Thursday, April 28, 2011

Quilled letter "K"

"K is for Kavin" says my little boy whenever I sit down to do this quilling. I have been doing this project for 2 months. It took less than 10 hours for me to finish 90% of this project. But the remaining 10% of the work took me so long. I guess, that is because of the perfect geminian trait of getting bored of the monotonous work. I was very excited to finish it off soon when I initially started this project. But the monotony of making the same quilling pattern over and over again made my excitement decline little by little.At one point, I lost interest and never continued this project.  My husband kept saying, finish this with the same excitement that you started it with. Feeling very fortunate to have such a good support and encouragement, I got all my spirits up last weekend and finished it successfully. The outcome is worth all the effort.

I had a lot of confusion about the choice of colors when I started making it. Thought of going with blue. But fed up with blue all over. So to go along with the jungle decoration, I ended up with these colors.
Now the finished project is hanging in my little one's play room. It looks perfect with the jungle decoration and he always wears a smile looking at it. What more can I ask for ? :-)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sabudhana Kichadi

I usually stop by my colleague's cubicle for a little chit chat after warming up my lunch in the kitchen. Conversations vary from how the weekend was, how the traffic was that morning, how the kids are doing and obviously how is work :-) . And definitely, we will have a conversation of what we have in our lunch boxes. That is when I came to know about this kichadi which I have never had before. She offered this kichadi once to me and I absolutely loved it. It was so puffy and light with a little crunch in between. Of course I wanted to make it for dinner that day. I did not get a chance to get the recipe from her. So I called another friend of mine on my way back from work and asked if she knows about this dish. She told me the recipe for this dish and that is when I discovered that it needs some prep work and I will not be able to make it for dinner the same day :-(. But I made it for next day's dinner and we both loved the taste.

My friend who gave the recipe also gave me her grandma's idea of adding split moong dhal to it and that tasted even better. But today I made it without the moong dhal. So please don't search for the moong dhal in the picture.

Soaking the sago is the whole trick in this dish. I did not pay proper attention to soaking the sago part once and ended up with a gooey thick ball that directly went into my trash can. So please be careful with soaking the sago with just enough water. That makes a lot of difference.


1. Sago/Javarisi/Sabudhana - 1 cup
2. Roasted peanuts - 3/4 cup
3. Salt - as needed
4. Sugar - 1 tablespoon
5. Oil - 2 tablespoons
6. Cumin - 1 teaspoon
7. Curry leaves - few
8. Potato - 1 medium (cubed)
9. Turmeric powder - 2 teaspoons
10. Lemon - 1/2
11. Cilantro - to garnish


1. Wash and soak the sago at least for 8 hours or overnight. The amount of water should be just enough to immerse the sago.
2. Make the roasted peanuts into a coarse mixture just by pulsing it in the mixie/blender couple of times.
3. Mix the soaked sago with the ground peanuts, salt and sugar and keep it aside.
4. In a pan, heat the oil and let the cumin seeds splutter. Add curry leaves and potatoes, turmeric powder, salt and saute till the potatoes are cooked right.
5. Now add the sago mixture and mix it with the potato masala. reduce the flame to medium and let the sago cook completely. Stir in between. It should be cooked without lid and no water is needed since sago is already soaked.
6. Once the sago is cooked add the juice of half of a lemon and remove it from heat.

Garnish it with cilantro and enjoy!

Tip: Cooked moong dhal can be added in step 5 when u add the sago mixture. Moong dhal should not be cooked too much. It should be just right.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Corn Croquettes

I came across this recipe in Arundati's blog sometime back and had bookmarked it. One morning, as always, I stood in front of the opened refrigerator thinking what to cook. When my eyes crawled over a bag of sweet corn kernels, I knew I am going to make this mouth watering corn croquettes. So I quickly went through the recipe, made some few changes, to suit our taste buds and the outcome was "Melt-in-your-Mouth Corn Croquettes". I made it a less spicy so that my son can enjoy it too and he completely loved it just like we did. You can adjust the spiciness as per your taste.


1. Sweet Corn Kernels - 2 cups
2. Potato - 1 large
3. Onion - 1 small chopped
4. Ginger Garlic paste - 1 teaspoon.
5. Green Chillies- 1 or as per taste
6. Salt - as needed
7. Seasoned breadcrumbs - as needed
8. Lemon Juice - 1 teaspoon
9. Oil - to shallow fry


1. Cook the corn kernels for 5 minutes. Darin all the water. Blend it into a coarse mixture and keep it aside.
2. Cook the potato, mash it and keep it aside.
3. Heat a tawa, add the chopped onions, ginger garlic paste, green chillies and saute well till the onions turn translucent.
4. Now add the blended corn kernels, mashed potato, salt and lemon juice.
5. Mix it well and turn off the heat. Once it is warm enough to touch, add bread crumbs as needed to make the mixture good enough to form patties.
6. Make lemon sized balls with the mixture and roll it round between your palms. This recipe will yield 8 -10 croquettes.
7. Heat a skillet, add a tablespoon of oil. When it is hot enough, place 4 or 5 croquettes around the skillet and cook them till they are golden brown. Turn them over and cook till the other side becomes golden brown too.
8. Place it in a paper towel so that any additional oil drains .

Serve it hot with any dipping sauce or have it as it is like what we did :-) .

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Creamy Pasta with Broccoli

I sometimes pack pasta for my little one's lunch. I don't like using the store bought pasta sauce every time in his pasta. I am also very particular about adding some vegetables to the sauce. So today is broccoli's turn to go into the sauce :-). I wanted to pair broccoli with something creamy. Since my little one loves anything sour, I decided to mix broccoli with sour cream and it turned out yummmmmm.

Ingredients :

1. Fusilli pasta - 1/2 cup
2. Butter - 2 teaspoons
3. Garlic - 1 grated
4. Broccoli florets - 1 cup
5. Sour cream - 2 tablespoons
6. Salt and pepper to season


1. Cook the pasta as per the instructions given in the box.
2. Cook the broccoli for few minutes and make a puree of it.
3. Heat a pan, add butter and garlic and saute it for a minute.
4. Then add the pureed broccoli to the pan and saute it for couple of minutes.
5. Add the cooked pasta and toss it around till the broccoli mixture coats all of the pasta.
6. Add 2 tablespoons of sour cream and mix it well.
7. Season it with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Vermicelli Briyani

This is a very easy dish to put together. Just cook the vermicelli and add the masala and you have a wonderful briyani to serve with Raitha.


1. Vermicelli - 2 cups
2. Oil - 1 tablespoon
3. Ghee - 1 tablespoon
4. Cinnamon - 1 stick
5. cloves - 2
6. Cardamom - 2
7. Bay leaf - 1
8. Onion - 1 finely chopped
9. Tomatoes - 1 finely chopped
10. Carrot - 1/2 cup chopped
11. Peas - 1/2 cup chopped
12. Green chilli - 4 slitted
13. Cilantro - to garnish
14. Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon
15. Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 teaspoon
16. Salt - to taste


1. Cook the vermicelli as per the package instruction and keep it aside in a colander to drain. Make sure you do not overcook it. I usually add a teaspoon of oil when it cooks so that it does not stick to each other.
2. Heat a pan, add oil + ghee and all the whole garam masala and saute it for a minute.
3. Add chopped onions, ginger garlic paste and chillies. Saute till the raw smell goes away.
4. Now add tomatoes, salt and turmeric powder and cook until the tomatoes get soft and mushy.
5. Add the vegetables and saute it for a few minutes.
6. Now reduce the flame and add the cooked vermicelli and mix it gently till all the masala mixes with the vermicelli.
7. Let it cook just for a couple of minutes. Remove it from heat.

Garnish with cilantro and serve it with onion raitha.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Kadai Paneer

I got this recipe from my Gujarathi friend who is a wonderful cook. When we lived in the same apartment complex, we exchanged foods every evening. She would give some north indian chaats / curries and I would give her south indian items like paniyarams, idiyappams, dosa, idlis, etc., Thats how i became a big fan of north indian dishes.

This is definitely not a fat free / low fat version of kadai paneer. The more fat you add, the more tastier it turns out.


1. Paneer - 1/2 block
2. Onion - 2 (1 1/2 cubed and 1/2 sliced)
3. Tomatoes - cubed 2 big
4. Cashews - 10
5. Chilli powder - 1/2 tablespoon (or more if you want it spicier)
6. Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon.
7. Dhania powder - 1 teaspoon.
8. Kasoori Methi - 1 tablespoon
9. Red Capsicum - 1 small sliced
10. Green Capsicum - 1 small sliced
11. Salt - to taste
12. Ghee - 2 tablespoons
13. Oil - 2 tablespoons

Method :

1. In a pan, add little oil. Once it is hot, saute cubed onions. Saute till it becomes translucent.
2. Then add tomatoes and let it cook till it becomes mushy. Add the cashew nuts and switch off the heat.
3. Let it cool. Grind it into a fine paste and keep it aside.
4. Meanwhile, add a little oil in another pan, add the cubed paneer pieces and roast it until all the sides are golden brown. Keep it aside.
5. Saute the sliced onions. It should be crisp.
6. Do the same for the capsicums too.
7. In a heavy pan, add oil and ghee and let it heat. Add the ground onion tomato cashew paste. At this point reduce the heat level, otherwise the gravy will splutter all over.
8. Add salt, chilli powder, dhani, turmeric powder. Mix it with the gravy and increase the heat. Cover it with a lid and let it cook till the oil/ghee seperates.
9. Crush kasoori methi with your palm and mix it in.
10. Now add the sauted onions and capsicums and give it a gentle mix.
11. Add the fried/sauted paneer cubes and mix it in the gravy gently. Be cautious not to break the paneer pieces.

Kadai Paneer is now ready to serve with your favourite naan / roti / poori .

Suggestion:Do step 10 and 11, 10 or 15 mins before serving. That way, the vegetables will stay crisp and not get soggy.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Banana Foster

What better way to end a lovely anniversary dinner than with a delicious dessert? We started looking at the dessert menu. He loves ice cream and I love banana. So we ended up choosing Banana Foster which is sauteed bananas with caramel sauce on vanilla ice cream. The moment the dessert came to our table, all three of us started diving in. Yeah even our little one was a great competitor. But he was more interested in the ice cream than the sauce. Since the caramel sauce had rum in it, I scooped some ice cream on to his plate and he was happily enjoying it when we were enjoying this heavenly combination of ice cream with sauteed banana and caramel sauce.

We had invited one of our friends over for lunch last Sunday and I made this dessert for them. Of course, I used store bought ice cream and just made the caramel sauce. It was such a big hit. I omitted rum that the original recipe called for and it tasted heavenly nevertheless.

If you are counting calories, you should not even be looking at this page :-)


1. Butter - 1/4 cup
2. Sugar - 1/2 cup (super fine)
3. Heavy Cream - 3/4 cup
4. Banana - 2 peeled and cut into bite size circles

I did not have superfine sugar, So I just took the regular sugar and pulsed it in the blender couple of times.


1. In a heavy flat pan, melt butter over medium heat.
2. Stir in sugar. Keep stirring, until the sugar is all melted and caramel brown. This process will take quite sometime. Stirring is the key to get a nice silky sauce. So be patient and keep stirring. At one point, the butter will start leaving the sugar. But do not give up stirring, stir it until the sugar turns into caramel brown color.
3. Add heavy cream to this. The mixture will bubble up. Boil it and reduce the heat to low.
4. Place the bananas and cook for just 2 minutes and remove from heat.

Serve hot with cold vanilla ice cream. Yummmmmmm......

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Baingan Bharta

I am not a big fan of eggplant. But I love  two dishes that are made with eggplant. One is Punjabi Baingan Bharta and the other is Italian Eggplant parm. I have an excellent recipe that I got from an Italian friend for eggplant parm which I will post soon.

Now coming to Baingan Bharta, it is a Punjabi dish made with mashed eggplant. Tradtionally, it is pepared by roasting the eggplant over an open flame to give the dish a smoky flavour. But since I dont have a gas range with an open flame, I went the easier way. I microwaved the eggplant. I am sure roasting the eggplant will add so much more flavour to this dish. So, people who have an open flame, go ahead and roast the eggplant without giving a second thought. It is worth all the pain. Most of the Noth Indian dishes that I have tried either uses cream or butter or cashew nuts. This dish does not need any of those ingredients. It tastes delicious, regardless.


1. Eggplant - 1 large
2. Oil - 1 tablespoon
3. Cumin - 1/2 teaspoon
4. Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
5. Onion - 1 finely chopped
6. Garlic - 4 minced
7. Tomatoes - 1 1/2 finely chopped
8. Garam masala powder - 1 teaspoon
9. Dhania powder - 1 teaspoon
10. Turmeric - 1 teaspoon
11. Chilli powder - 2 teaspoons / per taste
12. Salt - as needed
13. Cilantro - to garnish


1. Wash and pat dry the egg plant. Apply oil on all sides of the eggplant. Microwave it for 10 minutes. Time may vary depending on the power of the microwave. You should be able to peel of the skin just by pulling it.
2. Remove the skin, mash the eggplant and set it aside.
3. Heat oil in a tawa, add mustard and jeera.
4. Once it splutters, add chopped onions and minced garlic. Saute till the onions turn translucent.
5. Now add the chopped tomatoes, salt and turmeric. Let it cook till the tomatoes get soft and mushy.
6. Now add all the masala powders and the mashed eggplant and cilantro. Give it a quick stir and let it cook for a couple of minutes.
7. Shhhhhh..... add a teaspoon of ghee and mix it well with the bharta. It adds so much flavour to this dish. But it is really optional.

Serve this healthy dish with roti, naan or rice.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Savoury French Toast

It was the day of  Cricket World Cup Finals. The match was too good to miss even a single ball. But at the same time I wanted to prepare breakfast too. Weekends are when I make hot breakfast. During weekdays, breakfast will be usually cereals or some bagels. So did not want to compromise on the breakfast part over the weekend. So went into the kitchen to make something quick and healthy. I have seen a lot of recipes for this savoury french toast / bombay toast. So decided to give it a try.

I was watching the game and making these toasts. Now you know why I browned the toasts a little too much :-) But still, it tasted good.

Ingredients :

1. Bread - 4 slices (I used multigrain)
2. Eggs - 3
3. Salt - to taste
4. Turmeric - a pinch
5. Chilli powder - 1 teaspoon / per taste
6. Milk - 1 tablespoon
7. Chopped cilantro - 1 tablespoon
8. Oil - to toast the bread


1. Mix all the ingredients except for the bread slices and oil.
2. Cut each bread slice into 2 triangles.
3. Dip each triangle in the egg mixture and toast it in a hot tawa with a teaspoon of oil.
4. Flip it over once it is cooked and let it cook on the other side too.

Enjoy the toast with ketch up or some hot sauce.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Chicken Pakora

Never knew that chicken can be prepared as pakoras until I tasted this at one of our friend's place recently. When I told her that chicken pakoras sound completely new to me, she told me that it is a very common Pakistani dish. She prepared it in a jiffy as our tea time snack.

I am not sure what is with me and the battered pakoras/pakodas. The batter doesnt stick to the main ingredient when I drop it in oil and I always end up with the fried batter and the fried main ingredient :-). So I was little skeptical to try this dish. But my cravings for the chicken pakoras overpowered my skepticism.I did not get a complete recipe from our friend. I just remembered her saying "grind everything coarsely". Out of my cravings, I came up with the recipe below. To my surprise, it came out perfect. The batter was still stuck to the chicken when I removed it from the oil :-) .

Ingredients :

1. Chicken(skinless and boneless) - 1 lb
2. Salt - to taste
3. All purpose flour - 1 cup
4. Rice flour - 2 tablespoons
5. Corn flour - 2 tablespoons
6. Food color - a pinch (optional)
7. chillipowder - 1 teaspoon /per taste
8. Egg - 1

To grind:

1. Ginger garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
2. Onion - 1/2 chopped roughly
3. Green chillies - 2
4. Cilantro - 1/2 cup
5. Dhania seeds - 2 teaspoons


1. Clean the chicken and cut them into bite size pieces and set it aside.
2. Grind the ingredients under the "to grind" section into a coarse mixture.
3. Add this ground mixture to the chicken and give it a quick mix.
4. Then add salt, chilli powder and food color. add the flours little by little. Spray water if needed and mix it with the rest of the ingredients.
5. Make sure the batter coats the chicken pieces evenly. The batter should not be too thick or very thin.
6. Whisk an egg and add it to the battered chicken. Set it aside for 30 mins.
7. Deep fry till it turns reddish brown.

Serve it with tea.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bisi bele bhath

A very close friend of mine gave me a call yesterday and asked me if I can post rice dishes. So here you go my deary girl :-)

Bisi bele bhath is a very traditional kannadiga dish. I have not tasted this rice when I was in India. A friend of mine had prepared this when we went to her place and I liked her preparation. Will definitely post her version of bisi bele bhath once I get the recipe from her. My version of bisi bele bhath that I prepared over the weekend was slightly different from what I tasted at my friends place but we liked this taste as well.

Ingredients :

1. Rice - 1 cup
2. Toor dhal- 1 cup
3. Carrot, beans - 1  cup chopped
4. Peas - 1/2 cup
5. Potato - 1 cubed
6. Onion - 1 finely chopped
7. Tamarind paste - 1/4 teaspoon
8. Salt - to taste
9. Ghee - 2 tablespoons
10. Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
11. Cashews-  - 6 or 7
12. Hing - a pinch
13. Oil - 2 teaspoons
14. Turmeric powder -1 teaspoon

To grind:

1. Grated Coconut - 1 cup
2. Red chillies- 3
3. Dhania- 3 teaspoon
4. Cloves - 5
5. Cinnamon - 5" stick


1.  Wash the rice and dhal and pressure cook it along with oil, turmeric,salt,onion, vegetables and 6 cups of water for one whistle. The mixture should be a little bit watery after it is cooked.
2. Meanwhile, dry roast all the ingredients except coconut mentioned under the to grind section till you get a nice aroma. Grind it along with the grated coconut into a fine paste.
3. Add this ground paste to the cooked rice, dhal and vegetables.
4. Bring it to a boil and remove it from the stove.
5. Heat ghee in another pan. Add mustard. After it splutters, add cashews and fry it till golden brown. Add a pinch of hing and add it along with the cooked rice.
6. Serve bisi bele bhath with Raitha or potato chips.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Navaratan Korma

Navaratan Korma comes from the mughal origin. Navaratan literally means nine gems and this dish got its name because of the combination of nine vegetables and dry fruits used in this recipe.Traditionally, pineapples and grapes are used in this recipe. But I somehow did not like the concept of mixing fruits with the korma. So for the sweet taste, I added raisins and cashew nuts. Cream can also be added along with milk. It gives a nice creamy texture to the gravy. I have prepared this with and without cream and both tastes excellent . I usually prepare gravies for two meals, dinner and for next day's lunch. But every time I prepare this dish, how much ever I prepare, it never seems to be enough. It will all be done just with one meal :-) . 


1. Chopped vegetables - 3 cups(potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, green peas, beans, capsicum)
2. Paneer - 10 cubes
3. Onion - 1 finely chopped
4. Tomato - 3 pureed
5. Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
6. Turmeric Powder - 1 teaspoon
7. Chilli powder - 1 to 2 teaspoons
8. Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
9. Coriander powder - 1 teaspoon
10. Garam masala powder - 2 teaspoons
11. Milk - 1 1/2 cups
12. Cashewnuts - 10 to 12
13. Raisins - 10 to 12
14. Ghee - 1 tablespoon
15. Oil - 3 tablespoons
16. Salt - to taste
17. Cilantro - to garnish


1. Heat ghee and oil in a pan and add  ginger garlic paste and saute it till the raw smell goes away.
2. Add the chopped onions and saute till it turns pink and add the pureed tomatoes and saute till the ghee separates.
3. Add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder and fry for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add all the chopped vegetables and add milk to it. Bring it to a boil.
5. Let the vegetables cook.
6. Meanwhile, make a paste of cashewnuts and raisins.
7. Once the vegetables cook just right,add the cahewnuts and raisin paste and cook until the gravy becomes thick.
8. Add paneer to the gravy and stir well.
9. Add chopped cilantro leaves to garnish.

Serve it with naan or any of your favourite roti.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Kids Friendly Fish Fingers

Fish fingers are all time kids favourite. I prefer making it at home rather than the store bought ones. My kid loves it and I am sure your kids will too. Give it a try and enjoy :-) .


1. Fsih fillet - 1 (I used Tilapia fillet)
2. All purpose flour\Maida - 2 tablespoons
3. Grated Parmesan cheese - 1 tablespoon
4. Salt - to taste
5. Pepper powder - 1 teaspoon
6. Egg - 1
7. Seasoned Breadcrumbs - to dust


1. Mix flour, cheese, salt and pepper in a bowl and keep it aside.
2. In a seperate bowl whisk the egg and keep it aside.
3. Cut the fillet into strips if required length. Take a piece of the fillet, dip it in egg then in the flour mixture again in the egg and finally coat it with bread crumbs.
4. Repeat the process with all the fillet piecs and deep fry it till golden brown.