Monday, June 29, 2015


A simple chicken preparation with dried fenugreek leaves / kasuri methi which gives a wonderful aroma to this dish. For tanginess I have added sour yogurt and finally a little bit of thick coconut milk for the creamy texture. I personally prefer coconut milk to cream but if you wish to add it you may do so.

Chicken ....  500 gms
Onion ..... 1 cup (sliced finely)
Yogurt ..... 1/2 cup
Kasoori methi .. 2 tbsps
Coriander leaves .. 1/2 cup
Mint leaves ....... handful
Green chillies .... 2-3
Thick coconut milk ... 2-3 tbsps
Garlic paste ...... 1 tbsp
Ginger paste ...... 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder ... 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder ... 1 tsp
Cumin powder ........ 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder .. 1/2 tsp
Salt ....... to taste
Oil ........ 3-4 tbsps

1. Clean the chicken and marinate with yogurt, salt and a little turmeric powder.
2. In a pan heat oil and fry the onion until translucent.
3. Add the ginger and garlic paste and saute for a minute.
4. Now tip in the marinated chicken pieces and stir fry for 4-5 minutes until the water dries up and the oil starts to separate.
5. At this stage tip in the coriander leaves, mint leaves, slit green chillies and kasuri methi along with the spice powders mentioned in the list.
6. Mix well and simmer adding a little water for the chicken to cook. Check the salt and add if needed.
7. Cover the pan and cook until almost done.
8. Finally stir in the thick coconut milk and cook for 1 minute.

Note: Add as much water as the consistency you require .. Dry version goes well with rotis and naans. 

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Friday, June 26, 2015


Pathiri is a thin roti made with rice flour. This is a speciality from Malabar. The procedure is a bit different than the normal rotis. The rice flour is added to the boiling water and mixed thouroghly with a wooden spoon until it thickens.It is then cooled and rolled out into thin rotis. The rice flour is a bit difficult to roll as it breaks on the edges. You can use a round cutter or a plate to cut out the uneven edges to make the pathiri nice and presentable. These go very well with non vegetarian dishes.

Rice flour ... 1 and 1/2 cups (plus extra for dusting)
Water .......... 3/4 cup
Oil .............. 1 tbsp
Salt ........... to taste

Serve them with any veg or non veg dish.


1. Boil water in a pan adding a little salt to taste.Tip in the rice flour and oil mixing thoroughly with a wooden spoon avoiding the lumps untiil it thickens. (takes about half a minute)

2. Remove it in a plate or bowl and allow it to cool a bit.

3. Knead well to make it nice and smooth. If it is dry you can sprinkle a little water while kneading.

4.Take a small portion and roll out into a thin roti using rice flour for dusting on the board. You can cut away the uneven edges with the help of a round plate or a cutter.. Roll out a few rotis to make it easier. Dust flour to avoid them from sticking.

5. Roast them one by one on a hot griddle flipping the sides fast. The colour should be white and not overdone.
 Make sure to clean the griddle / tawa each time with a kitchen towel before putting the second roti.

6.To puff them up use a spatula or a kitchen napkin pressing the edges of the roti while roasting.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Maritozzi (singular Maritozzo) are orange flavoured soft sweet buns, which are split and filled with smooth whipped cream. Apparently, these buns are popular during the breakfast hours in coffee bars in and around Rome and in the afternoon with a coffee or liqueur. However, you will find them being sold and eaten throughout the day. A pastry typical of the Lazio region of Italy, the pine nut and raisin dotted Maritozzi are supposedly a Lenten bread from the Middle Ages. It seems this was the only sweet thing they allowed themselves during the period of religious fasting. Some regions of Italy still make these buns during Lent as slightly larger loaves without the cream and these are called Maritozzi Quaresimali (Roman Lent Buns).

The story goes that Maritozzi got their name from the Italian word for marriage which is “marito”. One version says that according to local custom, Maritozzi were prepared by young women in Lazio who would bring them to the village piazza with hopes of attracting the attention of future husbands. Another version contends that it was the men of Lazio who gifted these pastries to their fiancĂ©es, baked in the shape of a heart, as a proof of love. The Maritozzi dough is essentially slightly enriched brioche dough, and traditionally is flavoured with pine nuts, raisins and candied orange peel. Once they’re baked, the buns are brushed with a sweet water and sugar syrup or else dusted with powdered sugar. After they have cooled, the Maritozzi are cut in half (almost through but not all the way) and filled with loads of smooth sweetened whipped cream

If you prefer you can leave out the sweet glaze and just lightly dust the Maritozzi with powdered sugar, which is what I did. Then serve them with or without cream, as you prefer. You might find Maritozzi with very prettily piped cream but the real thing is a rustic treat and not really meant to be pretty so just go ahead and use a small spatula to fill in the cream.

Watch this video to have an idea how Maritozzi are made

All purpose flour / maida  ... 2 cups
Instant yeast .... 1 and 1/2 tsps
Warm milk ..... 1/4 cup
Eggs ........... 1
Sugar ........ 1/4 cup
Butter ...... 50 gms (room tempereature)
Salt ......... 1/8 tsp
Raisins ..... 1/4 cup
Pine nuts ... 1 tbsp (lightly roasted)
Lemon zest ... grated from one lemon (you can also use orange zest )
Candied lemon peel .... 1 tbsp finely chopped ( you can also use candied orange peel)

For the Filling:
500ml fresh cream, whipped to stiff peaks with a few teaspoons of icing sugar
 (you will need about 2 to 3 tablespoons of cream per bun)
However it is optional.


Take warm water about quarter cup and add 1 tsp sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top and leave it in a warm place to become frothy.

Roast the pine nuts lightly.

Cut the candied lemon peel into small pieces

Take the flour in a large bowl. and add the lemon zest and sugar.

Make a well in the center and break the egg.

Add the pine nuts, raisins and candied peel.

Mix everything and start kneading with yeast and warm milk. Use as much milk as needed. Incorporate the butter little by little while kneading.

Knead the dough until it is soft and elastic.

Place the kneaded dough in a greased bowl and cover it with a foil paper.

 Leave it in a warm place for 2-3 hours or until it rises to double. (it may take longer in winter)

Now remove the dough  and knead lightly to remove the air pockets.

Roll it into a thick cylindical shape.

Divide the dough into 6 or 8 portions depending on the size you want.

Flatten each portion and roll it up gathering the edges on the lower side. Pinch to seal them.

Place the pinched side on the bottom in a greased baking tray. You can brush them with egg white or milk. Leave enough space between the buns for them to expand when they rise.
Loosely cover the tray and let the buns rise to double the size.

Bake them in a pre-heated oven for 350 degrees F for about 18 to 20 minutes. Do not over bake them.

Let them cool. Sift the icing sugar on top while they are still warm.

Note :If you’re going to brush the buns with the sugar syrup, make it while they’re baking, Boil the sugar and water together in a small pan, until the sugar dissolves. Brush this syrup on the tops of the hot buns once you’ve taken them out of the oven.
Let the buns cool completely. Then slit them, using a sharp knife, making sure you don’t cut all the way through and keep one side intact. Open them up slightly (don’t let the two parts of the bun separate) and fill with whipped cream, making the edge smooth the flat side of a palette knife or spoon. Moisten your fingers with a little water and hold each Maritozzo carefully at its base, to avoid the sugar glaze sticking to your fingers and pulling pieces of the brioche away.

Recipe and information - courtesy Aparna Balasubramanian - We knead to Bake # 28

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Monday, June 22, 2015


This is a traditional Andhra style tangy chicken cooked with gongura / sorrel leaves. Gongura leaves have a sour taste and they are added to flavour various curries, both veg and non veg. These leaves are a rich source of iron, folic acids and are very nutritious.

Chicken .... 500 gms
Onion ...... 1 cup (sliced)
Gongura ... 2 cups
Green chillies .. 2-3 (add more if you like it spicy)
Tomato puree ... 1 tbsp
Ginger paste ... 1 tsp
Garlic paste .... 2 tsps
Corinader leaves .. handful
Coriander powder .. 1 tsp
Cumin powder ..... 1 tsp
Turmeric powder ... 1/4 tsp
Garam masala powder .. 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder ... optional
Salt ........... to taste
Oil .... 4 tbsps

1. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions until translucent.
2. Add the green chillies, ginger and garlic paste.
3. Tip in the tomato paste, chicken pieces and stir fry for about 5 minutes.
4. Now add the salt and spice powders except garam masala which will be added towards the end.
5. Add enough water to cook the chicken according to the consistency required.
6. When the chicken is three-fourths done add the sorrel leaves and mix. Sprinkle the garam masala powder and add the coriander leaves. Cover and again simmer it until done.

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Friday, June 19, 2015


Here is one more pickle recipe.. sweet and sour lime pickle. I matured the lemons for 2 weeks in the sunlight and then tossed them in the spices. This way it is ready to eat and you can refrigerate it after cooling. The lemons I used were tiny and tender. If they are bigger you may have to keep them a little longer in the sunlight for maturing. Just check it out yourself.

Lemons ..... 6 (or as needed)
Saunf / fennel seeds ... 1 tsp
Cumin seeds .............. 1 tsp
Mustard seeds ........... 1 tsp
Kalonji / onion seeds ... 1/2 tsp
Methi / fenugreek seeds .. 1/2 tsp
Black pepper corns ...... 1/2 tsp (8-10)
Dry red chillies ........... 2-3
Lemon juice ............. 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder ..... 1/4 tsp
Crushed jaggery ....... 1 tbsp (or sugar)
Vinegar .................. 1-2 tbsps
Salt ........... to taste
Oil ....... 2 - 3 tbsps 

1. Wash the lemons well and wipe them with a kitchen cloth.
2. Cut them into quarters or  desired size pieces. 
3. Add salt and put them in a jar. Mix the lemon juice.
4. Tie a muslin cloth and place the jar in the sunlight for 2-3 weeks until the lemons are matured.
5. Now dry roast lightly all the spices mentioned in the list and grind them coarsely.
6. Heat oil in a pan. Reduce the heat and add the jaggery and vinegar.
7. Stir until jaggery melts. Tip in the spice powder. 
8. Now remove the lemons with a wooden spoon and toss them in the pan lightly.
9. If needed add a little water left in the jar to get the required consistency.
10. Cool the pickle and store it in a clean sterilized jar.

Note:You can refrigerate it. I do that because the weather keeps changing and the pickle can get spoilt  easily. You can adjust the chilli level as per your preference. Jaggery can be substituted with sugar but I personally like jaggery better. The pickle spice mix can be made in large quantity and stored too. You can use it to make achari recipes like achari bhindi, paneer, gosht etc etc...

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