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Turkey..!!! A must visit for a traveller who is a foodie as well..! Guest Post!

Heylo there..! I know it has been a long long time.. ! Hope you guys have been awesome at what you do.. I’m sure about that!

Long long ago there lived a food blogger who used to blog at her space called Keli Paan… since the time she converted her passion to work, she has not been around much on her blog..! This for sure would have refreshed your memory about me..! Most of you know that starting a new venture is not a joke.. You really need to work hard for the venture to flourish..! That is the reason you do not see me around here.

All of us blogger stumble into other wonderful blogs nearly everyday..! One such thing happened to a fellow blogger James, he landed on my blog one very fine day and he contacted me since he liked what he saw… We connected and a guest post discussion was on.. I must admit I kept James hanging for quite a while, since I’m really caught up with my baking profession. Anyways, let us get to know a about James, in his own words – “James Anderson is from London and is a reader and blogger interested in Sports, Travel, Fitness and Health.While browsing for the same i got something really unique and informative as ( so thought to contribute here. Currently working on Turkey Visas. Coffee drinker and a passionate Writer. And a big fan of Barclay’s Premier League Football Club, Arsenal .” :).

As many of you know that I love to travel, one of the biggest reasons I love to travel is because of the new food options that come along with it.. ! James in this post will share with us some wonderful insights about Turkey. When we were in the UK, visiting Turkey was on the cards.. but then I had to pass then. This post now reminds me, how much both K & I wanted to visit Turkey..! Over to James….

Turkey – The Best Food Destination in the Middle East West.

We are all used to the visions of Turkey with its sunny beaches, historic architecture and party venues. But Turkey is also a premier venue for those for whom tourism is all about the food. What are the best Food Experiences that Turkey Provides? The best thing about Turkish food is that it is produced using the best of fresh ingredients, including nuts, seeds, and vegetables; it’s a very healthy way to eat.

• Manti is a delicious traditional dish that you will need to venture off the beaten tourist track to find. Mincemeat is encased in dough which is boiled at a very high temperature and served with yoghurt poured over the top. Its well worth finding a local eatery that serves it, and you will have the added benefit of sampling the local culture and meeting local people.

• If you are busy seeing the sights but you still want to sample some Turkish cuisine, Borek are the perfect snack. These pastry slices layered with cheese, spinach, or beef, are relatively inexpensive and readily available from most pastry sellers.

• Sac Kavurma is tastiness with heat. Served over a flame at the table it is an enticing mixture of meat with peppers, onion, and tomatoes. The colors are rich and beautiful adding to the eating experience.

• Many people visit the local kebab house on a Saturday night but a traditional Testi kebab eaten on Turkish soil, is a completely different experience. The delicacy originated in the Cappadocia Region but its popularity has spread country wide. You don’t miss out on any of the taste as it is brought to you in the clay pot in which it is cooked; a perfect mix of meat, peppers, vegetables, and onions. A City of Food Experiences Istanbul is one of the most popular Turkish destinations; either for longer stays or for a short break. The food experiences of the city are something to be savored.

• If you are on a self-catering break, and you are felling adventurous, a visit to one of the city’s fish markets may be in order; add some taste from the Egyptian Spice Bazaar and you have a meal to remember.

• For food on the go sample the Turkish version of the bagel; the simit is a ring of chewy sesame seed covered bread that is perfect for taste on the move.

• Turkish coffee (Turk kahvesi) has a flavor all its own. It’s perfect as a meal accompaniment, or on its own. The beverage is brewed as it should be savored, slowly. This process brings out the provocative flavor.

• They may sound a bit basic but fasulye (beans) are anything but a staple on most Turkish restaurant menus, they are high in flavor and a delight to eat.

• If you have a sweet tooth try a pudding with a certain panache to its simplicity. Finn &Mac is basically a baked rice pudding; a mixture of rice, sugar and corn starch in a simple but beautiful combination. If your mouth is now watering grab your passports and your Turkish visas and head off to Turkey to sample the produce first hand.


I’m sure those of you who have visited Turkey will have some more interesting bits to add to what James had to say…. So comment away guys! :) Cheers till next time..!



My take on Rick Steins Chettinad Chicken……

My take on Rick Steins Chettinad Chicken...

If my TV is switched on, Cookery shows are my favourite pastime.. There is so much to learn about food both from these shows & the internet.. New ingredients.. New dishes.. world cuisine.. tips etc.

When in the UK, I watched loads of cookery shows on BBC’s Food channel, about a couple of months before we moved back from Glasgow..  I found this particular show called Rick Steins India really fascinating, as he travelled the length & breadth of India looking for some of the best curry recipes..! 

When Rick Stein reached Madhurai to try some of the authentic Chettinad style dishes, he got to know that the hotel – Taj Gateway had employed a housewife living close-by to cook the authentic regional dishes. That’s when my eyes stumbled on this burnt paper like looking spice… I had never ever heard or seen it before.. ! It fascinated me.. Stone flower/dagad/kalpasi etc. were the names used to refer to this spice. I knew for sure that this would be hard to come by in the UK. I waited patiently to get back to India to try this recipe out. After we got back, this particular recipe just remained hidden/lost somewhere in my thoughts.. until just about a couple of weeks back, while I was grocery shopping, I was into my usual scanning of shelves looking for new ingredients… and my eyes fell upon a packet of dagad..! The thought of this recipe suddenly rushed back into my memory..! The manner in which Rick Stein had praised this dish… even though it was quite hot for his taste, just flashed back. I picked up a pack. These are really light..a 50 gm pack should you last you a year or more. It is a lichen from a tree… with flavours very different from what I have ever experienced. Guess what.. this dish is even served at Rick Steins Cafe.. that’s how much he loved this.. & I can’t blame him.. if I owned a restaurant, I would make sure this went up in the menu…! :) 

My take on Rick Steins Chettinad Chicken...

Chettinad region is in Tamil Nadu – a Southern State of India. It is knows for its famous cuisine – Chettinad cuisine. This cuisine is regarded as one of the hottest & most aromatic cuisine of South India. Most of the dishes in this region are eaten along with rice based accompaniments like Dosa, appam’s idli’s etc. Stone flower is a very common ingredient used in the Chettinad cuisine.

My take on Rick Steins Chettinad Chicken...

Starting from the spice blend to the whole spices, till the completed dish.. everything about this dish is very aromatic.. you got to try it to believe it.!! I know it’s a blend of some of the common Indian spices, with just the addition of some dagad/stone flower. That makes all the difference. Rick Stein asks you to substitute an extra piece cinnamon if you can’t find stone flower. But my take is that look for it, this is what takes the dish to a whole new level. 

Check the colours of the dish.. it is so rich & inviting. A perfect dish for someone who likes a hot South Indian chicken dish. What are you waiting for?!!? Go look for the Stone flower.. rest of the things are available in any pantry for sure..!

For those of you who want to try this recipe with EGGS!!.. I have a small note towards the end of this recipe which will guide you.. !

My take on Rick Steins Chettinad Chicken...

Ingredients: (Serves 3)        Preparation Time: 30 mins
Chicken breast – 500 gms, cut into cubes, washed & drained
Shallots/Sambhar onions – 150 gms, finely chopped
Note: I was lazy to peel 150 gms of sambhar onions. So I used about 50 gms of sambhar onions & 2 medium-sized onions.
Garlic – 12 plump cloves, peeled & minced
Ginger – 2 inch piece, peeled & minced
Cinnamon – 3 inch piece, roughly broken
Dagad/Stone flower – 3 whole, finely chopped
Tip: There are bits of back stuck to the stone flower, clean them & remove the bits of bark out. If you cannot find dagad, use an extra 2 inch piece of cinnamon. 
Fennel – 1 tsp, I used the smaller variety, rather than the plump ones
Curry Leaves – about 3 sprigs while cooking & 1 sprig to garnish
Sugar – 3/4 tsp
Cooking oil – 1.5 – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

For the fresh spice mix:
Kashmiri red chilli powder – 3/4 tbsp
Black Peppercorns – 3/4 tbsp
Fennel seeds – 3/4 tbsp
Coriander seeds – 3/4 tbsp

Rub some salt on the chicken cubes & keep aside. Grind all the ingredients mentioned for the spice mix into as fine a powder as you can.

Heat oil in a deep bottom non-stick pan/kadai. When the oil heats up, maintain heat at medium & throw in the cinnamon, stone flower & fennel seeds & fry for a minute till fragrant. Now throw in the finely chopped shallots along with a pinch of salt & curry leaves. Fry till the shallots turn soft & a light golden brown. Add the chicken & toss them around for a couple of minutes to let the chicken blend in with the soft golden onions and the aromatic oil in the kadai.

Now, add the freshly prepared spice mix, sugar, ginger & garlic, mix well & let the spices coat the chicken pieces. After a few minutes add about 100 ml of water, mix well. Check salt & adjust seasoning, remember we added salt to the onions & the chicken. Maintain heat at medium at all times. Cook and keep tossing the chicken often. If the sauce begins to stick to the pan & the spices begin to burn, add splashes of water till the chicken is done & the water in the sauce evaporates and is thick & clings to the chicken pieces. Turn off the heat.

Note: For all you vegetarians out there… I’m sure this recipe will taste awesome with Paneer or mushrooms or even babycorn. I ended up trying this recipe with boiled eggs..  & it turned out fantastic ! So all you EGGITARIANS.. there you go.. A new recipe for all of you.. So many of my Eggitarian friends often complain that I don’t post enough Egg recipes.. Just follow the same recipe & add the boiled eggs once you add all the ingredients, since adding the eggs in place of the chicken as mentioned in the recipe will be too soon & the yellow may dissolve in the curry as you toss the sauce around. So, prepare the sauce & add the boiled eggs towards the end, once the sauce thickens..  ! Enjoy! 

Garnish with some fresh curry leaves.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot with a bowl of rice & rasam or with any Indian breads of your choice.

My take on Rick Steins Chettinad Chicken...

K & I enjoyed this with a bowl of hot konjee with a dash of some ghee & salt…! Heavenly & comforting. You can also enjoy this as a starter.


Lemon-Coriander Hummus….

Lemon-Coriander Hummus...

Hummus is a very popular dip in the Middle Eastern countries made from cooked chickpeas. This essentially needs a sesame seed paste known as Tahini. There are loads of flavoured hummus available in the market. It is a super healthy dip, made of fresh/boiled ingredients with loads of olive oil.

Lemon-Coriander Hummus......

Those of you who saw the recipe I posted yesterday would know that the Hummus recipe was coming up next. I made some homemade Tahini, as ready-made Tahini paste is hard to come by easily in India. You may find it is some exclusive stores in certain cities. Such exclusive stores which stock up of world foods is not close to the place I live, in Bangalore. Anyways it is a pretty simple recipe. One does not really need to go hunting for store-bought Tahini. It is ready in a jiffy. Check here for the – Tahini Recipe.

Ingredients for the hummus....

Now once you have Tahini ready, all you need is a can of chickpeas or you can soak a cup of chickpeas overnight & cook it till tender. The rest of the ingredients are pretty easy to find too. A small bunch of fresh coriander, juice of lemons, a few cloves of garlic, some coriander powder, extra virgin olive oil and some salt to taste… that is it.. blend them all together & your done..

Hummus is traditionally served with flatbread such as Pita or as a part of meze. It is also served as an accompaniment to falafel. You can also eat hummus with some tortilla chips & salsa, instead of the guacamole/sour cream on the side.

Lemon-Coriander Hummus...

I always used to pick flavoured hummus tubs like – Jalapeño hummus, Thai sweet chilli hummus, Red pepper hummus etc. from stores when living in the UK & eat them with crudités or with tortilla chips. You can even eat it as it is.. Both K &I love hummus as it is, it’s really really tasty & does not actually need an accompaniment with it, just dig in & I guarantee that you will lick your fingers clean..! 

Ingredients: (Serves 3)         Preparation Time: 10 mins

Ingredients for the hummus....
Chickpea’s – 1.5 cups
Note: You can pre-cooked canned chickpeas, washed & drained. Else you can also soak 3/4 cup of chickpea’s overnight, throw away the water used to soak the chickpea & cook it in fresh water till tender, drain away the water and use it for this recipe.
Coriander – 1 small bunch washed & roughly chopped, reserve some chopped leaves to garnish
Note: Let the stalks be, they add a lovely flavour
Garlic cloves – 3, peeled & roughly chopped
Tahini – 1 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp of freshly squeezed juice
Extra virgin Olive oil – 3-4 tbsp or use as per required
Salt to taste

Throw in all the ingredients into a blender jar. Blend until smooth. If the hummus is dry, add some more olive oil. This is a pretty thick, shiny/glossy dip, very flavourful too. The Tahini adds a nutty feel & the lemon-coriander add its tangy bit & freshness…!

Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with some olive oil & some chopped cilantro.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve it as a dip with some falafel & pita bread or with some tortilla chips or with crudités.

Lemon-Coriander Hummus...



Ambuli/Raw Mango Pachhodi or rather an instant raw mango pickle…

Ambuli Pachhodi...

All that I can remember when I eat this is secretly stashing my lunch-bag packed for school with some raw mangoes that fell from our Mango tree during the season. We had two lovely, huge Mango trees at home. “HAD” Sad but true, one very close to the gate & it fell one nasty stormy night blocking the road in front of out house & we lost electricity as it brought down the electricity pole along with it. We had to sit in darkness for almost for a couple of days till the power lines were restored. Sadly the other one had to be cut down 4-5 yrs after the first one fell because of old age.

Ambuli/Raw Mango Pachhodi or rather an instant raw mango pickle

I went to school with a bunch of other kids on an auto-rickshaw. Singing, eating & chattering all the way. Was so much of fun. We were a bunch belonging to different classes. I lived like 10 km away from school. But thoroughly enjoyed jumping into the auto rickshaw & having a ball. :) Yes, coming back to my stash of raw mangoes in the lunch bag, as few of my classmates went home for lunch I would hand it over to them & ask them to mix it up with the required ingredients to prepare this or just ask them to chop it up into wedges & pack some salt & red chilli powder & pack it back to class. Afternoon sessions were then fun… the box with the raw mangoes & the masala were passed around carefully during class & we would devour all of it till we licked our fingers clean. I was allowed to eat this only once in a while as an overdose can make you sick.. Oh such fun days those were, first the secret picking from the ground since mum wouldn’t approve eating too much of it, she would let me carry some approvingly maybe once a fortnight, but then the girls in class would demand for some almost every couple of days :)).

Ambuli/Raw Mango Pachhodi...

This is something that takes me down memory lane.. such warm & fond memories :))) This is easily available in small carts in and around Mangalore & small towns around Mangalore when it is the mango season. It is a very popular snack loved by people from all age groups. Many refer to this recipe as an instant mango pickle. It tastes just like a pickle because it has all the similar flavours other than excess oil & salt.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)        Preparation Time: 5 mins
Raw Mango – Use the variety you like, I always preferred my home-grown variety but now I usually use Totapuri variety.
Tip: Use a variety that isn’t too sour. Raw mangoes which are just beginning to ripen also taste good as they add a lovely sweetness to the sour & the hot recipe.
Asafoetida – a pinch
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp, adjust according to you taste
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Sambar powder – 1/2 tsp
Coconut oil – 1 tsp, adds an authentic touch, if you can’t consume coconut oil then add some extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

You can grate or finely chop the raw mangoes. Throw away the kernel & the fibrous covering around the kernel. Throw the chopped or grated raw mango into a bowl, add all the spice powders, asafoetida, salt & oil. Give contents of the bowl a good mix. Dig in to the bowl to check & adjust the salt & spice. That is it your done.. :)

If you have some patience, cover the bowl & let the raw mango pieces absorb the salt & other flavours.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve as is, as a side or as a snack.

Ambuli Pachhodi...

Spaghetti Butter Garlic Prawns….

Spaghetti Butter Garlic Prawns....

You know how cleaning up prawns is… I was so caught up with half a kilo of prawn cleaning today that I completely lost track of time,hunger began to creep in, had no lunch ready, a glance at the wall clock, it read thirty past two. K was home, I had to put together a quick lunch. I took a frantic look around my kitchen (my morning plans of preparing some basa fish curry would not hold good for now) & my eyes fell on small pile of garlic, since I bake a lot these days, we never run out of butter at home. My mind went racing & I literally put 2 & 2 together. ;) Craving for some butter garlic prawns instantly began :D. I chided myself!I was late, I did not have any time for starters & then get into cooking a main course. Sigh!

Spaghetti Butter Garlic Prawns....

If I want to eat something, I will not rest till I have had it. I put on my thinking cap. The next thought that hit my mind was Pasta! I stock up a lot of pasta as well ;). It for sure will be yummy, no second thoughts when it comes to butter, garlic, prawns & spaghetti together!! That is wee story that gave life to this recipe :). K digs Pasta & prawns, it knew he will thoroughly enjoy this recipe.

Spaghetti Butter Garlic Shrimps...

This recipe does not have a sauce, it is more of a creamy buttery garlicky glaze to the spaghetti when ready. Do I see lip smacks?? ;) Well I sure did make your lip smack, come on admit it. :) This super quick & yummy recipe is a keeper for sure. You can wow your guests the next time you have a brunch or a lunch party at home.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)   Preparation Time: 15 – 20 mins
Prawns – 14 medium-sized prawns, tail on, cleaned (de-veined) & drained
Spaghetti – 150 gms
Garlic – 8-10 medium-sized cloves, finely chopped
Butter – 1 tbsp, use salted/unsalted, your choice
Fresh cream – 1.5 tbsp
Coriander leaves – 2 sprigs, finely chopped
Crushed black pepper – 1 tsp
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp (To cook the spaghetti)
Salt to taste

Bring pot of water to a boil. Add enough salt to the water. Add the cooking oil. Cook till al dante or as per the instructions on the pack.

While the spaghetti is around 3-4 minutes into cooking, melt butter in a saucepan. Add the finely chopped garlic, lower heat to medium. Let the garlic flavour induce into the butter. Do not let the garlic change colour. Add the prawns after a minute. Sprinkle some salt to taste (Remember the spaghetti is already cooking in salty water, if you have used salted butter then add accordingly).

Once the prawns turn white on both sides, add the cream & mix well. Throw in 1/4 tsp of the freshly ground black pepper. Meanwhile, check on the spaghetti. Drain, reserve about 4-5 tbsp of the pasta water (For use just in case the pasta dries up). Throw in the cooke spaghetti. Mix well till the butter & cream sauce just glazes the spaghetti. Turn off the heat.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves & 1/2 tsp of crushed black pepper.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve with the leftover black pepper & wedges of lime, if you want to add a citrus twist.


Spaghetti Butter Garlic Prawns...

Accompany this with a glass of wine that you like :).

We enjoyed this a lot. Do drop your comments if you happen to try this recipe. :)


Goan Chorizo/Pork Sausage Chilly….

Goan Chorizo/Pork Sausage Chilly

Hiya… Happy New Year to all.. !! Hope all of you have had a lovely time with family & friends this holiday season.. I’m guilty for not showing my presence around from a while now.. Back in Bangalore now. I have been getting lazy & feeling lethargic, taking a break from cooking while I was in Mangalore, at my mum’s place & feasting on home food & the other favourites from the eateries around. Spent a few days at my aunt’s place in Calicut, got pampered by her as well.. ;). Had a rendezvous in Goa for a couple of days.. all we did was drink, eat & laze on the beach… Bliss.. I had to carry back some Goan Chorizo or Pork sausages. The owner of place we stayed in was kind enough to sell us some homemade chorizo from the stash he picks up for himself.

Goan Chorizo/Pork Sausage Chilly...Goan Chorizo/Pork Sausage Chilly...

All those who love the Mexican style Chorizo will love these. A very tasty recipe this is. Hardly requires any effort & time from you; just add the staple chopped veggies used in most dish, along with some water to the crushed chorizo & you end up with a some hot, spicy, finger-licking accompaniment to go with some warm bread/pao/pav. The only effort required is to find some of these sausages in your city ;). I have found them in stores in Mangalore & friends tell me that it is available in Mumbai as well. Next time you visit Goa, don’t forget to pick some of these sausages on your way back. :)

Ingredients: (Serves 3)       Preparation Time: 30-40 mins

Goan Chorizo & other ingredients..
Goan Chorizo – 1 link, approximately 250 gms, shell removed & the meat broken/crushed into bits.
Onion – 1 large, chopped
Tomato – 1 large, chopped
Green chilli’s – 3, finely chopped
Potatoes – 1 medium-sized, cubed
Water – 250 ml
Salt to taste

To a deep bottom pan, add all the ingredients.

Throw in all the ingredients together...

Toss the ingredients around for a couple of minutes till they all warm up. Next add the glass of water, throw in a pinch of salt.

Add water & a pinch of salt....

Just a pinch since the sausages already have salt content. Simmer when the water begins to bubble; let the meat & potatoes cook. Should take you approximately 30 mins. You will see some oil separate out of the fat when all the water evaporates & leave you a shiny dish.

Goan Chorizo/Pork Sausage Chilly ready..

Note: If the meat & the potatoes are not cooked & the water has already evaporated, then add some more water.

Tip: If you want the meat potatoes fried a little, cook on high for a couple of minutes, once the water evaporates & the meat & potatoes are cooked. Else if you like some gravy with your chorizo add some extra water when cooking. 

The smoky aroma that builds up around your home is sure to pull in some neighbours.. ! A yummy one pot dish for sure… !!!

Best relished:
Serve hot with some warm bread/pao/pav. Such an awesome, quick recipe, sure to blow your senses away..!!

Goan Chorizo/Pork Sausage Chilly...

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Dukra Maas – as they call it in Mangalore; the best Pork curry ever!!!Sweet & Sour Pork….Pork ChukkaBlanketed Frankfurters…Greek Souvlaki wrap with salad & tzatziki etc.

Tamatari Kheema ke kofte or Mutton meatballs enveloped in a tangy tomato sauce…

Tamatari Kheema ke kofte or Mutton meatballs enveloped in a tangy tomato sauce...

K & I took mum out to the supermarket. Mum does not venture out much till either my bro or I come by. She likes staying indoors. Totally opposite to my bro & I.
She always complained when we were kids that we never let the sunrays waste away.. ;) We were always out playing or getting dirty in the mud. So, when we were checking out the meat section in Auchan, I noticed a few packets of mutton kofta’s. I instantly picked it up & put it in our shopping cart. Mum does not experiment much with non-veg in different forms like – sausages, ham, bacon, meatballs, etc. Mutton has been on my mind even though I cooked the mutton chilli masala last week.

Tamatari Kheema ke kofte or Mutton meatballs enveloped in a tangy tomato sauce...

My aunt who lives in Erode makes lovely Sindhi style kheema curry, I haven’t visited her yet (This reminds me that I should soon :)). This dish a bit on the dry side. A perfect accompaniment with some Indian breads.
You can even savour it as a starter. Does not have much of a gravy so can be a good idea for a picnic or for a dry lunch box.

The saffron adds a lovely flavour to the kofta’s & since you add the onions once the tomatoes cook & turn to pulp, you get bits of caramelised onions to bite into. The cardamom added also adds a nice aroma with its flavours.
This recipe is another one of my own, ;) I masterminded it. The stock that you add helps make the meatballs juicy as they absorb it. Do not prepare this dish if you do not have coriander to garnish. It is a must, as it adds both colour & its lovely flavour.

Tamatari Kheema ke kofte or Mutton meatballs enveloped in a tangy tomato sauce...

Ingredients:(Serves 2-3) Preparation Time – 45 mins
To make kofta’s from scratch:
Minced mutton – 250 gms
Green chillis – 2-3, finely chopped
Garlic – 2-3 cloves, minced or made into paste
Coriander – 2 sprigs, finely chopped
Pepper – 1/2 tbsp, freshly ground
Saffron – 4-5 strands, soaked in about 10 ml milk
Salt – 1/2 tsp

Else use ready meatballs from the market as I did :)

Mutton meatballs – 250 gms, I used store-bought, ready meatballs; You can buy minced mutton/kheema & make your own meatballs
Cloves – 3-4
Garam Masala – 3/4 -1 tsp
Peppercorns – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Garlic – 2-3 cloves, bruised
Tomato – 1 large, finely chopped
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
cardamom – seeds from 1/2 a clove
Mutton stock – 300 ml, if you don’t have mutton stock then use chicken stock
Coriander leaves – 2-3 sprigs, finely chopped
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
salt to taste

Making your own kofta’s:
If you are preparing the kofta’s from start then, in a mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients mentioned for the kofta’s in a mixing bowl.
Grease your palms with some oil & then make small balls the size of medium-sized gooseberry. Don’t make them too large. You should be able to make 12-14 kofte from the mixture. Now let them chill in the fridge for an hour or two, so that they get firm.

Tip: If you plan to prepare this for dinner make the kofta’s in the afternoon & chill them till eve before you are ready to start.

Heat oil a deep bottom non-stick fry pan. When the oil heats up throw in the cloves, set heat to medium. After a minute add the garlic & a minute later, add chopped tomatoes & fry.
When the tomatoes start sticking to the bottom of the fry pan, add a large spoon of the stock. Add the turmeric, coriander, red chilli powder. Mix well.
Keep adding the stock as & when the fry pan dries up, since we do not wish to burn the tomatoes or the spice powders added. When the stock is halfway used up, add the meatballs. Simmer.

Add some more stock, pepper & the garam masala powder. Mix well so that the spices & the tomato puree envelop the meatballs. After about 5 minutes move the meatballs to a side as shown & add the chopped onions.

Add the chopped onions..

Let the onions turn translucent. Once they do mix the onions with the meatballs. Let the meatballs cook for another 20 minutes in simmer till all the stock is used up. When the oil begins to separate out, the dish is ready.

When the oil separates out.. the dish is ready..

To check if the meatballs are cooked through, take one out & check the center. If you see pink meat still in the centre, they need some more time to be done. If you like the meatballs a little caramelised then cook them further.

Garnish with the chopped coriander before serving.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve as is as a starter or as a side for chapatis’ or other Indian breads.

Tamatari Kheema ke kofte or Mutton meatballs enveloped in a tangy tomato sauce...

Breadata Upkari – a Breadda upkari with a twist of mashed potato

Breadtata Upkari - a Breadda upkari with a twist of mashed potato

As kids when mum ran out of ideas or when we were bored with the conventional South Indian breakfast ideas, mum would ask my lil bro or me to walk up to the corner shop & get a loaf of bread. You may think it’s for a bread butter/jam breakfast or bread omelette breakfast.. Naa.. It was for yummy breadda upkari (Upkari is stir fry in Konkani).

Those who have been following my blog for a while now will know that I have the Breadda Upkari recipe already on KeliPaan. This is different version, with a twist & a few different ingredients. Was the first time I ever tasted this. Loved it & I knew this has to go up on the blog.

Breadtata Upkari - a Breadda upkari with a twist of mashed potato

My dad wants his breakfast ready at the breakfast table by 7.15 am. So mum, usually prepares the necessary batter/keeps the necessary ingredients required to fix up breakfast, ready at night before she sleeps. As usual, I was loitering around in the kitchen after dinner helping mum with the kitchen chores before she got down to watching some of her soaps on TV. She was cutting bread pieces into the breadbox as she usually does for breadda upkari & I heard the cooker whistle away. I asked her what was whistling away in the cooker & she was like “potatoes”.. I gave her that surprised look.. “Potatoes??” because breadda upkari did not need potatoes.. & she goes on to say that this one is a different kind of breadda upkari..So, I got really excited.. asked her to wake me up early & told her that I’ll make it under her supervision.. :))

This one is as tasty as the usual breadda upkari that mum makes. You ought to try it.. the mint/pudina gives this dish with a very inviting aroma. I must actually thank my Aunt who passed on this idea to my mum.. Do not laugh at the name of this dish..! I came up with the name since it’s a mix of bread & batata (potatoes).. :))

Breadtata Upkari - a Breadda upkari with a twist of mashed potato

Tip:Using bread which is a couple of days old is the best way to make breadda upkari. If the bread is too soft & fresh it will absorb all the oil/ghee quickly, which you don’t want.

Ingredients:(Serves 2-3)          Preparation Time – 20 mins
Bread loaf – 1
Potato – 1 large, boiled & peeled & cubed
Onion – 1 medium-sized, finely chopped
Urad dal/ Split Bengal gram – 1 tsp
Sambhar powder – 1.5- 2 tsp
Mint leaves – 8-10 leaves, finely chopped
Coriander leaves – 2-3 sprigs, finely chopped
Ghee/clarified butter – 2 tbsp
Curry leaves (Optional) – 1 sprig
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Some of the ingredients..

Marinate the cooked, cubed potatoes with the sambhar powder & salt & keep it aside. Cut bread slices into 1.5 inch square pieces. Keep aside.

Heat oil & ghee in a deep bottom fry pan. Maintain heat at medium. Throw in the urad dal when the oil & ghee mixture heats up. Fry the dal till golden brown.
Note: If you plan to use curry leaves add them now.

Next throw in the chopped onions & add some salt. Once the onions begin to turn translucent, add the marinated potatoes. Fry till the raw flavours of the sambhar powder fade away.

Fry the potatoes till the raw flavours of Sambhar powder fade away..

Next add the cubed bread pieces & fry till the bread pieces absorb the flavors & warm up. Taste & adjust the salt.

Garnish with the chopped coriander & mint leaves

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot. I’m sure this will be a hit with people of all ages, provided they like bread.. :)

Breadtata Upkari - a Breadda upkari with a twist of mashed potato

Veg fried rice with Sriracha sauce….

Veg fried rice with Sriracha sauce...

Guys KPCC-5 is on..! A fellow blogger friend Sonal won KPCC-4. Check out KPCC Journal for the details on how to sign up for the Keli Paan challenge.. :) It sure is a fun way to learn a new recipe & show off your food photography & creative skills….!!

Those who have been following my blog, know by now my love for Oriental, Mushrooms & Rice dishes..!! Also my blog is so much about K (my husband) & his lunch-box. Those who are new, don’t be alarmed, most of the dishes are super-quick & easy..! Been a bit busy with all the packing. No, I’m not moving houses this time… this time around I’m moving back to India.. :) There are mixed feelings.. I’m sure most of you have gone through this..! I do want to go back.. but at times I think here was fun too..! Now my adventures will be in & around Bangalore.. :) I may not be able to post as many recipes as I would like to in the month of November… There is so much to do once I’m back… Catching up with Family, friends relatives… :) all the food I missed… !! I have already passed on a big list of dishes I want to dig into, to my mum.. !!! :)

Mushroom fried rice with Sriracha sauce...

Moving on to this recipe.. Fried rice is my favourite thing to do when I have some leftover rice. I have posted loads of fried rice recipes. Here is another one with some different flavours. Another quick meal option when you’re bored to eat plain rice or rather when you run out of curry to finish a bowl of leftover rice. I never run out of different fried rice recipe’s.

Veg fried rice with Sriracha sauce...

K being a roti/Indian bread lover, likes a few flavoured rice dishes & I really thank God for that. :) Because an Indian house always has a bowl of rice left over & its quick to fix a bowl of fried rice. So here is a perfectly spiced fried rice for you. And as I had mentioned a few posts back, there would be some recipe’s with Sriracha sauce.. ;)

Note: Use vegetables of you choice if you don’t like the one’s I have used..

Tip: If you like it hot..!! Go overboard if you wish to by adding another teaspoon or more of the Sriracha sauce.. :)

Ingredients: (Serves 1)         Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooked rice – 1.5 cups or a bowl. Tip: Leftover rice is the best
Closed cup Mushrooms – 3-4, medium-sized, chopped
French Beans – 7-8, tender beans, chopped
Garlic – 2 medium-sized cloves, finely chopped
Ginger – 1/2 an inch piece, finely chopped
Thai Basil – 1/4 tsp, dried
Vinegar – 1 tsp,
Light Soy sauce – 1 tsp
Sriracha sauce – 2 tsp
Spring onions (Garnishing) – 1 sprig, chopped
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
If the leftover rice is sticking up together, gently separate it using a wooden/silicone spatula. Keep the loosened up rice at the side.

Note: If you plan to use freshly cooked rice, then lay the rice to dry out in a tray or a large plate. Fresh rice tends to get smashed up in fried rice & then they form lumps.

Heat oil in a wok/ deep bottom fry pan. Once the oil heats up, reduce heat to medium-high. Add the chopped ginger, garlic & Thai Basil & sauté. Do not let the garlic change colour. Next add the vinegar, soy sauce & the sriracha sauce. Mix well. Throw in, a pinch of salt. Now add beans & stir fry it for a minute or two. Now add the chopped mushrooms & mix. Once the mushrooms start to soften up add the cooked rice & stir fry it till the rice heats up & a lovely brown colour appears on the rice.

Note: Here the mushrooms & the soy sauce are responsible for the colour. Don’t be worried of your rice does not have the same colour as the pictures..

Check & adjust the seasoning. Turn off the heat once done.

Garnish with the chopped spring onions.

Veg fried rice with Sriracha sauce...

What do you love in your fried rice?? What are your favourite veggies?? I had prepared some Egg fried rice with Sweetcorn.. wow.. that was history before I could click..!  But I promise to post that recipe when I get down to preparing that again.. :)

Serving Suggestions:
Serve as is or with your favourite Thai/Oriental curry/side-dish like – Sweet & Sour Pork….Chicken & mushroom in Hoisen sauce…Sweet n Spicy Spinach Chicken – Chinese styleMango Tango Capsicum Noodles etc.

Veg fried rice with Sriracha sauce...

Note: For a twist, add a spoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice & mix before you serve.

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Lemon thyme flavoured Chilli fried rice….Red Pepper & Celery Fried rice….Burnt Garlic Chilli Fried Rice with Chicken etc.

 For those celebrating Dilwai.. how are the preparations coming along? What are the special treats cooking in your kitchen?? I know the festival season always adds so many calories..! I promise to post some healthy recipe’s.. to help you cut down calories on your main meals, so that you can afford to indulge on the sweets :) .

Pan roasted, Honey-glazed Mushrooms

Pan roasted, Honey-glazed Mushrooms...

I always resort to Mushrooms when I have meat cravings & can’t fulfil them because I’m lazy to head out & buy some meat… Anyways since I already had mushrooms to get over my meat craving I wanted to make them in such a way that I don’t end up with a watery mushroom dish or overcooking them to let the water evaporate..

Pan roasted, Honey-glazed Mushrooms...

 I always wondered how restaurants served mushrooms without water in it.. was going through the internet when I found the answer.. You throw mushrooms in pan.. don’t toss them around.. let them be.. the moment you do that they begin to sweat profusely.. Voila.. got my answer…

Today is my Father-in-laws bday.. Instead of baking a cake I decided to make something that he enjoys.. A good starter to go with a nice whiskey is always his favourite.. I really miss all the tiny parties he has at home.. K was here in the UK studying, so I used to spend a lot of time with my In laws. Go out with them over the weekend.. & take over the kitchen on the weekends when there were these tiny parties… My father in law retired from his job when it was time to retire. He has friends who live close-by who pop in at times for a chat & a drink.. :) Had I been back home I would have made a whole lot of dishes he enjoys for his bday..

Pan roasted, Honey-glazed Mushrooms...

In India the demand exceeds the product of Mushrooms. Hence only if you are lucky you may get your hands over a packet of fresh mushrooms. Weekends you can still get lucky.. but over the weekends the early bird wins.. :)

Is it tempting even to look at?? Don’t worry, its super easy… don’t have to fuss much.. You can fix yourself a drink or check your Facebook wall/timeline when this is getting ready.. The rosemary adds a lovely flavour.. The red wine vinegar adds the tangy flavour & the caramelised onions & garlic… hmmmm need I say more? guess I do since the honey glaze completes it.. & the crushed black pepper adds the spice..!

Pan roasted, Honey-glazed Mushrooms...

Perfect with a glass of red wine or spice it up a bit more for a mug of cold beer.. :)

Ingredients: (Serves 2) Preparation Time: 15 mins
Baby Button Mushrooms – 200 g, roughly about 15-20, washed & drained
Garlic – 2 cloves, finely chopped
Onion – 1 small, finely chopped
Dried Rosemary – 1/8 tsp, Note: Use Oregano, Basil or Parsley if you do not like Rosemary… :)
Red wine vinegar – 1 tsp
Freshly ground black pepper – 1/2 tsp
Roasted Pepper & Chilli infused Olive oil – 1/2 + 1/2 tbsp, Don’t worry you can use normal olive oil.. :)
Honey – 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Heat a large shallow fry pan. When hot, add the oil & let it warm up. Maintain the heat at medium. Next add the rosemary & let it sizzle for a less than 30 seconds. Now add the garlic & toss them around for less than 3o seconds. Next add the finely chopped onions. Add a pinch of salt.Add half of the ground black pepper. Add the red wine vinegar. Mix well. Spread the onions around the base of the fry pan, so that it covers the base well.

Let it be, till the onions begin to turn golden brown. Now move the onions using the head of the mushroom by holding them using the stem & place each mushroom with the head facing down in the pan. Do the same with all of them.

Place the mushrooms face/head down as shown

Turn the heat to medium low & sprinkle some salt over the top. Sprinkle some more ground black pepper & the rest of the olive oil. Do not move the mushrooms an inch. Let them sweat it out slowly.

In about 6-7 minutes you will begin to smell the caramelised onions,just lift one mushroom using its stem & check if they turning brown.

They need to turn golden brown this way..

Then do the same with a couple more & if they are turning golden brown then, now is the time to toss them around the fry pan.  Turn the heat back to medium. Throw in some more salt. Let them cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the honey. Mix well.

Garnish with some more ground black pepper if required.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot as a starter.

Pan roasted, Honey-glazed Mushrooms...

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Crispy Rice flour battered Mushrooms….Chunky Guacamole…Paneer/Cottage Cheese Tava Masala… etc.


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