Monday, December 31, 2012

Paal Payasam Recipe - Milk and Rice Kheer Recipe

Paal Payasam Recipe
Paal Payasam is a rich traditional delicacy made with milk and rice.As new year is dawning , want to post this special paal payasam recipe(milk rice pudding).It is one of those recipes which I wanted to post here since long and it has found its way here for new year !! I can even skip my meal to directly dig into this rich and delicious payasam :)

Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous new year 2013!!
Paal Payasam

Paal Payasam Recipe - Ingredients

Preparation Time : 5 mins | Cooking Time : 30 mins | Serves : 2
Recipe Category: Dessert | Recipe Cuisine: South Indian

Basmati Rice - 1/4 cup
Full Cream Boiled Milk - 1 and 1/2 litre ( I used Aavin green)
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Saffron - 3 to 4 strands
Ghee - 2 tsp
Nuts - to garnish(optional)


  1. Roast rice in 1/2 tsp ghee till nice aroma rises(dont change the color of the rice).You can grind the rice coarsely at this stage, its optional(run the mixie just once to break the rice). You can even cook the rice as such like how I did..without mashing if you like the whole grained rice.In a pressure cooker(grease it with 1/2 tsp ghee), add 1 cup of milk to the rice and pressure cook for 2 whistles in medium flame, switch off. Once pressure releases , add milk and switch on the flame again.
    How to make paal payasam - Step1
  2. Then add sugar and stir well and simmer for 5mins. Then mash up the rice with a laddle.
    How to make paal payasam - Step2
  3. Then simmer for 10-15 mins until a thick creamy payasam consistency is reached. Garnish with ghee roasted nuts / saffron.
    How to make paal payasam - Step3
Serve hot or cold as per your preference!
Milk and Rice Kheer Recipe

My Notes:

  • The payasam thickens with time so switch it off accordingly.
  • You can even crush and add saffron at the last stage and give a quick stir.I wanted it milky white for the pics so just garnished while clicking :).
  • You can add cardamom if you prefer.
Easy Paal Payasam
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

How to make soft chapati (Roti / Phulka Recipe) - Puff roti on direct flame(with video)

Phulka Recipe
I learnt this roti puffing method only very recently and I consider it as one of this years achievements haha...sounds silly?! I wanted to post it before this year ends :) Long back, I tried puffing roti but gave up as I didnt get it right. Few months back, when one of my friend asked how to make phulka / pulka the way they show in ads and asked me to post it...the curiosity again kicked up but this time I saw many videos, asked my North Indian neighbor and learnt that the trick is in rolling too....the rotis should be rolled thin even on all sides else the rotis will not puff up fully.

After few trials now I can confidently say I'm getting it right yes each time :) Seeing the roti puff up takes chapati / roti making to a whole new level and mittu loves these phulkas is another added happiness.
Phulkas / Pulkas are nothing but Indian flat bread, which is normally dry and prepared without adding any fat.
Phulka Recipe

Roti / Phulka Recipe - Ingredients

Preparation Time : 20 mins | Cooking Time : 20 mins | Makes : 5 phulkas
Recipe Category: Main | Recipe Cuisine: North Indian

Atta(Wheat flour) - 1 cup (I use homemade wheat flour, you can use any brand)
Salt - to taste
Water - 1/2 cup minus 2 tbsp
Oil - 1/2 tsp (optional)


  1. In a wide mixing bowl add wheat flour, salt and first give a quick mix for salt to be even. Then add water little by little, gather to form a soft pilable dough.Once it is gathered to a mass add 1/2 tsp oil and knead it once.The dough should not be too tight or too loose, it should be non sticky at this stage.
    How to make phulka - Step1
  2. Keep closed aside for 15-30 mins. Open and knead it again and form lemon sized balls(the size depends on your preference). Roll each ball into thin circles(rolling should be even).Dust flour if required but dont add more flour while rolling.
    How to make phulka - Step2
  3. Heat tawa, keep in medium flame - add the roti and wait till small bubbles appear, then flip to other side wait for few mins till golden spots appear. Then carefully transfer it to the flame(let it be in high flame)directly using a tong. Let it puff, then carefully transfer to hot pack. Repeat the same procedure for all other rotis. Brush it with oil/ghee if you prefer.
    How to make phulka - Step3
This way the rotis will stay soft for more hours.You can even use the chapathi/roti griller for making rotis this way.Hope the video will help beginners who want to try this.
Roti - Phulka Recipe

My Notes:

  • While transferring the rotis to direct flame, make sure the flame is high. Also the side that is not cooked to golden brown should be facing down under direct flame.
  • I am sure this will come by practise but dont worry eventhough, if it doesnt not puff up like mine, am sure the rotis will be very soft.
  • Make sure to roll thin and evenly. It should not be too thin as transparent to other side.
  • While kneading make sure to add correct quantity of water and knead well to form a soft pilable dough.
  • Dont be tempted to add in more flour while we are not adding any oil and if you add more flour while rolling the rotis will be very dry and also taste raw.
  • Use a tong and be very careful while taking out without tearing the roti :) as I personally had this problem in the earlier days while I started makig them.
  • The size of each roti is purely your preference but make sure the roti is big enough to fit inside the flame , the sides which are not exposed will not puff up so roll it accordingly.
  • This way you can totally cut down oil and still the chapathi stays soft for hours and best for packing too.
  • Once the rotis are done, brush it with ghee / oil and transfer it to a hotpack and wrap it in a kitchen towel / tissue which will keep it hot and soft until serving time.
Roti Recipe
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Fusilli Pasta in Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce | Pasta Recipes

Pasta for breakfast is a welcoming change these days. Each month I buy  a small pack of a variety of pasta to try new recipes to post here.This pasta with roasted red bell pepper sauce is one easy flavourful recipe which needs no pasta sauce (as requested by few readers).And pasta recipes are always requested by friends and readers so I am getting to experiment more...But my fav is the baked version with white sauce which I posted sometime back. I referred 2-3 recipes from foodgawker and modified them to our taste.
Fusilli Pasta in Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce

Fusilli Pasta with red bellpepper sauce Recipe - Ingredients

Serves: 1
Cooking & PreparationTime: 25 mins

Pasta - 1/2 cup
Tomato -1 chopped roughly
Garlic - 3 pods halved
Red BellPepper(Capsicum) - 1/2 medium sized
Chilli flakes - 1 tsp
Italian Seasoning / Black Pepper - a pinch
Olive oil - 2 tsp
Cheese - just for garnish(I used mozarella)
Salt - to taste

Fusilli Pasta in Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce
1.Boil water and add pasta along with salt and a tsp of oil. Cook pasta till soft yet crunchy enough to bite.Drain water and keep aside. In a pan add little oil and add tomato, garlic and saute till mushy and switch off.
Fusilli Pasta in Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce - Step12.Then roast the bellpepper directly in flame till black spots appear on all sides. Peel of the outer skin as shown.
Fusilli Pasta in Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce - Step23.Then add it along with sauted tomato garlic and grind it to a fine paste. Add this paste to the pan, add 1/4 water and allow it to boil for 3-5mins. Add chilli flakes,salt and italian seasoning.
Fusilli Pasta in Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce - Step34..Once it reaches a sauce consistency, add the cooked pasta and give a quick stir without breaking the pasta. Switch off.While serving garnish with grated cheese and serve hot.
Fusilli Pasta in Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce - Step3
The pasta tastes great by itself  but with grated cheese takes to a whole new level so dont miss it :)
Fusilli Pasta in Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce
My Notes:
  • You can use 1/4 cup vegetable stock too instead of water while making the sauce.
  • You can try this recipe with any type of pasta. I had fusilli in hand so used it up here.
  • While grinding the bellpepper and tomatoes you can add 1/2 a tsp of olive oil. Also add cashews for a  more richer sauce.
Fusilli Pasta in Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mutton Biryani - Hotel Style | Mutton Recipes

Our Sunday lunch is incomplete without a quick one pot meal with mutton / chicken biryani / veg biryani.  I always hold back myself when it comes to cooking nonveg but festivals push me to post such special biryani dishes. I  made this mutton biryani last week and it turned out awesome and came close to the muslim style mutton biryani. Dont hesitate seeing the long ingredient list....just preplan and am sure any beginner can give a try.
Mutton Biryani Recipe

Mutton Biryani Recipe - Ingredients

Serves: 2
Cooking & PreparationTime: 45 mins

Basmati / Seeraga Samba Rice - 1 cup
Onion - 1 chopped lengthwise
Tomato -1 chopped roughly
Ginger Garlic Paste - 2 tsp
Red Chilli powder- 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves- 1/4 cup
Mint leaves - 1/8 cup
Water- 2 cups + 1 cup for pressure cooking mutton
Lemon Juice - 2 tsp
Food Color(Orange) - a tiny pinch(optional)
Salt - to taste

To roast and grind for Biryani Masala powder:

Cloves - 2
Cinnamon - 1/4 inch piece
Cardamom -1
Shahi Jeera- a small pinch
Jeera - a small pinch
Japathri(Maze) - 1 small
Star Anise - 1/2 to 3/4

To temper:

Oil - 1 tbsp
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Cinnamon - a small piece
Cloves - 1
Bayleaf - 2

For the marinade:

Mutton - 1/4 kg(cleaned)
Curd - 2 tbsp
Ginger: 1/2 inch piece + Garlic : 5 + Green Chilli- 2(All grinded to a semi fine paste)
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Red Chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Biryani Masala powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste

Mutton Biryani RecipeMethod:
1.Roast the ingredients listed under 'to roast & grind' for few mins till nice aroma rises. Then grind it to a semi coarse powder.Set aside.
Mutton Biryani Recipe - Step1
2.Grind ginger,garlic and green chillies to a fine paste. Add all the ingredients under 'to marinade'.
Mutton Biryani Recipe - Step2
3.Mix well till the mutton is evenly coated. Set aside for atleast 20 mins. Meanwhile heat oil + ghee in a pressure cooker - add the ingredients listed under 'to temper'. Add onion, ginger garlic paste and saute till slightly browned.
Mutton Biryani Recipe - Step3
4.Then add tomatoes and saute till mushy. Then add coriander and mint leaves , saute till it shrinks then add coriander, red chilli powder and saute for 3mins.
Mutton Biryani Recipe - Step4
5.Then marinated mutton and saute for 5mins until raw smell leaves. Then add 1 cup of water and pressure cook for 5-6 whistles.
Mutton Biryani Recipe - Step5
6.Once pressure releases, open - switch on and add the biryani masala powder and saute till the water is absorbed fully and it becomes to gravy consistency.Then rinse rice and keep it ready.
Mutton Biryani Recipe - Step6
7.Add rice, food color(if required) required salt and mix well with the gravy. Pressure cook with 2 cups of water for a whistle in medium flame, simmer it and leave for 6-8 mins. Switch off. Once pressure releases - open, garnish with coriander leaves, add lemon juice and fluff it up with a fork.
Mutton Biryani Recipe - Step7
Serve it hot with raita and thalicha. I have been getting many requests for thalicha, I will sure post it as soon as possible.
Mutton Biryani Recipe
My Notes:
  • Amma always uses seeraga samba for any biryani esp for nonveg biryani. As I posted chicken biryani with basmati rice I wanted to try mutton biryani with seeraga samba :)
  • Biryani masala powder gives a nice flavour to the biryani. You can make it in bulk and use it for any biryani variety.
  • I usually dont add food make it look colorful and bright I used it this time :)
  • The biryani is medium spicy so adjust spice level according to your taste buds.
  • After mutton is pressure cooked, make sure you bring it to gravy consistency before rice and water is added. The ratio of rice : water is 1 : 2 cups.
Mutton Biryani Recipe
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Chicken Soup | Chicken Soup Recipe

I am not very fond of soups but this chicken soup is an exception as I love to have it with idlis, dosas, bread or even as such as it tastes so good on its own. The climate here is so chill these days and a warm bowl of soup is a bliss. Mittu loves to have this soup as such or with idlis. You can pressure cook for more whistles if its for kids to make the chicken even more soft.
Chicken Soup Recipe

Chicken Soup Recipe - Ingredients

Serves: 2
Cooking & Preparation Time: 20 mins

Chicken - 300 gms
Turmeric powder - a generous pinch
Water - 2 cups

To grind to a paste:

Small Onion - 10
Coriander leaves - 1/4 cup tightly packed
Jeera - 1 tsp
Peppercorns - 1/2 tsp

To temper:

Oil - 1.5 tsp
Cardamom(Elachi) - 1
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Big Onion - 1 small sized

Chicken Soup Recipe
1.First grind the ingredients listed under 'to grind to a paste' with little water to a semi fine paste.Set aside. In a pressure cooker heat oil - add cardamom and jeera let it splutter.
Chicken Soup Recipe- Step12.Then add onions amd curry leaves saute till it is slightly browned. Then add washed and cleaned chicken pieces, add turmeric powder. Saute for 2mins then add the paste.
Chicken Soup Recipe- Step23.Saute well till raw smell leaves say for 3-5mins. Then add water, required salt and pressure cook for 5 whistles. Once pressure releases, open and serve hot.
Chicken Soup Recipe- Step3

Serve hot with any bread. We had it with masala bread :)
Chicken Soup Recipe
My Notes:
  • If you want it more spicy add a tsp of red chilli powder along with turmeric powder and proceed with remaining steps.
  • The soup goes well with idlis and uttapams too. I love it with hot steaming idlis.
  • You can use the leftover chicken pieces and even the soup for any chicken gravy you are making.
Chicken Soup Recipe
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Choco Chip Cookies Recipe - Eggless Chocolate Chips Cookies

Choco Chip Cookies Recipe
Ever since I started to bake, I was waiting to bake these choco chips cookies. Every single time I buy a pack of chocochips for this reason, store it in the chiller and totally forget about it....And when I remember about it, I see only the empty pack(or sometimes a tbsp left) and the culprits were my mother and mittu :) Yes this has happened for more than a year and all my efforts of hiding it in different places were all in vain as somehow they find it out and before I realise the chocochips goes empty....Grrrr! Finally this time, I got the choco chips only a day before I baked these cookies so it was saved :) I took the recipe from my baking class book and I was very much satisfied with the results.This recipe is quite simple and easy to put it together.You can use this recipe for a basic vanilla cookie too.
Choco Chip Cookies Recipe

Eggless Choco Chip Cookies Recipe - Ingredients

Preparation Time : 15 mins | Cooking Time : 30 mins | Makes : 15 cookies
Recipe Category: Cookies | Recipe Cuisine: World

Maida (All Purpose Flour) - 1 cup
Icing Sugar - 1/3 cup
Butter - 1/3 cup (at room temperature)
Choco Chips - 1/3 cup minus 1 tbsp
Vanilla Essence - 3/4 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/4 tsp
Baking powder - 1/4 tsp
Milk - 1 tbsp


  1. Cream sugar and butter until creamy. Add vanilla essence and whisk it well.
    How to make choco chip cookies - Step1
  2. Sieve maida , baking powder,soda well until evenly mixed. Add it to butter sugar mixture.
    How to make choco chip cookies - Step2
  3. Bring it together to form a soft dough(Add milk only if its too dry and doesnt come together). Add in the choco chips finally and give a quick stir.Now the cookies dough is ready.
    How to make choco chip cookies - Step3
  4. Preheat oven to 180 deg C for 10mins. Meanwhile roll them into medium sized balls and flatten it with your palms - if you want more thinner cookies flatten them thin. I wanted a bit thicker so made it like this. Bake the cookies for 20-25mins. If its thinner keep an eye at 15mins itself. Mine took a little longer and got baked in 25mins.
    How to make choco chip cookies - Step4
Cool them on wirerack completely then store them in airtight container.
Choco Chip Cookies Recipe

My Notes:

  • Keep an eye after 15 mins especially when you are making your cookies more thinner.As the timing varies from oven to oven, so switch it off once the cookies turn golden brown.
  • The cookies dont spread much so you need not worry about keeping them close.
  • The number of cookies depends on the size of cookies.
  • Do not overbake, the cookies will become harder.
  • Dont skip butter as its the main ingredients which makes this chat tastier.
Choco Chip Cookies Recipe
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Eggless Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe | Plum Cake

Eggless Christmas Fruit Cake RecipeeChristmas is around the corner and this year I made up my mind to bake the christmas fruit cake. I first wanted to try a eggless version and I zeroed in this recipe. It is a instant version with no prior soaking needed - doesnt that sound interesting?! and yes its eggless too. So no more excuses, get onto your aprons and get start to bake :)

Last week I baked this cake and we loved the aroma and texture of this cake.After hubby tasted a piece, he said I dont miss the eggs here and it is just perfect. Thats mission accomplished :)
Eggless Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe

Eggless Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe - Ingredients

Recipe Reference : Divine Taste Makes: 8 pieces
Cooking & Preparation Time: 2 hrs 

Maida(All purpose flour) - 1 cup
Butter - 1/2 cup
Demerara sugar - 1/2 cup
Baking Powder - 1/2 + 1/4 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp with dry fruits
Spice mixture - 1/2 tsp(1 clove , 1 small piece cinnamon & a small piece of nutmeg)
Date Syrup/ Honey- 1/2 tbsp
Curd(Yogurt) - 3 tbsp
Vanilla essence - 1/2 + 1/4 tsp
Mashed Potato - 1/2 cup
Water - 1/2 cup

Dry Fruits & Nuts:

Raisins - 50 gms(Golden + Black)
Dry Figs - 50 gms
Dates - 25 gms
Almonds - 25 gms
Pista - 25 gms
Cashews - 25 gms
Tutti Frutti - 50 gms

Eggless Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe
1.Get all your dry fruits and nuts ready....Chop them finely, keep aside(Show below in the pic is just half of the ingredient measure incase if you are doubtful :)). In a non stick pan add the dry fruits, - butter, honey, brown sugar , water - Keep in low flame until sugar and butter dissolves then in high flame let it come to a boil.Then lower the flame and let it boil for a good 20 mins. By then the dry fruits must have softened and cooked.
Eggless Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe - Step12.After 20mins, switch off and add 1/8 tsp baking soda the mixture will become frothy and will bubble up. Set aside and let it cool down. Meanwhile in a mixing bowl add curd, vanilla essence, spice mixture then add the dry fruits mixture.
Eggless Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe - Step2
3.Then add boiled and mashed potato followed by nuts. Sieve maida, 1/2 tsp baking soda, baking powder twice and make it ready.Make sure the dryfruits mixture and mashed potato is cooled down before you add.
Eggless Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe - Step3
4.Add the sieved flour and mix well.The mixture will be thick.Preheat oven at180 deg C.Meanwhile lay butter paper inside the tin(only for the bottom)...Grease the tin with butter and maida. Then spoon the cake batter into the greased tin.Smooth the top with the hep of a spatula.You can decorate it with deskinned almonds on top if you wish to.
Eggless Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe - Step4
5.Bake the cake at 180 deg C for 1 hour 15 mins. Mine was done exactly in 1 hour...check if the top has browned and if a tooth inserted in center comes out clean.Check after 1 hour then proceed baking.Immediately transfer and place the cake tin on a wet cloth for easy unmoulding. Allow it to cool for 15 mins, then invert and carefully peel of the butter paper. Then allow it to cool for atleast an hour before slicing.  
Eggless Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe - Step5
You can brush the cake with little sugar syrup while serving to avoid drying. Else you can sprinkle icing sugar on top too.
Eggless Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe
My Notes:
  • The batter will be thick enough to spoon. If it too dry to mix, add 2-3 tsp of water to form a batter.
  • The cake doesnt rise much so you can fill upto 3/4th of the tin too.Also my cake was done in 1 hr as it was small. The timing purely depends on the size and the oven type too, so keep an eye after 1 hour when
  • I halved the recipe and got a 4 inch round cake.
  • This cake is a bit crumbly because of of the dryfruits and nuts so make sure to slice only when completely cooled. Cooling time of 4-5 hrs is highly recommended.
  • Make sure to chop the nuts and dry fruits as small as possible so that it easily blends with the cake. 
  • The dryfruits and nuts combination is your choice.
  • The potato starch acts as a egg replacer here and you can find its presence at all in the cake.
  • You can even use 2 tsp of orange zest / peels along with the dryfruits.
Eggless Christmas Plum Cake Recipe
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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