Tuesday, December 2, 2014

How to Make Goan Kismur

Dry prawn kismur is a popular dish in Goa, which is served along with rice. It is a day to day dish in every house like the Chutney’s used in South Indian homes.

I just fell in love with Kismur the moment I had the Goan Thali meals and decided to make it as soon as I got back home.
Typical Goan Kismur

Dry prawns                         1 Cup
Tamarind                            One lemon size
Kokum                                2-3 pieces
Red Chilli powder              1 tsp
Turmeric powder                ¼ tsp
Cocount oil                         2 tsp
Onion chopped                   1
Grated Coconut                  1 Cup
Salt to taste

  1. Soak tamarind and get the extract out of it.
  2. Clean the prawns well by removing the head and tails
  3. Take a pan add  oil and toast the prawns, keep stirring till it turns golden brown.
  4. Let it cool, if the prawns are big cut it into small pieces.
  5. Take a big bowl mix the grated coconut, chilli powder, turmeric powder, tamarind pulp, kokum and salt, mix well with your hand
  6. Keep it aside and just before serving add the roasted prawns and chopped onions.
  7. Serve along with rice as a side dish

It is so yummy that you will enjoy this.

Goan Kismur

Indian Cooking Lessons

Jamie and Chris a lovely couple, enjoyed each and every moment teaching them all about Indian Spices and Indian Cuisine Menna's Indian Cooking Class Bangalore
 — feeling proud.
Happy Cooking!

Flour  Ready for Nann

Spice box 

Cooking in Progress

Tasting & Checking

Class in Progress

At the stove - Hands-on with cooking

Dough Mixing

Here are other Indian recipes you can try at your home:

Appam recipe

Iddiappam ( String Hoppers)

Butter Chicken Recipe

For information on baking classes, you can visit my Indian Cooking Class Facebook Page.

Thanks and happy cooking!


When was the last time you did something for the first time

Had an amazing trip to Goa this year, did couple of things for the first time.

First selfie with biju charles
First sunset on a boat
First catch-fishing
 — with Biju Charles.
Sunset at Paloem Beach

The First Catch

Boat ride


First selfie

First selfie together

My Culinary Journey

I was asked to share my baking Journey in FB group @Home bakers Guild and thought of sharing the same here.
Thanks to KP Balakumar for giving me this opportunity to write in Master chef Monday, and share my baking story with this group.
I’m not sure where to start and how to share my journey as a home baker. Probably, I should start telling about my grandparents. My grandfather had a bakery and he was quite a master with icing. In fact, my mom’s five tier wedding cake was made by my grandfather.
Though I’ve seen baking from my childhood, I was never into it. At the most, I did was powdering the sugar, or cracking the egg.
Then it took a long time for me to realize what I wanted to do in my life.
I started my career as a bean counter with Muthoot Bankers, at Hyderabad. Later I moved to Bangalore and took a job at 24/7 Customer. After this, I worked with a company called Consero Gobal and finally at Paragon Bio Medicals, at Techno Park, Trivandrum.
When I left my last job some 3 years ago, I never thought I would become a home baker. By the twist of fate or fortune, I reached the place of true “Calling”. And I’m contented!!
The first leg of my cooking/baking profession started in a very small way - selling fish pickles and cutlets. At that time, I was staying at Cambridge Layout.
One day I decided to put a small table outside the gate. I started selling veg, chicken cutlets, and vanilla cupcakes. To promote my venture, mom made a banner on cloth “Menna’s Delight”(Menna is my pet name). We tied it on the electric post so that passers would take notice.
The sight of me standing on the road evoked different reactions. My neighbors found to be funny, my husband was embarrassed. And our caring house owner, “Amma” as we call her was shocked. She literally cried and asked me to get back to a day job. But at that stage that wasn’t an option for me.
Though it was a busy one-way street, only few passers stopped to enquire what I was selling. My mom helped and supported during this phase by giving me ideas, her recipes, tips and supplied me with hot tea during my evening sales.
Slowly I started getting orders from people staying at Ranka Corner Apartments. Thanks to Apeksha Parthasarathy who did lot of word of mouth marketing for my cutlets. I also started getting party orders. During this stage, I put stall selling it at Anglo Indian Jamborre at Palace grounds. Despite all the hard work of setting stalls, money from sales was less compared with the efforts.
Later, I slowly shifted to teaching cupcakes. With tit-bits of baking knowledge, and mom’s guidance I started Menna’s Delight of Baking, Icing and Cooking. During this phase, I got help from my mom and husband Biju Charles, who constantly nagged me to innovate, and try new recipes, he is my support and strength.
“I just want to make a point that it's not just great teachers that sometimes shape your life. Sometimes it's the absence of great teachers that shapes your life and being ignored can be just as good for a person as being lauded.” Julia Roberts
I want to thank Manju, for many recipes, Joonie Tan from whom I learned the wedding cake decoration, Ashwini Joshi-Sarabhai for Sugar craft and RoseAnne George for Macaroons. Thank you all for making me reach this level.
Today, I conduct classes in Bangalore,Trivandrum and Hyderabad. Last year, I did couple of baking classes at Infosys, Trivandrum. By next year planning to do it in Dubai and Maldives
Apart from baking, cooking is also another area which I love teaching and exploring. Till date, I’ve taught Indian cooking to many foreigners – IT consultants to doctors to pilots who are keen to learn Indian Cuisine. I should say, I owe my success also to my blog. “mennas-cooking.blogspot.com”. In this blog, I’ve shared many baking recipes, share pics of cakes and cooking recipes. Apart from baking, I’ve shared recipes from my town “St Andrews”, at Trivandrum, Kerala. Surprisingly, most of the recipes used in my family have a Portuguese touch.
My advice to people who are reading this is to explore and find out that ‘Thing’ in you. Don’t limit yourself to a corporate job. Do what you like doing, and things will fall in its place. While, you should be prepared for the slow start, if you have the drive, penchant for innovation, then you’ll soon achieve it.
It’s great to see many women starting many ventures, not just into cooking and baking. Many people come to my class to learn and start home baking business. One advice to people who are keen to start is this - start using digital medium (Blog, Facebook) to share your story, and passion. And be generous to people and help them. So here we go with my family recipe of plum cake recipe which I have started my carrier with.
Christmas cake or plum cake is a type of fruitcake usually made during Christmas time. It’s usually dark, crumbly-moist to sticky-wet, spongy to heavy, leavened and shaped round, square.
About this recipe:
There are many variations to the Christmas cake. Most of the recipes are modified by personal choice, or influenced by the local culture, or external factors.
This recipe taught here is passed along in our family, which is from St Andrews, a coastal town in Trivandrum, Kerala. The recipes in St Andrews, Trivandrum have a distinct Portuguese influence.
Apart from the European influence, this place is a cusp of various culinary traits from places like Ceylon, Singapore, Malaysia and the regional flavor.
So here we go with the recipe, the spirit of Christmas is to share and here I am sharing something which is close to my heart!!! Culinary
Ingredients to make Christmas Cake:
• 250 gms Flour
• 250 gms butter (unsalted)
• 250 gms sugar
• 250 gms mixed dried fruit (walnuts, almonds, cashews, raisins, dates, cherry, candied peal), chopped into small pieces and soak them in rum.
• 250 gms egg(my mom is very particular that you weigh the egg with the shell )
• 1/4 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsps vanilla essence
• 1 tbsps orange marmalade
• 1/4 cup dark rum
• 7 cloves (If you are using the powder -1tsp)
• 2" cinnamon stick (If you are using the powder -2 tsp)
• 1 small nutmeg (If you are using the powder -1tsp)
Preparation: Steps to make Christmas Cake
1. Powder the spices by grinding the cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a grinder. Keep it aside.
2. Now sieve the flour, baking powder and spices once
3. Spread the chopped dried fruit on a clean surface or bigger tray or plate and sprinkle the flour over it and keep on mixing it.
4. Prepare the baking tray by lining them with good butter paper.
5. Use a blender to blend the sugar and butter till smooth and fluffy.
6. Now add the egg yolk one at a time along with essence.
7. Add the orange marmalade and the caramelised sugar syrup at and blend till the batter is smooth.
8. Slowly add the flour, fruit mix into this and mix well, do not use the blender now.
9. Beat the egg white separately light and fluffy and fold to the batter
10. Preheat your oven to 180 C.
11. Pour the mixture into the baking tray.
12. Set the oven for 170 C and bake for 20-45 mts.
13. Allow the cake to cool completely
14. At least leave it for 4 days to set in before cutting
Caramelizing Sugar
1. Mix 1 cup of sugar in a vessel with 2-3 table spoons of water,
2. Cook on medium flame till all sugar dissolves and the syrup starts to turn dark brown to black in color and begins to smoke a little.
3. Just keep it on the heat till it melt again.
4. Turn off the heat and add 1 cup water and keep it back in the stove and cook in medium heat, till it become thick syrup.
Soaking of dried Fruits for Cake:
• 50g raisins
• 25g Cherries chopped
• 50g Cashew nuts Chopped
• 55g walnuts
• 40g dried figs, chopped
• 25g dates, chopped
• 5g Orange /Ginger peel
The total of all the dried fruits will be 250 gms, you can add whatever dried fruits you like.
¼ cup Rum
Cinnamon stick - 1
1. Mix the 250gms of all the mixed dried fruit
(walnuts, almonds, cashews,raisins, dates, cherry,candied peal),
2. Chopped into small pieces and soak them in rum and cinnamon stick.
3. Put this mixture into an airtight container and keep it in your kitchen and not in the fridge
4. You need to mix it every day for the first week and for the other five days mix it once in a week.
5. After six weeks your fruits are ready for bake

Enjoy baking this Christmas Cake

Merry Christmas !!!
Plum cake mix 

Slice of Rich Plum Cake

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Order Christmas Cakes in Bangalore

'Ts the Christmas Cake baking season. This year I soaked the ingredients close to a year in liquor (rum) and caramel syrup. As usual I followed our traditional family recipe. The result is the dark, moist, fruity and rich cake .

Buy Homemade Christmas Cake
I have started taking orders for this homemade Christmas cakes. If interested, you can contact me at 9379398865, or 8861389165 or email me at  mennasdelight@gmail.com . 

Christmas Cake - 

Cake View

Rich Plum Cake

Slice of Christmas Cake
Cakes are available in 8 inch 1 kg pack and 6 inch 500 gms.

Hurry up and book your Christmas cake well in advance. Call me at 9379398865, or 8861389165 to know the details.

Merry Christmas!

From my student Nathan

I'm happy to share the pics shared by Nathan, who came to attend Indian cooking class here in Bangalore. He went back to his country and made Dal Makhani & Naan, Puri and Aloo Masala,

Wish I could taste it.  
Aloo Masala and Puri

Dal Makhani and Naan

Saturday, November 8, 2014

B'day Wishes

Today is Biju Charles birthday. This man....he's a gift. He's a gift to me every single day. I'm so glad that he has so much abundance in him, because it just extends to everyone around him - including all of you. It's so beautiful to witness that first hand each day.
Today he wanted to celebrate his birthday at an old age home, so we baked around 200 cupcakes and took it for them; it was such an amazing experience.
Made this marble cake for him with a replica of his very old Vespa scooter, which is as old as him and loves to drive it when ever possible. A big time critic of my cakes, hope he will like this Cake. Happy Birthday Biju
After the giveaway

Vespa Love 
Inside Marble Cake 

Monday, November 3, 2014

When North meets South - Punjabi Karela and Kerala Pulissery for Lunch

Taste has no boundaries, its how your palate can take it .

So here's today's story. I had an amazing lunch - thanks to the oven fresh grilled fish, salads, plus Pulissery ( curd curry) as we call in Kerala and Punjabi karela. All the varied dishes on the dinner table, vented out a unique taste & flavor to relish.

Punjabi Karela Recipe
This delicious karela dish is a great side dish to any meal ( rice or chappati) and it's simple and easy to prepare. Follow this recipe to make it in your home.

Punjabi Karela 

  1. 5-6 medium sized karela/bitter gourd
  2. 2 medium sized onions
  3. ½ tsp turmeric powder
  4. ¼ tsp red chili powder
  5. ¼ tsp garam masala powder
  6. ½ tsp amchur powder or dry mango powder
  7. 2 tbsp oil
  8. salt
  • Chop the karela into small pieces.
  • Slice the onions
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped Karela.
  • Saute karela on low flame for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat and saute for 2-3 minutes more.
  • Now add the sliced onions and mix the sliced onions with the karela.
  • Saute for another 2-3 minutes and add turmeric,Chili and salt, stir well
  • Cook Karela without any lid for 7-8 minutes till both the karela and onions are cooked and sauted well. 
  • The onions will become brown. Keep on stirring in between, add on chili or salt if needed.
  • When the Karela is ready, sprinkle the amchur and garam masala powder. Mix it well.
  • Garnish Karela with chopped coriander leaves
Serve Karela with phulkas or rice and the punjabi kadhi, here I had something similar which is the kerala pulisery. Check this link for  Pulisery recipe.
North Meets South 
Enjoy the meal

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Granny's Fish Vindaloo Recipe

Tuna Vindaloo
The name Vindaloo is derived from the Portuguese dish "Carne de Vinha d’Alhos", which is pork with wine and garlic. While that's the original version, in this Indian version of vindaloo recipe, wine is substituted by vinegar and chilies.

My late grand mother, Lydia Gomez (father's side) made lip-smacking pork and fish vindaloo. At that time I always waited for her fish vindaloo ( tuna). One more thing, the fish vindaloo made in our family is different from the Goan Vindaloo recipe.

It's quite strange how few families in Trivandrum knows and make Vindaloo recipe, while most folks from Trivandrum are ignorant of such a side dish. I wonder who introduced this dish in my family, and where it came from?

Vindaloo is not supposed to contain aloo (potato). Instead, tomatoes is used. So, here's you'll find my grany's recipe.  Pls try this vindaloo recipe and share your thoughts in the comment box.

Ingredient for Fish Vindaloo
  • Tuna Fish               – 1 kg
  • Chili powder          – 5 tsp
  • Turmeric powder   – ½ tsp
  • Mustard powder     – 1 tsp
  • Whole Mustard       - 1 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste – 2 tbsp
  • Garlic chopped        - 4 pieces
  • Vinegar                    - 5 tbsp
  • Fenugreek powder – ½ tsp
  • Onion Chopped       - 1
  • Curry leaves            few
  • Oil as required
  1. Marinate fish with mustard powder, chillie powder, salt and vinegar
  2. Keep it for 30 minutes
  3. Take a meen chatti  pour oil and when hot add the whole mustard seeds, when it splutter add chopped onions and chopped garlic.
  4. Sauté till translucent now add fenugreek powder and ginger garlic paste and stir till the raw smell leaves.
  5. Now you can add the marinated fish and add ½ cup of water.
  6. Cover and cook for 5 mts then reduce the flame and cook again for another 5mts.
  7. Serve hot with boiled rice.
Fish Vindaloo - Served along with boiled rice
Also, check the pork vindaloo recipe.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Polly's Baked Chicken Mince

This baked chicken minced recipe is dedicated to my grand mom Polly Cruz. For me, she was one great cook and baker during her times.
Baked Chicken Minced

Since I spend my growing years away from her, I could learn very little from her. Still I managed to pick few tips and recipes from her.

I count my blessings often that I was allowed to watch over her shoulder as she stirred, sliced and added a pinch of this or that.

Amma (we used to call our grand mom ) had whipped up multi-course meals featuring real-deal of Malaysian style cooking in her 60's, with many of her recipes being passed on to us kids as oral renditions that often contained the phrase, "just eyeball it".

Amma wasn't big on measuring, and never did I ever see her crack open a cookbook, wished I could have learned much more from her.

This Baked Chicken Mince is one the recipe I have picked up from her and loved it like crazy, loved the crunchy crispy taste on the top and the moist softness inside. It is made almost like a Plum Cake.

Love you Amma for giving this recipe and wish she was around to guide me in my baking and cooking.

Ingredients used in this recipe: Maida, Butter, Spices, Eggs, Chicken Mince, Onion, Tomato, Potatoes, Coriander leaves.

This is best served in high tea.

The Greatest Gift

The greatest gift you can give to someone is your TIME.

I just love teaching and sharing my knowledge to others. And today I got a surprise gift from one of my student. She just walked in with a box of chocolates she made and I could say it made my day.

Garima, she had attended my basic chocolate classes. Being a very creative person, she is into cooking, baking, candle making and is a yoga teacher. I wonder how she finds time for all these after managing two young sons.

She recently started a startup venture called 'Chocolati, which specializes in gourmet chocolates. This Diwali seasons she sold around 300-400 chocolates this season.

So happy for her new venture and wishing her all the best in this journey of living her passion  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Trivandrum Cake baking and Cooking Class - 15th to 19th Oct 2014

On each visit to Trivandrum , I teach around 20-30 students who keep coming back month after month. Thanks to all the students who had turned up for my classes, a very big hug to them 
Attending these classes has even spurred them on to start their own baking ventures!!!! So happy to hear their baking stories.
Last week classes include recipes for Breads, Briyanis, Chocolates, Plum cake, cupcakes, Black forest Cakes and Buttercream icing.
If you’d like to come and learn to bake with me, please get in touch with me to know about future classes at Cake Baking Class Trivandrum
Chocolate making class

Bread making session

Christmas cake mixing session

Add caption

Thursday, October 9, 2014

French Macaron Classes at Bangalore, Trivandrum and Hyderabad

Three-hour French Macaron Class focuses on the creation from start to finish of these elegant and colorful pasteries.

Students are divided into groups and work through the steps from dry ingredients, to creating the batter, to piping, and then finish with a box of beautiful macarons for you to take home with you!

Limited Seats - Contact Marina at 09379398865
Date - 17th October 2014 10am
Location :- Poonthi Road, Kumarapuram, Trivandrum