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Saturday, May 29, 2010

How to Make Chicken Soup


No two chicken soups taste the same. Depending on the ingredients, cooking style and preparation the taste differs. My Mom used to make this simple soup for us. This chicken soup is very simple to make and very nutritious.

Serves: 4, Preparation time: 35-40 minutes

400 gms Chicken (cleaned and fat removed)
2 diced Onion
1 big Tomato (diced)
1 inch Ginger (finely chopped)
6 cloves of Garlic
1 chopped Green chili
1 tsp Black pepper
1 Bay leaf
3 tsp Cornflour
1 Egg
few Lemon drops (optional)
Salt to taste
Green onions to garnish
4 cups Water

Heat butter in a pressure cooker, add bay leaf, diced onion and saute till it turns pink. Add ginger, garlic, green chilli and chicken pieces and fry for 5-6 minutes. Add salt, diced tomato and 4 cups of water. Close the lid and set over high heat to bring the pressure up. After 1st whistle reduce the heat and cook for 10 more minutes. Turn off the gas and let the pressure cooker sit for 5 minutes. For quick release method, place the cooker in the sink and run cold tap water gently over the lid until stream dissipates. You will hear the valve make a big sigh. Let the soup cool for 10-15 minutes. Now push the soup through a strainer. Remove the bones from the chicken into bite sized pieces. Now cook the soup again along with the shredded chicken for few minutes. Now add cornflour dissolved in cold water over the soup and stir gently. Pour the beaten egg in a thin stream. Stir rapidly as soon as you start pouring in the egg. To make threads, stir rapidly for at least 1 minute in the same direction. Cook for 2 minutes until the soup thickens. 
Serve hot and enjoy this homemade chicken soup with some chopped spring onions.


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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Beans Stir Fry/ Beans Bhaja (Beans Thoran)

Bean thoran is an easy, simple and healthy vegetable. A thoran is a "dry" dish with lots of coconut in it. This preparation is so easy that even my hubby can cook (it's that simple :-0 actually impossible for anyone to goof up). I learnt this recipe from my Baba (in bengali we call Father as Baba). We used to cherish this flavor-packed, nutritious and easy to cook recipe.

Serves: 2, Preparation time: 15 minutes

250 gms Beans
1 cup fresh grated Coconut
11/2 tsp whole Black Mustard seeds
2 springs of Curry leaves
2 whole Red chilli
pinch of Hing (asafoetida)
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 Green chilli (chopped)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Coconut oil/ Veg oil

Chop beans finely. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. Add curry leaves and whole red chillies, hing and fry for few seconds. Add beans with little sugar (to retain the green color of beans), haldi, salt, green chillies and cook them covered for 3-4 minutes. Add grated coconut to the beans and mix well the whole contents again. Keep it on low flame until all the water is soaked (but the moisture should be there). Beans thoran is ready to be served with sambar-rice or with chappatis.

User comment & tips: If the beans is fresh no need to add water while preparing. However, if required you may sprinkle a little water and cover the pan. You can also add lime juice as per your desire.


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Monday, May 24, 2010

Breadcrumbs Burfi with a Twist.....

Yesterday I found that my packet of breadcrumb is almost nearing expiry date. Hence I decided to use most of it and prepare a slightly different kind of Burfi ( Indian Sweet ). However, after tasting my preparation I can safely tell that it turned out to be nice and I'm pretty sure all of you would like it. 

Serves: Depends on the shape that you want to give. Preparation time: 30 minutes

1 cup Bread crumbs
1 cup Coconut (grated)
1/2 Semolina
2 tbsp Ghee
Pinch of Cardamom powder
1 tbsp Milk
1/2 cup Sugar (or according to your taste)
Handful Raisins, Cashews, Almonds

Grate only the white portion of coconut and keep it aside. Heat ghee in a non-stick pan and fry the raisins, almonds and cashews together and keep it aside. In the same pan, fry the semolina till light brown (to erase the raw smell of semolina and will give a nice colour). Now add grated coconut, bread crumbs, cardamom powder in the pan along with semolina. Cook this mixture on medium flame until the sugar dissolves completely. Add milk in the pan and stir it well. Shift this mixture in to a greased plate and spread it evenly. Level it using a flat spatula and let it cool down. Slice the burfis in your desired shape by greasing the knife. Serve these delicious burfis to your guests. You may store it in an air tight container, if only you could resist...:-)


Now some awards .....Got this participation award from a very sweet friend of mine Jagruti (Joy of Cooking). Thank you dear.

Many many thanks to LOVE2COOK for showering me with plenty of awards, out of which I'm posting the one which I don't have till now. 

Thanks to Priya of Priyas Recipe for acknowledging all of us on her 250th post. Keep posting tasty recipes dear!!!!

read more.. "Breadcrumbs Burfi with a Twist....."

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mango Cake

Summer season is the time when mangoes of various types are out in full swing. In my childhood days in our backyard we had a large mango tree and we used to wait for summer to pick the first ripe mangoes of the season. I still remember how I used to enjoy the green ones with salt and red chilli powder. However, today I'm going to present a very easy and delicious cake. This was such a Mangolicious delight !!!! Hope all of you like it and do let me know your opinion through valuable comments. Bye:-)


Serves: 6, Preparation time: 15 and Baking: 30-40 minutes

2 cups All purpose flour
3/4 cup Unsalted butter
11/2 cup Sugar 
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 cup Mango puree
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking powder
2 Eggs
1 tsp Lemon juice
1/2 tsp Salt

For Topping:
1 cup Mango puree
3 tbsp Sugar
1 cup heavy Whipping Cream
Few slice of Mangoes 

Grease and dust a 6 inch pan with all purpose flour and preheat oven to 350 degree F. Sieve the baking powder, flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Beat the butter and sugar in a separate bowl, until light and fluffy. Now beat in the eggs one at a time. Whipping a lot after each
addition, mix until peaks form. Now add the flour mixture in a little quantity to the butter mixture beating continuously as you combine the two. Mix in the eggs and whisk in the same direction.
 Gently add vanilla extract, lemon juice and mango puree and blend everything together. Now pour this batter into the pre-heated pan and bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degree F or till a toothpick or skewer comes out clean. After taking out from the pan let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the sides of the baking pan.  Now cool it completely on the wire rack.

For refreshing mango topping: 
In a blender/food processor on medium speed beat whipping cream for 5 minutes or until peaks form. Now add sugar to the cream. Now add mango puree in the processor and blend it again on high speed for 5 minutes or until it is smooth. Pour this on a glass bowl and refrigerate it. When you want to serve the cake take out this and spread evenly on the top. Decorate it with mango slices. And since I'm a chocoholic I have just outlined it by melted chocolate. 

Have a nice weekend to all you !!!

Sending this recipe to Champa's "Bake-Off Event" by Versatile Vegetarian Kitchen.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Beetroot Lollipops


As far as I'm concerned, beetroot is a wonderful vegetable to me. I love beetroot and I mostly eat it raw as salads. When I was a kid (I still think I'm young at heart :-)) this was a magic veggie which would turn my tongue pink!!!! My obsession hasn't gone even now. Love mixing it with a yoghurt dressing. Wanna know a little secret from my kitchen?? Well sometimes I just squeeze the juice of red beetroot to the dish that calls for a nice red color.

                     Additionally beetroot is a natural detoxifier and excellent blood purifier. Beetroot is also rich in iron and it also contains manganese which plays an important role for the formation of interferon that is a potent anticancer substance. Beet's color is red because of the betanin pigment found in beat.

But enough of health jargons, today I'm posting beetroot lollipops which is a great evening snack.


Serves: 12-14 lollipops, Preparation time: 30 minutes

2 Beetroots and 1/2 for lollipop sticks
2 big Potatoes (boiled)
1 tsp grated Ginger
2 tbsp chopped Coriander
1 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp Garam masala
1/2 cup boiled Green peas
2 chopped Green chillies
2 tsp Black pepper powder
2 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Cumin powder
1 tbsp All-purpose flour (maida)
Salt according to taste

For outer crepe: 
3 tbsp Cornflour
2/3 cup Bread crumbs 

Oil for frying

For lollipop sticks peel and wash the 1/2 beetroot and then slice in thick sticks shape. Keep it aside.
Peel and wash the remaining beetroots and pressure cook it with little salt. After 2 whistles, turn off the gas and after cooling down drain out the water. Now grate boiled potatoes and beetroot. In a large bowl mix all dry ingredients (mentioned above) with these vegetables.

Now take small portion of the mixture into your palm, flatten it and put a beetroot stick in the center of the mixture. Give it a nice round shape until a lollipop shape is formed. Mix cornflour in 1/4 cup of water to make a smooth paste. Now dip the lollipops in this liquid mixture and roll them with the breadcrumbs evenly. Now dip these in frying pan, until the color of the outer part turns medium brown but does not burn. Cook the lollipops evenly for 4-5 minutes. Serve hot with tomato ketchup or Coriander chutney.

User comments & tips:

  • Make sure the oil is pretty hot, otherwise the lollipops will break.
  • You can make these without the beetroot sticks also. You can always change the shape of these cutlets as per your desired shape.                          


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Monday, May 17, 2010

Chocolate Cookies

Hi Everybody
Do all of us remember our childhood days when our moms used to bake or buy delicious Chocolate Cookies and keep them away from our grasp ( mostly in a high place where our hands wouldn't reach :-)? However, our quick thinking would make us do innovative things like climbing on stool, chair or anything that could act as a platform. And after we got hands in those cookies they tasted even better as the satisfaction of getting them with loads of hard work was added. Now after seeing my two and a half year old son climb chair to get his favorite toy, I was reminded of my childhood act of climbing chair to get my favorite chocolate cookies. 
However, I would advise all mothers not to keep their favorite things in high places. Rather have an agreement with them to have stipulated time of usage. Although, as far as chocolate cookies I doubt any regulation in consumption would hold good. So, here is my recipe and photos for your viewing. Any feedback would be highly appreciated.

 And after first attempt I bet you want to bake up an extra batch for your cookie jars as these go really fast.

This recipe goes to Champa's- Bake Off Event by 'Stories from an Indian Kitchen'

Serves: Approx. 18-20 cookies, Preparation time: 10 minutes and Baking: 12 minutes

1/2 cup unsalted Butter
1 cup Sugar
1 Egg
2 cups All purpose flour
1 tbsp Black Coffee
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/3 cup Cocoa powder
4 tbsp Milk

 Grease the baking tray and preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degree C). Beat the butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy. Stop when the color of the butter has been diluted as over beating will soften the butter. Now in a large bowl sift flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder together. When shifted properly, these ingredients become lighter. Now add it to the butter mixture and add 1 tbsp black coffee, beaten egg, milk to it. Mix well. Drop batter using a tablespoon onto the greased tray. I wanted my cookies to be flatten so I pressed the batter gently into a disc. But if you want your cookies to be thick, you can leave the batter mounded. Place the cookies on the middle shelf. Bake for 10 minutes. It's always better to under bake these and remove them from the baking tray. And let them cool on a wire rack. I enjoyed baking these and going to make them again this week.



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Friday, May 14, 2010

Mango Mousse (Eggless) & Gelatin Free Too

Mousse is a form of creamy, rich dessert with thick texture which I'm sure everyone will enjoy. Though I like chocolate mousse most but since mango season is here so the preference is given to " Phalo ka Badshah" ( King of Fruits).

                        The combination of mango and mousse is an irresistible treat that too if it is eggless. So today I've come up with a really simple mango mousse which is very easy to make yet deliciously cool. Since I wanted my toddler to have the taste of seasons most favorite fruit I skipped the use of raw eggs, as it may lead to food poisoning, caused by salmonella bacteria. 

Serves: 2, Preparation time: 10 minutes

2 Ripe Mangoes (chopped)
2tsp Lemon juice
1/4 cup confectioner's Sugar
1/4 cup Orange juice
1 cup whipped fresh Cream 
Pinch of Salt
Chocolate syrup for decoration
Mango slices for decoration (optional)

Put mango pieces, lime juice, sugar, orange juice and pinch of salt in a mixer jar and blend it two three round or till you get pureed mixture. Place the puree mixture in bowl and fold in whipped cream into it. Place this mixture in refrigerator to chill and decorate with chocolate syrup and mango pieces before serving. Yummy mousse is ready!!!!


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Friday, May 7, 2010

Pav Bhaji - The Undisputed King of Snacks

                     Pav Bhaji "The King of Street Foodies" delight is an answer to Dimsim of china and Hamburger of America. But the most wonderful thing about pav bhaji is that it tastes very tangy and fulfilling. The aromatic flavor of the famous Pav-Bhaji masala from the huge cast iron pan sizzles the appetite of millions everyday.
Pav means a "bun"( Marathi word) and Bhaji is a "mixture of boiled vegetables, cooked with a spicy masala".
Do check out Mumbai's very own Vada Pav and Eggless Pav.

Serves: 4, Preparation time: 30 minutes

3 Potatoes (boiled and mashed)
1 Carrot (chopped)
1 Capsicum (chopped)
Cauliflower -a few florets (chopped)
1 cup Cabbage (chopped)
1 cup Green peas 
!/2 cup Beans (finely chopped)
3 Onions (finely chopped)
3 Tomatoes (ground to paste)
1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
11/2 tsp Green chilli paste
1 tsp Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric (haldi) powder
1 red Red chilli powder
 3 tbsp Oil for frying
 11/2 tbsp Pav bhaji masala
Salt to taste
pinch of Garam Masala (optional)

For Garnishing:
Butter 1 tbsp or as per your taste
1/4 cup fresh chopped Coriander leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped Onions
2 Lemon, cut into wedges

8 Pav

In a pressure cooker put cabbage, cauliflower, beans, green peas, carrot, 1tsp salt, 1 cup water and let it whistle on low flame.
Drain the extra water and mash all the vegetables with light hand. Keep it aside.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan (kadhai) and add onions, saute it till light pink. Add ginger-garlic-green chilli paste and saute for 2 minutes. Add coriander, chilli and haldi powder. Stir for a minute. Add tomato paste and mix well. Keep stirring till oil separates from the masala. Add chopped capsicum and saute for 2 minutes. Add mashed vegetables, pav-bhaji masala and salt along with the potatoes. Pour a glass of water, let it come to a boil on low flame. Cook till oil floats on top. Remove from heat and garnish the bhaji with a dash of butter, chopped coriander leaves, lemon wedges and chopped onion.

For Pav:
Slice each bun in half (horizontally) and pan/tawa fry with butter on both sides till pav is crispy and light brown.

Enjoy garma garam Pav- Bhaji!!!! And happy weekend to everyone  !!!!!          

read more.. "Pav Bhaji - The Undisputed King of Snacks"

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kosha Dimer Jhol ( Egg gravy)

Many of you might me new to this word "Kosha", well it means slow cooking over a long period and basically drying the gravy to make it more rich. And I prefer mustard oil for preparing this particular dish. So here I'm today with Kosha Egg preparation which I hope would taste as good as Kosha meat. The basic preparation is same yet you may find the uniqueness of egg as a differentiating point. Would be grateful if you could give your opinion regarding the same. I love cooking both vegetarian as well as non veg dishes due to the fact that I was born and brought up in Haridwar where most of my friends were vegetarian. And ofcourse being a bengali makes me a die hard non-veg lover.

Serves: 3, Preparation time: 30 minutes

3 Eggs (boiled)
2 Bayleaf (tej patta)
6-7 button Onions
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp whole Jeera
2 tbsp Onion Paste
1 tsp Ginger paste
1/2 tsp Garlic paste
1/2 tsp Chilli powder
1 tbsp boiled Green Peas
1 tsp Garam masala powder
 pinch of Sugar
1 tsp Ghee
1 tbsp Mustard oil or you may use Refined also
Salt to taste

Make small slits on the white portion of each egg without seperating it. Rub a little salt, sugar, haldi to the boiled eggs and fry lightly. Remove and set aside. In the remaining oil sprinkle whole jeera and bay leaf followed by onion paste, pinch of salt, ginger-garlic paste, haldi, chilli powder and stir fry until oil separates. Now add the fried eggs, button onion, boiled peas, 1tbsp water, stir fry on low flame. Again add a cup of warm water, adjust the salt accordingly and let it simmer for a few minutes until the gravy is thick. Now add 1 tsp ghee, garam masala powder and garnish with slit green chillies. Serve hot with roti, rice or porothas. 

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