Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ribbon Pakoda

It's diwali in 1 week and every household will be gearing to make lots of sweets and savory dishes to celebrate.
I miss Diwali back home. I have good memories of celebrating this wonderful festival. Me and my brother would be so willing to wake up early, take bath, put on new clothesand will be ready to blast off all the fire works. Too bad my kids are not getting that opportunity to celebrate.
But, one day, I will take them to see diwali in India.

Ribbon pakoda is a crisp snack prepared in many households in the south during diwali.It resembles a long ribbon and hence the name. It' easy to make and even easier to finish it once you make! Before making this make sure you have the murukku press or ribbon pakoda press to make it.

I am giving you the ratio of besan to rice flour and you can make as much or  as little depending on what measure you use.

Always use 2 besan/ chana dal flour to 1 rice flour. The rest is all like a breeze! Trust me...

Get ready:

  • 2 cups besan
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 tsp Asafetida
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder ( can omit this if you don't any spice)
  • 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup water, used very little at a time
  • Oil to fry.


  • Mix, all the flour, asafetida, salt, chilli powder and butter.
  • Add water little by little, eveb sprinkle it and form a soft dough. Do not add the whole cup of water in go, other wise you will have bajji batter. to make the pakodas crispier, add 1 tsp of hot oil while making the dough.
  • Heat oil for deep frying.
  • Take a ball of the dough and put inside the ribbon pakoda press.
  • Squeeze into circular shapes into the hot oil.
  • Deep fry them till golden or till it floats on the oil.

Check out my Thenkuzhal as well for diwali snacks

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tombstone Cupcakes, Deviled Eyes and a Party!

Halloween is the best holiday next to Christmas! Well, I didn't say this but all my neighbor hood kids did!

A day were all kids get their sugar high and a day when all parents try to pick the one almond joy, or a snickers bars from their kids cauldron!

Hehe... been there done that!

Any way our neighbor had a halloween party and I made tombstone cup cakes and devilled eyes! You should seee the eyes of the kids brightening up as they saw the whole tray!

This time I made cup cakes in ice cream cone, so it was a double yummy treat for them.

Tombstone cupcakes

  • Any boxed cake mix
  • Ice cream cones ( the ones with a flat base)
  • crushed oreo cookies
  • Milano cookies broken in half
  • Chocolate frosting
  • Black, red or any color iceing pen.

  • Bake the cake as per box instructions. Instead of sup cake liners use ice cream cones as shown below.
  • Once they are cooled, cover with chocolate frosting, Use those little hands to help as they love doing these stuff and licking the knife afterwards.
  • Sprinkle crushed oreos which is the dirt.
  • Write RIP, or draw a cross on the milano cookies and insert them in the cake. this is the tombstone!
  • You could add green sprinkles, as grass, some gummy worms and make it as gross as you want.
The box mix gave 12 cone cakes and the rest i made it as 8" cake. We decoated with mini masrsh mallow ghosts and more oreo dirt.

Placing the foil on the muffin tray, holds the ice cream cones in place and doesn't let them topple over. Keep them in the foil when you are done decoarting the cake to trtansport without any mishaps!

Deviled Eyes:

  • Hard boil eggs. omce cooled cut them and take the yolks out.
  • Mash the yolks well. add mayonnaise, djion mustard, salt, paprika to the yolk.
  • Fill a zip lock bag with yolk mixture.
  • Snip off the end and pipe it onto the cut egss.
  • Arrange a sliced olive, or fruit loop as I used for theeyeball.
  • Draw red lines/ squigges for the blood vesseks with tomato ketchup and a tooth pick.
You sure are gonna be one cool Mom!

Enjoy and Happy trick or treating!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Paneer Peas Pulav

A very easy and quick one pot meal either on a busy weekday or for potlucks. You can add as many veggies or spices you want in this dish.

Many kids like paneer and many mom's will see a empty lunchbox if you pack this rice!

Get Ready: ( serves 6-8)
  •  2 cups Basmati Rice (washed, drained)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 3-4 green chillies slit
  • 1 tbsp ginger chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup paneer cubes ( small size)
  • 1 tsp pulav masala
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For Tempering/ tadka
  • 1tsp ghee
  • 1 tsp saunf/ fennel seeds
  • 1 small bark cinnamon stick
  • 2 green cardamom.


  • Add 1 tsp of olive oil in a pan. When hot, add the paneer cubes and fry till slightly golden and set aside. You can totally omit this step if you want to and just add paneer as it is.
  • Add 1 tsp of olive and saute the rice for a 5 mins and set aside.
  • In a pressure cooker, add the remaining oil and ghee. when hot add the tadka ingredients.
  • When they splutter, add the onion, garlic, chillies, ginger and saute till the onions are translucent.
  • Add the tomato puree, masala powders and saute till the oil starts to separate at the edges.
  • Add the peas & saute for few mins.
  • Add the rice, paneer, 2 cups of water, salt to taste and stir everything.
  • Close the cooker and cook for 1 whistle and turn off the heat. As we are directly cooking in the cooker, one whistle is enough.
  • Once you open the cooker, fluff therice with a fork and garnish with either fried onions and/ or with cilantro.

Sending this to Priya's
 and Jagruti's


Monday, October 18, 2010

Kanchipuram Idli & Guest Post

Dear friends,

I have been featured in Nithu's Guest post and am so happy to share this information with you.

So please check out Nithu's  for Kanchipuram Idli!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kashmiri Aloo Curry

I have heard there are many versions of dum aloo. I honestly haven't tasted one so far!

I was watching a cookery show on a tamil channel where they showed how to make kashmiri aloo. They used cooked baby potatoes which were stuffed with  paneer, nuts, raisin stuffing and then shallow fried them in oil.
The stuffing was leaking out and the cook used a lot of oil to fry them .

I wondered why can't i bake,( so less oil) the same thing like a kofta and try it in the curry.

It came out well and was happy as I used very little oil! Just to spray the baking sheet.

The only thing is the koftas soak up all the gravy. My only note  to you all is add the baked koftas just before serving., I mean literally just before serving.

I served them with rumali roti's. I was fumbling to take pictures and serve at the same time! By the time i got around to take photos most of the gravy had been absorbed by those dumplings!

I don't know if this is an authentic version, but it tasted wonderful and we all thoroughly enjoyed it.

Here you go...

 2- Potatoes cooked and peeled

For the gravy
1 medium sized onion  + 1 red chilli + 1 japeno chilli ground
4 -5 medium sized tomatoes pureed ( puree should be 1 cup)
1 tsp fennel/ saunf  seeds ( to be powdered)
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder (optional)
1/4 cup yogurt at room temp, & well beaten
2 tbsp oil
1 inch cinnamon stick
3 green cradamom pods
1 bay leaf
1/2 star anise
salt to taste
1/2 cup water as needed

For the stuffing/ kofta
1 tbsp almonds chopped
1 tbsp cashews chopped
1 tbsp raisins chopped
1 tbsp paneer grated
1 green chilli chopped finely
 1 tbsp cilantro finely chopped
a pinch of salt


  • Mix all the ingredients for the kofta stuffing and set aside.
  • Mash the cooked potatoes and make a little ball.
  • Flatten the ball to a small disc. Add a spoon of the filling and cover it with the potato to make a smooth ball.

  • Use all the filling and make balls and set aside.

  • Pre heat oven to 375 F and grease a foil lined baking sheet. Spread the potao balls and bake for about 3- -45 mins till they are golden. Flip them over once in between the baking time.

For the gravy:

  • Heat oil in a pan, and add the cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, bay leaf.
  • Add the ground onion and fry till it does not stick to the pan.
  • Now add the fennel powder, garam masala, chilli powder, salt and f ry well for about 5 mins.
  • Then add the pureed tomatoes and fry till the oil separates at the sides.
  • Now add the yogurt and mix very well, stirring continously. this will avoid the yogurt forming small lumps.
  • Now add 1/2 cup water, adjust slat and spices and let it simmer for 5- 10 mins. If the gravy is too thick, add little more water.
  • Turn off the heat and add the potato dumplings/ kofta just before serving.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Goes well with phulkas, rotis and naan.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Rumali Roti

Rumali roti is very famous north indian roti which is extremely thin. "Rumal" means a handkerchief and as the name explains, it is so thin that it can be rolled like a hanky. This special roti is usually served in weddings and pretty hard to make. The chef flips them in the air like a pizza and make it so paper thin. I have watched them do that in awe and then carry on stuffing many inside my mouth!

I found a quick and easy way to do rumali roti at home by my fav chef Sanjay at vahreh I tried it today and it was pretty good. Of course you cannot compare to what the pro's make, at the same time not too bad for an ordinary person to make it at home.

I don't have a big skillet as the chef did, so I made my rotis small to be cooked on a 8" skillet.

Get Ready:

  • 1 cup All purpose flour/  Maida
  • 1 cup Atta
  • 1 cup plus a few tsp of warm water
  • A pinch of salt.
  • Rice flour to dust and roll


  • Mix the flours and makea soft dough. I mean really soft dough and keep aside for 15 mins.
  • Heat a tawa or skillet and make it really hot.
  • Make one ball th size of a lemon. Split that into two and roll a small chappathi.
  • Grease one side of the chappathi with some oil and dust it with rice flour on the greased side.
  • Put one greased surface on the other and stick the edges.
  • Roll as thin as you can .
  • Cook on the tawa.
Serve hot with any gravy curry!

You can view the making of rumali  roti   Here as it 's hard to explain...

Enjoyed it with Kashmiri aloo, recipe to follow soon!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Black Bean Burger

I never thought of making burgers at home as I always bought Patel brothers veggie burgers or trader Joe's masala burgers. These burgers were so handy for an after school snack or lunch for my son.
Unfortunately I don't have either one of these stores nearby:(( . Tried the morning star veggie burger and they were, not up to my taste.

Most of the recipes that I searched used egg as a binder in them. I do eat eggs and somehow was reluctant to use them this time. My parents are here and they don't eat eggs. So, I've replaced the egg with corn flour and made these burgers. One could also use cooked brown rice or bulgur wheat or soy chunks as the binder. I found this recipe in a magazine which I modified to my taste.

The key is to drain your beans pretty well before making these burgers. Infact, I spread them on a kitchen towel before you start to work. They froze well and can be used for a quick meal anytime.
Get Ready:
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and well drained
  • 1/2 onion, very finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1/4 red pepper finely chopped
  • 1/2 carrot grated
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup corn flour
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs ( I used panko)
  • 2 -3 tbsp water.

  1. Mash the black beans using your hand or the back of a fork. You don't want them all too mushy, so leave a couple of chunks so you can bite into it.
  2. To this add the onion, garlic, pepper, carrot, salt to taste, cumim powder, chilli powder, garam masala powder and mix well.
  3. Mix the corn flour in water to a paste like consistency. Add the cornflour paste and bread crumbs to the bean mixture and mix well to incorporate every thing.
  4. Adjust spices as needed.
  5. Pre heat oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with foil. Grease the foil with cooking spray.
  6. Bivide the bean mixture into 6 0r 7 balls.
  7. Flatten them and shape like patties.
  8. Arrange them on the foil lined baking sheet and bake for 20 - 25 mins. You can also cook them on the tava with little oil.
  9. Serve as burgers topped with tomato rings, cilantro and a dollop pf sour cream in burger buns.
This was my packed lunch today and was satisfying!

Enjoy! PS: excuse me for the terrible picture, as it was taken in a rush!
Sending this to Priya's

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Curried Shell Pasta salad with Yogurt & an Award

The classic macaroni salad uses Mayo as the main ingredient in the dressing. Mayo has eggs and more calories to contribute!

So why not substitute mayo with yogurt? The Greeks and Lebanese use yogurt with pasta, so why not me?

So, I did it!  This  is an excellent, to die for pasta salad with home made yogurt. It was so creamy and did not fail in the taste. This salad tasted even better once chilled.
So here is a quick and easy pasta salad for any time of the day, for those busy bees out there! I also threw a hand full of black eyed beans left over from the previous day.

Get ready:

  • 2 hand full of shell pasta (dry one), cooked aldente
  • 1/4 onion chopped
  • 1/4 red pepper diced
  • 1/2 samll jalapeno
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp sambhar powder
  • 3-4 tbsp low fat yogurt
  • Cilantro 1 tbsp chopped.
  • salt to taste.


  • In a bowl mix the yogurt, cilantro and salt to taste. Keep aside
  • Keep the cooked pasta aside.
  • In a pan, add oil. When hot saute the onions and jalapeno till the onions are translucent.
  • Add the red pepper, black eyed beans and sambhar powder and saute for a few minutes.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Toss the sauted onion, pepper mix  into  the pasta and yogurt dressing .
  • Serve chilled.

PS: You may also add some grated ginger or green peas as per your taste. the options are endless!

Akila of Learning to cook passed me this award. I am so humbled and would like to give her a big thank you. She has an excellent collection of recipes and please check it out.

I would like to share this with

 Food For Thought!!

priya mitharwal
Priya Suresh