Saturday, January 31, 2009

Karela Curry - My Style

I do not like karela a lot and I never eat it much as a kid. Now that I know it's nutricious value I try to add it in my meal. So this Friday when we went to the Indian store and I saw some really fresh karela, I bought it and Saturday nite for dinner we had some tasty pavakhya kozhambhu.

Here is what I did:-
Heated oil in a kadai and put some mutter to splutter and some red chillies and curry leaves. Added some garlic and sauteed finely chopped onions with salt. To this I added some sambhar powder, bitter gourd and let it mix well. Once the karelas were fried well I added  1 cup of water with tamrind juice and let it boil. To this I added jaggery and let it cook for some more time. Now I still found this bitter and so added more jaggery. You can adjust the salt, pepper to your consistency.
Finally it turned out to a very tasty dish with the sweet and spice mixing well.

P.S:- Would not have completed this post if it was not for Priya asking me this receipe:)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Legume Love Affair

This receipe goes for the My Legume Love affair.

Also linked to Susan's Event Page

My Rajma Masala
Rajma soaked for 4-5 hours atleast.
1 Onion
1 Tomatoe
Garam masala
Coriander Leaves

Pressure cook the soaked rajma with salt. I normally keep for 3 whistles on medium flame. Dont want the rajmas to get very mashy.
In a kadai take oil, put cumin seeds, finely chopped onions, salt and saute, once onions are brown add half spoon of garam masala. Fry for a minute, now add a little water from the pressure cooked rajma. This is so that the spices mix with the rajma water, gives more taste.
Now add finely chopped tomatoes, chopped green chiliies, salt and red chilli powder as per taste. Close and let the tomatoes cook well. Now open and add the boiled rajma with the water and cook for few minutes. Garnish with butter and corainder leaves.
Yummy rajma masala is ready.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


This weekend was Pizza time. I had seen this receipe on the net and it looked so easy, I decided to try it out. Saturday I went to Cub Foods and got some Capsicum, Jalapenos,Mozzarella Cheese, Oregano, Marjoram and Basil herbs.
Sun evening 25th Jan, I decided to try it out. Here is what I did:-
Wheat flour(Atta)
Olive Oil
JalapenosMozzarella Cheese
Oregano, Marjoram and Basil herbs
Fennel powder

For the base:-
I took half cup of water and heated in microwave, to this I added some yeast powder. kept this aside for 10 mins. Took 1 cup atta in a vessel. For the base you can use atta or maida. To this flour I added the yeast mix (after 10 minutes), mix and keep aside. Now in a separate bowl take 2 cups of atta, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil,half spoon sugar and 1 spoon salt, then add the yeast mixture and mix like for chapatis till it is soft. Once it is soft put few olive oil drops on top and keep aside for 30-45 minutes covered by a wet cloth.
After 30-45 minutes again knead the flour one more time, this is for proper aeration and keep it aside for another 20 minutes.
For the pizza sauce:- I tool 4 ripe red tomatoes, Put them in boling hot water for 30 seconds and then immediately transfer them to cold water. Now the tomatoes are blanched and you can easily remove the skin. 2 of the tomatoes I used to make a paste and other 2 I finely chopped. Also chopped some capiscum.
Take a kadai, heat oil, add garlic, saute, add capsicum and chopped tomatoes. After few minutes add the tomato paste. Cover with lid and let it ccok 15-20 minutes till all tomatoes are well cooked. Add salt, a little sugar, add some fennel powder, the herbs(oregano,marjoram and basil), a little pepper if required. Once it gets done to a proper consistency(not to water)switch the gas off.
To make the pizza:- Take the base which by now is grown in size in a frying pan. Spread it over the pan evenly. Over this spread the pizza sauce. Place the toppings, I put some onions,capsicum,jalapenos, spread cheese evenly, pour a few drops of olive oil. Also batter the sides of the pizza with olive oil.
Now heat it on the stove for 10 minutes, then transfer it to the oven at 450F for another 15 minutes. Once the cheese on top has become a golden brown color you know the pizza is done.

Happy Eating :)
Submitting this to the Yeastspotting event

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Double ka Meetha - A Lip Smacking Dessert

When I was a kid and we were at Dehuroad I remember one day when my mom, our neighbor Saramma aunty and Pasha aunty decided to have a sort of family get together. Each was to make 2 dishes. I do not clearly remember what mummy or Saramma aunty made but Pasha aunty made this sweet dish with bread which was superb. I fell in love with it instantly and till date it is my favorite dessert. At that point I did not even know what it was called :)

Later in life while I was working at TCS Borivali, the canteen celebrates food mela where once in a month they would cook the cuisine of a state. One day it was Hyderabad and as I stood in the line for desert, my eyes gleamed as I saw the same dish that I had eaten when I was young. My eyes darted to the name plate and there it was written in bold- Double Ka Meetha.
It is named so because the dish is made from bread and in olden days bread was called double so Double ka meetha.
Anyway now that we are in US one day I decided to try this receipe.
Here is how it went:-

Bread slice- cut in 2 halves(abt 8 half slices)

In a vessel heat some oil/ghee/butter(I did not use ghee as I was health conscious)
Fry thebread pieces in them till brown. Take it out in another bowl. In the same vessel fry the nuts, once fried place them over the bread slices. In the same vessel add 2 cups of milk. Keep boiling this till it is reduces to half. Once reduced to half put some cardamon and simmer on low flame for 5 mins. In another vessel take 2 cups of water and boil. To this add 5 tbls of sugar and heat. After a time this becomes a thick browny mixture. Stop at this point. Pour the sugar syrup over the bread pieces. Pour the milk over the bread pieces. After it cools refrigerate. You can eat it warm or cold.

Right now I have no pics but will upload when I make them again. Me and Gopi eat some the same nite after dinner as I couldnt wait till the next day and remaining we kept in the fridge which got over the next day.
Truly a lip smacking dessert.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Jan19th 2009- A year later after Paarth was born

Jan 18th 2009 - (Sunday)- Tomorrow is Paarth baby's 1st birthday. How time flies . It seems like it was yesterday when he was brought out by the pretty lady nurse.
I was in the US. It was already past 12 am in India and so officialy it was his birthday.
I had decided weeks before that I would bake a cake myself for his birthday.
After checking a few receipes I decided on the Black Forest cake.
Sunday after calling home I was all set to start. 
5 eggs (seperated yellow from white in 2 sepearate bowls)
Cocoa powder
Baking Soda
Vanilla essence

I took the egg whites in a bowl and kept stirring with a spoon them till I get a froth. This was the process that took the most time as I did not have an electric whisk, but after 30-40 minutes I got the white froth
 on top.
I seperated this in another bowl. In a seperate vessel I took the egg yellow added vanilla essence(1 drop) , half spoon melted butter and powdered sugar 5 spoons and beat them for 5 minutes. 
Now in the egg white I added this mixture and lightly mixed it 
with a spoon. 
To this I added 2.5  cups of maide and  .5 cups of cocoa powder and half spoon of baking powder. I mixed all this ingredients. Then I needed to add some cola product, as I had mountian dew at home I added half can of mountain dew to this. 
Then I took it in a butter greased cake pan and baked it at 350F for 30 mintues. Once it was done, I took it out and cooled it. 
The chocolate sponge cake was ready.

Now to make it into the Black forest 
cake. I cut this cake into 2 layers. Take some water and add sugar in it to make a sweet mixture. Sprinkle 
this on the cut chocolate layer.. Cover it with cream and strawberry. now put the other layer on top. Cover this with cream also and put dark chocolate(cut)  on top. Then I put the icing and decorated it.

After decoration it looked really yummy and so I cut the cake Wishing Paarth lots of happiness and many more birthdays to come. Luv u kissi baby.

I am sending this for the Just for you event.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Wedding (March 08-09,2008)

Note: My wedding as I remember it a year later and for all my friends who could not attend :)
Jan 4th 2008(Friday): My engagement day- the D day for the wedding was fixed as March 9th(Sunday) Muhurtham 7am - 8am and reception on March8th (Saturday). I was surprised, I had never heard of having  areception before the wedding but apparantly that is how it happened in Tamil weddings as the kalyanamandap was always booked. So be it I thought :). 
Jan 28th 2008(Monday):I did my wedding shopping with my in-laws and all the relatives iat Coimbatore A pink color saree for the reception and an orange for the wedding, we went to the beautician and fixed the style etc.At night when I reached the airport to fly to Mumbai my MIL thght it was better to have the orange one for the reception and pink for the wedding and told me likewise and they would get it sorted with the beautician, so be it I thght again, off I flew to Mumbai.
Mar 1st(Saturday): I was off to my 2.5 weeks of wedding vacation. Myself and Gopi had out tickets booked from Mumbai on the 1st March for Netravati Express(10:00 am). Mom, Dad, Chechi, kuttu, Gee and Sandy had their tickets booked the same night from Pune in Poorna Express. The 1st family in AC and second in S2 compartment. Gopi was to receive his Passport that day, so morning to avoid all the trouble the postman would have to make we walked the 10 mins to the post-office. But as luck would have it the postmaster insisted that he would deliver the Passport only at the residence address. No amount of cajoling or even for that matter my marathi speaking skills put to test have any affect on the postman. We even showed him our train tickets but the man was UNMOVED. We had no choice but to go back and wait at Gopi's home for him. Finally at noon he came and delivered the Passport with much cajoling from our owner Mr Shekhar and also pocketed his 100 bucks. Now as we had misse dour train we immediately checked for availability in Poorna, luckily we got 2 tickets for that nite in the S3 compartment. Immediatley we caught the ever reliable Raj Travels and reached Pune by 10 pm and that is how finally the whole family travelled together :)
Mar3rd 2008(Monday): We reached Trichur station at 2:30 and it was pouring. We caught a taxi to go home,  left Gopi at the bus-stop and we all went home. The next few days went in shopping for gold and eating gr8 food. My relatives got me a necklace set, Chechi gave gold earrings and my uncles got me the kalyanam saree from maternal home as is custom. The wedding was in Coimbatore, we i.e(Mom,Chechi,kuttu,Amooma,Apoopan and my cousin Sreeji left for Cbe Fri afternoon itself). We had booked 2 buses for all my relatives along with Daddy who would come Sat evening for the reception stay back for Sun morning wedding and go back by noon.
Mar 7th 2008:We i.e(Mom,Chechi,kuttu,Amooma,Apoopan and my cousin Sreeji) left for Cbe Fri noon in a taxi. Initially I thought of wearing a the saree my uncles gave but later on decidedto wear that on the wedding day and wore a normal chudidhar. We had lunch at a restaurant in Palakad and reached Cbe by 4 pm. Gopi, his brother Udhay, cousin Bharati were there to receive us. They took us to the hotel that they had booked. Tonite was to be the Haldi ceremony, they asked us to get ready by 7pm and left. I was excited, I would be smeared in turmeric, I love the shine it leaves on the skin. So by 7pm we reached the kalyam mandapam. It was decorated beautifully. There were 2 rooms, 1 for the bride and 1 for the groom. I was taken to a open area and asked to sit on a stool. But unfortunately for me my to be relatives decided to make a shortcut of the ceremony or else they thought a city girl would not like getting drenched in cold haldi water, so they applied some haldi on my feet and washed it 3 times. Then I was taken to the girls room and Shantiamma put the toe-ring. After that we had dinner and then myself and Sreeji went to the beauticians place to get my mehendi done. Later we got back to the hotel for a good night's sleep.
Mar 8th 2008: Reception Day. I was asked to reach the wedding mandapam by 2 pm with the saree. So myself and Sreeji went and my parents would come later at 6pm. Now I took the orange saree as I was told by my in laws, but the beautician who came there had got all the accessories for the pink saree(apparently no one informed her is my guess) but anyways due to the confusion poor Sreeji had to go back to the hotel and get the pink saree. In the meantime my make-up process started. She did a very light make-up which was good but she tied my hair back very tight which was so not very good. By 6 pm the mandap started filling in. There were always relatives peeping in the girls room to see the bride. By 7 pm all my relatives had reached. Now I was all set to go on the stage. A big garland was got which I myself wore around my neck and was escorted on the stage by the groom's sister(cousin). Handsome groom was also next to me. Then the usual reception tradition started. Guests coming on clikc....Next.  By 11pm most of the guests had left and I was famished with hunger. We were taken to the dining area and served.  Now many people ask me what was the best thing about my wedding and I say - the FOOD. It was the best. There was a variety of items( all vegeterian) with great taste and made of really unique things. By the time we were done all I wanted was to go and sleep and then it was that my MIL stated that the bride cannot leave the mandap, as is tradition the bride and the groom have to stay at the mandap itself, I was so not prepared for this. But as nothing could be done me and Sreeji would stay back and others went to the hotel. The bed in the mandap was creaky , the lights were on, there were mosquitos, I had to get up at 4 am in the morning for the beautician and to make things worse, the saree which my uncles gave and my mom inssited I wear it as per tradition, so I would have to get up in the morning, go to the hotel, get ready , wear the saree and come back to the mandap and no one would see me in that excpet for myself , Ugggggggh. I hate waking up in the morning :(
Mar 9th 2008(Sunday):I woke up at 4am, went to the hotel, got ready wore the saree, came back and immediately removed it as I had to get ready. I was all done by 6am. At 7am I was taken on stage by my uncle and aunty, then my uncle put the garland across my neck(some tradition), then I was taken back to my room while the groom was taken to the temple with all gana bajana. After they returned i was again taken to the stage and then the pooja followed with thali kethu and garland exchange between the bride and groom. Finally by 9am I was married :). Then the usual photo clicking session followed by some yummy breakfast.