Thursday, 25 November 2010

Kerala Puffs (Non-Veg)

Next week I am off to UAE for a couple of months to spend some quality time with my parents and siblings and let me share this wonderful recipe before I leave. I have never been a regular blogger during my stay in UAE, so I might not be able to answer your queries or respond to the comments promptly. UAE is going to have its best weather during this time of the year (December, January and February) and UK, it’s the worst. It has already started snowing today with temperature hitting minus 1. I am kind of fleeing away from horrible British winter at least this year and I think I should plan the same every year ;). Earlier I had plans to visit in June-July when it would be scorching hot there in UAE, and I had postponed my trip to a much pleasant time even though the wait was a bit long.

Anyways, let’s discuss about today’s recipe, shall we? Puffs and recipes using puff pastry is very popular all over the world and Kerala (A state in South India) is not behind at all. Puff is one of Keralite’s favourite snacks enjoyed by everyone. Puffs filled with spicy stuffing like egg, meat and vegetables have always been a favourite evening snack. Memory of having puffs date back to my early school days, where these were sold in school canteens during the breakfast break along with vegetable samosas and crisps. But to get hold of puffs, we had to reach the canteen as early as possible, as that was the only item that used get over in no time. Light and flaky puff pastry filled with spiced chicken is just mouth-watering and a must try one. I have been making these puffs for couple of years now and I think it’s high time to post it so that you can make it too. You may use minced beef or mutton instead of chicken here. I have used mutton and chicken and mutton mince was always the favourite.

I have used an unrolled block of puff pastry which had to be thawed and rolled for use. These days ready rolled puff pastries are also available and sometimes these are rolled and cut which makes the puff making even more easy. You just have to prepare the fillings and then the rest is all easy. Ideally you should get around 10 puffs with this amount of masala, but as I have over stuffed the pastries, I just got 8 of them.

On another note, One of my readers (I guess it is Jehanne) had asked me to share some tips on photography long back. If you are reading this, please pass me your E-mail ID once more. I have been searching for it for couple of days and I am sorry, I think I misplaced it. I know I am still a beginner in photography and I don’t know many things in photography. But I am more than happy to share the little things that I know. Please leave your E-mail Id here once more, so that I can send you the draft of a photography tutorial that I prepared to send you a while ago.
 Kerala puffs

Makes 8-10 pieces

1 block of puff pastry sheets, thawed – 340g
1 ½ cups (300g) chicken/Mutton minced
1 large onion chopped (I cup)
1 teaspoon grated Ginger
2 Green chillies, finely chopped
1 medium size tomato (90g), chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, grated
1 1/4 tsp Garam Masala
1 teaspoon mild chilli powder
1 teaspoon Coriander powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
3 Tablespoon coconut milk powder
water- as required
15 curry leaves finely chopped
Salt - As reqd
1 egg white
1 teaspoon water
Oil - 3 tbsp
little flour- to dust the work surface


1.Cook the minced meat in with salt and turmeric along with couple of tablespoon of water until almost done .
2. Heat a non stick frying pan and add oil. Keeping the lid open, fry the onions by adding little salt until they are golden brown.

3. Throw in ginger-garlic paste, chillies and fry until the raw smell goes off.

4. Add in tomatoes and cook till it turns soft and mushy and oil clears from sides..

5. Add coriander and chilli powder .Stir for a min for the spices to cook.

6. Add in the prepared meat, mix well and cook until the water evaporates.

7. Meanwhile, add enough hot water to coconut milk powder to make ½ cup of coconut milk (You can use any coconut milk here).
8. When the mixture is almost dry, add coconut milk and stir continuously until the mixture is well combined and slightly wet, not too dry and crumbly.

9. Stir in the garam masala and chopped curry leaves, cook for a minute and keep aside to cool.

10. While the meat is cooking, thaw the pastry sheets.

11. Flour the work surface lightly and roll out the pastry into a large rectangle. Cut it into 8 portions.

12. Divide the masala mixture into 8 portions. Add a heaped tablespoon of the stuffing to one half of the pastry leaving about a centimetre from the edges to seal the stuffing in.

13. Lightly beat the egg whites with water and brush the sides of the pastry sheet with egg wash. Fold over the pastry to cover the filling in and press firmly to seal the edges (This can be done with fork to get nice ridged edge). Lightly brush the top of the filled pastries with egg wash to give it a glaze once baked.

14. Place all the sealed puffs on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake it for 15-17 minutes @ 220 degrees Celcius until the top is nice and golden in colour and the puff has puffed up well. Serve hot along with a nice cup of tea.


1. I make these puffs with chicken and mutton. I found it tastier with minced mutton than chicken. When using mutton, the masala is lightly brown compared to chicken where it is less brownish.

2. With this amount of masala, you can easily get 10 puffs, but I over-stuff the pastry to use up all the masala and I get only 8 pieces of pastry sheet from one block. You may use a bigger block of puff pastry to use up all the masala.

3. These puffs can be frozen before baking and then baked directly from the freezer. But the baking time will increase accordingly. For freezing, place them between parchment paper to avoid sticking.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

Eid-al- Adha Mubarak to you all. Hope you all have a wonderful day with family, friends and relatives.

For me, before I start on my cooking and daily chores of the day I thought I will post something for the day to make it special. This is something that I have typed long back, shot pictures even longer before, actually few months back, but just dint find time or gap to post it. Life’s been so busy that I can’t get my head around on anything these days. I have moved to this new place couple of weeks back, and I am travelling to Dubai in another two weeks time. So it’s all a chaos, settling down, shopping, unpacking and packing for travelling on other side. And my little baby (read Blog) is the one getting affected by all this chaos :D. It’s been hard to log into my blog these days, I just peep into it if I need to cook something. Anyhow, let me break all that chaos and give you another fabulous recipe to enjoy.

Today I am posting the recipe of cupcakes that I made a while ago. These beauties were prepared to send off to my little one’s nursery on his last day there. I thought it was nice way of conveying a ‘Thank you’ message by baking something home, rather than getting a ready-made one. I made around 50 mini cupcakes, that turned out perfectly spongy and chocolaty. I had a plan to frost them with my favourite chocolate frosting, but I then thought that would be too chocolaty and sweet. So I frosted them with strawberry as mentioned in the recipe. I made a thin glace rather than a large blob of frosting as it would turn out to be too sweet again. These could be made into large ones, which would come around 16-20 of them. Follow the recipe to dot and get perfect results all way long. Please read Cupcakeblog and the comments given on the site for any doubts.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting
Recipe Courtesy: Cupcakeblog

226 g (2 Sticks) butter at room temperature
2 ½ cups castor sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 ¾ cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup cocoa powder (I used Cadbury’s)
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoon vanilla essence
Hundreds and thousands – to sprinkle


1. Beat butter and sugar for 3 minutes on high speed until soft and fluffy.

2. Add egg, one by one at a time to the above mix, mixing well after each addition.

3. In a separate bowl, sieve together flour, baking powder and soda, cocoa powder and salt twice or thrice.

4. Mix vanilla essence with milk.

5. Fold 1/3 of the flour mixture to the egg-sugar mixture followed by little of the milk and mixing well. Repeat the process until milk and flour is all used up. Add flour and milk alternately, starting and finishing off with flour.

6. Scoop the mixture to muffin liners filling just below half or just half full. Bake for 20 minutes in a preheated oven of 180 degrees Celsius or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool them on wire rack completely before frosting them.

N:B:Batter rises quite high, so don’t get tempted to fill more than half full as it will overflow.

For the frosting:

400g icing sugar
175g soft unsalted butter
3 Tablespoons strawberry Pulp (see notes)
Few drops of strained strawberry juice


1.Mix all until you get a thick glace. Spread on the cooled cakes as required. Add more puree or icing sugar to get the right consistency. Sprinkle with Hundreds and thousands.


For making strawberry pulp, I used frozen strawberries. After reading few comments mantioneing about runny frosting, I pureed strawberries in a blender and placed them in a sieve to drain off every drop of juice from it. I heated the strained juice to get thick syrup and used few drops of it to loosen the icing as required and to give some natural colour. I used the frosting as a glace rather than a thick frosting.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Fish Cutlets - Malabar Style

Cutlets are one of the dishes that I used to prepare during my initial stages of cooking. It is easy to make and tastes great. But I have to agree to the fact that it takes a bit of time to cook. Again, plus point is that these patties can be frozen without frying and can be fried when ever you feel like treating yourself. For freezing the patties, shape them and place them in a container in layers, one layer of cutlets over another layer of cutlets, and baking paper or wax paper in between so that they don’t stick to each other. i.e, one layer of uncooked cutlets, a sheet of baking paper and another layer of cutlets on top of baking paper. You can take a few out s required, thaw them and fry them as per need and it would taste as fresh as new. No one would even know that they were frozen once. These are usually served along with evening tea, or during Iftar or to serve any guests. My mom always tricks my sisters into eating these fish cutlets  as they don't eat fish and these almost tastes like chicken cutlets and fish taste is not very obvious. 
Here, I have used only egg whites as the yolks make the oil frothy while frying the patties.


2 Canned tuna in spring water
1 large potato, 250g
500g onions, chopped (3 ½ medium size, 3 ½ cup chopped)
1 Tablespoon pureed Garlic
1 Tablespoon pureed Ginger
3 medium hot Green Chillies, cut into thin rounds
½ cup chopped Coriander Leaves
A pinch of Turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
2 teaspoon Kashmiri Chilli Powder
2 Tablespoon Lime Juice
Oil – as required to fry the cutlets
4 egg whites
Breadcrumbs – as required

Update: I have forgotten to add potato in the ingredients, which is now added.


1. In a large non stick frying pan or a wide saucepan heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil.

2. Add chopped onion and salt and sauté until onion becomes soft and translucent.

3. Add chopped chillies along with pureed ginger and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the raw smell goes off.

4. Add all the spices and coriander leaves. Cook for couple of minutes.

5. Add drained tuna; stir well breaking all the lumps.

6. Add lemon juice and adjust seasoning if necessary. Cook on low - medium heat for about 5-10 minutes until the flavours are well blended.

7. Meanwhile Cut the potato into 4 large chunks and cook it in salted water just until soft. Make sure the potatoes don’t go really soft and fall apart. They have to be firm, but cooked through. If it goes really soft, cutlets will fall apart while frying.

8. Drain water completely and peel potatoes. Mash them with fork lightly with little lumpy texture; whilst hot/warm. (Don’t make it into a paste or a smooth puree).

9. Add mashed potatoes to the fish masala prepared earlier and mix well.

10. Make lemon size balls out of this mixture, flatten it into 1” thick patties; dip it in lightly beaten egg whites and roll it in breadcrumbs. Tap off extra crumbs and leave it aside for 5 minutes to dry a bit.

11. Heat a frying pan (any size) and add vegetable oil to a height of 1-2 centimetres. Fry the patties on medium heat until they turn golden brown colour, flipping them over a couple of times to ensure even browning.

12. Serve hot or warm with ketchup.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Swiss Oatmeal Soup with Chicken and Vegetables and a Thank You Note!

Nothing is more comforting than a bowl of hot steaming soup and a rustic bread to dunk in to it on a cold winter evening. On such a cold evening I decided to make my favourite Cauliflower and Potato Soup when my hubby put forward his suggestion of having a thick, creamy chicken soup and not a chicken and sweet corn soup that I make on a regular basis! I din't even ask his opinion as I knew he would come up with some non-veg plan and ruin my already set mind of making cauliflower and potato soup. He was adamant on having chicken soup that was of some creamy consistency and I came up (had to come up) with these. It is a modified version of Swiss oatmeal soup that I got from one of my old scribbled recipes and I just sneaked some chicken in it! I don’t really know if it is appropriate to call it a Swiss Soup anymore. Anyways, here is the recipe that made way to another good soup in my kitchen.

Swiss Oatmeal Soup with Chicken and Vegetables
Serve 6
1 large potato peeled and diced (315g, 1 ¾ cups)
2 medium carrots diced (230g, 1 1/3 cups)
1 large onion chopped (165g, 1 cup)
1 fat garlic clove, chopped
270g Chicken on bone (I used a large legpiece)
3 dry bay leaves
2 cubes of chicken maggi bouillon
3 cup boiling water
1/3 cup Quaker Oats
2 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
½ cup whole milk (optional) or water


1. Place a non-stick saucepan on medium heat and add oil+butter. Add bay leaves and oats and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until it starts changing colour or lightly coloured.

2. Add all vegetables and sauté for 2-3 minutes adding few tablespoons of water when it starts sticking to the pan. (I added 1/3 cup of water here.)

3. Add chicken cubes, chicken and water. Cook until chicken is very well cooked and starts falling off the bone. Take it out using a slotted spoon and shred it into titbits and keep it aside. Discard the bone.

4. Using a potato masher, lightly mash the vegetables to make a chunky soup. Add chicken, boil for 3-4 minutes. Add milk, stir to combine and turn off the heat. Serve hot alongside any rustic bread like garlic bread, foccassia, Ciabatta etc.


This post also comes along with a Thank you note to my lovely reader and a friend - Nasi who tries my recipes and sends me pictures whenever possible. After I posted the recipe of BFG, she immediately tried it on the very same day (including assembling and decorating) and sent me a surprising mail with gorgeous pictures of her creation. Along with Black Forest Gateaux, Celebration chocolate cake, Orange cake, Cardamom and Pistachio Cookies are some of them that she tried with success. Thank You Nasi for your constant support and encouragement. It means alot to me. Below is her mail that that she sent me few days back and the pictures she shot. Don’t they look perfect?

"I baked the cake the moment I saw it on your blog. I couldn’t resist!!!It was not for the eating part but for the thrill of baking it. I didn’t have cherries with me and I didn’t use them as I don’t like them in my cake ( I know this can’t be called as a black forest cake!!!).I also used sugar syrup instead of cherry syrup and also use Raspberry jam as decoration instead of the cherries...I know mine is not anywhere close to yours but I enjoyed making it very much.......and the taste??....It was delicious and I felt it tasted much better the next day after it was was soft and delicious.....enjoyed every bit..The photos are taken from my mobile...but I hope at least you could get a glance of how my cake looked....Thanks a ton for the easy recipe......."


Thank You for stopping by!
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