Dill Chicken Do Pyaza :)

"Necessity is the mother of invention" they say......that's exactly how I came up with this recipe, and yum... was it delicious!

I am travelling to India on Saturday and perhaps this is my last post for the month, but that's a different story. The point is since I am travelling I "have to" use up all the veggies and poultry etc stocked in the fridge .

So, Dill chicken do pyaza - never heard of this recipe ? :) of course you never heard that , its named so because I added dill to the chicken curry and do pyaza because , I added the onions (pyaz) twice :)) .... there you go !


1 chicken breast, washed and cut into cubes,
1 large onion , thinly sliced
1 small tomato, finely chopped
1 small (or half of large) bunch of dill ,
3 tbsp. mint , chopped,
3 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped
1 tbsp. ginger- garlic paste,
1/2" cinnamon stick,
1/4 cup coconut milk (or paste)
1/2 tbsp. red chili powder, or to taste ,
salt to taste,
1/4 tsp. turmeric pdr,
1/2 tsp. cumin pdr,
2 tbsp. olive oil (or any cooking oil)
1 green chili, cut in halves , lengthwise


Fry half of the sliced onions till golden brown on mediun heat and drain it on a paper towel. Keep aside.

Heat oil , add remaining onions and fry them till they lightly brown. Add chicken, ginger-garlic paste , salt , red chili pdr, cumin pdr, turmeric and cook till the raw smell of the spices is gone . Add the coconut milk, stir everything to mix well. Now add the cinnamon stick . Cover and cook for few mins. , just till the coconut milk starts to boil (you can also add water if you want more gravy). Add tomatoes let them cook then add dill, mint leaves, coriander leaves and cover the dish again. Cook for few more mins. Now crush the fried onions using rolling pin to a fine powder and add to the chicken curry. Finally add the green chilly and cover the dish , cook for few mins . and turn off the heat. Do not remove the lid immediately . Serve with rotis or rice.

Chopping Onions ?

Every one has some suggestion when it comes to chopping onions , or at least is looking for one. I heard them all, from looking away , wearing glasses (yes!) , soaking them in water, keeping the cut side up and cutting after some time etc... etc... etc...

Few days back I came across this very useful and effective tip(saw it on TV).

Chopping onions makes us all cry .....doesn't it ? So the next time you chop onions , just light a (scented) candle near your chopping board and there will be no more tears ....it really works.


Home made Soan Papdi/Soan Halwa

Also known as Soan Halwa , Soan papdi is one of those sweets which is easy to cook, gud to eat . I will be travelling to India this month end, so this recipe was an effort to use up some of the gram flour (besan) . Any suggestions for the remaining flour ?

For those of you who have never made a 2 thread consistency syrup , here is a tip , it takes longer than the single thread consistency :) to check the doneness press the syrup between your thumb and forefinger and gently pull apart , you should see two threads of the syrup ... simple :)


1 cup plus 1 tbsp ghee

Sift together:

1 1/4 cup gramflour (Besan)
1 1/4 cup All purpose flour (maida)For the syrup:2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup water
2 tbsp. milk
a generous pinch of saffron
For garnish:

1/2 tsp. cardamom pdr
2-3 tbsps. pistachios, sliced


Sift both flours together.

Heat ghee in a heavy saucepan. Add flour mixture and roast on low till light golden. Add 1/4 tsp cardamom pdr , mix well. Keep aside to cool a little, stirring occasionally. Prepare syrup simultaneously.

To make the syrup cook the sugar , water n milk , do not let it boil untill the sugar is dissolved. The milk is added to remove impurities , so discard the scum or stratin the syrup once the scum is formed and continue cooking. Now add the crushed saffron threads. Bring syrup to 2 1/2 thread consistency. Keep an eye on the consistency , once the required consistency is attained pour the syrup at once into the flour mixture. Beat well with a large fork till the mixture forms threadlike flakes. Pour onto a greased surface or thali and roll to 1" thickness lightly. Sprinkle the cardamom powder, pistachios and gently press down with palm.Cool slightly, cut into 1" squares, wrap individually into square pieces of plastic wrap or polythene sheets . Store in an airtight container.

Update : This recipe has consistenly been the most read and viewed one ever since its been published. Though its very tempting to make it, not everybody is successful.

 Recently Suresh from Pune commented ".... No doubt that the recipie displayed here tastes good (and thats what really matters) and I am going to be making it many more times in the future. However, it is for 'soan halwa' and not for 'soan papdi'. "

So I decided, to rename the recipe as Soan Papdi or Soan Halwa and avoid any disappointment to my precious readers.
Whether you get papdi or halwa, the point is to enjoy making it and eating it with family and friends.
Happy Cooking my friend !


Murgh Khushka

Let me simplify --- It is a chicken flavored rice :) Though there is no chicken used in its preparation, the flavor comes from its broth which I had made earlier this week . The chicken broth/stock available in the store also works well with this recipe. Using broth instead of water to cook the rice gives it a dense and rich flavour. If you want just a hint of the chicken flavor (or are falling short of the stock :)) just dilute the broth with water.

The vegetarian version would be made using Vegetable stock and some chopped vegetables.

The Murgh Khushka goes well with anything from pickles, Dal to exotic , moghlai curries


2 tbsp. Ghee or oil
1 med. onion , thinly sliced,
2 cardamoms,
1/2" piece of Cinnamon,
2 cups Basmati Rice, washed
approx. 4 cups Chicken stock/broth, more if needed,
1/2 tsp. Ginger paste,
1/2 tsp. Garlic paste,
1 tbsp. mint leaves, chopped,
1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped,
1 green chilly, slitted,
salt to taste,
Finely chopped coriander leaves, as garnish.


Heat ghee, add cinnamon stick , cardamom and green chilly , let it fry for few seconds , then add onions and cook till they turn slightly brown. Add the ginger , garlic pastes, mint leaves , coriander leaves and cook for few mins. , don't let it burn , keep stirring. Now add the chicken stock and bring it to a boil over high heat. When the stock starts boiling, season it with salt and add the Basmati rice. Let it cook in the broth on high for 5 mins. , then reduce the flame n cook uncovered till almost all of the broth is absorbed by the rice . There should be very little broth still visible. At this stage cover the dish with a lid n reduce the flame to low. Cook till done or you see steam coming out from the lid. Remove from heat and let it rest for few minutes before opening the lid.


Apple Tatin - A crowd pleaser :)

The history of how tatin (tah-tan) was first made is very interesting. It's hard to believe that it was an outcome of a mistake...but once you taste it you know exactly why people did not mind.

You can use any variety of apples, preferably Granny smith or Golden delicious . The lemon zest n the caramel ....yumm... it is a must try.
So next time you want to please a crowd (or yourself)...go ahead and try this recipe...it looks, tastes and even sounds very impressive... (The photo does no justice to its actual beauty:))

6 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature,
1 1/4 Apples, cored,peeled and sliced
1 cups granulated sugar, for the caramel
3/4 cups granulated sugar, for the cake batter
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp. vanilla essence

Sift together:
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9-inch glass pie dish or any oven proof 9 inch dish with butter and arrange the apples in the dish, so as to cover the dish .
Combine 1 cup of the granulated sugar and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until it turns a warm amber color (about 360 degrees F on a candy thermometer. ...for the ones who have one .....I just use the color of the caramel as my guide). Do not stir this mixture, it cooks on its own .
Once the caramel is cooked swirl the pan and pour the caramel evenly over the apple slices.
In a different bowl cream the 6 tablespoons of butter and the remaining 3/4 cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Lower the speed and beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the sour cream, zest, and vanilla and mix until combined. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and, with the mixer on low speed, add it to the butter mixture. Mix only until combined. Pour the cake batter evenly over the apple slices and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a flat plate. If you have greased your dish generously and allowed the tatin to cool for its given time, it will come out without sticking if in case an apple slice sticks, ease it out and replace it in the design on top of the cake.
Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners' sugar.
If you like it warm as I do , just microwave it for few seconds and you get the same oven fresh taste everytime.

Happy Women's Day !

March 8th is the International Women's Day, so for all you wonderful women out there these lines from Altaf Hussain Hali's poetry ....just for you !

Aye Maaon , behno, betiyon , duniya ki zeenat tumse hai,
Mulkon ki basti ho tumhi , Qaumon ki izzat tumse hai.

(O mothers, sisters and daughters, you are our wealth and pride,
You are the nation's honor, the source of bustling life ---- as translated by K.C. Nanda)

Happy Women's Day !!!

Happy Women's Day !

March 8th is the International Women's Day, so for all you wonderful women out there, these lines by 19th century Urdu poet Altaf Hussain Hali...... just for you !

Aye Maaon , behno, betiyon , duniya ki zeenat tumse hai,
Mulkon ki basti ho tumhi , Qaumon ki izzat tumse hai.

Neki ki tum tasvir ho, iffat ki tum tadbir ho,
Ho deen ki tum paasbaan, eemaan salaamat tum se hai.

Fitrat tumhari hai haya, teenat mein hai mehar-o-wafa,
Ghutti mein hai sabar-o-raza, insaan abaarat tum se hai.

( O mothers, sisters and daughters, you are our wealth and pride,
You are the nation's honor, the source of bustling life

You are the epitome of goodness, a promise of self-esteem,
Guardians of religious faith, preserver of spiritual beam.

Modesty is your native trait, you embody love and faith,
You are patience personified, humanity's charm and grace.

---- English translation by K.C. Nanda)

Happy Women's Day !!!


My first post !

Hi...and welcome to my blog. Basically it is a collection of recipes tried and tested (found on the net, magazines, recipe books,TV shows, shared by family, friends etc..) ......the keepers :). I hope that I will learn the "art" of blogging gradually.

The sour cream tea cake is a moist cake, tastes good with or without the tea ......I normally tend to use less sugar so it is not very very sweet .The recipe calls for sprinkling the walnuts between layers, but i think mixing them in the batter would be much better.

Sour Cream Tea Cake


2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 ½ cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 C walnuts finely chopped (or roughly powdered)

Whisk together:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Whisk in another bowl:

1 cup sour cream
½ teaspoon baking soda


Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Butter and flour a 9-inch nonstick pan.

Beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes(I used electric mixer). With mixer on low speed, add 1/3rd of the flour mixture , let mix , then add half of the sour cream mixture , let mix , again 1/3rd of flour , let mix , add remaining sour cream , let mix , finally add the remaining flour mixture. Mix just until moistened.

Spread half of the batter in pan; sprinkle with walnuts. Spread remaining half of the batter over the walnuts.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs, 60 to 70 minutes.

Cool in pan 30 minutes before turning the cake out on a rack. Cool .

Enjoy with tea or coffee !