Sunday, May 23, 2010

Proud Mom!!!

This month my elder son Adit made me proud when he won the 4th place in the local beginner Karate competition. It has not been one of his favourites until now but he still has tried to do his part for my sake and excelled at it. Now he looks at Karate with renewed interest and vigour and is trying to further in his pursuits.


Dear All,

I have been almost non existent on the blogging scene for sometime now as I have been occupied by a lot of personal matters which almost takes up all my time and priority. So this time has been a sort of break time for me which I hope will end in the near future when I can resume with my blogging. Till that time I would like to thank all my fellow bloggers and others who have visited my blog or left their valuable comments on my blog for all their support and appreciation.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Jhatpat Tarattipaal

This is one of the most time consuming simple dishes that kids and adults love alike. It is traditionally made by simmering milk for a long time while continiously stirring it and then adding just the sugar to it. At the end of the simmering process ( you reduce a litre of milk to less than r equal to 1/4 litre of milk.) when you add the sugar the milk gets split and that gives the sweet the rquired texture. Traditionally a litre of milk requires a glass of sugar.

Here I have used condensed milk and used the microwave and thereby reduced the cooking time from about an hour to 6-7 minutes. Also reduce the effort of constantly stirring it.


1 can condensed milk
1 tbsp Milk powder (Nido/dry milk powder)
2 tsp curd
1 big tsp ghee


In a big bowl mix all the ingredients for the dish and place the bowl in the microwave. Cook it on full power for 5 -7 minutes keeping a close watch on it so that it does not overflow stirring every now and then. It will soon curdle and get to the required consistency very soon.

Sweet and sour Mango relish

Traditionally in most South Indian meals this dish is served alongwith many other chutneys and raitas.

On the event of the Tamil New year though it is customary to include a dish which is sour,another which is sweet . Similarly one dish has to include something bitter with the neem flowers(Veppampoo). This is done symbolic of the sweet, spicy, sour and bitter events that are a part of every human beings life. It teaches us to accept all the situations in the same manner and deal with them efficiently.


1/4 cup peeled thinly sliced Raw mango

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

2 green chillies slit lengthwise

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp split black gram dal

asafoetida a pinch

3 tbsp jaggery

2-3 sprigs of neem flowers.

Cardamom powder a pinch

Few curry leaves

salt to taste


Boil the raw mango with a little water, salt, turmeric and the green chillies.

Mash them lightly and set aside.

In a pan melt the jaggery with very little water and drain any scum that might arise.

To it add the mango mixture.

In a pan heat the oil and temper it with the mustard seeds. When they crackle add the asafoetida, split black gram dal and curry leaves.

Add this tempering to the mango jaggery mixture and serve with other South Indian dishes.

Tomato Thair Pachadi

Everyone of us makes a tomato raita now and then. Each one of us makes it differently. This version is a typical South Indian version made with coconut. The coconut gives it a unmatched texture and the chillies give it the required sting. It goes well as a dip or a side dish with many Indian entrees.


2 cups thick curds/fat free sour cream
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes pulp removed
2 green chillies
1 tbsp grated coconut
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
chopped coriander for garnish
2 tsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp split urad dal
few curry leaves
asafoetida a pinch
salt to taste


Grind the coconut, cumin seeds and green chillies in a mixer.
In a bowl combine the curds, coconut green chilli mixture and chopped tomatoes.
Add salt to taste .
In a kadhai heat a little oil and temper it with mustard seeds and asafoetida and urad dal(split black gram dal) and curry leaves.
Garnish with chopped coriander and serve it chilled with rice/rotis.
You could also make this raita with chopped cucumber or fried okra.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

White Chocolate Mousse Tarts

Chocolate!!! just hearing the name gets us all drooling and craving for it. Kids and adults alike love chocalate but a fortunate few can actually devour it guilt free. We had this impromptu potluck party planned at one of our dear friends house at half a days notice. So we all planned an elaborate menu over the phone and by meeting each other for a few minutes at our kids school.

We all together planned out the spread as jeera rice, kadhi, rajma, peas stuffed puri, ras malai,Hyderabadi Mirch ka salan, refried bean-salsa dip with tortilla chips, veg cutlets, cabbage subzi, corn salad and a non vegetarian entree. I had chosen to make the Mirch ka salan and corn salad but at the last moment thought of making a special dessert for the kids mostly 4-5 year olds and a couple 9 yr olds. I just bought these mini graham cracker pie crusts from the store checked the recipe on the back of it and found the recipe for the white chocolate mousse.


1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
6 oz white chocolate, chopped about 6 squares of a baking bar of chocolate
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups whipped cream
12 mini graham cracker ready piecrusts


Brush the pie crusts with beaten egg whites and bake them for 5 minutes before filling at 375 degree F.

Chill a large mixing bowl and the beaters of a electric mixer in the refrigerator for about half an hour.

In a medium saucepan combine the sweetened condensed milk and the chopped white chocolate.

Cook and kepp stirring on a very low heat till the chocolate melts.

Remove from heat and stir in the almond extract.

Cool to room temperature stirring it occasionally.

In the meanwhile , take the chilled bowl and beaters and beat the whipping cream on medium speed of electric mixer until soft peaks form.

Fold into it the condensed milk chocolate mixture very gently and spoon this mixture into the lightly baked pie crusts.

Refrigerate for atleast 4 hours or until set.

Garnish as desired with chocolate flakes or sprinkles (as I did) and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

No fuss corn salad

When we have to entertain and plan to serve a starter or salad we tend to think about the all so predictable green salad.But sometimes we do not have the cucumbers or carrots handy. We can still attempt to dish out a bright and yummy sald with ingredients in our freezer and pantry.You do not have to chop much and can assemble this mess free salad just minutes before the guests arrive. I could try to take this as an additional item for my potluck party at my friends place along with a main vegetable and dessert. It goes along just great with our rice and rotis and veggies and similarly as a side dish with non-vegetarian entrees.


1 200 -250 gm pack of frozen sweet corn

2-3 tbsp roasted red peppers { easily available in jars at supermarkets and grocers}

If not just grill some red peppers after smearing them with olive oil and slicing them till the skin starts to char and it gives out a smoky aroma.

2 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil



1 tsp red hot cayenne pepper sauce( Franks red hot wings sauce)

1 tbsp drained marinated capers

cilantro/coriander leaves for garnish


In a bowl just combine the thawed and lightly steamed( I use the ziploc steam bags that way no vessels to clean after preparing) corn and capers.

Mix the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice salt and pepper in a small cup and pour this vinaigrette dressing over the corn .

Also add to this the marinated roasted red peppers slightly cut into small strips and the hot sauce and mix well.

Garnish it with finely chopped cilantro leaves and keep it refrigerated until you are ready to serve.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Thank you Ramya for considering me for this award. I am truly honoured and humbled by this appreciation. I would like to pass on this honor to Jagruti of Joy of Cooking.
Rules for accepting these awards: 1. Thank the person who presented you with this award.2. Pass it on to one or many blogger friends.
This award is motivating enough for me to post more recipes on my blog.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Vegetable Pilaf/Pulao

It has been a long time since I posted something . These past month or so has been so busy and hectic for me that although there was no dearth of cooking , the time required to post something good has been scarce. I hope this next recipe kinda makes up for that lost time.This dish needs no introduction as it is well known across the world and each family might have their own version of it. That is why I thought I could share my version of this recipe with all of you. This is a complete meal in itself for just our family , but at the same time it can mean a feast when you have guests over.Our very own versatile pulao, but of course with a fresh homemade masala(seasoning).


2 cups Long grain Basmati rice
4 cups water
2 cups mixed veggies
( Generally it is carrots, french beans, cauliflower, peas,potatoes. You could also have coloured peppers,edamame,broccoli,corn etc anything that you have at that moment can make it special. Cut it all into medium thick 1 to 1 1/2 inch long pieces)
1/2 cup soaked soy granules(optional)
2 big onions finely sliced
3-4 bay leaves
1/2 cup coconut milk(optional)
1 tsp shah jeera(black cumin)
salt to taste
oil for sauteing the veggies
Pulao masala

For the homemade masala/seasoning

1 tsp cumin seeds
3/4 tsppeppercorns
4-5 green chillies
1 inch piece ginger
3-4 cloves garlic
1 inch stick of cinnamon
3-4 cloves
2-3 cardamoms
1 tsp poppy seeds(khus-khus)
1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds(saunf)
1 tsp coriander seeds
asafoetida(hing) pinch

Mix all the ingredients for the masala in a mixer and grind it coarse without adding any water.

Soak the rice in water for about half an hour. You could add a little pinch of soda to it so that the grains dont break while cooking.

In a stainless steel/nonstick pressure cooker or a heavy bottom pan, heat some oil and add to it the shah jeera seeds and when they crackle add the bay leaves.

Then add the onions to it and saute them till they are transluscent.

To it add the veggies the drained rice and pulao masala and fry it for a minute or two .You could add the drained soy granules at this point.

Then add the water to it just enough to cover the rice veggie mixture The 2 cups water to one cup rice works good but I generally keep it at the just covering the whole pulao mixture roughly.

Pressure cook it for one whistle or if using a open pan just till the rice is cooked but firm and seperate.
Also you could add the coconut milk at this time.

Garnish with fried cashews/raisins , mint or coriander leaves or even fried onions.

Serve it hot with papads and onion raita .

P. S . You could also make this Jain version by skipping the onion, garlic and potatoes. The raita could be a cucumber or boondi raita too.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I bought this can of Alphonso mango pulp like I always do to make either Aamras or Mango Kulfi when I was grocery shopping last week. But this time I wanted to do something new with it and when I was casually browsing through a cookbook Samaithu Paar by the late Smt.Meenakshi Ammal gifted to me by my friend I came across this recipe and thought Well!!!! I think I should give it a try. And to my surprise it came out well. Another reason for me to make it was that I was supposed to meet one of my friends who is a sweet freak .

This is a very simple to make dish (I generally like to try only the simple to make sweet dishes)The more involved ones I reserve it for the spicy and savoury things as I personally love to eat that kind of food.

4 cups mango pulp
2 cups sugar (if using fresh mango pulp)/1 1/4 cup sugar if using canned pulp
30-35 gm cashewnuts
About 200 gm ghee
8 green cardamoms
Borneal flakes(Pachaikarpooram) a pinch (optional)

If using fresh mango pulp see to it that there are no lumps in it.
In a wide mouth heavy vessel bring the mango pulp to a boil stirring now and then.
When the pulp starts boiling add the sugar and stir continuously.
Fry the broken cashewnuts in a little ghee and add it to the boiling pulp and stir.
When the pulp has become thick, add the ghee gradually while stirring continuosly.
When the halwa starts leaving the sides of the vessel, remove from fire.
Add to it the cardamom powder and borneal flakes and mix well.
Pour the halwa onto a greased plate and let it cool.
Once cooled cut it into pieces and serve.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A very touching thing

These past few days all that we see and hear about on Tv or elsewhere is about the tragic earthquake in Haiti. My heart goes out to all the people there for having to go through such a difficult time in their lives. Why do all these small and poor nations get affected by such huge calamities? Is'nt it enough that most of the people have to work hard to make ends meet and live a normal happy life?

Well we have been getting requests for helping the affected people of Haiti in many different ways and we are planning to do something in our means to help these people get back on their feet and emerge stronger.

But what my elder son Adit did today was very sudden and sweet on his part. When one of the child in the neighbourhood had come home for a donation towards Haiti through their school , before I could say something or get some money to hand it to the girl my son opened his piggy bank and picked out all possible quarters and handed it over to the girl. He said he wanted to do it and that he would want to do more if possible. The contribution would have been minimum but the thought behind it of a 9 year old made that a proud moment for me as a mother.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Mumbai Pav-Bhaaji

A nice hot ,healthy vegetable with warm toasted bread(pav/dinner roll) is what you would crave for these cold wintry nights. Something which you can make as a one dish meal but could yet be very full of veggies, satisfying and rich. This dish sure does fit the bill in that case.
Pav-Bhaaji is Mumbai street food which is healthy inspite of being sold as street food.
You have yummy potatoes, cauliflower which has cancerfighting , bone strengthening propertiesand is heart healthy too, green peas which are high in fibre, capsicums(bellpeppers)which again have various health benefits and then the onions and garlic . By now you would agree with me that PavBhaaji is indeed a healthy food which can be enjoyed by young and old alike.


6-7 medium sized potatoes boiled, cooled and mashed
2 cups cauliflower boiled and mashed
1 cup green peas boiled and mashed
2 carrots grated
2-3 tomatoes finely chopped
2 cups capsicums finely chopped
4-5 medium onions finely chopped
1/2 beetroot boiled and mashed(for colouring)
2 tsp garlic paste
2-3 tsp Everest Pav-Bhaaji Masala(found commonly in your Indian grocery stores )
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
salt to taste
1-2 tbsp oil

For the garlic paste:

Soak 3-4 cloves of garlic with some red chillies for about half and hour and grind them in a mixer with some salt.


In a heavy bottomed pan heat some oil and saute the onions in it till they turn pink.

To this add the finely chopped tomatoes and saute for a while.

Then add the finely chopped capsicum and grated carrots and saute for some time adding little salt .

Then add the garlic paste to it and fry for a while and now add the pav-bhaaji masala to it.

Now to this add the boiled and mashed potatoes,beetroot, cauliflowers and peas.

Add required salt, chilli powder and water to adjust the consistency. The aim is to get all the veggies mashed up and blended to a point where you cannot much identify them seperately.

Let it come to a boil or till everything comes together.

Serve it garnished with finely chopped onion, coriander and a wedge of lime by the side alongwith pav toasted with butter.

You could also add a spoon of butter to the hot bhaaji(vegetable) just before serving it. That makes it into Special pav bhaaji.

Great dish for when you many members to feed, for kitty parties, birthday parties and get togethers as well.
If you do not want to toast the pav when your guests arrive then you could do what my mom used to do. She used to butter the pav in the centre and the outside beforehand and set it aside .
Then when the guests arrive she would place each pav on a idli mould and steam it. This makes the pav hot & soft. But you should do this only when you have many people and you want to serve many at a time but serve immiedately. If kept for some time then the pav beomes soggy.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Chocolate-Walnut Burfi

Updated 12/5/10 . This recipe goes to the Desserts,Pastries & Ice-creams event conducted by Radhika of"Food for 7 stages in life-In love with DDPI(15-24yrs) inspired by Sudeshna.
Wish everyone a very Happy & Prosperous New Year.
May God let everyone eat everything they desire to their hearts content.
Chocolate is an all time favourite for everyone from kids to old people. I myself love to eat spicy or savoury items more than sweets. There are very few sweets that i like to eat and this is one amongst them. Even my fussy son Adit loves this. And the time it takes to make this and the effort level makes it a dish that you would want to make over and over. I am not sure where I got this recipe from but I guess it is one of my favourite cook Tarla Dalal's recipe.

2 cups Mava/Khoya
1/4 cup Walnuts chopped fine
1/3 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Milk
2 tsp Oil
3 tbsp Cocoa powder or Chocolate syrup

In a pan heat the crumbled mava and roast it for a while till it melts . Here in the USA ,I use Nanak Mava. You can also use Ricotta cheese in its place.Here the cheese needs to come together instead of melting.
Add the sugar and milk and cook till it thickens.
In the meawhile grease a small tray with ghee(clarified butter) and set aside.
When the mixture thickens and comes together por half of this mixture on to the tray . Spread it evenly and let it rest for few minutes till it cools slightly.
To the rest of the mixture in the pan add the cocoa powder and the chopped walnuts.
Spread this mixture on top of the earlier mixture in the tray.
Cut into pieces of desired shape and size once it is cooled.

All this takes minimum ingredients and less than half hour to make. And leftovers and wastage , well that never happens with me for this dish.