Friday, December 31, 2010

Wishing All a Happy New Year

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Navratna Peas Curry

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1/4 cup Chickpeas
1/4 cup Black Eyed Peas
1/4 cup Kidney Beans
1/4 cup Kala Chana
1 large onion chopped finely
1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
3 tsp chopped ginger
5 finely chopped/grated garlic cloves
1 hot Green chilli cut lengthwise
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 big cinnamon stick
5 cloves
Garam masala/Chana masala as preferred
Cilantro Leaves
Salt as per taste

Soak all the beans overnight and pressure cook it well.  Heat oil in a pressure pan and add cinnamon, fennel seeds, cloves, chilli, onions, turmeric, salt, curry leaves.When the onions are cooked add tomatoes, when tomatoes are cooked, add the cooked beans, then add cayenne powder, coriander powder, garam or chana masala and stir well, add chopped coriander leaves, water and pressure cook well again.  Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Macaroni and BowTie Pasta with Veggies

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1 1/2 cup cooked macaroni and bow tie pasta
1 cup mixed veggies(celery,carrot,broccoli,spring onions,peas,1 cherry deseeded tomato)
Few dashes of italian seasonings
Garlic Salt as per taste
Mustard as per taste
Mayo as per taste

Heat oil in a pan and add the mixed veggies and garlic salt and stir well then add the cooked pasta and stir well to blend.Add few dashes of the italian seasonings and stir well.The veggies itself give a great natural flavor to the dish.If preferred desired amount of mayo and mustard can be added to give additional flavor.This pasta tastes great hot or cold.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


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Soak half cup urad dal in water for about 3 hrs.Grind the urad dal with salt and very little water till it is smooth and fluffy.Mix coconut flakes,black pepper corns and whole cashews with the bonda batter.Scoop out small amount of the batter and deep fry it in hot oil till done.Enjoy hot with your favorite chutney or sambar.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Tangy Potato Curry

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Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a great weekend.Here is a curry I enjoy making a lot and is a favorite of mine.

1 med large onion chopped
1 med tomato chopped
1 med large red potato cut in cubes(left the skin on)
1 tsp chopped ginger
3 cloves garlic chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Oil

Wet Grind to a Fine Paste
7 roasted red chilles(add more or less as preferred)
3/4 th cup shredded coconut
Tamarind 2 blueberry size(adjust to the heat of your chillies)
11/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp mustard and cumin seeds each
Curry Leaves
Chopped Coriander Leaves

Heat oil in a deep pan and add mustard and cumin seeds,when it splutters add curry leaves,coriander leaves,onion,salt,ginger,garlic,turmeric and stir cook till onions are done.Add the potato,tomato and stir cook for a few more mins.Add the ground paste,add water and cover cook on med heat till the potatoes are cooked well.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy and Merry Christmas

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Wishing Lots of Joy and Merriment this Holiday Season and Always
Here are some cool christmas songs to enjoy from You Tube

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Eggless Fruit Cake

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This is the most wonderful time of the year and also the time when schools are closed and the kids have to be entertained and one way to do is to involve them in the cooking.My little one made this by himself with almost no help from me.I gave him all the ingredients.He had so much fun mixing and baking.This is a very easy cake to make and bake.Kids will love making this one.

1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
1 cup Sugar
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup oil
A little more than 1/4 cup of dry fruits-Tutti Frutti and chopped Nuts
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange

Preheat the oven to 350 F.In a wide bowl add flour,sugar,oil,water,salt,baking soda,vanilla and mix to blend well with a spatula.Add dry fruits and nuts,lemon juice,zest from the lemon and orange and mix again to blend well.Pour it in a baking pan of your choice and bake at 350 F for about 30 mins or till a wooden stick poked in the middle comes out clean.Let it cool completely.

 Spice Powder that contain star anise,cinnamon and nutmeg can be added for more flavor.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bread Upma

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Cut 7 slices of bread in cubes and set aside.Heat oil in a deep pan and add 1 tsp chana dal and urad dal each along with 1/2 tsp mustard and cumin seeds each.When the mustard seeds splutter add curry leaves,6 red chillies and 1 med large chopped onion,chopped garlic,salt,dashes of asafoetida powder and turmeric powder.Stir fry till onions are nicely cooked.Add the bread cubes to the onions and stir well till blended and roasted slightly.Add chopped coriander leaves and stir well.The heat from the chillies and the crunch from the roasted dal and onions along with the bread make it a nice eat.
Note:I usually use multi grain bread with nuts,since I did not have it I used the plain bread.

Mozzarella Tomato Salad

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Mix balsamic vinegar as per taste,1 clove garlic minced or garlic salt,fresh chopped basil leaves,fresh chopped oregano(optional),2tbsp good quality olive oil or half and half canola oil and olive oil to 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 1 cup grape tomato and give a nice stir.Marinate and enjoy with some hot soup and breadsticks or garlic bread.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

White Pumpkin with Yogurt

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3/4 th cup of white pumpkin cut lengthwise
1/2 medium onion chopped
3 serrano chilles
1/4 cup shredded coconut(add more if preferred)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup beaten/blended yogurt
1/2 tsp mustard and cumin seeds each
Curry Leaves
Salt to taste

Grind coconut,chillies and cumin seeds adding some water and make a paste and set aside.In a pan add pumpkin,water,salt and the ground coconut paste and bring to a boil and switch the stove off when the pumpkin is cooked.In another pan heat oil and add mustard,cumin seeds when it splutters add curry leaves,onions and some asafoetida.When the onions are cooked add it to the pumpkin.Add more water if necessary.Add the beaten yogurt to the pumpkin and give a nice stir.I made some pakodas for snack so I added them to both the pumpkin curries with milk and the yogurt one.

Note:Sliced ginger can be added to the onions if preferred.

White Pumpkin with milk

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3/4 th cup of white pumpkin cut lengthwise
1/2 medium onion chopped
3 serrano chilles
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup Plain Milk/Coconut Milk
1/2 tsp mustard and cumin seeds
Curry leaves

Grind coconut,chillies and cumin seeds adding some water and make a paste and set aside.In a pan add pumpkin,water,salt and the ground coconut paste and bring to a boil and switch the stove off when the pumpkin is cooked.In another pan heat oil and add mustard,cumin seeds when it splutters add curry leaves,onions and some asafoetida.When the onions are cooked add it to the pumpkin.Add more water if necessary.Add milk to the pumpkin and cook it for a few mins.I made some pakodas for snack I added them in the end.

Note:Sliced ginger can be added to the onions if preferred.If coconut milk is used squeeze some lemon juice in the end.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Pin It Now! I was tagged by Kavitha of and Gayu of,let me know if I missed anyone else. I would like to tag all my blogger friends with these set of questions.If you wish please answer these questions.I also received two awards from Santhosh and Suja.Please check my awards page for the update.

 Are you a vegetarian, or have you thought about being one?
 No I am not a vegetarian,I like some non veg foods like chicken and seafood.

 Who inspired you to cook or bake?
Cook-My Palate and of course my Mom.Bake - A good oven.

 How do you celebrate Christmas?...or a favorite holiday of your choice?
Being a Hindu,we have a lot of festivals in a year,so I have a lot of favs,I try to make it as festive as I  love,make some easy snacks and sweets.Christmas is another fav of mine,even as a child I would be fascinated by the stars hung outside the doors.I always have a christmas tree,put up ornaments,lights and bake some cookies.  

 If someone were to ask you to bring dessert to a party, what would you bring? Store bought, or homemade, and if you were to make homemade, what would you make?
Really depends on what kind of a party and what's on the menu.Store made or homemade depends on the day and my mood.I would bake a cake or some Indian sweet or even something as simple as a fruit custard/salad.

 Do you have a New Year's resolution-and will you be sticking to it?
Haven't really made any till now.Got to give it a thought.

 What is your take on organic food , is it a big deal for you ?
Well what they claim good today is not good another day.Its all about balance.There are too many contradictory reports.I do buy organic food but not entirely.One thing I do is always buy fresh.I buy from local farmers and stores that carry goods from local vendors.

 Do you time your breakfast,lunch & dinner or eat when you are hungry ?
In some cases ignorance is bliss but not in this case,I was ignorant and have skipped breakfast quite a bit,but nowadays no I know a lot better.

 How do you get new ideas for recipes?
I always like to experiment and that leads to new ideas for recipes.

 Name three things you have to use in most recipes ?
Nothing like I have to use,but I like to use tomatoes,spices,salt.

 How important is eating meals together as a family to you?
Very important.Good to have some quality time together.

You do not like a particular dish at your favorite restaurant, what will you do?

Not order it again.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sukku Kuzhambu/Sonti Pulusu/Dry Ginger Tamarind Curry

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5 small shallots chopped lengthwise
4 garlic pods finely chopped
Curry Leaves
Tamarind Cherry size(soak and extract water)
1 tsp Dry Ginger powder(add more if preferred)
3/4 tsp cayenne powder(add more if preferred)
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp mustard and cumin seeds each
Salt as per taste
2 tbsp sesame oil

Heat oil in a kadai and add mustard and cumin seeds when it splutters add shallots,salt,asafoetida,turmeric,curry leaves.When shallots are cooked add garlic,tamarind extract water,dry ginger powder,cayenne powder,water and cook till the pulusu/kuzhambu thickens.Enjoy with hot rice accompanied by thick coconut chutney and chips.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dry Ginger Milk/Sonti Pal/Sukku Pal

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We all know the health benefits of ginger.Its widely used in all forms of medicine.I use fresh ginger a lot in my cooking and dry ginger occasionally in some of my dishes especially during the winter months.One such is the dry ginger milk.

Mix 3/4 tsp of dry ginger powder,3 tsp of jaggery/brown sugar,few pinches of powdered cardamom and few pinches of fennel powder to 1 cup of 1%milk boil and give a nice stir.Strain and enjoy hot with snacks.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Shredded Mango Pickle

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1 1/4 cup finely grated raw mango
1/4 cup cayenne powder
3/4 tsp roasted mustard powder
3/4 tsp asafoetida
3/4 cup sesame oil
3-4 pinches of roasted fenugreek powder
Salt to taste

Roast mustard seeds without oil and make a powder in a coffee grinder and set aside.Heat oil in a pan on the lowest setting of heat and then add cayenne powder,asafoetida,roasted mustard powder,salt and give it a nice stir.Add the finely grated raw mango and give a nice stir.Check for salt and add more if required.Increase the flame a bit and stir cook for a few mins till oil seperates.

Note:Add more fenugreek powder if preferred.

Mango pickle rice

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Mixed cooked rice along with some pickle.This is my absolute fav more than the pickle.I make the pickle just to eat this rice.Hope you will enjoy it too.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Multi Flour Chapati

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Mixed whole wheat flour,besan flour,all purpose flour,freshly ground oats flour and salt and kneaded into a dough, added some oil in the end.Made small balls of the dough and rolled it into chapatis and flip cooked on both sides adding some oil.Chapatis turned out great.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Snake Gourd Stir Fry

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Wash,peel the skin,chop the snake gourd and set aside.Dry roast 1/2 cup raw peanuts,remove the skin and powder it coarsely in a coffee grinder and set aside.

Heat 2-3 tsp oil in a pan add 1/4 tsp of mustard and cumin seeds.When it splutters add the chopped snake gourd,salt give a nice stir and cover cook for a few mins.Then add the desired amount of cayenne powder, freshly ground coriander powder stir cook for a few mins then add desired amount of roasted ground peanut powder and 2-3 pinches of fennel powder.Stir nicely and cook for a min.Enjoy!

Note : Some chilli powders have a raw taste and smell,do not use them,instead dry roast dry red chillies,powder and add it.Same preparation can be used for some greens and certain other gourds.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Spinach Rice

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1/4 cup chopped onions
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 1/2 - 2 tsp Sadaf garam masala powder(+/- per taste)
2 cups cooked basmati rice(used a colander to drain the water)
1 stick cinnamon
3 cloves
Salt to taste
1 1/2  tbsp oil

Heat oil in a pan add cinnamon,cloves and chopped onions,when the onions are cooked add spinach and stir for a few mins till spinach is cooked,add salt,garam masala powder and stir a bit then add the cooked rice and stir well so the rice gets nicely mixed with spinach.Enjoy hot with some chips/raita/papad.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thankyou Priya,Tahemeem,Priya Sreeram

Pin It Now! Thankyou Priya Mitharwal,Tahemeem,Priya Sreeram for trying my Bottle Gourd Pachadi/Raita.I am so overwhelmed with joy.Comments like these encourage me to do even better and challenge myself.They are  wonderful bloggers,please check their blogs for delicious recipes.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cold Coffee Drink/Cold Coffee

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1 cup cold 2% milk
3 tsp sugar(+/- as per taste)
1/2 tsp instant coffee powder-I used nescafe classic
Whip Cream

Blend cold milk,sugar,coffee powder real well on high.Pour it in a cup and enjoy with some whip cream on top.Yum!Yum!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Mushroom Fry

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2 cups chopped mushroom
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
3/4th cup finely chopped tomatoes
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
1/2 tsp fresh ginger paste
Curry leaves
2 sticks cinnamon
4 cloves
Salt to taste
3 tbsp oil

Dry Spices
1-11/2 tsp freshly ground coriander powder
1/2-1 tsp hot cayenne powder
3/4 tsp sadaf garam masala powder
1 tsp fennel powder
2-3 tsp fresh black pepper powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Heat oil in a pan and add cinnamon and cloves, then add curry leaves,  onions, salt, when onions are cooked add ginger and garlic stir cook for few mins, add tomatoes, when tomatoes are cooked add mushroom and stir cook for a few mins.  Add all the spice powders one be one and stir well,  sprinkle some water and cook till the oil separates from the gravy.  Goes very well with plain yogurt rice.

Note:If the onions and tomatoes(vine ripe) are not finely chopped add 2 tbsp oil more.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Spinach n Yellow Moong Dal Fry

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Heat oil in a skillet add mustard seeds when it splutters add onions and salt,when onions are cooked add chopped spinach sautee for a minute then add the drained not overly cooked(should be aldente) yellow moong dal.Stir well and enjoy hot with rice.Adding garlic and coconut is optional.I did not add it and it tasted great.Enjoy!

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