Monday, August 18, 2014


Phirni is a traditional North Indian dessert that is prepared with milk, rice, sugar and flavored with cardamom. The cooking method is similar to kheer / payasam, but phirni uses soaked and ground paste of basmati rice, which gives a unique texture to this popular Diwali / Navarathri dessert. If you are running out of time and looking for a short cut method to make Phirni, use rice flour instead of soaking and grinding the raw rice, But i prefer the traditional method.

Ghee-less / Butter-less dessert - Phirni
Recipe for Indian Milk Dessert Phirni 
Cooking time : 20min
Serves : 6 -7 small clay pots
Ingredients :
Basmati rice : 1/2cup
Milk : 4cups, i used 2% fat milk
Sugar : 1/2cup
Cardamom pods : 2, crushed or Cardamom Powder : 1/4tsp

Directions :

1. Clean and soak the rice in water for 1 hour. Drain using a seive and keep aside to dry. Now transfer it to the small bowl of mixer grinder and grind to a coarse powder, something like semolina in texture.

2. Now add 1/2 cup milk to the mixer, 2tbsp at a time and grind with rice. Transfer to a heavy bottom vessel and add remaining milk. 

Phirni - A simple milk dessert without ghee / butter
3. Heat in low - medium flame and stir continuously (Keep on stirring, otherwise the phirni will form into lumps). Once the phirni thickens, add sugar and combine well. When its almost done, add cardamom powder and boil for another 2 minitues. Tranfer to clay pots while it is hot and garnish with pistachios / almonds.

Notes :

If your Phirni is too thick, you can add  few tbsps of boiled milk and make a perfect phirni. 

Friday, August 15, 2014


These scrumptious coconut cookies are a cross between a coconut macaroon and a Coconut butter cookie.

Recipe for Chewy Coconut Cookies / Macaroon style Coconut Butter cookies
preparation Time : 30 mins,  Makes 36 Coconut cookies,
Recipe Source : Martha Stewart

Sweetened Shredded Coconut : 1 package / 5 1/3Cups / 14oz 
All Purpose Flour / Maida : 1 1/2Cups
Cold unsalted butter : 1/2 cup (1 stick), cut into small pieces
Granulated sugar : 1cup
Salt : 1/2tsp 
Baking powder : 1/4tspEgg : 1
Vanilla extract :
1 tsp 

Directions :

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take 1 cup of  sweetened Shredded coconut and place it on a plate. Keep aside.
2. Place remaining coconut in a food processor/ mixer along with sugar, salt, and baking powder; process until finely ground. 
3. In a bowl mix together butter, egg and vanilla. add the processed coconut + sugar powder into it and combine well. Now add flour and mix well using your hands.

4. Take lime-sized balls from the mixture and roll it on the sweetened coconut mixture on plate (step 1), and arrange on baking sheets 2 inches apart. Bake until lightly golden, 23 to 25 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Monday, August 11, 2014


Chicken pieces cooked with a fresh green masala of Mint, Cilantro  and and other spices. It is a quick and easy to make chicken gravy recipe and goes well with appam / rose matta rice / pulao / chappathis / Kerala parotta / Naan. 

How to make the best Mint chicken / Pudina Chicken / Hara Chicken?
Preparation time : 30min
Serves : 3
Calories : 332cal per serving

Ingredients :

Chicken : 500g, small pieces with bones

Onion : 1 large, thinly sliced
Tomato : 1, medium sized, roughly chopped
Ginger : 1inch piece
Garlic : 5 cloves
Green chillies : 5 or 6
Cumin (jeerakam) : 3/4tsp

Chilly powder : 1/2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Coriander powder : 1 1/2tsp
Garam Masala : 3/4tsp
Dried Red chillies : 2
Mint Leaves (Pudina): handful, chopped
Coriander leaves/ Cilantro (Malliyila) : handful, chopped
Oil : 1tbsp

Directions for Kerala Restaurant Style  Mint / Pudina Chicken :

1. Wash and drain the chicken pieces using a colander.

2. Grind together garlic, ginger, black pepper, cumin, mint leaves, Coriander leaves and green chillies. Keep aside.

3. Heat oil in a Kadai or wide non-stick pan and add onions and saute till the onions turns to translucent. Now add the ground green pudina masala (step2) and stir fry for 2 to 4 minutes.

4. Add the coriander powder, chilly powder, turmeric powder and garam masala at this stage and fry for another minute. Now add the tomatoes and combine well. When it becomes soft, add the drained chicken pieces, salt and combine well. Cover the pan with a tight lid and cook for 20minutes in low flame. (Do not add water)

5. When the chicken pieces are cooked, turn the heat into medium flame and saute till you get a thick gravy. Adjust the salt  according to your taste.

6. Remove from flame and  Serve hot with kerala matta rice / pulao / chappathi / appam.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


I made this Surfboard theme cake for my husband's colleague as a surprise gift on her birthday. Its a butter cake with butter cream frosting. I made the sand using crushed graham crackers.