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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Methi besan Paratha, nice twist to the regular methi paratha.

We make this exactly how the spring onion paratha is made. Only difference we are using methi instead of spring onion or green onion.
Regular methi paratha is made by mixing the methi leaves directly into the dough with a few spices. Adding besan gives it a twist!
I like using besan cos it gives a nice flavor to the paratha. And its a good way to make the kids eat green leafys without a fuss because of the taste.
Here methi is washed, chopped and cooked along with besan and a few spices. This is then stuffed into the dough and rolled in a paratha.


For dough:

Everyone has their own way of making roti dough, prepare it the same way. I prepare mine like this:

2-3 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
2-3 tbsp of yogurt (optional)
Enough water to mix into soft dough

Method for paratha dough:

Knead all ingredients together in a bowl to form a soft dough. Let it rest for 20 min.

To make stuffing:

1 big bunch of methi leaves, washed and chopped
8-10 tbsp of besan / chick pea flour (use more if you need more)
1-2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil

Method for stuffing:

Heat oil in a pan, add the chopped methi leaves and saute with some salt. when they wither down, add the chilli powder, turmeric powder and saute. After its cooked, add the chick pea flour or besan with continuous stirring. Add more salt too if needed. It should all look like soft dough.


Take a ball, little bigger than a golf size ball, roll it out flat to about 4 inches wide. Make a golf size ball of the stuffing and place in middle of the roll out. Close it from all sides and roll out into a paratha about 6-8 inches wide.
Fry it on a pan until brown on both sides. Add few drops of oil on both side and flip on both sides. Serve with plain yogurt, raita, achaar or any curry. Enjoy!!!

Cool down the heat with fruity 'Strawberry Mango Ice Pops or Lollies'!!

This is a very simple recipe with simple ingredients :). Good for kids and adults to enjoy!!!
 I had the pop moulds from God know when. I had never used them. So this time decided to to put them into use by making these fruit pops. The temps have been going overboard...makes me ask...'Where is Spring??' Anyways , I have been soo bz that probably I haven't noticed that its gone or is it gone??
We don't usually get the high temps right in May...thats what July and August are here for!!
Coming to the lollies....I used fresh starwberries with canned mango pulp, but fresh mango can always be used. I used very less sugar to keep it more natural but add sugar to suit your taste. I made it thick too, so that it will be more fruity.
I used the mould for the bigger size pops and the ice cube tray for the small size ones. The ice cube size ones are easy for the kids to handle. I didn't have any other sticks other than toothpicks which I used as holders for the tray ice pops. You could always break of the sharper end, to be more safe, I didn't. I used 2 picks instead of one, so that it would be stronger!!


10-15 fresh strawberries
1/2 cup mango pulp ( fresh or canned)
enough sugar to suit your taste
some water


Grind all the ingredients together with some water (don't make it too watery).
Pour into moulds or ice cube tray. Use any kind of stick like popsicle sticks or like me use toothpicks for the holders. Place the stick in the center and freeze them for atleast 4-6 hours or untill frozen.
Serve them cold and devour them immediately before they melt :). Enjoy!!!

This is going to the 'Thanda Mela'  hosted by Srivalli from Cooking 4 all Seasons.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cabbage chutney / pachadi (with sesame seeds)

If you like a chutneys or pachadis with veggies then this is a yummy chutney for you. With a few sesame seeds added, the chutney gets a nutty flavor. Add more green chillies and dry red chillies to make it spicy. I like to eat it with rice or chapathis too. Add a drop of ghee for extra flavor.


2-3 cups shredded of chopped cabbage
1 golf size ball of tamarind (no seeds)
5-6 cloves of garlic
6-8 green chillies

1 tbsp channa daal
1 tsp urad daal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp jeera
3/4 tsp sesame seeds
4-5 dry red chillies
4-5 curry leaves

salt to taste
pinch of turmeric (optional)
2 tbsp of oil


Heat oil in a pan. Add the channa daal, urad daal and let them brown. Add the mustard seeds and jeera and let them splutter. Add the sesame seeds and brown them. They will brown very quickly. Add the red chillies and curry leaves and after they splutter, remove all the tempering ingredients and put aside in a bowl.
In the same pan which has some oil left in it, add the garlic and green chillies and saute for a minute. Then, add the chopped cabbage and let it cook till withered down. Add the tamarind too and let it cook with the cabbage. When it gets cooked, remove from heat and put aside to cool down. Grind the cooked cabbage with green chillies, garlic, tamarind,  red chillies, few of the channa daal, few urad daal and sesame seeds together into pachadi, not to smooth and not to chunky. Mix this with the leftover tempered ingredients for a nice crunch.
Serve with roti or rice with a drop of ghee. It even goes good with idli or dosa. Enjoy!!!

Chamagadda pulusu / Taro Root or Colocasia in tangy tamarind gravy

I have posted before a fry or saute using Taro root / colocasia /  chamagadda or chamadumpa. I personally like this veggie on both pulusu or a fry. Pulusu is a tangy tamarind gravy which goes well when eaten with chapathi or also with rice. As a kid the pulusu dish was my favorite.
The one which we find in India are kind of hard, so its better when you boil them before cooking the dish. But the ones we find here can be easily cooked in the pan itself, no need to boil them before. But if you like yours to be soft then go ahead and give them a boil in the microwave before peeling them. Otherwise just wash them and peel them. Once they are cooked, they are kind of sticky because of the starch content in them. This is enough to make the gravy thick, no need to add any other thickening agent. Just add some water to make it to your required consistency, because it will become thick.
It takes about 20-30 min to make this dish. Serve it up with chapathi / roti or rice with a drop of ghee.


8-10 chamagaddas or taro root, washed peeled, cooked (boiled) or uncooked
1 large onion cut into somewhat big pieces (not too big, not too small)
1 large tomato, chopped
4-5 green chillies slit lengthwise
1 lemon sized ball of tamrind, extract pulp and keep aside
1/4 tsp sugar or jaggery
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1-2 tbsp oil
water as needed
salt to taste
Garnish with coriander leaves

For Talimpu / Tempering:

1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp jeera
1/4 urad daal
2-3 red chillies
5-6 curry leaves


(If you are going to use boiled ones, boil them after washing them. Peel after they are cooled.)
Wash the taro root, peel and chop them to about 1/2 inch rounds. In a pot, heat the oil, add urad daal, mustard seeds and jeera and wait for them to splutter.
Then add the red chillies and curry leaves. Add the onions and green chillies and cook the a little. Then add  taro root pieces, tomato, salt, tumeric powder and chilli powder.
Cook until chamadumpa is cooked but not falling apart.
Now add the tamarind pulp and stir. Add enough water and let cook covered, until everything comes together.
There should be still gravy in it when cooked. It will become thick very fast, so add water if required. Add sugar and cook for another couple of minutes and garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve with roti or chapathi or with rice. Enjoy!!!

Green Brinjal / Eggplant / Vankaya curry

This is another of my favorites. Green eggplant are small and seedy. I like them for their texture. They tend hold their shape well more than the regular eggplants which become kinda smushy when cooked. With all the seeds, the curry has a nice crunchy bite to it.
This is a very simple curry to make with few regular ingredients like, onions, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric and chilli powder. You can find these in the regular Indian grocery stores or also in the chinese, cambodian or asian stores. The ones which have a green stem attached are the fresh ones. But its very rare that we can find the fresh ones. They are more seedy when they start to get older.
It takes about 20 min to prepare this dish. It goes well with rice or roti / chappathi. Adjust spice level accordingly.


15-20 small green Brinjals / Eggplants / Vankaya
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped for garnish


Wash and chop the brinjals to small pieces. Put them in water so that they don't become brown.
Heat oil in a pan, add the chopped onions and saute till brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute.
Add the chopped vankaya and saute. Add salt and saute.
When they are half cooked, add the chilli powder and turmeric powder. mix well and saute.
When they get cooked, add the coriander leaves and serve
Serve hot with rice or roti / chapathi. Enjoy!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Uppu Chanagalu / Karam Chanagalu / Salty, Spicy fried Whole Lentils

My Mom calls them Karam chanagalu, my husband calls them Uppu chanagalu. Whichever way you decide to call them, they taste yummy and nice time pass stuff, if you want your mouth getting some exercise while you are doing nothing!!...and its healthy too with only couple of drops of oil.
You can also call it a street food in Hyderabad or in Andhra. In some places like near some big parks, roadsides, shopping malls, you will find some bandiwallas selling these. They will roll them up in paper cone and serve them hot or cold. Well what are these?..they are nothing but small black or brown channa. I just came to know that channa daal comes out of these. So these are whole channa daal.
It doesn't take much time to make, and there is no pre-soaking. You can use the channa right out of the bag. It has to be sauteed on low heat so as to they cook properly and not burn.
Adjust the spice level accordingly (taste and see if you don't think its enough add a little more)


1 cup small black channa

1/2 tsp grated ginger
2-3 green chillies ( can use 1 tsp of chilli powder instead, like we did here)
couple of drops of oil
salt to taste
lemon juice to taste
pinch of turmeric
2-3 tbsp of water


Grind ginger and green chillies together. But if using chilli powder, in couple of tbsp of water, add ginger, chilli powder, turmeric, salt and lemon juice, mix to a paste. Taste to see, if it suits your taste. Remember, it won't be as spicy when you add it to the channa, so if you want it more spicy, mix more of this paste.
Dry saute on low heat the channa in a pan for like 5-10 min. When you taste one, you can know that it is cooked, they come slightly soft.
Now add a couple of drops of oil and the chilli-ginger paste. Mix well.

Keep sauteing on low heat till it becomes dry. Store in a air tight container. Will keep good for couple of weeks.
Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Indian Sweet dish RASMALAI - ICC

I am sorry for not posting for a very long time. I have been busy with dance practices for my son for the coming spring festival here and also with the pre-poned India trip coming up, I have become even more busy. Even tho I have been taking pictures of all the cooking that happens, I haven't found time to sit and type them up. :( Anyways coming to this month's ICC.......I am posting this a day late.....

Rasmalai was the item for this month for ICC. I called this a sweet dish because this unlike the other Indian sweets, isn't the dry kind, it is one of the wet sweets which means it has to be eaten with the 'rasa' or the sweet liquid in which it is served in.
The soft, spongy balls of cheese in sweetened milk makes this one of my favorite sweets. And when it is a favorite sweet, you tend to make it at home so that you can enjoy the taste again and again. For the same reason, I had made this long before from scratch, and it had come out good too.
But after I made it few times from scratch, I decided that buying the tin and making only the 'rasa' was the easier way out. But there is surely a big difference when made from scratch and the tin variety. So after a long time I was making it again but in a larger quantity.
The taste was good, but they were a little on the harder side..I mean that they weren't soft enough...I think thats because I kneaded the paneer too much......Other than that making it is very easy if you have some time on your hand.
With the paneer which is made, not only rasmalai but also it can be used for cham cham and rosogulla too....
The 2 liter milk yielded about 15-17 medium sized rasmalai.
Time to make: time for boiling milk, breaking milk doesn't take time, filtering out the liquid or whey water, hanging the paneer or cheese for an hour or 2, then about 1/2 hour for boiling the milk to make it thick which can be done side by side to making small rounds and boiling these rounds in the sugar syrup.
I used the same quantities given to us in ICC and also followed the same recipe, except that I didn't boil milk, refrigerate overnite, then again boil it and then break it.


Milk - 3 liters (2 liters for making paneer and 1 liter for making Rasa/Milk syrup.)
Vinegar- 3 tbsps (lemon juice can also be used instead of)
Water-5 cups
Sugar- 16 tbsp (8 for Sugar Syrup and 8 for Rasa/Milk Syrup)
Saffron- 8-10 strands
Pista-1/4 cup chopped
Almonds- chopped or slivered kind about 1/4 cup (optional)
Maida flour- 1 tsp
Cardamom-2 (crushed) or 1/2 tsp cardamom powder

  1. Boil 2 liters of milk till it comes to a rolling boil and bubbly all over. Lower the heat and add the vinegar or lemon juice and stir. You will see the milk curdling. Stir for 2 min and then use a thin cotton cloth or a muslin cloth to filter out the whey water. Squeeze out as much as water possible and hang the cheese or paneer for about 1-2 hours.
  2. After 1-2 hours, start boiling the other 1 liter of milk in a wide, heavy bottomed pan till it reduces to almost half . Add 8 tbsp of sugar and keep boiling on low heat. When it becomes thick add the Saffron strands, pista (pistachio) and badam (almonds).
  3. Side by side, start boiling 5 cups water with 8 tbsp of sugar till a rolling boil and lower heat.
  4. Remove the paneer of cheese from the cloth and knead for about 5 min till it comes together like a dough. Add 1 tsp maida or all purpose flour and knead it into the paneer dough.
  5. Make small golf size balls of the cheese/ paneer dough and flatten them lightly.
  6. Boil the balls in the sugar syrup for about 3-5 min till cooked.
  7. Slightly squeeze the balls and add them to the milk syrup or the rasa.
  8. Cool the rasmalai and chill before serving. Enjoy!!!

Tip: You can use condensed milk or Half and half for quicker thickened milk, but be sure to adjust the sugar accordingly. Kneading the dough for long or boiling them longer in sugar syrup will make them hard.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Aloo Pie - Food from Trinidad, WI

Trinidad is a small country in the West Indies where I spent a small part of my life when my Dad was working there. I have some fond memories of this place which include the school, where we lived, friends and also the food. Though it was such a long time ago, my Mom still makes a few dishes which she learned when we were living over there. Even after 20 years, we still enjoy eating them like we used to eat then There are plenty of dishes which are traditionally Trinidadian dishes, but we make only a few like aloo pie, buss up shots, aloo channa, tomato chowka etc.,. at home, in which aloo pie is like an apple pie but with aloo or savory potato filling.  Aloo pies look like the south Indian sweet called kajjikayalu which have an outer crispy layer and sweet stuffing inside, this is just the opposite, soft outer covering with savory potato filling.
Buss up shots are nothing but rotis which are made huge and soft and broken up into pieces, thus the name buss up shot or bust up shots which is served in any temples ceremonies or even in weddings, anywhere you go in Trinidad, you are sure to find this simple and yummy food. It is usually eaten with aloo channa. I still remember the flavor of the Trinidadian pelau and the street food called doubles with channa curry. I intend to give these dishes a try very soon. I first will write about the ones which we regularly make at home.

I remember I used to buy hot hot aloo pie from the school cafeteria and mango achaar from the school stores and secretly enjoy them. The way we make at home is probably not authentic but is adapted from it. When I decided to blog about this, I searched online for the actual recipe. It was then when I realized that the way we have always made it at home for the filling that is, is not the traditional way. So here and here is where you can find the traditional recipes, but here is how we make it at home.
For the filling, we use only 5 ingredients, which are mixed together to make the filling. The outer layer is dough made of the all purpose flour and baking powder. It is then fried in oil and savored hot hot!!
It is a simple recipe and takes about an hour from kneading the dough , to making the filling to stuffing the filling and frying them.


For the filling:

3 medium sized potatoes, cooked in microwave or boiled and mashed
1 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
6-7 garlic cloves
1/2 cup coriander leaves, packed tightly
8-10 green chillies (depends on your love for spiciness, add more or less)
salt to taste
(Traditionally, black pepper, hot sauce are also added, which we have omitted)

For dough:

3-4 cups of all purpose flour
2-3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
enough water to knead into dough
(I have seen some recipes with yeast too, but I have never added yeast to my dough)


For dough:

Knead all the ingredients together into a soft dough and keep aside for atleast 20 min.

For filling:

Grind the jeera, garlic, coriander leaves and green chillies into a paste and add this to the mashed potato with salt and mix together till evenly mixed.


Take a small golf sized ball of dough, roll it out into an oval shape.
Put some filling in the center of the dough.
Using some water, seal the edges.
When the oil is hot enough (not smoking hot), drop the pies in. They will fluff up and turn golden. Turn over to get even coloring on both sides.
Remove onto a paper napkin.
Serve hot with tomato sauce, chilli sauce, ketchup. Enjoy!!!

Tip: They taste good when fresh and hot. It can be enjoyed as a snack or as a tiffin for lunch or dinner. You can decrease the size and make it an appetizer item.
I like said, I have seen many recipes for aloo pies, but this is how my Mom adapted it 20 years ago and we have enjoyed it this way and how we still make it at home.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mango cake fruit roll - 100th Post

So I am here with my 100th't think I would do so many posts when I first started and now I think I won't
I thought some about what should be my 100th post, went thru a few recipes and at last reached here....
With a short spring season (and long allergy season) and the on coming summer season, I love using fresh fruit in making desserts and mango season I love, but here since we get only few very good mangoes, I used mango pulp in the recipe since it available all year round. Therefore, I came up with the mango sponge cake to make a cake roll and then used the fresh fruit with whipped cream for the filling in between.
Usually Jelly is used as a filling in a cake roll, but I made it fruity with whipped cream.

I borrowed the sponge cake recipe from here, but made a few modifications to it because I wanted to incorporate the mango into the cake for the flavor. Moreover I decreased the amount of sugar used in some places, because I didn't want it to be too sweet (mango pulp is sweetened already too) but more fruity and also me and my parents don't eat too sweet stuff, but my kids and hubby don't mind, but won't it be good if its fruity!!!
If you like it sweet, use the actual measurements!

Well the end product was amazing to us. It was less sweet and fruity, everyone enjoyed it a lot. Only problem was that 'I' made it too small, I should have made more...:)
It took me about 1/2 hour to whip the eggs and about 10-15 min to cook the cake. Meanwhile I whipped the whipping cream with sugar and refrigerated it.
So totally about 1 to 1 1/2 hour of prep and cooking time for the final product!

Ingredients (and Modifications):

4 egg whites, room temperature (actual 6)

3/4 tsp. cream of tartar

1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided (1/4 + 1/4) (actual 2/3 cup)

4 egg yolks, room temperature (actual 6)

1/2 tsp. vanilla ( actual 1 tsp, but I didn't want to overpower the mango flavor)

1/4 tsp. salt

6 tbsp mango pulp (fresh or canned) (I used canned, which is already sweetened)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Powdered sugar, sifted for sifting on top

Method for sponge cake :

Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Spray oil onto a 9 x 10 x 1-inch jelly-roll pan. Line it with parchment paper. Spray parchment paper lightly.

Using a whisk attachment on a hand mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl on high speed until foamy. Continuously whisking, add 1/4 cup of sugar, little by little at a time, until it gets dissolved. Beat constantly until soft peaks are formed.

In a different bowl, beat egg yolks on high speed until it becomes thick and lemon-colored, about 3 to 5 minutes. Slowly beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until it is pale yellow and sugar is dissolved. Gently beat in vanilla and salt. After a minute of beating, add in the mango pulp and beat it until foamy.

Sift flour over egg whites. Add the mango and yolk mixture. Fold gently but completely until color is uniform. Do not stir only fold in gently.
Pour into prepared pan and spread it evenly.

Bake at 375 deg F oven until a toothpick comes out clean, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack, but transfer onto the parchment paper for filling and rolling for easy clean up. Cut corners to straight edges before filling or this can be done after filling too, I just did it before.

Whipped cream filling: (From my Black Forest cake recipe)

473ml or 1 pint heavy whipping cream (found near the milk section in grocery store)(whipped to stiff peaks, takes about 10-15 min with a hand mixer)(if whipped before, store it in the refrigerator so that it doesn't melt)

3 tbsp confectioners sugar or powdered sugar ( actual 5 tbsp + 1 tsp vanilla extract which I omitted)

Fruit Filling:

Cut 1/2 piece Mango into small pieces
Cut 1 strawberry into small pieces
Cut 1 kiwi into small pieces
Cut 4-6 cherries (bottled) into small pieces
1 can crushed pineapple, drained completely


Spread the whipped cream on the cake in a thin layer. Add all the chopped fruit evenly on the cream. Gently roll the cake from one side, making sure the filling doesn't come out. Fold or tuck the open edge underneath the cake roll. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top before serving. Serve cold with icecream if you wish. We ate ours plain. Enjoy!!!

Tip: Since fresh fruit and whipped cream are used, store in the refrigerator. Won't last very long, eat it up soon!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Butternut Squash Saute

Butternut squash is one of the type of squash which we find here regularly in the grocery store. But the fresh ones appear on the plants during the fall time in our region. The beautiful orange - yellow color of the vegetable gives a beautiful color to the curry to. It surely has lots of good stuff which are good for your health like lots of Vitamin B12, pottasium and Vitamin C too.
Its a little sweet, so I add lots of chillies to make it spicy enough for us. The sweet and spicy nature of this curry makes it very yummy!
Its a quick curry to make, only cutting the veggie up takes some time. Use a proper sharp knife to cut down the middle of the squash, scoop out the seeds and chop into pieces. For this curry, you can peel the skin off of not. I usually don't. Keeping the skin on, keeps the veggie firm while cooked. You don't need to cook the whole squash all at once, you can cover it save it for a couple of days. This squash can also be used to make pulusu too.
It takes about 10 min to chop, 15 - 20 min to cook.


1 whole butternut squash, chopped into 1 inch cubes with skin on
1 small onion, chopped
5-7 green chillies, chopped

1 tsp urad daal
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
5-6 curry leaves
3-4 dry red chillies

2 tbsp oil
salt to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp of chopped coriander leaves


In a pan, heat oil. Add the urad daal and brown it. Add the mustard and jeera seeds and let them splutter. Add the curry leaves and dry red chillies and saute. Add the onions and let them cook to translucent with the green chillies. Add the squash and saute. Salt it, add turmeric and cover and let cook. Keep sauteing from time to time till it gets cooked. It does get cooked pretty quick, so see to it that it doesn't get smushy. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve hot with rice or roti / chapathi. Enjoy!!!