Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Mexican dishes are nice and spicy, perfect for Indian taste buds. I simply love them. Here is a soup recipe with beans, tomatoes, avocado and cheese. Serve it with chilli-cheese toast and it makes a complete and filling meal.

Kidney beans ... 1 cup (boiled)
Onion ............. 1 small (finely chopped)
Garlic ............. 2-3 cloves (finely chopped)
Red chilli ...... 1 (sliced finely)
Tomatoes ...... 2 (blanched and peeled)
Vegetable stock .. 1 cup (optional, you can use water instead)
Avocado ....... 1/ 2 (diced)
Coriander leaves .. handful
Olive oil ........ 1 tbsp

1. Heat olive oil in a pan and saute the onions until translucent.
2. Add the garlic, red chilli, tomatoes and stir fry.
3. Add the vegetable stock or water and cook for 5-7 minutes.
4. Allow it to cool and using a hand blender blend the contents.
5. Now tip in the kidney beans and 1 cup water. Season with salt and simmer until well heated. Adjust the thickness of the soup as per your liking and add water or stock accordingly.
6. Pour the soup into individual serving bowls and top with tomatoes, avocado pieces, sliced red chillies, grated cheese and coriander leaves.
Serve with cheese toast.

For the chilli cheese toast:
Grated cheese
Diced onion
Red chillies finely chopped
French bread.

1. Slice the bread.
2. Butter the slices and spread the grated cheese, onion and red chillies.
3. Grill them until the cheese melts and they are lightly brown and crunchy.

The recipe is adapted from here

Linking to:

Hearth and Soul blog hop: August first week @ Zesty South Indian Kitchen

Monday, August 3, 2015


I have been wanting to try out recipes with Sriracha sauce and was so excited to find it in a Japanese  grocery store. First recipe I am making with it is the world famous chicken wings. They were so delicious. The sauce is not as fiery as I had expected it to be but a nice blend of sweet, sour and hot flavours.

Chicken wings .. 8-10
Oil ...  to fry
Coriander leaves ... for garnishing.

Garlic paste .... 1 tsp
Lemon juice .... 2 tbsps
Olive oil ...... 1 tbsp
Garam masala .. 1 tsp
Salt ................ to taste
Paprika ........ 1 tsp

For the wings:
Sriracha sauce ... 1/4 cup
Honey .............. 2 tbsps
Lemon juice .... 2 tbsps
Butter ............... 2 tbsps
Zest of 1 lime
Salt ........ to taste

1. Clean the chicken wings and toss them in the marinade. Set aside for few hours.
2. Line them on a baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes are until they are almost done.
3. Heat oil in a wok and fry the wings turning the sides to make them crispy.
4. Mix the ingredients for the wings sauce in a bowl.
5. Take a saucepan and heat the sauce until the butter melts.
6. Toss the fried wings gently in the sauce coating them evenly.
7. Remove them on a serving platter and garnish with coriander leaves.

Sunday, August 2, 2015


Barley is an amazingly versatile and nutritious grain. I remember grandma and mom used to make barley porridge when ever anyone was sick. Adding some to your pot will improve your health along with the flavour of whatever soup / stew you are making. Here is a hearty vegetable and barley soup for you.

Barley ... 1/2 cup (soaked)
Onion .... 1 small (chopped)
Carrot ... 1/4 cup (diced)
Capsicum .. 1/4 cup (diced)
Baby corn ... 2-3 (cut into small pieces)
Celery ........ 1 stick (diced)
Tomato ..... 1 (blanched and peeled)
Seasoning .. 1 cube (I used Maggi)
Salt ........... to taste
Black pepper .. freshly crushed.
Soy sauce ... 1 tbsp (optional)
Coriander leaves ... for garnishing.
Olive oil.... 1 tbsp

1. Soak the pearl barley for few hours. Boil it or pressure cook it with a little salt until the grains are tender.
2. In a pan pour olive oil and saute the onion for a minute.
3. Add all the diced vegetables and boiled barley.
4. Add about 3-4 cups of vegetable stock or water and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce the flame and simmer the soup.
6. Now cut the blanched tomato after removing the seeds and add to the soup.
7. Crumble the seasoning cube and stir it into the soup.
8. Add the salt and soy sauce which is optional. Be careful adding the salt as the seasoning cube and soy sauce both contain salt.
9. When the vegetables are done season with freshly ground black pepper and add the coriander leaves.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

JULEKAKE / JULEKAGA (Norwegian Cardamom Scented Christmas Bread)

Julekake (or Julekaka/ Julekaga) is a rich holiday bread flavoured with cardamom which is traditionally served at Christmas in many Scandinavian countries. It is particularly popular in Norway and Denmark. Incidentally, Julekake means “Yule Bread” in Norwegian. This bread is more cake-like in texture and sometimes it is dusted with powdered sugar or glazed with a white sugar icing. If it is not glazed or left plain, then it is usually served warm at breakfast with butter or a goat milk cheese called geitost/ brunost.
 In Norway, Julekake traditionally only a lime green citrus peel called sukat is added along with the cardamom. Nowadays many people also add red and green cherries to reflect the colours of Christmas. Other popular additions are raisins, candied orange peel, and coloured candied peel. Some recipes for Julekake also feature almonds, but the main flavour in this bread comes from cardamom. You may choose to omit the candied fruit/ peel if you do not like it or cannot find it. Julekake must however feature raisins and cardamom. Those who do not use eggs may omit the egg in the recipe.

 Julekake (Partially adapted from the Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas)


All purpose flour .. 2 and 1/2 cups (extra for dusting)
Active dry yeast .. 2 tsp
Luke warm milk .. 1/2 cup
Egg ...................... 1
Butter ................. 50 gms (room temperature)
Sugar ................. 1/4 cup
Salt ..................... 1/4  tsp
Cardamom powder . 1/4 tsp
Candied fruit ....... 1/2 cup
Dark raisins ......... 1/4 cup
Candied orange or lemon peel .. 1 tbsp

1 egg lightly beaten
1 tbsp milk
Pearl sugar or crushed sugar cubes / chopped almonds.

1/2 cup icing sugar
1-2 tbsps milk
1/4 tsp almond extract.

Note: If you are using icing on top reduce the sugar quantity in the ingredients to half ( 1/4 cup ) so that the bread is not too sweet.


Take 1/2 cup warm water and add a little sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top without mixing and leave it in a warm place for a few minutes until it becomes frothy.

Take the flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and break the egg. Add the salt, sugar, cardamom powder.

Knead it with the help of yeast and warm milk incorporating butter little by little during the process.

 Make a soft and pliable dough.

Remove the dough to a floured surface and knead gently for a few minutes.

Now  roll it out or flatten with hands.Spread the candied fruits, raisins and candied peel evenly.

Roll it like a swiss roll and knead it gently again so that the fruit mix is evenly mixed into the dough.

Make it like a round ball. Place it in a greased bowl covering with a cling film or aluminium foil.

Leave it in a warm place until it is doubled. This takes about an hour and half. In winter it takes longer time.

Take the risen dough and again knead it lightly to make a round ball.

Place this in a greased baking tin or any loaf tin.

Let it rise again for 1 hour.

If you are using egg wash then brush the top surface and sprinkle the almond slices or sprinkle the crushed icing sugar. But if you plan to use the icing on top skip this step.

Bake at 180 C (350 F) for 25 - 30 minutes until the bread is golden brown and done. Half way through baking cover the bread with a foil to avoid it from further browning.

If you are icing the cake remove it from the mould and allow it to cool before doing it.

WE Knead To Bake # 23 Julekake - My Diverse Kitchen

Friday, July 31, 2015


Nothing better than having a bowl of hot soup in winter. I prefer home made soups to the packed ones as they are fresh and without any preservatives. Today I have tried out celery soup.
Celery is a great choice if you are watching your weight. One large stalk contains only 10 calories! So start adding celery in your salads, soups and stir-fries. You can even snack on a piece of celery with any kind of dip.

Celery ..... 2 cups (chopped)
Onion .... 1 (half cup - sliced)
Potato .... 1 (1 cup - chopped)
Cream ....  3-4 tbsps
Olive oil ... 1 tbsp
Salt ..... to taste
Black pepper .. freshly ground
Celery leaves ... for garnishing.

1. Clean the celery stalks and wipe them with a kitchen towel.
2. Chop the celery, potato and onion.
3.In a pan add 1 tbsp olive oil and the onion slices and saute for a minute.
4. Tip in the potato and celery. Add salt to taste.
5. Add about 3-4 cups of vegetable stock or water and bring to a boil.
6. Simmer until the vegetables are cooked. Let them cool.
7. Blend the soup using a hand blender or in a mixie.
8. Pour it back into the pan. Check the consistency and add milk or water to dilute according to your liking.
9. Stir in the cream and season with freshly ground black pepper.
10. Pour it into the serving bowl and garnish with celery leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.