Showing posts with label Sweet Tooth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sweet Tooth. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jab we Met & a recipe for Raspberry - Ricotta Mousse

Jab we met ......

The day was hot and humid. I bunked office and rushed home. I was out of my comfy jeans and in a starched cotton lucknowi salwar kameez ...... yess the guy was coming from half way across the globe. Kohl laden eyes, lip gloss and Davidoff Cool Water ..... Nah I was not trying to impress him, that was over long time back when we chatted over the internet and interestingly many of the chats ended in an argument. We were poles apart .... and probably by the law of Physics or whatever we were attracted to each other !! And you only thought it happens in Hindi films, didn't you ?

Jab we met ......

We were officially engaged .... yes we lived in the cyber era. No distance was big enough ... we spoke, we chatted , we saw (on the web cam) and we decided. It only cost him his night sleep and few hundred American dollars !
Jab we met .....

I was holding a big bunch of roses and waiting for him at the airport with a hundred eyes staring at me to death. I wish someone told them that times have changed and it is no more that the guy has to bring you roses.

Jab we met ......

I made him squeeze into the auto rickshaw with his luggage coz that was my favorite mode of transport. I bargained and yelled at the auto wala for tampering with the meter and swore not to pay him a penny more. I frowned at J for paying the auto wala whatever he demanded. He smiled and put his arms around my shoulders as we walked down while I went on with my rants about the auto wala and his meter !

Jab we met ......

I made him walk up and down the street and from one shop to another in the hot summer sun ...... while I shopped and decided what he had to wear on the wedding day. And that it had to complement with my Benarasi saree ..... and he complied.

Jab we met ......

We had dinner at a dhabba ... nothing fancy. And the trend of me choosing what to eat had unintentionally began. We chatted more than we ate ..... and I was high on a breezer.

In all these years there have been rare flower surprises or surprise gifts.

But J, don't think that I have forgotten how you nursed me all night when I was not well, the surprise chicken biryani cooked by you, bed tea on weekends and mid night drives to the ice cream shop, eating the worst food I cooked with a smile to encouraging me for whatever I do.

It's five years but seems like yesterday that I said 'I do' ....... Happy Anniversary J !!

Preparation Time - 15 minutes
Serves - 4 to 6

Ricotta Cheese - 2 cups
Raspberry Jam - 1/2 cup
Whipped Cream - 1 cup
Powdered Sugar - 3 tbsp
Fresh Raspberries - 1 cup

Method of Preparation

1. In a food processor, blend the ricotta cheese until light and fluffy, about 20 seconds.Add the jam and pulse until combined. Transfer to a large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the cream until thick. Add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until the cream holds stiff peaks.
3. Working in batches, carefully fold the cream mixture into the ricotta mixture.
4. Spoon the mousse into serving bowls and refrigerate for 1 hour. Garnish with fresh raspberries and serve.


1. You can use Strawberry Jam if you do not have raspberry jam.
2. Substitute Ricotta cheese with cottage cheese

Monday, May 23, 2011

Where are the sparrows ?? Also a recipe for Banana Bread

The sudden appearance of twigs, old cotton balls and wool in our dining room puzzled us until we looked up. Mr and Mrs Sparrow had found a safe abode in the hustle bustle of the town to build their nest. Maa would sweep away the twigs, dry grass,cotton and feathers every day that would fall off the skylight......

Mr & Mrs Sparrow would fly out of the window every now and then and come back with tiny twigs and grasses in their beaks. It was a lot of hard work for these small birds .... yah making a house is no joke after all ! Be it humans or birds. I and my sister were pretty amused seeing the upcoming nest. After days of hard work the birds had put their nest together. We knew something was happening up there. Maa told us that Mr & Mrs Sparrow were busy decking up a nursery and making a comfortable home before their bundle of joy hatched.

We waited as much as the sparrows and one morning we heard the babies chirp. The chirping was sharp and shrill and would continue from dawn to dusk. The hungry babies kept their parents on the toes. The mother sparrow would fly out of the window and come back with worms in her beak to feed her babies while the father would guard their nest.This was a regular affair for the sparrow family.
I and my sister would pull up a chair and take turns to climb on it to have a glimpse of the babies. They looked ugly without feathers and had small red beaks. Maa warned us from getting close to their nest and we would obediently stare at the babies from a safe distance.

It was not very long when the baby sparrows developed tiny wings and had feathers on them. They looked so similar that t was difficult to differentiate one from the other. It was time for flying lessons. The 'sparrow parents' would teach the babies to fly.
Phurrrr Phurrrrr , the feathered family would fly all over our house ... or rather their house. They would fearlessly perch every where .... on the wash basin mirror, the sink, on the fridge and table top.The dining room fan was not switched on to keep the family and it's babies safe during their flying sessions.
One day they flew out of the window and never came back...... I stared out of the window and waited for days for them to return but alas !! The nest was empty and the birds were gone.I was sad but life took it's course and the memories of the sparrow family faded.

Today after many years I saw sparrows playing in a puddle of water outside my house. I remembered the sparrow family which once made our house their home. And these birds which were once so common have become a rare sight.

So where have the sparrows gone ???


All Purpose Flour - 2 cups
Powdered Sugar - 1 cup
Flax Seed - 1 tbsp
Crushed Walnuts - 1/2 cup
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Ripe Banana - 3
Vegetable Oil/ Canola Oil - 1/4 cup
Milk - to adjust consistency

Method of Preparation

1 Mash the bananas with a fork. Add sugar and oil to the mashed bananas and mix well.
2 Add all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl (Flour + Salt + Baking Powder + Flax seeds + crushed walnuts). Mix these ingredients well.
3 Add the mashed banana mixture to these dry ingredients and mix well to make a batter. If needed add little milk to adjust the consistency.
4 Grease a loaf pan with little oil and add the batter to it.
5 Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 - 60 minutes depending on the oven.
6 Insert a tooth pick or skewer to check if the bread is baked through.
7 Remove to a cooling rack and cut into slices once the bread is cool.

Cutting the bread before cooling it may break it. So allow the bread to cool down before slicing it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Women ... Chocolates and Jealously !

'Frailty, thy name is woman' was quoted by Shakespeare.
When we talk of the fairer sex, there are few things that are generic to them ..... one of them for sure is their love for chocolates and the other one 'Jealousy'.
And then somebody else quoted 'Women thy name is Jealousy'. I know it's a sensitive statement especially when it comes from a woman. How do I know if it's true .... well I am a woman !! And who better can judge me than myself.
I would be lying if I tell you that I am not jealous of the girl next door with a perfect figure. And to match up to her I struggle to hide my love handles and muffin top under my layers of cloth.
I do envy my friends who have servants to do their errands while they file their nails and change their nail paints, who have chauffeur driven cars (Not to mention the brand of car) and who have all the time in the world to go for kitty parties.
I hate the rookie in my office who comes from some A grade Business School and draws a fatter salary than me.
For me the list can go on ...... but I don't want to note them all and make myself look like a crook.

And if you are a guy and rejoicing this write up .... it's high time you do a reality check . What did you think of the other guy who owned an iPad 2 in the first week of it's launch or of your friend who's girlfriend is prettier than yours ??

So I leave it on you to ponder if Jealously is normal or evil ..... but don't you stray away before checking my new post. It is so easy that a rookie in the kitchen can also master it. And you can make it in your own kitchen without getting jealous :-)

Preparation Time 30 minutes
Serves - 6

Dark Chocolate- 3.5 oz
Butter - 1/3 cup
Powdered Sugar - 1cup
Whole Eggs - 2
Egg Yolks - 2
Flour-2/3 cup
1 tbsp Liquor Per Ramekin (optional) I used coffee liquor because coffee brings out the chocolate's taste even more.

Method of Preparation
1 Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Greeze 6 small ramekins with oil and place on cookie sheet.
Microwave chocolate and butter in large bowl on high for about 1 minute, until butter is melted. Whisk until chocolate is also melted.
3 Cool down the chocolate else you will end up getting scrambled eggs.
4 Stir in sugar until well blended. Whisk in eggs and egg yolks. Stir in flour.Add liquor.
5 Divide between cups.
6 Bake 13-14 minutes until sides are firm and center is soft. (The timing may vary depending on your oven)
Take it out of the oven and let it stand for a minute.
Invert cakes on dishes and decorate a little if you want.

Serving Tips
Serve with ice cream. You may also serve it with whipped cream.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I have noticed a drastic change in the way we celebrate festivals today compared to my years of growing up. Or is it that I am growing older by the day and am looking at things from a different perspective. Whatever the case, but festivals have become just another date in the calendar for me.
I no more wake up at dawn and go out with my group of friends and cousins to pluck flowers from the neighborhood and make garlands out of them. Neither am I excited about wearing anything new and going 'Pandal hopping'. Preparing and eating 'prasad' has become just another thing.The sweet shop at the street corner sells ready made prasad items. And meeting relatives on festivals is out of scope.
Instead I just go to the florist, spend some money and buy flowers. I shop impulsively almost on every weekend when I am at the mall. I no longer wait for festivals to buy clothes.I rather buy clothes for parties and outings and to be in fashion.
Everything has become so convenient and I am living a life of luxury ...... but it doesn't make me feel any better.I do have the answers when I sit and introspect. But am I ready to give up the comfort and do things like before ? That's the question which puzzles me. I am not sure of it ..... but I always miss the warm welcoming atmosphere in almost every festival.

I am posting another recipe from Sangeeta's kitchen. You might be amused reading the name of this dish ..... But just to let you know, this is a traditional dish from Odisha. It is prepared in every household during festive occasions.

I just hope that all of you celebrate these festivals with grandeur. Wish all of my readers and friends a very happy Vinayak Chaturthi.

Preparation Time - 60 minutes
Serves - 4
Moong Daal - 2 cups
Cardamom - 15
Sugar - 1 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1/3 cup
Method of Preparation
1 Soak Moong Daal for 3 hours. Grind finely.
2 Put a wide open pan on flame and add the finely ground moong daal to it.
3 Add sugar and salt and oil and stirr continuously till the moong daal become light yellow in color.
4 Ground the cardamom and add to the moong daal.
5 Remove to another dish and spread uniformly.
6 When cool, cut into desired shapes.
7 Heat oil in a kadhai and deep fry till golden brown.
8 Remove to a paper towel.
Serving Tips
Serve at room temperature
Keep stirring the moong daal continuously else it may form lumps.
You may choose to add sugar per taste.
Other Names
Cardamom - Elaichi

Monday, August 30, 2010


"Well how do you call yourself a cook when you do not know how to make Kakara ?" That was Aai's (maternal grand mom) expert comment when she saw my blog. Yah you read it right .... Aai belongs to the cyber era. She knows it all - Orkut,Gmail,Blogging ! .... I hung my head low while talking to her over the phone. She tried explaining me the recipe for Kakara ..... along with it came the gyan of why it is so important to Odiyas' and stories from mythology etc etc.

In short this is a traditional sweet from Odisha and is delicious. Talk about it to a fellow Odiya and you will know.

All these years I was only bothered eating .... never cared to ask anybody about the recipe.How can someone expect me to know such complicated stuff ..... I have the excuse of belonging to generation X ..... or whatever !!

Even after an hour long bashing I could not gather enough courage to prepare this dish all by myself.
I picked up the phone and called Sangeeta Bhabi. She lives a stone throw away. We share a special bond .... we both belong to the same place.
Frankly I felt a little awkward in asking her to prepare it, knowing the amount of time and effort it needs. But I did it ..... she was generous enough to give me a demo of it. I offered to help her with it so that I could learn along. I can't thank her enough for teaching me this wonderful recipe. Not to forget I had my share of eating it too :-)

Well with Kakara up on my blog, I hope Aai approves my cooking ! Thanks a ton to Sangeeta Bhabi, I know how to make Kakara :-)

With Janmastami around the corner, this is a great recipe to be tried out.

Preparation Time - 1 hour
Serves - 4
Semolina - 2 cups
Water - 4
Sugar - 1.75 cups
Salt per taste
Cardamon - 10
Fennel Seeds - 1tsp
Grated Coconut -1 cup
Whole black pepper - 10
Oil for frying
Method of Preparation
1 Take 4 cups of water in a deep vessel and bring it to a rolling boil.
2 Add sugar (1.5 cups) and salt to the water and stir well till they dissolve continuously.
3 Slowly add semolina. Stir continuously till the water gets absorbed.
4 Make sure there are no lumps formed.
5 Spread it to a plate.
6 When the semolina mixture cools down make a soft dough using very little oil and water.
7 Pinch out small balls. Roll between your palm to make smooth balls. Keep aside.
For the stuffing
1 Pour little ( 1 tsp) oil or ghee in a pan.
2 Add the grated coconut to it.
3 Also add remaining sugar, crushed cardamom powder, crushed pepper and fennel seeds.
4 Fry till golden brown.
5 Remove to a plate and let it cool.
How to do the stuffing
1 Grease your hands with some oil. Take a ball and make a deep depression in between ( make it like a cup) using your fingers.
2 Put a little of the stuffing and close the ball. (Something similar to the process of stuffing potato while preparing alu paratha.
3 Make it a bit flat.
Heat some oil in a kadhai. When hot, drop these stuffed balls one by one. Fry till brown. Remove on a kitchen towel.
Serving Tips
Serve at room temperature.
Do not make the dough extra soft, else it will be difficult yo stuff it.
Do not put more stuffing, else the crust may break and the stuffing may come out.
Make sure the oil is hot before you drop them in.
You may vary the sweetness, depending upon your taste.
Other Names
Semolina - Suji, Cardamom - Elaichi, Fennel Seeds - Saunf.

Sending this recipe as an entry for Priya's cooking with Fennel Seeds.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bottle Gourd Pudding

Ritu served some chilled kheer after a lovely wholesome dinner.It tasted heavenly.I finished the entire bowl of it trying to figure out what kheer it was. After a round of guessing game, Ritu told it was Ghiye (Bottle Gourd) ka kheer. I could have never imagined it had she not spelled it out.
This Kheer is her mom's signature dessert recipe ! Can't imagine how our moms' cook so well.
Later I asked her to share this recipe for my 'guest recipe corner'. Frankly, I tricked her to prepare this lip smacking dessert again. And no prizes for guessing why :-)
Next time when you are preparing kheer, give this a try. You will absolutely fall in love with it.
Preparation Time - 1.5 hours
Serves - 4
Ghia - 1 medium size
Full Cream Milk at room temperature - 8 cups
Sugar - 1 cup
Cardamom - 3
Saffron - 1 pinch
For Garnishing
Chopped Almonds and Cashew Nuts - 1/3 cup
Whole Almonds - few
Rose Petals (optional)
Ghee for frying
Method of Preparation
1 Peel off the skin of the bottle gourd and grate it.
2 Heat ghee in heavy bottom pan, add grated Bottle gourd and fry on medium heat
till it is soft and turns slight brown in colour .
3 Take 8 cups of milk in a deep pan and allow it to boil on medium heat. Keep stirring intermittently.
4 Keep on stirring till the milk reduced to half of the original quantity.
5 Add the fried bottle gourd to this reduced milk.
6 Add sugar now and cook for another 5 minutes.
7 Turn off the heat and add cardamom powder and saffron.
8 Garnish with almonds, cardamom powder and rose petals.
Serving Tips
Serve chilled.
Other Names
Ghiya ka Kheer - Bottle Gourd Pudding,Ghia - Bottle Gourd/white gourd/calabash gourd/lauki/doodhi, Cardamom - Elaichi, Saffron - Keshar, Ghee - Clarified Butter

Sending this to Indian Khana - Festive Food

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Celebrate the festive season with Nariyal Laddu

It's just the beginning of festive season for we Indians ..... Festivals are always associated with family get together, good food, new clothes, exchange of gifts, warm feelings .... it's just an never ending list of good things.

How much I miss all the fun and frolic in this far far land. But I have to stop complaining ..... especially with such nice friends around. They are family now....

Yesterday I was at Shruti's place. Like always I was shameless to explore her kitchen. Voila .... Nariyal Laddu !! She has a huge sweet tooth and is known for her sweet dishes ..... especially Nariyal ka laddu. Well I had hogged on Shruti's laddu's on several occasions .....but never ever did I care to get the recipe from her. Every time I would catch up with her I would praise her for the perfect laddus she makes and make a plea to make some for me.

Guess it was high time to put a full stop to my tantrums of asking her to prepare them for me. She passed me the recipe .....well I am happy and not so happy about it !! Happy because I can share the wonderful recipe with all of you ...... and not so happy because I may have to stop asking her to prepare laddus for me (now that I got the recipe I have to prepare it myself, no more excuses !!).

Thanks Shruti for the lovely Nariyal Laddu's. I would love to share her recipe with all of you ....... as this is just the beginning of good times !!

Preparation Time - 60 minutes

Whole Milk - 3 cups
Powder Sugar - 1 cup
Coconut Powder - 2.5 cups
Cardamom Powder - 1/2 tsp
Raisins - 2 tsp
Method of Preparation
1 Take a heavy bottom vessel. Heat the milk on medium heat for about 40 minutes stirring occasionally. Continue till the milk reduces to 1 cup.
2 Remove the milk from flame and keep aside to cool.
3 Mix the sugar, coconut powder , cardamom powder and raisins to the milk once it is cooled.
4 Grease your palms with little clarified butter (ghee) and prepare smooth balls by rolling between your palms.
5 Roll these balls on some dry coconut powder.
Make sure you add all the ingredients only after the milk cools down
You may add more raisins if you want to the mixture.
Other Names
Nariyal Laddu - Coconut Laddu, Cardamom - Elaichi

I am happy to send this to Festive Food - Rakhi