Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mangakkari ~ Instant Mango Pickle

Come summer and you can see terraces and balconies filled up with vadams/sun dried stuff layered in plastic sheets all around!!Whenever I go to my terrace in the evenings,I can see mamis collecting their stock of the day.I’m hoping I’ll get my share soon from them,coz I keep drooling at them;-).Everytime,as the summer ends,me and my friend D decide that next summer we are going to make our own vadis and stuff.Summer comes and goes and we stay put;-).We do make our summer special Lime sherbet and the Lime peel pickle though,that has become our summer tradition since last few years.

I do have many plans for this summer,don’t know how many will actually see the light of the day!!

I recently made this Mango pickle out of sheer necessity.As I’ve mentioned before,we are not much of pickle fans and can happily do without it.But there are certain dishes for which pickle is an absolute requirement.I found my pickle stock almost empty,strange as we don’t eat much pickle!!I had to make some for emergency which would last us until we make a trip to Ekm or Blr from where we take our yearly stock from[For those who came in late-Ekm is my home and Blr is hubby’s].

I got this recipe from D,who makes it quite often.Even though it is a pickle,this one is called Mangakkari[Manga-mango,kari-curry].A quick and easy recipe,this one’s often made during weddings and festivals.Unlike regular pickle,no water is added during the making of the pickle.All the water oozes out from the cut mango pieces which makes it quite tangy and tasty!!

Mangakkari ~ Instant Mango Pickle


Raw mango – 1,big
Red chilly powder – 1 ½ tbsp
Salt to taste
Hing/Asafoetida – 1 tsp
Fenugreek powder – a pinch[if you don't have powdered fenugreek,add a small pinch of fenugreek seeds instead]
Gingelly oil – 1 tbsp
Crushed mustard seeds – ½ tsp


Chop raw mango into small pieces.
Apply chilly powder,salt,hing and fenugreek powder and keep aside for an hour or till the powders coat the mango pieces well.
Heat gingelly oil in a pan till smoking point.
Add the hot oil and crushed mustard seeds to the marinated mango pieces.
Keep refrigerated in an airtight bottle.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Spiced Puffed rice ~ Miryakana Charmuro

There’s nothing worse than finding your snack corner empty when you are watching a movie or just feel like munching on something.I usually stock packets of Act2 ready to make popcorn,but even that didn’t come to our rescue when we badly felt like snacking on a Sunday evening!!I was making frequent trips to the kitchen hoping to find something…something which I might have missed spotting.I saw a packet of Charmuro[puffed rice] and thought of making something with it.The thought of making a chat or snack-mix was out of question[or rather,I was lazy!].

I strongly agree that the thought of the blog and events that are going on have the power to wipe out the laziness in me!!All I had to do was search and here I am with a wonderful bowl of snack,ready to munch,anyone??

Spiced Puffed rice ~ Miryakana Charmuro[Adapted from Shilpa of Aayisrecipes]


Puffed rice – 3-4 cups
Haldi – a pinch
Pepper[powder]– ½ tsp
Ghee – 1 tsp
Salt to taste


In a kadai,on low flame add ghee,haldi,pepper and salt[take care not to burn it].
Fry for a few minutes till everything gets mixed.
Add the puffed rice and mix well.
Keep on low flame and stir in between till the puffed rice become crisp and the masala gets coated evenly.

Add a handful of roasted peanuts for that extra crunch[optional].
Let it cool to room temperature-store in an airtight container.

Sending this across to Ashwini who is hosting this month's MBP-Snacks and Savouries,an event originally started by Coffee of Spice Cafe.

Also to Divya who is hosting this month's Think Spice..Think Pepper,an event started by Sunita of Sunita's World.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Chocolate Cake with Fudge Frosting

Hubby is not too fond of sweets and baked stuff hence I was in a soup as to what to prepare for his bday.Moong dal payasam,Biscuit pudding and Vanilla cupcakes are among very few stuff that he enjoys having.Since all those have been made and had to glory,I was thinking of something else to make on this special day.Yup,its his birthday today and no birthday is complete without a cake.When I asked him his choice he told me to make anything which I find easy.How boring!! I wish someone would ask me..I have so many demands..;-)!!

I had hurriedly written down the recipe for this cake while watching Lakshmi Nair’s cookery show on TV.In fact,I was busy in the kitchen when hubby said-Div..your chef is making a cake today.I remember,I had scribbled down the recipe on a newspaper and later struggled a lot to figure out what exactly was it that I had written.Then I saw a very similar recipe in my friend’s blog.Even though I did not have many choices to make when it came to baking a cake-since I always take the easier route and bake something e-a-s-y;-),I decided on making this one.

Cake making experience - First of all,let me salute those who decorate/frost their cake with ease.As for myself,I ran into major disaster while frosting.[It didn't affect the taste though:)].I cut the cake into two and was about to place it on the serving plate and the top half just got cut,one whole piece was in my hand and one was in the plate.I struggled a lot to keep it in place,but it has a mind of its own.If you look carefully,you can make out that the lower portion of the cake looks pathetic.To top it all,I tried to write on it,which again,I think looks bad.Anyway,I'm sure hubby wont mind-its the thought which counts right?So here it is-Chocolate Cake with Fudge frosting for my dear darling hubby who celebrates his birthday today!!

Chocolate Cake with Fudge Frosting


Maida/Flour – 1 ½ cups
Baking powder – 2 ½ tsp
Cocoa Powder – 2 ½ tbsp
Butter – ½ cup + 1 tbsp
Powdered sugar – 1 ½ cups
Water – 1 cup
Baking soda – ½ tsp
Eggs – 2


In a pan,add the water,powdered sugar,cocoa powder,butter and baking soda.
Keep stirring the mix till the sugar dissolves and the butter melts.
Let it come to a rolling boil,then simmer for 5 minutes,keep stirring all the while.
Transfer this mix to another bowl,let it cool to room temperature.
Sift together maida and baking powder.
Add the eggs to the cooled cocoa mix and beat well.
In low speed[of the electric mixer],gradually add the maida and make a smooth lump-free batter.
Pour the batter into a greased cake tin and bake till done.
[Preheat oven on 180*C and bake for 40-45 minutes].
Let it cool completely before frosting.

For the Fudge Frosting


Powdered sugar – ½ cup
Butter – 50 gms
Water – 2 tbsp
Icing sugar – ¾ cup
Cocoa powder – 2 tbsp


In a pan add the water,powdered sugar and butter.
Stir till the sugar and butter melts.
Sift together icing sugar and cocoa powder.
Gradually mix both taking care not to form lumps.
Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Beat well with a spoon and pour over the cake.

Refrigerate and serve chilled.

Verdict - The cake tasted excellent and was very moist too.Except for that collapsed part,everything was fine.I loved the chocolatey flavour and I'll definitely make this again,though I'm not sure how am gonna deal with the frosting job;-).And yeah,Bday boy loved it and had as many as 3 slices-something very rare!!

Thanks to all of you for your birthday wishes.Love you all!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Methi Chole

I think my blog is soon on its way to a shadow blog for Vanitha recipes.Ever since I got the recipes bound in a big fat cookbook,all I do is search for recipes which I can try one after the another.Hubby is only too happy at the variety that’s being offered!!I always look for different side-dishes to go with chapathi/paratha,as I make them on a daily basis.Though we love simple dal,sometimes you do get bored of it.

Saw this recipe in one of the latest editions of Vanitha and I wanted it to make it mainly for the inclusion of Methi leaves.As most of you know,I’m not much a fan of Greens and prefer to have them camouflaged in some curries.I had bought those cute mini-bunch of methi leaves and set about making this curry.Lovely variation from the plain old Chole and methi leaves gives it a great healthy tag;-).

Methi Chole


White chickpea/channa – 150 gms
Methi/Fenugreek leaves – cleaned & chopped-¾ cup
Cinnamon – ½ ‘ piece
Cloves – 2
Elaichi/Cardamom – 2
Oil or Ghee – 1 tbsp
Jeera/Cumin – ¾ tsp
Methi/Fenugreek seeds – a small pinch
Cinnamon – ¾’piece
Green chillies – 2,chopped
Ginger – finely chopped – 1 tsp
Hing/asafoetida – a pinch
Haldi/turmeric – ¼ tsp
Salt to taste
Tomato – 1,chopped
Tamarind paste – ¾ tbsp
Coriander leaves – as required


Wash and soak the channa for 10 hours or overnight and cook in enough water till done.
Dry roast cinnamon,cloves and elaichi and grind to a fine powder.
In a kadai,add oil/ghee and splutter jeera.
Add methi and cinnamon stick and stir well.
Add chopped green chilly and ginger.
Saute for few minutes and then add hing and chopped methi leaves.
Add haldi and salt to taste and mix well.
Now add the chopped tomato.
When the methi leaves and tomato gets cooked,add the cooked channa[keep aside 2-3 tbsp channa]
Add a cup of water and let it boil.
Simmer for 10 minutes.
Mash the channa along with the tamarind paste and add to the curry.
Now add the roasted masala powder and stir well.
Add freshly chopped coriander leaves and serve hot!!

Sending this across to Laurie,who is hosting this month's My Legume Love Affair 9th helping.An event originally started by Susan,of The Well seasoned cook.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Banana Muffins (Eggless) ~ Tried and Tasted!!

I don’t know if I have felt so lost before.Yup,you sure do get lost when you click on Tasty Palettes.When Curry Leaf announced this month’s Tried and Tasted,I was very happy.I hop on to Suganya’s blog regularly just to drool over her food pics.They are simply out of this world.I haven’t seen any other blog which has so many of those Click-Medals and other photography awards.While the rest of us have to do with a mere mention in Jugalbandi;-).

I had a real tough time in choosing one recipe from the array of goodies she has in store there.As usual,I hit the baking section first;-).Finally decided upon Banana Muffin.Ever since I started baking with banana,I am in love with it.I made one change though,made it eggless.I had planned to follow the recipe to the T,but my egg stock was over and I didn’t want to delay making it,as the banana was ripening..fast;-).The recipe is superb and makes 6 muffins.Perfect for a Sunday snack.We loved it and I am making it again..for sure!!

Changes I made-Omitted the egg,added chocolate chips as a topping.

Thank you Suganya for this wonderful recipe!!Here’s my muffin[Though mine comes nowhere near hers in terms of pics;-)]

Tried and Tasted is a wonderful event started by Zlamushka of Spicy Kitchen,which showcases a quality blog each month and the bloggers are encouraged to take part and cook up something from the chosen blog.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Almond Crescent Cookies(Eggless)

Its strange..whenever I’m planning to cook for an event[in blogosphere],I always look for baking recipes.Its even more strange that whenever I chance upon a new blog,the first label I hit is baking..;-). Sometime back,a friend asked me who eats all the baked stuff I make.I laughed it off,but when I actually thought about it I felt slightly offended.Same thing happened when I posted a diet idea,someone asked me did I really lose weight since I post so many “yummy recipes”[in their words,not mine]in this blog.I got a similar comment here,asking me how to eat up all those goodies.So,its time for me to explain.Or so it seems.

Initially,when I started baking,I couldn’t stop myself from opening the fridge everytime and having “one last slice of cake” or opening up the cookie jar and having “last cookie,I promise”.Even though it wasn’t much,I did not want to gorge on it knowing how much ‘flour-butter-sugar” went into it.Its like the chocolate theory-if you have one chocolate bar inside your fridge,you’ll definitely go for it.So don’t buy chocolate!!So what did I do,stopped baking..hah,isn’t that the easier way?

But there were so many recipes I wanted to try out.I had to don my apron and start baking…again!! But this time with a twist.I became a good neighbour,good friend and good relative etc etc.Don’t get the point?I started sharing my baked goodies.The joy of sharing became immense,even more when they started looking forward to my next baking sojourn.Now I bake away to glory,keep aside a very less portion for both of us and share the rest.It makes me feel so good!!

When I saw this month’s Lets go nuts-Almonds,I again searched for baking recipes.Mainly because I had some powdered almonds with me and I was wondering what to do with it.I had to act fast since I missed last months event,when I had a post ready for it[Cookies,again].I got the recipe from here,but I made it with some modifications.Crispy,crunchy,melt in the mouth Almond cookies.

Almond Crescent Cookies [Adapted from Simply Recipes]


Maida/Flour – 2 cups
Powdered sugar – ½ cup
Butter,softened – 1 cup
Powdered almonds – 1 cup
Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
Almond essence – 1 tsp
Icing sugar – for dusting


Preheat oven to 150*C.
Mix butter and powdered sugar till it becomes light & creamy.
Add vanilla & almond essence-mix well.
Slowly add the flour and powdered almonds and knead till it forms a soft dough.
Take a big pinch of the dough and loosely shape into a ball-flatten it.
Using the lid of a tin,make it into a neat round shape.
Now take a smaller lid and cut the cookie into two crescents.
So with one round you’ll get two crescents and one almond shaped cookie.
Place on a greased baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or till done. Dust with icing sugar and let it cool on a wire rack.

Sending this across to JZ who is hosting this month's Lets Go Nuts-Almonds.

Also to LG of Taste of Mysore for SWC-Meals on Wheels.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Kerala Porotta with Green Peas Masala

Whenever my friends/relatives/acquaintances chance upon my blog[some through my Orkut profile and some through Google search],the first thing they ask me is-did you really cook that??Of course I did folks,what makes you think that I can’t cook?I can’t blame them fully though.My friends from school were pleasantly surprised when I told them about the blog.They couldn’t believe that the lazy teenager they knew from school actually cooks!!One of them even told me that it was not my skill at all,since my amma cooks well,somewhere it might have rubbed onto me…excuse me???;-);-)

I felt really happy when one of my friends[a typical Kerala Christian]told me that she tries out my Idli Upma whenever there’s leftover idlis and my Kukka Humman with chapathis,and she makes them on a regular basis.Another friend asked me how to make Masala Dosa,coz she wanted to surprise her hubby.One of them told me that she hops on to my blog whenever she is in doubt about a vegetarian curry.I guess these are all indirect compliments and they matter a lot to me.Friends,I would prefer if you could comment on the blog instead of mailing me..it takes almost the same amount of time right??;-)

Sometime back,I got a mail from a person called Neena.She told me that she follows my blog regularly and she identifies with my style of cooking since,she was also a Konkani,born and brought up in Kerala,then came to Chennai.I felt even more happy when she made a recipe request.She asked me whether I could recreate the Kerala special-Porotta and Peas Masala in my blog.Your request is my command dear!!

I followed Cham’s recipe for Porotta .
Kerala Porotta-Refer Cham’s detailed recipe with step by step procedures for making Porotta,with a Kerala twist.I tried the same recipe with wheat flour too.The result was a super soft layered chapathi,which cannot be called Porotta;-)
Green Peas Masala [Recipe source – Vanitha Magazine]


Green peas – 100 gms fresh/frozen
Onion – 1,finely chopped
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
Tomato – 1,finely chopped
Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tsp
Red chilly powder – 1 ½ tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Haldi – ½ tsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Coconut milk – 1 cup[thick,first milk-Onnam pal]
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Salt to taste


In a kadai,add oil and splutter mustard seeds.
Add curry leaves and onions and sauté till the onions become light brown.
Add ginger garlic paste and sauté till the raw smell of the paste goes.
Now add the tomato and the masala powders.
Stir till the oil starts separating[At any point if you feel the masala might burn,add a few drops of water].
Now add the cooked peas and salt to taste.
Slowly add the coconut milk,keep the heat on low.
Mix well and let it simmer.
Add freshly chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.
Goes well with Idiyappam,Puttu and Porotta!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Aloo Paratha

Here’s one more dish which always gets me a mark less out of 10.Whenever I make this,I always end up with something which makes hubby say-its delicious,but something is missing[have you heard that before?]Though I do agree with him sometimes when the filling is outside and not inside the paratha,I do disagree when I make changes in the filling and he finds some fault with it!!I give him excuses all the time,one of those are – I haven’t tasted an authentic Aloo Paratha-like you have from the dhabas of Delhi and such places.I have my own version and you can’t blame me if I do not reach up to that level;-).

Last night changed it all.I had some boiled potatoes inside the fridge and I had made chapathi dough for dinner.Making Aloo paratha sounded easier to me than making a side-dish;-).So I went about making it.I always get jittery while rolling out the parathas,as there is always the fear of the stuffing jumping outside.But I was determined to overcome the paratha-fear and guess what,I have!!I couldn’t stop smiling when I saw them fluffing up so well and not a speck of stuffing visible outside…after the first bite hubby said-this one's a 10 on 10,perfect aloo paratha..Yay!!! my first successful attempt at making Aloo Paratha;-)

[Even though I would love to show you the step-by-step procedure of making the paratha,I can’t because I diligently put away the camera before entering the kitchen as I was not sure myself if the parathas would come out nice;-)]

Aloo Paratha

For the dough

Atta/whole wheat flour – 2 cups
Salt & Pepper to taste
Warm water-as required to make the dough

Oil - 1 tsp[optional]

For the stuffing

Potatoes – 2,medium sized-cooked
Onion – 1,finely chopped
Green chilly – 1,finely chopped
Oil – 1 tbsp
Jeera – ½ tsp
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Haldi – ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves,chopped – about ½ cup


For the dough – Take atta,salt and pepper in a big mixing bowl.Slowly add water little by little and knead until you get a soft and smooth dough.Apply about a tsp of oil and keep aside[optional].

For the stuffing – Peel and mash the potatoes with a masher or using the back of a slotted spoon till there are no visible lumps.
In a kadai,add oil and splutter Jeera.
Add chopped green chillies and onions and sauté till the onions turn light brown.
Add garam masala and haldi and mix.
Now add the mashed potatoes,finely chopped coriander leaves and salt to taste.
Keep stirring the mix till it becomes dry enough to handle.
Let it cool down to room temperature.

To make the paratha

Make small balls[about a small lemon size] of the chapathi dough and keep aside.
Make smaller balls of the stuffing[about a TT ball size].
Using a rolling stone,flatten the chapathi dough a little and place the stuffed ball inside.
Close the sides carefully and loosely shape into round discs.
Flatten the balls into thin parathas without giving much pressure using enough flour to dust.
In a chapathi tawa,cook them until both sides become evenly brown.(add some oil/ghee if you like).
Serve hot!!

Sending this across to Roma @ Roma's Space who is hosting this month's JFI-Wheat.Jihva for ingredients is a popular food blog event conceptualized by Indira of Mahanandi.Every month,one ingredient is choosen and food bloggers-non-bloggers too,aroud the world cook up a storm of delicious dishes.This month the choosen ingredient is Wheat.

Also to LG of Taste of Mysore who is hosting this month's SWC-Meals on Wheels!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Irish Soda Bread

I have mentioned before that the search for cake recipes or rather baking recipes got me introduced to the blogosphere.While,that phase still continues I have realized that I am always following a pattern.Let me tell you how-I started baking cakes in MW first-I kept on looking for MW cake recipes in blogs and sometimes all I did when I checked out a new blog was to hit Cakes directly from the archive.Not that I tried them all,but after a while I started getting an idea as to which recipe I can make and which one I can’t.

After that it was Cookies.Once I hit success with it,there was no stopping me.In fact,it is something which I can bake anytime of the day or night,perhaps.I fell in love with the crunchy cookies at the first bite.Then cookie recipes were all I searched in blogs[see what I mean?]I tried out many from other blogs and I keep trying and learning.I utilized my oven to the maximum by using all the cooking options.

Then it happened,I got introduced to Yeast.I first tried out Shilpa’s Pizza recipe using whole wheat flour.It was an instant success and I felt happy that the yeast co-operated with me;-).But after that I seldom used yeast,as Pizza is not something which we have on a regular basis.Raaga evoked my interest in yeast again by her superhit recipe Coriander Buns.Both of us loved it so so much that hubby says I should be making it every weekend!! Now I feel confident[over confident,perhaps] and I want to bake bread.I searched for bread recipes all over the blogs[get the point now?]but when I go through the recipe and procedure,I can feel the air bursting out of my confidence levels.

I got my hopes revived when Mansi announced this months BBD-Quick breads.Exactly what I was looking for.I searched[;-)] what can be made and found it at my favorite baking site Joy Of Baking.I remember seeing the recipe for Irish Soda Bread in Goodhousekeeping magazine too.So all set for baking bread I donned my apron and made it.Loved to see the bread puffing up and smelling great inside the oven.Hurrah..my first bread..here it is!!

Irish Soda Bread - Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking


All-purpose flour – 1 ½ cups
Whole wheat flour – 1 ½ cups
Granulated white sugar – 2 tbsp(optional)
Old fashioned rolled oats – 2 tbsp(optional)
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Buttermilk – 1 ½ cups


Preheat oven to 190*C.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flours,baking soda,salt,sugar and oats(if using).
Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk.
Mix into a soft and moist dough using your hands or a wooden spoon.
Transfer to a floured surface and knead it well.
Shape it into a 7' round that is about 1' thick.
Cut across a small X using a sharp knife[on top of the bread].
Bake for 40 minutes or till the bread is well browned on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Slice and serve with butter or jam!!

Sending this across to Mansi for BBD#18-Quick breads,a popular food-blog event that was started by Zorra of Kochtopf.

Update - I just realized that I have not added how the bread tastes and how the texture is.Thanks Purnima for reminding me.I had expected a super soft bread-to be honest it was anything but that;-).This bread has a very hard crust but is soft inside.It slices beautifully too,relatively crumb-free.But it is nowhere like your regular bread.Tastes great warm and as toast too.Next I'm gonna try yeast breads,wish me luck!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Vellarikka Kichadi ~ Cucumber in Coconut-Yogurt gravy

I had mentioned in an earlier post that I was in the process of compiling some recipes from Vanitha magazine and made a treasure-book of recipes for me and the blog;-).I cant tell you how much I am beginning to enjoy reading through and trying out the recipes.Let me give you some intro on the mag.It usually has a chunk of its portion devoted to Paachakam[cookery] and that’s the first section I check out every time I buy it.Every month the in-house chef will whip up 3-4 dishes based on a single ingredient,there would be a section for readers’ recipes,a restaurant review with recipe of their popular dish and then the festival editions.

While I was going through the book,I realized that I had almost 3 different sets of recipes for festivals starting from Pongal in January and till Christmas in December;-).I am glad that I took the trouble of tearing the recipe pages from the magazine and binding it together.I came across some easy to make recipes in one of the Onam Sadya editions.Vellarika Kichadi is one of those.No,don’t confuse it with this Kichadi or the savoury one.This is a totally different curry with cucumber in coconut-yogurt gravy.

Vellarikka Kichadi -Recipe source Vanitha magazine


Cucumber – 1,small-grated or chopped finely
Salt to taste
Curd – ½ cup

To be ground into a masala

Grated coconut – 3 tbsp
Green chilly – 1
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

For the seasoning

Coconut oil – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig


Grind to a smooth paste the ingredients given for the masala.
Add it to the cucumber and mix well.
Whisk the curd and add it to the curry and add salt to taste.
Prepare seasoning in a pan with oil,splutter mustard seeds and add curry leaves.

Kichadi is similar to Cucumber Raita,but with a Kerala twist.Sending this across to Neha of Tasty recipes who is hosting this month’s AFAM-Cucumber,an event started by Maheshwari of Beyond the Usual.

One more happy news is that I got a very cute set of business cards from Foodbuzz and I was almost jumping with joy when I got it in the courier.I am still stumped looking at it and don't know if I would ever part with them..;-).Thank you Foodbuzz!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

From your Blogs #5 ~ Cooking with Raaga!!

Raaga is a blogger who needs no introduction.I’ve mentioned many a times before that I really really like the way she blogs.Her recipes are always fuss free and can be made in a jiffy.I like the way she transforms recipes with cumbersome procedures into healthy,fast and instant dishes.I keep trying her recipes one after another,some of which I have blogged about before and some yet to.

Recently,I tried five of her recipes in a span of a week or so.Needless to say all were lipsmacking.So here I am,dedicating this post to Raaga,of whose recipes perhaps,I’ve tried out the maximum!!

Kadgi Tori Ghashi – I had bought a fresh kadgi[Raw Jackfruit] from Kerala and was wondering what to prepare with it.I came across this recipe and I knew instantly that I would love it.Pulses are included in our menu at least 2 times in a week and pairing it with kadgi was simply too delicious.I usually make a Saarupkari with Tori-Pigeon Peas or a Bendi,but pairing it with Kadgi was an instant success.We loved it with rice for lunch and the leftovers were gone in no time too.

Changes I made – I used black Tori wheras Raaga has used white.No other changes.Lipsmacking-that’s all I can say!!

Broccoli Mushroom soup – We have soups with toast for dinner twice or thrice a week.Since hubby doesn’t like Tomato soup,I’m always searching for new recipes.If you are looking to make varieties of soups daily for dinner-look nowhere else.I think Raaga has got an amazing collection of soups at her blog and all do-able types,so without further delay,hop on!!I make this soup often and it is one of our favorites!!

Changes I made – I didn’t puree the veggies,I chopped them finely instead.Feeling lazy to make this?I’ve tried this soup with Maggi Instant soups-Creamy Mushroom soup.Saute the veggies in a little oil and add to the soup[follow the instructions on the back of the soup packet to make the soup].Yummy!!

Mushroom on toast – I once chanced upon Raaga’s recipe for Garlic bread and that’s one thing which I make without fail everytime we buy Whole wheat bread.When I saw the title Mushroom Cheese melts,I wanted to try it with good ol’ bread and it came out as tasty.Next time I’m trying it with buns.

Changes I made – The recipe calls for buns but I used whole wheat bread and it worked out just great.Great snack to have with tea or soup.Delicious!!

Strawberry Cake – During our Bangalore trip,one thing we bought like crazy was Strawberries.Something which costs us 70-80 rs/-,here in Chennai was only 20 rs/- in Bangalore.Can you believe that??We were surprised to see something cheaper in Bangalore..lol;-).But after the initial attacking mode,the berries were left untouched inside the fridge.I made the Strawberry cake with the leftover berries and the cake was relished by us and our friends.Superhit!!

Changes I made – None..the cake is a winner!!

And now last but not the least – Coriander Buns.Something which I am still bowled about.It smelled heavenly inside the oven and it was gone in no time once it came out of it.A super duper hit!!Just like she says in her post-it looks and tastes just like bakery-bought ones and you wouldn’t be surprised if someone asked you the same.I’ve made it twice and had a happy glee on my face when hubby said it is one of the best stuffed buns he has eaten!!Thanks Raaga..!!!

Changes I made – Still reading this??Go ahead and try this out and you would know why you need not change anything about this recipe

Some more recipes I have tried from Raaga -
Banana Nut Loaf

Baked vegetables with Crumbs

Garlic Bread

Cream of Carrot soup

Vanilla Raisin Bread Pudding
Molagapodi Appo

I've been showered with awards from my fellow bloggers Akal's Sappadu -
One lovely Blog award,Triple awards,Uber Amazing Blog,The Adorable Blog & Friends Award.

and JZ-The Adorable Blog.

Thank you all for your appreciation!![I've added the awards on my sidebar].

I would like to pass it on to-
Congrats and enjoy folks!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Choco-Chip Walnut Cookies

Few months back,we had our Annual celebrations in our colony and there were many competitions held as a part of it.One thing I eagerly look forward to ever since I got the second prize for the cookery competition held a couple of years back. Last year the main ingredient with which we were supposed to cook with was Maida.I was jumping with joy when I saw the ingredient and had many many ideas in my mind.It was during Xmas time and I decided to bake a cake.I made a Choco-Vanilla Marble cake and was decorating the plate to serve it when hubby asked me whether eggs were allowed.I got confused,it was mentioned nowhere that the dishes should be eggless but I didn’t remember even a single non-veg dish from the last few cookery competitions.Panic struck and I decided to back out since the registering time was ticking away.

Hubby suggested cookies and I wondered how I never got such ideas.Everything was done in a jiffy and Nutty Butter Cookies were made within less than an hour.A sprinkle of Icing sugar and the cookies were ready.There were many yummy dishes and I had absolutely no hopes of winning.My neighbours had made Murukku,Halwa,Appam,Sooyam,Gulab jamun and many such dishes.Judging time came and as expected,1st prize went to Butter Murukku[Chakli],2nd prize was for Fruit and nuts Appam and third prize also went to Sweet appam.I clapped wholeheartedly but was sad that one of my neighbours who had spent hours to make Maida Halwa didn’t even get special mention.There was a Q & A session with the judges and they said the texture was missing and blah blah.Someone asked-what about the cookies[I was surprised]and they said-anyone can make cookies,make the dough and stash it inside the oven-cookies would be ready-no effort involved.I mean,how can they say that,I would be lying if I said I was not sad.Not because I didn’t win,but for his comment.

Anyway-win or no win I will continue making the cookies;-).I had the cookie dough sitting inside the freezer for over a week.I had shaped some when I made the dough.The first batch got done and the dough was still hard.I was in a hurry and I microwaved the dough for 10 secs.Bad move, since the chocolate chips started melting and didn’t hold shape.But the end product looked cool-kind of swirled chocolate effect.I loved it;-).

Choco-chip Walnut Cookies


Maida/Flour – 1 ¼ cup

Butter,softened – ½ cup
Powdered Sugar – ¾ cup
Walnuts – ¾ cup,crushed
Chocolate chips – ½ cup


Preheat oven to 150*C.
Mix butter and powdered sugar till it becomes creamy.
Slowly add the flour and knead till it forms a soft dough.
Add crushed walnuts and choco-chips.
You can add few tbsp milk if the dough is dry and add few tbsp flour if the dough is sticky.
Make small balls of the mix and flatten a bit.
Place on a greased baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or till done.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Masala Cashewnuts to celebrate a Milestone!!

Exactly a year back,after writing the post for more than a week,I posted this.Yup,my first post.I was actually feeling like a 10th standard student who has just submitted her board exam answer paper.Felt so tensed whether anyone would read my blog at all.I started posting regularly and even though few of my first posts got zero comments,it didn’t deter my spirit at all.I believed that I was a beginner and I have to strive hard to make a mark.I had to make a place of my own and I would like to believe that today I have.

I was a constant lurker[now I know the term] and did not know that there was a comment section below the post when I was introduced to the blogosphere.I remember reading my first ever food blog and that was of Roopa’s[My Kitchen Treats] and from there I got the link to Shilpa’s and then Purnima’s and then Deeba’s,Srivalli’s and so on.I was simply awed that there existed such a great treasure of recipes,food pictures and more.I wished my blog would become popular one day too,I got thrilled when I glanced at my sitemeter which seemed to pace forward every day;-).

And then it happened.I started to get comments on my posts.My favourite bloggers were commenting on my posts.That was a big big achievement for me.I still giggle like a schoolgirl when I read comments full of encouragement and appreciation.Thank you folks,if it wasn’t for you,I wouldn’t have reached so far.I hope this journey continues this way forever.

Along with bouquets,I got some brickbats too.Not some-two to be precise.I was used to getting compliments on my posts and it came as a thunderbolt when this person gave a pretty nasty comment on my post Egg Roast.
I reacted badly,I know.I felt bad that I wasn’t ready to accept criticism.I could have deleted the comments,but I want to remember always that I have to accept criticism,however bad that is.

Anyway,this has been a very pleasant year for me.I am doing something which I really enjoy doing and I am happy that blogging is not going to fizzle out from my itinerary anytime soon..;-)

To celebrate this joyous day,let me present you an amazing snack –Masala Cashewnuts.Amma is famous for her “tallele kajoobi” so much so that she prepared this for my wedding.Not for one or two set of guests but for the entire crowd.Sounds unbelievable? but its true.For the giveaway sweet box during our marriage, this was a special item and amma wanted to prepare it herself.About 1000 boxes were made and each had about 5-7 cashews in it.One of my hubby’s favourites too.An expensive snack,but its ok to splurge once in a while.After all am celebrating my birthday..er..blog birthday I mean!!

Masala Cashewnuts


Cashewnuts – ½ kilo
Gram flour – 1 cup*
Red chilly powder – 1 ½ tsp
Hing/asafoetida – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil for frying**
Curry leaves – few sprigs


In a big mixing bowl,take the cashewnuts and sprinkle few tsps water and apply enough salt on it.Keep aside for 10 minutes.
Add chilly powder and hing.
Now add the gram flour little by little till all the cashews are coated well.

Deep fry the masala coated cashews in hot oil till it becomes slight brown in colour-drop handfuls of cashews into the oil and with a slotted spoon,try and separate the cashews,this is important otherwise the cashews will stick together and you would get a whole solid mass of fried cashews which is not so pleasant.
In the same oil fry the curry leaves.Mix with the fried cashews and store in an airtight container once it cools.

*1 cup is an approximate measure.Keep adding the flour little by little till all the cashews get coated well.
**Amma uses coconut oil for frying and that gives a distinct flavour to the cashews.Any cooking oil/refined oil can be used.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Bhajil Phov/Chivda and some Goodies

Even though it doesn’t feel so good to be back from a stay in either Bangalore or Ernakulam,the goodies left to be unpacked provide the much sought after relief.The first to be unpacked before everything else-it gives a huge sense of happiness to devour something which amma(both of them)has packed so lovingly for us.I almost have a standard list of stuff to be bought back from both the places and even without me telling,it would be ready by the time we reach there.For example,standard stuff from Bangalore would be – Thin poha,Kashmiri Chillies,Pulses like Tori,Thingalavro,Kulith etc,Baked stuff from Warriers Bakery and ma-in-law’s home-made Ghee & Chivda.

This time,I was twice as lucky as my Vanni had bought me some much needed stuff from Botswana-SA.I had a big list prepared and the topmost was Puffpastry.I am so excited to see the stuff inside the freezer and can’t wait to don the baking hat and bake to my hearts content;-).

Bhajil Phov/Chivda/Poha mixture is a much loved snack as it is almost low-fat,something which my hubby calls a non-guilty snack.There are different ways to prepare it and am sure all are equally tasty,keep adding ingredients and you can give it a different taste each time.Amma makes a similar mixture at home which we call – Phova upkari.

Bhajil Phov/Chivda


Thin Poha – ½ kilo
Oil – 3 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Jeera – 1 tsp
Dalia[Roasted dal] – 1 tbsp
Garlic[crushed] – 10
Hing/asafoetida – ½ tsp
Haldi/turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Peanuts – 1 handful
Green chillies – 2-3 slit lengthwise
Red chillies – 2-3 cut into two
Curry leaves – 1-2 sprigs
Salt to taste


Dry the poha in the sun till it becomes crisp OR roast it in a thick bottomed kadai OR bake it in a preheated oven on low heat.
In a big kadai add the oil and roast the peanuts till done-remove and drain.
In the same oil add the crushed garlic and roast till it becomes brown and crisp-remove and drain.
Now add the mustard seeds,jeera,chillies,dalia,hing,haldi and the curry leaves.
Mix well till the chillies and curry leaves become crisp.
Add the roasted peanuts and garlic and mix well.
Add salt to the tadka,mix well and then add the crisp poha.[adding salt to the tadka ensures the even distribution of salt]
Mix well and turn off the heat.
Let it cool and then transfer to an airtight container.
This is tasty as it is,but even more if you add a sprinkle of sugar and freshly grated coconut while serving.

A request-Can someone please tell me where I can buy/order some stuff in India? Like the classic bundt pan,ramekins and silicone bakingware.I tried in Amazon but they ship these stuff only within US.If you have any idea please e-mail me the details.Thanks in advance!

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