Saturday, 22 February 2014

Savory Loaf Cakes: Cheese, Cashewnut and Bell Pepper Cake

Ever since I started watching Rachel Khoo’s television show, I have been going somewhat mad on trying out a few of her recipes. This particular recipe really stuck in my head and I just had to make it the next day. This loaf cake is really nice and what really gets me all zinged are the various savory variations.

Savory cakes are very popular in France, they appear in boulangeries and with a side salad on lunch menus in chic cafés, but they’re most likely to appear at a picnic.

Of course the original recipe makes use of different fillings, but I used whatever left-overs I had in my refrigerator and it turned out just fine. It was a spontaneous decision that became really good. Yummy savory cake filled with cheese, cashewnuts, caramelized onions and bell peppers. It tasted incredible.

The result is an explosion that takes place in my mouth, when I taste this creation. It turned out moist and if made the right way will be nice and fluffy.

I picked this one because it was the perfect Summer like loaf, perfect for the weather right now in Bangalore.

This cake is super simple to make and you can always make a scrumptious loaf cake using all the fresh produce available in the current season. I find this so clever.

I made changes to the fillings using up whatever I had with me. But other than that I kept to the directions. I present to you a wonderful loaf cake adapted from Rachel Khoo’s “The Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking with Rachel Khoo”

I love this cake for two reasons. One it is savory which makes it rather unique. Second, the innovative flavor combinations you can try with whatever that’s left-over in your pantry.

Serve these tasty slices of cake warm (when warm, the cheese will be all melted and delicious) with ham; or a spicy frittata on the side; or some spicy fried chicken; or sautéed spicy sausages; steak and gravy…. anything. Or just munch away just as it is. A definite winner with your kids, serve these up at birthday parties, picnics, kitties or potlucks and you will be a star!

The dish is simple and elegant and can be prepared as a mid-morning meal, evening snack or a part of nice continental dinner.

We are all down with a bad cold, throat pain and what not; but I made this cake nonetheless and served it with some delicious hot Tomato Soup with croutons and spicy fried chicken. We enjoyed it.

Oh and the best news, it tastes better the next day! So bake and store in your refrigerator and cut a few slices when you are hungry!


250 grams Plain Flour
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
150 grams Cheese, cut into small pieces (refer notes)
80 grams Cashewnuts; roughly chopped
100 grams Red and Yellow Bell Peppers; finely chopped (refer notes)
3 to 4 Red Onions; finely sliced
4 Eggs
150 ml Olive oil
100 ml Milk
50 grams Plain Yoghurt
1 teaspoon Salt
Freshly-ground/milled Black Pepper (as per spice tolerance)
Coriander leaves; finely chopped


Caramelize the sliced onions and keep aside. (please refer to the my Pizza recipe for more details on caramelizing onions)

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/ and line a loaf tin measuring 22x11cm/8½x4¼inch across the top and 6cm/2½inch deep with baking paper.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cheese, cashewnuts, bell peppers and caramelized onions.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until fluffy and pale in color. Then gradually whisk in the oil, milk and yoghurt. Season with the salt and black pepper.

Fold the flour mixture into the whisked eggs. Try not to overbeat the mixture as this will make the end result tough. (it is better to undermix)

Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Sprinkle on top with fresh coriander leaves.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a metal skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. (when I say clean knife, please ignore if melted cheese comes on it, that does not mean it is not cooked. If uncooked batter appears on the knife, it needs further cooking.)

Leave to cool in the tin.


1. You can use any kind of cheese. I used a mixture of grated cheddar, mozzarella and normal cheese cubes. Also I added a little lesser than mentioned in the recipe. You can even goat’s cheese to make it healthier.

2. If you do not have red and yellow bell pepper, you can always use green bell peppers. The original recipe uses a combination of cheese, pistachios and prunes. So be creative when it comes to the filling.

3. Use a rubber spatula rather than a whisk to prevent overbeating the flour.

Recipe Source: Rachel Khoo’s “The Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking with Rachel Khoo”

Friday, 14 February 2014

For Love's Sake... Indonesian Noodles with Chicken and Shrimp

I have to tell you I have an intense carnal love for noodles. Out of the blue, an image, an image of me twirling noodles with a fork (I wish I could say chopsticks and show off, but I have no clue how to use it!) pops into my mind and refuses to budge. There are times when I crave these thready, slurpy satisfaction. My love began during my childhood when my mom would cook up delicious home-style Chinese Noodles almost every week. I loved it and I pigged out. I was happy at the end of a huge bowl of those flat thready stuff! :)

It is Valentine's Day today and I have for you a special recipe for the occasion which will dazzle your significant other! The dish I have for you is a spicy Indonesian Noodles with Chicken and Shrimp which trumps everything. Super easy to put together and just delicious. Most of the ingredients I have used today can be found in anybody's kitchen.

This dish is not the pump your adrenalin, let's go skydiving kind you want to share with your Valentine. Nor is it a one that says, you are sooooo awesome and I will die, just die, without seeing you every moment of the day.

It is however a one that you want to put on the table, for supper after a whole day’s work, look at your partner and just smile. Because, the sparkle in your eyes is saying so much.

This Valentine’s Day, I decided to showcase this sumptuous Indonesian style Chinese Noodle dish which is not only tasty but a soul satisfying dish. For those of you who plan to have a quiet day at home and haven’t decided what to make this Valentine’s Day, here is the perfect one pot meal for your loved one and you.

While I go enjoy my rest of the day with the hubby and little munchkin, I wish you a good day too. Happy Valentine’s Day once again :)


280 grams Egg Noodles
Vegetable or Refined oil
350 grams boneless Chicken Breasts; cut into bite size cubes
Scallions or Spring onions
2 Red onions; diced
5 to 6 Garlic cloves; crushed
80 to 90 grams of Pak Choi; cut into quarters (refer notes)
5 to 6 Dry Red chillies; coarsely crushed (refer notes)
1 Green chili; slit lengthwise
1 tablespoon Ginger; finely chopped
100 grams raw Shrimp; cleaned and de-veined
3/4 teaspoon Sugar
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoon Light Soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon Vegetable/Chicken/Beef stock
Salt and Pepper; to taste
Cilantro or Coriander leaves; to garnish


Cook the noodles in plenty of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions and drain well. (coat noodles with oil to prevent sticking if not preparing the dish immediately)

Heat oil in a wok or large skillet (frying pan), add the chicken cubes and stir-fry for a few minutes or until chicken turns golden brown and is cooked through.

Add the scallions, onions and garlic and fry for a few minutes. Now add the pak choi, green chili, crushed red chili and ginger and fry for a few minutes. Add the fresh shrimp and fry for a few minutes till shrimp is cooked through. (you can even cover and cook if needed) Sprinkle over the sugar, soy sauce, stock and season with salt and pepper. Mix in the noodles and heat, stirring, until steaming hot.

Once done, garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve immediately.


1. You can also use fresh spinach leaves instead of pak choi. I used spinach this time as I didn’t have any pak choi in my pantry.

2. The chili flakes lifts the dish to a whole new level. FYI, this dish is spicy, so feel free to reduce the quantity of chili used in the recipe if it doesn’t suit your palate and stomach!

Recipe Courtesy: Food Lovers Chicken (tweaked the original recipe to use our local produce and ingredients and tasted awesome)

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Kashmiri Style Chicken Curry

Hello February! I can't believe you are already here! January was such a whirlwind with most of the month packed with family visiting from far, get togethers and wedding celebrations and what not…! :)

I have not posted anything since a long time. Though I wanted to; just that fitting that into my schedule is a task! I have resolved innumerable times that I will not procrastinate... I will be regular... but things just never work as planned in my life, especially when this food blog is concerned. Though I did find a little time to do a quick post containing easy and healthy breakfast ideas for babies and toddlers and I hope these recipes help all those supermoms out there.

February is also a very happy month for me. Why?! Well there are a couple of reasons. :)

The First being, my recipe for Home-made Baked Chicken Nuggets was featured in the ‘Recipe of the Week’ section of Kids Directory. It definitely was a happy moment for me. For those of you who haven’t come across Kids Directory, here is a peek into what it’s all about:

Kids Directory is an online and offline guide catering to Bangalore families. It is an excellent resource directory solely dedicated to helping parents in Bangalore identify various resources and businesses that can be of benefit to their families.

They provide a wide range of information about schools, camps, childcares, products & services for children, retail stores, lessons, afterschool activities, family friendly events and restaurants in Bangalore, party planning, and a lot more. And what’s best, their publications are available for pick up at various locations spread across Bangalore for FREE! Yes, Mommies and Daddies, for free and they sure are valuable resources for us parents.

For more details on Kids Directory, please visit their website on the below link:

Here is the link to my Recipe Feature in their Online publication:

The Second reason for my joy is today’s post is my hundredth recipe post on my blog. So here I present my hundredth post with this awesome Kashmiri Style Chicken Curry. I have mostly covered food from Kerala, where I come from, however, making it a repertoire from around the world has been and still is my goal.

I am so happy you kept me company by encouraging, complimenting, flattering and just showing up. Without your support it would not have been such a great experience. Heartfelt thanks to my dearest family and friends who stood by me and pushed me to make this blog happen. And of course a big tight bear hug to the two most awesome people in my life, my Husband R– my bestie and my favorite little one year old – my Daughter M. Love you both to bits. :)

So today I'm doing a quick post, about a delicious dish I found in a magazine the other day. I just randomly picked up this magazine, flipped through the pages and found this simple chicken recipe and decided to give it a try.

This dish is a good, down-to-earth and homey style chicken preparation.

What I love about this recipe, besides it being a breeze to make, is that everything about it shouts out KASHMIR in capital letters. The aromatic spices, onion and thick tomato gravy clubbed with the rich taste of cashewnuts and raisins cannot get more Kashmiri.

This scrumptious chicken curry paired with a simple pilaf, plain steamed rice or rotis is one of the simplest and tastiest meals you can make. It can be served as a whole meal or added to the table as part of a more elaborate spread especially when you have a house full of hungry family and friends.

Let me just stop going on about it and get to the recipe. Hope you enjoy your ride to Kashmir with me!!


1/2 kg Chicken; cleaned & cut into medium size pieces
1 big size Red Onion; finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Ginger; finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Garlic; finely chopped
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of Kashmiri Chili powder (adjust as per spice tolerance)
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
1 teaspoon Coriander powder
Salt; to taste
Refined Oil
1 to 2 Cardamom pods
1 to 2 Cloves
A medium size piece of Cinnamon stick

2 medium size Red Onions; finely sliced

2 medium size Tomatoes; finely chopped
4 to 5 teaspoons of Cashewnuts; fried & kept aside
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoon Raisins; fried & kept aside
Generous amount of Coriander leaves; finely chopped


Grind together onion, ginger, garlic, chili, turmeric and coriander powders along with salt to a smooth paste. Marinate the chicken pieces with the ground paste and keep aside.

Heat oil in a wok and fry the spices. (cardamom, cloves and cinnamon) till raw smell disappears. Add the sliced onions and sauté till onions turn light brown. Now add the marinated chicken into it and sauté till pink color of chicken goes away.

Once the chicken is sautéed well, add the chopped tomatoes and stir well. Pour enough water into this and combine well. Check for salt at this time and add if necessary. Once this comes to a boil, turn down the heat to a gentle sim and cover and cook the curry till the chicken is cooked through and gravy has reduced. (this curry has a semi-thick consistency)

Once the gravy is nice and thick, switch off flame and add the fried cashewnuts, raisins and lots of fresh coriander leaves.

Voila! Chicken curry is ready, get ready to devour!

Recipe Courtesy: Vanitha
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