April 29, 2011

Peanut Butter Nutella Brownies

What drew me to this brownie was the peanut butter and Nutella combination. All the earlier recipes on my blog Nutella Pinwheel Cookies , Nutella Swirl Cupcakes and Chocolate Peanut butter Filled Cookies with them have been really tasty. So, even though I am not fond of brownies, I thought of trying these out.
The recipe is originally of marbled brownie, but I did something wrong and instead of a marbled look, the nutella layer had spread evenly all around. On hindsight,I feel I should have lessened the amount of Nutella that I dropped on the top layer for marbling. The evenly spread nutella did not look good so I made some white chocolate designs on the top of it.

For 12 pieces of brownies
Recipe from CookieMadness

6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

For Marbling:
1 1/2 oz dark  chocolate
1/2 tsp butter
1/4 cup Nutella

For Chocolate decoration
1 1/2 oz white  chocolate

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F/180C. Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper. Leave some extra on sides so that it helps in pulling out the brownies once baked.
  2. In a bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until soft. Beat in vanilla and peanut butter,
  3. Add eggs and beat just until mixed in. Beat in baking powder and salt
  4. Add flour and stir until it is mixed in. 
  5. Spread this batter evenly in the baking dish.
For Marbling
  1. Melt chocolate and butter in microwave at 30 sec interval until it melts completely or in a double boiler. Remove melted chocolate from heat and stir in Nutella. 
  2. Drop spoonfuls of Chocolate Nutella mixture over the brownie batter 1 and 1/2 inches apart and drag a knife both length and breadth wise through them to make a marbled pattern.
  3. Bake on center rack for 30 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from the side of the pan and center seems set. 
  4. Cool pan on a wire rack. When brownies reach room temperature, chill them for an hour.
  5. Lift from pan and cut into squares.
  6. For white chocolate design, Once the brownie cools, put the melted chocolate in a piping bag, cut a small tip and make designs of your choice on the brownie.

Note : If you are using glass pan  for baking brownies then reduce the temperature to 325F/160C for 10 minutes extra

April 27, 2011

Lauki Halwa /Bottle Gourd / Doodhi Halwa

Sweet dish made up of vegetables !! Yes ! It can be done and it can taste awesome too  :)  I had tasted lauki halwa  few years back at our office picnic when one of my friend had made it. And as expected  ,I was skeptical to taste it. But one bite and I was converted. I never tried to make it until today. I had lauki and an opened can of condensed milk which I had to use soon. Though I have used condensed milk, normal milk can be used too. The only slightly negative thing about lauki halwa is that it doesn't have a very appealing appearance. I had already thought of combating it using spinach puree to impart it some colour. The spinach puree idea was inspired by a coconut spinach barfi my another friend's father used to make [this was also few years back when I was still doing my post-graduation]. That barfi used to taste awesome so I was sure that adding spinach is no way going to spoil my lauki halwa. And I was right. It adds to the colour without adding anything to taste.

2 Cups Grated Lauki/ Doodhi / Bottle Gourd[ skin and seeds removed] -
1 tbsp ghee/ clarified butter
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk [ You can replace this with sugar and milk]
3 green cardamoms powdered
Dry fruits of your choice [cashwenut,almonds,pistachio]
3 tbsp spinach puree [ wash spinach and remove stems and blanch it in  an uncovered pan with little water for 3-4 minutes, and grind it when it cools]

  1. Heat ghee/ clarified butter in a pan. Add dry fruits and fry till it slightly changes colour.
  2. Add grated Lauki/ Dudhi / Bottle Gourd and cook for 10 minutes on slow flame .
  3. Add condensed milk ,spinach puree and cook till all the condensed milk dries up. It will take around 10 minutes.  Add cardamom powder and mix well.Take off the stove and serve it warm or chilled.  
Notes :
If you are using  sweetened condensed milk there is no need to add sugar. If you are using normal milk, then let the milk dry up and add sugar once milk dries up.
If the colour is not to your liking, you can add more spinach puree.

April 24, 2011

Chicken Kebab Masala

Here comes another one from my dear Mr. Sinfoodie. He entered into the kitchen to fry some seekh kebabs and then was struck with an idea to convert it into a gravy recipe somewhat on the lines of chicken tikka masala. I am not too fond of seekh kebabs, but this was a nice twist and I loved it.

Chicken Seekh Kebabs - 2 Rolls,cut into 1 cm slices
Onion grated - 1 Large
Tomato finely chopped - 2
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Onion -1 small , cut and peeled into 1 square inch
Capsicum -1 small, cut and deseeded into 1 square inch
Tomato -1 small , cut  and pulp removed1 square inch
Lemon  -1
Green Cardamom 2
Black cardmom -2
Bay Leaves -2
Cinnamon stick -1 inch
Cumin Seeds -1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Coriander Powder -1 tsp
Kashmiri Red Chili Powder - 2 tsp
Chili Powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1tsp
Salt  to taste
Cashewnut paste - 2 tbsp
Cream - 3 tbsp
Coriander leaves for garnishing


  1. Heat  1 tbsp oil in a pan.  Fry the kebabs for few minutes till it is slightly brown. Keep aside.
  2. Heat  2 tbsp oil in  the pan. Add green and black cardamom, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and cumin seeds and fry till the cumin seeds splutters.
  3. Add  grated onions and ginger garlic paste. Fry till the onions are translucent.
  4. Add finely chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder,red chilli powders  and salt and cook till tomatoes turn into a puree.
  5. Add Cashwenut paste and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the kebab pieces and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Add chopped onions and let it simmer for few minutes.
  8. Add cream ,chopped capsicum and chopped tomatoes,juice of 1 lemon and let it simmer for 2 minutes. 
  9. Add Garam masala powder and turn off the stove.
  10. Garnish with Coriander leaves and server hot with Rotis or Naans.

April 19, 2011

Crispy Potato Rosti

Rosti is a swiss dish made of grated potatoes. And yes, It does taste like our own popular grated potatoes snack ,Haldiram's aloo bhujia , though this has more flavour due to the addition of various herbs. You can serve it as a snack or starter. The  recipe has been adapted from Coles Recipes and meal ideas

[For 4-5 small size Rosti]
    2 medium large potatoes, peeled and grated
    1 tbsp chopped  spring onions
    1 tbsp all purpose flour
    1/4 tsp baking powder
    vegetable oil, to shallow fry

  1.  Squeeze grated potato to remove as much liquid as you can. Place the squeezed potato in a clean bowl.
  2. Add spring onions and other herbs of your choice[ I added rosemary], and sift over flour and baking powder. Mix until combined. Add salt and pepper. Divide into 4-5 portions
  3. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Drop a portion of mixture into pan and flatten slightly. Cook over medium heat for about 2-3 mins each side, or until golden brown and crisp. Repeat with remaining mixture. Do not turn  before 2-3 minutes otherwise it will break.
  4. Drain on paper towel.Serve hot/warm with any dip of your choice.

I am sending this to Hearth and Soul hop.

I am sending this to US Masala: Bookmarked recipe every tuesday event

April 14, 2011

Chocolate Macroons

When I first saw the chocolate dipped macroon on google images few days back while searching for coconut based dessert , I absolutely had to make them. It was love at first sight :-) I did a mix n match of recipes as I wanted to try an eggless version. The recipes has been adapted  from EgglessCooking and Brown eyed baker. I have followed the original recipe which Eggless Cooking intended to follow, but still faced the same issues like her. The condensed milk and coconut mixture had turned runny even though it wasn't runny earlier and  I hadn't even added any milk. So, to avoid that I  am mentioning a lesser amount of condensed milk in the recipe here. Also, if you have parchment paper, use that. I used wax paper and faced a bit of trouble as it got stuck to the macroons.

For 24 Macroons
3/4 cup Sweetened Condensed milk  [ I had used 1 cup]
1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
2 and 1/2 cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut [ I had used unsweetened, and the macroons were sweet enough]
8 oz Dark Chocolate for dipping
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 325F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine sweetened milk and all purpose flour, whisking until blended.
  3. Stir in coconut and mix well.
  4. Drop the 1 tablespoon dough about 2 inches apart onto the baking sheet. Using your fingertips make it like a haystack.
  5. Bake the macroons for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. I kept checking once 15 mins were over to see that coconuts are not burnt. The macroons should be crispy/crunchy and yet not burnt. It took me more than 20 minutes to achieve the required crispiness.
  6. Cool the macroons  on the baking sheets for 2 minutes. Using a metal spatula remove them to a wire rack.
  7. Let the macroons cool for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  8. Melt dark chocolate and stir it smooth.
  9. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper.
  10. Holding the macroons by tip, dip the bottom in the chocolate  and place them on the baking sheet. refrigerate for 15 minutes for chocolate to set.
Enjoy the crispy crunchy macroons  :)

April 13, 2011

Chicken Spaghetti

Husband cooked this for dinner few days back.. And I am yet to get out the recipe from him. This is his own experiment and was a very delicious one !! I don't know what to call it, so simply calling it chicken spaghetti.
Post Updated:

Before he forgets what ingredients he had used ,here is the recipe.
For oregano and thyme,please increase/decrease the quantity according to your taste, because he added some more after tasting during making it.


Chicken breast -1 piece, Sliced into thin strips
4-5 Mushroom
1 Small Broccoli
1 Bell pepper -Red and Yellow each

2 tsp oregano + some more
1 tsp thyme  + some more
1 tsp black pepper powder

3 Tomatoes chopped
1 tbsp garlic paste
Salt to taste
 1/2 cup Cream
3 Processed Amul Cheese cubes grated
Chopped parsley - 1 tbsp
Olive oil
Spaghetti -  cooked  as per instructions on the package

  1. Heat 1 tbsp Olive oil . Add chicken along with thyme and oregano.  Saute it for 5 minutes. Keep aside.
  2. To make the tomato sauce. Heat 1 tsp oil . Add garlic paste ,chopped tomato .Cook till it softens and is puree like .Take off the stove and keep aside.
  3. Saute all veggies for few minutes . 
  4. Add salt, black pepper powder, oregano, thyme.
  5. Add tomato sauce made earlier and stir for some time. 
  6. Add chicken,cream , grated cheese and chilly flakes and cook for 10 minutes.
  7. To serve, pour it over the spaghetti.

April 12, 2011

Achaari Paneer

When I came across this recipe at  Tarla Dalal , I knew I was going to like it. It has my favourite spices, and is very very quick to make. It took me about only10 minutes to make it. Here is a recipe for the days when you want something simple and nice but don't want to work too hard for it :D

1 cup or 200 gms paneer cubed
1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
1/4 tsp mustard seeds [rai]
5 to 6 fenugreek seeds[methi]
1/2 tsp nigella seeds[kalonji/mangrail]
1/4 tsp cumin seeds[ jeera]
1/2 tsp asafoetida [hing]
1 onion sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup fresh curd
1 tsp all purpose flour
3 tbsp coriander chopped
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste
  1. Heat the oil and add the seeds and asafoetida.
  2. When they crackle, add the onion and saute till it turns translucent. 
  3. Add the paneer, turmeric, chilli powder, black salt and stir for some time. 
  4. Add the curd, sprinkle the plain flour and mix well. 
  5. Add the coriander and salt and bring to a boil. 
  6. Serve Hot

Sending this to US Masala Bookmarked Recipe every Tuesday Event.

April 9, 2011

Crispy Bhindi Raita

I don't have a very good memory,but this is how I remember my first foray into "gourmet cooking". It was with my sister when I was in 3rd standard and she in 5th. She had got a recipe of Cauliflower Kheer from somewhere, don't remember exactly from where, may be she read somewhere because it was not something that was cooked at our place. It was a lucky afternoon, only two of us were there along with our nanaji,so we decided to cook it. It  was just enough for two of us, rather for only one  person. We were in middle of cooking it , when a guest arrived and since there was no one at home, we had to serve him that kheer. I still feel the pinch of giving that tasty kheer to him. We two only managed to scrape the leftovers for us :D

This is my sister's recipe [Richa] who used to make this a long time back. All of us loved this crispy Bhindi (Okra ) raita ,especially when served with rice. It had been a long time I had eaten it ,and  during these hot summer days in Bombay, it is always pleasurable to have a curd based dish with the regular meal.

Ingredients [ for 2 people]
Bhindi /Okra 8-10  washed, dried and thinly sliced
Curd/Yogurt 1 cup
Water 1/4 cup +  1 tbsp
Red chili powder
Rai [mustard seeds]  3/4 tsp
Fennel Seeds 3/4 tsp
Curry leaves 4-5
Dried Red chilli
Oil fro frying
oil/ghee for Baghaar

  1. Deep fry the thinly sliced bhindi till it is slightly brown and crispy. Keep aside.
  2.  In a bowl, mix water to curd to thin it.
  3. Add salt,red chili powder.
  4. When you are ready to serve, add the crispy bhindi to the curd mix. To maintain the crispiness this step should be done just before serving
  5. For the baghaar /tempering , In a small pan [bowl size], heat 2 tsp oil/ghee. Add mustard seeds,fennel seeds,curry leaves,dried red chilli. when mustard splutters and fennel seed browns, add this to curd mix. You can use any baghaar recipe of your choice.

April 8, 2011

Marie biscuit Apple Kiwi Crumble

This was an experiment which turned out to be very delicious. For some reason I tend never to eat any fruit until someone forces me to do so. Not that I don't like them, but I never feel that I getup and pick a fruit for myself. This results in lots of fruit lying in my refrigerator. So, I had apples and kiwis lying for sometime and either I had to eat it or make something out of it. Deeba's  latest blog inspired me to something similar , so I used some ideas from her recipe and some ideas of my own to make this crumble.
Husband took it to office and messaged me that everyone loved it and they are waiting for it to be featured on the blog. So here is the recipe.
I loved the flavours ,sweetness of apples, tanginess of Kiwi and the extra special cinnamon flavour.

 For the Base
10 Marie Biscuits Crushed fine
1 and 1/2 TBSP vegetable Oil/Butter melted

For the Fruit Layer
2 TBSP Brown sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon powder
2 Big Apples diced
3 Kiwis diced
Juice of lime
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

For the Crumble Topping
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
3 TBSP brown sugar
1/4 cup cold butter cubed


For the base

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix  Oil/butter with the crushed Marie biscuit.Put in a bottom- removable pan and press with back of spoon to form a firm base.Bake for 5 minutes. Let it cool.
For the Fruit Layer
  1. Toss the diced apples with the lime juice as soon as you chop them.
  2. Mix in the kiwi,sugar, cinnamon powder and walnuts.
  3. Spread it over the marie biscuit layer.
For the Crumble Topping
  1. Mix plain flour and sugar.
  2. Add cubed cold butter and work with finger tips to make a breadcrumbs like texture. Add and mix Oats.
  3. Put this crumble over the fruit layer. Spread evenly to cover and seal the fruit layer. 
Once you have all the three layers on one above other ,Bake for 30 minutes, or until crumble topping is golden.
I had it both when warm and chilled. Loved it especially when it was chilled.  I forgot to add walnuts initially, so placed it on the top when I recalled later. You can add any fruit.

April 2, 2011

Nutella Swirl Cupcakes

India is playing finals of the world cup cricket match today against Sri Lanka.And things were not looking good. For the one time I entered the kitchen, a wicket fell down, so the superstition continued and I spent most of the Sri Lankan innings coming in and out of the kitchen. These cupcakes were made then, with the hope of enjoying them after India's win. But , Indian batting has started, and two of our best players are out and we have a huge score to chase. I wouldn't have been writing this post if situation was bright for us and would have been watching the game, but now, I need something to distract me. So here it is :
The recipe is from Kirbie's Cravings.

Update : India has won the world cup !!! All the cricket superstitions paid up finally :D  . Great effort by the Indian Team and very proud and emotional moment for us.

Ingredients [ for 12 small cupcakes]
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking power
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup fat free milk [ I had only 1/2 cup of milk at home, so added 1/4 cup butter milk]
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease cupcake tin with liners and spray cooking spray on it.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and egg until combined. Add in flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Mix until combined.
3. Then mix in vegetable oil, milk and vanilla extract.
4. Fill each cup about 2/3 full with batter. Add a dollop of nutella to each and swirl it around a few times with a knife.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow cupcakes to cool before serving.

The addition of buttermilk made it moist, which  I loved.

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