Nov 25, 2013 4 comments:

Sorakaya (Louki) Halwa

Sorakaya (called in Telugu) is from Squash family and widely available in South India or in coastal parts of India. This vegetable is also known as Lauki (or Doodhi) in Hindi or Bottlegourd in English. As the name says it resembles like a 'Bottle', long and thick. There are several nice variations that you can make with this vegetable, but most popular in my family are Sorakaya Pachadi, Sorakaya cooked with Milk or Sorakaya Pulusu (stew). I have always wanted to make this Soarakaya Halwa from long time.Finally today it happened, because today I have a  fresh Bottlegourd from the vine at hand. Again thanks to my sister for sending these fresh bottlegourds form her garden!

This is shocking truth for me to know that Halwa is a Middle Eastern based sweet (Thanks to Wiki), I used to think this is from India. Halwa is a light ( not too rich) sweet, mostly made with flour, milk and nuts. Some times you replace the flour with, Sooji Rava, or lentils or Vegetables. I have already made one veggie base Halwa, that is Carrot Halwa. Today it's time to experiment Halwa with Sorakaya! Here is the reicpe, njoy!

Do you know?: Taking raw Sorakya Juice early in the morning will slim you down. You will see the results in 1 week. I haven't tried it, as I am afraid of that taste. Heard from my friends, if you can handle the taste you should give it a try. :-)

Preparatory Steps:
Trim the edges of Sorakaya, peel it and remove the seeds.Wash the wedges and grate it with Grater. Take the grated sorakaya in your palms and squeeze it to remove any extra water and keep it aside.

Grated Sorakaya - 2 cups
Milk - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Butter - 1/4 cup
Cashew Nuts - 10
Raisins - 5
Pistachio Nuts - 5 nuts ( optional)
Cardamom Powder - 1/2 tsp ( or 2 pods)

  1. Heat the non-stick pan, add 1 tsp of butter. Once the butter melts add the Cashew Nuts and Raisins and roast them for 1min. Take these out and keep them aside. 
  2. To the same pan add 1 tsp of butter and add Grated Sorakaya. Saute it until the raw smell goes away. ( takes at least 5 min)
  3. Add milk to the pan and keep on mixing it with grated sorakaya. Close the lid and leave it for 5 min. 
  4. Remove the lid and keep the flame in low, add sugar and cardamom powder to the pan.
  5. Mix it very well and simmer until all the milk gets mixed into grated sorakya ( another 5 min).
  6. Now add remaining butter to the Halwa and mix it very well. You notice now the Halwa comes together and becomes thick. Taste and adjust the sugar according to your taste.
  7. Transfer it to serving bowl and decorate with Roasted Cashew and Raisins. I like to add chopped pistachio nuts to match the color of this Halwa and it is optional and up to you.

  • You need fresh and tender sorakaya to make this halwa.
  • Removing the water from grated sorakya by squeezing is the critical step in this recipe
  • Cardamom Powder is vital to enrich this Halwa Flavor, so don't skip it.

will be back with another great recipe,
until then take care

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Nov 22, 2013 4 comments:

Cilantro Lime Tilapia

When coming to sea food I haven't experimented much. So far I have tried shrimp and tilapia fish. I always use my Flaky Fish recipe to cook Tilapia. Today I wanted try something new, so I have tried these new flavors with Tilapia ( not brave enough to change the fish, am always afraid to cook salmon due to it's smell, Tips Please!) in this recipe today. The zesty lime and cilantro flavors are perfect for this delicate fish. It's very simple and easy to make and will be ready in minutes. Here is the recipe, Njoy!

Cilantro Lime Tilapia
Tilapia Fish - 4 fillets
Cilantro - 1/4 cup
Lime - 2 Tbsp
Garlic - 1 tsp ( minced)
salt - 1/2 tsp
black pepper - 1/4 tsp
paprika - 1/4 tsp
Olive Oil - 2 Tbsp

Grind Cilantro and Lime juice along with 1 Tbsp Olive Oil in the Blender. Take this into a bowl. Add salt, black pepper, paprika and minced garlic and mix well.  That makes your marinade ready.


  1. Add Tilapia fillet to this marinade until they are coated on all sides and close the lid for the bowl; leave it aside for 30 minutes. 
  2. After 30 min, heat the non stick pan and add 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add marinated Tilapia to the Pan.
  3. After 2 min, you will notice the fish becoming soft and flaky. Turn them carefully to cook on other side until they are soft. 
  4. Switch off the stove and transfer them to a Serving Plate, and garnish with some cilantro and serve with Lime edges.
You can stuff this fish in Tortillas and serve as Fish Tacos with some Tortilla Chips and Salsa!

take care until we meet here again

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Nov 20, 2013 8 comments:

Chikkudukaya Tomato Curry

This is a simple every day recipe made with Chikkudu Kaya ( Indian Broad Beans). Chikkudu Kaya is seasonal and available during Fall Season in India. When I was in India I am not too fond of this legume, but after coming here due to it's limited availability I do crave for this veggie sometimes. You can find these at Indian stores, but the taste is totally different when you make curry with the fresh beans from the vine from your yard.  Mostly We used to get these legumes from my Aunt's Garden (or neighbor's), we never bought these from store back in India. These are very easy to grow and once you have a stable vine, you will get lot of yield, A LOT means that you get tired of plucking them, that's how i remember at my Aunt's house.

After several failed attempts at growing Chikkudu Kaya here (in DFW) in my Garden I gave up, but my wonderful sister is successful in growing this plant this year in her own garden. That means, there is a lot of fresh Chikkudu Kaya, of course When it's coming to plucking those it's the same story as she got lot of yield, but keeping all the plucking pain aside good news is there is no dearth for these fresh legumes in my kitchen this year for sure. Thank you Sowji for fresh homegrown Beans!

I don't remember mom making many varieties with this Beans, only few Chikkudukaya Fry or Chikkudu Kaya Tomato, or very rarely Chikkudukaya Pickle. But just these limited recipes are enough as these are loaded with protein and flavor. Please let me know if you have more recipe ideas with Chikkudu Kaya ( Indian Broad Beans). Now, with out any further due, Here is the Chikkudukaya Tomato recipe for today!

Chikkudu Kaya - 1 lb (1/2 kg) ( Indian Broad Beans)
Onion - 1/2
Green Chili - 2
Tomato - 2
Cilantro - 2 Tbsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 Tbsp

Indian Tempering Ingredients

  1. Wash the beans under lukewarm water and trim the edges and remove the vines on the side, break them into bite pieces. Chop green chilies, onions and tomatoes into long thin slices.
  2. Heat oil in the Pressure Cooker Pan (or heavy bottomed vessel), add red chili, chana dal, urad dal, cumin seeds, once they turn golden, add mustard seeds, and wait until they splutter; add curry leaves. 
  3. Add Green Chili, Onion slices and add turmeric powder. Saute onions for 3 min. Add chikkudu kaya pieces to the Pan. add salt and saute them for 5 min. 
  4. Add tomato pieces to the Pan, mix everything well. Add red chili powder, coriander powder mix very well. Close the cooker and wait until 2 whistles and turn off the heat. 
  5. After 15 min remove the lid and mix everything well, turn on the stove and let it simmer to evaporate the excess water ( for 5 min). Taste and adjust all the seasonings and finally top with Cilantro. Switch off the stove and transfer to Serving Bowl and serve with White Rice.

Check out all other
Everyday Recipes
Pressure Cooker Recipes

take care until we meet here

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Nov 18, 2013 3 comments:

Mixed Veg Macaroni ~ few minute wonders

Today I am starting a 'few minute wonders' category where it consists of recipes that can be ready in minutes creating wonders for your family. These can be easy snacks, quick fixes for lunch boxes or slim suppers. Today I am starting this with a Kids' Corner recipe that is Macaroni Pasta ( aka mac-cheese).  When it comes to Macaroni, first things comes to mind is 'Kraft'. I love their instant packs where you can make macaroni in microwave it self. Recently you may have heard the petition about the artificial dies that Kraft uses in their mac-cheese products.  Since then I have stopped using Kraft brand and being careful about picking mac-cheese products. Today I have picked Betty Crocker brand and the pasta came in spiral shape than regular elbows, that made the kids excite about this dish today. Obviously I have sneaked in some good stuff for the kiddos, and they turned me a happy plate and the Dinner routine ended happily for today. Here is the recipe, Njoy!

Macaroni Spirals - 1 box
Butter - 2 Tbsp
Milk - 1/2 cup
Mixed Veg - 1/2 cup

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Add frozen veggie to the boiling pasta. Once the pasta cooked drain the pasta & veggies and keep it aside.
  2. In the same non-stick pan add 2 Tbsp butter. Once the butter melts add milk let it simmer and add cheese powder ( that comes with the package). Add cooked pasta and veggies and mix it well so that cheese sauce is covered and serve warm immediately.

I have given extra Parmesan Cheese Packets (I always save these when we get the Pizza Ordered) on the side and Abhi and Anvi enjoyed the Xtra Cheese effect for today.

Keep it on the Watch, More Few Min Wonders are on the way....

take care until we meet here

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Nov 15, 2013 1 comment:

Saggubiyyam (Sago) Cutlet

Sago Cutlets
When I was a kid Paayasam is the only dish I know with this Sago (Saggubiyyam). But now I have come across several unique recipes with Saggubiyyam and have tried quite a few like Saggubiyyam Upma etc. To contemplate my recent Sweet Sago Paayasam recipe, today I will be presenting Savory Sago Cutlet for snack. This recipe is a nice variation to your routine cutlet with the addition of Sago ( Sabudana or Tapioca Pearls). This is little heavy compared to regular cutlets as the Sago is starchy and full of carbs. This will be a perfect combo for your afternoon Tea Time or can be a Cute Companion in your Kiddo's Snack Pack. Here is the recipe, njoy!

Saggubiyyam (Tapioca Pearls) - 1/2 cup
Potato - 2 medium
Sooji Rava - 1 Tbsp
Green Chili - 1
Ginger -  1 tsp
Cilantro - 1 Tbsp
Mint - 1 Tbsp ( Optional)
Chat Masala - 1 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Lime Juice - 1 Tbsp ( or 1 Lime)
Cashew Nuts - 5 to 6
Oil - 1/3 cup for frying on Tawa

  1. Soak Saggubiyam for at least 4 hours ( Overnight Soaking is even better).  Boil 3 cups of water and add the soaked Sago to the boiling water and keep it on high for 2 min and switch off the stove and drain the Saggubiyyam and keep them aside. ( you will get nice transparent pearls)
  2. Boil the potatoes in microwave or in pressure cooker until they become soft. Remove the peel and Mash them in a medium bowl, add chopped green chili, ginger, cilantro, mint leaves and mix well with potatoes. Add sooji rava, salt, coriander powder, chat masala and finely chopped cashew nuts. Add boiled Sabudana and mix it very well. Finally add the lime juice and mix it very well. Cover it with a cloth and let it sit for 10 to 15 min for all the flavors to be sinked in. 
  3. After 10 min, make balls out of this mixture and press them in your palm.( or use any cookie cutter for fun shapes). 
  4. Heat the non stick pan and 1 Tbsp of oil to it spread over the pan. Once the pan is hot, add cutlets to the pan and cook them until they are roasted on each side ( for 2 to 3 min on each side). Repeat the same procedure until you are done cooking all the cutlets. ( for every new batch on the Pan you have to add 1 tbsp of Oil)
  5. Arrange them in a platter and serve with Ketch up on Tamarind Chutney.

Serve with Masala Chai to double the flavor of these Sago Cutlets. 

enjoy these cutlets until we meet here again

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Nov 12, 2013 7 comments:

Gongura Pachadi ( Green Chili Version) ~ Andhra Recipes

Gongura.... the name itself reminds a Place Guntur, as it is widely popular as 'Guntur Gongura Pachadi'. Gongura is a leafy green ( Sorrel Leaves) that is available in 2 variations Red Stem Gongura and Green Stem Gongura. These can be easily grown and abundant in Gunturu Region in Andhra. Red Stem Gongura is very sour in taste and very popular for it's Pickle Variation. There are few recipes that you can make with Gongura, like Gongura Pappu, Gongura Pulusu, Gongura Roti Pachadi etc but out of all Pulihora Gongura version (Gongura Pickle with Red Chilies ) is very famous and popular in Andhra. But Today I will be presenting a simpler Chutney Version with Red Gongura Leaves with Green Chilies. Back in India Gongura is seasonal and it's available in Fall season  around October. It's very hard to get fresh Gongura here in Indian Stores in USA. But as we are growing Gongura in our Garden, there is no dearth for it and this recipe is very simple and effortless, hence this wonderful slurpy Gongura Chutney happens quite often in my kitchen during Fall Season. Here is the recipe, Njoy!

Gongura Pachadi

Gongura Leaves - 1 bunch ( 2 cup of Leaves)
Green Chili - 3
Oil - 1 Tbsp
salt - 1 tsp
Coriander Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Garlic Cloves - 3
Chopped Onion - 2 Tbsp ( optional)

Oil - 1 Tbsp
Red Chili - 1
Chana Dal - 1 tsp
Urad Dal - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 8
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Crushed Corinander Seeds - 1/2 tsp

  1. Pluck the Gongura Leaves from stem and wash them under luke warm water. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in heavy bottom vessel ( I have used my nonstick soup pot). 
  2. Add Green Chili and Gongura Leaves. Keep it n medium and let it simmer for 5 min. You will notice the Gongura Leaves becomes soft and you will get sour smell. 
  3. Add Garlic and Coriander Seeds and simmer for 2 more min. All the water will be gone and leaves mixture will be dry and soft. Switch off the stove and let it cool completely.
  4. Grind this mixture in small mixie jar along with salt ( while grinding). You don't have to add any water. Pulsing for few times is enough. 
  5. Heat 1 Tbsp of Oil in non-stick pan. Once the oil is hot add Red Chili, Chana Dal, Urad dal, wait until the lentil turn golden color, then add Mustard Seeds, Curry Leaves and crushed coriander Seeds.
  6. Add the Gongura Mixture to the pan and stir along with Tempering. Finally add the chopped onions to the mixture and switch off the stove. 
Transfer this to a bowl and serve with hot white Rice and Hmmmm, taste slurpyyy superbbb! You can serve this with Vegetable Pulao or Biryani to make it a special combination.

  • While grinding the Gongura Leaves mixture, I have used only Pulse setting as it is already became soft.
  • Garlic and Chopped Onions is optional, you can skip it if you are a Sativk. But they add Zest for sure.
  • Coriander Seeds is critical ingredient and can not be replaced. 
  • The sourness and taste of this pachadi depends on how sour the Gongura Leaves are. Usually Red gongura Leaves will be very sour in nature. If Gongura Leaves are not sour enough ( remember you should smell when it's simmering in step 2) you can add 1 tsp Tamarind in step 3.

take care until we meet here again!

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Nov 8, 2013 4 comments:

Zucchini Pancakes

Though Zucchini is from squash family, it resembles a lot like Japaneese Eggplant and can be easily molded into several great recipes. This is less moist compare to Yellow Squash and also known as Italian Squash and it tastes great in Italian recipes like Pasta or Pizza or even in Pancakes. Today I twisted the typical Pancakes recipe with the Zucchini and made them little sassy and savory. The outcome is Great and the whole family enjoyed this fuller breakfast. Here is the recipe, Njoy!

Zucchini Pancakes

Compare to original pancakes, You will get little flufyy 'omelet' kind of pancakes with this recipe, Abhi didn't get convinced that these are pancakes but named them Zucchini Omelets. Whatever it is, At the end he gave me the 'Happy Plate' (empty), and that's wat matters to mommy, right! :-)


Adapted from: All Recipes

Grated Zucchini - 2 cups
Eggs - 2
Grated Onion - 2 Tbsp
All Purpose Flour - 1/2 cup
Parmesan Cheese - 1/2 cup
Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
salt - 1/2 tsp
Fresh Oregano - 8 to 10 leaves or Dried Oregano - 1/8 tsp
Oil - 1/4 cup ( for shallow frying)

  1. Wash and Remove the edges on both sides and grate Zucchini, let the Zucchini sit in the colander for 5 min. It helps to drain the excess water. Then squeeze the grated zucchini in your palms to remove all the moist in it and keep it in a bowl.
  2. Beat 2 eggs in a small bowl and whisk together and add this to zucchini in the bowl.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients APF, Parmesan Cheese salt, baking powder oregano in a bowl. Let it sit for 10 min to make the flavors work inside. 
  4. Add the dry flour mixture to Eggs and Zucchni mixture and combine well until it forms like thick batter. ( no need to add any water).
  5. Heat the Non-stick pan and heat the oil for shallow frying. Once the oil is hot, drop spoonfulls of batter into Pan and turn them to other side as they cooked good and turn to Golden color. Repeat the same steps until all the batter is done. 
  6. Dry the pancakes with paper towels and serve these savory pancakes warm. 
Look at the Zucchini Peel Color Effects...

  • Usually I leave skin ON for Zucchini, it helps for great coloring effects in the dish and extra fiber too. If you don't like it, feel free to peel the Zucchini before grating it.
  • Don't add any water while making the batter
  • Wait until the Oil is hot before dropping the batter into non-stick pan.
Check out the Following collection for exclusive Zucchini and Pancakes.

take care until we meet here again

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Nov 6, 2013 2 comments:

Avocado Egg Breakfast Sandwich {Video Recipes}

To fix a healthy breakfast you don't need to spend elaborate time on it. If you have the right ingredients you can fix your healthy and yummy breakfast in minutes, that is in 5 minutes. This recipe is the proof for that! The Protein in Egg will make it filling for you and with Amazing Avocado inside which is a natural butter you forget that you skimmed on cheese in this sandwich.  Enjoy !

Check out all piled up 5 min Power Breakfast Recipes.

Avocado Egg Breakfast Sandwich
Avocado - 1/2
Boiled Egg - 1
Cibatta Bread - 1 ( 2 slices) ( you can use any Bread or use Croissant even better)
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Black Pepper - 1/4 tsp ( freshly ground)
Paprika - 1/8 tsp ( optional, for more zest)
Cilantro  - 1 Tsp ( chopped)

  1. Mash 1/2 Avocado in a small bowl. Add Chopped Cilantro, salt and black pepper. Add Paprika, if using. Mix everything very well.  
  2. Chop the boiled egg in to bite size pieces. Add egg pieces to avocado mixture. 
  3. Spread this on slightly toasted Cibatta Bread ( or your favorite bread).   ( i have toasted it in popup toaster for a minute)

See it's done now as easy as Step 1, 2, 3. :-) Now take a big bite of Yummoness.... Now that takes care of Healthy Breakfast in minutes which is filling. Njoy!

Here are some tips on How to Get Soft Boiled Eggs

Take care until we meet here again

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