Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tri Delight

  This is one of those dishes that nobody needs a recipe.  Nevertheless for someone out there who needs an idea for a variation from the regular this one is for you.  I like sauteed vegetables and I try them with different sauces.  Alternatively, to have with rice and curd I like to dig my Indian routes and do something closer  home.  That's when I avoid the sauces and add just chilies and enjoy them.  The following recipe with a variation of veggies and addition of soya bean sauce can very well be a Chinese dish.  This one though  is very comforting and enjoyable with rice, curd and pickle.  Love it!


Beans - 30 nos
Potato - 2 medium size
Carrots - 2 medium size
Dry Red chili - 5 nos
Garlic - 5 pods
Black pepper - to taste
Salt -  to taste
Oil - 1 Tbspn
Water - 1/3rd cup

1. Heat oil in a pan and add the crushed garlic and red chili and saute for a minute or two till both express cooked aroma
2. Add in all the vegetables sliced small in equal shapes as much as possible
3. Saute a while and add 1/3 cup of water, salt and on a low flame cook till the potato is done
4. Once the potato is done without breaking them stir and add crushed black pepper if you need the saute to be more fiery to taste

Notes: Serve them with rotis or rice.
2. You could avoid the water and saute in only the oil by stirring.  This takes more time and patience but quite tasty
3. If you are not adding water you might need a little more oil
4. You may also add a shallot and curry leaves when you saute the red chili and garlic. 

Contributor: Sunitha

Monday, June 28, 2010


 Phew! I am back.  My computer was down with the flu.  I should have taken better care when I went out in a hurry searching Google for Manisha Koirala's marriage photographs.  I know! It cannot get any worse, stupid or silly.  No disrespect to actors, since you can see I must like her to be gawking at her pictures, but now on I will think a million times before I go to gawk at pictures online. 

     I hope you will enjoy this refreshing dip as much as I.  Dip into it with some vegetable flavored Ritz crackers or spread it on your fajitas and  Enjoy!

Avocado                      - 1
Shallots                        - 1 small
Garlic                           - 1 small pod
Thai chili                       - 1, seeded and chopped fine
Olive oil                       - 1 tspn
Black pepper               -  a little to taste
Salt                              - to taste     

Cut the avocados and put in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mash
Serve with crackers or with rolls.

Contributor: Sunitha

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Microwave Peda

I have tried this at several occasions especially when I have surprise visitors.  It is quick and easy to make and super delicious.  Who will not love a dessert that can be made in 10 minutes.  I got the idea for this recipe from the internet a long while back.  I would like to give the credit to the blog which I have misplaced now but as soon as I have it will update this page with the link.


Sweetened condensed milk- 1 can
Ghee- 1 Tbsp
Yogurt- 3 Tbsp


1.Mix all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl .
2.Keep this in the microwave oven at high for 2-3 minutes and mix well.
3.Put the bowl back and repeat this mixing every 2-3 minutes until the peda is done.
4.This will take 10-12 minutes depending on the efficiency of your oven.
5.Let it cool for a while and roll out the peda, or make desired shapes.

Contributor: Namitha

Monday, June 21, 2010

Chicken in Peanut Sauce

   This one is an experiment I did after reading through some thai recipes.  I did not have mountain sauce or thai paste to make it all thai so I improvised because it was one of those day when I was desperate for something different.  The flavor of pineapple, peanuts and capsicum/bell pepper brings the dish together.  My husband thought, for once, it had to be sweeter but I did not add any more sweet than what the pineapple was bringing in. 


Chicken Breast - 2 cut into small pieces
Onion               - 1/2 of a medium sized one
Ginger              - 1 tspn chopped fine
Garlic               - 1 or 2 tspn chopped fine
Capsicum/ Bell Pepper - 1/2
Green Chilies    - 2 nos
Chili powder    - 1 tspn
Pepper             - for taste
Fish sauce        - 1 tspn
Peanut butter    - 1 Tbspn
Pineapple         - 3/4 cup chunks with some juice (I used canned pineapple chunks)
Canola Oil        - 1 Tbspn
Chicken Stock  - 1 cup

1. Heat 1 Tbspn of oil in a pan and saute onions, ginger and garlic
2. Follow with chicken pieces till it turns white
3. Add bell peppers and green chilies and saute for a minute
4. Add fish sauce, peanut butter, chili powder and tomatoes and saute
5. Add a cup of chicken stock and cook the chicken until the sauce thickens.  Add ground pepper if you want the dish to be spicier
6. Garnish with spring onions/scallions and serve with rice or rotis

Contributor: Sunitha

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bhel Puri

I am quite excited writing this post.  The rolling thunder, the over cast sky, all in preparation of glorious rain.  Ooooh! Can't tell you how relieved and overjoyed I am.  Change of seasons are the best thing in nature and I am a ardent fan.  Having too much of anything is bad but the drama of creation with its ever changing nature is engaging.  Can you hear the pitter patter of rain outside?  I can, finally.

  The pictures are of bhel puri and if some of you get the urge to throw stones go right ahead.  It's not an authentic recipe but believe me quite close to it without the hassle of making mint chutney, tamarind chutney, sweet chutney etc.  Most of you I am sure will have the ingredients I have given for this recipe handy or an  alternative.  Well, talking about alternative here is an alternative recipe for bhel puri. Now you can't throw no stones no more, no more no more.  Yeah! Rains make me sing.  You should be glad this is not a video of cooking but just a blog you are spared the singing. while I enjoy this thunderous rain and pray that the tree does not fall over my apartment you have a nice day!

1. Bhel - 2 cups
2. Cucumber - 1/2
3. Tomato - 1 medium size
4. Onions - 1/4 or to taste (I like them but just a lil)
5. Green chilies - 1 finely chopped
6. Carrot - 1 grated
7. Tomato sauce - 1 Tbspn
8. Tamarind - 1 - 2 tspn pulp (I took a small piece half of a marble size ball I would say and soaked it in about 2 tbspn of water and then mashed and pulled at it but made some sauce)
9. Chat Masala - to taste (I threw in around 1 tspn
10. Black salt (its pink in color but its called khala namak, you figure) - to taste
11. Lemon juice - to taste
12. Chili powder - to taste

1. Chop all veggies to small pieces and set aside
2. Throw in all of the sauces or some of each with the chili powder, chaat masala and salt and started by adding the bhel. I let it soak in some of the sauce by stirring it vigorously.
3. Follow up with all the veggies, mix well.
3. Check for salt and masala and add more if you like. It is a good practice to start with a little of everything I have mentioned and then at the end if needed to add more
4. Squeeze in a few drops of lemon/lime juice and chopped coriander. Mix well and serve
5. On each serving plate you can sprinkle sev/ potato bhujiya etc. (Indian fried snacks, store bought)

1. The reason for adding tomato ketchup is so that it will give the sweetness that I couldn't with sweet chutney.
2. Its just a salad idea.

Contributor: Sunitha

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Chicken curry in a jiffy

I make this chicken curry when I am in a hurry. Much simpler than how I usually I make.  Throw everything into the pressure cooker and cook it down.  Having said that, some of the frying I take time to do does help to enhance and flavor and nobody can really say the difference. Almost!


Chicken- 2lbs
Onions (finely chopped)-2
Ginger paste- 1 1/2 Tbsp
Garlic Paste- 1 1/2 Tbsp
Chicken masala (I used Eastern)- 2 Tbsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala- 1 tsp
Red Chilli powder- 1 Tbsp
Coriander powder- 2 Tbsp
Tomato puree- 3 tsp
Curry leaves- 2 Sprig


1.Clean and marinate the chicken in chicken masala ,turmeric powder and salt.
2.Deep fry the onions in oil and keep aside.
3.Heat a tbsp of oil in a pressure cooker, saute the ginger and galic paste till the raw smell leaves.
4.Add all the spice powders into it and saute on low heat.
5.Throw in the fried onions and tomato puree and mix well.
6.Add the marinated chicken and curry leaves and saute for 3-4 minutes on low heat.
7.Add enough water to cook the chicken (I added 1 1/2 cup water) ,cover and cook till 2 whistles.
8.Open and mix well once all the pressure is released.Serve with ghee rice/fried rice/roti etc.

Contributor: Namitha

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chicken Chili

Being in the south of USA it will be a shame if I don't write about its cuisine or at least my favorites. Chili's with corn bread or rolls are one of my favorites.  The recipe today is more or less opening cans and throwing things together, however, I will follow it some day with a more authentic' from scratch' recipe. A can of beans, tomatoes, cooked chicken and stock all thrown together can make a great chili like I have done today.  Hope you will enjoy this dish which will agree with our Indian palates with the addition of chili powder and cumin.  The combination of meat and beans too in this recipe is quite interesting you will agree.  A one pot meal, a choice on a lazy day.
Seasoned Southern Sytle field peas -  1 can (14 oz)
Onion                                             - 1/2 chopped
Tomato                                          - 1/2 of a big tomato chopped fine (To avoid skin showing in the dish you may blach the tomato and peel it)
Garlic                                             - 4 cloves
Cumin                                            - 1 tspn whole (powder/crush it)
Chili Powder                                  - 1/2 tspn
Pepper powder                              - as per taste
Salt                                                - to taste
Capsicum                                       - 1/2 finely chopped
Chicken Broth                                - 1/2 cup
Cooked/Grilled chicken                  - 1/2 to 3/4 cup chunks
Olive Oil                                         - 1 Tbspn

1. Heat 1 Tbspn of olive oil in a deep pan
2. Saute the onions followed by the garlic, tomatoes and bell peppers and saute after each addition
3. Throw in the can of beans and 1/2 cup of chicken broth
4. Add 1/2 cup of chopped cooked chicken (I used grilled chicken)
5. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes on low heat and serve garnished with cilantro and a dollop of whipped cream
Notes: You can eat the chicken chili like you would a soup.  You could also serve it as a side dish with baked pork, steamed asparagus and potato salad .
2. I especially find chili's very close in taste to the Indian dishes with the addition of cumin so you could even make cook kidney beans at home and then add all the ingredients as mentioned in this recipe and make a chili.

Contributor: Sunitha

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Carrot Coconut Cake

Some left over carrots had to be cleaned up before I leave for India and I did just that. It was my daughter who suggested carrot cake and I had to agree that was a brilliant idea.  I have tried something different from the first carrot cake I made and the results were fantastic.  I hope you will agree with me ;) 


For cake:

Flour- 1 1/2 cup
Granulated sugar- 1 1/4 cup
Salt- 14 tsp
Baking soda-2 tsp
Cinnamon- 2 tsp
Vegetable oil- 3/4 cup
Eggs- 2
Pure Vanilla extract - 2tsp
Chopped walnuts- 2/3 cup
Shredded coconut,sweetened- 1/2 cup
Freshly grated carrots- 1 1/2 cup

For Frosting:

Cream Cheese- 8 ounce
Unsalted butter- 6 Tbsp
Confectioner's sugar- 2 cups
Pure vanilla extract- 1 tsp
Lemon juice- 1 tbsp


1.Whisk together the flour,cinnamon, salt and baking soda.
2.Preheat the oven at 350 degree F.Prepare a 9 inch round cake pan and place a parchment paper on the bottom. Grease well.
3.Beat together the egg and sugar, add the eggs and beat to mix well.
Pour the vanilla extract and mix again.
4.Fold in the flour, carrots, coconut and walnuts.
5.Pour into the pan and bake for 335 to 40 minutes or till the skewer inserted comes out clean.
6.Let it cool completely on a wire rack before frosting the cake.
7.Prepare the frosting by mixing all the ingredients together and frost.
8.Cool in a refrigerator before serving.

Recipe adapted from : Simply recipes
Contributor: Namitha

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bachelor's Eggroast

This is my hubby's recipe.  He apparently started doing this as early as when he was in high school and my mom in law says she never helped him with the recipe.  This is the simplest egg preparation I have come across yet but totally loved by all at home.  I hope you have the same success satisfying the palettes of your dear ones with an easy yet scrummy egg roast.

  I am enjoying the monsoons. Rain splattering outside, my children screaming and screeching at any bug that flies into the house, its chaotic, homely fun. It's wild.  I have to add there is nothing like moms cooking.  I guess it's rightly said that the taste is because they add a pinch of love.  I am wrapping that love and this weather over me like my favorite afghan.  I will need it when I leave.


Eggs,hard boiled- 4-5
Onions finely chopped- 2
Oil- 2-3 Tbsp
Red chilli powder- 1 tsp


1.Heat oil in a pan and saute the onions, do this on medium high heat and stir often.Turn down the heat when the onions become golden brown.
2.Add the salt and chilli powder and saute for a couple of minutes.
3.Cut the eggs into halves and place them on the pan, cut side down and put all the onion slices on top of the pieces.
4.Turn the egg halves when the side is slightly browned.
5.Do the same for the other side too. Serve warm with roti or rice.


1. I have tried this with garam masala, coriander powder etc. But we like this with just the chilli powder,exactly like my hubby used to do :-)

Contributor: Namitha

Friday, June 4, 2010


    This is another variation of beef with pretty much the same ingredients you will find in most malayalee homes.  However, the variation here is only the amount of onions that is used and no coconut pieces.  This used to be my favorite I remember while I was growing up.  Couple of rotis with this dish was my favorite.  Along the way my mother started doing more authentic Kerala style beef with coconut pieces and slow cooking them in a uruli (a wide mouthed vessel made with copper and brass) etc and the way I am directing to cook beef today is no more common with her.  This morning with some stew beef in hand I decided to replicate an old forgotten taste.

   Happy weekend!


To Pressure Cook:
Beef                       - 1.4 pounds
Ginger                    - 2 Tbspn chopped
Garlic                     - 2 Tbspn chopped
Turmeric                - 1/2 tspn
Coriander powder - 2 tspn
Chili powder         - 1 1/2 tspn
Salt                       - 1/2 tspn
Vinegar                 - 1 tspn

For Sauteering
Oil - 2 Tbspn (this is a very modest amount and if you don't mind the oil and want to make the dish rich add 2 more altogether 4 tbspn of oil)
Onions - 2 medium size julienne
Black Pepper - 1/2 tspn coarsely ground ( more if you like)
Curry Leaves - 2-3 sprigs (more the tastier)

1. Mix together everything under 'for pressure cooking' and pressure cook for 2 to 3 whistles.  Each pressure cooker behaves differently so what I am trying to do here is get the meat to cook but stay together and not fal apart
2. Once the meat is cooked heat oil in a pan and saute the onions.  Check for salt in the meat and if you think it can take more add a dash to the onions while you stir fry
3. Once onions are just about translucent add in pepper and the cooked meat with its gravy
4. On a medium fire let the meat and onions incorporate and switch off while the dish is slightly wet
5. This dish is not meant to be dry fried

Serve with rotis or rice.

Note: For this dish if you want to add more spices or chilis you may do so while stir frying it with the onions.  I added a dash of vinegar to spike it up.  In the same way feel free to built up while frying but remember that as the water / soup start evaporating from the pan the taste of the spices starts getting pronounced.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Mock Daiquiri

  Daiquiri is a great cocktail but this recipe is without the Rum hence a mock-tail.  We enjoyed this and with a family with kids this indeed is a great treat where both kids and parents can enjoy the drink.  I had to add more sugar for the kids but otherwise the recipe is as below.  I have reached India and officially kick started my  vacation.   The journey was uneventful and things are going well so far.  The heat is unbearable but some how children seem to be taking it better than me.  I was always worried they will have trouble but yet again they prove their adaptability.

  Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying their days and blogging.  I am sorry again I am unable to visit your sites but I will be back in a month to make that right.  Have fun!


Strawberries- 6-7
Lemon juice- 1 Tbsp
Ice cubes- 4-5


1.Wash and hull the starwberries.
2.Throw everything except ice cubes in a blender.
3.Add the ice cubes and blend again.
4.Serve in cocktail glasses.


1.If you want to have the Strawberry Daiquiri, add 2 Tbsp of light Rum into this.
2.The above recipe serves 2.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bok Choy and Chicken Soup

    I have been thinking of posting soups for a while but never got around until now.  It's one of my favorite dishes and if I am eating lunch out you will see me order soup and salad.  This does not have anything to do with weight loss or any such endeavor.  I simply love soup.  My favorites have always been Chinese soups and hence I will start off with one of them.  Other than soups I also have an affinity towards leaves.  After coming to the South of US and seeing so much turnip greens being cooked down with pork fat, kale and collard greens treated the same I found out an easy way to cook the greens.  This soup has nothing to do with how turnip greens are cooked but I am just saying bok choy cooked down to tenderness in chicken broth gives me a chance to enjoy my favorite soup with a beautifully textured leaf to chew on.
Bok Choy Leaves - 3 leaves with stock from a big bunch (not baby bok choy)
Chicken Broth - 4 cups
Ginger - 1/2 tspn chopped
Garlic - 1 tspn chopped
Shallots - 1 small chopped fine
Chili sauce - 1 tspn or to taste
Soya sauce - 1 tspn
Oil - 1 tspn
Salt - to taste
1. Heat oil in a deep pan
2. Add chopped ginger, shallots and garlic sauteing after each addition
3. Add the chopped stalk of the leaf and stir a while and then follow up withe leaves torn into 5- to 6 pieces
4. Add soya sauce, chili sauce and follow up with 4 cups of chicken broth
5. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer till the leaves have wilted and changed color

Serves: 4

Couple of questions I saw are about chili sauce and some unable to make this because of chicken broth.  Here are my answers:
1. Instead of chili sauce use 1 or 2 red chilies. Take the seed out and soak it in a little vinegar, grind and add
2. Vegetarians can replace chicken broth with vegetable broth
Contributor: Sunitha

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Savory Diamond Cuts/ Shankarpali

   In Kerala we call this 'diamond cuts' and the more popular version is sweet.  However at home we enjoy it spicy. It's like this; the savory version is enjoyed equally by all when the sweet version is more to my daughter and my taste. Its crunchy, spicy and a great 'kadi' (bite) with tea.


All purpose flour- 1 cup
Whole wheat flour- 1/2 cup
Chilli powder- 1 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida- a pinch
Ajwain- 1 tsp
Salt- To taste
Oil- for deep frying


1.Mix everything in a mixing bowl and slowly add water while kneading the dough.
2.When the dough has the consistency of the chappathi dough stop adding water and knead for another 3-4 minutes.Cover and keep aside for 15-20 minutes.
3.Heat the oil for frying.
4.Knead the dough again and make lemon sized balls of the dough, just like you do for making chappathi.
5.Roll the dough using a rolling pin, after dusting the surface with flour if necessary.
6.Cut the round lengthwise leaving up to an inch space between each cut.Again make cuts diagonal to the fist cuts, making diamond shaped dough pieces.
7.When the oil is ready, throw these in and fry till they are crisp.
8.Cool well before storing in an airtight container.