I have many complaints that I dont publish many vegetarian dishes. So here is one specially for my vegetarian friends.
Matar Paneer is a popular North Indian recipe and is one of my staple cooks when I have vegetarian friends over.  Its a very simple recipe and doesnt need much fine chopping and saves a lot of time.

Matar Paneer (Peas and cottage cheese curry)

250 gms paneer/cottage cheese cut into triangular 1 inch pieces
1 cup frozen peas
3 medium sized ripe red tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 green chilies, chopped
1 inch ginger, chopped
5-6  garlic chopped
5-6 cashews

4 to 5 black peppercorns
2 to 3 cloves
½ inch cinnamon
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp kasoori methi
½ tsp cumin seeds/jeera
¼ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
¼ to ½ tsp red chili powder
½ tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp cream
½ tsp sugar 
2 to 2.5 tbsp oil or ghee
Coriander leaves


  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, add 1 inch cinnamon, cloves, pepper corns, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds and saute. 
  2. Add onion and a pinch of salt and saute for 5 mins till translucent.
  3. Add green chillies, ginger, garlic and saute for another 2-3 mins. 
  4. Now add tomatoes and cashews and saute till the tomatoes are mushy. Keep this mixture aside to cool and then blend it in a blender to get a coarse paste.
  5. Now heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and when hot add ½ tsp cumin seeds.
  6. When the cumin splutters, add the paneer and saute it for a bit.  You can add the paneer pieces directly later into the masalas too if you dont liked it sauteed in oil.
  7. Now add the masala paste and mix well. 
  8. Add the frozen peas and mix well
  9. Add a pinch of turmeric powder, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp coriander powder and 1/2 tsp garam masala powder and mix well.
  10. Cover and cook till a good boil. Add salt according to taste and add water if you find the gravy too thick. I add a pinch of sugar to this - however you can decide based on your taste.
  11. Garnish with 1 tbsp cream (or more based on your taste) and a 1/2 tsp of crushed kasoori methi and cook for 2 mins.
  12. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves and serve this hot with chapatis

Note: In case you are using fresh peas, you may have to cook the peas separately in water till cooked and then add it to this gravy as frozen peas is almost cooked and doesnt need much cooking.

It is difficult to live in Hyderabad with Konkani tastes :) . I have had fish 2-3 times in a week for most of my life but we do not get good fresh sea water fish easily in Hyderabad.

WhiteBait is one fish which is slightly easily available. Apparently this fish flows from the sea to the river and hence probably it is available here...or maybe it is just transported from the coasts. So I deep fried WhiteBait (Belanji in Konkani, also called Bolanjeer ) for lunch today. 

This is one fish which can be eaten with its bones. Since its a small fish we deep fry it and the bones add to crunchiness to the fritters.

Deep Fried Fish (Konkani Style)

Here is my Konkani simple fish fry recipe

250 gms of white bait,cut, scaled and cleaned
Pinch of turmeric, 
1 tsp red chilli powder 
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
Salt to taste
Oil - 500 ml
Rava - Semolina - 100 gms

1. Clean the fish. Remove the head, the tail and the scales. 


2. Marinate it with salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and ginger garlic paste and keep aside for 15-30 mins. 


3. Heat oil in a vessel for deep frying on medium heat till it is very hot (almost smoking).

4. Roll the fish in Rava (Suji, Semolina) and rice flour (in 3:1 proportion) and deep fry on medium flame. Fry in batches of 10 fish at a time. Fry on both sides till the Fish is golden frown and crispy. Since this fish is very small it cooks easily.

This recipe can be used to fry almost any fish but since it  needs a lot of oil, I prefer the Tawa fry Fish. WhiteBait is too small and hence this is the preferred way to cook it. 

Note: Reposting this today with a clearer picture 
Was in a mood today for some south Indian flavors of chicken. As was searching online came across this simple and quick recipe Curry Leaf and pepper Chicken recipe from my favorite chef - Sanjay Thumma.
The best part about this dish is that it doesnt require any fine chopping and dicing and hence saves a lot of time. Once ready, I am sure you are going to love the aroma of Curry leaves and pepper that fills the house :)
Here is my recipe for Curry Leaf and Pepper Chicken

Curry leaf and Pepper Chicken

Chicken  - 500 Grams
Curry leaves  - 3 Sprigs
Onion - 2 medium sized roughly chopped
Tomatoes   - 2 Medium sized roughly chopped
Ginger - 1 inch cut into small pieces
Garlic - 5-7 cloves
Grated Coconut  - 2 tbsp

Fennel seeds -  1 tsp
Oil   - 2 tbsp
Coriander powder  - 1 tsp
Chilly powder   - 2 tsp
Turmeric  - a pinch
Pepper -  2 tbsp roughly crushed
Coriander chopped - optional


  1. Take 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Heat it and when hot, add onions and saute. Add some salt to fasten the cooking. 
  2. 2 mins into the sauteeing, add roughly chopped ginger and garlic and saute
  3. When the onions are translucent (no need to brown it), add the tomatoes and saute well.
  4. Cook for 2 mins and then add turmeric, chilli powder and coriander powder and grated coconut
  5. Saute well, add 1/2 cup water, put the lid on and let it cook for 5 mins.
  6. When done, remove from heat and let it cool. Blend in a blender to a coarsepaste. I like it rough because that goes well with the chappatis.
  7. Heat oil in a pan and when hot, add fennel seeds.After a minute add a handful of curry leaves and saute.
  8. Now add the chicken pieces and some salt and 1 tsp crushed pepper and saute for 5 to 10 mins till the chicken is white and almost cooked.
  9.  Now add the onion -tomato paste, mix it well with the chicken and let it cook for 20 minutes with the lid on. Adjust the water and salt according to your taste.
  10. Add some more crushed pepper and serve with chappatis, dosa, appams or rice.
  11. You can also garnish with chopped coriander.
This dish is like the western concept of Sunday Roast for my family. We grew up eating this tasty chicken curry prepared with all the traditional Konkani spices on most Sundays, accompanied by Sol Kadi and Fish Fry . Though chicken is not part of our staple diet, somehow this curry is prepared in this same way in most Konkani households. I always wonder how and when this dish entered into our traditional recipes.
This dish has a very strong aroma and I somehow associate the aroma of this dish with Sunday afternoons :)

Here is my mom's recipe perfected over the years. This dish has all the ingredients that go well with chicken and I have never gone wrong with this one. 

Traditional Konkani chicken curry

  • Chicken - 1 kg
  • 4 medium Sized Onions - finely chopped
  • Tomato  - 2 finely chopped
  • Coriander leaves -1 bunch
  • Ginger-garlic paste 2 tea spn
  • Sun flower Oil 
  • Ghee
  • Salt

Brown Masala
  • Pepper 7-8
  • Cloves 4
  • Cinnamon  - 2 inch
  • Shahi jeera - 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
  • Cardamom (Elaichi) - 1
  • Red chillies (Bedgi)- 7-8
  • Poppy Seeds(Khus Khus) 1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds (Saunf)- 1 tsp
  • Coconut  - 1 cup
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • pinch of haldi
  • Tamarind - lemon sized ball

For the Green Paste
  • 1 cup of coriander leaves with stalk
  • handful of mint leaves
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 1 inch ginger piece
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic

  1. Make a fine paste by grinding together roughly chopped ingredients listed under for the green paste.
  2. Take a pan and dry roast all the ingredients under Red Masala except the tamarind. Take care not to burn the spices. When the spices leave out a good aroma, cool it and then grind it to fine paste with tamarind and water. Keep this red masala aside.
  3. Clean and Marinate 1 kg chicken with green paste and salt for atleast an hour before cooking
  4. Take a pressure cooker and add 1 tsp sunflower oil and 1 tsp to it. When the oil is hot, add the finely chopped onions and saute it till brown.
  5. Add 2 finely chopped tomatoes and saute it till mushy.
  6. Add the marinated chicken to the cooker and mix well.Add 1/2 cup of water and pressure cook it for 1 whistle and then simmer on low for another 10 mins. Be careful here to not overcook the chicken. If you are unsure about using a pressure cooker, you can just cover and cook it till the chicken is almost (80%) cooked.
  7. Now add the brown masala to the chicken and cook it for good boil. You can add some dried Sol for additional color and sourness.
  8. Cook it for 10 more mins on a slow flame.Adjust the salt and water according to taste.
  9. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with Pav (Bread) or Chapatis

There is a new place in town called Simply South by Chef Chalapathi Rao. We went there recently and had their heavenly Kerala stew with Appams and fell in love with this dish. The coconut milk was light and aromatic and the taste of the dish still lingers.
Here is my version of the stew. 

  1. Slice 1 carrot, 1 potato, 12 beansinto cubes of equal sizes and keep aside
  2. In a pan, heat 1 tsp coconut oil.
  3. Add the spices - 3-4 cloves, 1 cinnamon, 2 cardamom and 1/2 tsp black pepper and saute till for 2 mins.
  4. Add 1 finely chopped onion to it and saute it. Add finely chopped 1 inch ginger and 5-6 garlic flakes and saute till the onions become transparent. Don't let it become brown.
  5. Add 1 handful of curry leaves and 2-3 finely chopped green chillies and saute it for a few more minutes.
  6. Add the sliced vegetables and saute well.
  7. Now add 1 cup of thin coconut milk *, salt and bring it to boil.
  8. Lower the flame, cover and cook it till vegetables are soft for around 10 mins.
  9. Now add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of thick coconut milk * and cook for another five more minutes.
  10. Garnish with curry leaves fried in coconut oil.
  11. You can serve this vegetable stew with chapatis, appams or rice.

*Thick and Thin Coconut milk
  1. Take 1/2 coconut and grate it. Blend it in the mixer with water and a pinch of salt to a fine paste. Strain the first batch and this gives you thick coconut milk
  2. When the same leftover coconut is again blended in the mixer with more water and strained, you get a batch of thin coconut milk.
This post is long due. Tried my hand at cupcakes for the first time on Anya's 3rd birthday last October.
Wanted to make simple fluffy chocolate cupcake and followed this recipe from YoutubeI tried a small batch a week in advance and once that came out well, multipled the same ingredients by 6 for a larger batch of 50 cup cakes.

Here is a the recipe for a small batch of 8 cup cakes. While making cakes, I somehow don't like the hassle of mixing one ingredient at a time or the order given in the recipe. I always tend to just add all ingredients in the bowl and then mix it well and the cakes have always turned out to be good.

This is how I made it and it turned out to be really nice and soft and the children loved it.

Chocolate Cup Cakes

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius. Line 8 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. As the oven is heating up, Take 3 tbsp buttermilk, 1 large egg, 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract, 3 tbsp unsalted melted butter, and  1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/8 tsp baking soda,  1/8 tsp salt  and 1/3 cup sugar in a bowl. Combine everything well and whisk it.

2.  I added some choco chips to the batter before putting it into the muffin cups for added chocolate :)
3.  Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and cook it for around 20 mins. This depends on your oven so please keep checking until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the muffin cups from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Chocolate Cup Cakes

I prepared these a day in advance and kept it in air tight containers.
On the day of the birthday, I made chocolate ganache* and decorated the cupcakes with it. Sprinkled a generous topping of sprinkles and gems and the cake was perfect for a birthday party for toddlers :)

*Simple Chocolate Ganache Recipe
1. Heat 200 ml of Amul Cream in a pan. When it comes to a boil, add it to 1 cup of Chocolate chips and let it soak for a minute.
2. Now whisk the chocolate till they mix well 
3. You can add a bit of Vanilla essence if you feel like or a dollop of Amul butter. Keep it in the fridge and scoop it on the cake before serving.

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