Saturday, 31 May 2014

Araichu vitta sambhar

Running out of sambhar powder?  Or often wondering the secret-ingredient for restaurant-styled thick sambhar??   Don't worry.... this, araichu vitta sambhar comes to your rescue :D  'Araichu vitta' in tamil means freshly grounded, accordingly this sambhar utlizes an medley of spices from your kitchen, that are freshly dry-roasted and powdered.  This powder, not only comes in handy when your sambhar powder goes out of stock, but also acts as an, 'thickening agent', thus making the latter more fragrant, more tasty and restaurant-styled.

And, one other difference from sambhar is that, in araichu vitta sambhar, tempering is done by the end.  Since, we add no spices other than dry-roasted ones, we may not be sure about the spice- content of sambhar.  Hence, tempering accordingly with number of red chillies might yield you an perfect, balanced output.  This is really, an blessing in disguise, isn't it? 

Thursday, 29 May 2014

KHUMB DOPYAZA - Mushrooms cooked in double onion masala

   'Dopyaza' meaning for double onion masala, actually originated when an cook (from Mughals), accidentally added lots of onions into mutton curry.  This  dish was much favoured by the kings, and hence the name originated.  For such an delicate curry, and an blessing for onion-lovers, why can't we drag them around and play with our veggies ;) Yes, they paired up excellantly with mushrooms and my other half couln't be happier than that. (I, really wasn't surprised, for an man who loves to eat raw onions, cooked ones must have pleased far...)

Onions, at first, used for usual sauting and  finally used as an garnish too (garnishing ones were deep-fried).  Apart from accompanying spices like black cardamon, bay leaf, cloves and peppercorns, they also pair with souring agent (curd/mango/tomato puree).  So, let us move to this delecious curry at once.  

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Tiffin sambhar / Moong dal sambhar

We plan a lot for our life, isn't it?  Physical work-out, an brisk morning walk, gardening, trying out new interiors or exotic classes like Yoga, embriodery... my list goes on :)  But, time constraint hardly cuts down our options to one out of ten.  Though we plan an lot to do, plenty of our time goes into kitchen, thus sparing none.  Yes, this dish is dedicated to such constraints.... an sambhar, which is more delecious (than traditional) and more easy to make within little time is all I can start with... :P

This sambhar, is my hubby's favourite.  Using moong dal (instead of tuvar dal), tunes up the taste and also reduces the time of cooking.  This sambhar does not need pre-soaking of tamarind, since we are using country tomatos to achieve the same.  They can be aptly prepared for breakfast and served piping hot with idly/dosa.  Well, my husband grew an lot fond of it, that he wants them to replace the normal sambhar made for lunch.  Does that doubt? Well, try for yourself and be surprised with an overwhelming response.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Rainbow cupcakes

    CUPCAKES.......those wonderful, tiny delights topped by an gorgeous swirl is my all-time-inspiration. I love to experiment with cupcakes, but running almost an nuclear family, restricts me to bake  twice an month.  And with not-so-cream loving hubby, I had to opt for an minimal or no-creamed cupcakes.  So, once when I came through sour rainbow strips in an super-market, I really knew what to make from them.... :D  :D  Do check out my other cupcakes collection.... Dairy cupcakes, Butterfly choco cupcakes, Orange cupcakes, Panda cupcakes  Vanilla cupcakes with white chocolate icing. 

Rainbow-themed cupcakes, which can also be smeared by blue coloured buttercream, topped with white buttercream swirls with rainbow crossing over, is an perfect party food and would please any kid with an summer boredom :)  I avoided blue buttercream, and replaced it with an blueish cake batter, thus my icing-usage was reduced, an fact to satisfy my hubby's soul :D

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

How to make an small batch of buttercream?

     There is always an need to stay in shape, isn't it?  Most of us are foodies and we try to explore with high-calorified contents, forgetting about their impact with our waistline:P  So, what happens when we make more than needed buttercream or any other sinful delights? We try to consume them someway or the other, adding more fat to our peaceful life.  So, as an extra-cautious tip, let me start my post about making an small batch of buttercream for your delicious bakes.

And, what is extra special about this batch is that, it has cornflour, which stabilizes the cream from high temperature. Also, due to hot summer, I prepared them with an touch of 'icebath'.   The resulting buttercream was super-creamy and delecious.  They can be cling-wrapped and stored in refrigerator, for upto two weeks.

Saturday, 17 May 2014


    Hi all.... back from my short vacation.  And since my daughter leaves to her summer camp, my routine life is almost back... Filling up my refrigerator with freshly brought veggies and fruits, cleaning up my partially-messed home, ... list goes on.  Going on vacation sounds much easier, but when it comes to post-vacation work, I always save an huge 'sigh' :/   Yesterday, day went quite interesting watching over election results.  Victory was predicted, as usual, but winning by 1:6 ratio (Congress: BJP) was quite an 'whooping result'.  Similarly goes with Tamilnadu where ADMK gained 37 out of 39 available seats.  Fabulous, isn't it?  Let us see if this decision solves our stagnating economy and deals with the price rise as well....

   Yes and coming back to our post, born and brought up at Chennai, I could'nt miss this special SAMBHAR prepared by my mom.  Infact, this is my favourite and same with my husband too.  Sambhar is south-indian dal preparation, mostly tuvar dal (yellow pigeon peas), with sambhar powder (an aromatic powder made out of chana dal, dried red chillies, curry leaves, whole cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds, asafoetida, few peppercorn etc), tamarind, assorted set of vegetables (like brinjal, drumstick, snakegourd, pumpkin etc), finished with an sweet touch of jaggery.

The trick in preparing an perfect sambhar lies in perfect balance of spice-sour and an sweet taste.  As an first-try, I have messed up by adding more sourness (more amount of imly/tamarind) into my sambhar.  So, I strongly recommend you to add only half of prescribed tamarind during cooking, other half you can wait till you complete the cooking, check the sambhar and add accordingly.  Also, kindly note that this 'sour' factor depends on tomatos you are adding.  Since, I have added hybrid tomatos, I have included tamarind.  In case, I am going with country tomatos ,(which has an higher sour content) I would prefer not to add tamarind as the former itself gives out required 'sour' effect.

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