Blueberry Smoothie - A Summer Delight

After making chicken samosas, I decided to take a break from cooking. And by luck I got it too. I got a dinner invitation, which I eagerly accepted. And you know after dinner, when I was leaving what I got. A can of frozen blueberries. My joy knew no bounds. The urge for blueberries must have been straight from my heart. While on my way back, lots of ideas started coming.

Blueberries are full of nutrition with flavors ranging from tart & tangy to sweet. Being low in calories make a good ingredient for smoothies and desserts. From May through October when they are in season, blueberries are at their best. And at this is end of July, finally I have got blueberries. To start I tried out this simple smoothie.


1 cup frozen blueberries
3-4 tbsp sugar or any sweetener
2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


* In a blender, blend sugar and the frozen blueberries first.
* Then add rest of the ingredients and again blend till smooth.

Chicken Samosas - Flavor Of The Season

Sifting through the newspaper, a news on Chicken Samosas caught my eye. President Barack Obama had served them with other dishes at a White House Reception hosted for ambassadors this monday. Being a foodie, most of the time I am in search of culinary delights which I could make to suffice my taste buds. But this news made me hungry and I could think of nothing else other than samosas. Monsoon drizzle had made the weather also perfect. Only ingredient that my kitchen lacked for making chicken samosas was chicken. Usually I had never made so much effort for making anything. But samosas made me make that extra effort. I immediately went to the market and bought some boneless chicken.

Making samosas is not a very difficult task. The only difficulty is in giving the right shape and closing them properly. As soon as you start frying them, your kitchen will be filled with a nice aroma as my had. Finally when I took the first bite, I knew that all of my efforts had paid. I cuddled up on the terrace with piping hot samosas dipped into tangy chutney and a hot cup of tea. For vegan variations, instead of chicken filling you can try the original Indian potato filling. Try it out, and if you don’t get hooked, I’ll eat it all of them on my own!

For dough
2 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp oil
1 cup Water
pinch of salt

For filling
2 cups of boneless chicken shredded
1 large onion chopped
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
coriander leaves
2 tbsp Garam Masala Powder
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tsp. turmeric powder
salt to taste
oil for frying

Preparing Dough
* In a bowl mix together flour, salt and oil. With hands mix it well till the mixture is coarse.
* Add water and knead into a smooth dough.
* Leave it for about half an hour and prepare the filling in the meantime.

Preparing Filling
* In a saucepan heat 2 tbsp of oil. Add cumin seeds.
* Then add chopped onions. Fry till golden brown.
* Add rest of the spices- garam masala, turmeric powder, salt and ginger garlic paste.
* When the spices are cooked add minced chicken and let it cook for few minutes.
* Add chopped coriander mix well.
* Let the chicken filling cool before making samosas.

Making Samosas
* Make small balls from the dough. Roll each ball into a big round. It should not be very thin.
* Cut it into 2 halves using a knife. Pick one half and make a cone out of it.
* Add the filling into the cone. Seam the mouth and open edges with a little water, by pressing the ends. Take care in doing this so that it may not open while frying.
* Do the same with the rest of the dough.
* When done, heat oil in a wok and deep fry all the samosas till golden brown.
* Serve them hot with yogurt and green chutney or cilantro yogurt dip.

Note: To remove excess oil, press the samosas on paper napkins.

Fried Fish Fillets

"I wake up in the morning to the sound of raindrops
And I wonder where you would be
And I wonder if its raining there.
Wherever you are, I hope you think of me, when its raining there"
- Tushar Raheja

It was not morning, it was evening but it was raining. I was back home just in time. If I hadn't come home early, I had been stranded in the traffic for hours. This was the best downpour this season. The weather was mesmerizing. Rains brought a lot of feelings both happy and sad. And the memories of our loved ones. If I had been home, mother must have made something delicious to bring the warmth.

I made a hot cup of ginger tea and made myself cosy on the couch on the terrace looking in the rains. For some moments I was lost. I wanted to sit there for some more time. But I was getting messages from my stomach. I had nothing much in terms of grocery. But had some fish fillets which I had bought earlier this weekend. My mom loves fish. So nothing could be better than making fried fish fillets. And I made them her way by pounding spices for making fresh paste to marinate the fillets. But the whole effort paid. As soon as the paste was ready, a nice aroma of the spices started coming. If you don't want to follow the traditional method of making the marination paste using mortar & pestle, make the paste using an electric mixer.


1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 teaspoon black pepper corn seeds
4-5 fresh fish fillets
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 tbsp onion paste
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 red chili powder
salt to taste
oil for frying


* Properly wash the fish fillets and dry them.
* In a mortar, add coriander seeds and black pepper corns. With the pestle crush them till a fine powder is made.
* Add chopped onions, red chillies, salt, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder and make a fine paste.
* Coat the fish fillets with this paste, covering all the sides.
* Leave the fillets for an hour.
* In a frying pan, add oil and shallow fry the fillets from both sides.
* Serve hot with lemon onion cucumber salad.

Note:Pounding the herbs and spices releases the full range of essential oils, aroma and flavor they contain, giving chili sauces and curry pastes a greater breadth and depth of flavor than chopping them in a food processor can achieve.

Rice Pudding With Orange Flavoring

There are many of us who have a strong urge to have something sweet from time to time. And when we are invited for dinner by any of our friends, colleagues or relative, what we look forward to is desserts. And I am just that kind of a person. No matter how good might be the food, I make sure that I have space reserved in my tummy for the dessert. Although any dessert means a lot of calories even if most of the steps have been carried out to reduce the calories. Still that has no relation with the craving.

To end this craving I made, rice pudding this weekend finally. And while I was making it, a wonderful thing happened, it started raining. Initially I wanted to have a chilled dessert but when I was through, I couldn't resist and ate it when it was warm. Rains had made the temperature dip and in that cool weather when I had this warm dessert, it was such a heavenly feeling. The orange flavoring gave such a wonderful aroma and a change from the traditional rice pudding.


For rice pudding
1 cup rice
3 cup milk
1 cup cream
1/2 cup coconut milk (optional)
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
3 tbsp caster sugar

For flavoring

1 cup orange juice
2 tbsp honey


* Before making rice pudding, wash and soak rice in water for half an hour.
* First prepare the flavoring. For it in a saucepan add orange juice and honey and boil on medium heat till it thickens like syrup.
* Set it aside to cool.
* Take another saucepan and boil milk.
* Drain and add rice to the boiling milk, reduce heat to low and cook for some time, stirring continuously.
* Cook till the rice is soft and the milk is thickened.
* Add cardamom powder, cream and sugar. Stir and set it aside to cool.
* Refrigerate for an hour.
* Serve in chilled bowls with orange flavoring on top.
* If you want you can add chopped nuts.

Note: Coconut milk not only thickens the pudding but also make it tastier.

Raspberry Parfait - A Fresh Fruit Dessert

Its been raining lately, humidity is on the high and heat is still on giving the signal that summer us no where to go. Back from work, I was craving for having something chilled and as I have a sweet tooth so of course a dessert. But was in no mood to make something elaborate which would take most of my time and energy. Then came to my rescue Parfaits. Easy to make and yummy to eat. A parfait is just a dessert made with by combining layers of cream, ice cream, fruits, nuts, syrups and served in tall glasses.

Layered desserts with lot of fruits and cream are so elegant that whenever you serve them, guests get excited even before tasting them. Here I have made raspberry parfait. But you can make others also replacing raspberry with cherry or blackberry or by combining all the berries.

raspberry parfait

2 cup fresh raspberries
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 cup cream cheese
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


* Wash and drain raspberries and place in a small bowl.
* Add granulated and set aside for some time.
* In a mixer add cream cheese, vanilla extract and caster sugar and blend or add in a bowl and whip till the mixture is fluffy.
* Slowly pour the cream, beating until all of it is mixed and the mixture is thickened.
* Crush the raspberries a little with a spoon or you can blend them too.
* In chilled champagne glasses or wineglasses place a layer of raspberries followed by the creamy mixture. Repeat this as much as you want with creamy layer in the end.
* If you want it to be more chilled, then refrigerate it for half an hour and then serve in glasses.
* Garnish it with a fresh raspberry and serve.

Black-Eyed Pea Salad With Lemon Dressing

Originally native to Africa, but black-eyed pea is now grown in many countries being an excellent source of calcium, vitamin A and folate. Black-eyed pea salad is an easy, the only thing to keep in mind is soaking it overnight or few hours before when you need it. This can be a side dish or a healthy replacement of snacks. My mother used to make it for my grandfather and I loved it. No cholesterol and so healthy. After boiling it becomes soft and tastes wonderful. Other than onion and tomato, cabbage, radish or cucumber can also be added in the salad.


1 cup black eyed beans
1 onion chopped
1 tomato chopped
1-2 green chillies chopped
cilantro chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 teaspoon black pepper powder
salt to taste


* Before cooking, soak black-eyed peas for 4-5 hours.
* Then boil them in water for about 10 minutes.
* When boiled, remove the water.
* Take a large bowl, add boiled black-eyed peas, tomato, onion, green chillies, cilantro, lemon juice, black pepper powder and salt to taste.
* Mix everything properly.
* Let it sit for half an hour before serving. Serve warm or cold.

Walnut Chicken Curry - For That Crunchy Flavor

Walnuts add a crunchy flavor to the dishes. And being high in protein can be used as replacement of foods that are high in saturated fats (such as cheese and meat). Is considered "brain food" due to its high levels of omega-3. Although the dish I have made is high in calories. Hence, Walnut chicken curry is something to be eaten once in a while, may be to celebrate any special moment. To add no more calories to it, have it with steamed rice.


For Marination

1 cup yogurt
1 tbsp garam masala
salt to taste

For Curry

1/2 cup walnuts (crushed)
1/2 kg chicken (boneless or with bones)
1 tbsp garam masala powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon red chilly powder
1 teaspoon black pepper powder
2 onion chopped or grated
1-2 green chillies chopped
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp cream
2 tbsp oil
1 cup water
Salt, to taste


* In a large bowl, add chicken pieces after washing properly.
* Add curd, salt and garam masala podwer. Mix well.
* Leave the chicken for marination for about half an hour.
* In a skillet heat oil. Add onions.
* Fry onions till brown. Add salt, ginger garlic paste, green chillies and tomato puree.
* Cook till oil begins to separate.
* Then add garam masala, red chilly, cumin powder, black pepper powder and walnuts. Mix properly
* Add chicken and fry them till they are cooked.
* Lower the heat and add water.
* Stirring continuously, add fresh cream.
* Cook for another few minutes, till the curry thickens and chicken is cooked.
* Serve hot with steamed rice.

Chocolate Cupcake - A Guilty Pleasure

From a long time, I had been wanting to bake a cake. And finally I made one yesterday, after going through a lot of food blogs and magazines. This is an easy version as I had less time to make an elaborate cake. Also, this was my first time so, I was not ready to take the risk. But somehow things got along well and the result was chocolate cup cakes with melted chocolate chips inside ,adding a gooey goodness to it. You can chill it too, if you like cold cakes. Although, I would suggest having it fresh from oven to have that heavenly taste of melted warm chocolate.


2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 eggs
1 cup warm water
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp instant coffee powder
1 cup chocolate chips


* Melt the butter in a pan.
* Beat the eggs well in a separate bowl.
* Add flour, sugar, melted butter, water, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla essence and coffee powder
* Mix all the ingredients properly to form a thick batter.
* Add chocolate chips.
* Pour the batter in small cups.
* Place the cups in a tray and bake for 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 375 degrees.

Note: Prick in the middle of the cakes to check if the cakes are done. If it comes out clean, that means the cakes are ready.

Orange Ecstasy - A Refreshing Summer Mocktail

Oranges add a special tang to any recipe. Not just that they are so full of goodness that they are in desserts, drinks, squashes and then in cosmetics too. An orange is equal to a small world of benefits. The fiber in orange reduces high cholesterol level in the body and the natural fruit sugar, fructose controls the rising blood sugar levels after a meal. Oranges are an excellent source if vitamin C and flavonoids. So eat at least an orange a day, specially in summers.

Normally I don't like juices, still I like having fresh juices. Orange juice is my favorite. In canned juices also, orange tastes better than others. So, for natural flavor try to use fresh orange juice.


2 cups chilled orange juice
3 cups soda
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup milk
1 cup vanilla ice cream
sugar to taste
1 tbsp grated rind of orange
A drop of orange color


* In a jar, mix together milk, orange juice, lemon juice, orange rind, sugar, and color
* Stir till everything is mixed and sugar dissolved.
* Add soda
* In glasses, add ice cream and our the orange soda mixture
* Serve chilled

Glazed Orange Cake on Foodista

Lemon Ecstasy - A Delectable Summer Mocktail

For those of you who love to have cool drinks to beat the red hot summer heat but don't drink alcohol, mocktails are always welcome. Quick to make, colorful and full of goodness of fruits, a mocktail would give you all the fun of a cocktail along with a quick boost in energy.

The beauty of using superfine or caster sugar is that because of its fineness, it dissolves more quickly than regular white sugar.


6 lemons
5 tbsp Caster sugar/superfine sugar
2 bottle soda
3 cup vanilla ice cream
Crushed ice


* Take out the juice of lemons, discarding the seeds
* Mix together lime juice and super refined sugar and stir till the sugar dissolves
* Add half of the vanilla ice cream and soda
* Whip with a beater till the ice cream is half melted
* Put in a serving glass over crushed ice
* While serving add the remaining ice cream on top

The Marvellous Taste Of Butterscotch

Butterscotch, a flavor without which many of the desserts, shakes or sundaes will be incomplete. The whole process is simple but takes almost half an hour. But the best thing is that you can refrigerate it in an airtight non reactive container for about a month and use it whenever you want to make any dessert, cake or a shake.


4 tbsp butter (unsalted)
1 cup dark brown sugar (tightly packed)
¾ cup heavy whipped cream
1 tbsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt


* In a saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. As the butter is melting add brown sugar and stir with a wooden spoon.
* Keep on stirring till the mixture becomes thick paste like a caramel. This will take approximately about 5 minutes.
* Add all the cream and mix.
* Lower the heat and whip the cream into the mixture till it forms a uniform mixture.
* Then on medium heat cook it for about 10 minutes till it starts boiling, whisking every few minutes.
* Turn off the heat and let it cool.
* When cooled, add vanilla essence and salt. Stir well and taste it.
* If the wonderful taste of butterscotch is there then you have done everything perfect. If not then add more vanilla extract and salt.

Note: Making butterscotch sauce is a quick process. Hence, keep everything ready beforehand.

Cooking Pleasures' Very First Recognition

Cooking was never my love nor my passion. I was just a normal cook although a great foodie. So when I started this blog, it was kind of strange for me. But still I did (there was a voice deep down, longing for doing something just for me). And now it has become one of my great motivation factors. When I wake up, I think of recipes and when I sleep, then too the last thing going in mind is recipes only. And just after the hard work of a month, my blog has been appreciated by none other than Food Travel Diva. She comes from Barbados, a beautiful continental island off South America. In her Food Travel blog you will find treasures of the world, the places where she has been and recipes from their delectable cuisines. I am elated that she liked my blog so much and thank her from the bottom of my heart for the beautiful award.

7 things about me, you may not know

* I love to gorge on every chicken recipe.
* In my free time, if I am not cooking, I am reading. I just love to read novels.
* In the weekends I love to watch every movie be it new or old.
* Although I have never been out of India, I would love to travel to new places and
try their delectable cuisines.
* If I would not have been in IT sector by profession, I would surely have been an
Interior Designer
* I met my husband in one month in a unique way and married him in the next.
And after few initial ups and downs are happy together.
* My husband says I am a happy person and can keep the environment happy
regardless of my mood.

Cooking Pleasures Nominations

Indirect Heat
The Cooks Collection
A2Z Vegetarian Cuisine
Parita's Kitchen
Food Gourmand

The rules are as follows

1. Thank the person who has given you the award-goes without saying lol
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog

3. Link to the person who has nominated you for the award

4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting

5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers

6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate

7. Leave a comment on which of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated

Watermelon Drink - For A Zesty Summer

These days when the temperature is rising, rather than eating we go for drinking cold drinks, shakes, squashes or may be just chilled water to quench our thirst. Watermelon is one such fruit which has about 6% sugar by weight and the rest is water. Rich in vitamin C, watermelon has some very important antioxidants that neutralize harmful free radicals.

On a summer day this watermelon drink is just the perfect thirst quencher. Very easy to make too as are most of my recipes. The only thing is to remove the seeds, which you can do in advance and then store in an air tight container in refrigerator. Whenever you want you can make this. Although this is a drink my mother used to make but dear Julia of A Slice of Cherry make me redo it with a few changes according to my tastes and her ingredients (watermelon & mint) from In the Bag: Cooking the Month of June.


2-3 cups watermelon chunks (seeds removed)
4-5 mint leaves
black salt to taste


* In a blender, mix watermelon and mint leaves
* Blend for few minutes
* Take a muslin cloth or a strainer and strain.
* The pulp is discarded, although can be used to make watermelon salad
* Add black salt and stir well.
* Serve in chilled glasses.
* If you want you can add few drops of lemon juice.

Mediterranean Watermelon Salad on Foodista

Vegan Semolina Pancake Recipe

Most of the recipes made with semolina are low in calories. And the good thing about semolina is that, having no taste, it can be used to make a variety of breakfast cereals, snacks, cookies and even desserts. Semolina pancakes are packed with the goodness of various vegetables and curd. Hence, a very light snack. Any vegetables can be added which doesn't take much time in cooking. Serve these pancakes hot with tomato sauce or any sauce of your taste.


1 cup semolina
1 cup curd
1 cup water
1 teaspoon black pepper powder
1 large onion chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
1 radish grated
1/4 cabbage chopped
2-3 green chillies chopped
coriander chopped
salt to taste
3-4 tbsp oil


* In a large bowl mix semolina, water, curd, salt and black pepper.
* Keep the batter for 1-2 hours so that semolina gets soaked.
* After few hours the consistency of the batter will thicken, add all the vegetables.
* Mix well, if required add a little water.
* In a non stick frying pan, add 1 tbsp oil. Then pour 2 large spoons of the batter giving it a round shape.
* Cook on medium heat.
* Change the sides till both sides are golden brown.

Hazelnut Affogato - The Perfect Coffee Dessert

Served at many Italian restaurants or coffee shops, an affogato is an espresso based dessert or a beverage. Excellent for summers. " Affogato al cafe" means "drowned in coffee" as per the Italian language. You can make an affogato at home all you need is a strong coffee or espresso and scoops of ice cream. For topping you can even add different syrups or caramels.

Hazelnut affogato is a treat in summers. Easy to make, it is equipped with the goodness of hazelnuts, the best known source for Vitamin E. You can either add hazelnut syrup or hazelnut caramel. Both go well in affogato. The good thing is that you can further experiment to make different affogatos, only thing to keep in mind is the ratio of various coffee drinks and ice cream flavors. So brew some coffee and make great affogatos to beat the heat.


* 2 tbsp espresso shot
* 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
* 3 tsp hazelnut syrup


* Take chilled glasses and add the espresso shot in it.
* Over it add the scoops of vanilla ice cream.
* Pout hazelnut caramel or syrup over the ice cream
* If you want you can garnish with chocolate chips.
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