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Friday, March 23, 2012


Nandana nama samvatsara subhakankshalu

Wishing everyone a very Happy and Prosperous UGADI! A very Happy New Year to all celebrating!
Happy UGADI and Happy Gudi Padwa!!

I know I have again disappeared... I am having problems with my computer yet again... Hopefully they will be resolved soon... Till then enjoy the UGADI Pachadi! :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spicy Corn Fritters / Corn Pakoras or Pakodas

 Its going to be raining here for the next few days...Rain = winter in CA = kinda cold and chilly too... not pleasant at all...well better than winters in East coast, but East coast is having spring like weather right now!...Grass is always greener on the other side isn't it!

Whats better than to have spicy and crunchy pakodas during the rains...brings back memories of the childhoods days, wen we used to get the yummy pakoras or spicy mirchi bajjis whenever it rains. The days when we were in college, we used get settled by the canteen and have hot hot bajjis and enjoy! Oh I wish those days can come back again!

Well who says we cannot enjoy the yummy pakodis even now...I am always up for some of these yummy fritters anytime. This was sitting in my drafts for quite sometime now. I thought this was a perfect time to post this as I hear the rain drumming on the windows. All I need now is some soft music, bollywood style and I am all set.

Well I wish I had that kind of time to sit now. I will have to make do with the radio in the car as I drive my younger kid to his swimming class!
But you guys enjoy these yummy ones and make sure to parcel me some! :)


1 cup Sweet corn kernels / Frozen or fresh (I used frozen)
1/2 cup besan / Chick pea flour / Chenagapindi
1/4 cup rice flour
1 small onion, chopped

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

pinch of baking soda
1 tsp chili powder or masala karam

2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
little water as needed

Oil for deep fry


Thaw the frozen corn in some water and drain the water.
Take half of the corn and grind it into a coarse paste.
Mix the ungrounded corn and the ground corn with rest of the ingredients along with some water. It should not be runny, but should be thick enough to make small balls.
Heat oil in a kadai for deep frying.
Drop small balls of the mixture into the heated oil.
Fry them till they are golden brown. Remove on a paper napkin to drain off excess oil.
Serve hot with some spicy ketchup.

Sending this off to Indian Food Palooza, hosted by, Prerna of Indian Simmer, Kathy of The Colors of Indian Cooking and Barbara of Creative Culinary.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Vegetarian Tostada with Papaya Orange Pico de gallo

 Wishing all the women in my life, and all the people I have come across in this blogging journey a very happy "International Women's Day".
And also to my Mom who has been my inspiration who has been supportive in all ways through this Journey.
My MIL, who has given me some good and interesting recipes and is supportive too.
And my Sister, who has been a person who I can lean on to when I need any kind of help and also been supportively useful in all ways! :) Don't we all like to take advantage of little sisters! :)

Today is also Holi - a colorful festival, celebration in India. It falls on the full moon day towards the end of winter season. It celebrates the start of farming season for good harvests and good fertile lands. There is also a religious aspect to it, which is the end of cold and darkness and bringing in the purity in the form of light and brightness.

Holi is the start of spring season which brings in different colors, this shown by playing with colors, colorful water among young and old.
Brings back memories of when we were in India, and used to watch kids play with colors. Yes watch, I never played much Holi, but did enjoy watching kids. But loved to eat all the different sweets made on that day.

So technically, I should be making sweets, but I thought why not combine Women's day and Holi and make something which is colorful and healthy for both occasions.
Isn't celebrating being a woman, mean eat healthy and as a celebration for good harvest and fertile land, also mean lots and lots of vegetables and fruit! :)

So for this occasion, I came up with a Vegetarian Tostada with Papaya Orange Pica de Gallo. A very easy dish which tastes just as wonderful. Lots of fruit and veggies on the top making it healthy and guilt free.
So as the story goes, I brought all the ingredients for making this and also brought canned black beans...only didn't see that I picked up the wrong can. It turned out to be refried black beans.

My first idea was to spread fresh salsa on the corn tortillas and then pile it with the pico de gallo, which was going to contain the whole black beans.
But since it was refried, I made it this way - spread the refried on the bottom and piled it with the pico de gallo.
the fun part of this dish is that you can modify it the way you like it. Add as many ingredients as you wish and make it as yummy as you like!! :))

This can be eaten as a appetizer or as a side item on a lunch menu. The crispy corn tortillas and the toppings should be kept separate, so that it allows each person to put what toppings they like.


Papaya Orange Pico De Gallo:

1/4 piece of Papaya, chopped small
half of an orange, fiber taken out and chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 cup corn, frozen or cooked fresh
1/2 onion, chopped
1-2 green chili or 1 jalapeno, thinly chopped
few cilantro or coriander leaves
1/2 to 1 Tbsp of Lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste


Mix all the ingredients together. Adjust salt, pepper and lemon juice according to taste.

Ingredients for making the Tostada:

6 corn tortillas, 6 inch
(2 corn tortillas per tostada)
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 cup refried black beans
(you can also use whole cooked / canned black beans instead)
Shredded cabbage
1/4 cup mix of Mexican cheese
(you can use fresh variety of Mexican cheese instead)

Method for assembling the tostada:

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Spray the corn tortillas, on both side of each one, with olive oil.
It take about 10-15 minutes for the tortillas to crisp up, when placed two, one on top of each other. So you have 3 sets. You can also crisp them, placing them individually too.

Remove avocado from its skin. Add some lemon juice, salt and pepper. Keep aside.

You can heat the refried black beans to warm, if you want...or if you like it cold you can use it just like that.

After the tortilla crisp up, spread the refried beans on top of it.
Place some shredded cabbage on it.
On top of that, add the Pico de gallo and avocado.
Sprinkle some cheese on the top.

Serve immediately or the tortillas will start to get wet from the pico de gallo and soften it.


Whole beans instead of refried beans.
Lettuce instead of cabbage.
Spread salsa instead of refried beans.
Use chicken to make it more interesting!

There can be more variations, just be creative :).

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Homemade Rasam powder

Rasam is a tangy and sour soup which is mainly South Indian. though South Indian, there are many types and versions of how its made.

I love having hot hot fresh rasam in a glass before my meal. It just feels very refreshing and comforting.
Rasam is usually eaten with rice, by mixing it with rice. Since it is thin, it can also be consumed as soup, when you are sick or not! :)

Rasam as it itself doesn't have much nutritional value, but its heartwarming and comfort food at it best.
All the value to rasam comes from what goes into the rasam powder and all the extras that can be added to it.

There are many many versions of making homemade rasam powder. This recipe here is the type we make at home. Very simple and easy to make.
Freshly made rasam powder tastes so much better than the store bought ones. But surely the store bought ones are a good substitute, but still not as good.

Again rasam powder is made differently in different parts of India, mainly South India as it is more popular with the South Indians.

Extra black pepper powder or added ginger makes it good for coughs and colds.
Extra jeera or cumin seeds and pepper powder is good for digestion.
Adding carom seeds or vamu also makes it good for colds and digestion.

Rasam makes a good pairing with masala curries, so that it makes it easy for digesting all the masala that it eaten.
That's why I make it usually when I make it with any masala curries or mainly with any non-veg dishes.


1/4 cup Toor dal, khandi pappu, heaped
1/4 cup coriander seeds, dhaniya
1 tbsp jeera, cumin seeds
1 tsp Black Peppercorns, Miriyalu
1 tsp Methi seeds, menthulu


Grind all the ingredients together into a powder, It doesn't have to be totally fine, it can be coarse too.
Extra ingredients like garlic, dry red chilies or dry curry leaves can also be added.
You don't need to roast this. Just directly powder it.
Use it in flavoring your favorite rasams.

Check out my previous posts where I used Rasam Powder-

Lemon Tomato Rasam
Vamu Rasam