If you like banana bread, you’ll love these muffins. This is a Betty Crocker recipe and works perfectly well. You get the banana flavour as well as small bursts of chocolate. One of the best things about this recipe is the final touch you need to give the muffins. The cinnamon sugar with melted butter. It amplifies the the taste further more. The chocolate chips I used were Hershey’s milk chocolate ones. They’re bigger than the ones we get here and taste great. If you have anyone coming from the States or anywhere else, have them bring you these. I can’t wait to use these chips in cookies!
When there are people coming over you want to have multiple dishes laid out on the table. A few sides, a couple of mains and of course, dessert. Now the mains take up most time. And the starters is something your guests will get a bite of first, so you want to set the tone right with those. This broccoli and bell pepper starter is just right for such an evening. Simple blanch the broccoli and roast the bell pepper on the pan. Drizzle the spicy peanut sauce on them and you’re done!
Remember that peanut sauce that comes with satay dishes in restaurants? This one’s like that. It’s a 5 minute job to whip it up and can be used as a sauce for a stir-fry or for dipping chicken and veggies. It’s sweet, spicy and has a strong peanut taste (of course!). Using peanut butter as a base, you can get really creative with this one. I simply love it and will keep making it as and when I need some quick fix Thai style comfort food. Just toast some vegetables or even chicken, and slather this sauce on them. Simple. You can make it ahead and keep it in your fridge. I say this with the hope that you’d use it all up in 3-4 days.
Butter chicken is probably India’s favourite dish. It sure is the most ordered one in restaurants across the country. There’s something so delicious about tandoor cooked chicken and smooth and creamy tomato sauce laced with fresh cream. Of course, you can’t forget the butter here. It’s used in the cooking as well as a garnish. How dare one use just oil or ghee?! It’s sacrilegious, for the love of food! Alright, enough drama. I’ve had butter chicken at most restaurants in Bangalore and here in Delhi/Gurgaon. And the best butter chicken according to me was had at Downtown pub, Gurgaon. Yep. A pub. Silky smooth gravy and superbly cooked chicken. Not sweet like I’ve found plenty others to be and not bland either.
Some nights are salad night. As easy as salads look, they do take a while to bring all the ingredients together. Or maybe my salads do. It’s probably because I don’t like all raw vegetables and a salad dressing for a meal. I prefer cooked vegetables with some meat along with greens. This time I roasted pumpkin (originally for a soup but I changed my mind) and some boneless chicken, tossed them on some greens and crumbled some feta on it. Now that’s the kind of salad that works for me. For dressing, it was a balsamic, mustard and honey.
Since it has been a while I did a post on ‘makeover for leftovers’. Since I had to use some of the carrots and spinach sitting in my fridge, I thought I might as well give it a makeover with some cooked rice and mustard oil. The best thing about Indian cooking is that you can go with the flow and make any recipe your own. Like instead of these veggies, you could use beets, potatoes, cauliflower, capsicum, so on. It takes hardly any effort to make a meal out of what we already have in our fridge and pantry. In the pictures you see a glass of red. No, it isn’t wine. It’s the juice from rhododendron flower concentrate I brought back from the hills of Saattal. Tasted almost like kokum juice to my surprise and delight.
Mutton curries don’t have to elaborate and you don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen to make a pot of curry. I love my mutton curries and make variations of it. I don’t quite know if this curry qualifies to be called a Chettinad style curry. Nevertheless, it does so to be called a pepper curry. Predominant with whole pepper and curry leaves, the freshly ground spice mix also has coriander, cumin and coconut. I didn’t make a paste of it. I dry ground it. Then I cooked the mutton with this mix and that was that. As always, I deseeded the Kashmiri chillies to keep the heat factor on the lower side. The heat of the pepper is enough here. Make some hot dosae and you’re golden for Sunday lunch.
Remember my recent trip to the hills? Yes, Saattal it was. I brought back a bunch of jams. One of them was an apricot jam. Turns out, it’s my favourite. But how long will I just spread it over bread? That’s why I used it instead of honey for my sweet and spicy chilli sauce. This one’s a 3-ingredient sauce – chillies, garlic and apricot jam. Since there aren’t any other ingredients to give it volume, I used a lot of chillies. Don’t be alarmed, they were all deseeded. Except 2-3 I guess, for the heat.
I won’t even blink twice before telling you we can’t be friends if you don’t like Horlicks. Full grown adults lose their mind when they see a bottle. Case in point, my friend who advised me to keep the jar of Horlicks away from him as soon as he saw it in my kitchen. It’s so comforting to cozy up under a quilt in the winters with hot cup of Horlicks and a book, or watch a movie.
This is a quick and short post because it happened this morning. There was feta, Greek yoghurt, cherry tomatoes and basil in the fridge. I wanted a quick breakfast before I headed off for work. All I did was whisk feta and the yoghurt, spread it on toast and top it with cherry tomatoes and fresh basil. I tossed the cherry tomatoes on a hot pan for 2-3 minutes so they’re blistered. I like them that way. A crack of black pepper on it and breakfast was done. Took me less than 10 minutes. This is SO much better than boring old cereal and takes almost no time and effort to put together.