Dec 30, 2015

Orange and Honey Chicken ...a new year special Colab with Oriya Rasoi and A Dollop of that

As we inch closer to the New year 2016, new resolutions are being made,hearts are filled with new hopes ,plans for reaching out for newer opportunities discussed but here I am stuck with my New Year's Eve dinner menu.

Our house guests left yesterday and it's that time of the year in Goa when people are here for merrymaking and celebrating the festive season and invariably all houses are filled with guests,all resorts ,hotels and shacks are jampacked and Goa is bursting at its seams.

For years have been enjoying the new year in Goa ,partying hard but this time as I was getting my house back in order,pondered whether to be in a crowded ,wild Goa or just spend a quiet New Years eve with my parents and sister and her family in Bangalore.

And my kids shrieked in joy when they heard my plans and thanks to a wonderful better half ...he was ready for a drive down to our destination .And so here I am all packed up and ready to spend a peaceful New Year's Eve with near and dear ones.

Have finally planned to make a succulent,skillet Chicken with savory, tangy, honey orange sauce  for the main course.Nothing beats a hearty home cooked meal with the whole family on the table. This recipe yields a moist, juicy and absolutely delightful chicken steeped in an addictive honey orange sauce  and takes just 20-25 minutes to prepare. Serve the scrumptious chicken with steamed rice and enjoy.
Adapted from rasamalaysia but have tweaked the recipe according to our tastes.

You require

1/2 kg Chicken breasts
1 tbsp Soy sauce
1 tbsp refine oil
3-4 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp Asian cooking wine,optional
1 orange ,sliced round with the skin
1/2 C coloured peppers,sliced thin
1 tbsp parsley ,chopped
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Salt to taste

For the sauce
1/2 C orange juice
3 1/2 tbsp honey
1-2 tbsp chilli garlic sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
Can adjust the measure of ingredients according to your taste


  • Marinate the Chicken breasts with soy sauce and wine and salt which has to be added very little as soy sauce has sodium in it.
  • Add all the ingredients under sauce and whisk well.Keep aside.
  • In a  heated pan or skillet pan fry the chicken on medium heat till well browned on both sides . keep aside in a platter.
  • In the same pan add the oil and fry the minced garlic until slightly browned.
  • Add the chicken to the pan followed by the sauce.Turn the heat to low and cook the chicken with the sauce till the sauce reduces a bit.....for nearly 7-8 minutes.
  • Add the sliced orange roundels and the coloured pepper,cook for 2 minutes and switch off the flame.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds and parsley and serve hot.

A very happy new year 2016 and wishing you all an amazing year ahead !!
And please do have a look at my blogger friends posts before leaving my space.
Sweta's Sticky Chicken Bites here.

Parinaaz's White sauce Chicken Cheese croquettes here.

Dec 23, 2015

Christmas Sugar Cookies

Baking is much a Christmas tradition as stockings and carols.And  Sugar cookies are a rage in the Christmas season.Nothing beats an iced Sugar cookie made from scratch.... A sinfully sweet Christmas treat .

Our house is filled with the Christmas spirit and the mother and daughter trio brought more cheer by baking these classic old fashioned sugar cookies and decorating them.These pretty cookies are a classic addition to the holiday cookie tray.

By the time we completed decorating them it was past midnight and the kitchen counter was full of sugar,butter,icing,sprinkles ,colours but then we had a whale of a time cutting them out in festive shapes and icing them...the right way to get into the holiday spirit and bonding with each other.

Today evening our house guests arrive for the holidays and my daughters are over the moon planning their days with the elder cousin .Makes me remember my childhood days with our cousins and the gala time we had in the holidays.

This cookie recipe doesn't ask for chilling the cookie dough, but if you still want to chill it you can go ahead.As for decoration a little corn syrup can be added to the sugar mix to give a sheen to the icing but it's optional.

This recipe is adapted from a friend's blog Naive cook cooks.
These pretty sugar cookies go as an entry for Helen of CasaCostello for her baking event Bake of the week.

You require( makes nearly 2 dozen cookies)
1 1/4 C all purpose flour
1/2 C soft Unsalted butter
3/4 C powdered Sugar
1/2 an egg,whisked
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp milk

For the Icing
1C icing Sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Food colouring


  • Whisk the flour, baking soda and baking powder together,keep aside.
  • In a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar till fluffy with a hand mixer.
  • Add the vanilla and egg,beat .
  • Add the dry ingredients gradually and mix.
  • Add the milk and form into a soft dough,it should be soft and not wet.
  • Knead the dough on a floured surface and if it's wet adjust it with a little flour added to it and if it's dry add a little milk.
  • Form into a ball and cover with a cling film and chill it for an hour if chilling the dough, otherwise roll it out straightaway.
  • After removing from the fridge wait for a few minutes for the dough to soften so that it's easy to roll it out.
  • Roll the dough on a floured surface and with holiday theme cookie cutters cut them out and lay them on a cookie tray with parchment paper.
  • Bake them in a preheated oven at 180 deg C for 8-10 mins.If you want them crisp you can bake it a little longer .I like them chewy in the middle and crisp at the sides .
  • For the icing ,mix the icing Sugar with the milk and vanilla and make sure the mixture is not flowy,adjust the milk and icing sugar as needed.
  • Divide the mix according to the colours you want and transfer them to piping bags,can use zip locks as piping bags.
  • While cutting holes in the piping bags make sure the hole isn't too big or it will be difficult to make outlines.
  • Decorate the cookies with piping the outlines first and then filling them and spread with a butter knife.
  • Decorate with sprinkles and let them set overnight before storing.

Enjoy the soft,chewy,delicious cookies and a merry Christmas !

Dec 21, 2015

Gingerbread Mini bundts with a White chocolate ganache drizzle...for the holiday season

Its that time of the year again when the world falls in love,every song you hear seems to say Merry Christmas .....the Christmas waltz playing in my wifi radio ,Christmas cheer everywhere,the aroma of Christmas baking ,a cup of coffee and my laptop...and this is the best moment of this year.

The smell of holiday bread,cookies,cakes ,pies and other goodies is in air.And the blogosphere too overflowing with gingerbread cookies,Yule logs,fruit cakes and cute Santa hats.And baking is so therapeutic and can you not contract the baking fever when Christmas is in air.

And how can you not bake gingerbread in Christmas...the old fashioned gingerbread is everyone s holiday favourite.When you bake a gingerbread recipe the smell wafting around the house is wonderful.This time I have made mini gingerbread bundts with a white chocolate ganache drizzle on top.Have been smitten with my mini bundts pan since the time I have got it home.

Gingerbread foods vary from a moist loaf cake to a ginger biscuit ,the ingredients comprise mainly of ginger, spices, honey or molasses.Molasses is used in baked goods to give colour,moistness and flavour.I have used a bundts pan but can be baked in a loaf or square dish too.

This recipe is adapted from Joy of baking.
I am sending these beauties to Helen of Casa Costello for her event Bake of the Week.

You Require (for 9-10 mini bundts)
2 C all purpose Flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground Cloves
Zest of 1 Lemon
1/2 C brown Sugar
1/4 C fine white sugar
2 large Eggs at room temperature
1/2 C butter or3/4 C refine oil
1/2 C molasses,unsulphured
1 C milk
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger or1/4 C chopped crystallized ginger

For the Ganache
1C cream
2 C chopped white chocolate


  • Preheat the oven to 180 deg C and grease the dish .
  • In a bowl whisk the flour,spices,baking powder, baking soda,lemon zest and chopped ginger.
  • With a hand mixer cream the butter and sugar till fluffy,add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition .
  • Add the molasses and beat  to combine.
  • Now add the dry ingredients and milk alternately beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.beat till incorporated,finally with a spatula mix the batter with cut and fold method,scraping from the bottom and sides.
  • Pour the batter in the pan or the dish and bake for 18-20 mins for the mini bundts and for 30-35 mins for the loaf or square dish or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Take out from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  • For the ganache  heat the cream in a saucepan ,don't boil.Add it to the chopped chocolate in a bowl,wait for 30 seconds and whisk to melt and combine.
  • After it cools to room temperature,pour in a piping bag and drizzle on the bundt cakes.

A Merry Christmas to you all !!

Dec 15, 2015

Pomegranate Jelly and Vanilla Yoghurt Panna Cotta

How can you not feel Christmassy in December in the land of sun ,sand and sea,Goa.Christmas is in the air and I thought we might as well get into the spirit of things and spread some festive cheer.My younger one is already so excited about it as she is practicing Carols in school for Christmas and our tree is up with all those wonderful ornamental decorations and the twinkling fairy lights .

As we decorated our tree with carols playing in the background I decided to have the long pending ladies get together at my place within the next two days.With a Christmassy spring in my steps I planned the brunch ,the invitations and the menu .

An array of holiday salads with Pita bread for the lovely,health conscious ladies was an idea appreciated by the guests themselves.For the dessert I baked mini Hummingbird bundts and made a bright red and white pomegranate and yoghurt Panna cotta in small dessert glasses with sparkling pomegranate kernels on top.The Panna cotta stole the show and the yoghurt in it gave a subtle touch of tanginess which complimented the pomegranate jelly beautifully. With my Christmas runner and bright coloured salads and desserts my brunch table had beautiful hues of colours and ready to be

Panna Cotta is a sophisticated Italian dessert made simply by cooking cream,gelatine and sugar .In this recipe the vanilla flavoured Panna Cotta is layered with pomegranate jelly ,apt red and white dessert for Christmas.

Today I am doing a Christmas Colab with my blogger friend Parinaaz Marolia of A dollop of that! And her post is on delicious Christmas Linzer Cookies.

You require
For the jelly layer
4 oz raspberry jelly crystals
10 fl oz pomegranate juice
2 tbsp grenadine ( concentrated pomegranate syrup)

For the panna cotta layer
1 tbsp powdered gelatine
1/4 C hot water
7 fl oz flowing cream( I used double cream)
3 1/2 oz castor sugar
10 oz Greek yoghurt/ hung yoghurt
01 Vanilla pod,seeds only

 For the topping
2 tbsp pomegranate kernels
Few mint leaves


  • Prepare the jelly as per instructions on the pack except use pomegranate juice and grenadine instead of water.
  • Leave to cool for 10 mins stirring in between otherwise the jelly starts to set.
  • While the mixture is a little warm ,pour into small dessert glasses or wine glasses with the glasses propped in a slant.
  • I propped the glasses to one side in a muffin tray so that the layers can be set in a slant and put the tray in the fridge.Individual ramekins ,egg cartons or loaf dish can also be used.
  • Leave the jelly to set in the fridge for an hour or two.
  • For the panna cotta mix the gelatine with the hot water till it dissolves properly.
  • Place the cream,sugar and the vanilla seeds in a saucepan and heat it gently,just enough for the sugar to dissolve,stirring all the time .
  • Remove from heat and add the gelatine to the creamy mixture and let it cool for 10- 15 mins.
  • Meanwhile put the yoghurt in a bowl and whisk to loosen it.
  • Once cool add the cream mixture to the yoghurt and whisk it gently together.
  • Remove the jelly glasses from the fridge and keep them in an upright position,you will notice that the jelly has set in a slant.
  • Now pour the cool creamy yogurt mix carefully and evenly filling up the glasses and return the glasses back to the fridge for 2-3 hours.
  • Once the dessert is set garnish with pomegranate crystals and mint leaves and serve.

Do not forget to peep into my friend Parinaaz's blog A dollop of that! to have a bite of those jammy,delicious,melt in the mouth Linzer cookies.

Dec 10, 2015

Cauliflower masala curry/Phula Kobi aloo Tarkari

Some things remain fresh in our memories forever,specially the sight and smell of fragrant ,spicy desi curries ...a trip down memory lane.A wave of nostalgia swept over me as I scurried around the house doing everyday errands while the aroma of cauliflower potato curry on the stove, simmering away to glory wafted in the house.

Nostalgia is such a cozy feeling, so I try to revisit my food memories by cooking my Aai' s( maternal grandmother) signature dishes.None of my curries are as good as hers,I lack the patience with which she kept on sautéing the masala till the raw smell would go away and the masala would look a beautiful dark red colour .The love and fondness with which she cooked each and every dish made it more tasty and appealing.Miss her presence around me and this is how I ward off the empty cooking dishes in her style..those smells take me back to her kitchen where I would keep on jabbering to her non stop as she whipped up fragrant ,mouthwatering array of dishes.

Food is an indispensable part of our Odiya culture.Odiyas are fond of eating and can spend the whole day in the kitchen cooking .And my Aai was one of those who would be in the kitchen whole day dishing out authentic ,delectable creations with her love and warmth.

This Phula Kobi Aloo Jhola is her style and recipe though she always used masalas fresh ,roasted and grounded that moment and that made her curries more aromatic in comparison to our off the
shelves masalas.Could not learn her garam masala recipe when she was with us my curries do lack her signature touch.

In this curry the cauliflower and potato is pan fried  in mustard oil till half cooked and then added to the cooked masalas.In this curry hot water is added for the gravy.The other alternative which is called a Phula Kobi Aloo Kasaa is cooked without the addition of water and cook the veggies with the masalas and they are a great combo with Puris and Parathas.

You require
01 medium sized Cauliflower ,cut into medium florets
02 medium sized Potatoes,cubed according to the size of the florets
02 onions,grated or pureed or chopped fine
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
02 tomatoes,chopped
02 green chillies,chopped or slit
3-4 green cardamoms
2 inch cinnamon
3-4 cloves
1-2 bay leaves
01 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 tbsp mustard oil
1 tsp Garam Masala powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 C hot water
Coriander leaves to garnish
Salt to taste


  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok till smoking point ,then add the cauliflower florets and cubed potatoes,pan fry till little brown spots appear on them and they are half cooked and keep aside.
  • In the same wok heat the mustard oil the same way,add sugar,add cumin seeds ,bay leaves and the spices or khada garam masalas,add the onion when the spices start spluttering.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and the chillies when the onions are light brown and keep on frying till the raw smell goes off ,add the turmeric powder and the tomatoes and sauté till the masala starts leaving the sides.
  • Now add the half cooked veggies and cook for 5 more minutes,stirring in between.
  • Add the hot water and salt and cover the curry and let it simmer in medium flame for 7-10 minutes.
  • Check the veggies ,if it's cooked to satisfaction then sprinkle the garam masala and cinnamon powder,give one good boil and switch off the flame.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and enjoy with hot steaming rice and dal.

Dec 3, 2015

Methi Paneer Malai/Cottage cheese in fenugreek and cream curry

Paneer or cottage Cheese is a staple Indian food that Indian households cannot do without in their meals, a substitute for meat for the die hard vegetarians.Its our favourite Indian Cheese made by curdling fresh  milk in vinegar,lemon juice ,curd or any other food acids.

And in East India paneer is the ubiquitous Chenna ,all sweet dishes in Odisha,Bengal and Assam are made from Paneer.Chenna is a crumbly and moist form of Paneer.Its an ultimate favourite in North India and made with butter or spinach,or peas or stuffed in parathas ,infact innumerable spicy,delicious varieties of paneer dishes.

And cheers to our own desi cheese, it's a hot favourite of my kids. Infact I feel they should wear a " I love Paneer" badge on them.They love Paneer in any form whether it's a paratha or a sandwich stuffing or a curry or a pulao or the easy peasy Paneer Bhurjee .

My today's post Methi Paneer Malai is actually adapted from the recipe Methi mutter malai,chunks of Paneer in a creamy fenugreek based Curry .Compliments well with Rotis,Parathas or Naan.Yummy is the word you would utter after a spoonful of this rich tasty combo.The garnish of fresh cream makes
it tempting and gives a nice touch of subtelty to this delicious paneer dish.

You require

For the Masala paste
2 medium sized onions ,chopped
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste/ ginger and garlic chopped according to 1 tbsp paste
1 big tomato,chopped
2 tbsp chopped cashews,soaked in water
1 green chilli,chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp oil

For the gravy
250 gms Paneer,diced according to the size you want
2 C fresh Fenugreek/ Methi leaves
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam Masala powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chilli powder/1/2 tsp if you want less spicy.
1/4 C cream,whisked
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dry fenugreek leaves for garnish
1 C hot water
2 tbsp oil
Salt to taste


  • Wash the fenugreek leaves,chop it and add 1/2 tsp  salt,keep it aside for 15 mins and then squeeze out the water.This helps in removing the bitterness from the leaves.
  • Take 1 tbsp oil in a pan,add cumin seeds and when it splutters add the chopped onion,fry till transparent.
  • Add the ginger garlic and green chillies,chopped or paste,fry till the raw smell goes away.
  • Now add the chopped tomato and sauté till the masala starts leaving the sides of the pan.
  • Remove from fire and let it cool a little,once warm grind the masala in a mixer with the soaked and drained cashews and a little water added to it.
  • In the same pan take 2 tbsp oil and once heated add the chopped and squeezed fenugreek leaves and fry on a low medium flame till they lessen in quantity.
  • Add the ground masala paste,the coriander,turmeric and chilli powder to it and sauté till For 6-7 minutes and oil starts releasing.
  • Add the hot water,give a nice boil to the methi gravy and let it simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  • Now add the whisked cream,paneer,garam masala and the sugar,mix well and switch of the flame.Garnish with dried fenugreek leaves.
  • Serve hot with Rotis or Naan and enjoy the rich flavourful curry.
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