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Holy pepper and tea



Andhra, Indian and World cuisines. And, things in general



Updated: 2017-11-09T06:31:41.857-06:00

 



Khichuri or Khichidi (Rice and Moong beans)

2015-04-23T15:40:47.386-05:00

This is stick-to-your-bones kind of Indian comfort food that can easily be made on a busy weekday or if one can manage a healthy breakfast! It's vegan but packed with nutrients, protein and low-fat! I feel blessed to be Indian, due to my inclination to vegetarianism. Though I like occasional chicken or seafood dish, its vegetarian that I crave for. Being vegetarian in India is probably the (image)



Mejadra/Mujaddara/Mudadara/Mid-Eastern Lentils and Rice

2015-04-23T11:07:48.829-05:00

From Ottolenghi and Tamimi's cookbook "Jerusalem" You will need basmati rice, green/brown lentils, onions, all purpose flour, cumin & coriander (cilantro) seeds, all-spice, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper powders, cinnamon stick, star anise, sugar, salt to taste, oil to fry and cook. Cook lentils in water. Bring the water to boil and then cook for about 12 minutes. Keep (image)



Oats vegetable pulao

2015-04-21T17:31:27.423-05:00

Start with heating 3 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp ghee, add about 10 cashew halves, 5 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon stick, 4-5 cardamom pods, 1 star anise, 1 tsp jeera. Fry until aroma comes out of the spices. Add 2 cups steel cut oats, mix well and fry until oats leave nutty aroma. Add 2 cups of mixed vegetables - including onions, 5 whole green chilies (optional)and green pepper pieces, salt to taste, (image)



Saffron and Tarragon flavored Tortellini Soup: Weekend Herb blogging

2015-04-23T13:36:06.569-05:00

It's been a long time I posted a proper post. Been crazily busy, nevertheless, the things in the kitchen been interesting as ever although a bit efficient :-) All this cooking should improve something, right? ;) We could feel Fall temperatures yesterday night and a hearty soup is totally called for. It was an impromptu thing, which I made before and was not very impressed about the flavor. So,(image)



Pasta with favabeans

2015-04-23T15:34:48.156-05:00

Found these babies among other interesting items like green almonds, various fruits & veggies that are prominent in Mideast cooking at the local specialty store.  Steps: Open 2 lbs of pods to get the beans, blanch them quickly in sales boiling water, shock them in cold water, peel outer layer, keep aside Cook 1 lb pasta per instructions on the package Meanwhile, heat 2Tbsp evoo, add (image)



India Snapshot

2015-04-21T17:34:52.623-05:00

Pictures taken in India -AP Diwali lights decorated bull - helping owner to gain livelihood Fruit on-board slight rain made street almost deserted late afternoon traffic corner shoe repair shop street-side vendor - selling jackfruit jackfruit segments - yum! Sapota - sweet & juicy Sapota flesh Samosa - perfect snack with afternoon Chai (image)



RCI - Andhra Festival Foods Round-up

2009-03-01T07:35:24.226-06:00

(after 7 month delay)First, apologies for all the bloggers who submitted their entries, waited patiently for couple of weeks, lost hope later. Thank you for your entries, patience and hope.Back to blogging....no, no, dusting off the blog first ;)Here is the delicious round-up on Andhra Festival Foods: I have sorted the entries by the festivals in the order they are celebrated in a year.Pongal/(image)



RCI: Andhra Festival Foods

2008-06-22T00:20:30.238-05:00

First and foremost, a big apology for starting this event so late. I have completely forgotten when June has started and its time for me to host until Asha has reminded me...Thanks Asha!RCI - Regional Cuisines of India is brainchild of Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine and this month's feature is Andhra Festival Foods, and I the lucky one got to host it :-)When I was a kid back home in India, I actually (image)



Ugadi - New beginning

2011-10-29T16:56:35.327-05:00

Just few days back, I was debating whether upgrade some of the old pictures on this blog. From my very first picture/post, I've upgraded my camera, my photographic skills (not too much, but decent). Since I make some of the recipes here frequently, I can always take a new picture and replace the old one. As I was browsing through the blog, I became nostalgic and I felt like every picture spoke to(image)



Eggs kobbari vepudu (eggs in coconut seasoning)

2015-04-21T17:35:11.977-05:00

Ingredients to make this dish: 6 boiled eggs (not very hard) 1 1/2 cups chopped onions 1 green chili, slit vertically 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 1/2 - 1 teaspoon red chili powder 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder 2 tablespoons freshly grated coconut meat 1 tablespoon coriander (cilantro), finely chopped For tadka/popu: 1 tablespoon cooking oil, 2 sprigs curry (image)



Weekend in Houston

2015-04-21T17:35:26.116-05:00

Hidden in the middle of Houston's concrete jungle is this beautiful (green) jewel, maintained by Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens. The Gardens are breathtaking. Simply beautiful, elegant and calming. We initially planned for an hour visit. Soon, we forgot hunger and wandered in the gardens for good 4 hours, yet thirsty for its beauty. Here are some pictures I've(image)



Guthi Vankaaya (stuffed brinjal) in old-world way

2015-04-21T17:29:09.631-05:00

Many a time, a great meal need not to include extensive list of ingredients or a complicated procedure. This is the recipe that my great-grand-aunt has always made. Two words to describe it...simply superb. Her everyday meals were made with very few ingredients and in a relaxed manner. After a day's work with farming activities, no time toiling around the stove fueled by wood. The meals she (image)



Eggneer Masala (Steamed egg cake masala)

2015-04-23T15:47:17.128-05:00

Eggs are extraordinary food. Nutritious, healthy, tasty and versatile. Can be eaten for breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner. This recipe, taught by my Amma uses steamed eggs. I call these steamed egg cubes eggneer (like Paneer). Once you have the eggs steamed, the options are endless. The steamed eggs can be -cut into cubes added to salads, -deep-fried, like chicken, seasoned well with some salt and(image)



Weekend Herb Blogging Round-up: WHB # 115

2008-01-15T09:31:28.663-06:00

Wow...so many delicious dishes from all over the world...I'm so glad that I've requested Kalyn(the brain and a wonderful person behind Weekend Herb Blogging.) to be the host of WHB. I feel as if all these dishes were brought to my dining table, and I invite all of you to savour these lovely, delicious dishes sent by many cooks from all over the globe.... bon appétit!P.S: I've categorized all the (image)



Aloo Paratha and Paneer Burji Dinner

2015-04-23T15:45:06.474-05:00

(Potato Stuffed Indian Flat-Bread with Crumbled Indian Cheese Curry) Today, I wanted to have a hearty dinner...something that not only fills my stomach but also feeds my senses and spirituality. Yes, spirituality. Making Parathas is, for me, like meditation. Making this exquisite thing out of flour, water, potatoes is simply amazing. Making the dough and filling, rolling out the bread, and (image)



Cilantro crusted Salmon with Spinach-Cheese Ravioli

2015-04-22T13:47:36.306-05:00

This weeknight dinner is made under 30 minutes and is delicious, healthy. What we need to make this: 2 servings Salmon (I asked the fish monger to cut me two one-serving pieces) 4 teaspoons dry cilantro Salt and fresh ground pepper to coat the fish 2 tsp turmeric powder (optional) Extra-Virgin olive oil 1 package refrigerated ravioli (any vegetable kind will do. I used Spinach-Cheese filled(image)



Few pictures from my not-so-recent India trip

2015-04-21T17:37:17.152-05:00

Here the very few pictures I have taken during my India trip late last year. Finally after 3 long months... First and foremost, Andhra 'Junnu'. Junnu is cooked colostrum (a.k.a thick milk) from Water Buffalo. It tastes like custard. For many Andhrites, Junnu is the original custard and the one made with eggs and milk is the imitation custard, which is popular with mainly city-dwellers, for whom(image)



Chapati (Indian layered flat bread)

2015-04-21T17:37:50.509-05:00

A staple on Indian dinner tables that goes with pretty much every curry or simply spiced yogurt! Ingredients needed: Atta (available in Indian grocery stores, can be substituted with whole-wheat powder)  Salt to taste Oil for shallow frying Begin with mixing Atta with salt in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add water. Mix well by adding more water or flour to get a consistency (image)



Homemade Paneer (Indian Cottage cheese)

2015-04-23T15:47:42.961-05:00

Paneer is fresh Indian cheese that is star ingredients in dishes like Paneer Masala, Paneer Tikka. Although this can be readily found these days in Indian stores, you did not have proper paneer until you had a homemade version. The store bought ones tends to be little rubbery when used in cooking and always have that weird smell. The homemade one smells rather heavenly. :) Making Paneer at home(image)



Persimmon and Pomegranate Yogurt

2014-12-12T13:45:02.387-06:00

Of late, I find myself making this yummy, healthy yogurt very frequently. The beauty of this is, it can be made within no time! I'm not much of a fan of yogurt, but can consume it when that yogurty smell is masked with fruits/spices. Pomegranate has always been the fruit of choice if I have to consume yogurt. Next place is mango slices. Now, am adding Persimmon to the list.  This even got the (image)



Stir-fried Shrimp with Sugar snap peas

2015-04-23T15:49:49.906-05:00

Chinese cooking is very simple and easy to make. In authentic Chinese cuisines, the use of meat is more for flavoring than being main ingredient and the emphasis is on locally grown vegetables. The authentic Chinese cooking bear no resemblance to the salty & greasy sauce floats we normally see in restaurants across US. The background star of this dish is Shallots. These have this sweet (image)



Dosakaya Koora (Yellow cucumber curry - Guntur style)

2015-04-23T13:30:33.952-05:00

This is one of those dishes that reminds me of Amma and my childhood memories. Memories of me and my siblings sitting on the veranda while Amma feeds us rice mixed with curry and ghee, mixed to perfection. We would gulp down morsel after morsel, without realizing how full we are. After all, the food came from Amma's hand... What you need to make this koora: 1 large Dosakaya (Indian yellow (image)



Kung Pao Tofu

2015-04-23T15:51:08.034-05:00

Cold winters call for warm meals. Few days back, I was craving something spicy, filling, healthy, all the good things one can ask in a meal. Oh, of course, it has to be easy and quick to make :-) Once you make this dish, you'll agree with me that it has met all those expectations!  Caution though! This will spoil you to an extent that the salty-greasy sauce laden kung-pao dishes in restaurants (image)



Kung Pao Sauce

2015-04-22T13:49:48.898-05:00

Many weeks back, I watched Chef Ming Tsai stirring up this wonderful Kung Pao sauce. I got this immense urge to try the sauce immediately and made this Kung Pao Tofu. Ever since, I might have made different Kung Pao dishes many times. The sauce is "Simply" magical! What you need to make this tasty sauce: 1 tablespoon canola oil 1 inch ginger, minced well, 2 tablespoons sambal oelek 8 medium (image)



Namaste from India

2015-04-22T14:08:10.583-05:00

I've come to India after two years for a visit. So far, enjoying my time here. Will post as time permits. Love, Vani (image)