Friday, February 4, 2011

Award Time - Double Dhamaka

Hiii Friends,

I am very happy to receive 2 Awards !!!
Its been ages since I have had a real blogging experience again..!!!! I was away from the bloggers world, when I started studies last year September. A few weeks ago, I just thought of visiting my other blog (Food, music and beyond) to see some pooja procedures, its then I noticed that my both blogs are still on :), people are visiting and making use of it. 

And Special Special thanks to Reva of ( for inspiring me to start blogging again and giving me "one lovely blog award ". 
I have seen her blog and its amazing. I liked all her recipes and the clicks. 
I read that her recipes were published in Uk's Magazine "khaana Peena Naachna Gaana". Must say they were very good recipes...nice collection Reva :)

The Second award that I saw today was from Sangeetha of ("Stylish Blogger Award". Her recipes give us a tour of South India, with awesome dishes like Avail, kootu..mainly focusing on traditional Tamilnadu dishes, which I really enjoy cooking.

Thanks To both the ladies !!!
I will try my best to be part of the bloggers world again !!!

To accept this award:
  • Thank the person who gave you this award
  • Share 7 things " About myself"
  • List 15 friends you like to pass on this award to

7 Things about myself:

1. Fun loving person  
2.  Extrovert - My nature
3. Cooking - my passion
4. Traveling - my hobby
5. Interior designing - my interest
6. Love my Husband and my family more than me
7. Believe in spiritualism - Fear and faith in God

I would like to share this award with the following 15 other friends:

1. Reva again!!!! ..
2. Sangeetha again!!!
3.Harikas' Kitchen  - like the carvings ..amazing Harika.!!! -
5. Reshmi Mahesh -

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cauliflower Pickle - Andhra Style

Fresh cauliflower florets mixed with Indian spices and lime juice for the tangy -spicy taste.

 No wonder there are 100's of variations and varieties in pickles, Andhra pickles always taste spicy and lip smacking .

I first heard about cauliflower pickle in Hyderabad
When I made this pickle at home, Mahesh loved it extremely and finished one large bottle in just 1 week. Even today he insists me to do cauliflower pickle, when I say that I would try other pickle this time :)

The aroma of ginger- garlic enhances the taste of the pickle. Goes well with parathas and hot rice :)

This pickle was taught to me by my friend Kavita. Later we all gathered at one of my friends place at our apartment and made this pickle . We took step by step clicks, to publish in my blog.

 I told them I would be posting it pretty soon but I took very long time, as my other posts were in queue :(
So today its the Cauliflower pickle turn.

 Cauliflower - 1
 Red Chilli  powder - 1/2 cup
Salt - Little less than 1/2 cup
Garlic cloves - 8 - 10
Ginger 1 " - 4 -5
turmeric - 1 tsp
Lime - 1 (small - 2)

(To be roasted slightly and powdered)
 Mustard seeds - 2 Tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp

For Seasoning:
Oil - 5 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Dried red chillies - 5 -6

1) Separate the florets  into small pieces , wash them properly and allow it to dry on a clean  napkin cloth and put them in a large  dry bowl.

2) Roast the above  mentioned ingredients (mustard, cumin and fenugreek seeds) and powder them. Grind ginger garlic to a coarse paste.

3) In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients. This helps to taste the mix and modify salt- chilli mixture according to your  taste.
4) Add this mix to the florets.

5) Finally prepare the tempering and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Add this to the mixture , Squeeze lime juice and keep aside for a day.

6) The pickle leaves the juice and florets shrink a bit. Crispy, tangy and finger licking  pickel will be ready .
Transfer this in an air tight jar and refrigerate it. Stays for about 1-2 weeks.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Brown Rice Khichidi

One day, we went to a Thai restaurant and they served red curry with brown rice. It was very filling yet light. We were not feeling it too heavy or drowsy as we generally feel with an Indian restaurant food. We then saw on net about brown rice Vs white rice and to our surprise, we realized that white rice has about one fourth of fiber as compared to brown rice. White rice is chemically processed and they do add talc or glucose as a whitening or polishing agent. Eating white rice is ok, if we cook it in a right way (refer to my earlier post about Cooking rice the healthy way). But I feel, once in a while we have to include brown rice in our diet.

So we started cooking brown rice but I couldn't enjoy brown rice with south Indian chutneys and rasam. I seriously wanted to have white rice but my husband was enjoying it. I then thought probably, my taste buds weren't accepting it and I thought this happens with many of them, thats why many hesitate to buy brown rice. Then I started experimenting to make this rice tastier and see with what dishes it goes well.

I tried many dishes and came to know that it goes well with dal makhani, tadka dal, thai green curry and when cooked  as mixed vegetable rice or khichidi. 

Now I am going to share the recipe for Brown Rice Khichidi. There are many ways to cook khichidi but the basic premise is cooking rice with lentils. Simple and authentic :) 

The spices are added according to my families taste, you can always modify it as per your taste.

Brown rice Basmati - 1 cup
 mung dal - 1/2 cup ( I used whole green mung dal)
Ginger chopped - 2 tsp
green chillies - 3 to 4
Onions thinly sliced - 1 
Crushed Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Clove - 3
cardamom  and cinnamon - 1 each
Bay leaf - 1
curry leaves - 1 sprig
turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Crushed cumin - 2 to 3 tsp
oil/ghee - 1 Tbsp
salt - to taste

Wash rice and soak at least for 15 minutes. Meanwhile You can be ready with all the ingredients.

- In a pressure cooker, Add 1 tbsp oil and add crushed cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and  bay leaf. - Saute for a minute and add turmeric, green chillies, curry leaves, ginger and onions. Wait till onions become translucent.
- Add rice and dal, fry for a minute mixing all the masalas evenly and add 3 cups of water to it.( remember this khichidi must be very soft, you can add 1/2 cup of water more to it)
- finally add crushed pepper, salt and coriander leaves and close the lid. Wait till 3 whistles. turn off and serve hot.

Goes well with tadka dal or raitha.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Festive treats - Murrukulu / Chakli

Shravana masam - must say a festive month, with poojas and festivals. 
When it comes to food, pindi vantalu/ snack items is compulsory. Murrukulu or chakli is one among these crispy snack varieties.

In Andhra and Karnataka...Chaklies/murrukulu are often made and served as snacks/ savories... Just like we have pop corn while watching tv or as time pass snack when friends arrive at our place....the same way these snacks were taken in olden days.....Having busy lifestyle, many cannot prepare these snacks at home and so people prefer instant mixes or ready made Indian snacks that are available in the supermarkets now a days.

Last week when I made these chaklies, it reminded me of my grandmother and tears rolled down my eyes...
I remember my grandmother making chakli (in kannada)  whenever we visited her place...she used to store these  in an air tight box and used to give us 4 chaklies..very crispy and crunchy and one rava laddu for snacks :).

So, I decided to make chaklies and got the presser from one of my friends in our apartments.
When I was preparing to make these chaklies, it was a challenging task, as one needs bit patience to prepare the Urad flour, press the murruku maker and also to clean up the kitchen after the mess..but the result I got was of course worth it...crispy chaklies..though not perfect round shape :)

Step by Step procedure : Chakli / Murruku

Ingredients :

Urad flour - 1 cup (Urad flour preperation shown below )
Rice flour - 2 cups
Melted Butter - 2 Tbspn
jeera - 2 tsp
asofoetida - 1 pinch
Salt - as per taste

Method :

1.Combine  all the above ingredients in a mixing bowl.

 2. Add water little by little and prepare the dough.  Make sure that the dough is soft enough just like the chapathi dough.

3. Heat sufficient oil in a pan / tava for deep frying. Take a lemon sized portion of the dough and put it in the Murruku/chakli maker and press it directly above the tava for the batter to drop in the oil using the single star designed plate inside the presser.

4 Fry till golden brown color and place it on a paper napkin.
Store it in a airtight box for instant snacks anytime anywhere :)

Urad Flour :

1. Roast 1 cup urad dal /urad gota in a pan. When the color changes to light brown turn off the gas...(its fine if some urad seeds are white..its just that they should be roasted once) .Set aside for cooling.

2. Powder it finely, giving breaks in between so that the grinder doesn't get heated up.. :P.
Urad flour is ready :)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Banana Bread and an Award

Banana Bread - A flavorful delight, one can enjoy anytime with tea/coffee/milk

One can make various types of banana bread once the measurements are known. You can add nuts along with grated coconut for flavor. I sometimes add coconut milk to it by adding only one egg to the process.
Many variations can be done as per your interest and thats why I often choose to make this banana bread recipe.

First time I had no hand mixer at home , so I used the so called Indian Mixer and prepared the batter. I was surprised to get a very good banana bread .
Once u develop the interest you can always go for a hand mixer as its very handy and easy to operate.

Ingredients :
 All Purpose Flour - 1 1/4 cup
 Sugar - 1 Cup
 Eggs - 2
 Bananas ripe - 2
 Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
 Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
 Salt - 1/2 tsp
 Vegetable Oil - 1/2 cup ( I opt oil rather than butter ) / (If butter - 1/3 cup melted)
 Butter - 2 Tbsp (melted)
 Nuts ( walnuts/ cashew ) - 1/2 Cup (chopped)
Cinnamon powder - 1/2 tsp
nutmeg - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Vanilla Essence - 2 Tbsp

 Required Material:
Measuring cups, 2 mixing bowls, hand mixer / (Indian blender ), 9/5 inch Loaf pan

  • Preheat the Oven for 350 F
  • In a big mixing bowl, combine all the powder ( Flour, baking pwdr, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt) and mix it gently with a spatula and keep aside.
  • In another mixing bowl combine eggs and sugar. Whisk it properly - this is generally referred as creaming.  To this add mashed bananas, vanilla essence and oil. With the help of hand mixer, keeping the speed on 1 whisk it for 2-3 minutes. ( note: Do not over do it as it may loose the binding)
  • Add nuts to the above mixture and mix it very gently with a spatula. One can even add 1/2 cup of  unsweetened coconut to it. Tastes yummm..:)
  • Combine the above banana - egg mixture in the Flour mix bowl. Whisk it again till the flour and banana mixture gets a flowing thick consistency by adding extra 2Tbsp of butter for smoothness.  Speed should be 2 if using hand mixer. If Indian mixie -  press on pulse till the mixer gets combined and then switch to low/1 speed for 4-5 minutes.
  • Butter the Loaf pan or coat with cooking spray and pour this mixture. Keep the pan in the oven set the oven time to 60 minutes - temperature - 350 F.
  • Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Then invert the pan and let the bread cool completely for slicing and serving :)
(Tip: First set the temperature for 50 minutes. Insert  a  knife/ tooth pick  in the bread, if it comes out clean , it means its properly done. If  bread is getting sticked to the knife/  tp, set for another 10 minutes and check.)

This my first award that I received from my friends Vasavi Suresh and Asha Mernedi.
Thank you very much ladies for considering me as one of the versatile bloggers :)
Love ur blogs - Its always interesting, creative and exciting with delicious recipes !!!! 

7 Things about myself:

1. Fun loving person  
2.  Extrovert - My nature
3. Cooking - my passion
4. Traveling - my hobby
5. Interior designing - my interest
6. Love my Husband and my family more than me
7. Believe in spiritualism - Fear and faith in God

I would like to share this award with the following 15 other friends:
1. Gayatri Raj 
2. Jay
3.Padma's recipes
4. Pranitha 
5. Deepa 
6. Padhu
7. srividhya 
8. Satya
9. Pavithra 
10. Shanti 
12. US masala
14. Savi ruchi
15 EC

To accept this award
  • Thank the person who gave you this award
  • Share 7 things " About myself"
  • List 15 friends you like to pass on this award to.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mexican Rice - Indian Style

  Steamed rice cooked with colorful bell peppers and soy sauce

Mexican Rice traditionally includes onions, garlic, tomatoes and rice cooked with broth. I tried this recipe with an Indian touch. I had 3 different colored capsicums at home and thought why not modify a bit , as each color capsicum has a different flavor in it, so tried using this in the recipe and it tasted yummm  and looked colorful :)

The first time I made this Mexican rice, everybody at home loved it, though a different method but later got to know that Mexican rice can be made in different forms using broccoli's/tomatoes/capsicums. One can use this as a side dish with tortillas, beans or with tacos. But we relished only Mexican rice all alone whole heartedly.

So here is a very simple and a quick fix Mexican Rice recipe with an Indian tinge:
                                         Mexican Rice

Ingredients :
Rice - 1 cup
Water / Vegetable Broth - 1 1/2 cups
Onion - 1
Bell peppers/ capsicums chopped into long slices - 2 cups
Tomato - 1 large (if using red capsicum you can avoid tomato)
Cabbage shredded - 1 cup
Garlic - 3-4 cloves
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Soy sauce - 1 Tbsp
Butter/ oil - 2 Tbsp
Salt to taste

  • In a pressure pan , put some oil or butter and fry chopped onions till transparent, add crushed  garlic to it and saute for a minute. To this add  Rice and gently fry for 1-2 minutes and add 1 1/2 cups water/broth ,cook for 1 whistle keeping on medium flame. Sim for 5 minutes and turn off.
       [Note: one can use rice cooker but make sure that the rice grains are separated no matter what process u follow to cook the rice.]
    • In a pan, add 2 tbsp oil/ butter, fry capsicums for 3-4 minutes and add shredded cabbage, fry for 2 minutes, add tomato slices , chilli powder, soy sauce, salt  and mix it. 
    • Finally add the cooked rice and gently mix along with all the ingredients. Garnish with parsley :)

    Friday, July 2, 2010

    Gobi Paratha - Quick n Easy

    Cauliflower curry stuffed in the plain bread/roti and served hot with pickle, salad and curd

    Gobi Paratha is my all time favorite delicacy. Its a bit tricky to make gobi parathas since while rolling the dough , the stuffing can spill out because the stuffing is not as soft as that of  the other parathas.

    I have mentioned two methods of making the paratha.I find the second method very quick and easy with lots of stuffing in it.

    Nutrional facts: Three florets of cauliflower a day will provide you with 67% of your daily vitamin C requirement. When purchasing cauliflower, make sure the tops are white. If the floret has begun to spot brown or puple, it is past its nutritional peak.

    One can eat raw cauliflower for the nutritional benefits, however if you cook can steam it or slights cook the vegetables but not fry it completely till it changes its color.

    Step by step procedure:

    Serves : 8-9 parathas
    Chapathi flour - 2 cups
    Mix the dough by adding a pinch of salt, 1 tbsp of oil and required amount of water. Prepare the dough. Apply oil and keep aside covering a wet cloth on it for about half an hour.

    Cauliflower - 1
    Green chillies - 2-3
    Ginger 1" - 1
    Cumin powder - 2 tsp
    Coriander Powder- 3 tsp
    Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
    turmeric - a pinch
    Salt as per taste
    Corriander leaves for garnishing.
    oil - 1 Tbsp

    1. Grate cauliflower finely and keep it aside.
    2. In a pan add 1 Tbsp of oil and add finely chopped green chillies and ginger. Add grated cauliflower to it and mix all the ingredients and cook on medium flame till the raw smell of cauliflower and the moisture in it goes away.
    3. Keep aside to cool.

    Method 1:
    Make round balls for the parathas. Roll it to a puri size and place the stuffing as shown below

    2. Close the roll by joining all the edges just as a dumpling shape.
    3. Make a bigger roll by dusting the flour. The stuffing should be spread evenly as shown below.
    3. Place this on the hot pan / tava. keep turning till the both sides are cooked evenly. Apply a dot of butter and serve hot gobi parathas with pickle and curd :)

    Method 2.
    1) In this method,  take two small balls and prepare like chapathis . Spread the stuffing on top of one chapathi Pic shown below.

    2) Now place the second chapathi above it and seal the edges evenly. If possible spread some flour and roll it  slightly finally. Place this on a hot pan and cook them on both sides.
    3) when done, you can cut into any shape or serve one full paratha placing a dot of butter on top of it. :)