Monthly Archives: May 2014

Stuffed Lamb Mince Tikki

When we have foodies in the house, inspiration for making new dishes is always in abundance. This dish was one such idea of mine, mixing some left over pizza toppings to make the filling and a new dish got created and served to the family, which was well received.





Lamb Mince- 250 g

Cheese: Shredded cheese (I used Mozzarella)-2-3 Tbsp

Bell Pepper- 1/2, finely chopped

Olives- 1 Tbsp

Sliced Jalapeno Peppers-1-2 Tsp (I used the pickled ones)

Breadcrumbs: 1 Bowl (100g approx.)

Semolina-2 Tbsp

Green Chilli & Mint & Coriander paste-1 Tbsp

Oil- 2 Tbsp

Salt- To taste


FILLING/STUFFING: Bell peppers/shredded cheese/Jalapeno peppers/olives- All vegetables finely chopped. Mix all these together in a bowl.


  1. Take the finely chopped bell peppers, olives, jalapeno peppers and shredded cheese in a bowl and mix it together. Keep this mixture ready to use as the stuffing.
  2. In another bowl take the mince meat and add the green paste, the breadcrumbs, semolina & salt.
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  4. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl to form a meat dough, it should be firm.
  5. Divide the meat dough into 8-10 small lemon-sized balls and then press firmly on the palm to flatten it out. Give it the shape of a basket to add the stuffing to it.
  6. Scoop a spoonful of the filling into the mince meat basket and close it. Firmly press with both hands to form a round ball.
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  8. Roll the ball in breadcrumbs and lightly press to give it a tikka or pattie shape. Take care the filling in the pattie is tightly packed so that it does not open up in the fry pan when cooking.
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  10. Heat a non-stick pan on the stove, add 1 tbsp oil. Put the pattie/tikka on the pan, cook on both sides till it is golden and crispy in appearance.  If required, a little oil can be added to the pan after turning over the patties.
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  12. It is best to cook on a medium-to-slow flame,  this will ensure the meat gets cooked.  Cooking on high flame results in the outer coating getting cooked fast, while the inside is still uncooked.
  13. Remove the cooked pattie from the pan onto a kitchen tissue so that the excess oil gets soaked up in the tissue.
  14. Serve the hot pattie with tomato ketchup or chilli sauce.
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If you love cooking and trying out your hand at something new, then do try this out. I am always excited to try experimenting with ingredients and making something grand so that the family has to say ”Wow, this looks amazing, can we try”! Eagerly awaiting to know your thoughts and comments on this dish.






Sunday Tips & Tricks-Mint and Yogurt Dip

Mint dips go well with any grilled dish. This is one dip that I make on a regular basis. The fresh green mint gives the yogurt a lovely green colour. One can make the dip using dried mint leaves too, without changing the white colour of the yogurt.

DRIED MINT LEAVES: The fresh mint leaves can be washed and pat dried with a kitchen towel and then left to dry completely. I usually leave it to dry in my kitchen itself, not in direct sunlight. It takes couple days for the leaves to dry, then the dried leaves can be kept in air tight bottles for later use.


To make the yogurt dip, whisk the yogurt, add salt and a few dried leaves that are powdered coarsely.

Sunday Tips & Tricks-Steaming Spinach Leaves Instead Of Blanching

Steaming Spinach: In order to soften the leaf fibre, the spinach leaves need to be cooked. To retain the bright green colour of the leaves and to reduce the loss of water-soluble Vitamins, I prefer steaming the spinach leaves instead of blanching them.

Steaming can be done in a steam/rice-cooker or with water in bowl, as shown below in the pictures. Using this method I try to minimize the Vitamin loss and retain the colour, so that the spinach gravy looks bright green and appealing. I always steam the spinach just before making the puree for my Palak Paneer dish.



Oats and Bottle Gourd Fritters, my healthy breakfast recipe.


We all are aware of starting the day with a good breakfast. To make it a healthy breakfast we need to make a dish that is balanced, having all the nutrient components. The dish in this post is one such that provides us with the carbohydrates, proteins, fats, Vitamins & minerals, and also has dietary fibre. Dietary fibre is essential to the daily diet as it adds bulk, providing the necessary roughage needed for our normal bowel movement and emptying.

The recipe is simple, uses cooking oats and grated bottle gourd as the main ingredients.


Bottle Gourd- 1/2 small (1 bowl grated)

Oats- 1/2 Bowl (8-10 tsp)

Carom seeds- 1/2 tsp

Sesame seeds- 1 tsp

Green chilli- 1Small, finely chopped

Green coriander & garlic paste- 1tsp (can also use chopped coriander and crushed garlic clove)

Olive oil- 1 ml (used just to grease the pan)

Salt- To taste.


Wash the bottle gourd and grate it. Add carom seeds and sesame seeds, finely chopped green chilli and 1 tsp of the green herb paste.

IMG_9506Add the oats and salt and mix all the ingredients together. The juice of the grated bottle gourd is sufficient to mix the oats and make a dough-like mixture.


Divide this mixture into 4 portions. Heat a frying pan on medium flame of the gas stove and add 1/2 tsp Olive oil or whichever cooking oil you use.


Flatten out each portion of the mixture into the pan and cook, turning over and using the left over oil. Cook till it is golden in colour and crispy.


Once done, remove the fritters on the serving dish that is kept ready. They can be served with yogurt and mint dip/chutney. These should be eaten hot to enjoy the delicious taste and crispiness.


This is one of the many healthy dishes that I cook for breakfast. It is essential to use less quantity of fat in our diet. Any change in our diet pattern does not happen overnight. But if one wishes, then it is never too late to start eating healthy food, cooking it with all the necessary ingredients and taking care that it is appealing to the sight and tasty for the taste buds.  A little effort of eating healthy on a daily basis is beneficial in the long run.

Happy cooking this dish. Looking forward to your interaction in the form of comments.


ashu 🙂

Deseeding Pomegranate

We all are aware how tiresome it can be to take out the red pearls from a Pomegranate if one does not know the easy technique. I would buy the fruit and most often it would just be left inside the refrigerator to be used for a later time, reason being the tedious work for deseeding it. Once, while watching Nigella’s show, she mentioned this easy technique and from then on it has always been just a few seconds work. Now I never shy away from buying the pomegranates after knowing this easy technique.

I start sharing my easy tips and tricks with this post. Every Sunday I plan to share one tip. This Sunday I posted this technique on my Facebook page.

Deseeding The Pomegranate:

Cut the fruit into two halves. With the help of a rolling pin, whack it from all sides so that the red pearls start falling apart. Hold the fruit over a bowl to collect all the pearls. Do take care not to injure the fingers holding the fruit.

IMG_9361IMG_9381The above pictures show how it is done and how easily the seeds fall apart. This takes just a few seconds of our time. Hope this method would be making it easy for you all and you too start eating more of this fibre-rich fruit.


ashu 🙂

Dragon Fruit



This is another of the exotic fruits that one should not miss the opportunity to taste. Here it is easily found on the fruit shelves of the supermarkets. I first tasted this exotic fruit at a lavish hotel buffet where the dessert spread served it in a big fruit bowl mixed with cuts of other fruits. I instantly liked it the first time I tasted it, and from then onwards I purchase it on a regular basis.

 This brightly coloured fruit is wonderful to look on the outside, the pink colour attracting us to put it in the shopping cart.  Cutting open the fruit shows the juicy white part which is soft and mildly sweet and the black seeds that give the crunch to the bite. The texture is like the Kiwi fruit, but it is not at all sour or tangy in taste like the kiwi.


Mixing this fruit along with the other brightly coloured fruits would make any ice-cream or custard dish extremely appealing to the eye. Go ahead and try out this mildly sweetish temptation next time you lay your eyes on it in the market.


ashu 🙂 



RAMBUTAN: This is another of the exotic fruits from Southeast Asia that needs to be tasted at least once.


It is a dark red, oblong shaped fruit with soft spines on the outer covering. The outer coat/rind with prickly hairy protrusions can be easily torn or peeled off. The fruit can be eaten by tearing the rind and peeling it out or simply cutting it to reveal the white juicy flesh and the single big seed. The succulent, transparent white sweet flesh tastes similar to lychee

This is a very refreshing fruit and when eaten cold feels good to the parched throat. Go ahead and try it out to find out the amazing taste of the fruit.


ashu 🙂

Colourful Rice: My Healthy Recipe


Looking at a plain white sheet of paper might not be interesting to the sight, but just add some colour to this blank sheet of paper using dark green, red, yellow, orange, and pink crayons and then take a look at the same white sheet. The coloured sheet would look interesting and more appealing to the eye. This was just for making you picturize the dish that I am going to be posting today.

A bowl of plain rice might not be a very interesting option to eat for any meal. But by just adding vegetables of vibrant colours to the rice not only adds colour, flavour, and texture but makes it so engaging to the sight. For me the food that is served at the table has to be inviting to the people and should provide contentment.

Let’s get making the plain boiled rice an interesting, appealing, and an eye-catching option so that when you eat it, you would like to try making it more often.


Boiled rice – 2 Medium bowl (approximately 100 g raw rice that is boiled)

Bell Peppers- ½ of each- Green, Red, Orange, and Yellow.

Onion- ½ (Medium-sized)

Broccoli-3-4 Florets

Boneless Chicken pieces-6-7 (or as required)

Olive oil- 1 Tbsp (any oil that you use for cooking as required)

Seasoning– Salt, pepper, Chilli flakes, and dry Oregano herb.

Garnish– 1 Boiled egg



Preparation of Vegetables & Chicken: Cut the chicken into cubes. Bell peppers should be chopped and onion should be diced. Chop the broccoli florets.

Note: The chicken and egg are the protein part of the dish. Vegetarians can replace the chicken with Soy chunks or Paneer (cottage cheese), or Tofu.


Heat a Wok or skillet or Kadai and add the cooking oil to it.  Add the chicken cubes and sauté, season with salt and pepper.


As the chicken gets cooked, put all the cut vegetables into the wok and sauté just enough so the raw taste goes. The vegetables should be crunchy to bite. Season with salt and pepper.


Put the boiled rice and mix well with the vegetables, season with salt, pepper, chilli flakes and oregano. Mix well and serve hot.


Our colourful rice is ready to be served at the dinning table for all to enjoy. I made it this afternoon for lunch and ate with dal fry. It can be enjoyed as it is or any dal preparation would go well with it.  Dal Fry recipe I will post on a later date.

Keep visiting for some interesting versions of the different dishes that I cook in my Kitchen.


ashu 🙂

Chocolate Banana Bread


Time spent in the company of my friends is always filled with fun and laughter. The last week was one such week that can be said as a friend-week, with lunch and dinner meets, a totally food indulgence week. The weekend brought in some great news from a dear friend who secured her dream project. Another thing to note, it makes me very happy to tell you all that this is my 25th post. To celebrate all these happy moments I am posting my Chocolate Banana Bread recipe. In my home country all celebratory occasions call for something sweet and hence the indulgence. Just like our friends and family who add joy to our daily life, this too is a delicious bread that fills the house with a very sweet aroma when being baked, adding the joy to our cake craving taste buds. A yummy delight!

Bananas are abundantly available all year round, and are a good source of fibre, potassium and vitamin B6. But asking the kids to eat them on a daily basis is a task in itself. Most often than not, they end up ripening in the fruit basket, giving them one more reason to not eat them. This bread is my way of using the ripened fruit and making it appealing and irresistible for them, which they never refuse. The recipe requires very ripe bananas, almost with black dotted skin, the one that would be seen fit for throwing in the waste bin. The more ripe the fruit, the better the taste and flavour of the bread. The plain banana bread was not much fancied at home, the colour of the bread is not that appealing. As mostly chocolate based cakes are preferred at home so I tried adding cocoa to the list of ingredients and that made this bread a winner. The kids cannot refuse this, in fact want it more, and even the baker gets to over indulge once in a while!

This is a very easy recipe, even new cooks will find it easy. I always enjoy baking it, and today am happy sharing with you all. Do try baking it and sharing the bread with others and continue my chain of spreading happiness to others that you come across.


Medium-sized extremely ripe Bananas-2     IMG_9193


Butter (unsalted)-100 gm

Sugar-200 gm

Refined Flour (Maida)-150 gm

Cocoa Powder-50 gm (3-4 Tbsp. I used Hershey’s cocoa)

Baking Powder-1 Tsp

Walnuts-50 gm (Dry roasted in hot oven for 10 min)

Note: All ingredients are at room temperature. Prepare/weigh and keep them ready to use.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Grease a bread/loaf tin with butter and keep ready for use.
  2. Sieve the refined flour, baking powder and cocoa together. Ground the sugar and mix it with the flour mixture.
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  4. Take the room temperature butter in a glass bowl or a big mixing bowl. Beat the soft butter with spatula.
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  6. Mash the ripened bananas and mix with the butter.
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  8. Lightly beat 2 eggs in a small separate bowl and add to the butter mixture. Do not be alarmed if the mixture looks curdled.
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  10. Whisk for a minute all the ingredients of the glass bowl with a hand mixer so that the butter, bananas and eggs get mixed well.
  11. Add vanilla essence and give one whisk to the butter mixture.
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  13. Fold in the flour mixture into the butter mixture. This is done with help of a spatula, in one direction. The mixture should not be over mixed.
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  15. Add the oven roasted walnuts. (The nuts can be roasted for 10 minutes in hot oven.)They should be coarsely crushed with hand before adding to the cake batter.
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  18. Empty the batter into the greased loaf tin and put this in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
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  21. When the cake is done, remove tin from oven and cool. Then remove the cake from the tin and let cool on wire rack.
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Enjoy the freshly baked warm banana bread with tea or coffee or store in fridge for later use. Today afternoon, in my house, it was a patient wait for cutting and eating this sweet temptation. So dear readers go ahead and try it out.



ashu 🙂