Butter Croissants and Coffee

One of the most best aromas on a beautiful morning

Samosa Chaat

Snack a little

Seekh Kabab

Try something different!

Decadent Chocolate

Do not forget to indulge once in a while

Steamed goodness

Various cooking methods bring variety in your palette

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Aviyal - Mixed Vegetables in a Coconut and Yoghurt gravy


Credit: Kairali Sisters' e-book pg.20

These precautions you must follow in preparing Aviyal:
1. All vegetables are cut only lengthwise (2inch by 1/2inch)
2. Do not overcook or you'll end up in a soup.
3. The following vegetables are never used:
· Beetroot - as it discolours the entire Aviyal as red
· Tomato, Cabbage and Ladies Finger(Okra) makes Aviyal watery
· Sweet Potato, Radish, Turnip, Cauliflower & Mushroom are best avoided
· Instead of Tamarind use Raw Mango & a splash of Natural Yoghurt to get the
sour taste
4. Depending upon availability the following Vegetables go well together:
  1. Plantain(Raw Green)
  2. Yam - Chena
  3. Brinjal
  4. Carrot
  5. Beans - Long Runner Beans
  6. Drumsticks(with proper Indian/Sadhya Vegetables)
  7. Green Raw Mango
  8. Potato
  9. Snake Gourd -Trichosanthes Cucumerina
  10. Ivy Gourd - Kovakai - Tindora
  11. Courgette - Zucchini instead of Cucumber

1. Raw Green Plantain – 50 grams
2. Brinjal - 50 grams (optional - I did not use)
3. Tindora - 50 grams (optional)
4. Yams- 50 grams
5. Carrot – 50 grams
6. Green Beans/Long String beans - 50 grams (I used french beans)
7. Courgette/Ash Gourd - 50 grams (I did not use)
8. Potato - 50 grams (optional)
9. Drumsticks - 50 grams
10. Green Chillies – 2
11. Raw Mango -1/2
12. Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
13. Salt – to taste
14. Water - 200ml
15. Grated Coconut – 1 cup
16. Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
17. Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs
18. Curd – 2 tbsp
19. Coconut Oil- 2 tbsp

Mise en Place [10 mins]
1. Cut all vegetables into 2 inch by 1/2inch pieces like French Fries. Keep them
2. Grind Coconut, Cumin seeds, Green Chillies to a fine paste. Keep aside.
Golden Touch Steps [40 mins]
1. In a deep bottomed pan, add all Vegetables, add water, Salt, Turmeric powder &
slow cook for 20 mins.
2. Now add the Coconut paste, mix well, sprinkle the Coconut oil & Curry leaves,
leave on low flame for another 10 mins, by now it will be dry & done
3. Allow to cool.
4. Mix in the Yoghurt and leave it covered.
** Place the slow cooking Vegetables at the bottom of the vessel. Eg: Drumsticks,
Carrots. Place Yam & Brinjal in the middle layer. Place the fast cooking items in the
topmost layer.

Koottu curry - Chick peas and mixed vegetables


The Kairali sisters' e-book contains two types of koottu curry - one spicy version and the other sweet version. I actually liked ingredients from both and kind of combined it into my own version. I loved it the way it turned out. I intended to add chena(yam) into this as per the recipe, but I realized that I ran out of it by using it in the other dishes. So I replaced it with Chembu(taro) and it still tasted divine!


· 1 cup Black Chickpeas, soaked in water for at least 3 hours
· ½ cup Plantain(Pachakkaya) cut into chickpea sized pieces
· ½ cup Elephant Yam(Chena)/Chembu(Taro) cut into cut into chickpea sized pieces
· 1 medium Carrot, cubed
· ½ cup grated Coconut
· 4-5 pearl Onions, skinned
· ½ tsp Turmeric powder
· 2 tsp red Chilly powder
· ¼ cup Sarkara/Jaggery
· Few Curry leaves
· Few dry Coconut chunks(Thenga kothu)
· 1 tbsp Coconut oil
· ½ tspMustard seeds
· ½ tsp Cumin seeds
· Salt as required
· 2 dried red chillies
· ½ tsp black pepper or pepper powder
· 1 tbsp Oil


1. Cook the Chickpeas with Water and Salt until soft (Use a pressure cooker to
cook fast, or soak in boiling water for at-least 8 hours).
2. In a thick bottomed vessel, cook the Plantain and Yam/Taro, Carrots with enough Water to
just cover the Vegetables.
3. Add Turmeric powder and Salt.
4. Keep the vessel covered to prevent drying out.
5. When the vegetables are soft add the cooked Chickpeas, along with some of the
Water used to cook Chickpeas.
6. Adjust Salt, ¾ tsp Turmeric powder, 2 tsp Chilly powder and ¼ cup of Jaggery.
6. In another pan slightly fry the grated Coconut, cumin, black Pepper with the pearl Onions.
Coarse grind this mixture and add to the cooked Chickpeas.
7. Mix well and let the Water evaporate. Splutter the Mustard seeds in Coconut Oil
and then add the dried Chillies and dry Coconut chunks (Thenga Kothu).
8. Pour this over the prepared Koottu curry.

Chena Vanpayar Erissery - Cow peas and Elephant Yam in a spiced coconut gravy

Credit: Edible Garden
Note: You can also make another version with Pumpkin instead of Elephant yam which is also quite popular.

  • 3 cups cubed elephant yam / chena
  • 1 cup cow peas / vanpayar - preferable soaked for at least 2-4 hours
  • Salt to taste
Grate together:
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut (frozen will work but not dessicated)
  • 1 tsp minced fresh garlic
  • 1/4 tsp pepper powder
  • A large pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
For tempering:
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 dry red chillies, torn into small pieces
  • A few curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (I used normal vegetable oil)

1. Wash the vanpayar and sift out any stones that may be there. Transfer to a pan with 3 cups water and cook on a low fire until semi-soft. This will take about 20 mins or so. Add the yam to the vanpayar and cook until both turn soft and almost mushy.
2. Once the vanpayar and yam are cooked, add the grated coconut mixture and mix well, cooking on low flame until well combined and the coconut loses its raw smell - about 3-4 mins. Add salt. Mix again. Remove from fire.
3. Heat oil for tempering and add all the ingredients mentioned in the list. When the mustard seeds pop and the red chillies glisten, remove from fire and dunk into the cooked mixture. Mix well and serve hot with rice and moru curry.

Kaalan - Plantain and Elephant Yam in a spiced Coconut-Yoghurt sauce

Credit: Pazham Pappadam Payasam e-book pg.33
 Prep. Time: 55 mins.


  • Yam ¼ cup, cut to chunks
  • Plantain 1 small, Skin peeled off and cut to diagonal chunks
  • Yoghurt 4 cups
  • Turmeric powder ½ tsp
  • Black Pepper powder 1 ½ tsp
  • Green Chilly 2 nos
  • Cumin seeds ¼ tsp
  • Grated Coconut 1 cup
  • Fenugreek powder a pinch, roasted
  • Salt as needed
  • Curry leaves
  • Mustard seeds ½ tsp
  • Dry red chilly 2 nos
  • Oil 1 tbsp
  • Ghee 1 tsp

1. Heat a wide mouth pan at medium heat and add the Yam and Plantain pieces
with a cup of water.
2. Add Turmeric powder and Pepper powder. Allow the Vegetables to cook well and
then add Salt.
3. When the liquid from Vegetables are almost dried up, add 1 tsp. Ghee and mix
4. Mash the veggies gently, reduce flame to low and add the beaten Yoghurt to
5. Throw in Curry leaves and stir well until Yoghurt starts to boil.
6. Meanwhile grind together Coconut, Cumin seeds and green Chilly to a fine paste
with 20ml Water.
7. When the liquid from Yoghurt is completely evaporated (4 cups Yoghurt will get
reduced to almost 2 cups), add the Coconut paste and mix well. Cook for a few
more minutes.
8. Add a pinch of Fenugreek powder and switch off the stove.
9. Heat 1 tsp Oil in another pan and splutter Mustard seeds and dry red Chilly with
some Curry leaves. Pour the tempering.

Puli Inji / Injicurry - Ginger Jaggery sauce


I simply love this curry coz its sweet and spicy and gives a lovely kick to any boring bland dinner. If I have rice with just moru, pappadam and puli inji, I'll be happy. I also recently learned that its a good side with Chicken biryani. As the main ingredient of this dish is ginger, it helps with digestion of a heavy meal such as Onasadya or Biryani. I'll post a better picture the next time I prepare it.

Credit: Mishmash


1 cup minced fresh ginger, tightly packed
3-4 Indian green chillies, finely chopped
4-5 curry leaves, finely chopped
l/2 tsp mustard seeds
l/4 tsp fenugreek seeds/ Uluva
l/4 tsp Uzhunnu parippu/urad dal/black gram
2 whole dry red chillies
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 1/2 cups water
3-4 jaggery/sarkkara cylinders, with 1 1/4 inch length and 3/4 inch width OR to taste
2-3 tsp tamarind concentrate OR to taste
l/4 tsp chilly powder
l/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

• In a small deep saucepan or stone vessel, heat water, tamarind paste, melt jaggery with red chilly powder, turmeric powder and salt and bring to a boil and then keep the lid open and place a stirring utensil in it and let it simmer until it reaches half the quantity of the water. Adjust the tamarind-jaggery balance by doing a taste-test here and adding the extra bit if necessary. There should be a proper balance between tamarind and jaggery. So adjust according to your personal taste.
• Meanwhile, heat oil in a shallow pan and splutter mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, urad dal and dry red chillies. Add minced ginger, green chillies and curry leaves and fry until ginger turns golden brown, in low flame. Enjoy the wonderful aroma coming off the pan at this point. Using a slotted spoon, transfer all the ingredients from the pan, including the oil (there will not be much oil left), to the saucepan where the tamarind and jaggery mixture is simmering. Once more bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low flame and let it thicken until the oil layers floats on top. At this stage, turn off the stove. It thickens more when it sits in the room temperature.
• This can be made in advance and stored in refrigerator for a long time. The oil floating acts as a preservative here. It can be served not only at Sadya but also a great condiment for Biryani.

Parippu Curry / Kerala style dal


Credit: Sankeerthanam 


  • 1/2 cup daal
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  •  2 green chilies

To Grind:
  •  1/2 to 3/4 cup grated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder

 To Temper: 
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 dry red chilli
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbs ghee (clarified butter)
  • 2 to 3 shallots, chopped
  • few curry leaves

Pressure cook daal up to 2 whistles adding turmeric powder, green chillies and salt. To this, add ground coconut paste. Cook for 5 more minutes adding little bit water. Heat 1 tbs ghee in a separate pan, splutter mustard seeds, cumin seeds and  fennel seeds. Add  red chillies, curry leaves and shallots, fry slightly. Pour the seasoning  into the curry. Serve with rice

My First Onasadya

I had intended to post this immediately after Onam. But I guess its better late than never. I was super-excited to prepare my first Onasadya. So I called up my sis over and we had a fun day purchasing veggies at the supermarket, cutting, chopping, grinding, cooking and finally serving it to Bee who waited patiently for the sadya to be prepared. Apart from the items displayed in the photo above, I also had moru kachiyathu and two types of payasams. One was the semiya payasam which I will be posting separately. The other was pazham pradhaman. The pradhaman turned out to be slightly on the sour side, maybe coz the nendrapazham was not too ripe? I need to try it out a few more times and perfect it before posting that one. Who knows if I'll have the time to do another one before I leave to another country where there maybe no nendrapazhams??
The sadya turned out to be great. Bee loved it especially since they were all new curries that I prepared for the first time, and he was enjoying the new flavours of kerala. There were so much leftovers, that I sent a lot of it with my sister. She in turn shared it with lots of her friends and I received a good feedback. Glad to know that I made some people deprived of onasadya happy this year :) What more could I ask for!!
I must thank the Kairali sisters from Pazham Pappadam Payasam to be generous enough to have a free e-book full of onasadya dishes, which came in useful for most of my sadya dishes.
Recipes of individual components of my sadya to follow soon :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fresh start

So I've been away from my blog for way too long. And it filled me with guilt coz I've enjoyed it so much. Also I've been cooking quite a lot, taking pictures and have not bothered to post any of them. Its just that there was so much going on in my life, that I was sort of banned from blogging until I finished all that work.
First came Onam, and I prepared my first ever Onasadya!! And it just made me feel so proud that I was able to make so many dishes in one day like a cook-off or a race. And I was surprised that most of the recipes were quite easy, and the fact that most of them did not require onions and garlic. Strange but I never knew. And then came Eid, and I tried out two different types of samosas. Unfortunately, they disappeared before I could take photos of them. And then I made my first ever Biryani, a Malabar Chicken Biryani which was again a big hit. And then more stuff just kept getting made on the way.
And then what else is new. Oh yes, I got MARRIED!! yayy.. to Bee of course. Nothing fancy, we just got it registered. Another big thing coming my way is that I'll be moving to USA soon. So I'm looking forward to have a bigger fancier kitchen with an oven finally! And cant imagine all the fresh berries and other fresh produce I'll get to experiment with, for my future blogging. Oh and I'll also get to experience snow for the first time. I'll be moving to a place called Mount Olive in New Jersey. I'm going on a long term onsite assignment and I did not wanna go there alone, of course. I just had to take Bee with me and he is all the more excited than I am. Coz he'll get to quit his job that he hates, and stay at home for a few years, learn cooking (ya right! but lets see) and just chill! Also he plans to learn few languages at his own pace, look at other career paths, so I think he deserves the break that he's been yearning for quite a while.
Bee banned me from blogging until I get all my papers in order and submit them at my company's travel desk. There was tons of paperwork so I just couldnt get back to blogging until now. And now, I'm thinking where to start! Get ready, lots of recipes to follow soon!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Indian Penne: A Twist of the Twist of Taste

Indian Penne

Two fusion foods in one day? I must be goin bonkers!! I think its because of watching this new show on Fox History & Traveller channel, called The Twist of Taste by Vineet Bhatia. This guy is totally twisting Indian foods into more gourmet-like fine-dining platters. So I googled him and found this article. I learned that he's the only chef apart from Gordon Ramsay to receive Michelin stars in two separate countries. So he seems to be a pretty big name in the food industry, now probably a celebrity chef. At the end of the article, he mentioned this penne with chicken tikka pasta dish he cooks for his sons at home. It sounded wierd and I had no idea how it would taste like. But having had a horrid day at work, I decided to try it and surprise myself. Thank god it turned out well. I did twist this twister's recipe to suit the stuff I had in my refrigerator. I did not want to make chicken tikkas because of the marinating time. I had some chicken seekh kababs in the freezer. Also had capsicum, baby corn, so I used em all.


Penne Pasta: 250 gms
Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp.
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp.
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Onion: 1 medium chopped
Capsicum: 1/2 chopped
Baby Corn: 4 cut into strips
Garlic: 2 cloves minced
Ginger: 1 tsp minced
Green chillies: 1 finely chopped
Seekh Kabab: 2
Tomatoes: 2 chopped
Tomato Puree: 3 tbsp.


Slice the Seekh kababs into half inch thick pieces. Boil water, add turmeric, chilly powder and salt. Add 400 gm pasta, preferably penne. Cook until slightly softer than normal. Separately, in a little olive oil, sauté garlic, mustard seeds, green chillies, ginger and finely chopped onions. Add baby corn, capsicum and seekh kababs. Allow to cook till the seekh kababs change colour to your preference. Add chopped plum tomatoes and a pinch of chilli powder (optional, its spicy already). Add tomato puree. When the mixture is ready, Toss it all up with the penne. Let the spices seep into the pasta. Serve.

Note: So if you want to use chicken tikka instead, just add the chicken tikka after adding the tomatoes. And I guess tomato puree wont be necessary.

Pizza Parotta - My Twist of Taste

Pizza Parotta

These days I see a lot of emphasis on fusion food. I was never really into it as I prefer trying to get the authentic tastes. But I sometimes wonder how someone would even think of fusing this and that together. Some are interesting, some not, some even pure genius!
So how did I venture into this area of fusion food? As they say, necessity is the mother of all inventions. I was working at home coz I was not feeling too well, and did not have much work. But to my utter disappointment, my clients felt that today was the perfect day to report tons of issues, and I get assigned more work than I usually handle. Grr... there goes all my plans to relax at home, exploring various recipes and trying out new stuff. I started to feel hungry and wondered I had in the refrigerator. I had a packet of Kerala Parottas. But what do I eat with it? Most of the veggie ingredients were Italian stuff left over from my pasta recipes. So I imagined... what if I use the ingredients like a pizza topping but the base be used as a kerala parotta? Its like those thin crust pizzas, except that this crust is thin and flaky. yum! and oh it was yum!! Mine was totally simple and quick but you can add any of your favourite pizza toppings.


Kerala parotta: 1
Salsa: 2 tbsp.
Black Olives: 4 sliced
Basil Leaves: 2 or 3
Mozzarella cheese: as required
Oregano: to garnish
Garlic bread seasoning: to garnish


Spread the salsa on the parotta. Arrange sliced olives and broken up basil leaves on top. Sprinkle grated mozzarella all over. Take a frying pan with a lid. Place it on a stove on low heat. Place the parotta on the frying pan. Sprinkle oregano and garlic bread seasoning. Cover the lid and allow the pizza to cook on low heat. Wait till all the cheese melts and take it off the pan. Slice them and serve immediately!

Panbake Pizza

You can add sauteed baby corn, capsicum and minced garlic in a little olive oil. You can also add cold cuts like sliced sausages, bacon or pepperoni. Onions, sun-dried tomatoes, the list can go on...

Pizza Parotta closeup

Penne Yummyolio

Pasta Yummyolio
I just didn't know what to name this pasta dish. Its yet another penne pasta dish I made with different ingredients available wth me at that time. It was a weekend when I blackmailed my sister into coming over because I was cooking something yummy. So thought of naming it that way.


Penne Pasta: 250gms
Olive Oil: 3 tbsp.
Salsa: 100ml
Garlic: 2 cloves
Onion - 1 medium
Cherry Tomatoes: 10
Capsicum: 1 (yellow or red)
Baby corn: 5 or 6
Sausages: 2
Streaky bacon: 3 strips
Basil Leaves - a sprig
Black Olives: 5
Parsley - garnish
Cheeses: Parmesan, Emmental, Mozzarella


Boil water and add penne to it with some salt and olive oil. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and keep aside. Mince garlic, chop onions, capsicum. tomatoes. Cut baby corn into thin strips. Slice sausages and olives. Heat olive oil in a pan, add minced garlic and let it sizzle for a few seconds. Add onions, capsicum and baby corn. Toss around till onions become soft. Add sausages. Take streaky bacon strips and snip them up using a pair of kitchen scissors into the pan. Allow the bacon fat to melt, and add the the cherry tomatoes and basil leaves. Add in the salsa and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the sliced olives, grate the cheeses and add them too. Combine well and garnish with parsley and some grated parmesan or emmental. Pasta Yummyolio is ready to serve!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Penne Pasta with shrimp and chicken sausage

So I was lazing around on Saturday when I was supposed to finish some work. Wasted lots of time watching tv and at around 10.30pm, I started to get the hunger pangs coz the last time I ate something was in the morning. There's so much of chaos outside my house, lots of kids running and shouting about, huge family get togethers happening on a Saturday night. Ignoring the ruckus outside I decided to fix something really fast, and walk into the kitchen to see a huge pile of dishes in the sink and on the countertop. If I had to fix anything, I had to first clear out the dishes. I quickly set myself at the task so that my hunger doesnt start to give me a headache. Almost finished, suddenly we lost power. If it goes late at night, surely its some problem and it should be back soon. I wait it out by watching the latest episode of Desperate Housewives I downloaded. Power comes back after half an hour. I pause the episode, return to the kitchen and finish the remaining dishes. I decided to do a quick one pot meal. No referring recipes, just dumping stuff I had around the kitchen to make one nice hearty meal. I saw a packet of penne pasta and put that onto boil. I check the freezer and got out one last chicken sausage lying in there. Ooh a packet of small shrimps. Thought I'll use em too and get it out to defrost. Checked the refrigerator, found one red capsicum and a packet of cherry tomatoes. I start chopping the vegetables and I lost power again. Grrrrr... I wait it out again, ignoring the hunger pangs again. Resumed my tv episode and it got over too. Just waited silently in the dark, and got it back again in another 10 minutes. I slice an onion, mince some garlic, drained the pasta, put the shrimps to boil (I cant eat it raw like some people do). And yet again, I lose power. God, this is so damn frustrating now!! I switched off the boiling shrimps coz I did not want to overcook it, wait again, and its back after 10 minutes. Thankfully, I managed to prepare the rest of the meal without losing any power. The recipe is explained below. So I plated it nicely to take a picture to post it on the blog. The first one I took is the one you saw above. The dish did look nice and colorful. But I notice that some of the penne is jutting out awkwardly on the sides and maybe I should re-arrange it a bit more to look more elegant. I focus my camera again and click. At that very second I clicked, guess what happened. Look at the shot I got and take a wild guess!! Aaarrggh!!


Penne pasta - 250 grams
Cherry tomatoes - 10 pcs.
Tomato puree - 1/2 cup
Chilli-garlic sauce or any hot sauce - 1 tbsp.
Capsicum - 1/2 or 1 whole
Onion - 1
Garlic - 3 cloves
Chicken sausage - 1 large
Shrimps - 1/4 cup
Parmesan cheese - 1/4 cup, grated
Olive oil - 3 tbsp.
Black Olives - 6 or 7, pitted
Parsley - to garnish
Oregano, Italian seasoning - a pinch


Boil penne pasta as per instructions on packet, with some salt and oil. Drain and keep aside.
Chop the cherry tomatoes, capsicum, slice onions and mince garlic. Chop the chicken sausage into bite size pieces, grate the parmesan cheese. Wash and clean shrimps and boil it for about 5 minutes and drain. Slice pitted olives and chop parsley.
Take a heavy bottomed pan, heat 3 tbsp olive oil, add the minced garlic, sliced onions and capsicum. Cook until soft. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning (I added some garlic bread seasoning I had) and oregano. Add shrimp and sausages and toss to coat with oil. Add chilli-garlic sauce. Add the cherry tomatoes and tomato puree. Toss again. Lower heat, cover the pan, and simmer for about 5 mins. Open and add parmesan cheese (leave some for garnish). Add the pasta little by little, tossing at the same time to coat it with the sauce. Take off the heat. Sprinkle black olives, parsley and parmesan cheese. Serve hot.

Gaajar ka Halwa - Carrot Halwa


I've been making sweets to give away to friends and had repeated the coconut burfi recipe twice over the past 2 weeks. I wanted to try something different this time and chose gaajar ka halwa as I had bought a kilo of carrots last weekend and thought it was a good idea to use em up.
I went through a lot of recipe videos such as Vahchef, Showmethecurry and Sanjeev Kapoor or another one on Sanjeev Kapoor's site. All have different approaches and claim to be very easy. One roasts ghee and nuts in the beginning and add milk and carrots to it. Others do the milk and carrots first and then add the roasted nuts and ghee to it. Some pressure cook and some microwave. Some use khoya, some use curdled milk and some use condensed milk. I was a bit confused after watching them all that I finally mixed em all up into a new approach. I don't have a microwave and I don't want to risk doing it in a pressure cooker, so I did the traditional open pot method. It wasn't so tasking as they said it was, in fact quite enjoyable mixing the carrots and milk regularly and loving the aroma of the steam from the evaporating milk. I wanted to use sweetened condensed milk as I had an open can, so I did not add any extra sugar, the sweetness was just right. I also thought that if I used nuts in the beginning, they can soften up with the milk and carrots cooking with it and you'll miss the nice crunch. So I did it both ways. Here's how:


Carrots - 1 kilo (about 10 carrots, peeled and grated)
Milk - 400 ml (half the amount of carrots)
Condensed milk - 400 ml
Chopped almonds - few
Chopped cashews - few
Raisins - few
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
Ghee - 4 tbsp.


Grate the carrots and set them aside. I used about a kilo of carrots which came to around 2 cups of grated carrots. In a heavy bottomed pan, (use a vessel with a large diameter to help the milk evaporate quicker) add 2 tbsp ghee. When the ghee melts, add half the chopped cashews, almonds and raisins. Roast them until they start browning. Now add the grated carrots, little by little (if you add all at once, you might find it difficult to stir). Add the milk to the carrots immediately and keep stirring to prevent the carrots from sticking to the bottom or sides of the pan. Once all the carrots have been added, keep stirring at regular intervals to prevent the carrots from sticking to the pan. Allow the milk to boil. Simmer and continue stirring allowing the milk to evaporate and reduce. You can notice that the volume of the carrots also reduce as it oozes out its water content. Increase the stirring intervals when the milk is almost completely absorbed. Now add the condensed milk and stirring again. I found that it reduced faster than the milk. Once all the condensed milk has reduced, take it off the stove. Add a teaspoon of cardamom powder and mix. In another pan, add 2 tablespoons of ghee and roast the remaining nuts and raisins. Add them to the halwa and serve. (for more colour, one can also use red/orange food color, but it looks good anyway!)

Banana Custard


Simple dessert, takes hardly 10 minutes to make it and really no effort at all. All you gotta do is prepare the custard, put in the vanilla essence, banana slices and garnish with chopped nuts! How easier can it get. You could add more fruits of your choice, like apples, pears, grapes, oranges, peaches, even those canned pineapple slices will go well with it. I would have loved to use a canned fruit cocktail but did not find it at any of the local stores here, not even spar or thoms.
Excellent last minute dessert and a good way to use that ripening banana that you don't wanna eat or waste. :)


• 2 Ripe Banana (or 1 as you wish)
• 15 gms Custard Powder
• 1/4 cup Sugar
• 150 ml Milk
• 1 tsp Almonds (chopped)
• 1 tsp Cashew Nuts (chopped)
• Few drops Vanilla Extract


Peel off bananas and cut into small cubes. 
Mix custard powder and sugar in little milk. 
Boil the remaining milk for 10 minutes. 
Pour the boiled milk into the above mixture. 
Bring the mixture to boil. 
Add banana cubes and vanilla extract. 
Garnish with chopped almonds and cashews. I also used pistachio flakes.
Banana Custard is ready to serve.

BBC - Bailey's Banana Colada


This is a Pina Colada with a twist!

If you want to make a virgin one, just omit the alcoholic ingredients.


Banana robusta - 1
Bailey's Irish Cream - 30 ml (I used the new hazelnut flavour, but you can also use the original version or the caramel one)
White Rum - 30 ml
Pineapple Juice - 60 ml
Coconut Cream/Milk - 60 ml
Amaretto - 10 ml (optional)
Crushed Ice


Blend all ingredients in a blender and serve!

Bhindi Masala - North Indian style Okra stir fry

I was working at home again and I had to cook up something really fast for lunch. There was a packet of ladyfingers and I've already mentioned in my previous post that I'm not really a fan of this vegetable. But I didn't want it to go to waste and I was bored with the ularthiyathu recipe and wanted to change it a bit. So I searched and found another blog called Whatz Cooking. Not so fancy but the bhindi masala looked good and different.


250 gms Bhindi (Lady Finger)
3-4 Onions
4 Tomatoes (puree)
1 Tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
1 Tsp Dhania Powder (Coriander Powder)
1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 Tsp Kasuri Methi
1 Tsp Garam Masala Powder
5-6 Tbsp Oil
Chopped Coriander leaves (for garnishing)
Salt to taste

In a pan, take 2-3 tbsp Oil and fry the lady finger. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan, add more 2-3 tbsp oil and fry onions.
Once the onions become soft, add ginger-garlic paste and sauté.
Add dhania powder, red chilli powder and sauté again.
Add tomato puree and salt and cook till the masala leaves the edges of the pan.
Add the fried bhindi to the masala. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Once the bhindi is cooked, add crushed kasuri methi and garam masala powder.
While serving, garnish with corrainder leaves.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala

I've been in love with kababs since the time I remember. Its quite a pity that I don't have a mircowave oven/grill with me in my kitchen (no space in the tiny kitchen and I havent saved up for it either). But I couldn't stay away from kababs for too long, so I decided to pan fry them instead.
This recipe is mostly from Sanjeev Kapoor's recipe but I've made a couple of changes here and there.
The original recipe does not call for coriander powder or kasuri methi in the chicken marinade. I also added a teeny bit of orange food color because I had it with me but this is only optional. I also added capsicum to the dish. The recipe asks for mustard oil in the marinade but I used regular vegetable oil. Also I did not use any skewers.


For Chicken Tikka:
Boneless chicken, 1 1/2 inch pieces - 500 grams
Capsicum(green/red) - 1
Kashmiri red chilli powder - 3 teaspoons
Lemon juice - 2 tablespoons
Salt to taste
Oil for frying - 4 tablespoons
For marinade:
Thick Yoghurt - 1 cup
Ginger paste - 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons
Garlic paste - 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons
Coriander Powder - 1 teaspoon
Garam masala powder - 1 1/2 teaspoons
Kasuri Methi - a pinch (optional)
Vegetable oil - 2 tablespoons
Orange/Red food colour - a pinch (optional)

For Onion Tomato Masala:
Onions, chopped - 3 medium
Tomatoes, chopped - 4 medium
Cumin seeds/Jeera - 1/2 teaspoon
Garlic - 7-8 cloves
Roasted cumin powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1 1/2 teaspoons

For gravy:
Butter - 2 tablespoons
Tomato puree - 1/4 cup
Onion tomato masala - 1 cup
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped - 2 tablespoons
Dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi), roasted and crushed - 1 teaspoon (optional)
Cream - 1/4 cup (optional)
Ginger, cut into thin strips 1 inch piece (for garnish, optional)


Mix one tablespoon lemon juice, salt and one teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder. Add chicken pieces and marinate for about thirty minutes.
Mix thick yoghurt, one tablespoon ginger paste, one tablespoon garlic paste, one teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder, one and half teaspoon garam masala powder, one teaspoon coriander porwder, kasuri methi, food colouring, remaining lemon juice and salt. Add chicken pieces and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and mix well. Let the chicken marinate for three hours at least or overnight in the refrigerator. The lemon juice and yoghurt act as a meat tenderizer and the other ingredients get absorbed into the meat for a more flavourful and tender tikka. Chop the capsicum into bite size pieces and add them to the mix after getting it the marinated chicken out of the refrigerator. Thread the chicken onto skewers (optional). Heat four tablespoons oil on a tawa and place the skewers on it or fry the chicken pieces and capsicum on it. Cook, turning the skewers or chicken pieces a few times, so that the chicken gets cooked evenly brown from all sides. Take the pieces off the skewers and place on a plate. This can be served as it is if you dont want the masala and just the chicken tikka.
For onion-tomato masala heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and when they begin to change colour add onions and sauté till well browned. Add garlic and sauté till lightly browned. Add one teaspoon ginger paste, one teaspoon garlic paste and continue sautéing. Add cumin powder, coriander powder and mix well. Add a little water so prevent the masala from getting burnt or else it will taste bitter. Add tomatoes and continue to sauté on low heat till the tomatoes are completely cooked and the oil surfaces. Add salt and mix. Set this masala aside. Heat butter in another pan and add a teaspoon ginger paste, a teaspoon garlic paste, tomato puree and sauté for two minutes. Add half a cup of water and cook for two to three minutes. Add the chicken pieces, onion-tomato masala and simmer till the gravy reduces a little. Adjust salt and add the remaining Kashmiri red chilli powder (optional, I did not do this), remaining garam masala powder, half the coriander leaves and mix. Cook for two minutes. Add kasuri methi and cream and mix well (I did not do this step either). Remove from heat and serve hot garnished with ginger strips and the remaining coriander leaves.

Serve with Roti, Naan or Jeera Rice. I served it with Sanjeev Kapoor's Jeera Rice and some Coriander-Mint Chutney mixed with yoghurt. Photos have been updated in these previous posts.
Also if you have some leftover the next day, you can use it in a buttered bread, with some green chutney and a slice of cheese. Top it with another buttered slice to make a sandwich. Grill the outer sides of the sandwich on a pan with some butter. Far better than the chicken tikka sandwiches that you eat in cafes outside.

Jeera Rice - Cumin Rice


I have already posted a jeera rice recipe before along with the Shahi Paneer.
But this time I tried Sanjeev Kapoor's recipe and added a few extra ingredients from the old recipe as well. Sanjeev Kapoor's recipe involves cooking the rice along with the jeera and allowing the water to reduce completely at exactly the same time the rice is cooked. So the quantity of rice and water is important. The previous recipe involves cooking rice separately and draining it. Then the jeera (cumin seeds), onions, nuts, etc are fried and the rice is added to it. Both ways work great.


Basmati rice - 1 1/2 cups (I use Saffola Arise - Everyday)
Cumin seeds - 2 teaspoons
Ghee - 1 1/2 tablespoons
Bay leaf - 1
Black cardamom - 1
Cinnamon - 2 two inch stick
Onion, sliced finely - 1 medium
Green Chilly - 1 long, slit
Salt to taste
Cashewnuts - few


Wash rice thoroughly and soak in water for half an hour. Drain. Heat ghee in a pan. Add cashews and toast them till they turn brown. Keep it aside. In the same pan, into the remaining ghee, add cumin seeds, bay leaf, black cardamom and cinnamon. When cumin seeds crackle, add the green chilly and sliced onion. Fry till the onion turns brown and then add rice. Add salt to taste. Stir till ghee coats every grain of rice and it looks glossy. Add three cups of water. Bring to a boil. Stir once. Reduce heat to minimum and cover the pan with a lid. Leave a little gap, otherwise water will boil over. Rice will be done when holes appear on the surface and water has been completely absorbed. Fork the rice out onto a serving dish. This will separate each grain. Serve hot with any curry.

Jeera Rice served with Chicken Tikka Masala:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Midnight Masala Art

An image painstakingly created by me using Adobe Photoshop.
As luck may have it, I did not have to work at all today as the servers were down. So I got ample time to doodle and its been quite a while since I've been itching to do some artwork. Today was my lucky day and what satisfaction!!
It involved a bit of image searching on google to get a cute cityscape at night with a happy moon, and another image of a lady happily cooking a healthy meal in a kitchen, and another one of a boiling pot with chicken legs in it. I had to of course do the merging in photoshop. All images had a watermark in front of it which I had to painstakingly remove (ha! those image sites actually think I would pay $20 for an image???) using various tricks. Then resizing the image to fit into a kitchen window, rotating, merging into background work was all done by me. I added the text on the empty billboard. Finally I drew those lovely wafts of smell of the wonderful masala emanating from my kitchen into the night.
Come to think of it I actually do cook in front of a window as my kitchen counter also faces the window. How lovely!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Chemmeen Vada - Minced Shrimp Fritters


Credit: Mishmash


250 gms small shrimp peeled, deveined and washed thoroughly.
4-5 small red pearl onions/shallots
3/4 tbsp finely chopped ginger
7-9 fresh green chillies
A small sprig of curry leaves coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying


Using a small jar of the food processor or blender, make a coarse paste of the small onions, green chillies, ginger and curry leaves. To this, add the cleaned shrimp and run the processor till everything combines well, forming a coarse paste and add turmeric powder and salt to taste. Do not make them too smooth as you do for chutney and other condiments.
Make around 10-12 small balls with this mixture and flatten them into a round shape. For flattening, keep the ball of mixture onto your left palm and press it with your right palm. You can do this either on a plastic wrap sheet or a plantain leaf as well, whichever is convenient.
Heat oil in a small saucepan, deep fry each of them, in low-medium heat, until it is cooked or reaches brown colour. Serve warm with a hot cup of tea/chai.

My note: I only got 6 vadas out of shrimps from a 250g packet. It was good anyway. Tasted like a vada, but not that much of a prawn taste. I felt you could fool a vegetarian with it!


Coconut Burfi

I love watching food on television. Its just comfort. You don't have anything interesting to watch, put on some channel that has food as its topic. I think you invariably end up learning a lot of techniques, methods, ingredients, variety of cuisines, even photography/videography tips. The history channel used to be a terribly boring channel for me, as I hated history in school. I guess they realized that history aint that appealing a topic to the public masses that they finally decided to revamp the channel as Fox History and Entertainment. Although it was not bad, it wasnt great either. The entertainment value isn't really there when you have tons of entertainment channels already. So they changed its name again to Fox History and Travel. Now that's more like it! Discovery's Travel & Living channel was pretty much dominating over the whole travel genre of television. Now this channel seems to be giving Discovery's TLC a run for its money with innovative Traveller shows. Bizarre things to be found very much in India, in a program called 'It Happens Only in India' is an interesting watch and I think it could be showcased to tourists on flights to India. Then there's the strange 'What's with Indian Men': two women travelling all over India to focus on different kinds of Indian Men. And when it comes to food, there's David Rocco's Dolce Vita and Food Safari that stands out. Food Safari seems to be quite an interesting one which is literally a safari to various exotic parts of the world, food is prepared in a typical native's house which makes it very easy to relate to and understand. I got this easy coconut and cardamom burfi recipe from Food Safari! :)


Credit: Food Safari on Fox History & Travel


250g desiccated coconut
395g can sweetened condensed milk
10 cardamom pods - grind/crush seeds into a powder
Handful of pistachio nuts, roughly crushed



Mix 200g of the coconut and the remaining ingredients in a bowl.

Heat a non-stick pan on low heat and add mixture to the pan. Stir over low heat until the mixture starts to dry and rolls easily into a ball. Remove from the heat. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes until cool enough to handle.

Place the remaining coconut onto a plate. Using damp hands, roll the mixture into balls and then roll in coconut to coat. The coconut balls can be refrigerated for up to a week.

My notes: Use a few drops of oil to rub your palms before rolling the mixture into balls. This is help prevent the mixture to stick to your hands. I used canola oil, you can use any oil thats mild without a strong smell.

By the way I'd like to say Hi! to my new follower Preeti (Alexey's Friend) who is apparently just my 4th follower so far lol! I'm sure you must've eaten better burfis prepared at your place but this one's for you! :)
PS: Thanks for trying the fluffy omelette! Yummy right?


Kothavarangai Poriyal - Cluster beans stir-fry

I'm not exactly familiar with cluster beans mostly because it wasnt cooked in my home. Don't know about its use in kerala but it seems to be a regular side dish in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. I bought these last weekend for a change in variety of beans as I only bought french beans. Apparently I liked this particular dish whenever I ordered meals in the popular Andhra restaurant Nandhini. I decided to give this recipe a try at home and it was definitely good!


Credit: http://www.rakskitchen.net/2009/04/cluster-beans-poriyal.html


Cluster Beans,Chopped 1 1/2 cup
Moong dal/Paasi paruppu 2-3 tblsp
Sambhar powder/red chilli powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/8 tsp
Coconut gratings 1/4 cup
Onion 1 no.
Salt As needed

To Temper:
Mustard 1 tsp
Urad dal/ulutham paruppu 1 tsp
Curry leaves  A sprig
Oil 1 tsp


1.Remove the head and tail of cluster beans,wash them and chop them finely as shown in the picture.
2.Boil the cluster beans in water,along with moong dhal,turmeric,salt,sambhar/red chilli powder.
3.Cook till done,moong dal should be just done,not too soft....by that time moong dhal gets cooked,cluster beans too should have got cooked just right.
4.Drain the water and keep aside.
5.Heat kadai and temper with the tempering items,followed by onion and fry till onion turns transparent.
6.Add the cooked cluster beans,moong dal and fry for two minutes in medium flame till moisture gets absorbed. .
7.Add the grated coconut and stir well for a minute.
8.Transfer to the serving dish! Serve as accompaniment for rice.

This tastes great when mixed with ghee and hot rice. Thats how I ate it in Nandhini too. Add a fried pappad and you're good to go.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kesari Bath - An Indian Semolina Dessert

I was working from home today. Now as good as that may sound, it actually sucks coz you still gotta work when other entertaining stuff just stares at you and mocks at you! Ok, I give in to the TV and leave it on, mostly mute since I have to be on conference calls. Today's call was a disaster! The neighbour's dog decided to practice its barking skills at the same moment I had to take the call. Since I bought this new Nokia phone (I'm used to Sony Ericsson phones), I simply could not find the damn mute option! And my boss in France was like, do I hear a dog out there? Has anybody not bothered to feed it? Aaaaaaaghh... I decided not to utter a word until my turn in the call comes. God I felt like strangling that son of a bitch (literally it is one, so it may not even think I'm swearing at it grrrr)!
Enough of digression. So I was just stuck with piles and piles of work, so I could not really budge away from my laptop. By evening, I started to get a terrible pang of hunger and needed to satisfy it with somethin nice and sweet and well deserved for all the damn hard work (and embarassment caused by that dog!).
I know I had a cup of rava left and lots of nuts to use up before they go bad. So decided to try the kesari bath! Too bright? I only had orange red colour and a little more than I thought fell into my recipe when I gave it a light tap :-P I think the orange goes really well with my blog's background!


Here's the recipe:
Credit: http://teluguabhiruchulu.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/krishnastami-recipes/


1 Cup Rava (Semolina)
1 Cup Sugar
5 Piece Pistachios, slivered
5 Piece Almonds, slivered
1/4 tsp Cardamom powder
10 Raisins
2 Pinches saffron, soaked in 1 tbsp warm milk
3 tbsp Ghee
Few drops yellow colour (I had only orange red)
2-1/2 Cups water

Take a large heavy pan and heat ghee in it.
Add rava and roast over low heat for about 7 to 8 minutes until aroma exudes, keep stirring.
Meanwhile, put water on medium-high heat, add sugar and bring it to a boil.
Add this water to the rava, little at a time, mix well.
Combine more boiling water with it if grain is hard.
Add the remaining ingredients except colour, save a little amount of almonds and pistas for garnishing.
Cover and simmer until ghee separates.
Combine colour with it, mix well.
Garnish Kesari Bhath with almonds and pistas.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Chicken Parmesan and Spaghetti


I bought a chunk of the original Parmigiano-Reggiano from Spar about a month back. I've used it while making different Italian dinners but have been wanting to try the Chicken Parmesan, and I decided to try it out when my sis came to visit me on a weekend. Oh, it was super tasty! I'm thinking of repeating it again for dinner tonight.
Parmigiano-Reggiano is the original Parmesan cheese from Italy. Its a bit grainy and salty to taste, so be careful about adding salt to your dish when using this cheese. You can identify if the cheese is original by checking the seal on the outer ring which has Parmigiano-Reggiano printed on it.

Inspiration: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/simple-chicken-parmesan/detail.aspx


For one serving:
Chicken Breast - 1 breast half
Butter - 5 tbsp.

For chicken coating:
Coating 1:
All purpose flour (Maida) - 50 grams

Coating 2:
Egg - 1, beaten

Coating 3:
Bread crumbs - 100 grams
Parmigiano-Reggiano(Parmesan cheese) - 50 grams grated.
Oregano, Garlic bread seasoning - 1 tsp (optional)
Ground black pepper - 1/2 tsp.

Spaghetti: A bunch

Spaghetti Sauce:
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp.
Garlic - 2 cloves, minced finely
Tomatoes - 2, chopped
Onion - 1 chopped
Tomato puree - 5-6 tbsp.
Water - 1/2 cup
Parsley - handful, chopped
Basil - 1tsp chopped (I used flakes since I did not have fresh ones :( )
Pepper - 1 tsp.
Sugar - A pinch
Salt - to taste


For Spaghetti:
Boil water in a pot, add a pinch of salt and put the spaghetti into it. Also add a tablespoon of oil into it. Allow it to cook. Make sure spaghetti has a thin layer of oil coating, otherwise it would stick to each other after draining. Drain and keep aside.

For Spaghetti sauce:
In a pan, heat olive oil. Do not heat it too much like other oils. Add garlic and allow it to start sizzling. Add onions and allow it to soften. Now add tomatoes and mix again for 2 minutes. Add the tomato puree and a pinch of sugar. If the sauce starts to stick to the pan, add some water to it to get desired consistency. Add parsley, basil, pepper and salt. Simmer until sauce thickens a bit and flavors meld, 10 to 12 minutes. Cover and keep warm. If you have black olives, chop them and add that as well.

Chicken Parmesan:
Wash and clean the chicken breast. Put the chicken breast into a plastic bag. Take a heavy bottomed pan and whack the hell out of it! Lol.. just batter it so that its flattened until its about a quarter inch thick.
Spread out maida on one plate. Pour the beaten egg in another plate. And in a third plate, mix all ingredients of Coating 3 and have them all ready. Heat a frying pan and add butter into it.
Dip both sides of the pounded chicken into the flour first, then dip it into the beaten egg, now transfer it to the bread crumb and parmesan mixture. Make sure chicken is well coated. Now place it on the frying pan and fry till golden brown on both sides. Top each with a portion of the cheeses. Broil cutlets, 4 to 5 inches from heat source, until cheese melts and is spotty brown.

Serve with spaghetti and top it with the spaghetti sauce. Yummmm....

If you dont have Parmesan then you could try with Mozzarella or any other cheese you like..
Chicken Parmesan and Spaghetti

Chicken Spring Rolls

Chicken Spring-Rolls

These are an all-time favourite starter for me. I dream of these lovely juicy crispy rolls that we used to order from the famous Gulf Royal Chinese Restaurant in Riyadh. The chicken spring rolls with that sweet and light tomato sauce was something to die for!! So I've been having this craving for quite some while now, and I've been disappointed by all the spring rolls I've had from India so far.. maybe I have not been trying them at the right place, but they're usually very small, thin and dry without any of the goodness that the Chinese ones in Riyadh had. I've done a bit of googling to find the ultimate recipe. Instead I've found more than one good recipe and kind of tried to use all the ideas I liked in them. So these were my inspirations to my final product:

1. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/chicken-spring-rolls-recipe/index.html
2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/chickenandvegetables_89282
3. http://food.sify.com/nonvegrecipes/ingredient/Chicken_Spring_Rolls-131329

My Recipe:


For the filling:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon grated ginger
2 carrots, julienned
5-10 French beans, julienned
1/2 or 1 cup very finely chopped cabbage
2 large spring onions, finely sliced lengthways
1 - big capsicum (very finely sliced)
2 ounces rice stick noodles, blanched and chopped
1/2 cup shredded cooked chicken breast
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce (I used mushroom soy)
2 tablespoons chopped coriander

1 package frozen spring roll wrappers, thawed
1 egg, beaten
Vegetable oil, for frying


Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a wok. Add minced garlic and grated ginger first. Before it turns brown add the cabbage, carrots, french beans, spring onions and capsicum. Toss till the cabbage starts to wilt (is just limp). Add the noodles and chicken; continue to cook until heated through. Sprinkle pepper. Stir in the hsoy and oyster sauces, toss to coat the mixture. The filling should be moist but not wet. Remove from heat, and allow to cool. Toss in the chopped coriander.
Lay a spring roll wrapper on a flat surface on an angle so it looks like a diamond. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the filling near the bottom corner of the wrapper and fold up to enclose the filling. Fold in the 2 sides. Paint the top seam of the wrapper with beaten egg. Continue rolling up to form a tight cylinder.

Pour about 1-inch of oil in a skillet and heat to 350 degrees F. Fry the spring rolls for 2 minutes, turning to cook all sides. Drain on paper towels before serving. Serve with spring roll sauce. I used the readymade one but you can make your own too. Below recipe is from: http://www.thaifood.food-recipe-cooking.com/spring-roll-01-th-nv.htm

I havent tried it out yet, but hope to try next time I make spring rolls.


1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 fresh red chilli
1 tablespoon tapioca powder

Procedure: First of all take the chilli and grind it well. It should disintegrate into very small pieces and not be ground to a smooth paste, now keep the ground chilli aside. Next, take an empty cup and put two tablespoons of water in it, add the tapioca powder to this water and mix it well.
Add 1/4 cup water to a pan and then add the sugar, ground chilli, salt and vinegar, mix all the ingredients well. Now put the pan on a low flame and allow the mixture to boil. As the mixture starts boiling add the tapioca water into the mixture and stir well. Allow the mixture to boil for around 30 seconds more, then turn off the flame. Your dipping sauce is now ready and should be allowed to cool to room temperature.

My notes: I think its very important to not have any of the filling exposed through holes in the wrappers especially at the edges. Because if oil gets into the filling and makes it very oily, its not going to be worth eating. So if its difficult to cover it all using one wrapper, add a second wrapper on it. I couldnt tell which had two wrappers and which had one as they were tightly wrapped.
I also think that if the egg coating doesnt help in sticking the wrapper's edges, a paste of cornflour and water could be used. I stuck to the beaten egg but next time I would try the cornflour paste (my mom used to seal it with cornflour paste as far as I remember).
The sauce that was served in GRCR (Gulf Royal Chinese Restaurant) was like a very dilute tomato ketchup like sauce. I have no idea how they made it but could not find any recipe on the net after 5 mins of research. If anyone who bothers to read this blog finds one, please let me know.

PS: I know I dont have all that many readers or followers for this blog. Just 3 followers, out of which one is myself :P, the other is my sis and the other one is my bf lol! But I know I get a few hits from other countries such as the US, Malaysia, UAE, Kuwait, even Germany, UK and Thailand!! Thank you all for visiting, please feel free to leave in any comments about what you think of this blog or even suggestions. Thank you again, you silent readers! I know even I dont really bother to always leave comments on the blogs from which I get inspired and use as credits here, but sometimes I do.

Coconut Chutney - for Dosas or Idlis

Coconut Chutney

A must have with dosas!

Credit: http://www.tarladalal.com/Coconut-Chutney-(idlis-and-Dosas)-1653r


1 cup grated coconut
2 small green chillies , chopped
1 tsp grated ginger (adrak)
1 tbsp roasted chana dal (daria)
salt to taste

For The Tempering
1/2 tsp mustard seeds ( rai / sarson)
1/2 tsp urad dal
1 red chilli , broken into pieces
2 to 3 curry leaves (kadi patta)
1 tsp oil


1.Put the coconut, green chillies, ginger, roasted split gram and salt in a blender with a little water and grind to make a fine paste. Keep aside.
2.Prepare the tempering by heating the oil and adding the mustard seeds, urad dal, red chilli and curry leaves and stirring till the mustard seeds crackle. Pour this tempering over the chutney and mix well.
3.Refrigerate and use as required.

My note: I actually pour the chutney into the tempering and mix rather than the other way round. I prefer cooking the ground mixture for a couple of minutes, adjusting water for consistency, and bring it to a boil before I take it off the heat.

Serve with crisp hot dosas. Also use milagai podi on the side with some gingelly oil poured on top of it. Enjoy!


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pancit bihon - a Filipino treat

Whenever my mom used to take me and my sister to a farewell party thrown by her colleagues at the hospital, one of the main dishes that was sure to be there was Pancit. We used to love it and take a second helping. Later when she realized that we liked it, she used to cook it for us at home at times after getting the recipe from one of her filipino colleagues.


All ingredients to be used as per required quantity.
1. Rice Sticks/noodles (Rice vermicelli is also commonly used)
2. French beans
3. Carrots
4. Spring Onions
5. Capsicum - Use various colors for a vibrant look
6. Streaky Bacon
7. Ginger
8. Garlic
9. Chicken Breast - boiled and shredded
10. Soy Sauce - preferable light (I used mushroom soy) - 1 tbsp.
11. Oyster sauce/Fish sauce - 1 tbsp.
12. Lime slice - a half


Julienne all the vegetables, including ginger. Mince garlic. Boil water in a pot and put the rice sticks in it for about 5 minutes to turn alden (half cooked). Cut streaky bacon into small pieces. Take a heavy bottomed pan and heat it on the stove. Add the streaky bacon. Keep mixing, all the fat will start melting. When the bacon gets cooked to your taste, add ginger and garlic. Stir for 2 minutes. Add remaining vegetables and let it all get coated with the pork fat. Stir fry till the cabbage starts to wilt a little. Add the soy sauce and oyster sauce or fish sauce. Trust me, you may think that the oyster/fish sauce stinks like hell! I felt it too, but I kept stir frying till the smells goes away. :) Finally add the rice sticks. Take it off heat. Squeeze juice of a lime in it and mix. If you want, you can also add some chopped coriander leaves.
My note: Did you notice that I havent used a drop of oil in this recipe? Everything is cooked in the fat from the bacon. Bacon gives it a nice crunch and amazing flavour. But if you don't eat bacon, then you can omit it and start with adding some regular vegetable oil.

Pancit bihon cooked on another day with only green capsicum but just as yum!


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Vegetable Uppumavu/Upma - Salt Mango Tree ;-)

Vegetable Uppumavu

I'm not exactly a fan of this preparation as I find this dish absolutely boring! Proabably because when my mom used to make it, it was a very dry form without the vegetables - but with chunks of ginger, chillies and curry leaves which i had to keep picking at and still pieces would get in my mouth and irritate me. So it was quite unpleasant. And then the one with the vegetables, the soft and moist one used to be served in my hostel, which I liked at first. Then when I used to buy it from bangalore sagars, the chow chow baath, I liked it at first but later just despised it!!
After staying away from it for a long time, I decided to make one myself to see if I can stand it. Afterall, its a no fuss, easy to make, nutritious and takes less time to prepare. Turns out, I'm still not much of a fan, but I can eat it with bananas mashed into it.

Credit: http://www.mariasmenu.com/vegetarian/vegetable-upma
A nutritious breakfast to substitute your daily toasts & cornflakes & its filling too. It tastes great with egg roast.
Really? I've never tried that combination but that's what Maria says!


1.Semolina (rava) – 1 cup
2.small onion – 4
green chilli – 2
ginger – 1/2 tablespoon
3.cooked carrot & green peas – 1/4 cup each
4.mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
5.Ghee/refined oil – 2 tablespoon
6.water – 2 cups
7.curry leaves


Toast the semolina (without oil) for 5 minutes. Heat oil/ghee in a pan & splutter mustard seeds. Saute small onion, green chilli ginger& curry leaves for 4 minutes.Add cooked carrot & green peas & stir well. Add 2 cups of water & salt. When the water starts boiling add the toasted semolina & mix well. Serve hot.

My note: When I toasted the rava, I toasted it for more than 5 minutes, and waited for it to turn golden brown. Although I feel thats a mistake as the uppumavu did not taste as its supposed to be. So next time, I'm going to toast it only for 5 minutes as the recipe suggests.
The picture above is the one from my second try which was successful :)
I like eating upma with yelakki bananas or regular bananas. Bee likes it with achar. There are different ways of eating this.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Buffalo sausage rolls

Made these for dinner on a lazy Sunday. You might think its junkfood, but I have packed it with lots of veggie nutrition. :)


Buffalo skinless sausages - 1 per roll
Samoli/Sausage bread - 1 per roll
European cucumber - 1 sliced
Carrot - 1 grated
Tomato - 1 sliced
Remia Garlic sauce/Salsa Ali Oli - as required
American yellow mustard - as required

On the side:
Any fried/baked potato chips of your choice: French fries/wedges/criscuts/crispies/chips
Sauce of your choice - ketchup/garlic sauce

I used Cascade Wild West Buffalo skinless sausages for this recipe. You may try with any sausage of your choice.

Heat a pan and place defrosted sausages on them. Cover and allow to grill. Turn occasionally. I would keep the lid closed and move the pan around, allowing the sausages to roll around. I've noticed it oozes out some water and a bit of fat and this allows the sausage to cook and give a barbecued sauce effect outside.

Slice open the samoli or sausage rolls and pinch out some of the bread on the inside, so that the sausage and other veggies can be placed easily.

Add grated carrots in one side's depression. Then pour Remia's garlic sauce over it. Line up the cucumber and tomato slices on top.

Pour mustard sauce on the other half's depression. Place the fried sausage on this.

Close and serve with potato fries of your choice. :-) Bon appetit!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Carrot/Orange Juice


Carrots - as required
Oranges or Orange Juice (I used Minute Maid)


Use food processor/juicer to prepare carrot juice. Mix equal amount of orange juice to it. No need of adding sugar especially if using packaged orange juice like minute maid. Serve on a hot day and feel refreshed!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chettinad Vazhakkai Kara Poriyal - Plantain stir fry

Credit: http://chettinadthruminu.blogspot.com/2010/12/chettinad-vazhakkai-kara-poriyal.html


Raw Banana - 1
Turmerric Powder - 1 pinch
Salt to taste
Tamarind - 1 Tbsp
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Mustard - 1/4 tsp
Urad Dal - 1/4 tsp
Red Chillies - 3, broken
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
Coconut - 2 Tbsp, grated

Soak tamarind in 1/2 cup water and extract pulp.
Boil raw banana with salt, turmerric powder and tamarind extract. Add extra water if necessary.
It will cook in minutes. Drain and keep aside. Cool.
Heat oil and add mustard, urad dal, curry leaves and red chillies.
Add cooked raw banana and mix well. Cook for 3 minutes.
Add grated coconut (optional) and take off heat.