Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Pan Fried - Crispy Broccoli

This veggie tasted so crispy, like pakoras, but it's not dipped in a wet batter or deep fried like pakoras. I used spiced, garlicky bread crumbs, broccoli and almonds.
25                             almonds/ fav.nuts (sliced)
3 tbs                          oil
1.50 lb/ 680 gms        broccoli (trim & cut into 2-3' florets) 
2 cups                       bread crumbs
1 tsp                          cumin seed/ jeera
3 tsp                          chilli pwdr
1 clove                      garlic
1/2 tsp                       salt or to taste
1. Rinse, trim and cut broccoli into 2-3' florets. Pulse cumin seed and garlic in a mixer/blender. Mix garlic, chilli powder,salt and bread crumbs.
2. Add wet broccoli florets to b.crumb mixture, toss to coat, push bread crumbs between stem gaps.
3. Heat 2 tbs of oil in a non stick pan (med/high) and toast almonds. Remove almonds when it starts to change color. Add crumb coated broccoli to pan, stir it in oil.
4. Cover the pan, reduce heat and let it cook for 5 - 8 mins, till it becomes crisp and tender.
5. Remove the lid, add 1 tbs oil, toasted almonds and increase heat, stir occasionally until it becomes golden brown and crispy.
6. Remove from heat, transfer to a serving plate.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Rava/ Sooji / Semolina Kesari

Love this sweet so much, no need for any spl. occasions to make this. It's very easy to make. In this recipe, kesari is not overly sweet/ oily, it is moist and silky. This is my mom's recipe :)
semolina sweet
1 cup         thick rava/ sooji/ semolina/ grits
1 cup         water
1 cup         milk
1 tbs          oil 
1 tbs          ghee/ clarified butter (melted butter)
1/2 cup      sugar (reduce or increase the amount according to your taste) 
1 tsp          oil + ghee (each)
1 handful   cashew nuts & raisins
2               finely crushed cardamom 
4-8            saffron strands/ 2 pinch orange food color
1. Heat oil + ghee in a pan, roast cashew. When it turns golden brown, add raisins,  fry till it becomes plump.

2. Now add rava to the same pan and stir it nicely in the remaining oil on med/high, till it gives out a nice roasted aroma, lower the temperature and stir it for another 2-3 mins ( don't let it burn), 
remove the roasted rava from pan. 
3. Pour milk + water to the same pan and heat it (med/high), add cardamom powder, saffron and/or orange color, sugar and stir till the sugar dissolve. 
4. When the liquid starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium and add  the roasted rava (a little at a time) & stir the mix in circular motion simultaneously. 
5. When the liquid gets evaporated, switch off the heat and add another tsp of oil/ ghee, raisins and nuts. Stir it well.
                                          Yummy kesari!
*Heat it before serving 


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Breaded Paneer Fry

This breaded and pan fried paneer cubes (few spoons of oil only) will be a crowd pleaser in any party, can be enjoyed as an appetizer or as a snack with a cup of coffee. The filling can be a spicy chutney/ any condiment of your choice. I used tomato chutney as the filling and coriander chutney for dip.
spicy paneer fry
8oz/230 gms         paneer
1/2 cup                 your fav. chutney/condiment
1 cup                    bread crumbs
1/2 tsp                  chilli pwdr
1/4 tsp                  turmeric pwdr
1 tsp                     chat/garam masala 
1 tsp                     lemon juice
1/4 tsp                  ginger garlic paste
1 pinch                 salt
1. Cut paneer in about 2" slices, mix turmeric, salt, lemon juice, chat/garam masala.
2. Marinate he paneer cubes in the lemon mixture for 1-3 hrs.
3. Slit a side of a paner slice with a knife (don't slice it through, it should be like an envelope to fill the chutney) push small amount of your fav.chutney inside the slit.
4. Heat a flat pan, add few spoons of oil, mix chilli pwdr with bread 
5. Roll the paneer slices over bread crumbs, press crumbs to it's sides, carefully place the paneer slices on the hot pan. Turn it when it gets brown, repeat the process with the remaining paneer cubes.
6. Transfer it to a serving plate and serve with pudina/ mint chutney or ketchup.
To make your own bread crumbs:
Toast 2 slices of bread in a pan/toaster, till it becomes brown and crispy, let it cool. Crush it and process in a blender/mixer to get an evenly textured (coarse) crumbs. You can add your fav. seasoning to it too.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Easy Carrot Halwa/ Gajar Ka Halwa

       My friend brought me a big bowl of carrot halwa a few months back, i'm not a big fan of halwa, i've always felt it's tooo sweet and oily, and it's also a tedious job in the making....stirring and stirring till my hands fall apart :(  
     But my perspective in halwa's taste and it's preparation soon changed, after tasting her creamy halwa. It tasted so good....not very sweet and it was not dripping oil. She gave me the recipe too...easy to make and good to eat. Thanks Sasikala :)
2 cups                      grated carrots
4 - 6 cups                 whole milk
1/2 cup                     sugar
3 tbs                         ghee/ melted butter
1 tbs                         oil
1/2 tsp                      cardomom powder
1/4 cup                     finely chopped nuts
1/2 cup                     mava/khoya or scraped paneer (optional)
1.  Heat oil + 1tbs ghee in a pan and fry chopped nuts till crisp, remove it from the pan and keep it aside.
2.  Put scraped carrots in the same pan and fry it in the remaining oil in the pan, for few mins.
3. Add milk to the pan (carrots must be fully covered fully in milk), when milk starts to boil, lower the heat and let it cook till the mixture becomes dry.
4. Add sugar, ghee, nuts and mava/paneer stirring in between each addition. Garnish it with more chopped nuts and serve it warm :) 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fish kuzambu/ stew without coconut

This is my mother in law's super easy and healthy fish gravy. It's very tasty with white rice, fried fish, veggie poriyal and curd :) When she visited us she made this and ever since this is our fav. fish dish. 
2                                 (each 6 oz/ 170 grams) fish fillets
1 tsp                           tamarind paste
3-6 tbs                         oil
salt to taste
To grind:
1 1/2 med sized            onion (finely chopped)
4                                  green chillies
2 clove                         garlic (chop)
1 med                           tomato
1/2 tsp                          turmeric pwdr
1/2 tsp                          coriander pwdr
1 tsp                             cumin/ jeera pwdr
5-6                                curry leaves
To season:
1/2                                 thinly sliced onion
2                                    green chilli
1-2 tsp                            chilli pwdr
1 tsp                               whole cumin, mustard seeds, methi/ fenugreek seeds

1. Clean the fish with a little turmeric, grind the ingredients given under-"to grind" to a fine paste with little water.
2. Heat oil in pan, fry the whole spices given under "to season" in low flames till it get's aromatic.
3. Add onion and curry leaves and fry till it becomes golden brown.
Add chilli pwdr and stir it few times with the oil. 
4. Combine the ground onion mix with the onion masala in the pan, add 3 cups of water.
5. Increase the flame to med/high, when the stew starts to boil, add the fish and let it boil for 5 mins, reduce the heat and let it simmer until you get your desired consistency.
6. Add tamarind paste and salt.
7. Let it sit for  afew hours, before serving with rice.    

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Buttered Toast and Jam Bread Pudding

This is a Martha Stewart's recipe from Everyday Food- Oct 2012. It's a moist and rich pudding, use your fav.jam/preserves and bread. 
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
8 slices country white bread
3/4 cup strawberry jam, or your favorite kind
4 large eggs, plus 1 large yolk
1/3 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine salt


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Butter bread on one side and arrange in a single layer, buttered side up, on baking sheets. Bake until deep golden, 7 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, butter a 4-by-8-inch loaf pan.....
Spread jam in an even layer on bottom. Use jam or preserves...
Reduce oven to 350 degrees. Cut toast in half and arrange, cut sides up, in pan.
In a small saucepan, combine milk, cream, vanilla, and salt and heat over medium until just warm; whisk into egg mixture. Slowly pour over toast (being careful not to disturb the jam layer)

Reduce oven to 350 degrees. Cut toast in half and arrange, cut sides up, in pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolk, and sugar.
In a small saucepan, combine milk, cream, vanilla, and salt. Heat over medium until just warm; whisk into egg mixture. Slowly pour over toast (being careful not to disturb the jam layer); let sit for 30 minutes.
Bake until toast is deep golden brown and custard is set in the middle, 1 hour. (Loosely tent with foil if overbrowning.) Let cool completely on a wire rack, 1 hour.

Moist and Rich Pudding :)

Thanks for visiting this page. Feel free to comment, i love your feedback. Enjoy ur cooking! Hav a blessed day :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Spicy Quinoa Stir Fry

Quinoa stir fry is very easy to make. We can make it spicier by adding chilli powder along with indian spices/Mrs Dash or any other prefered spice seasoning. Cook quinoa, mix it with stirfried veggies and chicken (beef/shrimp/goat meat). Fried egg should be well cooked, without any crispy edges....i over cooked my egg :(
quinoa stir fry with vegetables
Quinoa stir fry with egg
About Quinoa:
The United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 as the international year for Quinoa, in recognition of ancestral practices of the Andean people, who have preserved quinoa as food for present and future generations, through knowledge and practices of living in harmony with nature.       Quinoa has been called a super food, it is a source of  protein and it contains more amino acids than other grains.
       1/2 cup cooked quinoa contains 17 grams carb, 2.5 grams fibre, 4 grams protein and 111 cal. It's glycemic index (GI) is 9. Foods lower in glycemic index is digested and absorbed slowly, thus producing gradual rise in blood sugar and insulin levels. It can be substituted for rice, pasta, bulgur or millet in any recipe, wikipedia, wholefoodsmarket. 
To know more about glycemic index click the link What is GI?
quinoa stirfry salad
Wholesome food!
1 cup                quinoa
1/2 cup             water
1/4 tsp              salt (to taste)
1.5 - 2 cups      finely chopped- cooked chicken/beef/shrimp
1/4 tsp              turmeric
2 tsp                preferred seasoning/masala powder
2 cups/ 12oz    chopped seasonal vegetables/ i used 12oz mixed       
                        veggie pack.
1 tsp                chilli pwdr (optional)
1                      egg
2+ 3+1 tsp        oil 
* Use indian meat- masala pwdr/ currypwdr/ MrsDash or 2 pks of * Top Ramen/ Maggie seasoning.
* To get a crunchy texture, stir fry cooked quinoa in 2 tsp oil (high)  before adding it to vegetable/meat mixture.
* Rinse quinoa few times before cooking (use wire mesh sieve), the seeds are coated with saponins, a natural plant chemical that can cause bitter taste.
*Omit the meat and make it a vegetarian dish (still high in protein) 
1. Dry roast quinoa in a pan. Cool, rinse and drain it in a fine mesh strainer. Cook with 1/2 cup water and 2 tsp oil. When it's 90% cooked, cover and remove from heat.
veggie stir fry with quinoa
dry roast quinoa!
2. In a pan, heat 3tsp oil and brown the meat, add your prefered seasoning/masala and chilli powder, remove meat from the pan and set it aside.
spicy quinoa
brown cooked meat...
3. Put the veggie mix in the same pan, stir fry on high. After few mins reduce the heat, sprinkle few teaspoons of water, cover and cook. When it's half done add meat. Cook until the vegetables are crisp and tender (shouldn't get mushy).  
quinoa vegetable salad
seasonal/mixed vegetable...
4. Combine the quinoa with meat and vegetable mix, check for salt.
5.  In a pan, fry an egg with 1 tsp oil, should be well cooked without crispy edge (i over cooked my egg)
Spicy quinoa stirfry!
6. Garnish: Transfer quinoa stirfry to a serving dish. Before serving, place the fried egg over the quinoa, (use 2 steak knives/ forks) cut the egg and mix it gently. 

Thanks for visiting this page. Feel free to comment, i love your feedback. Enjoy ur cooking! Hav a blessed day :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Refreshing and Healthy Watermelon and Mint Juice

Both mint and watermelon have amazing cooling and relaxing properties, this spicy thirst quencher will refresh and cool us  during these warm summer days. 

4-6    mint leaves
1       clove 
1       cinnamon 
1       cardamom 
1/4    watermelon
1 tbs  honey (optional)
1 cup water  
1. Heat 1 cup of water in a small pan and add fresh mint leaves and the whole spices, bring it to a boil over medium heat. 
2. Switch off the stove when the water starts to boil, let it cool. Remove the mint leaves and spices from the water. 
3. Cut watermelon into small chunks, remove seeds. Put it in a blender/juicer/mixer and process until smooth and well pureed.
5. Mix mint syrup, watermelon puree and honey (add honey according to your preference) together and chill it.
6. Pour a glass of this easy breezy melon drink, sit back and enjoy the sun :)  

Thanks for visiting this page. Feel free to comment, i love your feedback. Enjoy ur cooking! Hav a blessed day :)


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Thanks for participating!!!

   This is the (much delayed!) round up, of April 2013 -Dish It Out event. I enjoyed hosting it, i like to thank Vardhini of , for giving me the opportunity to host this event. I really thank my  blog friends Priya, Pavithra, Jayanthi and Vardhini for sending their entries and making this event a sucess. Check out their wonderful blogs for more great recipes.

Priya Elias -   http://thehumptydumptykitchen.blogspot 
Pavithra.R -   http://secondattemptinblogging.blogspot 
Jayanthi Padmanabhan -
Vardhini -
I'm giving away 25 $ Amazon gift card to the participants.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Carrot and Paneer- Dish it out event announcement

This month i'm happily hosting fellow foodie Vardhini's ( Cooks JoyDish it out event. This is a monthly event. The host will choose 2 or 3 veg. ingredients, and the participants should use that as the key ingredients in their dish. The ingredients of this month are: carrot and paneer (cheese). This event runs from April 4 to May 5
Few pointers to follow if you are participating:
1. Prepare any vegetarian or vegan dish, highlighting carrot and paneer.
2. Eggs can be added in baking.
3. Usage of logo is appreciated.
4. You can send any number of entries. You can link the old entries if they're republished with the logo and links given below.
5. Link your post to this  announcement page and Vardhini's dish it out page, that's mandatory.
6. Non bloggers can send your recipes to neetarufus[at]yahoo[dot]com.
Please enter your entries through the linky tool attached to this post by May 5. Looking forward to all the yummy recipes :) There will be a surprise giveaway when I post the roundup next month.  Happy cooking!

Spicy Bulgur Pilaf /Dalia khichadi /Rava Godumai upma

dalia biryani
Kothumai Rava Kichadi
It tasted just like vegetable biryani. We can call this dish vegetable bulgar/ dalia /wheat rava biryani. Bulgur can be a good alternative to white rice.Compared to unenriched white rice, bulgur has more fiber and protein, a lower glycemic index, and higher levels of most vitamins and minerals. One cup of dry bulgur contains approximately:
  • Energy: 2003 kJ (479 kcal)
  • Dietary fiber: 25.6 g
  • Protein: 17.21 g
  • Carbohydrate: 69 g whereof 0.8 g sugars
  • Fat: 1.86 g whereof 0.2 g saturated fat
  • Potassium: 574 mg
  • Iron: 3.44 mg
  • Glycemic Index: 48 -Wikipedia
1             big carrot
3 oz         paneer- cut into v.small cubes  
10-12       mint leaves 
2 cloves   garlic
1/2"         ginger    
1 cup       cooked bulgur /kothumai rava/ dalia
3 tbs        finely chopped onion
1/4 cup    green peas
1/2 tsp     ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp     chilli powder
salt to taste
1. Grind mint leaves, ginger and garlic to a fine paste.
2. Finely chop carrot, dice paneer into very small and uniform cubes.
3. The size of onion, paneer and carrot should be uniform.
4. Heat oil in a pan, saute onion till it become golden color, add ginger and mint paste. Mix it well, lower the heat and add chilli powder and salt.   
5. Now add carrot and peas, cover the pan and cook unti the vegetables becomes soft yet crispy. Add bulgur and cook it for few more minutes. 
6. Add paneer to the bulgar mixture.
7.  Remove from heat and transfer it to a serving dish, garnish it with chopped cilantro.
8. Serve it with any flat bread.
Thanks for visiting this page. Feel free to comment, i love your feedback. Enjoy ur cooking! Hav a blessed day :)

Spicy Fish fry/ Meen Varuval

Fried fish - poricha meen is one of our family's fav dish. It pairs well with sambar, rasam and fish masala.
1lb/ 1/2 kg       fish (salmon)
1tsp                pepper powd
1/8 tsp            turmeric pwd
1.5 tbs            lemon juice
1 tbs              any fish masala powder
1.5 tbs            chilli powder
salt to taste
oil to fry
We can find fish masala powder or fish biryani masala pwdr in all the Indian grocery stores. I used Shan fish biryani masala powder. I fried this fish in a flat pan, it's not deep fried. 

1. In a bowl combine all the ingredients and add fish. Coat the fish completely with the marinade.
2. Marinate the fish for at least 4 hours.
3. Heat oil in a frying pan, and fry it. 
4. Remove fish with a slotting spoon. Serve it with rice.
Thanks for visiting this page. Feel free to comment, i love your feedback. Enjoy ur cooking! Hav a blessed day :)


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Broccolette mung dal masala/ Broccolette lentil curry

         Broccolini or broccolette is a hybrid of broccoli and chinese kale (gai lan). It has smaller florets and longer slender stem than broccoli. The whole vegetable is edible, we just have to trim its end and cook. We can use broccoli instead of broccolini too.
        Our good neighbors introduced this veggie to us. I tried different recipes using it, in this recipe i cooked broccolini with spices and mung dal/mung lentil (de-hulled and split mung beans)
broccolette lentil curry
tasty dish!

1 lb          broccolette
2 cups      moong dal 
1              tomato 
1              onion  
2 tsp        sambar powder
2 tsp        chilli powder
1/4 tsp     mustard seed
few          curry leaves
2 - 3 tbs   oil
3 tbs        chopped cilantro/ coriander leaves
salt to taste
* sambar powder can be substituted with curry powder. We can find sambar powder in most Indian stores. 

1. Cook moong dal in 3 cups of water. When the water starts to boil add 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tsp oil and cook until soft, keep it aside
2. Trim the ends of  broccolette and cut it into 2" pieces. Chop onion and tomato.
3. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seed. When it starts to splutter add curry leaves, onion and fry till it becomes golden brown, reduce the heat.
4. Add chilli pwd, sambar pwd and tomatoes. Fry tomatoes till the masala becomes dry, add broccolette and let it cook till soft yet firm. Add the cooked mung dal and check for salt.
5. Remove the dal mixture from heat. Transfer it to a serving dish and garnish with chopped cilantro/ coriander leaves. 
Thanks for visiting this page. Feel free to comment, i love your feedback. Enjoy ur cooking! Hav a blessed day :)