Thursday, May 27, 2010

Suja's Varutharacha chicken curry

Thanks to Suja. I tried the chicken recipe which Suja has posted in her blog this evening. Oh I must say it was a partial success. Here is where you will find the original recipe. Its a great recipe, every one should try this at least once.

It took me about 2 hours to make this. I am not 100% sure if this is how long its supposed to take. Nevertheless, the aroma is worth a million bucks! No kidding!

But... I made a small mistake:(. Well it deserves to be called a blunder! I am so sorry Suja. What I did was, instead of marinating the chicken pieces in the ground spices powder, I made a paste of roasted onion, curry leaves and grated coconut and marinated the pieces with that! I realized this mistake after I marinated the chicken for 45 mins.
Thanks to that stupid call centre agent who was troubling me for months now! (I should report him soon)
Anyway, at the prescribed time when I was supposed to add this paste, I added the ground masala. The taste was different from yours I guess. (Not to mention the color and consistency) :(

But believe me when I say, the taste is out of the world! Its lovely!

Mistakes do happen right; and when they do, we keep our chin high, pull up our socks and say 'better luck next time'.
I think this is what happens when we are too tired from a whole days work :) Its ok...Its a new recipe now!

Really the taste was good. Thanks Suja! By the way what is the meaning of "Varutharacha"?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Veggi Stir Fry

I had never been a great fan of eating veggies. If it happens to be vouched for, then I could give it a try but otherwise I tend to swing towards meat than veggies. But veggie stir fry is something I can eat everyday. It’s simple and can be had literally by itself or as a side dish with fried rice or noodles.

I made this a week ago and we finished it in a singe day J

I usually go for what ever vegetables I find in the fridge. But be a little careful not to use contradicting (like Okra) veggies.


Bell Peppers: 1 red and 1 green

Carrots: about a hand full baby size

Mushrooms: 1 cup, sliced

Celery: 1 stalk

Spring onions: 3 or just use the regular onion chopped fine

Ginger: 2 inch piece

White wine: 4 tbsp (try substituting with water if you prefer)

Olive oil: 1 tbsp

For the Sauce:

Any sea food sauce: 2 tbsp

Lime juice/veiger: 1 tbsp

Brown sugar/honey: 1 tsp

Chili sauce/cayenne pepper: ½ tsp (or required amount)

Any good tasting stock: 1/3 cup (I used chicken stock)

Garlic: 4, minced

Mix all the ingredients for sauce with the exception of garlic and keep aside.


  • Heat a wok and add olive oil. When the wok is really hot, add the veggies and stir for a minute and reduce the heat. When you reduce the heat add a tbsp of wine/water/sherry. Fry a little and add another tbsp. Keep doing this until the veggies are soft but not completely cooked.
  • Meanwhile, bring the sauce to boil in another dish and add garlic when the sauce boils.
  • By then the veggies would have been just soft enough. Now add the sauce to the veggies and check for salt.
  • You can adjust the salt by adding soy sauce or sea food sauce or plain salt itself.
  • Let the sauce come close to the veggies and the stir fry is all set!

Note: If you are using broccoli or veggies likewise, make sure to fry them before you add the rest of the veggies.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Aamer Ambol...Thanks Gouri!!!

This evening I suddenly had an urge to eat Aamer Ambol. To tell you the truth I had never tasted this before in my life. You must be wondering how is it possible to miss something I had never done before; so was I!

Thanks to Gouri, a dear blogger, I made this tonight. I loved it! My husband said I should try and make Bengali dishes more often :)

Here is the original recipe by Gouri Guha.

The recipe called for Rosgulla syrup which i didn't have. So I just used 1 tsp of sugar instead. Its a simple recipe. Peel one green mango and cut them into pieces. Take 1 tsp of oil and add 1/2 red chili (I don't like my food too hot) and 1 tsp of mustard seeds. When it starts to splutter add mango pieces. Add 4 tbsp of water and cover to half cook. Then add a little salt and turmeric powder. cook until mangoes are just about done and add 1 tsp of sugar and a pinch of red chili powder. That's it!

I was very apprehensive in the beginning for I had never ever mixed red chili powder and sugar but Voila! the taste is soooo good!

Perhaps I will add another tsp of sugar next time and serve this as a side salad with wine.

Again, thanks to Gouri.

Friday, May 21, 2010


I love festivals; be it Diwali or Christmas. I think I am not overly religious but the fact that festivals mean sweets are what attracted me the most when I was a little girl. And biscuits are my favorite, especially what my mom used to make. Below is the recipe…mom’s own invention. I have modified it a bit to suit my adult taste buds :)
My mom used to deep fry the biscuits but I prefer to bake them instead.

All Purpose Four: 2 cups
Icing sugar: 1 cup (you can add more if you like your biscuit to be really sweet)
Cardamom powder: 1 tsp
Baking powder: 1 tsp (avoid this if you are deep frying)
Butter: melt, 2 tbsp
Eggs: 2
Milk: 3 tbsp
Oil: If you are deep frying

Take a big bowl and beat the eggs, milk and butter together for at least 3-5 minutes.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cardamom powder and baking powder.
Add the dry ingredients (always the rule, dry ingredients into wet ingredients) to wet and make it into smooth dough without lumps. I used my hands here. The dough should be the same consistency like the roti dough/pizza dough.

Now, roll the dough just like you roll for roti/pizza, ¼ inch thickness. With a biscuit cutter or any shape you like, cut the biscuits into the desired shape.

Now, if you are deep frying, heat the oil and fry the biscuits until they turn slightly brown.
If you are baking, pre heat the oven to 400 D F. Grease the baking sheet and lay the biscuits slightly apart (not as apart as cookies, but a little apart). Bake for 25 minutes and check if the biscuits are done. I usually break the biscuit to find this, if it breaks easily, its done; if it’s soggy, bake for another 10 minutes and check.

Yummy biscuits are ready! Store it in a tight container.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chili and Rice

I have always liked spicy food, especially if its home made, quick, easy and tasty! Below is the recipe for Chili, a typical ‘South’ dish in North America. I have used Turkey in the recipe. You can substitute this with minced chicken or beef; though I have never tried with chicken or beef (not yet at least). This is served as main course.

My husband makes it just “emmmmmmmmmmmmmm”….

Below portions serves 4


Spring Onions: 1 bunch, chopped

Tomato: 1 cut in to bite size pieces

Celery: 2 stalks, chopped (optional but very healthy)

Minced turkey/chicken: 1 pound (washed)

Mushrooms: 1 cup

Cooked/canned beans: 2 cans, I used mixed beans (you can use what ever cooked beans you have at home)

Ginger garlic paste: 1 tbsp


Bay leaf: 1

Cinnamon stick: 1 small piece

Salt: 1 tsp or according to taste

Black Pepper: 1 tbsp grounded

Hot sauce: 1 tbsp (I used Tabasco)

Cayenne pepper or red chili powder: 1 tsp (optional, if you want more spice)

Vegetable oil: 2 tbsp


Heat oil in a large pot and add bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Then add spring onions, celery and tomatoes.

Roast the above a bit but not completely. Add ginger garlic paste and cover and cook for 1 minute.

Then add minced turkey/chicken.

When the turkey turns pink, add water (1 cup), salt, pepper, hot sauce and cayenne pepper/red chili powder (if you are using).

Then add the cooked beans and mushrooms.

Simmer and let it be on stove for at least 30 minutes. Before you switch off the stove, check the seasoning and adjust.

Chili can be served with pita/Roti/Naan/Rice. I also served boiled fresh corn, seasoned with butter along with Chili and Rice.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Vada Day!

Being a South Indian, I grew up eating idly/dosa/vadai like I breathe air! LOL…
My mom makes vadai all the time at home but only recently did I know (from a good friend of mine) that the batter used for making vadai is different from the batter made for idly and dosa! I got used to making everything with the same ingredients! (You don’t include raw rice for vadia like you do for idly and dosa)
I immediately called my mom and she confirmed that the ingredients are a little different and that she was taking the easy way out…my mom I tell you! What would I do with out her short cuts for my busy lifestyle? She always used to make Vadai when she makes idli and now I know why!

Below are the recipes for 2 types of vadai; Paal Paniyaram and Thayir Vadai (Dahi Vada)
The first one is Paal Paniyaram, an authentic South Indian delicacy (Chettinad, in Tamil Nadu to be specific). I visited my brother-in-laws mom while in India, who happens to be from Chettinad and got the recipe, the original one that is.

Paal Paniyaram:
Ingredients: These are the basic ingredients for all kinds of vadai is Urad Dal.
Urad Dal: 1 cup
Salt: a pinch
Coconut Milk: 2 cups (or regular milk; not skimmed though)
Sugar: 3 or 4 tbsp
Cardamom powder-1tsp
Oil for deep frying
  • Soak Urad Dal for 4 hours or overnight.
  • Grind the Dal fine with salt, using just a few drops of water.
  • Heat the oil and slowly drop (I used my hand here) little bit of dal into the oil.
  • Mean while, if you are using coconut milk, extract the milk from the coconut and add sugar (if you are using milk, boil the milk and add sugar) and cardamom powder.
  • When the vadai get brown, gently remove them from oil and drop them in milk.
Wait for 1 hour before you serve this as the vadai needs to get soaked.

Thayir Vadai Dahi Vada:
Urad Dal: 1 cup
Yogurt: 1 ½ cup
Green chili: 1 (optional)
Onion: 1 medium sized, fine chopped.
Oil for deep frying
  • Soak Urad Dal for 4 hours or overnight.
  • Grind the Dal fine with salt, chili (if you are using one) using just a few drops of water. Make sure that you do not add more water.
  • Add finely chopped onions to the batter.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and when it gets hot, wet your fingers and take some dough into your hands. Make a small hole in the middle and gently drop in to the hot oil. (yeah, this will take some practice).
  • When the vadai turn golden brown drop them on a paper towel (to soak excess oil).
  • While the vadia is getting cool, prepare the yogurt by mixing some water if necessary and some salt.
  • Soak the vadia in water for a few seconds (to soften it) take it out, squeeze the excess water and gently drop in the yogurt.
  • Sprinkle your favorite seasoning, like grated carrots, chat Masala etc and thayir vadai is ready!
(soak it for at least 1 hour before you eat though).

Friday, May 14, 2010

Healthy Carrot Cake

Who amongst us don’t like sweets? OK, let me re-phrase, who amongst us don’t like cakes; especially, home baked, healthy cake’s? Yeah…I know the answer 
Today I am going to share with you the recipe of one of easiest cakes ever! Yes! I am talking about Carrot cake.

For the longest time I had the fear for baking cake at home. Even when I tried this recipe, which I picked up from my neighbor, I was a bit apprehensive. But the dear neighbor assured me that it’s going to be just fine! So there I went. And here is the recipe with a few pictures attached…I have tried to make it as healthy as it can get. It came out just Yummmmy! Its not only yummy, its also healthy because of the fruits and nuts in it 

White four: ½ cup
Whole wheat flour: ½ cup
Honey: just over ¼ cup (or sugar)
Vegetable oil: 1/2 cup
Eggs: 2
Baking soda: ¾ tsp
Cinnamon: 1 tsp
Salt: ½ tsp
Grated carrot: 1 cup
Apples: pealed and grated, ¾ cup (you can substitute pine apple for this)
Walnuts/pecans: ¼ cup
Raisins (optional): ½ cup

And 9 inch baking pan.

1. Mix all the dry flours, white, whole wheat, salt, soda and cinnamon together.
2. In another large bowl, mix oil, eggs. To this add honey/sugar. Beat it for 2 minutes.
3. To the wet ingredients, add the flours. Remember that you always want to add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, so I had been told.
4. Mix just until everything is mixed, don’t overly mix.
5. To this cake mixture, add the dry fruits.
6. Take the baking pan and gently cover it with a baking sheet, you can use the same one you use for cookies, and grease it lightly with flour.
7. Pre heat the oven to 350 D F.
8. Bake the cake for 35 minutes and check the doneness by gently piercing the cake in middle with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean, then it’s done. If not, bake for another 5 minutes and check.

That’s it! Remove the cake from oven and place it on a serving tray. You can either have it plain or use cream cheese frosting.
Your dear ones would love you forever for the taste! And what can be a better gift than this for a birthday party, picnic or just-because occasions?!?

Nutritional Facts:
1/4 cup honey: 260 calories (100% carbs)
1/2 cup Oil: 950 calories (100% fat)
Nuts: about 500 calories (3% vitamin C, 11% calcium and 19% iron