Fruit Salad with Custard Sauce

This has been my family's favourite from the time I was a little kid. Any festive occassion, this is dish along with biriyani that marks the occassion. It might be nostalgia itself that makes this dish so enchanting..or it might be the subtlety with which the fruits mingles themselves with the custard. It is for you to decide.

For Fruit Salad
Mix fruits, cut into bite-sized chunks (use a mix of any fruits of your choice, excluding citrus fruits like orange or kiwi). My favourites are apple, banana, pears, grapes, mango, pineapple and pomegranate.
Cloves - 3No.s
Cinnamon - 1"pc
Cardomom - 3No.s
Crush these together.
Boil 1 cup of water with 2Tbsp sugar and crushed spices in a pan until the sugar melts. Add the cut fruits and let boil until the juice reduce to little amount. Add 1Tbsp lime juice and 2 drops of vanilla essence. Remove from fire and refrigerate after cooling.
Prepare the custard as per the package. Refrigerate.
At serving time, take 2Tbsp fruits in a serving bowl, pour custard over it, garnish with raisins and cashew nuts pieces.


My kids are the biggest fans of Indian food at our home. They are absolutely pleased with home-made Paav Bhaaji, Sev puri and Dosa and most of the times prefer it over McDonalds. I am proud of this and try to cook them up at home as much as I can.
So, this weekend it was Chole-Bhatura for dinner.

I have tried to stay as much true to the real Punjabi Chole and Bhatura.

Recipe for Chole :-
Chana - 2 cups, soaked overnight or for 4 hours in hot water
Oil - 2Tbsp
Ginger-Garlic paste - 2 Tbsp
Onion, chopped - 2 Large
Tomato, chopped - 2 Large
Green chilli, split - 2No.s
Red chilli powder - 1Tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1tsp
Coriander powder - 2Tbsp
Garam Masala - 1Tbsp
Chole masala - 1Tbsp (optional)
Coriander leaves - 3Tbsp

Method :-

Cook the chana in a pressure cooker with enough water and half a teaspoon of baking soda for around 20 minutes on a low flame.

Heat oil in a pan. Saute the ginger garlic paste until it start to brown. On low heat, saute the onions until it starts to brown. Add the chopped tomatoes and a pinch of salt and saute well on low flame for 15-20 minutes, stirring in between, so that the masala gets completely dry and the oil starts to seperate. At this point, add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala, and chole masala and saute on a low flame for 1 minute.
Add the cooked chana to this with the water left from cooking chana. Add the coriander leaves. Cover with a lid and cook again on low flame for 10 minutes until the gravy gets to the desired consistency.

Recipe for Bhatura:-
All purpose flour, maida - 3 cups
Semolina - 1Tbsp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - 1 tsp
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Yogurt - 3 Tbsp
Yeast - 1/2 tsp (if not using instant yeast, stir the yeast in 2Tbsp lukewarm water)
Milk - 2Tbsp
Oil - for deep frying

Method :-
Mix all of the above mentioned ingredients. Addind enough water, knead it into a dough like that of a chapati dough. Cover and let stand for 4 hours.

Roll the dough into small balls size of a tennis ball. Flour the work surface and roll it out into thin rounds.

Heat the oil in a kadai or wok and deep fry the balls until it starts to brown on both the sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towels.

Serve with chopped onion, raita, pickle and lemon wedges.

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Brocolli florets, chopped fine - 1 cup
Onion, chopped fine - 1 Large one
Garlic pod, chopped fine - 1-2No.s
Salt and pepper - to taste
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Butter - 1Tbsp
All purpose flour - 2 Tbsp
Chicken broth - 1 cup
Low fat milk - 2 cups + Water - 1 cup
Heavy cream (optional) - 4Tbsp
Heat oil and butter in a deep pan. Saute onion, garlic and when it starts to change its color, add the finely chopped broccoli and saute. Add salt and pepper and saute on low heat for 5 minutes.
Add the flour to this and mix well, saute for 2-3 minutes until the flour changes color and gives out a nice aroma. Add the chicken stock to this and mix well. Now add the milk and water mixture, whisking briskly so that no lumps are formed. Cover the pan and let sit on a low fire for 5 minutes. Add cream to the end of the cooking and turn the heat off.
Serve hot.

Thai Red Fish Curry

I have always loved Thai dishes, especially the coconut milk based soups and curries they serve at the restaurant. I have tried to attempt some of these dishes at home but the lack of fresh Thai herbs like Galanjal, lemon grass etc which impart the aroma and flavour that is so specific to Thai food always left them somehow void.
I had given up my attempts at Thai food and had resorted to restaurant food whenever I was in the Thai mood, until I came across these divine herbs in the local grocery shop. Went home armed with some of them and just got going.
The combination of Seafood with coconut milk and Thai herbs always had a mystical aura to it. And in that Tom Yum Soup takes the cake. I didnot dare to attempt it this time but settled for a lesser one, Thai Fish red curry, which I knew was a hard-to-go-wrong dish.
This curry is very fragrant, with the use of fresh herbs and rich in flavours.

Any fleshy fish fillet, cut into 1" pieces - 250gms
Oil - 2Tbsp
Red Bell Pepper - 1/2No, sliced thin
Mushrooms, cut into pieces - 1 cup
Garlic cloves, finely chopped - 2No.s
Lemon grass, finely chopped - 2Tbsp
Galanjal or fresh ginger, grated - 2 Tbsp
Red chilli powder - 1tsp
Turmeric powder - 1tsp
Thai Red Curry Paste - 2Tbsp
Canned Thick coconut milk - 1/4ltr
Fish Sauce - 2 Tbsp
Brown Sugar - 2tsp
Fresh Basil, finely chopped - 2Tbsp

Method :-
Heat oil in a deep pan. Saute Bell peppers nd Mushroom with a little salt for 2-3 minutes, stirring in between. Add the garlic, lemon grass and galnjal and saute while stirring, until the garlic gives out a nice aroma.
Add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder, fish sauce, Thai red curry paste, brown sugar and saute for a minute.
Add the coconut milk and water, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Slowly add in the fish pieces and simmer, covered for 10 minutes, until the fish gets cooked.
Remove from fire, add lime juice and basil leaves and serve with Thai Jasmine Rice.