Lemon tart

Lemon tart

This is a dessert that goes well with a heavy meal of meat or chicken. It is light and tartness of the lemon custard is really good after a curry or steak. Use fresh lemons and the custard can be made earlier. It stays fresh in the fridge for up to 10 days.


Pastry pie crust

Zest of two lemons

Sugar 3/4 cup

Corn flour 2 tbsps

Water 2 tbsps

Butter 120 g

Lemon juice 3/4 cup

Condensed milk 1/2 cup


Make the pastry pie crust according to the recipe given here. Divide the dough into two halves and use just one half. The rest can be frozen for use later.

Line a greased pie dish with the rolled pie crust and pierce the bottom with a fork. Line the crust with aluminium foil and add fry rice to weigh down the crust. Bake in a 180 degree C oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and rice and bake for another five minutes.

Add a teaspoon of sugar to the zest in a pestle and grind to a paste.

Dissolve the corn flour in the water and keep it aside.

In a saucepan bring the butter, lemon juice, sugar and the zest paste to a boil. Continue to boil for four minutes, stirring all through.

Add the corn flour and simmer for three minutes, stirring continuously. It will thicken.

Take it off the heat and add the condensed milk. Stir well. Cool for 15 minutes.

Pour the lemon curd into the baked pie crust and refrigerate for two hours.

Slice and serve.

Mushroom Soup

Mushroom Soup

This creamy mushroom soup is delicious on cold winter evenings, especially with corn bread. I use fresh button mushrooms that are firm and have a lovely woodsy flavour.


Button mushrooms 250 g

Onion 1 large, chopped

Garlic 3 cloves, minced

Butter 100 g

Olive oil 4 tbsps

All-purpose flour 4 tbsps

Milk 1/3 cup

Fresh cream 1 cup

Salt and pepper to taste

Water as needed

Coriander leaves for garnish


Slice the mushrooms.

Add the butter and olive oil to a heavy-bottomed pan and heat till the butter melts.

Add the onions and mushrooms. Sauté till the mushrooms are brown.

Add the minced garlic and fry till the raw smell disappears.

Add the flour and sauté for two minutes. Add the milk, stirring all the time. Add 2 cups of water and stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook till the soup begins to boil.

Add the cream and stir till bubble begin to appear.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with corn bread.

Corn bread

Corn bread

I love the corn muffins sold at Kenny Rogers restaurants and decided to try and make them at home. The same recipe I use to make corn bread that goes well with soups and chilli. You can use corn meal or corn flour or makki ka atta to make this bread.


Corn flour or makki ka atta 1 cup (136 g)

All-purpose flour or maida 1 cup (136 g)

Baking powder 1 tsp

Baking soda 1/2 tsp

Salt 1/2 tsp

Butter 1/2 cup (113 g) melted

Brown sugar 1/3 cup (73g)

Honey 2 tbsps

Egg 1

Yoghurt 1/2 cup


Mix the corn flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a bowl.

In another bowl mix the butter with sugar and honey.

Add the egg and whisk well.

Add half a cup of water to the yoghurt and mix well. Add this to the butter and sugar mixture.

Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and fold it in.

Grease a rectangular baking tray and pour in the batter.

Bake in a 200 degree C oven for 20 minutes till a toothpick poked into the centre comes out clean.

Let it cool and slice into squares. Serve with chilli or mushroom soup or tangy tomato basil soup.

Banana and Chocolate Rice Cake

Banana and Chocolate Rice Cake

I was trying to come up with a way to use rice flour and remembered some lovely dishes I had in Japan. Thinking of some the sweets made from rice flour, I decided to make a banana cake. The chocolate chips added a delicious but subtle taste.


Bananas 3

Eggs 2

Sugar 3/4 cup (150 g)

Vegetable oil 4 tbsps

Milk 6 tbsps

Rice flour 1 cup (200 g)

Baking powder 2 tsps

Chocolate chips 1 tbsp


Mash two of the bananas well in a wide bowl.

Add the eggs and mix well. I use an electrical whisk, my trusted hand-held blender Braun.

Add the sugar, oil and milk and whisk for two minutes.

Add the rice flour and baking powder and mix with a wooden or rubber spatula. Then whisk at high speed for a few minutes. In the case of rice flour there is no gluten and so you can whisk well to get in as much air as you can.

Line a round baking tray with greased butter paper and pour in the batter. Slice the remaining banana and arrange on top of the batter. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C and bake the cake at 170 degrees C for 45 minutes. Check after 35 minutes and stop when a toothpick poked into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Orange Cake

Orange Cake

This citrus cake has a kick from the local oranges, kinnows, I used. Kinnows are available mid-January to mid-February in northern India and Pakistan. This year, the fruit is particularly juicy, maybe because of the pollution-free days that the region enjoyed for a long time due to the pandemic lockdowns. Use seedless kinnows for the best taste. Otherwise, ensure that you remove all the seeds or your cake will taste bitter.


(Serves 5; 10 slices)

Orange or Kinnow 1 large, seedless

Sugar 3/4 cup

Vegetable oil 1/2 cup

Eggs 3

Flour 1 3/4 cup

Baking powder 1 tbsp


Chop the orange roughly. If it is not the seedless variety, ensure that you remove all the seeds.

Grind in a blender and keep aside.

Add oil and sugar to the pan of a stand mixer and mix for about two-three minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time.

Sift the flour and baking powder together.

Take the pan off and add the flour in using the fold and mix method.

Pour into a greased baking loaf pan.

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C and bake at 170 degrees C for 40 minutes till a skewer poked into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Cool and slice.

Serve with a side of marmalade for those who want a more citrusy taste.

Tangy Tomato Basil Soup

Tangy Tomato Basil Soup

I have been trying to get the taste of this soup from my favourite restaurant in Singapore. After a lot of experimentation, I have come up with a version I love.


Tomatoes 4 large

Potato 1 large

Spring onions 5

Fresh basil leaves 10 sprigs

Paprika powder 1 tbsp

Salt to taste

Pepper powder to taste

Butter as needed


Steam the potato, tomatoes and spring onions in a pressure cooker.

Skin the tomatoes.

Add the steamed vegetables to a blender and blend well.

Heat in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the basil leaves, paprika powder and salt. Adjust the water content and boil for five minutes.

Serve with a blob of butter, salt and pepper.

Bacon and Tomato Bread

Bacon and Tomato Bread

This bread is a meal in itself. It does not need any butter or cheese, it is moist enough and the flavours of bacon, tomato and herbs blend in beautifully in every bite.


Water 1 1/3 cup

Olive oil 4 tsps

Bread flour 4 cups

Sun dried tomato in oil 1/2 cup, sliced

Bacon 1 cup, cooked

Italian herbs 1 tbsp

Salt 1 tsp

Sugar 4 tsp

Instant yeast 1 1/2 tbsps


Add all the ingredients to the pan of the bread machine in the order given.

Use the Basic cycle.

Cool in the bread machine pan and slice. Serve with Tangy Tomato Basil Soup or Tomato Soup and a green salad.

Chicken Tetrazzini

Chicken Tetrazzini

I use spaghetti instead of linguine to make chicken tetrazzini as I feel it holds its shape better. Also the sauce adheres better, making for a tastier dish. The combination of full cream and garlic lends a rich flavour to the chicken tetrazzini.


Spaghetti 500 g, cooked al dente

Boneless chicken breasts 3

Vegetable oil 1/3 cup

Salt and pepper to taste

Butter 1 tbsp

Olive oil 2 tbsp

Button mushrooms 250 g, sliced

Onion 1 large, chopped

Frozen peas 1 cup

Garlic 5 cloves, minced

Full cream 2 cups

Full cream milk 500 ml

All-purpose flour 1/3 cup

White wine 1/3 cup

Italian herbs 3 tbsps

White bread 6 slices, toasted and ground coarsely into crumbs

Cheddar cheese 1 cup, grated


Cook and drain the spaghetti and keep it aside.

Lightly sprinkle salt and pepper on the chicken breasts. Pour the vegetable oil into a heavy bottomed frying pan and fry the chicken breasts till they are golden brown. Let the chicken cool and shred roughly.

Add the butter and olive oil to the same pan and fry the mushrooms till they are brown. Add the onions and fry till they are soft and translucent.

Add the minced garlic and fry for a few seconds. Add the wine and cook till it evaporates. Remove to a bowl.

Add butter and olive oil to the same pan and add flour. Roast till the raw smell of the flour disappears.

Add the milk, constantly stirring to prevent any lumps from forming. Add salt and pepper.

Add the cream. Simmer for two minutes.

Add the shredded chicken, the mushroom mixture and frozen peas to the sauce.

Switch off the heat and add spaghetti to the sauce.

Grease a baking casserole with olive oil and add the spaghetti and sauce.

Mix the bread crumbs with Italian herbs and spread over the spaghetti.

Sprinkle generously with the grated cheese.

Bake in a 180 degree C oven for 25 minutes till the cheese bubbles.

Serve hot with focaccia bread and salad.

Bacon and Potato Pie

Bacon and Potato Pie

This recipe was shared with me by a friend and I would make it very often for my son when he was a teenager. This is certain to be a hit with every hungry teenager and it is quick as easy to make. It makes a hearty meal because of the meat, potatoes and cheese, and it is easier to make than ordering takeout.


(Serves 2)

Streaky bacon 200 g

Potatoes 3 medium, sliced

Mushrooms 1 cup, sliced

Oil 1 tbsp

Italian herbs 2 tbsps

Cheddar cheese 2 cups, grated

Salt and pepper to taste


Snip the bacon roughly with a pair or scissors to 1” pieces and add it along with the mushrooms to heated oil in a frying pan. Fry till the mushrooms are brown and the bacon is cooked.

In a baking tray, pour a tablespoon of bacon grease. Arrange a layer of potato slices. Add a layer of the bacon and mushroom mixture. Add a layer of overlapping potato slices. Sprinkle a layer of cheese and Italian herbs. Add another layer of potatoes.

Repeat the layers again. Finish with a thick layer of cheese.

Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste and herbs.

Bake in a 180 degree C oven for 20 minutes till the cheese is bubbling.

Rest for 10 minutes and serve with a green salad.



I fell in love with the German bread Käsestange almost three decades ago while on a research fellowship in the beautiful Bavarian city of Munich. Once I bought it from a bakery close to the train station on my way back home, a flat at the Schloss Blutenburg, built in the 15th century. After eating the Käsestange, I wanted more and I went back all the way to the train station, taking a bus, and bought another, returned home and ate it all by myself. It was extremely satisfying. I felt like eating it again and experimented till I got the same exact taste.


(Makes 12 pieces)
All-purpose flour 4 cups (600 g)
Instant yeast 4 tsps
Warm water 1 1/2 cups (350 ml)
Sugar 1 1/2 tbsps
Salt 1 1/2 tsp
Olive oil 3 tbsps
Baking soda 2 tsps
Mozzarella 200 g, grated


I use the bread-maker to make the dough. Add all the ingredients except the baking soda to the bread-maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. I add all the liquid ingredients first.

Once the dough cycle is over, take the dough out and knead it for 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface. Make 12 dough balls.

Work each ball of dough into a 3″ thick roll.

Boil water in a deep vessel and add the baking soda. Cook each dough roll in the water for 30 seconds, turning it once.

Lay them out on a greased tray lined with butter paper and slit it in the centre and separate a bit and flatten them.

Add the shredded cheese on top of each flattened roll.

Bake in a 180 degree C oven for 20-25 minutes till the cheese is bubbling and the bread turns brown.

Let cool for five minutes and serve warm.