Monday, August 30, 2010

Vijayawada Egg Curry

Funny name eh? It’s the name my mom “invented”. No kidding! Well, the story is that, long time ago, when I was a little girl, my parents took us (me and my sis) to a place called Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh for holidays; I don’t remember what sight seeing we went there for but this particular recipe is forever etched in my mind. My mom’s distant cousin invited us over for dinner when we were there and guess what! She made this egg curry! 
We never got around to asking what to call this but hey! My mom thinks Vijayawada egg, as a name, is just fine! And thus this recipe got its nameJ.

Eggs: 4
Onion: 1 large
Tomatoes: 2 large
Green chili: 1 small
Salt: 1 tsp (depends on how salty you like)
Turmeric Powder: ¼ tsp
Red Chili powder: ½ tsp
Ginger garlic paste: 1 tsp (use just the ginger paste if you don’t use garlic)
Cinnamon stick: 1 small
Garam Masala: ½ tsp
Coriander leaves: A hand full.
Oil: 1 tbsp

  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wide bottomed pan and add the cinnamon stick.
  • After it fries a bit, add the green chili followed by finely chopped onion.

  • Fry the onions until translucent and add turmeric powder, salt and red chili powder.
  • Fry for minute and add the ginger garlic paste. Fry for a minute and add chopped tomatoes.

  • Add ¼ cup of water and let the tomatoes cook completely. You can use a lid.
  • After the tomatoes are cooked, add the garam masala and check for the salt.
  • Now, gently break the eggs and drop them into four corners of the curry. Make sure that the egg yolk doesn’t loose its shape. DO NOT STIR. 

  • Cover and cook for 7 minutes. By this time the eggs would have been completely cooked (including the whites). Sprinkle some coriander leaves and Vijayawada egg is ready!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lowfat and Eggless Cupcakes

Note: Click on the picture to view the original size.
My sister in law and my good friend both are vegetarians. So, whenever I make something nice without egg, I get all exited and I share it with them (at least the recipe) the first thing! I have tried several methods of baking without egg; I used mashed banana also once which was a total flop.
Here is one recipe which is low fat and yet great in flavor and consistency. All you vegans out there, you will be pleasantly surprised by this simple recipe. Below measurements bake about 30 mini cupcakes.

Brown Sugar (light or dark)- 2/3 cup
All purpose flour (maida)- 1 and 1/2 cup
Vanilla extract-1 tsp
salt- a pinch
Baking powder - 1 tbsp (no, you cannot avoid this)
flavorless oil (I used regular cooking oil) – 1 tbsp
Apple cider vinegar (optional): 1 tbsp
Water- 1 cup

Optional: Vanilla frosting.

Make sure you follow the exact measurements. This makes a lot of difference in taste and texture. I had to try this many times before I got the desired taste.

1. Mix all the above ingredients with the exception of water.
2. Then add water and sift thoroughly without any lumps. This is the difficult part (yeah baby...use that muscle). Don't add more water. 1 cup should be enough for the above measurements.
3. At this point pre heat the oven to 350F/180C.
4. Line in the cupcake liners in the baking tray.
5. Fill them to just below the trim. Don't over fill it as these expand while baking.
6. Once the oven is ready, bake them for 17 minutes (14-17mins for mini cakes and 18-20 mins for regular muffins). Remove them from the oven and let them cool a little bit before adding frosting (which is optional, I used Vanilla).

I was too lazy to make frosting from the scratch; so I used the store bought Vanilla frosting.

Awards from Rach

Rach was kind to share her awards with me. Even though its been a while she asked me to collect them from her blog, I could just get around to doing so. Thank you so much for thinking of me Rach. Really appreciate it. So many of you are real good chefs; amidst all you my recipes are...are, emm how should I put it? Thanks Rach.

I wasn't aware of the rule of versatile blogger award but learnt it from Rach. I need to say 7 things about me.

1. I am not at all a morning person. I like to be left alone until I have my first cup of coffee.
2. I love reading books. I have read so many and I am seriously contemplating to open a small blog giving my reviews about the books I read so far.
3. I am reserved. It takes some time for me to open up.
4. I enjoy cooking apart from reading (obviously).
5. I like pearls.
6. I like gardening.
7. I love babies.

I realize that all my blogging friends have these awards. But please, if anyone of you are missing, please do collect it from this blog. Gouri, especially you! last time also you didnt collect!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Healthy Whole Wheat Bread

For the longest time I meant to make bread at home and post the recipe in my blog. At last I got around to getting hold of a loaf pan!

Below is the recipe for while wheat bread. Why spend $7 on a loaf of bread while you can make some real smooth, healthy bread at home? I hope you like this recipe. Its really easy, do try it out at home. This recipe is for simple whole wheat bread; I will post 9-grain/cranberry and other flavors in time.

Ingredients: (yields 1 loaf)

Whole Wheat Flour: 4 cups

Warm water: 1 cup

Oil: ¼ cup (I used vegetable oil)

Honey: ¼ cup

Milk: 1/3 cup

Dry yeast: 1 packet (you know those small ones)

Salt: 1 ¼ tsp


  • Take a large bowl and mix all the ingredients with the exception of flour, well.
  • Add the flour and mix well making sure that there are no lumps; A little softer than roti/naan bread consistency. Make a cylindrical shape out of this.
  • Grease a loaf pan and gently insert the dough into this pan.
  • Cover this pan with a wet towel and let it stand for 1 hour or until the dough raises.
  • Pre heat the oven to 350 D F. Sprinkle some flour on top of this dough.
  • Bake this for 50-55 minutes.

Healthy whole wheat bread is ready!


  1. Make sure that you really mix the dough well. I used both my hands for this and it took some 10 minutes to achieve this.
  2. To test the done-ness of this bread, lightly thump the bottom of the loaf pan after you remove from the over, it should sound hollow.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Rach's Coconut Milk Rice-Thengai Paal Sadam

I didn't have many veggies in my fridge and I was feeling a bit lazy to get some veggies, as today is a weekday. Monday blues I guess. Anyway, I opened the shelf and there it was my coconut milk can. I quickly did a Google search and guess what I had found! Its Rcah's thengai Pal sadam recipe!! Please pardon the looks of it. I forgot to take a picture and managed to get the picture of my lunch box with your rice instead.

Dear ladies, this is a wonderful recipe. The original recipe is posted in Rach's blog. Below is the link. I can vouch for it that its really yum! The presentation is also better (waaay better) in her blog.
Thanks Rach for this wonderful recipe.

Variations I had to make:
After starting the recipe I realized that I didnt have Basmati rice at home; I made it with regular rice any way and it still tasted good.
I also added a touch of turmeric. Otherwise, I followed the recipe fine and served with Aloo Kurma.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sakkarai Pongal-Sweet Pongal

I have seen many people interchanging the words, Naivedyam and Prasdam. Before I post the traditional recipes for Naivedyam, I would like to tell the difference between the two briefly. What we make and submit to God is Naivedyam; Naivedyam is something which has not been tasted (in other words, adulterated) before giving to God. After we give to God, when we take it, it becomes Prasadam.

For every special occasion, sweet pongal (Paramannam in Telugu) is a must in our home. It’s fairly easy and since it’s filled with dry fruits, ghee and rice, it gives us lots of energy. Also it is believed that God’s love this Naivedyam. Another Naivedyam which is also a must is Pulihodarai (Tamarind rice). I will give recipes for both for now its only for sweet pongal.
Both the recipes are fairly common in Tamil Nadu/ Andhra.

Sweet Pongal:
Quantity serves 4.
Raw Rice (avoid Basmati): 1 cup
Moong Dal: ¼ cup
Cashew nuts: 1/8 cup
Raisins: 1/8 cup
Ghee: 5 tbsp
Cardamom powder: 1 tsp
Powdered Jaggery: ¼-1/2 cup
Milk: 3 cups

• Heat a pot and add a tbsp of ghee. When hot, roast the dry fruits and keep aside. In the same pot, add the moong dal and fry for a few minutes until you get the fragrance.
• To the same moong dal, add the raw rice and 3 cups of milk and 3 cups of water. (Rice to liquid consistency should be 1:6).
• You can either pressure cook this or cook it in a pot (like I did) until rice is over cooked (it will by the time all the liquid is gone).
• While the rice is being cooked, take a small pot and melt the jaggery in a cup of water. Bring this to a boil. If you see any dust particles, filter them out.
• When the rice is completely cooked and there is no more water in the pot, add the jaggery water. Simmer and let it be on the stove for another 5-8 minutes.
• Now add the remaining ghee, cardamom powder and dry fruits.

The famous naivedyam is ready! Remember that the rice thickens a bit after you remove from heat. Some people also add grated coconut to this.

Garden Pictures- Part 3

As promised here are a few pictures of how my garden is looking like as of now. This is going to be the last set of pictures for this year; unless I end up buying more plants before Halloween!

Staring with Shasta Daisies and think seeds amongst pinks and pansies. For these beautiful darlings, I don't mind spending an hour watering the plants. Trust me, on a working day, 1 hour is a lot of time to spend in garden, but totally worth it. Daisies and thick-seeds are perennials but pansies and pinks are annuals.

Here is Calla lily; by far the most beautiful and the most expensive bulb in my garden standing at $15 a bulb. I bought 2 bulbs and only one survived. Its difficult to care for this fussy plant. Every fall I need to take the bulb out before the first frost, store them carefully in a dry place and replant next spring after the last frost. These are perennials but each bulb would yield only one flower.

Here is one of the pink Dahlia plants. When I planted this bulb, I was a bit apprehensive; will they grow at all? But sure they grew! Here is the result. I have so many of these flowers now that I can cut them down for a vase for every room in my home. These are perennials and have to be treated the same way like Calla lilies.

Day lilies are fairly common here. They even grow road side! They also multiply quickly and are super hardy! You hardly need to raise a finger to tend them. They are perennials.

The beautiful beautiful Oriental lilies. This is my husbands favorite for its color and fragrance. When they bloom, the entire garden would assume a soft fragrance.

I have no idea(rather I forgot) of its name. This is an annual and is a lily for sure.

And who have not heard of black eyes Susans? They are fairly common and are perennials. they bring vibrant color around July-August.

And now the white Dahlia's. The flowers are so big and heavy that the entire plant is almost falling off the ground! Aren't they stunning?

And finally, who would want to spend money outside for fresh cut flowers when the beautiful garden can give you all you need and more? This vase is sitting on my kitchen counter.