Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Garden Omelette & Indian Omelette

Here I am as usual posting my entry at the last minute for the Omelette event hosted by Kanchana of "Married to a Desi" , an event originally launched by Nandita of "Saffron Trail". Thanks for hosting Kanchana:-)

My contribution to this event is a Garden Omelette and a simple Indian style Omelette. Unfortunately, I could not take good pictures as both the dishes were done in the last minute. My hubby waiting impatiently for his food and my son pulling my dress to get hold of the camera...Oh, I had a tough time. Anyway, we enjoyed both and here is the recipe for you to try.

Garden Omelette:
Eggs- 2
milk- 1 tbsp
capsicum- 1/4 (sliced into thin strips)
mushrooms- 4 (sliced)
spinach- 1/4 cup
Kraft three cheese blend- 3 tbsp
salt- as reqd
red chilli flakes-optional
butter- 2 tsp

Heat pan with a tsp of oil and saute capsicum and mushrooms for 2 mins. Then add spinach and saute for a min. Remove this from pan and set aside.Beat eggs with milk. Mix salt and red chilli flakes. Melt some butter on the pan and pour the eggs. When 3/4 th done, add the sauteed veggies and cheese. Carefully close it and cook it on low flame for another 3-4 mins. I served mine with some toasted bread and jelly.

Indian Style Omellete:
Although there are so many nice varieties of omelletes available, this one is so simple and it's made atleast once in our home. It tastes so good with sambar rice or rasam rice. Most of the people must be doing this already. Still, here is mine for you to have a look.

Eggs- 2
milk- 1 tbsp
onion- 1/4 (finely chopped)
green chillies- 2 (finely chopped)
corriander leaves- 1 tbsp(chopped)
curry leaves- 4 (torn into bits)
turmeric- a little less than 1/4 tsp
salt- as reqd
pepper- as reqd

Beat eggs with milk and turmeric until frothy. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Heat oil or butter in a dosa pan and pour the egg mixture on it. Spread the onions evenly on the omelette. Cook until the egg sets. Turn on the other side and cook for another 2 mins on low flame. Serve hot with rice and rasam.
Here is a peek inside...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fresh Peach and Caramel Puff Pastry Pies

When Mansi announced the 'Peaches' event I did not have any recipe in my hand. The only way I've eaten a peach before is just as a fruit itself. When I googled I found many recipes. But I wanted something really simple as I was experimenting with this fruit. My searched continued and continued until the deadline and finally I found something in the last minute.
The original recipe can be found here . I tweaked it a bit to suit my palatte. I did not follow the measurements given in the original recipe as I wanted to make just two pies to see how it turns out. So, without further adu let's go to the recipe.

Puff pastry sheet - 1

peach- 1 (finely chopped)
slivered almonds- 1 tsp
caramel sauce- 2 tsp
Mixture of egg white and whole milk- 3 tsp each
granulated sugar- for dusting

Thaw the pastry sheet as per the package directions. Unfold it on a lightly floured surface and level it using a rolling pin. Using a cookie cutter or a cup make 4 circles on the pastry sheet. Cut them out. Save the remaining sheet for later use. Line a plate with parchment paper and keep a circle of dough on it. Top with with some peaches and nuts. Then add 1 tsp caramel sauce. Cover it with another circle of dough. Seal the edges with some water and crimp it with a fork. Refrigerate it for 20 to 30 mins. Don't worry if the caramel has oozed out a little in this stage. Remove from the plate and apply egg wash on top. Then make an "x" mark on the top. Sprinkle with some granulated sugar.

Now heat oven to 400 deg and bake the pies for 15 to 20 mins. Warm pies are ready to be served with ice-cream. I did not have any ice-cream, so we enjoyed this warm dessert as it is with some powdered sugar and a drizzle of caramel on top.

Note: People who know me, must also know how scared I am to bake. But this one was pretty easy and yummy that even my hubby enjoyed it. You should try it too and you'll see what I mean. Still not convinced. How about another look?
I've been tagged by Asha, Laavanya and Raks for the Fantastic Four Meme. So, here it is guys.

4 places I've lived:
Coimbatore (granny's home)
salem (parents home)
pondicherry(hubby's home)
U.S.A(my home)

4 Jobs:
Irresponsible daughter to my parents
freak out with my little sister
careless wife
Impatient mom

4 places I've holidayed:
Singapore- our honeymoon trip
Delhi- my college tour
Niagara trip with my friends Anu and vijay
yercaud trip with my family

4 favorite foods:
Anything high in fat and sweet always attracts me. I'm a terrible chocoholic. Like the cookie monster in the sesame street I'd gobble up all the chocolates how ever much I try to resist.

Chocolates (milk chocolate and white chocolate)
Eggs fully cooked but in any form
chaat items especially cutlet

4 places I'd rather be:
Alone in my home
Any place with my sister
My grandma's home
A wonderland full of ice creams and chocolates

Thanks for tagging me guys. Really enjoyed doing it. Now it's my turn to tag. Yay....So, here I go.
You're it.


Bye bye and have a nice day!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Pongal is a very important festival for the south Indians. You can learn all about pongal here. Actually, I made this in eleventh hour for the RCI event: Festival foods hosted by Viji who is the owner of a great blog Vcuisine.

I have posted 2 types of pongal here. Sakkarai pongal and ven pongal. My sakkarai pongal does not have that deep color as I used the light colored jaggery . Usually, I get the dark brown jaggery but I couldn't find it in the store this time.

Sakkarai Pongal:

Raw rice- 1/2 cup
split moong dal- 1/4 cup
water- 2 cups
milk- 1/2 cup
jaggery- 3/4th cup elachi- 2 (crushed)
cashews- 4 (broken)
raisins- 7 or 8
coconut scrapings- 1 tbsp
ghee- 1 tbsp

Wash rice and dal together. Add water,milk and pressure cook for 1 whistle. Meanwhile, melt jaggery with little water and allow to cool. When the pressure is off, open cooker and mash the pongal. Add jaggery syrup to pongal according to your taste level. Heat ghee in a pan and fry elachi, cashews, raisins and coconut scrapings. Fry them and add to pongal. Steaming hot sweet pongal is ready.

Ven Pongal:
Raw rice- 1 cup
split moong dal- 1/2 cup
water- 3 1/2
milk- 1 cup
salt - as reqd
cashews- 5 (broken)
jeera seeds- 1 tsp
peppercorns- 1 tsp
ginger- 2 " (crushed a little)
curry leaves- few

Wash rice and dal together and pressure cook it for 1 whistle with milk, salt and water. When the pressure goes off, mash the pongal. Heat ghee in a pan and fry cashews, jeera-pepper mixture, ginger and curry leaves. Add this to pongal and mix well. Serve it with sambar and coconut chutney.

Here a plate for all of you to enjoy. See you gals. Have a great weekend!!!

Masala Paal

Today is the last day for the saffron event and I wanted to be a part of it. Until yesterday night I had no clue of what to do. Then, when I was talking to my parents in India they told me that they were in Saravana Bhavan restaurant drinking masala paal after dinner. Yeah...I found an entry for the event. I asked my mom for the recipe and went to the kitchen to prepare it right away.
This masala paal is just not milk and saffron. It has to be prepared in a certain way and drunk while it's still hot(temperature that you can tolerate). It's believed to induce sleep. So, my dear friends go ahead and have some masala paal tonight and let me know if the sleep thing is true.

Whole Milk- 2 cups
Rock sugar- 1 1/2 tbsp (can reduce or add more as per taste. But the actual dish should not have too much sugar. Just enough to sweeten the milk. Still, I prefer mine sweet)
saffron- 1 generous pinch (I mean it generous)
badam- 5 or badam powder- 1/2 tbsp
saarai paruppu- l/2 tsp (I do not know the english name for it. This is a dry fruit too)
cardamom- 1
pistachio slices- for garnish(I used this as I did not have saarai paruppu)

If you are using fresh badam, soak it in hot boiling water for atleast 3 hrs and grind it to a smooth paste. Boil the milk with cardamom and clove until it reduces to half the quantity. Then add rock sugar and dissolve it completely. I used the small white rock sugar here. Now add ground badam or badam powder and saffron. Stir it well until it gets the nice yellow color. Finally add saarai paruppu roasted in (few drops of ghee). I did not have it so I used pista slices here. Switch off gas.
To cool it a bit, tranfer the milk between two vessels and make it frothy. I don't know how to explain this part. We call it "aatharathu" in tamil. Finally serve it with some cardamom powder on top.
Enjoy guys and have a nice sleep. Sweet dreams.zzzz....

Monday, October 22, 2007

Aayutha Pooja Celebrations

This is a very popular festival celebrated in India. You can learn about this pooja here. This pooja is celebrated a little different in the North and South India. I do not know much about the North. But this is how we celebrate it in our house.

On the day of aayutha pooja we wash & clean everything from home to vehicles. Dress up all the doors, appliances and vehicles with sacred ash (viboothi), turmeric and kukumam. Then each person in the house keeps their work related thing in front of God. When I was little , my sister and me would keep our books(now I keep my cookbooks), dad & mom their stethescopes (both are doctors) and my grandparents would keep their property documents. Then we would offer our neivedyam and will be off in a flash to watch the special programs on TV.

The next day is Saraswathi pooja. This used to be my favorite pooja during my childhood days as we needn't study on that day b'coz all the books will be in front of god.
After that, it's vijayadasami. On this day, we take our books from the pooja and start studying. Parents teach the little kiddos to write "aana aavana" on a thaambalam filled with rice. The pooja ends on this day. This is how we celebrate it in our home.

Usually for any festival we can do vadai, payasam and sundal. On aayutha pooja usually they give a mixture of puffed rice, jaggery, peanuts and pottu kadalai. I didn't do it as I couldn't get puffed rice.

Here is my contribution for RCI: festival foods hosted by our dear Viji who is the proud owner of a great blog Vcuisine . I thought I won't make it this time. But I managed to participate in it atlast. Thanks Vijika for hosting this event.

Also, I wish to send the same to Vee who owns a great blog "Past, Present and Me" for JFI:DASERRA event.

The menu I prepared this time:

Channa Dal Vada, Pasi paruppu payasam, chick pea sundal, Black channa sundal, Rice with toor dal and ghee, Sambar, vatha kuzhambu, rasam, appalam, mango pachidi, curd and pickle.

I couldn't get everything in the pic. So, I've taken only a few here.
Also, I have already blogged the recipe for vadais here . So, I'll go to the pasi parrupu payasam(split moong dal payasam).

Pasi Parrupu Payasam:
Spit moong dal - 1 cup
raw rice- 1 tsp
jaggery - 2 cups(I like mine very sweet. You can reduce the quantity if you want)
water- 1/2 cup
cardamom- 3
cashews- 6(broken)
raisins- 1 tbsp
coconut- grated- 1 tbsp
milk- 1/2 cup

Dry roast dal and rice together until the color starts to change. Then, cook dal and rice in pressure cooker with 2 cups water for 3 whistles. The dal should be fully cooked. Mash it slightly. Meanwhile, melt jaggery with water. You need not boil it. Just melt it and allow it to cool. Filter all the impurities and add this to mashed dal. You can add more or less according to your taste. Then put crushed cardamom and milk. Boil for 5 mins. Finally, fry cashews, raisins and coconut in 1 tbsp ghee and add it to the payasam. Mix well and serve it hot or cold. I prefer mine hot. But chiiled one is great too.

Black channa/ white channa- 1 cup
onion- 1/4 (chopped fine)
coconut- 1 tbsp (grated)
hing- 1/2 tsp (optional)
curry leaves- few
red chillies- 2 (broken)
mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp
urad dal- 1 tsp
channa dal- 1 tsp

Pressure cook channa with 2 cups water and required salt for 3 whistles. (cook according to your cooker. The count for whistles differs from one cooker to the other). Drain all the water and set channa aside. Heat oil in kadai and fry mustard seeds, urad and channa dal. Then fry onion, red chillies and curry leaves. Now add cooked channa and mix well. Finally add coconut and hing and roast for 5 mins.

I come to an end with this. I'm sorry guys for missing some of your post in the last three days and also not responding to your precious comments. Will go thru them soon. I was a little busy with my son. Some of my sweet friends had enquired about kavin as he was sick. Thank you so much dears. He is doing a lot better now. Had a tough weekend though!
See you guys soon. Have a nice day.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Poriyals are dry curries or vegatables served as an accompanient to plain rice and subjis. He are some poriyals for you to try. If you already do this at home, that's ok. Check out my version too.

Vazhakkai Poriyal:
Vazhakkai(green plantain)- 1 (medium size)
onion- 1 (chopped)
garlic- 5 (sliced, I love garlic. If you don't want so much reduce the quantity)
curry leaves- few
sambar powder- 1 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
besan powder- 1 tbsp

Peel off the outer skin from the plantain. Cut it into any shape you like. Usually I do the rounds. This time I did it different. Keep the cut plaintains in water as it might turn dark when exposed to air. Heat oil in a kadai, fry mustard seeds, urad dal and channa dal (1/2 tsp each). Then fry onions, garlic and curry leaves. When onion turns transparent add the cut plaintains and turmeric and sambar powder. Fry for 2 mins. Then add reqd salt and 1/4 cup water. Close and cook until 3/4 th done. Then remove the lid and allow all the water to dry. Check for seasonings. Add more salt or chilli if you want. When it is dry and almost done add besan powder and mix well. Keep it in medium low flame and roast till done. This curry goes well with sambar rice, rasam rice or curd rice.

Next is podalangai or snake gourd poriyal. I do not add turmeric in this.I prefer to maintain it's nice green color. This is such an easy poriyal that even first timers can do it. I've not add enough coconut in my poriyal as my hubby is watching what he is eating. As for me, I cannot make compromises with food. So, you can scroll down and see what I made for me on the same day I made this snake gourd poriyal. Now to the recipe.

snake gourd-1 (big and firm)
onion- 1/2 (chopped)
curry leaves- few
red chillies- 2 (broken)
coconut- 3 tsp(add more if you want)

Trim the edjes and cut it into 3 pieces. Scrap off the outer skin and cut into thin long strips. Heat oil and fry mustard seeds, urad dal and channa dal(1/2 tsp each). Then fry onions, red chillies and curry leaves. When the onions are transparent add the vegetable, required salt and 1/4 cup water. Close and cook till 3/4 th done. Add more water if you want to cook the vegetable further. I like mine cooked but still with a crunch in it. Then remove lid and allow to dry completely. Finally add coconut and mix well. Your curry is ready.
See, I told you that it's easy. Serve this with puli kuzhambu or vathal kuzhambu.

Finally, it's my fav okra fry. This dish can be done in a jiffy and gives a lift to any ordinary meal. I chose this for me when my hubby is eating healthy. Hey, don't stare at me. No compromises in food and it's ok to enjoy these once in awhile.So, here is the recipe.

Okra -15 (medium) (cut into 1 1/2" pieces)
onion- 1 (medium, sliced long)
curry leaves- few
salt as reqd
sambar powder- 2 tsp
besan powder- 2 or 3 tbsp(i didn't measure mine, just eyeballed it)

Mix everything without adding water. The stickiness of the vegetabele is enough to hold all the dry ingredients together. Set aside for 15 mins. Mix again. Add little more besan if the okra is not covered well. Heat oil in kadai and fry them in batches until they are golden brown. Drain them on a napkin and serve with sambar rice. Here is a plate for you too. Enjoy!!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Kothavarangai parrupu usili

This is my fav side dish. I usually like to take a cup of this curry , add 2 tbsp of yogurt. Mix well and eat it just like that. Try it , you might like it too. My hubby dosen't like to eat this combination. He likes to eat with plain rice, mor kuzhambu or puli kuzhambu. I have already blogged about green beans usili here. Gawar beans has a mild bitter taste, so adding a few pinches of sugar will mask that taste. You can skip adding sugar. I don't do it all the time. So, here is the recipe.

Gawar beans- 2 cups
onion- 1/2 (finely chopped)
channa dal -3/4 th cup
green chillies- 8
red chillies- 2 (broken)
ginger- 1 " piece
turmeric- 1/2 tsp
curry leaves- few
salt- as reqd
sugar- 2 pinches

Trim the ends of gawar beans and cut it into little pieces. Usually, I cut mine 1/2 " pieces. But this time (as seen in pic) I cut it a little big. But I felt it small cut ones are much better. Steam cook this in rice cooker with some salt and sugar.
Soak channa dal in 2 cups water for one or two hours. Drain and grind into coarse paste with salt, green chillies and ginger.
Heat oil in pan. Fry mustard seeds, urad dal and jeera seeds. Then add onions, red chillies, turmeric and curry leaves. After a few mins add the ground channa dal mixture and saute for 15 mins. Now add the steamed vegetable and mix well. check for salt. Serve with plain rice and puli kuzhambu. It tastes great with rasam saadham or curd rice too.Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Few food pics from my India Trip

As many of you know, I was on a break from june to august as I had to attend my SIL's wedding. After coming back I wanted to post some pics but I couldn't do it. So, here are some.

My second SIL with her groom and two girls on the sides are my first SIL's kids.

Virundhu in my first SIL's place for the newly wed. The items are Chicken Biryani, onion raitha, Era varuval, vangiram fish fry, boiled egg and chicken roast.

Desserts are fruit salad (banana, jack fruit, mangoes and nagapazham) and rasamalai.

Pictures was taken in yercaud. The sour mangoes with spicy chilli powder mix is a perfect one for the cold days. This is the

American sweet corn that is grilled on charcoals and served with lemon and a spice mix.

Look closely. It's not just two monkeys. There are three of 'em. The left one is a mommy hugging the little one.

A big plate full of figs / Athi pazham. When I saw a fig dessert in viji's blog I wished this picture would become real so that I could grab some and try it. I absolutely love figs.

Last but not least is my all time favorite Panju mittai/ cotton candy. I don't like the ones we get in US. It just dosen't taste the same. I ate 3 of them in a row. YUM YUM.

That's all guys. Just wanted to share them with you. Have a nice weekend!!!

Pan fried BitterGourd

To be frank, I hate this vegetable. But my hubby loves it. So I had no other go than learning how to cook it. In my mom's place they do a different recipe in which the bitterness is so subtle. But my MIL does not do anything to remove the bitterness and my hubby likes this veggie that way. Poor me, I always have to make another veggie for me on the days I cook this (extra work). This time when I went to India I saw small bittergourds . They are called "merry pavakkai". Here is a pic of the same and also the pic of my MIL's preparation. She uses tomato in hers.

Now that you have seen one version, here is mine. This is less bitter and it can be enjoyed with sambar rice. It gets a nice roasted texture and taste as it is cooked on low flame towards the end. Adding a hint of jaggery also helps in masking the bitterness. (ooh..that's a lot of bitterness in this post). Now to the recipe.

bittergourd/pavakkai- 2 medium sized
onion- 1/2 (sliced)
curry leaves-few
sambar powder- 2 tsp
salt- as reqd
jaggery- 1/4 tsp
tamarind paste- 1/4 tsp

Cut the pavakkai's into medium-thin rounds. You can keep the seeds if you like it. If not , just push the center part with your thumb and it comes right off. In a bowl add 1 tbsp of yogurt,some water and salt. Mix well and get it to buttermilk consistency. If you have ready buttermilk that is perfectly fine too. Add the pavakkai rounds to it and soak it for 15 mins. Then wash it 2 or 3 times. This helps in removing the bitterness to a little extent.
Now heat the pan and put a tbsp of oil. Fry mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal and some cumin. Then add onions, curry leaves and some turmeric. Fry it for 5 mins. Then add pavakkai and reqd salt. Saute for a few mins. Now add little water and close the pan. Cook for another 5 to 10 mins. When the color of the veggie changes, add the sambar powder, tamarind and jaggery. Mix well. Take off the lid and fry in medium low flame. The key to this roast is , don't use a spatula and keep on mixing it. This might break the veggie. So, you just toss the veggie every 5 mins. You will get a nice roasted texture this way. Enjoy!!!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Yay!!! My 100th Post!!!

Here is a milestone in my blogging. I have reached my 100th post!!! Like many other bloggers, even I didn't think I'll be blogging so long. There were times when I thought I should quit blogging and concentrate on something else. But, I just don't understand the power behind this. It's got me addicted.

So, what's kept me going inspite of so many hurdles? It's all of your encouragement through comments. "Appreciation". Who dosen't like this? There are so many dishes that even my hubby has failed to appreciate(mostly he wil be engrossed in TV or talking to my son), but you guys are awesome. You have always been there for me. You are all the best!!! So, I want to take this opportunity and thank each and everyone of you who spent time on my blog going thru recipes, writing your valuable comments and given me suggestions to improve.So, here is a big "THANKYOU" for everything.

Ok, without further delay let's go to the recipe. This time I tried "Thai Red Curry". This has always been my favorite in thai dishes. I tried this recipe(red curry paste) from the cookbook
"Authentic Thai Food". It was really good although I missed few of the authentic ingredients . So ,I wanted you guys also to try it. So, here is the recipe.

Chicken- 2 breasts
onion- 1/2 (sliced)
green bell pepper- 1/2 (sliced)
red bell pepper- 1/2 ( sliced)
mushrooms- 5 (sliced)
Pineapple- (canned, drained, cut into big chunks)
You can use babycorn, bamboo shoots or anyother veggies too of your choice.
Thai basil- 6 leaves(I used regular basil)
coconut milk- 1 can

For curry paste:
small red chillies-13 (seeds removed,soaked in water)
shallot-3 tbsp (chopped)
garlic- 4tbsp(chopped)
galangal-1tbsp(thai ginger,chopped)
lemon grass-2 tbsp (I did not get it, so I didn't use it)
kaffir lime rind-2 tsp (I used fresh lime peel)
corriander root- 1 tbsp (I used stems the closest part)
white peppercorns-20
corriander seeds- 1 1/2 tsp(ground,roasted)
Cumin- 1/2 tsp(ground,roasted)
shrimp paste- 1 tsp
sea salt- 1tsp

Blend all the ingredients for curry paste with 2 tsp oil and little water. The paste should be smooth and thick. Mix it evenly with coconut milk. Cut chicken into strips and flatten it a little with a hammer. This will tenderize the meat. Heat oil in a kadai and fry chicken until it is no longer pink. Add some salt. Then add all the veggies except pineapple and basil. Stir fry it. When the veggies are half done add the coconut milk mixture and bring it to a boil. Test for salt and chilli level. Add more if you want to. Finally add pineapple and basil. Mix well and serve with white rice or fried rice. Enjoy!!!

One thing before I end this post. I wanted to participate in the "click" event hosted by Bee.

Here is my contribution for the event. Please guys don't laugh. Have a nice day!!! And once again a big "Thankyou". Hugs. :))

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Gutti Vankaya/ Stuffed Brinjal Curry

There are so many versions of this dish. I was tempted to try this after I had this in our local restaurant and seeing it in so many blogs. This is my first trial and I must say that I was perfectly satisfied the way it turned out. So, check out this recipe and give it a try.
Brinjals- 15
onion- 1/4 (finely chopped)
curry leaves-few
tomato-1(small,finely chopped)
tamarind paste-1 tsp
jaggery-1/2 tsp
salt- 1 tsp

roast and grind:
urad dal- 1 tbsp
chana dal-1 tbsp
shredded coconut-2 tbsp
cumin-1 tbsp
corriander seeds- 3/4 tbsp
peanuts- 11/2tbsp
sesame seeds- 1tbsp
cloves- 3
cinnamon- 1" piece
peppercorns- 1/4 tsp
methi seeds- 1/4 tsp
red chillies- 12

Dry roast all the ingredients from urad dal to red chillies until golden brown. Cool and grind it to fine paste adding very little water, tamarind paste, jaggery and some salt.
Make slits in the brinjal like a plus sign. Do not remove the top off. This will keep the brinjal intact. Stuff the ground paste into the brinjals. Set them aside.
Heat 2 tbsps of oil in a kadai and fry some mustard seeds. Then fry onions,curry leaves with some turmeric. Now add the stuffed brinjals and the remaining ground masala. Fry for about 5 mins. Then add tomatoes and fry for another 3 mins. Add 2 1/2 cups of water and some salt. Cover and cook on medium heat for 3o mins stirring in-between. Careful not to break the brinjals. If the gravy is too thick, you can add water to make it thinner. When done, serve it with hot plain rice and appalam.
Note: Not all the stuffed masala will stay inside the brinjal during the cooking process. Don't worry about it. The gravy will turn perfectly fine. Another look at the dish....