Monday, April 10, 2017

Cabbage Kofta Curry

Cabbage kofta (in appe pan)


Cabbage (grated): 200 gm
Salt to taste
Red chili powder: 1/2 tsp.
Coriander powder: 1/2 tsp.

For the curry:

Cooking oil: 3 tsp.
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp.
Coriander seeds: 1/2 tsp.
Fennel seeds: 1/2 tsp.
Poppy seeds: 1/2 tsp.
Black peppercorns: 1/4 tsp.
Onion (chopped): 1
Ginger-garlic paste: 3 tsp.
Tomatoes (chopped): 2
Yogurt: 1 cup
Salt to taste
Red chili powder: 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp.
Tamarind: 1 tsp.
Garam masala: 1/2 tsp.
Kasoori methi: 1/2 tsp.
Cream: 1 tsp.
Coriander leaves to garnish

  1. To make kofta, mix the grated cabbage with salt, red chili powder and coriander powder.
  2. Mix well with hands and make medium sized round balls and keep aside.  
  3. Heat the appe pan on low heat and when warm, add a drop of oil in each cavity. 
  4. Put one cabbage ball in each cavity. DO NOT COVER. 
  5. Let cook for some time and turn the kofta to other side. Let cook both sides and remove from the appe pan and keep aside. 
  6. To prepare the curry: heat 2 tsp. oil and crackle cumin seeds. When they splutter, add the whole spices: coriander seeds, fennel seeds, poppy seeds and black peppercorns. 
  7. Add the onions and saute them until transparent and starting to brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste and stir. Let cook until the raw smell goes away. 
  8. Add the tomatoes and sprinkle salt. Cover and let cook until the tomatoes are soft and mushy. Remove cover and stir. 
  9. Turn off the flame and let it cool. 
  10. When cooled, grind to a smooth paste adding a little water. 
  11. Heat the same pan again and add a tsp. of oil. Add the paste and a cup of water. Stir and bring to a rolling boil. 
  12. Add the yogurt and mix well. Let cook for about 10 minutes. 
  13. Add the red chili powder, turmeric powder, tamarind. Mix and let everything cook for about 5 more minutes. 
  14. Add the garam masala and kasoori methi and give a stir. Turn off the flame. 
  15. Just before serving add the koftas to the curry, garnish with a tsp. cream and freshly chopped coriander leaves. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Fun with colors: Rainbow handprints

Most of the times it's real fun being with kids and teaching them, watching them grow! Sharing a colorful activity we did with the 5-year old kids. We talked a lot about colors, rainbows, the colors of the rainbow. We mixed to make indigo and orange colors. And then all of the kids took turns to choose a color of the rainbow and paint their own hand with the color. Then they all made hand prints on a big sheet of paper which we later hanged in our classroom.

Our team-work rainbow hand print poster. 

 Materials required: 

Shallow dishes to add and/or mix color: 7 (one for each color of the rainbow)
Paint brushes: 7 (one for each color so there is no hassle of washing the brushes all the time)
Water in a cup (to add to the colors if the density is thick)
A big sheet of paper

  1. Begin by adding the 3 primary colors in 3 different dishes: red, yellow and blue. Here we talked about primary colors which we cannot make with any other colors but we have to buy these 3 colors and after that we can make all the colors with these 3 colors. 
  2. We then talked about secondary colors: orange (red+yellow), purple (red+blue) and green (yellow+blue). We simultaneously made those 3 colors as well. 
  3. We also talked about how can we make black color: and we reached the conclusion that we must mix all the dark colors available so we will get black color. So we tried mixing the dark colors: red, blue, orange, purple and green. We ended up with a brownish color. Then we tried adding more and more purple and finally we achieved a shade almost close to black. So we reached the conclusion that we should not have mixed orange instead only red. 
  4. We even made indigo color: blue + purple. Now we have all the colors of the rainbow. 
  5. After we had our colors ready, we laid down the big sheet of paper and talked about the team-work poster with everyone's hand prints. 
  6. Then started the real fun: each child took turns to choose a color, painted his/her one hand entirely and made a hand print on the big sheet. Some of them loved to directly dip their hand in paint and make the print impression. 
  7. We continued this activity until everyone got the chance to paint their hand and make a print on our poster. 

  8. Few of our children wanted to make their individual hand prints on their own papers. So we agreed on that and they chose a different style: painted the hand with a different color, and all the fingers with different colors. Those hand prints came out looking like real rainbow hand prints. 

This was a fun and colorful activity. We had a lot of talks about colors: primary colors, secondary colors and how to make different colors like black, brown, indigo etc. How many are the colors of rainbow, which colors and the order of colors. It was a great learning session of teamwork, mathematics, knowledge of colors and natural phenomenon and development of fine motor skills.

The very next day we spotted this big rainbow outside our school and we were so excited !!!! 

Spinach Chicken Pasta


Pasta of choice (I used whole wheat spaghetti): 1/2 cup
Chicken: 100 gm (cubed)
Baby spinach (washed and roughly chopped): 1 cup
Onion (chopped): 1
Olive oil: 3 tsp.
Garlic (minced or finely chopped): 3 cloves
Chili flakes: 1/4 tsp.
Oregano: 1/2 tsp.
Baby tomatoes: 6
Tomato ketchup: 2 tsp.
Vegetable stock: 1 cup
Salt to taste
Black pepper powder to taste

  1. Boil the pasta according to the instructions on the pack. Drain the water and keep the pasta aside. 
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add garlic and the chicken. Fry until the chicken is almost cooked and white from both sides. Drain from the oil and keep aside. 
  3. Heat the same oil and add the onions. Let cook until the onions start browning. 
  4. Add the baby spinach and let cook just till the leaves start wilting. Cut baby tomatoes in half and add to the pan. 
  5. Add salt, oregano and chili flakes. Add the vegetable stock and bring everything to a boil. 
  6. Add the cooked chicken and give everything a stir. 
  7. Add the boiled pasta and tomato ketchup. Mix everything well and stir nicely. Let cook for about 4-5 minutes until all flavors are mixed and it reaches the desired consistency. 
  8. Sprinkle black pepper and turn off the flame. Serve. 


Friday, February 3, 2017

Weight loss salad

Salads, specially home-made with basic and simple ingredients are very useful in weight loss as they really help to feel full and makes one avoid fried and spicy food. I make salads with no spices and just use pink salt and black pepper. Everybody is different and has different requirements and different activity levels. But I try to eat a full and nice meal for lunch as my activity level is high during the day. I try and replace my dinner with salads whenever I can. It actually takes much less time and effort to prepare salad for dinner. I, for one feel more full also because of the fact that I am not able to gulp down the salad very quickly like I do some other foods like rajma-chawal etc. and have to take about 20-30 minutes to chew the salad nicely and properly. You can try and prepare this healthy salad for dinner sometimes and you will feel light and fresh and ultimately will start seeing changes in the weight.


Black chana (boiled): 1 cup (Boil in slow cooker to reduce time + effort)
Cherry tomatoes: 6
Arugula leaves (rocket leaves): a handful
Feta cheese
Potato (boiled): 1
Ginger (grated): to taste
Lemon: 1/2
Coriander leaves for garnish (optional)
Pink salt (or regular salt): to taste
Black pepper powder to taste
Olive oil: 4 tbsp.

  1. Peel and chop the boiled potato into bite-sized pieces. 
  2. To a serving dish, start adding the salad ingredients one by one: boiled black chana, cherry tomatoes, arugula leaves, boiled potato, grated ginger. Toss well. 
  3. Add the feta cheese on the top. Grate some cheese for garnish if you wish. 
  4. Garnish with coriander leaves. 
  5. Sprinkle the lemon juice and add salt and pepper. Toss again if you wish. 
  6. In a small bowl, add the olive oil. Add salt and black pepper to it and mix. Pour over the salad. 
  7. Salad is ready to enjoy! 
  8. Tip: you can keep the boiled potato and boiled chana warm if you don't want to eat cold salad. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Banana Walnut cake (whole wheat)

A simple banana walnut cake!


Whole wheat flour: 1 cup
Sugar: 1/2 cup
Vegetable oil: 1/4 cup
Ripe bananas: 2 large
Eggs: 2 large
Vanilla essence: 1 tsp.
Baking soda: 1 tsp.
Cocoa powder: 2 tbsp.
Beaten yogurt: 1/2 cup
Walnuts (chopped): according to taste

  1. Pre-heat the oven at 200 C for about 20 minutes while you prepare the mix. 
  2. Begin by sieving the whole wheat flour in a big mixing bowl. Sieve in cocoa powder and the baking soda. 
  3. Mix everything slowly but really well so that there are no lumps remaining. Keep aside. 
  4. In another big mixing bowl, add the sugar. Break the egg in the bowl and beat it well. Do not over mix. I used a hand whisk. 
  5. Now add the well mashed bananas and again mix well. 
  6. Add the oil, yogurt and vanilla essence. Mix everything slowly with the help of whisk. You can also use the electric mixer. 
  7. Slowly begin to add the flour mix to this mix. Add a little at a time and keep on mixing but remember not to over mix. Just mix it until you see no lumps. The mix should be little flowy and not dense. 
  8. Fold in the walnuts in the mix. Save some of the walnuts for the base if desired. 
  9. Grease the cake mold and sprinkle little walnuts on the base if desired. 
  10. Pour in the mixture. 
  11. Bake for 30 minutes at 200 C. Then do the toothpick test. Insert a toothpick in the middle of the cake, it should not have the batter stuck to it, it should come out clean with little crumbles. If not done, bake for a little more time until the toothpick comes out clean.
  12. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10-15 minutes. 
  13. Invert the pan and remove the cake from the mold in a tray or a plate. 
  14. Let cool completely and cut in desired shapes. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Hyderabadi masala (Spice mix)

I really love Hyderabadi cuisine and have prepared a lot of Hyderabadi dishes. I love them as they are spicy and the perfect flavor of sweet and spice. This is a Hyderabadi spice mix which can be added to the dishes instead of the usual garam masala to enhance the flavor of dishes manifold. Not just in Hyderabadi dishes, a bit of this can also be added to the usual dishes to redefine the flavors.


Cinnamon: 4 sticks (big)
Black pepper: 4 tsp.
Green cardamom: 6
Saffron: 1 tsp.
Cloves: 8
Nigella seeds: 2 tsp.

  1. Dry roast all the ingredients except saffron. Don't discard the covers of cardamom. 
  2. Let cool. 
  3. Grind all the dry roasted ingredients along with saffron to form a coarse powder. 
  4. Store in air tight container at room temperature. 
  5. Use in Hyderabadi dishes in place of garam masala. 
Hyderabadi dishes from the blog:

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Chai Muffins (Indian tea flavor) muffins

Chai! Chai has always been a heaven for me and even though it can be translated as "tea", the tea is quite nowhere around the Indian Chai! Chai from India is a spiced milk tea which is getting increasingly popular throughout the world. I take my Chai very seriously and I can't compromise on a badly-made cup of tea. Indian Chai produces a warming, soothing effect and gives a wonderful sense of fulfillment and well-being. When I'm home from work, all I crave is a hot cup of chai. It is difficult to resist a second cup. Coffee comes nowhere close to my Chai!

I also use a specially made chai-masala or tea spice mix to elevate the flavors of my tea. I have previously shared the recipe of the chai masala. If you missed it, here's the recipe:
Chai masala recipe (Tea spice)

So why am I talking about Chai here in a muffin post? That's because for a very long time I have been wanting to add this spiced mix to flour and try baking some goodies with it. I was sure they would turn up good. So this Christmas I finally went along to prepare Chai muffins and amazingly they turned out so good and yummy.. crusty from outside and soft from inside. Do try this recipe and I'm sure you will make it again and again!


Whole wheat flour: 1 cup
Brown Sugar: 1/2 cup
Baking soda: 1 tsp.
Chai masala: 3 tsp.
Eggs: 2 large
Yogurt (beaten): 4 tsp.
Cooking oil: 1/4 cup
Vanilla essence: 1 tsp.

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200° C. 
  2. Add the flour to a bowl and add the baking soda to it. Mix well. 
  3. Add the spiced tea mix (chai masala) and mix them well. Your dry ingredients are ready. Keep aside. 
  4. Now in another bowl add the eggs and the sugar and mix them really well until light and fluffy. You can use a hand mixer or an electric mixer. 
  5. Add the yogurt and mix well. Add the cooking oil and vanilla essence. Mix everything well until light and frothy. 
  6. Now slowly begin to add the dry ingredient mix to the wet ingredients. Keep mixing slowly. 
  7. Add all the mix and mix everything together. The consistency should be a little flowy and not dense. This will make light and fluffy muffins. 
  8. Grease the mold and fill upto 3/4 with this mix and immediately put in the oven. I have baked them for Christmas so I used special Christmas mold. 
  9. Let bake for 15 minutes and check with a toothpick. If the toothpick is wet then let them be in the oven for 5 more minutes. The outside should be deep brown with a little crust. 
  10. When the toothpick has crumbly mix when you do the test that means the muffins are done. 
  11. Turn off the oven and take out the tray. Let cool for 10 minutes and remove the muffins. 
  12. Cool completely and refrigerate in an air-tight box for up to a week. 
  13. Warm for a minute in microwave while serving with tea/coffee.

Merry Christmas everyone ! 


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