Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mysore Bonda

Mysore Bonda

Mysore is the name of a city in India and Bonda is a deep fried flour dumpling. I have no clue why this is called Mysore bonda. May be the recipe originated in Mysore and got that name.

This is a perfect snack for the chilly evenings. All purpose flour is mixed with sour yogurt and the dumplings are deep fried in oil. Mysore bonda is a popular street food in South India - often sold along with Mirchi Bajjis(green peppers dipped in chickpea flour and deep fried in oil) in portable stalls on the street corners.

Mysore Bonda

Mysore Bonda


All purpose flour: 2 cups
Sour yogurt: 1 cup
Onions, finely chopped: 1/2 cup(optional)
Cilantro, finely chopped: 2 tbsp
Ginger, grated: 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Green chillies, finely chopped: 1
Curry leaves: 5
Water: 1/4 cup
Baking soda: a pinch


Add the all purpose flour in a mixing bowl and add the cumin seeds, cilantro, salt, green chillies, onions and ginger and set it aside.
Take 1 cup of yogurt in a bowl and a quarter cup of water and whisk thoroughly.
Add the whisked yogurt to the AP flour mixing it without forming any lumps.
Add a pinch of baking soda and set the batter aside for an hour.
Add oil to the frying pan and when the oil is heated scoop out the batter with an ice cream scoop or with the hand and drop the dumplings in the oil.
Cook until the dumplings turn golden brown , remove them with a slotted spoon and drain the excess oil on a paper towel.

Tip: Make sure the oil is not over heated when you drop the dumplings. the dumplings change color very soon on the outside and inside will not be cooked well.
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Cranberry Rice

Cranberry Rice

Hope you all had a very good Thanksgiving. We had a very relaxing Thanksgiving this year. Most of the time we make travel plans during thanksgiving. But, this year we decided to stay home and relax.
Moreover we got back from a trip to a beautiful resort just last week and did not want to travel again.
We had a potluck at a friend's place and I made the curry leaf chicken and this cranberry rice. Sometimes it feels so good just to sit back and relax.
So, do you have any cranberries left from the cranberry sauce you made for Thanksgiving? If so, you can try your hands at this simple cranberry rice. This is a colorful and vibrant looking rice. The pink cranberries and the yellow turmeric blend together to give this beautiful color to rice. This is similar to the South Indian lemon rice, I used cranberries instead of lemon. Even the taste is kind of similar to the lemon rice.


  • Long grain white rice(Cooked): 2 cups
  • Fresh cranberries: 1/2 cup
  • Chopped onions: 1/2 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Green chillies: 3
  • Oil: 1 tbsp
  • Cilantro(finely chopped): 2 tbsp
  • Grated ginger root: 1/2 tsp

  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Urad Dal: 1 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds: 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves: 4-5
  • Dried Broken Red Chillies: 2
  • Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Asafetida: a pinch


  1.  Make a paste of fresh cranberries and green chillies and set it aside.
  2. Add oil to a pan and when the oil is heated, add the chopped onions and fry for 2-3 minutes. Now add the grated ginger and the cranberry paste and cook for 5-6 minutes.
  3. Add the cooked rice to a mixing bowl and apply the cranberry paste to the rice mixing gently. Add salt.
  4. Now take a small pan and add the oil and turn on the stove. When the oil is heated, add the tempering ingredients one after the other in the order mentioned and when the seeds start spluttering, turn off the stove and add it to the rice in the mixing bowl.
  5. Mix the rice gently and do a taste test to check the salt. Adjust the salt and garnish with cilantro.
Note: Change the number of green chillies according to your spice level. You can even omit the green chillies. You do get little spiciness form the red chillies in the tempering.
Read more »

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Red Beer - Hubby's recipe

Red Beer

Do you like beer? I hate beer. If you are a person like me who doesn't like drinking beer then this is for you. In this house 'P' is a beer person and I am the wine person. Yes, I don't like beer and he doesn't like wine. Red beer is something we both like and we occasionally make this. Bloody mary mix is combined with beer along with hot sauce, salt and pepper making it taste more like spicy tomato juice than beer.
'P' is not very fond of cooking. I am the one who cooks and he is the one who cleans(....once in a while).
The only time he enters the kitchen to make something from scratch is to make this "Red Beer"(Oh...he can make Maggi - instant noodles btw! :-)...)
Even to make this simple cocktail, he shouts some hundred times asking me where is this and where is that :)
But, I must truly admit that I totally love this Red Beer. Not sure if it is his own recipe or he got it from somewhere, he claims it's his secret recipe though.

So, here is the recipe.

Combine equal quantities of bloody mary mix and beer, add few drops of hot sauce and half a tea spoon of lime juice. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on top and mix gently.

Note: You can change the beer to bloody mary mix ratio as you like. I prefer 1/4 cup beer and 3/4 cup bloody mary mix.
If you do not want to use alcohol, you can substitute beer with sparkling water.
Read more »

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Beetroot Rice

Beetroot Rice

Rice is a staple food in the South Indian families. We eat rice for at least one meal everyday. Some of my non Indian friends call me "Starch Girl" :)
Most of the times rice is served with a curry or a vegetable side dish or the rice is cooked along with vegetables and/or lentils.

I often find it easy and interesting to make rice with different vegetables.
Here is a simple rice dish made with grated beetroot.

Beetroot Rice


  • Beetroot: 2 medium sized
  • Onion: 1 medium sized(finely chopped)
  • Salt to taste
  • Garam Masala: 1 tsp
  • Oil: 3 tbsp
  • Red chili powder: 1/2 tsp(optional)
  • Cooked Rice: 2 Cups


  • Split black gram(Urad dal): 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves: 4
  • Dried red chillies: 2(broken)
  • Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida(Hing): a pinch


  1. Add oil to a pan and when the oil is heated, add the seasoning ingredients in the order mentioned.
  2. When the seeds start spluttering, add the onions along with a pinch of salt and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Now add the grated beetroot and mix well and cover the pan with a lid and cook for few minutes until the beetroot is cooked and becomes soft.
  4. If you want to serve the beetroot as a side dish with cooked rice, you can stop here.
  5. To make the rice, continue reading.
  6. Now add the cooked rice to the beetroot mixture, add the garam masala powder and mix gently.
  7. If you like your rice spicy, add the red chili powder and adjust the salt.
  8. Turn off the stove.
  9. Serve with Raitha/Yogurt chutney.
Read more »

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Red Lentil Rice

Before I start cooking, when time permits, I go through the food blogosphere to get some inspiration and ideas. Sometimes it is the recipe that grabs my attention, but most of the time it is the beautiful pictures that really make me drool so much that I cook immediately.

Even though you know that recipe, have been cooking for ages, when you look at a beautifully taken shot, you feel like eating it right away.

This is one such recipe from DK's Chef In You. this is the second recipe I am trying form Chef In You. The first was Tres Leches Cake. What I like about her site is the step by step instructions with pictures. You don't even have to read through the whole post. A glance at the pictures is enough.

Red lentils are the easiest of the lentils to cook. You don't need to use a pressure cooker. when you are in a time crunch these are the best lentils to use. You can make any kind of dal or sambar too with these red lentils.

Red Lentil Rice


  • Onions: 1 medium sized.
  • Red bell pepper: 1/2
  • Green bell pepper: 1/2
  • Red lentils: 1/4 cup
  • Uncooked Rice: 1 cup
  • Green Peas: 3 tbsp
  • Green Chillies: 3(cut length wise)
  • Cilantro( finely chopped): 2 tbsp
  • Green onions(finely chopped): 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
  • Oil: 4 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
  • Garlic" 2 cloves(minced)
  • Bay Leaf: 1
  • Cinnamon: a small piece
  • Cardamom: 2
  • Cloves: 4-5
  • Water/stock: 2.5 cups


  1. Add oil to a pan and saute the cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, garlic and turmeric for a minute.
  2. Now add the onions, green chillies and salt and saute until the onion becomes soft and transparent.
  3. Now add the vegetables - bell pepper and peas and fry for few more minutes.
  4. When the vegetables are half cooked, add the rice and lentils and fry fore 2-3 minutes.
  5. Now add the water/stock and adjust the salt.
  6. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for few minutes stirring in between until the rice is cooked. Takes about 10 minutes.
  7. Fluff the rice gently with a fork and turn off the stove and keep the pan covered for few more minutes.
  8. Garnish with cilantro and green onions before serving.

Note: You can add any vegetables. Carrots, potatoes and green beans would taste great.
Read more »

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Colorful Potato Curry

Potato is one vegetable that is everybody's favorite. I have never met a person who doesn't like potatoes and they obviously taste good cooked in a any form.

I usually make this as a side dish with rasam or sambar. Addition of cilantro and red pepper falkes make this dish vibrant and colorful.
The picture was taken before adding cilantro. The kiddo doesn't like the cilantro, so I had to add after she was done eating.

Potato Fry


  • Potatoes: 4(medium sized)
  • Onions: 1(medium sized)
  • Green onions: 3
  • Red Pepper Flakes: 2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Cilantro(chopped): 2 tbsp


  • Mustard Seeds: 1 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds: 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves: 4
  • Hing: a pinch


  1. Wash the potatoes, peel them and dice them into small cubes and add them to a bowl of water and set them aside.
  2. Finely chop the onions and set them aside.
  3. Add oil to a pan and when the oil is heated, add the tempering ingredients and when the seeds start spluttering add the onions and fry for 2 minutes.
  4. Now add the potatoes, sprinkle 1/4 cup of water on the potatoes, add slat, mix them well and cover the pan with a lid and cook the potatoes for 5 minutes.
  5. Now remove the lid stir the potatoes and fry them util they turn little crispy and are completely cooked.
  6. After the potatoes are completely cooked, adjust the salt and add the red pepper flakes, chopped cilantro and the green onions turn off the heat.
  7. Serve with hot steamed rice.

Note: This curry can be used as a sandwich stuffing too. I usually make sandwiches with the left over curry.
Read more »

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tofu in Sichuan Sauce

Chinese food at home and from scratch? Sounds good isn't it?
It is easy to cook Chinese food if you have the ready made sauces. But, if you can make the sauce at home from the most common ingredients, what's better than that.

I follow this recipe for the Sichuan Sauce. It is simple, can be made with the readily available ingredients and most importantly can be prepared in 5 minutes.

I usually use paneer( Indian Cottage Cheese) with it and make Sichuan Paneer. This time I used fried tofu in the sauce. I followed the recipe for the sauce exactly as mentioned in the above link. I just doubled the quantity so that is is sufficient for one pack of tofu.

Sichuan Tofu


  • Tofu firm style: 1 pack
  • Green onions: 4
  • Crushed Red Pepper: 1 tsp

For the sauce:

  • Chicken Broth : 6 tbsp
  • Tomato Paste: 2 tbsp
  • Balsamic Vinegar: 4 tsp
  • Sugar: 2 tsp
  • Soy sauce: 2 tsp
  • Sesame Oil: 1 tsp
  • Corn Starch/Corn Flour: 1/2 tsp
  • Crushed Red Pepper: 1 tsp


  1. Dice the firm style tofu in to small cubes and deep fry them in oil until they turn brown.
  2. Set the tofu aside and prepare the sauce.
  3. To prepare the sauce, mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Now add the fired tofu to a large bowl and add pour the sauce on the tofu and leave for few minutes to let the tofu soak in the sauce.
  5. Garnish with finely chopped green onions and crushed red pepper.
  6. Serve hot with white or brown steamed rice or with Chinese style vegetable fried rice.

Read more »

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pomegranate Milkshake for Pinktober

October is national breast cancer awareness month. Everything turns pink in October.
From the flight crew wearing pink uniforms to football players wearing pink helmets and shoes- Everyone doing their part for the breast cancer awareness.
I too have been thinking of doing(cooking) something pink for pinktober in honor of all those who suffered/suffering from breast cancer. All the recipes I could think of were sweets/desserts and I am not a sweet person and I wanted to post something healthy and not loaded with calories and sugars.
Yesterday, when I was opening the pomegranates, the idea of pomegranate milk shake struck me and I tried it immediately. I have heard about the pomegranate milk shake before, but this is the first time I am making or trying. However the color of the milk shake is not as pink as I wanted it to be. It turned out to be pale pink. May be I should have added some more seeds.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women today and is the most common cancer among women. Many people have lost their loved ones to this dangerous disease.
Let's do our part in preventing this disease. It is important for women to catch the disease when it is still in early stage. Regular mammograms, together with monthly breast self-exams are the best ways for women to protect themselves.

Eat Healthy - Live Healthy

Pomegranate Milkshake


  • Pomegranate seeds: 1 cup
  • Milk: 2 cups
  • Sugar or Honey : 4 tsp


  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend for few minutes.
  2. Strain the milkshake through a strainer to remove the seeds.
  3. Serve chilled.
  4. Add fresh pomegranate seeds to the milk shake before serving.
Read more »

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A simple cauliflower fry

If a recipe is simple, requires less cutting and cleaning and can be done in 10 minutes, who doesn't want to try it. I love super fast recipes. I hate cutting and cleaning as much as I like cooking.
When it is raining and you are in a mood for some spicy tangy food and you are lazy to cook, here is a simple recipe for you.

Cauliflower Fry


  • Cauliflower florets: 2 cups
  • Dhaniya(Coriander) powder: 1 1/2 tsp
  • Jheera(Cumin) powder: 1 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric: 1 tsp
  • Sal to taste
  • Lime juice: 1/2 tsp
  • Aamchur powder: 1/2 tsp( optional)
  • Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Ground black pepper: 1/2 tsp
  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Water: 1/2 cup
  • Chopped Cilantro: 2 tbsp


  1. Rinse the cauliflower under water and cut it into small florets.
  2. Add oil to a pan and add turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, aamchur powder, red chilli powder, black pepper and fry for few seconds.
  3. Now add the cauliflower to the oil and gently mix them so that the spice mixture is evenly coated.
  4. Now add the salt and water and cover the pan with a lid and cook for few minutes until the cauliflower is cooked. Keep stirring in between. Add more water if required.
  5. Once the cauliflower is cooked, remove the lid and fry until the water is evaporated.
  6. Add lime juice and adjust the salt.
  7. Garnish with cilantro.
  8. Serve hot with steamed rice or bread/roti.
Note: Adding aamchur is optional. If you are not using aamchur, add more lime juice.
Read more »

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Gongura Sorakaya Pulusu

Gongura is a leafy vegetable widely used in South India. It has a sour taste.
It is difficult to find Gongura in the place I live. So I decided to grow them. Usually Gongura is made in to a pickle/pachadi. Since I did not have enough to make pachadi, I made the gongura pulusu. Doesn't it feel good to cook with home grown vegetables? and the best thing about gongura is it doesn't catch any bugs.
I tried my hands at growing different vegetables, but when they get bugs I loose my interest in gardening.

Gongura Pulusu

Gongura Pulusu

Sorrel LeavesSorrel Leaves


  • Gongura Leaves(rinsed): 2 cups
  • Bottle Gourd(Sorakaya)(Cubed): 1 cup
  • Channa Dal: 2 tbsp
  • Onions(Finely chopped): 1/2 cup
  • Green chillies( Cut length wise): 4
  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Garlic cloves: 2


  • Urad Dal: 1/2 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves: 5
  • Cumin Seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Hing: a pinch


  1. Soak the channa dal in water for 4-5 hours.
  2. Chop the sorrel/gongura leaves.
  3. Add oil to a pan and add the seasoning ingredients in the order mentioned.
  4. When the seeds start spluttering, add the onions and the garlic cloves.
  5. When the onions start to turn brown, add the chopped bottle gourd, green chillies and the sorrel/gongura leaves.
  6. Add the soaked channa dal.
  7. Add little water and cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for few minutes.
  8. Keep stirring in between.
  9. Add more water if required.
  10. When the sorrel leaves and the bottle gourd are completely cooked, add the salt and turn off the stove.
  11. Serve with steamed rice and ghee.
Note: Adding bottle gourd is totally optional. This curry can be made just with the gongura leaves and channa dal. 
Read more »

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rajma Masala

Rajma Masala


  • Kidney Beans: 1 cup
  • Onions(Finely chopped): 3/4 cup
  • Tomatoes(finely chopped): 3/4 cup
  • salt to taste
  • Red Chilli Powder: 1 tsp
  • Cumin Powder: 1 tsp
  • Coriander Powder: 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala: 1/2 tsp
  • Aamchur Powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Oil: 3 tbsp
  • Cilantro(finely chopped): 3 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
  • Ginger Garlic paste: 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Kasuri Methi: 1 tsp


  1. Soak the kidney beans in water overnight and pressure cook them until you get 7-8 whistles.
  2. Add little salt to the water when cooking the kidney beans in the pressure cooker.
  3. The kidney beans should be thoroughly cooked but they should not become mashed.
  4. Add oil to pan and when the oil is heated add the cumin seeds.
  5. Then add the onions, ginger garlic paste and the turmeric powder.
  6. Cook the onions add little salt, until they become very soft and start oozing out oil. Now add the tomatoes and cook until the too become soft.
  7. Now add the cumin powder,coriander powder and aamchur powder.
  8. Now add the pressure cooked kidney beans along with the water and mix well.
  9. Add the red chilli powder, kasuri methi and adjust the salt.
  10. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 10-15 minutes.
  11. garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with hot steamed rice or roti.

You can add small amounts of the spices - garam masala, coriander powder and cumin powder to the water when cooking the beans in the pressure cooker.
Read more »

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Spanish/Mexican Rice

Spanish/Mexican Rice

Like I mentioned before, my kiddo is a picky eater. She hates eating rice. Other day they had Spanish rice at the day care and her teacher said the kiddo loved it. I was like - my kiddo and eating rice, couldn't believe that. Over the weekend I searched couple of recipes over the internet for Spanish/Mexican rice and made this version. It was a huge success. Little monster loved it.


  • Basmati Rice: 1 cup
  • Tomatoes(medium sized): 2
  • Green Bell Pepper (chopped): 1/2 cup
  • Garlic cloves: 2
  • Tomato Paste: 2 tsp
  • Chicken broth: 2 cups
  • Red Onion(finely chopped): 1/2 cup
  • Cilantro(finely chopped): 2 tbsp
  • Green onions(chopped): 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil: 2 tbsp


  1. Add oil to a pan and when the oil is heated, add the onions, garlic cloves and green pepper and cook them until the onions turn brown.
  2. I used whole garlic cloves, so that it is easy to remove them later. You can actually cut them into to small pieces and add. I did not want to take chances with my little girl.
  3. Now add the chopped tomatoes and the tomato paste and cook until the tomatoes turn soft.
  4. While the tomatoes are cooking take another pan and add little oil and slightly toast the rice on a very low flame.
  5. Now add the toasted rice to the tomatoes and add the chicken broth. Adjust the salt.
  6. Pressure cook until you get two whistles or cover the pan with a lid and cook until the rice is fluffy.
  7. Garnish with cilantro and green onions.

Note: You can add jalapeños or red chilli powder to make it little spicy.
Read more »

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Vegetable Cutlets

My mom used to make different varieties of snacks for us to eat by the time we returned from school and these vegetable cutlets were my all time favorite. She used to make something different and fresh every day.
She always tried to make them healthy using lot of vegetables and very little oil and she always served them with fresh fruits of the season.
My little kiddo is a very picky eater. So the other day I decided to make these cutlets for her.
I used potato, carrots, beans and green peas - all the vegetables that the kiddo loves.
She likes to eat cooked vegetables, but does not like them in curries or rice.
So, did she like the cutlets? No, can you believe that? She only wanted to eat her boiled veggies which is good. I was just trying to get her used to different foods.
Hubby was also not hungry so he did not eat them either.
What did I do - ate them for dinner and for breakfast next day. Glad I made something I like. I could finish them.

Vegetable Cutlets


  • Potatoes: 2
  • Carrots: 2
  • Green Peas( fresh or frozen): 3/4 cup
  • Green Beans: 1/2 cup
  • Whole wheat bread: 2 slices
  • salt to taste.
  • Chopped Cilantro: 3 tbsp
  • Cumin(Jheera) powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander(Dhania) powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala: 1/4 tsp
  • Aamchur powder: 1/2 tsp or you can use 1 tsp of lime juice.
  • Egg: 1
  • Oil

  1. Chop potatoes, carrots and beans into medium sized pieces.
  2. To a pressure cooker add these cut vegetables and green peas, add salt and little water just enough to cook the vegetables.
  3. cook until you get 2 whistles.
  4. While the vegetables are cooking, add the bread slices to the mixer or a food processor and grind for few seconds. you will get soft bread crumbs. Add the bread crumbs to a plate and set them aside.
  5. beat the egg in a small bowl and set that aside.
  6. Remove the pressure cooker lid and drain any excess water from the vegetables and slightly mash the cooked veggies.
  7. Now add salt, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala, chopped cilantro and aamchur powder or the lime juice to the veggies and mix well.
  8. Add 3 tbsp oil to a small pan and heat it.
  9. Now take a big lemon size vegetable mixture in the hand and make into a small patty.
  10. Slightly apply the egg around the patty with the hand or with a brush.
  11. Do not dip it into the egg.
  12. After the egg is applied, dip the patty in the bread crumbs and make sure it is coated well with the bread on all sides.
  13. Now add the patty coated with bread to the pan and fry until until it turns brown on both the sides.
  14. Repeat the process with the remaining veggie mixture.
  15. Serve with ketchup.
    Note: You can even deep fry them in oil for more crispy cutlets. You can add some green chillies or red chilli powder to the veggies.
    Read more »

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Stuffed Okra - Bendakaya Ullikaram

    Stuffed Okra

    Stuffed Okra


    • Okra: 10
    • Onion(large sized): 1/2
    • Cilantro( chopped): 3 tbsp
    • Ginger root: 1/2 inch piece
    • Green chillies: 4
    • Salt to taste
    • Curry leaves: 4
    • Fresh shredded coconut: 2 tsp


    • Urad dal: 1/2 tsp
    • Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
    • Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp


    • Make a paste of green chillies and ginger and set it aside.
    • Cut the okra length wise into two slits to fill the stuffing.
    • In a bowl add the chopped onions, green chillies paste, salt, chopped cilantro, shredded coconut, Curry leaves and mix well.
    • Add oil to the pan and add the seasoning ingredients.
    • When the mustard seeds start spluttering, stuff the okra with the onion mixture and drop them slowly into the oil.
    • Cover with a lid and cook slowly on a low flame until the okra is completely cooked.
    • Serve with hot steamed rice.
    Read more »

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Cilantro Rice/ Kothimeera Rice

    Cilantro Rice

    Long time back when went to Vegas, we ate at a Mexican restaurant in Venetian. We ordered something( I don't remember what it was) and they served cilantro rice as a side dish. The side dish was so good that I don't remember the main entrée. Me and my husband loved that rice. It looked like a simple recipe and I could taste cilantro lime and ginger. I thought of trying that after I get back home, but never really made it again. I usually make the Indian version of the cilantro rice with ginger garlic, tomatoes and garam masala etc. but I just loved this simple rice with not much of the seasoning dominating the cilantro and ginger.
    I had some left over rice from yesterday and an extra bunch of cilantro. So tried my hands at making the Vegas Cilantro rice.
    Only thing I added in my version which was definitely not present in the original one was onions. But I liked the crunch of onions in the rice.
    Except for the onions it tasted similar to the one I had in Vegas.

    • Cilantro: 1 bunch for paste
    • Finely chopped cilantro( for garnishing): 2 tbsp
    • Long Grain white rice or Basmati Rice( Cooked): 2 cups
    • Oil: 3 tbsp
    • Onion(medium sized): 1/2
    • Mint Leaves: 5
    • Ginger root: 1/2 inch piece
    • Salt to taste
    • Creole Seasoning: 2 tsp
    • Green chillies: 4
    • Lime juice: 1 tbsp
    • Chopped green onions: 2 tbsp

    1. Chop cilantro and make it into a paste in a blender along with the ginger root and green chillies and set this paste aside. Add little water for pureeing if needed.
    2. Chop onions into small pieces.
    3. Add oil to the pan and when the oil is heated, add the onions and 1/2 tsp of salt and cook them.
    4. When the onions turn soft and brown, add the mint leaves and the cilantro paste and cook for few minutes.
    5. Now add the cooked rice and mix well. add the creole seasoning and adjust the salt.
    6. Add lemon juice and garnish with chopped cilantro and green onions.
    Read more »

    Friday, July 30, 2010

    Black Bean, corn and mango salad

    Coconut Rice


    Black Beans: 1 can
    Red Onions(finely chopped): 1 medium sized.
    Fresh Corn Kernels: 1/2 cup
    Ripe Mango(chopped): 1/2 cup
    Honey: 1 tbsp
    Lime Juice: 1 tbsp
    salt to taste
    Olive oil: 1 tsp
    Bell Pepper(chopped): 1/4 cup
    Cilantro(finely chopped): 1 tbsp


    Add oil to a pan and when the oil is heated add the corn kernels and cook until the corn is cooked.
    Add the cooked corn to the remaining ingredients and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
    Garnish with cilantro.
    Read more »

    Monday, July 26, 2010

    Coconut Rice

    Coconut Rice

    Coconut rice is a simple south Indian dish that can be fixed in minutes. If you have left over rice, this is a great way to use it. I personally like it better with hot freshly cooked rice. When the rice is hot it soaks in the flavors of the seasoning and the coconut very well.


    • Cooked White Rice( long grain or basmati) : 2 cups
    • Fresh shredded coconut: 1/2 cup
    • Salt to taste


    • Oil: 2 tbsp
    • Channa Dal: 1 tsp
    • Urad Dal: 1 tsp
    • Mustard Seeds: 1 tsp
    • Cumin Seeds: 1 tsp
    • Broken Red Chillies: 3
    • Green Chillies: 4
    • Curry Leaves: 5
    • Asafoetida(Hing): a pinch


    1. Add oil to the pan and when the oil is heated, add channa dal, urad dal mustard seeds and broken red chillies.
    2. When the mustard seeds start spluttering add cumin seeds, green chillies, curry leaves and asoefetida.
    3. now add the cooked long grain white rice or basmati rice and mix well until the seasoning is coated well to the rice.
    4. Now add fresh shredded coconut and turn off the heat.
    5. Adjust the salt and add the lemon juice.
    Read more »

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Tofu Cabbage Rice - An article inspired dish

    Tofu Cababage Rice

    Other day I was reading an article on CNN that had a list of some super foods that are good for you.
    The list consisted of Cabbage, Tofu, Black Beans, Cinnamon, Tomato, Blueberries, Salmon, Cocoa, Basil, Yogurt.
    Here is link to the article.While I was reading that, I thought most of them we use on a day to day basis in our Indian cooking.
     I don't usually come up with a menu for my meals before hand. I open my fridge stare at the veggies for a while and come up with something. It was lunch time and as always I was staring at the fridge and suddenly remembered this article I read in the morning. Then I was like why not combine all the foods that I have and those I can, mentioned in the article and make a single dish and came up with this cabbage tofu rice.
    I covered cabbage, tofu, tomatoes, cinnamon in the fired rice, and yogurt I used for the raitha.
    Could not incorporate blue berries and cocoa.
    Could have combined salmon, basil and balck beans too into the fried rice, but I did not have them readily available.


    Long grain white rice/Basmati Rice(cooked): 2 cups.
    Shredded cabbage: 1 cup.
    Firm Tofu(cut into pieces): 1/2 cup
    Onions( finely chopped): 1/2 cup
    Tomatoes: finely chopped: 1/2 cup
    Pepper: 1/2 tbsp
    Salt to taste
    Oil: 2 tbsp
    Cinnamon: 1/2 tsp
    Garam masala: a pinch
    MDH Kitchen king powder(or any curry powder): 1/2 tsp


    Add oil to a pan and when the oil is heated, add onions,salt and sauté them till they are soft and brown in color.
    Now add shredded cabbage and tofu and cook until the cabbage is soft.
    Add the tomatoes, cover with a lid and cook for another 5 minutes.
    Now add the cooked rice. Add pepper, cinnamon powder, garam masala and kitchen king powder and mix thoroughly.
    Adjust the salt. Garnish with cilantro.
    Serve with Raitha.
    Read more »

    Thursday, July 22, 2010

    Pachi Pulusu - no cooking required

    Pachi Pulusu

    When I started this blog my main intention was to treasure some of the traditional recipes from my family.
    There are certain recipes from my grand mother that only my mom knows now, after grand mother passed away. If I don't learn those recipes from her and pass on to future generations, that's it. They are gone.
    Saving those authentic traditional recipes in a blog on the world wide web is a great way to preserve them for ever I thought and that's how this blog was born.

    This is an instant no cooking required recipe. My mom usually makes this during summer.
    When the temperatures are in 100s, and the last thing you want to do is stand near the stove, these no cooking required recipes come in handy.


    Water: 2 cups
    Tamarind juice: 2 tbsp
    Jaggery: 2 tbsp
    Salt to taste
    Onion(large): 1/2 finely chopped
    Green chillies: 2
    Cilantro(finely chopped): 2 tsp


    Add tamarind juice and jaggery to the water and mix well until the jaggery completely melts in the water.
    Add chopped onions and green chillies.
    Adjust the salt.
    Garnish with chopped cilantro.
    Serve with hot steamed rice.

    Suggestions: Jaggery can be omitted if you don't like it sweet.
    Read more »

    Wednesday, July 21, 2010

    Tres Leches Cake - 3 milk cake

    Tres Leches Cake

    My friend "S" told me about this Tres Leches Cake some time back and then she sent me pics of the cake she made. I have never heard of this cake before and the gorgeous pics she sent made me drool. When she told me Tres Leches means 3 milks and this cake contains the three milks whole milk, evaporated milk and the condensed milk, I had to try it immediately being a milk fan.

    I generally like anything made with milk. I am not a sweet person, but tend to like the ones made with milk products.

    The first time I tried this cake, it was a big flop. I did not beat the eggs properly and the cake turned out to be hard and not at all fluffy. It did not soak the milk syrup. I still liked the taste of it:)

    So decided to try it again and this time its a success! I followed the recipe from this site.
    She has beautiful step by step instructions with pictures. I followed the recipe exactly with only one modification.

    The cake was awesome and juicy!

    Here goes the recipe:

    • All purpose flour: 1 cup + 2 tbsp
    • Baking powder: 1-1/2 tsp
    • salt: 1/4 tsp
    • Eggs: 5 separated
    • Sugar: 1 cup divided
    • Vanilla extract: 1 tsp
    • Whole Milk: 1/3 cup(for cake) and 1/2 cup(for syrup)
    • Evaporated Milk: 1 can
    • Sweetened Condensed Milk: 1 can
    • Heavy Whipping Cream: 1/4 cup
    • Store bought whipped cream fro topping.
    • Canned cherries( for topping)
    1. Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a large dish.
    2. Separate the egg yolks in to a mixing bowl and beat  them with 3/4 cup sugar until the yolks turn pale yellow.
    3. Stir in milk and vanilla to the yolk mixture.
    4. Pour egg yolks mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently until combined.
    5. Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. withe mixer on, pour the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry ( This step I did not get stiff peaks after i added the sugar. But the cake was good and fluffy)
    6. Fold the egg white mixture into the flour batter until combined.
    7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    8. Grease a baking pan and pour the cake batter and bake for 35-40 minutes until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
    9. While the cake is baking prepare the milk syrup combining Condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream and the 1/2 cup whole milk.(The actual recipe did not have the 1/2 cup whole milk or syrup. The syrup was too sweet for me so I added 1/2 cup milk) You can actually omit this and if you feel the cake is too sweet, you can just pour some milk on top in the end.
    10. Once the cake is baked, cool on a wire rack and pour the milk syrup over the cake.
    11. Cool it in the fridge for 2-3 hours before serving.
    12. Add some whipped cream and cherries on top before serving.
    13. You can use any fruit as topping.

    Read more »

    Thursday, July 15, 2010

    Pepper Rasam

    Pepper Rasam

    I am not a big fan of sweets. Spicy, tangy are my flavors. Today's post pepper rasam is a spicy tangy soup made with lentils and falvoured with freshly ground pepper.
    Back home in India, our meal often comprised of a dal, rasam/sambar or pulusu and a curry or a fry. Rasam/sambar was a must every day and my mom can cook at least 10 different varieties of rasams.
    This pepper rasam tastes heavenly specially when you are down with cold/cough.

    • Toor dal: 1/4 cup
    • Pepper Corns: 1/2 tsp
    • Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
    • Tamarind Juice: 1 tbsp
    • Salt as required.
    • Chopped Cilantro: 2 tbsp
    • Oil: 2 tbsp
    • Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
    • Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
    • Curry Leaves: 4
    • Red chillies( Broken): 3
    • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
    • Asoefetida(hing): a pinch

    1. Boil the dal with enough water in a pressure cooker until you get 2-3 whistles.
    2. While the dal is boiling prepare the spice mix grinding the pepper corns and cumin seeds in a spice grinder into a fine powder and set it aside.
    3. When the dal is cooled, mash it well into a paste or you can use a blender to make a thin paste.
    4. Add more water to the dal paste and mix well and let it boil for 10 minutes.
    5. Add tamarind juice, salt and the pepper cumin powder and mix well. Boil the liquid with spices for few more minutes.
    6. Now add the seasoning ingredients to a pan in the order mentioned and when the seeds start spluttering, add it to the boiling dal. Turn off the stove and garnish with Cilantro.
    7. Serve with steamed rice.

    Read more »

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    Alu Palak/Potato Spinach Curry

    Other day when we were watching the soccer finals, hubby asked me if I knew why Holland dress color was Orange. I was like may be it was a color from their flag or a random color that they chose. Honestly, I did not know the answer. Then he told me that Dutch were the first ones to make orange carrots!
    I laughed and said Carrots were supposed to be orange and what was it that they had to make specially. He then said that carrots were originally in purple color and the Dutch made the first orange carrots. I did not buy that. How could they even make an orange carrot from a purple carrot and even if they did what happened to the original purple carrot? They should have co existed right? How could a new invention totally eliminate an existing breed of carrots? There were so many questions in my mind and I quickly did a google search to find the answers.

    To my surprise what my hubby said was true. Dutch created the orange carrots in honor of the House of Orange, the Dutch Royal Family. They created this by cross breeding pale yellow with red carrots and not from purple carrots. carrots existed in red and yellow colors too other than purple. Reading few more results I learned that carrots existed in purple, white, red and yellow colors. So what happened to all those now? I have seen a purple cabbage but never a purple carrot.

    I have never seen a carrot any in any other color other than orange. May be I have seen some red carrots in India. We call them gajar. You can read more facts about the on carrots here. Well.... it was interesting to know about the different colors that carrots were/are available.

    Okay, coming to the recipe part, it is not a carrot recipe. I just thought the carrot story was interesting to share.

    Alu Palak/Potato Spinach Curry


    • Potato: 1
    • Spinach (chopped): 1 cup
    • Tomatoes(small): 1
    • Onion(large): 1/2
    • Salt as required
    • Green Chillies: 3
    • MDH Kitchen king masala or any curry powder: 1 tsp


    • Oil: 2 tbsp
    • Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
    • Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
    • Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
    • Curry leaves: 3
    • Asoefetida(hing): a pinch


    1. First chop the onions, potatoes and tomatoes into small pieces and keep aside.
    2. Finely chop the spinach.
    3. Add oil to a pan and when the oil is heated, add the seasoning ingredients in the order mentioned.
    4. When the seeds start spluttering, add the chopped onions, add salt and cook until they turn golden brown in color.
    5. Now add the potatoes and 1/2 cup of water and let the potatoes cook well.
    6. when the potatoes are like half cooked, add the spinach and cover the pan with a lid and cook for few minutes.
    7. When the potatoes are cooked well, add the tomatoes, green chillies and the kitchen king masala.
    8. Add another 1/2 cup of water,cover with the lid and cook for another 5 minutes.
    9. Make sure that you add tomatoes only after the potatoes are cooked. Potatoes do not cook well in the tomato gravy.
    10. Remove the lid, mix well and adjust the salt.
    11. Serve with roti or steamed rice.
    Read more »

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    Green Beans Fry

    Green Beans Fry

    Beans fry is a quick fix meal when I run out of options or groceries or when I am just lazy to cook.
    I usually buy green beans in bulk form cotco/sams, clean them and cut them into small pieces and store in the freezer.
    That makes it even more easy to cook. No cutting/cleaning required. Just toss the veggies in oil and add the spices. Hardly takes 10 -15 minutes from start to finish.


    • Green Beans( cut into small pieces): 2 cups
    • Channa Dalia: 2 tbsp
    • Salt as required.
    • Red Chilli Powder: 1 tsp


    • Oil: 2 tbsp
    • Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
    • Cumin Seeds: 1 tsp
    • Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
    • Broken Red Chillies: 2
    • Curry leaves: 4
    • Asoefetida(hing): a pinch


    1. Add oil to the pan and when the oil is heated, add the seasoning ingredients in the order mentioned.
    2. When the seeds start spluttering, add the chopped green beans and mix well. 
    3. Fry them cover with a lid for few minutes. 
    4. In a spice grinder, grind the channa dalia into fine powder and set it aside.
    5. Now, take off the lid and cook them for few more minutes until the beans are soft.
    6. now add the channa dalia powder to the beans and mix well.
    7. Add salt and red chilli powder.
    8. Serve with steamed rice.
    Read more »

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010

    Butter Chicken

    Butter Chicken..........the name itself makes my mouth water. Who doesn't like butter chicken? Butter chicken and naan......can there be a better combo?
    This recipe is by my friend 'S'.
    Vegetarians can substitute chicken with paneer and that makes Paneer butter masala.

    Egg Fry


    • Chicken – 1.5 lbs, boneless skinless thighs
    • Lemon Juice – 3 tbsp
    • Red Chili Powder – to taste
    • Salt – to taste
    • Yogurt – 1/2 cup
    • Ginger & Garlic Paste – 4 tsp
    • Tandoori Masala – 2 tsp
    • Unsalted Butter – 1.5 tbsp
    • Garam Masala – 2 tsp
    • Big Cardamom – 3
    • Green Cardamom – 4
    • Cinnamon Stick – 1″ pc.
    • Bay Leaf – 2
    • Tomatoes – 3 large, pureed
    • Sugar – 1 tsp or to taste
    • Dried Methi Leaves (Kasoori Methi) – 1 tbsp
    • Green Chili – to taste, finely chopped
    • Heavy Whipping Cream – 1 cup or to taste
    • Cilantro – 3 sprigs, finely chopped


    1. Cut the Chicken to bite-size pieces and wash it well.
    2. In a bowl add the following to the chicken pieces – Lemon Juice, 2 tsps of Ginger & Garlic Paste, Tandoori Masala, Red Chili Powder, Salt and Yogurt.
    3.  Mix well and marinate in the refrigerator overnight for best results or atleast a couple of hours.
    4. Grease a broiler dish with ghee, oil or cooking spray and layer the Chicken in a single layer. Broil on high for 5-7 minutes on each side. Keep an eye on it as every oven varies.  The size of the chicken pieces makes a difference and where you place the rack in the oven plays a big role in how long the chicken needs to be cooked.
    5. For the gravy, in a medium size pan on medium heat, melt and heat the Butter.
    6. Once hot, add the Cardamoms, Bay Leaf and Cinnamon Stick. Fry for 1 minute.
    7. Add the balance of Ginger and Garlic paste and fry of 30 secs.
    8. Add in the Green Chilis and the Tomato Puree. Mix well.
    9. Add in the Salt, Red Chili Powder and Garam Masala and mix well.
    10. Allow it to come to a boil and then lower the heat and let the gravy simmer for 10 minutes till most of the juice from the tomatoes evaporates.
    11.  Add in the Sugar and the Dried Methi Leaves and allow it to cook for another 2 minutes before adding broiled Chicken pieces. Mix well to coat Chicken.
    12.  Add the Whipping Cream, mix and allow it to come to a boil and take it off the flame.
    13.  At this point, do a taste test and adjust the salt, sugar and the liquid in the gravy.
    14.  Mix in half the Cilantro in the dish and garnish the balance while serving.


      If you don’t have access to a broiler dish …use metal skewers or wooden ones (soaked) or just barbeque them on the grill.
    * Use Oil instead of Butter. But butter gives good flavor for butter chicken.
    * Substitutes for Heavy Whipping Cream – Half and Half, Evaporated Milk, or Milk Powder

    Read more »

    Friday, July 2, 2010

    Egg Fry - A simple dish for a busy day

    Egg Fry


    • Eggs: 2
    • Onion(large) : 1
    • Salt as required
    • Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp


    • Oil: 2 tsp
    • Mustard seeds: 1/2tsp
    • Cumin seeds: 1/2tsp
    • Red chillies(broken): 2
    • Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
    • Curry leaves: 4
    • Asoefetida: a pinch


    1. Boil the eggs in water. Peel them and set them aside.
    2. To a pan add oil and all the seasoning ingredients in the order mentioned.
    3. When the seeds start spluttering, add onions and fry them until they become soft.
    4. Now add the hardboiled eggs to the onions and fry for few minutes.
    5. Add salt and chilli powder.
    6. Serve with rice or roti.
    Read more »

    Tuesday, June 29, 2010

    Tomato Rice - South Indian Style

    Tomato Rice

    Well there are different styles of making tomato rice. This one I called it the south Indian style because I did not use the ginger garlic paste or the garam masala.
    Tomato rice is one of my favorite rice items however it is made.


    • Onion(cut length wise): 1 cup
    • Tomatoes( finely chopped): 1 cup
    • Tomato paste: 1 tsp
    • Green chillies( cut length wise): 3
    • Lime juice: 1/2 tsp
    • Cilantro( finely chopped): 2 tbsp
    • Curry leaves: 2
    • Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
    • Salt as required
    • Channa dal: 1/2 tsp
    • Urad dal : 1/2 tsp
    • Peanuts: 1/2 tsp
    • Sesame seeds: 1/2 tsp
    • cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
    • Cooked Rice: 2 cups


    • Oil: 3 tbsp
    • Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
    • Channa dal: 1/2 tsp
    • Urad dal: 1/2 tsp
    • Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
    • Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
    • Curry Leaves: 4
    • Red chillies( broken): 2
    • Asoefetida( hing): 1 pinch


    1. First dry roast the channa dal, urad dal, peanuts and sesame seeds and grind them in a spice grinder once they are cooled.
    2. Keep this spice powder aside.
    3. Now add oil to a pan and add all the seasoning ingredients in the order mentioned.
    4. When the seeds start spluttering, add onions and fry until they become soft.
    5. Now add the tomatoes and green chillies and cook until the tomatoes become very soft and kind of become like a paste. Add little water if the tomatoes are not very juicy.
    6. Now add the tomato paste and mix well.
    7. Add the spice powder that you prepared earlier to the onion tomato gravy and cook until all the water/liquid is evaporated and it becomes a thick paste.
    8. Now add the cooked rice, mix well and add salt and chilli powder.
    9. turn off the stove and add lime juice.
    10. Garnish with cilantro.
    Read more »

    Thursday, June 24, 2010

    Gutti Vankaya/Stuffed eggplants in peanut and sesame sauce

    Eggplant is one vegetable that can be cooked in 100 different ways. I have said this before too in one of my eggplant posts and now I'm saying again. In India if you go to the vegetable market, you can see some 10-15 varieties of eggplants. the colors ranging from light green to dark purple.

    Gutti Vankaya or stuffed brinjal(we call eggplant as brinjal in India) is an authentic south Indian dish. Different spices are stuffed into brinjal and then cooked slowly on a low heat. Again when it comes to stuffing brinjal there are different combinations of spices you can stuff that leads to different varieties of stuffed brinjal.
    If you ask my mom for a recipe of stuffed brinjal, right away she can give you some 5-6 varieties you can do it.

    Most of the times the spices are added along with onions to get the gravy.
    Here I made an onion free stuffing. You may ask me why onion free? No specific reason....I am an onion lover in fact! I can't make any dish without onions. Sometimes I go into the kitchen, open my fridge and stare at the vegetables thinking what to cook. Then I start cutting the onions without a second thought, still thinking which vegetable to cook. That is to say that onions are default in any dish I prepare. So I just start cutting them without a second thought. So today decided to give onion a break and made this onion free stuffing for the eggplants with peanuts and sesame seeds. The result was just YUMMY! That is all I can say.
    If you don't believe try it for yourself and let me know.

    Egg Fry


    Peanuts: 1/4 cup
    Sesame seeds: 4 tsp
    Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
    Coriander seeds: 1tsp
    Red chillies(broken): 3
    powdered Jaggery: tsp
    Cloves: 2
    Cinnamon bark: small piece.
    Salt as required
    Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
    Eggplants(small round variety): 6
    Chopped cilantro: 1 tbsp
    Tamarind: small marble size.


    Oil: 3 tbsp
    Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
    Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
    Curry leaves: 5-6
    Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
    Asoefetida(hing): a pinch


    1. Wash the eggplants throughly in water cut the stems off.
    2. Now make two slits in the eggplants vertically perpendicular to each other.
    3. Keep the eggplants in water and set them aside.
    4. To prepare the stuffing dry roast the sesame seeds along with cumin, coriander seeds, red chillies, cloves and cinnamon and set them aside.
    5. Now dry roast the peanuts and set them to cool.
    6. Soak the tamarind in water for 5-10 minutes and extract the juice.
    7. In a spice grinder grind all the dry roasted ingredients.
    8. To the spice mix add the tamarind juice, jaggery, slat and red chilli powder.
    9. Divide that mix in to two parts. Stuff one half into the eggplants and use the remaining for the gravy.
    10. Add oil to a pressure pan and when the oil is heated, add all the seasoning ingredients in order and when the seeds start spluttering add the spice mix and add 1-2 cups  of water. Let that water come to a boil and the add the brinjal stuffed with the spice mix. Put the pressure pan lid and pressure cook until you get 1 whistle.
    11. Make sure you do not over cook the brinjal.
    12. Once the pressure comes down, open the lid and adjust t he salt. if the sauce is too think at this point, add some water and cook for few minutes.
    13. Garnish with coriander. 
    Read more »

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    Quinoa with stir fried veggies

    Here is another Quinoa dish from me. I tried to make it similar to the Chinese style veggie fried rice. Just used quinoa instead of rice.
    CQuinoa with stir fried veggies


    Quinoa: 1 cup
    Carrots (cut into small pieces): 1/2 cup
    Tofu: 1/4 cup
    Green Beans (cut into small pieces): 1/4 cup
    Soy sauce: 1/2 tsp
    Red chilli sauce: 1/4 tsp
    salt as required.
    Green onions (finely chopped): 1/4 cup.
    Oil: 2 tsp
    Pepper: 1/2 tsp

    1. Cook the quinoa in a rice cooker with 2 cups of water. 
    2. Add oil to a pan and when the oil is heated add the veggies and the tofu and stir fry them.
    3. Add the cooked quinoa to the veggies and mix them together.
    4. Add the soy sauce, chilli sauce and pepper. Adjust the salt.
    5. Serve with raita or humus.
    Read more »

    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    Creamy Corn Curry

    Here is a simple corn curry that is very easy to make, tastes great with rotis or you can just eat it by itself like a side dish.
    Corn Curry


    Sweet Corn: 1 cup
    Onion ( Big sized)( finely chopped): 1
    Milk: 3/4 cup
    Salt as required

    Oil: 1 tbsp
    Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
    Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
    Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
    Curry leaves: 4
    Green chillies: 2 (optional)
    Red chillies( Broken): 2
    Asoefetida( Hind): a pinch


    1. For the corn, I used the frozen yellow corn. You ca use canned or fresh corn too.
    2. Add oil to a pan and heat it. When the oil is heated, add all the seasoning ingredients in the order mentioned.
    3. When the seeds start spluttering, add the chopped onions and little salt.
    4. Cook until the unions become soft and translucent.
    5. Now add the corn and cook for 10 minutes.
    6. Adjust the salt.
    7. Add the milk and let the corn cook in the milk for 3-4 minutes and turn off the heat and set the pan aside for few minutes.
    8. The milk gets absorbed into the corn after few minutes and the curry becomes thick and ready to be served.
    9. Tastes great with rotis.
    Suggestions: If you like it sweet avoid the green chillies. But if you want to make it more spicy use the green chillies.

    Read more »

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    Pasta Salad - Deli style

    I love the pasta salads that you get in a deli. So decided to make this at home and searched on google for the deli style pasta salad recipe. Went through a couple of recipes and combined a few and the result is my Deli style pasta salad. 
    Cold salads right out of the fridge taste heavenly during summers. Pasta salads are so filling that they can be had like the main course rather than a side dish.
    Rotini Salad


    Rotini pasta( spiral shaped pasta): 1 cup
    medium sized tomatoes: 2
    Black olives(cut in half): 1/2 cup
    Feta cheese(Crumbled): 2 tbsp
    Chopped Cilantro: 2 tsp
    Parmesan cheese: 1 tbsp
    Sundried tomatoes in oil(drained and chopped): 6
    Salt as required.

    For the dressing:

    Sun dried tomatoes in oil: 4
    Red wine venigar: 2 tsp
    Olive oil: 3 tbsp
    Garlic: 1 clove diced
    Cilantro: 1 tsp
    Freshly ground pepper: 1/2 tsp
    Parmesan cheese: 1 tsp


    1. Cook the pasta in water adding little salt and a splash of olive oil.
    2. Once the pasta is cooked,drain the water and set it aside to cool.
    3. For the dressing, add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend them.
    4. Place the pasta in a mixing bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, chopped sundried tomatoes and the feta cheese.
    5. Pour the dressing over the pasta, sprinkle with Parmesan and cilantro and mix well.

    Variations: Actual pasta salad recipes require parsley instead of cilantro. I did not have parsley readily available so opted for cilantro.
    I also reduced the cheese( both Feta and Parmesan) quantity compared to the actual recipes.
    Read more »

    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    Pottu Pesara Kattu

    Blogging is very addictive. I open up my blog with the intention of posting a recipe and before I start that, I will check some of my fav blogs and from the comments section on those blogs, I enter few more blogs and from there to few other blogs and this goes on. Does that sound like "been there done that" :) I'm sure it sounds familiar to every food blogger.

    Here are some of the blogs I check almost every day.
    RedChillies - I like her style of writing.
    VeggieBelly - This blog I visit for it's amazing pictures.
    Talimpu - Has some authentic south Indian recipes.

    RedChillies maintains a food blog aggregator. My fav space on the web:) And, once you visit that page you are sure to get lost in the world of food blogs.

    So, I opened up my browser to post this recipe and like I said, went to my fav blogs and from there to some other blogs, browsed for 2 hours and now back to posting the recipe:) here it is:
    This is a simple soup/rasam kinda dish that got passed on from my grand mom to mom and from my mom to me.

    Pottu Pesara Kattu

    Split moong dal with the coat: 1/2 cup
    satl as required.
    Ginger (grated) : 1/2 tsp

    Oil/Ghee: 2 tsp
    Mustard seed: 1/2 tsp
    Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
    Redchillies(broken): 4
    Curry leaves: 5
    Garlic: 1 clove
    Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
    Asoefetida(hing): a pinch

    1. Cook the moong dal with water and salt in a pressure cooker until you get 2-3 whistles.
    2. Remove the cooker lid and add more water and ginger and the dal cook in the water for 10-15 minutes without the lid.
    3. Make sure the dal becomes soft and gets blended into the water.
    4. In a seasoning pan, add oil and when the oil is hot, add all the seasoning ingredients in the order mentioned.
    5. When the seeds start spluttering add the seasoning to the dal and water mixture and remove from heat. 
    6. Adjust salt.
    7. Add more red chillies if you like it more spicy. all the spice in this recipe comes form red chillies.
    8. Optionally you can use oil instead of ghee(clarified butter) for seasoning or you can use half oil and half ghee.
    9. Serve with steamed rice.

    Read more »

    Orzo Salad

    When summer hits it's stride and produce at it's peak, a simple salad can be magical.
    This a simple pasta salad with orzo, cucumbers, onions and olives.
    Orzo is rice shaped pasta. It looks just like long grains of rice and you can find in the pasta section of the grocery store.

    Orzo Salad

    Orzo pasta: 3/4 cup
    Cucumber(Kheera): 1
    Red onion(medium sized): 1
    Blck olives: 1/2 cup
    Pepper: 1 tsp
    Salt as required
    Olive oil: 4 tsp
    Cilantro( finely chopped): 2 tbsp
    Pesto sauce: 2 tbsp
    Feta cheese: 2 tbsp


    1. Cook the orzo pasta just like regular pasta with water, a pinch of salt and a tsp of olive oil.
    2. When the pasta is soft drain the water and set it aside.
    3. Chop the onion, cucumber into small pieces. Slice the olives in to half.
    4. In a mixing bowl mix the pasta with cucumber, olives and onion.
    5. Add olive oil, salt and pepper.
    6. Add the paste sauce and mix it with the pasta. 
    7. Refrigerate the pasta for at least 30 minutes before serving. 
    8. Add the crumbled feta cheese just before serving.
    9. Garnish with cilantro.
    This salad goes to the SpicyTasty's sizzling summer contest.
    Orzo Salad
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    Friday, June 11, 2010

    Cilantro Chutney

    Cilantro Chutney


    Cilantro : 1 cup
    Tomato( small-sized) : 1
    Green chillies: 2
    Red chillies: 2
    Coriander seeds: 1/2 tsp
    Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
    Urad dal: 1 tsp
    Channa dal: 1 tbsp
    Jaggery or Sugar : 1 tsp
    Tamarind: cherry size.
    Oil: 1 tbsp


    Oil: 1 tsp
    Urad dal: 1/2 tsp
    Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
    Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
    Curry leaves: 4
    Red chillies( broken): 1
    Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
    Asoefetida( hing): a pinch

    1. Add oil to a pan and when the oil is heated enough, add channa dal, urad dal, red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and green chillies.
    2. When the seeds start to turn brown, add the chopped tomato and cook for few minutes and then add salt. Add tamarind and jaggery.
    3. Now add the chopped cilantro and cook them together until the cilantro and tomatoes are cooked well.
    4. Turn off the stove and let it cool. Now add them to a blender and puree into a smooth paste and empty the puree into a bowl.
    5. Now add the seasoning ingredients in the order mentioned above to a pan and when the seeds start spluttering, add it to the pureed cilantro and mix well.
    6. Serve with rice.

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    Thursday, June 10, 2010

    Quinoa salad with spinach, black beans and chickpeas

    Have been hearing a lot about "quinoa - the super grain" lately and wanted to give it a try. Quinoa is not actually a grain. It is the seed of a plant that is closely related to species such as spinach and beets. You can read more about quinoa here. I bought them and they have been sitting in the pantry for a while now waiting for their turn. I never ate or cooked quinoa before.

    I also had some left over canned black beans and canned chickpeas that I had to use.
    There was also some baby spinach waiting for its turn. Before all these get spoiled I wanted to use them and combined them all and cooked with quinoa. The result was just wonderful!!!

    Quinoa by itself did not have any taste, but with all the added ingredients the super grain did taste good. I served it along with some home made humus.

    Quinoa with spinach, black beans and chickpeas


    Quinoa: 1 cup
    Chick peas: 1/4cup
    Black Beans: 1/4 cup
    Baby Spinach(chopped): 1/4 cup
    Tofu( grated) : 4 tsp
    Salt as required.
    Pepper: 1 tsp
    Lime juice: 1 tsp
    Olive oil: 2 tsp
    Red pepper flakes(optional)


    1. Cook quinoa in a rice cooker with 2 cups of water(quinoa to water ratio is 1:2)
    2. Add olive oil to a pan and add the chopped spinach, chickpeas and the black beans. Cook them in olive oil  until the spinach becomes soft.
    3. Now add the cooked quinoa to the pan, add salt and pepper. Mix well.
    4. Add the lime juice and mix.
    5. Add the grated tofu on top and serve.
    6. Optionally you can add some red pepper flakes  on top to make it spicy.
    Read more »

    Wednesday, June 9, 2010

    Vegetable Fried Rice

    This is indian chinese style vegetable fried rice. One of my favorites and an instant food if you have left over rice.  

    Could there be a better way to use the left over rice than loading up with tons of fresh vegetables and make it complete sumptuous nutritional meal?  I had some left over rice from the previous day and made this yummy colorful fried rice. I added more vegetables to make it more nutritious.    

    I generally cut carrots and beans into small pieces and keep them in my freezer. That makes it even more easy to cook this rice. All you have to do is heat the oil in a pan, toss in the veggies, add rice and spice it up with the sauces. As simple as that. It looks so colorful that its is appealing even for kids.    

    Vegetable Fried Rice


    Cooked rice1 cup
    Carrots(finely diced)1/2 cup
    Cabbage(finely chopped)1/2 cup
    Beans(finely diced)1/2 cup
    Green onions/spring onions (very finely chopped)2 tbsp
    Bell Pepper/ Capsicum (finely diced)1/4 cup
    Saltas required
    Oil2 tsp
    Soy sauce2 tsp
    Chilli sauce1 tsp
    Pepper powder1 tsp

    Add oil to the pan.
    Add the diced carrots, beans, cabbage and capsicum and stir fry them on high flame.
    The vegetables should not be over cooked. When the vegetables are crispy and half-cooked add the rice and mix well.
    Add soy sauce, hot sauce. Add pepper and adjust the salt.
    Sprinkle the green onions on top and serve.    


    I use the sriracha chilli sauce. But any kind of chilli sauce can be used.
    You can even add scrambled egg to the rice.
    1/2 tsp lemon juice can be added to the rice.    

    It's always better to use previous day's rice. But if you do not have any left over rice, you can chill the fresh cooked rice in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before you prepare the fried rice. If the rice is hot, it becomes mushy when you mix with vegetables.    

    I used the Julienne style peeler to cut the carrot into long strips, but I generally dice them into small pieces.

    Chinese Fried Rice With Vegetables
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    Tuesday, June 8, 2010

    Black Bean and Corn Salad

    Black Bean Salad

    Black Beans: 1 can
    Whole kernel corn: 1/2 can
    Bell Pepper: 1/2(finely chopped)
    Tomatoes: 1 medium - sized (finely chopped)
    Onions: 1 medium - sized (finely chopped)
    Salt: as required.
    Sugar: 1 tsp.
    Extra virgin olive oil: 1 tbsp
    Cilantro: (finely chopped)
    White wine venigar: 1/2 tsp
    lemon juice: 1 tbsp

    Mix all the ingredients, refrigerate for 30 minutes and serve.

    This was big hit in my house. My little girl just loved it.

    Read more »

    Nimmakaya Pappucharu(Lime lentil soup)

    Nimmakaya Pappucharu


    Tomatoes1 medium - sized
    Onion1/2 Large - sized
    Green Chillies3
    Cilantro leaves10-15
    Garlic1 pod
    Lime Juice1 tbsp
    Toor dal1/2 cup
    Saltas required
    Ghee1 tbsp


    Urad dal1/2 tsp
    Mustard seeds1/2 tsp
    Cumin seeds1/2 tsp
    Curry leaves5
    Broken red chillies2
    Turmeric1/4 tsp
    Asafetida/hing1 pinch


    Boil toor dal with water in a pressure cooker adding salt and turmeric powder.

    Mash the boiled dal evenly in to a smooth paste without any lumps.

    Add more water to the dal and keep boiling on a low flame.

    Chop the onions length wise. Cut the tomatoes into medium size pieces.

    Cut the green chillies length wise.

    Now add ghee to a pan and add the seasoning ingredients in order mentioned and when the seeds start spluttering add onions, tomatoes, garlic and green chillies and fry them together.

    When the onions turn soft and brown add them to the boiling dal. Add salt as required.

    Boil dal for another 5-10 minutes and turn off the stove. Add the lemon juice.

    Garnish with cilantro.

    Serve with steamed rice.
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    Thursday, May 20, 2010

    Besan Dosa

    Besan Dosa


    Besan(Chickpea flour)1/2 cup
    Rice flour1 cup
    Green Chilli paste1 tsp
    Ajwain seeds1 tsp
    Curry leaves5
    Water3.5- 4  cups
    Saltas required
    Oil2 tbsp


    Mix the rice flour and besan in the water and add all the remaining ingredients and mix well.

    Set it aside for 10 - 15 minutes.

    Heat the dosa tava/pan on high flame and when the pan is heated enough pour the dosa batter with ladle on the pan.

    Now reduce the heat and pour oil with a spoon around the dosa and let it cook.

    Turn the dosa to the other side and cook for few more seconds.

    repeat the process with the remaining batter. Serve with coconut chutney.

    Tip: Make sure the dosa pan is on high flame when pouring the batter and then reduce it to medium while the dosa is cooking.
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    Wednesday, May 19, 2010

    Rava Idli

    I am not a big fan of idli. But this version of idli, I like because it is loaded with veggies and the best thing is it is instant. No soaking, grinding, fermenting.

    Rava Idli

    Roasted upma rava 1 cup
    Carrots(finely diced) 1/2 cup
    Beans(finely diced) 1/2 cup
    Green Chillies(finely chopped( 2
    Yogurt 1/2 cup
    Salt as required
    Cilantro(finely chopped) 2 tsp
    Baking soda 2 pinches
    Oil/Ghee 2 tsp
    Cashews 6
    Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
    Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
    Curry leaves 5

    I used roasted upma rava. If using regular sooji, just roast the rava in a pan for few seconds without oil.

    Add the chopped carrots,beans and green chillies to the roasted upma rava. Mix with yogurt. Add salt.

    Make in to a thick paste. Add water if required. The batter should be thicker than regular idli batter. Now let it soak for 10-15 minutes.

    Now, if the batter is too hard, add more water.

    For tempering, add oil the pan, add the seasoning ingredients in order and when the seeds start spluttering, add it to the rava-yogurt mix.

    Add the chopped cilantro leaves.

    With a spoon add the batter to the idli plates and steam cook them in am idli cooker for 10-12 minutes and the idlis are done.

    Serve with coconut chutney or sweet allam pachadi.
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    Bell Pepper(Capsicum) Tomato Curry

    Here is a dish for all those who love  bell pepper/capsicum. I love the smell of capsicum when it is cooking. It adds great flavor to any curry or fried rice. Before we get to the recipe let's see some health facts about capsicum.

    Health Benefits:
    • They contain small amounts of vitamin K which is important in bone health.
    • Red bell peppers contain both lycopene which reduces the rate of some cancers and beta-cryptoxathin which is a ceratoid that also lowers the risk of certain cancers.
    • Bell pepper is an excellent source of vitamin A and C, two very powerful antioxidants that may help to reduce risk of cardiovascular diseases and several cancers.
    • Red pepper has more vitamin C than oranges and are also high in beta-carotene.
    As a kid I was not a big fan of capsicum. So for those of you who do not like capsicum, but want to eat for its health benefits, can try this recipe.

    It has more of the tomato flavor. It makes a good combo with roti or even rice.

    Bell Pepper-Tomato Curry


    Bell Pepper : 1

    Onion (big size) : 1/2

    Green peas

    Tomato( medium size): 1/2

    Tomato paste( canned) : 1 tbsp

    Dhaniya powder: 1 tsp

    Salt as required

    Chilli powder: 1/2 tsp


    mustard seeds

    cumin seeds


    curry leaves

    Cilantro leaves



    Finely chop the onions and tomatoes. Cut bell pepper in to medium sized pieces.

    Add oil in a pan.  Add mustard seeds and once they start spluttering add cumin seeds and turmeric.

    Now add onions and lil salt and fry them.

    Adding salt to the onions makes them soft and they cook soon. Fry the onions for 5 mins and then add Green Peas and Bell pepper pieces.

    Cook them together for another 5 minutes and then add tomatoes and cook until they turn soft. Now add tomato paste and some water and cook them together.

    Add dhaniya powder, salt and chilli powder. Cook for few minutes and garnish with Cilantro leaves.

    Serve with rice or roti.
    Read more »

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