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CHOCOLATE BOUCHONS !!!! (Bouchons au Chocolate)

Chocolate Bouchon  was in my to do list for loooooong time.  In our recent trip to Nashville we had it for our brunch, from that time we were really craving for this again,  So thought of making it as a Christmas treat.  These small, brownie-like cakes are from Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery.   They are named for their shape, which resembles a cork, or bouchon in French; they are very rich and chocolaty, baked with the chocolate chips in the batter and dusted with confectioners’ sugar.  These dessert are quite rich and chocolatey and tastes in between a brownie and a cake.  

Recipe Source :  Thomas Keller(Bouchon Bakery)

Ingredients :

Yields 12

All purpose flour - 3/4 cup
Unsweetened cocoa powder - 1 cup
Kosher salt - 1 teaspoon
Eggs - 3 large
Granulated sugar - 1 1/2 cups plus 3 tbsp
Vanilla extract - 1/2 teaspoon
Unsalted butter, melted and slightly warm - 24 tablespoons (3 sticks)
Semisweet chocolate, such as Valrhona Equatoriale (55%) chopped into pieces the size of chocolate chips -  6 ounces
Confectioner sugar - For dusting

Method :

Butter and flour the timbale molds. 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 12 timbale molds. Set aside.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in another large bowl if using a handheld mixer, mix together the eggs and sugar on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until very pale in color. Mix in the vanilla. On low speed, add about 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then 1/3 of the butter, and continue alternating with the remaining flour and butter. Add the chocolate and mix to combine. (The batter can be refrigerated for up to a day.)
3. Put the timbale molds on a baking sheet. Place the batter in a pastry bag without a tip, or with a large plain tip, and fill each mold about 2/3 full. (I just scooped the batter in rather than piping it.) Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. When the tops look shiny and set (like a brownie), test one cake with a wooden skewer or toothpick. It should come out clean but not dry (there may be some melted chocolate from the chopped chocolate). Transfer the bouchons to a cooling rack. After a couple of minutes, invert the timbale molds and let the bouchons cool upside down in the molds; then lift off the molds. (The bouchons are best eaten the day they are baked.)
4. Dust the tops with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Before ending the post I Wish you all Merry Christmas !!!!  See you :)



A simple and quick raita with roasted nuts and raisins makes a great accompaniment for a Spicy Pilaf.  More than the accompaniment, this fruit and nut raita by itself is a great snack that you can dig in whenever you  crave for some healthy dessert. Raisin and Cashewnut is great combination that we use in lot of Indian sweets. Even I use to munch them together whenever I feel hungry. You can also replace the Cashewnuts with Walnuts, Almonds or both.  Enjoy this delicious accompaniment which has slight sourness from yogurt, heat from chilli, saltiness from salt, crunchiness from nuts and sweetness from raisins. 


Ingredients :

Raisins - 1/4 cup
Cashewnuts - 15 (Very finely chopped)
Thick Yogurt - 1/4 cup
Salt - 2 pinch
Green chilli - 1 small sliced
Oil - 1 1/2 tsp

Method :

1.Heat 1/2 tsp of oil and add the finely chopped cashewnuts till light golden brown.
2.Remove the Cashew and keep it aside. Now add tsp of oil, add the raisins and slightly saute till it plumps up a little.(not too much)
3.In thick yogurt(chilled) add green chilli and salt, give a slight whisk.
4.Add the cooled Cashew and Raisins, give it a mix.  Serve immediately.

Note :

1. Add the fruit and nut to chilled yogurt only at the time of serving.
2.Try using thick yogurt, greek yogurt tastes great as well.
3. Add the nuts of your choice.
4. Add the fruit and nut to yogurt mixture after it is completely cooled.

Enjoy the fruit and nut as an accompaniment, dessert as well as healthy snack too !!!



The Winged bean also known as the Goa bean and Asparagus pea, Four-angled bean and Winged pea, is a tropical legume plant.

The flavor of the beans has a similarity to asparagus.  The beans are used as a vegetable, but the other parts (leaves, flowers, and tuberous roots) are also edible.  This is my favorite vegetable; I am eating this from my childhood days.  In India we used to get this in the mouth of August and December, yes its seasonal one there.  We in our families use wing beans for making pickles(there are different variations)  and also used to soak this vegetable in the spicy water(made of yogurt,turmeric,chilli powder etc)  which tastes so  good with all south Indian delicacies.  This can also be used for making Indian dry curries (Poriyal).   In Singapore, Thailand this winged bean is also used to make salad and stir fries which taste so so good and love their version of making this Bean as well. 
I was so happy to see this bean in the market couple of days back, but managed to get only few. I made Salad cum pickle which I am posting today.  This is so easy to make and can be had with any Roti, Rice and with all South Indian delicacies. Will try to post stir fries recipe if I manage to get again :)



How to chop and select this?

Try to find nice and green one without any brown spots or any patches.  The Vegetable should not be very firm and it should be slightly flexible.  Wash them in nice cold water for 2 to 3 times, drain the water.  Cut the two ends to remove the string, like we do for green beans, and then slice them thin or thick according to your dish or need.  


Wing bean chopped - 2 cup
Green chilli paste - 3/4 tbsp (add according to your taste)
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp (add according to your taste)


Oil - 1/2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves  - few

Method :

1.  Mix chopped bean, green chilli paste, lemon juice and salt.
2.  Heat oil, add mustard seeds when they splutter, add asafoetida followed by curry leaves.
3. Mix until everything is blended well.


You can enjoy this with all South Indian delicacies like upmas, dosa, curd rice etc.  It tastes so good by itself as a salad.  You can also store them in refrigerator for a week. 



My hometown is Madurai city in the state of Tamil Nadu which is in southern part of India.  My hometown is called as a Temple city, which has a long history for its beautiful temples and architecture.  This place is also called as "Thoonga Nagaram" (the city that NEVER sleeps) because it operates twenty four hours a day.  A large number of  city's food outlets remain open well past midnight and even you enjoy steaming hot food during the midnight.  There are so many dishes that are famous in  my town; particularly Parotta, Biryani, Idli and it is also well known for Non-vegetarian food.

Parotta is a layered Indian bread made using all purpose flour, without any leavening agent and its almost everyone's favorite too.  They are very famous in the southern part of Tamil Nadu, especially in Tuticorin, Viruthunagar and Madurai (My Home Town) where they serve it traditionally in a banana leaf. 

The dish I am posting today is Kothu Parotta literally means minced Parotta.  It is made using Parotta, Egg, Meat and Salna which is a spicy sauce. Variations of  Kothu Parotta are Egg(Muttai) Kothu Parotta, Chilli Parotta and the Vegetarian version is "Vegetable Kothu Parotta" which is served with onion raita.The ingredients are thrown on a hot cast iron griddle lubricated with oil. These are minced and mixed by repeated pounding using a heavy iron spatula, the sound  of which can be heard from a long distance.  This sound really scared me a lot in my childhood days :) 

Kothu Parotta(Muttai) is a very famous road side food available in small road side food shops.  It is also available in restaurants, but is usually tastes better in  street food shops.  It is very popular in Tamil Nadu, but is also available in other parts of India and in Sri Lanka, where it is known as "Kothu Roti". 

My mom makes Parotta almost every sunday and the left over parotta dough will be made into Kothu parotta for next day evening. Yumm :)  I really miss those days :(

Lets come to the recipe part: As I said earlier, in hotels they usually add Salna(basically a non veg curry, a spicy sauce) for making Kothu Parotta.  But today I am  giving you Vegetarian Salna recipe which you can make and add according to your preference.  If you want to make Egg Kothu parotta, just omit the vegetable  part and add egg that's it.  Even if you are running out of time you can also make exactly same on without Salna but see note if you are doing in that way.


Salna - Plain Gravy/Spicy sauce for making Kothu parotta

Onion - 1/2 roughly chopped
Tomatoes  - 1 roughly chopped
Coconut - 1 1/2 tbsp
Poppy seed(khus khus) - 1 tsp
Ginger - 1/4 inch piece
Garlic - 2 cloves
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds - 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - very little
Coriander leaves  - 1 tbsp (chopped)
Oil - 3 tbsp

For Tempering :

Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon - small piece
Cloves - 1
Cardamom - 1
Curry leaves - few
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Egg masala powder/Biriyani masala - 1/2 tsp

Method :

1. Heat oil in a pan.
2. Add cummin seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds.
3. Saute the onions,tomatoes,ginger,garlic,grated coconut and poppy seed.
4. Once it is cooled. Grind to fine paste.
5. Heat enough oil, add the curry leaves,fennel seeds and whole spices.
6. Add the chilli powder and add the ground paste, little water.
7. Let it come to boil.  When the gravy thickens switch off the flame and garnish with chopped coriander.



Parotta - 10 (Tear into very very small pieces)
Green chillies - 2 to 3 sliced
Onion - 2 sliced
Curry leaves few
Tomato - 1 big (chopped)
Carrot, Peas,Beans,Cabbage -  1 1/2 cup (Finely chopped) Since I did not had beans and cabbage on that day I did not use, usually I use to add. I used Frozen 
peas, so microwave for few seconds and keep it aside.
Salna - 1/2 cup (Use it according to your preference)
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves - handful (finely chopped)
Oil - 4 tbsp


Method :

1. Heat Oil in the pan, add green chilli, curry leaves and onion.  Saute till light brown and then add tomato.  Add salt.
Saute till it is mushy.
2. Now add finely chopped vegetables in this order first beans when it is half done, add carrots and cabbage.(I did not use beans and cabbage this time).
3. When the vegetables are sauteed well.  Add the Salna (Gravy) and Parotta pieces.
4. Now add the pepper powder and microwaved green peas. 
5. Saute well until everything is blended well and slightly roasted.
6. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with simply onion raita.



1.  If you are making egg kothu parotta, just omit the vegetable part and add 4 eggs(break add little salt and beat seperately) after adding Salna and parotta pieces.
Cook until everything is blended and roasted well. The egg gets scrambled , binds the masala and Parotta.
2. Use oil liberally.
3. Add Salna according to your preference.  The left over Salna can be used as side dish for chappathi, Dosa and Idli too.
4. If you are doing without Salna  follow this procedure
     *  Add tsp of Saunf(fennel seeds) for tempering.
     *  Add tsp of Biriyani or egg masala while adding chilli powder.
Follow other procedure exactly.


Punjabi Chole/Channa Masala/Chickpea or Garbanzo bean Curry

Channa Masala or Chole Masala is a popular vegetable dish in Pakistani cuisine & Indian cuisine. In India, it is often eaten with a type of fried bread and is known as Chole bhature (puffed poori). There are so many ways of making this and people add and eliminate spices according to their taste and preferences.  But the main ingredient is chole/channa Masala which gives wonderful taste to the end product.  This is my way of doing Chole or Channa Masala; I do this very often and can be had with any of your favorite breads.  Here is the way I make...

Punjabi Chole/Channa Masala/Chickpea or Garbanzo bean Curry


Raw Chole/Chickpea/Garbanzo - 2 cup
Onion -  2 (make it to coarse paste)
Tomato - medium sized 5 (make puree of 4 tomato and 1 tomato chopped as big chunks)
Channa Masala - 2 tbsp (increase this if you want more)
Chilli powder - 2 tsp (Add more if you need spicy)
Anardhana powder - 1 tsp
Whole cumin - 1/2 tbsp
Whole spices (Cinnamon, Cardamom, Cloves) - 1 inch piece, 4 pods and 5 cloves.
Cumin seeds - 1 1/2 tsp (Roast and powder)
Ginger paste - 1 tbsp
Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Green chilies - 3 very finely chopped
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Oil - 3 to 4 tbsp
Coriander leaves - handful (finely chopped)

How to cook Chickpeas?

1. Soak the chickpeas overnight.
2. Take a big vessel/pot,  choose that fits in your pressure cooker.
3. Add the washed and soaked chickpeas; add 5 cups of fresh water.
4. Add little salt, 2 tea bags, and in a small muslin cloth crush small cinnamon, 2 cloves, 2 cardamoms tie it and add it to the chickpeas.
5. Close and pressure cook for 3 whistles (depends on your cooker).
6. When pressure is released, discard the tea bags and whole spices knot drain and keep it aside. Don't throw the water; we will be using it to the gravy.

What should you do if you don't have pressure cooker?

1. Follow the first 4 step above and let it cook stove top.
2. Stirring occasionally let it cook until the chickpeas are soft but it should hold it shape. 


1. Heat oil and ghee in the heavy bottom vessel.
2. Add the whole spices followed by whole cumin seeds.
3. After it splutters, add chopped green chilies.
4. Add the Ginger +Garlic paste cook for some time until raw aroma disappears.
5. Now its time to add onion paste till light brown color.
6. Add tomato puree; let it cook for some time until oil separates.
7. Add redchilli powder, chole/channa Masala , roasted cumin powder, Anardhana powder and now add the chopped tomato(this is because we love to eat chunky tomato here and there, this is absolutely optional if you don't like make this to puree as well and add when all tomato puree is added).
8. Now add cooked chick peas and water that is drained from the chickpeas when cooked.
9. Add salt and let it simmer for at least 20 to 25 minutes.
10. Finally garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve it with your favorite breads and enjoy with some raw onions and lemon wedges.


1. Don't over cook the chickpeas.  It should be soft but should hold its shape.
2. The consistency depends on the way you like, some like thick; some love it to be semi gravy, so add the water according to your preferences.
3. This tastes so good the next day too.
4. You can use brown or green channa for another variation.



I am just sharing our short and sweet trip to Nashville last week and we had wonderful time ....Hope you will enjoy this virtual treat. Here are few pictures I am posting ...

 Left one in the first picture  the Cumberland cavern.


We had our brunch in Provence Bakery and Cafe....


Hearty roasted tomato basil soup, Roasted veggies and sundried basil pesto orzo salad.... 

Chocolate Bouchon, Profiteroles, Flourless chocolate rasberry cake, Triple chocolate mousse with pistachio Macarons.

This is opryland hotel it was like a mini Vegas .. the christmas decor was truly awesome... Our dinner menu was veggie burger, the pattie was so crispy and really yumm :) I will not miss this burger in my next trip too...

The Parthenon in Nashville,Tennesse  is a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens and the next one is the Ganesha temple in Nashville.

We Had our dinner in The wildcow Vegetarian Restaurant and here is the menu what we had..Love it totally :)
The Philly: Marinated seitan, peppers, and onions, grilled together and topped with vegan cheese sauce on a toasted whole wheat hoagie roll, with heat of fresh minced jalapeno & garlic and side of  Cauliflower Dill soup.

Marinated and grilled Tofu with Vegan garlic Aioli  served with  Sweet potato hash with hint of cinnamon and chickpea, beet salad.  Yumm :)

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos: Soft corn or flour tortillas filled with mashed sweet potatoes hash, seasoned black beans, cabbage slaw, cilantro tomatillo sauce, with homemade sour cream (Vegan) served with Brownrice and Bean with BBQ sauce.

Hemp Milk
We Finished our dinner here..Jenis

Three different Icecreams 1. Brown butter and Almond brittle 2. Coffee icecream it exactly tasted the way coffee smells 3. Brambleberry Crisp - Ohio Black berries with black rasberries,with streusel and uganda vanilla bean icecream.


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