Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Though I started baking sometime back, and have made many heart shaped cakes in my heart-shaped tray, I was never inclined to post the cake recipes. Mainly because I never got to take any good pictures.

Even today's picture has been taken from my mobile camera, so the quality might not be that great. I baked this cake yesterday, but hey, it is Valentine's Day, so here's wishing everyone a Happy Valentine's day.

Recipe is adapted from Sunita's blog, and what caught my eye was the name - nutty chocolate cake. My daughter will not have any other cake than chocolate, and some grounded nuts sounded great, since she doesn't eat whole nuts either. I followed the recipe except for the sugar, I just powdered normal sugar.

Of course, the batter was more, so I also had enough to bake a small 6" round cake from it.

The colour of the cake is a mystery to me. I have noticed that every time I use Hershey's cocoa instead of the Cadbury's cocoa powder, the colour is extremely light after baking. Has anyone had the same experience?

I just served the cake with some Hershey's chocolate syrup. I do not have pictures of the slices.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Broccoli Mushroom Stir Fry

The last post was done in haste, and today also I wanted to post something real quick, but then decided against it when I came across these pictures.

And an idea hit me.

You see, the dish that got made with the above ingredients has a history. It got done so quickly over a chat conversation! Yes, and if you have already seen Nags' awesome pictures and post of Stir Fried Broccoli with Mushrooms and Bean Sprouts, you can guess that the person who guided me over chat was Nags.

So, the idea was - why not share the conversation in a post with these pictures and show you how easy it is to cook over chat! But some background before the actual chat first.

I had picked up mushrooms and broccoli and got home around 12:00 p.m. one day and wanted to make something with both since my daughter likes them. I quickly chopped them, logged in and searched for Nags' recipe, and realized I didn't have a few of the ingredients. I was also unsure how to judge whether the mushrooms were cooked once I got started, so I checked if she was online.

I sure was lucky that day, because here's the conversation we had:

(The ingredients I didn't have/ use are italicized)

12:25 PM me: hi Naga
Nags: hey

me: QQ - how do you know when mushrooms are cooked
button mushrooms

Nags: they dont need much time
what dish are u making

12:26 PM me: I'm inspired by your broccoli mushroom dish

Nags: :)

me: though I'm not using soya and corn flour
my daughter likes both broccoli and mushrooms, so i thought of combining both and making a dish to suit herr tastebuds (no soya:-() just onions
12:27 PM no bell pepper too

Nags: oh hmm, yeah onions should be enough actually

me: k

Nags: i make something with just broccoli and onions

me: is it ok to add tomatoes?

Nags: but a little bit of soya sauce really helps
yeah why not
12:28 PM maybe u can puree and add so that it has a base

me: k, that shud give her the flavour she likes
ok cool

Nags: the mushroom gets soft very quijcly and becomes a deeper colour

me: k, i used garlic too
12:29 PM added a little salt and pepper, that shud be enuf?

Nags: more than :)

me: i'm doing it as i chat wiht u ok

Nags: simple yet flavourful

me: cool, so i'll wait for colour to change and turn off?

Nags: yes, test one piece if u are unsure

me: coz i just made mushrooms once before

Nags: wont take too long

me: long back
k cool

Nags: even broccoli cooks super quick

me: softness indicates cooked?

Nags: yes

12:30 PM me: cool, think its done..thanks!:D

Nags: shudnt be rubbery

me: great! :D

Nags: enjoy!

me: wow my dish is done over chat

Nags: hahah this is awesome

me: yeah, thank God you were available, i just logged in to check ..

12:31 PM Nags: :)

me: after cutting all stuff and keeping the pan on the stove
take care have a great day ahead

Nags: u too

me: catch u later

Nags: bye for now

me: have to go pick her now:D

From the time stamp in the above chat conversation, you can deduce that my dish was done in 5 minutes!

Here's the recipe:


Mushrooms - I used button mushrooms - about 1 1/2 cups after halving each
Broccoli - 1 big head cut cut into floret
Onions - 2 medium sized - finely chopped
Garlic - 2 - 3 cloves - peeled and pounded
Tomatoes - 2 - finely chopped

Salt - to taste
Pepper - to taste
Oil - 2 tsp


  • Heat oil and saute the onions and garlic
  • Add the tomatoes, mushrooms and broccoli and stir fry until the mushrooms and broccoli are cooked
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well

Serve with Rice/ Chapathi

In case anyone is wondering: I actually keep chopped tomatoes ready in the refrigerator each day, so I could quickly grab the box and add them to this dish. This makes it so much easier to cook pasta or tomato chutney or any dish requiring tomato as a base. I also have chopped onions, peeled ginger and garlic ready for use everyday. And yes, I was chatting from the kitchen.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Crab Curry

Here is the recipe for Crab curry.


Crab - medium sized - 12 - with the legs, cleaned and cut
Onions - 3 - finely chopped
Tomatoes - 3 - finely chopped
Ginger - peeled and pounded - 2-3inch sized/ 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Water - 1/2 cup

For the masala paste:

Grated coconut - 1 cup
Sesame seeds - 2 tbsp (optional)
Coriander seeds - 3 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tbsp
Red chillies - 3-4 (or more depending on taste)
Black pepper - 1tsp
Water - 2tbsp

For tempering/ garnish:

Onions - 1 whole chopped lengthwise
Coriander leaves - chopped
Oil - 1 tbsp


  • Dry roast all the ingredients for the masala paste, let cool, and grind to a smooth paste with little water and keep aside
  • In a wide bottomed pan mix the chopped onions and tomatoes, ginger and crab and a little water and leave to boil until crab is cooked (You will get a lovely smell of the crab meat and can check with a fork or knife if the meat is soft enough). Add water in between if you want lots of gravy with the curry, else let it be semi dry
  • Add the masala and mix well by tossing with two ladles and keep covered on low flame and cook for another 5 minutes, increase the flame and then let it simmer for another 2 minutes before you turn off
  • Keep a tadka pan and heat the oil, add the onions and let it caramelize into a dark brown, pour it on top of the curry and also garnish with chopped coriander leaves

Serve with rice/ chapathi