Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cauliflower Kurma


Cauliflower is a favorite veggie for all of us at home. I made this simple kurma to be served with chapathi. I usually add coconut to my kurmas, but this time it was with out any coconut. The khus khus and cashews five it a rich creamy consistency. It may seem like a lot of steps involved, but it's easy though!

To make it more colorful, add any vegetables you have in hand.
Get Ready:
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup chopped  red onions
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 2 green chillies slit
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Khus khus
  • 1 tbsp cashews
  • salt to taste
  •  3 tsp olive oil.

  • Soak cashew and khus khus in 2-3 tbsp of water for 20 mins.
  • In a large pot, boil water. Add a pinch of salt, turmeric powder to the boiling water. add the cauliflower florets, cover the pot and turn the heat off.
  • Drain the water after 10 mins and keep the cauliflower aside.
  • In a pan, add 1 tsp oilve oil and sayte the onions till brown. add the ginger, green chilli, chopped tomatoes and saute till they are soft.
  • Turn the heat off. Once cooled, grind the onion, tomatoes into a pulp. Set aside
  • Grind the cashew khus khus with the soaked water into a fine paste.
  • In the same pan that you fried the onions, add 2 tsp of oilve oil, add the pureed tomato, onion mixture.
  • Add all the masala powders and fry till the oil separates out.
  • Add the cauliflower, salt to taste, ground cashew  khus khus paste and mix well.
  • Add water to a desired consistency and let it come to a boil.
  • If less spicy add some garam masala.
  • Once it boils, cover  and simmer for 5 mins. turn the heat off.
  • garnish with cilantro and serve hot.
Enjoy :))


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Milagu Vadai and lessons learnt

Milagu vadai is a special prasadham offered to Lord Hanuman. It is crispy, crunchy with a hint of pepper and jeera made with Urad dal. People offer this to Lord Anjaneya as a garland with belief that he will take care of everything. I used to do this often many years ago, as we jad a nice hanuman sannidhi, near our house in east London.

I was planning do something similar fora while and finally decided last weekend. It doesn't take much soaking and easy to prepare. My son and hubby had gone for basket ball practice and my daugher was napping.
I follow the  exact recipe of Mallika Badrinath and this is how it goes.

So, let's get to business

Get ready:
  •  1 cup urad dal
  • 1 tbsp rice
  • 1 tsp black pepper corns
  • salt to taste
  • Oil to deep fry


  • wash and soak the urad dal and rice for 20 mins.
  • Powder the pepper
  • drain water and grind coarsely with little water. Mixie/ blender is fine, just add little amount of water.
  • Add salt to taste and pepper powder to the batter. add salt at the end.
  • Heat oil in a pan to deep fry.
  • Add 3 tbsp of hot oil to the batter and mix well.
  • Make small balls with little water on your hands.
  • Use a zip lock bag and  flatten the balls thin like a thattai and make a home in the center.
  • Drop in the oil carefully after lefting them off the zip lock,
  • Deep fry till golden and crispy.

If the batter is runny you can add a little rawa/ sooji.

I made 2 vadais and then My daughter was crying in her nap. I turned off my electric coil and went to attend her needs. I was trying to put her back to sleep as I had to finish frying the vadai's. Suddenlt I heard some beeping noise and wondered, " why is the smoke alarm going off?'.

I rushed downstairs and was shocked to see that my kadai with oil was on fire. The flames were so intense that my over therange microwave was on fire and the flames were slashing up to the ceiling. I had not turned off the heat properly, How stupid is that??

I was in total shock. I grabbed the pan with a " idukki". put it out on the deck and put the fire out with water.
There was black soot every where and  I was just shaking. It could have been worse!

I heard my daughter crying in panic as the smoke alarm was very loud. I quickly grabbed her, called 911 and got out of the house.

This is what was left....

 No more vadai's... No more microwave! Even though the insurance will cover, the inconveniences I have created are....!

The lessons I learnt ( hard way) were..

1. Make sure you turn off the stove before you go on to do something, especially if you have hot oil.

2. Never use water to put off a fire with grease. cover the pan with a lid and that will contain the fire.

3. Have a small fire extinguisher in the kitchen which can be reached immediately.

4. Don't multi task, as we woman always do!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Karela fry/ Pagakka kari

I never was a fan of karelas as a kid. In my household karelas were only used for pulikozhambus, pitlai and sambhar. I became a big karela eater once i tasted the thinly sliced deep fried ones. I don't know why these fried stuff tastes so good, but bad for you :((

I don't deep fry them, but cook them with lots of onions, tomatoes and spices to take the bitterness away. These are perfect accompaniments to either rice or chappathis.

They can be sliced as rounds or cut thin wedges. The key is to remove those seeds and pulp from the centre as they are not so nice!

Get ready:
  • 4 karelas sliced round
  • 1 tsp sambar powder
  •  1/4 tsp salt
  • drizzle olive oil
  • 1/2 onion sliced
  • 2 small tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tsp sambar powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida/ hing
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp urad dal
  • 1 red chilli
  • Marinate the sliced karelas with  a drizzle of olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt and sambhar powder for about 20 mins.
  • In a pan, heat oil and do the tadka with mustard seeds, urad dal and red chilli.
  • Add the sliced onions and fry till they are brown.
  • Add the tomatoes and fry till they are all mushy.
  • Now add the karelas, hing, and mix well.
  • Reduce the flame, cover let the karelas sweat as they cook.
  • Add salt to taste, sambhar powder, coriander powder and mix well.
  • Uncover and cook on alow flame tossing them intermittently till they are browned and well coated with spices.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Creamy Corn and Vegetable Soup

Now is the best time to enjoy soup when the days are dull, cold and gloomy. Having said that we had spring like temperatures today. I am not complaining, but you can still enjoy this creamy soup anytime. I was inspired by Ellie krieger to  make this creamy soup. It's very low in calories and very hearty too. I gave it a twist by adding some coconut milk. The fresh basil at the end boosts the flavor a ton. I am a big fan of cilantro, but basil gives it a unique flavor. I made this  soup 2 weeks ago but did'nt have time to blog it. I made mine a little runny, but you can make it very creamy if you decrease the water. the ground corn gives the creaminess for this soup.

If you want a chinese twist, add some soy sauce, chilli sauce, but remember to cut down the salt :))

So, get your soup pots and get going!

Get Ready:

  • 1 cup frozen corn ( thawed)
  • 1/4 cup warm milk (1%)
  • 1 & 1/2 cup diced veggies ( potato, carrot, red and orange  bell pepper)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 rsp chopped ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • salt as needed
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1/3 cup water  to used used in small increments ( can be replaced with vegetable broth)
  • 3 tbsp coconut milk powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • Add the coconut milk powder to the warm milk and whisk till well blended.
  • In a blender puree the corn with the milk, coconut milk combo till creamy and set aside.
  • In a pan heat oil, add the onion, garlic and saute till the onions are translucent.
  • Add the chilli, ginger and fry for few seconds.
  • Add the diced vegetables saute for few mins, add little salt and very little water just enough to cook the vegetables.
  • Add the creamy corn puree.
  • If the soup is too thick add a little water to to your desired consistency
  • season with salt and black pepper as needed.
  • Let it come just to boil and turn the heat off.
  • Add roughly chopped basil leaves and serve hot with soft roll or a salad.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sweet Potato Paratha

I have blogged a lot about the benefits of sweet potato earlier. To add to my list of sweet potato dishes of Podimas and sweet potato fries ,comes Sweet potato paratha.

Healthy afterschool snack or a lunch box idea for kids and kids at heart!

Get ready:

Yields 7 parathas

  • 1 cup cubed sweet potato, cooked
  • 1 cup whole wheat atta
  • 1 tsp sambhar powder
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp olive oil



  • Mash the cooked sweet potatoes well.
  • Add sambar powder, salt to taste and cilantro.
  • Add the atta and knead into a soft dough with 1 tsp of olive oil.
  • No need to add water as the sweet potato has the water.
  • Refrigerate for 20 mins and roll into a paratha/ roti.
  • Heat a tava and cook the parathas on both sides till golden with ghee or oil.

They are perfect for kids lunch box, as they stay very soft.

Both my kids loved this! I hope you all will enjoy it too!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Oatmeal smoothie

I never would have thought of making smoothie with oatmeal! The beauty is no cooking..Seriously!

Honestyly the name may sound wierd, but it's very tasty, healthy and filling breakfast smoothie.

Now there is no excuse to skip breakfast as this can be done in a snap. I've made it twice this week and my son loved it too!
You can add any fruits/ peanut butter/ nutella or even add some fruit juice to replace milk and make it very interesting.

Get ready: ( serves one)

1/2 cup 1% milk
1/3 cup quick oats
1/2 banana sliced ( best thing is to slice them and freeze them, as they work as ice cubes too)
1 cup strawberries ( I used fresh, frozen works great too)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp sugar ( can use honey too)

  • In a blender add the oats and whizz it till it's a fine powder.
  • Add the milk, fruits, sugar, vanilla and blend them till smooth.
  • If it's too thick add some more milk.
Grab and go breakfast is ready to be enjoyed!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ginger tea orangade

I made this for a birthday party and it was finished in no time. I had bookmarked it from aipi and the original source is from Giada's. Aipi had made it as a lemonade and i was planning the same until i realized that I had no lemons! duh....
I had some oranges in hand and substituted the lemon juice for orange juice.  I did not use black tea but used our good old brooke bond tea bags.
It still tasted pretty awesome to me and my guests. Unlike me you all will all be smart and check your ingredients before you make something! ha ha....

Get Ready:
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 black tea bags, preferably English breakfast tea
  • 1 1/3 cups Ginger Simple Syrup, recipe follows
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup sparkling water or club soda, chilled
  • 2 cups ice
  • Orange slices, for garnish, optional

In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add the tea bags. Stir and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags and discard. Add the Ginger Simple Syrup, orange juice, and sparkling water.

Put the ice in a large pitcher. Pour the orangade mixture over the ice. Garnish with orange slices

Ginger Simple Syrup:

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine the sugar, water and ginger. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool, about 20 minutes. Strain before using.

Sending to the Bookmarked event

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Akkara Adisil

This is a traditional sweet dish made during the month of Marghazhi/ dec to jan. Akka adisil is vey authentic in Iyengar cuisine in the south. It is similar to chakkara pongal except the rice and moong dal is cooked with lots of milk and jaggery.
 My mom used to make this sugar and saffron and it gives a very pleasing color. It's so creamy rich and out of this world.

So here is the recipe!

Get Ready:

  • 3/4 measure raw rice
  • 1/4 measure moong dal
  • 3 cups 1% milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • A pinch of saffron
  • 1 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 1/2 - 1 cup ghee
  • 1 tbsp. chopped cashews and golden raisins.


  1. In a pan, dry roast the moong dal till they are pink.
  2. Once the moong dal is cooled, add 3 cups of milk and rice & pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.
  3. In another pan, add sugar and just enough water to cover the sugar.
  4. Let the sugar boil for 10 minutes till it forms a thick syrup. Now add saffron to the syrup.
  5. Mash the cooked rice/dal mixture and add it to the sugar syrup.
  6. Add ghee, little by little, to the rice/dal mixture and stir it till it leaves the sides.
  7. Turn the heat off.
  8. In a pan, add a little bit of ghee and fry the cashews & raisins till golden brown and add it to the adisil.
  9. Garnish with cardamom powder and enjoy!!!
The adisil may look runny, but it will thicken once cooled.

Tell me what do you think of this akkara adisil with sugar.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Naan Pizza

 I am not a big fan of frozen naans. My husband had stocked some frozen ones when i was away couple of months ago. I was thinking of some excuse to not use it at all. But then as i was blog hopping i found a novel way to use the naan.

This is a totally cool fusion recipe!

Yes, it was to mkae pizza out of it. Whenever we order pizza, i am not a happy camper as i don't like the thick crust pizzas! My husband and my son will unanimously go for domino's thick crust and leave me guity of eating lots of carbs!

Naan pizza gives you a thin crust and you can add any toppings you want. All you need is some marinara sauce and a little creativity!

So here you go with the recipe!

  • Tandoori naan ( frozen or regualr from whole foods/ trader joe's) 1 per person
  • Store bought marinara sauce
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Red Onion thinly sliced
  • For topping _ chopped red pepper, broccoli, jalapeno peppers and some frozen corn.
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt to taste

  • Pre heat oven to 400F
  • in a pan add the olive oil, saute the onions till soft.
  • Add the vegetables and saute for 5 mins. add salt to your taste and turn the heat off.
  • Arrange the naan on a baking sheet.
  • Add 1 tbsp of marinara sauce on top of the naan and spread it.
  • add the veggie toppings and shredded cheese.
  • Bake for 10 mins till the cheese is bubbly.
Enjoy this total family pleaser!

Sending this to priyasnowserving