Jan 27, 2012 14 comments:

Asparagus Chutney

Today this wonder and rare veggie caught my eye in that store!! How many ever times i try to say this veggie name right, i end up pronouncing it wrong. This is quite a Tongue Twister to me. Does this happen to you? Yes, Yes I am talking about Aspagarus... no no (see I did it again ) Asparagus. :-) Okay now say this 'Asparagus' 10 times... Done!! If you did it right, sorry no prizes for you, But it is sure a exercise for your mind. Okay, enough play with my favorite veggie, now Let's see the Indian Twist I gave to this  Tongue Twister veggie.
Asparagus Chutney

Actually I have been missing this vegetable for quite some time in India. But Today I jumped up when i see this vegetable at Namdhari's in Bangalore. I used to cook this with milk a lot for kids ( in Dallas), as it is so tender the curry will be done in 15 minutes. It is Quick and Easy for Mommy and Soft and Creamy for Kids. But i like it most when it is Grilled with light sprinkle of salt and olive oil. But these days, I am in the mood of chutneys, I thought How about Asparagus Chutney? That is it, with that thought, this recipe is innovated in my kitchen. Here is the recipe for you, Enjoy! :-)

 I have tried some special shots with these spears... and these two are the winners of the several I tried.

Asparagus - 1 small stalk
Garlic - 5 to 6 cloves
Green Chili - 4
Tamarind - 1 Tbsp ( or one marble ball size)
Cumin Seeds - 2 tsp
salt - 2 tsp
Oil - 1 Tbsp

and Ingredients for Taalimpu


  1. Trim the Asparagus stalk at the end, and cut into small pieces.
  2. Heat the Pan, and add the Oil. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds, followed by the garlic.
  3. Add the Green Chili, and Asparagus pieces. Give it a quick stir and add the tamarind.
  4. Close the Lid and cook it on slow for 5 min or until Asparagus becomes tender.
  5. Let it cool for few minutes and Grind it along with salt, until smooth and Top with Taalimpu ( Indian Tempering)...

Your Twisted Asparagus Chutney is ready now, Don't wait and eat this with that Hot white Rice and enjoy all the flavors and spices in this Chutney. :-)

I have linked this recipe to following events
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage

Take Care until we meet here again...

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Jan 20, 2012 11 comments:

Strawberry Almond Milk Shake (Vegan)

You would think, It would be stupid to ask any one, that 'Is there any Egg in this Omelet?' :-). But you can sure ask me now, 'Is there Milk in this Milk Shake?' and my answer is NO!!!. Don't get surprised and here is the recipe for you Enjoy!

Strawberry Almond Milk Shake ( Vegan)

Straw Berries - 6
Almonds - 15
Honey - 2 Tbsp (For Vegan version, add 1 Tbsp Agave Syrup)
Water - 1.5 Cup


  1. First Soak the Almonds overnight and remove the peel.  ( or keep the almonds 15 minutes in the hot water, you will get the peel very easily and quickly). But I prefer the over night soaking, as it does not leave the nutty taste.
  2. Wash the Strawberries and remove the stems away. 
  3. Grind the Soaked Almonds in the blender into a paste. And then Add the water and grind it again. At this time you will get Almond Milk out of it. 
  4. Add the Honey and Straw Berries and blend one more time. That is it, Your Healthy Drink is ready in minutes..

So easy right, why late, and take advantage of all those Bright and Beautiful Strawberries that are available in the market now ( before they last)....


  • You can save the Almond Milk (from step 3) in the fridge up to 2 days and use it as regular milk. 
  • You can drink as it is or use it in milk shakes or in your cooking.
  • This health drink has double the proteins than the regular milk and it can be best friend for Vegans. :-)

Happy Milk Shakingg until we meet here again..

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Jan 15, 2012 19 comments:

Kodi Kura / Chicken Curry ( Andhra Style)


I wish you Happy Sankranthi!!! and Hope you had fun and good time with your families on Sankrathi Festival. The day after Sankranti, Kanuma is celebrated, this is the 3rd day in the 4 days of Sankranti Festival. (4 Days of Festival!!!! Yeah that's why, this festival is also known as Pedda Panduga ( Big Festival) ). On this day, the cattle (esp cows) are decorated and worshiped, for their deeds during the farming days. That means we are actually Thanking them ( cattle) for helping us. Hats Off, to our festivals and traditions. I guess, Our Ancestors are trying to teach us, when ever you get Help from some one you have to be Thankful to them and convey it. even if it is a Animal or Human. Look at us now, we don't even be Thankful to our fellow humans these days. There is a lot to learn from Our Customs and Traditions. It's sad that all these good things are over looked and only other fancy things are carried over... Anyways, my suggestion is to at least on the Festival Day, know the importance of all rituals and explain them to your kids, so that they will be passed on to our next generations.

Spicy Chicken Curry (Andhra Style)
 But I still don't know why, it is famous that on this day meat has to be eaten. ( may be that is an excuse for eating non-veg , I guess). Not sure about other states, but in Andhra, this festival is observed with great interest and people will eat lot varieties of meat. So today I am featuring the Spicy Chicken Curry that is cooked in Andhra Style. The flavor in this curry is definitely from all the spices, but Poppy Seeds ( Gasa Gasalu) is one main spice ( or ingredient) that enhances the taste, which is critical in this recipe and can not be skipped....

Here is the recipe, Enjoy!!


For Marination:
Chicken ( whole cut) - 1 kg
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 Tbsp
Salt - 2 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1 Tbsp 
Coriander Powder - 2 tsp
Black Pepper - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Yogurt - 1 cup

For the Poppy Seed Paste:
Onion - 1 medium
Cilantro - 1/4 cup
Poppy Seeds (Gasagasalu)- 2 Tbsp ( roasted)

For Curry:
Onions - 3 medium
Tomato - 1
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 Tbsp
Cashew Nuts - 10 to 15
Salt - 2 tsp
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Clove - 2
Cinnamon - 2 ( 1 inch stick)

First wash the chicken and drain it. Take it into a Wide bowl. Add (above mentioned marinade ingredients ) Ginger & Garlic Paste, Salt, Red Chili Powder, Coriander Powder, Black pepper, Turmeric and Yogurt. Mix all of them together so that the Chicken is coated with all spices and yogurt. 

Note:For Better Results and Taste, you can marinade this overnight by keeping it in the fridge. If you don't have time, at least marinate this for 1 hour.

Now roast the Poppy Seeds and Grind it, and then to the same jar add chopped onions and cilantro and grind it well until it becomes into a fine paste.

  1. Heat the Pressure Cooker Pan, and add the Oil. Once the oil is hot, add the Clove and Cinnamon. 
  2. Now add the Ginger Garlic Paste and add Onions. Once raw smell goes away, add the chopped tomato and  Add salt. Close the Lid and let it cook for 2 to 3 min. 
  3. Now add the marinated chicken to the pan and mix it well with spices. close the lid and simmer for 3 min. 
  4. Add the Poppy Seeds paste to the pan. and mix it well.
  5. Now Close the Pressure Pan lid tight and pressure cook for 1 whistle. Mean while, fry the Cashew Nuts in Ghee until turn into golden color. 
  6. Once the steam goes away, take out the lid, and now your kitchen must be filled with Spicy Chicken Curry Smell. Transfer it into a Bowl and Garnish with Cashew Nuts and some cilantro on top. 
  7. Serve with Basmati Rice or White Rice. It goes well with chapati also. 

  • If you want more spiced up version, add Red Chili Powder while frying the onions in the pan. 
  • If you don't have curd, you can add lemon juice also to the marinade. 
  • Addition of Tomato gives very mild sweet and tartness which softens the spices, and it adds some color too. 

Happy Kanuma

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Jan 12, 2012 11 comments:

Bread Rasmalai

Today I am very happy to get this  'Happy Blogger' Award passed by Sonali who is kind enough to share this Award. I always wonder how she can manage to cook so many recipes with Only Sea Food, as I can hardly cook one or two varieties with Fish. If you are looking for superb sea food recipes, Sonali's 'Only Fish Recipes' is your one shop stop.
Bread Ras Malai ( lean version)
Today let me share this happiness with the touch of sweet and here featuring the recipe of Ras Malai made with Bread. Hmmmm, Ras Malai, the name it self reminds the melting moments of panner combined with cream in the mouth. Malai means cream, usually this dish is made with soaked panner balls in the cream with the flavor of cardamom. It sounds very Yummm and Fattyyy also. So I am in search of lighter version of this recipe, and this one turned out to be the winner... Basically, in this recipe we replace the panner balls with the Bread Slices cut into round shapes which looks like flatten panner balls in color and texture. Except that rest of the recipe is same as Ras Malai. So with out loosing the flavors, this is the best way to eat the lean Ras Malai.
Non fat version of Ras Malai

Milk - 2 cups
Almonds - 20
Milk Powder -  2 Tbsp
Milk - 1/3 cup
Saffron Flakes - 1 tsp
Milk - 1 Tbsp
Sugar - 1/3 cup
cardamom - 1 or 2
White Sandwhich  Bread - 10 slices ( or 20 small rounds)
Cashew - 8
Ghee - 1tsp


  1. Boil the Milk along with the sugar until it becomes into 1/2 of it and put it in the refrigerator.
  2. Soak the almonds in hot water for 15 min. This makes the peal come very easily. Peal this and grind it into fine powder (or paste) along with the cardamom.
  3. Soak the safforn flakes in the warm 1 Tbsp milk
  4. Mix the milk powder in the 1/3 cup of milk. and mix it very well so that any of the lumps are not formed.
  5. Trim the and edges of the bred slices. You can use any lid for the round shape. and press it gently on the Bread slice in the corners. you will get two rounds out of one slice. ( I have used one of my tin from the Taalimpu Box for the round mold and I have used Daily Breads Sandwhich bread which is wide and large than usual brands, so I managed to get 4 rounds out of each slice.)
  6. Now Take a wide bowl, and add the refrigerated cold milk. Add the Almond Powder to it and mix it well.
  7. Add the Milk powder added milk and mix it well so that any of the lumps are removed. Now drop the bread rounds into this milk and pour the safforn mixture on top. (Leave for 30 minutes so that bread slices will get all the flavors)
  8. Fry the cashew in Ghee until Golden color and top the Ras mali with golden cashew Nuts.

There you Go!! Now Yummyy but not Fatty Ras Malai is ready in minutes, Now I can eat that with out any guilt. Though I don't eat too many sweets, usually I don't say NO to milk sweets, and this one became the favorite these days. Of Course VJ (real sweet lover at my home) wasn't  excited with this, as it tasted like Bread and Milk to him.  For the authentic taste of Ras Malai, you gott to eat the real Ras Malai made with Panner, of course if you don't mind to eat those extra calories.

As we used Almonds, Milk, Bread and less sugar this is very Nutritious and healthy for Kids. And also as we avoided Panner preparation, this can prepared very quickly ( less than 30 mins).

Now let me share my award and joy to some of my blogger friends....

Deeps @ Naughty Curry
Kalpana Shareesh @ Life with Spices
Sadhna @ Sensible Vegeterian
Rinku @ Kitchen Treats
Aarathi @ Yummy Tummy
please pass on this award to your friends and let the joy roll already in this New Year...

Happy Sankranthi ( Pongal) in advance!!!!

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Jan 8, 2012 10 comments:

Beetroot Pulao

When ever I see Beetroot, I always remember Miss Sudha's (Abhi's Daycare Miss, when he was 3 years old) words "Your son is the only one in the class who finishes Beetroot in the Happy Plate". That used to put a smile on  my face with the pride (for Abhi eating most of the veggies). As he is little older now ( He is 5 recently), he started giving names to his foods, and he is not liking the color of rice when we mix the Beetroot curry and asking me innocently.. "Maa, is this poison?" (he eats with no complain, but i just would like to change his perception towards this dish ;-) ) I was  shocked first and with out showing my reaction, I tell him 'No Dear! It is a Pretty Pink Rice..", Not sure if that answer convinced him, but it sure did my little Girl ( Anvi) who is always attentive for 'PINK'... . Though I never overdid the Pink in toys or lunch boxes or dresses for her, not sure how she got into it, the only mantra she utters these days is 'Pretty and Pink'. 

Beetroot Pulao

I always don't understand the concept of making Pink as the color of female gender, right from the child hood which is little overdone in countries like USA and UK. After reading this article it seemed like it is slowly changing though. ( Sorry for the little deviation with the Pink, I just wanted to share that article).

So Coming back to our actual recipe story, to convince my son I have started looking for beetroot recipes but  not the whole dish looks pink. So Today this recipe in Maa Tv's 'Maa Oori Vanta' (translated into  My Town's Cooking show) caught my eye. As I have all the ingredients, I quickly made this after that, it turned out superb and colorful. I loved the marble effects that spread in this rice dish because of the beetroot.

When I mentioned about this rice to mom on our daily dose of chit-chat, she is curious to know how i made it and I asked her to wait for my post, and  "Mom! Here i am revealing ...Hope you will like it!" :-)

As this is tested and tasted in my kitchen, don't hesitate in turning those beetroots into this yummy dish but PINK. Here is the recipe, Enjoy....!!!

Basmati Rice - 2 cups
Potato - 1 medium
Carrot - 2 medium
Beetroot -1 medium
Spring Onions - 1/3 cup ( chopped)
green chili - 2
Star Anice - 1
Cloves - 3
Cinnamon - 2 sticks
Marati Mogga - 1
Jaji Kaya - 1
Shazeera - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Butter - 1 Tbsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Milk - 1 Tbsp
salt - 2 tsp
black pepper - 1/2 tsp
green chili - 2

First, Wash and Drain the basmati  rice. Heat the the Non stick pan and add the oil and butter. Once the Oil is hot, add the spices in the order Cloves, Cinnamon, Star Anice, Shazeera. Once the spices gives the nice aroma, Add Green chili, followed by vegetables Potato, Carrot. Once the vegetables are tender and the salt and black pepper. Then add the rice and mix it very well.

Add 4 cups of water ( 1: 2 ratio) and close the lid.  Mix the turmeric powder in the milk and set aside. As the rice gets cook halfway through, pour this milk evenly on the rice and close the lid and let it cook for 10 more min. Taste and Adjust seasonings as needed.

Mean while peel and grate the Beetroot. As the rice gets cooked transfer half of the rice into a plate. Then spread half of the grated beetroot and spring onions and cover with that rice (that is taken into plate). then top with remaining grated beetroot and cover with wet kitchen towel and close the lid. Keep the stove in low and let it cook for 10 min.

Now, turn off the stove and reveal the colorful Beetroot Pulavo by removing the kitchen towel in the pan.  Serve into plates and it tastes delicious when it is accompanied by raita (onion mixed in plain yogurt).

I made a less spicy version for my kids, and now my son didn't name it Poison but Colorful.....!!! Now that's a relief for mommy.. :-)


  • Usually for Pulavo dish, I add peas along with other vegetables. As Beets are already gives the sweet touch here, i omitted peas intentionally.
  • Adding beetroot at the end and cooking on slow will keep the Beetroot bright Color (does not fade), otherwise the color will sink into rice the rice will turn into pink. 
  • The touch of turmeric is not in the original recipe, it's my creation to get those marble and color effects naturally.  (You can use saffron also, but i never get the bright colors from saffron).
I have linked this recipe at Let's Cook Rice event by Tickling Palates.

Hope you have enjoyed the weekend with your families, wishing you and me for energetic Monday.

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Jan 7, 2012 3 comments:

Awards and Accomplishments

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

 Blog Award Blog Award 

 Blog Award

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Jan 5, 2012 8 comments:

Hummus (Homemade)

Hummus, is a very simple but authentic Mediterranean recipe. This is so easy, quick to make, very healthy, and tasty.  Wow, all in one recipe, then why not make it happen more at home than store bought.  We always love this with  (Costco's) Stacy Chips and the combo is quite addictive ( and I don't mind getting addictive to the good stuff !!!).

Homemade Hummus
Usually I make this in excess and store it in small containers and freeze it for future. So When ever those unexpected guests come, you can make this homemade dip ready in minutes and get the credit for wonderful hosting... ;-). Knock! Knock! .... Let me welcome that unexpected Guest then... while you read through this recipe!!!

Chick Peas - 1 cup ( soaked and boiled)
Garlic - 2 cloves
Red Chili - 1
Olive Oil - 2 Tbsp
salt - 1 tsp
Fresh Lime Juice - 1 Tbsp

Hummus Ingredients
You can use the Canned Chick Peas for this recipe. But today, I have soaked them over night and boiled in pressure cooker up to 3 or 4 whistles.

Grind the Chick Peas along with garlic cloves, salt, red chili. Add oil (3/4 of it) in between to make it like a fine paste. Add the freshly lime juice at the end and pulse it twice (i have used mixie for grinding).

Spread it on a serving plate and make a dip in the middle and pour remaining olive oil and sprinkle the paprika powder or red chili powder on top. Serve it with Bread Sticks or Pita Bread or Pita Chips. This is best combination for (Costco's) Stacy Chips also.

  • If you get canned chickpeas, then it is easy to use canned ones for this recipe. 
  • Freshly made Lime Juice is vital for the authentic taste.
  • If you don't have olive oil, you can use any light oil. ( Vegetable or Canola or Sunflower Oil)
  • To use the one from freezer, just thaw it and heat up in the microwave for 30 sec before serving.

Linking this to New Year and New Dish Event by NurpurCWS - Chickpeas Event hosted by Sukanya's Saffron Streaks announced by Priya.

Happy Hummusing until we meet here again..

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Jan 4, 2012 9 comments:

Aratikaya Perugu Pachadi / Plantain Chutney mixed in Yogurt

Dear Readers,

Wish you a very happy New Year and Welcome to 2012. Though 2011 year is little adventurous with our move to India and settling down, it went like a breeze. Despite of all those busy days, vacations, move to India, meeting friends and trying local foods I was able to keep up the posts coming in my blog. (I don't know how, but i did!!). Today i sat down and went through some of my posts in 2011 which left me in the memory lane for a while. I always believe in history and at the same time I always welcome change that happens in future also. While History is the inspiration and Future is the Motivation. My successful recipes and food experiences of 2011 inspired me to continue with the same pace, and I am motivated to do that in 2012. (Hurray!! that means more recipes for you ;-)). Thank you for all your wishes and support!!!

It's enough for philosophy (and Thanks for listening!!!), so coming to my recipe, today I am going to present a unique recipe with Plantain (Thanks to my friend Archana who made me addicted to this Fruit/Veggie with her recent event). During my recent trip to HYD, I have learnt this recipe from my dear Anu Atta. VJ and me were digging through the whole bowl, and then only I was determined to learn this recipe and adding to my routine chutney's list. Seriously, this is one more best way to eat Plantain, the spices used in the chutney and the creaminess from Yogurt  makes this chutney unique and delicious. I am hooked on to this recipe, if you are ready for that, why late and try it.. Here I am sharing the recipe.. Enjoy!!!

Plantain Chutney mixed with Yogurt

Plantains - 2 medium
Ginger - 1 inch stick
Green Chili - 3
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
salt - 2 tsp
Oil - 1 Tbsp
PlainYogurt (curd) - 1 cup


Ingredients for Indian Tempering


  1. Boil the Plantain (with peel) until it becomes medium soft. (usually I pressure cook up to 2 whistles)
  2. Once they are cooked, remove the peel and mash them gently with your hand
  3. In a non stick pan heat the oil and add cumin seeds and turmeric. Once they start splutter add the sliced ginger pieces and green chili and saute them for 3 min.
  4. Turn off the heat and grind the Plantain, Green Chili and Ginger along with salt in the mixie (until it becomes smooth). 
  5. Mix the Yogurt to the chutney and mix it well.
  6. Now add the Indian Tempering to this Chutney and it is Done now. 

I tried this with Chapati and It tasted so good, and goes very well with Hot White Rice.
Start your New year in a Healthy way with this low fat recipe... Happy New Year Once Again!!! :-)

Some Tips:

  • Usually we use Garlic in chutneys, but this one is exception. Garlic does not go well with this cooked plantain. So intentionally i didn't add it. 
  • Some Plantains might be heavy in starch, will be very sticky. In that case you might need more yogurt. If the chutney becomes little thick (after a while it becomes) don't hesitate to add some more yogurt. 
  • This chutney tastes good when it is freshly made. As time lasts it becomes little thick. 
Check out some more recipes with this wonderful Fruit/Veggie Plantain here...
Click here for all other Chutney Recipes...

Linking this to New Year and New Dish Event by Nurpur

More recipes are on the way....

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