Jun 30, 2008

Kara kuzhambu

This is a famous Chettinad delight..It is a spicy and tangy gravy due to the addtion of tamarind..It can be prepared according to one's own taste by adding dhalls and vegetables like drumstick,brinjal etc.I prepared this by adding more garlic to it..It tastes best with rice and pappad..


Onion - 1 large sized

Tomato - 1

Garlic cloves - 6 to 8

Tamarind juice -1/2 cup

Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon

Chilli powder - 1 teaspoon

Jaggery - 1 spoon (optional)adds more tanginess

Salt to taste

For seasoning

Mustard seeds,cumin seeds,fenugreek seeds –1teaspoon each

Channa dal ,urad dhall- 1 teaspoon each

Dry red chilies -4 or 5

Curry leaves – 1spring



To grind

Coconut - 2 spoons

Peppercorns - 1 spoon

Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon

Red chilli - 2

Coriander seeds - 1 teaspoon


Heat some oil in a pan and add the whole garlic cloves.Cook for 2 minutes and set aside..Add oil again and add the grated garlic fllowed by the chopped onion.Saute till they turn translucent..Add the tomatoes and cook for two minutes.Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder, sugar and salt and bring it to a boil..Cool the mixture and grind it into a fine paste.

Bring the ground mixture to the pan again.Add the tamarind juice and the ground powder obtained by grinding coconut,chillies,peppercorn,cumin and coriander seeds..Adjust salt as per your taste..Add the whole garlic cloves and bring the gravy to a boil..

In a seperate vessel do the seasoning with the ingredients listed above..Add the seasoning to the gravy and serve hot with rice..

Sending this to JFI: Tamarind hosted by Sig..

And voting has begun for OS2.If you like my apple pie please vote for me..Do check out other exciting entries..

Jun 27, 2008

Apple Pie

I having been thinking that baking a pie is a tough job..But now I understand that it is an easy job and just involves a straightforward technique because it doesn't have any yeast reactions and dough raising part..A pie can be made with any filling sweet or savoury..Fruits are widely used for sweet fillings and I made the famous apple pie..

This is my entry to OS 2 which is a brainchild of Siri and Dhivya..Am indeed amazed by how this Duo manage to conduct such innovative events amidst their work..Here is the cute riddle written by Dhivya..When I read the word 'forbidden' I guessed the fruit should be 'apple'..

A moniker in my name for a city 
A phrase with me will make you cherished 
I am so good for you in my utter simplicity 
In Medical dictionary the fact so furnished 

I am so famous in the world of bytes 
Known for many aspects of usage 
I am fat and rotound and make crunchy bites 
My fame known from many religious traditions - right from the old age 

Am, I forbidden? Or mystical ? 
or the eternal giver of Youth 
I consists of five internal carpels 
Am good for good health of your mouth 

I am as basic a fruit as you can think of 
Or as hard if you dont try enough 
If You eat me on a day to day basis 
Then you dont have worry about anything - be it cold or dry cough

And here goes my creation using this forbidden fruit.. 


For the crust
All purpose flour / maida - 2 cups
Ice water - 4 teaspoons
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Sugar - 1 teaspoon
Butter - 1 stick

For the filling 
Apples - 2 or 3 depending on the size of your pie
Sugar - 1/2 cup (depends on how tart the apples are)Brown sugar can also be used
Cinnamon powder - 2 teaspoons
Lime juice - 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
Vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon (optional)
AP Flour - 1 spoon


Sieve the flour,sugar and salt together..Add the butter and using your finger tips mix it together so that it forms a crumbled mixture..`Add the ice water and mix well..Knead to form a dough..Refridgerate for about half an hour so that it turns firm..

Meanwhile prepare the filling..Core and slice the apples finely..Combine it along with the limejuice,sugar,cinnamon and vanilla extract..Leave it for ten minutes until the juices flow out..Add the flour to thicken..

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Divide the dough into two parts..For the lower crust roll the dough into a large circle with a rolling pin..Spray the pie pan (alternatively, a shallow round cake pan can be used) with non-stick spray and lay the rolled out dough over it..Spread the filling evenly over the dough..Dot with small pieces of butter..For the top crust spread the other part of the dough evenly into a circle using a rolling pin..Using a knife or a cookie cutter form thin strips of about 1 inch thick and lay each strip over the filling so as to cover the filling as desired..A weave pattern can also be made for the upper crust..Alternatively,instead of doing such patterns just place the rolled out dough over the filling and make three slits in the centre..

For more details about making a lattice top crust check out this video..

Crimp the edges of the lower and upper crust using fingers or with a fork..Give an egg wash over the top for a nice golden colour..You can also brush the top with milk instead of using eggs..

Place on lowest rack in oven preheated to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake for 30 to 35 minutes longer. 

Serve warm or cold.I had it with vanilla Icecream..Yummo!

Sending this to AWED American hosted by Dhivya

Jun 25, 2008

Watermelon - Yoghurt Icecream

This is a perfect relish to have on a day with a scorching sun..I had a huge watermelon and wanted to make something with it....Who does'nt like Icecream??And that too on a hot summer day!!So I made this combining yoghurt which gives a smooth texture to this icecream..


Water - 1/4 cup

Sugar - 1/4 cup

Watermelon(cut into small pieces) - 4 cups

Yoghurt - 1 cup

Lime juice - 1 spoon


In a saucepan, combine water and sugar over high heat..When it gets dissolved well remove from heat and allow it to cool.Puree the watermelon in a blender until smooth..


In a large bowl, combine the watermelon,sugar syrup,lime juice and yoghurt and whisk well until everything gets combined..Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into another large bowl..Discard the pulp..

Pour the extracted juices into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions..However, I did not have an icecream maker..So I transferred the mixture into a plate and freezed it..Freeze it overnight or atleast 5 to 6 hours..

Remove from freezer to defrost slightly, 5 minutes..Break it into small chunks and process again in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy..

Serve immediately..

Sending this off to Siri's Frozen Yoghurt Event..Siri also gives reasons why yoghurt should be a pat of our regular diet..Check them out!

Am also sending this off to WYF:Juices and Icecreams , Paajaka's Sweet Series:Cool Desserts and Summer Splash and WBB-Summer Feasts

Jun 24, 2008

Karuveppillai / Curry leaves chutney

Curry leaves occupy a chief position in almost all Indian dishes..They are small leaves which give enormous flavor to the dishes and also have great medicinal uses..These tiny leaves are used mostly in seasoning any dish..It helps in relieving from constipation, nausea, helps in hair growth, allays body heat and also cures skin irritations..

I hardly get the curry leaves from the stores here as they are not too fresh and good..When my dad had come from India amma had sent some dried curry leaves and also curry leaf powder..This can be frozen and used..I made this curry leaf chutney using those leaves and it was a variation from the noraml coconut chutney..It tastes good with idlies, dosas and rice.


Curry leaves - 1 1/2 cup

Red chillies - 3

Garlic - 2

Grated coconut - 1/4 cup

Ginger - 1 /2 inch

Urad dhall,toor dhall,channa dhall - 1 tblspn each

Asafoetida powder - 1 pinch

Tamarind extract - 1 teaspoon

Mustard seed - 1 teaspoon

Oil - 1 spoon

Salt to taste


In a low flame,dry roast the curry leaves until they turn crispy and set aside.Also roast the dhalls,red chillies,coconut,asafoetida,garlic and ginger together..Grind all these along with the curry leaves, salt and tamarind extract coarsely..In a vessel heat some oil and add mustard seeds..Once they start spluttering, add the ground mixture..Add required amount of water and bring it to a boil..Simmer until the oil seperates from the mixture and seen along the sides..

Serve with idly, dosa or rice..

Am sending this off to Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Kalyn

And also to Spicy Fiery Chutney event.

Jun 23, 2008

Vegetable club sandwich

Bored of having the same cereals, oats, bread and jam for breakfast I wanted to have something different yet a quick fix..I found this Vegetable club sandwich at Nupur's place..They are so easy to make..There are just few assembling steps to go until you have a healthy,delicious,rich sandwich to hit your taste buds in the morning..I prepared this for breakfast and it was over in a minute..I made a few changes and it resulted in the following sandwich.The original recipe can be found here



Any choice of bread.I used whole wheat bread - 3 slices

Tomato - 1

Potato - 1 small sized

Grated carrot

Jalapeno pickle (optional)

Salt and pepper


Chat masala 

Any cheese


Boil the potato.Butter  a slice of bread and place some boiled and mashed potato and add salt, pepper and chat masala.Add tomato slices, grated carrot and sliced pickles.Add required amount of shredded cheese and place a buttered slice of bread..Again do the same assembling of potato,tomato,carrot,pickles and cheese.Place the final bread slice on top..Press the whole assembly together..Butter the outer sides of the bread and toast them until it gets heated through and the cheese melts..


Serve with ketchup if needed..We had this for breakfast along with orange juice..

Sending this to Tried and Tasted - One Hot stove hosted by Zlamushka..

According to Nupur, this sandwich has a crowd pleasing potential and sold in the streets of Bombay.So sending this to MBP: Street Food hosted by Sia.

               Also sending this off to  Madhuram's Your Recipe Rocks ( YRR)

My dear friend Swati has passed on this award to me..Am really thankful to u buddy for passing this on to me..


And also Tasty treats has passed on this award to me.Am really happy to know that am rocking.


Jun 20, 2008

Sweet Puri

I wanted to make something for the Roti Mela hosted by the Mela queen Srivalli..But kept postponing it because of my vacation..Finally decided to make these Sweet coconut Puris..When I was a kid I loved these as a snack..Being a sweet tooth, when there were leftover puris I used to add the mixture used as a filling here over the top of the puris, and relish them..So here is the recipe for Sweet Puris..



For the dough
Wheat flour - 2 cups
All purpose flour / maida - 1/4 cup
Salt - 1 teaspoon
Milk - 1/4 cup

For the filling
Coconut - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Cashews - 10
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch


Knead the dough by mixing the wheat flour,maida,salt and milk.Add a little water if needed..The dough must be elastic..
Mix all the ingredients for the filling together..
Make small balls using the dough and roll them out into circles using a rolling pin.The edges need to be thicker than in the center.Place a tablespoon of the filling in the center and bring the edges of the rolled out dough to the center to form a dumpling.Roll it out again carefully to form a disc of about 5 inches diameter.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan..Once it is piping hot,deep fry the puris in the oil till both sides become golden brown..Drain in paper towels..
The puris need to prepared immediately after rolling out..The filling consists of sugar and coconut and hence it gives off water..
This can be relished immediately or after sometime..


Sending this off to Roti Mela hosted by Srivalli..


Since this contains coconut am also sending this to AFAM:Coconut hosted by Suganya


Also sending this off to Sweet Series hosted by Paajaka


Jun 17, 2008

Chocolate chip cookies

Am back after a break for about 10 days..Had been on a trip to Canada and New York and also met appa there who had come for a business trip..I wanted to cook and send something through appa which would last for a few days..Came upon these chocolate chip cookies..Everyone at home really loved it..The dough can be stored in the freezer for future use..I made these in a hurry as I had to do a lots of packing and  here goes a quick and easy recipe for cho chip cookies..


Ingredients (makes 3 dozen cookies)

Unsalted butter, room temperature - 1 cup or 2 sticks
Granulated white sugar - 3/4 cup
Firmly packed light brown sugar - 3/4  cup
Large eggs - 2 
Pure vanilla extract - 1 1/2 teaspoons
All-purpose flour - 2 1/4 cup
Baking soda - 1 teaspoon
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Semisweet chocolate chip - 1 cup
Walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped (optional) - 1 cup



Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C)..Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside..In a bowl cream the softened butter and add the white and brown sugars..Beat until they turn fluffy.Beat in eggs, one at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition. Add the vanilla andmix again.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat thoroughly.Add the chocolate chips to the mixture.
If the dough is too soft cover and refridgerate the dough for about half an hour until it becomes firm.
For large cookies, use about a 2 tablespoon ice cream scoop or with two spoons, drop about 2 tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheets. Bake about 12 - 14 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Cool completely on wire rack. 

To freeze the dough:

Form the dough into balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.Place the balls of dough in a plastic bag, seal, and freeze. When baking, simply place the frozen balls of dough on a baking sheet and bake as directed.. The baking time may have to be increased by a few minutes.

Found these awards in my mailbox when I returned after a week..Thanks a ton girls for sharing them with me..

I received this Inspiration Award from Madhavi and Suma Rajesh..Thanks for thinking about me Madhavi and Suma..This 'Inspiration award ' started by Jamie of Flavor Pantry.Whether it’s to eat healthier, dive back into our past to conjure up something we ate as children, or just make the light bulbs in our brains go on with a new idea for a recipe.As recipients of this award, please share with us what inspires you and then pass on the Inspiration Award to 4 other deserving bloggers. Please let them know what the award means and what to do with it.


I am inspired by my mom who used to cook healthy food for us no matter what was the situation.Am inspired by my dear husband who is a good critic and relishes whatever I cook..He is a source of encouragement for me to cook..Am also inspired by my fellow bloggers who introduced me to all different cuisines..I now pass this award to the following friends

Uma, Cham, Swati, Dhivya

Also Neha had sent me this Rocking Blogger Award..Thanks a lot Neha.


Sending this to AWED American hosted by Dhivya

Jun 5, 2008

Bean burger patties

I love any kind of burgers and when I feel like eating them at home I used to get the masala burgers from Trader Joes..I used to make my own version of burgers adding my own favorite toppings..I decided to make my own patties in an Indianized way and after researching came upon a recipe..I used black eyed beans and a small amount of chickpeas i making the burgers..Any beans and veggies can be used in making these..Here goes my version..



Black - eyed beans - 1 cup
Chickpeas - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1/2 choped roughly
Ginger - 1 inch
Garlic - 3 pods
Green Chillies - 2
Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 2 teaspoons
Gram flour / Besan - 3 tablespoons
Lime juice - 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste



Add all these ingredients and blend them together and adjust the salt and seasonings.
Add a little water if necessary while blending..The blended mixture should hold together to form patties.If it is too wet and do not hold together, add a little more flour..
Divide into equal sized balls and press them slightly to form patties of about quarter inch thick..
Refridgerate for about half an hour so that it becomes firm..
It can be cooked shallow frying, deep-frying or baking them..
If baked it should be brushed with oil..Otherwise it might dry off..They should be cooked until they turn golden brown in colour..
I baked them and topped the patties with tomato, onions, mustard sauce, jalapeno pickles and lettuce..Place these between burger buns and enjoy!


I am too proud to show off my medal Dhivya has awarded for running the Recipe Marathon..Thanks a lot Dhivya..It was fun running the marathon and getting new friends..


I was really happy to discover Joelen's blog..Under the title Join my cooking adventures in cyberspace, she has an array of exclusive events which are unique and fun to participate..So my bean burger goes off to the Burger Bonanza..

Sending this to AWED AMerican hosted by Dhivya

Jun 2, 2008

Potato Bhajji

This is an altime favorite..I prepared this on a Sunday evening when we were hungry after our morning brunch..We needed something to munch on along with tea..Got this recipe from a cookbook..It was a perfect snack with tea..Here goes the recipe..



Potato - 2 sliced into thin pieces
Rice flour - 1 cup
Besan/gram flour - 1 cup
Chilli powder - 2 teaspoons
Baking soda - 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil for frying


Mix the rice flour,besan,chilli powder,salt and baking soda together along with required water to make a thick batter..It should not be too watery.
Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed vessel..Drop a pinch of batter into the oil to test if it is piping hot.
Dip the potato slices in the batter 4 or 5 at a time and fry on both sides till they turn golden brown.Drain in paper towels.
Serve hot with ketchup.
The same batter can be used to make bajjis with any type of vegetables.


The voting for Open Sesame event hosted in Dining hall has started now..
To vote for my Vendakai Pulikuzhambu please go here..

Sending this to Monthly mingle - Appetizers & Hors'Doeuvres hosted by Mansi 
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