Friday, December 18, 2009

Basic Chocolate Cake with Butterscotch Syrup

Cakes..... a slew of recipes on the net... this is a basic chocolate cake recipe to be made in a microwave. I usually make eggless cakes at home. So this is quite simple and the ingredients would be at home at any given point of time. I added a slight difference by pouring warm Butterscotch Syrup over it... and it was just a sight to be seen with the syrup oozing out on all sides..... So just throw open your fridge, take out a few items and get going.......


1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup curd
1/2 cup white butter or malai (milk cream)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda bi carb
5 tbsp milk
2 tbsp cocoa powder
Choice of nuts (optional)

Sieve maida, cocoa, soda bi carb, baking powder in a bowl. In a seperate bowl, beat curd, white butter and sugar till fluffy and creamy.
Mix seived flour mix with beaten sugar mix slowly. Add milk and stir gradually. Add nuts if required. I added Walnuts to give it a nice fudgy taste.
Pour batter into greased Microwave Safe Dish.
Bake for 8-10 mts on high power. Insert a clean knife to check. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. Cool on a wire rack and then serve.

Butterscotch Syrup:
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
4 tablespoons fresh cream
¼ teaspoon vanilla essence

Heat the sugar in a non-stick pan and allow it to caramelize to a light brown colour. Remove from the flame and add ¼ cup of hot water and allow it to mix with the sugar to make a syrup, over a slow flame. Add the butter and cream and mix well. Allow it to simmer for 5 to 7 minutes till the sauce is of a syrupy consistency. Cool completely and use as required.
I poured the sauce over the cake and the smell was heaven..... try it and let me know..... Use
your own imagination to decorate....
I have also given the pic as shown in the recipe book.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Homemade chocolates

Chocolates, all time favourites for anyone.... We buy them all round the year, whether our indian brands or the foreign versions. The melt in the mouth feeling makes chocolate a must have at any given point of time....

So how about making them at home and giving in to your guilt trips once in a while???


1 bar White Chocolate compound
1 bar Dark Chocolate compound
Microwave safe bowl
Chocolate Mould
Wrapping paper


The compounds that i bought from store are the ready to eat ones, hence they are already sweet and don't need any extra sugar to be addedto it.
Take equal amounts of Dark and White chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, and heat for 2 minutes on high power. Check if it has melted and mixed properly. Cool a little and pour into the moulds. Remember not to over fill the moulds as they would not set properly then.
Keep in freezer for 15-20 minutes. Check, tap slightly from the back. The chocolates will fall off easily into a plate. Keep in fridge till all the batches are made. Wrap neatly in multi coloured wrappers readily available in markets and serve as and when required. Though i can guarantee that they wont last long!!!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mutton Biryani

Biryani is one popular desi rice item which takes quite a twist when it comes to method for preparation. Every household has its own techniques and secret ingredients to bring out the best flavour and texture. Traditionally its prepared by following the dum method which ofcourse, is very tricky and test our patience. Well there's also some rescue mission versions like rice cooker.. pressure cooker..which can still taste as good as the dum biryani.

I have tried this recipe from SpiceIndiaOnline and trust me..... it was superbbbb as usual!!! Actually u can try any of the recipes out there coz the measurements are just perfect!!!

I tried it along with the Chettinad Mutton Kuzhambu and served it with Onion Raita and Boiled Eggs.

Try it and let me know

Monday, October 26, 2009

Shahi Paneer with ghee rice

Rice with a rich aroma....

Take little ghee in a pan, add 2 whole cloves, cardamom, cinnamon pieces, bay leaf each and saute. Add little cumin and fennel seeds and saute. Add 1 sliced onion, saute till light brown in colour. Add little salt to tase, soe freshly chopped coriander leaves and mix with a cup of pre cooked rice. Serve hot with paneer.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Coconut Barfi


2 cups freshly grated coconut
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
powdered cardamom (from 4 pods)
2 tbsp ghee


Place the sugar and water in a thick walled/ heavy bottom pan. Over medium heat, stir till the sugar dissolves completely and starts boiling. Keep stirring frequently and let the sugar syrup cook and thicken till it reaches 2-string consistency. When the sugar syrup has reached the desired consistency, add the grated coconut and stir well. The mixture will take on a slightly wet look from the milk in the coconut. Continue cooking the mixture stirring constantly, till it thickens quite a bit and the edges start looking white and take on a frothy appearance. At this point the mixture will be thick and somewhat dry looking. Don't worry, it will stay together. Allow to cool and harden a bit. Cut into 16 small squares. If you plan to keep this beyond 3 or 4 days, then please refrigerate the burfi, in an airtight container, after it has cooled.


300 gm - Channa dal (yellow gram)
300 gm - Jaggery
1 tsp - Cardamom powder
150 gm - Plain flour (maida)
Warm water

Boil dal in plenty of water for 10 to 15 minutes.
Drain it and grate the dal to a crude paste.
Mash jaggery well with dal.
Cook the mixture in a heavy saucepan while stirring continuously until a soft lump is formed.
Keep it aside to cool.
Knead flour with 1 tbsp ghee and flour, adding enough water, to a soft dough.
Take a small ball of dough and roll into a thick small chapatti.
Put the mixture as a filling in centre and seal the roll.

Reroll it gently and roast on warm griddle till golden brown on both sides.
Serve hot and apply a tsp of ghee on it before serving.
Makes 7to 8 puranpolis.


1 cup urad dal
¼ cup raw rice,
2 pinch orange colour and salt.
2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp rose essence (optional)
Soak dal and rice for ½ hr, grind till smooth with salt. Add colour, salt. Heat oil and deep fry, Make 1 string sugar syrup, add rose essence. Add jangiris, Serve hot.

Sweets and Savouries for Diwali

This year we have decided not to buy anything from outside and make everything at home. Whatever is possible, in little quantites. This way our family has got into the puja spirit for the past 3 weeks!

My list of Snacks:
-Mullu Murukku
-Ribbon Pakoda
-Kara murukku
My list of Sweets: (this one has more items though....)
-Coconut Barfi
-Rava Laddoo
-Banana Halwa
-Maa Laadu

I am posting the recipes here. Will click snaps together and post them later.

Diwali in South India

In the South, Diwali festival often commemorates the conquering of the Asura Naraka, a powerful king of Assam, who imprisoned tens of thousands of inhabitants. It was Krishna who finally subdued Naraka and freed the prisoners. Diwali Festival in the south is celebrated in the Tamil month of aipasi (thula month) 'naraka chaturdasi' thithi, preceding amavasai. The preparations begin the day before, when the oven is cleaned, smeared with lime, four or five kumkum dots are applied, and then it is filled with water for the next day's oil bath. The house is washed and decorated with kolam (rangoli) patterns with kavi (red oxide). In the pooja room, betel leaves, betel nuts, plaintain fruits, flowers, sandal paste, kumkum, gingelly oil, turmeric powder, scented powder are kept. Crackers and new dresses are placed in a plate after smearing a little kumkum or sandal paste.

CelebrationsIn The Morning:
Deepavali celebrations begins early in the morning. The eldest family member applies sesame oil on the heads of all the family members. Then, it's off for a bath, beginning with the youngest in the family. They emerge with new clothes and a look of anticipation at the thought of bursting crackers, which symbolizes the killing of the demon king Narakasur.

Lehiyam: But before that comes Lehiyan, the bitter concoction, to cleanse the system of its festive over-eating! Then to the crackers.

Murukku: A puja is performed for the family deities in the morning. Breakfast consists of murukku , a sweet dish and, of course, idli or dosa .

fulfilment: Some communities believe that when Narakasur was to be killed, Lord Krishna asked him his last wish. Narakasura replied that he wanted to enjoy the last day of his life in a grand manner and Diwali was celebrated. That was the beginning and the practice continued.

In The Evening: In the evening, lamps are lighted and crackers are burst. As most of the cracker manufacturing units are in Tamil Nadu, there is no dearth of fireworks here. During Thalai Deepavali, the newly weds go to the bride's parental home for revelry. Taking blessings from the elders, they burst the first crackers of the day. Usually a vast range of crackers is bought, with costs running into thousands of rupees. The Diwali Celebrations include a visit to the temple, gifts of clothes and jewelry, gorging on sweets and receiving blessings of elders. The groom's parents, brothers and sisters come down to join in the celebrations.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Shanthi has sent me this participation award for her dussehra dhanteras event. thank you so much dear.....

Veggie Penne

A moderate amount of mozzarella cheese and minimal oil makes this luscious vegetable laden pasta ideally suited to diabetics. Use whole wheat pasta to make it even more healthier.


1 tsp olive oil
1 cup finely chopped spring onion whites
2 tsp sliced garlic
1/2 cup blanched brocolli florets
1/2 cup blanched and sliced baby corn
1/2 cup capsicum slices
1/2 cup blanched and sliced zucchini
1/2 cup cooked sweet corn kernels
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups cooked penne

For garnish:
3 tbsp grated mozzarella cheese

Heat oil in a non stick pan, add spring onion whites, garlic and saute for 4-5 mts.
Add brocolli, baby corn, capsicum, zucchini, sweet corn, salt and pepper, toss well and saute for 2-3 mts more.
Add penne and toss gently. Serve hot garnished with cheese.

Taken from Tarla Dalal's magazine.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Orange Coffee

Orange zest and a dash of whisky adds a new dimension to regular hot coffee.

Makes 2 cups

2 tsp finely chopped Orange Zest
2 tsp Instant Coffee Powder
2 tsp Whisky (optional)
4 tsp Sugar
4 tbsp Whipped Cream


Put 1.5 cups of water to boil in a pan. Add the orange zest, remove from flame,cover and keep aside for few seconds.Combine the coffee, whisky and sugar in a serving cup and mix well.Strain the water from the orange zest and pour over the coffee mixture and mix well. Serve immediately topped with whipped cream.

This recipe is taken from Tarla Dalal's magazine.

Aloo Methi tikkis

The ever popular combination of fenugreek leaves and potatoes now in tikki form!!!


2tsp Oil
1 tsp Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
2 tsp Green Chillies (finely chopped)
1/2 tsp Ginger (finely chopped)
1/4 cup Onions (chopped)
1 cup boiled and mashed Potatoes
1/2 cup Fenugreek leaves (methi chopped)
3 tsp dried Fenugreek leaves (Kasuri Methi) dry roasted and crushed
2 tsp Dry mango powder (amchur)
1/2 tsp Turmeric (haldi powder)
1/2 All spice powder (Garam Masala)
Salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped Coriander leaves
1/4 cup Bread crumbs for rolling
Oil for frying


Heat 2 tsp oil in a non stick pan, add cumin seeds.
After they crackle, add green chillies, ginger, onions and saute till onions are translucent.
Add remaining ingredients, mix well and saute for 2 minutes.
Remove from flame and allow to cool/ Divide mixture into 8 equal parts and shape each portion into a round flat tikki.
Roll in bread crumbs, deep fry in hot oil till golden brown on all sides.
Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Garlic roti with Spicy Kofta Curry

My husband is quite fond of spicy food. So just tried this out... and the result was .... he loved it!!!
I am sending this to 'Just not any other dish' event.
Spicy Kofta Curry
For the koftas
3/4 teacup fresh curds
3/4 teacup gram flour (besan)
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
6 green chillies, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 pinches soda bi-carb
salt to taste
oil or ghee for deep frying
For the curry
2 large tomatoes
1/4 teacup milk
2 tablespoons fresh cream
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons ghee
salt to taste
To be ground into a paste (for the curry)
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons poppy seeds (khus-khus)
25 mm. piece ginger
2 green chillies
6 red chillies
1 tablespoon chopped coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

Mix all ingredients for koftas, make small balls and deep fry in oil. Keep aside.
Heat ghee in a pan, add little cumin seeds, the ground paste and fry till raw smell goes. Add tomato puree, salt and cook till opil leaves the sides. Add Milk, sugar and cook till thick. Add cream and mix well. Swtich off. Add koftas into the gravy just before serving and garnish.
(Note: this is adapted from Tarladalal's website)

Garlic Rotis
3 cups maida/whole wheat flour. (i used wheat flour)
3 tsp desi ghee
3 tsp yoghurt
1 tsp garlic
Water to knead

Mix garlic, desi ghee, yoghurt and water. Mix flour and salt separately. Add the prepared mixture of garlic and yoghurt and make a dough. Roll into paranthas and cook on a tawa. Serve hot.

Chutneys for Idli

Idlis served with an array of chutneys makes for a wonderful dish and appealing to the eyes too.

check this out...

Tomato Thokku:

Made for days especially when u cant use garlic or onions.
2-3 medium sized tomatoes (pureed)
1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
1 tsp red chilli powder (can increase as per your taste)
Salt to taste
2-3 tbsp gingelly oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Heat oil in a pan, add mustard, fenugreek seeds, add tomato puree, red chilli powder, salt and cook till oil leaves the sides. Cool and serve. Can be kept in fridge for upto 3 weeks.

Coconut Chutney
1/2 cup Fresh grated Coconut
2 tbsp chutney dal (pottukadalai)
2-3 green chillies
1/2 inch ginger
Salt to taste

Take all ingredients in a mixer, grind with little water till smooth. Heat little oil in a pan, add little mustard seeds, few curry leaves and pour on top of the chutney and serve.

Green chutney
Same as the coconut chutney except that we add few stalks of fresh Corainder leaves while grinding fpr that lovely green hue. Serve.

Peanut Chutney
1/3 cup - Peanuts
2 tsp - Chutney Dal/Pottukadalai
1 tsp - Coriander seeds/dhania
2 nos - Green chillies
2 Tbsp - grated Coconut
1 Tbsp - chopped, Cilantro/coriander leaves
2-3 pieces of tamarind or 1 tsp - Tamarind extract
Salt to taste
Dry roast the peanuts lightly. Then roast the Chutney Dal, Coriander seeds and keep aside. Blend with the rest ingredients with little water. Give tadka as above and serve.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dum Aloo gravy with French Beans Buttered Rice

Sunday Lunch calls for something special as all family members are home.
So here goes.....

Dum Aloo

Potatoes- 2 medium diced or 10 baby potatoes
2 Onion medium chopped
3 Tomato medium pureed
2 Cloves
2 Elaichi (Cardomom)
1 inch Cinnamon
1 tsp Jeera (cumin seeds)
1 Bay leaf
1 Cup Coconut Milk (first milk)
Salt to taste
Pinch Haldi (turmeric powder)
4-5 Dry red Chillies
1 tbsp Ghee (Butter)
1 inch Ginger chopped finely
2-3 cloves Garlic (chopped finely)
1 tsp Garam Masala (all spice powder)


Peel potatoes, pierce with fork and soak in salt water for 1/2 hour. Drain and sprinkle haldi. keep aside.Grind ginger, garlic, red chillies to paste.
Heat Ghee in a pan or pressure cooker, add whole spices, let it splutter. Add finely chopped Onion, ginger paste and saute till raw smell goes off. Add tomato puree and cook again. Add salt, potatoes, haldi, coconut milk, garam masala, and little water if required. Pressure cook upto 2 whistles, garnish and serve with choice of breads or rice. (you can add little peas if you like for a variation).

French Beans Buttered Rice.

1 Onion big sliced
1 Tomato big chopped
100 gms French Beans chopped
1 cup Basmati Rice
2 Cups coconut milk (fresh 1st and 2nd milk mixed)
Salt to taste
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
2-3 tsp Ghee/ Butter (can also take oil)
2 Cardamom, Cloves, Cinnamon (each)
3/4 tsp Garam Masala (all spice powder)
1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder or 3 green chillies slit
2 stalks Coriander leaves or Mint leaves for garnish


Soak rice for 15 mts. Take a pressure cooker, heat butter/ghee, add whole spices and cumin seeds. Let it splutter, add onions, green chillies and saute till light brown. Add tomatoes and saute. Add salt, garam masala, red chilli powder if not using green chillies, french beans and saute. Add rice, coconut milk and pressure cook for 2 whistles. Garnish with coriander or mint leaves and serve hot.
I have taken 1:2 ratio for cooking rice.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dosa,Sambhar, Chutney

Another staple breakfast item from south, Dosa is a commoner at most households. Served with a variety of Podis, Sambhar, Chutney, even sugar and ghee in some cases, this is one dish that very few people dislike.

4 Cups Idli Rice
1.5 Cups Urad Dal
2 tsp Methi seeds
2 tsp Aval/Poha
1/2 cup raw rice

Soak all for 6 hours and grind dal and rice seperately to a smooth batter. Keep for fermenting and make dosas.

1 cup Toor dal
10 Sambhar onions/Shallots
5 Tomato (medium pureed)
2-3 tsp imli extract
2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
2 tsp Dhaniya/Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp Haldi
1 tsp Sambhar Powder
Salt to taste
2 tsp oil
1 tsp ghee
2 Dry red chillies
Curry Leaves
Pinch of Hing
Mustard seeds, Cumin Seeds, methi seeds to temper.

Cook Dal and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard, cumin, methi seeds, dry red chillies and let it crackle. Add curry leaves, hing, onions and saute. Add tomato puree, salt, haldi, red chilli powder, dhaniya powder and saute till raw smell goes. Add imli, dal, sambhar powder, 1 cup water and let it boil for 5 mts. Drizzle ghee on top and serve hot garnished with Dhaniya leaves.

I am sending this to the "Think Spice - Think Red Chillies" event going at lakshmi of KITCHEN CHRONICLES and Sunita's blog .

Onion Tomato Chutney
3-4 Medium sized Onions (chopped)
3 Medium Tomatoes (chopped)
2 tsp oil
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Haldi
3/4 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
Mustard seeds and Curry leaves to temper.

Take oil in a pan, add onion, saute till transparent. Add tomatoes, salt, haldi, red chilli powder and saute till raw smell goes. Cool and grind to smooth paste. Do not add extra water else chutney will become watery. Temper with Mustard seeds, Curry leaves and serve.

Bread Dosa on Foodista

7 Cup Cake

As Navratri approaches, i am all set in the festive mood and geared up for big time celebrations at my home. Many of you might share my views here. The festive season ignites a great amount of happiness in me and lends a new spark in my mind complete with religious fervour. So what better way to start with the festivities than making sweets for the family....

After all, sweets are synonymous with the festive season for us all...

7 Cup Cake

Taught to me by my mom, we call it 'yezhu dhinasu' cake at home. Few years ago, when readymade was not so much easily available, we used to start a month prior to diwali to make sweets and savouries at home. And on Diwali day, a customary ritual after the morning 'Ganga Snaanam' was to visit our relatives one by one and share whatever is made at our place. In return they also used to give us sweets and savouries made at their homes. All homemade, hygienic stuff and not that expensive. But nowadays, due to time constraints, working parents, nuclear families and above all the Idiot Box taking over our lives, has made us very prone to give excuses and buy readymade stuff from the well known eateries. Saravana Bhawan, Adyar Ananda Bhawan, any local market sellers and even salesmen who go door to door to take orders for Mixture, Murukku and Sweets, the most common ones being Jangiri and Badusha. But the amount of satisfaction and happiness that one gets by making these at home and receiving compliments makes up for all the efforts. So give it a try this year....
Contrary to the name, it is as simple as it can be. Try out for yourself and let me know.

1 Cup Besan (Kadala Maavu)
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Ghee (at room temperature)
1 Cup Coconut (fresh and grated)
3 Cups Sugar

Combine all in a pan, cook on medium flame as it tends to burn and stick to the bottom. Cook till it starts leaving the sides of the pan. Pour into a gresed plate and cool. Cut into pieces and serve.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Simple Tomato Rice with Spicy Potato Fry

Do you always seem to have leftover rice on hand? If you've got some leftover rice that you'd rather not go to waste, here are some easy ways to turn your plain steamed leftover white or brown rice into a fabulous new meal or side dish! Read on for some uses for leftover rice.

Tomato Rice

1 cup Leftover rice
1 tomato big chopped
1 green chilli chopped (big)
Curry leaves
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Urad dal
1 tsp chana dal
1/2 tsp Haldi
5-6 Cashews (optional)
Salt to taste
2 tsp oil
1 stalk dhaniya for garnish (coriander leaves)


Heat oil in a pan, add mustard, urad dal, chana dal, cashew and saute till light brown. Add curry leaves, green chilli and saute. Add tomato, salt, haldi, cook till it becomes a masala. Add rice and toss lightly. Serve garnished with coriander leaves.

Note: I have added some boiled peas to make it look colourful. Its completely up to you what all to add.

Potato Fry:
1 Potato (big cut into small pieces)
3 tsp oil
1/2 tsp haldi
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
Curry leaves
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Urad dal

Heat oil in a pan, add mustard, urad dal and saute. Add curry leaves, potato, salt, haldi, red chilli powder and mix well. Cook covered till done. Serve hot.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mixed Dal

Mixed Dal
Dal as we all know are a major source of proteins.Usually we make any one variety of dal in our homes but how about making a mixed version so as to gain maximum benefit out of it??

I am sending this post to MLLA 15th helping currently hosted @ Sia's Monsoonspice an event initiated by Susan The wellseasoned cook.

Singhare ki Burfi

Singhara flour is an ingredient that is commonly used for making dishes during Navratri fasts. You can prepare many mouth watering dishes with singhara flour, such as poori, pakori and burfi. Singhara burfi is a sweet dish that you can enjoy with other meals of Navratri. All you have to do is prepare these burfis once and can enjoy them for all the nine days. Singhara burfi is also not very difficult to make and is very yummy in taste. This flour is available easily in markets during Navratras.

1/2 cup Singhara Flour (water chestnut flour)
2 tbsp Ghee
1/2 cup Khoya
3/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Water
1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder
Stir-fry flour in ghee in a heavy pan to a light pink color over low flame
Transfer immediately to another vessel after frying. Stir-fry Khoya in the pan till there are no lumps and it is of light pink color Mix cardamom powder and flour to it.Set aside for cooling .
Make thick syrup by boiling water and sugar till it is of thicker consistency (One can check for the right consistency by putting a drop of syrup in cold water. If it forms a soft ball than it is of right consistency) .
Remove the pan from flame
Mix the syrup immediately to the Khoya mixture, stirring vigorously to blend it well Grease a plate and transfer the mixture to it.Level it and let it cool
When cool and set, cut into pieces, using a sharp knife. The Burfi is ready to serve.

Poori Kurma

A common in South Indian restaurants, a dish that is liked by all. Poori with Aloo masala also called Poori Kizhangu or served with spicy Kurma, whichever way, its a aure treat.

So here goes my favourite.... a sunday brunch item....

For poori:
2 cups Wheat flour
Water to knead for dough
pinch of Salt
Oil for deep frying
Knead dough and keep aside for 1/2 hour. Make pooris, deep fry and serve hot.

For Aloo Kurma
1 Potato diced
2 Onion (diced)
1 Tomato (diced)
1 Green chilli
½ tsp Ginger garlic paste
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
½ tsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp Coriander /
dhania powder
½ tsp Salt (or to taste)
3 stks Coriander leaves (for garnishing)
1 tsp Ghee
3 tsp Oil

1 cup Fresh grated coconut
1 tsp
Poppy seeds
¼ cup Water (approx)

Curry leaves
1 Bay leaf
¼ tsp
Cumin seeds
¼ tsp
Fennel seeds
2 Cloves
2 Cardamon
2 Cinnamon stick (small)

Grind coconut, khus khus and water to make a thick paste and keep aside. Wash and peel the potatoes, cube them and keep aside. Heat oil and ghee in a pressure cooker, add cumin, fennel, cloves, cardamom, bay leaf, cinnamon and fry them for few seconds then add chopped onions and green chilli saute until golden. Now add the ginger garlic paste and fry for few seconds. Add the tomatoes along with turmeric , red chilli powder, coriander powder, salt and cubed potatoes. Fry for few seconds and add 1 cup of water and pressure cook up to 2 hiss and switch off. When the steam comes to a stop completely, carefully open the cooker and add the coconut paste and simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with Poori.

Gud Halwa

Gud or jaggery as we call it is a great source of Iron. A sweet that we all commonly make is sweet Pongal but how about making a Halwa with it???
Read On....

100 gms Semolina (Suji/Rava)
50 gms Jaggery (crushed)
50 gms mixed nuts (chopped)
3 tbsp Ghee
1 cup Milk
1 cup water

Take little ghee in a pan or kadai and roast the semolina till light brown in colour. Add milk, water, jaggery and cook till it absorbs all the liquid. Add ghee and mix till ghee is well absorbed. Garnish with nuts and serve hot.

I am sending this to Shanthi Krishnakumar's Dussehra - Diwali event ,and Sara's Corner's Sweets and Savouries event.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tofu Peas Curry

Tofu – also known as Soya Bean Curd - has been called the perfect food. It is high in protein, low in saturated fats and a good source of calcium as well as vitamin E. It is also cholesterol free. Let’s find out more about ‘the cheese of Asia.’
Tofu is made by grinding cooked soya beans until a milk is produced. The milk is then solidified with a mineral coagulant calcium sulphate. The resulting tofu is naturally bland. It is, therefore an ideal additive to both sweet and savoury dishes. There are two basic types of tofu. Silken tofu is soft and can be utilised as an ideal additive for dressings, sauces and in dairy free versions of ice cream or cheese cake. Firm tofu, on the other hand, comes in a more solid form. It can be stir-fried, grilled, scrambled, pickled, smoked, baked or barbecued.

Tofu: 200 gms
Peas : 1/2 cup fresh and shelled
Onion: 1 big chopped
Tomato: 2 medium chopped
Ginger: 1/2 inch chopped
Red Chilli Powder: 3/4 tsp - 1 tsp as per taste
Salt to taste
Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
Oil: 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Fresh coriander: for garnish

Take oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and let it sizzle. Add chopped onion, ginger and saute till light brown. Add chopped tomatoes, salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and garam masala and cook till it forms a masala and the oil leaves the sides of the pan. Add peas, little water and cover and cook till peas are soft. Add crumbled tofu and mix well. Remove from heat, garnish and serve hot with rotis.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


'Nav' means 'nine' and 'ratri' means 'night'. Thus, 'Navratri' means 'nine nights'. There are many legends attached to the conception of Navratri like all Indian festivals. All of them are related to Goddess Shakti (Hindu Mother Goddess) and her various forms. It is one of the most celebrated festivals of Hindu calendar, it holds special significance for Gujratis and Bengalis and one can see it in the zeal and fervor of the people with which they indulge in the festive activities of the season. Dandiya and Garba Rass are the highlights of the festival in Gujarat, while farmer sow seeds and thank the Goddess for her blessings and pray for better yield. In older times, Navratri was associated with the fertility of Mother Earth who feed us as her children.The first three days of Navratri are dedicated to Goddess Durga (Warrior Goddess) dressed in red and mounted on a lion. Her various incarnations - Kumari, Parvati and Kali - are worshipped during these days. They represent the three different classes of womanhood that include the child, the young girl and the mature woman. Next three days are dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity), dressed in gold and mounted on an owl and finally, last three are dedicated to Goddess Saraswati (Goddess Of Knowledge), dressed in milky white and mounted on a pure white swan. Sweetmeats are prepared for the celebrations. Children and adults dress up in new bright-colored dresses for the night performances. In some communities, people undergo rigorous fasts during this season that lasts for the nine days of Navratri. The festival culminates on Mahanavami. On this day, Kanya Puja is performed. Nine young girls representing the nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshiped. Their feet are washed as a mark of respect for the Goddess and then they are offered new clothes as gifts by the worshiper. This ritual is performed in most parts of the country. With commercialization, the festival has moved on to be a social festival rather than merely a religious one. However, nothing dampens the spirit of the devout followers of Goddess Durga, as they sing devotional songs and indulge in the celebrations of Navratri, year by year.

On the festive occasion of Navratri, fast is observed by people for seven or eight days, depending upon when they want to conduct the Kanchika Pujan (when young girls are worshipped). The devotees, who have observed fast, would get up early in the morning, take bath and offer prayers to the deity. People follow a specific diet for Navratri, if they haven't observed a nirahar (waterless) fast. Most people nowadays perform partial fasting. They would abstain from non-vegetarian food, alcohol and those dishes that are made of common salt or any kind of spice. Singhare ka atta (kuttu ka atta) is used to prepare rotis or puris, for the fast. One may drink beverages like tea, coffee and milk, on Navratri. Dishes made of sago and potato is generally consumed by the people, when they observe fast on Navratri. Sendha namak (rock salt) is used instead of common salt, for cooking on the festival. All fruits and foodstuff made of fruits are eaten during the seven days. Nowadays, ready-to-eat snacks are available in the stores, especially prepared for Navratri. In addition to this, certain restaurants in the northern parts of India would offer special menu for the people, who have observed fast on Navratri. After seven days of fasting, people would break their fast on the eighth day - Ashtami - by worshipping young girls. The ritual of offering prasad to the young girls is called Kanchika Pujan. As per the tradition, puris (deep fried Indian bread), halwa (sweet dish made of suji) and Bengal gram curry are served to the young girls, called upon by the people who have observed fast. After seeking the blessings of the young girls (kanchikayen), the devotees would break their fast by consuming the prasad (puri, halwa and sabzi) that they have prepared for them. While this is the tradition followed by majority of people, Navratri fast is also broken on ninth day (Navami), wherein the fast is observed until Ashtami. The same procedure is followed in that case as well.

I am a firm believer in MATA, and hence for the past 5-6 years, i have been following this fast religiously. This year navratri begins on 19th Sep 2009 and culminates on 27th Sep 2009. The 10th day is celebrated as Dusshera in north or Vijaya Dasami in South. Will post recipes soon as i observe the complete 9 day fast. Keep checking.....

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dates and Walnut Cake

Dates on Foodista
Dates are a powerhouse of nutrients. And if u dont how to add them to your daily, here is a simple and sweet version..
I am sending this to Microwave Potluck party September edition hosted by Srivalli @ cooking4all seasons.

18 Fresh dates seedless
¾ cup Milk
¾ cup Sugar
1 cup Maida
½ cup Refined oil
1 tsp Baking soda
1 Tbsp Cashews
50 g Walnuts
1 Tbsp Blanched almonds

Soak dates in warm milk for 6-7 hours.

Add sugar and grind to fine paste with the milk. Add oil to this and mix well.
Seive maida and baking soda together in a seperate bowl. Add flour mixture to the dates syrup and mix well.
Add nuts and keep blanched almonds for decorating the base of the tin or the top of the cake. Pour mixture to a greased tin. Bake in microwave for 8-10 mts on high power.
Let it cool. Serve straight away or drizzled with chocolate syrup on top.

Microwave Daliya Idli

Idlis are wholesome as a breakfast item, but for dieters, here is a healthier version...


1½ cup Dalia (broken wheat)
1½ cup Suji/rawa
¼ cup Chana dal
¼ cup Urad dal
2 cup Curd
1 tsp Baking powder
Salt to taste
1 cup Mixed veggies
1 Green chili (optional)
1 bunch Dhaniya (chopped)


Boil veggies till half done and keep aside. Dry roast daliya and suji till golden brown in colour. Dry roast the dals seperately, add water and cook till soft.

Mash dals, add to suji, daliya mixture, add veggies, salt, chili, salt, chopped dhaniya, curd and warm water to form a batter.

Make idlis and steam in microwave plates for 10 mts on high power. Serve hot with chutney of your choice.