Cook the Net : In My Kitchen

I have stopped creating my own revipes for a while and started following recipes from online source. I believe this will help me get some inspiration to create new recipes in the future.

My first attempt was baking a pie. Paul Hollywood’s puds and pies on fatafeat channel makes my husband call me and ask to watch how to make a pie. Lol I’ve made pies but not like paul Hollywood so i decided to fulfil my husbands cravings for paul Hollywood’s pies and started of browsing the Internet for a good recipe.

Internet has become a very good source for recipes nowadays but its very difficult to trust and start making something unless you know for sure that it will work fine. Having watched paul Hollywood’s show trying his recipe out was not that tough same was with mnay other sites and recipes which will follow in this post.

It was just a wedge of my pie which was 8 × 6 in round. I filled it up with minced meat, liver and some vegetables. It went off fast as i made it on a weekend for lunch and i could only take a picture of my share which was bot ready for any photo shoots but to be devoured by me.

It was just a wedge of my pie which was 8 × 6 in round. I filled it up with minced meat, liver and some vegetables. It went off fast as i made it on a weekend for lunch and i could only take a picture of my share which was bot ready for any photo shoots but to be devoured by me.

Finally accomplished pie making like paul Hollywood and the next step was to get a mousse done to set fast. I searched online and there were many recipes which all called for eggs and many other ingredients. I hated the idea of beating eggs for long especially g mousse was nit my thing. I’ve tried it once and it didn’t set so i stopped attempting it again. But 3 weeks ago my uncle from qatar was paying us a sudden visit and we called it a dinner, so i had my signature string hoppers buriyani menu ready but i need a dessert which will set by 7 pm And it was 11:30 am in the morning while i was still browsing for a quick and easy recipe. Finally i gave up and searched for nigella lawsons quick set mousse and voila it was there with no eggs and little beating of whipped cream whoch was not bad.  I was ready with my dessert in 15 minutes and it set in an hour.  I really loved the recipe and i will recommend anyone who is short of time to try it out for a quick dunner or a sudden guest. It chocolate and marshmallow based and it was devine.

Thats my mousse made following nigella lawsons recipe

Thats my mousse made following nigella lawsons recipe

I guess i already mentioned making panacotta following an online recipe from all and i am in love with the recipe. It was super easy, easier than making mousse no beating, no whisking just heating and setting. Nowadays if i think of dessert making pana cotta is what comes to my mind first. I tried it after being inspired by Lorraine pascals show on television and followed but i substituted greek yogurt with fullfat yogurt and double cream with thick cream it worked fine and set in 4 hours. While the top jelly layer set in an hour.

That was my pana cotta

That was my pana cotta. Isn’t that a beauty.  The lovely creamy and cheesy texture with a tint of red jelly gives it a very elegant look and it tasted devine.

My next attemp was pepepr rasam. Yes in sri lankan we call it milagu thanni and i have seen my aunt make it but never got to ask the recipe.  I was craving for this pepper rasam for a long time. When you go to a sri lankam restaurant and buy a pack of rice and curry you get a small bag of gravy and pepepr rasam too. It goes well with the rice and tastes delicious.  We drink the balance from the plate and crave for more. So i finally founf the recipe from and tried it. Trying the recipe out was by itself an art i should say. The ingredients that went it and the proxess taken to make it was really enjoyable. Nevertheless i thought that I’d enhoy grinding my spices using a mortar and pestal bor did i even think that I’d enjoy roasting my spices on a pan.  The house smelled good and the pot of rasam was so aromatic with the spices, herbs the flavor of the tamarind and the aroma of the ginger garlic paste. I have bo words to describe it in one word. I made 2 litres of this rasam and ats it with my rice till i got bored but did i get bored is a question.  No i never got bored of it but i stopped making again. I froze some and used it up for like 2 weeks and it tasted good as fresh.

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Mango Achcharu

mango Achcharu

My husbands aunt introduced me to this so called mango Achcharu which was so sweet, spicy and sour. i have had many sorts of ach charu but this one is so different. why? because you can have it as a snack on a very lazy evening or during the day while watching your favorite drama. 

it keeps well in the pantry for up to 3 days and in case you wanna store for longer please refrigerate.


Cut 1 semi ripe mango into quarter pieces like shown. having it with the seeds makes t more fun as you can dip in that extra gravy and suck the seed. its sooo yummy.


season with salt

season with salt


pour the vinegar i used white vinegar you can any other type as well.

pour 1/4 cup vinegar i used white vinegar you can use any other type as well.


sprinkle the turmeric powder.

sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder.


season with chillie powder as much as you like or as much as can bear the heat... i like it a bit more spicy. that's my sri lankan taste bud :-)

season with chillie powder as much as you like or as much as you can bear the heat… i like it a bit more spicy. that’s my sri lankan taste bud 🙂 don’t worry i will negotiate while eating at your place or while i cook for you, so please come dine at my place and don’t hesitate to invite me either.



sprinkle some Kashmir chillie powder for the color. don’t worry its not spicy as the red chillie powder.


add some chillie flakes according to your required level of spiciness.

add some chillie flakes according to your required level of spiciness.

did you add some extra chillie flakes then here is your chance to adjust it and make it edible, add the sugar

did you add some extra chillie flakes then here is your chance to adjust it and make it edible, add the sugar, go on taste it and add more if nesessary.

por in a cup of water

pour in a cup of water and let it cook over a medium low heat until the water has evaporated and the required gravy level is reached.

too much sugar??? dont worry pepper is here to help you, not  too spicy and very dark to make your dish a bit more photogenic.

too much sugar??? don’t worry pepper is here to help you, not too spicy and very dark to make your dish a bit more photogenic.

oh it starts sizzling with lots of evaporation so now decide if you need a good amount of gravy or not and take off heat.

oh it starts sizzling with lots of evaporation so now decide if you need a good amount of gravy or not and take off heat.

transfer into a glass box with an airtight lid and keep it on your shelf for 24 hours before using them up. you can eat it when ever you wish don't wait till lunch or dinner.

transfer into a glass box with an airtight lid and keep it on your shelf for 24 hours before using them up. you can eat it when ever you wish don’t wait till lunch or dinner the 24 hours is just to get yourself prepared and give some time for the mango to cool after the shock, yes it would be wont it with all that sweetness and spiciness at once.







My first recipe book was my very own recipe note-book from my first ever cookery school. I travelled around South India and went over to “landmark” which I will call as the one stop shop for all your needs. It has a section of books that can make some bookworm lost. I was a fan of novels until a few years ago.
I used to browse on all books by my favourite authors while I never ignored those lovely cook books that beautified the shelves with delicious images. During my last visit before the wedding shopping I went over to the cookbooks section and selected a few books which I left over without buying as my parents already checked out the stuff and left the store. I still feel sad for missing that golden opportunity. I never came across that book until now even on logos hope the worlds largest floating book store.
My second cookbook was 100 cakes which I bought at odel Colombo when I was 21. I have turned the pages of the book many times when i feel like looking at some recipes but never tried any recipes. I always thought that glycerine and liquid glucose was some kind of a medicinal ingredient.  As a person who have never tried cake decorating with fondant it was kind of alien words. As I say that I agree that I’ve always been addicted to watching television programs that demonstrate the delicious art of cooking. I used to keep a note-book and write down some recipes and through television demonstrations is which I learnt how to make pooris and wadeys.

As time passed on I adopted my moms habit of cutting down recipes from newspapers and collecting them. I was a bit advanced in this field and had been collecting cooking related tips and notes too. I still treasure those articles in a file. now many years have passed by and I have started buying magazines and cookbooks which i believe is essential and I felt that am spending unnecessarily as all recipes are mainly available online and why spend money and space to pile up recipe books.
It all becomes a very bitter thought when I think of the pleasures of turning through the pages of a recipe book.
Inspired by them I’ve created many recipes of my own. I now have started to believe that nothing is wasted as long as you have a passion for it. The passion for cooking is in my blood and that’s why I buy books whether I try the recipes or not is something related to experience.

Why I started this post is because of the many questions that flooded in my mind every time I see my books and browse the internet for recipes.
Why do I need books when I can search any recipe I want on the Internet?
But then I dont search the internet for recipes which are available on my books.
So I only need recipes that I don’t have which I can get free.
Do we have to pay money and waste on buying more books?
Well I know books are totally different. You feel the recipe in hard or paper back. we spend hours admiring the images. We aim at recreating the dish to resemble the images from the book and we are inspired, while the ingredients may be substituted and the dish will have our own simple touch and we become inventive or creative.
We learn from those cookbooks and these cookbook authors are our mentors.
We di need some good cookbooks on our shelves to flip through while sipping a cup of coffee on a rainy day when there is no eggs to bake a cake or laziness takes over ourselves and calls us to bed with flem and cup of chicken soup.
Oh yeah, I remember those days when I used to borrow my friends chicken soup book thinking its a chicken soup recipe book and din’t return it until I read a few inspiring stories.
So there are many points that I can list down to say why we need recipes or cookbooks and so does other people have their own story to say why they buy cookbooks and now you might know that buying cookbooks are not a waste of money.
If you are not sure about it yet read on and find out what others who enjoy food not just by eating it but exploring the history of food.

As an experienced cook I guess for me trying recipes from recipe books is some kind of a beginners job but not while baking or cooking up a meal from a different cuisine am not familiar about. I agree with many of my fellow foodies and bloggers from my favourite group in Dubai as they go on to comment on my post for the questions asked –

Hi friends
Am doing an article on cookbooks for a project.
I want to know the opinion of the members in fooderati arabia as this is a food bloggers group and I am sure there is no other place from which I can get the perfect answer.

  1. 1. Do you buy cook books often?
  2. 2. Do you follow the recipes in your cookbook or do you take the recipes in your book as an inspiration? (I do it more often)
  3. 3. Do you think in this generation where recipes are available online, buying cookbooks are a waste of money?

Mafaza Haleem

These questions aroused in my mind after I started thinking as buying cookery books are a waste of money. The thought lasted only a week and later on I started to think of the benefits of owning a few cookery books.
Here are the comments and thoughts of my fellow foodies ;

Allz Ahmad Mukhtar I never bought a recipe cook book, but yes sometimes I do browse through some recipes in Borders cooking book section. I wouldn’t call it waste of money as books are always useful when u want to make something similar. I usually look out for recipes online mostly as it’s just available on my fingertips.

Allz Ahmad Mukhtar blog :  House of Allzz

techno foodie

following recipes from the tb is easy but we should make sure the screen lock is off or else thats when i get nuts and think of books. imagine opening the phone screen with water and flour or wasting water to wash hands just to make sure the smell of the onion and fish doesn’t spoil the phone…

Nielouphar Abdurahiman 1. I do buy them, but not often.
2. I’ve done both.
3. For me, cook books are never a waste of money. …See More

Nielouphar Abdurahiman Blog –

prompt answer

Huma Kalim used to buy books previously but now I think twice before buying as most of the recipes are available on the web.

she going through my mindset

Rupal Bhatikar Love books, I have a little library at home now with food and travel books. Nothing beats stained pages of familiar books and running thru pages. If I need a recipe quick, I use the internet sometimes. If you are a reader, I guess books will never be a waste of money

she is right

Foodie & Fabulous
Eat.. Travel.. Love.. And Eat some more!

Sally Prosser 1. Yes 2. A bit of both 3. No – and sales of cook books bear me out. The best-selling non-fiction category

simple, sweet and delicious

Irini Savva 1. Yes 2. No, mostly use as inspiration 3. No, difficult to answer this one. There must still be a demand if bookshops still stock them I guess.

we do think alike till answer number 2, I’ve never thought of number 3 🙂

Sarah Allenby What Nielouphar says. I used to only but Jamie Oliver’s books, but in the past few years have widened my reading list. I follow recipes and sometimes have that ‘aha’ moment where I’m inspired by an ingredient the writer has used, or a part of a recipe.
Cookbooks, any book is never a waste of money. I scour second-hand book shops & charity shops for bargains.

Sarah Allenby Http://  A Touch of Frosting and other things

oh she is a fan of my husbands favorite chef

jamie oliver makes cooking look easy…. 

Saloni Jolly Banga 1. Yes
2. I use cookbooks both as an inspiration and follow recipes if it’s from a cuisine or if it uses a technique I have not tried previously.
3. Cookbooks or books in general can never be a waste for me, in fact it’s my secret indulgence. I look for cookbooks wherein authors have given vivid description, side notes or stories to go with the recipe. Blog :

Taste Charades When hunger strikes, I set a table for two.

she spoke her mind out I  agree to the points

Try those different techniques from the books you’ve got, you will sure be happy to have spent a penny to buy the book…

Ritu Chaturvedi 1- Yes, I am very active reader of all kinds of Books,2-I use cookbooks for inspiration & some plating options sometimes different nationality cuisine, It is always useful. 3-Because I love reading, so books or cook books cannot be out of culture for me, Though Internet is quite handy but we keeps books as a treasure, buying books cannot be waste of money. Explanation of the dish is better in the book than internet.

answer number 3 is so thoughtful and she is correct

Debbie Steedman I love cook books, who doesn’t ? I check book sales etc

I was like her before and am still same glad 🙂

the best time to buy cookbooks is when there is a book sale 🙂

Kari Heron We are cookbook fiends. We buy them in print. We have a highly treasured collection of culinary tomes as well as more homely books. We have books on different cuisines and are still collecting. We also give and receive cookbooks as gifts. We both use them in our work and at home but we often buy and read cookbooks for inspiration and support.
Chef and Steward
(by Chef and Steward)

she speaks for the entire bloggers and foodies in the group lets like it together:-)

we sure are cookbook worms so are we food bloggers and we are proud of it aren’t we???

Anjana Chaturvedi Well i don’t buy cookbooks anymore , however when i had started cooking i used to buy cook books as it was definitely more convenient in those days where we din’t have handy Tablets to look into , however now there are so many good recipes of all cuisines online for inspiration . Moreover i don’t thinks young girls of this generation will prefer to buy cook books as i can see my daughter as a living example who uses Google for all her recipe needs . My Blog :

she is experiencing my question

even my 8 month old wants a touch phone, millenium kids are obsessed with tech stuff and depend on it.

Debbie Steedman That’s the thing I buy books then I Google

same here:-)

double check for the perfect outcome 🙂

Nielouphar Abdurahiman I agree.. we can get tons of recipes online.. but there is something about books. #nerdalert

I agree with her

owning a book is a nice feeling!!!

Huma Kalim you are right Nielouphar Abdurahiman i have few oldie cookbooks where there are classic recipes not found today. there pages have tainted but my love for them has not. every time I go back home, tell my mom to take care of them. promising once I have my place in India, I will take it. count me crazy but I have emotional attachments to my cook book.

same pinch

when the world in moving forward with traditional recipes being overtaken by modern day junk food i hope these recipe books will help our kids to enjoy a nice family meal with their kids and some story time 

Dinusha Jayatillake I don’t buy cook books purely for the recipes (or with the intention of trying them out) – I find it relaxing to browse through them. Like Saloni mentioned, love those that come with stories and not just recipes and pictures. Books are never a waste of money in my opinion.

books are indeed mans best friends too 🙂 

each recipe should have a story….

Prachi Grover Okay as i type this I am on way to starting a support group called cookbook collectors anonymous. So answer to question no. 1 is yes I buy cookbooks. I own more than a 100 last i counted. I buy food memoirs too. It could be to read about unfamiliar cuisines, ingredients, stories behind the recipes, cooking techniques, writing styles plus all of them make great bedtime reading. 2. I use them for both inspiration and following especially when trying out something the first time and when baking. 3. Books for me can never be a waste of money. Together between DH, me and my little chefling we can open a library with 1000 plus books and I love that there are days when she opens my cookbooks and spends an hr with it seeing each picture and then asks me to cook from there…something that Google will never allow us Blog :

will she be my friend? She’s got 100’s of book?

Wow I wanna visit her with a nice cake made by myself 🙂 just to borrow some cook books:-)

Brenda F. Abdelall (1) I buy a ton of cookbooks (2) I use them for inspiration. I only follow a recipe if it’s for baking, or a type of cuisine I am not as familiar with (like Iranian, Thai, etc.) (3) Never waste of money. I love the pictures, the touch and feel of a cookbook.

clean bowled I like the 2nd answer cos I do the same 🙂

learning new cuisines from a recipe book is fun i love it

Shaima Al T 1-all the time 2 not at all, unless it’s dessert and baked goods because I just can’t figure out the chemistry of baking. Unlike normal cooking, I use the recipe as a guideline and I tinker away with my own version. 3- cookbooks are classic. They are never a waste of money and always a good source of tangible inspiration.

I am not a dessert person like her and this is when we need a few cookbooks 🙂

Ishita Saha 1) I buy cookbooks almost all the time; 2) No, I don’t follow the recipes at all (I know it’s shocking) however I take in nuances from it. 3) Yes for most of my friends. No, for myself. I love the smell, the feel, the texture of books – love the smudges, the sprinkles, the folds – I read cook books or books on different cuisine, history of food, culinary travel at bedtime – dream of travel and food and wake up with a smile!

she is so foodilicious 🙂

thats what you need to learn from those recipes books pilled up in your shelves….


I wanted to make the comments more fun to read which is why I have added some comments below each commenters comments highlighted with back quotes.

Hope you enjoy this post and found some answers to your questions.
Now lets start buying a couple of cookbooks together and stir up a feast 🙂


Recipe books club (weekly writing challenge – recipeaweek)


We are all addicted to cookbooks sometimes and buy atleast a couple of them in our lifetime or have bought a few which are lying on our shelves for ages. Have you ever tried any of the recipes in them?
Ofcourse we might have tried a couple and would have our own experience on trying out recipes from a recipe book. Some would have a very positive feedback from those who tasted your food some would have faced a tough time with recipes turning up wrong. A few reasons why recipes turn up wrong are either your doing it the wrong way or you have no experience or basic knowledge of cooking.
Thats what I have experienced.
Yes ,I did think that knowing to cook a few meals like rice and curry would be sufficient and buying cookery books will teach me all I need to know about cooking, baking and grilling etc.
It was my self confidence until I had a failure in trying out the recipe which I followed step by step.

But why did I fail to bring up a simple cake by following the recipe step by step?

Yes thats a question.

Has the cookbook author written the recipe wrong?
Ofcourse not, if so would it be published by a famous company. Let alone the famous publisher. People wouldn’t buy such books. People buy cookery books as they trust its the truth unlike novels which is not real but a hobby for some and many read for the joy of reading and passion or for educational purposes.

Then what went wrong when I did bake a cake for the first time in my life?
It was the measurements.
I had never baked nor used a measuring cup when I first baked a cake. So I had no basic knowledge of baking which is why my cake batter went wrong.

Failure is the first step to success

Thats true my failure in baking a cake without any basic knowledge of baking encouraged me to join a class to learn the basics of cooking which was very useful in my life.
I started making delicious meals for my family.
Later on I started creating dishes on my own by watching television programmes and following recipe books.
Finally I found a part time job on recipe writing, editing and rewriting. I started earning a small income which helped me buy stuff online and now am really glad I went for a cookery class.

You might be wondering why one needs cookery classes when the technology has developed so much and finding recipes is just a click away and learning basics is also easy by following videos and tutorials which are freely available online nowadays, but when I was 16 I dint have a facebook, Gmail nor a mobile phone with gprs. I dint have many friends, I was home schooled.
Now dont stop thinking “ok, this story is good for someone who is home schooled and has less friends”
It can be true in some instances but trust me

“What you learn through experience is way too expensive than learning online”

What I learnt through experience is that every recipe has a small difference.
Especially When its baking you need to take care of measurements and temperature which might turn your recipe down.
When it comes to cooking learn the basic and you can create the toughest dish in the world.

The first book I followed when I was 17, yes I know its too old to start cooking but I dint wanna learn until then.

The Challenge

Here is the challenge with details on what you need to do to be a part of this contest.
The very first challenge is to try a recipe by following a book you’ve had for some time no matter how long. Post the recipe with an image of the dish and the book cover.

Tell us how you did it.
Did you follow the instructions step by step?
Was is easy to understand?
Was the measurements in cup or grams?
Did you find it easy to convert the measurements?
If possible give us a step by step image of your dish.
And do not forget to include the comments you got from the testers.
Make it fun by adding pictures of you kid tasting it (if you like only)

Publish the post before next Thursday.
The winning post will receive a recipe free!
And the best part is you get to choose which recipe you want and we will email it to you.

So get going and start making.

If you dont have any recipe books thats ok, go ahead and give us a story about your own recipe book which you’ve treasured for ages or which has been passed on to you by your mother or grandma.
Get pictures of the book it doesn’t matter if its old with torn pages.

There are no rules for this contest apart from one rule.
Always include an image and tag the post with (recipe book club, weekly recipe challenge, recipeaweek)
And leave a link below on the comments section.

Good luck

old is gold


Smoothie Contest by Aquarius at the Balance Cafe

I really enjoy participating in contests that gives me an opportunity to display my talents.

Whether I win or lose all that matters to me is that I participated in a contest. there are many who feel bad for loosing a contest but all I look into is what I learnt from my failure. life has taught many of us good things by our failures so did this smoothie contest teach me that kiwi smoothie is different but yet not a very good option.

oasis wellness festival at the oasis center in Dubai is being held from the 8th to 24th November.
There are many activities like the diabetic walk, free RBS check ups and blood pressure checks to create awareness amongst the public and encouraging fitness by many yoga sessions and healthy cooking shows for kids.

The smoothie making contest was one such healthy program.

I always make an avocado or papaw smoothie at home but never have tried a kiwi smoothie.

My husband always did add some fruits that was left at home for example he used to add a banana with another fruit that’s available and make a smoothie.

As a person who is obsessed of masterchef Australia and any other cookery shows I have always dreamt of participating in an invention test.

The smoothie contest was an invention test. as many of the participants selected strawberries dates and cocoa I decided to get some kiwi with banana.

I have never read there was a kiwi smoothie but I prepared it and tasted although the taste was palatable it was not very good for a person who has a sweet tooth like me.

What I learnt from the contest

  1. yogurt added to a smoothie enhances the flavor and especially with a fruit like kiwi.
  2. honey is healthier than sugar and equally sweet as sugar.

At the end of the contest I received a complimentary issue of Aquarius magazine November issue.

Kiwi Smoothie


3 ripe kiwis peeled

2 ripe bananas

1/8 cup milk

1/3 cup yogurt

1 dsp honey


peel kiwi and banana.

add to the blender with honey, milk and yoghurt.

blend well until evenly combined.

add a few cubes of ice if you prefer with ice.

substitute kiwi with avocado or any other fruit of choice.

pour into a glass and serve.

Fried Bread

Have you got a loaf of bread that expires today or tomorrow?

Have you got loads of recipes but lazy to make yet don’t wanna waste food?

Then here is a simple, easy and delicious recipe.

Try it out you will love it.

It’s called fried bread. I read somewhere that fried rice was prepared using left over rice during the earlier days in china. although fried bread was also prepared using left over bread this recipe is different to fried rice yet tastes equally delicious.

I love this recipe and will end up eating half a loaf of bread forgetting the carbs.

Guys there is always a substitute for every ingredient except for salt. so for those of you who are very conscious of their carbs and calories intake adjust the quantity and type according to your preference eg; use flax seed bread instead of white bread.

If you have trouble finding mustard seeds or if its allergen to any one member in your family please do omit it.

health is wealth”

“waste not ,want not”

This recipe is ideal for breakfast or dinner.


a loaf of bread

2 onions (chopped)

a few green chillies chopped (I use around 8 I prefer very spicy)

a handful of curry leaves

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

salt and crushed pepper to taste

olive oil for stir frying

Cooking Instructions

heat a wok with sufficient amount of oil over a medium flame.

temper onions and curry leaves until the onions turn golden brown in color.

stir in green chillies and mustard seed. mustard’s will splatter so keep away while adding them.

turn of heat.

chop the bread into bite sized pieces about 1 inch it doesn’t have to be a good shape as they will break once you add so just tear it and stir into the onions and mix well until the bread is coated with oil and the onion mixture is evenly distributed.

sprinkle salt and crushed pepper.

turn on heat and cook for a few minutes over a medium flame stirring continuously.

serve the bread by itself if you’re not a fan of wet food.

for those who hate having dry food serve with a bowl of chicken/mutton/fish or soya curry.