Friday, June 27, 2008


Jambalaya is a Louisiana Creole dish of Spanish and French creation.It is traditionally made in one pot, with meats and vegetables, and is completed by adding stock and rice. There are two primary methods of making jambalaya.

The first and most common is Creole jambalaya (also called "red jambalaya"). First, meat is added, usually chicken and sausage such as andouille or smoked sausage. Then, vegetables and tomatoes are added to cook, then seafood. Rice and stock are added in equal proportions at the very end. The mix is brought to a boil and left to simmer for 20-60 minutes, depending on the recipe, with infrequent stirring. Towards the end of the cooking process, stirring usually ceases.

The second style, more characteristic of southwestern and south-central Louisiana, is Cajun jambalaya(also known as brown jambalaya) which contains no tomatoes. The meat is browned in a cast-iron pot. The bits of meat that stick to the bottom of the pot are what give a Cajun jambalaya its brown color. A little vegetable oil is added if there is not enough fat in the pot. The trinity (of onions, celery, and green bell pepper) is added and sautéed until soft. Stock and seasonings are added in the next step, and then the meats are returned to the pot. This mixture is then simmered, covered, for at least one hour. Lastly, the mixture is brought to a boil and rice is added to the pot. It is then covered and left to simmer over very low heat for at least 1/2 hour without stirring. The dish is finished when the rice has cooked.(Source - Wikipedia)

Cajun Jambalaya has more of a smoky and spicy flavor than creole.
Here i have prepared the Cajun style vegetarian jambalaya but i have added tomatoes into this because i love its flavor in the rice.

I am sending this to mixed rice varieties event hosted by easycrafts of simple Indian food.


Rice - 2 cups

Onion - 1 medium size, diced

Green pepper - half a piece, chopped fine

Mixed vegetables in cajun sauce - 1 can or (1 chopped celery stick and 1/2 cup of cooked kidney beans)

garlic - 2 cloves, chopped fine

green chillies - 2 nos,chopped fine

red chilli pdr - 1 1/2 tsp

paprika - 2 tsp

cajun seasoning - according to ones taste

tomato paste - 2 tbsp

oil and butter - 1 tbsp each

water - 3 1/2 cups



Wash,clean and soak the rice for 1/2 an hr.Heat oil and butter in a wide ,deep bottom vessel.Add garlic,green chillies,onions, and green pepper.Add salt and saute until the onion turns translucent.Drain out the water from the can and add it into the pan.Stir it for a couple of minutes and add the spices and stir for a couple more mins.Then add the tomato paste and combine it well with the rest of the ingredients.Now add the rice and stir for sometime.Pour water,check salt,cover and let it cook until the water evaporates.Do not stir the rice in between.WAit till all the water is evaporated.Serve it hot.


One of the healthiest and quickest breakfast dishes that makes way into my menu very often is wheat dosas. I try make some variations each time by adding seasonings or vegetables.Here i have added seasonings and some onions.Its so simple and delicious.One can have this with chutnies but i love to eat it just like that.Its that tasty.

I am sending this to this months WBB - express breakfast hosted this month by The singing chef Raaga.


Wheat flour - 1 1/2 cups

Sooji/rava - 1/4 cup

onion - 1/2 cup,finely chopped

mustard seeds - 1 tsp

Green chillies - 3 nos ,finely chopped (can use dry red chillies instead)

cumin seeds - 1 tsp

curry leaves - 1 sprig,roughly chopped

cashew nuts - 2 tbsp ,roughly chopped(optional)




In a bowl mix wheat flour and sooji.Add enough water to make it into a spreadable consistency.Add salt and chopped onions and keep aside.If u are using nuts add that too.Prepare the tadka using the rest of the ingredients and add it to the batter.Stir it and let it stand for atleast 1/2 an hr.

Heat a tawa and pour a ladleful of batter on it.Spread it out evenly.Cover and let it cook until the bottomside is brown.Flip and cook for a few secs.Serve hot with chutney and enjoy it just like that.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

NANKHATAI - Arusuvai 2

The second surprise ingredient i received from Madhuram was her homemade toasted rice powder.The powder has such a nice aroma of the rice that can make any dish flavorful.When i smelled it i knew exactly what to make with it. Thank u so much for the powder Madhu.She has posted the powder recipe in her blog.Please refer her site.

I participated in the Open Sesame contest 2 .I chose box 4 and here is the riddle i received from Siri.These riddles were written by the very talented and spontaneous Dhivya of culinary Bazaar

I am a flower but adorn a bouquet,
I do notI have an inbuilt perfume in my being
So strong and so intense that my oil will make your insides 'hot'
My medical impact all over the world seen.

My 'Yorubas' infusion is the 'savior' of star wars
I have been used as a barter by the fellow 'sadiqi's' during trades
One does not have to fight tooth or 'nail' for me
I am usually pink but mostly available browned in shades

I may be dry , I may overpower your tongue
But add a little for that midas touch
Come now, start thinking of that spice
Whose bite make your 'teeth' say Ouch!

I thought at first the answer was saffron but i was wrong and siri sent me the 1st hint.Only after that i could guess the right answer as Cloves.Thank u so much siri , i had so much fun guessing it .

Here I have combined Arusuvai and OS 2 and prepared some delicious crunchy Nankhatai's. For my Arusuvai 1 post click on the hyperlink.

Nankhatai are Indian biscuits that are great to have during tea time.My mom used to make it for us and we used to have so much fun baking it.Miss those days of cooking with mom.

Usually nankhatai's are made with all purpose flour but here i have used a combination of madhu's rice flour and all purpose flour.I have also added some ground cloves in addition to cardamam powder which gives a distinct flavor.Its really delicious.One must really try it.


Madhu's rice pdr - 1/2 cup

All purpose flour - 1/2 cup

Powdered sugar - 1/2 cup

baking soda - 1/2 tsp

cloves - 10 ,grounded

cardamam pdr - 1 tsp

ghee/butter - 3 1/2 tbsp , melted

milk - 1-2 tbsp


Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.Add the melted ghee/butter and mix it well until its evenly coated on the flour.Then add milk little by little,just enough to make a soft smooth dough.Keep it in a tight container for 1-2 hrs.

Preheat oven to 350 deg F..Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up.Make small balls and slightly flatten it to form a disc.Place it on the baking sheet.Bake it for 10-12 mins or until golden brown.Remove from oven and let it rest for some time b4 serving.

Monday, June 23, 2008


The first time i had caramel custard was in manipal during my college days.It tasted slightly eggy but sure was delicious.Ones in a while i do get cravings to have one of these and so i was always on a lookout for the recipe.Thats how i came upon nupur's caramel custard recipe .I had prepared it long time back and it was really delicious ,better than what i had in manipal. Zlamushka's Tried n Tasted event was the right oppurtunity for me to prepare it again.Though this time i made some minor changes.I added 2 slices of bread instead of 1 and instead of 6 tbsp of sugar i added 7.

Thank u so much nupur for this outstanding recipe :).

Friday, June 20, 2008


Layered porotta or kerala porotta is one of my favorite flat breads. Its made with maida ,eggs (optional)and fat.So you can see its less in fibre content compared to other parathas.Unlike other parathas this one involves a special technique in order to get the layers.And so for this very reason i have constantly failed atleast 6-7 times to achieve the layers and also its soft and flaky texture until cham of spice club came to my rescue.She told me exactly what i was doing wrong.So thought of giving 1 more try and the result was more than satisfying.Her recipe and instructions are so easy to follow.Click here for the recipe.I cant thank you enough for this cham.
I am sending this to Srivalli's Roti Mela .

A closer look at the layers

My repeated failures were because i never let the dough rest for 5-6 hrs before rolling and so it had an elastic effect and also to get perfect layers after roasting it on a tawa u should keep the porotta covered in a cotton cloth and let it steam inside for 5-10 mins.This will make it soft and then we can easily pat it to get the layers out.

Since this is a mild tasting bread its usually eaten with some spicy curry.I love to eat this with chilli chicken or gobi manchuri.



Cauliflower - half of a whole piece, cut into florets
oil for frying


All purpose flour - 1/4 cup
corn starch - 1 tbsp
gin-gar - 1 tbsp
red chilli pdr - 1 tsp
worchestershire sauce - 2 tsp
water as needed


Onion - 1 large onion , diced small
bell pepper(green/red) - 1 medium size,diced small
Fresh ginger - 2 tsp ,chopped fine
garlic cloves - 2 , chopped
green chillies - 3-4 , chopped fine
curry leaves - 1 sprig,roughly chopped
red chilli pdr - 1 tsp
tomato paste - 2 tbsp
ketchup - 2 tsp
worchestershire sauce - 3 tsp
corn starch - 1 1/2 tsp
water - 3 tbsp
sugar - a pinch


In a deep vessel bring some water to a boil.Add salt and drop the cauliflower florets and stir.Do not cover the vessel.Let it stand in there until they are tender but firm.Now drain out the water and keep them aside.

In a bowl mix all the ingredients needed to make the batter except water.Add enough water to make a thick batter.Add the florets and combine them well.

Heat oil in a wok.When it reaches the right temperature drop the florets slowly.Be careful not to overcrowd the wok then u wont get it crispy.Fry them till they are brown in color.Remove them and put them on a paper towel to drain off the excess oil.

Mix the cornstarch and water and keep aside. Heat some oil in a pan.Add the chopped ginger and garlic,curry leaves and green chillies.Saute them for a few seconds and then add onion,bell pepper and red chilli pdr.Add salt and saute until the onions get soft.Now add the tomato paste and worchestershire sauce and stir them all together.Sprinkle some water in order to thin out the tomato paste.Add ketchup and stir for couple more mins.Then add the mixture of cornstarch and water into the pan and stir until the gravy thickens.Finally add the fried florets and mix them well until they are combined.Check for salt.I like my manchuri semi dry.If you want more gravy add some more water while adding the cornstarch mixture.Remove from heat and serve with warm soft porottas.
I am sending this to DK's A.W.E.D - chinese event.

I had a few surprises this week -

Asha of Foodie hope and aroma gave me the "blogger with a purpose" award.Thank u so much asha.I was really thrilled to receive this from u :).I would like to pass on this award to
Roopa, Swathi , Suma and JZ .Congrats and enjoy:).

Meeso gave me the "you make my day award" and devi priya gave me the"nice matters award".Thank u so much meeso and devi.You gals really made my day :)

I am also very very happy to say that my rotini stuffed bell pepper won "the most creative recipe" in Pooja's VoW - Bell pepper event.I thank each and every one of u who voted for me.I am really flattered:).I also thank Pooja for hosting such a wonderful event.Congrats to Sia and Alka for winning the other categories.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Chambray is nothing but a simple rice dish ,which is very popular in sikkim ,cooked in ghee and with some spices. In short what we know as ghee rice is called chambray in sikkim.Thats what an event does to us bloggers,teach us new things.It also makes me explore into a variety of cuisines which i wouldnt have otherwise even bothered to check.Coming back to the dish ,Chambray is usually served with Til ko alu which is a potato dish made with roasted sesame seed paste.
I am sending this to this month's RCI - north east cuisine which is hosted by my dear friend bhags originally started by lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine .

(Recipes adapted from here and here ).



Rice - 1 cup
Cinnamon -1/2 inch
Bay leaves - 3-4
Ghee or oil -2 Tbsp(i used a combination of a tsp each of ghee and oil)
Turmeric powder -1 tsp
Black cumin seed - 1 tsp
water - 1 3/4 cup
Salt- 1 tsp

First soak rice with bay-leaves and cinnamon for 20 min. Heat ghee/oil in a vessel, add all the ingredients, and put soaked rice, fry for 5 min till ghee separates. Pour water slowly,add salt , cover with lid and cook till rice is cooked.
Serve hot Chambray with Til ko alu.


Potato -2 medium size
Onion -1 sliced
turmeric pdr - 1 tsp
Green chili -4 sliced
Sesame seeds (Til) - 2-3 tsp
Salt to taste

Place the potatoes on a microwave safe dish and cook it for 5-7 mins. Then run them under cold water for sometime and remove the peel.Cut it into small cubes ,salt them and keep aside.Dry roast the Til until they are slightly brown and grind it to make paste.
Heat oil in a pan and fry onion, add potato and Til paste, salt and turmeric powder, mix and simmer for 5 min.
Serve hot with Chambray

Monday, June 16, 2008


I got the recipe for roganjosh from one of my favorite blogger.In a short period of time we became very good friends.Apart from being an excellent cook with great plating skills she is warm ,friendly and a comfortabe person to talk to.With a lot more push from all of us she can simply create wonders.Still wondering whom i am talking about?I am talking about none other than JZ of Tasty treats .

From the day i saw her roganjosh dish recipe i was really tempted and knew it would be a sure winner in my house and i was right.My hubby loved it so much that he has asked me to make it more often.I made slight changes in the recipe.I used chicken instead of pork and skipped the use of cream as i didnt have it at the time.But that didnt compromise the delicious flavor of the dish.I am sure it would only make it tastier.The recipe also called for cooking the dish in the oven but since boneless chicken breasts cooks up fast i did it over the stove top.Original recipe can be found here .

It tastes great with rice or rotis.We had it with some yummy mooli ka parathas .
I am sending this dish to vandana rajesh's chicken event.


Chapathi flour - 2 cups

oil - 3-4 tbsp

grated radish - 1 1/2 cups

onions - 1 cup , grated

red chilli pdr - 1 tsp

green chillies - 3 nos , chopped fine

coriander odr - 2 tsp

garam masala - 1 tsp

Hot water - approx. 1/4 - 1/2 cup

salt to taste

In a bowl mix flour,salt and oil.Nicely mix it together until the flour is evenly moist from the oil.Squeeze out the water from the grated onion and radish and add it into the bowl.Now mix the rest of the ingredients except water.Slowly add the hot water and combine everything together until it forms a soft, smooth dough.Refrigerate it for atleast 1 hr before making the parathas.Make small lemon size balls of it.Heat a griddle. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface.Do not make it as thin as a chapathi,keep it slightly thick. Put it on the hot griddle and toast it until both the sides get slightly brown.

I am sending this for Sri's roti mela event.

Awards time :).

Last week i was showered with some more awards.No matter how many times i receive it i feel the same thrill and excitement each time.

JZ gave me the rocking girl blogger and good chat blog award.Thank you so much JZ.I am really happy to receive this from you.

Shubha and Sireesha gave me the yummy blog award.Thank u so much Shubha and Sireesha.I am very grateful to you gals.

I also received an Inspirational award from Suma,Madhavi and JZ. The thought of me inspiring someone itself is so inspiring to me.Thank u so much gals, you are very sweet and kind.This is a very special award that i will cherish it forever.

This award was started by Jamie of the Flavour Pantry. According to Jamie,

“This is given to bloggers whose stories and recipes inspire us. Whether it’s to eat healthier, dive back into our past to conjure up something we ate as children, or just make the light bulbs in our brains go on with a new idea for a recipe. As recipients of this award, please share with us what inspires you and then pass on the Inspiration Award to 4 other deserving bloggers. Please let them know what the award means and what to do with it.”

Wow!!what a wonderful concept Jamie.Thank u so much for starting this award that is so inspiring and motivating many of us to do better.

What inspires me?

1)My parents with their unconditional love and support always keep me on the positive outlook.

2)My bro who always keeps me laughing with his great sense of humour and with his suggestions that helps me improve.

3)The almighty god who gives me strength to face difficulties in life and gives me hope that helps me move forward in life.

4)Many bloggers who motivate me with their encouraging and sweet words.

5)Last my hubby who supports me and is always there to share my joy and sorrow.

Now i would like to pass on this award to:-

Roopa of My kitchen treats

Asha of Aroma

Suganya of tasty palettes

Sunitha of sunitha's world

Congratulations to all of you!!!

and hey Siri has put up the much awaited AWED-middle eastern cuisine round up here to see it.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

PIDE - Turkish seeded bread

Recently i got this "Ultimate Bread " book by Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno from the library .This is a great book for a beginner like me.It features recipes for 40 or more varieties of bread and describes each and every step thats involved in making a basic bread dough,with photos too.Since it's my 1st time i chose to bake a simple one.

Pide is recognised by its distinctive ridged pattern,golden crust and topping of nigella seeds/fennel seeds/sesame seeds.Its traditionally prepared for the muslim festival of ramadan,when it is eaten to break the fast at sunset.Plain pide baked unglazed and without the sprinkling of seeds is a regular accompaniment to grilled kebabs and kofte.

I am sending this for this months A.W.E.D - middle eastern cuisine hosted this month by Siri of Siri's Corner.

(Recipe adapted from the book "ultimate bread")


Dry yeast - 2 tsp

sugar - 1/2 tsp

water - 3/4 cup + 1/2 cup

Unbleached flour - 3 1/2 cups

salt - 1 tsp

olive oil/veg oil - 2 tbsp + for glazing (can use egg wash too)

nigella seeds/fennel seeds/sesame seeds - 2 tsp

Note:- All ingredients should be at room temperature


Sprinkle the yeast and sugar into 1/2 cup of lukewarm water in a bowl.Leave for 5 mins,then stir to dissolve.This should be done just before adding the yeast to the flour.Avoid using metal bowls or utensils to prepare yeast.Metal can impart an unpleasant aftertaste to the yeast mixture.

Sift the flour and salt together in a large bowl.Make well in the center and pour the dissolved yeast and the oil.

Mix in the flour.Stir in the remaining water,as needed to form a firm soft dough.Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.Knead until smooth,supple and elastic ,about 15 mins.Initially the dough will be stiff but will soften and stretch gradually as you continue kneading.

Put the dough in a clean,oiled bowl,turning it to coat evenly with the oil.Cover with a dish towel,then let it rise until doubled in size,about 1 1/2 hrs.To check if the dough has completely risen press it gently with your fingertip.It will not spring back completely if its completely risen and spring back at once when the rising is incomplete.

Punch down the dough and rest for 10 mins.

Divide the dough into 2 equal parts.Roll each piece into a smooth ball and put it on a lightly floured baking sheet.Roll out each piece to form a 1/4in. thick round.Cover with a dish towel and let it rest for 20 mins.

Preheat the oven to 425 deg F

Use the blunt edge of knife to gently draw 4 parallel impressions across on top of each dough,then 4 more in the opposite direction.Brush with olive oil.

Sprinkle the dough with the seeds evenly and bake for 10-15 mins,until puffy and golden in color.wrap the breads immediately in a dishwtoel to keep the crust soft and prevent from drying out.

To check the doneness of the bread: -

A well baked bread should be golden brown in color,not too pale,not too dark in color.The texture and feel of bread should be firm to the touch without seeming hard.The best test is to listen to the sound of the baked bread when it is tapped on the should sound slightly hollow when it has been properly cooked.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

FRIED GRITS with VEG. TOPPING - Arusuvai 1

I always used to read in blogs about Arusuvai frienship chain and the surprise ingredients that they receive and always wondered if i will ever be lucky enough to receive one.Little did i know that 2 months later my wish will come true.I received a mail from Madhuram of egglesscooking if i was interested in receiving surprise ingredients from her.I was so excited and happy and so you all can guess what my reply was.

The package arrived sooner than i expected and i was so eager to see what was in it.It contained 3 packets - 2 of which contained the ingredients and the 3rd one had some yummy australian ANZAC biscuits that madhu prepared.We (hubby and me) gobbled it up in no time.It was really really delicious.Thank you much for those madhu:).

Now coming to the ingredients.I was asked to guess both of them.The one in the bigger packet had the texture similar to rava , so i thought it would be polenta but as you can see i was wrong.She told me that if i couldnt guess then the answer was right there behind the stamp.I just couldnt stay in the dark anymore so pulled off the stamp and was very happy to see that it was QUICK GRITS.

Grits was something that we wanted to try after seeing the comedy movie "My Cousin Vinny". This is one of the most hilarious movies i have ever seen. In a way grits do play a role in winning the case.The ones who saw the movie will know what i am talking about and the ones who havent seen please watch it.Its a must see.

Since this was my first time cooking with grits i didnt want anything to go wrong.So browsed for recipes and stumbled upon an interesting one in .I made slight changes to this recipe and made my own topping which one can choose to totally avoid.Hubby loved it without the topping and i loved with the topping.So here is the recipe.

water - 2 1/2 cups

quick-cooking grits - 1/2 cup

grated sharp Cheddar - 1 cup(i used italian 4 blend cheese reduced fat)

garlic pdr - 1 tsp (optional)

unsalted butter - 1 tablespoon(i used 1 tsp)

Salt to taste


Button mushroom - 4-5 nos,clean using wet cloth and dice small

Green bell pepper - 1/4 cup , diced small

zuchini - 1/4 cup,diced small

gin-gar paste - 1 tsp

red chilli pdr - 1 tsp

worchestershire sauce - 1 tsp

Flour paste ( mix flour and water to form a thin paste)
bread crumbs

In a heavy saucepan bring 2 cups of the water to a boil, add the grits in a stream, stirring, and cook them, covered, over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes, or until they are very thick. Add the Cheddar, the butter, and salt to taste, stir the mixture until the cheese is melted, and spread it in an 8-inch-square baking dish. Chill the grits mixture, covered, overnight.

Heat oil in a pan.Add gin-gar paste and red chilli pdr.Saute for a few seconds and add the vegetables.Stir on high flame.When it softens slightly add salt and sauce.Lower the flame and let it cook until its done.

Have ready in separate bowls the flour paste and the bread crumbs. In a pan add some oil for shallow frying. While the oil is heating cut the grits mixture into squares or any shape you like. I used a heart shaped cutter.Working in batches, dip the grits into the bread crumbs first,then flour paste, letting the excess drip off, then coat them again with the bread crumbs, and fry them in the oil, turning them carefully, for 2 minutes on each side, or until they are golden, transferring them as they are fried to paper towels to drain. Serve the topping spooned over the grits.

Also my friend Siri of siri's corner is hosting a cool summer event - Frozen yogurt . Click on it for more details.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Short BREAK!!!

Hi everyone...I am planning to take a weeks break from blogging just enough time for me try out new dishes that i havent cooked before.But that doesnt stop me from visiting all your lovely blogs and see what yummy dishes each one of you has prepared.
I have been lucky again to receive some more awards this week.

Divya of easy cooking and Sangeeth of Art of cooking food passed on me the nice matters award.Thank u so much divya and sangeeth.
I would like to pass on this award to Jai and Bee of Jugalbandi, Happy cook of My kitchen treasures and Dhivya of Dhivya's cuisine.
Uma gave me the you make my day award.Wow that does feel so good to hear again and again:).Thank u so much uma.
I would like to pass on this award to Dhivya of dhivya's cuisine, and my marathon buddies-Srivalli Bhags Dhivya Lakshmi Raaga Swati Divya Vikram Arundhathi Siri

Sowmya has passed me the rocking girl blogger award.Thank u so much sowmya.

I would like to pass on this award to Meeso of My humble kitchen and Zlamushka of spicy kitchen.

And here is an award i never thought i would get ,thats the good chat blog :).Madhavi of recipes from my fav place - kitchen and kamala of my moms recipes have been very kind enough to pass on this award to me.I am really to get this award.

Good chat blog award and how can i not mention roopa of rvkitchen treats.She always has some interesting stories to share in every post.I love reading every bit of it.So i pass her this award.Another person whom i would to pass on this award is nanditha Prabhu of Satvika.Her write ups are so beautiful, and expressive with right choice of words.When i read her posts i feel as if i was right there witnessing it.

Enjoy your awards girls.You very well deserved it.