Lemon Ricotta Cookies

These cookies have a texture somewhere between a shortbread cookie and a cake.I added some color to the glaze just to make it more colorful.You can totally skip it. They are not too sweet but the combination of Ricotta Cheese and lemon flavor is very tasty.

Recipe: Giada, Ofcourse

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon(s) salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 15-ounce whole-milk ricotta cheese
3 tbsps fresh lemon juice
Grated zest from one lemon

1 1/2 cups Confectioners' sugar
3 tbsps fresh lemon juice
Grated zest of one lemon
2 drops of green food coloring, optional
  • Preheat the oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
  • Mix the Flour,baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  • Beat butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2-3 min
  • Adding one egg at a time, beat until well combined
  • Combine the Ricotta Cheese, lemon juice, zest in a bowl
  • Stir the dry ingredients in the ricotta mixture
  • Drop about 2 tablespoonfuls of dough on to the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 min until golden on the edges
  • Remove them form the oven and let them cool down about 20 min
To make Glaze-
  • Combine Confectioners' sugar,lemon juice,zest and food coloring and mix till well combined
  • Pour about 1/2 tsp on each cookie and spread it evenly on the cookie


Have fun,

Indo Chinese Fried Rice

The Indo Chinese Style, Veg Fried rice is hard to get in an Indian Restaurant in the States. There are 2 good Indo Chinese restaurants in New Jersey- Naan King and the Ming.Let me know if there are any good places that I need to know -

Basic Recipe:From Anubhavati blog ( I have adapted it by adding ketchup and using short grain rice)

2 cups Short grained rice or basmati rice
1/2 cabbage, shredded
4 carrots, chopped
2 Spring Onions, chopped
1 inch Ginger
2 garlic pods, chopped
1 1/2 tsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Ketchup
  • Cook the rice with 4 cups water until soft and tender
  • In a wok, heat about 2 tbsps oil and add Ginger and garlic
  • After a few min, add Cabbage, Carrots and Spring Onions, salt and pepper
  • Stir fry the veggies for a few min.
  • Add the soy sauce and ketchup and continue cooking till the veggies are soft but not overcooked and mushy.
  • Add the rice and combine it well with the Veggie mixture in the wok.
  • Garnish with spring onions
  • Serve hot with Veg Manchurian


Till next,

Veg. Manchurian

The Indo Chinese cuisine is very popular all across India. Every Restaurant that serves rice most likely has the Manchurian and Fried Rice on its menu.Once that taste is acquired, it is hard to eat the Chinese food here.

While I have adapted this to my taste, the basic recipe is from a TV show. I believe it is Sanjeev Kapoor's Khana Khazana. I had the recipe written down on a paper but cannot track the source. It was those days when I had Zee TV and when I used to watch his show very religiously.:-)

Veg Manchurian

5 Carrots , peeled, grated
1 Cabbage, Shredded
3/4ths Cauliflower, grated
3 tbsps Maida, more or less depending on the consistency of the mixture
3 tsps Dark Soy Sauce
1" Ginger, chopped
2 cloves, Garlic, Chopped
1/2 Onion, chopped
5 green chillies, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
2 tsps corn starch
3 Spring Onions, chopped
1 tbsp White Vinegar
  • Mix Carrot, Cabbage, Cauliflower in a bowl
  • Add Salt, Maida and half of the green chillies
  • Shape into small balls about the size of a marble
  • Heat 2 tbsps of oil
  • Add onions, ginger, garlic and the remaining chillies and cook till fragrant
  • Add Ketchup, Soy Sauce, and Vinegar and cook for a few minutes
  • Add about half a cup of water about 4 oz
  • Add in the cornstarch and stir it continuously until the mixture is thick. Stirring continuously avoids any lumps' formation
  • Heat oil in a wok for deep frying
  • Add the balls one by one and fry till golden brown
  • Place the balls for a while on the paper tissue but not until they lose the crispy texture
  • Add the balls to the sauce and cook for a few min
  • Add the spring onions and mix
  • Serve with Veg Fried Rice


Up Next Veg Fried Rice

Till then,

Fried Idli

I have seen this recipe on my visit to India this time. It was aired on a Telugu Channel , I believe Maa TV but I am not sure. This has been by far the best Fried Idli I have ever eaten. It is made like a curry except the main ingredient is Idli.

4-5 Idlis, cubed. A day old idlis work best but also fresh made idlis after cooling down works well too.
1 Medium Potato, peeled, cubed and boiled
1 Tomato
3 green chillies
1/4 cup boiled Peas or Carrots or both
3-4 fresh curry leaves
1 tsp ginger garlic paste, optional
1 tsp Red Pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan
  • Add cumin seeds, chillies and curry leaves. Fry them for a min
  • Stir in the ginger garlic paste
  • Add the tomato and potato and cook till soft.
  • Add the cubed idlis to the mixture.
  • Mix till the idlis get coated nicely with the tomato and potato mixture.
  • Add salt and red pepper powder
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve with a lemon wedge



Cucumber & Tomato Raita (with a secret ingredient)!!

Raita is something that I have adored from my childhood. It is very tasty and very easy to make. I like raita to sit in the refrigerator for an hour at the very least before serving it chilled, with rice.
At one of my daughter's birthday party, one of my very dear friends mentioned to me that she adds Sour Cream in her Raita. After I tried her version, it is hard to go back to just yogurt!!

1 cup thick yogurt
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sour cream
1 medium cucumber grated
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
4 green chillies
1 tsp cumin powder
Salt and Black Pepper
  • Whisk the yogurt with water until it is thick
  • Add the sour cream to it
  • Add the grated cucumber, cherry tomatoes, chillies, cumin powder, salt and pepper
  • She also uses her hand to mix all the ingredients by squishing the tomatoes, instead of a spoon
  • Serve cold with rice or any rice dish



Khubani Ka Meetha

Made with apricots and sugar, this dessert hails from Hyderabad and is often used in combination with Vanilla ice cream. Khubani/Qubani means apricots in Urdu.
I ate one of the best in a restaurant called ' Waterfront' on Necklace Road in Hyderabad. Very well made with just the right amount of sweetness...That was the best. This is a try to mimic that.

1 box Turkish Apricots; I got them in Fresh Market. They are dark brown unlike the regular ones which are golden yellow in color
1 cup fine sugar
1/2 - 1 cup of water
1 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 cup blanched almonds
  • Soak the Apricots in water overnight.
  • Heat a pan and place the soaked apricots in the pan
  • Stir in the sugar and add half a cup of water and cook until it is saucy, about 20 min.
  • Stir the mixture occasionally
  • Add more water as necessary just to make it similar to tamarind pulp, Don't add water if it is of the right consistency
  • Add the Cardamon powder and mix in the blanched almonds
  • Cool it down
  • Serve it over a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream


Khaman Dhokla

This is the first time I have tried making Khaman Dhokla at home. I have always used the Ready to make version but obviously this is so much tastier.

Recipe: Sanjeev Kapoor

2 cups gram flour, sieved
1 cup yogurt, preferably sour
1 tsp ginger and chillies, paste ( If you do not have the paste, use chillies and ginger)
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tbsps oil
1 tbsp Lemon juice
1 tsp baking soda
Salt to taste
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
Fresh grated coconut
Fresh chopped coriander leaves
  • In a bowl, add yogurt and warm water to the gram flour and mix with out any lumps
  • Mix in the salt and leave it on the side to ferment for 3 hours
  • After it has fermented, add turmeric and ginger chilli paste
  • Whisk lemon juice, baking soda, and 1 tsp of oil. Mix in with the fermented batter
  • Grease a plate and pour the batter. Steam it for about ten minutes
  • After it has cooled down, cut into squares
  • Heat a pan and fry mustard seeds in oil until they splutter
  • Pour the mixture on top of the steam cooked dhoklas.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and grated coconut



Black Eyed Peas Curry

I don't remember eating this in India but after I came to States, it has become one of our favorites for an easy dinner. I like to use the dried peas, soak it in water overnight and pressure cook it. That said, I don't think the canned one compromises the taste. It is just a matter of preference.

1 onion, finely chopped
4 green chillies, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 medium potatoes, scrubbed, peeled,cubed & boiled
1 cup black eyes peas, soaked in warm water/ 1 can of black eyed peas
4-5 curry leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp cumin coriander powder
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
Cilantro to garnish
  • If you are using dry peas and soaking in water, pressure cook them with salted water and turmeric, until 3 whistles
  • If you are using canned version, make sure to drain the water and rinse them under fresh cold water.
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan
  • Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Allow them to splutter.
  • Mix in the Green chillies and curry leaves.Fry them for a minute
  • Add the onions and saute them till translucent
  • Stir in the ginger garlic paste, cumin powder, curry powder
  • Add the tomatoes and potatoes and cook until the spices have blended in
  • Add the cooked black eyed peas and cover and cook for a few min
  • Garnish with coriander and lemon juice
  • Serve hot with rice



Mexican Salad w/Avocado Dressing

I have eaten a terrific salad at On the Border Mexican Restaurant and ever since, I have tried making a salad to mimic that. Finally I found this Rachel Ray's recipe and I have tried adapting the recipe based on the ingredients that I have at home.

2-3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 Red Onion, chopped
1 Bunch Romaine Lettuce, Chopped
1/2 cup Mexican Cheese
1/2 of Avocado, cubed


1 ripe Avocado, chopped
Juice from 3 lemons
3 tbsps Cilantro Leaves, chopped
1 tsp salt
3 tbsps water
3 tbsps Extra virgin olive oil

Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth

To make the Salad-

Arrange the lettuce and layer the onions, tomatoes and avocado
Sprinkle cheese


Have fun,

Pomodoro Sauce

With my daughter asking me for Pasta almost every other night, I wanted to make Pomodoro sauce in the home, the semi home made version.

I adapted from Dave Lieberman's recipe

5 tablespoons Olive Oil
8 garlic cloves (The original recipe calls for 12)
6(28 ounce) cans chopped tomatoes
2 1/2 tsps sugar (I thought this made such a difference in the taste)
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium heat
  • Add the garlic and cook till it is fragrant. Do not brown it, it gives you a bitter taste
  • Add the tomatoes and the Italian seasoning and simmer it for about 15 to 20 min
  • Add the sugar and season with salt
  • Serve over any cooked pasta



Couscous with Apples, Cranberries and Almonds

I absolutely love the blend of flavors in this dish-Apples, cranberries and almonds..Can you imagine that? There is a lot of crunchiness to the dish and the apples add the subtle fruity flavor...


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Israeli couscous
4 cups Veg broth;The original recipe calls for Chicken Stock
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 McIntosh Apple, sliced and cubed (The original recipe calls for a green apple)
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
  • Heat the olive oil in a saucepan.
  • Add the couscous and cook until it is slightly brown.
  • Add the veg broth and simmer until the couscous is cooked/soft but not mushy.
  • Toss with parsley, rosemary, cranberries, apple and almonds
For the vinaigrette:
  • Combine Apple Cider Vinegar, Maple syrup, Olive Oil , Salt and Pepper
  • Pour it over the couscous and mix in the toasted almonds
  • To toast the almonds, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the almonds in a single layer and toast them for 8 min.


Have fun

Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer is one of our family favorites.Me and my brother loved that dish especially when it is from Minerva.Yes, the same Minerva that I keep raving about.So here is my take on that dish.
1 bag Fresh Spinach, roughly chopped;I am not very fond of the frozen ones
1/4 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 garlic cloves
5 long green chillies,halved and vertically slit
1 medium Onion chopped
1/2 cup tomato sauce or 2 tomatoes, chopped
Pinch of turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp cumin coriander powder
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp garam masala
1/4 tsp Kasoori Methi
1 pint cream
1 tbsp butter
1 block of Paneer, cubed (I used Nanak Paneer)
  • Heat a tbsp of butter in a pan and fry the paneer pieces until brown
  • Remove them from the pan and place them on a paper napkin to drain any excess butter Boil Spinach in water for 8 min.Drain the water
  • Grind the Spinach to a puree
  • In the same pan, add a tsp of oil and add cumin seeds
  • Add onions and let them cook for a bit and add tomatoes or the sauce depending on what you are using, green chillies and turmeric.
  • Stir in the cumin coriander powder,Kasoori Methi, curry powder and garam masala
  • Add the pureed spinach and simmer for 10 min
  • Add the fried paneer
  • Drizzle the cream
  • Serve it with roti or rice

Have fun,

Baked Ziti

This is one of my daughter's favorites after Spaghetti with tomato sauce. One of our favorite versions is from Olive Garden and after searching for quite some time, I have found this mouthwatering dish on Martha Stewart's website.I have adapted it based on some other recipes through out the internet.

8 oz Ziti pasta
3 cups of Tomato Sauce
1 cup Ricotta Cheese1/4 cup Italian Blend (I used Sargento)
1 egg lightly beaten

Ziti topping

1/2 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup Italian Blend cheese

Preheat the oven to 450F
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until Al Dente
Combine the Tomato sauce, cheeses and egg together well
Spread the tomato sauce and cheese mixture on the bottom of the baking dish
Then layer the cooked ziti pasta and spread the remaining the tomato cheese mixture
Now, combine the ziti topping ingredients and put the topping mixture evenly on top
Bake it for about 20 min, until the cheese begins to bubble up
Serve hot!




I have eaten Aviyal a lot of times but my aunt's version just made me a big fan of this highly flavorful and popular curry from Kerala. You could serve it with rice but I like it to eat with puris.
This recipe is the exact version from my aunt.She got it from her friend and I am not so sure of the exact source but try it and you wont be disappointed.

Sour Cards - 2 cups
Raw Banana - 2
White Pumpkin: 1 piece
Carrots - 2
Arabhi (Colacasia) - 6 - 7 pieces
Drumstick - 4
Beans (Medium) - 100 grams
Potato (Medium) - 3
Cluster Beans (Chikudukai) - 100 grams
Yam (Kanda) - 100 grams
Oil - 2 tbsps

Grind to paste:
Coconut - 1 or 1 cup grated
Green Chillies - 6 - 8
Cumin Seeds(Jeera) - 2 tsp

Cut vegetables into long strips.
Pressure cook with little water adding salt and turmeric.
Make coarse paste with coconut, green chillies and cumin seeds.
Mix with curds and add curd mixture to the cooked vegetables.
Boil for five minutes.
Add hot oil (preferably coconut oil) with curry leaves and serve.


Lots of love,

Simple Okra curry with Peanuts

Love the idea of adding peanuts to Bhindi and cashews or peanuts to Tindora.

1 frozen bag of Okra, thawed
1/2 cup of peanuts
1 tbsp of oil
1 tsp Urad Dal
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 red chilly broken into pieces
5-6 curry leaves
1 tsp cumin coriander powder
1tsp Pepper powder
  • Heat a tbsp of oil.
  • Add Urad Dal, Cumin Seeds, Mustard Seeds.Fry them for a min
  • Add curry leaves and red chillies
  • Add Peanuts and roast them for about 3-4 min
  • Stir in the Cumin Coriander Powder
  • Add the thawed okra and cook over medium for about 8 min until all the moisture has evaporated and the curry looks more or less dry.
  • Serve hot with rice

Have fun

Pineapple Smoothie

It has been quite hot lately and a good smoothie might help to stay cool:) Here is a quick one.
  • 2 scoops of Frozen Yogurt (Vanilla or Vanilla Bean)
  • 1/2 can of Pineapple Rings
  • 1 tbsp of Orange Juice
Blend them all with a few ice cubes in a blender

Stay Cool:)

Roasted Tomato Soup

Cream of Tomato Soup is very popular in India.Every restaurant that you go to has this on its menu.My favorite has to be the one in Palace Heights in Abids, Hyd.It is hard to replicate the Cream of Tomato Soup.Tomato Soup in any shape or from is really tasty and here is an oven roasted tomato soup and you can always top it off with cream.

1 lb Tomatoes ( like Grape/cherry or I am thinking even plum might work well), vertically slit
1 small potatoes,peeled,cut and boiled
1 medium Onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 Bay leaves
1./4 tsp Curry Powder
1/4 tsp Cumin-Coriander Powder
2 cups Water/Stock
1 tsp chopped coriander
  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Cut the tomatoes and onions lengthwise and spread them on a baking sheet
  • Drizzle olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  • Roast them until they look wilted and take them out
  • Cool the potatoes and tomatoes
  • Blend them with boiled potato,garlic and enough stock with out making it too runny(You could pass this through a strainer if you don't like the tomato skins)
  • In a pan, heat a table spoon of Olive oil and add the Bay leaves
  • Transfer the blended tomato-onion-potato mixture into the pan
  • Stir in the curry powder and cumin-coriander powder
  • Simmer it for 15 min
  • Add the chopped coriander and salt and heat it for 5 more min
  • Serve hot!


Orecchiette Pasta with Spinach, Chickpeas & Ricotta Salata

This pasta is very unique in shape, almost like small cups.The Ricotta salata (Not ricotta cheese) is the Italian version of Feta Cheese.


1 pound Orecchiette (You can usually find this in specialty stores)

1/2 cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

6 cups of Spinach or greens of your choice

1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups (12 ounces) small cherry or grape tomatoes

2 cups (8 ounces) crumbled ricotta salata cheese

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (from 1-2 lemons)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil

Add the pasta and let it cook until it is tender/al dente about 10 min.I cooked it a little bit more for my daughter, about 8 more min.

Heat oil in a pan and add the garlic and cook until the garlic turns light brown.To this add spinach or greens and cook until they wilt.

Add the tomatoes and cook for a couple of min and add the garbanzo beans

Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water.

Transfer the pasta in to the pan and add half of the cheese and lemon zest.If it is thick, thin with the reserved pasta water.Season with Salt

Add the remaining cheese and serve it hot!



Mango and Methi Dal

One of my all time favorite dals.Well, actually Mango Dal is my favorite and one of my cousins was mentioning about this dal that she made that day and I tried it out.It was a great combination of a subtle bitter taste along with the sour taste.I love to eat this dal especially with the fried buttermilk chillies (Majjiga Merapakayalu)

1 Green Mango,peeled and cut into pieces(Throw the seed out)
1 cup Toor Dal
1 bunch of methi leaves, stalks discarded
1/8 tsp of Turmeric
1/4 tsp of Ginger Garlic paste
3 green chillies chopped
1 tsp of Urad Dal
1/2 tsp of Cumin Seeds
1/2 tsp of Mustard seeds
Pinch of Hing
2 red chillies, roughly broken
4-5 Curry leaves, washed and chopped I believe it tastes better as opposed to the whole curry leaves
1/8 cup of Tamarind juice (If the Mango is not sour enough)
  • Wash and Soak Toor Dal with Turmeric for about 15 min
  • Pressure cook/Boil Toor Dal (I usually use 1 Cup Toor Dal to 3 Cups Water) You could always use more or less water depending on the consistency that you want
  • If you are pressure cooking, after 2 whistles, you can add the mango pieces and let it cook with out putting the lid on.With the regular method, you can add the mango pieces once you feel that the dal is beginning to become soft.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan
  • Add Urad dal, Cumin Seeds, Mustard Seeds and red chillies.Once they splutter, add the curry leaves and hing.
  • Add the methi leaves and cook until they wilt but not dry
  • Add immediately to the cooked dal.Add Salt to taste.
  • If the dal is not sour enough, you can always add tamarind juice or lemon juice and cook for 5 more min
  • Serve hot with rice


Minestrone Soup with Pesto

This is very close to Olive Garden style Minestrone soup.I am not sure if Olive Garden's soup has pesto in it but the pesto just takes the soup to an entirely different level in terms of the flavor.If you dont like pesto or for some reason allergic to pine nuts or nuts in general , you can always avoid it.I simmer the ingredients for half hour in Veg Broth (Could always use Broth of your choice) and I serve it with Rosemary & Olive Oil Bread (That I got from Wegmans)
6 Cups of Vegetarian Broth
3 garlic cloves, sliced vertically
1 Big Yellow Onion, chopped
1 can of 14 1/2 ounce of crushed/diced tomatoes
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, chopped/cubed
2 Zucchini, peeled, chopped
1 cup of Fresh Spinach, chopped
1 can of Canellini beans
1/2 can of Kidney Beans
2 red potatoes, peeled, cubed
1 cup seashell pasta
1 tablespoon of dried thyme
2 tbsps of Basil pesto
Salt and Pepper

  • Heat 2 tbsps of Olive Oil.Saute the chopped onions until soft
  • Add garlic, celery and carrots and cook till tender
  • Add the spinach and cook for 5 min
  • In the meantime, bring a pot of water with some salt to a boil.Add Pasta and cook till tender about 8 to 10 min.Drain the water in a colander.
  • Stir in the Thyme and Pesto
  • Now, add the beans, zucchini, and potatoes along with the tomatoes
  • Pour in the broth and stir all the contents once before you bring it to a boil.
  • Cook until potatoes are soft.
  • Simmer it for about half hour or so and then add the pasta
  • Season with parmesan cheese and serve immediately.


Has it been that long? Vanilla Panna Cotta

Tasty Touch has turned 1!And Can you believe it, I missed it!It just seems like yesterday when my SIL was pushing me to open a blog. At the time it felt like a good idea to have an online recipe diary and interact and share ideas with fellow bloggers. I thought I had some idea of what I was getting into but little did I realize that I will be knowing some fine chefs, incredible photographers, articulate writers and some very warm people. It has been a wonderful experience throughout and thank YOU, especially the readers of my blog.Some of you have even become my household names. I have seen a lot of you celebrate 2nd, 3rds and even some 4th anniversaries.So in that way, it is a very small thing to celebrate for..Trivial or not, I personally feel its a huge accomplishment. Given my lethargy levels, I did not imagine I will stay in 'business' for this long! So, Thank you so very much for that:)

I do have some good news that I would like to share with you all.I will be going back to work full time after 4 years which is exciting and at the same time nerve wrecking.So,I may not post dishes for a while until I settle down with work.So, please bear with me and I promise, I will come back even before you know it!

Panna Cotta (Recipe: Gale Gand with some changes)
3 tbsps water
1 tbsp Powdered Gelatin like Knox (About 1 sachet)
4 cups Heavy Cream
1/2 of Vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1 tsp Vanilla bean extract
1/2 cup Sugar
  • In a small bowl, take water and sprinkle the gelatin powder.Do not stir.Let it soak for 10 min
  • In a pan, heat the cream, sugar, vanilla extract and Vanilla bean seeds.
  • Bring the contents to a simmer.Add the gelatin mixture and stir in until gelatin is completely dissolved.
  • Pour in ramekins or glasses.It should serve about 6 people.
  • Chill it for 4 to 6 hours
  • Slice the berries and top the panna cotta.

Lots of love,

Ricotta Raspberry Mousse

Happy Mothers day to you all moms out there!This post comes in late in wishing but I hope I caught just in time to wish you all of you.
It is after a long time, almost month and a half that I am posting this recipe.So I will keep it easy, simple, quick and out of this world.

Recipe: Giada
15 oz Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup Raspberry Jam
1 cup whipping cream'
3 tbsps powdered sugar
Strawberries or Raspberries to garnish
In a blender or with an electric mixer, beat the cheese until light and fluffy
Add the jam and beat it until it is well incorporated
In a separate bowl, whip the cream until thick.
Add the powdered sugar until the cream forms stiff peaks.
Fold the cream into ricotta mixture in batches.
Refrigerate for atleast an hour.
Spoon into bowls and enjoy!



I am back!


I am back from India few days back but unpacking and jet lag took over the priority list..I felt terrible the first few days as I missed home very badly.I feel a lot better now.
The wedding went very well and it was a lot of fun.I was kidding with my mom that I wish I had more siblings!By now, you would have peeked into the wedding pics.
It was very hot there and coming back to a cold place was definitely a relief especially for Shriya..
I know I haven't been able to blog hop recently.It may take a few more days before I can get back to my routine and can blog.But till then you take care.And I hope all is well with you and are enjoying some warm weather!


White Butter Cake w/Raspberry Filling & cream cheese frosting AND a blogging break

Before I leave for India, I planned on posting a few desserts but time did not permit.My packing and shopping left me with little or no time to blog hop or post a recipe.I will be leaving this week and will be back in the third week of April.I may blog hop occasionally but I have no idea how much access I will have to internet and if I can gather some time to do it.So before I leave, I thought of posting a white butter cake recipe from Joy of Baking.

I cant wait to go to India, see my parents and I really am looking forward to my brother's wedding.Until I am back, don't have too much fun and miss me every time you are eating something sweet!!I will miss you all and your fun reads very much!The weather is getting pleasant, at times that is and Spring is just around the corner.Enjoy the weather!
I made this cake for one of my friends' baby shower and everyone really liked it.I made a few changes like making a raspberry whipped cream instead of jam.
1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs separated
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 cup Milk
1/8 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 cup Raspberry Jam
4 oz of Whipped cream (Light)

1/2 cup unsalted butter
8 oz Cream Cheese, room temperature
2 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp Pure Vanilla extract
  • Preheat the oven to 350F.Grease 2-8 inch round cake pans.Line the bottoms with parchment paper
  • Separate the eggs while still cold.Place egg yolks in a bowl and the whites in another.Cover them with plastic wrap for about 30 min
  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt
  • Beat the butter until soft and add 3/4 cup sugar.Beat until light and fluffy.Add egg yolks beating after each addition .Using a spatula scrape down the sides of the bowl.Add vanilla extract
  • With mixer on low speed, add flour and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour
  • In a separate bow,beat the egg whites until foamy.Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Add the remaining sugar (1/4 cup) and beat until stiff peaks form
  • Fold the egg whites into the batter until combined.* Do not over mix as this will cause the batter to deflate*
  • Pour the batter evenly into the 2 prepared pans and bake them in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 min or until a tooth pick comes out clean
  • Cool the cakes completely and wrap the cakes in a plastic wrap and place the cakes in the refrigerator for about an hour.
You could use just any jam of your choice but for some reason I love this filling
Combine the whipped cream and jam well.Do not use any blender or hand mixer.Do it with hand as you would egg whites.

  • Cream the butter and cream cheese without any lumps
  • Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, making sure it is mixed in well
  • Add the zest and Vanilla extract and beat on high speed until the frosting is fluffy
Place one layer of cake on a plate.Spread the cake with the Raspberry whipped cream .Place the other cake onto the filling.Spread the frosting on top and on the sides.

Take care and lots of love

Breton Biscuits

The cookies get their name from a region in France, Brittany and are known for their buttery taste.
Recipe: Martha Stewart
1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour and some for dusting
1 cup Cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1large egg +4 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2 sticks Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • Preheat the oven to 325F with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
  • Sift the dry ingredients-All purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder and salt
  • Beat the egg yolks and sugar until it doubles in volume about 2 to 3 min
  • Add the butter in four parts and beat until well combined
  • Add the flour on low speed and beat until well combined
  • Place the dough on a lighly floured surface.Divide the dough in half and flatten them and wrap in plastic.Refrigerate for about 30 min
  • On a lightly floured surface, place one of the discs and roll out to about 1/4 inch thick.Do the same with the other one and place the discs on the prepared baking sheets.Refrigerate for about 15 min
  • Remove from the fridge and using a 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter, cut out rounds and place the rounds about 1 1/2 inches apart
  • Whisk the egg and a table spoon water and brush on top of the cut out rounds.Using a knife, score a lattice pattern and make sure you don't cut all the way through
  • Bake until the edges are golden, about 18 to 22 min
  • Transfer them to a wire rack and allow the cookies to cool completely

Potato-Broccoli Curry

As you all know, my brother's wedding is in less than a month and I will be leaving for India the next week.I can't wait!I wanted to post desserts this week but it is late in the night and I am feeling lazy to write an elaborate recipe. So definitely the next post/s will be biscuits and cakes.I have a new found addiction these days- Farmville! My cousin got me into this and I am loving it.I know a lot of blogger friends are my neighbors now and it is really fun! Do you play Farmville too or should I ask are you addicted too?
3 Russet Potatoes peeled and cubed
1 Broccoli Crown, florets separated and boiled
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Curry Powder
2 tsp Cumin-Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Red Chilli powder, Optional
Salt to taste

1 tsp Urad Dal
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
3-5 Curry Leaves, washed and chopped

  • Boil Potatoes in a microwave for about 5 min or on the stove till tender.Drain the water
  • Heat 2 tbsps of Olive Oil in a wide bottomed pan
  • Add Urad dal,cumin seeds and curry leaves
  • Add the boiled potatoes into the pan.
  • Add Turmeric, cumin coriander powder, curry powder, Ginger-Garlic Paste and salt
  • Combine them well and cook for about 5 min
  • Add the boiled broccoli and continue cooking until potatoes start to turn brown.Don't let them turn brown though.
  • Serve with roti or rice.My daughter loved with plain roti:)

Have fun,

Tagliarelle/Pappardelle with White Truffle Butter

Tagliarelle pasta is extra thin pasta which usually cooks in about 3 min and if it is Pappardelle, a slightly wider noodles, it takes about 4 min.
I initially got the Tagliarelle (which you can see in the pic below) but the final dish has pappardelle.Any guesses why? I over cooked and it was no longer the ribbons that I was dreaming about.It was a big lump and it could no longer be called pasta, definitely not the gourmet dish that I was venturing to make.It was more or less like a dough.So I used up the pappardelle that I had with me.


I put the pasta in the water and I totally forgot as one of my friends called after quite a long time, a very long time and I did not realize that this pasta is so delicate.So be extra careful and when the directions say 3 min..that is EXACTLY 3 min.And not to mention a box of these cost about 8 bucks.So yes, for pasta that is a lot of money but it is so worth it.
And for the white truffle butter, you can get in the refrigerated section along with milk and juices of any gourmet food stores like Whole Foods or Fresh Market.
This is one of the best pastas I have ever eaten!

Recipe:Ina Garten
1 box of Tagliarelle or Pappardelle pasta(I have used Cipriani)
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
3 oz White Truffle Butter
3 tbsps Fresh Chopped Chives
3 oz Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp Salt + 1tbsp for boiling pasta
1/2 tsp Pepper
  • Bring a large pot of water with a tablespoon of salt to a boil
  • Heat cream in a pan until it comes to a simmer.Add truffle butter, salt and pepper and stir it until the butter melts
  • Add the pasta and cook for 3 min or as per the directions on the box
  • Drain the pasta after reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water
  • Toss the pasta in the pan with the truffle butter sauce
  • Add just enough water to the pasta just to make the pasta creamy
  • Garnish with chives and parmesan cheese

Note:You could add a half cup of mushrooms which you can saute and add to the truffle butter sauce


Stuffed Tindora (Ivygourd)

Growing up, my mom would make this stuffed version of Tindora which is very flavorful than her other versions of this veggie.
3/4 lb-1 lb Tindora/Dondakaya (Ivy gourd)
1/2 cup Besan
2 tbsp Sambar Powder
4 Tbsp Olive plus 2 tbsp
1 tbsp Cumin Coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt +1/8 tsp
1 tsp Red chilli powder
5-6 curry leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Slit Tindora vertically just enough to open up for stuffing.Do not cut it all the way through
  • Boil them in enough water with salt just till tender
  • Drain the water in a colander and let the veggies sit until all the water is drained
  • Combine besan, sambar powder, cumin and coriander powder, turmeric, chilli powder and 1/8 th of a tsp salt.
  • Stuff the veggies with the above mixture.The stuffing WILL fall out but that is okay.We will add the rest of the spice mixture later to the Tindora
  • Heat 4 tbsp oil and add cumin seeds and curry leaves
  • Add the stuffed Tindora and add the remaining of the spice mixture on top an cover till they are browned.If you observe that it is getting too dry, add the extra 2 tbsp of oil
  • Serve hot with rice


Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

Make the pancakes from scratch and serve with pure maple syrup and tell me you won't do it again!These are fluffy and melt in the mouth pancakes..We loved it!
Recipe:Food Network
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter , and some for frying
  • Sift all the dry ingredients-all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar
  • Beat the eggs and combine them with buttermilk and melted butter
  • Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients into a lumpy batter, making sure not to over mix.Do not over mix; You will end up with a heavy pancakes
  • Heat a tablespoon of butter and pour a ladle of batter and sprinkle some blueberries on it Cook for a couple of min on each side
  • Serve with pure maple syrup



Milk and sugar, and that is all there is to this rich, creamy and calorie loaded dessert! Yes, you need some patience while it is boiling. That is when you can get a good movie or watch CSI! I started it at at about 10 PM hoping it would be over in 20 min or so but it does not come anywhere close.So start early and enjoy the dessert for dinner!
2 liters of Whole Milk
2/3 cup sugar
4 -6 strand of Saffron strands
1 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
10 or so pistas, chopped or sliced, based on your preferences
  • In a heavy bottomed non stick pan, pour milk and boil it for about 20 to 25 min by periodically stirring making sure it is not getting burnt.
  • Once the milk reduces to a third, add sugar and saffron
  • Continue boiling for another 2o min or so until the milk begins to thicken
  • Add cardamom powder and continue to simmer on low heat for a few min
  • Garnish with Pistas
  • You could serve it cold or warm!


Bagara Baingan

The 'word' is out and most of you know by now that my little brother (actually,no longer little) is getting married this April. And the bride is Siri. And no, I don't boss her around! Well, may be I will... after the wedding!Just kidding...
Time flies and I can hardly believe that he is getting married.Of course, my parents said the same when I got married.I guess someone in the household has to pass that 'I can't believe ...married' statement. Although we live in the same country, we can hardly squeeze in time to talk.Growing up, we fought a lot and talked very little.In fact we were two violent kids on the block-from biting to pulling hair to kicking in the stomachs. And all of that for a piece of chocolate or Diwali crackers! Looking back, I do cherish those memories although I wish we were more gentle on each other..Nice thing here is we both did okay given how violently we fought!Did you guys fight with your siblings too?I just wonder..
The one thing we never fought was the restaurant!We both love Minerva (in Hyd)and we both love North Indian food or for that matter any food!I could write pages and pages of my memories but I won't bore you to death!
On to this delicious delicacy!I tweaked a little bit to suit our taste but I gave you the link that takes you to the recipe.Since I did not have Poppy seeds, I skipped them.
Recipe: Sanjeev Kapoor
8 small baby brinjals
2 Medium Onions
1 1/2 tbsps ginger garlic paste
6-8 Curry Leaves
2 tsps Cumin Coriander Powder
1 1/2 tbsps Sesame Seeds
2 tbsps Peanuts
1 tbsp Dry Coconut
2-3 seeds of methi seeds
Pinch of Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 tsp Jaggery
2 tbsps Tamarind Pulp
1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • Wash and slit brinjals vertically making sure they are not slit all the way through.The vegetable should be intact at the stem, so it should open up like a flower when you cut.Start at the opposite end from the stem.
  • Cut Onions into quarters.
  • Dry roast the onions on a tawa till they are soft
  • Dry roast the peanuts, cumin seeds, coconut, sesame seeds, methi seeds till it changes color
  • Grind together roasted onions, cumin coriander power, roasted spices, ginger garlic paste and salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder, jaggery and tamarind pulp to a fine paste
  • Stuff this mixture into the cut brinjals.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add curry leaves and fry for a min.Add the stuffed brinjals and saute for about 10 min
  • Add the remaining stuffing and add half a cup water
  • Cover and cook until the oil starts to separate and the brinjals are cooked
  • Serve hot with rice


Bagara Rice

I would like to say this is a specialty of Hyderabad but you sure can enlighten me on this!I don't know if there are more versions of the same, but my friend makes it this way and I really like it!
2 cups Basmati, soaked in water for 15 min
10-15 Mint leaves
1 Medium Onion, Sliced thin
4 whole cardamoms
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
3 green chilies, slit vertically
2 tbsp oil
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry cumin seeds and chilies for a min
  • To this, add onions and cook till translucent
  • Stir in the spices-Cardamoms, Cinnamon stick, cloves, bay leaves and ginger garlic paste
  • Add Mint leaves and cook until the leaves are wilted
  • Pour in water (1 cup rice:1.5 cup water ratio) and bring it to a boil
  • Add rice till cooked and not soft
  • Serve it hot with curry or raita

Up next:Bagara Baingan

Till then,
Have fun

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with herbs

Happy Valentine's Day to you all!It was a relatively quiet Valentine's Day for us today. Usually we dine out but today I have decided to keep it simple and make everything at home.Probably the snow warning/news for Monday evening put me off.The snow/ice on my drive way from last week is still making it difficult to pull in the cars and here there is one more!
We stayed home and I made pasta and Fingerling potatoes along with a chocolate cake that my daughter has been asking for quite sometime.For some reason, she thinks it is her birthday today and was very eager to blow out a candle and cut the cake, which I allowed her to do.It is really funny to see how well she sang a birthday song for herself.These kids are unbelievable!!What did you do for the Valentine's day?
I will post the recipes for pasta and cake in the next week..


Although today's post is not an elaborate dish,I am sure you will like the simplicity and the flavor of it.The fingerlings are a variety of potatoes and as the name indicates,they resemble a finger in shape.They are elongated and are not the same as new potatoes.The ones I bought are Russian banana.They possess a nutty flavor and a great texture.

Inspired from Fresh Market Magazine
1 lb fingerling potatoes
3 tbsps Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Dried Rosemary
1/2 tsp Dried Basil
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • Preheat the oven to 400F
  • Cut the potatoes vertically into halves
  • Combine oil, pepper, salt, and the seasonings
  • Toss the mixture with the potatoes
  • Spread the potatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer
  • Bake them until golden and tender, about 45-50 min


Malai Kofta

Since my husband doesn't care to mix sweet and hot, raisins are a big no, no in curries.For that matter, he does not like sweet tamarind chutney with samosas or chaat.But yes, I complement him completely in all these aspects and I love chaat to death.Anyway,I have made a few changes changes to this recipe like skipping raisins.It tasted out of this world.The addition of mawa powder gives the curry creamy texture and delicate sweetness.

Recipe:Sanjeev Kapoor
For the Koftas
4 Red Potatoes, peeled, boiled and grated
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1/4 cup Cornflour
100 gms Paneer,grated
Oil to deep fry

3 Onions,peeled and cut into halves
3 tbsps Oil
2 tbsps ginger garlic paste
2 green chillies, vertically sliced
1 tsp cumin-coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 cup Mawa powder
1/2 cup fresh cream
1 tsp garam masala powder
  • Boil the onions in water for about 10 min
  • Drain excess water, cool onions and grind them into a smooth paste.
  • Mix grated potatoes, grated paneer, chopped green chilli, corn flour and salt until well combined Divide into sixteen equal sized balls.
  • Deep fry in hot oil until slightly colored. Drain the oil on a paper napkin and keep them aside.
  • Heat 3 tbsps of oil in a kadai. Add boiled onion paste and cook for five minutes.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste, chopped green chillies,cumin-coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt and cook for a minute.
  • Add tomato puree and red chilli powder and cook on medium flame for eight to ten minutes or till oil separates from the masala.
  • Mix mawa in two cups of water and add to the gravy.
  • Bring it to a boil and simmer for ten minutes on a slow flame by stirring occasionally
  • Stir in fresh cream and garam masala powder.
  • Place warm koftas in a serving dish and pour hot gravy on top


Take care,

Mango Shrikhand with Fruits and a hint of saffron

One of my very dear friends got me a fine muslin cloth (Indian cotton towel) in 2006.Well, yes, I could have gotten it myself when I visited India but she got it for me.Anyway, I safely tucked it in my closet and forgot about it until I came across a few days back when I was cleaning my closet.I immediately went down and started preparing Shrikhand.It stayed there for 4 years.If I did not do anything with it now, I am sure it had no problem staying in my cozy closet for 4 more years...And it was not complicated at all like I once thought!
2 lb Whole Milk Yogurt
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup Mango Pulp
2 threads of saffron
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1 cup of mixed fruits, canned or fresh (Use more of pineapple, grapes, apple, cherries)
handful of pistas, chopped
  • Place the yogurt in a muslin cloth and tie it with a ribbon or thread.
  • Hang it on a tap, such that the water from the yogurt drained into the sink or place a bowl for the water to drain.
  • Hang it overnight or for 8 hours
  • Unwrap the cloth and you will get a very thick yogurt, almost like cream cheese
  • Combine yogurt with sugar, pulp, saffron and cardamom powder and mix them well
  • Add the fruits and nuts


Pepper-Parmesan Bread

Recipe: Better Gardens and Homes Baking Book
Makes:2 loaves
5 1/4 to 5 3/4 cups All Purpose flour
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan Cheese
2 packs of active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 cups warm water
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 tbsp water
Cornmeal or Polenta
  • Preheat the oven to 375F
  • Combine 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, yeast, and garlic powder.Add 2 cups warm water
  • Beat on low to medium speed for 30 secs.Beat on high for 3 min
  • Using a wooden spoon stir in as much flour as you can
  • Turn the dough on a lightly floured surface.Add just enough flour to knead the dough into stiff , smooth and elastic one, about 8 min
  • Shape into a ball and place into a greased bowl.
  • Cover and let it rise until it doubles, an hour to hour and a half
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface
  • Divide in half.Cover and rest 10 more min
  • Grease a baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal or polenta
  • Roll one half of the dough into a 15X12 inch rectangle
  • Sprinkle 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese on the dough in a narrow row. ( Leaving 3 inches from the longest side, pour the cheese)
  • Similar to jelly-roll, start rolling it up tightly .
  • Moisten the edges and seal well.
  • Repeat the procedure with the other half of the dough
  • Place loaves, seam sides down (Cheese will be on the top side of the loaf)
  • Cover and let it rise again for another 45 min
  • Stir the egg white and a table spoon water
  • Brush the egg mixture on the loaves.
  • Make about 5 diagonal cuts about quarter inch deep on the top
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 to 45 min until the loeaves sound hollow when you tap the tops
  • Transfer to a wire rack.Let them cool completely
  • You could top with sun dried tomato pesto or basil pesto or just diced tomatoes and onions

As promised here is my T&T post that I have been postponing for over a month now..Prathibha's Stuffed Brinjals with Onion mixture!!We loved the curry.It is mild, yet very flavorful.



Peppermint Meringues

Peppermint in January??Well, I am sure you could have peppermint at any time of the year but these were made the past holiday season.As I mentioned earlier in my posts, I made a few cookies (Mexican Wedding Cookies and Coconut Macaroons) and and this is one of them.
I am running a fever for a day and I am very exhausted.So this is a quick post.It has been quite sometime that I fell sick, especially with cold and fever.But in the past month and a half, I fell sick twice which is unlike me.I have no clue where I contracted this from!Although I am tempted to blame it on my daughter, I don't think that is the case.I and my daughter drank frooti 3 days back and that is when it all started is what I suspect.Of course, no surety there! I do check the dates on the packs especially Maggi and Frooti but somehow we ended up with this horrible, horrible chest congestion and fever.She is doing much better now, much better than me.I wanted to post a T&T today along with this but as I said, my energy levels are kind of low and will do that in my next post.
3 egg whites
3/4 cup superfine sugar
Pinch of Cream of Tartar
1 tsp peppermint extract
2 drops red food coloring
Pinch of Salt
  • Preheat the oven to 300F;Line baking sheets with Parchment paper
  • Beat the egg whites until frothy
  • Beat the sugar along with salt and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form
  • Add the mint extract and swirl the drops of red food coloring
  • Use a tablespoon to drop them onto the baking sheet
  • Bake for an hour
  • Turn off the oven and keep meringues inside for 2 hrs to dry



Lemon Rice and a laugh!!

There is practically nothing special in this dish but I wanted to share with you all my version of it that I made on Sankranti.Although I posted Veggie Burger on that day, I actually did not make Burger on that day as some of you thought.It was one of the drafts lurking on my desktop for a while now.
I have been wanting to share a joke or two ever since I started blogging..So finally I am here with one..
Enjoy the rice and have a good laugh!

1 cup Basmati rice
Pinch of turmeric
2 green chilies, slit vertically
1 tbsp fresh grated coconut (Optional)
Juice from 1 small lemon

1/2 tsp Urad Dal
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
4-5 fresh curry leaves
  • Soak rice in water for about 15 min.
  • Drain the water and cook rice in about 1 1/2 cups water with a pinch of turmeric and salt
  • In a small pan, heat a tablespoon of oil and add urad dal, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds.
  • Add curry leaves and green chillies and let them fry for a min or so
  • Pour the seasoning onto the cooked rice and fluff the rice
  • Add the lemon juice to the rice and combine well
  • Stir in the grated coconut

A Spanish teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.

'House' for instance, is feminine: 'la Casa.
'Pencil,' however, is masculine: 'el lapiz.'

A student asked, 'What gender is 'computer'?'
Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether computer should be a masculine or a feminine noun.. Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.
The men's group decided that 'computer' should definitely be of the feminine gender ('la computadora'), because

-No one but their creator understands their internal logic
-The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else
-Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval and
-As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it


The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be Masculine ('el computador') , because:
-In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on
-They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves
-They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem and
-As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.

The women won!!

I hope you enjoyed a few laughs!

Butternut Squash Soup

Some weeks go by fast and some weeks feel longer than a lifetime.I feel this week is one such week.I am eagerly looking forward to the weekend and it seems far, far away!
This soup is full of flavor-from the apples, curry powder and the sweetness from the roasted butternut squash.It has a very delicate flavor!

Recipe:Ina Garten

3 to 4 lbs Butternut Squash, peeled and seeded (Although it is a lil' expensive, I bought the packaged ones)
2 Yellow Onions
2 McIntosh Apples, peeled and cored
3 tbsp Olive Oil
2 to 4 cups Veg Stock
1/2 tsp Curry Powder (I used Fresh Market Curry Powder)
2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 425F
  • Place the butternut squash, apples, and onions on a baking sheet
  • Toss them with Olive Oil, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Roast for about 35 to 45 min, until tender
  • Puree the veggies and add enough stock to make a thick soup.
  • Add the curry powder, remaining salt and pepper
  • Simmer for about 10 min for the flavors to blend in
  • Serve hot with a dollop of yogurt or cream!



Aloo Dumwale

As many of you know, I post a lot of soups,cookies and desserts rather than Indian dishes.Its not because I don't like or I don't cook the cuisine at home.In fact, Indian cuisine IS one of my favorites and I do cook a lot of Indian food at home. But I make very simple dishes like dal chawal and nothing out of the ordinary.My Indian cooking skills are average if I were to rate them.But this year I want to cook more Indian dishes.
I really was amazed when I went through Sanjeev Kapoor's website that even though I was born, brought up and ate Indian food all my life, I barely knew the dishes and their names.It was embarrassing to some extent.I have a lot of adoration for North Indian especially Punjabi and Mughlai food.For North Indian food,I completely rely on friends,at least for more complicated dishes.South Indian, I can manage and believe I am decent in it.Although you have to check with my husband on that!!
Recipe: Sanjeev Kapoor
On to the recipe, with some minute changes!

3 Potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 Small Onion, chopped
2 Cardamoms (Seeds from the pods)
1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
1 tbsp Cumin Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 tbsps Cashewnut paste (I soaked a couple of tbsps of Cashews in water and blended them into a fine paste. Just use 2 tbsps and eat the rest:D)
1/2 cup Tomato puree
1/2 cup Yogurt, whisked
1 tsp Kasuri Methi
Fresh cream for garnish
2 tbsps Oil +to deep fry

  • Heat oil in a pan for deep frying and fry the poatoes until lightly browned
  • Place the fried potatoes on a paper napkin to drain the excess oil
  • With a tablespoon of water, boil chopped onion with cardamoms
  • Grind into a paste
  • Heat 2 tbsps of oil and add the onion paste
  • Cook till the fat starts to separate and add ginger garlic paste
  • Stir in chilli powder, cumin-coriander powder, turmeric powder,cashew paste , tomato puree and yogurt
  • Mix them well and add the deep fried potatoes
  • Add 2 1/2 cups water and salt to taste
  • Simmer it for about 10 min and stir in the kasuri methi
  • Garnish with fresh cream

Lots of love,

Mascarpone Cupcakes with Strawberry glaze

Very easy and fun cup cakes that kids will really fall in love with!I made these for one of my friend's daughter's Birthday.The mascarpone cheese makes it super soft inside and the strawberry glaze on top gives the cupcakes a tangy taste.
Mascarpone cheese is an Italian cheese that is similar to cream cheese in texture.You can usually find in the cheese section of the grocery stores.

Recipe:Giada De Laurentiis
Yields 48 mini muffins or about 20 muffins

8 oz mascarpone cheese, softened
2 egg whites
1/4 vegetable oil
1 box White Cake Mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup frozen strawberries, thawed and drained
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Line the muffin tins with liners or you could use the muffin/baking cups
  • Beat the cheese, egg whites and Vegetable oil until well combined and creamy
  • Add the cake mix and water and mix until smooth
  • Fill the tins/cups just below the rim
  • Bake them till puffed and golden about 18 to 20 min
  • Take out from the oven and let them cool slightly.
  • Puree the strawberries
  • Whisk the confectioners' sugar and strawberries until smooth
  • Top the cooled cupcakes with the glaze.
  • Let them sit for a while for the glaze to firm up


Veggie Burger

Happy Pongal/Sankranti to you all!Today being a week day, there was nothing fancy in my kitchen- I made some Shrikhand (which already went into my pile of drafts and will be soon on my blog) and Payasam with rice and jaggery.
It is very hard to find a good veggie burger here in the States.The only burger I can eat is the BK Veggie Burger with Morningstar farms patty but I stopped that too now.I am sure I would have collected extra, extra pounds on me.So I have decided to make it at home.The Garam Masala gives that an Indian touch!
Adapted from all over the internet


3 Medium Red Potatoes, Scrubbed, boiled and mashed
1 Yellow Medium Onion, chopped
1/2 cup mixed veggies;I have used frozen veggies, so I steamed them a bit.If you are using fresh veggies, boil them and drain the water.
1 tsp chopped coriander
1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs (I used Whole wheat bread to make crumbs;But you could use white or buy the store bought one too)
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp Red chilli powder (optional)
4 tbsps Olive Oil



Hamburger Buns
Romaine Lettuce
1 Red Onion, Sliced thin
1 Tomato, thinly sliced
1 tbsp Light Mayo or Regular Mayo
1/2 tsp Ranch dressing (Optional)
Toothpicks to secure them (Optional)

For the patty
  • Combine mashed potatoes,onions, veggies, coriander, Garam Masala and chilli powder
  • Make into balls, the size of your fist and flatten them slightly
  • Heat 4 tbsps olive oil and shallow fry them until brown
  • Take a bun and slice it into 2 halves
  • Place the patty and drizzle with Mayo and ranch dressing
  • Put a couple of leaves of Romaine, Onions and Tomatoes
  • Secure with a toothpick.
  • Take a BIG, BIG bite!
  • Now is that easy or what?


For now,

Coconut Macaroons

I made a bunch of cookies this past holiday season to give away as goodies to my friends and family.Mexican wedding cookies that I posted earlier were one of them.
I am beginning to fall in love with the Food Network Magazine.That is one magazine I read from beginning to end and without missing anything.My most favorite part- 'You asked' section where people get to ask the chefs from very trivial to some complicated food related questions.And by the way, the recipes for the cookies are from there as well.
The recipe calls for unsweetened coconut.I have used sweetened coconut and reduced the sugar.

1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 egg whites, beaten
2 tsps Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 2/3 cups sweetened shredded coconut

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.Line the baking sheet(s) with parchment paper
  • Whisk together 1/2 cup sugar, egg whites,Vanilla and salt
  • Stir in the shredded coconut
  • Use a small scoop or a tablespoon to drop them on to the baking sheet
  • Bake for about 15 to 20 min



Dal Makhani

This is one of the tastiest dals I have eaten outside of the plain toor dal that we cook on a daily basis.I have taken inspiration from all over the internet for this recipe.There are different versions, some with cream, some with less or no cream.Although the traditional dal makhani calls for cream, I used Sour cream.

1 1/2 cup Black Urad Dal, soaked in water overnight
2 tbsps Kidney beans/Rajma (I used canned beans but if you are using the dry ones, soak it in water overnight)
2 tbsps of butter +1 tbsp to top it off
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 Medium Onion, finely chopped
8 oz of Crushed tomatoes(no herbs added, just plain)
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 tsp Kasoori Methi
2 tsps Cumin Coriander powder
1/2 tsp of Garam Masala
6-8 oz of Sour Cream
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder.You can always use the red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp Curry powder

  • Soak the dal overnight or for atleast 8-10 hours.If you are using the dry rajma,soak that as well.
  • Drain the water and pressure cook the dal until tender and not mashed up.
  • Heat a pan and melt butter.
  • Add chopped onions and cook till they turn translucent.Stir in kasoori methi.
  • Add tomatoes and cook till tender.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, Cumin Coriander powder, and curry powder.Cook for a couple of minutes such that the spices get mixed in well.
  • Add Garam Masala and chilli powder.Now add the crushed tomatoes and let it simmer till the masala separates from the fat.
  • Add the cooked dal and rajma.
  • Let it simmer for about 15 min.
  • Mix in the sour cream.Cover it and let it simmer on low flame for about 15 more min.
  • Add the tbsp of butter on top and garnish with coriander leaves.Serve hot with rice


This goes to MLLA 19 guest hosted by EC and the event started by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook.


Mexican Wedding Cookies

I am almost always an optimist but the past year was slowly turning me into a pessimist.I hope this year will be very different and we will have memories to cherish.
The first recipe for this year will be a sweet, decadent, melt in the mouth cookies and by the way they are eggless!

Also, there was a problem with comment moderation with the previous post.This is the second time it is happening with my blog.Some of you have left comments and I could not publish them due to some technical difficulty.Now, everything seems to work fine and I hope I don't have to deal with it again.But thank you so much for your comments.That is what keeps me going , I am sure that is what keeps each of us going-the support!

Makes 6 dozen cookies
Recipe:Martha Stewart

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup Pecans ( about 3 3/4 oz)

  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
  • Pulse the pecan halves and a 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor or a blender.
  • Combine the nut mixture, flour and salt
  • Ina separate bow, beat butter, and 3/4 cup sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy
  • Stir in vanilla and almond extracts
  • Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until well combined
  • Roll the dough into 3/4 inch balls
  • Place them in the baking sheets about a couple of inches apart
  • Bake them until the cookies are pale about 12 min
  • Let the cookies cool completely before vanishing them away!

This goes to Cakes and Cookies event, hosted by Mahimaa of Indian Vegetarian Kitchen

Have fun guys!

Lots of love,

Happy New Year and some FL trip pics

Wish you a very happy, healthy and a prosperous new year !
Hope you are having a blast these holidays.I am still unable to believe that it is a decade since my undergrad (don't start guessing my age now!), 9 years since I came to the States, 2 1/2 since 'S' was born, and 6 mon since I started blogging but it all feels like yesterday.Time flies when you have fun!
I had my share of ups and downs in 2009 as anybody and not particularly eventful if I look back.As far as new year resolutions go, I used to do it until I had ''S' but I started to realize that they don't work for me. The enthusiasm lasts only for a few weeks, at the most a couple of months.And I am usually back to where I started.The resolutions used to be something like losing weight or cooking more in the house and eating out less,or studying better to get better grades but I haven't lost weight since 3 years and I am still eating out more often than I would want to.So if there is any new resolution for me, that is to not have one..
It has been quite busy during year end and so you can see the inactivity in blogging and blog hopping.Hopefully, I will be able to post more regularly, stay in touch with the blogger buddies and make some more new friends this year!So once again a very happy new year to you and your families!!
Some of my FL trip pics,mainly Key West!




This is the end of Hwy 1 which starts in Maine that runs through 14 states in Continental US.This is the southern most tip of HWY 1.The northern most point is in Fort Kent, Maine.




This reads 'The Southern most point of Continental US;90 MILES to CUBA'


Have a Great Year ahead!

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