December 30, 2011

Tomato Blues Best Of 2011

 This year is very special to me as it has given me so many memories and things that will forever be close to my heart. We completed a year of being married. I started my blog. Or i should say we started this blog. I started cooking cos i wanted to make my hubby happy. And one thing led to another and so slowly i started venturing into some unexplored avenues of the kitchen like baking and food photography. In this one year, i ve grown as a wife and a daughter but more importantly, like my husband puts it, " my cooking has improved by leaps and bounds" I would not even have dared to begin something like this but for my husband who kept nagging me all the while to write up what i cook. And for this reason and also for loving me incredibly beyond boundaries and giving me the freedom of choice and independence that i have today, i m always falling in love with him. This post is for him and all my readers and followers and my treasured blogger friends. The best of Tomato Blues 2011.

               My blog also has grown with me and i have to thank a few people for giving me opportunities to make it grow like this. In this progress, VardhiniRadhika and Kalyani all deserve a special mention.
                     So, a round up of Tomato Blues 2011.

My best twelve dishes all lined up .

From the top,
Mushroom Biriyani
Kadai Paneer
Moong Cheela
Mango Ginger Pickle
Malai Kofta
Snake gourd Kootu
Chole Masala
Curd Vada
Baby Potato Fry
Vegetable Nuggets
Stuffed Capsicum

The post with the maximum comments :) Thank you all
Curd Vada

The best pics on Tomato Blues ( ahem... in my opinion of course!)

Hubby s Favourites on my space

Some recipes that did better than i imagined them to.

 What i see is only a beginning for my blog. I m looking forward to cook more, host a few events and click away food with more passion :)
Thank you all for being there for me, for enduring my blabs and prattles with godly patience and for making this blog happen. Thank you for inspiring me. :) You all have a fantastic and a fabulous year ahead. Looking forward to share more of my kitchen chronicles with you :)
This goes to Valli s Best Of 2011

December 28, 2011

Sepankizhangu Roast Recipe| South Indian Lunch Recipes

Its biting cold in Baroda. I know i know. I ve told this unpteen times now. But the cold only makes you want to keep munching and munching. And munching on spicy food or you want to devour this bowl of piping hot soup. For lunch, everyday, i m tempted to make something crunchy and spicy. Then i remind myself that deep fried will simply not do. The spell lasts for a week and then i m tempted to deep fry or roast again. This recipe happened on one of those days when the evil "Deep Fry" popped up from me. Arbi or colocassia is a delicious yam variety. The newer they are, the easier to peel and cook.

December 27, 2011

Garlic Kulcha Recipe| Flatbread Recipes

I am not very fond of eating flatbreads in a restaurant.Gujarat hotels offer so many varieties but honestly, there s not much of a difference among any of them. I prefer kulchas because they are simple to make and does not involve addition of yeast. They are made out of maida and its believed that maida s not health friendly. But i love making them at home. I make my flatbreads from the scratch and i simply enjoy the process too. To see those breads puffing up on the tawa speckled with brown spots is a delightful experience for me and i consider it an indulgence. I made these kulchas with whole wheat flour. The outcome was fluffy soft kulchas with the earthly garlic flavour. Hubby devoured it and that only indicated how much he loved it. I serve kulchas with something spicy and flavourful like Kadai Paneer or we eat it with healthy and green Saag Paneer

Recipe For Whole Wheat Garlic Kulchas
( Learn how to make Kulcha bread using whole wheat flour and garlic)

Prep Time: 10 mins
Resting Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 2 mins/ Kulcha
Makes 8 largish kulchas
Allergy Info: Soy free
Course: Breads, Mains
Cuisine: Indian/ Persian
Serving Suggestions: Kadai PaneerSaag Paneer


Whole wheat flour 2 cups
Baking powder 1/2 tsp
Baking soda 1/4 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1/2 tbsp
Fresh Curd 1/4 cup
Vegetable oil 1/8 cup
Garlic minced 2 tbsp
Ghee 1/2 tbsp
Cilantro chopped finely 2 tbsp
Water for kneading 

Flour for dusting
Oil or ghee for cooking 
Butter for serving


Place the wheat flour along with all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and combine well.
Add all the wet ingredients one by one.
Now, start kneading the dough by adding water little by the tablespoon.
Knead till you get a mass like structure.
Then smear your hands with a lil oil and knead until you get a smooth pliable dough. Takes about 5 mins.
Transfer the dough to a dry bowl or container and wrap with cling wrap.
Let it rest for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, remove the wrap and place the dough on a slightly floured surface.
Divide into equal parts and make small balls.
Flatten and roll them a little thickly into rounds or in any desired shape.
Heat a tawa. Place one round at a time and drizzle oil or ghee on the sides.
You can see that it puffs up after 30 to 40 secs.
Cook till you get brown spots on one side and flip over.
Now, cook the other side the same way.

Remove from tawa and serve hot after applying butter on the kulchas.

December 26, 2011

Kathirikai Karakuzhambu Recipe| Chettinad Recipes

This s a chettinad delicacy. No chettinad wedding is complete without kuzhi paniyarams or paal paniyarams or kara kuzhambu. And only eggplants and shallots work best for this recipe. I love this kuzhambu with hot rice or soft phulkas dripping in ghee.

Recipe For Kathrikai Kara Kuzhambu
( Learn how to make kathrikai kara kuzhambu, a spicy tangy eggplant stew from the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu)

Prep Time: Under 20 mins
Cook Time: Under 30 mins
Serves 3 to 4 
Allergy Info: Vegan, Soy and Nut free
Cuisine: Chettinad ( South Indian)


Eggplants small ones work best 6 to 7 
Shallots 6 to 8 
Sesame oil 2 tbsp
Tamarind extract from a lime size tamarind 2 cups
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp

For The Stuffing:

Tomato 1 medium chopped roughly
Channa dal 3/4 tsp
Urad dal 3/4 tsp
Coconut grated or dry coconut 1/4 cup
Dry red chillies 3 ( i used less cos my chillies are very spicy)
Coriander seeds 1 tbsp

For Tempering:

Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Urad dal 1 tsp
Sesame oil 2 tbsp
Hing a large pinch 
Curry leaves a sprig


This recipe tastes good only when made in sesame oil.


First, dry roast all the ingredients for the stuffing except the tomato.
Then, heat a kadai and add 1 tsp of oil. Fry the tomato till there is no moisture left.
Let all this cool and grind them into a paste without adding water in a blender. Keep aside.
Cut the stalks of the eggplant. Make a cross cut on the opposite side i.e on the rounded end on the brinjals.
Now, stuff them with the ground paste and set aside. Save the remaining paste.
Heat a kadai with sesame oil.
Add the shallots and saute till transparent.
Now, add the turmeric. 
Next, toss in the brinjals gently and start sauteeing them.
Cook them closed on a medium flame for about 3 to 4 mins.
Now, add the remaining paste and mix gently. Saute for 2 mins.
Add tamarind extract and salt. Let the mixture boil for about 10 mins or till the raw smell of the tamarind goes away.
Temper with mustard seeds, urad dal , hing and curry leaves in sesame oil.
Serve with hot rice and papads.

December 25, 2011

Onion Tomato Chutney

I consider making an accompaniment a herculean task. I can make main courses like there s no tomorrow. But you ask me to make chutneys, pickles and raithas, i ll scurry out of that place as quickly as a mouse does on seeing a cat. Anyway, a gal has to what she has to. There s no shortcuts to that. And we are idly dosa freaks whose sun does not rise without dosa for breakfast. Make dosa. Make chutney is the mantra. This chutney goes well with dosa, idly and even pooris. Well, we eat like that for all those raised eyebrows.

Prep Time: Under 10 mins
Cook Time: Under 20 mins
Serves 2 

What you need?

Tomatoes ripe and large 3 chopped finely
Garlic cloves 4
Onions 2 medium chopped finely
Dry red chillies 3
Tamarind paste 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil for sauteeing 2 tbsp

For Tempering

Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Curry leaves a sprig
Hing a pinch
Urad dal 1/2 tsp
Oil 2 tsp

How to make it?

Heat a kadai with oil. Add onions and garlic and saute till onions are transparent.
Next, add chillies and saute for 30 secs.
Now, add tomatoes and saute till there s no moisture and they are soft and mushy.
Let it cool.
Once cooled, blend the tomato onion mixture with tamarind and salt to a smooth paste.
Temper with mustard, curry leaves, urad dal and hing.

Serve with dosa or idli. We ate it with Sponge Dosa,

December 24, 2011

Ven Pongal Recipe| Breakfast Recipes

December is not only remembered for its cold weather in Tamil Nadu. It s also a month to celebrate Andal a very popular devout of lord Vishnu. Andal is famous for her songs and hymns on Lord Vishnu and it is said that no one has rendered services to the lord better than her. Known also as Kodhai, she s the only lady Alvar and is celebrated as a God too in some places in Tamil Nadu. Come Margazhi, temples in Tamil Nadu resonate with the Andal Thirupavai. And the streets of Tamil Nadu look vibrant with beautiful rangolis. But my point is not about all this. My post is about the gooey hot ven pongal they give as prasadam in all Vishnu temples during margazhi. Whenever i visit a Vishnu temple and get a chance to eat this pongal, i m left wanting for more. Needless to say, this is one of my regular breakfast choice and its such a power pack with the goodness of rice and moong dal and tempered with oodles of ghee.

December 23, 2011

Methi Thepla

I had a gujarati friend when i used to live in the hostel. And we became as thick as sisters. She got used to my food choices and i to hers. She was an excellent cook not only taste wise but also versatility and agility wise. She s quite a sight when she makes rotis, all round shaped and of the same size. 30 rotis in 30 mins was her speed and i used to be overawed by her. I m still over awed when i think of those days and times. The days are over and time has flown by. But my friend Biju' memories are afresh in my mind and her skill always leaves me amazed. There s not a single day when i dont recollect her image in the tiny galley kitchen of ours where she used to cluck her tongue and make those hot almost tiffany phulkas or those light yet flavoursome theplas. This is a recreation of her version in my kitchen.

Prep Time: Under 20 mins
Cook Time: Under 10 mins
Source: Mrs. Biraj Bhatt fondly known as Biju
Yields 12 to 13 theplas

What you need?

Whole wheat flour 1.5 cups
Chickpea flour 1/2 cup
Fresh curd 1/2 cup
Methi leaves 1/4 cup chopped finely 
Sesame seeds 2 tbsp
Ajwain or carom seeds 1 tsp
Chilly powder 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Hing a pinch
Ghee 1 tbsp melted
Oil 1 tbsp
Water for kneading
Salt to taste  

Wheat flour for dusting
Oil for cooking the theplas

How to make it?

Place all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Combine well.
Now, add the oil, ghee and curd to the mixture.
Add water little by little and start kneading the dough.
Knead for about 7 mins till you get a smooth pliable dough.
Divide the dough into equal parts. Make small balls of the divided parts.
Now dust the balls with a little flour and start rolling into thin rounds on a flat surface.
Repeat the same for the remaining dough.
Heat a tawa. Place a round and drizzle oil on the sides.
Cook till brown spots appear on the surface of the thepla.
Then flip over and repeat for the other side too.
Serve hot with pickles and yoghurt or raitha.
Makes a great travel food too as it has a shelf life of 2 to 3 days.

December 22, 2011

Sponge Dosa

Its going to be year end soon. And my blog is 6 months old. I am south indian who loves her idlies and dosas. Surprisingly, my blog is devoid of dosa and idly recipes. Thats when i decided i ve to start posting my idly dosa recipes right from the basics. The basic batter recipe is a to do post yet. But for now, i m giving you all sponge dosa, a recipe adapted verbatim from Mrs. Malliga Badrinath s 100 Tiffin Recipes.

Prep Time: Under 10 mins
Soaking Time: 10 hours
Cook Time: Under 5 mins
Source: Mrs. Malliga Bhadrinath s 100 Tiffin recipes
Yields 16 dosas

What you need?

Par boiled rice 2 cups
Rice flakes or flattened rice 1/4 cup
Sour Buttermilk 4 cups
Baking soda or cooking soda 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

Ghee or oil to make the dosas

How to make it?

Soak the rice and the rice flakes in the buttermilk for 10 hours or overnight after washing them thoroughly.
Grind the soaked up mixture into a smooth paste along with salt.
Add the soda before making the dosas.
Heat a tawa and pour a ladle of the batter thickly. Dont spread the batter. 
Drizzle oil or ghee on the sides
Cook closed with a lid on medium flame until there s no raw batter on the surface.
Dont flip over the dosa.
Serve hot for breakfast or dinner. We ate it with tomato onion chutney and it was super soft and spongy

December 21, 2011

Beetroot Halwa

Frankly talking, I m not a huge fan of halwa. Not a huge fan of sweets at all for that matter. So making sweets is always a challenge to me. Not a piece of cake at all to make halwa for me. So i must say hats off!! to all those halwa makers in the world. I mean!! Whatte skill!! And to get the same consistency, same texture and same taste everytime and anytime you make it is even more admirable. When my dad brings home my favourite and my only favourite sweet- Wheat halwa, i wonder aloud to my mom, " Amma, eppadi ippadi ore mathri ore colourla ore tastela panranga?" And i used to finish by saying " That s so amazing" And my mom had only one repartee-" Practice maketh a man perfect" And my dad had one too, " Unakku yen andha kavalai chella? Vaangittu vandha, sapdu. Panrathellam namakku ethukku??" ( i m fondly called chella and that dialogue translates to " Why the worry of making? Eat what i ve bought. Dont bother making it) Imagine that! Anyway, wheat halwa is something too too too far fetched for my repertoire. So, i stuck to beetroot halwa. When i visited Chennai last month, my co sister and me were having a very hungry conversation. When i fretted that i could not make carrot halwa( she makes it well so people say), she retorted back asking, " are you serious?" Now, i had had enough!! I decided i ll try and try till i succeed. But, gals! i dint even reach the second try. I made beetroot halwa and this is my first attempt. It was exactly like the store bought versions.

Prep Time: Under 20 mins
Cook Time: Under 1 hour
Source: Slightly adapted from
Serves 4

What you need?

Beetroot grated 2.5 cups
Milk 1 and 3/4 cups
Sugar 1+1/4 cups
Cardamom powder 1/2 tsp
Ghee 5 tbsp ( No! you cant use butter. So please put it back in the fridge)
Cashews for garnish

How to make it?

Step 1: Take a thick bottomed vessel. I used my little pressure cooker. Heat about 2 tbsp ghee in it. 
Add a pinch of cardamom too. Now, add the grated beetroot and saute for 5 full mins.

Step 2: Next, add the milk and bring the milk to a boil.

Step 3: Bring the flame to medium and let the mixture cook. Cook till the mixture thickens. Keep stirring frequently. Mine took some 15 mins to 20 mins to thicken completely.

Step 4: Add the sugar to the mixture once it has become shiny and mix well. 

Step 5: Addition of sugar makes the mixture watery again. So let it simmer. Until it thickens again. Takes about 15 mins on medium flame. Keep stirring. That s the mantra here.

Step 6: After 15 mins or so you should have reached the consistency where the mixture has thickened and you can scoop it up a lil like in the picture.

Step 7: Add the remaining ghee and mix well. Stir till the mixture leaves its sides.

Step 8: Garnish with cashews fried in ghee.

Step 9 : Transfer to a serving bowl and serve as a dessert :)


Wednesday never fails to excite me. Too many chocolates at home this week. Couldnt resist them even while teaching the kids some grammar. This pic is for Susan s BWW

"Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get."

Some Chocolates. Some Toffees. Very Little Grammar

Crepes For Breakfast 

Adai- Savoury Lentil Crepes

Crepes are an integral part of a south indian palate. They come in the form of dosas in many varieties and
colours and combinations. Adai is a lentil crepe which i often make at home and is an all time favourite. Full of proteins and carbohydrates, it makes an excellent breakfast menu and tastes divine with Aviyal or even a bowl of creamy thick yoghurt. It s such a no sweat recipe too.

Prep Time: Under 20 mins
Soaking Time: 4 hours 
Cook Time: Under 10 mins
Source: Mrs. Vedavalli Venkatachary
Yields 12 to 15 adais.

What you need?

Par boiled rice 3/4 cup
Raw rice 3/4 cup
Bengal gram or channa dal 1/3 cup
Urad dal or black gram 1/3 cup
Toor dal or pigeon pea 1/3 cup
Ginger 1''
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Hing 1/2 tsp
Dry red chillies 8 to 10 according to spice level desired
Salt to taste

For Serving:

Cilantro chopped finely 3 tbsp
Shallots chopped finely 4 to 5 tbsp ( optional)
Drumstick leaves 1/2 cup( optional)

For Cooking:

Coconut oil 1 tsp for every adai

How to make it?

Soak the dals and the rice together after washing thoroughly for about 4 hours.
Drain excess water and grind the rice and dals with chillies, cumin seeds, ginger, hing and salt to a consistency slightly thicker than dosa batter.
Now, add cilantro, drumstick leaves and shallots and combine well.
Heat a tawa and spread a ladle of the batter on it like dosa.
Drizzle coconut oil on the sides.
Cook on a medium flame for about 3 mins and then flip over.
Cook for another min and serve hot with any chutney or Aviyal

Dont skip using the coconut oil because the oil imparts a wonderful flavour to the dish.
I did not have drumstick leaves and shallots but do add them if you have them. The leaves enhance the taste and the crepes taste heavenly with them.
You can also add bits of coconut to the batter.

December 20, 2011

Saag Paneer Recioe| Side Dish For Flatbreads

Vadodara is teeming with greens. Mustard leaves abound the vegetable market and its hard to resist bunches of nutrition. But the very thought of cleaning them makes my lazy mind and body reel. And still.Whenever i make a trip to the vegetable shop, i come back with an arm load of greens. I try and turn away whenever i see them. I know i dont need that many. But i have a greedy mind and a greedier tongue. When my fridge got crowded with mustard greens, i peered in and then said to myself, Ok! one more day and shall make it. When my fridge got really crowded with spinach and mustard and i had to nudge the other veggies to make space in my veggie compartment, i knew i had reached the tail end. I made up my lazy mind to start cleaning those green bunches until the final dregs of mud disappear. I did clean them and made saag paneer. I wont at all complain when its saag paneer. The complete winter piquant of a dish.

December 19, 2011

Aloo Paneer Stuffed Paratha

Come winter and there s no better comfort food than some parathas with a dollop of butter and a bowl full of raitha. The palette becomes yummier when you add a pickled lemon alongside to it. When Vardhini announced that she s guest hosting Vatsala s LGSS Stuffed Parathas event, i was as excited . Parathas are something that i love anytime anywhere. And P ( read as my husband) is crazy about aloo paratha. I just wanted to make it a lil differently and Vardhini s announcement was the perfect excuse.

Prep Time: Under 20 mins
Cook Time: Under 10 mins
Yields 10 parathas

What you need?

For The Covering:

Whole wheat flour 2 cups
Ghee 1 tbsp
Salt 2 tsp
Ajwain or carom seeds 1/2 tsp
Water to knead the dough

For The Stuffing:

Potatoes 2 medium size boiled and peeled.
Paneer 1 cup 
Cumin powder 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder 1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds powder 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Cilantro chopped finely 2 tbsp

To Make The Parathas:

Oil for toasting on the tawa

How to make it?

In a large mixing bowl, place all the dry ingredients. Combine well. 
Next add the ghee and water and start kneading the dough. Add water by the tbsp and knead for about 5 mins. Keep aside.

Now, the stuffing.
In another mixing bowl, place the potatoes and paneer.
Add all the spice powders and salt. Add cilantro too.
Now start mashing the potatoes, paneer and the other ingredients until you get a dough like lump.
Now, divide the mixture into 10 equal parts and make small balls.

Lets get to making the parathas now.
Divide the dough into 10 equal parts and make balls.
Dust a clean dry and flat surface with flour. Place a ball of dough on the surface.
Flatten it a little with your hands and start rolling into a round. 
Roll it into a thick round and place a ball of the stuffing in the middle.
Next bring together the sides of the dough like how you would do for a string purse or a bundle.
Flatten the stuffed dough again gently into a round and dust with flour.
Now, start rolling out into parathas taking care not to roll applying too much pressure.

Heat a tawa. Place the parathas.
Drizzle oil on the sides and cook till brown spots appear on both sides. 
Serve hot with any raitha or pickle

Off this goes to LGSS Stuffed Parathas event 

December 18, 2011

Gobi Potato Curry

Cauliflower s probably one of the yummiest vegetables created by God. And all the recipes made with gobi s nothing less than yummy. When gobi s paired with potato( read the yummiest vegetable) must i even say it s an awesome combo??

Prep Time: Under 20 mins
Cook Time: Under 20 mins
Serves 2

What you need?

Cauliflower 1 medium size one
Potatoes 2 medium size peeled and chopped into juliennes
Red Chilly Powder 1 tsp
Dhania Powder 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil 1.5 tbsp 
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Urad dal 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a generous pinch

How to make it?

Strip the cauliflower into florets and microwave them on high for about 5 mins with salt and water.
Now rinse in a vessel of cold water. This removes all the worms and insects in the cauliflower.
Heat a pan with oil. Add mustard seeds and wait for them to pop.
Now, add urad dal and turmeric powder.
Add the potatoes first  and saute for 2 to 3 mins.
Next, add the florets and combine well. Saute for 2 mins.
Add salt and all the spice powders and combine well.
Now, remove from fire and microwave on high for 8 mins.
Or alternately, saute in the pan until crispy.
Serve with rice and sambhar or rotis.

And thanks to Vidhya of  Kurry Leaves for passing on the liebster blog award to me.
I am passing on this award to these great friends who have enlightened me on cooking ever since i ve started blogging.

December 17, 2011

Onion Tomato Gravy For Biriyani And Pulao

Having graduated from NIT Warangal, my husband has this obsession towards pulao made there. But his bigger obsession is the gravy which they give alongside the pulao. When he told me he likes it so much that he feels its the best in the world, i asked him what its called. And came the reply, " I dont know" I asked him if he knows what its made of, he says " there was tomato and onion " To my chagrin!! How can you make something whose name you dont know. But i did. After so much of searching on the internet, cookbooks and recipe collections from all my telegaite friends, i found one recipe. I made it with a lot of excitement. I prayed all along that this was the recipe my hubby was fond of. I kept my fingers crossed that he says that i ve made THE gravy of Warangal.
And i only met with success. My husband loved it and asks me to make it whenever i make pulao.

Prep Time: Under 20 mins
Cook Time: Under 20 mins
Serves: 2

What you need?

Tomatoes 4 medium size quartered
Onion 1 large chopped finely
Water 1 cup
Coconut Milk 1/4 cup
Turmeric powder a large pinch
Curry Leaves a sprig
Cloves 3-4
Ginger Garlic Paste 1.5 tbsp
Cardamom 1
Cinnamon 1"
Oil 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

To be ground into a paste:

Cashews 3 soaked in hot water for 30 mins
Poppy seeds 1 tsp soaked in hot water for 30 mins
Grated coconut 3 tbsp

Spice Powders To Be Added:

Garam Masala 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder 1 tsp
Dhania powder 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder A pinch

For Garnish:

Cilantro chopped finely 2 tbsp

How to make it?

Grind all ingredients to be ground into a paste. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a kadai. Add cloves, cinnamon , curry leaves and cardamom. Saute for a min.
Add onions and saute till they are pink.
Now, add ginger garlic paste and saute for 30 secs.
Add all the spice powders and turmeric and combine well.
Saute for a min.
Add tomatoes next and combine well.
Saute till the tomatoes become soft and oil leaves the side of the pan. Takes about 7 mins
Now, add the ground paste and mix well.
Simmer on low flame for 3 mins.
Add the water and salt and mix well.
Simmer with the kadai closed until gravy thickens. Takes about 7-8 mins.
Add coconut milk after thickening and mix well.
Simmer for another 2 mins.
Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with any pulao.

December 14, 2011

Apples On My Table Black n White Wednesday 2

Fresh Apples On My Table

Vegetable Nuggets For Blog Hop Wednesdays

We are finishing blog hop version 1 and its been a wonderful joy ride hopping into friends' blogs and cooking from them. I look forward to alternate wednesdays with child like enthusiasm. My hubby asks why do you get so worked up on wednesdays? And i tell him " you wont understand until you love cooking" And i hope all of us bloggers are in agreement on that. :)
              I was paired with Hobby Chef Neethu this week. Ladies, trust me. This "hobby chef" title is very deceiving cos Neetu is nothing less than an awesome cook who happens to love her starters and snacks loaded with veggies. I simply loved her Kachri And Garlic chutney and Sugar Dotted Chocolate Chip Cake. After that post, i was only telling myself, wow!! just look at that cake. Because i dint know where we get kachri and my stock of unsalted butter got exhausted, i settled on making Vegetable Nuggets. I slightly modified the recipe but it was a great hit with my husband and i m no less. Me gobbled 4 of those nuggets. I ll leave the consequences to your imagination and share the recipe with y'all.

Prep Time: Under 20 mins
Cook Time: Under 30 mins
Source: Neethu S Vegetarian Nuggets
Makes 10 nuggets easily

What you need?

Potatoes 2 medium boiled and peeled
Carrot 1 grated
Red Bell Pepper 1 medium chopped finely
Onion 1 medium chopped finely
Green peas 1/4 cup boiled if using fresh or use just like that if frozen
Semolina or sooji 1/4 cup
Milk 1/2 cup
Butter 1 tbsp
Lemon juice from half a lemon
Red chilly powder 1/2 tsp
Garam masala 1/2 tsp
Chaat Masala 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar 1/4 tsp( i added sugar cos i thought the recipe would be too sharp you can do without it too)
Bread crumbs from 3 slices divided in 2:1 ratio
Oil to deep fry

For Coating :

Corn flour 1 tbsp
Water 3 tbsp
Bread crumbs for rolling ( use the lesser part of the divided bread crumbs)

How to make it?

Place all veggies, butter, spice powders,salt, bread crumbs from 2 slices, sugar in a mixing bowl.
Dry roast sooji and add milk to it when the sooji becomes aromatic. Keep stirring until you get a solid mass.
Add this to the veggies. Add lemon juice.
Mash all the veggies together to form a big lump. You should be able to make balls out of the mixture.
At this stage, check for seasoning. Continue to knead the lump till you get a good lump out of which you are able to make nuggets easily.
Now, mix cornflour and water to form a thin batter.
Heat oil in a pan for deep frying the nuggets.
Make nuggets from the mixture, dip in the batter and roll over bread crumbs until well coated.
Repeat till the mixture gets used up.
Deep fry till golden brown.
Serve with tomato ketchup and some dip. I served mine with mayonnaise flavoured with italian seasoning.

Off to Radhika S Blog Hop Wednesdays :)Kids Deceptively Delicious hosted by Pavani forValli,  Sinful Delights by Vardhini,  Midweek Fiesta,  Snack Mela By Valli and Radhika s Winter Carnival and Kavi s Jingle All The Way
 Winter Carnival

December 13, 2011

Mint Raitha

Yoghurt. I m so fond of it that my day feels incomplete if i dont eat a cupful. The benefits of yoghurt are plenty and the way it can be used is also many. Whenever i make any pulao or paratha, i whip up a raitha. So when i made Aloo Capsicum Pulao for our engagement anniversary, i made this to go along with it and it was so perfect.

Prep Time: Under 10 mins
Cook Time: Nil
Serves 2

What you need?

Mint leaves 10 to 15
Coriander leaves chopped finely 1/4 cup
Green chillies 2
Fresh curd whipped 1.5 cups
Salt to taste

How to make it?

Grind together mint leaves, coriander and green chillies to a paste.
Mix well with the whipped curd.
Add salt and mix well.
Serve with any raitha.

December 12, 2011

Chick Pea Sundal

If its sundal, then its memories of navratri for me. But i dont restrict myself to making it only on those days. I try and make them once a week to make up for the protein requirements. They can be made effortlessly and the only thing you have to remember s to soak them overnight.

Prep Time: Overnight for soaking
Cook Time: Under 30 mins
Serves 2

What you need?

Chickpeas or brown channa 1.5 cups soaked overnight and pressure cooked for 3 whistles
Grated coconut 3 tbsp
Ginger 1/2 " bit
Salt for taste
Green chillies 3
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp

For Tempering:

Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Urad dal 1 tsp
Curry leaves a sprig
Hing a pinch

For Serving:

Lemon Juice from half a lemon or 1 tbsp

How to make it?

Grind together ginger, green chili and coconut without water to a coarse powder. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves and hing.
Once the mustard pops and urad dal browns, add the chickpeas and salt. Combine well.
Now, add the coconut mixture and mix well.
Add lemon juice before serving.

December 11, 2011

Aloo Capsicum Pulao

We celebrated our engagement anniversary recently on dec 6 th. Yes you heard me right. Engagement anniversary. We both believe in celebrating this day specially. This day is the day which made us and our families come together for a lifetime of bonding in an official sense. So we both celebrate this day just like our wedding anniversary. Hubby dint come home for lunch. So made a toothsome dinner for him. Aloo capsicum pulao and mint raitha. Recently i went on a Malliga Badrinath Book shopping spree and got this recipe from her 100 rice recipes. Each one of the recipes is a breeze to make so buy the book if you come across it.

If you all are wondering what orchids are doing in the pic, those are the orchids my hubby bought me that day.
Enough of my blah blah....

Prep Time: Under 20 mins
Cook Time: Under 20 mins
Source: Adapted from Mrs. Malliga Badrinath s 100 Rice Recipes
Serves 2

What you need?

Basmathi rice 1 cup soaked in 1 cup water for 15 mins
Potatoes 2 medium peeled and cubed 
Capsicum 1 large cubed
Onions 2 medium sliced thinly or chopped finely
Ghee 1 and 1/2 tbsp
Garam masala 1/4 tsp
Tomato Puree 1 cup or 2 medium size tomatoes pureed
Salt to taste

To grind into a paste without water:

Shallots 5
Coconut 3 tbsp
Bengal gram roasted 1 tbsp
Dry red chillies 4
Coriander seeds 1 tsp
Tomato 1 medium size
Garlic cloves 2

For Garnish:

Cilantro or mint leaves a few

How to make it?

Grind the ingredients to be ground to a fine paste and keep aside.
Heat a pressure pan with ghee. Add onions and saute till pink.
Add potatoes next. Saute for 3 to 4 mins.
Add capsicums next and saute for 2 to 3 mins or until cooked but firm.
Now, add the ground paste and saute for 3 to 4 mins or until the raw smell from the shallots goes off.
Next add the tomato puree and let it simmer for 4 to 5 mins.
At this stage add the rice along with the water and salt.Combine well.
Pressure cook for 2 whistles.
Garnish with mint leaves or cilantro and serve hot with any raitha of your choice.

December 10, 2011

Palak Pulao

Hello!! I am spinach speaking. Is there anyone out there who likes me?? No reply. Long stony silence. Hello!!! Is anyone there?? I am really good and full of goodness. Someone please wake up and realise that i am full of nutrients. That s what spinach and any variety of greens will tell if they had a voice of their own. Rich in vitamin C and teeming with anti oxidants they are a wonderful source of healthy food. But alas! From infant to old, no one likes this veggie and will eat it only if its pushed down the throat. So its basically upto us wives, mothers and grandmas to whip up some yummy versions of this veggie. After all who wants to miss out on the goodness?? I was tired of palak dal, palak paneer and palak fry. So i wanted to try something new and innovative. And then palak pulao was born. During those good old college days when i used to go mall roaming, we used to eat in those food courts that were there. My all time favourite was palak rice with raitha. But there was one thing that i did not like about it. It was watery and mushy. I always wished that it was not too runny but a little dry and hence palak pulao.

Prep Time: Under 10 mins
Cook Time: Under 20 mins
Source: Inspiration from the food courts of malls in Bangalore and my imagination
Serves: 2

What you need?
A medium size bunch of spinach greens ( i love it when they are fresh and green ... Its ok if they are muddy we can always wash them )
Basmati rice 1 cup soaked in 2 and quarter cups of water for 30 mins.(You can saute the rice in ghee until aromatic before soaking them for that extra flavour)
1 big onion thinly chopped into half slices
Ginger 1 inch piece
2 cloves of garlic
1 clove
1 cinnamon
1tsp cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
4 green chillies
Ghee and oil mixed equally measuring 11/2 tbsp

How do you make it?
The spinach usually is a work package. It involves a lot of cleaning and cutting. So clean those greens in fresh water. Give them a generous bath I say!! dont scrimp on the water. Trust me they love it. Then remove the stalks and keep aside the leaves.
In a kadai, heat up a tsp of the oil and ghee mix and saute the spinach and green chillies for 2 mins.Dont slit the chillies. Just toss them in whole and saute them. Let it cool and grind it to a smooth paste along with the ginger and garlic.
Then in the same kadai in which the spinach got sauteed, heat the remaining oil . Then add the cumin seeds and wait for them to splutter. Once they splutter, add the bay leaf, cinnamon and clove.
Then add the onions and saute them till they are pink and transparent.
Now add the rice to the onions along with the water. Mix in the spinach paste and add salt as desired.
Make sure you dont add the spinach paste before the rice is added. The colour changes if you do so.
Cook till the rice is done or transfer the rice mixture into an electric rice cooker and cook.
Garnish with cashews or a tomato cut nicely. Serve with raitha. You can even add chunks of fresh paneer but i did not.

This goes to the HLI Spinach event guest hosted by Monika for Kalyani
HLI Spinach Nov 2011