Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mysurpa / Mysore Pak

How many of you have seen folks from Coimbatore talking in awe about the famous MysorePak from the great Sri Krishna sweets, Coimbatore? If I remember my childhood correctly, the traditional Mysore Pak made in South Indian marriages used to be slightly hard. Sri Krishna sweets came out with a totally soft, delicious mouth watering version, which changed my illusion of this sweet. Unlike others they claimed their product has been ‘made only with pure ghee’. Mysurpa became one of my favourite sweets only after tasting this Sri Krishna Sweets product which easily melts as soon you put it in your mouth.

Mysurpa or Mysore Pak

I followed the recipe from Mahanandi. I learnt from a few other places that we can add milk too as one of the ingredients. I personally don’t prefer to add milk as I wanted to refrigerate and preserve the sweet for a longer period. As said in the recipe, you need to make sure that you use the freshest ingredients possible. Also be sure to wait until you see the pores coming up before you switch off the stove and take away the vessel else you may end up with a dish which gives the raw smell of the flour.

Click here Mysurpa/Mysore Pak Recipe

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Coconut Rice / Thengai Saatham

Having been brought up near the Kerala and Tamil Nadu border, it is no surprise that we used to add coconut virtually in every dish possible. The simplest and most obvious of them is the Coconut rice. During my school days, my mom used to prepare the coconut rice early in the morning and pack it along with some pickles as my lunch box. It was yummy and filling. You can add cashews and channa dal by slightly roasting it to add a rich taste to the final product.

Revathi’s recipe is the most common one and definitely a must make one. You can also try a slightly different version by adding elaichi, cardamom and cinnamon mixture with grated coconut, cumin seeds and cashews.

People living outside India may find it difficult to get fresh coconut and may be used to frozen grated coconut. I make it a point to make use of fresh coconut whenever available and use the frozen version in less important dishes.

I would like to add a line of warning here for weight watchers. Coconut contains high saturated fat and you may have to restrict yourselves from having coconut dish often.

Click here Coconut Rice / Thengai Saatham Recipe

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Vegetable Jaipuri / Mixed Vegetable Curry / Mixed vegetable Kurma

This is a recipe I tried and loved a lot, now I make the masala powder in excess and store it in an airtight container, for it comes handy when I want to try the dish again. I am from the southern part of India and we do not use much of tomatoes in the gravy, but we have a more of tamarind and coconut base. So any dish with a dash of coconut and has a tomato base I am for it, since I find it as a blend of north Indian and south Indian gravy.

Different combination of vegetables can be used and I have tried it with carrot potatoes and peas as mentioned or also with beetroots and beans. I do not pressure cook the vegetables because I hate to loose all the boiled water which is rich in nutrients, instead I cook it in a separate wide bottomed vessel with very less of water. Finally when the vegetables have to be added to masala mix, add the vegetables along with the water left. (Usually it will be very less)
I have to mention few words about kajal’s blog, pictures speak more than words in her blog. She has patience to photograph each and every step of the recipe. This helps an amateur cook like me a lot.

Enjoy vegetable jaipuri with roti.

Click here Vegetable Jaipuri / Mixed Vegetable Curry / Mixed vegetable Kurma Recipe

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Idli Upma

Idli upma is a delicacy made from leftovers and is a very common breakfast or tiffin in Southern India. In South India idli is a staple breakfast and my mother would make idli upma in the evenings atleast twice a week with the leftover idlis. It would taste heavenly especially when you are tired and hungry back from school. My breakfast for today is idli upma with the leftovers from yesterdays idli. I do not make idli as often as in India, but when made usually there are no leftovers. Since I love this idli upma a lot, I make few idlis extra and save it for this purpose.

I followed the same procedure as of anupama but with my mothers touch. I used some chopped pearl onions along with the other ingredients that were fried. The fried idlis along with onions would be an excellent combo. Do not use fresh idlis to make this upma, since you cannot get the exact texture, if needed u can refrigerate the fresh idli for two hours and then use it make this dish.

Enjoy idli upma with sambar , chutney or curd.

Click here for Idli Upma Recipe

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Bell Pepper Sambar / Capsicum Sambar

I wanted to try capsicum sambar for a long time and was not very successful in finding a good recipe for capsicum sambar. With the very less of Indian vegetable options in US, I always look out for a way where I can blend the Indian way of cooking to these vegetables. For instance capsicum is usually used in North Indian dishes and is not a common vegetable used regularly for authentic cooking atleast from where I come from. But I like capsicum a lot I add it in salads, kurma, fried rice and any stir fry if possible.

This capsicum sambar turned out very tasty and next time I am planning to try it with masoor dal or moonga dal, first time did not want to take any risks. A bit unusual to make a sambar without any tomatoes and onions, but I believe people who have cooked, photographed and took the strain to blog about the recipe. So played along and followed the recipe, with a very minor alteration (there it is!!!) I added the grind spice mix and allowed it to boil for a while. But I guess it is not necessary, since none of the spices gives a very raw smell, provided it is properly roasted before grinding.
Enjoy the capsicum sambar with rice or dosa.

Click here for Bell Pepper Sambar / Capsicum Sambar Recipe

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Chicken Kofta / Chicken Masala Balls

Chicken Masala  Balls
I had recovered from my cold and today we had a break from the cold weather too. I wanted to enjoy my evening in the patio with spiced buttermilk and a crunchy appetizer. It has been a while I had made non-veg dishes so had brought some boneless chicken last weekend. So browsed for recipe as usual to find a recipe online, what fun is it to cook a recipe you already know.
Many of the bloggers had linked this recipe and when I had a look at the photo I had an idea why. A mouth watering photo when I am hungry is good enough for me to try this recipe. Grind the spice mixture separately into a coarse paste before the chicken and onions are added to grind. Otherwise the spices would not not be properly grind. Sailaja had mentioned that the chicken balls can be grilled to get a healthier version, but I tried it with just four balls. The taste of the baked version was not bad; but definitely not a match to the crispy fried ones. While baking mix some oil along with the chicken mixture and brush the balls with ghee(Is it supposed to be a fat free version?) or oil. I tried it as a combination with the chutneys used for chaats.

This is a brilliant must try recipe or chicken lovers. Thanks to sailu and chandralekha aunty who taught her.

Enjoy the recipe with tomato sauce or green chutney.

Click here for Chicken Kofta / Chicken Masala Balls Recipe

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Baby Potatoes Fry

With the change in climate and temperature fluctuations I had sinus for the past two days and could not update the blog properly. Today I wanted to have something spicy and yet not a lot of hassle to prepare. If you have to meet this condition baby potatoes fry is a good choice, so I settled rasam and the potato fry. Regular potatoes can be used if you do not have baby potatoes, but baby potatoes some how is good, maybe because of the texture.

I followed the exact recipe as from “Vcuisine” with only one alteration, that too since I was lazy. I added the sesame seeds along with the grind mixture so that the work is easily done. Prick the potatoes with a toothpick, so the masala gets in. A fork can also be used but still a toothpick will be better.

Enjoy the baby potatoes fry with rice or roti.

Click here for Baby Potatoes Fry Recipe

Simple measures for your Child's Safety

Let me share some useful pointers which I got through a forwarded email. Please leave a comment if you have any more tips like this.

Here is a list of commonly to prevent many commonly occuring accidents.


Electricity is dangerous. Children love to stick objects into exposed electrical outlets. Use dummy plugs to cover unused outlets — if these are not readily available, simply buy a new plug and insert into the outlet.

Avoid leaving long lengths of power cords exposed — the child can pull these and cause an appliance to fall. Also make sure that all the power cords are in good condition, without being frayed. Avoid using too many extensions since these can overheat and cause a short circuit or a fire.

If you are having a new home or flat built, ask the electrical contractors to install an Earth Linked Circuit Breaker (ELCB). This is a device that will instantly shut off the supply to the home if it detects an earth leak, such as when someone accidentally gets an electric shock. You can also request that all the outlets and switches be installed at a height above the reach of the average toddler.

The kitchen

Many household accidents happen here.

Children love to play with fire — do not leave matches around where a child can get hold of them. Teach children about fire safety from an early age. Also, do not leave pots and pans on the gas or range unsupervised. Ensure that the handles of saucepans or other vessels are turned away — this will make it harder for a toddler to reach up and tip the contents over himself.

Keep all knives, forks and other sharp objects out of reach. This includes items like mixer blades.

Keep all kitchen and other household cleaners out of the reach of children, preferably under lock and key. This also applies to kerosene, if you use it.

The bathroom

Keep all cleaning agents, such as acids and detergents in a locked cabinet. Many of these compounds are highly corrosive and can do serious damage if ingested.

Adjust the temperature control on your geyser so that it is not too hot — you should be able to hold your hand without discomfort in the hot water stream.

Food safety

Many foods can be dangerous for small children since they can aspirate the items, which will result in blockage of the breathing passages. The air passages of a child are relatively small and are easily blocked. In addition, children often talk or laugh with food in their mouth. It is difficult to enforce the following safety tips but medical professionals see many disasters that could have easily been avoided.

Children under five years should not eat hard items like murukku, seedai and hard candy. Nuts are especially dangerous. Popcorn (which is light) can easily be aspirated into the lungs.

Teach children not to put too much food into their mouths and also not to talk with food in the mouth.


Many toys can be dangerous. There are no enforceable guidelines in India about toy design and safety issues. You can take the following steps to ensure that toys do not hurt your child.

Make sure that the toy is age appropriate — what is suitable for an older child may be unsafe for a younger child.

Watch out for toys with sharp edges and small parts — children below three years can aspirate small parts and choke.

Avoid toys that have paint that peels off. The paint can be ingested when a child puts it into his mouth.

If a toy uses button cells, be very careful since toddlers can swallow them.

Baby walkers

Baby walkers can be extremely dangerous and are totally unnecessary. Babies who use walkers do not start walking any faster than others. However, babies do not have the ability to control the extra mobility provided by a walker and can run into furniture or other objects, or fall down stairs and get hurt.


Go around the house regularly and ensure that there are no sharp edges exposed that can hurt a child.

Keep all medicines out of the reach of children. Many tablets look like candy and toddlers love to eat them. Even medicines like iron tablets and vitamins are dangerous.

Do not give leftover medicines prescribed on a previous occasion or for others to a child — it may be both inappropriate and dangerous.

Do not allow children to play unsupervised on balconies.

Do not allow children to play on the rooftop, even if supervised. Most parapet walls are not high enough to prevent a child from falling over.

Be extremely careful around stairs — infants and toddlers can easily fall down and injure themselves. If you have open stairs in a house, consider having a carpenter make a temporary safety gate until the child is old enough to use the stairs without assistance.

Do not place chains or other closed loop like objects around a child's neck. These can get caught on objects and strangulate the child.

Keep agarbati and other burning objects well away from children — children sometimes try to look at the glowing tip and get burns on the face.

Do not allow children to play with or handle plastic bags — these can suffocate a child if placed over the head.

Water safety

Children have no innate fear of water and must be carefully supervised. Even a bucket with only a few inches of water at the bottom can be a death trap for a toddler who could fall into it head first.

Be extremely wary when small children are in or near swimming pools or other water bodies. Most incidents of drowning happen in the presence of the parents or other adults. It is impossible for one person to effectively supervise a group of children and one child can easily be missed in a large group.

Travel safety

Two wheelers: No one should ride a scooter or motorcycle without wearing a helmet. Since paediatric helmets are not available, ideally no child should ride on a two-wheeler. Children are much more prone to head injuries than adults because the size of the head is larger relative to the body and therefore children fall headfirst. Even a very low speed accident can cause serious or fatal injury.

More than two people should never ride a two-wheeler. Unfortunately, it is all too common to see entire families on the same vehicle.

Car Travel: Ideally, all occupants in a car should wear seat belts — even low speed accidents can cause serious injury to passengers not wearing seat belts.

In addition, children should travel only in a properly designed child safety seat. Unfortunately, these are generally not available in India. In the absence of car seats, the following safety measures may be of some help.

Do not allow children to travel in the front — if the car stops suddenly, the child will be thrown forward and can sustain serious head injuries by hitting the windshield or dashboard.

Do not allow children to sit in an adult's lap. In the event of an accident, both will be thrown forward and the adult's weight will crush the child.

Wear seat belts, even if you mainly drive within the city — children emulate adults and they too will learn to use seat belts if you set an example. However, do not fit an adult seat belt onto a child until he is old enough, otherwise serious damage can happen in the event of an accident. In general, a child can wear an adult seat belt when he is about 4.9 feet (145 cm) tall, or weighs more than 36 kg.

Do not allow children to play with items like pencils, sticks, etc. since these can injure the child or another occupant in the event of the vehicle coming to a sudden stop.

Similarly, do not keep large, unrestrained objects in the passenger compartment — these can be thrown out and injure occupants during a sudden stop.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Sandesh / Bengali Sweet made from paneer

This was another recipe I made last weekend from the paneer prepared at home. Sandesh is a Bengali sweet and I have got a taste for Bengali and Maharashtrin sweet from my neighbors. I definitely can blame my sweet tooth, but after they introduced me to so many sweets I can ever resist myself nowadays from making one a week.
This is a quick fix for a sweet when there are guests over for dinner. Make the paneer the previous day and freeze a part of the paneer for a dish the next day. With the other half prepare this sweet and refrigerate, it will definitely be a hit in any party.

When preparing the dish, precaution should be taken that all the water from the paneer should be extracted while preparing the paneer. This can be done by placing a heavy vessel on the top of the paneer and pressing it as hard as possible. Nidhi gupta has suggested not to heat the paneer and sugar mixture, but I heaed the mixture for about 2 -3 minutes in a heavy bottomed non stick pan. Then while removing from heat add a bit of rose water or rose essence to get the flavor, as the store brought ones. If you want your sandesh to be colorful add kesari powder or dissolve saffron threads in the rose water and add it to the mixture. Make the sweet into desired shapes of your choice and refrigerate.

Serve sandesh when it is cold and fresh.

Click here for Sandesh / Bengali Sweet made from paneer Recipe

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Mango Kuzhambu / Kulambu / Mango Curry / Pulusu

I have a story about this recipe before I get to the actual content. This was a recipe I tried in my early years, I guess when I was in ninth grade or so. I saw the recipe in a cookery show and wanted to surprise my mother that evening before she was back from work. This recipe requires the basic ingredients usually available at home, other than mango. We had a mango tree at our backyard in our old house so there will be a lot left out, after gifting baskets to our neighbors and saving some for the pickles, enough for the next year. I miss the fresh smell of mangoes and a nice relaxing stroll at the backyard. It was a pleasant shock to my mother that evening and she enjoyed (or pretended to) the very sour curry that evening. I did not know then, that the tamarind has to be adjusted depending on how sour the mango is.

Ok here is the recipe.

Mango – 1 medium sized.
Tamarind – small lime size.
Curry leaves
Mustard seeds
Jaggery – 2 tsp
Asafoetida - pinch

For Grinding
Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp.
Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
Dry Red chilies – 2
Coconut grated – 6 tbsp

1.) Cut the mango into small cubes and set aside. It is not necessary to peel the skin.
2.) Dry roast red chilies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds , fenugreek seeds and coconut. Grind the above mixture.
3.) Boil the cut mango pieces in the tamarind extract till almost tender.
4.) Then add the grind paste to the mangoes and bring it to boil. If the consistency of the curry is too thick you can add water.
5.) Add the jaggery and allow it to boil for another 5 minutes.
6.) Finally do the tadka(Seasoning ) in a separate pan and add it to the curry.

Enjoy the mango pulusu with rice.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Cabbage cooked with Besan / Peeth Perleli Bhaji

The number of food bloggers in the community should be nearly equal to infinity, otherwise how come I stumble across a new blog daily. It is really inspiring and encouraging me to cook, knowing so many of us share a common hobby.

Today as I was searching for some good recipes in cabbage, found this one with a combo. I would have never tried, if not for that appealing photo. I know very few cabbage recipes, yesterday tried sodhi (cabbage cooked in coconut milk) and while browsing I also found this recipe in cabbage. I felt instantly that this is one recipe, I can give it a try without much alteration or hesitation and with the ingredients used I think I will like it.

I am planning to have it for lunch tomorrow, since wanted to have a day's break for cabbage.

The only one I may alter is the amount of besan flour as I have not used so much of besan flour in any of the recipes other than the bhaji’s. Depending on how it is turning out I may adjust the amount of besan flour. Really wishing it would yield the same results as in manasi’s kitchen.

Enjoy the cabbage curry with roti or rice.

Click here for Cabbage cooked with Besan / Peeth Perleli Bhaji Recipe

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sodhi / Cabbage in Coconut milk

With so many varieties of cabbage available having a different recipe in hand is good. I was ready to try this recipe after having a look at the title. For people who have tasted cabbage kootu or know the recipe for cabbage kootu it is almost the same recipe without the dhal. To get a similar taste then I grinded the chilies and jeera long with the coconut milk (3rd time). Cabbage slow cooked in coconut milk will taste heavenly and I love it as a combo with curd rice.
I like this dish for two reasons.
1.) Not much of spices other than cumin seeds, chilies and salt.
2.) Though not much of spices, it is not bland, since the chilies are grinded it is usually spicy even for 2 -3 chilies and I usually make sure I get a jolt of heat, especially when had with curd rice.

Enjoy sodhi or cabbage curry with rice or rotis.

Click here for Sodhi / Cabbage in Coconut milk Recipe

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Cook's Thesaurus

“The Cook's Thesaurus is a cooking encyclopedia that covers thousands of ingredients and kitchen tools. Entries include pictures, descriptions, synonyms, pronunciations, and suggested substitutions”. This quote was taken from the website as a brief description of what you can expect from the link. I personally find the information given in the website extremely useful.

Just have a look at the lentils section.

All the lentils are listed with a short description and a nice picture. If this sample does not excite you much, it may be because we are very familiar with the lentils and their varieties. This website can be a boon when you are trying a recipe with a new ingredient.

I do not make many dishes with cheese, but Italian food is my favorite. When I experiment things in my kitchen with cheese, I know for sure this link will be useful. Infact the fact that there are so many varieties of cheese was a shock to me, I thought there would be a soft cheese, semi soft cheese and firm cheese but going through each variety of cheese gives insight to know further about the texture and variations in flavor.

Here are two more links that would give you a feel about the contents of the website.


Cook Thesarus is a website you can definitely have a peek before you shop for any new ingredient so don't forget bookmark it.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Egg Curry with Potatoes and Peas

Today for dinner I decided to have the store brought parathas along with pickle, curd /yogurt and then relax. But after a while I wanted to have a simple curry along with the parathas, then more I thought about it , the more I wanted to make something that would taste great with the parathas. Finally settled with egg curry cooked along with potatoes and peas from Foodiesbar. I have never boiled eggs in a pressure cooker so just cooked them in water on a stove top. You have a peek on this post if you want to make the perfectly boiled eggs. Two more alterations I made to the dish are the following.
1.) Instead of 3 tsp of tomato puree used 1 tbsp of puree and a freshly chopped tomato instead.
2.) Regular potatoes were replaced by baby potatoes, since I thought it would be easier to absorb the masala. Infact cooking the potatoes in the masala, make holes gently with a fork.
Cook the dish on low flame until done and garnish it with coriander leaves. Enjoy the egg curry with rice or roti.

Click here for Egg Curry with Potatoes and Peas Recipe

Introducing a New Health Site !!

Today let me introduce to a new health resource website HealthAdel. They offer all health related information in a unique and easy to understand way. The portal itself is broadly categorized as treatments, procedures, illnesses and conditions and lifestyle. HealthAdel assures that they are trying to create a comprehensive collection of answers to health problems, covering the most unknown problems to the most common, such as tips to help lose weight, information on pregnancy and health insurance, acne treatments and depression. Here is a sample, where you can get lot of information about Natural remedies for gout.

As of now, there are not many pages on their portal but the existing ones give us some idea about where they are heading towards. I would have had a better experience, if they had more pictures displaying the symptoms and treatments. Let us wait with our fingers crossed.

Note: Please note that this a PayPerPost using

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Kadai Paneer

What good is the paneer we made if we do not use it in a recipe? So I made kadai paneer with the leftover paneer yesterday. Kadai paneer is actually a quick recipe and gives amazing result for the work done. The kadai paneer I made was a fusion of recipe from video jug and sailu’s kadai paneer. Video jug has suggested making the kadai paneer without onions and that was slightly out of my league since I love onions. So I followed mostly sailusfood , but added the grind coriander seeds and chillies from videojug. The kastoori methi gives a distinctive flavor to the dish, though sailu had suggested chopped coriander leaves can be used instead, but I feel kastoori methi is hard to be replaced especially in this recipe.

VideoJug: How To Make Kadhai Paneer

The video jug has a wonderful video of the chef cooking kadai paneer, but at times I am just in a mood for a good read. So I have posted both the links below.
Enjoy kadai paneer with Chappathis or naan.

Click here Kadai Paneer Recipe