Friday, March 20, 2009

Moong Dal Tadka

This post has been in my drafts for so long, that today I decided that its high time I post it or else it would never happen. Not in great writing spirits because of various reasons. One major reason being an apartment shifting due next weekend.. Packing, disposing off the waste, paying all dues and above all leaving behind couple of good friends here is very painful. However, one thing I am sure of carrying over to the new place is a lot of anxiety and apprehension about the new locality and the people I would meet!!


  • 1 cup - Moong Dal(whole or split), washed and soaked for 1 hour
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp - Asafoetida powder (adjust according to your taste)
  • 1 tbsp - Oil
  • 1/2 tsp - Cumin seeds
  • 1/2 - Onion, sliced
  • 2-3 nos - Green Chillies, chopped
  • 1 - Tomato, chopped
  • Some coriander leaves for garnish
  • Pressure cook the washed and soaked dal till soft with required water, salt and asafoetida
  • Heat a kadhai with 1 tbsp of oil and splutter the cumin seeds. Saute in the onions till golden brown. Add the green chillies and tomatoes and saute till soft.
  • Add the turmeric powder and saute for 2 minutes
  • Now add the cooked dal into the kadhai and bring it to boil and simmer till you get the right consistency.
  • Garnish with some butter(optional) and coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with rotis

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy Holi - The festival of colors and obviously food!!

It has been hell of a day and I am sure the evening is going to be equally fun. Morning we had a wet holi were water was mixed with colors splashed on each other. Kids running with Pichkari's (pumps used for playing holi), men and women drenched in all possible colors, walking around like monsters pulling out everybody from their houses and applying colors - it was fun watching all that. I knew I could not escape without allowing them to apply wet color on me, so stood for them to do what so ever they wanted to for once and for all. After that I peacefully stood in my balcony watching all the the fun. I am not too keen on playing the wet holi only because of the worry of washing and scrubbing all the colors off my skin. I wait for the evening time when everybody comes out with dry colors to indulge myself into this colorful festival.

When everyone were washing and scrubbing off their deeds of the morning, I was busy cooking (with a motive to finish off all my work and sit and blog everything before we leave for the dry Holi). This Holi I made Dahi Vada, Gujia, Ajwain Poori and Kaala Chana. Enjoy Maalpua from my previous post which is also a Holi speciality. Not much of time left so directly going to the recipes.


  • 1/2 cup - Urad dal without skin, washed and soaked for 3 hours
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 pinch - Baking Soda
  • 1 generous pinch of Asafoetida powder
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 200 gms - Curd, chilled and well beaten with required salt(if too thick add some water to loosen it up)
  • 1/2 tsp - Red chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp - Jeera powder(dry roasted till it becomes deep brown and powdered)
  • Some coriander leaves
For Tamarind Chutney:
  • 1 marble sized ball of Tamarind
  • 1-2 tbsp - Grated Jaggery
  • 1/2 cup - water
  • 1/2 tsp - Red Chilly powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Drain the water from urad dal and grind it to make a fine batter. Use as little water as possible while grinding. Transfer into a bowl and add the baking soda and let it ferment for around an hour.
  • Mix salt and asafoetida into the fermented batter and mix well.
  • For the chutney, mix all the ingredients and let it stand for 30 minutes. Strain the pulp and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Scoop out some batter using your hand and drop the batter into the hot oil little by little to form small dumplings. Fry till golden brown on medium heat. Immerse the fried vadas into a bowl of warm water for 2-3 minutes and squeeze out the water well. Arrange this on a serving dish and let it cool.
  • For serving the vadas, spread the curd over the vadas. Pour some chutney over it. Now sprinkle the chilly powder, jeera powder and coriander leaves. Served chilled



For the cover:
  • 100 gms - Flour or Maida
  • 2 tbsp - Oil or Ghee
For the filling:
  • 100 gms - Khoya
  • 2-3 - Cardamom, powdered
  • 4-5 - Pista, chopped
  • 4-5 - Almonds, chopped
  • 6 tbsp - Sugar powder or to taste
  • Oil or Ghee for deep frying
  • Mix the 2 tbsp of oil with the flour. Add required water and knead into a soft but tight dough. Cover with a cloth and set aside for 20 minutes.
  • Crumble the khoya and roast it in a thick bottomed pan till it turns light brown. Keep stirring frequently.
  • Spread it onto a plate and let it cool. When cool, add the sugar powder, cardamom powder and dry fruits and mix well.
  • Divide the dough into marble sized balls and roll each one into a 4" diameter circles. Fill half the circle with the khoya mixture and fold it and seal the edges. Roll the edges inwards and press a fork to make the design on the edges. It would be a lot easier if you were to use a gujia mould. Prepare all the gujias and spread onto a cloth.
  • Heat ghee or oil in a kadhai and deep fry them till golden brown in color. Drain and remove onto a kitchen napkin to remove excess oil. Store in airtight containers.

  • 1 cup - Kaala Chana(Bengal Gram), washed and soaked overnight
  • 2 tbsp - Oil
  • 1/2 tsp - Cumin or Jeera
  • 1" piece of Cinnamon stick
  • 3 - Cloves
  • 2 - Cardamom
  • 1 - Onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp - Ginger Garlic paste
  • 2 - Tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 - Green chillies, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp - Red Chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp - Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp - Garam Masala powder
  • Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves for Garnish
  • Pressure cook the soaked chana till nice and soft.
  • Heat a kadhai with oil and splutter cumin, cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom.
  • Saute the onions and chillies till light brown. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry them. Saute in the tomatoes too till soft
  • Add chilly, turmeric and coriander powder. Saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add the cooked chana and bring to boil. Season with salt and garam masala powder and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add water if required. Pour the lemon juice and turn off the gas
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with pooris.

For Poori, mix whole wheat flour (2 cup) with ajwain or carom seeds (1 tsp) and salt and knead into a tight dough. Make small balls and roll into 4" diameter circles and deep fry in oil till golden brown and sieve and put onto a kitchen napkin to drain excess oil. Serve hot with kaala chana.


P.S :
Sorry could not vet the post properly 'coz of time constraints. Hope there are not much of mistakes.

This post is going for the Holi Hai event by Purva's Dawat

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Masala Kuzhi Paniyaram - Masala Fried Idlis

I relate food with memories of my life( I am sure everyone does). The first time I had kuzhi Paniyaram was from my hubby's frineds place who hails from Kerala but was brought up in Tamil Nadu and had a major influence of Tamilian food habits. These cute little fried masala idli reminds me of the new year dawn of 2007 which we spent at their place. That was the first time I got to see as well as eat paniyarams with the tomato chutney she made. I had had left over idli's tempered in oil and seasoning (which is again a common snack for Tamilians) many time before but this was truly delicious.

I kept reminding myself of this unique dish for the past 2 years but was always hesitant of making it because it was a bit unhealthy version of our good old steamed idli because it required oil. But last week I kept away all my inhibitions and re-winded the conversation with her on how she made it and voila here it was on my breakfast table. My hubby is a person who likes variety in food and I knew he would any day appreciate new recipes no matter how much oil it requires. He jumped with joy when he saw me making Paniyarams. I made coconut chutney instead of her Tomato Chutney (soon to posted) on his request.


To make idli batter:
  • 1/2 cup - Urad dal
  • 1 cup - Raw Rice
  • 1/2 tsp - Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1/4 heeped cup - Cooked boiled rice
  • Salt to taste
  • Water for grinding
For Tempering:
  • 1 medium sized Onion, chopped
  • 1-2 nos - Green Chillies, chopped
  • 1/2" piece Ginger, chopped
  • 1 sprig - Curry leaf, chopped
  • 2-3 stem of Coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp - Mustard seeds
  • 1 pinch - Asafoetida
  • 2 tsp - Oil
Oil to fry

  • Wash and soak all the ingredients for batter(obviously except for salt) in water for 5-6 hours. Strain and grind to a fine paste with required water. Add salt and let it ferment. Idli batters need not be sour but Paniyarams batter needs to be more sour than idli batter. I generally soak by 3:00 in the afternoon and grind by 9:00 in the night and let it stay throughout the night for fermenting. Next morning I make idlis and refrigerate the left out batter for next day to prepare Paniyarams.
  • Heat a pan with oil for tempering. Add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Sprinkle the asafoetida and stir. Add the chopped onions, ginger, chillies and saute for a minute. Add the curry leaves and pour this into the batter. Add the coriander leaves and stir well. Add salt if required.
  • Heat the kuzhi paniyaram skillet and pour 1/2 tsp of oil into the holes. When oil is hot, pour half a ladle of the batter or till the brim of the holes and cook on low flame. You may cover for a minute or so. Else be patient and wait for it to cook. When its done, it will automatically come out of the hole. Gently flip it using a fork to cook the other side. When done serve hot with chutneys. The fun is dipping the hot-hot paniyaram into the chutney and gulping it then and there.
  • Kuzhi paniyaram in the making in a kuzhi paniyaram chatti (skillet)!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Easy Mango Achar and a me-me tag :) !!

Summers are fast approaching and the only thing that makes me happy and excited during those sultry hot days are Mangoes. As a signal for summer days I saw nice young and tender green mangoes last day on the vegetables aisle of a supermarket. I could smell the freshness, that tangy smell all around the place. With in no time I had 4 of them in my basket. And my hubby was like - "what are you going to do with all those Pacha Mangas(Raw mangoes) ??" The only answer I had was - "Baby, you wait and watch".

The first day I cut one mango and put into my yummy Ayila (Indian Mackerel) curry. And the second day I went on to make this easy manga achar for the first time in my life. I immediately called up my 911 for cooking - my mom!! Here goes the recipe.. Enjoy

  • 2 - Raw Mangoes, washed and diced (prefer mangoes which are still tender and the seeds haven't hardened yet)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1.5 tsp - Red Chilly powder
  • A pinch of Turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp - Fenugreek seed powder (simply dry roast the seeds and powder it using a mortar and pestle)
  • 1/2 tsp - Asafoetida powder
  • 2 tbsp - Gingelly oil (nellenna) or if not available use olive or groundnut or sunflower oil
  • 1/4 tsp - Mustard seeds
  • A sprig of curry leaf
  • Mix the diced mango pieces with red chilly powder, turmeric, fenugreek powder, asafoetida powder and salt using a clean and dry spoon. Let it stand for 10-15 minutes
  • Heat a kadhai with the gingelly oil and splutter the mustard seeds and curry leaves on medium heat. Simmer the heat and put the marinated mango into the kadhai and mix well for just 2 minutes. Do check the salt content at this point of time. Turn off the gas and empty it into a clean, dry bowl and let it cool and later transfer it into a glass jar.
Note: If planning to finish it off soon (i.e with 2-3 days) then you may place it on your kitchen shelf itself else refrigerate. You may increase the amount of chilly powder and asafoetida according to your taste buds. This is how we like at home :)

Varsha had tagged me to 25 random facts (can u believe that, 25!!!) about me!! I have been racking my brain on this task for the past few days and have finally penned them down.

1. My favorite pass time is sleeping. And these days when not sleeping, I would be either cooking, eating or blogging!!

2. I am extremely emotional - quite obvious, I am a cancerian. Can you guess how much I cry!! I cry when happy, I cry when sad and I cry even when there is nothing to cry about!!

3. I love cats and had two pet cats, named Pussycat and Lola, during my childhood!!

4. I am a cleanliness freak and always want a clean kitchen countertop, bathrooms and desktop(I mean of my laptop)

5. I used to be crazy about Aftab Shivdasani and Viveik Oberoi during my school days. Now I wonder was I nuts??

6. I love the smell of old books, freshly spread bed spreads, first rain on the soil and the smell of fresh baked cake!!

7. I do not go gaga over Pizza and Pasta.

8. I love to collect boxes, greeting cards, gift wrapping papers, interesting pictures, patterns, old magazines, liquor bottles etc. to recycle them into interesting stuff.

9. I can't go to bed in the night without brushing my teeth and washing my feet.

10. When in any tense situation, I think about all possibilities and the result is - I worry more!! To reduce my burden I share it with somebody and end result is - the listener turns out to be even more tensed than I am. I hate this habit of mine!! I call myself a logical thinker at those times but people refer to this as pessimism!! :(

11. I love romantic English movies and my favorite movie is "Message in a Bottle". I would suggest this for any die hard romantic like me..

12. I hate being late and don't like anyone who comes in late too!!

13. I can never get tired looking at photographs - be it mine, my family and friends or of total strangers.

14. The most recent entry into my (already so long) wishlist is a Digital SLR camera.. So now you know what to gift me!!

15. I have a major sweet tooth!! And when I feel like eating something sweet I just go wild.. Needless to say I am chocoholic too. And when there is no sweet left at home, I drink Hershey's chocolate sauce.

16. I used to hate maths and still struggle with numbers and measurements in my kitchen.

17. I started this blog with a thought that it would just be passing fancy. Quite surprisingly I am going to reach the 1-year mark in couple of month and now its hard to stay away from the blogosphere even for a day!!

18. I am not at all a party animal and feel claustrophobic in dark and smoky places. I would any day prefer an evening with my loved ones in a serene and green place with good food.

19. I have started collecting books with an aim to build a huge library at home by the time I turn 50.

20. In the past two weeks, I broke 2 plates, a soup bowl and lovely stemware glass. Of course I am not proud of myself.. And the only point I am trying to make is that I simply can't learn from my mistakes - "Handle glass with care"

21. I do not talk to strangers while traveling!! I have, somehow, programmed myself towards this after a handful of bad experiences.

22. After a jaundice attack in 2003, I stopped drinking water served in restaurants and eating pani puri for good.

23. Its not easy for me to forgive and forget. I may forgive but never forget!! I cling onto them.

24. I am shopaholic. I can roam around for a whole day to get what I want!! I love accompanying others if they want my company to shop. All my friends know that I shall never say NO to them. And most of the times I end up spending more than the other person!!

25. Phew....I got tired thinking about myself...phew... I cannot concentrate on a particular thing for too long!!

Soon after I penned down those 25 facts (still can't believe that I did that, u know 25 facts) it was time for me to pass it on. Revenge time...ha ha ha (do u see that wicked smile on my face) !! So guys get on to racking your brains now. Do take as much as time as I took but do try posting it because I would love to read it!! So I would love to pass it on to:
Lubna, Tina, Veena, Mathew, Shn, Ann, Maria, Hema, Swapna, Vibaas, Mahimaa, Malar, Anudivya, Shaheen, Viki, Soma, Asha, Nags, Sig, Mona, Superchef, Srilekha, Reshma, Rachel and Bharathy.

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.