Jul 31, 2009

Khaman Dhokla for Indian Cooking Challenge!

Khaman Dhokla is a traditional Gujrati snack and can also be served as a n appetizer. It is a steamed savoury cake made with besan/chickpea flour topped with a mild seasoning. I would also call this as a nutritious guilt-free snack since it is steamed and not deep-fried. 

There are umpteen number of ways to prepare dhola and I made this folowing Srivalli's recipe for the Indian Cooking Challenge. Am really happy to be a part of this challenging event. Since I would have never ventured to make dhoklas if not for this event. Also, do check out our previous trial challenge-rava laddoos!

I followed the recipe exactly as given by Valli, I skipped the coconut garnish since I did not have them at home.

Ingredients (Makes 20 medium sized pieces)

For the batter
Bengal Gram flour / Besan - 250 gms (1 & 1/2 cup)
Curd - 1/2 cup (not very sour)
Water - 1/2 cup
Cooking Soda - 1/2 teaspoon

For seasoning to be mixed to the batter (to be added just before cooking)
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon
Green chillies - 2 chopped finely
Sugar - 1 teaspoon
Lemon juice - 1 tablespoon

Eno - 1 packet (green colour fruit lime) 

For tempering
Sesame seeds
Mustard Seeds
Curry leaves
Grated coconut
Coriander leaves

Little water + Oil to be topped on dhoklas


Mix the curd and water. To this add the besan and mix well. The consistency of the batter should be like idly batter. Add the cooking soda and keep it aside to rise for 1 hour.

If you are using a pressure cooker, fill the pan with water, place a plate over which you will have use a plate for steaming the dhoklas.

To the batter mix in the lemon juice, oil, salt, sugar, chopped green chilies and turmeric powder and mix well. This has to be done just before pouring to the plate.

Meanwhile when the water reaches the rolling stage in the pressure cooker/kadai, mix the eno to the batter (Save little of eno for dusting on the plate). Bubbles wil start coming out.

Dust or sprinkle the plate with eno. Then immediately pour the batter to the plate. Place the plate carefully inside the pressure pan and cover with lid. Do not use the whistle. After covering you will find steam coming out of the outlet, simmer and don't disturb for almost 5 -7 minutes.

Check with a fork if it is well cooked. Close with a lid and allow it to stand for a minute. In a bowl, mix 3 teaspoons of water along with 1 teaspoon of oil. Pour the water and oil mix over the top.

For seasoning, heat a pan with oil, add curry leaves, sesame seeds, mustard seeds and finely chopped green chilies.  Once they start spluttering, remove the seasoning from the stove and pour it on top of the dhokla.

The batter should be filled to only 1/2 as it will rise up. After adding eno the batter should not rest. Amount of sugar can be increased on preference.

Slice and serve with some green chutney!

Sending this Steamed Treats hosted by Shrutei.
My other entries for the event-Ragi puttu and Sweet Puttu


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Jul 29, 2009

Cooking for Kids:Evening Snacks

Cooking For Kids is a monthly event started by Sharmi of Neivedyam. I was given the opportunity to host this months edition of CFK. I have chosen the theme Healthy Evening Snacks for the month. Active kids have fast metabolisms and healthy snacks between meals must be a part of the regular diet. Evening snacks can give kids more energy to go out and engage in outdoor games rather than slave themselves in front of the television.
So whip up some healthy snack ideas suitable for kids!
Those who are interested in hosting future editions of CFK, please email to cookingforkidsevent@gmail.com with details.
Coming onto the rules for the event:
*Prepare kid-friendly evening snack recipes and post it on your blog anytime from now until August 30th.
*Send an email to divyablogs[AT]gmail[DOT]com with the fllowing details:
*Subject: CFK-Evening snacks
Your name
Recipe name
URL of the post
A picture of the dish(any size):File name of picture should be recipe name
*Please link back to this page and Sharmi's site. Feel free to use the logo.
*Any number of entries are welcome, please repost and link back to old entries.
*Non-bloggers can email your entries along with a picture.
You have 10 more days left to send your entries for Show Me Your Sandwich!
I have been busy with my midterm exams for the past few days. Will be posting the roundup of Show me Your Breakfast next week along with the announcement of a small giveaway!!

You can view the ROUNDUP - here!

Jul 27, 2009

Ennai Kathirikkai/ Stuffed eggplant curry

This is a tangy, mouthwatering authentic tamil recipe with the purple vegetable, brinjal. Even people who disike brinjal tend to adore this dish. It goes well with rice or rotis. It is made with roasted aromatic spices and fresh brinjals blended together in oil. This recipe was passed on to me from my dear mom! Small eggplants taste best when using this rcipe, however if using the long ones, slice them into two halves before stuffing.


Brinjal / Eggplant - 6 small ones
Tamarind paste - 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Salt to taste

To grind
Roasted Peanuts - 1 tablespoon
Coriander seeds/Dhania - 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds/Jeera - 1 teaspoon
Urad dal - 1 teaspoonChanna dal -1 tablespoon
Black peppercorns - 1 teaspoon
Sesame - 1 teaspoon
Red chillies - 5
Coconut - 1/4 cup grated
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 teaspoon


In a small pan, add a teaspoon of oil and roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal, channa dal, peppercorns, red chillies, sesame seeds and asafoetida together on low heat. Take care they do not burn.  Allow them to cool and grind them together along with the roasted peanuts,salt and the grated coconut.

Wash the brinjals and slice the stem at the top. Then make two perpendicular slits from the top. The slit should be made 3/4 th way and not till the bottom.

Now stuff the ground masala, inside the slit brinjals and leave them aside for about 15 minutes.

Heat a pan with a little oil and season with cumin seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Add the stuffed brinjals and also add the tamarind paste and a few tablespoons of water. Cover and allow it to cook until the brinjals soften. Then remove the lid and simmer for about 3 to 4 minutes, until the oil comes out from the sides. Adjust salt.

Serve warm with rice or rotis. 

Sending this to FIL:Brinjals hosted by Sanghi.

Also sending my other eggplant dishes.

Baingan Bharta

Eggplant rice/Vanghi Bath

Eggplant Gratin

Spaghetti with eggplants

Jul 24, 2009

Tofu Paratha

Tofu was something which I stayed away from because of its bland taste. But once I got to know about its nutritional benefits, I wanted to somehow sneak it in into our normal menu. So I tried making this flavorful tofu parathas, which are spiced up with some pickle masala. I happened to see this recipe in Show Me The Curry Site. It really is delicious and is a great varaition from the normal rotis and parathas.

Silken tofu is used because it just blends with the flour, but if you use the firm tofu kind, it has some crumbly texture, so you can actually feel the tofu in each bite. It works well too.
Silken Tofu - 1 bar (7 oz.)
Chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Green chillies - 1 tablespoon chopped
Coriander leaves/Cilantro - 2 tablespoons chopped
Garam masala- 1/2 teaspoon
Pickle masala - 1 tablespoon
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Chapathi flour / atta - 2 cups (can be replaced by whole-wheat flour)
Salt to taste
In a large mixing bowl, just mash the tofu with your fingers or a fork. Add the ingredients - cumin powder, chilli powder, asafoetida, green chillies,cilantro, pickle masala, oil and salt and mix everything together.
Slowly add the chapathi flour little by little and knead until you get a smooth dough. Cover and rest the dough for about half an hour.
Make lemon sized balls and knead it into circles.
Cook them on a hot tawa/iron skillet, until both sides get completely cooked. Drizzle some oil while cooking.

Serve with any vegetable or yoghurt or pickle. I served it with some yoghurt pachadi.

Jul 22, 2009

Crumbly Apple Crisp

This is another recipe I tried from Alisa's blog for Tried and Tasted. It came out perfect. The streusel on top came out crispy and crumbly and the apple base was soft and melted in the mouth. I will definitely be trying this recipe with other fruits. I halved Alisa's recipe since I had only two apples. It makes a great dessert and I guess it should taste great with some vanilla icecream.

Ingredients (Makes 6 to 8 servings)

Large apples - 2
All-Purpose Flour - 1/2 cup
Margarine - 1/4 cup
Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup
Quick-Cooking Rolled Oats - 3/4 cup
Cinnamon - 1 teaspoon
Nutmeg - 1/4 teaspoon
Pure Maple Syrup - 2 tablespoons


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, mix together the oats, flour, brown sugar, nutmeg and half teaspoon of cinnamon. Add the margarine and combine with a fork to get a coarse mixture.

Slice the apples thinly and mix them along with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon left and arrange the apple slices evenly on the baking dish. Top the apple slices evenly with the oats-flour mixture, so as to cover all the apples. Drizzle with the maple syrup. This helps to seal the streusel topping with the apples.

Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, until the topping turns crisp.

Serve warm or cold!

My other entry for Tried and Tasted - Watermelon Lemonade

Sending this to FIL:Fruits

Jul 20, 2009

Watermelon Lemonade

It is a scorching day today, with the temperatures in the 90's for the past few days. So when I was looking at Alisa's site with whom I am partnered this month for Taste and Create, this refreshing drink
immediately caught my attention. I had a huge watermelon at home, after stuffing ourselves with the melon, we had a little leftover. I made this simple yet refreshing drink perfect for a hot summer day!!

Before heading over to the recipe, I ask you to go and check out Alisa's recipes. She has an amazing blog and has also released her own cookbook. Her recipes are mostly vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soy-free! I have also tried a few more recipes from her blog! They will be posted here soon!
Now coming to the lemonade recipe,
You need
Seedless watermelon chunks - about 6 ounces. I used about 2 cups of watermelon cubes.
Fresh lemon juice - 1/4 cup
Agave nectar - 3 tablespoons.I replaced this with 3 tablespoons of honey
Cold Water - 3/4 cups

In a blender add together, the watermelon chunks, lemon juice, honey/agave nectar, cold water and pulse until smooth. Fill two large glasses with the lemonade and icecubes.
Garnish with lemon slices/wedges.
It is that simple! Simple yet exotic!

Also do check out my Watermelon-Yoghurt Icecream!
Sending this to FIL:Fruits

Jul 17, 2009

Peanut Butter Cookies

I should say these are the best cookies I have ever made!! Inspired by her post, I was immediately craving for some cookies! I made a huge batch of these and it was over in no time!! I adopted the recipe from the Betty Crocker website. It is packed with peanut butter taste and just melts in the mouth! I followed the exact recipe and it turned out great.


Granulated sugar - 1/2 cup
Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup packed
Peanut butter - 1/2 cup
Shortening - 1/4 cup
Butter - 1/4 cup
Egg - 1
All-Purpose Flour / Maida - 1 1/4 cups
Baking soda - 3/4 teaspoon
Baking powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - 1/4 teaspoon


In a large bowl, combine together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter, butter, shortening, egg and mix well.  In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Slowly add the flour mixture to the first prepared mixture and knead slowly to form a dough. The recipe called for refrigerating the dough after kneading.

I shaped the cookies into small balls of about 1 inch thick and arranged them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Slightly press the cookies with a fork to flatten it out slightly and also to make a small line pattern on the top. I later refrigerated the cookies along with the baking sheet for about an hour. This process helps the dough to become firm and helps the cookies to retain its shape.

Preheat an oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit.

Place the cookie sheet in the middle rack and bake for about 9 to 10 minutes until golden brown.  When you remove the cookies from the oven they might still be soft. Once they cool, they turn crunchy. 

Store in airtight containers.

Also check out my Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie!

Jul 15, 2009

Ven Pongal

Ven Pongal is a typical tamil breakfast. It is a part of the menu in almost all south-indian restaurants. it is made with rice and lentils so it keeps you full until lunch. It is a combination of rice and split moong dal seasoned with whole peppercorns, cumin seeds, andcashews roasted in ghee. It is usually accompanied with sambar and coconut chutney or with gothsu. Go easy on the ghee since it is the exotic ingredient which adds more flavor to the dish!


Rice - 1 cup
Yello moong dal / Paasi raruppu - 1/2 cup
Water - 3 cups
Ginger - half inch
Pepper corns - 1 tablespoon
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves - a few
Ghee/oil - 1 tablespoon or more
Milk - 1/2 cup (optional)
Salt to taste


Cook the rice and dal together with water and salt in a pressure or rice cooker until well cooked. Add warm milk if using and mash well. The consistency should be mushy. In a seperate pan do the seasoning with ghee or oil with the cumin seeds, ginger, curry leaves, peppercorns and cashews. Take care because the peppercorns splutter while doing the tempering. Pour the seasoning over the rice and mix well.

Serve hot with sambar and coconut chutney !

Sending this to WYF:Breakfast hosted by EC.

Jul 13, 2009

Show Me Your Sandwich!

After the edition of Show Me your Breakfast! , I am here with another interesting event. Thanks to everyone who made "Show Me Your Breakfast" a huge success. Will be back soon with the roundup and also a small surprise!! 

Sandwiches in all forms are comfortable, adaptable and practical! They can be dressed up with the finest toppings ranging from vegetables, cheese etc to the simple butter and jam. And they are all exotic in their own ways. A well-designed sandwich can contain all the required food groups. It can be packed with all nutrients and can make a complete meal by itself. There are umpteen number of possiblilties to make a sandwich. So put on your thinking caps and come out with your signature sandwiches!!

Coming to the rules!

Make your own signature sandwich! It can be made with anything edible! It can me made of any type of bread. Flatbreads like pita, tortillas, chapthis can also be used. The filling can be anything hot or sweet, vegetables, meat and anything you can think of!!

Blog about your sandwich anytime between now and August 10th. Older posts are not accepted.

Please link back to this announcement and feel free to use the logo.  UPDATE:You can send in any number of entries!! Last date for sending in your entries is August 10th.

Please mail me your entries to divyablogs[AT]gmail[DOT]com with the following details

Subject : Show Me Your Sandwich


Recipe name:

URL of post:

Picture attached (any size)

Looking forward to all your sandwiches!!

Jul 9, 2009

Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

Eating a wholesome, hearty and balanced breakfast is a great and fantastic way to start the day!! There ae so many delicious and nourishing ways to fix up a breakfast. If you are looking for some new ways to spice up your morning breakfast routine, stay tuned in for the roundup of of the 'Show me your breakfast' coming up! Tomorrow is the last day for sending in your entries!

Protein and monounsaturated fat from the peanut butter, potassium from the banana, and protein and calcium from the milk will get your day off to a great start! This is a simple and great way to indulge as well. Just throw in all the ingredients in a blender and you are good to go. It keeps you full for hours as well.


Peanut Butter - 1 tablespoon

Banana - 1

Milk/Soymilk - 1 glass

Chop the banana roughly, add everything in a blender and pulse until smooth.

This smoothie is versatile. You can make your own variations to it. You can sweeten it with maple syrup or honey. You can add a pinch of cardamom powder, cocoa powder or vanilla essence for more flavor. You can add a few ice cubes and have it chilled!

Just indulge!

My other entries for Show Me Your Breakfast event are

Pesarattu and Granola Breakfast Bars

Sending this to Cook for Yourself event and
Food For 7 stages of life:Kids initially started by Radhika and to FIL:Fruits.

Jul 6, 2009

Pesarattu for 'Show me your Breakfast' event!

Pesarattu is a typical breakfast of Andhra Pradesh. It is a great and healthy way to start your day since it is packed with carbs and protein. it also keeps you full for long. It can be made along with onions sprinkled on top and served with coconut, ginger or any type of chutney.

Am sending this to Show Me Your Breakfast event being hosted in my blog!


Moong dal / Green Gram - 3 cups
Green chillies - 3 or 4
Ginger - 1 inch
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves a little chopped (optional)


Soak the moong dal/green gram in water overnight or about 6 to 7 hours.

In the morning, drain the water and add all the other ingredients to the dal and blend in a mixer to form a smooth batter. The batter should not be too runny or thin. It should be in idly/dosa batter consistency.

Heat a tawa and add a little oil and spread with a half cut onion. Once the pan turns hot, pour a ladle of batter in the middle and spread in a clockwise/anticlockwise motion in circles, starting from the center to the corners of the pan. You can add chopped onions on top if you like. Drizzle some oil on the corners.

After about a minute, flip the pesarattu with the help of a flat spoon. Cook for one more minute.

Serve with yoghurt/curd and any chutney of your choice.

This is part of "Show Me Your Breakfast" event being hosted in my blog. Send me your entries before July 10th!!

Out of chutney ideas?? here are a few of them. Do check them out!

Tomato chutney

Carrot chutney

Bottlegourd chutney

Curry leaves chutney/Kariveppilai chutney

Ginger chutney

Onion chutney

Idly-dosa chutney

Peanut/groundnut chutney

Also sending this to EFM:Breakfast Series and also to MLLA-13 conceived by Susan of the Well-Seasoned Cook and currently being hosted by Sunshinemom of Tongue Ticklers and also to WYF:Breakfast hosted by EC.

Jul 1, 2009

Chocolate Orange Drizzle Loaf Cake

I cannot believe half the year is already over!! And yeah, it is the beginning of a new month and time for Sweet and Simple Bakes! The choice for the month is Chocolate orange Drizzle Loaf Cake.
One evening, I was craving cake and was looking for simple and refreshing cake recipes. I stumbled upon this recipe but I did not have oranges at hand. In our new apartment we have an orange tree, but we have never tried those oranges. So I just ran outside a grabbed a few oranges and immediately set to try this delicious cake. I had some dark chocolate and I thought it would be too overpowering to do the entire frosting with it. So I just melted the chocolate and drizzled it over the cake. the cake was moist due to the addition of orange juice and it had a hint of citrus flavor in every bite!

For The cake
175g (6 oz) softened butter
175g (6 oz) caster (super fine) sugar - I used  ordinary sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
175g (6 oz) self-raising flour, sifted
2 tbsp milk
For The Orange Syrup
Juice of 1 orange
100g (4 oz) granulated sugar

For The Topping
Dark chocolate / milk chocolate
Sprinkles of choice (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
Line and grease a900g (2 lb) loaf tin.
In a mixing bowl, add the butter and sugar and beat together until light and fluffy in appearance. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well until fully incorporated. Add the orange zest, flour and milk and fold in gently with a spatula or large metal spoon. Turn into the prepared tin, smooth the top of the mixture and bake in the oven on middle shelf 35 -45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. When cool make little holes in the cake with a skewer, (this is important for pouring the syrup onto the cake to ensure the syrup soaks in fully.)

For The Orange Syrup

Put the orange juice and granulated sugar into a pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil for a couple of minutes. Pour over the top of the cake. When all the juice has soaked in, carefully remove the cake from the tin.
I melted 2 blocks the dark chocolate in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Drizzle it directly over the cooled cake. leave the cake for a while for the chocolate to set.

Slice and enjoy!
Check out my other cake recipes..
Spongecake with cream cheese frosting
Fruit Cake
Spiced Mango Bread
Vanilla Apple Cake
Orange cake with cream cheese frosting
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