Meet Padma of Padma's recipes in this week's Super blogger series. She has posted more than 500 years in a little more than 2 years of blogging. Her blog is neatly organised and allows convenient browsing. Her blog covers a wide variety of recipes. Read more about here ...
EC: Tell us something about you
Padma: First of all thanks to "Simple Indian Food" for featuring in their series 'Super Blogger Sunday". I am really honored.
I was born and brought up in Bangalore, Karnataka. Mother tongue is Telugu and native near South Tamilnadu. So was exposed to cuisines from all over these places right at home. I am a home maker with two kids. Cooking is my passion and always loved collecting recipes from magazines, TV Cookery show and noted them down in a book. Later noted down many recipes from mom and grandma. That book was in great demand right from college and was always under circulation. Luckily was able to get them back by the end of college.
My hubby is a real foodie and preferred a lot of variation. I used to cook 3 different meals each day. I am a vegetarian by choice, but cook Non veg dishes very rarely. That is the reason you find very less Non Veg dishes in my blog.
EC: Who and what inspired you to start food blogging ?? Which were the blogs that inspired you initially ?
Padma: Intially I started to maintain a soft copy of my favourite recipes and slowly started to share in a food website as a contributor. After having kids slowed down sharing and my full attention was on them and their activities but was still updating and saving recipes in a soft copy. 2 years back a friend started a food blog and asked me to share some recipes. I immediately sent some recipes and then shared some pictures too. Loved taking pictures and post with recipes and within few days I started my own food blog ( Padma's Recipes) and now my blog is more than 2 years and with 500 posts.
EC: How much technical knowledge does one need for a neatly organised blog like yours ?
Padma: None. If you just know how to open a blog, type in recipes and upload pictures that is very much enough. Gradually you will get know most of the things just like I did. Initially I did not even know how to link a recipe. Now I am able to guide new bloggers with their queries and even reply to them with any help they ask technically.
EC: You have posted 500 recipes now in 2 years..Do you cook specifically for the blog and what are your recipe sources?
Padma: I post whatever I cook for the day. Very rarely I cook specifically for the blog that too to send in to food events. Initially I posted 2 or 3 recipes a day, which gradually slowed down. Now I try to post once or twice a week. My recipe source is always my family. My mom and grandma are great cooks and even now they try out new dishes. May be I got the same interest from them.
EC: Have your recipes been copied anywhere without your permission..How would you deal with plagiarism ??
Padma: Plagiarism should not be encouraged. I have seen many of my blogger friends recipes and pictures been copied and always felt for them and supported their action against plagiarism. Most the times recipes are been copied from one place to another with some changes, but copying of pictures is a shameful act and I am against it.
Recently when I looking at a Tamil Magazine "Mangayar Malar", was shocked to see my picture under a different contributors name and recipe fully changed. I am still in process of how to deal with it?.
Sukham Ayu - Jigyasa and Pratibha's second venture after Cooking with Pedatha won the second place as the Best health and Nutrition book in the world during 2009. It is a perfect book for a layman to incorporate ayurveda in the day to day food. There are more than 60 vegetarian recipes classified in different categories that are simple to make and nutritious at the same time. So the reader can look forward to Nutritious, tasty and simple recipes in the book.
1/4 cup chopped tofu (soya paneer)(or normal paneer)w
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp red chilli sauce
2 tsp tomato ketchup
Mix the oil in lukewarm milk for the dough. Beat well and add it to the mix of flour, baking powder and salt and make a soft dough. Knead well and keep covered for 10 -15 minutes. Make balls and roll them into medium thickness rounds.
Heat the tava and cook these rotis in medium flame till brown spots appear on both sides. Repeat for rest of the dough.
Mix the ingredients of filling well and place a little on one side of the roti. Roll tightly. Keep a paste of the flour with little water handy and apply it to bind the corners so that the filling doesnt come out. Cook on the tava for a minute more so that it binds well.
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I have to admit I have a very soft spot for Brownies - being the easiest to bake, these are one of my cherished desserts, especially when you need something quick and satisfying to uplift your mood or indulge your sweet tooth. Plus, they are a hit with my toddler too, though I try to restrict indulging her!
The Magic Cookie Bars, or Blondies, as I would call them, are a lovely variation from the traditional brownie recipe. It does not use any flour, just graham cracker crumbs, condensed milk and your favorite toppings. Plus, it is so versatile, you can easily swap toppings with your favorite ones, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, white chocolate, pecans, pistachios, almonds - throw in everything and you'll still end up with one perfect recipe!
Ingredients 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 1 cup butterscotch chips 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut 1 cup chopped nuts
Method Heat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees for glass dish). Coat 13x9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Mix well with your fingers so everything is evenly buttered. Then press gently into bottom of prepared pan, evening out the layer with your palms.
Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Press down firmly with a fork.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Then take a serrated knife and cut into bars or diamonds.
The magical Blondies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.
Meet Zenobia of RAWk Me !! in the budding blogger segment
Hello everyone. I'm Zenobia. I'm born and brought up in Mumbai and work as a writer at an eLearning company. In my free time, I run a blog on raw vegan foods.
I'm 100% vegan, and try to be as raw as is humanly possible. Coming from a largely non-vegetarian eating community in India, I've always had an uneasy relationship with meat. I knew it was bad (for a lot of reasons - You take your pick), but was too lazy to cook my own stuff and continued to go with the flow. But as I watched more and more food documentaries that are critical of our current food production practices, I finally decided to get off my behind and put my money where my mouth is.
I have always been fascinated with food - but from a distance. I loved watching people cook on TV or staring at photos online, but cooking really didnt seem up my ally - Until recently. Well, I still don't cook much. I prefer things fresh and quick to put together. So, my menus feature heavily on salads, and easy to put together meal ideas and recipes. And, since I have not been trained in cooking, so to speak, I love mixing seemingly odd flavors and foods items. My philosophy about food is - try it, what have you got to lose?! If it doesnt taste good, throw it and start all over.
Hope you all will make the time to visit my blog and give me your blessings.
After living in Dallas for around 2 years, you get to know the good and bad about restaurants pretty soon, because unlike the Bay Area, there aren't too many good choices out there. So if you are in or around the area, and are craving for Mexican food, then check out Mattitos, a fun and friendly Mexican restaurant Dallas that will satiate your cravings for authentic Tex-Mex food. Like any other food lover, I turned to Yelp to look for better-than-average Mexican restaurants in Dallas, and Mattitos indeed had some rave reviews. As we visited their Uptown Dallas location, we found that their decor is warm and colorful, just how you'd expect a Mexican restaurant to be, and you'll be greeted by nice and friendly staff who will answer your queries without rush. The food is totally another story. Their Menu is large and extensive, especially their Lunch specials. They have a large variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options; no wonder they are a favorite party caterer Dallas. And don't forget to order something from their Drinks Menu - their award-winning Cocktails are out-of-this world, and your visit would be incomplete without trying one of them.
Their Sunday Brunch menu is another good choice, from appetizers to main course as well as a dessert, you'll get to taste everything, so it is perfect for family brunches. Mattitos also provides affordable and cheap banquet halls, so check them out if you are planning an event around the area.
With good food, lots of options, affordable prices, and a family-friendly environment, there are a lot of things that work in favor of this authentic Tex-Mex eating harbor. We enjoyed our visit, and I am sure you will too - after all Yelpers can be trusted for their reviews most of the time!
Mattitos Tex-Mex Restaurant 3011 Routh Street (At Cedar Springs) Dallas, Texas 75201 (P) 214-526-8181
Meet Laavanya of Cookery corner blog this week in the Super blogger series. She has a collection of recipes nearing 300 soon and has been blogging continuously for more than 3 1/2 yrs now. She has tried varies cuisines and her pictures tempt you to have food right away from your monitor screens..Read more about her --
EC: Tell us something about yourself
Laavanya: I'm Laavanya, currently residing/working in the US and originally from Madurai, India. We (my husband and 2 kids) enjoy food and my daughter in particular loves to help me cook/bake. Food has always been well appreciated in our family and both my parents are wonderful cooks. I've always had an interest in cooking from an early age but got to develop it only after I turned 20 and found out that I love cooking & trying out new recipes. Initially I had just one blog (started June 2006) that chronicled happenings in our life & my daughter's growth and gradually I started to incorporate food related posts in that. After getting acquainted with the large food blogger community, I created a separate blog for my recipes (started June 2007) and transferred the previously published posts to the new blog 'Cookery Corner'. I thought that it would be great to have a online repository of my recipes (which was initially in a file box).. I'm thankful because my blog has given me a lot of good friends in the food blogging world and so many awesome ideas & recipes that I've incorporated. The frequency of my posts has reduced considerably over the last year or so due to time constraints, but I intend to post as often as I can. Most of the time, what I post, is either part of our standard meal or something new I tried out... only rarely do I cook specially for the blog.
EC: Who and what inspired you to start food blogging?
Laavanya: I can't remember what I was searching for on the web but I first landed on the 'Mahanandi' website and absolutely loved the concept of food blogging, particularly because it's tried and tested in someone's home & has captivating pictures. From there, I went on to view so many other fabulous blogs such as One Hot Stove, Saffron Hut, Foodies Hope etc. and was pretty much hooked and soon I was trying to do the same with some of the dishes I was cooking.
EC: You have tried various cuisines...Which do you think is the easiest to cook and which is your personal favourite.
Laavanya: Of the different cuisines I've tried, I think that the easiest to cook would be Italian, because both, pizzas & pastas come together quickly and taste good. As for my personal favorite(s) - that would be Indo Chinese and Indian that top the list.
EC: Do you think blogging has widened your perspective and exposure?
Laavanya: Definitely! I've learnt so many things as a result of blogging for example I've come to incorporate a variety of vegetables that I hadn't tried earlier (e.g. Kale),different methods of cooking - e.g. baking or using a paniyaram pan as a substitute for deep frying etc.
EC: Have your recipes been copied anywhere without your permission..How would you deal with plagiarism ?
Laavanya: Hopefully, I've been spared. The one time someone used one of my images, I left a comment on their blog and they removed it. But I know that some times it's not that easy. I think, we as a community should stand together and be supportive of each other to fight such incidents and also take steps personally to help prevent people who copy e.g. put watermarks in photos.
EC: You have been blogging for more than 3 1/2 yrs now..do you think the blogging arena has changed and how
Laavanya: I think the food blogging arena has changed in that there are now a lot more participants and there are numerous events that are hosted (more than before) that sometimes it's hard to keep track. But I think this is a positive change - the more the merrier.
EC: Your favourite vegetarian recipe
Laavanya: It's really hard for me to narrow down to just one recipe but this 'Thengai Paal Kuzhambu' - Coconut milk gravy always holds a special place in my heart because it brings such fond memories of relaxed Sunday lunches as a kid and this is absolutely tasty and lip smacking.
As part of my resolution to eat more salad, I am trying to buy ingredients that can be turned into a salad without too much fuss. You practically need to buy tender salad greens every day so I've been buying crunchy vegetables and hardier leafy greens instead. On my shopping lists these days are daikon radish, carrots, celery, fennel and red radishes. Shaved thin, they all are great salad fixings. I also buy avocados, and some citrus fruit to gussy up my salads.
I made this particular salad one night when I wasn't hungry enough for dinner and I had very little in the house to cook anyway. I loved it so much that I keep going back to the store to buy the same ingredients so I can make it again! It's based on my very faulty recollection of the Grapefruit Jicama Salad from the Slanted Door.
I particularly like the combination of Napa cabbage and radicchio. They are sturdy crunchy greens, (ok, technically not green at all!) but less hardy than red or green cabbage. I used O Clementine olive oil. It's just lovely, but any citrus infused olive oil would be fine if you have some on hand, otherwise use any extra virgin olive oil you like. The salad also includes candied pecans. I have made candied pecans hundreds of times and this is the easiest method of all.
Grapefruit Radicchio Salad Serves 2 as an entree or 4 as a starter
2 cups radicchio, shredded 1 cup Napa cabbage, shredded 1 grapefruit 1/4 cup pecans, chopped 2 teaspoons sugar 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika 2 Tablespoons olive oil or citrus flavored olive oil 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
In a small frying pan combine the pecans with the sugar and a teaspoon of water, cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. When the sugar gets very brown take the pan off the heat and sprinkle the nuts with a pinch of salt and the smoked paprika, stir and let cool in the pan, making sure the nuts are separated from each other so they don't clump together.
Toss the radicchio and cabbage in a bowl. Peel the grapefruit using a knife to remove all the pith. Cut between the membranes to remove only the segments and drop them into the bowl with the salad. Using your hands, squeeze the remaining juice out of the grapefruit membranes and core, onto the salad. Add the olive oil and vinegar and toss. Top with the cooled candied pecans. Serve immediately.
2 cups all purpose flour 3/4 tsp baking soda 3/4 tsp baking powder Salt to taste 1/2 cup lukewarm milk 1/2 cup curds 1/2 tsp sugar Butter as required
For stuffing -
2 cups grated paneer 1/2 cup finely chopped onion Salt to taste Pepper powder to taste Coriander leaves or kasuri methi
Mix the ingredients of the stuffing and keep aside. Sieve the flour, soda and baking powder together thrice to ensure even mixing. Transfer to the mixing bowl and make a hole in the center. Pour the milk, sugar, salt and curd in it and mix after a minute softly to make a dough. Keep aside for 3-4 hours. Make medium sized balls of it and dust it with the flour. Roll into thick chapati, place the stuffing in the center and close it well.
Dust and roll gently in the shape of a naan. Apply water on one side of it. Stick this side to the tava and cook covered for 1-2 minutes. Bubbles will start coming up on the naan. Slowly invert the tava and expose the naan directly to the gas flame and cook on the other side as well. When brown spots start appearing and the naan is cooked, remove from the tava and apply butter as required to it. Alternatively you can even cook it on the tava alone till you get brown spots on both sides.
Serve hot with a spicy gravy of your choice.
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Meet Divya Kudua of Easycooking as a Super blogger this sunday. She has more than 400 recipes posted in 3 years time. The main attraction in her blog is more than 100 baking recipes and collection of Konkani recipes..Her style of posting recipes with step by step pictures makes it much more easier to follow ..Read more about her..
EC: Tell us something about yourself
Divya: Hello all of you and Thank you EC for giving me an opportunity to be a part of your blog. I am a Food-blogger based in Chennai. Ten years ago if someone had told me I would be having a Food blog of my own, I would have laughed at them. For someone who learnt cooking only after marriage [left with no choice] and someone who had no idea what a blog is all about, I think I've come a long way. As they say, "Necessity is the mother of invention"-combined with "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach" sums up my Cooking journey so far.
I started the blog on a whim, not knowing what I was going to blog about or how I was going to make my food look presentable. Slowly, I learnt.Food which looks good has to taste good too and vice versa, then began my never ending quest for recipes which anyone could cook. I've been blogging for nearly three years now and every time I get a comment, my heart skips a beat. I think for every blogger, the feedback from the readers is most important and for me,no joy is more when some one tries recipes from my blog and says how much they loved it!!
Initially, I used to post only recipes which I normally cook on a day to day basis. Though they form the crux of our menu, I started experimenting on different kinds of food.Baking, for example is something I learnt only after I started blogging and I am hooked now. Every time I bake, it gives me so much satisfaction making me think, what next!! I try to post 2-3 recipes a week, but sometimes it goes down to two or maybe even one. Depends on my mood and what new stuff I've cooked!!
EC: Who and what inspired you to start food blogging ??
Divya: It was during a usual Internet browsing that I came across Roopa of Kitchen Treats' blog. From there I hopped on to Shilpa's blog and then one thing led to another and I had a blog too. The very thought of blogging about something I've cooked and getting feedback for it is what made me plunge deeply into Food blogging.
EC: You have tried various cuisines...Which do you think is the easiest to cook and which is your personal favourite?
Divya: I would say Konkani and Kerala cuisine. Because that is what I grew up eating and something which I can cook without referring to recipe books. And simple foods are always the most tastiest, I would say the same for my favorite cuisine too!!
EC: Do you think blogging has widened your perspective and exposure?
Divya: Absolutely. Thanks to food blogging, I can confidently cook different varieties of food now.
EC: You have baked a lot of eggless goodies..which of your baking recipe would you suggest for a first timer and any tips on baking.
Divya: I started trying out Eggless bakes for my amma and ma-in-law, who do not eat eggs. After the initial success, I tried many recipes from different blogs and most of the times, I got perfect results. One thing I would like to tell beginner bakers is that-Do not get intimidated by baking. Baking is just like regular cooking, except that, in baking, we have to take extreme caution in following the recipe as it is. Once you master the art, you can tweak the recipes to your requirement.
I love cooking, trying out new recipes. I have 2 kids who are quite fussy with food which pushes me to try out new recipes to interest them. I have been browsing different recipe blogs for the past 1 year and have just started my own blog since last month (December 2010). Though i try out different cuisines, I have updated my blog with only those dishes whose recipes are passed down from my mother, mother-in-law and my aunts. Once I exhaust with all these recipes, I shall update the recipes I try out sourced from the net.
I'm from Bangalore, hence I know to prepare traditional Karnataka recipes, which I update in my blog as and when I prepare them, which is quite often. Other than than, since my roots are from Andhra/Tamil nadu border, I have been taught to prepare Andhra dishes as well. So, my blog contains Karnataka, Andhra and Tamil nadu cuisines. I have used simplified methods and short cuts in most of my recipes since it is easier when managing 2 school going kids. Please go through my blog, feel free to put forward queries if any and you are welcome to put in your suggestions and advice in it.
The most challenging thing about quinoa is learning how to pronounce it, "keen-wah." After that, it's smooth sailing. A super healthy Peruvian "grain," quinoa is as delicious as it is healthy. While quinoa tastes and cooks as if it were a grain, it's actually a seed and has a light, mild flavor and somewhat chewy and creamy texture. It does a wonderful job of absorbing the flavors in dressings or vinaigrettes. Think of it as a healthier version of couscous that you can serve hot, at room temperature or cold.
I used to visit a shop on Grant Avenue in North Beach that had lots of vintage ephemera. The postcard that said "California, land of fruits and nuts" always cracked me up. Fruits and nuts. You have no idea. California is such a magnet for weirdos, and I mean that in a good way. As an agricultural state, we also happen to have lots of actual fruits and nuts. We are the top agriculture state, and the nation’s sole producer (99 percent or more) of a large number of specialty crops, including almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, grapes, raisins, pistachios, clingstone peaches, dried plums, sweet rice, pomegranates and walnuts, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
I used the sunny California combination of almonds and tangerines in this salad, but you could use segments of navel orange, clementines or any other sweet citrus fruit. This salad is good at room temperature. It would make a perfect accompaniment to grilled fish or roast chicken, but it would also be a good potluck dish. You could go even more "California" and serve it piled high in an avocado half. It will keep for a day or so, but it best eaten soon after you make it.
Note:This recipe calls for the juice and zest of half a lemon. Zest the lemon while it's still whole, then cut it in half and juice it.
Citrus Quinoa Salad with Toasted Almonds Serves 4
1 tangerine, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks (remove as much of the membranes as you can) 1 cup white quinoa, rinsed well 1/2 lemon, preferably organic 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 medium scallions, thinly sliced 1 Tablespoon flat leaf parsley, minced 1/4 teaspoon sriracha, or more to taste 2 Tablespoons thinly sliced toasted almonds
Rinse the quinoa thoroughly, then toast it in a dry pan over medium heat for a few minutes until it is fragrant.
In a medium saucepan, bring 1 3/4 cups water, the quinoa, and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent and tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Spread out the quinoa on a baking sheet to cool to room temperature.
Finely grate the zest from the lemon and then squeeze the juice into a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, scallions, parsley and sriracha. Fold in the quinoa and tangerine pieces, season to taste with salt and top with almonds just before serving.
1 medium beetroot (peeled and grated) 4-5 tsp sugar (for medium sweetness-add more if reqd) Bit of cardamom powder
For outer layer
1 cup all purpose flour (maida) Pinch of salt 3-4 tbsp Oil
Ghee as required
Make a soft dough of all purpose flour, salt and water. Add oil and mix well. Keep covered for atleast 1 hour. Heat 1 tsp ghee and add the grated beetroot. Mix well and cook on low flame till beets are cooked. Add sugar, cardamom powder and mix well till sugar melts. Cool well and make 3 small balls of it.
Grease a plastic sheet with little oil. Take 1/3 rd portion of the dough and pat it on the sheet by covering it with another sheet. Let the center be little thick and sides thinner. Place the beetroot stuffing in the center.
Cover it with dough from all sides and again pat it keeping another plastic sheet on it. Pat slowly ensuring the filling does not come out. Heat tava and cook it on medium flame with little ghee on all sides till brown spots appear on both sides.
Serve hot with little more ghee.
** You can even grind the beetroot before frying in ghee.
** Since beetroot is already sweet in nature, remember to reduce the quantity of sugar.
More varieties of Polis that you can try for this year's Pongal
The package from France arrived late last year, on a day when I desperately needed to be cheered up! My good friend of many years was leaving the country, so I was sad ... Oiseau's tiny treasures brought a smile on my face that day. The package included roast chicken, poached pear in chocolate sauce, pate, seashell chocolate for Christmas, an amazingly detailed Hortensia plant and carrots in a handwoven basket!