Thursday, November 5, 2009

Quinoa Upma/ Kichidi

I have never heard of this Quinoa until I started to blog. To be honest, I didn't even know how to pronounce. I now know it's called "Keen- Wa" and not kinoa as I thought.

It is a grain that has been around for a long long time with lots of goodness. It is actually a seed but we call it a grain. The good thing is it has less carbs and lots of protein and fibre and other good stuff.

I wanted to give it a try as our good old upma. Lots of recipies on indian blogs said about cooking quinoa in the pressure cooker wuth 1:2 water. i tried it first and it became all mushy. So the second time I added 1and half water and let it cook like rawa in the kadai.

There is no special recipie for this upma. It is like making any other upma, throw in as much spices of your choice and veggies of your taste.

My only tip is wash the quinoa and let it stand for 20 mins so it takes away the bitterness. This is what most of the blog sites recommended and I just followed. I didn't want to experimnet with a bitter new product.

So let's get to business now. I washed and soaked the quinoa. USed onion. green chillies, ginger, tomato, peas, carrot,bell pepper and peanuts to add t omy upma.
It tasted very good and my family enjoyed it.

You can improvise it my just ading powdered peanuts, or curd quinoa, puli or lemon quinoa etc.

Try it and test it... It's good for health and taste.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Avocado chapathi

I fed my baby with some mashed Avocado. I had the the other half sitting . I did not want to eat it nor did I want it to turn black.

So I added a little lemon juice, mashed it and added atta, salt, green chillies. So basically the mashed avocado got incorporatedi n the atta.
I made chappathis the usual way and it was super duper soft.

I didn't have time to click pics and trust me those chappathis were awesome.

Olan/ Pumpin and black eyed peas in coconut milk

Olan is an traditional keralite curry. It is served during "sadhya". Again there are different ways of preparing it. I am posting the one I learnt from my mom, grandma which is how it's made in palakkad. It tastes much better the next day,

Olan Ingredients

Pumpkin- small, peeled, seeds removed and diced in thin slices

Chayote/ chow chow 1 small peeled & sliced ( ideally pooshani or elavan or winter melon is used)

Black eyed peas 1/3 cup

Coconut milk powder 1/3 cup

luke warm water 1/2 cup.

green chilli 2 slit

coconut oil 1 tbsp

turmeric powder 1/4 tsp

salt to taste

curry leaves

Roast the black eyed peas ina pan with little oil. Let it cool and pressure cook. In a pan add the cut vegetables, a little water to saok the pumpkin, turmeric, slit green chillies, salt and cook. Add the cooked black eyed peas to the pumpkin. Whisk the coconut mikl powder in warm water. Turn of the stove and the milk to the cooked pumpkin. Add curry leaves and i tbsp of coconut oil. Note there is no need to do tadka for olan. It goes well with sambhar, rice or chapathi.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Microwave carrot Halwa

Who doesn't love carrot Halwa. It is one of our family fav dessert. Gone are the days when you have to take hours to prepare in a kadai. With this method you can pull this in a jiffy. All the time it takes is to grate the carrots. i made this for Diwali and it was a big hit.


Grated carrot 1.5 cup

Fat free condensed milk 1 tin

Ghee 2 tbsp

Cardamom powder 1 tsp

chopped cashew nuts

Add 1 tbsp of ghee in a microwave safe bowl and mix the grated carrots in it. Microwave on high for 2 mins. Now add the condensed milk, and mix. Microwave for 10 mins. You have to stir evry 5 mins to see if it doesn't oveflow or gets too dry. Mine took 12 mins to be done. Once the halwa is ready it will come without sticking to the bowl. Roast cashews with th e remaining ghee. Add cardamom powder and cashews. There is no restrictions in the amount of ghee you use, depends on how quickly you want your arteries to clog up.

Enjoy this heavenly dessert any time.

Paneer Pasta salad with Grilled Veggies

Grilled veggies, Bread, Paneer Pasta salad

I saw this recipie in one of the food magazines and added my touch to it. It tastes wonderful and I am gonna keep making this for my lunch often. I basically used stuff that was on hand. I guess you can add as many veggies and other goodie stuff you want to this versatile salad.

This recipe has been in my draft for a long long time and never got published. This is very simple, but satisfying pasta salad.

Get ready:
  • Corkscrew vegetable pasta 1/2 cup
  • Yellow pepper 1/2 cut into length wise pieces
  • Red pepper 1/2 cut as above
  • 8 grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 red onion cut lengthwise
  • 8 cubes of paneer
  • Olive oil
  • 2 bread slices cut into cubes ( i used honey wheat)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • sambhar powder to taste
  • cilantro to garnish
  • Cook pasta as per package instructions, drain and toss with a little olive oil.
  • Combine all the vegetables, onion, with olive oil, salt and pepper and a little sambhar powder.
  • Preheat oven to 325 F.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non stick spray.
  • Spread the veggies , paneer and bread cubes and bake for 20 mins till the peppers are done, tomatoes shrivelled.

Add it to the pasta and garnish with cilantro.

Time to dig in..... and bite into the wondeful colors and texture of this salad.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Diwali is coming and we all are getting ready. iI miss diwali in home... The crackers, new clothes, sweets etc etc...

I know we all try our best to bring those memories back.

Try this thenkuzhal and you will go down the memory lane.


One can use any measuring device or cup they have.

8 measure rice flour

1 measure urad dhal flour.

salt to taste, 2 tbsp butter

2 tsp Cumin seeds

Mix everything in abowl add water and make a dough like chapathi dough. Heat oil and fry them in their special " nazhi" or murukku maker.

Yummy thenkuzhal is ready.

I used a small katori.

Red Pepper paratha

I am so not used to measure each and everything when cooking. Since I have started this blog, I try to remember the neasurements. But, I forgot again today. But anyway I thought I will share this recipie.

I had one red pepper and a small chunk of green pepper left over after making sambhar. I grated the 2 peppers. Squeezed all the water out and put ina bowl. Add 1/2 tsp of ginger garlic paste, 1/2 tsp sambar powder, salt to taste, chappathi flour afew tbsp pf oil and knead till the it does not stick to the bowl.

Dust some atta on a working surface and roll them inot parathas. Heat a tava and fry the parathas with a little oil or ghee. Serve hot with any pickle and curd.

It was real delish....

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Aappam and Potato stew

Aappam is one of my favorite dishes, for breakfast or as a proper dinner too. The way it is made is different in Tamilnadu and Kerala. At least very different the way my grand mother made it and from my MIL .

It goes well with Poatao stew or chutney or sweet thegai paal or sweet coconut milk.

This recipie will make 7 aappams.

Raw rice 1 cup
Grated coconut 1/4 cup
Dry yeast 1/4 tsp
salt to taste
Sugar 1 tbsp
Baking soda a pinch.

Soak the rice ( I used sona msoori) for 4- 6 hrs. Grind very fine and add the coconut at the end. Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water and sugar. Cover it and leave it in a dark place for 15 mts. it will look bubbly with the fermentation. Add this to the batter, add salt and mix. Leave it overnight. The batter would have fermented.

If you have coconut water you can add that to grind the rice instead of plain water.
Before making aappams add a pinch of baking soda and mix. The batter should be a bit more runny than a dosa batter. You need a aappa chati or any kadai to make it.
In a non stick aapa chati, add two small ladles of batter and swing it round. This way it is thin on the outer end and a bit more thick in the middle. Cover it with a lid. Remove when the sides separate from the pan, within couple of minutes.
Serve hot with Potato stew

Potato stew

1 large potato
1 onion
3 green chillies
1 inch ginger
Coconut milk powder 1/4 cup
Curry leaves few
Pressure cook potato. peel and crumble into chunky pieces. Slice onions, chillies lengthwise and ginger. In a pan splutter mustard seeds, urad dhal and curry leaves. Add the onion, chillies and ginger. fry till they are translucent. Add the crumbled potatoes, salt and 1/2 cup water. Let it boil for 5 - 1- mins. Add warm water to any store bought coconut milk powder and whisk.

Add the coocnut milk to the potato and turn off the heat. Do not let it boil as the coconut milk with curdle. Serve hot with Aappam. It tastes so good the next day with chappathi's too.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Spicy Cauliflower soup.. oh la la....

I love soups on any day, hot or cold. I tried this spicy cauliflower soup from Nupur and it is spicy...

I added a few more spices than mentioned in the original recipie.


Cauliflower florets 1 cup

Onion small chopped

carrot 1 chopped

tomato 1 chopped


2 tsp cumin

2 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp saunf

red chilly 1/2

Dry roast the cumin, coriander, saunf and redchilly till it cracks. Add alittle oil and fry the onions till translucent. Add tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower and saute for a few seconds. Add water and cook till the veggies are soft. turn off the heat, let it cool . Add the dry spices, cilantro, vegetables and put in a blender . I ground it a bit coarse so I can bite the chunky cauliflower. Ad salt according to taste. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Enjoy your soup with your favorite bread or roll.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Apple crumble

Never tried this one before. Well, we had a lot of apples at home and many were rotting.

So I decided to make Apple crumble. I got this recipie from food network , Dave Leiberman and turned out well. It was a rainy day and got my son involved in making this dessert. The changes I did was halved the original recipie, used royal gala instead of granny smith and added some granola plus oats. Of course I forgot to half the amount of butter, oh boy it of course tasted so well with lots of butter.



4 large Golden Delicious apples ( i used 2 red apples)
1/4 cup sugar
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch fine salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces
Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Peel, core, and slice apples into 1/4-inch slices. Place apples in a large mixing bowl and toss with sugar, lemon juice, flour, and cinnamon. Pour into a lightly greased 9 by 13-inch baking dish, and spread out into an even layer. Set aside.
In another large bowl, mix together the nuts, flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, and salt for the topping. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, gently work in the cold butter until pea-sized lumps are formed.
Top apples evenly with mixture and bake until apples are bubbly and topping is golden brown, about 45 minutes, rotating once halfway through cooking.
Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Eggless Walnut and Date cake

I got this recepie from Aayi's recepie and added my little twist to it.

Ingredients:18 dates(Khajoor)3/4 cup milk 1cup sugar1 cup all purpose flour or maida 1/2 cup oil1 tea spn baking soda1 tbl spn cashews, walnuts dried pineapple chunks, shredded coconut
Method:Soak the dates in warm milk for 20 mts. Add sugar and grind them to a smooth paste along with the milk in which it is soaked in. Add oil and mix.Sieve together flour and baking soda. Add the flour one table spoon at a time and mix slowly. Add the nuts and mix.

Preheat the oven at 350F. Bake the cake in a greased oven proof dish for 35-40min (or till a knife inserted in the cake comes out clean).


I bought a packet of basil from our local farmers market and did'nt know how to use them. I loved the fragrance and was desparate to use it in my cooking. Unfortunately my husband is not a fan of trying new things or the smell of basil.

Just to give you some facts, basil is widely used in Italian cooking. It is called "Ocimum basilicum". the smell reminds me of our good old "Tulsi" which is called Ocimum tenuiflorum. Apparently it tulsi is also called holy basil.

So i finally madea basil coconut chutney and basil thogayal. Boy, let me tell you it was super delish.

I will post my recipie for these two.

Basil chutney

basil leaves a hand ful

coconut 2 tbsp

tamarind paste 1tsp

green chilli 4

grind all the above and add salt to taste. Season it with mustard seeds and urad dhal. chutney is ready. serve for idli or dosa.

Basil thogayal

basil leaves 1/4 cup

urad dhal 2 tbsp

red chillies 2

perungayam a pinch

tamarind paste 1 tsp

In a pan, fry urad dhal and red chilli with litle oil till golden brown. the nadd the basil leaves and fry them as you would do for pudhina thogayal. let it cool and grind all the ingredients with salt and perungayam. in thogayal consistency. It tastes goodwith rice, bread and chapathi.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

DIY- to do or not to!

DIY projects. It may pump your adrenaline or totally drain it out. I am in the middle and my

husband for sure is the drainer. We never had this issue before as we always lived in rented apartmetns. As a new home owner, having a bit of a DIY skill is very important.

I remember the days when we first got our build you own shoe rack kit from Argos. When we finally built it, it was a bit lopsided! There ended our DIY! My mission is to atleast try and install a closet maid shelf in our closet.

Hope we get there without killing each other!