RSS Feed

Ready for a fling with homemade pizza?

Posted on
Ready for a fling with homemade pizza?

I am sure you would agree with me when I say that crisp and colorful homemade pizza is a real treat to the senses.

The basic recipe for the crust dough is the same what I use to make my white bread and works wonder for our family pizza night! At least, this granny-cook would like to harbor that illusion.

pizza 4

Ingredients for the dough

1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp dried yeast

250 ml warm water

2 tbsp oil

2 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tbsp rosemary

4 garlic gloves crushed

Crust variation

You can flavor the crust with crushed garlic, chopped spinach, rosemary, and basil.

I used some crushed garlic and rosemary. It gave a wonderful flavor.

pizza 1

pizza 2

pan baking

pizza 3

pizza 4

pizza 5


I used a read made sauce (Ragu is such a savior), though when time permits, I make my own based on the recipe from

The link to the recipe is here. 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/4 cup celery, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2-teaspoon salt

1/2-teaspoon sugar

1/4-teaspoon black pepper

1 small bay leaf

1 teaspoon fennel seed


In a large skillet, melt butter with the oil. Add the onion, celery and garlic and sauté until soft and transparent.

Add tomato sauce and tomato paste and stir until smooth.

Add remaining ingredients and bring to slow simmer.

Simmer for about 30 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf and spread the sauce on your prepared pizza dough.


Olive oil

Grated mozzarella cheese

Tomato sauce





Bell pepper


Corn, boiled and drained

Basil leaves



In a small bowl, dissolve 1 tsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of yeast in 250 ml of warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and oil. Stir in the yeast mixture, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. You may have to add some extra flour to get the right consistency.

Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Punch and knead the dough again for about 5 minutes, even though a number of pizza pundits advise against it. Take some dry flour and shape the dough into a pizza.

Spread crust with sauce from the center outward and cover with desired toppings. Drizzle with olive oil.

Before kneading the dough for the crust, I added some garlic and rosemary for that extra flavor.

Recipe makes 3 (10 inch) pizzas. Divide dough in three, and spread onto pizza pans. Cover with sauce, and desired toppings. Bake at 230 C /450 F for 20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

I baked my crust initially on a griddle on a gas stove, for about 5 minutes before transferring to a baking tray. The process makes the crust really nice and manageable when you spread the sauce and toppings.

I flipped it and then pricked some holes using a fork and then spread some olive oil and then transferred it to a greased tray, dusted with flour/corn meal. I spread the sauce, followed by cheese and toppings and then baked for about 15 minutes.

I made 2 pizzas, and with the third portion of dough, I made a cheese and olive bread, which tasted really awesome. The post follows.

How to roast garlic

Posted on
How to roast garlic

Roasted garlic imparts amazing flavor to butter and dips.



2 heads of garlic

2 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp salt


Peel off the outer layers.

Slice off the head (not the roots) to expose individual garlic cloves.

Place garlic bulb cut side up in a foil, season with salt and drizzle some olive oil.

Seal loosely like a pocket.

Roast at 177 C or 350 F for about 35 minutes, until it is golden brown on top.

Remove from the oven.

Squeeze the roasted garlic out of its skin.


Can be used as a spread or mixed with butter, dips/hummus.

Delectable Chocolate Brownies

Posted on
Delectable Chocolate Brownies

This is one recipe, which has been tested and tried very often over past two decades in my kitchen. Those were the days when we relied on family, friends and magazine cutouts and sometimes that extended to the free recipes on cereal boxes and baking chocolate wrappings…everything was clipped and jotted on scraps of papers and saved in a recipe file in a firm hope that someday….we will try or pass this on to our children.


I found Baker’s recipe for brownies totally unparalleled and would like to share the same with you today.


4 squares unsweetened Baker’s chocolate (4 oz)

¾ cup unsalted butter (one and half stick)

2 cups sugar

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla

1-cup all- purpose flour

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, optional



Preheat the oven to 350 F or 180 C.

Slowly melt the chocolate and butter over top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.

Mix in the sugar using a whisk. Remove from heat.

Add eggs and vanilla, mixing in everything evenly.

Evenly mix in flour and coarsely chopped walnuts. Reserve some to sprinkle on the surface.

Spread the mixture on a greased and lined tray and smooth the surface.

Add the remaining walnuts.

Bake about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out with fudgy crumbs.

Remove the tray from the oven and let the brownies cool for at least 10 minutes.

Flip the contents on a chopping board and cut them into tiny squares.

Serve the brownies warm or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

(Recipe Source: Baker’s Chocolate –One-Bowl Brownies)

Recipe 2

Hershey’s Brownies

Here is another classic recipe for brownies that uses cocoa and is a double chocolate treat with frosting.



1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup Hershey’s Cocoa

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Creamy Brownie Frosting

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

3 tablespoons Hershey’s Cocoa

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup powdered sugar

1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Beat butter, cocoa, honey and vanilla in small bowl until blended. Add powdered sugar and milk; 
beat to spreading consistency.

The recipe makes about 1 cup frosting.


Heat oven to 350 F or 180 C. Grease 9-inch square baking pan.

Stir together butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in nuts, if desired. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan.

Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Prepare creamy brownie frosting; spread over brownies.

Cut into squares. The recipe yields 16 brownies.

(Source: Hershey’s)

Click here for the original source

Did you know that the First Brownie was created in the kitchen of the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago during the 1893, during an event honoring the 400 years after Christopher Columbus had arrived to America, when Mrs. Bertha Palmer requested the Palmer House chef to create a ladies dessert, something petite, that would be easier to eat than a piece of pie, and a smaller serving than a slice of layer cake.

To read more about the history of brownies, click here.

Wow your kids with watermelons

Posted on
Wow your kids with watermelons

photo-122 photo-131 It is the season of watermelons…



Juicy watermelons are packed with goodness of antioxidants. Research has shown that watermelons boost heart health and are an excellent source of vitamins A , C, B6 and potassium. Here are some watermelon treats for kids.


Watermelon Pops


Cut triangular watermelon slices.

Remove seeds and insert a stick.

Chill for at least one hour in the fridge.

Watermelon Star and Heart Pops

Use a star cookie cutter/heart shape cutter to cut out shapes Insert a popsicle stick Freeze for at least an hour.


Minted Watermelon Popsicle


1 watermelon

2 tablespoon sugar

Sliced fresh strawberries

Some chopped mint leaves


In a blender, puree watermelon along with sugar and mint leaves and pour into popsicle molds . Drop in sliced fruit, insert caps and place in freezer.

You can also use ice-cube trays and insert popsicle sticks halfway through freezing.

Serve when frozen.

Fresh Watermelon Juice


Chop watermelon into slices after removing the green portion.

Add a little water, sugar, salt, pepper and dried mint powder and puree in a blender. You can also add finely grated ginger if you like.

Pass the juice through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds.

Add some fresh lemon juice and stir well.

Decorate with a sprig of fresh mint and serve chilled with ice cubes.

Click here to read more on the health benefits of watermelon.

Let’s Make Chocolate Fudge Today!

Posted on
Let’s Make Chocolate Fudge Today!

introWhat can I say…it’s delicious, irresistible and so easy to whip up!



2 cups dark chocolate, chopped

1 can (397 gms) can condensed milk

2 tbsp butter

½ cup approx. (100 gms exact) icing sugar

1 cup roasted,chopped nuts (peanuts, almonds, cashew or walnuts), optional

1 tsp vanilla, optional





Chop the chocolate into small chunks and place in a non-stick saucepan with the condensed milk and butter.

Heat very gently, stirring occasionally until melted and smooth.

Beat the icing sugar into the mixture until combined thoroughly.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and nuts, if using.

Press the fudge into a (7 inch) square tin, lined with a greased foil/wax paper.

Spread evenly.

Smooth over the top and press the nuts into the surface.

Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, until set.

Remove from tin.

Use foil handles to lift fudge from the tin and pull out the foil gently.


Place on a chopping board. Cut into squares.

Fudge can be stored in refrigerator up to 1 week.






You can use pecans, pistachios, cranberries, blueberries or even mini Oreo cookies.

You can top your fudge with peanut butter (while the fudge is still warm) and run a fork through zigzag to create a marbled effect, adds amazing taste and look to the fudge.

This is what I did, divided the mixture into 2 pans and made one plain and the other topped with peanut butter, and really loved the taste.

Do not cover the pan while refrigerating.

(This is an old recipe…rediscovered in my recipe collection, courtesy my daughter)

Crispy Aubergine Fritters

Posted on
Crispy Aubergine Fritters

Crispy Solanum melongena… ah, sounds so gourmet, scientifically speaking!

Sliced aubergines, dipped in spicy batter and rolled in corn flakes, make for a great appetizer. Never mind that they are deep-fried! Sometimes the taste speaks louder than the calories!


4 aubergines, sliced diagonally

Plain flour, mixed with little water to make batter, season with salt and pepper.

Spices (salt, turmeric, cumin powder, chilly powder, garam masala and amchoor powder)

Handful corn flakes crushed

Oil for frying


Slice the aubergines.

Add spices. Mix well.

fritters 2

Dip in prepared batter.

fritters 3

fritters 4

Roll in corn flakes.

Fry in oil.

Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil.

fritters 5

Serve hot with coriander chutney or ketchup.

Variation: You can dip the aubergine slices in seasoned gram flour/chickpea batter and fry until crisp.

I think I would like to try this with fish fillet too. Should work. Any ideas?

By the way, I just eyeballed the ingredients…! Sorry for not providing exact measurements!

(Inspired by

Oven Baked Samosas

Posted on
Oven Baked Samosas

Who said samosas should be only triangular in shape?

I love samosas, but try to avoid eating them, because of the fat content! These are mostly deep-fried!

 Then I got this brilliant idea of baking them  after watching a program on an Indian food channel. The recipe is quite easy and yields 8 wonderful , crispy  samosas in a new look!



For the covering/shell

Flour 3/4 cup
Salt 1/4 tsp
Oil 1 tbsp
Ajwain /carom seeds 1/2 tsp
Water to knead

For the filling

Boiled and mashed potatoes, about 3 medium size
Boiled peas, 1/2 cup
Chopped green chilly 1
Chopped green coriander 2 tbsp
Ginger grated , 1 tsp
Salt, red chilly powder, amchoor powder, garam masala and turmeric


Knead the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, take a pan , heat about 1 tbsp oil, add ginger, spices, and boiled potatoes and peas.
Adjust the seasoning. Sprinkle chopped chilly and coriander.
Let it cool.

Divide the dough into 8 balls.

Roll into oval shape, like a poori.
Place the filling in the centre.
Seal the opposite edges.

Arrange on a greased tray and bake in a pre heated oven at 200 degrees C.
Turn tray, after 10 minutes, lower the temp to 180 degree C and bake further 10 minutes.

Serve hot with ketchup or chutney of your choice.

Enjoy with a steaming cup of cardamom tea!


You can use spinach and feta cheese instead of peas and potatoes or cottage cheese and mint.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 37 other followers