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Paalakura Vepudu Recipe

Palakura Vepudu with Potato Beans Stir fry and Pappu Pulusu

A favorite spinach stir fry prepared with just a handful of ingredients to bring out a delicious amalgamation of flavors. A mildly spiced dish with garlicky overtones. Goes well with rotis and rice. Check out another version of Spinach stir fry that I blogged a year ago.

Paalakura Vepudu Recipe
Prep & Cooking: 20-25 mts
Serves: 3-4
Cuisine: Andhra


  • 2 big bunches fresh spinach leaves (washed thoroughly and blanched in hot water for 3 mts)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • pinch turmeric pwd
  • pinch roasted methi pwd
  • pinch cumin pwd
  • 1/2 tsp coriander pwd
  • 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp red chilli pwd
  • salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 tbsps olive oil

For poppu/tadka/tempering:

  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 garlic flakes, crushed
  • 5-6 curry leaves


1 Chop the blanched spinach and keep aside.
2 Heat olive oil, add the cumin seeds and once they splutter, add the garlic flakes and curry leaves and saute for few secs.
3 Add the onions and saute till transparent, approx 4-5 mts. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute for 4 mts. Add salt, turmeric pwd, roasted methi pwd, coriander pwd, cumin pwd and red chilli pwd and combine well.
4 Add the chopped spinach leaves and saute for 8-10 mts. Turn off heat. Serve hot with rice.

Note: Use the left over blanched spinach water to prepare roti dough.

Carrot Koshimbir

Carrot Koshumbir
Carrot Koshumbir.

Kosambari is a salad like dish. Carrot kosambari is prepared with freshly grated carrots and coconut. Soaked moong dal is also added to the salad. The tossed salad is tempered with mustard seeds and green chiles. Carrot koshimbir is served fresh as a salad.
Makes: around 2 1/2 Cups of Carrot Koshimbir.


  • Carrots 3 – 4
  • Moong Dal 2 tbsps
  • Grated Coconut 1/2 Cup
  • Cilantro few Sprigs
  • Lemon Juice 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Green Chiles 2
  • Yellow Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar a small Pinch (optional)
  • Oil 1 tsp

Method of preparation:

Peel, remove ends and wash the carrots.
Grate them on thicker side of the grater.
Remove stems, wash and slice the green chiles.
Wash and roughly chop cilantro leaves.
Soak moong dal in water for half an hour.

In a mixing bowl, mix together grated carrots, soaked moong dal, grated coconut, cilantro, lemon juice, salt and sugar.

Heat oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds and slightly close the lid to let them crackle.
Then add green chiles and remove from heat and let it cool a little.
Add the tempering to the bowl and mix well.
Serve carrot koshumbir as a snack or salad or as a accompaniment to main course.
Notes: Make sure to serve carrot kosambir fresh.

Suggestions: Add more green chiles or finely chop the green chiles to spice up the kosambari. Yellow mustard seeds are used for a milder effect. Use brown or black if you wish.
Variations: Coconut oil can be used for tempering. Little plain yogurt can also be added. cumin seeds can also be used.
Other Names:Carrot Koshumbir, Carrot Koshimbir, Carrot Kosimbir, carrot kosambari, Carrot Kosumbir, carrot koshambari.

Heaven on a Dessert Plate

Although I had decided to give this months DB challenge a go , I did a complete turnaround when I read that 2 of my favourite bloggers were this months hosts.....
Nothing could stop me.
Not the never ending guests we had this month, not the diet I was on, not the painting deadline that was inching so close.

And I'm so happy I did try this lovely dessert that lives up to its name. It was delicious. Really!
I usually distribute everything I made to near and dear and not so dears..but this one we polished off on our own! I mean actually licked the plates clean!!!!It was excellent!!

I made the dessert over a period of 1 week...made the Savoiardi(Ladyfinger Biscuits) first, then the mascarpone cheese(I can NEVER thank you enough Deeba) and then yummy sauces.


The February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Deeba of Passionate About Baking. They chose Tiramisu as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home and Baking Obsession.

(Recipe source: Carminantonio's Tiramisu from The Washington Post, July 11 2007 )
This recipe makes 6 servings

For the zabaglione:

2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar/50gms
1/4 cup/60ml Marsala wine (or port or coffee)
1/4 teaspoon/ 1.25ml vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

For the vanilla pastry cream:
1/4 cup/55gms sugar
1 tablespoon/8gms all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5ml vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup/175ml whole milk

For the whipped cream:
1 cup/235ml chilled heavy cream (we used 25%)
1/4 cup/55gms sugar
1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5ml vanilla extract

To assemble the tiramisu:
2 cups/470ml brewed espresso, warmed
1 teaspoon/5ml rum extract (optional)
1/2 cup/110gms sugar
1/3 cup/75gms mascarpone cheese(see below)
36 savoiardi/ ladyfinger biscuits (see below)
2 tablespoons/30gms unsweetened cocoa powder

For the zabaglione:
Heat water in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, place a pot with about an inch of water in it on the stove. Place a heat-proof bowl in the pot making sure the bottom does not touch the water.
In a large mixing bowl (or stainless steel mixing bowl), mix together the egg yolks, sugar, the Marsala (or espresso/ coffee), vanilla extract and lemon zest. Whisk together until the yolks are fully blended and the mixture looks smooth.
Transfer the mixture to the top of a double boiler or place your bowl over the pan/ pot with simmering water. Cook the egg mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 8 minutes or until it resembles thick custard. It may bubble a bit as it reaches that consistency.
Let cool to room temperature and transfer the zabaglione to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

For the pastry cream:
Mix together the sugar, flour, lemon zest and vanilla extract in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. To this add the egg yolk and half the milk. Whisk until smooth.
Now place the saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from curdling.
Add the remaining milk a little at a time, still stirring constantly. After about 12 minutes the mixture will be thick, free of lumps and beginning to bubble. (If you have a few lumps, don’t worry. You can push the cream through a fine-mesh strainer.)
Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

For the whipped cream:
Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer or immersion blender until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Set aside.

To assemble the tiramisu:
Have ready a rectangular serving dish (about 8" by 8" should do) or one of your choice.
Mix together the warm espresso, rum extract and sugar in a shallow dish, whisking to mix well. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese with a spoon to break down the lumps and make it smooth. This will make it easier to fold. Add the prepared and chilled zabaglione and pastry cream, blending until just combined. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Set this cream mixture aside.

Now to start assembling the tiramisu.
Workings quickly, dip 12 of the ladyfingers in the sweetened espresso, about 1 second per side. They should be moist but not soggy. Immediately transfer each ladyfinger to the platter, placing them side by side in a single row.
You may break a lady finger into two, if necessary, to ensure the base of your dish is completely covered.
Spoon one-third of the cream mixture on top of the ladyfingers, then use a rubber spatula or spreading knife to cover the top evenly, all the way to the edges.

Repeat to create 2 more layers, using 12 ladyfingers and the cream mixture for each layer. Clean any spilled cream mixture; cover carefully with plastic wrap and refrigerate the tiramisu overnight.

To serve, carefully remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the tiramisu with cocoa powder using a fine-mesh strainer or decorate as you please. Cut into individual portions and serve.


474ml (approx. 500ml)/ 2 cups whipping (36 %) pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized), preferably organic cream (between 25% to 36% cream will do)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a wide skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the water is barely simmering. Pour the cream into a medium heat-resistant bowl, then place the bowl into the skillet. Heat the cream, stirring often, to 190 F. If you do not have a thermometer, wait until small bubbles keep trying to push up to the surface.
It will take about 15 minutes of delicate heating. Add the lemon juice and continue heating the mixture, stirring gently, until the cream curdles. Do not expect the same action as you see during ricotta cheese making. All that the whipping cream will do is become thicker, like a well-done crème anglaise. It will cover a back of your wooden spoon thickly. You will see just a few clear whey streaks when you stir. Remove the bowl from the water and let cool for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, line a sieve with four layers of dampened cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Transfer the mixture into the lined sieve. Do not squeeze the cheese in the cheesecloth or press on its surface (be patient, it will firm up after refrigeration time). Once cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (in the sieve) overnight or up to 24 hours.
Keep refrigerated and use within 3 to 4 days.

(Source: Recipe from Cordon Bleu At Home)
This recipe makes approximately 24 big ladyfingers or 45 small (2 1/2" to 3" long) ladyfingers.

3 eggs, separated
6 tablespoons /75gms granulated sugar
3/4 cup/95gms cake flour, sifted (or 3/4 cup all purpose flour + 2 tbsp corn starch)
6 tablespoons /50gms confectioner's sugar,


Preheat your oven to 350 F (175 C) degrees, then lightly brush 2 baking sheets with oil or softened butter and line with parchment paper.
Beat the egg whites using a hand held electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gradually add granulate sugar and continue beating until the egg whites become stiff again, glossy and smooth.
In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks lightly with a fork and fold them into the meringue, using a wooden spoon. Sift the flour over this mixture and fold gently until just mixed. It is important to fold very gently and not overdo the folding. Otherwise the batter would deflate and lose volume resulting in ladyfingers which are flat and not spongy.
Fit a pastry bag with a plain tip (or just snip the end off; you could also use a Ziploc bag) and fill with the batter. Pipe the batter into 5" long and 3/4" wide strips leaving about 1" space in between the strips.
Sprinkle half the confectioner's sugar over the ladyfingers and wait for 5 minutes. The sugar will pearl or look wet and glisten. Now sprinkle the remaining sugar. This helps to give the ladyfingers their characteristic crispness.
Hold the parchment paper in place with your thumb and lift one side of the baking sheet and gently tap it on the work surface to remove excess sprinkled sugar.
Bake the ladyfingers for 10 minutes, then rotate the sheets and bake for another 5 minutes or so until the puff up, turn lightly golden brown and are still soft.
Allow them to cool slightly on the sheets for about 5 minutes and then remove the ladyfingers from the baking sheet with a metal spatula while still hot, and cool on a rack.
Store them in an airtight container till required. They should keep for 2 to 3 weeks.

Curried Cabbage with Whole Masoor

Evenings in my kitchen sound something like this:

Me to Desi: "So what would you like for dinner tonight?"
Desi: "Kuch bhi chalega" (Anything will do)
Me: How about something light, like an upma?
Desi: Mmmmm...okay. (Translation: Not really)
Me: It's too late for dosas, but what about some sambar and rice and bhaji, although you just had that yesterday.
Desi: Fine
(Translation: No)
Me (hopefully): Potato chips and cookies?
Desi: No!
Me: Okay baba, I'll just come up with something on my own, but don't complain later.
Desi: I can't promise that!

As you can tell, I don't get much help in picking out what to cook from my picky eater. And left to my own devices, I tend to think up recipes as I peer into the vegetable bin in my refrigerator at what's still there and not yet growing something.

This week, with barely an hour to put dinner together, I pulled out an uninspiring half a head of cabbage (left over after making this paruppu usili) that I knew I had to use up fast. Then I peered into my bean and lentil pantry.

Voila, a jar of whole masoor that I hadn't touched in a while!Desi: Fine. (Translation: No)Me: "No, really, tell me. Would you like something quick, like an upma?"

I love masoor which is a really pretty-to-look-at and rich-flavored lentil that does extraordinarily well when teamed with vegetables and spices. So Cabbage Masoor Curry it was for dinner.And what a great idea that was!

I saved a lot of time by cooking up the masoor in a pressure cooker along with the cabbage and a few spices. The cabbage cooked up into buttery-soft goodness, and all I had to do was saute some onions and the sambar powder and add it to the dal.

So here's the recipe, and here's looking forward to the two best days of the week: Saturday and Sunday!

Enjoy, all!

Cabbage Masoor Curry
(Makes eight very hearty servings)


  • 1/2 head of a large cabbage, cut into medium to thin shreds
  • 3/4 cup whole masoor (These are round brown lentils with a pink interior that cooks up yellow-- you can easily find them at any Indian grocery store. I often see cooks confuse them with French Puy lentils, but they are not the same. Masoor is nuttier, while puy lentils are mottled and smaller and tend to be peppery-tasting.)
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 6-7 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 heaping tbsp sambar powder
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp canola or other vegetable oil

Place all the ingredients other than the sambar powder, onions and canola oil in a pressure cooker and cook until really tender. If you don't have a pressure cooker, place the ingredients in a large pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, turn the heat so the mixture just simmers, and cook until the lentils are really tender (this may take almost an hour).

Heat the oil in another skillet.

Add the onions and saute until they start to brown.

Add the sambar powder and stir it to mix, about 1 minute.

Add the onions and sambar powder to the cooked masoor and cabbage.

Add salt to taste.

Pineapple Lassi

If anyone ask me wat u want to drink my choice always goes to sweet lassi, just love them..Those refreshing drinks are really healthy and prefect drink when its too hot, needless to say that lassi is drink prepared basically with yogurt either with salt and herbs or with fruits and sugar, its our desi style of smoothie, yesterday i prepared this simple desi smoothis with few pineapple chunks and honey which tastes delicious together and we enjoyed having...Easy pineapple smoothie goes directly to PJ's No Cook Event..

  • 1cup Pineapple chunks
  • 2cups Yogurt
  • 1/4cup Milk
  • 1/4cup Water
  • 2tbsp Honey or Sugar
  • Icecubes
Blend together pineapple chunks, honey or sugar, milk, water , yogurt and ice cubes..blend well for few seconds until they turns frothy...

Serve them chilled!!!!


Protein rich healthy dry recipe made of sprouted green gram
Preparation Time : 10-15 minutes
Cooking Time : 15-20 minutes
Servings : 4


  • Sprouted Green gram 2 cups
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil 1 tablespoon
  • Asafoetida a pinch
  • Onion , finely chopped 1 medium
  • Ginger, chopped 1/2 inch piece
  • Green chillies, chopped 2
  • Tomato, finely chopped 1 medium
  • Dry mango powder (amchur) 1 teaspoon
  • Fresh coriander leaves, chopped 2 tablespoons


Blanch the moong sprouts in plenty of boiling water with a pinch of salt for about three to four minutes. Drain. Heat oil in a pan. Add asafoetida and onion and sauté for two minutes. Add ginger and green chillies and continue to sauté for another minute. Add tomato and sauté for two to three minutes. Add the sprouts, salt and dry mango powder and stir. Cook on medium heat for two to three minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

Recipe Tip :
Chef’s tip: This is a dry dish. Take care that the moong grains remain separate.

Recipe Source - sanjeevkapoor

Corguette Pachadi (Vegetable in yoghurt) by Sher


  • 3 medium size Courgettes (grated rough)
  • 3/4 cup grated coconut
  • 3 green chillies
  • few curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 tsp cummin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1.5 cups yoghurt
  • salt to taste

  1. Blend together coconut, green chillies, curry leaves and cummin seeds
  2. In a vessel heat up oil and splutter mustard seeds
  3. Add the blended mix and fry for a little while
  4. Add in grated corguette, fry a little more
  5. Turn off flame and let it cool a bit
  6. Add yoghurt and salt and mix well
  7. Serve and enjoy

Serving suggestion: This dish could be part of the salad family and hence can be had either with rice and curry, with rice alone or with rotis...
Pachadi is a vegetarian preparation of Kerala origin and forms part of the 22-dish festive Onam meal

Mooli Paratha

Mooli Paratha
Mooli Paratha.

Mooli paratha is a well known paratha made by stuffing wheat dough with grated daikon. White radish is grated and mixed with spices and herbs. A dough is prepared with just the wheat flour. The grated radish is stuffed into wheat dough and rolled into thick parathas. The mooli paratha is cooked on flat pan until its golden brown in color.
Makes: around 3 Servings of Mooli Paratha.


White Radish / Daikon 5 – 6 inch long
Wheat Flour 1 1/2 Cups
Red Chile Powder 1/2 tsp or Green Chiles 2 minced
Ajwain a pinch
Cilantro few Sprigs
Salt to taste
Oil as required

Method of preparation:

Wash and finely chop the cilantro.
Peel, remove ends and grate the white radish.
Apply half a tsp of salt to the grated radish and leave aside for 15 – 20 minutes.
Squeeze off the water from the radish and reserve the water.
Alternatively, just use the freshly grated white radish.

Knead wheat flour into somewhat tight dough with few pinches of salt, reserved mooli water and enough fresh water.
Keep the dough covered with wet kitchen towel for half an hour.
Divide the dough into 3 – 4 portions.

In a mixing bowl, mix together grated radish, red chile powder or green chiles, ajwain, cilantro and salt.

Take each portion of wheat dough, press it a little to form a small disk.
Take a tbsp of the white radish mixture and place it on the disk.
Now bring together the edges and press it to form a ball.
Carefully knead each dough ball into 5 – 7 inch diameter disc with help of a rolling pin.
Repeat the same with remaining wheat dough portions.

Heat a flat griddle on medium heat, brush half a tsp of oil all over the griddle.
Place the paratha on hot griddle and let it turn golden brown.
Add quarter tsp of oil on uncooked side and turn it over to let it cook.
When both sides are cooked properly, remove radish paratha onto a plate.
Repeat the same with remaining rolled out paratas.
Serve hot mooli paratha with raita of your choice.
Notes: You can make even thicker parathas if you wish.

Suggestions: If the paratha is not cooked properly, put them back on the flat pan and cook till its done. If the stuffing tends to come out while rolling the dough, apply a thin layer of wheat dough to patch it. Or make sure to stuff just enough stuffing.
Variations: You can also add your choice of spices to the grated white radish if you wish. Like, garam masala, amchur powder, chopped onion etc.. You can also mix the grated radish mixture along with the wheat flour instead of stuffing it.
Other Names: Mooli Paratha, Daikon Parata, White Radish Flat Bread.

Subzis for Siri ~ Fennel Flavored, Mixed Vegetable Subzi

Today's recipe is for Siri. Not one but for two Siris. One is my sister and the other one being Siri of Siri's Corner. She is guest hosting Indira's Jihva this month and the theme ingredient is Fennel Seeds.

A couple of years ago, we had a subzi with rotis at the local Swami Narayan Temple, which they were selling under the name of some shaak. Shaak is the Gujarati name for the subzi / curry.
It had cluster beans, yams and some other unrecognizable veggies with oodles of sugar added. Though sweeter to my taste, the assortment of vegetables in some unfamiliar gravy had an appealing flavor. It was quite different from the subzis I had eaten earlier. I attempted to recreate that subzi a few days later at home since I happened to like it.
Though I didn’t know what went into it, my taste buds gave a vague idea about the spices that may have created the magic. I played a little with the spices in my pantry and created this subzi. It turned out quite well and though not exact, but almost tasted similar to the temple dish. Though many spices are used, fennel seeds stand out with the aroma and flavor they impart to this dish.
This is only an inspired dish from the temple kitchen and not the original one. I therefore have taken the liberty of a cook and have used my choice of veggies and spices.
Hope you would give a try.

Ingredients that would serve 5-6 people:
  • Chopped onions & tomatoes (I used 2 each, small sized ones)
  • Chopped vegetables - about 3 cups (I used carrots, potatoes, Green beans, peas and edamame)
  • Salt - 1.5 tsp
  • Canola Oil / peanut oil - 1 Tbsp
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
For the paste: 1 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp poppy seeds, Seeds from 2 cardamom pods, 2 cloves, 2 small pieces of cinnamon, a small piece of ginger, 3 small sized green chilies of medium heat, 1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves and 3 tbsp of shredded fresh coconut

Heat oil in a kadai or deep-based sauté pan. Add the cumin seeds and when they start to sizzle, add the onions and turmeric powder. Cook on slow flame, stirring in between till onion turns translucent. Then add the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring. Add all the vegetables and add sufficient water so that all the vegetables are covered in water. Cook on high flame till the vegetables are done. Keep an eye and add extra water, if needed. Vegetables must be tender but still hold their shape.
Mean while; grind all the ingredients mentioned in the list adding a little water. Add the paste and salt. If the subzi seems dry, a little water can be added at this point.
Let the vegetables simmer for about 5 minutes on slow flame so that all the flavors mingle.
Serve hot with rotis.

Thai Style Prawn With Bean Sprouts/Gung Pad Too Gnooh

I had this prawn with bean sprouts once in a restaurant from that day onwards i have completely fallen to this fantastic, crunchy and healthy stir fry..I tried the same at home and this dish needs hardly few minutes to cook up and its really a delicious side dish when served along with hot steaming thai rice or with our simple basmati rice...Real feast for Thai food lovers and this is really a quick stir fry to prepare and even a novice non vegetarian cook can prepare this stir fry quickly and easily...If u dont like prawns in this stir fry u can either go for chicken chunks or for tofu cubes, both together works out wonder too...Coz of the bean sprouts, this stir fry tastes crunchy, filling,healthy and delicious...

  • 25nos Prawns (i used the big ones)
  • 5nos Garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1tbsp Rice vinegar
  • 2cups Bean sprouts
  • 2tbsp Dark Soya sauce
  • 1tbsp Oyster sauce
  • 2tbsp Fish sauce
  • 1tbsp Corn flour
  • Salt
  • 2nos Garlic chives(chopped)
  • Sesame oil
Heat the sesame oil and fry the garlic until they turns slightly brown, add the washed and deveined prawns and stir fry for few minutes,add the rice vinegar and stir again, now add the bean sprouts, saute for fes minutes, mix together the soya saucee, corn flour,oyster sauce, fish sauce and add this mixture to the cooking prawn and bean sprouts, put off the stove once the sauces gets thickens..

Serve immediately the stir fry topped with garlic chives!!

Elumichham Pazham Quinoa - Lime Quinoa

Quinoa is the South American (originated in Peru) grain which has entered and stayed in my kitchen for quite a while now. It doesn't have any distinct taste of its own. As a result, it can be tweaked into any recipe without giving too much contrast. Besides it has a great texture. I am on a mission to try out Quinoa in all Indian fried rice/pulaos recipes.

Now, I found this recipe Elumichham Pazham Saadham in my pressure cooker recipe book. By using the method of elimination (remember that analytical section of GRE, anyone?;-), I replaced "saadham" by quinoa. I meant to say Lime Quinoa. Did I do ok?

Elumichham Pazham Quinoa
Lime Quinoa

  • 1 1/4 cup quinoa
  • salt to taste
  • 2 limes, freshly squeezed

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp urad daal
  • 1 - 2 red chilies, halved
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, torn
  • 2 tbsp raw, unsalted peanuts

1. Cook quinoa in double amount of water. Set aside to cool down completely.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients for tempering. Saute till urad daal turns golden and peanuts appear crispy.
3. Switch gas to lowest. Add salt and lime juice. Quickly stir in the cooked and cooled quinoa.
4. Stir to mix well.

1. You can increase or decrease the amount of lime juice depending on the desired tartness.

Beans Pakodi Kura ~ French beans Fritters Stir fry

Beans Pakodi Kura

Another of Amma’s speciality dishes. Similar to Crispy Dondakaya (Ivy Gourd/Tindora), that was appreciated by many of you dear readers, but with a slight variation. Makes for a very good side with rice and rasam or sambar. The beans pakodi are delicious on their own, but when tossed in the curry leaves infused seasoning, intensifies the flavor making it addictive. I added a dash of coriander powder towards the end for extra oomph.

Beans Pakodi Kura Recipe
Recipe Source: Amma
Prep: 30 mts
Serves: 4 persons


  • 250 gms /1/4 kg French beans, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • oil for deep frying

For coating/batter:

  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 2 tbsps besan/chick pea flour/sengapindi
  • 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli pwd


  • 2-3 tsps oil
  • 1/2 tsp finely minced ginger
  • 3/4 tsp finely minced garlic
  • 2 green chillis, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh curry leaves
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • pinch of red chilli pwd
  • 3/4 tsp coriander pwd
  1. Wash french beans, nip the ends. Slice them into 1/2″ pieces.
  2. Heat oil for deep frying in a heavy bottomed vessel. As the oil is heating, get the coating ready. In a vessel, add chopped french beans, corn flour, besan, salt, ginger garlic paste and chilli pwd. Sprinkle little water and combine well such that french beans are just coated, lightly. Very little water is required.
  3. Once the oil is hot, reduce heat to medium high flame, slowly drop the batter coated french beans into the oil and deep fry to a golden shade. Remove onto absorbent paper.
  4. Heat a vessel, drizzle some oil, add ginger and garlic and saute for a half a mt. Add the green chillis and curry leaves and fry for few secs till the aroma emanates the kitchen. Add the chopped onions and saute on high for 3-4 mts. Add chilli pwd and combine well. Add the crispy french beans and stir fry on high for a mt. Add coriander pwd and toss. Serve hot as a snack or a vepudu with rice and rasam/sambar.

Poppy Seeds Powder

Poppy Seeds Powder
Gasa Gasala Podi.

Poppy seeds powder is a spice powder usually accompanied with steamed rice or with idly, dosa etc. It is prepared by first dry roasting the poppy seeds until light golden color. Then, grind them with other roasted ingredients and spices for a fine poppy seeds powder.
Makes: around 3/4 Cup of Poppy Seeds Powder.


Poppy Seeds 1/2 Cup
Sesame Seeds 1 tsp
Urad Dal 1 tbsp
Whole Red Chiles 3 – 5
Salt to taste
Oil 1/2 tsp

Method of preparation:

Heat a pan on medium heat, separately roast poppy seeds, sesame seeds and urad dal till light golden color.
Heat oil in a pan on medium heat, add whole red chiles.
Fry red chiles for couple of seconds until aromatic and just crisp.

Cool all the roasted ingredients to room temperature.
First grind poppy seeds and sesame seeds into fine powder using a spice grinder.
Then add all the other ingredients and grind into fine powder along with salt.
Store poppy seeds powder tight in a jar and serve with steamed rice and dollop of ghee or with idly etc.
Notes: Make sure not to burn any of the ingredients while roasting.

Suggestions: If the poppy seeds powder is not spicy enough, add some red chile powder.
Variations: You can also add a tsp of coriander powder for heat.
Other Names: Poppy Seeds Powder, Gasagasala Podi, Khus Khus Powder.

Greengram Sprouts Salad

Here is a simple salad which can be be part of a meal or can be eaten as a snack. I have given the measurements just as a guideline and they can be altered according to one's need.

What you would need for 2-3 servings:
1 cup greengram sprouts
1 small sized onion
1 small sized tomato
Salt to taste
Juice extracted from half of a lime / lemon
Chat masala / Garam masala / Ground pepper to taste

Finely chop the onion and tomato and add them to the sprouts. Sprinkle salt and chat masala / the spice of your choice. Squeeze the lemon juice. Mix well and serve.
Chat masala and garam masala, the warming spice mix from Northern India are sold in Indian grocery shops.

Broccoli Pulao With Vangibhath Powder

Needless to say that how healthy broccolis are, its recommended to take often this green beauties in our daily menus which am trying to follow while preparing our's menu...After trying out many dishes with broccoli florets, here am again with this spicy, delicious and prefect lunch box menu broccoli pulao which is prepared by cooked coconut flavoured rice and sauteed along with onions and broccoli florets with store bought vangibhath powder which my sister send me before few months back, the store bought vangibhath powder works out wonder with this green beauties and our lunch with this antioxydant green beauties turned out really fantastic and delicious, its quite a prefect and best way to feed whoever hates broccoli florets...Am sending this spicy broccoli pulao to RV& Sudeshna's FF7SOL-Tiffin Box...

  • 2cups Rice
  • 1cup Thick Coconut milk +3cups Water
  • 1tbsp Oil
  • Wash and cook the rice with coconut milk, water and oil...once they get cooked, keep aside and let them cool..
  • 25nos Broccoli florets
  • 2tsps Vangibhath powder
  • 1no Onion( large and chopped finely)
  • 2nos Bay leaves
  • 1tsp Cumin seeds
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • 2tbsp Chopped coriander leaves


Heat enough oil and fry the bay leaves and cumin seeds, add immediately the chopped onions and saute until the onions turns transculent...meanwhile cook the broccoli florets with few water and salt in microwave oven for 5minutes in high, dont over cook the veggies, drain the excess of water...once the onions turns transculent, add the cooked broccolis, stir for few minutes and add immediately the vangibhath powder and salt, cook everything in simmer and finally add the already cooked rice and toss gently everything until the rice get well mixed..

Finally add the chopped coriander leaves and enjoy with papads or any raitas!!

MW Hot & Sour Tofu Soup

Soups are always welcome that to for dinner if the weather is too chilled and rainy, its raining too much and we are almost not able to go around coz of this chilled and nasty weather also i was bored to cook for dinner, yesterday i tried out making this hot and sour soup with tofu cubes and some leftover corn kernels for dinner through microwave oven, its turns really prefect, hot and fantastic...We enjoyed having this soup which suits increibly prefect for this rainy evenings and we loved it, this soup goes for simple ingredients and tastes too fantastic..Easy soup to prepare through microwave oven and also tasty soup to enjoy...This simple tofu soup goes directly to Sara's inbox as she is hosting this month's MEC-Soups, event by Srivalli...

  • 1cup Tofu cubes
  • 1/4cup Corn kernels
  • 2cups Vegetable stock water
  • 2tsp Soya sauce
  • 1tsp Ginger(minced)
  • 1tsp Garlic (minced)
  • 1tsp Green chilli sauce
  • 1/2tsp White vinegar
  • 2tsp Tomato ketchup
  • 1/4tsp White pepper powder
  • 2cups Water
  • 2tsp Corn flour
  • 1tsp Green onions/garlic chives
  • Salt
  • Sesame Oil

Marinate the tofu cubes with soya sauce, ketchup,chilli sauce with few drops of sesame oil, let them sit for few minutes..Heat sesame oil in a microwave safe bowl in high for 2minutes, add the garlic, ginger pieces and cook them for 3minutes in high, now add the marinated tofu cubes,corn kernels and cook again for 5 minutes in add 2 cups of vegetable stock water, cook for 15minutes (stir in between twice) finally add the white vinegar n white pepper powder..

Mix enough water to the corn flour n make them as thin batter..add this batter to the cooking soup, cook for two more minutes in high, now the soup will be thick, garnish with green onions and serve hot..

Watercress Masoor

Honestly speaking, I was all set to make this masoor palak. But at the last minute I realized that I was out of spinach. I mean I didn't even have any frozen spinach in the freezer. But instead, I had a fresh bunch of watercress. Voila! A wonderful new dish was created. Watercress has a spicy flavor that goes very well with the malvani bhazka masala (roasted masala) and masoor.

Watercress Masoor

  • 2 cups masoor sprouts or 1 cup soaked masoor/lentil
  • 1 bunch watercress, roughly chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp oil for roasting

*Roast and grind (See instructions below)

  • 1/2 onion, sliced (approx = 1/2 cup sliced onion)
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic (approx 1 tbsp chopped)
  • 1 tsp Malvani Masala (or per taste)
  • 1/2 tsp tamarind pulp
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida

1. Pressure cook lentils and set aside
2. Heat oil in a cast iron or iron pan. Roast onion and garlic till they are brown but not burnt. Take out and set aside. Add coconut and fry till it is brown. Grind all the roasted ingredients along with 2 tbsp cooked masoor and malvani masala.
3. Heat oil for tempering in a saucepan. Add onion, asafoetida and turmeric powder. Saute till onion is soft. Add chopped watercress. Saute till the watercress is wilted.
4. Now lightly mash the masoor. Add it to the watercress mixture. Also add the ground masala.
5. Add water to adjust the consistency of the curry. Add salt. Bring to boil.
6. Switch the gas to low. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Cover.
7. Serve with chapati, bhakri or rice.

Note -
1. If you do not have malvani masala, use 1/2 tsp garam masala and 1/2 tsp chili powder. Adjust the chili powder depending on the desired heat.

Masoor Palak

Masoor Palak
Spinach Lentil Curry

  • 1 bunch spinach, rinsed, boiled
  • 2 cups masoor/lentil sprouts, pressure cooked
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp jaggery
  • 3-4 kokum
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala or kitchen king masala or malvani masala

Roast & grind
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh or dessicated coconut

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped onion

Suggested Accompaniments
  • Rice Bhakri
  • or plain rice

1. Grind boiled spinach to make a coarse paste.
2. Roast and grind onion and coconut and keep aside.
3. Heat oil in a saucepan. Stir in onion and saute till soft.
4. Now add sprouts, spinach, salt, jaggery, turmeric powder, chili powder and garam/kitchen king/malvani masala.
5. Add ground masala & 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to boil.
6. Simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust the gravy according to the required consistency.

1. Keep spinach paste coarse. Do not make a fine paste.

Mughlai Cuisine Recipes and food

Mughals and Mughlai Food

Mughals invaded India on sixteenth century. They brought exotic spices, dried fruit and nuts and new cooking methods. 'Mughlai' dishes as they are called have lots of milk and cream with spices to make rich and spicy meal. Mughlai cuisine includes many famous dishes such as Kormas, Pasandas and Birianies and Pilaus. In the north and the west, Kashmiri and Mughlai cuisines show strong central Asian influences. Through the medium of Mughlai food, this influence has propagated into many regional kitchens. To the east, the Bengali and Assamese styles shade off into the cuisines of East Asia

biryani1 mughlai food

The influence of the Mughal rulers who ruled India is perhaps most felt in their food. A major contribution towards this is the tandoor which is an earthen oven, used to make rotis and kababs, which are pieces of meat marinated in spices and skewered over a coal tandoor. Some of the famous Mughlai dishes include tandoori chicken, seekh and boti kabab and even tandoori fish.

Royal Mughal Emperors food recipes

Mughlai cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines, whose origin can be traced back to the times of Mughal Empire. Mughlai cuisine consists of the dishes that were prepared in the kitchens of the royal Mughal Emperors. Indian cuisine is predominantly influenced by the cooking style practiced during the Mughal era. Mughlai food is quite spicy and has a very unique aroma. On eating Mughlai food, one can get a feel of the ground spices. The spices used in the preparation of Mughlai food are easily accessible.

muslim mugal cuisine food recipe
Mughlai food is especially preferred in Northern parts of the country. Some of the Mughlai dishes have Muslim names such as biryani, pulao, kebabs, kofta. This is suggestive of the strong influence of Muslim cooking style. The Mughals have truly left a long lasting influence on India, which is also reflected in the cuisine of India. Mughlai food occupies a commanding position in the popular cuisines of India.
The rich preparation of Mughlai food consisting of flavored sauces and butter based curries is so tempting that food lovers are bound to crave for more and more food. Mughlai food offers an amazingly delicious variety of food ranging from hot spicy shorba or soup to ginger based roasted meats to kulfi with rose petals sprinkled on it. Even, the names of the Mughlai food are so attractive that a person gets tempted to try out different dishes.

Hyderabadi_Biryani vegetaranian mughals recipe

Mughlai cuisine in india

Though, Mughlai food is cooked in all parts of the country, but the best feel of this cuisine can be had only in Delhi, which specializes in the preparation of this royal cuisine. In the 16th century, India was invaded by Mughals, who introduced the exotic spices, nuts and fruits to India. Also, the Indians got an opportunity to learn new techniques of cooking. In the preparation of most of the Mughlai dishes, milk and cream is used liberally. Mughlai Biriyanies, Pasandas, Kormas and Pulao are so enticing and yummy that people usually end up licking their fingers.

Mughlai food is very rich, its sauces consisting of curd, cream and crushed nuts like cashew. The biryani from the kitchens of the nawabs of Hyderabad, is a flavoured and spiced rice cooked with ghee and chicken or meat, and is a meal-in-a-dish eaten with raitha and salad. Aromatic spices and ghee make Mughlai food a very rich form of cuisine.

mughlai-cuisine india royal

Popular Mughlai Recipes

  • Aloo Ka Raita
  • Badaam Halwa
  • Carrot And Capsicum Raita
  • Chaamp Masala (Lamb Chops Curry)
  • Chicken Biryani
  • Chicken Korma
  • Chicken Tikka
  • Chole or Chane
  • Jhinga Malai Curry (Creamy Prawn Curry)
  • Kesar Chawal
  • Murgh Achaari
  • Naan (Indian Bread)
  • Palak Gosht
  • Palak Paneer
  • Paneer Tamatari
  • Seekh Kebabs
  • Tandoori Chicken Legs (Grilled Chicken Drumsticks)
  • Biryani

indian- mughlai non-veg

Ragda Patties

Ragda Patties

Ragda is a popular Indian street food made with dried yellow peas. It is generally paired with potato patties for “ragda patties”. Potato is boiled and mashed with other spices to form into patties and either deep fried or shallow fried till light golden brown. It is generally served layered with green chutney and tamarind chutney.
Makes: 1 Serving of Ragda Patties


For Patties:

  • Potato 2
  • Corn Flour 1 tsp
  • Ginger 1/2 inch Piece
  • Green Chiles 1
  • Lemon Juice 1/2 tsp
  • Mint Leaves few Sprigs
  • Cilantro few Sprigs
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil as required

To Serve:

  • Ragda 1 Cup
  • Green Chutney 1 tbsp
  • Tamarind Chutney 1 tsp
  • Onion for garnish
  • Cilantro for garnish

Method of preparation:

Peel and mince the ginger
Remove stem, wash and finely chop the green chiles.
Wash and finely chop the cilantro and mint leaves.

Wash the potatoes and cut them into halves.
Bring few cups of water to boil in a sauce pot.
Add halved potatoes and boil them till cooked and just soft.
Cool the potatoes a bit and remove the peel.
Break the potatoes into crumbles with help of hands and thoroughly mash the crumbled potatoes.

In a mixing bowl, mix together potatoes, corn flour, ginger, green chiles, mint, cilantro, lemon juice and salt.
Take a big lemon sized portion of the potato mixture and form into ball and lightly flatten with help of hands.
Repeat the same with remaining mixture.

Heat a flat pan on medium heat, grease the pan with little oil.
Place the patties on the pan and drizzle little oil on each one.
Fry the potato patties on both sides till light golden brown on both sides.

To serve,
Peel and finely chop the onion.
Wash and finely chop the cilantro leaves.
In a serving plate, place the potato patties, pour ragda over them.
Garnish with cilantro and onion and layer it with green and tamarind chutney.
Serve ragda patties immediately.
Notes: You can store patties, ragda and chutneys in refrigerator and assemble when necessary.

Suggestions: For more gravy, add more ragda to the plate. Add garlic chutney for spice.
Variations: You can also add boiled potato to the radga. You can also garnish ragda patties with sev. Patties also be made with peas, corn, paneer, arvi, mixed vegetables etc..
Other Names: Ragda Patties, Ragda Patis.

Methi/Fenugreek Seeds Dal

If u r searching something like simple dal for a quick lunch with healthy stuffs, u will definitely like this easy and healthy also comforting methi seeds dal, which doesnt need neither chopping or sauting the veggies...This is an easy dal prepared with toor dal and methi seeds steam cooked both together and tempered with ghee, mustard seeds,dry red chillies,urad dal ,asafoetida powder and curry leaves...Initially i felt that making dal with methi seeds would tastes definitely bitter but dal and methi seeds together worked out wonder and u cant even guess that this dal is prepared with methi seeds, which tastes slightly bitter but definitely healthy and comforting dal for diabetic peoples and for everyone at home, needless to say that this delicious methi dal goes directly to CWS-Fenugreek seeds guest hosted by SE of Denufood and to Yasmeen's Bitter Better Food..

  • 1/2cup Toor dal
  • 2tbsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2tsp Ghee
  • 1/4tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/4tsp urad dal
  • 2nos Dry red chillies (broken)
  • 1/4tsp Asafoetida powder
  • 5nos Curry leaves

Pressure cook dal with fenugreek seeds with turmeric powder upto 3whistles...once the steam get released, mash the dal with a spatula and add the salt, heat the ghee and fry the mustard seeds, urad dal, broken dry red chillies, asafoetida powder and curry leaves, add the tempered spices to the cooked dal and serve hot with rice and pickles or papads..

Methi Matar Malai

Methi Matar Malai

Farm fresh, Methi and Matar, are available in abundance in our Rythu bazaar (Farmer’s Market) at reasonable prices. The plump green peas and methi make a great combination with the rich familiar flavor of fresh cream that elevates this flavorful, creamy curry of North Indian origin. Black pepper and green chillis lend a savory note to this otherwise mildly sweet tasting curry that is modest in its appearance. A recipe that can be made ahead and works great for a get together or party. Makes for a good side with phulkas, rotis and Naan.

Farm fresh green peas

Methi Matar Malai Recipe
Recipe Source: My old recipe files
Prep & Cooking: 45 mts
Serves 4-5 persons
Cuisine: North Indian

  • 3/4 cup fresh green peas/pachi bataani/matar, boiled
  • 1 1/2 cup packed fresh methi leaves
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, blanched, peel skin and chop
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper pwd
  • 1/4 cup low fat milk
  • 1 tbsp malai/fresh cream
  • 6-7 cashewnuts + 1 tsp poppy seeds, soak 2-3 tbsps milk for 15 mts and grind to paste
  • garam masala pwd (2 cloves, 1/2″ cinnamon, 1 cardamom)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 tbsps oil or ghee

Make a paste:

  • 1 small onion
  • 4 green chillis
  • 1″ ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic
  1. Add big pinch salt+big pinch sugar to the methi leaves along with half a cup of water and let it rest for 15 mts. Squeeze water from methi and keep aside.
  2. Heat 2 tsps of oil in a vessel, add the methi leaves and saute of low to medium flame for 4 mts. Turn off heat and remove the methi leaves and keep aside.
  3. In the same vessel, add the remaining oil, add the cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add the chopped onions and saute till the onions turn transparent. Add the ground paste and saute for 5 mts.
  4. Add pepper pwd and combine. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 4 mts.
  5. Add the boiled green peas and methi leaves saute for a mt. Add cashew nut and poppy seeds paste and and cook for 2 mts on medium flame. Reduce flame, add milk and cook on simmer for another 5-6 mts till the gravy thickens, stirring on a constant basis.
  6. Add garam masala pwd and salt and combine well. Finally, add malai and combine well and turn off heat. Serve hot with rotis, paranthas or naan.

Homemade Naan with Methi Matar Malai

March 8th is International Women’s Day. To honor this occasion, Indus Ladies, a women’s forum, is conducting a contest focusing on various women development activities. The contest which is open till Feb 25th is open to bloggers and non-bloggers. Do visit Indus Ladies forum for more details and rules for participation.

Besan Bread Toast.

Besan Bread Toast
Besan Bread Toast.

This is a simple and easy bread toast prepared with gram flour and yogurt. Besan and yogurt are mixed together along with crushed roasted peanuts and carsom seeds. This mixture is used as a bread spread and then the bread is toasted on a flat pan on both sides till its golden brown in color.
Makes: 4 Besan Bread Toasts.


Wheat or White Bread Slices 4
Besan / Gram Flour 3 – 4 tbsps
Plain Thick Yogurt 4 – 5 tbsps
Roasted Peanuts 1 tbsp
Red Chile Powder 1/4 tsp
Ajwain / Carom Seeds 1/8 tsp
Cilantro few Sprigs
Salt to taste
Oil 1 tbsp

Method of preparation:

Wash and finely chop cilantro leaves.
Grind the roasted peanuts into coarse powder using a spice grinder.
In a mixing bowl, mix together gram flour, peanuts powder, yogurt, red chili powder, ajwain, cilantro and salt into smooth thick paste without any lumps. Don’t add water.

Heat a flat pan on medium high heat, apply a tsp of oil to the pan.
Spread a thick layer of the prepared besan mixture on one side of the bread slice with help of a spoon.
Carefully place the bread slice on the hot pan and fry it until its light golden in color.
Just before turning the bread slice on the other side, apply a thick layer of the besan mixture on the side.
Fry the other side of the bread slice until its light golden in color.
Remove the toasted bread onto a serving plate.

Repeat the same with remaining bread slices or if you have space on the pan, place couple of them at a time.
Serve gram flour bread toast immediately along with a chutney or pickle of your choice.
Notes: Make sure bread slices are toasted well.

Suggestions: If the gram flour mixture is too loose, add more gram flour and mix well. If the gram flour mixture is too thick, stir in more yogurt. Add more red chile powder for heat or serve the toasted bread with a spicy chutney.
Variations: You can also throw in some mixed herbs into the mixture. You can also toast the bread a little before applying the gram flour mixture.
Other Names: Gram Flour Bread Toast, Besan Bread Toast, Indian Style Bread Toast.

Corn & Tofu Pulao With Coconut Free Potato & Green Peas Kurma

guest hosted by Siri, event by Corn and tofu pulao, a superfast pulao to enjoy either for lunch or for dinner prepared with sweet corn kernels and tofu marinated with red chilly powder, garam masala powder, fennel seed powder,cumin powder and salt with some oil, cooked for few minutes in microwave oven finally cooked along with sweet corn kernels and already cooked rice...This pulao is really quick to prepare even with some leftover rice also, this corn and tofu pulao suits terribly for lunch box menu and corn gives a crunchiness to this pulao while tofu turns this pulao more delicious and yummy, u can also prepare this same dish with paneer cubes or soyabean nuggets to give a change instead of making out this dish with tofus..Then coming to the kurma, both pulao and kurma works out wonder and together we had a fantastic, filling, healthy and guilt free lunch..This kurma is prepared with a masala prepared with poppyseeds, fennel seeds grounded along with tomatoes,yogurt and coriander powder and its totally coconut free, a delicious kurma for everyone specially for dieting peoples and diabetic peoples to enjoy without any guilt...This kurma can also suits very well with rotis, parathas and also suits prefectly for simple breakfast dishes like idlies or dosas...Both this dishes goes directly to Pari's Combo Event, Siri's JFI-FennelIndira..

Corn & Tofu Pulao:
1/2cup Corn kernels
3cups Cooked rice
1/2cup Tofu cubes
1no Onion(chopped finely)
1/4tsp Turmeric powder
1tsp Garam masala powder
1/2tsp Cumin seed powder
1/2tsp Fennel seed powder
1tsp Red chill powder
5nos Curry leaves
1tsp Cumin seeds

Marinate the tofu cubes with red chilly powder, salt, fennel seed powder, cumin seed powder, with salt and oil, let them sit for an hour..cook those marinated tofu cubes in microwave oven for 15minutes (stir twice in between) until they get well cooked..

Heat enough oil and fry the cumin seeds, add the chopped onions,curry leaves with enough salt (take care not to add more salt as the tofu cubes do have some salt already) and saute everything until the onions turns transculent, now add the corn kernels with turmeric powder, garam masala powder, cook everything in simmer for few minutes..finally add the already cooked tofu cubes and rice and toss everything gently, check for salt..

Serve hot!!

Coconut Free Potato & Green Peas Kurma:
2nos Potatoes
1cup Fresh or Frozen green peas
1no Onion (big & chopped)
2nos Whole spices
2tbsp Coriander leaves

To Grind:
1tbsp Poppy seeds
1tbsp Fennel seeds
1cup Yogurt
1no Tomato (big & chopped)
1tsp Garam masala powder
1tbsp Coriander seeds
1tsp Black peppercorns
2tbsp Roasted grams (pottukadalai)
2nos Green chillies

Dry fry the poppy seeds and fennel seeds until a nice aroma comes out from the seeds, take the fried seeds along with all the ingredients given in the list 'To Grind' and grind as fine paste without adding water..

Heat enough oil and fry the whole spices, add the chopped onions along with some salt and saute until the onions turns transculent, add the cubed potatos and green peas and saute for few minutes, finally add the grounded paste and saute everything in simmer..finally add enough water to turn them as gravy, bring them oil and cook until the veggies get well cooked, add the coriander leaves and put off the stove..

Serve this kurma along with warm corn & tofu pulao!! enjoy!!

Zucchini na Thepla

Try this unusual flat bread when you are inundated with Zucchinis in the supermarkets or backyard gardens.

Zucchini na Thepla
1 medium zucchini, grated coarsely (approx = 1 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cup wheat flour
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds powder (optional)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Gujarati garam masala or dhana jiru
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp chili-ginger paste
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/4 tsp carrom seeds/ajmo/owa/ajwain
water as needed
1 tsp oil
salt to taste
oil for roasting
1. Mix all the ingredients except water and oil. Try to knead using the moisture from zucchini first and then add water gingerly to make a dough. Add 1 tsp oil and knead some more till the dough does not stick to your hand. Cover and keep aside for 10 minutes.
2. Roll into thin flat breads/theplas. Roast on a hot tawa/pan/griddle adding oil as needed. Roast on both the sides till brown spots appear.
3. Keep covered in a clean cotton kitchen napkin or aluminum foil.
Note -
1. While roasting I use oil only for one side of the flat bread
2. I have used both chili powder and chili-ginger paste. For the milder taste, use any of the two

Makai Patties Tamatar Ke Rassedar Saucewalle

Think back on your life to the people you've most looked up to. For most of us, I am sure, it is not people who are rich and successful. Instead, most likely, it is those who always did exactly what they loved to do, even if they didn't make a lot of money doing it, or weren't considered successful by the usual parameters.

The people I envy are the young man who left a well-paid software job in the United States to start and run a school for poor children in rural India. The woman who runs a mobile veterinary clinic in an Indian city that spays and neuters stray dogs and vaccinates them for rabies. The couple who left powerful careers in New York City to retreat to a simple life in rural America where they grow their own food, live without most material trappings, and yet have lives that are blissfully rich and meaningful.

Sure, money and a fulfilling career have their rewards and can be the means by which to get to your goals, but setting limits in your pursuit of success, as the rest of the world defines it, is more important.

I am probably not a great person to advise people on reaching goals, but I do know the importance of keeping your dreams in sight because, for a while,I let mine slip away in pursuit of a better paycheck.

I've been very lucky. I've had interesting jobs: I've worked for newspapers in three countries, I've interviewed governors, members of Congress, movie stars, music stars, and even a First Lady. I've traveled extensively and learned things I'd never have learned otherwise: things I might never use again, but which I am glad to know nonetheless.

But before I started on my latest job where I work on issues close to my heart and interests, I spent nearly four years in the most boring newsroom, writing about education policy and working under an editor I did not respect. I thought I wanted the job because it paid a little better than the more interesting jobs I'd had before. Yet, when I look back on those four years now, all I can see are lost opportunities to do something I truly valued, and work with people I really cared about. The better paycheck was by no means a better trade.

So here's the point of this post: try not to let the pressures of day-to-day living take you off-course from pursuing what makes you truly, deeply, incandescently happy.

For some of you it could be being a good mom and homemaker. For others, it could be travel, or cooking great food that people dream of eating. Writing a novel. Writing a diary. Helping orphans in Africa. World peace. Gardening.

No dream is small or insignificant, especially if it's yours. Dream it, and then do it. And try not to get sidetracked.


Need more zen? Head on over to Zengirl's blog, Heart and Mind, where she shares great tips on topics like celebrating holidays meaningfully and simply, reconnecting with your community, and making small changes to improve the quality of your life.


And now for today's recipe, a simple one -- in keeping with the theme of this post-- that's rich with the wonderful flavors of a few everyday vegetables. I worked off a recipe I found in a Vimla Patil cookbook that I've treasured for many years now.

Makai Patties, or corn patties, are a popular street food in some parts of India. While these patties would often be eaten with chutney or ketchup, Patil also included a recipe for a sauce made with tomato and ketchup and spring onions/scallions that sounded so delicious, it seemed worth my while to go the extra mile and make it.

So here we go, a quick but super-delicious recipe that's wonderful for a snack or even a light dinner.

Makai (Corn) Patties

(Makes 10 2-inch patties)

1 1/2 cups cooked corn (I used frozen corn and zapped it in the microwave until really tender, about 7 minutes)

1 medium onion and 3 cloves of garlic, diced and then fried until brown in 1 tsp canola/vegetable oil

2 medium potatoes, skin on, diced and then boiled until tender (I zap them in the microwave for 10 minutes)

2 green chillies

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 big or 2 small slices of whole-wheat bread, soaked in 1/3 cup soymilk until soft

3 spring onions, green and white parts chopped

Salt to taste

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process just until you have a mixture that holds together when you pick up a piece and form a ball. Don't overprocess because you don't want a paste-- you should still have some texture from the corn and the scallions.

Divide the dough into 10 balls and then flatten each into a pattie, about 2 inches in diameter (if, for any reason, you find the mixture is too runny, add some cornflour so it holds together. My measurements worked perfectly for me.)

Smear or spray some oil over a cast-iron or non-stick skillet. Heat. Place as many patties as you can without crowding the skillet, and cook on each side until quite brown and crusty.

Spicy Tomato Sauce

5-6 spring onions, green and white parts chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup tomato puree

1/3 cup tomato ketchup

1/2 - 1 tsp red chilli powder, like paprika

1 tsp oil

Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a skillet.

Add the spring onions and saute until they start to brown.

Add the tomato puree and ketchup and cook until the mixture starts to turn darker.

Add chilli powder and salt to taste. Turn off heat.

Serve with the Makai Patties.


Semi-homemade snack and sweet

Certain foods cannot be enjoyed alone, needs absolutely another complimentary side to elevate the main dish to another level. Our ancestors have tried and tasted before coming to this final conclusion for pairing food: parathas with pickle/butter, idli + sambar, soup with sandwich, etc...

But I found weird myself when someone served Gajar ka halwa along with vanilla ice cream, and the worst gulab jamun with ice cream. I just screamed NO! Is it a double dose of sweet? Or just want to sneak the unpalatable sweet they prepared with ice cream? Why not to savor the full flavor of Carrot halwa or gulab jamun alone? I can never accept this one has a palatable combo? Have you faced a peculiar combo or I am left alone in this world....
Samosas doesn't need a bang introduction. It is symbolized as Indian food in kids educational Arthur's game in US. So what even your pre-school kid have a knowledge of samosa. A crispy pastry snack filled with a spicy or non-spicy potato in triangle shape. Very popular street snacks in India, could be served as a light meal along with garbanzo beans curry, a simple green chutney, sweet chutney or even a dash of ketchup!
The process of making the samosa from scratch is bit long ! The spring roll wrapper is a short cut and the outer layer is very crisp and very opt to baked version. This one is purely semi-homemade.
Don't be intimated seeing all the steps!

Potato filling for samosa

potato masala


Potato: 2 medium boiled/peeled/mashed
Onion: one- diced
Amchur powder/dry mango powder: 1tsp
Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
Chilli powder: 1 tsp
Coriander seeds: 1 1/2 tsp- Crushed slightly
Cilantro: 2 tbps minced
Oil: 1 1/2 tsp
Salt: adjust for your taste

Heat the oil in a pan. Sauté the onion until translucent, add the mashed potato, all the spices powders, salt and add 1/4 cup of water.
The potato mixture will thicken very quickly, sprinkle the coriander , garam masala and mix well and switch off the stove. Garnish with cilantro leaves.
Let it cool completely before stuffing in wrap.

To prepare samosa

Spring roll wrapper / Samosa wrap: one packet
Maida/all purpose flour: 1 tbsp
Water: enough to make thin paste

How to make Maida paste?
Mix the water in maida and make sure there is no lumps. The mixture can be watery. No matter.

How to wrap it/ form samosa?

Thaw the spring roll wrapper for 30 minutes at room temperature. Now cut the wrapper into 3 equal parts. Cover with wet kitchen towel until ready to use.

Look/Refer the diagram shown below. I am not too good to make the diagram but hope it will help someone.

Take two wraps together (one wrap sucks lots of oil while deep frying- it's best when if it is baked)

Start to bring the left corner to point 1 (right side)

Now fold back and bring to point 2 (left side)

It will be a cone shape (packet) .

Hold the shape in your left hand and take a spoon full of potato mixuture.
Fill the cone (do not over stuff) If the wrap tear, the mixture will come out will frying

Squeeze the cone slightly with your fingers, so the potato spread evenly.

Now fold/cover the open area, fold to point 3

After closing and getting a triangle shape:
At this point, spread the AP+water (liquid mixture paste) at the rest of wrap. keep the seam side down , cover with wet towel or you can freeze at this level.

while wrapping all the 3 corners , you should not have a hole (gap) make sure while wrapping, if there is gap, oil will flow inside the potato mixture!
Handle with caution the wrap it may tear.
Cover all the time with wet cloth!

Deep frying

Oil enough to deep fry.

Oil should be hot enough when you drop the samosas, otherwise they will be soggy.
Once dropped reduce to medium heat. Fry until they turn golden brown, drain in paper towel.

Baking in 375

Preheat the oven at 375 degree and arrange the samosas in baking sheet, Spray oil and bake approx 35 min, try to turn the other side in between the baking time!

Sending my both dishes to Rahin who is hosting Semi-homemade Indian event

For green chutney

vegetable samosa

Semi-homemade rasmalai sweet


Needed items:

Can of rasgullas: contains 20 pieces.
Milk mixture: 2 cups of skim milk and 1 can of evaporated milk (fat free)
Green cardamom: 6 pods powdered
sugar: 1/2 cup (minus 1 tbsp)

Bring to boil milk+ evaporated milk together. Add the sugar and cardamom. Let it cool .
Squeeze the rasgullas (remove 3/4 of sugar from each rasgullas)
Drop in slightly warm milk mixture
Refrigerate and serve

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