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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Paneer Pyaaz Paratha

Onion Cheese Parathas ~ Stuffed Indian flat bread

Ask anyone? Parathas are all time favorite for Indians and that too if you have it at Dhaba or at your Punjabi friend's place. My recent indulgence with parathas is quiet a story. I love trying different types of stuffed parathas, and amongst them aloo, gobi and mooli are my top favorites. Parathas are such filling food and needs no accompaniment. We can have them with plain yogurt, Indian pickle and salad, thats it!

Parathas are made usually on Friday evenings here at my home, our concept is to treat our senses during weekends. Evening snacks are a strict no no during weekdays and dinners are usually around 6:30 pm, we are early birds, so far :)

"Early to bed, Early to rise"

So when it comes to friday, its like we have a heavy snack to pounce on followed by some Friday night movies. This recipe is from Tarla Dalal's site and you can find many paratha stuffing variations in her website. I am glad I fumbled upon this recipe.

Source : Tarla Dalal
Cuisine: North Indian, Punjabi
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Serves: 4-6 people
2 C whole wheat flour
1 1/2 C Paneer/ Indian cottage cheese, grated
2 big onions, finely chopped
1 small bunch of cilantro/hara dhaniya , coarsely chopped
1 inch fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves
2-3 Indian green chillies, finely chopped
1/2 T red chilli powder
2 T garam masala powder/Indian spice mix
Salt as per taste
2 T cooking oil
  1. Make dough by mixing the wheat flour, salt, water and oil. Cover it and keep aside for 30 mins.
  2. Make a paste of ginger, garlic and green chillies together. Heat oil in a pan, sauté onions till translucent and changes the color, add little bit of salt to sweat the onions. Add the paste and fry for a minute. Add shredded paneer, mix well and take off the heat. To this add garam masala powder, red chilli powder and salt, mix well. Let it cool.
  3. Make equal size balls of dough, roll into 2" disk and fill 2 T of Paneer-Pyaaz filling and roll into 3-4" disk just like you do for any ordinary parathas.
  4. While roasting add some oil/ghee/butter on both the sides of the paratha.
  5. Serve hot with fresh yogurt mixed with cilantro and ajwain seeds, Indian pickle, with a dash of butter.
Tips: Red and green chilli can be used as per your choice as while making for kids this can be reduced or completely opted out. While making the parathas take care not to press too much with the rolling

You can find in detail on how to make parathas from here and here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Kesar Pista Amrakhand ~ Indian Dessert

Kesar Pista Amrakhand

Shrikhand is an Indian dessert mostly popular in Northern and Western India. Amrakhand is mango flavored dairy dessert from the west of India. It can be made well in advance and stored in the refrigerator until needed. Use a really thick yogurt for the best results.

Without much introduction I am posting this in a hurry to participate in the Think Spice! Saffron event, hosted by Sunita, hope I have not crossed the deadline.

Source : My Own
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 6-7 hrs/overnight
Cooking time: 10 mins
Serves: 4-5 people
2 C of Homemade yogurt
1/2 C Mango pulp or thinly sliced ripe mango cubes
1/2 C Sugar
2 T Milk, warm
6-7 strands of Saffron
1/2 C Pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/2 t Cardamom powder
  1. Place the yogurt in a clean muslin cloth, tie securely and allow to hang for 6-7 hrs or leave overnight to drain off the liquid. Place a bowl under the bag to catch the drips or place over the sink.
  2. Meanwhile peel the mangoes. Remove the flesh from the pit or stone, slice the flesh and cut into thin strips. Or else you can completely ignore this and take 1/2 cup of Mango pulp which we get in Indian groceries.
  3. First remove the yogurt and mash thoroughly and to this add the sugar and mix well to combine with the thick yogurt. Soak some saffron in warm milk.
  4. Add the soaked saffron milk, mango pulp and cardamom powder and stir well so that all the ingredients are well amalgamated.
  5. Garnish with chopped pistachios and few strands of saffron. Cover and chill in the refrigerate until needed. Serve sprinkled with chopped pistachios and saffron strands.
Tips: Instead of Mango you can try this with Strawberry / Rasberry and Pineapple mix. This will give different flavor

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ambrosia Parfaits ~ Homestyle Dessert

With the temperatures still around 70's in the North east, I felt there is still time for Homestyle desserts. Though I love to eat this cool treats any time of the year this easy to make dessert can be handy and fancy to treat our unexpected guests in a whip.

Layers of sliced oranges, grated coconut and confectioners sugar are combined to make this dessert that Southerners call "ambrosia". One might see this recipe as gliding the lily, but layering oranges, pineapple, grapes and coconut with frozen yogurt does create a truly irresistible treat.

Source : adapted from Healthy Home Cooking
Cuisine: American, International
Prep time: 7 mins
Serves: 4-5 people
2 T sweetened shredded coconut
2 medium navel oranges
1/2 C halved seedless red grapes
1/2 C drained crushed juice-pack pineapple and 1 T juice reserved
1 pint non fat vanilla frozen yogurt, slightly softened
I used ginger infused 1 C home-made yogurt with 1/2 C granulated sugar
Mint sprigs for garnish (optional)
  1. Toast the coconut flakes/shreds over medium heat, tossing frequently, for 2 to 3 mins or until lightly browned. Transfer the coconut to a small plate to cool.
  2. Using a sharp paring knife, remove the peel and white pith from the oranges. Cut the oranges crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices, then chop coarsely. Transfer the chopped oranges to a bowl, add the grapes and the pineapple with its reserved juice and mix.
  3. You can use the store bought vanilla flavored yogurt or you can make one of your own by adding 1/2 C of sugar to 1 C of home made yogurt. Here I used 1 tsp ginger powder to infuse the flavor and leave in the freezer for 3 hrs. Just before serving thaw for 5-7 mins before you serve the dessert to soften the yogurt.
  4. Divide one-third of the fruit mixture among 4 parfait glasses or dessert dishes. Using half of the yogurt, spoon a layer of yogurt over the fruit. Alternate layers of the remaining fruit mixture and yogurt in the glasses. Sprinkle the parfaits with the toasted coconut and garnish with mint sprigs if desired.
  5. Serve immediately and Enjoy!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Traditional Mutton Kura ~ Lamb Curry

Traditional Mutton Kura~Lamb Curry

Winter is in the air and when the air feels crispy we all have those wild, spicy and hot cravings to munch on hot stews, soups and of course something meaty-spicy if you are a carnivore. This traditional mutton recipe, I learned it from my mother. We have meat on Sundays and Wednesday, other days are strictly vegetarian meal only. So every Sunday is like waking up with beautiful aroma from my mom's kitchen where she would be cooking mutton or chicken or some fish. She makes this special wet garam masala paste and uses it in her every non veg dish. I grew up tasting and eating this dish and thought of sharing this with you all. The secret ingredient here is grated potato to get the thick gravy base for this mutton stew/curry.

I kept postponing to post this mutton recipe for a long time now. As I noticed that I have blogged very few non-vegetarian recipes so far, presenting yet another "My Mother's creation of Magic" hope you all will enjoy!

Traditional Style Mutton Curry ~ Lamb stew

Source : My Mother
Cuisine: Andhra, South Indian
Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves: 4-5 people
1 pound lamb/goat meat, cut into cubes or desired size
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 large tomato, cubed
2 green chillies, cut lengthwise
1/2 tsp turmeric powder/haldi
2 tsp red chillies powder/cayenne pepper
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 large potato, grated
2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
2 tbsps of lemon juice
3/4 cup water
2 tbsp cooking oil
salt as per taste
cilantro for garnish

roast (dry ingredients) and grind into smooth paste:
1" stick of cinnamon
2 cloves
½ tsp poppy seeds/khus khus
2 tsp grated coconut (fresh or dried)
2-3 big cloves of garlic/ 5-6 small indian garlic cloves
1 inch piece of ginger (optional)
2 dried red chillies
1 tsp of cumin seeds/jeera
1 tsp of coriander seeds/dhaniya
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 tomato, coarsely chopped
2-3 green chillies
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  1. First clean the meat and cut as per your specifications, I cubed the pieces and left the meat on bone. Clean it twice under running tap water and marinate with red chilli powder, salt and lemon juice, wrap it and keep aside for 1 hr or overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Grind the wet masala paste. Meanwhile saute some onions and green chillies in 2 tbsp of cooking oil in a pressure cooker. Saute till the onions turn pink, then add the tomatoes and the prepared masala paste. Cook on high till the raw aroma is gone for about a min.
  3. Add the mutton pieces, turmeric, mint, grated potato and salt. Mix well so that the mutton pieces are evenly coated with the gravy, add little water, cover the lid and put on the whistle. Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles.
  4. Once the pressure is off, open the cooker and check if the meat is cooked through. If you feel the curry is too watery, then cook on high for about 10 mins till the excess water evaporates. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with biryani, pulav, plain rice or rotis/chapatis or Indian flat bread.
Note: adjust your spice level accordingly while using green chillies or chilli powder.

I know I am very lazy and keep forgetting to mention a kind gesture showered upon me by Shanthi of MyKitchenHobbies. Shanti presented me "The POWER OF SCHMOOZE AWARD" last month and I kept forgetting to include in my posts, Nevertheless late!!! Shanti, sorry for late addressing this but I am really very thankful that you thought of me for this award. Thanks ra!

" The POWER OF SCHMOOZE AWARD is the award for bloggers who effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don't limit their visits only to the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship. " and as per the tradition I would like to pass this award to:

Latha N & Lakshmi of "The Yum Blog"
Meeso of "My Humble Kitchen"
Vi of "East meets West Kitchen"
Cynthia of "Tastes like Home"
Richa of "As Dear as Salt"
Lisa of "Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen"

Update 10/18/07 at 12:37 pm
For all vegetarians, you can substitute meat with soya chunks, carrots, paneer, cauliflower, and potatoes. It will turn into an interesting veggie stew. Feed your imagination and take this spicy ride!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Homemade Roasted Red Peppers


Enjoy the succulent sweetness of a freshly roasted pepper prepared at home. Roasted peppers are a wonderful thing and easy to make. I brought few red peppers this time when I visited my local farmer's market. After drooling over Lisa's Corn and Roast pepper soup , I fumbled upon this link from her post on how to roast peppers at home.

  1. Preheat the oven to broiler. I took 3 red peppers, wash the peppers but leave them whole its recommended to use 2 tsps of canola oil for each pepper. They may be rubbed with any cooking oil but not olive oil as it has low smoke point.
  2. Coat each pepper evenly with oil using your pastry brush or hands and arrange the peppers on a baking sheet and place the sheet on the highest rack of your oven, close to the broiler.
  3. Keep a watchful eye on the peppers to ensure that they do not become too scorched. When dark splotches begin to appear on the peppers, remove the baking sheet from the oven and carefully turn each pepper over.
  4. The peppers will be hot, so use tongs or any other kitchen gadget to turn them and return under the broiler for roasting.
  5. When the tops of the pepper appear to begin darken remove from the oven and place them in a large bowl and immediately cover it with a lid or plastic wrap. Let is sit for a while till the peppers are cooked in its own steam for about 15-20 mins or so.
  6. Once cool they are easy to handle, gently peel the skin which will be loose by now and remove its stem, core and seeds.
  7. Lay flat on the surface and cut into desired stripes and store it in container along with the liquid/juice and also add few tsps of olive oil (optional) . Refrigerate them as shown in the picture and roasted peppers are ready for use in sandwiches, salads, antipasto platter and rest is up to your imagination.
  8. For pictorial version check here and for more tips on roasting peppers check here and here
Stored in refrigerator

Thursday, October 11, 2007



Omelette is such a comfort food, quick to make and easy to fix on lazy, starving times of day or night and most popular among bachelors/college students. Eggs are really very easy to handle specially while making omelettes, scrambled eggs, anda bhurji, half-fry, double-fry etc etc... I remember during my MBA-hostel days in Pune, we used to buy dozens of eggs and finish within a day or two consuming all at the "Anda-Party". The most wonderful thing about making omelette is you can make it plain simple or make it extravaganza by stirring any veggies, herbs, cheese and Viola! its ready within minutes.

I learned from Racheal Ray's 30 minute meals that we can do frittata by adding all our favorite veggies and cheese. Though frittata is double sided-baked omelette under the broiler. I drafted some of the ingredients from that and cooked it in a medium pan/tava. Naming my version as 'Brunch-O-melette' as this is very filling.


Source : My own
Cuisine: International Fusion
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
Serves: 2 people
4 Organic large eggs
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tbsps roasted red bell pepper, finely chopped
4-5 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
2 tsp of flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbsp of cooked chicken, cubed (optional)
3 tbsp of half-half or whole milk
1 tsp red chilli powder/cayenne pepper
1 tbsp of grated Parmesan/sharp chedder cheese
crumbled goat cheese/feta cheese (optional for garnish)
freshly ground black pepper
salt as per taste
2 tsp oil/spray
2 whole wheat sandwich buns
  1. Chop all the veggies and keep aside. We will be working in batch, 2 eggs per person
  2. First mix salt, red chilli powder/cayenne pepper/black pepper and half-half. To this add two eggs and whisk it till the yolks are blended thoroughly.
  3. Add the shallots, red bell pepper, basil, parsley, parmesan cheese, chicken pieces, and mix well.
  4. Spray the pan/tava with oil and pour the entire content, cook on each side for 4 mins and your Bunch-O-melette is ready.
  5. Serve it with your favorite bread and garnish it with parsley and feta cheese.
  6. We had our Brunch-O-melette with a glass of 100% carrot juice.

My Kitchen Finds
: Bolthouse Farms 100% Carrot Juice

Botlhouse Farms refreshing 100% carrot juice

Sending this to WBB#16-Weekend breakfast blogging event: Omelette
hosted by Kanchana of Married to a Desi,
created by Nandita of Saffron Trial.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Baby Bok Choy Pappu ~ Lentil

Baby bok choy

Bok choy, also known as Pak choi or Peking cabbage, forms a small but elongated head (not round like European cabbage) with plump white stalks and deep green leaves. A member of the brassica family, bok choy offers nutritional assets similar to those of other cabbages: It is rich in Vitamin C and contains significant amounts of nitrogen compounds known as indoles, as well as fiber--both of which appear to lower the risk of various forms of cancer.

Bok choy is also a good source of folate (folic acid) and potassium. And with its deep green leaves, bok choy has more beta-carotene than other cabbages, and it also supplies considerably more calcium. The stalks and leaves have quite different textures, so in culinary terms, it's like getting two vegetables for the price of one.Baby bok choy has a sweeter flavor than adult varieties. For more information on varieties, availability, storage and nutritional information click here, here, and here.

Did you know...?
1 cup of cooked bok choi contains 15% of your recommended daily allowance of calcium ~ equivalent to 1/4 pint of full fat milk.

Source: Whole health MD

Baby Bok Choy Pappu ~ Dal

Baby bok choy pappu ~ dal with phulkas and fresh cucumber

I like adding baby bok choy in salads, stir fry's, soups, stir-fry noodles and fried rice and recently thought why not make some dal ~ pappu out of it. That way we can have our fiber intake as well as some folate too. Its a nice cross-over for leafy vegetable dal.

Source : My own
Cuisine: Fusion

Prep time: 7 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves: 4 people
1 cup toor dal/red gram lentil
5-6 stalks baby bok choy, trim the tough ends
1/2 red onion, sliced
3-4 green chillies, sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder/haldi/pasupu
1 tsp red chilli powder/cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
2 tsp tamarind pulp
for tempering/tadka/poppu:
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal/black gram lentil
2-3 dried whole red chillies
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
few curry leaves
a pinch of hing/asafeotida
Salt as per taste
1tbsp oil

  1. Chop coarsely bok choy and pressure cook them with toor dal/lentils along with turmeric powder, onions, green chillies, cumin seeds and chilli powder. Cook upto 3-4 whistles. Add tamarind pulp, salt to it and mash the contents.
  2. In a deep pan heat oil, add mustard seeds, let it splutter then add urad dal/black gram lentil, curry leaves, torn red chillies, garlic and fry for a min. Add hing/asafeotida and pour the entire mashed bok choy dal and mix well. Let it simmer for 2 more mins.
  3. Serve hot with plain rice or rotis /Indian flat bread.

Note: Use of salt should be limited while cooking this dal as bok choy already is little salty in nature. Thats what I found out while cooking with it.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Amish Friendship Zucchini Bread

Amish Friendship Zucchini Bread

I was thrilled to open my packet of Amish Friendship Bread Starter, received from Laavanya. I quickly opened it to check the content and was little scared about the gooey-creamy like thing. This starter has to be nourished while left for fermenting for 9 days, and we bake it on the 10th day or freeze it and save for later. I received my starter on Day 3

On days 2 through 5, just mash the bag and remove excess air, if any.
On day 6 stir in 1 cup each sugar, flour and milk, mash the bag.
On days 7 through 9, mash the bag.
On day 10 stir in 1 1/2 cup each of flour, milk, sugar. Mix well and distribute 4 cups equally. Keep 1 cup of starter for myself and share the other 3 with friends.

After much research on AFBS, I came to know that cooks have been baking with starters for thousands of years. Sometime back before the ancient Egyptians, however, bakers learned that if they captured airborne wild yeast and fed and nurtured it properly, they could produce an endless array of breads, cakes, pancakes, biscuits, scones, muffins, rolls, all light and fluffy and made possible by the hard-working little fungi (yeast). Article Source: Texas Cooking

This is the first time I am trying my hands on baking bread and decided to bake a more traditional bread than something like cake/muffins/rolls/buns. This way I can teach myself to handle more of tough bakes. I brought some books on baking from local library and found this very nice and interesting recipe for Zucchini bread.

I used coarsely grated zucchini shreds which offers color and just-perceptible contrast of texture to the bread. Because it is exceptionally moist, zucchini must be salted and squeezed to rid of it excess liquid before it is mixed with the flour, starter and water. It took me two days to make this bread and learned some new techniques in baking. Like overnight standing ~ to raise and humidified baking with boiling water in the bottom to ensure crunchy bottom crust.

My first bread baking session

Zucchini Bread

Source : Breads, Time-life books
Cuisine: International

Prep time: 10 mins and left overnight to rise
Cooking time: 40 mins
Makes: 7-inch cylindrical loaf

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup amish friendship bread starter
2 zucchini, medium-size, washed ends trimmed off
1 tbsp salt
3/4 cup tepid/warm water
olive oil or 1 egg yolk beaten

1. Coarsely grated zucchini into a deep wide bowl. When the zucchini gratings cover the bottom of the bowl, sprinkle them with salt. Grate in another layer of zucchini and sprinkle again with salt. Repeat alternate layers if zucchini and sprinkle again with salt. Leave it for 30 mins so that the salt will draw out the excess moisture. Then press out the moisture by squeezing the zucchini in your hands.

waiting to Rise!!!

2. In another bowl combine the starter, flour, salt and thoroughly mix zucchini, add enough tepid water to make a smooth but fairly firm dough. Knead the dough well for about 10 mins. Return it to the bowl, cover it with a damp cloth towel or plastic wrap and let the dough rise for about 2 hours.
Knead the dough into a loose round, then shape it into a tapered cylindrical loaf. Lay it on a buttered baking sheet, cover it with a towel and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk or left overnight.

brushing olive oil to prevent zucchini from burning!

3. Just before baking, brush the loaf with olive oil or egg yolk to prevent the pieces of zucchini on the surface from burning. Preheat the oven to 425, place a roasting pan filled with 1 1/2 inch of boiling water in the bottom of your oven. Bake the bread in a humidified 425 degrees F for about 40 minutes, until the bottom sounds hollow when rapped, while checking the water in roasting pan every 10 mins. Cool the loaf on a wire rack.

Zucchini bread slices

I am sending this starter to two of my dear friends Chandrika and Saroja to keep the tradition. Hope you guys will enjoy baking with it, as well!

starters dispatched, let me know when they arrive!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Egg Portfolio !!!

When Bee & Jai announced about the Click event and this month's theme Eggs. I started visualizing eggs in every form and shape and how to capture their beauty. These snaps are my sincere efforts to bring out the very best snaps captured under the naked sun!

Egg-centric is the right word for this event post as you see I was revolving round the eggs for quiet a some time to capture those beauties!

Being a budding photographer and photoshop learner, here are my contributions for this event. I used sunny side egg magnet as props along with Raw Eggs to enhance the beauty of egg in all the photos, I hope this qualifies my entry.

First snaps under the sun, here I used gold dusted paper in the background to capture the colorful reflection of the eggs.

Cooling Buddies!

Same photo as above but I flipped the image and used a different shade,
also note the original color of egg shells peels are captured here!

Another photoshop trick to blur the background image and highlight the main object

I wanted to capture the dew drops formed on a cold egg
clicked at room temperature ~
Event Photo

It was tough!! to choose a photo to send for this event. Let me know which one you liked the most among the above pictures.

Camera: Sony Cybershot 5.1 mega pixels with smart zoom.

Click on the images to view an enlarged original photo and if interested to check in for more variations click here

Monday, October 1, 2007

My Style Shrimp Curry

Shrimp tops everyone's list when questioned about one's favorite seafood. Shrimps are also known as 'Royellu in Telugu', Zinga or Kolambi in Marathi'. Dried shrimp is commonly used in Andhra and Maharashtrian cuisines frequently and they taste great with eggs, bottle gourd, ridge gourd and eggplants. Being living in coastal cities like Mumbai (Bombay) and Visakhapatnam, got a chance to try all varieties of seafood readily available fresh out of fisherman's net.

I remember in Mumbai when the early morning local train reaches its destination the Machiwala's (fisherman also called a Kolis) rushes out of the luggage compartment with big baskets of fresh fish to the local markets. Early hours also means very busy hours in the streets of Mumbai while I used to catch the 7:53 am Kalyan start fast Local train to go to Kurla for my work. I used to hear "Machi pani ...Machi pani" in distance when these Kolis (fishermen) used to carry the fish-loads with fishy water dripping. They shout and warn pedestrians about the fishy water that drips and we all use to give way for them.

Gosh! those fishy, smelly memories of Mumbai...... I feel Mumbaites reading this might relate it in some way or the other. Well moving on to the recipe... prawns are very easy to handle in the kitchen but they can be disastrous if overcooked. They will turn out real rubbery and hard to chew on. This curry is my isshtyle recipe for shrimps which is so juicy to taste, delectable and enticing ever, Enjoy my version of this recipe!

Click here to read on how to clean shrimp (video) and for more nutritional info on shrimps click here

Source : My own
Cuisine: Andhra, South Indian

Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 25 mins
Makes: 4 people
1 pound of devined shrimps
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 large ripe plum tomato, finely chopped
3-4 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp red chilli powder, cayenne pepper
½ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
2 tbsps coconut milk

few curry leaves
salt as per taste
1 tbsp cooking oil
roast and grind into smooth paste:
1" stick of cinnamon
2 cloves
½ tsp poppy seeds/khus khus
2 tsp grated coconut (fresh or dried)
2 cloves of garlic
small piece of ginger (optional)
2 dried red chillies
1 tsp of cumin seeds/jeera
1 tsp of coriander seeds/dhaniya
  1. Clean the shrimps as shown in the above links or you can buy cleaned ones. Marinate them with salt and chilli powder, keep covered in fridge for 15 mins.
  2. Meanwhile heat oil in a kadai and fry onions for few mins until pink and translucent. Add little bit of salt to sweat the onions and then add green chillies, tomatoes and fry for another 10 mins or so till the tomatoes are soft.
  3. Once all the ingredients turn soft add turmeric powder and the prepared paste.
  4. Fry till the raw smell of the paste goes off. Add the coconut milk and stir in the shrimps. Let it to cook for 5 mins approx.
  5. You will know they are cooked when shrimps curl into small circles, immediately turn off the heat you don't want to overcook them and end up eating the stubborn shrimps.
  6. Serve hot with rice or rotis, Indian bread.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ukkarisida Rotti, Avarekaalu Usali n Kosambari

Ukkarisida Rotti with Avarekaalu Usali and Kosambari

Celebrating RCI-Karnataka once again this time with Ukkarisida Rotti (also called as akki roti or rice roti) with Avarekaalu Usali (toovar lilva-beans seeds stir fry) along with green moong sprouts kosumbari. Without much wasting time I am straight away going to these recipes.
Click here to see Ukkarisida Rotti Avarekaalu Usali Kosambari

Ukkarisida Rotti

Pile of Ukkarisida Rottis

Source : from Payaswini's Recipes
Cuisine: Kannada, South Indian
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 25 mins
Makes: 4 people
2 cups rice flour
½ cups Water
1 tbsp oil
½ tsp cumin seeds/jeera
6 pepper corns, crushed
½ tsp salt or accordingly
Oil for roasting
All purpose flour for dusting
  1. In a sauce pan boil water, when it's boiling add oil, cumin seeds, pepper and mix well.
  2. Turn the heat low and add rice flour, stirring all the time. Mix well, break up any lumps.
  3. Stir constantly for 5 minutes, so that it becomes thick. Remove from the heat, cover and allow it to cool.
  4. When it is warm, knead well and make medium size balls out of rice dough with the greased hand.
  5. Roll them into round rottis with the help of all purpose flour. Heat the griddle over a medium heat.
  6. Place one rotti in the hot griddle and brush with little oil on both sides of rotti.
  7. Fry both sides until light brown. Remove from the griddle/tava and fry the remaining rottis in the same way.
  8. Serve hot with Avarekaalu Usali Or any Gojju recipe like Green Beans Gojju
Click here to see Ukkarisida Rotti Avarekaalu Usali Kosambari

Avarekaalu Usali

Avarekaalu Usali

Source : from Payaswini's Recipes
Cuisine: Kannada, South Indian

Prep time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 25 mins

Makes: 4 people


2 cups Avarekaalu,
boiled (toovar lilva, bean seeds) canned/Fresh/frozen
2 tbsp oil

½ tsp mustard seeds
2 onions, chopped

½ tsp turmeric powder
6-8 curry leaves

1 tsp lemon juice

Salt as per taste

grind into smooth paste:

½ cup grated coconut
pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera

3-4 green chillies

1 tsp ginger-garlic paste

1 tbsp coriander leaves


  1. Boil the toovar lilva beans in pressure cooker with salt for 3 whistles and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a sauce pan. Add mustard seeds allow to splutter, add onions, turmeric, curry leaves.
  3. Fry till onions become light brown, Add ground paste, bean seeds, salt, and water.
  4. Bring it to boil on medium heat. Cook for 5-8 minutes and remove from the heat.
  5. Add lemon juice and mix well.
  6. Serve with Rice Rotti's/ Ukkarisida rotti or Chapati's
Click here to see Ukkarisida Rotti Avarekaalu Usali Kosambari

Green Moong Kosambari

green moong sprouts Kosambari

I was talking to my friend Ganga on phone inquiring about kannada recipes, thought she can help me in this as she is from Anantapur (border to Karnataka). Ganga makes lovely Jonna Rottis(jowar rotis). I tried to learn from her but can never make such soft, thin and very big sized jonna rottis. She then told me about this famous and easy recipe of Kosambari (Kannadiga Salad) which mainly has soaked green moong beans as the main ingredient with coconut, cucumber, tomatoes etc. Thanks Ganga for sharing this wonderful salad, JB loved it so much!
Source : My friend Ganga Nagalla

Cuisine: Karnataka, South Indian

Prep time: 5 mins

Soak time: 2-3 hrs
Makes: 2 people


½ cup green moong beans (I used moong sprouts)
1 plum tomato, chopped
½ red onion, finely chopped 1 cucmber, chopped
2 green chilles, finely chopped
2 inch fresh coconut piece, grated
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 carrot, grated (I didn't have handy)
salt as per taste
  1. Soak the green moong beans for at least 2 hrs, here I used moong sprouts instead of the soaked ones.
  2. Mix all the veggies with moong beans, add lemon juice and salt as per your taste and a quick and healthy Kosambari is ready.
  3. A quick note, my friend also told that this can be offered as naivedyam to God, if you minus onions in it.
Click here to see Ukkarisida Rotti Avarekaalu Usali Kosambari

RCI-Karnataka Cuisine

Food Event: I am sending all these lovely entries to Asha of Foodie's Hope for RCI-Karnataka. Regional Cuisine of India RCI in short, was initiated by Lakshmi K of Veggie Cuisine. Thanks to her that we get to tour these beautiful states and their cuisines each month and get a chance to cook and taste them too. Enjoy the RCI- Karnataka Feast currently going on food blogs these days, Asha can't wait to see the round-up!

My other recipes of Karnataka blogged so far:
Akki Roti
Udipi Sambhar
Green Beans Gojju

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Banana Chocolate chip muffins

Gorgeous looking Muffins

Baking happened to me when I came to US, back at my mother's place in Bombay my kitchen endeavors were very minimum. Never helped her in kitchen, but I did other things like decorating my house, cleaning, gardening, taking care of my fish tank, arts & crafts etc..etc. We did not have oven or microwave there so there were no baking sessions at home except that my mother used to bake tutty-fruity round cake in an old styled aluminum vessel we get in India.

USA- Land of opportunities was like exploring things in and around New Jersey and also in my kitchen too. I landed in US in Nov-2004 and my first baking session started with a birthday cake for JB (after 3 months). I was so scared to touch the oven so I used it to store dishes. Operating oven and dishwasher was totally new to me and I took the help of my childhood friend Lalita initially, (sigh) now I laugh looking back to myself.

Since then I was playing around with my oven and baking things. I have noticed that I didn't post any baking recipes so far on my blog so taking this opportunity to post this incredible recipe from My favorite cook book, Kid's Snacks from Better Homes & Gardens. I purchased this book at my local Library sale. I don't have much collection as I did not bring any books from India. Since luggage weight is the main factor to carry things from India to set up a new life in US, books and wedding album were last on my priority list. I know many of us can relate this story of mine with your initial days in US :)

Kid's Snack is a wonderful collection of easy and beautiful looking recipes, kid's love. I also have some other books on healthy home cooking, 101 pasta recipes, low carb diet which I bought from library sale, I tried some of them and much satisfied with the taste but will showcase sometime later on my blog.

thats me!

As Nags asked us to write in one line, I love this book to " Treat the Kid in me" Sending this post to Nags for Show me your cook books event and to JFI-Banana hosted by Ahaar.

Source : adapted from Kid's Snacks
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 10 mins
Baking time: 25 mins
Makes: 6 people
1 large egg
3 tbsps vegetable oil
3 tbsps milk (I used 2% milk)
3 tbsps orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
2 cups all purpose flour (unbleached)
½ cup castor sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips/morsels
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  2. Place the egg, oil, mashed bananas, orange juice, vanilla extract and milk in a mixing bowl and beat together with your hand mixer.
  3. In another bowl sift the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder mix.
  4. Pour in the liquid into the dry mix and stir until just blended.
  5. Add chocolate chips and stir one more time.
  6. Line a muffin tray with paper muffin cases, spray with non-stick spray and then fill each case to just below the muffin tray level.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes, reducing heat towards the end of baking if the top of the muffins gets brown quickly.
  8. This recipe makes 10-12 muffins, depends upon the tray size you use, I used 2 ¾” size here.
  9. They taste better the next day, just m/w for 10 seconds and its ready to munch on!

Banana Chocolate chip muffins

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Prasadam for Ganesh Chaturthi

This is in continuation to my previous post on Ganesh Chaturthi. A little more about the puja before going to the recipes of the Prasadam or naivedyam I prepared.

Puja Procedure: We get up early in the morning, sanctify ourselves, the house and the puja area where we will be installing the Ganesh idol/murti. I took a big carton box and placed a book on top of it, covered with white cloth and this is our puja mandapam for the day. On top of the book placed some rice grains, made small rangoli, offered pasupu and kumkuma and placed the silver Ganesh idol on top of it. I prepared a Pasupu Ganapati (out of haldi/ turmeric), took a betel leaf, placed some rice grains and kept on top of it. On this day we offer different kinds of fruits, 21 types of patri including durva (Sanskrit word for 21 different variety of leaves) to God Ganesh. makes Undarallu which is his favorite food and we prepare so many varieties of prasadam that Ganesh will be seated in our home and will bless us. We first do puja for Pasupu Ganapati and then to the silver idol.or the installed idol.

Here in US it is difficult to get new idol, I kept the silver one for the puja. Performed as per the puja vidham written in the book and concluded the puja with ashtotaram, Vinayaka Chaviti Katha and followed my aarathi. Since childhood I am singing the same aarathi every year "Sukha karta dukha harta varth vignachi" a marathi one, I am so used to it. I feel its incomplete without this song.

On this day a small miracle happened, I bowed to Ganesha saying I will prepare eight varieties of prasadam for Ashtavinayaka on this event, when I placed everything in thali and started counting and to my astonishment they were nine in total. I was talking to my mother on phone about this and she told me that "We should offer odd no. of food items to the God not even no. May be Ganesha wanted this and made you prepare nine items instead of eight". I was so happy to hear this.

And we ate the prasadam, shared with our friends and in the evening perfomed aarathi and chanted few slokhas of Lord Ganesha and did nimarjana/visarjan (immersion) of God Ganesha in the late evening. "Ganapati Bappa Morya, Pucha Varshi Laukar ya" -Come soon next year!

Sri Siddhi Vinayak of Prabhadevi, Mumbai

Recipes for the Prasadam/Naivedyam I prepared on Vinayaka chavithi. Special care is taken when I prepare the food offered to God, I never taste, otherwise it cannot be offered. So it needs little experience in judging the amount salt n sugar goes in the food you are preparing. Hope you will enjoy making them and offer to the God. This post goes to The Yum Blog for their event on Vinayaka Chaturthi.

1. Malai Modaks/Pedas

Source : adapted from
Keep trying
Cuisine: Maharashtrian, India
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Makes: 6 people
15oz Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
1 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder
3-4 Strands Saffron
1/2 cup Sugar
  • I almost followed the way its explained in the recipe from keeptrying.
  • Only thing is I have not used the ghee as this sweet already contained lot of grease in it.
  • I divided half of the dough and made pedas and modaks.
  • Its really simple and very mush resemble like store bought.
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2. Kudumullu - rice flour dumplings with coconut and jaggery stuffing

Source : My Mother
Cuisine: Andhra, South Indian
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Makes: 6 people

for the filling
1 cup shredded coconut fresh or frozen
1/2 cup jaggery, grated
1 tsp poppy seeds/khus khus, roasted
1 tsp rice flour, for binding
a pinch of elaichi/cardamom powder
for the outer cover
1 cup rice flour
1 1/2 cup of water
1/2 tsp ghee/clarified butter
a pinch of salt
  • For the filling:Combine and cook coconut, jaggery together on medium heat.
  • Stir continuously add cardamom powder, poppy seeds and 1 tsp rice flour to it, cook for some time. The filling is ready now, remove from the heat and let it cool.
  • For the outer cover: Next step is to make the outer cover. This has to be done very carefully. The dough should be neither too sticky nor too dry.
  • Boil 1 cup of water. When bubbles rise on top, add ghee, salt and oil and immediately add rice flour. Stir well. Cover for some time. Remove the lid and stir again and again cover for a minute.
  • Then remove from heat. Take all the mixture in a flat plate. Knead it properly while hot (You can use a flat bowl for kneading to keep the hands from burning). Make a soft pliable dough.
  • Divide this dough into small balls. Roll each ball into 1.5 inch diameter circle. Hold it in a hand and make a small bowl of it. Put some coconut filling into this bowl shaped dough. Dip thumb and index finger in the oil and make 5-6 small pinches side by side on the edges of the bowl. Bring them together, join to form a peak. It should look like a whole garlic.
  • Like this, prepare all modaks. Spread a damp cloth onto a flat round sifter and arrange all the modaks onto it. Place the sifter in a steamer and cover. Steam for about 15 minutes. Use a big size saucepan or pressure cooker if you don't have a steamer. Do not put the whistle if you use the pressure cooker.
Note: The proportion of water and rice flour for the cover should be accurate as written above. Also it is advisable to sieve the flour once.

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3. Uppu Undrallu- steamed salted rice balls

Method: I made the same way seeing from here
courtesy: Pravs of Simply spicy.

Click here to check other sweets and prasadam 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
4. Pala Undrallu-rice flour dumplings in coconut, milk and sesame sauce

Source : My Mother
Cuisine: Andhra, South Indian
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Makes: 6 people


1 cup rice flour, sieved
2 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh/frozen coconut, grated
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toast and coarsely grind
1/2 tsp elaichi/cardamom powder
  • Boil 2 cups of water and once you can see a small steady bubbles coming, pour the rice flour ans stir for few seconds. Cover and let it cook for 2-3 mins more. Switch off the heat and leave it for another 2 mins. Let is cool but the dough should be still warm, shape into 1" diameter balls and keep aside. You will get roughly 17-20 balls.
  • Heat sugar and the remaining 1/2 cup water in a deep, medium pan, add the grated coconut, cardamom powder and keep stirring till everything gets blended well.
  • Add the milk and rice balls and stir for another 3-5 mins, you will see the syrup gets thick. Don't worry about the cracked balls, that will help in the consistency of the sauce. Stir in the ground sesame seeds and turn off the heat.
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5. Semya Payasam/Kheer - vermicelli milk pudding

Source : My Mother
Cuisine: Andhra, South Indian
Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Makes: 6 people

1 cup vermicelli (I use Bambino brand)
3 cups of whole milk/2 % milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
few strands of saffron
1/2 tsp cardamom seeds powder
1/2 cups nuts of your choice (cashew nuts, almonds, pistachios)
2 tsp ghee/clarified butter for tempering
  • Fry the vermicelli in a tsp of ghee/clarified butter till they turn golden brown and keep aside.
  • Meanwhile heat 3 cups of milk in a pan, to this add cardamom powder and saffron. Let it come to a boil then stir in the fried vermicelli.
  • Cook the vermicelli till it turns soft and constantly stirring it. By this time the milk is been absorbed by the vermicelli and you can see a the consistency will be thick.
  • Add the sugar and heavy cream and cook for another 2-3 mins till the sugar dissolves. Payasam is ready
  • Temper the nuts in ghee and pour over it.
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6. Paramannam/ Chakkari Pongal - Long grain rice pudding

Source : My Mother
Cuisine: Andhra, South Indian
Prep & Soaking time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Makes: 6 people

1 cup basmati rice or any Indian rice
3 cups of whole milk/ 2% milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp cardamom seeds powder
1/2 cups nuts of your choice (cashew nuts, almonds, pistachios)
1 tsp ghee/clarified butter for tempering
  • Wash and soak the basmati rice for 15 mins. Drain and add to the milk and cook till the rice is soft, this will take around 30 mins.
  • Add the cardamom powder and heavy cream, mix well and cover with lid.
  • After 3-4 mins add sugar and mix till it dissolves.
  • Temper with your favorite nuts and raisins.
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7. Pulihora- Tamarind sesame flavored rice

Source : My Mother
Cuisine: Andhra, South Indian
Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
Makes: 6 people

3 cups of sona masoori rice or any Indian rice
big lemon size tamarind
7-8 green chillies, slit lengthwise
2 inch ginger, chopped finely
1.2 tsp of turmeric powder/haldi
2 tsp grated jaggery
1/2 cup toasted and grd sesame seeds
4-5 dried red chillies
1/4 cup peanuts
2 tbsp chana dal/bengal gram dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal/black gram dal
5-6 curry leaves
1/2 tsp asafeotida
3 tbsp of oil
salt as per taste.
  • Soak tamarind in a cup of hot water for about an hour, mash and squeese the pulp out of it.
  • Heat a tsp of oil add the freshly made pulp, let it cook for 4-5 mins, then add jaggery, turmeric powder, asafeotida, salt and cook further till the pulp gets thicken.
  • Pour it over the cooked rice and mix well.
  • Heat oil and add the dry ingredients and fry for 2-3 mins, then add the green chillies, chopped ginger and curry leaves, add a pinch or turmeric and mix in the grounded sesame seeds. Mix well combine everything with rice.
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8. Pachi chengapappu vadalu - bengal gram patties

Source : My Mother
Cuisine: Andhra, South Indian
Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
soaking time: overnight or 3-4 hrs
Makes: 6 people

2 cups of chana dal/bengal gram dal
4-5 green chillies
1 inch ginger
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
salt as per taste
oil for deep frying
  • Soak the dal over night or for 3-4 hrs, coarsely grind with very little water, chillies, ginger and salt. You should end up with patties like dough
  • Add cilantro and make flat patties shape.
  • Deep fry in oil.
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9. Guggullam - sauted chick peas

Source : My Mother
Cuisine: Andhra, South Indian
Cooking time: 5 mins
soaking time: overnight or 3-4 hrs
Makes: 6 people


2 cups of chick peas, soaked
a pinch of turmeric powder/haldi
1 tsp salt
for tempering:
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
1 tsp black gram dal/urad dal
3-4 curry leaves
2 dried red chillies
2 tbsp grated coconut
a pinch of asafeotida
salt to taste
1 tsp oil
  • Soak overnight chick peas and pressure cook it with salt and turmeric for 3-4 whistles. Drain and keep aside
  • Heat a tsp of oil in a sauce pan, to this add the tempering ingredients one by one, let the mustard seeds temper before you add the grated coconut.
  • Mix in the boiled chick peas, add salt and the guggullum is ready.
Phewwww! this was more tough to write than cook....and lastly check in the browsers for any formatting errors. I k now many of you might saw the incomplete post. But I hope there will be no more formatting now :)
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