Apr 30, 2012 9 comments:

Pudina Pulao ~ Mint Herbed Rice

When you want to give a break to your meat or chicken dishes and still make that Sunday lunch special, then this easy and elegant rice served with Cucumber raita will  fill your tummy and soul.  Because Mint is one cool herb with distinct aroma and pleasing flavor that can replace the meat dishes very well. This power herb is abundant in summer season and not only helps for your digestion, but has lot of medicine values in it. so Cool-off your crowd with this herb rice served with cucumber raita in this summer season. Here is the recipe, Enjoy!

Pudina Pulao

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Cucumber Raita

Any spicy rice dish like Pulao or Biryani does not sound cool enough with out the side of raita. Raita is a cool Indian Condiment made with yogurt (dahi) mixed with herbs and seasoned with some spices. As this is made  with un-cooked ingredients can be considered  as one of the Raw Recipes. This will be a best companion for your spicy rice dishes or goes very well with your rotis also.

Cucumber Raita

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Apr 29, 2012 6 comments:

Everyday Mixed Veg Curry

One of my foreign friend asked me if i cook this elaborate everyday for dinner as i maintain the cook blog. To be honest I don't cook this elaborate everyday, in fact no chef i guess. :-) As i work full time and in the midst of chauffeuring my kids to daycare and their evening activities, usually i don't find much time to prepare an elaborate dinner. But, I do manage to rely on my everyday easy recipes in such rush time. So today here, I am presenting one of such easy vegetable curry that goes very well with freshly made roti or store bought ready made chapati. Though i like freshly made soft rotis to serve my family, most of the times i do buy ready made chapthi and will stack in the freezer. They will come to rescue in such rush evenings for dinner or we can still feed those unexpected guests with tummy full meal. But i am selective with my picks when i buy chapati and make sure i buy only chapati made with whole wheat or multi-grain. When I am not making from scratch at least I have to be little picky, Right!!! :-))

Everyday Recipes ~ Mixed Veg Curry

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Apr 28, 2012 2 comments:

Whipped Cream ( Homemade )

Homemade Whipped Cream

How much ever effort you put into your desserts and cakes, with out that nice icing or whipped cream topping it does not look complete, with out that it looks so bland. I don't like icing that much as it is too sweet for me, but love the whipped cream, yeah even knowing after how much calories and fat it has. Whenever VJ orders a mocha or cold coffee for himself it's my turn to finish that whipped cream on the top. After I have started watching what I am eating, i am avoiding whipped cream these days, but my love towards it doesn't stop. So recently I have experimented to make it at home with the low fat ingredients and it turn out superb. If you are a whipped cream lover and would like the lighter version of it, it's worth giving it a try, here is the recipe, Enjoy!

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Samosa ~ Every Indian's Favorite Snack

Today it is raining here and raining hard!! Not sure if the monsoons are early in Bangalore or these are early monsoons in Bangalore. Whatever it is,  this rain gave us some relief after all these humid sweaty days here in Bangalore and the temperature suddenly dropped 5 degree C, it feels so good. And all my plants in the garden are swaying with cheerfulness and welcoming the rain as if they are waiting for this moment from long time. This wonderful rain took of the heat and pride of the sun instantly who has no stop for his shine from the past 2 months. Hmm, the irony is, we want the same sun to shine to melt all the snow when it snows harder winter. The nature is so amazing and wonderful, how much ever science we have or advance into this tech world or Next generation, no one can beat the nature and the human has always abide to it. It's our responsibility to Save Nature by saving energy and by protecting trees and plant trees and spread the Green....! Okay Okay I will remove my botanic hat and putting on foddie hat...!

Samosa - South Indian Snack
The second thing I crave when it rains is some thing spicy or more of street foodish type, like mirchi bajji, samosa, cutlet, chat masala or grilled corn on char coal...Oh, wait you are wondering what is the first thing, of course it's Coffee. So to satisfy my second craving today I made the samosa from the list and for the first time ever i made samosa in my kitchen. No one will say no to these triangle shape deep fried snack stuffed with spicy masala curry and it is the best companion for your afternoon tea.

So it is raining and I made plans to make Samosa and everything is well planned right. Not Exactly, when I checked my pantry I am out of potatoes, which is the must for stuffing in the samosa. But I have lot of cauliflower in the fridge, i have bought in excess as we are getting the best and bright cauliflowers in this season. Instead potato filling today I stuffed the samosa with Cauliflower and Peas curry. With out any due let me share the recipes here, Enjoy!

Cauliflower and Peas stuffed Samosa
Cauliflower Peas Stuffing for Samosa:
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in the non stick pan and add 1 tsp cumin seeds and 3 cloves of crushed garlic. Add 1 tbsp diced onion and add turmeric powder and salt. Fry the onions until the raw smell goes away. mean while microwave the cauliflower pieces for 5 min on high and add these to the pan. Add 1 tsp red chili powder and 1 tsp coriander powder. add the 1/3 cup of peas. cook on low for 10 min. Now the curry becomes together , adjust the salt and seasonings and finally top with some cilantro. Switch off the heat and let the stuffing cool.
Cauliflower and Peas Stuffing
All purpose flour - 1 cup
salt - 1 tsp

  1. Add the salt to the flour and add water little by little knead it into dough. the dough should be little hard than your chapati dough.
  2. divide the dough into 6 equal portions and round them as balls.
  3. flatten one ball in your palm and dust with some flour and roll into chapathi with rolling pin.
  4. Heat this on tawa for 1 min on both sides. 
  5. Cut this chapati into half, it becomes 2 semi circles. ( it is not shown in the pic).
  6. Steps to Fold the Samosa
  7. Take one semi circle into your hand start rolling from end ( into a mid size cone), then cover it from right side  and then it becomes like a pocket. Now fill one spoonful of stuffing into this pocket. and seal it by closing the edges. Complete rest of the samosas in the similar way.
  8. Heat the oil in the pan for deep frying. Once the oil is hot, deep fry the samosas until they turn into golden color.

On the streets of Hyderabad this samosa is served with the fried chili on the side that makes it even superb.  During my college days in CBIT, this is the routine perfect evening snack that cools my hunger after the long day and long travel from college. Remembering that I gave this final touch.

Take 4 to 5 green chilies and seed out them roughly and leave the stems on. Drop these chilies in the hot oil at the end. Once they start wilting take them out and sprinkle pinch of salt and serve these on top with the Samosas. Now that gives the nice finishing touch to our samosa and make it look like we got it from the street side. Isn't it?

I know you drooling here, next time when it rains at your place, though it makes little effort, make these samosa and enjoy the rain from your balcony with the combination of spicy samosa and hot coffee. :-)

1. heating the chapathi on tawa before folding makes it little firm and it helps hold the stuffing tight. Shhhhh! it's the restaurant chef's secret tip. :-)
2. Fried chili not only adds color but adds little zest to your taste buds.
3. You can get samosa mould also in some stores, the mould makes it much easier to prepare this dish
4. you can serve these with Mint and Tamarind Chutney or Tomato sauce also. (But i like them as it is as all the flavors are included in it)

linking this to 'Only Starters - Snacks' event by Raji, started by Pari.

next time i will come with something nice from my kitchen,
until then take care and ba bye

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Apr 26, 2012 9 comments:

Papaya Pickle (Step - by - Step)

In my childhood, summer means holidays, rasna, a trip to my village and tasting freshly made pickles.  The theory behind these pickles is when the seasonal rare fruits are abundant in the season, they will be preserved with tamarind or lime juice and salt, along with chili powder, garlic and some other spice powders; so that these pickles will be eaten along with rice in lunch in the rainy season when there is a scarcity of these fruits. Aaavakaya and Usirikaya are main pickles that are made in summer as they are abundant in summer season.

Papaya Pickle

These days there is a wide variety of pickles made with different fruits, vegetables and meat also. Vankaya Pachadi ( Eggplant Pickle) , Chikudu Kaya Pachadi (Broad Bean Pickle), Mulakaya Pachadi (Drumsticks Pickle), Chicken Pachadi are a few to name. Recently when I went to a wedding, there I have tasted the Raw Papaya Pickle, It almost tasted like mango (bite size) pickle. As I told you before Our wonderful Papaya tree flooded with papayas, instead of waiting until they get ripe (for Papaya Smoothie), I have used most of the raw papayas and made this pickle today. It turned out wonderful and tasty and here is the pictorial step-by-step recipe for you.

Raw Papaya - 1 medium ( or 2 cup bite size pieces)
Turmeric Powder - 2 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1/4 cup
Salt - 2 Tbsp
Lime Juice - 1 Tbsp
Oil - 1/2 cup
Fenugreek ( Methi) Seeds - 1 Tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 cup
Garlic - 6 to 8


First peel and seed out the papaya and cut into bite-size or 1/2 inch size pieces.

Take these pieces into a wide large bowl

Add Turmeric Powder

Add salt

Add Red Chili Powder

Add lime juice.

Grind the fenugreek seeds into fine powder.

Add Fenugreek (Methi) Powder.

Grind the mustard seeds into fine powder.

Add mustard powder to the bowl.

Crush the garlic in the mortar.

And the garlic to the bowl. Mix it very well.

Add oil.

Now mix all the ingredients in the bowl until they get blended. (use your hand for mixing than spoon or spatula to get best results.) Taste and adjust the salt and spice according to your taste.

Make the Indian tempering and add it to the bowl and mix it well.

Let it sit in the bowl for 5 hours and then transfer it to the air-tight container and store it in the cool place.

The longer it gets stored the best taste it will acquire (for first 10 days). You have to wait (if you can resist) until the next day to eat this pickle with the rice for the bestest taste. Right now, my kitchen is already full with the aroma of this flavorful pickle, and I couldn't resist, ate immediately with the white rice and ghee. It tasted superb and next day also i ate and it tasted awesome. :-))

Serve this over hot white rice and don't forget to top with some ghee and that tastes Yummmmm!!!

Why late, it's your turn to taste this heaven-lines...


  • In the regular 'aavakaya' pickle, we don't use lime juice as the mango it self gives the sour taste. To fulfill that taste here we have added lime juice. 

linking this pickle to following events..
Pickles and Preservers Fest @ Sizling Tastebuds, Spring Seasonal Foods @ Srav's Culinary Concepts

Enjoy, until we meet here again...

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Apr 17, 2012 10 comments:

Ginger Mint Grape Crush (Mocktail)

One day the glossy textured beautiful black grapes caught my eye in the grocery store. That was the first time I saw those perfectly riped grapes in the season. So i bought a big bunch and got home, when i took a second close look at them they are not black grapes but brown grapes. And they are very sour to add to my disappointment. I couldn't taste myself, and have no idea how to convert these to a tasty thing. When I am hesitating to throw them, our wonderful nanny converted these grapes into a concentrated syrup and stored. That and the hot sun outside, ginger in the fridge and mint in the garden gave me some hints to make something cool and healthy drink that suits for this season. And that's how this superb, cool and herb drink got created in my kitchen. Here is the recipe, Enjoy!

Ginger Mint Grape Crush

How to Make Grape Concentrate:
Wash all the Grapes, and mash them gently so that the flesh gets separate from the peels. Strain them in the strainer or seive them in a netted cotton cloth. so that the seeds and peels will be separated from the juice. Discard the peel and seeds. and store the Grape Concentrate in the refrigerator in air-tight and glass container. You can use this up to 2 or 3 days. For longer storage keep it in the freezer.

Grape Concentrate - 2 Tbsp
Ginger - 1 inch stick
Mint - 2 tsp
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Ice - 3 cubes
water - 1 cup

Grind all the above in the blender or juice mixer. Serve it in a Glass and Enjoy this cool beverage under the hot sun.

I didn't know until now that actual Grape Crush is a alcoholic beverage when it gets mixed with vodka or tequila. For those people who does not prefer alcoholic drinks but don't want empty glass in the parties, this will be a perfect cocktail or mocktail in such situations. So what are you waiting for, crush those grapes and get socialized, Have fun!

linking this to following events..
Spring Seasonal Foods @ Srav's Culinary Concepts, Summer Spirits  @ Tomato Blues, Chilled Delights @ Tickling Palates

Take care until we meet here again..

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Apr 13, 2012 9 comments:

DIY - Garam Masala ~ Indian Spice Powder

Several of my friends ask how some masala curries happen in no time in my kitchen? Simple, I make this garam masala ahead of time and store it and it comes very handy in those rush times. Usually I don't use this masala due to it's strong flavors as both of my kids are sensitive to spice (slowly their spice level is getting increased though as they are growing up). But I can not make some curries with out this masala , Chicken Curry, Chicken Biryani, Boiled Egg Masala Curry, Shrimp Fry are some to name in non-veg curries. And Cauliflower Tomato, Mixed Veg Curry, Aloo Kurrma are some to name in veg curries.

Garam Masala ~ Indian Spice Powder 
Some of my readers asked me how to make this masala at home, so I have put together the preparation here in this post. Enjoy!

Clove - 5
Cardamom - 2
Cinnamon - 8
Star Anice - 3
Poppy Seeds - 1 Tbsp
Dry Coconut Powder - 1/4 cup

Yields: 5 Tbsp Masala Powder
I forgot put the Coconut Powder in this picture.

Roast all the spices slightly in the non-stick pan for 2 to 3min on low heat. Let them cool. Grind all the spices in the small mixie jar or in coffee grinder.  Add Coconut Powder at the end grind it one more time, until it blends with all the spices. Now transfer this into airtight container and store it in cool place. It last up to 2 months as long as the freshness is sealed.

This looks simple, but the trick is proportions of the spices in this powder. Cardamom is very strong and overdoing it make it get the bitter taste. Cinnamon is the main ingredient. Usually some people don't use star anice in this masala, but i like the sweet taste of it when a little is added. Dry Coconut Powder balances all the spices in this powder by not making it too strong but just right. Poppy seeds add a nice flavor to this powder. (if this is not handy, this can be skipped.)

Take a close peek at the strong flavors in this spice powder.
So now you made your own Homemade Garam Masala Powder, now get into the kitchen and make those yummy gravies and spicy curries . :-)

Will be back with more of these Kitchen Basics,
Until then take care,

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Apr 12, 2012 3 comments:

Guacamole - Avocado Dip

Guacamole is Mexican style Dip made with Avocado.  This perfectly blends into your Mexican plate and with out this, the famous Mexican fajita's or burritos won't be complete. This recipe is so simple that even your kids can make it for you, and the ingredients are the common staples that you can find in your pantry.


Avocado is a rich in omega3 and amino acids, this is also known as Vegan Butter. If you don't eat fish, then this  vegetable does  fill in your omega 3 need. Though this has lot of good fat, it is advised not to consume more than 2 avocados per week for healthy results. The avocado it self tastes bland (just like paneer) but When this buttery taste of avocado accompanies with right amount of spice and citrus, your Chips and Sticks will thank you. ;-). I do use this as a spread on my sandwiches. or i replace the cheese slice with this on my burgers. So here is the recipe for you, Enjoy!

Avocado - 1 medium ripe
Red Onion - 1/2 medium
Tomato - 1 ripe medium
salt - 1 tsp
black pepper - 1 tsp
lime juice - 1 tsp
Jalapeno  - 1 medium (or Green Chili - 2 medium)
Cilantro - 2 Tbsp

  1. Cut the Avocado into half. Pit out the Seed. And spoon around and take away the peel.Cut into Cubes.
  2. Mash the Avocado with spoon or place it in the ziplock bag and mash it. (Trust me, your kids will do justice to this part.)
  3. Take a medium bowl and add Chopped Red onion, Chopped Tomato and sliced green chili.
  4. Add salt and black pepper and mix it well. add the mashed Avocado. Add lime juice and cilantro and mix it well.

Today I don't have cilantro handy, my home grown spring onions comes to rescue, in this recipe.

That's it, now your yummilicious Avocado Dip called Guacamole is ready. Enjoy your crunch and munch with this healthy dip. :-)

The only trick with this Dip is it won't last long as it oxidizes quickly and gets turn into black and loose it freshness if you leave it open. I don't think that will be a problem when you have a hungry hubby comes home from office. ;-)

The perfect taste of this dip depends on the ripeness of your avocado. select a medium riped avocado to make this dip.

sending this to MizHelen's Full Plate Thursday 

Take care until next time

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Apr 8, 2012 16 comments:

Hara Bhara Chilla ~ Veggie Pancakes (Vegan)

Veggie Pancakes
 These days I just got bored with routine Indian breakfast Idli and Dosa. Upma never turns me On, Chapathi is becoming main course than breakfast these days, No way to Poori for all that Oily. So here is the riddle, I need an Indian breakfast item, where i can sneak in more veggies (and avoid eggs), make it with less ingredients and in less than 30 minutes. Now you know where this is going, and the Answer is Chilla (I came to know about this name today only) or Eggless Pancakes. There, that sounds interesting right, Chilla may not be new to most of you, but today I gave a twist by making it hara bhara with all the leafy and starchy vegetables, which suits for this season also. So what is this Chilla? It is made with Chick Pea flour ( also known as Besan Flour or Graham Flour) which gives the effect of eggs in your pancakes. This is also called as Veggie Omelet as it resembles Omelet, in color and texture. This will be perfect for you kid's lunch box too. Here is the recipe for you, Enjoy!

Layered Vegan Pancakes
Besan Flour - 1 cup
Sooji Rava - 1 Tbsp
Broccoli Florets - 3
Cauliflower Florets - 3
Spinach - 1/2 cup
salt - 1 tsp
black pepper - 1 tsp
onion - 1 medium
green chili - 1
cilantro - 1/3 cup


  1. Grate the broccoli and cauliflower. Chop the onions and green chili. Chop the Spinach and cilantro.
  2. Add all the vegetables to a bowl and add salt and black pepper. Mix it very well.
  3. Add the besan flour and Sooji Rava to the bowl and mix it well, add the water little by little until it forms a thick batter consistency.
  4. Heat the nonstick pan and pour one ladle of batter on the pan. sprinkle some oil round on the pancake.
  5. Once you see the bubbles forming, turn it onto other side and letting it cook evenly on both sides.
  6. Make pancakes until you finish the batter. 

I have served these Pancakes with the side of Apples to my kiddos ;-)

Now, you perfectly made your heart healthy breakfast that breaks your routine breakfast but not the breakfast routine. Gather your family to breakfast table and serve it proudly.... :-)

As these are loaded with veggies you can serve it as it is or serve with some hot pickle, spicy sauce or ginger chutney.

linking this to Spot Light - Lunch Box Ideas hosted by Cuisine Delights started by  Recipe Junction. and Summer Spirits 
Family Friendly Fridays @ Fabulicious Food, Bon Vivant Moments #3 -- Breakfast Ideas

Take care until we meet here again..

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