If you love eating, you can surely be a good cook, but to be an excellent one, you should have good critics at home. For that I owe to my husband and my children.

I dedicate this blog to the young ladies - "the starters".

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas(Christmas Cake)


Maida -2 ½ cup
Butter – 1 ¾ cup
Brown sugar -2 ½ cup
Eggs - 5
Salt - ¼ pinch
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon and nutmeg powder – ¼ tsp
Dry fruits –1cup
(raisins, cherries, sultanas ,figs)
orange peel, lemon peel -1tbsp
Rum or brandy - 1/2 cup
Cashew nuts - ¼ cups
Pineapple jam - ¼ cup
Vanilla essence - ½ tsp


Preparation for this cake starts
three weeks before baking.
In a glass jar, pour ½ a cup of rum
and add 4 tbsp of powdered sugar,
chopped dry fruits and orange peel.

Sieve twice maida, baking powder and spices.
Add crushed cashew nuts to the sieved flour
and keep aside.
Beat butter and powdered brown sugar
till it is smooth and fluffy.
Beat in egg yolks one by one smoothly.
Add ¼ of a pinch of salt .
Add dry fruits- in -rum and pineapple jam.
Mix well.
Beat egg whites lightly.
Fold this egg white slowly to the
butter sugar mixture.
Spoon by spoon fold in maida(flour)
See that there are no lumps.
Pour vanilla essence and fold in smoothly.

Pre-heat oven 180 degree C for 10 minutes.
Apply butter to the baking dish and dust
flour on all sides. Pour the cake batter and
tap the dish lightly on the work floor to release air .
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in convection oven.
(not in microwave)
Check the cake has left the sides.
Insert a skewer in the middle of the cake.
See that the skewer comes out neat.
If the cake sticks on the skewer,
bake it for 5 to 10 minutes more or till the skewer comes out clean.
Turn the cake on the wire mesh after 10 minutes.
When it is cooled, wrap in a
butter paper brushed with rum.
After 3 days, that is on Christmas day.
Cut the cake, share it with your family and friends .
This cake has a longer shelf life.


1. If brown sugar is not available,
use regular white sugar 2 ½ cups.
To caramelise
2. On a thick bottom pan, add 1/2 cup
of sugar and keep on low flame.
As it caramelizes, pour in 1/2 cup of
boiling water as needed.It should not be very watery nor firm like toffee . When cooled ,you can pour in
the cake batter along with butter
and powdered sugar.
3. Use only fresh flour and fresh baking powder.
4. All the ingredients should be in room temperature.5. Baking time depends on the size of your baking dish and
how moist your cake batter is .

Friday, December 14, 2007

Meen Pollichathu with Orange Salad


Karimeen or pomfret -1 large
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Hot chilli powder -1 tbsp
Kashmiri chilli powder -2 tbsp
Pepper -1 tbsp
Shallots (small onions) -8
Garlic -2 cloves
Ginger - 2 inch
Curry leaves -1tbsp
Coconut milk -2 tbsp
Banana leaf to wrap


Cut and make slits on the fish and clean thoroughly.
Make a paste of pepper, curry leaves, ginger and garlic
in coconut milk. To this paste add both varieties of
chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and mix well.
Marinate the fish in this paste and keep aside
for 3 hours.
wrap in a fresh banana leaf and keep on a tava(iorn pan)
on a low flame for 20 minutes. Cover with a lid.
Turn the wrapped fish in between to cook
both sides evenly .
Serve hot...

Orange salad goes well with this.
Peel orange, slice onion and green chillies
squeeze lime and sprinkle salt.
Colourful and juicy salad is ready.

As no oil is used in any stage of its preparation
Karimeen pollichathu is very healthy.
This authentic cuisine is from Kerala
the land of coconut trees and back waters.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Aloo Gobi Paratha (Stuffed Indian Bread)


Potato - 1
Cauliflower -5 florets
Onion - ½
Green chilli -1
Grated ginger -1 tsp
Chopped coriander leaves – 2 tbsp
Chilli powder - ½ tsp
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Lime juice -1 tsp
sugar – ½ tsp

Mash boiled potato and keep aside.
Grate onion, cauliflower, ginger and chilli.
Keep a pan on low flame and pour a teaspoon
of oil and butter each. Now add the grated vegetables,
salt, chilli and turmeric powder. Saute till it is soft.
Add the mashed potato, chopped coriander, lime juice,
sugar and salt. Saute till it is mixed well.
Take out from flame,make lemon sized ball and keep aside.
(more spices can be added if you prefer so)


Wheat flour -3 cups
Warm water
Add water as much as to knead into a smooth chappati dough.
Roll in your palm 8 lemon size balls.
Keep one stuffing in between two chappati dough.
Press all sides round and roll it with a rolling pin gently.
Dust it with some flour while rolling so that it does not stick.
On a hot tava (iorn pan) adding butter, fry the parathas on both sides.
Be generous with butter.Forget the calories.

To Serve

Parathas go well with deep fried green chillies.
Deep fry chillies for a minute.
Less hot chillies prefered.
Serve the parathas with fried chillies,
Cool thick curd accompanied by a cup of sweet
cardamom tea.
Take a bite of the green chilly, a piece of paratha
dipped in curd and then the cardamom tea.
That is the combination.

It is a breakfast enjoyed by people of north India,
especially during winter.
This brings me sweet memories of the foggy winter mornings in Delhi.