Monday, July 9, 2012

Mango rasam and blog-bonding

I, for sure need accept the face that I've been several light years away from blogging! Upheavals in life just kept me submerged in uncertainty and fear. Now with the help of family and friends i am getting out of my worst nightmare that came true! Life without dad is something which i never thought of .But life has compelled me to eat ,sleep ,cook and take care of my family! So be it as it may!
This rasam was made from one of the sourest mangoes I've ever encountered with. Picked a few from my Munnar trip.The seller claimed that it grew in the forests out there.Considering the sourness i decided it was rasam. Sure enough turned out heavenly. A must try!

Mango rasam recipe 

Mango pieces -1 cup
coriander leaves chopped-!/2 cup
green chilies -2 nos
garlic-2 nos
ginger-1/2" finely chopped
turmeric powder - a pinch
rasam powder- 3/4 tsp (adjust according to spice level)
water-3 cups
salt to taste
jaggery- 1/2 tsp
Ghee-1 tsp
hing-a pinch
jeera-1/4 tsp
curry leaves -a few

Cook the mango pieces on high for 3 minutes. Cool it and grind it along with coriander leaves chilies and salt Mix it with water. Add jaggery. Now for the seasoning , add the ghee and crackle the jeera, add hing, turmeric powder, rasam powder, curry leaves and garlic. Once done stir it in to the rasam and enjoy it with some hot rice or as soup!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Avial-certainly a revival!

Blogging has become impossible with the time juggle I am in to. Today has turned to be one of those run dry days when i don't see my friends online or available on sat down to post. Life is treating me fairly good no doubt...but driving here shakes the hell out of me.  I hang on to dear horn and kick the brake pedal probably the number of times breathe in there.  My friends in the US have been telling about the temperatures raising there. Well it's the same here but just that it doesn't bring in smiles n plans but brings with it a lot more than one can bargain for : the power shut downs n water problems. Done with all my negative note now to the positive mode , this post is dedicated to my best friend from my childhood days...seems to be her husband's favorite here u go dear S... hope Mr R enjoys this!
Now about the is a wonderful assortment of veggies simmered in coconut paste and in the end lightly coated with a creamy yogurt and seasoned with hing and curry leaves in hot coconut oil. Now to say more about it, it is a kerala dish, tastes heavenly . The subtle spices add to the taste of the dish. The choice of the vegetables play a very important role here. Tastes best when eaten with rice or adai.


vegetables cubed-200gms(carrots,beans,white pumkin,yam,chow chow)
green chilles-5 nos
coconut grated- half a coconut (medium size)
coconut oil-2tsps
curry leaves-a few
hing-1/4 tsp
salt to taste
yoghurt-2 tbls 


Grind the coconut along with jeera and green chillies and keep aside. Cook the veggies till tender and then turn in the ground paste, add salt and simmer it for sometime. Once your required consistency is reached,  turn off the stove and stir in the yogurt and season it with hing and curry leaves. Serve it with rice or adai.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Eggplant n cilantro - The ultimate pair!!!!

After a really long i decided to peek in to my space which was my most cherished until i landed in India. Once i landed in India, too many things cramped my "cherished " list and alas i failed to prioritize it and it speaks for my absence from the blogospere . in India obviously not the same as in US. It is more enriched by maids and their fuss, drivers and their demands, relatives and their rights and last but not the least the infections and the medications. But after all you are in your mother land and you are not left to cry alone . We are slowly sinking in to the feel and accepting the fact that we are not going back. Not going back would mean no more cherrios , no mac n cheese, no Stromboli, no special k bars,no kawan parathas....the list can go on and on.....I know, i was coming to that.....My friends back in the US would definitely be a miss in my life out here. I had those lovely people in my community with  whom i have had these wonderful Girls meet. How can i forget my neighbor P and her lovely coffee! How can i not miss T and her watermelon juice....The 3 sportsmen who adorned the tennis court to gossip!!!! I wish i could go on and on...
Coming to the recipe, it is one from my drafts .It is simple one with easily available ingredients. It is definitely a crowd pleaser too. Goes well rice and rotis as well!


egg plant cubbed-1 pound
cilantro chopped-2 cups
red chillies -3 -4nos
urad dhal-2 tsp
oil-4 tsps
mustard- 1/4 tsp
jeera -1/4 tsp
tamarind-1'' piece
hing-1/4 tsp
salt to taste


In a kadai add 2 tsp of oil and add the urad dhal ,red chillies, cilantro and the tamarind one after the other and lightly fry it. After it cools down puree it and keep aside. Now add 2 tsps of oil in the kadai and season it with mustard , jeera and hing.Now add the eggplant  and sauté it till cooked. Sprinkle water if necessary. Now mix in the puree and salt according to taste. Mix everything in and let it cook for a minute or so and put off  the stove. Keep it to a semi gravy consistency.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Collards kichdi-The one pot meal!

This wonderful kichdi filled our rumbling tummies the afternoon i ran out ideas to cook. I know you must  think it to be odd to have kicidi for lunch. But it is best  to have it for lunch than for dinner for it is high in calories.This invention in my kitchen happened when i was reminded of "Arisiyum parrrupu sadam" which my friend used to make. I remembered the taste but not the exact the do-hows of the recipe. Calling my friend was not a great idea for she was in a different time zone. One thought lead to the other and thus this yummylicious recipe was born. A great way to eat eat dhal, greens and less of rice and still feel satisfied .
Now this dish found its way in to my kitchen for i could use only what i had. I know for kichidi one uses basmati rice but i used  ponni raw rice .Addition of tomatoes made it more sticky  but since we like it that way it was fine. So tomatoes can be an optional ingredient.It is one satisfying meal i can bet! Tastes great with a raita, papad  and pickle.


1 cup rice and moong dhal mixed(half and half)
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
3 green chillies slit
1 cup chopped collards
1/2 cup chopped tomato
2 tbsp onions chopped
1" cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp jeera
1/4 tsp hing
2 tsp oil
salt to taste
1 tsp ghee(optional)


Wash the rice and dhal , drain it and lightly fry it in a skillet without oil and keep aside.Now pour the oil in to the skillet and season it with the cinnamon ,jeera and hing. Once they splutter add the green chillies and onions and fry it it glossy and then add ginger-garlic paste and cook till done. Now add the tomatoes and collards and sauté them lightly and add the rice and dhal to it and give it a good mix.Transfer the contents to a rice cooker and add 3 cups of water and salt to taste. When done pour the ghee over and mix it. Serve it hot with raita /pickle/papad.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tomato chutney-Chutney in a jiffy!

Aptly named "chutney in a jiffy", this is a great rescue when it comes to chutneys and dips. Absolutely no cooking required and is over when you blend the ingredients together. While i did it for the first time,  i did feel like i was doing one of those "powerful blender" ads where the lady pops in the ingredients to blend and a colorful and exotic looking  juice comes out. But when i tasted it, it was mind-blowing! I never realized these simple ingredients in our pantry combined could give such a great taste! You would not go back to your old tomato chutney after you have tasted this. A no cook version and bursts out with freshness and flavor. Glad i imported the recipe from my friend's mother in law! Goes perfect with idlis,dosas and almost anything! A real chatpat one!


3 big tomatoes
6 garlic pods
3 red chillies
1/4 tsp jeera
salt to taste

For seasoning

1/4 tsp mustard
1/4 tsp urad dhal
1/8 tsp hing
1/8 tsp jeera
curry leaves a few
1 tsp oil


Chop tomatoes and garlic and run it in the blender along with redchillies and jeera without adding water.
Heat the oil and season it with the seasoning ingredients and add the required salt.Serve it, store it or freeze it!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tender Jackfruit and Rajma curry-blend of north and south!

I call this curry a blend of north and south because it is a dish that combines the  favorites of  both north and south India. The combination worked great and is a simple curry to make. Come on! it's not a marriage between Homo sapiens that we are talking about, but the marriage of the chief ingredients. Not to worry if you are wondering about the chief masala in it; it is my dear old sambar powder. Now you know the recipe is simple and manageable. I believe in keeping the recipe simple and number of ingredients less enough to remember and most importantly find them in the pantry when you want something quick and nice to eat. I remind myeslf  for the umpteenth time that , this is a food blog and i should keep my writing neat and simple So now jumping on to the recipe, this simple collaborative curry pairs great with rice, rotis, poris and our idlis and dosas too!


1 cup jender jackfruit -cubed
1 cup boiled rajma
1/2 cup onions chopped
1/2 cup tomatoes diced
4 garlic pods slit length wise
1 small marble sized tamarind pulped
1 table spoon coconut(optional)
2 tsp sambar powder
1/2 tsp jaggery
salt to taste

For seasoning

1/4 tsp mustard
1/4 tsp urad
1/4 tsp channa dhal
hing a pinch
curry leaves a few
2 tsp oil

Heat the oil in the pan and add all the seasonings.Once they splutter, add onion and garlic and sauté till glossy and then add tamarind pulp and cook it till raw smell goes and add  the tender jackfruit and keep working on it till tender and soft then add the rajma and half of the tomatoes in to it. Now while you have the jackfruit cooking you can put together sambar powder,other half of  tomatoes and coconut in the blender and pound it.  After adding the rajma in to the pan you can add the pounded mixture, add salt jaggery and bring it to a boil and switch  the stove off when it reaches your desired consistency.

Tail piece
  • Coconut is optional .While pounding it with the sambar powder and tomatoes water is not necessary.
  • Sprinkle water now and then in the cooking process. Again consistency is your choice.
  • If you want to do it without coconut reduce the tamarind by 1/4th. That way  it not very strong.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Brussels sprouts-The desi way!

Brussels sprouts though a nutritious one, would definitely not be my first choice. But for my little one, there would not have been this post today. He spotted these small green balls at the local grocers and said,"Mommy this is what Olivia ate at her friend's house, can i have that too?. "I  thought that my son was growing up fast enough to discuss what his friends ate and incidents related to that. No sooner than i thought; this guy threw his most infamous tantrum. I had to give in. On the way back home he was talking about his friend Olivia. Little did i realize then, that it was that pig Olivia he was talking about. Too much of TV influence these days that you go crazy having names like wuzzle bug and wubsy in your house hold.
Well, i haven't tried eating this veggie in a salad or a baked form. Not very appealing to me. but since i bought that box ,i wanted to finish it off. Experimented it adding same ingredients as for kootu and turned out to be great. One more good thing about the recipe is that i was able to microwave it till the end and had to season it in the end on the stove top. So a considerable reduction of oil here. So a health recipe again with less calories!.The addition of cilantro gave that much needed lift to this curry. It sure is coming back again to my kitchen.  Again and again and again ................


1 pound brussels sprouts chopped fine
2 tbsp moong dhal washed and soaked for 30 min
3 green chillies slit
1/2 tsp jeera
1/2 tsp mustard
1/4 tsp hing
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp coconut
salt to taste
1 tsp oil


In a microwave bowl take the moong dhal and add a little water[ Just for the moong dhal to get cooked]
Once the dhal is almost half cooked [say about 8 min in high power] stir in the brussels sprouts and cook till done. It may take about another 6 to 8 minutes. This depends on the microwave, so see to that the dhal and the veggies don't turn mushy but gets cooked. For this keep adjusting the water and cook time accordingly. Meanwhile just pound the coconut, chillies, cilantro and jeera seeds and keep it aside. In a skillet add the oil and season it with musturd and hing and add it to the microwave cooked dhal and  veggie along with salt. Give it a good mix and its ready!

Tail piece

  1. Just in case u have lots of water remaining after the veggies are cooked ,use it in rasam or sambar or to knead rotis you don't want to waste that nutritious stock.
  2. You can convert the recipe in to stove top one by cooking both the dhal and the veggie in pan with adequate water alternately opening and closing the pan.
  3. While pounding the ingredients you have to do it dry enough to just mix it in.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ulundu dosai with spinach chutney

The dosa freak in me and my idea to avoid rice or wheat for dinner pushed me in to doing this recipe. I try and avoid rice or wheat for dinner. So far so good. The greatness of this dosa lies in the fluffy texture and the addition of onions, ginger, chillies and cilantro makes it all the more royal. In other words it's a vada on a tava.! The same taste with less calories and  plus the creeping crave in me is satisfied. Mr C was delighted for once with this recipe because his otherwise veggie n fruit night turned in to an exotic one. This calorie conscious Mr C is my critic and judge with my son on the tow. But have it for keeps, he is my white mouse too!. Hope he does not read this...

Now about the dosa, i have used black urad dhal with skin. The nutrition partly lies in the skin. I made a mental note add methi the next time i make it. It might add a slight crisp to the dosa, what every dosa lover looks for. Simple yet delicious is the" mantra" behind this dosa. Left me and my family thoroughly satisfied.

Spinach chutney is my new addition to my collection of vegetable and fruit chutneys.The chutney sports a brilliant hue and is no less in taste. The idea of spinach in chutney form is great for snadwiches or chappati rolls too.

Ingredients for dosa

1 cup urad dhal with skin
1 tblsp raw rice
1/2 cup onions chopped
2 tblsp cilantro chopped
1 tblsp ginger chopped fine
2 green chillies chopped fine
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp each-mustard,urad, jeera and hing for seasoning
salt to taste


Soak the dhal and rice together till soft and grind it fine. Now in a skillet add the oil and the seasonings.Once they splutter add the ginger , chillies and onions and fry them a little and turn of the stove before they turn glossy. Add cilantro and turn in the whole mixture along with salt in to the batter. Add water if required to get the dosa batter consistency. Grease the tava and pour out dosas and cook on both sides. Once done, serve it with spinach chutney.

Ingredients for spinach chutney

2 cups spinach fresh and chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 tsp urad dhal
1 tsp jeera
2 red chillies
salt to taste
1 tsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard
1/4 tsp hing
brown sugar or jaggery or sugar -2 small pinches


Heat a pan or skillet and 1/2 tsp of oil. Now add the red chillies, urad dhal and jeera. Once they get roasted add the garlic and spinach and switch off the stove. The heat in the skillet is enough to cook spinach and the garlic. Once the whole thing is cools down blend it together in a blender with very little or no water. Now season it with the remaining oil and mustard and hing. Don't forget the salt  and jaggery or brown sugar. Goes well almost anything. Try it and you will like it!

Tail piece
  1. Spreading out the dosa here needs some care. Comes out great with low flame.
  2. For the chutney if spinach is sauteed and heated up it loses its flavor and taste and nutrients.So take care to put off the stove once you log in spinach.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Eggplant n potato -Gravy in a jiffy

The most common vegetable options in any cuisine would be the eggplant and the potato.They fit in so well when your refrigerator reminds you for the umpteenth time to stock up with veggies.These pals don't let u down so easily. Potatoes are skirt-chasers too! They don't fail to please a fair palate. I know many from my own group who vote for "I love anything with aloo". Eggplant despite being a wiser one than potato, does not top in votes but definetly one of the next preffered veggies. I love them both because they are so versatile. Yes i can hear my calorie alarm go off but who cares for calories in a gravy when you are just going to eat a few ladles of it. Now that is what i would call smart eating, balancing the calorie alarm and your crave bell!
This is one easy-weezy-breezy recipe which i keep doing all the time.Never knew its importance until the other day when my friends who were here for lunch were in raves about the dish. My friend wanted to know the exact mesurements of the spices in to it because she could not believe when i told her that it was just sambar powder and garam masala. So the next time i made it managed to click it and measure my ingredients. It is a great side for rotis, rice,idlis and dosas. A real quick one too!


1 cup eggplant cubbed
1 cup potatoes cubbed
1 cup onions chopped
1 cup tomatoes chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
marble sized tamarind pulped
2 tsp sambar powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2" cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp jaggery
salt to taste
2 tsp oil
cilantro for garnish.


In a skillet add the oil and for seasoning add the fennel seeds and cinnamon stick. Now add the onions and garlic and saute them until glossy. Meanwhile microwave the veggies together with some water for 5 minutes and keep it aside. Now to the skillet after the onions and garlic is done, add the tomatoes and saute it for 2 minutes or till the skin peel off and then add the tamarind pulp. When this mixture starts boiling add the veggies along with what water may remain and add the sambar powder and let it cook .Once done add the garam masala and salt and jaggery.Garnish with cilantro.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Asparagus Poriyal-curry in a jiffy!

Asparagus is a lesser known vegetable when it comes to the indian kitchen. I have been using it for 3 years now and  blended it in to our system of cooking. I thought it tasted like our dear drumsticks first, then like beans and ya  sometimes like snake gourd but ultimately i found that it had a mind and taste of its own.These spears are not anything frail as they look like, but a balanced storehouse of all the right nutrition. After i made this curry i realized that they get cooked really fast and taste best when cooked just right. It is no doubt a curry in jiffy!


Asparagus-cut in to small bits(about 2cups)
coconut grated -2 tbls
hing-a tight pinch
oil-2 tsps
salt to taste


Microwave the asparagus for 5 minutes with the right amount of water. If you have excess water remove it.
In a blender run the grated coconut and green chillies for just 2 seconds and keep it aside.
Now in a skillet heat the oil and splutter jeera and mustard.Then add the asparagus. Give it a good mix and switch off the stove and add salt and the ground coconut and chillies.Viola!!! its ready to serve!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Stuffed Peppers- Gravy style!

New looks incorporated , racked my brains for a new post....didn't want to post anything from the draft but, had to settle with one of those, for i failed to click any of my dishes in the past few days. Life is so goes by counting calories or waiting for the Sun to peek out or once the sun is out, I am not in a mood to enjoy the hot Sun, but slam on the  air-conditioner.Now you know it is a busy bee that's talking. Lighter things apart, anyway picked out a recipe from my draft and am trying to give it some beauty enough to be posted. Every recipe has a background, a forefather, an aunt or cousin. I firmly believe in family traits with regard to the taste they impart. I am here to say looks are indeed deceptive, its easier to judge the vegetables in their true botanical sense. I am sure Mrs Hema my botany teacher would have her eyes coming our of her head when she reads this. I was never a botany person but now in the recent times i have learned to apply a little of that to my cooking and believe me it works!
Now coming to the recipe, its not a complex one. When i eyed these peppers at the local Sam's club i had devised this recipe. True enough i was 80% close to my elevated imagined taste.Hubby liked it but for the snide part said "is the combi ok?". As usual i did not let him dampen my spirits went to click a pic of it and also enjoyed it.And now for the recipe..


Sweet peppers-9 to 10 nos(slit and scooped out from inside)
carrots -1 cooked and mashed                      
peas-handful cooked and mashed
potato-1cooked and mashed
1 big onion chopped
garlic-5 cloves chopped
1 big tomato diced
cilantro a big handful chopped
redchillies -4(adjust acc to spice level)
poppy seeds-1 tsp
garam masala powder-1/2 tsp
salt as required

For seasoning

1 tsp fennel seeds
2 clove
4 tsp oil


Mash in the potato,carrot and the peas mash together with a little garam masala and half the salt. Stuff this mixture in to the peppers and set aside. Now in skillet or pan add half the oil and drop in the stuff listed for seasoning. Once they splutter, Add the chillies and the onions and saute it till glossy. Add the ginger and garlic followed by the tomatoes and poppy seeds. Once it turns pulpy switch off the stove and add the chopped cilantro. Cool the mixture and grind it and keep aside. Now in the skillet add the remaining oil and line the stuffed peppers in and gently cook turning it around. Once done add the ground gravy mixture in and bring it to a boil adding water if needed and add salt accordingly. Tastes great with rotis , parathas and also rice and pulaos!

Tail Piece

1.Adding salt here should be done with caution as we already do it while stuffing the peppers.
2.Peppers here do get cooked enough with 2 tsp of oil and you don't really need to worry because your stuffing is cooked and these peppers taste great when eaten raw too.So you don't need much oil or time at this step

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Eggs n spinach gravy

"Eggs n spinach gravy" is a name, hard to accept right? Sorry i definitely could not bring myself to call it Palak Anda. That sounds even more weird to me. It is definitely a derivative of our Palak panner  but still don't know why i can't make it real simple calling it Palak anda. Just a freaking name adds a "dhum" to the dish. I can imagine my in-house critic (husband) asking if i substituted the eggs for panner in the palak panner recipe. I did not want my answer to be an" Yes" to my ever triumphant critic this time. So conceived the concept from the palak panner recipe and gave more shape and taste to it. This dish tastes nothing subtle like palak panner but has the dhum of any spicy gravy. No folks i am not against palak panner but just want to stop this comparison between the cousins. Yes i can call "Eggs n spinach gravy" a second cousin of palak panner. Must not forget to mention that the occasion that made me come out with this dish was my friend Rosy's birthday. I sent her over this gravy with rotis and potato bondas. I hope she liked it.The recipe....


2 cups spinach chopped
1 cup onions chopped
1 cup tomato chopped
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
3-4 eggs hard boiled
1 tsp poppy seeds
1tsp jeera
1tsp fennel seeds
2 cloves
1-2tsp sambar powder or any curry powder(adjust measure acc to spice level)
1/2tsp garam masala
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 sugar
2tsp oil
1 tsp butter
1 tsp cilantro chopped


In a skillet heat the butter and add the jeera, fennel, cinnamon, clove, and half the quantity of onions and
saute them. When the onion turns transparent, add half the quantity of tomatoes and saute them. Finally add chopped spinach with poppy seeds and cook it till just done and switch off the stove and cool it and grind it in to a coarse paste .Add in required water to give u the gravy consistency. Now again heat the skillet and add the oil and once hot, add the onions and leave till it turns glossy and then add the ginger garlic paste. Saute till you get a good smell and add the remaining tomatoes and saute it. Add the sambar powder and garam masala  once the mixture is cooked. Pour in the ground spinach gravy too and add salt according to the quantity now. Pierce the egg with a folk making several small holes in them and float them inside the gravy.Bring everything to a boil , add the sugar and put off the stove and add the lime juice before you serve.Garnish with cilantro!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Retreat-musings n missings!!!!

I know it's been a loooooooong time since i stepped in to my blog; my second home! India had me gallivanting and hardly let me do things i wanted to. But  i enjoyed every moment of it . I have been on the binge ever since i set foot there and could hardly resist doing it.Conveniently located in Coimbatore, I no longer just raved about Annapoorna but had a taste of it most of the time. My ladies group at Cary will have a hard time accepting my new "weighed image".
So its back to the pavilion now and no more running from blog posts, although i am compelled to run for a different reason being my weight!!! Many friends wanted to know what was wrong with my blog. It was in fact me who was bitten by the "India"bug. Who cares for net connections and blog posts while you are letting your hair down in India? But here i am  guys back after a long  trip from India and a short and lazy trip to Portland. I was in Portland to meet this new beautiful and sweet addition to the world-Sarayu. Our friends Vasanth and Narmadha are the proud parents of the new bundle-Sarayu. My husband was thrilled to meet his long lost friend Subramani who we always address as Sami. I saw a new friend in his wife Parvathy as my son in Madhu.
Amidst all this excitement i wanted to post this yummilicious  dosa recipe which is again a no fuss recipe.
A great way to consume these veggies and the colour it imparts to the dosa is also a feast to the eye.The recipe for pumpkin dosa goes.......


1 cup raw rice
1 cup par boiled rice
1/4 cup urad dhal
2 cups pumpkin cubed
1/2 tsp jeera seeds
3 red chillies
1/2 tsp dhaniya seeds
2 tblsps chopped coriander
salt to taste


Soak both the rices and the dhal for about 2 hours and grind it along with other ingredients in the blender till smooth. Add the salt in the end and mix it well.You can pour out in to dosas immediately. Best relished with tomato chutney .

Saturday, November 28, 2009

One more award!

I have one more award to my credit. Thanks to Babli for passing it to me. I shall share this award with all my followers without whom this blog would not have been  interesting. Sure enough i am going to be coming out with a lot of dishes and my experience with them. See you all soon with another dish!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

China gourd and channa dhal curry

This was absolutely a new veggie for me. But definitely wanted  to try my hand at that. The method i devised to make this curry is a safe one which can be applied pretty much for any vegetable of the same kind. A safe way to handle our  not so familiar ones. I should say it was very good and  was almost like ridge gourd. Hubby was skeptical about it first but polished off his plate later and wanted more too. Thanks to my enthusiasm to try using newer veggies available here in US that i end up incorporating them in to our traditional menus. The results and responses have been good so far!


4 tablespoons channa dhal
3 green chillies
2 gourds chopped
1 teaspoon sambar powder
1 tomato chopped
2 teaspoons oil
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon urad dhal
1 teaspoon jeera
1/2 teaspoon hing
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
salt to taste


Soak the channa dhal in the water for an hour and then cook in the microwave along with water for 8 minutes high. If you don't want to use the microwave just cook it in an open kettle along with water till it is 3/4th cooked and keep aside. Now in a skillet heat up the oil and add the mustard, urad, jeera , and turmeric. Once they start splattering add the chiilies and the tomatoes. Saute it for 3 minutes and then add the chopped gourd and the channa dhal along with a little water and add the sambar powder and salt and cook till done.Doesn't take very long for the gourd to get cooked. Serve it with rice or rotis.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Orange rasam

The clementine oranges which were too sour were put to best use here.An avid lover of lemon rasam, thought i would give it a try and also finally get rid of the nerve pulling sensations this fruit gave me ,every time i had one plus encountered a taste which i simply relished. The taste was fabulous and it is going to be a regular on my table no doubt. The only thing to be noted about it is; it should be eaten fresh and not chilled and heated up. The taste changes when you do that. It is light and flavorful enough to substitute a soup. Vadams are a good combination with this rasam. The method to go about is pretty much the same as the regular rasam but at the end you need to add this generous amount of orange juice to make it a real orange rasam (not colour). And yeah the oranges really need to be sour!


2 tablespoons mashed thurdhal(cooked)
1 tomato(pulped)
1and 1/2 tsp rasam powder(acc to spice level )
juice of 2 oranges
Ghee 1 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon jeera
1/2teaspoon hing
1 tbl spoon cilantro chopped
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
salt to taste


Mix about 4 cups of water with the tomato pulp and mashed dhal, adding the turmeric powder boil it till raw smell goes and then add the rasam powder and once it boils add salt and season it with ghee,mustard, jeera and hing .Add the orange juice and garnish with cilantro.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Spinach pokodas

 The perfect companion on a rainy day. When its cold and rainy you tend to turn to food for comfort. That was exactly how i  fitted this in to my calorie consious menu plans. Accidents preceeded by temptations do happen to me. Otherwise how would one describe a scene where the end of a gym session is marked by gobbling away a plate of hot and spicy spinach pokoda(e), drowning it with cardamon and ginger infused tea. Felt so satisfied and a tiny guilt which cropped up also was silenced by the resolution to not indulge in these anymore and do a 15 minute extra at the gym. Now another big thing while i write this post is ,if i should be calling it pakoda or pakodae. I have come to a conclusion that these two names have a singular-plural connection. So considering the numbers i have eaten, i want to call it pakodae!


1 cup chopped spinach
1 cup sliced onions
2 cups besan
1/4 cup rice flour
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
salt to taste
oil to deep fry
a pinch of baking soda(optional)


Mix all the ingredients in to a batter (spooning consistency). Heat the oil in  a deep pan and spoon the batter and deep fry it brown and crisp. Drain the excess oil on a kitchen towel and serve it hot with tea or coffee.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gujrathi dhal

Dhals are a integral part of my everyday meal. Dhals i consider to be a vital source of protien for vegetarians. So i try and collect different recipes for dhals, so that Mr C and my son don't have those grumpy faces while they eat. Variety is the key to appreciation here. This dhal recipe was a speaciality of a gujrathi friend of mine at college. Those were the days when we used to pounce on her lunch box. Being a hostalite,we used to relish what other friends used to get from their homes. This dhal stayed my favourite then and now. The only difference being that i used to eat it with rotis then but now made it more versatile eating with rice. I normally season it with some curd chillies(mor milagai). But today since i did not have any i seasoned with only green chiillies.


1 cup moog dhal
1/2 cup onion chopped
1/4 cup tomatoes
3 green chiilies
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chooped ginger
1/2 teaspoon dhaniya powder
1/2 teaspoon jeera powder
turmeric a pinch
amchur a pinch
salt to taste
2 teaspoons ghee
1 teaspoon jeera
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon jaggery


In a pressure cooker or pan heat up the oil and season it with jeera and mustard. Now add the turmeric,chillies,garlic,ginger,and onions. Saute them well and add the tomatoes and after they are a litlle done add the jeera powder and dhaniya powder .Now add the dhal and add some water,amchur and salt. Consistency is your choice. Cook up to one whistle. After its done season it with curd chillies if you have. Add the jaggery. Serve with rice or rotis.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Karam pori/spiced murmura

I would rather call this indian substitute to popcorn. Not that popcorn is not available in india but this dish i am talking about is more popular in the remotest of the indian villages.Very easily available and very cost wise too compared to the flashy popcorns in india. This particular recipe is a  favorite in our homes and its made in lots and gets over in no time too. Personally it is my companion when i start counting my calories. A total guilt free food that you can hog and hog on....And great tasting too! I love to eat this with some raw onions and lemon juice added to it!


4 cups pori/murmura
6 garlic cloves coarsely crushed
1 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon hing
1 teaspoon dhaniya powder
1 teaspoon jeera powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
3 Red chillies broken
1 cup peanut and chutney dhal (both mixed)
Curry leaves a few

1 tablespoon ghee and oil mixed


In a deep thick  bottomed pan add the oil and ghee. Now add the mustard, hing, chillies, turmeric powder,garlic, curry leaves, chutney dhal and peanut,  and then add the dhaniya powder and jeera powder with salt . Now add the pori /murmura and give it a quick toss and put off the stove. Serve it right away or store it in an air tight container to relish later.


The recipe as such is very simple a typical mix and eat kinds. But the taste lies in the order of  the ingredients in to the pan. I urge you to follow the same order and to quickly to add the ingredients one after the other because they get burnt easily. Enjoy and yeah guilt free!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Raw banana podimas

I always associate this curry with our tradition. It generally is served in the traditional menus. A curry that you are bound to get addicted too. Rasam and this curry is a combination that takes you to the 7th heaven. Not really a tedious job making this curry. But the raw banana that is available in the US have a slight sweetness to them which does not compliment the curry so well. It was still the creepy craving in me, for this curry made me do it  Don't we all eat apple chuntneys and curd rice mixed with fruits? So's ok to do the best with whatever you. are vested with. Nothing is right or wrong in a culinary experiment. We are all learners all through our journey of life. I am sure most of you would agree with me!


2 Raw bananas
2 red chillies
1 teaspoons mustard
1 teaspoons urad dhal
1 channa dhal
1 teaspoon hing

turmeric powder a pinch
salt to taste
2 teaspoons lemon juice


Steam the bananas after de-skining them. Once done cool them and crumble them. In a skillet add some oil and add the mustard, urad, channa dhal, chillies,turmeric and hing.When it spaltters add the crumble, and saute it till it gets slightly roated.Add salt and switch off the stove.Add lemon juice and serve with rice and rasam.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mushroom and peppers in cilantro sauce.

This is another good way to consume the nutritious mushroom. Always liked capsicum with mushrooms. This dish is done in a jiffy.The ingredients used are very basic and available anytime in your pantry. The colours attract any one's attention. A very successful pot luck dish. The crunch in the peppers is sure a contrast to the softer mushroom. This qualifies as a bachelor's cooking dish too. Easy to manage and the end  product a tasty green sauce with mushrooms and colourful peppers. I vote it as one of the great tasting mushroom dishes!

Ingredients                                                      For Seasoning

1 pound button mushrooms                                 1 tablespoon butter
2 cups peppers chopped(all colours)                   2 pods elaichi
1 big onion chopped                                           1/2"cinnamon
1 toamato chopped
2 green chillies
2 red chillies
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
6 cloves garlic
1'' ginger
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon coconut
1 bunch cilantro chopped


First grind the ginger, garlic ,chillies and the onions in to a paste. Then grind the coconut, tomato and cilantro in to another paste and keep aside. Now heat the skillet and add the butter and once its melted, add elaichi and cinnamon . Then add the mushrooms and saute them for 2 minutes and then mix in the ginger,garlic,chilli and onion paste. Cook it well till the aroma  emerges. Now add the peppers and give it a good mix and stir in the coconut ,cilantro and tomato paste and add salt and garam masala with it.Cook till done.Keep the crunch in peppers.Serve hot with rotis or rice.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Palak koora pappu-An andhra heartthrob!


This dish is one of those many dishes that came along with me from hyderabad. This dish in particular was a speaciality of my maid Sunita. My god how i miss her here in US. This can be done with amaranth leaves too. It is such a comfort food. My artist friend Vijay who is a typical hyderabadi has these kinds of dhals everyday. He is a die-hard fan of Andhra pappu and pachadi. Probably i got this pappu fever from him and rank it top among my fav foods. My son follows suit. A very simple no fuss recipe with a heavenly taste. One of the reasons that i don't miss hyderabad very much is because i do all the dishes that i learnt from there in my everyday cooking. I am always exicted about meeting somebody who is from hyderabad.My affair with hyderabad started 9 years back and is still going strong and anyday i would be glad to settle down there.My hyderabad rambles would go on and getting in to the recipe...


1 cup cooked thur dhar mashed
1 cup Spinach chopped
1/4 cup tomato chopped
2 tablespoons onions chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
4 green chillies spilt

for seasoning

2 teaspoons oil
1/2 teaspoon jeera
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1 red chiili broken


Heat the skillet and add the oil and season it. Now add the onions, garlic and green chillies and saute them till they get soft. Add the tomato and after a while add the spinach. After its cooked add the mashed thur dhal and salt and give it a good mix and switch off the stove.Serve it with hot rice and ghee.Great with rotis too.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Awards and aval payasam


I would like to pass on these awards to padhu of welcome to padhuskitchen,Ammu of ammaji recipes and sandhya of sandhya's kitchen.


Excitement overtook me when i collected the awards from Babli's blog. Thank her absolutely for passing it on to me .My first ever bunch of awards. Excitement justified,  i want this post to be a sweet and tasty one, lingering for ever , encouraging me in all my blog endeavors. Blogging has opened up the window of creativity and imagination in the culinary arena for me. With your support and encouraging words i plan to go a long way in this route.
Today's post aval payasam is a favarite of mine. It had appreciation from almost all the people who tried it at my place. A very simple recipe with the basic everyday ingredients is the essence of this dessert.
This cup of aval payasam goes to you babli for passing on the awards to me.


1 cup poha(thick)
12 cups milk
1 and 1/2 cups sugar (as per taste)
1 tablespoon almonds(powdered)
1 tablespoon cashew(powdered)
4 elaichi pods crushed
saffron a pinch
1 tablespoon ghee


Reduce milk in a thick bottomed pan till its reaches 1/3rd of its volume. Meanwhile wash the poha and add the ghee and lightly fry it till they seperate. Grind the almonds and cashew in to a powder and keep aside. Now once the milk reaches the required point add the poha and the powder and allow it to cook .You may add more milk if required. Once cooked add the sugar and saffron (mixed in warm milk) along with the elaichi. Your bowl of goodness is ready. Serve it warm or cold.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Apple chutney

This chutney is a pure delight. When one thinks of a fruit chutney the taste that comes to your mind is something sweet or tangy. But this chutney differs by all means.You can never make out that, apples are the hero here. I am not against apples definitely. This chutney is fiery and as spicy as any chutney you relish. The magnificent colour makes you drool at sight.I served this chutney with dosas no one even guessed it was apple chutney. Served me great as sandwich spread and  on chappati rolls too.


2 medium sized apples chopped
1 teaspoon urad dhal
1 teaspoon channa dhal
1 teaspoon dhaniya seeds
1 teaspoon jeera
4 red chillies
salt to taste
oil 2 teaspoons

For seasoning

1/2 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon hing


Heat a skillet and add the oil. Once it is heated up add the channa dhal,urad dhal,dhaniya seeds,jeera and red chillies and slightly roast them and when done take them out and add the apples and saute them in the same pan for about 3 minutes. Cool everything and grind it in your mixer and season it with mustard and hing.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Murukkus are my all time munchie buddies. But this is the first time i tried making this crackling snack.The recipe i adopted was from the internet i don't remember the exact site from where i got. But there are so many blogger friends of mine who have good recipes of murukku. I made slight alternations to the recipe to suit my taste. Murukkus fresh-homemade and a cup of hot filter kaapi are a much sought after luxuary these days. My murukkus turned out very good. Gave me the confidence to venture out more in to the arena. Hubby loved it and Son loved it too. What else can mark more success and satisfaction for me? At this juncture a little about me :I always love feeding people. My Husband does so too. During the early days of our life we always had people over for lunch or dinner. After coming to US that's something i absolutely miss out on. Good bye to flash backs now getting down to the recipe...


1 measure parboiled rice
3/4 measure chutney dhal powder
2 tablespoons butter
seasame seeds a little
jeera seeds a little
chilli powder as per taste
oil for deep fry


Soak the rice for about 3 hours and grind it without adding water.You may add a little water if needed.Add the chutney dhal powder and all the ingredients except oil and mix it in to a dough.Grease your murukku maker and with the star disc on , start showing your creativity and talent. Do tthe sprials directly in the oil or can make it in a flat laddle and then transfer it in to the oil. Flip sides and fry till done.This murukku is very light in its colour so don't wait for it to turn dark shade of brown,you may burn it.Enjoy!