Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chai Latte


1 cup water
3 cloves
1/2 inch cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods
1 tsp black tea powder
1 1/2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1/2 inch ginger
3/4 cup low fat milk


Add water, cloves,cinnamon stick,cardamom pods, black tea powder and dark brown sugar into a pot and boil  for 4-5 minutes.
Strain the concoction into a bottle.Store in a refrigerator for up to 2 days and use as needed.
Warm milk in a microwave or stove. Do not boil.
Pour 1/2 of it into the mug,then add 2-3 Tbsp(or more as per taste) of the prepared concoction.
Whip remaining half of the milk until frothy using a blender or frother.
Spoon it into the mug. Mix slightly.Serve immediately.
This can also be served cold. Instead of warm milk, add ice and cold milk into the concoction.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Curried Butternut Squash Soup


1 medium Butternut Squash peeled and cubed
1 medium onion diced
2 large cloves garlic minced
1/2 inch ginger minced
1 green chili
1/2 tsp Garam Masala powder
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup milk
1/4 cup chopped cilantro


Take the butternut squash pieces in a baking sheet, drizzle oil on top, season lightly with salt and pepper.
Roast for an hour or until soft.Keep aside.
In a pan, add 1 Tbsp oil. Once hot add cumin seeds and let splutter.
Add onions and saute till translucent.
Add ginger, garlic and green chilli. Saute for 30 seconds.
Add Garam masala and roasted butternut squash pieces and puree.
Add milk as needed to get the desired consistency while pureeing.
Simmer for 5 minutes. Add cilantro.
Add more salt per taste.
Serve hot.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mini Cinnamon Buns


For the dough

1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg (room temperature) beaten
5/8 cup warm 2 %  or whole milk
3.5 Tbsp butter(room temperature)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp sugar

For the filling

2 Tbsp butter(room temperature)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4  teaspoons cinnamon

For the glaze

1/8 cup Cream Cheese (room temperature)
1 Tbsp butter(room temperature)
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
3-4 drops vanilla essence
1-2 Tbsp of Warm milk(add more or less depending on the required consistency)

Serving size: Yields 14-15 mini cinnamon buns.


Prepare the dough

In a bowl, add yeast,warm milk and sugar.Keep aside for a minute or so.
After sometime the milk should look very frothy.
To the same bowl add 2 cups flour,egg,salt,butter.
Mix well with a wooden spoon.
Add more flour by a tsp measure, if the dough feels very sticky.
Once the dough comes together, Knead it for at least 10 minutes with hand.The dough should be smooth and should  spring back when poked with a finger.It should not stick to hands.
Cover with a damp towel and leave aside for an hour in a warm spot for the dough to rise.
In the mean time mix cinnamon and brown sugar in a small bowl.Keep aside.
After an hour, knead the dough for 30 seconds and flatten it out with a rolling pin or hand in the shape of rectangle.(approx 16 X 10 in measurement).

Add the filling and prepare the baking dish

Spread butter all over the surface of the dough.
Sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar mixture.
Beginning at the longer side, roll the dough tightly.
With a knife using short movements, cut the dough into equal slices.(approximately 1 inch)
Place slices with the cut side up in a large baking dish.There should be some space between the slices.Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot for an hour.


Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Apply butter/milk on top of the rolls. Bake till golden brown.
Remove and cool for five minutes.

Prepare the glaze

Beat cream cheese, butter, confectioner's sugar and vanilla essence till smooth.
Add milk slowly (1 Tbsp at a time) checking the consistency. Add more for thinner consistency and less for thicker.

Pour glaze over cinnamon buns.Serve warm.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cracked wheat and spinach khichdi


1 cup coarse cracked wheat
3/4 cup yellow moong daal
2 cups spinach chopped roughly
1/2 tsp whole black pepper
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of asafoetida
1 sprig curry leaves
1 whole red chilli
2 tbsp clarified butter/ghee
2 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
5 cups water


Pressure cook cracked wheat, moong daal and spinach in 5 cups of water for 3 whistles.
In a small pan, heat oil and clarified butter together on medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add cumin and mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add black pepper corns, asafoetida, red chilli. Lastly add curry leaves and immediately add to the cooked cracked wheat.
Add salt to taste.
Drizzle ghee/clarified butter on top(optional).
Serve hot with a pickle of choice.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Whole wheat pancakes


1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 egg
2 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp butter
Blueberries or any berries of choice
Maple syrup to drizzle on top


Take cold milk in a cup and add lemon juice to it. Keep aside for 5 minutes.
Beat egg in a mixing bowl. 
Add milk and lemon juice mixture,sugar,oil to the egg and beat till everything blends.
Sift whole wheat flour,salt, baking soda and baking powder .Mix into the wet ingredients.
Mix with a spatula till everything just blends. Small lumps is fine in pancake batter.
Heat a pan on low. Brush some oil or butter on the pan
Pour a ladle full of batter into the pan.
after 30 seconds,try to lift the sides slowly using a wide spatula. 
Once the pancake is golden brown on the bottom side, flip it gently.
once the other side is also light brown,Use a toothpick and prick in the center to see if the pancake is cooked throughout.
Transfer to a plate.Drizzle maple syrup on top. Add some berries. Serve hot with a dollop of whipped cream or butter.

Friday, November 9, 2012



1 cup Urad Daal
3 cups Idli rice
1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
Water as needed
Salt to taste


Soak urad daal and fenugreek seeds together in a bowl. Soak rice in a separate bowl for 5-6 hrs.

Drain and grind urad daal and fenugreek seeds till a smooth fluffy mixture is formed.Use water as needed to aide in grinding.
If a 1/4 tsp of ground urad daal is put in water,it should float and not sink to the bottom.This is when it is done.Keep this aside.

Next, grind idli rice till a coarse mixture is formed. 
Finally, grind the urad daal mixture and rice mixture together with a 1/4 tsp of salt, till everything blends in well.

Put the batter in a tall container and leave it in a warm place for the batter to ferment and rise.It takes approximately 8-10 hrs in a cold climate.During summer it may take much less time.

Once the batter ferments, add required amount of salt to taste(already there is a 1/4 tsp of salt, so be careful while adding more). Mix well.
Take an idli stand. Apply oil/ghee and pour in batter(do not fill batter to the brim,leave some place for the idli to rise while steaming). 
In a cooker/idli steamer, add water and bring it to boil. Put idli stand in and steam for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes take the idli stand out, and let it rest for a minute or so. Use a blunt knife to take idlis out.
Apply ghee on top and serve hot with Sambhar/chutney/spice powder of choice.

Some tips for proper fermentation in cold weather:

  • Fill a large container with warm water and place the idli batter container in that. Leave this in a warm place.
  • Grind batter in the morning and let it ferment during the day.(Temperatures are higher during the day when compared to night)
  • Keep batter in a warm oven. Switch on the oven light.
  • Put idli batter container  near the stove while cooking
If batter does not ferment and rise even after doing all this. Make dosa/uttapam with the batter and try again next time.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Kadhai Paneer


7 oz Paneer cut into bite size cubes
2  Medium Carrots cut into Discs
1 Big Green Bell Pepper cut into bite size pieces
1 Medium onion cut into bite size pieces
1 Roma tomatoes cut into bite size pieces
1 inch ginger grated
3 cloves Garlic grated
1 green chilli
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp Garam masala powder
1 tsp crushed Kasuri methi
1 Tbsp tomato paste
Pinch of sugar
Salt to taste
4-5 mint leaves
Water as needed
3-4 Tbsp oil


Add oil into a pan and heat it up.
Once hot, add carrots , saute till tender, remove from pan and keep aside.
Add bell peppers into the same pan, saute till tender , remove from pan and keep aside.
Do the same with onions, when onions are slightly translucent, remove them from pan.
Saute Paneer for 30 seconds and keep aside.
Finally add tomatoes, Saute for a minute. They should not turn mushy. Keep aside.
In the same pan add cumin seeds. once they splutter, add tomato paste,grated ginger,garlic and green chilli. Saute till the raw smell is gone. 
Add coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder,turmeric powder,Kasuri methi, fry for 30 seconds, Add 1/2  cup water to make the paste thinner.(Add more or less depending on the preferred consistency)
Let it come to a boil. once small bubbles appear, add the vegetables and Paneer pieces, salt to taste and Garam masala powder. Mix gently.Finally add mint leaves to garnish on top.
Cover and simmer for 1-2 minutes so that the flavors develop.
Serve hot with jeera rice, pulao or Naan.