Monday, August 30, 2010



 I think these days I am addicted to cooking. If I sit on computer I will go through food blogs and if I watch T.V  I would like to see food shows. Now the most popular food show here is Master Chef. Rather than food show it can be best described as food contest. Pradeep and I used to stick to T.V  daily from 7.30p.m to 8.30p.m like as though we don't care even the world fall apart also.Even though 90% of dishes they show are non vegetarian we did not miss a single episode because we are fascinated by cooking techniques they have shown, the difficulty of  making those dishes( particularly desserts) and uniqueness of every cuisine in the world.This is one of the recipe I got from the show and believe me its fail proof recipe.I have tried number of methods of making pizza dough but the pizza   I made today is even  better than Dominos and pizza hut's pizzas. For more recipes you can go through this site.

Pizza dough:
Bread flour-3cups
Dry Yeast-3/4tsp (Dissolved in warm water)
Olive oil-30ml

  1. After dissolving yeast in water add sugar to it and leave it for 10minutes(Yeast is a living organism and sugar, warm water help for its growth and activation)
  2. Now pour this mixture into bread flour along with water and knead it for 5 minutes
  3. Now add salt, olive oil and milk and knead it again for 5 more minutes.(The dough will be sticky. So dust the floor with 2tbsp of flour and knead)
  4. Allow dough to prove for 10 minutes by covering it with a wet cloth.(Dough should rise than its original size)
  5. After 10 minutes divide the dough into balls and allow them to prove for 30 minutes by covering it with wet cloth.(At this stage do not knead the dough)
  6. Now dust the floor with mixture of sooji and plain flour.
  7. Place one ball of dough, using your fingers starting in the middle press dough into 7 inch circle.
  8. Repeat it with rest of dough.(With this dough I was able to make one thick crust pizza and one thin crust pizza)

  1. Yeast is a living organism and it requires warm environment for its activation. If the environment is not warm it may take longer time for rising of dough.
  2. If you are not comfortable with stretching the dough into circle with hands use rolling pin.The dough will be very soft so you can just stretch it with rolling pin.
  3. Do not substitute bread flour with plain flour. The taste will differ a lot.
  4. Use sooji also for dusting as it makes easy to roll the dough and also gives good taste to pizza.
Pizza Sauce:
Olive oil-30ml
Tomatoes-1can (400g)
Garlic-1clove crushed
Dried oregano-1/2tsp
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a pan add all the ingredients except salt and pepper. Turn heat low and simmer for 30 minutes.Blend it to puree and add salt and pepper. It can be prepared prior and will stay up to 1 week in refrigerator.(This sauce is enough for 5-6pizzas)

Onion-1small chopped
Tomato-1 small chopped
Spinach-few leaves chopped

Heat oil in a pan and sauté them till they are 50% done.
Note:You can use topping of your choice.

  1. Preheat oven to 220 degree centigrade.
  2. Spread good amount of pizza  sauce. Add toppings and cheese.
  3. Bake it in the preheated oven till cheese melts and browns.
  1. Half cup of cheese is needed for this dough.You can use any kind of cheese but preferable is mozzarella.
  2. Preheating of oven is mandatory foe baking pizza because the minute you keep it in oven it starts cooking.

    Sunday, August 29, 2010

    Rava Dosa

    Today our break fast is rava dosa, one of my favorite dosa.This is easy to prepare and can be prepared instantly as fermentation of batter is not required. There are many variations in preparing rava dosa batter.
    I tried many of them but for me the following recipe never fails.Dosas will be crispy and can be lifted off easily from the pan.

    Semiolina or sooji-1/2cup
    Rice flour-1/2 cup
    Plain flour-2tbsp
    Ginger grated-1/2tsp
    Green chillies-1 chopped
    Cumin seeds-1tsp
    Salt to taste


    1. Mix all the above ingredients with water. The batter should be thin.
    2. Heat pan and do the sizzling test(The water should be evaporated immediately when we sprinkle on pan).
    3. Pour the batter on pan from outward base in circular motion.Then fill in the gaps in the middle with dosa batter(Don't pour like a lump.Remember rava dosas are very thin when compared to normal dosa)
    4. Pour 1tbsp of oil in the edge to and 1tbsp of oil in the middle.(You have to use more oil for rava dosa).
    5. Increase flame to medium and cook dosas nearly for 4-5 minutes.Now increase flame to high and cook till dosa becomes crisp.(It will take nearly half  a minute)
    6. Serve with chutney of your choice.


    1. Some people will make to sit dosa batter for sometime but  I found that it was not necessary.The most important thing for these dosas is consistency of batter.One indication is that as soon as you pour batter on hot pan you will observe lot of holes.Always before pouring natter on pan stir it well with ladle as flour will get settled at the bottom.
    2. Adjust heat control according to your pan and cooking.
    3. You can flip dosa and cook on other side if you want.
    4. Remember these dosas will need more oil when compared to normal dosa

    Friday, August 27, 2010


    Jantikalu, murukulu, chekkidalu  whatever the name is, it a favorite snack for many people.Even children love to munch on these after coming from school. In it's preparation also,there are many variations. Amma used to make with rice flour and sour butter milk.Sometimes potato mash can be mixed with dough which will give very good taste to jantiklau.Today I prepared these with roasted urad dal flour and rice flour.

    Roasted Urad dal flour-1cup
    Rice flour- 4cups
    Ajwain seeds-1tsp
    Sesame seeds-1tsp
    Salt to taste
    Red chilly powder-11/2 tsp(Adjust to your taste)
    Oil for deep frying  and last but not least jantikalu press(You can get it in any Indian store)

    1)Mix all the  above ingredients with water to make soft dough.(The dough should be soft so as to form concentric circles in oil )
    2)Heat oil in heavy bottomed vessel. When oil is hot fill the jantikalu press with dough to half and rotate it to form concentric circles in oil.(As soon as you press the dough in hot oil bubbles will froth up and will start to disappear once the jantikalu turns golden brown.So heat oil properly and always fry on medium heat).
    3)Remove them to absorbent paper  and cool them completely before storing them in an air tight container.

    This is the the press I got. I have used these two discs to prepare these.After filling the dough in press first close the lid and rotate the handle in clockwise direction in oil  to form the concentric layers of jantikalu.For refilling rotate the handle completely in anti clock wise direction and then remove the lid.Unless  the handle is rotated completely the lid can not be opened. Oops I forgot; another variation in making these  is using of besan andd rice flour in 1:2.

    Lobia Curry

    I love lobia aka kidney beans. The innocent looking small beans are not only nutritious but can be easily made into delicious curry. Hey! can I tell you one interesting fact about this bean?,eating this on new years' day is thought to bring prosperity in some countries.Today's recipe is very simple and goes very well with rotis and naans.

    Lobia-11/2 cup
    Onion-1medium finely chopped
    Tomato-1big(Blanched and pureed)
    Ginger garlic paste-1tsp
    Green chillies-2(Adjust to your taste)
    Coriander powder-1tsp
    Cumin powder-1/2tsp
    Rajma masala-1tsp
    Salt to taste
    Red chilly powder-1/2tsp(Adjust to your taste)


    1. Soak lobia overnight and wash them thoroughly. 
    2. pressure cook them along with 11/2s cup  of water till they become soft.
    3. Now in a pan add 1tbsp oil add onion and fry till it becomes transparent.
    4. Now add green chillies and ginger garlic paste and fry till it browns.
    5. Now add tomato puree and cook for 4-5 minutes.
    6. Add turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder and rajma masala and fry for a while.
    7. Now add lobia along with water and add salt.
    8. Cook on medium flame with closed lid till you reach desired consistency.
    I am sending this as my entry to "Show me your curry"organised by Divya


    Monday, August 23, 2010

    Yam Curry

    Yam Curry:
    I hesitated very much to prepare a curry like this with yam fearing about the taste. To my surprise it tasted delicious and is easy to prepare.


    Onion-1 small chopped
    Tomato-1small chopped
    Coriander seeds-1tbsp
    Red chillies-7-8(Adjust to your taste)
    Dry coconut powder-2tbsp
    Salt to taste
    Cumin seeds-1tsp
    Freshly grated coconut-1tbsp(Optional)

    Apply oil to hands. Then peel and chop the yam to small cubes. Cook these in a bowl of salted water till they become soft.

    1)Dry roast coriander seeds, red chillies, coconut powder till they emit aroma and grind them to fine powder.
    2)In a pan heat oil and add cumin seeds.When they start spluttering add onion and fry till it becomes transparent.
    3)Add tomato and fry for a while.
    4)Now add ground powder, salt and turmeric.
    5)Now add  yam and cook it on medium flame with covered lid for 5 minutes.
    6)Sprinkle freshly grated coconut and serve it with hot rice and ghee.

    Always apply oil to hand before peeling and chopping yam.The calcium oxalate present in yam peel is thought to be responsible for causing the itching sensation when it contacts the skin.
    There are different varieties in yam.It nearly takes10-15 minutes to cook yam if you do it on stove top. If your yam is not cooked even after 15 minutes I suggest not to use that variety.

    Sunday, August 22, 2010

    Stuffed Capsicum Curry

    I found  this recipe when I was looking at amma's handwritten recipe note book. It was age old book and my daughter has stared tearing the papers soon after she saw the book in my hands. I had a good fight with her  and at last she agreed to give me that book if I give her a chocolate. In India generally we will  get small, cute capsicum which are very  convenient for making this curry but here I get very large ones. When I went to market last weekend I managed to get some medium sized ones.So I have decided to stuff these.  I too agree that the picture was not good but it tasted great.In fact  When Amma makes this dish every one who tasted it  at our home used to ask for the recipe (If you can get small capsicum I strongly suggest  to use them.)

    Capsicum-4(Medium sized)
    Besan-1/2 cup
    Onion-1medium chopped
    Gram masala-1tsp
    Salt to taste
    Red chilly powder-2-3tsp(Adjust to your taste)
    Coriander-1small bunch
    Coconut-1cup(Preferably freshly grated)


    1. Remove stalk and seeds from capsicum and keep them aside
    2. In pan heat  1tbsp oil and fry the onion till it becomes transparent.
    3. Add besan and fry till it emits good aroma(It will take nearly 10 minute)
    4. Now add red chilly powder and garam  masala powder
    5. Before switching off the flame add coconut, salt and coriander leaves and mix it well
    6. After cooling stuff this mixture into capsicums.
    7. In the same pan add remaining oil and cook with covered lid on medium flame. capsicums till they become soft ( It will take  nearly 15 minutes to cook.If you find capsicums are getting burnt sprinkle some water)

    Saturday, August 21, 2010

    Chole Panner

    Generally when I am running out of vegetables, dry beans and peas are the ones which will come to my rescue.I love chick peas aka chhole aka chana for their taste and nutritional quality.This dish is easy to prepare and goes very well with roti or naan.

    Chole-1cup(Soaked overnight and boiled)
    Paneer cubes-1cup(Sauté them in 1tsp of ghee and keep aside)
    Ginger garlic paste-1tsp
    Onion-1medium chopped
    Tomato-1medium chopped
    Coriander powder-1tsp
    Cumin Powder-1tsp
    Chole Masala Powder-1tsp
    Salt to taste
    Red chilly powder-2tsp(Adjust to your taste)
    Coriander leaves for garnishing
    Cumin seeds-1tsp


    1. In a pan heat oil add cumin seeds when they start spluttering, add onion fry till it become transparent.
    2. Add tomato and fry for a while.
    3. Now add ginger garlic paste and fry till it browns
    4. Now add  coriander powder, cumin powder, dry mango powder and fry for a while
    5. Add chole and 2  cups of water
    6. Now add salt, red chilly powder and cook for 10-15 minutes.
    7. Add paneer and cook for another 5-10 minutes or till you get the desired consistency.
    8. Switch off the flame and stir in cream.
    9. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with roti or naan

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    Tomato Chutney

    I love Tomato chutney very much. This can be easily prepared and can be stored in refrigerator up to 3 days.It goes well with rice, dosa and even idly also.When I was a child one of my favorite combination is mudda pappu along with tomato chutney.

    Tomatoes-4 medium(Roughly chopped)
    Tamarind-one small lemon sized soaked in water
    Salt to taste
    Red chillies-5-6(Adjust to your taste).
    Coriander leaves-2sprigs

    For Tempering:
    Mustard seeds-1tsp
    Split black gram dal-1tsp
    Hing-big pinch


    1. Heat oil in a wide pan, add mustard seeds when they start spluttering add urad dal. When they turn brown add hing, red chillies. Switch off the flame.
    2. Keep these aside and cool completely.
    3. Now in the same pan add chopped tomato and cook with covered lid till tomatoes become dry.
    4. Then add salt and tamarind.(Tamarind will become soft because of that heat and can be grinded easily).Cool it completely.
    5. Now initially,  grind urad dal, mustard and red chilly mixture. When it is powdered  add tomato mixture along with coriander leaves and make it a paste.

    I suggest to use small mixie jar for making chutney.

    Annam, muddapappu(Dal),Dappalam(Tamarind based stew) Mamidikaya pulihora,(Green Mango Rice),Tomato chutney, Atukula payasam(Poha kheer),vada
    Today is varalakshmi vratham and we have to offer Shadrosopethamina Bhojanam(The food should have different  tastes) to goddess and I have made these as  naivedyam to Goddess(Ammavaaru)

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010


    What can I say about Sambar? Is it enough, if I say, every time I make sambar my husband asks for third help?(Not that I am expert in making  sambar but he is great fan of sambar), is it enough if I say that I can complete my whole meal with only sambar or is it enough if I say that no south Indian meal is complete without sambar. Today's recipe is an authentic sambar recipe and requires preparation of sambar paste. Once you taste this sambar, you will surely feel that the effort is worth.

    Tur dal-1cup
    Onion-1medium(Chopped lengthwise)
    Pumpkin pieces-1/2 cup
    Tomato-1small chopped
    Tamarind-1big lemon size(Extract the juice by soaking in warm water)
    Salt to taste
    Red chilly powder-2tsp(Adjust to your taste)
    Sambar paste-2tbsp

    For tempering:
    Mustard seeds-1tsp
    Cumin seeds-1tsp
    Red chilly-1 broken into pieces


    1. Pressure cook dal by adding 2 cups of water and mash it
    2. Add onion, pumpkin and 2 cups of water to dal and boil for 10-15 minutes.
    3. Now add tamarind, salt, red chilly powder and tomato  and cook for 7-8 minutes(Till the rawness of tamarind disappears)
    4. Now add sambar paste, mix it well and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
    5. Heat oil in separate pan, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, hing and when they start spluttering add red chilly. Immediately add it to sambar.Turn off heat  and place lid on it
    6. Garnish with coriander leaves before serving.

     For Sambar paste:
    Pepper corns-4-5
    Chana dal-1tbsp
    Split urad dal-1tbsp
    Asfoetida or hing-pinch
    Coriander Seeds -1tbsp
    Curry leaves-5-6
    Freshly grated coconut-1-2tbsp
    Red chillies-2
    Cumin seeds-1tsp
    Turmeric powder-pinch


    1. In a heavy bottomed  vessel add chana dal, urad dal and pepper corns and fry till they release aroma ad turn brown.
    2. Now add cumin seeds and fry for a while
    3. Now add coriander seeds and hing and fry for few seconds(Always do the roasting on low flame and keep on stirring to prevent them getting burnt)
    4. Finally add curry leaves and cool them completely.
    5. To make sambar paste grind all the dry roasted ingredients along with coconut and turmeric powder and 1tbsp of water(The paste should be thick and fine)

    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    Aloo Curry in gravy

     I am in mood of making some gravy curry today and the only vegetable I got in my pantry is aloo. So I want to experiment it with different spices and finally made this curry. I have searched, searched ,searched for aloo recipes and at last found this recipe interesting.I made lots of changes to original recipe and I am very happy with the outcome.

    Aloo-4 medium sized (Boiled and cubed)
    Onion-1 small chopped
    Tomato-1 small chopped
    Milk -1/2 cup.
    Cumin seeds-1tsp
    Salt to taste
    Red chilly powder-2tsp(Adjust to your taste)

    For Masala:
    Coriander seeds-1tbsp
    Pepper powder-1tsp or pepper corns-3-4
    Caraway seeds-1tsp
    Cinnamon stick-1inch piece.

    1. Grind all the ingredients for masala to a fine powder.
    2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan, add cumin seeds.
    3. When they start spluttering add onion. When it becomes transparent add tomato and fry for a while.
    4. Now add the masala and fry for a while.
    5.  Now add milk.(As soon as you add the milk keep on stirring other wise milk will curdle.)
    6. Add  yogurt and continuously stir it
    7.  Now add 1 cup of water,salt, red chilly powder and boiled potato cubes.
    8. Cook on medium flame till you get the desired consistency.
    Serve with hot rice, chapathi or biryani. Believe me! this curry altogether will have different flavor and taste.

    Monday, August 16, 2010

    Ridge gourd chutney(Beerakaya Pacchadi)

    Posted by PicasaI love ridge gourd for its mild taste and humble appearance.  This chutney is a good accompaniment with dal and rice. Today's recipe is from amma who is very good cook.  For me Amma is best cook in the world. I guess it is same for most of the people. Me and my husband still remembers the taste of avadalu(South Indian Version of dahi vada)she made when she came here two years back. In the initial days of cooking I used to call my mom every morning for recipes and the conversation goes on like this
    Me:Hi mom I want recipe for .....
    Mom:These are the ingredients........
    Me:Tell me the Measurements
    Mom:I am not sure I will never measure.
    Me:Hell! how  can I cook without measurements shouts on mom and disconnects the phone.
    These two years of cooking had taught me a great lesson that one has to adjust the spice according to their palate and should not blindly follow the recipe measurements.Now I can cook mom's recipe if she tells me the ingredients and the process and this recipe is one such of them.

    Ridge gourd-One (long)
    Red chillies-5-6(Adjust to your taste)
    Tamarind-One small lemon size soaked in half cup of water
    Salt to taste
    Urad dal(Split)-1tsp
    Chana dal-1tsp
    Cumin seeds-1tsp

    For tadka:
    Mustard seeds-1tsp
    Red chilli-1 broken into pieces(Optional)

    1)Peel the ridge gourd slightly and chop into small pieces.
    2)In a pan heat 1 tbsp oil, add cumin seeds, when they start spluttering add chana dal, urad dal.
    3)When they turn brown in color add hing  and  ridge gourd and cook for 10-15 minutes with covered lid and cool it completely.
    4) Now grind it to a fine paste by adding water and tamarind paste.
    5)For tempering add 1tbsp oil and add mustard seeds. When they start spluttering add red chillies and when it pops switch off the flame and pour it over chutney.

    1)In tempering you can use curry leaves also. As I have not them handy,I did not use it.
    2)For variation you can dry roast sesame seeds and can add them while grinding.
    3)Use of red chillies gives different flavour and you can replace it with green chillies if you wish.

    Friday, August 13, 2010

    Vegetable Manchurian(Dry)

    Posted by Picasa Manchurian, one of my favorite appetizer.Today I am blogging dry version of this. This ever popular  Chinese dish is easy to prepare and will make you to prepare again and again. I love Chinese cuisine and their way of preparing of food balancing, spicy and mild flavors.The recipe is so simple and it was a big hit with my husband. I was very happy because if my husband says " good" means, I believe it will have 90% approval rate.


    Ingredients :
    For Manchurian balls:
    Cabbage finely chopped-2cups
    Carrot finely chopped-1/2cup
    Beans finely chopped-1/2cup
    Cauliflower florets-1/2cup
    Grated Ginger-1teaspoon
    Green chillies-2-3(Adjust to your taste)
    Pepper powder-1/2 tea spoon
    Soys sauce-2-3tbsp
    Chilly paste-2tbsp
    Salt to taste
    Greens of Spring onion.
    Boiled rice-1/2cup
    Corn flour-1tbsp


    1. Steam all the finely chopped vegetables for 5-6 minutes by adding 2 cups of water
    2. Now strain all the water with the help of muslin cloth. The strained water(Stock) can be used in sauce preparation.
    3. Mix  steamed vegetables and all the remaining ingredients to make small sized balls.
    4. Heat oil in heavy bottomed vessel and fry Manchurian on medium flame till they turn golden brown.(Fry 4-5 balls at a time. Don't over crowd the vessel)
    5. Remove them to an absorbent paper.


    Spring onion whites-1finely chopped.
    Garlic finely chopped-3tbsp
    Ginger finely chopped-1tsp
    Green chillies-2 finely chopped(Adjust to your taste)
    Soya Sauce-4-5tbsp
    Chilli paste-2tbsp
    Salt to taste.
    Stock-3/4 cup


    1. Heat oil in a frying pan . When oil is hot  add onion and when it becomes transparent add garlic and fry till it browns.
    2. Now add  grated ginger  and fry for a while.
    3. Now add green chillies, soya sauce, chilli paste and salt.
    4. Add stock and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
    5. Mix corn flour in 3tbsp of water and pour it in pan.
    6. Now mixture starts to thicken. Add manchurian  and gently roll them in sauce till they get evenly coated with sauce


    1. For chopping vegetables finely, you can either use grater or food processor. I found it can be easily done in food processor or mixie.
    2. The water that is obtained by straining the vegetables is nothing but stock.It is rich in vitamins and nutrients. It can be used in gravy dishes or can be made into  soup by seasoning it.
    3. While frying Manchurians, first try with one Manchurian because sometimes if the binding agent is not sufficient the Manchurian may break in oil. If it happens add some more rice and make them into balls.

    Wednesday, August 11, 2010


    Posted by PicasaThis is very old traditional andhra sweet and I got this recipe from my grandma's hand written cook book.As we bite into these squares the smell and taste of moong dal is divine.It requires some time and effort to prepare this sweet but I can vouch you for it's taste.

    Split Mooong dal(Yellow)-2cups
    Freshly Grated coconut-1/2cup
    Cashew nuts-1/2cup
    Cardamom powder-1tsp
    Oil to deep fry

    1. Soak moong dal and rice in water for 2-3 hours.
    2. Grind it to a  fine paste by adding 2-3tbsp of water(Don't add more water.).
    3. In a heavy bottomed vessel add sugar. When it starts to melt add moong dal paste, grated coconut and cashew nuts
    4. Stir it on a low flame till it forms a big lump(You should be careful at this step. Always keep it on low-medium flame because it can get burnt easily. It will take nearly 20-25 minutes to form a big lump).Switch off the flame and add cardamom powder.
    5. Immediately spread it on a wet cloth.Using a flat laddle gently spread it to a thickness of 1/2 inch layer. cool it completely before slicing into desired shapes.
    6. Heat oil in heavy bottomed vessel, when oil is medium hot, slide the sliced squares into oil and fry it on a medium flame till golden brown.
    7. You can fry a batch of 4-5 depending on the size of vessel.Remove them to an absorbent paper.
    8. These can be stored in an airtight container for nearly 4-5 days.

    Apply some oil to laddle while spreading the mixture.Otherwise mixture will stick to laddle  making it difficult to spread


    Posted by PicasaToday I prepared pesarakattu. This is my ammamma's(Grandmother) recipe who is a very good cook.On a rainy day I would like to have potato fry, hot hot pesarakattu in my meal along with rice.This is also good alternative for people who got bored with rasam,sambar,pappucharu.


    Pesarappu(Moong dal)-1 small cup
    Green chillies-2(Adjust to your taste)
    Sambar powder-1tsp
    Salt to taste
    Red chilli powder-pinch
    Lemon juice-1tsp
    Cilantro leaves
    Water-2-3 cups

    For seasoning:
    Mustard seeds
    Cumin seeds
    Red chillies-1
    Curry leaves-Few

    1. Pressure cook moong dal till it is soft.
    2. Now add water along with all the ingredients except lemon juice and cook till it reaches a consistency.It should be not too thick not too watery.
    3. For seasoning add 2 tbsps of oil ,mustard seeds, cumin seeds in a separate vessel and let them splutter. Then add red chillies, curry leaves,asafoetida. As soon  as red chillies turn brown pour this into pesarakattu.
    4. Finish it off with dash of lemon juice.

      Tuesday, August 10, 2010

      Today i will give some tips on spending which are nothing but my experiences and some I learnt from others' experiences. I have great  interest on financial matters and in my house I deal with these like planning the budget, spending, investments etc:  as my husband has very little interest on these.
      Again, this is not an expert advice but just sharing little knowledge I had.

      Don't Prepare the Shopping list just before you shop

      Keep a paper and pen handy in your kitchen and just make a note of an item that gets emptied or going to get emptied. In this way you can prepare a list and check it once before you shop.
      If you prepare the list at the last moment you may forget few things and if you go to shop again for those few things, you may buy something else than whats required which increases the burden on your wallet.

      Think before you buy

      When you are in dilemma of  buying something, it may be a small thing or may cost you a thousand dollars, just wait for five days and if you still wish to buy,then you can go for it. In other words don't take super fast decisions when spending the money.

      Keep an eye for Local Stores

      For everyday necessities like milk, bread and veggies, its  always better to go for local stores or vegetable markets (Sometimes these also sell milk) than going for supermarket giants.
      It is always  better to buy onions and potatoes in bulk. Storage will not be a problem Just keep them in your balcony in a neat tray and wash them thoroughly before use.

      Things to consider before you spend

      • See there is one thumb role.Your spending always should be less than your income, there may be few exceptions but not many.
      • Even though credit cards look very appealing with many attractions they charge interest on day to day basis. Don't purchase your necessities on credit card. Always there should be sufficient money for   necessities in  your budget.
      • Try to keep an aim on savings. For example if you wish to save 100 bugs a month be strong on it. Don't be flexible in these kind of issues. Treat savings like your bills.
      • Nobody knows what can happen tomorrow. Always there should be some money for emergencies.
      • and last but not least, plan the budget and spend accordingly.

      Monday, August 9, 2010

      Mixed Vegetable Curry

      Posted by PicasaI have got many left over vegetables in my refrigerator. I want to put them to good use and prepared this mixed vegetable curry. When I was making Tomato paneer I observed that adding onion paste to the dish will give very good taste and consistency to the dish. So I used onion paste in this curry and the result was very good..

      Onion -1 large chopped
      Carrot chopped-1/2 cup
      Cauliflower florets-1/2cup
      Beans chopped-1/2cup
      Tomato-1small and any vegetables of your choice
      Coriander powder-11/2tsp
      Cumin powder-3/4tsp
      Turmeric powder-pinch
      Salt to taste
      Red chilli powder-2-3tsps(Adjust as per your taste)
      Grated ginger-1/2tsp
      Cumin seeds-1tsp

      1)Add 1 tbsp oil in a wide bottomed vessel and fry the onion till it is brown and cool it completely before making it to a fine paste.
      2)Now add 2 tbsp oil in the same pan and add cumin seeds.
      3)When they start spluttering add onion paste and fry for a while.
      4)Now add grated ginger and fry till it turns brown in colour.
      5)Now add all the chopped vegetables except tomato and cook them on medium flame for nearly 10 minutes with covered lid by adding 1 cup of water
      6)Now add turmeric powder, coriander powder and cumin powder.
      7)Add  tomatoes, salt , red chilli powder and cook on medium flame till all the vegetables are cooked and till you get the desired consistency.
      8)Switch off the flame and add cream.
      9)Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with hot rice or chapathi.

      Rhengan Reveya

      Brinjal! My favorite vegetable particularly round and cute ones which tempt me to buy every time I go to market.
      Rhengan reveya is a gujarati dish which is some what closer to Bagara baigan.I like any version of stuffed brinjals and every time would like to cook with different stuffing. The original recipe is from" Monsoon spice" ,Thank you very much Sia for  wonderful recipe.This is very easy recipe and goes very well with rotis and biryani.I have cooked brinjals in micro wave oven till they are 75% done. Cooking in microwave will take very less time than stove top cooking and will not require any oil. It is up to you and taste will be delicious in either way.

      Purple Round Brinjal:5
      Medium sized potatoes-2(Boiled and cubed)
      Cumin seeds-1tsp
      Coriander leaves for garnishing

      For stuffing:
      Coriander Powder-11/2tsp
      Cumin Powder-1tsp
      Dry mango powder-1/2tsp
      Hing-1generous pinch
      Grated ginger-1tsp
      Red chilli powder-2tsp(Adjust as per taste)
      Salt to taste

      !)Make slits in the brinjal till the base and make sure to keep the stem intact.Microwave the egg plants by spreading them on plate for 4-5 minutes(Till they are 75%done.They should be firm )and cool completely.
      2)Dry roast pea nuts and grind them to fine powder.
      3)Mix all the ingredients for stuffing.The mixture will be crumbly in texture.
      4)Scoop the mixture into brinjals and roll the  potatoes into remaining mixture.
      5)Heat 1tsp oil in wide pan and add cumin seeds, when they start spluttering add stuffed brinjals.
      6)Add 2 cups of boiling water and cook on medium flame for 8-10 minutes.Now add cubed potatoes and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

      1)Pick the brinjals which are small and tender.
      2)I have cooked both brinjals and potatoes in microwave separately. If you don't want to do this stuff the mixture into washed brinjals and follow the same procedure but it will take longer to cook.
      3)I have coriander powder and cumin powder which are home made.If you have store bought ones I  suggest you to dry roast coriander seeds and cumin seeds along with peanuts and grind them to fine powder which makes the dish very flavorsome

      Thursday, August 5, 2010


      Todays' recipe is easiest recipe.It does not require any beating,folding and creaming as we do in baking generally.Even without all  these it is one of the best cakes I have ever tasted.Believe me! you will fall in love with this cake.


      Self raising flour-11/2 cups
      Bicarbonate of soda-1tsp
      Bananas-3 mashed
      Eggs-2 lightly beaten

      1)Grease a ring tin and line base with a baking paper.
      2)Sift flour and soda into bowl.Add sugar.
      3)Make a well in the center.Add bananas,eggs and oil.
      4)Stir until mixture is smooth.
      5)Pour into cake tin and bake at 150 degrees for one hour.
      6)Ice with cream frosting or  lemon icing.

      Easy icing:

      Powdered sugar (sifted)-2cups

      Mix the powdered sugar with the vanilla and milk. Then add more milk a bit at a time until it is thin enough to drizzle over a cake. Once you've iced your cake, it's best to let it stand for one or two hours.

      To make chocolate icing, add two tablespoons cocoa powder when you mix the powdered sugar and follow the rest of the recipe above.

      Lemon icing:
      Icing sugar-11/2cups
      Strained juice of1 lemon
      To make lemon icing,put the icing sugar in a bowl and add enough lemon juice to make it a barely pour able consistency.Spread over cooled cake and leave it to set.

      You can make self raising flour by adding2 teaspoons of baking powder  for every  1cup of plain flour(Maida).
      If you are not fond of tangy taste I suggest you not to go for lemon icing

      Wednesday, August 4, 2010

      Easy and SimpleCabbage Curry

      Cabbage Curry:
      A simple yet very tasty curry  that I have prepared yesterday. Normally I don't like cabbage much. But I loved this curry because it is easy to prepare and no effort is needed.

      Cabbage-1/2 chopped finely
      Curry powder-2tsps

      For Tadka:
      Mustard Seeds:1/2tsp
      Split urad dal:1/2tsp
      Turmeric powder-1/2tsp
      Cumin Seeds-1/2tsp
      Red chillies-4-5 broken into pieces(Adjust according to your taste)
      Finely chopped ginger-1/2tsp

      1)In a pan add 2tsps oil and add cumin seeds, mustard seeds,uraddal.
      2)When urad dal turns brown and when mustard and cumin seeds start spluttering add hing and red chillies.
      3)Now add ginger and fry until  it turns brown.
      4)Add finely chopped cabbage,turmeric and salt.
      5)Cook with covered lid on slow flame for10-15 minutes.
      6)Just before switching off flame add curry powder.
      7)Serve with hot rice and ghee.

      1)The key to this curry is having fresh cabbage and chopping it finely.Normally the water content in cabbage is itself enough to cook it. If you find your cabbage dry you can sprinkle some water.
      2)If you don't have curry powder in hand, just dry roast some chana dal,urad dal,coriander seeds,cumin seeds and hing and grind it to a fine powder. It gives very good aroma and taste to the curry.(Be careful to add coriander seeds at the last as they get burnt easily.

      Tuesday, August 3, 2010

      Tomato Paneer

      Two weeks back we went to an Indian restaurant. Normally very few Indian restaurants serve good food here and this is one such of them. All the dishes we have tasted are delicious.My favorite one is tomato paneer. I have tried to prepare this at home.The first attempt was not satisfactory. So I made few changes to first recipe and the outcome was very good.Really this combination of tomatoes and paneer is wonderful. Addition of cream is purely optional in this dish and it tastes great even without cream also.



      Onion-1big(Chopped into medium size pieces)
      Tomatoes-3big chopped(For better results use the ones which are ripe and red in colour)
      Finely chopped ginger-1/2tsp
      Coriander powder-11/2 tsp
      Cumin Powder-1tsp
      Kasthuri methi leaves-3/4tsp
      Cumin seeds
      Paneer-250gms(Made into small cubes. Sauté them in 2tsps of ghee till they turn to brown colour)
      Salt to taste
      Red chilli powder-3tsp(Adjust to your taste)

      1)Heat oil in the pan, add onion and fry till it becomes transparent.
      2)Now add tomatoes and fry nearly for 6-8 minutes and cool them completely.
      3)Grind both of these into fine paste.
      4)In the same pan add some oil and add cumin seeds, when they start spluttering add ginger and fry till it browns and then add onion tomato paste..
      5)Now add turmeric,salt, coriander powder ,cumin powder and 2 cups of water.
      6)Cook on medium heat for nearly 15 minutes and add crushed kasthuri methi leaves.
      7)Now add paneer and simmer for 5 minutes or till you get the desired consistency.
      8)Switch off the flame and add cream(Purely optional) and simmer for few minutes.
      9)Garnish with coriander and serve over pulao or roti

      1)To sauté paneer cubes I recommend wide pan for even colouring.You can skip this step also and it will not alter the taste of dish.
      2)For better taste fry the onions and tomatoes separately and grind them separately.

      Sunday, August 1, 2010

      Brown rice Fried rice

      Yesterday I prepared Brown rice  which is a flavorsome and nutritious dish. Brown rice is nothing but,When only the outermost layer of a grain of rice (the husk) is removed, brown rice is produced. To produce white rice, the next layers underneath the husk (the bran layer and the germ) are removed, leaving mostly the starchy endosperm.Several Vitamins and dietary minerals are lost in this removal and the subsequent polishing process.So Brown rice considered as more nutritional  than white rice. So I made a point to include Brown rice in our regular diet.Rice is little bit chewy  but  considered worth when seen in nutritional point of view.

      Brown Rice -2cups (Cooked with  4 cups of water and cooled completely so that the grains are separate)
      Chopped vegetables-1 cup(Carrot. cauliflower,beans,peas)
      Paneer -1/2cup(Cubed paneer pieces)
      Onion-1 Small
      Green chillies(Slit length wise)-2(Adjust as per your taste)
      Coriander powder-1tsp
      Cumin powder-1tsp
      Red chilly powder-1tsp(Adjust as per your taste)
      Broken cashews-Few
      Tomato puree-(2-3 tbsp)
      Ginger garlic paste(1tbsp)
      Ghee or oil(2tbsp)
      Coriander and mint leaves for garnishing.

      1)Chop the onion and fry the onions in ghee or oil. till they become transparent.
      2)Now add the broken cashews and fry for a while.
      3)Now add ginger garlic paste and fry it till it becomes separated and then add green chilles.
      4)Now add all the chopped vegetables and cook them by adding water and closing the lid.
      5)When the vegetables have become soft remove the lid and allow all the water to evaporate.
      6)Add the tomato puree and sauté all the  vegetables in puree till all th flavor goes into vegetables.
      7)Now add salt, coriander powder, cumin powder, chilly powder and sauté for a while.
      8) Now add paneer and Cook for awhile.
      9)Now add the cooked rice and cook on low heat for few minutes.
      10)Finally garnish with coriander and mint leaves and serve


      Green trees,blue sky, a small bridge under which  a tiny water canal,this is the picture I daily see from my balcony when I wake up in the morning , which  gives me very  fresh start for the day.Today it is raining since  morning and i want to have something hot and crunchy, with my afternoon tea.So I decided to prepare pakodi.I know it is all time favorite snack for many people.The recipe that i am going to tell makes use of corn folur and besan(Chana dal flour).For gatti pakodi, which can be generally stored for 3-4 days(This is what you get  in sweet shops) you should use very less water.If you use more water the pakodis will be soft and have to be consumed on the same day.

      Chana dal Flour-1 cup
      Corn flour-1/2 cup
      Curry leaves-Few
      Salt as per taste
      Chilli powder as per taste
      Baking powder-1/2 tsp
      Onion-1 big
      Oil for deep frying

      1) Cut the onion into thin slices longitudinally.
      2)Mix  all the ingredients except onion thoroughly.
      3)Now add the onion and combine till you have crumbly texture.
      4)Add 2-3 table spoons of water and mix till it forms a hard batter.Don't add much water.
      5)Heat oil in a deep pan.The oil should be piping hot.
      6)Now drop this batter into oil with the help of your fingers.Don't drop them as big lumps
      7)Reduce heat to medium,deep fry till they turn golden brown on all sides.Use a ladle to turn them.
      8)Remove them on to absorbent paper.After cooling completely store them in air tight container.

      Use of corn flour gives a very good taste to these. You can also use 3/4 cup corn flour and 3/4 cup chana dal flour if you don't prefer chana dal flour