Dec 27, 2011

Seppankizhangu / Arbi / Colocassia / Taro Roast

Seppankizhangu / Arbi / Colocassia / Taro is a root tuber. This can be used in curries, roasts and fries. They taste great any way you make them and makes a great side dish. I usually make it along with sambar rice or dal.

Seppankizhangu / Arbi / Colocassia - 1/2 kg or 1 lb
Chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1 teaspoon
Cumin/jeera powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Oil - 2 teaspoons
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Urad dhal - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste


  1. Pressure cook the seppankizhangu with enough water in a pressure cooker for 3 whistles. Alternatively, boil them in enough water in a heavy bottomed pan for about 20 minutes.
  2. Once cool enough to handle, peel them and slice them into half inch rounds.
  3. In a bowl, take the sliced seppankizhangu, add salt, turmeric powder, chilli, coriander and cumin powder. Mix everything well and allow it to sit for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. In a saucepan, heat the oil and season with mustard seeds and the urad dhal.
  5. Once it starts spluttering, add the marinated seppankizhangu.
  6. Fry for about 10 to 15 minutes on medium heat until everything gets well roasted and turns deep brown in color. Keep stirring in between to allow it to stick to the pan.
  7. Serve immediately with rice and curry of your choice.

We had it with vatha kuzhambu and rice!

Dec 19, 2011

Spinach, Apple, Walnut Salad

It was pasta night of the week. I usually make pasta one night a week and I like to pair it with a simple salad and garlic bread and call it a meal. For the salad, I combined the candied walnuts, baby spinach, shaved apple and goat cheese. I used a store bought raspberry vinaigrette which gave a nice sweet finish to the salad.

Ingredients (serves 2)
Baby Spinach - 4 cups
Candied Walnuts - 3 tablespoons
Goat Cheese - 2 tablespoons
Apple - 1
Raspberry Vinaigrette - for dressing


  1. Using a mandolin, shave the apple into very thin slices. Alternatively, use a knife to chop the apple into thin slices.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the baby spinach, candied walnuts, goat cheese and shaved apple.
  3. Drizzle raspberry vinaigrette and toss well.
  4. Serve chilled!
You can find the recipe for candied walnuts - here.

Sending this to Lets cook for christmas- red and Green

Dec 15, 2011

Maple Glazed Walnuts / Candied Walnuts

I always like to try different ingredients in my salads. I like to have one sweet ingredient, be it raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries or chopped dried prunes. I also add different variety of nuts like walnuts, almonds, pecans and pine nuts to increase the protein content. I came across candied walnuts in a restaurant and I decided to make it at home. The glazed walnuts also make a great snack!

This can be made in a matter of minutes and can also be stored for future use. The walnuts are tossed in maple syrup on the stovetop to make delicious sweet walnuts. The same recipe can be followed with pecans or any nuts for that matter. You can also add in spice powders but this time I kept it simple.

(Recipe Source: Food Network)
Walnuts - 2 cups
Maple Syrup - 1/3 cup
A pinch of salt


  1. In a non-stick skillet, add the walnuts and toast them for a minute until the raw smell goes away.
  2. Slowly add in the maple syrup and salt and with the help of a wooden spoon keep stirring, so that the maple syrup coats all the nuts.
  3. In a matter of two minutes, the maple syrup would be bubbling and would have coated all the nuts.
  4. Switch off the stove and allow it to cool completely.
  5. Store it in an airtight container and add to your favorite salads or munch on as a healthy snack!

And watch my Youtube video featuring the recipe!

Dec 13, 2011

Roasted Garlic Hummus

I love trying out the samples at the various grocery stores like Costco, Trader Joes. I always like to experiment with new products in my cooking and sampling helps to to try different food items. During one of such visit to our local middle eastern grocery store, I was offered offered to try samples of various versions of hummus. I happened to try the roasted garlic hummus and I was immediately hooked on to its taste. However, I found that the little tub of hummus was too expensive and I decided to try the same version of hummus at home. I grabbed cloves of garlic and ventured into making this delicious hummus. The garlic turns sweet and mellow when roasted and blends really well the taste of the hummus.

I have made different versions of hummus at home. And we have it with pita bread, lavash, falafels, baby carrots, broccoli and also in sandwiches. This hummus version has become our new favorite!

(Recipe Source: Closet Cooking)
Garbanzo Beans/Chickpeas - 1 cup (soaked overnight) or 1 19oz. can of chickpeas
Garlic - 1 head
Tahini - 1/4 cup
Lemon Juice - 1/2 lemon
Olive oil - 2 tablespoons
Salt and Pepper to taste

Roasting the garlic:

  1. Take a whole garlic head and chop of the head so that the individual cloves of garlic get exposed.
  2. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the cloves and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Wrap the entire garlic head in aluminum foil and roast in a preheated oven at 400F for 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Allow the garlic to cool down a bit so that you can handle it.
  5. Using a fork, slowly separate the separate garlic from the skin.

To make the hummus:

  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight or at least for 6 hours in water.
  2. Drain the water and pressure cook in enough water until the chickpeas turn soft.
  3. Add the cooked chickpeas, roasted garlic, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and pulse into a smooth mixture using a blender. 
  4. Add a little water to obtain the desired consistency.
  5. Garnish with olive oil and serve with you favorite bread or veggies.

Dec 7, 2011

Eggnog Cake

I love to shop at Trader Joes! Period.

I love looking at the various aisles filled with unique ingredients and each time I visit the store, I always pick up something new to try! With the store situated one block away from my house, you can see me lurking the store often.. I have even been considering blogging about my Trader Joes' finds! 

During one such trip to the store, I happened to notice a carton of Eggnog! I have never bought or tasted eggnogs before. I came home and researched about eggnogs and happened to learn that it was a famous holiday drink.. It is made with egg and milk and rich in calories. I even came across some amazing recipes with eggnog. During my next trip I got a carton of light eggnog which is far lesser in fat and calories compared to the regular eggnog. 

I had the idea of making a simple pound cake with the eggnog. But I was too lazy to whip up my own cake and I was also running out of time. So I made use of a boxed cake mix to make this delicious cake. Any boxed cake mix can be used for this recipe. Just ignore the recipe instructions in the box and you can make this cake in a matter of minute using just 3 ingredients.

Ingredients (yields two 9 inch round cakes or one large bundt cake)
Any boxed cake mix - 16 oz ( I used Betty Crocker's Carrot cake mix)
Eggs - 2
Eggnog - 1 1/2  cups
Eggnog - 1/2 cup (for drizzling over the cake)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and the egg nog(1.5 cups) for about a minute using an electric hand mixer.
  3. Slowly add the cake mix in batches and beat for about 2 minutes until well combined.
  4. Grease two 9 or 10 inch cake pans or one large bundt pan or two loaf pans with cooking spray or butter.
  5. Slowly add the prepared batter to the pans.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 35 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. When the cake is done, let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and transfer it to a wire rack.
  8. Drizzle the remaining half cup of eggnog over the cake. 
  9. The cake absorbs all the eggnog and results in a mist and rich cake.
  10. Serve the cake as a dessert!

The theme for this month's Sweet Punch Baking is 'Your Choice'. This is my entry for this month's Sweet Punch!

Sending this to Let's Cook- Baked GoodiesCooking Concepts- Holiday BakingA 100 Day Global Food FestivalSYF and HWS Series- Cardamom,  Jingle All The Way,  Christmas DelicacySinful Delights and Bake Fest

Dec 5, 2011

Egg Scramble with Vegetables

This is a typical weekday breakfast at my place. I make different versions of egg scrambles at least once a week. It is so easy to make and includes all the necessary nutrients to make a wholesome meal giving a great start to the day! This scramble is one such variation I made using fresh vegetables from the farmers market.

Ingredients (serves 2)
Eggs - 3
Milk - 2 tablespoons
Vegetables - 1 cup (I used asparagus, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms)
Oil - 1 teaspoon
Grated cheese - 1 tablespoon (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a saucepan, heat the oil and add all the chopped vegetables.
  2. Saute for about two minutes until the veggies turn tender and crisp.
  3. In a bowl, break open the eggs and whisk the yolk and egg whites together with the milk.
  4. Once the vegetables are done, remove them from the pan and transfer to a plate.
  5. In the same pan, add the eggs and scramble the eggs well. Cook for about two minutes, until the eggs are done. Also add the cheese and mix thoroughly.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Finally add the veggies and give it a quick stir so that everything gets combined.
Serve with toast. We had ours with buttered toast, sliced avocados, potatoes and tea!

Nov 30, 2011

Rajma Chawal / Kidney Beans Curry and Rice

This is a North Indian classic dish made with rajma/kidney beans and rice. Steaming rajma curry served over plain white rice is rich in iron and protein from the kidney beans and carbohydrates from the rice and makes a wholesome satisfying meal.

Rajma/Kidney Beans - 1 cup (soaked overnight or atleast for 5 hours)
Onion - 1/2 medium sized
Tomato - 1
Green chillies - 3
Ginger - 1 inch finely chopped
Garam masala - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds/Jeera - 1 teaspoon
Oil - 1 spoon
Salt to taste
Cilantro/Coriander for garnish

Soak the rajma in water overnight or atleast for 5 hours.
Drain the water and pressure cook with water until 4 whistles until the rajma turns soft and completely cooked. Alternatively, instead of using a pressure cooker, the beans can also be cooked in a stockpot with a lid for 30 to 35 minutes until the beans turn soft and tender.
In a wide saucepan/kadai, heat the oil and add the cumin seeds. once they start spluttering, add the chopped ginger and garlic and saute until the onions turn translucent.
Add in the chopped tomatoes and saute for a minute until the tomatoes turn tender.
Add the turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala and salt and mix well. Cook for a minute.
Finally add the cooked rajma/kidney beans and a cup of water.
Cover and cook on low heat for about five minutes until all the flavors blend together.
Remove from heat and garnish with cilantro.
Serve over cooked rice.

Nov 22, 2011

Coriander-Mint Pulao

I had a bunch of coriander and mint wilting in my refrigerator which had to be used up before I go on our weekly grocery shopping. I always try to use up all the veggies and herbs I buy and try to minimize wastage.. I was wondering what to make with the herbs, when I got the idea to make a simple pulao using them. I made this colorful rice dish for lunch. We had this along with potato fry, chips and raita. This rice dish makes a colorful lunchbox dish for kids.

I used leftover cooked basmati rice to make this. Any variety of rice can be used for this delicious pulao.

Cooked rice - 2 cups
Onion - 1/2 medium sized 
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
Bay leaf - 1
Cardamom - 2
Cloves - 3
Fennel seeds / Shah jeera - 1 teaspoon
Cashews - few for garnish
Oil - 2 teaspoons
Ghee - 1 spoon
Salt to taste

To grind into a smooth paste
Coriander - 1/2 cup chopped
Mint - 1/2 cup chopped
Green chillies - 3
Ginger - 1 inch
Garlic - 2 cloves

  1. Cook the rice along with water and salt and allow it to cool.
  2. Grind together the coriander, mint, green chillies, ginger and garlic into a fine paste adding a spoon of water if needed.
  3. In a kadai/saucepan, fry the cashews in the ghee until golden brown and remove the cashews from the pan and set them aside.
  4. In the same pan, heat the oil. Once it turns hot add all the spices - fennel seeds, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cardamom and clove and saute for a minute.
  5. Then add the onions and saute until it turns translucent.
  6. Add the ground paste and saute for a couple of minutes, until the raw smell goes away and oil oozes out. Take care the paste doesn't stick to the pan and burn. Add salt to taste
  7. Finally add the cooked rice and mix everything thoroughly.
  8. Add a teaspoon of ghee at this stage and mix well. This is optional though.
  9. Garnish with cashews and more cilantro. 
  10. Serve warm with some chips and raita.

Nov 17, 2011

Low-fat Aama Vadai

Aama vadai or masala vadai is a deep fried fritter made with chana dal. It serves as a great accompaniment to evening tea. I tried a low fat option by making it in my kuzhipaniyaram pan instead of deep frying. This method uses very little oil and tastes very much like the classic aama vadai. Though you compromise on the taste the deep fried aama vadai gives, this version wins in the health aspect!

Channa Dhal/Bengal gram Dhal - 1 cup
Onion - 1 small sized
Green chillies - 2
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Asafoetida/Hing - 1/4 teaspoon (optional)
Shahjeera / Fennel Seeds / Sombhu - 1 teaspoon
Coriander leaves finely chopped -1 tablespoon
Salt to taste


  1. Soak the channa dhal for about 2 hours in water.
  2. Drain the water and grind together the soaked dhal, green chillies, asafoetida and salt to form a coarse paste.
  3. Chop the onions finely.
  4. To the ground mixture, add the chopped onions, shah jeera, curry leaves and coriander leaves.
  5. Heat the kuzhipaniyaram pan and drizzle little oil, about half a teaspoon in each hole. 
  6. Once the oil gets hot, with a spoon, take a little of the ground mixture and add it to each hole.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium flame and cook for about two minutes. Take care it does not burn.
  8. With a spoon flip the vadai and cook for a couple more minutes.
  9. Once done, remove the vadais and serve hot with tea!
  10. Also tastes great with some ketchup.

Nov 14, 2011

Chicken Curry for Idly/Dosa

This is a simple and easy chicken curry which goes very well with idlies and dosas. It also tastes great with rice dishes.

Chicken - 1/2 kg
Onion - 1 medium sized
Tomato - 2
Coriander/cilantro and mint leaves - 1/2 cup
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
Garam masala - 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1 teaspoon
Jeera/Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
Chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Green chillies - 3 or as per taste
Cashew nuts - 5
Curd/yogurt - 2 tablespoons
Coconut - 1/2 cup grated
Oil - 2 spoons


  1. Wash the chicken well and cut into small pieces.
  2. Marinate the chicken in a mixture of curd/yogurt, ginger-garlic paste and a little salt.
  3. Chop the onions and tomatoes and slit the green chillies.
  4. Allow the chicken to marinate for about an hour. You could also, leave it to marinate overnight, by placing the chicken in a bowl, wrapping it with a plastic wrap and leave it in the refrigerator.
  5. In a saucepan/kadai, heat  one spoon of oil and add half the onions and fry it until it turns translucent.
  6. Once the onions start to brown, add the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes get cooked, add the green chillies, coriander leaves, mint leaves and all the powders - chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and turmeric powder.
  7. Saute all the ingredients for a minute. Switch off the stove and allow the mixture to cool completely.
  8. Grind the mixture along with the grated coconut and cashewnuts into a coarse paste.
  9. In the saucepan, heat the remaining oil and saute the remaining chopped onions. Once the onions turn translucent, add the marinated chicken.
  10. Allow the chicken to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes and then add the ground masala.
  11. Add about one cup of water and bring it to a boil. Simmer for about two minutes until the flavors blend together. Finally add the garam masala and cook for one more minute.
  12. Garnish with cilantro. Serve warm with idlies, dosas, rice or chapatis.

Nov 9, 2011

Coffee and Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate and coffee make a classic combo and they are an irresistible combination! I made this Coffee and Chocolate Pudding for this month's Sweet Punch.

The pudding turned out to be a delectable and elegant dessert to be served on any occasion - be it a grand party or a simple weeknight indulgence! It hardly takes five minutes of preparation and twenty minutes to bake and there you have an exotic dessert at the table in less than half an hour!

(Recipe Source:
All Purpose Flour - 1 cup
Baking Powder - 2 teaspoons
Cocoa - 2 teaspoons (I used Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa)
Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup
Melted Butter - 2 tablespoons
Milk - 1/2 cup
Egg - 1 beaten
Salt - 1 pinch
Hazelnuts/almonds/walnuts - 50 grams chopped

For the topping
Brewed Coffee - 1 cup
Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup
Cocoa - 3 tablespoons

  1. Preheat oven to 180C or 350F.
  2. Sift together all the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, cocoa, brown sugar and salt.
  3. Stir together the butter, milk, egg and nuts until well combined.
  4. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together.
  5. Spoon the batter into 4 rameins or mugs.
  6. Sprinkle over brown sugar and cocoa and then pour over the brewed coffee. but do not stir.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Dust with cocoa powder or sugar or cinnamon.
  9. Serve warm with some vanilla icecream!

Sending this to Bake Fest and Winter Carnival.

Nov 1, 2011

Mushroom Biryani

Mushrooms are a favorite at our place and I try different recipes with mushrooms. I usually make soups, pulaos, fried rice or curries with mushrooms. This was the first time I tried out a biryani recipe and this recipe is sure a keeper. Thanks Ramya for the recipe! I adapted the recipe to our taste and this is quite delicious. Do try this out. The mushroom can also be replaced with other veggies.

Basmati Rice - 1 cup
Onion - 1 medium size
Tomato - 1 medium size
Mushrooms - 3/4 cup chopped
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Lemon juice - 1 tablespoon
Yogurt - 2 tablespoons
Oil - 2 spoons
Bay leaf - 1
Salt to taste

For the masala to grind
Ginger - 1 inch
Garlic - 4 pods
Tomato - 1 small
Onion - 1/2 small sized
Cardamom - 4
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon stick - 1 stick
Coriander leaves - 4 sprigs
Green chillies - 3
Mint leaves - 2 sprigs

Wash and soak the basmati rice for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
Add all the ingredients listed under masala into a fine paste by adding a little water.
Finely chop the mushrooms, onions and tomato.
In a pressure cooker, heat the oil and add the bay leaf followed by the onions. Saute till the onions turn translucent.
Add the ground paste and saute for about 2 minutes, until the raw smell goes away and oil starts to separate from the mixture.
Once the ground paste gets cooked, add the tomatoes and fry for about 2 minutes until they get well cooked. Then add the mushrooms and saute for a minute.
Finally add the rice and required quantity of salt. Also add the yogurt and lemon juice. Finally add enough water (water:rice = 1.5:1).
Mix everything together. Cover the pressure cooker and cook until you get two whistles.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot with raita or a gravy/curry of your choice!

Sending this to FaveDiets Blog Hop
A celebration of Indian Food and to
Healthy Cooking Challenge: Healthy Lunch Event guest hosted by Kavi and started by Smitha of My Tasty Curry
Winter Carnival started by Smitha.

Oct 27, 2011

Microwave Milk Peda / Doodh Peda / Milk Fudge

I made this quick and easy sweet for Diwali. I have seen this peda recipe all over the internet  and it was the first time I made this sweet and I was amazed by its easiness. It can be made in a matter of minutes if you have all the ingredients ready. No sieving, chopping, frying, baking needed! Just mix the ingredients and all you need is microwave for 3 minutes! Yes, you heard it right. Just 3 minutes! And it uses just 3 ingredients!

You cant make a more easier and delicious sweet! Great to make along with kids!

Here is a pictorial video!

Instant Dry Milk Powder - 2 cups
Sweetened Condensed Milk or Milkmaid - one 14 oz can
Butter - 1/2 stick or 4 tablespoons


  1. Take a microwave safe bowl and melt the butter by microwaving a few seconds. Do not bring it to a boil.
  2. To the melted butter, add the dry milk powder, sweetened condensed milk and mix thoroughly. Everything should be mixed completely.
  3. Microwave for a total of 3 minutes mixing the ingredients thoroughly after each minute.
  4. Dont forget to mix the sweet after each minute!
  5. After 3 minutes, take the bowl out of the microwave and allow it to cool enough to handle with your hands. This shoud approximately take around 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. Grease a big plate with oil or butter.
  7. Also, grease your palms with oil or butter and take a small amount of the mixture and make into a small sized ball. Flatten slightly and arrange them on the greased plate.
  8. Decorate as needed. I used some crushed pistachios on top.

Other topping ideas: Cashews, raisins, almonds, chironji seeds, sunflower seeds, coloured sugar etc. 
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