Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cranberry Salsa

Hope everybody had a nice Thanksgiving!!! I was away in Boston and New York visiting friends and family, and had a fantastic Thanksgiving. I was thankful to have such wonderful company! I missed you all and wasn't able to visit your wonderful blogs. But, here I come with an awesome salsa that I made with my friend in Boston. Our Thanksgiving lunch included cranberry salsa, vegetable dum biriyani, sweet potato fries, butternut squash with rosemary, and apple pie. It was SO DELICIOUS!!!
Cranberries are abundant around this time and especially in the New England area. They are tart and sour and are a kind of wild berries. They are mainly used as a sauce or a relish for Thanksgiving feasts. Try this spicy salsa and you would wanna stock up cranberries forever!!! :)

Get ready

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries (Cut them in halves or quarters) 
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped red onions
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons minced green chiles
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 5-6 tbsp. orange juice
  • Salt to taste

  • In a bowl, mix the cranberries, chili, onion, cilantro well. Add salt and sugar according to your taste.
  • Add lime juice and orange juice; toss well.  The lime juice and orange juice can be adjusted according to your taste.
Serve as a side and enjoy!!!
Pretty easy, huh?
Again, happy Thanksgiving and ENJOY!!!

I'm happy to inform you that I am amongst the 5 selected in holiday eggless cookie contest hosted by Manjula's Kitchen. PLEASE CHECK IT OUT!!!!!! (:-)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tres Leches Cake

Tres leches or 3 milk cake is a famous latin or mexican dessert. A basic sponge cake soaked in 3 milks is something to die for. I first tasted it in Brooklyn, NY. There was this wonderful bakery in brooklyn where they sell individual servings of TL cake. My husband and my son always wanted to go there for a treat. It was R's birthday and I made this cake for him.

I followed the recipe from here

I, however halved the recipe and I still have some cake left in the fridge.

Get ready:

For the cake

 3/4 th All purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup unsalted butter

For soaking:

1 cup whole milk
1/2 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 can (12 oz) evaporated milk

For frosting:
Cool whip
mandarin orange slices
maraschimo cherries


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F Grease and flour one 8 X 8 inch baking pan.  You want it with some depth as you will pour the milk in.
  • Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.
  • Cream butter or margarine and the 1/2 cup sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; beat well.
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 2 tablespoons at a time; mix until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Pierce cake several times with a fork.
  • Combine the whole milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk together. Pour over the top of the cooled cake.The sponge cake will absorb all the liquids and will be so.. olala lah.....!
For Frosting:

Spread the cool whip pn top of the cake and get creative by decorating with cherries, oranges, kiwi or strawberries.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Black eyed beans salad with Date & Tamarind Dressing

This is a very healthy, protein & fibre packed salad. Could be enjoyed any time! Even though the name sounds like a mouth ful, the salad dressing is similar to the sweet chutney one makes for bhel puri. Why not do we use it as a dressing? i did and am happy that I did it. If you will like the tangy and sweet taste with a kick of chilli at the back, you sure will like it.

Get Ready: (serves 2)
  • 1/2 cup Black Eyed Beans (BEB)
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped green and red bell pepper (Chopped to the size of the beans)
  • 1 inch grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 3-4 dates
  • 1 tsp jaggery/ brown sugar
  • 1 small marble size tamarind
  • 2 tbsp warm water.
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1  dried red chilli
  • salt to taste
  • In a pan add 1 tsp of oil and roast the black eyed beans for a few mins. By this you don't have to soak the beans for it to cook well.
  • Once cooled, cover with enough water and pressure cook for 4 whistles. You can omit this step if you want to use canned BEB.
  • Soak the tamarind and dates in water for 15 mins.
  • Add the cumin powder, red chilli, jaggery, salt to the soaked tamarind dates and blend finely. This is our dressing.
  • Toss the cooked BEB, bell peppers, ginger, cilantro and the dressing till the dressing coats all the beans & peppers.
  • Refrigerate  or use immediately as a refreshing salad.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mooli Paratha/ Radish Paratha

How many people hate the smell when you cook radish?

I certainly do, but I like to eat radish. Garlic also has a strong aroma, but it gets a lot of attention from all of us. Poor radish, letz give him some TLC and roll it up as a paratha.

I learnt that ( thanks to wiki), paratha is a combination of 2 words "Parat" & "Atta". It originates from the state of Punjab and has found it's way into many world cuisines, with a different name.

Paratha - India, Pakistan, bangladesh
Palata -   Burma
Farata-   mauritius
parata-   Trinidad & Tobago.

Is'nt that amazing how food and culture move whever they go.

Let me share with you a very flavorful Mooli paratha which I learnt from Vah chef. I did not have amchur powder and replaced it with chaat masala.

Mooli Paratha (makes 5- 6 parathas)

Get Ready:

For the filling:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups garted mooli/ white radish
  • 2 green chillies very finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chaat masala
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • a pinch Hing
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 tsp salt or slightly less

For the atta/ dough:

2 cups flour
1 tsp vegetable or canola oil
water as needed.


  • Add 2 tsp of salt to the grated mooli and let itsit for an hour or so.
  • squeeze the water out of the mooli, by pressing with your palm and fingers. do not discard the water.
  • Take a non stick pan and add the grated mooli, all  the ingredients for the stuffing and fry without any oil till every thing is combined. It takes about 7 -10 mins. turn the fire off as your stuffing is ready.

  • Make the atta with the mooli water and 1 tsp of oil to make a medium stiff dough.
  • Let it sit for 15 -20 mins.
  • Divide the dough into equal number of balls.
  • Roll into a small disc about 2-3". Place the filling in the center and gather the edges and cover.
  • Roll again into a paratha, making sure the fillings don't come out.
  • Heat a tava and cook the parath with oil or ghee.
  • Serve hot with yogurt or any pickle.

You can also roll 2 chapthi's, place filling on one and cover with another chapathi to make a paratha.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Vegetable Barley Soup

Last week was busy and stressful. My parents went back to India and my little one started daycare. She has been so clingy to me that i barely have any time when I'm home. So whatever I cook has to be with least effort and time spent in the kitchen. I'm hoping that she will  settle down soon and get over separation anxiety.
I am down with cold, runny nose and feeling blah....
A hot bowl of soup will definitely kick start my system as i had a full schedule of patients and was on call for the night.  My pager started going off and I knew I had a long night ahead. I made this soup after coming home from the clinic, as i didn't want to eat anything.
Anyways, here is a quick and easy vegetable soup. I also added some pearl barley and firm tofu as I had them in hand. i used whatever veggies i had left in my fridge.

I did not actually measure anything except for the barley. Cooking with barley was introduced to me by friend  Priya M, who has an excellent blog Now Serving.

Get ready: ( serves 1)

  • 2 tbsp pearl barley
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 garlic
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1/4 zucchini diced
  • 1 hand full of chopped carrots
  • 1 tbsp tofu cubes ( used them as they were having too much fun time in the house)
  • a dash of dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • few sprigs of cilantro
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • juice of a 1/4 lime
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cups water/ vegetable broth  ( i used water)


  • Soak the barley for 20 mins and pressure cook with enough  water to cover it for 6-7 whistles.
  • In a pan, add olive oil, saute the onion and garlic.
  • Add the tomatoes and saute for few mins. Add all the vegetables and give a quick stir for few mins.
  • Add the salt,seasonings, water, barley ,tofu and let it come to a boil.
  • Adjust spices as per taste.
  • Let it simmer till all the vegetables are done. if you think the soup is too thick add some more water to the desired consistency.
  • Turn the leat off, add cilantro and lime juice.

Enjoy this steaming soup with a roll / garlic bread.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Gottu Rasam/ No dal Rasam

Everyone must have had a wonderful Diwali! After all the sweets and food during this period, one may wish to have something very light on the stomach.

A cup of rasam will be the most welcoming thing for your stomach!

Gottu rasam or Goddu rasam is an easy rasm to make without any dal.
This recipe is from my grandma who used to make when we were sick.

This can be done in a jiffy when you don't have time to cook. Also it's very comforting to eat with hot rice, ghee and papd if you ahve a cold or feeling under the weather. My kids are fighting a cold and this is perfect for that.
If you want to drink it as a soup, it's even yummier!
 If you want it fancier you can add chopped tomatoes or garlic, but usually not needed.

 Appalam/ Papads are an standard accompaniment in thesouth with rice. Usuallu it is deep fried or fire roasted. I have an electric stove and i found spraying  the appalam with cooking spray and nuking for 30 -40 secs gives very nice fried taste with less oil.

Get ready:

  • marble sized tamarind
  • 1 & 1/2 cups water
  • salt to taste
  • a pinch of turmeric powder
  • a pinch of asafetida
  • few sprigs of cilantro and curry leaves ripped
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 3/4 red chilli ( dried one)

  • take 1/4 cup of water and add the tamrind to it. You don't have to even take the extract.
  • Add turmeric, asafetida, salt to taste to the tamarind water.
  • Let it boil for 5- 10 mins till theraw smell goes away.
  • Now add the remaining water, curry leaves, cilantro and let it come to a boil.
  • In another pan, add ghee and do the taska with mustardseeds, cumin, redchilli and add it to the rasam.

Rasam is ready!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Badam Burfi/ Almond Burfi and Diwali wishes!

It's sweets time for Diwali ! I would like to share an easy burfi recipe with you all.
Most of the badam burfi's will tell you to soak the badam for few hours and peel  the skin. I really don't have the patience to peel the skin of 1 whole cup pf almonds.

Here is a very easy badam burfi which can be made with no fuss, no peeling, no soaking.

Get ready:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup milk powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • a pinch saffron soaked in 1 tbsp warm milk
  • 2 tbsp ghee/ clarified butter
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder


  • Coarsley or finely powder the dry almonds with skin ina blender or spice grinder.
  • Mix the milk powder with the powdered badam and set aside.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan, add the sugar and 1/4 cup water.
  • MAke the sugar syrup to 2 string consistency. It will take about 10 mins.
  • Now add the badam, milk powder and mix well on moderate flame.
  • Add the  ghee little by little and cook till the mixture doesn't stick to the pan for about 5 mins.
  • Grease a plate and pour the badam mixture in it.
  • Smoothen the surface with a greased spatula.
  • Let it cool, cut into diamond shapes and serve.
It soft, rich and perfect for the festive season.

Wishing you and your family a happy and prosperous diwali!