Masala Chai Creme Brulee

Bags packed , maps ready ,shopping list ready and already in Holiday moodJ We are set to rock Tokyo and The Mount Fuji!
I have been longing to see Sakura  , the beautiful  cherry blossom for soo long  and had planned the trip much much in advance!
Sadly all Sakura dreams has faded off as it still too cold in Tokyo L
But still hoping to have some good time and good food, especially some of the famous Japanese desserts.
I already got a lot of warning from my friends about the difficulty in finding vegetarian food Tokyo
Nevertheless I have decided not to take any packed food and try my luck thereJ
I will keep you posted on the How a Vegetarian survived in Tokyo!!

Coming to today’s recipe, I choose two of my favorites- A drink and a dessert and decided to combine them
The warm and soothing Masala Chai and the sinfully delicious Crème Brulee! 
So let me take a small break and leave you all with a  spicy and soothing- Masala Chai Crème Brulee

Masala Chai Creme Brulee
  • 200 ml Cream
  • 2 Egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 2-3  tbspn White chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ tspn Masala Chai powder- Detailed Recipe here
  • ½ inch piece of Ginger
  • 2 tspn Black tea leaves

  •  Heat the cream in a pot until bubbles start to appear around the sides.
  • Add the grated ginger , Masala Chai spice powder and tea leaves to the cream and simmer for a minute.
  • Switch off the flame and add the chocolate chips and mix well.
  • Let the cream sit for few minutes for the flavor to infuse well.
  • Sieve the cream and set aside to cool down a bit
  • Now add the sugar to the egg yolks and beat well. The lighter the yolks the smoother your custard will be
  • Slowly add the warm cream to the egg yolks, stirring continuously.
  • Strain the custard mix using a fine sieve.
  • Pour the custard into the ramekins.
  • Place the ramekins in a large pan and pour in enough water upto halfway of the ramekins.
  • Place on the tray in the center of the oven, preheated at 130 Degrees and bake for 40-50 minutes until the custard is just set and still a bit wobbly in the middle.
  • Remove the tray out of the oven and let it cool to room temperature.
  • Once cooled down transfer to refrigerator for few hours
  • When ready to serve, add a teaspoon of sugar over the surface, gently tilt the ramekins so that it is evenly distributed
  • Caramelize the top using a blow torch
  • You can also caramelize in the oven using the broil function..

Nellikka Moru Curry / Gooseberries in Yogurt Gravy

Back in my hometown Kerala, moru curry is a staple at most homes!
This is such a simple curry with just two main ingredients Yogurt or buttermilk and Coconut and makes a perfect n soothing accompaniment with rice .
You can add veggies as well like melons ,yams or more flavoring like shallots, garlic and ginger and make it even richer and yummier!
I chose to add some ground gooseberries and made my father’s favorite Nellikka Moru curryJ

Nellikka Moru Curry

  • 3 Gooseberries
  • ¼ Cup grated Coconut
  • ½ Cup Yogurt
  • 1 Green Chilly
  • ½ tspn Cumin’s
  • Salt to taste
  • For tempering
  • 1 tspn Oil
  • ½ tspn Mustard seeds
  • Curry leaves

  • Roughly chop the gooseberries and discard the seeds
  • Grind the coconut, cumin seeds, green chilly and gooseberries to a fine paste
  • Add two tablespoon water ,salt and beat the yogurt well.
  • Heat a pan and add the beaten yogurt and stir well and cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the ground paste and cook for another 2-3 minutes until it is foamy.
  • Remove from the flame and prepare the tempering by heating the oil in a wok.
  • Add in the mustard seeds to the hot oil, once it starts to crackle add the curry leave sauté for few seconds.
  • Add the tempering to the Yogurt gravy and stir well.

Off this goes to Kerala Kitchen hosted by  Prathibha

Mango Muffins

It’s been quite a long time since I switched on my oven.
With parents around I tend to laze around a lot!  The only thing in my mind during weekends are Hmm.. whatz going to be Amma’s weekend special menuJ
Now they are back in hometown Land I feel like the weekend has suddenly become soo long!
So I decided to switch on the oven and bake something for the week.
I had bookmarked these Fresh mango muffins long back and gave it a shot today
I loved the feel of the chunky sweet mangoes as I bite into the soft muffins!

Mango  Muffins
Adapted from Muffins and Slices by R&R Publications

  • 1 Cup Self Raising Flour
  • 2 tspn Baking powder
  • 1 tspn Ground Cardamom
  • 40 gms Wheat germ/Oat Bran
  • 60 gms Brown Sugar
  • 1 Mango chopped
  • 2 Egg whites
  • 180 ml Low fat milk
  • 60 ml Oil

  • Sift together flour, baking powder and the cardamom to a bowl
  • Stir in the wheat germ and brown sugar.
  • Add the mangos and mix until the mangoes are coated well
  • Place the egg whites, milk and oil in a small bowl and beat well.
  • Add this mix to the flour mix and stir until just combined
  • Bake in a 180 C preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.
  • Let it cool down a bit and enjoy the fruity healthy muffins

Mango-Ginger Pickle/Manga Inji Achar

Does that ring a bell? Mango ginger-a spice crop which has the goodness of both Mango and ginger.
Looks of ginger and taste of raw mango with a tinch of ginger kick!
Botanically speaking this spice is neither related to mango nor ginger, but to turmeric instead
Interested to know more about the Mango Ginger. Here you go
The rhizome has excellent medicinal properties and finds extensive use in the indigenous system of medicine. It is, appetizer, antipyretic, aphrodisiac and laxative. It is useful in biliousness, itching, skin diseases, bronchitis, asthma, hiccough and inflammation due to injuries. The rhizomes and roots are carminative and stomachic and in crushed pulp form they are applied over contusions, sprains and bruises for rapid healing.
Info Courtesy: Kissan Kerala

Mango-Ginger Pickle/Manga Inji Achar 
1/3 Cup Mango Ginger
2 tspn Red Chili powder
2 tspn Sesame Oil
½ tspn Roasted Fenugreek powder
Curry leaves 10 nos
2 Dried Red chillies
½ tspn Mustard seeds
Salt to taste

Peel of the skin and finely chop the Mango ginger
Add the salt and chili powder to it and mix well.
Now prepare the tempering by heating the oil in a pan.
Once the oil is hot enough, add in the mustard seeds.
Once it crackles add the roasted fenugreek powder, curry leaves and dried red chilies
Sauté for few seconds and add this to the marinated mango ginger and mix well.
Let it sit for a day and have it the following day, that way it tastes better !

Peas and Pesto Risotto

My husband is a total and absolute carnivore and me a total herbivore.
So both of us constantly try to persuade the other one to be on same genre..No success yet on both sides!
Anyways as I do not encourage much democracy around the kitchen..I cook mostly vegetarian.
There are very few dishes he can gulp without the comment “Sigh…No meat”..Risotto is one among that.
So after the strike of Mushroom and Beetroot Risotto I have been on look out for more risotto recipes
Here is the latest in the list Pesto and Peas Risotto

 Peas and Pesto Risotto 
1 Cup Arborio rice
4 Cups vegetable Stock
1/3 Cup Pesto
¼ Cup frozen Peas
2 Cloves garlic
1 tspn Olive oil
¼ tspn Dried Rosemary

In a pan heat the olive oil, add the garlic and rosemary and sauté for few seconds
Add the rice and sauté for 2-3 minutes
Add the stock 1/2 cup at a time to the rice and stir lightly. You have to keep stirring. That is the key to perfect risotto
Once the stock is completely absorbed, add another half cup of stock and continue to stir.
Once the rice is almost half done, just before adding the last ½ Cup stock, add the frozen peas.
After the stock is absorbed and rice is done, add the pesto and stir well
Adjust the salt and pepper to taste and enjoy the creamy risotto
Note: I did not add extra Parmesan as the Pesto I used had enough in it.
So if you are Parmesan lover, go ahead and add extra cheese for more goeeyness

Mini Bitter gourds stir fry

Does this happen to you often?
You see that cute shiny strange veggie in the supermarket.. you  are absolutely clueless what to do with it ..Still buy a pack of it coz it’s simply too cute?
You are in super market and there is something you have never seen before and no idea what it is or what to make with it..still buy it as it is on sale at 80% discount?
Yezz..This always happens with meJ
And see what I got during my last trip to Little India..I have no clue what it is…But isn’t it too cute?

Mini Bitter gourds stir fry
3/4 Cup Mini Bitter gourds
1 Red Onion finely chopped
½ tspn Chili powder
½ tspn turmeric powder
¼ tspn Mustard Seeds
Curry leaves
1 tspn Oil
Salt to taste
Wash and clean the bitter gourds and cut each ones into half
Heat a wok and add the oil
When the oil is warm add the mustard seeds and curry leaves sauté for few seconds
Add the onions and sauté until it is translucent
Add the bitter gourds , the spice powder salt to taste
Simmer, cover and cook until the bitter gourds have turned tender and cooked through

It turned out to be very less bitter than the big bitter gourds and very tender..

Broccoli and Cauliflower soup

I have almost given up bread making and my Kitchen aid has not much role these days other than act as my Kitchen decorativeL
I have even covered the Kitchen aid with a cute knit so that it can stop starring at me!
So now I rely on my favorite Bakery Swiss bakes for bread supply.
And what can be a more comforting dinner on a rainy day than a hot bowl of soup and a slice of bread!
So here is a recipe of an easy, healthy and comforting soup

Broccoli and Cauliflower soup
1 tspn Olive Oil
½ tspn Dried Rosemary
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Small Broccoli
1 Small Cauliflower
2 Cups water
¼ Cup Soy Milk or regular Milk
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a pot and sauté the chopped garlic and rosemary for few seconds
Add the broccoli/ cauliflower florets and the water/vegetable stock
Simmer until the vegetables are soft.
Puree the soup in a blender.
Return the soup to the pot and heat it up
Add in the milk, salt and pepper and seasoning of your choice


Chakka Appam/ Chakka Kinnathappam /Steamed Jackfruit Rice cakes

My mom makes the most excellent Chakka Varatti aka Jackfruit preserve .I never dared to ask the recipe as I am pretty sure that it is a very tedious process.
So I stick to the my lazy path and get a big bottle of Chakka varatti from homeJ  
It always comes handy, you can make a lot of delicious dishes with Chakka varatti ..of course it tastes great by itselfJ
Kinnathappam is one among that, it is a popular snack in Kerala.This one is my Amma’s version of Kinnathappam aka Steamed Rice cake.
Amma usually add her signature Chakka varatti to the batter which makes it even more delectable

Chakka Appam/ Chakka Kinnathappam /Steamed Jackfruit Rice cakes
1 Cup Rice powder
½ Cup Coconut Milk
4 tbspn Jackfruit preserve/Chakka varatti
1-2 Cardamom
1 Cube Jaggery

Heat ½ Cup water in a pan and add the Jaggery.
Once it is melted ,add the jackfruit preserve and powdered cardamom .
Lower the flame and stir , mix well , it is ok to have small lumps of jackfruit preserves.
Switch off the flame and let it cool down
Add the coconut milk and the cooled down Jaggery liquid to the rice flour and mix well.
The batter should be the consistency of cake batter/Idly batter.
You can add more flour or water to adjust the consistency of the batter
Pour into greased plate and steam for about 10-15 minutes.
You can cut easily into squares once it is cooled down.

Off this goes to Kerala Kitchen hosted by  Prathibha


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