Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chickpea Cutlets with Guacamole


Chickpea(channa) - 1 cup, soaked in water for 8 hours
Potato(skin peeled) - 1
Bread  Crumbs - 1/2 cup
Coriander leaves - chopped, a handful
Salt - according to taste
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - 3/4 tsp
Chili powder - 1 tsp

Pressure cook chickpea and potato together until soft and done. Set aside and let it cool. Drain the water and add spice powders, coriander leaves and salt. Add half of the bread crumbs to the chickpea mixture and spread the rest in a plate. Mash the mixture with your hand well. Form balls, flatten, coat both sides with bread crumbs.
Heat 1 tsp of oil in a flat non stick pan. Place cutlets, drizzle a few drops of oil around the corners and shallow fry on one side for about 3-4 minutes or til golden brown on low flame. Flip them around, drizzle few drops of oil and fry till golden brown for 3 minutes (on low flame).

Serve hot with tomato sauce or guacamole (recipe follows).


Avocados - 1
Red onion - 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Garlic - 1 clove, minced(optional)
Ripe tomato - 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Lime Juice - 2 tbspns
Salt and Pepper to taste

Peel and mash avocados in a medium serving bowl. Stir in onion, garlic, tomato, lime juice, salt and pepper. Chill for half an hour to blend flavors.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Curry Leaves Kulambu

Tamarind - 1 small lemon sized
Curry leaves - 1/2 cup, tightly packed
Sāmbar powder - 1 1/2 tbspns
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Small onion/Shallots - 5-7 nos., finely chopped
Garlic 10-12 flakes, chopped
Salt - as needed
Jaggery - a small piece
Pepper powder - 1/4 tsp

To temper:
Gingely oil/cooking oil -  2 tbspns
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Toor dal - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - a few (optional)

Wash curry leaves and grind it with little water to a smooth paste.
Extract tamarind juice from tamarind.
Heat a kadai with oil and add the mustard seeds. As soon as they crackle add urad dal, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds and then toor dal and fry till golden colour.
Add the finely chopped onions and garlic and fry till golden brown.
Add the tamarind extract, ground curry leaves paste, turmeric, salt, sambar powder.
Add enough water and boil till oil separates and floats on the top. Add jaggery and pepper powder lastly and give a boil.
Mix with rice and ghee/sesame oil and enjoy!!

Recipe Courtesy: Rak's Kitchen

Friday, December 16, 2011

Roasted Garlic and Broccoli Soup

Ingredients: (Makes about 3 cups)
Broccoli - 2 cups
Low fat milk/cream - ½ cup
Curry powder (optional) - ½ tbspn
Fresh ground pepper - ½ tbspn
Roasted garlic - 3 cloves
Salt according to taste

Cut the  garlic pod horizontally into two.
In the Oven;
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Rub olive oil on the cut side of garlic and wrap them completely in aluminum foil.
Place the foil on the lower rack of the oven for about 20 minutes.
Turn of the oven after 20 minutes and allow garlic to rest for few more minutes.
Once its cool, you can squeeze the garlic and it falls of the skin.
On the Stove Top;
Rub olive oil on the cut side of the garlic and wrap them in aluminium foil. Hold the foil directly on the flame(or you can place the foil directly on the flame if you are using induction stove), till the nice aroma of the garlic comes. Turn off the stove and allow garlic to rest and remove the skins.
Pressure cook broccoli in a cooker with salt. When broccoli is cooked, blend the broccoli into creamy consistency. Now transfer the pureed broccoli to a soup pan and add milk and the roasted garlic. Now add pepper and allow it boil for 4-5 minutes.
Remove from heat and serve hot with Croutons.

Linking it to : Cooking with SJ announcement and simplyvegetarian777 announcement for the Soups with SS event

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pori Urundai(Rice Puffs Balls)

Puffed rice(Pori) - 4 & 1/2 Cups(approx)
Jaggery - 1/2 cup
Cardamom - 1 no.
Water - a little to immerse jaggery
Ghee - to grease hands

Powder the jaggery and heat it with water just to immerse it in a broad vessel.
After it completely dissolves, filter it in a cloth or metal strainer to remove impurities.
Add cardamom powder to it and heat the syrup till it reaches a consistency of rolling ball. To check for the correct consistency, take water in a bowl and drop a few drops of syrup in the bowl. If the syrup doesnt dissolve immediately and able to form a loose ball and hold its shape, then the syrup is in the correct consistency.
Keep the fire in low, when the consistency is about to reach.
When the specified consistency is reached, remove immediately and add the puffed rice slowly and mix it until all the syrup in the bottom of the vessel disappears and the mixture should not stick in the hands. If its too sticky, then add more puffed rice to it and mix again.
Grease both the hands with ghee, and roll tightly into balls of your desired size.

Roasted sesame seeds and coconut pieces can also be added.
If the mixture hardens while making balls, heat the mixture in the stove for less than a minute and roll again.

Recipe Courtsey: Rak's Kitchen

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Momos with Red Hot Chutney

For the Dough;
Maida - 1 cup
Oil - 1 tbspn
Salt - ¼ tsp

For the filling;
Onion - 1, chopped finely
Mushrooms - 6, chopped finely(optional)
Ginger, garlic paste - 1 tsp
Green chilies - 2, chopped finely
Carrot - 1 large, chopped finely
Cabbage - 2 ½ cups, finely chopped
Salt - 1 tsp
Pepper powder - ½ tsp

Sift maida with salt. Add oil and knead with enough water to make a stiff dough of rolling consistency, as that for puris.
Heat oil in a kadai for the filling. Add chopped onion. Fry till it turns soft. Add mushrooms and cook further for 2 minutes. Add carrot, green chilies and ginger - garlic paste. Mix well and add the cabbage. Stir fry on high flame for 3 minutes. Add salt, pepper to taste. Remove from fire.
Make marble sized balls and roll thinly, to make about 5” rounds. Put 1 heaped tbpn of the filling. Pick up the sides into loose folds like frills and keep collecting each fold in the center, to give a flattened ball like shape. Make all momos.
Place the momos in a greased idli stand and steam it in a pressure cooker with 1 cup water without the whistle for 3-4 minutes.
OR It can be baked in the oven at 200C for 5 minutes till light golden on the edges.
Serve hot with red chutney.

Recipe Courtesy: Nita Mehta

Red Chutney

Ingredients: (yields about 3/4 of a cup)
Large red bell pepper/capsicum - 1 whole + ½
Medium sized tomatoes - 2 to 3
Garlic - 2 cloves
Freshly grated coconut (optional) - 2tbspns
Olive oil - 2 tbspns
Any fresh herb (Cilantro or Curry Leaves) - a few
Sugar - ½ tsp
Salt - according to taste
Crushed red pepper (to taste, or optional)

Cut the tomatoes and pepper in half.  Drizzle a tablespoon olive oil on them and toss them to coat well. Add salt and crushed red pepper and toss again. Arrange cut side down on a baking tray. Preheat oven to 450 F and bake for 30 minutes or until the skin of the pepper is blistered and dark. You can broil it for the last 5 minutes.
OR Stove Top:
You can toss the veggies with olive oil and salt and heat a skillet; roast it in the pan at very high heat until skin is charred and vegetables are softened.
Remove all the blackened skin from the tomato and the pepper.
Take the pulp of the pepper and tomatoes and combine with all the other ingredients and a tablespoon of olive oil in a food processor and process until smooth.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Kothamalli Rice(Cilantro Rice)

Coriander leaves/Cilantro Leaves - 1 bunch
Rice - 2 cups
Green Chilies - 2-3
Small Onions - 4-5
Garlic - 6-7
Tamarind pulp - 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp
Gingelly oil - 1/2 tsp
Salt - according to taste

Soak rice and water for 15 minutes. Cook with 4 cups water.
Meanwhile grind together coriander, green chilies, onions, garlic, salt and tamarind pulp.
Heat oil in a kadai, add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Now add the ground mixture and saute till the raw smell starts disappearing. When a nice aroma starts, switch off the stove. In a wide plate spread the rice, add gingelly oil. Then add the paste and mix thoroughly. Serve hot with chips.
You can store the remaining chutney in the refrigerator for a week.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Strawberry Cup Cakes

Nonstick vegetable spray

All-purpose flour, for pans
Self-rising flour - 3 cups
Granulated sugar - 2 cups
Vegetable oil - 3/4 cup
Pureed and strained strawberries - 1 1 /2 cup*
Pure vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Lemon zest - 1tsp
Eggs - 4 large, beaten
Red food coloring**

*You can use fresh or frozen strawberries.  If you use frozen, let them defrost on a cookie sheet.  Then place in a food processor or a blender and pulse until pureed.  Run through a medium-sized strainer to remove the seeds. 
**I added some food coloring to achieve that perfectly pink color.  If you don’t care about getting the pink color, feel free to leave it out.  I used about 5 drops, but you should add them one at a time until you achieve the color you are looking for.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray and flour muffin pans, tapping out excess flour; set aside.

Prepare the cake batter; in a large bowl, stir to combine self-rising flour, sugar, oil, pureed strawberries, vanilla, lemon zest, and eggs.
Spread batter evenly in the pans. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the tops spring back when gently pressed with your fingertips, 26 to 28 minutes.
Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire rack. Re-invert cakes and let them cool completely, top sides up.
Prepare the cream cheese frosting (recipe below); frost as desired and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cream Cheese Frosting;
Cream cheese - 1 ; 8 oz package, softened

Butter - 1 stick, softened
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Confectioners sugar (powdered sugar) - 3 cups(approx)
Milk (if needed) - 1tbspn

Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Slowly add the sugar in 1 cup batches until desired sweetness is achieved.  You may need less than 3 cups if you like your frosting less sweet. Stir in vanilla.  Add milk slowly if you need a looser consistency.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Peanut, Mango and Cucumber Salad


2 cups peanut, skinned and lightly toasted
2 cups green raw mango, chopped
1 large cucumber with little or no seeds, chopped
3 tablespoon chopped red onion
2 hot green chili pepper, thinly sliced

For dressing: (adjust proportions of dressing to suit your taste)
2 tablespoon sesame oil
4 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
2 teaspoon red chili pepper/paprika (or to taste)
salt to taste
any of your favorite herb for flavor, if you wish to use

Use the mango which had ripened lightly so they were light yellow and sweet and tart at the same time. If you are using raw mangoes which are all green, the salad will be more on the tart side and miss the little hint of sweet. 
In a large skillet, lay the peanuts in one layer and toast them lightly on low to medium heat until you see light brown spots on them. Cool and rub between kitchen towels to remove the skin. Cool the nuts. Place the cooled nuts in a ziploc plastic bag or between kitchen towels and using a rolling pin crush them coarsely. It is okay if some are still whole and halved.
Combine raw mango, cucumber, pepper and onions and toss; let it sit for about an hour. Drain if they release any liquid. Chill the mix.
Whisk the oil, lime juice, chili powder, salt, cumin and herbs.
Add the crushed peanuts, toss and combine the whisked dressing. Let it sit for about 30 minutes for the flavors to blend.
Serve as a salsa with chips or pappad or add some rice puffs(pori) and serve as a beach sundal.

Serves: 4-6

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pina Colada

Pineapple Juice - 1 cup(fresh)
Cream of coconut - 1/4 cup
Club soda - 1 cup
Vanilla ice cream - 1/3 cup

Blend pineapple, cream of coconut and vanilla ice cream in a blender until all gets mixed well. Stir in club soda and serve.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mini Ice Cream Cake Pops

Brownie (Refer my earlier post)
White or dark Chocolate chips or chunks - 1/2 cup
Frosting - Vanilla or chocolate

Bake your favorite cake recipe, I used Brownie (whatever flavor) let it cool. 
Take a large bowl and crumble the cake over the bowl, stir in about 1/2 cup of frosting, mix well then roll the mixture into balls. Place them on a cookie sheet and pop them into the freezer. Melt white or dark chocolate. 

Tips for melting;
  • Fill your pan with 1 in. of water.
  • Bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Now chop your chocolate into very small pieces. (TIP: Use white chocolate chips or chunks to save time.)
  • Put your chocolate into the top of your double boiler or your bowl.
  • Place it over top of the heated water. Now, let this sit until half melted. Remove from heat and set pan onto your counter top. (Place a towel under the pan to be sure that none of the moisture reaches the chocolate.)
  • Gently stir your melting-white-chocolate with a spatula until smooth. (If lumps remain, return to heat for a minute or so until all is melted.)

Then dip the top of the cone into the melted chocolate and place a ball right from the freezer on top of the cone, it will harden instantly because it is cold and then you will be able to dip the rest of the cake ball into the chocolate. Allow the excess chocolate to drip and top it with M&M. Enjoy!

Recipe Courtesy: Everyday with Rachael Ray

Monday, October 31, 2011

Roasted Peppers and Pasta Salad

Pasta(Bows or spirals or penne) - 2 1/2 cups
Green and Red Peppers - 2(1 each)
Olive oil or cooking oil - 1 tbspn

Italian Dressing;
Olive oil - 2 tbspn
Garlic - 4 flakes(crushed and chopped)
Tomatoes - 4 large(blanched and pureed)
Tomato Sauce - 2 tbspn
Vinegar - 1 tbspn
Salt - according to taste
Sugar - a pinch
Red chili flakes - 1 tsp
Oregano - 1 tsp

Boil 8 cups of water with 2 tsp water. Add pasta. Cook for 12-15 minutes until tender. Drain. Rinse under cold water. Keep in the strainer for 10 minutes to drain out the water. Transfer to a salad bowl and pour 1 tbspn olive oil on it. Mix well. Keep aside.
Pierce the green and red peppers with a fork and hold it directly on the gas flame. Roast it on all sides for 1-2 minutes till the outer skin of the peppers turns slightly soft. Cool and lightly brush the chard skin. Wash and chop the roasted peppers into small pieces. Add to the pasta. Keep aside.
To prepare the dressing, place the tomatoes in boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove from water and cool. Peel the tomatoes and blend in a blender to a smooth puree. Keep aside.
Heat 2 tbspn oil in a pan. Reduce heat and add garlic. Stir and add the blanched and pureed tomatoes. Stir for 2-3 minutes and add the tomato sauce, vinegar, salt, oregano, sugar and chili flakes. Mix.
Add 1/2 cup water and give one boil. Simmer for 3-4 minutes till it becomes slightly thick. Check seasoning and remove from heat. Cool slightly and pour over the pasta. Toss gently.

Recipe Courtesy: Nita Mehta's "Menus from around the world"

Tip of the day: Adding salt to the water when cooking pasta will help firm the pasta and bring out its flavor.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies

All purpose flour - 2 cups 
Baking powder - 1 1/4 tspns
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Ground cinnamon - 1 tsp
Ground ginger - 1/4 tsp
Ground cloves - 1/8 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Large eggs(room temperature) - 2
Light brown sugar - 1 1/4 cups
Canola oil or Corn oil(or other flavorless oil) - 1/2 cup
Pure vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Pumpkin puree - 1 cup
Chopped nuts or chocolate chips - 1 cup

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until light and smooth (about 2 minutes).  Beat in the oil, vanilla extract, and pumpkin puree. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. Now fold in the nuts or chocolate chips. Using 1/4 cup of batter (can use a small ice cream scoop or measuring cup) place small mounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.
Bake for about 15 -18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cookie comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store cookies in the refrigerator.

Recipe Courtesy: Joy of baking

Tuesday, October 25, 2011



Whole white urad dal/Muzhu ulutham paruppu - 3/4 cup
Rice flour (optional) - 1 tsp
Orange food color - 1/2 pinch
Salt - a pinch

For Sugar syrup:
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Water - just to immerse the sugar
Lemon juice - 1/2 tsp
Rose essence - 4 drops
Orange food color - a pinch

Soak urad dal for 2 hrs and grind with very little water as we do for grinding vadas. 
The batter should be fluffy and smooth. Mix a pinch of salt, food color and rice flour(if desired) and mix well.
Heat the sugar with water just to immerse it and after it starts boiling, let it boil for 3-4 minutes. Add lemon juice, food color and lastly essence and mix well and switch off the stove. Take a zip lock cover and make a hole with a thin nail. The hole should be very tiny.
Fill half the cover with the batter and practice doing in a plate. Draw two circles and over it, draw small swirl like circles as shown in the picture.

Then heat a broad, flat bottomed pan (keeping the flame low or low-medium flame, other wise, the jangris will blow to a bigger size and become brittle or soggy) with only little oil say 1 inch depth. The oil should not get fully heated, when it starts forming small, small bubbles in the bottom, then draw jangris in the oil, repeat the same to make many.
Once the jangris gets cooked and becomes light, turn over and cook till crisp and then take out carefully and transfer to the sugar syrup (the sugar syrup must not be too thin and also not too thick). You can use Chop sticks for this, which works out very well.
Dunk the fried jangris in hot sugar syrup for 1-2 minutes and take out carefully and arrange it a plate(you can warm it if the syrup becomes cold). Let it rest for 30 minutes.

Keep for a day if you dont feel that the sugar syrup is not absorbed well by jangris. Also you can try dunking the jangris twice in the hot syrup. 
And lastly, if you are not comfortable with drawing the jangri shape, do make a comparatively bigger hole and make mini swirl like rings (mini jangris).

Recipe Courtesy: Rak's Kitchen

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ribbon Murukku


Rice flour -  2 cups
Gram flour/Kadala maavu/Besan Flour -  1/2 cup
Pepper powder(coarse) or chili powder - 3/4 tsp
Butter - 1 tbspn(softened)
Oil - 2 or 3 tspns
Asafoetida powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt & Water As needed
Oil - for deep frying

Mix rice flour, gram flour, pepper powder, butter, oil, asafoetida, and salt well.
Then add water little by little to make a stiff, non-sticky dough. Heat oil in a kadai. Fill the murukku press with the prepared dough, with the ribbon murukku plate. Press the dough in hot oil in a circular way to form a single layer. Don't layer so much, just one layer to ensure even and quick cooking.
When the bubbles reduces, flip the murukku and cook again till the bubbles ceases and the   color of the murukku changes. Drain it in the paper towel. Cool down completely and store it in an airtight container.

Recipe Courtesy: Rak's Kitchen

Tip of the day: To effectively strain debris from used cooking oil , use a coffee filter placed in a funnel.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pottukadalai(Split Roasted Gram Dal) Murukku

Rice flour - 2 cups
Pottukadalai flour (split roasted gram dal) - 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Butter - 1 tbspn
Oil for frying

Dry roast the split roasted gram dal and grind it to a fine powder.
Sieve both rice and split roasted gram dal together. Take this sieved flour in a large bowl and add the cumin seeds, asafoetida, butter and salt and knead as a stiff dough with enough water. 
Heat oil in a kadai to deep fry the murukkus. 
Make out enough balls from the dough, put in the murukku press. Squeeze out the murukku over a greased plate and drop them gently into the hot oil, fry on both sides until the oil stops bubbling and the murukku turn golden in color. Drain in a paper towel and cool completely. Store the murukkus in a airtight container.

Tip of the day: Storing flour in an airtight container and refrigerating it doubles their storage time.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Whole Green Moong Dal Dosa with Ginger Chutney

Whole Moong Dal - 2 cups
Raw Rice(Ponni) - 1/2 cup
Green Chili - 3-4
Ginger - small piece
Salt - according to taste   

Soak the whole moong dal and rice in water overnight. Next day drain the water and grind the dal and rice along with green chilies, ginger and salt to a fine paste of medium consistency. Remove the batter and mix it thoroughly adjusting the salt.
These dosas need no fermentation and you can make dosas immediately.
Heat 2 tsp of oil in a cast iron flat pan or a non stick pan. Make sure that the pan is hot by sprinkling some water. Pour one ladle full of batter into the center of pan and spread it around in a circular fashion shaping the batter into a thin round. 
Then sprinkle 1 tsp of oil around the edges of the batter. Wait for few minutes until the bottom turns golden brown and then reverse it. Cook the other side now for few seconds.
Remove from the pan and serve hot with Ginger chutney(recipe follows).

Ginger Chutney

Channa Dal - 2 tsp
Urad Dal - 4 tsp
Ginger - 1/4 cup (chopped finely)
Green Chili - 2
Tamarind - a small piece
Salt - according to taste


Peel off the skin, wash and keep grated ginger ready.
Heat oil in a pan/kadai and add the dals, tamarind, green chilies and finally add chopped ginger. Fry these contents for 5 minutes.
Cool off the contents and finally grind to a paste adding only little water (if required).

Tip of the day: To preserve ginger fresh for a long time, peel the skin off and place it in a Ziploc cover and store it in the freezer.