Monday, September 12, 2011

Bombay halwa or Karachi halwa

This is a very simple sweet I saw in 's video. It has few ingredients and can be made in minutes. This is made with corn flour, but also can be substituted with wheat flour.

Things you'll need:
corn flour - 1/4 cup
water - for mixing corn flour, less than 1/4 cup
sugar - 1/2 cup
cashew nuts - few, broken
Ghee - 3tbsp

Yield : 12 to 15 pieces

Make sugar syrup by mixing the sugar in 1/4 cup water. The consistency of the syrup should be watery. You can switch off the stove couple of minutes after the sugar starts boiling and you see vigorous bubbles.

Mix the corn flour and water. Add 1tbsp of ghee to a pan without switching on the stove and add the corn flour mixture. Mix well. Now switch on the stove and stir the corn flour and ghee mixture until it starts to thicken. Switch of the stove.

Step 3:
 Add the hot syrup one tablespoon at a time to the corn flour mixture and stir well. The mixture should be like batter. You can taste it and stop adding the syrup if u find it too sweet for you.

Switch on the stove. Stir the mixture continuously until it turns glassy and leaves the sides of the pan. It should look like a jelly. Add the remaining ghee and mix it well. Switch off the stove, add the broken cashew nuts and spread it in a plate. Cut it to pieces once slightly cooled.


Ennai kathirikkai (spicy sauteed brinjal curry)

This is one of the most favorite south indian side dishes. This is a spicy and tangy gravy that goes well with either plain rice or mixed rice. This is a bit on the higher side of the calorie count since it has peanuts, sesame seeds, and coconut all in one dish. Since the nuts and coconut only give extra richness to the dish you can also reduce their amount and increase spice level.

Things you'll need:
Brinjals - 4 if medium sized and 6 if small
tamarind  - lemon sized
curry leaves - few
salt - as needed
oil - 1/4 cup
mustard seeds - 1tsp

things to roast and grind:
red chillies - 4
urad dal - 1 tsp
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
black pepper - 1/2 tsp
cloves - 2
coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
peanuts - 1 tbsp
sesame seeds - 1 tbsp
coconut - 1/4 cup grated

Yield : 3 or 4 servings

Step 1:
Dry roast peanuts and sesame seeds and keep aside. Add 1 tsp oil and roast the rest of the 'to roast and grind' ingredients one by one. Make a coarse powder of the roasted ingredients with the grated coconut.

Step 2:
Wash and cut the stalk from the brinjals. Make two slits in each brinjal to divide it into four sections. Take care not to cut them fully. Fill the brinjals with the half of the masala powder and keep them aside. Reserve the left over masala powder.

Step 3:
Pour the oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds. Once the seeds start to crackle, add the curry leaves and the brinjals and fry them in low heat. When the brinjals are almost cooked, add the tamarind extract and the masala powder. Add salt and allow it to cook for 10 mins in medium heat.

The spicy and tangy Ennai Kathirikai is ready to be served with your choice of pulao or plain rice.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

'Baked vada' curry

Vada curry combined with idli or dosa makes many of us drool.  It is generally prepared by crumbling deep fried 'vada's into the spicy curry. But feeling very lazy to deep fry those vadas and then making the curry I thought of a shortcut, can also be called 'the fat cut'. I decided to try baking the vadas so I can save time and reduce the addition of fat in the form of oil. The baked vada curry is no different from the original version in taste and texture. If you have an oven you can make this baked vada curry in no time.

Things you'll need:
channa dal - 1/2 cup
onion - 1 1/2, finely chopped
tomato - 1, finely chopped
green chillies - 2 medium sized, finely chopped
curry leaves - 5
coriander leaves - to garnish
salt - to taste
ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
chilli powder - 1 tsp
oil or cooking spray - as needed
fennel seeds - 1 tsp

Yield - serves 2 or 3 persons

Method :
Step 1:
Soak the channa dal for atleast 5 hours. Grind the dal coarsely with 1/2 onion, green chillies, curry leaves, salt. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Shape the vadas and place them in a baking tray greased with oil or cooking spray. Bake the vadas till browned on both sides (you have to flip the vadas in between)

Step 2:
Mean time, heat oil in a pan, add the fennel seeds. When the seeds splutter add remaining onions and fry them until translucent. Add ginger garlic paste, tomato, curry leaves, chilli powder and salt. Add little water and close the lid and allow it to cook in slow flame.

Step 3:
When the vadas are done, crumble them (of course, you have to wait until it's slightly cooled or else you will end up eating idly and vada curry with a spoon) and add into the curry. This will thicken the curry, so add some more water till it is not too thick.

Allow it to cook for a few minutes, switch off the stove and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with hot idlis or dosas.

tip: If you are not going to have it immediately. Its better to add the vadas minutes before you serve, because if kept for sometime the dal absorbs the water and leaves the curry dry.

note: I haven't tried this in microwave oven. I'll be happy to hear if somebody had tried it.

Sending it out to Vardhini's  Dish it out event

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Beetroot Halwa

We all have heard about carrot halwa or gajjar ka halwa. Ever heard about beetroot halwa? never heard of it until my mom made it when I was in college. I never worried about how she got the recipe or its origin..It tasted good, tats all I wanted. After marriage, once when we had some guests I tried beetroot halwa for dessert. It came out so well (there's nothing to go wrong in a dessert until it's sweet to husband's theory), and the guests were all praising about it "wow! never heard of beetroot halwa", "It's so delicious".  Nowadays I am not worried about beetroot getting wilted in the refrigerator..there's always a recipe in which no one would hate having beetroot.

Things you'll need:
Beetroot - 2 (medium sized)
condensed milk - 1/2 cup
sugar - 1 cup (can be increased or decreased according to preference)
ghee - 3 tbsp
cashews - 2 tbsp chopped

yield - 4 servings

Step 1:
Peel the beetroots, wash them and grate them to fine pieces. You can alternatively chop them and coarsely grind them in a food processor.

Step 2:
Heat 1 tbsp of ghee in a non-stick pan and fry the beetroot for about five mins until the beetroot starts to soften.

Step 3:
Add the condensed milk and let it cook until all the milk is absorbed. Now add the sugar. This will leave the halwa watery. But it will thicken once the sugar is absorbed into the halwa.

Step 4:
When the halwa thickens and leaves the sides of the pan, add the remaining ghee and stir for a couple of mins.

Step 5:
Switch off the stove, garnish it with cashews and allow it to cool.

Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (Yummo!!) or just as it is..Its delicious either way..

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Raw banana cutlet

This is a recipe I tried from the website I got bored of the usual raw banana fry and podimas. So I wanted to try a different recipe. The raw banana cutlet was very simple and tempting. At the very first time it came flawless and appreciated by my husband.
The ingredients are simple and takes less time to prepare

Things you'll need :
Raw banana - 1
Onion - 1 finely chopped
Ginger - 1 " piece minced
garlic - 1 or 2 pods minced
curry leaves - 3 or 4
coriander leaves - 2 sprigs
spinach leaves - handful
green chillis - 2 finely chopped
salt - to taste
turmeric powder - 1 tsp
chilli powder - 1 tsp (optional)
Oil - for deep frying or shallow frying

Yield - 15 cutlets

Step 1 :
Peel and chop the raw banana and cook them in little water with turmeric powder and little salt. Let it cool and mash it without lumps.

Step 2 :
Add the rest of the ingredients with the mashed banana and mix well. Check for salt.

Step 3 :
Shape them into cutlets  and either shallow or deep fry the cutlets according to preference.

Serve them with ketchup or chutney of your choice. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mixed vegetable stew

This is a very tasty dish which would be best when paired with aappam or idiyappam. I think this dish is of kerala origin, but not sure though. This would give a twist to the traditional aapam-coconut milk combination. Easy to prepare (except for the trouble of cutting all the vegetables!!) and simply delicious.

Things you'll need:

Mixed vegetables (carrot, beans, cauliflower and potato) - 2 cups
Whole garam masala (cinnamon, cloves and cardamom) - as required
Green chillies - 3
Curry leaves - a handful
Coriander leaves - 2 sprigs
Thick coconut milk - 1 cup
Thin coconut milk - 1 1/2 cup
salt - as required

 Serves 2-3 persons


Step 1:
Pressure cook the vegetables with very little water and salt.

Step 2:
Pour a little oil (preferably coconut oil) in a pan, add the whole garam masala and when they start to crackle, add the green chillies and curry leaves. Then add the thin coconut milk and let it boil.

Step 3:
Add the vegetables and adjust the salt, and add the thick coconut milk and cook for a couple of minutes. Switch off the stove and garnish the stew with coriander leaves.

Serve with steaming aapams or idiyappams.

Andhra style chilli chicken

This is a very popular dish in Andhra. My husband had it in an andhra speciality restaurant while he was in Bangalore. When we hear chilli chicken most of us picture the Chinese version of chilli chicken, so did I when my husband told about this dish. But this is supposed to be a very spicy dish with the flavors of lots of green chillies. I usually have the feeling of sweating at the back of my head when I eat spicy food, but I had that feeling when I opened the lid after cooking the dish, Its that spicy!!!
So If you want to give a kick start to your sore taste buds with some spice here you go...

Things you'll need:
Chicken - 1lb
Onion - 11/2 chopped
Green chillies - 7 or 8
curry leaves - handful
ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
lemon juice - from half lemon
ginger - 1 inch piece minced
pepper powder - 1 tsp
turmeric powder - 1tsp
salt - as required

To grind:
cinnamon stick - 1 inch piece
cloves - 1tsp
cumin seeds - 1tsp
fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
fennel seeds - 1 tsp
cardamom - 1
kasoori methi - 1/2 tsp (optional)

Serves 2-3 persons


Step 1:
Clean and cut the chicken. Pressure cook with a little water, turmeric powder, pepper powder, salt, ginger pieces and a 1/2 onion (chopped).

Step 2:
In a pan pour some oil and splutter some cumin seeds, fry the onions, green chillies and curry leaves. When the onions turn translucent, add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell leaves. Then add the ground masala and salt (balancing the salt added to chicken). Add the broth from the cooked chicken and cook the mixture to a thick gravy.

Step 3:
Add the chicken, cover and cook the gravy for a couple of minutes. It should not take more time since the chicken is already cooked. Switch of the stove once the gravy is slightly dry. Squeeze the lemon juice on the gravy and mix well.

Now your spicy Andhra style chilli chicken is ready to be served with plain rice or roti.

Note: Lemon juice is optional, just to reduce the heat of the chillies.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Chilli kothu parotta

I could only hear the sound of 'dosa karandi' (steel dosa spatula) dashing on the dosa tava when i think of kothu parotta. It sounds like a sweet music when you really have a craving for the dish. I have heard about it but never have tasted this dish until I finished college. My sister only introduced me to this yummy dish (she goes to restaurants with her friends sometimes unlike me who only knows the path from home to college and vice versa..its ok if you don't believe this...).
I have added egg in this dish which makes it extra rich. But you can avoid adding egg and just make it as a eggless spicy kothu parotta.
Considering one of my friend's idea I have uploaded pictures of the cooking steps also. But I am not sure I can do this for all the recipes. I'll try to post pics of all the steps for most of them.

Things you'll need:
Frozen parottas - 6
Onion - 1 minced
Tomato - minced
green chillies - 3 minced
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
chilli powder - 1 tsp
turmeric powder - a pinch
Eggs - 2 (I used egg whites. can use 1/2 or 3/4 cup of it)
salt - according to taste
Oil - 3 tbsp
curry leaves - 5 or 6 chopped
coriander leaves - to garnish

Serves 2-3 persons

Step 1:
Thaw the parottas to room temperature before starting the cooking process.

Pour oil in a pan, temper a tsp of cumin seeds, and saute the onions along with green chillies and curry leaves until the onions turn translucent. Saute the ginger garlic paste until the raw smell is gone, and add the tomatoes.

Once the tomatoes turn soft, add the chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt and cook them in slow flame with lid closed, until the masala is cooked well. Meanwhile shred the parottas in a mixer grinder or food processor. The parottas should be shredded enough with three or four pulse operations.

Add the eggs or egg whites to the masala and stir continuously scrambling the egg while stirring. when the eggs are almost dried, add the parottas and stir until the parottas are coated with the masala and eggs. Switch off the stove and garnish with the coriander leaves.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Soya burger

After discovering and succeeding with the soya kheema gravy, I cant think about different recipes using the soya chunks (I can't do just the kheema gravy with a whole pack of soya!!)..soya kurma, soya manchurian,soya nuggets..but these all sounded very common. why not burger?? I cudnt wait to try it once the idea stepped into my mind. But I doubted whether my husband would like the idea, because he is not a very huge fan of soya chunks. So when my husband went out of station, I couldn't wait to try it out. There were actually a couple of recipes for soya burger, so I am not the first one to try..but this one's my own version of the burger

Things you'll need:
soya chunks - 10-12
onion- 1 (medium size)
chilli powder - 1 tsp
green chillies - 2 no. or according to taste
garam masala - 1/2 tsp
salt - to taste
coriander leaves - 5 or 6 stalks finely chopped
black pepper powder - 1 tsp
turmeric powder - 1 pinch
bread crumbs - 1/2 cup
Hamburger buns - 2

Yield - 2 burgers

Boil 4 cups of water, add the soya chunks and leave them in the boiling water for few minutes. Drain the chunks and rinse them several times squeezing the water each time, until the raw smell form the chunks are gone.

Coarsely grind the chunks with the chilli powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, salt and black pepper powder. Mix the onions, green chillies, coriander leaves and bread crumbs with the ground mixture.

Divide the mixture into two parts and shape each part  into a burger. Drizzle little oil in a pan and shallow fry the burgers until they are evenly browned on both sides.

Place them between the burger buns, spread some mayonnaise or your favorite sauce, top it with some tomatio slices and lettuce. Take a bite!!

Note: The bread crumbs can be added or reduced according to the texture of the burgers. It should not be too dry or too sticky.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Soya kheema gravy

Soya is a protein-rich food which is also a good source of fiber and vitamins. Studies have found that consuming soya actually reduces the chances of coronary heart disease and chronic diseases. And other than food products soya is also used in producing candle wax..interesting isn't it? Even after having all these health benefits soya chunks has been an unwanted guest for my husband. He really hates the soya chunks added in the vegetable biriyani. But I love them since it gives a feeling of having a non-veg biriyani.. :)
I know I would get a 'please no' for an answer if I ask my husband to buy soya chunks. So one day when I got a chance to go alone into the Indian grocery store, I sneaked in some soya chunks. The next day I searched for some recipes with soya chunks, and I saw an interesting one in for soya kheema kurma. It was so impressive that i decided to try it right away. But instead of kurma i did a dry gravy version. I served it as a surprise side with dosa for dinner that night. My husband could not get what the ingredient was, and was taken aback when I revealed that it was his arch enemy 'the soya chunk'. It became one of his favorite recipes since then.

Things you'll need:
Soya chunks - 10-12
Onion - 1
Tomato -1 or Tomato puree - 1 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Whole spices (cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves) - according to preference
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tbsp

Step 1:
Bring 4 cups of water to boil and add the soya chunks to boiling water. Leave them for couple of minutes without reducing heat. When the soya hunks have doubled in size, switch off the stove and leave the chunks in water for another couple of minutes. Drain the water and rinse the chunks in cold water 5 to 6 times, squeezing water from the chunks after each rinse, until the raw smell of the chunks is gone. (If the raw smell stays on the soya would smell like mud which would ruin the flavor of the dish)

Step 2:
Pulse the chunks in a food processor of mixer grinder 3 to 4 times until the chunks are coarsely ground. The chunks have to look like ground meat (sorry vegans, you have to use your imagination here!!!)

Heat up the oil in a pan, splutter the whole spices, saute the onion, ginger garlic paste and tomato/tomato puree. Add the soya chunks, chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt. Cook until the masalas are cooked and a dry gravy is formed. You can add a little garam masala (optional) for garnishing couple of minutes before switching off the stove.

Even non-vegetarians can try this for a change since t is a protein-rich, low-fat  and nutritious alternative for meat kheema. This can be served as a side for rice, roti or even dosa. This can also be stuffed inside dosa to make kheema dosa

Sunday, March 13, 2011

spinach cheese swirls my style!

I found this recipe at the back of the puff pastry wrapper. The look of this snack was so appealing. So I went on checking the ingredients. Here's the list of the ingredients:

1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup shredded Muenster cheese OR Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 green onion, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 package (about 10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained

Now I wanted to make some changes in the recipe..why? to become innovative? to create my own recipe and send it to food network? no...simple..I didn't have all of those listed ingredients lol..

I interchanged the following ingredients with things I found in my pantry:
Grated parmesan cheese --> Shredded mozzarella cheese
Chopped green onions --> chopped green onions and red onions
Garlic powder --> Minced garlic
Frozen spinach --> Bunch of fresh spinach leaves, chopped

The original recipe does not need any cooking prior to baking, but since I was using some fresh ingredients I had to do light the stove for few minutes.

Serves 4-5 people (yields approx. 20 wheels)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and saute the onions, garlic and the spinach. Saute until the spinach is relieved of all its moisture. Allow it to cool.

Unfold the pastry sheet in lightly floured surface (try unfolding the sheet while its half thawed, since the sheet becomes more sticky and difficult to unfold when fully thawed). Slightly roll the sheet to make it even. Spread the spinach mixture, and sprinkle the cheeses.

Carefully roll the pastry sheet like a mat from the longer side of the sheet. Brush the edge of the pastry sheet with egg wash (prepared by mixing the egg and water) to firmly seal the sheet. Now cut the roll into 1/2 inch slices. There will be approx. 20 pieces.

(The spinach cheese swirls are kind of messed up bcoz the pastry sheet thawed completely and became cutting the sheet was a challenge. Spreading the spinach mixture and cutting the sheet, before its completely thawed would help in cutting them in perfect shape.)

Place the swirls in a baking sheet, brush them with the remaining egg wash,  and bake them in the oven for 15-20 mins.
Serve them hot plainly or with ketchup.

Note: Egg wash is optional. It makes the crust more brown and crunchier. Alternately to seal the edges of the pastry sheet paste of flour and water can be used.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Orange pudding

Orange pudding?? interesting isn't it? its my husband's idea. My husband had bought some apples and oranges when our daughter was sick and was not eating well. Her pediatrician had recommended giving her applesauce..OK apples are done, but what am I going to do with the oranges? My daughter does not like fruits or fruit juice..I know if I give her orange juice it will come straight out of her mouth the next second. So my next target was my husband...I can't eat all the oranges alone..So to escape my constant nagging he came up with this idea of using orange juice in kesari or pudding...'whatever, I'll be happy if the oranges don't get wasted'. So I started hunting for recipes..I found couple of recipes with orange juice added, and eventually I came up with a recipe which was a mixture of those. I couldn't remember the URLs of the recipes so I wouldn't be able to give you any references..sorry. Over to the recipe..

Things you need:
Sooji (rava) - 1 cup
orange juice 1 cup
milk - 1/2 cup
water - 1 cup
dried mango slices - 3-4
cashews and raisins - for garnishing
cardamom - 1 crushed
sugar - 3/4 cup
ghee - 2 tbsp

Serves 3-4 people

Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pan and roast the rava until it releases nice aroma. Heat remaining ghee in a pan and saute the cashews, raisins and dried mango slices until the raisins puff up.

Add the orange juice, water, milk and sugar to the nuts and fruits and stir continuously to avoid curdling of milk. Bring it to a boil. Add the crushed cardamom.

Now reduce heat and add the rava slowly by mixing simultaneously, to avoid lump formation. It'll take a couple of minutes for the rava to absorb the liquid and to thicken. Once all the liquid is absorbed switch off the stove and transfer the contents into a serving or storage container.

Serve warm.
Instead of dried mango slices, fresh mango slices, fresh pineapple or dried apricots can be used. In case of using fresh fruit pieces, they should be added just before adding the rava.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

prawn bitter gourd masala

Prawn and bitter gourd?? I can imagine the way your face changes. I was thinking the same way when my husband and suggested this recipe. He said my mother-in-law would make this dish and assured that it would taste really great if cooked in the right way. Honestly I didn't want to try it since I am not a very big fan of bitter gourd, and prawn's my favorite. I didn't want to marry them both and create a disaster family!!. But I couldn't escape for long. One day my husband returned from grocery shopping and I found some bitter gourds in the bag. He said that the bitter gourds were fresh and he was reminded of the frozen prawns we had in the freezer. Yes, Yes I finally tried it,  and to my surprise the recipe came out so well the very first time. I found out there are some tricks to cook bitter gourd to minimize its bitter taste . Here's the recipe..

Things you need:
Bitter gourd - 2
Prawns - 1/2 lb
Onion - 1
Tomato - 1
Chilli powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Salt - as required
Tamarind - gooseberry size, soaked and extracted
Oil - 1 tbsp

For marinade:
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Salt - as required
Lemon juice -

Serves 2-3 people


Step 1:
Clean and devein the prawns. Marinade the prawns with chilli powder, turmeric, salt and lemon juice. Keep aside for some time. Meanwhile chop the onion and tomato, and thinly slice the bitter gourds. Remove the center pith and seeds from the bitter gourd slices.

Step 2:
Pour little oil in a pan and shallow fry the prawns. Add some more oil in the same pan  and fry the onions until soft. Then add the bitter gourd pieces and fry until the bitter gourd slices turn dark in color and gets firm.

Step 3:
Add the tomatoes, turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt one by one while stirring the mixture for even blending. Add the prawns and close the lid. Allow it to boil.

Add the tamarind extract and cook with lid closed, until the masalas are well done and oil oozes out. You can garnish this with little coriander leaves (optional)

Frozen prawns does not absorb spice easily, hence i have marinaded and shallow fried them. If using fresh prawns you can skip this step and add cleaned prawns directly after adding tomatoes.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Baby corn manchurian

Manchurian is my favorite..whether its chicken or cauliflower (gobi) or baby corn, I just love it. I think all who loves chinese food does love manchurian in any form. I have heard about baby corn manchurian but never tried it or had it at any restaurant (they didn't have it in the menu..). Whenever I do gobi manchurian, I would tell to myself "next time i should try baby corn manchurian". Some time ago my husband was in the grocery store and he called me (he calls me at least once to ask any doubt if he goes alone to grocery stores)..and asked me "I find some baby corns u know something to cook with baby corn?". Yes u guessed it right..I said " I do"

And the next day we had egg fried rice and baby corn manchurian for lunch..yummy!!
Before you lose your patience and try to scroll down, here's the recipe...

Things you need:
Baby corns - 10-12 (if smaller add some more)
Onion - 1 cubed
Bell peppers - 2, assorted colors, cubed
Garlic - 1 big clove, minced
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece minced
Scallions - For garnishing
Green chillies - 1 (optional)
Soy sauce - 4 Tbsp
Chilli sauce - 1Tbsp
Tomato sauce - 1 Tbsp
Tomato Ketchup - 1/2 tbsp
Oil - For deep frying

For coating baby corns:
Tomato ketchup - 1Tbsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Corn flour - 1 cup
Salt - 1 tsp

Serves 2-3 people

Blanch the baby corns in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, drain them well. Mix the corn flour, chilli powder, salt, ketchup, and 1 tbsp of soy sauce.

Coat each baby corn in the flour mixture and deep fry in batches. The oil should be hot. Since the baby corns are already blanched, it  needs to sit in the oil until the flour coating gets brown. Then remove them and dry them in a paper towel. At this stage the baby corns can be served as a snack or appetizer with chutney or ketchup.

Step 3:
Heat up little oil in a pan, and fry the cubed onions, minced ginger and garlic, and green chillies until the onions turn soft. Add the tomato sauce and the bell peppers. When the peppers are cooked add 3 Tbsp of  soy sauce, chilli sauce and  tomato ketchup and bring it to a boil. Switch off the stove and garnish with chopped scallions.
Note: If you want to increase the quantity of the sauce mix some corn flour (maybe a teaspoon or two ) in little water and add it to the sauce.

Step 4 :
Mix the baby corn to the sauce just minutes before serving, serve the manchurian and get ready for a praise!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Maggi bonda

My husband was bragging about this snack he used to get in the IIT canteen when he was doing his masters in Mumbai. I became curious and decided to try it out sometime husband should be very lucky to have a wife like me who cooks whatever he desires or even imagines..that's quite a self-appreciation there..OK here's the story how i did the Maggi bonda finally..
On a summer weekend surprisingly we both woke up early (maybe because my daughter would have got up and must have been jumping in the bed..nothing other than that could have kicked us out of bed so early..)
Since we had a lot of time I decided to prepare a neat breakfast to kick start the day. My husband would have read my mind. With a lot of expectations in his eyes, he proposed the Maggi bonda idea (he was proposing the idea for a long time, but I somehow felt it will take a lot of time and was disposing it).
There was still time to prepare an alternate breakfast if the Maggi bonda turns out to be a disaster, so with an agreement that he had to feed breakfast to my daughter,  I began searching for the recipe in the web, but couldn't find a recipe for Maggi bonda. So with my husband's help I came up with my own version of the recipe.

Things you'll need:
Maggi noodles - 1 pack (the spicy flavors would be perfect)
besan flour - 3/4 cup
salt - as needed
chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
coriander leaves - 2 sprigs finely chopped
Oil - for deep frying

Serves 2-3 people


Cook the Maggi noodles as per instructions and let it cool. You can reduce 1/4 cup of water from the required amount to make the noodles dry. It shouldn't be soupy or else the noodles would be difficult to shape them into balls,.

Step 2:
Prepare the bonda batter by mixing the besan flour with salt, chilli powder and coriander leaves. Then add water little by little until a thick batter is formed and no lumps are found.

Step 3:
Press the Maggi noodles into lemon sized balls and dip the balls into the besan batter and deep fry in medium hot oil. Since the noodles are already cooked, the bondas need not be in the oil for long. Strain them and serve with ketchup or mint chutney as evening snack or appetizer. (its strange that we had this for breakfast..)
tip: Since the noodles has its own seasoning, the bonda can be seasoned in your own way using your imagination.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pasta Pradhaman

Curious?? Believe me it tastes awesome!! I think i have the copyright of this recipe since i haven't found any similar recipe on net till now..If anyone had already tried this recipe please let me know your experience..
Its weird that it struck me one night 'Why there's no payasam or kheer  recipe with pasta?' I asked my husband who was next to me..he just smiled and said "welcome to the family" (coz my mother-in-law is a pro in experimenting different ingredients for known recipes e.g. sakkarai pongal with wheat rava). 
We decided to try out a kheer recipe with pasta. Ada pradhaman was one of the recipes that was in my to-try-out list, but i was postponing it since it seemed complicated preparing ada with banana leaves. So I thought this would be a good experiment to try out ada pradhaman (of course pasta in the place of ada).
It really came out well than we expected..but its a rich dessert, so calorie-conscious foodies beware.

Things you need:
Pasta - cooked couple of minutes above al dente - 1 cup (I used macaroni since it is bite-sized. If using other pasta its a good idea to roughly chop them after cooking) 
Thick coconut milk - 1 cup
Thin coconut milk - 2 cups
Jaggery - 1 cup
Ghee - 3 tbsp
Cashews and raisins - for garnishing

Serves 3-4 people


Step 1:
Prepare syrup by melting the jaggery in half cup of water and bringing it to a boil. Once the jaggery is melted, turn off the stove and strain the jaggery for removing impurities if any.

Step 2:
Pour two tbsp of ghee in a heavy pan. when the ghee heats up, add the cooked pasta and fry for a minute and
then pour the jaggery syrup. Cook the pasta in the syrup for 5-7 minutes.

Step 3:
Add the thin coconut milk to the mixture and simmer it till the mixture thickens. Meanwhile heat 1 tbsp of ghee in a frying pan and fry the cashews and raisins.

Step 4:
When the mixture gets thick, add the thick coconut milk, and stir for a couple of minutes. There's no need to cook it for a long time. Before switching off the stove, stir in the cashews and raisins with the remaining ghee.
It tastes heaven when served in room temperature or chilled.

It takes a very little time since pasta cooks in 10-15 mins and the pradhaman takes another 15-20 mins.

Have a bite (or a bowl maybe)!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Salmon Wellington

I am so fond of these cooking channels..whether I cook all the recipes they show, that's a different thing. But I like to watch them and use some of their tips, and experiment with their recipes using my own ingredients...
I was watching one of such programs run by my favorite host. She was preparing a dish called beef wellington with some potatoes and a salad. The ingredients were very simple and the recipe was mouth watering but for one thing..beef!! I don't cook or eat beef, so i thought that this might be one of the 'jus watch n enjoy' recipes. But the host gave an idea towards the end of the show, that this recipe can also be cooked with salmon or!! those were like magic words for me..

I told about this recipe to my husband. I just knew what words would pop out from his mouth the next minute..let's do it!! and that's what he said..
We decided to start off with salmon. Whenever I tried to marinade and fry salmon it would change into a hard rock salmon once it is cooled..and I tried an alternate method (quoted by my husband after he watched a cooking show). I shallow fried the salmon for couple of minutes and then baked it for a few minutes..viola!! the salmon turned really soft..
So i knew this recipe would turn fine with salmon since it includes baking..
Over to the recipe..
Things you need:
Salmon fillets - 2 (each one the size of your palm)
Puff pastry sheet - 1 (I used pepperidge farm brand)
Onion - 1
Button mushrooms - 10 (can also use some greens like watercress or spinach)
chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
coriander powder - 1 tsp
turmeric powder - a pinch
ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
coriander leaves - two sprigs
salt as needed
oil- for sauteing vegetables and shallow frying fish
egg wash - optional (one egg beaten with some water)

For marinade:
chilli powder - 1tbsp
turmeric powder - a pinch
ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
salt as needed
lemon juice - 1tsp

Serves 2 people

Step 1:
Clean the fish fillets and wipe it dry with a paper towel. Marinade the fish with the marinade ingredients and rest it in the refrigerator for atleast an hour. Thaw the puff pastry sheet to room temperature.

Step 2:
Finely chop the onions and thinly slice the mushrooms. Pour some oil in a pan and saute the onions, ginger garlic paste and the mushrooms in order. When  mushrooms turn soft, add turmeric powder, chilli powder coriander powder and salt. Close the lid and cook the vegetables into a thick gravy.

Step 3:
Shallow fry the fish fillets for a couple of minutes on each side. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Divide the thawed puff pastry sheet into four sections. Cut each fish fillets into two. Place some mushroom onion gravy on each puff pastry section, then place the fish on top of the vegtables, cover the sheet from all the sides, and brush with some egg wash. When all the wellingtons are finished, place them on a greased baking dish covered side down. Brush the remaing egg wash on the top side of the wellingtons, and bake them for 20-30 mins or until they turn brown.

The next step is the step they take into your tastebuds!!! ENJOY