January 31, 2014

Tomato Masale Huli / Tomato Coconut Sambar

How to make Tomato Coconut Sambar / Tomato Masale Huli

               I still remember the first time, I tried out this dish from The Hindu during my late teens. I was at my Grandma's place & one fine day, she got busy with other chores far away from the kitchen. That's when I decided to make use of the opportunity & try to cook. I read & read the recipe, word by word countless times, to be sure I got everything just right. I didn't want to get into trouble with Gram pa, plus I wanted to prove to myself that I could cook (After all, I hardly ever got a chance to explore my culinary skills). I was so happy with the results, I went hopping over to my friends/neighbors to share, what i had whipped up - OK fine, you caught me!! To 'show-off' that I could cook :o)

             So, it doesn't matter whether you are a novice cook, just exploring your culinary skills in the kitchen or an experienced culinarian; this recipe will not disappoint you for sure. It goes great with Rice & a curry - I served it with Vendakai Poriyal/Okra fry. It can also be served with other Indian breakfast items like Idli, Dosa, Uthappam etc, which reminds me about the Uthappam post, dozing off in my draft. Will get to it sometime soon. Anyways, linking this post to Srivalli's CCChallenge, which is a wonderful way to share recipes from print, on the blogosphere.               

Tomato Masale Huli (Tomato Coconut sambar) from Udupi.

January 25, 2014

Pindi Chole (Dry Version of Punjabi Chole)

How to make Pindi Chole

            A variation of the popular Channa Masala, this is different from the regular preparation in terms of texture and color. The tea leaves in this recipe imparts a beautiful brown & earthy tone. Although it does not have a lot of gravy, it has the right amount of moisture in it; which makes it versatile. There are so many ways to serve this Chole, just make sure you don't forget to serve raw onions on the side - it goes with Milk Puri's , Roti, Batura, Cutlet, bread or rice. I even made quick samosas with this as the filling which turned out delicious.

Pindi Chole (Dry Version of Punjabi Chole)

January 18, 2014

Kakarakaya Vepudu in Gravy (Fried Bitter gourd dumplings in Gravy)

How to make Kakarakaya Vepudu in Gravy

             After Paavakkai Pitlay, it's been a while since i posted anything like it. So here is yet another recipe with Bitter gourd (Paavarkaai in Tamil, Karela in Hindi), which is an unpalatable vegetable for some (although, there are a whole lot of people who would beg to differ). This is a two-in-one recipe cos' you can stop half way through the process & enjoy the Bitter gourd Pakodas as a starter or go all the way making the gravy to enjoy it with your meal. Either ways, you will not regret trying this recipe. As I've revealed earlier, I have grown to like this bitter vegetable over the years - if i can relish this dish; then the die hard Bitter gourd fans out there will love this for sure. These Pakodas are the soft kind (so they absorb the gravy & stay soft); if you want to make it a little crispier, you can add a Tbsp of Rice flour to the batter. This is one more recipe of Chef Jacob's that i had written down in my recipe diary. Sending this over to Srivalli's CCChallenge #4 week 3.

Kakarakaya Vepudu in Gravy (Fried Bitter gourd dumplings in Gravy)

Kakarakaya Vepudu in Gravy (Fried Bitter gourd dumplings in Gravy)

January 11, 2014

Very Easy Berry Ice-Cream

How to make easy Berry Ice-Cream

           I can hear some of your mind voices going "Ice-Cream, in this kind of weather!!" :) There are 2 kinds are people I know; people like myself, who relate ice-creams to classic Summers, when the mercury is soaring & the Sun is shining bright. And then; there are people, like my older son who loves to lick up an ice-cream, even if the Polar Vortex is going around freezing everything in it's path, including the awe-inspiring Niagara falls. The record-breaking chill last week was so frigid, it literally stopped Niagara Falls in its tracks. On the day, when the sub-zero temperatures were breaking records - I asked him how his early morning walk to the bus stop was & he simply replies "Good!". What else can i say... So, here goes - a very quick & easy recipe with just three ingredients to make your loved ones, something they will like with no added color, preservatives or high fructose corn syrup etc. Just simple, fruity, all-natural & delicious Ice-Cream.



1.5 cups frozen Berries 
5 Tbsp powdered Sugar
1/2 cup Whipping Cream

Very Easy Berry Ice-Cream

January 5, 2014

Spinach Rice / Keerai Saadham /Palak Rice

How to make Spinach Rice / Keerai Saadham /Palak Rice

                Being a descendant of a Tamil family, I have mostly eaten Spinach in the form of Masiyal, Poriyal, Kootu & Kuzhambu during childhood, but never as a Rice or Raitha. So this caught my eye & made it into my collection of  recipes. This dish is from my Recipe diary & often makes it to our lunch box and dining table; because of it's ease of preparation  & well known health benefits. 

             The Spinach gives the rice some color, the ground spices give a nice kick to the otherwise, bland Spinach. Top it with roasted peanuts to add some crunch to your bite & you have a hearty one (almost) pot meal to feed your family. Although I've been making this for more than a decade now, sadly there is no mention in my diary, of where I got this recipe from. Anyways, this goes to Valli's CCChallenge #4 week 1Serve hot with a Tangy Kuzhambu or Pappad & Indian Pickle for a delicious meal.

Spinach Rice / Keerai Saadham

January 1, 2014

Sour Cream Apple Pie with Streusel Topping

How to make Sour Cream Apple Pie with Streusel Topping

              Happy New Year, folks!! I'm glad, that I got around to crossing off, something on my to do list. For a long time now, I have been wanting to make a pie & I finally got myself to make this amazing 'Sour Cream Apple Pie' for new year's eve to bid farewell to 2013 & welcome 2014 with some sweet stuff. I don't remember, the last time; I went Oooooh & Aaaaaah over any dessert. I don't mean to be boastful but when i tasted this warm pie, I felt like taking a bow, for every bite i took. Not that I, did anything great - the magic, is in the ingredients &  the method. The butter in the topping caramelizes the brown sugar, roasts the flour & oats to perfection to make an out of the world crunchy, sweet & chewy Streusel topping and it is balanced well by the tart apples & sour cream beneath it. To be more precise, let me just tell you that the 'Apple Pie' is not my favorite kind of pie.

            You could even, try this recipe without the bottom crust/shell. Yeah, you read it right, that is if you want to cut down big, on calories & fat. If you want to make something that's just the right size for a sm all family & not feed a crowd, just use half of the given ingredients, skip the crust & call it a cobbler !! Trust me, I have done that too ;o) Scroll down for that picture.

Sour Cream Apple Pie with Streusel Topping

Buttery & Flaky Pie Crust

How to make a Buttery & Flaky Pie crust

Buttery & Flaky Pie Crust

Ingredients for the Pie Crust: 

8 Tbsp or 1/2 Cup Butter - Cut into pieces & frozen 
2.5 Tbsp + 1/2 Tsp shortening - measured & frozen
1.5 Cups Flour
1/2 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp baking powder
1 small Egg yolk 
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
Ice cold water

Special Equipment's required:
A food processor

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