Category Archives: Appetizers

Kuzhal Murukku/Thenkuzhal

20151123_191944I remember eating many different kinds of murukku/chaklis in my childhood. This particular kind was mostly available in Tamil Nadu. Crunchy and delicious. I made this as part of a Christmas project in 2015 where I put together some traditional snacks for my colleagues and friends.


Rice Flour- 2 cups

Urad Flour – 1/4 cup

Jeera – 1 tsp

Salt – to taste

Black Sesame seeds(optional) – 1/2 tsp

Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp

Oil +Butter – 3 tbsp(melted and warm)

Warm water – to make a dough

Tools Required

Chakli/Murukku Machine


  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.


  • Add the oil- butter mixture and blend it into the flour.


  • Add water little by little to make a stiff dough. Place it in the machine with the disc as shown in the picture.



  • Pipe onto a parchment paper in a random style as shown below.


  • Scoop it up with a spoon and deep fry both sides in medium low heat till golden brown in color.


  • Note: If oil is too hot, it would brown too quickly but remain uncooked inside.
  • Enjoy.



Chinese Hot Dog Buns


20150601_224900I love how the hot dog buns in the Chinese bakery are so soft and fluffy. I decided to make it at home and tried out a few different shapes. If you are like me and want to make something different, then give this a try. Its perfect for a quick snack. Children would love it because of the different shapes especially the puppy shape. You could add some toppings like cheese, chopped green onions, sliced onions, sliced bell pepper to it just before baking. If you have any questions, please post it in the comment section and I shall make sure I reply. Do try and enjoy


Hot dogs – 8 (uncooked)

All purpose flour – 370 gms

Warm milk – 1 cup

Sugar – 3 tbsp

Quick Rise Yeast – 2 1/4 tsp

Baking Powder – 1 tsp

Sea Salt – 1 tsp

Melted Butter – 3 tbsp


  • Mix the warm mix and sugar in a small bowl and then add the yeast to it. Let it sit for 5 minutes.20150601_182406
  • It will become frothy if the temperature of the milk is right. Make sure that the milk is not hot as it will kill the yeast and the dough will not rise. 20150601_183508
  • In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix it well. 20150601_183428
  • Add the melted butter and beat it for couple of minutes. 20150601_183612
  • Add the yeast mixture and mix it to form a dough. Knead the dough for ten minutes till smooth and elastic. 20150601_185102
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Let it rise for an hour till it has doubled in size. 20150601_205228
  • Divide the dough into 10 equal and smooth pieces. I weighed mine to make sure they are equal in size. 20150601_210213
  • Follow the pictorial instructions to make the different shapes with the dough.

1. Roll out the dough in a rectangle. Place the hot dog inside and cover it up with the dough. 20150601_21062220150601_210724

2. From the top, make cuts on it up to 3/4 the way as shown in the picture. Now place each slice on either side till all the way through. 20150601_21081020150601_21150320150601_21153120150601_211638

3. For the next one, roll the dough into a circle. Make two small slits on the sides and spread it out. These are the doggy ears. Now slice the mouth part in half using scissors. It was tricky to do that but possible. Now place half a hot dog in the mouth part and then seal it up. Then use black kidney bean or coffee bean for the eyes and nose. 20150601_21180820150601_21184320150601_21240520150601_212622

4. Roll up the dough into a rectangle and place the hot dog in the center. Now makes small slits on each side. Now braid the dough over the hot dog as seen in the picture. 20150601_21062220150601_21332820150601_21341120150601_213628

5. Roll out the dough using your hands like a rope/ string. Wind the hotdog using this rolled out rope for the next design.20150601_21514220150601_215241

6. Roll out the dough into a circle. Make slits in the dough as shown in the picture. Slice the hot dogs into 6 pieces and insert the pieces into the six petals of the dough.20150601_21180820150601_214229

  • Place all the prepared hot dog buns onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let it rest for 40 to 60 minutes.20150601_215336
  • In the meantime, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Beat one egg in a small bowl and use a brush to egg wash the rested dough. Bake it for 10 to 15 minutes or till golden brown in color. 20150601_225229

Indian Chicken Phyllo Cups

Image result for phyllo cups with indian fillingThese tasty treats are sure to impress your guests at the first bite. Its perfect for a party, get together or an after school snack for kids. They are two bite sized which makes it perfect for an appetizer or a quick snack.

Do not get alarmed by the number of steps. I am just trying to be as thorough as I can.


Phyllo pastry sheets – 6 sheets

Melted butter – 1/4 cup

Ground chicken or boneless chicken – 1/2 kg

Oil – 3 to 4 tbsp

Onion – 2 (finely chopped)

Ginger – 1 inch pc (finely chopped)

Garlic – 5 cloves (finely chopped)

Tomato – 2 (finely chopped)

Carrot – 1(diced)

Celery – 4 sticks (diced)

Baby bok choy – 1 (finely chopped)

Green bell pepper – 1 (diced)

Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp

Red Chilly Pw – 1 tsp

Turmeric pw – 1/2 tsp

Coriander pw – 1 1/2 tsp

Chat Masala – 2 tsp

Cumin Pw – 1 tsp

Eggs – 3 (optional)

Cilantro/ Coriander leaves – to garnish

Lime – 1/2

Note: You can add vegetables of your choice instead of bok choy and celery. Image result for cook with vinu


  • Heat oil in a pan and fry cumin seeds.

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  • Saute onion, ginger and garlic till golden in color. Image result for
  • Add carrot and celery for 5 minutes till soft.
  • Add tomato and all the spices and mix for couple minutes.
  • Now add the rest of the vegetables and saute well for two minutes. Transfer the contents into a bowl.
  • In the same pan, add 2 tbsp of oil and add the ground chicken to it. (if you have boneless chicken, grind it coarsely in a mixer). Scramble the chicken well in oil. Image result for
  • Once the chicken has changed color from pink to white, add the vegetable mixture to it.
  • Cook on medium high heat till all the moisture has been absorbed well. Add cilantro and juice of half a lime. Mix well and set aside. Image result for cook with vinu
  • Add the eggs to it and scramble well till dry. (This is optional).The filling is ready. Image result for cook with vinu

Make the phyllo cups

  • Prepare a mini muffin pan by lightly greasing it and preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place one sheet of phyllo on your work surface. Using a pastry brush, spread some melted butter onto it.

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  • Place the second sheet on top. Repeat the same for 3 sheets.

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  • Cut the sheets into 4 strips lengthwise and 6 strips breadth-wise making 24 squares.

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  • Place each square into the muffin pan.

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  • Bake for 5 minutes or till golden in color.

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  • Cool the phyllo cups and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • When you are ready to serve, just heat the filling and scoop up a bit into the prepared phyllo cups.

Alternate Pie Method 

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  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Take a round pan and line it with the 6 phyllo sheets.

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  • Add the filling into it.

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  • Cover with the hanging edges of the sheets.

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  • Brush the top with some melted butter.
  • Bake it in the oven till golden in color.

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  • Cut and Serve immediately.

Note: Do not attempt this method, if planning to serve at a later time as the crust will get soggy very fast since the filling is very moist.