Thursday, 20 June 2013

How to keep your kitchen cool at all times?

Your kitchen is a place where a lot of heat and steam is produced due to the varied cooking processes. In summers, the kitchen feels stuffy and performing the daily kitchen chores is extremely distressing. The heat levels in the kitchen are also determined by its size. A smaller kitchen heats up faster than a larger kitchen. If only we could avoid the excess heat generation in the kitchen, then we might get some respite while cooking.

Follow these simple steps and stay cool in your kitchen:

Time of Cooking: Morning is the best time to cook your food and also prevents your kitchen from heating up. The cooking process generates heat. Thus, cook in the morning, when it is relatively cool, as opposed to the afternoon when the sun is right above us.

Ventilation: Your kitchen windows and other outlets are extremely important for a cool kitchen. Leave your kitchen windows open for free air circulation. Plus, to get the strong smells and hot air out of the kitchen, you can also install an exhaust fan or a kitchen chimney.

Use oven infrequently: The oven is one of the main sources of heat generation. Frequent baking keeps the kitchen area hot. Opening the oven repeatedly while cooking releases hot air from within, thus instantly heating up the kitchen. Mornings and evening are the best times to bake as the ambient air is cooler than in the afternoons. If you have to bake multiple dishes, or in large quantities, then plan accordingly so that you can finish off the tasks within a set time. This helps save energy and time, simplifies your tasks and also helps minimize your stress levels.

Pressure cooking:
 The pressure cooker is one of the fastest methods of cooking. You can cook two or three different food items at a go. With innovative ways of cooking, you can use this pressure cooker in many more ways. For instance, you can use this miraculous machine to bake delicious cakes as well. Faster cooking time and low heat generation minimizes the heat levels in the kitchen.

Slow cooker cooking: This is one of the best and easiest methods of keeping your kitchen cool. Fill the cooker with food and it will be ready at the end of the day. What’s more, slow cooker cooking does not even require supervision. This slow cooking method is ideal for cooking pork, chicken and shrimps.

Solar cooking: Harness the powerful energy of the sun to cook healthy meals. Fill the solar cooker with dals, rice or any food that takes a long time to cook. Leave the cooker out in the sun early in the morning. By lunchtime your food will be ready.

Smart cooking appliances: Many new age energy-efficient counter-top cooking appliances, such as a smart toaster, griddle, grill, electric cooker, etc, help save on cooking time. One can make use of them frequently to cook food instead of a stove or oven. This not only makes your cooking an easier process but also is energy efficient.

Induction cooking: Induction cooktops and burners are powerful and efficient and help save on cooking time and energy, which means you have to spend less time in the kitchen. Plus, the induction appliances are low on heat production.

Cooking without fire: Fresh fruit and vegetable salads can be prepared without using fire. These are healthy, cooling to the body, quick and easy to prepare and also save on fuel, thus, helps keep the kitchen cool.

Heating appliances: Ensure that the oven and kitchen lights are off when not in use. Turn off all heating appliances, before you leave the kitchen. This not only keeps the kitchen cool, it also saves your money.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Home made PIZZA

I just followed the base recipe and method of Rachna, the recipe is a keeper! Right from the salt,everything is perfect measurement!
And If I could make,any one can make it :) So don’t be afraid to try it out yourself !

Ingredients for the dough:

All purpose flour/Maida1& 1/2 cups
Active dry yeast1 tblsp
Milk1/4 cup
Water1/4 cup
Sugar1/2 tblsp
Salt3/4 tsp
Olive oil1/8 cup

Topping what i have used:

Pasta sauce(Have to use a pizza sauce spread,since I dont had,I used this)1  1/2 tblsp
Tomato1/2,Chopped, De-seeded.
Baby corn2 nos.slit length wise
Paneer cubes6- 10 cubes
Tandoori masala powder1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder1/2 tsp
Any kind of cheese(I used mozzarella and parmesan)To cover the toppings.


Method for Dough:

  1. Take a broad vessel,add oilive oil,sugar,salt and boil the water and add to it.Mix well to dissolve sugar and salt and then add the milk and yeast.
  2. Mix well to dissolve the yeast.
  3. Ingredientsmixed together

  4. Add the flour and gather to get a smooth dough. No need to knead so much.
  5. Add flourSmooth dough

  6. Keep covered with a wet cloth till an hour.
  7. b4after

  8. After an hour it will be doubled in size.
  9. double the size raised dough

  10. Again gather to make a smooth pliable dough,I dint fly the dough in air,just rolled using rolling pin (Adjust the thickness and roll out to a single base) and folded the ends as shown in the pictures.(You can prick the base with fork to make sure of getting cooked every where,but I forgot to do so,still mine got cooked fine)
  11. Flour the surface flatten to make round shape

To make it as a Pizza:

  1. Spread the sauce and sprinkle some cheese.(Optional to spread cheese at this stage)
  2. Spread sauceSpread cheese

  3. Arrange the toppings as desired and add the grated cheese to cover the toppings.
  4. Arrange toppingcover with cheese

  5. Lastly to make it Indian,I sprinkled the masala powders.Drizzle with little olive oil on top.
  6. Sprinkle masala

To bake:

  1. Grease a pizza pan,with olive oil and transfer the prepared pizza to it,I dont have any pan so I just lined my tray in the oven (combination oven,I used the convection mode to bake ) with aluminium foil to bake the pizza :)
  2. Preheat the oven for 210 degree Celsius and bake for 12- 15 mins..,till the base and the cheese turns golden brown.
  3. In oven b4 bakingAfter baking

  4. Cut the pizzas with pizza cutter/knife and make wedges and enjoy hot,spicy  and yummy pizza :)
  5. Sliced

    I have recently only started baking and enjoy baking a lot now,so even if you are a beginner or new to baking,please don’t hesitate to try this one,its very easy,easier than our day to day cooking ;)

Friday, 26 April 2013

Nutritious Soya Kababs

  • Soyabean(Nutrela Stricks) - 1/2 kg 
  • Salt - To Taste
  • Cooking Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Red Chilli Powder - 11/2 tsp
  • Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
  • Amchoor - 1 tsp
  • Tomatoes - 8
  • Onions - 4
  • Garlic - 4-5 pieces
  • Ginger - 1 piece of 3"
  • Coriander Leaves for garnishing - 15-20 leaves
  • jeera - 1 tsp
  • Water - 1/4 cup

  1. Take soyabean (Nutrela) sticks and Soaked in water for about 4 hours

  2. Squeeze sticks until they get totally dry. All the water should be released.

  3. Heat oil in pan. Put jeera in oil.

  4. Add chopped Onion, Ginger and garlic paste in Pan. Stir well.

  5. Fry the paste until it attains pinkish(pink) color.

  6. Add chopped tomato or tomato paste in pan. Mix well with the paste of onion, ginger and garlic. Cook for 4-5 minutes.

  7. Add Salt, red chilli powder, dhania(coriander) powder, amchoor in above paste and mix well. Cook well for 4-5 minutes.

  8. Add water equal to 1/4 of cup. This is to avoid burning of mixture. This will also provide liquidity to the paste.

  9. When the mixture becomes thick, stop cooking and add garam masala. Switch off the burner. The curry for this dish is ready now.

  10. Take another pan and put 1 tbsp of oil. Heat oil.

  11. Fry Soyabean sticks in this pan until they become crispy. It is advised to fry 4-5 sticks at a time.

  12. After frying your sticks; Mix the sticks with the curry prepared in (step 9)

  13. Garnish the preparation with coriander leaves. Serve Hot with your choice of Nan/Bread/Chapati/Rumaali roti.

Paneer Chilli Rolls

Cottage cheese (paneer),grated100 grams
Green chillies,chopped2-3
Red chilli powder1/2 teaspoon
Chaat masala1 teaspoon
Mozzarella cheese,grated1/4 cup
Saltto taste
Fresh coriander leaves,chopped2 tablespoons
Samosa Patties8
Oilto deep fry
Sweet chilli sauceto serve
Mix together cottage cheese, green chillies, red chilli powder, chaat masala, mozzarella cheese, salt and coriander leaves in a bowl.

Place the samosa pattis on the worktop and dampen the edges. Place a portion of stuffing on one side of the sheet and roll the sheet tightly. Seal the edges properly.

Heat sufficient oil in a kadai and deep-fry the rolls on medium heat till golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper. Serve hot with sweet chilli sauce.

Achari Paneer Tikka

Pickle gravy2 teaspoons
Cottage cheese (paneer)250 grams
Coriander seeds1 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds (methi dana)1/4 teaspoon
Onion seeds (kalonji)1/2 teaspoon
Hung yogurt1/4 cup
Ginger-garlic paste1 teaspoon
Saltto taste
Red chilli powder1/4 teaspoon
Garam masala powder1/4 teaspoon
Mustard powder1/4 teaspoon
Turmeric powdera pinch
Oil2 tablespoons
Fresh mint (pudina)a few sprigs
Dry roast coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, onion seeds till fragrant. Set aside to cool. Place hung yogurt in a bowl, add ginger-garlic paste, salt, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, mustard powder, pickle gravy, turmeric powder and mix well.

Crush the roasted spices in a mortar with the pestle. Add a little of the crushed spices to the yogurt and mix well. Cut cottage cheese into 1 inch cubes and add to the yogurt mixture and mix well so that all the cottage pieces are well coated. Let them marinate for around 15 minutes.

Heat oil in a non stick pan. String the cottage cheese cubes onto satay sticks and place them in the pan. Cook, rotating the sticks, so that the cottage cheese cubes get evenly cooked all around. Arrange them on a serving plate, garnish with mint sprig and serve hot.

Noodle Tadka

Noodles,boiled2 cups
Oil3 tablespoons
Mustard seeds1 teaspoon
Curry leaves8-10
Onions,chopped2 medium
Potatoes,peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes2 medium
Shelled green peas1 cup
Turmeric powder1/2 teaspoon
Green chillies,chopped4
Saltto taste
Peanuts,fried1/2 cup
Lemon juice3 tablespoons
Scraped coconut1/2 cup
Fresh coriander leaves,chopped3 tablespoons
Heat oil in a non-stick pan, add mustard seeds when they splutter, add curry leaves and onions and sauté till the onions are translucent. Add potatoes, peas, turmeric powder, green chilies and salt. Mix well and cook till potatoes are soft.

Add noodles and peanuts and sauté for two minutes. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and coconut and mix well. Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Gulab Jamun

Mawa (khoya)1 1/2 cup
Chenna1/4 cup
Soda bicarbonate1/4 teaspoon
Refined flour (maida)3 tablespoons
Green cardamom powder1/4 teaspoon
Sugar2 cups
Gheeto deep fry
Grate khoya and mash chenna and keep aside. Mix the two along with soda bicarbonate, refined flour, green cardamom powder and a little water to make a soft dough. Divide into sixteen equal portions and shape into balls. Prepare a sugar syrup with sugar and two cups of water. Clear the syrup by removing the scum, if any. Heat ghee/oil in a kadai. Add the balls and deep fry on low heat till golden in colour. Drain and soak in the sugar syrup for atleast fifteen to twenty minutes before serving. 

Chef's Tip
Temperature of the oil should be low or the jamuns will remain uncooked from inside. You may stuff Gulab Jamuns with saffron and pistachio nuts or mishri.


Cottage cheese (paneer)400 grams
Onion ,quartered2 large
Oil2 tablespoons
Black peppercorns4-5
Cinnamon2 one inch sticks
Bay leaf1
Green chillies,slit2
Ginger paste1 teaspoon
Garlic paste1 teaspoon
Cashewnut paste1/4 cup
Yogurt1/2 cup
Cream1/2 cup
Saffron (kesar)a pinch
Garam masala powder1/2 teaspoon
Saltto taste
Green cardamom powder1/4 teaspoon
Cut the paneer into half inch wide and one inch long pieces. Boil the onions in quarter cup of water. Drain and allow to cool. Grind to a fine paste. Heat the oil in a kadai, add the cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon and bay leaf and sauté till fragrant. Add the green chillies and boiled onion paste and sauté for three to four minutes on low heat so it does not get coloured. Add the ginger paste and garlic paste and continue to sauté for half a minute. Add the cashewnut paste and sauté for another two minutes. Add the yogurt and sauté till the water from the yogurt gets absorbed. Stir in the cream, saffron and garam masala powder and salt to taste. Add the paneer and stir gently to mix. Sprinkle green cardamom powder and serve hot. 

Monday, 22 April 2013

Summer Drink Recipes

Pomegranate Kiwi Sangria Bliss

What’s better than an ice cold refreshing drink on a hot summer’s day? These summertime beverage recipes are fun, fruity and tropical alternatives to traditional lemonade. Plus, you can squeeze even more goodness from your concoctions by freezing up treats all summer long.

Red, White and Blueberry Smoothie 
This frosty and patriotic delight is an effortless treat. Enjoy the sweet summer berries and try something unique for dessert.

1 cup whipped cream
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 dash of lemon juice
Sugar, to taste
A few small, fresh strawberries, to garnish

  1. Mix together all ingredients in a blender and blend until desired thickness.
  2. Wash fresh strawberries and slit at the bottom to use as garnish for individual glasses.
Pomegranate Sangria Bliss 
Pomegranates are all the rage, and while the fruit isn’t available in the summer, the juice is easy to find. This fruit-infused cocktail is a non-alcoholic take on the summer party staple, sangria. It’s good for you too; pomegranates are loaded with healthy antioxidants.

1 quart pomegranate juice
2 cups papaya, mango or apple juice
1-2 oranges (depending on size)
6-8 strawberries
2 kiwis
1/2 cup sugar

  1. Mix juices and sugar briskly until sugar dissolves.
  2. Wash oranges and berries and cut into thin, round slices.
  3. Remove kiwi skin and cut into thick, round slices. Place all fruit into your juice mixture and allow the flavors to blend in fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight, before serving.
  4. Serve in individual glasses, garnished with fresh fruit slices.
Mango Madness Smoothie and Lemonade 
Mango Madness Smoothie and Lemonade Mango can add a bit of exotic flavor to your everyday summer drinks or smoothies. Summer is also the best season for fresh mangos. Look for plump fruits without soft spots, shriveled skin or blemishes. The color will vary depending on the type, but many will be green.

Mango Smoothie

1 mango, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups ice
1/2 fresh pineapple, cut into chunks (or one 12-oz can pineapple chunks)
1 tablespoon honey

  1. Place all ingredients, except honey, into a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into chilled glasses and drizzle with honey.
  3. Garnish with a mango or pineapple slice, if desired.
Tip: Freeze your blended smoothie for 20 minutes for a firmer texture.

Mango Lemonade

2 large ripe mangos
2 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups lemon juice
1 cup sugar, more if desired
Mint sprigs, as much as desired
Pitcher, with lid

  1. Peel, pit and chop mangos into chunks.
  2. In a food processor or blender, puree the mango. There should be about 2 cups of puree when you’re finished.
  3. In a pitcher, combine the mango puree, water, lemon juice and sugar. Stir well to dissolve the sugar.
  4. Cover with lid and refrigerate until very cold, at least 5 hours and preferably overnight. This allows the flavors to blend and intensify.
  5. Taste and add additional sugar if desired.
  6. Pour the lemonade over ice in tall glasses. Garnish with mint, and serve.
Pomegranate-Ginger Lemonade Spritzer

2 cups lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 cups water
16 ounces pomegranate juice
2 1/2 cups ginger ale

  1. In a large pitcher, stir together all of the ingredients. Serve over ice with a lemon slice for garnish.
Tip: Like other dark, tart fruits—think blueberries and plums—pomegranates are an excellent source of antioxidants.

Tip: In place of the pomegranate juice, use pureed frozen strawberries for a different flavor.

Rosemary Peach Frost Rosemary Peach Frost

INGREDIENTS 1 bag frozen peaches
1 sprig of rosemary
24 ounces club soda
1 cup granulated sugar
Juice of half a lemon

  1. Place the peaches, rosemary, club soda, lemon juice and sugar in a blender.
  2. Blend till smooth and serve in a high ball glass with sprig of rosemary as garnish.
No summer party or cookout is complete without special summer drinks. These sweet summer sips will help bring something unique and refreshing to your summer table.

Lemonade Raspberry Ice Cubes and Ginger Ale Ice Cubes with Lemon Zest Lemonade Raspberry Ice Cubes and Ginger Ale Ice Cubes with Lemon Zest
Add a taste of summer to any drink with these flavored ice cubes. Serve with iced tea, cranberry juice or whatever quenches your thirst.

2 cups lemonade
24 fresh raspberries
2 cups of ginger ale
Zest of 2 lemons
4 ice cube trays

  1. Pour the lemonade into two ice cube trays.
  2. In the lemonade trays, place one raspberry per cube.
  3. Pour the ginger ale into a large bowl and stir in lemon zest.
  4. Pour the ginger ale mixture into the other two trays.
  5. Freeze and serve.
No summer party or cookout is complete without special summer drinks. These sweet summer sips will help bring something unique and refreshing to your summer table.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Mixed Vegetable Manchurian

Cabbage,grated1 medium
Carrot,grated1 medium
French beans,finely chopped8-10
Spring onions with greens,finely chopped3 medium
Green capsicum,finely chopped1 medium
Saltto taste
Refined flour (maida)1/4 cup
Cornflour/ corn starch1/4 cup
Oilto deep fry
Oil2 tablespoons
Ginger,finely chopped1 inch piece
Garlic,finely chopped4-6 cloves
Celery,finely chopped2 inch stalk
Green chillies,finely chopped3
Soy sauce2 tablespoons
Sugar1 teaspoon
MSG1/4 teaspoon
Saltto taste
Vegetable stock2 1/2 cups
Cornflour/ corn starch3 tablespoons
Vinegar1 tablespoon
Mix three tablespoons of cornflour in one cup of water. Reserve spring onion greens for garnish. Mix cabbage, carrot and French beans in a bowl and thoroughly rub in one teaspoon of salt. Add spring onion, capsicum, refined flour and one-fourth cup of cornflour. Mix thoroughly. Shape into lemon sized balls. Heat sufficient oil in a wok and deep-fry vegetable balls in small batches for three to four minutes on medium heat or until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a wok or a pan and stir fry the ginger and garlic half a minute. Add the celery, green chillies and stir-fry for half a minute more. Add soy sauce, sugar, MSG and salt. Stir in vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Stir in cornflour mixture and cook for a couple of minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken, stirring continuously. Add the fried vegetable balls, vinegar and mix well. Serve hot, garnished with the reserved spring onion greens. 

Chef's Tip
If you want to serve it dry without the sauce, reduce the stock to one cup and cornflour in the sauce to one and a half tablespoons only.