Sunday, December 30, 2012

Spicy Pepper Shrimp

Spicy Pepper Shrimp with steamed rice

Here I am sharing with you a quick and easy recipe for making a shrimp dish. I am a huge fan of shrimp/prawns and prefer that to a meat dish any time, any day. Preparing shrimp dish is very easy and, in this dish, I am using cooked shrimp (shrimps are smaller in size when compared to prawns) which reduces the cleaning and preparation time. Hence, you have a quick and yummy dish ready in a matter of minutes.


Cooked shrimp 1 lb
Red onions - 3 medium sized
Green chillies - 3-4
Tomatoes - 4
Garlic - 3-4 cloves
Ginger - 1" piece
Pepper powder- 1/2-1 tbsp
Turmeric powder
Coconut oil - 1-2tbsp
Coriander leaves - 5-6 sprigs chopped 


Mustard seeds - 1-2 tsp
Dried Red chillies - 3-4
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Vegetable oil - 2-3 tbsp


1.Cut the onions,tomatoes, and chillies into thin slices. Chop the coriander leaves. Peal the ginger and garlic cloves and pulse them in a blender.

2.Heat 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil in a wok. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and  wait for it to splutter. Now add the dried red chillies and curry leaves.

3.Add the julienned onions and green chillies. Saute them till the onions have become translucent. Add the pulsed garlic and ginger, pepper powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Add the tomatoes to this and mix well. Allow this masala to cook with the lid on for few minutes.

4.Taste the masala to check the salt and the spice. Feel free to add more pepper powder towards the end according to your spice level.

5.Now add the cooked shrimp to this masala and let it cook for a couple of minutes with the lid on. Then remove the lid and saute it until it is gets incorporated well with the masala. Add the chopped coriander leaves and the coconut oil before turning off the heat.

6. Enjoy this spicy pepper shrimp dish with some steamed rice.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Weekend comfort food - Ada Dosa

Ada Dosa is a type of Dosa that is made by mixing Dosa batter with pureed toor dhal, pulsed onion, ginger, curry leaves, and paste of red chilli. Gingelly oil is used while preparing the dosa which adds a unique taste and imparts an amazing aroma while cooking this Ada Dosa. The chutney that goes with this Ada Dosa is made by grinding grated Coconut  with garlic, curry leaves, and red chilli paste. Every time I make this at home, it takes me  back to my childhood days when my mom made this  pretty much every Sunday for breakfast. Just the aroma wafting from the kitchen while this Dosa was getting made was mouth-watering, to say the least. So here I am, finally sharing the recipe of one of my favorite Dosas....the Ada Dosa.


Dosa batter:
Idli rice/Ponni rice - 3 cups
Urad dhal  - 1 cup

Toor dhal mixture:
Toor dhal - 1 cup
Whole dried red chillies - 15
Roughly chopped Onion - 1
Roughly chopped Ginger - 1" piece
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs

Grated coconut - 1 - 2 cups
Garlic cloves - 2
Curry leaves - 1 sprig

Gingelly oil for frying
Salt for taste


Dosa batter:

Soak the rice and urad dhal separately in water overnight. Next morning, drain the water from rice and urad dhal. First, grind the urad dhal to a fine paste by adding little water if necessary. Remove this from the grinder and transfer it to a big bowl. Now grind the rice to a fine paste by adding small amounts of water when needed. Now remove this also from the grinder and transfer it to the bowl. Mix the urad dhal and rice batter well by adding some salt and a little water to get a pancake consistency.

Ada Dosa batter:

Soak the toor dhal and the red chillies with some water overnight. 

Next morning, drain the water from toor dhal, separate the red chillies to a bowl. Grind the toor dhal to a fine paste in a blender by adding some water. Add the chopped onions, ginger, and curry leaves to this and pulse them till they get incorporated well with the toor dhal paste.

Transfer this ground paste to a bowl. Grind the red chillies in a cleaned blender  with a little water to a fine paste.

Keep this aside. Add some of this red chilli paste depending on your spice level to the toor dhal mixture. 

Now mix the dosa batter little by little to the thoor dhal and red chilli  mixture. You might need only a few laddles of dosa batter for this Ada dosa preparation. Add some salt to this batter. Let the remaining dosa batter ferment by keeping it  near a window where it gets enough sunlight to ferment. You can use this left-over batter for other dosa preparations.

  Now the Ada Dosa batter is ready. 

Red chilli Chutney:

Pulse the grated coconut along with garlic cloves and curry leaves. Mix the remaining chilli paste to this. Add salt for taste.

Making Ada Dosas:

On medium heat, place a non stick pan. Once it is heated, add some gingely oil and spread it evenly. Take a laddle full of batter and pour it in the center of the pan and spread it in a clockwise circle by using the back of the laddle. Pour some oil around the dosa. 

 Once you see it turning golden brown around the edges, flip it carefully. Let it cook on the other side. Serve this with the red chilli chutney. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spicy Sole Fish Fry

Yesterday, I was craving for the spicy tandoori fish  from Kabab and Currys which is one of their best dishes and one that we order every single time we are there. Luckily, I found some fresh sole fish filets in Costco and ended up making it for dinner and enjoyed it thoroughly with my family.

This is my quick and easy Kerala style recipe and all you need is a pestle and mortar for making the marinade, allow it to marinate in the fridge for some time, and fry it when it is time for dinner.


Sole fish filets -10-12
Ginger - 1-2" piece (peeled and sliced coarsely)
Garlic - 5-6 cloves (peeled)
Pearl onions - 5-6 (peeled)
Chilli powder - 1-2 tbsp (depending on your spice level)
Pepper powder - 1-2 tsp (depending on your spice level)
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4-1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil or Coconut oil for frying


Use a pestle and mortar to make a paste of ginger, garlic, pearl onions, and all the spice powders (chilli, coriander, turmeric, pepper). Add a little water if necessary. 


Clean the fish filets and put them in a bowl. I use a traditional Kerala style clay pot for all of my seafood preparations.

Apply the marinade to the filets using your hands making sure it is applied on both sides of the fish. Taste the marinade and check to see if the proportions of salt and spices are okay. If not, add some more and mix well.

Once you have finished applying, close with a lid and leave it in the fridge for some time (the longer the better).


Add some vegetable oil/Coconut oil to cover the bottom layer of the pan and heat it on amedium flame. Once you notice some slight smoke forming, add 2 or 3 filets one by one to the pan. Do not crowd the pan. Allow it to turn golden brown and then flip it. Sole fish filets are very delicate, so be very careful when you flip them over to the other side to avoid breaking up the filets.

Once the fish is done, transfer them to a plate lined with tissue paper and lay them on that. Serve it with a side of julienned red onions and green chillies dressed with lemon juice and salt. Enjoy this yummy spicy sole fish with steamed rice and dhal, sambar or rasam.   Bon Appetit!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers Day 2012

Today marks the first anniversary of my blog and also the day I get totally pampered by my family.  I am so happy and proud of myself for starting this blog and updating it with posts of my favorite food and places without fail. I have totally enjoyed this one year with my blog. My knowledge of food has also increased tremendously. Even in my wildest of the dreams, I had never pictured myself as a baker but since last summer, I tried my hand at baking and have been enjoying it thoroughly.

I love traveling to places with my family and seeking out good food. So here we were today visiting Sonoma Valley which is considered to be the birth-place of wine-making in California.

Lately this county is also known for its world class gourmet restaurants and the amazing specialty food shops. I had read so much about this place on Yelp! and other food magazines that I was so eager to pay a visit and I  couldn't have chosen a better day to visit.We passed by a lot of vineyards as we drove to this place.

This is definitely one of the best places for foodies. As we happily strolled in this town we ended up in this alley where we spotted  "The taste of Himalayas" which  I recalled having  very good reviews from yelpers and just across from it was "Murphys Irish Pub".

 Well, since we were inhaling Indian food 99% of the time we decided to do the honors at the  "Murphy's Irish Pub".

The weather was so good, so we decided to sit outside. We ordered their special for the day-Clam chowder made with Little neck clams, House-made chicken pot pie with a side of fries and Fish tacos. The beer-battered cod fish fillets were perfectly fried for the fish tacos and came with a side of avocado, radish and cabbage salad, and pico de gallo.

Clam chowder with little neck clams

Fish tacos with avocado, radish and cabbage salad and pico-de-gallo

House-made chicken pot pie with fries

For dessert, we ordered their Bread pudding with an Irish cream caramel Sauce which was absolutely delicious.

Bread pudding with Irish cream caramel sauce

The Irish cream caramel sauce was so good that we literally licked the plate clean.

I must say that the food was quite good and we enjoyed everything that we had ordered.

After lunch we continued our stroll around the remaining part of this quaint little town glaring at all these gourmet restaurants and various food shops catering to everybody's needs like this specialty shop for Dogs.

Three Dog Bakery

This place reminded us so much of Italy since it had so many alleys and when we go inside these cute little alleys, you are surprised by these  beautiful fountains and murals on the walls and then you see all these hole-in-the-wall shops and restaurants. This shop below carried a variety of ceramics beautifully crafted and painted  from Egypt.

Then we visited Epicurean connection which was being raved so much on Yelp! for its cheese making classes, yummy soups,  sandwiches, breads, jars of their house-made dijon mustard, pickles, sauces, and tons of other items it carried in its modest little shop.

This place has definitely surpassed what I had pictured in my mind. I was blown away after visiting this beautiful wine county. I thoroughly enjoyed this Mothers Day by visiting this quaint little town which had everything that interested me and will definitely pay a visit soon for tasting more food. Hope you all enjoyed Mother's day as much as I did.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Squid sauteed in spicy grated coconut (Kanava thoran)

Pondering over what to make for dinner, I was in Whole Foods looking for some inspiration from the seafood section and spotted some fresh Squid/Calamari, one of my favorites among seafood. It is called "Kanava" in Malayalam.  Suddenly, I had this idea of putting together a simple home cooked meal with hot rice, dal, pappad, and squid thoran. "Thoran" in Keralite cooking is basically any vegetable or seafood mixed with coarsely blended grated coconut  and spices. 

Cleaned squid with tentacles - 2 pounds
Onion - 1 big (finely chopped)
Grated coconut - 1 cup
Turmeric powder - 1-2 tsp
Coriander powder- 2 tbsp
Chilli powder - 1 tbsp
Pepper powder - 1/2 tbsp
Coconut oil - 2-3 tsp

For Tempering:

Mustard seeds - 1-2 tsp
Pearl onions - 5-10 (finely chopped)
Dried red chillies - 4-5
Curry leaves - 1-2 sprigs
Grated coconut - 1-2 tsp
Vegetable oil
Salt to taste


1.  Cut the squid into small bite size pieces and wash them well. Boil them in a covered pan with a little water, turmeric powder, and some salt. Cook for about 5minutes. 

2. On a medium flame, heat a pan and dry roast the spice powders (coriander, chilli, and pepper). Grind this  roasted spice powder coarsely with the grated coconut. Use some water for grinding.

3. Heat 2-3tsp of vegetable oil in a shallow pan or clay pot on medium flame. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped onions  and fry them till they are translucent. Drain away the squid water and add all the boiled squid to the onion mixture.

4.Add the coarsely ground masala to this and mix well. Add 1 sprig of curry leaves and cook this mixture with a lid for 5 minutes.

5. Open the lid and stir well, check for salt and see if the masala has incorporated well with the squid and the oil has separated on the sides. 

6. In a different pan add 1-2tsp of coconut oil. Once it is hot, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Now add the red chillies, chopped pearl onions, 1-2 tsp of grated coconut and fry till the onions and the coconut turn golden brown. Now add the curry leaves. 

7. Add this seasoning to the squid curry.

 Enjoy this dish with steamed rice!

Pasta with homemade Spinach Pesto

There are days when you really don't have any energy left or nothing motivates you to cook. Yesterday was one of those days for me. But I had a bag of spinach that I desperately wanted to finish and decided to make this simple pasta dish with homemade pesto sauce. I have to tell you that it was so flavorful that my kids were licking their plates clean.

Making Pesto sauce is very simple and you can alter the recipe with ingredients that you like. The measurements also depend on individual taste. I love to taste the pesto as I add the ingredients and process it in the food processor. I would say it is like making chutneys or any other condiments.


Spinach - 2 cups
Garlic cloves - 4-5
Pine nuts - handful
Grated Parmesan cheese - 1/3 to 1/4 cup
Olive oil - 1/2 cup or more
Salt to taste


Wash and drain the spinach leaves, put them in the food processor, and pulse it a few times. Now add the remaining ingredients to it and puree them. Keep adding the olive oil while pureeing, so that everything gets pureed well. Mix this with your favorite pasta. Store the remaining Pesto sauce in an air tight container. Remember to add more olive oil before storing. There should be a layer of olive oil above the pesto sauce. If not, the Pesto will loose its green color.


Choose any pasta that you like and cook them in boiling hot water till they are al dente. Drain them and keep them aside. Since this is a simple pasta dish I have added some more flavors to it. 

Heat the sauce pan on medium flame. Add the oil from a can of anchovies. Also add 3-4 anchovies and allow it to dissolve in the oil. If you are not an anchovy fan, just add olive oil.  Add some red crushed pepper flakes and some capers. Add the drained pasta to it and mix it well. You can even add some lemon butter sauce or just a little bit of cream to the pasta to give it more flavor and creaminess. 

Now switch of the flame, add the pesto sauce, and mix it well to incorporate everything.
Bon Appetit!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Heirloom Chocolate Cake

Let me put it this bake this cake you will just need a whisk and a heat resistant mixing bowl other than the ingredients. This is probably the easiest cake that I have ever baked. I baked this cake for my daughter's 5th birthday and fulfilled her Chocolate cake wish. It was so moist, light, and full of chocolate flavor that my son quipped as he devoured his slice, "I am  in heaven"! The sweetness and the fudgy texture was so perfect that we just couldn't stop eating after having one slice.

Adapted from Nick Malgieri's "The Modern Baker".


Unsalted butter cut into 12 pieces - 8 ounces (2 sticks)
Bittersweet (60%-70% cocoa) chocolate chips - 8 ounces
Sugar - 1 cup
Large eggs - 5
All-purpose flour -1/2 cup
Pinch of Salt

One 8-inch round cake pan, buttered and floured.


1.Set the rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400 degree fahrenheit.

2.Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Place the butter in a heatproof mixing bowl and place this over the simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and whisk smooth.

3.Whisk the sugar into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs all at once and whisk until combined. Do not over-mix. Whisk in the flour and salt.

4.Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the cake for 25 minutes.

5. Cool the cake on a rack, then refrigerate until you get the ganache and the chocolate shavings ready.


Heavy whipping cream -3/4 cup
Light corn syrup - 2 tablespoons
Semisweet chocolate chips - 6 ounces
Some chocolate shavings for decorating the top of the cake.


1. Combine the cream and corn syrup in a sauce pan and whisk well to mix.

2.Place over medium heat and bring it to a simmer. 

3.Remove from heat and add the chocolate chips.

4.Let the mixture stand for 2 minutes to melt the chocolate and then whisk smooth.

5.Do not over-mix since the glaze will be riddled with bubbles.

6. Pour this into a small bowl and let it cool.

7. Once it is cooled, remove the cake from the refrigerator and place it on a plate lined with parchment paper.

8.Pour the glaze on top of the cake, in a spiral pattern beginning in the center and finishing all the edges.

9. Now sprinkle the chocolate shavings on the top 

10.Transfer the cake slowly to a cake stand or any serving dish and refrigerate until the ganache sets.

Enjoy this perfect delicious, light, moist, Chocolate cake!