Mac & Cheese VF version

A compulsory bandh in Mumbai got me cooking finally. Didn’t have any groceries at home so made the most of what was there. A creamy Mac & Cheese mixed with some sausage and a combination of Parmesan and processed cheese and topped with crunchy buttered bread crumbs. What a delicious lunch it was, just missed some garlic bread though.


150 gms macaroni

100 gms grated parmesan cheese

4 grated cheese cubes

10 minced garlic

2 cups milk

4 tbsp butter

3 tbsp maida

4 sausages sliced (can be replaced with any meat or avoided as per prefernce)

2 tsp mixed herbs

1/2 cup bread crumbs


  1. Cook macaroni Al Dente. Drain.
  2. In a pan, melt butter over medium heat. Saute garlic and stir in maida.
  3. Add milk slowly, stirring constantly to smoothen the lumps.
  4. Stir in cheeses, and cook over low heat until cheese is melted and the sauce is a little thick. Add all the herbs and adjust seasoning.
  5. Put macaroni in large casserole dish, and pour sauce over macaroni. Stir well. Ensure you have enough sauce as some will dry out in the oven.
  6. Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and brown. Spread over the macaroni and cheese to cover. 
  7. Bake at 175 degrees C for 20-25 minutes in a preheated oven. 

Mangalorean Chicken Ghee Roast

Digging into my Mangalorean roots, I realised that one dish we never made at home was Ghee Roast. It is pretty famous on many Mangalore specialty restaurant menus but for some reason Mom never made this one.

I know many vegetarians including my sister Savera who loves a ghee roast. Mushroom One being her favourite. She is going to be pretty pleased when she knows I finally tried a recipe.

I read many recipes online and figured out the basic preparation, but wanted to add my own finish, so the main masala is my moms recipe which we use for sukka Chicken too. This dish works only when u are generous with ghee to get that delicious aromatic flavour. Neer dosa is a perfect accompaniment with ghee roast.

MARINADE (for 1-2 hrs)

1 chicken

1 cup hung curd

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

1 tbsp red chilli powder

1/2 tsp haldi powder

2 tbsp coriander powder

1 tsp garam masala powder

1 lime



20-25 dry red Kashmiri chillies
3 tbsp dhania seeds
1 tbsp jeera
1/2 tsp methi seeds
6-7 peppercorns
1″ dalchini
1 tsp rye
1 tbsp khus khus
4 Laung
10 flakes garlic
Small ball tamarind

2 onions


3/4 cup ghee

2 tbsp powdered or fine jaggery

10-12 curry leaves

1 tbsp sliced garlic

chopped coriander


  1. Marinade the chicken with the ingredients mentioned and leave aside for 1-2 hrs
  2. Roast chillies, dhania, jeera, methi, pepper, dalchini, rye, khus khus and laung . (One by one)
  3. Grind the roasted spices with garlic, onion, tamarind and salt to a fine paste by adding some water.
  4. Heat few tbsp of ghee in a pan and cook the chicken with the marinade. Dry off excess liquid.
  5. In another pan, heat 1/2 cup ghee, add curry pata when it sizzles add the spice paste and fry it off well.
  6. Add the jaggery and mix well
  7. Once the paste leaves ghee, add the cooked chicken to it and mix it well. Adjust seasoning.
  8. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  9. At serving time, temper some more ghee and fry some curry leaves and chopped garlic, pour it over the chicken.

Mushroom Dum Biryani

Your sister says she is coming over for lunch and her constant gripe is that I don’t cook anything for her. So this time I thought would take an effort to make something elaborate.

Now when it’s a Tuesday and she follows a no nonveg day, that would certainly leave me in a fix. Lazy bum that I was I had not stocked the fridge too. But luckily had 2 packets of mushroom which I had bought recently for a pasta order but the client told me not to add any at the last moment.

So now I have these mushrooms and I was racking my brains on what to make. And then I remembered my mom making this mushroom Biryani recently so I thought why not, it’s pretty yum

Mushrooms are considered a vegetarians meat due to its flavour and texture. What a perfect ingredient to a dish that is quintessentially made with meat. Was tempted to add eggs to it but controlled.

Well the end product is for u to see and us to hog and hog we did. All over in one meal.



400 gms button mushroom – quartered

4 tsp hung curd

1 tsp gingergarlic paste

2 fried onion paste

chopped coriander leaves

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp haldi


1.5 cup rice

2 cloves

1 cinnamon stick

2 black cardamoms

1 tej pata

1 star anise

1tsp shah jeera

1 tsp ghee



Other Ingredients:

1 sliced big onion

1/2 lime


1/2 tsp garam masala


1 fried sliced onion

chopped coriander

mint leaves

fried cashews

saffron mixed in 1/4 cup warm milk


  1. Marinate the mushrooms with all ingredients mentioned, don’t add salt. Leave for 45 mins.
  2. Cook rice till 90% done. Drain water and spread to dry.
  3. Heat ghee in a pan and fry the onions till golden brown.
  4. Add the marinated mushrooms and cook it out. Once nearly done, add salt, lime and garam masala powder. Mix well and shut the gas
  5. Take a big heavy bottom vessel, grease with ghee.
  6. Make a layer of rice, then add some fried onions, coriander, cashew and mint, sprinkle little saffron milk.
  7. Add a layer of the mushroom masala. Now alternate again with the rice, garnish and mushroom to finish off with rice layer again. Garnish well on top.
  8. Seal the lid with atta to give dum to the biryani.
  9. Place the vessel on a tawa and cook on slow for about 25 mins. Serve hot with some raita.

Mocha Mousse with Roasted Almonds

I was never a coffee lover till I got pregnant with my son. Suddenly had major coffee cravings even though its not recommended during pregnancy. We used to live in Hyderabad then and I used to go to Rainbow Hospital for my check ups. Bang opposite there was this some deli cum mart (don’t remember the name) that made the most amazing cappuccinos. I would finish my check up and go have a coffee quietly. I can see the after effects in my hyper active son now.

I blend coffee with milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate, as its the perfect way to cut the bitterness with the sweet. Add some roasted almonds for the crunch and such an easy dessert to serve.


400 gms Morde pure milk chocolate

133 gms Amul fresh cream

2 tsp coffee powder

1 cup Rich whipped cream (after whipping)

chopped almonds

  1. Preheat an oven at 180 degrees, roast the almonds till it releases fragrance and colours to a light golden.
  2. Whip the Rich cream to stiff peaks and keep in the fridge
  3. Melt milk chocolate either in a microwave or double boiler.
  4. Warm Amul cream, add the coffee powder and mix well.
  5. Add this mix to the melted chocolate and mix well.
  6. Let it set at room temperature.
  7. When cool, fold in the whipped cream well.
  8. Now u have a choice of mixing the almonds in this mousse or place at the bottom or as a garnish.
  9. Chill in the fridge for a few hrs before u serve.

note – if u have a preference for bitterness then make it with pure Morde dark chocolate – 400gms chocolate to 160 gms cream, Other process remains the same.

Lemon Garlic Cream Chicken

Sometimes you need a change in flavour. Indian chicken curries tend to favour spicy or red gravies. One day I wanted to try something different but not international. A dish that is multi faceted and can be eaten as a started by itself or with rice or roti. I turned to my friend Alifya who is an amazing chef. She runs a business called Taheri Delights and was generous enough to share her recipe for this chicken with me. I did modify it a bit but the essence of the dish is hers.


1kg chicken
1medium onion finely chopped
1cup chic stock
1/2 cup cream
2 tbps lemon juice
1 tbsp chilli flakes
2 tbsp minced garlic
2tbsp ginger garlic paste
1-2 tbsp maida
Salt & 3 dried kashmiri chillies
Handful of chopped coriander


  1. Pressure cook the chicken with water, ginger garlic paste, salt and dried red chillies, keep for 1 whistle and slow for 2-3 mins. When cool, discard the chillies.
  1. In a pan pour some oil saute onions and minced garlic.
  2. Then add the stock, lemon juice, chilli flakes and bring to a boil and let the gravy reduce it.Add some maida to make it thick.
  3. Add the chicken and mix it well. let it cook completely on slow gas.
  4. Take the pan off the flame and add cream, mix well and put it back on heat.
  5. Adjust seasoning. Mix in the chopped coriander.


Murg Angara

Since getting involved with new ventures, I barely have time to try out new dishes. Sometimes even when I do I don’t have the time to click pictures esp for my blog. Everyone has been on my case – Get the blog active again. Slowly and steadily I am attempting to again

I always land up trying new recipes in bakes but this time it was back to my first love – Cooking. Made this chicken angara inspired by a recipe video I had seen ages afo. It’s fiery in colour and u can choose ur spice levels without affecting the colour. The finale of smoking the dish using the dungar method is what takes it a couple of notches higher


Marinate for 4 hrs
1 chicken
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
Half lemon
1 cup hung curd
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp Garam masala
1/4 tsp haldi
1 tbsp red chilli paste
Handful of mint leaves
And whole spices tempered in ghee

Other ingredients
1″ ginger julienned
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup tomato
1/3cup red chilli paste
1/4 tsp haldi
1 Heaped tbsp dhania powder
1 tsp Maida
2 tbsp cashew soaked in 2 tbsp curd
1/4 cup makhana soaked in water
One pc coal and ghee
Chopped coriander


  1. Marinate the chicken for minimum 4 hrs.
  2. Soak the cashew in curd and makhana in water for 2-3 hrs. Make a paste together discarding the makhana water.
  3. Heat oil in a pan, Add ginger match sticks, 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste.
  4. When it sizzles, add 3/4 cup onion and fry it
  5. When it’s fried well, add tomatoes, red chilli paste, haldi and dhania powder
  6. when it leaves oil and the tomatoes are fried well, add the chicken with all the marinade and salt.
  7. Let the chicken cook covered.
  8. Once the chicken is done, remove excess liquid and thicken it in a separate pan with little Maida
  9. When the liquid is thick, add it to the chicken and mix the cashew & makhana paste. Mix it well. Shut the gas
  10. Heat a piece of coal on the gas till red hot. Then place it in a steel bowl and place the bowl in the chicken gravy. Pour ghee over the coal and cover the lid of the vessel. The smoke will add an amazing flavour to your gravy
  11. Garnish with coriander

Chicken Dum Biryani

Eid is the one occasion where the aromas and flavours of Biryani call out to me. I love a good mutton biryani and was really keen to make the one I has posted in my blog a while back but the kids vetoed my brilliant plan and insisted on a chicken biryani.

Now I had never made a chicken biryani so started checking recipes and asked a few friends too. Fatema Talwala came to my rescue and gave me an awesome recipe that I am sharing here. I followed her recipe blindly as I know her non vegetarian food is finger licking good.

It has just the right amount of masala and spice and its full of flavour without being too rich. My guests loved it so much that they took little doggy bags home.


1/2 kg rice par boiled (arround 90% done)

750 grams chicken cut in big pieces

2 tbsp Ginger garlic, green chili paste

1 heaped tbsn coriander powder

half cup curd



1 tbsp Jeera

1 tsp Shah Jeera

2′ dalchini

2 tejpata

4 cloves

6-7 black pepper

3-4 elaichi

8-9 chopped garlic cloves

1′” chopped ginger

2-3 chopped green chillies

1 sprig curry leaves

3-4 medium onions paste

1/2 pkt Amul cream 200ml

3/4 tsp garam masala powder

1/2 cup chopped coriander

2 tbsp chopped mint

quarter 3 potatoes and fry them

1-2 pieces of coal

pinch of kesar soaked in 1-2 tbsp milk

Food colour (optional)

Birista (3 onions fried till crispy and brown)


  1. Marinate the chicken with ginger, garlic, green chillies paste, salt, coriander powder, curd for  half an hour.
  2. Cook the rice with some ghee, salt and a few whole garam masalas till 90% done. Spread on a plate to cool, Fluff the rice.
  3. In a pan, take pure ghee add cumin seeds. When they splutter, add Shah jeera, crackle whole garam masala, add chopped garlic, ginger, green chillies, curry leaves and saute till fragrant.
  4. Now add the onion past. Saute till the onions turn brown.
  5. Add the marinated chicken, mix well and cover and cook till the chicken is almost done.
  6. Add some fresh cream, garam masala powder and half of the chopped coriander and chopped mint.
  7. Add pieces of fried potatoes, see to it that chicken gravy is thick.
  8. Smoke this masala by heating a piece of coal till red. Put the coal in a small steel bowl and pour ghee on it. When it smokes, put the container in the chicken vessel and cover with a lid. The smoke will spread in teh vessel giving a lovely flavour to the chicken.
  9. Grease a vessel, make a layer of rice add kesar soaked in milk. If you want, you can add some food colour too dissolved in water.
  10. Spread the chicken, now add crushed birista (browned onion), add chopped coriander, mint leaves, pour some hot ghee.
  11. Spread another layer of rice, again pour Kesar soaked in milk and some food colour soaked in water.
  12. Sprinkle some water, coat the rim of vessel with wheat dough and place a lid, cook on dum till biryani is done about 20 mins.

Coimbatore’s Hotel Annapoorna’s Sambhar

I have this friend who loves her sambhar rice and could gorge on it daily. I would keep cribbing that ‘how can u eat the same thing nearly every day’. But she would grin with satisfaction and I knew she was in foodie bliss

One day she sent me a video of this sambhar and I literally rolled my eyes up. I mean usually my friends tag me on exotic dishes asking me to make it. But here I was sent a sambhar recipe video of all the things.

Now the sambhar my mom taught me is simply superb and I don’t mess with a good thing. Just to humour her I decided to make this recipe. It’s from a blog called Kannamma cooks and it’s a completely diff process than anything I have read.


Trust me this variant is super yumm and perfect with a bowl of rice and some papad. Though wouldn’t discount my moms Sambhar recipe just as yet, that still is the best. The sambhar masala here is made from scratch and gives a really nice flavour. Do give it a try.


1/2 cup Toor Dal

2 Drumsticks

1 chopped big onion

1 chopped Tomato

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoon oil

2 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

5 black pepper corn

5 fenugreek seeds

2 tablespoon chana dal

1 tablespoon urad dal

1 sprig curry leaves

3 dry red chillies

1/4 teaspoon Asafoetida (hing)

3 tablespoon fresh coconut

1 1/2 teaspoon jaggery

Marble size tamarind

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 stalks coriander leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon ghee

1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds

2 sprigs curry leaves

1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder

1 tbsp minced garlic



  1. Wash and soak 1/2 a cup of toor dal in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes. Pressure cook the dal with the water for 1 whistle and keep on slow gas for 5 mins.
  2. In another cooker add  the drumsticks, onion and tomatoes. Add one cup of water, a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of turmeric. Cook for 4 whistles.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and add in the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, pepper, fenugreek seeds, chana dal, urad dal. Fry for a minute.
  4. Once the chana dal is brown, add in the curry leaves, dry red chillies, asafoetida, coconut, jaggery and the tamarind. Fry for 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
  5. Grind the mixture with half a cup of water to a paste. Let the paste be very slightly coarse. Set aside.
  6. Take a heavy bottomed pan and add in the ground masala and one cup of water. Let it come to a boil on medium flame.
  7. Once its boiling, add in the cooked vegetables along with the water used for cooking. Add in the salt. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes on medium flame.
  8. Add in the cooked dal and let it continue to boil for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Heat oil in a kadai and add in the mustard seeds when the oil is hot. Add in the curry leaves and garlic, fry for a minute and switch off the flame.
  10. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of red chilli powder and immediately pour it on the sambar. The red chilli powder might burn if kept in the oil for too long. So have an eye on the kadai.
  11. Add in the coriander leaves and a tablespoon of ghee. Switch off the flame.


Eggless Swedish Chocolate Toscatarta

This is a chocolate version of the Swedish Almond Cake or Toscatarta. The butter moist sponge is fudgy and oh so chocolatey while the crisp almond top gives it a beautiful contrast.

Good eggless recipes are hard to find. And this ones a keeper. It’s a recipe shared by Anuja Sule from Simple Baking and it’s been on my pending list since ages. Now kicking myself that why didn’t I try it sooner.

This is the perfect cake to serve at tea time to impress your guest list.

195 grams all purpose flour
200 grams caster sugar
25 grams cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
75 grams butter, melted
1 cup (240 ml) warm water
1 tablespoon lemon juice (or vinegar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or essence
For the topping:
50 grams butter
100 grams almond flakes
50 grams caster sugar
2 teaspoon all purpose flour
3 tablespoons Amul cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or essence
  1.  Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Butter and line with parchment paper, an 8 inch round cake tin.
  2. In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, sifted cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. Add the melted butter, water, lemon juice/vinegar, and vanilla extract. With a fork or whisk, mix all the ingredients together until well blended.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for around 20-25 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre if the cake comes out MOIST but not totally clean, as the mixture will still need another 10 minutes of cooking. Increase the heat to 200 degree Celsius.
  5. Just before the 25 minutes are up, make the topping. Place the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When it has melted, add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil, allowing the mixture ti bubble away for 1 minute.
  6. After the cake has been cooking for 25-30 minutes, remove it from the oven, and spoon the almond mixture evenly over the top.
  7. Place it back in the oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the topping is golden.
  8. Leave to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes. Carefully unmould from tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe Courtesy – Anuja Sule from Simple Baking’s Happy Bakes



Butter Chicken

Disclaimer – this is not an authentic Punjabi butter chicken but it’s so yum that I can say cross my heart and hope to die if u don’t like it. It’s a mish mash of recipes that ensures the burst of flavours a good mix usually brings.

I hate sweet butter chicken that u get in the restaurants. I don’t get it, where does it say that Butter chicken should be meetha. It should be rich and creamy with a hint of spice and this version promises u that.

It’s not a very tedious or lengthy procedure but it’s not one of those jhatpat ones too. It’s created with love to be devoured with some parathas and a side of pyaaz kachumber. Enjoy



1-1.25 kg raw chicken

Tomatoes – 5 (cut in 4 pieces)
Green chili – 2-3 (slit in 2)
1/2 tsp Red chili powder
4 Cloves
4 Green cardamom
Salt to taste
2 chopped onions
Ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp garam masala
Butter – 2 tbsp
Cream – 1 packet
Kasuri Methi – 10gm
1 tbsp Maida


  1. Take a heavy bottomed pan and combine the tomatoes, water, green chili, red chili powder, cloves, green cardamom and salt. I usually put the cloves and cardamom in a tea ball so that it is easier to take it out later. If you wish, you can put them in a muslin cloth or put them directly in the pan and remove them out later.
    Put the pan on high heat for the first 5 minutes and then lower the heat to medium.
  2. Reduce this mixture to a sauce like consistency (this may take 20-25 minutes).
  3. Once the curry is done, shut off the flame and let it cool a bit. Once it is a little cool, take out the cloves and cardamoms.
  4. Using a blender or a food processor, puree the curry till it gets a smooth creamy texture.
  5. In a kadhai, heat oil add the onions and fry. When pink add the GG paste and fry it off.
  6. Add the tomato mixture and bring to boil.
  7. Adjust salt and add garam masala and kasuri methi
  8. Mix well add the chicken, the butter and cook covered
  9. When cooked add a tbsp of Maida and dry excess water.
  10. Add cream and dhania.