Friday, March 30, 2012

Palak Paneer

I come across palak in our Indian super market all the time. But I have never tried out Palak Paneer. So this was my first trial, and it was a hit.

Hubby is supposed to be taking in good dairy products for Calcium. So I have been looking out for healthy paneer recipes. Whenever we go out, if ordering vegetarian gravy, Hubby orders something healthy. Like Kadai vegetable or palak paneer. So I have been thinking of making palak dishes at home for chapathi or roti.

This week I was too busy, to try out anything new. But I had already bought Palak during the weekend, and it was sitting in the fridge waiting to wilt away. So I had to make it for dinner last night. To my surprise it was quite easy and hassle free.

It turned out good, not bitter at all, as I thought it might be. It was spicy and yummy. And to think of all the vitamins and calcium from the green leafy palak and the paneer, it was a pleasure. I always use Amul Paneer, and store it in my freezer.

Palak Paneer:


Palak(Spinach) – 1 Big Bunch
Green Chillies – 4 Small
Finely Chopped onions – 1 Table sp
Cumin Seeds – ½ tea sp
Masoor Dhal – 1 Table sp
Dhania Powder – 1 Table sp
Chilli Powder – 1 ½ tea sp
Oil – 3 table sp
Paneer (Cottage Cheese) – 8-10 cubes
Big Onions – 2 or 3
Tomatoes – 3
Garlic – 9 flakes
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Garam Masala – ½ tea sp
Grated Cheese - 1 Table sp (optional) 


·         Wash and chop palak finely.
·         Add masoor dhal and palak to pressure cooker with enough water to cover it. Cook for 3 minutes.
·         Allow it to cool, strain and reserve the liquid.
·         Slice the onions and tomatoes into long thin pieces.
·         Peel garlic and cut the ginger finely.
·         Heat 1 table spoon oil, first add the garlic, ginger, onions and tomatoes in order.
·         Fry for 3 minutes.
·         Grind the cooked palak with the fried ingredients.
·         Heat the rest of the oil in a kadai, add the cumin seeds, fry the slit green chillies and 1 table sp finely cut onions. Fry for 1 minute.
·         Add the dhani powder, chilli powder and the garam masala, fry for a few seconds.
·         Then add in the ground mixture with enough salt.
·         The reserved water from the cooked palak can be poured in now as required to make the gravy.
·         Allow it to boil in a medium flame, stirring now and then.
·         Fry the panner cubes in a separate kadai with little oil, until golden brown on all sides.
·         Add the roasted panner to the gravy, mix well and remove from stove.
·         Add grated cheese and serve with cream.

Monday, March 26, 2012


Hi all. Hope you had a lovely weekend.  I have made Rasmalai about two times before. And they have always turned out well.  
It is Hubby’s favourite Indian dessert!! So I try to make it when possible, even though it has so many steps involved. But all the hard work pays off, rewarding you with these yummy, fluffy and delicate Rasmalais!

 Rasmalai: Makes 15 rasmalais
  • Milk 4 cups
  • Saffron, cardamom, pista, almonds A pinch
  • Lemon juice as per requirement
  • Water 3 cups
  • Sugar 1 cup
  • For the Syrup
  • Milk 3 cups
  • Sugar 4 1/2 tbsp

  • Boil the 4 cups of milk for the paneer till it is reduced to 1 3/4 cups.
  • Also boil the remaining 3cups of milk and as it starts to boil, put in the lemon juice to make it curdle, stirring continuously.
  • Once the curdling process is completed, drain the contents into a thin muslin cloth.
  • In another vessel, add the water and the sugar.
  • Remove the paneer from the muslin cloth and make around 15 balls with it.
  • Place the balls in the pressure cooker and wait for two whistles.
  • Now, in the milk made ready for the Ras, add the sugar, cardamom, pista, almonds and saffron.
  • Remove the paneer balls from the pressure cooker and drain any excess water by pressing them gently with a spoon.
  • When the milk is cool enough, add the paneer balls into it and refrigerate.
  • Mouth watering Rasmalai is ready to be served!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hubby and I were to meet with a few of his North Indian colleagues over the weekend. We meet at the Lakeside park. It was a wonderful evening, and the place was so beautiful. We had so much fun and games! 

All of has decided on a pot-luck style dinner, so each family got to bring something. I made some veg. noodles as main course, and decided to bake some cookies for dessert or as a snack. But most of our friends were pure vegetarians and don’t eat eggs. So this was a challenge for me. Because, I have never tried out an eggless cookie or a cake recipe before.


I have been asked a lot of times before, about eggless recipes. So this seemed like a good time for me to do some research on eggless baking. I decided to make Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookies. And I started collecting recipes. I had 4-5 recipes that I was going to try out. The first recipe was a simple cookie recipe, without egg. I thought this was so simple, and tried out my first batch. It wasn’t nice at all, too oily and too hard. 

So I went to me second recipe on my list. This time it included flax seeds as a replacement for eggs. I was sceptical at first. But still gave it a try, and the cookies were so good! They were crunchy and chocolaty! Perfectly cooked! I was so relieved that they came out good! And the flax seeds are high in fibre, and also contain omega 3 fatty acids, so double ok for the Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookies!!!

Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookies 

·         1 1/4 Cup - All Purpose Flour
·         1/4 tea sp  - Baking soda
·         1 pinch  - salt
·         1/2 Cup -  Brown Sugar
·         1/4 Cup  - White Sugar
·         1/2 Cup - Butter
·         2 table sp - Ground Flax Seed  ( got mine at NTUC )
·         3 table sp - Warm Water
·         1 tea sp - Vanilla Essence  
·         1 Cup - Chocolate Chips ( I used Hershey’s )


·         Preheat your oven to 160°C for 10 minutes.
·         Mix the ground flax seed with the warm water. Allow it to sit for 2 minutes.
·         Sift together the all-purpose flour, baking soda and the salt.
·         In a separate bowl, combine together the brown & white sugar, butter and flax seed mixture.  Mix thoroughly. 
·         Add the sifted flour to the sugar and butter mixture.  Mix until combined.
·         You should have a nice stiff dough.
·         Mix in your chocolate chips.
·         Cover your baking tray with butter paper.
·         Form small balls of dough with wet hands.
·         Place on the baking tray with 2 inch space between them, and slightly press them flat.
·         Bake for 20 minutes at 160°C, until golden brown.

This one is for all you vegan out there! enjoy! And for non-vegan, Please add two eggs in place of the flax seed and warm water. Thanks.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Strawberry CupCakes

This is a very late post. I made these strawberry cupcakes for valentines day. But since I just started this blog, I am posting this recipe now.

I wanted to do something special for valentine’s day. I had this recipe for strawberry cupcakes and strawberry cream cheese frosting for a long long time. But the recipe seemed a bit complicated so I kept putting it off. But now I was bored with muffins, so wanted to try cupcakes with frosting! And valentine’s day seemed a perfect excuse for it.

The baking of the cupcakes were easier than I thought. But the frosting part gave me a migraine! I made a mistake of buying ‘spredable cream cheese’ instead of ‘block’ cream cheese. And so my frosting was too runny, for me to pipe it on the cupcakes. But it tasted so good, and I hate to waste good frosting, so I ended up spooning the runny frosting on top of the cupcakes.

I passed the cupcakes to friends, and they all were so thankful for the lovely valentine’s gift! They cakes were so moist, and so pink on the inside! I forgot to take a picture of the inside of the cakes. But they were so pink and yummy! Especially with the cream cheese frosting!

Strawberry CupCake:
Yield: 3 dozen cupcakes or 3, 9 inch round cake pans.

  • 1 cup Butter
  • 2 & 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 5 Eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Red Food Coloring
  • 1 & 1/4 cups Pureed Strawberries
  • 3 cups Cake Flour, sifted
  • t teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • pinch Salt
  • 1 cup Buttermilk 


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat butter with sugar for 3 minutes.
  3. Add egg yolks one at a time, then the vanilla, food coloring and strawberries, beat for another 3 minutes.
  4. Sift dry ingredients and add to butter/egg mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
  5. Mix just till combined.
  6. In another bowl and clean beaters, beat egg whites till stiff and add in an increment of 3 to cake batter, being sure to fold in thoroughly but gently.
  7. Bake for 18 or so minutes for cupcakes and 20-25 minutes for 9 inch round cake pans

Cream Cheese Buttercream
  • 1 - 8oz Cream Cheese, room temp
  • 1/2 cup Butter, room temp
  • 1/3 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Red Food Coloring
  • 1 lb. Powdered Sugar

Cooking Directions
  1. In a medium bowl, add cream cheese and butter, whip till light and creamy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add liquids and blend.
  3. Slowly add powdered sugar while mixing, (to keep the sugar from decorating your counters and appliances, not including you.)
  4. At this point you may need to add more powdered sugar. You are trying to achieve a medium stiff consistency. Whip for several minutes.

Blueberry Wholewheat Muffins

Oh muffins, how do I love thee? I make these for breakfast all the time. They are super easy to make, and convenient as a grab and go sort of breakfast. There are so many possibilities of what you can add to the muffin batter I am certain you will find a combination that you (and your kids) will love. They freeze beautifully!!

I put strawberries or blueberries in some and some leftover pear that I had on hand in others…and why not raisins?


  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour (I used Ashirvad Atta)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup orange juice or apple juice
  • About 1 cup of total filling (berries, fruit, nuts, etc. – see below for details)
  • Muffin/Cupcake liners
  • ¼ cup white sugar


  1.      Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl with a fork or whisk mix the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Make a well (hole) in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the eggs, honey, vanilla, oil and orange juice.
  4. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together – do not over mix.
  5. Line a muffin pan with liners and fill 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full with batter.
  6. Sprinkle 1 – 2 teaspoons of whatever you would like (from the list below or from your own creation) onto the top of each raw muffin in the pan.
  7. Then gently mix each one with a fork or spoon. Here are some options to consider for the fillings:

  • blueberries
  • diced strawberries
  • peeled and diced pears
  • either diced or mashed up bananas and chopped walnuts
  • grated carrot and chopped walnuts
  • orange or lemon zest (only add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of zest per individual muffin)
  • a mix of dried fruit bits
  • jelly

8.   After the filling has been mixed into each muffin slide the tray into the warm oven and bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature and freeze some for a later date.

9.   Yield: 12 muffins

Pasta Alio Olio

A lot of my friends have asked me for a vegetarian pasta recipe. And hence so this post.  I make this pasta so often in our. I make it with hot hot green chillies and capsicums, both of which I love!

I came up with this recipe one night around 2 AM.  I was so so hungry, and couldn’t sleep.  So I went to my pantry and saw what I use to make a quick and satisfying meal. And found some leftover whole wheat pasta.  We try to avoid white flour in our home, and so I buy whole wheat pasta. The taste needs some getting used too, but we are used to it by now.

Pasta Alio Olio
About half a pack – cooked sphagetti
3 tbl sp – Olive oil
2 – green chillies
½ - Capsicum (finely diced)
2 – cloves of garlic (finely grated)
Salt – to taste
1 table sp – mixed herbs (oregano, thyme, rosemary)
1 table sp – fresh parsley/coriander (finely diced)

      -          Heat the olive oil in a pan
-          Add the grated garlic and sauté for a minute
-          Add the chillies, salt , and capsicum. Fry well.
-          Add the mixed herbs and fry for a minute.
-          Now add the cooked pasta to the pan.
-         Sauté until well mixed and heated through.
-          Now sprinkle with fresh parsley/coriander, serve hot.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lemon Cupcakes

I was meeting a long-time friend for dinner at Canelé Pâtisserie Chocolaterie @ Raffles City. We were both dessert lovers, so it seemed like an ideal choice. But unfortunately the main courses were very limited, and the taste was too bland. It just not acceptable for the prices they charge. But the desserts were good, and we enjoyed their macaroons.
Another friend of mine who is a Vanilla lover, requested me to try out some vanilla cupcakes. For me personally vanilla is just too plain. I couldn’t bring myself to just make plain old vanilla cupcakes; it seemed too much of an effort. 
I have been wanting to try out some lemon/carrot cupcakes for a while now. And this dinner seemed like a perfect opportunity for some lemon cupcakes. I also had some cream cheese and lemon in hand, so I decided to add some cream cheese frosting. These cupcakes are not too sweet, so they need a sweet frosting to balance it out.

The recipe was super simple, and the added lemon zest was so refreshing a taste! This was my first successful attempt at “piping” frosting, and I am so glad that it turned out well. I stored the frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator until I left for dinner. And they were out of the fridge for 5 long hours, before my friend could take them home and put them in back in her fridge. And I was surprised to see that the frosting was still in shape, and not melted like I thought they would.

So now I have a perfect cream cheese frosting recipe which I can use for my future cupcakes!!

Lemon Cupcakes:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons grated lemon zest (plus more if it’s not lemony enough for you!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin tin with baking cups.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest and salt; mix well.
  • Add wet ingredients and mix well.
  • Pour batter into the lined muffin tin. Bake for about 16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.                          
  • Let them cool.
  • Pipe Cream Cheese frosting on top. And refrigerate. 
The added lemon zest on top was a very, very wise decision. With each bite, you get moist lemony cake goodness, sweet cream cheese frosting and an added zest from the additional lemon! It’s like a summer party in your mouth.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I forgot to buy bread this weekend. Now I had nothing to have for breakfast. But  I was real hungry and I decided to make pancakes. I really wanted waffles, but I don’t have a waffle iron, sigh… 

I have made pancakes a few times before, but hubby doesn’t like pancakes. So I make it for myself during weekdays. These pancakes were light and fluffy. Pancakes are traditionally eaten with maple syrup, but I don’t usually buy maple syrup. I just use honey or chocolate syrup or some strawberry preserve to go with my pancakes.

Makes 8 pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted


1.     In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
2.     Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter;
mix until smooth.
3.     Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat.
4.     Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake.
5.     Brown on both sides and serve hot.