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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Voting has ended and the winners are....

Let me start by saying a big thank you to everyone who participated and voted for my very own event here.
Its been a very big success thanks to everyone of you!
It was fun watching everyone vote for their favorites and enjoying looking at all the dishes as I did myself!! :))
I didn't think till the last minute if I was even going to get any entries...but I did and now I am Happy declaring this!

Well coming to the winners.....ITS A TIE!
Its not easy for anyone to spend so much time and effort collecting votes by calling their friends and family, emailing everyone and pestering them to come vote for you.
Well that what the rules I stated called for ...:)) fun Ah!!

Well for that reason and some ...not some but lot of brainstorming and fighting within myself and talking to lot of my near and dear ones, I have decided to declare 2 winners.

Right from the beginning 2 dishes were right on the top and received the most number of votes.

One, I declare a winner for getting the most number of comments and the other, for the most number of votes.
Sharmi for the most number of votes and Vijitha for the most number of comments.
How can I say no to such good dishes! Well all the dishes were soo good and tempting...Each one of you are a winner, I am very sure of that!
We all have taken time out of out busy lives to give creativity and cooking a whole new world!

Both of you guys will receive the Cookbook by Raghavan Iyer ASAP...that is as soon as you guys send me an email with your address in it!
Thank You everyone once again and only happiness and well wishes, with no hard feelings, I end this event here.
Any suggestion and comments are most welcome!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala, CTM

Hi everyone!!..How is everyone doing?....I was away from the blog for couple of days and things pile up quickly here in the blogosphere! :))
Just a small is the last day to vote in the "Best food I have eaten or Blogged about" event here on my blog.
I will annonce the winner tomorrow.....So keep a look out on this blog space!! :))

I wrote this post way before the T&T (Tried and Tasted event) was announced. I wrote it for Bookmarked event, but now I am gladly sending this to both events.

After searching a lot and creating a lot of Chicken Tikka Masalas...I think I have reached the perfect recipe.
The Recipe is by Aipi of USMasala. Making the chicken tikka dry is not that difficult, but getting the gravy right in CTM is the key.
I have made the dry version so many times and it always come out great, but when it came to gravy....I always had problems. This gravy from Aipi is the best!!!
Only if you try it you will know that it is the best!
My son absolutely love CTM, and always orders it if we are at a restuarant!....Now we are having it at home too! :)

I have tried this gravy recipe in the two ways I have written below and both times it was a success.
The second time I made it, it was with left over dry chicken tikka. It was absolutely delicious and it didn't even seem that the chicken was old (a day old that is).

Two things I changed since I didn't have them was ginger garlic paste and use of cream at the end.
Instead of this...I used fresh ginger and garlic and for cream, I used blended yogurt!

Increase or decrease the quantity of ingredients according to your tastes.

Original Recipe here.

Two ways to make it:

1. Grill the to make dry chicken Tikka, you can always enjoy it so, or make the gravy and add the cooked chicken to the gravy.

2. After pureeing the onion mixture, keep aside. In a few drops of oil, cook the chicken  for about 5 mins and then follow recipe from adding puree back to the pan.

Ingredients for marination of chicken:

1 lb chicken, cut in small pieces
1/2 cup yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste
1 tbsp ginger garlic powder
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp chicken tikka masala or tandoori masala (I prefer Shaan)
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp jeera, cumin powder

Ingredients (For Gravy):

1-2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp cashew nuts
2 medium onions
1 large tomato
pinch of hing, inguva, asfoetida
1/2 tsp jeera, cumin
saltt o taste
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 inch piece of ginger
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp chicken tikka or tandoori powder (I used Shaan)
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder, jeera powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp kasoori methi
1/4 cup yogurt, blended with some water into a smooth paste
Chopped coriander leaves for garnish


Grill the chicken pieces, attached to a skewer or directly on the grill or stovetop, till cooked. Serve with green chutney, lemon wedges and sauteed onions.

For gravy: (similar to Aipi from USMasala's gravy)

Heat oil in a kadai.
Saute cashew nuts till brown and keep aside.
In the same oil, add hing and cumin seeds and saute till they splutter.
Add chopped onions, saute for 5 minutes.
Add the ginger and garlic.
Add the chopped tomatoes, saute with some salt and turmeric with the onions for another 5 mins or till soft.
Add the chilli powder, chicken masala, coriander powder, jeera powder.
Add the cashew nut back to the pan.
Cook for couple of minutes and remove from heat and let it cool down.
Grind this to a smooth paste along with some water.
Add this puree back to the pan.
Add in the blended yogurt and mix well.
Add the cooked chicken pieces. Cook for 5-10 minutes.
Add the garam masala and Kasoori methi crushed to powder in your palm. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve hot with Garlic Naan or plain naan or even with fried rice or plain white rice.

Sending this to Bookmarked Recipes Tuesday hosted by Aipi and Priya.

And Also to T&T guest hosted by Priya, brainchild of Zlamushka, taken over by Lakshmi.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bruschetta ~ Semi - Homemade

Here is an easy appetizer you can make without much thought put into it! and I will assure you that it willl come out perfect each time.
When we order bruschetta in a restuarant, we might be skeptical of how much fat it is put on it!. When we make it at home we are able to control that.
I just like to make it semi-home made so that the true flavors are captured. You can surely go ahead and make it completely at home, but using a few ingredients from outside will surely save you time.

Main thing in making bruschetta is choosing the perfect crusty bread. Choose any good
crusty bread like french bread, bagette...etc.,.
Its an easy appetizer to make for large parties or as a snack at home. My kids like to chomp down on the crusty bread. I use only little bit of the tomato and cheese mix on the top for them!


1 french bread bagette. cut into slices

1/2 bottle bottled bruschetta sauce (I used Trader Joe's)

marinated mozarella cheese or balls, chopped or sliced
1 tomato, chopped
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves or parsley leaves
crushed red pepper (optional)
olive oil or olive oil spray
garlic clove or garlic powder


Preheat oven to 400 degree F.
Arrange the slices on a cookie sheet or tray.
Spray or brush with olive oil.
Rub with garlic clove or sprinkle a of pinch garlic powder on each slice.

Mix the chopped tomatoes, coriander leaves (or parsley leaves), crushed red pepper and cheese.
Spoon onto each slice.
Heat in the oven for about 10 mins.
Serve warm as a snack or appetizer.

Sending this to Kid's delight - Restuarant recreation, brainchild of Srivalli, guest hosted by Champa of Versatile Vegetarian Kitchen.

And also to Pari's 'Only event' - Cooking with Bread

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fish Fry with Kothimeeru / Coriander / Dhaniya Masala

There are days when I can go on and go on about a recipe, but for some I can't seem to write much as its such a easy and simple recipe.

This is one such recipe, another quick and simple fish fry.
It's a quick simple dish I made on a weekend night after getting fish from the grocery store! Instead of the regular masala...I made this quick masala by grinding together all the ingredients and marinating the fish for an hour or less. Then shallow fried it with some oil. I didn't add an extra onions to it, you can surely add them towards the end to keep them crunchy.
We ate this as a side dish along with rasam and rice...My kids don't have any problem eating any non-veg masala dish...So I had a fun night without any fuss at dinner that day

1 lb tilapia fish fillets, cut into pieces

Masala: (to be ground to paste with some water)

1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
1 tbsp gus gus
1 tbsp grated coconut
1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 anise star petal
3-4 cloves
2 pieces cinamon stick
2 elaichi, cardamom pods
1 marble sized tamarind (can be substituted with lemon juice or amchoor powder)
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp chilli powder
pinch of turmeric
salt to taste

oil for shallow fry


Wash the fillets with water and apply the ground masala paste. Let them marinate for about 1/2 hour to 1 hour.
Heat pan with oil. Fry the fish on both sides till brown.
Add chopped onions if you wish!
Serve with rice and rasam. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chocolate dipped Strawberries

I have been waiting to prepare this from along time. At first I wasn't sure if they would come out right or if the recipe was not easy enough. But now after I have tried it, its a totally easy and perfect recipe.
We were kind of busy on Valentine's. So I prepared these yesterday. My kid's couldn't wait till they dried and wanted to eat them right away!

Usually if you want to buy these outside in a good chocolate store, they are very expensive...I should say very very expensive. I rather make it at home with a good variety of chocolate and some fresh starwberries. They do taste the same minus the expensive part!

So while looking for the recipe, I saw that many people just melted the chocolate and dipped the strawberries in and some made it this way. I was curious to know why they were adding vegetable shortening. The reason is to get a smooth finish on the strawberries. Adding shortening helps in achieving that as chocolate tends to contract when it gets dry or withdraw. Well this may not happen if you are using a fatty chocolate.
Another trick to get a smooth finish is to shake the strawberry after dipping, to get the chocolate into all the holes and the turning it upside down before laying it on the parchment sheet.


3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli)
2 tbsp vegetable shortening
12-16 Strawberries

a sheet of parchment paper


Wash the strawberries and dry them on a paper towel.
Melt the chocolate chips and vegetable shortening in a double boiler or in the Microwave.
I used the microwave. It took about 1 1/2 minute for complete melting.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. (I think parchment paper works the best)
Slowly dip the strawberries till how much you want.
Lay them to dry on the paper.
Refrigerate it for 10 min.
They are ready to be savored.
Serve as is or chilled.

A good friend of mine made cake pops for Valentine's and sent them over to my kids...My Kid's always enjoy gobbling them up!!

Sending the chocolate dipped strawberries to Torview Toronto for the event 'Food Palette series - Brown'

Sending this to Kid's Delights, brainchild of Srivalli and guest hosted by Champa of Versatile Indian Kitchen

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Poha ~ Simple and easy, My Mom's way..

I hope everyone has voted for their favorite dish in the event..If not go ahead and do it now!!

For the 7th and the last day of the Blogging marathon I chose another version of rice called atukulu or beaten flat rice.
I have always liked Poha right from when I can remember it. I always liked the way my Mom made it.
Poha is made from what we call in Telugu 'Atukulu' or in English 'Beaten Flat Rice flakes'
For making Poha the correct variety of the flat rice is required. You need the thick flat rice. The thin flat rice breaks up into pieces when you prepare it this way. So you will always require the thick one.
When you have the required ingredients, this dish is very easy to make. Its a fun snack, but I love to eat to for lunch, dinner or breakfast too.
My Mom adds peanuts to this dish which makes this dish more so yummy!


2 cups poha, beaten flat rice, atukulu
1/4 cup peanuts, dry roasted and coarsely ground

1 small onion, chopped
3 green chillies, chopped

1/4 tsp urad daal
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
few curry leaves
2 dry red chillies, broken
1 tbsp of oil
pinch of turmeric
salt to taste

chopped coriander leaves for garnish
lemon juice to taste (optional)


Wash the rice flakes in water couple of times. Drain all the water, lightly squeeze the flakes to take to excess water. Keep aside for 20 min.
Dry roast peanuts till lightly brown. Grind them to make a coarse powder.
Heat oil in kadai.
Add the urad daal, mustard seeds and jeera, Let them splutter.
Add the dry red chillis and the curry leaves.
Add the onions and green chillies. Saute for couple of minutes. Add the turmeric powder.
Add the soaked poha along with salt and mix well.
Add the ground peanuts. Mix well.
Add the chopped coriander leaves.
Add lemon juice if you wish.
Serve hot!

See what my fellow bloggers who are participating in the marathon have cooked up today, for the final day of the marathon.

Srivalli, Azeema, Bhagi, Champa, Gayathri Anand, Gayathri Kumar, Harini, Jay, Kamalika, Meena, Mina, Padma, Pavani, PJ, Priya Mahadevan, Priya Suresh, Priya Vasu, Rujuta, Santosh, Saraswathi, Savitha, Shanavi, Sowmya, Suma, Usha, Veena

Monday, February 14, 2011

Borugulu, spicy Murmuralu, Puffed rice snack

Hope everyone is taking part in the voting....Go ahead and choose your favorite dish!...

For the 6th day of the marathon, I wanted to prepare something other than regular I chose 'Puffed rice snack'!

Borugulu is probably one of the very common street side snack you can find in Andhra...I don't know about rest of the country.
I remember when we were young, a guy would bring a big bag of puffed rice on his bring selling street to street. Whoever wanted to buy would buy by the kilo or whatever required.
Then I remember sitting along Tank Bund is Hyderbad and gobbling up quickly before anyone would want a share from mine.
Another place I loved getting this spicy quick snack was while walking up the Tirupathi steps. Along the way you will find vendor selling this and around the time we always went, it used to be mango time and he would put tons of raw mango...and it used to taste yum!!..
I prepare this sometimes at home as a quick snack and me and my hubby enjoy it more than the kids. That maybe because they haven't tasted it at the right place.


2 cup puffed rice, murmuralu, dry roasted to crispiness
1 -2 tbsp putnalu pappu, chutney daal, dry roasted
1/4 cup peanuts, dry roasted
1-2 tbsp grated carrot
1-2 chopped onion
1 tbsp chopped tomato
1 green chilli chopped finely
few coriander leaves, chopped
1-2 tbsp mango, chopped
salt to taste
chilli powder to taste
lemon juice to taste


Dry the ingredients which have to be done.
Mix all the ingredients together.
Serve as is.

See what the rest of the bloggers who are participating in the marathon cooking up!
Srivalli, Azeema, Bhagi, Champa, Gayathri Anand, Gayathri Kumar, Harini, Jay, Kamalika, Meena, Mina, Padma, Pavani, PJ, Priya Mahadevan, Priya Suresh, Priya Vasu, Rujuta, Santosh, Saraswathi, Savitha, Shanavi, Sowmya, Suma, Usha, Veena

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Vangi bath ~ Brinjal, Eggplant, Vankai, Vankaya rice with peanut powder

VOTING started for the event "BEST FOOD I HAVE EATEN OR BLOGGED ABOUT" here on my blog. ALL my friends and readers, please go over and vote for the best foods you like.

Please click HERE to be taken to the page where you can see all the entries and vote for them. REMEMBER to invite all your friends (by announcing on your blog or by personally letting them know :))) to come over and vote for you (and the others).
You can also make it easy by adding the link of the blog post in your upcoming blog post.
Voting ends 22th FEB. Winner gets cookbook by Raghavan Iyer. SO BE SURE TO COME AND VOTE.
Click on the name to be taken to the blogger's blog to read or get linked with the recipes.
Click here to read up on my blog about VOTING.

For the 5th day of our blogging marathon, I choose 'Vangi Bath'
I guess people in different parts of South India, prepare Vangi Bath in different ways and styles. I usually prepare it with vangi bath powder mixed with tamarind juice or pulp. This which I am posting today is a different variety of Vangu bath,
A friend of mine prepares it somewhat this way and I like it.
I decided to venture out on my own and tried it in different ways and I ended up with this.
Like I said before, I like the combination of peanuts with eggplants and thats why I loved it a lot too...Only difference is that I used green eggplants instead of the regular brinjals.
Surely you can make this variety of rice with the regular small or even the big eggplant.
But if you like small green eggplant, then try it with them and it surely tastes good!


To be dry roasted and ground to powder:

5 tbsp peanuts

1 tbsp channa daal
1 tsp sesame seeds
2 dry red chillies
2 heaped tbsp coconut powder
1 tbsp coriander seeds
4 cloves
2 1in pieces cinamon stick
4 elaichi pods
5-6 curry leaves

5 green egg plants, chopped into cubes
2 cups rice, washed, soaked and cooked
1 small onion, preferably red, chopped
3 green chillies, slit
bunch of curry leaves
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tbsp jeera, cumin seeds
all of the ground peanut masala powder
2 tbsp cashew nuts
chopped coriander leaves
salt to taste
1-2 tbsp of oil


Heat oil in a pan or kadai.
Brown the cashew nuts and keep aside.
Add the jeera and let it splutter. Add the curry leaves.
Add the onions and green chillies, saute till they brown.
Add the ginger garlic paste and saute.
Add the chopped eggplants. Add salt, cover and let cook till soft.
Add the ground peanut powder. Saute for couple of minutes. Add cashew nuts.
Add the cooked rice, some more salt if required and Mix well.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve warm.

Find out what's cooking in my fellow blogger marathoner's kitchen...

Srivalli, Azeema, Bhagi, Champa, Gayathri Anand, Gayathri Kumar, Harini, Jay, Kamalika, Meena, Mina, Padma, Pavani, PJ, Priya Mahadevan, Priya Suresh, Priya Vasu, Rujuta, Santosh, Saraswathi, Savitha, Shanavi, Sowmya, Suma, Usha, Veena

Saturday, February 12, 2011


For the first event completely hosted by me I have had here....I am soo happy!...
Thanks to all my friends and fellow bloggers in joining me and making this event a big success for me!!..
I was so nervous when I didn't get any entries for the first few days....but I ended up getting 30+ entries...what more can I ask!!
Thank You everybody!!
Well half of the event is still left....The VOTING part of it!

From today VOTING starts for the event "BEST FOOD I HAVE EATEN OR BLOGGED ABOUT" here on my blog. ALL my friends and readers, please go over and vote for the best foods you like.

I am sorry for that I couldn't post the poll earlier! but finally it's up and running. I am extending the voting to FEB 22nd.


I have created a separate blog page for voting. Click on any of the links in this post and you will be directed to the voting page.

IN THE VOTING PAGE, click on the blogger's name and you will be directed to their blog post and recipe. You can jump over there to check out more pictures and the full recipe.
IN THE VOTING PAGE, each picture has a clicking dot for voting. 
VOTE BY CLICKING AND NOT BY LEAVING COMMENTS. You are surely welcome to leaves comments everywhere tho!

Please click HERE to be taken to the page where you can see all the entries and vote for them. REMEMBER to invite all your friends (by announcing on your blog or by personally letting them know :))) to come over and vote for you (and the others).

You can also make it easy by adding the link of the blog post in your upcoming blog posts.
Voting ends 22nd FEB. Winner gets cookbook by Raghavan Iyer. SO BE SURE TO COME AND VOTE.

Also you can click on the event picture on the side and you will be directed to the blog page!!

Brown Rice khichdi

For the forth day of the Blogging Marathon, I decided on 'Brown Rice Kichdi'.
Its a very easy and simple dish made with brown rice and moong daal. Its again tempered with some spices.
I make it this way when ever I am bored with plain brown rice. Its made just as I make it with white rice.
I don't add any veggies, cos I like it this way. But you are most welcome to add veggies to make it more interesting.
I like it to this with any curry or even with just pickle. It tastes just as yummy!


1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup pesar pappu, split moong daal

1 small onion
2 green chillies
1/2 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp jeera
few black peppercorns
pinch of hing, inguva, asfoetida
1 tsp ginger grated
few curry leaves


Dry roast the moong daal. Wash it and cook it with some water and salt.
When the daal gets cooked, add the cooked brown rice, onions and green chillies.
Heat oil and do the tempering.
Add musturd and jeera, let them splutter.
Add the peppercorns.
Add the hing and ginger along with curry leaves.
Add this to the rice with moong daal. Mix well and add salt to taste.
Serve warm with any curry or with avakaya or mango pickle.

See what my fellow bloggers are cooking up on the 4th day:

Srivalli, Azeema, Bhagi, Champa, Gayathri Anand, Gayathri Kumar, Harini, Jay, Kamalika, Meena, Mina, Padma, Pavani, PJ, Priya Mahadevan, Priya Suresh, Priya Vasu, Rujuta, Santosh, Saraswathi, Savitha, Shanavi, Sowmya, Suma, Usha, Veena

Sending this to Siri's WWC event, started by Sanjeetha of Lite Bite

Friday, February 11, 2011

Simple and easy ~ Karam Annam with Masala Karam Podi ~ Comfort and Healing Food :)

I am so sorry guys, but I couldn't start the voting page poll today for the event, as I wished to!!
I am so happy that I got a good number of entries, and everyone helped in making the event successful.
There were a few last minute entries and a few technical difficulties, due to which I am having to create the whole poll again, and which is taking some time, and as I won't be able to get to it till late tonight to do it!.
I will be working on it tonight and hopefully and successfully by tomorrow it will be up and ready for everyone to vote!
Sorry again....but please keep a look out on this I will be posting again tomorrow about the VOTING process and the link!!

Today is the third day of the blogging marathon, and I thought nothing could be better than 'Karam Annam'
This is what I call Comfort and Healing food. Whenever I feel sick or am tired of eating anything else, I will go straight ahead and make this. The mix in the chilli powder and has so many good stuff that when you eat it if you have a cold or when your tongue feels bland, you are sure to love it!
Its spicy, its garlicky and its overall yummy!
My Mom makes this even for breakfast in the morning with leftover rice. It feels really nice to have it in the mornings, especially cold winter mornings, when you feel like having something warm and spicy.
The whole healing properties comes from 'Masala Karam' also known as "Goddu Karam' in many parts of Andhra. Many people use only this karam or chilli powder instead of the regular plain chilli powder in curries or regular everyday cooking.
If my Mom is here she would use this only. As for me, I use regular chilli powder regularly and use this in special dishes. It also tastes awesome when added besan or chanaga pindi while making bajjis or pakodas.
So here is the recipe for my Mom's Masala Karam Podi and Karam Podi Annam.
OK I make it spicy, but for the rice add only how much you can handle :))

Masala Karam Podi:

1 cup chilli powder
3 tbsp daniya seeds
1 tbsp jeera
1 tbsp clove, cinamom
4 cardamon pods
1 tbsp menthulu
1 tbsp black peppercorn

4-6 garlic pods, (crush and mix with end product)

Method to make Masala Karam Podi:

Dry roast chilli powder along with salt and turmeric.
Dry roast whole masala separately.
Grind everything together to make podi or powder.
Crush the garlic pods and mix it well with the podi.
Your masala karam podi is ready.

Ingredients: (for Karam Annam)

1 cup cooked rice
1 tbsp masala karam podi
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp oil
salt to taste
chopped coriander leaves for garnish


Heat oil in a kadai.
Saute the garlic cloves till brown.
Add the onions and saute.
Add the cooked rice and mix well.
Add the masala karam podi and mix well.
Add salt.
Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve hot or warm.

See what my fellow bloggers have cooked up on the 3rd day of our blogging marathon!

Srivalli, Azeema, Bhagi, Champa, Gayathri Anand, Gayathri Kumar, Harini, Jay, Kamalika, Meena, Mina, Padma, Pavani, PJ, Priya Mahadevan, Priya Suresh, Priya Vasu, Rujuta, Santosh, Saraswathi, Savitha, Shanavi, Sowmya, Suma, Usha, Veena

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Nutty Brown Rice Kheer for crossing 100 Followers on my blog and 2nd day Blogging Marathon

Last Day to send in entries to "Best Food I have Eaten or Blogged about" Event on my blog. Winner gets a cookbook by Raghavan Iyer. For Details check out the ON GOING EVENT in the side bar.
Voting for the BEST one starts tomorrow, 11th FEB and ends on 20th FEB. Don't forget to invite all your friends to vote for you!

I am sooo happy!!!!!!! I have crossed some really memorable milestones during the last few days, one year anniversary, 200 posts and one more ---> crossed 100 Followers....yaayy...
Well don't we all need a reason to celebrate!....and what better reason can I have?!
To celebrate this occasion and to keep in theme with the Blogging Marathon, I chose to make a 'Nutty Brown Rice Kheer'.

I was a little worried on how it would taste...but I think I love it. I surely like the nutty texture of brown rice and this really turned out great! So I dare you to try it out and you will really find a yummy treat!
Addition of various nuts increases the nutty flavor. So decide on what nuts and how much you want to use!

I used light brown sugar and condensed milk for sweetness, but you can surely substitute them with sugar and jaggery with increased amount of milk than mentioned below. I used condensed milk to make it easy (and to finish the half can sitting in my fridge), but go ahead and make it more healthy by using splenda or other artificial sweeteners.


1 cup cooked Brown rice
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp brown sugar (can use belam, jaggery, gud instead)
1 tbsp golden raisins
1 tbsp mixed nuts, cashew, almonds, pista
pinch of cardamom powder
little milk, according to need
1 tbsp ghee


Heat Ghee in a kadai.
Brown the nuts and raisins, keep aside.
Heat condensed milk along with brown sugar and cardamom powder
When it starts to boil, add in the cooked brown rice.
Mix well. If it gets too thick, add milk to loosen it.
Cook for 5 min more, until everything comes together to the required consistency.
Add in the nuts and raisins.
Serve warm or chilled.

Sending this to Wholesome Wholegrain Cooking (WWC) hosted by Siri of Cooking with Siri, started by Sanjeeta of Lite Bite.

Check out what the other Marathon Bloggers are cooking up!

Srivalli, Azeema, Bhagi, Champa, Gayathri Anand, Gayathri Kumar, Harini, Jay, Kamalika, Meena, Mina, PadmaPavani, PJ, Priya Mahadevan, Priya Suresh, Priya Vasu, Rujuta, Santosh, Saraswathi, Savitha, Shanavi, Sowmya, Suma, Usha, Veena

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Layered Vegetable Biryani ~ 7 day Blogging Marathon

Only today and tomorrow left to send in your yummy entries to 'Best Food I have Eaten or Blogged about' event on my blog!. Winner gets a cookbook by Raghvan Iyer.
Event open to all US and non-US residents. For details check out the side bar 'ON GOING EVENT'

Here is to the first day of our Blogging Marathon - Layered Vegetable Biryani.
What's Blogging Marathon? you ask....Its an event where lot of bloggers get together and blog continously for 7 days (or more, in this case 7 days) on one particular theme they choose, brainchild of Srivalli of Spice your Life.
I chose 'Rice' as my theme for the next 7 days. So be prepared so see 7 rice varieties over the next 7 days!!

I made this last weekend for a potluck at a friend's place. Lovely company and yummy food kept us awake late into the night!
The biryani did turn out great with all the veggies in yogurt gravy and all also all the whole garam masala.
Only problem I had was, at the time I had to layer my biryani, I couldn't find the right tray to do it in. I usually like to use the big tin foil tray which are deep to do this. But bad luck....I couldn't find one and there was no one to go out and get one.
All I could find to take my biryani to the party was a big hotbox I had hidden in my cabinet. I surely couldnot layer it in that...I would not look good from any angle!!...
For that reason, I mixed the layers up to look uniform all over. Garnished with coriander leaves, took it to the potluck.
Well I guess it did taste good, since it was almost done....and I was happy.
As for the pics....I layered it like I wanted it to look like in a small cup and turned it over, thats why it looks so good!!!
The whole process takes about an hour fifteen minutes. But its not at all difficult to do it!
Below I hope I wrote it out as you can understand it....If not surely ask me questions.

Two ways to do it:

1. Cook rice completely as you wish, and layer it for easiness sake.
2. Cook rice to 90%, drain water completely, layer and bake in oven preheated to 375 degrees for 20 min or until cooked.


4 cups uncooked basmati rice

Whole Garam Masala for rice

4 elaichi
4 cloves
2 pieces cinamon
1 tsp shahi jeera
1 tsp jeera
2 bay leaves
2 anise star petals
salt to taste
1 tsp oil

For Gravy Curry

6 elaichi
6 cloves
4 peppercorns
3 pieces of cinamon
1 tsp shahi jeera
1 tsp jeera
4 bay leaves
2 anise stars
cashew nuts as required

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 small onion, chopped small
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 can tomoato puree, 10 oz
5 green chillies, slit

2 small potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup cauliflower florets
1/2 cup beans, chopped
1/2 cup yogurt, blended with some water
paneer cubes, as required shallow fried in oil
1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped

Salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3-4 tbsp oil

For Garnish:

1/2 cup onion, preferably red, cut lengthwise
1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped



Wash and soak rice for atleast 30-40 min.
Boil about 10 cups of water.
Add the whole garam masala, oil and salt. When it boils, add drained rice.
When the rice starts to boil and 'dance', check to see it its 90% cooked.
Drain the water.
From here you can go either way -- drain water, cover and cook, till completely cooked or layer it with the gravy, cover and cook in the oven.

Heat oil in a big pan.
Fry paneer pieces in shallow oil and keep aside.
Fry cashew nuts to golden brown and keep aside.
In the same oil, put all the whole garam masala, saute for a minute.
Add the onions and saute till translucent.
Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute.
Add the tomatoes and green chillies and cook till soft.
Add the tomato puree and cook for 5 minutes, till you see oil separating.
Add the potatoes first and cook for couple of minutes. Next add the green beans, carrots, cauliflower and green peas. Add turmeric, salt, cover and cook till cooked and not mushy.
Add the blended yogurt and mix well. Cook for another 5 min.
Add in the chopped mint and coriander leaves.
Add the fried paneer cubes, cook for another 5 minutes.

If using completely cooked rice, add the cashews, onion slices to the gravy and remove from heat.
If using 90% cooked rice, add cashews and onions while layering.


Add one layer of cooked or 90% cooked rice to the botton of the tray.
Add the gravy next. Add the cashews and raw onion slices.
Add the next layer of rice. Top with chopped coriander leaves.
If using 90% cooked rice. Cover and cook in pre-heated oven until cooked.
If you want you can sprinkle saffron colored milk on the top.

Garnish and Serve warm with side dishes of you choice.

Check out all the wonderful bloggers who are taking part in the blogging marathon for the next 7 days along with me.

 Srivalli, Azeema, Bhagi, Champa, Gayathri Anand, Gayathri Kumar, Harini, Jay, Kamalika, Meena, Mina, Padma, Pavani, PJ, Priya Mahadevan, Priya Suresh, Priya Vasu, Rujuta, Santosh, Saraswathi, Savitha, Shanavi, Sowmya, Suma, Usha, Veena

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

White Chocolate Mousse Tarts ~ Semi-Homemade

2 more days to send in your entries to my event here on my blog....send them in quick and win a cookbook by Raghavan Iyer. Click the ON GOING EVENT Picture in the side bar for details.

It that time of the year again when chocolate is irresistable, that is I find it irresistable...actually chocolate is always irresistable...I can gobble it up any time!

Valentine's day is next monday and I am still thinking of what to gift my hubby!...
Have already started making cards for my older one and for my younger one to give in their that where I am in my Valentine's day preps....Are you guys planning anything special for Valentine's day?

Found this recipe on the back of the mini-tarts packet. But the recipe was for 12 tartlets, and I made it down to 2 tarlets. Was planning on sending it to 'Bookmarked Recipes' this Tuesday, but looks like it got cancelled for this week...Its Ok...will make something again next time!

Looking for a simple, yummy chocolately desserts just enough for the two of you for a romantic dinner this Valentine's day? Make it semi-homemade and save time for yourself.
Here is a mini dessert made just in 2 mini grahm cracker tart crusts and very less ingredients.


2 mini grahm cracker tartlets crusts

21/2 tbsp condensed milk
2 tbsp white chocolate chips
couple of drops of vanilla essence or Almond essence
1/2 cup whipped cream (I used Cool Whip) ( You can use whipping cream and whip it to soft peaks)(leave in the refrigerater until required)


On low heat, melt the chocolate chips in the condensed milk, continously by stirring.
When melted, remove from heat and bring to room temperature, continously stirring so that it doesn't harden. Add in the essence.
When cool, fold in the whipped cream.
Pour into the tartlets and chill until set for atleast 4 hours.
Garnish as required.
Serve chilled. Enjoy!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Strawberry Banana smoothie

3 more days to go...send in your entries to 'Best Food I ever ate or Blogged about' event here. Winner get a wonderful cookbook by Raghavan Iyer.
Check out details here.

Summer surely is the best time to have smoothies and other cold drinks. But they are surely missed in our house during winter. For that reason, I made this last week.

Who can resist fresh fruit smoothies. They come with the whole package, fresh fruit, milk, yogurt and not to mention lots of sugar. Thats why I used splenda instead, to cut out the sugars and keep it healthy. But if you don't like splenda or any other artificial sweeteners, use sugar as needed.

I used only bananas and strawberries, but use any fruit to whip up some delicious fruit smoothies.
If you think you don't find good fresh fruit or they don't keep good for long at home, use frozen fresh fruit. Thats what they use in restuarants anyways! :)

And yaayyy its pink in color....Valentine's day is next Monday.
Make this for you and your sweetie as a drink!...Or for the kids for a fun drink on Valentine's day! I am sure you will have lots of fun!

Serves 4


2 bananas
8-10 strawberries
2-3 spenda packets (add sugar as an alternative)
1 cup starwberry yogurt
1 cup milk
crushed or cubed ice


Add everything in a blender and blend.
Serve over crushed ice or cubed ice.
I used splenda, to cut down sugar, but you surely can add sugar instead of splenda.
Serve Chillied! Garnish with chopped starwberry if required!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

4 more days to send in entries to win the cookbook

HI Guys

4 more days to go...if you were planning on sending in entries....go ahead and send them in before its too late....
I am still waiting for everyone's entries....
Then comes the voting time and please be sure to invite all your friends to come and vote for your entry.
The winner with the most votes would win the wonderful cookbook by Raghavan Iyer....
Check out details by clicking the logo in the sidebar or by clicking here .