Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sugar and Spice cookies

Studying for exams is like preparing for an impending doom. Especially when it is the Mumbai University which turns all thinking students into rote-learning answer spewing automatons. So while I study the most boring aspects of finance, I knew I just had spice up my life. 

I had this recipe stashed in my one-note (pure awesome isn't it?) folder since long. I don't know who it is by, if you recognise it drop me a line I will link back to you. 

The recipe called for brown sugar, all the stores nearby happened to run out of it at the same time, so I just substituted with normal caster sugar and added two tablespoons of maple syrup for the wetness provided by the brown sugar. You can also sub maple syrup for honey. I was supposed to use molasses, which I doubt you will get in India, so just use maple syrup or honey instead. 

Recipe for Sugar and Spice cookies, as adapted from the net

1 cup caster sugar (or brown sugar)
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup (not needed if using brown sugar)
1/2 cup butter (i used a mixture of unsalted and salted butter)
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 cups flour (maida)
2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp ground cloves (or nutmeg, I used cloves)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (not needed if using salted butter)

1. Sift all the dry ingredients except the sugar
2. Beat the butter sugar and vanilla till light and fluffy 
3. beat in the egg till it is creamy
4. Beat in the dry ingredients till combined
5. Refrigerate the cookie dough after covering it for a while before rolling it out on a floured surface and then cutting it

6. Bake in a 180C oven for 15-20 mins or till the bottom of the cookies become golden in colour

Let the cookies cool before you eat them. My home is full or dough eating monsters. Cookie dough is heavenly, but don't eat too much. 

You can also sprinkle the cookies with sugar and cinnamon before baking them. You can easily make around 3 dozen cookies with this recipe. 

The cloves add the right amount of spicy hit which makes this cookie amazing. My finance blues are gone!

Monday, March 21, 2011

A lesson learnt

A belated Happy Holi to all!

Holi is essentially a North-Indian festival. We South Indians don't have any dish that we make on Holi like gujiya. So, when I came to know that we were having a family do at my grandmother's and everyone was bringing something, I decided to bake brownies. I was a bit apprehensive when My mother informed me that they had to be eggless. I shy away from eggless baking, but I gathered my courage and recipe books and decided to venture on.

The recipe I chose was from Sanjeev Kapoor's Cakes and Bakes. He has never failed me ever.

What failed me was my 2 hours spent dancing in the water under the hot sun and very tired head. So I had processing problems and when I was to beat the sugar into the chocolate and butter mixture i didn't. A tiny part of my head kept insisting I should, but the sleepy part won. So, i am sure you know what happened. for those of you who don't I have pictures.

A tiny part of me dies inside. The brownies were crumbly. They did taste good though! 

Here is a picture of what we had to eat last night. 

 Here is the menu:
Semiya bagalabhaat - that is just roasted vermicelli soaked in milk then mixed with curd and diced cucumber.
Bisibella bhaat - Made by my grandmother. It is rice cooked with yellow lentil (tur daal) and with vegetables. My personal favourite.
Apple Sheera - roasted rava cooked with lots of ghee and dry fruits.
Pav Bhaji - mashed potato with other vegetables cooked in a tomato base. Served with Indian bun
Brownies - Do i need to describe them? They were served with ice cream so weren't seen. they did taste good though.

So it was evening well spent with family and good South Indian food. So what are your favourite home dishes? And what culinary disaster's have you come across?

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Exam time is here. Not for me. My exams are still a month away, but when you have your final year university exams you have to start studying. And as everyone knows, studying is synonymous with stress eating and weight gain.

I always cook the most during exams. All of a sudden I barge out of my room into the kitchen to fulfill my craving of the hour. So you can see why we all look all rosy cheeked and plump post exams.

This time I decided to make Hummus. Having read countless recipes online and being a big fan of Garlic, I had to make it.

Here is my recipe:

1 1/2 cups of chickpeas (chole) 
8 pods of gralic (we love garlic here)
50ml of Olive Oil
salt and red chilli powder to taste

Soak the chickpeas for 12 hours in water and then cook it in a pressure cooker. 
After the cooked chickpeas has cooled, put it in the mixer/food processor with the other ingredients and blitz away. 
Keep adding water. I use the water the chickpeas were cooked in.
Add oil periodically till it becomes the required consistency.

That's it. Eat.

I didn't want mine too oily and not too thin. So it was pretty thick. You could spread it easily on Garlic bread. (that is how much we love garlic at home, No we don't smell of it. probably keeps the vampires at bay).

It can also be eaten with veggies. Healthy snack! To keep you from putting on that exam weight. 

What are your exam remedies? 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Candies, Pali Hill. A Review

Everyone who is a student in Bombay, knows about Candies or has been there. We (myself and my group of friends) went there yesterday to celebrate a friend's 21st.

The first thing that strikes you about the place is the ambiance. It is apt for people who want sit outside, in the Bombay sun and not feel hot, there are shades and trees you see. You have to climb a many short stairs to get to the various levels. It has a an old Bombay Villa feel. There are Beatles tile mosaics, brightly coloured doors, quirky lanters and secluded seating areas.

Cozy location and quirky wall fixtures
There are also these hidden tables for two, which are ideal for dates. I know I want to go there.

Table for two
Now about the Food. I had the Salad Bar (Rs.120) which is a selection of salads and you can load as much onto one plate.

They give you only one serving, so make the most of it
The salad bar has the usual macaroni, potato, corn, green salads. There was also the waldorf salad. What they could have done was provide more salad dressings and also stand alone salad vegetables. 

The pre-cooked mini meals at Candies are a complete disaster. They pre-cook them, so I guess you get the picture. They cost Rs.150 each and come with a serving of salad and tiny pieces of Garlic Bread. We had the Spinach and Mushroom Canneloni, Macaroni and Veg Bake and American Chopsuey. The first two Italian meals were terrible. Made with white sauce that had kind of split and re-heating it just pisses you off. 

I reccomend the salad bar and the sandwiches, which they have to freshly prepare. 

We had a few coolers there. 
Clockwise from top left: greengrass cooler, Pink lemonade and Bombay Blue
They were priced at Rs.50 each. the Pink Lemonade was too sweet with strawberry jelly in it. The Bombay Blue and Greengrass cooler were nice and refreshing.

The desserts
They have an extensive menu. And they are very cheap and taste amazing. 
Top to bottom: the array of small choclates and tarts. The Red Velvet cupcake. The chocolate eclair with custard.
We had the Red Velvet cupcakes (small for Rs.20 and the medium one for Rs.30), the Chocolate Eclair with custard (Rs.40) and the mini tarts (Rs.6 each). The cupcakes are divine. The Eclair was nice as well. Though i though the custard could have been better. The jam tartlets are tiny and so cute! They were so small that I felt bad asking my friend for a bite, as they are smaller than a bite.

The red velvet bouquet
Now the best thing about the dessert display were the cupcake bouquets. Anyone who wants to woo me ditch the flower bouquets, get me one of these.

So if you love to hang out and have ample time, not an ample budget, this is the place for you. Also it is so pretty that if you are a sucker to facebook, then you can take millions of pictures here.

So the final Ratings:
Ambience: 5/5
Variety: 3/5
Taste: 2/5 (we only had the mini meals)
Dessert: 4/5
Value for money: 4/5

This blogger is not paid to review and reviews anonymously.

I got Featured!!

Simple Indian Food : An Easy Cooking Blog has been around for years now.
EC is a stalwart in the tasty world of Food Bloggers. Check out her blog here

She has an ongoing feature called "Budding Bloggers" where she features upcoming bloggers. So it is like a society debut. 

And I got featured today! Check out the link here

And pardon the title of this post. I am just so very excited! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"life needs frosting" - Cinnabon

I love Cinnamon. I love the texture of the bark, the colour, the smell and spicy after-taste, in short everything.

I secretly wish my future boyfriend smells of cinnamon, because the last time I baked a Cinnamon cake, I didn't wash my hands well because I loved the lingering smell of Cinnamon. So one can only imagine what will happen if I come across someone who actually does smell of cinnamon.

So now that everyone knows how loco I am about Cinnamon, I just lost it when I saw Cinnabon on the way to our PUKAR meeting. On our way back I made the autowallah stop while I went in and bought my very first Cinnamon roll from the very famous Cinnabon. 

I have had Cinnamon buns before. But at Theos (Theobroma) there wasn't any frosting (I know!) and I had heard so much about Cinnabon. So, I was very excited when she went all happy on the frosting.

Source: internet. For representational purposes only.

I wasn't let down at all. It wasn't overtly sweet. It was very spicy at times. So yes, it was perfect!

Now all I need is that cinnamon perfume I have been looking for and a guy who smells of Cinnamon.

So what spice or smell of food turns you on the most?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Stir Fried Veggies

I love stir fried vegetables. It makes me feel like very nice and healthy. So when I felt like having something nice and not the regular lunch, I checked the fridge and decided to make a stir fry.

If you are a vegetable cutting nerd like me, who loves cutting veggies and actually finds it soothing, go ahead chop away. But, if you hate the thought of cutting everything into juliennes then head to the high-fi supermarts who sell cut vegetables. You even get whole sets of vegetables in a cover which says "stir fry". Talk about laziness!

So I chose ginger, onions, carrots, beans, cabbage and capsicum. Cut them nice and thin, so they cook faster. They go in the wok in the order mentioned above. Also the vegetable that takes the longest to cook, put it in first.

Heat your wok and add oil (I chose olive oil) and heat till it smokes.
Lower the heat and add the ginger and the onions and fry till the onions turn translucent. Add the carrots and beans and about 2 tablespoons of water and cover and cook on a medium flame till the carrots are halfway done.
Add the capsicum and cabbage and close and cook some more.
In a cup mix soya sauce, chilli sauce and some water. add this to the pan and mix fast. Add salt according o taste.

To go with the stir-fry I made some burnt garlic fried rice.
If you live in a family like mine, you will always have left over rice. Just take it and loosen it up a little.
In a non-stick pan add olive oil and wait for it to smoke. Cut the garlic into small pieces. (I had about 1 1/2 cups of cooked rice and added 3 cloves of garlic). fry the garlic in the oil till it is golden brown.
Add the rice and fry again for about a minute. Then add salt.

That's it. Your stir-fry with rice is done!

You can also add babycorn, mushrooms, zucchini and egg. Another thing which would be divine is a sunny side up egg on top of the stir fry.

I must apologise for my not so great picture. My friend, Shreyas has promised to help me. You can check out his work here.

Let me know if you like stir fry and what you think about chopping veggies? I would be nice to hear about fellow nerds.