Banana Bread



Melted butter – 175 gms

Self-Raising flour: 1 & 3/4 cups

Plain flour: ¼ cup

Ground cinnamon: 1 tsp

Brown Sugar: 2/3 cup, firmly packed

Large ripe bananas: 3, mashed

Eggs: 2, lightly whisked

Milk: ½ cup


Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a loaf pan very lightly with melted butter.

Line the base and 2 opposite sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing it to overhang.

Sift the flours and cinnamon into a large bowl.

Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre.

Add mashed bananas in a medium bowl.

Add the eggs, milk, melted butter, and stir till well combined.

Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface, lightly tapping it, in order to remove the bubbles.

Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or the inserted skewer (into the centre) comes out clean.

Remove from oven and set aside in the pan for 5 minutes.

Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into slices to serve.

NOTE: You can slice them and freeze too. It is generally served warm. You can toast in a grill for better taste.


Zucchini, Mushrooms and Sundried Tomatoes Frittatas



Zucchini: Shredded, 1 cup

Shallots: 2 full sprigs, roughly chopped

Parsley: Chopped, 2 tbsps

Chilli flakes: To taste

Salt and Pepper: To taste

Mushrooms: 5 thinly sliced

Sundried Tomatoes: Chopped randomly, ¼ cup

Eggs: 5, beaten


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 deg C
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl
  3. Grease muffin trays lightly with butter or oil and put baking paper in each of them
  4. Pour the mixture into each of the trays
  5. Cook for 15 – 20 mins, till golden brown.
  6. Serve hot

Hokkien Noodles


Store bought Hokkien or chow mein noodles – 1 packet (Possibly 250 gms)

Garlic – 1 clove, crushed

Carrots – 1 to 2, sliced into long or round pieces

Snow peas or green beans- handful, cut into long pieces

Capsicum – 1 cut into long pieces

Broccoli – 1 medium, cut into big florets

Mushrooms – 10, sliced

Shallots – 1, roughly chopped

Bok Choy or Choy Sum – randomly chopped

Bean sprouts – handful


Chilli Flakes – to taste

Honey – 1 tsp

Hard tofu – cut into pieces

Peanut and sesame oils – 2 tbsps each

Sesame seeds – 1 tbsp, slightly dry roasted

Light and Dark Soy Sauces – ¼ to ½ cup each, depending on your taste


  1. Heat peanut oil in a wok
  2. When hot, add carrots, capsicum, snow peas, broccoli florets for few mins. Add crushed garlic.
  3. Add bok choy/choy sum, mushrooms and fry for few more mins.
  5. Add the noodles, then honey, chilli flakes, light and dark soy sauces.
  6. Stir well. Add Sesame oil.
  7. Finally, add bean sprouts and remove from fire
  8. Serve in individual bowls and sprinkle sesame seeds.

Lemon & Parmesan spaghetti


Spagetti – 1 packet

Light cream – 2 cups

Grated parmesan cheese – 2 cups

Lemon Zest – of 1 lemon

Parsley – 3 tbsps

Salt & Pepper – to garnish



Boil water by adding salt & add pasta. Tip: Water should be as salty as sea water.

Cook until tender.Remove & drain.

Pour drops of olive oil to keep them from sticking together.

In another pan, pour cream & bring to boil. Stir in Parmesan cheese & lemon zest.

The sauce should thicken almost immediately.

Pour the sauce over the pasta & toss.

Season with pepper, salt & freshly chopped parsley.

Thengaai Chutney/Coconut Chutney


Grated Coconut: 1 cup

Pottu kadalai/Roasted Channa Dal: 2 tbsps

Green Chillies: to taste

Salt: To taste

Curry Leaves: 2 sprigs

* Roasted Channa dal is available in Indian stores.


Grind all of the above & season with Mustard seeds & one dried red chilli.

PS: I learnt this recipe from our domestic help in India. I like this version better than what I have made in the past.

Paruppu thogaiyal


Toor dal – 1/2 cup

Peppercorns – 15 or so

Dried Red Chillies – 2

Ghee – 1/2 tsp


Fry toor dal in ghee till golden red in colour.

Set aside.

Dry roast peppercorns & red chillies for couple of seconds.

Grind all of them by adding salt & little water.

BINGO! Paruppu thugaiyal ready.

Vegetable Biryani Masala



Pudhina/Mint leaves – 1 bunch

Coriander Leaves – 1 bunch

Garlic – 1 to 1 1/2 cloves

Green Chillies – 1 to 2, to taste

Ginger – 1 small piece

Tomatoes – 1, chopped into large pieces

Small Onions/shallots  – 10 to 12 pieces


Grind  all the above ingredients to a fine paste without adding water. Use this as a base for any biryani.

Thakkaali Saadham/Tomato Rice

Boiled Rice – 1 ½ cups

Onion – 1 chopped to long pieces

Ripe Tomatoes – 3 chopped finely

Green Chillies – 1 to 2, depending on preference

Curry Leaves – 1 sprig

Garlic – 1 clove, optional

Tomato paste – 1 tbsp

Chilli Powder – 1 tsp

Turmeric powder – 1 tsp

Salt – to taste

Oil – to season

Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp

Channa Dal – 1 tsp

Urad Dal – 1 tsp

Sonf – 1 tsp

Cinnamon Stick – 1

Cardamoms – 5 to 6

Cloves – 5 to 6

Mace – 1

Bay leaf – 1

Coriander leaves – chopped, for seasoning

Heat Oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds, followed by channa dal. When lightly golden, add urad dal & fry till urad dal is golden brown. Then, add sonf, cinnamon stick, cardamoms, cloves, mace, bay leaves, followed by curry leaves. Now, add green chillies & onion. Fry until onion is cooked. When clear & cooked, add the tomatoes. Cook till tomatoes become mushy. Now, add tomato paste, salt, chilli powder & turmeric powder. When all mixed well into gravy like mixture, add boiled rice & mix well. Season with coriander Leaves.

Tips to avoid spluttering of Mustard Seeds

For those of you who have such a hard time with cleaning after seasoning (thaalichu kottu) with Mustard seeds & it’s annoying spluttering, here’s a tip for you.

Heat a pan/kadai/vaanali/baandli & empy the freshly purchased packet of mustard seeds.

Dry roast. Stir every few minutes until the crackling of mustard seeds reduce to virtually none..

Allow it to cool & store in a sealed container.

All you have to do is to add to oil or ghee when seasoning, then, immediately add urad, channa or curry leaves. You don’t need to wait for kadugu to splutter again.

Brussel Sprouts curry/subji


Baby Brussel Sprouts, sliced into 4 pieces – 2 cups

Oil: 1 tbsp

Mustard Seeds: 1 tsp

Chilli Powder: 1 tsp or to taste

Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp

Hing/Asafoetida: 1 tsp

Salt: to taste


Heat oil in a pan. Add Mustard seeds. Let it crackle.

Add cut Brussel Sprouts & stir until lightly cooked.

Once it is partly cooked, add all the other ingredients & stir fry until well cooked.

Remove from fire once soft & tender to taste.


* it tastes crispy & nice when heated in the microwave later. Heat without covering.

* it tastes nice if stir fried a little burnt. It may look a little burnt when it turns dark brown, but it tastes nice when brown. I deliberately burn it a little.

Don’t burn to black.


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