Monday, 31 December 2012

Lemon Cheese Cake – No bake...for my Mary Poppins

Lemon Cheese Cake with Rasberry sauce is my last post of the year is for MY Mary and for her cheesecake...both of which are in Amerikaaaa now and both are dearly missedequally :-) she makes the best ever cheesecake in the whole wide world...ever...the real one and not this no bake versionI have asked her for her recipe a million times, lost it a million times, tried once and made a mess of itinstead make this now, tweaked a little bit from well for lazy old me

Lemon Cheese Cake – No bake


For the biscuit base: 

  • Digestive Biscuits, I used the 100 gm pack of  Nutrichoice digestives, 12
  • Butter, Melted,40 gm
  • Caster Sugar, 1 tbsp

For the filling: 

  • Mascarpone cheese, 200 gm 
  • Lemon, juice and zest, 1
  • Caster Sugar, 50 gm, plus more to taste
  • Fresh cream, 3 tbsp (Amul)

For the sauce: 

  • Frozen Raspberries,200 gm 
  • Caster Sugar, to taste
  • Water, 1 cup
  • Salt, a pinch

 Mint for garnishing



Brush the bottom of a 6” springform cake tin with some of the melted butter and place a round of grease proof paper in the base.

Crush the biscuits, add the melted butter and sugar and stir until well combined. 

Tip the mixture into the bottom of the cake tin. 

Using the back of a spoon, gently push the crumbs from the center outward, until smooth and level. This will form the base of the cheesecake. 

Chill in the fridge while making the filling.
 For the filling, mix the mascarpone cheese, cream, lemon juice and zest and caster sugar together in a bowl until well combined. 
Do not mix the mixture too much as this will cause it to split. 
Taste the mixture and add more sugar, to taste.
Spoon the mixture into the tin on top of the chilled biscuit mixture and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
When ready to serve, run a hot cloth round the outside of the tin and ease out the cheesecake.

For the sauce, put raspberries in a saucepan with a cup of water. 
Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5-6 minutes. 

Add sugar, & salt for a couple of more minutes while stirring the sauce to make sure that the sugar is distributed evenly.

Remove from heat, pass through a sieve and let stand covered. You can store this in the fridge for 2 days.

Place the cheesecake onto a plate, decorate the top with the sprigs of fresh mint and spoon the sauce over it.

Clear Chicken Noodle Soup with Spinach...couldn't sleep

Was not in a good moodcouldn't sleep so finally gave up tryingmade some chicken stock...watched t.vate some cookies and made Clear Chicken Noodle Soup with Spinach at 5 a.mfinally slept

Clear Spinach Chicken Noodle Soup mmskitchenbites

Clear Chicken Noodle Soup with Spinach


  • Homemade Chicken stock ( recipe below), about 2 cups
  • Chicken, cooked and shredded, about ½ cup
  • Spinach, coarse stems discarded and leaves washed, drained, and chopped coarse, ½ cup
  • Noodles, boiled, ½ cup
  • Rice Vinegar, about ½ tsp
  • Light Soy Sauce, about ½ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Garlic, very thinly sliced, 2 cloves
  • Oil, ½ tsp
  • Sugar, a small pinch


Heat oil over medium flame. Add garlic followed by sugar and ¼ cup chicken stock. 

Let the garlic cook completely and become fragrant.

Add remaining stock and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and add the chicken and seasoning, let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. 

Add spinach and noodles, stirring until spinach is just wilted. 

Switch of the flame, check for seasoning and serve hot.

Homemade Chicken Stock


  • Chicken, Whole, 1 (about 800 gm)
  • Water, 2 liters
  • Onion, quartered, 1
  • Garlic, crushed, 2-3 cloves
  • Ginger, Sliced, 3”
  • Carrots cut into big chunks, 2
  • Celery, roughly chopped, 2 sticks
  • Coriander, stalks and roots, a handful
  • Peppercorns, cracked, 1 tsp


Peel and dice all vegetables roughly into same size pieces.

Place all the ingredients into a high sided pan. Bring it to a boil once and then let simmer for about two hours on low heat.

Skim off any fat, strain and reserve. 

Strain and cool to room temperature.

Store  in  the refrigerator until use.

Sift the chicken out, and shred the meat. Use as necessary. 

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Mung Dhuli Dal...for the sick and the healthy

I love dals...ever since I was a babyall of themequally... whichever way made they are madeand in India we have tons and tons and tons of ways to make our lentils...with different tempering, with greens, with veggies, with meathot, sour, sweetthis Mung Dhuli Dal/ Yellow lentils have quite a bad rep among peopleit’s known as the dal for the sick people since it’s the easiest of dals to digest...its the easiest or rather the fastest of dals to cook as wellused in regular dal curry, soup, khichdi ( rice cooked with lentils, considered comfort food) , fried snacks, halwa (an Indian dessert) 

Mung Dal Soup mmskitchenbites

Mung Dhuli Dal


  • Mung Dhuli Dal/ Split yellow skinless mung, 1 cup
  • Water, for soaking 1 cup, for cooking 1 cup
  • Salt, to taste
  • Turmeric, ½ tsp

For tadka/tempering:

  • Desi ghee (clarified butter) or Oil, 1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds, ½  tsp
  • Hing/Asafoetida , a pinch (optional)
  • Ginger, grated, ½  tsp
  • Garlic , finely chopped, 3 cloves
  • Onion, finely chopped, 1 cup
  • Tomatoes, finely chopped, ½  cup
  • Coriander Powder, 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala , about ¼ tsp (optional)
  • Green chillies, stems removed but left whole, 2

  • Fresh green Coriander, for garnishing
  • A squeeze of lemon juice (optional)


Wash and soak the dal in water for about 10-15 minutes. 

Drain the water, use fresh water for cooking and pressure cook the dal for one whistle with salt and turmeric. 

You can also cook the dal in a pan – boil it with salt & turmeric with a little more water for about 15 to 20 minutes, until tender and thickened. Add more water, if required, to prevent drying out but also ensure that the dal doesn’t lose its shape and become all mushy.

In a frying pan. heat ghee. Add hing fry it for few seconds and then add cumin seeds. 
When they  start crackling, add onions. 

Fry till light golden brown, add garlic and ginger. Keep stirring so the paste doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes at low flame. 

Add tomatoes and coriander powder .Cook it till the tomatoes go mushy & oil starts separating. 

Pour this tadka  in the dal vessel along with the garam masala and green chillies (stems removed, but left whole). Mix well and heat the dal for another minute and remove it from the flame. 

Garnish with coriander leaves and a squeeze of lemon.

  • Change tempering : just with cumin seeds, garlic and dried crushed fenugreek leaves or all as above minus the onions
  • Change ingredients : Sauté the above ingredients for tempering, add chopped veggies of your choice, sauté , add dal and cook as normal OR add fresh chopped up fenugreek leaves or spinach leaves OR cook in half coconut milk + half water
  • Make soup: add veggies of your choice and cook in chicken stock
  • Make Khichdi: Add about half a cup of soaked rice along with the dal, without or without veggies


  • Not a  class on dals/pulses/lentils but just wanted to ensure you know which dal I was talking about – it is the first one (yellow in colour). The others can be made the same way however need a longer soaking and cooking time.

Split skinless Mung < Split with skin Mung < Sprouted Mung < Whole Mung

Pyaajkoli Bhaaja...Sasural Genda Phool

Pyaajkoli is the tender Onion flower bud with the stem (photo below)...Pyaajkoli Bhaaja...Pyaaj ( pyaaz, onion) and koli ( kali, bud)Bhaja means of those veggies that I wasn't even aware of before I got marriedhad never seen it, never heard of it….and now I am on the lookout for it all the timemy sabziwala bhaiya has standing instructions to get them whenever he finds them and he did yesterday againthis is typically made with either prawns/shrimps or potatodidn't have any prawns at home and since I am not fond of potatoes mixed with any other veggie or meat I have made it the way my mother in law made it for me the first time – with peas

Sauteed Onion Flower Stems mmskitchenbites

 Pyaajkoli Bhaaja (Sauteed Onion Flower Stems)


  • Pyaajkoli / Onion flower stem, 250 gm
  • Peas, 1 cup (I used frozen, pls. feel free to increase or decrease the quantity according to your love or hate of peas)
  • Panch Phoron OR Nigella seeds/Kalonji, ½ to ¾ tsp
  • Dried Red chilli OR Green chilli, 2
  • Mustard oil OR Regular oil, 2 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste


Before I start with the method, a brief word on the options of the spice blend, chillies and oil – pls. note these are not substitutes, each ingredient will give you a different, distinctive taste when used.  Would suggest trying out each one before you make up your mind on which one you like best or just like me, you could eat it for years and still be unsure of what you like best and enjoy each one.

Wash and chop the pyaaz koli into one inch pieces. Discard a bit of the bottom and the buds at the top of the stalk.

In a kadhai/wok/pan, heat mustard oil till it smokes, lower the flame, and add the red chillies. (if using regular oil, pls. don’t let it smoke! ) . 
When the chillies gets a little darker add the paanch phoron. (if using green chillies, make a slit first before adding to the hot oil) 

Once the seeds begin to crackle add the chopped pyaaj koli. Sprinkle with salt and stir and cook for about 2 minutes. 

Add the peas, stir,cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes. Check and stir once or twice – the veggies would release enough water for cooking but if it is sticking to the bottom of the pan sprinkle with a little water. 

You will know its done when it changes colour and goes all soft. 

Uncover and stir fry for a couple of minutes on high flame and ensure all water evaporates. Plate up and enjoy with either rice or roti.

If using potatoes, cut them fine and add with the pyaajkoli. If using prawns/shrimps, marinate them first with a little garlic, salt & turmeric, sauté them and add to the pyaaj koli when it is almost done.

** plant photo below has been taken from internet**Onion Stems, 

Friday, 28 December 2012

Chicken with genes come calling

No Punjabi dish can be considered complete without Jeera, Pyaaz, Tamatar and Desi Ghee (cumin seeds, onions, tomatoes & clarified butter)most of our gravy/curry dishes have this base with minor tweaks like ghee gets replaced by butter or cream or both (lots and lots of it, who hasn’t heard of butter chicken!! )...tomato may give up space for plain yogurt/dahiPunjabis are considered the most non adventurous when it comes to their cooking and today I am in no mood to disagreedesi ghee removed, fresh coriander added andVOILA I have a new post!!!

Punjabi Chicken Curry mmskitchenbites

Chicken Curry with Coriander


  • Chicken, boneless thigh pieces cut into chunks/tikka size, 500 grams
  • Coriander seeds,1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds, 1 tbsp
  • Dried Red Chillies, 2
  • Salt, to taste
  • Onions, finely chopped, 3
  • Packaged Tomato Puree, 2 tbsp
  • Garlic, sliced,5-6
  • Ginger, paste, 1 heaped tbsp
  • Fresh Coriander, roots removed, leaves and stems chopped, one big bunch
  • Oil, 1 tbsp
  • A squeeze of lemon (optional)
  • Red chilli powder, if needed, depending on how spicy you want your curry, I used about 1/2 tsp


Dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds and red chillies and pound into a coarse powder.

Heat oil in a non stick karhai/pan, add the onions and fry till golden brown. 

Add garlic, ginger, tomato puree, the pounded spice powder, salt and mix well. 

Add chicken, most of the coriander and mix again so that the masala coats the chicken. 

Cover and let it cook on low flame. No need to add water since the chicken will release it's juices as it cooks and will also release fat. 

Cook till chicken is almost done, remove the cover and dry the gravy to the consistency you like. 

Switch off the heat and stir in the remaining fresh coriander. Serve hot with paranthas with a squeeze of lemon.

Kurkuri Bhindi......Faux Friying..kurkur kurkur

We recently went to Corbettlanded at the hotel at 5:00 a.m. , had breakfast and going by that, was looking forward to the lunch spreadbutdidn’t like the mutton and chicken thing the chef had made for lunch and had to focus my attention on the veg disheseven though as a rule ,I don’t eat vegetarian food on vacation...BAM!!...three of my favorite veg dishesall three requiring deep frying and hence a no no at home for meI HATE deep frying and avoid it as much as possiblenot because I only eat healthy (hah!) but because I can’t seem to stop at just frying one thingthere is always too much oil left and I fry another thing and then another and then anotherso anyways, thought I would go back and convert one into a non- fry thingyso here is Kurkuri Bhindi or Crispy Fried Spiced Okra made in the microwave ovennormally made by deep frying Bhindis which have been marinated with spices, gram flour and rice flour...try this one, no guilt involved J

Microwave Bhindi recipe mmskitchenbites

Kurkuri Bhindi - Microwave recipe


  • Bhindi/Okra, 500 gm
  • Garlic, sliced finely, 5-6 cloves
  • Aamchur/Dry mango powder OR Chaat Masala, ½ tsp or to taste
  • Coriander powder, ½ to 1 tsp
  • Red Chili powder, ½ to 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala powder, a pinch
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil, ½ to 1 tsp
  • Water, about 2 tbsp


Wash bhindis and wipe dry – please ensure they are absolutely dry. If not, spread them out to dry first. 
Top & tail them and cut each one of them into 8 to 10 thin long slices.

Spread them on a greased (use very little oil here)  big glass platter and sprinkle with salt. Microwave  on high for 3-4 minutes. 
Check and toss/shake them around a bit and back into the microwave for another 3-4 minutes . Mine took 9 minutes in the microwave to completely get dry/dehydrated/crisp up.

Cooking time will vary slightly, depending on the wattage of your microwave and the thickness of the slices. 

Let the bhindis cool completely.

All cooking on low flame. Heat oil in a non stick pan, add the garlic and fry till it starts going light golden.

Add all the spice powders followed by water so that the spices don’t burn. 
Stir for about 5-10 secs till the spice powders are cooked. 

Add the bhindi and stir so that the spices and garlic coats the bhindi. 

Serve hot with Dal and Rice.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Lotus stem, Chicken & Rice...Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai

So while the purists fight over the “authentic Chinese”  recipes/restaurants, I am going be honest and say I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Indian Dhaba style Indo Chinese stuffdrool drool drooldon’t get me wrong I enjoy going to the handful restaurants serving the real thing here as much as the  food critics  but there is something special about the Dhaba style Chineselike all comfort food it has way too many memories attached to itChilli Chicken, Chilli Paneer, Chilli baby corn, Gobhi Manchurian, Chopsueyahhhanywayshere is a quick meal that I often make 

Honey Chilli Lotus Stems 

Recipe moved here

Szechuan Honey Chicken mmskitchenbites

Szechuan Honey Chicken 


  • Chicken, used curry cut pieces since that’s all I had, normally make it with boneless chicken (either all thigh or all breast meat so that the cooking time is the same )
  • Onions, cut into 4 pieces and then every layer separated
  • Peppers , cut into 1” X 1” chunks, I only had the Red one that day
  • Spring onions, Only the green portion
  • Garlic, Chopped , 1 tbsp
  • Ginger, Chopped, 1 tbsp
  • Corn starch, 2 tsp dissolved in ½ cup water
  • Oil

For the marinade: 

(specifying measurements to give an idea of proportion, adjust to taste and/or qty needed accordingly)
  • Schezwan Sauce , 3 tbsp ( I used 'Ching’s Secret' bottled sauce)
  • Soy Sauce, ½ tsp
  • Honey, 1 tbsp
  • Oil, 1 tsp
  • Garlic paste, 1 heaped tsp
  • Red Chilli Flakes,1 tsp
  • Salt
  • Pepper


Mix all the ingredients of the marinade and rub well on the chicken pieces. Leave to marinade in the fridge for a cpl of hours if using curry cut pieces. Can start cooking immediately if using boneless chicken pieces.

Heat oil in a wok or large non-stick frying pan. Lightly fry onions and peppers until tender, remove and keep aside.

Add ginger, garlic, a pinch of sugar to the remaining oil and stir till they lightly caramelize. 

Take out the chicken from the marinade and add to the wok. (and reserve the marinade) . Cook on high till the chicken starts browning. 

Cover and cook till almost done.(no need to cover and cook if using boneless chicken).

The chicken will release a lot of water when cooked covered –remove the cover, dry the water a bit and add back the onions and peppers. 

Add back the reserved marinade, corn starch mix and cook for another few minutes. 

Switch off the flame, toss in the spring onions and mix well. Serve immediately with rice or noodles.

When using boneless chicken, I at times sprinkle roasted salted peanuts before serving.

Vegetable Fried Rice

Recipe moved here

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Warm Zucchini Salad and Spinach Soup.... as light as a feather

Friday night...and like we always do...ate too much, way too much and drank too much (way too much)...Saturday, afternoon...err noo, early evening...wanted something made Warm Zucchini Salad and Spinach Soup

Zucchini Noodle Salad mmskitchenbites

Warm Zucchini Salad

Had seen this on a TV cooking show a couple of years back... I don't exactly remember the original recipe so end up doing my own thing and make it differently every time and yes, I refuse to call it pasta...


  • Zucchini,washed with peel on, ‘noodled’, 1 large (sorry I don’t know how else to describe it, but u get this vegetable peeler that can do this with or just use a normal peeler and make “flat ribbon noodles” it through all sides till u get to the core – please don’t use the seeds as that makes it quite mushy (but, if like me you don’t want to throw away the seeds/core – grill it separately on the pan and eat it when no one's looking)
  • Garlic Cloves, sliced finely,3 
  • Olive Oil, 1 tbsp
  • Onion, chopped fine, ½ large
  • Mushrooms, chopped, 1 cup (and/or any veggie of your choice)
  • Parsley, chopped very finely, 1 tsp (can use  1/2 tsp dried and/or any herb of your choice)
  • Salt, Crushed Pepper, Red Chili Flakes, to taste
  • Lemon Juice, to taste
  • Roasted Garlic Flakes out of a bottle, to taste (optional)


Spread out the ‘noodles’ on the kitchen counter for an hour or so to get rid of the excess moisture .

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium flame. Add garlic & onions and cook for a couple of minutes till onions go soft. 

Increase the flame to high, add mushrooms and seasonings and cook till the water from mushrooms completely dries up. 

Add zucchini and with a fork, stir in with the rest of stuff for no more than two minutes. 

Switch off the heat and add lemon juice. 

Garnish with Parmesan, chili flakes and roasted garlic. Serve warm.

Spinach Soup mmskitchenbites

Spinach Soup

This is Rachel Allen's recipe from one of her many TV shows...I am copy pasting her recipe below...feel free to play around with quantities but ensure to keep the stock to milk ratio the same i.e. both in equal quantities...I didn't have fresh Rosemary to make the oil so I sprinkled some Parmesan....and if you think I am experimenting with angles and cropped pics...nope, I spilled some as I was walking outside to take a picture in daylight...and was too hungry to try again J


For the rosemary oil:
  • 1 sprig of Rosemary, broken in half
  • Olive oil, 50 ml

For the soup:

  • Butter, 1 tbsp
  • Onions, chopped, 110 gms
  • Potatoes, peeled and chopped, 150 gms
  • Vegetable stock, 600 ml
  • Milk, 600 ml
  • Spinach, large stalks removed, chopped, 275 ms


For the rosemary oil: 

Put the rosemary in a small saucepan with the olive oil and heat gently on a low heat until tepid. 

Remove the pan from heat and let the rosemary infuse for 10 minutes. 

Strain the oil through a fine sieve into a small container.

For the soup: 

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onions and potatoes, season with salt and pepper, cover with a lid and cook on a very low heat for 10 minutes, stirring every now and again.

Meanwhile, pour the stock and milk into another saucepan, bring to the boil and add to the vegetables. 

Bring the mixture back up to the boil, then tip in the spinach and cook, uncovered, over a high heat for 1–2 minutes or until the spinach is just cooked.

To preserve the fresh flavour, blend the soup straight away in a blender or hand-held blender. 

Serve in individual bowls with a drizzle of rosemary oil over the top.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Coconut Chicken Curry...... Once upon a time

Coconut Chicken Curry...Not all recipes have to have a storydo they? Well stories provide the hook but not all recipes can have memories attached to them?...Would you call not being aware of what is there in your refrigerator a story?, na? well this is how I started making my Coconut Chicken Currythought there were boneless thighs  in there and it turned out to be full curry cut chickenwas craving Red Thai curry with that smooth coconut milk texture and instead made thisa regular ever sinceI often  make it a day before, as coconut milk curries taste even creamier the next day.

Coconut Chicken Curry mmskitchenbites

Coconut Chicken Curry


  • Chicken, Curry cut, 1 kg cut into 12 pieces
  • Onions, Sliced, 3 large
  • Tomato Puree, 4 tbsp
  • Oil, 1 tbsp
  • Curry leaves, 8-10 
  • Coconut Milk, Thick, 400 ml (I used coconut milk powder and made thick milk using water, u can use tinned : half each of milk+ cream)
  • Black peppercorns, 4-5
  • Cloves, 3-4
  • Cinnamon, 1”

For the marinade:

  • Ginger paste, 2 tsp
  • Garlic paste, 2 tsp
  • Coriander powder, 1 tsp
  • Red chili powder, 1 tsp
  • Black pepper powder, 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Kashmiri Red chili powder, 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil, 1 tbsp

For tempering:

  • Oil, 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds, ½ tsp
  • Fresh Curry laves, a handful
  • Dried red chili, 1-2


Make a couple of slits on each piece after chicken has been washed, cleaned and wiped dry. 

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the marinade, rub the mix on the chicken and let the chicken marinate for a couple of hours.

Heat oil in a deep pan, and add cinnamon, cloves and peppercorns. 

Once the spices start to splutter, add the onions and fry on low heat till light golden brown. 

Add the marinated chicken, curry leaves and tomato puree, mix and stir on high heat for about 7-10 minutes. 

Lower the heat again and add the coconut milk. Cover and cook till chicken is completely cooked through - about 30 minutes or so.

For tempering:

Heat the oil in a small pan. 
Add mustard seeds, dried red chili and curry leaves. 
When curry leaves get crispy, sprinkle the tempering on the plated up chicken curry.

Perfect when served with steamed rice or Malabar paranthas.

Coconut Milk Chicken mmskitchenbites