Saturday, February 28, 2009

Parippu Vada and a lazy Sunday evening!!

A lazy Sunday evening in the winter, some hot Parippu Vada(Lentil fritters - thats the best name I could give to our good old snack from South India), a cup of hot black coffee and a nice book to read!! That would be just perfect for an evening like that.

After I clicked this I suddenly started wondering, how in the whole world did I get hold of this combination of parippu vada and kattan kapi(black coffee) as no one at my home has this habit and surprisingly I do not drink coffee/tea at any given point of time except for when having parippu vada. Like people who dip milk bikis biscuit in a piping cup of tea, I dip yummy vada in a hot cup of black coffee!! So for all who haven't had this till date, make sure you try it the next time you eat parippu vada.

  • 1 cup - Chana Dal (Split Bengal gram) some people use Toor dal also
  • 1 small - Onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 - Green Chillies, finely chopped
  • 1" piece - Ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig - Curry Leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Soak the chana dal (lentil) for at 2-3 hours.
  • Strain it until the water drains off completely. Coarsely grind the lentil in a mixie. The consistency should be such that some lentils are left whole, some broken and some tiny pieces. Do not add a drop of water at any stage.
  • Add rest all of the ingredients except oil and mix well. Check and adjust the salt content.
  • Heat the oil in a kadhai.
  • Take around 2 tbsp of the lentil mixture and make a ball out of it and then place it in the center of your palm and press it to flatten them using the other palm. The size of the vadas would be same as the center of your palm. The vadas would be at its best if you get it thin. Thicker vadas take longer to cook in the inside.
  • When the oil is hot, gently slide the vadas into the oil and cook on medium flame till both the sides are dark golden brown. Flip when required.
  • Remove from oil and place on kitchen napkins to drain the excess oil.
  • Serve immediately with hot tea or black coffee.
Once the mixture is prepared, do not keep it for long. The ingredients in the mixture like salt and onion starts to leave water, thus making it moist and which makes it difficult to mould.

This recipe is going to participate in the "Lentils Mela"

And now its award time!! Yippeeeeeee

Hema and Varsha have passed on the Emerald Award!! Thanks a lot for considering me as a good friend of yours!!

Varsha has passed on these two awards to me again. Thanks a lot Varsha. But I am still wondering whats the purpose of my blog? ...... And I guess finally I've arrived on an answer - to virtually feed the whole world and to pass on a smile all around!

To share my happiness I would like to pass the awards on to some of my new found friends and some well deserving bloggers - Ann, Swapna, Vibaas, Soma, Nags, Mahimaa, Viki, Malluspice, Mathew, Hema and Superchef.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Semiya Payasam or Vermicelli Kheer

As a child, I never was too fond of Semiya Payasam because it was something which my mother used to prepare very frequently and my taste buds had somehow got used to the modest taste of it. Then I used to like more blingy stuff like Palada(made out of milk and cooked rice flakes) and Sarkara Payasams(made of lentil and jaggery) - which obviously meant a lot more effort for my mother. But today, even I go for the good old modest semiya payasams for the sake of ease and ohh yeah I do enjoy it more with the richness of added condensed milk and lots of nuts.


  • 1/2 cup - Semiya or Vermicelli
  • 1 tbsp - Ghee
  • 2-3 cups - Toned Milk
  • 1/2 cup - Sugar (or according to your taste)
  • 2 pods - Cardamom, powdered
  • 1 Tbsp - Ghee
  • 10 - 15 nos - Raisins
  • 5 - 10 nos - Cashew nuts
Optional ingredients:
  • 4 - Pista, blanched and chopped
  • 4 - Almonds, dry roasted
  • A pinch of Saffron
  • 3 Tbsp - Condensed milk

  • Pour the milk into a saucepan for boiling. In the meantime, heat a pan with n1 Tbsp of ghee and roast the vermicelli till it turns light brown in color
  • When the milk boils, simmer it and add the semiya and let it cook on low flame for 2-3 minutes and add the sugar and stir well. Let it boil and then simmer till it start getting thick. Now add the condensed milk and turn off the gas when you feel the right consistency has reached. Add the cardamom powder and stir.
  • Roast the raisins and cashew nuts till golden brown and add to the payasam and add the blanched pista and toasted almonds too. Sprinkle the saffron strands and mix well.
  • Serve hot or even chilled.
It may thicken when it cools down, so add boiled hot milk to loosen it up. Also make sure you adjust the sugar content then.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pan Fried Chicken

Fried means a lot of oil. But how can one resist from having Fried Chicken. So how about a PFC - the Indian style Pan fried Chicken!!


  • 1/2 kg - Chicken, cleaned and cut into large pieces
  • 1/2 tbsp - Ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp - Chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp - Garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp - Pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 Tbsp - Oil
  • Mix the chicken pieces with all the masala powders and salt and let it marinate for 30 minutes minimum
  • Heat a non stick pan and pour 1 tbsp of oil and place the chicken pieces and cover and cook on low flame until the chicken pieces are tender and the water is completely evaporated. Remove the lid and let the chicken fry on medium flame. Pour oil as and when required and fry the chicken.
  • Serve hot with lemon wedges, dahi ka chutney and salad made of carrot, onion and cabbage.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Vegetable Momos / Vegetable Steamed Dumplings

A training program during the early years of my career took me to Chennai with an all girls team. It was 4 days of absolute fun. We used to wait for the training to get over so that we could eat out, roam around and shop like mad women!! And each evening we accomplished our tasks on our checklist. One night after loads of street shopping, 3 of us got into a very plush Chinese restaurant with mighty hunger pangs. While flipping through the menu I got rather fascinated by reading the name MOMO's which was then a new thing to my ears and stomach!! A friend of mine who belongs to Delhi educated me that it is a very famous starter among Nepalise and Tibetans and thus popular in Delhi and one must try tasting it. And we went ahead and ordered it and it was bliss for me after that. Right from the appearance to the smell to the texture to the taste it just made me fall in love with Momo.

It has been quite a while since I have been wanting to try making momos at home but never had the courage to try them. Yesterday while just browsing the net I thought of giving a search for the recipe for vegetable momos. After reading through a lot of recipes from various sites I decided to try something on my own without a direct reference from any site because it was that easy a recipe to try. You can make chicken filling too but as I had only vegetables available in my refrigerator I tried out the vegetarian version.

  • 1 cup - All purpose flour
  • Salt to taste
  • Water to knead
For the filling:
  • 1 - Carrot, finely diced
  • 6-8 - French beans, finely chopped
  • 1 handful, cabbage leaves, chopped
  • 2 - Spring Onions, chopped
  • 2 tsp - Oil
  • 1/2 tsp - Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp - Soya sauce
  • 1/2 tsp - Crushed red dry chillies
  • 3 cloves - Garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 inch - Ginger piece, chopped
  • Salt to taste
For Chilly garlic sauce: (the measurement of the items depends upon how you like it. Please feel free to change it according to your taste)
  • 10-15 - Dry red chillies soaked in hot water or Fresh Red Jalapenos, de-seeded and chopped
  • 4 big cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 1 tsp - White vinegar

  • Mix flour and salt and add adequate water to bind the flour. Knead it into a dough as you do for roti. Cover and keep aside
  • Microwave carrots and beans for 3-4 minutes
  • Heat a wok with oil and saute ginger, garlic, crushed chillies. Add cabbage and spring onion and saute for a minute. Add cooked carrot and beans and suate. Add soya sauce, salt and pepper. Turn off the gas and cool it.
  • Take a marble sized ball from the dough and roll it ito a thin circle of approx 3" diameter. It should neither be too transparent nor opaque but should be such that when you place it against light it looks translucent. Place it on to your left palm and place a teaspoon full of filling and seal it. I followed this link for understanding how to fold the momos. There are 2 ways of doing it. The first one being the half moon(semi circle) and second one the round momo(gunny bag style). Repeat the process till you finish the dough or filling.
  • Now apply some oil on the steamer and place them carefully on to it and cover it up and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  • Serve steaming hot momos with chilly-garlic sauce.
For the sauce :
  • Put all the ingredients in an blender and blend it to a coarse texture. Taste it to check if everything is balanced.
  • Pour it into a saucepan and heat it on medium flame and let it simmer for 5 minutes or until the raw smell goes. Cool and serve. Garnish with scallions.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Shahi Tukda - A Nawabi peshkash

I always felt that the picture I captured when I prepared Shahi Tukda the first time was not really great and thus I am taking the opportunity to repost the recipe of Shahi Tukda with a new picture and small changes in the recipe, rather a small addition into the recipe. I did not have saffron last time I made them and this time I have added it and felt a very huge difference in the final output.

I took a special effort to make Shahi tukda taste the best because this time I made it for a pregnant friend of mine who specially requested me to make it for her. And this is special box of goodness for her!!

First posted on 24thAugust, 2008

My co blogger turned friend Lubna of Kitchenflavours has passed me the "Wylde Woman Award" and I am on top of the world. Its my first award and hope to get many more. One good thing about the bloggers world is to share everything. And I find pleasure in sharing the award by passing it on to: Pravs, Maria, Emi, Shn, Deeba and Srivalli

And to celebrate this beautiful day, I tried out the Shahi Tukda - in the Shahi/Royal way!! And one more reason for me to make it coz being in the royal twin city or pearl city of India how can I miss to try shahi tukda. It just too irresistible and its one dessert which you can make with things very much readily available at home.

  • 6 slices - Bread
  • 2 Tbsp - Ghee
  • 1 cup - Full cream milk or if health conscious can use toned milk too
  • 2 Tbsp - Pista, blanched and chopped
  • 1/4 cup - Sugar
  • 1/4 cup - Water
  • 1 - Cardamom, powdered
  • 4-5 Nos- Almonds, toasted and sliced
  • Few strands of saffron


  • Cut off the edges of the bread and cut it diagonally into 2 triangles. Keep aside for minimum 2 hours to make it a little hard
  • Make sugar syrup by mixing the sugar and water and let it boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the gas and add the powdered elachi into it and set aside
  • Boil the milk and then simmer it done and let it reduce to 1/4th the actual quantity. Keep stirring occasionally. The fat in the milk will solidify thus whisk with a fork once its off the stove. Add pista and few strands of saffron when the milk is thickened. Keep aside
  • Apply ghee on the bread and lightly fry on a non stick pan until they turn golden brown on both sides.
  • Arrange the slices on a flat pan/tray
  • When the bread is still hot, generously pour sugar syrup over it. Wait until it seeps down. You may prick the bread with a fork to help the sugar syrup trickle down into the bread.
  • Now spread the milk mixture on top of it and sprinkle some almonds, pista and saffron strands on top. Cover it and refrigerate
  • Serve chilled after a meal of Hyderabadi Biriyani, Mirchi ka Salan and Dahi ki chutney
And I'm sending this recipe to Mona's Hyderabadi Cuisine Event in her blog Zaiqa

Also sending it to Sindhura's Bread Mania in her blog sindhura-bayleaf

Friday, February 6, 2009

Methi Parantha

I always try and camouflage certain ingredients which Iam not too fond of eating and eat just because its good for the body. So making it into paranthas were a good solution. Have it with tomato ketchup, achaar or any sabji for that matter. An easy thing to make, it doesnot require cooking or stuffing. Just mix it with the flour and knead it into a dough and your job is half done. Fenugreek leaves and stems are a good source of calcium, iron and vitamins. So good for growing children and pregnant woman!!


  • 1 Bunch - Methi sag or Fenugreek leaves, chopped
  • 2 cups - Wheat flour
  • 1 - Onion, very finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp - Red chilly powder
  • A generous pinch of Turmeric powder
  • Couple of pinches of Jeera or Cumin seeds
  • Some coriander leaves, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Water to knead the dough
  • Oil to smear on the parantha


  • Mix all the ingredients except oil and water in a large bowl. Add water slowly and knead it into a soft dough like how you prepare for normal paranthas.
  • Take small portions of it and roll it into circles and put on a hot pan and cook both sides. Apply oil on both the sides and cook well. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough.
You can store this dough in the refrigerator for 3-4 days if kept in air tight containers and use for a quick snack or breakfast or as and when you are hungry.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A moment of joy!!

It was been so thoughtful of some of my co-bloggers cum friends to have passed on some very valuable awards to me but I always forget to pass it on. And today morning when I received the award from Varsha I made up my mind to reciprocate my affection towards them as well as their creation by bestowing them with a very unique award - an award created by me exclusively for you all!! Anyways let me start by thanking them - better late than never :)

Thanks a lot Lubna for my first award - the Wylde Woman Award". It sure did make a lot of difference.
Thanks Veena for passing those bunch of awards like 360 degree foodie award, Butterfly award, Great buddy, Perfect blend of friendship, Yum yum blog award and Kreative blogger award. I was delighted to get all of those!!

Thanks Varsha to have passed on a "Good Chat Blog Award" - the recent most in my kitty of awards!!

So Lubna, Veena and Varsha - this one is for the three of you!!
I would also pass it on to three other special blogger friends of mine - Shn, Tina and Anudivya.

Feel free to share this award with people you feel are eligible .. Spread a smile around!!


Unakka Chemmeen Varuthathu or Dry Prawns Fry

"Chorum, rasavum pinne kurachu unakka chemmeen varuthathum ondakil pinne vere onnum venda... :) " meaning if there is rice, rasam and fried dry prawns then there is nothing more to ask for!! This was a very common dialogue at my place. I still remember how my brother and I along with my mother used to wait to have this combination for lunch. (as dry prawns was banned at home by our father) My father, had and i guess still has a strong aversion towards the smell that comes while frying dry prawns. On one hand we used to agree with him that it has a very peculiar smell and the whole neighbourhood would come to know that you are frying dried prawns but on the other hand we used to grieve on it!! So whenever Papa went on for an official tour or so, it would be party time for us. It was a fixed menu and my brother would take his bicycle and rush to that one shop near our home, which used to keep dried prawns in small packets and hang it on a hanger along with various home-made achaar packets.


  • 1/2 cup - Dry prawns, cleaned (ideal for 2 people)
  • 1 - Large Onion, chopped
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaf
  • 1 tbsp - Oil, preferably coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp - Red chilly powder
  • salt to taste(if required)


  • Heat a pan or kadhai. In the meantime, quickly rinse the prawns in water and drain out all the excess water and put it into the hot pan. Saute till all the water has evaporated.
  • When the prawns is free of water, add half the quanity of chopped onion and curry leaves.
  • Pour the oil and saute it on medium heat till the onions turn light brown. At this stage add the rest of the onion and curry leaf. Add salt if required. As salt is put while drying the prawns, check whether you really need to add salt or not.
  • Fry till the prawns and the first set of onions get crispy. The second set of onions would be a little less done but thats what make it special. If the entire quantity of onion is browned there are chances of the dish tasting burnt.
  • Add the chilly powder just 1 minute before you turn off the gas. Mix well till the raw smell is gone.
  • Serve hot with rice

Have fried dry prawns in limited quanity. If consumed in large quanity it can upset your tummy.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Meen Peera or Fish with grated coconut

The New year has come.. And by today this year is shorter by a month!! And yeah I have been missing from this blog world for over a month!! Lot of my friends(who know me personally) called up, smsed and scrapped me asking whether I am alive or not coz I was not active on my blog!! Now that was so sweet of all of them to have showed that affection towards me and motivated me so much that today I am back to business. May be its the new year hang over or something of that sort, today I am short of words so lets get to the recipe directly.

Meen Peera is a Central Kerala preparation!! Rather, yet another innovative creation using fish. Its a change from the usual fish curry or fry one has on a regular day. Also called peera at times, it can be prepared using small fish like smelt or locally refered as Kozhuva and occasionally using small sardines too!! I have had peera of seer fish (Ney meen) once and have heard people say that even tuna can be used. So basically what I learnt is that there is no hard and fast rule as to which fish to be used for Peera!! Its a very easy recipe - less time, less oil, less spice!!

  • 250 gms - Fish of your choice( i used sardine for this time)
  • 2 pieces - Kokum (kudampuli)
  • 5-6 - Shallots
  • 2-3 - Green chillies
  • 3/4 cup - Grated coconut
  • 1/2 '' piece - Ginger
  • 1 tsbp - Coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp - Mustard seeds
  • 2 - Shallots, sliced
  • 1 sprig of curry leaf
  • Salt to taste
  • Water to cook


  • In a mixer, make a coarse paste of coconut, chillies, ginger and shallots and keep aside.
  • In a meen chatti( traditional earthen pot), put the cleaned and washed fish, turmeric powder, salt, kokum and little water and mix well and put the pot on the flame with a lid on. Cook till the fish is done. As I had medium sized sardines I had cut the fish into 2-3 pieces thus while stirring it, the fish broke into pieces. So very carefully stir it.
  • Once the water evaporates, add the ground coconut paste into the fish and cook for 2 more minutes and turn off the gas.
  • Take another pan and heat coconut oil and splutter mustard seeds and saute in the shallots and curry leaves and pour it onto the dish and mix again.
  • Serve immediately with rice