Sunday, December 22, 2013

Spicy Snacks - Chekkalu


Snacks are something we eat with a cup of tea or coffee in the evening, at least that’s what was the understanding. In reality we have snacks all the time or anytime. Some snacks are attached to specific drinks or event. For example like popcorn we generally have with a soda and movie. Not that I can’t have it while I am at my work place but that's the traditional way I guess!


I recently made these spicy little rice crackers called Chekkalu from the video here. A speciality from Andhra. Its also known as chakkali. I simply followed the recipe in the video and they turned out to be great and although these are generally served with tea or coffee in the evening I thought of serving them with chilled beer. Trust me it went perfectly well. They are very easy to make and you can store them in an air tight container for a long time.


I miss South-Indian food a lot especially because may be I am still settling but I hear there are lots of Indian restaurant to explore nearby. I suppose there may be services like Foodpanda in Bangalore. It is an online food ordering website through which you can order food from a wide range of restaurant in most big cities in India. If you are in India and not yet used their service, then you might like to try it out. Meanwhile I will keep sharing my experiences with you here, so hang in there and have a great holiday season ahead. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Bay Area –Durga Puja Parikrama


I recently moved in to Bay Area from the UK and absolutely loving it. The biggest advantage is the weather of course. Its sunny most of the days and warm too. If you have been to UK you know sunny weather does not necessarily means warm too. It is now mid October and I can still go out in a light jacket which is unthinkable in the UK. To top it all I just enjoyed Durga puja here. It is in a much bigger scale than the ones I have attained in the UK.

Initially I thought there is only one puja in the Bay area but I couldn't have been more wrong. There are at least 5 places where Durga puja was celebrated, if not more. Some of them celebrate all five days of the puja and rest do it in the weekend. I tried to cover as many as possible but could do only three of them. Here are some pictures for you to enjoy.

Prabasi Pujo







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There are few other pujos that I couldn’t make it but next time I will be there.

Livermore Tempel Durga Puja

Fremont Hindu Temple Durga Puja

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Thank you

This is my 150th blog post. I can't believe that I have reached so far. I am so grateful to all my readers, because of whom my blog is so popular today. All your comments, views and suggestions has helped and inspired me to shape Nuttycook the way it is today. Thank you so much dear readers for all your contribution and now its my turn to give you back something. 

Would you like to have a day spent in Spa or have a photo shoot carried out by professionals? Or may be an afternoon tea in a luxury hotel near you. Experience Days is offering Nuttycook's readers any of the above services and many more on their site and near your home. Just click here and browse through their site to find what suits you best for your day out. Just to get you started, Experience Day is giving away a £50 voucher to one lucky Nuttycook's reader. This voucher is valid for 10 months and can be redeemable in any of the experiences on their site across England. To win the voucher just leave a comment in this post or on my FB page. This giveaway is open for two weeks from now and at the end of two weeks I will choose a winner who will receive this £50 voucher. So go ahead and leave a comment, winner will be selected from a lucky draw.

Thanks once again to all of you I will be posting more and more easy and delicious recipes here soon.   

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Brownie


Finally summer was here few weeks ago. Vanished as quickly as it came, but that doesn't mean that we cant have summer delights! There are several summer recipes that I  am tempted to make but I somehow end up making something chocolate based. I love these chocolate cake recipe and the sponge cake but at the end I settled with these dark chocolate brownies with fresh raspberries.


These are very easy and quick to make, I managed to bake these with my toddler hanging around me, and they tasted divine.  Give it a try and you will know, what I mean (only if  you are a chocolate lover that is!).



350gm dark chocolate (min 60% cocoa solids)

250gm butter

3 eggs

200gm dark muscavado sugar

100gm sifted plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

200gm fresh raspberries plus extra for decoration



Preheat the oven to 180 degree C, butter a square glass container or baking tin and place it in the oven. Now in a sauce pan melt the chocolate, sugar and the butter together gently on a simmering heat. once melt take it off the heat and mix well, let it cool so that you can touch it with your finger. This is important because if the mix is too hot then the eggs will scramble when you add them. Break one egg (preferably cold, just out of the fridge) at a time and whisk in the chocolate mixture. Now add the flour and baking powder and give it a good mix.


Take the warm cake tin out of the oven and pour half of the mix in the tin. Now scatter most of the raspberries on it then pour the rest of the mix on top of them. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until cooked. Bring it out of the oven and  let  it cool for sometime. Serve with cold milk or freshly brewed coffee. Doesn't matter its sunny or raining you will love this.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hot and Spicy Prawn Noodles

Electrolux was running a very interesting competition on twitter to promote their involvement in Cannes Film Festival. The competition was to upload a photo of a dish that you have cooked and link it to a movie that goes with it. And if you are the winner then you get to dine in a Michelin Star restaurant. tempting isn't it? I tweeted my current cover photo and guess which movie I went for. Well its pretty obvious, Chocolat ! Since then I have kept my fingers crossed and not opened yet! Metaphorically of course otherwise life will be pretty tough!


Apparently Electrolux products like Built-in oven and induction hobs  are very popular with Michelin star chefs. I was looking to change my oven recently and if it is good for Michelin star chefs it should be great for a home cook like me. However I would be grateful if you let me know which oven you use and what would you recommend me to have. It will be a great help for me when I buy the oven.

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Now, this bank holiday weekend was sunny, warm, clear blue sky for us which is a very rare combination here in this part of the world. To match up to the weather I tried a spicy hot prawn noodles at home. It is a go with the flow recipe really, just throwing what ever I had in the fridge in the the wok and mixed with the flat white Vietnamese's noodles I got from  the Asian store.

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Flat noodles

200gm King prawns (raw)

1 Onion (sliced lengthwise)

2-3 Garlic cloves (chopped)

1 tsp Ginger (thinly sliced)

2 Spring onion (chopped)

Mushrooms (thinly sliced)

3 Red Peppers (long and thin ones, not the bell pepper, sliced)

1-2 Green chillies (chopped)

2-3 tbsp Spicy chilli bean paste

2 tbsp Soy sauce (light)



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Cook the noodles in the salted boiling water for the time its mentioned in the pack. I did it for 8-10 minutes. On the other hob heat a wok with 3-4 tbsp of oil. Once the wok is smoking hot first fry the raw prawns for 2-3 minutes or until they turn pink. Fish them out of the wok and keep it separate. Now add the ginger and garlic to the same oil, fry them a bit then add rest of the vegetables and continue to fry. Keep stirring continuously. Add the soy sauce and the spicy chilli bean paste and keep stirring. Meanwhile check the noodles if its done. Don’t overcook it else it wont be nice. When the vegetables are ready add the prawns and the noodles to it and mix well. Take it off the hob, sprinkle some chopped spring onion on top and serve immediately. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Review and Giveaway – LowLow Cheese Spread

DSC_0093 Dieting and I don't go well together. Especially because most of the ones I followed or tried to follow has instructions like don't eat this and that. Usually these things will be my favourite things or something that I would like to eat. Hence invariably they failed. If I have been asked not to eat something I feel more attracted to that food than I usually  I am and in the end I end up eating it and there goes my diet plan, flushed away. Have a look at this video, you will know what i mean.

Recently when I received few coupons from LowLow to try out their product, I was tempted. And why shouldn't I, I like cheese and most morning my breakfast is toast with spread on and coffee. If I can get a low calorie yet tasty spread, which will make my mornings a little less guilt free, then why not?

DSC_0098 DSC_0100 Although initially I thought of having at breakfast, I couldn't resist having a taste in the evening. I got two types of these cheese spread one plain and the other one with crushed black pepper in it. I served it as a dip to our starter and believe me it went really well with a glass of red wine. I tried it on this crackers and the salami just to see how well it goes and it blends in perfectly well.

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If you want to try this cheese spread then let me know by leaving a comment here or on my FB page within next 2 weeks and at the end of it I will pick two winners in random to send the coupons.Each one will receive £12 worth of coupons that they can use to buy any LowLow products. These coupons can be used in the UK only. So come on don't be shy, just leave a comment here or on my FB page for a chance to win.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Masala Dosa with Coconut Chutney

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Recently I was invited to one of my friends place and since she is from South India, she had promised me that I will get my favourite masala dosa, that too home made. I was counting on it and it was worth the wait! Lovely crispy thin dosa packed with delicious potato filling and served with spicy red and green chutney. Here are few pictures from her kitchen.

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Since I had it there, all I could think of is masala dosa! I loved it and wanted more of it! Until now I had made dosa from a packet, that to with not much success. I knew making dosa from the scratch could be a huge risk. I have never done it before and doing this I might actually end up with no dinner tonight. After lot of tossing, turning and some research on youtube, I decided to go with it.

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The recipe I followed can be found here. But I made slight changes. I didn’t leave the dosa batter in the oven, over night as I didn't have the time, so I used 1 sachet of yeast instead and it worked fine. As evident in the picture that mine is a distant cousin of the authentic one, it still tasted good and we didn’t go to bed empty stomach!

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If you are also craving for one now then just follow her recipe and you wont be disappointed.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Walkers Hoops and Crosses Review

photo Bank holiday weekend started with a very cute delivery in the post! There was a knock on the door and after few seconds S walked in with this cute green box and handed over to me. I was pleasantly surprized with Walker’s packaging, very funny and creative!

photo_1 I loved the little book I found first in the box. Cute and innovative way of marketing the product. its a book that kids would like to see or play with, at the same time Walkers are sending their message clearly to the right audience.

photo_2 Next there was a cute monkey holding a packet of the Walker’s latest product Hoops and Crosses, baked snacks. Matching with the box and the book there was a rather cute monkey inside the box with the sample pack, which I thought that was brilliant!

photo_3 Now it was time to taste test it. I receiver the wholegrain hoops and crosses with roast beef flavour. I opened the pack and offered it to my little one to see if he takes a bite or not! He ate the first bite and looked at me hoping for more. At the end he had half of that 85gm packet. I can safely say that he liked it more than I did! Thank you so much for sending the sample packet to us, my son loved it! 


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Red Nose Day–Cookies


To celebrate Red Nose Day, Sainsbury blogger network had this Red nose day cookie challenge which I took part in and the result is these cute looking cookie faces with different shapes and sized red noses. Hope you find them funny as well. This is the easiest and quickest cookies I have baked ever in my life. Every thing under 30 minutes. This recipe will make 20 medium sized cookies.



Butter 200gms

Flour 300gms

Sugar 100gms

Vanilla extract 2tsp

Hand full of candid orange peal (optional and can be replaced by chopped nuts)

For decoration:

Dark chocolate 50 gm

Red candy



Melt the butter in a sauce pan and add the sugar in to it. Stir and once combined add the vanilla extract first then the flour in to it and mix it very well. Now add the orange peal or if you want add chopped nuts but this is optional if you want to make just basic cookies. When the flour and the butter is mixed well just take a table spoonful of mix at a time and make small ball out of it. press it a little to give it a cookie shape. 


Pre heat the oven to 180 degree C and place the raw cookies on a baking tray wrapped in baking paper. Leave enough gap between the cookies as they will expand a bit as they cook. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or when the colour of the cookies are just changing. Let them cool in a wire rack out of the oven.


Now break the dark chocolate in to pieces and placed them in a bowl. Take a bigger bowl half filled with boiling hot water and place the chocolate bowl in it. Make sure no water gets in the chocolate.cover it for 10 minutes or so you will have lovely melted chocolate for decoration. Mean while the cookies are ready as well for decoration. Decorate them as you like. I simply dunk the cookies in the melted chocolate to make different hair styles and glued the red candy with the same melted chocolate to the cookies.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Chicken and Chorizo Paella


Spain is an amazing country to visit. Beautiful weather, spicy food and lovely people. I went there couple of years ago and you can read about it here and here but for now let me tell you about the food I miss most from Spain. We went to Valencia first and I guess its not possible to go there and not have paella. I loved it then and I still love it. I have tried paella in other places as well but it was nothing like having it in a small village in Valencia. The other thing I miss is the chorizo. However now a days you do get chorizo and Iberico ham in the supermarkets but the selection I saw in a market place in Valencia is incredible.

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There is so much you can do with the endless types of ham and chorizo you will find in the market place. I made some tapas with the salami wrapped in grilled courgette and pan fried thinly sliced chorizo with bread fried in same oil or olive oil.


I never attempt to make paella at home until recently I got a paella pan and a spice mix specially made for paella. I never imagined that making Paella will be this easy. One thing to remember is the rice to stock ratio should be 1 to 3. No need to cover the pan while the rice is cooking.Try it, its delicious.



Paella rice : 1 cup

Boiling water 3 cups

Paella spice mix 1/2 sachet (Use chicken stock if you don’t get this)

Pinch of Saffron

Chicken thighs 6

Chorizo sausages 2

Chopped onion 1 medium size

Handful of frozen peas

Salt to taste



Start with placing the paella pan on medium heat and slicing the chorizo to roughly 1 cm disks. I prefer to take the skin off the sausages but its up to you. I didn't add any oil to the pan as the chorizo will release enough flavoured oil, which will be enough to cook the rest of the dish. So when you see the chorizo pieces are releasing oil and slightly browned then add the chicken pieces to it and coat them well in the oil. Keep an eye on the heat so that it doesn't burn the meat but at the same time it gets browned. Add the onion and continue to fry. Cook for 15- 20 minutes or until the chicken is at least half cooked.


*The cooking time will vary if you use small pieces of chicken or chicken breast.


Wash and dry the paella rice and make the stock with the spice mix and the 3 cups of paella spice mix or the chicken stock. Add the saffron in to the water as well.  When the chicken is almost half cooked add the rice and the peas and give the whole thing a good mix. Fry the rice for a minute and then add the stock in to the pan. Make sure all the elements in the pan is almost covered by the stock. Now cook it on high flame for 7-8 minutes then simmer the heat and cook it for further 10-12 minutes until all the stock is completely absorbed by the rice.


One quick test is to take a fork and check the centre of the pan if there are no liquid left on the bottom of the pan then the dish is ready. Check for seasoning and the serve hot. You can decorate with  lemon wedges but I didn’t have any at home. So I went without it. It was delicious. Try it and you will know what I am talking about.