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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Mango Panna Cotta ~ Indianized with a bit of cardamom, ginger andSaffron - Happy New Year 2012

New Year and New Resolutions!! new resolutions???....well I don't even think I completed my this year's resolutions!!! as one joke goes 'My New Year resolution is not to make any New year resolutions' :)....just take life as it comes and be happy!...
Be Happy I say -- can anyone be just happy with what one has?....we always want more, its human nature right!!...

Wishing all my Friends and my silent and secretive readers a very Happy and Prosperous New Year! May All your wishes and 'resolutions' come true! May you reach your goals and commitments with much energy and happiness as when you made them in the first place!! :)) Love to you all!

As all good things come at once or come pouring on you, here they are pouring on me...New year, 300th post.....what better occasion to celebrate!!

300th post!!! and what way can be more exciting to celebrate the coming New Year, than to celebrate it with something sweet and something delicious. Something easy to make and equally decadent to eat!
A guilt-free and sinfully yummy dessert made healthy and more over served up with fresh fruit!!

I couldn't get a more beautiful and easy recipe to blog about on this occasion. Thanks to my 'Facebook Friends' and wonderful 'blogger friends' who gave me this beautiful idea and passed on some wonderful recipes using mango. Out of a few, I chose to make Panna Cotta incorporating the mango completely into the mix. Since I was going to use canned Mango puree, I guessed that would be the best way to go.

I wanted to make a dessert which had to be palate cleansing and light, so the addition of ginger and saffron did the trick. The combination of these to ingredients with mango gives a awesome flavor. To make the light version I chose to make it with half and half (as David Lebovitz suggested). A Indianized Mango dish can never go without a pinch of cardamom to enhance the flavor to Kulfi style (yum!)

You can omit any of the ingredients as required. Adding brown sugar gives it a nice touch to sweetness! Regular sugar can be used in its place.


2 and 1/2 cups half and half (you can use cream or whole milk for a more richer version)
1 and 1/2 cups mango pulp
4 tbsp brown sugar ( or 5 if you want it more sweet or use white sugar in its place)
1/4 tsp ground ginger (I added a bit more)
1/4 tsp ground cardamom or elaichi powder
pinch of saffron strands or kesar
2 packets of gelatin


In 1/2 cup of half and half, sprinkle the gelatin and leave it aside for 5 mins. (I did this first and did the rest next, so the gelatin had enough time to soften up, up to 10 min.). It blooms and softens up.

Heat rest of the half and half in a pan, until it just starts to boil.

Add the ginger, cardamom and saffron strands along with the brown sugar and whisk it in.

Remove from heat, add in the gelatin mixture and whisk so that it combines well.

Stir in the mango pulp and whisk it in well.

Pour into tiny tea cups or ramekins and refrigerate for about 2-6 hours.
Can be made the previous day, so that you can be sure it set completely!

To unmold - let the cup sit in a large dish filled with hot water for about 2-3 minutes and then turnover on a plate. If you have some more time before serving, or you think it melted more than required, immediately put it in the freezer, it will harden up beautifully and hold shape. This can be done after unmolding on to a plate too.

Serve it up just like that or with freshly cut fruit.


Update: Thanks to an observant reader who reminded me that I had forgot to write the step in which I added the mango pulp in. I added that step now. Thank You!

Linking this to Srivalli's Snacks Mela.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Best of the year 2011

And here it is...sneaking up on us ever so quietly and quickly! "THE END OF THE YEAR"!! Cannot believe that year 2011 is already leaving us and we are gearing up for the new year 2012.
Lots of new things have happened in the past year, lots of things which I looked forward to and some which I haven't looked forward to.

Thanks to Srivalli, I decided to take part and post for Srivalli's Best of the Year 2011 event, so that I can go back up and live thru the yummy memories of 2011. I didn't think I will be able to do it, but I took out some time and did it yaayy!!

The very big thing which has happened this year, is our move to the west coast, to San Francisco.
This move has some good things and a few not so good things attached to it! Well whatever they are we have come to like this place slowly and the process of getting settled in, is slowly ending! I know its taken so long...almost 6 months....but maybe that's small compared to the 10 years which we have spent in the east coast!

There are times when I couldn't or can't blog regularly and that's what I have missed the most! Times when I can't visit other blogs and enjoy their yummy creations is what I miss most..I love oogling at yummy pictures and there are so many yummy ones out there! It gives me peace to watch at delicious posts of yummy pictures...the best way to spend my day!

I miss doing the Blogging Marathon and the Indian Cooking Challenge, which kept me on my toes and let me to discover new dishes and make new ones to enjoy.
I miss taking part in events ...oh these time constraints!!! Not liking it a bit!!

End of the year always makes me busy with all the festivals and holidays and making me not blog regularly.
I wish in the new year I will be able to overcome these issues and be more regular and come around more! Oh how I wish I will be able to do this!!

Thanks to Facebook, I have made so many friends with whom I share common interests and I know I can depend on them for prompt answers to any of my questions!...Love you all!

Not that I am not cooking or taking any pictures, I have so many in drafts that I wish I could put them in front of you guys more often! :)

Here are a few clicks for you to enjoy!

Coming to the Best of the year 2011 on my blog...I should say all are yummy, delicious, simple and easy to make! but since I am going to highlight a few, here they are -

Vegetarian Dishes -

Karam Annam

Vangi Bath

Lemony Quinoa

Zucchini Sambar

Mixed Vegetable Paratha

Quinoa Side Dish with Peppers and Onion

Non-vegetarian Dishes -

Chepala Pulusu / Fish in tangy, sweet and sour gravy

Kasoori Methi Chicken

Lamb / Mutton Kofta curry

Roghan Josh

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Chilli Soup

Appetizers, Snacks and Sweets -


Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Borugulu / Puffed Rice snack

Spinach and Cheese Pinwheels

Flat Mediterranean Pizza

Cinnamon Sugar Twists

Mini Zucchini Pancakes

Brown Rice and Flax seed Dosa

Blueberry Pound Cake

Vegetable and Corn Chowder

Here to name a few....
And Many Many More....I hope you guys will find time to go thru them and enjoy them as much as I did!

And soon to come my 300th Post and a delicious post yet - Mango Panna Cotta

Thanks To all of you for bearing with me and reading thru this post :)
Happy Holidays!!! :)
I will be back soon with my 300th post to welcome the new year - Mango Panna Cotta - Keep watching this space....

Sending this LiteBite's Virtual New Year's eve party, hosted by Sanjeeta of Lite Bite

Monday, December 19, 2011

Rava Kobari ladoo / Ravva Coconut ladoo

So how is everyone doing?...Is everyone busy with the holidays coming up?...
We went around San Jose and San Francisco.. Christmas tree watching or should I say beautiful lights around the city watching...:)
This anyway wasn't very much possible back in the east coast, where it used to be cold and snowy sometimes that making a trip to downtown seemed as big hassle than enjoyment. That's what is different here...My plants are still sitting on the deck and its December!!...well I would have bought them in back in the east coast, but here tho it does get cold in the nights, morning sun is much warmer than in the east coast...
OK this post is becoming more like a comparison contest, let me stop here :)

Here is one of the easiest and flavourful ladoo you can make. Almost all the ingredients will be found in an Indian pantry and so its not at all difficult to put it together.
And who doesn't like the round balls of yummy goodness! :)
These are so easy and instant to make that you should really think about making them to potluck or a party which came upon you as a pouncer :). really they are so easy to make.


1 cup rava
1 cup powdered dry coconut
1 cup sugar
pinch of elaichi
1 tbsp cashew
1 tbsp raisins
4 tbsp of ghee


Dry roast the rava in a open pan, till it starts to turn color. Remove from heat and keep aside.
In one tbsp of ghee, brown the cashews and raisins and keep aside.
On very low heat, combine the dry coconut, sugar, elaichi and roasted rava along with the remaining ghee. Mix till you feel the sugar is starting to melt. This should take like 5 minutes.
Add in the cashews and raisins.
While it is still hot, starting making ladoos, by rubbing tiny amount if ghee on your palm so that the mixture won't stick to you.
This can be stored for up to 10 days in an air tight container.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A quick twist on the regular breakfast or snack - Podi Idli - Steamed Rice cakes tossed up with delicious lentil powder

Fun time is almost here...its almost Christmas and New Year's is around the corner! More importantly school vacation is almost here and Kids will be home 24/7 for 2 weeks.
Well one more week for that to happen, but I need to get prepared before vacation starts...sound proof my ears, increase voice pitch, increase in high energy and decrease on sleep!!! Isn't that the way to go?...How much we like our kids spending a few days at home hoping that we will have a well spent vacation together with quality time, things such as above have to be taken care of ;)) We do enjoy all the things and have lots of fun in the end (by breaking up fights between brothers) fast do these kids grow up really...cant they slow down a bit??

So as long as they are at home, I love to cook for them, make a variety of eatables, some which they enjoy, some which I want to cook :). Keep them filled and happy.

Here is a quick and easy twist on the regular idlis, steamed rice cakes. I am sure all of us at one point of time must of ordered this in the South Indian Vegetarian restaurants, so we are familiar with it.
The recipe which is a sharing with you is surely much tastier and different from the ones you get in the restaurants, I should say much more spicier and yummier too..:)

This can be quick breakfast or a mid-day snack!!

I use the mix of Kandi podi and Dhaniyalu podi (coriander spice mix powder), but you are welcome to use which ever powder you have stocked at home.
If using only single powder, don't hesitate to add a little jeera powder and coriander powder to give it a lift in taste.
Leftover idlis are best for this prep, but if using fresh ones, use ones which are cooled down completely, to avoid them breaking apart or falling apart when tossing.

Ingredients: (for single serving)

3-4 leftover or well cooled down idlis, cut into bite sized pieces
1-2 tbsp kandi podi and dhaniyalu podi mixed

1/4 red onion, sliced
2 green chillies, sliced
1/4 tsp chana dal
1/4 tsp urad dal
pinch of mustard seeds
pinch of cumin seeds
2 dry red chilies, broken
few curry leaves
chopped coriander leaves for garnish
1 tsp olive oil or if you prefer neyyi or ghee


Heat the oil in a kadai or a pan.
Start tempering with urad dal, chana dal. When they are about to turn brown, add in the mustard seeds and cumin. When they splutter add the curry leaves.
Add the onions, red chillies, green chillies and saute till they are almost translucent, but not completely!
Add the pieces of idlis along with the lentil spice mix powders or kandi podi and dhaniyalu podi. Toss the idlis so that they get completely coated with the podi.
Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and Serve!!
Enjoy with some delicious chutney or plain! Yum!!!

Linking this to Srivalli's Snacks Mela.

Linking this to Sweet Heat Challenge -Let's rock Indian on Michelle's bog!