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Friday, October 29, 2010

Creamy Carrot Soup from Chef In You!

A cold evening is a perfect invitation or hot delicious soups and sunday was a such a day! Nothing would have done me better than a hot creamy carrot soup from Chef In You!

I had this in mind, when I saw the T&T event on Priya's Blog, brainchild of Zlamushka, now taken over by Lakshmi of Kitchen Chronicles. Only I didn't have a perfect day or time for it than last Sunday.

I didn't make much changes to it, just followed the recipe. Its a perfect fall recipe with beautiful color and consistency.
I only increased the amount of carrots used to 4 instead of 2, to get more carroty flavor. Other than that, didn't change any thing.

Recipe Source

Talking about comfort food, is there anything better than a bowl of hot carrot soup and Bisi bele bath.

Verdict: Loved it!!... It was very comforting. We added few croutons to it...soup without croutons is a nono...:)) and a side of garlic bread! Yum!!

So what ya waiting for....make a bowl for youself and Enjoy!!!

Sending this also to Torview: Food Palette, Series Orange
Also to Dish name Starts with C @ Akila's Kitchen

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vankaya pulusu / Brinjal or Eggplant in tangy, spicy Tamarind sauce

There are so many 'pulusus' made of different vegetables, here is one more to include in that category.
When winter comes around, its time for hot comfort foods. Simple daals and pulusu falls into that category too. Hot steaming rice with some daal or pulusu on a cold fall or wintery night is just so fulfilling and wonderfully yummy!
Some parts of Andhra, pulusu is made with a small amount of daal in it or is eaten with daal on the side, plain daal mostly. But in other parts pulusu is made only of tamarind, tomato and veggies.
I make it both ways or should I say three ways, daal in it, on the side or not daal at all.
But mostly I make it like this.
Putting any vegetable in this tangy tamarind sauce gives it a sweet sour flavor, and please make it spicy for me! Tho these days I don't make it that spicy...thanx to the kids!!
I used the small baby eggplants, but you can surely use any kind, like the long variety or even the green ones or chutney eggplant. Only cut thick slices so that they don't get over cooked and disappear.


6-8 baby brinjals, cut
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
4-5 green chillies

1 lemon size ball of tamarind, juices extracted

1/2 tsp methi seeds, menthulu (dry roasted and grounded to powder)

1 tbsp of oil
1/4 tsp urad daal
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp jeera, cumin seeds
3 dry red chillies, broken
bunch of curry leaves, karevapaku

salt to taste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
pinch of sugar or jaggery (optional)

chopped corainder leaves for garnish


Dry roast Methi seeds and grind to powder.

Heat oil in a kadai. Add urad daal, mustard seeds, jeera and let them splutter. Add dry red chillies and curry leaves.
Add the onions and green chillies and saute till cooked. Now add the cut eggplant, tomato and saute with some salt. Add some water if required.
After it gets cooked, add turmeric and chilli powder.
Next add the tamarind juice and mix well.
In the end, add the methi powder and simmer for 5 min till it gets thick. Add sugar or jaggery if you wish.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve hot with rice, roti or phulkas.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bisi bele bath from Chef In You

Sunday was such a groggy calm and quiet...cloudy too. I didn't feel like cooking a big lunch rather I didn't want to even go near the stove. Just sleep in my fluffy bed with the comforter on!...
Its these days like these that you should be thankful to dishes like one pot meals, which can be made quickly and can feed the whole family nutritiously.

Since T&T was still on at Priya's blog, started by Zlamushka now taken over by Lakshmi of Kitchen Chronicles, I decided to make Bisibelebath from Chef In You.
Its not the first time I am making Bisibelebath but its not the always the same when, I make it each time, but it is somewhat similar (I keep adding and minusing stuff)

I made it almost the similar wayas her, by that I mean, making the same powder, using vegetables and all, only difference is that I tempered the rice in the end with garlic, mustard seeds, jeera, red chillies, hing and curry leaves.
I am so used to tempering, I guess I don't think my cooking is done until I have tempered something and today it was the bisibelebath.
I am sure even if we did the tempering in the beginning like DK suggested, it would be almost same, only I like it in the end!

So here are the vegetables I used:

a small piece of anapakaya, bottle gourd, sorakai, cut into pieces
10 cut pieces of drumsticks, mulakada
few pearl onions, frozen
1 small onion, chopped big
1 tomato, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/4 cup chopped, frozen beans
1/2 head cauliflower, broken into pieces

Recipe source from Chef In You

Tempering in the end:

4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp jeera
1/2 tsp urad daal
2-4 dry red chillies, broken
bunch of curry leaves
1/4 tsp hing, inguva, asfoetida
1 tbsp of oil

Coriander leaves for garnish

After adding the cooked rice to the mixture of vegetables, add water if it gets too thick. Adjust salt too.
Heat oil in a small pan. Saute garlic, urad daal, mustard seeds and jeera till they splutter.
Add red chillies, curry leaves and hing. Saute for a minute before adding to the rice. Mix well and garnish with coriander leaves.

Verdict:  Oh it was lovely....very appetizing...couldn't have anything better in a cold fall day!! Ate it hot with papads home made saggubiyam vadiyalu and dahi mirchi on the side...nothing could be better!!

'Nothing could be better" until I made the creamy carrot soup from her blog later that evening....ahh and I didn't even want to cook that day!!!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spicy Red Bell Pepper chutney

Red bell pepper is usually sweet and is good in salads or to eat just like that. Add a few drops of lemon juice on raw bell pepper, add a bit of salt and pepper, it tastes absolutely delicious.
So when I first tasted red bell pepper chutney at a friends' place...I couldn't believe was absolutely yummy!...Cos of the sweetness, add a lot of chillies to get it spicy....but again its your wish. I like it spicy, make it to your taste.
Its a good substitute to tomato chutney and tastes just as heavenly.
I had made it to go with the vadas for the party and the remaining, I ate it everyday with rice...I love it!
There are couple of ways you can make it. If you like crunchyness of the tempered daals in your chutney, add it when you temper it in the end with mustard seeds and jeera.
The other way is by adding it in the beginning before the garlic cloves and bell pepper to be sauteed and ground with the bell pepper. This way they won't be in the 'way'.
I did it this way this time...cos I was going to serve it in a party and wanted to be on the safe side!


(Can be used in tempering or can be added to be ground along with bell pepper)

1/2 tbsp chana daal
1/2 tsp urad daal

3 red bell pepper, chopped roughly
1 golf sized ball of tamarind
6-8 green chillies
6-8 dry red chillies
6 garlic cloves

1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp jeera, cumin seeds
bunch of curry leaves

1 tbsp oil


Heat Oil in a pan. Add garlic and saute
(if going to add the chana daal and urad daal, add now)
Add the red bell pepper, green chillies and red chillies and saute till they cook. In the end, add the tamarind and let it cook for couple of minutes.
Let this cool and grind it to a thick paste.
Heat few more drops of oil in a small pan and do the tempering with mustard seeds, jeera and curry leaves. (If you did not add the chana daal and urad daal in the first step...add now and let brown).
When they splutter, add it to the red bell pepper paste.
They chutney is ready....Serve with idli, dosa, vada or hot steaming rice...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pappu Vadalu, Gaarelu, Fried Lentil Dumplings....another version!

There are so many version of vadalu or gaarelu in Indian, especially in South India.
Here is another version made with two different types of pappulu / lentils. The lentils I used here are split, skin on pesara pappu / mung bean / moong daal and minapa pappu / Urad daal, this too split with skin on.
This is a recipe which I got from a friend. She had made it for a party and my husband wanted me to make these again for my son's birthday party. Well I made it...made 60-70 pieces of them. They did come out good and everyone enjoyed.
We, Andraites make vadas for festivals, lunch breakfast or dinner. They are yummy to be eaten with chutney or with chicken curry. So why not make them for a celebration.

The good part is, since these are made with skin on daal, you get some fiber in them. When these are fried, they tend to be darker in color than the regular minapa gaarelu, which I have blogged before. And since its only daal, lots and lots of protein.
Only down part is it being deep fried, aren't all yummy dishes deep fried!!!
Well you can use less oil and make them in the appe pan, if you want!
In the regular vadalu, we only add onions, ginger, green chillies, and coriander if required. We can make them plain too.
But in this I added green chillies, ginger, cinamon stick, cloves into the batter to be grinded and into the ground batter, added onions and coriander.
So the taste is more of masala vada taste.

The batter has to be ground thick so as to perfect shapes can be made out of them, mine was a little thin, so thats why as you can see in the picture, different shapes!! If you think the batter is thin, you can always add a small amount of rice flour to make it thick again. Adding too much will make it hard, so don't put too much.
Putting the hole is the center is purely optional.

Another thing to remember is to put aside atleast 1/4 to 1/3 amount of the soaked daal aside, not to be ground. This is to be added to the batter later on. This gives a good crispy texture to the vadas.
I made a big batch so I soaked lot of daal, but always remember ratio is 1:1 for urad daal to moong daal.


1 cup split, skin on urad daal, minapa pappu
1 cup split, skin on moong daal, mung bean, pesara pappu

To be ground with the daal:

1 inch piece of ginger
3-4 green chillies
1 inch piece of cinamon stick
3-4 cloves

To be added to the batter after grinding:

1 small onion, chopped to small pieces
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
5-6 curry leaves, chopped (optional)

Salt to taste

Oil for deep frying


Soak both the daals overnight.
Remove about 1/4 of both the daals and keep aside.
Grind the rest along with ginger, chillies, cinamon stick, cloves and salt. Grind to a thick batter.
After grinding, add the rest of the ingredients. Check for salt now.
Heat oil in a deep kadai.
On a plastic sheet, like a ziplock bag, wet lightly with water. Take some batter and make a round shape on the sheet with a hole in it, patting it down with water to make the shape. Don't use too much water, as it might make the batter runny. Remove slowly from the sheet and drop into the oil, very carefully!!!
If the vadas start turning color very quick, lower the heat, as you want the vada to cook before it turns color.
Fry till they are golden and remove onto a paper nakin.
Serve hot with chutneys like idli chutney, coconut chutney, coriander-mint chutney, Tomato chutney or red bell pepper chutney, like I did. These even go good with chicken curry, one of the favorites of Andra cuisine!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Eggless Banana Muffins for T&T from Chef In You

This is the second time I am baking with banana within 2 weeks time and this time from Chef in You.

Chef in You has soo many yummy recipes...its so difficult to decide what to make. I love all her yummy baked goods and keep drooling at the pictures...
This time I decided to try her delicious and healthy Eggless Banana Muffins, which are also low fat and low sugar...something good for me. Me who likes to munch on goodies, low sugar and low fat, would do me some good!! don't you guys think!??

Its not always that when you decide to make something from someone's else's blog, that you find everything required is in your pantry. I try not to make any changes to the recipe and follow it 'HU BAH HU", but since I didn't have any oranges or any rolled oats, I substituted it to vanilla extract and quick cooking oats. These changes haven't compromised any taste changes. :))  The muffins have come out delish, soft and moist.
So I am convinced eggless is also as tasty as something baked with egg!!

Changes made:
Mixed a few walnuts in the batter.
Zest of orange = 1 tsp vanilla extract
Rolled oats = quick cooking oats

I didn't have any cup cake liners either, so baked directly in the muffin tray, greased with vegetable shortening.

Verdict: Another keeper recipe. I am sure to make this more often whenever I crave for banana bread! since low fat and low sugar is good for!!

Sending this to Tried and Tasted event hosted by Priya for this month, brainchild of Zlamushka, currently taken over by Lakshmi of Kitchen Chronicles.

Sending it to Cooking for Kids event, hosted by Suma Gandlur of Veggie Platter, Started by Sharmi of Neivadyam.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Instant Cucumber pickle / Kheera achaar

Pickles are a craze for us south Indians. Many want to have their first bite of dinner or lunch to be with any pickle. Be is with hot rice or even with chapathis. Pickles with perugu annam is also very common. The yummy taste of cold curd rice with spicy pickle! yum!!
Pickles like avakaya, usurkaya are prepared carefully only one time of the year when the mangoes are in abundance or you get lots of gooseberries (amla) and stored very carefully for the rest of the year.
For us who live here away from home, where we don't get good mangoes...we turn to store made pickles, which are OK sometimes, but for the most part aren't good when stored for long. That's when we turn to these instant pickles, which aren't that difficult to make and can be eaten instantly!
I put up an recipe for an instant Mango pickle before.
Here is an instant pickle made with crunchy salad cucumber....yes I am not kidding, the green cucumber which we eat as salad can also be made this way as pickle. It taste good, is crunchy when eaten immediately.
Makes for a good side item for a party or a pot luck.
I made it to my taste...please increase or decrease quantities according to yours!!


1 + 1 1/2 cucumber, chopped to small pieces
about 1-2 tbsp of oil

To dry roast and grind to powder:

1 tbsp mustard seeds
1/2 tbsp methi seeds

To add to chopped cucumber:

1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp amchur powder
salt to taste

For Tempering:

6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp urad daal
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp jeera
5-6 dry red chillies, broken
1/2 tsp Hing, asfoetida, inguva
bunch of curry leaves


Peel and chop the cucumber to small pieces, smaller than bite size pieces preferably.

Dry roast the mustard seeds and methi seeds and grind to powder.

Chop garlic and heat oil for tempering. Add the chopped garlic, urad daal..let it brown.
Add the mustard seeds and jeera...let them splutter.
Add the red chillies, hing and curry leaves, when they splutter add it to the chopped cucumber.

Add the rest of the ingredients like salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and amchur powder to the cucumber. Mix well.

You will notice that when its first mixed, the pickle is thick, but slowly the juices from the cucumber start coming out and the pickle will become juice. After one day, it will be more juicy, thats why it doesn't store good for long.
Serve immediately with hot steamy rice, perugu annam (dahi rice, yogurt rice), roti or chapathi or as a side item. Can be kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. I wouldn't suggest storing for more than that. Make sure that no water touches the pickle, or it will deteriorate even sooner.


Sending it to Nivedita @ Nivedita's Kitchen for CMT - Pickle, started by Jagruti of Joy of Cooking.

And also to Torview @ TorviewToronto for Food Palette Series - Orange.

Also to Preeti @ Khaugiri for "ONLY" - Festive food, started by Pari @ Foodelicious.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Coconut - Sooji Burfi (Microwave Recipe)

Thanx to all the blogger friends for sending in yummy recipes to the MEC-FESTIVE DISHES event! I am adding all those I recieve ASAP on the MEC blog page (Tab up above). You can check it out and let me know if I am missing any!!
I know there is no comments section on that page...but I would love to read your comments, so please do leave a comment on the most recent post!!

Pink being the color of the Breast Cancer awareness campaign and October being "Pinktober" month...I was looking forward to adding pink to a dish I was going to make!
So this dish is decicated to this awareness program and to the lovely world of Microwave cooking!!
Before this I was not aware that I could use my microwave to make so many yummy dishes! So here comes one more.

I had used half a can of the sweetened condensed milk to make DK's Eggless Chocolate cake, and there was another still staring at me everytime I open the fridge. So decided to use it all up before it dries out or get eaten up just like that BY ME!
Went ahead and made this yummy sweet by putting together some sweetened coconut flakes, sooji and the remaining condensed milk.
The result was a yummy, chewy coconut sweet.

It took about 14 minutes for it to cook in the microwave. I kept stirring it every 3 minutes in the beginning and then every minute towards the end. Use a big microwave bowl to prevent spill over.
Its a good treat for a evening snack, potluck or as a dessert for the sweet toothed!! It even makes for a good kid's finger food!


1 1/2 cup sweetened coconut
1/4 cup sooji or ravva
1/2 can milk condensed milk, 7 oz
14 oz water (I used the can for measurement)
1 tsp elaichi powder
3 tbsp butter
red food color (little as to get the pink color)
golden raisins and coconut for garnish

Time in Microwave: 14 minutes (adjust accordingly to your microwave)


Mix all ingredients together in a microwave safe bowl.
Stir in the red food color, only so much as to get the pink color.
Microwave on high for about 14 minutes.
I stirred it every 3 minutes in the begginning and then every minute after 9 minutes.
Grease a plate with couple drops of ghee before spreading the mixture on the plate.
Garnish with coconut and raisins. Even cut into pieces before cooling.
Serve after it cools...Enjoy!!!

Sending this 4 events:

"365 days of Microwave cooking" hosted by Srivalli on Cooking 4 all seasons
"Only" -Festive Food event hosted on Preeti of Khaugiri for this month, started by Pari of Foodelicious.

"Cooking for kids" event hosted by Suma of Veggie Platter for this month, started by Sharmi of Neivadyam.

Finally to my MEC-FESTIVE DISHES, hosted by my blog, started by Srivalli of
Cooking 4 all seasons.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Punjabi Kadhi Pakoras for ICC

Its time for ICC of this month!!
I always get excited when I have to make something for ICC...its always something new and interesting...and I get to learn a new dish!..
Even if its a dish I already know...its alwaye fun to make and share the recipe! Don't you all ICC members think so??? :))

This month's ICC, hosted by Srivalli, was to make Punjabi Kadhi Pakoras or simply called Punjabi Kadhi, recipe by Simran of Bombay Foodie.

Its so much similar to our South Indian yogurt dish called in telugu as 'Majjiga pulusu'. Only a few ingredients are different such as what's used in tempering. Even when I make majjiga pulusu..which I rarely make, cos I will be eating the whole dish and no one else......I do put onion pakodi bajjis in there...I think it just tastes wonderful with pakodis. In the same way Punjabi Kadhi also has onion Pakoras....And let me tell you that it tasted just as yum!! I think the vaamu (carom seeds, ajwain) and the methi (fenugreek seeds) gives this dish a very flavorful touch!

I followed the recipe given to us in ICC, make no changes to it....takes about 30-40 min to make....the end product, a yummy yogurt dish!
I made it according to my taste...always remember to make it to suit your taste!


For Pakoras or pakodis:

1/2 cup chanaga pindi / Besan / Chickpea Flour
1 medium Onion, chopped lengthwise
1/2 tsp Red Chilli powder
Salt to taste

some water

Oil for Deep frying

For the Kadhi or majjiga pulusu:

1 cup plain yogurt or curd (sour curd is preferable but not required, we can substitute the sourness by adding aamchur powder or lemon juice in the end)

1/3 cup changa pindi / besan/ chickpea flour
3-4 cups Water
1 tbsp of oil
1 tsp mustard Seeds
1 tsp cumin Seeds / Jeera
1 tsp Vaamu / Ajwain / Carom Seeds
1 tsp menthulu / Methi / Fenugreek seeds
1 Onion, chopped lengthwise
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1/2 or little more Red Chili powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala
1 tsp or more of Aamchur / Dried Mango powder
Lemon juice to taste (optional, if not using sour yogurt)


Heat oil in Kadai.
Mix the besan, chilli powder, salt with water to make a semi-thick paste.
When the oil is hot enough, mix the onions with the besan paste and drop into oil as pakodas. Fry till crispy brown. Remove onto paper napkin, keep aside.


Mix the besan with yogurt and the water to make a thin watery mixture. Use a whisk, its easier.
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pot. Add the mustard seeds, jeera, methi, and ajwain seeds. Let them splutter.
Add the chopped onions, saute till translucent.
Add the yogurt mixture along with some salt, turmeric and red chilli powder. Bring it to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Keep stirring occasionally on low heat till it becomes thick or semi thick. It should take about 20-30 min.
When you think its thick enough, add the pakoras and bring it to a boil.
Add garam masala and aamchur powder. Mix well and remove from heat.
If using lemon juice, add in after removing from heat.
I used some more of the crispy pakoras to garnish on the top!

Serve hot with chapathi, roti, paratha or with hot rice. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A lovely Eggless Chocolate cake for T&T from Chef in You

Its the first time I am taking part in a Tried and Tasted event. I have always thought about it but never found time to actually do it...I know its a lame excuse...but its true...yada..yada..yada
So this time, I went ahead and baked a lovely cake from DK's Chef in You for T&T, hosted by Priya, brainchild of Zlamushka currently taken over by Lakshmi of Kitchen Chronicles.

There were always a few blogs which I used regularly check from time to time prior to my blogging days and this was one of them. When I was going over as to what to make from the site, and something simple and quick, I settled on the yummy baked items here and the Eggless Chocolate Cake was one of them.

I am sure my kids are going to enjoy this thoroughly, thats why I stopped at this for today and had all the ingredients on hand!:))

Followed the recipe step by step, no changes...very easy, will be ready in less than 40 mins.

I used a 9in  round pan, using a smaller pan will give you a thicker cake. Buttered and floured the bottom and sides for baking. Dusted only powdered sugar on the top after baking.

Verdict: This recipe is a keeper...The cake is so very moist, soft and fluffy, its just heavenly!! Thanx DK!! :)) ...and the cake is going to disappear faster than I blink!