Kalmi Kabab

Kalmi Kabab is essentially chicken drumsticks marinated in yogurt and spices and cooked in a tandoor. Well I do not have a Tandoor but an ordinary oven is not bad. I also managed to recreate the onion relish usually served with kababs in north India. It is a easy crowd-pleaser but requires planning ahead!

We will need,

Chicken drumsticks 5
Full fat Yogurt 1/2 cup
Chilly powder 1 tbsp
Dhania powder 1 tbsp
garam masala 1 tsp
Chat masala 1 tsp

for the onion relish:
red onion 1 medium
lime 1
Chat masala 1 generous pinch
  • Beat the yogurt till smooth.(if the yogurt is a bit tart, the kababs will be better) mix in the spices and salt. Wash and clean the drumsticks, pat it dry. Marinate the chicken in the yogurt marinade, preferably overnight.
  • Turn the broiler on. Arrange the marinated chicken on a roasting wire rack. I just use my wire rack on a oven proof baking dish and broil it for 15-20 minutes. Take it out and turn, baste it with the yogurt marinade. Pop it into the broiler again. Cook till the meat comes off the bone.
For the onion relish:
Thinly slice red onion and mix in salt, lime juice sprinkle chat masala. Let it stand it for at least 30 minutes and serve it with Kalmi kabab.

A's fish curry and kaalan

We have this wonderful neighbours and we meet for dinner parties often. (It is sad that one of our friends is moving to California.we will miss them) So the last time our friend invited us for dinner she had made this wonderful fish curry- Malayali style. Of course, if it is a malayali and fish, it makes a winning combination. But its not just the fish curry but something along with the curry that really took my heart. Its called Kaalan. (I hope i am right, i tend to make a mistake with its pronunciation and ends up calling the dish a malayali eqvivalent of BULL)
Its a perfect combination of spice and tart. Goes vey well with rice. So here is the recipe, coutesy my friend...( i have altered the recipe ever so slightly just to make it a one pot wonder!!!)
Fish Curry
Tilapia fish 1/2 lb cleaned and cut into pieces
coconut milk 1 cup
Dhania 1/2 tbsp
Red Chillies 6 and above
Tamarind extract 1/2 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves
Shallots 2 chopped
Green chillies 2 (optional)
Toast the dhania and red chillies and pound it into a fine powder. Mix the spice powder, turmeric, tamarind, coconut milk. Set aside.
Heat oil in a pot ( a clay pot will work perfectly for this curry) drop the curry leaves, green chillies and the shallots, keep stirring. Pour the coconut milk mixture into the pot. Cook on a gentle heat till fragrant. Drop the fish pieces. Cover and cook till done.Serve with Kalan and steaming rice.
This is a simple yogurt based curry which is very very tasty.
Yogurt 1/2 cup beaten
Oil 1 tsp
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Red chillies dry 2-3
Tomato 1 diced
Turmeric 1 pinch
Curry leaves 4-5
Chilly powder 1 pinch
Fenugreek powder 1 pinch
Heat oil in a pot. Drop the mustard seeds, curry leaves, chillies, turmeric, chilly powder tomatoes and fenugreek powder. Stir well cook the tomatoes. Reduce heat. Mix in the yogurt gently and heat it through. Do not heat it for a long time, the yogurt will curdle. Serve it with fish curry.

Triveni Dal

There are days when i feel like eating something not-so-spicy and light yet make my stomach feel contended and happy. One such days my palate crave for good old dal...It is such a versatile dish that probably there are as many recipes back home as number of households!!! I am a keen dal-recipe collector.. collecting dal from cousins, aunts, granny's!!What can be more comforting than steaming rice, dal and a spoon of ghee... I remember eating it as a kid, feasting on it as a teenager and now making it on a busy week night. Now pumping up a plain dal to make it nutritious as well as colourful, is not a big deal. There are probably a million combinations to do that. Here is something i did the other week.

We will need,

Toor dal 1/4 cup
Masoor dal (split) 1/4 cup
Moong dal (split) 1/2 cup
Tomato diced 1/2 cup
Spinach 1 bag
Garlic 2-3 cloves crushed
Green Chillies 4 and above
Cumin seeds 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves
Mustard seed 1/4 tsp
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Ghee 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves /Cilantro

  • Wash all the dals and spinach. Combine them and tomatoes, turmeric a dash of ghee and pressure cook. About two whistles and set it aside to cool. (one if you like your dal al-dente/ still holds its shape and bit)
  • Heat the remaining ghee in a pan. Drop the mustard seeds,hing, cumin seeds, curry leaves. When the spluttering stops drop the crushed garlic and chillies. Stir. Mix it into the cooked dal mixture. Adjust salt, gently heat the mixture and finish with coriander leaves.
  • Chilly powder can be sprinkled for garnish. Serve hot with rice.. .Yummy

Dahi Baigan

Dahi Baigan is originally a Oriya dish, that i first tasted in my hostel mess during my university days. I fell in love with it the very first time and i have been a very big fan of the dish ever since.
This is the recipe the chefs at my hostel gave me when i was about to graduate.Love it...

Dahi Baigan

Indian Eggplant (brinjal/Aubergines) cut into quarters 3
Thick Curds 2 cups
Onion 1 small
Tomato 1 small
Turmeric 1 pinch
Jeera 1 big pinch
Mustard 1 big pinch
Chilly powder 1 tsp
Green Chillies 2
Dhania Powder 1 tsp
Garam Masala 1/2 tsp
oil 1 tbsp


The Brinjal according to the original recipe needs to be salted and deep fried in hot oil it almost crisp. However for health reasons i have altered the recipe. So here it goes.
Heat oil in a pan. Drop the mustard, Jeera and green chillies. Once they splutter drop the quartered Brinjal pieces. Grill them till done on all sides. Now, add the onions, tomato, turmeric, chilly powder, salt, dhania powder and garam masala. Cook over medium flame keeping the masala from burning. Switch off the heat once done.

Beat the curds. This recipe calls for thick curds, the fresher the better, will taste a lot better with home made curds. Beat the curds and set aside. When the bringal mixture is cooled , stir it into the beaten curds. Adjust salt and serve with steaming hot rice.

Menasinakai Bajji/ Jalapeno Fritters

One of the most popular street foods of Karnataka is the Menasinaakai Bajji.. also know as Mirchi bonda/Mirchi Majji in north Karnataka. Its actually a tradition in the northern parts of the state to eat the Mirchi Bajji with Puffed rice (Mandakki, Puri). I love it with or without the puffed rice part of it!! Its actually related to rains... In my family we just need an excuse to dash to the street corner and get these fiery hot bajjis for may be Rs10 or Rs 15!!! Its good enough to feed and army. And the best part is, where ever you are you cannot be more than 1 kilometer far from the nearest bajji cart.. no doubt they are so popular. In my family at least we are not very particular about the bajji cart.. they all taste good. However there can some of them using stale oil, there fore better to avoid. Fortunately the one near our house is a very good one. Lip smacking,fresh tasting and yummy, besides being right in the corner of our street that's about 35 feet from our gate!!!
Spring here in the east coast means deluge after deluge after deluge before it is time to snow again...So on one such rainy day i felt like eating these bajjis.. so simple made it at home right away.. anyway it is easy to make as well.

Jalapenos 12
Chickpea flour 1 cup
salt chilly powder 1/2 teaspoon
Baking powder 1 big pinch
baking soda 1 big pinch
Jeera 1 teaspoon
oil for deep frying

Pound the jeera with the salt to get a coarse powder. Wash the Jalapenos and clean it. If you find it very hot, make a small slit and remove the seeds and the white coloured veins. stuff a pinch of the jeera salt mixture into the jalapeno Set it aside.
For the batter, sift the chickpea flour, baking powder and baking soda together once or twice till well combined.Add salt and chilly powder.
Heat oil in a kadai. Once it is hot enough to fry prepare the batter by water to the chickpea mixture. Do not let the chickpea mixture hang out after having mixed with water.
Now dip each jalapeno in the chickpea mixture and deep fry it in hot oil till done.
Serve hot with the sauce of your choice.

Sweet Chariot Style- Pineapple pastry

Well yet another craving struck me the last week. This time around i really wanted to eat the pineapple pastry right off the Sweet Chariot Pastry shop shelf!!!! The juicy, melt in the mouth pastry Bangalore style has always been the most successful way to melt my heart! In fact i during my college days, one of my friends made up with me after a hot headed fight by getting one of these for me! me alone! Those days obviously we could not afford one whole pastry per person with our meagre pocket monies.. so what we used to do was pool and share! Going Dutch??? not in case of Sweet Chariot stuff!!!
But later once we were through the college and in recent years (recent for me means no less than 3-4 years hee hee) good pineapple pastries are available for a steel in nondescript bakeries.Of these my favorite happens to be Bunny Bakers 9th block Jayanagar. That is where we order our birthday cakes these days. Yummy ymmy pastries!! This is my short cut for a not-so bad result. Me and my partner in crime we managed to finish half of the huge pastry in one sitting (We were supposed to checking the taste ..not eating the pastry... )I just managed to save a tiny bit for the photograph and well i should confess it is not the better off part of the pastry.

Here is what we will need.

White cake mix (I used Betty Crocker super moist)
Pineapple rings in its own juice-1 can
Heavy cream 2 cups
Eggs water vegetable oil (as called for on the cake mix box)
sugar 0.25 cup


Bake the cake according to the instruction on the box. Set it aside to cool.

Mean time. Chill the cream in refrigerator overnight. Put the beater and a metal big metal bowl (to whip the cream) in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. When you are ready to whip the cream, take a bowl bigger than the chilled metal bowl and drop some ice into it. Pour the heavy cream in to the chilled metal bowl, set it on the ice bowl and start beating it on a low speed(i use a hand held blender). The cream gets frothy and will sort of emulsify. Add sugar a tablespoon at a time and increase the speed. When the peaks begins to get stiff, stop beating.
Now for assembling the cake. Cut the cooled cake horizontally into two even rounds. (Alternately you can bake the cake in two identical cake tins)
Now chop half the pineapple rings into a fine pieces. Reserve the juice. Lay the cake halves on a baking sheet, with the cut-open sides facing you. Sprinkle the pineapple juice gently on to the cake sections. Do not over sprinkle it or else the cake will end up being soggy. Once both the sides have been sprinkled just enough juice, spread the chopped pineapple on the bottom section of the cake.Spread a generous layer of the whipped cream.Carefully lay the upper section of the cake on the bottom section. Cover the cake with the remaining whipped cream and decorate it with the remaining pineapple rings.
The cream covering can be as generous as one wants. I try to cut down calories (hehehehe what am i saying after eating everything) So i used 2 cups of cream. If you are not looking at you scale, by all means go ahead and whip up as much cream as you want.. I just love whipped cream but then cant eat too much of it!! Also I restricted the cream layer to just one. But upto 3 layers, same procedure will be terrific! Just that all the cake sections need to be sprinkled with the pineapple juice before they go on to perch on top of the pineapple-whipped cream layer.

Luv it!! yum yum yum yum