Friday, 29 November 2013

Beans usili

Paruppu usili is an common side-dish had with rice & curry in South-Indian cuisine.

'Usili' means disaggregated pieces, here dal/lentils are blend, formed as large dumplings, steamed and finally disaggregated, hence the name.  Beans usili is the most common type, they are had with kolambu saadham ie curry rice. 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Hot dog- wraps

     Making wraps/rolls are always in my pending list.  Finally made them this weekday,  must say that this hot dog styled wraps were awesome.  Selected vegetables were mashed, shaped like hot dogs and  were grilled.  This was wrapped in roti with prepared green mayonnaise sauce along with thinly sliced vegetables.  Altogether this wrap was an heavenly combination.

Kids would love to grab them, so did Varsha :D  If you are willing, you can also dash in barbeque sauce, mustard sauce and can serve like 'subway' type.  Most importantly, these wraps are healthy and goes heavy on your stomach.  You can prepare the hot dogs the day before and can refrigerate overnight, if you felt them time-consuming.  I prepared them mildly, so that my kid could consume, you could also prepare them spicy as you wish.  So, why wait to experiment :D :P  Just do it :)

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Padwal ki masaledar dal

Well, well, well... What can I say about this dal?  This is one of my hubby's favourite and he asks them quite often to make.  Little does he know that this dal, when first made was an yesterday's left-over kootu, that got churned over to masala dal with garam masala touch!!  :D  :D  After that, I started preparing masaledar dal frequently, atleast once a week.  Hopefully, this dal has lots of padwal/snakegourd that is healthier too!!

I must admit that this dal goes on rocking combo with dosa/kal dosa.  Roti also makes an better match.  They taste best the next day (Don't know why, experts please explain)  Don't worry with snakegourd still staying in your refrigerator.  Just grab them, and prepare this dal, for I am sure, you won't be disappointed :D

Monday, 25 November 2013

Kadaai khumb

     Mushroom always has an special reserved place at my refrigerator :)  I buy them often, atleast once an week.  This is because both hubby and daughter are mushroom lovers, they love in any form.  I made this kadaai khumb one day for dinner and I must say it was appetizing, palatable and melted easily with rotis/parathas. 

As goes with all kadaai gravy, I made them with cashewnut paste and cream.  This is an rich gravy, and also has green peas with them.  If you prefer it milder, you can add almond paste/putane dal paste instead of cashew paste. Also instead of cream, milk can be added.  This, is derived from Punjabi cuisine, where lots of dairy products are used. 

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Red velvet cake with creamcheese icing

   November month is full of birthdays & anniversaries.  So, with lots to plan - I settled for this Red velvet cake with Cream cheese icing for his birthday.  Red velvet cake is known for its velvety texture is paired here with the tangy cream cheese frosting.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Kothukkari kuruma/minced meat kuruma

   Minced meat/kothukkari curry goes great with idiyappam/dosa/rice.  Here I have added precooked minced meat along with masala, this is an tempting dish for NV-lovers.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves 2

Ingredients required:

To temper
  •  1 tbspn of oil
  • 1 Bayleaf, crushed
  • 1 star anise
  • 1-inch cinnamon piece
  • 1 Black cardamom
  • 1 clove
  • 1 Marathi mogga
  • 1 tsp sombu/fennel seeds

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


As the word goes, 'immune' or 'disease-resistance' starts as an baby/foetus in your mother's womb.  At third month, mother's so called antibodies (they are our body-generated guards, who fight disease causing germs) pass to baby through umbilical cord.  And, after birth, this immunity is enhanced artificially by providing a series of vaccines, say for five-ten years.  What happens after that?  It depends entirely upon the food you take, nutrients you nourish through them, the place you live in, degree of pollution at your city, also to your (with zero to infinite levels of infected) friends at school.

So, how can one break through all barriers and save our children- tomorrow's prosperous Indians to survive??  How can one build more and more immunity powers in order to render the healthiness despite of several hostile environmental factors?  Let us discuss...

Monday, 18 November 2013

Idiyappam - Step by step tutorial from store bought riceflour

   Idiyappam, is commonly found dish in South (Tamilnadu, Kerala, coastal parts of Karnataka) India.  The rice flour paste (or wheat flour/ragi flour) is pressed to noodles, steam-cooked and had.  While sweet ones, are done by dusting  with sugar and coconut flakes, savoury-lovers are free to have them with a dip of any spicy curry.  You can opt for Kadalai curry, Meen kolambu, Chettinadu kozhi kolambu.  Also am having minced meat curry on my draft and will post them soon :D

This dish is highly made by preparing rice flour at home, that is why I presume the name goes, Idi-'appam (Idi meaning 'to crush' in tamil.  'appam' meaning pancake) Here selected rice is soaked, drained and is dried.  They are then crushed to yield very fine rice flour and the process continues.  What happens here is that, I have made them with store-bought riceflour.  Store bought ones may not be suitable if used directly.  The trick is to roast them till they get an fine texture.  Later they are sieved to yield uniform sized and textured rice flour.  Thanks all goes to my, Keralite neighbor who shared this with me :D  Thank you aunty :)

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Spaghetti with meat sauce

  Spaghetti is thin, long pasta from Italy.  Here, I used dried form of spaghetti packet, made of wheat durum semolina.  Spaghetti is topped usually with tomato sauce, with herbs like basil and oregano.  Here, I used meat sauce and the result was awesome.  The basic sauce, I used was Maggi's instant pasta sauce.  If you want an home-made one, click here

Since, this was my first Italian association, I followed each steps carefully.  These spaghetti were a bit denser than our instant noodles.  I cooked them till they were completely done and it went good with sauce.  They were heavy on stomach. One bite topped with sauce was completely heavenly.  I added both meat and vegetables here, vegetarians can replace the same amount of meat with additional mushrooms.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Pataqueta - Baking partner challenge November 2013

  When Swathi announced making of traditional Spanish bread named 'Pataqueta', I was thrilled.  According to Marisa, pataqueta is bread that inhabitants of Valencia's Orchard used to eat when they went to work.  This crescent moon shaped bread, is known since seventeeth century.  It was baked in Moorish oven, later on wood stoves.

 What differs Pataqueta from other bread is they are steam baked.  Yes, that nourishes them with even soft texture with firm crust outside.  I, really enjoyed baking them, along with them, I made pretzel rolls too.  Thanks to Swathi and Marisa.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

WORLD DIABETES DAY - November 14th 2013

   Hi all, this day,  November14th is observed as World Diabetes day.  When  Swathi , highlighted this importance and announced the event, I can barely resist myself from joining.  Thanks to her, this event made me go through a lot of learning process and know more about Diabetic diet.  So, with no more delay, I present you two diabetic-friendly dish topped with brief description.



What is Insulin?

Our body cells needs energy in order to perform all our physical tasks.  And this energy is available in form of glucose/sugar that floats freely in our blood.  But our body cells won't easily grab them or digest them.  They need some hormone to help/intake the glucose available, just like my kid, Varsha who wants food, but needs Mommy to feed her :D .  So, this mommywali help is done by Insulin, an hormone secreated by Pancreas.  Insulin helps cells to digest the glucose so that your body cells becomes active and carries on all activities.

What is Diabetes?

    Just imagine your body cells when  not enough Insulin is created, or when Insulin is not recognized by them.  The amount of glucose/sugar stays as such, and increases everytime you have your food.  This results in high level of glucose in blood or  high blood sugar.  This condition is called as Diabetes mellitus. 


So, when blood sugar increases, there is an urge for blood cells to feed/ to consume, where will they go??  Some try to utilize fat content available as energy source while some degenerate.  Such degeneration of cells throughout they body may lead to severe complications like Heart-attack, Paralysis, Dementia (loss of memory), Blurred vision, Loss of weight, Increased thirst, Frequent urination and other gastric-oriented problems like Nausea, Vomitting etc

No Direct cure

Since there is no direct cure, an diabetic patient must restore to all three preventive measures, given below.
  • As key effect, degeneration of blood cells should be prevented.   Medication plays its part here and homeopathic medicines have also shown to have good remedy.

  •  Alternatively, body sugar levels must also be controlled.  This is helped by physical exercise.

  •  Following an diet with high-fibre, low-fat/cholestrol is also important since this disease may lead to cardio-vascular problems.

Diabetic Diet

Diabetic diet is filled with whole grains(wheat, oats, barley, maize, brown rice, millet etc), fresh fruits, vegetables.  Here, I am going to make two dishes, which are diabetic-friendly in order to highlight this event.  They are Barley vegetable soup & Barley topped fruit salad

Barley vegetable soup

Ingredients required are 1/2 tsp amul 'light' butter, 3-4 garlic pods sliced, 1 cup of finely chopped vegetables like  Onions, Mushrom, Carrot, Palak (spinach), 1/2 cup of Barley pearls soaked for 3-4 hours, Salt & Pepper, to taste.

Heat butter in pan, add garlic slices and sauté till they brown.  Add onions and other vegetables and sauté well.  Wash the soaked barley and add in pan. 

Add 1 cup of water and pressure cook for single whistle. 

Season them with salt and pepper, serve hot!


Barley topped fruit salad

Ingredients required are 1/2 cup of barley, soaked for two hours, 2 cups of chopped fruits like Apple, Papaya, Kiwi, Banana, 2 orange deskinned de-seeded and separated to segments, 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds, 1 tbspn of lime juice, 1 tsp of chaat masala.
Wash the soaked barley seeds, cook them on stove-top with one cup of water.  As you will notice, barley will absorb water and turn soft after it gets cooked.   
In a large bowl, add chopped fruits, pomegranate seeds, barley pearls, lime juice, chaat masala.  Mix well, finally fold in orange segments. 

Serve them chilled. 

Happy cooking!!!  :)


Mutton sukka

Sukka is a dry, very lightly sauced, preparation of South-Indian cuisine, that goes well with chicken, mutton.  They are served with hot rice and dal/rasam.  Traditionally, they require creamy masala paste, of khuskhus, cashewseeds, and coconut, and are loaded with oil.  Here, I made this sukka with simplest ingredients available on any South-Indian kitchen. Not only, is this simpler, but maintains lesser oil with an best drooling consumption.:D  :D 
I, usually cook two different dishes at week-ends.  One, mild soup for Varsha and secondly spicy curry for Shama.  What surprised us, was Varsha asked an taste of this sukka.  After one bite, she seemed to love it and asked for more and more !!!!!  And by the end she finished having sukka all by herself, Shama had mild soup :D  :D   I didn't know Varsha would like them as such.  Therefore, I can term this sukka as 'kid pleaser' too :)  :) 

Monday, 11 November 2013

Rumali roti/ Zero oil roti - Homestyled

   Those soft, thin roti's you order at restaurant is not so tough to make at home.

  Name originating from 'rumal' meaning Kerchief in Urdu is an combination of maida and wheat flour and is cooked on inverted griddle/tawa/kadaai.  After cooking, these are folded in four and is served hot with sizzling mughalian curries.  Here, I used lesser maida than original composition ie one parts of wheat flour with 1/4 part of maida.  Rotis thus obtained were super-soft and much to my surprise stayed soft for more than six hours.  And most interesting fact is that these are zero-oil rotis, so go ahead and give an try, for you are sure to get praised :)

Restaurent styled Murgh makhani

Murgh makhani or Chicken butter masala originating from Punjab, is an tempting, rich and mild chicken gravy.  Loaded with khoya, cream and cashew paste,  these are heavy to stomach and delight the mind instantly. The dried kasoori methi leaves are also added along with cream/milk to top-up the flavor.  If you have any guests turning in or if it is one of your special occasions, this dish is an must-try. 

They look lovely,isn't it?? Got the red colour from degi mirch masala.   Chicken, marinated in curd and other spices is pan-friend, cooked on kadaai with onion, garam masala, khoya, cream and cashews.   But don't hesitate to make them  due to richness and high priced ingredients.  Check out my home-made khoya recipe here  Interestingly, here I used an quick version of khoya.  In an vessel with 1/4 cup of milk powder, I stirred in 11/2 tsp of hot water and  got an instant-form of doughy khoya, roughly around 1 tbspn.  I used them in this preparation. 

 And replacing cream, I used full fat milk.  (using low fat milk also is not an problem)  Also, lastly added green chillies for an spicy murgh makhani (which traditionally remains mild).  You can avoid them if you want creamy, non-spicy type.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Coffee trials @ Coorg


Standing next to us, Mrs. Rohini Suraj, is  proud owner of "Coffee trials" at Coorg. Being an busy home-maker all her life, she opted to work after her children got married and settled. She, along with her husband, bought land at Coorg and starter their dream. Currently they run four rooms.
After an tiring journey through Bangalore, Mysore, we ended up at Coorg almost seven in evening. We were greeted by Mrs. Rohini herself, with a gentle smile. With a short conversation with her, I can foresee that this friendly lady enjoys attending her guests. She runs this place as a hobby, unlike profit-oriented place. Tariff per day is Rs. 3500 (excluding food) which is quite reasonable.


Rooms, nevertheless to mention are clean and hygienic. Balcony provides a great scenic view. Room service was available on pressing a bell & he was too polite to listen. Living even one day was great in that peaceful ambience.
Highlight is the food served which is delicious as well as home-made. We were served dinner with roti, dal, chicken khurma and rice (sorry, no clicks with six hungry eyes around) I still remember my fussy daughter licking the delicious dal with a sparkling desire through her eyes. This place was a blessing in terms of divine food for which each traveler or every family person would look upon. Similarly, the other day we had an awesome breakfast with Poori, aloo masala and bread toast. Mrs. Rohini is all in praise for her cook. I must admit, she has a great team of staff.
Though we went to other places, visiting 'Coffee trials' itself created an unique experience for us, with pleasant stay and divine food. I wish for their growth, on every tourist location and to serve across the country. All my best wishes!!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Pineapple upside-down cake

    This is one of the most delicious cake I had ever baked.  This special cake was made for my birthday. And its taste was so amazing that it justified the occasion.

As the name goes, pineapple upside-down cake is baked with pineapples , caramel syrup and Butter cake batter  on the bottom of cake dish, later titled upside down and served.  Though these are recommended with an dollop of cream, trust me just a hot slice is enough  :D 

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Healthy Sprouts salad

   Diwali is over and many are finding way to de-tox.  So am I here posting an healthy salad that you can munch at noon, evening snack or along with dinner, as an accompaniment.  This salad is made with sprouts which additionally supports the motive.  I, have topped them with few walnuts too!  Best part is with least additional time, with very few spices they go great on taste too!

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2


Ingredients required:

  • 1 cup mixed sprouts, steam-cooked for five minutes
  • 2 tbspn finely chopped onion
  • 2 tbspn finely chopped tomatos (de-seeded)
  • 1 tbspn finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 whole shelled walnuts (which is later de-shelled and broken into tiny pieces)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder


Mix all and serve.  Make sure you don't add more walnuts, because adding more will cause an bitter taste to salad. If you prefer to do so, then deskin them and add.  Also walnuts are best preferred, because almonds gives an 'too much crunchy effect' to salad. 

Happy cooking!!!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Panda cupcake

   Diwali went awesome, made an quick Chennai trip, visited all and had an good time.  How was yours??  Guys, before I proceed, let me make an friendly reminder about event & giveaway happening, kindly click here for more details.   Now, getting back to my post,  let me introduce you a new panda family, which officially resides at our home!!!

They look beautiful and adorable also, don't they??  And methodology, unlike other designer cup-cakes is simple.  Bake an chocolate cupcake, top them with vanilla icing, spread over sugar granules and with an few touch of chocolate chips/buttons you are done!!!  :) :)   My daughter loved them very instant, and she wants to take them to school to show-off!!  :D  :D

Preparation time: 35 minutes
Baking time: 15 minutes
Yield: 10 cupcakes

Ingredients required

For the cake batter
  • 1 tbspn oil
  • 1 tbspn melted butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp Baking powder

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