Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tomato Puli Kozhambu / Tomato Gravy

My paternal grand mom used to make this when ever she stayed with us. I loved this kozhambu. Its spicy and tastes great with rice or dosa or idly. When ever she came home, first thing I ask her is to make this for me. In a week she would make atleast twice just for me. Its very simple. No need for any special ingredients. One day when I dint know what to make, I was reminded of this kozhambu. I made this one and it became a hit.


Tomato - 1
Tamarind - lime size or tamarind paste would work too
Water - 2 cups
Salt - to taste
Turmeric - a pinch
Red Chilli Powder - 1 tbsps or more according to spice level.

For Seasoning

Oil - 2 tbsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Curry leaves - 6-8
Mustard - 1 tsps
Urad dhal - 1 tsps
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsps


First mash the tomato in 1/4 cup water and keep it aside. You could add tomato with mashing it too. Just cut it into 4 - 6 pieces.

Extract 1 cup thick tamarind juice

Heat some deep pan or deep vessel and add oil. When hot add mustard. When it splutters, add urad dhal, curry leaves, fenugreek seeds and asafoetida. Fry until urad dhal turns golden brown.

Add the mashed tomato, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and fry until tomato gets cooked. When tomato becomes tender, add tamarind extract and salt. Add rest of the water and let it boil for about 10 mins. Do not dilute it too much.

The gravy will become thick. Once it becomes thick, remove from heat.

Since it is thick, just a little portion of it will be good enough. You could store it for at least 3- 4 days in the fridge.

Serve it with hot rice or idly or dosa.

Enjoy Cooking!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Interested in some general tips ???

Lets take some time off from regular cooking and recipes. Thought why not share some useful cooking as well as general tips that is used in our day today life. 

Preventing Cold: It is getting cold in most countries. It is very important to remain covered so that we are not affected by the cold climate. We need to cover 3 most important parts of our body. Rest will be taken care automatically. Make sure you cover your chest, ears and feet. These are the most important parts that are main source of getting affected by cold. 

Bad Breathe: Had onions today??? Mouth smells of onion??? Do not worry.. Just munch few corriander seeds for 2 -3 mins and you could just spit them out. You will notice the smell is gone. You could chew cloves too. 

Tooth Ache: Cloves are very good for teeth. Especially clove oil is very good when you have tooth ache. 

Blisters in mouth: Do u have blisters or ulcers in your mouth?? Just gargle gingelly oil/sesame oil for 2-3 mins twice a day. Your blisters will be gone.

Mouth Freshness: Gingelly oil is a very good mouth freshener. Gargle every morning before you brush your teeth. You do not need any other mouth rinsing agent. Your mouth stays fresh. 

Lighter Skin: Like to have clear and light complexion??? apply few drops of milk or the malai from boiled milk everyday in the morning as soon as you get up. Wash it during your bath. Do this for a month, you will definitely see results. Continue doing it for long lasting results. Proved true for my mom. She used to apply and still continues to apply everyday and her complexion is great. 

Gastric Problem: If you have severe gastric problem and pain near your chest or stomach pain , just take one garlic pod, chew it and swallow it. You will see immediate relief. its hard to chew and eat it. You can chew, take the juice and drink water. You will be fine in just 5 mins. You could then chew some corriander seeds to get away with the garlic smell if you do not like it. 

Cholesterol Control: A pinch of cinnamon powder in warm water every morning brings your cholesterol level to control in just 1 month. 

Fridge Freshner : Baking soda is the best freshener for refrigerator. Removes all odors int he refrigerator. Known to almost everyone.

Dark Circles: To get away with dark circles, apply potato paste every day. It not only removes dark circles, but also any other black spots in the face. Just grind potato and apply it on the black spots or dark circle. 

These tips are tried and results enjoyed either by my immediate family , myself or my friends. Hope you too benefit from these tips. Meet you with many more such useful tips now and then. Till then have a wonderful day!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ragi Dosai / Finger Millet Crepe

Getting health conscience these days. Trying to avoid unnecessary carbs. :-) Ragi is one of my ingredients to reduce on my carbs intake. Ragi is very healthy . There are variety of dishes we could try with it. Dosa is another variety. My mom used to make it back in India but I never tried it. I used to have ragi in the form of porridge. But when I made this today, I really liked it so much. With more addition to the simple millet flour, the taste increases.


Ragi / Finger Millet flour - 1 cup
Rice flour - 1/2 cup
Salt - to taste
Asafoetida - a pinch
Onion- 1/2 finely chopped
Green Chilli - 1 finely chopped
Cilantro - Handful chopped
Ginger - 1 tbsps chopped

Makes about 8 dosas/ crepe


Mix all the above said ingredients with sufficient water. Make it into a smooth batter.

Heat the pan and take one laddle batter and make crepes. Let it cook for about 2 mins and then flip it to other side and let it cook for another 2 mins.

When both sides are cooked, serve it with chutney or sambar. I love it spicy, so I did a saute of green chillies in melted butter/ghee.

Tasted great with ghee and chilli.

Enjoy your day!!!

Sending this to Umm Mymoonah's Anyone can cook

Two at a time!!!

I received two awards at the same time from Gayathri - Gayathri's cookspot and  Soumya from Traditional Indian Cooking . It was really nice of them to share the lovely blog award. They have beautiful blogs. Please do visit their blogs for great entries.
In receiving this award, We have to

1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link. 

2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers.  Please don't leave it general and just invite all your blogger friends to collect the Award.  It's always nice to be nominated so please do the favour and nominate 15 bloggers to share the Award with.

3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they’ve been chosen.

So I chose 15 friends of mine in no specific order ...

1. Umm Mymoonah - Taste of Pearl City
2. Maya Varadhan - veggieglide
3. Pari - Foodelicious
4. PJ - Seduce your taste buds
5. Kamalikas -Silence Sings 
6. Sulagna - E Sense of spice n Fragrance
7. Sameena Prathap - My Culinary Creations
8. Adelina - Vegetarian Yogini
9. Palatable - Trick& Treat
10.Satya - Super Yummy Recipes
11. Aipi - US Masala
12.MS Chitchat - Chitchat@crossroads
13. Lisha Ajish - Malabari Kitchen
14. Hema - Salt to Taste
15 Padu - Paduskitchen

Monday, October 25, 2010

Keerai Masiyal - Spinach saute

I happened to remain dormant for about a week. There is no big reason. Somehow was caught up with lot of other work the whole week. Felt guilty for not looking at the blog for a while. Thought should definitely post something today. I made this today for my lunch. I love greens. In a week I make spinach atleast twice. I like to mix it with just steamed rice and eat. Or just cook it with some moong dhal and just add salt to it and i could eat a cup of it. This time I made this sauté. Its slightly different from our regular keerai kootu.


Spinach - 1 bunch
Onion - 1/2 finely chopped
Tomato - 1 chopped fine
Ginger - 1 tbps chopped
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsps
Asafoetida - a pinch
Green Chili - 1 slit into half


In a pan heat a tbsps oil. Add cumin seeds . Let it fry for few seconds and add asafoetida. Now add green chilli and ginger. Saute for about 10 seconds and add chopped onion. Fry for about a min and then add tomatoes.

Saute till tomato is almost cooked. Now add spinach, salt and mix well. Close it with lid and keep checking and mixing once in a while till spinach cooks well. Cook in medium heat. Add water only if necessary.

Once it is cooked, serve it with hot steamed rice and papad or with roti.

Sending this to Umm Mymoonah's Anyone can Cook

Hope to see you soon!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dhal Fry

When I was talking to my mom about what to cook one day, she told me that she made this toor dhal curry and it came out well. We usually use this technique for moong dhal but now we used the same recipe for toor dhal too. Most of the time, I just make some dhal and rasam for our lunch along with a vegetable. But everytime I made dhal, I used to just season it with curry leaves and mustard, add salt and mix it with rice. This time I tried this recipe and it was different and came out well. Not too elaborate yet tasty. 


Toor dhal - 1/4 cup
Big Onion - 1/2 chopped fine
Tomato - 1 chopped fine
Green chilli - 1
Ginger - 1 tbsp chopped fine or grated.
Salt - to taste
Turmeric - a pinch

To Season
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsps
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsps
Urad Dhal - 1 tsps
Asafoetida -  a pinch
Curry leaf - 6-8 leaves


In a pressure pan, heat oil and add mustard. When splutters, add urad dhal and add curry leaves cumin seeds, asafoetida and fry for few seconds. Addgreen chilli, ginger and fry for few seconds. 

Now  add onion and fry till it caramelizes. Add tomato and fry till it becomes tender. Add turmeric powder, mix well.

Add toor dhal and salt. Mix the ingredients well and add sufficient water to cook toor dhal. 

Close pressure cooker and let it cook for 2 sounds. (Mine needs 2 sounds. It varies according to different pressure cookers)

Mix well and garnish with cilantro. Serve it with hot rice along with papad. 

Its different from the regular dhal fry. 

Note: You could cook toor dhal seperately and then add it to the sauteed onion tomato and mix well and cook for about 5 mins and remove from heat. I somehow feel the pressure cook method simpler and easier. Consumes less time. 


I happened to read about this recipe from Girliechef. She had posted a recipe about phirni which instigated me to try it. The original recipe is here. I took the base from the recipe and tweaked it little to bring my version of the recipe. This week being Navarathiri, I had few friends who came home on thursday. I dint know what sweet to make that day and I thought about this Phirni that i saw in her blog. Thought why not make it. It came out very well. Thanks to Girliechef for her Phirni recipe..


Basmati Rice - 1/4 cup
Milk - 4 cups
Sugar - 1 cup
Cardomom - 6-8 powdered
Roasted nuts and raisins - 1 tbsp
Saffron Strand - 1/2 pinch


Cook basmati rice and mash it. Keep it aside.

Boil milk in a pan and when the milk starts to become thick, add this cooked and mashed rice to it. Mix well until the rice blends in milk. No lumps should be found. Let it boil for about 5 mins

Mix sugar, cardamom powder, saffron strands.

Bring it to boil for about 5 mins stirring in between so that milk doesn't get burnt.

Garnish with roasted nuts and raisins. You can transfer it in serving bowls and refrigerate for about an hour and then serve.

You can always dilute if you like thin consistency.

Sending this to Umm Mymoonah's Celebrate Sweets - Kheer started by Nivedita and to Khaugiri's Only Festive Food  started by Pari

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Carrot Halwa

I had invited my friend home for dinner on Friday. She is lactose intolerant. Initially when I called her and her husband home couple of years back for dinner, I made carrot halwa not knowing about her intolerance to milk in it. That day she told me she loved carrot halwa but most of the time wouldn't be able to eat it as most of the times it is cooked with milk. I felt bad the other day and never used to make any dish with milk products. Though we invited them lots of times I never made carrot halwa after that first time. This Friday I wanted to make it for her. So I tired this carrot halwa which dint have any kind of milk product


Carrot - 5 grated
Cardamom - 6 powdered
Sugar - 1 cup
Saffron strands - 1/2 pinch
Roasted Nuts - 1 tbsps

Makes Halwa for 2 people

Preparation :

In a pan add 1 tbps water and add the carrots and close it with a lid. Let it cook in the steam under medium low heat. Occasionally give a stir to see if the carrots are tender. If desired you can add ghee and cook the carrots.

Once the carrots get cooked well, add sugar, cardamom powder, saffron and mix well till sugar dissolves completely and caramelizes.

Remove from heat once it becomes thick.

Roast nuts in a microwaveable bowl for about 1 min. Check in between to see if it is roasted.

Garnish with roasted nuts and serve warm.

Tastes great with a scoop of Vanilla Ice cream.

Trust me with the smell of saffron strands and cardamom, it tasted great and my friend really loved it.

Sending this to Food Platte Series hosted by Akheela from Torview and to Preethi from Khaugiri's Only - Festive Food event started by Pari and also to Akhilas' DNSW - C

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quinoa (Kheen -Wa) Tabbouleh

Rice is our staple item. My husband and I need rice at least for one meal a day. Due to a signal in my husband's blood sugar levels, we wanted to take more care from the beginning. Though not alarming, prevention is better than cure is my policy. So the home maker (thats me) takes charge of diet conscience cooking, preparing meals with proper fiber content and less carbs. Thats when this quinoa came to my mind. I have had this long time back but dint know many recipes out of it. So I planned to substitute this grain for rice. I am trying to make different dishes as possible starting today with quinoa and many other rice substitute dishes. Lets see how far I succeed. This is just to start our new dietary plan.


Quinoa - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Tomato - 1 finely chopped
Onion - 1/2 chopped fine
Cucumber - 1/2 finely chopped
Parsely - 3 - 4 tbps finely chopped.
Lime Juice - 4 tbsps
Olive Oil - 3 tbps
Salt - to taste


Cook quinoa in 2 cups boiling water. When it cooks, you will notice a white sprout around the grain. Remove from heat when cooked and let it cool.

In the mean time cut all veggies and keep aside.

When quinoa comes to normal room temp, add tomatoes, onions, cucumber, lime juice, olive oil,salt, parsley and mix well. You can add more lime juice according to your taste.

Quinoa Tabbouleh is ready in minutes.

For other quinoa recipes, check quinoa upma 
Sending this to Vegetarian Foodie friday and to Girliechef's  Hearth and Soul

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Brussel Sprouts Curry

My mom used to make this dish when we were in Ooty, India. We used to get fresh brussel sprouts and one main reason I would love it is because it looks like a cabbage (smaller version) .I call it baby cabbage. I would feel so good to eat these small cabbage. I used to admire this vegetable so much that I used to analyse the layers and question my mom so much that she would loose temper. I was super excited when I found this here and everytime I bought it from the grocery store I would tell my mom about it and we would discuss about the days we spent in Ooty. :-) Now getting into business, first let me give you some health benefits.

Health Benefits: (Source :

Brussel sprouts provides cholestrol reducing benefits when steamed.

It has various cancer preventive nutrients

They are excellent source of vitamin C ans beta - carotene. Also rich in Vitamin E

It has various nutrients that help to regulate the body's inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system and prevent unwanted inflammation. 


Brussel Sprouts - 15 (I had only 15) Cut into 4 or 8 depending on the size
Onion - 1/2 big chopped fine
Tomato - 2 pureed
Saunf / Fennel Seeds - 1/2 tsps
Tomato Ketchup - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Garam Masala - 1 tbsps


Boil 4 cups of water and cook brussel sprouts in it. Cook till it just becomes tender. 

In a pan, heat oil and add fennel seeds. Fry for few sec and add onion. Fry till it caramelizes. Now add ground tomato puree, garam masala and fry till color changes. Add tomato ketchup and mix well. Add salt and let it cook for few mins. 

When everything blends well and oil separates, add cooked brussel sprouts and mix well.

Drizzle some water and cover it.  Let it cook well so that the gravy mixes well with the brussel sprouts. 

Once the water evaporates, remove from heat garnish with cilantro and serve with hot bread, chapathi or rice. 

Have a Wonderful Day!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Reposting Cilantro Rice

We went to my co sister's house last winter when her parents had also come. Her mom made this rice and I loved it. It was very simple and tasty. I learnt lots of recipes from her. In fact I learnt lots of cooking details from her during the time I stayed at their place. This dish has lots of flavor. Let me get to the recipe straight.


Mixed Vegetables - 1 Cup
Cumin powder - 1 tsps
Corriander powder - 1 tsps
Onion - 1/2 chopped
Oil - 1 tbsps
Basmati Rice - 1 cup

To Grind:

Cilantro 1 bunch
Cloves - 2
Cardomom - 1
Tomato - 1
Ginder - 1 tsps chopped
Garlic - 2-3 pods
Cumin powder - 1 tsps
Corriander powder - 1 tsps
Green Chilli - 1-2


Grind all the above said ingredients to grind. Grind it to a smooth paste. Need not add water. The water in tomato and cilantro is good enough.

Soak basmati rice in water for about 15 mins

In a pan, heat oil and add onions. Fry till it becomes translucent. Now add this groung paste and fry till the fresh green color changes to dark green. The color will change and the raw smell will fade.

Now add vegetables and mix well. Fry it for another minute

Now add rice, salt and mix everything well.

Add 2 cups water and transfer it to rice cooker.

Aromatic cilantro rice will fill your house with rich aroma and flavor.

Sending this to "Herbs and Flowers in my Platter" - Coriander leaves/Cilantro hosted by Keerthi and originally hosted by PJ of Seduce your tastebuds

Happy Blogging!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Happy Navarathiri With Semiya Payasam!

Wishing you all a very Happy Golu!! My golu started today with Semiya Payasam. My mom beleives in inviting our neighbors, friends and relatives especially women or small girls to come home. She tells me that on Fridays it is good to invite a lady known or unknown and feed them, give them thaamboolam ( some gifts with beetle leaves, nuts, turmeric and gulal). It is equivalent to offering it to Goddess Lakshmi. So I practice the same thing as much as possible. Today being Friday and starting of golu, I am taking this opportunity to invite all my blog friends to accept my semiya payasam as my personal and friendly treat.  This one is for you all!!!! :-) Hope you all like my semiya payasam.


Vermicelli - 1 cup
Sugar - 12-15 tbps tbps
Milk - 1/2 cup
Water - 2 cup
Cardomom - 4 powdered
Cashews - 4 broken
Raisins - 6 -10
Ghee - 2 tbsps
Saffron strands - a pinch
Kesari powder / orange color - a pinch


In a pan, heat 1 tbps ghee and fry vermicelli until it turns golden brown. Keep it aside.

In the same pan, heat another spoon of ghee and roast the nuts and raisins. Keep it aside.

Again heat the same pan and let 1 cup water to boil. When the water boils, add vermicelli and keep stirring till it is cooked well.

When the vermicelli is cooked, add sugar, kesari powder and stir well until is dissolves. Now add cardamom powder, milk, saffron strands and remove from heat.

Garnish it with the roasted nuts and serve hot or cold.

Sending this to Ummm Mymoonah 's Anyone can Cook event, To Preethi from Khaugiri's Only - Festive Food event started by Pari

Enjoy your Golu!!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spaghetti in Tomato Basil Sauté

Thinking about dinner drives me nuts. Somehow I have become lazy with this climate and dont feel like making anything. So when I went inside my kitchen to think about dinner, I found my spaghetti lying there in the corner. Of all dishes I feel pasta is very simple. So I decided to make something with spaghetti. What about veggies??? Oh no!!! I cant cut vegetables for pasta, I thought.. I was lazy but I had to come up with something for dinner. Thats when this idea struck me and I tried this dish which is very simple and very easy. It came out well and it passed the test and got an "A grade" from my husband. :-)


Spaghetti Pasta - 10 Oz
Tomato - 3 small
Basil - 2 tbsp finely chopped
Salt - to taste
Olive Oil - 1 tbsps
Garlic - 1/2 tbps chopped/grated


In a large pot, bring water ( Salt and Olive Oil added ) to boil and add spaghetti. Let it cook untill tender. Drain water and leave it aside.

In another pan, heat a tbsp oil and toss garlic and fry for few seconds.

I just pureed tomatoes with my food masher and added it to the pan. You can just add cut tomatoes. I was too lazy to cut into small cubes.

Add more salt if required and let it cook untill the tomatoes gets tender and you will get thick sauce.

Now add basil and stir well.

Add spaghetti and mix until everything blends well.

Thats it !!! Simple right??? The flavor of garlic with olive oil and tomato basil give a great taste to the dish..

Enjoy your Meal!!! Sending this to Ruth's Presto Pasta Night hosted by Claudia for this week

One More!!!

I got another another award from Merut - Eating with my mouth open. It is the lovely blog award from her. She has a nice space and great recipes. Do check both her blogs. Thanks Merut for giving me this award. This gives me more confidence and support to do better work. Thanks a lot once again.

I would like to share this award with all my fellow bloggers who have supported me. Thanks for your support friends :-)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Horse Gram soup

When I bought horse gram 2 weeks back, I was unaware of the goodness it had.  I just knew it was good for health in general terms and I bought it just for sake of a healthy addition to our regular food. But I was really amazed to know the actual nutritional facts about horse gram. It is horse food, imagine the strength in the food!!!! Though I bought it, I dint really use it much.  I felt as though I was preventing nutrition to enter into my body. This guilt feeling in me made me try this soup. The climate is changing and its getting cold. San Diego is seeing some rains for the past coupe of years. I wouldn call it rain but this drizzle is also a great boon to us. This great climate calls for a hot soup right??? So come lets enjoy this soup.

Health Benefits:

It is a cure for kidney and bladder stones.

It is also used to purify the menstruation in women.

It helps in controlling high blood pressure.

Important Point:  Horse Gram generates lot of heat in the body. Make sure you take sufficient substitues like yogurt, buttermilk, milk or drink lots of water after consuming any dish made out of horse gram


Horse Gram - 1/2 cup
Carrot - 1 cut lengthwise
Onion - 1/2 cut length wise
Broccoli - 3- 5 florets
Salt - to taste
Pepper - to taste
Oil - 1 tbsps
Cloves - 3
Bay Leaf - 1
Garlic - 1 tbps chopped fine
Sugar - 1 tsps
Basil - 1 tsps chopped


Soak Horse gram for about 5 - 8 hrs and cook it in a pressure cooker.

In a pan, heat oil, add cloves, bay leaves, garlic. Fry for few seconds and add onions.

Add carrots and cook for another 3 mins. Add broccoli and let the veggies cook for about 4 mins.

When the veggies become tender add horse gram, salt, pepper and water or vegetable stock according to your need. I used the stock of the cooked horse gram.

Bring everything to a boil. You could add basil for extra flavor. I did :-)

Add sugar, mix well and remove from heat. The reason to add sugar is that, horse gram has a bitter taste. So I added sugar to reduce that bitter taste. Or you use just water or vegetable stock instead of the horse gram stock itself and the bitterness would be very minimal

Serve hot with bread or croûtons.

Sending this to Deb's Souper Sunday's , Hearth and Soul
Susan's MLLA #28 Event hosted by Divya from Dil Se for this month


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