This is default featured slide 4 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.

This is default featured slide 5 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My First Event Anouncement - "MEC - Festive Dishes"

Its that time of the year again!! Beautiful weather (here in New England, its fall time, beautiful colors), lovely breeze, days getting shorter, nights getting longer reminding us that winter is around the corner. Its time of festivities too. Starting from August, all thru January, there are numerous festivals celebrated in India and around the world. Starting with Vara Lakshmi Pooja, Ramadan, EID and Vinayaka Chathurthi, carrying on with NavRatri, Dasera, Diwali, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas, New Year's and ending with Sankranthi in January.

Did I miss any in between, please remind me!!! I get too carried away!!

In India, its the time to celebrate with neighbors hopping in, relatives stopping by, people coming and going, with Dandiya ras going on around the street corners and Crackers exploding high in the sky as well as the ground, WATCH OUT!

Here in US, house being decorated with colors of the fall and harvest season, pumpkins and mums, looking forward to lights being put up for Diwali, Christmas and New Year!

With this I bring you to my first event anouncement, Microwave Easy Cooking - FESTIVE DISHES, THANKS to Srivalli from Cooking 4 all Seasons for asking me if I could do this. I was more than elated in the beginning, but later the nervousness dawned on me!!
Can I succeed?? Well we shall see in the end!!!

I am sure with so many festivities going on, you all have cooked day in and day out and also worked hard on your recipes. So here is a chance for you guys to showcase them!

Since I am including all the festivals during this time, I will be accepting both VEG and NON-VEG recipes.
ALL DISHES must be churned out from your MICROWAVE AND MICROWAVE ONLY! NO STOVETOP AT ALL FOR THE WHOLE RECIPE. Tho you can use blenders, mixies, food processors, BUT NO STOVETOP!

So bring on all the DISHES, be it Snacks, Tiffins, Sweets or Savories, high calories or low, katta or Namkeens made in your Microwave and lets have fun celebrating this festive season.
It will be a chance for rest of us to get to know new dishes, so BAKE it, STEAM it, COOK it, make it easy in a Microwave and live "HAPPILY EVER AFTER" :))

Rules are as follows:

1. VEG and NON-VEG DISHES accepted

2. All cooking must be done in the MICROWAVE only, that is final product must come out of the Microwave. Blenders, mixies, grinders, food processors allowed! Imagine you are left alone on an island with only a MICROWAVE and the ingredients!

3.MULTIPLE entries are allowed.

4.Entries from archives allowed, as long as its reposted with LOGO and LINK.

5.LINK back to this announcement and Srivalli's MEC announcement page in your post.

6.Use of LOGO is mandatory, fun way to spread the word around!

7.Sure you can send in posts you sent to other events!.. No probs at all!

8.NON-BLOGGERs - Welcome and please do send in your entries...good way to showcase them and be PROUD of them!!!

9.DEADLINE is on the 31st of OCTOBER...I will surely accept entries sent on the last minute of that day too!! ;))

10.After POSTING, EMAIL me the following details @ with MEC-FESTIVE DISHES as the subject....(psst: I do read all other mails please feel free to drop in any questions or comments)

Your Name:
Your Blog's name
Your Dish:
Your Dish's URL on your blog:
Your Dish's celebrity Picture:

11.CLICK on the FOLLOW button (top right hand corner) to keep track of the event!!(REFRESH ur page and you just might see it!!)

Send me comment on Facebook or on my blog if you can, otherwise too I will send an acknowledgement of your dish being recieved. Let me know if I didn't reply back or post it on the Blog page!
I will be posting the links and celebrity pics as I get them on a different page on my BLOG and an round up at the start of the November.

So join in and let all celebrate the Festivities together with MEC-FESTIVE DISHES!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mutton / Lamb 'Dum' Biryani


For all those new comers, friends and readers of my blog...I have been having some trouble with the Followers and Follow button (TOP RIGHT HAND CORNER). If you can see it please click on it and become a follower. I would really appreciate it!!! And subscribe to the RSS feed with the button on the top and please do leave a comment...I really love and enjoy reading comments, its very encouraging to me!!....THANX a lot!!!!

It's all about "DUM" in our house. All other biryani have become just a plain biryani. Only DUM biryani keep their status!! We have been making vegetable dum to chicken dum to shrimp dum and now Lamb dum.
Since we don't get much of mutton / goat meat, we do, but who is going to make time to go over all the way to where they sell it...easier is finding lamb, which we get good quality in our regular grocery store. So made this with Lamb instead of mutton, but it would be the same procedure if done with mutton too.
DUM biryani they say is the food of the Nawabs. All the delicious biryanis where dished out for the kings and their people of the court! Served along side with Mirchi ka Salan was a delicious combo for sure!.
Dum Biryani or Kachi biryani is started off by using raw meat, thats why "kachi" is cooked along with rice and spices in a big handi covered with dough to keep in the heat and vapor to cook the meat and the rice. This is also a type of Hyderabadi Biryani.
The ingredients are actually quiet simple, only preparation takes some time. Adding few cashew nuts, raisins or even dried pomegranate seeds will add a beautiful touch to it!
Takes about an hour from start to finish. Adjust spice accordingly.
Use a good pot with a tight lid.


2 pounds lamb, chopped into 1 in pieces, Leave the bones as big if you like them
3 cup basmati rice

For lamb marinade:

1 cup yogurt
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1-2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil

For the rice:

6-7 cloves
2 big pieces of cinamon sticks
5-6 cardamom pods, elaichi
2 anise stars
4-5 black pepper corns
1 tsp javtri or mace
2 black cardamom pods
4-5 bay leaves

For initiation of the biryani:

2-3 tbsp oil
3 cloves
1 in piece of cinamon stick
3 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
1 anise star
2 bay leaves
5-6 green chillies

Chopped coriander leaves - 1/2 cup
chopped mint leaves - 1/2 cup


Fried onions
Chopped coriander leaves
Roasted cashew nuts, raisins, roasted pomegranate seeds

few strands of Saffron soaked in about 1/4 cup milk, you can substitute it with yellow food color.


Prepare the marinade for the lamb, taste for salt, cos you wont be able to taste it later! Add the lamb and let it marinate for atleast 1/2 hour.
Put the rice to soak.

Wash rice and let it soak for atleast 1/2 hour.

Chop your onions and fry them for fried onions. Roast your nuts too in the meanwhile.

Put all the ingredients for the rice into the water along with salt and let it come to a rolling boil.
Add the rice to the water and let it come to a boil to getting the rice gets 80% cooked.

Just before the rice comes to a boil, heat the pan you are going to cook the biryani in.

Heat oil and add the dry whole masala and when they roast, add the lamb. Cook lamb for couple of min.

By now the rice should have come to the 80% cooked stage, drain all the water and add the rice on top of the lamb. Add the fried onions, chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves. Even add the saffron in milk or yellow food color on the top.

Cover tight with the lid. Use kitchen towel to trap the vapor if needed.

Let cook on high to mid-high heat for about 10 min. Next drop down the heat to medium heat for about 20 mins. By now the rice should be cooked. Drop down the Heat to low for another 20 min.

Always remove into a big large bowl to mix. Add the garnish.

Serve Hot with raita or mirchi ka salan like I did!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mirchi ka Salan / Long green peppers in a tangy gravy

Mirchi ka salan is a traditionaly nawabi dish made to along with biryanis, especially with any meat biryani. Flavors like peanut, sesame seeds along with whole garam masala plays a interesting combination.
I made this on Sunday to go along with the Mutton Dum Biryani. Tho its more enjoyable with biryani, I like it with hot rice or even with rotis.
Tho I make biryani spicy usually , these I am having to make it less spicy for my kids. Since I knew they won't eat anything else other than the biryani, I made Mirchi ka Salan, spicy enough as a side. It came out good, maybe better than the biryani itself!! :))
I had few of my home grown banana peppers still left in the fridge, thats what I used for this dish. Any nice, long mirchi, not too spicy will be good for this dish. If the mirchis are too long, go ahead and cut them into halves. I like to leave the top stem on, but if you prefer not having them, take them out!. And also if you prefer taking the seeds out, please do.
Wash, clean and dry the mirchis prior to making the dish. It takes about 30-40 min for this dish from start to finish. Adjust quatities of ingredients according to your taste.


10 to 12 long green chillies, not so spicy ones like banana pepper, slit in the between

To roast and make into paste with some water:
2 tbsp Peanuts
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp coconut powder

Dry whole garam masala:
3-4 Cloves
2 small pieces of cinamon stick
3-4 elaichi pods, cardamom
2-3 bay leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp jeera seeds
1/2 tsp methi seeds, fenugreek
3-4 dry red chillies, broken
5-6 curry leaves

1 medium onion, chopped
4-5 green chillies, chopped
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 - 3/4 cup yogurt
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
pinch of hing, asfoetida
1 small ball of tamarind, soaked and juices extracted
1 tbsp of jaggery or sugar
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil

Coriander leaves, chopped for garnish


First roast the peanuts in few drops of oil till brown. Then put in the sesame seeds and coconut and roast till brown. Let this cool and grind into smooth paste with some water.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the whole garam masala one by one. First the cloves, cinamon stick and elaichi. Then the mustard seeds, jeera, methi seeds and dry red chillies. Let them splutter. Add in the bay leaves and curry leaves.

Add in the onion and green chillies. Let these cook down completely cos this will have to disintegrate to form the gravy.
Add hing, turmeric powder, coriander powder and cumin powder and saute. Add the ginger-garlic paste and mix to cook.

Add the beaten yogurt along with red chilli powder, salt and the ground paste and saute and cook for atleast 10 mins.

Add the tamarind juice and jaggery. Let this simmer for another 10 min. If you think its geting thick and dry, add some water and let this cook till you see oil come to the top.

Lastly add the Long green chillies and cover cook for another 10 minutes, till they are tender and well cooked in the garvy. Add some water if you like it to have more garvy.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve with Biryani or with roti or hot steaming rice. Enjoy!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Spicy Mango - Trinidadian style

Yummy Spicy Mango...I can still taste the spice in that thing....Got this at the Carribean festival I went to a few days back...bought back childhood memories....
While in Trinidad, on weekends when we had nothing much, all we did was make this spicy mango and devour it!!
Back then we made it with crisp raw mango, only now I know that it can even be made like this.
The raw mango gave it that katta spicy soury flavor, this had a sweet spicy flavor. Both are equally enjoyable. There was even another fruit we used back then - a ripe 'Pomorac' it was called, another name Trinidadian apple. Had a pear shape, but red skin and white and crisp inside! It was also very delish when made like this!
This spicy mango has very few ingredients and is made with the hottest pepper you can find around. In my knowledge, the "Scotch Bonnet" pepper is the spiciest, "Habanero" being the second.
This has Scotch Bonnet in it. This pepper even has a very different flavor and smell to it and boy is it spicy!!!!
When my Mom first didn't know about this pepper, she made daal using couple of whole pepper which had to be dumped cos it was very spicy!!
Its very easy to prepare. Has only the following ingredients: Garlic, lemon juice, salt, Scotch bonnet pepper and cilantro, everything roughly chopped.
That day was the best....enjoyed the whole cup myself, cos no one wanted to have it after one piece!! Well we all even had Kobbari Bondas (whole coconut), Sugarcane and SITAPHALS (Custard Apple....Ahh...I miss this fruit...very difficult to find in US).

I will make it sometime and post more pics....I think crisp green apple will also taste good...what say!?

Here is the WIKI on Scotch Bonnet Pepper! Read and Enjoy!!!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mirchi Bajjis / Stuffed green pepper fritters

One of the most common street food found in every corner of hyderabad.
Its one of the must have food for me whenever I go to India. There are a few spots around my place which we regularly go to to get yummy mirchi bajjis! Its more like a craving for me and I have to have my Mirchi bajji fix. But its so easy to get them in India, here I have to make them.....which means making the stuffing too...
There are different types of stuffing but the most common is the besan with tamarind and carom seeds( vaamu or ajwain). Hot, hot bajjis with this stuffing surely taste homey and yummy!
The mirchi is used are home grown banana peppers. These are usually very big and long, since these are home grown, I cut them when they were small, bajji size! In reality, they weren't growing big and fall was setting in, I was scared they will go bad. So I cut them!!
Back home, the cartwallahs, usually fry the bajji twice, that is fry one batch, remove, fry second batch, remove, then fry both batches together. I generally only fry them once to golden brown.

Cut the bajji and stuff with chopped onion and lemon juice for a extra kick!, but this also takes away the spiciness of the mirchi. There are some people like my sister who won't eat the mirchi and remove it and eat the skin them I don't know what you are missing!!!! lol!!
It does take some time for prep, but the prize you get is heavenly and delectable!

Ingredients: For about 10 mirchi bajjis

For Stuffing:

2 tbsp besan / chick pea flour
1/2 tsp carom seeds, vaamu, ajwain (you can grind into powder )
2 tbsp thick tamarind juice
salt to taste

For coating on bajjis:

1 cup besan / chick pea flour
1/4 cup rice flour
small pinch baking soda
1 tsp chilli powder (adjust accordingly)
salt to taste

Oil for deep frying


Stuffing: Mix all the ingredients for stuffing into a thick paste and keep aside.

Coating: Mix all the ingredients together, taking care how much chilli powder you put into a thick batter.

Heat Oil. Drop a tiny bit of batter to see if its hot enough. It shouldn't be smoking hot, but the batter when dropped should take couple of seconds to come to the top.

Slit the pepper from top to bottom and stuff it with the stuffing.
Dip into the batter and slowly drop into oil. (see tips)
Fry till golden brown. Remove onto napkin to drain the excess oil!
Serve slit stuffed with chopped onion and lemon. Or eat them just like that like I do!! Alternatively you can chop them into small pieces and fry them once more for cut mirchi. Garnish with chat masala, chilli powder, onions and coriander. Serve with tamarind-dates chutney and coriander chutney.

Tips: For first timers, its sometimes difficult to get the batter to stick to the mirchi, for this clean the mirchi properly, so that its totally dry.
Second the batter should be thick. When you drop into oil, immediately make sure it dips into the oil completely and put oil on the chilli with the slotted spoon. This will ensure that the batter doesn't slide down and cook.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mini Apple muffins in Microwave

I was in the mood of trying something new today. I also had to make something for MEC. So I decided to combine both of the ideas and here came microwave mini apple muffins. I wouldn't call this recipe a total hit or also a total flop. The muffins did come out tasty and yummy, but since they were made in the microwave, they didn't have the lovely brown color which we get from the conventional oven.
Other thing I would change would be cutting the apples even smaller.
The recipe is simple and easy. It didn't even take much microwave time since these were really small, mini muffins. So I used little maouunt of ingredients too.
I used the microwave on 50% power because, I wanted slow cooking to keep it moist and not dry out. My microwave is 1100watts.
It took 8 minutes on 50% power.
So please change the amount of ingredients when using different size baking pan and also the time varies.

I used a silicon mini muffin tray. Use anything microwavable.


3/4 cup flour AP
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1tsp baking powder
2-3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup Apples. chopped (I used golden delicious variety)
2.5 oz apple juice
(adjust amount of juice to the consistency of the butter)


Mix all the ingredients together to make a batter. Adjust the amount of juice used to make batter. When using a silicon tray, you don't have to butter the tray.
Bake in the microwave for about 8 minutes on 50% power. Adjust accordingly. Check if totally cooked by inserting a tooth pick.
I cut the top sides to make them look neat, but you can leave them so too...
Cool on a cooling rack and serve when cool. Enjoy!!!

This is going to MEC - Fruits hosted by Nivedita's Kitchen started by Srivalli from Cooking 4 all seasons.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sun dried treats 2 - Perugu Mirapakayalau, Dahi Mirchi, Dried yogurt chillies

Here in New England, Fall is already set in. Though mornings are still warm, the nights have become cold. A chilly breeze always blowing telling us that winter is almost near.
So this is not the right time to make any sun dried treats for us, but for people living in tropical countries, where you can find sun year round, you can make these any time. And if you are privy to a dehydrator, use it. I have seen some in shops though I don't have one.

Here is another yummy sun dried treat called Perugu Mirapakayalu or Dahi Mirchi or Dried yogurt chillies. Just make sure that you have lots of sun available to you like atleast for a week, cos if these don't dry enough, they can start rotting!
This process is done so as to remove any spiciness in the chilli pepper. But the chillies, we used are not that spicy, so they are good yummy. They are an interesting accompaniment to pappu annam or perugu annam.

Perugu mirapakayalu isn't that hard to make, but just that the whole process takes about a week. While preparing to make, make sure that you have fresh green chillies. In India, we get special chillies for this preparation, but here we only get these. Clean them, keep them dry too.
After drying, these chillies really shrink up. So the amount may seem small. So if you want count how many you are going to make.


About 50 green fresh chillies
lemon juice
some water


I didn't give any measurements since its better to use your sense of sight and taste for this!!
After cleaning the chillies, use a sharp knife to slit the chillies, not completely, but just to the middle. I slit them top to middle on one side, then middle to bottom on the other, just making sure I didn't slit open the bottom.
Beat the yogurt with some water, lemon juice and salt. It should be like buttermilk, not too salty or sour. The consistency should be that like a thicker buttermilk, not too watery.
Put these chillies into the yogurt. Use a wide flat bottom container, so that all the chillies will fit comfortably into the yogurt, dipped in the yogurt that is! Soak it overnight.
Next morning, lay them to dry in the sun. I used a baking sheet lined with tin foil, but you can use a plastic sheet too. Let them dry for the whole day, at night put them back into the same yogurt.
So what was this yogurt doing the whole was drying too, getting thicker. When you add the chillies back, don't add anything to the yogurt, just put the chillies back into it!
Repeat this process, atleast for 3 days and nights. By the end of 3 days, the yogurt would be soaked up enough by the chillies and get too thick. You can now discard it!
But put the chillies out to dry for atleast 4 more days or until they are completely dry, hard and light as a feather.
Store them in an air tight container for 1-2 years.

To serve, fry them in oil till they are brown in color. They do change color very fast and burn, so keep a tab on how hot the oil is. It should low to medium heat.
Serve as a side dish along with Pappu annam, daal chawal, lentils rice or Perugu annam, Dahi chawal or yogurt rice. Enjoy!!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pav Bhaji - Indian street food

Pav Bhaji is one of the common Indian street food found at every nook and corner of all major cities. Most of the places which sell Pav bhaji also sell golgappas, aloo tikkis chat, samosa chat, vada pav too. These experienced cartwallahs make it so yummy with fresh butter, ghee and frying it to the yummiest!
When we make at home, we usually don't get the same taste as we try to keep it lighter and healthier....or do we!!! Well try I try to do both....and it does taste good.
Its a fail proof recipe, and will come out good everytime! And its also a good way to get all the required amount or your daily veggies.
Pav in Pav bhaji means bread, actually small rolls as they are called here, and bhaji is the curry which is topped with butter, fresh onions, tomatoes, coriander leaves(cilantro) and lemon juice. The pav is toasted on the tawa or the flat pan with butter till warm and brown. The pav is used to dip and scoop up the bhaji. Bhaji is a mushified concoction of all the veggies, but I like it to be a little on the chunky side, so I don't mush everything. If you have a hand held grinder or even a grinder or masher, grind or mashonly a small amount leaving the rest chunky.
I was very happy when I made it recently and my kids enjoyed it without a fuss, which means they are growing up to yummy tastes.
Make it as spicy as you want, cos the cartwallah will make it as spicy as you want!!!
Here for pav, use readily available soft buns which are available in the grocery store.


1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
4-5 green chillies
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 big potato, chopped to medium pieces
2 carrots, chopped to medium pieces
about 2 cups of cauliflower florets,
3/4 cup of chopped beans
1/2 cup peas
You can surely add any other veggies you like, like lima beans.

Salt to taste
1/2tbsp - 1 tbsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp - 2 tbsp of pav bhaji masala ( I used Everest brand)
1 - 2 tbsp oil

Coriander leaves for garnish
Extra, chopped onions, tomatoes, coriander leaves for garnish on the bhaji
a dollop of butter if required
Cut lemons wedges or limes wedges or lemon juice

Pav or bread or soft rolls or soft buns


In a pot, heat oil. Add onions and saute till translucent. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute. Add the green chillies with the potatoes and saute for couple of minutes. Now add the rest of the veggies with salt and some water and cover to let cook. Some where in the between add the chilli powder, turmeric. Just see to it that it doesn't get too thick, add water if required. Cook till all the veggies get cooked. Now to get the gravy texture, mash a veggies like about a 1/2 to 1 cup. You can use the grinder or hand held or just mash with a masher. If the veggies are cooked to soft, they will mash easily with just a masher. Mash only some so that you can have it chunky style.
Let this cook another 5 mins. Check if salt and chilli is good to your taste, otherwise add some now. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Rub the tawa with butter and also the rolls, cut in half and toast on the tawa till brown.
Serve the bhaji topped with fresh cut onions, tomatoes, cilantro and lemon wedge on the side. Also top with dollop of butter if you like. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nimmakaya pulihora / Lemon rice

The bright vibrant yellow color of of lemon rice, gives it a beautiful look and the lemons give the yummy soury taste.
Like Tamarind rice, lemon rice has its own place in the Andhra cuisine. Its also offered as naivedhyam and offered as prasadam in many South Indian Temples.
I have always loved the taste of the prasadams given in temples, they seriously have a unique taste. I can never get the exact taste at home. But still its close....
As tamarind rice is a little longer process, lemon rice or nimmakaya pulihora is better alternative to a quick dish. All you need is cooked rice ready, then all you have to do is tempering and mixing it into rice with lemon juice and salt.
Many a time, salt is mixed into the lemon juice for easy dissolving, but usually mix both salt and lemon juice directly into the rice.
Adding peanuts and cashew nuts gives it a nice crunchy taste.


2 cups cooked rice

1/4 cup peanuts
2 tbsp cashew nuts
1 tbsp channa daal or chanaga pappu
1/2 tbsp urad daal or minapa pappu
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
2-3 dry red chillies, broken
bunch of curry leaves

5-6 green chillies, slit
1/8 tsp inguva or hing
1/4 tsp turmeric

1/8 cup oil
salt to taste
enough lemon juice to suit your taste


In a small pan, heat oil. Add in the peanuts first and saute. After they start to cook, add in the cashews. When they start to brown, add in the channa daal and urad daal. When they brown too, add the mustard, jeera. When they splutter, add in the red chillies and curry leaves. Next add in the green chillies, hing, turmeric and saute. Remove from heat in about 10 seconds.
Add this to the cooked rice along with lemon juice and salt. Mix well together.
Usually the rice absorbs the salt and lemon juice and it start becoming bland after a few minutes. So add some more lemon juice and salt. but be careful as to how much you add, otherwise it will become salty and too sour.
Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Belam Taalikalu / Rice Noodles in jaggery

Taalikalu are made in 2 different ways - with Belam (jaggery) and with Paalu (milk) called Paalu taalikalu.
We make this especially for Lord Vinayaka on Ganesh Chathurthi!
I learnt how to make both as Belam Taalikalu are made at my Mom's and Paalu Taalikalu are made at my MIL's. Belam Taalikalu have always been my favorite as I have been eating them from my childhood. Paalu Taalikalu do also taste good, They taste more like Payasam only with a longer process!!
Both have to be made with home made rice flour for sure. I have noticed that if you make it with the store bought rice flours, the noodles tend to break up in small pieces and the whole dish getting mushy. With freshly made rice flour, the noodles do break, , but atleast they hold their shape. Its better to use a wide bottomed pan and take care as not to mix them too much so that they don't break.
It tastes yummy when eaten topped with fresh grated coconut and drops of ghee. Therefore extra ghee and coconut are optional.
It does take a long time to make this cos, you have to roll out enough snaky noodles.
You can always grind the rice flour the previous day. When we were young, me and my siblings used to sit and make these noodles while my Mom and Granny cook the pindi vantalu for the puja Naivedhyam.
Use your judgement as to how sweet it should be and increase or decrease the amount of jaggery used. You can always add jaggery in the end if you think it's not sweet enough!


2 cups Home made rice flour + extra for rolling
3 1/2 cups water + more if needed
1 1/2 cup jaggery, crumbled
Big pinch of elaichi or cardamom powder
2 tbsp ghee


Fresh grated coconut
few drops of ghee


Bring little more than a cup of water to boil in a wide pot. Add in the rice flour slowly, taking care that no lumps are formed. Mix well so that the rice flour gets cooked. If you think that it is too hard to stir, add in more water. It should come together nicely like chapatti dough, not too hard or too soft. This process shouldn't take much time. Let it cool down, so that now you can roll them into long snakes and keep aside.
If you have kids who love playing with play dough, get them to help you with it!:))
Now melt the jaggery in a wide bottomed pot with atleast 2 cups of water. When it starts bubbling, drop in the rolled snakes into the jaggery and mix very gently, so that they don't break. Even if the break make sure that they don't break into tiny pieces. It will thicken soon enough and then you can remove from flame, maybe in about 5 min. The consistency should be like that of payasam but more thicker since it's rice flour.
It's yummy when eaten hot or warm topped with fresh grated coconut and drops of ghee.
Serve God and Enjoy!!!

Sending this to Preeti @ Khaugiri for the 'ONLY' Festive event, started by Pari @ Foodelicious

Manoharam - ICC August

This is the first time I ever heard about manoharam and first time tasting it too.
As I have not been in India for a long time during my childhood years, I am not privy to traditional sweets like this. So I am happy to learn new items and that too traditional dishes are soo enjoyable.
As I started making this, my Mom started telling me how this resembles Bandar Ladoo. Though Bandar Ladoo has a longer process as the murukus are again ground into powder before mixing with the jaggery and made in ladoos. They are also said to be very delectable!  Tho I don't remember eating one!!...too bad right....
These did come out really delectable and yummy!!
So here is the recipe for Manoharam for ICC, hosted by Srivalli and recipe by Lataji from Flavours and Tastes.
I followed the recipe just like it was given to us, only added fresh grated coconut in the end which was given as optional, as I had some grated coconut left in the refrigerator.
It is a little time consuming recipe, if you are going to make the rice flour the same day. Instead, make it a day ahead and it works just fine.
Other tweek I made was roasting the moong daal before making it into fine powder, it was not required in the recipe given. This also can be done a day ahead.

Making of rice flour

Making of Moong daal flour:

Dry roast Moong daal on low flame till they start turning brown. Remove and let them cool down. Grind into powder, then sieve to get the real fine powder.


2 cups Rice flour
1 cup Moong Daal flour
salt to taste
some water
2 tbsp ghee or clarified butter + extra ghee to form the ladoos
1/2 cup grated fresh coconut

Jaggery - Measurement should be taken after making the muruku in pieces. I had about 6 cups of broken muruku, I used 1 1/2 cup jaggery.
Measurement: 4 cups of murukus to 1 heaped cup of crumbled jaggery

Oil for frying

Equipment: Murukku press with three holes disc


Mix the rice flour, daal flour and salt. Combine with ghee to incorporate it into the flour.
Add water to knead it into dough. The dough should be soft enough to pass through the muruku press.
Heat oil enough so that you can make your murukus. Now make the murukus and cook till brown. Remove on a napkin to drain the excess oil.
Make the murukus into small pieces when cooled.
Measure the amount of broken muruku you have and then take a measure of jaggery according to the rule given above.
Add some water to the jaggery in a big wide pan and melt it. Here in US, you usually don't have to sieve it for scum.
Put on medium heat and let it boil away to get to the consistency required.

Required Consistency: When it thickens, we can form a ball from the jaggery on the back of the spoon. OR Drop a few drops into a cup of water. Lift it to make a ball, pick it up and hit it back into the water and you should hear a sound.

When the jaggery gets to that consistency, immediately add the coconut and broken pieces and mix well.
When this has cooled down a bit, it should be still warm or you cannot shape the balls, put a drop of ghee on your hand and shape into balls of required size.
Serve cold and Enjoy!!!! They do taste yummy when they are warm too :))

Tips: If you have already added the muruku and it still wont form balls, put it back on low heat and mix till it hardens some more.
If you think its hot and cannot handle, use a plastic sheet, rub a drop of ghee, put required amount in center and shape into a ball.
If it still wont form balls, put into flat dish and flatten it out. Cut out into pieces after cooled.
Store in an air tight container.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sundal / Karam chanagalu / Spicy Chick peas

Another easy dish to make during festival times. This is also considered as a favorite to Lord Ganesha and so during Ganesh Chathurthi, Sundal is also offered as a prasadam along with the rest of the prasadams.
This is a easy snack item, which can be made for kids too...It surely is a protien filled dish! I even like it like afternoon or tea time snack!

Both canned or fresh soaked chick peas can be used for this dish.
With the canned, the chick peas are very soft and tend to mushify quickly, so very less cooking time is required. But if using soaked chick peas, be sure to cook them long enough till they are cooked thru, which really doesn't take very long, maybe about 10 minutes or so.
Easy to make with tempering and grated coconut. For this even dry coconut can be used.


1 cup chick peas/ Chanagalu
salt to taste
1-2 tbsp grated coconut
3-4 green chillies, chopped
1 tsp of grated ginger
pinch of turmeric
chopped coriander for garnish (optional)

For tempering:

1/4 tsp channa daal
1/4 tsp urad daal
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp Jeera or cumin seeds
4-5 curry leaves
2-3 dry red chillies

1 tbsp oil


If using dry chick peas, Soak them overnight.
In a pan heat oil and add the channa daal and urad daal. Saute till brown. Add the mustard seeds and jeera. Saute till they splutter. Add the red chillies, green chillies, ginger and curry leaves. Then add the channa or chick peas with salt and turmeric.
Cooking time varies for canned chick peas and soaked chick peas. So take care as to not to let them become mushy.
When cooked, add the coconut and garnish with chopped coriander. Serve God and Enjoy!!!

Soaked chick peas can be stored the freezer for couple of months in a air tight bag or container, so that they will be available when required.

Modakamlu / Modak / Steamed Coconut jaggery Rice dumplings

Another favorite of Lord Ganesha and mine - Modakamlu or Modaks.
Filled with coconut and jaggery, spiced with cardamom powder, this is another easy prasadam to make for Lord Ganesha.
The only difficult part is the making of the rice flour, but you can surely go ahead and try it with store bought rice flour. I only feel that it comes out little dry. The filling is the easiest part since its only grated fresh coconut with crumbled jaggery or powdered jaggery with some cardamom powder. I love jaggery, so I prefer leaving it crumbled, so that I can get some pieces in my mouth!
The other easy thing is if you have the Modak mould, but they are easy to shape by hand too. They also can be made in the shape of Kajjikaya if you have the kajjikaya mould or empanada mould!!
This recipe is only for about 5-7 modaks. Increase the measurements if you want more.


1 cup home made rice flour (store bought can be used)
1 cup grated fresh coconut
3/4 cup + 1 tbsp of powdered or crumbled jaggery ( use enough to suit your taste)
few drops of ghee or clarified butter (optional)
a big pinch of cardamom powder
1/2 - 3/4 cup water ( add more if needed... This is to cook the rice flour)


Boil water in a pan. Add the rice flour as to no lumps are formed. Mix well to form a dough. Add 1 tbsp of jaggery to the dough and mix well. This is to flavor the dough.
Mix together coconut, jaggery, ghee and cardamom powder in a separate bowl.
When the dough is cool to touch, Knead to a perfect dough. Make small balls of it and roll them out to about 4 inch wide.
Put the filling the center. Touch the edge to the rolled dough with water, just to make it stick. Now bring together the edges to form the modak shape, making sure they don't break open or tear.
Steam in a cooker with out any pressure for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Serve God and Enjoy!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Uppu Undrallu / Savory Rice balls with channa daal

Undrallu or rice balls can be sweet or savory kind. I have already posted the sweet version, here is the savory version.
This is also made with rice flour but the coarser rice flour is used. You can either grind the rice coarsely or if you are making the softer, thin rice flour from my type of recipe, then you can use the leftover coarse rice flour.
Ingredients are simple and a simple dish to make for Lord Ganesha.
I haven't added any cumin or jeera to my balls, but you can surely add them.


1 cup Coarse ground rice flour / Biyyam ravva
1/4 cup grated fresh coconut / Kobbari
1/4 cup Channa daal / chanaga pappu
salt to taste
pinch of pepper powder
water for cooking the rice flour, about 1 1/2 cup to 2 cups
1/4 tsp cumin / jeera (optional)
2-4 tsp of ghee


Soak channa daal for 1 to 2 hours.
Bring the water to a boil, add the channa daal and let them cook. Add the salt to the water too. If you are adding jeera, add it in now.
After the channa daal gets cooks, add in the rice ravva and stir so as to not to form and lumps. As the channa daal is already cooked, the ravva also gets cooked very soon. Add in the coconut powder and pepper powder. Mix well. Add in the ghee too.
Let it cool before making the balls. Serve God and Enjoy!!!

Teepi Undrallu or Sweet Balls for Lord Ganesha!

Lord Ganesha like undrallu and modakamlu is what scriptures say
This is one of the easiest prasadams we make for Lord Ganesha...Teepi undrallu or Sweet Balls made of rice flour.
Home made rice flour is used with jaggery and some fresh grated coconut to make these. There are probably many different ways to make these. In our home too we make it in 2 differents ways. One being make balls of cooked rice flour dough and put it into melted jaggery. The other one being this way, the steamed way.


1 cup Rice flour, home made preferably
enough jaggery to suit your taste (1/2 to 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup grated coconut


Melt jaggery in a pot with water. When it starts to bubble, put in the rice flour slowly as not to form any lumps and it should dissolve completly. Add the coconut. It doesn't take much time to cook, but when it does, it should form a dough. Let it cool down and make small balls out of it. Steam it again in a steamer or a cooker without pressure for 5 min. Serve God and Enjoy!!!

Making of home made rice flour

Store brought rice flour is conveniently available to us in the Indian grocery stores. But for our Indian style dishes which require major portion of rice flour, this store bought rice isn't very useful. The dishes usually turn out harder and don't stay in shape too. For this reason, I tend to make home made rice flour when its required to make Indian sweets or pindi vantalu. Its not a very difficult process but surely its a time taking process. Preferrably make it the day before using it or just before making your dish. Its basically because of the moisture in the rice flour.


Rice....use any rice available

Equipment: Sieve....preferably one with tiny holes like the Indian one

Method: Soak rice over night or for at least 6 hours. Put it out to dry on a cotton cloth for about 1/2 to an hour. Grind it into powder using a dry grinder. Sieve it thru using the sieve until only coarse rice particles remain. You can grind this again until soft or use the coarse rice ravva to make other dishes. Most of the sweets require the soft ground rice flour. Spread the rice flour out on a big plate or tray to dry. This can be used immediately or with in the next day. After couple of days of drying, it is too dry for the Indian sweets, but can be used as the regular rice flour.
Store in an air tight container.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

!! Happy Vinayaka Chavithi !!

Lord Vinayaka is the first and foremost God, who is prayed to before all Gods. The cute elephant headed god, son of Godess Parvathi and Lord Shiva is widely worshipped as the God of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Today being Vinayaka Chavithi/ Ganesh Chathurthi, Here is a small prayer to Lord Ganesha....

Pranamya sirasa devam,

Gauri putram, Vinayakam,

Bhakthya vyasa smaren nithya,

Mayu kama artha sidhaye.

The learned one, who wishes,
For more life, wealth and love,
Should salute with his head,
Lord Ganapathi who is the son of Parvathy.

Prathamam Vakra thundam cha,

Ekadantham dveethiyakam,

Trithiyam Krishna pingalaksham,

Gajavakthram Chathurthakam.

Think him first as god with broken tusk,
Second as the God with one tusk,
Third as the one with reddish black eyes,
Fourth as the one who has the face of an elephant.

Lambhodaram panchamam cha ,

Sashtam Vikatameva cha,

Sapthamam Vignarajam cha,

Dhoomra varnam thadashtamam.

Fifth as the one who has a very broad paunch,
Sixth as the one who is cruel to his enemies,
Seventh as the one who is remover of obstacles,
Eighth as the one who is of the colour of smoke.

Navamam phala chandram cha,

                                             Dasamam thu Vinayakam,

Ekadasam Ganapathim,

                                               Dwadasam the gajananam.

Ninth as the one who crescent in his forehead,
Tenth as the one, who is the leader of remover of obstacles,
Eleventh as the leader of the army of Lord Shiva,
And twelfth as the one who has the face of an elephant.

Dwathasaithani namani ,

Trisandhyam ya paden nara,

Na cha vigna bhayam thasya,

Sarva sidhi karam dhruvam.

Any one reading these twelve names,
At dawn, noon and dusk,
Will never have fear of defeat,
And would always achieve whatever he wants.

Happy Vinayaka Chavithi To everyone!!!

Rest of the recipes coming soon! Enjoy!!!