Hot and Sweet Stir Fry

Chicken and Mushroom

Stir frys are the best. By best I mean easiest to cook. Here’s one of my good ones. And by good one I mean, better tasting and better looking.

Ingredients:
Boneless chicken – 500 gms
Button mushrooms – 1 packet
Capsicum – 1
Onion – 1 large sliced
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Spring onion – Chopped handful
Sesame oil – 2 tbsp
Fish sauce – 2 tbsp
Soy sauce – 1 tbsp
Green chilli sauce – 2 tbsp
Honey – 2 tbsp

Method:
1. Heat oil.
2. Add onions along with the ginger garlic paste and green chilli sauce.
3. Saute till onions are translucent.
4. Tip the chicken in and add the soy sauce.
5. Let it cook for 5 mins on medium heat.
6. Add the sliced mushrooms.
7. Let it cook further for another 5 mins.
8. Add the diced capsicum, fish sauce and let it all simmer for 2-3 mins.
9. Tip in the honey, mix well and garnish with chopped spring onions.

Serve with steamed rice.

You could play around with the dish by adding all kinds of vegetables – baby corn, broccoli, and the likes.

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Thai Red Curry

It’s taken 3 years to resurrect our blog. We have been busy helping food lovers across the world to get closer to their favourite restaurant.

In a nutshell, we moved base to Gurgaon from Bangalore. We are with Zomato. We are still cooking – in different kitchens.

Thai Red Curry.

No readymade pastes from the supermarket anymore. What I did though, was take a look at the ingredients at the back of the readymade curry paste packet. I tried my best to come close to what the paste should be like. As it turns out, I did. One whiff of it and your lungs will be filled will the aroma of lemongrass and galangal. Although, the heat from the chillies will make you curse me to an early death. I’ll live with that.

Ingredients for paste:
Long red dried chillies – 12
Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Garlic – 4 cloves
Galangal (grated) or ginger – 1 inch
Lemon/lime leaves – 6-7
Lemongrass – 1 chopped

Other ingredients:
Chicken – 500 gms boneless
Sesame oil – 2 tbsp
Fish sauce – 5 tbsp
Basil leaves – 5-6
Coconut milk – 400 ml (2 packets)

Method:
1. Saute the dried chillies in 1 tbsp sesame oil for a minute or till the chillies swell a little.
2. Now grind all the ingredients mentioned for paste along with the chillies and half a cup of water.
3. Heat rest of the sesame oil and cook the paste in it till the paste darkens in colour.
4. Add chicken, basil leaves and a tsp of salt.
5. Let the chicken cook in the paste – 10 mins approximately.
6. Add the coconut milk and let it come to a boil.
7. Add fish sauce and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Serve with steamed/jasmine rice.

PS: This is my version of the curry. It’s easy. But make sure there’s enough ventilation in the kitchen because, red chilli paste cooking in oil. Get it? Okay.

– Pallavi

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Cinnamon Rolls


What could be sweeter than the scent of cinnamon? I’ll tell you, Cinnamon Rolls baking in the oven. That’s exactly what filled my home the other day, Cinnamon Rolls in the oven, chill evening with light showers. A hot cup of coffee, and troubles could take a hike. If only the Cinnamon Rolls didn’t take so long, they’d be a regular affair I’d be happy to indulge in for sure. This was my first time baking them. Not perfect, but still good I’d say. A touch more cinnamon and 5 minutes less baking time would have been just right.

Ingredients:

Dough

4 ½ cups sifted flour

14 gm. wet yeast

1 cup milk

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup sugar

½ salt

3 eggs

Filling:

¾ cup brown sugar

1/4 cup flour

1 – 1 ½ tb sp cinnamon powder

½ cup cold butter (cut into pieces)

½ cup raisins

Method:

Tip the flour and salt on your kitchen’s clean platform. Heat the milk and the sugar till the sugar dissolves, take it off the heat and add the butter. Take ¼ cup of this mixture to mix in the yeast till it has completely dissolved. Now tip the yeast mix into the flour. Begin mixing in while slowly adding the milk, butter and sugar mixture. Now add the eggs one at a time. This will turn into one sticky mess. Don’t sweat. Now knead the dough till it all comes together well and becomes smooth and is no more sticky. Make a ball of this dough and let it rest in a warm place covered for about 2 hours. The dough will rise in double or more. After 2 hours, knock the dough back and knead gently, just a few times. Let it sit for 10 minutes. In the meantime, mix all the ingredients for the filling. Add the butter and mix till it looks like crumbs. Roll the dough to about a 12 inch square. Spread the filling evenly and toss the raisins. Now roll the dough into a log. Make sure it’s tight. Now cut the log into rolls and place them on butter paper lined baking tray. Cover this with a cloth and let them rest for another hour till they rise again. You can give it an egg or cream wash before popping them into the oven as well. Bake at 190C in a pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes. Don’t let them brown too much (like mine). Enjoy your home filled with the wonderful aroma of sweet cinnamon goodness. Get them out of the oven and let them cool a while. Eat them warm with a cup of tea or coffee. Small joys of life. It’s midnight and I’m getting myself one now 😉

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Zesty Lemon Cake

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So I’m alone at work and it’s almost time to get home. I suddenly crave for something sweet and something tangy. Figured I could bake something myself since it’s been God knows how long since I’ve fallen off the baking wagon. Hopped on to my favorite baking recipes’ website, Joy of Baking. Lemon Bars came to mind but, but I let it pass. Next best thing, Lemon Cake; a spongy, buttery, tangy and delicious lemon cake. Fills your home with a zesty lemony aroma, you can’t help but feel lifted instantly.

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Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 cup butter at room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar

¼ cup lemon juice

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

Zest of 2 lemons

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt (if you're using salted butter, then omit the extra salt here)
Method:

First whisk the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Use a balloon whisk for this or an electric whisk to make life easy. 

Now add the eggs, one at a time, whisking continuously. 

Add the zest, lemon juice and vanilla at this point. 

Tip in the flour, salt and baking powder and bring together all ingredients to form a thick batter. 

Pour it into a 9 inch greased baking tin, or a non-stick one like I did. 

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 30 minutes or till done (do the toothpick test). 

Let it cool completely before slicing it up.

For a sugar glaze, simply add 1 tbsp of lemon juice to 1 cup of icing sugar, add more lemon juice or water to make it runnier and pour it over the cake.

For a cream cheese frosting, add 3 tbsp powdered sugar to 1/2 cup cream cheese and whisk till fluffy. Add a dash of fresh cream to loosen it up. Frost on cake.

Summer on a plate is what this is.
Older picture
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Minced Prawn with Fennel

This one is a result of experimentation! I would request you to assure yourself about the flavors and texture before trying 🙂 I stumbled upon one of the episodes of Masterchef, where Chef Wan was creating his own Kerabu. I could afford to gather only a few of the ingredients here, so I thought of creating my own interpretation of the ingredients.

Ingredients:
300 gms medium sized prawns (cleaned)
2 bunches of fennel (you could substitute the same with spinach)
1 red chilli
2 teaspoons of red chilli flakes
3 pods of garlic
5 table spoons of Thai Seasonings
2 tablespoons of paprika
3 tablespoons of coconut milk
olive oil
salt to taste
lemon lemon zest

Method:
Marinate the de-veined prawns with paprika, 3 table spoons of Thai Seasoning, a pinch of salt and some olive oil for about 15 mins.
Boil the fennel leaves and strain. Now mince it to a fine paste with garlic and red chilli.

In a hot pan, add some olive oil and lightly fry the marinated prawns. When they are slightly cooked on both the sides, mince them to a thick paste.

In a hot wok, gently fry the minced prawns and pour in the minced fennel. Lid it for about 2 mins. When the mixture is boiling keep adding the seasonings per the level of heat that you prefer. You could add the lemon zest and the coconut milk.

Serving Suggestions:
The Kerabu is basically a salad with a unique dressing. Feel free to serve the minced prawn in a bed of fennel and stripes of raw papaya with some dash of lime, cekur (which is rarely available here). Crispy spinach could be interesting as well.
Have fun!

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Zuchini Aubergine Bake



This one’s for my vegetarian friends. I came to realize we have been so engrossed in meats and finding different ways of cooking them, the poor vegetables took a vacation from our lives. Sometimes it just takes a few vegetables and herbs to make a lovely meal for the evening. That’s what I did, of course with a heavy heart 😉
As usual the supermarket had far too many people for my liking, but I somehow managed fill my basket with vegetables like zucchini, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers, aubergine and some fresh herbs like tarragon and oregano. I also picked a rustic looking loaf of sourdough bread.

Ingredients: (all vegetables to be cut into bite size pieces)
1 cup zucchini
1 cup bell peppers
1 cup mushrooms
1 cup aubergine
1 cup tomatoes
1 cup mash potato
½ cup chopped onions
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped oregano
1 tsp finely chopped tarragon
½ cup cheese
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Butter for cooking

Method:
Sauté the garlic in some butter till fragrant and slowly starts to change color. Tip in the onions and sauté till transparent. Now add the zucchini and aubergine and let it cook. When it’s cooked half way, tip in the tomatoes, bell peppers and mushrooms. Let it cook for about 5-7 minutes. Add the herbs now. You can add some dried herbs if you’d like as well. Once all the vegetables are cooked through tip it all into a baking dish. Top it with the mash potatoes, spreading it across the dish. Top this with cheese and bake in a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes or till the top turns nice and brown.
This smells really beautiful, with the herbs, butter and the different vegetables. I tore up some sourdough loaf to go with this vegetable bake and made a wonderful meal out of it. Who knew vegetables could taste this good with such few ingredients!

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Sunday Soul Sante











What a Sunday. What a Sante. This was a new age ‘Mela’ or as in Kannada ‘Sante’. Sprawl across. Tripura Vasini in Palace Grounds, Sunday Soul Sante had it all, or at least what we needed. Music. Food. Shopping. We spent a good half a day in there and it almost transported us to the Anjuna Flea Market in Goa. Colorful stalls of jewelry, bags, paintings, hand crafted shoes, quirky artifacts, books, decorative lights, tarot card reader, cupcakes, brownies, hats, you name it you see it! It was a photographer’s Disneyland.

There was a stage set up for the music concert and fashion show which was such a crowd pleaser. There was one band in particular that we thought took coolness to another level, Live Banned. Quirky and funny, the band was quite talented as well. There were other bands too but we were getting a little hungry and headed to the food court. Established restaurants like Pepper Café, Sukh Sagar and Counter Culture had their stalls there and had people lining up for a taste of their food. We tried out some Pandi Curry (Pork Curry) with buns from a stall called Pig Out. Rs 120 a plate and absolutely worth every dime. We also tried Grilled Lamb Chops and Grilled Butter Garlic Chicken. Delicious meat, grilled to juicy perfection! From the Pepper Café stall we opted for our all-time favorite Beetroot Hummus (!!) with Butter Garlic Pita. Fantastic as usual. Our Sante ended after being stuck in the rain for about an hour – totally worth it J



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Au Bon Pain



Ever wondered where can we find one of those Cafes with a beautiful display of perfectly lined baked goodies? Au Bon Pain is the answer. Au Bon Pain is an American bakery-café chain. They have 11 outlets in Bangalore and are looking to open many more. Good for us! The one newly opened was at the Koramangala Sony World junction. One couldn’t miss its happy yellow exterior with a Bagel Sandwich poster staring at you. Casual yet comfortable are the apt adjectives to describe Au Bon Pain’s seating arrangement. Beautiful pictures of the café around the world adorn the walls as you walk up the stairs to the floor above. This is a self-service café, pick up a tray, use the tongs provided to pick up whatever you’ve been eyeing, take it to the cash counter, pay up and grab a seat to enjoy your meal. The service at Au Bon Pain is definitely noteworthy. It is obvious they take special interest in making sure the customer is comfortable and has no hassle in getting his order right. There will always be someone at any given time, however busy the café maybe, to attend to you with a smile on their face.

Right in the middle of the café they have a soup station with the Soups of the Day with an assortment of breads and breadsticks one can buy for the soup. The chiller kiosk was lined with Aerated Drinks and other Canned/Bottled Juices, Desserts like Cake, Mousse, Fruit Bowls, Musili, Cold Salads and Cream Cheese.

The Bakery section was a treat, lined with all sorts of baked goodness. From Bagels to Cookies, from Brownies to Cinnamon Rolls they had it all. We picked the Cinnamon Roll, Pineapple and Black Currant Danish, Walnut Brownie and the Chocolate Chip Muffin. The Cinnamon Roll was soft, moist, rolled with cinnamon powder and bits and slapped with sugar icing. It was a sweet surprise melting away in my mouth. They could have toned down the cinnamon a notch since it was almost overpowering. Texture wise though, it was spot on. The Danish again, the texture and the sweetness was just right topped with the right amount of the fruit preserve, making it a perfect accompaniment with a cup of coffee. The Walnut Brownie, to be honest is definitely better than what we’d get at most cafes. Then again it wasn’t as memorable as the other baked goodies. It could have been a little more moist. Then came the Chocolate Chip Muffin. Although I did find it dense and on the heavier side, it would sure be a hit with chocolate lovers since they get pretty generous with the chocolate. The Chocolate Chip Cookie I found to be true to its form, moist, chewy, fresh and delicious. It had quite the ‘home-made’ feeling to it. That’s exactly how a cookie should be.

They also serve a good variety of beverages. We took to liking their Coffee Blast, which was a cold coffee with crushed ice.; smooth, creamy and delicious. They also serve Iced Teas, Slushes and a variety of Hot Coffees.

With the number of outlets opening at every other corner of the city Au Bon Pain is sure to stay and serve the city with more of their delicious food. Be sure to visit one of their many outlets in the city and you are sure to be a loyal.

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Bacon Salad with Chicken Balls



My new ‘thing’ are Salads. It was very recently that I picked up two books by Jamie Oliver, since then the only argument in my head is, is he cool or super cool? ‘Jamie does…’… hello the Naked Chef! Flipping through the easy-make-at-home salads, I was totally inspired to try out something in my kitchen as well and getting my brother to have some veggies 🙂 The Dish that inspired me to cook up my own easy salad was ‘best chorizo and tomato salad in the world’. Well sad that I couldn’t find the right chorizo so I resorted to bacons and chickens.
Ingredients:
200 gms bacon
200 gms boiled boneless chicken
2 large juicy tomatoes
½ a large zucchini
200 gms of purple cabbage
100 gms spring onions
5 pods of garlic
100 gms mushroom
Olive oil, butter and salt and pepper to taste
Process:
For the meat balls, first in a hot pan add 1 tbl spoon of butter. Now add the chopped garlic pods and wait until they turn golden. To it add the boiled chicken pieces and shallow fry them, add salt and pepper per your taste. After the edges turn a little golden brown, take them off from the pan and mince them in a blender into a thick consistency to be able form small balls. Keep aside.

Now, heat the pan again with some olive oil in it. Now, add the chopped mushrooms, zucchini (thin and long slices) and chopped spring onions. Be careful not to fry them for long as they are would become too limp to be in a crunchy salad. When it softens after a minute or two’s cooking, keep aside. Also, simultaneously throw in your bacon slices into you hot pan and let them cook in their own fat.

We are now pretty much done with the preparations; we just have to throw in all the ingredients into your favorite salad bowl and toss it at the dining table. In a large bowl, add the chopped purple cabbage, spirals of tomatoes, shallow fried spring onions, zucchini and mushrooms, fried bacon and the chicken balls. Season it with a little bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. Your salad is ready 🙂
Suggestions: You could enjoy your salad with a side of rustic bread with Garlic cloves rubbed onto it. Also, some good cheese along with it, does the trick.

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Purple Cinnamon’s BBQ night






Barbeque night has been on our to-do list for a while now, but we never got around doing anything about it until last weekend. Our shopping list was pretty easy to memorize.
Meat
Vegetables
Fruits
How cool are we? Very.

What we wanted to do was pretty basic and simple. Marinated chicken for the BBQ, grilled/sautéed sausages, pineapple and water melon salad, vegetable skewers, alcohol and friends of course. We started with the marinade for the chicken which just happened on the spur of the moment. Ginger paste, garlic paste, chilli powder (for heat), paprika (for color), vinegar, salt and sugar. Basically whatever was within an arm’s reach. Coat every piece of chicken with the marinade generously and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours.

For the salad, we just tore up some lettuce, tossed in cubes of watermelon and pineapple along with the dressing which was just some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey. A few good additions would be feta cheese, plum tomatoes and olives.
It was time to bring out the grill to the balcony. The men got to work and made fire, so to speak. It took a while but it was a splendid success. Thank you boys and Upasana.

Before we forget, the do-it-yourself (we have only one set of hands!) welcome drink ‘Mojito’ was also a hit. All we did was point out where we’d arranged the necessary ingredients and off they went. Mint leaves, lemon slices, 7 up/sprite, ice cubes and fresh cherries (for decorative purposes, but no harm if consumed).

We got the marinated chicken out of the refrigerator and carefully arranged it on the literally smokin’ hot grill. It would’ve taken not more than 5 minutes of grilling on each side. The result: char grilled succulent boneless pieces of chicken oozing out the flavors from the marinade and cooked to tender perfection.
It’s safe to say that the highlight of the night were the Bacon Wrapped Prawns grilled to glorious perfection. We will be ever so grateful to Karthik Shetty for giving us the absolute pleasure of savoring this divine creation of his.
Vegetarians, we care for you too. We had the Veggie Skewer going on with plum tomatoes, pineapple and raw mango. This was delightfully surprising since the meat lovers also leaned in for a nibble or two. Upasana too decided to go for seconds! So yep, bit of a revelation when it comes to bbqed raw mangoes.

To bring things to en end, we cleared the areas of the house wherever they lay suspect of barbequed meat or veggies there. Looking forward to hosting another party now…this time with more meat and drinks 

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