Monday, August 10, 2015

Prawn Cauliflower Curry

My lil one loves prawns. Quite often she demands for "chingri" and wants to eat it "sudhu sudhu", which means only prawns and nothing else. Last Saturday was very busy which included a parents-teacher meeting at lil A's school and running errands. Initially we thought of eating lunch outside, but for some reasons I was craving some homemade nice curry. I peeked in the vegetable box and saw one small cauliflower sitting to be used. I thought of doing a plain and simple cauliflower curry but then remembered about this curry and got excited. I have not made this in ages, don't know why, so made this with full eagerness. And it turned out to be really good. I like the light, little watery version of this curry and enjoyed it with a warm white rice. Life is good! 


Cauliflower - 1 small head
Prawns - 6-8 large/12-14 small or whatever you like
Potato - 1 medium, diced
Onions - One medium, sliced fine, 1 small made to paste
Ginger - 1/2 inch, made to paste
Garlic - 2-4 cloves, made to paste
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch stick
Cardamoms - 3-4
Cloves - 2-3
Red chilli - 1
Green chilli - 2, or as many as you like
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil - 4 tablespoon (I used mustard oil)

I cut the cauliflower into medium sized florets and smeared with salt and turmeric. The potato was diced. Both prawns and potatoes were smeared with salt and turmeric too. 

(Tips: I cut the cauliflower and keep it submerged for 10-15 minutes in highly salted water, it cleans the vegetable from any insects hidden inside).

Next I fried the florets in hot oil, till they were slightly browned. Next in the remaining oil, saute the prawns till the color changes. remove and place on the kitchen paper.

In the remaining oil (add more oil if required), add red chilli, cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon and saute for a minute or two. Add the sliced onions to it and fry it till they are translucent. Add the onion paste to it and fry it well. 

Next add garlic and ginger paste and mix well. Add salt, turmeric and cumin powder. Add the florets and potatoes to it and give it a nice mix for few minutes.

Once the potatoes and florets are well mixed with spices, add the prawns, green chillies, and add 1/2 cup of warm water to it. If you want it more watery, add more water. Cover it and simmer for few more minutes.

Check to see if all are cooked well and the soup becomes little thick in nature. Add a spoonful of "ghee" or clarified butter to it.

Serve with warm rice. 
Sorry, I was in hurry and could not take many pics.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Easy Eggless Semolina Cake

This is a supereasy to make and very comforting semolina cake. I had a version of this cake way back at a friend's home. I was craving to have some cake that goes well with tea or coffee but was not in a mood for anything elaborate. Searching in the internet, I came across basbousa, a Mediterranean semolina cake and thought it might be interesting. I am glad that I gave it a try this weekend and was extremely happy with the cake. It is bit higher on the calorie side but then again indulgence is allowed once in a while.


(This is for my 7 inch pan)

Semolina - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/4 cup (It was mildly sweet which we like, you can increase the sugar to 1/2 cup)
Yogurt - 1/2 cup
Milk - 1/2 cup (Whole or skim)
Butter - 2 tablespoon (soft)
Raisins- Fistful (optional)
Almonds - 5-6, to garnish

For syrup

Water - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Cardamom - 3/4 pieces

Dry roast the semolina for 5-7 minutes. Be careful not to burn it.

In a bowl, mix the sugar with yogurt well. Add milk to it and stir it again. Now add the roasted semolina to it and mix it well. If it is too tight, you can add 2 more tablespoon of milk.

Add the butter to it and set aside for few minutes so that the butter is nicely absorbed. Add the raisins to the mixture.

Pre heat the oven at 180C.

In the meantime, add water and sugar for the syrup in a pot and bring it to boil. Add the cardamoms and cinnamon.

Once the sugar is melted, lower the heat and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes till the syrup is thick.

Transfer the semolina mix into a greased pan and bake it for 25-35 minutes.In the meantime chop the almonds.

Last 5-7 minutes I have broiled the cake to give it a nice color on the top. Once done (test with a fork, when inserted it should come out clean), take it out carefully, and make some slits on it with a knife.

Pour the syrup on the warm cake and garnish with slivered almonds.

Have a piece as it is or with your afternoon tea.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mango Bread Pudding

Its summer!!!!! With all the heat and humidity I love this season and one of the major reason for it are mangoes. Yep, rightly called the "King of Fruits". Right now, we are eating tons of it, and everyday.We were not fast enough and some of them were ripened a little too much. So thinking of how to use them apart from using it in a smoothie, we thought of using it in a bread pudding. At our household we quite often make bread pudding so were extremely eager to try this new version. And with starting of school, it can serve the purpose of a very healthy after school snack.


Mangoes - 2 cups (cut in bite size pieces, you can use less or more)
Bread - 4-5 pieces (torn in bite size pieces)
Whole Milk - 3/4 cup
Egg - 1
Sugar - 1/4 cup (you can use more according to the taste)
Raisins - Handful
Vanilla - Few drops
Butter - 1/2 teaspoon

Tear up the bread into pieces and keep in a bowl Cut the mangoes in bite size pieces, cut it on a plate to reserve all the juices that come out. 

Mix the mango pieces and juice with breads and set aside for few minutes.

In a separate bol, mix together milk, egg, sugar and vanilla. Add a pinch of rock salt/common salt to it.

Grease the baking tray with the butter. I used a 9 inch square baking tray. 

Add the bread/mango mixture to it. Pour the milk mixed with egg and sugar.

Add the raisins on top of it.

Bake in the oven at 180 C/300F for 25- 30 minutes. If you want it a little darker, you can bake it for longer time.

Chill it in the refridgerator for 30 minutes. You can have it as it is or serve it with vanilla ice cream.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Zucchini Noodles aka Zoodles (Without Spiralizer)-Easy and Healthy Lunch

I know it has been too long that I posted here but trust me, this space is always in my mind. And I feel bad for my absence here. But life is getting busy with other responsibilities and with summer here, there are so many activities already in my calendar. Anyways, I will try my best to keep this space alive.

Okay, "zoodles" or "zasta", however you call them. They are viral all over the internet and caught my fancy the first day I saw them. These are noodles or pasta made from zucchini. Sounds weird, right? But they are yummy for your mouth and waist line. So what took me so long to post this? Well, I was trying to get the right tool, a spiralizer, to make the "zoodles" as shown in thousands other blogs. But unfortunately, there are not too many good options available to me to buy from. Also, I hate a kitchen appliance that is not used regularly, or is not multi functional and thus I am not still sure whether I want to invest in it or not.

So however I was eager to try it, I kept myself holding back. Then one day I said, enough is enough, and tried my good old veggie peeler to make ribbons of the zucchini I had in my kitchen. So technically these are not "noodles" but more like "ribbons", but that does not make it less tasty at all. And since I started doing it, I am not stopping at all. In the past ten days, I had this "zasta" or zucchini pasta, for six days. There is no need for me to tell that these are super healthy, but also they are easy to make and tasty, which is really important for me.


Zuchhini - 1 largish (I peeled them using my veggie peeler and left the skin on)
Oninon - 1 red medium, sliced
Tomato - 1 medium, chopped fine 
Green pepper - 1 medium, sliced thin
Oil - 1/2 tablespoon
Salt - to taste
Pepper - to taste
Mozarella - 1/4 cup, grated (optional)

I medium zucchini serves as one serving. Peel them (you can use the spiralizer, or julienne peeler if you have one) in long ribbons till you reach the core with seeds.

Cut your veggies as you like and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan, add the onions and sauté till soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes and green pepper to it.

Add the zucchini ribbons to it and stir on high heat. Add salt and crushed pepper. Stir fast on high heat for few inures till the zucchini is cooked. Be careful not to burn it. Adding salt will release water so cooking in high heat prevents the zucchini from being too soggy.

Ready! Enjoy your pasta with out the carb load.

You can eat this at this stage or go to the next step, which I am very fond of. 

Transfer it to a oven safe dish. Add grated cheese (I used mozzarella, use whatever you have), and bake for 3-5 minutes, or till the cheese has melted well. 

Yummy! It even tastes and smells like pizza to me.  (I am drooling while editing this post, ughh)

Quick tip: You can also microwave the cheese until melted, it may not have the crusty top, but is delicious in its own away.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Book Review: Ramayana, The Game of Life, Shattered Dreams, Book 2

I have been an avid reader from very beginning of my life. And I totally owe this to my great story teller grandfather who seeded the love of reading within me. My many childhood afternoons were spend listening to the great epic stories of our country from him. He used to modulate his voice and narrate with such a passion that one could vividly see the scenes in front of the eyes. Ramayana was one of such stories that he repeatedly used to tell and I knew the stories even before I knew my alphabets.  And even my toddler daughter have her own Ramayana both in English and Bengali. So I was pleasantly thrilled when I got this wonderful book by Shubha Villas to review. One quiet evening I sat with the book with a mug of coffee and could not put it down.


Ramayana in general plays an important role not only in Indian literature but also in Indian society. It depicts the story of an ideal kingdom with perfect relationships, and talks about ideal characters like the ideal father, son, brother and wife. Ramayana has been translated in various languages all over India and the one we had at our home is Krittibasi Ramayana, written in medieval Bengal by a Bengali poet. In this form of Ramayana, Rama is more of an ideal village boy, rather than a Lord.

Moment she knew that I was reading my Ramayana, she quickly brought her and demanded to put it by mine

Shattered Dreams is the sequel to the bestseller, Rise of the Sun Prince, and starts from the point where King Dasaratha wants to coronate Rama, his elder son, as the King of Ayodhya and how fate takes its own turns and shatter the dreams of this old father. I came to learn about many new things of Ramayana, like Ravana was known as Dasagriva and how he became Ravana. Also, that Urmila was an artist in herself and her own way to help her husband during the long years of exile. The book is written in a very lucid language and has a very nice flow that keeps the reader enchanted. It very gently described the pain of Dasaratha as he had to succumb to his wife's demands, Rama's sense of duties to his father, Lakshman's strong love for his brother and Sita's love and sacrifice for her husband. I liked the part where the writer narrates the scene between Bharata and his mother, the pain that his mind and body goes through on hearing what his mother had done to his beloved Rama. What I like about the book, is the analogy the writer brings with the modern day life situations and explains it in todays perception. Also, I felt the book dealt with the characters in a more humanly manner and thus one can relate to the emotions and pain of the characters. Even Ravana's character is explained in sort of light of a human being rather than a demon. The writer truly did a wonderful job in depicting this thrilling and complicated family drama.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program from Blogadda. Participate to get free books today!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Green Bean and Carrot Curry

I love winter, for a long list of reasons. Winters bring riots of colors in the kitchen, the everyday orange carrots are replaced by this bright red color ones. The mundane green beans become a little more greener.I love them all. I made this vegetable dish just in a whim, with no definite recipe in mind, just getting allured by the fresh produce. And it turned out good and tasty, and of course healthy.


Green beans - 2 cups, cut in 1 inch pieces
Carrots - 2 large, diced
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Ginger paste- 1 teaspoon
Nigella seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Green chillies - 1
Oil- 1/2 tablespoon
Salt to taste

Cut the vegetables, you can also add whatever you have, wash and drain.

Heat oil in a pan, add nigella seeds, and add the vegetables. Saute them for few minutes till they get soft.

Add the grated coconuts to it and mix them well.

Add ginger paste and salt, mix them well and cover with lid till cooked completely. The veggies will release water and get cooked by it, but you can add few tablespoons of water if required.

And, here you go, ready to be eaten with warm white rice or roti. I told, you, its that super easy.

And you feel good about feeding your loved ones healthy.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Flourless Brownies-Less than 50 Calories

Friends, no more starving yourself from brownies. On the contrary, you can have as many you like. More than 3, no problem. Because, these beauties are flour less, and, hold your breath, less than 50 calories! Heard me right, less.than.fifty.calories.

As if not these are enough reasons for indulgence, they are super easy to make, almost one pot, soft, gooey and yummy. And, healthy. That's it, my new year resolution is to eat as many  brownies I like, these brownies. I have starved myself for enough time from brownies.

Perfect dessert to ring in New Year.Am I too late to wish you a happy new year?

Never mind, Happy New Year friends!


Yogurt - 3/4 cup
Milk - 1/4 cup
Cocoa powder - 1/2 cup
Oats - 1/2 cup
Sugar or sugar substitute - 1/4 cup
Egg - 1, medium
Baking powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - A pinch
Walnuts - 1/4 cup, chopped (optional)

Put all the ingredients except egg into your blender jar. Beat egg separately and add to the mix. Give a pulse or two to the mix in blender.

Pour the entire mix into a 8x8 inch baking dish. Remember to grease the dish well. I know, it kind of looks suspicious, but have faith my friends.

Preheat oven at 200C or 400F. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until fork when inserted comes out clean.

Leave them to cool. I just learned this trick of leaving brownies just a wee bit undercooked.

And yes, they are ready. Super soft, gooey delight. And did I say they are less than 50 calories!

This makes 9 large pieces. Just double the batch and make more.

And eat one or two of this cuties, or maybe three. No guilt required.

I had to make a second batch instantly. Because I ate too many of the first batch.

Approved by my super picky eater toddler too. Bonus points!