I ain't good at drawing but I can say with confidence that I can cook quite well and make everyone happy, with a good meal. Cooking is an art and with passion & Love for it we can create so many wonderful dishes....Loving it everytime...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Vegas here I come!

After moving to Miami, we visited Key West with Vivek's friends. So I can say that we haven't had a vacation this year for just the three of us. Las Vegas and Grand Canyon are two of the places I had been wanting to visit and so here we are with the tickets in hand and all bookings done all set to go on a 8 day vacation which I would say is a long vacation for us. Our previous vacation was our 2 week trip to Europe in 2006, and Arya was just 7 months old that time.

For the past two weeks Vivek has been insisting that I hit the gym as there is a lot of walking to do and well he also has started to go too.. . I am not sure, how Arya is gonna handle it as he has never been away from home for such a long time and now as he is gonna turn 3, he has started to ask a lot of questions, "what is that?" and very demanding. I only hope that the trip doesn't drive him crazy and he me! I really want him to enjoy this trip.

I started the packing today and I am going crazy with the stuff that I need to carry along. Shall let you guys know all about it once I get back in 8days, even though the duration is short we all are looking forward towards it, and a break for V from his busy schedule. For the past few days Arya has been asking me, "ellarum plane poroma?"

So see you all in a few days time, and I shall share more recipes with you all. Have fun ladies and take care!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Pazham Pori

A favorite snack of mine since my childhood days. A very common snack/ tiffin of Kerala and can be easily got from any vendor during travel by train and mostly in every street corner too. Banana commonly called nendrampazham is a fruit that can be easily got in Kerala and this recipe brings all memories of me pestering my father to get me pazham pori whenever the guy with the basket passed us by..... Well my recipe did come out good and my son is now a big fan of it :)


Ripe banana - 1
Maida - 1/4 cup
Rice flour - 1/2 cup
Sugar - as per requirement
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Oil to fry
Salt a pinch

Mix the maida, rice flour, sugar, cardamom powder, turmeric powder and a pinch of salt with water to make a batter which has the consistency of bajji batter.
Cut the banana into thick long strips, say 1 banana makes 6 strips.
Heat oil in a frying pan and the oil has to be really hot.
Dip the banana one at a time and place them in the hot oil slowly.
Leave some gap in between them.
Fry them until golden brown and well cooked.
Place them on to napkins to drain the oil and eat it warm.
An easy sweet snack that everyone will fall in love with...

I am sending this to the deep fried event by Paajaka.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Soya And Spinach Curry and event entries

A quick and delicious curry that can be eated with rice, rotis, parotta, poori and it can even be made for a big group. Instead of soya chunks/meal maker you can also add boiled kabuli channa to it. Sangeeth of Art of Cooking Indian Food is hosting a calcium rich contest, and an excuse to make this recipe too. This has a flavor of kurma in it and the combo is really good.

I am also sending this entry to Sia's JFI- Soya Event

You will need :-

Soya chunks - 1 cup
Spinach - 1 bunch
Onion - 1 medium minced
Tomato - 3 pureed
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Garam masala - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste

For the masala:-
Coconut - 3 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Sesame seeds - 1 tbsp
Green chilies - 2 nos
Red chilies - 3 nos
Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Cloves - 5 nos
Fry all the above ingredients in a little oil and grind it to a fine paste.

1. Soak the soya chunks and set aside
2. Cook the spinach with a pinch of baking soda and water until fully cooked and blend it in a food processor into a paste.
3. In a deep kadai pour oil and once hot add the minced onions and pink it.

4. Now add the garam masala and the ginger garlic paste.

5. Once the raw smell of the garlic goes add the tomato puree

6. When done add the ground masala and let it simmer for 5 minutes

7. Add the soya chunks and salt and allow it to cook completely.

8. Pour in the spinach paste and let it simmer on medium flame for 5 - 10 mins

9. Serve hot .......

I am glad to send this recipe along with a few more to Sangeeth's calcium event. Below are the list of the other recipes that I am sending in.

1. Vendakka Varuval
2. Peas Pulao in Coconut Milk
3. Strawberry Banana Milkshake
4. Mango Milkshake
5. Spicy Chili
6. Mor Kuzhambu
7. Dhal with greens
8. Makhanwala Curry
9.Vermicilli Kheer / Semiya Payasam

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bowtie pasta & chick peas

On this particular day, I had no idea what I was gonna make for breakfast so when I saw the can of chick peas I thought of making pasta with it. The pasta was ready fast and it tasted good and it wasn't heavy in flavor and it turned out to be the perfect breakfast for a weekday.

You will need:-
Bow ties - 2 cups (cooked al dante)
Chick peas - 1 small can (rinsed and drained)
Shallots - 1 chopped fine
Garlic - 1 clove finely chopped
Jalapenos - 2 chopped
Black pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
White cooking wine - 1/4 cup
Dry or fresh - oregano
Grape tomatoes - a few cut in two (optional)
Olive oil - 1 tbsp


In a kadai pour the olive il and when hot add the chopped garlic, shallots, jalapenos and then the chick peas. Fry it for a while and then add the oregano and the white wine. Once it reduces add the tomatoes, pepper and salt and let it cook until the tomatoes are tender and the aroma arises. Now add the cooked pasta and saute for a while and serve hot.
Could making breakfast get any easier?
I am sending this recipe to the A.W.E.D. Italiano event by DK of CulinaryBazaar.

Vengaya Kuzhambu

Among mom's cooking, a very favorite of mine is puli kuzhambu. It was like a comfort food for me, and now a days I make it whenever I feel homesick. Though it doesnt' t have the perfect taste like mom's, it gets better each time. It is a spicy that can be made with drumsticks, brinjal, ladies finger /okra or just shallots. It tastes great with rice and even dosas. It tastes better the next day as the flavor sets in and if kept in the fridge it will stay for atleast 3days and it will still taste yumm....
This time I made it for one fo my friends with just shallots.

You will need:-
Shallots - 1 bowl
Garlic - 4 cloves
Tomatoes - 2 sliced
Curry leaves - a few
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 4 to 5 pinch
Cookin oil - 3 tbsp
Tamarind paste- 1.5 tbsp
If using tamarind, soak around a lemon size of tamarind

In a kadai pour 1 tbsp of cooking oil and fry the following:-
Coconut - 1 cup
Dry red chilies - 5 nos
Pepper corns - 1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds - 2 tsps
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp

1. In a deep dish pour oil and when hot add the mustard seeds, urad dhal and the asafoetida.

2. Now add the cut garlic and shallots and cook it well

3. In the meantime grind the fried masala items into a fine paste by adding water.

4. Once the shallots are well done add the tomatoes.

5. When well done add the ground masala and add a little water and let it simmer for 5mins.

6. Add in the tamarind water or tamarind paste.

7. When it starts to boil add salt and let it simmer until the oil leaves the sides and it thickens a bit.

8. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with rice or dosas.

Entries for Curry Mela

Srivalli of Cooking 4 All Seasons, is hosting a wonderful event called Curry Mela. Since I wanna send her some of my old entries for the event I am just reposting an entry with the names of those recicpes. This entry also has the new entries to the event too..

1. Chicken in tomato gravy -

2. Egg Curry -

3. Baby corn with Soya -

4. Brinjal Poriyal -

5. simple and easy shrimp curry -

6. Peerkangai/ridge gourd dishes -

7. Makhanwala curry -

8. Shredded fish curry -

9. Shrimp masala -

10. Pepper chicken -

11. Sorakkai Koottu -

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sorakkai Koottu

Bottle gourd or sorakkai as it is called in TamilNadu, is a very regularly used vegetable in almost every home. It cooks fast and it is a nutritious one too. My mother-in-law is the one who introduced me to sorakkai and I have been making it almost every week for the past three years. It is one of Vivek's favorite veges. This is an easy recipe made with bengal gram and can be eaten with rice and rotis.

Require :-
Bottle gourd - 1
Bengal gram - 1 cup
Coconut - 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Green chilies - 4 nos
Salt to taste
Curry leaves - a few
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 3 to 4 pinch
Oil for seasoning
Salt to taste


1. In a deep kadai pour 3 cups of water and add the washed bengal gram and allow it to cook.

2.In the meantime, remove the skin of the vegetable and cut it into 1 inch cubes and keep it aside.

3. In a mixie grind the coconut, cumin seeds and green chilies together into a fine paste using little water.

4. Once the bengal gram is 3/4 done add the cut bottle gourd and let it cook. Add a little water if needed.

5. When half done add the ground paste and salt and let it simmer into a thick consistency.

6. In a small kadai pour 1 tsp of cooking oil and when hot add the mustard seeds, urad dhal, hing and curry leaves.

7. Once it stops spluttering add it to the kootu once it is done and mix it.
8. Serve hot with rice or rotis.

P.S. - If you do not prefer coconut you can grind around 2 tbspns of kaskas or sesame seeds,it will still be flavorful.

I am sending this to Srivalli's Curry Mela.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Vendakkai Varuval

Ladies finger a nutritious vegetable which can be used for so many dishes and a favorite of my son's. Vivek likes vendakka varuval very much and whenever i get good ones i make this for him.


Ladies finger - cut into small pieces 1 bowl
Cooking oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/4 tsp
Bengal gram - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 3 to 4 pinch
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Chili powder - 1/2 tsp or as per requirement
Curry leaves - a few
Coconut oil - a few drops

For almost every poriyal that I make, i add a few drops of coconut oil to it, as it enhances the flavor very much.

In a kadai pour both the oils and once its hot add the mustard seeds, urad dhal, bengal gram, asafoetida and cumin seeds.
When the spluttering stops add the curry leaves and the chopped ladies finger.
Cook it on medium heat. When half done add the turmeric powder and the chili powder.
Mix it well and then add the salt.
Remove once well done and serve it hot with rice.
Try it with dhal and rice.

I am sending this entry to Sangeeth's, Calcium Rich event.