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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy Vinayaka Chavithi


Monday, August 29, 2011

Simple Quinoa side dish with red peppers and onion

I am writing this post, eating this very dish!! I knew I wanted to do something with quinoa and not in the regular way I make.

I saw something like this in one of the cookbooks I keep bringing from the library, but I didn't note it down anywhere, so tried making it out of my memory.
Its a very simple dish and tastes great too. Its a good choice of a healthy side dish or as a warm salad.

Here I just added red onion and red bell pepper, but you surely can add zucchini and tomato if you would like, like I said a warm salad, but refrigerate it and it will turn into a cold salad, which I am sure with the simple flavoring of garlic will taste just as good.

This is going to be my final post for Blogging marathon #8. It was very fun to be back and join you guys again. Will surely be looking forward to the next marathon coming in September.

Quinoa is something which I never get tired of and so I cook it in 1 cup measurements and save it for later. When I cook in small quantities, I always mess it up, so I rather make more and refrigerate it.


1 cup cooked Quinoa

1/4 red onion, chopped big

1/4 red bell pepper, chopped big

2 garlic cloves, chopped small

few drops of olive oil

(Garnish with red pepper flakes and coriander leaves if you wish)


Heat the few drops of oil on heat heat.

Add Garlic and saute for a minute.

Add the chopped onion and red bell pepper on high heat and saute for another minute or two, depending on how much cooked you want.

Add the cooked quinoa and some salt and mix it in well with the onion and red bell pepper for about another minute or two on high heat.

Remove from heat and it ready to eat. You can garnish it with chili flakes, if you would like a kick of heat and coriander if you wish.

Serve hot. Enjoy!!!

Check out what the rest of my blogger pals are blogging on the final day of the marathon.

Sending this to CWS-Quinoa guest hosted by Priya of Now Serving, event started by Priya of Easy N Tasty recipes.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Vankaya Endu royalu Koora / Eggplant with dried shrimp

People think making non-veg dishes is a big deal and require lots of effort and not to mention lots of ingredients too.
Well I agree, at times I do become one of them, when I don't feel like cooking...:)
But seriously if we want to make any non-veg dishes our way, I mean Indian way, then we do require lots of ingredients, which in turn becomes our masala and so on...

Well I assure that, tho there are dishes which require lots of ingredients, there are a few dishes which we can make using the minimal amount of ingredients, one of which is when we make use of dried fish or dried shrimp.

The dried shrimp or fish imparts a lot of flavor to the dish, that very little of any other ingredients have to be added into it. A little addition of dried fish or shrimp goes a long way.

I am a big fan of dried shrimp and fish. I may not like or eat all kinds but, there are some which I absolutely like.
The dried shrimp I used here are a little bigger variety which can be found in any of the Asian stores in USA.

Another misconception is that there is lots of smell when we cook this, but I don't think so. The ones we get in India do give lots of smell, but the ones we get here, don't smell too much.


1/3 cup dried shrimp, soaked in water for 1/2 hour

about 10 baby eggplants, chopped ( you can use any variety)

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

1 small onion, chopped


salt as required (remember to add less, as the dried shrimp or fish is already salty)

1/2 tbsp oil

pinch of turmeric

1 1/2 to 1 tbsp of chilli powder

Chopped coriander leaves for garnish


Soak the dried shrimp for about 1/2 hour.

Heat oil in a pan.

Add the chopped onion and saute for about a minute.

Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute.

Add the dried shrimp and saute for 2 minutes.

Add the chopped eggplant and mix well.

Cover and let cook until soft.

Season with salt, turmeric and chili powder as per your requirement.

At the end, garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve with Rice or chapathi.


Check out the rest of the bloggers here!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Crispy Chicken drumettes

I always wanted to fry chicken at fry I mean deep fry. I don't do it much and so it always tempting when I see recipes for fried chicken. And yes, my kids love it, so I had to make it some time right!

I have made oven baked tenders before, the more healthier way you would say but surely frying chicken has a unique taste and surely is much yummier than oven baked chicken.

I decided to try it and tried to keep it below 5 ingredients for simplicity and easiness. For this reason I counted the seasoning and frying which is salt - pepper and oil under one ingredient.

It very simple to make...I made it plain, but you could more seasoning and also more spice to it if you would like it! :)


8- 10 Chicken drumettes, washed  (skinned, if required)

garlic - onion powder (you can use a mix or mix them yourselves)

buttermilk, 1 cup yogurt with 1 cup water

1-2 cups panko bread crumbs

Seasoning and frying

salt, pepper as required

Oil for deep frying


Make buttermilk of yogurt, with salt and pepper along with required amount of water. It shouldn't be too thin, neither too thick.

Wash the drumettes and soak in the buttermilk for about an hour.

After an hour, take the drumettes out and lay them on a cookie sheet. (Do not throw away the buttermilk as yet, if you are going to roll it twice)

Sprinkle onion - garlic powder on both sides.

Roll in the panko bread crumbs until coated.
(You can again dip into buttermilk and roll them in the crumbs one more time to give a crispier crust. Alternatively, you can roll it in APF or maida once and second in the bread crumbs. Instead of second dipping into buttermilk, you can use beaten egg.)

Deep / shallow fry in oil, until brown on all sides and cooked inside. It takes about 6-8 minutes.

Serve hot with any dipping sauce or eat it plain.


Check out what the other bloggers are blogging about in this marathon.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Super Easy Corn flakes Chivda

Having chivda or mixture for tea time is always customary in Indian evening. Something to munch on...sweet stuff are OK but if its spicy, it much more enjoyable to me! Like pakoras, bajjis, murukkus or even something as simple as mixture.

Whenever I make mixture at home,, it kids love spicy and they will just finish it...including my husband, who will keep on munching until dinner time.
So I try to keep something crunchy and something spicy always handy. :)

This is one super easy chivda to make. If you want to make it more easy, then just buy all the pre-made ingredients and put them together. I used on 5 ingredients but you are welcome to add as many as you like and make it as spicy as you like.

I had a few dry corn flakes (for mixture, from Indian store) lying around, so I decided to go ahead and make this as my 4th post for the bloggers marathon.
The corn flakes, I had to deep fry, but the boondi I used is store bought.


1 cup dry corn flakes
1/3 cup boondi (optional)
2 tbsp peanuts
1 tbsp golden raisins

Tempering and seasoning:

chilli powder as required
salt as required
few curry leaves
pinch of saunf seeds, fennel seeds

Oil for deep frying


In a small pan, heat a few drops of oil, fry peanut till they brown. Keep aside.

In the same pan, fry the raisins and when they brown, add the fennel seeds and saute for 30 seconds. Keep aside.

Deep fry the dry corn flakes and remove them onto paper napkin. Add the fresh curry leaves to the hot fried corn flakes. (not in the oil, but after you remove them)

When the oil has drained, mix together some boondi, peanuts, raisins, salt, saunf, chilli powder with the corn flakes.

Serve with tea or coffee...or eat it as you wish!


Check out what the other bloggers are blogging about in this marathon.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lemon Tomato Rasam or Soup

Everyone talks about soups and how they warm you up when you are cold or make you feel better when you are sick. But have you ever thought about our Indian soups, mainly about the yummy rasams we make? They have a even greater effect on how they make
us feel.....

The warmth, the spiciness, the slightly mild tangy flavor....has all the good stuff to really make you feel good!

Whenever we make rasam at home, I usually have a drink of it, just plainly, simply rasam. I love to have it hot and spicy. Rasam is usually made of tamarind pulp or juice but these days making it with fruits and fruit juices has also become common.
I don't mind making it with fruits, but for me it has to be tangy and spicy.

If you have a cough, add some pepper to the rasam. Add ginger if you have a cold.
Add garlic to the tempering if you like smell of it and it never can be bad! :)

We do make our own rasam powder at home, but you are welcome to make rasam with the store bought powder. I will try to soon post homemade rasam powder on my blog!

For the third day of the blogging marathon - Lemon Tomato Rasam.
This Lemon Tomato Rasam doesn't have tamarind in it but instead is made with Lemon and tomatoes to get the tangy flavor. This combined with the spicy rasam powder and tempering is a heartwarming delicious soup which can be not only be eaten with rice but also can be enjoyed in a cup by its own!


1 lemon, juiced (you can use more, if you require more)
1-2 tomatoes, chopped, depends of how tomatoey you want
water as required 1 - 2 cups
1 tbsp Rasam Powder

Tempering and seasoning:

1/4 tsp Urad dal
1/4 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
2-3 dry red chilis, broken
few curry leaves
pinch of turmeric
salt as required
1/2 tbsp oil

coriander leaves for garnish


Chop tomatoes, add some water and Microwave it for about a minute or two, until the tomatoes are soft and can be squeezed.

Let it cool, before you squeeze it, or it will be hot! :) Just squeeze and make it a pulp.

Add some more water into the tomato pulp and transfer into a stove top pot.

Add the rasam powder and turmeric. bring it to a boil.

Prepare for tempering in a different pan. Heat oil and add the tempering ingredients, one at a time, ending with curry leaves.

Transfer this to the rasam carefully as it will splash around and make noise! :)

Mix in the lemon juice and salt. Let it come to a boil one more time.

Garnish with Coriander leaves.

Serve Hot with rice or enjoy it in a cup.


Check out what the other bloggers are blogging about in this Marathon.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Reposting Rice sweets in time for Ganesh Chathurthi for SHF

Well next week Thursday is Vinayaka Chavithi or Ganesh Chathurthi. There are a few sweets on my blog, but today I am posting few rice sweets in which rice plays a major part which also can be made for the upcoming festival.

Jeera Gobi / Cauliflower with cumin

There is always jeera aloo to fall back to whenever you need a curry in hurry right?!
Well here I just substituted the aloo or potato with cauliflower and made it in my style of jeera aloo! :)

I love cauliflower and its when I make dishes like these, I cannot stop munching continuously! Tho its a curry and I love eating it with rice, I can just wipe out a whole bowl of it in few minutes and if no one is watching maybe the whole curry! :)

Its a very easy dish to make and I hadn't realized that it would also come under the 'cooking with 5 ingredients or less' theme when you consider the basic tempering ingredients, oil and salt as one ingredient!

This probably is not the regular way of making jeera gobi or jeera aloo for that matter but we do love it this way and since the main ingredients in this dish are jeera and gobi, I called it jeera gobi! :)


1 head of cauliflower, broken into small florets, washed (frozen cauliflower florets can also be used instead)

1 small onion chopped or 1/2 of big onion

1/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste


1 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
1/2 tbsp oil
pinch of turmeric
1/2 to 1 tsp chili powder
Salt to taste

Chopped coriander leaves for garnish


Wash the cauliflower florets and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan.

Add the cumin seeds and let them splutter.

Saute onions till translucent and add ginger garlic paste.

Add the florets and saute them well with the cumin seeds mixture. Add salt.

When the florets are half cooked, add the turmeric, chili powder and mix well.

Cover and let cook until done. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve with rice or rotis.


Check out the rest of the guys who are doing this marathon with me here!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Easy Cheesy Parmesan Sticks - Blogging Marathon # 8

A new morning, a new day and a new marathon.....ya you heard me right...I am back doing the blogging marathon which I seriously missed doing in the past few months. I am glad I am able to join in this time around with all the wonderful bloggers and their wonderful posts.
Guys please bear with me as I am still not fully prepared to do the marathon and I am still taking my own sweet time....but maybe I will be able to get thru this easily and mainly highly motivated!! lol...seriously!!

Anyways, this time around I chose the theme ' Cooking with 5 ingredients or less'. It might seem easy enough but believe me...its not that hard or easy to say!
If you think about Indian cooking and count all the ingredients, we are sure to go above limit! For this reason, Srivalli has allowed us to consider all the tempering ingredients including, salt, oil as one.

So with this I am starting with my Day 1 post ----- Easy Cheesy Parmesan Sticks.
This is an interesting snack for tea time or for kids, or just to munch on and much easier to make with regular puff pastry sheets.
I made it using a dusting of paprika, but if you want to make it more spicy, you can add a pinch of chilli powder and Indianize it with garam masala...what say!?

I haven't written any measurements, because, its better to make it to your taste and requirement.


1 pack of puff pastry ( 2 sheets)

paprika (as required)

Monterrey jack cheese, shredded (as required) or any other cheese you prefer

Parmesan cheese (as required), to sprinkle on top

egg wash or milk wash (egg wash makes it slightly crispy)

A cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or tin foil


Pre-heat oven to 400 degree F.

Thaw the puff pastry sheets according to directions on the box.

Slightly flour the area on which you will lay the puff pastry sheet out.

Sprinkle paprika all over the surface of the sheet.

Then give a generous sprinkle of the shredded cheese.

Carefully lay the other sheet on top of this sheet.

Brush the top with the egg wash or milk wash.

Sprinkle the washed top with shredded Parmesan cheese or powder.

Cut into desirable length and bake in the 400 degree oven, till golden brown.

Serve immediately or warm. I even liked then when they were cold :)


Check out the others bloggers posts here!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Simple Cluster Beans/ Guvar/ GoruChikudu fry with podi

So as days fly by and me doing nothing but reading and more reading....ya I got back into my mode of reading and when I get into that mode, I don't do anything much!....just the day to day stuff and nothing else...I don't even find time to come online or even FB!!......
And then I fall sick! A bad attack of summer cold..sniff sniff....and achchooo! looks like everyone in the house is sick with a mild form of it.....and what better time to lie on the bed and do nothing!....

Well I cant just do nothing...I have so much stuff to do....last week I couldn't perform my Varalakshmi this week Friday, I will be doing have to get shopping and cleaning for the coming Friday!
Here is a simple and easy recipe for such days (the only difficult part in this is the chopping or what do you say....plucking the cluster beans into pieces by can surely use the knife, if that suits better for you! )....a simple Cluster beans fry with podi.

Here I used Kandi Podi, which I always have handy and just recently made a fresh new batch when my Mom was here....but you are welcome to use any pappula podi or even gun powder or idli podi for this dish. What the podi does is, as a new and flavorful spice taste to the curry. You can use it for any fry you make, like even bendi or eggplant or any other kind of beans too.
Don't use too much, so that it doesn't overpower the dish, just use it mildly.


1 pound of cluster beans, guvar, goru Chikudu, washed and broken into 1/2 inch pieces.
1 small onion chopped

1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
1/4 tsp urad dal
2 dry red chilies. broken
few curry leaves

1/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
pinch of turmeric
1/2 tsp - 1 tsp chili powder (suit your taste)
1 tbsp kandi podi (more or less)
Salt to taste

1 tbsp of oil

Chopped coriander leaves for garnish


Heat oil in a pan and add the tempering ingredients. When the urad dal browns, add the red chili and curry leaves.
Add chopped onions and when they turn translucent, add the ginger garlic paste and saute a little.
Add the goru chikudu pieces along with some salt, cover and let cook until the beans are tender.
Add the red chili powder, turmeric along with kandi podi and mix well.
Saute for couple of minutes more till the beans are fully cooked. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve along with rice or chapatis.

Tip: If you notice the beans are burning or sticking to the bottom or the pan, add a few drops of water and mix well. This will not let them burn and also cook faster.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Simple, Easy and Fun to make Churros......... and me back!!!

Hi Everyone! and yes I am back after a very long period of gap.....moving from east coast to the west coast is a very big job and takes a long time. But it did happen and has happened smoothly, Thanks to every one's well wishes, we are here still settling in the Bay area, getting used to the weather, which actually needs very less getting used to since its beautiful weather down here which doesn't go up more than 70-80 degrees even in the summer season.

But I do miss my hot summers back in the east coast! my home and my garden tooo....but more than everything else...I miss my friends back home...Guys I really miss you all! :(

This moving has kept me on my toes for a long time and getting settled in a new place all over again has me nervous sometimes and then there are tons of boxes to open and arrange and adjust in the 'small house'...Gosh how will I ever accomplish that!

And then, I missed blogging and being in touch with all my readers and I couldn't wait to come back to write a post, for which I did do a lot of thinking, cos I wanted to do something special for a come back post!

So last weekend, we happened to have a amazing churro to bite into...and gave me an idea, why not try to make it at home...well I did know that it wasn't that hard to make, so why not try it out. The only other encouragement I got was that my kids even loved the idea of making it at home.

I have always seen churros being sold on side stands at piers or beaches or at fairs. They are also eaten as breakfast or even as a snack during any time of the day. I dont mind having then as a snack any time. You can eat them plain dipping them in a chocolate sauce or melted chocolate dripped on them lightly!

So after some research, I settled on Daisy Martinez's recipe from Food Network.
It seemed pretty easy and fun to make. Only thing I thought was that 4-5 eggs were a lot and I didn't want the eggy taste, so I used only 2 eggs. I had also seen recipes using 2 or 3 eggs, so I took this step. I even found a recipe which used no eggs at all...but I was scared that the churros would come out tough. Well I will try that soon and let you all know if with eggs or no eggs is better. :))


1 cup water
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp brown sugar (I used light brown)
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1/4 tsp salt

1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

2 eggs, beaten
Oil for deep frying

To coat: Enough Cinnamon and sugar to suit your taste.
a pastry bag fitted with a big star tip


Heat oil in a frying pan.
In a medium sized pot, bring water, butter, brown sugar, salt and vanilla extract to light boil.
When the mixture starts to boil, add the sifted flour and mix immediately using a wooden spoon continuously so that no lumps are formed.
Remove from heat and add the beaten eggs and mix immediately to get the eggs incorporated well into the dough. You can also do it in a stand mixer if you wish.
Carefully spoon it into the pastry bag fitted with big star piping tip.
Carefully squeeze 5-6 inch long strips into oil.
Let them cook until they are brown on one side before flipping over to brown on the other side.
When they are brown on both side, remove onto a paper napkin.
While they are still hot, toss them in a paper bag containing sugar and cinnamon. Dust the excess off and serve warm.
Serve warm with hot chocolate dipping sauce or eat them just like that.
They are crispy when eaten warm.