Dec 13, 2008

Paneer Curry

Any dish with paneer is yummy as per my tummy's records. Am a big fan of paneer curries and I make sure to try it out in every place I have a chance to have it. Learnt this method from my mom when I was very new to cooking. Love the way it turns out every time. Never was a chance to turn it wrong. Its good when you know it never goes wrong.

This is what u'll need....

Onions 2 medium
Tomatoes 2 medium
Butter 2 tbspn
Salt to taste
Sugar 1 tspn
Coriander powder 1/4 tspn
Cumin powder 1/4 tspn
Chilli powder 1/4 tspn
Cashews 5 tbspn
Raisins 5 tbspn
Cashew paste 2 tbspn
Heavy cream 1/4 cup

Here is the stir....
  • Chop and grind onions to a very fine paste
  • Heat butter in a pan and add the paste. Keep stirring it until the mixture turns brown and onion loses its raw flavor
  • Add salt, sugar, coriander, cumin powder and chilli powder and stir for a couple of minutes
  • Grind tomatoes to a fine paste and add to the pan
  • Fry this mixture till oil starts separating from the gravy
  • In a separate pan fry cashews, paneer and raisins and add to the gravy
  • Add cashew paste or heavy cream and boil for a couple more mins. Its its ready to be served

Dec 2, 2008

Lemon Rasam

Rasam is usually a part of everyday lunch menu. Tangy, spicy, very light, soup style rasam is had with rice. This one is a little different version without the hassle of making tamarind juice. After having heavy, rich food continuously for 3-4 days we usually take a break by having simple rasam rice with egg bhurji or paruppu thovaiyal. It keeps us tummy feeling light and happy.

This is what u'll need....

Tomatoes 2 medium
Garlic 3 big cloves
Chilli powder 1/2 tspn
Salt to taste
Mustard 1/2 tspn
Pepper powder 1tbspn
Cumin powder 1 tbspn
Water 5-6 cups
Lemon juice 4-5 tbspn
Hing - a pinch
Coriander leaves for garnish

Here is the stir....
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard and let them splutter
  • Chop tomatoes and toss into the pan
  • Spoon in salt and chilli powder and keep frying till the tomatoes are little mushy
  • Add pepper powder, cumin powder, crushed garlic, water
  • Let it cook for about 2 mins
  • Pour lemon juice followed by hing
  • Just  bring the mixture to boil and remove from heat
  • Garnish with coriander leaves

Nov 27, 2008


Thattai is spicy rice dough pressed thin and deep fried in oil. It turns out crispy and tasty that you can never end up having just one. I never thought of making it at home until one day my friend brought some home-made thattai for me when I was carrying my little one. She made them so delicious that they were all gone even before she would have reached her home. I tried them and it turned out very good too. Thanks to my friend for the idea and recipe as well.

This is what u'll need....

Rice flour - 1 cup
Roasted urad dal powder - 1 tbspn
Melted butter / Oil - 2 tbspn
Red  Chilli powder 1/2 tspn
Curry leaves - as needed
Chana dal - 2 tbspn
Sesame seeds - 1 tbspn
Asafoetida - 1/8 tspn
Oil - for frying
Salt to taste

Here is the stir....
  • Soak chana dal for 15-20 mins in warm water
  • Mix together rice flour, roasted urad dal flour, red chilli powder, roughly chopped curry leaves, asafoetida and salt to taste
  • Add in 2 tablespoons of melted butter or oil
  • Add soaked chana dal. Toss in a tablespoon of sesame seeds
  • Pour required amount of water and form a soft and stiff dough
  • Take a small piece of dough and make a small ball. Place  them between 2 sheets of palstic

  • Press the ball with your palm/back of a flat vessel to form a small poori. I use bottom of a bowl and it works out perfect

  • Make pooris with the remaining dough
  • Heat oil in a kadai. Slide in 2-3 thattai into the oil
  • Deep fry the thattai till they are golden brown and crisp. Keep heat on medium when frying. You will know its done once it completely stops sizzling/bubbling
  • Remove and drain them on paper towels to remove excess oil
  • Once cool transfer it to an airtight container
  • Serve as needed and enjoy with a cup of hot tea
  • Keep the flame on medium when frying to maintain colour and to get a crispy thattai
  • You can just roughly tear up the curry leaves. No need to shop them neat
  • Soak chana dal before adding to the dough

              Nov 23, 2008


              Another of my m-i-l's special. It stands out special because of the way she makes it. And that is why my hubby loves it. Any day I ask him for ideas to make lunch his first suggestion wud be this no matter even if I made it just the day before. Its easy to make and tastes different than the regular everyday menu item.

              This is what u'll need....

              Oil - 3-4 tbspn
              Mustard - 1 tspn
              Fenugreek seeds - 1 tspn
              Onion - 1 large

              Tomato - 1 large
              Garlic - 4 big cloves
              Chopped vegetables - 2 cups
              Tamarind - size of a lemon
              Sambar powder - 2 tbspn
              Coconut shredded - 1/4 cup
              Salt to taste

              Here is the stir....

              • Heat oil in a pan and add seasoning - mustard and fenugreek
              • Once mustard starts spluttering toss in chopped/sliced garlic and fry till you can smell the aroma but be careful not to burn it
              • Slice onions thinly and add to the pan. Saute nions till they turn soft
              • Dice tomatoes and add it to the pan. Cook for a few minutes till the tomatoes turns little soft
              • Chop all veggies. You can try different combis like - brinjal, drumstick,potato -or- black eyed beans(soaked and boiled) 
              • Spoon in sambar powder and salt. Stir everything together till the masala coats the veggies well. Keep frying till the veggies are a little soft
              • Add a little water and for a couple of minutes
              • Grind the coconut with little water to a fine paste and add to the veggies. Stir well till the gravy is well combined
              • Cook the mixture on medium for around 15 mins
              • Soak tamarind in warm water and squeeze out the juice into pan
              • Cook for another 5 mins or until gravy starts to separate along the sides of the pan
              • Serve with hot rice and a little ghee and enjoy the taste
              Notes :
              Fry the veggies well before adding the coconut
              Cook the mixture on medium flame for better taste
              Add tamarind towards end of cooking

              Cauliflower Manchurian

              Who doesnt like manchurian??? and gobi manchurian .. hmmmm... ???? The taste is so enticing that you can barely ask your eyes to wander away from this item on the menu. I remember I made this for the first time when we had invited  few friends for lunch. I was on the phone with my mom asking for the recipe and then in no time I was on my way making it. I was nervous but I had already started the preparations so now there was no turning back. When served, everyone was asking for the recipe so you now know how wud it have tasted :)

              This is what u'll need....

              Cauliflower medium size ½  (Makes around 15 balls)
              Salt to taste
              Cornflour 2 tbspn
              Maida 2 tbspn
              Gg paste 1 tbspn
              Green chilli paste ½ tbspn
              Oil for frying
              For garnish ->

              Onion 1 small
              Tomato 1 small
              Capsicum 1 small
              Soya sauce 1 tbspn
              Ketchup 2 tbspn
              Coriander leaves and green onion

              Here is the stir....
              • Chop cauliflower into small pieces and add to a pan with water and salt
              • Bring this to a boil and stop immediately. Don’t cook it else it will lose taste
              • Drain this and transfer to a bowl 
              • Toss in corn flour, maida, gg paste, green chili paste, salt and mix everything together to make a dough
              • Make small balls and deep fry them until crispy on the outside and appear golden brown
              • In a wider pan add 2 tbspn oil.
              • Once hot add diced onions, tomatoes, capsicum and toss for 2-3 mins
              • Pour soya sauce and ketchup followed by the fried balls. Stir for one min and remove from heat
              • Garnish with green onions and coriander leaves 

              Nov 15, 2008

              Vegetable Kurma.... my moms style

              Kurma is a healthy addition to the gravy as it has all the veggie stuff loaded in it. A nice way to get veggies into our diet. This can be had with rice, chapathis or dosa so can be a part of lunch, breakfast or dinner. Cutting vegetables is the only tough part. Rest is all done in a jiffy. So now you like it.. isnt it... 

              I make kurma 2 ways. One my mil style and other my moms style. I love both of them. This recipe which my mom taught me is quicker and easier one .... should say it can be done using just a pressure cooker. There is no compromise in taste though. 

              Nov 12, 2008

              Chicken Gravy (Pepper flavored).. my mil style

              A pepper flavored gravy that is a regular sunday menu at my mils house. The kick of pepper is very delicious and I found it to be very different from what my mother makes. I am very used to red chilli and green chill flavours in chicken. So this peppery flavor was new and certainly different. Try this and you are sure to like it.

              This is what u'll need....

              Chicken  2 lbs – cut into small pieces
              Onion     2 big
              Tomato   1 big
              Water 1 cup
              Salt to taste
              Turmeric ¼ tspn
              Sambar powder 1.5 tpsn
              Coconut 2 pieces (app 1/8 of a coconut)
              Whole black pepper 2 tbspn
              Cumin 1 tbspn

              Here is the stir....

              • Heat oil in a pan and add chopped onions (No Need to fry)
              • Stir the onions followed by chicken, turmeric, salt and sambar powder
              • Boil the mixture for around 15 minutes 
              • Grind coconut, pepper, cumin to a very fine paste
              • Add the above paste to chicken mixture and boil for another 15-20 minutes

              Nov 5, 2008


              This is a kind of dosa but has a predominant flavor of chana dal. It has a little spice in it which makes it more interesting to the taste buds. I find it a good alternative to regular dosas. Dont have to ferment the batter and thats the part I like most.

              This is what u'll need....

              Rice 1-1/2 cup
              Chana dal 1/2 cup
              Tuvar dal  1/4 cup
              Salt to taste
              Green chilli 4
              Ginger chopped/grated 2 tbspn
              Hing a pinch
              Onion 1 big
              Coconut chopped 3 tbspn
              Coroiander leaves

              Here is the stir....
              • Soak rice and dal in separate bowls for around 1-2 hours
              • Grind them to a coarse paste along with salt, green chilli and hing
              • Transfer it to a bowl and add chopped onions, coriander, ginger and coconut
              • Make thin dosas out of it with a little extra dash of oil

              Nov 4, 2008

              Panner Butter Masala

              Paneer butter masala is a favorite in my family. Its rich and creamy that gives it the name makhani by some. Got to know this easy shortcut from my sis which helps me save a lot of time. Takes around 30 mins so it makes a good addition to last minute menu with unexpected guests. Kids too will love this slightly sweet gravy. Can substitute paneer with tofu if wanted.

              Serves... 4 ppl 
              Serve option... With hot pooris or naan

              This is what u'll need....

              Onion 1 med
              Tomato 1 large
              Green chillies 2
              Chilli powder 1/2 tbspn
              Coriander powder 1 tspn
              Cumin powder 1 tspn
              Gg paste 1 tspn
              Salt to taste
              Sugar 1 tsp
              Ketchup 1 tbspn
              Heavy cream 1/2 cup
              Cashews 1/4 cup
              Raisins 5 tbspn
              Paneer cubes 1 cup
              Butter 1 tbspn
              Garam masala 1/2 tspn 
              Oil 1 tbspn

              Here is the stir....
              • Heat oil in a pan and chopped onions to it (can substitute this with fried onions to make things faster). Fry till turn translucent and add gg paste
              • Once cooked add a cup of water 
              • Add chopped tomatoes, green chillies, 5-6 cashews, coriander powder, chilli powder, cumin powder and cook it covered fr 15-20 mins or till the raw flavors are gone
              • Cool the mixture and grind it to a very smooth paste. Add water if needed
              • Meanwhile fry cashews, raisins and paneer and keep aside
              • Heat butter in a pan and add the above paste to it
              • Mix sugar, salt and ketchup to the pan. Pour heavy cream when the mixture is very hot and stir immediately
              • Toss in fried stuff into this and cook for 4-5 mins
              • Sprinkle garam masala just before removing from heat

              Oct 28, 2008

              Puzhi Kuzhambu

              Puzhi kuzhambu is a very tangy tamarind gravy enjoyed in the southern part of India. It is one of those regular everyday menu item that doesnt take much effort to make. The one which I make is an easy version that my mom taught me. She always used to serve this with rice and boiled egg and you know how tasty it is when mom's make. Hmmm the authentic taste and aroma.... Add a little ghee and yes....

              This is what u'll need....

              Coconut 5 tbspn
              Garlic cloves 6
              Onion 1 small
              Tomato 1 small
              Tamarind - size of lemon
              Sambar powder 1.5 tbspn
              Mustard 1 tspn
              Fenugreek seeds 1/2 tspn
              Fenugreek powder 1/4 tspn
              Salt to taste
              Oil 3 tbspn
              Vegetables 2 cup - potato/drumstick/brinjal/okra

              Here is the stir....
              • Grind coconut, onion, tomato, sambar powder and salt
              • Heat oil in a pan and add cut vegetables
              • Fry them for a while till water eveaporates and then remove and keep aside
              • To the same pan add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, garlic
              • Pour coconut mixture into the pan and cook till on medium till the raw smell goes off
              • Add the fried and boil the mixture till the vegetables are cooked - around 10 mins
              • Mix tamarind juice to the mixture and boil for another 5 mins - the oil should start separating my now
              • Blend in the fenugreek powder just before removing from stove top

              Oct 14, 2008

              Instant Pal Khova

              Last minute guests and need of a quick desert. Dont worry, I have this story of a divine dessert only for you. A colleague of mine was about to leave to India. She wanted to treat us with a simple sweet dish that she brought to the work place. It was yum yum yummmm. The fun part was that she wasnt even aware of the abc's of cooking. When she revealed the secret recipe, the truth of her instant success unveiled. It was the microwave magic. She had made as pedas but I make the same recipe to khoya consistency which is more softer and lighter in texture. So here is a treat that you can surprise your guests with - just 5 mins and you are done.

              Serves ...4 ppl
              Serve option ... warm

              This is what u'll need....

              Sweetened Condensed milk - 1 can - 400 gm
              Butter 1 stick - 1/2 cup
              Milk powder 1 and 3/4 cup
              Cardamom powder 1/4 tspn
              Fried Cashews/raisins/pista for garnish

              Here is the stir....
              • Melt butter in microwave for 30 secs
              • Add condensed milk, butter and cardamom powder
              • Microwave for another 5 mins. Stir every 2 mins
              • Sprinkle chopped cashews, raisins and pistachios

              Oct 10, 2008

              Quick Sambar for Idly

              My mom makes real cool sambar for idly. She has her wonderful sambar powder that works out the wonders. I dont add any vegetables when making this sambar. Super hot idlis and sambar to dip them is heavenly. It makes my mouth watering. Again top off the idlis with a little ghee and it reaches further heights.

              This is what u'll need....

              Tuvar dal 1/2 cup
              Idly sambar powder 2 tbspn
              Gram flour 1 tspn
              Turmeric 1/4 tspn
              Salt to taste
              Tamarind paste - 1/4 tspn
              Onion 1 large
              Tomato 1 medium
              Green chillies 3
              Mustard, urad dal for tadka
              Coriander leaves for garnish
              Oil 2 tbspn
              Salt to taste

              Here is the stir....
              • Pressure cook the dal for 2-3 whistles and let it cool down
              • Meanwhile heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, broken urad dal
              • Add finely chopped onions and fry till golden
              • Toss in chopped tomatoes and green chillies
              • When everything is cooked add the tuvar dal, salt, tamarind paste
              • Mix idly sambar powder, gram flour in half a cup of water and add to the pan
              • Boil the mixture for 15 mins and then garnish with lots of coriander leaves
              • The recipe looks simple but the results are really fabulous

              Oct 2, 2008

              Maida Biscuits

              This snack has been close to my heart right from my childhood. My mom used to make big batches of this snack and store them in big containers. Hats-off to her patience. We would keep snacking on them all the time. I have always loved the bite and taste of it. It is so yummy that we can never have just a few

              Making these maida biscuits requires just  few ingredients and a little bit of your time. Love making this as its my favourite and everybodys too

              Sep 29, 2008

              Quick bread sweet

              I was getting bored yesterday. Thought something to eat would make things better. Was not interested in any special snacks when I got reminded of this sweet dish that my mom used to make for us when she wont have lot many ingredients at home and we would be insisting her to make something sweet. I havent had it for years so felt I should make it. Fried bread in sugar syrup sounds kiddish but it was so yummy that my husband asked for some more

              This is what u'll need....

              Bread slices 4
              Sugar 1/2 cup
              Water 1 cup
              Cardamom 3
              Ghee 3 tbspn
              Cashews 5-6

              Here is the stir....
              • Mix sugar and water in a pan and bring it to a boil. When it starts to thicken a little, add crushed cardamom and transfer to a bowl
              • Chop off the sides of the bread slices
              • Dice the bread into small cubes
              • Heat ghee in a pan and fry the bread pieces until they have a golden brown crust
              • Remove and drain on a paper towel
              • In the same pan add broken cashews and fry till brown
              • Add some fried bread pieces to a bowl. Pour some sugar syrup on it and top it with fried cashews
              • Serve it warm when the bread is a little crunchy 

              Sep 25, 2008

              Dosa batter paniyaram

              This is a quick snack that I can think of when I have some dosa batter on hand. It also fits into the breakfast category on a weekend where everyone can sit around and take a bite. Its a good alternative to the regular dosa and idlis that we make. These tiny little balls are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and jusst melt in your mouth.

              This is what u'll need....

              Dosa batter 2 cups
              Onion 1 medium
              Green chillies 3
              Coriander leaves 
              Salt to taste
              Sambar powder 1/2 tbspn

              Here is the stir....
              • Chop onion, green chillies and coriander leaves
              • Mix it to the dosa batter followed by salt and sambar powder
              • Heat the paniyaram pan and fill each mould with 1/4 tbspn oil 
              • Pour paniyaram mix into each mould and let it cook for around 3 mins or until golden brown
              • Turn each paniyaram upside down into the moulds and cook for another 2-3 mins
              • Serve it with chutney or podi. I like to eat it with sauce

              Sep 19, 2008

              Okra Pachadi

              A quick and easy gravy when there is not enough time in a day that calls for loads of household chores. It goes well with rice. It is a time saver and also you dont have to be wear out near the stove. I keep this recipe handy for long tiring days that doesnt want me to spend more time in kitchen.

              This is what u'll need....

              Okra 1 lb
              Mustard 1 tspn
              Methi/fenugreek seeds 1/2 tspn
              Onion 1 large
              Tomato 1 medium
              Green chillies 4
              Tamarind - size of a lemon
              Salt to taste
              Turmeric 1/4 tspn
              Oil 2 tbspn

              Here is the stir....
              • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard, methi
              • Add chopped onions, salt, turmeic and fry couple of mins
              • Toss in chopped tomatoes and fry for 2 mins
              • Squeeze tamarind in some warm water to get the juice and mix into the pan. Pour a cup of water and boil the mixture
              • Finally add thinly sliced okra and keep boiling for 15-20 mins
              • Serve with rice

              Sep 16, 2008

              Muzhu kathirikai / Brinjal with coconut stuffing

              Stuffed brinjal is an easy and delicious side for everyday menu. There are quite a number of ways that its made. My mom makes the one with a spicy coconut mixture stuffing and it tastes yummm. A simple blend of spices stuffed inside tender brinjals and then cooked on medium flame for a little while makes this dish a tasty treat for an everyday lunch menu

              In our house we eat it with rasam rice and we feel the combination awesome

              Sep 13, 2008

              Ulunda vadai / bonda

              Vadais are always yummy and you dont need a reason to make them. I make vadais for two batches always as I am a big fan of the colder version also, yes Dahi vadas. First day we eat hot vadas with sambar and coconut chutney and then towards the end I soak them in spicy curd mix and refrigerate for the next day. Its very yummy either way.

              This is what u'll need....

              Urad dal 1 cup - soaked for 1 hr
              Salt to taste
              Green chillies 3-4
              Ginger 1 tspn
              Onion 1 medium
              Curry leaves
              Coriander leaves

              Here is the stir....
              • Grind urad with salt to a fine paste. Watch not to make it watery. If by mistake it turns watery add a little rice flour.
              • Add finely chopped ginger, onion, green chillies, curry leaves and coriander
              • Make the shape of vadais and deep fry in oil till golden brown
              • You can also drop spoonfuls of the batter into oil for bondas

              Sep 4, 2008

              Chole Rice

              This is a good change to the regular rice varieties that we usually have at home. My mother-in-law makes this special food for us. Its again one of her cooking specials. My hubby loves it a lot. I should say it is not only his favorite but everybodys in the whole family. I am not as perfect as my m-i-l but I sure give a sincere try every time and make something decent.

              This is what u'll need....

              Chick peas 1/2 cup - Soaked overnight
              Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp
              Green Chilli 3-4
              Bay leaf 1
              Cardamom 2
              Cloves 2
              Cinnamon - 1/4 inch
              Saunf - 1 tspn
              Onion 1 big
              Tomato 1 small
              Coconut milk 1 cup
              Salt to taste
              Sambar powder 1 tsp
              Curd/Lemon juice 1 tbsp
              Garam masala 1/2 tsp
              Oil 4-5 tsp
              Basmati rice 1 cup - Soaked for 1/2 hour

              Here is the stir....
              • Heat oil in a pan and add whole garam masala - bay leaf, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon ans saunf. Stir it for a few seconds to get the aroma infused into the oil
              • Finely slice onion and add it to the pan. Sprinkle some salt and fry the onion for a minute
              • Slit green chillies and add it to the pan follwed by ginger garlic paste. Saute the onions till they are soft and translucent
              • Chop tomatoes and mix it in. Keep mixing everything to avoid burning. Cook on low flame for a few minutes till the mixture starts oozing oil
              • Once everything is fried, add the soaked chick peas. Cook for a minute or two and transfer and boil in cooker for 1 whistle
              • Meanwhile strain rice and fry in 2 tsp oil till they start sticking to each other
              • Add rice to rice cooker along with the spicy chick peas mixture
              • Add garam masala powder, curd/lemon juice, salt, sambar powder, coconut milk and water
              • Ratio of coconut and water is 1:1. U can reduce the amount of coconut milk if it is too thick and add equal part of water instead.
              • We make fresh curd raitha for this and it tastes awesome

              Sakkarai Pongal

              This a festive sweet dish that mom usually makes at home for Pongal or Vinayak Chaturthi. I always used to think that making sweet pongal was very tough. But when I saw my mother-in-law make it for Ganesh Chaturthi last time, i couldnt believe how easy it can be. And guess what she did not make just a bowl but a whole big pot. She just makes things so simple and sweet. My cooooolllll m-i-l.

              This is what u'll need....

              Rice 1/2 cup
              Moong Dal 1/3 cup
              Milk 2.5 cups
              Ghee 5-7 spoons
              Jaggery 150 gm
              Cardamom 3

              Here is the stir....
              • Wash rice and dal together and set aside
              • Pour milk in cooker and boil for 2-3 mins
              • Add the rice and dal mixture and pressure cook upto 4-5 whistles
              • Pour some ghee in a kadhai and pour the above cooked mixture. Stir for 2 mins and add powdered elaichi to it
              • Add jaggery and cook the mixture for 5 mins more after the jaggery has melted
              • Fry kaju and kismis in ghee and add to above

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