Thursday, August 25, 2011

Quinoa Burger

Sometimes health foods can really taste nasty! But one exception is Quinoa. It is so versatile that it can be adjusted to satisfy our palates with any spice combinations. One such dish is a hearty, healthy quinoa burger.
I used some red kidney beans, panko and some indian spices to make this yummy burger. It is filling, low calorie and a guilt free lunch / dinner idea.

 I used some greek yogurt with cucumebr and a dash of lemon to serve on top of the burger instead of mayo or ketchup.

Get ready

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 egg
  • 1 -1/3 cup red kidney beans
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs ( any bread crumbs would do fine too)
  • 2-3 green onions/ scallions
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1/4 inch ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt to taste
  • oil to shallow fry the patties


  • Wash quinoa multiple times and cook with  double the measure of water till they on translucent. I cooked ina kadai once water came to a boil, lower the heat and cook covered. set aside
  • In food processor, add the carrot, red kidney beans, chopped scallions, green chilli and ginger and pulse till everything is mixed well.
  • Add this mixture to the cooked quinoa, 1 egg, panko, spices, salt and mix well. If it's little loose, don't worry, just shove them in the freezer or fridge for a little while.
  • Make patties of desired size and shallow fry them on both sides till golden and crispy.
  • Serve with any sauce or sides of your choice.

( I tried to bake 2 of them, did not come out well)

Greek yougurt sauce

add some finely chopped cucumber to couple of spoons of greek yougurt. add salt to taste and squirt some fresh lemon juice to taste.
There you go, an awesome sauce ready in no time!




A very tasty and filling burger ready in no time! Enjoy!








Sunday, August 21, 2011

Milagai Podi/ Idli Dosa Podi/ Chutney Podi

No south-Indian can go without idli and dosas. Sometimes making chutney may not always be possible. Chutney powder or Idli dosa milagai podi always comes to the rescue as a perfect combo for idli dosas. It's made by roasting dry red chilis, urad dal, and sesame seeds. Different households have different recipes to make it. I am sharing a recipe for how it's made in my home.

Get ready!

  • 2 cups urad dal
  • 1 cup dry red chilis (Milagai vatral)
  • 3 tbsp. white sesame seeds
  • 1-1 & 1/2 tsp. asafetida powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. oil

  • In a pan or kadai, dry roast the white sesame seeds on medium heat till they pop. Make sure not to burn them. Set aside.
  • In the same pan, add the urad dal and dry roast them till golden in color. Set aside.
  • Now add 1 tsp. oil and roast the red chilis till they are crisp and fragrant, making sure not to burn them.
  • Let all the dry roasted ingredients cool.
  • In a blender or spice grinder, blend the red chilis and asafetida first to a nice powder.
  • Next add the urad dal and grind till they are coarse. If you want a fine chutney powder, grind them to a finer consistency.
  • Add the roasted sesame seeds at the end and salt to taste and whiz till everything is blended together.
  • Store this powder in an airtight container and use it as needed.


    Saturday, August 13, 2011

    Appam / Nei Appam /Unni appam

    Appam is traditional south Indian sweet made during special holidays. It looks similar to kuzhipaniyaram, except it is made mainly with rice and jaggery. They are always available as prasad in most kerala temples. It's soft and fluffy inside with a slight crisp to bite outside. Adding banana, especially " poovan" variety makes it very soft. Adding ghee to the batter makes it quite flavorful and that's the trade off for frying it in ghee!

    I love appams as they are so addictive. I made them today for Aavani Avittam and wanted to share the recipe made in my home with you.

    Get Ready:

    • 1 cup  rice
    • 1 and 1/2 cup powdered jaggery
    • 1/3 cup water
    • 1 tbsp. ghee
    • 1 tbsp. grated coconut
    • 1/2 banana
    • Oil to fry
    • Appakaral or special paniyaram pan

    • Soak the rice in water for about 1-2 hrs.
    • Grind the rice with minimum water.
    • Add the coconut and 1/2 mashed banana, halfway while grinding to make a fine batter.
    • Dissolve the jaggery in water and strain any dirt or impurities.
    • Add the jaggery and water to the ground batter.
    • Add a tablespoon of ghee and mix the batter well.
    • Fill oil in your appakaral and heat on high. Once the oil is hot, reduce heat to medium.
    • Add the batter to the holes int he pan filling 3/4.
    • Flip them over after one or two mins. and cook on both sides till golden.

    Enjoy these delicious appams. Another easy way to do is using equal measures of rice flour and atta and mixed with jaggery.

    Happy Indian Independence day to all my fellow blogger 's ! Proud to be an Indian !

    Sunday, August 7, 2011

    Easy Kuzhi Paniyaram

    Thanks everyone for your well wishes!

    Kuzhipaniyaram is a very popular snack from the chettinad cuisine.  Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu is the main town of chettinad area accompanied by multiple villages. Chettinadu is famous for its spicy cuisine, mansions and temples.

    Paniyaram can be made either sweet or as a savory item. Here is an easy version to make a savory kuzhi paniyaram with idli/ dosa batter. All you need is a special pan to fry it. Most south indians carry a appa karal or appe pan which could be used to make kuzhipaniyarams.
    Serve these with a spicy onion/ coconut or tomato chutney and wash it with a hot cup of coffee.

    Get Ready:

    • 1 and 1/2 cup idli/ dosa batter
    • 1/3 cup finely minced onions
    • 2 green chillies chopped
    • 1 tsp ginger chopped
    • 2 tbsp grated carrots
    • 1 tsp oil
    • 1/4 tsp mustartd seeds
    • 1/4 tsp urad dal
    • asafetida a pinch
    •  curry leaves few
    •  cilantro few
    • salt to taste
    • oil to shallow fry.

    • In a pan add a tsp oil and do the tadka with mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves, asafetida.
    • Add the onions and fry till translucent. turn the heat off
    • To the dosa batter add the sauted onion, carrots, chilli, ginger, salt to taste, cilantro.
    • If it's too watery, add few spoons of rawa/ sooji to thicken it. if too thick add a little water.
    • Put the appa karal on low medium heat. add a drop of oil to the holes in the karal and wipe with a tissue.
    • Now add a big drop of oil to the holes.
    • add the batter into the paniyaram holes till it is almost full.
    • Cook on low heat.
    • Using a chopstick or a skewer, flip them over.
    • Cook till they are crispy and golden-brown on both sides.
    • Serve hot with any chutney of your choice or pickle.

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    Carrot Rice and coming back!

    Feels good to blog after a long time. Personal life had been very hectic with switching jobs, traveling etc.I had been to India for almost a month. My mother had been sick and being so far away here was hard on me. I am glad I was able to spend time with her and take care of her. She still has a long path to recovery, but i am sure she will make it.

    I missed all your new mouth watering recipes and excellent write ups. I find it hard to catch up with things after returning from home. I eventually will do, wouldn't I?

    Here is an easy one pot meal to make with carrots and peas. Adding coconut is a new twist and yielded very satisfying results.

    Get Ready

    • 1 cup Basmati rice cooked and cooled
    • 1 cup grated carrots
    • 1/2 cup peas
    • 1 small onion chopped
    • 1 small tomato chopped
    • 2 tbsp grated coconut
    • 2  dried red chillies
    • 1 tsp chopped ginger
    • 1 small green chilli slit
    • 1 tbsp oil
    • 2 cardamon pods
    • 1 small stick cinnamon
    • 1 clove
    • 1 tbsp broken cashew pieces
    • cilantro to garnish salt to taste.


    • In a blender grind onion, red chilli, coconut and tomato to a fine paste without any water. set aside
    • In a pan add oil and do tadka with cardamon, cinnamon,clove and cashews
    • Add the green chilli and ginger.
    • Add the ground coconut paste and saute till its dry
    • Add the grated carrots, peas, salt to taste and fry till carrots are slightly cooked.
    • Add the cooked rice and mix well taking care not to mush up the rice.
    • Adjust salt according to taste.
    • Garnish with cilantro.
    • Serve with raita and chips.