Monday, September 3, 2012

Prawn/Shrimp masala

This is the most common way of making prawns. I tried to make them in a hurry one weekend, so I called my aunt and she gave me the recipe. 

Things Needed:

Small packet shrimp – tail removed
2 medium sized onions – chopped
5 tomatoes or one 12 oz can diced tomatoes
A pinch turmeric powder (manjal podi/ Pasuppu dhummu)
2 tsp garlic – chopped
2 tsp red chilly powder (milagai podi/ mirrapa dhummu)
1 tsp salt


  • Heat oil in a kadai and add a spoon of oil.
  • Then add onions and garlic and sauté till the onion is a little brown.
  • Then add tomatoes, turmeric and chilly powder. Keep on medium heat and make sure the curry doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • When the raw smell of the chilly powder has gone – might take upto half hour or more, add salt and taste.
  • If it tastes ok, then add shrimp and mix with the curry. Cover for 6-7 minutes.  Thokku is done - Enjoy

Friday, June 15, 2012

Tons of Veggies Pasta

Finally after a long time I'm back!..with the pregnancy and the moving to Seattle, things have been really busy...I never got time to post anything..I always feel cooking is just a small part...writing up and posting the recipe is most of the part.. :)
Anyways, here's a simple pasta recipe I put together with a lot of veggies and mascarpone cheese..Its rich and yummy!

Wheat penne pasta - 1/2 lb
Onion, diced - 1 medium
Zucchini, cut into thin small pieces - 2
Squash, cut into thin small pieces - 2
Green Peas & carrots, diced - 1/2 cup
Green Pepper, diced - 1/2 no
Garlic, crushed - 2 medium cloves
Mascarpone Cheese - 4oz
Parmesan cheese - 1/4 cup
Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp
Parsley, chopped - 1-2 Tbsp
Italian seasoning - 1 tsp
Chives (Fresh/dried) - 1/4 tsp
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Olive oil

  1. Cook pasta in enough boiling water and salt for about 8-10 minutes until cooked.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan and add the onions and sauté until soft. Add the crushed garlic and sauté for a minute. Now, add all the remaining veggies and sauté until cooked and soft. 
  3. Add all the seasonings: salt, pepper, lemon juice, chives and italian seasoning. 
  4. Now add the mascarpone, parmesan cheeses and parsley and mix. 
  5. Toss the pasta and cook for a minute until everything gets coated evenly. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Baked Ravioli

I looked at ravioli in costco refrigerator and fell in love instantly. Is this love at first sight?
I was constantly thinking about it and how I would do sweet sweet things to it :)
Then like with any relationship it sat in the fridge for sometime until I realized it is being abused.
Or more like I had nothing else to do so I gave it a shot;)
Pics speak a thousand words they say:


Easy peasy Costco spinach cheese filled ravioli
Prego sauce (regular)

Boil the frozen ravioli for 5 mins be careful not to over boil it. Take a baking dish and pour the prego sprinkle lil mozzarella then add this boiled ravioli sprinkle more cheese on top.
Pre-heat at 400 degress and place this tray in the oven for 30 mins. Viola golden brown and ready to devour.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Grilled Shimp Tacos

Mexican foods is one of my favorites and was craving for tacos since long time and finally decided to make it last nite...
These days, my husband and I have been eating at our own convenient times and we have mostly forgotten about sitting and having dinner together...and the tacos brought us back together at the dinner table :P (mainly coz he was excited abt the tacos i guess..)

So here's the recipe for a simple grilled shrimp tacos and homemade guacamole. If you're too lazy to make guacamole yourself you can buy store-bought ones too..
Corn Tortillas - 6-8
Shrimp, large size - 15-18 nos
Cabbage, shredded - 1/2 cup
Cilantro, chopped - 1/2 cup
Red Onions, cut thin and long - 1/2 cup
Sour cream - 1/4 cup
Cheese, shredded - 1/4 cup
Chipotle Chillies in Adobo sauce, to taste

Shrimp Marinade:
Old Bay seasoning - 1/2 Tbsp
Paprika - 1 Tbsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp (optional)
Buttermilk - 2 Tbsp
Lemon juice - 2 Tbsp
Cumin/Jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
Brown Sugar - 1 tsp
Garlic, minced - 3 cloves
Adobo Sauce, to taste
Tandoori BBQ Mix - 1 Tbsp (optional)

Guacamole Recipe:
Avocado - 3 nos
Red onion, diced - 1/2 medium
Tomato, diced - 1 medium
Lemon Juice - 3 Tbsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/8 tsp
Garlic, minced - 1-2 cloves
Salt, to taste

Prep Work:
  1. Scoop the inside of the avocados and and mix everything from the list to prepare the guacamole.
  2. Marinate shrimp with the marinade from above for about 20-30 mins
  3. Cut all the veggies and set everything ready in a plate.
  4. Grill the marinated shrimp in a grill for about 2-3 minutes each side until slightly browned. If  you're using an oven, heat at 400 degrees for about 4-5 minutes until browned. Adjust time based on your oven and do not overcook as it might make the shrimp hard. Remove from heat and set aside. 
  5. Take the chipotle chillies from the adobo sauce and crush them to a paste or mince them and keep aside.
  6. Warm up the corn tortillas in a slightly damp paper towel in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds, again do not heat for more than a few seconds since this might make the tortillas soggy. 
To Make a Taco:
  1. Place each tortilla, spread some chipotle chilli paste with adobo sauce based on your spice level. 
  2. Arrange 3-4 shrimps on the center of each.
  3. Add some cabbage, guacamole, cheese, sour cream, cilantro one on top of each other and close.
  4. And finally, take a bite of the yumminess!! :)
I was going to make traditional mexican rice and also add refried beans as sides. But I didn't have enough time or energy to make I bought these awesome stuff called Old El Paso's tortilla stuffers..they have different varieties of rice and personally I love the mesquite chicken rice. It's an amazing side dish..and the whole meal came together perfectly!! I hope you enjoy..

Friday, May 4, 2012

Grilled Salmon

This amazing grilled salmon recipe is from one of our best friends Mahesh. He's great at the grill and I've been to one of their barbecue evenings before and loved it! I wish my husband can get a few grilling lessons from him :P
He was kind enough to share his salmon recipe "inspired by the oriental kitchen"

Salmon - 2 lbs

Mahesh's Magic Sauce:
Soy sauce - 1/2 cup
Sesame oil - 3 Tbsp
Freshly ground garlic - 2 Tbsp
Finely Chopped cilantro - 1/ cup
Peeled and grated ginger - 2 Tbsp
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Sugar, to taste
Salt, to taste
Crushed red pepper, to taste
  1. Mix everything from the sauce list above to create the marinade.
  2. Marinate the fish with the mainade and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 mins.
  3. While the marinade is doing its job, prep the grill and my fish grate.
  4. Now, place the marinated fish in the fish grate and grill until slighly browned for an amazing asian grilled fish! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Kothamalli/Cilantro Rice

Mixed variety rice has always been one of my favorites..I used to exchange my lunch sometimes with one of my buddies in college and her mom makes the best variety rice I've ever tasted! Today my trial was with cilantro as I got a bunch of it from Devon Street over the weekend.

2 cups Basmati Rice
3 cups Water
2 medium Onions
2 Cinnamon sticks
4 Cloves
2 Star Anise
2 Bay leaves
1/2 Tbsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Turmeric powder
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
2 Tbsps Ghee
2 Tbsp Oil

To Grind:
2 cups Cilantro, packed
4 Cashews
8 Green Chillies
1 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1/4 cup Coconut, shredded

  1. Soak the rice in water for 20-30 minutes. 
  2. Grind everything from the "To Grind" list into a fine paste without adding much water. You may add a few drops if needed. 
  3. Heat oil with ghee in a pressure cooker. Add cinnamon, cloves, anise, bay leaves and saute for a min.
  4. Add onions and saute until slightly golden. Add turmeric powder, corriander powder, the ground paste, salt and lemon juice and saute for 3-4 mins. 
  5. Add 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil.  Now add the soaked rice and cover and pressure cook for a whistle in medium flame.  
  6. Reduce the flame to low and let it cook for about 8-10 minutes and switch off.  Once the pressure goes off, remove the lid and mix gently without breaking the rice. 
Serve with raitha..

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Ginger Okra (or Fish) Masala

This is quick ginger based dish which can be a perfect side dish for Chappati or any rice dish. You can substitue okra with fish

Okra - 1 lb or Fish (Tilapia)-1 lb
Onion - 1 large half
Ginger - 1 cup of grated or sliced or small cut
Cilantro - 1 bunch
Cumin seeds - 2 tbsp
Chilli powder - 2 tbsp
Coriander powder - 3 tbsp
TUmeric powde - 1 tpsp
Bread Crumbs - 1 tbsp or 2 tbsp depending on crispyness you need

1-Slice okra and cut cilantro
2-Add ginger, cilantro,chilli powder,coriander powder, Tumeric powder, bread crumbs, oil to sliced Okra or Fish (Tilapia).
3-Heat Oil.Add cumin seeds and onion and saute until golden.
4-Add the mix from step #2
5-Constantly stir every 2 or 3  minutes
6-Close cook for 8-12 minutes
7-Open cook for 8-12 minutes
8-Garnish with Coriander leaves

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Kadai Chicken

This is a yummy kadai chicken recipe shared by a good friend of mine Upendra..Thanks Uppu for sharing this wonderful recipe. I am definitely trying this soon!
1lb Chicken
1 Onion, medium (preferably red onion)
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 Tbsp whole black pepper (depends on your spicyness)
2 Tomatoes, medium
1/4 Bell pepper
Ginger garlic paste, to taste
Red chilli powder, to taste
Salt, to taste

  1. Cut chicken into medium pieces and marinate with turmeric powder and little bit of ginger garlic paste (we will be using more gingergarlic paste in teh masala)
  2. Fry coriander seeds, cumin seeds till very light brown color and they start to give out the masala smell.
  3. Grind these 2 seeds along with the black pepper. Do not make a fine powder. Keep it granular.this is the masala that we will be using. and the main ingredient of taste
  4. Pour  oil in kadai (important that its a kadai to get that ultimate taste and more the oil more the taste). Put the chopped onions. Saute till very light brown.
  5. Add a tea spoon of masala, ginger garlic paste and tea spoon of red chilli powder  and little bit of salt(remember not to put a lot of masala, salt and red chilli as we will put more of this later)
  6. add finely chopped tomatos.
  7. Mix all these well and put a lid on the kadai and let it cook on medium heat. after about 2-3 minutes check if tomatos start oozing juice. Once the tomatos are cooked, add chopped capsicum (do not chop it finely, let it be a bit big pieces. size of a dice).
  8. Fry them for about 1-2 mins.
  9. Now, add chicken, add the masala, red chilli powder (you can add according to your spicy limits) and salt according to the taste
  10. Mix well and put the lid back. after about 3-4 minutes check if water starts to ooze. At this point pour some water (as required for the gravy)
  11. Put the lid back and let the chicken cook. After 4-5 minutes remove the lid and cook the rest with out a lid till the gravy thickens.
Have it with chapatis or naans...yummy kadai chicken ready!!!!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Simple Masala Eggs

This is a nice way to spice up your boiled eggs..they can just be eaten as a snack!!

Eggs - 10
Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt, to taste

  1. Boil eggs in water with some added salt and remove the shells and let them cool for a few minutes.
  2. Heat some oil and add all the masalas and salt and after a minute add all the eggs and mix. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Chicken Kurma

This chicken kurma is a perfect side dish for paratas or chapatis and even rice.
Chicken thighs/breasts - 1 1/2 lbs
Onion, diced - 1 large
Tomato, diced - 1 large
Coconut, shredded - 1/3 cup
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon stick - 2 nos
Cloves - 4
Cardamom - 1
Ginger Garlic, paste - 1 Tbsp
Cilantro, chopped - 1 Tbsp
Chilli powder -  1/2 Tbsp
Coriander Powder -  1/2 Tbsp
Tamarind paste - 1/2 Tbsp
Salt, to taste

  1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Add the onions and sauté until golden and add the ginger garlic paste and sauté until the raw smell goes away.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes and sauté for a few minutes. Add the chilli and coriander powders and salt and sauté for a minute and then add the chicken and let it cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add 2 cups of water and cover and cook for 2 whistles and switch off.
  4. Meanwhile grind the coconut and the fennel seeds to a fine paste.
  5. Remove the lid once the pressure goes off, switch on flame again and add the coconut paste and tamarind paste and let it all boil until it forms a loose gravy like consistency.
Serve with chapatti or rice

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pepper Chicken

I am so sorry for slacking on new posts..As many of you already know, my parents are in town!! yay! So, I was busy eating all the dishes my mom was making, that I had no time to post them! :P
Finished them off before we could take any pictures...
My mom's an amazing cook and she is my inspiration for my cooking adventures..
I am starting off with my most favorite chicken dish!! My mom's pepper chicken..OMG! I just cannot stop eating this..Hope you enjoy it!
Chicken Thighs, Boneless & skinless - 1 1/2lbs
Ginger Garlic, paste - 1/2 Tbsp
Onion, chopped - 2 Large
Tomato,chopped - 2 medium
Pepper powder - 1/2 Tbsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 Tbsp
Coriander powder - 1/4 Tbsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 Tbsp
Cilantro, chopped - 1 Tbsp
Salt, to taste
  1. Heat oil in a kadai or pan and add onions and saute until golden and add the ginger garlic paste and saute until the raw smell goes away. Now, add the chopped tomatoes and saute for a few minutes.
  2. Add the chicken, chilli and coriander powders, salt and cook in medium flame for 30 minutes and stirring every 5 minutes until it reaches a thick gravy like consistency.
  3. In a small saute pan, heat a Tbsp of oil and add the jeera and pepper powders and curry leaves and add this mixture to the gravy pan. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Top with chopped cilantro.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Eggs Cocotte

A healthy breakfast to get your veggies and eggs in! These can be totally customized with any kind of veggies or meat you have..

Eggs: 4
Spinach, chopped -  1/2 cup
Onions, chopped - 1/2 cup
Garlic, grated - 4 cloves
Chilli Paste (like Sriracha) - 1/8 tsp
Milk - 2 Tbsp
Crushed Red Pepper - 1 tsp
Parmesan - 1/4 cup
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Divide the onions, spinach and garlic between the ramekins. Add salt, pepper, chilli paste in each and mix.
  3. Add one egg in each ramekin and top with 1/2 Tbsp of milk in each.
  4. Season with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and parmesan or gruyere cheese. 
  5. Pop in the oven for about 6 mins for half cooked and 15 mins for fully cooked egg. 
You can top it with crumbled crispy bacon or chicken to get an extra crunch!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Turkey Meatballs w/ Angel Hair Pasta

Lately, I've been watching a lot of cooking episodes where they used ground beef, ground chicken, turkey in some form and I thought it's been such a long time since I made meatballs..and this time I wanted to try turkey! These meatballs can be served in several different ways..As an appetizer, curry, in sliders, pitas or traditionally with pasta..I am so bored of having spaghetti now that I wanted to try angel hair pasta..I loved this version sooo much better..coz of the lightness of the angel hair..

Whole Wheat Angel Hair Pasta - 1 lb
Salt, to taste
Olive oil - 1/2 Tbsp

For the Meatballs:
Ground Turkey - 1 lb
Onion - 1/2 medium
Garlic, minced - 3 cloves
Egg, beaten - 1
Tomato paste - 1 Tbsp
Chilly Paste (I used Sriracha) - 1/2 tsp
Lemon Juice - 1 Tbsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Curry Powder - 1 tsp
Salt free All purpose seasoning - 1/2 tsp
Breadcrumbs, seasoned - 1/4 cup
Wheat bread - 2 slices
Milk - 1/4 cup
Parmesan cheese,grated - 1/4 cup
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
For the Sauce:
Onion, diced - 1 medium
Fire roasted Tomatoes - 1 can
Stewed Tomatoes - 1 can
Garlic, crushed - 3 cloves
Crushed red pepper - 1 tsp
Red Cooking wine - 1/2 cup
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry powder - 1/2 tsp
Italian seasoning - 1/2 tsp
Parmesan, grated - 1/4 cup
Olive Oil - 1 Tbsp
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Soak the bread in milk for a minute. 
  3. Add everything from the Ingredients list and the soaked up bread and mix. Make 1- 1 1/2 inch balls and line on a baking tray and spray some cooking spray on the top of each meatball and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the meatballs halfway so that it doesn't get too brown on one side. 
  4. Cook pasta as per packaging directions in enough boiling water with salt and olive oil and drain. 
  5. For the sauce, heat oil in a pan and add crushed garlic and sauté until slightly browned.
  6. Add onions and sauté until golden. Now add the tomatoes, wine and let it simmer for a few minutes until the alcohol evaporates.
  7. Add everything else from the sauce list and bring to a boil and add the meatballs and remove from flame. 
  8. Serve meatballs marinara with the cooked angel hair pasta and sprinkle some parmesan on top and enjoy! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Garlic Shrimp Pasta

This is a delicious and garlicky shrimp pasta that'll make the whole house fragrant just while cooking!!

Shrimp - 1/2 lb
Garlic, minced - 5 cloves
Red Onion, diced -1/4
Stewed tomatoes- 1/3 cup
White wine - 1/3 cup
Marsala wine -1/3 cup
Pasta water - 1/2 cup
Whole wheat Linguine/spaghetti - 1/2 lb
Crushed red pepper - 1tsp
Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp
Parmesan, grated - 1/4 cup
Bread crumbs, seasoned - 1/4 cup
Olive Oil - 3-4 Tbsp
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

  1. Cook pasta in boiling water with enough salt and some olive oil for about 8-10 minutes until al dente. 
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan and add crushed garlic and sauté until slightly browned and add onions and sauté until golden. 
  3. Add the stewed tomatoes, white and the marsala wines and let it simmer. 
  4. Add pasta water, lemon juice and the shrimp and let it cook for a few minutes until the shrimp is all curled up and pink. 
  5. Add crushed pepper, salt & pepper, parmesan, breadcrumbs, pasta and chopped parsley and mix it in the heat for a few minutes and remove.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Indian Baby food?

Wondering about the title? Don't laugh at me for posting this..But since I started making this for my daughter, I realized that it became more of my husband's favorite than my daughter's! :)
And I found this to be a quick and easy dinner fix if you are not interested to make an elaborate meal..
This is a traditional food that we start giving the babies when they start eating solid foods..healthy and tasty of course! But in our house this is pretty much everybody's dinner whenever I make it!
Servings: 2

Rice - 1/2 cup
Toor Dal - 1/2 cup
Mixed Vegegtables - 1/2 cup
Spinach, frozen - 1/4 cup (optional)
Garlic, minced - 4 cloves
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp
Water - 2 1/2 cups
Salt, to taste
Ghee/Clarified Butter - 2 Tbsp

  1. Take a small pressure cooker and add everything else from above except the ghee. 
  2. Cover and pressure cook for up to 3 whistles. 
  3. Once the pressure goes off, remove the lid and mix ghee and serve. 
The spice measurements above are for a mild rice, if you are really targeting this for adults, you can increase the curry and chilli powders by 1/2 tsp more. This is a wholesome meal with veggies, protein and carbs that is more like a one pot dish that cooks in minutes. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Choco Banana Tofu Panna Cotta

Have you ever had tofu in your dessert? Before you say "yew" think again..This is my first trial with tofu as a dessert ingredient. I watched this episode in Food Network where they made honey lemon Panna cotta and I had an instant urge to make something similar but healthy. So I saw some other recipes where they substituted heavy cream with Tofu..I thought it was very interesting and surprisingly I had tofu in my I came up with this yummy and healthy panna cotta recipe that you will definitely enjoy!!!
Servings : 4-5

Tofu - 1/2 lb
Banana, ripened - 1 no
Milk, 2% - 1 cup
Cocoa powder - 3 Tbsp
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Vanilla Extract - 1/2 tsp
Gelatin powder - 1 pouch

  1. Add tofu, banana, cocoa powder, sugar and half the milk in a blender and blend it to a smooth liquid.
  2. Add the gelatin powder to the remaining milk and let it dissolve for a few minutes. 
  3. Mix the blended liquid with the gelatin mixture and heat up in a pan. When the mixture starts to froth remove from heat before it starts boiling. 
  4. If you want a smooth panna cotta strain the liquid in a strainer to remove any lumps. If you are like me who likes little surprises, just add the mixture to individual serving dishes and refrigerate for at least an hour to cool down. 
Serve chill and enjoy.
I was surprised that I couldn't taste the tofu at all..The banana and chocolate masks the tofu really well..
If you want to make it more interesting, try adding chopped nuts or chopped chocolate chips to the mixture right before refrigerating.
This is a guilt free dessert that you can enjoy anytime!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chicken Jalfrezi

This is a delicious tomato based curry with bell peppers and chicken.
Chicken breast - 2 nos
Onions - 2 medium
Bell pepper - 1
Ginger, grated - 2 tsp
Garlic, minced - 6 cloves
Green Chillies, cut long - 2 nos
Tomatoes, diced - 1 medium
Tomato puree - 1/2 can
Milk - 1 cup
Chilli Powder -
Curry Powder -
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder -
Salt, to taste

Chicken Marinade:
Chilli Powder - 2 tsp
Tumeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry powder - 1/2 Tbsp
Corriander powder - 1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 Tbsp
Vinegar - 1Tbsp
Worcestershire sauce - 1 Tbsp 
Salt - 1/2 Tbsp

  1. Cut chicken into 1/2 inch thick long strips. Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients from the "Chicken Marinade" list for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Cut onions and bell peppers into 1 inch squares.
  3. Heat olive oil in a pan and add minced garlic and when slightly browned add onions, bell peppers, ginger and sautee until the veggies are slightly browned and soft.
  4. Add the marinated chicken and sauté until cooked through and slightly browned.
  5. Now add the tomatoes, tomato puree and milk and let it cook for at least 10-15 minutes until the gravy thickens.
  6. Add garam masala and adjust chilli and curry powders to taste and bring to boil and remove from heat.
Worcestershire sauce is a combination of tamarind, garlic, vinegar and some other stuff that makes it a little tangy and can be used in indian cooking for sauces or marinade..and I've started using them a lot now and find it pretty interesting..

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pineapple Kesari

If you ever attended weddings or receptions in chennai, you would've definitely tasted pineapple kesari.
It's my all time favorite kind of kesari..sweet and delicious with a little hint of sourness from the pineapple..literally melts in your mouth..
Rava/Sooji - 1 cup
Crushed Pineapple (in sugar syrup) - 1 can
Sugar - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Cashews - 10 nos
Golden raisins - 10 nos
Ghee - 1/4 cup
Yellow food color - 1/4 tsp

  1. Dry roast rava in a pan until slightly brown and keep aside.
  2. In the same pan, heat some ghee and roast cashews and raisins until golden brown and keep aside.
  3. Drain the pineapple from the can, add 2 cups water and bring it to a boil in a pan. 
  4. Add sugar and as soon as the sugar dissolves, add shoji and mix and let it get all cooked through.
  5. Add the roasted cashews and raisins, remanning ghee and mix. Remove from heat and let it cool.  

I used the dole crushed pineapple can. The reason I suggest pineapple in sugar syrup is because that will take the sourness of the pineapples out. If you use the one without, you can still taste the sourness in the kesari. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Crab Cakes

I love crab cakes at restaurants and have tried making them at home at least 3 or 4 times and each time I tried different recipes. The first time, I made it with a ton of mayo which was delicious but I've finally settled down with this version of crab cakes which is equally yummy and definitely healthier and not drenched in mayo.. :)
You can make these in 2 different ways. The traditional way is to pan fry them in olive oil. The other one I tried this time, is baking. I'll mention both the methods here..
Crab Meat - 1 lb
Dijon Mustard - 2 Tbsp
Light Mayonaisse - 2 Tbsp
Lemon Juice - 1 Tbsp
Onion, diced - 1 medium
Celery sticks, diced - 5 nos
Garlic, crushed - 4 cloves
Chipotle sauce - 1 Tbsp
Worcestershire sauce - 1 Tbsp
Chili Sauce - 1/2 Tbsp
Egg, beaten - 1
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Paprika - 1/2 tsp
Rusk, crushed  - 4
Panko Breadcrumbs - 1/2 cup

For the Dip:
Light Mayonaise - 1/4 cup
Capers - 1 Tbsp
Dijon Mustard - 2 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Garlic, crushed - 1 clove
Sugar - 1 pinch
Pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste

  1. Heat about 2 Tbsp of oil in a pan and add onions, celery and crushed garlic and sauté until cooked through and soft. Remove from pan and cool. 
  2. To the sautéed veggies, add all the ingredients from above except for the breadcrumbs and chill the mixture in the refrigerator at least for an hour or two.
  3. Once chilled, scoop the mixture with an ice-cream scoop, put it on a plate and flatten it out a little bit using your hand to make it look like a cake and coat it with the breadcrumbs on both sides.
  4. Heat about 2-3 Tbsps of oil in a shallow pan and add the crab cakes one by one and pan fry until golden brown on both sides for about 4-5 minutes each side.
  5. For the dip mix everything together and enjoy! If you are lazy to make the dip, store bought tartar sauce will make a perfect dip. 
For Baking:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Place the crab mixture coated with breadcrumbs on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil and drizzle or spray a little olive oil on each cake and pop it in the oven for 10 minutes on one side.
  3. Flip the crab cakes to the other side and drizzle olive oil on each and bake for 10 more minutes until golden and crispy. 
I used canned crab cake meat that I bought at Costco. Chilling the mixture is very important for the crab cakes to be flavorful. I chilled them overnight and made it the next day in the evening as a snack. But 1 or 2 hours should be pretty sufficient.
The reason to drizzle some oil while baking is to maintain a little moisture in the cakes, otherwise baking dries them out and makes them a little harder than the pan fried ones. Even if you are pan frying, you don't need to use a lot of oil. Cooking them in a medium flame with little oil will roast them well enough. Enjoy and hope your weekend begins with crab cakes!! :) 

Chinese Fried Rice

My husband and I recently got chinese fried rice and orange chicken at the mall and guess who loved it the most?? Yes! my 18mth old..those days are gone by when kids used to eat paruppu sadham (dal rice) and thayir sadham (yoghurt rice) everyday without any trouble..Now all that they like are pasta, noodles, fried rice..
So this is my version of chinese fried rice I regularly make..and recently my daughter's fav..

Servings: 4 

Rice - 2 cups (rice cooker cup)
Water - 2 1/2 cups
Eggs - 4
Onion, diced - 1 medium
Mixed Vegetables - 2 cups
Shredded chicken - 1 cup
Ginger, grated - 1/2 Tbsp
Garlic, grated - 3 cloves
Olive Oil - 3-4 Tbsp
Sugar - 1pinch
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Ajinomoto - 1 pinch (optional)
Dark soy sauce - 1/2 Tbsp
Chili Soy - 1/2 Tbsp
Red Chili Sauce (like Sriracha) - 1/2 Tbsp 
Ketchup - 1/2 Tbsp
  1. Cook rice in a rice cooker with 2 1/2 cups of water, 2 tsps of salt and 1/2 Tbsp of oil and once cooked, let it cool down.
  2. Take a saute pan and scramble 4 eggs with salt and pepper. Remove from the pan and shred into tiny pieces and keep aside.
  3. Take cooked chicken strips and shred into small pieces with your hand and sauté it in the same pan with a little olive oil, salt and pepper for 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and keep aside.
  4. To the same pan, add some more oil, and add the onions, ginger and garlic and sauté until the raw smell goes away. 
  5. Now, add all the veggies, sugar, salt and pepper and sauté in high flame until cooked through. The sugar keeps the veggies retain their color and cooking in high flame allows the veggies to get cooked quickly without wilting them.
  6. Mix all the sauces from above to a paste. 
  7. Once the veggies are done, add the chicken, scrambled eggs, rice and the sauces and mix together in low flame for 2-3 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper and remove from heat.
I used grilled chicken strips from Costco that I always have in my refrigerator for this. You can use chicken breast and just sauté it in the pan with salt, olive oil, pepper and shred it. If you like yours much spicier, you can increase the Sriracha to 1 or 1/2 Tbsps. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Oatmeal Shake

This is a tastiest and healthiest way to have your morning oatmeal. My husband used to cook oatmeal in the microwave and then mix that with yoghurt and eat with a pickle :) Since I don't eat plain yoghurt, I never was a big fan of that combination..But I found this recipe to be perfect for everyone who like their oatmeal with a hint of sweetness. Ofcourse, you can eat oatmeal 100 different ways and I've so far only tried the sweet ones! If you like to have yoghurt and oatmeal for breakfast this is a good way!
Servings : 2
Oatmeal - 1/2 cup
Yoghurt - 1/2 cup
Milk - 1/2 cup
Ice cubes - 5
Strawberries, frozen - 3
Banana - 1/2
Honey - 2 tsp
Splenda - 5 packets or Sugar - 4 Tbsp
Protein powder - 1 scoop (optional)
Wheat germ - 1 Tbsp (optional)

  1. In a blender, add oatmeal and grind until powdered. You can also use a spice mixer or coffee bean grinner for this. 
  2. To this, add everything else from above and blend for 2-3 minutes until smooth. You can increase the amount of ice cubes or milk depending on the thickness you want. 
If you always find strawberries remaining as lumps at the bottom, I would suggest blending it with oatmeal before you add all the wet ingredients in order to get a smooth shake. You can use soy milk or Almond milk instead of regular milk to get a thicker consistency..

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Aloo curry

This aloo curry is perfect for pooris or chappatis..I know especially for pooris..But since I made this on a time for that..I mostly make pooris for breakfast or dinner only on weekends..Anyway here's how I made my Aloo..

Potato, boiled - 3 Idaho
Onions - 2 medium
Green peas - 1 cup
Green Chillies - 3 big
Ginger, grated - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Channa dal - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - 5 nos
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Besan/Gram flour - 2 Tbsp (optional)
Corn flour - 1 Tbsp (optional)

  1. Heat about 2 Tbsps of oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and once it pops, add jeera, curry leaves, urad dal, channa dal and green chilles.
  2. Cut onions lengthwise and add it to the pan and saute until the onions are translucent. Add ginger, salt and turmeric powder and sauté for a few more minutes until the ginger doesn't smell raw.
  3. Cut the boiled potato into small pieces or just crush it with you hand and add it to the pan. Add the green peas and let it all cook for 5-10 minutes until it all comes together. 
  4. If you want more gravy, mix the besan and corn flour with 3/4 cup of water and add it to the gravy and cook for a few more minutes until the gravy thickens. 
In order to boil the potatoes, I just pop it in the microwave in a microwaveable bowl with a cup of water for about 10-15 minutes until cooked. I have not used besan in this curry since it's been a while I made this curry without besan, I wanted to leave it out for a change. But try it both ways and it will taste very different..almost like 2 different curries. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

2 Minute Chocolate Cake

Craving for a chocolate cake out of the blue? anybody?? This recipe will answer all your prayers for an instant chocolate cake that you can make in less than 2 minutes conveniently in your microwave..

Flour - 1 Tbsp
Brown sugar - 1Tbsp
Sugar - 2 Tbsp
Baking powder - 1/4 tsp
Vannila Essence - 1/4 tsp
Egg whites - 1 Tbsp
Salt - 1 pinch
Milk - 2Tbsp
Veg Oil - 1 Tbsp
Cocoa powder - 1 Tbsp
Instant coffee - 1/4 tsp
Chocolate chips - 10 nos (optional)

  1. Take a Microwavable bowl or a coffee mug, Mix all the ingredients above except chocolate chips. 
  2. Microwave it in 50% power for 1 minute. 
  3. If you are adding chocolate chips, mix them with a pinch of flour to coat them so they don't sink to the bottom and add it to the bowl.
  4. Now, microwave again for about 30 seconds until it's cooked through. If not done, cook it for 20 more seconds or so..Your delicious chocolate cake is ready!!
If you are a person who takes 2 spoons of sugar for your coffee, like me :) you may add 1/2 Tbsp extra sugar or a splenda pkt to make it much sweeter..You can decorate it with whipped cream or chocolate icing..I couldn't resist the temptation to eat it right away..So no patience for decor :)
Do let me know how this turns out!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Asparagus Pasta

Asparagus is a healthy vegetable that I am slowly trying to incorporate into my cooking these days. I've always loved it as an accompaniment with fish or chicken at restaurants and always look for ways to include veggies in my daughter's pasta..even though she filters them out most of the times :)
Penne Pasta - 8oz
Asparagus - 10 nos
Red Onions/shallots, diced - 1/2 medium
Garlic, finely chopped - 5 cloves
Broccoli, frozen - 1/2 cup
Green Peas, frozen - 1/2 cup
Cherry tomatoes - 1/2 cup
Chicken/Vegetable broth - 3/4 cup
Parmesan, shredded - 1/4 cup
Mozzarella, shredded - 1/4 cup
Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp
Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Crushed red pepper - 1 tsp
Olive Oil - 2 Tbsp
  1. Cook pasta in enough boiling water for about 8-10 minutes until it's cooked al dente.
  2. Cut asparagus into 1 1/2 inch pieces. tomatoes in half, and broccoli into florets if you are using an entire bunch.
  3. Heat olive oil in a pan and add onions and garlic and sauté until the onions turn pink. 
  4. Add asparagus, broccoli, salt and pepper and saute until they are cooked through.
  5. Add the peas, tomatoes, chicken broth, lemon juice. Add the drained pasta.
  6. Mix in the parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and crushed pepper and adjust salt to taste and cook for a few minutes until the cheeses melt and forms a guey sauce.
Cooking pasta al dente (means "to the bite") will help the pasta absorb all the sauces and the flavor better while cooking in it for a few minutes. I did not have cherry tomatoes so I used 1 roma tomato instead. If you dont have the specific cheeses try with ones you have..If you want the pasta to have more sauce, you can add a little bit of milk or cream. Also, I roasted the leftover asparagus in the same pan with some olive oil, salt and pepper for a nice side vegetable :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fish Puttu

"Sora puttu" is a very famous dish in tamiladu and its made with shark fish. Shark is not commonly found here everywhere. But you can get it in korean supermarkets if you want to. Traditionally the fish is steam cooked and shredded. This recipe instead uses salmon as it's very commonly found. And I think it's the perfect replacement fish for this dish. I made this once with salmon and was so satisfied that I never tried to find other alternatives.

Salmon - 2 lb.
Onions - 2 medium
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - 5 nos
Green chillies - 2 large
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Pepper - 1/2 tsp
Salt, to taste

  1. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the fish and pan roast the fish with 1 Tbsp of olive oil for 2-3 minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove fish from pan and keep aside to cool. 
  2. In the same pan, heat another Tbsp of oil, add mustard seeds, jeera, curry leaves, red chillies and onions and sauté until the onions are well browned. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt.
  3. Meanwhile shred the roasted fish and add it to the saute pan and keep frying until the everything is well roasted. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Breakfast Poha

I learnt this dish from my Gujarati roommate who would make this as a weekend breakfast. This is a yummy light and yet very flavorful dish. 
Poha - 1 cup soaked and drained in water
Onions - 1 large
Groundnuts - handful
Curry Leaves - 5 nos
Red chillies - 3
Ginger, grated - 1/2 Tbsp
Potato, peeled and cut - 1 large
Salt, to taste
  1. Boil potato and cut into pieces.
  2. Dry roast groundnuts in a pan and keep aside.
  3. Rinse poha in water and drain immediately and keep aside for a few minutes. Do not let it soak in water, it will become soggy.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, red chilles and onions and sauté unit the onions are translucent.
  5. Add ginger, groundnuts, turmeric powder,salt, potatoes and sauté until the potatoes turn slightly golden.
  6. Finally add the poha, cilantro and sauté for 5-10 minutes until the poha is well coated and cooked through.
I let the poha stand in the water for a few more minutes than I should have. Thanks to my daughter :) It needs to be soft yet crunchy and whole.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Traditional Sambar

This is a traditional sambar recipe from my mom's kitchen. In our house growing up, our everyday meal included rice, a gravy like sambar, rasam..etc and a side vegetable, egg or meat. So sambar was one of the most common gravies made..and was everyone's favorite :)

Dal - 2 cups
Water - 5 cups
Onions, diced - 1 large
Tomato, diced - 1 large
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Sambar powder - 1 Tbsp
MTR sambar powder - 1Tbsp (optional)
Cilantro, chopped - handful
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
For Tadka:
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Jeera - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 5-6 nos

  1. In a pressure cooker, add dal, onions, tomato, asafoetida, water and all the powders, salt and cook for 3 whistles and switch off.
  2. Meanwhile in a small pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds, jeera and curry leaves.
  3. Remove the lid from the cooker and heat in medium flame and adjust salt and sambar powder according to taste and bring to boil. Add the tadka, cilantro and remove from flame. 
Homemade Sambar powder is nothing but a combination of coriander seeds and chilly powder. But if you don't have that you can just add readymade sambar powder. This recipe is for plain sambar. You can add any kind of vegetable to it and it will add more flavor and taste to it..The most common veggie suggestions are brinjal/eggpant, radish, capsicum, carrot..

Aloo Fry

In south India, this aloo curry is probably a very standard side dish in most of the houses and it goes great with dal, sambhar, rasam with rice or even chappatis. It doesn't need a lot of ingredients and when made, this can stay in the refrigerator for a long time.

Potatoes, cut small - 4 large
Onions, diced - 2 large
Tomatoes, diced - 2 large
Chilly powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp

  1. Heat oil in a pan and add the onions and sauté until slightly dark brown. Add the tomatoes keep frying until the tomatoes and soft and mushy and the curry becomes more like a thick paste like consistency.
  2. Add turmeric powder, chilly powder, salt and potatoes and keep frying in low flame for about 20-30 minutes until the curry browns up and oil separates.
Frying for a long time in low-medium flame is the key to this curry. It might not look very good initially but just leave it for the time and it will roast and come together very nicely just like in the picture :) And you might have to add oil a little generously as well! I know..but some dishes need more TLC.. 

Mutton Kurma

Who doesn't like mutton? My husband loves mutton in any form and growing up my brother was pretty much like that too..hmm..Is this is a guy thing? :) Anyway, this is a mutton curry adapted from my mil's recipes. My mom's is a little different from this which I will post some other time for sure..

Mutton - 2 lbs
Onion, diced - 1 large
Tomato, diced - 1 large
Chilli powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Curry powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1tsp
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 Tbsp
Meat Masala - 2 tsp (optional)
To Grind: 
Onion - 1/2 large
Poppy seeds - 1 tsp
Coconut, shredded - 2 Tbsp
Fennel seeds - 2 tsp
Red chillies - 2
Cashews - 4 nos

  1. Grind all the ingredients from the "To Grind" list into a paste.
  2. Take a pressure cooker and add all the rest of the ingredients from above. Add the ground paste and add 2 cups of water and cook in medium flame for 3-4 whistles and switch off.
  3. Once the pressure goes off, remove the lid and boil in medium flame until the gravy thickens and oil separates out. Add cilantro and serve hot. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Easy Chocolate pudding

I thought Chocolate pudding was a little complicated with eggs, baking and water bath and stuff..until I saw this recipe..It's easy, light, and yet rich, creamy and silky, perfect for Valentine's day or some other good excuse you can come up with :P :)

Milk - 3 cups (2% or better)
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Cornstarch - 1/4 cup
Chocolate Chips, semisweet - 3/4 cup
Vannila Extract - 1 tsp
Butter - 1Tbsp
Salt - 1 pinch

  1. Add sugar, cornstarch, salt and milk and whisk everything together on top of a double boiler. 
  2. Keep stirring for 15-20 minutes scraping off all the sides until the mixture thickens and starts coating your spatula. 
  3. Add chocolate chips and stir in for a few minutes until it forms a pudding like consistency. 
  4. Remove from flame, add vanilla and butter and mix. 
  5. Pour into individual cups and cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 
Double Boiler: Heat 1-2 inches of water in a wide shallow pan in medium flame and bring to simmer.
Place a smaller pan which can hold 3 cups of milk, on top of the simmering water in the other pan.

Since this recipe does not use eggs, I used whole milk to add a little bit of can try it with 2% milk as well. If you use bittersweet chocolate chips because that's what you have, I would suggest adding 3/4 cup sugar to maintain the sweetness. Once you add the chocolate you will note that they melt almost instantaneously forming this thick yummy pudding..
Hope you enjoy and Have a Happy Valentines day everyone!