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Friday, July 31, 2015

Refreshing Plum and Sweet Lime Juice

Mornings are incomplete in our house without  a glass of juice and with the market full of red plums I can hardly resist. This Plum & Sweet Lime juice is another easy juice post that I am going to share here.

8-9 red ripe Plums, halved and pitted
3 sweet Limes
Sugar as per taste (i used 1/4 cup)
Few mint leaves 
Ice cubes

Put plums in saucepan with fresh water and boil it for 3-4 minutes. 

Remove the pits and now push through into the juicer along with sugar and ice cubes and 1/2 cup water. Remove the seeds from the lime take out the juice of lime too.

 Mix it with plum juice and strain. Serve them in 4 glasses equally. Serve chilled with ice cubes.


  • Plum juice is best when consumed fresh lose its aroma and taste bitter. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR STORING.
  • Before making the juice out of limes, dip them in warm water. As it will release its juice easily.

What do you use for juicing lemons? 
read more.. "Refreshing Plum and Sweet Lime Juice"

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

KFC Kitchen Tour, Chennai

I being a food lover is always intrigued to find out what goes on at the kitchen of famous restaurants? How do they maintain similar food quality across countries and continents? How do they ensure hygiene and cleanliness? And finally how do they cater to the Indian tastes by customizing their menu?  So when I received an invite from KFC I was as enthusiastic as my son and my curiosity to explore how this brand made me accept it.  So with an open mind I drove to the restaurant located at Forum Vijaya mall, Chennai.

We were received by Amit Thapa and Satinder Singh, Market and Operations Manager respectively. They greeted us and straight away gave us a walk around of the Kitchen. Firstly they ensured that all of had sanitized our hands and wore headnets. What struck me in the first glance that there were the complete cleanliness of the kitchen and clear segregation between vegetarian and non vegetarian sections within the kitchen which was clearly marked with green and red stripes on the walls. Also, the cooking utensils, storage areas and even cooking staff were distinctly separate. All the chicken were grilled or fired at 170 degree Celsius or more. Also the storage area was maintained at 18 degrees below zero. And all the food were prepared using RO water.

Some of other important points that I noted was that on all the food items the expiry date was clearly mentioned and I was told that KFC undertakes regular tests of the ingredients supplied to it's restaurants.

Now for the taste part. After coming out of the kitchen we ordered the following items;

Chocolate and Alphonso Burst Crushers : I had tasted the Chocolate crusher earlier so was familiar to it's rich cocoa taste although the Alphonso crusher is the one that delighted me. Punched with nice fruit aroma and a strong taste of mango for sure.

OMG Burger, Fiery Grilled chicken and Spicy Chicken Strips(not in the picture):
Popcorn chicken was loved by my child.

My kind of chicken...Spicy and juicy

KFC Veg Twister

So if you are in KFC next time, wish to see their kitchen just have a word with the manager and ask for a kitchen tour. Overall I had a decent experience at the restaurant and it answered most of my earlier questions. All thanks to the Staff and Chef of KFC. If I would come back? Definitely Yes!

read more.. "KFC Kitchen Tour, Chennai "

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dhabe Wali Dal | Smoked Lentils | How To Cook Dhaba Style Dal

Dhabe Wali Dal is a dal which is typically served at almost all dhabas. It is a very popular lentil dish which is generally served with Tandoori Roti or Naan. The word 'Dhaba' means roadside small food outlets. If there is one thing that I miss dearly after moving to South, it is the frequent visits to these dhabas on Highways. In one word it's divine !  

Back in old days my Grandma used to cook on chulha (open hearth clay oven) where the family bakes flatbreads and on top places kadais (pans) to cook. Similarly I prepare this dal which tastes exactly the same as you get on road side Dhabas (Charcoal infused aroma Dal). Hope all of you like my Dhabe Wali Dal and feel the authentic earthly feel that I tried to provide to all of you all the way from Northern India.


1/4 cup Masoor Dal
1/4 cup Arhar Dal
1/4 cup Chana Dal
1/4 cup Chilke Wali Moong Dal
2 Onions, chopped
1 tbs chopped Ginger
2 Tomatoes, ground to paste
5-6 Garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Red chilly powder
2 Green chilies, chopped
1 tsp Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Asafetida (hing)
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Whole Coriander seeds
2 Whole Red chillies
1 tbsp Dried Fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
Salt to taste
Ghee 1 tbsp +3 tbsp Oil
Charcoal big piece

Wash and soak the lentil for 1/2 an hour. Drain the water and pressure cook it with 2 1/2 cups of water +1 tsp salt first whistle on high flame. 

After that keep on sim (lowest flame) till you hear 2 more whistles. Turn off the flame and let it cool down. In between you start preparing for the tadka.

 Now heat a pan with 3 tbsp oil and add cumin seeds, whole coriander seeds and once they splutter add ginger, garlic and green chilies. Do not let it burn, immediately add chopped onions.Saute till the onions turn pink and add tomato paste and fry till it leaves oil.

Add a little salt, chili powder, coriander powder and cook for a minute. Add the cooked lentils from the pressure cooker and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle some kasoori methi and check the seasoning and allow it to cook for another 5-6 minutes. 

Now for the smoking step, heat charcoal until red hot over the gas burner (yes, you read it right ! direct flame). Place a small bowl in the center of the pan full of dal, pour 1 tbsp ghee and hing. The coal now give out smokey flavour, immediately cover it with a lid. Keep it covered for 5-10 minutes. When done, remove the lid and carefully remove the small bowl that contains charcoal. Serve this smokey dal with roti / Naan /Kulcha. 


  • When you release the pressure, do check if the dal is cooked at the right consistency. The dal should be soft but not gooey.
  • You can add chopped tomatoes instead of tomato paste.
  • You can add or replace lentils of your choice. 

read more.. "Dhabe Wali Dal | Smoked Lentils | How To Cook Dhaba Style Dal"

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Amritsari Kulcha Recipe | How To Make Amritsari Kulcha in Oven

Amritsari Kulcha is a very famous Indian flat bread from North Indian Cuisine. The name itself comes from the city called Amritsar. Where the soft pillowy kulchas are served with a tall glass of Lassi.  During my early years in North India till I moved out of Delhi, I had devoured a lot of varied cuisines and must say that as far as being generous with ingredients is concerned, nothing can beat the Amritsari kulchas. As the name suggests, it’s origin is from Amritsar and it’s baked in a slowly simmering tandoor. I remember that during winters whenever we used to drive by NH1, we made it a point to stop by nearby Dhaba ( Highway Food Joint) to enjoy these kulchas with piping hot Black Choley. Even when you had more than two of these kulchas, you do not feel that you have overeaten. 

This is the beauty of it and not to mention that the softness and richness of these flatbreads are phenomenal. The stuffing is made of boiled potatoes, paneer, onion along with few dry spices. The chat masala and anardana in it makes class apart. I have already shared how to make Kulchas -Stove Top Method with club soda so thought of sharing full proof way of making Amritsari Kulcha in Oven.

2 cups All purpose flour
1/2 cup Milk
2 tbsp Curd
1/2tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp Carom seeds
1/2 tsp Chili flakes
1 tbsp cooking Oil
Water to knead the dough
1/2 tsp Salt

Filling ingredients:
1 cup grated Paneer /Cottage cheese
2 Boiled Potatoes, grated
1 Onion, finely chopped (I didn't add in this picture as my Grandma doesn't eat)
2 Green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp Anardana / Dry pomegranate 
1 1/2 tsp Chat Masala
1/2 tsp Red chilly powder
1/4 tsp chopped Ginger
1/4 cup chopped Coriander leaves
Salt to taste

To Garnish Kulcha:  we need some Kasuri Methi leaves, chopped Coriander leaves, nigella seeds and kashmiri red chili powder 

Sieve together flour, baking soda powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Add  milk, curd, carom seeds, chili flakes, cooking oil, salt and mix thoroughly.

 Add some water(if you need at all) little by little and start kneading the dough.  As you knead the dough it tends to get less sticky. Cover the dough with a cling film or damp cloth and keep aside for an hour. I keep it inside the Microwave

Grate boiled potatoes, paneer along with all the items under "filling ingredients". Combine well and keep aside.

Take out the dough and divide the dough into 6-8 equal parts and dust the kitchen counter with flour. Roll each dough between your hands to form a smooth ball. Make a depression in the center of each ball of dough, add 2 tps of paneer-aloo mixture, bring the sides together and shape into a round ball and making sure the stuffing is not exposed.

Now flatten it slightly by pressing down on it with the palms of your hand (if you are unable to stretch it by your hands then you can use rolling pin). Remember the size of kulchas are small and slightly oval shape. Take a flat brush and dip it into a small bowl of water, apply some water on top of the flatten dough ready to be put into the oven and sprinkle some carom seeds and chopped coriander and Kasuri methi leaves and press gently.

Sprinkle some Kashmiri red chilly powder on top. Repeat with remaining dough. Pre-heat the Oven to maximum temperature (in my case I had put it for 500F) for 10 minutes. Take the baking tray and place a foil sheet, grease it with little ghee and place two kulchas at a time. 

Bake Kulchas for 6-7 minutes. Kulchas will puff up in no time. Take out from the Oven and immediately apply melted butter on top. This step will ensure the softness for next one hour.

 Have these fresh hot Amritsari Kulchas immediately or else place them in casserole and cover them. This step will ensure that even if you eat them after 1/2 hour they will be pillowy soft. My son likes to have it with grated cheese on top. And guess no need to say how heavenly it tastes ! Serve these kulchas with Black Choley or with chilled yogurt. 

read more.. "Amritsari Kulcha Recipe | How To Make Amritsari Kulcha in Oven"

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Eggless Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Eggless Whole Wheat Banana Bread :Whenever my eyes detect ripe bananas on the fruit basket, my baking instincts get better of me. I have been baking Banana Bread for over 5 years and this recipe rocks ! My family loves this moist Eggless Banana Bread along with a glass of milk. Walnuts add the extra crunch to this perfect-for-breakfast bread. 

This recipe doesn't call for any fancy ingredients but very basic things that are easily available at home. For the best banana bread make sure the bananas are ripe. Since we bake this in Bread pan we call it Banana Bread other wise you can bake the same batter in the cake pan. Slice it up and serve with tea or coffee.

3 Ripe Bananas, mashed
1 1/4 cups Whole wheat flour
1/2 cup Semolina (Suji)
1/3 cup Walnuts, chopped
2 tsp Powdered Flax seed
1/2 cup Sugar
2/3 cup Vegetable oil (you can take your 1/3 measuring cup and fill it twice)
1 tsp Banana flavour
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1-2 tbsp Milk
Pinch of Salt

Pre-heat oven to 180 Degree Celsius and lightly grease the loaf pan.

 Sift the flour, semolina, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add flax seed powder and mix with a spatula.

 In a bowl peel and mash the bananas, add oil, milk, sugar, banana essence to it. 

Beat well till everything is mixed. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix till they are uniformly blended. The texture of batter will look like to be curdled but panic as this is natural.

 Dust the walnuts with little four and mix the batter well. Pout the prepared batter into loaf pan and bake it for 40-50 minutes at 180 Degree Celsius. To check if the bread is ready, insert a toothpick in the center of the loaf, if it comes out clean that means it's done. 

Invert the bread on a wire rack and let it cool down for 20-30 minutes. Cut into slices and enjoy !!! Tastes great warm or cold.

read more.. "Eggless Whole Wheat Banana Bread"

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Macher Dimer Bora (Fish Egg Fritter) | মাছের ডিমের বড়া

Macher Dimer Bora is a delicacy in many Bengali households. We Bengali's love to eat each and every part of fish. Though I made it with Rui Fish but trust me Hilsha fish egg will take it to another level. The unavailability of Hilsha in our part made us left with no choice. Anyway I am not complaining as when add piping hot rice hot with these fritters along with a green chili it completely satifies my appetite. 

The literal meaning of macher dimer bora (মাছের ডিমের বড়া ) is Fish egg fritters, but it’s not the high end caviar found in Caspian sea that I am referring to. That one is for the Dollar Millionaires who enjoy it with champagne. This one is the humble and affordable dish. Freshwater fishes like Rohu, Hilsa etc. mainly breed during the monsoon time so it’s better that before monsoon arrives at full swing try to buy fishes which have just laid eggs. It’s a delicacy during any Bengali home during this period. Generally enjoyed with piping hot rice and dal, we have a winner in form of these fritters in our hands.

1 cup Fish Egg (I used Rui Macher dim) cleaned 
1 Onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup Besan / Gram flour
2-3 Green chilies, chopped
1/2 tsp Red chili powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
2-3 sprigs of Coriander 
1 tbsp Mustard oil (Shosher tel) 
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Wash the fish egg properly and pat dry with a kitchen tissue. Mix the chopped onion with mustard oil and salt. Leave this for 5 minutes. Now add turmeric, chili powder, green chilies, besan and chopped coriander leaves, mix thoroughly. Use a fork to separate the eggs rather than squishing. 

The consistency of the mixture should be thick batter. Now heat oil in a pan, scoop out lemon size balls and drop them into the hot oil. Be careful not to crowd the pan. Fry them on a low flame for a minute, then flip. Fry until crisp and golden, turning once to brown both sides. Drain and soak the excess oil. Repeat until all the batter is used. Serve them hot with tea or with steamed rice (we generally start our meal with bhaja along with the remaining tel in the pan.)  

read more.. "Macher Dimer Bora (Fish Egg Fritter) | মাছের ডিমের বড়া "