Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Celebrate rakshabandhan with indian shortbread cookies ~ Naankhatai

Though I may be far
But we are close in each others thoughts
In each others prayers
that's the way we are always together
Happy Rakshabandhan !!

This greeting goes to my brothers in India :)

Festivals and Celebrations bring out so much fun and excitement in our lives and though we are far away from our country I never miss a chance to celebrate every little festival in our own sweet way.
Rakshabandhan back home was always so much fun, specially when you are a sister you are being bestowed with all gifts and given so much love.
As a food blogger ,festivals give a chance to try out something sweet.So for this ocassion I have made nankhatais ~ a traditional indian shortbread cookie.


1 1/4 cup Gram flour
1/4 cup Suji
1/2 cup All purpose flour
1/2 cup Brown sugar
1/2 cup Butter
A pinch of Salt
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
10-12 halved almonds


Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a tray with baking paper.In a bowl whisk sugar and butter till light and creamy.In a separate bowl sift together gram flour,suji,all purpose flour,salt ,cardamom powder and baking powder.Now mix the butter mix in the flour and form a dough.Knead for a couple of minutes and keep it in the fridge for about half an hour.Take it out and form into round shaped discs.Place an almond half on top and bake these goodies for 15-18 minutes till they are done.

Enjoy the aroma filling your home.This nankhatai is sure to raise a festive spirit in your home so go ahead and try these goodies !!
Wishing everyone a happy rakshabandhan !!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Kick start your day with pesto tomato and mozzarella sandwich

What's a typical British meal? Sandwich!! I read somewhere that around 12 billion sandwiches are eaten every year in the UK....just imagine !!
When it comes to sandwiches I am not very fond of the cold ones we get here...I like the toasted and grilled ones better.We have been grown up eating potato and paneer sandwiches and then came the era of coleslaw sandwiches during college days.Grilled sandwiches were a specialty of some places only and I remember how I used to love these sandwiches at the mathura road branch of Haldiram's in Delhi.
The best thing  about sandwiches is that they are simple to make and you can play around with a number of options depending upon the available ingredients.Well,pesto is our favourite thesedays and so I made this sandwich for the first time on hubby's b'day and we loved it so much that since then its weekly in our menu.
I used Sacla basil pesto sauce for this recipe....I was never a fan of bottled sauces until I tried this pesto sauce...it is as fresh as homemade pesto. Try making this sandwich with seeded bread it does makes a lot of difference in taste as well as health quotient.I have used Hovis Seeds sensation which is a staple in our home thesedays.I have tried so many varieties of bread in this country but when it comes to seeded breads this one is the best .

Here comes the recipe :


1/4 cup Sacla Classic Basil pesto
1/4 Red pepper(cut into long strips)
Half Tomato(cut into pieces)
1/4 cup Mozzarella 
Salt to taste 
1/4 tsp Pepper
4 slices of Seeded bread(I used Hovis Seed Sensation)
Butter for toasting 


In a pan roast red pepper slices til they are a bit charred.(You can even do this in oven)Take pesto and spread on the bread slices.Put tomato pieces and capsicum strips.Sprinkle salt and pepper and add crumbled cheese.Cover it with a slice of bread 
Heat butter in a pan or a griddle.Toast or grill  till it is brown on both sides and cheese is melted.Cut into two and serve hot !!!
Enjoy this scrumptious sandwich with your morning cuppa or pack it for lunch...it tastes great either ways !!!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Butter free lemon cake...perfect treat for summers !

Well summers have been here for a while, and this year with all records broken there have been days when we were reminded of Indian summers.But now for the past one week its still better, with temperature averaging 24-25 its the best time of the year and I am just loving it !!
During all these days our meals have been more of pitas,sandwiches and salads which are light on stomach and refreshing to eat.I had been trying not to bake any cake for health considerations but couldn't stop myself when I came across a butterfree cake recipe....some of you will laugh over it, but that's how food bloggers are, they just need an excuse to cook ;)  and the excuse was my baby Ishaan's four month b'day. Yes, I bake a cake  every month to celebrate his birthday (though he still can't have a bite ).But this is how I celebrate his milestones... his new expressions....his new activities...his new developments every month :)

Now what can I say about this lemon cake ...its  just perfect for summers...light refreshing and moist !! Its prepared  with just a handful of ingredients, so  go ahead and make it a part of your summer party.


1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
Lemon zest from 2 lemons
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup yoghurt
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4  tsp baking soda
A pinch of salt


Preheat the oven to 180 C and grease a loaf tin.Sieve together flour,baking powder,baking soda and salt and keep it aside.In a bowl mix in lemon zest and sugar till it resembles wet sand.Whisk in yoghurt,lemon juice and eggs.Mix in the dry ingredients along with oil.Pour the batter in a pan and bake it for 45 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean.
I just loved the lemony aroma filling my house.
Enjoy this lemony cake with a cuppa !!

Handy Tips 

  • When purchasing lemons look for fruit that feels heavy for its size with a bright shiny skin and small points on each end.
  • To store lemons for up to a month,rinse them in water and store in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator.Once it is cut it must be used within a few days.
  • To get the most juice from lemons,first prick the skin with a fork,then place in microwave for 15 seconds in this way more juice can be squeezed.
  • While grating lemon zest make sure to remove only the coloured part of the skin,the white pith is bitter.


Friday, 2 August 2013

Spicy Okra with chickpea flour

Okra or Ladyfinger as we call it is one of my favourite vegetables since childhood. It brings back all the memories of those summer afternoons when me and my cousins would sit together and enjoy the homely Daal rice and bhindi...yeah those were some carefree days!
And now when I am in London,I would say I am lucky to get such nice okra here. Its made quite often in my kitchen as hubby just loves it,specially the spicy version which I am sharing with you all today.
There are different ways of cooking okra, stir fry,deep fry or even a curry...but I like it spicy with a touch of chickpea flour which gives a nice flavour and aroma.

Do you know that okra is an excellent source of folate,Vitamin K and Vitamin C.It is low in calories and a good source of dietary fibre. With so many nutritional benefits its great to include it in our diet.
So without much ado here's the recipe for you:


400 gm Okra 
1/4 cup chickpea flour (besan)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder 
1 tsp cumin powder 
1 tbsp coriander powder 
1 tsp  amchur powder 
1 tsp garam masla
1/2 tsp red chilli powder 
1 small onion
Salt to taste


Trim the Okra and make a slit on one side.Take turmeric powder,garam masala,cumin powder,coriander powder ,amchur and red chilli in a small bowl and mix.Fill this mixture into the slits.Mix and set aside.Heat oil in a wok,add chopped onions and saute till light golden.Add chickpea flour and saute for a couple of minutes.Add stuffed okra and mix.Lower the heat,cover and cook,stirring occasionally,till the ladyfingers get cooked .Add salt and cook for a minute keeping the lid open.
Serve hot with rice or chapatis.This tastes great even with puris and parathas.
This dish keeps really well so its great for packed lunches and picnics.

Handy tips

  • While purchasing okra make sure it has firm pods and should snap easily in half.The best varieties are a rich green colour. Avoid pods that are dull or blemished.
  • Store in a paper bag in the warmest part of refrigerator,as temperature below 45 degrees can damage okra.Do not wash until ready to use,or it will become slimy.

Till we meet next have a spicy weekend !!!