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Thursday, December 27, 2012


Baklava is a sweet pastry made of layers of phyllo dough filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with honey. A Greek favorite that makes everyone's mouth water. It is the yummiest and finger-licking sweet that i am up for at any time of the day. With a few ingredients it is easy to make a whole batch at your home. Everything tastes better when it is homemade. And here goes the recipe,

1 (16 oz) package Phyllo dough
4 cups whole raw Walnuts
1/2 cup melted Butter
1 tsp ground Cinnamon
1 1/2 cups Water
1 1/2 cups + 1/4 cup White Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
3/4 cup Honey
1 tsp Rose water

How to:
  • Thaw the phyllo dough according to the directions on the package.
  • Meanwhile, make the sauce by boiling water and 1 1/2 cups sugar until the sugar is melted. 
  • Reduce the heat, then add vanilla, rose water and honey and simmer for 20 mins until it thickens slightly.
  • Let the sauce sit in the refrigerator until you finish baking.
  • Roast the walnuts on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 mins. Let cool and finely chop'em.
  • In a bowl, toss the nuts along with cinnamon and 1/4 cup of sugar and keep it aside.
  • Coat a 9x13 baking pan lightly with butter and set aside.
  • Unroll the thawed phyllo dough and with the nuts and melted butter ready, let's start layering.
  • Place two sheets of dough in the pan, butter thoroughly with a silicone basting brush. Repeat this until you have 8 sheets layered.
  • Now sprinkle 3-4 tbsp of nut mixture on top, place 2 sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. Keep aside 8 sheets for the top layer.
  • Once layered, place the pan in the refrigerator for 15 mins. 
  • With a sharp knife, cut the layers deep enough but not all the way through and brush the top with butter.
  • Meanwhile preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Bake for 40 mins, until golden on top.
  • Immediately spoon the cooled syrup all over the hot baklava. 
  • Let cool completely and rest overnight before you serve.
  • Store at room temperature by loosely wrapping with a newspaper.
  • Allowing it to rest for 4-5 days before serving really soaks up the goodness of the syrup.
  • It takes time to get comfortable with phyllo dough. Cover the unwrapped phyllo dough with a plastic wrap and lay a slightly wet paper towel over it to prevent drying.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Roasted Eggplant and Garlicky Dip

This is such an easy and healthy dip that would go well with pretty much everything. It tastes great with dosa, cooked rice, toasted bread, pita chips and crackers. The garlic adds so much flavor, the red onions give it a nice crunch and the chunky eggplants adds a great texture. And last but not least, you will get a guaranteed 'good great job' pat from your spouse just like i did. And here goes the recipe,

2 medium Eggplants (or 1 large)
10-12 Garlic pods
4 small Green Chilli (finely chopped)
1/4 cup Red onion (finely chopped)
1/4 cup Cilantro (finely chopped)
2 tbsp Olive oil
 How to:
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Wash the eggplants, cut the stem off and make 4 slits lengthwise.

  • Open the slits gently and stuff the garlic and green chilli.

  • Place the eggplant on a foil, sprinkle salt and drizzle olive oil over it.

  • Wrap the eggplant tightly and place it in a oven safe dish and bake for an hour.

  • Once baked, remove the foil immediately and carefully slide the roasted eggplants into the dish.

  • Cut  the eggplants and mash'em along with the skin and check the salt for taste.

  • Let it cool completely, add the onions and cilantro, mix well.

  • Serve at room temperature or chilled with chips or crackers.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Badam Kulfi (Almond Ice cream)

Kulfi is a frozen dessert which is not whipped like the regular ice cream. It is more richer, more denser and hence it takes more time to melt. I found this recipe at Manjula's Kitchen and was very excited to try it. Thanks Manjula for this scrumptious dessert. 

A cold treat to end the summer! This lusciously smooth kulfi takes you to your dreamier world. It is infused with cardamom and added almonds for a nice crunch. The kulfi dissolves in your mouth and you just can't keep your spoon down. Do enjoy this Indian ice cream at your home. And here goes the recipe,

4 cups Whole Milk
1/4 cup Sugar
1 White Bread Slice
1tsp Cornstarch
1/2tsp Cardamom (Coarsely ground)
10 Almonds (chopped)
How to:

  • Remove the crust off of the bread and slice'em into squares. 

  • Blend together 1/2 cup milk, bread pieces and cornstarch to a smooth paste.

  • In a wide pan, boil the remaining milk at medium-high heat by stirring the pan continuously.

  • Once it comes to boil, let the milk cook for another 12 mins until it is reduced. 
  • Now reduce the heat to medium and pour the bread-cornstarch mixture and cook for 4 mins, until it thickens.

  • Then add the sugar and chopped almonds, mix well and cook for another couple of mins.

  • Finally switch off and add the cardamom powder.

  • Let it cool completely and pour the mixture in to a bowl. Wrap the bowl with a plastic wrap, making sure it touches the top of the milk mixture.

  • Freeze it overnight and serve cold garnished with more almonds.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

Well, its another way to add some healthy crunch to your diet. Chickpeas are a great source of protein and fiber. These roasted chickpeas are pretty addictive and keeps your bag of potato chips at bay. It is a great on-the-go snack and you can munch anytime guilt-free. What more to say, snack on it and you will love it just like i did. Here goes the recipe,


1 1/2 cups Chickpeas/Garbanzo beans (soaked)
1/2tbsp Olive Oil
1/2tsp or less Chilli powder
How to:
  • Pressure cook the soaked chickpeas for 2-3 whistles. (Alternatively, you can use canned garbanzo beans. Make sure you rinse thoroughly and pat dry.)
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lay the chickpeas over a paper towel and dry'em completely.

  • Place them on a baking sheet and add the oil, chilli powder and salt.

  • Mix'em with your hands and make sure they aren't crowded.

  • Bake for 45 mins, until crispy.

  • Let it cool on the sheet before storing it.
  • Serve as a evening snack with tea or coffee.


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