Friday, May 20, 2016

Diamond Cuts Sweet & Savory

Diamond cuts make me think out about my " paati"! She was very good in making all types of "bhakshanam", but will give it out to us only in a rationed way. Now, I know she was implementing portion control then! I remember her making these, mainly the sweet ones and as a kid I loved to much on them a lot. I made them recently and wanted to share the recipe with you all. I made a savory one as well for my DH. I personally like the sweet ones with some hot chai and TV!

Get Ready:

 Sweet Diamond cuts

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp ghee/ butter
  • water
  • Oil to deep fry
  • In a  bowl whisk all the dry ingredients till well combined.

  • Add the ghee or butter and mix well with your hands, rubbing it in the flour.
  • Add water little by little and make a soft dough. 
  • Add a few drops of oil and and coat the outer surface of the dough ball.

  • Cover in saran wrap and set aside for few mins.
  • Make ball in the size of a clementine and roll it out thinly like a chappathi.

  • Use a knife or pizza cutter and cut into thin strips both vertical and diagonal to make small diamonds.

  • Heat oil on medium heat, add the diamond cuts and deep fry them till the bubbles stop, they float or turn golden brown.

Savory Diamond cuts

  • 2 cups All purpose flour/ maida
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 & 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp Ajwain/ omam
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
  • 1/2 tsp hing/ asafetida
  • 1 & 1/4 tsp salt or per taste
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • Water
  • Oil to fry

  • Mix all the ingredients and make a soft dough by adding water little at  a time.
  • Make them into diamond shapes and deep fry them till golden.

Keep them stored in an air tight container and enjoy as a snack

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Bell Pepper and Coconut Thogayal / chutney

Bell Peppers are on sale now and I picked up a bag of these mini peppers from safeway. I like to eat them raw with humus. What do you like to eat them with as a snack?

I made a quick thogayal with this and some coconut and it was pretty good. Our family enjoyed this with some steaming rice, ghee and okra fry.

Here is the very simple recipe for it. You can use  sauted onions and garlic instead of the coconut. I used 2 long red chillies, as my family does not eat very spicy food. But if you like spicy thogayal, u can use 4 red chillies.

Get Ready

  • Mini bell peppers ( red, orange) 5 
  • 2 red chillies
  •  1/4 cup broken urad dal
  • 3 tbsp grated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp asafetida powder
  •  1 tsp tamarind paste
  •  1-1 & 1/2 tsp salt or per taste.

To Temper

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds/ kadugu


  • wash the peppers, remove the stem cut in them in big chunks and set aside. 

  • In a pan add 1/2 tsp oil and roast the red chillies and urad dal till the chillies are shiny and the dal is golden brown. set aside to cool.

  • In  the same pan, add a drop of oil and add the peppers. saute them and cook till they are soft but still crunchy. turn the heat off and set them aside to cool.

  • In a blender add the sauted peppers, red chilli, asafetida, tamarind, salt to taste and coconut and grind them till coarse. add a little water if it is dry.

  • Add the urad dal and the end and grind them again to desired consistency. I like my thogayal with a little crunchy urad dal pieces in them. 
  • In the same pan that you sauted the peppers, add a little oil and to the tadka with mustard seeds.

Serve hot with rice, idli, dosa, pongal, chapathi or spread on toast and enjoy!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Vegetable Fried Rice Indochinese style

Every household has a different recipe for this Indo chinese version of fried rice. using green chillies, indian spices, soy sauce, eggs  or not goes on and on! Here is a simple one that I do that my family likes. It definitely is not authentic, but tastes good! left over or cooled rice works better for this recipe. You can add mushrooms, bok choy or celery as well.

Trader Joe's has this chicken less mandarin orange morsels, a vegan product which is pretty good. they are selling them for a pretty reasonable price. I don't really care for these fake meat products, but my teenage son likes them. I have also used frozen garlic from Trader Joe's ( Dorot brand) and I absolutely love their products.

Get Ready

  • 1 cup rice
  • 2.5 cups water
  • Mixed vegetables ( I usesd carrot, broccoli, cabbage, green bell pepper,  green beans, peas and corn, did not measure them, roughly 2 cups of veggies) chop them evenly for easier cooking

  • 4-5 Green onions, green and white thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2-3 garlic cloves finely minced

  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp black pepper powder or per taste
  • salt to taste
  • 1 .5 tbsp oil


  • Cook the rice in a rice cooker with little salt and tsp of oil. Fluff the cooked rice with a fork and  set aside to cool. I used basmati rice. 
  • In a pan, add the oil. Once hot add the white part of the green onions and cook on high flame till fragrant.

  • Add the grated ginger , garlic and saute for few seconds till aromatic on high flame.
  • Add the chopped vegetables and cook on high flame with a pinch of salt stirring constantly. Cook till they are a little soft but still crunchy.

  • Add the rice, soy sauce, black pepper powder, salt to taste and gently fold in with the vegetables. reduce the flame. Soy sauce has salt and hence adjust salt accordingly.

  • Don't use too much stirring as it may mush up the rice.
  • If the rice mixture is too dry, sprinkle some water.
  • Finally add the green part of the spring onions and turn the heat off.

Serve with a side dish of your choice. I used Trader joe, Chickenless " orange morsels" and it was delicious. Of course, I have to have it with some onion and tomato raita!

Enjoy this quick one pot rice dish!

Variations: add slit green chillies or a little bit of sriracha sauce for some extra spicy flavor.