Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast slice

Looking for healthy breakfast options ? Try these 'no sugar' oatmeal and banana breakfast slices, sweetened with dates and loaded with walnuts. This cake is super moist, little dense and tastes much better than regular banana bread. It is mildly sweet and pairs perfectly with a cup of hot coffee. If you like the cake sweeter, add 1/4 to 1/2 Cup Sugar according to your taste.


  • 3 Ripe Bananas mashed
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk ( To make buttermilk , add 1 teaspoon of distilled white vinegar to 1 cup of milk and set aside for 10 minutes until the milk curdles )
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 300 Grams Dates chopped super fine
  • 2 Cups Quick cooking Instant Oats
  • 1/2 Cup All purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
  • a big pinch of Nutmeg Powder
  • a big pinch of salt
  • 1/2 Cup walnuts


1.  Preheat the oven to 180C / 350 F. Grease a loaf pan and line it with parchment paper
2. In a small bowl, add all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder and mix. Set aside
3. In a large microwave safe bowl, add mashed bananas, 1 cup of milk, oil and pitted finely chopped dates and mix everything with a spoon or spatula. For a sweeter version of cake, add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cups of powdered granulated white sugar to the mixture and mix well
4. Microwave the mixture on high for 3 minutes
5. After 3 minutes of microwaving, the dates will become soft and gets well blended with milk
6. Now add instant oats to the milk-dates mixture and give it a nice stir and microwave on high for 2 minutes
7. Time to combine wet ingredients with dry. Fold in dry ingredients in 3 batches into the wet oats mixture alternating with buttermilk. Do not whisk or mix the ingredient, your baked slices will be dense if you whisk/ mix. So fold in gently such that there are no lumps
8. Pour the mixture into the greased loaf pan and bake at 180C for 50 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean
9. Let the cake cool down for 10 minutes in the pan
10. Then invert the cake on a wire rack and cool completely. This cake is super moist , do not try to slice when the cake is still hot, it will break
11. Slice the cake and wrap it in cling wrap and store in it air tight container
12. Serve it with a cup of hot coffee for breakfast. No added sugar and no butter, breakfast can't get better than this

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Peanut Salad / Chaat

 A delicious salad with boiled peanuts , red onions and tomatoes. Full on flavour and no oil , guilt free snack to munch on.


  • 1 Cup boiled peanuts
  • 1 small red onion chopped finely
  • 1/2 tomato de-seeded and chopped finely
  • 1 Carrot shredded finely
  • 2 Tablespoons raw mango chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 Teaspoon chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 Teaspoon red chilli powder / paprika according to your taste
  • a big pinch of cumin powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Chaat masala
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt / kaala namak


1. Boil peanuts : you need raw peanuts that ate not dehydrated and still fresh. Add peanuts to a large pot and enough water to cover. Add salt and then boil the peanuts until they are soft but not mushy
2. In a bowl add peanuts, red onions, raw mango, tomato and cilantro leaves and toss them gently
3. Add red chilli powder, cumin powder and chaat masala, salt and toss again
4. Sprinkle lemon juice and toss the salad one more time
5. Top the salad with shredded carrots sprinkled on the top and serve immediately. This salad needs to be served immediately otherwise it will turn soggy because we are adding onion and tomatoes. If you are planning to serve it at later point, do all the chopping and keep the ingredients ready in the refrigerator with cling wrap and do the final assembling and tossing at the time of serving

Pull apart Garlic Rolls

Buttery and delicious pull apart Garlic rolls are perfect for breakfast or for dinner with a bowl of hot soup. They can be served as an appetizer or as an after school snack. 


  • 3 Cups of All purpose Flour
  • 1 and 1/4 Cups of warm water to proof yeast
  • 2 Teaspoon Dry active Yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup milk to brush (or use egg wash to brush)

For the herbed garlic butter

  • 3 Tablespoon salted butter ( use 1/4 teaspoon salt if you are using 'unsalted' butter)
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped cilantro / parsley
  • 6 Garlic cloves chopped very finely
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried Oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 Teaspoon red chilli flakes or freshly ground black pepper


1. Grease a 9 inch round cake pan / loaf pan and line it with parchment paper
2. In a bowl, add all the ingredients listed under herbed garlic butter and mix it using a spoon and set aside



1. Add sugar to the warm water and stir in. Then add yeast to the warm water and let it proof. The water should be just warm, not hot. Hot water will kill yeast.
2. Let it sit for 10 minutes or until the mixture is frothy and bubbly
3. In a large mixing bowl, add flour and salt and mix well
4. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour olive oil. Combine the flour and oil until the oil is absorbed in the flour. Now Pour the yeast mixture gradually into the flour and start mixing with a wooden spatula
5. When the mixture is about to come together as a dough, start mixing with your hands
6. Knead the dough with hands for 6 to 8 minutes or until the dough springs back when you press it with your finger


7. Cover the dough with cling wrap and allow the dough to rise /double in a warm place
8. After an hour, the dough would have doubled in size. Punch down the dough and divide it into two equal portions



9. Take one portion of the dough and roll in to a square measuring 9 inches long and atleast 1/2 inch thick. Please sprinkle dry flour to prevent it from sticking
10. Brush the garlic butter all over the rolled surface of the dough.



11. Roll the dough to form a log



12. Cut the log into four equal portions


13. Now place the rolls on the greased pan. Leave enough space between each roll to rise


14. Repeat the steps from 9 to 13 for the second portion of the dough
15. Now we will have total 8 rolls in the pan


16. Cover the rolls with wet kitchen towel and keep the pan in a warm place and allow the rolls to rise for 30 minutes
17. Preheat the oven to 180 C
18. Brush the rolls with milk


19. Bake the rolls at 180 C for 25 minutes or until the edges are nice golden
20. Then increase the temperature of the oven to 200 c and bake the rolls for 3 to 5 minutes. This is done to give a nice golden color to the rolls. Keep watching the rolls when you are baking them at 200C because they might get burnt / browned too soon at high temperature
21. Remove from the oven and brush the rolls with garlic butter on the top
22. Serve hot with your favourite dip or just these rolls with a hot cup of coffee

Friday, 19 September 2014

Spicy Fish Curry with Eggplant

A spicy fish curry with baby brinjals - creamy, spicy and tangy fish curry pairs perfectly with steamed rice and fried fish. This is one the simplest fish curry and can be made very quickly. Adjust red chilli powder according to your taste. You can use raw mango pieces or potatoes instead of baby brinjals. 


  • 500 Grams of Fish pieces /slices of your choice ( I used barracuda / sheela as called locally )
  • 2 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil / Sesame Seed oil ( I always use sesame seed oil for fish curry)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1 Tespoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 Teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1 Sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 Medium Onion chopped roughly
  • 1 Large tomato chopped roughly
  • 8 Garlic Cloves sliced thinly
  • 1 Green Chilli Slit
  • 2 Teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Coriander powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 6 baby brinjals / eggplants ( washed and slit in the middle and keep the stem intact)
  • Tamarind - about one small lemon size ( Soak tamarind in 1/4 cup of warm water for 10 minutes and extract juice)
  • 1/2 cup thick coconut milk 
  • Salt to taste


1. In a food processor add roughly chopped onions, tomatoes, 4 garlic cloves and grind it to fine paste
2. In a pan, heat oil. When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, black peppercorns and curry leaves. Fry until the fenugreek seeds are light golden
3. Add slit green chilli and remaining garlic cloves and fry for few seconds
4. Then add the ground onion tomato mixture and fry on low flame until oil starts separating from the mixture. This might take 8 to 10 minutes on low flame
5. Add coriander powder , red chilli powder and turmeric powder along with 2 tablespoons of water and saute for 5 minutes until the water evaporates and the mixture comes together 
6. Add brinjal, tamarind extract , 1 and 1/2 cups of water and salt to taste and bring it to boil
7. Keep the flame low and let the curry boil for 10 minutes.
8. After 10 minutes the water should have reduced and the gravy would be thickened
9. Reduce the flame to low and gently slide in fish pieces
10. Add coconut milk and close the pan with lid. Let the fish cook for 5 minutes
11. After 5 minutes check if the fish is cooked and turn off the flame
12. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and close the pan with a lid and let the curry rest for an hour for the flavors to develop
13. Serve with steamed rice

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Instant Gulab Jamun with bread

Gulab Jamun is a classic Indian dessert traditionally made with milk solids and clarified butter. Soft and pillowy balls are fried until golden and then they are infused in a simple syrup. A popular Indian sweet that you shouldn't miss...

This is a variation to the classic Jamun recipe, and here we are using left over white bread to make Jamuns. These are very very soft and delicious and tastes almost like traditional Jamuns. Easy to make and can be made in a jiffy.



  • 8 White bread Slices ( I used left over homemade classic white loaf slices)
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons of Ghee / unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/3 Cup of Full cream milk
  • 1/4 Cup of Instant Mawa / Khoya ( recipe follows)
  • Oil for deep frying

For the Sugar Syrup

  • 1 and 1/2 Cups of Sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 Cups of Water
  • a big pinch of Cardamom Powder

For Instant mawa / Khoya  ( makes 1 Cup )

  • 1 Cup Full Fat Milk Powder 
  • 1 Tablespoon Ghee
  • 1/3 Cup full cream milk



1. Use white bread slices for softe gulab jamuns. Remove the crust / brown edges of the bread
2. Chop them roughly and add the bread slices to a food processor and pulse it 2 to 3 times to get a coarse powder / bread crumbs. Set aside
3. Make instant mawa or khoya : In a microwave safe bowl, combine milk powder, ghee and milk. Using a spoon mix everything together. Microwave on high for one minute. Remove from the oven and give it a nice stir. Then pop it in the oven again and microwave on high for one more minute. I removed the mixture once in 20 seconds, gave it a stir and returned back to the oven and microwaved it. Total microwaving time is 2 minutes with 3 to 4 stirring in between. At the end of 2 minutes, the mixture will be thick , crumbly and instant khoya is ready. Cool it completely before you use this mawa in your recipes. 
4. Make Sugar Syrup : In a large pot, add equal portions of sugar and water and keep it on medium flame.  I used 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar with equal cups of water to make this syrup. And I did not have any leftover syrup. Fried Jamuns soaked up all the syrup. If you like your jamun with little bit extra syrup, then you may need to increase the sugar and water quantity. Cook the mixture for 6 to7 minutes on medium flame until the syrup thickens a little bit. Now switch off the flame and stir in cardamom powder. Set aside

Direction for making jamun

1. In a large mixing bowl, add the powdered bread / bread crumbs we prepared at step number 1 of preparation
2. Add 1/4 cup of instant mawa / khoya we prepared at step number 3 of preparation
3. Gently rub the khoya / mawa with bread crumbs such that there are no lumps
4. Add in baking powder and ghee and mix everything together
5. Now sprinkle milk little by little and bring it together as a dough. Dough should be soft and non sticky. 
6. Set aside this bread crumb dough for 10 minutes
7. Grease your palm well and pinch out about one scoop of dough and roll it into a smooth ball. Make sure you roll out the ball very very gently without giving much pressure. If the ball is too dense, then it will not soak up sugar syrup. Also, make sure that the ball is smooth without any cracks
8. Roll out balls of equal size with rest of the dough and set aside
9. In a wok / pan heat oil for deep frying the balls. Keep the flame on medium and gently slide in 3 to 4 balls in the hot oil. Fry until the balls are light golden color. It is important to keep the flame medium to get a nice color and also for the balls to get cooked completely from inside
10. Remove the fried Jamun balls from oil and drain it on paper towel. Let them cool a little bit
11. Add the warm fried jamun balls into the warm sugar syrup. It is important to add the jamun balls only when they are cooled a little bit, but still warm. Do not add hot fried jamun balls in the sugar syrup, they might break and dissolve and disintegrate after sometime. Also make sure that the sugar syrup is not too hot, it should be warm. 
12. Allow the jamuns to rest in the sugar syrup for 30 minutes to 1 hour
13. After the soaking time, Jamun should be soft, and the sugar syrup should have gone well deep inside the jamun


14. Serving Suggestion : Top it off with finely chopped pistachios / almonds and serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Orange Shortbread Cookies

Almond and Orange shortbread cookies are perfect with a cup of Coffee. Buttery and bursting with amazing citrus fall flavors. Easy to make and these are egg-less cookies. And the whole house smells amazing !!! 


  • 1 and 1/4 Cups of All purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Almond meal
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3/4 Cup of powdered granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 Cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • Zest of one orange
  • 3 Tablespoon freshly squeezed Orange Juice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Preparation :

Almond Meal : 

Homemade almond meal is so easy to make. In less than five minutes, you can grind fresh almond meal and it is much cheaper than the readily available store bought one. Place 1/2 cup of raw unblanched almonds in a spice grinder / coffee bean grinder. Pulse it several times until a fine textured almond meal forms. Do not over grind, you will end up making almond butter since almond starts leaving oil.  That's it , homemade almond meal is ready!!! 


1. In a mixing bowl , combine all purpose flour, almond meal, baking soda and salt. Set aside
2. In a large bowl, add powdered sugar. Add the orange zest to the sugar and gently rub the zest with sugar until the sugar turns pale orange 

3. Add butter to the sugar and using a hand blender cream it together for 2 minutes until the mixture is creamy and smooth


4. Add vanilla extract and orange juice and mix everything together
6. Finally add the flour we have from step number 1 into the butter mixture in three additions. Make sure that the flour is completely blended with butter with no lumps
7. Cover with cling wrap and keep the cookie dough in the refrigerator for 20 minutes
8. Preheat the oven to 180 C
9. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
10. Using a ice cream scoop , scoop out dough and place it on the parchment paper. Flatten it a little bit. If you do not flatten, the cookie will be slightly thicker
11. Make sure to leave space between the cookies as they expand while baking
12. Bake at 180 C for 20 to 22 minutes or until they have a nice golden color over the edges
13. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely. When they are fresh out of the oven , the cookies will be very soft and they will turn crispy once cooled
14. Store in airtight container. 

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Crispy fried Anchovies

Crispy fried Anchovies - super simple and easy to make. Fresh anchovies are cleaned, de-boned and marinated with Indian Spice mix. These are crispy on the outside , soft pillowy from inside. Best served with steamed rice and rasam / fish curry. 


  • 500 Grams of Fresh Anchovies 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon red chilli powder ( you can use paprika instead of red chilli powder and skip adding turmeric powder)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil for deep frying

Preparation :

I used fresh anchovies. Hence I washed them thrice with a big pinch of turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon sea salt. Pat dried the fish with paper towel


2. Gently Pulled out the tender bone. You could retain the bone if you like it with bone in. Infact bone gets crispy when you deep fry the anchovies. I did debone because it is easier to feed my kids. Kids can just pick up with tail and eat fish and I need not worry about bones.



1. Mix turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder, lemon juice, salt in a small bowl with 2 teaspoons of water 

2. Add this spice mixture over the anchovies and toss them gently such that anchovies are well coated with spice mix                             

3. Keep the anchovies in a bowl and cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate overnight or marinate for 1 hour at room temperature                               

4. Bring the fish to room temperature before frying if you are refrigerating overnight

5. Add 3 tablespoon oil in a frying pan. Once the oil is hot, drop about 5 anchovies in the hot oil and fry on medium flame                           

6. Flip sides once and fry until fish turns light brown and crispy

7. Remove from the oil and place it on a plate lined with paper towel. Fry rest of the anchovies in the pan in the batches of 5 or 6

8. Serve hot with crispy fried curry leaves topped off. I served it with steamed rice and spicy fish curry



Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Pan roasted veggies and hard boiled eggs sandwich - Grilled

Healthy and delicious breakfast sandwich (grilled) with pan roasted veggies and hard boiled eggs. So hearty and quite filling. Crispy pan fried potato slices and boiled egg pairs beautifully. Shredded carrots add a nice crunch. Perfectly seasoned with freshly ground black pepper and italian seasoning.  Loaded with nutrients and full on flavour. Caramelized Onions and gooey melthing cheese - insanely delicious !!!

Instead of making sandwich, you could use this roasted veggies as a filling in pita bread / roti along with a drizzle of yogurt or tahini sauce or mayonnaise. 

Yield : 1 Serving


  • 2 thick slices of sandwich bread ( I used homemade white loaf slices)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of finely shredded carrots
  • 1 Tablespoon Green bell peppers chopped finely
  • 2 Tablespoon Onions chopped finely
  • 3 slices of a ripe tomato
  • 4 to 5 slices of potato + a big pinch of red chilli powder + salt+ freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • 1 slice of cheese
  • salt to taste
  • a big pinch of Italian seasiong / dried thyme / or any seasoning of your choice
  • 1/4 Teaspoon red chilli flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter for spreading on the bread slices

Preparation :

1. Slice bread slightly thicker and apply butter on both sides of the each slice. Set aside
2. Wash a small sized potato well and slice it into circles (slightly thicker). Sprinkle red chilli powder, salt and freshly ground black pepper on the potato slices and set them aside
3. Keep one egg outside refrigerator overnight and bring it to room temperature. Hard boil the eggs and carefully peel remove their outer skin. Make sure not to break the egg. Once the egg is cooled completely , slice the egg into circles. Set aside


1. In a pan / skillet / tawa place the sliced potatoes we prepared at step number two


2. Keep the pan over medium speed. Now using a spoon pour olive oil gently over the potatoes and also along the sides 


3. Let the potatoes get stir fried for 2 minutes. flip them over and cook on the other side for 2 more minutes


4. Once the potatoes are done, move the potato to the side of the pan away from direct heat

5. In a the same pan with remaining oil , add onions, green bell peppers, tomato slices. Do not add everything together on the same place in the skillet. Just spread the veggies on the skillet and stir fry


6. Sprinkle salt and italian seasoning over the veggies and roast them on medium flame for 3 minutes until the onions are slightly caramelized and tomatoes & bell peppers have a nice char on them


7. Switch off the flame. Roasted Veggies for the sandwich is ready

8. Time to assemble everything on the sandwich bread

9. Take the buttered bread we prepared at step number one of 'preparation' 


10. Place a cheese slice over one bread slice


11. Now place the roasted veggies over the cheese


12. Place sliced hard boiled eggs on the top of roasted veggies. I did not discard egg yolk. You could discard yolk and use only the egg white
13. Finally sprinkle shredded carrots and then place another bread slice over and press the sandwich gently. If you like more cheese, place another cheese slice after you place the sliced egg and then cover it with the bread slice


14. Grill the sandwich until it has a lovely golden color on the top. I grilled it in the sandwich maker. You can grill it in the oven or over the griller
15. Serve hot with ketchup or dip

Note : I used potato, tomato, onion, shredded carrots and bell peppers. I love hard boiled eggs and crispy potato combo. You could use your favorite vegetables like parboiled sweet corn , steamed broccoli