Thursday, April 16, 2015


For the past few days,  my husband was having an unending urge to gorge Baklavas and he wanted to get those from Harry and David. It sure is too good and just melts.  I was wondering what is so difficult in making this and why I had not attempted the same.   I browsed through a couple of good recipes and found the recipe from the best and followed their recipe.  It is not as difficult as I thought and moreover, if I prepare at home, I can have my own combination of nuts too.
A successful maiden attempt  which was duly applauded by my family and they are looking forward to the second batch

Walnut - 4 cups chopped
Cinnamon - 1 tsp
Butter sticks - 1-1/2
Honey - 1 cup
Sugar 1/2 cup
Water - 1/2 cup
Vanilla extract- 3 tsp 

Here are a few tips before the start.

The Phyllo dough is available in Shoprite-Isle freezer section.The Phyllo dough has to be refrigerated for 24 hours and to be kept outside for an hour before the preparation.
Chop the walnuts into small pieces in the food processor. Add cinnamon to it. Set aside.Take  a baking pan and brush butter on it.

Procedure to arrange the sheets.

Butter the top sheet of phyllo with melted butter, then arrange the unbuttered sheet below it. Set the two sheets in the pan, buttered sheet face down. Press the sheets lightly into the pan. Repeat this twice more, so that you have six sheets of phyllo in the pan, three  sheets buttered.
Sprinkle on walnuts to make a single layer. Butter two sheets of phyllo and place them on top of the walnuts then two more buttered phyllo sheet. Repeat until you have exhausted the  walnuts. Top with 4 more buttered phyllo sheets, ending with a buttered top. Cut a diagonal diamond pattern in the baklava using a very sharp knife.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees,

Bake it for 45 min till its golden brown.

Now for the syrup:

Add the remaining butter. Let it melt. Add powdered cloves, honey ,sugar, vanilla extract and water.
Let it come to a boil and simmer it till all the ingredients are mixed evenly and becomes syrupy.
Once you remove the Baklava from the oven, add the syrup on the Baklava.

Keep it outside for 6-7 hours for the syrup to soak into the Baklava.
You can serve it hot or at room temperature.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Broccoli soup!!!!

Today I made this soup for my daughter. She hates Broccoli. Came out yummy!!!!  And she loved it and was asking for more


Garlic cloves: 5
Butter: 2 tbs
Onion (Red) :1
Milk: 1/2 cup
Broccoli: 1 and 1/2 cups

Take a pan put little butter. Add onions and garlic. Saute it til it becomes tender.. 

Put all the broccoli in microwave-safe bowl and add water.  For one and half cup of broccoli add 2-3 tablespoons of water. Cover it and cook in 'High' for 4 minutes.

Once this is done,  take another pot and put the rest of the butter and add milk.

Blend the broccoli, onion, garlic and little milk rue in a blender.
Finally mix it in the milk rue and add salt and pepper.

Yum yum, so smooth and creamy soup ready to devour. . You can use this for making pasta sauce too.
Its really yummy!!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Redefining my friend Kamala - “This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus“.

This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus“.

I had posted this way back in 27/12/2009.  Just to keep you all updated on my friend Kamala - I had helped her set up a small business of masalas hygienically prepared at home to cater to the local crowd.  She began only with a couple of streets in the vicinity but slowly expanded to the whole area and was constantly pressurized to supply to the neighborhood too.  She has employed  friends to help her out with washing, drying and grinding the necessary spices in the mill nearby.  She did not have the courage to expand her set up.  I counselled her to expand and even initiated with the distribution of flyers about her supplies. This time, when I met her, I could see a beaming girl, very cheerful and full of confidence.  Her sons have grown up and occasionally helping her.  Academically too, they are doing very well.   Really proud of her for having fought the odds to create a niche for herself.  Hope her story inspires many more 'Kamalas' in our country who are still trying to fight out.

Here is the original post

Acquaintance with Kamala is only two months old. I had been to my hometown for the preparation of an upcoming wedding in the family. Visiting my hometown after a span of six months required a lot of cleaning and setting up the house. Now, since there was a wedding coming up, this needed much more than the usual. Usually, I  get someone or the other to help me out. This time even after a couple of days of landing, there was no one in sight.   I tried all my resources but of no use.

Then there was the doorbell. When I opened, I saw a beautiful woman in her late twenties dressed in a synthetic sari with simple jewels in her ears and neck. There was this anklet full of gungroos which caught my attention. The look on my face posed enough questions which brought me answers from her. She is a part time maid who had heard from someone that I am in need of someone to help me out. When asked about the salary structure, she would not speak about it and left to my discretion to decide. She had already decided to work for me.

She had passed her tenth standard, married with two sons studying in local school. Her husband is related to her and working as a carpenter. She is the eldest of three daughters and very dear to her father. Her father was not happy that she started working as domestic help, but the financial condition in the house did not allow her to sit at home. She was already working in two houses and assured she would find time to squeeze to help me with the daily chores.

I started waiting for her everyday as she was very good in her work and apart from work, she used to give me ideas of re-arranging the house. She updated about the latest exhibition going on at halls near our house where I could find good decorative items for the home. Sometimes, she used to accompany me too. Also, she would not just finish the regular chores but would extend helping hand to mine too. Slowly, I started to realise that we have developed a beautiful relationship.

When talking about her family, she would always speak high of her husband and children. I was happy for her. 

The wedding day was nearing and she won the hearts of all the guests at home. I could see the gleam in her face when I introduced her as my friend who comes to help me. I bought her a nice sari for the wedding which she planned to wear it with matching bangles and jewels on the wedding day. I was amazed at her  enthusiasm.

She was a great support at the wedding and like a family member she was there always ready to lend a helping hand. The wedding day was finally over and within a couple of days, there was no one at home except Kamala and me. I had to again wind up the house and leave to my place of residence. Suddenly, I could no longer see the smile in her face. When enquired, she told she was feeling sad that I would be leaving.  Within a few days, she brought the house back to normalcy.

I was to leave the next morning. When she came on that day, she tried hard to avoid me. When asked numerous times, she finally told that her husband had not come for almost a week as they had a big fight over some petty issues. He was too drunk on that particular day and was difficult to control him.

The next morning, as I was getting ready to leave, I heard the doorbell and saw Kamala there. I understood that she had cried all night as her eyes were red and lacked sleep. She wanted to speak to me for sometime, she said. She spoke and spoke for half hour. Then, I knew that her life was not a bed of roses as I thought. She hid all her suffering with her ever beautiful smile and not let out her feelings or expected any sympathy. From her dialogue, I figured out that her husband was not going to return to her. I had already planned that during my next visit, would help her to set up a small simple business at home which would give her extra income and also boost up her spirits as I know that she would never take money from me even as loan.

I left India with a heavy heart and continue my prayers that Kamala becomes strong enough to face the long future in front of her but at the same time appreciating her self esteem and dignity of not disclosing her true life status or to take undue advantage of the situation. As I ponder, I look with pride at such people who still keep up the human relationship alive in this materialistic world.

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."  -  Ana├»s Nin

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Simple Dal Palak

This is a comfort food and am sure will be enjoyed by all.  This goes very well as a main component with rice or as an accompaniment with sambar rice.  Enjoyed by one and all as a side dish for rotis or chappathis.  It is good to have spinach daily to have healthy hemoglobin level.  There are many interesting recipes with spinach and the below mentioned is one of the tastiest.


Spinach (Palak) 2 bunches
Tuvar dal - 1 cup cooked
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Tomato - 1 big finely chopped
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Red chillies (whole) - 2 to 3
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Hing - a pinch

REmove stems from palak and wash the leaves well under running water.  Once washed well, boil it with salt and turmeric powder.  Once cooked, mash it coarsely and keep aside.  In a small kadai, pour two tablespoon of oil, add mustard seeds.  When it splutters, add jeera, hing and the red chillies.  Now, add the finely chopped tomatoes and cook it till it leaves oil on the sides of the kadai. 

Add the cooked tuvar dal to the coarsely ground palak mix.  Mix well and place the vessel in low heat. Let it boil.  Once the heat is turned off, mix the tomato and stir.

Yummy dal palak is ready to devour.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Our very own favourite - the humble samosa

Nobody can ever say NO to the humble samosa.  Be it the simple potato  or the multiple veggies  or the non vegetarian filling, this has its own space in the cooking domain.  As such, there is no standard recipe or measurement for this filling. No two samosas tastes alike. A little tweak with the masalas or veggies bings about a new flavour and an altogethere new taste.

Here, I pen down my version of samosa which is always a hit with my family and friends.


All purpose flour
Potatoes - 2 to 3 big
Carrots - 1 medium size
String beans - few
Green chillies - according to taste
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves 1/4 cup finely chopped
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

Prepare a nice dough with all purpose flour adding  little salt to it. Keep it aside

Boil potatoes and mash well. Finely chop carrots, beans, peas and boil with some salt.  Now in a bowl, add the mashed potatoes, cooked carrots peas and beans. Add some salt to this mix, be careful while adding it as salt has also been added to the veggies while cooking.. In a small pan, heat a little oil and add turmeric, red chilly powder and coriander powder.  Ensure, the powders retain the original color. Once they are blended in oil, remove pan from fire and pour the contents to the mashed mix of potatoes and veggies. Now add the finely chopped coriander leaves and mix well. Check for taste.

Make small balls of the dough. Keep the filling and fold and make a  triangle shaped  pocket. My pics above would give  you an idea. Once the samosas are prepared, deep fry in oil and let it cook on all sides.  It is better to prepare samosas simultaneously and fry them immediately.

The end product goes well with ketchup, tomato sauce, chilly sauce, coriander chutney.

I can feel you drool after reading and visualisng this. Either rush into the kitchen to make some or off to the restaurant to buy some, I know you cannot resisit.

'My body is a temple where junk food goes to worship' - Unknown

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