Tomato Pickle

Super Yummy Tomato Pickle!!!

Rava Kesari

Easy Sweet Recipe to impress your guests !!.

Channa Sundal

Healthy Sundal For Navarathiri !!

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

Authentic Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu !!

Hot Cocoa

Perfect Hot Drink to Pamper Yourself !!

December 9, 2011

Karthigai Deepam Special : Sweet Appam

This is a easy to prepare sweet which is specially prepared for Karthigai Deepam "Festival of Lights" in India. Karthigai Deepam occurs on the day when the moon is in conjunction with the constellation Karthigai (Pleiades) and purnima. This constellation appears as a group of six stars in the firmament in the shape of a pendant from the ear. Many legends and lyrical poetry have grown round this star. The six stars are considered in Indian mythology as the six celestial nymphs who reared the six babies in the saravana tank which later were joined together to form the six faced Muruga. He is therefore called Karthikeya, the one brought up by the Karthigai nymphs. Houses and streets are lit up with rows of oil lamps (Deepam) in the evening of the festival day (source:wiki).

I'm not a sweet lover but enjoy the ones prepared from jaggery. I have also had this in my Mom place during our summer vacation not homemade but from a old lady who will bring it our doorsteps. She would prepare it so well and I used to simply love it. I truly miss lighting oil lamps here. I'm planning to prepare a different type of appam for tonight so posted this from my archive the other one will follow soon. Happy Karthigai Deepam to all my readers !!!


Wheat Flour - 1 cup
Rice Flour - 1/4 cup
Banana - 1 no
Jaggery - 1 cup
Grated Coconut - 1/4 cup
Cardamom - 4 no
Sugar - 1 pinch
Cooking Soda - a pinch
Water - 1 cup(approximate)
Ghee/Oil - to grease the paniyara kallu

  • Take jaggery in another bowl and dissolve it in 1/2 cup water and place it on a stove and stir until the jaggery is dissolved. Filter the jaggery water and keep aside. This is done to remove impurities in the jaggery.
  • Mash the banana and keep aside.
  • Grind the cardamom with the sugar to a coarse powder and add it to the mix.
  • Mix the wheat flour and rice flour in a bowl.
  • Add the filtered jaggery into the rice and wheat flour mix.
  • Add the mashed banana and grated coconut to the mixture.
  • Add water and mix well until desired consistency is reached. Make sure the batter is liquid-ish but not runny.
  • Heat the paniyara kallu, grease it with little ghee and pour the batter into the holes and cook in medium flame.
  • Once the appam is cooked say 1 minute or so flip the appams to the other side and cook until appams turns golden brown. Serve Warm.

My Notes
  • If you do not have the paniyara kallu. Let the batter be thick. Make small balls out of the batter and drop it in oil and cook until it turns golden brown.

August 30, 2011

Chocolate Muffin

It's time for something special. It's my 150th post. Finally I reached that mark. Yay me !!!! I reached 100 in 4 months and the next bunch has taken so much time. My regular readers would know the reason. I wanted to make something special, ofcourse special in my dictionary is surely something chocolatey. But did not have much of a time so ended up making these simple Chocolate Muffins. I always ask myself what is the difference between muffin and a cupcake. Is it just the frosting ?? No Idea need to google it. Muffins are totally my kind of food easy to make, takes less baking time and end result is awesome.

I got home early today and made these for Shweets. She liked it so much that she finished it in jiffy. She also got sweet scoldings from her dada for spilling the crumbs in the entire house. Whenever I saw her she had one in her hand. Did not want to restrict her on the count as I prepared it after a long time. Some kind of chocolate ganache on it would have pepped up the muffin but did not have the patience do it. The muffin as such was so good. Whatelse are you waiting for...Mix, Bake and Gobble.

Preparation Time - 10 min

Baking Time - 20 min

Yields - 12 Standard Size Muffins


All Purpose Flour - 1 3/4 cup
Eggs - 2 nos
Yogurt - 1 cup
Unsalted Butter - 1 stick
Vannila Extract - 2 tsps
Light Brown Sugar - 1 1/4 cups
Baking Soda - 1 tsp
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Semisweet Chocolate Bar - 1 no

  • Prepare the muffin trays with muffin liners or vegetable oil spray.
  • Coarsely chop the semisweet chocolate bars.
  • Lightly beat the yogurt and keep aside.
  • Melt butter and allow it to come to room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Mix the eggs,butter, yogurt and vannila essence in a medium size bowl.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda,light brown sugar and salt in a large bowl. 
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. 
  • Fold in the chopped chocolate bars.
  • Fill in the prepared muffin tray with 1 scoop of the batter or 2 spoons of batter filling only 3/4.
  • Bake for about 20 min or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
  • As always do not overmix the mixture, overmixing leads to rubbery muffins.
  • Do not overbake, overbaking leads to dry muffins.
  • You can fold in some nuts to make a nutty muffin.

August 14, 2011

Tomato Pickle with lotsa love by Amma !!!

Getting back to work after a long break is something which is very difficult to accept.The luxury of getting up late, having short naps in the afternoon all of it is gone.Jake being a well behaved cutie, I have been able to manage the first week at work. Having my mom with me has been a real boon. She helps with all the stuff and the transition is so far smooth.After she gets back to India, God only knows. Wish I had four hands !!!

First 2 months she was here, it was so hectic we could never think about food. Now that everything is settling down she prepared one of her signature recipe "Tomato pickle". I have never tasted something like this anywhere. It is totally unique.My little sis asked my mom to prepare this for her, when she left for the US. But as my mom did not have time she was not able to prepare it.So this post is dedicated to her as she is having a tough time in India managing for food. This pickle can be used as a sidedish for dosa, idli, chappati or even even mix it with rice and eat. Try this allpurpose pickle. You are going to love this !!!

Preparation Time : 20 min

Cooking Time - 60 min

Yields - 1 Medium size bottle of pickle.


Ripe red tomatoes - 2 lb
Garlic - 3 bulbs
Ginger - 100 gms
Tamarind - lemon size
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
Mustard - 1 tsp
Red Chilly Powder - 3 tbsp
Salt - as needed
Seasame Oil - 5 - 6 tbsp

  • Wash, pat dry and grind the tomato into a smooth paste.
  • Dry roast the fenugreek seeds in medium flame for about 2 min and allow it to cool. Grind it into a fine powder.
  • Prepare ginger garlic paste with the cloves out of 2 garlic bulbs and the ginger.
  • Crush the cloves out of the 3rd garlic bulb and keep aside.
  • Soak the tamarind in hot water and take the juice out of it.
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed kadai, add the mustard and allow it to crackle.
  • Add the crushed garlic in medium flame and saute until it turns golden brown.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and saute until raw smell goes off.
  • Add the tomato paste and mix well.
  • Carefully cook in high flame until all the water evapoartes and the mixture turns thick.
  • When the mixture turns thick and red, reduce flame add the chilly powder, tamarind juice and asafoetida powder.
  • Once the oil separates add the fenugreek powder and salt and cook for additional 10 mins.
  • When pickle is stored in a airtight container in the fridge it stays super good for about a month.
  • If ineterested you can add a small piece of jaggery while adding the fenugreek powder. 
Thanks a ton Jay for the award you had shared with me !!! Check out the super cool award here.

August 1, 2011

Lowfat Banana Walnut Bread

 Lovely weather, lushy green grass, slight drizzle, amma's strong filter coffee and most importantly Jake having a sound sleep, perfect time for writing a post. So this has been another hectic week again. Moving to a new place is no joke. Unpacking and arranging is such a pain. One good thing about moving is we can just do a clean up. Atleast got rid 5 boxes of junk.I'm kind of getting settled in the new place, hunting a good daycare is one of most challenging job.When I want to leave my kid with somewhere I want it to be the best place. After days of research I found a good place. Happy that shweets liked it too.

Coming to the recipe. We were on a road trip to Lasvegas and Shweets was asking something called as "WALL BREAD". I did not understand what it meant and just got her a chocolate muffin in starbucks. When we were back at the hotel room she tried to explain to me and finally understood that she meant the Banana Walnut Bread. So I just promised to prepare once we get back home. With kids you have to keep up your promises else you end up answering their questions every 5 minutes. So ended up making this super moist, yummy banana bread. Unlike my previous versions, I prepared a low fat banana bread. It tasted so good. You got try it !!!!

Preparation Time : 15 min

Baking Time - 45 - 60 min

Yields - 1 9*5*3 Loaf


All Purpose Flour - 2 cups
Baking Soda - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Egg - 1 no
Sugar - 1 cup
Olive Oil - 1/2 cup
Low fat Yogurt - 2 tbsp
Vannila Extract - 1/2 tsp
Banana - 3 ripe
Walnuts - 1/2 cup + 1/3 cup for the topping

    • Coarsely chop the walnut into medium size pieces.
    • Mash the banana into a smooth paste.
    • Preheat the oven to 325 F and place rack in the center of the oven.
    • Spray nonstick cooking spray into a 9*5*3 loaf pan.
    • Blend the flour, baking soda, salt and set aside.
    • In a mixing bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, olive oil and mashed banana.
    • Add the flour mixture to the egg and banana mixture and mix well.
    • Add the lowfat yogurt, vanilla extract and give a quick mix.
    • Gently fold the 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts.
    • Transfer the batter into the loaf pan.
    • Top the batter with the remaning 1/3 cup of walnuts.
    • Bake for about 45 - 60 min or until a tooth pick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.
    • Try replacing 1 cup of all purpose flour with whole wheat flour and enjoy a fiber rich bread.
    • Baking time depends upon each oven. Mine took 60 min at 325 F.
    • Olive oil can be replaced by vegetable or canola oil.

July 18, 2011

Potato Peas Kurma and a Good News ...

I'll just start with the good news..We were blessed with a baby boy on the 1st of June and shweets has named him as "Jake". Now you all will know the reason for my absence in the blogworld. The last 10 months was really hectic with a vacation to India, project change and location change. Currently I'm being totally pampered by my parents and I'm kind of enjoying the luxury of just eating and sleeping after a very long time. I'm yet to get back to the routine of cooking so thought of posting something from my draft.

I made this Potato Peas Kurma for a potluck and just managed to click few shots. This gravy goes well with all kind of Indian breads and Vegetable pulao. In my potluck group I would always be given a non vegetarian item and this time managed to get a veggie item. So I prepared this gravy and vegetable pulao. I love the addition of peas in gravies and especially this combo is great. This is a simple and easy to make gravy and surely a party winner recipe.

Preparation Time : 10 min

Cooking Time : 15 min

Serves : 4 people


Potato - 2 no
Peas - 1 cup
Onion - 1 no (large size)
Tomato - 2 no
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 1/2 tsp
Green Chilly - 5 no
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/4 tsp
Grated Coconut - 3 tbsp
Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Fennel - 1/2 tsp
Mint leaves - 6 - 8 no
Coriander leaves

For Seasoning

Fennel - 1/2 tsp
Cardamom - 2 no
Cinnamon - 2 no
Cloves - 2 no

  • Boil, peel and cut the potatoes into medium size pieces.
  • Grind grated coconut,fennel seeds, cumin seeds, green chillies and mint leaves into a smooth paste.
  • Finely chop the onion and tomatoes.
  •  Heat oil in a kadai, add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, fennel seeds and cumin seeds in medium flame.
  • Add the chopped onions and saute until it turns golden brown.
  • Reduce the flame and add ginger garlic paste and saute well until raw smell is gone.
  • Add the tomatoes and saute until it is mushy.
  • Add the coriander powder, garam masala and saute well.
  • Add the boiled potatoes, peas, salt and mix well with the masala.
  • Add the ground paste and required water until desired consistency and allow the gravy to boil in medium flame.
  • Once the oil comes out of the gravy garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot. 
  • You can add other vegetables and make it as a mixed vegetable kurma.
  • You can use frozen or raw peas. If using raw peas soak in water for about 6 hours and pressure cook for 1 whistle.

April 8, 2011

Mango Pickle

When I think of an Indian summer I will surely get reminded of the home made pickles.I'm a hardcore fan of raw mangoes and would love to have them with little salt and chilly powder.Mango lovers would know what I'm talking about. When we buy raw mangoes from the Indian stores we just finish them in a jiffy and would never think of preparing anything with it. This week we made up our mind to make some spicy, tangy pickle to relish with our curd rice. Curd rice and Mango pickle is a heavenly combo mostly noone could say a no.

We thought of making the pickle slightly different from the usual style. The outcome was too good to resist.This is one dish that has been in my "Coming Soon" tab for about 5 months and finally I made it. Homemade pickles are always better than the store bought ones, as we have control over the addition of oil and ofcourse it is preservative free. My mom would always insist on drinking a lot milk while eating mangoes as it will reduce the heat in or body. Anything within limits is not bad so why wait. Cook, Eat and Enjoy !!!


Raw Mango (Large) - 1 no
Garlic Flakes - 4 no
Onion (medium size) - 1
Tomato (medium size) - 1
Red Chilly - 4 no
Chilly Powder - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Mustard - 1 tsp
Gingely Oil - 2 tsp
Salt as per taste

  • Wash and pat dry the mango. Cut it into medium size pieces.
  • Grind the red chillies into a coarse powder.
  • Cut the onion and tomato into fine pieces.
  • Cut the garlic into thin slices.

  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard to it. Allow it to splutter.
  • Add the sliced garlic in low flame and saute until it is golden brown.
  • Add the onion and saute until they turn translucent.
  • Add the tomato and saute until they turn mushy.
  • At this stage add the chilly powder, turmeric powder, ground red chilly powder and salt.
  • In medium flame saute the ingredients and cook until oil oozes out.
  • Add the mango pieces and mix them well so that the masala is well coated onto the mangoes.
  • After about 1 min turn off the heat.
  • When cooled down transfer to a bottle and refrigerate.
  • Adjust the spice level according to your taste.
  • If used carefully, using a dry spoon etc the pickle can be stored for 1 month or so.
  • Do not cook for a long period after adding the mangoes.

March 26, 2011

Greens Stir Fry/ Keerai Poriyal

Green Stir Fry/ Keerai Poriyal is one of my favorite side dish. Simply love it with bland sambar or spicy gravies. We always make it a point to use greens atleast two times a week in the form of kuzhambu, kootu or this yummy poriyal. It is said that greens should not be taken in the night as it might create digestion problems. So weekend lunch would be a great time for this stir fry.

Back in India we used to fresh greens as bunches, it would be a time consuming task to remove the leaves from the stem and clean them.Here in the US we get easily usuable packs, just one wash should be enough.Easier the process the more we tend to use it. So just cook , eat and stay healthy !!!!


Greens - 1 pack or 2 bunches
Garlic flakes - 6 nos
Onion - 1 medium size
Red Chilly - 5 nos
Coconut pieces - 3 nos
Oil - 2 tsp
Salt for taste

For Seasoning

Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Urid Dal - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Curry Leaves

  • Wash and chop the greens into small pieces.
  • Crush the garlic flakes.
  • Grate the coconut and keep aside.
  • Heat oil, add mustard and allow it to splutter.
  • Add the urid dal, followed by asafoetida and red chillies in medium flame.
  • Add garlic flakes and saute until it turns golden brown.
  • Saute until onion turns translucent.
  • Add the greens, salt and mix so that the seasoning is well coated onto the greens.
  • Allow the greens to cook by occasionally stirring it.
  • Once the greens is cooked and dry, add the grated coconut and mix well.
  • Serve Warm with any rice item as a side.
My Notes
  • Any type of greens can be used for this stir fry.
  • Sprinkle little water if required for greens to cook.
  • Make sure the greens are fresh. It surely tastes better

March 23, 2011

Rava Ladoo

It's been a long long time since I had posted something in the blog. A hectic 6 week India trip, new project and other totally unavoidable situations were the culprits. I should admit, I really missed my blog and felt extremely guilty. There were times when I badly wanted to post something, but did not cook anything new. Now that I have the time, thought of making something sweet and simple.

When I was thinking of various sweets just got reminded of the Rava Ladoo Mom used to prepare. I used to help Mom during festval times...good old times. Never made these in recent times, always stuck to the ones from the famous sweet stall in India. This is one of the most easiest sweet I could think of which can be prepared in a jiffy.


Rava - 1 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Cashews - 15 nos
Raisins - 15 nos
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Milk - 1/2 cup
Cardamom Powder - 1/4 tsp

  • Add 1/2 tsp ghee to a small kadai and roast the cashews until it is golden brown.
  • In the same kadai roast the raisins for few seconds.
  • Boil the milk and keep aside.

  • Add remaning ghee into a medium size, heavy bottomed kadai and roast the rava until aroma rises.
  • Transfer the roasted rava into a plate and add sugar, cashews, raisins, cardamom powder and mix well.
  • Add the warm milk to the mixture and make small balls out of it. Make sure each ball has cashew and   raisins in it.
  • Make sure to continuosly stir the rava else it might burnt.
  • Carefully add the milk in small amounts, just enough to make the balls.
  • Also we can completely avoid milk and use heated ghee to make the balls. This increases the shelf life of the Ladoos.

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