Sunday, January 10, 2016


Veg Quiche

It was just a few months ago I got to know that Quiche is pronounced something in the lines of “keesh”.

I tasted an eggy version at Cafe Zoe that my kids raved about. I wasn’t too enamoured as I don’t like eggs. It kind of put my back up to learn a vegetarian version and bake the same at home.

I must say the result was a stupendous and yummy success that all of us simply loved.

Read on only if you have the patience for this one. It’s a long process.

Pie crust ready to go into the oven

I.                  PIE CRUST (Yeah, Quiche needs one)


Maida (self-rising flour) – 300 gm
White Butter – 100 gm
Salt – ½ tsp
Sugar – 1 tsp
Water – ½ cup (use it carefully; you may need less)

Baked crusts (this texture needs to be perfectly crunchy. Goes a long way to make a perfect Quiche)


1.       Take a mixing bowl and add maida, salt and sugar to it and sift them. Add butter and mix well for a few minutes with hand to make a crumbly mixture. Now, add water by sprinkling little by little to make a tight dough. Pack it in an airtight container and refrigerate this for a minimum of one hour.
2.      Remove from fridge and divide the dough into 8 equal balls.
3.      Coat the quiche moulds with butter.
4.      Roll the dough into thin discs and place them in quiche moulds, pressing them gently down to shape. Then cut of the excess dough along the edges.
5.      Pierce the surface of the pie crust with a fork a few times. This stops the crust from puffing up.
6.      Preheat the oven at 250 degrees for 10 minutes.
7.      Place the moulds in the oven and bake at 200 degrees for 20 minutes.
8.      They turn golden brown at this point.
9.      Cool them and remove them from moulds before placing them back again to ensure that they don’t stick.

II.               FILLING

Veggies for filling


Green Pepper – 1 (cut in squares)
Red Pepper – ½ (cut in squares)
Yellow Pepper – ½ (cut in squares)
Corn – 1 handful
Onion – 1 (small, chopped fine)
Green chilli – 1 or 2 (chopped fine)
Garlic – 2 cloves (chopped fine)
Oregano flakes – ½ tsp
Black Pepper powder – ¼ teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Oil – 2 tsp (Olive or cooking oil)
Cheese – 4 cubes (grated)
Milk – 70 ml
Paneer 100 gm

Paneer-milk mix


1.       Take a saucepan and heat the oil in it.
2.      Add chilli-garlic and sauté.
3.      Fry the onions for a minute before adding the peppers.
4.      Fry as you add oregano, pepper and salt; mixing well.
5.      Now add the corn and cook on medium flame till the water is absorbed.
6.      Blend paneer and milk into a coarse mix.
7.      Preheat the oven at 250 degrees.
8.      Place the pie crusts in the moulds on a baking tray.
9.      Add a layer of grated cheese.
10.   Add a layer of cooked veggies.
11.    Add a layer of milk-paneer mix. Don’t fill to the top as it might overflow while baking.
12.   Top it with some cheese again.
13.   Bake the quiche in oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes.
14.   Once done, remove the tray and allow it to cool.

After 15-20 minutes, you get to eat super-delicious Veg Quiche.

You can store pie crusts

1.       You can break down the process since it’s quite tedious. I made the dough the earlier day while also getting the veggies ready. It was the next day that I made the Quiche. If you want to make more batches, get the pie crusts ready and store them in an airtight container. You can use them over 3-4 days.

2.      Use your imagination to add your own fillings. Cheese, milk and paneer mix continue to be constant.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Warning: Baking this cake is a long drawn out process and you need a lot of patience for it. The cake disappears in less than one-fourth the time it takes to create it... or faster.

I love the taste of what’s popularly known as plum cake. Made at home with rum and homemade butter, the flavour is an altogether divine experience. I tasted homemade Fruit Cake for the first time at my sister Jayashree’s place, fresh out of her oven. She hadn’t used rum in the cake though. Taking her recipe and adding a few modifications, I arrived at the final version of Fruit Cake With Rum that’s finger-licking good.

Part I: Soaked Dry fruits & nuts 

Advance Preparation (at least 4 to 30 days before the cake is baked)


Walnuts – 4
Cashew nuts – 6
Dates – 4
Black kishmish – 10
Brown kishmish – 15
Dry fig – 2 slices
Dark Rum – 1 quarter (180 ml)

Soak chopped dry fruits and nuts in rum. Mix it well and keep the mixture stored in a glass container, sealed tight. Stir the mixture every two days or so.

NOTE: You can add the fresh juice squeezed from one orange for flavour. But then the mixture should be used within 4-5 days. Otherwise, it might get spoilt.

Part II: Spice Mix 
(To make into fine powder)


Cardamom – 2
Cloves – 2
Cinnamon Bar – 1/2” piece
Nutmeg – ¼
Sugar – 2 tsp

NOTE: Sugar is added to help make the powder as fine as possible.

Part III: The Cake


1. Maida (self-rising flour) – 185 gm (measure 1 cup from 125 ml scoop + 1 cup from 60 ml scoop)
2. Wheat flour – 90 gm (measure 1 cup from 60 ml scoop + 1 cup from 30 ml scoop)
3. Baking Powder – 1 tsp
4. Spice Mix (refer Part II)
5. White Butter – 250 gm (Cooking Oil can be used as an alternate)
6. Demerara Sugar – 185 gm
7. Milk (room temperature or cold) – 250 ml
8. Apple Cider – 2 tbsp (White Vinegar can be used as an alternate)
9. Baking Soda – 1 tsp
10. Vanilla Essence – 2 tsp
11. Soaked dry fruits and nuts (Refer Part I)


1. Grease a baking dish suitable for making 1 kg cake with butter and dust it with flour. This ensures that the cake doesn’t stick to the sides when done. I use a bread tin as I find it most convenient.
2. Pre-heat the oven at 250 degrees for ten minutes on ‘Toast’ setting.
3. Sieve Ingredients 1, 2 & 3 together through a fine sieve and mix well with a dry ladle.
4. Melt the butter on low flame for 1 minute and switch off. Wait till the butter is in liquid form before adding the Demerara sugar and mix well.
5. Add soaked dry fruits to the butter-sugar mix.
6. Take the milk in a bowl and add the apple cider to it. It will curdle almost immediately. Add the baking soda to this. Stir and add to butter-sugar mix.
7. Stir in the flour, mixing gently but fast. Mix well to avoid lumps.
8. Add Vanilla essence and mix again.
9. Pour into the cake dish. Tap the dish to make sure the cake mixture is evenly spread.
10. Bake it in the pre-heated oven at 200 degrees on ‘Bake’ setting for 40 minutes.
11. When the oven timer pings after 40 minutes, remove the cake dish carefully and cover it with aluminium foil and bake again for 20 minutes.
12. When the timer pings again, leave the cake alone – for at least 4-5 hours.
13. After that, loosen the sides with a knife and tilt it gently on a tray.
14. The cake is ready to eat. It tastes best 24 hours later.

This yummy Fruit Cake With Rum lasts at least a week outside the fridge, that is, if it’s not polished off by then.


a. I have done my best to break down the measurements for easy understanding. It wasn’t easy to fathom them out all by myself. Hope it’s of help.
b. The cake dish should be only half-full or less when the cake mixture is poured in. Otherwise, it might overflow while cooking.

Monday, December 29, 2014


Baked Macaroni in Spinach Corn Gravy

I kind of thought up this recipe and I have to say that it tasted totally delicious. 

Serves 6 people


Wheat Macaroni – 2 packets of 200 gm each
Spinach – 3 bunches (chopped)
Corn – 200 gm
Onion – 3 medium (chopped)
Green chilli – 3 (chopped)
Garlic – 6-8 cloves (grated)
Olive Oil – 3 tbsp (vegetable oil can be used alternately)
Corn Flour – 2 tsp
Milk – 400 ml
Cheese – 200 gm 
Black Pepper powder – ½ tsp
Oregano – 1 tsp
Salt to taste 


1. Grease two baking trays of size 9” x 7”. 
2. Heat a large pan of water with some salt and 1 tbsp of oil. Add the macaroni to the pan when the water begins to boil. Cook for a few minutes till the macaroni is partly cooked and firm to the touch. Macaroni cooks faster than pasta, so you might need to keep a check on this one. It tends to break if overcooked. Drain the water and run the macaroni under cold tap water so that they don’t stick to each other. 
3. Cook the spinach in boiling water containing a large pinch of salt for 3-4 minutes. Drain the water and run the spinach under cold tap water so that it retains its green colour.
4. Take a saucepan and heat 2 tbsp oil in it. Keep the gas flame on medium before adding chopped green chillies and grated garlic. 
5. Cook for a few seconds before adding chopped onions. Stir fry the onions till golden brown in colour.
6. Add oregano and salt and then the cooked spinach. Mix on low flame.
7. Take a bowl and add corn flour and milk and mix well before adding to spinach mixture.
8. Stir on and off till it cooks for 3-4 minutes on low flame.
9. In the meanwhile, preheat the oven at 250 degrees for ten minutes.
10. Place the corn in one of the baking trays and grill for ten minutes at 200 degrees.
11. While corn is being grilled in the oven, switch off the gas and add pepper powder to the spinach mix.
12. Take a hand mixer and run it through the mixture to give it a grainy texture.
13. Grate cheese over it and mix well. The gravy should be thick but of pouring consistency. If it’s too thick, you can add some more milk to it. 
14. Remove grilled corn from oven and take it out of the baking tray.
15. Make a bed of boiled macaroni on both trays.
16. Add a layer of corn to the macaroni.
17. Now pour the spinach gravy over the corn. 
18. Bake for 20 minutes at 200 degrees before serving hot. 

Yummy Baked Macaroni in Spinach Corn Gravy is ready to eat. 


1. If you want to keep aside one of the trays and use it 1-2 days later, keep the tray covered in the refrigerator and bake when you are ready to eat it.
2. If baked macaroni is leftover, cover it and keep in fridge. To reheat the next day, add 1-2 tsp of cream, a pinch of pepper powder, a pinch of oregano and a pinch of salt, mix well and bake for ten minutes. This will ensure that the macaroni doesn’t turn too dry. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014


Coffee Butter Cookies
I tasted Coffee Cookies for the first time on my Indigo flight to Chennai. While the texture was awesome, I couldn’t taste coffee in the cookies they served. That’s when I decided that I should make some at home. Luckily for me, my sister Lakshmi made some jam cookies at her place recently. I checked out the recipe from her and added-deleted some ingredients to make super delicious Coffee Butter Cookies. Thank you Lakshmi! 


Maida (self-rising flour) – 2 cups (250 gm)
White Butter – 1 cup (125 gm) + 1 tsp (softened)
Sugar – 1 cup (125 gm) (Powder it after measuring)
Instant coffee – 2 tbsp 
Milk – 2 tbsp

Before going into the oven

1. Powder the sugar and coffee granules after measuring.
2. Take a mixing bowl and add softened white butter and sugar-coffee powder to it.
3. Mix well before adding maida.
4. Mix with hand and add the milk to make a firm dough.
5. Dust flour on the kitchen platform and pat the dough on the surface to ¼ inch thickness.
6. Cut it into any preferred shape with a mould. I used a bottle cover to cut circles.
7. Take a baking tray and smear the surface with butter before dusting with flour. 
8. Use a thin spatula to remove cookies from platform and arrange them on the tray leaving half-an-inch space between cookies as they become larger while baking.
9. Pierce the cookies with a fork.
10. Preheat the oven at 250 degrees for ten minutes.
11. Bake the cookies at 200 degrees for 10-15 minutes or till golden brown.

Allow the cookies to cool completely (takes about half an hour) before eating. Coffee Butter Cookies are simply delicious and melt in your mouth.

Just out of the oven

a. The above ingredients suffice to make about 50 cookies.
b. They have to be made in batches as the oven cannot hold all of them at one go. During the last batch, the dough tends to dry up a bit. Sprinkle a few drops of milk to soften it before making the cookies at this point. 
c. Check the oven to ensure that the cookies don’t get burned as all ovens don’t function in exactly the same way. Switch off the timer if you think the cookies are done. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Banana Walnut Cake
When my sister Jayashree sent me a picture of the Banana Walnut Cake that she had made in Chennai, I couldn’t resist checking out recipes on the internet. (She was at work and I couldn’t get her recipe.)

I checked out four recipes in all and made a mix and match of my own that gave birth to this delicious Banana Walnut Cake that made everyone drool.


Maida – 250 gm (self-rising flour)
White Butter – 125 gm
Sugar – 150 gm (Powder the sugar after measuring)
Egg – 1 (Beaten fluffy)
Bananas – 3 (grated)
Baking Powder – 2 tsp
Walnuts – a handful (chopped)
Milk – 50 ml
Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp

Just out of the oven

1. Sift the flour and baking powder through the sieve into a bowl.
2. Take a mixing bowl and add butter, sugar powder, milk, Vanilla essence, grated bananas to it and mix gently.
3. Beat the egg into a frothy consistency and add to the mixing bowl.
4. Add the walnuts and mix gently.
5. Gently fold in the flour and mix.
6. The mixture should be the consistency of Idli dough.
7. Grease a baking tray or a bread tin with butter and dust with flour.
8. Pour the cake mixture in.
9. Preheat the oven at 250 degrees for ten minutes.
10. Bake the Banana Walnut Cake at 180 degrees for 1 hour.

Allow the cake to cool down for at least 30-40 minutes before slicing it. By now, your whole house must be filled with the aroma of bananas, butter and baking flour. You get to eat the most delicious Banana Walnut Cake ever.

Friday, November 14, 2014


Yummy Baked Pasta with Veggies
This is a simple recipe but takes quite a lot of time and effort. But at the end of the day, it’s completely worth the finger-licking taste.


For Veggies

Onions – 1 (Large, chopped)
Red Pepper – 1 (small, chopped)
Yellow Pepper – 1 (small, chopped)
Green Pepper – 2 (small, chopped)
American Corn – 50 gm
Olive Oil – 2 tbsp (Vegetable Oil may be used instead)
Garlic – 6 (grated)
Green chilli – 1 (chopped fine)
Salt to taste
Pepper powder – ¼ tsp
Oregano – ½ tsp

For Pasta

Wheat Pasta – 200 gm
Water for boiling pasta
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tbsp

For Sauce

Tomato – ½ kg (chopped)
Onions – 2 (Large, chopped)
Garlic – 4 (grated)
Green chillies – 2 (chopped fine)
Milk – 100 ml
Corn Flour – 2 tbsp
Olive Oil – 1 tbsp (can replace with Vegetable Oil)
Cheese – 2 cubes
Salt to taste
Pepper powder – ¼ tsp
Oregano – ½ tsp


Veggies go as first layer
For Veggies

1. Take a kadai and heat oil to it. Add the chopped green chilli and garlic flakes and cook for half a minute before adding chopped onions.
2. Stir fry till golden in colour.
3. Add all the three coloured peppers and stir fry for a few minutes.
4. Add salt, pepper powder and oregano to the mixture.
5. Add the sweet corn to the mix and stir a couple of times before switching off gas.
6. Take a baking tray and spread the veggie mix as a layer on it.

Second layer is par-boiled pasta
For Pasta

7. Heat about half litre of water in a large vessel, adding a large pinch of salt and a tbsp of oil to it.
8. When the water boils, add the pasta to it. Allow it to cook for 4-5 minutes checking the texture. It should be half cooked and firm. When it’s done, switch off the gas and drain the water completely. Run the strainer with the pasta under cold tap water. This will ensure that they don’t stick to each other.

Tomato sauce forms the top layer
For Sauce

9. Use the same kadai (the one used to cook the veggies) for making the sauce.
10. Heat oil in it before adding chilli and garlic.
11. Cook for a couple of minutes before adding chopped onions.
12. Once onions turn golden, add chopped tomatoes.
13. Cook for 6-8 minutes adding salt.
14. Mix corn flour and cold milk well.
15. Grate the cheese cubes and add to the milk-flour mix, before adding the whole thing to the sauce, stirring continuously.
16. As the sauce thickens, add pepper and oregano.
17. Mix well and switch off gas.

Baked Pasta with Veggies

18. Preheat the oven at 250 degrees for ten minutes.
19. Spread the cooked pasta over the veggie layer on the baking tray. In case they are stuck, it’s important to separate the pasta gently.
20. Spread the tomato sauce as a third layer.
21. Now bake the pasta for 20 minutes at 200 degrees.

The yummiest Baked Pasta with Veggies is ready to tuck into.

Monday, October 27, 2014


Homemade Chocolate Brownie

When my sister Jayashree told me that she had made Chocolate Brownies and posted a picture on Whatsapp, I wanted to give it a try for my son Viggy’s birthday. While I had made note of the ingredients, I forgot to ask her the recipe. She was busy at work when I wanted to make them and my other sister Lakshmi came to my help. She read a recipe from a website, but there also we found a couple of things not to our liking – like the sugar content seemed too much. I checked out six more websites before settling on my mix & match version of Chocolate Brownie. I must say that it tasted absolutely divine. 


Maida – 1 cup 
Sugar – 1 cup
White Butter – 1 cup (*some recipes suggested vegetable oil as an alternative)
Cocoa Powder – ½ cup
Baking Powder – 1 tsp
Vanilla Essence – 2 tsp
Milk – 4 tbsp
Beaten Curd – 4 tbsp
Chopped Nuts – A handful (**only walnuts are fine; or you can add cashew nuts & almonds too if you like)
Salt – 1 pinch 

Chocolate Brownie cooling on the tray


1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add sugar to it. Stir for a couple of minutes before switching off gas. Let the mixture cool, stirring on and off so that the sugar melts completely.
2. Run maida, baking powder and salt through a sieve and add to a mixing bowl. 
3. Add the cocoa powder to the maida and mix well. 
4. Once the butter-sugar mixture is cooled, add chopped nuts, vanilla essence, milk and curd to it. Stir well and add the maida-cocoa powder mix to the liquid.
5. Mix with a ladle till there are no lumps. The mixture will turn out to be a gorgeous shade of dark brown. The consistency of the mixture will be that of Idli ka atta. 
6. Grease a baking tray of size 9”x7” with butter.
7. Preheat the oven at 250 degrees for ten minutes.
8. Pour the brownie mixture on the tray and bake for 25-30 minutes at 200 degrees.
9. You can pierce with a toothpick to check that the brownie is cooked and know it’s ready if nothing sticks to it. 
10. Remove the tray from oven and leave it to cool for a couple of hours. (Cutting up the brownie before cooling is a strict no-no).
11. Once cool, cut up the brownie into squares or rectangles as you please and enjoy.

I promise you the Chocolate Brownies taste just awesome!