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Preview: Padma's Kitchen

Padma's Kitchen

Authentic Indian cuisine and a variety of my-tried-out innovative recipes which are a huge hit at home. Includes recipes with a twist from all across the globe and all walks of life.

Updated: 2018-03-18T02:05:17.768-04:00


Sweet and savory vegetable cutlets


On one chilly evening, when I cannot feel my feet I stepped into my kitchen opened my refrigerator and wondered what can I do with my beets :)I gathered few ingredients, pressure cooked some veggies that were readily available and viola!! Yummy sweet and savory cutlets are ready!!So here goes the recipe, I used the vegetables I had that day.  I boiled potatoes, beet n carrots in a pressure cooker. You can also use cauliflower, green peas, green beans, soya chunks raw plaintain and such vegetables. Add your favorite spices and flavors and make a Patti shapes and just shallow fry..that's it!! Sounds easy !! Check out the recipe in detailSource: My Signature recipePrep time: 12 minsCooking time: 10-12 minsServes:  6 servingsIngredients3 potatoes, boiled2 carrots, boiled1 small beetroot, boiled1/4 C corn, boiled2 bread slices, roughly torn1/2 t ginger garlic paste2T chopped cilantro1/4 t onion powder1/4 t cayenne powder, mirchi powder1/4 t turmeric powder, haldi1/4 t garam masalaSalt as per tasteOil for frying Wide sauce pan or tawa for frying the cutlets1/4 C rava (semolina) for coating the cutletsMethodBoil all the vegetables in pressure cooker by adding little water and salt. Cook till 2 whistles.Cool the boiled veggies and mash them together.Add all the ingredients as listed till salt.  Make Patti shaped or finger shaped and keep it aside.Meanwhile take a wide frying pan/skillet and heat oil so that it covers the entire surface of the pan, if you are using nonstick skillet use less oil.Now take rava(semolina) in a plate and coat the prepared Patti's and transfer it to skillet for frying. Shallow fry(tawa fry) on medium heat.It takes about 3-4 mins each side and place it on paper towel to soak the excess oil if any.Serve hot with ketchup/hot sauce or just snack it.[...]

Easy breezy Bagara Rice


This quick fix rice meal can be made for any main course like chicken curry or any veggie entrees, or can be served plain with some raita.  Bagara rice is famous in Andhra predominantly from telangana region.  Made with fewer ingredients but no compromise on the flavor or on your palette. Bagara RiceSource: My Signature recipePrep time: 10 minsCooking time: 20-30 minsServes:  6 servingsIngredients3 C of basmati rice, wash and keep it aside.1 medium red onion, thinly sliced1 cinnamon stick5-6 cloves1 bay leaves, fresh or dried1 t shahi jeera1 T Ginger garlic paste2 T mint leaves/pudina, chopped1 t garam masala powdersalt to taste4.5 C water2T Oil I used pressure cooker for cooking this rice, you can also use electric rice cooker or big 5 quart size sauce pan.MethodFirstly wash the basmati rice and keep it aside.Heat oil and add all the spices and fry for a minute.Add the onions and fry till translucent.  Add the ginger garlic paste and garam masala too. once the oil leaves from the sides, add chopped mint/pudina leaves and fry for few minutes.Then add rice and mix well, check for salt, add the water, cover it and let it cook.If you are cooking in pressure cooker or electric cooker the ratio is 1:1.5 for rice to water.If you are cooking on stove top in a sauce pan cook the first 10 mins with covered lid and once the liquid is all absorbed turn the heat off and cover. The rest of rice will cook in its own steam. Serve hot with any side dish or plain yogurt.I made this Bagara rice to go with Chicken fry and raita (yogurt sauce). I just whipped some sour cream and added some cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber and cilantro.  Added a spoonfull of chia seeds and salt and its ready to serve.[...]

Quick and Zippy Chicken Fry


Usha from My Spicy Kitchen invited me to make something for her Fabulous Feast Friday # 3 event and I thought why not make a dish and post something on my blog.  Blog! pheww!! my blog has been sitting around doing nothing but gathering dust and no cobwebs and spider crawls which are blogessentials to make your blog popular and pop up on search engines.  This foodie feast is an opportunity for my blog to rise and shine once again in the blogosphere and from my hibernation of course $#@#&^ eyes rolling.....Thanks Usha!!This is my fastest ever Chicken dish made in a jiff with 5 main ingredients and who knew we can use the same ingredients and some spices to make bagara rice that goes well with any non-veg dish and here goes the recipe for Zippy Chicken Fry (with less than 7 ingredients)Source: My Signature recipePrep time: 10 minsCooking time: 20-30 minsServes:  4 servingsIngredients4-5 Chicken legs pieces (1kg/2lbs approx)1 medium onion, thinly slices1 green chilli chopped finely 1/2 t turmeric/haldi/pasupu2T ginger garlic paste1t Garam masala1t Chilli powder/mirchi powder/karam2T chopped cilantro/dhaniya/kothimir1/4 C water3T oilsalt as per tasteI used a nonstick sauce pan for this recipe (recommended)MethodI usually get the chicken from halal meat and usually go for chicken legs and thighs and ask the butcher to make small pieces.  Wash the chicken in luke warm water at least one time and add the  half teaspoon of turmeric powder and keep aside.Heat oil in a non stick pan and saute onions. Once they are translucent add the chopped green chillies and saute for another minute.  Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute. Make sure you don't burn the paste or else it will give a bitter taste to the chicken.   Add the chicken pieces, salt and cover it with a lid.  Let the chicken cook on a medium high flame for about 15 mins.  since we cleaned the chicken in water there will be enough moisture for the chicken to cook through.  If at any point you feel that the water is evaporated then do add 1/4th cup of water.  When the chicken is thoroughly cooked take off the lid and start adding garam masala powder and the chilli powder.  Now turn on the flame to high and fry the chicken till all the moisture dries up and the oil leaves from the sides.Turn off the gas and let it cool for a bit.  Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with Bagara Rice and Tomato Cucumber in sour cream Raita..sending my entry to My Spicy Kitchen's even Fabulous Feast Friday #3[...]

Healthy Kale with Yellow Lentils and Roasted Red Bell Peppers


These days everyone has become so health conscious, every other person I come across says that s/he are on a 'Diet' or have started eating healthy. Some are eating more of greens, whole grains, fruits and vegetables during the weekdays and go easy during the weekends.  Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best.  The key to healthy diet is to watch what you are eating, how many calories you need, how much water you are taking and how much is too much. The average man needs around 2500 cals/day and the average women needs around 2000 cals/day. Eating a wide range of foods ensures that you are getting a balanced diet and that your body is getting all the nutrients it needs. Base your meals on starchy foods. Starchy foods should make up around one third of the foods you eat. Starchy foods include potatoes, cereals, pasta, rice and bread. Choose wholegrain varieties when you can: they contain more fiber, and can make you feel full for longer. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, Eat more fish, cut down on saturated fats and sugar. Increase your fiber intake, cut down on salt and fizzy drinks, keep well hydrated, taking 2-3 liters of water a day really helps flushing all the toxins from your system.Coming to the main ingredient of this recipe, Kale is king!! Along with broccoli, it is one of the nutrition stand-outs among vegetables. It fights fat through its ability to mingle in a variety of roles -- in side dishes, combined in main dishes, or in salads. Kale is unusually high in fiber. This helps create the bulk you need to fill you up and to keep you full for a good amount of time. Kale is also an excellent source of nutrients, especially vitamin A and calcium. With a combination of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, kale is a dieter's dream food.Health Benefits of KaleThough greens in general are nutritious foods, kale stands a head above the rest. Not only is it one of your best sources of beta-carotene, one of the antioxidants believed by many nutrition experts to be a major player in the battle against cancer, heart disease, and certain age-related chronic diseases, it also provides other important nutrients. In addition to beta-carotene, kale posses other important carotenoids: lutein and zeaxathin. These carotenoids help keep UV rays from damaging the eyes and causing cataracts. According to recent research results, kale is an incredible source of well-absorbed calcium, which is one of the many factors that may help prevent osteoporosis. It also provides decent amounts of vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin B6, manganese, and potassium. The manganese in kale helps your body's own antioxidant defense system, superoxide dismutase, protecting you from damaging free radicals. Its folate and B6 team up to keep homocysteine levels down, which may help prevent heart disease, dementia, and osteoporosis bone fractures.Image source & Information about Kale: webComing to this recipe using Kale greens in your diet is somewhat tricky as this is very bland vegetable and after much of trail and errors, I found this is one perfect side dish that goes well with rice as well as rotis, Indian flat bread.  Kale with Yellow Lentils and Roasted Red Bell PeppersSource: My Signature recipePrep time: 10 minsCooking time: 20-30 minsServes:  6 servingsIngredients5 C of Kale greens, roughly chopped1/2 C of yellow lentils (toor dal/kandi pappu) soaked in water for 1hr1/2 C Roasted Red Pepper, roughly choppedcheck out how to make roasted red pepper at home1/2 C red onions, diced1T or 2 cloves of garlic, chopped2 dried red chillies (optional)1t cumin (jeera)1t mustard seeds (rai/aavalu)salt as per taste1/2 t freshly ground black pepper2 T extra virgin olive oil1 C water MethodFirstly soak half cup of yellow lentils (toor dal/kandi pappu) in one cup of water.Wash your kale greens if it is not pre-washed. Chop them roughly o[...]

Black Forest Cake


Its been a very long time that I updated my blog.  I am back to blogging after a very long gap of two years, almost.  I was always fascinated by food, photography and food related things.  I am glad to see so many new budding blogs on FB and foodie world, so much to learn and so much to explore with the young(am I that old?? c'mon) bloggers.  Couldn't sit on back burner for that long.  I know when the time is right I will be back to this lovely, aromatic and yummilicious foodie world.  Hoping to make new friends and trying to learn new things from great bloggers. One promise to myself is I will keep updating my space often, Though being MOM of two wonderful kids tops my priority list but will try to be regular with my postings.  Before I jump into the recipe I have a small announcement to make Anshika got a promoted to 'Big Sister', we were blessed with a baby boy. Akshaj, was born November 15th 2011.  It's never late to share the news about your baby right!!Black Forest CakeThis post is already overdue or a long time now.  I always like Black forest cake and was eagerly waiting to try one at home.  Ofcourse, found this yummy recipe on, made some changes.  To go easy with preparations I used Devil's food cake mix for the base.  This way you can buy some time to decorate the cake Source: adapted from allrecipes.comPrep time:over 1 hour mins and 1 hour for assembling the cake Cooking time:45 minsServes: 6Ingredients:1 pack of Devil's cake mix and rest of the ingredients listed on the boxFor Cherry Syrup:2T Maraschino Cherry syrup 1T Sugar 1/2 C Water for Cherry Filling:Maraschino Cherries without stemCorn starch 2T or alternatively you can use 4T cherry pie filling For Icing:2C Heavy Whipping cream 5T Powdered sugar1T Cherry syrup (or you can use vanilla essence)For Decorating the cake:8 Maraschino Cherries with stem (pat them dry)1 bar (3.5oz)  of Giradelli Semi sweet chocolate shavingsMethod:Bake the cake mix as per instructions given on the back side of the box. I used 8 inch round cake pan for it, greased with butter and dusted it with all purpose flour.  While the cake is baking we can gather the rest of the things for making syrup, icing etc. Place a mixing bowl in which you will beat the whipping cream in the freezer, also keep the beaters (used in hand blender) and keep some ice cubes handy.  The reason why we are cooling is that you will get a nice peaky icing which will be easy to smother on the cake later.For Filling: Drain the cherries and reserve the juice. Cut the cherries into half. Now heat the reserved juice in a pan to it add the halved cherries. Let it boil for a min. Mix cornstarch in 1/4 cup of water and add it to the cherries.  This will thicken the sauce and set aside to cool.  This will be used for filling.  Alternative to this is you can use cherry pie filling instead of this process and you can save time.  For Icing: Take out the mixing bowl which we kept in freezer and add 2 cups of heavy whipping cream and using the chilled beaters beat with a hand mixer slowly for a minute then add icing sugar, cherry syrup or vanilla essence, which ever works best for your palette.Beat it on high to form soft peaks, make sure you don't over beat it or else you will end up in buttery texture. Put back the icing in the freezer for an hour, this makes icing easy.For cherry syrup: Mix all the ingredients under the syrup, this is used to moisten the cake and give that unique cherry flavor.For decorating the cake: Once the cake is done, let it completely cool. later scrape off the outer part to make a leveled surface for icing. Now gently slice the cake into two rounds.  This is for layering, if you want more layers then you can bake two cakes which will give you four laye[...]

Happy Diwali to all my readers


Wish you a very happy and prosperous Diwali.


Maharashtrain style Sabudana Khichdi


You must be wondering how come western India recipes on my blog...well I am raised in Kalyan and much acquainted to Maharashtrian food. Since my childhood I used to trade my lunch box whenever my friend used to bring this in her lunch box. Sabudana khichdi is my favorite breakfast recipe, I love so much that I can eat 4 times a day! This is a typical Maharashtrian style khichdi I learned from our kaki (maid), she makes awesome khichdi!! Sabudana Khichdi is also famously called a fasting food during the ekadashi days, or sankashti chaturthi days when most of the maharashtrians fast. You will find in on the menu of many mess/canteens in most of Mumbai and surrounding when there is this special fasting done. But I love it any time any day. I make it as Naivedyam or Prasad to offer to Saibaba on Thursdays or for Saibaba Satsangs. After much talking here goes the recipe.Sabudana Khichidi (Maharashtrian style)Source: Our Maid KakiCuisine: Maharashtrian CuisinePrep time:20 mins and 6-7 hours soaking sagoCooking time: 20 minsServes: 4Ingredients:2 C Sabudana/Sago (I use Swad or Delight brand)3 green chillies1 C roasted peanuts (remove the skins and grind into powder)2 tsp crushed jeera6-7 curry leaves1 medium potato, medium diced¼- ½ C oilKadai or non-stick panMethod:Soak sabudana 6-7 hours before hand. First wash and rinse the sabudana and then soak them in enough water that all of it is submerged in the water.Next, roast peanuts in microwave. Place them on microwave safe plate and heat it on high for 3 or 4 mins. You will see that the peanuts are turned slightly brown, let it cool and remove the skin and grind into powder. alternatively you can dry roast them in a pan, if m/w is not the option.Chop potato into medium size and medium size and place then in a microwave safe bowl, pour some water and heat it for 5 mins high. alternatively you can fry the potatoes in the oil itself, will take little while till they turn crispy.Heat oil in kadai or non-stick pan on medium high, add curry leaves/kadipatta, crushed jeera and green chillies, let them fry for 1 min and then add the boiled aloo. Reduce the flame to medium low and let the potatoes turn crispy golden brown.Add the sabudana, mix well, for a minute so that everything is mixed well. Sprinkle salt, close with a lid and let it cook for 10 mins... keep in mind to reduce the flame to simmer (low), after 8-10 mins check the khichdi and see if there are any hard white sabudana left, coz by now you sabudana will turn into transparent soft pearls. Check for salt and lastly add peanut powder, mix well and let it cook for another minute. Close the lid and remove from stove.Few tips for a pearly sabudana khichdi:See that you raw sabudana is not crushed or has lot of powdered sago in it.. If that is the case then just sift the sago so that all the powder is out and on whole sago is to be used.Soak them at least 6-7 hours before hand. If you want to make it for breakfast, you can soak overnight, if want to make it as an evening snack, soak in the morning by 11:amSoak it in enough water to cover the sabudana, do not add more water, or else you will end up with a mushy khichdi. So the rule of thumb is just enough water so that all the sago is submerged in it.Use a little bit extra oil to get that tasty khichdi...common once in a while its ok to have an extra tablespoon or so... so why compromise on the flavor.You can use more peanut powder than listed in the above menu...more taste you see!![...]

Weight Watchers Fresh Meals


Weight Watchers announces the first mainstream, low-calorie, portion-controlled, refrigerated, to-go meals and deli salads in the U.S.

I tried them and I am loving it!! Did you see the Weight Watchers new fresh meals on the deli section aisle?? If not hurry and grab them... they are so handy and time saver on those busy days when you are tired and don't have much time to fix a quick lunch/dinner for your family, Weight Watchers fresh meals comes handy. They are great for the people 'on-the-go' who constantly look for healthy meal options but don't have time to cook it from scratch.

(image) The great thing about these meals is that you know where you stand – these to-go meal lists calories, grams of fat, fiber, protein, etc. No more guessing. Everything you need to know is listed right on the label. This is a first of its kind in the deli ready-to-go section! (Extra bonus: if you are a Weight Watchers member, the new PointsPlus™ values are listed right on the front of the package. All others can rest easy knowing that the meals are good.)

For those like me who love to cook daily, we have some lazy days when we don't feel like cooking; WW fresh meals satisfies all the points (freshness, price, time) without compromising on the taste and the calorie intake. Check the variety of meals they are offering on Weight Watchers website. Vegans also have a very good option, I loved Baked Ziti, Three Cheese Macaroni and Three Cheese Ravioli. My little one loved the macaroni salads! So why not give it a try!!

Thanks for reading..


A Happy Fourth!!


Ahhhaaa! Can't believe that Padma's Kitchen is 4YO today.....

Thanks to you, my readers, my visitors, my family and friends, near and dear ones to make this journey more and more memorable. I thank you from the bottom of my heart to make my life more meaningful since I started blogging. These four years of blogging has been an amazing and outstanding journey and added more flavors to my life. Every comment left by my readers are like pearl to me that makes this journey worth it, thanks for pouring so much love and I promise you will get same in return.

Through my blog I made new friends, learned all the interesting things related to Food and Photography, I received so much love and warmth from my readers, can't ask more!! Blogging to me became more of a passion than a hobby now, and I love doing it.....

As you all know that Padma's Kitchen has undergone so much of design changes, I will be trying to add more healthy recipes in this coming year, more kid's friendly recipes as my almost 2 yo is loving all the new recipes I am cooking just for her!! Thanks to my daughter, Anshika who is continuously teaching me how to manage my life, time, blog being a mother. Can't end my post without saying thanks to the most wonderful person in my life ~ JB (my hubby) without whom Padma's Kitchen was impossible. He is the back-bone of this blog and whatever comes to this plate passes through a rigorous critics and quality control process. I love to say he is the "Quality Control Head" for my blog. Learned a lott!! Thank you dear Hubby!!(image)

Pineapple Shrimp Peppers


Using Shrimps in any dish brings out the unique flavor of the sea. I love prawns (popular name for shrimp in India) any way cooked. This recipe I made for community contest, I am part of and there were some rules to cook only specific ingredients. It was a little challenging but I remembered this recipe which was shown sometime back on TV. And trust me you will keep licking your fingers... and will definitely go for a second serving!!! Great as appetizers for parties or serve it with jasmine rice to make a seafood entree. Either way you chose this Pineapple Shrimp Peppers won't let you down.Adapted from one of the great Indian cooking show 'Khana Khazana' by Sanjeev Kapoor Ji, made some minute changes to adjust to my taste palette. Pineapple Shrimp PeppersSource: Adapted from Khana Khazna (SK)Cuisine: Indian CuisinePrep time:15 mins Cooking time: 20 minsServes: 4 peopleIngredients2 cups Pineapple, medium chopped1 1/2 c red and yellow pepper, roughly chopped2 big cloves of garlic, finely chopped20-22 large shrimps(optional for vegetarians)4 tsp sugar1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes1 tsp paprika powder1 tsp garam masala powderfreshly ground black peppersalt as per taste1/2 cup water2 tsp olive oilNon stick pan for cookingchopped parsley for garnishMethod:First heat oil in a nonstick pan, add garlic when oil is little warm. Saute garlic till it changes color. To this add pineapple pieces and mix well, add salt and saute on medium high flame for a minute. Then add sugar and 1/2 cup water, cover with a lid and let it cook for 5 more minutes.Now add the crushed red pepper flakes, paprika powder and garam masala powder and cook until all the water evaporatesTime to add the shrimps and red pepper and yellow pepper, you can use any colored pepper(capsicum) like green or orange too! Mix all the ingredients well and add freshly powdered black pepper and check for salt.This dish is ready in no time, Serve it with your favorite rice item or like an appetizer.[...]

Spicy Salmon in Tangy Tamarind and Tomato sauce


Those were my initial days when I used to search for Indian fish in American waters....errr!!@#.. american fish market or better to put it in words asian fish market on american soil... popularly called as chinese market by "desis" in USA. I was confused by their english names and appearance, Fish in India are little smaller in size here everything is Jumbo size.. I was so tired of searching our Indian fish there too!! .... Then one of my neighbour in India who lives in Connecticut now, listed me some of the English names for Indian fishes... I quickly noted it down in my notepad and every now and then go back to that list, sigh!!!My friend 'J' is a malyali and you know they are crazy for fish.... he invited us for lunch during our initial days, when I was still learning and exploring other side of this world, country, people and food. That day apart from all the chicken, mutton dishes he made some "Bangada fry" on his grill. I was so happy to see Indian fish on the menu... he laughed and said " arre main tereko list deta hoon, apana desi machi ko idhar doosre naam se bulate hain, don't worry have your food first karke" Amongst that list he told me that Salmon is very good for our heart and has Omega-3, his wife is a doctor!! From then onwards I started having our desi as well as videshi fishes here and enjoying all the flavor and tastes.Salmon is one of my favorite fish and cooking with this fish is darn easy. This is a very simple and easy way to kick in some spices into the salmon and get the tangy-ness from the tamarind and tomato sauce. You can use any fish except shark!Spicy Salmon in Tangy Tamarind and Tomato sauceSource: My OwnCuisine: Andhra CuisinePrep time:15 mins Cooking time: 20 minsServes: 4 peopleIngredients:1 pound/½ kg of salmon fillets (you can use any fish)3 medium tomatoes, yields 2 cups when choppedsmall marble size tamarind (roughly 1 tablespoon)1 red onion, chopped3-4 green chillies, chopped2 tsp freshly crushed garlic and ginger7-8 curry leaves½ t turmeric powder2 T of olive oil/any cooking oilfor marinating the fish¼ t freshly crushed black pepper¼ t cumin powder1 t chilli powder/paprika(adjust according to your spice level)1 t saltfor garnish¼ C chopped cilantro¼ C chopped green onionsMethod:Soak the tamarind in ¼ cup hot water for 15 minutes and pulp it out, yields approximately two tablespoon full of the pulpCut the fish fillet into 2 inches rectangle pieces, add some sea salt and let it sit for 5 mins. Then rinse the salmon fillets and add the rest of the ingredients under 'Marinating' and keep it aside.Chop the onions, tomatoes, green chillies. Heat oil in a kadai or medium sauce pan. Turn the heat to medium and add chopped onion, green chillies and fry till onions are translucent. Add little salt to sweat the onions. Then add curry leaves, crushed garlic and ginger, you can use ginger garlic paste as well. fry for a minute and add chopped tomatoes, mix well and let the tomatoes cook approx 10 mins or so.Once the tomatoes turn out mushy add the turmeric powder and little salt and half cup water and tamarind pulp. Cover with a lid and let it cook further.Once the sauce starts to bubble its time to add the fish. Add the marinated salmon and turn the flame to medium low or simmer, cover and let the fish cook in the sauce for about another 10 minutes.Check for spice and salt, add if needed! Garnish it with chopped cilantro and chopped green onions and serve it with hot steamed rice, Yummm--oo!![...]

Simply Rasam ~ Ootti Charu


Ootti Charu means Rasam without dal. This one is from my mother's kitchen, another easy, very simple and flavorful recipe to make in a jiff. My Mom used to make it especially as an accompaniment when ever she cooked non-veg dishes like mutton curry, chicken kura or fish curry. She says it helps in clearing your gut after all the spicy, masala food you had and helps with digestion too! Like the way Chinese have tea after their meal!So, if you are judging that this Ootti charu is only for those who eat non-vegetarian food!! then you are wrong, it goes very well with vegan curries too! I love making it with most of the aloo(potato) curries, vegetable fry's like okra, tindora (dondkaya aka ivy gourd), cauliflower, cabbage, berakaya (ridge gourd), green bananas and kakarakaya (bitter gourd).This simply rasam has the fewest ingredients yet it is so tasty and full of flavor. The most important ingredient is tamarind and water; we add green chillies, tomatoes and onions, little turmeric and chilli powder with a dash of pepper and cumin powder and little tempering does it all. Here is the step by step recipe in detail.Simply RasamSource: My MotherCuisine: Andhra CuisinePrep time:10 mins Cooking time: 30 minsServes: 6-8 peopleIngredients:Tamarind (ping pong size ball or roughly ¼ Cup)6 cups of water1 medium tomatofew strands of sliced onions (two pinches)3-4 green chillies, cut lengthwise½ t turmeric powder½ t chilli powder/paprika¼ t freshly crushed black pepper¼ t cumin powdersalt as requiredfor tempering/tadka/popu:2 T cooking oil½ t mustard seeds/rai½ t cumin seeds/jeera½ t split blackgram dal/urad/minapa pappu7-8 curry leaves1 T finely chopped onions2-3 freshly crushed garlic¼ C chopped cilantroMethod:Soak the tamarind in 1 cup of hot water. After 10 mins pulp the tamarind in the hot water, strain if needed (I use as it is!).Take a medium pot, add this tamarind pulp mixture, 5 cups of water, squeeze tomatoes with clean hands into it(first roughly chop tomato to four pieces and then squeeze). Add green chillies, sliced onions, turmeric powder, chilli powder, crushed pepper, cumin powder and salt.Cook on a medium flame and let it come to a boil, then reduce it to medium low flame and let the flavors simmer a little bit for 10-15 mins or till the green chillies/onions look cooked and not raw. Turn off the flame and temper it!Lastly temper it with seasoning by heating oil in a kadai/round bottom pan add the mustard, cumin seeds, urad dal/black gram dal; wait till the urad dal turns golden brown in color. Then add finely chopped onions and crushed garlic, once the onions turn golden in color add curry leaves and chopped cilantro for 30 seconds or a minute. Immediately pour this tadka/seasoning into Rasam and close with lid. Otti Charu aka Rasam is ready! Serve it with your favorite curry, vegetable fry's and hot steamy rice.This is also best when you have sore throat or cold. Clears your throat and makes you feel good.[...]

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Mushroom Spinach Quiche


This quiche recipe is another great way to eat veggies as kids love the unique taste when u add cream/whole milk to it along with eggs. I used Egglands best eggs for this recipe. This is a high protein diet for your morning breakfast to boost your metabolism. Perfect for breakfast, brunch as well as for lunch too! If you want to read more about quiche and how the recipe evolved over the years, This post "Formula One" by Momadeon [Coleen] has given very detailed info. I loved the way she writes and kept on reading her blog for a long time until I realize I have to publish this post!!Mushroom Spinach QuicheSource: My own tried and testedPrep time: 15 minsCooking time: 45 minsServings: 8Ingredients6 large eggs, beaten1½ C whole milk/heavy creamSalt and pepper as per your taste2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach, packed1 T olive oil½ t garlic powder or 1 pod freshly crushed garlic (minced)1 t paprika powder½ t cumin powder1 pound baby bella mushroom, sliced1½ C shredded cheddar cheese1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crust, or my homemade pie crustMethod: Preheat the oven to 375°F[190°C].Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saute pan. Add crushed garlic or garlic powder and the sliced baby bella mushrooms, you can use white button mushrooms too. Saute till the mushrooms gives out all the moisture. Then add paprika powder and cumin powder to it. Saute for another minute and remove from heat.Combine the eggs, milk/cream, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender.Layer the spinach, sauted mushroom, and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust, then pour the egg mixture on top. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the egg mixture is set. Cut into 8 wedges. Leftovers can be stored in freezer for up to 3 months. Refrigerate the leftover and heat in a microwave for 30 secs when you wanna eat it.Some variations can be done likeUse Half & Half instead of cream, or add sour cream insteadUse lighter white cheeses or goat cheeses in conjunction with your cheddarInstead of 6 eggs, try 3 whole eggs and 5 egg whites.For additional flavor sprinkle some freshly grated nutmeg to get that unique taste.Add extra or different vegetables: Asparagus, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Sun Dried Tomatoes[...]

Easy Homemade Pie Crust


This is a very quick and easy recipe for making pie crust more suitable for savory pies and quiche and not meant for dessert or sweet pies... Very simple and easy. I adapted from and made few changes as per the reviews written below in the link. If you are making a sweet dish reduce the salt to half teaspoon. And above all it is homemade.

Recipe source:
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Servings: 8

1½ C All purpose flour (Maida)
2 t sugar
1 t salt
½ C olive oil/vegetable oil
2 T milk

  • Preheat oven to 400°F (200 °C).
  • Place all ingredients in 9 inch pie pan or a large bowl. Stir together with clean hands.
  • For even layer without bumps, try adding little more milk and olive oil, just eyeball (andaza) it while mixing the flour mixture.
  • Pat mixture into bottom and up the sides of the pie pan. I did not have a pie pan so used round cake pan instead. You can use steel plate or thali which has at least 1.5- 2 inches depth. Poke holes in bottom and side of crust.
  • Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until light brown. Use as directed in favorite pie recipe.

I made this pie crust for mushroom spinach quiche as seen in the above picture. Recipe for the quiche will follow soon.....


Mashed Avocado and Cottage cheese


Like I promised in my previous post, presenting here avocado recipe for infants/babies and toddler. We knew that Avocados are so good for everyone but they are helpful for babies too! The fatty acids and unsaturated fats helps in their brain development. Cottage cheese is another source of protein for your little bean! So when combined together; this recipe is an excellent source of calcium, protein and omega3's for the growing needs of your baby.I introduced avocado to my little one around 10th month, I know it was late; but I was in India (for 4months), so after coming back I tried giving her, I was a bit apprehensive at first, little skeptical if she will like the taste. But she surprised me!! she wanted the whole bowl of freshly mashed avocado!! I was so happy that she enjoyed eating it and eagerly waiting/looking for spoon after spoon. Eventually I tried to give her all sorts of baby food and one day I brought home this book from library called "Everything about Baby food" and it has all the fabulous recipes using cottage cheese. I tried all the different tastes for my little one to see if her taste buds were working perfectly, she ate scrumptiously what ever new recipe I made for her! She was/is a happy child when ever I fed her avocado with mashed cottage cheese. Even today when I was trying to take the pictures for this post my LO was spooning some from the dish. The recipe is very simple and no cooking involved!!Always use fresh ingredients while feeding your baby. When feeding cheese's or milk products try to buy pasteurized and organic products which are very safe for your baby. As your baby gets older, introduce more variety into her diet by experimenting with these other types of cottage cheese.You can see in the picture, Anshika is trying to grab a spoonful of her favorite mashed avocado Mashed Avocado with Cottage CheeseServings :2 (depends on the age of your baby)Ingredients1/2 ripe avocado¼ cup organic cottage cheese (I used small curd cottage cheese for this recipe)pinch of salt and crushed black pepper (optional, if you have not introduced these to your baby/infant)MethodCut the avocado into half, peel and fork mash it on a plate with cottage cheese and continue fork mashing until the mixture is at desired consistency. Add salt and pepper sparingly.If you feel the mixture is still too chunky, try fork-mashing in some yogurt, breast-milk, or formula.Serve it fresh. If there are any leftovers you can eat that with whole grain bread, used this mixture like a spread or just eat plain.Check my previous post "Everything about Avocados for Infants, babies and toddlers" for more info on avocados and how to store the other half of avocado.[...]

Everything about Avocados for Infants, Babies and Toddler


Avocados are a great first food for your baby. They are excellent source of unsaturated fatty acids and have a higher proportion of this 'good' fat than any other fruit except the olive. Yes they are actually fruits, even though they are commonly thought of as vegetables. Try using mashed avocado as a "vegetable butter', a replacement for butter that can be spread on crackers and sandwiches.Image source: msn.comInfo drafted from the book:"Super Baby Food" by Ruth YaronEquivalents: 1 medium avocado=1 C/1 cup.Baby must be at least 4 months old.Season: Available year round; peak December through May.Choosing: When selecting avocados, look carefully for damage, which shows up as soft dark spots in the skin. Tan-colored patches are OK. When picked up, an avocado should feel heavy for its size. If you're not going to eat the avocado for a few days, select an avocado that is firm but not rock hard, and ripen it at home. if you plan on eating it immediately, select a ripe avocado as described next.Ripening: Firm avocados will never ripen in the refrigerator - let them sit at room temperature for up to 6 days. Place them in a brown bag to speed ripening. Avocados are ripe when they yield to gentle pressure and feel soft all over. Another way to test for ripeness is to gently squeeze the whole avocado with all five fingers. (using all five fingers prevents bruises.) If the flesh feels like it is separating from the seed, the avocado is ripe. As avocado ripen, the skin becomes a darker green. Still another way to test for ripeness is to insert a toothpick in the stem end. If it moves easily, the avocado is ripe. Avocados are easy to peel when they are ripe; the peel is hard to remove when avocados are underripe.Storing: After ripened, store the whole avocado in the refrigerator in the vegetable crisper for up to two weeks. Your very young baby will certainly leave you with avocado leftovers. Store cut avocados by leaving the skins on and keeping the pit in the uneaten portion. You can brush the fruit part with lemon juice (if baby is old enough for citrus) to keep it from turning brown. It's OK to eat the brown part, but you can scrape it off with a knife. Wrap tightly in a plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.Freezing using the Food Cube Method: The easiest way I've found to freeze avocado in food cubes is this:Take a sharp knife and cut avocado in half crosswise so that you have tow 'cups'.remove the huge seed. Use a spoon to scoop out flesh from peel and place on a flat dish.Use a fork to mash flesh on dish. Spoon into ice cube trays and pat flat with your clean fingers.Freeze for up to 3 months. I suggest that you give your baby 1-2 tablespoons or 1/2 to 1 food cube every day for some of the fatty acids she needs for brain development.Feeding Avocado to an infant: Mashed ripe avocado is an excellent first food for baby. They are so nutritious that some claim humans can live on them exclusively. Fork mash the avocado flesh and feed it directly to your infant /baby. Avocados are also an excellent source of unsaturated fatty acids that your baby needs for brain developmentGrow an avocado plant? check the video link style="font-family: verdana;" src="" allowfullscreen="" width="560" frameborder="0" height="349">My next post is Mashed Avocado with cottage cheese for babies and tots, stay tuned!![...]

Summer Soothing Smoothie


Soothing smoothie which has strawberries, banana, flax seeds, honey and yogurt

Crowd pleasing, kids appealing smoothie is the one which has strawberries in it. This one smoothie is so soothing to your skin as well as stomach. Soothe your damaged summer skin with omega-3 fats (in flax seeds) that create a healthy glow, vitamin A (in yogurt) that heals damage, and vitamin C (in strawberries) that replaces the collagen the sun stole away. This quick, easy smoothie contains all three and tastes lip-smacking-ly great!

Summer Soothing Smoothie

Source: Newspaper

Prep time:5 mins
Baking time: 5 mins
Yields: 2 servings
1 C plain low-fat yogurt(homemade Indian curd)
1 whole, peeled banana
2 C frozen strawberries (if using fresh add some ice cubes too!)
1 T flaxseed (alsi)
½ t honey
½ t almond extract (optional)
few ice cubes

  • Combine all the above ingredients in blender and pulse.

Cheddar Chive Scones


Last weekend we took our LO to the library and I got myself some books on baking, salads and healthy cooking. I took home "The Sono Baking company cookbook as the pictures in this book were so tempting and the narration was simple to the starters as well as regular bakers, in short; Simple and neat. This scones recipe caught my eyes as it was not sweet ones but savory scones. Cheddar Chive Scones are a delicious treat and when I was baking the whole house filled with the aroma of cheddar and chives. I was so eager to taste the freshly baked scones that I burnt my mouth....but it's all worth it!! The taste reminded me of the Khari biscuits we used to get from our Khariwala, (vendor) who came to our doorsteps with these fresh baked goodie. Perfect for any occasion, these basic savory scones can be served for breakfast, lunch, brunch or with tea. I like to use yellow Cheddar cheese for the color contrast, but you can white Cheddar as well as any other favorite cheese, including Gruyere or fontina. For more variation, try substituting thyme or another favorite fresh herb for the chives. I did very little changes to the original recipe by adding paprika powder and black pepper to it.Cheddar Chive SconesSource: adapted from The Sono baking company cookbook by John BarricelliPrep time:20 minsBaking time: 15-20 minsMakes: 8 sconesIngredients:2 C all-purpose flour1 T baking powder1 t coarse salt½ t paprika powder¼ t freshly ground black pepper¼ C finely grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese,plus about 1 T for sprinkling1¼ C heavy cream, chilled,plus ¼ C for brushingMethod:Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick silicone baking mat; set aside.In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, paprika powder, freshly ground black pepper, salt and chives. Stir in the cheese with a forkAdd 1 cup of the cream and fold with a rubber scraper or your hands just until the cream has been completely absorbed. Then continue adding cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, just until the dough comes together and there are no dry patches.Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400°F [205°C].Turn the dough onto a heavily floured work surface like your counter top or such. Lightly flour your hands, pat the dough to an a circle almost ¾ to 1-inch thick; or you can shape it into a rectangle(¾ to 1 inch thick), which ever works best for you.Using a sharp knife cut the circle or rectangle into equal size triangles. Place it on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the scones with the remaining heavy cream (or milk) and sprinkle each with a pinch of grated cheese.Bake, rotating the baking sheet about two-thirds of the way through, until the scones are golden brown and puffed and the bottom are lightly browned when you lift the scones with a metal spatula, 16-20 minutes. Using a metal spatula transfer to a wire rack to cool.Enjoy it for breakfast, brunch or with tea.[...]

Quinoa with Roasted Chicken and Veggies


It came , it conquered !! and now I am in love with this wonderful seed called "Quinoa'. At first I was apprehensive, little but no interest to buy this grain err! seed (many mistaken like me!). But these days I see Quinoa recipes popping up like the corn everywhere. So many are blogging /cooking with Quinoa and many nutritionists are banking on its health benefits, How can I resist? Here is my first take on Quinoa. As many health websites suggested that just replace the 'Rice' with 'Quinoa' I religiously followed that task and wow, what a sumptuous meal we had the other day, yeah you got it right.... I am posting this recipe after 2 days ;) , we had it on friday night for our dinner!! My 22mo 'Anshika' also loved it coz it had her favorite green peas in it. Quinoa (pronounced as keen-wah)Although not a common item in most kitchens today, quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. Quinoa is available in your local health food stores throughout the year. Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It is a recently rediscovered ancient "grain" once considered "the gold of the Incas."How to cook Quinoa?Go as per the instructions on the pack, it's dat simple! Add 1 cup of quinoa plus 2 cups water to a pot that is approx. 1 1/2 quarts. Bring to a boil Reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook 10-15 minutes. I like to cook it a little less than suggested on the box, or with a little less water, to make sure the Quinoa does not get a "mushy" consistency when cooked. I would suggest doing what it says on your package the first time, and see how it comes out, then adjust accordingly in the future. You can turn heat off early and allow it to finish absorbing water to save energy. If it is too soft, use less water the next time.To read more info on Quinoa click hereThe above dinner plate had little bit of everything, pan roasted chicken, sauted veggies, cucmber yogurt salad and Quinoa. And the preparation is also very simple, you see why I am tagging this under easy cooking because it took me less than 30 minutes to fix our friday dinner.Recipe for Cooking Quinoa:1 Cup of Quinoa2 C water½ C chopped red onions1 garlic, crusheda pinch of salt1 T olive oilcilantro for garnishMethod:Heat oil in a medium size sauce pan. Add the onions and fry till they are translucent for about 2 mins or so. Then add crushed garlic and fry for 30 secs.Add quinoa and mix well with onions and garlic. Add 2 cups of water, salt and bring it to boil.Once the water is boiling turn down the heat a little bit and let it simmer for 15-20 mins.Slowly the water evaporates and quinoa starts looking plumpy. At this point you can see the water is almost vanishing, turn off the stove and cover it with a lid. That will help quinoa to cook even further.Fluff it with fork and sprinkle with some chopped cilantro.Serve it with roasted chicken, veggies and yogurt cucumber as seen in this picture.Recipe for Roasted Chicken:4 pieces of boneless chicken thighspaprika powdersalt and pepper for seasoningA wide saute pan or kadaiExtra virgin olive oil (or any cooking oil)Method:First and foremost clean, wash and pat dry the chicken with a paper towel to remove extra moisture in it. Cut into your desired size, I cut into 3 inches pieces.Sprinkle some freshly crushed black pepper, salt and paprika powder and turn the pieces and season again on this side too!Heat oil on a medium flame an[...]

Bombay Sukka Mutton


One of the favorite Mutton entree to order in Mumbai (Bombay) restaurants is Sukka Mutton. This recipe is from the coastal Mumbai community popularly called as "Koli" alias fishermen. 'Mutton" in India is predominantly referred to Goat meat and Lamb meat in some parts. This wickedly hot Mutton Sukka or popularly called as Bombay Sukka Mutton is so yummy that you want to stuff yourself till your completely choke!!! I love to have this with hot steamy basmati rice..You will find many different recipes on Sukka Mutton in the foodie blogosphere. But this one I grabbed it from local television channel showcasing the Koli food. I immediately fell in love with this recipe and cooking almost every Sunday. The recipe is very simple and easy to make. I bet you will keep licking your fingers in the end.Simple procedure to follow while cooking: (1) Firstly cut the goat meat into bite size with the bones too! Marinate with onions, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt, lime juice for about 30-40 mins ahead.(2) Cook it in a deep botton kadai/pan, with green chillies, 1/2 cup of oil. You can see oil on the sides(3) Cover with a steel plate, pour water on the lid plate and let it cook. Included photos for step by step photo demo to clearly understand the procedure.Soul food ~ Mutton SukkaBombay Sukka Mutton RecipeSource: TV ShowPrep time:40 minsCooking time:30 minsServes: 4Ingredients:for marinating the mutton1.5 pounds goat meat/lamb meat with bone 2 C diced red onions2 t ginger garlic paste1 T red chilli powder½ t turmeric powder1 T lime juice1 T saltfor cooking4 green chillies, chopped7-8 curry leaves2 tsps Prabhu Sambhar Masala1 t paprika powder for color½ C cooking oil (olive/canola/corn)for garnishonion rings and chopped cilantroMethod:Cut and clean 1.5 pounds of goat meat(alternatively you can use Lamb meat) into bite size pieces along with the bones. Rinse once in running tap water, drain any extra water by rinsing it in a colander. Transfer the meat into big bowl and add 1.5 to 2 cups of diced red onions as seen in the above picture. To this add the rest of the ingredients listed under marinating the mutton. Keep it aside for 30-40 minutes.Upon marination take half cup of oil, yeah you read it correctly its half cup only. This adds flavor to the dish so leave aside your calorie counting for one day. Since we are not adding water the meat cooked in the oil only. Heat on a medium flame.When the oil is hot add curry leaves, green chillies and the marinated mutton and mix well. Now cover it with a steel plate and pour enough water into it. Keep the flame to medium and let the mutton cook undisturbed for 15 mins or so.After 15 mins check for water on the lid, it must be evaporated!! check the mutton, you can see the water on sides its normal, now check for salt and add paprika powder. Cover the lid and add more water, cook for another 15 mins.If you check now the water in the meat is dried up little bit, check to see if mutton is cooked, not a chewy bite but the meat should fall off the bone, if not cook for another 10 mins and you are done.If you have a thin gravy like curry then fry the mutton on high flame till all the liquid evaporates.Garnish with onion rings and some cilantro and serve it with hot steamed rice or freshly made rotis (indian flat bread)Enjoy and have fun with your food!!P.S: If you are in Mumbai and want to taste this Mutton Sukka then you can go to Sachin.Corner View Building, Gokhale Road (North), Dadar, Mumbai 400028. Tel: +91 (22) 24466625. Open: 11.3[...]

The Famous Indian treat ~ Pav Bhaji


This is one of my favorite fast food, love eating on the streets of Mumbai, opposite to VT (now CST) Railway Station during my teenage days. I do even now when we go out for shopping. The flavor, the aroma fills the air around when we walk by any Pav Bhaji stall and surely makes your tummy start grumbling and urging you to munch on! any Indian blog without this recipe is like incomplete. Pav Bhaji was more popular in Northern India, esp Gujarat and Maharashtra and its metropolitan cities. Souther India did not have much hang of it until the last two decades. I remember I once ordered it at some 3 star restaurant in Vizag and it was so aweful! But now things have changed with people moving to all different places they are bringing the food from where they traveled and thus Pav bhaji is southern favorite too!This is a very scrumptious meal, as it has the bread (carbs), the veggies and butter. All in all a healthy meal and kids wont complain if you cook this daily. To make bhaji, potatoes are mashed on a flat pan called a tava, and made into a thick gravy after adding diced tomatoes, finely grilled onions, green peas, capsicums (green pepper) and other vegetables like cauliflower and carrots. A special blend of spices simply called the pav bhaji masala similar to garam masala is added to this thick gravy. The gravy is then allowed to simmer on the pan for a few minutes and is served hot in a flat dish with a tablespoon of butter on top. The pav (bread) is roasted on the same pan with an ample amount of butter and a masala (usually chilli powder and salt). The Bhaji is garnished with diced onions and a slice of lemon and served with the pav. We used to make it especially on new Year's eve party along with our neighbours in Kalyan. I know this is frequently made in India and Indians around the world by and no one needs a recipe for this... but still I am blogging about this fabulous meal for my satisfaction and the urge to share this with the world. So if you think this is just another recipe! not my problem!!!Pav BhajiSource: My OwnPrep time:20 minsCooking time:20 minsServes: 4Ingredients:1 C of boiled potatoes, mashed ½ C cauliflower heads, small1 C tomatoes, chopped½ C red onions, chopped finely½ C green pepper, chopped medium ( I used long green chillies, instead)½ C green peas, fresh or frozen2 t Pav Bhaji Masala ( I used Everest brand)1 tsp paprika powder6 Bombay Pav or Bread rollssalt as per tasteoil or butter for cookingfor garnish1 T cilantro, chopped ¼ C red onions, finely choppedLime quarters and PapadMethodBoil and mash 4 big potatoes, chop all the veggies and keep aside.Heat 2tablespoons of oil in a wide saute preferably non-stick one, add chopped onions, pinch of salt and let it fry for 3 mins or till they turn soft and pink. Then add tomatoes, green chillies and fry till the tomatoes are mushy mushy or turning into gravy.Add the rest of the veggies, cauliflower florets, green peas, green peppers etc(you can use carrots too!) Mix well add 1 cup water and let the cauliflower cook. Cover with a lid and let the Bhaji cook for 10 mins approx on medium high flame.By now allthe veggies must have cooked well and will turn into gravy like consistency. Quickly add the Pav bhaji masala, paprika powder and salt and mix well till the powders blend into the veggies. If the Bhaji is too dry add little more water and mix well.Lastly add 1 tablespoon butter to make it creamy. Meanwhile cut the Pav (bread rolls) into halves and roast it on a p[...]

Pineapple Mango Mocktail


Summer is already at its peak in India and for us in States its around the horizon. So I thought why not post a mocktail recipe on my blog to cool you down on those sultry summer afternoons. So far I did not post any mocktail recipe on my blog and I don't want to be left behind. First and foremost thing is not to get confused with cocktail and a mocktail, its bit different (not complicated!!), one has alcohol and the other doesn't.Precisely, mocktail is a non-alcoholic beverage that contains no alcohol. Non-alcoholic mixed drinks (including punches, "virgin cocktails", or "mocktails") are often consumed by people wishing to enjoy flavorful drinks without alcohol, recovering alcoholics, people whose religion restricts alcohol ...For those of you who love cocktails, but can't or don't want to have alcohol the answer is mocktails. Colorful and full of flavor, mocktails give you all the fun of a cocktail with none of the bite.I made it for the first time and trust me its 'COOL'... by the way, the recipe is tad simple...few mint leaves, fresh pineapple chunks, mango chunks or mango nectar, ginger ale , salt and ice cubes, that's all you need. The actual step by step recipe will follow but if you have these ingredients in your kitchen then you can pretty much make this cocktail in no time. For those who don't find Ginger Ale, replace that with Club soda or Sprite of 7 Up.Pineapple Mango Mocktail with MintSource: My OwnPrep time:10 minsServes: 4Ingredients:1 C of fresh Pineapple chunks1 C of mango nectar 3-4 crushed mint leaves1 can (8oz) Ginger Ale(or club soda/Sprite/7Up)4-5 ice cubes1 t saltMethodThe first and foremost things is to use freshest ingredients available, though if fresh fruits are not available you can use canned pineapple.Tear the mint leaves and crush in a the glass to serve or simply blend it with the fruits in a blender.Add the crushed mint leaves, pineapple chunks, mango nectar, salt and blend it for 30 secs.Pour the entire contents with ice cubes into the cocktail shaker ( I used normal pasta jar) shake it vigorously for 2 mins or so and pour into the glasses.Top it with Seagram's Ginger Ale to get the frothy effervescence into your mocktail, you can see it in my pictures above.Serve chill.I am sending this recipe to event: Fun N SUN on Radhika's Tickling Palates.[...]

Simple Egg curry with a spice twist!!


This is very simple yet interesting curry made with hardboiled eggs, tomatoes, onions and green chillies. The simplest ingredients readily available in our kitchen across the globes. When you are stuck in the kitchen wondering what to prepare for the weeknight dinner or weekend lunch. The combination of tomatoes, onions and green chillies with a dash of the very popular "Biryani Masala" (Indian spice mix) gives out spicy, tangy hot coating to the bland eggs. This curry is best eaten with freshly cooked basmati rice. But there is no end to your imagination, you can have it with pasta too! When you are simply very lazy to cook any fancy meal for your family then this curry come to the rescue. If you are a rice lover, you will love to have it over and over again, trust me!!Egg Curry with Biryani MasalaSource: My OwnCuisine: Andhra CuisinePrep time:20 minsCooking time: 20 minsServes: 4Ingredients:4 Hardboiled Eggs 1 C red onions, finely chopped2 green chillies, cut lengthwise2 C grapevine tomatoes, finely chopped½ t turmeric powder (haldi)1 t red chilli powder(reduce to your spice level)1 t paprika powder for color1 t Aachi biryani masala powder1 t ginger garlic paste2 t cooking oil, I use olive or canola oilsalt as per your taste½ C waternon-stick pan or kadai for cooking2 T chopped cilantro, for garnishMethod:Boil 4 eggs in 3 cups of water or till the eggs are submerged fully in water. For eggs to be removed easily from its shell, check this procedure: Boil eggs for 10 mins on medium high and turn off the flame. Let it stand in the boiled water for 5 more minutes and then cool them in cold water for 3 minutes. Following this method will give you a bright yellow, firm egg yolk and a clean eggwhites, easy to remove shell instead of the chipped ones. You can do this for deviled eggs too.For the curry, heat oil in a kadai or pan. Let it heat through and start adding curry leaves first and then red onions. Add a pinch of salt to let the juices from onions come out and fry till they turn pinkish in color. Add ginger garlic paste, green chillies and chopped tomatoes and saute it for 10 minutes. Tomatoes should turn into gravy consistency then add all the spices and powders like turmeric powder, chilli powder, paprika powder, biryani masala and salt. Fry for another minute or two and then add ½ cup water. Now close with a tight lid and let the curry cook. Meanwhile make slits on the hardboiled eggs with a paring knife so that way the curry get into the eggs halfway. Add these eggs tot he curry and cook for another 5 mins or so.Check for salt and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with cooked rice or pasta.[...]

Pedakka's Chicken Fry


Pedakka's Chicken fry is one of my all time favorite recipes which I cook every now and then. My last year India trip gave me chance to learn some family favorites from my sisters, mother and Pedamma (mother's older sister). A little info about my Pedakka, Laxmi Akka is a great cook, likes to feed the whole family, we call her "Annapurna Thalli" one who feeds sumptuously. What ever way she cooks turns out so delicious. She tells us lot of tips and tricks in cooking and home remedies. She is like an encyclopedia for me, I always refer to her and my mother. This Chicken fry recipe is one from her recipe bank which I am darn sure that if you cook it her way turns out so good you will receive all the applause for it!! I promise you will never regret making this chicken fry at potlucks or gatherings. A simple yet tasty mouthwatering recipe is very appropriate for the coming Easter! I made this for our Sunday afternoon lunch last week along with Knorr's ready to cook Moghlai Biryani. If you ask me to review about this ready mix I will say its 1 out of 5, It is nothing compared to their Hyderabadi Dum Biryani ready mix they have.Chicken FrySource: My PedakkaCuisine: Andhra CuisinePrep time:10 minsCooking time: 30-40 minsServes: 2Ingredients:1 pound Chicken thighs and legs1 C red onions, diced4 green chillies, cut lengthwise2 bay leaves2 inch cinnamon stick2 cloves 2 cardamom ½ t turmeric (haldi)2 t red chilli powder(adjust according to your spice level)1 t paprika powder for color1 t garam masala2 t Dhana -Jeera powder (cumin-coriander powder)2 t ginger garlic paste7-8 curry leaves2 T cooking oil, I use olive or canola oilsalt as per your taste¼ C waternon-stick pan or kadai for cookingMethod:First and foremost cut the chicken into bite size pieces excluding the leg portions. Add turmeric powder to it, mix well and rinse with water.Heat oil on medium high, add bay leaves, 2"cinnamon stick, cloves and whole cardamom, let it fry till the aroma of the spices come out. To this add curry leaves, length wise slit green chillies and onions. Fry till the onions turn light pink in color.Add the cleaned and rinsed chicken pieces, fry for another minute so that all the spices and onions mix well with chicken.Add water, salt and place the lid, reduce the flame to medium low and let the chicken cook. it may vary from 10 to 15 mins. You will notice the chicken turns white and opaque then open the lid, turn the flame to medium high. Now add the ginger-garlic paste, cumin-coriander powder, garam masala powder, red chilli powder. Let the chicken cook still further till the water evaporates and lastly add paprika powder.By now the fry would turn dark brown in color and the chicken will be golden brown in color. You will know when its done! You won't resist to taste it at this stage. Check for salt and spices and add accordingly. If it is too spicy sprinkle some freshly squeezed lemon juice on the chicken fry.Enjoy this with any Biryani. I made Moghlai Biryani from Ready to cook Knorr Mix. If you are interested, you can make simple Green Peas Pulav or Egg Dum Biryani from my blog (click on the titles to check the recipes).I am dedicating this post to my favorite Pedakka! Thanks akka for all your yummy recipes, love ya!![...]