From my kitchen to yours

From my kitchen to yours

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Today after a very very long time , was just not feeling upto it, no i was not having a bad hair day or any such frivolous chick thing, its just that i felt that i just don't have a thing for picking up languages and , i sat through Spanish class in a slump, though my teacher Tarana is great and the crowd is really fun, but i guess today was just one of those days....
So i decided to go buy my Espanol dictionary to do my homework , and spent an hour sitting on the floor of the book shop reading "food " books, so after an hour , i finally left with my loot , while looking very menacingly at my Spanish dictionary that could have also been French to me...JA JA JA (thats Espanol for ha ha ha )
Spent the afternoon trying to do"yo soy maria" and tu eres .. and so on and so forth and felt like the rain clouds had burst over my Head, so did what i do, when i don't know ,what to do, "i slept", and dreamt of Spanish....Mama Zeta WHATS HAPPENING ??????
So then woke up and needed to get into a good happy space , so i decided to bake...
A few days ago i met a girl Tarini, who is just a little pixie, cute , sweet and immensely talented in her kitchen , she was sweet enough to let me hang with her while she went about her cooking,and so inspired by her I'm making scones today from a recipe from my new book, i call this

No Comprendo Espanol Scones
300 gm self rising flour
1/2 tsp salt
1tsp baking powder
85 gm cold unsalted butter ,cut into cubed
4tbsp Castor sugar
150 g full fat yogurt
4 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp milk to glaze

Put the flour, salt and baking powder in a big bowl.
Add the butter and with your fingers , mix it all together till the flour looks like a crumble
Add the sugar and just very lightly mix the crumbled flour into it.
In a pan over low heat, warm the yogurt, milk and vanilla, until hot..
Pour this into the flour mix and very carefully and lightly , just fold it to form a dough, do not knead it , as soon as it comes together you are done, just add raisins to it if you like..
Press it out over a flat surface over some flour about 4cm thick and then cut it into circles or triangles and bake it for 17 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 200 degrees.....

They were ready in no time and soooo easy and tasted so good even plain, made 2 in the shape of mickey mouse that the kids bit into , so could not shoot that..
But its all over we, our help and even Taz are all feeling happier if not healthier , yup this was my comfort food for the day and i really needed it, ok ! even snacked on a snicker bar after buying my Spanish dictionary, but i like to be happy and that's whats important, and really wish that me learning Spanish is going to be as easy as baking for me...
So with that wish in my heart , calling it a day...
So really speedy, lift me up , piping hot "Scones" only from "Maria's Kitchen"

Sunday, June 20, 2010


A few days ago i was listening to Zene and Arshad having this really sweet conversation, where Arshad told her , that she broke his heart and this is what Zene said ," Dada , your heart is broken ? Come to me , only i can fix it, only me ".
That's what girls do , they look after, nurture and mend what's not right, and they love their "Daddy'' the most in the world, he is the first guy they fall in love with and that beautiful love carries on for the rest of their lives..
Every girl wants to marry a guy exactly like her "Dad", because he is her hero , he is the guy , who looked after her, protected her, cared for her, washed her hair ,blow dried it, tucked her into bed , scared the monsters away with his muscles and sword ,taught her karate, cooked when mama was out, held her hand when she went to school (my dad was holding my hand when i went for college admissions , much to my embarrassment) so ya he is her knight in shining armour ...
My Dad worked abroad most of our childhood, because that's how it was , and he was the handsomest ever, still remember him coming to pick up my 4th standard report card , in a mustard polo neck , cords and rugged boots and everyone staring a him because he was tall , looked like a movie star with his curly hair and green brown eyes, and i was sooooo proud to be his daughter, i kept telling everyone , "my daddy , my daddy",
And so , just a little advice to all you guys out there, when you find the girl of your dreams, please take a good look at your girls dad and all that he stands for in her life, because she has been treated and looked after with lotsa love and care, and so you will have to do better than that ,because she has been someones little princess ,so keep her that way and she will always stay the girl you fell in love with,treat her badly and you will turn her into a woman you will never ever be able to fathom ....
I dedicate today's muffins to" My and Zene's DADA", just want to say that even though you are not home with us, there is not a single day that we do not think about you and send a prayer to God to keep you safe..
To us , you can climb the highest mountain and protect us from all the monsters , that's because only "MY DADDY'S STRONGEST "

My daddy and Arshad both love peanuts and so making "Peanut butter-chocolate muffins" that i learnt from Chef Vicky on "do it sweet "

125 gm self rising flour
3 eggs
125 gm butter
125 gm Castor sugar
100 gm peanut butter
25 gm honey
50 gm cooking dark chocolate
1 tsp vanilla

I. Cream the butter, peanut butter and sugar in a bowl, with a electric beater, but i prefer doing it manually
2. Add eggs and vanilla to this mix.
3. Combine the flour,and the honey, and its ready to bake in a pre heated oven at 160 degrees for 15 minutes

I made this in a jiffy in the morning and these are Zeke's favourite muffins, i make them in a small bite size so you can just pop them in your mouth and enjoy a fusion of tastes ,the chocolate, the peanut and the yummy cream cheese icing...
I just realised that all the men in my life like 'peanuts", maybe that's because they are all nuts ha ha ha

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all to the "daddy's" and the "to be daddy's" in the world..
With lotsa "Dada love-muffins " only from Maria's kitchen"

P.S. not being able to upload the photos on to my blog

Thursday, June 17, 2010


It's now 10.30 pm , did all my stuff for the day, went for Spanish class in spite of partying post 12, but the "People" party was really nice, met lotsa friends and people i really loved meeting and a few that i preferred not to be there, but then i really did not do the invites so had no say in the matter ha ha ha ..
Yesterday i spent the evening shopping with Mini, and then we went out, mini in her gorgeous sari (one day i will be confident like her in one) and me in my green gown that i love...
Kabir and me drank soda and Mini had some green tea stuff....
Oh and the khao-suey was yummy , but now trying to get Mins to make some for us , because hers is awesome...
Oh back to today...Spanish in the morning , then went to searching for a food and confectionery course to Dadar catering college , but they have closed admissions...
But I'm not giving up.....
Back home , babies and home-work and lotsa green tea... and now at this hour i started shuffling my muffin card pack , much to the horror of my house help who had settled into the world of saas-bahus and their interesting twists and turns ...
But the poor souls are in for a shock , because i have pulled out all my ingredients and have mixed , sieved , weighed , licked , poured , spooned , dropped , laughed ....errr not in that order but mix is made and in the oven....
Waiting now for my little pets to get cooked , so i can dress them for their night out ,in my tummy....

1 1/4 cup , self rising flour
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp butter
1 cup sugar
3 large egg whites

90 gm white chocolate
1/4 cup unsalted butter
120 gm cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Pre heat oven to 250 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes..

1.Sift the flour and salt in a bowl and set aside.
2.In another small bowl, stir the milk, vanilla and almond extracts together.
3.In a large bowl, with the hand mixer on medium, beat the butter and sugar, until it lightens in colour about 3 minutes.
4.On low speed, add the flour to the butter mix in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, till its just about blended and set aside.
5.In another large bowl , beat the egg whites with an electric beater till it is nice and shiny white , smooth and nice and stiff.
6. Stir about 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter, with the electric beater , then stop and with a spatula , just fold the rest of the beaten egg whites in.
7. Put the batter into your muffin moulds , they make about 14 and cook them at 160 degrees for 17 minutes, and the little white poppykins are ready , take them out and leave them to cool....

My kitchen has a sweet aroma floating around, there is a lovely breeze and Enrique Inglesius singing to me (by the way did i ever tell you that i met him for an interview, and he is just such a huge flirt :o)) hmmm , no noise around me , no one putting their tiny fingers into my batter or trying to break eggs for me, but gosh do i miss the babies when they are asleep....
Now for the even more easier bit,making the frosting

1. Put the white chocolate on a double boiler and melt it.., then transfer to a big bowl
2. In that bowl blend the butter , cream cheese and vanilla to the chocolate mix, and beat till its nice and smooth
3. Add the powdered sugar, mixing until the frosting is nice and smooth, for about a minute.
4. Spread about 2 tbsp of frosting onto each cup cake , and when its all done...

Play tic-tac-toe- here i go if i miss , I'll take this and immediately without any delay, bite into a big mouth full of my "Midnight Insanity" , fresh and heavenly only from "Maria's Kitchen"

Good night lovely day... and thanks for my family and friends and for all the wonderful moments that God gave me to day..
Big God Bless

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Sometimes, actually no ,most of the times, i have people walk into my home and I'm mostly taken by surprise , because Arshad has forgotten to tell me that , he is having people over, and then all of a sudden, I'm looking at my fridge , wondering , what on earth am i going to give them at such a short notice and that's where Chicken sausages, save me time and time again,i.e. if they are non-vegetarian...
This is something i experimented with and it tasted awesome and so now , when in doubt this is what i rustle up in about 10 minutes max

Chicken frankfurters
olive oil
freshly pounded mustard
a drop of soya sauce
a dollop of honey or according to your taste

Cut the chicken frankfurters into pieces 1 inch thick, and mix all the rest of the ingredients into it, or you can add it all after you put the frankfurters in the hot pan, cook it till it becomes a slight burnt brown and you are ready to rumble....
This finishes off the platter faster than you can say "Jack Robinson", i also toast bread and cut it into bits and add it to this and also sometimes add onion rings sauteed in soya sauce, to add to the volume and the drama...and chili flakes right at the end as garnish...
So what bursts in your mouth with every bite , is the flavour of chicken with a hint of mustard and lovely caramelised honey and just as you taking it all in , the chili flakes add that extra AAAAHHHHH ....
This is not the healthiest , but definitely one of the tastiest quick bites....

Tiny hot "Chicken Nibbles" only from "Maria's Kitchen"

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Woke up this morning, and went out running, before i could change my mind ,because really want to start some kind of exercise, and running is what makes me most happy, was out late at my friend Amit Ashar's photography exhibition, and although i had dinner , we all ate again , thanks to Mini....
The food was yummy, done by my dear friend Chef Vicky, who is the sweetest and has promised to teach me how to make bread, which is something i have been trying to do at regular intervals, today is a jam packed day, besides the regular, going shopping for some Lucknowi stuff and enrolling my self in a Spanish institute...
So the entire family including my puppy Taz is excited about me learning a new language, leave alone the fact that Arshad and Mini think that i should first get my Urdu diction in order, but like my friend Jaya pointed out to me yesterday, i ask everyone and their pets for advice and also listen to their words of wisdom very intently and then thank them profusely for being there and then in due course of time, drive off in my red beetle into the sunset....hmmm
But life is not as easy as making stuffed green peppers with mince is it ??????

2 dozen small sized green peppers
olive oil
a kg of ragu sauce (please check the lasagne's recipe to make it)

Pre-heat the oven at 200 degrees for about half an hour...
In that time , cut the top of the capsicum , and clean the insides, do not pull out the stalks , they look quite cute ...
Stuff each green pepper with the ragu sauce and cover it with the cut portion of the pepper like a lid, sprinkle it with a little rock salt and olive oil and garnish with some cheese and cook it at 160 degrees for about 30-40 minutes or till you feel the green pepper is well cooked..and the cheese has melted over the pepper ...
Its like a mini meal on its own , if you want to avoid the carbs..

This dish somehow reminded me of the "Wizard of Oz" and all the little people in Munchiken land, felt that very soon all the peppers would march out of the oven singing, ha ha ha , YUP i do have an imagination, ya some people think its crazy but i think its a "healthy" imagination..
We'll now I'm picturing all the peppers running around the kitchen because they do not want to be devoured but , I'm chasing them on my broom stick and putting them back in the tray, oh we'll methinks running early in the morning could be detrimental to my sleep cells and so my mind is running amuck...HELP....

Ok guys , enjoy my "Munchiken Green Peppers, Stuffed and Happy" only from "Maria's Kitchen"

Friday, June 11, 2010


Now this is something that is going to get passed on to my Zeke and Zene too, because its part of every celebration at home, i have seen my mum making this since i can remember , and it is always tasty and really easy , infact its the 1st dish that i learnt from my mum that i got right at the very 1st shot,we'll i have modified and un-butterfied it, but the essence is the same..

It's great to eat ,really healthy and can be had with bread , pulav rice or just some plain salad ..
My mum used to fry potatoes on the side , which were finger-lickin good, but im baking garlic and tomatoes to mix with my salad...
What am i celebrating today ..well..LIFE!!!!!!

Baked Chicken Ala Mama
1 1/2 kg chicken full with skin
Garam masala
Lime juice

Marinate the chicken by rubbing all the above ingredients on to it and leave it overnight in the fridge

Chicken liver minced
1 slice toast cut into pieces
1 onion minced
1 chili
little peas
7 cashews lightly fried
10 kishmish lightly fried

In a non stick pan, add a little olive oil and cook the onions and the chili, when its nicely done add a tiny pinch of garam-masala ..
Then add the peas and really cook well..
Add the chicken liver last and salt... when you feel its all done, add the cashew and the kishmish , and toss it around....add the toast and let it soak in all the juices..
let it cool completely.

Take the chicken out of the fridge at least an hour before cooking, then in the hollow of its stomach, fill in the stuffing and stitch the opening of the cavity ...
I wrap the chicken in tin foil ,so it kind of does not get too dry and also is kind of steams , then open it when its nearly done so that its browns up
Bake it for about an hour and a half...then pierce it with a blunt knife and if it goes through smoothly, then open up the foil and increase the temp to 200 degrees , pour a little olive oil over it and brown the chicken...

Take it out and have it piping hot with some salad and some baked tomatoes and garlic on the side
We just did....happy and happy

"Baked Chicken ala mama" only from "Maria's Kitchen", have a great weekend guys....

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Every time I'm cooking at home , what always weighs heavily on my mind , are my vegetarian friends, have just 1 of those " species" actually, Jaya...ha ha ha
And she always offers to get her own food, which is sweet , but i think its also because she does not really trust me with vegetarian stuff, which i know completely changed since Sunday...
Promised to make her fresh pasta with vegetables, i did not really measure all the veggies but will give you a detailed account of how i made it

Olive oil
Red and Yellow Peppers
Cherry tomatoes
Pine nuts
Fresh Basil
Baby carrots
Fresh birds eye chili
Dried oregano
Chili flakes
Keya all purpose seasoning
Rock salt

Boil the spaghetti with some rock salt and a little olive oil and keep aside..
Cut all the vegetables exactly like you would like to eat them, i normally like the broccoli and carrots chunky and the peppers in slivers..Dunk these vegetables in boiling water for less than a minute and keep aside..
In a really hot non-stick add a little olive oil and mix in a dash of butter..
Add the garlic and the birds eye chili and toss it till your kitchen has that lovely waft of slightly burnt garlic, at this point add the All purpose seasoning (Jaya got me tons of seasoning for my birthday )and the chili flakes, if u feel you need to add a little Olive oil please do , and then add the pine nuts and roast them for about 30 seconds ...
Add the cherry tomatoes and toss them around till the get ever so slightly cooked...
Then add all the vegetables and give it a good stir..
Add the spaghetti now and toss it all around, in fact play with it like you were a kid with spaghetti and toss it all around till the spaghetti and the seasoning and the vegetables are all intertwined and happy...
I then put in a packet of dried oregano that you get when you order a Dominoes Pizza , i love it...ummmmm....
And the final kill the fresh basil.... oh i so so love basil, so i put in quite a lot, let the leaves just about change colour and if you can inhale the lovely aroma , and want to dive into the dish ,you are done , grate a little Parmesan and serve piping hot....(if you want this to be slightly sinful , just add a tsp of Kraft cheese spread to this piping hot mix)
I saw Jaya's plate being attacked by the girls , so don't really know if she had a her fill..

But this pasta i now make for Arshad and Me nearly every time we have a late night...
If u want to add any choice of meat or some salmon to it , it just gets tastier..
I love this , but then I'm kind of very partial to pasta...Or rather to FOOD in general...

Enjoy "Fresh super sexy pasta " only from "Maria's Kitchen"....

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Since i was cooking lotsa meat , i thought i should also do some vegetarian stuff , but did not want it to be normal, so pulled out my "Nigella "cook book and found this really tasty and easy recipe with tomatoes...

500 g wine cherry or other baby tomatoes
rock salt
olive oil

I used normal tomatoes, just washed them cut them in half, placed them in a baking dish cut side up, sprinkle , salt , sugar and thyme, and then a drizzle of olive oil....
Put them in the oven at 170 degrees and kept checking on them till it was nice and done about 20 minutes , i then kept them 3 minutes extra just for fun, it turned out wonderful and was all over , i did not get to taste even 1 piece, but was told by people of great food passion that it was a winner , so going to make it often...
Actually its great to have as part of a whole meal , with salads etc..
So try it out , its simple takes less than 5 minutes and your loved ones will kiss your finger tips..

Thanks "Nigella Lawson" for making cooking sooo sexy and fun...

Tomatoes only from "Maria's Kitchen"

Monday, June 7, 2010


It was just the most wonderful day and way to spend the last Sunday of our summer vacation, wanted to meet all my friends and their babies and just wanted to hang, behave silly, laugh, bitch, eat and drink... and that's what we all did and more...

The Mad Friend's
Mini and Kabir
Jaya and Sanju
Shaheen and Roshan
Anusha and Victor
Vediti and Julius
Shamim and Kerman
Sandy and ...
Kunal Khemu (yup, the cute actor)

The Kid Gang
Zeke and Zene
Vivaan and Saira
Kabir and Gia
Arsalaan and Ayatal
Suhani and Seher

The Menu

Chicken sausages in soy , mustard and maple syrup

Our Poison
Malibu with fresh coconut water and mint

Main Course
Lamb shanks in olive oil and feta cheese
Prawn Curry Rice
Mussels in white wine and cream
Baked green peppers stuffed with mince
Vindaloo smeared fish
Potato salad with Rochette leaves
Baked tomatoes with thyme
Baked garlic in olive oil
Salad with onion, cucumber and tomato and mint
Pasta with pine-nuts and basil

Kids lunch
Baby burgers
Penne with bolognaise sauce

Pavlova with fresh cream and fresh summer fruits
8 Minute Choco lava cakes with ice-cream
Mango Tarts

Gosh it was a crazy afternoon and it also rained , which was the icing on the cake, there was great conversation lotsa laughs, faux-pas by me and my home was filled with laughter and loved ones just like i love it, it was not perfect because i don't like perfect, it was real and amazing, my friends were stuffed and satiated and happy and there was no place for even green-tea..
We passed out after that and could not even eat dinner..
Since this was a last minute thing , i forgot to call i few friends that i would have really liked to...
But this is not the last time , so waiting for another opportunity to hang with my mad , wonderful , beautiful, hot ,fun and crazy girl-friends , the men in their lives and all our collective naughty gorgeous kids..

Good-bye Holidays, see you soon..
Till then , stay happy and loved ...
Because that's the only way , life was meant to be, the rest does not really matter....

P.S. The photos are all done by Arshad , there are many not there, because the dish got over ,before he remembered to click it ,for all of you....enjoy only from "Maria's Kitchen"

Saturday, June 5, 2010


I tried this out a few days ago and its a great snack and with salad its like a yummy meal, and really easy, i love prawns and always buy them every week and De-vein them and keep them in small packs, today i have just been out and up to my eye-lashes in ingredients....

Handful frozen prawns
1 slice bread
2 tbsp maida
1 red eye chili
1 diced onion
a small dash of beer

Put all the above ingredients in a mixer , but please see that its chunky and not a smooth mash, heat a non stick pan and add a little vegetable oil to it, meanwhile, make little uneven balls of the mash and shallow fry it, it cooks really quick....
Take it off the fire , onto a plate of your favorite salad greens and have them nice and hot with a ready made , sweet and hot chili sauce, they are fluffy, yummy and really tasty..

Made in a great hurry and piping hotilicious only from "Maria's Kitchen".

P.S. if u do not want to throw the rest of the beer out, or use it as a conditioner for your hair , please feel free and drink it, what better way to celebrate a Saturday afternoon...ha ha ha scuzi..

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Today was buying uniform day, woke up late and then had a hurried breakfast and went to buy uniforms, was glad to bump into Mini who i have not met in ages because she has been busy shooting and holidaying in the mountains and Anusha, who makes the best mutton in the world..
Got back to everybody wanting food.. like yesterday, so took the easy route out, put the kids in front of the tv and while they were busy with really irritating , bad accented and bad vocabulary "doremon"
I quickly made this...

1big sized pomfret
1 lime
1 red chili
1 onion finely diced
1 tsp east-Indian bottle masala
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp haldi
1tsp garlic pounded
2tbsp freshly grated coconut

Clean the pomfret thoroughly , and then make a small marinade of the salt , haldi, chili powder and the juice of 1 sour lime , and rub it well into the fish and keep it aside...
In a non-stick, add a little oil , then the garlic , onion ,chili, salt and east Indian bottle masala, cook really well, when it is fully done , add the grated coconut , give it a stir and take it off the fire, let it cool completely..
Now take the pomfret slice it in middle , so that there is a nice big cavity to put the stuffing, fill the cavity with the stuffing , and tie it with some thread so that it does not open, heat a non-stick pan , put 2 tbsp of vegetable oil , till its nice and hot, put the fish on the pan on high fire, and turn it within a minute, then put the flame on medium and cook either side for about 10 minutes on the whole or till it is well done , it should be juicy and not over done and dried..

We having it with some lime squeezed over it and some finely sliced onions on the side, dal and rice ...oh! and papad and pickle, the ultimate lazy afternoon lunch, piping hot , basic and really tasty , straight from ,"Maria's Kitchen" with lotsa love.....

P.S. Today's photograph has been done by the very talented actor "Arshad Warsi "

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Woke up a little late today and made pancakes for breakfast, and was wondering what to make for lunch..
Meanwhile i went shopping and found lovely ripe avocado's that were begging me to pick them up...
By the time i got back after bargaining for my veggies and fruits , i was really ravenous and wanted to have a nice wholesome snack, so this is what i did..

1 ripe avocado
2 Cherie tomatoes
1 green chili
very little coriander cut into smithereens
little mint
a pinch jeera
2 pods garlic smashed
a pinch of chili powder
a little squeeze of lime
olive oil
2 slices wholewheat bread

I put the whole wheat bread in the toaster...
and in the meantime, scooped out the avocado in a bowl, added all the above ingredients to it and mashed it together , i actually like it spicier but did not make it too spicy as i thought the kids would have a bite...
Well i was wrong ,they ran away like they just saw the green monster on toast ha ha ha,
before you put all the mashed ingredients onto your bread , add a drizzle of olive oil, then just lay it out thick on the toast and bite into it, scrumptious and gooey is what it feels like ,and fresh and yummy and very very tasty , and takes less than 5 minutes..

So a bite of freshness straight from "Maria's Kitchen"