Mind is in its own place. It can make a hell of heaven or a heaven of hell

Happy New Year

Thursday, December 31, 2009

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

                                                       William Arthur Ward 


Happy New Year Buddies............


Thank you so much for all your support n encouragement, that makes me to cook, makes me to blog, makes me to feel happy. My day starts with my blogging and ends with my blogging. I used to blog on oracle since 3 years.. After getting married, i was all alone n nothing to do, i lost all my grip on oracle in jus 1 year.. It scared me a lot n made me to think.Lately, i been cooking good n with the inspiration from fellow bloggers, i started a blog on October 2'nd of 2009. '
Especially, i would like to thank EC Simple Indian Food for publishing about my blog on December 2'nd 2009 as a budding blogger


Time is too fast n that we are already entering into an another prosperous new year It' s may be a another day, but its a celebration of hope, its  a joy of better tomorrow n moreover its a new day.


I hope this new year will be  a memorable year to everybody..


Happy New Year!!!!!!


Welcome  2010 




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Chole Masala/ Chick peas curry/ Garbanzo beans curry

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Its cold outside n hungry stomaches are waiting for some hot food with steaming rice. I started to think what to cook for today's lunch n these chick peas flashed in to my mind, telling how  yummy n at the same time how nutritious they are.. Luckily, i had some boiled chick peas sitting in freezer. I always boil 3-4 cups of chick peas, rajma n black eyed peas individually n store them in freezer for up to 3-4 months.. This saves me lot of time..


Recipe for authentic Indian food, loved by people all over the world..
Source: own
Preparation time:  15 mins
Cooking time20 mins
Serves: 3-4 


Ingredients:
Chick peas 2 cups( Soak them overnight or for at least 7 hrs)  
Onion: 1medium sized, finely chopped
Tomatoes: 2 medium sized, finely chopped
Cumin seeds: 1tsp
Turmeric: 1 tsp
Ginger Garlic paste: 1 tsp
Green chili: 2, chopped
Channa masala powder: 2 tsp,(store bought, here i used badshah)
Red chili  powder: 1/2tsp(to taste)
Salt: 1tsp( to taste)
Oil: 1tbsp(normally, i use olive oil)
Lemon juice: to taste
Cilantro: 1/2 cup, chopped
Bay leaves: 2
Cloves:2
Elachi: 1
Cinnamon stick : 1 ( 2 inch piece)
Water: 4 cups + 2 cups

Cooking:
1) In a pressure cooker,  add chick peas, bay leaves ,cloves, Elachi, cinnamon stick, 1/2 tsp salt and water. Cook them up to 3 whistles n let them cool down. (If u want u can add a tea bag)
      I boiled these chickpeas 11/2 month before and still they are fresh...
2) Meanwhile, in a pan, heat oil n add cumin seeds. when they splutter add onions n green chili. Cook until onions are translucent. Add turmeric n ginger garlic paste n cook for 1min.
3) Now, add tomatoes n cook until they are soft. Mash them with spatula , so that they turned out into paste.( u can add little bit of water from cooked chick peas, to tomatoes)
4) Now, add water from cooked chick peas ,if u have any, or use 2 cups of water, and bring to a boil.
5) Add peas, Cover n cook for 10 mins. Now with spatula, mash some chick peas so that gravy turns out thick.
6) Cover n cook for another 5 mins on medium heat
7) Switch off the stove, garnish with cilantro. If u want u can add cream.
8) Before serving add lemon juice.
Enjoy with rice, chapathi, puri, naan.








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Gram Flour Pakora

Friday, December 25, 2009

Gram Flour Pakora is so simple to make yet gives very rich delicious taste to fry's.. They are not good as snacks, as gram flour causes gas..

Ingredients:
Gram flour: 1 cup
Rice flour: 1tbsp
Chili Powder: 1tsp
Salt: 1tsp
Coriander Powder: 1tsp
Garam Masala: 1tsp
Food Color: 1tsp( optional)

Preparation:
1) Mix all the ingredients in a bowl with water. Mix without any lumps until u get a thick butter milk consistency.


2) Heat oil for deep frying in a deep pan.
3) Drop Gram Flour batter dumplings little by little in hot oil.
4) Fry for 2 mins or until golden brown..Strain them onto a paper towel..
5) Repeat the same process for remaining batter.
6) Store in a air tight container for up to 2 weeks in fridge.



Add Gram flour pakora to fry's for that restaurant effect.

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Capsicum-Cashew-Pakora Fry

Lately, i been cooking lot's of dishes with capsicum.. Capsicum is one of Vishnu's  Fav.. So, i been trying lot's of varieties. Adding cashews gives a rich look to any kind of dish.. Pakora is my favorite and i jus love adding pakora to fry's. Actually, thought of making Capsicum-Dry powder fry but  ended up making this delicious Capsicum- Cashew-Pakora Fry. I always prepare some gram flour pakora n store them in an air tight container for up to 1 week.. 


Here is the recipe for delicious Capsicum-Cashew-Pakora Fry..


Ingredients:
  • Capsicum: 3, chopped into small chunks
  • Onion: 1, Finely chopped
  • Green chili: 2, chopped
  • Ginger garlic paste: 1tsp
  • Mustard seeds: 1tsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
  • Cashews: 2 tbsp
  • Pakora: 1 cup
  • Garam masala: 1/2tsp
  • Coriander powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1tsp
  • Salt: to taste
  • Turmeric: 1tsp
  • Cilantro: to garnish


Preparation:

1) In a skillet, heat oil n add mustard seeds. Let them splutter n add cumin seeds. Fry for30 secs. 
2) Add, onions n green chili. Fry for 6 mins until onions are translucent
3) Add Cashews n fry for 1 min. 
4) Add, ginger garlic paste , turmeric n fry for 1 min.
5) Now add, capsicum chunks n a pinch of salt. Fry them covered for 10 mins on medium -low heat.
6) Add chili powder, salt, coriander powder n mix it well. Cover it n cook for another 5 mins or until the skin of capsicum pieces is tender.
7) Now add, pakora and garam masala n cook for another 2 mins uncovered.
8) Adjust spices according to your taste n garnish with cilantro.





Enjoy Capsicum-Cashew-Pakora fry with Rice...

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Merry Christamas!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas is a time when you get homesick - even when you're home.








Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!

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Naked Onion Pakoda/Pakora

Tuesday, December 22, 2009





Its cold outside n hungry stomach's are craving for some hot food. I thought of frying pre-prepared samosa's from my fridge. But, Vishnu asked for onion pakora. 
Everyone loves pakoda's or pakora's. Onion Pakora is made in a variety of consistency's. But the popular variety is  thin onion pakora n i call it as --"Naked Onion Pakora" . This pakora is very thin in consistency yet very crunchy..Most of the sweet shops in India will have this onion pakora.
Onion pakora is so easy to make. It can be ready in 15-20 mins.. Spicy in taste, goes very well with tea or coffee or as jus pakora's.


Ingredients:
Onion: 1 Big, finely sliced
Green chili: 1, finely chopped
Gram flour: 3 tbsp
Rice flour: 3 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste: 2 tsp
Red chili powder: 1-2 tsp
Salt: 1tsp
Coriander Powder: 1tsp
Garam Masala: 1tsp
Turmeric: 1/2 tsp


Preparation:
1) Cut onion into thin slices. Spread  them on to a plate. Sprinkle some salt over the onions. Leave for 10 mins.

2) Sprinkle all the ingredients except gram n rice flour over sliced onions. Mix n leave it for 2 mins.

3) Heat oil for deep frying.
4) Add gram flour n rice flour to onion's. Adjust flours to the water content in onion. Don't add water to mix.  Mix flour with the water in onion itself. You should mix onions n gram flour in such a way that u have to see clearly onion strips.

5) Drop onion batter  into hot oil as small dumplings. Fry for 2-3 mins or until they are brown in color . Strain them n place on a paper towel to drain excess oil.

6) Repeat the same process for remaining onion batter.





Enjoy this spicy crunchy onion pakora with tea or coffee.


This is going to be a part of Easy Crafts Tea Time Snack.

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How to series: Tamarind Paste

Instead of soaking tamarind every time u need it, You  can use this paste.
Tamarind: 200g
Turmeric: 1 tbsp
Salt:1 tbsp
Water :1 cup

In a  sauce pan, bring water to a boil and add tamarind. Cook tamarind until it becomes  soft (don't make it too soft as wee need to grind it, jus boil the tamarind so that mixer can grind it freely ).or for 5 mins.
Cool it down and grind with  remaining ingredients. Add very little water if required.
Take it into a bottle n store in fridge.

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Sorakaya Bejjalu Pulusu/Anapakaya/Lauki/Bottle Gourd Curry

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Sorakaya-Lauki-Anapakaya-Bottle gourd with so many names this  vegetable can be cooked in many ways. With bottle gourd one can make so many varieties ranging from soups, deserts to main dish... Lauki ka halwa is one of the popular deserts regardless of region..  Bottle gourd milk curry is one of those stomach  soothing dishes.. 
Now coming to this sorakaya bejjalu pulusu, this is my mom's signature dish. She calls this as a Non-Veg curry for vegetarians. This curry should be made spicy. We used to have this bottle gourd plant in our backyard back in India. She cooks this curry at least thrice a month. 
As fresh bottle gourds are high in water content, she used to put holes all over the bottle gourd at night. In the morning, all the water comes out of the gourd and it is ready for cooking. Removing water is most important thing in this curry. And the other important thing is you need to shallow fry bottle gourd pieces. Soaking in tamarind juice gives gourd pieces a unique tangy  flavor.
 As, i dont get that fresh bottle gourd here, so i jus pricked it one hour before cooking. 
Pressure cooker works jus fine for this dish...

Here is the recipe for my mom's signature dish...


Ingredients:
Bottle gourd: 1
Onion: 1 big, finely chopped
Tomato: 2 big, chopped into medium sized chunks
Green chili: 4 medium, chopped
Tamarind paste: 1tbsp--adjust tamarind to your taste n it entirely depends on the sourness of tamarind.
Oil: 1tbsp+ 3 tsp
Red chili: 2
Channa dal: 1tsp
Cumin seeds: 1tsp
Ginger garlic paste: 2tsp
Turmeric: 1tsp
Red chili powder: 1tsp
Salt: to taste
Corinader Podwre: 1tsp
Garam masala: 1tsp
Jaggery: 1tsp
Butter: 2tsp
Cream: 1tbsp(optional)


Preparation:
1) Prick bottle gourd with spoon or knife before 1hr u start cooking. If it is really fresh, prick it night before.

2) Peel n chop into 2 inch cubes.( Small pieces  will melt away in pressure cooker and curry doesn't comes good).

3) Mean while in pressure cooker, soak tomatoes, green chili, Red chili powder, salt, coriander powder with tamarind paste and  of 1 cup of water.
4) Now in  a pan, add 1 tbsp of oil n heat.  Add bottle gourd pieces in batch (little by little) n shallow fry for 3 mins.  Strain them  onto paper towels. Repeat the same process with remaining gourd pieces. Now, add shallow fried bottle gourd pieces to tamarind-tomato mixture m mix. Keep it aside.

5) Now, add  remaining oil. Add red chili, channa dal n fry for 30 secs.
6) Add cumin seeds n fry for 30 secs.
7) Add onion n fry for 6 mins or until onions are tender. 
8) Stir n turmeric, ginger garlic paste, Fry for 2 mins n switch off.
9) Add onion mixture to bottle gourd pieces and mix carefully.
10) Add 1 cup water and butter. Adding water depends on cooker. don't add to much water.
11) Cook for 3 whistles n switch off. let it cool.
12) Remove lid n taste it. Adjust salt n chili powder to your taste.
13) Add garam masala n jaggery. Cook for 2 mins on medium heat.
14 Switch of n garnish with cilantro.



Enjoy this delicious veg-non-veg curry with chapathi or rice...


Variation: 
1) If u don't have a pressure cooker u can cook in a pan. Cook for 20 mins on  medium to low heat instead of cooking in pressure cooker. Bottle gourd pieces must be fork tender.
2) If u have a wide bottom pressure cooking pan u can fry onions in it. Soak tamarind-tomato-bottle gourd pieces in a bowl.
3) Those who dont want to shallow fry piece, u can omit this step. But i  prefer to shallow fry. Don't add to much oil.

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Raw Plantain Fry/ Aritikaya Vepudu/ Green Banana Fry

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Plantain/ Aritikaya.. This vegetable or fruit plays a very important role in our daily lives. None of the parts of these plant is useless. From root to top, it is used in Ayurveda n in our daily cooking, mostly.. Green banana is used for cooking purpose where as yellow banana is used in deserts or as a regular diet. Yellow banana is a holly vegetable in most parts of the India. Banana leaves are used by many people on fasting days. Till today in most of the places, it is used in wedding dinners..

Here is the recipe for raw plantain fry..

Ingredients:
Raw Plantain: 2, cut into slices
Onion: 1 big, finely chopped
Green chili: 3, diagonally chopped
Gram flour pakora: 1 cup( optional)
Green Chili- Garlic paste: 2tsp( Jus mash them in mortar)
Oil:  for deep frying
Oil: 1tbsp
Red chili: 2
Channa dal: 1tsp
Cumin seeds: 1tsp
Mustard seeds: 1tsp
Turemric: 1tsp
Red chili Powder: 1tsp
Coriander Powder: 1tsp
Garam masala: 1tsp
Salt: to taste

Tip: To avoid darking of your hands because of cutting plantain. Rub some oil to your hands or wear gloves.. Later wash with milk..

Preparation:
1) Heat oil for deep frying plantain's.
2) Wash and cut plantain's into a thin slices. Dip them in salt water. Pat dry before frying.

3) Sprinkle little bit  chili powder on chips.
4) Deep fry them for 2mins or until they turn into light golden color-each batch on both sides.
5) Strain them n place on a paper towel to drain excess oil.

6) In a pan, heat oil n add red chili n channa dal.Fry for 30 sces.
7) Now add mustard seeds n let them splutter. Add cumin seeds n fry for  30 secs.
8) Add onion n fry for 5-6 mins or until they are little crunchy.
9) Stir in turmeric, green chili, chili - garlic paste and fry for couple mins.
10) Add pakora if using..
11) Stir in fried plantain chips. Fry for 3-4 mins
12) Sprinkle red chili powder, salt, coriander powder, garam masala according to your taste.Be careful with salt.
13) Fry for 3mins and switch off. Here i added some pre-made gram flour pakora, which i keep in handy.

Enjoy Raw Plantain Fry along with rice and some soup..

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Capsicum Tomato Curry/ Bell pepper Tomato Curry

Monday, December 14, 2009


Capsicum-Bell pepper-Green pepper,is a cute bright green vegetable with a unique, spicy flavor. Most of the times i make chutney's with capsicum. lately, i been making curries with capsicum, as it is Vishnu's favorite. Last week, i made this capsicum tomato curry n it was a big hit.. This curry has that comforting spicy flavor along with  sourness of tomato n the goodness of evaporated milk.

capsicum tomato curry is very easy to make n  tastes very good.
Recipe for capsicum tomato curry:
Ingredients:
Capsicum: 3,diced
Tomato: 2.diced
Onion: 1big,finely chopped
Great Value Evaporated milk: 1cup or 5 0z can
Green chili: 2.chopped
Ginger garlic paste: 1tsp
Oil: 1tbsp
Cumin seeds: 1tsp
Turmeric:1tsp
Red chili powder: 1tsp
Salt: to taste
Coriander powder: 1tsp
Garam masala: 1tsp

Preparation:
1) In a pan, heat oil n add cumin seeds.Fry for 30 secs.
2) Add onion n fry for 6-7 mins or until onions are tender.
3) Stir in turmeric, ginger garlic paste n green chili's. Fry for 2mins.
4) Add diced capsicum with a pinch of salt n 1cup water. Stir well. Cover n cook for 7 mins on medium heat.
5) Add tomato,chili powder,salt and coriander powder. Cook for 5 mins, covered on medium heat.
6) Add garam masala n stir well. Now add evaporated milk n bring to a boil.
7)Switch off n serve.


Enjoy this comforting Capsicum Tomato Curry with chapathi or rice...

Tip: U can substitute cream for milk. But i prefer evaporated milk.

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Baked Pita Chips


Pita chips are known for their consistency. This chips are made by using pita bread which is available in many flavors. Baked pita chips are healthier than most of the chips n easy to make. Pita chips goes well with dips or with butter,cheese or jus as simple pita chips.



Ingredients:
Whole wheat bread pockets: 12
Olive oil: 1/2cup
Ground black pepper: 1tsp
Garlic salt:1/2 tsp
Dried Basil: 1tsp

Preparation:
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2) Cut each pita in half, then in quarters and then again into squares or until the size n shape u like.. I prefer small ones so that they can bake faster.
3) Spread the chips evenly on greased cookie sheet. Prick with fork to make tiny holes,randomly.
4) In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients except pita pockets n mix well.
5) Brush each pita square with oil mixture.
6) Bake in the preheated oven for 8 mins or until lightly browned n crispy.
Keep an eye on them, as they tend to burn easily.

Allow them to cool n serve..


 Enjoy thi scrispy healthy chips with tea or with dips...
This is going to be a part of Easy Crafts Tea Time Snack




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Saag Paneer with Spinach n Mustard greens/Saagwala

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Saag paneer is a green leaves based curry. U can substitute any kind of leafy vegetable with spinach like mustard greens, methi, cilantro... Greens is a must vegetable in my kitchen. Regularly i make palak paneer with spinach. But, i got some mustard greens. So thought of making saag paneer,As i had some fresh paneer which i jus made...
Saag paneer is made with green leafy veggies where as palak paneer is made by pureeing the spinach n by adding paneer n a mix of spices. Each has its own unique flavor n aroma. Normally, i boil spinach in hot water for couple mins if i am preparing palak paneer. But for saag paneer, i roasted spinach n mustard green for couple mins to retain the color n nutrients.


Here is the recipe for Saag Paneer:
Ingredients:
Spinach: 2 bunches( i used bagged spinach)
Mustard greens: 2cup(tightly packed)
Cilantro: 3/4 cup,chopped
Paneer: 1cup grated/15 cubes
Evaporated Milk: 3/4 cup/ fresh cream: 2tbsp
Onion: 1 big, very finely chopped/pureed
Tomato: 1 small, finely copped
Green chili: 2-3,chopped
Ginger Garlic paste: 1tsp
Oil: 1tbsp
Cumin seeds: 1tsp
Red chili powder: 1tsp
Coriander powder: 1tsp
Turmeric: 1tsp
Garam Masala: 1 tsp
Salt: to taste:



Preparation:
1) In a pan, heat 1tsp of oil n add spinach,mustard greens,cilantro n green chili. Roast it for 5 mins on medium heat,uncovered.
2) In a blender, grind it to a smooth paste n keep aside.
3) In a pan, heat oil n add cumin seeds n fry for 30 secs.
4) Add onion puree n fry for 6-7 mins on medium heat.
5) Add ginger garlic paste,turmeric n fry for couple mins.
6) Add tomato n fry for 3 mins.
7) Add Spinach leafy's pure n mix well. Cover n cook for 8 mins on medium heat.
8) Simmer n add red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala n cook for 1 min.
9) Add, evaporated milk or cream n cook for 3 mins on medium heat,uncovered. Stir vigorously.
10) Add grated paneer or cubes n cook for 2mins.
11) Adjust spices to your taste n switch off.




Enjoy this healthy delicious colorful Saag Paneer with rice or chapathi.


Tip: Add evaporated milk instead of cream. By using this you can save so much on calories n moreover it doesn't make any difference..

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Methi Matar Malai/ Fenugreek Leaves with Green Peas

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Methi Matar Malai--  Is one of those rich creamy dishes.. Rich in color, texture and nutrients this dish goes with anything.
Normally, i use methi for aloo methi , methi paratas , methi dal n for some fritters. So thought of making this delicious Methi Matar Malai. Here, i used frozen methi, as i wont get fresh methi. Green peas is such an wonderful vegetable, that goes with anything n gives nice taste n texture to the dish. 
For Malai, i used great value non fat evaporated milk instead of using fresh cream. By using this you can save so much on calories n moreover it doesn't make any difference..




Ingredients:
Methi: 2 cups-frozen, tightly tucked-fresh
Green Peas: 11/2 cup
Evaporated Milk:1 cup
Whipping cream: 2 tbsp
Onion: 1 medium, finely chopped
Tomato: 1 medium, finely chopped
Oil: 1tbsp
Cumin Seeds: 1tsp
Turmeric: 1tsp
Ginger Garlic paste: 2tsp
Red chili powder: 1tsp
Salt: to taste
Jaggery: 1tsp
Dry fenugreek leaves: 1tsp
Coriander Powder: 1tsp
Garam Masala: 1tsp




Preparation:
1. Run frozen methi leaves under water for 2 mins.
2. Sprinkle salt over methi leaves. Mix n keep it aside for 20 mins.
3. In a pan, heat oil and add cumin seeds, Fry for 30 secs on medium heat.
4. Add Onions and crushed dry fenugreek leaves. Cook for 5-6minutes or until onions are tender.
5. Add Ginger garlic paste, turmeric n mix. Fry for 2mins.
6. Add Tomatoes, mix and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat ,covered.
7. Add Green Peas, Coriander Powder, Garam Masala, Red Chili Powder and Salt. 

8.Mix well, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Be sure to stir in between to prevent sticking.
9. Add jaggery to methi leaves n mix well, when u add green peas.
10. Squeeze out salt water from Fenugreek Leaves and add it to the peas.
11. Cover and cook until Peas and Fenugreek Leaves are cooked for 6 minutes.
12. Stir in Evaporated Milk, fresh cream and mix well. Bring to a boil.






Enjoy this yummy Methi Matar Malai with rice or chapathi

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