Sunday, 28 April 2013

Cauliflower Pepper Fry

Serves 3
Cauliflower is an extremely flavorful vegetable.My mom makes a very spicy fry out of it and I simple love it.When I initially started to cook I assumed that it would be very easy to prepare any cauliflower dish. But surprisingly I could never get any cauliflower dish to taste right unless I deep fried it,so I would only make fritters or Gobi Manchurian out of it. It took me almost 3 years of cooking to get it right:-)This is a pure South India recipe that I found  in a magazine and it turned out very tasty. Freshly ground pepper powder heightens the flavor of this dish.

Cauliflower - 1/2 a big one,10 - 15 florets
Onion - 1 big
Tomato - 2 medium ones
Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tbsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - a sprig
Salt - as needed

To dry roast and grind:
Whole pepper corns - 1/2 tbsp
Fennel seeds - 3/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 4 - 5 leaves

- Chop the onion and tomatoes finely.
-In a vessel add warm water and little salt,soak the cauliflower in it and let it stay immersed for 10 minutes.Remove the cauliflower and clean it well under running water.Then break the bigger florets into smaller ones.
-In a pan add the pepper corns,fennel seeds and curry leaves and dry roast on a low flame,until they turn crisp.Grind to a fine powder in a blender
- Add the oil to the pan, when it heats up splutter the curry leaves.Then add the onion and saute until they turn translucent.Add the ginger garlic paste and saute for 3-4 minutes.
-Add the cauliflower florets and turmeric powder.Saute on a low flame for  5 - 7 minutes.
-Add the coriander powder,red chilli powder,tomatoes and salt.Saute for 3-4 minutes until everything is well mixed.Cover with a lid and cook on low flame for 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is done. Keep stirring in between to make sure that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the vessel.
-Open the lid and increase the flame to medium and saute for another 4 -5 minutes.Finally add the ground pepper powder mixture and stir well .Saute for another 2-3 minutes.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Eggplant/Brinjal and Apple stir fry

Serves 3
This is an an authentic Kashmiri recipe that I found in a travel book .I have never come across this combination before and was reluctant to try it out initially.As a south Indian ,I can only pair up eggplants or brinjal with Drumstick,they are like made for each other and taste great.But this combination was really delightful,the whole dish as such uses very little spices and still tastes yum.This makes a great side dish for rice with any spicy gravy or rotis. You could even find yourself munching it like a snack !

You'll need:
 Brinjal - 3 big
or Eggplant - 1/2 a big one
Apple - 1 big
Fennel powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder or paprika - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Hing/asafetida -  a pinch
Mustard oil or sesame oil - 3-4 tbsp

-Cut each brinjal lengthwise into 8 pieces.Core the apples and cut each lengthwise into 8 pieces.
-Mix the fennel powder,salt,red chilli powder and turmeric powder with 1 tbsp of water to make a smooth paste.
-In a large frying pan add the oil and when it heats up add the hing.Place the apple pieces such that they don't overlap each other and are lying in a single layer.Cook them on a medium flame until they turn slightly brown at the edges on both the sides,about 5 minutes on one side and turn them over and cook for another  5 -6 minutes.Remove them from the oil and set aside in a plate.
-Add the sliced brinjal to the same pan,placing them all in a single layer and cooking them on both sides just like the apple.

-Once the brinjal looks brown on both the sides add the fried apples to the pan and the spice paste and mix very gently .
-Cook the mixture on a low heat for 10 - 15 minutes,turning the pieces over gently so that they don't break.

-Use hard & tart apples for this dish.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Garam Masala Powder

A beautiful mixture of several spices that perk up every dish.A simple powder that lets you know that an Indian family stays in a building ;).Many times when Hubby & I go for a stroll just the aroma of a dish cooked with this powder would make us smile at each other & we'd say ' that's for sure an Indian'. Every family would have its own recipe for this powder and it definitely adds a unique flavor to the dish.I prefer making this at home as it definitely tastes and smells better than the store bought ones.I find that sometimes sprinkling a pinch on a dish just before serving makes it very aromatic & tempting.Well ,how many times have we tried out dishes just because they smell great :) There are many versions of this powder,this is just the way I make it.I usually make it in small batches so that the aroma stays intact !

Cardamoms - 20
Cloves - 20
Bay leaves - 3 big
Star Anise - 7-8
Mace/Javitri - 7 - 8 pieces
Cinnamon - 3 big sticks
Fennel seeds - 1 tbsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Poppy Seeds - 1 tbsp
Whole Pepper Corns - 2 tsp
Dry Ginger Powder - 1 tsp or Dry ginger(chukku) - a small piece

-Dry roast all the Ingredients together on a low flame for 8 - 10 minutes or until they turn a little crisp & a shade dark.Be careful to not burn any of the spices.
-Grind in a blender to a fine powder.Store in an airtight container.Stays good for 2 months.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Chocolate cupcake

Makes 10
This cupcake would be the chocolate lover`s favorite.I simply love chocolates in every form ,be it cakes or ice creams .I'm the  kind of person who can spoon up half a bottle of nutella in no time:)I love baking ,both the process and the output. But the amount of sugar and butter and the calories involved keeps me from baking more often.How I wish this thing called calories just din't exist :-)  This cupcake recipe calls for little sugar and no butter.It's still very soft and moist and extremely chocolaty!


Baking Chocolate - 170 g
Double Cream - 120 ml
Fine Sugar - 50 g - 1/4 cup
All purpose Flour - 50 g -1/2 cup
Baking powder - 1/4 tsp
Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
Eggs - 3 medium
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp
Chocolate Chips - 225 g

-For melting the cream and chocolate in a double-boiler: Fill  quarter of a vessel with water.Place another smaller vessel in it such that it`s bottom doesn't touch the water.Place the broken pieces of chocolate and the cream in the smaller vessel.Let the water heat up on medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until the chocolate is fully melted.Remove from the stove and stir well until the chocolate and cream are well combined.
-Sift together the baking powder and the flour.
-Beat the sugar,eggs and vanilla essence for 5 minutes on medium until it turns a little thick and lemon yellow in color.
-Add the melted chocolate cream mixture and beat for 20 seconds on medium.
-Add the flour,baking soda and chocolate chips beat on low for 10 seconds then on medium for another 10 seconds.
-Preheat the oven to 175°C.
-Fill 10 muffin cups with the batter until they are a little more than 3/4th full and bake at 175°C for 30 minutes.

-The chocolate chips can be replaced with grated chocolate.
-These cupcakes taste even greater the next day  and hold good for more than 3 days.

Sending this to MJDelights


Thursday, 11 April 2013

Egg Aviyal

Serves 3
My mom hails from a town on the border of Kerala & Tamil Nadu ,hence Kerala cuisine has a strong influence on both my granny & mom's cooking.Whenever I visited my Granny for holidays as a kid ,Aviyal was almost  like served every day or every other day .I used to be astonished with the amount of coconut used in everything, even dosas were served with coconut scrapings generously sprinkled on them.In Chennai coconuts are treated like a luxury :)they either are made into chutneys or only go into special preparations.I watched this recipe on a cooking show before a few years and has slowly become a favorite  It tastes a little different form the authentic Aviyal recipe and can be prepared very easily !

Ingredients :
Eggs - 2 (hardboiled)
Drumstick - 1 big
Carrot - 1 big
Potatoes - 2 medium
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Green Chilli - 2 slit
Coconut milk - 1/4 cup or coconut milk powder - 3 tbsp
Thick curd - 2 tbsp
Coconut oil - 1-2 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Mustard - 1/2 tsp

-Hard boil the eggs, remove the shell and cut each one lengthwise into 4 pieces.Clean the potatoes and cut them lengthwise.Clean and cut the drumstick into 2" pieces.Clean the carrot and chop it lengthwise into 1" pieces.Beat the 2 tbsp of curd with a fork for a minute.
-In  a pressure cooker, add the potatoes,drumstick,carrot,turmeric powder,green chillies,cumin seeds ,little salt and 1/4 to 1/2 cup water.Pressure cook for 1 whistle on medium flame .Alternatively you can also boil the veggies in a covered vessel adding little water,until everything is just cooked and not mushy.
-I used coconut milk powder,if using it ,mix 3 tablespoons of coconut milk powder with 1/4 cup of hot water.
-Add the coconut milk to the pressure cooked veggies along with its water.Add the cut egg pieces and mix well.Let it cook for  3-4 minutes .Add the curd and mix well.Let if cook for just 2 -3 minutes.Remove from the stove and check for salt.
-Heat the coconut oil in a pan and splutter the curry leaves & mustard seeds.Add the tempering to the mixture and mix once more.Done !

Monday, 8 April 2013

First Award - Liebster

Well I'm overjoyed on receiving my very first award,Liebster. Guess these awards are like pats on our back and all of us could do with some pats occasionally :) A big thanks to two generous and absolutely great bloggers Chitz of Indulge, her blog is full of wonderful recipes that really makes you want to Indulge and Bhawna of  Simply Delicious,her blog is full of some really delicious & awesome recipes, for passing the award on to me.

The rules of the Liebster award:
1. This award is given to new or up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
2. The Liebster Award is then passed along to other bloggers in the same category to help spread the word and support one another.
3. Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.
4. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, and then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.
5. Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to pass the award to and link them in your post.
6. Go back to their page and tell them about the award.
7. Don’t nominate the person who nominated you.

11 Facts about me
1.I love reading and the library is one place that I love to frequent.
2.I love playing Badminton and TT, but now I only get to play with my 2.5 year old daughter,Ashlee :)
3.I love to talk and have simple childish fun :)
4.A perfect Cancer woman :)
5.I love to crochet, especially dolls.
6.Love to explore different cuisines and am always on the search for new recipes.
7.I simply love sweets :)
8.I like to travel and visit places of Historic importance.
9.I like watching Television series and my latest favorite is Grey's Anatomy.
10.I love to paint, it's one hobby that totally relaxes me.I'm an amateur and wish to become an expert some day
11. I'm a very lazy person :).

Questions from Chitra
1.If you were allowed to change something about yourselves, what would that be?
My laziness
2.Your favorite time pass other than cooking?
3.According to you which is most important in a blog - presentation, recipe or pictures? 
The Recipe
4.Your ultimate dream?
To make at least a small difference
5.Three qualities you would love to see in others?
Friendly,open and Kind
6.One prank that you played on someone?
Once while we were traveling home back from work on Hosur Road in Bangalore, we were as usual stuck in a traffic jam.I wore a scary Halloween mask and was looking out of the window of our bus.Our whole gang of friends on the bus had a good laugh looking at the bewildered look on the face of people who spotted me :)
7.Your favorite vacation spot?
No specific spot as yet,Hubby,I & my little girl are still exploring new places:)
8.Cooking according to you is?
Guess my blog description would explain it precisely 'Child's play and Adult joy at once !'
9.Who influences you the most? Like you would always listen to what this person says?
My Mom
10.Your favorite dessert?
Rasamalai !
11.One habit that you cannot change for life?
My talkative nature :)

Questions from Bhawna
1.What is your favorite past time?
2.Are you quite or active person?
Pretty active person :)
3.What is your idea for perfect breakfast?
Honestly speaking I hardly cook breakfast(lazybones:)) so it'll be brown bread with a slice of Cheese and a cup of juice
4.Who is your favorite blogger?
That's a difficult question :) Each blogger is special and good in their own way !
5.What would you do keep your family happy?
Cheer them up,I'm the comedian at our place
6.what is your favorite time of the year?
Summer !
7.what is your perspective of your life?
Live Life one day at a time !
8.what is your favorite quote?
If God brings you to it ,he will bring you through it
9.what is your dream vacation destination?
Berchtesgaden(A small town in the Austrian - German border)
10.favorite beauty product?
This might surprise women,I don't use any beauty product :)
11.who inspires you?
My Mom & Dad

Bloggers I nominate
1.Sangeetha Priya of  Nitha's Kitchen
2.Amrita Roy of  Motions and Emotions 
3.Helen Prabha of  All about my world
4. Meena of Encourage Spice
5.Jeya Jemini of My style of recipes
6.Priya of  Yummy Foods
8.Shailaja Reddy of  Sahasra Recipes
9.techie2mom of My Cooking adventures
10.Nisha S of My Food Express
11.Preethi of Kitchen Delicacies

11 Questions from me :)
1.How would you describe yourself in a few words ?
2.Your favorite celebrity cook ?
3.One kitchen gadget you'd wish for if you have a magic wand ,with just one wish:) ?
4.What makes you very happy?
5.Which is your favorite restaurant dish,like the first thing you would order for?
6.Your other hobbies ?
7.Cook books that you like?
8.One fond memory that you cherish, with relation to cooking ?
9.Your favourite author or movie star ?
10.Of all the places that you've visited,which is your favorite ?
11.One thing from your childhood that you miss doing now ?

Broccoli tikki.

Makes 8.
 Tikkis, they taste great and make great snacks and side dishes.They are healthy and the shallow frying makes them definitely better than deeply fried snacks like vadas .I somehow feel that making a tikki is more like playing with 'play dough'.I simply enjoy the process of making them,the mixing ,shaping and all that ,hubby sometimes tells me that I look like a child playing in a sand pit. These tikkis are a beautiful combination of broccoli,paneer and potatoes and taste yum !

Ingredients :
Broccoli - 10 -15 florets(chopped very finely)
Paneer - 3 tbsp (grated)
Potatoes - 2 - 3 medium ( boiled & grated)
Corn flour - 2 tbsp
Onion - 1 medium (chopped)
Green chilli - 2 (chopped finely)
Garlic - 4 - 5 pods(minced)
olive oil - 1 tbsp & for shallow frying
Garam masala powder - 1/4 tsp
salt - as needed

Method :

- To a pan add the 1 tbsp of oil and when it heats up add the garlic and  green chillies and saute for a minute or two.Then add the onion and little salt and saute until the onion turns translucent.
-Add the broccoli ,sprinkle some salt and garam masala powder. Saute on medium flame for 5- 8 minutes until they are cooked.

Remove from the stove.
-Add the boiled & grated potatoes,the corn flour and the paneer/cottage cheese. Mix everything well adding salt as needed.Shape them into medium sized tikkis/dumplings.
-Heat some more oil in a pan for shallow frying .Cook the tikkis on each side for 8- 10 minutes on a low or medium flame .

Sending this to What's with my Cuppa and Nupur's page,Foodabulous Food hosted by Pramitha's Space

Friday, 5 April 2013

Garlic Pickle - Poondu Oorugai

Makes about 200g
Pickles ! some people just love them.Hubby is one of those people who loves pickles and Garlic too.I guess all of us would know about how healthy Garlic is,especially for new mothers.Garlic actually reminds me of a comedy in the Tamil movie 'Mozhi' where Prakash Raj speaks about the health benefits of Garlic:) This is a very easy to prepare version of Garlic Pickle and stores well in the fridge for  more than a  month.I usually make small batches every month. It makes a great side dish but tastes heavenly with Curd Rice !

Ingredients :
Garlic  - 200g
Sesame oil - 75 ml
Red Chilli Powder - 50 g (around 3-4 tbsp)
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Lemon Juice - Juice from one big one
Salt - 1 tbsp
Fenugreek & Mustard Seeds - 2 tsp
Hing/ Asafoetida - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp(for tempering)


-Peel the Garlic. If the pods are big slice them vertically to resemble small ones.
-Dry Roast 2 tsps each of Fenugreek & Mustard Seeds and grind to a fine powder.
-To the lemon juice add the red chilli powder ,fenugreek & mustard seeds powder and the turmeric powder and mix well.Add some more lemon juice if needed to make a thick well blended paste,shouldn't be watery.
-Add the oil to a pan when it heats up splutter the mustard seeds and add the Hing.
-Add the Garlic on low flame and let it cook until they are half done,takes about 5 minutes.
-Then add the lemon juice & powders mixture and mix well, let it cook for a further 5 - 7 minutes on low flame until when it starts oozing out
oil .
-Take it off the stove and let it cool.Store in an airtight container.For best results let it sit at least for one day undisturbed for the flavours to set in.

Make sure that the knife,cutting board and all the utensils,like blender are wiped dry and free of moisture .

Sending this to Lets Cook Pickles

Ridge Gourd Skin/Peel Chutney - Peerkangai thol chutney

Serves 3
I've become a big fan of chutneys lately and this is surprisingly a very tasty one . I didn't expect  the skin of a vegetable to taste so yum.It's very healthy with a lot of fiber in it.Most of the skins of vegetables have a lot of nutrients in them ,but we don't eat as they aren't exactly tasty.This one's definitely an exception.

Peel of one big Ridge gourd chopped finely - 1 cup
Grated Coconut or desiccated cconut - 2 tbsp
Coriander leaves - 10 -12 sprigs
Green Chilli - 1(optional)
Whole Red Chilli - 2
Urad dal - 2 tbsp
Sesame oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Tamarind - a tiny marble
salt - as needed

-To a pan add the oil, when it heats up add the mustard seeds and whole red chilli.
-Add the Urad dal and fry on low heat until slightly brown.Now add the chopped peel and saute till it looks cooked and withered,around 5-7 minutes.
-Add the coconut,green chilli and chopped coriander leaves and saute for another 3-4 minutes.
-Finally add the salt and tamarind and cook for a further 2 minutes.
-Remove from the stove,let it cool and grind to a fine paste,adding salt and a little water as needed.

Sending this to Learning to Cook - Dish name starts with R

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Ridge gourd Dal Curry - Peerkangai Rasavangi

Serves 3
Ridge gourd is one vegetable that tastes great in desserts and spicy gravies. I've only made desserts with it and sometimes I'll just drop it along with Drumstick in a sambar or make a nice chutney with the skin. Never knew that it could be prepared in such a delicious way.Well i guess the disadvantage of not being in a joint family is that you never get to learn traditional and authentic recipes .I've never ventured into our Kitchen to learn cooking from mom as long as I was at home,guess this would be the case with most girls.Just like every other Indian mom,my mom was the martyr in our home,doing all the work and never expecting any help from us.I never got a chance to stay with my mil too ,so didn't get to learn cooking from her too.So here I am with not much of idea about traditional Tamil recipes,guess most of which are getting extinct too.Have started hunting for authentic Tamil recipes and would sure cook and post them here :) Well the truth be told, the main reason I tried this recipe was that I forgot to shop for Onions and was looking for onion-less recipes when i came across this one :) So anytime you run out of onions & tomatoes this easy recipe would come in handy !

Ingredients :
To Pressure cook:
Ridge Gourd - 1.5 big
Moong dal - 1/2 cup
Channa Dal - 1/4 cup
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
salt as needed
To Dry Roast & Powder:
Whole Red Chillies - 6
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Channa Dal - 1 tbsp
Urad dal - 1 tbsp
Desiccated coconut or grated fresh coconut - 2 tbsp
To Temper:
oil & ghee - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig

-Clean and Peel the ridge gourd.Preserve the skins if you wish to make a chutney from it.Chop into small pieces.
-Add all the things to pressure cook in a pressure cooker and pressure cook with 1 cup water on  high heat for 1 whistle and simmer for 7 minutes.
-Dry Roast all the Ingredients except for coconut until they are slightly brown.Then add the coconut and remove as soon as it turns slightly brown.Cool and grind to a fine powder.Add a little water and pulse just once to make a fine paste.If you are cooking for small kids like in my case,you can skip the Red chillies and double the amount of coriander seeds.
-Heat the oil & Ghee in a pan add the curry leaves,mustard seeds and urad dal. When they splutter add the pressure cookers contents .Mix good.Add the ground paste and mix well..Check for salt and add water to get the desired consistency.Let it simmer for 7 - 10 minutes.

Sending this to  South Indian Cooking Event hosted by Simply Tadka and Announced by Anu's Healthy Kitchen &  Learning to Cook - Dish name starts with R

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