Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pesarattu /Green Moong Dal Crepes

2011 has taught me some wonderful things. I made new blogger friends, got to taste some amazing recipes shared by my friends.
Here I am at the end of this year sharing a traditional breakfast recipe from my neighbor state/

Pesarattu is a traditional breakfast from Andhra. It is usuallys erved with upma. However in Tamil nadu, it is served with either sambar or chutney. The main ingredient is green moong dal, with skin. i would say it's a cousin of our Adai. However in adai we use channa dal, moong dal, urad dal, and rice.

Adais generally need no fermentation and so does pesarattu. Try this nutritious breakfast that can keep you charged all through the morning.

Get Ready:

  • 1 measure Green moong dal
  • 1/2 measure basmati rice
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 1 inch ginger peeled and chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida/ hing
  • water
  • oil

  • wash the rice and moong dal together. soak overnight in water
  • Next day, grind them finely with green chilli, ginger ina blender, adding water to a consistency of dosa batter.
  • Add asafetida, salt to taste and mix well.
  • In a griddle or tawa, add a little oil and spread.
  • Pour a ladle full of batter and make crepes or dosas.
  • Let it cook till it is crispy or brown.
  • Flip the other side and cook for a few mins.

Serve hot with chutney, milagai podi or sambar.

Wishing all my friends a wonderlful 2012! may your life be filled with love, good health and of course scrumptious food!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Thai Buttenut Squash Soup

Home made soup is the way to go if you are looking for a pure vegetarian version. Most of the canned variety has chicken stock and is a no no for me. The beauty of homemade soups are they freeze beautifully and can be enjoyed any time even if you make a big batch.

I was flipping through a magazine while eating lunch and this simple soup caught my attention. The name sounded fancy as Thai butter nut squash soup. I don't know if butter nut squash is frequently used in Thai cooking or not. Tried this one recently and wanted to share this wonderful recipe with all my friends.
If you like the taste of  coconut milk, you will love this.

One can cook this in a pan or even use pressure cooker. if using pressure cooker cook everything for 1 whistle.

Get Ready

  • 2 & 1/2 cups butter nut squash peeled, seeded
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 inch ginger peeled and chopped fine
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable stock ( can be replaced with water)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup Maggi coconut milk powder
  • 2-3 tbsp Thai red curry paste ( store bought)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted peanuts coarsely crushed
  • Lots of cilantro to garnish
  • 2-3 tsp lime juice or juice of 1/2 lime
  • Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  • Add the onions and saute till softened. Add ginger, garlic and cook for a minute.
  • Stir in the red curry paste and cook for another minute.
  • Microwave 2 cups of water for 30 -40 secs. Add the coconut milk powder and whisk till frothy and lump free. if you are using canned coconut milk, use may be half a can.
  • Add water or vegetable stock, cubed butter nut squash.
  • Adjust salt to taste, let it come to a boil and lower to a simmer.
  • Cover the pot partially and cook till the squash is soft and tender.
  • Puree soup in the pan if you have an immersion blender. If not, let it cool and puree in a blender/ mixie.
  • Add lime juice.
  • Garnish with crushed peanuts and cilantro.

This soup was medium spicy, if you want it more kick add one green chilli while sauteing onions. Add more or less coconut milk according to your taste.  After blending the soup if you feel it's too thick, dilute with water to you desired consistency and bring to a boil in a pan. Just remember to add the lime juice at the end as you don't want to boil the soup after adding lime juice as it may be bitter.

Wishing You all a wonderful holidays!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tutti Fruti Cake

Tutti Fruti cake needs no introduction to many Indians. It's always available in bakeries across towns and tastes awesome with a cup of Chai! We get this cake in our local Indian bakery. Every time my husband goes there he doesn't stop with buying one.
 Tutti fruti aka candied fruit, pineapple essence and pineapple juice makes this cake so aromatic and flavorful. The moment I saw the recipe at paritaskitchen ,I bookmarked it. Unfortunately got around to doing it now.
So, here goes the recipe! I did not have pineapple juice, but replaced it with mango juice! It still tasted pretty amazing.

Get ready

  • 2 cups all purpose flour/ maida
  • 1 & 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup tutti fruti mixed with 1 tbsp of flour
  • 2 large eggs at room temp
  • 1 stick unsalted butter softened at room temp
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pineapple essence/ extract
  • 2 tbsp mango juice

  • Pre heat oven to 350 F, Grease a loaf pan or any pan you want to bake in.
  • Whisk all thedry ingredients together ( flour, baking soda and powder)
  • Cream the butter and sugar well till light and creamy. takes about 2-3 mins .I used the back of a spatula for this.
  • Using a electric hand mixer, add one egg at a time and beat well till they look pale  and creamy.
  • Add the pineapple extract, mango juice and mix well.
  • Add the milk and flour and gently fold till everything is combined well. do not over beat/ mix.
  • Finally add the tutti fruti and fold well.
  • Bake for 40 -45 mins or till a tooth pick comes out clean when inserted.
  • Allow it to cool well, slice and enjoy.

The hardest part is to wait for the cake to cool. If you rush and cut, the cake will become all crumbly.

Enjoy with tea/ coffee!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chick Peas Curry/ Garbanzo Beans Curry

It was raining cats and dogs here, so glad it's gone! But the mercury is dropping :((

Here is a simple curry to warm up your inner souls.

Chole, Channa or  chick peas curry has many variations in every house hold. Using the tea bags to cook the chick peas gives a nice dark color to the curry.
It goes very well with rice, chapathi's, pita bread, toast ,or to eat it by itself, you name it!

 Get Ready:

  • 1 & 1/2 cup  dry chick peas soaked in water overnight  ( can use canned ones)
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala powder
  • 1/4 tsp dry mango powder ( optional)
  • salt to taste
  • water
  • 1tbsp oil
  • 2 whole green cardamom
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tea bag ( optional)
  • Jaggery/ brown sugar a little ( optional)
  • Cilantro

  • Pressure cook the chick peas with whole cardamom, tea bag (optional) and water up to a an inch above the chick peas for 5-6 whistles. If cooking on stove top, it may take a very long time and I''ve never tried. Turn the heat off.
  • In a heavy bottomed or deep pan, add the oil.
  • Once hot add the cumin seeds and let them sizzlze.
  • Add the onions and fry till slightly brown.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and fry till the mixture is dry and oil starts to separate out. This may take 4-5 mins. Make sure you cover the pan, or be prepared for a tomato splash!
  • Add all the dry spices, cumin, coriander, garam masala, chilli and dry mango powder and saute till the raw smell goes away.
  • Discard the tea bags, but drain and reserve the water in which you cooked the chick peas. If using canned ones, add them after rinsing to the tomato, onion mix at this point.
  • Add some of the cooked water, salt to taste and combine everything well.
  • If the curry is too thick add more water till you get the consistency you want.
  • Adjust spices according to your taste.
  • Let it come to a boil and simmer for 5-7 mins.
  • Add a pinch of brown sugar or jaggery to taste. this is totally optional.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.

    Sunday, December 4, 2011

    Spaghetti squash Curry

    Whose up for some fun?

    See if you can identify all the ingredients in this dish?

    Sharpen your nuclear vision and get started!

    I started this as a guessing game. Many of my friends thought it was vermicili upma/ pulao.
     It does look like that doesn't it!

    Spaghetti squash is a winter squash. It gets it's name  as the cooked squash separates into spaghetti like strands. It's plenty in the market now and cheap. I am cooking it for the first time.
    It is always good to try with spices and flavors I am used to than experimenting, isn't it?

    Spaghetti squash apparently has only 40 calories/ cup and that's pretty amazing guys! also has plenty of beta carotene and fiber, you know the good stuff for colon!
     I used onions, red bell pepper and green peas jut for different colors. you can use or omit these if you want to.
    Hardest part of cooking squash is to cut it. This time I nuked it and was a breeze. I cooked for 10 mins, but 8 would be sufficient. The most important thing is to poke multiple holes on the squash,so you don't end with an explosion of squash inside your microwave.

    Get ready:

    • 1 spaghetti squash
    • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
    • 1/2 red bell pepper diced
    • 1/3 cup frozen peas
    • 1 red chilli
    • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
    • 1/2 tsp urad dal
    • 1 tbsp oil
    • salt to taste.
    • cilantro for garnish


    • With a big knife, poke 4-5 holes in the squash.
    • Microwave the squash by placing directly on the turn table for 8-10 mins. turn it over once in the middle.
    • You will notice steam releasing from the inside of the squash. It will collapse a little and feel soft to touch once cooked.
    • Set aside tocool. Cut the squash, remove the seeds and flesh from the centre.
    • With fork pull all the flesh and it will come out as spaghetti/ vermicilli. set aside.
    • In a pan add oil and do the tadka with mustard seeds, urad dal, red chilli.
    • Add the onions and saute till soft.
    • Add the bell pepper, peas, salt a little and cook uncovered till soft, but crunchy.
    • Add the strands of spaghetti squash, adjust salt to taste and toss them all well.
    • cook for another2-3 mins on low fire.
    • Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice or chapattis
    A very easy curry ready in less than 30 mins !

      Thursday, December 1, 2011

      Pepper Cumin Puff Pastry Twists / Khari Biscuits

      I cannot believe it's the most wonderful time of the year soon. Families, friends, fun and of course Food are part of the holiday season. Here is an easy party snack that could be served as an appetizzer or an evening tea time snack.
      So simple to make that you can involve the little hands in home too!

      Puff pastry sheets plus some cute cookie cutters will do the magic. I used cumin and pepper to flavor mine. Adding ajwain or omam will be yummy too!
      I had one puff pastry sheet remaining in the freezer. I used that and ended with a wonderful munching snack!

      Get Ready
      • Pepperidge Farm Puff pastry sheet thawed as per packet instructions
      • Salt to taste
      • Cumin seeds
      • Black Pepper  ( be as generous as you want :)))

      • Preheat oven to 400 F
      • Open the puff pastry sheet on a floured surface
      • Sprinkle salt, cumin seeds, cracked black pepper and roll in gently. this will help the pepper and cumin to stick to the sheet.
      • Cut them into rectangles or desired shape. I gave mine a twist.
      • Arrange them on a foil lined greased cookie sheet.
      • Bake for 10 mins till they puff up and golden.
      • Let them cool and enjoy!