Saturday, July 16, 2011


My husband and I went to a restaurant here in San Diego for a buffet. Being vegetarians, we knew our options would be limited but still we wanted to give it a try since its a very famous restaurant here in San Diego for Sunday Brunches. So there we tasted this butternut squash soup and I fell in love with this soup immediately. It was so rich and creamy. I can never forget the taste of it ever. We really loved the soup. Not only soup, we had so many vegetarian options as well. But this was super hit. So I decided to make this at home but never got a chance till now. When I went to my market this week for my veggies, I found butternut squash and I picked it immediately.  So, today, I am presenting to you all my fav butternut squash soup. 


Butternut squash - 1/2 of medium sized squash - 1.25 cups diced chunks
Onion - 1 medium
Carrots - 2 chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves (optional)
Butter - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste 
Red Pepper flakes - 1 tsp
Black pepper powder - to taste
Water/ Veggie broth - 1 cup
Heavy cream - 3 tbsp or to taste


In a pan, melt butter and add 2 cloves of garlic. When it turns golden brown take it out and toss it away. In that same pan, add onions and saute till it becomes caramelized. 

Add carrots and squash and saute for about a min and add water/ veggie broth just enough to cover the squash, salt and cover it. Let it simmer for about 20 mins. 
Make sure the squash and carrots are cooked well and is tender. If not let it simmer for another 10 mins till it becomes tender (You should be able to mash the squash with a fork).

Take the veggies in a blender and blend it to a smooth paste. 

Transfer the contents back to the pan with the stock and add spices according to needs. 

Let it cook for couple of mins and add about 3 tbsp heavy cream. 

The color of the soup is similar to color of carrot but since I added cream, the color is lighter than the usual. 

Serve hot with garlic bread and relish the soup! 
Sending this to Deb' Souper Sundays

Friday, July 15, 2011


This month Srivalli sent us the recipe of Punjabi Mango Pickle from Simran's Blog for ICC. It was really exciting for me because I don't make pickle so much. I always thought it is a process to make pickle and I assumed that I might not be so good like our grand moms or mom. But as soon as I saw this recipe, I was so excited to try it as soon as I could. It was very different. I am so used to the south Indian type of pickle. This one was a change for us.


Raw Mangoes - 5 kgs
Mustard oil - 250 ml
Salt - 700 grams
Methi / Fenugreek seeds - 100 grams 
Kalonji / Nigella seeds - 50 grams 
Saunf / Fennel Seeds - 100 grams
Turmeric powder - 100 grams 
Whole Peppercorns - 50 grams 
Sugar - 2 tbsp 

But we got the quantity reduced by Srivalli which is below

Raw Mangoes - 1/2 kgs
Mustard oil - 50 ml
Salt - 70 grams
Methi / Fenugreek seeds - 10 grams 
Kalonji / Nigella seeds - 5 grams 
Saunf / Fennel Seeds - 10grams
Turmeric powder - 10grams 
Whole Peppercorns - 5grams 
Sugar - 1/2 tsp


Wash mangoes and cut into small cubes and dry it under sun for 2-3 hours. 
Keep creamic/glass bowl dry and ready.
In the bowl, add  all the following whole spices - kalonji, fenugreek seeds, pepper, salt, sugar, turmeric and mix well. 
Transfer it to another ceramic jar and keep in the sun for another day. 
Add mustard oil to cover the mangoes. 
The flavors are well brought out if it is left in the jar for about 15 days. 
Shake the jar everyday for 15 days. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I always wanted to send in recipes for the Bookmarked Recipes but somehow I fail in my attempt. The other main thing is, though I do send recipes to the event now and then, I always thought I must try Aipi's recipes and send it to her event so that it will be added fun and a simple way to make  my blog friend feel nice :-) So finally, the day came and beginning of this week I was looking at her blog to see what I could try. I am a pasta fan and so is my husband. But too bored of the regular white and red sauces mixed in it. So this penne in spicy pepper sauce grabbed my attention. Yesterday, I made all arrangement, bought necessary grocery and made this recipe. We both really enjoyed our dinner so much. I loved the spicy sauce ( I made it little bit more spicy) with basil flavor... It tasted sooo good. I am really happy that I am posting this recipe for her event and I wish and pray that I should be able to send in entries to all my blogging friends events.  Without any delay, I shall now give you the recipe.

The original recipe is here. I followed the exact same recipe with smaller proportion for just the two of us.


Red Bell Pepper - 1 chopped roughly
Garlic - 2 cloves
Tandoori Masala - 1 tsp
Walnuts - Less than 1/4 cup chopped
Red Chilli flakes - to taste
Salt - to taste
Basil - 2 tbsp chopped 
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
Veggies - own choice - i used carrots, zucchini and squash - 1/2 cup chopped
Penne Pasta - 1 cup


Cook the pasta and set aside. 

In a pan, heat oil and saute red bell pepper and garlic until tender. Blend them in a blender with walnuts, basil, tandoori masala. Grind it to a smooth paste. 

In a pan, heat another tbsp of oil and saute onion and other squash till they become tender. Mix in the ground paste and let it cook for about a minute or two until it blends well with veggies. Add salt according to taste. 

Now stir in the pasta and mix well and let it cook for another minute or two till the sauce mixes well. 

Serve hot with garlic bread. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Kala Channa Sundal/ Black Chick Pea Salad

My husband and I love this type of sundal. I try to make sundal  often to balance our proteinn intake. This is really simple and you can just have it as a salad or as side dish to rice. I usually try to sprout it for more fiber but today I dint really have time to let it sprout so I just made this sundal. 


Black Chickpea/ Kala channa - 1 cup soaked overnight
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Coconut - 1 -2 tbsp grated
Asafoetida - a pinch
Mustard - 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp


Cook chickpea ( with some salt )separately and leave it aside. 

In a pan, heat oil and add mustard. when it splutters, add cumin seeds and asafoetida. Add the cooked chickpea and saute for about a min. Taste and check if you need more salt. Add accordingly. 
Mix in the grated coconut and turn off heat. Serve hot. 
Sending this to Shoba's Cook it Healthy and also to Taste of Pearl City's Anyone can cook series

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Radish Leaves Paruppu Usili

We all are so used to the regular veggies for our paruppu usili. This is a different one. I was talking to my mom about these fresh leaves from my garden. She then said that even the leaves of radish are edible which I never knew. Later she gave me an idea of making paruppu usili with these leaves rather than the usual keerai sambar. So I tried this today and it came out really well. I just had handful of leaves so I got just the cup above full of paruppu usili. What ever said and done, it is always special when it is grown in your own garden. We really relished this for our lunch. It was so great to eat our home grown veggies. I used these radishes for my salad along with some cherry tomatoes ( home grown ). 

Nutritional Benefits:

Channa dal and toor dal are rich in protein. 
Radish leaves are said to be rich in Vit C content, calcium and protein. 


Radish Leaves - Handful (basically its leaves of a bunch of small red radishes)
Channa dhal - 2 tbsp (Soaked for about 4 hrs)
Toor Dhal - 2 tbsp (Soaked for about 4 hrs)
Red Chilii - 2
Oil - 1 tbsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Salt - to taste
Mustard - 1 tsp
Urad dhal - 1 tsp
Turmeric - a pinch


Grind soaked toor dhal along with channa dhal, red chili, asafoetida, turmeric, salt into a paste. Add just sufficient water to make it to a paste. 
Heat a pan and add oil. When hot enough add mustard seeds. When splutters, add urad dhal and asafoetida. When it turns golden brown, add the groung paste and let it cook. Sprinke water when necessary to let it cook. Cover it with lid for about couple of mins till it cooks well. 

Add the chopped radish leaves and start to saute the mixture untill the dhal mixture becomes crumbly and does not stick to the pan. By then these leaves will also be cooked. Add salt if necessary. 
The dish is ready. Serve it with sambar rice or just mix with hot rice and relish. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Simple Salad With Home Grown Veggies

We were so excited to see our crops grow. The best part is when you see them give the vegetable. Believe me! Its such a great experience and feeling of accomplishment when you get fruits from your garden. We were so thrilled to see our harvest today. Let me take you through it. 

Some Cherry tomatoes and radishes


Few Fresh Basil and Mint Leaves


Can we call it a perfect HOME MADE SALAD?????  I squeezed some lime juice and salt and pepper. We wanted to relish every bit of the vegetable so we ate it raw. I din't want to disguise it in any form or curry or gravy just to bring out the fresh taste of the veggies. It tasted so good. We were fully satisfied with all our efforts in growing these.  

I made another dish with radish leaves. Will be posting it soon. Till then you all take care!
Sending this to Deb's Souper Sunday's

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Spicy Pakoda

My husband was working from home and as you know we feel hungry when we stay at home. So he wanted to eat pakodas. I am used to making pakodas according to my recipe book. This time I wanted to try something different. So as I was browsing internet, I found Vah Chef's pakodas. I tried the exact same way and it came out really tasty. I always felt my pakodas were not that spicy but this one was so good. My husband doesn't eat spicy food so much but he loved this dish. Since I took the exact same recipe, I am just copying the link here . The only thing is I dint have curry leaves and cilantro according to the video. So my recipe excludes those ingredients. 

Sending this to US Masala's Bookmarked recipes hosted by Priya of Mharo Rajasthan's Recipes


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