Friday, April 30, 2010

His & Hers



I am so ready for my weekend, weather looks promising and hopefully we get out to enjoy some of it. Here's to sunny weekend !!



Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mango Pie/Mango Cheese Cake

Mango Pie/Mango Cheese Cake

Made Mango Pie/ Mango Cheesecake however you call over the weekend. I was so glad that everyone liked it. I have made this numerous times and I can vouch that this is a sure crowd pleaser and very easy to make. Best part of the this dessert is it can be made few days ahead.

Reposting with spruced up pictures.

1/2 can Mango Pulp( Alfanso works the best for color)
1 Reddi pie crust
4 ounce Cream cheese
8 ounce cool whip
2 pack Knox gelatin ( i substituted with Agar-agar which is vegetarian version of gelatin)

1. Thaw cream cheese to room temperature.
2.In a food processor add cream cheese and whip till it becomes smooth,now add cool whip, 2tbsp sugar(optional) and mango pulp. mix well until all the cream cheese is mixed.
3.Now prepare agar-agar according to instructions and add to the mango pulp mixture.
4. mix well and pour into the ready made pie crusts.
5. refrigerate for 4-5 hrs

serve chill .

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Once Upon A Time In A Quiet ,Cute And Beautiful Town Repost

Reposting one of my travel post from few year ago. I still remember this like it was yesterday !!

surrounded by water on all four sides,beautiful canals, trees drooping over the water ways, cobble stone walks ways, small antique shops where everything seems so unique, beautiful shops with some of the most exotic laces ever made by hand, florist with some of the most fragrant antique English roses and lavender, chocolate chocolate every where, does this seems like a town from a fairy tale, well I had a chance to visit this beautiful and cute little town beyond words in Belgium called Brugge.

They say pictures talk/say a thousand words, so here is Brugge in pictures for you

Beautiful flower shops with English Lavender and some of the most fragrant Antique English Roses.

Small antique shops with cute hand made stuff

Even the smallest of the restaurants/brasseries as they are called had some of the most exquisite flower arrangements

Belgian chocolates are said to be the finest and true to this, chocolates just melt in your mouth, oh so creamy, delicious and texture was as soft as silk. There was chocolate chocolate everywhere

Town center with its old building was so cute, had nice restaurants and was a major tourist spot

And for all you Tin-Tin comic fans, This is where it all started. Tin Tin comic originated from Brugee so I was told, Original tin tin books were available but of course they costed a fortune
French Fries as we call them were originally Belgian and were first made/originated in Belgium, these are sold on carts on the street as well dressed up and sold in restaurants. I was amazed at the number of dipping sauces available, in my world I knew fries and tomato ketchup were a match made in heaven, tried their curry sauce and andalouse sauce both out of the world.

option for dipping sauces

All in all a very beautiful experience, hope you all had a lovely time with my virtual tour

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lesson Learnt

This weekend my laptop with about 13gb worth pictures crashed, my heart sunk when my laptop would not boot up. Last backup I had was right around November and I just have been so careless in backing up regularly. Thankfully good people at work said hard drive was recoverable and will get it fixed in couple of days, with that said I hope this is a lesson learnt and will be more cautious and backup regularly.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Kadai Paneer

Kadai paneer is a favorite of mine and it usually makes an appearance on pretty much every desi restaurant menu. Kadai essentially means a copper base vessel in which paneer or Indian cottage cheese curry is served. In general recipes that include paneer are usually on the lower spectrum of spiciness and are very creamy for that reason alone it’s a favorite among kids.Kadai paneer may sound like a complicated dish but in reality its one of the easiest to prepare if you have the right spices and ingredients.

This weekend had a potluck party and I choose to make a dish with Paneer, so this is a recipe that will feed for a crowd of about 35+ people.
Before we begin the whole process of cutting, cooking and cleaning took about an hour and half.

2 lb Paneer/ Indian Cottage cheese
3 large ripe tomatoes
4 large green capsicums
4 large red onions
3 large tbsp Kasoori Methi (dry fenugreek)
2 tbsp Haldi/tumeric
2-3 tbsp red chili powder
½ cup ketchup/tomato paste
3 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tbsp amchur powder (dry mango powder)
2 tbsp garam masala/cumin powder
Salt according to taste
½ cup of milk
About ½ cup of oil
2 drop of red edible food coloring (totally optional)
I am a little frantic when it comes to chopping, I seriously cannot cook if the veggies are not cut uniform , for me I need to have everything be cut and cubed in the exact same size, weird well that’s me what can I do and I seriously take time to cut them to perfection.

1. Finely slice onion vertically.

2. Slit tomatoes on the head like a cross with knife and drop it in a pan with hot boiling water, allow tomatoes to be cooked for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, as you can see below it get very easy to peel the skin off. Peel the skin off and puree tomatoes and keep aside.

3. Now deseed capsicum and cut into cubes about an inch long, in a pan add about 5 tbsp of oil, allow it to get hot and then add capsicum and saute till capsicum softens. This saves time as you can get started parallel with sauteing onions.

4. Allow paneer to be at room temperature, this makes it easy to cut into the thick log like texture. Cut paneer into cubes of about an inch. People usually shallow fry paneer and then add it to the curry, I however just add them as is.

5. Now take a large pan and heat it up , add 1/2 cup of oil.When oil turn hot add
kasoori methi, haldi(tumeric),red chilipowder and ginger and garlic paste and saute for a minute till the above emits a strong flavor.
6. Now add onions and saute till onions turn brown.
7. Add capsicum that was saute earlier.
8. Add paneer and mix all the ingredients , add salt, amchur, masala of your choice, ketchup and about a glass of water.

9. Allow to cook covered for about 6-8 minutes, checking in between.
10. Add milk and check for salt and adjust accordingly.
11. Cook on simmer for about another 5 minutes, now if you want to get the restaurant kind of look add few drops of edible red food coloring and mix it well.
12.Garnish with coriander and serve.

Makes an excellent companion to naan's ,roti's or plain fried rice.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Kohlrabi with Coconut- Oh so easy and simple

Kohlrabi with Coconut- Oh so easy and simple

An update of a friend on facebook prompted me to cook Kohlrabi this weekend, kohlrabi belongs to the same family as cabbage,Brussel sprouts and cauliflower. This is also called Nool Kol in Telugu I believe. Well I for one have never had this while in India. Anyways heard its supposed to help people with diabetes in controlling sugar levels.

Must say it has the same pungent smell like cabbage but surprisingly very mild in flavor and easy to cook.
3 Medium sized Kohlrabi
1/2 cup grated coconut ( fresh if available else dried coconut works just fine)
3-4 green chilies

For seasoning
2 tbsp of oil
1 tbsp each of mustard seeds,urad dal, jeera/cumin
about 2 pinches of hing/asafoetida
few curry leaves.
salt according to taste.

1. Peel skin of Kohlrabi, its quite hard but once skin is peeled it seems just like potato.
2. Cut them into small cubes.

3. In a microwave safe bowl add cut kohlrabi and microwave for four minutes on high, turn and microwave again for four minutes, this helps cut down cooking time quite significantly :).
4. Heat oil in a pan and when hot add all the ingredients mentioned for seasoning and saute till mustard seeds start to pop.
5. Slit green chilies into half and add to seasoning.
6. Now add microwaved Kohlrabi and mix till seasoning coats Kohlrabi pieces.
7. After 3 minutes add coconut and mix well.
8. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes.
Remove from heat and serve with rice or roti's.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Simple and Soothing Raita

Simple and Soothing Raita

Raita is a condiment that is used to sooth the effect of spices on the palette be it Biryani's or curries. Raita can be made in "n" ways, varies from region to region in India and also depends on what it is served with. Made Pulav over the weekend and made raita the way I originally learnt from my mom.
1 cup yogurt/curd/perugu
1/2 cup finely chopped red onions
pinch of black salt/rock salt
1/2 tsp regular salt
pinch of black pepper

1. Beat yogurt/curd add onions and rest of the ingredients and mix well.
2. Taste and adjust salt.

You can cucumber,tomatoes if you choose too. Serve with pulav/biryani or choice of spicy curries.

For step by step instructions on how to make pilaf/pulav click here

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

TED Talk- Kiran Bir Sethi teaches kids to take charge- A must must watch for every parent.

A dear friend of mine forwarded me this video a while ago, I had tears after I watched it, so many of times its so easy as parents to get lost in peer pressure and push kids not understanding their limitations and likings. I for one learnt a thing or two from the video below and I strongly encourage everyone to watch this as well.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fire Roasted Tomato Chutney - Kalchina Tomato Pachadi

Hope everyone had a good weekend, My weekend just rocked and I am still in wonderland. Seriously there is noting better then hanging out with girl friends and letting your guard down and just plain having fun. Nothing beats girl friends therapy and I am thankful for having mine.

On another note I missed two posts in a row and broke my 365 streak, not that it matters but felt tad bad to break the streak, problem was I messed up on schedule posts anyways back to the groove again.

Today's recipe is a classic at home and can be eaten along with idllies or dosa's .

Ingredients (makes for about a cup)
3 medium sized ripe tomatoes
2-3 green chilies ( adjust according to taste and spice tolerance)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp tamarind paste
salt according to taste
1 tsp haldi/tumeric

Dry ingredients to be made into a fine powder
1 tbsp channa dal /senaga pappu
1 tbsp urad dal/ minapappu
1 tbsp sesame seeds /nuvvulu
1 tbsp peanuts
few fenugreek seeds
3-4 red chilies
and a pinch of asafetida

for seasoning
1 tbsp urad dal
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp jeera
few pinches of hing
pinch of haldi/turmeric
5-6 dry red chilies

1. Roast all the dry ingredients in a pan for about 1-2 minutes till it releases a strong aroma.
2. Grind into a fine powder and keep a side.

Step1. Place tomatoes directly on the flame .

2. Just after a minute you see the skin getting charred.
3. Tomatoes after 3 minutes.
4. Tomatoes at the end of 5th minute.
5. Tomatoes at the end of 10 minutes on high flame.
carefully peel the skin off, and now add tomatoes, previously made spice powder, salt, tamarind paste, haldi and sugar. grind on high for a minute and check for salt and adjust accordingly.

Heat a tbsp of oil and when oil gets hot add all the ingredients for seasoning and saute till mustard seeds pop.
Add seasoning to chutney and mix well and serve.
Serve with idlies or dosa's or can be eaten with rice as well.

Friday, April 16, 2010


First Rose of the season,isn't it beautiful. So glad its friday and looking forward to an action packed weekend.

Love to all.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Yellow Thai Curry

I have been craving Thai food this whole week, not sure why but all I wanted to eat was spicy Thai curry. It sometimes happens when you browse through a book or watch it on TV an image or a caption what ever it is gets stuck in your head and same is the case today, saw recipe for Thai curry from Traders Joe book I brought recently and all I wanted was to try it, and today finally got a chance to make it. And yes I am a happy camper at the end of the day.

You can substitute vegetables of your choice as per your liking.
Ingredients (makes for about 2 cups)
1/2 cup Trader Joes Yellow curry paste
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup of broccoli florets
1/4 cup of cucumber
1/4 cup of frozen baby corn
1/4 cup carrot
1-2 small potatoes (optional)
1/2 pack of tofu
about an inch of ginger
4-5 Thai chilies
10- 15 basil leaves
2 tbsp of oil
salt according to taste

1. Heat a wok when hot and add 2 tbsp oil and to that add finely grated ginger and chilies and saute for minute.
2. Add basil leaves and saute for few seconds.
3. To the above add yellow curry paste and coconut milk and mix well.
4. Cut all the vegetables to about the same size and microwave all the vegetables on high for about 3 minutes.
5. Add the microwaved vegetables and tofu cut into cubes to curry and coconut mixture add about 1/2 cup water and mix till all the vegetables are well coated.
6. Add salt and cook covered for about 6-8 minutes, mixing in the middle.
7. Sprinkle lemon juice if you wish too, this however is optional.

Serve with sticky rice and this makes for a warm and comforting dinner.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


A week with lots to do and more specifically no new recipes.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

OMG Blog- Secret Life Of Flowers

I have a been a regular reader of Amy's blog "Secret Life Of Flowers", reading her blog makes me feel like I am in a wonderland surrounded by lovely flowers, her passion for flowers and creativity comes across with all her floral arrangements and the striking color combinations.
I specially lover her arrangement above, its got beautiful Indian tones and burst with colors.

Go check out her blog at
Follow her tweets @
All pictures above are courtesy of Amy's blog
Now all I wish is to have a special delivery of Lilac she mentioned she picked recently, I hope someone is listening :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Chaana Jor Garam- Fresh Green Chick Peas

Oh boy getting through Monday blues as best as I can, few days can go from bad to worse very quickly and today is one such day,why do Mondays have to be so tedious and boring and weather here is not helping, its been pouring in Bay area. Sorry for being so grumpy just had to vent it out.
Last few weeks my blog saw recipes of green bean/green channa or green chick peas both frozen and dried, both the times recipes with green channa turned out to be very delicious, so this week saw fresh green chick peas in local grocery store and decided to try it out.
To my surprise fresh green peas are very tender and buttery, seriously all you need is a pinch of salt and butter or few drops of oil, and so is today's recipe.

1 pound of fresh green chick peas
tbsp of oil
pinch of sea salt/black salt/ any flavored salts
pinch of chaat masala

1. Shell the green chick peas, mind you a pound of them yielded to about a cup.
2. heat a pan , add butter/oil and when butter melts or oil is heated, toss in chick peas.
3. Saute over medium flame for about 3-4 minutes add salt and chaat masala and toss till channa/chick peas are well coated.

Remove from heat and enjoy your hot green chick peas or as they say in India channa gor jaram.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hectic day with activities etc.. Mind zoned out and don't really know what to type or write. More when I get recharged tomorrow.

So long every one .........

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