Monday, August 30, 2010



Phyllo dough - 1 pack
Chopped or ground nut mixture - 1 1/2 cups (I used pistachio, almonds and walnuts)
Ground cinnamon - 1/8 tsp
Ground cloves - 1/ tsp
Melted Butter - 2 cups

For the syrup:
Sugar - 1 cup
Honey - 3/4 cup
Lemon Juice from 1 lemon
Water - 1 cup

Thaw the phyllo dough according to the instruction on the package.
Put the nuts in the food processor and pulse it until coarse.
Mix in the ground cinnamon and glove and set it aside.
Brush a 8x8 baking dish with butter. 
Roll out the phillo dough and cut it to fit the tray.
Cover the dough with wet towel.  Wet towel should go on top of the plastic sheet.
Place one sheet at a time on the baking dish and brush with butter.  Place 10 sheets.
Cover the sheets with 2 to 3 TBSP of the nut mixture.

Top it of with another 5 layers of sheets, brushing each sheet with butter as you go along.
Sprinkle some more of the nut mixture.
One by one, place another 10 sheets.  Butter each sheet.
With a sharp knife, carefully cut the sheets into square or diamond shape.

Bake it in the preheated oven ( 350 degree) for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile make the syrup by placing the sugar, honey and lemon juice in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil.
Simmer and let it cook for 10 minutes.
Once the baking is done, remove from the oven and pour the syrup slowly over the baklava.
Let it soak and cool completely for 4 to 5 hours before serving.


Sending this to AWED-Turkey hosted by Saveur an event by DK

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Spaghetti Squash and Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Fennel Seeds


Spaghetti Squash - 1 cup (cooked)
Red Bell Pepper - 2
Tomato - 1 big (chopped)
Onion - 1 small (diced)
Garlic - 1 clove (optional)
Green Chillies - 2 or to taste
Black Pepper - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Fennel Seeds - 1 TBSP
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 tsp
Splash of heavy cream (optional)


How to cook Spaghetti Squash?

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Slice the Spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds.

Place the squash on the baking tray, cut sides up and bake it for an hour or until tender.

Baked Squash

Scrape the inside with a fork 

Preparing the soup:
  1. Roast the red bell pepper in the oven or directly on the stove top until it turns black in color.
  2. Let it cool completely and scrap the skin off.  Chop and keep it aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onion, garlic, cumin seeds, black pepper, ginger and fennel seeds until the onion is soft.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until soft.  Let it cool.
  5. In a blender, grind the onion, tomato mixture along with roasted red bell pepper and the spaghetti squash with enough water to a smooth consistency.  
  6. Transfer it to a large pot.  If needed, add more water.  Add salt and heavy cream.  Bring to a boil. 
  7. Serve hot.

Add cooked squash in to your soup for a noodle soup.

Sending this to Priya's CWS event.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Honey Roasted Almonds


Almonds - 2 cups
Sugar - 1/4 cup (Raw/turbinado or regular) I used raw sugar
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Canola oil - 2 tsp
Honey - 2 TBSP
Water - 2 TBSP


  1. Spread the almonds in a non stick baking tray and bake it in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until well toasted.  Keep it aside.
  2. Mix sugar and salt throughly. 
  3. In a sauce pan mix in the oil, honey and water and bring it to boil.   
  4. Add the toasted almonds and mix throughly to coat.  Stir and cook until all the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Add the sugar and salt mix to the almonds and mix until they are evenly coated.  About 5 minutes.
  6. Spread the almonds in a parchment paper.  Let it cool completely.
  7. Store it in a air-tight container.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Paruppu Podi / Spiced Lentil Powder


Toor dal - 1 cup
Horse Gram dal  / Kollu / Ulavu / Kulthi - 1/2 cup
Roasted Chana dal (chutney dal) / Dalia - 1/2 cup
Whole Black Pepper - 2 tsp
Red chillies - 10 or to taste
Ajwain / Omam  - 2 tsp
Curry leaves - 10
Salt - to taste


Dry roast all the ingredients except roasted channa dal and salt, until they turn to golden brown.  Just before you take it out, add the roasted channa dal and roast it for a minute.  Let it cool completely.  Grind the cooled ingredients with salt to a fine powder.  Store in a airtight container.

Serving suggestion:  Mix it with hot rice along with dash of ghee or sesame oil.