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Saturday, August 5, 2017


You probably don't need a recipe for quesadillas. The quesadilla-like its white-bread counterpart, the grilled/toasted cheese sandwich-is a consummate weeknight convenience dinner. It requires very little in the way of time and ingredients; it's delicious and filling;
Fold a flour tortilla around using mix of some grated cheeses, and griddle it.
Though the flavor combinations of these cheesy treats may come from all over the globe, the quesadilla concept is pure Mexican.
Normally corn tortillas are used,  but I made this with whole wheat tortillas filled with sauteed vegetables, cilantro and cheeses.


Mixed cheese
12 tsp
Green bell pepper
Yellow bell pepper
Jallepeno/green chili
As required
Pepper powder
As per taste
3 tsp

Cut onion, bell peppers, chili into thin long stripes, and finely chop cilantro.
Heat oil in a pan and saute vegetables and chili.
Meanwhile heat a pan and place the tortilla and  flip it to other side after a while.
Spread the sauteed vegetables in the center , then spread cilantro and grated cheese all over the vegetables.
Fold the tortilla and press with spatula, turn to other side and heat for a while so that the cheese inside melts.
Remove and serve hot.
Usually it is served with salsa and Guacamole.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Mango Dal/maamidikaya pappu

This simple dal can be made quickly when you have no moods to prepare a planned menu. This goes so well with hot rice and when you are really hungry you can make this and enjoy. All you need is to soak the dal 20 to 30 minutes in advance. You need to only do tadka ("Bagar" in Hyderabad) and add the dal and pressure cook. Yummy delicious dal with rice will be so soothing and you will make it every week.
This is a Jain food as there is no use of onion or garlic. The recipe tastes good with tomatoes alone and since I had mango, thought of including it to make it more tastier.


Thuwar dal/arhar dhall        1 cup
Tomatoes                             3 ( if using mangoes reduce to 1)
Mango                                  1
Ghee                                    2 tblsp + 1 tblsp
Green chili                           3 to 4
Grated ginger                      2 tsp
Mustard seeds                     1 tsp
Asafoetida                           1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder/haldi         1/4 tsp
Red chili powder                  1 tsp
Salt                                        to taste
Cilantro                                  little

Wash and soak thuwar dhal in 2 1/2 cups water for 1/2 hour.
Heat ghee in cooker (i used 3 litre cooker).
Add slit green chili and saute,
Add asafoetida.
Then mustard seeds and allow to crackle.
Then add grated ginger and fry till you get good aroma.
Add cut tomatoes and cut mangoes.
Add haldi, chili powder and salt and stir.
Add the soaked dhal with water.
Cover lid and pressure cook for 3 whistle.
Remove lid when pressure is reduced.
Mix using the laddle and adjust consistency by adding more hot water if needed.
Garnish with coriander leaves and 1 tblsp ghee.
Serve hot with roti or rice.
Use of ghee is must, and that alone gives the yummy taste  and flavour to dal.
Adjust use of chili as per your taste. The measure I used gave normal spiciness.
I reduced tomatoes  to one as I used mango.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Vada Curry/ Fried lentil dumplings in gravy

Vada curry a popular South Indian side dish, is a Chettinadu delicacy generally made for breakfast. After viewing this in a TV programme recently hosted by Mrs. Revathy Shanmugam, I adapted her recipe  and tried this. We had this with Kal dosai as brunch. Though there are many sources to follow this recipe, I decided to make this for the first time, after viewing Mrs. Revathy explaining it meticulously with minute tips, which not only helps beginners, but even experienced to follow for the perfect result.

Channa dal/bengal gram dal
Green chilli
Ginger n garlic paste
1 tblsp
Red chilli powder
1 ½ tsp
cilantro/coriander leaves
Coconut milk
½ + ½ cup
2 pieces
Saunf/fennel seeds
1 tsp
Curry leaves
Turmeric powder/haldi
½ tsp
To taste
For frying
Hot water
2 ½ cups


Wash and soak channa dal for 2 hours.
Grind coarsely and slightly loose for soft and crispy vadas. 
Chop onions into slices.
Finely chop tomatoes.
wash and cut mint, cilantro and curry leaves ( will be using this in 3 stages)
Slit green chili.
Take thick first milk of coconut ( if making fresh at home) 1/2 cup and keep another 1/2 cup diluted second milk.
Keep other ingredients ready.

Step I

Heat oil for deep frying vada.
Take the ground paste of channa dal in a bowl.
Add salt, ginger garlic paste (1/2 tblsp), half of red chili powder and little of cilantro and mix well.
Take a handful of batter and drop in hot oil pinching them into small portions.
Fry in 2 to 3 batches till golden and remove. (need not strain in colander)
Break the vadas into pieces with your palm when it is not hot. 
Take a few and powder it in mixie jar on whipper mode to add later in curry for binding the gravy.

Step II
Heat oil in a pan , add cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.
Add sliced onion and a little salt and saute.
Add saunf/fennel seeds and mix,
Add ginger garlic paste (1/2 tblsp) to onion, then add curry leaves, cilantro, slit green chilli and mint and mix.
Add red chilli powder ( the remaining 3/4 tsp), then add tomatoes and little salt again and saute.

 Step III

While the curry is cooking heat  2 1/2 cups water in other stove top.
When tomatoes in curry are done add the hot water.
Then add the broken pieces of vadas and the powdered pieces too.
Mix well and add the balance cilantro, mint and curry leaves.
Finally add the coconut milk ( first and second mixed), stir well and remove.
Serve hot with Dosai or can be had as it is too. 

Note: Salt will be used in vadas and also in different stages. Take care and finally add when the dish is done after checking.
Coutesy: Mrs. Revathy Shanmugam

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Mint/Pudina Pulao

Mint pulao can be prepared in very less time with the few ingredients. When made in pressure cook it is still more faster. The paste of mint,cilantro, green chilli and garlic can be made a day before and it will be easy to make it next day for packing lunch. I made this with basmathi rice but even other variety rice can be used.


3 TO 4


Rinse rice, drain and keep ready half an hour before making pulao.
Clean mint and cilantro, peel garlic, slit green chilli and cut onion into slices.
In a mixer jar, take mint, cilantro, green chilli garlic and make paste adding very less water if needed.
Heat oil in pressure cooker, add whole spices, onion and little salt and saute.
Add the paste and saute ,then add the water , salt and rice and mix.
Let this come to boil on very low heat.
After approximately 10 minutes you can see the water fully aborbed and small
craters being formed in between the rice in the cooker.
Now close the lid and place the weight for the cooker.
Wait for one whistle ( approximately 7 to 8 min). Then switch off the flame.
Open the lid when pressure is fully released.
Fluff up the cooked rice with fork. Mix well till the mint paste is uniformly mixed.
Serve hot with any curd raita. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Birthday Party-Lunch menu

It is a Birthday Party Menu this time. There is nothing like hosting and seeing all your friends together in the same place. Birthday parties are a great boast to any child's self esteem. Making them feel like Queen (or king) for the day is one of the best gift you can give them. As a parent I did the best to my children, and now it is nice to once again recall the memories when my grandchild's Birthday was celebrated.
I saw my daughter doing it all to her child and this year I  could participate in the celebration during my visit to US and help her in preparing the food for the guests. It was done with adequate planning, with guests list and few things to do. When deciding what to serve, we saw that we stick to simple dishes that don't necessitate too much last minute work, to avoid getting tired or stressed.
The menu was Indian vegetarian. In terms of finding recipes there was no shortage of food blogs and sites, so thought of centering the menu around a common theme and go with the ones that's tried and true. Our all time favourite was Gujarathi menu. Happy to mention here that we got most of them from one blog "spiceup the curry". 
To make it a full party(lunch) menu (apart from Birthday cake), planned to prepare a Welcome drink, two starters, Rotis (store bought)with two side dishes, kichidi and one kids friendly comfort food (south Indian) curd rice. And finally a dessert "Srikant".
The food related preparation work was spread over and we made most of them ahead of time and made the balance on the day of the party.
Thandi Thandai for welcome drink, Black chena chaat and Dabeli as starters,
Rotis with Panchratan Dal and Beingan palak curry, Kichidi and Curd rice. Shrikhand in canapes for desert.
We prepared Dabeli once again and this time made bite size pieces. (posted earlier in the F/B page).
Followed for Dal.
Followed for beingan palak curry.
Followed  for Kichidi but used green peas in addtion to onion.
Prepared curd rice taking tips from few sites to make it stay in right consistency and not become sour in taste.
Thandi thandai

Black Chena Chaat
Shrikhand served in Canapes for kids

Posting this in my blogspot was not planned, so could not click pictures of each dish and also stepwise preparation pictures. I thought I should share my experience with the available pictures and I am grateful to the bloggers and the authors who inspired and made our job easy to host the party to nearly 35 people. It was a new experience for me preparing most of the dishes at home and witness them being tasted my guests in an open garden area. Many of you would have had this experience back home preparing for kittyparties and such events. Home made food is most welcomed in this place specially when it comes to our Desi food.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Kurma stuffed idli

Idlis are not only for breakfast, it can also be served for dinner. A slight variation from the usual side
dish and best use of the left over lunch preparation served the purpose of easy dinner .
Made OPOS kurma for lunch following "kannamma cooks" recipe. When the batter for Idlis was ready , thought of using the kurma as a stuffing and make soft idlis for dinner.

For idli followed " tamilkitchen" recipe.

Idli rice       3 measure
Whole urad dal.    1 1/4. Measure
Pressed rice/ poha.   1/4 measure
Methi seeds.  1 tsp
Soak rice with methi seeds for 3 hrs
Soak urad dal separately for 3 hrs.
Soak poha/ aval separately

Keep soaked urad dal 1/2 hour in refrigerator before grinding.
Grind dal smoothly, then grind rice and combine both in a large vessel.
Beat well with the palm, add salt and ferment for 8 hrs or over night.
Boil water in the idlimaker/cooker outer, grease the idli moulds and keep.
Fill batter to half the mould , then with a spoon fill the kurma (with more veges and less of gravy)
and again fill batter above the kurma.
steam cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.
remove idls after two minutes and serve.

Note: Grind urad dal for not more than 25 to 30 min.
Beating the batter with the fingers open wide, helps the fermentation.
Before steaming the idlis make sure the water kept for steaming boils.
Beat the batter before pouring into idli mould.
Steam cook for ten minutes then wait for two minutes to unmould.
Keep in a hot pack.  This keeps the idlis soft n warm.

After cooking for years I still feel there is much to learn.
Aiming for a perfect dish is always desired by women.
A change is always welcomed both for the one preparing and person eating it.
I can recommend the above measures for making idlis. And it's accompaniments are always molaga podi, chutney and sambar.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Chintakaya/puliyankai pachadi

Tangy chintakaya pachadi mixed with hot rice and ghee.
The consumption of tamarind is widespread due to its central role in the cuisines of Indian sub-continent. Apart from the edible fruit pulp the hard green pulp of a young fruit, is often used as a component of savoury dishes, as a pickling agent. The cuisines of Andhra are the spiciest in all of India. Generous use of chilli and tamarind make the dishes tangy and hot. My earlier post had chilli as main ingredient with little raw tamarind as a component. There are multiple use of this raw tamarind when marinated with just salt and turmeric powder. This is taken in small quantities and made into pachadi with roasted ingredients and also with raw ingredients without oil . Thesmall quantity of marinated raw tamarind is used in making dal (pappu) which is very yummy.
I made two dishes with the marinated raw tamarind, to have it as a side dish with cooked rice.
The selection of raw tamarind is important. Neither too tender nor too mature should be selected. The mid range ones would have seeds in formation stage which can be easily chopped and consumed. 
The first step after cleaning the raw tamarind thoroughly and dried in shade. Then they are cut into small pieces and made to a coarse paste adding salt and turmeric powder and kept to rest for three days.

The soft ground paste after three days, the chintakaya thokku which can be preserved for many months.

A small quantity ready to make pachadi

Two tablespoon of roasted thill, Asafoetida pieces(solid), one teaspoon each of fenugreek seeds and mustards seeds and eight red chillies.

Roasted in 4 tablespoon of thill oil.

Fried ingredients without oil being  pound first.
Marinated raw tamarind added in batches and ground.

After mixing the pachadi with oil used for frying dry ingredients.
Type two pachadi is made with the marinated raw tamarind thokku with a small variation . Can call this,  the most easiest pachadi with only three raw ingredients that can be stored for a year  after  grinding  with green chillies, garlic pearls and turmeric powder. The chillies and garlic can be added as per the required spiciness. This is a karnataka special.