October 25, 2013

Sweet Somasi (Karjikai)

How to make Sweet Somasi (with step by step pictures) 

             Weeks before Diwali, Mom & Grandma would start the preparations for Diwali. They would take out the largest containers in the house, to store the sweets & snacks; which would then be distributed to all neighbors, friends & family. Diwali was a mega celebration in my home - I used to look forward to it, even more than my birthday :) 

            The Somasi was only made for Diwali in our house. The filling by itself can be a snack; i had some left over luckily! The outer shell is crispy & not sweet; the inside is coated with the sweet filling & satisfies your sweet tooth. If you have the Somasi mould, it might save you some time; but if you don't, you can still make it successfully, like I did. 

Sweet Somasi (Karjikai) with a easy filling.


Makes about 20 medium Sized Somasi's
For the filling:
1/2 Cup Roasted Gram (Chutney Dal) - Powdered
White Sugar - 3/4 Cup
Dry Grated Coconut flakes - 2 Tbsp (If using fresh grated coconut, dry roast until it's dry)
Khus-Khus - 1 Tbsp (Dry roasted)
Cardamom powder - 1/4 Tsp
Broken Cashews - 2 Tbsp roasted in 1 Tsp Ghee

For the shell:
All purpose flour/Maida - 1 Cup
Oil - 2 Tbsp
Salt - 1/4 Tsp
Water - Approximately 1/4 Cup (some extra water for sealing the shell)

Oil for deep frying

October 21, 2013

Mullu Murukku

How to make Mullu Murukku (Easy Diwali Snack)

          Deepavali, is a lot like Christmas for Hindu's, although we are not big on the gifts - we exchange treats!! The thought of Deepavali never fails to excite me, till date. During my tween years, I remember the sleepless nights on the eve of Deepavali, eagerly waiting for somebody to wake up; so I can too. The pre-dawn Ganga Snanam (Oil bath); a huge volume of phone calls & guests who visit, to give their Deepavali greetings & pass on some dry fruits, sweets or even fireworks. I used to get all dolled up, to go to almost every house on the street & share the sweets & savories made in our home. Not to mention, the numerous oil lamps every where you see - in every room of the house, on every window sill & even on the roof, if it was accessible. My brothers on the other hand didn't care much for anything else, except munching on the treats & the fireworks; tons & tons of fireworks :o)

        I first learnt, how to make Kai Murukku's (made using your hands; without a Murukku press) from my great Grandma; she was the one, when it came to making gigantic batches of crunchy-munchy snacks for Deepavali. It's been a while since I thought of her; but now I miss her very much :o( I hope her blessings are with me, although she isn't. OK! I think, I've rambled enough, let's get to the recipe now.

How to make Mullu Murukku/Chakli -Easy Diwali Snack

October 18, 2013

Makki Chi Bhaji (Corn in spiced gravy)

How to make Maharashtrian Makki Chi Bhaji (Corn in spiced gravy)

               If you are looking for something different than your usual accompaniments for your Roti or Rice, then look no further. This Maharashtrian (a state located in the western region of India) side dish made with fresh/frozen Corn, is your answer. The aromatic flavors of the Goda Masala, combined with the sweetness of the Corn & the tanginess of the lemon juice makes this a bold & aromatic gravy, to go with your meal. This accompaniment is capable of adding a punch, to your usual menu.

Maharashtrian Makki Chi Bhaji (Corn in spiced gravy)

October 11, 2013

Masala Karasev

How to make Masala Karasev (with step by step pictures)

          What's better than hot Tea or Coffee on a cold rainy day, you ask? The same hot beverage along with crunchy & spicy, Karasev! The South Indian, Karasev (Spiced Sev) is traditionally made by pressing the dough on a Ladle held over hot oil, which can be cumbersome & tedious. The easy route for Kara Sev is to make it using the Murukku/Chakli Press & when it has cooled down, break it into pieces to resemble the Karasev. The Pepper variety is my favorite, but this recipe scores the win with its special ingredients.

      I fondly remember the days when my son tries to sneak into the kitchen & steal the whole jar of Kara Sev out, while I'm busy making the next batch :) This is a must-have for Diwali in our home, but it's actually an anytime snack. When stored in an air-tight container, it stays fresh for weeks together, but I bet, it won't last that long :)

October 7, 2013

Capsicum (Green Bell Pepper) Masala Rice

How to make Capsicum (Bell Pepper) Masala Rice

            There are days when I am left wondering what I could make for the lunch-box, with the ingredients on hand. This is an easy variety rice, that will please your family for sure. The freshly ground masala adds a zest to the sweet & aromatic peppers; while the roasted Peanuts & Lentils/Dals add a delightful crunch to this  flavorful rice.

Bell Pepper Masala Rice


October 4, 2013

Mysore Pak / Besan ki Burfi

How to make Mysore Pak (with step by step pictures)

             The popular Mysore Pak didn't make it to my favorites list until I tasted the soft Mysore Pak that became widely available in stores. This recipe will result in a neither too soft, nor too hard Mysore Pak; it wouldn't be greasy on your fingers but would crumble as soon as it touches your pearly whites. This is an excellent sweet to make for festivals like Diwali as it stores well for weeks together. Once you get the hang of it, this is also an easy sweet to make with just a few commonly available ingredients, right at home. This is one dish, that will keep you on your toes, but the results are well worth the effort.

October 1, 2013

Paavakkai Pitlay/Bitter Gourd Gravy

How to make Paavakkai Pitlay/Bitter Gourd Gravy

                  In my childhood days, my Grandma often made this Pitlay & various other dishes with bitter vegetables; exclusively for my Grandpa who loved them. Back then, I never understood how somebody could love something bitter in taste (I still don't). It took years, for me to change from total refusal to reluctantly sampling the bitter vegetables like Paavakkai, Sundakkai and other rare & odd tasting, plant products. I can now, proudly say that the Bitter Gourd is a commonly cooked veggie in my kitchen. Fear not, my friends - Just follow my tricks to eliminate every ounce of bitterness from this gourd & reap all the benefits from it. 

Zero bitterness Paavakkai Pitlay/Bitter Gourd Gravy

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