Saturday, 23 February 2013

Kaffir lime pannacotta

 "  A very popular dessert, gets rave reviews whenever made. I love its  freshness, and the kaffir lime leaf flavour is subtle, irresistible and yummy. De-moulding it can be a challenge, so suggest setting it in pretty little dessert glasses or bowls, to be eaten directly. Do make a few extra as they are never enough ..."
 Servings - 6


  • 200 ml full fat milk
  • 200 ml cream
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 100 grams caster sugar
  • 2 tsp gelatin powder
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves (shredded by hand)
  • 1/2 lime juice ( juice  of 1/2 a lime or lemon)
  • 1 lime zest


  1. Keep ready, 6 dessert glasses or bowls (for individual serving), or 1 big bowl 
  2. Combine the milk, cream and the coconut milk.Add the lemon zest, sugar and leaves and bring the mixture to a boil on a low flame
  3. Remove it from heat, cover and let it seep for 1 hour
  4.  Sieve mixture, removing the leaves
  5. Prepare gelatin as per instructions ( see note for how to prepare powdered gelatin)
  6.  Mix the gelatin in the milk mixture well (If you are using powdered gelatin, make sure the mixture is at the same temperature as the gelatin and mix a little at a time)
  7. Cool the pannacotta mixture to room temperature
  8. Add the lime juice, mix and pour it in the dessert glasses/bowls. Cover, with cling film and refrigerate them over night
  9. At serving time, decorate the pannacotta with a few fresh orange segments and enjoy


  • This recipe, can also be made without coconut milk. Just increase the quantity of milk and cream by 100 ml each
  • Make sure that you seep for 1 hour for maximum flavour  
  •  If you are using gelatin powder,the safest way to ensure the gelatin powder sets well, is to first soak the gelatin in 4 tbsp of cold water for 5 minutes.Then over a double boiler melt the gelatin till it is translucent and then use once its at the same temperature as the mixture
  • You could also set the pannacotta in moulds, and de-mould on a serving plate.
  •  To de-mould the pannacotta's, dip the molds in hot water for 2 seconds. Loosen edges with knife and turn over on the serving plate

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Chicken cacciatore

"Chicken cacciatore, pronounced as 'kah-chuh-tawr-ee'  is an Italian hunter dish, with as many recipes as versions. Mine is a rustic version, cooked by two Italian ladies in the countryside, made on TV. Hit and trial, has led to my preferred quantities and resulted in the most flavourful chicken dish, I have ever made and eaten. Redolent with fresh rosemary, the trick is in the slow cooking. This results in light clean fresh flavours and I hope you enjoy this as much as I do ..."


  • 1 whole chicken (skinned and cut into 8 or more pieces)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 2 onions
  • 2 dried red chillies (Broken into half)
  • 1 bunch of rosemary
  • 3 bay-leaves
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 8 olives
  • 1/2 red pepper sliced
  • 1/2 yellow pepper sliced


  1. To peel tomatoes, use a knife for making a cross at one end.Drop the tomatoes in boiling water for a  minute, take out, cool, peel and chop the tomatoes.
  2. Slice the onions in 1/2 rounds
  3. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil,lower the flame, add the garlic, onions, red chilly, bay-leaves and stir them all for 2 minutes till the onions are translucent
  4. Add the chicken pieces in one layer, and add the rosemary,salt, pepper to the mixture and brown till it is golden.(All on low flame)
  5. Add the white wine, tomatoes, olives and cook them together till the chicken is done.If it is needed you can add a bit of water but the final dish should not be too watery
  6. At the last minute add the red and yellow peppers and serve with crusty white bread


  • The entire cooking process should be done on low flame only
  • Make sure the chicken is completely dry when you add it to cooking utensil
  • Ideally, use a large base frying pan or a flat wok, such that the chicken can be browned in one layer
  • If you like, you could mix the rosemary with sage, this dish works amazingly with fresh herbs. So make only when you have some in the house

Monday, 11 February 2013

Crunchy noodle salad

"This is my all time favorite salad recipe, got from a friend in the US, couldnt stop eating it then and now also. The crunchy noodle topping and soy based dressing, adds a completely different dimension to a regular salad...  "
Servings = 500 gms salad - enough for 6 - 8 people, make entire dressing amount and use around half for 500 grams salad vegetables



  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce 

Salad - 1 kg in all as per taste

  • cabbage 
  • carrot
  • broccoli
  • red pepper
  • green pepper


  • 2 packets Ramen/Maggi noodles
  • 75 gms almonds chopped/slivered
  • 3 tbsp crushed peanuts
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp oil


  1. For the dressing, take a non reactive pan ( stainless steel, glass or enamel) and add the oil,sugar and vinegar in cold pan. Boil all together for 1 minute, tills sugar dissolves,take off heat and cool completely
  2. Add soya sauce and whisk it till it comes together 
  3. For the topping, in a frying pan take the butter and oil, add the smashed raw noodles, almonds, sesame and peanuts.Brown them together on a low flame till they are golden, dry and crunchy
  4. Shred all the salad vegetables as thin as possible
  5. Mix the salad and dressing ( add some initially and then keep adding and tasting for the perfect balance for you) 
  6. Add most of the topping (leaving 1 tbsp for garnish), and 2 drops of chilly oil and sesame oil if available, mix well.
  7. Garnish with the remaining topping and serve immediately


  • Dressing and topping ingredients can be made before hand and refrigerated to be used later at food time
  • Make dressing amount as specified , as it comes out best, and any leftovers can be refrigerated and used next time when you make it. Its so good that u will want lots of it :)

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Roast chicken

" Normally roast chicken takes a long time, the whole chicken needs to be stuffed, trussed,cooked, rested,etc. This is fine for major occasions, but if you love to eat roast chicken frequently,then use this fabulous recipe. Its quick, easy and perfect for any Sunday or weekday. Uses chicken pieces, which cook quicker and vegetables, making it a whole meal. Flavored with rosemary, its heavenly, once tasted, hard to ignore ..."



  • 1 whole chicken (cut into 8 pieces with the skin on)
  • 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste ( I prefer more garlic then ginger)
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp red wine
  • 1 tsp red chilly flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt to taste

Roasting ingredients

  • 1 bunch of rosemary
  • 50 gms butter
  • 1 whole garlic head, peeled into cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 large onions (cut into 4 pieces each)
  • 1 large carrot (cut into batons 3 inches long)
  • 2 large potatoes(cut into 4 large pieces)
  • 1 handfull of beans(cut into 3 inch pieces)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. Wash and dry the chicken pieces
  2. Rub the chicken well with the marination and cover and refrigerate overnight (or at the least 5-6 hour)
  3. In a large roasting tin,distribute the chicken pieces (skin side up)
  4. Mix the vegetables in the balance marinade adding extra salt and olive oil
  5. In the roasting pan evenly distribute all the vegetables and the Rosemary,Bay leaves, dotting the dish with butter
  6. Pour over the chicken, any balance marinade covering the roasting tin with foil tightly
  7. Bake at a 220 degrees C for 40 minutes
  8. Remove the watery gravy and keep aside
  9. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 200 degrees C and bake for another 20 minutes, uncovered by foil till golden brown
  10. Thicken the gravy with cornflour adding more of the marinade ingredients that you think are required as per taste


  • Adjust the seasoning and herbs as per taste, tarragon or thyme or a mixture of all 3 herbs works well too.I like to use fresh herbs for amazing flavours, but in a pinch even the dried ones work well enough.
  • This dish, uses a lot more salt then expected so ensure enough salt by tasting the chicken half way through the cooking process
  • Cooking time also varies by oven , and size of bird, so for the first time keep a watch and you may need to adjust roasting time by 10 minutes either way

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Pasta and Chickpeas salad

  " I always love salad recipes which I can make ahead and not have to bother about at the last minute. This one, tastes fabulous, with an interesting healthy mix of pasta and chickpea. The trick here is to mix the dressing when the pasta and chickpeas are still warm, as they absorb all the flavours of the dressing, yum ..."



  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp mustard paste ( if you can fresh is the best)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp salt (check salt level after adding all the ingredients)
  • 1 tsp red chilly flakes


  • 100 gms pasta
  • 2 tbsp sun dried tomato
  • 2 tbsp mozzarella cheese
  • 200 grams dry chickpeas (  canned about 440 gms)
  • 4 tbsp boiled corn kernels


  1. Blend all dressing ingredients till emulsified
  2. Cook the pasta in lots of boiling water till al-dente 
  3. Soak the sun dried tomatoes in warm water for 15 min and slice 
  4. Chop the mozzarella cheese into bite size peices
  5. If the chickpeas are dried, then soak overnight and boil, else use canned chickpeas as per instructions
  6. Mix all salad ingredients with the dressing, cover with cling film and chill for 1 hour


  • For best results pasta and chickpea should be still warm when mixed with the dressing