Friday, December 31, 2010

Best of Year 2010

The Year 2010 will remain the most special year of my life FOREVER, Alhumdulillah! :)

I say so because some of the most important developments in and around me and the best of the things happened to me this year. Waise i am a person who would love to live life in the best way possible and would never miss a chance to celebrate each moment! But this year has been exceptionally great and i loooooooooved every bit of it! Now lemme take a recap of the year 2010 and say what was so great about this year that i regard it ' The Best year' of my life till date.

January : I got married! :D So you know the main reason for me to love this year. * wink wink*  The month was spent in shopping, shopping and more shopping! My wedding was on January 31st, so i had this whole month to indulge myself in the best. A south Indian family girl going to be a part of a North Indian family!! Such awesome times i had. If you would like to know about my wedding shopping experiences, you can read my post in my other blog here .

February : My honeymoon trip to Malaysia and Singapore! No doubt it was my best holiday ever. My hubby dearest showered me with everything that i wished and dreamt of! How can i NOT be happy then ;) Thank you soo much darling! :)

March : My hubby left to New York and my visa processing started - The only pain i experienced this year which is still going on!! But all is well and i would be leaving to NY soon, Insha'Allah :)

April : Tra la laaaaaaaa!! My hubby comes back to India to stay with me for one whole month! :D More reasons to celebrate! We enjoyed in my hometown - Mangalore for a week. We spent a week in his hometown - Gujarat for a week. We went on a fun trip with my family to Munnar, kerala for a week. The rest of the days were spent in post wedding parties ! ;) A fun filled month!

May: My birthday AND my hubby's birthday too! Since it was our first birthdays after marriage, we wanted to make it more special. We did celebrate it in the best ways possible showering each other with love, care and a whole lot of gifts! But unfortunately we could not be together for my birthday because he had to leave at the start of the month and my birthday was at the end of May! But nonetheless, he made sure he made my birthday reely special :) And now the tragic part of the month! :( I lost my dear friend in the Mangalore Plane crash :( She used to live next door and i had the keys of her apartment which i was waiting to give her on that fateful day. I will never forget that day :( May her soul rest in peace, that is all i can pray for now.

June : My visa processing was going on and i started my experiences in the kitchen full time! Yeah, till now i was busy with college and friends so i used to just be the assistant cook in my kitchen. But now i started taking the main jobs ;) I have a passion for writing and i wanted a platform to record events of my life and my thoughts! So yeah, started blogging -

July : This month was spent in missing my hubby and my in-laws but i was enjoying being with my family even after my wedding ;) I know i was one of the lucky few who gets the opportunity to live with parents and siblings even after marriage, so i was making the most of it ;) My cooking sessions were going full on and my blogging too.My cousins flew down from Dubai and we had some of the most memorable weekends ;) I had posted about one such weekend here .

August : I started baking cakes! One thing which i always wanted to do. I baked so many cakes in August and September that i got tired of baking them but my siblings were not tired of eating! So i went on and on!

September : Weddings, parties and get togethers. Caught up with school friends, college friends, MBA friends!

October : A very important month for me this year! My parents left for the 40 day pilgrimage to Mecca also called Hajj. So i was handed over the position of the 'Top chef' at home as my mum was on the 40 day leave from the kitchen! I knew it was a big responsibility for me as i had two working brothers and 3 college going siblings, an aunt and my grandma! I had to please their taste buds throughout the 40 days! And Alhumdulillah, it turned out one super splendid month for all of at home! We all gained weight! LOL! Not that while my parents were around we were skinny creatures, but the amount of chicken, paneer, cheese, cakes, desserts,  sandwiches and chaats that went into our tummies this month, we all bloated up! :p And not to forget my elder bro's birthday meal preparations! Just fabulous!

November : My younger bro's birthday! Again a special menu for all of us. I had such a good time cooking these 40 days! And guess what, i started this food blog ;) Chef Naaz - The Mistress of Spices!. My parents got back on Nov 21st and i prepared a special meal on their return which everybody feasted on! :)  If you would like to know more of my experiences as a ' Top Chef', you can read it here .

December : My visa processing is in the last stage and once all is well, Insha'allah i would be leaving to NY asap. My blog turned one month old and i hosted the 'Trifle Event' on my blog :) I participated in various events in this month and i got to know so many amazing bloggers and their delicious recipes. I was so very happy to be getting followers, awards and such  lovely comments from fellow bloggers! It was such a good motivation. I also had a reunion with my MBA friends and we had a gala time.The year ended on a superb note with a family outing! :)

Now to pick the top 5 of my posted recipes!

I would give the first place to my Fruit Trifle

Second place to Prawns Manchuri

Third place goes to Kharaash Chicken

Fourth place has gone to Heart Healthy Meal

And last but not the least! The fifth position goes to my gorgeous Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry frosting

My Resolution for the Year 2011 is to cook real good food and please my hubby and in-laws taste buds every single time i cook! Its gonna be a new year and a new country for me and i hope to enjoy every single day doing the things which make me and my family happy the most! One thing i want to reeeeeeely do to perfection is Baking! I was such a reluctant baker and i wish to overcome all my baking fears in the coming year! Wish me luck guys :)

I would love to thank my hubby, my family, friends - both on and off the blogging world, for giving me so much of love, care and motivation everyday, to help me do the things that i love the most! :) Hope you all had a good time reading this post just like how i had a good time doing the recap! I wish you all a very happy New year 2011. May all your wishes, dreams and aspirations come true. May all that we cook be loved by all and may all of us stay good friends, help one another and spread peace and happiness around :)

Enjoy and have a fantafabulously amazing,  magnificently splendid and yummilicious year ahead! Happy New Year 2011! :)

Sending this post to Srivalli's Best of the year 2010 Event . Thank you Srivalli for making me do this wonderful recap. I enjoyed every bit of it :)


Thursday, December 30, 2010

My gorgeous Chocolate cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

Its been a month since i got a microwave for my Ammi, and ever since i wanted to make cupcakes in it. I had made cupcakes earlier in the oven but i wanted to bake some in the MW. While i went shopping for muffin  cups and trays, i came across the silicon muffin cups and i just could not get my eyes off them! They looked sooo cute! I  asked the guy there if they were really MW safe! :p And lo! I got 'em home! I got searching for chocolate cupcake recipes because my siblings love it and wanted to do a frosting with strawberries since i had them at home. So i went online checking for recipes and i came across Shabs cuisine's chocolate cupcakes with strawberry frosting . I loved the recipe and wanted to try it out. I made some slight modifications and baked the cupcakes. And you can guess by the pictures, they turned out AWESOME!!

Things we need:
2oo g  butter at room temperature
2 ½ cups castor sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 ¾ cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp Chocolate Syrup
1 cup whole milk
2 tsp vanilla essence
1. Beat butter and sugar for 3 minutes on high speed until soft and fluffy.

2. Add egg, one by one at a time to the above mix, mixing well after each addition.

3. In a separate bowl, sieve together flour, baking powder and soda, cocoa powder and salt twice or thrice.

4. Mix vanilla essence with milk.

5. Fold 1/3 of the flour mixture to the egg-sugar mixture followed by little of the milk and mixing well. Repeat the process until milk and flour is all used up. Add flour and milk alternately, starting and finishing off with flour.
6. Pour in the chocolate syrup and mix well. 

7. Scoop the mixture to muffin cups filling just below half or just half full. Bake for like 4 mins on microwave convection at 200 degrees. Cool them on wire rack completely before frosting them.
Being baked in the Microwave!
Now for the Strawberry Frosting:
1 cupWhipped cream
1/2 cup Lightly sweetened Strawberry Puree
3-4 tsp of icing sugar

1. Beat the whipped cream and beat only till soft peaks form.
2. Add the icing sugar and beat well. 
3. Then add the sweetened strawberry puree a little at a time and beat until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised.  Taste and fold in more puree if required.

Since it was my first time doing the frosting, it dint turn out stiff. I learnt from my mistakes and Insha'Allah next time i hope to perfect it :) Until then enjoy the recipe and the pictures! :)

Sending these cupcakes to
Srivalli's Kids Delight- Chocolate Feast!
Dr. Sameena's Cookies and cakes for xmas 
Smitha's Choco delites event
Its time to jingle again  at Asan Khana
Champa's Bake off Event!
Suma's baking event 


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I have been tagged!

My childhood friend Prathima Rao tagged me in a series of questions on her blog Prats Corner . It was the first time i was tagged to answer questions and so i was all happy and excited to answer the Q's! Here i am with my answers! Hope this helps you in getting to know me better. :)

1. Who inspired you to cook or bake?

Well, i guess i should say ' My Marriage' inspired me to cook ! LOL! I got married early this year and before that i was always busy with my studies, family and friends. I did have an interest in cooking but dint exactly spend time in the kitchen. But yeah once i got married, i knew i HAD to develop my culinary skills and that is how i got cooking ;) The food bloggers played a real big role in inspiring me to cook because i got to know people like me who did not know much of cooking, doing some amazing dishes. And If i have to name persons i guess i will mention my Ammi and my hubby.

To inspire me to bake - It would definitely be my younger sis. She LOVES cakes, pastries and the like. So i started baking to heed to her requests! And i am so glad she got me baking. otherwise i don't think i would bake any cakes coz..psst psst.. i WAS a lil scared of baking. But now all is well :)

2. What is your take on organic food? Is it a big deal for you?

Organic food.. Ah its still something which i haven't given importance to. Probably in the future i might, but right now not a big deal!

3. You try a new recipe and it does not turn out good, What will you do?

Obviously, i would feel a lil sad if it does not turn out the way i expected, but then if it was something that went wrong because of my mistakes, i would definitely try again, but if its not liked by anyone of us at home, i would never try it again ;)

4. Do you have a new years resolution - and would you be sticking to it?

Well, New year always comes with a lot of enthusiasm for each one of us. We always wish to do much better than we did in the previous years. And i am no exception. I do make resolutions every year but i end up fulfilling just a bit of every resolution. For 2011 i would love to make resolutions AND stick to them! I intend to learn ALOT of cooking in the coming year and since i am going to join my hubby and in-laws in New York in January, i wish to please their taste buds every single time i cook. I wish to learn a lot of North Indian cooking from my Mom-in-law and hope to teach her my south Indian cooking. Wish me luck folks ;)

5. Do you time your breakfast, lunch and dinner or eat when you are hungry?

Ummm.. For my family, i would time the meals accordingly but for myself i choose the latter :p
Actually much depends on the menu too. If its something that i drool over, i eat it ON TIME, actually.. before time :p But if its something that i do not like, i would postpone my meal to the maximum time and eat it when my Ammi's patience levels comes down totally and i get a earful! :p This usually happens during breakfast coz lunch and dinner we make it a point to have it together. I LOVE it when the whole family is together for meals.

6. Name three ingredients you consciously avoid or eliminate even when the recipe calls for it. 

Mushrooms, MSG ( Ajinomoto), Lemon Rind.

7. Name three things you have to use in most of the recipes.

I love using cumin seeds usually. I love the aroma it brings in. And i love Ginger garlic paste and yeah onions usually are a must for me.

Now lets get the tag rolling ;) I wish to pass on the questions to 5 of my blogger friends. And they are..

1. Fezi of Kitchen Boffin
2. Ms. Chitchat from chitchat@crossroads
3. Tahemeem from Tahemeem's Blog
4. Ayeesha from Taste of pearl city
5.Akheela from Torview


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Paneer Cutlets

Paneer is one awesome ingredient which can make any recipe taste delicious. I made this few days back when all of us at home where just lazying around because of the rains here and my dad and bro came back home early. So i thought lets enjoy the evening chai with everyone with these Paneer cutlets! And we did have a wonderful evening :)

Paneer - 1 cup
Beans - 1/2 cup
Green Peas - 1/2 cup
Carrot - 1/2 cup
Potatoes - 1 cup
Chat masala - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Pepper Powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp

1. Boil and mash the potatoes.

2. Boil and chop the veggies finely.

3.Take a vessel and mix together all the veggies and the mashed potatoes along with all the spices and salt.

4.Once the paneer- veggie mixture is ready, shape them into oval cutlets.

5. Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the cutlets.

Enjoy with tomato sauce or Mint chutney. :)


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Penne Pasta in Green Peas Masala

Last evening i was in a mood to cook something different other than our usual chapathi or rice for dinner. So i explored the pantry and saw two pasta packs looking at me and that was it! I took them out, searched for some nice pasta recipes online but i dint have some or the other ingredients at home that time. So i decided to make one masala from the things i had at home! And this is what i came out with. I served it along with Chicken 65 in a yummy gravy and i got soo many compliments for it. I was one happy cook last night! :)

Items Required:
Penne Pasta - 250 gms
Green peas - 150 gms
Capsicum - 3
Ginger - Garlic paste - 2 tsp
Tomatoes - 250 gms
Tomato Sauce - 2 tbsp
Onions - 3
Vinegar - 1 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 3 tsp
Ground cumin - 2 tsp
Pepper Powder - 1 tsp
Water as reqd
Oil - 50 ml
Salt to taste


To prepare Pasta:
1. For 250 g pasta, boil 2 1/2 litres of water.

2. To it add 25 g salt and a few drops of cooking oil.

3. To the boiling water slowly add the Penne pasta and continue cooking for approx 10-15 mins, stirring occasionally till pasta is done.

4. Drain the cooled pasta and rinse in fresh cold water and keep aside. 

For Green Peas Masala
1. Soak green peas overnight, boil and keep aside. [I used frozen green peas and boiled it]

2. Heat oil, fry onions, ginger garlic paste and pepper powder in a large dish and mix together.

3. Cook for 5 mins stirring in between.

4. Add tomatoes, capsicum, chilli powder, vinegar, sauce and ground cumin. Cook for 6-8 mins.

5. Then add boiled green peas, water as required consistency and salt according to taste and stir the mixture. Cook for 5 mins.

6. Lastly, add boiled Penne pasta. mix well and serve hot.

Enjoy it with a spicy chicken gravy! ;)

Sending this to Any One Can Cook - Series 9 hosted by Taste of Pearl City


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mint Chutney

My favorite chutney made by my Ammi! Truly love this! I eat this chutney along with Roti, sandwiches, snacks or just about anything!

Coconut - 1/2
Pudina/ Mint leaves - Fistfull
Tamarind - Small ball
Onion - 1 small
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Salt to taste

Grind all the ingredients together except onion to a smooth paste. Add the chopped onion to the paste and grind for a minute. Enjoy! :)


Monday, December 20, 2010

Hara Bhara Kabab

Hara Bhara kabab has been one of the most liked snack at my place especially by one of my aunt who had come over to our place during Ramadan. I had made this that day and she loved it sooooo much that she told about it to all her daughters! :p They all asked me what i had made that their mum is all gaga over it. Its a nice veg kebab filled with greens! A lil on the healthy side too except for the frying part but i shallow fry it so oil used in is also less. A perfect snack for a wintry evening!

Potatoes - 4
Green Peas - 1/4 kg
Palak / Spinach - 1 Bunch
Pudina/ Mint leaves - 1 bunch
Coriander Leaves- 1 cup
Green chillies - 4-5
Bread crumbs - 1 cup
Chat masala - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

1. In a pressure cooker boil the potatoes, green peas and palak.

2. Make a fine paste of pudina, coriander leaves, green chillies and boiled palak.

3. Mash potatoes and green  peas and add in green paste.

4. Now add in chat masala, salt and lemon juice. Mix well.

5. Make balls and press them a little to give it an oval shape. Dip in breadcrumbs and fry till golden brown.

Enjoy with tomato sauce!

Sending this to Any one can cook- Series hosted by Ayeesha of Taste of Pearl city

And also to Only greens event hosted by Sara from Sara's Corner and Pari from Foodelicious


Friday, December 17, 2010

Ragi Falooda

This sweet dish is made in our house ONLY when we keep fasts. Muslims fast on the 9th and 10th of Moharram. Since today is 10th Moharram ( First month in Islamic Calender), we are fasting and we made this sweet today. Ashura is a religious observance marked every year by Muslims. The word 'ashura literally means "10th," as it is on the 10th day of Muharram. It has a lot of historical significance. During the time of the Prophet Mohamed ( peace be upon him), local Jews observed one day of fasting at this time -- their Day of Atonement. The Prophet Mohamed ( Peace be upon him), learned of of this tradition, and stated that the Muslims should also fast. He himself fasted for 2 days, and recommended that all Muslims fast for two days as well. This fast is not required, simply recommended.

Ragi - 1 cup
Dosa rice ( Kacchi chaawal) - 1/2 cup
Sugar or Jaggery - 3/4 cup ( add more if needed)
Coconut - 1/2 cup
Cardomom (peeled and crushed) -10-12
Ghee (to grease the plates)

For Garnishing:
Badam / Almonds AND Pistachios -Peeled and slivered

1. Wash the Ragi and rice. Sieve and grind with coconut and water.

2. Once we get a fine paste, take a thin cloth or strainer and strain the paste.

3. The paste should neither be thick nor too thin.

4. Heat a steel vessel and pour the paste into it and start stirring it. The main thing while making this dish is to stir it right, to avoid it getting burnt and to cook it well. As you keep stirring it, add sugar/ jaggery and continue stirring it till its dissolved well and all the lumps in the paste vanish!

5. Add the powdered cardamom to the paste and stir well. 

6. Once its cooked well and you get a nice not-too-thin-nor-too-thick paste, grease 2-3 plates with ghee and transfer the paste onto these plates. Do not use any spoon to transfer the paste to the plates, but pour it directly holding the steel vessel itself. This is done so that its evenly spread and this looks neat too ;)

7. When you have all the ragi falooda paste on the plates, garnish it with Almonds, pistas and sprinkle some cardamom and allow it to cool.

8. It can be eaten while its warm but its best to refrigerate it and have it after 2-3 hours. Before serving, make horizontal and vertical lines on the falooda, so that it is cut into medium sized pieces.

As you all know the health benefits of Ragi, you will agree with me that this is one healthy sweet dish! Do give it a try :)


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Brown Rice, Black Channa curry and Turai Sukka - A Heart Healthy Meal!

I came across the Eat well Live well event hosted by Ayeesha of Taste of Pearl city few days back and i wanted to send my entry to it. So i worked on a Article Entry and sent it to her. But i wanted to send a recipe entry to her the event too! I saw that the last date to send the entries was December 15th and since it was my brother's weddding last weekend i was super busy with it. But i told my Ammi about this event and told her lets make one whole healthy meal today. So the menu for lunch was Brown rice, Black Channa curry and Ridge Gourd/ Turai sukka - One perfect healthy meal! Lets move on to the recipes now!

Brown Rice in its raw form, once its cooked and Black channa curry

Brown Rice:

The Brown Rice is now supposed to be healthy diet because of its health benefits than a White Rice.The process that produces brown rice removes only the outermost layer, the hull, of the rice kernel and is the least damaging to its nutritional value. The complete milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids.

Health Benefits:

1. Lower cholestrol
2. Significant cardivascular Benefits for postmenopausal women.
3.Protects against Haert diseases.
4. Lowers type 2 Diabetes Risk.
5. A good source of Fiber.
6. Provides all necessary carbohydrates requirements. 
7. It is a body building food.
8. Beneficial for stomach and intestinal ulcers and for diarrhea. 
9. Because of the mineral content, it supplies important nutrient for the hair, teeth, nails, muscles and bones. 

Brown rice
How to cook :

For 1 cup of brown rice, we need 3-4 cups of water.

Boil the water and add the rice when the water is boiled along with salt to taste.  Brown rice takes more water and time to cook than white rice. Once the rice is cooked and is soft, turn off the heat. 

Next let us move on to Black Channa curry!

Black Channa Curry

Black channa / Black Gram/ Black Chickpeas - 2 cups
Coconut Grated - 1
Beans  - 10  ( chopped into 1/2 inch)
Carrot - 3  ( Chopped medium size)
Potato - 2 ( Chopped medium sized cubes)
Whole coriander - 1 tsp
Whole Red chilli - 5-6
Turmeric/ Haldi powder - Pinch
Garlic - 2 cloves
Onion - 1
Tomato - 1 big
Whole Garam Masala - 2 cinnamon, 3 cloves
Coriander Leaves

For seasoning :
Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tbsp
Garlic - 3 cloves

1. Soak channa overnight or atleast for 6 hours.

2. Roast the grated coconut till light brown. Make sure you keep stirring it cuz it might get burnt!

3. Roast whole red chillies and whole coriander. 

4. In a blender, add the roasted coconut, red chillies and coriander along with haldi powder and blend to a paste.

5. Then add garlic and onion and grind till we get a smooth paste.

6. Meanwhile, pressure cook channa along with water for 3 whistles or till its done.

7. Remove the lid, add the chopped vegetables, salt and allow it to cook without pressure.

8. Add the ground coconut mixture to the veggies, adding water and allow it to boil. Once it starts to boil, add tomato and whole garam masala.

9. Cook for 5 minutes.

10. Add chopped coriander leaves.

11. Last step is seasoning - Heat oil in a pan, add in mustard seeds and once it starts to pop, add garlic. Pour this into the channa curry and now a heart healthy curry is READY! :)

Ridge Gourd / Turai Sukka

Turai sukka

Ridge Gourd / Turai - 4
Onion - 1
Toamto - 1
Salt to taste
Grated Coconut
Mustard seeds

1. Peel, wash and chop the turai into small or medium pieces.

2. In a pan, add in the turai, chopped onion, tomato, salt, water and cook till its green. Do NOT overcook as it will lose its nutrients.

Note : Do not add in too much of water as it loses its water while cooking.

3. Add grated coconut once its cooked

4. Seasoning: Heat oil in a pan, add in mustard seeds and once it starts to pop, add garlic cloves and then add this to the turai sukka.

Trust me, this is one of the healthiest meals we can ever have! Do give it a try! 

Keep smiling and stay healthy! :)

Sending this to Eat well Love well event at Taste of Pearl City

And to Vegetarian foodie fridays


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hurray! My First award!

I just completed one month of successful blogging here and i have been chosen for an award. Thank you so much Sujana. Friends, those who know and those who do not know Sujana, please do visit her blog for her awesome recipes.

I would love to pass on this award to 10 of my blogger friend. Do visit their blogs! :)

1. Ayeesha of

2. Akheela of

3. Aparna of

4. Nithya of

5. Prathima of

6. Priya of

7. Suhaina of

8. Srivalli of

9. Aipi of

10. Akhila of

YOU all have been an inspiration to me through your comments, recipes and encouragement! Thank you :)

Heart Healthy Meals - Keep the Heart and add the health!

Eating heart healthy meals doesn’t mean giving up some of those too-rich favorite family recipes. With a few changes, you can keep the heart and add the health. Here’s how:

General Substitutions

Milk/Cream/Sour Cream
● Cook with lowfat (1 percent fat) or fat free dry or evaporated milk, instead of whole milk or cream.
● Instead of sour cream, blend 1 cup lowfat, unsalted cottage cheese with 1 tablespoon fat free milk and 2 tablespoons lemon juice, or substitute plain, fat free or lowfat yogurt or sour cream.

● Use a variety of herbs and spices in place of salt.
● Use low-sodium bouillon and broths, instead of regular bouillons and broths.
● Use a small amount of skinless smoked turkey breast, instead of fatback to lower fat content but keep taste.
● Use skinless chicken thighs, instead of neck bones.

● Use cooking oil spray to lower fat and calories.
● Use a small amount of vegetable oil, instead of lard, butter, or other fats that are hard at room temperature.
● In general, diet margarines are not well suited for baking. Instead, to cut saturated fat, use regular soft margarine made with vegetable oil.
● Choose margarine that lists liquid vegetable oil as the first ingredient on the food label.

● In baking or cooking, use 3 egg whites and 1 egg yolk, instead of 2 whole eggs, or 2 egg whites or 1/4 cup of egg substitute, instead of 1 whole egg.

For Meats and Poultry
● Choose a lean cut of meat and remove any visible fat.
● Remove skin from chicken and other poultry before cooking.

For Sandwiches and Salads
● In salads and sandwiches, use fat free or lowfat dressing, yogurt, or mayonnaise, instead of regular versions.
● To make a salad dressing, use equal parts water and vinegar, and half as much oil.
● Garnish salads with fruits and vegetables.

For Soups and Stews
● Remove fat from homemade broths, soups, and stews by preparing them ahead and chilling them. Before reheating the dish, lift off the hardened fat that formed at the surface. If you don’t have time to chill the dish, then float a few ice cubes on the surface of the warm liquid to harden the fat. Then, remove and discard the fat.
● Use cooking spray, water, or stock to sauté onion for flavoring stews, soups, and sauces.

For Breads
● To make muffins, quick breads, and biscuits, use no more than 1–2 tablespoons of fat for each cup of flour.
● When making muffins or quick breads, use three ripe, very well-mashed bananas, instead of 1/2 cup butter or oil. Or, substitute a cup of applesauce for a cup of butter, margarine, oil, or shortening—you’ll get less saturated fat and fewer calories.

For Desserts
● To make a pie crust, use only 1/2 cup margarine for every 2 cups flour.
● For chocolate desserts, use 3 tablespoons of cocoa, instead of 1 ounce of baking chocolate. If fat is needed to replace that in chocolate, add 1 tablespoon or less of vegetable oil.
● To make cakes and soft-drop cookies, use no more than 2 tablespoons of fat for each cup of flour.

NationaI institutes of Health
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute


Sending this to Taste of pearl city -Eat well live well event

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Andhra Chicken

If you ask me or my siblings what dishes we love eating the most, our unanimous answer would be 'Chickennnnnnn' ! Yeah that's true! We can eat more food when there is a chicken dish on the menu, my mom did a candid research on our eating patterns and reached that conclusion! So when i started spending *more* time in the kitchen, i definitely wanted to learn chicken recipes! I learnt few dishes which Ammi used to cook and then i turned towards my comp! And i landed on cooking4allseasons, a blog by Srivalli.

This was around 3-4 months back and my interest in cooking was just rising. I went through the recipes and finally bookmarked and decided i would make Andhra chicken roast, a beautiful recipe which she has shared. Thanks Srivalli. :) And i made it that day and several times after that. It turned out FABULOUSLY well! Totally yumm! The actual recipe calls it Andhra chicken roast but i make it slightly gravy-ish!

What i gathered:

For the marinade:
Chicken - 1 kg
Yogurt- 2 cups
Ginger garlic paste - 3 tbsp
Red chilli powder - 3 tbsp ( we love spicy food) :p
Salt to taste
Red food color- A pinch

To Saute:
Onions - 4 small
Chopped Ginger - 1''

For the masala :
Whole Coriander - 2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Fennel - 1 tsp
Poppy paste -3 tsp


1. To marinate chicken, wash and cut the chicken to the desired size. Add in yoghurt, Ginger Garlic paste, salt and chilli powder, red food color and refrigerate for an hour. ( The longer, the better)!

2. Heat oil in a kadai and saute the chopped onions until light brown. Add in the chopped ginger and saute for a few mins. Add in the chicken marinade. Cook the chicken for around 20 mins with the lid on, without adding water.

3. Meanwhile, roast the whole coriander, cumin and fennel seeds and grind them to make a fine powder.

4. Once the chicken is cooked well, add the above ground powder along with poppy paste and cook again for around 20 mins or till its done.

Garnish with coriander leaves.

Yummy eh? ;)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Trifle Event

Yaay! My blog completes one MONTH today! :D

I am so happy the way my blogging is progressing! Alhumdulillah! Its all because of the support of my darling techie hubby and all my blogger friends who have encouraged and inspired me in spite of me being an amateur cook! Thank you! :)

As i am relatively new to food blogging, i know that i still have a loooooooooooooooooooooooong way to go till i become a 'good' chef like you all out there, and i do not want to leave any stone unturned during this process! I am all in favor of sharing and learning and would love to learn from each and every blogger in this wide world of food blogs!

I have seen a lot of event hosting going on in food blogs and am totally in love with it! I have participated in quite a few events and am happy about it! And now i want to host one! :) My blog turns one month today and so i thought why not start it today! :D

As i was going through my trifle post, i felt that i need to know more trifle recipes because of the fondness towards it at my place :p So i decided that i would host a 'Trifle' event wherein you all can share and in turn teach me new trifle recipes! :)

I hope i can learn at least one new trifle recipe in this big wide web of food bloggers and share it with others too! After all sharing is caring ;)

So i hereby announce the start of the 'Trifle event' at my blog here and i invite all of you to this event! Awaiting your entries!

All you have to do is to link your recipes through the linky tool below or mail me at with :

1. Your name
2. Name of the dish
3. URL of the dish
4. Name of your blog
5. Picture of the dish

New dishes or archived ones - Both are fine ;)

NO dishes with alcohol allowed!

Thank you so much! :) And my wait starts now! ;)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fruit Trifle

I Love this!

If u love Fruits, cakes, custard, or simply desserts, you gonna drool over this one! I too did. I saw the pic of this recipe on my friend's facebook profile pic and i fell in love with it. Ofcourse i wanted to know how she made it and she did tell me. Thank you soo much Ayesha for this :)

I made this for my elder bro's birthday last month and we all finished it in a matter of few mins!! A perfect dessert after a heavy meal. Fruit trifle.. here you come!

Things needed:

A sponge cake
Tinned pineapple- 1
A Chocolate bar
Whipped cream
Vanilla custard ( i used half litre milk for the custard)
Strawberries ( For the topping)
Tutti frutti & Cherries ( Topping)


1. Slice the sponge cake horizontally into two parts. Soak both the parts in the pineapple syrup till It is completely soaked. ( from the tinned pineapple). Best to use fresh pineapple juice.

2. In a dessert bowl, spread one of the layers of the cake. Spread a layer of whipped cream. Add small chunks of pineapple.

3. Add a layer of custard after this.

4. Add chopped apples and pomegranate ( optional but i did it and it added to the awesomeness) ;)

5. Next, Place the second layer of soaked cake and once again spread another layer of whipped cream.

6. Repeat the custard and fruits layer if u have it remaining. Top it with a layer of whipped cream again.

7. Now to deck it up. Try to be as creative as you can. Here, I first sprinkled grated Kit kat chocolate bars and topped it with cherries and tutti frutti, since i could not get strawberries!

Till date, this has been my favourite dessert and my siblings just cant get enough of it! Nor do i ;) I love trifles and if any one of you know any such mesmerizing trifle recipes, Plzzzzzzzzzzzzz do let me know! Till then happy drooling ;)
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