Sunday, May 27, 2007

Thanks to Vcuisine

Thanks to Vcuisine :) ever since I saw those cookies in her blog,i wanted to make it. So I did try her recipe but had to make a couple of changes. I didn’t have dry coconut so I didn’t use it. And after adding a few drops of milk I added water to make the dough .But I must say I loved those cookies. Thanks viji:)
Double clik on the pic to see the stars shining:)

Cucumber kichadi

Cucumber kichadi

I like this simple side dish.

Chopped cucumber ½ cups. Add enough water to cook and add salt too. Once it’s cooked and the water is gone take it away from the stove.

Grind ¼ cup of coconut, a small piece of onion, 1/4 ts cumin seeds. Grind this to a smooth paste and add 1/4 ts mustard seeds. Run the mixer one more time so that the mustard seeds would crush .Add this to the cooked cucumber and mix well. Heat this very well. Once its heated well, take it off the stove and let it cool. Add yogurt after it’s cooled down. For this much curry I would add ¼ to ½ cup of yogurt. Mix well.
Heat oil in a skillet and add mustard seeds, once they start spluttering add one or to dry red pepper. Pour this on top of the curry. It’s ready:)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Fish fry

Easy fish fry:)

Take chilipowder, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, black pepper powder, salt, a few drops of lemon juice. Mix well. (I don’t add water in this since the fish would already have enough water to let this powder spread all over.).Take a pinch and taste it to see if it needs more salt. Apply this mix on fish pieces liberally. Make sure fish is covered very well in this powder.keep aside for as long as you can, anywhere from 10 to 1 hour or moreJdeep fry in oil. Stove temperature at high when you put the fish in the oil, then reduce it to medium till you get both sides brown.

Chewy chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate chip cookies

According to my son and his friends, I make the best chewy chocolate cookies in the world ;) Now you all know how kids talk:)But I have to say this recipe is the best recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Before I got this recipe, they never came soft. I got this recipe long time back, before I had this blog thing in mind, so I cannot say exactly where I got this recipe from. But I think I got this recipe from

You need :

1 ¼ cup all purpose flour

½ to ¾ cup brown sugar

½ ts soda bi

½ cup or more chocolate chips

½ cup butter (softened)

1 large egg

¼ ts vanilla essence

A pinch of salt

Heat oven to 350

Add brown sugar in softened butter and beat well. Add egg and beat again until mixed well. Add vanilla essence.
Mix together flour, soda bi and salt, slowly add this in to the above mixture and mix well. Make sure they are well mixed. Add chocolate chips in to this. Mix again.

On a greased cookie sheet, put a table spoon of this with enough space between the dough.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. If you think they are still not done let it bake for 2 more minutes. Take it out and let them cool on wire rack.
This can make about 18 cookies.
shh-somebody wants to eat the cookies,double clik on the pic;)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

play time

It was fun taking pics of this squirrel. First it looked at the swing for sometime. Then climbed on it and started playing by getting down and then climbing back again:). watching that was a fun time pass for me:)

an easy indoor garden:)

When I heard about Zen potato, I thought let me try to make one.

So I took two potatoes and kept them in a place where it won’t be disturbed ;) I heard for a Zen potato to grow it needs to be left in a calm and quiet place. So after a week or so, we got these beautiful Zen potatoes. It could last for more than a couple of weeks in this way.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Tomato cucumber curry

Tomato cucumber curry

This is an easy curry for lunch.

Cut tomatoes and cucumber in to cubes, slit two green chilies. Put all of them together in a pan and add enough water to cook, add ¼ tea spoon of turmeric, and salt. Let it cook.

Take half a cup of coconut, small piece of garlic,1/4 tea spoon of cumin seeds. Grind this to a smooth paste by adding enough water.

Add this to the cooked vegetables. Mix well and add enough water to make a gravy. Heat very well in medium heat. When its about to boil take it off the stove. Heat oil in a different pan and add mustard seeds and a couple of red dry pepper and curry leaves too. Pour this on the curry. You can have it jut like this or you can add ¼ cup of yogurt, well beaten, in to this.

Pics are not clear:(

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Take half a cup of Urdu dal
One cup of rice-long grain (or parboiled, I sometimes use jasmine too.)

pinch of fenugreeks. add this in urud or rice.(if you don’t have fenugreeks, no problem)

Soak them for 6 hours at least. you can soak them in morning around 10 am. Grind them at around 4 or 5 pm. Grind them in to a smooth paste by adding enough water. When you grind rice, don’t add too much water in the beginning. Add little by little according to the need. You can grind them in blender, I use Indian mixie.(for idly you don’t need to grind the rice that well).mix them well and keep it covered in a steel /glass.plasic container over night in a warm place. I keep it nearby the stove. In the morning it would be double in size. mix well and add enough water to make a smooth batter. It shouldn’t be to thick. More thinner than pancake batter.
And make dosa like you make pancake. if you want a crisp dosa spread the batter as wider as you can quickly.(reduce the heat when you spread the batter).you can see the sides getting crispy, sprinkle oil/melted butter around the dosa and on top. flip it overly et it get crispy, golden colorJ
Or if you like thick dosa, just pour the batter and don’t spread it too much.
Goes well with sambar, chutney(chammanthy) kadala curry, chicken curry etc etcJ
On summer days I soak the rice and urud at night and grind them in the morning and by night it would be ready.
Wheat dosa is easier
Just mix wheat flout with water. make a thin batter.
heat oil and add mustard seeds and red dry chili(one or two)and curry leaves. Also add freshly grated coconut of you have. you can also add grated ginger and instead of red pepper you can add green chili. and make dosa.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Egg roast

Egg roast
To make this you need

2 onions

A piece of ginger

1 Tomato

Pepper powder

Red chili powder


And of course boiled eggsJ

Slice two big onions thinly. Slice garlic and ginger too.

Heat oil in a pan. Fry onion, garlic and ginger well till they become slightly brown. Add pepper powder, red chili powder and turmeric (according to your need).Stir well. Add chopped tomato. Stir well till tomatoes are cooked well. Add salt. If you like you can add a table spoon heavy cream in the end. After you take it off the stove, add the boiled eggs. You can either cut it in to two or make 2 or 3 cuts on whole boiled eggs, so masala would get inside.

This goes well with idiyappam, chappathy,or rice.

Coconut dosa

Coconut dosa

My son and I, we both love this dosa:). But won’t be able to make this often as the right type of coconut won’t be available all the time.

You need fresh coconut for this .The coconut should be in between tender coconut and mature coconut. The inside won’t be too jelly like or too hard like a regular coconut. Sometimes when you open a coconut you would get this soft type of coconut and that’s the best to make this dosa. This type of coconut won’t be that good to make curries.

1 cup of coconut. Grind coconut- not too smoothly .It would be nice to have some small pieces of coconut when you eat this dosa:) . Add this to 1 and ¼ cups of plain rice flour. Mix well with water. Add enough salt to your taste. Make a slightly thicker batter.

Just make dosas like you make regular dosa. You can eat it just like that or with any curry that you would normally have with dosa. Make sure the dosas are well cooked on both sides. It would taste better if you make slightly thicker dosas with this batter.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cranberyy coffee cake

Cranberry coffee cake

I found this recipe from the book-cook what you love by -Bob and Melinda Blanchard

¼ cup unsalted butter melted

1 cup light brown sugar packed

2 ts cinnamon powder

½ cup coarsely chopped pecans/walnuts/almonds

½ cup fresh or frozen cranberry coarsely chopped.

Mix all these together and keep aside.

2 cups all purpose

1 ts baking soda

1 ts baking powder

½ ts salt

¾ cup unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup sugar

Vanilla essence ½ ts

2 large eggs

1 ½ cup sour cream

Pre heat oven at 350

Grease and flour a pan.

Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a bowl mix butter and sugar. Beat well, add vanilla essence. Beat until fluffy.

Add eggs one by one .now add flour mix and sour cream alternately. Don’t over mix.
Spread half the cake mix in the pan and spread the topping on top. Now cover it with the remaining cake mix.

Bake for 50 min. Check after 40 min. After you take it out let it stand on a wire rack to cool and then cut them in to slices.

It’s funny how I came to this recipe. I was looking at the cook books in the library and found this color full book. When I turned a few pages I saw this title-cranberry coffee cake. Somehow I fell in love with that cake right at that moment:) This is an awesome recipe and came out excellent the very first time I tried it. All the people who tried this just loved this.
Thanks to Bob and Melinda.

Strawberry cake

I got this recipe from the internet but made a few changes.

1 cup all purpose flour
½ cup sugar

2ts baking powder
½ ts salt
½ cup milk

1 egg

2 tb melted butter

1 ½ cup strawberry sliced


½ cup flour
½ brown sugar
¼ cup butter(room temperature)
Chopped nuts(walnut or almonds)
Mix all these together and keep it aside.

Heat oven at 375.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add milk ,egg and melted butter. Beat well.
Pour in to greased ,floured pan.. Spread the strawberry on top and on top of that spread the topping.
Bake for 30.35 or till the skewer comes out clean.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


This is the only name I know for this snack:)

And as usual one of the easiest to make.

Make potato masala as you normally do. Make small balls out of this masala. Make a thick besan/gram flour batter with water and add little salt and red chili powder . Dip this potato balls in this besan batter and make sure it’s well coated. Deep fry, till golden brown. Ready for tea.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Made by my son:)

"Spring Fling 2007-with Family and Friends in the Kitchen"event.

My son,a 6th grader got interested in this food blog.He wanted to make for us something to eat ,right after lunch!!I said okayyyy. After sometime he gave us this sandwich,presented beautifully. He wanted to type the recipe all by himself,so here is my son's recipe,in his own words. No corrections:)

So here are the ingredients for the sandwich: two slices of bread, Country Crock brand Shedds Spread, shredded cheddar, one slice of American cheese, tomatoes (optional) lettuce (optional) two grapes, (or olives) and two toothpicks. To make the sandwich, slather one of the slices of bread with Shedds Spread, and then place the slice of American cheese on top of the slice of bread. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar on top of the cheese slice. Then place some lettuce on top of the shredded cheese. Slice one tomato into thin, round slices and place the slices on top of the lettuce. Slice the sandwich in half diagonally. Then impale the grapes (or olives) with the toothpicks, and place one impaled grape in the middle of each sandwich slice for a finishing touch.

Monday, May 7, 2007

tea cake:)

When I think about tea cakes what comes to my mind is the Eastern bakery in Trivandrum. I remember, they used to have the best freshly made bread I have ever tasted. If you go there at around 3 pm, you can get the still warm, soft bread. It would be difficult, even to cut it, since it’s very very soft. I also buy the Amul butter to go with that:),that lil girl in her color full dotted dress is still fresh in my mind.
Another thing is their tea cakes. It is a small piece of cake covered like a candy in transparent paper. Even now they have it, but I don’t know, sometimes I feel it lacks the old taste!! .They still have the same kind of bread, but now a days they sell it in plastic covering just like any other breads. But whenever I go I insist on having it wrapped in bakery paper;),they say it’s the same but I feel they are not the same;). Every time I go to Trivandrum I would visit this bakery at least one time and buy this bread too. Sometimes I may forget that I bought this bread and have to throw away after two days, since I would be keeping them outside! I don’t like to keep them in fridge<;( Still I have to buy it every time. Now even my son loves this bread:)he likes this with milk:)

Tea cake:)

My husband loves the Christmas cake we get in Kerala. I think it’s almost the same as plum cake. I love the icing on that a lot. I was looking for that cake recipe and a friend gave me that recipe. I did not follow it exactly .I made a few changes. Once I make this I don’t have to worry about tea time snack for a week .A piece of this and tea is all he needs:)
This is the way I make it.

One cup flour.

½ stick butter/margarine (I use 100 %corn oil stick)

Recipe calls for using one stick-1/2 cup, but I use half a stick.

½ tea spoon baking powder

½ tea spoon baking soda

2 eggs

¾ cup sugar

Caramelized sugar-about a table spoon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg and cinnamon powder

Salt a pinch

Lemon juice-1/4 tea spoon

Milk- take ¼ cup, you may not have to use the whole milk.

Raisins-a pack

Vanilla essence- ¼ teaspoon.

Melt butter. Add sugar in to this and beat well. Then add eggs one by one. Beat well. Scrape the sides when you beat. Add vanilla essence.

In a bowl, take flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon powder, nutmeg and salt. Mix well.

Heat oven at 350.

Add this flour mix in to the above butter mix and beat well. Add raisin, caramel and lemon juice. Mix well. Add table spoon milk at first. Add more only if you think the batter is very thick. You should be able to pour that in to the pan.

Grease and flour cake pan (I don’t use the round pan).pour this cake mix in to this pan and gently tap the pan a couple of times on the counter, to get the mix evenly.
Bake this for 35-45 minutes, or when you check with tooth pick it should come out clean. Cool it on a wire rack. I cover it lightly with a paper towel. Once its half cooled cut them in to pieces and put them I air tight container. Place a paper towel on top of the container till its cooled completely. Then close it with lid. It can stay fresh up to a week outside. The longer it stays out side the better it tastes. But make sure it doesn’t have any white spots after a couple of days. If it has, then throw it away. You can also keep it in fridge but take it out to get room temperature before you have it.

How I make caramel-

Heat a pan and add ½ cup sugar in it. Keep stirring until it starts melting and then foams come. Then the foam will start disappearing .reduce heat and add hot water (almost 1.2 cup).keep your face away when you do that. In crease heat and stir a couple more minutes. Switch off the stove. Use it when this is totally cooled down.
If there is any left over keep it in fridge.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

silly baking

Some days I will be in a mood for non stop cooking. So this Saturday after cooking for lunch, making one more additional curry ! ,I baked our regular tea time cake. I baked chocolate chip cookies for son. After that I made pastry puffs and then thinking what if they come out bad, I made pie crust to try it differently. I hate those days when I feel this way. I just need to cook, cook and cook. It’s crazy. If the results are bad then the whole day is gone!!

Ever since I saw the spinach spiral recipes in the JFI event by Sunitha and Manisha, I wanted to make it. I thought why not make pastry sheet too. Couldn’t bake pastry sheet but ended up making pastry puffs .I got the recipe from

½ cup butter

1 cup boiling water

1 cup pre sifted flour

¼ salts

4 eggs

Let butter and water boil in a pan. Once it starts boiling, take it off the stove and add flour and salt. Mix well. It will form a ball. Add eggs in to this one by one and beat well. Keep on stirring until you get smooth dough. Spoon this on to un greased cookie sheet and bake at 350-

35 to 40 minutes, until they are golden brown. They will double in size.

But when I made it I forgot how much time I needed to bake it, so I took it out when they started getting golden and their size was doubled. But soon the puffs became smaller. So I left it at that and decided to make pie crust to make this spinach spirals:)

The pie crust recipe I have is given to me by my friend, who introduced me to the world of baking. With 95% of her help I baked my first apple pie and zucchini cake about 5 -6 years back I guess.

Will post the pie crust recipe I make, in another posting.

Oh I am off the track. Ok, after I made pie crust dough ,I rolled it out as big as I could. Then filled it with spinach leaves. Took a few Kraft singles cheese and put them on top of spinach. Then I rolled it and cut them in to pieces. Then I baked these pieces in greased baking sheet. Baked till the crust was slightly brown. Result was not bad:)

After this I thought let me do something with the pastry puffs. I cut one puff in to two and filled it with shredded Kraft singles and closed it with the other half. Baked for about ten minutes. I liked this one better than the first one:)
It was fun doing this.

Trivandrum style kappa/tapioca

Cook tapioca in the same way I mentioned in the posting below. Take it off the stove and drain the water. After draining the water, mash it well with a wooden spatula. Doesn’t have to be pasty.

In a small mixie jar, take 2 table spoons of coconut, 1/4 tea spoon of cumin seeds, a small piece of onion and one or two green chilies. Add enough turmeric powder to give the yellow color. Grind it well, by adding little water. Not too much. It also doesn’t have to be paste like . Add this to the mashed tapioca and mix well. Take it back to the stove on medium heat and keep stirring till the tapioca is well coated. Reduce heat and add half a table spoon of coconut oil.

Fish curry and this kappa go along excellent. In this picture I didn’t have the red fish curry only had shrimp coconut curry.

simple and easy.

An escape from everyday tea time snacks:)kappa,mulak chammanthy and just to sooth the burning tongue, a few pieces of mangoes.

Put tapioca pieces in a vessel with enough water to cover it.Once it starts boiling take it off the stove and drain the water.Return to stove with fresh water and cook,adding salt.After its cooked well,drain water and its ready to eat.It would taste better if you can season it with mustard seeds, freshly grated coconut and a couple of red chilies.

Mulak chammanthy needs green chilies,shallots and salt. Run a couple of seconds in mixie/chopper and add coconut oil. If its too hot add some tamarind juice.

My son likes it the Trivandrum style:)iIwill post it next.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Chakk Ada- for JFI event

Thank you bee and jai ( for this jack fruit -JFI:) .
This is one of my favorite’s. Never bought canned jackfruit before as I thought It can never give me the real taste. But decided to give it a try for the first time. So I went to this Vietnamese store and asked the owner and she pointed to a shelf where I saw this jack fruit in cans. She also said there is frozen jack fruit, I didn’t like it.

So this is my recipe for the JFI- of May.

Chakka Ada.

Take two cans of jack fruit .After opening it wash in cold water and drain it. Chop them finely. If you want you can run this a couple of times in mixie,after chopping it.
Take one and a half cup (or according to how much rice flour you are taking),of freshly grated coconut(dried coconut in packets are also fine).
Take two cups of rice flour.
Take equal amount of jaggery, crush them finely and mix with coconut. Add a pinch or two of dried ginger in this.
Take a cup of warm water. Add salt according to your taste in this. Sprinkle this water in the rice flour and make a dough. It shouldn’t be watery, almost like chappathy dough.
Take banana leaves. Cut it in to small sizes. Spread this rice dough evenly on that. If its sticky and comes off the leaf ,dip your fingers in water and do it. After spreading evenly, fill it with coconut jaggery mix. Bring one end of the leaf to the other side and close it. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
If you are using an idly vessel put them in the flat separator plate and steam cook for about 15-20 minutes. Sometimes there would be parts of thick dough here and there,so let it cook well.

Once its done, take it off the plate and put on a bigger tray. Let it cool. Once its cooled down, take off the leaf and have it:)

You can also do this in a different way. Mix all the ingredients together and spread it on banana leaves and steam.

If you don’t have banana leaves you can use aluminum foil.
Or you can make kozhukatta with it. Make small balls out of the dough and fill it with the coconut jaggery mix and steam it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Okra/Vendakka/Ladies finger Masala

I got this ladies finger/vendakka/okra- recipe from a TV show some time back. Until then I knew only mezhukupuratti , theeyal and sambar with vendakka.this recipe is really tasty.
You need-
One medium sized onion thinly sliced.
One medium sized tomato
¼ or more cup of coconut milk.
Chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder,garam masala powder and salt.
Take small okras (about 10/15).Cut the top and bottom away. Make 2 slits on top.
Mix equal amounts of chili powder and coriander powder along with turmeric powder and salt. Fill the okra with this mix. Finish the rest like this. Keep the left over powders aside.
Heat little oil and lightly fry the okras, till the color changes slightly. Keep it aside.
Heat little more oil. Fry onion till it is transparent. Add tomato and keep on frying till tomato is cooked well. Add garam masala and any left over powders after filling the okras. If there is no left overs, then add half a tea spoon of chili powder and half a tea spoon of coriander powder. Fry a couple more minutes.Now add the fried okras in to the tomato mix and stir well. Add just enough water to cover them. Cover it and cook. When the water is almost gone, reduce the heat and add coconut milk. (About ¼ cup).mix well and take it off the stove.
Goes well with rice or chappathy.

Comfort food:)

When I heard talks about comfort food, I thought what would be our comfort food!! Didn’t have to think much. when we are all sick, this is what we all love to have.Kanji,payar thoran,chammanthy,pappadam(not fried in oil when we are sick, microwave only:)) and kadumanga.nothing tastes better than this:) So this is our comfort food:)

Thanks to bee:)

I made it and it came very good:)

Food for the thought:)

Thought i should share this link.I felt so proud of these ladies.When i see serials with women 24/7 crying and blowing nose,talking about- this is our fate,we are women,we are helpless etc ..

This picture is a breath of fresh air:)Scroll down to see it.