Saturday, 30 March 2013

Crustless Zucchini Mini Quiche...what's in a name!!!

My Crustless Mini Zucchini Quiche is just a fancy name for me to trap you and get you reality this is just a little fancier version of Rice Tikkis/Cutletsand now that I have you here, please have these for breakfast tomorrow and forgive me J

Crustless Zucchini Mini Quiche


  • Egg, 1 large
  • Zucchini, 1, medium size
  • Onions, finely chopped, 3 heaped tbsp
  • Red Peppers, finely chopped, 1 heaped tbsp
  • Frozen corn, thawed, 1 heaped tbsp
  • Boiled Rice, 5 tbsp
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, 1 heaped tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Mixed dried herbs, to taste
  • Red chili flakes, to taste (optional)
  • Oil, to grease muffin tray


Grate zucchini and place in a colander. Salt it and keep it aside for 10-15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Squeeze out all the water from the zucchini. When you think you are done, squeeze it out again – one medium size zucchini should fill up about ¼ of a cup after this. This is an important step; otherwise the ‘quiche’ will either remain soggy or take even longer to cook - both unpalatable options.

Whisk the egg lightly in a bowl. Mix in rest of the ingredients.

Lightly spray a muffin tray with oil. Add around 1 heaped tbsp of mix into each mould – with the above quantity I got 6. Each mould needs to be filled up till about half way and not more.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, till tops get browned and go a little crispy.

You can add additional cheese on top if you want, I didn't.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Medhu Vada/ Urad dal Vada/Black Gram Lentil fritters...the lazy bones version

If you already know how to make Medhu Vadas and to make them perfectly, pls. don’t kill me!!!  'cause even though I get the taste and texture right, I can never get the shape rightneverso I don’t even bother trying anymoreI got that doughnut shape right, just once, using a poly sheet but it took way tooooo long and patience is one of those things that I don’t deal inso I am willing to call them Dal Pakoras if it bothers you or Medu Vadas, the lazy bones version...but honestly the shape doesn't  matter...the taste does...and hence am posting thisand remember the original aim of  “the blog” was for me to record what I make and not to show off ;-) If you are one of those who doesn't know what these are or haven’t ever made these at home before...go ahead and try themhalve the quantities if you have to...but do trythere are a few tips at the bottom...gathered from everywhere and experience cause I messed up a few times initially and now thanks to these I don’t...the vadas turn out crispy on the outside and soft & fluffy on the insideperfect every single time

Medhu Vada/ Urad dal Vada (Black Gram lentil fritters)


  • Dhuli Urad dal/Skinless split black lentils, 1 cup
  • Ginger, 1” piece
  • Green chilies, 2-3
  • Semolina, 1 tbsp
  • Hing/Asafoetida, 2 big fat pinches
  • Cumin seeds,1 tsp
  • Black peppercorns, crushed, 10-12
  • Onions, finely chopped, 1 large
  • Fresh Coriander leaves, finely chopped, 2-3 tbsp
  • Curry leaves, finely chopped, 2-3 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, for deep frying


Wash the Urad Dal till water runs clear. Soak overnight in 4-5 cups of water – overnight would be perfect, if not then at least for 6 hours. (Any less, and you give up your right to blame me!!)

Drain the dal and keep aside.

In the mixer/grinder, first add the green chilies and chopped ginger. Pulse a couple of time. Now add the dal – about quarter cup at a time. Avoid adding water while grinding, but if the mixer/ grinder jams, add as little water as possible. Remember to wipe off and mix back the dal that sticks to the walls. Stop once you get a smooth thick batter. 

Empty out the batter into a container. Add semolina, salt, cumin, crushed peppercorns. Mix the batter well. 
Now comes the fun part – you have to beat/whisk the batter to aerate it. 
Use your hands, a spoon or a whisk to do the same. But before that, fill a small bowl with water and drop a pinch of batter in the same. If the batter is right, it will float on top of the water. If it sinks or is kind of 'hanging' in the middle, it is time to start whisking.  
Do that ‘float’ test again after some time and stop whisking when it floats. 
You will also notice that the batter has become whiter. Do a taste check of the salt and add onions, coriander, curry leaves and more salt if needed. Mix well and keep aside.

Heat oil in a kadhai for deep frying the vadas. Be generous with the amount of oil you put in so that the vadas don’t stick to the pan.

Oil needs to get medium hot – which means when you drop in the batter in the oil, it should quickly rises to top with slight bubbles. If it browns too quickly, the oil is too hot and vadas will burn from outside and remain uncooked from inside. These need to be gently fried to a light golden colour. If the batter sinks, oil is not hot enough.

Time to fry – ideally need to use your hand but if hot oil scares you, you can use a spoon.

If like me, you can’t make those doughnut holes, ensure you take small dollops of the batter so that the inside gets the chance to completely cook by the time the outside gets to the right colour.

Wet your hand/spoon, take a small dollop of the batter and gently slide it in the hot oil. Remember – don’t worry about the shape, just ensure they are not too big. Don’t fry more than 4-5 at a time.

Turn them around a couple of times so that they are evenly golden on all sides. Once done, take them out with a slotted spoon and drain on a kitchen towel.

Repeat with rest of the batter and remember to test the oil temperature before every batch and also to wet your hands so that the batter slides off easily.

Serve hot or warm with any chutney of your choice.

If serving later, turn your oven to warm (the lowest temperature) and keep the vadas inside the oven till serving time.

I didn’t get a chance to click the picture of the inside, next time I guess.

Any additional tips, pls. do share….


  • They say that making this with whole skinless urad dal is better but since I make these only occasionally and never have that dal at home, I use split skinless urad dal.
  • Grinding for too long makes the batter sticky, so keep an eye on it while grinding and stop once all the dal is done.
  • Also, ensure that the batter doesn’t get hot while grinding – if it does, vadas will become hard. Keep an eye on it and also pulse a few times initially.
  • I like adding semolina as it helps with the crispness and the vadas also remain crisp for longer.
  • The more water you add while grinding, the more oil the vadas will soak while deep frying.
  • Semolina also helps if the batter has become watery.
  • And remember –shape doesn’t matter. Just keep a check on the oil temperature and size.
  • Try and make the vadas right after grinding the batter so that they turn out soft.
  • And as always, pictures of the dal so that you know what I am talking about.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Caramelized Meatballs and Sweet Chili Garlic Sauce...gone wrong, gone right II

Remember the first ‘gone wrong, gone right’  moment here? (Read  Chicken 65)...Caramelized Meatballs is the second one and that is how these came about…was preparing stuff for the Holi thing and realized that I probably didn't have enough of my Sweet Chilli Garlic Sauceput it on the gas and then oopsieee!! Forgot about it and went back to fighting with another customer care executive about the internet issues that refuse to go away...realized after about an hour and by that time the sugar had caramelized completely and the sauce had turned into this dark caramel coloured thick super sticky mix (thicker than peanut butter consistency)...brilliant!!! just what I needed while  prepping for guests to come over the next dayanyways, dropped the original plan of Tamarind Meatballs and added the ‘gone wrong’  paste to the meat mince insteadgo ahead and call me crazy for experimenting without testingbut  have you heard of those high risk takers?? Some of them operate in the financial market and some of them in the kitchen!!...oh, well, not reallymore like bears projecting themselves to be bulls!!...resultI had to snatch the last serving away from the hungry greedy bunch to click the pics!!

Caramelized Meatballs mmskitchenbites

Caramelized Meatballs


  •  Chicken, finely minced, 500 gm ( I made 2 different lots: one with chicken mince, one with mutton mince)
  • Onion, grated, 1 large
  • Ginger, paste, 1 tsp
  • Garlic, paste, ½  tsp
  • Caramelized Sweet Chilli Garlic Sauce, 3 – 4 tsp, ( the  ‘gone wrong’ version of the sauce, recipe follows )
  • Oil, 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil Spray or oil for greasing the tray


Mix all the ingredients very well except salt. Once done, pinch a little meat and cook on a skillet or microwave to do a taste check. Add salt only after doing the taste check. 

Cover and let the mix marinate in the fridge overnight.

Preheat the oven to 180°C  .

Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with oil.

Wet your hands slightly and make small meatballs and place them on the baking sheet. In the oven for 25 –30 minutes for chicken and 30 – 40 minutes for the mutton or till they are completely cooked.

Serve hot with the ‘gone right’ version of the Sweet Chilli Garlic Sauce.

Sweet Chili Garlic Sauce mmskitchenbites

Sweet Chilli Garlic Sauce


  • Red chilli peppers, 10 large
  • Garlic cloves, 15 ( adjust per taste)
  • Water, ¼ cup
  • Sugar, ½ cup ( Brown sugar preferable, but White sugar will do)
  • Vinegar, ½ cup (Rice Vinegar preferable, but White vinegar will do)
  • Salt , about 2 tsp
  • Corn Starch slurry , 1 tbsp corn starch + 2 tbsp water, optional to get that glaze


Chop the red chilli peppers into 2-3 pieces. You can remove seeds from most if you want, reduce the amount of peppers used or adjust sugar later.

In a food processor, blend all ingredients together (except the cornstarch mix,) till the garlic and peppers are just itsy bitsy tiny chunks.

Transfer to a saucepan and bring the mix to a boil. Lower the gas and simmer for about 5-6  minutes.

If using cornstarch, whisk it well with water, add to the sauce and simmer for a further 1 minute or so till the sauce thickens.

If not using cornstarch, the sauce needs to simmer for additional 10-15 minutes – with you keeping a close eye on it. Turn off the gas when the sauce thickens for ‘gone right’ version. Additional 10-15 minutes for the sugar to do its thing for the ‘gone wrong’ version and before you get a chance to touch that cornstarch mix.

Take it off the heat. You can adjust sugar, salt, vinegar and chilli at this stage after doing a taste check.

Cool completely and store – I normally store in the refrigerator

And before I forget, don’t stand next to stove inhaling the chilli and vinegar fumes – there is a difference between keeping a close eye and trying to kill yourself!!!

In case you are wondering, this is what the 'gone wrong' version of the sauce looked like...

caramelized chilli sauce mmskitchenbites

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Mango Kulfi...beginnings and endings

And with this Mango Kulfi I declare summer openand I declare that ‘The Punju week’ (which turned into two ) has come to a close as well...and what an ending, if I may say so myself!!  Lots more pending  but the amount of lunches and dinners I have attended and hosted these past ten days left me with no time to breathe, let alone sit in front of the computerso the rest of the posts will just have to wait for nowBack to this recipeKulfi is the traditional Indian version of ice cream with no churning or whipping requiredjust milk thickened and flavored with a couple of spices, sugar, lots of nuts and then set to freeze...over the years, various fruit versions came up and then came the addition of tinned condensed  milk to hurry things alongYou may find a thousand other recipes of Mango Kulfi but I promise none will be so rich and creamy..and simplehere is how it goes

Mango Kulfi (Indian Mango Ice Cream)


  • Whole Milk, 1 litre
  • Sweetened Condensed milk, 1 can (400 gm)
  • Ripe Sweet Mangoes, 3


Wash and peel the mangoes. Peel, chop the flesh and remove the stone. Blend the flesh to get a thick puree.

Combine milk and condensed milk in a non stick heavy bottomed pan and mix well. Bring this mixture to a slow boil and then simmer for 20-30 minutes till the entire mix reaches the consistency of condensed milk that you added in.  You need to stir often to ensure the mix doesn't stick to the pan and burn. Remove from gas and let it cool completely.

Once it is completely cooled, add in the mango puree and mix well.

Pour into kulfi moulds, popsicle moulds, paper cups, shot glasses or any container of your choice – I used shot glasses, small/medium glasses and a metallic jelly mould. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight/till set.

If you want to add popsicle sticks, freeze for about half an hour. When the kulfi has started to set, place the popsicle sticks into each mould.

To unmould, dip for 2-3 seconds in warm water and ease out the mould. You may have to run a sharp knife around the edges of the mould.

I didn’t unmould the shot glasses and unmoulded the medium size glasses into these little earthenware saucers that I have.

The one set in jelly mould was taken out and cut into small pieces and served alone with some cubed mangoes – unfortunately no pictures of this one. But since the mango season has just started, I will rectify that soon enough.

  • You can add skinned finely chopped almonds and/or pistachios in the mix before freezing or add as garnish. We like the Mango Kulfi  better without the nuts, though traditionally it is always served with nuts added.
  • You can strain the mango puree before adding to the mix but we like it better without. I at times add a few chopped mango pieces as well before setting to freeze.
  • Do a taste check after the milk has thickened: if too sweet add some more milk; if  not sweet enough for you, add some sugar and stir till it dissolves.
  • You will also need to do a taste check of the mango puree - some mangoes will be tarter than others and sugar would need to be adjusted accordingly.
  • If using tinned mango puree, reduce the amount of condensed milk as the tinned puree already has some sugar in it.
  •  Do ensure that after all that taste testing, there is enough left for others!! J
  • You may disagree about this being a Punju dessert but don't let that stop you from making and eating it!!!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Dahi Malai gossip and drinking and laughter!!

I have four recipes for making chicken using black pepper...the first one that you saw is Black Pepper Chicken (the most popular post here)this is the second one...Dahi Malai Murgh or Chicken in Yogurt and Cream sauce...yes, surprise surprise!!!!!! black pepper doesn't feature in the name  and once you make it you will know why...this is my friend RG's favorite curry and she specifically asks for it whenever she comes over because this doesn't have “ other ten thousand spices to confuse me”I love it because I don’t need to make anything else along with it and can focus on all the gossip and drinking and laughter

Dahi Malai Murgh mmskitchenbites

Dahi Malai Murgh (Chicken in Yogurt and Cream sauce)


  • Chicken, curry cut, 1 kg 
  • Fresh Cream, ½ cup (can use less or more if you want)
  • Garlic ,paste , 1 tbsp
  • Ginger, paste, 1 tbsp
  • Black pepper powder, 1 tsp (or to taste)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Kasoori Methi/Dried Fenugreek leaves, 2 tbsp
  • Oil, 2 tbsp 


  • Plain Yogurt/Dahi, ¾  cup ( preferably made with whole milk as the consistency is thicker, ensure that it is not sour)
  • Black pepper powder, 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste


Wash and clean chicken, Wipe dry. Make small cuts in the chicken to ensure the marinade gets soaked in. 

Mix all ingredients mentioned under marinade in a bowl and add in the chicken. Rub the marinade on the chicken pieces. 

Cover and let it marinate for a couple of hours in the refrigerator. 

Bring the chicken back to room temperature before starting cooking.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the ginger garlic pastes and on low flame fry till  light golden brown.

Add in the chicken with the marinade to the pan, mix well and let it fry for 3-4 minutes. 

Add black pepper powder, stir and cook covered on low flame. 

Stir every 4 to 5 minutes so that the chicken doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Since this is done on low flame, it take about 30-40 minutes – you will first see a lot of water and oil floating on top, eventually the water will get absorbed, only oil will be left and the colour would change to this nice beige light gold.

Crush kasoori methi with your hands  and add it along with cream and some salt in to the pan. 

Mix well and continue to cook on low for 5-10 minutes. 

Do a taste check and adjust salt and black pepper. 

Serve hot with Naan or Parantha.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Papa's Chicken intro necessary!!

Papa's chicken intro necessary, the name says it all Jthe colour comes from using Kashmiri Red Chili Powder and the heat comes from grinding whole spices with the onion tomato masala

Punjabi Chicken Curry mmskitchenbites

Papa’s Chicken curry


  • Chicken, curry cut, 1 kg
  • Onions, sliced, 2 Large 
  • Tomatoes, chopped, 2 Large 
  • Garlic ,paste , 1 tsp
  • Ginger, paste, 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds, 1 tsp
  • Black Cardamom, 1
  • Cinnamon, 1 “ piece
  • Cloves, 3-4
  • Bayleaf, 2
  • Coriander powder, 1 tsp
  • Kashmiri red chili powder, 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Green chilies, chopped, 1-2
  • Water, 1 cup
  • Oil/Ghee, 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
  • Optional : either some fresh cream or a squeeze of lemon juice
  • Fresh Coriander leaves, for garnishing


  • Salt, to taste
  • Turmeric powder, ¼ tsp
  • Kashmiri Red chili powder, 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder,1 tsp
  • Oil, ½ tsp


Wash and clean chicken, Wipe dry. 
Make small cuts in the chicken. 

Mix all ingredients mentioned under marinade in a bowl and add in the chicken. 
Rub the marinade on the chicken pieces and keep it aside.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed pan. 

Add cumin seeds, black cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bayleafs and let them crackle – about 10-15 seconds. 

Add onions and fry till they go soft. 

Add ginger garlic paste and stir for another minute. 

Add tomatoes, green chilies, coriander powder, kashmiri red chili powder, salt and let it cook for about 5-7 minutes. 

Switch off the gas and let the mix cool for a while. 

Now take the onion tomato masala and blend it in a blender to a fine paste – avoid adding water, but if needed, add as little water as possible.

In the same pan, heat the remaining oil and fry the chicken pieces with the marinade till they go pale brown. 

Reduce the heat, add in the blended onion tomato masala paste and mix well. Sauté on low flame for 5-6 minutes along with the chicken. 

Add in the water, cover and cook for around 20 minutes or till done. You  would be left with a very thick gravy.

Check for taste – if the curry is quite tangy (depending on the tomatoes you have used ) you can add some fresh cream or if that tang is missing, add in a squeeze of lemon juice. ( Normally not needed )

Garnish with some fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with either paranthas or rice.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Keema Matar...welcome to the real keema (and Papa!! )

Keema Matar (Minced Meat and Green Peas)Enough talk about my mom and now on to my dad...papa and I share a special relationship...he loves loves to irritate me and I love love to scream at himboth the things have to happen at least once a day over the phone or in person for us to call it a fruitful day JI get my temper (actually him and mom combined), my impatience, my ‘I can kill you with one look’ attitude, my drama genes, my love for books, travel and good food from himeven though he gave up eating meat years ago, he cooks some amazing non-vegetarian foodthe next couple of recipes are his and were regularly made whenever he would come home and now, when we visitsimple, uncomplicated and typically Punju...typical Papa J

Keema matar recipe

Keema Matar (Minced Meat and Green Peas)


  • Keema/Mince Meat, Lamb or Mutton(goat) or Beef, 500 gms
  • Onions, finely chopped, 2 Large 
  • Tomatoes, finely chopped, 2 medium 
  • Packaged tomato puree, 1-2 tbsp (I added because I wanted a deep red gravy, you can skip it )
  • Fresh Garlic, paste/finely grated , ½ tbsp
  • Fresh Ginger, paste/finely grated, ½ tbsp
  • Cumin seeds, ½ tsp
  • Green cardamom, 2
  • Black Cardamom, 1
  • Cinnamon, 1" piece
  • Cloves, 3-4
  • Bayleaf, 1
  • Coriander powder, 2 tsp
  • Cumin powder, ½ tsp
  • Turmeric Powder, ¼ tsp 
  • Kashmiri red chili powder, 1 tsp ( again, used only for colour, you can skip it )
  • Red chili powder, 1 tsp 
  • Garam masala powder, ½ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil/Ghee, 2-3 tbsp
  • Green chili, slit and seeds removed, 1 for garnishing 
  • Green Peas, if fresh – par boiled and if frozen – just thawed, as many or as little as you want (optional)


Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds, cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, bayleaf and let them crackle.  

Add onions and fry on medium low heat till the onions turn golden brown. 

Add ginger garlic paste and stir for another minute. 

Add tomatoes, tomato puree, coriander powder, turmeric powder, both the chili powders, cumin powder, salt. Cook, stirring continuously till the fat separates. 

Now add the keema and cook on high heat, stirring constantly for around 5 minutes till it changes colour to brown.

If using a pan to cook, cover and cook, stirring occasionally till the keema is almost done - around 20-25 minutes. The meat will release enough moisture but if you see the it sticking to the pan while stirring, add about a quarter cup of water. 

If using pressure cooker, add about a half a cup of water and pressure cook for 5-10 minutes.

Open the lid and keep cooking and stirring till you get the desired dryness.

If using peas, add at this stage, mix well and let it cook for another 10 minutes or so.

Add garam masala powder and stir again. 

Done! Garnish and serve.


  • The picture above is with green peas, without additional packaged tomato puree, without Kashmiri red chili powder, water completely evaporated. 

  • The picture below is without green peas, with packaged tomato puree added, with Kashmiri red chili powder, with a slight gravy

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Gobhi Soya Keema...she fooled us!!

Gobhi Soya Keema (Grated Cauliflower and Soya mince)my mother eats non-vegetarian but doesn't cook itdaddy dear stopped eating non-vegetarian in 1976 (the year I was born, and no it has nothing to do with me!!!)  but cooks quite a few mean non-vegetarian currieshe was stationed outside Delhi most of our growing up years and was able to come back home only over weekends or once a month...I don’t know whether mom started making this and its versions (refer to notes below) to make up for not cooking non-vegetarian food or to fool us into eating more veggies...knowing her and knowing us, the latter most likely J

Gobhi Soya Keema mmskitchenbites

Gobhi Soya Keema (Grated Cauliflower and Soya mince)



  • Cauliflower, grated, 1 cup
  • Soya keema/mince/granules, 1 cup
  • Onion, finely chopped, 1 large
  • Tomatoes, finely chopped, 2 large
  • Garlic, finely chopped, 3-4 cloves
  • Ginger, grated, 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon, ½ inch piece
  • Green cardamom, 2
  • Cloves, 3-4
  • Bayleaf, 1
  • Turmeric, ½ tsp
  • Coriander powder, 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder, ½  tsp
  • Kashmiri Red chili powder, 1 tsp
  • Green chilies, finely chopped, 2-3
  • Salt to taste
  • Garam masala, ¼ tsp
  • Oil, 1 + 1  tbsp
  • Lightly sautéed chopped tomatoes, for garnishing (optional) or you can use coriander leaves


Soak soya granules in hot boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Drain in a colander, wash well under running water and then squeeze out all the water. Keep aside.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wide bottomed pan. Add in the cauliflower and sauté it for 5-10 minutes to dry it up and to lightly toast it. Take it out and keep aside.

In the same pan, add the remaining oil, and crackle cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. 

Add in the bayleaf, onions and sauté till onions are lightly browned. 

Add in the garlic, mix and continue to sauté till onions turn golden brown. 

Add in the tomatoes ,half of the green chilies, ginger, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, kashmiri red chili powder and salt. Mix well and let it cook till tomatoes go mushy and start releasing oil. 

Add in about a cup of water and let it come to a boil. 

Lower the heat and add in the soya granules. Mix well, cover and let it cook for 10-15 minutes till most of the water evaporates and you are left with a thickish gravy. 

Add in the cauliflower and mix well but very gently - you don't want it all to turn into a mushy mush!

Increase the flame to medium and cook for a further 5-6 minutes till the water dries up – tossing and stirring gently all the while.

Garnish with the remaining chilies and a few chopped sauteed tomatoes.Serve hot.


  • The proportion of cauliflower versus soya granules can be adjusted to suit your taste. You can add in matar/green peas or replace soya granules with it. You can even replace cauliflower with green peas and make soya matar sabzi instead.

  • Stuffed in rotis or any bread of your choice, this makes for excellent rolls for breakfast as well as for lunch (just like the Egg Bhurji Roll)

Gobhi Soya Keema Roti Roll mmskitchenbites

And last but not the least
...this is what I mean, when I say soya granules (picture taken from the net)