July 30, 2016

Peanut Chutney

Last week I came across this article on my favorite self-help blog - Tiny Buddha on how as adults we get so engrossed in the race of life that things that once sounded beautiful to us no longer evokes us in the same feelings. So, I guess it is time to step back unlearn this way of life and bring in a change that makes life more beautiful. I keep saying I am a person who finds happiness in every small thing in life. But do I really? May be not! Yet, it is never too late. So I have pulled up my socks and have begun viewing life differently and enjoying the tidbits that comprises life.
And you know what! Life does seem more beautiful since the past three days incorporating just the below - 
  1. Letting bygones be bygones.
  2. Every single thing in your life has a reason! So live it up to brim.
  3. Tomorrow has to come anyway, so quit worrying about it now!
Having said this - here is my recipe for the week Peanut Chutney straight out of my aunt's recipes! She always has this chutney bottled up and needless to say I always love eating spoonfuls right out of the bottle. It is perfect for week day breakfasts. Idli/Dosa and peanut chutney just perfect for tiffin boxes!


Here is the recipe - 

  1. Peanuts - 1 kg
  2. Garlic - 200 gm
  3. Curry Leaf - 1 sprig
  4. Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  5. Asafoetida powder - 1/4 tsp
  6. Chilly powder - 1 tbsp heaped
  7. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  8. Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
  9. Oil - 1 tbsp
  10. salt - to taste
  • Dry roast the peanuts until cooked and set aside. You could peel the peanuts if you want to or it works well if you did not peel it as well.
  • Heat oil in a Kadai, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter.
  • Add the fenugreek seeds, chopped garlic and the curry leaves. Saute till the raw smell goes.
  • Sprinkle the asafoetida, chilly and turmeric powder and cook the masala. Toss in the groundnut and mix well.
  • Let this cool and add the required salt.
  • Grind the contents together till it coarsely done. I love to bite into bits of peanuts hence the coarse texture. You may grind it to fine powder as well.
  • Can be stored in a dry container for more than a month.

You may also note - 
  • DO NOT grind it for a long time as you may end up having peanut butter chutney:)
  • Increase the spice level to your taste.

July 23, 2016

Guests Dexterity

We intend to feature posts from our guests here - food blogger or not you are free to send in your recipes or any food musings. We will be happy to have you featured in our blog.

You may send in your recipes to kitchenspellsblog@gmail.com

July 22, 2016

Chickpeas Salad

The climate wasn't exactly friendly this week. Lots of sand and dust up in the air and the temperature soaring higher by the hour. The hot and dry summer is here again!

Getting out onto the streets seemed like a nightmare and we yearned to get back to the house in the evenings.We definitely were in need of something fresh and cold to cheer us up. A refreshing bowl of salad came to our rescue. I am not very fond of salads but I could give this one a pass by any day any time.

I am sure your would love digging in this bowl as well. Every time I boil chickpeas for some gravy, I make sure I keep aside some for the salad too.


My favorite bowl of salad could be yours too. Here you go -

( serves -2)

  1. Chickpeas - 2 cups boiled
  2. Capsicum/Green Pepper - 1 medium size chopped
  3. Cucumber - 1 skinned and chopped
  4. Tomato - 1 finely chopped
  5. Coriander leaves - a handful finely chopped
  6. Lemon juice - 1/2 lemon
  7. Pepper  - 1 tsp coarsely crushed
  8. Olive oil - 2 tbsp

  • Prepare the dressing by mixing together the pepper, salt, olive oil and lemon juice. Set aside.
  • In a bowl, bring together the chickpeas, capsicum, cucumber and tomato.
  • Chill it for half hour. Add the dressing and combine well before serving.
  • Sprinkle corriander leaves for the extra freshness.
It is ideal to add the dressing at the end to prevent the salt in it from oozing out excess water.


July 16, 2016

Goli Bajji/ Mangalore Bajji

It is the peak of the summers in Dubai and my heart longs for the monsoons in India.
Waking up to the sound of rains..
A rainy evening with a mug of hot coffee..
A walk in the rains..
Getting splashed - ugh!! Sounded annoying back then, but now! I need that one splash. 
And of course, the hot fried bajjis that lifts your spirits.
That is something I can do in Dubai too!
My thoughts went scrambling and this is what it resulted in.

Cheers to Goli Bajji/ Mangalore Bajji with hot tea that sent me down many memory lanes. While I get nostalgic, why don't you guys have a sneak peak at what is below - 

  1. All purpose flour - 1 cup
  2. Yogurt - half cup
  3. Rice Flour - 2 tbsp
  4. Onion - 1 medium chopped
  5. Ginger - 1 tbsp grated
  6. Green Chilly - 1 sliced thinly
  7. Curry Leaves - 1 sprig finely chopped
  8. Coriander Leaves - a handful finely chopped
  9. Asafoetida - 2 pinches
  10. Baking powder - 1/4 tsp
  11. Sugar - 1 tbsp
  12. Salt to taste
  13. Oil for deep frying

  • In a bowl, whisk the yogurt and add all purpose flour, rice flour and the baking powder. 
  • Once the ingredients have combined well, add the chopped onion, ginger, green chilly, curry leaves and the corriander leaves.
  • Add asafoetida, sugar to the mix and salt to taste.
  • Keep the mixture standing for 1 to 2 hours.
  • Heat a skillet and add oil to this.
  • Dip your hand in water and scoop a lemon sized ball of the batter and carefully place in the oil( be careful not to burn your hands)
  • 4 - 5 balls can be placed at a time. Flip it over once the side has browned. It may take about two minutes to cook on medium flame.
  • Carefully remove from the oil and place on tissue to drain off the excess oil.
  • Serve it hot and crisp with coconut chutney
You may also note - 
  1. Adding the rice flour gives the crispness to the bajjis.
  2. If you find the batter too thick, add water to reach the desired consistency.
  3. Constantly keep the flame on medium to avoid under cooking or burning of the the bajjis.
Recipe shared by a dear friend - Vandana

July 2, 2016

Coriander pepper chicken

On our recent trip to Archies library here in Dubai, I came across a cook book written by Madhur Jaffrey. A flip of the pages and I am her instant fan. The simple style of writing and her way of bringing in a personal touch to each of these left a strong impression on me.  It wasn't just her recipes but the intricacies of cooking she detailed in her book that mesmerized me.  From how to perfect your sauces to the tempering of the spices - it is all in there. True Indian cooking still original to her roots - that is Madhur Jaffrey's cooking to you.

Having said this, it is my sincere endeavor to give my recipes a personal touch and keep it simple. Here is my latest venture in the kitchen - a retake on the pepper chicken by bringing in flavors of corriander and spiciness of green chilly.



  1. Chicken - 1 kg ( cleaned and cut)
  2. Onion - 2 medium
  3. Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
  4. Salt to taste
  5. Oil
For marinade:
  1. Pepper  - 2 tbsp coarsely ground
  2. Coriander leaves - 1 bunch
  3. Cardamom - 6
  4. Green Chilly - 7 (adjust as per your spice level)
  5. Ginger - 1 tbsp
  6. Garlic - 1 tbsp
  7. Lemon juice - 3 tbsp

    • Grind together the coriander leaves, cardamom, green chilly, ginger and garlic to a coarse paste.
    • In a bowl, mix together the ground paste, 2 tbsp of pepper powder, lemon juice and salt. Marinate the chicken pieces in this for about 20 minutes.
    • Heat the oil in a skillet and toss in the chopped onions along with curry leaves. 
    • Saute it for around 2 minutes on medium flame. 
    • Add 2 tbsp of pepper powder and combine it well. Finally add the marinated chicken pieces. Keep it covered and cook on low flame until done.
    • Garnish with fried green chilly for the zing and a dash of lemon juice.
    You may also note - 
    1. The onions should not be cooked to the extend that it becomes translucent.
    2. A final squeeze of lime juice adds to the richness of the flavor.