Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sprouted Moong and Bulgur Wheat Salad

Bulgur wheat and Sprouted wheat are packed with nutritious goodies. Both of them are also low glycemic foods. if you're wondering what that is any food that has a high Glycemic Index (GI), ie > 70 have been known to increase to sugar levels.
It's simple and satisfying salad and it's my lunch today!

I did not measure anything as I just threw in stuff that was available in my fridge.

2 hand full of bulgur wheat
1 handfull of sprouted moong bean
2 cup of water.
1 jalapeno pepper, cut into small pieces
1 small carrot chooped fine
couple of spoons of chooped tomato
lemon juice to taste.
1 tsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
a pinch of Hing.

Boil water and add it to the Bulgur wheat. cover and let it stand for 30 mts. Drain the excess water.
add the moong sprouts, carrot, tomato, salt, cilantro and lemon juice according to taste.
In a pan add oil. Once hot add the mustard seed sand let it pop. now add the Jalapeno pepper, hing and saute for a few seconds.
Add this as a tadka to the salad.
So easy to put together in the morning

Now pack and off to work!
Sorry about the atrocious picture :((

I would like to send this to  and Siri's Corner

started by susan's MLLA

and also to priya's

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pineapple kesari & Award time!

Kesari is a very common sweet in the south. In those dinasour days when arranged marriages were very common, like the one I had.  kesari was a staple sweet on the menu when a boy comes to see the girl and their family for the first time.

The belief was the first encounter should begin with sweet memories....if people were expecting beautiful ladies clad in a white angel like clothes to be singing, sorry doesn't happen that way!
Well, it did not happen that way for me though :((

If any one had better experiences please fell free to share!

Anyway enough of my blah.. blah.. Lets get tour kesari.

This is a straight forward kesari with pineapple in it. I guess you can make any fruit flavored kesari wtih mango, banana,strawberry etc...

What I used:

1/2 cup rawa or semolina
1/2 cup pineapple pureed with small chunks ( i used i cup of chopped pineapples to make this)
2 cups hot water water
Yellow food color or very little amount of kesari color. (hard to measure, eyeball till your desired color is obtained)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup ghee or clarified butter + 2 tsp for roasting the rawa
1 tbsp broken cashew pieces
3- 4 green cardamom seeds powdered.

How I did it:

  • In a pan  ( preferrably non stick) roast rawa till light brown or fragrant.
  • Add 2 cups of water to the rawa and cook till the rawa is done well. The reason I used hot water is to prevent the rawa from forming clumps.
  • Add the kesari color.
  • Add the pureed pineapple mixture.
  • Once the rawa is well cooked add the sugar and stir well.
  • You may notice that the mix becomes thin, bit that's normal.
  • Keep stirring or cooking for a few minutes.
  • In a nother pan by the side aheat ghee and fry the cashews till golden.
  • Add the ghee to the rawa and mix and cook till the kesari does not stick to the pan.
  • With non stick pan, it's kinda hard to say, when it does not stick.
  • The trick is take a small piece of kesari without burning your fingers and try to roll into a small ball. If it does not stick to your hands, it's done.
  • Add cardamom powder and garnish with any nuts you want.

You'll feel a little tartness from the pineapple, but that's what is special about this kesari.

I am so happy and honored to receive this loving blogger award from satya.  This is my first award and i am on cloud 9! She is an excellent blogger and brings out dishes so innovatively! Thank you so much Satya!

I would like to share this with 3 bloggers who admire a lot! It was hard to choose 3 people as there are some excellent bloggers out there!
Mriganayani needs no introduction to bloggers out there. She is amazing and I lover her attention to details. i admire her patience to take step by step pics of evrything that she cooks. I can never do that bcoz when I start to cook, eberyone in my family need me for something or the other.

Ediblegarden has been my teacher about some steps in photography! Constantly used to visit her site before I started blogging! She has really simple and excellent recipes in her space.
Redchillies amazes me with her beautiful pictures and simple and elegant recipes. Again she was one bloggers who inspired me to start food blogging.

Thanks for all your support and encouragements!

BTW I took pics today with my i phone! How does it look??

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mushroom Peas Pulav

Every one now is aware of the nutritional benefits of mushrooms. Growing up ina traditional south indian family, I've never tasted mushrooms. Shrooms were in my diet only after moving to the west. still i don't use it frequrntly as my husband and son don't like it.

But my little one loves mushrooms and has been in my grocery list all the time. I had this carton of nice fresh looking button mushrooms and wanted to make an one pot meal for this weekend. My husband is away and I have some left over potato for my son.
Isn't this is the perfect time to make shroom pulav?

I would like to share a tip that I learnt from one of the popular web shows about mushrooms. To prevent them from wilting during cooking, steeple them in hot water. They reatin their original shape and cook well too.

I love coconut and added some coconut milk to this pulav, but ifyou are not a fan of coconut, you don'y have to use it.

This is what I used:

1 cup basmati rice, washed and soaked in a little water for about 30 mins.
1/2 cartom mushrooms sliced inti 1/4 '' thick slices
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 medium onion
1tsp ginger garlic paste
2 tbsp coconut milk powder
1 bay leaf
2 green cardamom pods
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 cloves
1/2 star anise
Coriander powder, pulav or garam masala powder according to your spice threshold
Oil 3 tbsp
salt to taste

To steep mushroom.:

2 cups of water
salt a pinch
2 tsp lime juice.

  • In a pan boil water, add salt and lime juice and turn off the heat.
  • add the mushrooms, cover and let it steep for 10 15 mins.
  • Drain shrooms, do not throw away the water. we can use it to cook rice.
  • In a pan add oil. When hot add the cinnamon,bay leaf cloves, anise, cumin and cardamom. Saute till  you get a nice aroma.
  • Add the onions and fry till golden.
  • Add the GG paste and saute for a few seconds till nice aroma comes.
  • Add the mushrooms and peas and fry for 10 mins.
  • Now add the rice and fry for 5 -10  mins till it changes light color.
  • Now add all the spice powders.
  • In the water that we reserved, add half a cup.
  • In the other half cup of water add the coconut milk powder & whisk.
  • Add the coconut milk to the rice.
  • Check for salt and spices.
  • Let the rice come to a boil. Now cover turn the leat down a little and cook till the rice is done. It takes about 10 - 15 mins.
  • Fluff the rice, simmer and cover the rice for another 5 mins. Just make sure there is enough moisture and don't let the rice stick to your pan.
  • Turn off the fire.
Serve with raita or any side. I made carrot pachadi to go with this pulav.

Can you see those mushrooms all sepaarte and juicy! The left overs are for my lunch tomorrow..:))

Carrot Thayir Pachadi/ Carrot Raita

This is such a no brainner pachadi to go with any rice or rotis. It is nice, refreshing and will balance the firey curries any time of the day.

2 carrots, peeled and grated ( use the smallest grater hole)
2 green chillies
1 tsp grated ginger
1 cup Plain Yogurt
2 tbsp Cilantro chopped
salt to taste

1 tsp Oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
A pinch Hing.

Mix the grated carrot, yogurt, salt and cilantro in a bowl.
Add salt according to taste.
In a pan add oil. When hot add the mustard seeds and hing.
After the pop add the green chillies and ginger.
Add this tadka to the carrot yogurt mix.
Serve with rice.

I am sending this to side-dish-showdown and Healing foods - carrots and veggieplatter

Friday, July 23, 2010

Shiva's Dancing

I love to read.... I wish i had more time, so I can read! I was gobsmacked by the public library services when I moved to the west 7 yrs ago. It's just unbelievable!
I am glad that my kids love to read too.
Anyways I thought I will share some of the books I read or reading. I would also welcome to hear from you all about your recent interesting reads!

Bharti Kirchner is an excellent author and I read tow of her books, Shiva's Dancing and Sharmila's book. i just couldn't put the book down.

Shiva's Dancing about an indain Girl who was abducted by bandits in a small village of rajsthan and how her life changed after that. She  was kidnapped on her childhood wedding day. She then meets her childhood husband 28 yrs later and finds her true love.

Sharmila's book is about an American Indian girl who is coming to India for an arranged marriage and is torn between 2 cultures.
I am so happy that I read these books and can't wait to try her latest book "Darjeeling".

Happy reading!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mango Cardamom Cake

Mango and cardamom are like made for each other. They are a perfect combo in any desert. I wanted to try this in a cake and was inspired by a newspaper cutting that i saved from 6yrs before. It's not a cake from the scratch, but its a quickie and tastes soo good.

So this is what I used plus mango pulp, cardamom and sliced almonds, bought from Indian store.

The important thing is to use a cake mix with pudding added in it. Pilsbury and Betty crocker have pudding added, but not Duncan & Hines. The package says to use 1 stick of butter, 3 eggs, preheat oven to 350F which I followed. it calls for 1 1/4 cup water. I used 1/2 cup of mango pulp and 1/4 cup of water.  I used 4 cardamom and powdered them. Add this to the mixture , dgarnish with sliced almonds and bake as per pack instructions.

if you want you could use some whipped topping as frosting, but we ate it plain and enjoy the mango flavor... Yum yum.....!

I am dedicating this cake to Priya ( yallapantula) who was my first blog friend who has supported me a lot. Thanks a lot priya!

Try this and you won't regret one bit!

BTW this is my 50th post..Yay....!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tortillas de Patatas, Spanish Potato Omelettes


This is a very famous Spanish breakfast food. It is also sometimes served as a tapas. Basically, tortillas de patatas is a potato omelette. There are many variants for this dish, and almost every Spanish home has its own favourite way of preparing tortilla. Some of the many additions to the base ingredients include: green peppers, chorizo, courgettes, aubergines, mushrooms, or diced ham. These variations are still known as Tortilla de patatas. A peculiar variant is tortilla paisana that in addition to the potatoes and egg includes red pepper, and peas.

I made it with only potatoes. You'll see from the picture that mine didn't come out as a perfect round tortilla. My skillet was way too big for the amount of egg and potato that I added. But it still tasted delicioso!

What I used:

1 medium sized potato
1 small onion
3 large eggs
Pepper to taste
3 tbsp. olive oil


  • Wash and peel the potato.
  • Cut in very small dice.
  • Dice the onions.
  • Beat the eggs in a bowl and set aside.
  • In a skillet, add the olive oil and fry the onions till soft.
  • Add the potatoes and cook them on medium heat till they are half done.
  • Add salt and pepper to the eggs and pour it over the potato onion.
  • Cook till the eggs are done and gently flip over to the other side.
  • Cook till they are brown for a minute or two.
  • Serve with olives or pickles.

My family doesn't like olives or pickles, so I served the standard American way with ketchup :-)

I am sending this to Priya's (yallapantula) A.W.E.D Spain.

Hope you disfrutar de esta comida!
(enjoy this meal!)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Eggplant Rice/ Katharikkai sadham

My love towards egg plant continues with this recipe of eggplant rice. it's simple and very tasty one pot meal. Serve it with raota or papad.

What you'll need

1 japanese egg plant ( this is what i had)
1 samll onion
1 cup basmati rice
1 tbsp ghee
2 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal

For the masala powder

1 tsp oil
1 clove
1inch cinnamon stick
1/2 star anise
1/4 tsp mace
1 1/2 tbsp corainder seeds
1 tbsp channa dal
1tbsp peanuts
1 tbsp coconut


  • Wash and drain the rice  for 20 mins.
  • Cut the egg plants in small dice, smaller the better
  • Salt the egg plant and sprinkle turmeric powder and set aside for 20 mins. this will remove any bitterness in the eggplant and helps in faster cooking
  • Slice the onions.
  • In a pan add the ghee and fry the rice for 5 mins till it's fragrant. This will give you individual grains once cooked.
  • Cook the rice with 1 1/2 - 2 cups of water depending on how cooked you want.
  • Let the rice cool thoroughly.
  • In a pan add 1 tsp oil and roast all the ingredients for the masala and the 1 tsp of garam masala. Let it cool and grind coarsely and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add 2 tbsp oil. Once it's hot add the mustard seed and let them pop. Then add the urad dal and fry till golden.
  • Add the onions and fry till they are done. add the eggplants, salt to your taste.
  • Remember that you already salted the egg plants
  • cover the pan and cook them till soft with minimal stirring.
  • Once they are done, uncover and add the ground masala powder.
  • Cook till there is no moisture in the eggplant. Turn off the fire.
  • Add the cooled rice and toss every thing together.
  • Serve hot with raita.
The left overs are very good too..., if any left.

This will serve 2 people.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sin Sangria Alcohol/No Alcohol Sangria

Why should the non alcohol drinkers be deprived of this all time favorite summer drink?
So ejoy this Non alcohol sangria.

"Sangre" means blood. Of course all medics will know that! One of the many broken spanish words that we've used a million times during residency!..Phew.. It's over!

Sangria is a very famous summer time drink in spain known for its bright blood red color. Traditionally it is made with red wine, fruits and few other things. It is served chilled  and is very refreshing.

I tried to make a similar one without alcohol. So you and the kids can enjoy this summer cooler.

What you need:

Crangrape juice 3/4 cup
Orange Juice 1/4 cup
Lemon/ lime soda to fill up to 1 cup
1/4 '' circular orange and lime slices

Mix the Grape and OJ. add the fruit slices and keep in the fridge. The fruits will absorb all the flavors of the mixed juices.

When you are about serve, add the soda and mix.

People who have tasted the real sangria should try this and let me know your comments please! Does this get a thumbs up or down.

I am sending this to Priya's AWED spain.

Have a cool weekend!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mango Salsa

I've always like mango salsa more than the regular salsa. Costco carries an excellent one. Here, where I live Costco doesn't have a store. :((

So I tried to make it from scratch, Thanks to mriganayni!

So this is all what you need

1 ripe mango chopped into small pieces
1 onion
1 small tomato diced
1-2 cups orange juice
2 green chilli
Lots of cilantro
 salt to taste.

Mix all the chopped ingredients and there you go... Mango salsa is ready to tickle your taste buds!
The original recipe calls for lemon juice. But I forgot to add it, but it still tasted pretty good!

Spicy Pineapple Curry

That was fun with the guessing game. Priya you nailed it!

In Tamil nadu pineapple is used to makr rasam, keasari or juice. I don't remember eating asa curry. but in Konkani cooking and srilankan cooking pineapple is frequently used.
My very good friend from Boston gave me this recipe. In fact her husband cooked the same dish for an event hosted just by men to feed 15 -20 people.

What you need:

Pineapple chunks 1 small can
1 can crushed pineapple
green chilli 3
ginger 1 inch
1 small onion
grated coconut 3-4 tbsp
1 tsp red chilli powder
oil 3 tbsp
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp jeera/cumin
1 tsp urad dal
4-5 curry leaves
1/2 cup water or to consistency.

  1. Heat Oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. Once they pop add the jeera, urad dal and curry leaves.
  2. After they turn golden, add the chopped onions and saute for a few mins
  3. This grows abdundantly in the tropics. Used widely in south asian cuisine. Can be spiked too with other flavors...
  4. add the green chilli and ginger and fry for few mins.
  5. add the pineapple chunks and crushed, red chilli powder, salt to taste, water. Cover and cook for 5- 10 mins.
  6. The juice in the crushed pineapple should be enough to give you a gravy, but if it's too thick add some water.
  7. add the grated coconut, turn of the stove and serve with rice or rotis.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Guess That ingredient

This recipe was given to me by a very good friend of mine in Boston.

See if you can guess it correct! The only clue is it grows abundantly in the tropics.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Vegetable Dum Biriyani

Hyderabadi dum biriyani is extremely famous for its unique method of cooking and the orchestra of flavors blended in it.
"Dum" is a slow-cooking method dating back to early sixteenth century Dum cooking was introduced to India by Mughal. Handi is the cookware used for Dum cooking. Dumpukht is derived from Persian meaning 'air-cooked' or 'baked'.

The mughals traditionally made it with lamb, but as always there is a vegeterian method available.

I don't have any of those fancy equipment mentioned there, but do have an oven.

The list and the method may seem exhaustive, but let me tell you the results are well worth it.
It is exotic and you may win anybody's heart in a jiffy with this flavorful dish.

This is what you need:

For the Rice:

1 cup basmati rice
1 3/4 cup water

For the vegetable sauce:

1 1/2 cup chopped vegetables (I used beans, carrots, cauliflowers, potatoes, and peas)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. coriander powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garam masala
Salt to taste

To Grind:

1 tsp. cashews
1/4 tsp. khus khus (soak cashews and khus khus in a little water for 20 mins.)
1 garlic pod
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 green chilli

For the Gravy:

2 cardomom pods
1 star anise
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. cinnamon powder
1 tsp. cumin seeds
3 tbsp. oil and salt to taste.

For layering:

1 cup chopped cilantro and mint
Fried onions
Sliced almonds
1 pinch saffron strands soaked in 3 tsp. warm milk

Now let's get cookin'!!!

Wash and soak the rice in little water.
Soak the cashews and khus khus in a little water and keep aside.
Soak the saffron in warm milk and keep aside.
In a bowl, add the chopped vegetables.
Add the yogurt, coriander, cumin, chilli powder, garam masala, and a pinch of salt and toss in with the veggies.
Let it marinate and soak up the flavors for 20 mins.
Cook the rice and set aside.
Grind cashew, khus khus, 1 garlic pod, chilli, and tomatoes to a fine paste.
In a pan, add oil. When it's hot, add the cumin seeds and let it crackle.
Add the cardomom, star anise, bay leaf, and cinnamon powder and fry for a few secs.
Add the ground paste from Step 8.
Let it simmer till the raw smell goes and the oil separates.
Add the marinated veggies.
Add salt according to taste.
Check for heat and if you need more kick, add more spices of your choice.
Cover the pan and let the veggies cook. Add a little bit of water and cook. Remember not to overcook the veggies!
Once the veggies are done, turn off the heat.
Now comes the fun part!!!

Preheat the oven at 375°F.
Grease a baking dish.
Put a layer of rice at the bottom.
Sprinkle the saffron and milk on top of the rice.
Next layer, add the chopped cilantro and mint.
Next layer, add the vegetable sauce.
Repeat the layers with rice till your dish is full.
For the topmost layer, spread fried onions and sliced almonds.
For a royal touch, add a few spoons of ghee on the topmost layer.
Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 mins.

OMG, the whole house smells so wonderful when you make this biriyani! We all couldn't wait to dig in. It was hard to wait, take pics before we eat!

For my fellow biriyani lovers, please try this dish and see the smile on your face and your loved ones face.

Serve with raita or any of your side!