Saturday, October 29, 2011

Thai Coconut Soup/ Tom ka Ghai

Tom ka ghai is asimple thai soup made with coconut milk and authentic thai spices. It usually has chicken, pork or seafood. Here is my creation of this as a vegetarian one. The kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass and galangal gives such an amazing flavor for this wonderful soup.

 Get Ready
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup chopped carrots, mushroom, corn, beans
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass, thin stem, crushed and cut into 2"
  • 1 " galangal sliced
  • 3-4 Kaffir lime leaves/ aka narthanaga ilai
  • 1/3 cup chopped spring onions ( green part)
  • 1/3 cup cubed Tofu
  • 3-4 green chilli slit
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Soy sauce
  • cilantro 1 tbsp
  • In a pan add the water,coconut milk, lemon grass, galangal, green chillies, kaffir leaves and let it come to a boil.
  • let it cook for 2-3 mins.
  • Add all the vegetables,tofu, salt to taste and cook till the vegetables are soft ,but crunchy.
  • Add the spring onions, soy sauce.
  • let it cook for 1 minute.
  • garnish with cilantro.

Serve hot and it's one of the most addictive soups you've ever had.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Diwali Wishes and Rava laddu

 image courtsey: diwali cards

Wishing all my super duper blogger friends a fabulous Diwali!

I would like to share a simple rava laddu recipe with you all.

Get Ready:
  • 1 cup Rawa/ sooji
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2- 2.5 tbsp ghee/ clarified butter
  • 2 tbsp milk, or more as needed
  • 2 tbsp coconut powder ( available in indian store)
  • 1 tbsp golden raisins
  • 1-2 tbsp broken cashews and sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder.

  • In a non stick pan, add 2- 2.5 tbsp of ghee and add the cashews, almonds and raisins. Fry them on a medium flame till the cashews are oink and the raisins plump up.
  • Now add the rava and roast stirring frequently till pink or a nice aroma arises. Remember to have the heat on med to low.
  • Add the coconut powder, sugar, cardamom powder and mix till everything is well combined. 
  • turn the heat off.
  • add the 2 tbsp of milk and mix everything well. it should be the consistency of wet sand so you can make balls.
  • If too dry sprinkle a lit bit more milk.
  • cover the pan and let it cool for 5 mins.
  • Apply some ghee or water to your hands and make them into small balls.
  • Let them cool and store in an air tight container.

Enjoy this festive treat with your friends and family!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Corn flakes Chivda

Diwali is just round the corner. Here i am with a very easy chivda or mixture recipe using corn flakes. I used kellogs brand, plain cornflakes. One doesn't have to deep fry the corn flakes for this chivda. It is very easy and breezy recipe that can be done in no time.

I am on call for this weekend so didn't have the luxury to have a lot of time to prepare sweets and snacks.

Also check out my Ribbon pakoda

 Get Ready:

  • 4 cups corn flakes
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup cashews broken
  • 1/3 pottu kadalai/ roasted dalia
  • 1/3 cup Peanuts with skin
  • 1/3 cup Murmura/ Pori ( optional)
  • 1/3 cup aval/ poha
  • 1-2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp coconut powder ( optional)
  • 1 tbsp dried cranberries (optional)
  • a few  curry leaves
  • Oil to deep fry


  • Heat oil and deep fry the cashews till golden, raisins till plump, peanuts, poha, pottukadali, curry leaves till crisp one by one and keep them aside on a paper towel.
  • In a large bowl add the corn flakes, the deep fried cashews, raisins, poha, pottukadali, pori, coconut powder, cranberries, salt, chilli powder and toss them well.
  • The oil on the deep fried items will help the salt and spices stick to the chivda.
Store in an air tight container and enjoy anytime. Rava laddu coming soon!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Arisi Upma /Cream of rice Upma

Arisi upma or cream of rice upma is avery traditional breakfast/ evening tiffin in the south. It is usually made in a heavy bottemed bronze vessel called " vengala panai". I was never a fan of this as kid. I remember having a long face whever this was served for tiffin. However I used to like the crispy caked part of the upma stuck to the bottom of the vengalapanai. It is very simple one pot mead made with rice, toor dal, cumin, coconut & spices.

Now as an dult i really appreciate the simplicity of this good old dish. My cousin from Aberdeen, UK had requested this recipe and here it is for you R....

Traditionally no vegetables are added. I added some carrots and peas to make it mre colorful and interesting for the kids. It is up to you to add any vegetables or leave them out. I am presenting a method where a pressure cooker could be used.

The first step here is to make the cream of rice, i.e to make the "kurunai".
Let's get started guys!

Get Ready ( serves 2-3)

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 fistful toor dal
  • 1/2 tso cumin
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/3 cup frozen pead
  • 1/3 cup grated coconut
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2-3 tsp coconut oil ( gives a lot of flavor, mre the better)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1 tsp channa dal/ kadali paruppu
  • 1 red chilli slit
  • pinch pf asafetida
  • few curry leaves
  • 2 and 1/2 cups water ( if you want very soft consistenct add 2 and 3/4 cup water)


  • Sprinke some water on the raw rice, just enough to coat all the grains. set aside for 30 mins. This helps to get an evenly ground cream of rice or kurunai.
  • In a blender add the rice, toor dal, cumin and grind coarsely. set aside.

  • In a pan, preferrable non stick add the coconut and regular oil. Once hot do the tadka with mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal, red chilli, asafetida, curry leaves.
  • Add the carrot, peas and saute for 3 -5 mins.
  • Add the 2and half cups of water,grated coconut, salt to taste.

  • When the water comes to a boil, add the ground rice, toordal,cumin mix.
  • It will boil and splutter. so reduce the heat and cover for 1-2 mins.
  • Open and stir till the the maavu as it is called doesn't stick to the sides of the pan.

  • turn the heat off and cover. let it sit for 5 mins.
  • Transfer it to another vessel and pressure cook it for 1or maximum 2 whistles.

Serve hot with a drop of ghee and sambar, chutney, gotsu. Howevr my favorite is Vellam or jaggery! i used one red chilli which was not very spicy. If you want add more  red chilli during the tadka.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Eggless Banana Chocolate Muffins

 I have not posted a whole lot of eggless recipes when it comes to baking! I had tried a few which mainly called for baking soda or baking powder. However, I did not like the after taste of baking soda when there was nothing to over power it's taste. I used flax seeds this time and i was very pleased with the final outcome.

My muffins were soft, they rose well and most of all did not have any after taste. They were soft even on day 3.  The rule of thumb for egg replacements when using flax seeds is 1 egg = 1 tablespoon flax seeds mixed with 3 tbsp water. I had coarsely ground flax seeds in hand, which I powdered fine and mixed with water. It gives a gelationous base for the muffins.

The beauty of this recipe is there is no butter ! The recipe can easily be doubled .

Get ready  (makes 7 muffins)

  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp all purpose flour/ maida
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 over ripe bananas mashed
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds powder
  • 3 tbsp water
  • Pre heat oven to 400F. line muffin liners or spray the wells with cooking oil. fill some water for the empty wells, so you don't burn the pan
  • Mix the chocolate chips with 3 tbsp of flour and set aside. this helps the chocolate chips not to sink at the bottom of the muffin
  • Mix the flax seeds powder with water and set aside
  • Whisk the mashed bananas, oil,flax seed mixture, oil and vanilla extract till creamy
  • Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt to the the liquid ingredients and fold.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips, making sure to not to over mix them.
  • Fill the muffin liners 3/4th and bake for 15- 18 mins or till a tooth pick comes out clean.
Enjoy this for breakfast,school lunch or as an after school snack! See how the chocolate chips are on top and almost everywhere!

    Friday, October 7, 2011

    Onion Chutney/ Vengaya Chutney

     The festival season has just started! we still have Diwali, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year and many more to come. We all will be cooking many fancy things to enjoy with our friends and families.

    But we still need to cook our basic rice, dal, rasam, idli, dosa etc.. A perfectly hor plate of idli's or dosas would be incomplete with this super flavored onion chutney. I used pearl onions which gives a tons of flavor. One can easily replace it with red or vidalia onions. Yes...I know peeling those little pearl onions is a task, but think of the chutney... you won't mind doing that job!

    I am sure you are checking your kitchen to see if there are some onions lying around! Using the red pearl onion gives a nice color to the chutney.

    Get ready
    • 1 cup pearl onions peeled
    • 2 red chilli ( i used the round small ones)
    • 1/4 tsp tamarind paste
    • 1/2 tsp jaggery powder or to taste
    • salt to taste

    For Tadka
    • 1 tbsp oil
    • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
    • 1/2 tsp urad dal
    • A pinch of hing/ asafetida 
    • curry leaves 3-4


    • Grind the onions,red chilli, tamrind paste, jaggery and salt to a fine paste. No need to add water.
    • In a pan do the tadka with mustard seeds, urad dal and hing.
    • Add the onion paste and cook on medium heat till the water evaporates and the chutney leaves the sides of the pan. i.e for 2-3 mins.

    Serve with hot steaming idli's, crispy dosas or with rice!