Click the pictures to get the recipes

Saturday, December 29, 2012

White Pillaf with Cheese

Recipe Source - Nitha Mehta's Mexican cooking for the Indian Kitchen.

  • Butter or oil – 3 tbsp
  • Basmathi Rice/Long grained rice – 1 cup
  • Onion – 1 medium
  • Corn niblets – 1 cup
  • Green chillies – 4-5(adjust accordingly)
  • Coriander leaves (chopped) – 4 tbsp
  • Cottage cheese/Paneer – 1 cup
  • Salt to taste


Chop onion and green chillies. Crumble or mash the cottage cheese roughly with fingers and keep aside.

Wash rice and keep in a strainer to drain water. Do not soak.

Heat butter or oil in a sauce pan, add onion and stir fry till onion turns soft.Add corn; rice 2 green chillies and fresh coriander. Stir gently for 2-3 minutes till the rice gets toasted.

Add salt and 2 cups water. Give one boil, reduce heat and cook covered for 10 minutes. Add crumbled paneer and mix gently with a fork.

Cover and cook on low heat for another 5-7 minutes or till all the water are absorbed and the rice is soft.

Fluff with a fork. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves and green chillies and serve.

Linking this to Julie's Flavors of Cuisines hosted by Love to Experiment. and Know Your Dairy – Cheese hosted by Sowmya and Jagruti.
and Caroles's Food on Friday

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Grape Wine - Home made

Wishing all my blogger friends Happy Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!!

Today’s post is home-made grape wine. We usually buy wine from the stores, this time I decided to make at home. Grape wine is my favourite. Two months back, I gone through DIY wine making in a local newspaper, the steps were easy and only thing you will need is patience. I had some doubts and browsed to clarify them and I referred here and here.

  • Grapes – 500g
  • Sugar- 500g
  • Water – 1 litre
  • Active dry yeast – 1 tsp (optional)
  • Luke warm water – ¼ cup ( to dissolve yeast)
  • Cinnamon Stick – 1 (optional)
  • Cloves – 1 (optional)
  • Star Anise – 1(optional)


Boil water and cool it completely.

Wash grapes, remove the stalks and pat dry with a kitchen towel.

Dissolve yeast in Luke warm water and keep it aside for 10 minutes.

Crush the grapes with your hands, add sugar ( half of its quantity250 gm) and mix. Transfer to a ceramic/glass jar/wide bucket.

Add cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise and yeast water (if using).

Add cooled boiled water, mix well. Cover with a piece of cloth and keep it closed and airtight.

Stir the mixture every morning for 1-2 minutes to allow fresh oxygen for the fermentation process.

You will notice air bubbles forming on the top when fermentation is taking place.

When the air bubbles have disappeared, strain the grape pulp into another vessel using a muslin cloth. Add the remaining sugar and mix well.

The wine will be hazy at this stage.

Keep it untouched for another 10 days so that the sediments settle down and the wine becomes clear.

Strain the mixture again using a muslin cloth without disturbing the sediments.

Store the wine in clean, dry effervescent-resistant glass bottles.


I used yeast and the wine fermented quickly, air bubbles were disappeared within 7 days. If you are not using yeast it may take longer than 7 days.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Poondu Kulambu/Garlic Gravy

  • Garlic Cloves – 20 No.s
  • Shallots – 10 No.s
  • Tomato – 1
  • Sambar Powder - 1 ½ tbsp
  • Tamarind – 1” size ball
  • Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  • Curry leaves – few
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste


Soak tamarind in water (about ½ cup of water) for 15 minutes and prepare tamarind juice, keep aside.

Chop shallots and tomato.

Heat a sauce pan, add oil, add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add curry leaves fry for few seconds, add chopped shallots and fry until soft. Add chopped tomato and sauté until mushy.

Add Garlic cloves and fry for a minute. Add sambar powder sauté for few seconds. Now add 1 cup of water and salt, bring it to boil. Cook it covered until garlic cloves are tender and soft.

Add tamarind juice bring it to boil, cook it for further 2 more minutes and then remove from heat.

Serve hot with rice.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Plum Cake/Fruit Cake - A Christmas Cake Recipe

Plum cake is my favourite cake. Back in India my father used to buy Plum cake from Greatest Bakery for X'mas. At my place Greatest Bakery is famous for plum cake. I used to enjoy the whole cake because my sister doesn’t like it much.  Got the recipe here whereas, she referred here and here.

  • All-purpose flour- 1 cup
  • Sugar- 1 cup
  • Butter- 1 stick(at room temperature)
  • Dried fruits (dates, raisins, dried cherries, plums, pears, prunes and apricots) - 1 cup
  • Dried nuts (almonds, cashews and walnuts) - 1/2 cup
  • Eggs-3 (at room temperature)
  • Baking powder-1 tsp
  • Baking soda-1/2 tsp
  • Salt-1/4 tsp
  • Vanillas extract -1 tsp
  • Candied lemon and orange peels- 1tbsp
  • Spice powder (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and dry ginger) - 1 tsp
  • Rum or Brandy- 1/2 cup or grape juice- 1/4 cup and orange juice- 1/4 cup
  • For caramelising
  • Sugar-1/4 cup
  • Water - 1tbsp + 1/2 cup


Chop the dried fruits and soak them in Rum /Brandy or grape and orange juice for a few hours.

Add 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tbsp water in a sauce pan and allow it to boil. Do not stir it. After a few minutes, the sugar syrup changes to a cherry wood coloured caramel. Remove the pan from fire immediately, keep under sink and add 1/4 cup of water to it. Let it cool completely. Add the vanilla essence to it.

Powder the sugar and keep aside.

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift the flour mixture and add the spice powder to it and mix well.

Separate the egg whites and yolks. Beat the whites until soft peaks are formed and keep aside. Beat the powdered sugar and butter in a mixing bowl till light and fluffy. Now add the egg yolks to it one by one and beat well until the mixture is creamy.

Add the sifted flour and the caramel to it and mix well. Add the beaten egg whites and fold them in gently.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the cake pans with parchment paper and butter and dust them.

Finally add the chopped nuts and the soaked dry fruits to the cake mixture. Fold them gently. Transfer the cake mixture into the greased cake pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a tester inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Cool completely before storing it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Munthiri Kothu/Sweet Green Gram Balls - Christmas Snack

Mom used to make munthiri kothu,paniyaaram and achu muruku for Christmas.Munthiri kothu is my hubby’s favourite snack.  I got the recipe from my mom . The speciality of this sweet is crispy outer layer and soft and crunchy inside and when frying these balls, they stick together and they make a bunch and so is the name. (kothu – bunch)

  • Green gram – 1 cup
  • Grated coconut – ¼ cup
  • Grated Jaggery – 1 cup
  • Cardamom powder – a pinch
  • Raw rice – ¾ cup
  • Turmeric – a large pinch (for colouring)
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Oil – for deep frying


Soak raw rice in water for 2 hours.

Take a frying pan bring it to heat, add green gram and dry roast it until you get nice aroma. Remove from heat, transfer to plate, and let it cool.

Return the same pan to heat and dry roast the coconut until the colour changes. Once done remove from heat, transfer to a plate and keep aside.

Once green gram is cooled, dry grind it into a coarse powder and keep aside.

Boil ¾ cup of water and dissolve the jaggery and filter it. Bring back the filtered jaggery water to boil, add roasted coconut and coarsely ground green gram powder and stir continuously. Once the paste becomes thick remove from heat and let it cool slightly.

Meanwhile add soaked rice, salt, turmeric powder and little water in mixer and grind it to a fine paste. The batter should be thick enough and should not be watery.

Make small balls from green gram paste and keep aside.

Heat a frying pan on medium heat and add enough oil for deep frying. Once the oil is hot enough, dip the
green gram balls in the rice batter, and deep fry them.

Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen towel and store them in air tight containers.
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