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Friday, December 31, 2010



Wishing all my readers, friends and family and very warm, healthy and prosperous 2011!!!

May the new year take away all the bad things and bring good and happy smiley things into everyone's life!!!

I know I know...I have been away from the blog for a few days now....have been trying to enjoy my hols to the that they have come to a near end and I will be home in few more hours...I shall be back in full swing (hopefully)....devoting more time to my blog.....anyways my blogiversary is also on it way and I hope to do some nice things by that stay tuned and be happy!!! LOL :))


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Raw Plantain Masala Fry / Aratikai Masala Vepudu

Looking to make a veg dish for your vegetarian friends, when you have already made lot of non-veg dishes?
This is one easy and quick dish which you can opt for, if you already have the masala made for your non-veg dishes.
I call it the 'vegetarian fish fry' , the substitution being raw plantains or bananas for the fish! isn't that easy?...
Give it a try And I am sure you will like it and also your friends ;)
The plantains cooks quickly like the the dish will be ready quickly..only some time for marination is required. But this is optional too, you can directly fry them cut plantain with the masala rubbed on them.
I use my regular home made masala for this dish, which is spicy and flavorful with all the spices. This  masala is the one I use even for the chicken and fish dishes.
If you have your own masala mix, you can use that or try it with mine.


2 plantains, peeled and cut like fillets

3-4 tbsp masala paste
1 small onion, chopped small
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt to taste
1 tbsp lemon juice or about equal quantity amchoor powder
oil for shallow fry

1 tbsp chopped coriander for garnish


Mix all the ingredients together along with enough salt.
Rub the masala on the plantains and keep aside for marination if you want to.
Heat oil in a pan and slowly fry the plantain until brown on both sides and also til cooked. Use medium heat.
Remove and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve with pulao or biryanis. It also is a good side dish for hot rice and sambaar.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Peanut - Mint Chutney / Palli Pudina Chutney

Hi to everyone from LA.. How is everyone doing?
Well being happy that the weather here in West Coast is above 30 degrees from our home in East Coast....looks like the clouds followed us here too...Its been rainy and breezy and is going to be that way thru the weekend...great one!...humph...ya great!
Anyways...while I am here and on somewhat cooking break...will try to post from my backlog and drafts whenever I can....
Here is one such post...a wonderful Palli pudina Chutney.
I love the flavor of mint and as a chutney is one of my favorite next to tomato chutney ofcourse! :))
Just mint chutney tastes yummy, just peanut chutney tastes just as about we mix both of them is wonderful, full of a good accompaniment to idlis, dosas, ravva idlis and even with hot rice with a drop of ghee.....yumm!!!
Make it as spicy as you want...


1/2 - 3/4 cup peanuts / groundnuts / Pallilu
1 cup pudina / mint leaves
5-6 green chillies
4-5 dry chillies
2 cloves of garlic
1 large grape size tamarind ball

For tempering:

1 tsp urad daal
1/2 tsp channa daal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp jeera, cumin seeds

1 tbsp oil
some water for grinding


Dry roast the peanuts, remove the covering if required. This is optional. You can keep the cover on too if you wish.
In a pan, heat oil. Saute garlic. Add the urad daal and channa daal and saute till brown. Add the Mustard seeds and jeera. Let them Splutter.
Dry the dry red chillies and green chillies.
Add the Mint leaves and let them wither, like for couple of minutes. Add the tamarind and let it soften along with the mint leaves.
Grind everything together along with the peanuts with very little water, using as required.
Serve along with idlis or dosas or with white rice with a drop of ghee.....sure will taste yumm yumm! Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mixed Vegetable stew with Paneer

Here is a wholesome and easy dish to make for a cold wintery day...I made this dish couple of weeks back for few guests who came home for dinner!
The versatility of this dish is that you can add a many veggies of as few as you want. I even added paneer to give it some richness!
This dish can be enjoyed with rotis, naans or even fried rice or biryani or just plain white rice.
I used fresh veggies but if you want to substitute any of then with frozen ones, it will be more easier and quick too.
It doesn't take very long to make this dish, makes for a good side dish too!


1 cup cauliflower florets
1 large potato or 2 small, cubed
1/2 cup chopped green beans
1 carrot, sliced
1/4 cup peas
1 capsicum, chopped big
about 15 pieces of paneer cubes, shallow fried in oil

1 large onion, chopped
4-5 green chillies
1 large tomato, chopped

1 tbsp ginger garlic
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp jeera powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup yogurt

1-2 tbsp oil
Chopped coriander leaves for garnish
few pudina leaves, chopped (optional)


Chop paneer and shallow fry in oil. Remove and keep aside on a paper napkin.
Heat oil in a kadai. Fry onions, green chillies till translucent. Saute ginger garlic paste for few seconds.
Add tomatoes and fry till cooked.
Add potato first, cook to couple of minutes, before adding all the other vegetables. Salt, cover and cook until they get cooked, not mushy.
Add coriander powder, jeera powder, garam masala, chilli powder and turmeric. Mix well. If its too dry add the yogurt now and let it cook. If its still too thick, add some water.
Cook it everything comes together. Add the paneer pieces and for couple more minutes before removing from heat. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve hot or warm.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Few Awards to share with you guys!! and a few thoughts!

Howz winter treating you all?...howz the shopping going?...howz planning for the upcoming holidays coming along?....howz planning for the NEW YEAR coming along?
Anyone travelling for the holidays?....and the big question of all WHATS COOKING???

OKOK done with my questions....on to what I really want to say....

I want to first Thank all of you guys who visit my blog regularly and enjoy my recipes and pictures. Thanx for all your support!
And Thanks to all of you who leave such wonderful comments for me to read. You guys make my day and bring a smile to my face :))
I hope my recipes are worth trying and satisfying to you. I would really love to know if you guys tried any of the recipe and how they have come out.
Any suggestions and variations will be well appreciated. It will surely help me in reshaping this blog to be helpful to everyone and also fun to read.
I am so happy to see my followers steadily increasing after all the problems I had with google connect.
Soon my blog will be 1 year old(in January) and hopefully, by then I will be able to make all the necessary changes to it to make it more pour in your suggestions, will be looking forward to reading every one of them.
I am looking forward to expanding it more with more options, choices, and more easier to navigate it thru!

Awards Time!!

I recently received couple of awards and didn't want to mix them up with the regular posting them as a whole new post!
These awards, I am sharing with all my readers, Thanks a lot guys!!! and guys who have their own blogs, please feel free to pick them up and display them in your blog!

First one is from Biny Anoop from Biny's recipes. Being a Nurse and that too in Ireland, must be really fun. Thanx Biny for sharing this lovely award with me! Hope you are enjoying the snow and winter :))
Guys hop over to Biny's Recipes blog to get some awesome recipes to try out and make for the winter!

The other one is from Kurinji from Kurinji Kathambam. She has many interests and a wonderful blog, where she even has step by step Kolams, Rangoli, Muggulu....remember those which we enjoyed as a kid. I did and I miss it. I love watching all the different muggulu on her site, reminds me of my childhood days!
So guys hop over to her blog and enjoy her muggulu like me!

Another award I just rec'd from Akila of Learning to cook....Thanx Akila!!
Hop on to Akila's Blog for yummy recipes!!

According to the award rules I need to personally let you guys know to pick up the award, which I will do...going on my blog rounds now!:)
Thanks for your support guys!! Love you all!
Happy Holidays...Merry Christmas....Happy New Year....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Indo - Chinese style Fried Rice - version 2

I call this version 2, cos whenever I make some always has a few changes to the previous recipe and therefore tastes different. But out of all the different rice I make i think this one has come out so very yummy, I can better than the rest, not that all the recipes aren't any good but this was the know what I mean. It was just too good.
I would suggest using leftover rice, or even if you are using fresh rice, cool it completely before making this. In this way all the grains of rice will seperate beautifully and fry individually!

I usually don't use cabbage for rice, only for noodles, but this time I added it even in the rice and it was good.
I used all veggies, you can omit some if you want to. Add pepper generously to good the yummy pepper flavor, and lemon juice in place of vinegar, if you want to. I just haven't added any..I feel it becomes too sour!
Adding egg is also optional, but add garlic and green chillies for the yummy flavors.
I used light soy sauce, remember soy sauce is salty, so adjust salt accordingly and the darker soy would give the rice darker color.
Veggies should be cut small small so that they cook fast.


2 1/2 cups cooked white rice
1/2 cup cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, grated
1/2 bell pepper sliced thin and halved
1/4 cup french cut beans, frozen
1/4 cup peas
3 garlic, chopped small
2-3 green chillies, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 spring onions, chopped
1 egg (optional)
2-3 tbsp oil (I used a mix of hot sesame oil and olive oil)
2-3 tbsp light soy sauce
salt to taste
pepper to taste


Heat oil in a wok or a kadai.
Add the green chillies and garlic. Saute for couple of minutes, Don't brown them too much.
Add the veggies including the onions and saute on high heat for 2 minutes. Put them to a side in the kadai.
Add the egg and cook fast by breaking it into small pieces. Salt and pepper them.
Add the soy sauce, mix well.
Add the rice and mix well with the veggies. Fry the rice for couple of minutes on high heat. Garnish with chopped spring onions.
Serve hot any any Indo-chinese dishes or just like that. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Indo - Chinese ~ Vegetable Manchurian

This is a combination of 2 recipes with my own touch!! :))...
I have tried to get perfect manchurian balls, but never have a got perfect ones like this time. The taste and texture also were perfect. This is one recipe which I have worked on for years and now I think I came up with the good combination.

I chose the Veggie manchurian balls recipe from Vahchef of I really enjoy his site, cos he has some really good recipes, both South and North Indian.
He shows how to make the dry balls, but I wanted to make gravy. So for this I chose Ching's Manchurian sauce. Tho I had to make a few adjustments here and there to make it really good, it was worth a try!

This is also 2 step process, making the balls and making the gravy. For this too, I made the balls in the morning and made the gravy in the evening.
The Ching's sauce bottle has different directions, I just didn't follow those directions, I did it my way to get it to my satisfaction. they don't ask to add any vegetables in the sauce, but I do. It gives a nice crunch to the sauce too.

Ingredients: for the veggie balls: (made about 15 medium size balls)

2 cups shredded cabbage
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 cup, fresh cut beans
1/2 cup, cauliflower florets chopped
1/4 piece bell pepper
1 celery stick

3 green chillies
3 garlic
1/2 inch ginger, grated
3/4 cup rice
1-2 tbsp chilli sauce (I used Sriracha, but you can use what ever you have in your pantry, but use only how much you like, mine came out spicy)
3 tbsp corn starch
Salt and pepper to taste

Oil for deep frying

Method for the balls:
Chop the first 6 veggies and cook them down by adding some water if required. Salt them and keep aside to cool down. When cooled, squeeze the water out of the veggies. Do not throw away the water, save it, its vegetable stock.
Mix rest of the ingredients in a bowl and the cooled squeezed veggies, including rice, salt, pepper and hot sauce.
Form into small balls and deep fry to golden brown. Remove onto paper napkin.
You can eat these just like that as a snack or dip into a spicy sauce or make into gravy.

For Sauce:

3/4 cup vegetable stock or water
2 tbsp corn starch in 50 ml water
3 garlic, chopped
2 green chillies, chopped
1/2 cup shredded cabbage

a small piece bell pepper, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
chopped spring onions for garnish
few drops of oil

1/2 bottle Ching's secret Manchurian sauce (they have different directions of the bottle, I just did not follow those)
1 cup water (more water if it too thick)
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of red pepper flakes or chilli flakes

Method for gravy:

In a few drops of oil, add the green chillies and garlic. Saute for a few seconds before adding the stock or water. Bring this to a boil.
Mix the corn starch in water and add to the stock. The gravy will thicken immediately. If you think its too thick, add water to bring it to your likeness.
When this boils too add the onions, cabbage and bell pepper. Add salt, pepper and chilli flakes and let cook to couple of minutes. You don't want the veggies to over cook.
Now add the balls to the gravy and cook for couple of minutes before removing from heat. For this reason you can always add the balls just before serving too. garnish with chopped spring onions.
Serve warm with Noodles or Rice. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Indo - Chinese ~ Chilli Paneer

When I saw chilli paneer on Rak's was so tempting and I had to make it for our Indo-chinese style dinner...No way I could miss out!!
So bookmarked it and made was sooo good I think I ate most of it.
I liked the way the Rak's blog recipe was made in a small quantity, more like a trial version and if we like it further we can always it much more quantity later on.

I am not going to again post the full recipe as I have not made any changes to it except for using Maggi Hot and Sweet Tomato sauce for the regular tomato sauce which was asked for in the recipe and didn't use coriander leaves, but instead used spring onions.

You can hop over to Rak's blog for a step by step procedure on how to make the Chilli Paneer in such a easy way. Here you can drool on the pictures....

Changes I made:

Tomato sauce : Maggi Hot and Sweet tomato sauce
Instead of coriander leaves used chopped spring onions
NO Ajinomoto used
garlic : 3 cloves, chopped

Verdict: It was very easy to make and came out perfect. I made it in two steps....I prepped the paneer way before I actually made the dish. This way I could get other stuff out of the way and making this dish is quite simple.
It was spicy and dry dish which made it a combination along with the rest of the dishes I made for that day!

Linking this to Bookmarked Recipes- Tuesday volume 19 @ US Masala's and Priya of Mharo Rajasthan's

Monday, December 6, 2010

Indo-Chinese Style Chicken manchurian ~ Semi-Homemade

Indo-Chinese is always my favorite, other than mexican food ofcourse. so its obvious I choose this cuisine when I wanted to make a special dinner for my hubby on his birthday. He also like it too, so it was a good choice.
Cooked all the good stuff which I will post one by one all this week.

I used the 'Banne Nawab's chicken Manchurian mix'. I came across this about couple years back and its been one of the best mixes for chinese manchurian I have used. Its very easy to use and has good directions. I only used more than the recomended ingredients to make it more delicious. Like they don't ask you to use onions, green chillies, garlic or spring onions, but I do, to make much better and spicy.

If you don't find this particular mix, you can try the many other brands that the available in the market, like Knorr or Ching's. Ching's is also good too. I use that for vegetarian dishes.

I love semi-homemade stuff...cos it makes life easy when there is a time crunch! So go ahead and try it, it will be easy.


1 lb boneless chicken, cut into small pieces
1 egg
2-4 tbsp water
1 packet 'Banne Nawab's Chicken manchurian mix'

1 onion, chopped
3-4 garlic, chopped small
3-4 green chillies, chopped
2-3 spring onions chopped
oil as required

Instructions on packet:

Mix 'pouch 1' with 1 egg and 1 tbsp water (But I use more) with the chicken pieces and let them marinate for 1 hour. (you can leave it for marination for longer)

Mix 1/2 cup water with 'pouch 2'. (this can be done after frying the chicken)


Shallow fry the marinated chicken pieces in the oil.
Remove excess oil and leave about a 1 tbsp of oil.
Saute the onion, garlic and green chillies a bit before adding the pouch 2 mix and bring it to a boil.
Add the fried chicken pieces and mix well to coat all chicken pieces untill absorbed.
Add the chopped spring onion and mix well before removing from heat.
Serve hot with Chinese style rice or noodles or just plain rice. Enjoy!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pineapple Upside down cake ~ Semi-homemade

I started of this week with a Banana bread post for the holidays and now for TGIF, here is a cake - a Pineapple Upside down cake with caramelized sugar topping.
This I baked on Wednesday for my Hubby's Birthday which was on Thursday!
It looked too good and yummy with all the dripping caramel, it was very hard not to look at it, because I had to wait for the next day for him to cut it!!

I decided to go with the store bought powder and not make it from scratch just to be on the safe side. The cake was just to delectable and yummy.
This cake can be make with or without the caramelized topping. Either way it tastes delicious for sure. The caramelized sugar just makes it more heavenly!
I used dark sweetened cherries in a can along with Pineapple slices in a can. I used light brown sugar instead of dark brown sugar. If dark brown sugar is used, it would come out even more darker on the top!

I tried to melt the butter in the oven in the cake pan, but since butter has a low melting point, it started to be very careful. Instead of doing what I did, you can melt it in the microwave or on the stove top!
I followed the same directions given on the back of the cake box. I used a 10 in round cake pan.

Another small mishap that happened that happened during baking the cake....I used a springform pan, the one for which the bottom is the butter started to leak out and started to burn on the bottom of the oven. So I placed a baking sheet with edges beneath, on the other shelf, filled with water. So this atleast stopped the burning of the butter and sugar.

I had to keep a close eye and keep refilling the pan tho!
This increased the baking time, but atleast the kitchen didn't burn down!!:)
It said 35 min on the box, but it took 1 1/2 hour for me.


For Topping:

2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter

1 20 oz can pineapple slices, drained ( there were about 10 slices..used 8)

1 15 oz can cherries, drained (used only if u find a 7 oz can...use that instead)

Ingredients for baking cake as per behind the cake box:

1 1/3 cup water
1/3 cup oil
3 egg
1 box of Duncan Hines Pineapple Supreme Cake mix

10 in round pan used


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and lightly flour the cake pan.
Melt butter and and pour on the bottom of the cake pan. Spread the brown sugar evenly on the bottom of the pan.
Arrange the pineapple slice along the bottom of the pan. Arrange the cherries in between.
Mix all the ingredients of the batter.
Pour on top of the arranged fruit.
Bake in oven untill cooked or the cake tester comes out clean, For about 1 1/2 hour or less depending on your oven and the size of the cake pan used.

Serve warm or cold or even the next day!....Enjoy!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Easy, simple, Refreshing Cucumber Sandwich - Indian Movie Theater style

Today its going to be a simple and quick post, as its my hubby's Birthday and I have lot to do.
Something which I dearly love, a easy, simple and refreshing Cucumber Sandwich. Mostly truly I love the sandwich which we used to get at the movie theaters in India. I donot know if they sell them at the snack stands, but surely you would get this in any snack stands.
Its very simple to put together. Add couple of tomato slices and take it up a notch.
Ingredients are simple too...everything which usually is in your fridge and pantry.
I didn't add any lettuce as I  just like it with cucumbers and tomatoes, but you are free to add it if you want to! :) You can also add slices of cheese if you want to.

I didn't even toast the bread...but toasting bread would make the bread a little more firmer, which is a good thing.
Using thick yogurt will make the yogurt paste nice and thick to spread on the toasted bread.


to grind to paste:

4 tbsp of thick yogurt
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 green chilli
a sprig of mint or pudina leaves
4 sprigs of coriander leaves
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Half cucumber cut into slices
couple of tomato slices
2 slices of bread

Method to put together:

Toast the bread and cut of sides. Grind the above grindable stuff to paste.

Spread paste on one side of toasted bread. Arrange the cucumber slices and tomato slices on the bread.

Spread paste on the other bread and top it on the cucumber and tomato slices.

Cut and Serve. Even makes for a picnic sandwich, when wrapped and stored. Cut into even small triangles for kids.

Sorry about the shaby egde cutting by moi!!!! :))

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Eggless Banana Apple - Walnut Raisin bread

Its December 1st and so officially its holiday season. I thought why not start of the holiday season with a sweet bread recipe, afterall its a sweet holiday!

A few posts back I blogged or rather just put up pics of a wonderful banana bread I baked. It was so yummy that I had to make it again soon. And I did, only this time made it eggless by adding apple sauce.
Its been sitting in my drafts for a long time, so what better time to post it now for the Hols....

The bread did come out, moist and sweet and yummy! Thats why the name Eggless Banana Apple - Walnut Bread.
Added raisins too this time along with walnuts, it sure was a good addition as well.

So if you want a sweet side to your holidays, go ahead, bake it and Enjoy it!

Original Recipe

Changes I made: using 2 bananas instead of 3, using apple sauce instead of eggs, lesser walnuts and using raisins.

Wet Ingredients:

2 bananas
2 small cups apple sauce, about 1 cup (substitute for eggs)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1 stick (melted in MW and cooled)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients:

3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
2 heaped tbsp raisins
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, maida
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Get your loaf pan ready b sparying oil or buttering and flouring it.

Mix all the wet ingredients together in a bowl.

Mix the wet ingredients together, smash the bananas with the apple sauce, butter and vanilla extract.

Gently fold the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. Don't mix in too hard. It should remain chunky.
(The original recipe says that if  you mix it in to smooth, will yeild and rubbery bread.)

Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 1 hour or till cooked, untill the toothpick comes out clean. I kept checking it after 50 mins.

Cool it, or serve warm....tastes yummy Enjoy!!!

Sending this to Veggie / Fruit of the Month - Banana hosted by Aipi of US Masala, started by Priya of Mharo Rajasthan