Jul 30, 2008

Chilli Tofu, Earthquake! and announcing Weekend Herb Blogging

This is a recipe created on my own..I had tofu in my fridge and so I replaced the paneer with the tofu and created this chilli tofu..It came out very well..The tofu absorbs the sauces and gavy very well and gives a nice flavor..This can be had with chapathis,parottas and even along with noodles!

And I should say my earthquake experience!Yes, we experienced an earthquake here in Southern California this week..It was too scary..hough I have already experienced one before this one was of higher intensity..I was sitting in my college library and suddenly my water bottle nearby toppled down..Then the whole desk was shaking..When I turned around I found few guys shouting Earthquake!Earthquake!We were asked to evacuate the library..Thank God,there were no damages..It was a wild and thrilling experience though..Coming to my recipe..


Capsicum/bell pepper - 1

Onion - 1 medium sized

Paneer Cut into rectangular/square shaped -1/2 cup

Ginger garlic paste - 1 tablespoon

Tomato ketchup - 2 tablespoons

Soya sauce - 2 teaspoons

Cornflour - 2 tablespoons

Green chillies - 3

Water - 3/4 cup


Add a spoon of oil in a saucepan and add the diced paneer cubes..Allow it to cook till it turns golden brown on the sides..

In a saucepan,heat oil and add the ginger garlic paste followed by the onions.Saute till they turn translucent..Add the capsicum and saute till they cook yet remain a bit crunchy..

Add the soya sauce and ketchup and saute for a minute..Add the paneer cubes..Mix the corn flour in the water and add it the pan..

Bring it to a boil and simmer for five minutes until the required consistency is required..

Serve hot with any dish of your choice..

Sending this to JFI:Soy hosted by Sia..

I will be hosting Weekend Herb Blogging(WHB) next week..Are you wondering what WHB is all about..It is an event started by Kalyn in which "bloggers around the world photograph and write about herbs, plants, or veggies, and on the weekend, we publish a Recap with links to all the posts."

All entries should be "limited to recipes or informative posts where people can learn about cooking with herbs or unusual plant ingredients."

Here are the (new) rules:

1. Entries submitted for Weekend Herb Blogging need to be posts written during that week specifically for Weekend Herb Blogging and that post cannot be entered in any other food blog event. (The only exception to this rule would be instances where a photo used in a WHB post is submitted to a photo event.) To keep the event manageable, each participant is limited to one entry per week, and entries cannot contain more than one recipe.

2. Weekend Herb Blogging entries should have the goal of helping people learn about cooking with herbs or unusual plant ingredients. With this in mind, only two types of entries will be accepted: a) Recipe posts where an herb or unusual plant ingredient is one of the primary ingredients in the recipe, or b) Informative posts that spotlight one herb or unusual plant ingredient, particularly including information about how it is used in cooking.

3. Entries must contain the words "Weekend Herb Blogging" with a link to the host for that week as well as a link to Kalyn's Kitchen.

4. Entries can be written any time during the week, but should be submitted to the host for that week by 3:00 P.M. on Sunday. (This is based on Utah time, enter Salt Lake City into this map to calculate the difference where you are.) At the discretion of the host, posts submitted too late will be referred to the host for the following week.

5. Please put WHB in the subject line of your e-mail to identify it for the host. Your e-mail to the host should include:
your name
blog title
your WHB post permalink
your location
a photo attached to the e-mail.

For more information about WHB, check out Kalyn's FAQ page & Weekly Recap Archives.

So all you have to do is just blog according to the rules between now and Aug 10th..

Mail you entries to athisayadivyas[at]gmail[dot]com with the above information.

I will be posting the roundup the next week..

This is the first event I will be hosting..So waiting forward to all your entries!

Sending this to Food in Colours-Red hosted by Sunshinemom

Jul 29, 2008

Semiya Pakoda / Vermicelli Pakoda

This is a recipe I adapted from Mallika Badrinath's book..It was pretty simple and delicious..The presence of vermicelli in pakodas which is very unique intrigued me to try this...They came out pretty good and here is the recipe..


Onion - 1 large
Vermicelli/semiya - 1 cup
Boiled potato - 1
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
Green chillies - 4
Gram flour/besan - 1/4 cup
Rice flour - 1 tablespoon
Coriander leaves - 1 spoon chopped
Chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cashews few (optional)
Salt to taste
Ghee - 1 spoon
Oil for deep frying


Chop the green chillies and onions..
In a shallow pan add some ghee/clarified butter followed by the vermicelli..Fry it for about a minute until starts turning golden..Be careful not to burn the vermicelli..Immediately pour hot water over the vermicelli and drain..Then add a cup of normal water(not hot/cold) and drain well..Set aside.
Mash the boiled potatoes well..
Add all the ingredients to the mashed potato along with the vermicelli and mix well..Add a spoon of hot oil and mix again..
Heat oil about 2 inches high in a thick bottomed vessel..Once it is hot fry the pakodas in batches until they turn golden brown..
Store in an airtight container..

Sending this to Pakora contest hosted by Ruchina

Jul 24, 2008

Chocolate Anise Biscotti

I remember having this back at home from the bakeries..I used to have them with both coffee and tea..When i saw this recipe in Jescel's blog-Spice of Life,I was determined to make it..Yes am paired with Jescel this month in Taste and Create event hosted by Nicole..

'Biscotti' is an Italian word meaning, twice baked. The Italians during the medieval period baked their biscuits twice so that they could be stored for long periods of time, which was especially important during journeys and wars.Through Middle French, the word was imported into the English language as "biscuit"..

The biscotti's are not chewy or soft like some cookies..They are baked twice and hence they are crisp and firm enough to be dipped in coffee/tea..They have an elongated shape and so fits perfectly into your coffee cup..This is Chocolate Anise Biscotti..


All purpose flour - 2 cups

Baking powder- 2 teaspoons

Sugar - 3/4 cup

Salt - 1/2 teaspoon

Butter (room temperature) - 1/2 cup

Eggs - 2 large ones

Star anise - 1 teaspoon ground

Chocolate chips - 1/4 cup


Powder the star anis finely..Bring the butter to room temperature..

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat together the butter and sugar until creamy..Beat in one egg at a time..

In another bowl,whisk together the flour,salt and baking powder..Add the flour to the butter-sugar mixture and mix until blended..Stir in the star anise and chocolate chips..

Shape the dough into a log of about 3 inches wide and 15 inches long..Place in on a naking sheet lined with parchment paper..Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown..Cool in a wire rack..

Once cooled completely,place the log on a cutting board and using a serrated knife cut it into half inch pieces..Place the biscottis,flat on the baking sheet again and bake for about 15 minutes until they turn crisp and golden..Cool in a wire rack..

Store tight in airtight containers..Enjoy with coffee..

Sending this to AWED:Italiano hosted by Dhivya


Was busy for a while in college and so was away from blogging for a while..When I found that the deadline for Taste and Create was approaching I went back to the recipes I had bookmarked from dear Jescel's blog..Yes,am paired with Jescel of Spice of Life this month for the Taste and Create event..She has several unique recipes in her blog,especially non-vegetarian and baking dishes..I had a great dilemma in picking recipes as I found each one of them too good..

Finally I decided to make this Coleslaw which is one of my favorite sides and which I had always wanted to try at home..The recipe was quite simple and came out too delicious...

Here goes the recipe for Coleslaw...


1 small onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup sour cream

2 tbsp white vinegar

1 lemon, juiced

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 head shredded cabbage, 2 medium sized shredded carrots

1/4 kosher salt

1/4 freshly ground pepper


Mix together the sour cream, mayonnaise,milk,vinegar,lime juice and onion..Set it aside..

Meanwhile shredd the vegetables or chop them finely..Add it to the prepared mixture along with the sugar, salt and pepper..Toss them well and refridgerate atleast for 2 hours..

Serve chilled along with any main course..

It was fun going through Jescel's blog..Thanks to Nicole for pairing her with me..Sending this off to Taste and Create...(Taste & Create is a monthly food event created by Nicole of For The Love Of Food. Bloggers are paired off with one another and they have to do a recipe of their choice from each other...and of course, blog about it!)

Sending this to AWED American hosted by Dhivya

Jul 17, 2008

Bottlegourd Wraps

I am too fond of burritos and wraps..I especially like the mexican ones..I had some bottlegourd and was too tired of making the same poriyal and kootu..So decided to try a variation..I cooked the veggie and wrapped it in a tortilla and had it with a dollop of sour cream and hot sauce..It tasted too too good..I liked the Indian touch of the cooked bootlegourd in the wrap..This can also be wrapped in chapathis..Here is how I made..


Tortillas/chapathis - 4

Bottlegourd (peeled and diced) - 1 cup

Kadalai Paruppu/Channa dhall - 2 tablespoons

Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon

Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder -1/4 teaspoon

Chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon

Coconut powder - 2 tablespoons

Asafoetida - 1 pinch

Salt to taste


Soak the channa dhall for atleast 30 minutes..Prepare the chapathis or tortillas..In a pan,add oil and season with mustar,cumin seeds and asafoetida..Once it starts spluttering,add the soaked and drained channa dhall..Allow it to cook for about 2 minutes..

Now add the diced bottlegourd,chilli powder,turmeric powder and salt..Add half a cup of water and allow it to cook for 5 to 7 minutes until the bottlegourd turns translucent and well cooked..Add the coconut powder and simmer for a minute or until the water evaporates..

To assemble:To one chapathi/tortilla place about 3 tablespoons of the vegetable and wrap it up from both sides..This can be had as such or garnished with sour cream and hot sauce..

Sending this off to Pooja's VOTW-Bottlegourd

Sending this to Food for 7 stages of life hosted by Radhika and Sudeshna

and Global Kadai event hosted in my blog.


Athirasam is a sweet made in South India especially during festivals..I remember my grandmother preparing this during festivals and sending them to all our neighbours and relatives..This was my all-time favorite..I never had a chance to have this sweet since I came here to the US..When my dad came here, my aunt had prepared the dough to make athirasam and sent it through appa..I made this yesterday and it came out too good..Brought back my childhood memories..Here goes the recipe..


Raw rice - 3 cups

Jaggery - 1 1/2 cup

Water - 1/2 cup

Cardamom powder - 1 teaspoon

Oil for deep frying


Soak the raw rice for atleast three hours in water..Allow it to dry..It should be partially wet.Grind it in a mixer-grinder and sieve it to get a fine powder..The powder should be slightly wet..Keep it aside..

Powder the jaggery..Heat the water in a saucepan and add the jaggery to it..Simmer until a syrup is formed..Filter to remove the stones..After filtering bring it to a boil again until softball consistency (drop a small amount of jaggery in cold water,it should form a soft,flexible mass) is reached..When the jaggery syrup is ready,mix in the cardamom powder..Mix the syrup with the powdered rice flour to form a smooth dough..Keep the dough aside for atleast an hour..

Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed vessel..Apply oil in a plastic sheet and also in your fingers..Take a small amount of dough and flatten in out into small discs..It should be thinner than that of vada and thicker than that of chapathi..A hole can be made in the center so that it cooks evenly..

Deep fry in the oil until it turns crispy and deep golden brown..

Sending this to RCI: Andhra Festival Foods hosted by Vani..

This sweet always brings back my memoirs of my childhood days,where we used to wear new dresses,having fun with my cousins during all festivals..

So this goes off to Jeena's It's all about memories

Sending this to Sweet Series hosted by Paajaka.

And also to Yummy Festival Feast-Diwali..

Also sending this to Satisfy your sweet tooth hosted by Sudeshna

Jul 16, 2008

Sweet Corn Soup

I love sweet corn soup..In my childhood days,this was the only soup I used to have whenever I go to a restaurant..So decided to create it at home..Here goes the simple recipe..


Butter - 2 tablespoons
Onion - 1 medium chopped
All- Purpose flour - 2 tablespoons
Fresh or frozen corn kernels - 2 cups
Carrot - 1/4 cup cut into matchsticks.
Chicken broth or stock - 1 cup(can be replaced by water)
Milk - 2 cups
Coriander/parseley - 2 teaspoons chopped
Black pepper and salt to taste
Jalapeno salsa (optional)


In a large casserole combine the butter and the onion..Microwave on high for 1 minute or until the onion is tender..Stir in the flour to form a paste..stir in corn,carrot and broth..Cover and microwave on high for 8 minutes or until heated through.Add salt and pepper to taste..Garnish with coriander or cilantro..
To get a creamy corn soup blend the broth and corn together leaving some corn kernels for garnish..
Stir in the salsa for a spicier option..

Sending this to Dhivya's AWED: Chinese

And also to Srivalli's MEC:Soups and Stews

Jul 14, 2008

Sorakkai Thuvayal / Bottlegourd Chutney

Inspired by Ashaji's Chutney, I decided to make a chutney with Bottlegourd peels..It was a quick recipe which resulted in a delicious chutney and tasted best with dosai and adai dosai..It was also a way to make use of the bottlegourd peels without wasting them..The colour of the chutney was bright and appealing..


Bottlegourd peels - From one bottlegourd

Coconut - 1/4 cup

Dalia/Pottukadalai - 2 tablespoons

Tamarind extract - 1/4 tablespoon

Green chillies - 2

Yoghurt - 2 tablespoons

Few Curry leaves

Coriander leaves a little

Garlic - 1 small clove

Salt to taste

For seasoning

Mustard seeds,Urad dhall - 1 teaspoon each

Red chillies - 1


Curry leaves


Wash the peels and cook them with a little water until they turn tender..Grind it along with all the other ingredients adding a little water..Do the seasoning..

Pour the seasoning over the chutney and serve with dosai or idly..

Sending this off to VOW-Bottlegourd hosted by Pooja and Spicy Fiery Chutney event.

Jul 13, 2008

Channa masala

I love to have pooris only with channa..I also love bread channa..However I never got to try it myself until now..This was the first time I prepared this myself and wasnt disappointed..I remember having bread chana in our college canteen..And it was one of my favorites there..Here is a simple channa recipe which was passed onto me by my mom..


Chick peas/garbanzo beans - 2 cups
Chopped onion - 1/2 cup
Tomato - 1
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
Cardamom - 2
Cloves  - 2
Coriander powder - 1 tspn
Cumin powder - 1 tspn
Fenugreek seeds(methi) - 1/2 tspn
Kasoori methi(optional) - 1 tspn
Black peppers - 4 to 5
Chili powder - 1 tspn
Oil/ghee - 1 spoon
Coriander leaves

Salt to taste


Soak chick peas in water overnight and pressure cook them.
Puree the tomatoes into a smooth paste.
Dry roast all masalas cardamom,cloves,fenugreek and black pepper and powder them.
Heat oil/ghee, fry onions and ginger-garlic paste till the onions turn translucent.
Add the tomato paste, masala powder, chili powder, salt . Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the cooked chick peas, kasoori methi and cook for another 5mins. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve hot with pooris, chapathis or baturas..

Sending this to Srivalli's Curry Mela..

Jul 12, 2008

Burger Buns

I love burgers and I have tried making burger patties at home..This was the first time I tried my hand in making the burger buns at home..They were too easy to make and we had it as a burger and also with jam..They came out soft and fluffy..Here is the recipe..

Ingredients (Makes 9 tp 10 buns)

1/2 cup warm water (100 to 110degreeF) 
2 envelopes  Active Dry Yeast or 4 teaspoons
3/4 cup warm milk (100 to 110degree F) 
1/4 cup sugar 
3 tablespoons butter or margarine 
1-1/2 tablespoons Minced Onions (optional)  
2 teaspoons salt 
4-3/4 to 5-1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
3 eggs 
Minced Onions or Poppy Seed, optional


Dissolve the yeast in warm water..Add warm milk, sugar, butter, 1 1/2 tablespoons minced onions (if desired), salt, and 2 cups flour and mix well..Stir in 2 eggs and enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 4 to 6 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled..

Punch dough down. Remove dough to lightly floured surface; divide into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into smooth ball. Place on large greased baking sheet. Flatten balls to 4-inch rounds; cover. Let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 20 to 40 minutes.. 

Lightly beat remaining egg; brush on rolls. If desired, sprinkle with minced onions or poppy seed. Bake at 400oF for 10 to 15 minutes or until done. Remove from baking sheet; let cool on wire rack.

Sending this to Bread Baking Day #12 Small breads hosted by Aparna..

Check out my recipe for bean Burger patties

Jul 11, 2008

Homemade Pizza

It was my first pizza making venture..I love pizzas with any toppings and I had always wanted to try them at home...It was'nt a difficult process as I thought..It cam out too good..I mad a flat crust one..Next time I will be using more dough and make a thick crust pizza..Here goes my recipe..

Ingredients (Makes enough dough for two 10-12 inch pizzas)
1 1/2 cups luke-warm water (105°F-115°F)
1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons) of active dry yeast
Allpurpose flour/maida -3 1/2 to 4 cups (part of this can be replaced by whole wheat flour for a healthier version)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar

Toppings of your choice

I used tomato sauce,mozarella cheese,black olives,onions and green peppers


In the large bowl add the warm water. Sprinkle on the yeast and let sit for 5 minutes until the yeast is dissolved and turns a bit frothy. Stir to dissolve completely if needed at the end of 5 minutes.
Mix in the olive oil, flour, salt and sugar and stir for about a minute. Knead with hands, until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. 
Place ball of dough in a bowl that has been coated lightly with olive oil. Turn the dough around in the bowl so that it gets coated with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm place (75-85°F) until it doubles in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. 

Place a pizza stone on a rack in the lower third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour.
Remove the plastic cover from the dough and punch the dough down so it deflates a bit. Divide the dough in half. Form two round balls of dough. Place each in its own bowl, cover with plastic and let sit for 10 minutes.
Prepare your desired toppings.
take one ball of dough and flatten it with your hands on a slightly floured work surface. Starting at the center and working outwards, use your fingertips to press the dough to 1/2-inch thick. Turn and stretch the dough until it will not stretch further. Let the dough relax 5 minutes and then continue to stretch it until it reaches the desired diameter - 10 to 12 inches.A rolling pin can also be used to stretch out the dough.

Brush the top of the dough with olive oil..
Lightly sprinkle the pizza peel/a flat baking sheet with corn meal. Transfer the prepared dough carefully to the pizza peel..
Spoon on the tomato sauce, sprinkle with cheese, and place the desired toppings on the pizza.

Sprinkle some cornmeal on the baking stone in the oven.Slide the pizza off of the peel and on to the baking stone in the oven. Bake pizza one at a time until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden, about 10-15 minutes.
Sprinkle more cheese if needed.. 

The dough can be refrigerated for future use..

Sending this to AWED :Italiano hosted by Dhivya

Jul 10, 2008

Eggplant Gratin

This is another recipe adopted from Ina Gareten's cookbook..Another way to relish eggplants in a cheesy tomato sauce..It is a quick recipe and reall satisfying..


(Source: Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten)

Eggplants - 3 medium sized ones
Parmesan cheese - 1 1/2 cup
Eggs - 2
Milk - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper
Marinara sauce - 1 cup
Olive oil for shallow frying the eggplants


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Shallow fry the eggplants in ol over medium heat, till they are browned on both sides and cooked through..Be careful during this process as it splatters..Transfer the cooked eggplant slices to paper towels and drain..
In a small bowl,mix together the cheese,eggs,milk,slat and pepper..
In a baking dish,place a layer of eggplant slices,sprinkle some cheese,slat pepper and a spoonful of marinara sauce..Next,add a second layer of eggplant,salt,pepper and finally a sprinkling of cheese..
Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes at 425 degrees.Lower the heat to 375 degrees and bake for 20 minutes or until the top is browned..

Serve warm..

Jul 9, 2008

Ginger Cookies

I make these cookies once in a while because I like the addition of spices in them..The ginger adds a kick to the cookies..They are soft,chewy and delectable..Here goes my recipe..


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter/margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside. 
In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the egg mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in  2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly. 
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Jul 8, 2008

Chile Releno Bake

I love mexican food especially because they are spicy..I found this recipe in a tin of canned refried beans..It made an easy and quick Sunday brunch..I topped with hot sauce to make it even more spicier..Here goes the recipe..

Ingredients (Serves 4) 

Refreied beans - 1 can
Eggs - 3
Parmesan cheese - 3/4 cup(or any variety of cheese would do)
Milk - 2 teaspoons
Jalapeno /Any chile - 3


Take a baking dish and spray with nonstick cooking oil..Or cover a baking dish with parchment/aluminum foil..This makes the cleaning easier..Preheat oven to 350 degrees..

In a vessel whisk the eggs along with the milk..Spread the refried beans evenly on the baking dish with a spatula..Top the beans with sliced jalapeno or chile..Alternatively sprinkle some chilli powder..Top with half the egg mixture..Sprinkle half the cheese..Again top with the remaining egg mixture followed by the remaining cheese..

Bake for about 30 minutes until the cheese is browned..

Slice into squares and serve with hot sauce..

The voting for Open Sesame 2 event is still going on..If you like my apple pie vote for me here..

I received the following awards from Srishkitchen, Skribles,  Suma,Uma, Hetal..


Thanks a lot friends..I pass it on to every blogger who has inspired me since my venture into cooking began..

The refried beans being rich in protein am sending this to Eat Healthy Protein rich contest

Also sending this to Archana's One dish meal event

Jul 7, 2008

Red and Yellow Bell Pepper Soup

I had a couple of red and yellow bell pepper soup waiting to be used up..Decided to prepare a soup for dinner..It was too good..The nice orange colour was too appealing..I loved the creamy texture of the soup the bell peppers yielded..I had it with homemade garlic bread..Here goes the recipe..


Red pepper - 1
Yellow pepper - 1
Onion - 1 small sized
Garlic - 1 clove chopped roughly
Olive oil - 1 spoon
Heavy cream - 3 spoons
Dried oregano - 1 /2 teaspoon (optional)
Salt and pepper


Broil the peppers and peel them..
In a pan heat the olive oil and add the garlic and onions..Saute till they turn transclucent..Add the peppers and saute for a while..Transfer all the ingredients to a blender and grind till a smooth consistency is obtained..
Bring the mixture back to the pot..
Stir in the heavy cream,salt and pepper..You can add any dried herbs..It adds more flavor..I added a little oregano..

Garnish with cream and serve hot with any bread of your choice.

The voting for Open Sesame event 2 is still on..If you like my apple pie vote for me here..You need to login to vote..

I found a lot of red and yellow bell peppers in season in my place..Sending this off to Eating with the seasons..

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