Thursday, December 6, 2007

Green Tomatoes

Green Tomatoes

Leaves have fallen, flowers have faded, yard looks dormant and dead, it was time to pull out Tomatoes trees that gave us a bounty through out summer. With the cold weather the last crop has mostly been green tomatoes, well I have never made anything with green tomatoes. Now I am in need of suggestion on what can I do with my last crop ?

Dear Readers, please suggest any recipes that I could use the bounty

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hot Badam Milk On A Cold Winter Night

Hot Badam Milk On A Cold Winter Night

We in Bay area experienced our first rain today, boy has the weather turned cold, the idea of getting out of the cozy comforter gives me a chill. How ever cold it is still Winter is a beautiful season, it all about cozing up around the fire place with kids, its about family, its about friends and its all about reminiscing the year that went by and also anticipating and getting ready to welcome the next year.

With the weather so cold I would hate to drink anything from the refrigerator, this is where the hot Badam Milk comes like a savior. This comforts the soul and gives a warmth to sustain a cold rainy night.
Badam milk is enjoyed both chilled and warm, I always had it cold in AP and hot or warm in Karnataka. Easy to make and store and a just a spoonfull to sooth your soul.
Ingredients ( this makes for a 1 1/2 cup of Badam Milk Powder)
1 cup of Badam /Almond slightly toasted
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp elachi powder (Cardmon)
1 tbsp Kesar
Grind all the above ingridents into a ine powder and store in a air tight container.
To Make Badam/Almond Milk
soak a handful of Badam for over night, peel the skin off and chop the almonds roughly.
Warm a glass full of milk add the above Badam/Almond powder mix well and top with chopped almonds.
To get this beautiful color add few strands of saffron to warm milk and allow it to stay for few min then add the saffron milk mixture to milk.

Enjoy the season with hot Badam Milk.

Thanks to Bee's Comments, decided to make this my entry to CLICK , theme for this month being Nuts. Thanks a ton Bee for the pointer would have missed it without your comment :)

For more info on this exciting event click on the logo.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Raw Mango Dal (Pulla Mavidikaya Pappu)

Raw Mango Dal (Pulla Mavidikaya Pappu)

Raw Mango Dal

Hmmm I love mavidikaya pappu, especially when the Mango is really raw. During my trip to India this year my aunt who is a great cook made some Mango paste for me from the sourest of the Mangoes you can find. Just a spoon full of this baby and the Dal turn into one delicious treat to be eaten either with Roti or Rice.

Now pickling Mango follows the same process of making pickle, raw mangoes sun dried and salted and a healthy dose of Haldi ( Turmeric) is added. This stays well for few months and this gives you the exact flavor of raw mango back home.

Pickled Mango Paste
So make sure to grab a box of this on your next visit to India and you will enjoy Mango Dal when ever you like.

2 tbsp Mango Paste
1 cup Toor dal cooked and made into a paste
Salt according to taste

For seasoning (Thadka)
1 tbsp Ginger paste
1 tbsp Garlic finely chopped
8-10 Curry leaves
a pinch of Hing
1/2 tbsp Jeera (Cumin)
1/2 tbsp Urad Dal
1/2 tbsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tbsp Ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 tbsp Oil

1. Add ghee and oil to a warm pan, add all the ingredients for thadka and when mustard starts to splutters and toor dal
2. To the above add Mango paste mix well add a little bit of water if the consistency seems thick
3. Allow it to boil for about 5 min

Remove from heat and serve with either roti or rice . This would be my entry for JFI hosted by

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Perfect Afternoon Snack - Corn Chaat & Blue Curacao Mocktail

Perfect Afternoon Snack - Corn Chaat & Blue Curacao Mock tail
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanks Giving, I for one had a blast with quite a few lunches and dinners and catching up with friends. This is the one week I wait for the entire working year to just relax and wind back and enjoy the 4 days of vacation and what better way to relax then to sip a cold mocktail, pairing with tangy and crunchy corn chaat.

Both of recipes for today have been inspired by my stay at Hyderabad this summer, I was so in love with the mocktails menu. We practically ate in restaurants every single night and mocktail was a must on the table. Few of my favorites in Hyderabad have been Chutneys,Angeethi,Little Italy, Basil , Phirangi Paani, Zhaafran, Ohri's, Fusion9, Gokhul Chaat, Minerva Coffee Shop and Tabla. Also the best part was the street fare food, corn masala was sold at every mall/stores. This was made of American corn with the choice of flavorings.

Blue Curacao is nothing but Sweet Corn Syrup with blue food coloring. You would get them in stores like Bev more etc..

Blue Curacao Mocktail


1 ounce Blue Curacao
3/4 cup club soda/Sprite/ Lemon Flavored soda's
pinch of salt ( I used sea salt)
1/2 table spoon of lime juice
few ice cubes
few mint leaves crushed (optional)
and peeled skin of lemon

Mix all the above in a Martini shaker and give it a good 15 shakes
Remove the cap and pour and a frozen raspberry and serve.

Corn Chaat

1 cup of boiled corn kernels
1/2 tbsp chaat masala
1/2 tbsp amchur
1/2 tbsp black pepper
salt according to taste
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1. Add butter to a warm pan, when melted add boiled corn and toss to coat butter well
2. Add all the dry ingredients and mix well.
3. remove from heat and sprinkle with lemon juice
Serve warm with cold Curacao Mocktail. Try this next time with your friends and I bet they would fall in love with it

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Nothing more comforting then slurping on a piping hot bowl of soup and cozing up watching a desi masala/Bollywood movie.With the advent of winter,well almost markets showcase beautiful gourds and squashes and other beautiful winter vegetables. I usually make regular desi version of squashes like sabji and stews,this time tried making roasted soup. Tried roasted butternut squash at a local restaurant and loved it to the core. Sage and Butternut squash make a good pair.

Roasting squash takes less time then you would expect. This is very earthy warm and comforting soup.

1 big squash peeled and cubed
3 cloves of garlic peeled
few sprigs of sage
1 tbsp of freshly ground pepper
1 cup of milk
salt according to taste

1. line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray like pam and spread the butternut squash pieces and garlic cloves
2. roast in the over for about 15-20 minutes at 350o till the butter nut squash turn golden brown
3. In a sauce pan add a tbsp of olive oil add the squash and garlic and mash using either a potato masher or a hand blender.
4. once smooth add milk,salt ,sage and pepper and boil till you see small bubbles
Remove from heat and serve warm with crackers , some good bread or a chili cheese sandwich.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Chili Cheese Sandwich

Chili Cheese Sandwich

I can vouch for this to be the easiest yet delicious breakfast/lunch/snack.Takes less then a like 2 minutes to make. So now when anything is this simple I am sold on it.This dish has very funny origins for me, but too personal to share but I am sure my friends who regular my blog will get a good laugh.
You can modify with a variety of breads and cheeses. You can use whole grains, white wheat and add a variety of cheese like Swiss, Cheddar, Provolone.


2 slices of bread ( wheat/whole grain/white)
1 slice cheese ( Cheddar/Provolone/Swiss)
1 green chili finely chopped

1. remove the crust from the bread
2. Place cheese on the bread and top it with chili pieces
3. place the other bread slice on the top
4. put the above in the sandwich maker and toast till done

Cut diagonally and serve hot with Chili sauce. It has been very very hectic at work.I have about more that 200 new items yet to read from my reader and technorati. Will need a long time to catch up.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Wait Wait Don't Tell

thats its chocolate eggs !!!
My entry for Click event hosted by the funniest and most dynamic duo in the blog world Bee& Jai of Jugalbandi. Theme for this month was EGGS !!.

Egg cakes, simple 3 steps

1. Make a hole about 1/2 inch hole in a egg

2. Remove the inside and clean with salt water and allow it to dry

3. Make a cale mix, I used to store brought Betty crooker mix, mix according to instructions

4. Fill in the dried egg shells with cake mix and bake according to instructions.

5. When cooled peel the shell off, and here come a beautiful sponge cake in perfect oval/egg shape.

6. For fun mix and match cake batter and also could dip the egg shaped cake in chocolate to make decidant choclate cover egg shaped cakes.




Chocolate eggs in a nest
Click on the logo for more info on the event ,rules and the 9 yards

Friday, October 12, 2007

A Punjabi Meal - Valpapdi Sabji and Chaas

A Punjabi Meal - Valpapdi Sabji and Chaas

Change is beautiful, specially change in weather after a hot summer fall is a much welcomed season, where evenings are still mild with crisp air, with colors of leaves changing and the noise of rattling leaves but change in weather also brings colds and fevers, this whole week was a preview of the winter to come with both kids being effected by cold and fever hardly had a chance to write and read. Weekend is much waited after a hectic week not to mention I have just changed jobs.
This weekend made a typical Punjabi lunch with dried Val papdi seeds, roti and my absolute favorite Chaas or salted lassi as I knew growing up.

Had Chaas first time here in Bay area in a small restaurant called Deedee’s, this is a family run restaurant where food truly tastes home made and it’s absolutely fresh. We colleagues used to frequent it while working in Mountain View area. Afternoon lunch was always served with a cold glass of Chaas. So today’s chaas is inspired from Deedee’s.


¼ cup think yogurt
¾ cup water
A pinch of salt
Pinch of cumin powder
Pinch of chaat masala

Beat the yogurt with a whisk add salt and water, mix well.
Top it with a pinch of jeera/cumin powder and chaat masala.

Dry Val Papdi Sabji
1 cup dry val papdi (soak overnight)
1 potato peeled and cubed
1 onion cubed into small pieces
1 tomato chopped
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tbsp kasoori methi
1 tbsp garam masala
2 tbsp ginger
2 tbsp haldi

pressure cook val papdi add ginger ,potatoe and salt to the water
in a pan add a tbsp of oil add ginger garlic paste and kasoori methi,fry for few seconds
add onions and tomatoes and fry
to the above add boiled and drained val papdi, garam masala
mix well and cook cover for 5 minutes
once removed from heat add ½ tbsp of lemon juice

Serve hot with roti’s ,cold glass of chaas and some farmer market's strawberries.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A trip to farmers market- Sun Dried Tomato Pasta, Bruschetta and Sour Dough Bread

A trip to farmers market- Sun Dried Tomato Pasta, Bruschetta and Sour Dough Bread

What can a trip to local farmers market inspire, well for me a tasty Bruschetta and whole wheat pasta with home made sun dried tomato pesto with all the fresh basil and other vegetables which are picked right off just hours before.

I am a huge supporter of local farmers market, I find it very therapeutic to walk in the market, browsing through the isles with hand written prices of the vegetable which might have been just hand picked few hours ago . Usually prices in the farmers market are pretty comparable to local stores some cases you might find them a little pricey but I don’t mind paying that extra dollar to the farmer who grew rather than the big institutions which make money out of the farmers.

I tend to go every week and there are only few more weeks before it closes for the year. My usual buys are fresh flowers, nectarines, squashes, zucchini, chilies and few bean varieties. These taste and smell extremely fresh and you can see the difference in quality.

This year as I have bragged earlier enjoyed a bounty of tomatoes in my back yard and the best part no fertilizers and no chemical were added to the soil so I do consider them partially organic.

Made sun dried tomatoes old fashioned way, cut tomatoes into slices and dried them in the sun for 2 days and Walla perfectly sundried tomatoes. Made sundried tomato pesto with fresh basil from farmers market. Also made bruschetta with bread brought from farmers market.

Sundried Tomato Pesto


2 cups sun dried tomatoes
1 cup basil chopped
½ cup olive oil
4 garlic
2 tbsp pepper
Salt according to taste
1 fresh tomato chopped

In a food processor chop sun dried tomatoes, then add basil, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Grind either course or fine depending on your liking; I ground to a fine paste.
Prepare pasta according to instruction and when boiled drain the paste and add the above pesto and mix well.


1 loaf of bread cut into thin/think slices (I used sourdough bread and cut into think chunky slices)
To make the topping
4 cups tomato finely diced
1 cup basil
3 garlic very very finely chopped
¼ Olive oil

Dice tomato into fine pieces; add finely chopped basil, garlic, pepper, salt and olive oil. Mix well

Pre heat over to 350, brush the bread with garlic and butter (optional) and toast in the oven for 3 min till it gets crispy.Remove from the over and top with tomato topping and serve

Bruschetta and pasta are what I called comfort food,makes an excellent, easy and tasty dinner or brunch

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mavalli Tiffin Room -MTR

Mavalli Tiffin Room -MTR

The buck for Karnataka cuisine has to stop here say's Asha. Well with 200+ entries for the event ,heck it has to stop. When RCI-Karnataka event was announced I was looking forward to my contribution, just did not realize it would take so long, Thanks Asha for accommodating my entry.

My history with K-Cuisine goes long way back, was fortunate enough to have spent some of the best years of my life in Bangalore, must say those years were the most sweetest and carefree life I have ever lived. Bangalore is such a cosmopolitan city, beautiful weather, warm people myriad choices of food all in all it was a great city to live. Usually during summer after a hot afternoon there would be slight drizzle in the evening and in our house after the drizzle your truly along with parents and brothers would go to Banshankari 2nd stage complex and enjoy chaat or dosa from the near by dosa camps.
Never before have I seen such quality food in huge numbers else where, every nook and corner in Bangalore has small restaurants like darshans, vihaar and dosa camps.

My entry to RCI- Karnataka would be MTR, that’s right Mavalli Tiffin Room, one of the largest food conglomerate in India, has its origins and history very tightly associated with Bangalore and Karnataka. The standards set by this 78-year-old institution are not easy to emulate
MTR”S Heritage (courtesy

At MTR, we are proud of our rich heritage. Our tradition of food and hospitality began in 1924 with the establishment of the Mavalli Tiffin Room by the Maiyya family in Bangalore, India. This restaurant is a city landmark today and people still stand in queue to savour its unique, completely authentic dishes. Over the years, we have played proud host to many distinguished personalities who dropped by for the excellent coffee and the stimulating conversation.

MTR is/was a favorite to many famous politicians/leaders and other celebrities. I myself have enjoyed a love/hate relation with MTR, love for the finger licking good food and hate for the big queues and wait times at any given point of time.
Did you know that Rava idle was invented my MTR, cool hah !!
A typical Udupi Brahmin cuisine lunch menu at MTR, worth Rs.75, would include fruit juice, payasam, kosambari, vegetable gravy, masala dosa, vangibath, rice, rasam, gojju, sweet pongal, jilebi, ambodé, curds, and fruit salad.
MTR is famous for its mouth watering masala dosa's served with a side of ghee
Idli that melts right in your mouth
Not to mention the sambar and chutney which truly are out of the world

And if there is one thing you would keep asking for more is the aromatic coffee served in silver glasses

As a young bride cannot even mention the number of times MTR instant foods have come in handy,now even as an experienced cook I rely on MTR for a quick break fast or a snack.

Used the following instant mixes today to prepare my entry for RCI hosted by Asha
Quick and easy yet very delicious. Recipe for samabar can be found here

Now for all you readers make sure you pay a visit to MTR next time you are in Bengalooru.

Interesting read on MTR here and here

All the pictures in my blog today are courtesy Flickr creative commons except the last one

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Aloo Bread Roll

Aloo Bread Roll

As a dear blog friend mentioned bread rolls are never on the menu, I rarely ever make breadrolls, but was quite inspired when saw the recipe at Rajitha's blog, I knew I had to make it,since I was expecting guests anyways that was a reason enough to try this. Must tell you it came out great, I used wheat bread instead of normal white bread also made this just with Potato/Aloo.
Click here for recipe and instructions
Simple 3 step process


Make aloo stuffing

fill the stuffing with bread slice

Deep fry the stuffed bread rolls
Enjoy with a hot cup of tea.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Thai Curry Noodles

Thai Curry Noodles
Went out to lunch with a colleague few days ago to a restaurant called California Pizza Kitchen aka CPK, this is one of my favorite pizza place to go. We regularly order split pea soup and Greek pizza, a thin crust pizza with feta and other Greek vegetables, but this time for a change ordered Thai Curry Linguine, it was wonderful. Tried to replicate the same at home and boy it was wonderful and tasted just like the one at CPK.

Ingredients for Basic Thai curry sauce
2 big tbsp peanut butter
2 tsp red chili paste
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
And salt according to taste

Mix all the above into a fine paste

Vegetable for stir fry
½ cup onions slit vertically into thin slices
½ cup carrots julienne
½ cup soy beans
½ cup broccoli flowers
½ snow peas
1 tbsp ginger julienne into thin slices
1 tbsp garlic
1 tbsp green chilies
1/ can of coconut milk
Salt according to taste
½ tbsp sesame oil or any other regular oil

1 cup of Linguini/angel hair paste cooked according to package instructions and drained

1.In a wok add ½ tbsp sesame oil, add ginger, garlic and chilies for few seconds add onions, carrots and the rest of the vegetables add a pinch of salt and fry till the vegetables a little cooked but still crunchy
2. Now add Thai curry sauce to the vegetable mix well and then add coconut milk
3. Mix well and bring it to a boil
4. Add boiled and drained linguini to the above and stir well
5. Squeeze juice of half a lemon and remove from heat

Serve hot with a glass of cold ice tea and enjoy the warm Thai curry noodles on a chili evening.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Vinayaka Chavithi Subhakanshalu

Vinayaka Chavithi Subhakanshalu

(Eco friendly Ganesh with natural dyes containing no lead)
Wishing all my readers, friends and family peace & happiness on the eve of Ganesh Chaturdi.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Chinta Chiguru Pappu (Tender Tamarind Leaves Dal)

Chinta Chiguru Pappu (Tender Tamarind Leaves Dal)

There are some foods no matter how many Indian stores around you cannot find them, usually fall into the category of home/mom made pickles, curry powders but with this trip brought few stuff that don’t fall into the above category. You see there is this huge a big tamarind tree right across my parent’s home, this time got the tender tamarind leaves cut sun dried and sealed in vacuum seal pack. So it was time to make dal with the dried tender tamarind leaves, I was very skeptical since I love Chinta chiguru, to my surprise it just tasted like fresh and also got it natural light green color, so your’s truly was very pleased. So from now dried tender leaves will a part of my trip back to US.
1 cup dried tamarind leaves
1 cup toor dal boiled and mashed into a fine paste
½ cup of tamarind water
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

For thadhka
1 tbsp urad dal
1 tbsp jeera
1 tbsp mustard seeds
A pinch of hing
8-10 curry leaves

1.In a pan add a tbsp of oil add all the thadhka ingredients, ginger garlic paste when mustard seeds start to splutter add dried tamarind leaves
2.Add tamarind water to the above and allow it to cook covered for about 5 minutes till the leaves turn color. (optionally add water if required to cover the tamarind leaves)
3.Once the leaves have been boiled in tamarind juice add mashed toor dal paste, add salt and haldi.
4.Mix well and allow it to boil for another 6-8 minutes.

Serve with papad and challa mirapakaya along with hot steaming rice or in today case hot phulka’s .

Monday, September 10, 2007

Kesar Falooda

Kesar Falooda

Must admit there are very few times that I tried Falooda but last week had a block party and had a chance to drink this, boy loved it. Went around seeing if I could find the ingredients required, to my surprise local Indian store not only carried all the ingredients required but also carried ready made mixes. The cool thing about Falooda is it can double as a drink or a dessert. Perfect for a warm summer night, this drink is very versatile in terms of flavor, some of the most popular flavors being Rose, Kesar, and Mango etc...
I believe this is widely popular in North India and is sold as a street fare. I remember eating/drinking this as a kid a while ago on our trip to Delhi in Nirula’s.
More info on Falooda can be found in wiki here
For today I decided to make Kesar Falooda

To make 1 cup of Falooda
1 cup chilled whole milk or half & half
1 small cup of vermicelli (this is sold separately and usually made of arrow root rather then wheat)
1 small cup of sabjal/takamaria seeds
2 small scoops of kesar ice-cream
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp tutti frutti (optional)

1.boil vermicelli in hot water for 10 min and then immediately place it cold water for 10 min and stir well allowing to cool
2.In a glass layer a spoon full of vermicelli, pour cold milk, sugar, rose water (optional), sabjal seed, tutti frooti , mix well
3.float 2 small scoops of kesar icecream on the top of the glass and serve

This will be one refreshing drink, This also is my entry to Monthly Mingle ,Liquid Dreams hosted Meeta

PS: for folks in Bay area Real Ice-cream Kesar Pista works excellent, folks who would be visiting bay Ice-cream from Real ice-cream should be a must try, store carries exotic flavors like chikoo,gulkand, green tea, kesar,mango etc and all their ice-cream are eggless

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