Thursday, April 30, 2009

WYF: Quick Meal event announcement

Summer is back and its getting difficult to spend time in the kitchen cooking three meals a day. So why not make a collection of recipes that are quick to make so that we get to enjoy good food done in lesser time..This month Whats Your Favourite event theme is Quick Food..Come out with all those delicious and easy to prepare filling breakfasts, lunch ideas, snacks, sweets, starters and anything that would give you more time to relax without compromising on food.

Please note that

1) After posting your recipe on your blog, please link it back to this announcement and add the logo if possible. In case you wish to send some dish that you have posted earlier, please repost it with the link to the event and the logo. Please restrict the number of entries to three.

2) Please post only vegetarian recipes for the event since this is a 100% Vegetarian blog. No eggs please. If you are a non-blogger, mail me the recipe and the picture.

3) Mail me the following details - Subject: WYF:Quick Meal, your name, dish name and link to the post to by 31st May '09. I will pick up the picture from your neednt send it. The roundup would be published during the first week of June.

Looking forward to your participation in the event.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hyderabadi Mirchi ka Salan

Mirchi ka Saalan is a name known to many in Hyderabad, and perhaps other parts of India too. It is a spicy curry made with green chillies, or bell-peppers, for those who can't take the heat. But the beauty of the recipe lies in the freshly roasted and ground Masala paste, which gives it that aromatic and authentic taste that is cherished by Hyderabadis! Along with the spice kick, this curry has the unique flavor of ingredients like tamarind, coconut, peanuts, sesame seeds, and coriander. It looks like a lot of work, especially as you have to roast and grind the Masalas for the authentic fresh flavor, but let me tell you, its totally worth it! When you serve it with Parathas or simple plain rice, this is a taste that will surely linger in your memories!

8-10 large green chillies or capsicum slices
2 tbsp boiled onion paste (recipe here)
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
3 whole cloves
6-8 fresh curry leaves
2 tsp tamarind paste
oil for cooking
1 tsp jaggery solution or sugar (optional)
salt - to taste

Ground Masala Paste
2 tbsp Coconut
2 tbsp Peanuts
1/2 tsp Coriander seeds
1 tbsp Sesame seeds
a pinch of Cumin seeds
2-3 dry red Chillies

Slit and deep fry the green chillies/capsisum in hot oil. Remove and keep aside to drain on a piece of paper.

Roast and grind together the ingredients for the Masala paste and keep ready.

Add the sugar or jaggery water to the tamarind paste, mix well, and set aside.

Now Heat oil and add the mustard seeds, when crackling add the cloves and the curry leaves. Mix the boiled onion paste and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add the ground Masala paste and continue stirring. Add the tamarind water paste, and mix well. Let the gravy simmer on medium-low lame, partially covered. Add some more water as needed to get desired consistency, and keep stirring once in a while to prevent the masala from sticking to the pan.

Finally, add the salt and the fried green chillies to the hot gravy. Adjust seasoning for taste, then let it boil on high for about a minute. Remove and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.

Serve the hot and spicy Mirchi ka Salan with some homemade Rotis or Parathas, and enjoy a kicking meal!

Related Recipes
Hyderabadi Bagahre Baingan
Spicy Bhindi Masala (Okra Curry)
Bharwaan Shimla Mirch (Bell Peppers)

Cornflour halwa

Made this halwa inspired from Priya's version at Easy N Tasty recipes..


1 cup cornflour
2 cups of sugar
3 cups of water
1 tsp cardamom powder
Roasted nuts
Bit of food colour of your choice
1/4 cup ghee

Roast the corn flour on low flame without any ghee for a minute. Now, add the water,cardamom powder and sugar to it and mix well to a smooth paste. Start heating it on low flame and keep stirring to get a transparent lump. Add food colour and ghee to it and keep stirring it.

When it starts leaving the sides of the vessel, add the roasted nuts and transfer it to a greased plate. Cool and cut into pieces of desired sizes.

Can be stored under refrigeration for 2-3 days.

Please note that a small cup of cornflour gives good quantity and it is better to start with lesser quantity considering the shelf life.
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Just a day left for the WYF:Side dish event to end ..Pls rush in your entries.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bread manchurian


2-3 bread slices
4 tbsp all purpose flour (maida)
4 tbsp corn flour
4 tbsp gram flour
Salt to taste
1 tsp red chilli paste
1 tsp soya sauce
1/2 tsp green chilli sauce
1 onion cut lengthwise
1 capsicum cut lengthwise
Oil to fry
Finely chopped coriander leaves

Make a thick batter of cornflour, all purpose flour, gram flour, 1/2 tsp red chilli sauce and a bit of salt. Cut the bread into small pieces, dip in the batter and fry them in hot oil till golden brown. Drain out the excess oil using a tissue paper.

Heat 1 tsp oil, add onions and fry them for a minute. Add capsicum and fry it as well for another minute. Add soya sauce, red chilli sauce,green chilli sauce and a pinch of salt. Add the fried bread pieces and mix well to coat it with the sauce.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve immediately.

Just three more days for the WYF:Side dish event to end...Please rush in your entries
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Monday, April 27, 2009

Maavadu urugaai(Small mango pickle)

This is my mom's preparation..


1 kg Tender raw mangoes (called maavadu, vadu manga)
100 grams Salt
100 grams red chilli powder
100 grams mustard seeds powder
2-3 tbsp castor oil
1 tbsp turmeric powder

Wash and wipe the tender mangoes well. Apply the castor oil to it.

Add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, mustard seeds powder to the mangoes and then water till the mangoes are well covered with the spicy water. Shake well to mix the masala and keep the jar closed. Every day, shake and mix it well atleast 2-3 times. Repeat the process for atleast a week till the mangoes shrink very well in size.

Vadu manga is ready to serve as a side dish.

My awards, blogroll and cookbook reviews sections are now shifted to
Watch out for reviews of the cookbooks I have.
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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Palak kofta in tomato-palak gravy

The colour of the gravy here looks a bit odd because of the mixture of red colour from tomatoes and green colour from spinach..but it is a very healthy dish and the gravy is a bit tangy because of the addition of tomato sauce.


For the kofta

1/2 cup finely chopped spinach
2 boiled and mashed potatoes
2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp corn flour
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
4 tbsp grated paneer
Few roasted nuts

For the gravy

2 small tomatoes (pureed)
1/2 cup palak paste
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds powder
1 tbsp tomato sauce
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ginger paste

Oil to fry

Mix all the ingredients for kofta except paneer and nuts. Make small balls and stuff the grated paneer and nuts in between and make balls again. Deep fry in hot oil till golden brown if you are not conscious of oil intake..The ones in the pic have not been deep fried, it has been cooked on a paniyaram pan with just 1 drop of oil for each kofta.

Heat 1 tsp of oil and add cumin seeds. When it splutters, add the tomato paste and spinach paste and rest of the ingredients for gravy. Allow it come to a boil.

Add the koftas to the gravy just before serving.

Serve hot with rotis/pulav.
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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Jevarisi vadaam

My mom made these and sent me the pics to share the procedure for sago vadaam ..


1 cup sago
Salt to taste
Green chillies

Soak the sago overnight in 3 cups of water. Next morning, grind it along with salt, asafoetida and green chillies as required.

Now heat it along with one more cup of water on low flame and keep stirring till you get a transparent and a bit thick liquid. The kuzhu is ready.

Cool well. Now tie a clean muslin cloth (or thick plastic sheet) over some wooden base. Take a small ladle full of the kuzhu and pour it in the cloth to make a small round. It will spread by itself, so leave a little gap between two vadaams. Repeat the process for the entire kuzhu. Dry well under hot sun..

Depending on the heat, it may be ready in a day or may take another day as well. Ensure to keep in a safe place away from birds, animals and dust.

Once dry, it would be transparent and very crisp. This can be stored for a year in a clean box.

To serve, just heat oil in a pan and fry the vadaams one by one without turning it reddish.

Serve with rice or just as a snack.
Sending it over to Priti for her Festive food:Summer Treat event.
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Friday, April 24, 2009

Hariyali Paneer Tikka


200 gms paneer cut into cubes
2 tbsp palak paste
2 tbsp mint leaves paste
2 tbsp coriander leaves paste
Salt to taste
1 tsp tomato sauce
1/2 tsp green chilli sauce
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp ginger paste

Mix all the ingredients except oil and paneer pieces. Slit the paneer in the center without breaking it and stuff the green paste inside it. Marinate for atleast 1/2 hr in the refrigerator. Cook on tava or grill it in the oven with a few drops of oil.

Serve hot.

Thanks a lot Padma of Padma's Recipes, Trupti of Recipe center and Kavitha of Kavitha'vin Kaivannam for considering my blog worth your appreciation and award..

Some of the keys on my keypad are not working properly since some days and am finding it really tough to type even a recipe. Although I am daily checking out the updates on your blogs, I am not able to comment on your posts ..Pls bear with me until I set it right..
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Best Energy Saving Tips


Wow! I am blown away by all the great energy saving tips that were shared in the comments section of the last post. I've compiled some of my favorites for your convenience. I'm sure there is at least one tip that you hadn't considered.

Save energy, save time, save money and you'll be helping to protect our environment. Earth Day may be officially over, but really, every day is Earth Day, right?

Congratulations to Suzy who won the Scanpan and Randi who won a copy of Big Green Cookbook. Your prizes are on their way.


I find that i love caramelized onions but the time and energy in cooking them each time I want to use them is prohibitive and limits my use of them. So now, every couple of weeks or so, I buy 3 or so pounds of onions and carmelize them all down at once. Then, I freeze them in about 1/4 cup pouches which i find are perfect for throwing in dishes. I then just move them to the fridge periodically to always have them on hand.


My energy saving kitchen tip is to unplug all of my small appliances, such as a mixer, toaster, coffeemaker, etc. whenever they are not in use. Also, I freeze some of my veggie scraps (onion ends, mushroom stems, celery ends) for making stock.


Here's my sustainable tip, though I suppose it's only relevant for certain climates. It's a summer tradition in my family to have a full Armenian meal, complete with rice and lamb grapeleaves. After years of buying overpriced leaves from various markets, we've begun scouring the neighborhood for grapevines. Now, we spend a few weeks going around collecting hundred of grapeleaves (for freezing and reuse). It's good for the vines, easy on our budget and it's the perfect way to make use of local produce! Not to mention the leaves freeze very well and can be used all year long.

Rachel F.

I save energy by using the convection oven in my microwave instead of my range--not as much space to heat up and it doesn't heat up my kitchen.


Save scraps--vegetables, chicken bones, and so on--and make soup! (We throw out too much food.)


Another great one is my pressure cooker. Cooking things that normally take hours of braising on the stove can be done in less than an hour with the pressure cooker. It saves time and energy!


When boiling water, cover the pot to prevent heat loss. Just before your food is cooked completely, turn off the burner and allow the heat in the pot to continue the cooking process for you.

Jenny Hoots

Using a toaster oven for small jobs, rather than a conventional oven, can save energy.


Anytime we bake or roast something in the winter, we leave the oven door open after we turn the oven off. In our little apartment, it keeps the need for the heating down quite a bit on cooking days!


We have a crappy old oven in my apartment, and don't often need a full sized oven. I found a toaster oven at the thrift store, our energy bills went down fast!


My green tip is to use the pilot light in your older gas stove for making soy yogurt. It's on anyway, so use the pilot as much as possible.



I open the dishwasher when the dry cycle starts to save on energy and reuse plastic containers a few times before throwing them away.


My green kitchen tip is to use glass (jars, pyrex) for storage as much as possible - infinitely reusable and doesn't take on stains or smells like tupperware or disposable containers.

I try to allow food to cool to room temperature before I put it in the fridge. Why make the fridge cool it down to room temperature and possibly spoil the surrounding food when my counter can cool it at the same rate?

Jennifer C

I never run the dry cycle on my dishwasher, and I've just very recently begun replacing my worn dish towels with ones made of bamboo fiber. As for cleaners, I'm a big fan of the Method line


My kitchen tip would be to make your own cleaners. Baking soda works wonders on my kitchen sink (when it needs something stronger, I get out the Bon Ami) and vinegar is my favorite 'tool' for getting off the hard water deposits that show up here on a weekly basis!


So, we got rid of paper towels and paper napkins for cloth- we use more energy for running the washer, sure, but we wait till it is completely loaded, and we have to run it anyway!, so we're for sure saving on waste!

We have given up plastic and paper shopping bags in favor of cloth ones all the time, and we don't allow water bottles in the house- all our water is tap water, and not only at home but even when we're out!

We never throw out food...
I know this sounds like a crazy one, but growing up in Italy wasting food in any whatsoever way was considered a capital sin. So all leftovers are saved, and we never ever not eat things that are on our plate. Does that count? 


We turn off the heated drying cycle on the dishwaher. A quick shake and a propped door gets it all dry just fine. 

I keep an inventory list of what's in our freezer on the door. Now, when I want to know if we still have chicken or sausages in the freezer, I can find out without having to root through all the shelves. It also forces us to clean out the freezer every few months as we update the list.


I always carry my reusable grocery bags in the car so that I have no excuse to answer the question paper or plastic?


Keep the freezer full



My kitchen tip is to save all your veggie scraps and start a compost bin. It's a great way to give back to the earth and does wonders for the vegetable garden.


Pet rabbits = Organic garbage disposals = compost + 10 years of uber cute fluffy pals.


When I have to wait for the water to heat at the tap I use the running cold water to water my plants. I soak greens in a large stainless bowl full of water, after I remove the greens I use the water on my outdoor plants. I used to live with a very restricted amount of water. I value water greatly and try not to take it for granted.


Even though we live in a fourplex building, our landlord lets us have a small garden out back. In the summer we grow our own herbs and some produce ..we co-ordinate what we plan to grow with our neighbors and then when it's harvest time, we swap.(For instance if we grow tomatoes and they grow peppers, we exchange some tomatoes for their peppers and so forth). It's a great experience for our neighborhood and the earth 


Dosa upma


4 dosas cut into small pieces
2 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp blackgram dal
1 tsp bengalgram dal
1 onion chopped
2 green chillies slit
Few curry leaves
Finely chopped coriander leaves

Heat oil, add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add blackgram dal, bengalgram dal, curry leaves and green chillies. Add onions and fry for 2 minutes. Add the dosa pieces and mix well. Sprinkle little water and cook covered for 2-3 minutes on low heat. Add chopped coriander leaves and mix well.

Serve hot with chutney or sambar.

Optional-You can make it healthier by adding some vegetables and tomatoes to the upma.

Sending it over to Mahima for her 15 minute cooking event.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day! Pan & Cookbook Giveaway

Professional Scanpan
Today is Earth Day! What are you doing to be more environmentally friendly? I've gotten rid of all my Teflon pans. It's not just the flaking but also the chemicals used in making the pans that pollute. But I haven't totally given up on non-stick.

The latest non-stick pan to come into my kitchen is from the professional line of Scanpan, made from ceramic titanium and recycled aluminum. It is 100% PFOA-free. The line of pans is made in a facility that utilizes a production technology that eliminates the need for PFOA completely.  Another thing that sets this non-stick pan apart from others is that the non-stick coating cannot be damaged by using metal utensils. It's tough! And unlike so many cheap non-stick pans, the handle is really solid and hefty.
Because I've only been using the Scanpan for a short time, I can't tell you how it performs after years of use, but so far I'm very happy with it. It heats evenly and is easy to clean. It also gets great reviews on Amazon. I particularly like the 10 inch pan which is perfect for omelettes and crepes.

Big Green Cookbook

In honor of Earth Day I am giving away one 10 inch Professional Scanpan frying pan and a copy of the Big Green Cookbook to a runner up. Just leave a comment with your best kitchen tips for saving energy and protecting the environment. Contest is open to US residents only and only one entry per person. You must include your email (no one will see it except me) to be eligible.

Good Luck!



This recipe is inspired from Neha's version at Tasty recipes and turned out perfect without any changes to the original recipe.


For the outer layer-

3 cups all purpose flour
Salt to taste
1/2 cup gram flour (besan)
Bit of baking powder
1 1/2 tsp oil

For filling-

1 tbsp gram flour
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp thymol seeds(ajwain)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp dry coconut powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
1/2 cup nylon sev
1 small onion chopped

Oil to fry

Mix all the ingredients for dough well with hands and then sprinkle water to make a stiff dough. Keep covered.

Roast sesame seeds seperately. Heat oil, add cumin seeds. When it splutters, add ginger paste and the onions. Fry for a minute and add rest of the filling ingredients and mix well. Cool and grind to smooth powder.

Make small balls of it and roll it into chapatis. Spread the masala paste over it and roll the chapati tightly till the end. Wet the ends and stick well. Now cut it into 1" pieces and deep fry till cooked and light brown.

Cool well and serve.

Also made some more shapes with the same dough and filling.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spring Omelette: Recipe

Spring Omelette
The addition of fresh herbs breathes life into dishes. Herbs are vibrant, bright and introduce flavor that is so startlingly different from dried herbs that I can never understand recipes that imply they are interchangeable.

In Italy I learned to make spaghetti with garlic, olive oil, chile flakes and parsley. It wasn't just the color contrast but the lively springiness of the parsley that made this simple dish so wonderful. Likewise sage leaves crisped up in butter or olive oil lend intensity and crunch, a handful of cilantro in a tossed green salad gives it a lemony zing and a sprinkle of chives on smoked salmon adds a delicate, almost sweet oniony flavor.

I have a little herb garden and I do mean little. A harvest of herbs from my window box is roughly equal to a generous garnish, so I have to keep raiding my mother's herb garden and buying herbs if I want to cook with them. Last week I got a chance to try Daregal fresh frozen herbs and found them to be surprisingly convenient and fresh tasting. I made a lovely omelette filled with asparagus and Jarlsberg cheese and a couple of pinches of Daregal frozen dill. This filling combination feels very Scandinavian to me though I have no idea if it really is...

Spring Omelette
serves 1

2 eggs
3-4 asparagus, a couple tablespoons sliced
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon shredded Jarlsberg cheese
pinch of dill, frozen Daregal works great

Beat the eggs in a small bowl until foamy. Thinly slice the tips and about half of the asparagus stems, about 1/3 cup total. Heat a non-stick pan and add a splash of water and the asparagus; simmer until the asparagus is tender, about 2 minutes. Drain the asparagus and set aside. Wipe the pan clean. Add the butter to the pan and heat over medium low heat until melted. Pour in the beaten eggs, swirl to cover the pan with the beaten eggs and let set slightly. Sprinkle the asparagus, dill and cheese on the eggs and cook until barely dry, then flip onto a plate and serve.


Udipi sambar


1 cup cooked redgram dal
Few curry leaves
2 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp blackgram dal
Bit of asafoetida
1/2 cup cooked mixed vegetables
Lemon sized tamarind soaked in water
Salt to taste
1 onion sliced
Bit of jaggery
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 green chillies slit
Sambar onions-few

For masala paste-

2 tsp blackgram dal
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
3-4 red chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 coconut-grated

Roast the masala ingredients in a drop of oil, cool and grind to smooth paste.

Heat the rest of the oil, add mustard seeds and blackgram dal. When it splutters, add curry leaves, onions, green chillies and asafoetida. Fry for a minute and add tamarind juice, turmeric powder, and mixed vegetables. Allow it to boil for 4-5 minutes and add salt, jaggery, mashed redgram dal. Mix well and finally add the masala paste. Add more water as required to make thick sambar and allow it to boil.

Serve with South Indian tiffin varieties and rice.

Sending over this special sambar associated with the temple town of Udipi to Deesha for her South Indies-Taste of 4 states series and also to Shama's Village special recipes event..
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Monday, April 20, 2009

Chewy M&M Cookies

If there are any cookies I like after chocolate-flavored ones, it has to be the classic fat and thick M&M Cookies. They taste lovely, and yet cater to the child within you because of the colorful use of M&M's! I first saw these cookies on Delish, which are adapted from the recipe in the beautiful cookbook called The Cookie Bible, with M&M's and ground pecans, but I'm sure you could easily use chocolate-chips or other nuts. Its a great way to bake goodies with kids or have some fun family time together. With hardly any special ingredients needed, these fat and chewy M&M Cookies will surely leave you mentally and gastronomically happy!

Yields about 3 dozen cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/3 cup M&M’s, divided
1 cup chopped pecans - coarsely grounded in mixer

Heat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and keep ready.

Stir together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well.

Gradually add flour mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in 3/4 cup M&Ms and all the chopped nuts. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheet, leaving enough space in between to let them expand. Press 5-6 of remaining M&Ms on each cookie before baking.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly, then remove from cookie sheet and allow to cool completely on the wire rack. Eat a few immediately, storing others in air-tight containers for later:) This is a great alternative to brownies, as a picnic dessert too!

Related Recipes
Chocolate-Dipped Madeleines
Thumbprint Cookies - Vegan
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Kulfi Falooda

Kulfi recipe here..

Ingredients for falooda

1/2 cup cornflour
2 cups water

Make a paste of cornflour and water. Heat it on a low flame and keep stirring. Once it all comes together as a lump, put it into the sev press and press it immediately into ice cold water.

Cut the kulfi into 3-4pieces. Pour the falooda without any water over it. Garnish with chopped nuts and serve immediately.

Sending this over to My favourite things:Frozen Desserts event started by Bindiya and guesthosted by Aquadaze.

This also goes to Srivalli for her Mithai mela.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Stuffed Alu puri


1 cup wheat flour
Salt to taste
Oil to fry


1 boiled and mashed potato
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp crushed kasuri methi
1/4 tsp amchur powder (dry mango)
1/2 tsp garam masala powder

Make a soft dough of the wheat flour, salt and water. Mix all the ingredients of the stuffing and keep aside.

Roll out the dough into small pooris, stuff some potato filling in the center and close it from all sides with the dough. Dust with some wheat flour and roll out again into thick pooris without letting the filling come out.

Repeat for the rest of the dough and deep fry the pooris in hot oil.

Thanks Prathibha of The Chef and her kitchen for the "I Love your blog" award.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Chocolate Poha Kheer

Yet another dish with a chocolate flavour..This time inspired from Lakshmi's version at Iyengar's kitchen.


1 cup poha/aval/rice flakes
2 cups milk
1/2 cup condensed milk
3/4 cup sugar(use more if required)
1 tsp cardamom powder
2-3 tsp cocoa powder
Roasted nuts and raisins

Wash the poha in some water and drain out the dirty water. Soak it in some water for about 1/2 hour to let it get soft.

Heat the milk, condensed milk and sugar for five minutes. Add the poha and cocoa powder to it. Mix and let it come to a boil. Add cardamom powder and nuts.

Serve hot or cold as desired.
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Friday, April 17, 2009

Somebody's Mother's Chocolate Sauce: Favorite Things

Somebody's Mother's Chocolate Sauce

Considering that I'm the kind of person that likes nothing better than left-over pizza or pasta for breakfast, this past week was a tough one. The dietary restrictions associated with Passover prevented me from eating either bread or pasta so I turned to my pantry for comfort and treated myself to a classic no-bake dessert, ice cream with chocolate sauce.

I really have no idea why warm chocolate sauce on cold ice cream is such a happy combination but it always lifts my mood. Perhaps it's just nostalgia, reminding me of a time when the only thing better than an ice cream cone was a chocolate dipped ice cream cone. Vanilla and chocolate are warm luscious flavors -- classically familiar yet hinting of something both exotic and tropical.

It always makes me happy to discover delicious products made with wonderfully pure ingredients. Somebody's Mother's Chocolate Sauce is exactly that. It contains no corn syrup, no artificial flavors or colors, nothing but pure chocolate, cream, sugar and butter. It's not thick and fudgy like my other favorite chocolate sauce, it's light and creamy, providing a good alternative when you are in the mood for something a little less rich. It not only cries out for vanilla ice cream it also begs for a spoon. Try, just try opening a jar without sneaking a taste. Seriously, the jar should come with a lock on it.

Tawa pulao


1 cup mixed vegetables (cut lengthwise and slightly cooked)
1/2 cup paneer cut lengthwise
1 medium tomato (chopped)
1 cup cooked rice
1 onion chopped
2 tsp oil
2 green chillies-slit
1/2 tsp ginger paste
Salt to taste
1 1/2 tsp pav bhaji masala
Finely chopped coriander leaves

Roast the paneer pieces in a drop of oil in tawa till crispy on all sides. Heat oil in a tawa, add the onions and green chillies and fry for a minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes till the tomatoes become soft. Now add the ginger paste, mixed vegetables and fry on high flame for a minute. Add salt and pav bhaji masala. Mix well. Finally add the cooked rice and paneer pieces. Coat the rice with the masala and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.

Sending this over to Kadumanga's COT:Flavored Rice event

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Palak ka salaan

This recipe is from Nita Mehta's Mughlai Vegetarian Khana book with changes to suit our taste buds.


1/2 cup bengalgram dal
2 cups chopped spinach (palak)
1 onion chopped
1 medium tomato chopped
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste

Soak the dal for 1/2 hour. Pressure cook it till soft.

Heat oil, add onions. Fry for a minute and add the tomatoes. Cook till tomatoes are soft and add the rest of the ingredients except dal. Add some water and cook till palak is soft and done. Mash half of the cooked dal. Add the dal to the cooked spinach and mix well. Cook for 2 more minutes.

Serve with hot rice/rotis.
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Rajasthani poori

No idea regarding the origin of these pooris..but read them in a personal recipe book of a friend.


1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup gram flour(besan)
1/2 cup sooji/rava
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
Bit of asafoetida
1/2 tsp cumin seeds powder
Oil to fry

Make a soft dough of all the ingredients except oil and keep aside closed for 15 minutes. Make small balls of the dough,roll it into puris and fry them in hot oil.

Serve hot with mildly spiced side dish of your choice.
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Passover Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Passover Sweet Potato Gnocchi
During Passover, I miss pasta. I make passover-friendly crepes, potato pancakes, and daydream a bit about spaghetti. Of course, if you are eating rice you can eat rice noodles I suppose but I wanted to come up with something else that would satisfy me and be kosher for everyone observing Passover.

The reason I have not posted any new Passover recipes is that, well, I haven't had much luck until now. I can't tell you how many little mini batches of gnocchi I made. Some were too soft, some were too chewy and one batch was frighteningly gummy. But this last batch worked like a charm. Practice makes perfect, I guess.

These sweet potato gnocchi have ricotta in them and are just seasoned with a bit of salt. They are great with butter and sage leaves. Normally I wouldn't specify the sauce, but I'm not sure I'd recommend serving them with a cheese sauce because they are pretty rich and filling without it. By sauteing them in a pan with butter, they take on the flavor of the sage and gain a nice slightly crisp exterior that is a good balance to their tender interior. By the way, there is no reason you couldn't eat these all year round.

Passover Sweet Potato Gnocchi
makes about 3-4 servings

1 cup mashed sweet potato (hot or cold)
1/4 cup ricotta
1/2 cup matzoh meal
1/4 cup potato starch
1 scant teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup unsalted butter
10 fresh sage leaves

Mash together the sweet potato, ricotta, matzoh meal, potato starch and salt. When the dough is well mixed, break it into four even pieces. Roll each and cut about a 10 inch roll and cut into small pieces, about 15 per piece of dough. Using a fork, roll the bits of dough to flatten them slightly and make indentations. Boil in salted water just until they rise to the surface.

In a large saucepan, preferably non-stick, melt the butter and add the sage leaves, after a few minutes add the gnocchi and cook until the sage leaves are crisp and the gnocchi is slightly crisp on the outside.




1 cup roasted dal/pottukadalai
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp cardamom powder
Roasted nuts and raisins
Ghee as required

Make a fine powder of the sugar and dal. Add cardamom powder, nuts and raisins to it. Start adding ghee and keep mixing. Add ghee till you are able to make balls from the mixture. Since I had made fresh ghee a day earlier, I used the kashandu (the darker portion of the ghee that settles down at the bottom of the vessel when fresh ghee is made), the colour of the ladoos is a bit dark..if you use ghee you will get the ladoos in creamish off-white colour.

The laddus can be stored for more than a week.
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Monday, April 13, 2009

Batata song

This Konkani special dish is inspired from Seema's version at My randap blog.


2 boiled and cubed potatoes
Salt to taste
2 tsp oil
1 small onion chopped
1 tsp red chilli powder
A small ball of tamarind-soaked in water

Heat oil and fry the onions for a minute. Add the tamarind juice, salt and chilli powder. Cook for 2 minutes and add the cubed potatoes. Add more water if required for gravy and allow it to boil and get thick.

Serve with rice/rotis.

This is my second entry to the WYF: Side dish event...

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Chocolate Shrikhand

For all the chocolate crazy people--just add 2 tsp of choco powder to the shrikhand and mix well..Enjoy ..Shrikhand recipe here
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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Is your Kitchen Ready for Entertaining?

Any holiday celebration is incomplete without Cooking & Baking, I'm sure all of you have started gathering and bookmarking favorite recipes for your family dinners! But, after entertaining guests for the last two weekends, and cleaning up my precious Enclume Pot Rack, I suddenly realized that though I have the recipe list ready, I don't think I have all the kitchen tools and utensils needed for the immense amount of holiday cooking that I have planned! Funny, as most of us don't think about the cooking tools right until we actually start executing a recipe! Most of the times makeshift-tools will work, but what about those large family-size pots and pans? or the holiday Bundt-cake pans? Is your Kitchen ready for some serious Holiday Cooking and Baking? [img source - Williams Sonoma]

Baking Tools
As baking would undoubtedly be a primary contender to holiday preparations, its imperative to make sure you have all the tools and kitchen bake-ware to make your baking as stress-free as possible. I for one, need to get a new Bundt-Cake Pan, and also a simple baking Thermometer. In fact, a simple search online will get you several deals on professional cookware including cookie sheets, cake pans, measuring spoons, muffins cups, cutters, scrapers, chafers, enclume pot racks and more! Make sure you have different cookie-cutters for all your fancy Christmas cookies, and also some fancy serving trays & tableware to serve those in!

Cookware and Tableware
My biggest concern when I have to prepare a dinner for a large group is what to cook it in! Dividing the same curry into two non-stick pans will mostly never work, so make sure you have cookware large enough to cook your entire dish. Ensure that you have all your kitchen equipment in order - from casseroles to mashed potatoes, and soups and stews to serving bowls and roasting pans, everything needs to be co-ordinated, so you don't go scrambling at the last minute! And if you are going to use your ancient china, wash and clean them a few days ahead so it sparkles. Buy table linens and matching napkins as well as serving ware, as holidays are special, and a little pre-planning will keep you more relaxed on the main day. I have added a new food-processor, and perhaps a Chocolate Fondue set to my Go-Get-it list already! And perhaps some new Fall dinner set won't be bad either:)

Dinnerware & China
When it comes to a party, your dinnerware is as important as your food, and White is mostly the preferred choice at holiday dinners, mostly because they bring out the color of the food. But these days, there are a lot of designer options available. Choose a theme, and find a matching Dinner set that goes with your linen and china. Autumn themes, leaf-shapes and fall-colors are greatly flavored at such occasions, so choose what pleases you the most, as there are tonnes of options to select from! And again, artistic enclume potracks will be a perfect fit too!

Wines & Glassware
No festive dinner is complete without a fancy wine, a fitting festive Cappucino or a Fruit Cocktail! This is the time to splurge on the expensive wine labels, and choose nice and fruity champagnes. If you love making cocktails, you'd know its important to serve them in a fancy way too! Make sure your buffet table has enough of glassware, depending on what you plan to serve. I have 2 sets of wine goblets, and it really doesn't look impressive when you use two incomplete sets to serve different guests at the same party. So I'm adding some new wine glasses and some cute coffee mugs to my shopping list!

Holidays are all about family gatherings, a few times in the year when everyone gets together and spends some quality time, enjoying great food and chatting and reliving pleasant memories over a cup of coffee. As food is one of the biggest contributors to a successful Holiday gathering, one should start planning ahead, not just about what you are going to cook, but also how, when and where! Take some time see if your Kitchen is ready for the holiday season, and make sure you have all you need to impress your guests on the big day. Remember, the plate that you cook and serve the food in, is as important as how your food tastes!

Hariyali kebab


1 cup mixed vegetables (cooked)
2 boiled and mashed potatoes
1/2 cup thick spinach paste(cook with little water for 2 mins, cool and grind)
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
Gram flour as required

Squeeze out all the water from the vegetables. Add the rest of the ingredients to it and mix well. Add gram flour as much required to make the ingredients into one big lump. Roll them into the skewers and cook them on a tava with oil.If you dont have skewers just shape them with hands like in the picture.

Serve with tomato sauce.

Although measurements are given, they are just can adjust it according to your taste. Sending this over to Sunshinemom for the RFRU:Starters event started by Ramki.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Kadhai Paneer

If you are craving for a simple yet tasty Paneer recipe that won't take hours of preparation, and which you can savor with Rotis/Parathas/Naans or Rice, look no further. Kadhai Paneer is a healthy, nutritious, protein-rich and almost fat-free Indian curry that will leave you satisfied at the end of your meal. Flavored with kasuri-methi, ginger-garlic and a blend of mild Indian spices, it can be ready in a jiffy and can be a perfect accompaniment to bread or rice for a fulfilling weeknight dinner! Sending this over to Srivalli for Monthly Mingle, featuring Kid's Lunches this month!

500 gms paneer, cut into cubes
1 & 1/2 cups tomato puree
1 medium onion - chopped
1 medium green bell-pepper - deseeded & chopped
1/2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp kasuri methi
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp aamchur (dry mango) powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
salt & sugar - to taste
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves - chopped
3 tbsp ghee or cooking oil

Heat ghee in a pan, add the chopped onions and the chopped bell-peppers and saute until light brown and soft, but not mushy.

Add the ginger-garlic paste and all the masala powders, except kasuri methi, and roast for 2 mins.

Then add the tomato puree, salt, sugar, kasuri methi and the paneer cubes and let it cook, partially uncovered, for about 8-10 mins on medium heat.

Check for taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander and serve hot with Parathas or Vegetable Pulao.

Related Recipes
Shahi Dum Aloo
Vegetable Korma
Akbari Paneer

Carrot Poha Kheer

This recipe is the creation of Priya of Easy n tasty recipes. The recipe is the same and it was very tasty.


2 carrots (cook and grind to smooth paste)
1/2 cup condensed milk
1/2 cup boiled milk
1/2 cup poha (aval)
Roasted nuts
1 tsp cardamom powder
Sugar as required

Dry roast the poha till it starts changing colour. Mix the milk, condensed milk and carrot paste, sugar and cardamom powder and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the roasted poha to it and cook till soft. Add roasted nuts and serve hot or cold.

Sending it over to Trupti for the CFK: Rice event started by Sharmi
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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Stuffed Paneer puri


1 cup wheat flour
Salt to taste
Oil to fry


1 cup crumbled paneer
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Finely cut coriander leaves

Make a soft dough of wheat flour, salt and water and keep aside for 5 mins. Mix all the ingredients of the stuffing and keep ready.

Make medium sized balls of the dough and roll out into thick poori. Place some stuffing in the center and close from all sides with the dough. Press lightly, dust with flour and roll out into thick poori. Repeat for the rest of the dough and deep fry the poori in hot oil till brown spots appear on both sides.

Serve hot.
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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tawa Vegetable


2 cups mixed vegetables cut lengthwise(beans, potatoes, carrot, cauliflower)
100 gms paneer cut lengthwise
3-4 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp chaat masala
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp pav bhaji masala powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

To reduce the consumption of oil, it is better to pressure cook the vegetables with very little water and roast the potatoes and paneer with about 1 tbsp oil on tava.

Heat the rest of the oil, add turmeric powder and then the vegetables without any water. Roast for a few minutes and then add the masala powders and salt. Mix well. Serve hot with non spicy rice variety like jeera rice.

Sending it over to Neha for the FIC :Red and Green event, started by Sunshinemom of Tongue Ticklers.

This is also my first entry to the WYF: Side dish have you prepared your favourite side dish this month

Reposting Kaju Paneer Masala for the Let's go nuts: Cashew Nuts event started by Aquadaze and guest hosted by Poornima of Tastytreats.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Palak Shorba


2 cups cleaned and chopped spinach
Salt to taste
Pepper powder as per taste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
1/2 tsp butter
1/4 cup milk

Add little water to the palak and cook on low flame for five minutes. Cool and grind to smooth paste. Heat butter, add cloves and bay leaf. Add ginger paste and then palak paste. Cook for a minute and add salt and pepper as per taste. Add milk and cook for another minute.

Serve hot.
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Monday, April 6, 2009

BBD#18 - Quick Breads Roundup

If you think you are a pro at baking quick breads, think again! With the plethora of recipes that you'll see below, it is enough to challenge any baker, whether novice or pro, to try a hand at some of these tantalizing quick breads, some that you'd never imagined before! With more than 70 recipes to choose from, this round of BBD-Quick Breads has indeed been a fun to host for me, and this post is definitely being bookmarked. Thanks once again to Zorra, for giving me this opportunity, and to all you wonderful cooks out there, for making this event such a huge success.The next round of BBD will be hosted by Cinzia of Cindystar. So hop on to check out the current theme, and start baking again! And now, here's for the roundup!

Sweet Stuff
Laura's Birdseed Muffins - Cafe Bacarro
Siri's Sweet Olive Oil & Pine Nut Bread - Transplanted Baker
Andrea's Kiwi & Coconut Muffins - Delta Kitchen
Christie's Pumpkin Muffins - Edible Antics
Priya's Chocolate & Oatmeal Bread - Easy & Tasty Recipes
Laura's Chocolate & Butterscotch Scones - The Spiced Life
Michelle's Prune Muffins with Caramel & Orange Sugar - Big Black Dogs
Anne's Caribbean Coconut Loaf - The Dough Nut
Acane's Spicy Tea Bread - Basil & Cinnamon
Sara's Lemon-Poppyseed Muffins - I am a Food Blog
Illona's Banana & Fruit Yogurt Muffins - Bread & Wine
Bharti's Honey-Oatmeal Quickbread - Veggie Foodist
Nancy's Boston Brown Bread Muffins - The Dogs eat the Crumbs
Andrea's Lemon Sour Cream Muffins - Nummy's Kitchen
Harini's Healthy Banana Bread & Cake - Tongue Ticklers
Temperance's Ricotta Pancakes - High on the Hog
Pavani's Whole Wheat Pancakes - Cook's Hideout
Soma's Vegan Banana-Orange-Nut Loaf - eCurry
Poornima's Date & Walnut TeaBread - Poornima's Tasty Treats
Jamie's Sweet Oatmeal Raisin Bread - Confessions of a Gourmand
Priya's Eggless Oatmeal-ChocoChip Scones - Easy & Tasty Recipes
Mansi's Cranberry Pistachio Biscottis - Fun & Food Cafe
Lien's Blueberry Pecan Bread -Notite Van Lien
Glenda's Pineapple-Coconut Bread - Family Baker
Natashya's Peach Mango Bread - Living in the Kitchen
Sweatha's Spiced Pumpkin Chocolate Bread - Tasty Curry Leaf
Natalia's Quick chocolate Bread - Gatti Fili e Farina
Emiglia's Elvis Presley Banana Bread - TomatoKomato
Aparna's Honey & Oatmeal Raisin Bread - My Diverse Kitchen
Jude's Semolina Corn Bread - Apple Pie Patis & Pate
Stefanie's Stripe Cat Quick Bread - Eating Real Food
Stefanie's Chocolate Custard Muffins - Hefe & Mehr
Marjoke's Blueberry Lemon Quickbread - Company in my Kitchen
Cham's Lemon Bread - The Spice Club
Idania's Magdalenas's Quick Muffins - EL Aroma De Idania
Zorra's Ultimate Scones - Kochtopf
Pat's Apricot Almond SweetBread - Bread Baker's Dog
Jacqueline's Wholewheat Bluberry Coconut Scones - Toxobread
Pavani's Banana Walnut Bread - Cook's Hideout
Shelly's Banana-Pecan-Flaxseed Bread -Adventures with the Woods
Gopi's Prune & Walnut Bread - Health n Taste
Mansi's Pineapple Muffins - Fun and Food Blog

Savory Stuff
A&N's Biscuits w vegetable Gravy - Reluctant Chefs
Judy's Beer Bread - Judy's Gross Eats
Jaysree's Whole Wheat Quick Bread - Kaila's Kitchen
Jacqueline's Basil Buttermilk Bread - Toxo Bread
Lisa's Cheddar-Dill-Beer Biscuits - Food & Spice
Sus' Australian Bush Bread - CorumBlog
Zaira's Pan Sausage Bread - La Cocina de Zaira
Zabeena's Mediterranean Waffles with Olive & Herbs - A Lot on my Plate
Alisa's Irish Soda Bread - Jane of Many Trades
Siri's Savory French Muffins - Siri's Corner
Cindy's Panini Veloci de Marie-Pierre - Cindystar
Mary's Savory French Bread - One Perfect Bite
Archana's Spicy Pumpkin-Walnut Bread - The Yum Factor
The Queen's Nutty Yogurt Bread - ChaosQueen's Kitchen
Chuck's Three-Cheese Beer Bread - The Knead for Bread
Divya's Savoury Cookies - Divya's Dil Se
Asha's Turmeric & Paprika Luchis - Foodie's Hope
Tartasacher's Almond & Cheese Quick Bread - Milpostres
Sunita's Malthouse & Brie Quickbread - Sunita's World
Dhivya's Corn Muffins - Culinary Bazaar
Jude's Irish Soda Bread - Apple Pie Patis & Pate
Stefanie's Indian Chapati - Hefe & Mehr
Arundathi's Parmesan & Pepper Scones - My Food Blog
Divya's Irish Soda Bread - Divya's Cookbook
Maya's Olive-Cumin & Herb Quick Bread - Konkan World
Susan's Pain de Epices - Wild Yeast blog

I hope you all enjoyed this delicious roundup of Quick Bread Recipes as much as I did. Whether you yearn for a sweet one or savory, you are sure to find one here that suits your tastebuds perfectly fine!