Saturday, 29 September 2012


This is what I call a perfect sunday lunch. I truly love the way this lunch menu saves my time on a sunday and spend more time with my family. I marinate the chicken on saturday evening and leave it overnight. Sunday morning I prepare the naan dough and leave it to raise. In the meanwhile I keep everything ready for the salad. When it is lunch time I grill the chicken and at the same time prepare the naan and the salad within 30 minutes.

My favourite lunch menu

This menu is for the family of four. You can add or reduce the portions according to your needs.


For the chicken tikka:

Chicken cut up pieces- 4

Greek yogurt/ thick curd- 1/2 cup

Garam masala powder- 1 tbspn

Chilly powder- 1 tspn

Turmeric powder- 1 tspn

Cumin seed powder/ jeera powder- 1 tspn( I like the flavour)

Ginger-garlic paste- 1tbspn.

Salt to taste


1. Mix all the ingredients with the chicken and let it marinate overnight in the fridge. If you have really thought of doing this on  the sunday morning then 1 and a half hours of marinating will do. Overnight marinating really makes the chicken juicy and yummy.

2. Preheat the oven for 10 minutes at 190 degree celsius.

3. Arrange the chicken in a greased baking tray and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until done.

Marinated chicken piece

Arranging the chicken pieces in the baking tray

Chicken tikka ready!

For the Naan: (Eggless and dry )

(Makes 10- 12 naans)

All purpose home baking flour- 4 cups

Dry yeast- 2 tspn

Sugar- 1 tspn

Cumin seeds/ jeera- 2 tspn

Salt to taste


1. Add the yeast to a bowl with little warm water with 1 tspn of sugar and mix well .

2. Keep it aside for 10  minutes for the yeast to raise.

3. Mix the flour, salt and cumin seeds in a bowl and add the yeast mix to the flour.

4. With extra little water knead and prepare the dough.

5. Allow the dough to raise for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

6. Prepare uniform sized balls and roll it to 1 cm thickness.

7. Heat the frying pan and place the rolled naans.

8. Cook until done.

For the salad:

Coarsely chopped lettuce leaves- 3 cups

Greek yogurt/ curd- 1/2 cup

Tomato- 2 (finely chopped)

Onion- 1 finely chopped

Salt to taste

Remove the moisture from the lettuce by placing in a muslin cloth. Add the tomato, onion, yogurt and salt and mix uniformly only when about to serve.


This is my favourite vegetable snack on the go. The rice flour added to the okra gives it a very crunchy taste.Healthiest compared to crisps and fries and a good starter as well.

Pan fried lady's finger/ okra snack


Lady's finger/ okra- 500 gms

Rice flour- 1 tbspn

Oil- 1 tbspn

Chilly powder- 1 tspn

Turmeric powder- 1 tspn

Salt to taste


1. Wash the lady's finger and wrap it in a towel to remove all the water.

2. Chop the lady's finger on a dry surface/ chopping board.

3. Heat the pan and add the oil.

4. Add the lady's finger and now add all the spices and salt.

5. Reduce the fire and let the lady's finger get cooked for 15 minutes by covering the pan

with a lid.

6. Once done enjoy this great vegetable snack.

Friday, 28 September 2012


Pasta - my friend. When I am really looking to serve something quick for my family,  I get the help from pasta. This penne is super quick with all the vegetables (I had at home) and chorizo.

Vegetable chorizo penne


Penne pasta(cooked)- 2 cups
Ginger-garlic paste- 1 tspn
Onion- 1 medium(finely chopped)
Tomato- 1 medium(finely chopped)
Capsicum- 1 tbspn(finely chopped)
Button mushrooms- roughly chopped
Olives(pitted)- 3 to 4 no's(sliced)
Chorizo sausage strips- 1/2 cup
Olive oil- 1 tbspn
Cooking cream- 1 tspn
Rubbed basil- 1 tspn
Salt to taste

1. Heat the pan and add the oil.
2. Add the ginger-garlic paste, followed by onion. When the onion is soft add in the tomato followed by capsicum and mushrooms.
3. Once the above said ingredients are half cooked add in the chorizo strips and stir well.
4. Add in the penne pasta , cream, rubbed basil, olives finally , give it a saute and serve.


It's friday. What are you thinking to prepare this evening. Consider this 30 minutes magic snack from South India. Fritters! Oh! come on, it's friday.......take a everything.....but limit the portions.

chettinad fritters

chettinad fritters


Any rice of your choice- 1 cup(uncooked)

White lentil- 1/2 cup(polished broken black lentil)

Onion- 1 medium sized(chopped)

Cilantro leaves/ coriander leaves- 1 bunch(finely chopped)

Salt to taste

Oil to fry


1. Soak the rice and the lentil together for 15 minutes in  warm water(If you are not in a hurry 40 minutes of soaking in cold water is needed).

2. Drain the water from the rice and lentil mix  with a sieve. In the meanwhile heat the oil in a frying pan.

3. Grind the rice and lentil in a blender to form a smooth paste by sprinkling little water(around 1-2 tbspn).

Grounded rice and lentil batter

4. Add the salt, chopped onion and cilantro leaves and mix well.

5. Batter is ready and now put the dollops of batter in the oil and fry.

frying process

6. Serve with coconut chutney or tomato ketchup.

Thursday, 27 September 2012


This is a perfect South Indian fish fry. The colour might scare you a bit. You got it right.Yes, it is very spicy. A perfect blend of spices to the fish makes it truly delightful. Traditionally the fish is deep fried, but I have pan fried the fish. The Kerala fish fry is usually fried in coconut oil with great aroma. Best to be eaten with sliced onions. If you want to avoid the spicy part use paprika for very good colouring and flavour.

Spicy masala fish


Fish of your choice- 500 gms

Ginger-garlic paste- 1 tbspn

Chilly powder/ paprika powder- 1 tspn

Turmeric powder- 1 tspn

Plain yogurt/ curd-2 tbspn

Oil- 1 tbspn

Sliced onions to relish with

Sliced lemon to garnish- 1

Salt to taste

1. Mix all the spices, salt and ginger-garlic paste in the curd/ yogurt to form a uniform smooth paste.

2. Apply the masala onto the fish slices.

3. Marinate for 30 minutes.

4. Heat the pan, add the oil and when the oil is hot place the fish slices(You can also add the oil to  the fish       directly and place it in the pan)

5. Close the pan with a lid and let the fish cook for 10 minutes under low fire.

6.Once done serve with sliced onions and lemon slices.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


Today  I am a giving my son a treat. I am preparing "Dry garlic chips" for him . It's a kind of appreciation for coming 4th place in the cross country run in school. I know about garlic potato wedges but not this one. Thanks to Nairobi. You can find this chips in the "starters" column of every Asian restaurant in Kenya. Kenyan potatoes are very soft and gets cooked very quickly. Especially the Meru potatoes. The softness of the potatoes makes the chips more delightful.

This chips is very simple. It is just like preparing the normal french fries but later saute in some pan roasted garlic, chilly powder and salt. Every week my sons would love to go to a restaurant to just eat this fries.This time I have tried to prepare it at home. Definitely a "deep fried sin", but once in a while it is fine.

Dry garlic chips


French fries/potato chips- 3 cups

Oil- 1 tspn

Chopped garlic- 1 tbspn

Chilly powder/ paprika- 1 tspn

Salt to taste.


1. Prepare french fries/ chips.

Preparing French fries/ potato chips

2. Drain it in a paper towel.

Drain in  a paper towel

3. Heat the pan, add the oil and the chopped garlic. Wait for the garlic to turn light brown in colour.

Roasting garlic in the pan to mix with the chips

4. Put the chips in the pan and mix well with the garlic. Now add the paprika/ chilly powder and salt . Toss the pan twice to thrice to mix everything uniformly.

Bagicha Restaurant(opp. Amani plaza) in Parklands

If you are in Nairobi or you are visiting Kenya shortly try out this chips at this restaurant in Parklands(opp. Amani plaza) very close to Diamond plaza. Even though many restaurants serve this chips I like the way this restaurant prepares the chips. This restaurant serves vegetarian and  Jain food. Very good food at reasonable prices.

Absolutely a great starter as well as a quick snack but please watch on how much you eat? won't you?


This recipe is a big story on how I tricked my son. "Pumpkin! mama, no way". I have tried all the ways to make him eat pumpkin. Everything failed. He likes "Manchurian" and that too "Potato manchurian"(not the cauliflower one). I am not giving up this time. I prepared him a spicy, saucy pumpkin manchurian. He was absolutely clueless that the manchurian was the white pumpkin one. He liked it and asked for more. Yippee! I made him eat white pumpkin  at last. This manchurian is like a gravy unlike the other dry manchurians.

White pumpkin manchurian


Cubed white pumpkin- 2  cups

All purpose flour- 1 cup

Corn flour- 1 tbspn

Soya sauce- 2 tspn

Ginger- garlic paste- 2 tbspn

Onion- 1 medium(finely chopped)

Tomato- 1(finely chopped)

Capsicum/ green pepper- 1(sliced)

Chopped scallions- 1 tbspn
Vinegar- 1 tspn

Oil- 2 tbspn


1. Mix the all purpose flour , corn flour, 1 tspn soya sauce, 1 tbspn ginger- garlic paste, little salt  together with little water to form a smooth  medium thick paste.

2. Dip in the white pumpkin slices in the paste and keep them separately in  a plate and let it get marinated for 10 minutes.


3. Heat the frying pan and add one tbspn oil to the pan. Place the pumpkin slices on to the pan ,cover the pan and let  it cook for 15 minutes.

Cooking the pumpkin slices

4. When the slice turn golden brown remove them from fire.

This is how it looks when it is done

5. Heat the pan and add the remaining 1 tbspn oil, ginger-garlic paste followed by onion, tomato and capsicum. When these are done add the batter to the pan with the vinegar and the remaining 1 tspn of soya sauce.

6. Mix the ingredients in the pan uniformly and add the pumpkin slices . Give it a boil and serve with chopped scallions. 

7. Goes well with rice and chapatis or roti's.

Monday, 24 September 2012


Chettinad cuisine from South India has everything that could give you a great feasting experience. To mention in particular the "Chettinad chicken". The masala used to prepare the chicken is really very spicy and has got a very nice blend of "South Indian spices". I have tried this time to blend in the masala in the chicken sausages to prepare a quick and spicy treat.

CHETTINAD CHICKEN SAUSAGES with crostini and salad


Chicken sausages- 6(cut diagonally)

Onion- 1 large

Tomato- 1 medium sized

Cumin seeds- 1 tbspn

Black peppercorns- 1 tbspn

Fennel seeds- 1 tspn

Ginger-garlic paste- 1 tbspn

Turmeric powder- 1 tspn

Chilly powder- 1 tspn

Lemon juice- 1 tspn

Salt to taste

Oil- 1 tbspn


1. Marinate the cut sausages with chilly powder, turmeric powder and lemon juice, little salt and keep it aside for 30 minutes for the masala to seep in well into the sausages.

Marinated sausages

2. In the meanwhile heat the pan and add the oil followed by cumin seeds, black peppercorns, fennel seeds.When the seeds start to turn mild brown add the ginger-garlic paste, onion, tomato and salt and let it cook for 5 minutes until the tomatoes become soft.

3. Let the mix to cool down and then grind the mix in a blender to form a smooth paste.

Cooking the sausages

4. Heat the sauce pan and add the paste to the pan. When the paste starts to boil add the sausages to it and let the sausages cook for 5 minutes. Keep on stirring well.

5. Cook until the paste completely dries and  the sausages are done.

6. Serve with bread, rice and green salad.

Saturday, 22 September 2012


My first ever triple tested Tomarillo cake(eggless). I always get a big "No" from my husband whenever I say"Eggless" cake. I had to do this cake for one of my vegetarian friend on her birthday and I loved it. With her cholestrol and blood pressure being high I had to change all the ingredients to be a healthier one.

In the pic below I have prepared a deck with whipping cream for  my family whereas for my friend I added two tablespoons full of passion juice on the cake . It was really a good healthy option to drizzle passion juice. She was very happy. She often bakes this cake for her own family and friends. A really very simple and healthy cake. 

Eggless Tomarillo cake

Tomarillo fruits


All purpose home baking flour- 1/2 cup

Brown flour- 1/2 cup

Baking powder- 2 tspn

Greek yogurt/ thick curd- 1/2 cup

Any vegetable cooking oil- 1/4 cup(I have used corn oil)

Honey- 1/4 cup

Cinnamon powder- 1 tspn

Pulp of tomarillo- 1/4 cup


1. Preheat the oven at 180 degree celsius.

2. Sieve in the baking powder and flour together at least twice.

3. Transfer the mix to a bowl.

4. Mix the curd, oil ,honey, cinnamon powder and tomarillo pulp uniformly in a bowl.

5. Add this mix to the flour mix and GENTLY MIX ONLY THRICE. MIX ONLY WITH A SPOON OR A SPATULA.

The cake mix

6. Mixing the mix gently is very important as vigorous mixing with a hand mixer would not allow the cake to raise.(As you mix you would see the fluffy action of the baking powder )

7. Transfer the ingredients to the baking tray and bake for 20 minutes.

8. Serve with whipping cream, raisins, jam or passion juice.


This biscuits are very rich . 2 to 3 biscuits would really fill you up. Once in a while I bake these biscuits to give myself a treat. My younger son is a big fan of this biscuits. Sometimes you can also opt to add 1/2 tspn of salt replacing the sugar and make salt biscuits instead. For a healthier version you can replace white flour with 1/2 cup brown flour and 1/2 cup white flour. The butter can be replaced with 1 tbspn to 2 tspn vegetable cooking oil.


All purpose home baking flour- 1 cup

Butter at room temperature- 1/2 cup

Sugar- 1/4 cup(powdered)

Vanilla essence/ Cardamom powder- 1 tspn


1.Preheat the oven at 180 degree celsius.

2. Mix all the ingredients uniformly in a bowl.

3. Prepare small balls from the dough and flatten the balls.

4. Place them in a greased baking tray/ muffin tray.

5. Bake until done for 20 minutes.

6. Goes well with a cup of coffee.

Friday, 21 September 2012


Very simple and quick is this dish. Truly a vegetarian treat. There are so many versions of Thai stay stir fry. This one is very simple wherein you cook with what you have at home within 20 to 30 minutes.


For the mushroom fried rice:
Cooked rice- 2 cups

Button mushrooms- 1 cup

Onion- 1 medium sized

Chopped garlic- 1 clove

Oil- tbspn

Soya sauce- 1 tspn

Salt to taste

For the Thai satay stir fry:

2 cups of  chopped mixed vegetables(I have used baby corn,cabbage,broccoli and capsicum)

Onion- 1 medium sized

Tomato- 1

Ginger and garlic- 1 tbspn (finely chopped)

Oil- 1 tbspn

Soya sauce- 1 tbspn

Corn flour- 1 tspn

Water 2 tbspn

Mixed herbs(thyme,oregano and basil)- 1 tspn

Salt to taste


Mushroom fried rice:

1. Heat the wok and add the oil.

2. Add the chopped garlic and onion and when the onion turns brown add the mushrooms.

3. Keep on stirring , add the soya sauce, salt and mix well.

4. Add in the cooked rice and toss the mushrooms with the rice.

Thai satay stir fry:

1. Heat the oil in the wok and add the ginger and garlic.

2. Add the onion followed by the tomato.

3. When the tomato is soft add the vegetables and toss in the vegetables.

4. Mix the corn flour, water and soya sauce uniformly and add it to the vegetables.

5. Finally add the salt and the herbs and mix well.

6. Stir fry for 10 minutes and serve with mushroom fried rice.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012


This soup recipe comes very handy when you want to have something healthy after a long day's work. Very quick and easy to prepare in a matter of 20 minutes. I tried something different today with the South Indian flavors in an ordinary vegetable soup and it tasted good.


Mustard seeds- 1 tspn

Cumin seeds- 1 tspn

Curry leaves- 1 sprig

Beans and carrot
(chopped to 1/2 inch length)- 1 cup

Fresh whipping cream- 1/2 cup

Vegetable oil- 1 tspn

Water- 2 cups

Salt to taste


1. Heat the pan and add the oil.

2. When the oil is hot add the mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.

3. Add the cumin seeds and then the curry leaves.

4. Add the beans, carrot and then add the 

5. Mix all the ingredients well in the pan and add the water.

6. Allow the beans and carrot to get cooked under low fire for 10  minutes.

7. Season with coriander leaves too(if you prefer) , cream to taste and serve.

Monday, 17 September 2012


This Fish curry would really warm you up on a cold day. Very yummy and quick to prepare. Fish koftas are nothing but the fish balls. The fish balls are mostly deep fried. Here I have tried to cook them in a frying pan with little oil under very low fire.The curry even makes the koftas more yummy by making it soft and juicy as it goes in your mouth. No cream, butter or coconut milk added in this dish. You can enjoy it without being guilty.This dish goes well with chapatis, rotis, rice,naan etc. 


For the koftas:(Makes 15 koftas)

Cooked, deboned, shredded fish- 2 cups

Chopped onion- 1 medium sized

Grated carrot- 1 cup

Mashed potatoes- 1 cup

Ginger- garlic paste- 1 tbspn

Corn flour or bread crumbs- 2 tbspn

Oil to cook the koftas- 2 tbspn

Salt to taste

Koftas ingredients

For the coriander curry:

Ginger- garlic paste- 1 tbspn

Onion- 1 medium sized

Green chillies- 2

Tamarind- 1 small lemon size

Tomato- 1 large

Coriander/Cilantro leaves- One bunch

Oil- 1 tbspn

Salt to taste


1. Prepare the fish koftas by combining all the ingredients and prepare small ball shaped koftas.

2. Heat the frying pan, add the oil and place the koftas. Close the pan with a lid and allow it to cook for 10 minutes.

3. Once they are done they will appear like the ones in the picture below.

Koftas are ready now. Now we move on to the curry. You can opt to prepare the curry and the koftas simultaneously to save time.

4. Heat a sauce pan and add the oil.Start adding all the ingredients one by one and saute for a minute. Switch off the fire and let it cool.

5. Blend the ingredients in a blender and again bring it to a hot pan.

6. Add the cooked koftas to the curry and bring it to a boil. Switch off the fire and serve with the bread or rice of your choice.

Sunday, 16 September 2012


 Ice pops a great treat for your kids. My kids love yoghurt and when I made them to ice pops with  cardamom flavor they couldn't wait to enjoy it. I also prepared orange juice ice pops.I have prepared strawberry ice pops here. For different colours to excite them you can also use blue berries for blue, mango for yellow and pistachios for green. A healthier option away from artificial flavours. My kids liked it. Hope yours too.....


For strawberry ice pops:

Natural yogurt/ Greek yogurt- 2 cups

Strawberries- 1/2 cup

Sugar- 1/2 cup

For orange juice ice pops:
Orange juice


1. Clean the strawberries and put them in a blender with the sugar and blend it until it becomes smooth.

2. Now add the yogurt and whip so that the yogurt blends equally with the strawberry paste.

3. Pour the yogurt mix into the moulds. For the orange juice ice pops pour the juice into the moulds directly.

4. Freeze it for 3 hours to 4 hours until set.

5. Serve to the kids to see a big smile on their faces like mine.

You can also do variations with other juices as well or you can also make multi layered ice pops . For that you have to first add the yogurt and allow it to freeze and once it is set you can add the juice on top of the yogurt layer and freeze until set. A great choice for birthday parties.

Saturday, 15 September 2012


Le choux is a French bun which means "cabbage". It is called so because of it's resemblance to a cabbage. This buns are very famous in France to make Croquembouche. The fact that it has lot of butter and eggs doesn't make me really happy. I tried to make this buns according to my healthy version. I replaced butter with corn oil, used brown wheat flour and cut down the number of eggs as well. Trust me it came out very well. I have also added chopped coriander leaves, cumin seeds and garlic. This buns are a good choice for dinner. Very easy and quick to prepare in a matter of 30 minutes. A very healthy option too...........


Brown wheat flour- 1 cup
Cooking oil of your choice- 1/2 cup(I have used corn oil)
Water-1/2 cup
Salt-1/2 tspn
Garlic- 1 clove
Cumin seeds- 1 tspn
Chopped coriander leaves- 1 tspn

1. Preheat the oven at 180 degree Celsius for 10 minutes.

2. Add the salt,cumin seeds, garlic and coriander leaves to the flour and mix well.

3. Heat the pan and pour the water and when it is medium hot, add the oil.

4. Start adding the flour mixture little by little to the pan and mix it uniformly until it forms a crumbly texture like the picture below. Switch off the fire and let the mixture to cool down.

5. Beat the eggs and add it to the mix

6. After adding the eggs mix the mixture well to form a smooth batter like the one below.

7. Place the batter(around 2 tbspn) on a greased pan.

8. Bake for 20 minutes at 180 degree celsius.

It is a flat version of Le choux buns. If you want a raised bun you can increase the number of eggs to 4 instead of 2.

Thursday, 13 September 2012


This cake is so good that it reminds me of my childhood days. My mom use to prepare dry ginger coffee(sukku kapi in Tamil) with black jaggery or palm jaggery with ground coffee powder. Check out the link below to know about the benefits of palm jaggery.

The aroma use to fill in the entire house. The one thing I always love is this coffee. Now being away from home I truly miss all the whole experience of enjoying this particular cup of coffee, but I am not giving up. This time I have tried to bring in the flavours of sukku kapi in this cake. Every time I eat this cake it reminds of my home. Th recipe of sukku kapi is in the link below.

To tell  more about this cake, it tastes like"Ginger bread man". Try it out and tell me.


For the cake mixture:

• 1 1/2 cup self-raising flour

• 1 beaten egg

• 2 tbspn butter 

• 2 tbspn  milk 

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 1/2 cup instant coffee

• 1/2 cup mixed nuts and raisins

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

For the Topping:

• 3/4 cup sugar

• 3 tablespoons flour

• 3 tablespoons butter, melted

• 2 teaspoons dry ginger powder 

Mix all the ingredients uniformly in a bowl.


1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. 

2. Add the egg, coffee, milk, and vanilla. Stir well. 

3. Mix  the flour, sugar, and salt.

4. Add in the butter.

5. Spread half of the cake mixture in a  round greased pan of your choice(I have used a 6"


6. Sprinkle half of the topping mixture over the first . Spread the remaining

     cake mixture and  spread the rest of the topping.

7. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

I have added the butter at room temperature for the topping to give a crumbly texture to

the topping. You can also melt the butter in the topping mixture to give a smooth texture.

Frosting of your choice over the top layer will also be a great choice to treat your taste buds.


Sunday, 9 September 2012


I love to blend different flavours. Today being a sunday I wanted to cook something new for my family. I wanted the same South Indian Meen kuzhambu (Fish gravy) with  fresh onion touch in my pasta and it came out very well .The satisfaction of having the same fish gravy feel was awesome. My family liked it. You too try  this and check out. It is altogether a different taste.

Preparation time- 30 to 40 minutes       Serves- 4 people

Tuna fish- 250 gms
Cooked Pasta of your choice- 4 cups

For the marinade:

 Ginger-garlic paste- 1 tspn
 Chilly powder- 1 tspn
 Turmeric powder- 1 tspn
 Lemon juice- 1 tspn
Oil- 1 tspn
 Salt to taste
For the gravy:
Oil- 1 tbspn
Ginger-garlic paste- 1 tspn
Roasted and powdered peanuts- 1 cup
Tamarind paste- 4 tbspn
Turmeric powder- 1 tspn
Water- 1 cup
Salt to taste

To garnish:
Freshly chopped scallions- 1 tbspn

1. Mix all the ingredients of the marinade and apply it uniformly over the fish. Cook in the frying pan for a minute.

2. Place the frying pan in the preheated oven and allow it to cook until done at 180 degrees.

3. Once done shred the Tuna.

4. Prepare the gravy by adding oil first to a hot sauce pan, followed by ginger-garlic paste. Now add the peanuts followed by the tamarind paste and the spices. 

5. Add the fish, add the water and allow the gravy to boil. Once the gravy is around half-a-cup turn off the fire and mix the gravy to the cooked pasta.

6. Mix the gravy uniformly with the pasta and garnish with chopped scallions.