Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cottage Cheese N Collard Greens Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms are a frequent occurrence in the menu. Since I love anything stuffed, I make this often but never get tired of eating it simply cause I alternate between a long-list of stuffing choices.This stuffing is one among the top contenders. Try it and you will love it. This is making its way to the "Global Kadai" event held at Sumi's Kitchen.
  • Button Mushrooms - 12#s, wiped clean with wet tea-towels
  • Crumbled Cottage Cheese/Paneer - 1 cup (If using Indian Cottage cheese,cube and shallow fry first and crumble after cooling)
  • Onion - 1,small, roughly chopped 
  • Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
  • Frozen Collard Greens - , Thawed, completely drained of water
  • Cracked Pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil - 3 tbsp
  • Gently dislodge the stumps from the mushroom and set aside.
  • Using the melon baller hollow the mushroom caps.
  • Fine dice the stump and onion in the food processor . Set aside.
  • In a shallow pan, heat 2 tbsp of oil and add minced garlic, diced onion-stump mixture.
  • Saute till the onion is browned.Add the crumbled cheese, collards and gently mix.
  • Sprinkle the salt and pepper. Mix until the mixture is evenly incorporated. 
  • Cool the mixture and stuff the hollowed mushroom caps.
  • Drizzle the filled caps with remaining olive oil.
  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Bake the stuffed caps for 20-25 minutes on the middle rack depending on the level of preferred crispiness. 
  • Let the mushrooms rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve.
  • Spinach may be substituted for collard greens.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

RecipeReplica: Flambeed Orange Peppers, SweetPea in Tomato-Onion Gravy

Flambe` - A showy cooking technique where an alcoholic beverage, such as brandy, is added to hot food to create a burst of flames.I have some other definition for it-- for someone who isn't properly trained for it, like me, its DiSaSter. You could lose an eyebrow or two when trying such a thing.When I read that this technique could  be mimicked using just water minus the liquor at a wonderful blog called Foodelicious I just had to try. So I smoked the oil in  the pan, sprinkled water on the chopped peppers(OMG, OMG!) and with a prayer dropped them into the oil that was a few seconds from catching fire. I chickened out in the end, did not wait to see those chunked peppers create sparks,lidded the pan for a few seconds to prevent splish-splash on my beautiful tumble-marble backsplash.Nevertheless, the peppers were perfectly cooked, yet retained the crunch. That and the sweetpea in the gravy was a winner in the house. Thanks Pari, for throwing light on this technique. I hope to master it soon.
  • Peppers, any color - 3 medium or 12 mini, seeds and membranes removed, diced
  • SweetPea, fresh or frozen - a handful
  • Roma Tomatoes, very ripe - 3, medium, diced
  • Onion - 1, large, diced
  • Garlic - 6, small pods
  • Ginger - 1/2 inch, chopped
  • Bay leaf - 1
  • Star Anise - 1
  • Olive oil - 4 tbsp
  • Butter - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder - a pinch
  • Chill Powder - 1 tsp
  • Curry Powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt for taste.
  • In a shallow pan, heat a tbsp of oil, add the chunked onions, garlic pods and chopped ginger.Saute until onion is browned.
  • Add the tomatoes and fry it until it loses the raw smell.
  • Cool the mixture and grind them coarsely. Set aside.
  • In the same pan, warm a tbsp of oil , add the bay leaf and star anise. Return the ground mixture to the pan.
  • Add the sweet pea, turmeric powder, chilli powder and curry powder along with a cup of water. Sprinkle salt and check for taste.
  • In another shallow pan, heat 2 tbsp of oil and bring it to a smoking point. Sprinkle water on the diced peppers and throw them into the pan. 
  • Toss the peppers, like a pro, for a minute until they are crisped.
  • Add the peppers to the gravy pan and cook just until the gravy thickens.
  • Switch off the stove and drizzle a tsp of butter on top.
  • Serve hot with Rice, Ghee Rice, Pilaf or Roti.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fabulous Meatloaf

"Blues" is my middle name today. Why? Plenty if reasons. First, I have no clue how to potty-train my toddler. He is hedging around the training pot and doesn't want to squat. He finishes his business behind the couch,the only signs are the telltale smell of his soiled diaper and his beady eyes that screams Guilty! I am a veritable airhead..a simpleton!I had a perfect opportunity to train him when I was vacationing in India..should have let him run like a free-range chicken minus the diaper and he would have gotten trained in a couple of days! I can't do that here on carpeted and area-rugged floors now, can I? Arrrghhhhh! Second, the rain and the sleet doesn't help improve my mood.

So what do I do? I run and make one of my comfort food to console myself.So that is how Meatloaf Post came about today.

  • Lean Ground Turkey - 1 1/2 pounds
  • Red onion - 1, small, diced
  • Garlic Cloves - 5, small, diced
  • Mini Peppers - 3 + 1 , 3 diced and 1, horizontally cut for garnish
  • Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
  • Pepper - 1 1/2 tsp or more
  • Whole Wheat Bread -  3, stale, toasted and crumbed
  • Egg - 1, beaten
  • Red Sauce - 3 ounces ( I used Bertolli Organic Olive Oil, Basil and garlic sauce)
  • Fennel Seeds - 1/4 tsp (optional)
  • Olive oil - 1 tsp, for greasing
  • 9 X 5 X 3 inch loaf pan
  • In a bowl, mix all of the above ingredients with hands until evenly incorporated WITHOUT over mixing.
  • Grease a 9 X 5 X 3 inch loaf pan with a tsp of oil.
  • Spoon the mixture into the greased pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Bake the meatloaf on the upper rack for 45 minutes.Insert a toothpick in the center of the loaf to check for done-ness.
  • Discard the juices in the pan and let the meatloaf rest for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Slice it evenly and serve with mashed potato and steamed veggies as sides.
Makes ~12 slices


    Monday, February 22, 2010

    Garlic in Spicy Tamarind Sauce

    I love the Indian garlic bulbs because they are more pungent than their bigger cousins. When I came back from my vacation I brought some of these beauties and now they have started to sprout. Hence I decided to make the most of them by making "Poondu Kara Kuzhambhu" this weekend. Don't be put off by too much garlic as the pungency mellows and they are quite delicious after cooking.
    • Garlic Cloves - 40, small cloves, skin removed
    • Onion - 1, small, diced
    • Tomato - 1 1/2, medium, diced
    • Tamarind - Lemon sized, soaked and juiced
    • Curry leaves - 1 stalk (optional)
    • Chilli Powder - 2 tsp
    • Cumin powder  - 1/2 tsp
    • Pepper corns - 1/2 tsp, finely crushed
    • Turmeric Powder - 1/8 tsp
    • Salt
    • Oil - 2 tbsp
    For Seasoning:
    • Vadagam(seasoning balls)  or Urad/mustard - 1 tsp
    • In a pan, heat the oil, add the garlic and onions. Saute until onions are browned.
    • Add the turmeric powder and curry leaves. Fry for a couple of minutes.
    • Add the tomatoes and cook until they lose shape. Pour the juice of tamarind and follow-up with chilli powder and salt.
    • Bring to a boil with lid closed and on medium flame until the gravy thickens.
    • Season the "Vadagam" or Urad/mustard in a tsp of olive oil and pour over the tamarind mixture.
    • Serve over hot steaming rice and papadam.

    Sunday, February 21, 2010

    Corn, Beans, Rice & Raisins Stuffed Mini-sweet Peppers

    If you ask me I can tell you 101 ways to stuff a pepper/mushroom or any veggies for that matter. I am a big fan of stuffed delicacies mainly because they look so elegant with minimal effort and you simply can't go wrong with the flavor.To top it they are crowd-pleasers. I had a pack of frozen corn kernels, Lima beans in the freezer and I decided to make do with instead of black beans, which I normally make use of in this recipe. I was pleasantly surprised with the way they turned out and I will certainly be making this version again.
    • Mini Sweet peppers - 12-15#s
    • Corn Kernels + Lima beans - 1/2 cup
    • Boiled Short-grained rice - 1 cup
    • Raisins - 1/4 cup
    • Onion - 1/2, small, fine diced
    • Cheddar cheese - 1/4 cup, shredded
    • Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
    • Cracked pepper - 1/2 tsp
    • Salt for taste
    • Vegetable oil - 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp
    • Vegetable broth - 1/2 cup
    • Mini Bread-loaf pan ( 6 X 3 X 2)
      • Clean the mini sweet peppers and drain on paper towel.
      • Cut the top off and remove the seeds, ribs from inside.Set aside.
      • In a skillet, heat 2 tbsp oil and add cumin seeds.
      • Follow-up with onions and saute till browned.
      • Add the thawed corn kernels, lima beans, broth to the skillet.
      • Cook the mixture in skillet with salt and pepper for 3-4 minutes on low flame with lid on.
      • Add the cooked rice and raisins and give a gentle mix.
      • Switch off the stove and stir-in the shredded cheddar.
      • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
      • Coat the prepared sweet peppers with a tbsp of oil.
      • Stuff the slightly cooled mixture into the peppers and line them up straight inside a mini-bread-loaf pan.
      • Bake for 35-40 minutes until the tops are slightly crusty and the body of the pepper is wrinkled.
      • Let the peppers rest for 5 minutes prior to consuming.
      • Baking time might slightly vary depending on the size of the peppers
      • Peppers can be vertically halved and stuffed than baking straight-up
      Check out a variation of this recipe here.

        Friday, February 19, 2010

        "By The Book" Tag

        Warning: Proceed only if you don't mind feeling miserable at the end of reading this post.

        This tag wasn't passed on to me but I decided to pick up anyway from Jayashree's spot "Experiments with food". I picked up this tag because it was "Distinctly Different" and I was raring to write about a booklet(but procrastinating) that has become one of the most important asset that I cherish above the rest.So what makes this yellowed, dog-eared booklet so important? It doesn't have any secret-recipe passed down from generation to generation.The simple, honest, back-to-basics sort of recipes were handwritten by my aunt, who is no more. She may be dead and long gone but she is "Immortalized In Ink" in my well-worn booklet. Writing about this special booklet means I relive the pain that I experienced some 5 years ago..a pain that hasn't lessened over time..To say more on this painful chapter of my life, I guess I will have to Flashback to Year 2005.
                  2005 was a promising year for me. I had finished Grad school, re-entered workforce,felt empowered by confidence and choices that I made in life, perceived that life was beautiful, loved every minute of all that it had to offer. What I didn't know was that all these good chapters in my life was only a prelude to something terrible that was in store for me and my family. One fine September morning, my aunt(who lived in Sunny California) comes home after dropping her 2 pre-teen kids at school. She starts sweating profusely and has pain in the chest-area.She waits patiently for her hubby(my dad's bro) to come downstairs, who by the way is showering and getting ready to go to work.When he does come 10 minutes later he sees that she is in a lot of pain..immediately calls 911 and by the time the ambulance came, she knew something was very wrong with her..she only said to her hubby "I'm afraid"..she then passed out.By the time she was taken to the ER, she was brain dead because she had suffered a massive heart-attack that ruptured the vessels taking blood supply to the brain. She was quite young, you know. Just 42. A week after she had the attack, there was no sign of improvement and her organs started failing one by one.My uncle, my parents and both her kids saw her heart-beat drop and flat-line.She never did regain consciousness before she died.No one's last words should be "I'm afraid".. So incomplete, just like her lifeline. I had gone for her funeral and still can't get past the image where she looked like an angel taking a nap. The folks at the funeral home had stitched her, bathed her and had tied a Saree(her Wedding Saree BTW) with her brother's guidance and there she was sleeping her final sleep.Her coffin was flown to Bangalore, her birthplace, to be buried..I'm afraid I don't have any recipes from this aunt, who was an amazing cook.:(.
                While my family was still recoiling from this shocking loss, fate dealt a similar blow three month later. It was the New Year's Eve. I was flying to India..rung New Year midair..touched down on Indian soil soonafter.My Inlaws came by to pick me and my hubby. I passed via my aunt's house(mom's sister).Ever since I emigrated to the US, some 15 yrs ago,the only place that I stayed in Chennai was my aunt's house.However things changed after marriage. So when I passed my aunt's house, I was itching to jump out of the SUV and run to her place, just like old times.You see,she raised me until I was 5. She was like a second mom. So no second-guessing how very special she was to me. After a lengthy reviving nap, I called her that afternoon and talked to her for a couple of hours. I called her again at around 8PM and she said she was watching fireworks and stuff and asked me when I was going to visit her. So after scheduling my visit to her place, which was the next day, I hit the bed for some reviving sleep.I get a call at 2AM from the US, from my sister, who was crying and screaming.I didn't understand head or tail of what was going on..she then screamed that my aunt was DEAD. But which one? She then told me, my sweet aunt, the one I was gonna go visit had died of cardiac arrest. My whole being went into some kind of shock..When I promised to visit her on Jan 2nd, it wasn't to go to her funeral. By the time I put a brave face and went there early morning, she was put in a glass box and she too was wearing her wedding Saree..She was in her early 50s..That is no age to die. Tears wouldn't come. It was as though a part of me went numb. I was thinking about the great times we had shared since I was a child and I just couldn't grieve. Grieving would mean that I finally get that she is no more..then accepting would mean that I will have to move on..You see, I wasn't ready for both.
                Losing both women, who were very dear to me, has streaked my life with melancholy. Even though I have bright spots in my life, I always wonder what other misfortunes the future has in hold, which in turn makes me gloomy. Anytime I get a phone call after 9PM in the evening, I am looking at it as if it is a bearer of bad news..bringer of misery..I hate the fear, hate the weakness.Most of all I hate my inability to deal with death. Will I ever learn to cope up? I don't know.
           Anywayz, want a recipe from that revered book of mine? Click here.

        Thursday, February 18, 2010

        Rice Hoppers(Appam)/Spongy Rice Pancakes and some awards

        Seriously, this is in my Top5 favorite Breakfast/Brunch choice of all time. Who can resist these soft, spongy Hoppers? No Sireee! Not me for sure. These Hoppers or Spongy Rice Pancakes are quite popular and largely prevalent in South Indian households. I love to have this with sweetened coconut milk and tomato chutney. What about you? If you haven't had this before, you don't know what you are missing. Just head over to a South Indian restaurant for a taste of heaven. The texture is similar to that of Ethiopian Injera. Yum!
        • Raw Rice - 2 cups, soaked for 4 hours
        • Cooked Rice - a handful
        • Grated Coconut - a handful
        • Dry Yeast - 1/2 tsp
        • Sugar - 1/2 tsp
        • Warm water
        For the Coconut Milk:
        • Grated coconut from 1 mature coconut
        • Warm water or Skimmed Milk - 2 cups
        • Sugar - 2 tbsp
        • Wok, preferably non-stick
        • Wash and grind the raw rice, grated coconut and cooked rice to a smooth paste with very less water.
        • In a bowl, add 2 tbsp of warm water and add the sugar and yeast.
        • Add this yeast mixture to the ground paste and let it ferment overnight.
        • Prepare the batter to a pour-able consistency(Batter should be thicker than crepe-batter).
        • Pour a ladle-full of batter to the wok and swirl it so that the batter coats the side of the pan and the center is spongy. 
        • Close the lid and let it cook for 2-3 minutes on a medium flame.Repeat the same with the remaining batter.
        • Extract "thick" coconut milk by squeezing batches of grated coconut through cheesecloth.
        • Extract "thin" coconut milk by letting the squeezed coconut soak in warm water or milk and squeezing them again through the cheesecloth.Sweeten the coconut milk with sugar.
        • Serve hot hoppers with spicy tomato chutney or sweet coconut milk.

        Now its time to acknowledge the awards:
        AshKuku of  and Cicily of have shared these wonderful awards with me. I thank you both from the bottom of my heart. You girls rock!
        This last award, passed to me by Cicily comes with a set of demands:
        The rules for accepting this award are 
        • Thank the person who gave you the award.
        • Copy the award to your blog.
        • Place a link to their blog.
        • Name 7 things people don't know about you.
        • Nominate 7 bloggers.
        • Place a link to those bloggers.
        • Place a comment letting those bloggers know about the award.
        I have been tagged before by Saju of The Novice Kitchen.  To know more about me click here.
        The point of giving awards, besides appreciation is to know and be known by other bloggers who share the same passion,right? So I would like to share this award with bloggers who I just have come to  know and have come to like what they post

        Wednesday, February 17, 2010

        Chicken 65

        This is coming straight from MIL's Kitchen and she used some homemade masala powder to make this scrumptious snack. When I do this at home I usually use the "Sakthi" brand's Chicken 65 powder and it comes out a little differently. Other than the slight color difference the taste is pretty much the same.
        • Boneless Chicken - 1 lb, chunked
        • Ginger/Garlic paste - 3 tbsp
        • Chilli Powder - 2 tsp
        • Sakthi Chicken 65 Masala powder - 1/2 pack or Home-made powder
        • Corn Flour - 1/4 cup
        • All-purpose flour - 1/4 cup
        • Egg - 1
        • Salt for taste
        • Vegetable Oil for deep frying
        • Curry Leaves for garnish
        • Wash the chunked chicken and drain it completely of all moisture.
        • Mix all of the above ingredients except the chicken in a bowl.
        • Marinate the chicken chunks in the mixture for 30 minutes.
        • Deep fry in batches on low flame for best results.
        • Serve hot with deep-fried curry leaves as garnish.


          Saturday, February 13, 2010

          French Palmiers - Oh, so Sweet!

          This is probably the easiest thing to make with Puff Pastry and with just 5 ingredients too. Isn't that sweet? And hey, Happy Valentine's Day 2010.
          • Puff Pastry sheet - 1, thawed for 25-30 minutes
          • Confectioner's Sugar - 1 tbsp
          • Cinnamon powder - 1/2 tsp
          • Granulated Sugar - 5 tsp
          For the Glaze:
          • Honey - 1 tsp  or Egg-white of 1 egg
          • Roll the thawed pastry on a work surface dusted with confectioners sugar.If the flour tears at the folds, patch it up with fingers.
          • Mix the cinnamon and the granulated sugar and sprinkle it on both sides. Press the sugar into the pastry with hands.
          • Fold both the ends of the pastry inwards till they meet midway. 
          • Fold the pastry one over the other.(see picture below).
          • Let it sit in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.
          • Cut the pastry into 18 -20 pieces and line them up 2-3 inches apart in a greased cookie sheet.
          • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
          • Apply glaze of choice and bake for 25-30 minutes turning them midway so it evenly bakes on both sides.
          • Move to cooling rack for 15-20 minutes.Store in air-tight container.

          Friday, February 12, 2010

          The Orphan Posts: Navratan Korma & Turkey Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

          As per desi soccer mom, the initial posts are like orphans, ignored and unread until the blog is discovered by someone, somewhere in some part of the world. I couldn't have phrased it much better than that if I tried.So for Jaya's  "Repost" event, I have decided to pick one vegetarian and one non-vegetarian dish (with much better pictures) to please all my followers, silent viewers and accidental stumblers to my space.

          Recipe Links:


          Thursday, February 11, 2010

          Chocolate and Sweet-Bread Pudding

          I often make this when I crave for something chocolate-y and have no patience to go through the pains of making a decadent dessert. This is a no-nonsense bread pudding that can be made in a jiffy.Banana puree can be used as a binder ingredient instead of egg to make it completely vegetarian.
          • Cinnamon-raisin Bread or Any sweet bread - 4 slices
          • Low-fat milk - 1 1/2 cups
          • Sugar - 2 tbsp
          • Egg - 1 , beaten  (or) Banana - 1/2, pureed
          • Butter - 2 tbsp
          • Semi-sweet chocolate - 2 ounces( about 1/4 cup)
          • Vanilla extract - 1/2 tsp
          • Tear the slices of bread and set aside.
          • In a bowl, mix the milk, sugar, beaten egg and vanilla extract using a whisk.
          • In another bowl, melt the butter and chocolate. Add this to the above bowl.
          • Pour the entire milk mixture over the bread making sure all the pieces are coated.
          • Refrigerate for an hour.
          • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
          • Grease a square baking pan(8 X 8) with butter. Move the mixture to the pan.
          • Bake on the top rack for 20-25 minutes or until set.
          • Cut into squares or heart and serve immediately.
          Makes 4-6 servings.

          • Mixture may puff during baking and deflate after cooling.
          • Banana Puree can be used Instead of eggs. 

          Monday, February 8, 2010

          Seven-Layer "Lite" Dip - Assault on the taste buds, in a good way!

          If there is a dip that I go completely nuts, it has got to be the famed Seven Layer Dip. It is very popular in the US and falls under the "Tex-Mex" cuisine. I love love love this dip and usually hog around this bowl at parties or any social gatherings. Since I make this often at home, I had to find a lighter version that I can dig in without a twinge of guilt.Sending this post to "Healing Foods - Avocado" hosted @ Siri's Corner.
          • Refried Beans - 1/2 cup
          • Low-fat Laughing Cow Swiss Cheese - 2 wedges, whipped smooth
          • Salsa - 1/2 cup
          • Sour Cream - 1/4 cup
          • Avocado - 1/2 (or ) Guacamole - 1/2 cup
          • Moneterey Jack Cheese - 2 tbsp, shredded
          • Black Olives - 5 #s, thinly sliced
          • Carrot - 1/2, shredded
          • Salt - a dash
          • Pepper - 1/4 tsp
          • Layer1 - Add salt and pepper to Refried beans and spread on the bottom of a serving dish.
          • Layer2 - Whipped Swiss Cheese
          • Layer3 - Salsa
          • Layer 4- Smashed Avocado or Guacamole
          • Layer 5 - Sprinkle Moneterey Jack Cheese
          • Layer 6 - Sliced black olives
          • Layer 7 - Shredded Carrot
          • Assemble and cover with a cling wrap and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.
          • Serve chilled or at room temperature with Tortilla chips or pita chips.
          • Taco Seasoning can be mixed with refried beans instead of just salt and pepper.
          • Shredded Lettuce, diced tomatoes can be substituted of Layer 5 and Layer 7.
          Makes ~ 4 servings.

          Other Entries for the event:


          Friday, February 5, 2010

          FromFamilyNFriends: Savory Whole Wheat Pancakes

          Who doesn't love pancakes?I remember the good old days when I used to religiously visit a nearby IHOP for a Pancake Fix. Pancakes/Flapjacks/Wheat Dosa are so versatile and can be made either sweet or savory. This is a recipe that was given to me by my cousin V who knows his way around the kitchen. Its so healthy and wholesome and an excellent choice for a weekend brunch or a breakfast.Sending this to the "Healthy Fast Food" event hosted @ Food for 7 stages of life.
          • Whole Wheat - 2 cups
          • Yogurt - 3 tbsp, beaten
          • Cracked Pepper - 1 tsp
          • Red Onions - 2 , medium, fine diced
          • Serrano Pepper(Hot Green Chilli) - 1, diced (optional)
          • Carrot - 1, peeled and shredded
          • Cilantro - a handful, finely chopped
          • Warm Water
          • Salt for taste
          • Oil - 2 tbsp
          • Olive oil Spray
          • In a bowl, add the whole wheat, salt and pepper. To it add the beaten yogurt, warm water and mix until it reaches the pancake consistency which is slightly runny.Check for taste. Add more salt or pepper if needed.
          • Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a skillet and add the onions and serrano pepper(if using). 
          • Saute the onions until browned. Add it to the pancake batter and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
          • Grease the pancake griddle with Olive oil spray.
          • Pour a ladle-full of batter and spread it around.Just before flipping sprinkle a little shredded carrot and cilantro.
          • Brown the pancake on both sides and remove from griddle.
          • Serve hot with thick Yogurt or a choice of chutneys.
          Makes ~8 pancakes.

          Note: To Indianize this recipe, add mustard seeds, chopped curry leaves to the skillet prior to adding onions and the chilli.

          Other entries that will be going to the same event:

          Thursday, February 4, 2010

          Sweet Potato Stuffed Puran Poli -- A taste of Tradition

          Puran Poli is a very traditional widespread Indian sweet made during festive season, which is probably year-round since there is some or the other festival happening every month. Puran Poli is also known as "Poli" in Tamilnadu, "Obbattu" in Karnataka and "Bobbattlu" in Andhra Pradesh. It is like a flat bread with a sweet filling. The usual filling is Jaggery and Split Pigeon Peas(Tuvar Dhal) but Sweet Potato was substituted for Pigeon Peas to give a slight twist to the recipe. I ate ten of this at one sitting and had a bellyache soonafter. "All things in moderation" was the lesson learnt, no matter how tempting or tasty it may be.Now onto the recipe:
          • Maida/All-purpose flour - 1 cup
          • Sweet potato - 2, medium
          • Jaggery (Unrefined Sugar/Gur) - 3/4 cup (1/2 cup for less sweet)
          • Coconut - 2 tbsp, fresh or frozen
          • Oil - 2 tbsp
          • Salt - a pinch
          • Cardamom Powder - 1/2 tsp
          • Mix the flour with oil and let it sit for 2-3 hours. Divide into even lemon-sized balls.
          • Boil the sweet potato until tender and mash it.
          • Mix the coarsely powdered jaggery, cardamom powder, coconut, salt with powdered jaggery.
          • If the mixture is runny, add to a pan and allow to thicken.
          • Make even lemon-sized balls and set aside.This will be the filling.
          • Grease plantain leaves or Plastic sheets with oil and flatten the dough balls.
          • Place the sweet potato balls inside the flattened dough and brings the end together like a sack and seal the edges.
          • Flatten the sweet potato-filled dough with oiled-hands until its 1/8inch thick.
          • Fry it on a oiled skillet until its browned on both sides.
          • Serve hot,cold or at room temperature. Tastes divine at any temperature. Keep well for a couple of days.
          Makes ~6-7 pieces.


          Wednesday, February 3, 2010

          Penne Pasta With Scrambled Eggs N Nuts

          This is an excellent choice for a nice, scrumptious mid-winter lazy afternoon lunch that can be made under 30 minutes.
          • Penne Pasta - 2 servings, cooked "tender" as per package direction
          • Carrot - 1, small, peeled
          • Eggs - 3 (2 Yolks discarded)
          • Skimmed Milk - 1/4 cup
          • Oil - 3 tbsp
          • Parsley - a handful, chopped
          • Mixed nuts(Macademia, Brazil Nut, Walnut, Cashew, Almonds) -  a handful, toasted and crushed or use store-bought, like Planters brand
          • Salt for taste
          • Cracked Pepper - 1 1/2 tsp
          • Slice the carrot thinly like bacon and do a fine dice.
          • In a small bowl, add the eggs and milk. Whisk with a little salt and pepper and set aside.
          • In a skillet, heat the oil and add the diced carrot. Brown them until they are crisped.
          • Pour the whipped egg mixture and scramble it.
          • Add the pasta while the egg is still cooking and add the parsley.
          • Sprinkle salt, pepper and check for taste.
          • Move from stove and add the crushed nuts on top.
          • Serve immediately.
          Makes 2 Servings.


          What a Saree! -- The most expensive Silk Saree

          This is something that was sent to me a couple of days ago by my cousin. It was too interesting to not post. So how often have you come across a $100,000(Indian Rs.40+ lakh) silk saree? Chennai Silks, a textile unit has come up with one of its kind and it is seeking an unmistakable entry into the Guinness Book of World Records for being the most unique and expensive saree.
          Some facts about this Saree:
          • The exceptionally stunning saree is meticulously woven with 12 precious stones and metals to depict 11 of Raja Ravi Verma's popular paintings. Explicitly projected is 'Lady Musicians', one of the painter's very famous works that displays women belonging to diverse cultural backgrounds.
          • The border of the saree pictures 10 other paintings of the very same artist.
          • The women in the paintings are intricately hand-woven and beautified with jewels of gold, diamond, platinum, silver, ruby, emerald, yellow sapphire, sapphire, cat's eye, topaz, pearl and corals.
          • This saree will be the first silk saree that required the use of 7,440 jacquard hooks and 66,794 cards during the weaving process. 
          • To make this Saree, a group of consummate workers took nearly 4,680 hours.
          Hmm, Impressive!

          Tuesday, February 2, 2010

          Masala Mushrooms

          Looking for a spicy vegetarian accompaniment for Ghee Rice, Plain rice, Yogurt Rice or any rice? Look no further. This is one yummy dish that people would love for seconds and thirds. Oh yes, people would!
          • Mushrooms - 15#s, small, cleaned and stems removed
          • Red Onion - 1, large, diced
          • Tomato - 1, small, diced
          • Garlic - 5 cloves, 3 if smaller
          • Peanuts - 3 tbsp, toasted
          • Sesame Seeds - 2 tbsp, toasted
          • Bengal Gram(Channa Dhal) - 2 tbsp
          • Green Chilli - 1, vertically slit
          • Dry Red Chillies - 2, whole or more
          • Peppercorns - 1 1/2 tsp
          • Curry leaves - 3 stalks
          • Salt - for taste
          • Olive Oil - 4 tbsp
          • Tamarind - marble-sized
          • In a skillet, heat a tbsp of oil and add the garlic, onions, curry leaves, green chilli if using. Saute until onions are browned. Throw in the diced tomato and fry until it loses raw smell. Add salt to it and set aside.
          • In a blender, grind the toasted peanuts, toasted sesame seeds , Red chilli, peppercorns to a coarse powder. Add the fried mixture to it and grind to a thick fine paste.Check for taste.
          • In the skillet, heat the remaining oil and add the cleaned mushrooms.Saute until they start shrinking and begins generating steam.
            • Pour the ground mixture and cook the mushroom until the gravy thickens. 
            • Extract juice from the tamarind and pour it over the mixture and let it re-thicken.
            • Serve hot over rice.
            Tip: Check the ground masala for taste(salt and spice) as the only other ingredient that will be added at the later stage is the tamarind juice.

            Sending this as an entry to "Cooking With Seeds - Sesame Seeds"  hosted @Priya's East N Tasty.
            Other posts that will be entered into this event: