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I love coconut in any form (must be the South Indian in me) and I came across this really easy recipe for coconut macaroons from my grandmother’s recipe book. I was so delighted to come across this book when I was visiting India a few weeks back – it was like finding a treasure trove of recipes – some of which were hand written by her and are so varied – right from complicated Indian curries and meat dishes to western desserts as she was a huge fan of baking. Here’s my first try at making coconut macaroons and I must be honest here and say that I burnt the first batch! But I was able to get it right with the second and boy was it worth the effort! I used a muffin tray to get the right shape and they came out just right – soft and gooey on the inside with a crunch on the outside.

Ingredients:
2 packets of dessicated coconut
1 can of sweet condensed milk (I have been known to eat condensed milk straight out of the can:-)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to about 200 degrees
In a large bowl combine the shredded coconut, condensed milk and vanilla extract and mix well. What you want is a smooth, creamy mixture
Then grease the muffin tray/cups and drop rounded spoonfuls of the mixture in
Place in the over and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden
Once you remove the tray from the oven, make sure you remove the macaroons and leave them to cool on a wire rack else they will continue cooking in the heat of the tray
These can be stored at room temperature in an air tight jar for about a month or so

I’ve been wanting to try Nigella Lawson’s Spanish Chicken and Chorizo recipe for a while now so that was lunch today and a very satisfying and delicious meal it was. However as I’m not keen on the idea of orange with chicken, I made it slightly differently using lemon zest, rosemary and a dash of cayenne pepper. Here’s the recipe…do try it. Nigella’s one pot meal recipes always please the tastebuds:-). Here’s what I did.

Ingredients:
6 chicken thighs
300 gms chorizo chopped into small cubes
The zest of one lemon
A sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped fine
Dry oregano for sprinkling
Garlic infused olive oil
Baby potatos, quartered
6-8 whole cloves of garlic
A teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Salt

Method:
Pre-heat the oven
In a roasting tin, pour the garlic oil
Then smear the chicken thighs on both sides with the oil
Add the potatos; chorizo cubes and whole garlic
Sprinkle with dried oregano, the lemon zest, chopped rosemary, cayenne pepper and salt
Put the tin into the oven for about 45 minutes till roasted
The oils of the chorizo come out during the cooking process and this is what gives the chicken and potatos oodles of flavor. Enjoy!

Wow – it’s been a while since my last post and I have no excuses other than the fact that work has kept me so busy that I dont find the time to blog as much as I would like to. I’m hoping to change that over the next few days given that we have holidays coming up! I have a ton of recipes and photos that need to be uploaded and the first of those is this delicious chocolate hazelnut ice cream sandwich recipe that I came across on “Better Homes and Gardens” online. When I went to the store last week, I found this new Chocolate Hazelnut ice cream from London Dairy and thought why not try something different…and it worked – the sandwiches were rich and oh so heavenly and the consistency of the ice cream was just perfect!It sure did leave me and my hubbie wanting more…here’s how I did it.

Ingredients:
12 chocolate wafers (I used regular shop bought chocolate wafers)
A 1/3 of a cup of Nutella
1/2 a tub of London Dairy Chocolate Hazelnut ice cream
A few chopped toasted hazelnuts

Method:
Spread nutella on one side of each wafer and keep aside
Scoop about 6 ice cream balls and keep it in the freezer until ready to assemble
To assemble the sandwiches, remove the ice cream balls from freezer and allow to soften for a minute
Place one ice cream ball on each wafer and top with remaining wafer; press gently together
Then sprinkle the edges with the toasted hazelnuts. Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet and freeze for about 2-3 hours and then relish every spoonful:-) Enjoy! I will post pics soon…

We do love our pasta at home and this recipe is very simple to make and yummy at the same time. I normally make this with penne pasta but this time tried it with fettuccine and it was so much better and lighter than penne actually. This recipe is definitely a keeper and the nice thing is that you can mix and match different ingredients. This time I made it with ham, mushroom and tomatoes. Here’s how:

Ingredients
About 7 rolls of fettuccine pasta (serves 2 people)
2 tbsps olive oil
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp tomato paste/puree
1/2 tsp dried herbs or oregano
About 300 gms button mushrooms, washed and quartered
Meat of your choice (or not), chopped into rough bits (you can use leftover chicken shredded; processed meats; mincemeat etc.).
Grated Parmesan cheese for garnishing
Salt and pepper

Method
Heat olive oil. Add chopped onions and garlic and saute.
Now add the mushrooms and cook till soft.
Add the diced tomatoes along with the tomatoe paste and dried herbs. Mix well.
At this stage, add the meat.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 a cup of the cooking liquid.
Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and mix well. If the pasta is a bit too dry, pour in a little bit of the reserved cooking liquid 1 tbsp at a time (it should not become mushy).
Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve hot with a garnish of grated parmesan cheese and a side of garlic bread.

Garlic bread recipe:
Mince 4-5 cloves of garlic. Add the garlic to butter with 1/2 tsp of dried herbs and a pinch of cayenne pepper or paprika. Mix, spread on bread of your choice and either toast or grill.

I love dosas with chicken curry – its one of those classic Indian combinations that makes a great meal. This particular chicken curry recipe is one that I learnt from my husband’s long time family cook in Chennai. I have made this often and I must say that it is wiped clean by us every single time. The kind of flavors that this curry imparts on your palate just makes you sigh with delight and leaves you wanting more. It also goes really well with paratas. This time, I served it with dosas that were made from the ready dosa mix you get in supermarkets.

Ingredients
1 kg chicken (skinned, cut and washed)
1 can coconut milk
1 large onion, sliced
2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
8-10 curry leaves
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
Salt to taste
Oil
Dry roast and grind into a powder:
1/2 tsp peppercorns
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds

Method
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan or pressure cooker.
Temper with curry leaves and onions and saute.
When the onions turn brown, add ginger garlic paste and the spice powders along with the ground spice mixture. Mix well. Add a little water if dry.
Now add the chopped tomatoes and saute till well blended and the oil rises to the surface.
Add the chicken and the full can of coconut milk. Add salt and mix well. Cook covered on low heat till chicken is done.
Serve hot.

“Sundal” or spiced chickpeas is a popular Indian snack that is made during festivals. This particular one made with black chickpeas reminds me of my weekly visits to the temple when I was a child. There they served this as “prasadam” in a small bowl made of dried banana leaves. Isn’t it amazing how food can trigger forgotten memories?! Here’s the recipe to making this healthy, protein filled, delicious snack.

Ingredients
1 can black or white chickpeas (soak overnight if using raw chickpeas)
Note: If you are using raw chickpeas, it would need to be pressure cooked for about 10 minutes with 1 cup of water before adding the spices. Canned chickpeas do not require any pressure cooking.
6-8 fresh curry leaves
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
2-3 green chillies slit lengthwise
A pinch of asafoetida
Salt
1 tbsp oil

Method
Heat oil and add the mustard seeds. Let it splutter.
Then add the curry leaves, chillies and cooked/canned chickpeas and mix well.
Add the asafoetida and salt. Squeeze over some lemon juice and serve hot with a cup of tea!

I love Nigella Lawson! I love the fact that she cooks from the heart without checking calories and most of all I love the fact that her recipes are just so simple and easy to make. So it came as no surprise that when I made her sticky toffee sauce today, it was just dee-lish! I served it with ice cream and it was just yum and then later on, once it had cooled and hardened, I cut up a piece of toffee and then died and went straight back to toffee heaven again!:-) If ever there was a heavenly tasting toffee sauce, this is it! Here is the link to Nigella Lawson’s Sticky toffee sauce recipe. Do try it!

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