Thursday, December 30, 2010


I called this dish “meat pie” because it’s got meat and some crust...but the method of preparation is none like the English meat pie. Taste wise, it’s "SPICY" and absolutely awesome!! Its a regional preparation of North Kerala called "Adhishaya Pathiri" in Malayalam.

Once more, I should warn's a very very spicy dish! I love a lot of meat and thin layers seperating them but you could thicken the layers and adjust according to your taste. Addition of cream to the egg mixture will give you the custardy texture. I have not added it though because the authentic recipe does not have cream.

Here the recipe calls for baking. You can cook it on the stove too, at medium heat in a heavy bottom and heavy lid non-stick vessel. Meat can be replaced by vegetables or chicken too. 

Happy cooking J.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Thanks everyone for voting me to the top 9 on FOODBUZZ.
As Christmas passes and the countdown for New Year is closing, I present to you a simple and quick appetizer - Smoked Salmon with spicy dill sauce. A tiny and quick post with lots of love and best wishes for every year ahead!! J


Smoked salmon fillets - 2 deboned and rinsed for removing excess salt
Lime juice - from 1 whole lemon
Dill - 1 sprig for garnish
Peppercorns - few for garnish

For sauce:
Dill- 4 sprigs very finely chopped
Butter- 1 teaspoon
Green chillies - 3 chopped finely
Black pepper - ½ teaspoon
Cream - 4 table spoon
Cheddar cheese - 1 tablespoon freshly grated
Parmesan cheese - 1 teaspoon
Garlic - 2 cloves crushed
Salt for seasoning


1.       Cut salmon into 1 inch cubes and soak in lime juice for 15mins. If you want to infuse a lot of lime flavour, keep for more time.
2.       Meanwhile, prepare sauce. Heat a pan and melt butter
3.       Add garlic and sauté till aroma lingers.
4.       Add green chillies, dill and cream. Mix well.
5.       Add both cheese and let them melt in.
6.       If sauce is too thick, add a little hot boiling water to perfect the consistency. If you plan to top with sauce and serve, I recommend a little thick sauce otherwise, it will be too gooey.
7.       Now plate the salmon and serve topped with a spoon of sauce, some dill and a pepper corn.

Tips n Tricks:
·         Well, some of us can’t adjust to the taste of smoked salmon. If you have a blow torch, use that to sear the salmon marinated in lime juice and pepper. Otherwise, just marinate in lime juice and pepper, then pan. And serve with sauce.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


First of all Seasons Greetings from Mj’s kitchen to all my dear foodie friends and every other visitor at Cardamom Hills!!! Up above is my little personalized wishes to all of you!!

I had put on my ‘lazy hat’ from last couple of days which I think has been reflecting on my blog too....but today something inspired me totally to go and give a nice stir-up to my dear kitchen who’s been missing me messing it up J and the result is a yummy dessert...yup, that’s what I have for you today. This main dessert will also be accompanied by a side dessert - poached fruits in spice syrup.

 So before we get on with our main recipe for the day, I’ll share my poached fruits. Kiwi, plum, watermelon and mango, now isn’t that a unique combo?

I’ll recommend putting the diced pieces of water melon in a pre-heated oven at 180⁰C for 2mins. Leave it inside till oven cools. Thus, melon pieces will lock the water in it, preventing your syrup from getting soggy when you put them in. Now dice all the other fruits up. In case of quantity of fruits, you could use a wee bit of your own brains and decide...hehe...

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Another B for Biryani....this time a flavoursome Lamb chucks cooked in spices till succulent, then layered with rice and cooked air tight for 30mins.

And by the time those 30mins are gone...your entire house would be filled with the most amazing aroma of spices. This would tempt you to open the lid and scoop out straight into your mouth from the stove. Please Beware: “This is an extremely hazardous act since you will end up burning your taste buds and leading a flavourless life at least for a week!” (Guaranteed out of personal experienceJ)

For pictorial references of initial process of preparing the gravy, please refer to my previous Biryani post. The difference here is we are cooking the meat and rice separately and then together in dum till flavours infuse into the rice.

The credits for this recipe go to one of my aunts. I’ll call her Aunt Sh. She makes awesome Lamb Biryani.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Don’t get me’s a getaway not a give-awayJ .....Just got back after a lovely holiday and I still haven’t recovered from my holiday mood....hehe....the pic above is our recipe for the day but before that I have quite a bit to babble J so please bear with me!!

But the coolest thing was when I got back after 8 days of absolute isolation from internet and log into my blog. Guess what awaited me here....soooo many lovable comments, a #1 spot in the foodbuzz top nine for my last post and a stylish blogger award from a foodie friend: Toni at Boulder Locavore. Yuppiieeee!!!!! Can’t tell you how happy that made me =) Thanks to all of you wonderful people and foodbuzz for making me happier after a happy holiday J... Touch wood!! I know,I sound all charged’s coz of an absolutely wonderful trip...thanks to Aj n my baby for thatJ.

I thought I’ll share a few clicks that we took during our little adventure before getting into today’s recipe which, I promise, is equally awesomeJ. After all, there’s no room for compromise when it comes food in a food blog right?

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Thanks everyone for voting me to the top 9 on FOODBUZZ.

I got a couple of awards last weeks from foodie friends!! Thank you fellow bloggers (Dimah, Green girl and Mateja) for your generosity & encouragement!! I’ll do my list of awards as soon as I finish posting my party menu.

One more thing guys, I won’t be in touch with my blog for a week ( from tomoro until next friday) due to some travelling but don’t let that stop you from peeping in here and trying a few recipesJ.

So here is the second starter from our 4 course party menu - “Pan seared chicken marinated in Indian style spices and served with pickled green olives” J I have devised two dips to accompany our starter, one (Tamarind chutney) of which you can see in the picture and the other I’ll mention in our Tips & Tricks section.

When I say zero oil, I totally mean it!! I haven’t used any oil. It’s quick and simple too. Oh! N by the way you can coat your non stick frying pan with some butter, if you think it’s ok to have some extra but yummy caloriesJ.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cheddar and Mozzarella Fingers in Oats flakes!

Hey world!! So the 4 course party menu I promised, is working its way into the blog. Today we will take a look at the first appetizer- a 2 in one cheese fingers coated in oats flakes.

It’s a neat snack for kids who don’t like oats J. I promise they’ll ask for more if you serve it like this!

Keep the cheddar slices thin and mozzarella thick but not too thick. If you wish to make it spicy add some pepper powder or chilli powder or some green chilli paste to the egg before coating. You can add caramelized onions and some red chilli flakes instead of oats, tat’s even yummier. I used oats so that my little one could have them too.

Monday, November 22, 2010

YBR monthly event and Quickies noodle Challenge!!

Hi guys...this is a quickie post on 2 events I am participating this month!

The first one is Your Best Recipe of the month hosted by Nancy at Spicie Foodie. Nancy has such a lovely blog and her recipes are awesome!! This event is a monthly round up of recipes that bloggers think is their best one of the month. You can submit recipes every month and Nancy will publish them at the end of that month. Check it out here:

Next one is a contest called the Quickie Noodles Challenge hosted at Quickies on the Dinner Table by Denise and Lazaro. They both have fabulous blogs, that I discovered just couple of days back. Denise and Lazaro are looking for an innovative noodles or pasta recipe that would be quick and yummy! And there is a prize too...go check it out at Quickie Noodles Challenge.


This post is an important component for many of my recipes. So When I finally got my pictures done for Garam masala, I thought I should do the post asap. But guess what? I forgot to put cloves in the picture!! So please bear with the forgetful me and use cloves as per the recipe and don’t hunt for them in the pictures. For those of you who don’t know what clove is, just Google it and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about J but otherwise, here is the secret recipe to my Garam masala mix. I am also going to give you the list of recipes from my blog that can be made exceptionally delicious using this mix of spices.

I would encourage you to make your own mix and store it in an air tight container. Use within a few months and then replenish stock.

For a few recipes like Biryani and “Lamb roast in Garam Masala” I would recommend using freshly ground Garam Masala since that it the best way to infuse flavours into the meat. Also, because the main flavours in such dishes, come from these spices.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Thanks everyone for voting me to the top 9 on FOODBUZZ.

Finally, I am back J....been really busy the last few I have some great stuff are ready but never got time to post here on I’ll make it a point to do one post per day!

Over this week, I’m going to post a whole party menu for a four course meal....but of course, on a one dish per dayJ basis. For starters we’ll have cheese fingers with a twist and seared chicken breast with chettinad spices. In the vegetarian main course serving will be Garlic Parathas with yummy Mushroom and baby carrot curry. The non-veg main course will be Lamb Biryani accompanied by Pomegranate flavoured yogurt salad. And finally the dessert, how about Poached fruits in Ginger syrup and a Green apple surprise?

So, how did you like a glimpse of the menu for a week?  Sounds yum? Keep coming back to cardamom hills for more J!

Coming to today’s menu, I’ll do a salad that can accompany our four course meal....I call it the Nibbles Salad because all the ingredients have to be chopped to nibble sizeJ. It tastes best this way since you can scoop a spoonful and enjoy the delightful taste of every ingredient in one bit.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Firstly, Apologies! I know, I have been absconding since couple of days  and have been leaving all your comments unattended...but I swear, the week’s been terribly hectic, I was travelling, I could not access the internet for a couple of days and I just can’t find enough time to finish my “to do list”!! L That’s probably my first sad smiley in the blog J hehehe....but genuinely, thank you, all you lovely people who take time out to comment on my are the best and this signature recipe from MJ’s kitchen is dedicated to all of you!!! N please forgive me if I haven’t replied to your comments. I will, once I have plenty of time in hand, that I promise J

I am giving you a bonus recipe within this recipe for a spicy buttermilk drink that is so popular in India. It’s called ‘Masala Chaas’ in the north and ‘sambaram’ in the south. Actually, there are numerous names, if I start mentioning because we have so many languages and butter milk is a popular thirst quencher all over the country.

Getting down to the dish, it’s simple and delicious. We are going to marinate prawns in buttermilk and sauté it without oil. I used small prawns but it should come out fine with any size. Just make sure you have plenty of marinade. For accompaniments, it’s a great combination with plain rice.

Happy cooking J

Monday, November 8, 2010


Ok, I know I have been stuck with a sweet tooth from last few posts and my spicy blog has turned into a sweet creamy one J but I promise after this one last dessert I won’t do more for another month unless I just can’t get off my cravings or want to test my baking skills.
So what on the menu today?? Well, we all know the famous blueberry cheese cakes....i’ll make you a blueberry cheese cake minus the baking skills equals A Pudding!! Luscious and rich that you will want more...hehehe...please stick to the quantities or I’ll assure you that your pudding will turn into soupJ.
Just as we did for our bread pudding, I used an 8inches square dish and the quantity made will have to be adjusted according to your serving dish.

Friday, November 5, 2010


How does it sound? Strangely exciting? Actually, this was an experiment that took place for the sake of a pending can of white beans. In India, we make sweet porridge with lentils. So, I thought why not try ice cream. Well, it was a good yield.

The best thing is you can completely opt out on the milk and add coconut cream to make it vegan and totally healthy ice cream. This is because the white beans give it a great ice creamy texture without having to work too hard on it. For more know-how on that section, check tips n tricks at the end of the post.

This ice cream has to be serve after 4 to six hours of chilling or it will harden (not crystallize). Then you have to leave it outside for 10mins and use a blender to get the texture back. But other wise it’s a hit!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Kebabs can’t get easier than this….by the way, I hope there is no one who’s not heard of Kebab! It usually refers to barbecued meat dishes that are marinated or mixed with various herbs and spices. There are many varieties of kebabs. Here, I am doing a variation of seekh kebab. I know those pictures are not the most appetizing ones you have seen but night lights are dim and that’s the best I could do before the plate was empty. Next time, I'll make them in the morning and post some great and clear picturesJ

I have not used a Barbecue but instead a non-stick pan/ tava to cook the kebab. It’s the same as grilling on the barbecue unless you are using the traditional charcoal grill. For lazy ones like me, making kebabs in my cosy kitchen is more effective! Plus, I could eat them whenever I want, even for breakfastJ

This is a simple and modified version of Indian Seekh Kebabs. And don’t try any other meat for this method because both chicken and beef will totally stick to you pan! While washing the meat, drain off water totally. Infact, keep it aside for a 30 mins to drain water completely. Otherwise, it will let out so much water while cooking that you’ll have a curry instead of kebab!! N we don’t want that do we?

My first award!

Elisabeth at Food & Thift finds has been extremely generous to honour me with this award!!!
Thank you soooo much for my first ever award.

Like she said in her post, thanks to foodbuzz for all the great friends, I have made in the foodie community :)

1.       Brown Eyed Baker
2.       Chacko's Kitchen
3.       eatGREEK
4.       Fork spoon n knife
5.       Flavours
6.       Gingerbread Bagels
7.       kitchen morph
8.       La Kocinera
9.       Mishmash!

Please copy & paste it on your blog and pass it on to 15 other bloggers of your choice.

Once again, thank you Elisabeth!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Did you know that 1 medium bell pepper gives you as much Vitamin C as 2 large oranges?? Bell pepper is loaded with anti-oxidants which protect fight cardiovascular diseases and even cancer. There are a load of other nutrients which I haven’t mentioned.  So don’t we need to use them as much as we can? And cinnamon….well cinnamon is a power spice. It is rich in calcium, iron and various vitamins n minerals. A teaspoon of cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control thus helps combating diabetics. So we truly have a tonic here and she is a beauty in taste too!

I know that’s hard to believe that it will be tasty especially when green bell pepper is slightly bitter but you have to trust me like alwaysJ. It’s more than worth a try and tasty as ever.

Well, I have added mint and cucumber also…..thought of adding lime juice also but let go off the idea as it would cover up all the other flavours in the drink. You can always choose to add limeJ. I used an inch long piece of cinnamon that went straight into my blender which gives a great aroma and zing to the flavour. If you can, do the same else use powder as per directions.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Made it to Daily Special on Foodbuzz
This pudding is quiet different from the usual bread puddings. Its texture is gooey and soft with crunch from the pistachio only. It is an easy prep too.

Strictly follow the recipe or the pudding will not turn out well. I used an 8 inch square glass dish to set the pudding. So, adjust the ingredients according to your dish.
Also, be careful not to brown the bread while toasting it. It spoils the texture of the pudding.
Keep the sugar syrup thin. When you dip bread pieces in the syrup, don’t dip for very long. Just a small dip, take it out and slight squeeze between your palms. Happy cooking!

Ingredients:  (Serves- 8)
Bread- 10 pieces
Sugar syrup – ¼ cup sugar + ½ cup water boil into not very thick syrup
Evaporated milk – 160ml (Refrigerated)
Thick Cream/ full fat cream – 200gms
Whip cream- 2 cups
Vanilla extract- ½ teaspoon
Powdered sugar- ¼ cup (as per taste)
Pistachio flakes – 1cup
Chocolate syrup refrigerated

Saturday, October 30, 2010


I was suppose to post this yesterday but got very little time and never could really sit down to write! Most of you must have tried or at least heard of chicken and apricot…well, I came across the apricot-chicken combination only very recently. Since, then it has been on my mind. This recipe just happened as I went in hunting down the refrigerator.

The question was what would taste good with apricot and chicken?? Well, a sauce with orange juice is what first came into my mind, next the crunch….nuts were on my mind…but which one…. Remembered a Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe that had chicken coated in peanuts. Mint just happen as I took some out to garnish tried eating a little with mint leaves and I was sure this dish would be unfinished without it.

Jasmine rice will make a great accompaniment for this dish. Or you could just have it as one dish meal. I did thatJ. Don’t go for bread though.

If you read on, you’ll find that I have not used any extra salt in the chicken except while marinating and salted peanuts. That would give enough flavour and you won’t need to use extra. Use freshly ground ginger for marinating chicken. ‘DON’T’ use store bought ginger paste. You can use olive oil instead of butter. Also, don’t opt out on the green chillies this time because the heat simply adds to the flavour. Strictly, use freshly made orange juice.

Oh! And by the way don’t throw the water you are soaking apricots in, we need that too J

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


A rustic sweet dish from Kerala….cashew and peanuts combined in “Jaggery”, coconut flakes and rice crisp. During harvest, women pick nuts from the cashew trees and bake them in mud ovens with the shell on. Coconut is shredded using the traditional ‘Cherave’ and jaggery is pounded and crushed. When the cashew nuts are ready, they too get crushed. All the ingredients are mixed into an even powder and made into balls, which are the size of eggs….actually even shaped like them….an oval shape rather than spherical. The earthly flavours of this dish gives you a taste of the bountiful ‘God’s own country’.
Since that is impossible for city dwellers like us…we shall use unflavoured roasted cashew and peanuts. If you can't find them in store, buy cashews and peanuts. Bake it at 240 degree C for 6 to 8 minutes in a preheated oven till goldenish colour. Remove skin and grind corsely. For those who can’t get jaggery, you can use brown sugar - tastes quiet similar.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Look at that beauty...!!!
I have been eating this with breakfast, dinner and lunch from the last three days!! And I still am craving for it. Actually, my craze for pickles is quiet famous in the family. During my college years, vacations were mostly spent with my granny who always had a huge stock and variety of homemade pickles. Then, I used watch movies late night, snacking on PICKLES!! I hate store bought ones and rarely touch them, but give me a jar of homemade and I could literally lick it clean for you straight away. Guess, that’s enough of “pickle mania”. Let’s get to work!
Here, we are going to prepare a sweet, sour and hot pickle. The one thing you need to be very careful about is absolutely no water goes into the pickle or else fungi will eat it up before you do.  I would prefer using smaller garlic without having to halve it. And by the way, my lemons are straight from the backyardJ.
The putting together has a gap of 14 days in between, so I will list the ingredients in the same manner.

Monday, October 25, 2010


“The inspired me”…..I was watching an Italian dish- eggplants in penne pasta on tv yesterday when the cook in me suddenly woke up and struck the bell. “Ding, Dong!” I ran into the kitchen with my new found idea dwindling in my mind. The result, u got to try it to believe it. Pasta with tahini, eggplant and sausage chunks!! That’s not all. It’s garnished with fresh pomegranate seeds. Can’t explain the taste when all those stuff is tossed together. I wasn’t expecting such an awesome flavour but it couldn’t get better! This is “the one signature dish” from Mj’s kitchen. Mom said “Once more”, so it has to be hell too good!

 If I had the ingredients, I would have made kebabs instead of using sausages but Alas! Not all wishes come true J…I have used the large purplish black eggplants. I removed the skin before cooking but you can keep it if u like. Please do not wash the eggplants after dicing them, i promise you, it will ruin everything! Eggplants get soggy when you wash them after cutting and lets out water when you cook it, gets all mushy and sloppy. Here, we wana keep them firm and crunchy.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Hey, my little world….firstly apologies! I have been too busy from the past couple of days!! But today, I have a nice little magic soup to fulfill all your delicious but healthy cravings, accompanied by cheese topped garlic breadsJ.
Broccoli soups usually tend to get a little bland for me. So, I have added tomato for some zing in flavor and mushrooms to nibble into. Seasoning with onion does make a difference, so please don’t opt out on that.
Garlic bread, well I really don’t have much of a recipe to write for that. All I did was mash a clove of garlic in olive oil. Remove the garlic pieces. Season the bread with that oil, top it with mozzarella cheese and some finely chopped mint leaves (they go well!). Bake it for 10mins. Your accompaniment is ready. Now for the main dish….

Thursday, October 21, 2010

LAMB ROAST in Garam Masala!

"Ingredients of garam masala will be updated soon"

A signature lamb roast....when I say signature, it’s not mine....its Aj’s signature dish. Yea, I never told you but he is a damn good cook especially with meat. It’s very simple to make. It has a heavy lamb flavour with other ingredients just lingering around. For lamb-lovers, this is definitely a treat. Here I have used green chillies but you can replace it with bell pepper which gives it a great smell and keep heat at bay. Keeping it short and sweet today due to lack of time J here the recipe....

Ingredients: (serves 4)

Lamb -1kg clean and cut into medium to small size pieces
Onion-4 medium sized finely sliced
Green chillies- 2 or 3 slit (optional)

Garam masala powder- 2 tablespoons (freshly ground preferred)
Cayenne pepper/Chilli powder- a pinch
Yogurt - 1 tablespoon
Limejuice- from 1 lime
White vinegar - 1teaspoon
Salt to taste

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I’m travelling tomorrow which is keeping me busy today, so here’s a quick post for all my lovely vegetarian friends. Made this when I was in a rush and had some boiled cauliflower leftover. It’s simple and can even be converted into a rice or pasta dish to make it wholesome!

Ingredients: (serves 2)

Cauliflower -2 cups diced
Onion- 1 diced
Ginger garlic paste - ½ tablespoon
Green chillies- 2 slit (optional as always)
Bell pepper/ capsicum- 1 diced
Olive oil - 1 tablespoon
Soya sauce- 1 tablespoon
Tomato ketchup - 2 tablespoon
Pepper - 1 teaspoon

1.       Cook cauliflower in water and salt for 5 to 8mins till just done. Don’t let it get mushy, keep the crunchy texture on.
2.       Sauté ginger garlic paste in olive oil till raw smell is gone.
3.       Add onion and green chillies. Stir for a minute.
4.       Now toss in cauliflower pieces and soya sauce. Mix well. Close lid and cook for 2 mins.
5.       Last add the ketchup and pepper. Toss mixture. Stir on high flame for a minute. And ready to go!
6.       Serve hot with rice/pasta/naan or just munch in for a healthy veggie delight.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

BIRYANI - The king of Spices!! A photo tutorial.

How can I not post a biryani when it’s the king of spices.....well, I have been trying out biryani for a couple of years now. Aj adores biryani. It’s the first dish he would order in any Indian restaurant. For me, initially, getting the right flavour was very difficult, but as they say practise makes perfect J.
Now for some gyaan on biryani. Usually, there are 2 methods to cooking biryani- one is preparing the meat and rice separately and then mixing the two by means of dum, called pakki dum biryani. The second method is to cook the meat with the rice which is what I’m going to give you a demo of. This is called kachi dum biryani. What is “dum” - in authentic method the layered meat and rice were cooked by steaming over coals in a sealed container. Don’t worry, I will demo dum minus coal and almost sealedJ.
Biryani has a lot of varieties from Arabic to Hyderabadi to Malabar. The recipe here is for Malabar biryani. The highlight of this biryani is the rice used. We use kaima rice and not the regular basmati. This variation of basmati comes from the paddy fields lying low beside the Western Ghats in Kerala. But of course you can always use good ol’basmati. No issues there!
I’m cooking chicken but you can use the same recipe for lamb also with minor variations that I will mention in tips n tricks section.
If you have a hotplate, use that for dum process. For those like me who love the fire, heat a pan or tava and place the biryani vessel in that.
Btw, this would be my first official picture tutorial J Do temme how u liked it!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Thanks everyone for voting me to the top 9 on FOODBUZZ.
Pistachio and vermicelli in condensed milk! That’s all what it takes to make this dish.....sort of a snack because it’s too crunchy for a dessert. When you choose vermicelli go for the extremely thin ones, they are crunchy but not hard. Raw taste won’t go off quickly in thick ones. So please, please, please buy very thin vermicelli.

Ingredients: (serves ...totally depends on how many u gobble down in one go!! J)
Very thin vermicelli- 200grams coarsely crumbled
Condensed milk- 4 to 5 tablespoon
Pistachio - 1 cup coarsely powdered and a few pieces for garnish
Butter- 2 tablespoon
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...