Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Namak Paare

My second snack for Deepawali is the Namak Paare. I have noticed that the love for Namak paare and its sweet counter part Shakar Paare pans across all age group alike. This can be prepared in large quantities without too much of an effort. I have been planning and trying to make this for quite some time. Now i guess most of you would say 'whats there to plan so much for such a simple stuff?' :)

So here goes my recipe..as i made it

3 cups of Maida (all purpose flour)

1 Tbsp of Ghee (clarified butter)

3-4 tsp of Ajwain

3/4 Cup+ 1 Tbsp of Water

Salt to taste

Oil to fry.

1. Sieve the maida and add salt and ajwain to it and mix well.

2. Now add the ghee and try to spread it all through the maida.

3. Add water to the maida 1/4 cup at a time and make it into a tight dough. I tried to capture the exact amount of water that gave me a tough dough.

4. Now make small balls of maida dough around 1" in diameter and roll it like a roti/chappati in shape but thicker in width.

5. Cut it diagonally once from N-W to S-E and then once from N-E to S-W to get rhombus shaped pieces. The pieces can be around 1/2 " to 3/4 ". Try to use a jagged end sharp knife since its easier with it.

6. Using the knife Scrap the pieces off the rolling board on to a plate. Repeat the process with the entire dough.

7. Heat oil in a wok and fry the Namak Paare on high flame till they are golden brown. The oil should be so hot that the Namak paare should kind of boil in it. Remove it from the oil onto a tissue paper to absorb the extra oil.

Namak paare are ready!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Coconut Laddoo

Our office basement where i park my vehicle just got whitewashed last week. The fresh smell of whitewash can evoke just one memory in me- Deepawali! As kids we waited for almost month long holidays to start - starting from dussehra up to deepawali. As we grew up these holidays did come down to around 10 days but still the enthusiasm was the same!

The preparation for Deepawali used to always start with whitewashing and selling off 'Raddi' Old news papers-magazines-tin boxes anything that can be used in the reusable market. Then came the vendors selling artificial flowers and other knick-knacks who would shout at the top of their voices around the streets. Of course now that the house is cleaned of the unwanted stuff, its time to decorate it!

The last few days of the rundown to the the D- Day, the entire neighbourhood would be filled with such delightful aromas of different goodies being made. And we knew that we would have a share in it since everything that is prepared would be shared amongst neighbours!

I am starting my rundown this week with Coconut Laddoos, fairly easy and quick to make.

You would need
6 cups of Shredded dessicated coconut (khopra)
400 ml Condensed milk ( I used Amul Mithai Mate)
10 pods of Green Cardamom
1 Tbsp of Sugar
1 Tbsp of Ghee (clarified butter)
1/3 Cup of Raisins (kismish)
Separate 1/2 cup of shredded coconut and keep it aside for rolling the laddoos at the end.
Remove the grains from inside the cardamom and powder it with sugar. I did this using a mortar and pestle. Keep the mix aside.
Heat the ghee in a pan and add the raisins. Once it starts popping take it off the flame. Keep it aside.
Heat the remaining 5 1/2 cups of shredded coconuts in a thick bottomed wok. Keep the flame low and keep stirring. Do not let it Brown. When heated add the condensed milk and mix well for roughly two minutes.The entire mixture should become heated just enough for us to be able to hold it in hand. Remove it from flame at this point.
Add the fried raisins and the grounded cardamom seeds to coconut and mix well. Immediately make it into balls and roll the coconut balls in the shredded coconut we had kept aside earlier so as to cover them entirely.
Delicious laddoos are ready to savour!
Things I learnt while making these laddoos. We went about shredding the dessicated coconut with the hand grater. I found cutting it into small pieces and running it through the mixie also produced the same desired results. It would have definitely spared my hubby of half an hour of sheer hard work :)

Also prior to shredding, the outer brown cover of the dessicated coconut can be scraped off and not used. I used them which gave my laddoos a darker shade.

Arbi (Colacasia) ki Sabji

I have been on a lookout for a recipe for colacassia but incidently i found that all recipies were oil oriented something i try to avoid for a weekday menu. Therefore i decided to tweak the recipies to come up with my own. This one is simple easy and usually gets ready in a moderate time.


1/2 Kg Arbi (colacassia)
3 Tbsp Besan (gram flour)
1 tsp Zeera powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
1/4 tsp of Turmeric
1 tsp Aamchoor (dry mango powder)
1 tsp Red Chilli powder
1 Tbsp Corriander powder
1 Onion(big)
2-3 Green Chillies
2 Tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
Oil to cook and Salt to taste


Wash the colacassia and put it to boil in a pressure cooker. For a 1/2 kg quantity, I add 2-2.5 cups of water and boil it in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes. When done, cool it and remove the skin and keep it aside. You may cut some of the bigger pieces into smaller ones, but i use unchopped arbi for this dish.
Sieve the besan and mix it with zeera powder, red chilli powder, corriander powder, garam masala,aamchoor. Now saute this mixture without oil in a pan. Stir it constantly other wise the it might get burnt. Remove it from flame when the colour changes,it would become darker. You will know its done since a nice aroma will waft out of it.Keep it aside.

Thinly dice the onions. Slit the green chillies and fine chop the tomatoes.

Take a wok and add 1 Tbsp of oil to it and heat it. When done add onions and green chillies to it and saute till the onions are translucent. Add the besan mixture to it at this point and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute it further. Add a little bit of oil at this stage if you think the mix is sticking to the pan a bit too much.Add the tomatoes and let it cook further. Its done when the tomatoes are squashed the mix has cooked in its juices. Now add the arbi and stir it in the mix so that it gets coated fully with the mix.

Remove it from flame and serve hot with Rotis.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Coconut Paratha

One cannot give coconut a miss in a south indian household.My mom used to make these coconut parathas as a treat for us whenever we had some extra coconut left over from any other dish. It basically came in two varieties either with jaggery or with sugar.
1.5 Cups of Coconut shredded
1/4 cup of powdered Jaggery
1/4 cup of Sugar
2-3 pods of Cardamom - crushed
Dough for making around 8- 9 chappatis
Oil to cook

Divide the coconut into two parts of 3/4 cup each. Add sugar to 1 part and jaggery to the other . Add equal amount of crushed cardamom to each part of coconut mix.
Now take a big ball of dough. A little bigger than one we might take for a chappati and roll it out into a chappati of around 5-6 inches diameter and with a thickness greater than that of a chappati. We want the Parathas to be strong enough to hold the filling but not too thick so that they don't cook.
Take 1.5-2 Tbsp of coconut mixture (either jaggery or sugar as per choice)and spread it on one half of the chappati. Raise the other half of the chappati and cover the coconut spread part and press the edges to stick.
It should look like this.

Heat the girdle and place the paratha on it. Turn the paratha when the lower side becomes light brown in colour. Apply oil on the turned side and turn it back again. Keep on pressing the paratha to saute it better but be carefull that the mix does not spill out of it. Remove it from flame when it turns crisp brown
Serve it hot with lime pickle.
This is my entry to Sweet Series and AFAM - Coconut

Sunday, June 15, 2008


I shifted residence 2 months ago.I have hardly any furniture to speak of. Only space i have lavishly piled up is the kitchen and the pantry. So i had this 'misconception' that its going to be an easy task. Well shifting house was never meant to be an easy task isn't it..and with that the pain of settling down. Next came the challenge of finding a decent domestic help..and add to it a very hectic work schedule.I am still struggling. One of our boxes is still lying packed.
I therefore these days without guilt look at an oppurtunity of cooking 15 min meals.And in that pursuit ended up with a delicious breakfast of Dhokla's

The recipe I followed has been picked up from the Jai&Bee's site Jugalbandi
I prepared the dhokla's from this site and followed their recommendation of making double the quantity. I must tell you we were left wanting for more. :)
So here's the recipe with a few personal touches

2 cups of Besan (chickpea flour)
2 cups of Water
2 Tbsp of Lime juice ( Original recipe has 3 Tbsp)
2 tsp ENO Fruit salt (lemon flavoured)
2 tsp Mustard seeds
2 Green chillies finely sliced
5-6 green chillies whole
5-8 curry leaves
1 tsp Sugar
2 Tbsp Oil
2 Tbsp dessicated coconut
Salt to taste

Sieve the Besan. Mix it with 1 Tbsp of Lime juice, 1 Tbsp of oil, salt, sugar, green chillies and water to make a batter. The batter should not be too thick or too thin. I ended up not using the entire quantity of water in the recipe.
Add 3 cups of water to the Pressure cooker and let it heat. Meanwhile grease the inner side of the two pressure cooker insert vessel and pour the batter equally in each vessel. When the water is heated, add 1 tsp of Eno fruit salt to the batter in each of the insert vessel, give it a quick mixing action and place it inside the cooker one over the other. Cover it with the pressure cooker lid but without the weight and let it cook 6- 8 mins after the steam starts coming out.Keep it aside with the lid on.I would recommend use one insert vessel at a time. Keep the vessel with the batter on top and the other can be used to just raise the height of the top vessel. This would help in evenly cooking the Dhoklas. I used both the vessel together and the lower ones did not turn out well.
In a pan add 1 Tbsp of oil and fry the whole green chillies. When fried take it out and sprinkle 1 Tbsp of Lime juice on it and keep it aside. In the same oil add the mustards and let them splutter. Then add the Curry leaves and remove from flames after a min.
Open the cooker. The steam should have been fully released.Take out the vessels and turn them upside down on a plate. Pour the tempering of mustard and curry leaves on it. Sprinkle the coconut.Cut it in a criss cross manner to have square/rhombus shaped pieces. Place the green chillies soaked in lime juice on the pieces and serve.
This is my entry for WBB #23, MBP Street food

Friday, May 16, 2008

Palak Matar Paneer

As a kid my nephew was big fan of 'Johny Bravo' the spinach eating, muscle flexing animation character. But however we would try to inspire him to eat spinach by giving him examples of his hero, he would never touch it. I guess its the same still.
When I first wanted to cook something with Spinach..i did not want the regular potato-spinach combination. So I made something which holds a proud place in my recipe book now..because not only did it turn out to be likable ..its simple and absolutely no efforts and original..something which would allow me to lazy once in a while and still churn up meal which is healthy. I recommended this dish to one of my collegues when she was on a lookout for vegetarian low fat, low cholesterol dish. She came back with a good feedback.

2 bunches of Spinach (palak)(300-400gms)
A cup of Peas (matar)
200 gms Paneer ( cottage cheese) (optional - for the low cal/fat version avoid this)
5-6 green Chillies
7-8 Garlic flakes
3 medium Tomatoes
1 medium Onion
water to cook
Salt to taste
Clean the spinach thouroughly and cut it into a 2-4 inches pieces.Slit the green chillies. Cube the tomatoes and the onions into large chunks and crush the garlic. Pressure cook the spinach, green chillies, tomatoes, garlic, onions with salt and the 3/4 cup of water.Do not put the whistle. The quantity of salt added would also be less than usual since spinach has its own natural salt. Remove the spinach from flame after 15-20 mins.
Boil the peas also separately. I usually microwave the peas at high for 10 mins in water. The quantity of water is just enough to cover the peas. You may optionally pressure cook it. After cooking the peas should not have much water left off.

Use a handblender to blend the spinach and the cooked vegetables to a paste consistency.Add the cooked peas. Cube the paneer and add them also. Serve while hot with hot roti's.
This would be my entry for 'Eat Healthy - Fibre Rich'
Note: One can use diced potatoes instead of paneer. Just boil it along with peas.
Errata: My nephew read this post and duly informed me that it was not 'Johny Bravo' but 'Popeye' who was the spinach eater. Also for records he is a fan of both the animation characters. :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Haleem - The 1 Pot Dish

A picture speaks a thousand words...goes the popular adage....but certainly not the picture i posted for haleem!
People don't go by the picture...beleive me this dish is a gastronomical delight...

Something about what a haleem is - Haleem is a thick Persian high calorie dish. Although the dish varies in different regions, it always includes wheat,lentils and meat.You can read more about it here and here. The choice of ingredients for haleem is such that it makes Haleem the one pot dish - the theme for the Monthly Mingle this month.

Now traditionally this dish would take hours to make...but i have discovered a simpler, quicker version thanks to one of my aquaintances.
So here you go:

This dish has two major steps
1. Preparation of the mutton curry
2. Preparation of the cereals,lentils

For #1 I prefer making the mutton curry as described here. Just one change would be to use boneless mutton.
For #2 use
5 Tbsp broken wheat
5 Tbsp Chana Dal
1 Tbsp Moongdal
1 Tbsp Arhar/Tuar Dal
1 Tbsp Urad Dal
1 Tbsp Masoor Dal
1 Tbsp Rice

For Tempering
1 Tbsp of ghee
1 med Onion chopped in rings
3-4 Whole Red Chillies
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 Tbsp of Mint leaves paste
1 Tbsp of Corriander leaves paste

Soak all the above cereals and lentils for 3- 4 hrs until soft. Then Pressure cook them with water for 15-20 minutes or until cooked very well.
Add the cooked lentils and cereals to the mutton curry and pressure cook again for 15-25 mins. Tha aim is to cook the mutton with the boiled lentils and cereals so that everything is mixed and reaches a mashed consistency.Remove from the stove and let the pressure is released. Once done add the mint paste and the corriander paste.
Meanwhile heat Ghee in a skillet and when heated add rings of onion and the red Chillies. Saute them till the onions are golden. Remove from heat sprinkle on the Haleem before serving.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Crispy..Crunchy Bread Rolls

I couldn't just resist it....all the vows to eat low fat..low carb food to control my weight ..thats been upscale from quite some time inspite of all my attempts, were put aside...I had to have it....
I had some Potato filling left over and suddenly remebered this divine snack we used to have in canteen...Crispy and crunchy ...( the ones that make that krrr... sound when you bite into it!)Bread rolls filled with potato filling...
But then i decided ...that since now i am a member of the food blog world ...i need to show some ingenuity..and do that something 'extra' yet simple...so I made Bread rolls with mint flavoured potato filling!!

Here goes the preparation. The proportions are a bit sketchy rather than detailed..since it is a leftover recipe.

2 medium potatoes boiled and de-skinned and mashed
4-5 Bread pieces with edges removed
1 Tbsp of Mint paste
1 medium Onion finely chopped
2 green chillies finely chopped
1 inch Ginger piece -grated
1 tsp garam masala
pinch of turmeric(optional)
oil to cook and fry
salt to taste

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and when its heated add the onions and the green chillies and the turmeric. Saute till the onions are transparent.Add grated ginger and saute further for 1 min. Add the garam masala, salt and the mashed potatoes. Mix it over the flame for 2-3 mins. Remove the pan from the flame and add the mint paste , mix well. Allow it to cool. On cooling make table tennis sized balls out of potato mix.

Take a pot of water with a wide mouth. Take one piece of bread, dip it fully in the water and pull it out immediately. Hold the bread piece between your palms and squeeze it enough to release the water and not damage the now fragile piece of bread. Still holding the bread piece in one of your palms, place one of the potato mix balls prepared earlier on to the bread and close the bread over it. All open ends should be closed. You might want to tap the ball to elongate it so that the bread closes better on it. Repeat the process with rest of the bread pieces.

Heat oil for frying in a deep skillet. Lower the Bread rolls into the oil once heated. Take care not to overcrowd the skillet with rolls. Change sides in between for even frying. Take the rolls out when it attains the golden brown colour. Place it in tissue paper for the extra oil to go away.

Serve it with Tomato sauce and Corriander chutney while warm.

It is definitely a winner when guests drop in, in the evening and something nice and quick needs to be prepared.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Corriander Chutney

It would seem like chutney season on khichdi....
Chutneys, i feel add so much to a meal!
Having a bland meal?....eat it with a real tangy, spicy chutney..Add it to the lunch box..and we have that little extra something there...
Less in quantity...but adding so much more to the essence of having a great meal.

I started making this Corriander chutney out of the lark...I had a desire to add some fresh greens to the meal...and definitely was not in mood of adding coconut to it...
So just took
2 cups of corriander leaves
1 inch ginger piece - cut into small pieces
1 Tbsp Of chopped onions
2-3 green chillies
1 tsp lime juice(optional)
Salt to taste

Grind the entire ingredients in the grinder. Add a little water if your grinder demands it..mine did. The amount of green chillies can be adjusted. This chutney can used for sandwiches, as an accompaniment to Roti-Sabji..or with samosas or anything else you may want to have it with.
I served it along with Bread Rolls.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Onion Chutney

My mom makes this onion chutney, without which I would never eat Dosha. She would make the usual coconut chutney for the entire family an this onion chutney only for me.

When I started living away from her I tried making this same chutney.But I have never been able to get the same taste as she makes it. I guess it holds true for all of us, however hard we may try, recreating the same magic thats in our mother's hand, things never taste the same!

When I came across the ingredient for this month's JFI , onion I decided that its time that this Chutney should find its place in my Blog.
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 Tbsp Red chilli powder (can be increased or decreased as per hotness desired)
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp cooking oil

In a heated skillet put the chopped onions. Do not put any oil since we want the water to evaporate from the onions. Keep on stirring it at regular intervals. When the onions turn golden and start showing signs of wilting, add the chilli powder. Stir it further for 3-4 mins. Now add the cooking oil and saute it for 3-4 mins. The chilli powder and the onions should be well sauted. Remove from flame and grind it along with salt in the mixie to a rough consistency and not to to a paste. To the chutney now add coconut oil for flavour.
Simple isn't it? And believe me if you have liking for things that are spicy and hot...this one is for you.
This would be my entry for Jihva For Ingredients and for the Monthly Mingle -Comfort foods

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Gajar Ka Halwa

Come winters and I start waiting for red carrots for making halwa. Unfortunately in bangalore both winters and red carrots come very late around december end. But still the wait is worth it!
I prefer the red carrots over the orange ones, for making gajar ka halwa.

The recipe is very simple so usually I end up making it every weekend and keep it in the refrigerator. No doubt by the end of winters both me and hubby would have gained a few kilos!


1 kg finely grated carrots. The finer the carots are grated the better is the taste.

1 cup sugar (can be increased or decreased as per individual's taste).

1/3 cup clarified butter (ghee) for the halwa

100 gms cashewnuts, raisins

2 Tbsp clarified butter(ghee) for frying the the dry fruits

100 gms Dried whole milk (khoya, mawa).

1/2 ltr milk

Before starting on the halwa make sure that the khoya is soft. Mash this khoya with hand and keep aside

In a pan heat 2 Tbsp of ghee. When heated add the cashews and the raisins and fry till golden brown. Keep aside. I erred and you can see the black cashews in the photograph!

Cook the grated carrots and the milk in a thick bottom wok till no more milk is visible. Add the sugar and the fried dry fruits to this mixture and cook further. The sugar will dilute. Cook until the water evaporates. Now add the ghee to this mixture and let it saute on low flame. Keep on mixing it at regular intervals so that the halwa does not stick to the bottom. Its done when you see that the color of the carrots have changed to a dark maroon. Also it would start exuding the ghee. At this point add the mashed khoya, mix well and keep on mixing it for another 10-15 mins at regular intervals.

Bingo! we have the gajar ka halwa ready....never mind the calories!

Let it just melt in your mouth :)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Fish Fry

There has been no doubt in my mind that I am a fishivores if there exists a category like that!

This fish fry has been a grand success at home and derives its origin from malluland – Kerala. For this recipe I use Rohu (Greas carp Fish), a fresh water variety, but this same recipe can apply to any other fish that you wish to fry. And yes I like it really hot. Also Rohu is a bony fish so please be aware!
½ kg Rohu (Greas carp Fish) cut in 1.5 inches pieces. This would come to around 8-9 pieces
For the marination
1.5 Tbsp of ginger garlic paste
1 Tbsp of black pepper
1 tsp of red chilli powder
1 tsp of curry leaves paste (4-5 curry leaves)
Pinch of turmeric
1 Tbsp of Curd/1 tbsp of lime juice.
Salt to taste
To fry 5-6 Tbsp of oil

Mix all the ingredients for marination and smear it on the fish pieces and keep it for 2-3 hrs in freezer. When done take a pan, add the oil and let it heat at full flame.
When the oil is heated add the fish pieces keep some distance between them close the lid and lower the flame.
Let it cook for 7-10 mins. Remove the lid and increase the heat . The fish is ready to change side when it comes off the pan easily. Change sides and fry it till both the sides get the brown crispy look.

Fried fish is ready to savour!
This would also be my entry for RCI - Cuisine of Kerala
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