Basmathi Rice with Chick-Peas and Toasted Almonds.


2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup basmati rice
1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 can (19 ounces) chick-peas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted


In a large saucepan, heat oil over low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, seven minutes or until tender.

Add bell pepper and rice, stirring to coat. Stir in 2 cups water, lemon zest, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 15 minutes or until rice is tender.

Add chickpeas and cook three minutes to heat through. Stir in cilantro and toasted almonds at serving time.

Chicken Mole


1/4 teaspoon salt (or as per taste)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 green bell peppers, cut into thin strips
1-1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook 2 minutes per side until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add onion and garlic and cook 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is tender. Add peppers and cook 5 minutes. or until softened.

Stir in salt, tomatoes, 2/3 cup of water, cocoa powder, brown sugar, vinegar, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, add chicken, and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook 10 minutes. Uncover and cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and sauce is lightly thickened.

Transfer chicken to a cutting board, thinly slice, and spoon chicken and sauce over rice and serve.

Thai Stir-Fry Chicken

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons chili sauce
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil (If fresh basil isn't available, substitute mint or additional cilantro.)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro


In large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken and stir-fry until golden brown and just cooked through, about 3 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a plate.

Add garlic and scallions to skillet and stir-fry just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add bell pepper and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

In small bowl, combine lime juice, chili sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, brown sugar, salt, and 1 tablespoon of water. Stir mixture into skillet and bring to a boil.

Return chicken to skillet and stir in basil and cilantro. Cook 1 minute stirring until just heated through.


Mango Lassi


1 c Mango, diced, mashed well(or use mango pulp)
1 c Yogurt, plain
1 c -Chilled water
a pinch -Salt
1 cardamom
1/2 c-Ice cubes
Use sugar according to your taste.

Beat or blend yogurt, then add water and beat or blend again. Add mashed mango and all the seasonings. Beat or blend again. Pour in individual glasses. Garnish with powdered cardamom and serve cold.

Blueberry Shake with Apricot nectar


1/2 cup frozen blueberries(fresh blueberries would be fine, but the frozen blueberries make the shake thick and icy.)
1/2 medium banana
1 can (5-1/2 ounces) apricot nectar

In a blender, combine blueberries and banana and process until mixture is coarsely chopped. Add 3 tablespoons of apricot nectar and process until almost smooth. Add remaining nectar and process until smooth and frothy.

Cranberry Lime Spritzer


1-1/2 pounds (2 bags) fresh or frozen cranberries (no need to thaw)
4 cups apple juice
3 tablespoons honey
Zest of one lime
2/3 cup fresh lime juice
10 cups chilled seltzer(Dont panic it artificially carbonated water)

In a large saucepan, combine the cranberries, apple juice, honey, and lime zest. Bring to a boi. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the berries have all popped, about 15 minutes.

Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, pushing on the berries to extract as much liquid as possible.

Stir in the lime juice. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled.

For each serving, spoon 1/4 cup of cranberry-lime juice into a tall glasss and add 1/2 cup seltzer. Add ice if desired.

Notes:-Make the cranberry-lime juice a day ahead, chill it, and serve at a big bash.

Mango Smoothie With a Kick.

1 mango, peeled and cubed(Choose a mango that is as ripe as possible)
1-1/2 cups low-fat plain yogurt
1/4 cup frozen tangerine juice concentrate, thawed
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Ginger Lemonade

Ingredients To make a whole batch.

1 pound unpeeled ginger, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices(For an even more potent hit of ginger, use an additional 1/4 to 1/2 pound.)
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 14 lemons)
Ice cubes
Fresh mint, for garnish


In a medium saucepan, combine ginger, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to low, and simmer 30 minutes. Uncover and allow to cool to room temperature.

Strain ginger syrup into refrigerator container. Stir in lemon juice and chill.

Serve chilled ginger lemonade over ice cubes with fresh mint.

Peanut,Banana & Chocolate Smoothie

Ingredients For 1 serving

1 cup low-fat milk (or use whole milk, its your choice)
1 medium banana (6 ounces)
4 teaspoons chocolate syrup
1-1/2 teaspoons creamy peanut butter
3 ice cubes

In a blender, combine the soymilk, banana, chocolate syrup, peanut butter, vanilla, and ice cubes. Blend for 1 minute, or until thick and smooth.

Note:- This delicious smoothie make a good meal-on-the-go, or even a delicious dessert.


Cranberry Sauce

1-1/2 C sugar(use less or more according to your taste)
1 navel orange
1/2 tsp grated ginger
4 C cranberries


Grate the orange peel and add to a pot with the sugar and ginger.Add the juice from the orange into the pot and simmer over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
Add cranberries and cook until they pop - about 5 minutes.


Egg Thoran

2 Egg
1 Onion
1 Green Chilli
1 Tomato
2 tbs Coconut Oil/ghee
1/2 cup Grated coconut
Salt as per taste


Cut onion, green chilli and tomato in to very small piece. Mix it with grated coconut. Beat it with egg thoroughly for 3 minutes. Add oil in to a frying pan.When it is heated add the mixed egg and stir it well until it separates from the pan forming small shapes. Add salt to taste and serve hot.

Murungakaya/Drumstick Curry


12 drumsticks, peeled and cut into 5 cm long pieces
5 small onions, sliced
ghee for frying
6 green chillies, slit lengthwise
4 tbs curry powder
1 1/2 cups thin coconut milk
salt to taste
a few sprigs of curry leaves
a lemon sized ball of tamarind, soaked in water
1 1/2 cups thick coconut milk


Heat ghee in a pan and fry the onions and green chillies for four minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, except the tamarind and thick coconut milk. Cook on low heat till the murungakaya (drumsticks) are tender. Extract tamarind pulp and add to the curry. Simmer for five minutes. Add the thick coconut milk and bring it to a boil. For a variation, you can substitute drumsticks with beans, bitter gourd, snake gourd, brinjals or potatoes.

Morukaachiyathu/Pulisseri/yogurt curry


½ Onion, cut into small pieces
2 or 3 Green chile, cut long
¼ tsp. Turmeric powder
½ tsp. chile powder
¼ tsp. methi (uluva/fenugreek) powder
¼ tsp. cumin (jeerakam) powder
1 tsp oil
salt as per taste
1 tsp mustard seeds
10- 12 curry leaves
1 zuchini squash/chayote squash/cucumber/green mango/green apple (grannysmith), cut into pieces (you can use half of pineapple cut into cubes for the sweeter version)
2 c. Yogurt (wholemilk one is better), whipped well.


Heat oil, fry mustard seeds, then add onion, green chile and stir for a while. Then add curry leaves (optional), and then all the powders and salt. Stir for a few seconds, then add the veg. pieces, and a cup of water. Cover it and cook. When cooked, take it off the stove, and after a while (when cooled down a bit) add the yogurt to it, stir well. And it is ready! Note: (You can use ripe mango instead of squash/apple if you like. Also, you can add coriander leaves if you like.)

Cabbage Thoran


3 cups chopped cabbage
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 or 3 green chilies
1/2 cup greated coconut
3 medium garlic cloves
1 small onion
1 teaspoon urad dal
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon oil
salt as per taste


Chop the onion. Heat the oil on medium heat and add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the urad dal and curry leaves. Then add the onions and sauté till browned.

Now add the cabbage, turmeric powder and salt. Stir for a while, lower the heat and cook covered for five minutes.

Crush the garlic and cumin seeds and add to the cabbage along with the green chilies and the coconut.

Stir for a few more minutes and remove from heat.



2 cups toor dahl.
A pinch asoefetida powder
Salt as per taste

Mince the following:
8-10 nos Curry Leaves.
1 small Onions.
1 tsp Ginger.
2 Green Chillies.


Wash and soak dahl for four hours. Then DRAIN the dahl in a colandar for 1 hour. There should be hardly any water left on the dahl. If the dahl is too wet the vada will break apart. Pat the dahl dry with a paper towel.

With a food processor, the grinding will be easy. Grind the dahls separately and make a paste.

In the last portion of your grinding, add the onions, ginger and curry leaves so they become minced further. Combine the ground dahls. Add asoefetida powder and salt for taste. Shape into patties and deep fry.


Measurement Conversions

Metric to U.S.
1 mL = 0.033814 fl. oz.
1 mL = 0.061024 cu. in.
1 mL = 0.2029 tsp.
1 mL = 0.0676 Tbls.
1 dl = 3.3814 fl. oz.
1 dl = 6.1024 cu. in.
1 dl = 20.29 tsp.
1 dl = 6.76 Tbls.
1 dl = 27.05 fl. dr.
1 dl = 0.423 cups
1 dl = 0.845 gi.
1 dl = 0.21134 pt.
1 dl = 0.10567 qt.
1 l = 33.814 fl. oz.
1 l = 61.024 cu. in.
1 l = 67.6 Tbls.
1 l = 270.5 fl. dr.
1 l = 4.23 cups
1 l = 8.45 gi.
1 l = 2.1134 pt.
1 l = 1.0567 qt.
1 l = 0.26417 gal.
1 l = 0.029353 firkins
1 l = 1.8162 pt.
1 l = 0.9081 qt.

1 g = 0.035274 oz.
1 g = 0.0022046 lb.
1 kg = 35.274 oz.
1 kg = 2.2046 lb.

1 mm = 0.03937 in.
1 cm = 0.3937 in.
1 m = 39.37 in.
1 m = 3.281 ft.
1 m = 1.0936 yd.


U.S. to Metric
1 tsp. = 4.929 mL
1 Tbls. = 14.787 mL
1 fl. dr. = 3.6967 mL
1 fl. oz. = 29.57353 mL
1 cup = 236.59 mL
1 cup = 2.366 dl
1 cup = 0.2366 l
1 gi. = 118.294 mL
1 gi. = 1.18294 dl
1 gi. = 0.118294 l
1 pt. = 473.1765 mL
1 pt. = 4.731765 dl
1 pt. = 0.4731765 l
1 qt. = 9.4635 dl
1 qt. = 0.94635 l
1 gal. = 37.854 dl
1 gal. = 3.7854 l
1 firkin = 34.069 l
1 hhd = 238.48 l
1 pt. = 0.551 l
1 qt. = 1.101 l
1 pk. = 8.81 l
1 bu. = 35.25 l

1 oz. = 28.35 g
1 lb. = 453.59 g
1 lb. = 0.454 kg

1 in. = 25.4 mm
1 in. = 2.54 cm
1 ft. = 304.8 mm
1 ft. = 30.48 cm
1 yd. = 914.4 mm
1 yd. = 91.44 cm


cm = centimeter
dl = deciliter
g = gram
kg = kilogram
l = liter
m = meter
mL = milliliter
mm = millimeter


bu. = bushel
fl. dr. = fluid dram
fl. oz. = fluid ounce
ft. = foot
gal. = gallon
gi. = gill
hhd = hogshead
in. = inch
lb. = pound
oz. = ounce
pk. = peck
pt. = pint
qt. = quart
Tbls. = tablespoon
tsp. = teaspoon
yd. = yard

Measurement Equivalents

1 Drop = 1/72 tsp. = 0.002 oz. = 0.065 mL
1 Dash = 1/16 tsp. = 0.010 oz. = 0.308 mL
1 Pinch = 1/8 tsp. = 0.021 oz. = 0.616 mL


1 tsp. = 1/3 Tbls. = 1/64 cup = 1/6 oz. = 4.93 mL
2 tsp. = 2/3 Tbls. = 1/32 cup = 1/3 oz. = 9.86 mL
3 tsp. = 1 Tbls. = 1/16 cup = 1/2 oz. = 14.79 mL
6 tsp. = 2 Tbls. = 1/8 cup = 1 oz. = 29.57 mL
12 tsp. = 4 Tbls. = 1/4 cup = 2 oz. = 59.15 mL
16 tsp. = 5 1/3 Tbls. = 1/3 cup = 2 2/3 oz. = 78.86 mL
24 tsp. = 8 Tbls. = 1/2 cup = 4 oz. = 118.29 mL
32 tsp. = 10 2/3 Tbls. = 2/3 cup = 5 1/3 oz. = 157.73 mL
36 tsp. = 12 Tbls. = 3/4 cup = 6 oz. = 177.44 mL
48 tsp. = 16 Tbls. = 1 cup = 8 oz. = 236.59 mL


1 cup = 1/2 pt. = 1/4 qt. = 1/16 gal. = 8 oz. = 236.59 mL
2 cups = 1 pt. = 1/2 qt. = 1/8 gal. = 16 oz. = 473.18 mL
3 cups = 1 1/2 pt. = 3/4 qt. = 3/16 gal. = 24 oz. = 709.76 mL
4 cups = 2 pt. = 1 qt. = 1/4 gal. = 32 oz. = 946.35 mL
5 cups = 2 1/2 pt. = 1 1/4 qt. = 5/16 gal. = 40 oz. = 1.18 l
6 cups = 3 pt. = 1 1/2 qt. = 3/8 gal. = 48 oz. = 1.42 l
8 cups = 4 pt. = 2 qt. = 1/2 gal. = 64 oz. = 1.89 l
10 cups = 5 pt. = 2 1/2 qt. = 5/8 gal. = 80 oz. = 2.37 l
12 cups = 6 pt. = 3 qt. = 3/4 gal. = 96 oz. = 2.84 l
16 cups = 8 pt. = 4 qt. = 1 gal. = 128 oz. = 3.79 l


1 gill = 1/2 cup
1 peck = 2.33 gal.
1 bushel = 9.31 gal.


gal. = gallon
l = liter
mL = milliliter
oz. = ounce
pt. = pint
qt. = quart
Tbls. = tablespoon
tsp. = teaspoon




Karimeen Pollichathu
Promfert Varutharacha Curry
Fish Curry
Crab curry
Naadan Kozhi Curry
Mutton Curry
Kadukka/Mussels Curry
Coconut Lobster Curry
Shrimp and Mango Curry
Shrimp Fry
Shrimp Cutlets
Shrimp Biriyani
Easy Aadu/Mutton Biriyani
Chicken Manchurian
Chemeen/shrimp Pickle
Oven Cooked Salman In Coconut Milk
Dried Shrimp Chutney ( Unakka Chemmeen Chammanthi)
Peanut Chicken
Roasted Chicken
Shrimp Thoran
Mutton Thoran
Chicken Thoran
Egg Thoran


Muringakka/drumstick Thoran
Murungakka/Drumstick Curry
Jackfruit/Chakka Erisseri
ChakkaKuru/Jackfruit Seed Thoran
ChemmaChakka/Breadfruit curry
Mushroom Theeyal
Onion Theeyal
Vazhakoombu/Plantain Flower Thoran
Vegetable Biriyani
Mushroom Biryani
Coconut Rice
Tamarind Rice
Curd Rice
Spicy Tamarind Brinjals.
Ladyfingers in thick yogurt sauce.
Homemade Pizza Dough.
Tempura Fried Vegetables
Mini Buns
Carrot Halwa
Puttu/Steam Cake
Kadala Curry
Uzhunnu Vada
Coconut Chutney
Koottu Curry
Thali peeth
Ethakkaya Appam/Pazham Pori
Spinach Thoren
Cabbage Thoran
Morukaachiyathu/Pulisseri/yogurt curry


Ras malai
Phirni/Creamy Rice Flour Pudding
Ethakka/Plaintain Halwa
Sweet Vattayappam
Wheat Halwa
Parippu Payasam
Poha/Aval Payasam
Cranberry Sauce


Mango Lassi
Papay Lassi
Masala Chaya/Aromatic Tea/Tea with 5 spices
Banana/Strawberry Milkshake
Pina Colada
Peanut,Banana & Chocolate Smoothie
Ginger Lemonade
Mango Smoothie With a Kick.
Cranberry Lime Spritzer
Blueberry Shake with Apricot nectar

Ethakka/Plaintain Halwa


3-4 large plantains, riper the better
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup raisins (soaked)
2-3 cups milk
1 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup unsalted butter


Steam the plantains with the skin on if you have a steam cooker. Else microwave whole, skin and all, over a little water for about three to four minutes on high power. This enhances the sweetness of the plantains. Make a few slits in the skin of the plantains. You can even cut them in half. Allow to cool and skin them. I apologise for leaving this part out to those who may have already tried this!
Mash the ripe plantains with the milk, the sugar and half the butter. I use a food processor as it blends the bananas well. Keep aside.

Melt the rest of the butter on a low flame (Use a non-stick pan). Add the cashews and saute till golden. Add the mashed ingredients and the raisins.
Increase the heat and mix in the allspice. Continue blending in until the halwa is sticky and leaves the pan. Remove from heat.Allow to cool and set in a greased pan/plate. Cut into little squares. You can serve this warm or cold!



1/2 lb fresh mango, flesh only
1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch salt
2 ounces black grapes, optional as garnish


Put mango, yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, nutmeg and salt into blender & process until smooth. Spoon into 4 serving dishes, if desired, garnish with grapes cut in 1/2, seeds removed.

Phirni/Creamy Rice Flour Pudding


4 cups milk
2 tablespoon(s) rice preferably long - grained(Basmati)
6 tablespoons sugar or to taste
4 cardamoms powdered
1 tablespoon(s) almonds blanched and sliced
1 tablespoon(s) pistachios and cashewnuts sliced
a few strands of saffron soaked in a little milk.


Wash the rice and soak it in a little water for about 30 minutes. Grind the rice with just enough water in which it was soaked to make a fine paste. Keep aside.
Pour the milk in a vessel and bring it to a boil on medium heat. Let it simmer. Meanwhile, take a little of this hot milk in a bowl, add the rice paste and dilute it to a very thin consistency. Add this to the simmering milk and mix, stirring continuously. Cook on low heat for 12 minutes or till the milk has thickened .
Add sugar and stir well. Keep on low heat for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the saffron and sprinkle cardamom powder on top. Garnish with sliced almonds, pistachios and cashewnuts.Serve chilled.



1 quart whole milk yogurt
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 tsp. cardamom powder
few strands saffron
1/2 tbsp. pista & almond crushed


Tie yogurt in a clean muslin cloth overnight. (6-7 hours).
Put the yogurt into a bowl, add sugar and cardamom and mix.
Rub saffron into 1 tbsp. hot milk, in a small bowl, until the color spreads and dissolved and add to the yogurt. Empty into a serving bowl, and garnish with nut crush.Chill for 1-2 hours before serving.

Ras malai


2 lbs Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sugar
32 oz half & half milk
A pinch of saffron
1/4 tsp crushed cardamom seeds
1/2 cup blanched almonds
2 tbsp crushed green pistachios


Mix the cheese with sugar and little cardamom powder and spread out on a baking tray.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until it sets. It should not get brown.
Remove from oven, cool at room temperature and cut into 2" squares. Place them in a dessert bowl.Mix the other ingredients, except the pistachios well in a separate dish and pour over the squares. Decorate with pistachios, chill for 2-3 hours and then serve.


Spinach Thoren


3 cups Chopped Spinach
1 cup Grated coconut
3 Garlic cloves
3 Green chillies
3 shallots
1 Red chilli
5 Curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
Salt (As per taste)


Grind together the garlic, 2 onions and coconut to a fine paste. Slice the remaining shallot into roundels. Steam the spinach with little salt and ½ cup water. When done, add the ground paste and green chillies and steam again for 5 minutes. Cook uncovered till almost dry.

Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. Add onion roundels and saute for a few minutes. Add curry leaves and red chilli and fry till the chilli changes colour. Add the cooked spinach. Stir gently till the thoren is completely dry. Serve hot.

Mutton Thoren


1 lb Minced goat meat
2 cups Grated coconut
5 Green chillies
4 Garlic cloves
2 teaspoons Cumin seeds
4 teaspoons Coconut oil
3 Red chillies
1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
2 teaspoons Curry leaves
1/2 cup shallots
2 teaspoons Chopped coriander leaves
2 teaspoons Chopped mint leaves
Salt (As per taste)

Cook the meat with half quantity of salt till tender and dry. Grind the coconut, green chillies, garlic, cumin seeds and the remaining quantity of salt to a fine dry paste.

Heat oil and saute mustard seeds, red chillies broken into bits, curry leaves, sliced shallots and the ground paste for two minutes. Add the cooked meat, mix the contents well and cook for another two minutes. Transfer the contents to a serving dish.

Garnish it with chopped coriander and the mint leaves. If desired spoon 2-3 tsp fresh coconut oil over.

Shrimp Thoran


500 grams Prawns
1 cup Grated coconut
5 Chopped green chillies
1 inch Chopped ginger
6 Chopped garlic
1 teaspoon Chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
6 teaspoons Coconut oil
2 teaspoons Curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
2 teaspoons Chopped coriander leaves
Salt (As per taste)


Wash, Shell and de-vein the shrimps. Cook the shrimps with salt and enough quantity of water till tender and dry.

Heat 4 tsp oil and saute the curry leaves,mustard seeds and chopped ingredients for a minute. Add the cooked prawns, chilli powder, turmeric powder and the grated coconut. Mix the contents well and cook for five minutes. Remove it from fire and transfer the contents to a serving dish.

Garnish it with chopped coriander leaves and spoon hot coconut oil over it.

Kadukka/Mussels Curry


2 lb Mussels
5 small Onions
2 medium Tomatoes
2-3 Green chillies
1 teaspoon Chopped ginger
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
1 teaspoon Red chilli powder
3 teaspoons Coriander powder
1 teaspoon Garam masala
5-6 Curry leaves
2-3 tablespoons Oil
Salt (As per taste)


Finely slice the onions. Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan, add onions and fry till they are golden brown in colour. Add chopped tomatoes, slit green chillies, ginger, curry leaves and fry till oil leaves the sides of the pan. Add all the powders and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the mussels, salt and little water. Cover and cook on a low flame till the mussels are cooked.

Roasted Chicken

This is a simple method to roast the chicken.


1/4 teaspoon salt.
1/4 teaspoon pepper.
1/4 teaspoon chili powder.
1/2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste.
1 lime (extract all the Juice and keep aside).
1 3-pound whole broiler-fryer chicken.
2 teaspoons butter(encourages browning).

For the Rub, Combine lime juice,chili powder, ginger garlic paste,salt and pepper.

Rinse chicken; pat dry with paper towels. Loosen skin on chicken breast. Using your fingers, carefully spread half of the rub under the skin. Skewer neck skin to back; tie legs to tail. Twist wings under back. Take rest of the rub and spread it inside the cavity. Let it marinate for atleast an hour(or overnight).

Place chicken, breast side up, on a rack(V-shape works better) in a shallow roasting pan. Rub with butter on the skin. If desired, insert a meat thermometer into center of an inside thigh muscle. Roast, uncovered, in a 375 degree F preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Take the chicken out cover with an aluminium foil and place back in oven. Roast about 45 minutes more or until chicken is no longer pink, juices run clear (the meat thermometer, if using, should register 180 degrees F).


(1) Chicken skin contains a great deal of fat, and many people are in the habit of removing it in order to avoid the extra calories. Crispy, fragrant roast chicken skin is absolutely delicious, and, many people insist, the best part of the roast chicken. If you choose to pass up the temptation, though, you still need to leave the skin on the chicken during roasting. Roasting a skinless bird is an exercise in futility. The skin holds in moisture and juiciness. If you skin the chicken before you roast it, the meat will become bone-dry long before it's cooked through. You can carve the chicken then remove the skin from your portion as you see fit. Don't worry-there is no significant difference in calories between removing the skin before or after cooking!

(2)you can add vegatables(eg:-Onion,potatos,carrots etc..) on botton of the roasting pan.(I've found that when setting the chicken on a flat rack or directly in the roasting pan, the juices that collect around the chicken never have the chance to reduce.)

(3)A blasting heat crisps the skin and gives the chicken a great roasty flavor, but I recommend just an initial 20 to 25 minutes at 450°F, followed by a more moderate 375°F for the remaining cooking time(until chicken is no longer pink, juices run clear (the meat thermometer, if using, should register 180 degrees F)).

(4)put other flavor additions into the cavity --like herbs, lemons,Oranges, cloves of garlic -- which help flavor the meat and especially the pan juices as they flow from the bird into the roasting pan.

(5)Checking doneness:- Tests for doneness start with color. The skin should be dark golden, and the juices that come from the thigh when you prick it (and also from the cavity when you tilt the whole bird) should be clear, not rosy or pink. The drumsticks usually wiggle easily in their sockets, though it's sometimes hard to get a good grip on a hot bird. The ultimate test you should use until you're really experienced is to stick a thermometer into the middle of the thigh meat, not too close to the bone nor too close to the skin.

(6) The chicken will be much better if you let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes. This lets the juices redistribute themselves.

Peanut Chicken


1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size strips
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon greated piece ginger.
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup chunky peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro


In a large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. In a medium bowl toss chicken with curry powder,ginger and jalapeno. Add to skillet; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Carefully add 3/4 cup water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl stir together coconut milk, peanut butter, and soy sauce. Add to the skillet. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes more or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cilantro.

Dried Shrimp Chutney ( Unakka Chemmeen Chammanthi)


1/4 cup Dried Shrimps
1 cup Grated Coconut
4 Small Onion
4-5 pieces Dry Red Chilly
5nos Curry Leaves


Heat a pan and fry dried shrimps over medium fire, add red chilliies and small onions and sauté until its colour varies. Then grind or crush well the coconut, curry leaves, salt, with this mixture. Your mouthwatering chutney is ready.

Tamarind Rice


1 oz Tamarind
11/2 cups Rice
4 Dry chillies
1 dsp Gingely oil
2 dsp Ghee
11/2 tsp Black gram dal
11/2 tsp Bengal gram dal
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1/4 tsp Fenugreek
16nos Cashewnuts
a pinch Asafoetida powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
Salt to taste


Soak the tamarind in one cup of water for 15 minutes and draw the pulp and strain(or use tamarind pulp). Cook the rice in boiled water and drain it. Fry and powder, black gram dal and fenugreek and mix them with turmeric powder and asafoetida.

Season mustard, pieces of dry chillies, bengal gram and cashew nuts in gingely oil, add tamarind water, the powdered turmeric and asafoetida and boil till thick. Add enough salt and mix in the rice and the ghee.


Shrimp and Mango Curry.

1. Shrimps- ¼ kg.,
2. Big onions- ¾ cup,
3. Raw mango (chopped) - ½ cup
4. Oil- three table spoons,
5. Salt- to taste,
6. Chilli powder- 1½ teaspoon
Turmeric powder- ½ teaspoon,
Cumin seeds- ¼ teaspoon,
Mustard seeds- ¼ teaspoon,
Garlic- one table spoon,
Ginger- ½ table spoon,
Small onions -chopped,one table spoon


1. Grind ingredients under (6) and keep aside.
2. Heat oil well, saute the big onions, then add the ground paste and fry well.
3. Then saute the shrimps, add one cup of water, a little salt and keep to cook.
4. Next add the mangoes and mix well.
5. Cook on low flame and remove when gravy thickens.

Mushroom Theeyal


For Coconut Paste

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole (use less if preferred!)
1 1/2 cups grated coconut (fresh or frozen or unsweetened, desiccated)
1/2-1 teaspoon pure chili powder (or to taste)
1 tablespoon coriander powder
3/4 cup water

For Mushroom Curry

1/2-1 tablespoon vegetable oil or butter or ghee
16 ounces fresh button mushrooms, halved (or quartered if large)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, extra
1 tablespoon gingerroot, cut in julienne strips
1-3 green chilies, cut in half lengthwise (de-seeded for less heat)
1/2 cup onions, sliced
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
reserved mushroom liquid, made up to 1 1/2 cups, with water
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
10-15 fresh curry leaves (or frozen)
2-3 teaspoons thick tamarind paste

For Tempering

1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds


For the coconut paste: Heat the vegetable oil in a non-stick, heavy skillet and add the coconut and garlic. Stirring frequently, gently toast the coconut with the garlic cloves, until the coconut is golden brown. If using freshly grated or frozen grated coconut, this will take 15 to 20 minutes. If using unsweetened dessicated coconut, it will take less time. Be careful not to burn the coconut.
Stir in the chili powder and coriander powder and roast with the coconut for one minute. Set aside and cool lightly, then transfer the mixture to a blender with the water, and grind to a very fine paste. Set aside.

For the mushroom curry: Lightly saute the mushrooms in vegetable oil, butter or ghee until silken and just softened. Drain and reserve any liquid. Set aside.
In a medium-size pan, heat the extra vegetable oil and saute the ginger, chilies and onions for two to three minutes. Add the drained mushrooms, turmeric powder, the mushroom liquid made up to 1 1/2 cups with water, and salt, then partially cover with a lid, and simmer 5 minutes. Add the curry leaves and tamarind paste, and stir briefly before adding the coconut paste. Cover pan and cook over low heat for three minutes.

For tempering: Just before serving, heat the 1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil in a small skillet or flameproof ladle and toss in the mustard seeds. Once they start to pop and crackle, pour them into the mushroom dish, stir, and serve.



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Coconut Lobster Curry

2 Tablespoons coconut oil
2 onions, finely sliced
6 whole green chiles, slit lengthwise
3 cloves garlic, sliced into fine strips
20 curry leaves
1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
1 ½ teaspoons salt
4 small lobsters, cracked
2 ½ cups coconut milk
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped

Heat coconut oil in a wide pan, then saute the onion, chiles and garlic. Add 10 of the curry leaves, and keep cooking until onion is translucent. Add turmeric and salt, then coconut milk. Heat through, then add lobsters and simmer gently. Fry remaining 10 curry leaves in separate pan.
Lobsters should be cooked in 7-9 minutes, depending on size. Serve in deep dish laden with their sauce. Garnish with fried curry leaves and coriander, and serve with steamed rice alongside.

Oven Cooked Salman In Coconut Milk

4 thick salmon steaks
2.5cm/1in piece root ginger, peeled and cut into small,
very thin slices
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and cut into small, very thin slices
350g/12oz tomatoes, peeled and halved
1 fresh red chilli, de-seeded and sliced as finely as possible
(or else add 1 tb spoon red chilli powder for an indian taste)
400ml/14fl oz tinned coconut milk
salt - as per taste
2 limes, juice only
10-15 curry leafs


1. Put the fish steaks in a fairly shallow ovenproof dish
with a lid, into which they fit quite closely.

2. Scatter the ginger, garlic, tomato and chilli pepper over and around the fish.

3. Empty the coconut milk into a separate bowl, add a good sprinkling of sea salt and gradually stir in the lime juice. Pour the mixture gently over and around the fish and cover the dish.

4. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F. Put the dish on the centre shelf and cook for 40-50 minutes, until the fish is lightly done. To discover this insert a small, sharp knife into the centre of one of the steaks,if the flesh is slightly darker pink in the centre it will be perfectly cooked. Remove from the oven.

5. Before serving scatter the curry leaves on top.

Papay Lassi

1 c Papaya; ripe, diced, mashed well
1 c Yogurt, plain
2 c -Chilled water
2 tb Lime juice
1 ts -Salt
1/2 ts Pepper
Mint; few sprigs
1/2 c-Ice cubes


Beat or blend yogurt, then add water and beat or blend again. Add mashed papaya with all the seasonings. Beat or blend again. Pour in individual glasses. Garnish with mint and serve cold.

If you want to make sweet papaya lassi, then omit salt, lime juice and pepper. Add 2 tbsp sugar instead and flavour with rose water.


Sweet Vattayappam


5 eggs
1 1/4 cups thick coconut milk
8 oz jaggery or use sugar if you want the final product in white colour
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1 cup chopped cashews


Beat the eggs well. Grate the jaggery(sugar- just add the sugar to the egg) and mix with the egg batter. Add all the other ingredients and mix well.

Pour the mix into a greased bowl. Cover with oil paper & steam for an hour. Let it cool in the container before serving.

Sprinkle some chopped cashews for added taste and decoration.


Pina Colada


7 oz Pineapple Juice
2 oz Coconut Cream
1 cup Crushed Ice


Add the pineapple juice, coconut cream and crushed ice to a blender; blend at high speed. Pour into a glass. Garnish with a cherry, a pineapple wedge, and serve.

Note:- This is for 1 serving. If you want to serve this more people multiply each ingredients with number of people you are serving.

Banana/Strawberry Milkshake


1 c Frozen whole strawberries
1 Ripe banana
1 c Milk (skim and low fat work Fine)
4 pk Sugar substitute (or more to Taste)
1/2 ts Vanilla


Place all ingredients in a blender and run the blender on the highest
setting. The shake will take longer in the blender than most people
will expect because of the frozen strawberries. However, the frozen
berries along with the banana provide the smooth thickness of this
drink.The quantities of each ingredient are very flexible, experiment until you
find your favorite.

Masala Chaya/Aromatic Tea/Tea with 5 spices


2 cups Water
3 - 4 tsp Tea leaves
1 chunk dried Ginger
3 - 4 crushed Cardamom pods
3 whole Cloves
1 piece Cinnamon
1 - 2 whole Black Peppers
Sugar- to taste
1 cup Milk


Bring two cups of water to the boil. Add all the ingredients (except milk and sugar) and boil again for about 15 seconds. Let stand for one minute.

Warm milk in a pot(or microwave;). Filter the above tea into cups. Add milk and sugar and serve.

Ethakkaya Appam/Pazham Pori

2 Bananas
1/2 cup Refined flour
1/2 teaspoon Cardamom powder
Water (to mix the flour)

Make a thick batter by mixing together the flour and cardamom powder with a little water.
Cut the banana into long thin slices.Dip the banana slices in the batter and deep fry in hot oil til they are golden brown in colour. Place on a tissue paper before serving to get rid of excess oil.

ChakkaKuru/Jackfruit Seed Thoran

1 lb Jackfruit seeds
1 cup Grated coconut
4 Green chillies
4 teaspoons Coconut oil
1/2 cup Sliced Shallots
1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
1 teaspoon Curry leaves
Salt (As per taste)


Cut each seed into four pieces(if its whole seed). Grind the coconut and the green chillies to a fine paste. Mix the seeds, the ground paste, salt and enough water and cook till the seeds are tender and dry.

Heat oil and saute the sliced shallots and mustard seeds for a few minutes. Add the cooked seeds, mix the contents thoroughly and cook for another few minutes. Remove it from fire and transfer the contents to a serving dish. Garnish it with roasted curry leaves.


Wheat Halwa


1 lb maida
17 OZ sugar
2 coconuts, ground coarsely, extract thick and thin milk about one and a half litres
1 stick unsalted butter
chopped nuts can be added as desired
Pinch of salt


Soak flour overnight. In the morning gently strain the water out. Blend the drained flour along with the sugar and coconut milk and stir it well. Keep on low fire and keep stirring till it thickens. Add the butter and when the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan, pour it into a greased stainless steel flat dish. Decorate with chopped nuts

Thali peeth

This is a North Indian Dish.


1 cup jwari/Milo-in English/Cholam-in malayalam Flour
1/2 cup Gram-Flour(besan)
1 Onion chopped finely
1/2 cup Coriander leaves
3 Green Chillies
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 tsp Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Oil


Mix all the above ingredients properly and knead dough. Make small balls of the dough(as in chapati).

Take a damp cloth and put on the wooden/plastic/any platform. Take one ball at a time and spread it with palm hitting slowly in round shape of about 2-3 inch in radius.

Now make about 5 holes in the flattened dough, widely spread. Heat the tava(griddle)at medium flame.

Put the flattened dough on the tava upside down(upper portion down). Pour little oil through the holes. Turn it upside down when cooked.

When both sides are cooked, serve it hot with ghee or white butter or curd/yoghurt or pickle.


1 cup Raw rice
1 tbsp Thoor dhal
1 tbsp urad dhal
1 tbsp Bengal gram
tbsp dhal 1
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp methi seeds
salt to taste
1/4 cup coconut, grated, optional
buttermilk (optional)
oil 1 cup


Mix rice and all dhals, in a large vessel. Soak in a lot of water for about 2 hours. Grind the soaked mixture coarsely with salt, without adding much water.

Ferment the mixture for about 3 - 4 hours.
Add spluttered mustard and grated coconut and mix to a smooth dough and add buttermilk and mix well.

In a non-stick tawa spread the above batter evenly with little oil and turn to
the other side.

Goes well with pickles or chutneys.


Poha/Aval Payasam


1 litre Milk
1 tsp Ghee
1/4cup Aval or Poha (Pressed rice flakes)
1 cup Sugar
1/4 tsp Cardamom powder
Handful of roasted cashew nuts
Handful of raisins


Roast aval in ghee for couple of min. Be careful not to brown it.

Boil milk in a pan. Add the aval into the boiling milk. Stir constantly until the quantity reduces to half. Add sugar and the powdered cardamom into the consistency and stir well. Add the cashew nuts and the raisins. Serve hot.

Koottu Curry


1 cup Pieces of beans
3/4 cup Pieces of potatoes
3/4 cup Pieces of carrots
1/2 cup Peas
1 cup Pieces of cauliflower
3 dsp Ghee or oil
2 dsp Minced ginger
3/4 cup Onion pieces
6 Green chillies
1 cup Grated coconut
2 dsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Turmeric powder
2 dsp Coriander leaves
1 Lime


Take 4 cups of different kinds of vegetables according to convenience, pour 11/2 cups of water and cook. When the potato pieces are cooked, remove from fire with some liquid.
Heat the oil and saute the onions, ginger and split green chillies till soft. Add the ground coconut, turmeric and the coriander leaves, stir for 3 minutes and then put the cooked vegetables. Add salt and lime to taste and let the curry simmer till the gravy is thick.

Coconut Chutney


2 cups Grated Coconut
5 nos Small onion
one small piece Ginger
5 nos Curry leaf
one small piece Tamarind
4 Green Chillies
Salt to taste


Grind the above ingredients with some water . Season it with mustard seeds, one or two dry chillies and curry leaves. If chutney is ground with little water into the thick paste it can be used without seasoning also.

Uzhunnu Vada


3 cups White gram dal
6 Chopped green chillies
1 tsp Chopped ginger
chopped 2 tbs Coriander leaves
1/4tsp Black pepper (optional)
Oil to fry
Salt to taste


Wash the dal and grind the dal with some water. Add salt, chopped green chillies, ginger, coriander leaves and pepper. Shape into flat round balls with a small hole in the middle and deep fry in hot oil. The flour should be thick paste and while making into shape one can dip the hand in water in order to get the proper shape. You can have it along with sambar, curd (should be seasoned) or chutney.

Kadala Curry


2 cups Kadala
1/4 tsp Mustard
1 Onion
a small piece (1 inch length) Ginger
6 cloves Garlic
1tsp Chillie Powder
3 tbs Coriander powder
a pinch Turmeric powder
1 Tomato chopped
2 sprigs Curry leaves
salt to taste
1/4 cups small pieces of coconut
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp garam masala powder


Cook the kadala with salt and keep it aside. In a pan season the mustard and satue onions, ginger, garlic, chillie powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, chopped tomatoes and curry leaves. (optional small pieces of coconut can be added). Add the cooked kadala,pieces of coconut, coconut milk and garam masala to it and heat it for couple of min.

Puttu/Steam Cake


1 cups Rice flour
1/2 cup Grated coconut
1/4 cup water (add more or less accordingly)
Salt to taste


Mix the salt in water add the water little by little to the flour and mix it. The mixing should be proper so that the flour should not turn into dough form, it should be in the powdered form but wet enough for steaming. Add the grated coconut to it and cook it in the steam for about 5 to 8 minutes in the special puttu maker.



2 cups Wheat flour
1 tsp yogurt
Salt to taste


Mix the flour with warm water and salt and yogurt and make a dough. Then make small balls with the dough and roll it into thin flat rounds. Deep fry in oil till it puffs up.

Carrot Halwa


4 cups Grated Carrot
2tbs Ghee
3 cups Milk
1 cups Sugar
6-8 nos each Almonds and cashew nuts
Saffron or cardamom powder for flavouring


Saute the grated carrots in ghee. Add milk and cook till very soft. Add sugar, simmer for a while, till sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens. Add saffron or cardamom powder. Garnish with flaked almonds and cashew nuts. Serve hot or cold as desired

Mini Buns


• 1 Tbsp. yeast
• 1.5 cups warm water (use more or less accordingly)
• 1 eggs
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/2 Tbsp. salt
• 3-4 cups flour or more, if needed

Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Add eggs, oil, sugar, and salt. Stir in 2 cups of the flour until moistened. Beat for 3 minutes. Add remainder of flour and mix by hand until dough comes away from sides of bowl. (Dough will be soft and sticky.) Cover. Let rise in warm place about 15 min. Punch down and let rise again for 15 more min. Oil hands before forming dough into buns.Form buns about the size of a grape tomato. Let rise for 1 hr. Bake in 375 degree oven for 25 - 30 min.

Curd Rice


2 cups cooked rice
1 cup yogurt
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp split black beans( optional)
2 green chilies cut into small pieces.
2 tbs chopped coriander leaves
5 curry leaves( optional)
a pinch of asafetida
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbs oil
salt to taste

Cool the cooked rice till it comes down to the room temperature.
Whisk the yogurt and fold it in the rice. Add salt and sugar.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard and let it splutter.
Add split black beans, curry leaves( if using), cumin seeds, green chilies and asafetida. Fry for about half a minute and remove from fire.
Cool and pour on the rice and yogurt mixture.
Refrigerate till the time of serving. Serve garnished with coriander leaves. Eat it with any pickle and fried Pappadams.

Coconut Rice


2oz ghee/butter
2 medium onions, sliced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
4 cardamon seeds, bruised
3 whole cloves
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup basmati rice
13.5 FL OZ/400ml can coconut cream
1/2 cup water
salt as per taste.

Melt ghee/butter in large frying pan, add onions, fry over medium heat for about 4 minutes or until onions are soft.
Stir in seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and turmeric, stir over medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir in rice, stir over heat a further minute.
Stir in coconut cream and water, bring to boil. Cook on a medium flame till its done(10-15 min)

Tempura Fried Vegetables


1 cup sifted flour
1 egg yolk
1 cup ice water
Oil for deep frying
1 cup flour
Soy sauce for dipping

Use assortment of fresh vegetables,choose several or try them all:


Green beans - ends trimmed leave whole

Carrots - sliced diagonally about 1/4" thick

Sweet potato - peeled, sliced diagonally about 1/4" thick

Zucchini - sliced about 1/4" thick

White button mushrooms caps - halve if caps are large

Onion - sliced in half lengthwise then slice 1/4" thick (run a toothpick through the layers to hold half rings together)

Bell Pepper - sliced about 1/4" thick


Prepare vegetables and thoroughly dry with paper towel.

Heat oil in a thick pot.In a mixing bowl, lightly beat egg yolk and pour in ice water, slightly mix. Add the flour all at once, stroke a few times with a fork, just till ingredients are loosely combined. The batter should be lumpy not smooth. If you over-mix until smooth the coating will become heavy and turn out oily.

Place 1 cup of flour on a plate, dip vegetables in the flour, shake off excess. Then dip in batter and lay in the hot oil and deep fry until golden brown and place on a plate with paper towels to allow excess oil to drain off. Skim the surface of the oil occasionally to keep it clean. After frying vegetables serve with soy sauce for dipping.




2 cups Rava/sooji
1 tsp Ginger,minced or grated
10 to 15 nos Curry leaves
2 Green chilies,minced
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 medium Onion,chopped
1 tsp Ghee
2 tbsp Oil
Salt as per taste
2 cups Water(add more or less accordingly)


Heat pan. Add ghee. Fry rava in ghee on medium heat until it turns light brown. Remove rava from pan and set aside.

Return pan to stove. Add oil. When oil is warm, add mustard seeds. After the seeds pop, add onions, green chilies, and curry leaves. Saute on medium heat for about one minute. Add ginger . Saute for another minute. Add water, and salt.

When the liquid begins to boil, gently pour rava into it while stirring frequently to avoid lumps. Mix rava well until all the liquid has been absorbed. Cook on low heat for another minute. Remove from heat and serve.

Parippu Payasam


1 cup Green gram
1 cup Jaggery/sharkara
5 nos Cardamom
15- 20 nos Cashew
15 - 20 Raisins
1 cup Coconut Milk/Cow's milk
2 cups Water
2 tsp Ghee


Cook the green gram in water. When it becomes soft, add jaggery to it. Stir untill the jaggery is dissolved. Fry cashew, raisins in ghee and add to the mixture. Stir it for 2 minutes. Remove from the flame and add milk. Mix well. Add crushed cardamom and mix well.

Note :- to make it special soak the green dal in water for 30 min, then fry the gram in some ghee for couple of minutes. Then follow rest of the steps. It really makes the difference.

Chemeen/shrimp Pickle.


1 pound cleaned shrimps.
10 nos Medium sized Green Chillies,cut into small rounds
2 cups Vinegar
2 tsp Chilli powder
1 inch cube of Ginger,julienned (slice into thin strips)
Oil for frying
6-8 cloves of Garlic,chopped
Salt-to taste
10-15 nos Curry leaves


Cook shrimps in minimum water mixed with three tsps of vinegar and salt, remove all the remaining water and keep aside. Heat oil, saute ginger,garlic,green chillies and curry leaves. Add salt and chilly powder. Add remaining vinegar in a low flame. Stir in the cooked shrimps and cook in a low flame for 5-10 minutes. Transfer to a bottle when its cooled.Make sure there is enough vinegar to cover the shrimps.

Chicken Manchurian


1 pound boneless chicken,1/2 inch cubes
8 whole garlic,finely chopped
1 small onion,finely chopped
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon tomato ketchup
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
8 each green chile,finely chopped
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 bell pepper,cut into same size as the chicken.
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Salt as per taste

Rub salt and marinate chicken for an 30 -45 min.
Make a batter of all-purpose and cornstarch and soak the chicken pieces into it. Then deep fry the chicken pieces and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan and add garlic, onion and green chillies and fry till crispy and brown. Now add chilli pwd, salt to taste. To this add the bell peper and satue for coupe of min and then add deep fried chicken pieces, tomato ketchup and soya sauce. Fry at high flame (may be for 7-8 mins) till the chicken becomes soft and absorbs ketchup and sauce. Add water while stirring if necessary.

Homemade Pizza Dough.

For One Crust:
1 package active dry yeast( Check the exp. date on your yeast package, it wont be activated its near its exp. date)
1/2 cup warm water (110 F)
1 1/4 cups flour -- (1 1/4 to 1 1/2,dont pour all the water atonce.)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar


Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in half of flour, oil, salt and sugar. Stir in enough of remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Add in other seasonings as desired. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; gently roll in flour to coat. Knead about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in warm place 20 minutes. Punch down dough.

Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours but no longer than 48 hours. (Punch down dough as needed). Top with your favorite toppings.

Easy Aadu/Mutton Biriyani


1 lb cleaned chopped mutton
1 cup rice
2 cup water
2 sliced onions
3 sliced tomatoes
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
a pinch of turmeric
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ghee
salt as per taste
2 tsp Oil


Marinate mutton with turmeric,chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala , salt in oil for about 1 hours.Longer the marination better the taste. Heat oil and ghee in a cooker.

Add onion and ginger garlic to it. Fry till the onion turn golden brown.Add tomato .Let it cook for about five minutes in low flame.

Then add the marinated mutton to it.Cook for about 20 minutes. Then add rice and water.Let it cook for about 15 minutes.

Now its ready to be served.

ChemmaChakka/Breadfruit curry

1 lb. chemmachakka cut into small cubes
1/2 tsp. chile powder
1/4tsp. turmeric powder
2 tsp. coriander powder
1 tsp. garam masala
3 oz. coconut milk (optional)
1/3 onion, cut into small pieces
2 green chile (optional), cut long
2 tsp oil,
salt as per taste ,
1 tsp mustard seeds
8-12 Curry leaves.


Heat oil, fry mustard seeds, add onion, green chile & curry leaves, stir until it turns light brown.

Then add salt, all the powders and masala, stir until it turns brown, then add coconut milk and veg., stir well, cover it and cook until well cooked. (If you are not adding coconut milk, add a cup of water instead).

It is ready to serve! (It can be made in another way by roasting greated coconut and all the spices, and blending them very nicely). Then this becomes ChemmaChakka/Breadfruit Varutharacha curry, enjoy.

Ladyfingers in thick yogurt sauce.


1 lb ladyfingers
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. urad dal
3/4 cup curds beaten
1/4 tsp. crushed red chilli
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1 onion finely chopped
1 stalk curry leaves
3 tbsp. shredded coconut
1/2 tbsp. coriander finely chopped
1/2 tsp. ginger grated
1 tbsp. cashews broken
5 whole red chillies
salt to taste
1 tbsp. wheat or any flour
2 tbsp. oil


Wash, drain and cut tips and bases of ladyfingers. Make a vertical slit in each. Chop to 1" pieces.

Grind coconut and cashews to a coarse paste.

Heat oil in a heavy pan, fry ladyfingers till crisp. Drain and keep aside.

6.Add mustard and cummin seeds, dal, to hot oil, allow to splutter.Then add whole chillies, curry leaves, ginger, stir. Now add onions, fry till lightly browned and add crushed chilli, turmeric, salt, paste, saute till oil separates.

Mix curds and flour to a smooth paste, add 1 cup water and add to the sauteed mixture and stir continuously till it boils.

Simmer for 5 minutes, check taste for masala and salt.Add fried ladyfingers, boil for 2 minutes.

Garnish with coriander, serve hot with rice or chapatti's.

Spicy Tamarind Brinjals.


8-10 small brinjals
2 cups onions finely chopped
1/2 cup coconut fresh grated
1 tsp. garlic grated
1 tsp. ginger grated
1 stalk curry leaves
1 tbsp. coriander leaves finely chopped
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
2 tbsp. tamarind pulp
10 whole red chillies dry
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/4 tsp. mustard seeds
salt to taste
3 tbsp. oil

Remove stems of brinjals. Make 2 cross incisions at base of each and soak in salted water for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast coconut on dry griddle, for 1 minute. To this add chillies, coriander, cumin, toast 1 minute more. Dry grind to a med. coarse powder.

Heat oil in earthen cooking pot or heavy pan. Add mustard seeds, allow to splutter.

Add ginger, garlic, curryleaves and Stir. Add onions, turmeric, saute till onions are tender. Add spice powder and saute till mixed well.

Add 2 cups water, salt, brinjals, and mix. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add tamarind pulp. Cook till brinjals are tender. When most of the water will be absorbed and oil will separate. Garnish with coriander.

Serve hot with rice.


Shrimp Biriyani


Masala for marination of Shrimps:-
1 lb Prawns;
1 tspns - Chillie Powder.
½ tspns Turmeric Powder.
1 Tbspn Lime Juice.
Salt to Taste.

Shell, devein Prawns wash well & drain –
to the Prawns add the marinating Masala & leave to marinate for ½ an hr.
fry prawns lightly to a golden brown & keep aside.
Use the Same Oil for frying Onions & other masalas & for making the Biriyani.

Preparation of Rice
Basmati Rice- 2 cups;
Butter –3-4 Tbspns;
(Wash Rice, drain well, fry in Butter over low heat for 8-10 mins.
Till crisp – keep aside).

Other Ingredients:

1 lb Onions finely sliced –(take quarter of the sliced Onions &
keep aside for frying & garnishing).

4 large Tomatoes – (Each tomato chopped into 8-10 pcs.);
8 Green Chillies – slit lengthwise;
1/4 -1/2 Cup of Oil ;
1/4 Cup lime juice;
4 Cups Water - (Mix the lime juice with the water & keep aside);
Coriander Leaves – 1 bunch – finely chopped – keep aside 3-4 Tbspns

For Garnishing;

Whole Spices (Cinnamon – 2” pces – 3 nos;
Cloves-10 nos;
Cardamom’s 4 nos)
1 level Tbspn. Chilly pwd;
1/2 tspn Turmeric Pwd,
Ginger paste 1 Tbspn,
Garlic Paste 1 tbspn;
Green Chilies – 4 grind along with the Ginger & Garlic & keep;
Salt to Taste – (Be careful when putting the Salt remember you have
already used Salt for the prawns.


Heat Oil, fry the Onions till brown add the green chillies,coriander leaves & fry for a minute on low flame, now add Ginger/garlic paste & continue to fry on low flame for 3-4 mins.

Add Chillie Pwd & Turmeric powder & continue to fry for further 2 mins,
add chopped tomatoes & continue to fry on low flame till tomatoes are soft
add salt to taste (be careful when adding salt as you have already added salt
for frying the Prawns). Put off Flame.

Take preasure cooker– put in Butter fried Rice, the fried Masala, add limejuice /Water mixture and mix well –put the preasure cooker on top of your cooking range/stove and cover with lid, then put the flame on medium and leave to cook . After its cooked leave it to stand (cool) down for about 10 mins.

Now open the cooker & sprinkle half the quantity of the fried or toasted Cashewnuts, prepared shrimps and then fluff everything with a fork, & empty on to a serving dish garnish with fried Onions, chopped Coriander leaves - & remaining fried & toasted Cashewnuts - & serve.

Mushroom Biryani


8 oz Mushroom
1 cup Basmati rice
1 Onion chopped
1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
4 Green chillies, Cut into smal pieces
1 cup Vegetables (peas,beans,carrot,corn/baby corn)
2 Cloves
1 Cinnamon
2 cardamom
1tsp Cummin
1/2 tsp Tumeric powder
1/4 cup Mint leaves (Optional)
Salt to taste
cilantro for garnishing
1/4 cup Cashewnuts
1/4 cup Raisins
2tbsp Ghee/oil


Wash and soak the rice in water(30 min)

In a deep pan or cooker , add oil/ghee & add Cloves, Cinnamon, cardamom and Cummin. Then add the chopped onions, ground chillies , ginger garlic paste & fry well.

Add the cashewnuts,raisins,vegetables & fry well. Then add mushroom and cook for 2 minutes. Add the rice & fry for 5mins & then add the mint leaves, mix well.

Add 2 cups boiling/hot water,salt,tumeric powder & once it f starts boiling close the lid & cook over low flame for 12-15 mins.

Then garnish with cilantro

Vegetable Biriyani


2 tbs vegetable oil
1 medium-size onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbs peeled and minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro, soft stems included
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbs ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground pepper, or to taste (optional)
1 tsp salt, or to taste
5 cups fresh mixed vegetables, cut into 1-inch pieces (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beans, mushrooms, colorful bell pepper, and peas)

2 1/2 cups basmati rice
4 3/4 cups water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
5 black cardamom pods, pounded lightly to break the skin
1 tsp black peppercorns (optional)
One 3-inch stick of cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp salt, or to taste


Heat the oil in a large skillet or saucepan over high heat and cook the onion, stirring, until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and cilantro, then add the garam masala, coriander, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Stir in the vegetables. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes over high heat, the reduce the heat to medium and continue to to cook until the vegetables are tender-crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Wash the rice in 3 to 4 changes of water, stirring lightly with your fingertips, until the water runs almost clear. Then soak it in the water for 30 minutes or longer.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan over high heat and cook the cardamon, peppercorns, cinnamon, and cumin, stirring, until they sizzle, 30 to 40 seconds. Add the salt, stir in the rice and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a minimum, cover the pan (partially at first, until the foam subsides, then snugly), and cook the rice until all the water is absorbed, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large ovenproof casserole with a 1-inch layer of the rice and top with a layer of cooked vegetables. Cover with rice and repeat until all the vegetables and rice are used up. Cover the casserole and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

Tips and Tricks for Cooking

Get rid of cooking smell: While cooking soak a cloth or tea towel and let it dry in the cooking area. It will absorb the smell of cooking and let the room fresh.

Raitha: Mix 2 tbsp of mayonnaise with chopped cucumbers and onions. Then add curd and salt accordingly. You will get nice creamy raitha.

fluffy Omlets: Add Milk to the beaten egg that will make it fluffy and tasty.

Crispy Pakoras: While frying pakoras add one tea spoon rice flour and one tea spoon cornflour in one bowl of besan.

To get more juice out of lime: To get more juice out of limes, microwave the lime for 10 secs, then cut and extract the juice.

Yogurt: Yogurt can be added to vegetables and meat curries, in place of tomatoes to make rich and delicious gravy.

Storing carrots for a longer period: If you have bought large quantities of carrots, then you can store it for a longer period by cutting the top of all the carrots and storing in a zip-lock bag.

Store Cilantro longer: Wash and leave the cilantro to dry on newspaper. Then snip it with kitchen shears and store in the freezer in a zip lock bag lined with paper towels. Ready to use for gravies but not good for garnishing. Will keep for weeks.

Idli/Dosa with a Kick: Put ginger,green chilly and couple of curry leafs (all cut into very fine pieces) in the mixture of idly/dosa, it will become more delicious and you will get a different variety.

Keep Yeast Fresh : Fresh yeast should be stored in the refrigerator or should be frozen or else it will lose its effectiveness with age.

Crispy fried potato : If you want crispy potato fry, peel & cut potatoes to equal cubes. Warm water and add little salt. Add potato cubes & let it stay only for 2 min (do not boil). Immediately drain the water. After 3 min, fry them to golden crispy brown. Add salt, chili powder, cumin, some fresh curry leaves. Serve with warm cooked rice.

Masala rice : If plain rice is "leftover” use it as masala-rice for afternoon meal. Fry one sliced onion,2 chopped green chilli,1tsp-garam masala,2tbsp-coriander leaves, salt to taste, curry leaves for a minute and add rice and salt fry for a second-serve hot!

Cook rice in the microwave : Put 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water and cook for 15 mins.

Idli leftovers: With remaining cold idlies we can make a nice "yummy-recipe". Cut idlies to equal size bits. cut 2 tomatoes, chopped (1)onion,1-green(chopped)chilli,curryleaves4, handful chopped coriander leaves, very little curry masala, fresh lemon juice-1tsp,salt,oil(1½tbsp) crushed (1)tbsp ground-nuts.
seasoning with in oil with mustard seeds, one broken red chilli, one tsp urad dal, add curry leaves, green chilli, tomato, onion fry for a while then add idly bits and masala, salt stir well. finally mix lemon and crushed ground nuts and coriander.. serve hot.

Add smoothness to gravies: Soak 2 tbsp of cashew nuts in warm water for 10 minutes. Grind to a fine paste. Add to the gravy and savor the difference.

For crispy puris : Add a little rice flour to the wheat flour while kneading.

Prevent Noodles/Pasta from getting Sticky: When boiling noodles/pasta, add some oil to it. It helps to protect stickiness.

Storing green chilies fresh: Wash and trim stem from each chili and store in freezer bags. Will keep fresh for a number of days.

To prevent okras from sticking to pan: Add a spoon full of yoghurt or lime juice while cooking.

To cut smoothly boiled eggs: Dip knife in cold water for a minute and then cut hard boiled eggs, yolk will not stick to knife blade.

How to chop finely mint/green coriander: Use kitchen scissor instead of knife to chop finely, green coriander, green chili or mint.

To prevent discoloring of potatoes after cutting: Keep chopped potatoes in water.

Healthy food Colour: Rather than using food colors, use a mixture of limewater and turmeric to get (almost) tandoori color.

Salty Curry : Wash a potato. Cut into two. Place a the two halves of the raw potato in the curry and it will absorb the extra salt.

Alternative to Fresh Coconut: Ever try to break open a fresh coconut for making Indian chutney? Well, here is a great alternative. Out here in the US look for UNSWEETENED dry grated coconut. Make sure it is not the sweet kind. Add just enough water so that the coconut is covered with water. Use as directed in the recipe instead of freshly grated coconut. Making chutneys will be a breeze.

Trying New Recipes: Remember....Try ONE NEW recipe at a time. Get all your ingredients together. Check the spices for freshness. Lay the spices and ingredients out in the order that they are to be used. Make a plan and get started with ONE easy recipe. Most of all make sure you have the time to make the recipe. Do not try something new at a "rushed time".

Peeling a whole Garlic : To peel garlic, place your knife flat on the garlic clove and whack with your other hand. The covering will burst open and the clove can be easily removed.

Peeling or scraping Ginger : Peeling or scraping ginger with the back of spoon is an easy way to peel ginger. Scrape the ginger with the inside of a spoon, getting the edge of the spoon into the crevices of the ginger. The skin will come off with a gentle scrape.

Instead of Onion : If anyone does not like or want the strong taste of onion, you can use cabbage in the recipe for the same taste and good recipe.

Cleaning A Messy Blender : To clean a blender, add a cup of warm water, run for a few seconds. Now add a drop of dishwashing detergent and another cup of water and blend. Let is sit for a few seconds. Rinse clean.

Strong odors on your hands: (such as onions or fish) can be removed by lightly wetting your hands and then sprinkling on baking soda. Rub the soda all over the hands, then rinse the soda away -- along with the odors.

Storing Ice -Cream : Store the ice cream container in a big Ziploc plastic freezer bag. This will stop ice crystals from forming when it is in the freezer.

Storing Potatoes : Store potatoes in a cool dark place. To prevent potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes! This will prevent the potatoes from budding. Change the apple every week.

Avoid Staining Tupperware : Before storing tomato-based sauces or Indian curries with lots of turmeric powder or other foods that can stain, spray your plastic storage container with nonstick cooking spray.

Idli batter: Never beat idli batter too much because the air which has already incorporated during fermentation is lost.

Deodorize cutting board: by rubbing it with a paste of baking soda and water.

In The Freezer:In order that there is a free circulation of air in the freezer ensure that it is not packed tightly.

Peeling tomatoes can be made easy if you follow this method. Make a shallow cross at the bottom of the tomatoes with a knife. Place the tomatoes in hot water for a couple of minutes. Remove them from the water and leave to cool. . The skin can now be peeled easily.

Poaching Eggs: Add salt and vinegar to the water when poaching eggs it keeps the egg together whilst cooking or stir the water before adding the egg ( but only one egg at a time). Remove the egg from the water and chill in ice water to be used later. To reheat just blanch in boiling water.

Storing apples and carrots : Dont store apples and carrots in the same fridge compartment. The apples emit a gas that makes the carrots bitter.

Too strong Coffee: If the coffee is too strong, it can be rescued by adding a little cocoa powder.

To refresh a freezer: Place a cotton ball soaked in vanilla inside, close door for 24 hours. then check for improvement. Repeat if necessary. OR Place an opened box of baking soda on a shelf in the refridgerator to keep it fresh & to elimante odors.

Safe Thawing in microwave: Follow manufactures instructions, cook immediately because some areas of the food may become warm & begin to cook creating an enviornment for harmful bacteria to grow.

Safe Thawing in Cold Water: Place item in leakproof packaging or plastic bag. Sumerge in cold tap water changing water every 30 minutes. Small packages can defrost in an hour or less. 3-4 pound package may take to 2-3 hours.

Jelly Mold: To easily remove a jelly from the mold, lightly brush mold with oil before pouring in the mixture.

Ripening Fruits and Vegetables: A lots of fruit and veg found in supermarkets today look ripe, but are hard as a rock. Put them in a brown paper bag and hide the bag away in a dark cupboard for a day or two. Use This is great tip for items such as avocados, bananas, kiwi fruit, peaches, nectarines, and many more.

For Creamy Curry:Put a couple of teaspoons of instant mashed potato into Indian curries to thicken the curry.

Breading Meats: To bread chicken cutlets and other ingredients: Use one hand for wet ingredients and another for dry when breading - that way you won't bread your hands along with dinner. To coat chicken pieces or stew-meat pieces chicken in flour or crumbs: Place the coating mixture in a plastic bag (self-sealing is the most convenient), add the chicken or beef, seal, and shake until the coated. Shake off any excess coating before you cook the chicken or beef.

Grill With Lean Meats: Unless specified for a particular recipe, always us the leanest meat possible when grilling. It's healthier, will reduce flare-ups, and help keep your cooking equipment cleaner.

Room-Temperature Meats: Allow meat to stand at room temperature 1 hour before cooking: It will cook more quickly, brown more evenly, and stick less when pan-fried. (Do not do this with highly perishable meats like ground beef and organ meats.)

Pan-Fried Meats: For even, deep browning of pan-fried meat and poultry: Blot the surface of the item with paper towels to remove excess moisture before cooking.

Roasting Poultry: Do not roast poultry in a oven temperature lower than 325 degrees. Poultry should be roasted at 325 degrees or higher to avoid potential food safety problems.

Roasts: Roasts should be allowed to "rest" 10-15 minutes after being removed from the oven. This allows the juices to settle before carving.

Grilling On Skewers: When using wooden skewers for kebabs, soak in cold water for 10-30 minutes to prevent them from burning. Thread shrimp onto skewers lengthwise so they won't curl as they grill. They're also less likely to fall into the fire.

Whole Fish: Scale a fish easily by rubbing vinegar over its skin. To neatly bake a whole fish, wrap in aluminum foil. When done cooking, open the foil and gently slide a spatula under the fish.

Boiling Over: Butter the rim of a pan in which you cook rice or pasta so it won't boil over.

Cooking Lasagna Noodles: Use lots of water so the pasta has plenty of room to expand. To prevent tearing, cook at a moderate yet constant boil. Use a wood or plastic spoon, or heat-resistant rubber spatula to stir occasionally while cooking. Stir gently. Always boil pasta less time (the short end of the cook time) if it will continue to cook in a baked dish or in a recipe on the stove top. This also reduces the chance of tearing. Drain pasta carefully! Slowly pour water from pan so that pasta slides gently into a colander. Rinse pasta thoroughly in cold water and drain well. Place in a covered container right away to prevent pasta from sticking together.

Cooking Perfect Pasta: To prevent pasta from sticking together use plenty of water, cook at a constant boil, and stir occasionally. There is no need to add oil to pasta while it's cooking. Once pasta has been added to boiling water, start timing when the water returns to a boil. There is no need to rinse cooked pasta. If you do, the sauce won't cling. Rinse pasta only if it will be used for a salad or will be set aside or stored for later use.

Cutting Pizza: No pastry wheel? You'll find that kitchen shears cut through pizza - stringy cheese and all - more quickly and cleanly than a knife. Besides, they won't scratch or mar your pizza pan.

Freezing Pizza Dough: Make pizza dough in double batches and freeze half. You can even roll out the extra dough, fit it into a pizza pan, and freeze it flat for a head start on a fast meal.

Making Better Pizza Sauce: Intensity of tomato sauce may be adjusted by amount of garlic and crushed peppercorn used. "Bite" of sauce may be increased by adding Balsamic vinegar. Create oil sauces using extra virgin olive oil, herbs/spices, and fresh garlic.

Making Better Pizza Crusts: Use high-gluten flour such as Pillsbury Bread Flour and Gold Medal Better for Bread. Use 1 oz. dough portion or less per 1" pizza diameter (for example, 7 oz. dough = 8" pizza). Store individual raw dough portions dusted with flour in Ziploc bags in refrigerator up to a week or in freezer up to a month. Bake on pizza stone or pizza screen for crisper crust.

Add Flavor With Food Waste: Save the loose skin on onions and garlic to toss into the fire just before grilling meats or vegetables. And throw dry fennel tops on the fire when grilling fish.

Apples: Refrigerated apples last up to 10 times longer than those left at room temperature. To prevent apples from speeding up the ripening process of other items in your produce drawer, store them in a plastic or brown paper bag.
Asparagus: For tender asparagus, gently bend a spear until it breaks. The natural breaking point should separate the tender spear from the tough end. Dispose of the end pieces and steam to perfection!

Cabbage: Instead of blanching cabbage leaves to wilt them for stuffing, simply leave the whole head in the freezer overnight.

Celery: Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator, and it will keep for weeks.

Chopped Onions & Green Peppers: You can buy frozen chopped onion or green peppers for a quick recipe shortcut, or since they freeze so well, chop a whole bunch at once and freeze them in single servings.

Chopping Onions & Grating Horseradish: Hate how your eyes water? Tear off a section of a slice of bread (I prefer to use the heel, as I don't eat it) and place it between your lips, allowing it to protrude from your mouth while cutting.

Citrus Fruit Juice: To get the most juice out of fresh lemons, limes and oranges, bring them to room temperature and roll them under your palm against the kitchen counter before squeezing. Another method is to microwave fruit on high for 30 seconds, let stand a couple of minutes before cutting and squeezing them. Rolling it between your counter and hand also does the trick.

Citrus Zest: Before you squeeze juice from a lemon, grate off the rind into a freezer bag and freeze. Then when a recipe calls for lemon zest or rind, just pull it from the freezer. Sprinkle a little sugar over citrus zest or fresh ginger before chopping. The sugar not only dissolves and absorbs the juices but also helps spread the flavor.

Corn: When boiling corn, cooking for 3 minutes is all that's necessary; any more time will only boil out the flavor. Instead of adding salt to the boiling water, add a pinch of sugar to bring out the natural sweetness of the corn.

Crisper Drawer: Line the bottom with a paper towel to absorb liquids that make veggies wilt.

Frozen Vegetables: These are an important staple, a quick way to separate them is to pour boiling water over them in a colander and then add them to your casserole or stove-top dish to finish cooking.

Garlic: To mince a garlic clove quickly, rub it over the tines of the back side of a fork. Save yourself lots of time by always using jarred minced garlic that can be found in the produce or condiment section of the supermarket. Peel garlic by using the heel of your hand, press the flat side of a chef's knife onto an entire clove of garlic. You can then slip the slightly crushed garlic from its skin. Hands smell after peeling garlic? Rub hands with the rounded side of a stainless steel spoon under running water.

Hot Peppers: When working with fresh chilies and peppers, wear disposable gloves. Don't handle the peppers under water (it extracts painful vapors).

Leafy Greens: The sooner you consume lettuce, spinach and other greens after they are picked, the crisper they will be. Rinse not-so-fresh greens under cool water to "revive" them. Dry by running the greens through a salad spinner or wrapping them in dry towels. Place in a loosely closed bag and refrigerate 1 hour. Leafy greens are packed with vitamins and minerals. When buying fresh greens, remember that they cook down considerably. One pound of spinach or mustard greens will yield a cup or two of cooked greens. Serve iceberg lettuce wedges instead of torn salad greens to save time making a salad. Also, before refrigerating iceberg lettuce, wash and remove the core so each time you need some for salad it's clean and ready.

To clean leeks: Cut off dark green top and discard or save for stock. Trim root end, leaving base intact so that leek remains in one piece. Starting 1/2" from base, slit leek through the other end; give it a quarter turn and repeat, so the leek is quartered and the root end is intact. Soak the leek in cold water or rinse it under running water, gently spreading the leaves to remove any grit and dirt.

Mushrooms: Mushrooms soak up water like a sponge, then release it later while cooking (which can change the consistency of recipes). Try "dry cleaning" your favorite fungi. You can find a "mushroom brush" with soft bristles at most kitchen stores. Lightly moisten the brush (or a rag) with water, and gently wipe the mushrooms clean.

Onion Leftovers: If you need only 1/2 an onion, save the root half. It will last longer.

Onion & Garlic Odors: To deodorize a plastic storage container in which onions or garlic were stored, wash thoroughly, then stuff a crumpled piece of newspaper in the container, and snap on the lid. In a few days the smell will disappear.

Parsley: Fresh parsley can be dried or frozen for later use. For either method, wash and dry parsley then chop. To freeze, simply pace in a plastic zipper bag and freeze. To dry, spread chopped parsley evenly on a baking sheet and place in a 200 degree oven with the door slightly ajar. Check occasionally and remove from oven with completely dry. Store dried parsley in an airtight container. When selecting parsley, remember that the curly-leaf variety has a milder taste and the flat-leaf has a bold taste.

Peeling Fruits and Vegetables: Vegetable peelers are good for more than just carrots and potatoes. Use them to peel avocados, kiwi fruit, and many more produce items. Try it out next time you need to peel something difficult. To peel tomatoes, peaches, and pears, scald them in boiling water before peeling will allow you to peel their skins right off.

Peppers: When buying fresh peppers, choose those that are a little wrinkled but still unblemished. Wrinkling indicates mellowness.

Potatoes: To keep them from budding, place an apple in the bag with potatoes.

Ripening Fruits and Vegetables: Many fruits and vegetables found in supermarkets today look ripe, but are hard as a rock. Soften them up by placing them in a brown paper bag and hiding the bag away in a dark cabinet for a day or two. This is great for items such as avocados, kiwi fruit, peaches, nectarines, and more. Once ripe, refrigerate the produce to preserve vitamins.

Saving Herbs For Winter: To preserve summer herbs for winter soups and stews, make herb cubes in the freezer. Chop up your herbs and place them in ice cube trays, then cover with water and freeze. To preserve the color and flavor, use boiling water to fill the tray (this blanches the herbs). Some herbs, like cilantro, keep better when frozen in oil. Mince the herb in a food processor, then introduce olive oil until you produce a fine puree. Pour into ice cube trays or bags and freeze. When introducing the frozen herbs to recipes, remember that they contain water or oil. If this will throw off the recipe's consistency, thaw and drain the cubes first.

Tomatoes: Never refrigerate a tomato that is not fully ripe. Most tomatoes sold in stores are still ripening, and would benefit from a few days on the counter. Cold temperatures alter the fruit's flavor and stop the ripening process. Once ripe, a tomato can be refrigerated for several days. To ripen a tomato fast, put it with an apple in a perforated bag. To peel and seed tomatoes, cut out the core and score an "X" on the bottom. Immerse in boiling water for 10 seconds. Remove the tomato and plunge into cold water. Remove the skin, cut in half and squeeze out seeds.

Alcohol Substitutes: Substitute chicken stock for wine in entrees. Substitute 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. almond extract for each 1/4 cup of Amaretto or almond liqueur requested. Substitute frozen orange juice concentrate and a little orange zest for orange liqueurs. Substitute quadruple-strength coffee for coffee liqueurs.
Brown Sugar: To keep brown sugar moist, store in an airtight container with a whole orange, lemon, or lime. To soften brown sugar, place in a microwave-proof dish, add a slice of soft white bread or an apple wedge, cover tight and microwave at 100 percent power for 30 seconds. Discard the bread or apple and stir. If you're out of brown sugar, try substituting an equal amount of granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup molasses (light or dark) for every cup of white sugar.

Butter: To soften butter, let it stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. No time for that? Place it between sheets of wax paper and pound with a rolling pin.

Cheese: To easily shred cheese, let sit in freezer for 30 minutes. The firmer cheese is less likely to make a melted mess on your grater.

Cottage Cheese: Keep cottage cheese fresh longer by storing carton in the refrigerator upside down.

Curry Powder: When you use commercial curry powder, combine two or more brands - each has a different mix of spices.

Dry Beans: Soak beans before cooking to soften them, which reduces cooking time, and to allow some of the gas-generating substances to dissolve into the water, making them easier to digest.

Eggs: The simplest way to tell is an egg is fresh it to observe it's shell. If it's rough and chalky, it's fresh. If it's smooth and shiny, it's old. You can also place an egg in cold salted water. If it sinks, it's fresh. If it floats, it's old. To tell if an egg is hard boiled or raw, spin it. A hard-boiled egg will spin. A raw egg will wobble. It is easier to separate eggs when they are cold.

Measuring Corn Syrup, Molasses, and Honey: Dip measuring cup or spoon either in hot water or brush with oil before pouring in the syrup. This way, you get all that's in the cup to come out.

Milk: Rinse the pan with cold water before scalding milk to prevent sticking.

Nuts: To chop or grind nuts fine in a food processor without turning them into nut butter, add 2 or more tablespoons sugar from the recipe. Toasting nuts intensifies their flavor. Fire up a skillet (high temperature) and spread pecans, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, etc. over its surface. Stir constantly. When the nuts start to turn brown, remove from the heat and reserve for use in salads, pasta, baked goods and more. Keep a constant eye on them during the process - nuts can turn from brown to black in seconds. Nuts can also be toasted in the oven (or a toaster oven). Spread on a cookie sheet, then bake at 400 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes. Be sure to stir the nuts occasionally while roasting. Broken pieces will toast faster than whole nuts.

Oil For Frying: To effectively strain debris from used cooking oil, use a coffee filter placed in a funnel.

Rice: Does your rice dry out when you reheat it? Next time, add 2 tablespoons of liquid for each cup of cooked rice. Cover and heat for a few minutes on the stove or in the oven. In the microwave, cook on high about 1 minute per cup. Fluff it with a fork and enjoy! Perk up white rice by adding chicken broth with a pinch of crumbled dried thyme, marjoram, rosemary, or basil in the cooking water.
Salt: Sea salt is the only salt used in my kitchen. The taste is more potent and the rigid shapes of the grains don't roll off your food as easily. Now that it has become more popular and more widely available, sea salt can be purchased iodized, which I recommend getting. When salting a dish, less is always best. As we know, you can always add more, but never take away. Less salt allows for your guests to season to their own taste, not yours.

Soy Sauce: Use light (slightly sweeter) soy sauce for marinades; use dark (slightly heavier) soy sauce for cooking and sauces.

Sugar: A sack of lumpy sugar won't be if you place it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Tortillas: Tough and chewy tortillas? Try spraying tortillas with water (or running them quickly under the faucet), then sautéing them briefly in a lightly greased skillet over medium high heat.

Vanilla: Make your own vanilla by placing 2 split and chopped vanilla beans in 1 liter of vodka or bourbon. Shaking the bottle once a day, let sit for 2-3 months, or until desired color. This also makes great holiday gifts when poured into glass bottles.

Wine: Don't throw out all that leftover wine. Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

Chilling Foods: To chill foods quickly put them in your freezer for 20 to 30 minutes rather than longer in the refrigerator.

Food Stains in Plastic Storage Containers: Use a baking soda paste (baking soda and water) and rub into the stain. You can then rinse with vinegar (optional) and wash normally. Another method is to place container outside on a nice sunny day and the sun actually bleaches the stain out. To avoid stains in the first place, spray container with cooking spray before putting things in it that stain i.e. spaghetti sauce.

Fried Food Odors: Next time you fry foods, try placing a small cup of bleach nearby. The bleach absorbs much of the "fried" odor (that would otherwise linger for days!) Be sure to clearly mark the cup and keep it out of the reach of children.

Keep Your Cutting Board From Slipping: Place a thin layer of damp paper towels underneath to anchor the board to the work surface.

Lining Pans Means No Scrubbing: Line baking pans with aluminum foil before you cook to avoid scrubbing pans afterwards. To line pans easily, turn pan upside down and press a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil around it. Remove foil. Flip the pan over and drop foil inside. Crimp edges of foil to rim of pan.

Oil Temperature: To find out if oil is the proper temperature for frying foods: For deep-fat frying, drop a cube of white bread into the hot oil. If it browns evenly in 60 seconds the oil is 350-365 degrees, in 40 seconds, 365-382 degree, 20 seconds, 382-390 degrees. For shallow frying, the oil is hot enough if it is shimmering and rippling along the bottom of the pan. The most reliable way to gauge the temperature is to use a deep-fat thermometer.

Prevent Spattering While Sautéing: To prevent spattering and burns while sautéing, tilt the pan away from you to pool the oil every time you add more food, then lay the pan flat again. You can also add a few sprinkles of salt to the pan to prevent spattering.

Wok Cooking: Don't stir ingredients as you add them to a wok. You'll cool the wok and make the food greasy.

Cakes: When using a glass baking dish for cakes, lower oven temperature by 25 degrees. To keep a cake longer, place half an apple in the cake container when storing. To cut a cake without messing up the decorative icing, cut it with dental floss. When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead, and there won't be any white mess on the outside of the cake. Don't have a cake or tart cover? Try inverting the bottom of a salad spinner or springform pan. To dress up cakes and pies, place a doily on top, then sprinkle powdered sugar and remove. Quick and impressive!

Cookies: When making cookies, always use unsalted butter, never margarine. The unsalted butter gives the cookies a lighter texture. To keep cookies soft, place a slice of bread in the storage container. To prevent cookies from spreading when baking, refrigerate the dough and the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before baking. Using a cookie scoop (or a small ice cream scoop) to spoon out cookie dough gives them a uniform look and size. It also keeps your fingers clean.

Frosting Tips: Add a pinch of baking soda to your frosting and the frosting will stay moist and prevent cracking.

Pastry Dough: Always chill pastry dough before rolling and cutting, and always chill it again afterwards, before baking, to further relax the gluten.

Quick Garnish: Toast coconut or chopped nuts in a shallow baking pan in the oven in 5 or 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Once cool they can even be frozen in plastic bags for future use.

Whipped Cream: Cream will whip faster and better if you'll first chill the bowl, cream, and beaters first. To stabilize whipped cream, add 2 tablespoons of nonfat dry milk to every cup of whipping cream before you whip it. Soupy whipped cream can be saved by adding an egg white, then chilling thoroughly. Re-beat for a fluffy surprise. A few drops of lemon juice added to whipping cream helps it to whip faster and better. Whipping cream will not separate if you add 1/4 tsp. unflavored gelatin per cup of whipped cream.

Yeast: Did you know that your yeast will last longer than specified on those little packages from the grocery store if kept in the refrigerator and even longer in the freezer, up to a year? If you do a lot of baking, it is wise to purchase larger amounts and freeze. Place in a plastic container and mark the date of purchase.