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.

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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.
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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.
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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. 
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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.
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