Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cabbage Kofta Curry, Perfect Side Dish

Kofta curries are my favourite and I prefer them any day. By the koftas are fried pakoras balls simmered in spicy gravy and there many variations of making it. I made lauki kofta in curd gravy and I got some nice response there. I have tried making the royal paneer koftas too (which is my much-loved dish). This time I attempted making koftas using cabbage and I find it irresistible now. As inexpensive as cabbage is, it is one of the richest when it comes to protective vitamins.

Grated cabbage is mixed with little gram flour and spices which in turn produces crispy pakoras. Later these fried pakoras are immersed in hot and spicy tomato gravy. Now, Mr. Husband is not a very huge fan of cabbage, so I fooled him saying that those were lauki koftas and he relished every bite. Ofcourse I did tore the veil later and he smiled and said- really? You must make them often *happy dance*. So, If like me you are bored making same cabbage dry subzi then you have to give this dish a shot.  


For Koftas:
2 cup shredded cabbage /patha gobhi
3/4 cup gram flour or as needed
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed /jeera
2 teaspoon chopped coriander/hara dhania
1 teaspoon shredded ginger/adrak
1 chopped green chilli/hari mirch
1 teaspoon salt
Oil to fry

For Gravy:
3 medium tomatoes
2 onions/pyaz
1/2 inch ginger/adrak
5 cloves garlic/lehsun
1 green chilli
2 tablespoon yogurt
2 tablespoon oil
Pinch asafoetida/hing
1 teaspoon cumin seed /jeera
1 tablespoon gram flour/basen
1 tablespoon coriander powder/dhania
1/2 teaspoon turmeric /haldi
1/2 teaspoon salt -adjust to taste
1/4 teaspoon red pepper powder/lal mirch
2 tablespoon finally chopped coriander/hara dhania
1 teaspoon sugar


For Koftas:
Mix together all the kofta (dumpling) ingredients. Adjust gram flour as needed to make a texture of very soft dough.

Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat.
Check if the oil is ready, just put one small piece of the mix in the oil, it should sizzle and come up right away.
Slowly drop about 1 tablespoon of the dumpling mixture into the frying pan one at a time.
Fry the koftas in small batches.Turn the koftas occasionally. Fry the koftas until they turn golden-brown all around.

Blend the tomatoes, green chillies, garlic, onions and ginger to make a puree.
Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium-high. Add the asafoetida, cumin seeds and gram flour.Stir for minutes.
Add the tomato puree, coriander powder, turmeric, and cook on medium heat until the tomato mixture starts leaving the oil and reduces to about half in quantity.
Next add yogurt and cook for another minute.
Add about 1½ cups of water and the salt. As it comes to boil reduce the heat to medium-low and let the gravy cook for few minutes.
Add the prepared koftas and let it simmer for another 7 to 8 minutes.
Turn of the heat and add the coriander and cover the pot.

Make the dumpling mix just before you are ready to fry the koftas otherwise it will become watery.
Just omit garlic and onion if you don’t like in the gravy.

Spicy, soft and hot

Monday, August 19, 2013

Italian Style Couscous Cakes With R&G Fresh Herbs

What will be better then carefully picked and freshly cut herbs? I know we get dried herbs like basil, oregano, rosemary etc in the supermarket but nothing beats the fragrance and the taste of fresh herbs. I bring those half grown pots from the supermarket but the leaves sheds and what I left with is a dead plant and wastage of money. There is one company- Nature’s Flavours that is brought to you by R&G Fresh Herbs, which has more than 50 years’ experience in providing quality herbs.

R&G Fresh Herbs not only provides fresh herbs but also makes sure that it reaches customers in peak condition, packed full of flavour and vitality. All R&G herbs are packaged in micro-perforated bags, allowing the herbs to respire and thus prolonging shelf life, taste and appearance in the most natural way possible. They sent me a box containing basil, Thai basil, oregano, mint and rosemary on 15th august and they are still fresh (you can see in the pictures). I totally impressed by them and their products. Such nice fragrance and aroma!!

Fresh Basil and Oregano
I made couscous cakes using basil and oregano to give that Italian touch.  Basil leaves have such pronounced rich and peppery flavour and oregano had its own subtle flavour and delicate taste. Oregano and basil is such a winning combination and that is why they are mostly escorted together in the dishes like pizza, bruschetta, pasta and many classic recipes. I combined couscous with both these herbs and I loved the overall green colour it had. The cake had unique essence of the herbs and was packed with flavours. An experiment worth doing again and again *clap**clap**clap* ;-)

  • 3/4 cup couscous
  • 1 cup boiling water
  •  Salt to taste
  • 1 large garlic clove crushed
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil levees leaves (I used R&G)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves. (I used R&G)
  • 2 green chilles chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained (canned)
  • Olive oil for roasting
Put the couscous and little salt in a small pan.  Add 1 cup boiling water to the couscous, cover with the pan lid and let sit for 4 to 5 minutes.  
Coarsely pulse chickpeas, basil, orgenao, garlic, green chiilies in a food processor.
Uncover the couscous and fluff with a fork.  
In a large bowl, add the couscous, chickpeas coarse paste, salt and lime juice and mix well.
Heat oil in a pan. Shape the mixture into patties and roast from both the sides until golden.
Serve hot with chutney.

Use boiled chickpeas if you can’t get canned.
Boiled potatoes can also be added instead of chickpeas.
Other herbs like mint, parsley, coriander can also be included.
Include other vegetables like sweet corn, peas, and onions for more filling cakes.

Flavourful and crisp.

Disclaimer: I was not paid or told to write positive review. The post is based on my experience and is unbiasedThanking R&G Fresh Herbs for the sending herbs to review.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Unplanned Chocolate Cake And A Cup Of Coffee

Someone has said that happiness lies in small things; it's us who makes it complex. I so very agree to this; so many times we seek happiness outside but we forget that happiness is in our own home, in little things, in little smiles.  What else will one need to be happy- a book, a cup of coffee, chocolate cake and a loving husband? My hubby loves reading and so do I. But I enjoy light flicks, romantic novels, he on the other hand is fond of intense, old classics ones. Reading is a good habit; it makes you feel that you are not alone :-). It was so rejuvenating to read, sip and bite- this is all what we did last Sunday. Overall we were busy reading and enjoying the cake-where we dint speak to each other but our presence felt ;-). I understood that ‘one must enjoy little things in life, because for one day you will look back and realise that those were big things’.

The picture signifies what I meant above, but another focus is on those red cute little cups which I got from RED CANDY (cool name isn’t it?). Red Candy is a beautiful online store which caters into kitchen, dining and living. Now I am sure you will ask there are so many sites that provides same then why Red Candy-well because this site is dedicated only to the colour 'red'. I personally love red- the colour of love, passion and energy. Well I am sure now where to buy gift for Valentine’s Day (here is the hint fellas!). They have such amazing collection of funky, useful and lovely things that you will enjoy browsing through their site and pick something. I chose those pretty cups that I totally adore right now- ah! So delicate and vintage.

Hmmm! About the chocolate cake, it was unplanned and quickest cake ever-Just Perfect. Even though I am taking care of my calories intake a lot these days; but what the hell, who will ever avoid a chocolate cake (Right???). I mean -Women have many moods, chocolate satisfies them all ;)For me- the cake, the book and the coffee was a winning choice and a good change from the busy life.*happy dance*

All purpose flour - 1 ¼ cup
Cocoa powder(Unsweetened) - 3 tablespoon
Baking powder - 2 teaspoon
Sugar - 1 cup
Vanilla Extract - 2 teaspoon
Milk/Water – ½  cup
Vegetable oil- ½  cup
Eggs – 2
Icing sugar-1 tablespoon

Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and sugar in a mixing bowl.
Beat the eggs and mix the vegetable oil/butter and milk/water with it.
Mix the dry and wet ingredients together using an electric mixer or by hand.
Transfer the contents to a baking pan and bake for 30- 45 minutes in a oven preheated to 350F or 175C.
Cool the cake completely before cutting. Dust some icing sugar for nicer taste.

As I said this was unplanned cake, so I dipped eggs in hot water for 5 minutes so that they come to room temperature.
I ate it plain, where as it can be frosted with fresh cream or chocolate frosting. For recipe see here and here.
Heat up the cake piece for 30 seconds in microwave and serve with scoop of ice cream and some chocolate sauce.

Fudgy, chocolaty and bitter.

With thanks to Red Candy for these cups.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Schezwan Idli With A Review

Being a food blogger one thing is sure that we love props. One site that gives you ample choices in food props is As the name says it not on any high street and thus you get everything at affordable prices (ah! a dream come true) :-) Well they cater not just into kitchen stuffs but also possess  fashion, baby, garden, home living and many more categories. What I like most about this site is that it also specialises in personalised gifts. Whenever it is our wedding anniversary or some special occasion I literally bang my head thinking what to buy for Mr. Husband, but now I know that my search will get over here. So all you people when your husbands’ asks you what you want as gift-you just show him :)

Thus when they asked me to review the site, I just jumped at the opportunity and took 2 days to decide what should I take as the this site is heaven for food bloggers; there is so much to see that you will surely end up picking something. I took three bowls and 1 plate and I totally adore them (lucky me!). All of them are hand painted and have such beautiful designs and colours. You have got to look at their site NOW.

Blue waves and red flower print bowls
Beautiful frill bowl and lovely flowery plate

I chose to make schezwan idli and these cute bowls were icing on the cake. I love basic idli fry and I love it so much that I whenever I make idli I make some extra so as to enjoy them later. This time I gave a Chinese makeover to the leftover idlis and all I can say is that is so very perfect for monsoons -spicy, tangy and hot:-) I made schezwan sauce months back and it was one of my popular post. I use the same sauce to make this dish and yummy is word. This is quick party snack and will be enjoyed by everyone. I will quickly move to the recipe.

5-8 idlis
3 green chillies slit
1 tomato chopped
2 onions chopped
5-8 curry leaves
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon lime juice
4 tablespoon schezwan sauce (recipe here)
½ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon oil

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Let it crackle.
Then add curry leaves and green chillies. Wait for 20 seconds.
Mix in onions and sauté till onions are half cooked.
Mix in tomato, coriander powder, idli, salt and sugar. Stir well and cooked covered for 1 minute.
Then add in the schezwan sauce ,soy sauce, lime juice and stir. Cook covered for 1 minute.
Lastly coat the idlis with sesame seeds and serve.

Do not overcook onions as it will turn mushy.
Add bell peppers with onion for added taste.
Increase or decrease the use of schezwan sauce as per taste.

Spicy and crunchy.

Disclaimer: I was not paid or told to write positive review. The post is based on my experience and is unbiasedWith thanks to for sending these props to review.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Mint Cucumber Cooler With BRITA Marella Jug

Hey girls! How was the weekend? Mine was too good- I watched movie, read a novel and relaxed ;-). It has been crazy summer this time in the UK and temperature pops up very quickly- all I need is some fresh water. I am sure many of you will agree that water is a core ingredient is Indian cooking-be it rice, lentils, chapatti or any curry. Most of the families in the UK use tap water for cooking (I was one among them too) ; Tap water contains chlorine, lime scale and other impurities which can affect the way our meals and drinks taste. And that is why when BRITA approached me with ‘better with BRITA’ campaign I just could not refused. I have seen BRITA jugs banners and advertisements in most of the tube stations but never thought of buying as I had a notion that if all uses tap water why waste money?

BRITA Marella Jug In Rose Colour
Lisa Faulkner
Lisa Faulkner, author of bestselling cookery book ‘Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter’ and presenter of TV show ‘What’s Cooking? R has joined forces with BRITA and comments, “We don’t often think about it but water is actually one of the biggest ingredients in cooking. If you love food like I do, using the best ingredients and getting the most out of them is so important: I often spend hours food shopping and looking for quality produce. BRITA filtered water allows the best qualities and flavours of these ingredients to shine through.”

When I used the BRITA jug I could sense the change in the taste; yes the water tasted so fresh and nice. I am so impressed by its simple technology; the filters contain a mix of activated carbon and ion exchange which reduces chlorine, limescale, heavy metals and other organic impurities, giving you cleaner, clearer, great tasting water. This Marella jug is slim, elegant and has beautiful colours (I have one in rose colour:-)) All you people please do not hesitate to buy this jug; it only looks good but is affordable, effective and must have in your kitchen.

I made Mint Cucumber Cooler using BRITA filtered water and it tasted better and pleasant. Mint is one such ingredient that for me is must have in drinks. I enjoy coolers that are light, healthy and rejuvenating and this drink suffices all these qualities. It is so easy and quick and is made using minimal ingredients and trust me you have to try this in summers (YOU HAVE TO). Ah! A complete relief from the scorching heat. 

1 cucumber peeled and cut in small cubes to make about 2 cups (I like to use English cucumber)
About 8 mint leaves
3 cups water (BRITA filtered)
1 tablespoon lime juice adjust to taste
3 tablespoons honey adjust to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper adjust to taste
1/4 teaspoon chaat masala
Ice cubes to serve

In a blender, puree the cucumber,ice, mint, salt, pepper and honey. Pour the puree through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Use the spoon to press the solids to take out all the juice. There will be about 1-1/4 cups of cucumber juice.
Add the lime juice mix it well.
Fill the glasses. Cucumber cooler is ready to be served. Enjoy!

Sugar can be used instead of honey.
Add 2 tablespoons of gin while mixing and you will have a tasty cocktail ready.

Refreshing and minty

Disclaimer: I was not paid or told to write positive review. The post is based on my experience and is unbiasedWith thanks to BRITA for sending Marella Jug to review

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Quick Sweet Chilli Dip With Kettle Chips

Remember guys! How back at home in India your mom chooses fine potatoes and makes chips from them to stock up for whole year? I too memorize that how every summer my mom used to prepare those thin crisp and fry them as and when needed. Surely I miss that. But what if I say that there is one brand that uses fine potatoes, hand cook them with care in little batches? Yes- Kettle Chips is one such brand that likes to keep it simple and yet tasty, and it has been this way for over 30 years.

I was sent the seasonal edition “Mozzarella and Pesto” which is so unique in the combination and taste when compared to other brands in the market. They have such matchless flavours -sea salt and crushed peppercorns; mature cheddar and red onion; slightly salted with balsamic vinegar are few to name. When I opened the mozzarella and pesto bag I was so tempted by the delectable smell of pesto and garlic. The chips are so thin and crisp, has beautiful golden colour just like home cooked ones. When I gulp in the first one I got that creamy mozzarella feel-yum it was. By the way I must also mention that like other chips brand they are not stingy when it comes to seasoning  yes the pack is loaded with fresh seasoning and nothing is artificial at all –Great isn’t it?

Even though this flavour itself was great, I fancied to have some sweet spicy dip to go with the chips. Yes, all I wanted was some quick sweet chilli dip to enjoy the crisps more. That is why I made the dip and this when escorted with mozzarella and pesto chips we surely have a winner.

Who doesn’t like sweet chilli sauce? I mean what you can’t have with it. Be it dosa, sandwiches, parathas, pakodas-my favourite momos. This is such a versatile dip used in Chinese, Indian and even Thai cuisine. Now, the traditional method to make sweet chilli dip is time consuming process- soak dry red chilli-blend it-cook it- Blah! Blah! Blah!...BUT I have quick and easy way *grin*. See the recipe:-)

2 tablespoon corn flour
1 tablespoon soya sauce
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
2 tablespoon red chilli powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 teaspoon grated ginger
Salt to taste
2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon red chilli flakes
2 cups water

Dissolve corn flour with water and keep aside. Make sure there are no lumps.
Heat oil in a pan on high heat and add garlic and ginger. Saute well.
Add corn flour mixture and turn heat to low-medium.
Finally add all the remaining ingredients and mix well. Let it boil for 2-5 minutes. Check consistency and let it cool before serving.

I like it spicy so I added lots of red chilli powder. Adjust as per your taste.

Sweet, hot and spicy.

Disclaimer: I was not paid or told to write positive review. The post is based on my experience and is unbiasedWith thanks to Kettle Chips for samples to review.