Broccoli and Stilton Soup

Rhea loves broccoli, Varun hates it.

Varun loves spinach, Rhea hates it.

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The ‘perfect mum’ at the back of my mind threatens me with dire consequences if I dont make them eat both. Hence this has always been my go-to whenever I feel that there has been a lack of ‘green’ options in the family. And it has always been a hit hit. The lush creaminess of the Stilton cheese melts into the flavours of broccoli and spinach to create this amazing winter warmer soup.


1 head of broccoli, chopped into pieces

2 cups of spinach, rough chopped

1 potato, cut into chunks

1 onion, chopped

1 lt water or stock

150 gm Stilton cheese

Saute onions with a dash of olive oil till translucent. Add it to the remaining ingredients ( except cheese) into the soup maker. Put it on smooth setting and let it cook. When done, in 20 minutes, add crumbled cheese and stir well.

Serve with croutons.

A bowl of heaven 🙂

Karela stir fry with coconut

Karela stir fry-
This is yet one of those green monsters that has plagued me and given me countless nightmares in my childhood!  Eventually came across some really nice ways of cooking and masking the bitter taste. This combined the flavour of karela with fresh coconut, sourness of  tamarind and sweetness of jaggery, a win win situation. Do try it….you will love it!

Recipe –
2 cups sliced karela, soak in salt water and squeeze out after 20mins
1 chopped onion
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 handful chopped coconut optional
1 handful desiccated coconut fresh
1 handful cashew pieces
1 tsp sambar masala
1 tbsp tamarind concentrate
1 handful jaggery

Heat coconut oil
Add mustard seeds, urad dal, chana Dal, hing, curry leaves.
Add chipped onions, ginger
Add karela slices and stir till dry.
Add sambar powder, jaggery, tamarind, cup of water and keep stirring till dry.
Add dedicated coconut.
Serve with a smile 

Hyderabad Mirch ka Salan

Hyderabadi mirch ka salan-
This is a peanut based curry and tastes amazing. Important tip is to make a very very smooth paste first! Don’t rush on that step.
Rest all is just adding the ingredients!

Recipe –
Fry deseeded chillies in oil and keep aside.
Roast sesame seeds 3 tbsp, peanuts 5 tbsp, poppy seeds 1 tbsp, 1/4 dessicated coconut.
Grind with ginger garlic and a bit of water.

Heat oil, add cumin, chopped onions, ground paste, haldi, chilli pd, garam masala.

Add 3 tbsp tamarind sauce ( or tamarind water and jaggery)

Stir well.

Add fried chillies…


Creme brulee

Creme Brulee-
Finally managed to make my man’s favourite dessert and also made use of one of my top 3 useless purchases during covid season 😜
Love the dessert for 3 reasons –

  1. Super easy and quick to make. That’s why I have added the video to make you believe me.
  2. Only 3 ingredients.
  3. Great fun using the blow torch.

Don’t overcook your custard or else it will curdle.
Don’t whisk it all at once, use a ladle at a time at the start.

Trust me, it tastes really really nice.
Ingredients –
500ml double cream
5-6 large egg yolks
2 tbsp sugar
Demerara sugar for the crust at the end.

Warm the cream.
Beat egg yolks and sugar till frothy.
Add cream, a ladle full set a time and whisk.
Pour in chilled ramekins and set in fridge or bake in a water bath at 180* for 20mins till set.

Masala bhaath

Masala bhaat (traditional maharashtrian style)
Accompaniments- kadhi, shengdana koshambir, coconut chutney, beans sabji, sheera.

Aai was very proud and particular about her cooking, and why not, she made some utterly delicious dishes. She always insisted on spending time in cooking it on sim (which is now fashionable as the show cooker method 😁) and never allowed anything to get burnt. Tadka was as scientific as ever and so was the value of ‘mohun’.

Masala bhaath was something she made with a lot of love. Sharing the recipe here.

Some tips-
Always make the masala fresh.
Part fry the potatoes beforehand.
Add a dollop of ghee at the end.
Always serve with kurdya and saandge (if not, then crisps will do) 😜

Recipe –

Soak 2 cups rice in water
Heat 1tbsp ghee and brown 20 cashews.
Take the cashews out and brown cubed potatoes. Keep aside.
In the same pan, roast and make a fine powder of the following –
1tbsp coriander seeds
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp poppy seeds
1tsp sesame seeds
Star anise1
Cloves 6
Dried coconut
3 garlic

Heat oil, add mustard and cumin seeds.
Add bay leaf
Add chopped onion x1
Add chopped tomato / puree
Add the ground masala
Add mixed vegetables (peas, beans, carrot, potato)
Add rice
Add 4 cups of boiling water
Add salt and sugar to taste
Cover and cook till done.
Serve sprinkled with fresh coconut.

Mini puddles of joy

Cheesecake is like marmite, you either love them or hate them….. And we are split down the middle in our home. However since my princess loves it, it is but natural, the piece de resistance of the house!

I have made cheesecakes in the past but always get annoyed with the multitude of ingredients. But this one is simple, needs fewer stuff and tastes great.

Also, the size makes it easy for serving which is a win win in itself.

Some important tips though for the perfect final product –

1. Enjoy the journey, cream cheese tastes heavenly along the way.

2. Mix the cheese and sour cream with sugar till fluffy but once the eggs are added, don’t whisk it too much. The cake will crack.

3. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees but reduce the heat to 130 degrees when you put the cake in.

4. Cook only for 15 mins. Turn the oven off and leave it in with the door open for another 10 mins. The cake will be wobbly by don’t worry, it will set eventually.


For the crust –
Ginger nut or digestive biscuits or oreo – around 100 grams or 1/3 rd pack
Soft butter – 3 tbsp

For the cake –
Cream cheese – 400 gms or one large tub
Sour cream or Greek yoghurt – 200 gm
Sugar – 3/4 cup
2 eggs at room temperature
Lemon zest
2 tbsp plain flour

Grind biscuits to fine powder. Add butter and mix well.
Grease a cake tin with removable base. Add parchment paper to the base. Press the biscuit mix to the base and press well.
Cake- mix cream cheese, sour cream and sugar till light. Add eggs and mix lightly. Too much mixing will lead to cracks while baking.
Add plain flour to give it body.
Pour into your cake tin.
Place in a preheated oven ( preheat 180 degrees) and reduce the heat to 150 degrees.
Bake for 15 mins.
Your cake will be wobble but resist the urge to cook a bit more.
After 15 mins, reduce the heat, open the oven door and let cook for another 10mins.
Take cake out and leave to cool at room temperature.
Cover and chill in the fridge.

Just look around you…

Dear kids,

I always have happy dreams, well most of the time.

As a result of which, a routine day starts with me jumping out of bed, super excited at the prospects that loom in front of me. Within minutes, I am bounding down the stairs, shrill cooing sound which is oh so inappropriate that early in the morning and that makes both of you shout out in anger for disturbing the calm and peace. The only person who finds this attractive is Romeo, who awaits my brouhaha with an equally ebullient thump of his tail.

But it doesn’t take long for this bubble to burst. Some days, I feel that I am on top of things, most days I know I am not. Some days I feel that today is the day when I will finish each and every target to be achieved only to realise that I have not gotten even to the start.

And suddenly I am tired. Tired of being the juggler, tired of the false confidence, tired of the smile. And that opens the floodgates of guilt….and oh what a flood it is. Only mothers know how strong and powerful guilt can be. The guilt of not have the perfectly perfect home for kids that is rubbed into your faces in the advertisements, the crisp linen and folded sock drawers. The guilt of not cooking three meals a day like my mum used to. The guilt of ignoring hubby in favour of useless worthless telephonic conversations with friends. The list is endless.

I sit down for a moment, collect my thoughts and look around me. Yes, I see your rooms which resemble a typhoon wreck, but I also notice the half curled smile on your lips while you sleep. I see a rather worn out shaggy dog, wet and breathing heavily after his rather successful romp in the park, still dreaming of the rabbits that he once again could not catch. I see hubby spread out on the sofa watching the latest in a series of mutant movies, eyes glazed and mouth open in astonishment as if they were actually communicating with him. I see my parents in their own corners of the house poring intently over the latest whatsapp video with televisions blaring full blast, heralding the imminent arrival of the latest doom in India and the world.

And that is when i know that I am not doing a bad job, in fact, i am doing a xxxxxxx amazing job. And I am not doing it alone. I take a deep breath, suck my sagging tummy in, tuck that unwanted grey hair behind my ear and gather a smile…..

Its time for that well deserved gin and tonic! My moment of joy, my well earned joy.

So remember that when life hands you lemon, you go ahead and make lemonade or gin and tonic. You can always make it a lot better than what it actually looks like. You just have to look around you.

And the cycle repeats itself again and again and again…….tbc

Pineapple upside down cake

Pineapple upside down cake

Since the oven and I don’t get on well, I usually resort to sweet talking hubby into making this and usually he obliges willingly ☺️☺️. Except for today when it was being recorded!
This is a fool proof recipe, never fails.
Some tips- do caramelise the sugar well and leave the pineapples to cook for around 5 mins to get the flavour.
Make it all in one pot ie an oven proof skillet or non stick pan.

Recipe –

200 gms of Butter,
200 gms Self-raising Flour,
200 gms Golden Caster Sugar,
4 Eggs
1 Tsp Baking Powder, 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
4-5 Slices of Pineapple canned
2 Tbsp Pineapple Syrup from the can

Base: Melt 50gms Butter and 75 gms Soft Brown Sugar (Add 15gms Dark Muscovado Sugar for darker colour) Cook for 5 mins over low heat in a Cast Iron Skillett or 12in baking tin. Add pineapple slices and leave for free mins.
Then pour the cake batter and oven bake @180 deg for 45 mins.
Cool for 10 mins and then turn over on a cake tray!

Barfi-7 cups of goodness

7 cups of delight

When chitra ji told me that this barfi can be made in a jiffy, I didn’t believe it and had to make it myself. And gosh, it is true. Very very simple, takes only 12 mins from scratch…. If you don’t believe it, the video is attached as well.
And guess who I caught scraping the bottom of the pan, none other than daddy dearest!

Well, that just means it tastes great.
Please make it and share your experience too!!

Ingredients –
1 cup gram flour (besan)
1 cup ghee
1 cup milk
1 cup Finely grated fresh coconut
3 cups sugar (i added slightly less)

Dry roast besan for a couple of minutes till the raw smell vanishes.
Add all the other ingredients, a pinch of saffron and cardamom.
Keep stirring. The ‘stuff’ will turn from gooey to smooth shiny liquid in 3 mins, thicker in 6mins and will start sticking to the sides as a smooth lump in 8 mins. Take it out instantly at that time and pour into a greased pan. Garnish with almonds or other nuts.

Mawa cake

This is by far my favourite cake in all respects. The taste is heavenly of course but the winner for me is that you don’t need your weighing scales at all. Just a few measuring cups and viola, you are done!

This cake is so good that I made it three days in a row and still didn’t manage to get a decent picture for my blog. It was devoured after dinner, during breakfast and once when it came out of the oven, steaming hot!

Do try it out and let me know how it was…

Thanks to Savita Kulkarni from cooks forum who shared this recipe first and then to all those who trended it in the next few days.

Recipe –

To prepare the mawa –

1/2 cup milk powder

1/4 cup milk

1 tbsp butter

For the cake –

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup plain flour

1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp b. Soda

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp cardamom powder

Pinch of saffron

Beat till fluffy the eggs, butter and sugar.

Add flour, baking powder and baking soda.

Add to egg mix.

Add cardamom powder and saffron.

Add the crumbly mawa and mix well.

Add milk to attain desired consistency.

Top with chopped nuts.

Pour in a cake tin and bake at 180* for 30 mins.

Heat butter in a non stick pan and add milk powder and milk. Keep stirring till the mix becomes thick and dry. When it becomes crumbly, take it out and cool.

The leftovers that survived just for the photos

Marathi goda masala

Multipurpose Marathi masala
(all purpose)
For tinda, baingan and masala bhaat

1 cup dhania seeds
1/2 cup jeera
1tsp methi daana
1tsp cloves
12 elaichi
Cinnamon sticks
1 cup dried red chillies

Roast all the ingredients one by one in oil, grind to a fine powder. Store in an air tight container.

6-8 pods garlic
1 cup grated coconut ( not dessicated)
2-3 tsp Red chilli pd
1 tbsp groundnut powder

Easy Lemon Posset

Lemon posset ( a quick 3 ingredient delight)

People find it difficult to believe me when I say that this is the quickest of desserts. You can make it while your guests are having their dinner too and still get away with it…. Try it and let me know….

Ingredients –

500ml double cream
150 gms sugar
3 lemon (juice of 2 and zest of 3)

Put the cream and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat. Whisk them together and bring to the boil slowly. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes – the mixture should turn a rich yellow colour – before taking the pan off the hob.

While the mixture cools, grate the zest from all 3 lemons and squeeze the juice from 2. Add the juice and two-thirds of the zest to the cream mixture and whisk thoroughly until it is smooth.

Pour into the serving chilled ramekins and scatter the remaining zest on top. Serve with shortbread or ginger biscuits.

Beetroot and Goat’s Cheese Salad

Salads are far more than just greens and dont have to be boring. This is a great example of one such salad which is attractive, zingy and bursting full of flavour and can beat any French hors doeuvres hands down!

It combines the sweetness of the beetroot with the saltiness of goats cheese (or French brie if you are not a goats cheese fan) , the crunchiness of honeyed caramel with the softness of rocket leaves, the crisp walnut bites with the moist flavour of sweet bell pepper. I can go on and on…..


  • 1 Goats cheese or French brie, good quality
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic, grated
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • Pinch of thyme
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Beetroot slices
  • Sweet pepper slices
  • Walnuts, a handful
  • Rocket leaves, a bag

Heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Mix together garlic, honey, thyme and pepper with a whisK. Drizzle over cheese with a dash of olive oil. Bake cheese for 10 mins in the oven.

Chargrill sweet peppers and beetroot.

Meanwhile prepare your balsalmic reduction by pouring it into a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil and simmer for the next 5-7 minutes till half the quantity.

Arrange a bed of rocket leaves and chargrilled bell peppers and beetroot.

Drizzle the balsalmic reduction over it.

Place the baked cheese on the bed of salad. Drizzle some more honey and serve warm.


The magic of monsoon, the pitter patter of rains, the incessant pounding on the windows and sneaking away yet again for that piping hot cup of masala chai with dabeli….memories, as far back as three decades ago, but as fresh as if it was just yesterday.
Ram made it, thanks to the new woman in his life, Archana from Hebbar’s Kitchen! Not sure if I am jealous or happy 😉 but my taste buds were definitely dancing away….
Do try it. Dabeli masala is really easy to make. Mainly sesame seeds, dried coconut and tamarind.

Kachori bytes- Jodhpuri pyaaz wali

Jodhpur kachori pyaaz waali aur mango barfi

Sab kehte hai – fried food is bad for health, meetha sehat ke liye achha nahi…
Main kehti hoon – woh kambakht mohabbat hi kya jo takleef na de ❤️❤️❤️

Well, jokes apart, in moderation, sab achha hota hai!!

Rainy days are synonymous with chai and kachori. It takes me back to college days when Ram and I would sneak away in the rains to feast on kachoris and jalebis with piping hot tea, usually in the same glass😅😅 , yes, sounds really cheesy but didn’t feel like it then, hehehe!
Felt like that yesterday too, no no not the romantic feel but was desperate for the feel of the crispy flaky kachori with the spicy steaming filling inside. Oh and the chai too…
I had never made kachoris before, but it is not tough at all. Tastes amazing. Do try it today and let us know how it was.
Found this amazing YouTube link with a lovely name – pappa mummy ki rasoi 😍 how sweet. Just follow them for the recipe.


Pyaaz ki Kachori

All purpose flour – 1.5 cup

Ajwain – ½ tsp

Salt – ½ + 1.5 tsp

Edible Oil – ¼ cup + 3 table spoon + to deep fry

Fennel seeds – 1 tsp Coriander seeds – 1 tsp Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Onion (medium size) – 4

Potato (medium size) – 3, boiled

Asafoetida – ¼ tsp Green Chilli – 2, finely chopped Ginger – 1 inch Red Chilli powder – 1.5 tsp Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp Gramflour – 2 table spoon Citric Acid – ¼ tsp Sugar – 1 tsp Garam Masala – ½ tsp Coriander leaves (chopped)


MAke a firm dough with flour, ajwain and saunf. Heat oil, add cumin seeds, masala and onions. Add potatoes. Stuff in a disc of dougha nd deep fry on medium heat.

Oh and also made some vegan mango barfi. It is a quick fix when you are short of time.
1cup mango blend with half cup almond milk or coconut milk
1cup sugar
3 cups coconut
Heat mango with sugar and milk till sugar dissolves
Add coconut
Stir well till it starts forming a thick lump.
Remove and chill on to a greased plate.

Salmon curry – no coconut

Sunday special – kerala salmon curry (super easy)
Salmon pieces
2 onions, Finely chopped
6 garlic chopped
3 inch ginger chopped
Curry leaves
Red chillies dry
Sliced tomatoes x2
1/2/3 tsp- haldi, chilli pd, dhaniya
Kokum optional

Heat oil, add mustard seeds, onion, ginger, garlic. Fry until translucent. Add sliced tomatoes and curry leaves. Stir till it becomes a mushy mix. Add hot water, drop the salmon pieces, Kokum and cover and cook till done.

Serve with hot rice!

And my princess turns 18 👸👸

Rhea’s favourite restaurant is Dishum…. Just like so many of us too. So when we realised we couldn’t go to Dishum, Dishum decided to come to us 😍😍. A birthday dinner fit for a princess….and she loved it! Nothing is more precious in this world other than a genuine thank you from your little adult 😍

Menu –

Lamb chops
Gun powder potatoes
Black dal
Kiwi mango salad

Naan, steamed rice

Oreo cheesecake ( total flop!)
Daddy’s lemon drizzle… Takes one straight to heaven 😍😍😍
Subhash ‘s lemon drizzle…. And we go straight to heaven again!!! 🤣🤣🤣

Persian Rose and Pistachio cake

This enchanting cake reminds me of a Persian garden in the late spring, adorned with the floral scent of rose water and citrus, and decorated with bright green pistachios.

If it is not devoured in one sitting, the oil in the ground almond base ensures a moist, densely textured cake that will keep well for a couple of days, covered in foil. A sprinkling of dried rose petals looks pretty for special occasions, but don’t worry if you can’t get hold of any. It’s still a cake to win hearts.

Prep time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 45 minutes


Six to eight


  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 12 cardamom pods
  • 100g plain flour, sifted
  • 275g ground almonds
  • Zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • A generous pinch of fine sea salt

For the drizzle topping:

  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ tbsp rose water

For the icing:

  • 150g icing sugar
  • Juice of ¾ lemon
  • 2 tsp cold water

To decorate:

  • 2 tsp sliced pistachios
  • 2 tsp dried rose petals (optional)


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160C/140C fan/Gas 3. Grease a 22cm cake tin (one with a removable base) and line it with baking parchment.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. When the mixture is thoroughly combined, beat in the eggs.
  3. Place the cardamom pods in a mortar and work with a pestle to get the seeds out of the pods. Discard the pods and grind the seeds to a fine powder. Add them to the cake mixture, along with the flour, ground almonds, lemon zest and juice, rose water, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
  4. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. To check if it is ready, stick a fork in the middle of the cake – it should come out dry.
  5. Towards the end of the cooking time, make your drizzle topping. Place the caster sugar, lemon juice and rose water in a small pan over a low heat and heat until the sugar melts.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Poke holes all over the top of the warm cake and drizzle over the syrup.
  7. When the cake is completely cool, make the icing by combining the icing sugar, lemon juice and a few teaspoons of water until you have a smooth, thick icing. Spoon the icing over the cake and finish with a sprinkling of sliced pistachios and, if you like, rose petals.

Methi anda and parsi chow chow

Eggs all over…..

  1. Masaledar Methi Anda ( fenugreek eggs)
  2. Parsi Egg Chow Chow
  3. Radish leaf with yellow lentil ( moong mooli)

Yesterday i happily harvested our radish leaves ( well, truth is that the baby radish were rather premature and disappointing while the mooli leaves had taken over the entire pot!!!). Anyway, thanks to advice from another forum, i decided to make mooli moong dal.

But the expression on mum’s face said it all and out came the eggs and the meat!!!!

Methi anda is basically egg curry with lots of kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) in yoghurt and tomato gravy.

Egg chow chow is a non spicy Parsi dish. Small crispy cubes of boiled potatoes in mild tomato gravy with chopped boiled eggs, topped with chaat masala or lemon juice.

Chicken katsu curry

Katsu curry –
Katsu curry is basically sweetish Japanese curry ( 1tsp curry powder+1tsp mild garam masala + pinch of pepper) mixed with flour and coconut milk.
Easy to make and tastes heavenly.

Recipe –
Breaded chicken ( use readymade ones. I made my own but the coating was not as firm as readymade)
Onions Finely chopped
Carrots ( slices or batons)
Vegetables if needed
Flour 1tsp
Cornflour 1tsp
Coconut milk 1 can
2tbsp Honey or maple syrup

Heat oven and place breaded chicken in it.
Heat oil, add Finely chopped onions and carrots and stir till onions are soft.

Add 1tsp curry powder, 1tsp turmeric, 1tsp plain flour, stir lightly till a roux like consistency is formed.

Add coconut milk.

Add 1tsp cornflour, boil

2 tbsp honey or maple syrup.

Finally squeeze half a lemon and stir.
Serve over the chicken with picked cucumber.

Recipe for Japanese pickled cucumber
Thinly sliced cucumber
Rice wine vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, Finely chopped spring onions, chilli flakes, roasted black sesame seeds. Mix together with cucumber or radish thin slices.

Chettinad pepper fry

Chettinad Chicken pepper fry –
This is one of my fav dry chicken recipes, cooks in a jiffy. Love the flavour of pepper. Goes very well with chilled beer, espc on this weather!!!!

Marinade chicken with turmeric pd, salt.
Dry roast and grind handful of coriander seeds and  peppercorns each, 1tsp cumin seeds, 2 red chillies.
Fry gree  chillies (Optional), sliced onions (2) and ginger.
Add 2tbsp coriander-pepper powder
Fry till well mixed
Add chicken and keep stirring till soft and succulent.

Puranpoli, the marathi feast

Following mouth watering discussions on our FB forum, a good friend Geeta Kamat finally revealed the deep dark secrets to the perfect puran poli. Bear in mind that she is one of the most perfectest of perfect cooks ever, making even the humble potato stir fry look like a Robuchan’s Pommes Puree on his degustation menu!!!! Thanks Geeta for that and the photos😍

1 cup chana daal+3 cups water

Pressure cook chana daal. Once cooked drain the stock and put it aside for making Kataachi Aamti.

For making the filling use the over cooked chana daal & keep stirring in a pan to remove any moisture left then+ jaggery + cardamom powder + saffron/nutmeg for flavouring and keep stirring until it all gathers up in the pan. This is the filling.

Kataachi Aamti –

1 tsp cumin seeds, 5-6 red chillies, 4-5 pepper corns, 4-5 cloves, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1/4 inch cinnamon. Roast all in a tspn of oil. After cooling grind + 1/2 cup fresh coconut and grind to a fine consistency.
Next in a pan for tadka – oil+ mustard seeds+ curry leaves+ hing + ground masala + daal stock + a small tspn of rice flour if its watery & bring to boil. Add a small ball of jaggery or puran + salt.

Moqueca–prawn and fish stew

Moqueca De Piexe (simple translation : fish/prawn stew)
Orange cake (simple translation : cake with chopped dried orange bits and juice)

Peeled prawns, white fish & peppers cooked in homemade creamy coconut, fresh tomato & lime sauce with a coconut farofa to sprinkle.

Pre-birthday planning was on the cards but this perennially starved family was going crazy for their favourite restaurant foods, be it Nandos, Sushi or Chennai Dosa….. It is just not the same when you order a takeaway. So came across the Las Iguanas menu (while drooling over pics on their website) and decided to make some of their recipes…

This is simple, easy to make. Sounds exotic but you will have all the ingredients in your pantry. It is not packed with punch as most Indian or Thai curries are…. It is rather mild with subtle sublime flavours. You will definitely not be a garlic machine but the end of it…. 😜

Ingredients –

White fish, cut into big cubes
2 onions, Finely chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, Finely chopped
2 green pepper, in chunks
4 tomatoes, in chunks
1 tin good quality coconut milk
1tsp each of paprika, cumin powder, jalapeños chopped
Coriander leaves and toasted coconut to garnish

Recipe –

Heat oil, fry onions and garlic.
Add dessicated coconut and sweet peppers
Saute for 5 mins.

Add chopped tomatoes and stir for 5 mins.

Add paprika, Cumin pd, jalapeños, salt and stir well.

Add coconut milk and let it simmer for 5-7 mins.

Place white fish gently till it is completely submerged. Cook for 5 mins.

Add cooked prawns and coriander leaves at the end.

Sprinkle toasted coconut before serving.

Serve with lime rice.

Pineapple rasam and vaangi bhaaji

Aai’s vange chi bhajee ( or something close to it )- roast and grind dhania seeds 3tbsp, jeera 1tbsp, groundnut pd 1tbsp, sesame seeds 1tbsp, kaju 1tbsp, coconut 1tbsp, red chillies.

Mix well with finely chopped onions,coriander, salt sugar, haldi, chilli pd, garam masala or good masala. Stuff this powder into slit brinjals. Heat generous amount of oil, add hing, mustard seeds and the usual tadka stuff. release the stuffed brinjals into the oil, stir till it changes colour, then cover and cook till done. Keep adding water if it thickens.

Pineapple rasam- cook our daal , thin it to a desired consistency with water, add pineapple chunks, tomatoes, curry leaves, haldi, crushed black pepper, rasam powder. Boil till done. Add tadka at the end with red chillies and hing.

Quick bisi bele bhaath

Best soul satisfying mid week dinner ( 10mins )

Mark Twain- name the greatest inventor of all time: Accident!!!

Left over dal
Left over rice
Cooked veg optional
Bisi bele bhaat powder
Tamarind pulp
Handful of roast cashews and groundnuts

Method- mix dal and rice well (with your hands if possible),  add a big dollop of ghee, a glug of  tamarind pulp , a handful curry leaves, jaggery,  masala pd as required and water to make it the consistency of porridge. Heat till it starts sticking to the pan. Add ghee tadka And serve hot!!!!

Story of how it evolved-

And so it was….. maybe the south Indians in the group may know this but I stumbled upon this wonderful quick soul satisfying, finger licking,  mid week bowl of sinful delight purely by accident!!!
Tired and weary after work,  with thoughts of a take away in mind,  I entered home yesterday  and immediately saw 2 bowls of leftover dal and cooked rice,  kept on the table by a disapproving dad  . Trying to please dads  is every girl’s motto in life and so I decided to  heat and eat it myself with a bit of chilli powder added just for the kick. 
Unknowingly,  instead I added a huge spoon of bisi belle bhaath powder and viola,  it was just amazing!!! Even hubby kept having extra helpings again and again!!!!
It has even found it’s way into our lunch boxes  

Try it and you will definitely be very very happy!!!

Tortilla soup

Jhatpat mexican tortilla soup-

A super easy, weekday meal to keep your calories and increasing waist line in control ( Aditi Gupte boss, aapka hukm sar aankhon par)

Heat oil, add garlic and chopped red onion , saute
Chopped winter vegetables ( I added sweet potato, butternut squash, parsnip) go in next.
Can of marrowfat peas or any soft beans ( being a weekday, cans are favored)
Fajita seasoning ( since there was no fajita seasoning at home , how typical, i used a can of fajita beans which was lying unloved in a dark corner ) like they say, every can has his day!!
Add chopped tomatoes or puree, a dollop of ketchup ( masala chili tastes divine)
After boiling, leave it to simmer ( The more it simmers, the yummier it is)
Add a handful of tortilla chips and grated cheese just before serving.

Banana cake

Rule of 2 & 1/2 : Quickie banana cake
Always hated the idea of measuring while making anything! Not one to stick to rule when it comes to cooking. So this is an absolute delight in weekend mornings…
I call it the rule of 2&1/2 cake
2 bananas
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking pd
Blend together the first four ingredients and fold in the flour. Bake at 160 degree for 30 mins…. Viola!!!

Karela, will eat, won’t eat?

Supriya Dharmadhikari ‘s karela fry-

I have always disliked bitter gourd with a passion!!! Reminded me of childhood tantrums and fights with mum for hours! However this is ‘the’ karela dish that even a total anti-karela person has fallen in love with!
Karela cut, scoop insides and boil with some imli till just soft.
Take out, sqeeze water out and keep aside.

Besan- Dry roast well.
Add garam masala, goda masala, hing, haldi, mirchi, til, ground nut pd, sugar, salt.

Stuff the masala in the karela.

Heat generous amount of oil in a pan and stir fry the stuffed karela.

Garnish with chopped coriander.

Dhaba chicken

So, to continue inundating cooks forum with food made when you have nothing else to do 😂😂😂, here is an easy peasy DHABA STYLE Chicken made by Shreeram Deshpande

Recipe –
Oil heated 3 Tbsp,
Chicken 1 kg stir fry till it starts changing colour,
Ginger paste 1 Tbsp and Garlic paste 1 Tbsp, Stir fry to lose the raw flavour
2 large chopped tomatoes, cook till soft,
Add spices (1 Tsp) Turmeric, Chilli powder, Coriander powder, Cumin powder, cook on medium flame
Add 1/2 cup water cover and cook for 15 mins,
add Salt, garam masala, Salt to taste and all the chopped Veg (Chunky Onions x 2, Large Red Pepper, 4 green Chillies, Strips of Raw Mango, Julienne Ginger), continue on low flame for 10 mins.
If chicken needs more time to cook add 1/4 cup water, cover and cook if needed.

Garnish with fresh Coriander and serve.