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Apple Pomegranate Lettuce Salads

Apple Lettuce Salad

During summer, most mid day meals are usually light and many a time, its salad and a large glass of a summer cooler or buttermilk, especially during the month of May. Today, I prepared a simple, colorful, crunchy, fruity salad, flecked with calcium rich toasted sesame seeds. Our lunch was salad and a mint flavored chilled lemonade.

In a bowl, whisk 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, large pinch of cinnamon pwd, few drops of lemon juice, pinch of salt and pepper to taste, 1/4 tbsp honey OR pineapple OR orange juice and a tbsp of toasted sesame seeds. Add 1 chopped apple, 1 peeled and chopped cucumber, grated small carrot, small bowl of pomegranate and washed and torn lettuce. Toss well till combined with dressing. Serve chilled.

You can add any fruit or nuts/raisins.

Raw Banana & Oats Masal Vadai

Yesterday i bought long african variety of raw bananas, after frying some as chips there were some leftovers, i pressure cooked them and i wanted to prepare as podimas but none at home wanted to have them so...My DH asked me to make some crispy vadas for his snacks and i thought of making out some masal vadais or pakodas with those pressure cooked raw banana chunks which i smashed them nicely and add the rolling oats instead of dals, chopped onions, green chillies, fennel seed powder and grated ginger with curry leaves, fried them until golden brown and served along with coconut chutney, needless to say that this vadas were truly super crispy, delicious prefect evening snack to enjoy without any guilt also suits prefectly as side dish with any sort of rice dishes...None at home found the ingredients i used to make out this vadas,when i told them they were surprised to know about the addition of rolled oats....Simple, quick and easy masala vadas quiet different from our usual vadais...

  • 2cups Cooked raw banana chunks
  • 1/2cup Rolled oats
  • 1no Onion(chopped)
  • 2nos Green chillies (chopped)
  • 1/2tsp Fennel seed powder
  • 1/2tsp Grated ginger
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt
  • Oil
Smash as fine paste the cooked raw bananas, add the chopped onions, chopped green chillies, fennel seed powder, grated ginger, salt and curry leaves as thick batter, if its too thick springle few drops of water...Heat enough oil for deep frying... take a small golf ball size dough from the raw banana-oats mixture, flatten them in ur palms, drop gently in hot oil..fry them until they turns golden brown..drain the excess of oil in a paper towel..

Enjoy with chutney or as side dish with any rice dishes..

Eggless Quinoa Corn Bread

Eggless Quinoa Corn Bread!!! sounds new na...Yep i have prepared this quinoa corn bread yesterday for our dinner with cooked quinoa, stone grounded fine cornmeal as eggless version...Its definitely a delicious corn bread as eggless version and tastes truly delicious when served along with a bowl of soup, u can also prepare this quinoa corn bread as vegan just by adding almond milk or soya milk instead of milk and yogurt used in this dish..I have prepared this quinoa corn bread with a cup of cornmeal and cup of cooked quinoa, yeah i just gave a trial but its definitely worth to try this combination and am gonna try this quinoa corn bread with so many variations..Voila friends if u are reaching something to bake with quinoa and cornmeal,do try this eggless and healthy version of cornbread and am damn sure everyone at home will love to enjoy this delicious bread..This quinoa corn bread goes directly to Madhuram's Whole Grains Baking Event - Quinoa..

1cup Cooked quinoa+1tsp cooked quinoa
1cup Stone ground cornmeal (fine ground)
1tsp Baking soda
1tsp Baking powder
1/2tsp Chilly flakes
1cup Milk
1/4cup Olive oil
1/2cup Yogurt
1/4cup Honey
1tbsp Dry parsley leaves
Preheat the oven to 400F, line a baking sheet over a square baking pan...Mix the cooked quinoa, cornamel, baking soda, baking powder, chilly flakes, salt,dry parsley leaves together in a bowl, mix the milk, olive oil, honey yogurt in a another bowl, whisk them until everything gets well mixed...gradually add the wet ingreidnets to the dry ingredients..pour the quinoa cornmeal batter to the already prepared baking pan,springle the cooked quinoa over the batter and bake for 20-25minutes in the middle rack until the skewer inserted in the center comes out clean...

Cool completely and cut into pieces, enjoy with soups for dinner or with a cup of tea for snacks...

Plantain with Garlic and Mustard Seeds

Plantain with Garlic and Mustard
Aratikaya Avala Velluli Karam.

Plantain is chopped into circles and fried in little oil till light golden in color. They can also be chopped thick and boiled in water till just soft. A ground masala is made with garlic cloves and mustard seeds. This masala is added to the fried plantain and briefly cooked. Serve this plantain fry with plain steamed rice.
Makes: around 2 Servings of Plantain with Garlic and Mustard Seeds.


Plantains 2 Medium
Garlic 3 Cloves
Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp
Red Chile Powder 1/2 – 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder a big pinch
Salt to taste
Oil 1 tbsp

Method of preparation:

Remove ends, remove thick skin and slice the plantain into thin circles.
Soak the chopped plantain circles in water until necessary.
Peel and roughly chop garlic cloves.
First, grind garlic into fine paste using a spice blender.
Then add mustard seeds, red chile powder and salt.
Grind everything into fine paste and remove onto plate.

Heat oil in a pan on medium high heat, add plantain circles.
Fry plantain circles till they turn light golden in color.
Stir occasionally and cook covered for couple of minutes if plantain is not cooking properly.
Then lower the heat, stir in ground garlic and mustard seeds paste and turmeric powder.
Add a splash of water if the paste is too thick and stir to let the masala stick to the plantains.
Remove from heat and serve plantain with mustard seeds and garlic over plain steamed rice and dollop of ghee.
Notes: Make sure plantain is cooked right.

Suggestions: If the plantain is not cooking properly, add a splash or two of water and cook covered on low flame till done.
Variations: You can also add finely chopped cilantro to the masala if you wish. Seasoning with mustard seeds and cumin seeds can also be done at the beginning.
Other Names: Plantain with Garlic and Mustard Seeds, Aratikaya Avala Velluli Karam.

Guntha Ponganalu

Guntha Ponganalu served with Dalia Chutney

The name says it all. Guntha = the deep impressions in the skillet and ponganalu = puffed ones.

If you have encountered guntha ponganalu earlier, you already know that it is hard to escape from their enchantment. These soft, plump, fluffed beauties are cooked in ponganalu penam - the special skillet with the moulds. Though they are popular as a breakfast item at homes, they are also sold as a street snack during evenings in Rayalaseema region and are usually served with erra karam.
My mother always prepares fresh ponganalu batter instead of using left over rice / idli batters to prepare them. I follow the same method and the recipe for our favorite breakfast is given below.

For 9 -10 generous servings, ingredients needed are:
3 cups rice (long grain will do)
1/2 cup uraddal
2 tbsp poha
1 & 1/2 cups yogurt to grind the batter (or as needed)
2 tsp salt
A handful of chanadal (soaked in water for a couple of hours or overnight and drained)
2 onions, finely minced

Preparing batter:
Wash and soak the rice, uraddal and poha for a minimum of 3 hours. The longer you soak, quicker & easier the grinding would be. Throw away the water used to soak.
Grind the ingredients with as little yogurt as possible into a thick, smooth batter. Add the salt and mix well. If the batter is runny, chances of making fluffy ponganalu are almost ruined.
Keep the batter to ferment overnight in a warm place. During winter, keeping the batter in a warm / lighted oven would help. Also remember, the fermented ponganalu batter would not double as idli / dosa batters.

Preparing ponganalu:
In the morning, when ponganalu needs to be prepared, add the chanadal and minced onion to the ground batter and mix well.
Heat the ponganalu skillet and add a few drops of oil in each mould. Then fill them with batter.

Cover the ponganalu skillet with a lid. Turn down the heat and cook for about 5 minutes or till the ponganalu batter doesn't appear raw.

Then flip them, add a drop or two of oil and cook till the other side lightly browns as well.

Serve with chutney or with errakaram for a Rayalaseema touch.

Chicken Bun Roll

I went for a garage sale in my neighborhood and found a book about baking breads using bread maker for 50cents. It's a good book and I have a bread maker. So it was a great bargain.

I tried this recipe thinking it will be a good lunchbox item for my daughter. I didn't except anything much. However, when I tasted these buns, they transported me to Mumbai. They tasted just like the rolls/buns we used to have at Hearsch bakery.

Chicken Bun Roll
Recipe adapted from Bread Machine Baking

  • 5/8 cup skim milk
  • 2 cups organic bread flour (I used King Arthur brand)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp rapid rise active dry yeast
For the filling
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 10 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp paprika or any mild chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • a pinch of garam masala
  • salt to taste
  • A pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
Suggested Accompaniment
  • Tomato Ketchup

1. Mix all the ingredients for stuffing in a big bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. Pour milk and all the ingredients for making bread in the bread maker container according to the manufacturer's instructions.
3. Set the bread maker to "Dough" mode.
4. Pour all the stuffing mixture in a saucepan. Stir fry till chicken is thoroughly cooked. Set aside to cool down completely. Mince it completely using food processor. Set aside.
5. When the dough cycle is finished, remove the dough from the machine. Punch it down on a floured surface.
6. Divide into 9 uniform pieces.
7. Roll out each in a small flat bread.

8. Place some filling in the middle.
9. Bring up the sides of the dough to cover the filling and pinch the edges together to seal. Turn it over and try to roll into a smooth ball.
10. Place the buns seam-side down on the greased baking sheet. Keep covered till you work on the remaining buns.
11. Cover the buns and let them rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

12. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray some oil on the buns. Sprinkle some sesame seeds.
13. Bake for 20 minutes or until the buns are golden brown.

Note -
1. The book recommended using a glaze of 1 egg yolk and 1 tbsp water. Glaze it over the buns before sprinkling sesame seeds. In that case, there is no need to spray any oil. This step will give a sheen to the buns and it will help stick those sesame seeds to the buns. Since I didn't use the glaze, my sesame seeds fell apart after the buns were baked. :-

2. The book did not suggest mincing the chicken after getting cooked. However, since I used very less oil, my chicken mince was little on the dry side. Next time, I will not mince the chicken after cooking but will keep just the small pieces.

Recipe adapted from
The cook's encyclopedia of bread machine baking by Jenne Shapter

Sesame & Quinoa Dinner Rolls

Its not a secret for anyone that am adding much quinoa and oats in our lunch menu, today am here again with a quinoa dinner rolls which i prepared with red quinoa,sesame seeds and whole wheat flour...Those cooked red quinoa looks soo cute and pretty in the dinner rolls and they ressembles quite like whole ragi grains..Needless to say that this red quinoa dinner rolls tastes too tasty and quinoa added in this dinner rolls turned out this rolls super delicious..We enjoyed having each and every bite of this healthy dinner rolls with a simple lettuce salad, this dinner rolls is eggless also vegan where i just used olive oil in the dinner rolls instead of butter or milk..Am sending this dinner rolls to Madhuram's Whole Grain Baking Event-Quinoa, Champa's Bake Off Event & finally to Susan's Yeastspotting..

  • 1cup Cooked Quinoa
  • 2cups Whole wheat pastry flour or Bread flour
  • 1tbsp Active dry yeast
  • 1cup Luke Warm water
  • 1tsp Salt
  • 1tsp Sugar
  • 1tbsp Sesame seeds
  • 1tbsp Dry parsley leaves
  • 1/4cup Olive oil
Mix the yeast,sugar and salt in a cup of luke warm water and keep side for 5minutes until the yeast mixture turns foamy.. Take the cooked quinoa,dry parsley leaves, whole wheat pastry flour, sesame seeds mix everything well..slowly add the foamy yeast and olive oil and knead as a soft the dough in a greased bowl, cover the bowl with a towel and arrange in a warm place..let them sit for an hour until they double the volume..

After an hour, punch down the doubled dough and knead again, make 6-8 medium sized balls from the dough and arrange one by one in a greased mould and let them side again for an hour in a warm place...After an hour, preheat the oven to 350F..brush the breads with olive oil and bake in middle rack for 20-25 minutes until a golden brown crust forms over the bread...Put off the oven and take off the mould and let them cool..

Serve with salad !!

Soyachunks & Potato Masala Wraps

Am damn sure that with simple masalas or curries we can make many elegant, wonderful and healthy dishes, I have completely changed my way of cooking and eating since few months coz i got hooked with healthy stuffs.. For example, i have changed adding sugar to honey or agave syrup and eating rice to quinoa or oats...Dunno whether i can call myself as healthnut eventhough i have to change few of my eating habits still..Coming to this Indianized version of wraps, i have prepared some masala with soyachunks and potatoes yesterday for our lunch, i used them also for our dinner with tortillas along with few lettuce leaves and cherry tomatoes..those crunchy salad leaves, slightly tangy tomatoes with spicy masala turned out our wraps super delicious and we enjoyed a lot...Delicious wraps suits prefect for both lunch and dinner and these wraps goes directly to Global Kadai - Indian Flavoured Wraps /Burritos guest hosted by Divya of Dil Se, event by Cilantro..

Potato & Soyachunks Masala:
  • 2nos Potatoes (big&cubed)
  • 15nos Soyachunks
  • 1no Onion(big & chopped finely)
  • 1tsp Red chilly powder
  • 1tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2tsp Garam masala powder
  • 1/2tsp Cumin seeds
  • Curry leaves
  • Oil

Heat enough oil and let splutters the cumin seeds, add the chopped onions and saute until the veggies turns transculent, meanwhile cook the soyachunks in hot water with salt until they double their volume, drain the excess of water, squeeze out the water and keep aside..

Now add the potatoes,curry leaves to the cooking onions, saute for few minutes..add the already cooked soyachunks to the veggies and add the red chilly powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder with enough salt and cook in medium high flame or in simmer until the oil get separates..put off the stove and keep aside until they get cool..

For Wraps:
  • Home Made Tortillas as per need
  • Soyachunks & Potato Masala
  • Few Lettuce leaves
  • Diced cherry tomatoes
Heat in a nonstick pan the homemade tortillas until they turns golden brown on both sides..arrange the lettuce leaves, diced cherry tomatoes over the cooked tortillas, place the soyachunks and potato masala over the salad leaves and tomatoes as per need and roll them as wraps..

Enjoy the wraps immediately with a bowl of soup!!

Tomato Dosa

Why is it that most of us(or is it just me?) run out of breakfast ideas.

Although I like to try out different cuisines I often find the South Indian breakfast cuisine easiest to put together. Agreed the grinding past may be a bit cumbersome , but once you have that out of the way, the next couple of days are tension free....

Take for instance this variety of dosa that I found on Shailaja's super duper blog.

Its real simple to make, in fact it doesn't even need fermentation...

Its got great colour( always a good thing when your target group includes children) and is healthy too...
Plus its different from the regular fare...

I served this with podi, but I'm sure any chutneys will do just great.

Tomato Dosa Recipe

Prep & Cooking: 20-30 mts, Soaking: 2-3 hrs

Serves 5-6 persons

Cuisine: South Indian


1 1/4 cup raw rice and 2 tbsps of tur dal, soaked in water for 2-3 hrs

2 tomatoes chopped

2 tbsp grated fresh coconut (optional)

2-3 dried red chillis, de-seed and tear

1-2 tbsp grated jaggery

salt to taste

oil as required

1 Drain and grind smoothly the rice and tur dal with chopped tomatoes, dried red chillies (de-seed), grated fresh coconut, jaggery, coriander leaves, salt and little water to form a dosa-like batter.

2 Heat griddle on high flame till hot, reduce heat, pour a laddle full of dosa batter, spread the batter with the bottom of the ladle evenly making circles to form a dosa and drizzle with some oil along the edges. Cook on medium heat for 1-2 mts and increase to high flame for a few seconds and flip the other side and cook for 20-30 seconds or till done.

3 Serve hot with any podi or chutney of your choice .

Microwave Strawberry Kheer

Its a peek season of strawberries here, we are getting sweet strawberries in cheap rate everywhere and am planning to makes out icecreams and sorbets with strawberries for coming summer..I prepared this strawberry kheer simply with milk, sweetened condensed milk with saffron strands and cardamom powder, finally i added strawberry chunks to this easy breezy kheer..This kheer tastes super delicious when served chilled and we enjoyed each and every spoon of this fantastic kheer..An excellent kheer to serve after a lunch instead of icecream when its hot..Kids will definitely love this droolworthy kheer and i prepared them easily in microwave oven easily within few minutes less than 10minutes, this kheer suits incredibly for a kid's party menu too...Am sending this kheer to MEC-Kid's Party Menu guest hosted by Priyanka, event by Srivalli...

  • 4cups Milk
  • 1cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 5nos Cardamom pods (crushed)
  • Few Saffron strands
  • 2cups Strawberries (chopped)
Take the milk, sweetened condensed milk, crushed cardamom pods in a large microwave bowl and heat in microwave oven in high for 5 minutes (stir in between)..Add the saffron strands to the milk mixture and cook again for 2-3minutes..take off the bowl and let them cool..

Add the chopped strawberry chunks to the milk and arrange in fridge for an hour..Serve chilled..

Quinoa & Mixed Veggies Salad

Quinoa is taking an important part in our daily menu nowadays, recently while doing my shopping in an organic shop i found red quinoas which attracted me a lot and immediatley i picked two packets of 500grams as i was planning to add quinoa atleast once a day in our menu with anything as anything, yep since we had our Quinoa & Mixed Fruits Salad, i couldnt able to stop adding some cooked quinoa to our salads..This red quinoa and mixed veggies salad is one of the best refreshing, easiest and filling salad which suits perfectly for our lunch or either for our dinner with a simple bread toast or with a bowl of soup..This salad is completely very easy to prepare also its really very catchy and colourful, very pleasant salad to enjoy without any guilt...Needless to say that this salad was really tasty, obviously this salad is one of the fabulous salad i have prepared recently..Sending to Indirani's Spotlight-Summer Foods & Drinks...

  • Few Lettuce leaves
  • 1/2cup Cooked quinoa
  • 2nos Carrots (grated)
  • 1no Cucumber (sliced as cubes)
  • Few Cherry tomatoes
  • 2tbsp Fried Onions
  • Few red onions (chopped)
  • 1/2tsp Pepper powder
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
Take the lettuce leaves, cooked quinoa, grated carrots,cubes cucumber chunks, chopped tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, fried onions, chopped red onions in a large bowl..make a dressing with enough olive oil, salt and pepper powder and toss gently the veggies until they get well mixed..

Serve immediately!!

Burji -Pav

For the longest time, I genuinely believed that egg burji was something my maushi invented. Though it's one of the popular street foods of Mumbai, I never tasted it outside. But here's my maushi's recipe.

Burji - pav
Spicy Scrambled egg with bread
6 eggs
salt to taste
1 tsp + 1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp mild chili powder or paprika
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup green peas

Grind to fine paste
1/4 cup cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2" ginger
2-3 green chilies

1 tbsp oil or ghee
1 onion, chopped approx = 1/2 cup
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 roma tomatoes, chopped approx = 1/2 cup
Suggested accompaniment
Laadi Paav

1. Heat oil/ghee in a saucepan. Add onion and turmeric powder. Saute till onion is soft.
2. Add tomatoes and green paste. saute for 12 - 15 minutes on a medium flame. Tomatoes should turn into a mush.
3. Add 1 tsp garam masala, salt and chili powder. Saute for 2 minutes.
4. Add 1/4 cup water. As it starts to bubble, switch gas to lowest. Break eggs and keep stirring till scrambled egg consistency is reached.
5. Stir in 1/4 cup green peas. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 tsp garam masala.
6. Stir till water almost evaporates. Little water may remain. Switch off the gas. Cover and set aside.
7. Serve with laadi paav.

Matar Paneer

Matar Paneer

When in season, I made optimum use of fresh green peas and froze a kilo for the summer months. Combined a small cup of peas with paneer and prepared a tomato based curry to go with rotis for our mid day meal. Matar Paneer, a culinary gem of North Indian origin, is a popular, simple to make and delectable creamy curry that is hard to resist.

Matar Paneer Recipe
Prep & Cooking: 40 mts
Serves 4-5 persons
Cuisine: North Indian

  • 1/4 kg paneer – cube and saute in a tsp of ghee till lightly browned
  • small cup fresh green peas
  • 1 large onion, finely chop
  • ginger-green chilli paste (1″ ginger piece+3 green chillis)
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp red chilli pwd
  • pinch of turmeric pwd
  • 1 1/4 tsps coriander pwd
  • 1/2 tsp kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • pinch of garam masala pwd
  • 1 tsp Kitchen King masala pwd
  • 1 tsp malai, top of milk
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil


1 Heat oil in a cooking vessel, add the onions and sauté, approx 4-5 mts. Add ginger-green chilli paste, coriander pwd, turmeric pwd, red chilli pwd and combine. Add few tbsps water and saute for a mt.
2 Add tomatoes and cook for 4-5 mts. Turn off heat and cool. Make a coarse paste.
3 Return this paste to the vessel, add a cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce flame, add the green peas and cook for 6 mts. Add the paneer and malai and simmer for 7-8 mts. Add salt. Simmer for a few more mts.
4 Stir in malai, garam masala pwd, Kitchen King masala and kasuri methi and combine, cook for a mt. Turn off flame.
5 Let it sit for a while before serving. The gravy thickens, so at the time of serving, add a little milk and combine. Serve hot with rotis or naan.

Tomato Coriander Mint Chutney

Tomato Coriander Mint Chutney

Home grown pudina along with fresh coriander leaves and plump, ripe, juicy red tomatoes from farmer’s market, sauteed with cumin, green chillis and split gram dal, blended to a coarse paste and tempered with asafoetida and curry leaves. Yields a simple, quick and satisfying pachadi that went down really well with Idli, our morning breakfast. Tart flavored tomatoes are cloaked with hints of sweetness and spice and brightened with a pronounced herb-y flavor!

Tomato Coriander Mint Chutney Recipe
Prep & Cooking: 20 mts
Serves 3-4 persons
Cuisine: Andhra

  • 4 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander
  • 12-15 mint leaves
  • 1/4 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp minappa pappu/split gram dal
  • 2 green chillies
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil

For the tempering/poppu/tadka:

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 mustard seeds
  • 1 dry red chilli, tear
  • pinch of hing/asafoetida/inguva
  • 8-10 curry leaves


1 Heat 2 tsps oil in a non-stick pan. Add the cumin and let them brown. Add urad dal and allow it to turn red. Add the slit green chillis and saute for a 30 secs. Next add the chopped coriander and mint and saute further for 2 mts. Remove and keep aside.
2 In the same pan, add remaining oil, add the chopped tomatoes and on medium flame saute till the rawness of tomato disappears and the water evaporates (approx 7-8 mts). Remove and cool.
3 Grind the cumin-urad dal-green chillis-mint-coriander leaves first and then add the sauteed tomatoes and salt, grind to a coarse paste adding a 2-3 tbsps of water. Remove onto a bowl.
4 Heat oil in a pan for the tempering, add the mustard seeds, let them pop and add the dry red chilli and curry leaves and fry for a few secs. Finally add the asafoetida and immediately add the seasoning to the ground pachadi. Serve with hot idlis or dosas.

PaataL Pithale

This is one of the simplest pithales you can make. It has just a few essential ingredients. It tastes good - may be an acquired taste, but I love it. This is meant to be made in a hurry and needs to have a runny consistency. Though the recipe is simple, it also tests your ambidexterity. You have to sprinkle besan/chickpea flour with one hand and keep stirring with your other hand so no lumps are formed.

This very basic, simple pithale - when I served to Gudiya, you know what she did? She called it "cheese sauce for fondue" and gladly dipped her veggies in that "cheese sauce" and pretended she is having a fondue dinner! :-D

PaataL Pithale - पातळ पिठले

Chickpea Flour Curry

  • 3/4 cup besan
  • 2 cups water
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Suggested Accompaniment
  • Bhakri
  • Raw onions, sliced

1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder.

2. When they start sizzling, switch the gas to low. Add water.

3. Now, switch gas back to high. Add salt and chili powder. Bring to a rapid boil.

4. Switch the gas back to lowest. Now, use one hand to keep stirring continuously, while with other hand sprinkle besan/chickpea flour - a spoonful at a time. The continuous stirring action should prevent lumps from forming.

5. Let it simmer for 5 minutes, taking care not to thicken the "curry" consistency.

6. Switch off the gas. Serve immediately.

Note -
1. You can use a big fork for stirring which will help prevent the lumps. A little practice is needed to use both your hands simultaneously. One can argue that besan can be mixed with water before adding to the tempering. However, it's just not the same!:-)

2. Actually no garnish is required for this robust and simple dish. I have added cilantro/coriander leaves just to show some color contrast.

3. Make this dish as close to eating time as possible. This needs to have thin consistency. If made too much in advance, the curry will thicken.

Cucumber Buttermilk

Its kinda hot here but not that much hot as in India..I love this mild hot spring eventhough its quite a beautiful climate to go for picnic and bbq...I prepared this simple,refreshing drink which is quite a thirsty quencher today with some cucumber chunks, buttermilk and spiced with pepper powder, ginger, lemon juice,salt and chaat masala, this tempting and refreshing buttermilk suits prefectly for hot summer to beat the heat also good for health..This spiced cucumber buttermilk tastes awesome and definitely everyone at home love this thirsty quencher which is quite healthy as well as a prefect drink for hot upcoming summer for us..

  • 1cup Cucumber chunks
  • 2cup Buttermilk +1/4cup water
  • 1/2tsp Ginger (grated)
  • 1tsp Lemon juice
  • Pepper powder
  • Salt
  • Chaat masala as per need..
Blend the cucumber chunks, buttermilk,water, salt and grated ginger together..strain this blended buttermilk and add the pepper powder and chaat masala as per need..

Serve chilled or with ice cubes..

Homemade Tortillas & Indianized Wraps

Its has been a dream for me to make out home made tortillas instead of buying often the store bought tortillas..This time, i brownsed through many sites and finally my choice went for this version..If u r planning to make out tortillas at home definitely u need for simple ingredients like all purpose flour, baking powder,butter,salt and warm water..Whoever roll prefectly their rotis will get a prefect tortillas as this tortillas ressembles quite like our rotis..Its really worth to try and this home made tortillas can be frozen in a ziplock bags for upto several months..These tortillas are tasty,light, soft and fabulous..I have prepared these light tortillas and served along with Capsicum & Tofu Zunka for our dinner, everyone at home enjoyed this capsicum & tofu zunka wraps for our dinner with simple salad, definitely a healthy and complete dinner..Sending this indianized capsicum & tofu zunka wraps to Global Kadai - Indian Flavoured Wraps or Burritos guest hosted by Divya of Dil Se, event by Cilantro..

2cups All purpose flour
1tsp Baking powder
3tbsp Butter (room temperature)
Warm water

Combine the flour, salt, baking powder in a large bowl, add the butter and warm water to the flour and knead as a soft dough..cover the bowl with a towel and leave aside for 15minutes,divide the dough into 12-13 golf sized balls..roll each dough on a floured surface to form a very thin circles..heat a non stick pan, add the rolled tortillas and cook on both sides until the surface starts to bubble ..Turn the torilla and cook both sides until the tortillas turns slightly brown or half cooked...repeat the same process, until the dough get finished..Arrange the cooked tortillas in a ziplock bags and stor them either in fridge or in freezer...

Indianized Wraps:

Heat the already prepared home made tortillas on both side until they get cooked, arrange few spoons of Capsicum & Tofu Zunka in the center of the tortillas and roll them as wrap, pick the edge with a toothpick and serve immediately with salad or with french fries..

Not so Traditonal , Traditional English Pudding

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet

yeah..that was the problem, right there.The last word.

Suet. In case you’re wondering, suet is the hard but flaky fat found on the inside of a cow or sheep around the kidneys and that area of the body.

Ewwww I KNOW...not my kinda thing either..

But thankfully Esther allowed for substitution and so I did what I love to do not whining..but using butter.Arent the best things in life made of butter????

Steamed desserts are not new to us in India. Especially for us South Indians. We make a variety of steamed goodies - kozhukutta(rice ball dumplings), vatayappam being just two of many many.

But a steamed pudding was something I'd never tried.

Don't let the ugly pictures fool you..I mean I know
I know it’s not easy on the eyes–heck, it would be a great contestant in a ugly photo contest but it was real good...and so we couldn't have cared less.

Sticky toffee and date pudding with candied ginger
Shamelessly copied from here

For the toffee sauce

2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup (120g) demerara sugar (or another dark brown sugar)
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
pinch of salt

For the pudding

6 ounces (180g) pitted dates, snipped or chopped
1 cup (250ml) water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup (40g) candied ginger, chopped
1 1/4 cups (175g) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (55g) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.Butter an 8 1/2-inch (about 24cm) porcelain soufflé mold, or similar-sized baking dish.

2. To make the toffee sauce by bringing the cream, demerara sugar, honey and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring often to melt the sugar.

3. Lower heat and simmer, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is thick and coats the spoon. Pour half the sauce into the prepared soufflé mold and place the mold in the freezer, and reserve the other half for serving.

4. To make the pudding, in a medium saucepan, heat the dates and water. Once the water begins to boil, remove from heat and stir in the baking soda. Add the ginger, if using, then set aside, but keep it slightly warm.

5. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

6. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, then the vanilla.

7. Stir in half of the flour mixture, then the date mixture, then add the remaining flour mixture . The mixture will be a bit liquidy. Add some hot water if required.

8.Pour mixture on to the sauce, cover and steam for 1.5 hours.
The sauce and sponge mixture mix together during cooking.

9. Let cool slightly before serving.

'Soup'er Sundays - Vegetarian Harira

I gather from various online sources that harira is a traditional soup of Morocco, a country of diversified cuisine. Thought it can be had any time, traditonal families usually reserve this soup for those special occasions like dinners of holy Ramadan month or feasts thrown after a wedding. The ingredients used in the soup may vary from region to region. However, the standard recipe has small amounts of meat, lentils, and garbanzo in a tomato base, with spices and herbs thrown in it.
On this chilly day, the idea of curling up on a couch with a bowl of soup seemed so invigorating and hence here is harira - the hearty, harmonius blend of chickpea and lentils. A vegan version of course.

Ingredients needed for 4 servings:
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger - peeled & grated
  • 1 small onion - finely minced
  • 1 celery stick - diced
  • 2 tomatoes - diced (I added tomato & tomato paste)
  • 2 Tbsp lentils (soaking for a couple of hours makes cooking faster)
  • A handful of garbanzo beans / chana - soaked overnight and cooked till tender or scant 1/2 cup from a can
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder or a 1" cinnamon piece
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Vegetable stock / water - About 5 to 6 cups (I added a Knorr bouillon cube when the water was boiling)
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice from a small lemon
  • Minced parsely/cilantro for garnish

Making Harira:

* Heat the oil and add the minced ginger and fry till it turns golden brown.
* Then add onion and fry it till it turns translucent.
* After that, add celery and chopped tomatoes and sauté till tomatoes turn mushy.
* Then go the lentils, turmeric powder, cinnamon, cumin powder and about 2 cups of vegetable stock / water.
* Cook till the lentils are tender. Mix the flour with little water and make a paste with out any lumps. Add this paste and the cooked garbanzo and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes more. If using beans from a can, drain the liquid and wash them before adding. Keep adding water as needed through out the process.
* Add salt and pepper. Mix well.
* Stir in the lemon juice and parsley / cilantro.

Dahi Quinoa - Quinoa Yogurt Salad

This salad is perfect for a hot summer day. We generally use rice instead of quinoa. It goes by the name Dahi butti. This is a send off dish made in my family, when someone is set for a big trip. I replaced the traditional rice by quinoa.

Dahi Quinoa
Yogurt Quinoa Salad

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt, plain
  • 1 baby cucumber, peeled & grated
  • 2" ginger, peeled & grated
  • salt to taste
  • A pinch of sugar (or per taste)

  • 1 1/2 tbsp oil or ghee/clarified butter
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida
  • 3-4 dahyatlya mirchya/yogurt chilies
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves, torn

  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro

Suggested accompaniment
  • Sweet lemon pickle

1. Whisk yogurt, salt, sugar, ginger, cucumber together.
2. Pour it over the cooked & cooled quinoa.
3. Heat oil or ghee in a small saucepan/fodNichi paLi. Add all the ingredients for tempering. Make sure that the chilies are nicely roasted.
4. Drizzle the tempered oil over the quinoa mixture.
5. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
6. Serve cold on a hot summer day.

Note -
1. Note that quinoa is cooked already and is allowed to cool completely before proceeding.
2. Cucumber tends to add moisture to the salad. If you want, you can deseed the cucumber before adding to the salad.
3. While serving, you can add more yogurt if needed.

Capsicum & Tofu Zunka

Zunka is one of the famous Maharashtrian side dish made simply with onions, veggies and with besan flour..Earlier i have prepared zunka with okra, u can find here, this zunka is definitely a delicious and an easy side dish to enjoy along with rice dish or with rotis...This time i wanted to prepare as a fusion dish by adding some leftover tofu chunks which i marinated for half an hour with cumin seed powder,crushed ajwain seeds, chilly flakes, coriander powder with few tsp of oil and cooked them in microwave oven for 5 minutes in high and finally combined along with capsicum zunka...Both tofu and capsicum together works out wonder and this zunka was quite a hit at home, we enjoyed having this delicious, healthy side dish along with tomato pappu and finally prepared as wrap with some leftover zunka for our dinner...Will be posting the home made tortillas and the wrap in my next post, stay tuned friends..Sending this zunka to Healing Foods - Capsicums guest hosted by Erbe in cucina, event started by Siri..

  • 250grs Extra firm tofu (cubed)
  • 2nos Green bell peppers (cubed)
  • 1/2cup Gram flour
  • 1no Onion(chopped)
  • 1/2tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/4tsp Ajwain seeds
  • 1/4tsp Red chilly powder
  • 1/4tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2nos Slit opened green chillies
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt
  • Oil
For Marination:
  • 1/2tsp Cumin seed powder
  • 2pinch Ajwain seeds(crushed)
  • 1/2tsp Red chilly flakes
  • Oil
  • Salt
Marinate the cubed tofu pieces with the ingredients given in the list 'for marination' and keep aside for half an hour..Dry roast the gram flour until the aroma comes out..Arrange the marinated tofu pieces over a microwave plate in a single layer.Cook the marinated tofus in microwave oven for 5minutes in high..

.In an another pan add enough oil and let splutters the cumin seeds, ajwain seeds, add the chopped onions, slit opened green chillies, curry leaves and saute until the onions turns add the cubes bellpeppers and saute with turmeric powder, red chilly powder and salt, saute in simmer until the oil get separates, gradually add the roasted gram flour to the cooking veggies and stir until the veggies get slightly coated with the gram flour, finally add the already cooked tofu pieces and toss gently ,cook for few minutes..put off the stove..

Serve hot as side dish..

Carrot & Cabbage Halwa

I love to make out new dishes by combining sometimes unusual ingredients to make out some of my new dishes...Most of my blogger friends would have already know better much about my way of cooking, i never like to trash any dishes and i always try to find out an alternative way to finish the dish either by baking or by frying, so that my family members will enjoy without asking me any questions about my new culinary inventions..One among those new and unusual combination is this carrot and cabbage halwa, i was planning to prepare some carrot halwa for our weekend snacks in which i have added a quarter cup of finely shredded cabbages along with MTR badam feast, the addition of badam feast to this halwa changes completely the texture, taste, delicious and completely masked the odour of the cabbages i have added in this halwa...I served them this halwa when they were slightly warm and everyone at home relished each and every spoon of this halwa...none found the secret ingredient which i used in this halwa and finally i told that i have combined both carrots and cabbages to make out this halwa,needless to say how they looked at me when i told about the addition of cabbage...Sending this carrot and cabbage halwa to Yasmeen's Crucial Cruciferious..

  • 2cups Carrot (grated finely)
  • 1/4cup Cabbage (shredded finely)
  • 1/2cup Condesned milk (sweetened)
  • 1cup Milk
  • 3tbsp Badam feast (MTR's)
  • 1/2tsp Cardamom powder
  • Fried Cashewnuts
  • 2tsp Ghee
  • Almond flakes
Bring boil together the milk and condensed milk, meanwhile heat few drops of ghee and saute the carrot and cabbage pieces until they get half cooked, add this veggies to the milk and cook in medium high flame until the veggies get well cooked,stir in between... add the badam feast, cardamom powder and cook until the milk get evaporates finally add the remaining ghee and almond flakes, put off the stove..

Serve warm..

Dry Fruits Ladoo.

Dry Fruits Ladoo
Dry Fruits Ladoo.

Dried fruits like dates, raisins, apricots etc are mixed with nuts like cashews, pistachios, almonds, walnuts, pecans etc.. and formed into tight balls called ladoo. Serve these dry fruits ladoo as a tea time snack or as a energy booster through out the day.
Makes: 8 – 10 Dry Fruits Ladoo.


  • Pitted Dates 15 – 20
  • Cashews 5
  • Pistachios 14
  • Almonds 7
  • Golden Raisins 10

Method of preparation:

Finely chop the dates and the raisins.
Soak almonds in warm water for sometime and peel of their skin.
Pat dry the almonds.

Crush the cashews, pistachios and almonds into small bits using a pestle or a quick pulse in the processor.
Alternatively, chop the nuts with help of a large knife.
Add all the prepared ingredients in a mixing bowl and press with a fork or back of a spoon to mix.
Divide the mixture into around 8 – 10 portions.
Take each portion into hand and press to form into a ball.
Store dry fruits laddu in a dry tight jar and serve as a snack.
Notes: Make sure dates are not too dried but still hold their softness for easy binding.

Suggestions: If dates are too hard, then cover and microwave for couple of seconds to soften them. All quantities are approximate, adjust them according to your preference.
Variations: You can also add various nuts like walnuts, pecans and dried fruits like apricots, grapes etc.. Sugar or jaggery can also be added for more sweetness which also helps in binding. Dessicated coconut or dried coconut can be added but it reduces the shelf life of dry fruits laddu. Cardamom powder can be added for flavor.
Other Names: Dry Fruits Ladoo, Dry Fruits Laddu, Dry Fruits Laddoo.

Tandoori Tofu Kebabs

We had a sunny saturday and few of our friends orangised bbq at our best friend's home..We enjoyed each and every grilled meats, few of our friends were vegetarian and vegan, I called my friends asking her wat she want me to prepare for our bbq party, finally she asked me to prepare this tandoori tofu kebabs specially for our vegetarian and vegan also i can get extra firm tofus easily as am living in Chinatown..As i prepared for vegan friends, i didnt add yogurt to make out this spicy tandoori tofu kebabs..With red onions chunks and green bellpeppers this kebabs was a big hit among our vegan friends and these kebabs vanished within few minutes...Quite an easy and spicy tandoori tofu prepared with paprika powder, olive oil, dry parsley leaves, pepper powder,ginger garlic paste,garam masala,red chilly powder..Delicious tofu kebabs going directly to Weekend Wokking-Tofu guest hosted by CL, event by ME...

  • 2cups Extra firm tofu(cubed)
  • 2nos Onion (big & cubed)
  • cups Green bellpepper( cubed)
  • 1tsp Paprika powder
  • 1/2tsp Red chilly powder
  • 1/4tsp Pepper powder
  • 1tsp Ginger garlic paste
  • 1/4tsp Dry parsley leaves
  • 1/4tsp Garam masala powder
  • 2tbsp Olive oil
  • Salt
Mix the paprika powder, red chilly powder, pepper powder, ginger garlic paste, garam masala powder, dry parsley leaves, olive oil and salt in a bowl as paste, add the cubed tofu pieces to the spices and toss gently with the spice mixture, let them sit for half an hour..Preheat the oven to 425F..

Arrange the marinated tofu cubes with cubed onion chunks and cubed bellpepper chunks in wooden skewers, place each skewer over a baking sheet lined baking tray and bake for 15minutes until the tofus pieces get browned and crispy..

Enjoy with salads!!!!

Yummmmmm.....Ooooey Gooooey Chocolate!

I have a maniacal love for chocolate. I baked these DELICIOUS baked fudge a while back but I MUST share them with you because they are ABSOLUTELY DIVINE( isn't that my diet flying outta the window!)...and unbelievable easy to make..even ur kid can make 'em for you!These will definitely be made again in my home!!!!

Warning: Before you make these you might need to wake up earlier than usual and run an extra hour to offset the catastrophic caloric intake you are about to experience....

Baked Chocolate Fudge
Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 50 Minutes Difficulty: Easy Servings: 4


* 2 whole Eggs
* 1 cup Sugar
* 2 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
* 2 Tablespoons Flour
* ½ cups Butter, Melted
* 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 300 to 325 degrees.

Beat eggs until light in color. Beat in sugar until just combined. Add cocoa, flour, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Mix gently until well combined.

Pour batter into four large ramekins or one 8-inch square baking dish. Set ramekins or pan into a larger pan halfway full of water.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until upper crust is crispy and the rest of the batter is firm but not set. Toothpick should come out…not clean, but mixture should not be overly runny. If you pull it out of the oven and have second thoughts, stick it back in for ten more minutes.

Serve with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

This one goes off to the Foodie Fans of the Pioneer Woman

Jihva wedding Feast - Gujarati MousaL

I am not a Gujarati by birth. But due to my marriage to a Gujarati, I am privileged to experience many Gujarati customs. One such wedding custom is MousaL (or mousaD). It's a very sweet event. If a person is getting married, his/her father's side of the family invites and honors his/her mother's side of the family. This is the function to celebrate bride or groom's maternal side of the family. So when my sister-in-law got married, we invited my MIL's brothers, sisters and relatives and we welcomed them with kumkum and celebrated with food. It is like honoring maternal side by the paternal side.

Any Indian ritual is incomplete without a feast. For this mousaL event, we had some glorious, Gujarati feast. Although, I can't cook all of it, I cooked one such dish just to celebrate Jihva - Wedding Feast.

Mag daal na bhujiya
Yellow Moong Daal fritters
1 cup yellow moong daal
2-3 green chilies
1" ginger, peeled & chopped
3/4 tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste
1/4 cup coriander leaves/cilantro - chopped

Oil for deep frying

1. Soak moong daal for 6 hours. Drain.
2. Grind with all the remaining ingredients except oil.
3. Take out in a big container and stir well, adding 1 tsp hot oil
4. Heat oil for deep frying in a wide kadai. Drop spoonfuls of small fritters in a single layer. Do not over crowd.
5. Fry till they are golden brown from all sides. 6. Serve with chutney or ketchup.

1. They should be crispy from outside and soft from inside.

2. Note that these fritters are very small compared to usual vada size. They are of the size of berries.

3. For a variation, chopped fresh fenugreek leaves can be added to the batter just before frying.

Strawberry & Pear Smoothie

Sometimes less ingredients may bring out many delicious recipes from our kitchen, one among those less ingredient drink is this strawberry and pear smoothie, i blended few leftover frozen strawberries with fresh pear chunks along with thick yogurt and maple syrup to get this beautiful, catchy and filling smoothie..Really very easy to prepare,with adult's help even a kid can prepare this catchy and refreshing smoothie...Nowadays am getting hooked with smoothie for my breakfast or brunch,which is quite easy to prepare,refreshing and filling..Who will say no to this smoothie,definitely not me..I enjoyed having this smoothie...

  • 1cup Strawberries
  • 2nos Pears (chopped)
  • Maple syrup as per need
  • 2cups Thick Yogurt

Take all the ingredients in a blender, blend until the smoothie turns thick and well blend..Serve chilled or with ice cubes..

Enjoy the refreshing smoothie..


Quinoa & Mixed Fruits Salad

I prepared a cup of quinoa yesterday to prepare some bakes,but finally the day went really fast and the cooked quinoa were sitting in the fridge since afternoon..For our dinner, i prepared a sandwich with Scottish Baps with eggs and veggies, while everyone at home asked something as salad for dessert i thought of making a fruits salad with strawberries, apples and pears..I prepared everything for making fruits salad but while serving, i have added those leftover cooked quinoa along with the fruits which is prepared with cinnamon powder, maple syrup and orange juice, next time am gonna add dry fruits or toasted nuts to give more zing to this simple and healthy salad.....Needless to say that this simple quinoa and fruits salad turned out dessert truly delicious, tasty and also refreshing as i used the chilled quinoa, even my DH enjoyed having this super delicious salad..Voila am posting this salad, as they were really healthy and delicious..Do try friends, u will definitely love this..

  • 1cup Cooked quinoa
  • Strawberries (chopped as per need)
  • Apples (chopped as per need)
  • Pears (chopped as per need)
  • 1/4tsp Cinnamon powder
  • Maple syrup as per need
  • 1/4cup Orange juice

Add the orange juice to the chopped strawberries, apples, pears with cinnamon powder and let them sit for few minutes in fridge, while serving the salad add the cooked quinoa to the soaked fruits and add the maple syrup as per need, serve in small cups or bowls topped with nuts..

Enjoy this refreshing salad while its hot!!


Eggplant and Beans with Poppy Seeds

brinjal onion Eggplant and Beans with Poppy Seeds
Vankaya Chikkudukaya Gasa Gasala Kura.

Baby eggplants and fresh beans makes a good combination. Eggplants are chopped into chunks and fresh beans are chopped into inch long pieces. Oil is tempered and ground onion is fried before adding eggplants and beans. They are then cooked in poppy seeds paste and little milk till soft.
Makes: around 3 Servings of Vankaya Chikkudukaya Gasa Gasala Kura.


  • Small Indian Eggplants 4 – 6 Medium
  • Fresh Beans 10 app.
  • Poppy Seeds 1 tbsp
  • Onion 1 Small
  • Green Chillies 4 – 6
  • Ginger 1 inch Piece
  • Garlic 1 Clove
  • Turmeric Powder a big pinch
  • Milk 1/2 Cup
  • Salt to taste


  • Urad Dal 1/4 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds 1/4 tsp
  • Asafoetida a pinch
  • Curry Leaves 10
  • Oil 1 tsp

Method of preparation:

Wash, snap both ends of the fresh beans and chop them into inch long pieces.
Wash, remove stems and chop brinjal into small cubes.
Remove stems, wash and roughly chop the green chiles.
Peel and roughly chop the ginger and garlic.
Peel and roughly chop the onion.
Grind the onion into coarse paste adding least amount of water.

Soak poppy seeds in few tablespoons of water for couple of hours.
Grind poppy seeds into fine paste using a spice blender.
Grind green chiles, garlic and ginger into fine paste adding enough water.

Heat oil in a pan, add all talimpu ingredients in order.
When urad dal changes color, add onion paste.
Fry till onion is cooked and then add green chile paste, chopped beans, eggplant and turmeric powder.
Fry for a minute and add milk, ground poppy seeds paste and salt.

Cook covered on medium – low flame till beans and eggplant turns soft.
Taste and adjust any seasonings required and remove from heat.
Garnish with fresh curry leaves or chopped cilantro if desired.
Serve eggplant and beans with poppy seeds over plain steamed rice and a dollop of ghee.
Notes: Make sure eggplants are cooked well.

Suggestions: For more liquid like consistency, add more poppy seeds paste or milk and cook for couple more minutes before serving.
Variations: If baby eggplants are not available, choose eggplants that hold their shape when cooked.
Other Names: Vankaya Chikkudukaya Gasa Gasala Kura, Eggplant and Beans with Poppy Seeds.

Cardamom Flavored, Egg Less Chocolate Chip Muffins

This comes from Nava Atlas' 'The Vegetarian Family Cookbook'.
As it promises, the book has some wonderful recipes for a vegetarian family. We had earlier tried and enjoyed some soup recipes from the other cookbook of hers and so this time, brought this one.
When I was flipping through the pages, a basic egg less muffin recipe caught my attention and I immediately tried it. The first time, I added strawberries and tried making some berry muffins following the recipe. The batter appeared too dry but I went along according to the directions and it was a huge disappointment. In spite of baking them over an hour, they were half done while the tops were on the verge of burning and they ended up in trash.
I still wasn't ready to give up on the recipe and thought of trying it one more time with slight variations. This time, I increased the liquid and sugar quantity, added banana, chocolate chips and of course cardamom. They turned out good with that lovely aroma and flavor borrowed from the cardamom.
We enjoyed these muffins and our little one who loves chocolate chip muffins gave a thumps up.

Ingredients needed for 12 muffins:
(Ingredients mentioned here are what I used and in the parenthesis are the ones used / substitutes mentioned in the book)
  • 2 cups flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseeds (or wheat germ)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or natural granulated sugar)
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 - 3Tbsp oil
  • 1 cup homemade yogurt (or apple sauce / soy yogurt / vanilla yogurt)
  • 1 cup milk (use as needed)(or rice milk / soy milk)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

How to make them:
Mix the dry ingredients (the first six ingredients) together in a bowl.
Then mix in the banana, oil, yogurt and slowly go on adding milk as needed to form a batter of dropping consistency.
Then stir in the chocolate chips and divide the batter among the muffin cups.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes clean.

Rajma & Eggplant Pulao

Personally i felt to combine legumes with veggies to make out some pulao..Its fun to prepare this combination and also they are quite like one pot meal which suits prefectly for a lunch box menu..This pulao tastes quite similar like vaangibath with sauteed eggplants chunks, rajma along with ginger garlic paste and a masala paste prepared with coriander seeds, red dry chillies,cumin seeds, grated coconut, cardamom seeds and cinnamon stick..Easy to prepare this pulao goes awesome along with fried papads or simple potato roast, we enjoyed having this delicious rajma and eggplant pulao for our today's lunch with fried papads and hard boiled eggs..Am sending this rajma and eggplant pulao to Anita's Vegetable Marathon Event-Beans...

  • 2cups Basmati rice
  • 3cups Coconut milk
  • 1cup Rajma (cooked)
  • 2cups Eggplants (chopped as small cubes)
  • 1no Onion (chopped lengthwise)
  • 1no Tomato (big & chopped)
  • 2nos Green chillies (slit opened)
  • 1tsp Ginger garlic paste
  • 2nos Bayleaves, cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamoms
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt
  • Oil

To Grind:
  • 2tsp Coriander seeds
  • 1tsp Cumin seeds
  • 6nos Dry red chillies
  • 1no Cardamom seeds
  • 1inch Cinnamon stick
  • 1no Cloves
  • 3tsps Grated coconut

Fry all the ingredients given in the list 'to grind' one by one with few drops of oil until they turns golden brown, grind as fine masala powder and keep aside..Meanwhile wash the basmati rice,soak for 15minutes and cook along with coconut milk in a rice cooker,once the rice get cooked, keep aside and let them cool..

Heat enough oil, fry the bayleaves, cinnamon stick,cloves and cardamoms and add the chopped onions and chopped tomatoes,slit opened green chillies and saute until the veggies get half cooked, add the ginger garlic paste and saute until the veggies get completely cooked, now add the chopped eggplant pieces..cook until the eggplants turns mushy..finally add cooked rajma,curry leaves,salt and the grounded spice powder as per need..cook everything in simmer with lid closed until the oil get separates...finally add the already cooked basmati rice and toss gently everything get well mixed...

Chilli Paneer - T&T From Sailu's Kitchen

guest hosted by Lakshmi, event by Who will say to paneer dishes, not me...i always fond for our famous Indian cheese Paneer..I usually love making out paneer dishes in my own way but while going through Sailu's kitchen i got hooked to her easy and simple version of chilli paneer, eventhough i have tried already chilli paneer here..We enjoyed having this super delicious chilli paneer with rotis and we enjoyed having this droolworthy chilli paneer, obviously this chilli paneer goes to T&T-Saliu's KitchenZlamushka..U can check Sailu's Chilli Paneer here...

  • 250grs Paneer (cut as cubes)
  • 1no Onion (chopped)
  • 4tbsp Spring onion greens
  • 1tbsp Garlic (chopped)
  • 1tbsp Ginger (chopped)
  • 2tbsp Soya sayce
  • 2tbsps Rice vinegar
  • 1tbsp Cornflour
  • 5tbsps Water
  • 1/2tbsp Sugar
  • 2nos Green capsicums(cubed)
  • 2tbsp Tomato sauce
  • 1tsp Red chilli paste (recipes follows)
  • Salt
  • Oil

For Marination:
  • 1tbsp Corn flour
  • 5tbsps Water
  • 1/2tsp Ginger
  • 1/2tsp Garlic
  • Salt
  • 1/4tsp Pepper powder


Marinate the cubed paneer pieces with the ingredients give in the list for marination, and let them side for half an hour, heat oil in a flat pan, place the marinated paneer pieces one by one and shallow fry the marinated paneer pieces until slightly brown..Meawhile soak 3or 4 dry red chillies in hot water for 10minutes and grind as fine paste and saute the chilly paste in a tsp of oil for 2 minutes..

In an another vessel, pout the leftover fried oil or add enough oil, add the chopepd ginger and garlic and saute on high flame until they turns golden brown, add the chopped onions,saute for few minutes, finally add the cubed capsicums and stir fry on high flame, add the prepared chilli paste, tomato sauce, soya sauce, vinegar, sugar and cook for few minutes, finally ass the shallow fried paneer cubes to the veggies,saute for few minutes, meanwhile mix the corn flour with the water and add this cornflour mixture to the sauteed veggies and cook until the cornflour mixture turns thick..

Finally add the chopped green onions and serve immediately as side dish for rotis or as starter....

Mac 'n' Veggies

Eating healthfully becomes ever so important when stress threatens to consume you. With Lucy's surgery tomorrow, there is a confusion of questions running through our minds: are we doing the right thing? Will she learn to walk on three legs? What if she doesn't?

And the biggest one of all: how long after this will she be healthy? How long will she live?

But every night, when I lie in bed and hear her breathing hard-- something dogs do when in pain-- or when I hear her tumor-afflicted leg drag on the floor as she makes her way to the water bowl, I remind myself that the surgery is going to make her feel better.

Tomorrow morning I will drive her to the hospital where she will stay a day or two before coming home. The doctor says she is in good health otherwise (however ironic that sounds, all things considered) and everything should go well. In two to three weeks all the pain from the surgery should be gone and she will be happy again.

Meanwhile work has been crazy busy, leaving little time to do all those other things we do to take care of ourselves. So eating right has become imperative.

I've been pretty good about warding off the takeout devil and fixing something healthy and tasty in half an hour's time or less. Like this pasta dish I'm about to share.

Pasta is a favorite at our home because it takes so little time to put together, is such a frugal yet healthy choice, and is immensely versatile. The fact that you can now find wholegrain pasta in your supermarket makes this wonderful food all the more guilt-free.

I used macaroni which may seem like an unusual choice, but it actually worked very well. You can go with any small pasta. I tend not to buy macaroni because when it comes to this tiny, elbow-shaped pasta, my mind refuses to venture outside the mac 'n' cheese box. The cheesy dish is not something I particularly liked, even in my pre-vegan days. But I do like small pastas, so I decided to finally use up a box of wholegrain macaroni I'd bought ages ago.

Because I've not had a chance to go to the grocery store for days now, most of the ingredients in this dish came out of the pantry or the freezer. The spinach was boxed, the peas bagged, and the olives canned. The sunflower seeds were stolen from Desi's breakfast stash and the mint came from my backyard.

The only fresh ingredients I used were tomatoes and parsley, but you could very easily add other seasonal fresh veggies like zucchini or bell peppers.

Because I was focusing on making all this very healthy, I used some miso to flavor the parsley-mint pesto sauce that I stirred into the pasta. Miso, if you've never tried it, is a superfood that's filled with healthgiving digestive enzymes.

I also used some nutritional yeast to give the pasta a mildly cheesy flavor, although you could completely leave it out.

Bye for now. And do wish me luck for Lucy tomorrow. With all of you pitching for her, we know she's going to make it through this!

Mac 'n' Veggies


3/4 box of macaroni or any other small pasta (preferably wholegrain), cooked al dente

1 box frozen spinach, thawed (you can do this in the microwave, as I usually do)

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 cup frozen green peas

1 tsp ground black pepper

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1 cup olives, halved

Heat the oil.

Add the onion and garlic and saute over medium-low heat until translucent, about 7-8 minutes.

Add the spinach and peas and stir together. Cook until the spinach is really tender.

Add ground pepper. Turn off the heat.

Place in a bowl with the parsley-mint pesto (recipe follows).

Parsley-Mint Pesto

1 cup parsley leaves

1/2 cup mint

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds

1 tbsp white miso

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp red pepper flakes

Process all the ingredients together, drizzling the oil in through the feed tube, until you have a coarse paste.

Add to the bowl with the spinach. Add the cooked pasta.


Tomatoes and olives along with 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds and 2 tbsp nutritional yeast. Add salt to taste.

Stir well together. Garnish with some parsley, if desired.


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