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Healthy Home Cooking



Welcome to my world of vegetarian cooking. I wish to dedicate this blog to my dad who loved cooking and is not with us today to enjoy it any more.All the recipes featured here are healthy and home cooked. Most of the recipes here are my mother's and mothe



Updated: 2017-12-10T07:35:46.105-08:00

 



PALAK 2 in 1

2008-12-09T04:03:21.794-08:00

Hey, here's an easy healthy recipe that you can dish out in minutes. Don't fret if you have that big bag of spinach in the fridge. I know.....you have to come up with umpteen number of creations to finish that huge bag. Today I am sharing a recipe which can be used to make two dishes, hence the 2 in 1, each of which has a personality of it's own.

PALAK CURRY:

(image)



Palak/Spinach - 3 cups, chopped roughly
Onion - 1 medium or 1/2 big, chopped
Tomato - 1 small chopped
Ginger-Garlic Paste - 1 Tbs
Tomato paste - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red Chilly Powder - 2 tsp or according to level of spice preferred
Coriander Powder/Dhania Powder - 2 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1 tsp
Whole Cinnamon/ Chakke - 2 one inch pieces
Whole Clove/ Lavang - 2
Whole Cardamom/ Elachi - 1
Red Chilly flakes - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Jeera - 2 tsp
Oil - 2 Tbs
Salt to taste

- Heat Oil in a kadai. When hot, put in the whole garam masalas (cinnamon, cardamom and cloves). When they turn aromatic, put in the jeera and wait for it to splutter.
- Now, sprinkle the red chilly flakes and fry for a few seconds.
- Add onions and fry till it turns transparent and then mix in the ginger-garlic paste. Fry for 2 mins and add the chopped tomatoes. Fry till the tomato is cooked and turns mushy. Mix in the tomato paste.
- Add all the dry masala powders, except garam masala powder.
- Add salt and fry for a few more minutes.
- Now, add the chopped spinach and fry till the palak cooks and blends with the masala. Will take about 7-10 minutes.
- Finally sprinkle garam masala powder and check for salt.

This curry can be served with parathas, chappathis or puris.


You can also use this curry to make PALAK BHATH with left over rice. Just take Rice in a kadai, add the necessary amount of the curry and mix till heated thoroughly. Serve with Papad or chips.
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Cooking from other blogs.......Gobi Manchurian, Oats Upma, Stuffed Brinjal Curry, Set-Dosa

2008-12-09T04:03:26.423-08:00

Last Night I wanted to make something hot and spicy. I was browsing through all the websites of my fellow bloggers and saw this awesome picture of Gobi manchurian on Seema's "Recipe junction". I must say the Gobi Manchurian tasted soooooooooo good, it was a hit! Thanks Seema for the wonderful recipe. It indeed tastes restaurant style. You can find the recipe here Now for some pictures:The Ingredients:Gobi Manchurian with pulao: I know the combination is weird but thought it was a nice picture to share.Enjoy and do try this recipe out.OATS UPMA:Here's another healthy recipe from Indira's "Mahanandi"- Oats Upma. It is delicious and you will look at oats in a whole new way. People who don't enjoy oats also might happen to like it. You will find the recipe here STUFFED BRINJAL CURRY:Here's another delicious recipe from Prema Sundar's "Prema's Cookbook". You will find the recipe here The brinjals cut and stuffed with the paste:Chapathis and curry:SET- DOSA:Yup.....seems like I am on a 'cooking from other blogs' spree. Well, here's another comfort food recipe from Seema's "Recipe Junction". The photos speak for itself. I need not say anything BUT.....follow Seema's recipe right and you will not be disappointed. You will find the recipe hereThe batter perfectly fermented. You can see the holes....The dosa cooking on the griddleSet-Dosa with Beetroot sagu (I will be posting this recipe soon)[...]



Navrathri 2007

2008-12-09T04:03:32.091-08:00

Hi everyone, hope you all had a wonderful Navrathri. I did too. This year, I got my dear hubby and his friend Gopi to build me steps for displaying my golu. The backbone for any golu is the steps. All these years we managed to find cardboard boxes and arranged them to form steps. It worked but was not all that polished. It was uneven. We went to LOWES and bought Deck Steps. We needed two side panels which were already precut into the shape of steps.Then we bought wooden planks which would rest on the side panels and two wooden beams to hold the two panels together. All in all it was a fun project and Sathyan's very first woodworking project. It was a great success and I am indeed very glad with the results. Thanks Sathyan and Gopi.After the steps were ready, we had to cover it with a cloth before draping my expensive kanjeevaram saree on to the steps. We ripped an old comforter, measured, cut and placed the cloth on the steps, pinning it down as we worked our way from the top. Now it looked nice, hiding away all the wood and gaps. Then came my kanjeevaram saree, draped neatly and cautiously over the five steps. On the topmost step I placed the "Marpachi Bommai" or " Pattada Bombe", which signifies "fertility" and is given to a daughter in her wedding.On the second step, came the sandalwood deities. Originally dolls from mythology are placed depicting stories related to Dussera and Navrathri. But now a days even barbies and other toys have a place on the steps. It's all about keeping your tradition alive and using your creativity. I made a zoo this time using my son Saakash's train set as the main attraction. Around the tracks i created small areas for animals and put some picnic tables all over. Saakash is 2 years and 9 months old. He was not very happy to see his train but not play with it. So we asked him to be the train operator and he was fascinated. He was the best train operator we ever knew. I finished the display with a rangoli of Lord Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles, praying for a smooth celaebration.So now for the Grand Finale, I invite each and every one of you to come and view my doll display, Navrathri 2007. Here are some wonderful golu pictures shared by my good friend Priya. She keeps saying that her golu is very simple but I feel it's very elegant. It's the thought and the dedication that goes into it, rather than the enormity. Don't you agree with me?Golu at my co-sister Vani's place in Singapore: Yet another masterpiece! Seems like creativity runs in the family.[...]



Vegetable Skewers!

2008-12-09T04:03:32.779-08:00

We had been camping to Del Valle Regional Park. It was fun. We didn't do much other than cook cook and cook. We made Indian style Grilled Corn, Vegetable burgers and of course Vegetable Skewers. It was really good. You can make this in a gas grill or an oven but nothing like it grilled on coal.

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Ingredients:
Paneer - Cubed into 1" pieces
Mushrooms - few button mushrooms or big ones cut into quarters
Peppers - Red , yellow and green, cut into cubes
Onion - cut into cubes
Cherry tomatoes - a few or cut up a regular tomato into pieces
Pineapple - cubed, I used Dole canned pineapple
Zucchini - cubed
Olive oil - 1 tbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of one lemon for garnishing.

For Marinating:
Fresh yogurt or curd - 1 cup
Red Chilly powder - 2 tsp
Tandoori masala - 2 Tbs
Ginger-garlic paste - 2 tsp
Chaat masala - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Mix all the above ingredients for marination and add cubed paneer and mushrooms. Marinate this in the refrigerator atleast for 20 mins. Leaving it overnight is good.
Take 1 tbs of olive oil or any other cooking oil in a bowl and mix in the rest of the cut vegetables along with salt and pepper.
If using bamboo skewers, you will have to soak them in water for 1/2 an hour to prevent burning of the sticks on the grill.
Skewer the vegetables in the order of your choice and grill it for 5 to 10 minutes till done.
Enjoy with a drizzle of lemon juice.

(image)



Paneer Maggi!

2007-10-07T19:12:52.733-07:00

Yes......yet another MAGGI recipe for those who love paneer. My Brother-in-law is an all time paneer-lover. So Vijay, ask Shruthi to make this for you.

When we had been to Boston for a vacation, my cousin's hubby made this yummy paneer maggi. It was "the" comfort food on a very chilly night. People from BITS,Pilani will be more familiar with this dish. It was made in their canteen.

INGREDIENTS:

Maggi Noodles, masala flavor- 1 packet
Paneer- cubed and deep fried- 1/2 cup
2 Tbs onion finely chopped
frozen peas- 1 Tbs
any vegetable of your choice like green capsicum, red capsicum, beans, carrot- 3 Tbs
red chilly powder- according to taste
garam masala powder- optional
salt to taste
oil for frying

METHOD:
Take a vessel and boil about 2 1/2 teacups of water.
Take about 1-2 Tbs of oil in a kadai, fry onions till pinkish. Add vegetables of your choice, add lil salt and fry till half cooked.Add fried paneer and mix. Break the noodle cake , crumble in your hands and add to the kadai. Add the masala powder, lil chilly powder and garam masala powder and mix .Add boiling water and cook the noodles till done. Enjoy hot, yummy noodles with any sauce of your choice.



MAGGI with a twist!

2007-08-30T11:07:37.298-07:00

Maggi has been an all time favorite in every household, with the young, the old (and the restless). I always like to experiment with this simple 2-minute noodle and the tastemaker. I have like 3-4 varieties that I make out of this, with vegetables, with extra spices and sauces of different kinds. This is one such innovation. Hope you'll enjoy it as much as we did. It's a lick-the-plate-clean goooooood.
Sorry guys, no photo of this one. The dish was so tempting.....couldn't wait to dig right in.

Ingredients: serves 2

Maggi Masala Noodles- 2 packets
Maggi hot and sweet ketchup- 2 Tbs
Tomato paste- 1 tsp
Red chilly powder- 1 tsp (optional)
Dhania powder- 1 tsp
Garam masala-1 tsp
Vegetables like diced carrots, peas, beans (fresh/frozen)- 1 cup
Onions finely chopped- 2 Tbs (optional)
Ginger-Garlic paste- 1 tsp (optional)
Salt to taste
Cut coriander leaves- a handful
Oil- 1 Tbs

Method:

->Heat oil in a kadai, add chopped onions and fry till it turns pink.
->Add the ginger-garlic paste, tomato paste, red chilly powder, dhania powder and fry for 2 more minutes.
->Mix in the vegetables, sprinkle some salt and saute for a few more minutes.
->Add 650 ml of water to this mixture.
->Empty the contents of maggi tastemaker along with garam masala and tomato ketchup.
->Once the mixture comes to a boil, add the noodle cake and cook till all the water is absorbed. Do not cover the pan as the noodle will turn soggy.
->If you like a little soup in your noodle, switch off the stove as soon as the noodle is cooked and don't wait for all the liquid to be absorbed.
->Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.



Mixed Vegetable Soup

2008-12-09T04:03:33.042-08:00

I had been to my friend Priya's house and she asked me," hey sangeetha, would you like to have some thick soup?" I was thinking it was some fancy out of the box kind and readily said yes. Moveover my tummy was growling of hunger. But wait, she did not get some soup mix out of the pantry, instead she brought out some frozen veggies out of her refrigerator. Believe me, this is the best soup I have tasted ever and you wouldn't believe what goes in it. It's like your personality and it can be associated with you , with your likes and dislikes. It's a total Personalised Soup. Give it a try.

(image)

Ingredients:
Frozen veggies like peas, carrots, beans, peppers- 2 cups
Tomato- 1 big
Onion- 1 medium
Green chillies- 3 or 4 depending on your level of spice
Ginger- 1" piece
Garlic- 2 or 3 cloves
Milk- 1 cup
Butter- 1 Tbs
Cumin powder- 1 tsp
Red chilly powder- 1 tsp
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
Garam masala powder- 1 tsp
Salt and pepper to taste

->Steam cook the frozen vegetables of choice in a microwave cooker or regular cooker. Drain the water and use to dilute the soup or add while mixing chapathi dough.

->Take 1 Tbs of butter in a pan. Add onions, green chillies, ginger and garlic and fry for a few minutes till the onion turns transparent.

->Add chopped tomato and fry.

->Add the steamed vegetables, salt, chilly powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and garam masala. You can add or remove any masala to your liking. Fry for a few more mins till the masalas are well coated on the vegetables.

->Grind this with 1 cup of milk to a smooth paste or to a consistency of choice.

->Serve with a dash of pepper with some bread or croutons.






Back to Blogging

2007-07-27T11:46:54.421-07:00

Hi everyone......Hope you still remember me. I was on a longggg break from blogging. My mom was visiting me from India and then I was on vacation to attend my sister's wedding. All in all the break was great and now I am back with more recipes.



SHEELA Pulao

2007-02-01T03:30:13.113-08:00

Hey ......wondering what this is??? I have this very bad habit of assigning prefixes to recipes given by my friends, by their names. Well, for one... I feel it's easier to remember the recipe since there are tons of recipes for Pulao for instance. And the other thing is that I think the credit should go to the person who has come up with the recipe. So what more can you do than naming the recipe after them. Some of you might find this offensive but I have used these names with the knowledge of my friends and they don't mind it at all.
(image)

Ingredients: serves 2
Basmathi or any long grain rice- 1 cup
Diced mixed vegetables - 2 cups
(potatoes, beans, carrot, cauliflower, capsicum, peas)
Onion- 1 small cut lengthwise
Oil and ghee - 3 Tbs
Water- 2 cups
Salt to taste

Grind together: to a paste adding little or no water
Coriander leaves - a handful
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Green chillies - 6-7
Poppy seeds - 1/2 tsp
Onion diced - 1
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Garlic - 4-5 flakes
Pudina leaves - a small bunch
Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
Cardamom - 2-3 pods
Cloves - 2-3
Tomato diced - 1 (optional)

Seasoning Ingredients:
Bay leaf - 2
Jeera - 1 tsp

->Wash and soak rice for 15 mins.
->Take a deep vessel, add ghee and oil. Even butter can be used.
->Add seasoning ingredients and when the jeera splutters, add chopped onions and fry till brown.
->Add mixed vegetables, salt and fry for a few minutes till tender.
->Mix in the ground paste and fry till a nice aroma builds.
->Add 2 cups of water and let it boil. Check for salt.
->Drain rice completely and add to the boiling mixture.
->Cook for 10-15 mins on a medium-low flame till rice is done.
->Serve hot with any raita of your choice.



Besan Unde

2007-01-26T12:31:50.303-08:00

I am not a sweet person.....oh wait, I didn't mean it that way. I don't have a sweet tooth...this is what I am talking about. Whereas, my hubby and my son both love sweets. If you have noticed this is the first sweet recipe I am posting, hoping there are more to follow.

My mother-in-law makes the best besan laddos ever. I just love them. On her recent visit here, she taught me how to make them too, so that i can savor them whenever I feel like. I guarantee it's an easy recipe and very very tasty too.


(image)


Ingredients:
Makes 10 medium sized laddos.

Besan/ Gram flour- 1 cup
Ghee- 1/4 cup
Sugar- 3/4 cup
Broken cashewnuts- a handful
Dry copra grated- 1/2 cup

-> Take 1/2 a tsp of ghee and roast the cashewnuts till golden brown.Cool.
-> In a deep vessel or mixing bowl, combine the sugar, grated dry copra and the roasted cashewnuts. Keep aside.
-> Meanwhile, heat the remaining ghee in a non stick pan. Add the gram flour little by little and mix it in. The consistency at this point should be paste like and should drop easily from the spoon. If not, add more ghee tsp by tsp till you reach this consistency. Keep frying this mixture on medium flame till it turns golden brown and the aroma resembles that of mysore pak.
-> Take off the mixture from stove and mix it with the other dry ingredients using a spatula. The contents are very very hot at this point, so don't even attempt to put your hands in there. Leave this mixture till warm and then shape into laddos.

TIPS:
If you are a first-time sweet maker, a few things tend to go wrong but don't panic. I have just the ways to make it right for you-

- If the mixture turns out to be very greasy and hard to shape into balls, stick it into the refrigerator for about 15 mins and then try shaping them.

- If you forget to shape the laddos when warm and the mixture hardens, microwave it for a few mins till the ghee melts and then shape them.

Hope you have a good time making laddos.



OORP- vegetables cooked and simmered in milk

2007-01-02T17:19:36.406-08:00

Gosh..........it's been over a month since I posted my last recipe. I have gotten so lazy these days, the weather being the main culprit I guess. Well, here's a different kind of recipe that was given by Prateesha, one of my friends. It's called as OORP and can be made with vegetables like Drumsticks, Brinjal, Chow-chow, Knol-kohl, Potatoes or Carrots. I have never come across this recipe anywhere, but it's a simple dish which tastes great with rice. On my recent trip to the grocery store, I found fresh drumsticks that i couldn't resist. So today, I am making Murungakkai or Drumstick Oorp.(image)

Ingredients:

Fresh Drumsticks- 2 or 3 cut into 1" pieces and boiled
Onion finely sliced- 1 small
Tomato finely diced- 1 cup
Milk- 1/2 cup
Any kind of Sambhar powder or Chilly powder and Dhania powder mix- 2 Tbs
Cashewnuts- a handful boiled and drained
Salt to taste
Oil for seasoning
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Urad dal- 1 tsp
Channa dal- 1 tsp

Take some oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add urad dal and channa dal. When the dals turn golden brown, add onions and fry till pinkish in color. To this add tomatoes. Fry for a while with a little water. Add the sambhar powder or chilly powder-dhania powder mix and salt. When the tomatoes are cooked, add boiled drumsticks and milk. Bring to a boil and mix in the boiled cashewnuts. Garnish with fresh coriander and curry leaves. Serve hot with rice.

PS: The original recipe calls for cooking of vegetables in milk primarily. But some of us are skeptical about the curdling of milk. So boil the vegetable in water first and then add cold milk to the dish.

Hey folks, my cousin Preethi in New Jersey tried this recipe and gave me a tip which is great. You can boil the vegetables directly in milk with a pinch of baking soda or baking powder. This prevents the milk from curdling. You can also use this tip when making payasams and other sweets where milk is involved.



Minty Medley

2006-11-22T19:36:19.886-08:00

Hello everyone......thought I would get back on track with my blogging. Took a very long break and I feel so rejuvenated. I have a backlog of recipes tried and tested waiting to be posted. Here's a simple yet mouthwatering one. Don't be overwhelmed by the name 'Minty Medley'.....it's a no-brainer. It's just simple mint rice. Thought I would spice it up a bit by giving it a different name.

(image)

MINT is such a versatile herb. It adds flavor to any dish almost instantly. Fresh mint is even more fragrant and gives out an intense flavor. A little mint goes a long way......

I visited my friend Sowmya's house for golu and she has this beautiful backyard with apple trees, plum trees, banana trees and lots and lots of tulsi and mint. I just couldn't contain myself and brought back with me some tulsi seeds and a big bunch of freshly picked mint. The smell was so tantalising that I decided to use fresh mint as soon as I got home. I came up with my own simple and quick version of mint rice with red ripe tomatoes, onions and ofcourse lots of mint. Let's gather the ingredients.

Rice- 1 cup (Basmathi or the regular sona masoori)
Onions- 1 medium chopped
Tomatoes- 2 medium chopped
Ginger- Garlic paste- 1 tsp
Green Chillies- 3 or 4 minced depending on your level of spice
Coriander leaves- a handful finely chopped
Mint leaves- 3/4 cup chopped coarsly

Seasoning Ingredients:
Tej patta- 1 leaf
Cardamom- 2
Lavang- 2
Cinnamon- 2 pieces of 1" each
Jeera- 1 tsp
Turmeric- a pinch
Salt to taste
Oil- 2 Tbs

-Cook rice separately and spread on a plate to cool.
-Take 2 tbs of oil in a kadai, add all the whole garam masalas and jeera.
-When it splutters, add finely chopped green chillies and ginger garlic paste. Fry till it turns light brown.
-Add chopped onions and fry till onion becomes pink.
-Mix in chopped tomatoes, a pinch of turmeric and salt. When the tomatoes are almost done, mix in the coriander leaves and mint leaves.
-Check for salt, fry till a nice aroma builds up and switch off the stove.
-Add cooled rice to this mixture and mix well till blended.
-Serve with any raitha of your choice.
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BEHOLD...........................

2007-02-01T17:08:49.573-08:00

Hey everybody.....hope you all had a wonderful Navrathri. I did too. And finally I am here to post the pictures of my creativity. Feel free to pick up ideas and to suggest some to me.

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Rangoli of Lord Ganesha with sand.

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A park setting.

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Close-up of the sand rangoli.

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A village setting.

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The whole picture.

(image)
Tatha-Paati.

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The final close-up.



GOKULASHTMI PICTURES!

2006-09-29T14:49:26.120-07:00

I'm back.......but first I am posting only Gokulastmi pictures. The reason that I am not yet putting up the GOLU pictures is that I don't want my friends to see it on the web before they come home. There has to be some surprises na.....So here are some pictures for you...I have one more special picture for you. Can you guess what this is?YES....ur absolutely right, it's RAVA DOSA. This is Prema Sundar's recipe and is a must try. It really is mouth-watering. Thanks Prema for sharing this with us.I made Vanamalaka chutney to go with it. Vanamalaka means dry red chilly. This is a versatile chutney which goes very well with anything. Here's my mom's recipe:2 small onionsa few sprigs of coriander leaves1" piece of ginger3-4 cloves of garlic (optional)2 ripe tomatoesa pinch of turmeric1/2 tsp of dhania seeds3-4 dry red chillies or according to spice desiredsalt to tasteoil for seasoning1/2 tsp mustard seeds1/2 tsp jeeraa pinch of heengTake a tbs of oil in a kadai, fry dhania seeds, red chillies, onions, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, and coriander leaves till onions turn transparant and a nice aroma picks up. Add a pinch of turmeric and salt to taste. Grind this mixture into a paste without adding water since onions and tomatoes give out their juices. Incase you feel the chutney is too thick, go ahead a add little water. Take a tsp of oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds, jeera and heeng. When it splutters, add this paste and fry till oil separates. Check for salt and add a pinch of sugar at the end. Enjoy this chutney with steaming hot idlis, dosas, pongal or even rice.[...]



HAPPY NAVARATHRI!

2007-02-01T08:53:27.696-08:00

Hey there......nine nights of pomp and show. Navarathri is here! Wish you all a very happy Navarathri. I have been really busy since Gokulastmi. Shankranthi, Gokulashtmi and Navarathri are the biggest festivals for us Iyengars. We celebrate these on a grand scale. Back home, it's different......lots of people to share the festivities, lots of fragrant flowers to adorn the dieties as well as yourself. Well....as the saying goes "count your blessings.." I'm happy to be able to keep our culture alive and kicking.

We have a tradition of exhibiting dolls, otherwise known as GOLU. I have always kept 3 steps or padis. This year I have kept five. That means more dolls. The tradition is to keep Golu every year since the time you are married. To start of, parents of the bride give a set of special dolls called "MARAPACHI BOMMAI" or "PATTADA BOMBE", which simply means dolls made out of a wood which is medicinal in property. It's very symbolic, and is given to a daughter when she gets married. It symbolises 'fertility'. So from then on, the daughter has to follow the tradition of exhibiting dolls during navarathri and keep adding on dolls every year.

I brought with me to the US only the Pattada Bombe. Here I started collecting dolls from dollar stores. Every time I visit India I make it a point to bring back some traditional dolls. So to sum it up, I have a pretty good collection which I intend to improve.

I will be posting the photos of the golu in a few days with some recipes. So please bear with me for some more time and I promise I'll not wander off. SEE YOU SOON.......



HOORAY........I AM TAGGED!

2006-09-11T17:40:28.406-07:00

Thanks to Asha of Foodie's Hope and Madhu of Ruchi, I am being tagged for the first time. I was really hoping someone would. Now it's my turn to be in the limelight, wanna know more about me right?

I WAS: a few pounds lighter last year

I AM FROM: the wonderful, (not anymore)garden city of Bangalore


I AM THINKING ABOUT
: the fun times I had with my friends in college

I SAID: I would exercise regularly but I'm feeling lazy today

I WANT TO: be the best daughter, sister, wife and mother ever

I WISH: my dad was alive

I REGRET: depending on my hubby because I'm scared to drive

I HEAR: my son coughing....poor Saakash is having a bad cold and cough...hate to see children sick

I AM: planning to do my AA degree in Child Development

I DANCE: no more......I used to.....my mom's a bharatnatyam dance teacher

I SING: film songs, bhaavageethe, rhymes as I rock Saakash to sleep

I CRY: when i think of my dad.....

I AM NOT: outgoing and bold like my sister


I AM WITH MY HANDS
: very creative...I love crafting

I WRITE: recipes and monthly accounts ( not that i'm making an effort to save)

I CONFUSE: myself....I'm very absent-minded, I don't think before I speak

I NEED: to load the dishwasher....boring

I LAUGH: when my hubby sings 'Humpty Dumpty' to Saakash. He can be so funny at times

I VALUE: friendship and marriage

I LOVE: my family, dogs and my mom's cooking

I THINK: I'll skip kick-boxing today

I HOPE: I can make my life more interesting

I TAG: Sumitha of Kitchen Wonders and Sonpari of Sonpari's world

Thanks guys, I had a great time writing about myself.



Masala Toast

2007-01-22T19:52:35.270-08:00

Bangalore is full of iyengar bakeries. The tantalizing aroma from the bakeries is just mouth-watering. It's really sad that we don't have any iyengar bakeries in this part of the world. So to bring back those memories, I have a very simple and very tasty recipe of the famous "MASALA TOAST".
(image)

I have used whole wheat bread in this recipe since it's more healthy. You can substitute with any kind of bread of your choice.

Ingredients:
Whole wheat bread - 4 slices / as required
Butter
Carrots grated -> 1 cup
Onions finely chopped -> 1 big
Tomatoes finely chopped -> 1 medium
Green chillies finely minced -> 2
Coriander and Curry leaves chopped -> a few sprigs
Red chilly powder -> 1/2 tsp
Turmeric -> a pinch
Salt to taste
A pinch of sugar

Take 2 tbs of oil in a wok. Season with mustard seeds, channa dal, urad dal, jeera. When they splutter, add green chillies and onions and fry till onions turn pink. Mix in grated carrots, tomatoes, salt, chilly powder, turmeric, sugar and fry till tender. Garnish with coriander and curry leaves.

Butter the bread slices and spread this masala on top. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and bake the masala topped bread slices for a few minutes. Then broil for a couple of minutes till the bread turns crisp. Serve with tomato ketchup or any chutney of your choice. Tastes good even if eaten as it is.



Bisibelebath

2007-01-30T17:10:08.673-08:00

Hi there.......I know I know, it's been ages since I updated my blog. I'm guilty and won't give you any more excuses. Infact....I'll get right to the recipes rather than boring you with my talk. Sorry again.Another Karnataka favourite....Bisibelebath (BBB). There are a lot of recipes out there for BBB. Store bought powders are good but preparing fresh powder brings out the intense flavors of all the spices used and the taste is heavenly. This is my mother-in-law's recipe and an all-time favorite in our family. I guarantee you will be pleased with yourself when you prepare this dish. You'll see it's not that a big deal to make BBB too. Come on in and we'll gather all the ingredients....Serves 4:Toor Dal -> 1 cupRice -> 1/2 cup(Sona Masoori or regular kind, not basmathi)Mixed Diced vegetables -> 2-3 cups ( more the veggies,the healthier) ( Beans, Carrots, Potato, Capsicum/green pepper, Onion, Chow-chow/chayote, Knol-kohl/kohlrabi)Dry Copra or dry coconut -> 1/4 cup gratedSTEP 1Take a big vessel and add about 2 Tbs of oil, washed toor dal, a pinch of turmeric and 6 cups of water. Boil till the toor dal is almost done. This will take about 1/2 an hour. Toor dal can also be pressure cooked but make sure it's not overcooked. While the dal is getting cooked , step 2 can be prepared.STEP 2 - BBB powder ingredients:Channa dal/ Kadlebele -> 2 tsp heaped (i normally use the white plastic disposable spoon)Urad dal/uddinbele -> 1 tsp heapedDalchini/cinnamom bark/ chakke -> 6-8 half inch piecesLavang/ cloves/lavanga -> 5-6Elaichi/Cardamom/yelakki -> 2Methi seeds/ menthya -> about 8 seedsDhania seeds/ coriander seeds -> 1/4 cupDry red chillies -> about 10 depending upon spice consumedCurry leaves -> a few sprigs Take a drop of ghee/clarified butter and fry all the above dry ingredients in the same order....dals first and once they turn reddish-brown, the others follow. Fry till a nice aroma picks up. Cool and powder it. STEP 3 Wash and drain the rice and add to the boiled dal along with the mixed diced vegetables. Add water such that the vegetables are just immersed and boil. When the rice is half done, add salt and dry copra. Mix in about 1/2 tsp of tamarind paste and stir well. By now the consistency should have picked up to a semi solid state. STEP 4Add water to the BBB powder from step 2 and make it into a paste. This avoids the powder getting clumped. If powder is added directly to the boiling mixture, clumps form and the powder dosen't get mixed in well.STEP 5 - Bringing it all together: Mix in the BBB powder paste to the step 3 mixture and check for salt. Make sure the BBB is a little watery otherwise it will become hard when it cools. Switch off the stove after a single boil. Season with mustard seeds, Asafoetida/heeng and curry leaves. Enjoy with a dollop of ghee and potato chips or papad.[...]



Maavinkai Saasve Anna - Mango Mustard Rice

2007-01-18T06:07:51.123-08:00

I have been a bit slow in posting recipes. With a one and a half year old, it's really difficult to sit in front of the PC. The moment I walk up to the computer, my son comes running demanding full attention. God.....the energy today's kids have. I am tired by the end of the day but my son goes on and on. Wish we had half the energy these kids have, we could do a lot more things.Coming to recipes....we had some friends over for dinner last weekend and as usual I was bugging my hubby for ideas. I gave him a list of all the vegetables in the fridge and practically had most of the veggies on hand. His eye fell on the huge green mango and he blurted 'maavinkai anna' which means mango rice. Well, i felt it was too simple a dish to offer. I wanted to show off my culinary skills, make something exorbitant. It's really true that men always think simple, we women make our lives complicated and crib at the end of the day that we have no time for anything. And to prove this, I decided to make a different version of the mango rice, a more time consuming recipe but much more fragrant and flavorful. Ingredients:Rice - 2 cups (Sona masoori or regular rice, not basmathi)Grind to paste:Unripe Green mango - 1 big or 2 small cut into chunks without skinCoconut grated - 1/2 cupMustard seeds/ Rai - 1 and a 1/2 tspTurmeric - 1/2 tspSmall piece of jaggeryHeeng/ Asafoetida - a pinchDry red chillies - 5 or 6In Karnataka, we use two kinds of dry red chillies. One is the BYADGI variety which is rich in color and mild in spice. The other variety is the GUNTUR which is very spicy. If available, I suggest you mix both the varieties otherwise the regular kind will do. Green chillies can also be substituted for dry red ones but that will give a different taste.Seasoning Ingredients:Peanuts/ Groundnuts - a handfullBroken Cashewnuts- 2 TbsMustard seeds/ Rai - 1 tspChanna dal - 2 tspUrad dal - 2 tspFinely chopped coriander leaves and curry leavesCook Rice separately with a pinch of turmeric, a little oil and salt. Spread on a plate.Grind the set of ingredients to be ground into a paste. Do not add more water.Take about 2 or 3 Tbs of oil in a kadai/wok. Season with mustard. When it splutters, add the dals , groundnuts and cashewnuts. When they turn golden brown, add the ground paste and fry till oil separates. Add salt. Switch off the stove and let the mixture warm. Finally add the rice, finely chopped coriander and curry leaves and mix.Maavinkai anna is ready to be served.[...]



Dhideer Shavige uppit ( Instant Rice Vermicilli Upma)

2006-08-08T16:00:26.066-07:00

Another weekend has passed. Days seems to be going so fast... it's already 8 months into this year. Well....as we all know "time waits for no man". And same with us, we don't wait for time either. In today's fast paced world, we need to do as much as possible in as little time we get. Cooking might be the last thing on your mind but it's THE thing which will keep you going. So here's another fast, simple, yet a very healthy tasty breakfast that your body requires in order to function. Remember, 'breakfast is the most important meal of the day'.

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Ingredients:
Rice vermicelli- The instant kind also known as Rice string hoppers or the idiappam sticks - 3 handfulls or about 250gms (serves 2)
(I used the sri ganeshram's 777 brand that I found at the local indian grocery store)
Green chillies chopped finely - 2 or 3 depending on your preference of spice
Finely chopped coriander leaves and curry leaves
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Salt to taste

Seasoning Ingredients:
Mustard seeds or Rai - 1 tsp
Channa dal- 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Jeera - 1/2 tsp

Take instant vermicilli in a bowl. Pour boiling water and make sure that the vermicilli is completely immersed. Cover and keep aside for a few minutes. Then drain the water completely and use as directed.

Take about 2 Tbs of oil in a kadai.
Season with rai. When it splutters, add channa dal, urad dal and jeera. When the dals turn golden brown, add a pinch of turmeric and salt to taste.
Add the drained rice vermicelli, Mix gently. Check for salt and garnish with chopped coriander and curry leaves. Switch off the stove and before serving add lemon juice and mix.



Huli Avalakki- Tangy Poha

2006-08-05T18:11:19.856-07:00

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Why? Well, after a long night of sleeping, your stomach is empty. Breakfast is the fuel which gets you going for the day. So never skip breakfast. Any breakfast is better than no breakfast. If you find yourself skipping breakfast because you are too rushed, try this simple breakfast which I'm sure you'll love. A few pre-preparations will help you save time as well as not go hungry.

Again...Huli Avalakki is native to karnataka. It's known by other names such as huli uppittu, gojj avalakki and gojj avalarshi in iyengar tamil.

Four varieties of poha are available in the market. Thin variety which is used to make chiwda, medium variety, thick variety used in poha uppma, batata poha, and the extra thick variety. If you do not find the extra thick variety, thick poha can be used.

Pre-preparation:
Grind the thick/extra thick poha in a mixer to rava consistency. You can store this just like you would rava or poha as it is.
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Ingredients:
Powdered poha- 2 cups
Rasam powder- 3-5 Tbs
Tamarind/ tamarind paste- 1 Tbs or according to taste
Powdered jaggery- 1/2 cup
Dry cocunut (Copra) grated- 1/4 cup
Salt to taste

Seasoning Ingredients:
Groundnuts- 2 Tbs
Curry leaves- 1/2 cup
Mustard/ rai seeds- 1 tsp
Channa dal- 1 tsp
Urad dal- 1 tsp
Oil- 2 Tbs
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Take tamarind or tamarind paste and dissolve in 4 cups of warm water.
To this add rasam powder, salt, jaggery and mix till the jaggery dissolves. Taste and check for the spices. Add more if necessary. This mixture should be a little more in salt and the tanginess, addition of poha will supress it. Add the powdered poha to this , mix and leave aside for 10-15 mins till the poha soaks up all the liquid.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a kadai, add mustard. When it splutters, add channa dal, urad dal, groundnuts and fry till golden brown. Add Curry leaves and the poha mixture. You will see that the poha has soaked up all the liquid, crumble gently and add to the kadai. Mix in the dry copra and check for the salt and sweetness. Add sugar and salt if needed. Switch off the stove once the poha is heated throughout. Enjoy this with thick yogurt.



Churmuri

2006-11-19T13:25:33.703-08:00

Hi there, hope you enjoyed my two recipes so far. I've been a bit slow in posting recipes because I'm still getting the hang of blogging. I sit and think how to make my blog more interesting without boring you with my talks......which I am not good at. Okey.......this time I have something simple and easy to whip up in no time and very healthy too. Your kids will enjoy this all the more. "Churmuri " .....a familiar word for bangaloreans and mysoreans, roadside gaadis selling puffed rice mixed with seasonings and served in a newspaper rolled cone. Wow......yummy yummy, lip-smacking, finger-licking fun on a rainy day. Wait.....it's not raining.....but that's no reason not to have some fun. I bet you guys out there are missing all the roadside chaats. I am too:( Well.... let's get these things together and have some churmuri with a hot cup of filter coffee. UmmmmmmmmmmmIngredients:Puffed rice ( mamra, kadlepuri) - 2 cupsOnions - 1 cup finely choppedCarrots- 1/2 cup gratedCucumber- 1/2 cup finely choppedRaw mango-1/2 cup finely grated (optional)Green chillies- 2 finely choppedTomatoes- 1/2 cup finely cut (optional)Red chilly powder -1/2 tsp or according to tasteSalt to tasteLemon juice to tasteCongress kadlekai (masala peanuts again known to karnataka-ites)- a handfulOil - 1 tspCoriander leaves- 1 Tbs finely cut for garnishingFine sev- 2 Tbs (optional)Take puffed rice in a microwave safe bowl and heat for about 10-15 seconds or till crisp. You can also dry roast it in a kadai for a few minutes just to remove moisture, otherwise the churmuri will get soggy in no time.Congress kadlekai or masala peanuts can be made at home for this recipe. You can do without it or just add some roasted peanuts but let me tell you it's the congress kadlekai that gives that authentic taste to the churmuri. Some people add nippattu ( a fried snack made with rice flour).For congress kadlekai, take:Roasted peanuts- 2 cupsTurmeric- 1 tspRed chilly powder- 1 tspAsafoetida/heeng - 1/2 tspBlack pepper powder- 1/2 tspOil- 1 TbsSalt to tasteRoast peanuts , remove skin and split into halves. It's easier if you get skinless peanuts. Heat oil on a pan and add asafoetida and turmeric. Add the roasted peanuts and remove the pan from heat. Add chilli powder and pepper powder, salt and mix. Cool and store in an airtight container. Can be used as needed.Mix chopped onions, grated carrots, green chillies, grated mango (optional), red chilly powder, salt, lemon juice with the mamra and mix . Add congress kadlekai, fine sev and coriander leaves. Add cucumber and chopped tomatoes at the end otherwise the mamra will become soggy. Mix briskly and serve immediately. Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee or tea.Hey guys, wanted to add one more detail. I came across this article in deccan herald which all of you chaat lovers out there must read.http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/jul52005/spectrum111920200574.asp[...]



Vegetable Dum Biryani

2006-08-02T12:06:25.896-07:00

Hi everyone.....hope u all had a wonderful weekend. My weekend was a usual one, cleaning cleaning and more cleaning. And one good thing about it was that I found my treasure of recipes.....I don't have to worry for the next couple of weeks now, I have so many new recipes to try and share with you and ofcourse my poor hubby's the experimental mouse...hehehe. I call him the OT-official taster. The great thing about my husband Sathyan is that he really tells me how the dish turned out, he just won't flatter me. Let me not bore you with my talk, lets get started on the recipes....this is my second recipe so far.Biryani........yummmmmmmmmmmm. This brings back nostalgic memories of my college days. Come Ramzan and my friend Rushi would invite us home for a feast.... chicken tandoori fry, mutton biryani and sheer kurma. Wow, those tantalizing aromas and authentic flavors still linger in my memories. Left over biryani tastes heavenly if eaten the next day. It's called 'baasi biryani'. TIP: Any masala dish for that matter tastes better if eaten the next day as all the flavors infuse. So here is the vegetarian version of Muslim biryani as I call it. This is my mom's masterpiece besides many others. Whenever I go to India, mummy makes it for me. My sister always says mummy has some magic in her fingers, whatever she makes turns out to be so tasty. But no matter how accurately I follow her recipe, it never tastes like how she makes them. As my hubby dear puts it " good but not like what mummy makes". Hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do. This recipe is a little tedious but you'll be pleased with the outcome.Ingredients:Basmati Rice- 2 cupsMixed diced vegetables-2 cups(peas, carrots, beans, potato, cauliflower)Onions - 2 big (1 for grinding, slice the other into thin strips)Green chillies-2Red ripe tomatoes-3 bigFresh ginger- 2 inch pieceGarlic- 7 clovesPudina leaves- 1 cupCoriander leaves- a small bunchCinnamon- 1 inch pieceCardamoms- 3Bay leaf- 1Cloves- 3Juice of one big lemonCoconut- 1/2 cup gratedRed chilly powder- 2 tsp or according to spice levelDhania powder- 2 tspTurmeric- 1 /2 tspSalt to tasteOilDissolve a few strands of saffron in 1/2 cup of warm milkGrind together:Grated coconut, 1 big onion, tomatoes, green chillies, ginger-garlic, cinnamom, cardamom, cloves and 1/2 bunch coriander leaves. Make into paste with little water.Wash and soak rice for 15 minutes. Take a huge vessel with lots of water, lemon juice, salt, 1/2 cup pudina leaves, a few pieces of cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Once the water comes to a boil, add the soaked and drained rice and boil briskly till 1/2 cooked. Drain all the water and spread the rice on a large plate.Take some oil in a kadai, fry the sliced onions till golden brown and crisp. Take it out onto a separate plate. To the remaining oil, add diced vegetables, turmeric, red chilly powder, dhania powder and the ground paste. Fry till a good aroma comes and oil floats on top, add salt and cook till the vegetables are almost done. Be wary of how much salt you add because the rice also contains salt. Now the kurma is made. Next step is to bring all this together by layering.I use the electric rice cooker to layer and cook the biryani to dum. You can use any vessel of ur choice or even an oven safe container. Whatever you choose to use, put a layer of aluminium foil at the bottom of the pan so that a layer of rice dosen't get burnt.So start with a layer of rice, then sprinkle a few drops of the saffr[...]



Sprouted Moong Kosambri

2006-07-29T11:31:44.370-07:00

Here’s an innovative, healthy Indian snack for kids, loved by both the young and the old. It’s called SPROUTED MOONG KOSAMBRI, meaning a salad prepared with sprouted green gram. It’s a very nutritious snack containing sprouts, pomegranate, fresh coconut scrapings, with a pinch of salt and a dash of lemon juice. Studies have shown that sprouts contain significant amounts of vitamins A, C and D. Sprouts are widely recognized by nutrition conscious consumers and health care professionals as a “wonder food”. The Moong bean sprouts are a good source of protein, fiber and vitamin C. A 3 oz. serving contains just 30 calories (http://www.isga-sprouts.org/nutritio.htm). One pomegranate delivers 40% of an adult’s daily vitamin C requirement. It’s also a rich source of folic acid and of antioxidants. RECEIPE: SPROUTED MOONG KOSAMBRI Ingredients: Dry green moong beans - 1 cup Fresh Pomegranate - 1 fruit Fresh Coconut scrapings - 1 tablespoon A pinch of salt to taste A dash of lemon juice A few sprigs of fresh cilantro for garnish Soak the dry beans in warm water and leave it overnight. Drain all the water the next day and cover and keep in a warm place to sprout. It takes anywhere between 2 to 5 days for the beans to sprout. Combine the sprouted moong beans in a wide bowl with pomegranate seeds, fresh coconut scrapings and salt. Add a few drops of lemon juice and garnish with freshly cut cilantro. Can be chilled and eaten for crispiness. [...]



16 Comments

2007-01-29T11:18:36.066-08:00

(image) We had been to India in feb for my son's first year birthday celebrations amongst family and friends. My mom and aunt whipped up this authentic dinner which left us and our guests literally drooling :) The menu included
Sliced cucumber with salt and pepper seasoning
Navaratna kurma
Rumali rotis
Sprouted Moong and Pomegranate kosambri
Vegetable muslim dum biryani
Punjabi pakodi kadi
Shahi tukda

WOW......the arrangement of the dishes itself was breathtaking and we just couldn't wait to dig right in.

I will be sharing all of the above recipes with you so that you can also experience the yummy food mummy cooks.