Thursday, December 1, 2011

Gobi Manchurian

Winter is here and hence the lovely winter vegetables like Cauliflower, Broccoli, Parsnip, Turnip etc are loaded in the supermarket. But it becomes boring to eat the same currys or steamed/ baked veggies. So spiced up the Veggies to get a better look and taste of it :-p...Gobi Manchurian is yummy starter which is liked by many of us - a bit time consuming but worth the effort. We like Tomato Shorba and Gobi Manchurian / Cauliflower Manchurian combination any day (Will be posting the shorba recipe soon). For kids the non spicy version or just before mixing it with the spicy sauce is a perfect way to serve.

You can also make this with Babycorn, Paneer or any firm vegetable of your choice.
Here's what I did to make these tasty fritters -

Cauliflower cut into florets - 1
Maida - 3/4 Cup
Corn Flour - 1 Tbsp
Salt to taste
Green Chillies finely chopped - 1
Ginger grated - 1 1/2 Tbsp
Garlic grated - 1 1/2 Tbsp
Onions finely chopped - 1 Cup
Coriander Leaves or Spring Onions finely chopped for garnishing
Ajinomoto - 1/4 tsp
Soya Sauce - 2 Tbsp
Tomato Ketchup - 3 Tbsp ( i use the chilli one, u cud choose according to your spice levels)
Oil - 2 Tbsp


  • Boil Cauliflower florets in Water for about 5 minutes. Take care not to cook too much as it might become mushy. Drain the Water and keep the florets aside.
  • Place the Maida, Cornflour and Salt in a bowl and mix well using Water.
  • Add a teaspoon of Ginger and Garlic to the above paste and mix well.
  • Dip the Cauliflower florets in this paste and deep fry them till golden brown and keep it aside.
  • Heat Oil in another pan, add the remaining Ginger-Garlic paste, Green Chillies and Onions and fry for sometime.
  • Then add Ajinomoto, Soya sauce, Tomato sauce and mix well.
  • Add the fried Cauliflowers and mix well until coated.
  • Garnish with Coriander Leaves or Spring Onions and serve hot!

Happy Winter Cooking!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni

'Surya' as we all know means 'Sun' - the supreme light.  Hindus worship Surya as the visible form of god that one can see everyday.  The popular Surya namaskara which is performed at the rising of the Sun is a mode of worship in which ten yogic postures are performed one after the other constituting one namaskara. This same Surya plays such an important role for me here (in this season esp) :-p... OMG never had I worshipped Surya god nor remember reciting his shlokas as much as I do now LOL. Am sure it sounds silly but have realised the importance of Sun now. Alarm goes off in the morning,  get ready leave for work in the dark and return home in the dark. Hardly feel the light. P is waiting for those few hours in a day when he can scooter, bicycle or play in the garden. The clothes on the airer which never appears to get into their place :-p. It looks like even Surya wants to rest now :-p... Oh no we are missing out on the Sunshine :(:( .

 I was lucky to have Mr.Surya yday almost the whole day as my guest ofcourse ;). Kitchen was sparkling and gleaming and attracted me in :). To my surprise the lazy lady vanished and here comes the culinary queen ;);). The Sunlight feels so good and welcoming - it energises you to accomplish anything you want, believe me! I guess  that's the reason facing east is considered good for promising deeds. So I was in a maha mood to spice up our meal. I tried 2-3 dishes and turned out presentable! Here comes my first try out...

Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

Serves - 4 to 6     Preparation time - 10min     Cooking time - 1 hour

For the Napoli Sauce
Olive Oil - 2 Tbsp
Tomatoes chopped - 400 gms
Carrot grated - 1
Parsley chopped few
Celery stick chopped - 1/2
Basil Leaves handful chopped
Garlic clove crushed - 1

For the filling 
Spinach chopped and cooked - 500 gms
Ricotta - 300 gms
Egg beaten - 1
Cannelloni tubes
Parmesan grated - 2 Tbsp


  • Firstly heat Oven to 190C. Heat the Oil in a pan, add the Garlic, Carrot, Parsley, Celery and fry till golden brown.
  • Then add the Tomatoes and Basil. Add half cup of Water and mix well. Cook on low heat for 20 minutes.
  • For the filling, mix the Spinach and Ricotta with the Egg and Parmesan. 
  • Spoon this mixture into the Cannelloni tubes and place in the buttered baking try.
  • Then add a layer of Napoli Sauce on the top and bake for about 30 - 40 minutes.
  • Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni is ready to be attacked!!!

Wishing you all lots of Sunshine and warmth :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Broccoli & Cheese Balls

Time has come for Ramanya - as my lil brat says for Ramayana. Ramayana is added to his favourites along with the Peppa Pig, Super why, Jake and Neverland Pirates........ This half term holidays made him inquisitive about the story of Ramayana. With Deepavali around I was trying to explain him about the importance of the festival and the way it is celebrated bla bla any other parent. I took this opportunity and started telling him the snippets of Ramayana. OMG to my surprise he came up with so many Q,  I started smiling so that I could think about the answer ;). Why did Rama go to the forest? How can Sita wear a deer's skin as her dress silly Sita he said....Why is Hanuman's mom face not like monkey face? Jatayu is a bird how can he speak?
Obviously I wanted to convey him only the good part of Ramayana as I felt that was appropriate for a 4yr old kid. Now I too got a bit confused as to should I tweak the Ramayana and say Rama's dad asked him to go and thats why he went and move on.......knowing about bias and so many wives etc might be a bit too much on a pre schooler. Am sure moms with little boys/girls would have had such exp. Please share your views and comments on this so that we all could read and enjoy those innocence....
Here comes one of our trials during holidays - For all those cheese lovers enjoy this yummy dish!

Preparation time : 10 minutes      Cooking time : 15 minutes      Makes : 15 Balls


Oil - 1 Tbsp
Onions finely chopped - 1/2 Cup
Garlic grated - 1 tsp
Green Chillies finely chopped - 2 ( optional for kids)
Broccoli finely chopped - 1 Cup
Cornflour - 2 Tbsp
Potatoes peeled, boiled and mashed - 3/4 Cup
Salt to taste
Mozzarella Cheese cut into 1 inch cubes or Paneer cubes - 15 Cubes
Bread Crumbs for rolling
Oil for deep frying


  • Heat Oil in a pan, add the Onions, Garlic and Green Chillies and saute for few minutes.
  • Add the Broccoli and saute for another 5 minutes till Broccoli is almost cooked.
  • Take off from flame, add the Cornflour, Potatoes and Salt and mix well.
  • Divide this mixture into 15 equal parts and shape it into a flat round.
  • Press a bit in the centre of each round to make a depression, place the Cheese cube in the centre and roll again to form a ball.
  • Roll these balls in the bread crumbs.
  • Meanwhile heat Oil in a pan, deep fry these balls till golden brown in colour. Drain them on a Kitchen roll and serve hot!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kids Birthday Cake!

We made this cake for my little one's Bday recently who turned 4!!! Yes a Train Cake - This is one of the easiest yet cutest cakes I have ever made. It involves minimal exercise and the decoration can also be done easily with the sweeties you get in any Supermarket. Involving kids in decorating the cake is a challenging job; of-course its up to you to take the call - but slightly older children will definitely like decorating their own cake. Here its just arranging the readily available items to your choice and I think it helps kids to be a bit creative too! But don't be surprised if you run short of smarties or white buttons know where it would have gone ;)

Here's how we made our Train Cake.

You need
Train shaped Non stick baking tray - 1
Self Raising Flour - 225g
Unsalted Butter at room temperature  - 225g
Caster Sugar - 225g
Eggs - 4
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp

What you have to do is

  • Pre heat the Oven to 170C.
  • Grease the Train Cake baking tray with Butter and then dust it with Flour.
  • Place the Caster Sugar and Butter into a bowl. Mix together with a an electric blender until it is creamy consistency.
  • Beat the Eggs in a bowl and then add this to the creamed Butter and Sugar. Continue mixing well.
  • Now fold in the Flour carefully with a spoon. Add the Vanilla essence and mix well.
  • Spoon this mixture into the Train Cake baking tray, fill only half the carriage ( the mixture will raise in the Oven)
  • Place in the centre of the Oven for about 25-30 minutes.
  • To check if the Cake is done, insert a skewer into the centre of each Cake then remove. If the skewer comes out clean then the Cake is cooked.
  • Turn out onto a cooling rack. Cake is ready for decorating.
To decorate the Train Cake you can use your imagination and the ingredients available nearby.

Here I have used :
Smarties for the cargo
White Buttons for the steam
Writing Icing tubes for emphasising on the detail
Fruit Leather for tracks
Mixed sweeties for wheels

The fun is making your own which gives immense satisfaction for parents and above all when kids love it - it becomes a super hit!!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Corn Boondi Bhel

As we all know that 'we' drool over chaat items irrespective of which part of the globe we are living :-p. For people who doesn't know about Chaat items (poor them) - 'Chaat' is a collective noun used for many spicy Indian snack items like Bhel Puri, Pani Puri, Masala Puri, Samosa, Cutlet, Dahi Puri, Papdi Chaat, Sev Puri, Aloo Tikki, Dahi how can anyone resist from this list :-p

Well as I said earlier never will Chaats get boring but still wanted to try something new. Corn Boondi Bhel is one such item which was as tasty as it looks :). Yes its a strange combination of crispy spicy Boondi with fresh Sweet Corn kernels. It might turn out a bit fiery for young kids. In that case, what you can do is skip the Boondi and Chillies then just mix rest of the ingredients with desired spice levels for a nutritious snack ;). This comes in handy for a post school evening snack, when you have flying visitors at home or justwith friends over for tea or even on a sluggish Sunday afternoons :-p....All said and done I don't need to find any reasons to eat Chaat !

Serves : 4     Preparation time : 10 - 15 minutes     Cooking time : 0


Spicy Boondi - 2 Cups
Sweet Corn Kernels boiled and drained - 2 Cups
Red Onions finely chopped - 1 Cup
Cucumber chopped - 1 Cup
Tomato chopped - 1 Cup
Green Chillies finely chopped - 1
Roasted Peanuts - 1/2 Cup ( could be peeled or with the skin)
Chaat Masala to sprinkle
Handful of Coriander Leaves finely chopped
Lemon Juice - 1 Tbsp
Sweet Chutney - 1/4 Cup
Salt if required

Method :

  • Firstly place Onions, Tomato, Cucumber in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add Corn, Boondi, roasted Peanuts, Green Chillies, Chaat Masala, Coriander Leaves, Lemon Juice and Sweet Chutney (here add some Salt if required).
  • Mix well and serve immediately.

Enjoy this spicy Sweet Corn Chaat with some hot Tea !!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Make School Cool

Back to school and rushing mornings - I think this is a common scene in most of our homes pheww...I really wonder how our elders used to make an elaborate breakfast unlike our cereals / bread toast / fruits (of course we believe in healthy eating now ;)) and lunch in the mornings along with making us ready - do u guys remember if we as kids were so picky, slow, throw tantrums, moody and what were your parents reactions then?( remember not now :-p).........Now that we are parents we tend to behave like 'Super Mom & Dad'.
Is this a natural behaviour or a passing phase for parents?
Here's a quick lunchbox solution from me - nutritiously delicious ;)! Let alone the little one it was irresistible for us too :). Give it a try and see if it works with your family :)
Makes : 4 - 5 Preparation time : 10 min Cooking time : 30 min
Potatoes par boiled and peeled - 1
Spring Onions finely chopped - About 1/4 Cup
Fenugreek Leaves or Menthya Soppu finely chopped - A handful
Green Chillies finely chopped - 1 (optional)
Cumin Seeds Powder - 1 tsp
Amchur Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Butter - 2 Tbsp
  • Grate the boiled Potato in a thali.
  • To this add Onions, Green Chillies, Fenugreek Leaves, Cumin Seeds Powder, Amchur Powder and Salt.
  • Mix well using your hands so that all the ingredients blends well and knead it to a smooth ball.
  • Now heat a non stick pan on a medium heat, spread some Butter on it.
  • Take a handful of the Potato mixture and pat it thick on the Pan like a pancake.
  • Spread some Butter on the top layer of the pancake.
  • Flip this several times and cook on low heat till both sides are golden brown in colour.
  • Aloo - Methi ki Roti is ready to be served with ketchup for kids!This is non messy and tastes equally good when cools down as well - so added this to my lunchbox list!

Monday, February 14, 2011


I was reading an article about parenting somewhere last week (afternoon 2hrs of peace is my best ‘ME’ time for me) where I came across this Real parenting revolution. So thought I will share it here.

Well...I am sure for all the parents out here; becoming a parent is one of the happiest moments in life. But with all the wonderful things it has there’s no denying that it can also be tough. With sleepless nights to answering all the Whats, journey becomes more enjoyable when we speak openly with other parents and friends. With so many parenting groups and awareness, think rationally and act. The illusion of perfect parenting is so discouraging many times; just make choices that work out best for you and your family. Thus we can be better, happier parents with happier children!

Get R – Relax and trust yourself
E – Enjoy being a parent
A – Accept each other’s choices
L – Look out for each other

Get ready.....Parents in this part of the globe for the half term holidays ;)
Happy Parenting!!

Here’s another expt with my little chef – Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies. It’s a popular cookie recipe and hard to beat!! Classic because it uses less sugar and more nuts – Makes about 20-24 cookies tasting yum yum :)


Self raising flour – 175g
A pinch of Salt
A good pinch of Baking Soda
Unsalted Butter softened – 115g
Caster Sugar – 60g
Brown Sugar – 60g
Vanilla extract – ½ tsp
Egg lightly beaten – 1
Dark Chocolate chips – 175gWalnut pieces – 75g
Baking sheets greased – 2


  • Preheat the Oven to 190deg centigrade
  • Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  • Drop heaped teaspoon of the mixture onto the prepared sheets, make sure you space them apart as they would be doubling in size.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10minutes or lightly coloured. Leave to cool on the sheets for a couple of minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once cooled, store it in an air tight container up to a week or two (if u can resist ;))

Friday, January 14, 2011

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....

I have always felt Cooking is an art – it just cannot be mugged and reproduced. May it be a kid cooking or an adult there’s always something to learn new in this field.
This xmas holidays my toddler P and me decided to try out some easy recipes. As he was introduced to baking in his nursery, he was keen on helping me in kitchen. With the weather being bad couldn’t venture out much so thought why not make it interesting for him.....

This is when I felt Cooking is also a skill where kids learn to read, do math and organise their work logically. Kids generally hesitate to try new things. But with a little inspiration, we can make food more fun!

We made a Snowman cake and enjoyed watching him emerge as a personality as we decorated him with candy and fruit leather.
What we did was:


Self raising flour – 250gms
Butter – 250gms
Caster Sugar – 250gms
Cocoa Powder – 2 tbsp
A pinch of SaltLarge eggs – 5
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp

For decorating

Vanilla frosting – about 1 ½ Cups to 2 Cups
Shredded coconut
Licorice drops black – 2
Large Orange gumdrop/Strawberry – 1 (i replaced the gumdrop with strawberry as i cudnt find it)
Red shoestring licorice
Red fruit leather
Licorice drops red – 3 or 4
Chocolate licorice sticks – 2 ( replaced with green shoestring)


1. Heat the Oven to 180 deg centigrade. Grease and flour two ovenproof glass bowls make sure to use one slightly larger than the other.

2. To make the cake, sift together the Flour, Cocoa Powder and Salt in a large bowl.

3. In another bowl, blend the Butter with Sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Separate the Egg white and yolk. Beat the white till it is stiff and keep it aside.

5. Next add the yolk to the Butter-Sugar mixture and blend well.

6. Then fold the Flour and the Egg Whites alternately until it is mixed well. Add Vanilla extract and mix well.

7. Fill the greased bowls about two thirds full. Bake both the cakes for about 40-50min.

8. Baking actually depends on the Oven – so it’s always good to check with a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

9. Cool the cake in the bowls for about 10min. Then invert onto a large platter so that the cakes resemble a Snowman. Let this cool completely.

10. Ice the cakes with Vanilla frosting, then sprinkle with shredded Coconut. Add licorice drop eyes, insert an Orange gumdrop nose and fashion a broad smile with a shoestring licorice.

11. For the scarf, cut two 2inch wide strips of fruit leather, notch the ends and wrap it around the neck of the snowman. And for the buttons use red gumdrops. Finish the snowman with two chocolate licorice arms!!!Thus you can alter according to the availability and choice!

But remember the Oven is HOT HOT HOT so the Kids step is only reading out the ingredients, measuring and adding the ingredients to the cake batter, and frosting and decorating the cute snowman.

P enjoyed reading all the alphabets to make a word, counted/recognised numbers, arranging the ingredients and pouring 1 by 1 (trying to copy Katie on TV- he pored exactly she does) got to know so many candy available in store :-p. Ofcourse the whole fun was being confident about the result and waiting for it to come on the plate :). And now everyday even after a week he wants only Snowman’s eyes or hands....where do i get so many from?

Hope you all enjoyed the making of our Snowman :)
Have a nice weekend and more toddler recipes to follow....

Friday, January 7, 2011

Wishing You all A Very Happy And A Prosperous New Year!!!!

Dear friends,

Firstly, I am extremely sorry for not updating my blog and just disappeared without giving a clue.
Yes, we were in the process of moving places and settling down. Now, I am based out of London. I have started working as a recipe/content writer for a UK based co here.
With all these changes hapapening, just unable to catch up on abhi-ruchi. I would be sharing few new recipes shortly and enjoy my blogging days back :)

Wishing you and your family a very happy new year!!

Have a nice weekend!
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