Baan Tao - The Best Pan Asian Restaurant has arrived



I am a complete Desi when it comes to food. It has to be roti or rice at the end of a meal to get a proper filing base , no matter whatever I have had. I get sleepless nights if I have to go to bed eating only 2 minutes Noodles. That’s the reason, I hardly go to a Pasta Restaurant. I know the Italians would Kick me for admitting this , but please no offence, it is a personal preference.

So It was Eid and I got an off from office but My hubby had to go to office as most of his team was on leave, some planned and some emergency  :O . I was frowning since morning as it was the 1st Eid that I was not doing anything. The day started late with Phonecalls when Family and Friends wished Eid . I made a normal breakfast with a sullen face as I was going to spend a week day all alone. I started chatting with an old friend on FB for couple of hours.  What next, I thought of reusing my spare time ironing clothes, which if u know me personally, would know how much I love neat clothes without frizzes. Well, I kind of have an OCD when it comes to clothes to the extent that I cannot tolerate the lines of folded clothes which come after ironing and stacking in cabinet for a long time and can never delegate to anyone else.

It was evening. My hubby called. I was angry. I didn’t pick up the call. He messaged me . Get ready We are going out . A big grin came on my face as  I realized he has taken half day off. I didn’t even bother to call him back to ask Get ready to go Where ? Simply said ok and jumped off from Sofa, pressed my new clothes, which I had kept ready for the occasion and was ready in 15 minutes.

Husband rang the door bell after  a long 2 hours, Thanks to the traffic and growing population in Pune. I ran to open the door and greeted with a big Grin to be returned with an angry face. Billions of Blue Blistering Barnacles, some trouble in office. I thought to keep quiet with a meek expression, “Are we still going “.

Sure.. the day is over but still the evening is left. No need to ruin it more. It was raining hard which was perfect for setting the mood. It took us 30 minutes to reach the place and I was quiet amazed and touched to see where I have landed this time. It was Baan Tao – a Pan Asian Restaurant on which I had my eyes since so many days but was not getting a purpose to visit.

We gave the car for  Valet Parking and went to the SF floor . Holy Moly .. What a setup. The dark mood, the candles lit, the wooden floor, the furniture, the outdoor sitting beside the big wall with the sound of Water Rippling , all the tension disappeared. That was the perfect background to experience Thailand or Malaysia in Pune.

1st dish ordered was quiet quick as I had already gone through the menu earlier many times on Zomato.(One thing which I study apart from Fiction :P). Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce . The service was a little slow because of WNS having some corporate function the same day in the same hotel. I think they were short of staff too because it was Eid (Guys, its Eid and not Id as I read recently  somebody wishing “Id Mubarak” :O , we cant be that ignorant staying in India). It came after nearly 30 minutes. However, the portion was very good (9/10) Subtracted 1 point for the sauce. I wanted little more. It was tasty and one of the best I had. It is a gauging meter I use to rate a Pan Asian restaurant like I would order Paneer Butter Masala to gauge a north Indian restaurant.

For the main we ordered Chicken Pad Thai. This time I had to use LED Torch light to decide the main course.. It was saucy and tasty (8/10) . However, the portion was little less. We were still not feeling full.

We were in dilemma, whether to order dessert and finish off the meal or order another dish. Enough of chicken already . We ordered some steamed rice and Thai green Prawn Curry. It was actually the best Thai Dish I have encountered. The spice was on the higher side as I would prefer green curry to be. The quantity more than expected this time, the prawns big enough and soft and succulent. The cool breeze outside, the mild drizzling of the rain and the hot rice and prawns , my hubby was smiling now. All his stress had vanished from his face and it was nice to see him enjoying the good food.

It was Eid, the food had to end with some dessert. We ordered Lemon Grass Pana Cotta with Hot Chocolate Pastry. It was 10/10 . I wanted to take pictures of the dishes. I tried hard in Manual Setting of my DSLR to get atleast 1 pic of the food . Still all efforts went in vain because of low light. May be I need to visit the restaurant in the day time again for better pictures for you all to believe.

It was one of the most memorable Eid in which we enjoyed. Otherwise it would be cooking and cooking and serving throughout the day. Some days should be “Me Days “.

Baan Tao @ Hyatt made our “Me Day” . I would visit this restaurant again and recommend all to visit this one.

The only gray area would be service which can be a little faster. When you are really hungry and service is slow, it can get into your nerves. They are already charging a lot on food and service tax . They should not charge our time as well. Because in some cases, Time is also Money.

The only pictures which I could take because of the low light

Thai Pineapple Chicken or Shrimp Fried Rice



Rice is the most staple food in Asian cuisine . It is served virtually in almost every meal and is quiet filling for the stomach.

Did you know the Mountain ranges of Himalayas provide crystal clear mineral water which is best for growing Basmati Rice.

This Thai Recipe was a weekend preparation.

But if you had been following this blog, you would know why I delayed posting it.

This is a classic combination of rice, pineapple and chicken where each ingredient nicely complement the other.

Though it is quite simple to make, it looks quiet wonderfully complex and colorful. If you serve them inside a scooped out Pineapple, it will become the star on your dinner table.

The key is to use normal rice instead of Basmati or the long grain rice.




What You Need:

1 cup uncooked rice
1 chicken breast about 250 grams (can replace with shrimp or use both)
Pineapple chunks 2 cups
1 egg beaten and seasoned with salt and pepper
1/2 cup sweet corn
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp chili sauce
1 tsp Worcester sauce
1 tsp fish sauce (optional)
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp garlic chopped
1 tsp green chili chopped
1 tsp ginger chopped
1 tbsp sugar
1 onion chopped

Steps To Make:

Cook rice . Once rice is cooked, add a little oil and rub it gently with hands. The rice will stand apart when you cook them later.
In a pan, add little oil and cook egg. Once cooked, you can chop it or you can chop it with your spatula while its getting cooked.
Heat remaining oil in a wok i.e. a Chinese kadai.
Add chopped garlic, ginger and green chilies.
Once garlic turns brown, add onions and cook till it turns brown.
Add chopped chicken cubes and cook on high flame till chicken is well cooked.
Add corn, pineapple and mix.
Add tomato sauce, chili sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce and Worcester sauce.
Add rice, salt to taste, sugar and mix well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes on low flame.
Once cooked, add cooked eggs and mix well.
Serve in Pineapple shell or a normal rice bowl.



Eid Mubarak and an Appeal

It is the last day of Ramadan and Muslims around the world will celebrate Eid Tomorrow. People will wear new clothes and head for the traditional Eid Prayer early morning.

I was waiting whole month to post a nice recipe on Eid. But my heart goes out for all those people affected by the Israel-Gaza conflict and the Gaza Crisis.

My heart goes out to the people who have lost lives.

My heart goes out to the children who have become homeless.

My heart goes out to the survivors whose parts of the body are amputated.

For Muslims in Philippines, Malaysia, US and UK, Eid is today. Celebrations have started. In India and Pakistan , it would be tomorrow.

I just want to wish each of you a happy Eid today. I will not post any recipe today or tomorrow.

I wish to pray for Gaza and request you all if you are reading this post to pray for Gaza because YOU DON’T  NEED TO BE MUSLIM TO STAND UP FOR GAZA, YOU JUST NEED TO BE HUMAN.

Some Nice Images of Eid which I thought of sharing with you all. Image Source : http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/



Prawns Wrapped in Chicken

 

This is a unique combination of prawns and chicken in which white juicy semi cooked and succulent prawns are wrapped in chicken and baked or fried and cooked in a nice blend of Chinese Sauces. This makes an excellent dish on the dinner table to Kick Start Your Special Dinner for Your Special Ones.


What You Need:

Shrimps or Prawns About 8 to 10
Chicken Breast 1
Egg 1
Corn flour 2 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tbsp
Red Chili powder 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper 1/4 tsp
salt to taste
Tomato Ketchup 1 tsp
Oil for Frying

For the sauce :

1 tsp oil
1 tbsp garlic chopped
2 green chopped
1 tbsp tomato ketcup
1 tbsp chili sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp cornflour
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt to taste



Steps to Make:

Make a batter of egg, ginger garlic paste, red chili powder,black pepper powder, salt to taste and tomato ketchup.
Put chicken breast between two plastic sheet and beat with a hammer or rolling pin to flatten it. This will also thin the chicken.
Cut long strips of the chicken and keep aside.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan.Cook prawns on each side for a minute. 
The prawns will be semi cooked.
Take it out and place in a tray and allow it to cool completely.
Take a prawn and dip in the batter.
Now take a chicken strip and roll around the prawn. Dip in the batter and keep aside.
Repeat with all the other prawns and chicken strips.
Heat oil in a pan. Deep fry them till they are nice golden brown on all sides.
Drain and keep aside.
Now we will make the sauce.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan.
Add green chili and chopped garlic. Once it turns brown, add all the sauces.
Add the cooked prawns wrapped in chicken.
Take 2 tbsp water, add 1/2 tsp cornflour to it and mix well. Add it to the pan.
Add salt to taste, sugar for extra flavour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
Take them out in a nice serving bowl and serve.


Recipe Inspiration : Arthur's Theme and Bounty Sizzler : My one of the top 10 recommended restaurants in Pune for a Nice Cozy Dinner

Cajun Spiced Tandoori Gobi | तंदूरी गोबी


Whether you are planning a full scale dinner party or an informal buffet or a nourishing family meal, don't forget to include a starter or a few appetizer to tempt the taste buds at the start of the meal.

The traditional Indian oven is a huge urn and Charcoal or Koyla  in burnt slowly at the bottom of the oven until it becomes a mass of white hot coals. It is then ready to cook food at a very high temperature. I replicated this in a Western Kitchen using my microwave.

Here is a deliciously simple way of cooking the regular gobi on tandoor / microwave/ barbeque by adding cajun spices and other regular spices and make a mouthwatering dish for the adventurous cook.



What You Need:

1 Caulifower Florets 10 to 12
2 Cajun Spice 1 tbsp
3 Lemon Juice Juice of 2
4 Salt To Taste
5 Black Pepper Powder 1/4 tsp
6 Everest Chicken Tandoori  Masala 2 tbsp
7 Red Chili P
2 Hung Curd 1 and ½ cupowder 1/2 tsp
8 Oil 2 tsp


Steps To Make:

Boil water in a pan and boil florets for a minute. Drain and keep aside.
Pat dry the oar boiled florets with kitchen towel.
Marinade the cauliflower pieces with the above ingredients.
Put Microwave Oven in Convection Mode.
Grill them in pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 180 degree centigrade or till they are cooked. Flip them every 5 minutes to check how much more cooking is required and also to prevent them from burning.

Enjoy Juicy Cauliflower Tandoori  with diced onion, lime juice and mint chutney.

Maharashtrian Style Bitter Gourd Fry | Maharashtrian Karela Bhaji | कारल्याची भाजी | Karlyachi Bhaji | LUNCH BOX IDEAS

Generations after generations, Indian Wives have been cooking TIFFIN or LUNCH BOX for their better halves and send it along with them to office. Generally it is a vegetable cooked as per the local or regional cuisine and with seasonal vegetables. If the curry is with gravy, it is accompanied with Chapattis or Roti only. If the vegetable is dry, it is accompanied with daal. Sometimes it is accompanied with salads and curd. Earlier, the tiffin or lunch box used to be steel containers stacked on top of each other. The modern day tiffin consists of separate boxes, generally air tight and micro-wavable . Because people generally work in AC offices these days, their lunch boxes almost gets chilled by the lunch time which their wives give them when they leave office early morning.

My father always came home to have lunch. And so did most of the Uncles from our neighbourhood. I was not very familiar with the idea of taking dabbas to office.

When I graduated and joined my first office, I liked office food very much. However, slowly I got tired of having the same taste every day. It is then I decided to start making lunch box for myself and my hubby.

The truth is in India, only Mumbai has got the privilege of Dabbawallas who pick lunch boxes from the homes just before lunch hour and deliver hot food just in the time of lunch hours. Thousands and perhaps Lakhs of Dabbas are delivered by Dabbawallas. The lunch boxes are put in color coded dabbas and stacked in wooden carts which are again coded that decide which local train they will travel . It is then delivered to offices. The work is done at an amazing efficiency and are the first company in India to achieve Six Sigma i.e. an accuracy of 99.99966% , a process improvement method started by Motorola in 1986. 

I recommend everybody to watch the NAT GEO Video who documented the above process in amazing detail. It’s simply amazing to see the dabbawallas working with so much sincerity and dedication.


However, I know it is easy to say than to prepare lunch box every day.  But as we say No Pain No Gain. We need to take that extra effort to eat home made food at office. Lets start with some simple Lunch Ideas which we can prepare in 30 minutes to 45 minutes.

Lunch Box Idea # 1

 ROTI , MAHARASHTRIAN STYLE BITTER GOURD FRY , CHICKPEA BEETROOT SUNDAL





What You Need:

3 bitter gourd deseeded and chopped to small pieces
1 tbsp roasted and crushed peanuts
1 tbsp grated coconut
1 tsp garlic crushed
1 green chili roughly chopped
1  tbsp jaggery
1 tsp tsp lemon juice
Salt to Taste
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp cumind powder
1 tsp goda masala
1 tbsp oil
1 onion chopped
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds

For Goda Masala, click here

Steps To Make:

Heat water in a saucepan. Add pinch of salt and bring it to boil.
Add bitter gourd pieces and cook for 3 minutes.
Drain and set aside.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds.Add cumin seeds.
Add green chilies and curry leaves.
Add onions and garlic. Cook till it turns brown.
Add bitter gourd, salt, jaggery, turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder and goda masala .
Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add grated coconut, crushed peanuts and lime juice.
Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.

Lunch Box Idea # 2

ROTI , PALAK DAAL , CHICKPEA SUNDAL

Some people like my hubby hate bitter gourd so much so that they will not consume it even if it is the last vegetable left on earth. I have to make some palak daal, (recipe here) for him along with Chickpea Beetroot Sundal.


What You Need:

1 cup chick pea
1 Beetroot chopped to small pieces
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 green chilli chopped
7-8 curry leaves
1 onion finely chopped
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
Salt  to taste
1 tsp asafoetida
1 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
2 tbsp grated coconut powder

Steps To Make:

Soak chick pea for 8 hours and cook in pressure with salt.
Drain chickpea.
Heat oil in a pan.
Add asafoetida, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, green chilis and curry leaves in order
Follow by ginger garlic paste, onion and dry spices.
Add beetroot pieces and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add turmeric powder, red chili powder and cumin powder
Add cooked chickpea and coriander leaves chopped.
Serve hot with Roti



Coconut Palm Jaggery Rasgullas (Authentic Recipe with Step by Step Pictures)


My very intelligent friend P says , You can sell anything to a women if there is either one of the sticker attached to the product – It will make you look (face) good or It will make you look slim.

Well I will try to sell the below recipe to all who are reading this post in a similar fashion . Though It will definitely not make you look slim or get your face glowing but will definitely give you a mental peace of having consumed a low calorie dessert.

We all like desserts but with it comes the risk of calories. If you can burn it, very good. Else, we will have to live with it. I generally try to run away from desserts as much as possible. But having an extremely sugary tooth, I always succumb to temptation every now and then.

I am a big Rasagulla Fan and after spending a decade outside Orissa and not finding a good Rasgulla shop nearby, I make my own Rasgulla. That gives me a chance to add my own choice of sweetness product.



The authentic Rasgullas are made of Sugar or Date Palm Jaggery . In Pune, getting liquid date palm jaggery is a difficult task. Somehow I managed to grab some Coconut Palm Jaggery during my last trip to Godrej Nature’s Basket. You can also order it online from here.  So last time , when the milk went bad, I immediately opened the packet of jaggery, rolled out chenna(mashed paneer) and cooked them in boiling jaggery water to make some quick Rasgullas.

I managed to get some pictures during the preparation.







Note: These rasgullas will have a coffee color and the taste will be the same as if added date palm jaggery.

What You Need:

# Ingredients Quantity
1 Cow Milk 1 litre
2 Liquid Jaggery/Molasses/ Grated Coconut Palm Jaggery 2 cup
3 Lemon 1 big size
4 Water 4 cups
5 Green Cardamom 2
6 Semolina 1 tbsp
7 Sugar 1 tbsp

Steps To Make:

Boil Milk in a vessel.
Once It starts boiling, lower the flame and squeeze juice of one lemon.
Milk will start curdling and you will see separating and forming a green color liquid.
Switch off flame and strain with a muslin cloth.
Put the cloth under cold water to remove any sourness of lemon.
Allow it to hang for 15 minutes.
Place the chenna or paneer in a plate.
Put Semolina and Sugar and mash it properly with palm of your hand for about 10 minutes.
Make small balls and put in a plate. Cover it to prevent moisture escaping.
If it dries, the rasgullas will break when you cook them.
Boil 4 cups of in a deep vessel.
When it starts boiling, add jaggery or molasses , green cardamom and cover it.
When jaggery is well dissolved, add the paneer/chenna balls.
Let it boil for 15-20 minutes.
Allow it to cool down completely before you server.

Mutton Keema | Mince Meat cooked with Green Peas | Bittergourd Stuffed with Mince Meat | Bittergourd Stuffed with Soy Mince | मटन कीमा


Though a hard core mutton lover, I was introduced to keema or mince meat only after my marriage :-O  .

I learnt to make Mutton Keema seeing my MIL cooking for a Sunday Lunch, a great cook who learnt it seeing her MIL cook, who again is an amazing cook. Some of their cooking skills must have rubbed off on me as I had many disasters in kitchen couple of years after my Marriage. I will not call it a family recipe though.

We all meat lovers especially of goat meat, know how challenging it can be to purchase good meat pieces from your local butcher if you are buying a small portion of meat. It comes expensive..around Rs 500/kg(current rate in Pune as of 2014) and nobody wants to end up buying mere bones and lean meat even after paying a hefty price.  The butcher near our place where we are a regular, makes us buy the entire Back Leg , which we call "THE RAAN" and makes a face if made any special demand as if we have asked for his own Gurda aka Kidney :P

Since, it is only me and my husband who have to eat the approximately 1.5 kilos of meat ( Am I sounding like an ANIMAL Now :S ), we ask him to mince 1/3rd of it and make small pieces of the rest. BTW, I have no issues seeing meat chopped in front of me and cleaning meat is my favorite cooking task :D ..So the 1st day we make mutton curry with mustard oil ( Mansa Jhola or Mutton Salan). The 2nd day, we add fresh methi or fenugreek leaves to the same left over curry and make methi mutton , a fantastic dish with delightful aroma and then after a few days (to get a good break), prepare Mutton Keema with some Green Peas. I would pack Mutton Keema with Roti for my hubby in his tiffin and for me, I generally stuff them in de-seeded Karela/Bittergourd .It simply makes my week.  Now I have to have  a good amount of gap before we purchase another RAAN and face the ever cranky butcher man.

What You Need:

Mutton Keema 300 grams
Mustard Oil 3 tbsp
Green Cardamom 2
Cloves 3
Whole Black Pepper 4
Freshly Ground Ginger Garlic Paste 3 tsp
Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder 1 tsp
Garam Masala Powder 1 tsp
Salt To taste
Green Peas 1/2 cup
Onions Finely Chopped 2
Tomatoes Finely Chopped 3
Fresh Coriander Leaves Chopped 3
2 green chilies roughly chopped

Steps to Make:

Heat mustard oil on high flame till the smoking point .
Add all the whole spices and green chilies.
Add onions , ginger garlic paste and cook till it turns brown.
Add chopped tomatoes, mince meat, green peas and mix.
Cover and cook on low flame for 10 15 minutes.
Open lid, add salt, garam masala and mix again.
Cover and cook till mutton is well cooked.
Sprinkle Coriander Leaves and Mix well before you serve them with cut lime and Phulka.







Bitter gourd Stuffed with Mince Meat | Bitter gourd Stuffed with Soy Mince


I have put a picture of the Mince Meat Stuffed Bitter gourd clicked randomly just before I put them in my lunch box today. To give you a quick recap, in case you are interested to have this combination, make  a deep cut along the length of bitter gourd. Pressure cook the bitter gourds with enough water and a pinch of salt for 2 whistles. Switch off flame and allow pressure to drop. Drain the bitter gourd and remove the seeds with a spoon. Since they are semi cooked, removing seeds will be much easy now. Having cooked with salt water, the bitterness will also be reduced. Stuff the bitter gourd with cooked mince mutton. Tie with thread to prevent meat from coming out. Add some oil in a pan. Cook whole bitter gourd from all sides. Remove thread, Cut into Half and server with Roti/Phulka.



Note: Don't evaluate this recipe by looks . This is a Pakistani recipe which I learnt to make from the Meat Shop Owner who hailed from Pakistan from whom we used to purchase meat during our short stay in the States . He would give me a new mutton recipe from his country every time I went to his shop. May be that's what kept me going back again and again to his shop only .

For vegetarians, if at all you happen to read this post, please replace soy mince with meat and it will taste equally great.

Traditional or Classic Tomato Soup with Garlic and Italian Herbed Toasted Bread


In one of the recent townhalls, my senior manager during one of his diction said a very crucial thing – There are two type of people in this world. One who get the work done and one get the credit of it. Well if you don’t know what I am talking about, I will explain in little detail. I am talking about plagiarism here. How many bloggers think plagiarism implies copying your pictures or content of post without your permission ? And to your surprise, the person who does that gets appreciated more than the person who actually puts his heart and brain out to think about it. For the pictures, you have a solution- water mark them. What will you about the the 2nd issue ? Practically nothing. Its not facebook when you can block that person out of your life.

A particular blogger has been repeatedly doing this to me (without the credit ), will not take names and take pot shots here. It did upset me and I was silent. I have this typical tendency of going completely silent when I am hurt. And my hubby says, my face says it all. He being a Sagittarius, a super positive person (Want to know more about Zodiac signs, Read this amazing book here) , tried his best to pump me up as always and make me feel a celebrity instead while the other just trying to imitate me owing to the lack of originality. 

Well, I would like to believe now there is some truth to it. I am happy even if I am making a difference in a single kitchen. Being the centre of attention was never my character..though I do regret the life time opportunity by rejecting the invitation from colosceum to be a part of master chef India season 1 without even giving any audition back in 2009. 

That was a piece of my mind which I wanted to share with my blog readers .

Any ways, I generally shy away from posting recipes which is very common and 9 out of 10 people who know how to cook know the recipe of it . The classic tomato soup is one of them in which tomato is the most vital ingredient and some extra spices to give it a kick. One more point to mention, in India people generally like to have soup as an appetizer rather than a meal. This classic or traditional recipe is one of the most commonly served recipe in most occasions. I remember my Mommy making them since childhood which I used to consume in a tea cup. Those were the days, when we were still not introduced to the table etiquettes and have soup in proper bowl and spoon. This recipe is how I remember my mother making it for me in her prestige pressure cooker.  Today when I make it, I serve with some garlic and Italian herbs rubbed grilled toast and as a proper meal.

The measurement given will make soup for 4 people.



What You Need:
8 ripe tomatoes
7-8 whole black pepper 
2 bay leaf
1 big cinamon stick
5-6 cloves

Salt to taste
Sugar to taste
1/2 tsp whole black pepper powder
7-8 garlic pods crushed
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp cornflour

Steps To Make:

Pressure cook tomatoes, whole spices and 4 cups of water in pressure cook for 10 minutes on medium flame.
Switch off the flame. Allow the presuure to drop.
Strain the soup through a strainer. Gently Blend the whole spices left in the strainer in a blender with some strained soup. Strain it again. The flavor of whole spices will now be in the soup.
Heat butter in a deep saucepan. Add garlic and allow it to turn brown.
Add the strained soup and bring it to boil.
Add salt and sugar to taste. Add pepper powder to the boiling soup.
Add cornflour to 1 tbsp water and mix well till you don’t see lumps.
Boil for another two minutes and serve hot with toasted garlic bread

For the garlic bread :

In a mortar and pestal, add some garlic, pepper powder and butter.
Blend it together to a smooth paste.
Rub small portions on the mixture on your favorite bread and toast them on both sides.


Macha Bihana Bhaja | Macha Manjee Bhaja Macha Manji Bara | Fish Eggs Cutlets | Macher Dimer Bora | Fish Roe Pakoda | Meen Mutta Wada | Gaboli Fry


A simple cutlet recipe with so many names . However, only an ardent fish fan can relate with it or if born in state where fish is one of the staple food. If you know more names of the dish, please let me know and I will add it here. Macha Manjee or Macha Bihana is how the Odiya People call it. Macher Dimer is the bengali name. Meen Mutta is the Malyali Name. Gaboli is the how the konkan people relate to it

What You Need:

Fish Egg 400 grams
Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder 1 tsp
Cumin Powder 1 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tsp
Green Chili Chopped 1 tsp
Coriander Leaves Chopped 1 tbsp
Cumin Powder 1 tsp
Salt to Taste
Oil for Cooking


Steps To Make:

Mash everything well and make a smooth paste.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan.
Take 1 tbsp full of think egg batter and place carefully on the pan. Fry them on batches.
Add more oil if required.
Serve them hot.
Note : You can deep fry the fish to reduce the cooking time. Add little rice flour or chick pea flour if you want to deep fry the eggs.
 

Raw Papaya Potato Cheese Sandwich




Its the season of Raw Papayas. You will find them in plenty in market these days. Make these healthy sandwiches and enjoy them as snack before your dinner or for breakfast. Measurement given below makes 3 to 4 sandwiches

What You Need:

1 and 1/2 cup shredded raw papaya
1 cup boiled and mashed potato
1 whole garlic crushed
1 tsp coriander chopped
1 green chili chopped
1/3rd cup grated cheese(optional)
1 tsp butter
1 tsp crushed pepper
1 tsp oil
Salt to taste.
6 to 8 Bread slices

Steps To Make:

Heat oil in a pan. Pan fry raw papaya till its cooked and there is no water left left.
Allow it to cool down completely.
Crush butter, garlic and pepper together.
Add it to raw papaya. Add potatoes, salt to taste and grated cheese.
Take a good portion of the stuffing and place them between two sandwich.
Grill them on a pan or sandwich maker till done.



Cheesy Hot Corn Cutlets in a Cold Windy Rainy Day



Some people feel the rain while others just get wet. I used to be the other one and never liked rains. I don’t like wearing rain coats or carrying an umbrella and even worse…driving in rain specially during the night because I have to put the air condition on and that’s the last thing I want.. When I think of rains, I think of mud, wet clothes, cough, cold , running nose and the most disgusting – throat infection. My throat is ultra-sensitive to changing weather especially when it starts raining. I am a big pessimist when it comes to rain..

However, slowly and steadily things are changing. The way I look at life is changing. I am being less judgmental to things and more tolerant to people as I can be very blunt and rude by speaking nothing but the truth.I know it’s a bad habit as God forgot to put the RBC called diplomacy in my blood when I was born.

But as the brainy person says nothing is permanent but change, I have or have been changing. Is it called Maturing or simply Ageing..ok now don’t start judging my age.. though I am not the kind who would hide it..neither I am despairing to look a teen or in twenties by applying all the super expensive creams available in market these days.To be direct, I am totally against it and feel compassion for those who rub n rub n rub cream as a desperate attempt to look younger and anguish for the pamphlets that sell  beauty enhancement surgical procedure which come along with the newspaper every day morning. They keep falling off as I turn the pages and I am tired of picking and stacking them. Earlier only women were targeted. Now even the men are not spared.

Coming back to rains, I have developed a likeness for the rains. All I crave for is rains every weekend, a heavy downpour, a book in my hand and a cup of ginger and masala tea as I am not a big coffee fan. I picked up Robin Cook’s Cell last time I went to Landmark. I have not yet transformed to an e-reader and yet to own a Kindle.  Not a big fan of Robin Cook. Somehow I am liking this work and the story is nicely sprouting around iDoc. You have to read the book to know whats iDoc.

Last weekend was one such weekend and the setting was perfect for all the above. I didn’t mind some hot snack along with it. Hence, I quickly cooked some hot cheesy corn cakes. They were fast to make and had to be ready as I enter into the next plot and before the rain stops.

Folks, make them for a rainy day and enjoy.



What You Need:

1          2 cups canned corn. 
2          1 big potato peeled and grated
3          1 big onion chopped
4          4 garlic pods crushed
5          1 tsp cumin powder
6          1/2 tsp red chili powder
7          2 and 1/2 tbsp oil
8          1 tbsp grated cheese
9          1 tbsp bread crumbs
10        2 tbsp cornflour
11         salt to taste


Steps To Make:

Squeeze water from corn completely. Keep a handful aside and grind the rest to a coarse paste.
Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a pan. Saute onions and garlic till they are browned.
Add rest of the ingredients and mash properly.
Divide them equally and give them shape of your choice.
Heat oil in a pan. Cook these cutlets till both sides are golden brown.
This recipe can't be simpler.




Methi Murg | Fresh Fenugreek Leaves Chicken | मेथी मुर्ग


I would call fenugreek as the state vegetable of Maharashtra. I think this is one leafy vegetable which is cooked in one out of every three kitchen in Maharashtra . Not only it is available in plenty but also full of fragrance when cooked. Cooking Vegetables with meat is trendy these days. Well in the state of Odisha where I was born, you can even find fish and vegetable cooked together, like chencheda mahura etc.

Chicken being my favorite meat, I decided to prepare chicken with methi leaves this time.  I can never get bored of chicken. Did you know I was even popular in my class during my graduation as ChickenKali . I still need to figure out who and how I got that name.




What You Need:

1 500 gm chicken
2 2 cup methi leaves
3 3 chopped onions
4 4 big tomatoes chopped
5 2 green chilies
6 1 tsp turmeric powder
7 1 tsp red chili powder
8 2 tsp coriander powder
9 ½ cup curd
10 1 tsp cumin seeds
11 Salt to taste
12 2 tbsp oil
13 10 garlic pods crushed
14 ½ inch ginger crushed
15 1 tsp garam masala

Steps To Make:

Heat oil in pan. Add cumin seeds. Add chopped onion. Add ginger garlic paste and turmeric powder.
Cook till onion is well cooked.
Add chopped green chilies, chopped tomatoes, red chili, coriander powder and garam masala.
Add beaten curd and cook for 5 minutes.
Add chopped methi and chicken. Mix well and cook covered for 5 minutes on low flame.
Add salt and cover and cook for 10 minutes more.
Open lid. Increase the flame and cook till you get gravy to a desired consistency.
Serve with curd.

Fish Biryani or Fish Pulao in Clay Pot - South Indian Style with Coconut Milk





Since, Argentina Fans( including me ) kept saying what the fish and my hubby being a Germany Fan, the World Cup Finale 2014 tempo is rising every moment and I ,therefore, decided to write about my love affair to distract myself from all the stress.

Sounds Fishy...?  I have always loved Biryani and have a special room for them in my World of Food.. Being a hard core fish fan, I decided to make fish biryani this time. Fishes can be delicate to handle and you must know your fish well if making this dish. If you are not too sure, be safe with Surmai or King Fish.

I have used Basa Fish Fillets for the one pot meal. Basa is extremely high in Omega 3. Using fillets makes it bone free as I don’t want a bones and rice messi concoction as the final product. Somehow Basa smells least fishy making it actually smell like biryani rather than fish.

Unfortunately, the cats have a powerful sense of smell when it comes to fish and are easily attracted even from miles away. So every time I prepare fish, I have a hard time warding them off. All my Indian friends who stay on ground floor can relate to my plight..

Anyways, coming back to the recipe, I have used home made biryani mix.I have used grated coconut and coconut milk both. So read the recipe which I have slowed cooked in a clay pot on gas stove. You can use normal flat non stick pan to prepare this delicacy.

What You Need for the Biryani mix:

1                    Grated Coconut ½ cup
2                    Cumin seeds     ½ tsp
3                    Coriander seeds ½ tsp
4                    Fennel Seeds    ½ tsp
5                    Curry Leaves    4 to 5
6                    Onions chopped                  1
7                    Garlic chopped 5 to 6
8                    Dry Red Kashmiri Chili        3 to 4
9                    Green Cardamom                 2
10               Cloves    2
11               Whole black pepper    3
12               Oil                    2 tsp

Steps to Prepare:

Heat oil in a small pan.
Cook onions and garlic till they turn brown.
Add the rest of the ingredients. Fry for a minute .
Add it to cool down. Grind to a fine paste in grinder.
Add water is needed to get a smooth consistency.

Other Ingredients:

1                    Basa Fish 500 grams
2                    Rice        3 cups
3                    Salt         To Taste
4                    Sugar      1 tbsp
5                    Oil          2 tbsp
6                    Mint leaves chopped   2 tbsp
7                    Green chili chopped    2 tbsp
8                    Bay Leaves       3
9                    Green Cardamom       3
10               Cloves    3
11               Cinnamon Stick         1
12               Mace      1
13               Lemon Juice     1 tbsp
14               Curd       ½ cup
15               Tomato Chopped        1
16               Onion cut into Julians          3
17               Thick Coconut milk     1/4th cup

Steps to make Biryani

Marinate fish with the biryani mix, curd, tomatoes, salt, sugar and lemon juice.
Heat oil in clay pot.
Add the whole dry spices.Add onions and cook till it turns brown.
Add rice and cook till rice is well coated with oil.
Add fish along with marination.
Add mint leaves.
Add 1 cup water and 1/4th cup coconut milk.
Cover and cook till rice is well done. Add more water if required if your rice is uncooked.

Serve hot with boondi raita.



Aloo Muttor ki Sabji | Potato Peas Curry | आलू मटर की सब्जी




A quick  recipe which is an excellent savior when you have very less time with you and feeling damn hungry but still yummy and makes an excellent side dish with rice or roti.




What You Need:

1 Baby Potatoes 300 grams
2 Green Peas 1/2 cup
3 Onions 2
4 Tomatoes 4
5 Ginger Garlic   Paste 1 tsp
6 Mustard oil 2 tbsp
7 Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
8 Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
9 Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
10 Sugar 1 tsp
11 Salt To Taste
12 Coriander Leaves 2 tbsp chopped
13 Curry Powder 1 tsp
14 Green Chili 1
15 Kalonji pr Black Cumin 1 tsp
16 Methi Seeds 1/2 tsp

Steps to Make:

·   Grind onion and green chili to a fine paste in  grinder
·   Heat oil in Pressure cooker.
·   Add sugar, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, , onion paste, turmeric powder and cook for 5 minutes.
·  Chop each tomato into cubes.
·  Add tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes
·  Add potatoes, Green peas and cook for 3 minutes. Add salt to taste, 1 cup water, coriander leaves, curry powder.
·  Put the lid of pressure cooker.
·   Allow it to cook till 3 wistle. Switch off the flame
·  Allow the steam to come out.
·  Serve with Rice or roti

Baked Chicken Curry


“Billi Ko Khwab me bhi Chinchde Nazar Ate Hai “ – and the Metaphor of My Life when it comes to Food. It means – “A cat think of fish bones even in dreams.” I plan for breakfast before going to bed, plan for lunch during breakfast and plan for dinner during lunch. I seem to be planning about food and meals all the time. Sometimes I even plan during my sleep and I plan in the weekend for the entire week’s meal.

Honestly speaking, planning about food is a very tedious job especially when you know you have to do it day in and day out and you cannot live without food. Eating out is a laidback option. However, I always look for recipes so that I can prepare an entire meal in 30 minutes. Today’s chicken curry is one such dish.

I wanted to name it Bachelor Chicken Curry Instead because it is awfully easy, hassle free and so zesty  –“ekdum restaurant style “ . I have used very less oil, just for tempering . The only thing you will need is Nestle’s Maggie Tomato Ketchup- Hot and Sweet flavor. You can use the normal tomato ketchup as well. However, I find Hot and Sweet the King of all Ketchups. I have used OTG to cook the curry. Please go ahead and cook the curry on gas stove with barely any dissimilarity in the taste.

What You Need:

1                     Chicken Curry Cut 500 grams

2                     Onions finely chopped 1 big

3                     Ginger Garclic roughly chopped  1 tbsp

4                     Curry leaves  4 to 5

5                     Cumin Seeds 1 tsp

6                     Tomato Ketcup         1/2 cup

7                     Curd              ½ cup

8                     Salt                 To taste

9                     Red Chili powder      1 tsp

10                 Turmeric Powder     1 tsp

11                 Cumin Powder          1 tsp

12                 Green chilies chopped 2 or 1 tbsp green chili sauce

Steps To Make using Microwave :

Marinate chicken with salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, tomato ketchup, green chilies or green chili sauce and curd.

Heat oil in a  small pan. Add cumin seeds and allow it to splutter.

Add onions and cook till it turns brown.Add ginger and garlic paste and cook for a  minute. Add this tempering to chicken. Mix well and bake at 220 degree centigrade for about 25 minutes..

Check your chicken time to time.Cook more if you want your chicken to have that tandoori chicken taste.




Steps To Make using Gas Stove :

Marinate chicken with salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, tomato ketchup, green chilies or green chili sauce and curd.

Heat oil in a  small pan. Add cumin seeds and allow it to splutter.

Add onions and cook till it turns brown.Add ginger and garlic paste and cook for a  minute. Add Marinated chicken, cover and cook till chicken is soft and tender.

Oats Upama | Oats Khichdi | Masala Oats Porridge





Oats have become my recent fixation.
They are quick to make, healthy to eat and tasty to palates when you make a salty porridge.
They are also excellent to fill your stomach before dinner and prevents you from eating any other junk food.
I would recommend everybody to include Oats in your monthly Grocery Shopping. With the Quacker Oats or Kellogs Oats available so easily,I wish even the office cafetaria, hotels & restaurants start including it in their Menu.
Unquestionably, it is not going to effect their Budget in any way.Infact, it will be a good strategy to draw more customers and score more over their competitors.

What You Need to Make Oats Upama for 3 to 4 people :

1             Oats  1.5 cups
2             Onions  1 big chopped finely
3             Oil  2 tsp
4             Mustard Seeds  1 tsp
5             Cumin Seeds  1 tsp
6             Green Peas   1/3rd cup
7             Curry Leaves  5 to 6
8             Salt   To Taste
9             Green Beans   4 to 5 chopped
10           Coriander Leaves   1 tbsp chopped
11           Tomato(Optional)  1 chopped
12           Capsicum  1 finely chopped
13           Turmeric Powder   1/2 tsp
14           Lemon Juice  less than 1/2 lime
15           Hing  1 tsp

Steps To Make:

Dry roast oats for 2 minutes on low. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan.
Add Hing. Add Mustards seeds and allow to splutter.
Add cumin seeds, green chilies and curry leaves.
Add onions and cook till it turns brown.
Add capsicum, green beans and green peas.Cook for 2 minutes.
Add turmeric powder,tomato chopped and salt to taste.
Add oats and 3 cups of water.
Cover and cook till oats are cooked properly.
Sprinkle Coriander Leaves and lime juice.
Cook till you get the desired consistency.
Serve hot and eat hot.

Chef's Note:

You can also pack them for tiffin and lunch box.
Keep it slight watery than what you would like to eat.
This way, you can heat in microwave and enjoy hot masala oats in office.