Wednesday 31 October 2012

Event Announcement : Cooking with Seeds - Barley

I am excited to host another event in my blog. This is my third event. I am hosting Priya's Cooking with Seeds Event and I have picked the theme as Barley.

Barley is a super healthy grain. But for some reason in India it is often associated as a sick man's food. My earliest and only tryst with the grain was when I was little and had come down with Jaundice. I used to be given Barley water. 

Recently a blog friend of mine (Veena) introduced me to the grain and we are hooked to it. I have posted a couple of recipes - Barley Biriyani and Barley Tomato Soup in my blog. There are a lot Indian options and you can also venture into salads, soups, risotto, desserts,breakfast porridges. The list is endless. 

I am looking forward to making some new dishes for the event and also to learn from all of you guys.

So what are we waiting for... Don your cooking hats, whip up a dish and send it along to me.... 

You need to do:
1. Cook anything with barley, both vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes are accepted from 01-Nov-2012 to 30-Nov-2012. Use barley in any form (pearl barley, rolled barley, hulled barley, barley rava, barley powder etc).

2. Post as many dishes as you can.Multiple entries are allowed.

4. Old entries which are reposted with these links are also accepted

5. Using Logo is very much appreciated.

6. Send in your entries with the below information to with the subject Cooking with Seeds - Barley

Your Name :
Blog Name :
Name of the recipe :
Link of the recipe :
Photo :  

7. Non Bloggers can also participate. Just send me the recipe to the email address above and I will include in roundup.

Looking forward to your participation. Help me make this a grand success.

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Flour Tortilla

Soft Flour Tortillas are basic for most Mexican dishes. Be it Fajitas, Quesadilla, Burrito you need Tortillas to start with.

This post gives the recipe of basic flour tortillas. If you are familiar to making chappattis/phulkas this is quite similar. Just APF instead of wheat flour. Also, add baking powder.

Another interesting thing about Tortillas is the similarity with roti as used by Indian Bachelors in US :-) Many many guys I know buy tortillas (as they are eaily available) to use as roti for their subzis. I know my husband also used to do that before we got married. My bro and his friends have gone a step further and use it to make batura. As batura is basically fried APF, they just fry the tortillas to get batura.. have not tried doing it, but does sound interesting. Make tortillas ahead of time when making in large numbers and then  fry when ready to serve. Will try it sometime.


All Purpose Flour 1.5 cups
Baking Powder 1/2 tsp
Oil/Butter 1 tbsp ( i used oil)
Warm Water (as needed)

Method of Preparation

1. Take the APF, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Mix well.

2. Add oil and mix again.

3. Add water little at a time and make into a firm dough (like chappati dough). Knead for a few more minutes.

4. Separate into 6 balls. Roll each of them into a circle. Using a big circle cutter, cut out a even round.

5. Heat a pan. Place the rolled dough on it. Cook till spots appear on the bottom side.

6. Turn and cook on the other side.

7. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

8. You can collect all the cut out portions and reroll them and cook it.

I did this to make sure that all of them are perfect circles and same size as they serve in restaurants. Alternatively, you can make 9 balls and roll them and cook it.

Tortillas are ready to be stuffed and made into a Fajita

Monday 29 October 2012

Mixed Vegetable Kootu

Kootu is a combination of vegetable and dal made with a coconut based gravy. As I have posted previously, it is a very sacred relationship. The vegetable and dal combo are unique and make a world of difference to how the end result tastes

One of the kootu that we make often is the mixed vegetable kootu. It is a medley of vegetables and we make it with so many different combinations. But there are certain rules that I follow. Do try this if you have not tried it.

Types of vegetables - one or more of each category needs to be added. Atleast one required.

1. Root vegetables
Mandatory - potato. Optional - vazhakka (raw banana), chenai (yam), jackfruit seed (adds the best taste)

2. Watery vegetables
Chow Chow, podavalanga (snake guard), vellarikka (cucumber) etc

3. English vegetable (btb, do you call these vegetables as english veg??)
mandatory - carrots. optional - beans, peas, corn

4. Dal - Channa Dal

So you get the idea. I am writing the recipe of how I made it this time


Potato 1
Vazhakka 2
Carrot 4
Peas 1/2 cup
Beans chopped 1/2 cup
Corn 1/4 cup
Chow Chow 1

Channa Dal 1 cup
Coconut 3/4 cup
Green Chillies 2
Curry Leaves few
Jeera 1 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp

For tempering 
Oil 1 tsp
Mustard 1/2 tsp
Urad Dal 1 tsp
Curry Leaves few

Method of Preparation

1. Peal and chop all the vegetables. Add to a pot. Add a little water and cook till it is half cooked.

2. Pressure cook the channa dal with enough water till it is cooked well but has its shape.

3. Make a paste of the coconut, green chilli, curry leaf and jeera by adding a little water.

4. Add the dal and coconut paste along with turmeric and salt to the pot. Simmer for 10 minutes till the gravy thickens.

5. In a small pan, heat a little oil. Add mustard. When it sputters, add the urad dal. When it starts to brown, add the curry leaves. Add to the kootu.

6. Serve with rice and sambar/kozhambu or you can just have it as a bowl of its own (pretty filling).

Linking this to Lets Cook - Protein Rich Food Event by Radhika

Linking this to South Indian Cooking - Event by Anu, Hosted by Sangee

Saturday 27 October 2012

Vegetable Fajita

The last week this month for AGC - we are virtually travelling to Mexico. My mexican food is limied to the experience in US. Though it is not truely Mexican, that is the version that is popular world wide.

There are a few restaurant chains that are popular in US that we used to enjoy. Chilis and Margharitas are the ones we used to go often. And there were a few independent restaurants in Moody Street, Waltham where we have enjoyed awesome Mexican food.

When we picked Mexican for this week's theme, I knew I had to make these Fajitas. They are just perfect for dinner party as well. Every one can fill in what they like and make their own. If you eat meat adding some grilled chicken or beef adds to the variety as well.

I did not have a grill pan. So I sauted the vegetables. But if you do, please do use it for that nice char lines on the veggies and meat.


Onion 1 sliced
Red Pepper 1
Yellow Pepper 1
Orange Pepper 1
Mushroom 2 cups
Pepper powder as needed
Salt as needed
Oil for saute
Lemon juice (optional)

To serve

Flour Tortilla
Sour Cream (or yogurt)
Cheddar Cheese (optional)
Baked beans (optional)
Rice (optional)

Recipe for Flour Tortilla, Glocomole and Salsa coming up in the next few days

Method of Preparation

1. Slice the onions, peppers and mushroom. You can use any coloured pepper. I just bought a variety pack to give it a nice colourful look.

2. Heat a pan (smoking hot). Add a little oil and add in the onions. Saute for 4-5 minutes till it is nicely caramelized. Add a little salt and pepper as well. Keep aside.

3. Now add in the peppers to the same pan. Add salt and pepper and saute for 4-5 minutes. Make sure it is still crunchy. Keep aside.

4. You can cook the mushrooms directly in the pan. But it will take a long time. So what I do is microwave sliced mushrooms for about 10 minutes. I stop in between and drain out the excess water. Once it is ready and cooked, just add to the pan with a little oil and toss it around for a minute or 2 with salt and pepper.

5. Add some lemon juice (optional) to all the vegetables.

You can do all the veggies together if you have a nice big pan and everyone likes all veggies. I kept it separate as that way you can choose which ones you want to eat.


Take a flour tortilla. Add all the veggies as needed. Top it with glocomole, salsa, sour cream, cheese and beans. (I skipped sour cream and cheese). Fold it in your hands and bite in. Enjoy!!

Check out the other AGC thoughout this week 
AnushaJayanthiKavithaPriya MRadhikaVeenaPriya S

Friday 26 October 2012

Pasta with rosemary, garlic and red chillies

Pasta is one of the most popular 'foreign' dishes around the world next only to Pizza. Sauce adds a lot of flavour to the pasta. But sometimes having a simple garlic and herb infused pasta can be so comforting. I have not used rosemary much, it worked well in this pasta. You can substitute olive oil with butter and add some cheese as well. Veggies can also be avoided, but a mom's heart tells her to add them to the pasta to make a healthy meal...

So what is your favourite veggie for pastas?


Pasta (Penne or Rotini) 3 cups loosely packed
Asparagus 1 small bunch
Broccoli 1 small head
Garlic 6 pods
Rosemary 4 sprigs
Dried Red Chilli 5
Olive Oil and salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Cook pasta as per the package instruction adding salt as needed. Mine cooked al dente in 11 minutes. I always use whole wheat pasta. It does not have much difference in taste and has obvious health benefits.

2. When pasta is cooked, instead of draining the water, fish the pasta out and the vegetables in. Cook for a couple of minutes. You will get a nice crunchy texture.

3. Finely chop garlic and rosemary. I separated the leaves from the stem and ran a knife thru it.

4. Heat olive oil in a pan. Add the garlic and rosemary. Cook in slow flame till the oil is infused with flavours and the garlic starts to change colour.

5. Toss in the vegetables and pasta. Add a little more salt it needed.

6. I pulsed the red chillies in mixie to make chilli flakes and added to the pasta while serving. Ideally, it will be good if you can add to oil along with garlic and rosemary. But as I had a little one to feed, i added at the end.

Enjoy your pasta.

Linking this to EP Herbs and Spices - Rosemary, Event by Julie, hosted by Priya

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Ragda Patties

Ragda Patties is an awesome chaat recipe that we tried recently. Though not as popular as the pav bhaji, bhel puri or pani puri it is awesome. Had been in my list of things to make for a while and glad I tried.

Things required to make Ragda Patties

Ragda (the peas gravy - recipe below)
Patties (the potato patty - recipe below)
Green Chutney (recipe here)
Tamarind Chutney (recipe here)
Chaat Masala
Onions chopped 1
Coriander leaves chopped
Sev (optional) (recipe here)

To Serve Ragda Patties.

1. Place 2 patties on a plate.

2. Pour the peas gravy over it.

3. Add chutneys (mint and tamarind) according to taste.

4. Sprinkle some chaat masala.

5. Top it with onions, coriander leaves and sev (if using).

Repeat for the other servings

Ingredients For Ragda

White/Yellow peas 1 cup (you can use green peas as well)
Potato 1 small
Cumin 1 tsp
Chilli Powder 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala 1 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Tamarind Paste 1 tsp
Jaggery 1 tbsp
Oil and Salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Soak peas overnight and pressure cook adding enough water till it is a littel mushed up.

2. Heat a little oil in a pan. Add cumin.

3. When it sizzles, add the peas with a little water.

4. Add the rest of the ingredient and simmer for a little while till everything comes together

Ingredients For Patties

Potato 3
Chilli powder 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder 1/2 tsp
Corn Flour 2 tbsp

Oil for shallow fry

Method of Preparation

1. Boil or microwave the potatoes till cooked.

2. Peal and Mash it.

3. Add the other ingredients to it and mix well.

4. Divide into 6 portions. Roll into balls and flatten it.

5. Heat oil in a non stick pan. Place the patties on it and cook till one side is roasted.

6. Flip and cook the other side. I recommend non stick pan. Otherwise, when you are trying to flip, the roasted portion will stick to the pan.

Linking this to Lets Cook - Protein Rich Food Event by Radhika

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Green Chutney And Tamarind Chutney for Chaats

Chaats are super famous Indian Street Food. Made super popular in Mumbai and then adopted by the whole India. Spicy Green Chutney and the Sweet and Tangy Tamarind Chutneys are a must go for most chats. They just take the chat to the next level. Could not take good clicks... believe me it tasted awesome.

Ragda Patties - recipe coming soon

I have posted a few in my blog already. Do check them out as well.

  • Misal Pav
  • Vada Pav
  • Pav Bhaji with homemade dinner rolls

  • Spicy Green Chutney

    Mint 1 cup
    Coriander Leaves 1/2 cup
    Lemon Juice 2 tbsp
    Green Chilli 2
    Salt to taste

    Method of Preparation

    1. Add all the ingredients in a mixie and give it a run.

    2. Add a little water to get it going. Make a smooth paste.

    3. Adjust lemon juice, green chilli and salt according to taste.

    Use as required in any chat recipe

    Sweet and Tangy Tamarind Chutney

    Tamarind paste 1.5 tbsp
    Pitted Plum 1/2 cup
    Jaggery 1 tbsp
    Chilli Powder 1/2 tsp
    Cumin Powder 1/2 tsp

    Method of Preparation

    1. Heat a little water in a pan and add the pitted plum. Pitted plum - you might ask. Usually dates are used. I did not have any and decided to experiment with this. It worked out great for me. If you have dates feel free to use that instead.

    2. Add tamarind paste and jaggery. Also add in the chilli powder, cumin powder and salt. Mix well.

    3. Boil for a few minutes till the plum (dates) get cooked.

    4. Cool and make into a fine paste. Add a little bit more water if needed.

    Use as required in any chat recipe

    Monday 22 October 2012

    Dal Dry Curry

    For lack of better name, I named it dal dry curry. It is inspired by Usili. I added onions and tomatoes to make it into a complete dish. My little one and I loved eating it as is as dish on its own. Served it as a side for roti for my husband.


    Toor Dal 2 cups
    Onions 2
    Tomato 2
    Red Chilli 2
    Hing generous
    Jeera 1 tsp
    Turmeric 1 tsp
    Garam Masala 1 tsp

    Method of Preparation

    1. Soak dal for a couple of hours.

    2. Drain water and grind into a coarse paste with red chillies, hing and salt. Add a little water if needed.

    3. Roll into balls or flatten into idli moulds and steam for 10-15 minutes till well cooked.

    4. In the meanwhile, heat oil in a pan. Add Jeera and turmeric.

    5. When it sizzles, add chopped onions. Saute till it starts to brown a little.

    6. Add finely chopped tomatoes. Saute till it is well cooked.

    7. Once the dal mix is cooked, cool and crumble it. Using hands will make things easier.

    8. Add to the tomato onions mix along with some garam masala and if needed more salt.

    9. Mix well and cook for a few more minutes.

    Linking this to Lets Cook - Protein Rich Food Event by Radhika

    Linking this to South Indian Cooking - Event by Anu, Hosted by Sangee

    Friday 19 October 2012

    Eggless Banana Raisin Loaf Cake

    For the second week this month, AGC are going Hush Hush. My partner for this month, Radhika gave me a cake with banana. :-) She is one who has always inspired me to bake especially with her Lets Bake event and also answering all my questions :-) Thank you Radhika for all the help so far.

    When I looking for recipes to make an eggless banana cake, I looked all around. Then I thought - Radhika was not being fair. How can she give me a thing to make that she herself has not made. Then I decided to check at her blog again. And guess what, it is there. I just followed her recipe and baked this awesome cake.


    Bread Flour (you can use APF) 11/4 cup
    Salt 1/4 tsp
    Baking Soda 1 tsp

    Banana 2
    Sugar 1 cup
    Oil 4 tbsp (you can use melted butter as well)
    Curd/yogurt 2 tbsp

    Milk 1/4 cup
    Vanilla Extract 1 tsp

    Raisin 1/2 cup

    Method of Preparation

    1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease a loaf pan.

    2. Sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Keep ready.

    3. In a mixing bowl, add the mashed banana, sugar, oil and yogurt. Mix well. I mashed with a spoon and then went in with the hand mixer.

    4. Now add the milk and vanilla extract. Mix well.

    5. Add in the dry ingredients. Mix well.

    6. Now finally fold in the raisins. You can add tutti fruity or nuts as well.

    7. Pour into the baking tray and bake for 40 minutes.

    8. Let it cool completely and then slice and enjoy.

    Check out the other AGC thoughout this week 
    AnushaJayanthiKavithaPriya MRadhikaVeenaPriya S

    Linking this to What's with my cuppa - Event by Nupur

    Linking this to I Love Baking

    Thursday 18 October 2012

    Kondakadalai Sundal - Channa Sundal

    Kondakadalai or Kabuli Channa makes an excellent Sundal. Do you guys call in Kabuli Channa?? Wonder if it really did come from Kabul.

    When I was little, we used to go to Ahmedabad as my maternal grand parents and paternal uncle (dads bro and family) and aunt (dads sister and family) all used to live there. So that was our summer holidays.

    Along with all the fun memories of family time, other thing that comes to my mind are the people of Gujarat. They have something special going on about them. The hospitality and friendliness to even strangers is something we all have to learn from them.

    Walking a little further thru those memories, there is this little shop that we used to buy clothes from. Gujarat is quite famous for its textiles even in those days. And was much cheaper and better quality than what we used to get in Kerala. So we used to bring years worth of clothes from there. And to buy it we used to go no other place but Bachu Bhai's Dukan (shop) in Teen Darwaza. It was a tiny little place which somehow seemed to stock all that you needed. It is quite popular name as there are around 10 shops now in the same street which claim to be the 'asli' bachu bhai (original one). It was the place where my mom got her clothes as a kid.

    There were some food related memories that are also quite different from what we were used to in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The love for sweets - i mean, we do love sweets, but to eat a bowl full of it for breakfast is totally beyond me. Summers and mangoes go hand in hand right? the aamras and aamrakhand from gujarat is just out of the world. just give me some roti/puri and aamras and that is all I need.

    A memory always pop into my head when I see Channa. Early morning (this was during one winter trip) when it is all cold and misty, you would see people hurrying away in their bicycles (yes they were used a lot when we were kids). And in front of all these cycles were baskets with bunches of greens in it. Wondering what they were. Fresh Chickpeas!!. They will just bike along popping the pods open and munching on it.

    Ok now.. story over... lets get on to the sundal recipe, shall we?


    Dried Chickpeas/Channa 1 cup
    Coconut 1/4 cup
    Curry leaf 2 sprigs
    Coriander leaves 2 tbsp chopped
    Mustard 1/2 tsp
    Jeera 1/2 tsp
    Turmeric 1/4 tsp
    Red Chillies 2
    Lemon Juice 1-2 tbsp

    Method of Preparation

    1. Soak Chickpeas overnight and pressure cook with enough water till it is cooked well but still has its shape. Drain and keep aside.

    2. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard. When it sputters, add the red chilli, jeera, turmeric and curry leaves.

    3. Add the drained chick peas.

    4. Add coconut and salt. Mix well.

    5. Switch off and add the coriander leaves and lemon juice. Mix well and serve

    Linking this to Lets Cook - Protein Rich Food Event by Radhika

    Linking this to South Indian Cooking - Event by Anu, Hosted by Sangee

    Wednesday 17 October 2012

    Peanut Sundal - Verkadalai Sundal

    For the second day of Navarathri, I made Peanut Sundal (Verkadalai Sundal)

    When I told my husband what I was making, he asked peanut sundalaaa? Meaning - there is no such sundal. Ok, I kind of have to give it to him. My mom never made peanut sundal. Neither did my MIL (so says my husband). I vaguely remember my dad telling me that his mom used to make it.

    But I read and reread a lot of my blogging friends make peanut sundal. Now come to think of it, it is nothing but the steamed masala peanuts that you buy in the beach.

    I was a little sceptical today when I started making it as I was not sure about the soaking and cooking part of it. How may whistles, how much water etc. I googled around and then took a guess as to how my peanut will cook and got it right (luckily).


    Raw Peanut 1.5 cups
    Red Chillies 2
    Mustard 1/2 tsp
    Turmeric a pinch
    Hing a pinch

    Coconut 2 tbsp (optional)
    Curry leaf (i did not have it. so none added in mine)

    Oil and Salt to taste

    Method of Preparation

    1. Soak the peanut for about 3 hours. Drained water. And then add water till it is covered. Pressure cooked for about 2 whistles. Drain water and keep aside.

    2. In a pan, heat a little oil. Add mustard.

    3. When it sputters, add red chillies (and curry leaf), turmeric and hing.

    4. Add the drained peanuts, salt and coconut. Toss well.

    5. Simmer for 1-2 min and switch off

    Peanut sundal (Verkadalai Sundal) is ready! Its as simple as that.

    Linking this to Lets Cook - Protein Rich Food Event by Radhika

    Linking this to South Indian Cooking - Event by Anu, Hosted by Sangee

    Tuesday 16 October 2012

    Green Moong Dal Sundal - Pacha Payar Sundal

    Sundals are basically lentils or legumes cooked, tempered with mustard, jeera and then spiced with coconut, green chillies and curry leaves.

    I am starting this Navarathri with a Green Moong Dal Sundal. I have made this into a healthier version by making sprouts out of it. I could not sprout it fully. Many people have asked me how to sprout perfectly. The fact that in Indian stores they sell packets of sprouted moong in the fridge isle shows that some people are wasting too much money on such a simple thing. I thought I will add a little note on that here.

    Soak Whole Green Moong Dal in water for atleast 12 hours. Then drain the water completely. Keep the dal (the wet one) for about 24 hours tossing once in between. You will see small sprouts appear. This is the stage I used today. To get a good sprout, just toss it again and leave it for another 24 hours. When the weather gets too cold here, it is very difficult to get sprouts. What I do at that time is - preheat the conventional oven for a 3 minutes. Switch off. Keep the drained dal inside and close. Just leave it there for 24 hours. The warmth from the oven will speed up the formation of sprouts.

    Now off to the simple sundal recipe. I made a slightly bigger batch as I enjoyed it as a salad. You can just make a little less if you are making just sundal.


    Whole Green Moong Dal 1.5 cups
    Coconut 1/2 to 3/4 cup (according to taste. I had a little over 1/2 cup)
    Green Chilli 1 (more for spicier version)
    Curry leaf few
    Jeera 1 tsp
    Mustard 1/2 tsp
    Turmeric 1/2 tsp

    Oil and salt to taste

    Method of Preparation

    1. Soak Green Moong dal (pacha payar) overnight. Drain. You can either use the above method of make sprout or just use as is. Also, I did not cook in pressure cooker as I did not want it to mush up. But you can do that as well. I love the slight crunchiness of the stove cooked moong.

    2. Heat a little oil in a pan. Add the mustard. When it sputters, add the jeera and turmeric.

    3. When it sizzles, add the green moong dal. If you are not making as sundal for navarathri, you can also add some onions (or even garlic) at this stage. It will taste awesome. Saute till the onions are slightly browned and then add the dal. As I am making this for Navarathri, I avoided the onions.

    4. Stir well and sprinkle a little water and close the lid immediately to contain the steam. Cook in low flame.

    5. Keep stirring in between and add a sprinkle of water if needed. It will be cooked in 10 minutes or less.

    6. In the meanwhile, pulse coconut, green chilli and curry leaf. Do not grind into fine paste. Do not add any water.

    7. Add to the dal along with some salt. Mix and cook for a couple more minutes.

    Tasty Green Moong Sundal - Pacha Payar sundal is ready

    Linking this to Lets Cook - Protein Rich Food Event by Radhika

    Linking this to South Indian Cooking - Event by Anu, Hosted by Sangee

    Monday 15 October 2012

    Pepper Corn and Tofu Masala

    Paneer is a favourite among Indians and our family is no different. One of my friends wrote to me to tell me that she usually does not make paneer cause it is fatty. Very true. She tried one of my paneer dishes and liked it. I was telling her about how I substitute Tofu for Paneer to make some dishes.

    I realized that I have not posted any recipe like that. When I saw this recipe in Kaveri's Blog, I decided to change paneer to tofu as the other veggies going in like the corn and pepper go well with tofu anyways. It was an awesome dish. We really loved it and got a super healthy dish out of it. Ofcourse, you can make this with Paneer as well


    Corn 2 cups
    Tofu 1 big block (400gm)
    Green Pepper 1
    Onions 2
    Tomato 2
    Garam Masala 1 tsp
    Cumin powder 1 tsp
    Chilli powder 1 tsp
    Ginger 1 inch piece
    Turmeric 1/2 tsp
    Hing a little
    Kasuri Methi 1 tbsp

    Oil and salt to taste

    Method of Preparation

    1. Heat corn in mircowave for a couple of minutes. I used frozen corn.

    2. Drain water out of the tofu. Place it in a paper towel and keep it like that for 15 minutes to drain off any excess water. If tofu does not come in a water pack you can skip this step. Cut the tofu into small pieces.

    3. Heat a little oil in a pan. Add the tofu and fry till all the sides are nicely roasted stirring and turning in between. Keep aside.

    4. Heat some more oil and add the chopped onions. Saute onions till it starts to brown.

    5. Add grated ginger (and garlic if you want. I did not have and so did not use). Saute for a couple more minutes.

    6. Add chopped pepper and saute for a couple of minutes.

    7. Add finely chopped tomato and add a little water. Mix everything and simmer with closed lid till the tomatoes and peppers are cooked.

    8. Add the garam masala, chilli powder, cumin powder, turmeric and hing along with some salt. Mix well and add some more water if needed. Bring to boil.

    9. Add corn and fried tofu. Mix and simmer for a few minutes.

    Serve with roti.

    Linking this to Lets Cook - Protein Rich Food Event by Radhika

    Sunday 14 October 2012

    Semiya Upma

    I was just browsing my blogs to see what recipes I am yet to post that are popular in my house. I was surprised to see that I have not posted semiya upma (vermicelli upma). I make this atleast once a month. So here you go. Simple and comforting bowl of breakfast.

    As usual, I want to highlight the goodness of this kind of recipes. Notice the amount of vegetables going in in this. I always make sure that whenever I make upma, I add more vegetable that the base ingredient. Great way to get start your day.


    Semiya 1.5 cups
    Vegetables 5 cups
    Water 2 1/4 cup (1:1.5 ratio)
    Peanuts 1 tbsp
    Channa Dal 1 tsp
    Urad Dal 1 tsp
    Jeera 1 tsp
    Turmeric 1/2 tsp
    Mustard 1/2 tsp
    Curry Leaves few
    Green Chilli 1
    Ginger a small piece
    Onions 1

    Oil and salt to taste

    Method of Preparation

    1. Heat a little oil (1 tsp) and add the semiya (vermicelli). Saute till it changes to light brown in colour. This is an important step as it prevents the upma from sticking together and becoming guey.  Remove from pan and keep aside.

    2.  Heat some more oil in the pan. Add the mustard.

    3. When it sputters, add the peanuts, channa dal and urad dal. Saute till it starts to brown.

    4. Add the jeera, curry leaves, green chilli (chopped), ginger (chopped) and let it sizzle.

    5. Add chopped onions and saute till it turns translucent.

    6. In the meanwhile, steam the vegetables in microwave for 10 minutes. I used frozen. If using fresh vegetables, you can either steam in microwave longer or just add after the onions and saute till it is cooked.

    7. Add the vegetables and mix well.

    8. Add water. I add in 1:1.5 ratio. Bring to boil. Add salt as well.

    9. Add the roasted semiya and mix. Simmer and cook till all the water is evaporated stirring in between.

    Serve with coconut chutney or just as is.

    Linking this to South Indian Cooking - Event by Anu, Hosted by Sangee

    Saturday 13 October 2012

    Whole Masoor Dal Khichdi

    Sometimes a simple dish blows your mind away. This is one for me. Whole Masoor Dal is a go to food for us when I need to make something real quick. But then there is only so many times you can eat a dish, isn't it?

    I decided to try a khichdi with whole moong and was so happy I did.. Have made it a few times since and it was gone before you know. Could not click good photos.. May be next time :-)


    Rice 1.5 cup
    Whole Masoor Dal 1 cup
    Bay leaf 2
    Cinnamon 2 inch piece
    Clove 3
    Star Anise 3
    Jeera 1 tsp
    Sambar powder 2 tsp
    Turmeric 1 tsp
    Tamarind paste 1 tsp
    Onion 2
    Tomato 2

    Oil and salt to taste

    Method of Preparation

    1. Take rice and dal together in a vessel. Add 8 cups of water. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.

    2. In a pan heat some oil. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon, star anise and jeera.

    3. When it sizzles, add sliced onions. Saute till it is browned.

    4. Add chopped tomatoes. Cook till it is well done.

    5. Add sambar powder, tamarind paste and some salt. Mix well for a couple of minutes.

    6. Add the cooked rice/dal and mix. Simmer for a minute or 2 and switch off.

    Serve with some papads or pickle.

    Linking this to Lets Cook - Protein Rich Food Event by Radhika

    Friday 12 October 2012

    Konda Kadalai Kathirikka Kozhambu - Chickpeas and Eggplant in a coconut sauce

    Its evening. Time to make dinner. I open the fridge to check what I have. Based on that sometimes I decide on something that I have already made before. There are days when I do not feel like doing that. I want to make something new. Then I come back to the laptop and search for ideas. Then back to fridge to recheck ingredients. Finally I may find a new dish to make or may end up with something already cooked.

    Time spent on searching, thinking, searching, thinking again : 45 minutes
    Time taken to actually make something : 30 minutes

    Does this happen in any of your houses?

    As a solution to this problem, I experimented making a menu before I shop for the week. Time required to make the menu for the week 1 hour. Everyday I can quickly make a dish and be done with it..

    I kept doing that for a few weeks. Then stopped and slipped to my old ways. This week I restarted it. While finalizing the menu, I found Sangeetha's Recipe. I really liked it and gave it a shot. Made a few minor changes. Please do refer to her original recipe as well.

    It was out of the world. We are it with Rice today. It will make an excellent combo for dosa and roti as well.


    Chick Peas 1 cup
    Onions 2
    Tomatoes 2
    Eggplant 1 big
    Green Chilli 1
    Bay Leaf 2
    Clove 3
    Cinnamon 1 inch piece
    Saunf 1 tsp
    Jeera 1 tsp
    Fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp
    Chilli Powder 1 tsp
    Sambar Powder 1 tsp
    Turmeric 1/2 tsp
    Cumin powder 1 tsp

    To grind

    Poppy seeds (soaked in water) 1 tsp
    Saunf 1 tsp
    Coconut 1/2 cup
    Garlic 5 pods
    Ginger 1 inch piece

    Method of Preparation

    1. Soak Chickpeas and pressure cook with enough water till it is cooked.

    2. Heat oil in a pan. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon, clove, saunf and jeera.

    3. When it sizzles, add the sliced onions. Saute till it starts to brown.

    4. Add chopped tomatoes and eggplant.

    5. Add a little water and cook till it is partly cooked.

    6. Make a paste of the ingredients under 'to grind'.

    7. Add the paste to the pot. Add chilli powder, cumin powder, turmeric and sambar powder. Add some salt as well.

    8. Add the cooked chick peas and some water. Simmer till it all comes together and the raw smell of all the masalas are gone.

    Serve with rice, roti or dosa

    It thickened a lot after a few hours and tasted even better the next day... yumm yummmm

    Linking this to Lets Cook - Protein Rich Food Event by Radhika
    Linking this to Magic Mingle - coconut and fenugreek seeds

    Thursday 11 October 2012

    Peri Peri Nuts - Nandos style

    AGC this month is kicking off with the theme - 5 ingredients or less. This is a bit of a challenge for me as I always have a few different things going on in my recipes. My husband on the other hand is of the type - less is good. But even he accepts that for some curries, all the different flavours going in give it the taste.

    We are crazy fans of a restaurant called Nandos in UK. Recently came to know that they are open in a few cities in India as well. They are famous for their spicy peri peri sauce. It is just out of the world. It comes in different spice levels - mild, medium, hot and extra hot. I always go for the extra hot in my burgers. My husband sticks to the hot. Most ppl order medium or hot. So you get the idea. The best part is everything is grilled there. No deep frying.

    Peri Peri nuts is something we always order to munch on while waiting for the food. The sad part is that we get a small cup of nuts for the £3 and we are always fighting for it. So I decided to make it at home as it is super simple to make once you have the sauce.

    Armed with the sauce, I tried a few different times to get the timing, sauce and oil right. All the batches disappeared within minutes.


    Almonds 1/2 cup
    Oil 1 tsp
    Peri Peri Sauce 2-3 tsp
    Salt a pinch

    Method of Preparation

    1. Toss all the ingredients together. Arrange in a microwave safe plate and cook for 1 minute.

    2. Take out and toss well. Add more salt if needed. Microwave for 30 more seconds.

    3. Take out and check again. If required microwave for 30 more seconds. You will smell roasted almonds when it is done.

    Mine was done in 2 min. When I tried a smaller batch with (1/4 cup) I needed only 1 min. So keep an eye on timing.

    I enjoyed some peri peri nuts with my cup of tea and Ponniyin Selvan. For those who do not know what Ponniyin Selvan is - It is a historical fiction written in Tamil by Kalki. First appeared in a periodical called Kalki and then was published as a 5 part book. My Tamil is not strong enough to read that series. So I enjoy it in English. Reading for the third time now. Reading in Tamil is one of my things to do before I die.

    Have you read Ponniyin Selvan and do you like it? How many times have you read the book?

    Check out the other AGC thoughout this week 
    AnushaJayanthiKavithaPriya MRadhikaVeenaPriya S

    Linking this to Lets Cook - Protein Rich Food Event by Radhika

    Linking this to What's with my cuppa - Event by Nupur

    I saw a recipe of Piri-Piri Sauce online and am adding here for those who do not get it. It is a recipe  by jamie oliver and i have not tried it.


    • ½ red onion
    • 2 cloves of garlic
    • 1-2 bird's-eye chillies
    • 1tbsp sweet smoked paprika
    • 1 lemon
    • 2tbsp white wine vinegar
    • 1tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    • A bunch of fresh basil 

    PIRI PIRI SAUCE: Peel and roughly chop the red onion and add to the liquidiser with 2 peeled cloves of garlic. Add the chillies (stalks removed), 1tbsp paprika, the zest of 1 lemon and juice of ½ a lemon. Add 2tbsp white wine vinegar, 1tbsp Worcestershire sauce, a good pinch of salt and pepper, the bunch of basil and a swig of water. Blitz until smooth. 

    Wednesday 10 October 2012

    Kala Channa Pulao

    I was always not sure of the difference between Pulao and a variety vegetable rice. Lately I have come to understand that Pulao is usually made by cooking the vegetable along with the rice mostly directly in the cooker and many have coconut milk added to it.

    When I saw a recipe for Kala Channa and Capsicum rice I decided to pick it for my Bloghop week. I did not quite make it as per the recipe. But loved the idea of channa in a pulao and we all enjoyed it very much.


    Kala Channa 1 cup
    Basmati Rice 2 cups
    Jeera 1 tsp
    Saunf 1 tsp
    Bay Leaf 1
    Clove 2
    Cardamom 2
    Star Anise 2
    Coconut milk 2 cups
    Onion 1
    Tomato 2

    Oil and salt to taste

    Method of Preparation

    1. Soak Channa overnight and cook with enough water in a pressure cooker. Drain the water and save it.

    2. In a pressure cooker, heat some oil. Add jeera, saunf, bay leaf, clove, cardamom, star anise and saute till it sizzles.

    3. Add sliced onions and saute till it starts to brown.

    4. Add finely chopped tomatoes and saute till it is cooked.

    5. Add the rice (uncooked) and mix well.

    6. My rice cooks in 1:2 ratio of rice to water. So for the 2 cups of rice, I used 2 cups of coconut milk and there was 1 cup of channa water. So I included 1 cup of water. If you have enough channa water, then no need for water.

    7. Stir well and pressure cook for 2 whistles. Open and fork it a little to make sure it does not get set or mushed.

    Serve with raita or just enjoy as is.

    Linking this to Lets Cook - Protein Rich Food Event by Radhika

    Monday 8 October 2012

    Makai Aloo Ki Subzi - Corn and Potato Curry in a green sauce

    Corn is my son's new favourite. I am always looking for ways to make dishes with it. When last month for AGC my partner gave me corn as secret ingredient, I wanted to make something like this. But due to lack of time that week, I just made a mini corn uttappam. No regrets there though. It was a hit with him.

    I found a recipe similar to this in a website of a pakistani lady. Totally forgot to note the link. So cannot give link back :-( I do not remember her exact recipe, but made it with whatever I remember. It was a new recipe for us. Liked it.


    Corn 3 cups
    Potato 2
    Bay leaf 1
    Clove 2
    Cinnamon 1 inch piece
    Cardamom 2
    Jeera 1 tsp
    Milk 1/2 cup
    Water 2 cups

    To make a paste

    Onions 2
    Garlic 6 pods
    Ginger 1 inch piece
    Coriander leaves a small bunch
    Poppy seeds 1 tbsp
    Green Chilli 2

    Method of Preparation

    1. Steam/boil the potatoes. Peal and cube them.

    2. Make a paste of all the ingredients under the list.

    3. Heat oil in a pan. Add the jeera, bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom and clove.

    4. When it sizzles, add the onion paste. Saute till it is well cooked. I always find it hard to brown onion paste than onions as the colour change is not that easy to detect. But the water content will evaporate and with practice you will know when it is done. If you don't cook well, it will have a bitter taste.

    5. Add the corn and potatoes and mix well. Add the milk and water. You can also add more milk or use just water. Add salt and mix well.

    6. Simmer for 5-10 minutes till it all comes together.

    Serve with rotis

    Linking this to Lets Cook - Protein Rich Food Event by Radhika

    Friday 5 October 2012

    Pepper Vegetables - Chettinad Sytle

    I am a crazy fan of Chettinad recipes. Tried to make a few at home. But nothing matches the taste of homemade authentic ones. Have had the fortune of eating some awesome dishes when a friend's mom cooked for us when we were in US.

    This is a spin off from the chettinad pepper chicken. I used the recipe from Vah re Vah. I really love Sanjay Thumma. His enthusiasm is super infectious.

    I cannot say enough to recommend this dish. We were all going ga ga over it.


    Cauliflower 1 (I had a very small one)
    Potato 2
    Peas 1/2 cup
    Onion 1 big finely chopped
    Tomato 2 finely chopped
    Ginger 1 inch piece
    Garlic 4 pods
    Jeera 1 tsp
    Saunf 1 tsp
    Bay Leaf 2
    Clove 2
    Cardamom 2
    Cinnamon 1 inch piece
    Pepper 1.5 tsp crushed
    Turmeric 1/2 tsp

    Method of Preparation

    1. Pluck the cauliflower into small florets. Steam in microwave for a few minutes till it is cooked, but holds shape

    2. Cook the potatoes as well. Either boil or use microwave. it cooks in 4 minutes in a microwave. Just turn once in between.

    3. Steam the peas in the microwave for a few minutes

    4. Heat oil in a pan. Add jeera, saunf, bay leaf, clove, cardamom and cinnamon.

    5. When it sizzles, add onions and saute till it is golden brown.

    6. Add turmeric and ginger garlic paste and saute for a couple of minutes.

    7. Add tomatoes and cook well till it well done and oil starts to ooze. Leave for a couple more minutes.

    8. Add salt and the cooked potatoes, cauliflower and peas. Also add the freshly crushed pepper. Mix everything together and cook for a couple more minutes

    Serve with roti or appam

    Linking this to South Indian Cooking - Event by Anu, Hosted by Sangee

    Thursday 4 October 2012

    Chow Chow Kootu with Channa Dal

    Chow chow or Bombay Kathirikka as it is called in India is a vegetable that is not usually very popular (as in not very much liked). I also do not make it often though the reason is not because we do not like it. As I mentioned in Podalanga Kootu recipe, we do not eat much rice and so making kootu just never happens much. Plus a trip to Indian store is required for these veggies.

    Last week when I was in a local British store, I was pleasantly surprised to see Chow Chow named as Chayote in the vegetable isle. Knew I had to pick it up. Came home with 3 of them and made this awesome kootu...

    As I was discussing with my husband the other day, we make a lot of kootu - vegetable and dal combo. And each vegetable has a specific dal combination. Sometimes each family uses different combo.. My home and my in laws we use channa dal with chow chow. I have seen moong and toor used as well.


    Chow Chow/Chayote/Bombay Kathirikka 3
    Channa Dal 1
    Coconut 1 cup
    Green Chilli 1
    Curry Leaf few
    Jeera 1 tsp
    Turmeric 1/2 tsp
    Mustard 1/2 tsp
    Urad Dal 1 tsp

    Oil and salt to taste

    Method of Preparation

    1. Pressure cook the channa dal with enough water till it is cooked well but not mushy. Drain water from the dal. Keep the water.

    2. Peal and core the chow chow. Cut into small pieces.

    3. Add to a pot with a cup of water and the turmeric. Cook till the vegetable is almost cooked. Check water in between.

    4. Grind coconut, green chilli, curry leaf and jeera into a fine paste by adding a little water.

    5. Add to the pot along with the dal and salt. Add the dal water if required.

    6. Cook for a few more minutes till it all comes together.

    7. In a small pan, add oil and mustard. When it sputters, add the urad dal. When it starts to brown, add to the kootu. You can skip the jeera and curry leaf in the coconut paste and add to the tempering if you prefer.

    Serve with rice and sambar. I just love to mix it directly with rice and eat.

    Linking this to Lets Cook - Protein Rich Food Event by Radhika

    Linking this to South Indian Cooking - Event by Anu, Hosted by Sangee

    Tuesday 2 October 2012

    Cabbage Stir fry

    This is a version of Cabbage that I make and eat as a salad. My husband does not quite like it cause of the big sized cabbage pieced and part cooked taste of it. Those are the reasons I love it. So I make this when I am just cooking for me. This is super easy to make once the cabbage is cut. Will be ready in minutes.


    Cabbage 1 cup
    Curry Leaf few
    Green chilli 2
    Jeera 1 tsp
    Turmeric 1/2 tsp
    Garlic 2 pods

    Oil and salt to taste

    Method of Preparation

    1. Rough chop the cabbage. Finely chop the garlic or make paste.

    2. Heat oil in a pan. Add the garlic. When it sizzles, add the jeera, curry leaf, turmeric and green chilli.

    3. When they sizzle, add the chopped cabbage and salt. Mix well.

    4. Cook for a few minutes. Switch off. I was looking for a crunchy cabbage. Cook more if you want it to be well cooked.

    Linking this to South Indian Cooking - Event by Anu, Hosted by Sangee