Thursday 29 October 2009

Easy Mixed Vegetable Curry

This one is a true life-saver, when we have few unexpected guests :P It is totally my Amma's recipe and I'm just reproducing it the way it is. Its easy to make, achievable in a limited time and is great accompaniment for the Rotis and Poori too. The list of ingredients may be huge but, the method is simple. Do try it, for a change!

Cooked vegetables- 1 1/2 cup (Carrots, Beans, Green peas, Cauliflower, Potato etc..)Oil- 2 tsp
Jeera/Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Hing/Asafoetida- A pinch
Onion- 1 small chopped (Optional)
Turmeric- 1/2 tsp
Jeera powder/Cumin seed powder- 1/2 tsp
Dhania powder/Coriander powder- 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves- For garnish

To grind:

Grated coconut- 1 tbsp
Green chillies- 2-3
Garlic- 2 pods
Ginger- 1 inch piece
Onion- 1 small
Tomato- 1
Poppy seeds- 1 tsp
Cashew nuts- Few
Dates- 4-5
Cardamom- 1
Pepper Corns- Few
Saunf/Fennel seeds- 1 tsp
Bay leaf- 1/2 a leaf
Cinnamon- 1 inch piece
Clove- 1

Cook and keep aside vegetables of your choice. Grind the above mentioned ingredients to a fine paste and keep aside. In a vessel, heat oil. Add Jeera. When it starts to emit its aroma, add the paste and let it boil well and cook it for about 10 minutes on low heat. Now, add the Turmeric powder, Jeera powder, Dhania powder and Salt to taste. You may add water to adjust the consistency of the gravy as per your choice. Let it boil well and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the cooked vegetables and mix well. Garnish with Coriander leaves. You may add a dash of cream too! Serve with hot Rotis/Pooris!

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Serves: 4 people

Monday 26 October 2009

Birthday Bash of Aditya

Last Sunday, we celebrated our little ones second birthday. It was long pending since 7th; which is his birth date. My bundle of joy was waiting for his cake with the knife :P ...I mean to cut it! We had a good gathering and shared some good moments. It was my first venture into arranging for a birthday party and I enjoyed it thoroughly...I had many helping husband, Lakshmi and her husband (awesome twosome!!) and the birthday boy himself :P

We baked the cake and I have to thank Tina of Kaipunyam, a million times for her deadly delicious Chocolate cake recipe. We prepared two layered cake; plain vanilla flavored and chocolate flavored. If it was not for Lakshmi, the cake never would have taken a beautiful look. All thanks to her for beautifying it with chocolate icing and cream decor! I have to learn it...never tried my hands on it.

The menu contained:
1. Chappathi
2. Mattar Paneer
3. Aloo fry
4. Vegetable Pulav
5. Tomato Raitha
6. Curd/Yogurt Rice
7. Gulab Jamun

The recipes for the above mentioned will be coming soon. We had fun cooking, baking and finally eating :) I have definitely learnt a lot of lessons from this experience. Hoping to have more such get-togethers and parties;each time making it better than the former!

Thursday 22 October 2009

Awards- More encouragement!

We are having another blast of awards followed by Diwali dhamaka! Its surely a tremendous amount of encouragement and is also an indicator that we shall aspire to get better each post after post! We have to extend our gratitude to all those lovely bloggers out there who have insipred us to get creative, imaginative and tune our minds to pull out newer ideas. All those inspiring words and the ever lasting support helps us to move ahead to share and learn unique ventures and experiments performed in our dens! Its an amazing world of blogs out there and a big bunch of really talented bloggers ! We feel humbled to be recognised and awarded!!
Thank you so much!!!

Our dear friends Sanghi and Sanjana have passed on this award.... Thank you once again!

Rules of the award:

* You must thank the person who has given you the award.
* Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
* Link to the person who has nominated you for the award.
* Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
* Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
* Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
* Leave a comment in the nominated blogs to let them know they have been nominated.

7 things about me:

1. Admirer of art and music.
2. Very patriotic.
3. Hard-core family person.
4. Trying to be optimistic in life.
5. Cannot withstand hypocrisy.
6. Many friends, few soul-friends.
7. Ice-creams!

We request the following blogger friends to kindly pick this award: JeyashriSuresh, Viji, Rhandi, Gethan, Saju, Nostalgia, from my motorhome to yours.

The following awards have been showered by Sreelekha Sumesh. Thank you Sree for so much of an encouragement!!!

Thank you Sandhya Hariharan for this BIG BUNCH of awards! We are so thrilled!!!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

We would like to share all the 6 awards with Rohini, Kitchen Queen, Nithya, Sangeetha Subhash, Tina, Sushma Mallya, Prathibha, Sanghi and Gulmohar.

Happy Blogging to all!!!

Wednesday 21 October 2009

Parikkai Pitla/ Pavakkai Pitla

Parikkai/pavakkai (Bitter gourd) pitla is one of my favourite dishes.Some people might not like this due to the bitterness of parikkai. But bitter gourd is very good for health. The bitterness comes from a compund called momordicin which supposedly tones the stomach, improving its function and increasing appetite. Parikkai pitla is a wholesome, nutritious curry ... it has the bitterness of parikkai, tanginess of tamarind, sweetness of coconut and spiciness of red chilli.

Here is the recipe ...

Bitter gourd (sliced into small pieces) - 1 medium sized
Tamarind - lemon sized ball soaked in hot water for 15 minutes
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Toor dal - 1/2 cup
Oil (preferably coconut oil) - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 4-5

To Grind:
Fresh grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Red chilli - 2
Black pepper corns - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 2 tbsp

For seasoning:
Ghee - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 4-5

Pressure cook toor dal. Mash well and set aside.
Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan. Fry urad dal, pepper and red chillies in this. Add a pinch of asafoetida and remove the pan from heat.
Once this cools, grind it to a smooth paste along with grated coconut.
Extract the juice from tamarind.
Heat oil in a pan and fry the bitter gourd slices till you get a nice aroma from them.
Then add tamarind water, curry leaves and salt and cook till they become tender.
Now, add the mashed toor dal and boil 4-5 minutes.
Then add the ground mixture and let it boil for another 4-5 mins. You can add more water if the curry is too thick.
Heat the ghee in a seasoning wok. Add mustard seeds and when they splutter add the curry leaves. Pour this over the pitla.
Serve hot with rice, dosa or idli.

Preparation Time: 40 mins
Serves: 2 people

Saturday 17 October 2009

Diwali- Festival of lights! and 'Saat'

Diwali/Deepavali (row of lamps) is truly a colourful festival which we all eagerly wait for! This was the day when Lord Rama after killing Ravana, came back home in Ayodhya. To celebrate this homecoming, people lit lamps all around. As children, we would be excited to receive new dresses to wear and of course, the crackers! As we grew older, the fun was lighting the lamps decorating our home with flowers. Amma would get busy in the kitchen making a variety of sweets and savory to be distributed to our near and dear ones! The entire air is full of joy! India is the place to be during Diwali!!!

Since, many of us are geographically distant from our native land, nonetheless, we do our bit to make this a happier occasion with our dearest around. Early morning, clean up the house, wash and clean God's lamps, light diya (lamps) of Ghee. This day, we have a special bath with Coconut oil and Haldi (Turmeic powder). Wear new clothes, which have been placed near the God's mantap and devour the delicacies prepared. Evening we perform Lakshmi pooja to please the Godess and light Candles!!!

One more sweet...!!
'Saat' is a typical South Canara dish prepared from Maida (All purpose flour). The dough is first prepared which is fried in Ghee and then dipped in sugar syrup. Its a very simple sweet to prepare and just melts in your mouth.

(For the dough)
Maida(All purpose flour)- 1 cup
Melted Unsalted butter- 1/4 cup
Milk cream- 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder- a pinch
Sugar- 4 tsp (Optional)

(For the sugar syrup)
Sugar- 1 cup
Water- 1/2 cup

Mix all the ingredients for the dough and mix well. Knead well. Sprinkle few drops of water, only if required.
Divide this dough into small balls and give it a gentle press in the center. In a frying pan, heat Ghee and deep fry in low heat. Allow them to cool. In a vessel, add water to sugar and bring to a boil. Contuinue boiling till you get 1 string consistency. Remove from heat. Place all the fried 'Saats' in the sugar syrup for just 2 minutes. Let the sugar syrup form a coat. Delicious Saat ready to be all eaten up!

Preparation Time: 4o Minutes
Quantity yield: 10

Friday 16 October 2009

Boondi Laddoo

Happy Diwali to all my dear blogger friends and family.

With just 1 day left for Diwali ... I am sure all of you wonderful bloggers are busy preparing your choice of sweets and savories. For Diwali, we are always in India with our families. No worries of preparing the sweets :) ... but this time we are celebrating it here. So trying out various sweets.

Yesterday my experiment was boondi laddoo. Though this is one of the time consuming sweets (at least I felt like that) the end result is really yummy :). My mom told me that it is really simple and gave me the recipe. I was thinking that surely I will mess this up ... but fortunately it came out well.

The main tool for this laddoo is the typical boondi maker laddle ... this is a flat laddle with several small holes and a long handle. But since I did not have this tool, I used a collander which was good though not the best.
Here is the recipe.

Besan flour - 1 cup
Water - 3/4 cup
Oil - for frying

Sugar syrup:
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Water - 1/2 cup (or little less)

Cashew (broken into pieces) - 1 tbsp
Raisins - 1 tbsp
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Cloves - 4-5
Pachcha Karooram (Borneo Camphor) - 1/4 tsp
Ghee - 4 tbsp

Sift the besan flour and mix it with water to form a thick batter (little thicker than dosa consistency).

Before making the boondi, make the sugar syrup by adding 1/2 cup water to 3/4 cup sugar and heating. The syrup should boil till you get 1 string consistency.
Add cloves (crush a little but do not powder) , pachcha karpooram and cardamom powder to this.
Add 1/2 tsp lemon juice to avoid the sugar from forming crystals.
Now fry the raisins and cashew in ghee and keep this aside.
Now for the boondi ...
In a deep bottomed pan, heat oil. When the oil is very hot, hold the laddle/collander above the oil and pour small amount of batter.
Drops of batter fall into the oil. These should not stick to one another and they should bubble up, if not using another laddle ( used for frying) seperate them. Once the oils stops the bubbling noise, the boondis can be removed. The boondis should not be too crisp for laddoo.
Immediately put them to the sugar syrup.
Fry the boondis in batches and put them into the sugar syrup.
Mix the fried cashew and raisins.
Pour ghee into this and mix well.
Let the boondis completely absorb the syrup.
Now take a small quantity of this mixture in your palm and using your hands make firm laddoo.
Yummy laddoos are ready to be devoured :)

These if stored in airtight container will lasts for a week.

Tips: If your boondis turn a very crispy and hard, sprinkle 1-2 tbsp water evenly and mix well and leave it for 2-3 mins to soak in. This will make the boondis softer. Do not add more water as this will make the boondis soggy.

Yields: 25 Laddoos

Thursday 15 October 2009

Awards Time :)

Well this is a very special moment for our blog because we have not 1 but many awards :).

Firstly our entry 'Tomato Rasam' had made it to the top 10 at "Garnish the Dish" event and after nearly 1 week of voting has been chosen as "Runner - People's Choice". We are extremely happy and would like to thank the hosts Nithya and Pavithra for conducting such a fantastic event. It was really fun participating in this event as it gave me an opportunity to know my creative side.

I would like to thank my team mate Vidya Rao. Without her support this would not have been possible.

I thank all those who supported me in this ... my friends, family members and all the blogger friends. Lastly I would like to congratulate the winners Rohini, Geethan and Kamala and also all the participants who were chosen in the top 10. All the 10 entries were such a treat to the eyes.

Now for the second set of awrads ...Sangeetha has shared these awards. Thank you so much Sangeetha for thinking of us and passing these awards to us. We are really happy to receive this.

It is really encouraging to receive these awards.

We would like to share these awards with Nostalgia, Kitchen Queen, Sanjana and Jeyashri Suresh.

Wednesday 14 October 2009

Akki Halbai/ Rice Halwa

Its Deepavali/Diwali around and ....'Our dil goes Hmmmm....' when it comes to Akki Halbai. 'Akki' means Rice in Kannada and Halbai means halwa. It is one of the specialities of Dakshina Karnataka (South Canara) and is a true delicacy. Hence, it also implies that it involves little hard work....not much that you are speculative about trying :P Trust me, the result is as sweet as sweet can be!

The list of ingredients is very simple it is....

Raw Rice- 1/2 cup
Coconut milk- 1 cup
Jaggery- 1 cup
Cardamom powder- A pinch
Ghee- 1/2 cup

Soak the Rice in water, for about an hour. Grind it to a fine paste with adequate amount of water. In a vessel, pour about 1/2 cup water and melt the Jaggery. Strain this melted Jaggery into the Rice batter. Add Coconut milk and mix well. The overall consistency of this mixture may be watery. In a thick-bottomed pan, add a tbsp of ghee and pour the mixture and keep stirring it on medium heat. Continue stirring as the mixture starts to solidify. It will aggregate into one mass. At this point, add the Cardamom powder. Continue to mix for atleast another 20-25 minutes. [You need not do your arm exercises for the day :D ] Add the remaining ghee little by little, and continue to mix well. The end point of this process is when the halbai has left the sides of the pan totally and the ghee has oozed out of it and is separate. Allow it to cool on a greased plate and you may cut it into desired shape. Enjoy each bite of the Akki Halbai!


Preparation Time: 45 Minutes
Quantity yeild: 15 peices

Monday 12 October 2009

Spiced Neer Dose

The base for this dish is Neer Dosa which is a special kind of dosa from Dakshina Kannada, prepared from rice and coconut. Neer in Kannada means ‘Water’. Traditionally, neer dosa is prepared by grinding soaked rice into a thin watery batter along with coconut and then made into thin pancakes. To add an extra taste to the traditional dosa, my MIL grinds the rice and coconut along with cumin seeds and curry leaves (added liberally) which tastes really good!!! There is no advanced preparation required to make this dosa. The best part is this dosa does not require any fermentation.

Here is the recipe.

Raw rice (Sona Masoori) - 1 cup
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds - 2 tbsp
Curry leaves - 1 small bunch (this gives a unique taste)
Salt to taste
Water (to grind)
Oil to make dosa

Wash rice and soak it in water for around 3-4 hours, I usually soak it overnight.
Grind soaked rice to a fine paste along with coconut. Now to the fine paste add cumin seeds, curry leaves and salt and grind this once. Add enough water to bring the batter to a thin consistency.

Heat a dosa griddle and pour 1 ladle full of mixture in center. Tilt griddle in all directions to allow batter to spread thinly. Alternately you can splash the batter on the griddle. Pour a tsp oil and close the griddle with a lid. After a minute or 2 lift the lid. If you see that the dosa has come up at the edges, then the dosa is ready. This dosa is roasted only on one side.

Serve hot with any chutney.

Saturday 10 October 2009

Godi Unde/ Wheat Flour Laddu

I had thought of preparing this Godi unde/Wheatflour Laddu for our Krishna's Happy birthday (Krishna Janmashtami)...due to lack of time, it had not materialised. Nevertheless, I prepared it today...hope He accepts my offering! While I was preparing, my 2 year old son was just hovering around me asking a million questions about what I was doing! This wonder age is so full of energy. This sweet dish which I have prepared is just right for him as a snack after a hour's play in the park! Its Wheat, easily digestible and sugar which is a high energy yielding fuel for those tiny arms and legs to jump around.

Sending this post to Srivalli's Kid's Delight.


Wheat Flour- 1 cup
Sugar- 1 1/4 cup (To be powdered)
Ghee- 3/4 cup
Cashew nuts and Raisins- Few (You may add any other dry fruit of your choice)

In a mixie/blender, give a quick grind to the sugar to powder it. Keep it aside. In a pan, heat Ghee. When it is hot, add the flour and keep mixing it continuously on medium heat. Continue heating this mixture, till you get the aroma of roasted Wheat flour. The consistency of this mixture will be little thinner than the Dosa batter. Add the nuts and Raisins to the mixture. They will get roasted in the heat present in the mixture. Take the pan off the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes. Then add the powdered sugar and mix well. Make Unde (Balls) and your loved ones pouncing on them over and over again!

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Yield: 10

Thursday 8 October 2009

Ribbon Murukku/ Pokkodam

Pokkodam is savory made from rice flour and chickpea flour. It is often made during Diwali and also a best tea time snack. It does not involve any preparation ahead. This is one of my favorite savory.

Rice flour - 3 cups
Besan flour/ Chickpea flour - 1 cup
Red chilli powder - 2-3 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Unsalted butter - 1 tbsp
Oil for deep frying

Sift the flours through a fine sieve.
To this add chilli powder, butter, asafoetida and salt and mix well.
Now add water slowly and mix to make a dough. The dough should be of thick consistency (like that of bread or chappathi).
Heat oil on a medium flame.
Stuff the dough into the murukku press (as in the below snap) and squeeze it directly into the hot oil.

Fry on both side by flipping, till they turn brown.
Drain them on a paper towel and store in a air tight container.

Preparation time: About 30 mins.

Tuesday 6 October 2009

Kobbari Mittai/ Coconut Burfi

Its Deepavali/Diwali around the may we miss the sweets! Here we go...Kobbari Mittai or Coconut Burfi is one of the all time hits. Its petty much a simple sweet to prepare. The important step being melting the sugar and boiling till the one thread consistency. During the Deepavali, exchanging sweets and savory is a symbol of celebrating and sharing joy!

This also happens to be my best half's fav. Hopefully my kiddo should like it too! Usually the color of the burfi is white, as is the color of the coconut...but just for a change, I added some grated Carrots to add a dash of yellow. The taste of carrots in it is good too! Here is the list of ingredients....


Grated Coconut- 1 cup
Sugar- 1 cup
Grated Carrot- 1/2 cup (Optional)
Water- 1/2 cup
Ghee- 4-5 tsp
Cardamom powder- A pinch

Spin the grated coconut just for a second in your mixie/blender and keep aside. In a small pan, heat 2 tsp of ghee and saute the grated carrots till its raw smell disappears. In a big pan, mix water and sugar. Keep the heat on medium. The sugar will melt and will start boiling. Keep stirring and checking the consistency of the boiling sugar syrup. It has to attain a one-thread consistency. Add the coconut at this point of time and mix well. Add the sauted carrots too. Continue to heat this mixture for another 10 minutes. Add Cardamom powder and mix well. Spread it evenly on a greased plate and allow it to cool. Draw lines with knife when it has cooled down a bit. Finally you may separate the pieces and serve to spread joy and happiness!

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Serves: 4 people

Sunday 4 October 2009

Tomato Rasam/ Thakkali Rasam

I wanted to post this since a very long time. A colleague of 'N' had asked for this recipe and he has promised to become our blog's follower if I post this recipe :).

Rasam is one of the tasty yet simple dishes which I am sure everyone loves. It is one of the staple diets of South India.
This goes to Innovative In-Laws "Garnish the Dish" event.

Ingredients:Toor dal - 1/2 cup
Ripe tomato - 1 medium sized
Tamarind - 1 lemon sized
Green chilli - 1-2
Rasam powder (recipe coming soon) - 2 tsp
Grated coconut - 2-3 tsp
Hing - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Coriander/ Cilantro leaves - a small bunch
Curry leaves - 5-6

Ghee - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 5-6

Pressure cook dal with little turmeric, mash well.
Soak tamarind in little water and extract the juice.
Add chopped tomato, curry leaves and some water and boil this till tomato is cooked.
Add the mashed dal and salt. Depending on the consistency you want add more water.
Then add green chilli and let it simmer for some time. The green chilli imparts its flavour to the rasam, giving a nice aroma.
In a seasoning wok, add little ghee and fry the rasam powder for 2-3 sec till you get an aroma. Add hing to this and fry once. Add this to the rasam and let it boil for 1 min.
Now remove from heat and add grated coconut.
In a seasoning wok add the remaining ghee. When its hot add mustard and when it splutter add cumin seeds and then curry leaves. Pour this to the rasam.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice.

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Serves: 2 people

Saturday 3 October 2009

Lime Ginger Pickle

Like they say, 'There is always an exception' it goes. This pickle made from Lime is white in color. This is attributed to the fact that, unlike the usual pickles, this does not have Red chillies in its Ingredients list. We are going to use Green chillies and Ginger!

Its been one of my all time choices for Yogurt/Curd rice. The taste is just complimentary! No cooking involved at all is another reason why I love this pickle :P


Lime- 4, finely chopped
Green chillies- 5-6, coarsely chopped
Ginger-2 inch piece, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Hing/Asafoetida powder- 2 tsp

In a vessel, mix all the ingredients. Let this mixture stay undisturbed for a day. The following day, just give it good mix. Bottle it and refrigerate it for a couple of days more till the Lime softens. Enjoy with Yogurt rice!

Quantity Yield: A medium sized bottle.

Friday 2 October 2009

Our First Award!!!

Thank you Sangeetha for sharing this award with us. This being our first award we are really excited. It is inspiring us to perform better.

We would like to pass this award to ...

Kathy Gori

Thursday 1 October 2009

Sharkara Varatti/ Sharkara Upperi

Shakara varatti is a unique preparation from Kerala. It is sweet nendran chips.Sharkara varatti is a must for any wedding or festival occasions. Whenever we visit Kerala we surely buy loads of them. It is a favorite with everyone at home.
Since we moved here I have never had this. So I tried this at home ... a couple of times without success. But today my persistence paid well.

Here is the recipe.

Raw Nendran banana - 2
Dry ginger powder - 2-3 tsp
Jaggery - 1 cup
Cardamom - 3-4

Crushed cumin seeds (optional) - 2 tsp
Powdered sugar - 2-3 tbsp
Oil for frying

Peel the banana. Slit the banana lengthwise and cut it into 1/4" pieces.
Heat oil on low flame (very important for crispiness) and fry the bananas in batches till they are crispy. Stir the pieces occasionally so that they do not stick to one another. The banana slices should turn reddish brown. Drain oil and keep aside to cool.

In a thick bottomed pan heat jaggery and water till jaggery melts. Strain this to removes any impurities. Now reheat the strained syrup on a low to medium heat, stirring frequently till it reaches a thick consistency. When you put a drop of the syrup in cold water, it should form a pearl-drop (2-3 thread consistency).
Remove from heat. Add the ginger powder, fried banana slices and crushed cumin seeds to this and stir constantly so that all the slices are coated with the jaggery. Let this cool for some time. Then add powdered sugar and mix. This gives a nice appearance to the sharkara upperi and the slices do not stick to one another. Add more sugar if required. Once it is completely cools, store in air tight container.

Preparation Time: About 45 mins
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