Welcome to my world.Here's my confession...I am a foodaholic.I love good food.I am game for any cusine & am passionate about Indian cooking.Honestly I am not a polished home-maker.I haven't learnt the ropes of the trade the traditional way which is from my mom.I am not very fussy when it comes to food. I would relish & eat simple meal with great delight.Best way to unwind for me is with my family at home, listening to some wonderful music,good food,lots of laughter and possibily some good wine =) Join me as I share with you some wonderful recipes that I have cooked over the years for my family which I usually serve with a large dollop of love ♥.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Delicious Tomato soup

Its been raining continuously for the entire week.Kids are not keeping all that lively & well.Its on such days that you  want to bring down your soup pot & make something yummy for your kids to enjoy.Soups are an all time favourite with our family especially the kids.Today I made some tomato soup,it was really satisfying to  watch the kids savour it up & ask for a second helping =D.

Tomato Soup:

Tomato-5 large
Onion-1/2 medium sized onion,chopped finely
Garlic-3-4 flakes,chopped finely
Tomato sauce/ketchup- 1tbsp
Salt-to taste
Mixed Itallian herbs- for seasoning
Cornflour-2 tbsp
Water- 2 cups

Make a  cross on the top of the tomatoes using a knife and let them boil  in a pot(add a cup of water).Take out the tomatoes when they have blanched.Remove the skin & let it cool.In a shallow pan add butter and saute the onions,garlic and salt.While this gets cooked,puree the blanched tomatoes in a blender.Strain the puree & transfer the puree into a bowl.In the same blender add the sauted onion & garlic into a smooth paste.Add this paste back into th shallow pan.Add the tomato puree,tomato sauce,salt,water(1 cup) & itallian seasoning.Let it cook for about 5 minutes.Add sugar.Make a running paste of the cornflour & 3tbsp of water.Add this to the soup.Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.Remove from the stove-top.The soup is ready to serve.{I like to strain this since my kids donot like the seasonings}Transfer into soup bowls & serve them hot.

Do try it & let me know how it turned out with your family.

Have an awesome day !


Sunday, 27 November 2011

Handy tips

To avoid crying while chopping onions,slice the onion into half and immerse it in water in a bowl for 5 minutes.Go on chop those onions without shedding tears any more !

Handy tips

While cleaning poultry /meat / sea food,use lime as a final rinse.Not only does it ensure odour free cooking,it also removes the pungent odour from your hands  !

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Coming soon.....Pav Bhaji !

Pav Bhaji !

Vada paav !

Vada paav is a favourite snack with the Maharastrians(people residing in Maharastra).I had a short stint in Pune & used ask my  husband to get some home every so now and then .So it was a regular evening snack for us.Back home in Chennai I really missed the authentic vada pav.There are several sweet shop which sell north Indian snacks but none have the authetic charm & taste.So my mom-in-law who is an awesome cook made "the vada Pav" for me.So here is the recipe for making yummy vada paav.

Vada Paav:

Potato- 1/2 kg (wash & cook it in pressure cooker)
Green chilli-2 (chopped finely)
Garlic-5 flakes (chopped finely)
Fresh corriander-1 sprig
Curry leaves- 1 sprig
Tummeric powder- 1 tsp
Salt- to taste
Mustard seeds-1 tsp
Butter-100 gms  (for the paav)
Oil-2 tbsp (for tempering)
Oil- 1/2 ltr.(for frying)

For Batter:
Rice flour-1tbsp
Bengal Gram flour- 250 gms
Salt-to taste
Tumeric powder-1/2 tsp
Hing-1/4 tsp(or) 1 pinch
Cooking soda -1/4 tsp(or) 1 pinch
Water- 1 cup

Mix the above mentioned ingredients into a batter(it should not be too running nor too thick).Set aside.

Green Chutney:
Green chilly-2
Fresh corriander leaves-1 bunch
Scrapped coconut-2 tbsp
Ginger-11/2 inch
Salt-to taste
Grind the ingredients into a smooth paste.Transfer into a bowl.

Method for making "Vada":
Peel the skin & mask the cooked potato.Heat oil(for tempering),add mustard seed & curry leaves.When the mustard seeds starts to splutter add  the chopped garlic,green chillies,tumeric powder & salt.Now add the mashed potato.Cook it for 4-5 mminutes.Remove from the stove top  & set aside.
Make medium sized balls of the potatoe mix and keep aside.You should be able to make about 14-15 mediumm sized balls.
Keep oil  for frying in a wok.Dip the potato balls into the batter and deep fry it.Strain & set aside.

Assebling the Vada paav:
Take one paav.Slice it into two.Spread butter on one side.On the other side spread the green chutney.Keep  one vada inbetween the paav slices.Do the same with the rest of the vadas.Vada paav is ready to be served.Serve them hot with masala chai.This is such a irresistable combination.I bet you can never say no to such a tasty snack.

Have a wonderful day !


Keshera !

Its been few months since I made any desert.So today;I thought I would make some kesari.Kesari is a simple yet delicious sweet made in few parts of south India.It is not only easy to put together but also quick one.But guess what I goofed it up a wee bit (I added 2 cups of sugar instead of one :/).Not to worry...not all was lost.I didnot want to dump it all out after all my kids were so wanting to have the kesari.So I tweeked the recipe and guess what? the result was a refreshingly different sweet dish,which every one relished.I couldn't be more happy & thrilled.Since it was neither Kesari nor Sheera I decided to call it "Keshera" :).So here's introducing an old delight in a new packaging =D,do try it & let me know how you liked it.


Semolina(Rava/Sooji) - 1 cup
Clarified butter / Ghee - 3/4 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Cashews - 10-12
Liquid Food colour - 5 drops (I used pink/rose flower)
Hot water - 1 &1/2 cups
Boiled milk - 1 &1/2 cups
Crushed Cardamom / Elakka powder - 1/2 tsp

Heat 3 tbsp of ghee in a shallow pan.Add rava and fry till the raw smell of the rava fades.Add sugar & fry on low heat.At no point should  the rava over fry/ turn brown.So keep a watch over the flame.Mean while boil water in a pan.Add the hot water and milk to the pan with rava.Mix well ensure that the consistency is smooth & that there are no lumps.Add the liquid food colour and the rest of ghee and mix well.In another pan fry the cashew nuts in the remaining ghee.Fry till they turn light golden brown.When all of the water in the rava evaprates & the mix starts becoming thick, add the fried cashews and the cardamom powder.Pour the rest of the ghee on top and stir once.Remove from fire and transfer into a seving bowl.Drizzle a little ghee & serve hot.

Go on,pamper that sweet tooth of yours :)

Bon appetite !


Wednesday, 23 November 2011


Vegetable /Green salads are a must at our home.No meal esply. dinners are ever complete without a
salad.Ofcourse we do have a favourite veggy that we dig into, in the salad bowl.Cucumbers are a common favourite :) There are the not so welcome veggys (like tomato for one-I find it very difficult to eat raw tomatoes) that finds home in the salad spread.Here I share with you one of the salad recipe.

Fresh Green Salad with Itallian seasoning:

Cucumber- 1{chop into bite-size}
Carrot-1{chop into bite-size}
Tomato-1{chop into bite-size}
Capsicum- 1/4th of a capsicum (I had only the green ones on hand,you could use coloured ones too)
Salt-to taste
Olive oil-1tbsp
Itallian mixed herbs - 1tsp

In a large bowl add all the vegetables.In a small bowl,mix olive oil,salt & seasoning.Pour  this over the  vegetables & mix well.This is a nice variation to plain green  salad.The olive oil adds to a distinc flavour & taste.

Happy dinning all !


Tuesday, 22 November 2011


Pasta fantasy

Pasta (any brand,I use Colavita):2 cups
Onion: 3 large,diced & pureed
Tomato: 3 large,diced & pureed
Ginger:1 inch,chopped & pureed
Garlic:8-10 flakes,chopped & pureed
Oil: 3-4 tbsp
Tumeric powder:1 tsp
Pepper powder: 1 tsp
Aachi Chicken masala:1 tbsp
Soya sauce: 1 tbsp
Itallian seasoning: 1 tbsp
Cheese: 1/2 cup(shredded/cubbed)
Salt: to taste

Boil the pasta as per the instruction on the package with a little salt.Strain & set it aside.
In a skillet add oil.To this add the onion & ginger-garlic paste.Add a little salt(this will speed up the cookingcprocess).Saute till the raw smell fades.Now add tumeric powder,pepper powder,chicken masala,salt & soya sauce.Let the masala/the ingredients cook for 2-3 minutes.Add the tomato puree,cook till oil starts separating from the sides(an indicator that the ingredients have cooked).To this add the cooked pasta.Mix in well.Season it  with mixed Itallian herbs.Sprinkle the cheese.Cook for 2-3 minutes.Garnish  with fresh cilantro leaves.

My kids relish & savour this pasta meal with great fervour.
Do try it and share your experience :)

Happy cooking !

Back from a wonderful weekend getaway @ Pondicherry.The hotel we stayed at "Mango Hill" is unique in its own way.It is an environment friendly building from decor to cutleries,very french...very rustic.Enjoyed this short-quick break from the routine.

Today I am game for posting few recipes(all refreshe from the retreat ) I made this last night.Everyone liked it esply the kids.I find it complementing when my kids leave their plates licked clean  ;)

Delightfully Delicious macaroni
Macaroni-3/4  packet
Onion-3 large
Tomato-3 large
Ginger-1 inch
Garlic-8 flakes
Spinach- 5-6 leaves
Green chilly-1 long one
Soya sauce-2 tbsp
Tomato sauce/ketchup-2 tbsp
Mixed Itallian seasoning-1tsp/to your taste
Pepper powder-1 tsp
Red chilly powder-1 tsp
Sausages-5 large ones(I used chicken sausage,you could use sausage of  your preference)
Salt- to taste
Oil-3 tbsp
Butter- 25 gms
Cheese- 1/2 cup shredded
Fresh corriander leaves- for garnish

Cook the macaroni till al dente.Boil/thaw the sausages for 5 mins.Cut the sausages into bite-size pieces.Grind onion & green chilly,keep aside.Then grind ginger-garlic into smooth paste.Grind the tomatoes into smooth puree,keep aside.In a wok/skillet add oil & saute the ground onion-chilly paste.Add ginger-garlic paste.Cook till the raw smell fades away.Next add the tomato puree & salt.Also add hilly  powder and pepper powder.Cook till oil  starts seperating on the sides.To this add soya sauce & tomato sauce.Let it cook for 5 mins.Add the cut sausages & spinach and cook for 2-3 mins.Add the macaroni to it.Add the butter & blend everything in.Now season it with the itallian herbs.Top it with shredded cheese.Garnish with fresh corriander/cilantro leaves.Serve hot.

This is not a spicy meal so kids with relish eating it. Mine did =).


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Palakkad sambar

I belong to God's own country rich in vegetation & ofcourse fish yet neither am I fond of coconut nor fish !(yeah thats right I donot eat fish).Back at my grandmother's home every recipe called for a dash of coconut.I do like coconut but not too much.As far as fish is concerned I have some bad memories of eating fish good enough never to eat them again ;p But I love cooking fish though :).Most of the house holds in kerala have either idlli/dosa/Idiyappam/Kozhukatta/Appam for breakfast.Coconut chutney is a must accompainiment,so is varathuaracha sambar.Here's the traditional recipe which I learnt from my grandmother.
Traditional Varathuaracha Palakkad Sambar:


Toor dhal-1& 1/2 cups
Whole corriander seeds-3 tbsp
Whole cumin seeds-3 tbsp
Dry red chilly-3-4
Fenugreek seeds-1/2 tsp(divide this into 2 portions one will be used for frying the second portion for tempering)
Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
Asafoetida-1/2 tsp
Sambar powder-2 tbsp I use MTR sambar powder
Tomato-1 big (preferably the regular one & not the hybrid one)chopped into 1" size
Ladies finger-5{cut in 2" long}
Egg plant/Brinjal-2 diced {2" long}
Hyacinth beans/ Avarakkai-4-5{remove the strings from the sides}
Coconut flower-1/2 cup
Tumeric powder-1 tsp
Green chillies-2 slit horrizontallyFresh corriander leaves-1-2 sprigs(for garnish)
Tamarind pulp-1/2 cup(for this add a lemon-sized tamarind ball into 1&1/2 cups of hot water,squeeze out the pulp,filter & set aside)
Curry leaves-2 sprigs(for tempering)
Cooking Oil-2 tbsp(preferably coconut oil for autheticity of the recipe)
Ghee /clarified butter -1-1&1/2 tbsp
Salt-to taste


In a cooking pan/Skillet roast{fry without oil) corriander seeds,cumin seeds,dry red chillies,fenugreek seeds(one portion) & coconut flowers.Fry them till the seeds begin to change colour(brown).Remove it from fire & transfer it into a blender,you will have to grind this up after it cools down & set it aside.Another check test to know if it is time to remove  from the stove top is when you can smell the wonderful aroma of the spices.That is a speciality with Indian cooking,we use such aromatic spices to our cooking that just the aroma makes one hungry =D.
Ok,next to the same pan(that we used to roast the spices) add oil & fry the vegetables shallots.Remove it from the pan when it is semi-cooked(the shallots will turn translucent).Transfer the vegetables to a platter.Meanwhile cook the dhal,tomato & tumeric powder in a presure pan/cooker with 1&1/2 cups to 2 cups of water (enough to cover the dhal in the pressure pan).Let it cook well(say 4-5 whistles or abt 5-7 mins).Now add the fried vegetables,the ground spices.tamarind pulp,salt & sambar powder & cook till the vegetables are well cooked(not slushy though!)
In another skillet add ghee/clarified butter,mustard seeds,fenugreek seeds,curry leaves & asafoetida.when the mustard starts crakking/spluttering remove from fire & add it to the cooked dhal & vegetales.Give it a healthy stir.Check the taste.Garnish with chopped fresh corriander leaves.Serve hot with rice/dosa/idlli.Yes it takes a while(about 45 mins) but trust me once you cook this for your family they ill never let you cook sambar any other way !

Happy cooking,serving & eating folks !


NB:You will find another variation of sambar here .

Monday, 14 November 2011

"Porriyal "/ stir-fried assorted vegetable is a regular feature on the south indian cusine.Porriyal can be made out of variety of vegetables.It is a healthy alternative to deep fried vegetables.Here's one of my favourite porriyal combination.

Porriyal (Stir-fried assorted vegetables)

Beans-100 gms
Carrot-100 gms
Cabbage-100 gms
Fresh green peas-handfull
Green chillies-1{chopped about 1/2''}
Garlic flake-1 {crushed}
Fresh coconut flower-1/2 cup
Salt-to taste
Urad dal-1/2 tsp{optional}
Fresh curry leaves-a sprig
Oil- 1 tbsp {for tempering}

In a skillet add the oil.Add mustard seed,urad dal,curry leaves.When the mustard starts spluttering add the crushed garlic.Saute for 2-3 mins till the raw smell fades.Then add the vegetables(beans,carrot,peas,cabbage).Add green chillies,salt & half of the coconut flower.Pour about 2-3 tbsp of water to this and let it cook.Donot pour a lot of water."Porriyal" tastes best when it is crunchy & not when it is over-cooked so do keep that in mind while adding water to it.Cover the skillet & let the vegetables cook in steam for 5-7mins.Add the remaining coconut flower,blend it in & remove from the stove top.Serve hot with steam rice,rasam/sambar,any vegetable fry/ fried chicken.

Bon appetit !


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

If like me you have fussy eater kids this recipe that I am about to share is sure to make your life much easier :)

Fried rice with an Indianised twist!


Rice: 2 cups;cooked & let to cool
Spring Onion: 3-4 sprigs;cleaned & chopped finely(the leaves & bulb included)
Mushrooms: 3-4 chopped finely
Coloured capsicums: 1/2 cup-chopped
Beans:1/4 cup chopped
Carrot:1/4 cup chopped
Green peas:1/4 cup boiled
Green chillies:2;deseeded & chopped finely
Tomato:1/2 cup-chopped
Garlic:2-3 flakes;crushed
Soya sauce: 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder: 1/2 tsp
Tumerc powder: 1/2 tsp
Butter/Oil: 1-1 1/2 tbsp
Salt: to taste


In a wok(kadai) add oil/butter.Add the chopped spring onion & crushed ginger-garlic.Fry till the raw smell disappears.Add the chopped tomato & green chillies and fry a while (3-5 minutes).Then add the vegetables(beans,capsicum,mushroom,carrot,peas)Now add tumeric powder,garam masala powder & soya sauce.Blend well.Cook till the vegetables are done(but donot over cook !)Add salt.To this add the cooked rice.Blend everything in.Add a dab of butter on top.Serve hot (here I have served it with fried hard boiled eggs;recipe on another post)

Try it out & watch your kids savour it up :)

Happy cooking !


Monday, 7 November 2011

Spaghetti in white cheesy sauce

Hi all, hope you had a lovely weekend.I did.It was my son's 2nd birthday last Saturday.We had a small party with family and friends for our lil' guy.My son throughly enjoyed his party.It was such a pleasure watching him enjoy himself :).
Today I am going to share a recipe which is an all time favourite with my kids.

Spaghetti in white cheesy sauce!

Spaghetti:1 packet (cook as per the instructions given on the packet/carton)
All purpose flour /maida:2 tbsp
Cheese :shredded 1 cup
Florets of broccoli:1/2 cup
Sliced mushrooms:1/2 cup
Garlic: 4 flakes (finely chopped)
Onion:1/2 medium sized onion (finely chopped)
Butter:1 tbsp
Boiled milk: 2 cups
Salt: to taste
Black pepper :1 tsp (crushed freshly)
Oregano, basil:1 tsp

Boil about 2 cups of water add broccoli and mushroom and a little salt.Cook for 3-5 minutes(ensure it does not over cook and become soggy).Strain the excess water and keep it aside.
Cook the spaghetti as per the instructions on the packet/carton and keep it aside.
For preparing white sauce heat butter in a pan add garlic and onion and saute till onion turns translucent.
Add the all purpose flour  and saute for about a minute(be on your guard not to let it burn).Now add milk and stir till  it blends into a smooth consistency.Also make sure to avoid any lump formation.When it starts thickening add salt,oregano,basil,pepper.Now add the boiled vegetables and the cooked spaghetti.Top it up with the shredded cheese.Mix  and blend all the  ingredients together.Garnish with a sprig of fresh cilantro/coriander.Serve hot.

This is such a lovely variation to its spicy counter-part (recipe later :))

Do let me know how it turned out for you.

Have an awesome day !

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