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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

I know I say this too often now, that this again is another of my quick and easy recipe. What can I do I just fall in love with recipes which could be made in a jiffy and still taste delicious. I have used Ragu cheesy double cheddar sauce in this recipe. You could use Cheddar cheese or Velvetta cheese if you do not have this. Enjoy this soup. 

Ingredients :

  • 3 cups Broccoli florets (steamed or blanched) *
  • 1/2 cup Ragu Cheesy double Cheddar sauce
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup All purpose flour
  • 2 cups low fat milk
  • 2-3 tbsp butter
  • black pepper
  • salt

* If you want to save some more time, just cook/steam the broccoli in microwave for 3-4 minutes. I just wash the broccoli and cook/steam it covered. No need to add any water as when you wash the broccoli it will retain some water. 

Preparation :

  • In a saucepan melt butter on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute till you no longer get the raw smell.
  •  Add  flour and mix it really well and cook it for about couple minutes ( Keep stirring continuously or else the flour will stick to the bottom of the pan and will burn easily.) The flour will get a beautiful golden color
  •  Add milk and mix it well making sure no lumps are formed. Next add the vegetable broth and bring it to a boil. Add your broccoli and season with salt and pepper. Cover and let it cook for about 4-5 minutes.     
  • Finally add the Ragu cheesy double Cheddar Sauce. Mix it well. Let it simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Your Broccoli and Cheese soup is ready to be served. This recipe serves 4.    

Monday, November 12, 2012

Diwali Sweets- Ladoos

Happy festivities !!! If you are looking for a recipe for Ladoos, look no further. Have five different kinds of ladoos to choose from. If you are like me and still looking around for last minute ideas for Diwali sweets, these recipes could come handy. Hoping all of you have a joyous Diwali.  Shubh Deepawali  

Dalia Dal Ladoos / Maladdu

Wishing you all a Very Happy, Prosperous and Safe Diwali.

It's that time of the year already. Time does have the tendency to go unbelievably fast. This used to be and still is my favorite festival of all. Diwali is a time when I'm so thankful for the gift of family here and back home. Growing up in India I remember making preparations for Diwali a month in advance. People cleaning their houses and maybe getting them painted. Everybody looked forward to wearing their festive best clothes on Diwali day. Lots and lots of delicious sweets and savory snacks. Of course as kids we had fireworks  Kids and  adults would get together in the evening and light all the fireworks. It would be a beautiful display and the sky would be all lit up magnificently. It is the festival of lights so its an usual sight to see the houses have diyas lit up. Some have the diyas adorning the entrance to the house or apartments. Not to forget the beautiful Rangolis welcoming you to their house. Its a five day festival. People exchange sweets and visit family and friends. Have lots of happy and sweet memories. How my heart yearns to just magically be transferred to my beautiful and vibrant India(Mumbai) and be with my extended family this Holiday season. 


  • 2 cups Dalia dal - Roasted Gram
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup warm ghee
  • 1/4 cup cashews fried in 1 tbsp ghee
  • Dry roast Dalia dal on medium heat for about 3-4 minutes. Grind and keep it aside. Grind the sugar so as to make it a super fine consistency. 
  • Now add the ground dalia dal  , sugar, fried cashews and the warm ghee.
  • Mix it well and make ladoos immediately. This makes 21 ladoos.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Kakdi ki Subzi - Tangy and Spicy Cucumber

I always associated Cucumbers with Salads and Raitas(Dip). I would never have thought about cooking with  cucumbers/kakdi. This is my sister's recipe. Once on a phone call with my sister I happened to mention to her I have no vegetables in the house and it was almost time to make lunch. I said my fridge just has some cucumbers, tomatoes and jalapenos. She said make Kakdi (Cucumber) ki subzi. That was the first time I heard of such kind of subzi. I made it and it was super delicious and super easy to make. I've been making this subzi since then and its become a regular at out house now. It  goes well with hot phulkas (Indian bread). 

  • 2-3 medium sized Cucumbers (Kakdi) peeled and chopped
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • *2 jalapenos chopped
  • 2-3 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin-coriander powder
  • salt to taste
  • oil

* You can reduce the heat of this dish by just using 1 jalapeno. If you do not have jalapenos use 2-3 green chillies instead.

  • Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds. When they crackle add curry leaves followed by tomatoes and chopped jalapenos.Let it cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes.
  • Now add the dry spices- turmeric powder , red chili powder, cumin-coriander powder and salt. Give  it a good stir. Add the chopped cucumber and mix it well. Cook covered on medium-low heat for about 7-8 minutes. Just keep stirring from time to time and sprinkle a little water if required. 
  • When cooked take it off the heat and garnish with freshly chopped Cilantro. Serve this tangy and spicy Kakdi (Cucumber) Ki Subzi with hot phulkas.   

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Peanut butter and Nutella Milkshake

This could be a quick and delicious breakfast option if you are pressed for time. It's a great snack. It's easy and so delicious that the kids love it. I must admit I wasn't really into peanut butter and  could not really understand how its such a favorite here in the US. But now so many years later I'm transformed,  now I absolutely have to have a jar of peanut butter in my pantry.  My kids love Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches and I from time to time eat them too. It's an easy and delicious snack or breakfast option. With kids constantly on the go from school and back and their extra curricular activities, we busy mothers do need such easy choices. 

Another thing I also have in my pantry is Nutella . It's another of my kids favorite snack/breakfast option. I just make plain Nutella sandwiches or make Peanut Butter and Nutella sandwiches. They are awesome. So it wasn't a       surprise when my kids suggested we make Peanut butter and Nutella milkshake. We tried making it and loved it.   

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp Nutella
  • 1 cup crushed ice 
Preparation : Blend all the above ingredients in a blender until smooth. That's it. Your Peanut Butter and Nutella Milkshake is ready. This recipe serves 2.   

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Poha / Rice flakes Ladoo

These ladoos are a must try if you haven't tasted these Poha ladoos. Like me you will be mesmerized and surprised as I was myself, the foodie that I am. I was surprised as to how easy it was to make them and loved the texture and crunch . It did not feel like it was Poha. Poha being a staple in my pantry, how come it took me so long to make these little delectable delights. But as they say its "Better to be late than never ". I  had recently heard about these ladoos from my mother in law. So decided to give it a try for Ganesh Chaturthi.

Since it was a big hit at my house , I'm surely going to make them again for Diwali. If you are like me then I know you don't really need an occasion or excuse to make these. I suggest just make them whenever you feel like and see for yourself whether what I'm bragging about these ladoos is true or not. Would love to hear from you.  In my house these ladoos barely made it to the next day. My 9 year old came back from school yesterday and asked  me "Mommy can you make more of those Poha ladoos ?." That's what I'm about to make today.  

Ingredients :
  • 2 cups thick Poha/Aval /flattened Rice flakes
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm unsalted butter/ghee
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds fried in 1 tbsp butter/ghee
* You could use regular granulated sugar- just grind it once to make it super fine. Also feel free to use any kind of nuts.

Preparation :

  • Dry Roast  Poha / Rice flakes on medium heat till they change color to a beautiful golden brown.  Then take it off the heat and grind. Keep it aside. Make  sure its medium to low heat as the Poha burns very easily.
  • Fry the chopped almonds in about 1 tbsp butter /ghee. Keep it aside as well.
  • Now you have to just mix all the ingredients in a bowl - dry roasted Poha , fried nuts, sugar and warm butter/ghee. Shape them immediately into ladoos. Just take a little of this mix into your palms and  shape them into round ladoos. Its good to make them immediately. If the mix dries up a little, DO NOT PANIC  just add about 1 tbsp warm butter and resume. That's it. 
  • This recipe yields 11 ladoos. They are so irresistibly good that I'm afraid you will have no leftovers. If you do then just store them in an air tight container and they are good for a week.     

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Karele ki subzi - Bitter Melon in tomato and peanut sauce

 I love Karela or bitter gourd / bitter melon. Every time I see it at the produce market I end up buying them. The only problem is I'm the only one in my house who loves them. Because of its bitter taste most people stay away from them. I could say its an acquired taste - some love them and some cannot stand them at all. 

I wish everybody could give Karela a try because it has tons of health benefits.It has antiviral, antimalarial, anticancer and cardio protective properties.  Also its found to be beneficial for people with diabetes.  

 Ingredients :
  • 4 karela /bitter gourds / bitter melons 
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 2-3 green chillies slit
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin -coriander powder
  • 1 tsp amchoor powder(dry mango powder)
  • 1/4 cup toasted and ground peanuts 
  • salt to taste
  • 3-4 tbsp oil 

  • Cut the Karela / bitter melons length wise and scrape out the seeds which are discarded. Then slice the karela and sprinkle salt on them liberally. Keep them aside for about half an hour. Salt will help to release most of the bitter juices from the karela. Now wash it really well.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add the tomatoes and green chillies. Add the dry spices- turmeric, red chili powder, cumin-coriander powder, amchoor powder and salt. Mix it well.  Let it cook for about 2-3 minutes till the oil separates and then add the sliced karela. Stir it well. Add about 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook on medium flame for about 8-10 minutes. Just about when the Karela is almost cooked add the ground peanuts and mix it well. Cook uncovered on slow flame till karela is cooked (about 2-3 minutes).  
  • Karele ki subzi - Bitter Melon in tomato and peanut sauce is ready to be served. Garnish with freshly chopped Cilantro. Enjoy it as a side dish with some cumin rice and dal or with hot phulkas / rotis.        

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Zucchini Malai Kofta

For those of you who are not familiar with Koftas, they could be described as meatless meatballs or vegetable balls. These koftas are then cooked in a creamy sauce and served with any Indian bread or rice. This might  look like a laborious recipe, but once you have tasted this delicious and classic dish you will want to make them again and again.

 This is my mom's recipe. She makes these koftas with bottle gourd (lauki/doodhi). I've made her recipe with Zucchini since I had them and I'm trying to find more and more recipes with this summer vegetable. I happen to get them for free- one of our family friends  has her own vegetable garden and  this has been a good season for Zucchinis.  

Ingredients :

For the koftas
  • 3 cups of grated Zucchini 
  • 1/4 cup grated Paneer (Indian Cottage cheese)
  • 2 green chillies chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin - coriander powder
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour / besan
  •  1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • corn starch (optional) 
  • salt to taste
  • Oil for frying
For the Gravy :

  • 1 cup onion puree
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin- coriander powder
  • 10-12 cashews soaked in milk(grind)
  • 1/4 cup - 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt to taste
  • oil

Preparation :
 Making the Koftas - A very important tip to remember to make perfect koftas is to squeeze all the juices out of the vegetable(zucchini). This could be retained and used to knead the dough or use it in the gravy.
  • Mix all the ingredients mentioned under koftas except oil. Make it like dough and gently make 16-18 lemon size balls. These are then deep fried on medium flame until golden brown. The oil should not be too hot or not hot enough. We are trying to cook the zucchini as well while frying the koftas. Now if the koftas fall apart feel free to add a little chickpea flour/bread crumbs. Sometimes  when the Zucchini is not squeezed well it might retain a little water. DO NOT PANIC. Now the corn starch comes to the rescue. Just roll the koftas onto a plate sprinkled with corn starch  and fry. Keep the koftas aside.
Making the Creamy and rich  gravy 
  • Heat oil in a pan/ Kadai . Add the bay leaves and black cardamom. When the cardamom splutters,  add the onion puree. Fry on medium high till its turns golden. Add the ginger garlic paste. Fry for about a minute and add tomato puree. Stir well. Now add all the dry spices- turmeric, red chili powder, cumin-coriander powder and salt. Let it cook on medium until the oil separates(this is a clue your gravy is cooked). Now add about 2 cups water. Let it boil and then add the koftas. Let the koftas cook in the gravy covered for about 5 minutes on medium - low flame. Now add the cream. Stir well. Add the ground cashews-milk paste. Give it a good stir. Let it simmer for about 2 minutes. Take it off the heat and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro. Your Zucchini Malai Kofta is ready. Serve it with any Indian bread (Naan, Parathas, Phulkas, Roti ) or with cumin rice. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Neer Dosa - Rice Crêpes

Neer Dosa are Rice Crêpes which are popular in Karnataka in India. 'Neer' literally translates to  water     in 
Tulu. Neer Dosa are made with watered down rice batter, that explains the name. These Dosa could be served for breakfast with coconut or tomato chutney. They could be enjoyed for lunch / dinner too along with your favorite vegetable side dish or for the non-vegetarians it pairs up well with a chicken or fish dish.

I do have to warn you, these Neer Dosa / Crêpes are very addictive.  You can not just have one. Once you taste these beautiful , fluffy and super white crêpes, you seem to lose count of how many you had. Just saying Don't tell me , I did not warn you.   

I learnt to make these Dosa recently from one of my friend from Mangalore. Though the foodie in me always loved eating them whenever I was invited for lunch/dinner at our friends. Now the blogger in me wanted to try these dosa first hand and be able to make them and eat them whenever I desired. Since my hubby and kids love them as much as I do I was ready to make them. Of course it gives me a recipe for my blog as well. 

Those of you who have attempted to make these and were not happy with the results and for those who have never attempted to make them. I would suggest try at least one more time. I was scared myself since the batter is so watery in consistency I wasn't sure whether it would work for me. But if you had an opportunity to taste this delicacy you will be so much in love with them and would love  to try to make them at home.

  • 2 cups Sona Masoori rice
  •  3 1/2 cups water
  • salt to taste
  • oil

Preparation :
  • Wash and Soak the rice in about 4-5 cups of water for 3-4 hours or overnight. Drain the water and grind rice with 1 cup of water in a grinder. Add salt and the remaining 2 1/2 cups water and mix it well. It should be a watery or say butter milk consistency.
  • Now heat a Dosa tava or griddle. Keep it on medium flame. Take a paper towel dipped in oil and just wipe the hot tava with it carefully. ( This prepares your griddle for making the dosa and they do not stick onto them.)  
  • Now take a ladleful of the batter and pour it onto the Tava/griddle. The way I do it is I pour the batter in a circle towards the outer edge of the tava and the batter being of such watery consistency just flows towards the center. Now apply some oil around the dosa. Cover and cook for about 30 secs. Then with a spatula just go around the dosa and gently fold it in half and then another half. They look like pretty lace handkerchiefs.
  • Continue making the the dosa as above. This recipe yields 25 medium size dosa. We enjoyed our dosa with coconut chutney.

Helpful Tips:
  1. Making Neer Dosa with Non- Stick Pan  : Most of my friends who make these Dosa , use a Non-stick pan to make them. A non-stick pan not only makes it easier to make Neer dosa but takes less oil as well. On a Non-stick pan just pour a ladleful of batter and gently rotate the pan using the handle. This ensures the batter is spread  in a circular manner and makes uniform dosa. Apply very little oil all around and  cover and cook for 30 secs. Using a spatula turn into a semi circle and fold again into a triangle. That's it. (I don't own a non-stick - I went a little crazy I must say and tried to be too heath conscious and got rid of all the non-stick cook ware in my kitchen. Its been like 4 years now. Also the non-stick was almost worn out and I thought that was not healthy. )  
  2. Every time you make a dosa just stir and mix  the batter really well. 
  3. Keeping the Tava/Griddle on medium heat is the key. If it gets too hot the dosa might start to stick to the tava. If that happens. Just scrape it off. Adjust the heat and using the paper tower dipped in oil, wipe the tava again. Start over again.
  4. When making the Dosa- the first 2-3 might not be the way you wanted- don't lose heart- it gets better. So just make the first 1-2 dosa small (Use less batter for the first couple dosa / crêpes).  
  5. If you think the batter needs more water feel free to add a little say another 1/4 cup. If its too much water they are hard to make as well.    
  6. It might need practice. I do make fermented dosa (rice and urad dal) and Rava dosa on a regular basis so making this did not seem hard. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Zucchini in Tomato Sauce- Zucchini ki Subzi (No Onion No Garlic)

Zucchini is a beautiful summer vegetable. No wonder you see more of it around this time of the year. One of my friend  has her own backyard vegetable garden. Since she has a green thumb, there is an abundance of Zucchinis, tomatoes, peppers, okra, green beans, cucumbers in her garden. Thanks to her I get all these fresh vegetables. This Zucchini is from her garden. 

This recipe is without onion and garlic. Feel free to use it in this recipe though. I'm just trying to have a few recipes without using onion and garlic. Its not that we have stopped eating it any more. In India there are certain days which are auspicious to the Hindus. On those days they cook without using onion/garlic. Some seem to follow this and some don't - to each his own. As for me I don't really follow it but I would like my blog to be able to cater to a majority of the people.

Also I love experimenting with food and try to have a minimalist approach. Just because I have  so many ingredients(spices) I could use in my Indian cooking I don't really have to use all of them in the same dish- do I. Just a thought.  

Ingredients :
  • 1 medium size Zucchini cubed
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped
  • 2-3 green chilies chopped
  • 6-8 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  •  1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1-2 tsp cumin-coriander powder  
  • 3-4 tbsp Olive oil
  • salt to taste

Preparation :

  • Heat oil in a pan or Kadai.  Add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the curry leaves followed by tomatoes and green chillies. Let it cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes. Next add the dry spices- turmeric, red chili powder, cumin-coriander powder and give it a good stir. Add the chopped Zucchini. Stir it well. Season it with salt. Add about 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook on medium to low flame for about 20- 25 minutes or until  the zucchini is cooked. Check from time to time.
  • Your Zucchini Ki subzi is ready to be served. Serve this delicious Zucchini in tomato sauce with Parathas, Naan or hot phulkas (Roti /chapati). This goes well with plain rice as well.      

Friday, August 17, 2012

NASCAR Cake - Car Racing theme Cake.

I made this cake for my son's 9th birthday. He is into car racing - NASCAR. He follows this sport religiously and Jeff Gordon is his favorite driver. He drives the #24 car. So it's a no brainer whenever I have to bake a cake for his birthday- it has to be car racing theme. Jay's Birthday was on August 12th but just got around to post this today. Well they do say its Better to be late than Never.  

Happy Birthday Jay , Love you !!!

Its a 9" Vanilla Cake torted and filled with buttercream Icing. The Frosting is buttercream as well. I have used the Wilton's #233 grass tip for the grass and the race track is covered with Wilton's Black Sugar Sprinkles.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Rooh Afza and Banana Milkshake

Rooh Afza is a concentrated and sweetened rose syrup which can be added to plain chilled milk and is a great beverage for summer. Kids love this refreshing drink because of its beautiful strawberry pink color. I always have a bottle of Rooh Afza in my pantry.  Rooh Afza literally translates into "Refresh the soul".  Especially during Ramadan lot of people break their fast in the evening with a Rooh Afza drink- It can be added to plain water  and made into a sherbet or can be served as a milkshake.

2 bananas chopped
2 cups milk
2 tbsp Rooh Afza syrup
1 cup ice cubes

Preparation :
Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. This recipe serves 4. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry

I'm always on the lookout for quick, easy and healthy recipes. This recipe is another one in this category. I learnt this recipe from a Vietnamese friend. I did modify it a bit though. I added the heat from the Thai chillies and the red chili sauce. 

Tofu is great source of protein. It has numerous health benefits as well. It does not have any flavor of its own and its rather bland. It takes the flavor of the ingredients its cooked with. I find for beginners its great to cook with Extra firm Tofu as it retains its shape and does not crumble.

  • 1 lb Extra Firm Tofu cubed 
  • 1 large tomato chopped 
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 2-3 green thai chillies chopped 
  • greens of spring onions chopped
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce 
  • 1/2 tbsp red chili sauce 
  • 1/2 tbsp vinegar 
  • fresh Thai basil leaves 
  • salt to taste 
  • 4-6 tbsp Olive oil 
  • Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan or Kadhai. Add the cubed Tofu and let it shallow fry on medium heat for about 2 minutes(or till it gets golden brown). Now carefully turn the tofu cubes and let them get golden on the other side as well.
  • Add the sliced onion, tomato and green chillies. Next add the soy sauce, vinegar and red chili sauce. Stir it well. Adjust the salt and let it cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from the fire. 
  • Garnish with fresh basil leaves and greens of spring onions. Serve your Tofu and Vegetable Stir -fry with white rice. This recipe serves 4.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mango Milkshake

Since its summer vacation here, kids are having a great time. Also its been a very hot summer so far with heat wave warnings as well. Mango Milkshake offers a delicious and cool respite from this summer heat. It is one of the beverage we all love especially my kids. Its beautiful yellow color and it being so rich and flavorful makes it irresistible.  

Growing up in Mumbai, India my mom made Mango Milkshake and Mango Lassi on a regular basis when we would get fresh ripe mangoes during the mango season. Over here in the US , its hard at times to find these Indian mangoes. You may find them in the Indian grocery stores though. But lazy me just loves to buy the canned Mango pulp which I must say is very handy. For this recipe feel free to use fresh ripe mangoes, if not canned mango pulp works just fine.    

Ingredients :
  • 1 cup mango pulp
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups crushed ice 
* To make Mango Lassi use 2 cups plain yogurt instead of milk. You could adjust the amount of sugar to taste. I have used sweetened mango pulp. You might need to add more sugar if you are using  fresh ripe mangoes.   

Preparation : Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Mango Milkshake is ready to serve. This recipe serves 4.    

Monday, June 25, 2012

Zucchini Poha (flattened Rice)

"What's for Breakfast Mom...?"  I think for a moment as I'm really saturated with Pancakes and Waffles and want something different today. My younger one is the picky eater of the family. Also he has a fixation of sorts on Pancakes and Waffles. I wanted something which was quick, easy and healthy. I quickly blurt out , "Poha is for breakfast today.!!! I hear "Yay !!! " and see a little happy dance. They both love Poha. Glad that we go that figured out - as I always believe planning a menu is the hardest job executing it, not that hard.

As I'm getting the ingredients ready for Poha, I see a lonely Zucchini and really feel sorry for it. I pause for a moment and decide to use that in the Poha as well. I just cut of the stem and the bottom of the Zucchini and grate it. So this was one of the 'on the spur of the moment' kinda recipe. A sneaky way to add the Zucchini as both my kids don't really care for it much. As for me I just love it. At the end of it all when my kids went for second helpings, I was happy and I might have done a happy dance as well..Not saying I did but just might have...

Now traditionally where I come from, that is Maharashtra (Mumbai), this dish is made with onion called Kaande Pohe or with potatoes called as Batate Pohe and it has peanuts in them.Today's recipe does not take much time, just grate the zucchini and wash the Poha in a colander and set it aside. 
Grated zucchini
The ingredient list may look a bit long but believe me when you set them all up its done in a jiffy. If you don't believe me , just give it a try and let me know..I'll be waiting to hear from you. 

  Ingredients :

  • 3 cups thick Poha washed *
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 jalapeno chopped **
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 3-4 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds  
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1-2 dry red chillies(optional)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • olive oil /vegetable oil
  • 2-3 tbsp lime juice/lemon juice 
  • freshly chopped Cilantro
  • salt to taste
*   Poha - also known as flattened rice, beaten rice, Aval, pressed rice.
** Instead of Jalapeno you could use 2-3 chopped green chillies. 

Preparation :
  • Heat oil in a saucepan or Kadai. Add the mustard seeds. When they crackle add cumin seeds, curry leaves, dry red chillies and cashews. Sauté for about a minute on medium flame. Add the grated ginger. Now add the zucchini, peas, jalapeno. Mix it well. Sauté for about a minute or two. Add the turmeric powder.   Next add the washed Poha. Mix it well. Add salt. Take it off the flame. Add the lime/lemon juice. Garnish with freshly chopped Cilantro. Ready to serve. Enjoy this with a cup of hot Masala Chai. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Soy Flour Pancakes

With the kids being home for their Summer vacation, I love to come up with (read experiment) new and  healthier recipes for breakfast. During the school year everything gets fast paced. Now love the fact that they can just chill out relax and  take it easy. Also I just love not having to wake up to the alarm clock, making sure the kids are up and ready for school, their lunches packed  etc etc..you get the picture right.  

These pancakes are made with soy flour and wheat flour. I've also used buttermilk instead of milk.This has made the pancakes soft , fluffy and delicious. Not to forget healthy as well. 

Ingredients :
  • 1/2 cup soy flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
Preparation :
In a bowl whisk together Soy flour, wheat flour, baking powder and sugar. In another bowl mix together the beaten egg and buttermilk. Now pour the egg and milk mixture into the dry mixture and stir till well combined. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto a hot griddle or Tava. Let it cook until bubbly for about 2 minutes and then turn. Continue to cook until golden brown. Serve with maple syrup or honey and some fresh strawberries. This recipe yields  4-5 pancakes.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Panna Cotta - Curry and Beyond Turns 3 !!!

I made this luxurious dessert to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of "Curry and Beyond" . Wishing my beloved blog a very Happy 3rd Anniversary. You have brought me immense joy and I'm extremely proud of you. 

It always makes me happy and my heart is filled with gratitude when I get encouraging feedback and appreciation from friends and also from people I don't even know. But still we are connected. Its the connection and love of cooking healthy and great food for our loved ones. Its about sharing my experiences and learning from others as well. 

One humbling feedback I got was at a New years party. One of our friends came to me and said his wife has been cooking a lot lately and following my recipes. I did not know whether it was going to be a good feedback or not, then he said he was so thankful for my blog. That was indeed a humbling experience. I'm thankful to my family, friends and fellow bloggers who have been so supportive of Curry And Beyond. This culinary journey wouldn't be possible without your LOVE. I always love to hear from you and read each and every comment. Its a token of love and it motivates me to keep on going...Enjoy this Virtual treat as you all are a part of Curry and Beyond's Anniversary Celebrations !!! 

Panna cotta is an Italian dessert which surprisingly is very easy to make , tastes heavenly and looks gorgeous as well. Also it just needs a few ingredients - cream, milk, sugar, gelatin and vanilla essence.. that's it. I would say if are are hosting a lunch or dinner party and you make this dessert for your guests they are going to be super impressed !!! 

  • 1 package unflavored gelatin (7 gm)
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream ( a little less than 2 1/4 cups) 
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp confectioners sugar   
  • 1/2 cup cold milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preparation :

Take cold milk in a bowl and add the gelatin and keep it aside for 5 -10 minutes.Now in a saucepan add the whipping cream and sugar and bring it to a boil. Stir well to make sure the sugar has dissolved. Now add the vanilla essence and bring it off the flame.Next add the gelatin and milk mixture. Stir it well. Pour this into 6 ramekins and chill in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours. Serve Panna Cotta chilled with chocolate sauce or berries. It tastes great as is too. We enjoyed our Panna Cotta with some blue berries and chocolate sauce.
To unmold  Panna Cotta - 
Run a sharp knife around the Panna Cotta. Next fill up a baking pan with boiling water and let the ramekins sit in it for about a minute. Then place a serving plate on top of the ramekin and turn it upside down. Voilà your Panna Cotta would have unmolded ready for you to dig in..Enjoy !!!   

Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking.com .

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Waffles - Father's Day Special

Wishing All Dads around the world a very Happy Father's Day !!!
A very happy Father's Day to my Dad. I'm blessed to have the best father in the whole wide world. I'm thankful to you for all your love and care and for motivating me to be the best I can be. Also for all your wisdom shared with me and I'm still amazed as to how much I still learn from you and get inspired. The best thing you have taught me is to be a good human being and to be always KIND. Also to smile a lot and makes others laugh. I wish I could have your great sense of humor. Thanks for everything. Love You !!! 

Waffles are a quick and easy option for breakfast. My kids love them.They are going to make them tomorrow for Father's Day with my help of course. That's a surprise for Father's day. What are the odds their dad's going to read this post before he gets his surprise breakfast. I'll take my chances on that. Till then not a word to him. Happy father's Day to my hubby as well. He's one amazing dad.

This recipe is from my favorite - Joy of Baking.com. Here's the link. This time, I  made no changes to the recipe. It is as is and the waffles turned out great. The only thing you must have is  a Waffle maker.     

Ingredients :
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter 
Preparation :
  • In a bowl whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder.In another bowl mix together the beaten egg and milk.Now pour the egg and milk mixture into the dry mixture and stir till well combined.Add the butter.
  • Now spray the grids of the Waffle maker/Waffle iron with cooking oil. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto one side of the waffle maker. Smooth-en with a knife or spatula. Close the Waffle maker and bake until slightly brown. 
  • This recipe yields 8 Waffles. Serve with maple syrup or butter. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Ratatouille - French Vegetable Stew

Ratatouille is a traditional French Provençal stewed vegetable dish and said to be originated in Nice. The key ingredient is tomatoes and has onion, garlic, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers and a mix of green herbs (Basil,  rosemary, thyme). Some use the 'herbes de Provence'  which contain savory, fennel, basil, thyme and lavender flowers.

I love cooking with  fresh herbs and this dish also allows me to use the beautiful and colorful summer vegetables. Ratatouille could be served as a meal on its own or as a side dish. To me this dish could be described as " Summer in a Bowl". Also this gave me the opportunity to use fresh herbs (basil and rosemary) from my small  patio garden. 

Ingredients :

  • 1 large eggplant cubed
  • 1 zucchini  cut into 1/4 " slices
  • 2 green bell peppers cubed
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 4 large tomatoes chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 6-7 fresh basil leaves 
  • 1-2 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt to taste

Preparation :

  • Heat Olive oil in a pan. Add onion and garlic and sauté for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the eggplant. Stir it well. It is kind of shallow frying them so each of the vegetable is coated with olive oil. Do the same with zucchini, followed by bell pepper.
  • Now add the chopped tomatoes and herbs. Season it with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low flame until the vegetables are cooked. Don't cook it too long as the vegetables will all become mushy. Just cook it long enough(15-20 minutes) to be able to  identify the different vegetables. 
  • This recipe serves 4. You could serve it with some garlic bread or rice.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Chocolate Chip Banana Brownies - Almost Vegan

Wishing all Mothers a Very Happy Mother's Day. A quick and easy recipe for healthy and delicious Brownies to win your mother's heart and make her feel special.

Also have been away from blogging for almost a month now and feel so happy to post a recipe today. April had been an extremely busy month. It just seems all like a blur now. Both the kids were sick one after the other. One had extreme allergies and just when we thought things looked good for him, the younger one had the stomach flu. Then again when we thought oh he looked good and went back to school, there was something else. Our dear dish washer died on us. We thought it was time to retire our trusted old friend and soon had a new dish washer installed a week later. You can imagine how life suddenly gets extremely chaotic. Things are back to normal for now.  

Also when life stresses me out, I just turn to baking. I find it very therapeutic. I love to try new ingredients while baking and even cooking. For these Brownies I have used Soy flour and the brownies turned our delicious and moist. Also it was a little  treat for all of us for having survived the month of April. 

  • 1 cup All purpose flour
  • 1 cup Soya bean flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts(optional)  
The recipe called for soy milk. I did not have any soy milk so just used regular milk. That's why I call my brownies almost Vegan.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 X 13 baking pan. 
  2. In a bowl combine both the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder and sugar.
  3. In another bowl mash the bananas. To this add milk, vanilla and mix it well.
  4. Now add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix it well so that there are no lumps.
  5. Add the chocolate chips and the walnuts. 
  6. Pour the Brownie batter into the baking pan and bake for 25 minutes.
  7. Let it cool for about 10 minutes and then cut it into the desired size. I got 24 brownies from this recipe. 

Recipe adapted from : Daily Garnish

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cake with a Fishing Theme- Retirement Cake

For many of you who are following my posts are aware that I have started making cakes professionally. This cake order was placed with me at my very own "Sweet Tooth"  and it was for a retirement party. The person who was retiring loved fishing. So wanted to incorporate his love for fishing and the outdoors into this cake. Its  half vanilla and half chocolate cake decorated with butter cream icing. Its filled with butter cream icing too. The wooden plank which says "Happy Retirement Bob" is made of gum paste and is edible. The other decorations (fisherman, fishes, trees, rock) are not edible.

The person who placed this cake order when came to pick up said this cake was way over the top and it was beyond her expectation. When she took it to work they all loved it too and not a single piece of cake was left...She was really kind enough to send me an email with the feedback. I was happy with the positive feedback. So another success story for "Sweet Tooth" !!! Hoping to create sweet memories one cake at a time. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Soy Flour Parathas- Soy Flour Indian flatbread

Parathas made with Soya Bean Flour

Soya beans or Soybeans need no introduction. They have tons of nutritional value. Soy Flour is made from roasted soy beans. So, Soy flour is rich in high quality protein as well and is an excellent source of iron, calcium and B-vitamins.

Today decided to make plain parathas with Soy flour which could be enjoyed with any dal ,or  a vegetable side dish or even plain yogurt and some pickle. Many kids including mine love these plain parathas with jam and peanut butter as well.

Ingredients :
For the Paratha dough 
  • 1 cup Soy flour
  • 1 cup wheat flour 
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • salt to taste

For the Parathas 
  • wheat flour for rolling the parathas
  • oil/ghee/butter for shallow frying 

Parathas made with Soya Bean Flour
Preparation :

  • Mix all the ingredients except water listed under the ingredients for paratha dough in a bowl. Slowly add the water to the mix and  knead. Keep on adding water till the dough is not too sticky or not too hard. You might need to add little more than 3/4 cup of water if you are using less oil for the dough. But if you add too much water the dough would be too sticky to roll the parathas. I like to add 2-3 tbsp oil as the parathas or phulkas turn out soft and remain soft for some time as well. When the dough comes together knead for another 2-3 minutes or so till it becomes soft and pliable. Now cover and keep it aside for 10-15 minutes.
  • Rolling the parathas : Divide the dough into 10 equal sized balls. Using some wheat flour roll each ball into a small circle. Apply some oil to the circle. Now fold the circle into a semicircle. Fold it again and it would become a triangle shape. Using some flour roll over the triangle gently to the desired size.
  • Heat a tawa or griddle and cook the paratha on medium heat. You will see a slight color change and it  it puffs up a bit. Turn the paratha. Apply a little ghee, oil or butter on top and spread it. Turn it again and apply a little oil on the other side as well. Cook on both sides until they are golden brown.
  • Serve these hot protein packed Soy flour Parathas with yogurt and pickle or as an accompaniment to a main course dish. This would make around 10 parathas.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Instant Oats Dosa - Savory Oat Crepes

This is another quick and easy recipe. Perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack. Dosa (savory Indian Crepes) are very versatile in that regard. They can be enjoyed with any chutney of your choice- Cilantro Chutney and Coconut Chutney being my favorite or pair it with spicy Sambar (Pigeon pea soup with Vegetables) or just have it with a filling of delicious potato and onion with some coconut chutney on the side.

As a working mother I'm always eager to try out out new recipes which are easy to prepare and high in nutritional value too. This recipe happens to be what we experimented in our kitchen and I was pleased with the results. I always love to involve my kids in the process of trying out new recipes. It makes them feel like they are little food scientists and the perk for me is they love eating the newly experimented food too. So a win-win for all of us.

Now this recipe was created on the spur of the moment and luckily it turned out delicious. I have made it twice since. When you try this recipe I'm sure you'll agree with me this one is a keeper.

Oats- Super Healthy food : Lowers Cholesterol,  Good for the heart, lowers risk of Type 2 diabetes, Stabilizes blood sugar
Boosts your immune system, Great source of fiber and Selenium. For more health benefits read here.  
Ingredients :
  • 1 cup old fashioned Oats 
  • 1 cup rice flour 
  • 1/4 cup Semolina /Sooji/Rava
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 4 cups water
  • 2-3 green chillies finely chopped (optional)
  • fresh Cilantro chopped (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • oil/ghee 

Preparation :
  • Grind the Oats. 

  • Then in a bowl mix the powdered oats with 1 cup rice flour and 1/4 cup Semolina. 
  • In another bowl take 1 cup of yogurt and add about 4 cups of water. Whisk it well. It will be like buttermilk consistency. 
  • Now add this buttermilk to the dry flour mix while whisking at the same time to avoid any lumps. Mix it well. Cover and keep it aside for 10 -15 minutes. ( If you think you are rushed for time you can make them right away as well).
  • Just before making the Dosa / Crepes add chopped green chillies, chopped cilantro and salt.
  • Heat a griddle/Tawa. When its hot, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto the griddle. Now this is the most important part and may require some practice. These have to be made like Rava Dosa. You pour the batter in a circular motion forming the outside circle and then the batter just flows towards the center and fills it up forming a circle. Apply some oil/ghee around the Dosa. Once its cooked turn it and let it cook on the other side.
  • Your Super Healthy and Delicious Instant Oats Dosa / Savory Oat Crepes is ready to be served. This recipe makes 16 - 18 Dosa/crepes. Enjoy it with any Chutney of your choice or with delicious Sambar.