Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Chicken Corn Soup

I was talking to my cousin the other day when she started telling me about this soup. It sounded so easy and fun to make that I tried it as soon as I got the corn.

There are no measurements as such for the ingredients. Everything can be added as per one's taste.

It's really simple. Here's what you need to do: Boil a piece of chicken with a little ginger garlic paste, salt, black pepper, and corn. After the chicken is fully boiled, take it out, shred it to small pieces, and add it back to the soup. Discard the bones.

Add dissolved cornflour to the soup till it reaches desired thickness.

Now comes the fun part. Beat an egg. Add it to the soup while stirring constantly and it'll get all cooked! And it gives the soup it's typical ghastly look. (I never knew this)

Apart from corn other vegetables that can be used are: peas, carrots, and/or cabbage.

1/2 cup boiled pasta can also be added or add pasta at the beginning so that it gets cooked along with the chicken and vegetables.

Drizzle some soy sauce and hot sauce when serving.

These days I'm making this soup every other day as it's lovely to have it in winter.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Weekend tea party

We had some guests over the weekend for tea so we made peach trifle and chicken patties, along with some other snacks.

Peach Trifle

Things that need to be prepared are custard and jelly primarily, the rest is mere assembling.

There are some amazing technical tips
for custard preparation and cooling that can be seen in the video for Mango Trifle (by chef Rahat) here. The idea of adding fresh cream to custard is simply awesome!

First lay down cake slices. Any plain sponge or butter cake will do. My mom says chocolate cake is the best choice as it gives a superb taste when combined with peaches in the trifle.

Soak the cake slices with fruit cocktail syrup or orange juice, for a few minutes.

Next lay down the peaches,
finely chopped. (either fresh or canned)

Slightly beat the prepared jelly with fork and spread it over the fruit.

Lastly spread the cooled custard and decorate with fresh cream (beaten) or peach slices.

Chicken Patties

I used ready made puff pastry. The recipe for the filling is by chef Rahat.

For the filling

1 cup boneless chicken, finely chopped and fully boiled

2 pinches salt

1/4th teaspoon red chilli powder

1 medium onion, finely chopped

Saute onion with 1 tablespoon butter and mix it with the above ingredients.

Place about 1 tablespoon filling in each puff pastry square. Fold and bake.

Filling makes around 15 patties.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Orange tarts... On an autumn's day

Autumn is here at last! And a pleasant one it is so far. The wind is blowing without any traces of dust. This change in weather is making us all the more hungrier than ever before.

I had bought butter and cream cheese to make these tarts but instead I used the butter to make the Peach Upside Down cake first.

I had to shoot the tarts in an emergency once again, as we couldn't keep our hands off of them when they came out of the oven.

They have an extremely delicious taste owing to the cream cheese. The recipe I used is from here. The pastry is very soft and delicate. It melts in your mouth when you take a bite.

A tart for breakfast or one after lunch is just heavenly!

For the Pastry

1/2 cup (113 grams approximately) butter, softened

1/3rd cup sugar

3 tablespoons milk

1/4th teaspoon vanilla essence

1/4th teaspoon salt

1 and 1/3rd cups flour

For the Filling

8 ounces (220 grams approximately) cream cheese, softened

1/4th cup sugar

3 tablespoons flour

1 egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

2 teaspoons orange juice

Beat all pastry ingredients except for flour.

Add flour. Mix to form dough.

Divide the dough equally in 12 portions to be placed in a 12-cup muffin/cupcake tray. The tray does not need to be greased.

Press pastry on the bottom and sides of the cup with finger tips.

Preheat oven to 375ºF/ 190ºC.

In a bowl beat all filling ingredients. Using a spoon place the filling over the pastry in each cup.

Bake for 15 - 20 minutes. Pastry should be light brown around the edges.

Cool completely and refrigerate.

Monday, 4 October 2010

French delight

This sour cream dish can be a main course for lunch. It can also be had at tea-time or brunch.

Bake it in a 12 regular sized muffin/cupcake tray to serve it as an appetizer.

This recipe I got from my neighbor.

I baked it for lunch time. We were eager to have it straight away so I had to get a picture of it in quite an emergency.


200 grams Puff Pastry

200 grams sour cream

2 eggs

1/4th teaspoon salt

1/4th teaspoon back pepper

1/4th teaspoon red chilli powder

1 tablespoon flour

2 tablespoons mushrooms, finely chopped

2 tablespoons tomatoes, finely chopped

Roll out pastry and fix in baking pan.

Beat all ingredients except mushrooms and tomatoes.

Add mushrooms and tomatoes. Mix well.

Other options for the topping are some finely chopped capsicum or spring onion.

Pour mixture over the puff pastry.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in a preheated oven at 175
°C. Broil or bake from top for 3 minutes for a light brown color.

Serve warm.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Yummy Peaches

Here's what you do with too many peaches: Make a peach cake! This recipe is by chef Rahat. The best part about this recipe is that it requires no intense beating. The mixing is all done with spoon.

I love to take pictures of food. I was really excited to shoot this slice as luckily the sunlight was absolutely gorgeous that day. I took loads of pictures and finalized with this one below.

Peach Upside Down Cake

3-4 large peaches, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons lemon juice

3/4th cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder

1 tablespoon flour

1/4th cup butter, melted

Grind the sugar. In a bowl, mix all of the above ingredients with spoon.

Grease any oven proof glass dish or cake-baking pan. A glass dish is preferable though, as it will be easy to cut out slices from it later.

Pour the fruit mixture into the greased dish.

This picture was taken when the cake was fresh out of the oven

For the cake

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup sugar

1/4th cup milk

1 or 2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 210
°C/425°F /Gas mark 6 for 10 to 15 minutes. Grind the sugar.

In a clean dry bowl mix flour, baking powder and sugar with spoon. Make a well or depression in the center. Add butter, egg and milk (a little more than 1/4th cup ). Close the well with spoon and mix it till smooth.

Pour the batter on the fruit prepared above. Level the top with a slightly wet spoon.
Bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm and upside down.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Take two at carrot cake

This cake I baked with carrots unlike the last time when we did not have any carrots. I used the same recipe as before which is here but for the icing I followed instructions from here.

The icing is not compulsory but I had to do it because this cake was primarily meant for guests.

I liked this icing more. The only drawback associated with fresh cream icing is that it is perishable even if refrigerated. Hence it needs to be consumed as quickly as possible which is not a problem considering that it tastes better than the one done with icing sugar.

It's always a good idea to keep the serving size small.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Muffins or Cupcakes? Yes, there is a difference!

Our new found love: Cupcakes! :)

My sister made batches and batches of cupcakes during Ramadhan from Betty Crocker's French Vanilla cake mix.

I managed to get a few pictures of them before they vanished.

There's actually a difference between cupcakes and muffins.

Cupcakes are basically mini-cakes so you use any cake's recipe and bake cupcakes out of it. Simple as that!

Their bake time is around 20 minutes at 175
° C.

They are sweeter, lighter in weight and smaller in size than muffins. They are a special occasion delicacy because of their fancy decor (icing).

Muffins on the other hand come from the family of bread. Unlike cakes their inner texture is not very soft. They are sweeter than bread though.

They are plain on the outside and usually have some filling (fruits or nuts) inside.

They require no icing and make for an ideal breakfast. They are best served warm with a little butter perhaps.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

The perfect muffins

One fine day my sister got bitten by the baking bug so she baked these muffins. I wanted appropriate sunlight to take good pictures of them. The days went by but it seems the sun just refused to shine with all its intensity on purpose.

Today was yet another day of this nature until it dawned upon me that the sunlight might never be the way I want it to be and by waiting any further there might not be any muffins left at all to shoot considering the speed at which they were being consumed.

There is no point in waiting for the 'perfect light' or a 'perfect moment' in life. We have to grab whatever is available to us right now and make the most out of it. So I finally shot the muffins.

Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 cup milk

1/3rd cup vegetable oil

1 egg

2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Grease muffin tray with oil or line with paper cups. Its always a good idea to use paper cups as it saves you the trouble of washing the muffin tray later.

Preheat oven to 400ºF/205ºC. Beat milk, oil and egg. Add sugar and beat.

In a separate bowl mix flour, salt and baking powder. Add to above mixture and beat well till smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.

Divide batter equally among muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes.

This recipe makes 12 muffins. Original recipe can be found here.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Cookies on demand

We just finished a grand lunch all prepared by my sister. The next thing we know it, we were craving for dessert!

My sister wanted me to make sugar cookies but I was putting it on hold for no particular reason.

That's when my sister took a poll on Twitter: 'Who wants CookieNF to bake sugar cookies?' I got enough votes from there that finally compelled me to bake these cookies.

The recipe I used is from here.

Sugar Cookies

3/4th cup sugar

2/3rd cup oil

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

2 cups flour

Mix sugar, oil, baking powder, salt, eggs and vanilla with spoon. Stir in flour.

Drop dough by teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart on baking tray.

There is no need to grease the tray.

Flatten balls with finger until 1/4 - inch thickness.

Preheat oven to 400º F/205º C. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven immediately.

Do not wait for them to go hard in the oven. Cool completely.

Recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Rejoice at the sight of a ripe banana

Isn't it amazing the way life takes you by surprise? And that too when you least expect it!

It was just another ordinary day until I spotted a ripe banana (Please note "ripe" and not rotten).

For some odd reason I thought we were out of bananas so I was absolutely thrilled to see this particular ripe one because I wanted to make banana muffins. The recipe I followed is from here.

Banana Cinnamon Muffins

2/3rd cup sugar

1/2 cup oil

2 eggs

2/3rd cup mashed ripe banana

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 & 2/3rd cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder

Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C.

Grease muffin tray with oil or line with paper cups. I would advise using paper cups as washing the muffin/cupcake tray is not an easy job!

Mix flour, soda, salt and cinnamon powder.

Beat sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla essence and the mashed banana. Add in the flour mixture. Beat or mix till smooth.

Divide batter equally among the muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes.

Serve warm at breakfast or tea time.

This recipe makes 12 regular sized muffins.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Party with pizza

I have tried some pizza recipes over the past few years but this recipe by chef Rahat is my all time favorite.

Its pretty simple to follow and gives amazing results.

Follow all instructions closely (specially for the sauce and dough) and it will surely turn out great.

Pizza Sauce

1 clove garlic

1/2 kg tomatoes ( 5 to 6 approx. )

pinch of salt

2 pinches sugar

1/4th teaspoon red chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon oregano

2 tablespoons cooking oil

Heat oil. Saute chopped garlic. Add tomatoes, roughly chopped. Season with salt, red chilli powder, oregano, sugar. Stir well.

Cook covered on low flame for an hour, stirring occasionally. Then blend in blender.

Store sauce bottled in refrigerator.

The Dough

3 cups flour

3/4th teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon yeast

Mix salt, sugar and flour. Make a well in the center and add yeast. Add some water in the center and mix with spoon. Then make dough by adding water gradually. Dough will be sticky.

Slightly grease a bowl with oil. Place dough in this bowl and cover it with a wet cloth.
Keep dough in some dark warm place till it grows in size.

Later mix the dough well to form a smooth ball. Roll out dough and spread it on a greased round baking pan.

Note: For medium crust thickness make 2 pizzas out of this dough.


For the topping I usually use sausages or any left over chicken but here's the proper recipe to prepare it:

300grams boneless chicken

1 or 2 tablespoons oil

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons lemon juice

sliced mushrooms

salt, to taste

Heat oil. Saute chopped garlic. Add boneless chicken. Stir fry. Add some water, lemon juice and some salt.

Cook till water dries up. Add mushrooms. Dish out and cool slightly.


This is the final stage.

When everything is ready preheat oven to 250
° C/480° F.

Spread the dough on a greased baking pan. Next spread some pizza sauce and some mozzarella cheese. Spread the cooked topping, level it with fork. Then cheese again, followed by few onion rings and capsicum strips.

Lastly sprinkle
1/2 teaspoon oregano, drizzle some hot sauce and very little olive oil on top.

Now the pizza is ready to go in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes.

Note: You can also use a combination of cheddar cheese & mozzarella cheese.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Devour the chocolate

At Nando's restaurant they have this delicious chocolate cake slice. So far it is the yummiest cake slice I have ever tasted.

Since the past few days we were longing to have it and the feeling would not go away.

Sadly there's no outlet of Nando's in our city. This left us no choice but to hunt for a recipe that would give us a closest replica to that divine cake slice so me and my sister baked this cake. Recipe is by chef Rahat.

Chocolate Cake

125 g butter

1 and 1/2 cups flour

2 eggs

3/4th cup cocoa powder

1 cup regular sugar

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 180° C/350° F.

Grind sugar in chopper and keep separate.

Beat eggs with vanilla essence.

In a separate bowl mix together: flour, sugar, cocoa and soda. Add butter, eggs and milk. Beat till mixture is smooth.

Pour batter in greased baking pan.

I would advise to line bottom of pan with butter paper and then grease it a little with oil because it helps to remove the cake easily from the pan when baked.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or till knife inserted in center comes out clean.

For the icing:

Always cool the cake completely before icing it.

For the icing I followed the instructions
here. Made a few exceptions though. I used 200g fresh cream and 1 tablespoon cocoa powder with 1 tablespoon sugar.

Monday, 28 June 2010

The baking must go on!

I returned from the supermarket and felt this strong urge to bake something.

Mom wanted me to somehow consume the brown sugar. We had no butter in the house and were in no mood to go out again for it so I began rummaging through the recipe diaries, just then I remembered that we had been wanting to try out chef Rahat's carrot cake recipe since quite sometime.

Actually I had made it last year for my colleagues and they all had liked it alot. Most of them thought it was a chocolate cake! I think its because it uses brown sugar and so it tastes even better than Betty Crocker's carrot cake recipe.

Baking always gets us excited :) so when I finally announced that I want to bake this cake, my sister got up to do the work.We had no carrots and my sister does not like nuts but we still went ahead with the recipe because the baking must go on!

Carrot Cake

3 eggs

1 cup oil

pinch of salt

1 and 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon powder

1 and 1/4 cups dark brown sugar

2 cups or less carrots, pealed and shredded

3/4th cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.

Mix together flour,baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon powder. Keep it aside.

Beat sugar,eggs and oil with pinch of salt. Fold in flour mixture.

Stir in carrots and walnuts.

Pour batter in baking pan.

I prefer to
line bottom of pan with butter paper and grease it too rather than just greasing it.

Bake for 25 minutes or till knife inserted in center comes out clean.

For the icing: Mix 1 and 1/2 cups icing sugar with approximately 3 tablespoons milk. Spread on cooled cake.

Note: Icing is not necessary for this cake. I did it only because we had some leftover icing sugar.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Come to the dark side, we have cookies!

This is my all time favorite recipe.

My sister was baking cookies for the first time so we decided to split the recipe and go ahead with half of all the ingredients.

recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies and that's quite a lot of work for beginners in baking.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 and 1/4 cups regular sugar

1 and 1/4 cups brown sugar

225g butter

1/2 cup oil

1 tablespoon vanilla essence

2 eggs

4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl beat both sugars, butter, oil, vanilla essence and eggs.

Caution! At this stage the batter tastes extremely yummy so please avoid licking it.

In another dry bowl first mix the dry ingredients (i.e. flour, salt & baking soda) then add it to the above mixture with spoon.

Mix well with hands to form dough. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F.

Take a tablespoon of dough and make a cookie. Place cookies on a cookie sheet or baking tray.

There is no need to grease the tray.

Bake for 10 minutes ONLY. Cool slightly. Remove tray from oven and cool completely.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Staring my baking blog

After baking passionately for the past few years, I am finally starting my own baking blog.

This idea was given to me by my very dear friend shumaila.
When I had told her about my love for baking few months ago, she had suggested that I blog about it. At that time I was busy working as a programmer and had no time for anything.

I always wanted to gather all my favorite recipes at one place for quicker accessibility and so for that purpose, what better way than blogging!

This recipe that I am sharing is adapted from here. I like to call it the 'Apple Cake'. It goes best with tea at breakfast.

My sister is having a go at baking these days so I am guiding her as I take pictures for my blog.

Apple Cake

3 eggs

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups regular sugar

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Apples, peeled and finely chopped (2 cups)

1 cup chopped nuts (almonds or walnuts) - optional

Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F.

Grease and flour baking cake pan.

I prefer to line bottom of pan with butter paper and then grease it too. This not only helps to remove the cake from the pan when baked but also makes washing the pan a great deal easier as the pan will be practically clean!

In a clean dry bowl first mix the dry ingredients i.e. flour, salt, cinnamon powder & baking soda.

Now in a separate bowl beat sugar, oil, vanilla essence and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in flour mixture until smooth. Stir in chopped apples and nuts.

Pour batter into the pan. Bake for 30 minutes or till knife inserted in center comes out clean.