28 November, 2006

See You All Next Year

Friends, I won't be blogging for a while. Well, to be precise for one month. It will be my winter hibernation for which I was waiting since long time:)
I want to wish in advance a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family...
See You All Next Year;) Till then, Happy Cooking and Blogging:)
Lots of Love

26 November, 2006

Dhal Palak

Weekend lunch... And this time I went for very light and healthy food, Dhal Palak. It took me 15 minutes to prepare this wonderful dish. There is no grinding or cooking for long time. Everything is quick and fast. I served it with Rooma's Jhatpat Aloo Paratas. So this very easy and delicious recipe i'm passing to my buddy Pooja for her vegetable of the week:) Hope you all enjoy it as much as we did:)

Quick And Fast Dhal Palak

2 bunches of Palak/Spinach
1/2 cup Masoor Dal/Red Lentils
2 medium Onion, chopped finely
2 large Tomatoes, sliced thinly
1 inch Ginger, chopped finely
1 tsp Jerra/Cumin Seeds
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Garam Masala
3 Green Chillies, sliced
Salt and Sugar to taste
1 tbsp Oil

Dhal Palak

Cut Palak finely and cook with little water.
Cook Dal with little turmeric powder in pressure cooker.
Heat oil in a pan and season with jeera.
When it splutters add onions and fry till golden brown.
To this add chopped ginger and sliced chilli and fry for a minute.
Now add sliced tomatoes and fry for 1-2 minutes.
Add cooked palak and dal and pour enough water, salt, sugar, garam masala and turmeric powder.
Boil for few minutes and then add lemon juice just before removing it from flame.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with rice/chapati/roties.

Dhal Palak

You can use fenugreek leaves instead of palak.
While seasoning add few red chillies, garlic and fenugreek seeds.

Final Verdict:
It turned out to be big hit with my hubby. This was the first time I cooked Dhal Palak and my hubby insists that it should be in our weekend menu for atleast once a month:)

Dhal Palak served with Rooma's Quick Aloo Parata
Thanks Rooma for your wonderful recipe of Jhatpat Aloo Paratas. It was delicious and we enjoyed it a lot:)

24 November, 2006

Tomato Kulambu

Cold weather, chill in the air, grey sky, naked trees, damp roads, slippery footpath, grumpy faces…. Yup… its winter…
Christmas lights, cosy couch, warm blanket, sizzling cup of coffee, hot bowl of soup, beautiful memories… Yup… it’s also a winter.
Winter has two faces. One is that of cold and gloomy and another of warmth and cosiness. Choice is ours to make. Every season has its own charm, its own beauty… So why most of us neglect that and look at negatives? May be its human nature… I have seen many people grumbling for summer in winter and winter in summer. This way they forget to enjoy life. The life has so many things to offer. So why don’t we enjoy our present than brooding over past and dreaming about future.
Mmmm... As far as I’m considered, when it comes to food in winter it has to be spicy, hot and peppery… What else can be better than hot and spicy Chettinadu Kulambu to beat the cold winter? So here is my second Chettinadu recipe, Tomato Kulambu.

Tomato Kulambu

4-5 medium sized Tomatoes, cut into big cubes
3-4 Green Chillies, sliced
Few Curry Leaves
2 medium Onions, sliced lengthwise
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 cup Tarmarind Extract
1 tsp Black Pepper Powder
1 tsp Jaggary
To Grind I:
5-6 Red Chillies
1/4 inch Ginger
1/2 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
2 tbsp Grated Coconut
To Grind II:
1/4 cup Grated Fresh Coconut
2 tsp Poppy Seeds

Hot and Spicy Tomato Kulambu

Heat little oil and fry green chillies, onion and curry leaves.
Add ground paste-I,tomato pices, turmeric powder and little water.
Cover and cook till tomatoes become soft.
Add tamarind extract and cook for few minutes in reduced flame.
Add salt, jaggary, ground paste-II and allow the gravy to come to boiling point.
Remove from fire and serve hot with plain rice.

Chettinadu Tomato Kulambu

Omit tamarind extract and add thick coconut extract.
You can add potatoes and drumsticks along with tomatoes.

Final Verdict:
Wooha… Hot, spicy, peppery, delicious… Tomato Kulambu was all these and much more. Although it was spicy it also had a touch of sour and sweetness to it from tamarind extract and jaggary I added. The colour was rich and dark, reminded me of ruby studded gold bowl;) It did certainly kicked my cold;) I love spicy food and nothing can beat Chettinadu Kulambu. It was perfect for our cold winter night’s dinner.

Tomato Kulambu

23 November, 2006

Just for your eyes:)

I have been busy with my work and packing... Got loads of recipes to post but so little time:) I will try to post the recipes ASAP. Till then my friends enjoy the photoes:) Cheers to all:)

21 November, 2006


At last…. It’s a time for the Queen of South Indian breakfast dish: Idli-Vada with Sambar. I call idli as a queen because for some reason the title of king belongs to Dosas:) This Sunday we had Idli-Vada with delicous bowl of Sambar for breakfast. My hubby and my dad are big fans I have ever seen when it comes to Idli-Vada. The steaming fluffy and soft Idlis with little spicy and tasty Vadas dipped in delicious Sambar… Awww…. Nothing is better than that. I won’t talk a lot about it because I have got to post 3 recipes in one post:). So talk less and work more is today's theme ;) Here we go…


Recipe for Idli:
2 cups of Rice
1 cup Urad Dal
Salt to taste

Soft and Fluffy Idlis

Soak rice and urad dal separately in water for 2-3 hours.
First grind the urad dal to smooth paste. Remember that smoother the better.
Then grind rice to a coarse paste. Make sure that you don’t grind rice to smooth paste.
Mix them together adding required salt to slightly thick paste. The batter should be thicker than the dosa batter you prepare.
Keep it covered to ferment for overnight.
Next day pour a ladle of batter into idli maker and steam cook in medium flame for 15-20 minutes till they are done.
Let them cool for few minutes (3-4 minutes) before you take them out. This way the idli will be fluffy and soft.
Serve hot with Coconut Chutney and steaming bowl of Sambar.

Recipe for Vada:
1 cup of Urad Dal
2-3 Green Chillies, chopped finely
¾ inch Ginger, chopped finely
2 tbsp Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
Salt to taste

Delicious Vadas

Soak urad dal in water for 1-2 hours.
Grind them coarsely adding very little water. (Little means very little)
Add chopped coriander leaves, ginger, green chillies and salt as required.
Mix them well together with hands. Add little water if required.
Make small lime sized balls and press them slightly using your palm.
With your finger make a small hole in the center.
Deep fry them in hot oil till they turn into lovely golden brown colour.
Serve hot with Coconut Chutney and Sambar. Delicious….

Recipe for Onion Sambar:
1 cup Small Onions
1/2 cup Thuar Dal/Red gram Dal
1 medium lime sized Tamarind
2 Tomatoes, sliced
2 Green Chillies, slit
Small bunch of Coriander leaves, Chopped finely
2 tsp Oil
Salt to taste
For Seasoning:
1 tsp Oil
1 tsp Mustard
2 Red chillies
1/4 tsp Hing/Asafetida
Few curry leaves
To Roast & Grind:
2 tsp Dhania/Coriander Seeds
11/2 tsp Urad Dal/Black gram Dal
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
2 tsp Channa/Bengal gram Dal
4-5 Red Chillies
1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
1 Medium Onion, roughly chopped
1 Tomato, roughly chopped
1/4 cup of Grated Coconut
3 tsp Oil

Onion Sambar

Heat 1tsp of Oil and roast the above ingredients until golden.
Fry 1 onion and 1 tomato separately with little oil.
Grind everything with grated coconut to a smooth paste.
Heat Oil in a shallow pan and fry the small onion for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add enough water and boil it till soft.
Cook red gram dal in pressure cooker and mash well.
Mix cooked onion, mashed dal, tamarind extract, tomatoes, green chillies and ground paste with salt and enough water and bring it to boil.
When the sambar is thick enough remove from fire.
Heat oil and add mustard seeds, red chillies, curry leaves and hing.
When mustard starts spluttering add this seasoning to sambar.
Serve hot Sambar garnished with chopped coriander leaves with Rice, Idlis or Dosas.


Final Verdict:
You may be thousands of miles away from your country, but your roots are still deep down in your hometown. You may try different foods from different continents but the one which will always make you smile is the one from your mom’s kitchen. What better example can I give than the simple yet unbeatable taste of Idli-Vada with Sambar!!! Their simplicity takes your breath away and their taste wipes you off your feet, other than your loved one’s charm;) The pleasure you get from this type of dishes is only known when you try it out. It will surely bring back lot of good old memories.
Well… As expected you can never go wrong with Idli-Vadas. If you follow the instructions from your mom, step by step, then you will surely make a soft and fluffy idlis with yummy vadas. And not to forget the million dollar smile from my dear hubby:)


20 November, 2006

Palak Kofta Curry

Every weekend is a big cooking bash for us. By the time we drag ourselves from bed and have our brunch it will be past one in the noon. So we start cooking dinner in leisure and I love every moment of it. Our usual Saturday dinner is quite special and exotic Indian food and this weekend was no exception. And what else can be exotic than Koftas!!! I didn’t want to make the regular Aloo Koftas in basic onion and tomato base curry and opted Palak/Spinach as the base curry. As kofta is prepared by deep frying, I wanted to make it packed with whole lot of nutrition and nothing can beat spinach in that case. This time I went for simple, straight forward recipe which I am sharing with you all.

Palak Kofta Curry

3 bunches Palak/Spinach, wahed and finely chopped
1 cup Milk
3 Onions, finely chopped
4-5 Potatoes
4 slices of Bread
1/4 cup Green Peas
1 inch Cinnamon
2-3 Green Cardamom
3-4 Cloves
2-3 Green Chillies
1 inch Ginger, minced
1 tsp Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp Turmaric Powder
1/2 tbsp Amchur/Dry Mango Powder
1 tbsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Kitchen King Masala
1 tbsp Cashew nuts, cut into small pieces
1 tbsp Raisins
2 tbsp Butter/Oil/Ghee
2-3 tbsp of Gram Flour
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Green Green... Palak Kofta Curry

For Koftas:
Pressure cook potatoes,peel and mash thourougly.
Soak bread in water, squeeze and add to the potatoes.
Mix with finely cut onion, chillies, cooked green peas, coriander leaves, garam masala, salt, amchur powder, cashwes, raisins and small amount of finely chopped palak.
Mix well and prepare small balls.
Dip them in gram flour paste and deep fry in hot oil and keep aside.

Palak Kofta Curry

For the Gravy:
Heat a tsp of oil in a pan and fry the palak with a little sugar added to it.
Sprinkle little water if necessary.
Remove from flame after few minutes when it becomes soft.
Cool it and grind to a smooth paste.
Heat butter in a pan and add cinnamon, cloves and cradamom.
After 1 minutes add onions and fry till the turn transparent.
To this add ginger, ground palak with milk, salt, chilli powder, amchur, turmaric, kitchen king masala and garam masala.
Mix well and cook it till the gravy thickens in a medium flame.
Add Koftas just before removing from fire or while serving.
Serve hot with roties/chapaties/rice.

Golden Sun Rising from Green Mountain... Palak Kofta Curry

Final Verdict:
It looked good and tasted amazing. The golden brown Koftas in rich green curry reminded me of sun rising from Green Mountain. (Am i sounding too melodramic?;) The blandness (???) of spinach complimented the rich taste of potatoes. I made it little mild than usual as I didn’t wanted the spicy taste to dominate. One more thing i noticed was because the kofta’s were coated with thin paste of gram flour before deep frying, the amount of oil absorbed by kofta’s were comparatively less. So all together it tasted heavenly.

Stuffing of Palak Kofta Curry served with Jeera Rice

Add sugar while frying the palak so that the green colour of palak is preserved.

Palak Kofta Curry

19 November, 2006

Green Pulao

As my blogger buddy Pooja said, winter in green. So I thought why I don’t try cooking some green dish. After scratching my head and also my hubby’s head I thought why I don’t try some green rice for our lunch box. So I rushed into my kitchen and opened my treasure chest which happens to be my fridge and started taking out whatever green veggies available there. Well, I had Coriander leaves, Mint leaves, Green Chillies, Dill, Green Peas and Broccoli… Wait a second, broccoli? Well, why not? If we can make cauliflower rice then why not with broccoli? So with this thought in mind and backing up from my sweetheart I went into a mission of creating my own version of ‘Green Pulao’.

Green Pulao

2 cups of Rice
1 medium Onion, roughly chopped
½ cup Green Peas
1 medium Broccoli, cut into big florets including stem
½ tbsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1 inch Cinnamon
3-4 Cloves
2-3 Green Cardamom
2 Bay Leaves
½ tbsp ginger Paste
½ tbsp garlic Paste
½ tbsp Ground Pepper
1 tbsp Ghee
Grind to smooth paste:
1 small bunch of Coriander Leaves
1 small bunch of fresh Mint
1 small bunch of Dill (optional)
4-5 Green Chillies (according to taste)
1 tbsp of Lime Juice

Go Green with Green Pulao

Soak rice in water for 15-30 minutes, wash and drain excess water.
In a pressure cooker, heat ghee and add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and bay leaves. Fry them till they start leaving aroma.
To this add cumin seeds, chopped onions, ginger and garlic paste and fry till onions turn transparent.
Now add washed rice, ground paste, salt and pepper powder and fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add broccoli florets and green peas and enough water and pressure cook till done.
Serve hot Green Pulao with any Raita of your choice.

Green Pulao

Final Verdict:
Green Pulao with broccoli as my experimental addition turned out a huge success with my hubby and me. The mix and match of whole spices with herbs and sweetness of peas and broccoli was amazing. I’m happy that I added broccoli because the dark green colour of it complimented the light green of other ingredients mixed with rice and also the tender taste of broccoli cooked with herbs and whole spices were amazing. Over all, a great tasty rice dish which I’m happy to cook again and again…;)

Go Green with Green Pulao

Veg Uttappa

I remember the days of my childhood when my Amma tried to feed us veggies. I was very picky with vegetables. Hated one for its colour and another for its shape; disliked one for its texture and another for its taste; oh… so many reasons not to eat vegetables. But Amma was too smart to leave us just like that. She had so many secret weapons in her treasure chest which she used whenever required. She made us fruit juice and ice creams when we were not ready to eat fruits, made veggie cutlets and colourful dosas when were ran away from vegetables, made healthy rice dishes with wide array of vegetables chopped into so small pieces so that it will be difficult to pick them and pile in the corner of plates, mixed fresh fruits and raw vegetables in yogurt to mix with rice and roties, mixed vegetable purees with chappati atta to make them colourful and attractive… and not to forget different varieties of dosas with smiley faces cheering us…
Memories…lovely memories… Well, let me come back to present…. If anyone were to ask me which I dislike the most my answer would be none… Yes Amma, you heard it right:) Thanks to my hubby dear who made me fall in love with all the vegetables. I love using as many different varieties of vegetables as possible in any dish which I feel gives 'kick' to it. As my hubby prefers dosas for breakfast on weekdays than breakfast cereals, I’m always on a search for as many recipes as possible. The one which works perfect for us is Uttappa. I usually make Uttappa batter for 2-3 days and add different types of vegetables on different days. Here is a recipe for making Veg Uttappa.

Veg Uttappa

1 cup Raw Rice
1 cup Par Boiled Rice
1/4 cup Dehusked Black gram
1 tbsp Red gram Dal
1/2 tbsp Fenugreek/Methi seeds
Salt to Taste.

Indian Healthy Pizza, Veg Uttappa

Vegetables used:
Grated Carrot
Finely chopped Capsicum
Finely chopped Onion
Grated Cauliflower
Finely chopped Green Chillies(Acc to taste)
Finely chopped Coriander Leaves

Indian Healthy version of Pizza

Soak all ingredients in water for 3-4 hours.
Grind then to smooth paste adding salt and enough water.
Allow to ferment till next day.
Heat a tawa/pan and spread a laddle full of batter into thick circle.
Sprinkle finely chopped vegetables on top evenly.
Cook both sides in medim flame till they turn golden brown.
Serve hot with sambhar/chutney/pickle.

Veg Uttappa served with Potato Sambar

Add as many or as little vegetables you want.
With the same batter you can make Onion, Cauliflower, Tomato, Carrot, Capsicum Uttappa.

Veg Uttappa served with Potato Sambar

17 November, 2006

Stuffed Baingan & Okra

My hubby is a vegetable lover and is a firm believer of 5 portions a day. I tease him a lot because he eats more vegetables than rice. Our refrigerator filled with all sorts of veggies except for one vegetable, Brinjal/Egg Plant. Oh no!! It’s not because he hates it, it’s just that he is little allergic to it. Before marriage one of the very few vegetables I used to eat was Brinjal. My Amma is an expert when it comes to cooking different egg plant dishes. After marriage I hardly cook anything using brinjal. But after seeing wonderful recipes of egg plant in other blogs I couldn’t stop making one of my favourite dish Stuffed Baingan. I didn’t feel like cooking it just for myself. So after thinking a little I thought of making stuffed Okra for my hubby using same ingredients. This is my Amma’s recipe of making very tasty dish using very little oil.

Sizzling Pot of Stuffed Baingan & Okra

6-7 small Egg Plants/Brinjals (My Portion:)
8-10 Okra/Ladies finger (My hubby's Portion;)
½ tbsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
2 Bay Leaves
2 medium Onion, finely chopped
3 big tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup Yogurt/Fresh Cream
2 tbsp chopped Coriander Leaves
1 ½ tbsp Oil
For Stuffing:
¼ cup Roasted Peanuts
1 tbsp Garam Masala
1 ½ tbsp Coriander Seeds
½ tbsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1 tbsp Kitchen King Masala (optional)
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
¾ tbsp Red Chilli Powder
Salt to taste

My Portion of Stuffed Baingan

My Hubby's Portion of Stuffed Okra

Grind all the ingredients without adding any water and keep it aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add jeera and bay leaves.
When jeera starts spluttering add chopped onion and fry them till they turn transparent.
To this add chopped tomatoes and cook till they become tender.
In a mean while, slit small baingan and okra in mid way and stuff them with ground masala.
Arrange them in pan and cook them covered in medium flame.
When they are half cooked turn them over and add cream and any remaining ground masala powder.
Again close the lid and cook them in medium flame till they are done.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or roties.

Stuffed Baingan & Okra served with Boiled Rice

Final Verdict:
Mmm…. It was really good to eat my favourite veggie after long time. They were just perfect. While the baby brinjals were tender, okra was crisp and yummy. Because there was hardly any oil being used while cooking it was not just tasty but healthy too. Quite satisfying dish.

You can also add ginger and garlic paste while cooking. I omitted them because of other masalas being used in stuffing. So I didn’t wanted the masalas to clash with one another, just to blend well.

Stuffed Baingan & Okra served with Boiled Rice

16 November, 2006

Goli Baje

Since the day I saw Goli Baje in Shilpa’s Aayi’s Recipe, I couldn’t stop myself to make our all time favourite tea time snack. Goli Baje is very much liked and loved street food in South Canara. In every college or office canteen it will be available at any time of the day. I remember the days when we friends used to bunk our boring lecture and sit in college canteen slurping “Beccha Beccha Kaapi” (it means hot cup of coffee in Tulu) with big plate of Goli Baje and sharing Beccha Beccha gossips… Ah good old memories. The wonderful time I shared with my friends may not come back but the pleasure of slurping hot cuppa with Goli Baje in winter can be created at any time.

Goli Baje
1 cup Maida/All Purpose flour
3-4 Green Chillies, finely chopped (adjust acc to taste)
1 inch Ginger, finely chopped
1 cup of Butter Milk/Sour Curd
¼ tsp Cooking Soda
Few Curry Leaves, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Goli Baje served with Coriander Chutney
Mix all the ingredients above and make a thick paste.
Keep it covered for 2-3 hours.
Take a small spoon of paste and drop it in hot oil.
Deep fry them in medium flame till they urn into lovely golden brown colour.
Serve hot with Coriander Chutney and “Beccha Beccha Kaapi”.
Green Coriander Chutney with Goli Baje
Ingredients for Green Chutney:
Small bunch of Coriander Leaves
3-4 Green Chillies
2-3 tbsp Grated Coconut
Small ball of Tamarind
1/2 inch of Ginger
Salt to taste

Grind all the above ingredients adding little water into a smooth paste.
Serve with hot Goli Bajes.

Spongy Goli Baje with Coriander Chuteny
Final Verdict:
What can I say friends!!! I got big thumbs up from my much better half. They turned out to be soft, fluffy and delicious. They were as soft and light as cotton balls. Don’t go by their looks. They might look very simple and easy to cook as they require very few ingredients and little preparation time apart from fermentation. But believe me; nothing can beat the taste of Goli Bajes in this cold winter. I must tell you one thing though. Because it’s made with Maida, it tends to absorb little more oil than normal Pakodas. But I feel that sometime we need to indulge ourselves in simple pleasures of life.

Soft and Fluffy Goli Baje

15 November, 2006

Rava Idlis

If you are a South Indian then one thing which will always follow you everywhere is Idli-Sambar. Be it a small hotel or gaadiwala or some ‘sagar’ hotels, the white, soft and fluffy Idli’s with big bowl of mouth watering Sambar and Coconut Chutney will take your breath away.
Here I’m posting a recipe another version of idli called Rava Idlis. The only common thing between Rice idlis and Rava idlis are their shape and the way they are steam cooked. The ingredients, method of preparing the batter, colour and taste everything is different from one another.

Rava Idlis with Coconut Chutney and Onion Sambar

2 cups of Rava/Semolina
¼ tsp Cooking Soda
1 cup Butter Milk/Sour Curds
1 tbsp Ghee/Oil
1 tbsp Mustard
1 tbsp Urad Dal
1 ½ tbsp Channa Dal
1 tbsp chopped Curry Leaves
1 tbsp finely chopped Green Chillies
10-12 Cashew Nuts
2-3 tbsp Raisins
2 tbsp chopped Coriander Leaves
¼ cup grated Carrots
Salt to taste

Ready to steam cook

Ready to cook in Microwave

Heat ghee in a pan and add cashew nuts and channa dal. Fry them till they turns slightly golden colour.
To this add urad dal, mustard, chopped curry leaves, green chillies and raisins. Fry them till mustard starts spluttering.
Now add the rava/semolina and fry them in a low flame till semolina turns golden and switch off the gas. Let the mixture cool down.
To this add salt, cooking soda, butter milk, chopped coriander leaves, grated carrots and mix well.
Add enough water to make a batter of idli consistency (little thicker than dosa batter) and keep aside for half an hour.
Pour a ladle full of batter into idli plates and steam cook them for 15-20 minutes till they are done.
You can also make idlis in microwave using idli container and cook them for 7-10 minutes as per instruction. Serve hot rava idlis with Onion Sambar and Coconut Chutney.

Colourful Rava Idlis

You can prepare and store this rava mixure in air tight container for 1-2 weeks and can be used as and whenever required to make rava idlis.

Rava Idlis served with Onion Sambar & Coconut Chutney