Wednesday, February 18, 2009


It was a really nice long weekend for us.I made some delicious cranberry chocolate cookies for valentine's day.It may not be the appropriate sweet for the day but anything with chocolate in it sounds good to me.And if its combined with something like cranberries then there is no doubt.This heavenly combo is what attracted me to this in the first place.I saw these cookies on HC's My kitchen treasures blog and i knew it right away i have to make it.They were absolutely delicious.A little crunchy but i didnt mind that at all as long as i get a chocolate and cranberry in every bite.
The only small change i made is i added equal quantities of white and dark chocolate chips.Thank you HC for this wonderful recipe!!!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Recently i have been trying to recreate the dishes that i ate during my college days.Palak rice is one among many such dishes.It brings back the nostalgic memories of my good old college days.I prepared the rice in coconut milk instead of plain water and then mixed in the paste made of spinach,coriander leaves and green chillies.It was truly delicious.It tasted close to the one i ate in manipal.It tastes great on its own but one prefers a side dish then a spicy fish curry or lijjat pappad is the best combo.

Basmati rice - 1 cup
Chopped ginger - 2 tsp
Chopped garlic - 2 tsp
Cinnamon stick - 1/2 of a small stick
Canned coconut milk - 1 cup
water - 2 cups
Ghee - 2 tsp
oil - 2 tsp
shredded coconut - 1 tbsp, to garnish
salt to taste

For Grinding:-

Spinach - A whole bunch
Cilantro - A small bunch
green chillies - 4 nos


Wash , clean and soak the rice for about 15-20 mins.Grind the required ingredients and keep aside.Mix the canned coconut with 2 cups of water and keep aside.
Heat a large deep pan on medium.Add ghee and oil.When it gets slightly hot add ginger,garlic and cinnamon stick.Saute for a few seconds and then add the rice.Saute that for about 2-3 mins and then add the coconut milk mixed in water.Add salt.Leave it uncovered.Let it come to a boil and cook until 3/4 th of the water evaporates.Ones it comes to a boil keep stirring it frequently.After most of the water evaporates slowly stir in the spinach,cilantro and green chilli paste little by little.Remove from flame and garnish it with shredded coconut.Serve it warm with lijjat pappad or spicy fish curry or like me eat it just like that.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Pickles are a must for me while having meals.Eggplant pickle was something i had heard of before but never tried.I had a couple of chinese eggplants in stockand so i wanted to give it a try and WOW!!it was simply delicious.Even my husband who is not fond of pickles loved it.The base of my pickle is made of garlic and pearl onion paste.It also adds a lot of flavour to the pickle .For heat and the red color i used a lot of kashmiri red chilli pdr.This gives the right heat without making it too spicy.I baked the eggplant pieces before adding them into mixture.The end result is too good.Other than with rice , it tastes great with chapathis too.


Chinese eggplant - 2 nos, diced small
Pearl onions - 10-12 nos, peeled
Chopped garlic - 2 tsp
turmeric pdr - 1 /2 tsp
Kashmiri red chilli pdr - 2-3 tbsp(If you dont have kashmiri red chilli pdr then reduce the amount of red chilli pdr)
Asafoetida - a pinch
mustard seeds - 1 tsp
curry leaves - of 1 sprig
Tamarind paste - 2 tsp
Vinegar - 1 1/2 tsp
lemon juice - 1 tsp(optional)
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 375 deg F.Arrange the diced eggplant pieces on a baking dish.Sprinkle with some salt and let it bake for about 15-20 mins or until they become soft and tender.
In the meantime grind the pearl onions to a smooth paste and keep aside.

Heat some oil in a wok/kadai.Add mustard seeds.Once they start to crackle add curry leaves and garlic .Saute for a few seconds.Then add turmeric and red chilli pdr.Add the onion paste and some salt.Stir it for a couple of mins.Add a pinch of asafoetida.Now add the baked eggplant pieces .Mix it well until the eggplant pieces are well coated with the mixture.Add the tamarind paste and mix it well.Using the back of a wooden spoon mash the pieces into the mixture.Remove from heat and add the vinegar and lemon juice.Mix it again.Let it cool.Serve it with rice or chapathi.Refrigerate the remaining.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Rasam is a spicy soup ,very popular in South India. Pineapple rasam is one of the different kinds of rasam prepared in south India.I hadnt even heard of it until my hubby mentioned it to me.He had eaten it in his hostel in madras during his college days.First I was quite hesitant to make it as i didnt know how this new kind of rasam would turn out and i loved the regular spicy rasam .Well i gave it a try and i was quite amazed as to how good it tasted.Pineapple gives the right amount of sweet and sour taste which is not at all dominating .From then on i prepare pineapple rasam more often than the regular spicy one.So friends those who havent tried pineapple rasam yet should definitely give this a try.

Tomato - 1 cup, chopped
Canned pineapple - 1/2 cup, chopped
pineapple juice - 1/2 cup,unsweetened
Toor dal - 1/2 cup, cooked
water - 1 1/2 - 2 cups (depending how thin one wants it)
garlic - 2 cloves,chopped
turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli pdr - 1 tsp
Rasam pdr - 1 tbsp
red chillies - 2 nos
curry leaves - of 1 sprig
cilantro - a bunch, chopped
salt to taste

For Rasam pdr:-

Corinader seeds - 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 2 tsp
Black peppercorn - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 3-4 nos


Dry roast the ingredients for rasam pdr and grind it to a fine pdr.Keep aside

Heat some oil in a wok/kadai.Add mustard seeds.When it starts to crackle add cumin seeds,curry leaves,red chillies and garlic.Saute for a few seconds.Then add turmeric pdr,red chilli pdr ,tomatoes and pineapple pieces.Saute for a couple of mins and then add the rasam pdr and toor dal.Stir well.Now add the pineapple juice and water.Add salt to taste.Simmer and let it come to a boil.Add cilantro leaves.Serve hot with rice.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Vegetable puffs remind me of my good old school days.After school my friends and me used to hog on these crunchy puffs from the bakery before heading for our tuition classes.I loved it so much especially the egg puffs.Thats for later ,today its vegetable puffs.Its very easy to make this goodie as long as one has these store bought puff pastry sheets in their refrigerator.One can make any kind of filling,cheese and spinach or a sweet filling or a chicken filling.The one i have made is a simple potato and onion filling.I have taken this to so many get together parties and its always a hit.

Puff pastry sheets - 1

For Filling:-

Boiled potatoes - 2 nos
Onion - 1 medium size, sliced
Frozen peas - 1/4 cup
Fresh ginger - 1 1/2 tsp, chopped
Fresh garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
curry leaves - of 1 sprig
turmeric - 1/4 tsp
red chilli pdr - 1 1/2 tsp
cumin seeds - 1 tsp
coriander pdr - 2 tsp
cumin pdr - 1 tsp
amchur pdr - 1/4 tsp
chaat masala pdr - 1 /4 tsp
coriander leaves - a small bunch, chopped
salt to taste


Mash the potatoes and keep aside.Heat some oil in a pan.Add cumin seeds, ginger, garlic and curry leaves.Saute for a few seconds and then add the sliced onions.Saute it until they turn soft and translucent.Then add turmeric pdr,red chilli pdr,amchur pdr ,coriander pdr,cumin pdr and chaat masala pdr.Stir well and add the peas.Add salt and stir in for a couple more mins.Now add the mashed potatoes and mix well.In the end stir in the chopped coriander leaves.Keep aside and let it cool.

Follow the box instructions and thaw the puff pastry sheets.Preheat oven to 400 deg F.Sprinkle some flour on both sides of the pastry sheets and roll it out a bit.Cut it into 9 equal squares.take a spoonful of the filling and place it on the center of the square. Close it by lifting the opposite corner over the filling and pressing it tightly.Apply some water to help seal the edges.Bake for about 10-15 mins or until it turns golden brown.Serve it warm with coffee or tea.

Friday, January 30, 2009


Neer dosa with chicken curry is a classic combination.I ate this for the first time during my college days in manipal.I fell in love with it instantly.This is a must try combo for all chicken lovers.

Neer dosa is a thin pancake/dosa made from rice.'Neer' means 'water' in Kannada and Tamil.So one can guess that its made from a watery batter.The batter is made by grinding soaked rice and shredded coconut and adding enough water to make a thin batter.It is a very popular cuisine in udupi district.It can served with chicken curry or chutney and sambar or with sugar/jaggery mixed with coconut.



Raw rice - 2 cups

shredded coconut - 1 1/4 cup


salt to taste


Soak the rice for atleast 3 hrs.Grind the rice and coconut separately to a smooth paste.Add enough water to make a thin batter ,the consistency similar to that of buttermilk.Add salt.Let it rest for half an hr.

Heat a tawa/griddle.Pour a laddleful of batter on it and swirl it in a circular motion to spread it.Cover with a lid and let it cook till the top becomes dry.Serve with warm chicken curry or chutney.



For marination:-

Chicken breast - 1 large , cut into cubes

turmeric - 1/4 tsp

kashmiri red chilli pdr - 1 tsp

salt and pepper

For gravy:-

onion - 1 medium size,thinly sliced

tomato - 1 medium size,sliced thin

coconut - 1 cup

cumin seeds - 1 tsp

turmeric - 1/4 tsp

kashmiri red chilli pdr - 1 1/2 tsp

curry leaves - 1 sprig

coriander leaves - a bunch,chopped

For Masala:-

Onion - 1 medium size,roughly chopped

tomato - 1/2 a piece,rougly chopped

garlic cloves - 2 nos

ginger - 1 tsp,chopped

cinnamon stick - 1" piece

cloves - 4-5 nos

cardamom pods - 2 , peeled

fennel seeds - 2 tsp

black peppercorn - 10 nos

coriander pdr - 1 tbsp

cumin pdr - 1 1/2 tsp

kashmiri red chilli pdr - 2 tsp

lemon juice - 2 tsp



In a bowl mix the ingredients for the marinade and add chicken into it.Marinate it for about 2 hrs. Grind all the ingredients for the masala and keep aside.Also grind the shredded coconut adding some water and keep aside.

Heat some oil in a pan and add the grinded masala in it.Fry it slowly on a medium heat until the mixture turns dark brown and the raw taste of onion completely disappears.Remove and keep aside.This is the most important part in the dish so be careful not to burn it.

Heat some oil in the same pan.Add cumin seeds and curry leaves. Saute it for a few seconds and then add the sliced onions. Saute until they become soft and translucent.Add turmeric pdr and the chicken pieces.Stir for a couple of mins.Then add the grinded masala and stir until they are well mixed.Add the grinded coconut and water(if needed) to bring it to the consistency you like.Add salt.Lower the heat and let it simmer for 5-8 mins or until the chicken is fully cooked.Garnish with coriander leaves.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Fish molee is one of the most popular seafood dish in Kerala.Its a mild tasting,non-spicy dish prepared with coconut milk.Its very easy to prepare, the extraction of coconut milk being the only hard job here.It is at its best only when a fresh fish is used,preferably a firm fleshed fish like king fish,pomfret or even cod.I used king fish.In US you can find it in any Asian grocery stores. There is not many spices used in this dish,coconut milk is the main ingredient so a bad fish can totally ruin the taste.Fish molee is usually served along with rice or Aappam.

For Marination:-

King fish or any firm fleshed fish - 1 lbs
red chilli pdr - 1 tsp
turmeric - 1 tsp
lemon juice - 1 tbsp
salt to taste

For Gravy:-

onion - 1 medium size, sliced
tomato - 2 medium size,diced
ginger - 1 tbsp
coconut milk, 1st extract - 11/2 cup
coconut milk, 2nd extract - 2 cups
curry leaves - of 1 sprig
turmeric - 1 tsp
green chillies - 4 nos, slit
lemon juice - 1 tbsp
salt to taste


Wash and clean the fish.Pat it dry.Marinate it in a mixture of lemon juice,turmeric,red chilli pdr and salt for about 1 or 2 hrs in the refrigerator.

Heat some oil in a pan.Add the chilies and ginger.Saute for a minute and then add the onions.Add salt.Stir it until the onions become soft and translucent.Add turmeric and tomatoes.Stir it for a couple of minutes.Then add the 2nd extract of coconut milk.Add salt and stir well.Let it come to a boil.Now add the marinated fish pieces.Hold onto the sides of the pan and swirl it until the fish is well totally immersed in the gravy.Do not stir using a spatula.That will break the fish.Cover the pan and let it cook for 5 mins or until the fish is cooked.A fresh fish cooks really fast.So do not turn away from the stove.Ones done switch off the flame and add the 1st coconut milk extract and lemon juice and gently swirl it again until its fully blended with the rest.Garnish with coriander leaves and curry leaves.Serve with aappam or rice.

Another popular seafood dish in kerala is Meen pollichathu.Click here for my recipe.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Pongal is one of my favorite rice dish.There are 2 types of pongal - sweet and spicy.I love both types but if given a choice i will lean more towards the spicy one.

Here first the rice is cooked along with moong dal(yellow) and then the seasonings and nuts are added to it.Its one of the most popular breakfast dishes in South India.I came across so many pongal dishes last week, but the one that really popped my eye was Sukanya's Pongal with Gotsu. I have eaten pongal many times but its usually along with chutney or shallot sambar.Gotsu was new to me.

Gotsu is a spicy and tangy dal based dish.Here Its made using eggplant and moong dal.The eggplant is cooked along with onions , tomatoes and some spices in the dal gravy.The combination of gotsu and pongal was simply incredible.The pongal simply melted in the mouth.I can have this day and night.

We loved it.Thank you sukanya for the recipe.

I am sending this to this months MBP - Easy Breezy breakfast event started by Coffee of The Spice Cafe and guest hosted by Simple Indian Food .

Monday, January 19, 2009


Chana Bhatura is one of the most popular breakfast in North India.Its so popular that its sold as a fast food dish by roadside vendors.Bhatura is a fried puffy bread made out of All purpose flour(maida).I add a little bit of semolina and some slices of bread for the crispiness.Its usually served along with chana masala, a spicy and tangy chickpea dish.



All purpose flour-2 cup
rava-1/4 cup(for extra crispness)
Bread - 4-5 slices,crust removed
Baking pdr - 1/4 tsp
curd-1/2 cup
water -just enough to knead to a smooth dough
salt to taste
oil for frying

Channa Masala - Click on the pic below for the recipe


Sift the flour,salt and the baking pdr into a bowl.Break the bread and add it in the bowl.Add the curd and knead to a smooth dough adding little water.Cover it with a moist cloth and keep it aside.Allow it to ferment for 5-6 hrs or overnight.Make small size balls out of it and roll it out just like a chapathi.Dont roll out too thin ,it should be slightly thick and even ,otherwise it wont puff up.Heat the oil and fry the flattened dough.Serve it hot with chana masala.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Methi dal is one of my favorite dishes to have with rice.The flavor of methi leaves is simply incredible .You dont have to add any other flavor to the dish when you are cooking with methi leaves.Toor dal compliments the methi leaves very well in this dish.It reduces the slight bitter taste of the methi leaves.I can have this dish 5 days in a row or even 10 days in a row without getting tired of it.

Methi leaves - a whole bunch, cleaned and chopped
Toor dal - 1 cup,cooked
shredded coconut - 1 cup
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
turmeric pdr - 1/4 tsp
urad dal - 2 tsp
curry leaves - of 1 sprig
red chillies - 3-4 nos
Garlic - 1 tsp
salt to taste


Coarsely grind the coconut and keep aside.Heat some oil in a pan.Add the mustard seeds.When it starts to crackle add urad dal,curry leaves,turmeric pdr and red chillies.Add the chopped garlic and saute for a couple of mins on a medium low flame.Then add the methi leaves and the cooked dal.The methi leaves will cook really fast in about 2 -3 mins.As soon as they become soft add the coconut and some salt.Stir it well and remove from the flame.Serve hot with rice.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Chicken 65 is a spicy, deep fried chicken dish popular in South India.There are different stories behind its name, whatever the story be, its the taste which has made this dish an all time favourite.It can be prepared using chicken on or off the bone.Here the chicken pieces are marinated in a mixture of spices, onions and curry leaves.The flavor of curry leaves is imparted into the chicken and this makes it unique and very tasty.In restaurants,usually the color is added to make it look red.Here i havent used any color. Vegetarians can prepare the same using cauliflower or potatoes.


Chicken breasts - 1 large (bone in or boneless),cut to bite size pieces
oil to deep fry

For Marination:-

Onion - 1/4 cup , diced
Fresh Ginger- 1 tsp
Fresh garlic - 1 tsp
red chilli pdr - 1 1/2 tsp
coriander pdr - 2 tsp
garam masala - 1 tsp
curry leaves - of 1 or 2 sprigs, chopped
curd - 2-3 tbsp
lemon juice - 2 tsp
rice pdr - 3-4 tbsp + more if reqd.(just enough to coat the chicken and a give a crispy crust)
coriander leaves - a small bunch,chopped
green chillies - 3-4 nos,diced
salt to taste


In a bowl combine all the ingredients for the marination.Add the chicken to it and mix it well.Let it marinate for atleast 4 hrs, overnight is even better.

Heat oil in a kadai or deep sauce pan.Fry the chicken on medium heat until it turns golden brown.Serve hot with lemon wedges and sliced onions.