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. :)

    Monday, June 28, 2010

    Corn Malai Palak / Creamy Corn Spinach

    Corn kernels topped over creamy spinach puree and blended with aromatic flavors, to add spice to the dish!!!

    I always have palak in my refrigerator and I make sure to include it in several dishes like for dals, curries and Palak paneer can I miss this main dish :).
    As paneer adds lot of fat, I thought of using peas or corn.

    So, finally ended up with corn malai palak menu.

    A very simple and delicious dish, similar to palak paneer.
    Colorful combination - yellow and green :)


    Palak / BabySpinach - 1 packet (2 bunches) 
    Green chillies   - 4 to 5 (can add more)
    Garlic pods - 4 to 5
    Ginger 1" piece -3
    Onion - 1 
    Fresh cream - 3 - 4 Tbsp (I used Lite cream)
    Boiled Corn - 1 cup
    Cumin and coriander powder - 1 Tbsp each
    cumin seeds - 1 tbsp 
    Turmeric - a pinch
    Oil - 2 Tbsp
    Salt - as per taste


    1. Blanching : Wash palak/spinach and put them in boiling water for 5 minutes / till it becomes dark color. Drain water and pour cold water on to it and keep aside. This is called blanching.
    2. Make a puree of it without adding water. 
    3. Coarsely make a paste of green chillies, garlic and ginger.

    4. In a pan , add oil, cumin seeds. When they crackle , add onions, turmeric and saute till the onions become transparent and then add the above paste, cumin - coriander powder. Mix well.
    5. Add the palak/ spinach puree. Cook for about 10 minutes.  add corn to the curry and mix it gently. cook for another 5 minutes.

    6. Turn of the gas and add the cream.
    7. Garnish with a few corns and cream on top and serve hot with rotis. naans, kulchas ..:)

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    Thai Pineapple Fried Rice

    Rice fried with pineapple chunks,Cashews, flavored with soy and curry powder and finally garnished with spring onions n Coriander..!!! Truly veggie

    Hmm sounds different for the first time listeners :). Even I had the same feeling but trust me when I had this at a Thai restaurant...I was pleasantly surprised by its taste and flavor.

    We had pineapple at home and my husband generally includes pineapple in the salads and while baking. This time he thought of  using it in a different way and so I suggested him to make my favourite thai fried rice.
    He researched some idea...mix and matched a few recipes and created his own :).
    Believe me it was pretty decent and delicious for the first try itself.

    The sweet and sour taste of pineapple makes this dish yummm..
    Here is the recipe :-

    Ingredients :
    Pineapple chunks - 2 cups (3/4 th of whole pineapple) / 1 can of pineapple ready made
    Cashews  - 1/2 cup (broken cashew)
    Precooked rice - 3 cups ( if freshly cooked rice, keep aside for an hour)
    onion - 1
    green chillies - 2
    Spring onions - 4
    Soy sauce - 2 Tbsp
    Curry powder - 1 Tbsp
    garlic - 3 cloves
    Coriander leaves - Garnishing
    Salt - for taste
    Olive oil


    1) Add some olive oil in the precooked rice and mix it well, so that the grains are separated and keep it aside.
    2) In a pan put some oil, saute onions till transparent, add chopped garlic, green chillies minced, mix it well and then add cashew nuts and fry it for a minute or two.
    3) Now add the above rice and pineapple chunks together. Mix it gently and add soy sauce, curry powder and salt. Cook for about 3-5 minutes.
    4) Finally add finely chopped spring onions and coriander leaves. Garnish and serve hot :)

    Options : 1) One can add 1 egg after the step2 and continue the process.
                   2) Add peas and grated carrot for the extra flavor

    Monday, June 21, 2010

    Quick Fixes - Pasta !!!

        Pasta combined with carrots and greens and seasoned with italian herbs

    A healthy dish that can be combined with lot many veggies and herbs.
    Ideal for lunch boxes. One can serve it hot or cold, however the taste does not change at all.

    Now a days, I have started making cold pasta for my husband's lunch box.
    I cook the pasta at night and pour some olive oil on it, so that it doesn't get sticky . Finally keep it in the fridge.
    All set for the next day. Just combine with  some fresh veggies, herbs and spice it up according to your taste.

    Serves - 2 people
    All you need is:
    Choice of any pasta variety - I used Rotelle 
    Broccoli florets - 1 cup
    Grated carrot - 1 cup
    Chopped capsicum - 1 cup
    Spring onions (only greens) - 1 bunch
    baby Spinach  -  handful or even more.
    Garlic - 3
    Extra virgin olive oil 

    1.Boil the pasta in hot water for 15-20 minutes. (As suggested in the instructions)
    2. Once cooked, drain the water and keep the Rotelle aside. Put some EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and gently mix it.
    3. In a pan, heat some EVOO. Add  minced garlic and  broccoli and saute till for 2 minutes. Next, add in rest of the veggies. 
    let it cook for 2 minutes.
    4. Sprinkle some italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
    5. Finally add the boiled Rotelle . Mix well and Voilaaa..all done

    Optional : finally add 2 tsp of lemon juice /  2 tsp of rice vinegar to add tanginess to the dish.

    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    Gongura pacchadi/ Sorrel leaves chutney

         Gongura leaves finely blended with aromatic spices and tempered to serve with hot rice or dosas

    Sorrel leaves are tangy and this makes the dish very relishing. No wonder , it tastes awesome if it's combined with any dish.. say dals, chutneys or pickles, 

    Gongura pickle is very famous in Telangana region and it tastes de-li-ci-ous...
    When it comes to North karnataka, we enjoy gongura chutney (pundi palya) with jowar roti (jonnarotti).

    We love pacchadies and so we just finish it rt away :)

    Rice - Gongura pacchadi - dot of ghee - onion ..!!! 
    what a great combo..I  sometimes wonder who discovers such combinations...
    then I say..anyways  just enjoy and relish the chutney..who cares.:P

    Gongura/Sorrel leaves - 1 big bunch
    Onion - Big chuncks - 1 cup
    Coriander seeds - 2 Tbsp
    Urad dal - 1 Tbsp
    Channa dal - 1 Tbsp
    Methi seeds/ fenugreek - 1/2 tsp
    Garlic cloves - 5-6
    Dried Red chillies -  8 (6 for grinding - 2 -3 for tempering)
    Green chillies - 3
    Tamarind -  1 small piece (3" approx) / 1 tsp
    Turmeric - pinch
    Salt - as per taste
    Oil - 2- 3 tbsp

    1. Dry roast coriander seeds, fenugreek, channa dal and  urad dal till you get a nice aroma.

    2. Add dry chillies  and saute for a minute.

    3. Powder the above ingredients.

    4. In a pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil, add split greenc hillies, washed sorrel leaves/gongura. Saute till the leaves change to dark green color and shrinks. Finally add garlic, big chunks of onion and mix gently for 2-3 minutes.

    5. Cool the above mixture and grind it along with the powders, ,adding salt, pinch of turmeric  and tamarind pulp.

    6. Grind it to a fine paste and put  in a bowl.


    1. Heat 1-2 Tbsp of oil 
    ( the more oil you add -the more tasty the chutney just pour a generous amount of olive oil if worried..:)

    2. Add 1 tsp each of cumin, mustard seeds, dry red chiillies, handful of curry leaves, 1 or 2 sliced garlic cloves.

    3. Gently put this tempering on the chutney/pacchadi

    Sunday, June 13, 2010

    Breakfast Bread Burrito - BBB

    Bread stuffed with scrambled eggs,spinach, jalapenos and Italian seasoning.

    Many of you must be aware of the famous breakfast Burrito....yummm...mouth watering?
    So here is a similar kind of breakfast deal I have today...Breakfast bread burrito...easy and quick snack to go...

                       Healthy breakfast, ready to go - Quick and easy - 

    All you need is:
    Eggs - 2 (for one bread Burrito)
    Pepper - 1 tsp
    Spinach  - 1 cup chopped
    Salt - to taste
    Jalapenos /  Green chillies - 2-3
    Italian seasoning - 1 tsp
    oil -  2 tsp


    1. Heat oil in a wide flat pan and add chopped spinach and Jalapenos. Saute for a minute - two.
    2.  Now add the egg whites (optional to avoid egg yolk). Add salt, pepper and seasoning.
    3. mix well for a minute. Stuffing is ready

    1. Heat a dot of butter on pan and place the breads. cook them evenly for a minute turning them.

    Stuff the above stuffing in the bread . Ready to serve .

    More delicious: One can grate cheddar or mozzarella cheese  with  hot n sour sauce on top of the stuffing and dress it with lettuce.

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Sopapillas - Simple recipe at its best

         Puffs flavored with cinnamon sugar and glazed with honey on top ...!!!

    A very quick and jiffy tea time snack, perfect to munch with coffee or tea.

    Had many puff pastry sheets at home and was wondering what I can prepare apart from the puffs.
    found this instant recipe and  was ready to go...!!!

    All we need is :
    Puff pastry sheets - 5
    Cinnamon sugar - 3-4 Tbsp
    Honey - to garnish (optional)

    Tip:  If u dont have cinnamon sugar u can always prepare one by your own. for 3/4 cup of fine sugar , add 2 Tbsp of ready made cinnamon powder...

    1. Cut the puff pastry sheets into half. And just fold the  sheets in whatever desired shapes u need. Envelopes or rectangular...
    2. Preheat the oven for 350 F
    3. Place the sheets and bake for 15 minutes. Add extra 5 minutes if not done completely.
    4. Place it aside until it gets warm. Now in a bowl keep all the puffs and sprinkle cinnamon sugar generously on top or with the help of a tea filter.

    Garnish with honey for that extra flavor..yummm

    Friday, June 4, 2010

    The Vah Chefs Bagara Baingan

    Brinjals cooked in the peanut and sesame gravy

    Sorry Ladies..was on a long vacation..My DH celebrated my birthday in LA n Sandiego...A very memorable day as it being my first birthday after my marriage....:)

    So here comess yet another gr8 dish on ur platter...

    Bagara Baingan...A delicious Hyderabadi dish, served mostly in all the occasions...gr8 combination with biriyani or bagara rice...I love the way my aunt cooks this dish...the gravy in this can be used to make capscicum masala , mushroom masala and yes  mixed veg masala...too

    I call this as vah chefs Bagara brinjal as i have taken a few tips from the Vah chef show of frying the brinjals...and followed with my own recipe...
    The combo with rice goes good when served as bagara baingan or as capsicum masala....

    Baby brinjals/Regular small brinjals - 7-8
    Peanuts - 1 cup
    Sesame seeds - 4-5 Tbsp
    Corriander seeds - 1 Tbsp
    Bay leaf - 2-3
    Cloves - 4
    Cinammon - 1 whole
    Cardamom - 3
    Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 Tbsp
    Dry coconut Powder - 2 tsp / 1" piece of dry coconut piece (optional)
    Onions - 2
    green chillies - 2
    Cumin and Coriander powder - 3 Tsp each
    Cumin seeds - 1tsp
    Red chilli powder - 1 tbsp ( I love i add even more :))
    Small Lemon sized tamarind - 1
    Oil for frying and for cooking


    1. Wash the brinjals and clean them with a clean napkin. Set aside a pan for shallow frying the brinjals. Once they are 80 % cooked. take them out from the pan and place it on a paper napkin.

    2. Meanwhile in a pan roast the peanuts, sesame seeds, coconut and coriander seeds to a smooth paste. If possible add little oil to get a smoother paste. Soak tamarind in 1 cup of warm water and extract the pulp when it becomes soft.

    3. In another pan, take 3 tbsp of oil and add cumin seeds, cloves, bay leaves, cardamom and cinnamon. When they splutter, add finely chopped onions and slit green chillies. Once the onions become transparent, add ginger-garlic paste. fry for a minute.

    4. Now add the above peanut paste to the masala. Add a cup of tamarind water and mix gently. Let it cook for about 10 minutes.

    5. You will notice that the gravy starts getting thick. Add cumin, coriander and chilli powders. Mix well by adding sufficient salt.
    Tip : If the gravy becomes too thick - add water little by little.

    6. Now add the cooked brinjals in the gravy...and cook for about 5 minutes. Cook till u get a good consistency ...Garnish with coriander and serve hot with Biriyani or jeera rice.

    Wednesday, May 26, 2010

    Mushroom Pulao

     Mushrooms flavored with Indian garam masalas, herbs and cooked with rice.

    I name this dish as Ramani's Mushroom Pulao....As my friend Ramani taught me this dish a few days ago.
    I came to know about this dish only when I visited her place for some getogether. ....I had no words to describe...when I had the first spoon of mushroom pulao, it was so very De-li-ci-ou-s....even when my stomach was shouting I m full, my tongue was craving  more...:)

     When I asked her for the recipe,,she herself came to my house and showed me this recipe when I had a potluck at my place.  very sweet of her..:)
    So here is the recipe from my friend that I am sharing with u all :)

    Basmathi Rice -2 cups
    Mushroom sliced  -  1 1/2 cups
    Mint/Pudina - 1 cup
    Coriander leaves - Handful
    Green chillies - 3-4
    Onion - 1
    Cloves - 6
    Cinamon stick - 1 whole
    Cardamom - 4
    Bay leaves - 4
    Curry leaves - 4
    Shahjeera/kala jeera - 1 tsp
    Ginger Garlic paste - 2 Tbsp
    Water - 3 cups
    oil - 5 tbsp
     Salt - 3 tsp

    1. Wash rice and soak it for 15 min. Meanwhile, make a paste of mint and corainder and keep aside.

    2. In a pan or cooker, heat oil, add shahjeera, cloves, cardamom, cinnamom stick, bay leaf and slit green chillies. When they splutter, add sliced onions and saute for a minute or two.

    3. Add ginger-garlic paste, mix well for a minute.  Now add the mint-coriander paste and mix well.

    4. Add in the mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes. The mushrooms absorb the flavor and blen well with the rice.

    5. Drain the water from rice and add rice  into the pan/cooker. Saute by adding salt and then add 3 cups of water. close the lid and cook for 10 minutes.

    6. keep checking once in 5 minutes...when the rice is almost done(80%). put it on sim(very low flame) and close the lid and keep aside for 10 more minutes. (this stage is called dum)

    7. Finally garnish it with coriander and serve hot with raitha or gravy :)

    Mushrooms on FoodistaMushrooms