Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Carrot Kosumalli / Carrot Kosambhari

Kosumalli is a light carrot salad, usually served in weddings. Crunchy carrots with a lemon juice, green chillies and spiced with asafetida and mustard seeds is sure a welcome taste amongst other feasts served in the weddings.

I used some moong dal to give extra crunch. It can be served as a side or main meal.

Get Ready ( serves 2 as a side)

  • 1& 1/2 - 2 cups grated carrots
  • 2 green chillies chopped fine
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp moon dal soaked in water for 20 mins and drained ( optional)
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • pinch of asafetida
  • salt to taste
  • cilantro ( optional)

  • In a bowl add the carrots, salt, lemon juice, soaked moongdal and mix well.
  • In a kadai, add oil, do the tadka with mustard seeds, asfetida and green chilli.
  • pour it on top of the grated carrot, toss them all.
  • garnish with cilantro.

Serve cold or at room temperature.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sathu Ma Kanji Podi / Nutritious Porridge Powder- Healthy Breakfast on the go!

If you grew up in south India, you may be pretty familiar with this sathu ma kanji. It is a blend of various grains, dals and dried fruit flavored with some cardamom. It is cooked in water and milk and sweetened to be taken as a breakfast drink. It has the goodness of lot of grains and very nutritious.

I was getting tired of eating he same old cereal, oat meal etc in the morning.It takes a just a few minutes. pour it in your insulated coffee mug and you are good to start the day. Healthy breakfast to kick start your day is ready.

I used what ever was in my home to make this porridge powder. Most of these ingredients are available in whole foods or other super markets. Whole wheat grains  ( godhumai)are used, i did not have any and replaced it with atta :)

other things to add include, quinoa, flax seeds or powder, cashews, peanuts, walnuts etc!

Get ready

  • 3 tbsp quick oats
  • 3 tbsp sabudana/ tapioca pearls
  • 3 tbsp pearl barley
  • 3 tbsp millet/ ragi
  • 3 tbsp whole wheat flour/ atta
  • 3 tbsp parboiled rice (can replace it with brown rice)
  • 3 tbsp sliced almonds
  • 3 tbsp pottukadalai/ dalia dal
  • 4-5 cardamom pods

Dry roast all ingredients separetly till golden, cool and powder them together till fine.
 store in an air tight container.

Add some honey/ sugar to the cooked porridge and a dollop of ghee and it's a perfect meal for your skinny toddler.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sesame Peanut Rice / Ellorai

Sesame seeds and peanuts go together pretty well. I use this combo in subzi's and tastes so yummy. Ellorai/ ellu sadham is a standard offering/ neivedhyam in south indian temples. very simple combination of spices and tastes divine.
I jazzed it up by throwing some peanuts and this is perfect lunch box item. good hot or cold.

Get Ready: ( serves 2-3)
  • 1 cup basmati rice cooked with 2 cups of water, and cooled
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 2 tbsp channa dal
  • 2 tbsp urad dal
  • 2-3 red chilli
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida
  • 2 tbsp dry roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 2 tbsp dry coconut
  • 2 tbsp oil ( gingely oil will taste very good)
  •  a few curry leaves ( optional)
  •  salt to taste.
  •  In a dry pan, toast the sesame seeds till they are golden, on low to medoim heat. set aside
  • Add a little oil, and roast the channa dal, urad dal, red chilli till golden brown. turn the heat off
  •  Coarsely powder the red chilli, asafetida,sesame seeds intially and then add the channa dal, urad dal, peanuts and coconut  to a coarse powder.
  • Add  oil to the rice, the ground powder and mix well so the grains are separate.
  •  serve with pappadums, chips or raita.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pav Bhaji / Indian sloppy joe's

Pav bhaji needs no introduction to people who have tasted it. For others, Pav is a  roll and bhaji is vegetables. pav bhaji includes a mixed vegetable curry, where the vegtables are finely minced and the ncooked in a spicy sauce with a special masala pav bhaji masala. Adding butter to the dish gives it a smooth silky texture. Pav bhaji is a very popular street food in India and is served with pav toasted with butter!

I used frozen yeast rolls as my pav, but one can also buy pav bread in Indian stores.The ingredients are pretty much the same, flour, yeast...You get the picture right!

Get Ready ( serves 4, medium spicy)

  • 4 cups mixed vegetables  chopped ( beans, carrots, cauliflower, peas and potatoes)
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno/ green chilli chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger grated
  • 3 large tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tsp pav bhaji masala or use chaat masala
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
For serving
  • chopped red / regular onion rings
  • chopped tomatoes
  • lemon wedge

  • Cook your dinner rolls/ pav as per instructions and set aside.
  • In a wide pan add 4 cups of finely chopped vegetables and add water just enough to cover the vegetables. add a little salt. Cook till the water boils, simmer, cover with a lid and cook till veggies are soft, but not mushy. Turn the heat off.
  • Mash the cooked vegetables coarsely with a potato masher.
  • In another pan, add oil and saute the onions, green chilli and ginger till the onions are light brown.
  • Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and fry till the raw smell goes
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and fry till the tomatoes are mushy and oil separates.
  • Add the mashed vegetables, salt to taste, pav bhaji masala and water to make it a little dilute. Don't add too much water.
  • Once it comes to a boil, add the 2 tbsp of butter and turn the heat off.
  • Garnish with cilantro.

To serve, toast the rolls half slit on a skillet with butter.
Add the bhaji on the side and serve with chopped red onions,  tomatoes,lemon wedge and more cilantro.

One can add garam masala if needed. Make it as spicy as you wish!

Sorry for the picture quality!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Paneer Pakoda/ Paneer Bajji or Fritters

Paneer is a versatile cheese. It easily blends into savory or sweet dishes. Here is quick recipe for a evening snack for those hungry little ones returning from school. I used store bought paneer, but if you have home made, of course it will taste pretty awesome!

The one thing that made me happy doing this pakoda was my 3 year old picky eater loved it! I sliced the paneer cibs, made a small slit in the middle and filled with some  chilli sauce and deep fried it. I needed some hear and spice in mine.
For the kids, used the good ol' paneer alone.

Get ready:

For the Outer covering
  • 5 table spoons Besan/ chick pea flour/ kadali maavu
  • 1 tbsp Rice flour
  • 1/2 tbsp corn flour  ( optional)
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • pich of baking soda
  • salt to taste
  • water
  • Paneer cut into wedge, slices or cubes of your choice
  • Oil to deep fry.


  • Whisk all the dry ingredients  with water til lit forms a thick paste, almost like a thick pancake batter. ( bajji maavu consistency)
  • Heat oil in a kadai for deep frying. To check heat. add a smal drop of the batter, it should rise to the top immediately
  • Dip the paneer slices in the batter so that the batter evenly coats the paneer.
  • Deep fry them till golden brown, flipping them half way through.

Enjoy with ketchup or any hot chutney!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Easy Pasta bake


Here is an easy peasy pasta bake that will win your kids votes! i am not so sure why kids love pasta alot? is it the shapes, taste, easy to eat, i don't know! Iwish rice can be made into these fun shapes. I have 2  pasta lovers at home. I made this for dinner and meal time went like a breeze for my toddler!
Throw in any vegetables or cheese of your choice.


Get Ready:
  • 1 &1/2 cup penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup pasta sauce, more doesn't hurt
  • 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • hand full of frozen broccoli


  • Pre heat oven to 375F. Grease a baking dish and set aside.
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. also throw in the frozen broccoli inthe water cooking the pasta. drain pasta and broccoli and set aside.
  • Add the tomato/ pasta sauce to the cooked pasta, broccoli and toss well.
  • Add a spoonful of pasta sauce to the bottom of the baking dish.
  • Spoon the pasta i nthe baking dih and spread evenly.
  • Top it with shredded mozzarella and parmesan.
  • Bake till the cheese bubbly.

Turn off the oven and serve hot.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Freezing Indian Food- My experience and tips

Recently I had been away from home for 2 weeks leaving my son and husband. Hubby dear rarely steps inside the kitchen. My son gets upset stomach if he eats a lot outside! So I, decided to freeze some food that could help them for 2 weeks. All they have to do is cook rice or heat up a chapathi. Ofcourse they can have a treat outside once ot twice a week. Most of the frozen indian food available in the stores are way too spicy for my kiddo! Online research gave me some guidance and helped me freeze some grub!

I wanted to share my experience with all those busy mom/dad's.

Needs some planning and good ziploc freezer bags or freezer safe containers. I would recommend freezing individual portions, so you don't have to reheat over and over again if using a bigger container. Small freezer bags are perfect for upma or dry subzi's.

Just remember to cool the cooked contents thoroughly before freezing and thaw them at least 12 hr s ahead before reheating. Whenever i cooked a big batch, i labelled and froze them.

Coconut or any yogurt based curry does not taste well once reheated.Well, this is what I learnt and did not freeze anything with coconut.

Let me give a list of those items that froze well and just as fresh once reheated. The verdict was given by my family.

  • Simple Dal tadka
  • Plain cooked toor dal
  • Sambar ( podi potta sambar)
  • Ven Pongal
  • Vegetable rawa upma
  • Spinach kootu with toor dal ( no coocnut)
  • Rasam varieties ( i froze lemon, regular jeera and garlic rasam)
  • Carrot and peas stir fry/ carrot kari
  • Cauliflower and potato stir fry/ cauliflower kari
  • Tomato soup
  • Turnip curry
  • Idli/ dosa batter before fermenting freeze in a container ( these are good for dosa only)

I was busy cooking and packing that I forgot to take pictures of all the food.
I would appreciate if you all can share your experience in  freezing indian food or any home cooked food in that matter!

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Erulli / Eruhuli Curry

It feels good to be back blogging. I had been away for almost 3 weeks taking care of some home issues. Now things are in place and am back.

Many of you may wonder about this name Erulli. This dish is very special to the brahmins in Trivandrum, Kerala. The original name must have been irupuli curry which in tamil means a curry made with 2 tart agents. The tartness by tamarind and sour curds make this dish very special. A curry very identical to arachuvitta sambar without any paruppu, dhania is pretty standard in trivandrum brahmins household.

My inlaws are from Trivandrum and I learnt this from my beloved mom in law, an expert in making this curry.
The key to make this dish yummy is to roast the fenugreek/ methi seeds. in the right consistency. Roasting too little or too much may make the erulli bitter. One can use small onions, potatos, drumstick, winter melon as the main vegetable in the curry.

Here is the recipe.

Get Ready:

  • 1 potato  washed &cut into big cubes with skin
  • 1/2 tsp tamarind pste
  • 2 tbsp Curd/ yogurt well beaten
  • 1/3 cup grated coconut
  • 3 red chillies ( iused small ones)
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida
  • salt to taste
  • water
  • very little oil to fry the fenugreek& chilli

For tadka/ tempering

  • 1 tsp coconut oil/ vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • Few curry leaves


  • In a kadai, add very little oil, add the red chilli and roast till fragrant. set aside. 
  • add the fenugreek and fry till it pops or beomes dark brown in color. set aside.
  • In another pan add the potatoes and water to cover about an inch above the potatoes.
  • Add salt, turmeric powder and cook the potatoes in water till  half done.
  • Add the tamrind paste and cook till the raw smell is gone. By this time the potatoes will be well cooked.
  • In a blender add the roasted fenugreek, red chilli, asafetida, coconut a little water and grind into a fine paste.
  • Add the paste to the cooked potato, tamrind gravy.
  • If it's too thick add a little water, adjust salt to taste.
  • Now add the beaten curd/ yoghurt to the gravy.
  • Turn the heat off once the curry starts to froth/ bubble at the sides. Do not boil it once the yogurt is added.
  • Do the tadka and serve with idli, dosa, rice.

A very easy and authentic erulli is ready!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cilantro Lime Rice -- Chipotle style

For those who don't know,"Chipotle" is a famous mexical grill eatery here in the US. Their burrito bowl and salads are super yummy. One side dish that they serve is a cilantro lime rice. A very humble rice dish with tons of flavor.

Lemon rice needs no introduction to south Indians. Green chillies, ginger, asafetida, turmeric and lime juice make this a heck of a dish. However in cilantro lime rice, ther are no extra spices. Rice is cooked and flavored with lime juice and loads of cilantro.

I searched the web for this rice and found one Here at copykat.

Lets's get cooking!

Get Ready:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • salt to taste
  • 1 and 1/2 lime to be juiced
  • cilantro lots and lots chopped without stems.


  • Wash the rice and let it stand for 15- 20 mins.
  • In a pan, add the butter, olive oil and washed rice. Saute the rice till it is opaque.
  • Add 2 cups of water, salt to taste. let it come to a rolling boil.
  • Now simmer, cover and let the rice cook till soft.
  • Turn the stove off and fluff the rice.
  • Add the cilantro, juice from one lime and taste. If you feel you need more lime juice,add another half of lime juice.

Serve with curried beans, salad or anything.

We had ours with home made guacamole,spicy sauted green peppers and onions.

Enjoy chipotle style at home!

I am travelling and will be taking a break for 2-3 weeks. See you soon!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Aviyal - a vegetable medley

Aviyal is an exclusive vegetable dish from God's own country, aka Kerala. It is also frequently made in tamil nadu and mangalore cuisines. A medley of vegetables cooked with coconut, cumin green chillies and curd.
No sadya or feast is complete without aviyal. The traditional vegetables used in aviyal are cucumbers, winter melon, raw plantains, long beans, carrots, yams, egg plant, snake gourd etc. The sour curd gives a little tartness along with the heat from the green chillies. Adding raw coconut oil boosts tons of flavors and takes this dish to  an amazing  level... to please...

Traditional aviyal made by malayalis include shallots / garlic/ raw mango. These are not routinely added by the kerala brahmins. Again there is regional variation too.
Coming from a palghat iyer family, this is how aviyal is amde in our home, which I would like to share. the yogurt here in USA is not sour enough, so I add a little tamrind pulp to get that uthentic taste.

One could use any vegetables i guess found in hand.

Get Ready

  • 2-3 cups of mixed vegetables cut into thick match sticks ( I used winter melon, carrots, suran, snake gourd, beans)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • water just to cover the vegetables to cook
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp  cumin seeds
  • 2-3 tsp coconut oil
  •  few curry leaves
  • In a pan add just enough water to barely cover vegetables. Add salt, turmeric powder, tamarind paste and cook till they are soft, but not mushy.
  • Grind grated coconut, green chillies, and cumin with some water that was used to cook the vegetables into a fine paste.
  • Add yogurt to blended coconut mixture in the blender jar and whizz once till the yogurt is well incorporated.
  • Add the ground paste to the cooked vegtables.
  • Adjust salt to taste.
  • Let it come to a boil and turn the heat off.
  • Add 2-3 tsp of cocounut oil and tear some curry leaves into the aviyal.

Now go get a plate if steaming rice and enjoy!