Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Paneer Kalimirch (Cottage cheese in black pepper gravy)

It you are looking for unique recipe for a dinner tonight or want the guest to admire your cooking skill, this is the recipe for you to try. After a regular kadai paneer, mutter paneer or paneer makhani, this recipe will surely bring a change to your dining menu. Panner is cooked to perfection in silky, velvety, creamy and smooth textured kali mirch (black pepper) gravy. Cashew and saffron in the gravy gives a royal feel to the tastebuds.
Black pepper is native to south India, and is extensively cultivated there and elsewhere in tropical regions. Currently Vietnam is the world's largest producer and exporter of pepper. Dried ground pepper has been used since antiquity for both its flavour and as a medicine. Black pepper is the world's most traded spice. It is one of the most common spices added to European cuisine and its descendants.

Serve :                2
Preparation time:                35 minutes


Paneer (cottage cheese):                   100 grams (cut in cubes)
Black peppercorns:                          1 teaspoon (freshly crushed)
Onion:                                              2 large (thinly sliced)
Tomato:                                            2 small
Clove:                                              2-3
Cinnamon:                                        1/2 inch
Green cardamom:                             2-3
Bay leaves:                                         1-2
Ginger garlic chilli paste:                   1/2 tablespoon
Coriander powder:                           1/2 tablespoon
Red chilli powder:                            1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder:                            1/2 teaspoon
Kasuri methi:                                   1/2 teaspoon (dry roasted and crushed)
Garam masala:                                 1/4 teaspoon
Ghee:                                              1/2 tablespoon
Cashew nut:                                     1/2 cup
Fresh cream:                                    1/4 cup
Lemon juice:                                    1 teaspoon
Saffron:                                            a pinch
Salt to taste


1) Heat some oil in a pan, add cinnamon, clove, cardamom and bay leaf till fragrant. Add chopped onion till translucent for about 2-3 minutes.
2) Add ginger garlic and chilli paste mix and saute for 2 minutes.
3) Add chopped tomatoes and cook it for another 4-5 minutes covered until the tomatoes are soft and pulpy.
4) Add coriander powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder & salt. Let it cook for another 2-3 minutes mixing well. Switch off the heat and let it cool.
5) Grind the cooked masala with 1/2 cup of water into a fine paste. Strain it into a bowl and set aside.
6) Heat some ghee in another pan and add crushed peppercorns and cashew nut, saute until nuts are light brown.
7) Add the strained gravy along with 1/2 cup of water. Stir to mix and cook for 5-6 minutes.
8) Add kasuri methi, cream and paneer cubes, mix well and bring it to boil
9) To finish add saffron, lemon juice, and garam masala powder, cook for another minute.
10) Serve hot garnished with crushed peppercorn and coriander sprig.

If you love this recipe you should certainly try Panner Chandni (an authentic Paneer recipe from king's Awadhi kitchen)-


Friday, August 23, 2013

Blueberry Basil Cheesecake (No bake)

I am happy, it’s no bake, its quick, its small, and it’s an individual serve size, perfect for a quick summer dessert. Cheesecakes have always been a fascination for me. I have not yet made any proper cheesecake for my blog but yes this recipe is definitely a good start towards it.
Cheesecake is a sweet dish consisting primarily of a mixture of soft, fresh cheese, eggs, and sugar; often on a crust or base made from crushed cookies or graham crackers, pastry or sponge cake. It may be baked or unbaked. Cheesecake is usually sweetened with sugar and may be flavored or topped with fruit, whipped cream, nuts, fruit sauce and/or chocolate. Cheesecake can be prepared in many flavors, such as strawberry, pumpkin, key lime, or toffee. Cheesecake is usually served as a dessert.
(Source- wikipedia)

Serve:      4
Preparation time :              20 minutes

Graham crumb:              1 cup (substitute: Crushed digestive biscuits)
Butter:                           4 tablespoon
Cream cheese:               1 cup
Blueberry:                      1 cup (fresh)
Basil:                              5-6 leaves (finely chopped)
Heavy cream:                 1 cup
Sugar:                            4 tablespoon (powdered)
Lemon zest:                    1/4 teaspoon
Lemon juice:                  1 tablespoon


1) Mix the crumb and butter together and spoon it in the bottom of the glass. Let it cool refrigerator for 15 minutes.
2) Crush half cup blueberry, add it to the cream cheese, add basil leaves, lemon juice and zest. Mix well.
3) Whisk the heavy cream until soft peak, add sugar and whisk again until stiff peak forms.
4) Gently fold the cream cheese mixture and heavy cream.
5) Spoon it over the crumb mixture in the glass. Top it up with fresh blueberry and some basil leaf.

6) Keep it cold until served.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Grilled Garlic & Thyme Chicken

A delicate looking herb with a penetrating fragrance, thyme is a wonderful addition to poultry, bean, egg and vegetable dishes.
An interesting piece of history about thyme: Ancient Egyptians used thyme for embalming. The ancient Greeks used it in their baths and burnt it as incense in their temples, believing it was a source of courage. The spread of thyme throughout Europe was thought to be due to the Romans, as they used it to purify their rooms and to "give an aromatic flavour to cheese and liqueurs". In the European Middle Ages, the herb was placed beneath pillows to aid sleep and ward off nightmares. In this period, women would also often give knights and warriors gifts that included thyme leaves, as it was believed to bring courage to the bearer. Thyme was also used as incense and placed on coffins during funerals, as it was supposed to assure passage into the next life.
(Source: Wikipedia)

Today's recipe is a classic example of simplicity at its best. It is a quick and simple recipe to make and yet healthy for all age group people. Even my 3 year old enjoys it always.

Serve:            2-3 persons
Preparation time:    60 minutes


Chicken Drumsticks:              600 grams (with or without skin)
Thyme:                                  1 tablespoon
Red onion:                             1 medium (cut in squares)
Yellow capsicum                   1/2 (cut in squares)
Lemon Juice:                         2 tablespoon
Lemon slices:                         2-3 slice (medium thick)
Garlic:                                   5-6 cloves (crushed)
Olive Oil:                              1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Freshly crushed pepper


1) Preheat the oven at 250 degree celsius. Spread chicken, onion & capsicum in a bake and serve evenly.
2) Crush the garlic and spread over the chicken. Arrange the lemon slices.
3) Add lemon juice, olive oil salt and pepper and bake it for 30 minutes.
4) Change the oven to grill mode and cook it for further 15-20 minutes until brown and crispy.
5) Serve hot with additional seasoning if required.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Devil's Food White Out Cake

This cake certainly needs to be special because today is the most special day for 13 Secret Sauce as completing one successful year with blogging and cooking. The cake was selected from my favourite and for all the amateur bakers favourite baking bible "Baking from my home to yours". This twin layered devilishly dark chocolate cake has the rich chocolaty flavor of cocoa, bittersweet and semisweet chocolate. This cake has dense, firm super fudgy brownie kind of texture which makes it really special. This cake can be made for any big of small occasions. This cake looks more spectacular when a layer of coal- dark crust is broken into crumb and pressed over the frosting.

Adapted from “BAKING from my home to yours” by Dorie Greenspan

 Makes:              12 Serving
Preparation:       3 hours plus cooling


All purpose flour:                       1 1/3 cups
Unsweetened cocoa powder:     1/2 cups
Baking soda:                              3/4 teaspoon
Baking powder:                         1/2 teaspoon
Unsalted butter:                         10 tablespoon
Light brown sugar:                     1/2 cup
White sugar:                              1/2 cup
Egg:                                          3 large (at room temperature)
Vanilla extract:                          1 teaspoon
Bittersweet chocolate:               50 grams (melted and cooled)
Buttermilk or whole milk:           1/2 cup
Boiling water:                            1/2 cup
Semisweet chocolate:                100 grams

For filling and frosting:

Cream cheese:          400 grams
Heavy cream:           400 grams
Vanilla sugar:            4 tablespoon


1) Preheat oven at 180 degree celsius and line a cake pan with butter and dust it with the flour. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
2) Sieve together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3) Beat the butter in a medium speed using a stand mixer or a hand mixer until soft and creamy.
4) Add sugar and continue to beat for another 3 minutes.
5) Add egg one at a time beating for 1 minute each. Beat in the vanilla extract.
6) Reduce the mixer to low speed and add melted chocolate. When fully incorporated add milk and alternately dry ingredient. Milk in 2 and dry mixture in 3 portions (begin and end with dry mixture).
7) Mix until the ingredient disappears in the mixture. At this point it looks like a thick frosting; mix the boiling water at low speed.
8) Using a rubber spatula scrap the mixing bowl and stir in the chopped semi sweet chocolate.
9) Divide the batter in two small cake pans if you require 3 layers or a single large pan if making twin layer.
10) Bake for 45 minutes if making a large single cake. Check if the tester comes out clean.
11) Cool down the cake on a wire rack. Slice the top crown using a long serrated knife gently in sawing motion. Set 2 layers aside and crumble the crown portion of the cake for decoration.
For frosting:
1) Beat using a stand mixer heavy all the heavy cream until stiff peak, add cream cheese and vanilla sugar mix again and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
For assembly:
1) Put 1 of the cake round layer on a plate or the cardboard base. Top it up with the about 1/3 portion of frosting spread it using a metal icing spatula. Top with second layer cut side down and frost the side and the top.
2) Smooth the frosting roughly. Now cover the cake with the cake crumbs gently pressing the crumbs into the frosting with your fingers. Refrigerate the cake until served at least 1 hour. Cover it loosely to avoid any smell from other food in refrigerator.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Chicken Couscous salad

A combination of chicken and couscous makes this 20 minutes one dish meal. This recipe has flavours of cumin, cinnamon, ginger and cayenne pepper to give it typical Middle Eastern feel.
Couscous is a traditional North African dish of semolina (granules of durum wheat) which is cooked by steaming. It is traditionally served with a meat or vegetable stew spooned over it. Couscous is a staple food throughout the North African cuisines of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania and Libya.
(Source: Wikipedia)

Serve:                    2
Preparation time:    20 minutes

Chicken breast:                       400 grams (cubed)
Couscous:                               1/2 cups
Olive oil:                                  1 tablespoon
Onion:                                      1 small (finely sliced)
Vegetable stock:                       1 cups
Garlic:                                       1 clove(thinly sliced)
Cumin:                                       1/4 teaspoon
Cinnamon:                                 1/4 teaspoon
Ground Ginger:                          1/4 teaspoon
Cayenne Pepper:                        1/4 teaspoon
Carrot:                                       1/2 cup (Shredded or cut in small pieces)
Raisin:                                        1/4 cup
Almond:                                     5-6 (toasted and slivered)
Salt & Pepper to taste


1) Heat oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add onion and saute 3 minutes.
2) Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add to pan and saute 3 minutes, stirring. Add garlic, cumin, cinnamon, ginger & cayenne. Toss it for another minute.
3) Add vegetable stock; bring to a simmer. Add carrot and raisins and simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
4) Stir in couscous. Cover; remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes.
5) Serve topped with almonds.