the dish. So I thought of sharing it with my blogosphere family. 

Recipe Source : My Mom


Roasted Rava - 1 Glass
Milk - 1/2 Glass
Water - 1/2 Glass
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad Dal - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Onion - 1 big finely chopped
Green Chillies - 2
Ginger -  1 small piece finely chopped
Grated Carrot - 1 medium
Red Chilli Bits - 4 pieces


Crackle the mustard seeds. Add the onion mix. When green chillies turn colour, add the measured liquid and salt . As soon as it boils, lower heat and add the rava and mix quickly and close it with a lid. After a little while remove the lid and mix well.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chocolate Butter Cake

February calls for a month of celebration for me. V - Day is fast approaching and my hubby is celebrating his B'day today. Its very special to us because this is the first b'day we are celebrating together after we got married. I wanted to make everything special for him. He is not a person who is so keen on celebrating birthday's and anniversaries. Infact there are several times where he forgets and asks me about the important days of our dear ones. He always says I am a store house of remembering such things. I can't express how important to me those little things in life. I always cherish such moments. I have a huge collection of birthday cards which I got from my childhood days onwards. Whenever I get time I go through the old photo albums and B'day cards. A peak to the b'day celebration.

Recipe Source:


Chocolate Cake:

4 ounces (120 grams) unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)

1 cup (240 ml) boiling water

2 1/4 cups (295 grams) all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups (400 grams) granulated white sugar

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup (240 ml) milk


5 ounces (140 grams) unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup (80 ml) milk

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces

4 cups (1 pound) (454 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted to remove lumps

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Method :

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter, or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray, and line with parchment paper, two - 9 x 2 inch deep (23 x 5 cm) round baking pans.

In a stainless steel or heatproof bowl place the chopped unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder. Pour the boiling water over the chocolate and cocoa powder and stir until they have melted. Set aside to cool while you make the batter.

In a separate bowl, whisk to combine, the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is fluffy (this will take about 3-5 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla extract and melted chocolate mixture and beat to combine.

Add the milk and flour mixtures in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat only until the ingredients are incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for about 35 - 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Then remove the cakes from their pans and cool completely on a greased wire rack before frosting.

Frosting:  Melt the chopped chocolate in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and let cool. Then place the melted chocolate, milk, confectioners sugar, salt, and vanilla extract in the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. (Alternatively, you can use a hand mixer.) Add the pieces of softened butter and beat on low speed for about 2 minutes. When the frosting starts to come together increase the speed to medium and beat for about 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the speed to high and beat the frosting for 1 - 2 minutes more or until it is of spreading consistency. If necessary, add more milk or sugar.

To Assemble: Place one layer of cake, top side down, on your serving plate and cover with a layer of frosting. Then place the second layer of cake, top side down, onto the first cake layer and then frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Can garnish with fresh fruit or shaved chocolate.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chocolate Cookies

Today I would like to take everyone to a chocoholic ride. When I was a kid, I remember Mamma (My maternal grandmother) coming towards me with a box full of chocolates during my birthday. I will be impatiently waiting for her to come so that I can get hold of my gifts , chocolates, cookies and what else... I should say I was a spoiled brat who won't even share the goodies with my sisters. But my angelic sisters have never shown any bad face to me. Being the youngest I enjoyed being pampered in all possible ways.

One of my sister's friend is staying close to us here in San Jose. She invited us home for dinner and 'A' was very happy about the thought of it. Being away from home both of us truly appreciates such visits. It is such a bliss to talk with your closed ones when the world around you are complete strangers. She has two cute kids. When she called me home , I wanted to bake something special for the kids. Being a chocoholic I wanted to try my luck on a chocolate dish. I started searching for websites and found the recipe of chocolate cookies in Joy of baking. This recipe is already in great demand. Two of my sisters already asked about it.  

I used a Wilton non - stick shaped cookie pan for baking it. So that you will get the shape you wanted without a cookie cutter.

Recipe Source :


1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup (105 grams) light brown sugar

1/4 cup (50 grams) white granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour

1/4 cup (30 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups (260 grams) white chocolate chips or chunks


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.  First sift together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt and then add to the butter and egg mixture.  Mix just until incorporated. Fold in the the chocolate chips.

Using a small ice cream scoop or two spoons, place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter on the prepared baking pan, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.

Bake for approximately 8 - 10 minutes or until the the cookies are still soft in the center but are firm around the edges.  Remove from oven and let cookies cool for about 5 minutes.  

Verdict: The cookie has got an intense chocolate flavour. It was very crispy and the kids loved munching on it.

This goes out to Priya's Bookmarked Recipes - Every Tuesday Event - 1st February 2011 (Volume 27)

I am also sending this to Baking for Beginners -II


Sending to  Delicious Desserts