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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bell pepper curry (dry)

This is a very very colourful Side dish.... and it tastes awesome.


Yellow Bell peppers - 1 cup (cut into thin strips )
red capsicum - 1 cup (cut into thin strips)
Onions - 1 Medium
olive or corn oil - 1 tbsp
Tomato - 1 small
Green chillies - 2
Jeera (cumin seeds) - 2 tsp
mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Fennel seeds (saunf) - 2 tsp
curry leaves - few
Garam masala - 2 tsp
salt to taste

Heat oil in a kadai. Add jeera and mustard seeds. When it splutters, add fennel seeds.
After few seconds, add the green chilies. Fry for sometime. Add the chopped onions and fry till tender.Add curry leaves and chopped tomatoes.
Now add the cut bell peppers. Add garam masala, turmeric powder and salt.
Cover and cook on a low flame till vegetables are tender.

Cover and leave on low heat for 2-3 minutes.

Serve hot with chapatis, phulkas or rice. Enjoy this colourful treat!...

Onion Potato Soup

This is a tasty and delicious soup and my hubby just loves the taste if it.....i saw this soup recipe somewhere....(dont remeber where and had written it down.) but never got chance to make it. Just the other day i remembered of this and thought of giving it a try..... It turned out amazing. Do try it and let me know.
onion - 1 large
spring onion - 1 small
potato - 1 medium
ginger - 1/2 " piece
Mushrooms - 8-10 (optional)
florette garlic - 1
butter - 2 tsp
salt and pepper to taste
sugar - 1/2 tsp


Chop the spring onion finely and keep aside.
crush both garlic and ginger.
Chop the potato and onion into large chunks. Pressure cook till soft.
Blend in a mixie till smooth. Sieve and keep it aside.
In a pan heat the butter.
Add the ginger and garlic and fry till light brown.
Add the chopped spring onion and mushrooms and sautee for some time, till tender. Then add the potato onion stock (prepared above).
Add salt, pepper and chilli sauce as desired.
Serve steaming hot with soup sticks.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bread upma

This is a lovely tasty an quick snack..... I made this with ham burger buns....which were lying at my place....didnt know wt to do with it... when I remembered this quick evening tiffin, my mom used to make for us as kids. This is normally made with any kid of bread.Iam sure ur kids will love this too.
Here goes the recipe.

You need :

Bread slices - 8 - 10
Green chillies - 3
Onions - 1 medium
mustard seeds - 2tsp
Urad dhal- 3tsp
lemon juice - 4tsp
Salt to taste
oil / ghee
Nylon sev for garnish (optional)
Coriander leaves


Put the bread slices in a dry grinding jar and grind it into a powder. You can also cut the bread in small cubes, but grinding it gives a different taste.
Keep this bread powder aside.
In a kadhai or pan take some oil. Add the mustard seeds, urad dhal, and green chillies. Now add in the chopped onions. Sautee till the onions become transparent.

Now add the bread powder in and mix well. Add the salt now according to ur taste and mix well again. let the bread powder get cooked well and become a bit crunchy. Now top this with a spoon of ghee and enjoy ur evening tiffin.

Garnish with sev, lemon juice and coriander and enjoy hot.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Aloo Tikkis / Potato patty

Chaat n street food is the life of every one in India. Every street has to have a chaat thela....offering all the amazing chaat items. I miss it so much...especially pani poori ummm.... well will post my pani poori recipe later. Today I am posting here the recipe for Aloo tikki. The amazing and eternal aloo tikki. You can make many chaat items with this one aloo tikki. Enjoy the tikki as it is or as a chaat.

Here goes the recipe:

Potatoes - 4 medium size

Boiled green peas - 1 cup

Bread slices - 4

chaat powder - 2 tsp

lemon juice -3tsp

salt to taste



Boil the potatoes. Peel them and smash them well. Now add in the boiled peas and mix well. Put in the chaat powder , lemon juice and the salt gel them together.

Take the bread slices and grind them into powder in mixer... this powder should be dry so see that ur grinder jar is quite dry before u put the bread slices in..

Now mix in the bread powder into the potato mixture and make a nice dough. Mold this dough in the shape u desire (its normally made into flat round discs) and shallow fry them

Your chatpata aloo tikki is ready. Serve it as chat or just as a evening snack.... goes well with tomato ketchup.... enjoy!!

French Beans Poditooval (dry bhaji)

Sorry for the long long gap from blogging.....My dad is here and iam very very busy spending time with him.

In the limited time i got for blogging my dishes... I present here a poditooval recipe again.Its fresh beans poditooval (dry bhaji). This is a dish i used to hate as a child,i used to literally even pick it out of my pulav and keep it aside.....what an aversion......hmm.... but then i dunno as I grew up I somehow got a fondness towards this vegetable.As they say time changes everything.... so did it change my attitude towards this vegetable.
French beans is very good for health and very nutritious. I like this dish a lot coz it needs the beans to be lightly steamed hence the beans doesnt get over cooked and stays crunchy and full of nutrients.And the taste....wow... u get the real taste of french beans sans masala....
To make this you will need :
French beans - 1 pound
Dried red chillies - 2
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dhal - 1tsp
Salt to taste
Hing - a pinch
Curry leaves few
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Grated coconut

Method :
Wash the beans well, cut the beans in small pieces and keep them aside.
In a pan, pour some oil and add the mustard seeds, Red chillies and the urad dhal. Let the dhal become red and the mustard seeds splutter.Now add in the curry leaves.
Put the cut beans in, mix well and cook covered for 10 mins. Once the beans is cooked slightly add the salt and turmeric. Cover and let it cook well. Once the bhaji is ready garnish it with fresh grated coconut.

Your poditooval is ready. Serve it as a side for steamed rice and any gravy. Enjoy!

Maharashtrian Kanda Poha / Spicy rice flakes.

Being from maharashtra throughout.....this is one dish i have eaten all my childhood. Kanda in marathi means onions. As this dish is made of onions and potatoes its called kanda poha.
So here iam sharing this quick recipe with u.Enjoy and give me ur feedback.

You need :

Thick Poha (flaked rice) - 2 cups
chopped onion - 1
Chopped potato - 1
chopped green chillies - 1 tsp
hing - 1 pinch
haldi - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
coriander for garnishing
grated coconut for garnish
oil for seasoning
salt to taste
sugar a pinch
Lemon juice 1 tsp

Method :

Wash poha and drain water completely and leave aside for 5 minutes.
To this poha add a pinch of sugar and salt to taste.

Heat oil in a pan add cumin (jeera) seeds, hing, green chillies, haldi, onion cook for 5-minutes. Now add the cubed potatoes and fry until the potatoes are cooked well and roasted.
Add poha and mix well and cover it for a minute. Add more salt if needed.
Garnish with coriander, coconut and sprinkle lemon juice just before serving coconut and sprinkle lemon juice just before serving or u can also cut lemon in quater size pices and serve alongside.

Your tasty poha is ready... you normally dont need any sides for this... u can eat it as it is. Anyways my hubby likes it will fresh home made curd.

Serve hot. Good for an eveneing snack.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Baked bread Jalapenos rolls

Fried food.... its such a big sinster....hmmmm.....I love fried food.....but lately due to my increasing waistline....So I have reduced our family intake of oil. Hence lately it has been a complete cut on all the delicious deep fried snacks...hmmmm....
The other day somehow i got into the mood of making bread rolls.....and so on came with this recipe that doesnt consume much oil... or can say no oil at all... yet gives me the taste of the perfect jalapenos bread rolls. So enjoy the recipe and give me ur feed back..:)

Here goes the recipe. For making this scrumptous looking bread rolls....

You will need :

bread - 8 slices
Potatoes - 5 medium
Jalapenos - 8
Black Pepper Powder - 2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Chaat masala - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves chopped
Lemon juice : 5 tsp
Oil - 4tsp

Method :

Boil the potatoes and mash them well and put in the black pepper powder, salt, lemon juice, red chilli powder , and chaat masala.Mix it well and keep aside.

Cut the jalapenos lengthwise and remove all the seeds.You may put some seeds in the potato mixture too, if u wish. Now fill the jalapenos with some of the potato mixture and keep them aside.

Take the bread slice, dip it in salt water and squeeze the water. keep the wet bread slice on ur palm and spread some potato mixture on it.... Now place the stuffed jalapenos. roll the bread around the jalapenos in to a ball. Press it hard. apply some oil to ur hand and press again while shaping the balls. Once all the rolls are made. Place them on a baking tray and bake them at 375 F for 30 - 45 mins. Make sure to turn the rolls once in a while....for even cooking. Cook till the crust of the rolls become golden brown in colour.

Enjoy this great evening snack with Tomato Ketchup and a hot cup of tea.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Independence Day Special 1 - Tiranga Bhaji

Happy Independence Day to you all

Firstly wishing you all a very very Happy Independence Day. This is the first Independence day iam celebrating away from my country "india". This day is so much fun. We used to have flag hoisting in our society, sweets will be distributed. Small kids dressed in full whites salute to the national flag while singing the national anthem. Hmmmm I really miss India.
This year "India marks 6 decades of independence"........ 60 years of freedom and 60 years of tribute to all those who fought for the cause.

"The National Flag of India was adopted in its present form during an ad hoc meeting of the Constituent Assembly held on the 22 July 1947, a few days before India's independence from the British on 15 August, 1947. It has served as the national flag of the Dominion of India between 15 August 1947 and 26 January 1950 and that of the Republic of India thereafter.[1] In India, the term "tricolour" [Tirangā – तिरंगा (in Hindi)] almost always refers to the Indian national flag.
The flag is a horizontal tricolour of "deep saffron" at the top, white in the middle, and green at the bottom. In the centre, there is a navy blue wheel with twenty-four spokes, known as the Ashoka Chakra, taken from the Ashoka pillar at Sarnath. The diameter of this Chakra is three-fourths of the height of the white strip. The ratio of the width of the flag to its length is 2:3.[2] The flag is also the Indian Army's war flag, hoisted daily on military installations.
It should be pointed out that the actual colour used in the top band in all depictions of the flag—including this page—is either blaze orange or pumpkin rather either than saffron or deeper shades of saffron like goldenrod or dark goldenrod.[3]
The Indian National Flag was designed by Pingali Venkayya.[4] The official flag specifications require that the flag be made only of "khadi," a special type of hand-spun yarn. The display and use of the flag are strictly enforced by the Indian Flag Code.[2]
A heraldic description of the flag would be Party per fess Saffron and Vert on a fess Argent a "Chakra" Azure."

On this day I always used to be stuck to the TV seeing the parade and all the flaots , dances .... ohh my its a beauty.. i cud never go to delhi in person for this celebration.....but never missed to see it on TV..... then the speech by our Honourable Prime minister.......and the national anthem

Manmohanji in his speech this time said that..."" Gandhi's dream of a free India will only be fully realized when we banish poverty from our midst," Singh told a crowd of thousands of dignitaries and schoolchildren dressed in the orange, white and green of the Indian flag, referring to independence leader Mohandas Gandhi.""

Everyone says but who follows... Poverty... is the issue in question but how can it be eradicated?...what about the corruption? Arent poverty and corruption interconnected?Hmm.. anyways I am no economist or leader to analyse these things.... only thing that tops is I love my Country and iam proud to be an indian.

Mera Bharat Mahan!

Tiranga Bhaji
So on the occasion of independence day, I was inspired to make something colourful and simple. Something which reflects our country. Hence i came up with this simple " Tiranga Bhaji"

Tiranga is a hindi word which as such means Tricolour or three colours but for an indian tiranga always means our flag (In India, the term "tricolour" [Tirangā – तिरंगा (in Hindi)] almost always refers to the Indian national flag.)

Hence on this occasion I am using three vegetables that reflect the colours of our flag and so call my dish tiranga bhaji. Do give me your views and comments... now coming to the recipe....
To make Tiranga you need :

Cabbage - 1/2 a head
French beans - 8-9
Carrot - 1
Green chillies - 2
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dhal - 2tsp
Salt to taste
Fresh Grated coconut
Curry leaves few

Wash and cut all the vegetables into small pieces and keep them in sepearte bowls each. Steam them in microwave till half cooked and then keep aside.

In a pan pour some oil. Put in the tadka i.e : mustard seeds, urad dhal, red chillies and curry leaves. Let the mustard flutter. Now add the beans and fry a bit. Add the carrots and do the same... Now lastly add the cabbage and mix well. Add salt and let it cook covered for 5 minutes. Then remove the lid orelse the cabbage will leave water.Cook till all the water evaporates.

Garnish with fresh cococnut and serve as side for rice and sambar.

::sorry if i have made any mistakes do tell me if i went wrong anywhere about our flag and our history::

Independence Day Special 2 - Methi Sambar

Independence day Special - 2 and the item name is "Methi Smabar".

This is a simple and tasty sambar that goes in combination with my Tiranga bhaji and steamed rice with crunchy potato chip. This was our lunch for today, Celebrating the occasion of our freedom.

You will need :

Fenugreek leaves ( methi) - 1 bunch
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - ½ tsp
Urad dhall - 1 tsp
Chana dhall - 1 tsp

turmeric powder - 1tsp
Red chillies - 2 nos
Asafoetida ( Hing) - ½ tsp
Tamarind - 1 lemon sized ball

Thuvar dhal - 1 cup
Sambar powder - 1 ½ tsps
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Salt - ½ tbsp
Jaggery - to taste


Cook the thuvar dhal in cooker and keep it to cool.
Soak tamarind in water squeeze and make a paste. Add more water to this and bring to a boil.
Clean & wash the methi leaves after removing the stems & keep
aside. Chop well.

Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds, urad dhall,
channa dhall, broken red chillies, turmeric powder, asafoetida, sambar powder & curry leaves &
saute. Add the methi leaves and fry well, till the raw smell goes off from the methi leaves.

Add the tamarind extract, and bring to a boil.
Add salt & jaggery & boil well. Now mix in the cooked thuvar dhal and let the it boil well till thickens.

Serve with steamed rice papad and bhaji.

Moist Chocolate Brownies

Brownies.... ohh how much i love them.. no matter they make me fat.. ohh how much i love them... no matter its not too good for my little heart...... ohh how much i love them...... they r yummy....

This is the recipe I got from my friend's sister. It happened so that i friend had gone to visit his sister in Dallas and bought some home made brownie cakes from there. It was awesome and i really wanted to try it out. She was sweet enough to send me out the recipe. I increased the amount of chocolate specified by here. (i also added a spoon of unsweetened coco powder to the recipe). This made it chewier and rich... ummm..... iam mouth's watering as iam writing about it. ummmmm......so do try it and mail me ur comments....:) hey i even decorated the brownie...i made it for my hubby and just wanted to tell him how much i love him........:) so here goes the ingredients list......enjoy!

You will need :

8 tbsp (1/2 cup) - unsalted butter or margarine
4 oz - unsweetened chocolate (eg; Baker's, Ghiradelli)
2 tbsp - unsweetened cocoa powder (I used hershey's)
1 1/3 cups - white sugar
1 1/2 tsp - vanilla extract
1/4 tsp - salt
4 eggs (I used just the whites - dont like the smell of yolk. you may opt to use 2 eggs if putting whole)
3/4 cup - All purpose flour
2/3 - cup walnuts or almonds (roasted and chopped)
1/2 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 400°F and line an 8-inch square metal baking pan with foil. If you don't have an 8-inch pan, use the aluminium foil pans available in the market.
Melt butter and chocolate in the microwave using low settings. Stir until smooth. Now add the cocoa powder to it and mix well again. See that the syrup is smooth and not lumpy.
In another bowl put the egg whites and mix well till a bit frothy. Now add the sugar, Vanilla essence and salt. Mix well again.. it the sugar dissolves in. Now add the flour in it.. and stir until well combined.

Add walnuts / almonds and the chocolate chips and mix again. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes.

When brownies are done remove from oven and place immediately in the freezer. If you don't have space in your freezer, make an ice bath instead.

Allow to cool completely then remove pan and cut brownies into squares.

I decorated my brownie with vanilla frosting and m& m candies. You may serve the brownies as it is.

Serve with hot coffee as an evening delight. Or top it with vanilla ice cream for an after super dessert.

Vengaya Vetta Kozhambu / Spicy onion gravy

This is an easy to make dish. Full of flavours....spicy, tangy, sweet as well as yummy.......Very very easy to make and normally made of few selected vegetables unlike sambar which normally uses most of the vegetables.....well i will be posting all the different vethal koyumbu iam familiar with one by one. Today iam posting Vengaya Vethal koyumbu. Vethal in tamil means evaporation.... this dish is named so.. coz the tamarind paste is cooked on gas for a long time.. until it reduces to half of its previous quantity. This is normally made with small red onions, but i have tried it with the big onions. When making this recipe with small onions just replace them with the big... no other changes have been made to the traditional recipe. Enjoy!

Okay now the recipe
You need :
Tamarind - a ball of small sized lemon or tamarind concentrate
Salt - to taste
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Curry Leaves - few
Gingely oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Methi seeds(fenugreek) - 1/4 tsp
Thuvar dhal - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida powder (hing) - a small pinch
Onions - 1 medium - cut lengthwise
Peanuts - roasted and husked.
To roast and powder:
Coriander seeds - 3 tbsp
black pepper seeds - 1/2 tsp
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
channa dhal (kadalai paruppu) - 1 1/2 tsp
6 dry red chillies (or according to taste )
Roast all this with out oil and powder coarsely

Method :

Soak the tamarind in hot water. Squeeze and extract the juice. The juice should be about 400 ml. and should be a bit thick.
Heat some oil in a thick bottomed vessel or in a non stick pan.
Add mustard seeds. Let it flutter and then add methi seeds and thuvar dhal. Add the cut onions and saute for 2 mins in slow fire. When the onions are pinkish in colour add the roasted peanuts and mix well.
Add the ground masala powder and fry for a minute. see that the masala roasts well. Add the tamarind juice, salt and turmeric powder. Also add the asafoetida (hing) and allow to boil.
The kozhambu should nicely thicken - approximately to half of its original amount (around 200 ml) - normally a teaspoon of kozhambu should be enough for a small bowl of rice.
Add curry leaves. This stays for a long time, so can be stored in fridge in an air tight container.
Serve hot with steaming rice and papad. This can also be used as side for dosa and uthapam.

Rajma Masaledaar! - Spicy kidney beans

Rajma (kidney beans) bhaji. Well to tell u frankly I am not very very fond of this particular dish. But yeah my hubby loves it, and got half a dozen cans of these kidney beans... hence here I am making this dish....

Well this is as such a very nutritious bean. Kidney beans (rajma) is low in Saturated Fat and Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium, and a very good source of Protein, Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate, Copper and Manganese. So much packed in such a small bean.

Can anyone tell me why is it called kidney bean? i dont think it is shaped like a kidney is it?can anyone guide me on this?
Anyways going back to the recipe. To make this delicious Rajma ....

You will need :

Rajma (kidney beans) - 2 cans
Onions - 1 medium
Tomatoes - 2
Green chillies - 2 (slit lenghtwise)
Cumin seeds ( Jeera) - 2 tsp
Ginger - 1" piece
Black pepper corn - 6-7
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 2 tsp
Coriander leaves
Lemon juice to taste.
Salt to taste
Yoghurt or fresh cream - 1 tbsp

Method :

Firstly wash the canned beans... removing and discarding all the preservatives.... Keep the clean beans aside. In a mixer jar...put in half an onion, tomatoes (just leave half piece back), ginger, pepper corns, jeera, and handful of the kidney beans and grind into a nice paste.Keep this paste aside.

Now in a thick bottomed pan, Add some oil and let the jeera splutter in it. Now add the remaining onion (finely chopped) and the tomato and sautee well. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder and garam masala and let it fry till the raw smell of the masal goes away.

Now add in the ground paste and cook. Keep stirring occasionally. Cook till the gravy becomes brown in colour and the gravy cooks well and starts leaving some oil. Now add in the rajma and some salt and pour a glass of water in the pan.... Keep covered and cook for 15 mins.... till the gravy thickens and coats over the rajma.

Your rajma is ready. Add the lemon juice and mix well. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. I also garnish it wil fresh red onions... it tastes good. try it and see.

Serve hot with chapati, roti, phulka or even rice. Enjoy!

Chayote Squash podituval

This is a very simple and traditional podituval recipe. In tamil "podi" means powder and "thuval "means sprinkle ...we use the word "podituval" for dry bhajis which just have the taste of the vegetable and podi (powder) like turmeric powder, curry powder and other such stuff.. according to taste and recipe. This is one such bhaji i tried with Chayote squash or chow chow or bangalore katrikai. Beleive me I havent tried this anything before I came to US. But now iam a fan of this green veggie. So much full of taste and nutrients...

Anyways, now we move towards the recipe. to make this....

You need :

Chayote squash - 2 chopped into small pieces.
Dried red chilli - 2
mustard seeds
Urad dal
turmeric powder - 1/3 tsp
salt to taste
red chill powder - 1/2 tsp
Grated coconut - 3/4 cup

Method :

Finely peel and chop the squash in small pieces and keep it aside.
In a thick bottom pan... pour some oil and add the mustard seeds, urad dal and red chillies.
let them flutter a bit. Now add 1/2 of the grated coconut and mix well.add the red chilli powder and mix well again. Now add the cut squash and the turmeric powder and mix well.add half a glass of water and let it cook till all the water evaporates and the squash becomes a bit tender.

Now garnish with curry leaves and fresh coconut and serve.

I use coconut podi which i prepare and keep in bulk. I add this coconut podi (powder) to instead of fresh coconut on top of the dish. It gives a very nice taste.will post the coconut powder recipe soon.

Dahi Bread chaat

Dahi bread chaat..... this is one of the easiest of all the chaat items I make. I learnt it when i was in fifth standard... yeah that young.... my friends mom used to make this... andi used to love it....It tastes yummy, the pics arent doing justice to the taste of this chaat.( i did a bit over dressing to it...so its over flowing..:P...sorry)..this particular recipe requires no cooking...and can be made in perfect 10 minutes or faster. I will replace this pic when i have better pics of this recipe. Till then enjoy this easy to make, lip smacking recipe.

Do try this chaat and letme know. I am giving ingredients for one plate chaat (serves 1).

For this recipe u need :

Bread slices : 4
Curd : 3 tbsp or more according to ur taste
Red Chilli powder - 1 pinch
Salt to taste
Tamarind chutney - 1tbsp
Green chutney - 2 tsp
Chaat masala - 1/2 tsp
Fresh corinader
Bareek Sev


In a big bowl, fill it half with water and add some salt to it. Dissolve the salt. Now dip the bread slices in the salt water , keep the slice on ur palm and squeeze the water out...keeping the bread shape intact... (have attached picture..)

Place the bread in your serving plate, one on top of the other. Now beat the curd adding a bit of salt to it. Pour the curd mixture on top of the bread. Now garnish the bread with all the left out ingredients one by one. firstly pour the tamarind chutney and the green chutney. Now sprinkle some salt (if needed).. red chilli powder (skip if serving to kids).....chaat powder, fresh coriander and sev.

Serve as it is. This is a good evening snack and a great party item. Try it out and see it become an instatnt hit.

Fruit salad with Ice cream

This was our dinner for yday night...... Fresh raw vegetables and fruit salad.

Fruits are something you can always find at my place. Both me and my hubby love fresh fruits and sometimes thats just enough as our dinner menu. This is a lovely dessert idea for potluck parties or getogether. So enjoy and let me know.

You need :

Fresh fruits - cut in bite size pieces.

(apple, banana, muskmelon, pineapple, grapes, pomogranate,peaches or any other fruit u prefer.)

Sugar - 3 tsp

Salt - 1/2 tsp

Ice Cream - any flavour u like

Roasted almonds

Chocolate syrup (optional)

Honey or maple syrup

Method :

Well its quite simple. This dish is normally made with custard... butthem as we dont prefer lots of sweet and dont have the patience to make the custard and set it.... i took this short cut route.

Cut all the fruits and put it in a big bowl....sprinkle the sugar and salt and toss the fruits.

Now add the honey and roasted almonds and mix it again ( u may avoid the honey part if needed). Top it with ur favourite icecream and chocolate syrup.

Serve cold.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Pita pizza.

Tomato Garlic Rasam

My favourite "Tomato Garlic Rasam" cannot be made much tastier. This is also my husband Radha's most favourite. Steamed rice topped with ghee and this rasam... is heaven..... So here goes the recipe for my tomato Poondu (garlic) rasam.
You need :
2 - 3 Tomatoes (medium)
Garlic - 5-6 pods
Onions 2 tsp
Green chillies - 2 slit lengthwise
Coriander leaves to garnish
Rasam powder - 2 tsp
Cooked toor dhal - 2tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1tsp
Cumin seeds (Jeera) - 1tsp
Hing (Asafoetida) -1tsp
Crushed Black Pepper
Tamarind Juice - 2 tsp
Curry leaves - 5-6
Method :

Firstly blanch the tomatoes in 3 glasses of water untill it becomes very soft. Now allow it to cool. Peel off skin and smash well into the same water. Extract only the tomato juice. Try to squeeze out as much juice as possible, mashing the pulp into a paste. Keep the juice- pulp mixture aside.

Heat 3-4 tsp of ghee in a pan, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, crushed pepper, Hing, green chillies, curry leaves, chopped garlic and onions and fry till soft.

Now add the tomato juice, rasam powder, tamarind pulp and salt. Now add water to this if needed. Add the dhal at last and bring it to boil again.
Finally add chopped coriander and remove from flame.
(I have used an "Eeya chombu" - lead vessel to make this rasam. Rasam is normally made in this utensil to get its authentic smell and taste.But yeah this rasam is so tasty...using any kind of vessel will make it taste divine.. to try and let me know...)

Serve with hot rice and Papad.

Bhel Puri

Another chaat speciality. Guess there are very fewpeople who dont know about this chaat and have never tasted it.. The ever famous Bhel puri. Any street u go in mumbai, ur bound to find a chaat thela (cart) serving this delicious bhel puri. Its very easy to make, provided u have all the proper ingredients.

To make this you need:
kurmura (puffed rice) - 2 cups
Tomato - 1
Onion - 1
Green chutney - 2 tsp
Tamarind sweet chutney - 1 tbsp
Chaat powder - 3tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander to garnish
Nylon sev to garnish
Cut lemon wedges


In a big mixing bowl put in the kurmura and the other ingredients (except the sev and the coriander) and mix well.Mix it well in the bowl. Put this mixture in a serving plate or bowl and garnish with fresh coriander leaves and nylon sev. Also top it with lemon wedges.

Serve it as a evening tiffin.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Vendakai Mor Kozhambu.!........Okra in South indian kadi

Vendakai in tamil means Okra (ladies finger), Mor in means curd or buttermilk..and kozhambu means gravy. This like kadi and is made of sour buttermilk or curd. Very easy to make and can be stored in the fridge for few days.You can as such use any vegetable, i prefer using okra.
So here goes the recipe.

You need :

Okra - half pound
Butter milk or sour curd - 5 cups
Jeera (cumin seeds ) - 2 tsp
Asafoetida (hing) - 1 tsp
Coconut - 1/2 cup
Green chillies - 3
Ginger -1/2" (optional)
Tomato - 1
Salt to taste
Turmeric - 1 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - few

For tadka

Oil - 2tsp
Urad dal - 2 tsp
mustard seed - 1tsp
dry red chillies - 2
methi seeds - 1/2 tsp

Method :

In a blender add coconut, green chillies, ginger, jeera and make into a nice smooth paste.
keep it aside.
In a pan, take some oil. After the oil is a bit heasted, add in the mustard seeds, urad dal, methi seeds, curry leaves, and hing one by one. After it splutters and the turmeric powder and the tomatoes. Cook till the tomatoes are tender. Now put in the okra and sautee well, till it roasts well.

Now pour in the buttermilk to it... and let it boil a bit......add salt to it.
Then add the ground coconut paste and let the mixture boil well..... let it become a bit thin.
Give the tadka and garnish with fresh curry leaves.
Serve hot with steamed rice and chips. It is also a nice side with dosa.

Penne Pasta

My first pasta dish I made after I came to US.....I somehow always had this soft corner for italian food.. well well that doesnt mean i dont like other cuisine.... but yeah truth is.. it has always been my favourite.... dunno if its for the flavour or the sumptuous amount of cheese they put in it....anyways...italian food and specially pasta is my favourite. I have tried out many varieties of pasta but majorly everything with the red sauce or namely maranara sauce (presto) that we get it market.......
This was my first experience of making a pasta dish with white sauce...this doesnt have much cheese ( my husband doesnt prefer much cheese........) So here iam sharing with u this low fat yet cheesey pasta recipe.. do give in ur comment.(I am saying this is low fat recipe, as it utilises less cheese compared to other pasta recipes... i dunno the nutritional value of this dish though :P..)... so here is how this yummy recipe goes....

You need :

Penne pasta - 1 packet

Garlic - 3 medium pods

jalapeneos - 1 chopped ( please remove the seeds if making for kids..)

Carrot - 1/2 (cut in julians)

French beans - 8-9 (cut into 1" pieces lengthwise)

Mushroom - 7-8 cut in slices or even smaller pieces.

All purpose flour (maida) - 2 tbsp

MIlk - 1 cup

Vegetable broth - 1/2 cup (preferably Swanson - brand)

Olive oil

Shredded parmesan cheese - 2 tsp

salt to taste

Ground black pepper to taste

Italian herbs / Oregano - 2 tsp

fresh basil or parsley (optional)

Method :

Firstly boil the penne adding a bit of olive oil and salt....until al dente, drain and keep it aside.

Now, in a saucepan pour in some olive oil and toss in the garlic and jalapeneos, sautee them till slight brown in colour. Add in the carrot , beans and mushroom....and the vegetable broth ( this gives an extra punch to ur pasta .. i would advice u not to skip this....) and sautee it well till the vegetables cook well yet are crisp.

Now sprinkle the all purpose flour on the vegatble and mix them well... the flour will turn slightly yellowish in colour...thats okie.

Let the flour mix in well with the vegatbles....keep stirring for 5 minutes..... then pour in the milk.... see that the flour dissloves in the milk.... if u feel that the gravy is tightening before the flour dissolves or lumps are being formed... pour in a glass or 2 of water into it and keep stirring continuously.Now add the cheese and mix well.

now see this.... the sauce is too thick.. this is not how we want it....keep adding water if the sauce thickens too much..

When the maida is cooked and a kind of pasty and creamy gravy is formed put in the pasta. and mix well. Now add the salt , pepper and oregano.. mix it well .. let the pasta get coated with the gravy..keep adding water wherever needed... dont make the sauce too tight as anyways it gets a bit tight when it cools. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.

The other way of serving is.... placing the cooked paste on the serving plate. Now pour the sauce on top of it and top it with freshly chopped parsley and side with hot toasted garlic bread.
Serve it hot with garlic bread.