Saturday, December 20, 2014


Delight your family by making these delicious oven baked chicken breast, served with steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are a dieter's best friend and an excellent source of lean protein. 4-ounce serving of boneless, skinless chicken breast contains  26 gm of protein.


Boneless Skinless chicken breast  : 2 (You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs too)
Lemon Juice : 2tbsp / Vinegar : 1tbsp
Ginger : 1/2 inch piece, grated
Garlic Owder : 1tsp or  3 garlicbcloves : grated / finely chopped
Olive oil / vegetable oil : 1/2tbsp
Salt and pepper

Other Spices or seasonings : 1/2tsp (You can use your choice of spice like cumin powder, all spice powder, coriander - chilly and garam masala powder)
i used dried thyme and oregano for this recipe

Method for Restaurant style Juicy baked chicken recipe :

Put chicken in a colander and pat dry(important step) completely. Combine it with the remaining ingredients and marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour. Take the chicken from refrigerator before baking and allow it to reach room temperature. This helps to get the most tender and delicious chicken.

Baking Method :

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take a Parchment paper (Butter paper) lined vessel and grease it with olive oil). 

2. Take out the chicken pieces from the marination and arrange it on the greased vessel, spaced evenly. Take another parchment paper and apply some butter on one side. Cover the Chicken pieces with a parchment paper  - butter side down and tuck the edges down. Bake for 35 minutes for the best juicy and tender chicken breast. Meat thermometer should indicate between 160 - 165 degrees.

3. If you don't have parchment paper with you , then use aluminum foil. But covering with aluminum foil will increase the heat and the juices will run out from chicken. So bake for 35-45 minutes and then turn into broil method till the water evaporates. 

4. Serve hot with with mashed Potatoes / Flat bread / Gravy.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

BEST NAN KHATAI EVER - Cardamom flavoured Indian cookies

Best Nan Khatai ever
How to make perfect Egg less Indian Cookie - Nankhattai
Serving Size : 2 cookies
Cooking time : 20min
Makes : 12 servings
Calories : 204 per serving

Ingredients :

All purpose flour / Maida : 1 1/2cups
Unsalted Butter at room temperature : 3/4cup ( Traditional nankhattai is made with ghee, but i used butter)
Granulated Sugar : 3/4cup
Cardamom / Elaichi : 3 or  you can use 1/4tsp Cardamom powder
Nutmeg powder : 1/4tsp (optional)
Baking soda : 1/4tsp (you can substitute with baking powder too)
Semolina / Rava / Sooji : 1/4cup

best nan khatai ever
Directions :

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees / 350F. Sift together flour and baking soda and keep aside.

2. Transfer cardamom pods and sugar into a mixer grinder bowl and  powder it.

3. With an electric mixer, cream the butter until light. Add the cardamom- sugar powder and continue mixing until light and fluffy. 

4. Add the sifted flour - soda mixture slowly and combine well with spatula. If using, add Nutmeg powder at this stage. Add the final ingredient Semolina and give a good mix.

5. Make a smooth dough using your hands and roll into walnut sized  balls. Place 2 inch apart in a non - greased cookie sheet and bake for 20minutes. Allow to cool for 2minutes in the pan and then transfer to the wired rack.

Notes : 

1. If you are using more butter /  ghee the cookies will be flat.
2. if you are giving 1 hour time to rest the dough in refrigerator, it will hold the shape beautifully.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


I made this disco themed cake for Yahoo Search team's Halloween celebration today. It was a yellow sponge cake and i decorated with vanilla butter cream and fondant cutouts. 

Recipe for the soft and extra smooth Vanilla Butter Cream Icing :

Ingredients :

Salted Butter : 1/2 cup, at room temperature
Powdered Sugar : 2 Cups
Milk : 2tbsp
Vanilla extract : 1tsp

Method :

Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer  on medium speed.  Add powdered sugar in two batches and turn your mixer on the lowest speed until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Now add the flavour with Vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of milk. Beat for 2 more minutes and divide frosting into 2 bowls.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Japanese Soba noodles are buckwheat noodles - as the pure buckwheat flour does not bind together well, most soba noodles are made with a combination of buckwheat flour and wheat flour. This thin grayish-brown noodles are a staple of Japanese cuisine.  

Chicken Soba noodle soup Recipe

How to make Soba noodle soup / how to cook soba noodles? / Recipe with Japanese Soba noodles
Cooking time : 15min
Serves : 2

Ingredients :

Soba Noodles : 1 bundle
Chicken breast : 4oz, bite sized (Vegetarians can add Tofu in the end)
1Cup Assorted Fresh vegetables ,  like 4 Mushrooms, 1 carrot, 3 snow peas, 2 baby corns, baby spinach (I used 1 large carrot and 1/2cup baby spinach )
White onion : 1/2Cup
Garlic : 2 cloves, finely chopped
Ginger : 1/2 inch piece . finely chopped
Chicken Stock / Vegetable Stock : 3Cups
Low sodium soy Sauce : 1tbsp
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil : 1tbsp
Fresh Cilantro / coriander leaves to garnish

Healthy Soba noodle soup for kids


1. How to cook Soba noodles : Heat up a pot of water and bring it to boil. Soba noodles comes in individual serving bundles. I used one bundle for this soup, so remove the wrapper around it and Add the soba noodles to the boiling water just like we do with spaghetti. Cook till done, al dente. It will take 5 -8minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water and set aside in individual soup bowls.

2. In the mean time, heat oil in a sauce pan and add onion, ginger and garlic. When the onion is translucent, add chicken and stir fry for 1-2minutes and add the stock. When the meat is cooked, add the vegetables, Soy sauce and cook for 2 more minutes. Adjust the salt and Turn off the flame and Ladle the hot soup on the top of the soba noodles and serve immediately.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

ROSE CAKE with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

My first attempt to make a rose cake :)
Its a Lemon Sponge cake with Chocolate Ganache filling and Lemon Butter Cream frosting

Recipe for the best Lemon Butter Cream Icing :

Unsalted Butter : 1Cup / 2sticks, at room tempterature(Not melted!!!)
Powdered Sugar : 4Cups
Lemon Rind from 2 Lemons
Milk / Heavy cream : 2tbsp
Lemon juice from 1/2 of a large lemon, approx. 1 tbsp
A pinch of Salt


1. Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. 

2. Add powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. 

3. Increase mixer speed to medium and add Lemon juice, lemon rind, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. 

4. Divide frosting into 2 bowls.

Friday, October 10, 2014

How to make Restaurant style CHILLI CHICKEN?

Best Chinese Chilli chicken
Recipe for Indo-Chinese Chilli Chicken / Chicken Manchurian / Versions of Chilli chicken

Boneless Chicken : 10oz / approximately 300gm / 1 1/2 chicken breast
Oil to deep fry
For the batter : 
Tomato sauce : 1tsp
Soy sauce : 1/2tsp
Chilly sauce : 1/2tsp
Salt : 1tsp
Ginger garlic paste : 1/2tsp(12inch ginger and 3garlic)
Maida / All purpose Flour : 1/2cup
Corn starch : 1/2cup
Egg : 1
Vinegar / Lemon juice : 1tsp
 Red Food color (optional)

For the sauce :

Onion : 1, diced(You can add 2 to increase the quantity of chilli chicken)
Garlic : 4cloves, chopped
Green chilies : 2, chopped
Ginger : 1/2 inch, chopped
Capsicum : 1, Sliced lengthwise
Soya sauce : 1tbsp
Red Chili sauce :1/2tbsp
Tomato Sauce : 11/2tbsp
Sugar : 1tsp

How to make Restaurant style chilly chicken
Method :

1. In a wide bowl, combine everything given under 'For the batter'  along with few drops of water to make a thick paste. Now add the chicken pieces into it and mix well. Cover tightly with a lid and marinate in refrigerator for 2(min) to 6(max)hours.

2. Add oil to a frying pan / kadai and deep fry the chicken pieces till done. Transfer them to a paper towel and keep aside.

3. In another wok / pan / kadai, add 2tbsp oil (I used the oil in which I fried the  chicken). Add garlic, green chilies and ginger and saute well. Now add  onions and sauté till it turns to translucent.

4. Now add in capsicum and saute them for 2min. Note that capsicum should remain crispy.

5. Add soy sauce+ chili sauce+ tomato sauce+ sugar and saute it for few seconds.

6. To this add 1/2Cup of water and let it boil for 10mins. Now add the fried and cooled chicken and combine well).

7. Cover with a tight lid and cook for 2min and turn off the flame.

8. Garnish with chopped Spring onion / peppers and serve hot .

Note : if you want a thicker gravy add 1tsp of cornflour to 1/4 cup water and add after 7th step.

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

HOW TO MAKE SOFT IDLI AT HOME using mixer grinder

After a lot of requests from my constant readers, I am writing a detailed post on How to make South - Indian soft and fluffy Idlies at home Using a mixer grinder. The main difference of making the idli batter in a wet grinder and in a mixer grinder is the ratio of rice and Urad dal. If you are using a wet grinder the ratio of rice to Urad dal is 4:1, but if you are using a mixer grinder, the ratio for perfect idli changes to 3:1 or 2:1 for Super soft and foolproof iddli's. Here in U.S, I used my Vitamix (Preethi mixer grinder earlier) for making these soft idlies.

How to make Perfect spongy Iddli / Idli batter at home?

Ingredients :

Idli rice : 3Cups 
Urad Dal / uzhunnu parippu : 1cup
Fenugreek Seeds / uluva : 1/2tsp
Fresh* Cooked rice or Soaked Poha / Aval : 1/2 cup( Refer notes)

Directions :

1. Wash the rice until water runs clear. Now Soak the rice in enough water(approx. 3 inches above the rice) for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

2. Meanwhile, wash and soak Urad dal separately along with fenugreek seeds for 1 1/2 to 2hours (Soaking Urad dal for long time decreases its power of fermentation).

3. Now Transfer the urad dal, fenugreek mixture to your mixer grinder along with enough water and grind to a smooth paste, approx. 15 minutes. Transfer it to a big container. 

4. Now add the soaked rice to the mixer grinder along with sufficient water in which we soaked the rice. Grind it for 5minutes and then add cooked rice. Grind for another 15-20minutes until smooth. 

5. Add the rice batter to the Urad dal batter and mix well with hands. Cover with a tight lid and allow to ferment for 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Fermentation of homemade Iddli batter depends on the climate of your place. In colder places, you can leave it inside the oven with the oven light on.

6. Add salt only after fermentation and mix well. The batter is ready to use. Add 2 cups of water into iddli vessel and allow to boil.

7. Pour the batter into greased the idli moulds(i use coconut oil) and steam for 13-15minutes for soft spongy idlies. Use a wet spoon to transfer the idlies from the mould.

8. Serve hot with Chutney / Sambar. I make Idli on the first day, then dosa / uthappam on second day and Paniyaram in the end.

Notes :

a) My cousin Anju Uses Poha / Aval instead of cooked rice to make the iddli batter. Soak Poha/aval in water for 5minutes and add along with the rice. You will get exactly the same results :)
b) Do not use old refrigerated cooked rice to make idli batter. Remember you will keep it outside for fermentation then in the refrigerator for minimum 2 days, so make sure you use freshly cooked rice.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Flavorful homemade green mint masala and the earthiness of Mushrooms makes this pulao so special..

Mushroom Mint Pulao

Recipe for Mushroom Mint Pulao / Mushroom and Pudina Rice:
Preperation time : 10min
Cooking time : 20min
Serves : 4

Ingredients :

Mushrooms : 10 large mushrooms / approx 400-500g
Basmati rice : 2cups, rinse and soak for 10 min then drain and keep aside to dry
Mint leaves : 1 bunch 
Coriander leaves : 1/2bunch (optional)
Onion : 1, sliced
Ginger : 1/2inch piece
Garlic : 3cloves
Green chilly : 3 (if its a very spicy chilly add 2)
Cardamom , Cloves,Black Pepper : 3
Cinnamon stick : 2inch
Bay leaf : 1
Cumin seeds : 1tsp
Fennel seeds : 1/2tsp
Salt ( approx. 2tsp)
Ghee : 1tbsp
Lemon juice from half of a fresh lemon

Directions :

1. Using a mixer, crush together mint leaves, coriander leaves, ginger, garlic, fennel seeds and green chillies. 

2. Heat ghee in a heavy bottom vessel and add the whole spices -bay leaf, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, pepper corns in the same order. Now add the onions and saute till translucent.

3. Add the crushed masala and when you get a nice aroma, add mushrooms and stir fry till the water evaporates. Now add the soaked and drained rice and fry for 3-4minutes. Add the boiling water and when the water comes to boil, add the rice and mix in the lemon juice. cover the pan with a lid and cook in low flame till done. DO NOT OPEN it for first 10minutes..

4. Serve hot with Onion raitha / Paneer Butter masala / Kadai chicken. You can garnish with ghee roasted cashews / raisins

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Saturday, September 13, 2014


Recipe for Teriyaki Salmon

How to make homemade Teriyaki Salmon ?
Cooking Time : 20min
Level : Easy
Serves : 2

Ingredients :

Salmon steak : 2, 12 oz, wash and pat dry

For the sauce 
Garlic : 4 cloves, grated
Ginger : 1/2 inch piece, grated
Natural Vinegar / Rice Vinegar : 2 tbsp 
Soya sauce : 2 tbsp
Honey / Brown Sugar : 2 tbsp
Paprika / red chilly powder : 1/4 tsp
Salt : 1/4 tsp
Pepper : 1/2 tsp
Sesame oil / Vegetable oil : 2 tbsp

Method :

1. Combine all ingredients listed under "for the sauce", in a pan and allow to boil in low-medium flame for 4 minutes. This is our homemade teriyaki sauce. Keep aside.

2. Add salt, and our homemade Teriyaki sauce to an oven proof dish and add the pat dried salmon. Cover tightly and Keep refrigerated for 30minutes( you can marinate teriyaki salmon in a zip-lock bag/ any airtight container ). 

3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F(200 degrees). Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork..

4. Sweet and tangy Teriyaki Salmon is ready to serve. It goes well with brown rice, Mexican black beans

Notes :

  • Never marinate fish more than 30 minutes as it is totally different from meat. 
  • You can also grill the teriyaki salmon.
  • If you dont have fresh Salmon, do not make this dish. Defrosting and again marinating in freezer will spoil the fish.
  • This dish is slightly sweet, those who doesn't like the combo of fish+ honey can also skip the recipe :)
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Friday, September 5, 2014


Kovakka / Tindora / Ivy Gourd Peera - Vegetarian Fish curry :)
 How to make a vegetarian version of Meen Peera Pattichathu?
Cooking time : 10min
Serves : 4 

Ingredients :

Kovakka / Tindora / Ivy Gourd : 300g, Cut lengthwise into half
Gambooge (kudambuli) : 2pieces*
Shallots : 6, chopped
Curry Leaves : 2Springs
Ginger : 1 inch piece
Garlic : 3, chopped
Green Chilly : 2
Shredded Coconut : 1/2Cup
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Chilly Powder : 1/2tsp
Coconut Oil : 2tbsp

Directions :

1. Soak gambooge for 30 minutes in lukewarm water. Then clean well under running water and drain. keep aside.

2. Crush together green chilly, shallots, garlic, ginger, turmeric powder, chilly powder, and curry leaves. Now add Coconut and crush well(Do not add water). 

3. Add 1tbsp coconut oil to the clay pot or any heavy bottom vessel to prevent the curry from sticking to the  bottom. Before the pot becomes too hot, add Kovakka / Tindora, crushed coconut mixture, salt, 1/4Cup water and gambooge.

4. cover and cook in low-medium flame for 7-10 minutes or till the kovakka / Tindora is done. Stir occasionally. Serve hot with Rose matta rice. 

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*Update : 
Since my friend and a great follower of "Lemon n Spice" - Anandi told me that she substituted gambooge with tamarind extract and it came out well, i tried it last time and it came out really well... 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

CHICKEN ULARTHIYATHU - Spicy chicken dry fry with coconut slices

Chicken cooked with Authentic  Kerala spices and coconut slices.

Chicken ularthiyathu / Spicy chicken dry fry with coconut slices
How to make restaurant style Chicken ularthiyathu / chicken Olarthiyathu at home
Cooking time : 25min
Serves : 3 
Ingredients :

Chicken : 1/2kg

Turmeric Powder : 1/4tsp
Chilli Powder : 1/2tsp
Coriander Powder : 1/2tsp

Garam Masala : 1/4tsp
Vinegar / Lemon juice : 1tsp


Mix everything and marinate for 30min.

Chicken ularthiyathu / Spicy chicken dry fry with coconut slices
To saute :

Onion : 1 finely chopped
ginger : 1/2 inch piece
garlic : 4cloves
green chilly : 2 

Pepper corns : 1/2tsp
Fennel seeds (Perunjeerakam) : 1/4tsp 

Turmeric powder : a pinch
Chilly powder : 1/2tsp
Coriander powder : 1/2tsp
Garam Masala : 1/4tsp
Currry leaves : 2springs
coconut slices : 12 to 15
coconut oil : 1tbsp 


Method :

1. Using a mixer, crush together pepper corns, fennel seeds, ginger, garlic, curry leaves and green chillies(should not make fine paste).

2. Heat oil in a kadai and add coconut slices. When it turns to light brown in color , add onion and saute till translucent. Now add the crushed ginger mixture and saute till you get a nice aroma. 

3. Now add the turmeric powder, chilly powder, coriander powder and when it is roasted add marinated chicken pieces. Cover and and cook till the chicken pieces are tender. Adjust the salt and add garam masala. 

4. Serve hot with rice / Chappathi. 

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Thai red Curry

How to make Thai Red curry with Tofu / Chicken / Shrimp at home
Cooking Time : 25min
Serves : 3 
Ingredients :

Tofu / Chicken / Prawns : 200g
Onion : 1/2
Zucchini : 1/2
Carrot : 1
Mushrooms : 5, halved
Blanched  / Steamed Broccoli : 4florets (Do not add broccoli before steaming  / blanching it as broccoli can dominate its flavor)
Thai Red Curry Paste : 1tbsp
Coconut Milk : 1/2 Can
Boiling Water : 1Cup
Ginger : 1/2 inch, Julienne 
Garlic : 2, Julienne
Basil leaves : 5, finely chopped
Coriander Leaves : handful, finely chopped
Fish Sauce : 1tsp (optional, i didn use)
Kaffir Lime Leaves : 2, or Lemon zest of 2 lemons
Lemon grass : 2stalks (if you are not using Lemon grass, add Lemon juice from half of a lemon after making the curry and boil for a minute)
Brown sugar : 1/2tbsp
Olive oil

Thai Red Curry

Directions :

1. Heat oil in kadai and saute Thai Red curry paste for 2minutes. Now add kaffir lime leaves, onion, garlic, ginger and lemon grass. 

2. If you are using chicken  / shrimp, add at this stage and cook till its 70% cooked. Now stir in coconut milk and boiling water.

Brown Rice and Thai Red Curry with Shrimp & vegetables
 3.  When chicken is completely cooked,  add the vegetables (If you are using Tofu, add now) and cook for few minutes(3-5minutes, they should be tender-crisp). 

4. Stir in coriander leaves, salt, sugar and basil leaves. Add sauce and adjust the salt if needed. Serve Thai red curry hot with Thai Jasmin rice / Thai sticky rice / cooked basmati rice / Brown rice.

Thai Red Curry
 Notes :
Yo can add 3tbsp of pineapple chunks to give natural sweetness to this dish.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

KAALAN - A Coimbatore Street Food with Mushroom

This is a very famous road side snack in Coimbatore which can be made with mushrooms or Cauliflower. I did my college from Coimbatore(2001 - 2008) and this was my  favorite snack at that time.  This can be served as a side dish with chappathi / roti. Don't confuse this dish with Authentic Kerala Sadhya Dish - Kalan which is a yogurt based curry.
Coimbatore Street Food - Kaalan Chat
After starting my blog in 2009, i tried to make Kaalan once. I followed the same 3 steps which that old street vendor in Coimbatore used to do. 1. Batter fry the mushrooms, 2. add some aromatic stock and 3. a final touch with onion and some spices. I followed like that  But still something was missing. Then i read online that nutmeg is the main ingredient in Kaalan which i never used. The lady who uploaded this tip (Ramya) got this information from a roadside Vendor who is making Kaalan for years. Hooray!!!! i got the secret ingredient, tried again with the new ingredient and Viola!! My favorite Kalan was ready in 20min. :). I dedicate this recipe to my biggest Kaaln Lover Nish (my sister) and my close friends Milsha, Sisira and Sunendra. Miss you gals :(

How to make Coimbatore street food Kalan at home
cooking time : 20min, Preparation time : 15min Serves : 3adults
Step 1 - Prepare the Stock :

2cups water or 16oz vegetable stock
Oil : 1tsp
Onion : 1/2
Dried  red chillies : 2
Turmeric Powder : 1/4tsp
Bay Leaf : 1
Ginger : 1/4inch piece
Garlic : 2cloves
Whole spices ( Coriander Seeds : 1/2tbsp, 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder , small piece of mace, A small stick of cinnamon, 1 cardamom, 1 cloves, 1/4tsp black pepper corns, 1/4tsp Cumin, 1/4tsp Fennel ) or you can add 1/2tsp Garam Masala plus nutmeg powder (Secret ingredient)

Directions :  Add oil and add red chilies, whole spices, bay leaf and saute for one minute. Now add onion, ginger, garlic and saute till translucent. Add turmeric powder along with 4 cups of water / vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Now allow it to cool and drain. This is the base for your Kaalan. 

Step 2 - Prepare the Batter fried Mushrooms :

Button Mushroom : 16oz box / 570g, finely chopped
All Purpose Flour (Maida) : 1/2Cup
Cornflour : 1/4cup
Chilly powder : 1tsp 
Turmeric powder : 1/4tsp
Garam Masala : 1/2tsp
Grated ginger / Crushed Ginger : 1/2inch piece
Grated Garlic / Crushed Garlic : 3cloves
Red Food color
Egg : 1(optional)
Lemon juice / Vinegar : 1tsp
Oil : 2tbsp *

Directions : Mix all ingredients except oil and mushrooms in a wide bowl. Add 1tbsp water(or more if you are not using egg) and make a batter to fry the mushrooms. Now add the mushrooms and combine well. Heat oil in a non stick pan and deep fry them.(*I used 2tbsp oil and shallow fried the mushrooms by spreading in one layer). Drain the excess oil using paper towel.

step 3 - Prepare the final thick Kalan :

approximately 2 cups of drained  stock we prepared from step 1
Onion : 1, finely chopped
Green Chillies : 2 finely chopped
Red chilly powder : 1tsp
Garam Masala  / Eastern meat masala : 1tsp
Coriander leaves : 1/4cup, finely chopped

Directions : 
1. Heat the same vessel from step 2 and add the fried mushrooms. Now add 1cup drained stock we prepared in step 1 and mix well with the mushrooms. Using the spatula stir continuously ad scramble the fried mushrooms. You should work quickly to separate the mushrooms and stir fry well. When the water is absorbed add the remaining 1cup stock and repeat the same process and your final result will be bite sized fried mushrooms with a soggy texture. Make sure your Kaalan is not dry. So Before the water evaporates, add remaining ingredients listed under Step 3 - and stir fry for one minute. Serve hot with some extra onions and coriander leaves on top.