Jan 29, 2009

Green Peas masala

I love to eat in Dhaba and whenever I go to my mom's place, we all go to the Dhaba place in cenetoph road in chennai which is our favorite restaurant. I always like to eat punjabi dishes and especially their sides dishes like this green peas masala, dhum aloo, etc are my all time favorites. I got the recipe for this green peas masala from a weekly magazine, written by a punjabi lady living in chennai. I took the print out of the recipe and tried yesterday. It came out really well. One of my friend (who is from Dehradun) visited us yesterday, and she tasted it and said its really good... Here goes the recipe.

  1. Green Peas - 2 cups ( I used frozen peas, can also use fresh peas)
  2. Onion - 2(if it is small ; 1 if it is big) (chopped)
  3. Tomato - 2 (chopped)
  4. turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  5. Red chillies powder - 1/2 tsp (acc to taste)
  6. Salt to taste
  7. garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp (acc to taste)
  8. Heavy cream - 1/4 cup (I used whole milk)
  9. coriander leaves - 2 tbsp (chopped)
  10. Oil - 2 tsp(can also use butter or ghee)
  11. Cumin - 1/2 tsp
  12. Green chillies - 1(acc to taste)
  13. giner - 1 tsp (chopped)
Take a pan, pre heat oil, splutter cumin seeds, add green chillies and ginger and saute for a minute. Now add onion, stir it till it becomes transparent, now add tomato to it and mix it well. Add a cup or two of water, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, salt and chillies powder and let it boil for another 3 mts. Now add the green peas to it and mix it well and let everything cook for 7 to 10 mts. depending upon how long peas takes to cook. Frozen peas took 7 mts to fully cook and mix with the other ingredients. Now add the cream and let it mix for another 2 mts. Turn off the stove and garnish it with coriander leaves. This can be a wonderful side dish for chapathi, poori...

Jan 26, 2009

My Interview and my blog review

I am really happy to give this interview to Jennifer. She has done a great job doing this work and reviewed my blog neatly. Here is the link of my interview.. Just check it out..

Follow this link..

Mixed Vegetable Rice

This was our dinner yesterday. It came out very well. The main ingredients are as follow:
  1. Basmati Rice - 1 cup (measuring cup) (soak it for 5 mts.)
  2. Carrot - 1 - (Chopped in an inch size) (if its a big carrot use only 1/2 carrot)
  3. Peas - 3 tbsp
  4. Potato - 1 (chopped in an inch size)
  5. Onion - 1 finely chopped
  6. Garlic - 1 clove finely chopped
  7. Oil - 2 tbsp
  8. Butter - 1 tbsp (unsalted)
  9. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  10. Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  11. Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  12. Salt to taste
  13. Cardamom - 1
  14. Cloves - 1
  15. Bay leaf -1
  16. Cashews - 5 to 7 (acc. to taste)
  17. Fresh coriander leaves - 2 tbsp (finely chopped)
First, clean the rice and cook it up to 1 or 2 whistles. Do not over cook. Keep it aside and let it cool. Now take a wide pan, preheat the oil, add mustard seeds, when it splutters add cashews, cumin seeds, Cardamom, cloves bay leaf and vegetables to it. Add 1/2 cup of water and let it cook for 5 to 7 mts. Now add coriander powder and salt to it. Stir it carefully (do not mash the vegetables). Now mix the vegetables with the rice. While mixing the vegetables with a spatula, make sure it won't mash the rice. Now pour the Butter on top it and garnish it with coriander leaves. Now mixed vegetable rice is ready to serve. Potato chips or Onion raita can be a good side dish. We can also replace ghee and oil with cooking spray...

Jan 24, 2009

Blueberry Muffins

When my girls were 2 years old, they watch Barney everyday and in that series, I like the Muffin Man song. Somehow or the other I sing that song everyday... I donno why but I like to sing that song. Whenever we go out to lunch or dinner at Sweet Tomatoes, I eat this blueberry muffins there with a dallop of butter. Their muffins are really moist and soft...Even though my muffins were not that professional, it came out pretty good. Recipe I followed to make this muffins...

  1. All Purpose flour - 1 cup
  2. Baking powder - 1 tsp
  3. Salt - 1/2 tsp
  4. Egg - 1
  5. Milk - 1/2 cup
  6. White sugar - 3/4 cup (acc to taste)
  7. Blue Berries - 3/4 cup ***
  8. Margarine - little less than 1/4 cup
  9. Vanilla Extract - 1/2 tsp
  10. All purpose flour - little less than 1/4 cup

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin tins, or line cups with paper liners. Sprinkle little less than 1/4 cup flour over blueberries, and stir to coat berries thoroughly. In a small bowl, whisk together a cups of all purpose flour(ingredient 1), baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, cream margarine, and gradually mix sugar. Beat egg and stir into creamed mixture along with vanilla. Stir in milk alternately with flour mixture, mixing well after each addition. Fold in berries. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 25 mts. The above said ingredient is enough for 12 muffins...

*** - I used a full cup of fresh blueberries, but that was too much for the muffins.

Jan 23, 2009

Cumin Rasam - Jeera Rasam

This is my all time favorite rasam. I make this rasam very often cos its easy to make and good for health too. The recipe I follow to make this rasam is as follows...

  1. Tomato - 2 (chop it)
  2. Tamarind paste - 2 tsp
  3. toor dhall - 2 tbsp
  4. Cumin - 2 tsp
  5. Rasam Powder - 1 tsp (acc to taste)
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
For seasoning:-
  1. Ghee - 2 tsp
  2. Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
  3. Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
  4. Asafoetida powder - a pinch
  5. Curry leaves - few
  6. Coriander leaves - few
First, grind toor dhall and cumin coarsely and keep it aside. Take a pan, put the tomatoes, tamarind paste, two cups of water, turmeric powder, rasam powder, salt and let it cook for 3 mts. When it begins to boil, add the grounded dhall and cumin powder to it and let it boil for another 5 to 7 mts. Add water some more if necessary. When the raw smell of rasam powder, tamarind and cumin goes, add required amount of water to it and when the foam forms, turn off the stove. Take a small pan, pre heat ghee, splutter mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds, asafoetida powder and curry leaves and fry it to golden brown. Pour it on top of rasam. Garnish it with coriander leaves. Serve it hot. This can be taken as a soup which helps for sore throat.

This cumin rasam goes to CMT - Dhall/kadi/sambar/rasam, hosting by Priya, an event by Jagruti

Jan 21, 2009

My First Cake

When it comes to cake, I would say " I am a good eater than a baker". I like to eat all kinds of cakes. But when it comes to baking, I am scared to try that part. As Jaishree has mentioned in her blog, cooking regular dishes for more 10 people(in my case) is easy to me than bake a cake. But all of a sudden, my girls wanted to bake cookies. So I got the pre prepared refrigerated cookie dough from grocery store and helped them to bake the cookies. They enjoyed baking cookies and they shared it with their friends in their class. Now they want to bake a cake. Well truly speaking, baking a cake with kids around is really a hard task. First I tried a simple chocolate cake, where my girls wanted to put all the ingredients and I allowed them to do that even though I know that this is not gonna work, I just want to encourage them. They put all the dry and wet ingredients in a bowl and tried hard to mix those and I helped them mix it and popped it in the oven for 40 mts. I came out like a chocolate cookie... Well they were happy and were satisfied with what they did and had a whole bowl of those chocolate cookies and started playing. But I was not satisfied personally, cos I just wanted to bake a cake. Again I browsed most of the websites and got a recipe for simple cake and tried the same day itself and it was really a success. Now I am thinking of joining a short term course in baking cakes... Here goes the recipe.

  1. All purpose flour - 2 cups
  2. Egg-3
  3. Sugar - 1 cups (acc to taste)
  4. Butter or Margarine - 1/4 cup
  5. Milk - 1 cup
  6. Baking powder - 3 1/2 tsp
  7. Salt - 1 tsp
  8. Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F(175 Degrees C). Grease and flour one 9 x 13 inch pan. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. set it aside for some time. In the mean time, in a large bowl, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating just to combine. Finally, stir in vanilla. Pour batter into the pan. Bake at 350 degreesF for 40 to 45 mts. or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Frost and enjoy. As far as frosting is concerned, I used the store bought frosting and sprinkles which I asked my girls to do it. We shared the cake pieces with the kids in their class and they all enjoyed it. I have taken print out of Jaishree's chocolate and Pineapple cake. Hopefully will bake it during the weekend.

Jan 15, 2009

Kanu with Variety Rice

Kanu is Maatu Pongal - We keep kanu pidi (basically offerings to our ancestors) early morning and offer it to crow... I hate this custom personally. Because now a days we can see so many orphanages and so many kids roaming in the streets without food and shelter... Before my marriage, when I asked my patti "why don't you give this left over to the boy sleeping in the street platform?" She said "summa irudi periyavaa enna sollaralo adha kekardhuthan azhagu". They are ready to waste a bowl full of rice rather to give it to a small boy.. Thats why I hate this kanu pidi concept and most of the time never participate in this custom. Since I used to give lots of trouble like this(not believing in old tradition), my parents and patti were really scared when they started talking about my marriage... I am not sure whether I will get along with my inlaw and co-sisters in this concept and many other concepts(which I hate) when we go back to India??? Lets coming back to recipes, I made tamarind rice, coconut rice and avial on 15th Jan. I wanted to make curd rice also, but didn't get time to finish my work before 12 so just left it...
Check out the recipe for tamarind rice here, Coconut Rice and Avial here...

Jan 14, 2009

Happy Pongal

"Happy Pongal to all my friends here"

Pongal used to be my favorite festival and I enjoy preparing pongal in clay pot with lots and lots of fruits and sugar cane especially on both sides of the pot. Even now I can visualise those days when I was in school, my patti make all the arrangements to cook pongal. Me and my cousins stand next to my patti and enjoy those rituals. The main purpose of standing is the sugar cane which we were all crazy about... Since we lived in an Agraharam, very near to temple, Makara Deepam festival is celebrated every year in a very grand manner and it comes during this Pongal days and my uncle is a member in that festival committee, so most of the members will come to our house for lunch and dinner, nearly for a week, till the festival gets over on 16th January every year. Our house will be full of people for more than 10 days. When I called yesterday to greet all my relatives, I talked to more than 10 people over phone. I miss them all so much here. For the past 6 years, I don't do much pooja or something on pongal. I just make chakkara Pongal (sweet pongal) and offer it to god and serve it to my husband and kids. Because 6years back, on the same day, my mom died and after that I stopped doing all these rituals. But this year, my patti(mom's mom) asked me to do pooja and the rituals on Kanu like preparing variety rice etc., so that it might help my girls to learn all those rituals. So this year I made both venpongal and chakkara pongal and did pooja today morning. Felt like recovering from something :).... Alright, coming back to the business, here is the recipe for Chakkara Pongal (sweet Pongal)I made today.

  1. Raw rice - 3/4 cup
  2. Moong dhall - 1/4 cup
  3. Turmeric powder - a pinch
  4. Jaggery - 1 1/2 cup (or acc to taste)
  5. Water - 2 to 3 cups
  6. Ghee - 2 to 3 tsp
  7. Pacha karpooram (Edible Camphor) - a pinch
  8. Cardamom - 1
  9. Cashews - few
  10. Raisins - few.

This is the step I followed to make chakkara pongal. First cook rice and dhall with 3cups of water. Cook it upto 4 or 5 whistles. When the pressure is released, take it out and mash it. In the mean time, take a heavy bottomed pan, dissolve jaggery with a cup or two of water, add pacha karpooram, cardamom and bring it to boil. Now add the mashed rice to jaggery and mix it well. Add water to adjust the consistency. In a small pan, pre heat ghee, fry cashews and raisins to golden brown and pour it on top of chakkara pongal. You can get the recipe for venpongal here.

I am sending this recipe to Priti's Makara Sankranti Festival event.

Jan 12, 2009

Semiya Upma

Semiya Upma is my favorite. But whenever I make this upma, it becomes like payasam :( or some kind of kozha kozha thing. So whenever I go to India I ask my patti or my MIL to make this upma and eat it. But this time, when I bought this bambino Vermicilli packet, I saw the recipe in it and wanted to give a try. Surprisingly it came out very well. Here is the recipe I followed.

  1. Semiya - 1 cup
  2. Water - 1 1/2 cup
  3. Salt to taste
  4. Onion - 1
  5. Tomato - 1
  6. Oil - 1 tsp
  7. Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
  8. Urad dhall - 1/2 tsp
  9. Green chillies - 1
  10. Asafoetida powder - a pinch.
First pre heat a pan with a drop of oil, fry the vermicelli to golden brown and keep it aside. In the same pan, pre heat remaining oil, splutter mustard seeds, fry urad dhall and add green chillies and asafoetida powder and fry it for a second. Now add the chopped onion and saute till it becomes transparent. Add tomato and stir it for another minute. Now add the water and salt and bring it to boil. Now add the fried vermicelli and stir it well. Cook it for another five minutes till the vermicelli is fully cooked. Turn off the stove when the water is fully absorbed, add the chopped coriander leaves and cover the upma with a lid. Serve it hot with tomato ketchup.

Jan 11, 2009

Thiruvadhirai Kali & kozhambu.

Thiruvadhirai Kali is my all time favorite dish. I can eat this every day. When I was 3 months pregnant, 4 years back, I had a temptation (what we call "masakkai") all of a sudden to eat this kali and at that time, I didn't know the recipe. It was like 2PM here in USA and I called my patti to get the recipe, it was 2.30 AM (early morning) in India, and they were all really shocked to get a call from me at that time and I didn't bothered all about those, just got the recipe and made it immediately and ate couple of teaspoons and finally vommitted everything(!). But I was happy that I could eat that kali. After that, I like to make this very often and eat it. Here is the recipe I usually follow to make this Kali..

  1. Raw rice - 1 cup
  2. Moong dhall - 2 tbsp
  3. Jaggery - 1 cup
  4. Water - 1 1/2 to 2 cups (depending upon the rice, adjust water)
  5. Cardamom - 1 or 2
  6. Pacha karpooram - a pinch
  7. Ghee - 2 tsp
  8. Coconut - 1 tsp
  9. Cashew - few
  10. Raisins- few
There are two ways of treating rice while making this kali. My patti usually wash the rice first, let it dry and roast it till it becomes golden brown, cool it and grind it into a fine rava consistency. My MIL does it other way round, she first roast the rice, then wash it after it is cool, then grind it into a rava consistency. Either way you can follow, both ways you get good kali. You do the same thing with moong dhall. Roast it till golden brown, let it cool, wash it and let it dry and then grind it or other way round, wash it, let it dry, roast it and then grind it into rava consistency.

Now dissolve jaggery with 1 1/2 to 2 cups of water, (depending upon the rice) add cardamom, coconut, pacha karpooram and a teaspoon of ghee. Bring it to boil, now add the grounded rice and dhall mixture to it. Mix it well and transfer it to another vessel and pressure cook it upto 2 whistles. When the pressure is released, take it out mix it well. Roast cashews and raisins in remaining ghee, to golden brown, pour it on top of kali. Serve it with kozhambu.

Here is the recipe for Kozhambu which MIL used to make. This is Thanjavur style of making kozhambu. Its basically called as "Ezhukari kozhambu" cos we use seven vegetables to make this. The recipe goes like this..

  1. Vaazhakkai (Green Plantain) - 1/2
  2. Pumpkin - Less than 1/4
  3. Egg plant - 4
  4. Potato - 2
  5. Peas - 1/4 cup
  6. Sweet Potato - 1/2
  7. Chow Chow - 1/2
  8. Toor dhall - 1/4 cup
  9. Channa dhall - 3 tbsp
  10. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  11. Sambar powder - 1 tsp
  12. Salt to taste
  13. Tamarind Juice - 1/4 cup (thick juice)
To Grind:-
  1. Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
  2. Channa dhall - 1/2 tsp
  3. Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
  4. Almonds - 4
  5. Red chillies - 3 (acc to taste)
  6. Asafoetida powder - a pinch
To Season:-
  1. Oil - 2 tsp
  2. Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  3. Curry leaves - few
  4. Coriander leaves - few
First cook the toor dhall and channa dhall with a pinch of turmeric powder and keep it aside. In the mean time, cut the vegetables in the same size, also fry the ingredients given for grinding, to golden brown and let it cool, grind it into a fine paste. Keep it aside. Take a wide pan, put the vegetables, add the tamarind juice, turmeric powder, sambar powder, salt and required amount of water(if necessary) and let all the vegetables cook. When the vegetables become tender, add the grounded paste and let it cook for another 5 mts. Then add the cooked dhall to it, add water to adjust the consistency and let it cook for another 5 to 7 mts till everything mixes together. The final consistency, should not be watery like sambar or thick like kootu. It should be in between these two. When it is done, turn off the stove, take a small pan, pre heat oil, splutter mustards seeds, fry curry leaves to golden brown and pour it on top of kozhambu. Also add coriander leaves. Serve it hot. The advantage of this kozhambu is we add lots of veggies in it. We can keep it kozhambu for 3 days maximum and while reheating, all the spices mixes together and it tastes really heavenly.

Jan 10, 2009

Aaloo bengan curry - Potato Eggplant Curry

This is something we had in a restaurant last week. Since we are regular customer for them, he gave me the recipe for this curry. The difference between what he served and what I made was the size of the eggplant. They have used the bigger chinese eggplant, but I used the regular small eggplants. Also he wanted me to add lots of butter, which is not possible in my case. So I used olive oil instead. Here is the recipe.

  1. Egg Plant (Brinjal) - 5
  2. Potato - 3
  3. Onion - 1
  4. Tomato - 2
  5. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  6. Red chillies powder - 1 tsp
  7. Garam Masala Powder - 1/4 tsp
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
For Seasoning_
  1. Oil - 1 tsp
  2. Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  3. cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
  4. Asafoetida powder - a pinch
  5. Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp
Cut the vegetables evenly. Take a pan, pre heat oil, splutter mustard and cumin seeds, add asafoetida powder, add the onion, fry it for a minute, add tomato, saute for another one minute. Now add potato and egg plant, mix it with onion, add turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chillies powder and salt and mix it with the vegetables. Add water and cover the vegetables. Cook it till it becomes tender. Now add the garam masala powder and mix it well. Leave it in the stove for another 3 to 5 mts. Garnish it with coriander leaves and serve it hot with rice or chapathi.

Jan 6, 2009

Aaloo Zuchini Masala curry

This curry is the result of my confusion. First I cut zuchini and cooked dhall to make kootu and I started talking to my MIL. I totally forgot about this and started cutting potato and onion and fried masala ingredients for making potato curry and then saw zuchini and dhall smiling at me. Was totally confused what to make because I already finished making sambar. First of all sambar and kootu itself is a wierd combination. I know that, but that day was not in a mood to do everything correctly. So started making this curry. Another inspiration for making this curry is Aloo bengan curry we had two days back in a restaurant. Result was surprisingly really good and tastes really good and my girls gave me a certificate "amma this kaai is good" :). Here is the recipe I followed to make this curry.

  1. Zuchini - 1 (medium sized)
  2. Potato - 4
  3. Onion - 1
  4. Toor dhall - 1/4 cup
  5. Moong dhall - 3 tbsp
  6. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  7. Salt totaste
To grind:-
  1. Channa dhall - 1/2 tbsp
  2. Urad dhall - 1/2 tsp
  3. Red chillies - 1 or 2 (acc to taste)
  4. Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
  5. Asafoetida powder - a pinch
  6. Almonds - 3
To season:-
  1. Oil - 2 tsp
  2. Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  3. Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
  4. Curry leaves - few
First both toor dhall and moong dhall with a pinch of turmeric powder and keep it aside. Cut zuchini, potato and onion in equal sizes. Fry the ingredients given for grinding, to golden brown and grind it into a fine paste. Keep it aside. In the mean time, pre heat oil, splutter mustard seeds, cumin seeds, saute onion to golden brown, add potato and zuchini, add turmeric powder and salt and let it cook till it becomes tender. Now add the grounded paste to it and mix with the ingredients. Cook it for another 5 mts. Add water to adjust the consistency. Add the cooked dhall now and let it cook for another 3 mts. Add curry leaves finally.

Jan 2, 2009

Vegetable cutlet

I always like to eat this cutlet whenever I go out to restaurants. But never tried this at home. This time I just wanted to give a try. Here is the recipe I followed to make this cutlets.

  1. Potato - 2 (I used small potatoes)
  2. Carrots - 1 (shred the carrot)
  3. Beetroot - 1 (small - shred)
  4. Green onion - 2 tbsp
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Cashews - few
  7. Red chillies powder - 1 tsp
  8. Garam Masala powder - a pinch
  9. Besan flour - 1 tsp
  10. Turmeric powder - a pinch
  11. Oil - 1 tsp
  12. Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
  13. Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
  14. Coriander leaves - few
  15. Bread crumbs - 2 tbsp

First cook one potato, mash it and keep it aside. In the mean time, shred the other potato, carrot, beetroot and cut green onions. Take a pan, pre heat oil, splutter mustard and cumin seeds, add the cashews, fry it for couple of minutes, add the shredded vegetables, mash the cooked potato, add it to the shredded veggies, add turmeric powder, red chillies powder, salt and let it cook for the next 5 to 7 mts. Sprinkle water if necessary. Now add coriander seeds and garam masala powder now and mix it together. Also add the besan flour and mix it with the cooked vegetables and make sure no lumps are formed in it. Turn off the stove and let it cool. Place the bread crumbs in a plate and make small patties (or make shapes you like) and dip it in the bread crumbs. In the mean time, pre heat dosa pan, spray some oil in it. put the dipped patties in the pan and fry it till it becomes golden brown. Serve it hot with tomato ketchup. This is a kid friendly snack I would say. I girls ate two cutlets each with tomato ketchup.

Jan 1, 2009

Milagu kozhambu

I want to start my favourite receipe as the first post for this new year 2009. The main ingredients are as follow..
  1. Tamarind paste - 2 tbsp
  2. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  3. salt to taste
  4. Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
  5. channa dal - 1 tbsp
  6. urid dal - 1/2 tsp (optional)
  7. Black pepper - 1 1/2 tbsp
  8. cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  9. Fenugreek seeds(methi seeds) - 1/2 tsp
  10. Asafoetida powder - a pinch
  11. Sesame oil - 3 tbsp
  12. Jaggery - 2 tsp
For seasoning:-
  1. mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  2. urid dal - 1/4 tsp
  3. methi seeds - 1/4 tsp
  4. asafoetida powder - a pinch
  5. curry leaves - 10 leaves
First, take a small pan and pour a drop of oil and fry coriander seeds, channa dal, urid dal, black pepper, cumin seeds and asafoetida, to golden brown. Let it cool and grind it into a fine powder. This is the Milagu kozhambu powder.

Now take a wide pan and pour the remaining oil and season the mustard seeds, urid dal, methi seeds, asafoetida powder and curry leaves to golden brown (do not burn the ingredients). Now mix the tamarind paste with 2 cups of water and pour it in the pan and add turmeric powder and salt. Let it boil for 4 mts. Now add the milagu kozhambu powder to the tamarind mix and again let it cook for another 7 mts in medium flame. Now add jaggery to it and let it boil for another 3 mts until the oil starts to leave the side of the pan. Here also the consistency should be semi-solid. Now milagu kozhambu is ready to serve and we can keep this kozhambu for atleast a week under refridgeration.