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! 

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Vegetable Pie-sagne with grilled cheese topping

I wanted to make a vegetable pie or lasagne of sorts; i.e. bake something with a thin layer of wheat bread, a second layer of veggies, third one of white sauce and a final layer of cheese flakes. I checked many recipes on the internet and saw baked vegetables, grilled veggies, lasagne and more. Finally, I decided to create my own recipe - a kind of marriage between Vegetable Pie & Lasagne. I have named it Vegetable Pie-sagne. The result was too good to be true.

To make a Vegetable Pie-sagne in a baking tray measuring 9”x7”



Wheat flour – ½ cup (125 gm)
Dry Yeast – 5 gm
Olive Oil – 3 tsp (cooking oil can be used)
Sugar – 1 pinch
Salt – 1 pinch
Water – as required


1. Warm 20 ml water and dissolve the sugar in it.
2. Add the dry yeast and stir till it dissolves. Keep aside for ten minutes till it foams.
3. Take a mixing bowl and add the flour, 2 tsp oil, salt and the yeast.
4. Mix well adding water only if necessary.
5. Make into a sticky dough.
6. Pour the rest of the oil and make into a ball.
7. Wrap the dough into a damp cloth and keep it covered for one hour.
8. After an hour, the dough should have doubled in size.
9. Press it in and knead for two minutes.
10. Take the baking tray and brush the base and sides with oil. Dust it lightly with some flour.
11. Pat the dough flat into the base of the tray to make a thin layer.
12. Preheat the oven at 250 degrees for 10 minutes.
13. Bake the wheat bread in the tray for 10 minutes.

The bread for the Vegetable Pie-sagne is ready. Take a pie server and loosen the bread from the tray, but let it remain in it.



Milk – 400 ml
Corn flour – 2 tbsp
Garlic flakes – 2-3 garlic pods
Butter – 1 tbsp
Cheese – 1 small cube
Black Pepper powder – 4-5 corns (freshly ground)
Dry Oregano – 1 large pinch
Salt – to taste (Need to be careful as cheese also contains salt)


1. Take a saucepan and heat the butter in it.
2. Add the garlic flakes and stir fry before adding the corn flour.
3. Turn it around for a few seconds before adding the milk.
4. Keep the gas flame on medium.
5. Stir intermittently as you add salt, oregano and pepper powder.
6. Grate the cheese directly into the mixture.
7. Now stir continuously till the white sauce thickens.
8. Taste a bit and add salt or pepper as required before switching off the gas.

Delicious white sauce is ready for use in the Vegetable Pie-sagne.

Veggies form the second layer over the wheat bread

Ingredients (Use all or any of your choice)

1. Potatoes – 2 (medium sized; peeled and cut in cubes)
2. Cauliflower – 250-300 gm (cut into flowerettes)
3. Green Peas – a handful
4. Carrots – 2 small (peeled and cut in cubes)
5. Onions – 2 (large; peeled and cut in cubes)
6. Red Bell Pepper – 1 small (cut in squares)
7. Yellow Bell Pepper – 1 small (cut in squares)
8. Green Capsicum – 1 medium (cut in squares)
9. Green chillies – 2 (chopped fine)
10. Garlic flakes – 3-4 garlic pods
11. Butter – 2 tbsp
12. Salt – to taste


1. Boil veggies 1, 2, 3 & 4 in water with some salt in it, till they are semi-cooked.
2. Drain the water and keep aside.
3. Heat the butter in a kadai and stir fry the garlic flakes & chopped green chillies in it.
4. Add the cut onions and shallow-fry till golden in colour.
5. Add all the three cut bell peppers and stir fry with some salt till they are slightly soft.
6. Add the boiled veggies and stir for a couple of minutes before switching off the gas.

The vegetables are ready for the pie-sagne.



1. Thin Wheat Bread layer on baking tray
2. White Sauce
3. Veggies
4. Cheese – 2-4 cubes


1. Spread the cooked vegetables over the layer of wheat bread on the tray.
2. Spread the white sauce over it, ensuring that all the veggies are covered.
3. Preheat the oven.
4. Bake the pie-sagne for 20 minutes at 200 degrees.
5. Take the tray out and grate cheese over the top.
6. Grill for 10 minutes.

The cheese melts and turns a golden brown in colour. Cut the pie up and serve. It’s the most delicious Vegetable Pie-sagne I promise.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Stuffed & Grilled Karela
I learned to make Stuffed Karela (Bitter Gourd) from Tina, who used to cook in our home. I have made a couple of improvisations to the recipe and recently, grilled the Stuffed Karela in my OTG to get the most scrumptious dish ever.


Karela (Bitter Gourd) – 250 gm (2-3 medium sized ones)
Haldi (Turmeric powder) – 1 pinch
Salt – to taste
Oil – 3 tbsp
Rai – ½ tsp
Jeera – ½ tsp
White Til (sesame seeds) – ½ tsp

For Stuffing

Besan (Channe ka atta) – 3 tbsp (dry roasted till it turns reddish)
Roasted peanuts – a handful
Green Chillies – 2-3
Ginger – ½ inch piece
Garlic – 4-6 cloves
Jaggery – 2 tsp
Hing (Asafoetida) – 1 pinch
Coriander Leaves – 2 tsp (chopped)
Grated coconut – 3 tbsp


1. Cut each karela into three pieces along the length and remove the inside flesh completely along with the seeds and retain the shells.
2. Immerse the pieces of karela in a vessel with water, adding a pinch of haldi and salt. Boil it for about ten minutes or until the karela turns soft. Drain the water and keep the cooked karela to cool.
3. Dry grind the roasted peanuts, green chillies, ginger, garlic and jaggery into a coarse powdery paste. (Do not use water for this).
4. Add the grated coconut, chopped coriander, hing and some salt to the ground mixture and use this to stuff the karelas.
5. Take a kadai and heat 2 tbsp oil in it. Crackle the rai, then the jeera and til in it.
6. Place the karelas side by side in the kadai and cook it for 2-3 minutes turning gently.
7. Switch off the gas.
8. Preheat the oven at 250 degrees for 10 minutes.
9. Take a baking tray and brush it with a thin coat of oil.
10. Place the karelas in the tray side by side and grill it in the Oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes in total.
11. Once the timer crosses ten minutes, remove the tray and turn the karela pieces around gently and put the tray back in the oven for the next ten minutes.

Delicious Stuffed & Grilled Karelas make a tasty side dish with both rotis and rice.

Friday, October 10, 2014


Now that I have explained how to make Pizza Bread and Pizza Sauce, I will guide you to make yummilicious Homemade Veg Pizzas. Please note that the toppings can be used in any combination and any quantity that you please. I am just giving a basic guideline.


Pizza Bread – 3
Tomato Sauce – Refer recipe for quantity
Sliced Onion – 1
Red Pepper – A few slices
Yellow Pepper – A few slices
Green Pepper – A few slices
Sliced Black Olives – 2-3
Sweet Corn – A handful
Paneer – 50 gm
Sliced Mushroom – 1
A small head of Broccoli – cut into flowers
Cheese – 3-4 cubes (or more as you please)
Salt, Pepper & Oregano for taste
*The toppings are a lot for three pizzas. Take your choice from the above


1. Preheat the Oven at 250 degrees on Toast setting for 10 minutes.
2. Place the pizza bread on a baking tray and spread some tomato sauce all over covering the whole surface.
3. Spread a combination of toppings – corn & paneer; onion & peppers; and more.
4. Grate the cheese over the top.
5. Shake some salt and pepper over the cheese.
6. Grill the pizza at 200 degrees for 10 minutes or till you see the cheese turning golden brown.
7. Shake some dry oregano on the top of the pizza while it’s hot.

Super delicious Homemade Veg Pizza is ready to eat. Slice it and slurp it!

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Homemade Pizza Sauce
While there are readymade sauces available in the market, you can’t beat the flavour of a homemade Pizza Sauce. It does not take too long a time to make. The following recipe is for making sauce that will be enough for using on 3 pizzas of size 6 inches each.


Tomato – ½ kg (chopped)
Onion – 1 (medium; chopped fine)
Green chillies – 2 (chopped fine)
Garlic – 4-5 cloves (chopped)
Readymade Pasta & Pizza Sauce – 1 tbsp (I use Fun Foods Brand)
Tomato Sauce – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Dry Oregano – ½ tsp
Black Pepper Powder – ¼ tsp
Olive Oil – 2 tsp (Cooking Oil may be used instead)
Ghee - 2 tsp


1. Heat a saucepan and add the oil and ghee to it.
2. Once hot, add the chopped chilly and garlic and stir well.
3. Add onions and sauté till golden in colour.
4. Add the tomatoes and stir well, adding salt.
5. Cover with a lid and cook on slow fire, stirring from time to time.
6. As the gravy thickens, add Pasta & Pizza Sauce, tomato sauce, sugar, dry oregano, black pepper powder and mix well.
7. Cook till mixture is thick enough to be spread on pizza base.
8. Check for taste and add more salt and/or pepper if required.

Delicious Homemade Pizza Sauce ready to use. It tastes yummy, I promise

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Pizza Bread
This recipe is suitable for creating 3 pieces of pizza bread of 6 inches each.


Maida – 1 cup (250 ml)
Dry Yeast – 1 tsp (5 ml)
Olive Oil – 15 ml (You can use cooking oil too)
Salt – 1 large pinch
Sugar – 1 pinch
Water – as required


1. Add the sugar to 30 ml warm water and wait for it to dissolve. Stir in the dry yeast and keep aside for 10 minutes.
2. Add the maida to a mixing bowl along with salt and half the quantity of oil.
3. Pour in the frothy yeast and mix well, adding water little by little to form a loose dough.
4. Add the rest of the oil and make a smooth ball of the dough. It will be sticky in consistency.
5. Wrap in a damp towel, cover with a lid and keep aside for 1.5-2 hours.
6. You will find that the dough has doubled in size after that time.
7. Knead the dough once again before dividing it into three equal sized portions.
8. Roll it out with a rolling pin. Use a few drops of oil for smooth leverage. DO NOT use flour to flatten the dough. This will spoil the texture.
9. Pierce the rolled out dough with a fork in a few places. This will ensure the bread remains flat.
10. Pre-heat the oven to the right temperature.
11. Bake the pizza bread at 200 degrees for 10 minutes.

The bread is ready to make pizzas now along with your favourite toppings.