Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Diwali Special- Besan Ladoo

I am made this ladoo recently; you know one of those days which fall between Diwali and Dussehra where we just cant have enough of sweets?! Its one of those days....
Its really very easy and will easily make at least 15 ladoos.

Besan/gram flour: 2 cups
Cashews and raisins: handful
Ghee: 1/2 cup
Sugar: 1 cup
Cardamom Powder: a pinch

  • Heat 3/4 cup Ghee in a heavy bottomed pan and add besan flour to it. 
  • Fry the flour until slightly brown; stir continuously. 
  • Remove the flour from flame and let it cool a bit. Now add the sugar and cardamom powder, dry fruits and mix well.
  • Shape the ladoos round with the remaining 1/4 cup of ghee.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

4th Wedding Anniversary!

Where has all the time has gone by? It seems only like yesterday that I was a new bride sitting in the temple along with hubby getting married. 4 years have gone by since then and it seems impossible. Perhaps this is what people mean when they say, "time flies". I would change nothing at all if I had to go back to that day. We got married in a small Balaji (Lord Venkateswara) Temple in a small town with close family and friends witnessing the ceremony. Of course for reception dad invited more than 1000 people; which is besides the point.

Here is one of my favorite pictures taken soon after the ceremony. Something about the way we held hands I guess, I can still feel the magic looking at this picture.
Below is a fruit arrangement which my sister-in-law has sent us from Calgary. Isn't it beautiful? If you all ever plan on giving a fruit basket as a gift to someone, you can take this idea :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Festival season- Carrot Halwa

The entire month of Oct is filled with joy, holidays and most importantly sweets! is it not?! So, even at home I am trying to make as many desserts as possible. Usually I dont make these many desserts on any singe month. 

There are soooo many recipes for carrot/gajar halwa. I have tried several of them and here is one of the easiest and quickest. It doesnt take that long to cook because we are not going to be cooking this in milk like the traditional halwa. The other day hubby made chicken biryani and while he was at it, I made this halwa for dessert! Yummy!

Carrots: grated, 2 cups
Sugar: 1/2 to 3/4 cup (increase this according to taste)
Cashew nuts and raisins: a few
Ghee: 5 tbsp
Cardamom powder: a pinch

  • Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan and roast the cashews and raisins a little. keep these aside.
  • In the same pan, add the carrots and gently stir for about 5 minutes. 
  • Add sugar to the carrots and keep the flame in medium. Stir once in a while.
  • Let the carrots cook along with sugar for about 15-20 mins. 
  • Stir in the cardamom and check the taste of the halwa. You might want to add more sugar at this point. 
  • Once you are happy with the taste and the rawness of the carrots is gone, add the dry fruits. 
  • Switch off the flame and serve either hot or cold. I like my halwa hot. 
I am also sending this recipe to Roshans Sunday Special Event. as I have made this on a Sunday evening :)
I am also sending this entry to Anu for her Diwali Festival of lights event.

    Friday, October 7, 2011

    Dussehra Special- Sandesh (A Bengali Favorite)

    Hope you all had a blast during Durga Puja! I sure did have mine. I mean, I couldn't go dandiya and all but still managed to make a few sweets (simple ones) at home.
    To be honest, I had never been too good in making Bengali desserts. Somehow even Misthi Dhoi (sweetened yogurt) was a total flop in my kitchen! But Sandesh was a super hit. I cant believe that something which has a simple recipe like this can taste so divine. I am not kidding, of all the Bengali desserts, this one sure takes the cake. 
    Please note that the traditional recipe calls to make paneer (un-aged cheese) at home. Since I am 7 months into pregnancy, I hardly have enough energy to stand in the kitchen for a long time, I cheated and used Ricotta cheese in place of home made paneer. There are lots of variations available online to this recipe and this is one of the easiest. No surprises that I chose to make it this way :)

    Below measurements would make 15 small sandesh.

    Ricotta Cheese: 1 cup
    Sugar: 4 tbsp
    Condensed Milk: 3 tbsp
    All Purpose flour (maida): 1/4 tsp
    Almonds/cashews/Raisins and saffron: a few

    Mix all the ingredients above (with the exception of items under garnishing) well until it becomes a smooth paste. Heat a heavy bottomed pan in medium flame and add the mixture into it. Stir continuously until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. It took me about 10 mins. switch off the stove and let the mixture cool a bit.
    When its cool enough, make small balls out of the mixture and flatten them. Actually you can make any shape you want. Garnish with the dry fruits. You dont have to use saffron; I used it on cashews to bring out the color.

    Hope you all enjoyed this simple, yet, divine recipe.

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Dussehra Special- Coconut Ladoos with condensed milk

    Happy Dussehra to everyone!! I hope all of you are having tons and tons of fun during this festiva season.

    This is yet another easy to make ladoo recipes. Of course there are several ways to make coconut Ladoos but this one takes the cake when it comes to time part! Yes, this hardly takes 8-10 mins!! Here is the recipe.

    Condensed milk: 1 cup
    Dessicated coconut: 2 cups (leave a few tbsp aside)

    Heat a heavy bottomed pan and add the coconut. Fry for a minute and add the condensed milk. Stir the mixture until everything is well combined.
    remove from the heat and roll the ladoos in round shape when the mixture is cool enough. Now, take the remaining few tbsp of coconut and roll these ladoos in that to give the ladoos a good texture.

    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    Paneer do Pyaaza (Cottage cheese with tomatoes and onions)

    Oh my! Its really been long time since I blogged! Time flies by. Still 3.5 months to go for baby; after she is here, it will be impossible to post recipes...I might as well post regularly now.
    Below is on of those easy recipes which can be made in a jiffy. Quite a lot of people add green peppers to it but I like my paneer do pyazaa plain. So here it is..

    Paneer: 2 cups, cut into small cubes
    Onion: 1 medium, chopped fine
    Tomato: 1 ripe, big, chopped
    Cilantro: handful, chopped
    Capsicum (peppers): optional, 1 cut into cubes
    Garam masala: 2 tsp
    Red chili powder: 1 tsp (increase or decrease to suit your taste)
    Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
    Lemon Juice: 3 tsp
    Cumin: 2 tsp
    Oil: 3 tbsp

    • Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Once they splutter, add the onions.
    • Fry the onions until they are half cooked and add turmeric powder and chili powder. Stir and add the tomatoes.
    • If you are using peppers, now would be the time to stir in those.
    • Once the tomatoes are soft and cooked, add garam masala and salt. Stir and add paneer cubes. 
    • Let the flavors blend in for about 5-8 mins and stir in cilantro. Switch off the stove and remove from heat.
    Serving suggestion:
    Goes very well with all the Indian breads.

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    Pavakka Poriyal (Karela/ Kakarakaya)

    I am sure most of you already know this recipe. I am posting this anyway to remind you all that this is out there...its been a while since you made this...today you might want to try :)
    A simple recipe with lots of flavor, hubby loved it.

    Pavakka: 2, washed and chopped thinly
    Fresh coconut: 1/4 cup
    Green chili: 2
    Salt: According to taste
    Oil: 3 tbsp
    Curry leaves: 1 string

    • Some people dont like the bitter taste of pavakka. Washing pavakka in light butter milk helps remove some of the bitterness. 
    • Heat oil in a pan and add curry leaves
    • After they are crispy, add the pavakka pieces.
    • Meanwhile, grind the coconut and green chili together.
    • After the pavakka is completely fried, add the coconut mixture and stir constantly until the raw smell of the coconut is gone. 
    • Add salt and remove from stove. 
    Serving suggestions:
    1. Goes well along with sambar or rasam.
    2. You might also like Stuffed Bitter gourd
    3. Pavakka Kuzhambu
    4. Pavakka Fry

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Good news with a piece of Cake (Almond Essense)

    Some of you might have noticed that lately my posts are becoming infrequent. Well, I have a good reason! My husband and I are expecting a baby!!! yayyyyy! Its not until second week of December this year (just entered my 17th week, but I thought I would share this with you all.

    Here is the Almond flavor cake which I made the other day. Its very close to Vanilla Cake. Just replace the vanilla essence with Almond extract!

    Monday, June 27, 2011

    Parrupu Podi (Kandi Podi)

    Ever been to one of those small restaurants where you get a veggie thali on a banana leaf? If not, I would say that you have missed some really good condiment. Usually people in towns and villages serve meals on banana leaf. I absolutely love that taste. The other day I made this at home for a good friend of mine who is visiting from Florida. Hope she likes it as much as I liked to make it for her :)

    Moong Dal (Paasi Parrupu): 1/2 cup
    Channa Dal( kadala parrupu/ Bengal gram): 1/2 cup
    Toor Dal (Tuvaram parrupu/ split dal): 1 cup
    Hing: 1/2 tsp
    Jeera/Cumin: 1 tsp
    Red Chili Powder: 2 tbsp (you can increase this to 3 tbsp also)
    Pepper Powder: 2 tsp
    Salt: according to taste

    • Heat a pan and fry all the dals separately until they become light to golden brown. 
    • Keep the dals aside and while its still hot, add cumin and hing and mix well. 
    • Once the dals cool down, grind them until the desired consistency. I like mine slightly coarse.
    • Now add salt, chili powder and pepper powder. 
    • Store in a air-tight container.
    Serving Suggestion:
    1. Hot rice and ghee with this powder.
    2. Mix few drops of oil or ghee in this powder and use as a condiment for idly/dosa.

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    Kheema Masala

    One of my favorite items lately is kheema masala. These days I am craving for something spicy and something which can be done in a jiffy. Even thinking about this is making me hungry right now. I picked this up from my mom.

    Kheema: 500 grams from chicken or mutton (I used chicken)
    Onion: 1 big, chopped
    Tomato: 1 big, chopped
    Green Chili: 3, chopped
    Cilantro/Coriander: hanful
    Ginger& garlic paste: 1 tbsp
    Oil: 2 tbsp

    Coriander powder: 1 tsp
    Cumin powder: 1/2 tsp
    Garam masala: 1 tsp
    Salt: according to taste
    Red chili powder: 1 tsp

    • Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped onions and green chilies. Fry until translucent. 
    • Now add the ginger & garlic paste and fry for a min. 
    • Now add the kheema and chopped tomato and keep cooking until everything is cooked. Here, you can also add half a cup of water if you want the kheema to be a little gray type. 
    • Once kheema is cooked add everything under 'Masala'. 
    • Check for salt, add coriander leaves and switch off the stove. 
    1. You can also add potatoes or green peas while cooking the kheema. This will increase the quantity of the kheema if you have some unexpected guests.

    Serving Suggestions:
    This goes very well with naan or even rice.

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    Soraka Paal Kootu (Sorakaya/ Bottle Gourd)

    Kootu is a south Indian dish (Tamil Nadu) which is easy to make and is not really spicy. I make this on and off at home. I dont remember my mom ever making this. I dont even remember where I picked this recipe. OK...let me leave the introduction short for now :)

    Bottle Gourd/Sorakaya: 1/2, pealed and chopped
    Fresh coconut: 1/2 cup
    Channa dal: 1/2 cup, cooked
    Milk: 1/2 cup
    Green Chili: 3
    Turmeric powder: 1/8 tsp
    Pepper powder: 1/2 tsp

    For Tadka:
    Oil: 1 tbsp
    Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
    Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
    Curry Leaves: 1 string

    • Pressure cook the already cooked dal and bottle gourd together for about 20 mins. 
    • Remove the lid of cooker after the pressure is gone. 
    • Meanwhile, grind coconut and green chilies together and keep them aside. 
    • Now, switch on the stove of the pressure cooker and add coconut mixture, salt, turmeric powder and pepper powder and bring this to boil. 
    • In about 5 minutes the raw coconut smell would be gone. Switch off the stove and keep the cooker aside. 
    • Now add milk and stir. 
    Thats it! Yummy kootu is ready to be enjoyed!

    Serving suggestion:
    1. Goes well as a side dish with some spicy achar or with papad.
    2. Another way of making bottle gourd is, Poriyal

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    Mango Parrupu (dal)- Super Yummy

    Mango dal is my all time favorite dal! It just has the right amount of tangy-ness, right amount of spices and makes the best side dish for rice or roti. The best part is that, it doesnt take that long to prepare this. One trick is to get the raw, fresh green mango for this. Thankfully, we get mangos all through the year here.

    Raw mango: 1 big or 2 small
    Toor Dal: 1 cup
    Onion: 1 medium, diced
    Tomato: 1, chopped
    Green Chili: 3
    Garlic: 3 cloves, roughly mashed
    Cilantro/Coriander: handful, washed and chopped
    Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp

    For Tadka:
    Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
    Channa Dal: 1/2 tsp
    Cumin/Jeera: 1 tsp
    Curry leaves: 2 strings
    Asafitida: a pinch
    Oil: 2 tbsp

    • Pressure cook the dal/parrupu until dal with 2 cups water until completely cooked (about 20-30mins). 
    • Meanwhile, in a pan, heat oil and add everything under "for tadka" in the same order. 
    • Now add green chilies and garlic and fry for 30 secs. Now add the chopped onion and fry for a minute. 
    • To the above, add tomatoes and diced mango. You can also put the seed in. Stir and cook until mango is cooked and tomatoes are near mashed. You can add water if you like.
    • Now add turmeric powder and salt. Stir once. 
    • By now, dal would have been cooked. Remove the lid of the pressure cooker (after the steam is gone) and add the mango mixture to the dal. Switch on the stove and bring the dal to boil. You can also add water should you like your dal to be a little watery. 
    • Check for salt and add coriander leaves. Switch off the stove. 
    Serving suggestions:
    1. Parrupu with dal and ghee. You can also add some pickle.
    2. Parrupu with roti.
    3. You can freeze this and use it even after a week if you want.

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Beerakaya Pachadi (Ridge Gourd pickle)

    Having lived in Andhra Pradesh for a long time, I have grown up eating lot of pickles/chutneys. One of my favorites and easy to make chutneys is Beerakaya/Ridge Gourd. This is easy and its my mom's way of making this.
    Ridge Gourd: 2 medium sized
    Green Chili: 3 (you can increase or decrease this)
    Garlic: 3 cloves
    Channa Dal: 1 tsp
    Jeera: 1 tsp
    Curry Leaves: 1 string
    Salt: according to taste
    Oil: 2 tbsp

    For tempering:
    Mustard Seeds: 1 tsp
    Cumin: 1 tsp
    Hing: a pinch

    • Wash and peal the ridge gourd. You can leave a little bit of skin if you like the texture to be slightly rough. Chop the veggie in to small 1 inch pieces.
    • Heat 1 1/2 tsp of oil in a pan and add Channa dal, jeera and curry leaves. 
    • Stir and add garlic pods and green chilies. Fry for a minute.
    • Now add the chopped ridge gourd to the above and cook without adding water. Stir once in a while.
    • Once the veggie is cooked, remove from the stove and cool it. 
    • In a mixer grinder, blend the veggie until it is soft. Add salt. 
    • Now, in a little pan, heat oil and add everything under 'for tempering'. 
    Chutney is ready!

    Serving Suggestions:
    1. With hot rice and a tsp of ghee. 
    2. With sambar rice.

    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    Coconut Chutney- Method 2

    Like I said in my Coconut Chutney Method 1, there are numerous ways to make any chutney. Simple alterations bring out different taste while the basic recipe remains the same.
    This time I have excluded the tamarind part and added cilantro and a little piece of ginger.
    Fresh Coconut: 1/2, removed from its shell
    Coriander/cilantro: handful, washed
    Green Chili: 2
    Ginger: 1/2 inch piece
    Curry Leaves: 1 string
    Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
    Channa dal: 1 tsp
    Oil: 1 tsp

    • Wash the coconut pieces after removing from shell and put them in a blender.
    • Add coriander/cilantro, green chili, ginger piece and salt to the blender along with the coconut. 
    • Add 1/4 cup of water and blend until the coconut is completely mashed. Transfer this to the serving bowl.
    • In a small pan, heat oil and add the mustard seeds, channa dal and curry leaves. Once they all start to splutter, add to the ground coconut chutney. 
    Serve with Pongal, Idly, Dosa, vada, you name it!

    Sunday, May 29, 2011

    Stuffed Bitter Gourd (Pavakka/Kakarakaya/Karela Masala)

    Lately I have been making a lot of recipes from Bitter Gourd. I am always trying to make something new and I stumbled upon one such cool recipe from Malar Gandhi's blog. I followed her recipe 90%. I could not follow it to the T due to taste preferences. You must visit her blog, she has truly a nice space. You can either get the recipe from here or from her blog, Here. (P.S: I am getting an internal error while pasting the link, will try again later)
    My husband and I loved the taste and I cant wait to make this another time. Do try this and let me know.
    Bitter Gourd/Kakarakaya: 4, small
    Tomatoes: 2, small chopped
    Onions: 2 small chopped
    Ginger garlic paste: 1 tsp
    Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
    Red chili powder: 1 tsp
    Salt: according to taste
    Turmeric powder: 1/4 powder
    Coriander powder: 1 tsp
    Cumin Powder: 1 tsp
    Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
    Curry leaves: 1 string
    Oil: 2-3 tbsp

    • Wash the bitter gourd thoroughly and trim the edges. Now make a vertical opening with a sharp knife, keeping the edges intact. Basically, enough slit/opening to be able to remove the seeds and stuff the stuffing. With the back of the spoon remove the seeds and pulp, making sure to keep the edges intact.
    • Steam the bitter gourd for 10 mins. (Alternatively, you can also skip this step. I personally have steamed this to soften the veggie). 
    • Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds followed by chopped onions. 
    • When the onions are fried, add the ginger garlic paste and try for a few more seconds. 
    • Now add the tomatoes and cover and cook until tomatoes are cooked. 
    • Now add all the mentioned powders, including salt and stir. Remove from heat. 
    • Now stuff this tomato curry into the bitter gourd, one by one. Do not worry if you are unable to stuff more than 2 or 3 tbsp per one bitter gourd. You will still have some left over curry. Leave this aside for the moment.
    • Heat another pan and add 2 tbsp oil. Now carefully lower each bitter gourd and gently fry one side at a time taking care not to burn it.Try not to let the stuffing come out. Some of it will come out anyway.
    • Once the bitter gourd is completely cooked on all sides, add the remaining left over curry into this and stir gently.
    Serve this hot with rice or roti.

    Note: Other recipes for bitter gourd are:
    1. Pvakkai Kuzhambu
    2. Pavakkai Fry

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    Indian Broad Beans with Potatoes (aloo with chukkudukaya)

    Remember my other post where I was trying to increase the quantity of the okra I have at home by adding 1 potato and I called it Bhendi Burji with Aloo ? The other time when I was increasing the quantity of okra by adding them in tomato gravy and called it Tomato-Okra? Well, here is a recipe for increasing the quantity of potatoes by adding Indian Broad beans. This is called Chukkudukaya in Telugu. Not sure what it is called in Tamil or Hindi. This will go well when we have unexpected guests and some of who love potatoes :)
    Potatoes: 3 small, pealed and chopped
    Beans: handful, chopped
    Cumin/jeera: 1 tsp
    Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
    Curry leaves: 1 string
    Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
    Red chili Powder: 1 tsp
    Oil: 2 tbsp

    • Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add cumin followed by curry leaves. 
    • Now add the potatoes and beans. Stir fry until they get cooked.
    • After they are completely cooked, add turmeric powder, salt and red chili powder. 
    • Switch off the stove.
    This will go very well with roti or even rice and sambar.

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    Tomato Chutney- Iyer Style

    This recipe goes back to my college days from London. When I initially went there for studies, it was around the time of Vinayaka Chaviti (Ganesh Chaturthi). I was invited for dinner by one of the ladies. She was known as Iyer Akka. That's where I first had this kind of chutney. I absolutely fell in love with the taste and ever since I often make this at home. Thanks to the traditional recipes and Iyer Akka.My husband also loves this! 
    Tomatoes: 1/2 kg
    Green Chilies: 6 (increase or decrease this according to taste)
    Cumin/Jeera: 1 tbsp
    Oil: 2 tbsp

    For Tempering:
    Mustard Seeds: 1 tsp
    Cumin: 1/2 tsp
    Channa Dal: 1 tsp
    Curry Leaves: 1 string
    Hing: 1 pinch

    • Heat 1 tsp oil in big pan (enough to fit tomatoes) and add cumin and green chilies. Once chilies are roasted and softened a bit, remove from the pan to another small bowl. 
    • In the same pan add add the washed and chopped tomatoes and keep cooking until tomatoes are completely cooked. This will take some time considering you are cooking 1/2 kg of tomatoes.
    • After the tomatoes are completely cooked through, remove from the pan and cool it. 
    • After they are cool, transfer to a blender and add salt and also the fried cumin and green chilies from step 1. 
    • Blend them fine and transfer to a serving bowl. 
    • For tempering, take a small pan and heat oil. To the oil add everything under for tempering and stir for a few seconds until everything is well roasted. 
    • Add this to the tomato chutney. Also add salt for taste.
    Enjoy with hot rice or even with any break fast item! 

      Friday, May 6, 2011

      Chettinad Shrimp Masala (Eral Masala)

      Prawns have always been my favorite non-veg item. Its unfortunate that never lived near waters to get fresh supply of prawns as often as I would have liked to have. I am talking about childhood days and years spent in India.
      Now we get what ever we want, fresh/frozen/cleaned/uncleaned/ bla. However, no matter how many times I try, the taste we get in India is never the same. I wonder if its because of the spice brand we use or the water or the prawns. Anyway, here is the recipe for Chettinad Eral Masala. The taste is as close to as one can expect in an authentic Chettinad kitchen.

      Prawns: 250 grams/ 1/2 lb (cleaned) I used fresh shrimp, you can use frozen also.
      Onions: 1 big or 2 small
      Ginger garlic paste: 1/2 tsp
      Garlic pods: 4 big or 8 small
      Tomato: 1 ripe, chopped
      Chili Powder: 1 tsp or according to taste
      Turmeric powder: 1 pinch
      Coriander leaves: handful
      Lemon Juice: 2 tbsp
      Cinnamon: 1 inch piece
      Curry leaves: 1 string
      Oil: 2 tbsp

      Marinate the shrimp with chili powder, turmeric powder, salt, lemon juice and ginger&garlic paste and set aside in the fridge for an hour.

      • Heat oil in a pan and add cinnamon stick, curry leaves followed by chopped onions. 
      • When onions turn translucent, add tomatoes and let the tomatoes cook until they become mushy. 
      • Now add the shrimp and saute for a min. You will see the water coming out. Now, cover the dish and let the shrimp cook on medium flame. After cooking, check for salt.
      • You can switch off the stove and garnish with coriander leaves.
      • Do not over cook the shrimp as this would make them hard.
      • If you are using frozen shrimp, make sure to defrost it before you marinate it.

      Tuesday, April 26, 2011

      Sundakkai Kuzhambu

      I never had this before getting married. When my husband mentioned that he likes this sundaka kuzhambu, I put on a blank face then. Eventually I learned how to make this. Its divine tasting and goes very well with hot rice. Hope you all like it too. For us south Indian's this certainly is the first choice than KFC.

      Sundakkai Varthal: 3/4 cup
      Tamarind paste: 2 tbsp soaked in 2 cup of water (you can increase or decrease this according to taste)
      Medium onion: 1 chopped
      Garlic cloves: 3
      Curry leaves: 1 string
      Salt: 1 tsp or according to taste

      For tempering:
      Oil: 2 tbsp
      Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
      Urad dal: 1 tsp
      Channa dal: 1 tsp
      Fenugreek/methi seeds: 1/8 tsp
      Asafitida: a pinch

      For fine grind:
      Chanaa dal: 1 tsp
      Urad dal: 1 tsp
      Channa dal: 1 tsp
      Red chillies:  4
      Black pepper: 7-8 (you can reduce this)
      Grated coconut - 1 tbsp (optional)

      • Soak the Sundakkai varthal in water for 10 mins to soften them and also to red rid of dust.
      • Dry roast everything under "fine grind" section and make a powder. 
      • Heat oil in a pan and add one by one everything under "for tempering" and fry for a min. 
      • Now add the sundakkai varthal (without water) and fry for couple of mins.
      • Now add curry leaves followed by garlic and onions and fry until the onions are soft. 
      • Now add salt and the ground powder. Stir and add the tamarind water. 
      • Simmer the stove and let the kuzhambu thicken until the desired consistency is achieved. It takes about 30 mins. Serve hot with rice.

      Wednesday, April 20, 2011

      Soraka poriyal (Bottle Gourd)

      Sorakaya is another one such veggie which can be used to make sambar, curry, fry or even pickle! Last time I made a curry out of it, I felt that I could do better with fry. So first time I tried with masoor dal. It came out good, no picture though. Then I tried with moong dal. Here is the recipe for Sorakaya with moong dal.

      Sorakaya (Bottle Gourd): 1 small, roughly 1 cup
      Moong Dal: 1/4 cup
      Green Chilies: 1 or 2 according to required spice level
      Coconut powder (fresh or dry) grated: 2 tbsp
      Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
      Curry leaves: 1 string
      Hing: 1 pinch
      Salt: 1 tsp or according to taste
      Turmeric powder: 1/8 tsp
      Oil: 1 tbsp

      • Peel the bottle gourd and chop into 1/2 inch pieces.
      • Dry roast the moong dal until a nice aroma comes out and dry grind this. The powder should be coarse. 
      • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds followed by Asafitida (Hing) and curry leaves. When the leaves splutter, add the slip green chilies. 
      • Fry for a few seconds and add the chopped bottle gourd. 
      • Cook on medium flame stirring occasionally.
      • When its cooked, add the turmeric powder, salt and grated coconut and stir. 
      Switch off the stove, add the dal powder and enjoy  as a side dish for rice or roti/naan bread :)

      Saturday, April 9, 2011

      Spring Onions Fried Rice

      When I was in Bangalore, there was this old man who used to bring a cart and used to roam, a vendor-on-wheels basically. The cart had a stove and 2 big pans and a variety of sauces; that's it. He used to claim that he makes the best Chinese Fried Rice in Bangalore. He named his cart, Main Land China. The first time I had seen it, I bust out laughing looking at its name. But since the food is freshly made, always hot and can get a full dinner for Rs.15, I used to be his regular customer. The below recipe is given by him.
      Below measurements would serve 2 adults.
      Cooked Rice: 2 cups
      Egg: 1
      Spring Onion: 1 bunch, washed and chopped
      Milk: 1 tbsp
      Garlic pods: 3 chopped (if the pod is small, increase this to 5)
      Freshly ground pepper powder: 1-2 tbsp
      Soy Sauce: 3-4 tbsp (you can increase or decrease this according to your taste)
      Olive oil: 1 tbsp(you can use regular oil also if you don't have olive oil)
      Butter/oil: 1/2 tsp

      • Take a small bowl and beat the egg and milk to together. In a wide bottomed pan heat a little butter (or oil) and pour in the mixture. Stir for a minute until the egg is almost cooked and remove from flame. Keep this separately in a plate.
      • Heat olive olive oil in the same pan and add the garlic followed by chopped spring onions. You can use the stems also. Saute this until it turns soft. 
      • Add the cooked rice to this mixture and mix well. 
      • To this, add the soy sauce and freshly grounded pepper and mix well. Now check for salt. Since Soy sauce has salt in it, you wouldn't need to add anything extra. If you like your food a little salty (like me), you can add salt accordingly now. 
      • To this fried rice, add the scrambled egg and mix well.
      That's it! Simple Chinese spring onion fried rice is ready! I served this with chili mushroom. This would be the next recipe I would be posting (tomorrow or Monday).

      Monday, April 4, 2011

      Happy Ugadi

      Andariki ma Ugadi Subhakaankshalu!!!Wishing all my blog-buddies a very Happy Ugadi/Gudi Padwa! According to the Hindu Calender, the season Chaitra (spring) begins today marking the beginning of a new year. Hence we celebrate the festival welcoming the new year calling it with various names in various states in India.
      With India winning the World Cup (in Cricket after 28 years) and the entire nation being euphoric, I cannot think of a better way to begin the new year. Here is how the festival went in my home. In the plate below are Puran Poli, Ugadi Pachadi, Keerai Vadai and puliyodharai. The recipes are given below.
      For me the preparation for today began 3 days ago with cleaning one room at a time :). We (hubby and I) have new cloths to wear and even the weather seems to be getting much better day by day. When we were back home in India, our vaasal, (the front porch) used to be decorated with colorful rangolis/kolams. Mom, sis and I used to get up early and make special big rangolis in front of our home. Now, I make do with flower rangoli.

      Ugadi, being the first festival in the Chaitra maasam (season), we make a few delicacies. I am going to write down recipes for a few things mom used to make. I cant believe time has gone by so fast and it is already my turn to make all these delicacies for my family in my home. Perhaps this is what is called cycle-of-life. A little rose bloom adorning our fire place mantle which i used for Puja.
      Ugadi Pachadi: The star of the show is something called, Ugadi Pachadi (Ugadi chutney). This chutney contains raw mango, neem tree flowers, jaggery, coconut, red chili powder, tamarind and salt. The entire mixture put together signifies various states-of-mind in our life. The sourness of the raw mango, the sweetness of the jaggery, the hotness of the chili powder, the tangy-ness of the tamarind represent that life is full of unexpected surprises, be it happiness, sadness, tranquility or contentedness. We have to accept our life as is with its sweet/bitter intricacies. The chutney is also believed to relive any small illness.
      Raw mango: 1 small (representing the excitement, tangyness)
      Jaggery: 3 tbsp (representing the happiness)
      Salt: 1/2 tsp (representing the life itself because its the basic thing)
      Chili powder: 1/4 tsp (representing the anger in us)
      Neem tree flowers: 1/2 tbsp (representing the tough times or sorrow; if neem flowers are not available, you can substitute this with methi seeds)
      Coconut: Freshly chopped, 1 tbsp (optional)
      Tamarind paste: 1/2 tbsp pulp (representing mischievous child in us)

      Mix all the above ingredients with a little water. Just add about 3 tbsp. If you want you can add more later.

      Yummy! The melody of flavors!

      Keerai Vadai: Another common dish we make today is vadai. Now, as most of you know, we have 100's of ways to make tasty vadais. Today, I made keerai vadai (vada with leafy vegetables). I like to fool myself that the leafy veggies would make up for the deep-fried lentil patties. It came quite good actually.
      You can practically use any leafy veggie to make this vadai. I used spinach. Below measurements gave me 20 mini vadai's.
      Spinach: 1 cup, chopped.
      Channa dal (gram dal): 1/2 cup
      Green chili: 1 or 2 according to taste
      Toor dal: 2 tbsp (optional)
      Urad Dal: 2 tbsp
      Ginger: 1 inch, chopped
      Hing: 1 pinch
      Oil: at least 1 cup to deep fry

      Salt: according to taste

      • Mix all the dal's together and pour in water until they are completely immersed and at least 2 inches of water is floating above.
      • After 3 hours, strain the water away and keep the dal's dry for another hour. 
      • After this additional hour, take 3 tbsp of dal's in a separate bowl and keep aside.
      • Now, grind the remaining dal with hing and salt WITH OUT ADDING WATER. 
      • When the mixture is grind and is 80% soft, add the 3 tbsp of dal's you kept aside with green chilies and ginger. You dont have to grind this now.
      • Now add the chopped spinach to this dal mixture and mix well. 
      • Heat oil in a vessel. Make small rounds of the dal mixture and flatten them on your hand. It would help if you grease your hand with oil. 
      • Gently drop the vadai (lentil Pattie) into the hot oil. 
      • Roast until the vadai is golden brown and remove it from the oil. You can place these on a tissue paper to drain out excess oil. 
      Serve hot...enjoy! Try out the other methods of making vadai also HERE.

      Puliyodharai: The next one on menu today is Puliyodharai (Tamarind Rice). You can find the recipe HERE in my blog. Ever been to Tirumala, Perumaal Kovil (It is referred to as Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam) in Andhra Pradesh? The best tasting Puliyodharai comes from that temple. As the devotees chant, "Govindaa Gooovindaaa", the gurukkul gives us handful of yummy and unique tasting Puliyodharai. Though the one I made isn't as great as that is, its much closer than I had ever made.This will suffice for 3 cups of un-cooked rice :)
      Puran Poli: Who would like warm, sweet and soft Puran Poli today? I cannot stop at one. Though this takes some time, practice and patience, the end result is awesome. Puran poli is referred to as Bhakshalu in Telugu, Holige in Kannada. Polis are made with flour stuffed with lentils and jaggery mixture, rolled out and pan fried in clarified butter. Below measurements gave me 8 medium sized polis.
      Even as I say the word Poli my mouth is watering. My mom used to make it sooo good that I can almost taste what she made all those years ago. She used to make it thin, sweet and so devilishly delicious. As is the norm, we used to send/get polis from neighbors and friends as well but my mom's were the best! Probably every child feels this way about his/her mom's cooking.
      Here is my attempt. Start this 2 hours before you make the poli.

      Ingredients for filling (Called Purnam in Telugu):
      Channa Dal: 1 cup
      Jaggery: 1 cup, powdered (you can increase this 1.5 cups also)
      Cardamom powder: 1 tsp

      Ingredients for the bread:
      All Purpose Flour (maida): 1 cup
      Water: 1/2 cup
      Ghee (clarified butter): 6 tbsp

      • Knead the dough with water and 2 tbsp of ghee until it is soft. Cover this with a moist cloth and set aside for 2 hours.
      • Mean while, pressure cook the channa dal with 3 cups of water. You dont have to over cook it. 1 whistle or 20 mins in medium flame would give you just cooked dal. 
      • Spread this dal on a tissue paper/plate so that all the moisture is absorbed, maybe for 1 hour.
      • WITH OUT ADDING WATER, grind the cooked and cooled channa dal with jaggery. Its a bit difficult to blend it fine, but its doable. Please do not add water because we want the consistency to be thick. To this mixture add the cardamom powder. If by any chance the mixture becomes watery, cook on low flame for 7-10 mins and the mixture would thicken. 
      • Now, take the dough and add the remaining ghee and beat the dough very well. yeah baby! beat it! When you stretch the dough, it should stretch with out breaking like chapati dough
      • Spread a foil or a banana leaf and grease it with ghee.
      •  Take some dough (small lime size) and roll out like you roll out the roti/chapati.
      • Now, take another lime size of dal & jaggery mixture and place it in the middle of the rolled out bread.
      • Now, cover the dal mixture with the bread from all sides and seal with your fingers.
      • Gently pat down the ball with your fingers, trying not to let the dal mixture flow out. If it does, do not worry. Make this as thin as a chapati. 
      • Heat a tava/pan/griddle and add some ghee. Slowly lift the foil containing the poli and invert it on the griddle. 
      • Turn the poli around once in a while until it turns golden brown. Dont shy away from applying generous amount of ghee. 
      • When the poli is completely cooked (you will start smelling it) and is in golden color, remove from the pan and transfer to a plate. 

      I hope ALL of you have a fantastic new year ahead!

      Friday, April 1, 2011

      Pavakka Kuzhambu (Kakarakaya/Karela/bitter guard)

      You only have 1 Pavakka and you have to make do with that. Who do you? Ha ha! we will make Pavakka kuzhambu :)
      Like any other zuzhambu's this is very tasty and requires very less oil. Apparently eating bitter guard is really good for diabetic people.

      Pavakka: 1, chopped in to round slices
      Onion: 1 medium, chopped
      Tomato: 1 medium, chopped
      Curry eaves: 1 tring
      Garlic Cloves: 4 big or 8 small
      Jaggery: 1 tsp (Optional)
      Oil: 1 tbsp

      Sambar powder: 1 tsp
      Coriander powder: 1 tsp
      Turmeric powder: 1/8 tsp
      Salt: 1 tsp
      Tamarind paste: 1 1/2 tsp

      Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
      Fenugreek seeds: 1/8 tsp
      Fennel seeds 1 tsp

      • Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they dance, add the fenugreek and fennel seeds followed by curry leaves. Now add the garlic.
      • Now add the onions and tomatoes. Roast for a minute and add the bitter guard pieces. 
      • Fry until bitter guard is close to being completely cooked.
      • While the bitter guard is being fried, take 3 cups of water and mix everything under "Masala".
      • Once the bitter guard is close to completing, pour in the masala water and stir.
      • Simmer down the flame and let the curry boil until it reduces to 1/3 or until the desired consistency. You can now add the jaggery.
      Switch off the stove and enjoy the kuzhambu with hot rice :)

      Tip: Usually kuzhambu's give a great taste when cooked in simmer for a long time.

      Wednesday, March 30, 2011

      Rava Dosa...soodu soodu (hot hot) rava dosa!

      During weekdays, all we get to eat is cold breakfast. So, at least during weekends I try and make something hot, something Indian. When I was in college in Hyderabad, we used to go to a place called Chutneys (Banjara Hills). There we used to get the BEST rava dosa's and best chutneys ever! If you ever happen to visit Hyderabad, I would sure suggest this place for breakfast. I have served this with coconut chutney.
      There are many ways to make this dosa and the below is my favorite. Watch out for more rava dosa variations in my forth coming posts.Pardon the pic, its looking dull.

      Maida:  1/4 cup
      Riceflour: 1 cup
      Rava (sooji): 1/2cup
      Salt: 1/2 tsp or according to taste.

      Seasoning Ingredients (or tadka):
      Mustard seeds: ¼ tsp
      Cumin seeds: 1/4 tsp
      Pepper: 1/4 tsp (optional)
      Curry leaves: 1 string
      Coriander leaves: Little bi, chopped coarsely
      Onion:: 1 small, chopped finely
      Green chili: 1 medium chopped (optional)
      Ginger: 1 inch, finely chopped
      Oil: 5 tbsp

      • Mix all the fours and salt and add 2 cups of water. Mix and see if it needs more water. The batter should be very watery.
      • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds. When they dance around add the cumin seeds and pepper.
      • Now add ginger and curry leaves followed by green chili and onion. 
      • Fry until the onion in translucent and add coriander leaves. 
      • Stir for a few seconds and transfer this mixture into the batter and mix well.
      • Heat a wide bottom roti/dosa pan. Take a ladle full of batter and pour on the sizzling hot pan. 
      • The batter spreads by itself because of its watery consistency. 
      • Add a few drops of oil around the edges of the dosa. When you see the dosa browning, gently turn it over or transfer directly into a plate.
      • Serve this hot so that it is crisp, just the way it is supposed to be.

      Monday, March 28, 2011

      Minced Chicken (Kheema) with veggies

      After I finished my 12th standard, my sister and I started living in a working woman's hostel while I was perusing my graduation and my sister her post graduation. Like most other hostels, never was a day when tasty food is served. So when ever we used to visit my parents, my mom used to pack kheema with roti/pooris. They used to stay good for at least 24 hours and we used to devour them after reaching the hostel. This is the recipe picked up from her from those times. The below measurements would serve 4.

      Chicken/mutton kheema: 1 lb (or 1/2 kg)
      Frozen veggies: 1 cup (mine had beans, carrot, peas and corn)
      Potato: 1 large, pealed and chopped
      Onion: 1 medium chopped
      Ginger & garlic paste: 1 tbsp
      Salt: According to taste
      Oil: 4 tsp
      Red chili powder: 1 tbsp
      Garam Masala: 1 tsp
      Coriander powder: 1 tsp
      Cumin Powder: 1/2 tsp
      Cinnamon stick: 1 inch piece
      Cloves: 4
      Coriander leaves: handful, coarsely chopped

      • Heat 2 tsp of oil in a pan and add cinnamon stick and cloves. Then add the onions.
      • While the  onions are frying, heat 2 tsp of oil in another pan and fry the chopped potatoes.
      • When the potatoes are cooked, add the frozen veggies and fry some more. Make sure that there is no water left in the veggies. switch off the stove and keep these fried veggies aside.
      • Once the onion's are fried properly, add salt and red chili powder. Stir and add the ginger garlic paste. 
      • Once the ginger garlic paste is cooked, add the chicken/mutton kheem. Fry until it is completely cooked. Stir once in a while. 
      • Once the kheema is cooked, add the garam masala, coriander powder and cumin powder. Stir and check if all the spices are according to your liking. 
      • Now add the fried veggies along with coriander leaves, stir once and switch off the stove.
      I have served this with plain rice and sambar for dinner and for the next days lunch, I used the left overs to make some pita-wrap with kheema, some hummus, pickles, tomatoes and lettuce. It made a great lunch with some simple salad.

      Below is a small 2 tier Diaper cake I made for a good friend of mine for her Baby Shower. The theme was green and I had a bit of trouble location diapers with green design.

      Friday, March 25, 2011

      Beans Poriyal

      I love beans. This is one such veggie which can easily grow in the back yard. I got this recipe from Sarah's Vazhayila. There are many ways to make this Poriyal (Thoran like Sarah calls it). Her beans looks FAR better than mine, do take a look at her blog :) I usually chop veggies during weekends and usually chop beans this size (1 inch). Her recipe calls the beans to be chopped in small rounds. But otherwise I followed her recipe to the T. You can get the recipe from Vazhayila or you can get it here. I am posting this here for my future reference. The looks don't match the wonderful taste it had.
      Long Beans: 1 lb
      Grated coconut: 4 tbsp
      Shallots: 4 or 1 small onion

      Garlic: 2 cloves
      Green chili chopped: 2
      Dried red chili: 1
      Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
      Curry leaves: 1 string
      Salt: 1 tsp or according to taste
      Oil: 1 tbsp

      • Chop the beans in circles.
      • Grind the onions, green chili and garlic. To this add the coconut and keep aside.
      • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they dance around, add the red chili, curry leaves followed by beans and salt. 
      • Fry the beans until they are cooked. This should take about 5-10 mins on medium flame.
      • Add the ground onions mixture and stir for another couple of minutes. 
      • Serve warm.

      Wednesday, March 23, 2011

      Fruit Salad

      Ever had an evening when all you had is fruit for dessert and you have to make the best use of it? Well, I keep having the days like that all time, considering both hubby and I decided that we are getting old (ha ha, not quite) and that we have to eat healthy. Below is not exactly a recipe but just to give you an idea of a different way to present boring fruits.
      Just scoop the water melon with a melon-ball tool or a regular steel round measuring spoon. It would be better if your melon is seedless. Arrange a martini (or any) glass and drop the scooped melons in it. Throw in a few raspberries and garnish with fresh Parsley. You could also drop a few tbsp of watermelon juice in the glass. Serve chilled. 

      1. You could replace watermelon with cantaloupe and raspberries with strawberries.
      2. You could put a scoop of ice cream on top.
      3. You could drizzle chocolate on top.
      4. You could pour in Baileys.

      Tuesday, March 22, 2011

      Simple Chicken Pot Pie (Veggie version too)

      This is yet again another easy, yet tasteful and nutritious recipes. There are many ways to make this pie but I prefer the below way because its easier to make it this way. I know. My bad, but what can I possibly do when I am pressed for time?
      Anyway, the below measurements would yield 1 pie which 2 adults can comfortably share. I am going to give the chicken and the veggie version too. Look at the bottom of recipe for vegetable version. I served this for dinner.
      Cream of chicken : 1/2 can (or 5 oz, I used campbells)
      Chicken broth: 3/8 cup ( 1/2+1/8 cup)
      Pie shell: 1 shell and 1 crust to seal the pie (I used Pillsbury)
      Frozen veggeis: 3/4 cup (thawed)
      Chicken: 1 big breast (chopped into 1 inch pieces)
      All purpose Flour (APF): 1 1/2 tbsp
      Aluminum pie liner: 1

      •  Preheat the oven to 400 D F.
      • Clean the chicken cubes and boil in hot water until cooked. Should take under 10 mins.Drain after cooking.
      • Mix the APF with chicken broth. Then mix in the cream of chicken, veggies and cooked chicken chunks. The mixture would be somewhat thick.
      • In a 9 inch pan or any oven safe dish, line in the aluminum pie liner. Place the pie shell in the liner and fill it with the mixture.
      • Seal the shell with the top crust and make small vent-holes with a sharp knife for the steam to escape. 
      • Bake for 35 minutes and check if the crust is golden brown. If not, bake for another 5 mins. 
      Below is the picture I had taken near my front porch. The snow is melting and skies are blue. I just love looking at the icicles. Hope you liked it too.
      Vegetarian version:
      Replace the cream of chicken with cream of vegetable and chicken broth with vegetable broth. Use additional veggies of 3/4 cup in place of chicken. The rest of the recipe and method is same.

      Monday, March 21, 2011

      Simple Rice pulao

      Some weeks never seem to end. Lately I am often stuck at work and come home only after 6:30 PM. This means I hardly have any energy left to cook an elaborate meal, even though cooking relaxes me. My sweet husband doesn't complain at all when all he gets is simple pulao with raita and pickle for dinner and next days lunch.
      This is one such recipe which I make when I am either falling short of veggeis or time. Either way, this pulao needs hardly 20 mins for 2 cups of rice.

      Frozen veggies: 1 cup (mine had peas, corn, carrot and beans).
      Basmati Rice: 2 cups
      Ghee or dalda: 1 tbsp
      Green Chili: 2 or 3, slit
      Onion: 1 small, chopped
      Salt: according to taste
      For flavor
      Starani/Flower: 1
      Bay leaf (biryani patta): 1
      Cloves: 2
      Cinnamon: 1 inch piece
      Fennel seeds (sounf): 1 tsp

      • Wash the rice and keep aside
      • Heat ghee in a pot and add everything under, 'for flavor'. 
      • Fry for a few seconds and add the green chili and onions. 
      • Once the onions are soft, add the mixed veggies and fry for couple of minutes. 
      • Now add rice and salt. Fry for a minute and add 3 and half cups of water. 
      • Cover the pot but make sure to stir it once in a while.
      • Once the rice is cooked, serve with raita or any gravy.

      Thursday, March 17, 2011

      Pepper Rasam

      For generations we have been making Rasam this simple way. Actually its very easy and hardly takes any time. For every Tamil household, its pretty much a must as a final course. Since my dad hates tamarind, my mom often used to skip this but in my grandmom's place or my K Aunty's place, Rasam is like water; there is no way a day goes by without having Rasam. Even though she was very busy all the time caring for her inlaws, a very demanding son and a super demanding career, she never skipped making Rasam, not even a single day. She used to take a small stone pestle and while coarsely mashing the spices, she used to heat up the pan for making Rasam. In like 5 mins, Rasam is done!!
      Rasam aids in digestion. So, if you want you can even drink this steaming hot in a cup. Below Ingredients would serve 2.
      Tamarind pulp: 1 tbsp
      Water: 3 cups
      Tomato: 1 ripe, medium, mashed with hand
      Garlic cloves: 3, mashed
      Coriander leaves: handful, coarsely chopped
      Cumin/jeera powder: 2 tsp (if possible, freshly grounded)
      Pepper powder: 1 tsp (if possible, freshly grounded)
      Turmeric: just a pinch
      Salt: 1 tsp or as needed per your taste

      Mix the above all in a bowl one by one and keep aside. At this stage, you can also check if the salt is sufficient and also check if the sourness from tamarind pulp is sufficient.

      Oil: 1 tsp
      Mustard seed: 1 tsp
      Jeera/cumin: 1 tsp
      Asafitida/hing: a small pinch
      Curry eaves: 1 string
      Red chilies: 1 broken into 2 pieces

      Heat oil in a pot and add mustard seeds and when they start to dance around add cumin seeds, red chili and hing followed by curry leaves. Now add the water mixture you have prepared in the above step.
      Reduce the flame to medium and keep an eye on Rasam. Switch off the stove when you see the foam forming in Rasam, about to boil in a minute (Like shown in the picture). The best tasting Rasams are never allowed to boil. Remove the pot from the stove and cover it for about 10. Serve hot with rice, mango pickle and papad...emmmm bliss!

      Sunday, March 13, 2011

      Brinjal Curry with Jack-fruit Seeds

      I don't remember when was the last time I had a fresh jack fruit. This is my moms favorite fruit but my dad used to HATE the smell of this fruit and used to urge us not to keep the fruit in the fridge because everything else would smell like jack fruit then! Good old days...
      Dried mangoes are available here, I wish at least dried jack fruit was available.
      When I had seen the jack-fruit seeds in one of the Asian stores, I quickly grabbed them. At that time I had no idea what I was going to make with it.

      Jack fruit seeds: 10
      Bringal: 2 big ones, chopped
      Tomatoes: 2 large chopped into small pieces
      Onion: 1 large chopped
      Green Chili: 1, slit
      Coriander leaves: hand ful
      Ginger & garlic paste: 1 tsp
      Salt: according to taste
      Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp
      Red Chili Powder: 1 tsp

      For Tadka:
      Oil: 2 tbsp
      Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
      Cumin: 1 tsp
      Chana dal: 1 tsp
      Curry Leaves: 1 string

      •  Remove the outer layer of the jack fruit seed and boil in hot water for 10 minutes. 
      • Chop the seed into 4 parts and keep aside.
      • In a pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds, cumin, chana dal and curry leaves.
      • Fry for few seconds and add the chopped onions and green chili. 
      • When the onions are fried, add turmeric powder, salt and chili powder. Fry for a few seconds and add the ginger & garlic paste and fry for a minute taking care not to burn. 
      • Now add the chopped bringal and tomatoes and a little water. 
      • When the bringal is half cooked, add the boiled jack fruit seeds. 
      • Cook until brinjal is completely cooked, switch off the stove and garnish with coriander leaves.

      Friday, March 11, 2011

      Baked Baby Potato Snack

      Today is my nephews Birthday; he is turning 6! How time flies by. It only feels like yesterday that I have seen him as a tiny little thing.

      Anyway, I don't even remember why I bought so many potatoes last week; that too those tiny little baby ones. I had to make use of them somehow and so I made the below snack. It was surprisingly good. I am book marking this recipe to make when my parents are here in summer. I think my dad will like it with beer as much as my husband did when I made them.
      Baby Potatoes: 12, cut in to half's
      Olive Oil: 1 tbsp
      Cheese: I used cheddar and mozzarella mix 
      Rosemary/any herb you like: a little (optional)
      Sea salt: 1 tsp
      Pepper (optional): as needed

      Preheat the oven to 350 D F. Wash, dry and cut the potatoes into halves. Rub olive oil and sprinkle some cheese on top followed by a little of your favorite herb. I used 1 Rosemary leaf on each half.
      Bake these in the pre-heated 350 D F oven for 30 minutes.

      After you remove from the oven, you can sprinkle salt and pepper if you wish or enjoy the baked potatoes as is.

      Wednesday, March 9, 2011

      Fish/Meen Kuzhambu (Chettinad Style)

      I got this recipe from Solai's True Chettinad Kitchen. I must say, I am really thankful that I found her website, for, Chettinad recipes is my hubby's favorite. Anyway, it came out really good and we enjoyed it immensely. Her recipe advised us to use the head or tail of the fish but I could find neither, so, I used salmon fillets. You can visit her website (link attached above) or get the recipe from here, I followed her recipe to the T.
      My mom use to make fish kuzhambu and we used to have it with sambar and fish fry.
      I am also sending this entry to Akila's Dish name starting with F event.

      Fish: 12 medium pieces (boneless so that its easier to eat)
      Onion: 1 medium, chopped
      Tomato: 1 chopped
      Garlic Flakes: 7 large or 15 small
      Chili powder: 1 tsp
      Coriander powder: 2 tbsp
      Curry leaves: 1 string
      Fennel seeds: 1 tsp
      Fenugreek seeds: 1/2 tsp
      Oil: 2 tbsp
      Tamarind paste: 2 tbsp soaked in 3 cups of water

      For marinade:
      Chilly powder-1 teaspoon
      Turmeric powder-1/2 teaspoon
      Lemon juice-1 teaspoon
      Salt-1 teaspoon
      Marinade the fish pieces with the above 4 ingredients and leave it it fridge for 2 hours.

      • Heat oil in a pan and add fennel and fenugreek seeds followed by curry leaves, garlic and onion.
      • Fry them for 2 minutes and add tomato pieces and fry for 2 more mins and add tamarind water.
      • Now add coriander powder and a little salt and get the gravy to boil and reduce the flame. After 10-12 minutes the gravy will reduce to half. (you can also add more chili powder at this stage for extra spicy curry).
      • Gently add the fish pieces and increase the flame and cook for 5 mins or until the pieces are properly cooked. 
      • Check for salt and switch off the stove. Server after a couple of hours so that the juices are fully soaked into the fish pieces.