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.