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Monday, May 25, 2009

Mushroom Gravy

Turning to the problem that I faced a couple of days back was that, I happened to visit Ven’s place (which I normally do) and I had to cook for lunch, oh he being a bachelor I knew I can’t except to cook anything on the fly… You won’t believe he carries weird stuff which we would really expect in a bachelors place like Masoor Dhal, Panch Puran etc.

Like any other day I went prepared to make Parothas and Mushroom Curry, but unlikely I forgot most of the stuff like masala and other things… So I started with this simple dish just with few things on hand I started but I knew the outcome was gonna come out really really well… Yeah, you will agree with me, many a time when we cook with lil to meager amount of ingredients it does come out well… Not wasting much time I started with the dish, now to the recipe…


Onion – 1 large
Mushroom – 1 pack
Panch Puran – ½ tsp
Cumin Seeds – ½ tsp
Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
Garam Masala – 2 tbsps
Coriander Powder – ½ tbsp
Green Chillies – 2-3 nos.
Ginger – 1”
Garlic Pods – 5 nos.
Milk – 1 ½ - 2 cups no Water required
Cooking Oil – 2 tbsps + ¼ tbsp
Salt to taste


Simple to start off with this recipe, blend the Onion, Green Chillies, Ginger and Garlic do not add Water blend in a couple of times they will come along with no Water. Heat Oil in a pan throw in the Panch Puran and Cumin Seeds, when they sizzle add the Onion paste and cook on low – medium heat for about 5 mins until they thicken. Do not let it to burn or brown up, pour a lil Milk if it starts to burn… Mix in the Garam Masala, Coriander Powder and Turmeric Powder cover and cook for awhile. Again pour the Milk if the mixture thickens.

In the mean time heat up another wok and drizzle ¼ tbsp of Oil and fry the chopped Mushrooms. Now add the remaining Milk and let it cook for a couple of minutes and throw in the Mushrooms, adjust Salt and cook for another few minutes. Here your dish is ready…

Serve with: Roti, Pulav, Dosa or Idly

Friday, May 22, 2009

Chicken Masala

Baked Rava Idly’s turned out soft a lil different from what a cooker Idly tastes… This idly wasn’t hard or soggy neither dry they were close to soft muffins, keep checking a couple of times while you bake these Idly’s if you let them go a lil longer they will come out dry or crispy!!! The Carrots gave a nice creamy yellow color to the Idly's...

I can only think of days when I budged into a hostel, where the cafeteria catered only vegetarian food and by and far Eggs were considered vegetarian, and I was a person who loves Chicken and am more inclined towards Seafood... Usually there was one long weekend permissible in a month, so the urge to get back home was always incremental … When I just enter home I will just walk straight to the dinning table to dig on and that was pretty normal, Oh yeah my Grandma always says that “I behave like a food deprived gal”… The saga continued even when I started working (more than 7 yrs in total), only for a very short period did I getta stay in an apartment of my own, so anytime I getta chance I did sprang up with going out for food which I call Good Food, I almost ate everywhere at Hyderabad and at Chennai… But for once hostels were different for me, Tara Manjunatha Hostel in Bangalore, behind Ramaiah College, oh food was heavenly there…

My Mom is a pure vegetarian, and so are her sisters, she was so naïve that she dint know how chicken leg looks like… So after their wedding, the newly wedded couples were invited over to the Grooms sisters place (My aunt) and theirs is a big place with a lotsa friends and relatives and they had a feast with lotsa people from the village and here the so naïve Bride(she was only 18 then) was served Chicken and she started chewing on the legs and bones not know how to eat them… But she learnt cooking from my Aunt and Grandma, I am clueless how she manages to make finger licking non vegetarian food without tasting or not knowing how they taste with different ingredients…

My Grandma always tells us that while making chicken with just lil ingredients the dish can taste heavenly and she always insisted that we used whole spices and no chilli powder went into her dishes only whole red chillies were used and so I learnt this from her and this was the first dish I ever learned to cook…


For Cleaning:

Turmeric Powder – 1 tbsp

For Cooking:

Chicken – 1 lb
Onion – 1 large
Tomato – 1 large
Ginger – 2 inches
Garlic – 10 pods
Bay Leaves - 2 nos.
Cinnamon Stick - 1 no. small
Cardamom - 2 nos.
Cloves - 2 nos.
Red Chillies – 7-8 nos.
Cooking Oil – 3-4 tbsps
Mustard Seeds – ¼ tsp
Coriander Seeds – 3 tbsps roasted and ground to a fine powder
Curry Leaves from one or two strands
Salt to taste

For Powder:

Cinnamon Stick - 1 no. large
Cloves - 6-7 nos.
Cardamom - 6-7 nos.

For Garnishing:

Coriander Leaves


Wash the Chicken over few changes of Water and apply Turmeric and let it stand for 15-20 mins. Meanwhile chop and dice the Onions and Toamtoes. Paste Ginger and Garlic without adding Water, do sprinkle some Water if needed. Roast Coriander Seeds and make a fine powder. Roast Cinnamon, Cloves and Cardamom and grind it to a fine powder.

Heat a wide non stick pan/any wide mouthed vessel add Cooking Oil add the Mustard Seeds and let it splutter now drop the Cinnamon, Cardamom, Clove and Bay Leaves. Throw in the finely chopped Onions, Red Chillies and Curry Leaves, when it changes color add the Ginger-Garlic Paste cover and cook for 3-4 mins until the watery consistency disappears and it thickens.

Now add the diced Tomatoes and cover and cook until the Tomatoes are soft. Then goes the Coriander Powder and the Garam Masala Powder. Cover and wait until Masala splutter out then add Turmeric Powder and Chicken. Cover and cook for 10 mins do not open keep the flames on low - medium. No Water is required, after about 10 mins stir in not letting the Chicken to burn off. Now again cover and cook for another 10 mins or until Chicken is soft. Adjust Salt and garnish with Cilantro now keep the lid open and cook for a few more mins until the gravy thicken and coats the Chicken.

Serve with: Rice, Dosa, Idly or Roti Varities

Chicken Masala goes to

Viki's -- The Potluck - Chicken

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Baked Rava Idly

In a small cute lil kitchen I put all my ideas and thought to satisfy my appetite... But as its very hot, sometimes, during the day time I just wanted to make a quick meal and get out before I sweat out and get dehydrated... I am a great fan of rava idli's but then I dint wanna wash off those large utensils after I am all done with the cooking so I thought why not bake the Idli's oh yeah they turned out really well though!!! My brother calls it Masala Idli/Carrot Idli...


Roasted Semolina/Sooji - 1 Cup
Sodium Bicarbonate - 1/2 tsp
Yogurt - 2 1/2 cups
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Green Chillies - 2 nos.
Carrot - 2 grated
Coconut - 2 tbsps
Water - 1 cup
Oil - 1tbsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves


In a large microwave safe bowl heat the Oil and Mustard Seeds for 1 min... Now add in the Roasted Sooji and mix well and heat for a min now mix in the rest of the ingredients and set aside for about 30 mins. In the meantime you will see the color of Carrot enrich the dough.

Now spray the muffin tins with Oil and pour in one large scoop of the Mixture. Preheat the oven to 350 Degree F. Now place the Muffin tin in the oven and bake for 12-13 mins or until the center is cooked or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Serve it hot...

Serve with: Chutneys, Sugar or Yogurt

Baked Rava Idlis goes to

EC's -- WFY Quick Meal

Mahimaa's -- 15 Minutes Cooking

Sanghi's -- Fall in Love with Carrots

Monday, May 18, 2009

Besan ka Peda

After a laborious and demanding weeklong I started this week a lil chilled out, probably because of a couple hours of stress relieving dancing and a great weekend biking till my legs became soar, I felt there was something deficient oh yeah I did figure out what did you guys??? No sweets for such a long time but I did make brownie he he, I can see the stern look on your faces, it was all over though… I promise to post a brownie recipe shortly. Oh you doubt me, hey I promised Srivalli that I would send her some sweets for her Mithai Mela and I did keep up, so will I keep up my brownie promise too…

About Besan ka Peda/Laddoo is usually made back home when some unexpected guests turned up, this is a very simple and quick to make sweet, just under 15 mins your cooking will all be over cool it and make laddoo’s another few more min’s, guaranteed under 15 mins…


Gram Flour (Besan flour) - 1 cup
Organic Sugar - 1/2 cup
Butter - 1 tbsp
Milk - 1/4 cup
Cardamom a few pods
Saffron Strands a few
Craisins 10-12 (or any dry fruit or nut of your choice)
Baking cups 10-12


I am gonna tell you guys the usual stuff by the time you start reading you will know all about how to make it. Initially sift the Gram Flour and set aside Powder the Cardamom. Mix the Saffron Strands in Milk and let it stand for 5-10 mins. Heat one tbsp of Butter and add the Flour and roast it until brown, now throw in the Sugar and Cardamom Powder in about a minutes time add the Milk and keep stiring all the while until the dough leaves the walls of the pan. Cool it for 10 mins and roll them into small peda and put them in the baking cups and press in the Craisins. For the measurement that I have given, you will make 10-12 peda's indeed depending upon what size you make!!!

Okay the usual stuff again I am sending in these Pedas to

Mahimaa's -- 15 Minutes Cooking and

Srivalli's -- Mithai Mela

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ridgegourd Chutney

This week long has been very arduous and exhausting, I did make a point that my mornings are going be my stress busting time… It did work, I put my feet up and lighten myself and then by 9 in the morning boom everything came right at me not letting me settle down or loosen up, and then focusing on my cooking kriya was a lil strenuous… Last week when I hit the grocery stores I picked up a ridge gourd, I came back with some bagged veggies to see the ridge gourd missing from the stroller after brawling and wrestling with K I accomplishment the task of bringing it home safe… Oh God, ppl with 2 kids would manage them, but I had difficulty managing K…

For 3 days it lay in the refrigerator untouched, every time I opened the refrigerator thinking what to cook I could see the ridge gourd pleading to be used so I finally made it yesterday a very simple and easy to make chutney I just love the chutney I don’t mind having this chutney even without any accompaniments… Ridge Gourd is called as Beerakaya in Telugu, Peerkankai in Tamil...


Ridge gourd - 1 large
Onion - 1 medium
Tomato - 2 medium
Long Hots - 3 nos.
Turmeric Powder - a dash
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Cooking Oil - 1 tbsp
Water as needed


Cooking Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad Dhal - 1-2 tbsps
Curry Leaves - a few
Red Chillies - 2nos.
Asafoetida - a pinch


All of us would have done this, crate the outer skin and remove the soft inner seeds too, wash it and chop them into small pieces. In a pan heat Cooking Oil, Cumin seeds when the seeds splutter add the chopped Onions and cook until transparent add the Long Hots and Turmeric Powder, cook until the skin turns golden brown. Drop in the diced Tomatoes cover and cook until soft. Next goes the Ridge gourd cover it until soft. Let it cool and grind it to a paste by adding lil Water if necessary...

After this its the usual drill I mean the tempering part and mix with the ground Chutney...

Serve with: Idli, Dosa or Chappathis

Chutney goes to

Mahimaa's -- 15 Minutes Cooking

I am sending my Khandvi to

Divya Vikram's -- Bookmarked Recipes

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Beep beep... Beep beep, oh its already morning that was the first thing came to my mind... Lazily dragging myself out of the bed, and oh yeah its already Wednesday, going thru the daily routines I slowly walked to the bay door enjoying the cold breeze with a mug of hot steaming milk gazed at my plants and did my usual talking to them ;), its not weird as we (Myself, My brother, Mom and my aunts) do it right from childhood... Time to send K off keys, wallet, ID, Money and helmet check check and check, so what next simple uhhh venture into the kitchen and start doing something comforting mmm, my mind wandering slowly settled on Khandvi...

My mom found this in the microwave cooking book that came along with her microwave, she made this for us I have always helped doing it but have never tried in on my own... It was always on my mind to try and see how it works, so I thought why not today for sure I was all set to face the intricacies of making it, although there is none ;)... Simple and an appetizing one, you can make this in a jiffy and this recipe is a keep indeed...


Gram Flour - 1/2 cup (Besan Flour)
Fresh Yogurt - 3/4 cup
Water - 3/4 cup
Ginger paste - 1 tbsp
Green Chilli - 1 no. pasted
Turmeric Powder - a dash
Asafoetida - a dash (hing)
Salt to taste


Coconut - 3-4 tbsps grated
Coriander - few stalks finely chopped


Oil - 1/4 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - a dash (hing)


Coriander Leaves
Green Chillies finely chopped
Coconut grated


In a microwave safe bowl sift the gram flour and set aside. Mix Water and Yogurt with Ginger and Green Chilli Paste and pour it lil by lil to the flour whisking all the time not letting any lumps to form. Adjust Salt and add Asafoetida and mix well. Microwave the mixture for 4 minutes removing in between to whisk it well so they dont beome hard at the edges.

Now after 4 min's whisk the mixture well until there are no lumps in the mixture and place it again for another 2 minutes, whisking as you did before. Now you will porcelain plates or silver plates or any glass plate without any decoration on it. I used a porcelain plate, scooped the mixture using a large spoon or spatula and lay it on the plate and roll it or apply it thinly over the plate and let it cool for a while.

Sprinkle Coconut and Coriander leaves on the plate, roll a pizza cutter thru the entire length at about 1 or 1.5 inches apart... Using your fingers roll the dough slowly tucking in the stuffing. In a pan heat Oil and add the Mustard Seeds and Hing and pour it over the rolled dough. Sprinkle some Coconut, Coriander and Chillies over the Khandvi and serve.

Caution: Spread the dough immediately on plates or flat surface, it will harden as they cool and spreading them becomes difficult...

I am sending my Khandvi to

Mahimaa's -- 15 Minutes Cooking

Am sending in my Plantain Chips to Mahimaa's -- 15 Minutes Cooking Sorry Mahimaa, I kinda missed it but Jayasri reminded me of the event and asked me to send it across... Thanks a ton Jayasri...

Shama's -- Mother's Day Special Event

Monday, May 11, 2009

Plantain Chips

Plantain tree is the most useful tree, every part of it could be used in one way or the other... Stem to Plantain peels are used in one way or the other in cooking or as an aid for cooking... Plantain Chips are a staple snack of Kerala State in India, no one can ever perfect the art of Plantain Chips making like people from Kerala... I love the way its cooked and served hot on a cold rainy day, the climate keeps every one or atleast me in an imbalanced diet one day its cold and the other day its hot and sizzling... Yup, like any other cold day I felt like munching something crunchy then I pulled out a few Plantains from the pantry to make chips...


Raw Plantains - 2-3 nos.
Turmeric Powder - 1 tbsp
Salt to Taste
Cooking Oil for frying (Coconut Oil brings out the best of the flavors)


Peel the green skin off the Plantains (you can reserve them to make subzi out of them, there is hardly anything to waste from a Plantain tree). Slice the Plantain into thin rings and sprinkle Salt, Turmeric Powder and Water and mix well.

Heat Oil in a pan and fry the Plantains in batches, Coconut Oil heats up pretty quick. Stir in the spatula a coupla time not letting them to over cook and brown, turn the Plantain rings so both sides cook evenly.

Using a perforated Spatula drain the chips off the Oil and lay them on a kitchen tissue, remove the excess Oil. You can Microwave the chips thus making it more healthy, for about 10-12 mins @ 350 Degree F.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Marinara Sauce

After Mirchi ka Saalan, Kris was a lil disappointed cos he is dead against Mirchi's in gravy I just wanted to make him happy and one mantra I recollected was "To reach a man's heart is through his stomach"... He is a Pasta person, so I decided to make a simple Marinara Sause, throw in some shrimps and serve over pasta...


Onion - 1 medium finely chopped
Garlic - 4-5 cloves minced
Cherry Tomatoes - 1 small basket
Carrot - 1 large shredded
Diced Tomato - 1 can
Italian Seasoning - 1/2 tbsps
EVOO - 2 tbsps
Salt to taste
Sugar 1/4 tsp
Pepper to taste
Shrimp - 20-25 count

Rotini Pasta
Water - 2-3 qts
Salt to taste
EVOO - 2 tbsps


Cook the Pasta according to the package direction. Drain the Water and mix the pasta with 2 tbsps EVOO.

In a heavy bottom pot heat EVOO, add finely chopped Onion, minced Garlic cook for 3-4 mins. Then add the shredded Carrot and cook until smell disappears. Add the chopped Cherry Tomatoes and canned Tomatoes and until soft for about 15-20 mins. Throw in the Italian Seasoning, Salt, Pepper and Sugar and cook for another 5-10 mins.

Wash, Shrimps and drop in the sauce and cook until they are pink. Serve over pasta.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mirchi ka Saalan

Paradise at Hyderabad, is a common name and the most heard name too... Its always good food there, My parents neither werent worried about me going away nor about food cos my Dad had taken me to all the place there yrs before I started my job at Hyderabad... With lotsa new friends and more place to explore for food and sightseeing it was feasting time every other day... I have had food at almost all the road side shops and even big hotels and resort, (Alankrita is one famous resort to visit) in Hyderabad and for Biriyani and Roti they served Mirchi ka Saalan. Mirchi ka Saalan was a name that I never have heard of until I started working at Hyderabad...

I just love the taste of Mirchi ka Saalan, but it was only at restaurants and hotels I had it, my hostel never serve it, anyways we cant expect hostels to serve Mirchi ka Saalan he he... I moved out and took an apartment at Begumpet it was fun and full of excitement, cooking was a pain since we dint have a refridgerator to store milk and other things we happened to cook less and that to with things that dont need a refridgerator to store... That was the time when I became friends with my neighbor, who was totally dead against in letting the house to spinsters cos she was a stay at home Mom who loves to talk and gossip during her mid day free time... Somehow we did become friends and she liked me very much for the simple reason that we shared common interests like cooking, baking, embroidery etc and I spoke Telugu too...

It was a ritual that she invites me when ever she made fish, cos she knows that I love Fish... Once when she invited me she had made Mirchi ka Saalan I was so happy that she invited me cos I had a feast and I learnt how to make this, ever since then when ever I got an opportunity I made this but Kris hates this, sometimes he has to deal with it no other go and one such day is today...


Long Hots - 7-8 nos.
Onion - 1 small finely chopped
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tbsp
Tamarind - small lime size
Cooking Oil - 3 tbsps
Caraway Seeds - 1 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds - a few
Salt to taste

For the paste:

Coconut - 2-3 tbsps
Ginger - 1 inch
Garlic - 5-6 pods
Tomatoes - 2 large

For the powder:

Peanuts - 2 tbsps
Caraway Seeds - 1/4 tsp
White Sesame Seeds - 1 tbsp
Coriander Seeds - 1 tbsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tbsp
Poppy Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Red Chillies - 4 nos.


In a pan dry roast all the ingredients for the powder one by one cool it and powder the ingredients and set aside. Add all the ingredients for the paste with some Water and paste it. In a pan add 2 tbsps of Cooking Oil and roast the Long Hots (2 0r 3 at a time). Be cautious while you roast, if you roast on high flames the Long hots will loose their skin and the Oil will splutter.

In the same pan add Caraway Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Mustard Seedsand Fenugreek Seeds when they pop add the chopped Onions, Turmeric Pwd and Coriander Pwd. After about a minute pour the paste in and let it cook for 4-5 mins (appr.) stirring in between.

Now add the Powder and adjust Salt and add more Water and Chilli Pwd if needed cover and cook for a few more mins. Then drop the roasted Long Hots in them and pour the Tamarind Water to it cover and cook for a couple of mins, garnish with Cilantro.

Serve with: Roti, Biriyani

I am sending this recipe to

Deesha's -- South Indies

Sathya -- Think Spice...think Caraway Seeds"

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