Saturday, March 31, 2007

Tomato Chutney

This is the first time I'm entering the JFI event. After seeing my senior bloggers hosting and participating in these events, I too got excited to do something this time. So, here is my entry: Tomato chutney, Tomato Pulav and Tomato Thokku. I know, these are not the fancy items. Still, just wanted to participate in the event and get to know new friends. Hi All and Welcome to my blog.

Tomato Chutney:


Onion- 1 (medium, rough chop)
Tomatoes- 2 (big, rough chop)
red chillies- 2 1/2
salt- as required

Saute onion in oil until transparent and soft. Then add red chillies and fry for 2 mins. Then add tomatoes and some salt. Cook till the tomato turns soft. cool and grind into a smooth paste.
Again heat 3 tsp oil in kadai and fry mustard seeds, split urad dal , red chilli and curry leaves. Now add the onion-tomato paste and fry until the color changes to a nice orange color.
Note:If you add more oil and fry for more time you can get a deeper color.

Variation:Here I did not add anything else because I wanted tomato to be the main ingredient. But the possibilities are endless. You can add mint, curry leaves, corriander or coconut.

Tomato Thokku

Another easy side dish that goes with any types of tiffen varieties. This is a very common dish in every household done with minor variations in each one.

mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
urad dal- 1/2 tsp
jeera seeds- 1/4 tsp
onion-3/4 th (sliced)
green chillies- 4
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
tomato-3 (chopped)

Heat oil in kadai and fry mustard seeds, urad dal and jeera seeds. Then add onions,chillies and turmeric powder. saute until soft. now put tomatoes and salt. Add 1/4 cup water and boil until tomatoes gets cooked. Open the lid from kadai and allow the gravy to dry to desired consistency.

Tomato Pulav

This is the simplest of any pulavs. It gets different names as per the region that prepares it. My mom dosen't prepare tomato rice in this way. She makes the tomato paste seperately and then mix with plain rice. But I prefer to do one pot dishes and save some time. Moreover, this way I use less oil and the grains stand apart well in the pressure cooker method.

Rice- 2 cups
pattai - 1"
cloves- 3 elachi-3
star anise-1
ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp
mint leaves- 10
chilli powder- 3/4 tsp
water- 4 cups

Heat oil in cooker and fry all the spices. Now add onion, ginger garlic paste and turmeric powder. Then add mint leaves and tomato. When the tomato becomes soft put chilli powder and saute for few more minutes. Add washed rice and water. close cooker. When the steam comes consistently from the nozzle of the cooker put the vent and keep the gas in medium. Switch off after 10 mins. wait until pressure subsides. open cooker and sprinkle corriander leaves. Serve with raitha.

Here is another view.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mini Idllis with Sambar

Idllis are my husband's favorite and Dosas are mine. I would eat idlli only when it is steaming hot , just out of the idlli plates. As I have already blogged the recipe for making the batter , I'll go ahead with the making of idllis.
The batter consistency for idllis should not be thin as we do for dosas. It should be a little thick. Grease idlli plates with little oil or pam spray. Pour required batter in the idlli pan. Don't pour too much ,as the idllis will fluff and stick to the plate above it, resulting in ugly looking idllis. Arrange the plates on the rod that comes with the idlli maker. Pour some water in the idlli maker and heat until it starts to boil. Put the idllis plates in and close the idlli maker. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes. Steaming hot idllis are ready. Serve with chutney or sambar of your choice.
To get softer and fluffy idllis, you can add a little extra of urad dal to the usual ratio, prior to soaking. One of my friends has told me not to stir the batter too much after fermentation.
The sambar I have made here is so simple and a little different than traditional sambar. We do not use vegetables or tamarind pulp in this. The sambar gets it's special taste from the freshly made sambar powder. So, let's go to the recipe.

Toor dal- 1 cup
onion- 1/2 (medium,sliced)
green chillies-2(slit)
hing-1/2 tsp
tomato- 1 1/2 (medium, chopped)
sambar powder- 1 1/2 tbsp
curry leaves-few
corriander leaves-little

sambar powder:
jeera- 2 tsp
methi seeds- 1/4 tsp
corriander seeds- 1 tbsp
red chillies- 4
Dry roast all and make a fine powder.

Heat oil in kadai and pop mustard seeds, methi seeds and little jeera seeds until color changes. Then add onions, green chillies and turmeric powder. When the onion gets golden brown , add tomatoes and cook till soft.Add sambar powder,hing and curry leaves. Then add 2 1/2 cups water or more. Bring to a soft boil. Then add cooked & smashed toor dal and bring to a nice boil. switch off gas. Finally add corriander leaves and 1/4 tsp sambar powder. mix well. Goes really well with dosas and idllis.
Here is a dosa.(My version of hotel style dosa. Hey... I guess it's not too bad for a first timer).Enjoy with sambar!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Vadai Curry

Vadai curry is a popular side item for idllis and dosas in the South. It is basically a curry made from leftover vadas. Personally I like this with dosas more than idllis. Normally I follow the famous cook Mallika Badrinath's recipe. But today I did not have her cookbook as I loaned it to one of my friends. I followed my MIL's recipe and it turned out perfectly fine with less effort and less ingredients that what I used to do before. As I have already blogged the recipe for vada I'm going straight to the curry recipe.

fried vadas- 6 or 7
onion- 1/2 (big,chopped)
ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp
tomatoes- 1/2(big,chopped)
chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
corriander powder- 1/2 tsp
cumin powder- 1/2 tsp
green chilli- 1 (slit)
curry leaves-few
corriander leaves- few
thin coconut milk- 1/4 cup

Break vadas into small pieces and set aside.Heat oil in kadai and fry onions and ginger garlic paste. cook till golden brown. Add tomatoes and all the masala powders and cook till oil seperates. Add enough salt and coconut milk. Pour 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Add vadas and cook the curry is semi-solid consistency.

Note: Before adding vadas , the gravy should be a little watery as the vadas will absorb all the water. If the gravy becomes thick , you can add somemore water to get it to the right consistency.

Chicken Chilli Masala

This dish has nothing to do with chilli chicken . Just another chicken curry. I named it 'chilli masala' as it is predominantly made with green chillies. It goes well with any mild pulav or rotis.

Chicken- 1/2 lb
onion- 1/2 (medium)
ginger- 1/2"
garlic- 3 pods
sombu- 1 tsp
jeera - 1/2 tsp
cloves- 2
green chillies- 8 or 10 (can be varied according to taste)
curry leaves- 10 leaves
tomato- 1 (medium)

Grind everything from onion to curry leaves into a smooth paste without adding water. Heat oil in kadai and fry the paste until the raw smell goes. Add some turmeric and cook until the color of the masala changes from green to a light brown color. Check for spice level. If you need it more spicy, you can add some chilli powder and saute for another 5 mins. Add tomatoes and cook till soft and oil starts seperating. Now add chicken to the masala and coat well. Add required salt and 1/2 cup water. Close pan and cook for 15 mins on medium to high heat. Then open the pan and reduce the gravy to desired consistency. Add curry leaves at the end.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Cabbage Poriyal

When I took pictures of my cabbage poriyal my " always" supporting hubby made a comment- " Wow. Very soon you are going to post how to boil water and how to make boiled eggs". I did not know what to say. Luckily I came across Injimanga's "cabbage thoran". I was so happy to see my exact thoughts being posted there. Thanks InjiManga.

Cabbage- 2 cups(shredded)
onion- 1/4 (chopped)
red chillies-2
curry leaves- few
coconut- 1/4 (shredded)

Heat oil and fry mustard seeds,urad dal and channa dal. Then fry onions,turmeric, red chillies and curry leaves . Now add cabbage and stir fry for sometime. Then add very little water and required salt.Cook till the vegetable is done but still crisp. Finally add shredded coconut and cook till dry.

Green Beans Subji

Green Beans- 2 cups(chopped)
onion- 1 (chopped)
curry leaves- few
tomato- 1 (chopped)
chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
cumin powder- 1/2 tsp
corriander powder- 3/4 tsp
curry powder- 1/4 tsp(optional)
tamarind- 3/4 th spoon
Heat oil in kadai and fry onions and curry leaves. Then fry tomatoes and all the masala powders until the raw smell goes. Put the beans and stir-fry for a few minutes. Then add tamarind paste and little water. cook till the beans are done but still crisp. Serve with rotis or with plain rice.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Peas Pulav

During my school days in India my grandmother used to make peas pulav on weekends. Boy oh boy , my tummy would start rumbling just smelling it cook. You could get the flavor in every bite. It was absolutely DELICIOUS.
I miss that taste even now. The version I make is good too, but definetly not upto my grandma's. But if you try this recipe you will surely not be disappointed. I can guarantee you that much.


Basmathi rice- 2 cups
cloves- 3
pattai- 1" piece
bay leaf- 1
rose mokku- 1
sombu- 1/2 tsp
peas- 1 1/2 cups
onion- 1/2 (sliced)
ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp
green chillies- 2 (chopped)
water- 4 cups

Heat equal parts of oil and ghee. Fry all the spices. Then add onions,ginger garlic paste and green chillies. When the onions gets cooked but does not change color add washed rice and fry for a few minutes. Then add peas, required water and salt. Close cooker and wait until vapour comes out of the cooker nozzle. Put vent on top,keep gas in medium and cook for 8 to 10 mins. Switch off gas. wait till done. open cooker, mix well and add chopped corriander leaves. Finally fry some cashews and add to rice.(I did not do it today , but adding cashews will make your rice look rich and definetly taste good).

Mushroom Kuzhambu

This is similar to any other curry except that we use pepper dominantly than chilli powder or green chillies. You can also used capsicum for an extra flavor. It tastes good with rotis and any flavored rice. This gravy is a quick fix especially if you have unexpected guests.

Mushrooms- 1 small pack
onion- 1 (medium,chopped)
ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp
red chilli- 1 (broken)
pepper- 1/2 to 3/4 spoon
corriander powder- 1/2 tsp
cumin powder- 1/2 tsp
garam masala- 1/4 tsp
Tomatoes- 1 (small,chopped)
curry leaves- few

Heat oil in kadai and fry onions, ginger garlic paste, red chilli and curry leaves. When onions are golden brown add tomatoes and all the masala powders. cook until raw smell goes. Add mushrooms and mix well. Pour 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil. you can add more water if you want. When the mushrooms are cooked check for seasonings and reduce to desired consistency.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Chocolate cake by Kavin

My son's teacher Miss Susan had asked me to involve him in baking so that he will have fun with the flour and eggs. Initially I was a little hesitant as I myself have done baking just twice so far , and that too muffins only. But when I saw him making brownies with his teacher I decided to try doing cake atleast for my son's sake. Still, I didn't get convinced. Finally Kavin made the cake with his teacher and I watched. All that I did was helping Kavin in frosting & decorating the cake.
This cake is on my blog to applaud my son's effort. Wondering why I'm bragging about my son so much? Yes...he is 3 years old and helps me in the kitchen. . I never did cooking until 22 years. So, I'm really proud of my son.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Chicken fry

This is similar to chilli chicken except that it's not fried. It is so simple that it can be done in 1/2 an hour. Sometimes, when I'm in a hurry I do not marinate it for only 10 mins. Still it turns out fine. But if you marinate it longer it definetly tastes better.

Chicken breast- 2
ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp
turmeric- 1/2 tsp
salt- as required
chilli powder- 1 tsp
chicken curry masala- 1/2 tsp
lemon juice- 1/2
vinegar - few drops
red color- a pinch
onion- 3/4 th (cubed)
green chillies- 4(make slits)
spring onions

Cut chicken into bite size pieces and marinate it with all the ingredients from ginger garlic paste to red color for atleast an hour. Heat little oil in kadai and fry the chicken pieces until 3/4 th cooked. You need not close the pan as the chicken can cook in its own water. Moreover the chicken cooks faster as it is in bite size pieces. When the chicken is almost dry add onions ,green chillies and saute for sometime. When the chicken is fully dry transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle some spring onions on top.

Egg Fried Rice

This is one of my the most favorite foods. Back in India, my sister and me would almost eat it everyday. We had a fast food restaurant close to home and we gave good business to them. After moving to US, I really missed the fried rice that I had in India. The rice we get in chinese restaurants were definetely not the same. In due course, I got accustomed to that taste also. For sometime I was doing the fried rice the chinese way. But soon I got tired of it. Then one day I went to an indian-chinese restaurant and had chicken fried rice. It was awesome and tasted similar to the one we have in India. After that I figured out the recipe and started doing it at home. Since then it is our family favorite.

Basmathi rice- 2 cups
baby carrots- 8 (can use regular carrot )
beans- 10
capsicum- 1/2
cabbage- 1/4 cup(shredded)
spring onions- 2 stalks
minced garlic- 2 tsp
eggs- 2
soy sauce- as required
sesame oil- 1 tsp

Cook rice with 4 cups of water. Spread on a big plate and cool. All the grains should be seperate. Heat oil and sesame oil together in a wok. when the oil is smoky hot add finely chopped carrots, beans and garlic. cook for 3 mins. Then add capsicum. fry a minute. Move the vegetables to one side of the kadai and add eggs to the wok. Scramble them after adding some salt and pepper. when done mix with vegetables. Do not over cook vegetables . It has to be crisp. Add rice,salt, soy sauce and 1/4 tsp pepper. Toss everything well. You can add crushed red pepper if you want the rice to be spicy.

If you want chicken fried rice, reduce the amount of vegatables and add cooked,shredded chicken. To make schezuan fried rice , add some chilli paste and tomato sauce.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Refresh your evening with this super fast , tasty and nutritious drink - Strawberry Banana Smoothie. I usually make mine with only strawberries. But the other day my friend Poonam had done the smoothie with banana. It tasted awesome. So I decided to give it a try and this is what I ended with.
I know that this is a pretty easy recipe and dosen't need much explanation. Moreover , many people have done this before. Still, this is for the budding chefs out there!

Strawberries- 1 cup
Banana- 1
Sugar - as needed
Milk- 2 cups

Put all the ingredients in a blender and grind till done. You can add more milk or less milk depending on the consistency you like.
Pour this in a tall glass and garnish with whipped cream and any other toppings of your choice. Serve cold.

Vazhai poo Kootu (Banana blossom kootu)

Vazhai poo is nothing but Banana blossom. It takes a while to clean the blossom and prepare it for chopping. Cleaning the blossom means discarding the stamen and sheath that is attached with it. We have to do this as the stamen and sheath tastes bitter. I know that the prep stage of the blossom needs more detailing. Will surely update with more pictures soon.
Once the preparation stage is over, chop them into small bits and put it immediately in butter-milk. If not the blossom will turn black. Cook the blossom with required salt and turmeric. set aside.

Note: I just came across some good pictures about the prep stage of Banana blossom in Revathi's en_ ulagam. Here is the link to it.


Banana blossom -1
butter milk- 1 1/2 cups
moong dal- 1/2 cup(cooked)
onion- 1 (chopped)
tomato-1 (chopped)
green chillies- 4

coconut- 1/4 cup
jeera seeds- 1 tsp

Heat oil in kadai and sesaon with mustard seeds and urad dal. Then fry onions and green chillies. Now put tomato and fry till soft. Add the ground coconut mixture and salt to tomato and pour some water. Bring to a boil. Add cooked moong dal and cooked blossom. Mix everything and boil for 5 to 10mins. Finally add curry leaves.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Potato chilli masala

Potatoes- 4 (boiled and peeled)
onion- 1 (big,chopped)
tomato- 1 (small,chopped)
garlic pods- 5
sambar powder- 1 tsp
chilli powder- 3/4 tsp
curry leaves
Heat oil in kadai and fry mustard seeds,urad dal and channa dal. Then fry onion,garlic and turmeric. After sometime add tomatoes ,sambar powder and chilli powder. fry for few minutes. Then add potato and mix well . Roast until done. Add curry leaves and corriander leaves.

Mor Kuzhambu

This is a south-indian vegetarian gravy that is served with plain rice. Any vegetable like brinjal, white pumpkin, sepan kizhangu, potato or even vadai can be used for this gravy.

yogurt- 1 1/2 cups
turmeric- 1/2 tsp
white pumpkin- 1 cup(chopped, cooked)

coconut-1/4 cup
ginger- 1" piece
jeera- 1 tsp
channa dal- 1tsp
corriander seeds- 1tsp
green chillies-4

Boil vegetable with turmeric and salt. set aside. Beat yogurt ,turmeric powder and salt until well blended. Grind everything from coconut to chillies. Mix this paste with yogurt mixture. Bring this just to a boil. Do not boil it or over heat it as the curd might curddle. Switch off gas and add the boiled vegetable. Check for seasonings. Heat oil in kadai and fry mustard seeds,hing, red chillies and curry leaves.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Prawns Thokku

Prawns- 30 (shelled,deveined)
onion- 1 (big,chopped)
ginger garlic paste- 2 tsp
tomato- 3/4 (big,chopped)
turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
sambar powder- 2 tsp
curry leaves

Heat oil in kadai and fry onions until golden brown. Then add ginger garlic paste and turmeric. Now add tomatoes, sambar powder and salt. When soft, add prawns and 1/2 cup water. Cook until half done. Add curry leaves. Remove lid and allow to dry until you reach the desired consistency.

Radish Poriyal

onion- 3 tbsp(chopped)
red chilli-1
moong dal- 1 tbsp
coconut- 1 1/2 tbsp(grated)
Heat oil in kadai and fry mustard seeds,urad dal,channa dal and red chilli. Then add onions,moong dal and turmeric. Now add radish ,salt and little water. When radish is almost cooked, remove lid from pan and allow all the water to evaporate. When dry add coconut and corriander leaves.

Mushroom matar subji

Mushrooms- 1 small pack(chopped)
potato- 1 (medium,chopped)
green peas- 1/2 cup
onion- 1 (medium,chopped)
ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp
tomato- 1(medium,chopped)
chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
cumin powder- 1/2 tsp
dhania powder- 3/4 tsp
curry masala powder- 1/2 tsp
coconut milk- 1/4 cup

Heat oil in kadai and fry onions, ginger garlic paste, potatoes and turmeric. When potatoes gets roasted a little bit add tomatoes and all the curry powders. Saute well and cook for 5 mins. Add mushrooms and peas. mix well. Pour required water and salt. Boil for 10 mins or till done. Open pan ,add coconut milk and reduce to required consistency. This dish can be served with rotis and dosas.

Fried Calamari

I wasn't a big seafood eater before marriage. But now I am. I love all kinds of fish,crabs and prawns. Recently, I had calamari in a Italian restaurant. I wouldn't say that I loved it. But it was ok. So, this weekend I asked my husband to experiment on calamari and the result is what I have posted here. It was similar to the one we had at the restaurant, but it was not spicy enough to satisfy my palate. Since it was our first try , I did not measure any ingredients. So, I'll post the recipe very soon after perfecting it. Until then... Happy Eating!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

French Toast

Saturday morning. Here is my hubby in the kitchen again to cook something for me. Bread and eggs are perfect. But to satisfy my sweet tooth I wanted french toast. I really don't know why this dish got this name. If anyone does, please enlighten me.
I had the toast with blueberry fruit preserves. It wasn't very sweet. Just perfect to go with the toast. I've read in some cookbook(don't remember the name) that you can add carmalized bananas top on of the toast, drizzle with some syrup and dust with powdered sugar. But I have not done it in that way, because my husband wouldn't load me up with extra calories. So, here is the recipe.

Bread slices- 4
eggs- 3
milk- 3 tbsp
sugar as required
cardamom powder- 1/2 tsp
butter- 1 tsp

Beat eggs with milk,sugar and cardamom powder. Heat tawa and season with butter. Dip bread on both sides into the egg mixture and put on tawa. cook on medium flame and turn when it is golden brown. Serve hot.

Green Gram Subji

Gram gram subji is a very versatile dish. One curry suits all. This can be had with chappathi, dosa,poori and even rice. A comfort food for even lazy days.

Green gram - 1 cup
onion- 1 (medium,chopped)
jeera seeds- 1/2 tsp
ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp
green chillies- 2
chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
corriander powder- 1/2 tsp
cumin powder- 1/4 tsp
tomato- 1 (big, chopped)
turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
coconut milk - 1/4 cup

Soak green gram for 5 to 6 hours and pressure cook for 1 whistle (depends upon the cooker;my cooker cooks in 1 whistle).
Heat oil in kadai and fry onion,jeera seeds,green chillies,curry leaves and ginger garlic paste. After 5 minutes add potatoes and roast until it turns golden brown. Now add tomatoes and cook till soft. Add all the masala powders and saute until all the masala smell goes. Now add 1 cup water and cooked green gram. Check for seasonings and consistency of gravy . Add coconut milk and more water if needed. Bring to a boil and switch off gas. Garnish with corriander leaves.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Onion Uthappam with Chandra chutney

Chandra Chutney...... Wondering what type of name is it? It's nothing but the name of the hotel that serves this chutney. This is very similar to onion chutney with only a small variation. Without giving a long story unlike my previous post , I'm going to the recipe straight away.

Onion Uthappam:

Take a laddle of dosa batter and spread on dosa tawa. Do not make it thin; uthappam has to be small and thick. Spread finely cut onions, corriander leaves and green chillies. Pour some oil on the sides. After sometime turn the dosa and cook until you get a nice golden color.

Chandra Chutney:
Onion - 1 (big, rough chop)
tomato- 2 (small, rough chop)
jeera seeds- little
red chillies- 5
coconut- 1/2 cup
Heat oil and fry jeera seeds, onion,red chillies and tomato. When tomato turns soft, add coconut and saute for few more minutes. cool and grind to a fine paste with required salt. Fry mustard seeds, urad dal, red chillies and curry leaves. pour over chutney.

Masala Dosai

As the recipe for potato masala has already been blogged, I'm just giving the recipe for dosa. When I started to write the recipe for dosa batter I thought for a minute....Should I have to write how I made my first dosa batter? After that, would people really consider me a cook and come visit my blog? I'm not sure. But whenever my husband remembers that incident , he has a hearty laugh and loves to elaborate on my ignorance.
So, here goes the story. My husband instructed me from office on soaking and grinding dosa batter. I followed his directions exactly. When he came home that night we went shopping , had dinner and went to bed. All of a sudden he remembered about the batter and asked for it. I took him to the kitchen to show what a good job I had done.
But what happened was...He put a hand on his head and said "Enna ma panna?" , which means ' what have you done?'.
Want to know what I did? I ground the rice and dal seperately and never mixed it together. I mixed salt with both , but they were in seperate containers. I kinda had a doubt when I did the grinding," How will I make one dosa with two batters?". But I just trusted my husband's words who thought I would know what to do if he just outlines the procedure. Ha Ha Ha.... Poor Guy. He never knew what he had gotten into.
Finally he mixed both the batters and went to sleep hoping to get some dosas out of the catastrophe I made. And must I add... we ended up in having good dosas from that day onwards. THE END.

Idlli rice- 4 cups
whole urad dal- 1 cup
methi seeds- 1/2 tsp

Wash rice and urad dal seperately atleast 4 or 5 times.Soak them seperately overnight with adequate water. Add methi seeds to urad dal.
The next day grind urad dal to butter stage adding water little by little. You can tell that the urad dal is done by touching it after dipping your hands in water. The batter should not stick. Remove urad dal batter from the grinder and pour in a vessel. Next grind rice to a little coarse and fine stage. I mean the batter should not be super fine . The little coarseness makes the dosa crispy. Remove rice batter and add to urad dal batter. Mix both with required salt and blend really really well. Allow it to ferment. The batter will rise after fermenting. Add water to make the batter in your desired consistency.
For dosas you need a thinner batter than for idllis. Pour a laddle of batter on the Dosa tawa, spread it and add oil on the sides. After a few minutes turn it on to the other side. When done , Turn again and spread potato masala on one side. Bring the other side of dosa up and close the stuffing. Cook for another minute and serve with chutney.

Poori and potato masala

In India, weekend breafasts would always be something extra special. One of them would be Poori masala. Wow...gone are those days. Just getting up and being served with hot food without even entering the kitchen. I wish I could rewind time.
But now,I still get the taste of the same poori masala except that I have to get up early (which I never like to do) and prepare things ahead of time.

I wish to share my story of how I made my first dough for poori. It was one of the first few days of my marriage when I wanted to impress my husband with my cooking. It was dinner time and I started to prepare the dough not knowing any measurements of flour and water. I kept on alternating flour and water to get the right consistency until I ended up in a quantity to feed a crowd.I kneaded the dough for 45 mins and my hands started to pain. Finally my husband came home to end my misery. We threw off everything and he prepared a new dough and fed me.
Did I mention ...My husband was the one who taught me everything about cooking. He fed me for one full month after our marriage and I faithfully took notes of what he did and here I am now....confidently posting my creations after 6 years of cooking experience.

Potato Masala
Boiled potatoes- 4(medium size)

onion- 1 (medium,sliced)
tomato-1 (medium,chopped)
ginger- few bits
green chillies- 5(chopped)
turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
curry leaves

Heat oil in kadai and splutter mustard seeds, urad dal and channa dal. Add onions,chillies,ginger,turmeric powder and curry leaves. Then put tomatoes and cook till soft. Now add mashed potatoes ,required salt and water. Bring to a boil. Serve with hot poori.

Atta - 1 cup
salt- as reqired
oil- 1tsp

Mix all with required water until you get a nice soft & thick dough. Take out small balls of the dough and spread it using a rolling pin. Puri has to be a little thick than what we do for chappathi. Heat oil in kadai and deep fry pooris.

Note: Now that I know how to make dough , I never measure the amount of water I use. Next time I will measure it and update it in this posting.

Coconut Chutney

Coconut chutney is my Dad's favorite dish. In India and especially in our town salem there is one hotel where they serve very good coconut chutney. I don't even remember the name of the hotel as we always called it as "chutney hotel". When we used to go out for dinner , my dad would always ask which hotel we wanted to go. Actually my sister and I would always crave for chinese items. But we would sometimes say ok to chutney hotel just to make our dad happy. My mom makes good chutney too...but according to my dad its never like the one at "chutney hotel". I always wonder what the secret ingredient is?

Chutney goes well with any south indian breakfat items like dosa,idlli,pongal or adai. It is the simplest of all chutneys.Anyway here is my version of coconu chutney...

Grated coconut- 1 cup
pottu kadalai- 1/4 cup
green chillies- 4
salt- as required

Grind all with required water. The end mixture must be a smooth paste. Heat oil in kadai and fry mustard seeds, urad dal, red chilly and curry leaves. Pour this over chutney and mix well. You can add water according to your prefernce to make the chutney thick or thin.

You can add curry leaves/ginger/red chillies when you grind chutney. Each produces a different flavor. But I like mine the usual way.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Spinach Ravioli with Mushrooms

Not in mood for an elaborate cooking? Here is something you can whip up really fast and elegant. Spinach Ravioli with Mushrooms!!! I have used store-bought ravioli and added some of my touches to make it suit my taste. This isn't exact science. Feel free to explore with any kind of vegees and pasta seasonings.

Ravioli- 20
onion- 1/2 (sliced)
mushrooms- 1 cup
spinach leaves- 1/2 cup
spring onions-1 stalk
pasta sauce - 1 cup
Pasta herb seasoning- 2 tbsp
crushed red pepper- as per taste
parmesan cheese - 2 tbsp (increase cheese if you want more)

Cook pasta according to package directions. The pasta is almost cooked when it floats on top. Drain pasta and put the seasoning on top so that it sticks to the hot pasta. Heat oil in pan and saute onions, mushrooms ,spinach and crushed red pepper. When the mushrooms are half done add pasta sauce and heat it throughly. Now add Ravioli, more seasoning(if you want),salt, spring onions and some olive oil. Mix well. Just before serving sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Sweet corn vegetable soup

Cream style or steamed corn- 1 cup
Baby carrots- 6 (finely chopped)
Beans- 10 (finely chopped)
onion- 1/4 (finely chopped)
garlic- 1 tsp(minced)
water - 4 cups
cornflour- 1 1/2 tbsp
sugar- 1/2 tsp (according to taste)
salt- as required

Saute onion and all other vegetables for 5 mins. Mix water and cornflour. Add required salt and sugar. Add cornflour mixture to vegetables and bring to a boil. Simmer to required consistency. Sprinkle spring onions on top.


This curry dosen't need much write-up. It is fast & easy to prepare. If you have a can of cooked red kidney beans , then the curry can be done in 20 mins. But here I soaked the kidney beans and cooked it in my pressure cooker for 2 whistles (add salt while cooking). So, here goes the recipe.

Rajma- 1 cup
onion- 1 (small,chopped)
tomato-1 (medium,chopped)
green chillies- 3
red chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
corriander powder- 1 tsp
cumin powder- 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
garam masala- 1/4 tsp
corriander- little
Heat oil in kadai and fry onions,ginger garlic paste & chillies . Then add tomatoes and all the masala powders. cook until tomatoes become tender. Now pour enough water and add cooked rajma. Mix well and boil to desired consistency.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Pal Khova

Milk sweets are one of my favorites. This sweet 'pal khova' requires a lot of patience. But the end result is really worth it. Usually, pal khova can be eaten as it is. But here I used some pista nuts which I added to the khova just before it is done. It really tasted good than using the nuts for garnish alone.

Milk- 1/2 lt
sugar- as required
pista- 2 tsp (chopped)
saffron- for garnish

Heat milk on medium to high flame until the milk reduces to 1/4th stage. Add sugar and continue to cook until the khova starts to leave the sides of pan. add 1 tsp ghee and nuts . stir well. Remove from pan and pour in cup. Garnish as desired.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Kothu Parotta & Pachidi

Yes...You might have guessed it right. Kothu parotta is my next post. With parottas and chalna in hand what better dish can I think of? So, here you go ...the recipe of my all time favorite.

cooked parotta- 3
onion- 1
ginger garlic paste- 1tsp
green chillies-3
turmeric- 1/4 tsp
curry leaves
chalna- 1 cup
Heat oil in kadai and fry pattai and cloves. Then add onions, ginger garlic paste, chillies,turmeric & curry leaves.When the onion gets cooked add tomato. saute for sometime. Then add parotta and fry for a minute. Now add eggs,salt and pepper. Blend everything together. When the egg is almost done add chalna and break eveything into small pieces using two spatulas. Check for seasonings. Finally add corriander leaves.