Thursday 31 January 2013

Nilgiri Kurma

Kurma is basically vegetables in a coconut gravy. What makes it different from regular kootu is the addition of spices like cinnamon, bay leaf etc. This is yet another refreshing kurma. It has wonderful flavours from mint and coriander.

Have made a few variations before. Do try them all
Navarathna Kurma
Paneer Kurma
Tomato Kurma
Peas Kurma


Mixed Vegetables 5 cups (I used frozen veg - carrots, peas, cauliflower, broccoli)
Potatoes 2

Onions 2

Coconut 1 cup
Jeera 1 tsp
Fennel seeds 1 tsp
Poppy seeds 2 tsp
Star Anise 2
Cinnamon 2 inch piece
Clove 2
Mint a handful
Coriander leaves a handful

Mustard 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves few
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder 1.5 tsp

Oil and salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Cook the vegetables in microwave or stove top.

2. Cook the potatoes. Peal and chop. Keep ready.

3. Heat some oil in a pan. Add the onions and saute till it starts to brown.

4. In a mixie add the onions along with coconut, Jeera, Fennel seeds, Poppy seeds, Star Anise, Cinnamon, Clove, Mint and Coriander leaves.

5. Grind into a smooth paste by adding a little water.

6. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard. When it sputters, add curry leaves.

7. When it sizzles, add the paste. Saute for a couple of minutes.

8. Add some water and bring to a boil.

9. Add the cooked vegetables and potatoes. Add some salt.

10. Simmer for a little while.

Serve with some warm rotis or rice.

Tuesday 29 January 2013

Roasted Vegetables with rosemary and garlic

Roasted Vegetable is one of my favourites and everyone in my family loves it. Made this with some bread and soup the other day

I have used potatoes, parsnips and carrots in this. You can choose your combination of vegetables or make with just one of these as well. It is flavoured with garlic and rosemary.

If you have not eaten oven roasted garlic, you are in for a surprise. Roasting takes away the pungent spiciness and replaces it with an awesome buttery sweetness that will make you fall in love with garlic all over again :-)


Potato 1
Carrots 4
Parsnips 4
Garlic 8-10 pods
Rosemary - 2 sprigs
Salt a little
Pepper a little
Oil 2 tbsp

Method of Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2. Chop all the vegetables to nearly uniform size. Peal and add garlic as well to the bowl.

3. Add the rosemary, salt and pepper. Drizzle the oil. Mix everything together.

4. Transfer to a baking tray and make a layer.

5. Bake for about 45 minutes (to an hour). Mine were done in about 50 min.

Sunday 27 January 2013

Tomato Shorba - A soup from Maharashtra

Bored of the same old soup? Shorba is basically an Indian Version of soup. This one is made of tomatoes and coconut milk which is then mildly spiced.

AGC are making dishes from Marathi cuisine this week. Though I was tempted to make a Sabudana Khichdi or a chaat item, I saw this recipe in a Tarla Dalal cook book that I have. It sounded interesting as I usually don't make soups without the usual celery and onion starter.


Tomatoes 10
Coconut Milk 1 cup
Besan/Chickpea flour 2 tsp
Jeera 1 tsp
Curry Leaves few
Green Chilli 2
Coriander leaves 2-3 tbsp to garnish
Ghee 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Roughly chop the tomatoes and boil in 2 cups of water. Once cooked, cool and make into a puree.

2. Mix the besan and coconut milk and keep aside.

3. In a pot, add the ghee. Add the jeera. When it sizzles, add the curry leaves and green chilli.

4. Add the tomoto puree and coconut milk mix along with some salt and simmer for a few minutes.

5. Garnish with some coriander leaves.

Yummy Shorba is ready to be served.

Check out the other AGC thoughout this week 
AnushaJayanthiKavithaPriya MRadhikaVeenaPriya S

Friday 25 January 2013

Whole Grain Pull apart bread with onion tomato chutney

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine (Radhika) mailed me to say that she was joining a group of bakers who are going to bake a bread every month throughout 2013. 12 breads for the year. I really wanted to do it. But I was not sure if I had the time to do it. Yesterday, all my blogging friends started posting their pull apart breads. I could not sleep the whole night. All I could dream of was those yummy breads. I am surprised I did not start baking in the middle of the night.

I wrote to Aparna today morning and asked if I could join her group. I knew I was late in joining and had my fingers crossed. She was a darling and said yes. Yes, Aparna is the person who is bringing together all 'Bread Bakers' to make 'The Bread of the Month'!!

So here I am! Part of the group of Bread Bakers - We Knead to Bake (totally totally love the name). This month we are baking Pull Apart Bread. Do check out the array of breads posted in this link. You will be bowled by the variety of stuffing and how cute they all look. And I bet you will dream like me and bake with me :-)

Off to the recipe


For Bread

Whole Grain Bread Flour (you can use APF) 3 cups
Fast Acting Instant Yeast 1 pkt (7gm)
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1 tbsp
Garlic Powder 1 tsp
Warm Milk 11/4 cup
Oil for greasing

For the spread (makes about a cup, I used about 1/4 cup for spreading and then some as a spread for the bread while eating)
Onion 1
Tomato 2
Cumin 1 tsp
Green Chilli 1
Rosemary 2 sprigs
Parsley a handful
Oil and Salt to taste

Method of preparation for spread

1. Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin and onions. Saute till it is browned a little.

2. Add tomato and green chilli. Cook till tomatoes are done.

3. Switch off and add rosemary and parsley along with some salt.

4. Cool and grind into a smooth paste. Keep ready.

Method of Preparation for the bread

1. In a bowl, take the flour, salt, sugar and yeast. If you are not using fast acting yeast, proof it first

2. Add warm milk and knead well into a smooth dough.

3. Apply some oil on the surface and let it rest for an hour or 2 till the dough rises and is doubled in size.

4. Punch out the air and On a work surface spread the dough into a square.

5. Spread the onion-tomato spread. You can use any spread here. Add cheese if you like.

6. Cut into 5-6 stripes and stack them with the spread side facing up.

7. The cut the strips across to form 5-6 stacks of dough.

8. Grease a bread pan. Arrange the dough with the spread side facing the side of the pan. I had cut the squares very small. So had a lot of small bits left. I just arranged them on the side as well.

9. Cover and let it rest for another hour till it rises again. Brush the top with some milk. (well this is when the clock ticked to 4 and it became dark.. so much for taking photos).

10. Preheat oven to 180C. Bake for about 30-40 minutes. Mine was done in about 33 min.

11. Let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then cool in a wire rack for another 10 minutes.

Pull away! Eat away! Hope you enjoy this as much as I did

Thursday 24 January 2013

Braided Bread - 2, 3 and 5 strand

Baking Bread is addictive. I am just way too addicted to it. I could just make it everyday. Love the feeling of kneading the dough. Then watching the dough raise (am totally in love with yeast) - well this is a love hate relationship. Though after buying fast acting instant yeast, it has never failed me, I am always checking every 10 minutes to see if my dough is rising. (thanks to cling film I am not disturbing anything) :-) Shaping the dough, stuffing it and watching it bake (yes I peep though the glass door) and then finally the smell of freshly baked bread all around the kitchen! What's not to love!

I made some Stuffed Braided Bread last week and we all loved it. Got many positive reviews as well. Got a few feedbacks after ppl made it. Thanks a lot to all of you who tried it and especially those who took the effort to write to me or send me photos. (you know who you are, thank you, thank you, thank you)

I saw this video of a guy braiding bread and knew instantly that I wanted to do what he was doing. Watch the video and I am sure you will fall in love with it and will rush to the kitchen immediately. This is the result of my baking adventure.

You can also brush this bread with some garlic butter as I did in the Garlic Bread recipe.


Bread Flour (or All Purpose Flour) 3 cups
Fast Acting Instant Yeast 2 packets (7gm each)
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1 tbsp
Oil 2 tsp

Milk 1.5 cups +  a little for brushing on top

Method of Preparation

1. Take the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the oil and mix well.

2. Make into a dough by adding enough warm milk. I used a little over 11/4 cup of milk. Knead well. Cover and keep aside for 1.5 hours till the dough doubles in size.

3. Knead the dough that has risen to let out the air pockets. Split into 10 pieces.

4. Take each piece and stretch into long cords. Keep all the dough and strings covered all the time.

5. Braid the method by your chosen method. (see below).

6. Arrange on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover and let it rest for another 20-30 min.

7. Brush a little milk on the top. Bake in a preheated oven @200C for about 12-15 minutes. Mine were done in 13 minutes.

Three Strand Braid

1. Lay the three strands on a work surface. Join one of the ends.

2. Start by taking the left strand and move to the centre. Now take the right strand and move to the centre. Repeat - left to centre then right to centre.

3. Once done, tuck the ends.

4. Follow baking instructions above

Five Strand Braid

1. Lay the five strands on a work surface. Join one of the ends.

2. Separate 3 strands to the right and 2 to the left.

3. Take the outer from right (one with 3 strands) and move to the centre. Shift that to the left set.

4. Take the outer from left (one with 3 strands) and move to the centre. Shift that to the right set.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 till you are done with the strands. Tuck the ends.

6. Follow baking instructions above

Two Strand Braid

This one is a little hard to explain. Please do check the video if you are making it.

1. Place one strand on the work surface horizontally.

2. Place the next one vertically on top crossing the first one at the centre.

3. Take the horizontal one (both ends). Place the right side on the top of the vertical strand. Then place the left side on the top of the right side.

4. Now take the vertical one (both ends). Place the top over the horizontal and the bottom over the top.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 till end of strand. Tuck the ends.

6. Follow baking instructions above

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Jeera Aloo

Who doesn't like potatoes? Indian cuisine uses a lot in gravies, dry saut├ęs, paratas etc  Its just not an Indian thing. Even western palate has lots of potatoes in the form of fries, chips, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes etc.

The recipe below used awesome flavours from cumin combined with the spiciness from red chillies to make the perfect Potato Roast, made in most parts of India.

The roasting of the jeera/cumin enhances its flavours.


Aloo/Potatoes 2 Big or 3 medium (about 3 cups when cooked)
Jeera/Cumin 3 tsp
Dried Red Chilli 3
Mustard 1/2 tsp
Hing generous pinch
Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Oil and salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1.Boil the potatoes. Do not make it too mushy. Peal and chop and keep ready.

2. In a pan dry roast the jeera and red chillies. Pulse into a coarse powder.

3. In the same pan, heat some oil. Add mustard. When it sputters, add the hing and turmeric.

4. Add the cooked aloo/potatoes and salt. Mix and roast for a few minutes.

5. Now add the powdered jeera and chillies. Roast for some more time.

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Hot and Sweet Stir Fry

Indo Chinese/Chinese recipes are every Indian kids favourite. Growing up, when we went to restaurants, my brother and I used to order noodles or fried rice with manchurian. Those days we never made these at home. If only my mom knew how easy it was to fix these :-)

Check out an extensive collection of (Indo) Chinese in my blog
Gobi Manchurian
Vegetable Lomein - Noodles
Vegetable Fried Rice
Vegetable Manchurian


Tofu 1 block (about 2 cups)
Mixed Stir Fry Veg 3 cups (my pack had some peppers, carrots, bean sprouts, greens and onions)
Garlic 10 pods
Ginger 1 inch piece
Soy Sauce 1 tbsp
Tomato ketchup 3-4 tbsp (you can use some chilli sauce here)
Corn Flour 2 tbsp
Water 2.5 cups

Oil and salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Drain water out of the tofu. Place it in a paper towel and keep it like that for 15 minutes to drain off any excess water. If tofu does not come in a water pack you can skip this step. Cut the tofu into small pieces.

2. Heat a little oil in a pan. Add the tofu and fry till all the sides are nicely roasted stirring and turning in between. Keep aside. I use non stick pan for this. Otherwise, tofu will stick to pan as it gets roasted.

3. In a small cup, add the corn flour and add water (about 1/4 cup). Mix well. Also add the soy sauce and tomato ketchup to this. Chilli Sauce makes it spicy. But mine was not as I wanted to make it tasty for my little one.

4. Heat the pan used earlier to a high heat. Add a little more oil if needed. Add the ginger and garlic slices. Saute till it starts to brown a little.

9. Add the vegetables and give it a stir. Once it starts to cook, add the tofu as well.

10. Add the corn flour, tomato sauce and soy mix along with a little salt. Remember soy sauce adds salt to the dish. So hold the salt. Mix well without breaking the tofu. Add a little bit more water if needed.

11. Cook for a couple of minutes.

Monday 21 January 2013

Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese

Every time we go to Nandos my husband and little one order Mashed Potatoes (along with the peri peri nuts. recipe here). Well, fries or chips (as it is called in UK) would probably be on top of list as well. But we decided that none of us will order it and that way the little one will not get tempted.

Though it not a difficult recipe, I am always sceptical of making Mashed Potatoes. Partly cause in most TV shows, they make a big deal out of it. The level of cooking of potatoes, the temperature etc.

My husband asked me again yesterday and I knew it was high time I made it.

For Week 2 of Avant Garde Cookies, as you know we go by secret ingredients. Veena gave me Cream cheese as ingredient. Well, it should have been easy to make. But somehow it was very complicated. As you know I cannot eat cheese and other 2 are not keen on anything sweet. So that rules out cream cheese frosting etc.

I came home with a box of garlic and herb cream cheese. That was consumed before I could make anything blog worthy by making sandwiches. May be I should have posted the sandwiches. Made so many of them... Veena, my son has been eating this for lunch every single day last week (and finishing the lunch box) :-)

Anyways, this is what I made eventually with it - Mashed Potatoes.


Potatoes 3
Milk/Cream 3-4 tbsp
Butter 1 tbsp
Garlic and Herb Cream Cheese 5 tbsp
Salt and pepper

Method of Preparation

1. Boil some water and add the potatoes to it. Cook for about 20 minutes till the potatoes are cooked.

2. Drain the water and leave the potatoes in the pot to dry up a little.

3. Peal the potatoes and mash it.

4. Add butter, cream cheese, milk/cream, salt and pepper.

5. Mix everything till the cheese is combined well.

AGC are going hush hush this week. Check out the other AGC thoughout this week 
AnushaJayanthiKavithaPriya MRadhikaVeenaPriya S

Event Roundup : Cooking with seeds - Barley

Cooking with Seeds Barley was hosted at my blog a long long time ago. I totally missed doing the round up. Sorry about this delay. Hope you enjoy the array of recipes. 

Barley is an under used grain. Do try out some of these recipes and you will fall in love with the grain. Enjoy!

Raji of Vegetarian Tastebuds sends us the Barley Dosa

Swati of Tastedeindia sends us 2 recipes

Priya of Priya's Versatile Recipes sends us this array of recipes. Hats off to you gal.