ShareWe finally got invited to His house! We are about to embark on one of the most important journeys of our life, InshaAllah. To be honest, it still feels surreal and I’m overwhelmed with excitement and nervousness.

Inshallah Myself and my husband will be performing the Umrah .A small request is that I ask for you all to make Dua that we have a safe journey there and back and perform the rights of Umrah to the best of our ability In return Inshallah I will make dua for all Muslims , Family and Friends.

We are leaving today and shall return by Monday (Sharjah – Madinah – Makkah – Jeddah – Sharjah) InshaAllah.

For those who do not know..
The Umrah or "lesser pilgrimage" is a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year.

Will be gone for a  while....catch you soon.....

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ShareThe Crispy Baked Cauliflower has a nice blend of spices and they are really crispy. A great finger food and healthy snack.It has become such a hit in my house

  • 4 cups cauliflowerets
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons cornflour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  •  Coarse Bread crumbs
  • 2 egg whites(optional)
  • Red food colour(optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil
Blanch the cauliflowerets in salted boiling water for about 2mins.
Mix all the ingredients except the oil,cauliflower and bread crumbs.Add enough water to form a thick paste.
  Now add the cauliflowerets and coat the batter evenly.
Place on a baking sheet greased with oil/butter.
Preheated oven to 425F.
Add the bread crumbs and mix well just before arranging on to the baking tray.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes on both sides or until golden. Serve immediately.

The best part is that it almost fools you into thinking it's a carbohydrate, so I never have to make potatoes or rice when I cook this. It's a perfect side dish.

Enjoy! (And as always, send me your reviews!)


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Nipattu is a very popular spicy South Indian snack.It is very common in bangalore bakeries.
Nipattu is usually a deep fried snack.Here is the low calorie version of this yummy snack
  •  Maida (All purpose flour)-1 1/2cups
  • Rice flour-1/2cup
  • Semolina(sooji)-2tbsp
  • Groundnuts-1/2cup(roasted,and coarsely ground )
  • Warm water-1/4cup or as required
  • Sesame seeds -3tsp
  • Oil-1/3 cup
  • Melted butter-4 Tbsp
  • onion(finely chopped)-1big
  • baking soda-1tsp
  • green chillies (finely chopped)-3
  • Red chilli powder-1/2tsp
  • chopped coriander leaves-1/2cup
  • Chopped curry leaves-1/2cup
  • Sugar-1tsp
  •  Salt-to taste

Mix all the above ingredients to a soft pliable dough.

Cover and let it rest for 1/2 an hour.
Pre-heat oven 350 degree F

Divide the dough into equal small balls
Flatten each ball in between your hands and arrange them on the baking tray.Dip fingers in water while flattening the balls.This prevents the nippattu from sticking to hands.
To get really crispy nipattus, flatten the dough really thin
Prick on the circular discs with fork before keeping them in the oven.
Bake till golden brown in colour. ( approx 20 min)
 Cool and store in an airtight container.

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ShareThese are irresistible tender grilled pieces of chicken that melt in your mouth as they are marinated in thick yogurt, creme (malai), cheese, herbs & spices and grilled to perfection.
This makes an excellent appetizer or as a main meal with grilled vegetables and your choice of rice, or bread.
The Malai Kabab makes a great party dish, and everytime I serve them they disappear quite quickly. Try it out, & you will not regret it:
  • Boneless chicken breast pieces-500gm
  • Black pepper powder-1tsp
  • Salt-to taste
  • Meat tenderiser-1/4tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste-2tsp
  • Thick curds-1cup
  • Grated Cheese-2tbsp
  • Milk cream-2tbsp
  • Cornflour-1tsp
  • Chopped cilantro(corriander leaves)-2tbsp
  • Chopped green chillies-1tbsp
Wash chicken pieces and pat dry with paper towel.
Add pepper powder,meat tenserizer,salt and ginger garlic paste.Squeeze out water from the ginger garlic paste before adding.
Mix well.Let it marinate for 30mins.
Now add the curds,cheese,cornflour,chillies and cilatro.Mix well.Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Insert the chicken pieces into wooden skewers.Leave 1 inch free on both ends.
Arrange over baking tray.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Bake on broil mode for 10mins on each side.
Sprinkle lime juice and chat masala.
Serve hot.
Now how can a hungry carnivore resist this awesomely yummy and tempting dish! 10 mins later my plate went....
From this to..

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Sesame seeds are extremely nutritious.
A 1/4-cup serving of sesame seeds provides 126-mg of magnesium, or 32 percent of the Daily Value (DV), and a whopping 351-mg of calcium (35 percent of the DV and slightly more than is provided in 1-cup of milk).
Magnesium and calcium are important minerals that help lower blood pressure, reduce the frequency and intensity of tension and migraine headaches (triggered by blood vessel spasms), reduce airway spasms in asthmatics, and regulate the sleep patterns of women suffering from menopause-induced sleep disturbances (a possible side effect of menopause). In addition, calcium is essential for bone structure and health, and has been shown to offer protection against colon cancer.

Here is the all time favourite chikki using these wonder seeds.

  • Sesame seeds-1cup

  • Grated Jaggery or sugar-1cup

  • Ghee=1tsp
Dry roast the sesame seeds on medium flame till golden brown.
  The seeds start popping when rosated well.Switch off flame.

 Heat pan.Add ghee and grated jaggery.Boil for about 2 mins till it reaches a hard ball consistancy.
To check.put a drop of the jaggery in a cup of water.It instantly forms a hard ball.

 Now pour in the sesame seeds and mix well.Switch off flame and immediately pour on to a greased tray and flatten immediately.
I greased the bottom side of a steel glass and used it to flatten out the chikki.
Make cuts on the chikki to desired shapes.

 Cool and break into pieces.

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Biryani is derived from the Persian word 'Birian'. In Farsi, Birian means 'Fried before Cooking'.
In the olden days, rice was fried (without washing) in Ghee (Clarified butter). It did two things: 1. It gave the rice a nutty flavor 2. It burned the outside starch layer gelatinizing it. After the rice is stir-fried, it was boiled in water with spices till half cooked.
In an earthen pot called Handi, the rice and meat are layered, bottom and top layer are always rice. An interlayer of some condiments may be introduced between the meat and the rice. Cardamom, Mace, Screwpine essence, rose water may be added to give flowery and herbal aroma. The Handi is sealed and put on the coal embers to cook.
Now,many variations of the "Biryani" are enjoyed all over the world.
So here is mine...
  • Chicken pieces-1kg
  • Basmathi Rice-750gms
  • Thick full cream curds-400ml
  • Sliced onions-2big
  • Sliced tomatoes-2big
  • Green chillies-10
  • Ginger garlic paste-5tsp
  • Red chilli powder-2tsp
  • Dhania powder-2tsp
  • Garam masala-1tsp
  • Salt-to taste
  • Chopped mint leaves-1 cup
  • Chopped cilantro-1cup
  • Fried onions-1cup
  • Oil-1cup
  • Ghee-2tbsp
  • Rose water-1tsp

Marinate the chicken pieces with curds and a tsp of salt for around 4 hrs.
Heat oil.Fry onions and green chillies till golden brown.
Add ginger garlic paste and saute for 2mins.Now add all the powdered spices and saute till oil separates.
Add the marinated chicken and saute on high flame.Close lid and simmer flame and cook till the meat is 80% done.Add chopped mint and cilantro.Check for salt.
Switch off flame.There is no need to add water.The water in the curds is sufficient.
The greavy or "akhni" is done.
(If making mutton biryani,you will need to pressure cook it till the meat is 80% done)
Now boil water in a large pot.Add salt and rice to boiling water.Use enough water so that the rice boils well freely.
Strain rice.
 Heat another heavy bottomed pot.Spread a layer of rice and sprinkle fried onions over it.Now layer the rice with the gravy.Over this,follow the same steps-rice,fried onions and gravy.The topmost and bottom layers shall be rice.
Finally pour ghee and rose water over the topmost rice layer.Cover lid and let "Dum" on minimum flame for about 15-20mins.Keep something heavy over the tip or wrap an aluminium foil
OR(oven method)
layer the same in a baking dish.Cover with aluminium foil .Preheat to 175degrees and bake for 20mins.
Switch off flame and let it stand for 10mins.
Now open lid and very gently fold in the layers without breaking the chicken pieces as they are very tender at this point.
 Serve hot with bagare baingan or curd raita or pudine ki chutney.

 Pudiney ki chutney:
Grind together-
  • Pudina leaves-1bunch
  • Grated coconut-4tbsp
  • Green chllies-4
  • Garlic-3cloves
  • Tamarind-grape size
  • Cumin(jeera)-1/2tsp
  • Salt-to taste

 Enjoy the divine meal.....


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ShareThere is nothing that beats fresh ,home made snacks. Sev is one of them.A touch of garlic to the Sev gives it an amazing flavour.
  • Besan(chickpea flour)-2 1/2 cups
  • Rice flour-1/2cups
  • Ghee-1tbsp
  • Baking soda-2pinches
  • Red chilli powder-1tsp
  • Turmeric powder-1/2tsp
  • Crushed garlic-8flakes.
  • Salt-to taste
  • Oil-to deep fry
Mix the crushed garlic with  half a cup of water and strain.
Sieve both flours and salt together.
Mix ghee and baking soda.Cream well till white in colour.
Mix in the sieved flours.
Add the chilli powder,turmeric powder and the strained garlic water.
Add water and mix well to get a soft dough(mashed potatoes consistancy).
Heat the oil  in a kadhai  over moderate heat.
Fill the dough into a sev "press"
Holding the utensil over the hot oil, force the mixture through the holes.
As soon as noodles fall, slowly move the machine in a circular motion so that they do not stick together.
Fry both sides until crisp and lightly browned. Tip:When the sev is fried,the oil stops bubbling.
Remove and drain on a paper towel.
Fry the remaining paste in the same manner.
Cool and break into uniform pieces.

Store in an airtight containers.

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ShareMasala Puri is one of the most popular fast food dish across India.I had always believed that the distinct taste of any street food cannot be achieved at home.This recipe proved me wrong.It tasted much better than the ones on the cart.I guess it was due to the fresh ingredients.Even the sev for the garnish was freshly made.Will post the recipe soon.

Ingredients for the masala:
  • Green peas/white peas(dry or fresh)cooked with salt-2cups
  • Moong(green gram) cooked with salt-1/4cup
  • Mustard seeds-1/2tsp
  • Cumin seeds(jeera)-1/2tsp
  • Ginger-garlic paste-1tsp
  • Chopped onions-1/2cup
  • Peppercorns-6
  • Green chillies-4 or to taste
  • Bayleaf-1
  • Cinnamon stick-1"
  • Cloves-2
  • Tamarind-big grape size
  • Mint leaves-1 string
  • Corriander leaves-1/2cup
  • Rice flour-1tbsp
  • Corriander powder-1tsp
  • Oil
  • Salt-to taste
Heat a tbsp oil in skillet.Add mustard,jeera and saute.Add the ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw flavour goes away.Add chopped onions and saute till transparent.Cool.
Grind the moong,peas,onion mixture,corriander leaves,cinnamon,bayleaf,cloves,peppercorn,green chillies,tamarind and mint leaves to a paste.
Pour this into a big pot.Add enough water to get a thin gravy.
Add salt,dhania powder,rice flour and bring to a boil.Let it boil fo 5mins on low flame.
Reserve an additional cup of boiled peas to add while serving.

To serve:
Crush the Paapdis and place it on the serving plate.
Layer 2tbsp of peas over it.
Sprinkle salt,chilli powder and Khatti-meethi chutney.
Now pour in 1cup of the masala.
Garnish with chopped onions,tomatoes and grated carrot and chopped corriander leaves.
Sprinkle a generous amount of sev.
Serve immediately as the papdi gets soggy fast.

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