Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Onion Pakoras/ Pakoda

It has been raining here over the last 2 days and the mercury has fallen down. It's gloomy outside and I was craving for soemthing crunchy to go with my elaichi chai. Made these pakodas or pakoras however you want to call them for my tea time snack.

Let it rain, let it rain....I have my pakodas to enjoy!

Get Ready:

  • 1 cup Besan/ gram flor
  • 1/4 cup Rice flour
  • 1 pinch baking soda
  • 1 tsp Saunf/ fennel seeds
  • salt to taste
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno chopped
  • 4-5 Curry leaves torn into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil, hot
  • 1-2 tsp of water
Oil to deep fry


  • Mix the chopped onions, jalapeno, curry leaves, cashews, saunf, salt to taste well with the besan and rice flour.
  • Pour the hot olive oil on top of the dry flour, onion etc mix. It will kind of make a noise and bubble.
  • Watch your hand and mix them all well.
  • It will not be moist and look a bit crumbly.
  • Add little water and mix them all well. The right consistency is the dough should be still crumbly, yet sticky enough to make a small ball.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan. To check if it's hot, add a small drop of the pakora dough, it should immediately rise up.
  • Drop small balls into the oil, and deep fry them till golden.

Enjoy with hot tea.

I would like to thank jay for giving this participation award for letz reelish paneer. Thanks  Jay!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Rasmalai needs no introduction, but let me tell you one thing that it originates from the state of Orissa.

 I got this recipe from my friend 5 yrs ago and it comes perfect every time I've made. We had some friends over the weekend and I made rasmalai and it sure was a hit! Good friends and good food always makes me happy!

Get ready:

1 tub part skim ricotta cheese (30 oz)
1/3 cup sugar

For the Cream:

3 cupsHalf and half
 2 cups 2% milk
1 & 1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. cardamom powder
2 pinches of saffron
Chopped nuts (Pistachios and Almonds)


  • Preheat the oven at 375 F. Grease a baking dish and keep aside.
  • Empty the ricotta cheese into a bowl and add 1/3 cup of sugar and mix well.
  • Transfer the ricotta cheese mixture into a baking dish and bake for about 45 mins. to an hour or till a toothpick inserted comes out  clean.
  • Let it cool and cut into pieces of desired size/shape.


To make the Malai:

  • Take a heavy bottomed pan and add the half and half and 2% milk.
  • Let it come to a boil.
  • Take 3-4 tbsp. of warm milk in a bowl. Crush and soak the saffron in the milk.
  • Add the saffron milk to the boiling milk and keep stirring on low flame.
  • Let the milk simmer and become thick.
  • Now add the sugar and let it simmer till it has reduced to 1/3 or 1/2 its volume.
  • Turn the heat off and let it cool.
  • add the baked ricotta squares and garnish with chopped nuts. ( yeah, ik now i went a bit over board with nuts :))
  • Refrigerate and serve chilled.
Enjoy! This served about 10 people. You can half this recipe or adjust sugar according to your taste.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Quinoa Herb Salad

In case if you have not heard of Quinoa (Keen wa) it's an ancient seed packed with protein which has been around for ages.
However I started using it since last year and I love it!
You can make Quinoa upma/ kichdi which I have posted earlier.

Recently I tried this salad and it was pretty good. There is no measurements for this. The only tip is wash the quinoa before you cook, so that the bitterness is removed. Bitter taste comes from the saponins on the outside of the grain.

What ever measure you use, add 1 & 1/4 cup water and pressure cook the quinoa.
Let it cool, as this is a cold salad.
Once cooled, fluff it with a fork.
Add any vegetables of your choice.
I used grated carrots, basil, mint leaves, cilantro, jalapeno and peanuts.
Add salt and lemon juice to taste.

Easy and yet nutritious salad for your lunch box is ready in a jiffy!

Enjoy & have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sweet Potato Fries

Did you know that Sweet Potato ranked the number one in Nutrition?

It has the highest amount of fiber, vitamin A, C and complex sugars and are much more nutritious than regular white potatoes! It gets even better when these are baked than fried. And ofcourse sweet potatoes are in season now.

All you need is

Get Ready:

  • sweet potato, peeled and cut like french fry shapes.
  • water 1 cup
  • You can use whatever spices you want.
  • Oil 1-2 tbsp
  • Zip lock bag
  • garlic salt, salt, Idli dosa chutney powder.
  • Boil water,  and turn off the heat. Blanch the sweet potatoes for a 1 min, drain the water and dry them on a kitchen towel. Blanching reduces the cooking time in the oven a lot.
  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Transfer the sweet potatoes into a bowl and toss them with the oil.
  • In a zip lock bag take all the spices and salt.
  • add the oil coated sweet potatoes into the ziplock bag and give it a good shake shake... so all the sweet potatoes are covered with spices.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non stick cooking spray.
  • Arrange the sweet potatoes on the baking sheet ina single layer and bake for about 10 - 15 mins.
  • Toss them around half way through the baking.
  • If you want it more crispy broil on low carefully for a few mins.

Enjoy as a snack or as a side dish.

How easy is that!

Sending this for only low oil/calorie of  Priya started by Pari

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Spicy Apple Pickle/ Apple Thokku

Fall is here and apples are in abundance!

I'm sure one wouldn't mind to spice up the kitchen, will you? I'm not talking about the usual fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, brownsugar etc...

Yes, I'm talking about out hard core red chillies, asafetida, turmeric and methi!

We are not talking Apple pie with chillies :))

It's Apple pickle......This is my mom's recipe  that I've used for a while and would like to share it you all!

Get Ready

  • 4 cups grated granny smith apple

  • 1 cup red chilli

  • 2 tsp Salt or to taste

  • 1 tsp Methi seeds

  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds

  • 1 tsp Asafetida

  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

  • 1 cup canola oil
Get Going:

  • Dry Roast methi seeds in a pan till golden brown. Keep aside

  • In the same pan add a drop of oil and roast the red chillies till they are fragrant. Set aside.

  • Once cool, Powder the  roasted redchilli and roasted methi seeds to a fine powder and set aside.

  • In a heavy bottom pan, add the oil. When hot, add mustard seeds & let them pop.

  • Add the Asafetida ,grated apple & turmeric.

  • Keep stirring till the apple is cooked and soft.

  • Add the chilli and methi powder ans keep frying till the oil separates or the appple mixture doesn't stick to the pan anymore.

  • Serve with Rice, roti's, Parathas or spread it on bread to enjoy!

I personally like it with Rice & yogurt! Store and refrigerate.

So, what are you waiting for, Please go pick  your apples either from a farm or orchard and make your own mouth watering Apple pickle .

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Indo Chinese Fried Rice

How many of you are adept in using chopsticks!

Let me be honest, i am pathetic! I succumb to the fork, no matter how many times some body teaches me to use a chopstick! If any of you giuys out there have a special technique to use chopsticks, I would love to hear from you!

Anyways, let me share this awesoem Indochinese fried rice which can be put together with any left over rice or veggies in your refrigerator! It's the best comfort food one could enjoy any time.

I served this with this mouth watering Cauliflower manchurian

Get ready:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1& 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups thinly shredded vegetables ( cabbage, red, green pepper, carrots,beans, baby corn)
  • 2 green chillies slit in the middle
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tsp ginger finely chopped
  • 2 tsp pepper powder
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • salt to taste


  • Wash and drain the rice for 15 mins. pressure cook with 1 & 1/2 cups of water  and a little salt for 2 whistles and take it off the heat. Let it cool for a while, as You need cold rice to makeit. If the rice is hot, the fried rice all becomes sticky and mushy which you don't want.

  • Heat oil in a deep pan. Add the ginger, garlic and saute till fragrant. Add the green chillies and fry for a few seconds.

  • Add all the shredded veggies and cook on high heat for a few mins. make sure you don't over cook them as you want the crunch from all the vegetables.

  • Add salt and pepper according to your taste.

  • Add the rice, soy sauce and toss everything together.

  • Serve hot with any gravy or eat with  manchurian as I did!

One can also  scarmble an egg to this, to make it more flavorful.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Basil & Pepper Curry/ Basil Milagu Kozhambu

I had some left over basil leaves in my fridge after using it for my  Thai Green Curry. I have been thinking of doing Hmm... May be pesto, may be a caprese salad, but never got around to do anything!

My mom said that she was going to make Milagu Kuzhambu, which is basically a spicy pepper and tamarind gravy reduced pretty well to be eaten with rice. So I suggested to her to use the basil leaves in it. Back home mom used to make the same gravy with tons of curry leaves. So why not try with basil!

Well, it tasted so good and I want to share it with you all!

Black Pepper has a lot medicinal values too..Check this out!

Helps to improve digestion, bactericidal and help to fight of cold and cough!
With School being started many kids and adults are fighting off colds and cough now. So here is perfect curry to combat the cold!

Get ready:

  • 1 tsp black pepper corn
  • 1/2 tsp urad dal
  • 1/2 tsp Chana dal
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1/8th tsp Hing Asafetida
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • Basil leaves a hand full
  • Tamarind a small ping pong ball size
  • 1 cup  warm water
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Ghee

For tempering:
1 tsp Oil
1 tsp mustard seeds

Get Going:

  • Soak the tamarind in water for 5 mins and make a thick extract, keep aside.
  • In a pan add 1 tsp ghee and roast the pepper corn, urad dal, channa dal, red chilli and hing till the dals are golden. Turn off the heat and add the basil leaves. It will wilt with the heat in the pan.
  • Transfer to a blender and grind into a paste when cooled.
  • Add the ground paste, turmeric powder, salt to taste to the tamarind extract.If it's too thick add a little water .
  • In the same pan that you roasted the pepper, add some oil. When hot add the mustard seeds and let it splutter.
  • Add the tamarind extract mixture and let it come to a boil.
  • Simmer and cook till the raw smell is gone or the extract reduces to 2/3 rd it's original volume.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Enjoy with rice and a spoon of ghee with any vegetables or papad.
Sendind this to Low oil/ low calorie started by Pari and hosted by mharorajasthanrecipes
and Akila's DNSW B

The Kick from the pepper will wake up all your senses if you are feeling "Blah" in the middle of the week! :))


Monday, September 13, 2010

Elaichii is One year old! Celebration with Eggless Chocolate cake!

I am so thrilled that my blog baby is 1 year old. My first recipe post was on the 13th sept, still remember that wonderful feeling reading that first comment!
What a wonderful experience it has been for me! Got to learn a lot about different cuisines, different family traditions, earned  great blogger friends!
I wanted to thank my family,  all my friends both in the blogosphere and outside on this important milestone.

Honestly, I could not have done without you all! A special thanks to Priya Mitharwal for bringing me out with my Almond Chutney ! I wish I had more time on my hand to visit each and every blog page and see all the wonderful things people are cooking and enjoying!

Psst...Let me tell you a secret, I think i have an affair with food and cooking now! I am always checking new recipes, thinking in my mind what to cook etc, etc.....And you know what, my husband doesn't mind this! :))

To celebrate Elaichii's first birthday I made Eggless Chocolate cake with my family! And the special ingredient  was COKE and Vineger!
Please don't say yeww....!
Yup.. you heard it right! It tasted so wonderful. Adding a lit bit of my brewed coffee brought out the chocolatey flavor so well.

Get Ready:

1 & 1/2 cup All peupose flour
3 tablespoon  unsweetened cocoa powder
1 & 1/4  tsp baking powder
1 cup & 3 tbsp Sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 tbsp Canola Oil
1 Tbsp Distilled white Vineger
2 tbsp coffee
1cup Coke ( take 2 tbsp out and replace with coffee. You can totally omit this and use 1 cup cold water instead)

Start Cooking:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a round 8" cake pan and dust it with flour.
  • Sift, flour, cocoa powder, salt. Mix it with sugar and set aside.
  • Whisk all the wet ingredients.
  • Add the dry to the wet and blend well using a hand mixer on low speed till there are no clumps.
  • Pour it in the greased pan& bake for 25- 30 mins or till a tooth pick inserted at the center comes out clean.
  • Cool and remove the cake.
  • I did not frost the cake, but when serving used some Hershey chocolate syrup & some whipped topping!
Isn't that cake decadent or what?


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thai Green Curry

Try this vegan Thai  Green Curry with no fish sauce or shrimp paste! I've wanted to mkae this curry so badly for a while, and finally got my act together to do it.

And it was delicious bursting with flavors. The bright green color comes from all the cilantro and green chillies and is slightly mellowed by the coconut milk. The kaffir lime leaves (nothing but our good old Narthanga), lemon grass and basil give this such a great aroma, that one would enjoy! It's funny, I had to go to one particular store to get the kaffir leaves, whereas I have this tree in my backyard in chennai!

So the real Thai food pundits, please try this and let me know how it turned out! If anyone has any suggestions to improve it, I'm all ears!

Get Ready:

For the green curry paste:

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro with stems
  • 3 green chillies
  • 1 inch ginger peeled  (didn't bother to buy Galangal)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 pearl onions or shallots
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, chopped (peel the outer layer if it's too thick)
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1& 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Soy sauce
  • Salt to taste and little water to grind.
For the curry:

  •  1/2 can of Thai coconut milk
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced thin diagonally
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 small egg plant diced ( you could use red pepper, peas  or any vegetables i guess)
  • 4- 5 baby corns, slit lengthwise
  • 4-6 basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp oil
Get Going:

  • Grind all the ingredients for the curry paste with little water to a fine paste in a blender.
  • If you need more heat add more chillies and adjust salt to taste
  • Boil water in a pan and just blanch the vegetables.
  • In a pan, add the oil and the green curry paste.
  • Saute for a few mins till the raw smell is gone, for about 4- 5 mins.
  • Add the coconut milk and vegetables and let it come to boil.
  • Simmer and cook till the veggies are done, but still crunchy. Don't over cook like a korma.
  • Tear a couple of basil leaves and turn the heat off.
Serve hot with rice. I used Basmati and it was good!

Sending this to show-me-your-curry

Friday, September 10, 2010

Savory Carrot & Cilantro Muffins

I am tired of eating sweet muffins, are you all too? Want to try some savory muffins to tickle your tastebuds? If the answer is yes, you got it here!

Thease savory muffins can be enjoyed in the morning or as an afternoon snack with hot steaming tea or coffee!

What you need: ( yields 7 muffins)

  • 1 cup All purpose flour
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro or more
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper or more if you want it spicy
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tbsp  yogurt

Get going:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F and grease your muffin pans.I used muffin liners, but I wouldn't recommend that.
  • Sift the flour, salt and baking powder and keep aside in a bowl.
  • Add the pepper, carrot and cilantro to the flour.
  • Whisk all the wet ingredients from oil to yogurt in a bowl.
  • Add the wet to the dry ingredients and gently fold. do not overbeat.
  • Add salt or pepper according to your taste.
  • Fill up to the top of the muffin tins and bake till the top is golden or till a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
PS: These muffins don't have eggs and will not rise as much as those with eggs.

Here is a view from the inside:))

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bhindi Sambhariya / Stuffed Okra Curry for bookmarked recipes

I am sure everyone is getting ready to start this short week after labor day weekend! I can't believe the summer is almost over!
I wanted to share with you all this wonderful  bhindi recipe on which I have been drooling for a while now. I have always made okra curry sauted either with onions or without. Never tried the stuffed one, and feel bad that i have missed this goodness for long! Not any more though as this is going to be a regualr in our household!
Here is what you need:

  • 1/4 lbs Okra apprx
Fort he stuffing

  • 4 green chillies chopped

  • 1 inch ginger peeled and cut

  • 2 tbsp cilantro

  • 1 tbsp Coriander seeds

  • 1 tbsp Channa dal

  • 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts

  • 1 & 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

  • 2 tsp tamarind paste

  •  1/4 tsp Hing/ Asafetida

  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut

  • salt to taste

  • 3- 4 tbsp oil
How I did it:

  • Wash and dry the Okra/ bhindi and let it dry. Don't have any moisture over it as it will make your sabzi all sticky.

  • Slit the okra in the middle, but not completely & keep aside. This makes like a pocket for the stuffing.

  • Dry roast the cumin, coriander seeds, channa dal, peanuts and sesame seeds till fragrant.

  • Dry grind all the above spices with chillies, ginger, coconut, turmeric powder, hing, salt and tamarind paste. Your stuffing is ready.

  •  Do your taste testing and ajust spices as needed.

  • Fill this stuffing inside your Bhindi.

  • Heat oil in a large pan. Arrange the stuffed bhindi in the pan and cook on very low fire covered. Be gentle while tossing them as too much turning them around will break all the stuffing.

  • Cook till the Bhindi is soft. Now you can uncover and cook longer on low fire to make it crispy. 

  • Serve hot with rice and curry as a side dish.
I am sending this dish to Priya's bookmarked-recipes 

and to BSI okra 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Peanut Butter Pancakes

Doesn't it feel wonderful to start your day with a hearty breakfast that will keep you going till noon?

YES, It does! And if you have young kids you want to make sure they eat well before shipping them off the school bus, day care, etc...

Let me be honest with you, I haven't made pancakes from scratch for a while now. I am happy with my friend Bisquick as he has not let me down! Maybe one day, yes one day I will make my own pancakes from scratch!

I was inspired by Sunny of Food Network to make these peanut butter pancakes!
Many kids love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and she put them together as PBJ pancakes! Isn't that cool??
I skipped the jelly part of the PBJ and made just peanut butter pancakes. They're soft, fluffy, peanut buttery, and HEAVENLY! You gotta try this one and make your little prince or princess happy!

This is what you need:

  • 1 cup Bisquick pancake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • Cooking spray

How I did it:

  • Take the pancake mix, baking powder and sugar in a bowl.
  • Add the peanut butter to the warm milk and whisk thoroughly till the peanut butter completely dissolves in the milk.
  • Add the milk, egg, and vanilla to the dry ingredients.
  • Fold them together gently. The mix should be lumpy; don't overmix.
  • Heat a skillet and spray with cooking spray. Keep the fire on medium.
  • Take a quarter cup measure to pour the pancake batter on the skillet. This will give you uniformly shaped pancakes.
  • Let the pancake cook by forming bubbles at the corner and appears lacy.
  • Flip it to the other side and cook till golden brown.
  • Serve with butter, syrup, and jelly.

I am sending this to Kids Menu Event

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mac & Cheese Cupcakes

All time American favorite comfort foods are taken to the next level here.

Yes I'm talking about the famous Macaroni and cheese and the cupcakes!

Mac & cheese is not sweet, but cupcakes are! So how they go together?, Does it have frosting??

These were the questions thrown at me, when I told my son that he will have these cupcakes as an after school snack.
Well, these are the plain old mac & cheese in a cupcake fashion with bread crumbs as icing! How cool is that?
He ate these and gave me a thumbs up!
That made my day! Left over was packed for his lunch box too.

Thanks my dear friend Sugantha! :)))

This dish has a lot of calcium and protein from the milk, cheese plus the pasta gives the necessary carbohydrtae for the kids.

If you or your kid loves mac & cheese you are gonna love it too....BTW I'm not a big mac& cheese fan! Are you???

What you need: (made 7 cup cakes)

  • 1/2 cup elbow macaroni pasta
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp Corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp Djion mustard
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese ( i used mild, sharp would be better)
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Bread crumbs a lot ( I used panko)
  • Butter 1 tbsp ( optional)
  • Pam spray

 Get going:
  • Cook the pasta as per the pack directions. drain, toss some oil and keep aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Grease Muffin pans generously and dust them with the bread crumbs, & shake off the excess. (don't use cup cake liners)
  • Add corn strach to the milk and let it come to a boil.Simmer the heat. Keep stirring & it will start to thicken.
  • Add salt, pepper and mustard.
  • If you want you can some chilli flakes too for that extra kick.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Add the grated cheese and fold in till it melts.
  • Add the cooked pasta and chives.
  • Add the mac & cheese mix to the muffin pan filling up to the top. ( remember it does not have eggs and will not rise)
  • Top with bread crumbs and dollops of butter.
  • Bake for 15 mins till the top is golden.

Serve hot or cold.

I am sending this to kids menu


Enjoy your long weekend!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Today is Janmashtami or Sri krishna Jayanthi. This is an auspicious day where Lord krishna's birth is celebrated all over India. Mathura, the birth place of krishna has so much festivities going on this time.

Krishna is also known as "Makkan Chor" or butter thief! Mythology says that he loves butter, milk and poha or beaten rice flakes.

So the pooja offerings mainly includes all three plus a lots of snacks and savories. In the south "Cheedai" is very popular offering for Bhagwan. It is made both as a savory & sweet dish.

It's a belief that krishna as a baby is being born in each and every household. Following that belief, in the south we decorate the floor with kolams and draw baby feet from the front of the house to the pooja room.

Prayers and poojas are offered at dusk or night.

I had a day off today and with my parents help was able to do a small krishna pooja at our home.

I would like to share the recipe of Cheedai with you all!

Here is what you need:

2 cups Rice flour
1 tsp Urad dal flour
1 tsp daliya dal powder
1 tsp Channa dal
1 tsp Sesame seeds
1 tbsp butter
Salt to taste
1 cup water plus as needed
Oil to fry.

  • Soak channa dal in a little bit of water for 10 mins.
  • Roast the rice flour & urad dal flour till light pink or aromatic.
  • Drain the channa dal.
  • Add the channa dal, sesame seeds, butter, salt and mix into a dough by adding water little by little till it forms a dough similar to a cookie dough.
  • Apply a little oil to your palm and take a pimch of the dough and roll in your palm lightly to form a small smooth ball.

  • Finish rolling them and cover with a damp cloth.
  • Heat oil in a pan and deep fry these balls till they are nice and golden.
  • Be careful when you fry the first batch as some times they may pop and splash a little oil.