Sunday, January 1, 2012

Gluten- free Tea Cookies

I have recently discovered that I am gluten intolerant which is not so exciting as I love to cook, bake and eat! I love to have cookies with my tea and I have been sorely missing the 'Marie biscuits' with my tea. I used to make these tea cookies with all purpose flour, which I have now made using gluten-free flour. I used 'King Arthur's Gluten- free all purpose flour' from Whole Foods. I got reasonably good results and even my friends and children who are not gluten intolerant did not notice the difference.
I have been experimenting with other gluten-free flours and I shall soon write about the other things I have tried. 


  1. Soft unsalted butter - 226g ( 1Cup)
  2. Superfine sugar - 1/2 cup + 5 tbsp for coating cookies.
  3. Gluten free all purpose flour - 2.5 cups 
  4. Finely chopped mixed nuts or almond meal - 3/4 cup
  5. Salt - 1/8 tsp
  6. Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
  7. Baking powder - 1tsp
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.
  2. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
  3. Sift the flour with salt and baking powder. Keep aside.
  4. Add in the vanilla extract to the butter.
  5. Slowly add the flour and roll into a soft dough.
  6. Roll into 1" diameter balls and place on parchment.
  7. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until just golden.
  8. Remove and when still warm, roll into the sugar to coat. Place on cooling rack. Serve when cool.
NOTE: The gluten free flour can be substituted by all purpose flour for a non- gluten free version.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Spiced Caramel Corn

Great snack for the winter. Very addicitng...enjoy...
  1. Popped unsalted corn - 1 microwave bag or 12 cups
  2. Salted mixed nuts or nuts of choice- 1 cup
  3. Brown Sugar - 1 cup
  4. Light Corn syrup - 1/4 cup
  5. Unsalted butter - 1 stick ( 113g or 8 Tbsp)
  6. Salt - 1tsp
  7. Cayenne powder - 1 tsp
  8. Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
  9. Cream of Tartar - 1/8 tsp (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 225 deg F. Line a baking sheet with parchement.
  2. Place popcorn and nuts in a large bowl.
  3. Heat a thick bottomed pan. Add in the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt and bring to a boil. It is a good idea to use a wooden spoon. 
  4. Add in the baking soda, cream of Tartar and cayenne powder- reduce heat and stir continuously for about 4 minutes or till the syrup turns an amber colour.
  5. Pour the caramel into the bowl with the popcorn and nuts and mix to coat the popcorn well. Be careful in this step as the caramel is very hot and can burn your skin easily.
  6. Turn out the coated popcorn onto the baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour or till the popcorn is slightly dry, occasionally stirring the popcorn.
  7. Once it is completely cool, store in an airtight jar.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pinwheel Cookies

Love these cookies! These were one of the first cookies I had ever baked! These are great to make with your kids . Basically a shortbread cookie, one flavored with chocolate and the other vanilla which are rolled into a log, cut in slices and baked. Often I make a double batch and freeze one batch to bake later.


  1. All purpose flour(APF) - 3cups
  2. Powdered sugar - 1 cup
  3. Room temp. unsalted butter - 1 cup
  4. Unsweetened chocolate, melted - 3oz(85 g)
  5. Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
  6. Baking powder - 3/4 tsp
  7. Salt - 1/4 tsp
  8. Milk - 1 tbsp
  9. Egg, lightly beaten - 1
  1. Sift the APF, salt and baking powder together. Keep aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar till light in colour. Add in the egg and milk and mix.
  3. Add in the flour and mix just till it comes together. DO NOT OVERWORK!
  4. Divide in two halves. 
  5. Add in the melted chocolate to one half and the vanilla to the other half. Knead the doughs separately. Wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for about 15- 30 minutes.
  6. Roll the two dough separately into a 1/4" thk slab. Both should be roughly the same shape and size.
  7. Place the chocolate layer over the vanilla layer and roll into a tight log. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 375 deg F.
  9. Cut the log into 1/2" thk. slices. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 12-13 minutes till they are just slightly golden brown.
  10. When they are cool to touch, remove and let cool completely on baking rack.
  11. Store in an airtight jar.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Maple Chipotle Chicken Wings

This is a take on Buffalo Wild Wings. I have done away with deep frying the wings and have combined two flavours that I really like - maple syrup and chipotle in adobo sauce.


  1. Chicken wings - 1kg or 2.2 lbs
  2. Melted butter, unsalted, preferred - 2 Tbsp
  3. Hot sauce, preferably Frank's hot sauce - 2-3Tbsp
  4. Chipotle chilli in adobo sauce - 2 finely chopped with about 2 tsp of the sauce
  5. Maple Syrup or honey - 2 Tbsp+
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Pepper to taste
  8. All Purpose flour - 2 tbsp
  9. Thyme or Oregano or Sage - 2Tbsp


  1.  If you wish, remove as much of the skin from the wings as easily possible. It is a good idea to keep some of the skin.
  2. Preheat the oven to 500F. Line a cookie sheet with foil and place a wire rack over it.
  3. In a zip top bag , place the all purpose flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black crushed pepper and the herb of your choice. Shake to mix well.
  4. Place the chicken wings in the bag and close. Shake to ensure all the chicken wings are lightly coated with the flour mix.
  5. Lightly spritz the flour covered wings with oil and bake in the hot preheated oven till they are golden brown in colour and crispy, about 45 minutes. It is a good idea to turn them over once so that they are all evenly browned. You will hear a lot of sizzling - that is good it is all the fat from the wings hitting the baking sheet.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, mix in the other ingredients - melted butter, hot sauce, minced chipotle and maple syrup and salt as per taste. Taste the sauce. It should be a balanced taste of sweet, tangy and spicy. You could add more of either sweet/ tangy ( because of the hot sauce's vinegary flavour) and spicy as per preference.
  7. Once the wings are cooked, add the same to the above and mix well till all the chicken wings are evenly coated. 
  8. Serve warm.
NOTE: To make this gluten free, substitute the 2 Tbsp of All Purpose Flour with 2 Tbsp of Rice Flour and follow the rest of the recipe.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ratatouille's- Ratatouille

Ever since I saw the movie, Ratatouille, I have wanted to make the version shown in the movie. Thomas Keller of French Laundry is the inspiration behind the Chef Rat -Remy. In the movie, the Ratatouille shown is a Thomas Keller version of the French Stew. This is my version.

INGREDIENTS:                Serves 4; Prep time - 20 minutes; Cook time - 40 minutes

  • Eggplant, long slender ones or the small oblong ones - 8 or (200gms or 8 oz)
  • Red Bell Pepper- 1 to 2
  • Green Zucchini - 2 to 4
  • Summer squash( yellow zucchini) - 2 to 4
  • Onion, sliced thin - 1 medium
  • Tomatoes, peeled and cubed - 400g or 16 oz
  • Garlic Cloves, crushed - 5 to 6
  • Olive oil- 1 tbsp
  • Herbs de Provence - 2 tsp
  • Coriander Powder - 1/2 to 3/4 tsp
  • Crushed fennel seeds -1/2 to 3/4 tsp
  • Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Vegetable or chicken stock - 1 cup
  • Parchment paper


  • Heat Olive oil. 
  • Add in the onions and garlic. 
  • Saute for a minute. 
  • Add in the tomatoes. 
  • Cook for about 5 minutes, stir once in a while. 
  • Add in the herbs De  Provence and other spices, salt and pepper. Mix well. 
  • Add in the broth/stock and mix well. 
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Taste the sauce to ensure the taste is balanced. Sometimes, the tomatoes are sour, adding a pinch of sugar rounds out the flavour profile.
  • The sauce should become a little thick.
  • Turn off the heat and keep aside.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Slice the eggplant, summer squash, zucchini and bell pepper to about 1/8th to 1/16th of an inch.It is better to use a mandoline if you have one - makes the job easier and quicker.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  • In a nice oven proof dish, spoon out the tomato sauce so that it is about 1/2 to 1/4" thick.
  • Starting from the out to the in, arrange the slices of eggplant, yellow squash, zucchini and bell pepper so that they are slightly overlapping almost resembling a spiral.
  • Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper( as per taste).
  • Cut out a piece of parchment paper to match that of the dish and lightly place on the vegetables.
  • Place in a preheated oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or till the vegetables are just done.
  • Remove from the oven, remove the parchment and discard.
  • Serve with French bread.

NOTE: Herbs de Provence is a herb blend of 3tbsp each of oregano, thyme and savory, 2tbsp lavendar, 1tsp each of basil, sage and rosemary.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mooli Salad ( Daikon Radish Salad)

Love this salad for it's simplicity and use of fresh Mooli.

INGREDIENTS:                                            serves 4; Prep time - 15 min ; Soak time - 20 mins

  1. Mooli ( Daikon Radish), large hole grated - about 3 cups
  2. Moong dal, dehusked and split in half - 3 tbsp
  3. Green chilli -3
  4. Cilantro - 2 tbsp
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Sugar - 3/4 tsp
  7. Lime/lemon juice - 1 tsp
  8. Oil- 1 Tbsp
  9. Brown mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  10. Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
  1. Soak the grated Mooli in cold water for about 5 minutes. Soak the Split Moong Dal in warm water for about 15-20 minutes. Keep Aside.
  2. Chop the cilantro. Deseed and finely chop the green chilli. Keep aside.
  3. Squeeze the Mooli of excess water and place in a bowl. Add in the cilantro and chopped green chilli.
  4. Drain the Split Moong Dal and add to the above mixture.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients- salt, sugar and lime juice and mix. Check the seasonings .
  6. In a small pan or wok, heat the oil. When hot add in the mustard seeds and the asafoetida. Once the mustard seeds crack open, quickly add to the salad. Mix well.
  7. The above step is optional, but certainly imparts a wonderful flavour. 
  8. Serve either after step 6 or 7 as per personal preference.
NOTE - Sometimes the Mooli can be a little pungent and soaking in cold water for a few minutes helps mellow the radish.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Corn on the Cob Curry

The Farmer's Market is full of corn and I thought of making something other than the usual grilled corn, corn salsa, corn relish and all the other corny stuff. Here's something very different. It is great fun to dip the corn in the gravy and suck on the cob - enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:                                                                   Serves 4-6;  Prep time 25 mins; Cook time 30 mins
      The Spice Paste - 
  1. Fresh grated coconut - 75g
  2. Chopped onion        - 75g
  3. Roasted, skin removed, peanuts - 75g
  4. Dried red chillies - 2
  5. Garlic cloves - 3
  6. Roasted coriander powder - 2 tsp
  7. Roasted cumin powder - 2 tsp
  8. Sesame seeds, roasted -3 tsp
  9. Tamarind paste - 1/2 tsp
  10. Salt - 1.5 tsp or to taste
  11. Sugar or jaggery - 1.5 tsp

  • Shucked corn on the cob, cut in 1"- 1.25" rounds - 4
  • Oil- 1 tbsp
  • Bayleaf - 1
  • Cloves - 6
  • Cinnamon - 1"
  • Green cardamom - 4
  • Cilantro to garnish


  •  In a blender, add all the ingredients for the spice paste( from 1 to 11) and grind to a fine paste with a little water. Keep aside.
  •  In a large skillet or deep pan, heat oil. Add the whole spices - bayleaf, cloves, cinnamon and green cardamon.
  • Add the above ground paste to the oil and fry the paste till fragrant and till oil leaves and separates from the spice paste.( See the photo)

  • If the paste starts sticking to the bottom of the pan add a tsp of water. The sauteing of the spice paste takes about 3-5 minutes.
  • Thin out with a cup of water.
  • Add the corn rounds in a single layer to the above. (See photo)

  • If need be, add in about 1/2 to 1/4 cup of water. Cover and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes or till the gravy is reduced, but coats the corn and the corn is ready to eat.
  • Check the seasonings and add any if needed.
  • Garnish in with cilantro and serve with flat  bread or rice.
NOTE- the same spice paste could be used to make different curries. Try stuffing small green or purple eggplants( make cross wise slits till 3/4th way down on the eggplant, keeping the stalks intact) and follow the above 5 steps. You could even omit the whole spices. This is would be a variation of a very famous eggplant preparation called ' Bahgare Baingan'.