Saturday, April 19, 2014


Celebrating my 6th wedding anniversary today with these cuties :)

How to make Strawberry Muffin?
Preparation time : 20 minutes
Cooking Time : 18 minutes
Yield : 28 mini muffins or 14 standard muffins

Ingredients :

Unsalted Butter : 115 g, At Room temperature*
Sugar : 115 g
All Purpose Flour (maida) : 115 g
Eggs : 2, At room Temperature*
Baking Powder : 1 1/2 tsp
Vanilla Extract : 1 tsp
Salt : 1/8 tsp (a pinch)
Milk : 2 tbsp, at room temperature*
Strawberries : 6-8, finely chopped

Note : Ingredients that are marked with ' * ', should be at room temperature. Otherwise Top side of muffins will turn sticky when it cools down.

Method :

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and line muffin pan with paper liners.

2. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder.

3. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until blended. Add the egg one by one and continue beating until the mixture is creamy.

4. Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Combine well with a wooden spatula. 

5. Now add Vanilla extract and milk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Now add strawberries and gently stir once. (Do not Over mix the batter)

6. Scoop the batter into muffin cups almost 3/4th of it and bake for 14 minutes for mini muffins and 17 minutes for standard muffins. Always check a few minutes before the stated baking time. (Do not over bake as it makes the muffin dry.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the muffins have completely cooled, you can frost with icing.

Thursday, April 3, 2014


How to make the best Palak and Chicken gravy for Chappathi?
Cooking Time : 30min
Serves :4

Ingredients :

Palak / Spinach : 12oz packet / 2Cups firmly packed leaves and tender stalk/ 1 bunch
Chicken : 300g / 2 small chicken breasts / 10-12oz
Onion : 1 large or 2 small ( 1/2 cubed + 1/2 finely chopped)
Tomato : 1, large, puree using a mixer grinder (or finely chopped)
Coriander leaves : 1/4cup, chopped
Green chilly : 2
Ginger : 1/2 inch piece
Garlic : 4-5, finely chopped
Vinegar / yogurt : 2tbsp
Pepper powder : 1/2tsp
Chilly powder : 1/2tsp
Garam Masala : 1/2tsp
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp + 12tsp
Turmeric powder : 1/4tsp + 1/4tsp
Coriander powder : 1tsp
Kasoori methi : 1/2tsp
Bay leaf : 1
Cinnamon stick : 1inch
Cream: 1/4Cup (I used 1/4cup half and half, you can use any thickening agent like coconut milk / yogurt - it should work the same)
Vegetable oil : 1/2tsp + 1tbsp

Method :

1. Marinate chicken with vinegar / curd, 1/4tsp turmeric powder, pepper powder, Cumin powder, chilly powder and salt. Keep refrigerated for 2hrs- 8hrs.

2. Add 1/2tsp oil to the kadai and saute the cubed onion(half of a large onion) for 2-3minutes. allow to cool. Transfer the cleaned palak / spinach leaves to a microwave bowl and microwave for 2 minutes*. Allow to cool. Now make a paste of these palak and onion and keep side.

4.  Heat 1tbsp oil in the kadai and add the bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Add the finely chopped onion(1/2 of a large onion) and saute till it turns to translucent. Now add the chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies. Saute for 2-3minutes and add tomato puree. Stir fry till the oil separates and then add the coriander powder, 1/2tsp cumin powder, kasoori methi powder and garam masala.

5. Add the marinated chicken pieces to the kadai and combine well. Cover and cook till the chicken is done. Now add the palak and onion puree, coriander leaves and stir well. When the gravy starts to become thick, add the cream and cook for 2 minutes in low flame.

6. Serve hot with naan / chappathi / paratha.

*Notes :
1. If you are not using microwave to blanch the spinach leaves, add spinach to the boiling water and cook for a minute and then drain. then continue with step2.
2. I recommend to use cream / half and half to get the exact texture for a north Indian gravy

Monday, March 31, 2014


How to make Purple cabbage and Chicken Salad?
Preparation time : 10min ; Cooking time : 10min
Serves : 3-4 as main course or 6-7 as side dish
Level : easy

Ingredients :

Boneless chicken : 4 oz / 170 g / a small chicken breast, cleaned and cubed

Chilly powder : 1/4 tsp
Pepper powder : 1/4 tsp
Salt : 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder / Dried herbs : 1/2 tsp(i used dried parsley and cumin powder)
Vinegar / Lemon juice : 1 1/2 tsp
Purple Cabbage : 1 1/2 Cup, finely chopped
Cherry tomatoes : 10 / half of a normal tomato , finely chopped
Cheddar cheese : 2 oz or 50 g, grated / chopped , optional
Romaine Lettuce : 1 Cup
Salad Dressing / Mayonnaise : 3 tbsp, i used my homemade mayonnaise (you can use any salad dressing)

Method :

1. Mix pepper powder, herbs / cumin powder, salt and vinegar with chicken pieces and marinate for 15min. Now add 1tsp olive oil and stir fry the chicken pieces. (You can boil / bake / cover and cook or stir fry the chicken pieces.) When it is done, drain on a paper towel and keep aside.

2. Now arrange romaine in a wide Serving plate. Add purple cabbage, cherry tomatoes and Cheddar cheese. Neatly add chicken cubes in the middle and serve with a salad dressing of your choice or my homemade mayonnaise.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

KOVAKKA ULARTHIYATHU (Tindora / Ivy Gourd Sabzi) - Its a Keeper

Kovakka / Tindora is the only vegetable that I don't like. Sometimes I make thoran with it, as its my husband's favorite. When i tasted this dish from my friend's place, I was sure that this is something i should share in "Lemon n Spice", as it was a twist to normal Kovakka / Ivy Gourd dishes. Thanks for the recipe Sowmya Vineeth :)

How to make Kovakka Ularthiyathu / Tindora / Ivy Gourd Sabzi?

Preparation Time : 15min
Serves : 4

Ingredients :
Kovakka / Ivy Gourd : 250g, cut into thin rounds
Oil : 2tbsp
Salt : 1/4tsp

For the masala :
Onion : 1, medium size, finely chopped
Tomato : 1, medium size finely chopped
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp (or 1tsp Cumin seeds)
Shredded Coconut : 1/2Cup
Turmeric Powder : 1/4tsp
Chilly powder : 1/2tsp
Salt : 1/2tsp
Combine everything in a wide bowl and mix well using your hand. Keep aside.

Method : 
1. Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan and add kovakka with salt. Stir fry for 4-6minutes or till kovakka is cooked but crunchy. (Make sure that you are not covering the pan during the entire cooking.)
2. Add the masala we kept aside and combine well with the kovakka. Stir fry again till the masala is cooked and covers on each kovakka slices.

3. Serve warm with rice / chappathi.