Monday, May 31, 2010

Sambar Vada and a blogging break!

Blogging Break!!

Yes, I am taking one now for 1-2 weeks.

No, I am not going for a holiday to India or anywhere else.

Its just that there are some other works around that need to be attended and hence this short break. Well, it doesnot mean that I won't be peeking into your blogs to check your recipes. I will do blog hopping as time permits. Well, now coming to the recipe I am sharing today- Sambar Vada. If you are looking for an authentic one, I am afraid it is not one. I am a lay person in South Indian Cuisine. This recipe is adapted to suit our tastebuds. I do not like too many veggies in my sambar so, I add only onions and tomatoes. If you wish you can add any other veggie of your choice.

I have tried to make Medu Vada many times, but always failed. Some how I could never get that ring. I have watched video of making it and always made sure that my batter was thick enough. In my attempts to make them, I even tried using a cone(like doughnuts). I did gave some better results but then the pain was not worth the gain. My husband then told me why was I so obsessed to get the ring shape? It would taste all the same otherwise and finally, I gave up. If you have a fool proof way or any machine that will help me to get the perfect shape do let me now. But, as of now I am settled with these simple vadas. My husband like soft vadas in sambar so I first dip them in water to make them soft. As they are deep fried, I find it better to do as I can see oil floating in the water used to dip them. If you like them crisp have them freshly fried with 'Sambar'.

Sending this off to Susan's MLLA#23.

Here is my recipe:

Serves 2-3 people.

Sambar :


1/4 cup Toor Dal.
1 tbsp Moong Dal.
1 green chilli chopped.
1 small tomato chopped.
1small red onion chopped.
Bunch of coriander leaves chopped.
4-5 curry leaves.
2 tbsp tamarind paste.
1/4 tsp salt or to taste.
1/4 tsp turmeric powder.
1 tsp sambhar powder.
1/2 tsp cumin seeds.
1/2 tsp mustard seeds.
1/2 tsp red chilli powder.
1 tbsp oil.


Mix both the dal. Wash and rinse them well till the water is clear and soak them for 1/2 -1 hour. Pressure cook it in a little more than 1cup of water, a pinch of turmeric powder and salt. After it is done beat it well so that it is smooth.
Heat a sauce pan and add oil in it. When heated add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves and chopped chillies and saute. Add the chopped onions and saute till they are translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes and the spices except sambhar powder and the tamarind paste and heat for 2 minutes. Now add the beaten dal and mix well. Heat on a medium flame and add the tamarind paste, sambhar powder, chopped coriander leaves. The consistency of Sambar is a personal choice. I like it quite thick. If you want it thin add water to get the desired consistency and heat.


1/2 cup Urid dal.
4-5 curry leaves chopped.
Salt to taste.
2-3 Green Chillies chopped.
Oil for frying.


Wash the dal well and soak it in clear water for 2-3 hours. Grind it into a thick paste. Add the chopped chillies, curry leaves and salt. Heat oil in a pan and drop spoonfuls of the dal paste and fry them till they are light golden in colour. Transfer on a paper towel.

Dip them in hot sambar and serve.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sometimes it happens that you are all set to make something and then suddenly you realise that one or two ingredients are missing. Thats what happened today. This recipe calls for walnuts and it just slipped off my mind that I had used them up in something else. So, I had to do with out it, but next time I will make sure to check properly before setting out to bake it. Walnuts would have added a nice crunch to these cookies.
The recipe called for an egg which I replaced with baking powder. Also, I used caster sugar instead of equal quantities muscovado and golden granulated sugar. They turned out good and we loved it.
Sending this off to Champa's Baking from a Book- Cookies and her weekly Bake -Off.
Makes 8 Cookies:

1/2 cup AP flour.
1/4 cup caster sugar.
1 tbsp cocoa powder.
1/4 butter at room tempreture.
1/4 tsp baking soda.
1/2 tsp baking powder.
3 tbsp milk chocolate chips.
2 tbsp chopped walnuts.
1/2 tsp vanilla essence.

Preheat the oven 10 180 C and grease a large baking sheet. Add the butter and caster sugar in a bowl and beat till light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla essence. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder. Stir it in the butter mixture and add the chopped walnuts and chocolate chips. Drop dessertspoonfuls of the mixture on to the baking sheets, spaced well apart to allow for spreading.
Bake in the oven for 10-15 mins till done. Take them out to cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.


Easy Lime Biscuits

I had come across these biscuits on Sushma's Blog a few weeks back. She had made it from Anjum Anand's Book,  'Anjum's New Indian'. I noticed this book in the library on my last visit and I brought it home. It has some very wonderful recipes and I am planning to try some of them. To begin with, I tried these 'Easy Lime Biscuits'.

Sending this to Champa's Baking from a Book-Cookies and her weekly Bake Off.
Makes 8 Biscuits:

1/2 cup AP Flour.
1/4 cup icing sugar.
3 tbsp ghee.
2 tsp lemon zest.
8 pistachios chopped.
4 cardamom pods crushed and powdered.
2 tbsp sugar candy cubes.

Preheat the oven to 180 C and grease a large baking tray.

Mix together the flour, icing sugar, ghee and the lemon zest. Work the dough until it comes together and is no longer crumbly. Roll the dough into 8 balls. Flatten into small discs in your palm. Sprinkle the cardamom powder, chopped pistachios and sugar candies evenly on the biscuits. Place the biscuits on to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes until the edges starts colouring. Take out and cool the biscuits on the tray.
Enjoy with a hot cup of tea!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Mango is one of my favourite fruits. This fruit has a lot of childhood memories attached to it. There was not a single day during the summer season in India when we didnot have this fruit either having it cut into cubes or making this 'Amras'. I could have roti or rice simply with this, no need to subji and the only mango I loved was 'Langda Aam'. There in North East India we didnot have Alphonso Mango. We also had mango trees in our house but those mangoes were best eaten raw when not ripe coz they were very fibrous. After a rainy night, first thing in the morning we did was to check for the fallen mangoes!!:) I loved them with a spicy masala of red chilli powder and black salt. Oh! my mouth is watering as I write this!
After coming here I have missed this fruit a lot and have never got any other variety that can match 'Langda Aam'. Well, something is better than nothing. So, I devour what ever I get here. Coming to the recipe now-

Serves 2-3.
1 large mango ripe.
1/4 cup milk.
2-3 tbsp sugar.
1/4 cup water.
Ice cubes to serve, optional.


Peel the mango and take out as much flesh as possible. Churn it in the mixer with the milk and sugar. Adding sugar will depend on how sweet the mango is, so adjust accordingly. Strain the mixture through a strainer. Add water to reach your desired consistency. Chill it in the refrigerator. Take it out 15 mins before serving. Add an ice cube (optional) and serve.

Sending this off to Srivalli's Thanda Mela. Enjoy!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Gaajar Kheer (Carrot Pudding)

Grated Carrots cooked in thickened milk, flavoured with cardamom and saffron and garnished with almonds and pistachios.
An absolute treat for sweet lovers like me. If you like carrot halwa, I bet you can't say no to this. My hubby doesn't like any type of kheer (which is a pleasure for me sometimes), so he just tasted it for my sake and I got the rest of the whole for myself.
Sending this off to Srivalli's Thanda Mela

Serves 4

800 ml full-fat milk
200g carrots, peeled and grated
3-4 tbs sugar
a good pinch of saffron strands
4-5 green cardamom seeds, powdered
8 pistachios, chopped
2 tbsp flaked almonds


Take 2 tbsp of the milk and add saffron to it and set aside.Heat rest of the milk in a wide based pan, stirring constantly so as to make sure the milk doesnot stick at the bottom and burn. Keep the flame on medium. Another way to prevent milk to stick at the bottom is to grease the pan from inside with ghee and then start the whole process.
Keep cooking until it reduces by about one third. It will takes about 20 minutes.
Add the carrots and continue cooking for another 15-25 minutes,until they are soft and the milk is as thick. The consistency of milk and sweetness is a personal choice, so adjust accordingly. Stir in the sugar, the saffron milk and cardamom powder, cook for another 2 minutes and taste for sweetness. Cool and then place in the fridge for 3-4 hours to chill. Take it out of fridge 15 mins before serving. Serve in bowls sprinkled with the chopped pistachios and flaked almonds.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bread Pulao

 If you are tired of having bread, butter/jam, sandwiches and you have some peices of bread lying around to be eaten, what do you do? I can suggest you something. Turn them into a spicy- tasy pulao :). Try it I bet you will like the change. I do it often and it is a nice way to use up stale breads.
You will need:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Apple Celery and Pineapple Salad

I had this salad first time in Govinda's restaurant here. We loved it and since them I make it at home often. Its very simple and tastes great.

1 cup Pineapple Chunks preferably fresh.
1 stalk Celery chopped.
1 Apple chopped.
1/2 tsp black salt.
1/2 tsp black pepper powder.
1 tsp sugar.

Mix all the chopped ingredients and keep them in fridge. Just before serving add the salt, sugar and pepper powder. Toss well so that the mixture is even. Serve immediately. It is best served cold.
Sending this off to Srivalli's Thanda Mela. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Whole Wheat Fruit Scones

After I made scones for the first time, it has become a regular item for breakfast at least once or twice a week. So, I decided to make them a bit healthier by using whole wheat flour rather than AP flour and using less butter (will try them will oil someday soon). I have used the christmas mixed fruit mix which had been lying unused for long. It came out good and I enjoyed the guilt free pleasure of having them.
Sending this off to Piya's WWF-CFK Event. This event is the brain child of Sharmi.

Punjabi Kadhi

The other day I was browsing Chef Sanjeev Kapoor's site and I chanced upon his recipe for Punjabi Kadhi. It had been in my to do list for a long time and finally I decided to make it. Both me and my hubby are not very much kadhi fan but this one was different. The addition of pakodas made it so delectable. We enjoyed having it for our dinner.
I followed the recipe given here with very slight changes/addition. This recipe called for fresh fenugreek leaves which I didn't have, so I used kasoori methi instead. Also, I added mustard seeds for my tadka in the kadhi.
Sending this off to MLLA#23 hosted by Susan.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ginger Nuts

I donot know why these biscuits are called Ginger Nuts - they donot have any nuts in them. Well, what ever the reasons I love them with a cup of hot tea and the lingering taste of ginger refreshes me like nothing else. I chanced upon this recipe in a book I bought from the library- Beautiful Baking by Jane Asher. I have been thinking of baking them for a while now.
Today when I decided to bake them, I realised that I was short in AP flour so I added about 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour that I use for chapatis. However the taste was good. As I am writing this I have already gobbled 4 of these biscuits. Its irressistable to restrain from having something freshly baked.
Sending this off to Champa's Bake - Off and Baking from Book-Cookies.
Coming back to the recipe, you will need:

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ras Malai for Indian Cooking Challenge

Ras Malai, the very name sets my mouth watering. Its my favourite dessert since my childhood. I was delighted when I saw that this was the April Challenge for ICC. I have followed the recipe and process given by Srivalli to the T. She adapted it from Lavi's Blog. I tried it twice and the second time it came out good. My husband loved it too. He encouraged me to try Indian desserts more as I tend to bake cakes when he wants me to make something sweet.
Now coming to the recipe used in making this ras malai:

Chocolate Cookies

I donot need to profess my love for chocolate again here. A hot cup of tea with some home made chocolate cookies! What can be better! I had not tried making cookies at home till now so I was wondering how they would come out? But they came out quite well and I am glad I tried it finally!
I made these from a book - Home Baking, that I borrowed from my friend. The recipe was named Chocolate Drop Cookies in the book. But, I altered some measurements- added 1/4 flour more than stated in th book, added a pinch of baking soda and a tablespoon of milk, so the batter had a soft dough consistency and I could make small balls and gently press them.
Sending this off to Champa's Baking from a book- Cookies and Bake off.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Triple Veg Subji

I am here with a subji which finds a place in my menu almost every week. Its easy and healthy. I use microwave to speed up the process of cooking. Without much ado I come to the recipe I am sharing today- Triple Veg Subji. I have used carrots, potatoes and green peas in this preparation. I also like to call it tricolour subji but since my potatoes aren't white enough after cooking triple veg subji suits more. :) .You can also add cauliflower, string beans or any other vegetable of choice to it to prepare a mix veg subji.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Home Remedy -Banana Face Mask/Pack

If you have a over ripe banana and you are wondering what to do with it, here is a solution- Banana Face Mask/Pack.
The best thing about home made mask is: most of the things we have at home and all the ingredients are natural. In short, Sasta, Sulabh and Tikau! :)
Banana face masks moisturize dry skin and leave it softer with hydrating action. It helps in exfloiting the skin by removing the dead skin. This masks help hydrate oily skin as well, thus combating acne and shielding the skin from loss of moisture.
The flesh of banana has anti-oxidant prpperties which soothes the skin. It provides relief to sunburnt skin and is also helpful in antio aging.
I bet, next time you won't think of throwing off an over ripe banana. With regular use (2-3 times a week) you will see visible changes in you skin. It is particularly great for lack lustre and dehydrated skin.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tomato Subji/Chutney.

This isn't exactly a subji but more of a chutney. At home we are used to calling it tomato subji. Its very simple and can be prepared in a jiffy. I like the flavour of kalonji (black onion seeds) in it. I usually make it when I prepare a dry subji to serve with phulka/roti for lunch.  Here is the recipe:

Friday, May 7, 2010

Eggless Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I had a few pineapple slices in my refrigerator and my hands were itching to bake something. So, I decided upon this cake. I have baked this cake many times now but never got to post it in this space. I used soft dark brown sugar here for the glaze. However, it can be replaced by plain granulated sugar if liked.
Needless to say, it tasted delicious and was over in no time.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Moong Dal Chilke Wali

I am here with a delicious and nutritious dal- I call it Moong Dal chilke wali or more precisely chilke wali (with husk) split moong beans ki dal. This dal is one of my favourite and is really good for diet conscious people. Moong Beans are a rich source of protein and fiber, which helps one to lower the high cholesterol level in the blood system.
The high fiber content of mung beans yields complex carbohydrates, which aid digestion. It is also an excellent source of many minerals, such as calcium, iron and potassium.
Is is not a power house of nutrients? For vegetarians, these lentils are even more important. Lets come to the recipe now.

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