Monday, August 11, 2008

Black Eyed Peas Sundal

Sundal is one of my favorite snacks. It reminds me of my childhood days when sundal was the plat du jour for all days of navarathiri. During navarathiri, kids are treated with this snack every evening. Missing my good old times, I tried reliving those memories with this quick snack.

1. Black Eyed Peas - 1 cup, soaked for 4 hours
2. Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
3. Green chillis - 2 to 3 nos
4. Oil, mustard for tadka
5. Curry leaves - 2 or 3
6. Salt to taste

Method de preparation:
1. Pressure cook the soaked lentils. Let 1 whistle go by. We don't want the dhal to overcook and turn mashy.
2. On a small tava, heat some oil, splutter mustard seeds, add curry leaves, green chillis and grated coconut.
3. Couple of quick turns, add the cooked lentils after draining it well.
4. Add salt to taste

Bon App!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Quick Paneer Dish

B likes Paneer, he likes fried paneer even better. My fridge was almost empty. Only veggies I had left were some onions, capsicum and paneer..yah I need to do groceries :). Here is what I did with them

1. Paneer - sliced into cubes
2. Onions - 1 big finely chopped
3. Bell Peppers - 2 big
4. Lime Juice

Method de Prep:
1. Cut the bell peppers in halves. Roast them in the oven. I broiled them on low for about 5 mins till the skin can be peeled off.
2. Finely chop the onions and green chillis.
3. On a tava, heat some oil, you may add some jeera seeds if you like the taste. Fry the onions and green chillis.
4. Meanwhile, skin the capsicum and chop them into medium size pieces
5. Once the onions look cooked (they will appear a little transparent), add the capsicum and gently toss it around
6. Broil the paneer cubes in the oven on high. Keep a regular watch on them. Once they are light brown in color, take them out
7. Add the paneer cubes to the mix cooking on the tava
8. Toss gently around. The paneer and capsicum shouldn't break and mash.
9. Take off the stove, add a handful of finely chopped corriander and a dash of lime juice

The quick dish is ready to enjoy with roti or bread!

Bon App!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

True Inspiration

It is a lazy saturday afternoon and I am on my couch watching all the 'Food Network' that I want to. While watching 'Throwdown with Bobby Flay' I got inspired to cook up a dish(in my head!). Yes, ladies and gentlemen, for the first time, I am blogging about a dish that is an inspiration and hasn't touched my stove yet. Drawing the idea from a 'Meat Loaf', I am hoping to try this dish out sometime soon.

Here is all what I hope to mix into this dish:
1. Brinjals/Eggplant - round big fat ones - 2 nos
2. Onions - 1 large, finely chopped
3. Bell Peppers - bring on the colors! red, green, yellow, orange- 2 nos finely chopped
4. Celery sticks (optional) - 3 sticks, well chopped
5. Garlic(optional) - 2 or 3 cloves
6. Bread crumbs

Method de preparation:
1. Roast the Eggplant on the stove. Peel the skin and mash well with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper.
2. In a pan, heat some oil and fry the onions, chopped bell peppers, celery sticks with garlic.
3. Add the fried vegetables and mash well. Add some bread crumbs just like you would for cutlets.
4. Make round pattis and place them on a baking sheet.
5. Preheat the oven upto 350F. Place the pattis in the oven and cook for about 15 mins?
6. Take out the pattis and place them on a dish to serve.
7. I have two ideas for serving:
a. Olive Oil, balsamic vinegar and a dash of lime juice. Whisk them and simply coat the top of the crispy pattis with this.
b. Simple, spicy ketchup coating on the top
8. Serve with toasted bread or baguette slices

I'll try this out soon and post some pics. If you happen to try it before me, leave me a note with your creativity spiced in..

Enjoy! Bon App!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Black Eyed Peas Dhal

It was raining Black Eyed Peas @ home. After trying out couple of different recipes in my head, I finally tried a couple out.

Black Eyed Peas Dhal

1. Black Eyed Peas - 1 cup soaked in water for about 4 hours
2. Tomato paste/puree - 2 tsp/1 small cup
3. Ginger paste - 1 tsp
4. Garam masala, chilli powder - 1 tsp
5. Onions - 1 small finely chopped
6. Green chillis - 2 nos
7. Oil to fry
8. Salt to taste
9. turmeric powder - optional 1/4 tsp

Method de Preparation
1. Pressure cook the soaked black eyed peas. Let 2 - 3 whistles go
2. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a tava, add the ginger paste, onions, green chillis, garam masala and fry well. Add the tomato paste/puree and cook well. Add a spoon of chilli pwoder, garam masala, 1/4 spoon of turmeric powder. Let the mix boil for a few mins till the aroma rises.
3. Now add the cooked black eyed peas. Add salt to taste and mix well.
A delicious and healthy dhal is ready to enjoy. It can be enjoyed with roti/rice. While serving, chop up some fresh corriander and generously sprinkle on top. Add a dash of lemon/lime juice.

You can even make samosa chat with this dhal. Just break up the samosa and mix with the dhal. This can be instead of the chick peas chole sabji that is normally used for samosa chat.

Bon App!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Couscous Upma

As I needed something tasty, healthy and at the same time quick, I turned to couscous for help. Mornings are my busiest time of the day. Making an elaborate lunch is hard and this recipe came in very handy for a tasty lunch box meal.

1. Mixed Veggies - 1 cup
2. Onion - 1 medium, finely chopped
3. Green chillis - 2 nos
4. couscous - 1 cup
5. Oil to fry
6. Salt to taste

Method de Preparation:
1. Cook the mixed veggies in a bowl of water in the microwave. It usually takes me about 10 mins
2. Meanwhile, finely chop onions and green chillis
3. In a hot tava, add a spoon of oil, splutter some mustard seeds, add the onions and green chillis and fry well.
4. Once the veggies are done, strain the water and add the cooked veggies and mix them well.
5. Take 1 cup of couscous, add less than half a cup of water and microwave for 3 mins.
6. Add the cooked couscous to the mixed veggies and toss well.
7. You may add finely chopped corriander for a wonderful flavor.

A tasty lunch is ready!
Bon App!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Carrot Rice and Raita

Hey All!
I am back from my slumber, but may be not too long. This recipe was the result of a lot of carrots in my fridge and a sudden urge to better my vision :).

1. Carrots - 3 medium size
2. Onions - 1 medium
3. Green Chillis - 3 nos
4. Bay Leaves
5. Cloves.cardamon/a spoon of dhania or jeera powder
6. Rice - 1 cup
7. Green Bell Pepper - 1 medium
8. Salt to taste
10. Oil to fry

Method de Preparation
1. Cool Rice in 1 cup of water. I used basmati rice for flavor and fragrance
2. Wash, Peel and grate the carrots
3. Cook carrots in the microwave in 1.5 cups of water. I microwaved the carrots for about 10 mins
4. Finely chop the onions and green chillis and the green bell pepper
5. On a tava, melt a spoonful of ghee. Add the bay leaves, cloves, cardamon and the dhania or jeera powder. Add the chopped green bell pepper, onions and green chillis.
6. Once it is well fried, add the cooked carrots (strained from the water). Add salt to taste and cook till you get the flavor of the spices.
7. Once well cooked, add rice and the carrot mix in layers and toss all together.
8. If you like the taste of corriander, you can add some fresh, finely chopped corriander leaves to this rice.

The rice is now ready to enjoy!
I made cucumber/tomato raita to go along with this rice. Here is the quick and simple yet tasty recipe

1. Yogurt - 4 tbsp
2. Cucumber - 1 medium, chopped.
3. Tomato - 1 medium, chopped
4. Green chillis - 2 nos, finely chopped
5. Oil, mustard for tadka

Method de preparation:
1. Heat 1 tsp of oil and add mustard to prepare tadka
2. Once the mustard seeds pop, add the cucumber, tomato and green chillis.
3. Once the tomatoes look half cooked, remove from flame and add to a cup of yogurt
4. Add Salt and some chaat masala and mix well.
A tasty raita to complement the carrot rice is now ready!!
Bon App

Friday, July 25, 2008

Crazy BZ!

Hey Everyone,
Sorry, I know it is sometime since I stepped into my blog world to share with you all what I've been cooking in my kitchen. My work has been crazy since couple of weeks now. I have some recipes in my bag, but haven't found the time to pen those down and share it with you all.
Just decided to check in and see how everyone is doing. See you very soon.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Quick PBM

Hello Everyone!
Hope all of you had a fantastic 4th of July. We had a really nice time. We finally managed to get some organizing done, met some old friends and just had a quiet time.
Over the weekend, B's friends visited us. I decided to cook at home. Just something quick and delicious. B was in no mood for South India. So, I chucked the idea of Microwave Paruppu Usili and decided to try my hand at his favorite north indian dish-Paneer Butter Masala.
I searched online for a quick recipe and I found a fantastic one here: PBM in minutes!. I leveraged this recipe and added a twist of my own.
Here you go, enjoy!

For Gravy:
1. Corriander powder - 1.5 tsp
2. Garam Masala - 1 tsp
3. Chilli Pwder - 1 tsp
4. Kasoori Methi - half tsp
5. Tomato Paste - 2 tsp
6. Milk - 1 cup

For Veggies
1. Onions - 1 medium, chopped finely
2. Capsicum - 1 medium, chopped
3. Peas - 1 small cup
4. Paneer - chopped into cubes
5. Butter - as required
6. Salt - to taste

Method de Preparation:
1. Make the gravy by adding corriander, garam masala, chilli powder, kasoori methi, tomato paste and whisk it all with half cup of milk. In the video, he does advice to add tomato ketchup. I don't like the taste of ketchup in PBM, hence, I avoided it. But I added enough of tomato paste instead.
2. On a hot pan, add some butter and fry the onions and capsicum in the butter. You need to get the butter aroma rise up while frying. You can also add cashews/raisins to this and fry them along. I prefer PBM not too sweet. Hence, I just added some cashews for richness
3. Once the onions and capsicum is well fried, add the peas and gravy that has been sitting out. Add a little of food color (optional) and salt. Cover it for 5 mins and let it boil.
4. Once the gravy is boiling well, add the paneer cubes. The paneer cubes need not be fried before adding.
5. Toss it around couple of times till all the paneer is soaked well in the gravy. Let it boil well for another 6 mins.
6. Your dish is ready to be served and enjoyed!
Garnish with corriander and serve

Tip 1:Paneer can be broiled in the oven too, instead of frying. But you need to keep a constant eye on the oven
Tip 2: If you would like your PBM even more richer, you can grind a handful of cashews with onions. Make it into a paste and add it to the gravy while boiling.

Bon App!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Thanks for all the awards!

Sailaja from Sailaja's Recipes. gave me a giant bear hug! Thanks for the hug, Sailu.

I would like to pass on this bear hug to
Sagari from Indian Cooking
Mitr from Mitr's Ideas from Bay Area
Smitha Karthik fromSpiced for Life!

Sailaja also gave me another award.

I would like to pass on this award to
Sailu from Sailu's Food

Maheswari from Beyond The Usual awarded me Yum Yum Blog :).

I would like to pass this award to
Sailaja from Sailaja's Recipes for her delicious and simple Dates Burfi with Nuts
Sagari from Indian Cooking for her healthy palak puri
Kalai from Samaithu Parkalam for her lovely Green Sprouts adai

Congratulations! Enjoy Ladies!


I know, I am long due to write back a lot on this blog. But I have been swamped. I am greatly looking forward to this long weekend to do some cooking, some blogging and some writing :).
Have a wonderful July 4th everyone!
Enjoy the fireworks and the sunshine!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Cabbage Soup

After hogging the entire weekend under various excuses, we decided it was time for us to eat healthy. This morning, I wanted something different and quick for breakfast. My MIL's recipe came to my head.

Here is a tip:
Do not throw away the water in which you boil vegetables or lentils. They might come handy. For eg: After boiling lentils, do not throw away the drained water. You can just add it to any sambhar/rasam along with tamarind. Similarly, while making any sabji, you can use the water for gravy.
I made cabbage sabji and just used the water in which I boiled the cabbage. Here is what you need for this super quick breakfast

1. Cabbage - 1/4 piece, chopped
2. Salt to taste
3. Ginger - chopped
4. Green Chillis - 3 nos

Method de Preparation:
1. Boil the cabbage in water. Leave it uncovered to keep the color from fading. Drain water and keep aside.
2. Now, in a mixie, take the boiled cabbage. Add the water as thick as you want your soup, chillis and ginger. Grind well
3. Pour in a bowl and serve with crackers/baguette pieces!

If you want, you can add a pinch of rasam powder for flavor.

Bon App!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tomato Chutney

To go along with the Aval Idli/Dosa in my previous post, I decided to make something colorful and spicy. So, here goes the spicy tomato chutney!
1. Tomato - 2 nos finely chopped
2. Onion - 1 medium, finely chopped
3. Red Chillis - 3 nos
4. Ginger to taste
5. Salt to taste
6. Urad Dhal - 1 tsp

Method de Preparation:
1. On a tava, in 1 tsp of oil, roast urad dhal till light brown. Add the red chillis and ginger and fry them.
2. Add the onions and tomato and fry them till the raw smell of onion goes away.
3. In a mixer, grind the fried onions and tomato mix. Add salt to taste.

It is ready to enjoy now. Serve with idli/dosa!

Bon app!

Aval Dosai and Idli

Yesterday, my husband decided to cook for me and started off making this aval upma(poha upma). Here is what he started with
1. Poha - 2 handfuls
2. Onions - 1 medium chopped finely
3. Green Chillis - 2 nos finely chopped
4. Mustard for tadka

Method de Preparation
1. Wash poha and set aside
2. In a tsp of oil, add mustard and let it pop
3. Fry the onions and green chillis
4. Add the washed poha, salt and let it boil.

Now, since this came out like a batter than an upma, I decided to use this instead of throwing it out. I added
1. some chopped green chillis,
2. some finely corriander,
3. some finely chopped ginger, and
4. 4 tsp of rice flour.

I made a nice batter of it (dosa/idli consistency). I first tried making dosas of them. I was mighty surprised. While pouring the dosa, just let it set the way you pour it. Cover it and let it cook in steam. When the top side looks cooked in steam, flip it and let it cook. Ready to enjoy!

I couldn't stop myself with just dosa. I got adventurous and wanted to try idlis too. For idlis, I fried some cashews in ghee and added them to the batter. I coated the idli plate with melted ghee and then poured the batter. Here is how they came out:

You can enjoy this with mulagai podi/chutney!

Bon App!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Brinjal Thogayal

Growing up, my younger brother and myself never particularly enjoyed eating brinjal. But this was one dish that my mom did not have to convince us too much to eat. I remember how thrilled I used to feel when my mom packed thogayal sadam for lunch. Infact I used to eagerly wait for the lunch bell to sound and quickly open up my lunch box to soak myself in this happiness :). I used to help my mom to peel the roasted brinjal also and sometimes grind it for her.
Well, yesterday, the brinjal in my fridge called out to me to pay it some attention. After thinking for a few mins, I decided to remind myself of my childhood days with this thogayal

1. Brinjal/Eggplant/Aubergine - 2 nos
2. Red Chillis - 4 to 5 nos
3. Urad Dhal - 1 tsp
4. Mustard seeds for tadka - 1 tsp
5. Tamarind - 1 small piece/half tsp
6. Salt to taste

7. Asafoetida - 1 pinch
8. Onions - half, well chopped

Method de Preparation:
1. Roast the brinjal on stove. Usually big fat brinjals are chosen for this thogayal. They need to be fire roasted directly on the stove till their skin becomes nice and dark and can be easily peeled. Peel the skin and set aside the roasted brinjal
2. On a small tava, in 1 tsp of oil, add asafoetida (optional) and urad dhal. Then add onions (optional) and red chillis and roast well. Add the tamarind while roasting. If you are using a paste, you can add it now or in the next step.
3. In a mixer, add the roasted spices, brinjal and salt to taste. Blend it well to a semi smooth paste.
4. Transfer the thogayal to a bowl
5. On a tava, splutter some mustard seeds and add the seeds to the thogayal in the bowl and mix well. Add salt to taste.

That's it. You have a delish thogayal that can be enjoyed with dosa/idli. As kids, we mostly enjoyed it mixed in hot rice with a drop of ghee..MMMmmm...

Bon App!

Now for my tag. My friend, Sailaja tagged me:







National Geographic!


Sandalwood, Eucalyptus, Smell of mud before rain, Amma's cooking..endless list!


Music, Daddy's scooter stopping at home


Far away from loved one


What should I pack for lunch for B n me




Still thinking


do more charity work, plan for future savings






Cool. esp with Hot tea and Bajji :)


Toyota Corolla




do more outdoor sports, have more hobbies




Deep Red


Chennai, Pilani, Hyd, Paris, College Station, Atlanta, San Francisco..




Great friend!


Iron Board




Depends..can do both


Over Easy




don't like pies




Not sure

What are five things on my to-do list for today (non-work related)?

Trip to Post Office,
Cook Dinner,
Plan Weekend,
Watch some Indian movie,
Talk to friends

What are five snacks I enjoy?

Madras Mixture,
Mirchi Bajii,

What things would I do if I were a billionaire?

Billionaire?? Buy a home, help in some way for food crisis in India and world

Now I have to tag:
Sireesha from
Kalai from
Maheswari from


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pancake Uttapam

So, when you are in a hurry and need to pack something quick for lunch, or you are dying hungry in the evening and want something light and fluffy, try this quick dish

1. pancake mix - 2 cups
2. Onion - 1 medium finely chopped
3. Ginger - finely chopped, to taste
4. Green chillis - finely chopped, 2 nos
5. Fresh corriander - finely chopped
6. Salt to taste

Method de Preparation:
1. Add water to the pancake mix till it is dosa mix consistency. You may want to keep it a little thicker. Add the chopped onions, ginger, green chillis, corriander and salt to the batter and mix well.
2. You may choose to add a pinch of turmeric, red chilli powder and jeera powder. But this is totally optional

3. Heat a pan. If you use a non stick, no oil is required. Check the temperature of the pan by sprinkling a few droplets of water on the surface. If it sizzles, then it is ready
4. Pour one ladle-full of the batter. Since we are making uttappam style, there is no need to even it out. Cover the pan and let it cook in steam.
5. After 2 mins, turn and let the other side cook as well.

6. When both sides are done, serve on a platter! Thatz it. Well, in our case, you'll put it into your lunch box.
Can be enjoyed with pickle, chutney or simply curd/yogurt!

Bon App!

Monday, June 23, 2008

My very own Thai Red Curry

Sunday evening, I wasn't in the right spirit for cooking an elaborate dinner. I've been wanting to try some Thai food at home since sometime. Of course, it might not be an authentic Thai recipe, just an indianized version which can please some taste buds :).
I spruced up some mixed veggies- thai ishtyle

1. Mixed Veggies (frozen) - 2 cups
2. Onion - 1 medium finely chopped
3. Ginger - finely chopped to taste
4. Green Chillis - 2 nos to taste
5. Coconut milk - 1/4 cup
6. Thai Red Chilli paste - 2 tbsp
7. Oil
8. Salt to taste
9. Tomato paste (optional) - 1 tsp

Method de Preparation:
1. Heat oil in a tava, add the onions and toss till transparent
2. Add the ginger and chillis. Once you get the flavor of the ginger, add the thai red chilli paste and tomato paste. Thai red chilli paste is readily available in grocery stores. I bought mine at Trader Joe's.
3. Once the raw smell of the mix is gone, add the mixed veggies. I used the stir fry variety. Cover the tava and let the veggies cook in steam. We want them cooked, but not too soft. They should cook to just crunchy. Add a little water, if required
4. Once the veggies are cooked to the right level, add the coconut milk and simmer.
5. After 5 mins, you'll get the lovely flavor of ginger cooking in coconut milk. It is time to turn off the heat and enjoy the dish!

This can be enjoyed with rice or roti.


To Sireesha..she has presented me with the Yummy Blog Award!

Now, my turn to pass it around:
Rakhi : for her delish pickle and Amruth Phal
Smitha Karthik:

Enjoy Ladies!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Okra Curry

I had some frozen okra lying around. I've mostly made fry or used okra in sambhar. This time, I decided to bring two worlds together..the world of spicyness and okra. I"ve had this dish in couple of different varieties: Indian variety and Burmese variety. Here is what I made in the indian variety way:

1. Chopped Okra - as needed
2. Onions - 1 medium size
3. Tomato - 1 large size
4. Chilli Powder - 1 tbsp
5. Jeera Powder - 1 tbsp
6. Dhania Powder - 1 tbsp
7. Urad Dhal - 1 tsp
8. Cashews(optional) - 4 nos
9. Tadka: mustard seeds - 1 tsp
10. Turmeric Powder - optional
11. Salt to taste

Method de Preparation:
1. Finely chop onions and tomato.
2. Heat some oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds. After they splutter, add the urad dhal
3. Once the urad dhal turns slightly brown, toss the onions in. Fry the onions till they become transparent
4. Add the chopped tomato and turn them around. Let the tomato juices flow.
5. Add chilli powder,dhania and jeera powder. Turmeric is optional. Let the mix boil for 3 mins. Add water if the mix is too thick

6. Meanwhile, cook the chopped okra till they become soft. Make sure that they don't become squishy

7. Once the okra is cooked, add the mix of onions and tomato to okra
8. Fry the cashews and add them to the top
9. Salt the entire sabji and turn around couple of times.

A delish curry that can be enjoyed with roti/rice is ready!

Bon App!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Burrito Senor/Senorita?

I recently received a free burrito coupon from Chipotle. Depends on my mood, but sometimes, I thoroughly enjoy a burrito. I like the idea of mixing veggies, proteins in the form of beans, some fat as sour cream/gauc and spice it all up on a wrap-burrito. While browsing thru' my pantry last evening, I have almost everything to whip up a delicious burrito. I realized there is not much of cooking in this recipe,it is just putting it all together! Here you go..enjoy the lovely colors of summer through a burrito!

1. Burrito bread aka Tortilla - I had a jalapeno tomato version from a local grocery store: safeway
2. Rice - 1 cup
3. Peas - 1/2 cup
4. Corn - 1/2 cup
5. Black Beans - 1/2 cup
6. Onion - 1 medium
7. Bell Pepper - 1/2 red, 1/2 green, 1/2 yellow (just for giving a colorful look)
8. Guacamole - 3 tsp
9. Sour Cream - 1 tsp
10. Salsa - 2 tsp

Method de Preparation
Rice Prep:
1. Cook rice with 1 cup of water. The grains need to be separate after cooked
2. Cook peas in 1 cup of water in the microwave. It just needs to become soft.
3. Drain the water from peas and add it to the cooked rice

Corn Prep:
1. Cook corn for 5 mins with 1 tsp of butter and 1 tbsp of milk
2. Remove from fire, add some crushed black pepper and set aside

Black Beans, Bell Peppers and Onions Prep:
1. Chop bell peppers and onions into long slices
2. Cook bell peppers and onions separately till they brown a little and set aside
3. If you are using canned black beans, then u just need to wash them and toss them for coupla mins in a tava. Else, you need to pressure cook the black beans just for 1 whistle and add salt.

I could have made guacamole and salsa at home, but due to lack of time, I decided to go with the ones bought from the store. May be some other time, I'll get around to making those two at home.

Putting it all together

1. On a hot plate, cook the burrito for 2 mins on each side till it becomes a little soft and cooked
2. First spread the rice on the burrito
3. Follow it with black beans
4. Then goes the peppers and onions
5. Next is the yellow corn, guacamole and salsa
6. Roll it all into a big, fun burrito
7. Serve with Tortilla chips and salsa...

Bon App!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tag! you're it!

Well, my good friend Sailu tagged me with Top 10 things I dislike. I've been thinking of this list and I am not able to put a finger on those TOP 10 things. But here goes a general list:
I dislike:
1. cockroaches
2. horror movies
3. people who back stab
4. people who are lazy
5. rock/death metal/trans music
6. spending weekends working
7. pretentious people
8. getting angry..but I do :(
9. kids who disrespect elders
10. peanut butter!

Now I tag:

Play it on!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Thank you!

My first blog award! Sailaja passed me this award for being..well, talkative :). Right from school, I've always been a chatterbox. If I am silent, people usually ask me if something is wrong with my health or something is worrying me :). Some have even offered me help during my silence spells and convinced me to confide in them! All in all, I'm always chattering about something or the other under the sun. It was sweet to get this award:

Now to pass it on, I have enjoyed the following blogs:

My sweet friend from College: Ramya: Book Addict

The mellifluous friend: Vidya:Audio Blogging

A delicious blogger: Sailu:Her Food

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Kadalai Maavu Chutney

My hubby's favorite side dish. It is simple to make and extremely tasty! My MIL's recipe passed down to her by her I guess, sorta family recipe..enjoy!

1. Besan/Kadalai Maavu - 2 tsp
2. Capsicum(red/green)/Bell Pepper - 1 nos finely chopped
3. Gingelly Oil - 1 tsp
4. Asafoetida - 1 pinch

Method de preparation:
1. Heat gingelly oil in a tava. Add asafoetida and finely chopped bell pepper and fry well
2. Once the bell pepper is semi cooked (in about 4 mins), mix besan with 1 cup of water. The mix should be thin consistency.
3. Add the besan water and cook well. Keep stirring the mix frequently so that the bottom doesn't burn.
4. In about 6 mins, the mix will start browning. It is time to enjoy!

This chutney goes well with Roti/Parata/Dosa
Bon App!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Microwave Therati Paal

When you are having guests over and don't have too much time to whip up a dessert, this is a perfect time saver. Therati Paal cooked traditionally requires a long time of stirring milk and paying constant attention to the stove. This sweet dish is special and is cooked for auspicious occasions too. Infact, right after marriage, a bride gets introduced to her new relatives over spoonful of therati paal!
Thanks to the microwave, you can whip up this dessert in no time(9 mins to be precise) and can bring you raving praises!

1. condensed milk - 1 tin (approx 400 gms)
2. curd - 3 tbsp

Method de Preparation
1. Take a deep bowl and pour the condensed milk into a bowl. Ensure that the bowl is deep enough to let the condensed milk rise while microwaving.
2. Add the 3 tbsp of curd and mix it with a spoon
3. Microwave for 9 mins. Check periodically every 3 mins. Depending on your microwave power, it may thicken quickly. Once the mix thickens and browns, it is good to be removed. Usually the first 3 mins, the condensed milk tends to rise and boil over, watch out for that. But, it is ready to eat at the end of 9 mins!

Enjoy! Bon App!

Tangy Spinach Dhal

Lately, I'm enjoying cooking different varieties of dhal and greens. This is inspired from italian and indian cuisine. Italians tend to add tomatoes to give a tangy flavor to their soups. I wanted to try to give this an indian twist that resulted in this tasty dish!

1. Spinach - 1 bunch, washed and chopped
2. Tomato - either puree/paste/2 big nos
3. Payatham Paruppu/Moong Dhal - 2 handfuls
4. Dhania Powder - 1 tsp
6. Chilli Powder - 1 tsp/to taste
7. Ginger - to taste (optional)
8. Onions - 1/4 piece just for flavor
9. Oil to cook
10. Salt to taste
11. Jeera, urad dhal for tadka

Method de Preparation:
1. Pressure cook the moong dhal (2 whistles)
2. Boil the chopped spinach. It is known that spinach should not be let to boil for too long. Keep the spinach uncovered while boiling to preserve the green color
3. Drain the water. I usually preserve this water and later add it to dhal, if it turns out a little too thick
4. In a tava, sputter some jeera and urad dhal. If you prefer, you can add a dash of asafoetida to this.
5. Fry the chopped onions to golden brown. Add the finely chopped tomatoes/tomato puree. Let the mix heat up well.
6. Add Dhania powder and chilli powder and let this melange cook for a coupla mins till the raw tomato smell goes away
7. Add the cooked dhal and follow it with the spinach. Add salt and mix well.

It is ready to be enjoyed with rice/roti! Don't overcook the spinach as you'll loose the valuable nutrients from spinach in the water :).

Bon App!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Fried Bittergourd

B's mom's recipe and of course, B's favorite much. I figured this would be a good snack as opposed to deep fried potato chips. Given the bitterish taste, one cannot go overboard with munching this as well. Bitter gourd is said to be extremely good for health (once again proving that vegetables that are great for health aren't the greatest in taste =) ).
The stove cooked version typically takes over 20 mins of monitoring and tossing. My MIL developed a simple and a quick microwave version. This is extremely handy and B simply loves the results.

Bittergourd - 5 medium size
Salt - to taste
Chilli powder - to taste
Turmeric - optional
Oil - 1 tsp

Method de preparation:
1. Finely chop the bitter gourd. I usually do not unseed them.
2. Add oil, salt, chilli powder and turmeric to the chopped bitter gourd
3. Microwave the mix for 10 mins. check regularly every 3 mins

Done! It is ready to enjoy!
Bon App!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Surakkai Kootu

I've always ignored bottle gourd when I do my groceries. May be it was the resemblance to the brinjal(eggplant) that B doesn't like, or may be it was I could accept the shape of the vegetable in green color! This time, I decided to give this vegetable a shot. I was pleasantly surprised by the taste.
1. Bottle Gourd - 1 nos
2. Moong Dhal/Paasi paruppu/payatham paruppu - 1.5 cups
3. For tadka: mustard seeds - 1 tsp
4. Red chillis - 2 nos
5. Urad dhal - 1 tsp
6. Hing - 1 pinch
7. Salt to taste

Method de preparation:
1. Skin the bottle gourd. Cut it into small cubes and boil it in some water with salt. This will help prevent the bottle gourd from turning into a dark color. Bottle gourd itself has a lot of water content, so you needn't take too much of water to boil in. It also cooks pretty quickly
2. Pressure cook the moong dhal. Once cooked, add a pinch of hing and stir the mix.
3. Heat oil in a tava, temper with mustard, red chillis, urad dhal. Add the cooked dhal and the cooked bottle gourd. Add some salt to taste and remove from the heat

The dish is read to enjoy with rice/roti. They key point with this dish is that the bottle gourd doesn't have to cook way to long. Ensure that the vitamins/minerals of the healthy vegetable is not lost simply by cooking too long. I try to even use the water in which I boil the vegetable to liquify the dhal.

Bon app

Friday, May 02, 2008

S inspired Kichidi

Last evening, I spent sometime with a good friend at her cozy home. We were talking about food and cuisines. She suggested a quick kichidi with black lentils (used in my previous recipe). This morning, I was tempted the make the same, but wanted to change the lentils (just for variety's sake). I had some split green lentils and voila, my tasty kichidi is ready!

1. Split green lentils - 1 cup
2. Rice - 1 cup
3. Onions - 1 nos
4. Green chilli - 3 nos
5. Ginger - to taste
6. Jeera - 1 tsp
7. Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
8. Garam Masala (optional) - 1 tsp
9. Pepper (optional) - 1 small tsp
10. Oil - 1 tsp
11. Salt to taste

Method de Preparation
1. Wash the split green lentils and rice separately and side aside
2. Chop onions, green chilli, ginger
3. Heat some oil in a pressure cooker. Splutter jeera and pepper. Add the chopped onions, green chillis and ginger and fry till the onions are transparent.
4. Add turmeric powder and garam masala
5. Add the washed lentils and rice and toss. Once the rice looks slightly transparent add water to this mix.
6. Pressure cook for 2 whistles
Et voila, it is ready to enjoy.

I used split green lentils as I did not soak whole green lentils before cooking. Split ones are easier to cook (in just two whistles in pressure cooker). Also, I wanted to style this like Pongal (another famous south indian dish). I also added some long beans to the mix and pressure cooked the whole thing. I like the mix of veggies and dhal. If you add carrots, make sure to balance the spice as carrots tend to be a little sweet.

Bon App!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Black Lentils Salad

The tabouleh inspired version that I spruced up for B's quick lunch. It came out (surprisingly) pretty tasty and health (I was sure of this part though).
1. Black Lentils - 1 cup
2. Tomatoes - 2 nos
3. Corn - 1 small cup
4. Black Olives (optional) - 5 to 6 nos
5. Cilantro - 1 small bunch
6. Lemon juice
7. Salt to taste
8. Olive oil - 2 tbsp

Method de preparation
1. Wash the blank lentils and pressure cook them (3 whistles). If you plan ahead, you may even soak the black lentils overnight. If you soak the lentils, then you need to cook only till 1 whistle. If you do not own a pressure cooker, simply boil the lentils in a pot of water until they are soft but not squishy
2. Cut tomatoes, black olives, cilantro and set aside. If you are serving this dish immediately, you may also add some onions
3. Cook corn in microwave for 3 mins. with some water. Drain the water and let the corn cool for couple of minutes
4. Now in a bowl, mix the black lentils, chopped tomatoes, black olives, cilantro (and onions, if any)
5. Add lemon juice and olive oil and salt. Mix them well. Make sure that the lentils don't get squished in the process

Thatz it, ready to serve and enjoy!

Bon App

ps: you may also add some feta cheese, if you like the taste...enjoy!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

T for Tabouleh!

Another morning and I was staring at my pantry wondering what salad can I dish out for B. B's in a salad mood and would eat anything in the form of a salad. My eyes fell on the cous cous packet and I decided to relent to that urge to cook middle eastern..
Voila! quick and easy tabouleh salad

1. Cous cous - 1 cup
2. Cilantro - 1 small bunch
3. Lime/Lemon juice - 5 tbsp
4. Salt to taste
5. Black olives - 5 to 6 nos
6. Feta cheese - 3 tbsp
7. Olive oil - 5 tbsp
8. Mint leaves - 5 to 6 leaves
9. tomato - 1 finely chopped
10. Onions (optional) - half finely chopped

Method de preparation:
1. Microwave cous cous in a bowl with half a cup of water for 3 mins. At about 1.5 min, add some butter and fluff the mix and let it cook through the remaining time. Cous cous cooks pretty quickly. Fluff it with a fork after taking out of the microwave.
2. To the cooked cous cous, add the finely chopped tomato and onions(optional) and fluff it again
3. Add the chopped cilantro and mint leaves. Savor the beautiful flavor that emanates :).
4. Add chopped black olives and a fistful of feta cheese to this mix. Fluff it again
5. Add the olive oil, salt to taste. Once the mix cools down, add the lemon/lime juice.
6. Refrigerate and serve chilled or serve at room temperature.

Again with this recipe too, you can choose to add crushed garlic. To make it a little spicy, add a tsp of chilli powder..

Bon App!

H for Hummus

I finally did it! I've been wanting to try my hand at Middle Eastern cooking and last Saturday and this morning, I did it!
There are definitely umpteen recipes available for Hummus, but I thought I'll share mine too and inspire many other novice cooks like me.
Hummus is a traditional middle eastern dish made from just chick peas. Here is how I went about it
1. Chick peas - 1 tin
2. Olive oil - half a cup
3. Mint - (optional) 2-3 leaves
4. Tabouleh sauce - 1 tbsp
5. Lime/Lemon juice - 4 to 5 tbsp
6. Salt to taste
7. Chilli powder - 1 tsp
8. Cilantro - 4 to 5 leaves

Method de Preparation:
1. Soak chick peas overnight. Drain out the water. If your are using a canned one, just wash the chick peas well in running water
2. Take the chick peas in a blender, add olive oil (you can choose to be generous or stingy), some salt to taste, tabouleh sauce, mint leaves and blend into a smooth paste.
3. Transfer into a bowl and add the lemon/lime juice and mix well.
4. If you like spicy hummus, then add a tsp of chilli powder and mix well
5. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve
Now some people prefer the garlic taste in hummus. If you wish to use garlic, sautee the garlic in olive oil and add it to the blender. I prefer my hummus without the garlic :)
Hummus can be enjoyed with crackers, pita chips, pita bread or even just carrots!
Bon App!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Green Rice

My friend has recently gotten into the blogging world. I drew inspiration from one of her recipes of Kothmira Rice. I had a lot of beans staring at me in my fridge. I put them together and had my greens for the day!

1. Spinach - 1 bunch
2. Rice - 1.5 cups
3. Corriander - a handful
4. Ginger - 1 small piece
5. Green Chillis - 2 nos (to taste)
6. Beans - 1.5 cups
7. Tomato Paste - 2 tbsp (you can use 1 tomato too.I had only paste)
8. Onion - 1 piece
9. Cashews - handful
10. Cloves, Bay Leaves, Anise - as needed

Method de Prep:
1. Wash spinach bunch and boil in a pot of water. Chop and keep the onions, green chillis and ginger
2. Wash and cook rice in a rice cooker/pressure cooker. Ensure that the grains are separate. You can use basmati rice too if you wish
3. Chop beans and cook till soft. You can cook either in pressure cooker (1 whistle) or in microwave
4. Once spinach is cooked, grind it with corriander, green chillis and ginger
5. Heat a little oil in a pan. Add a pinch of asafoetida(optional), cloves, bay leaves and anise. Fry a little
6. Add cashews and the chopped onions and fry till brown
7. Add the cooked beans to turn around a coupla times. Make sure that the beans don't mash.
8. Once the flavor of the condiments arises, add the pulp from the mixer. Let it boil for couple of mins.
9. Add the cooked rice and turn it couple of times. Again, ensure that the rice doesn't squish together. Add salt to taste.

Enjoy! Bon App

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Crunchy Salad

This is a recipe adapted from one of my dear friend's. I try multiple versions of it. I let my creativity fly and mix n match the ingredients.
Servings: 2 to 4
Here is the list of all possible ingredients to this snack:
1. Black Beans - 1 tin
2. Carrots - 1 big / 2 medium
3. Corn - 1 cup
4. Peanuts - 1 cup
5. Corriander - chopped 1 cup
6. Green chillis - 2 nos
7. Onion - 1 medium
8. Tomatoes - 1 medium
9. Lime/Lemon Juice - 2 tbsp

Set up work:
1. Wash the black beans
2. Grate carrots
3. If the corn is fresh, there is no preparation. If not, microwave corn in a cup with some water for about 2 minutes.
4. Finely chop corriander , onions and green chillis
5. Tomatoes need to be firm. Chop small pieces. Don't finely chop them as they could make the salad squishy
6. Microwave the peanuts also with water till they are a little soft. Don't overcook them as they could get soggy and squishy too!

Method de Prep:
1. In a bowl add all the above ingredients, some salt and lemon/lime juice. Toss together and it is ready to eat!

Simple and delish!

Bon App!

ps: I tried adding some grated ginger, but B dint enjoy it. Let me know if you find anything else you can add to the mix..Cheers!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Twist on a Chutney

Last week, my dear husband decided to get down and turn kitchen into his creative workshop. We both enjoyed a wonderful dinner of Sathamudhu (that is the iyengar speak for Rasam), a brinjal subzi and rice (he added some cloves and bay leaves while cooking..hmm interesting!). As usual, there was some left over subzi. Usually with brinjal, I find it hard to repeat the item for another meal. Added to that, my husband doesn't exactly like brinjals. He had made them the other day simply because the pantry was empty :). So I spruced up a quick side dish for delish dosas or idlis or any snack!
1. Brinjal - one big size
2. Red Capsicum - 2 big/3 medium size
3. Green chillis
4. Asafoetida
5. Ginger - optional
6. Curry leaves
7. Urad dhal - 1 tsp
8. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp

Method de Preparation:
1. Roast the big brinjal either on the stove or in the oven. While making it in the oven, I usually coat the skin with some oil and leave it on 400 F for 5 mins. Ensure all sides are evenly cooked
2. Skin the brinjal and mash it with some salt and drop it into a mixer
3. Heat some oil in a pan, add asafoetida poweder and then urad dhal. Roast till light brown
4. Add the red capsicum and fry till you get the scent of capsicum. You can add the capsicum seeds also
5. Add the slightly cooked capsicum to the mashed brinjal in the mixer
6. Add chopped green chillis, ginger
7. Grind into paste
8. Heat some oil on the tava. Splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves and add to the ground paste.

Serve with any south indian tiffin or snack

Bon App!

ps: I haven't tried it with tamarind, but you can add some tamarind paste too for a tangy flavor!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Red Capsicum Chutney

1. Red Capsicum(large) - 3 nos
2. Tomatoes or Tomato Paste
3. Mustard Seeds
4. Gingelly Oil
5. Urad Dhal - 1 tsp
6. Chilli Powder
7. Asafoetida
8. Curry leaves (Optional)
9. Bengal Gram Dhal - 1 tsp (Optional)
10. Vendiyam Seeds
11. Tamarind (Optional)
12. Salt to taste

Method de Preparation
1. Cut capsicum into fine small pieces.
2. Heat 2 tbsp Gingelly oil in a tava. Splutter mustard seeds when oil is hot
3. Add curry leaves, urad dhal, vendiyam seeds and the bengal gram dhal, a tsp of asafoetida and fry
4. When urad dhal is light brown, add the tomato puree(thick) or tomato paste
5. Mix the paste well with the other ingredients. You can add some water if the paste is too thick. Alternatively, if you like the sour taste, you can prepare tamarind water and add it too. I prefer it without tamarind
6. Add red capsicum when the tomato starts getting a cooked smell. The capsicum can be added with the seeds.
7. Simmer and let it cook on low flame. Cover the vessel with a lid. The capsicum needs to cook till soft, not get fried in the heat.
8. Add Chilli Powder to suit your spicy taste and continue to cook. Make sure you regularly mix the chutney to ensure it is cooked evenly. Add salt to taste
9. Turn off after 15 mins.
The chutney can be mixed with rice or eaten with any snacks (from idlis to samosas)
Bon App!