Saturday, December 31, 2011

Chocolate Cake

I have no idea where I copied this recipe from.  to the owner thanks alot for sharing.  I made this cake for Varsha's birthday for her to celebrate with her friends.

Chocolate Cake
Part A - bring to boil
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup + 1tbs cocoa powder

Part B - whisk together
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Part C
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence

  • Add A to B.
  • Mix buttermilk to 1 tsp of baking soda. Add to mixture.
  • In a separate bowl mix 2 eggs and 1tsp of vanilla.  Add to mixture.
  • Bake at 190C at 30mins or till done.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

I got some lemons from a colleague from the school and decided to try this recipe from Joy of Baking with the help of Varsha.  This cake or loaf bread kind of cake has a crunchy effect from t he poppy seeds and it definitely taste better after a few days...

source :

Lemon Poppy Seeds Bread

3 large eggs
1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (60ml) milk
1.5 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour, sifted
3/4 cup (150gms) granulated white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs grated lemon zest (outer yellow sin of the lemon)
3 tbs of(30gm) poppy seeds
13 tbs (184gm) unsalted butter, softened

Lemon Syrup
1/4 cup (60ml) fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup (65gms) granulated white sugar

Preheat oven to 180C and place the oven rack in centre of the oven.  Butter and flour (or spray with non stick vegetable/flour spray) the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and butter and flour the paper. Pan size 8 x 4x 2 1/2 inch

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract and milk.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, lemon zest and poppy seeds until combined.  Add the softened butter and half the egg mixture and mix on low speed until moistened.  Increase the speed to medium and beat for about one minute.  (This aerates and developsthe cake's structure)  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining egg mixture in 2 batches, beating about 30 seconds after each addition.  This will strenghten the structure of the batter.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 55 to 65 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.  You may have to cover the bread with butter foil after about 30 minutes if you find the bread over browning.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the sugar and lemon juice to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolve.

When the bread is done, remove from oven, and place on a wire rack.  Pierce the hot loaf all over with a wooden skewer or toothpick and then brush the top of the loaf with about half the hot lemon syrup.  Cool the loaft in the for about 10 minutes then invert onnto a greased wire rack.  Brush the remaining syrupon the bottom and the sides of the loaf.  Reinvert the bread so it is right side up and then cool the bread completely before wrapping.  Store at least overnight before serving to allow the lemon syrup to distribute throughout the loaf.

Happy New Year

Just return from a 10 days trip to India - our very first trip to India, covering Delhi, Jaipur, Agra and Varanasi...really eye opening and had a great time..will post pictures and our experience in the next few days.

For now wishing all my readers a happy new year may the coming year be fulfilling...


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Stir Fry Radish Leaves

Its radish day in my kitchen..Sambar with eggplants and radish, radish raita and for dinner stir fry radish.

This is what happens when you have a few home grown radish at hand (courtesy of a lovely neighbour) and wants to clear them before you go on holiday..

I was once told that you can actually use the leaves of the radish - well fancy that.  So when I saw the radish that was given to me they were so nice elegant looking vegetable - the radish was just nice in size not too bulky and longish like the size of an adult palm and the green leaves were so green and vibrant (I should have taken the pictures before chopping them) so the outcome is Stir Fry Radish Leaves.

While cutting and frying the leaves, you can smell the peppery kind of smell something like mint...

What you need...
Radish leaves
1 onion - chopped/sliced fine
3-4 garlic - chopped/minced finely
salt to taste

How to do....
  • wash and clean well the leaves
  • chopped finely the leaves
  • Heat oil (I used olive oil).
  • once the oil is hot, fry the garlic for a few minutes.
  • add the onions and stir till soft.
  • add in the leaves and salt, stir well and allow to cook for a few minutes.
  • Remove from heat and serve hot with rice..

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Varsha Turns 17

Varsha is 17 today - OMG!! time flies so fast and today is also a special day....20.11.2011 (also it falls on a sunday just like on 20.11.1994). 

We wish you the best of everything with God's blessing...May you achieved all your dreams..

As usual I made her 2 cakes (and obviously a chocolate one being her favourite) one for school and one for her home celebration...will post you later the cakes.

Chocolate Chip Marble Bundt Cake

Chocolate Cake

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Taufoo & Peanut Salad

Todays Special...a mixture of  deep fried taufoo, with some crush peanuts, chopped onions, some chili sauce for spicy and plum sauce for sweet...emm yummy. If you do not have sweet plum sauce, just replace with some honey.

sliced taufoo...

The chilli sauce that I use for this appetizer is a super spicy with garlic added into it...really nice.

sweet plum sauce, chilly sauce from Indonesia and the extra firm taufoo

diced taufoo

fried taufoo

What you need..
  • 1 pack of extra firm taufoo
  • 1 big onion
  • a handful of roasted peanuts
  • 2 tbs of sweet plum sauce
  • 1 tbs of chilli sauce
How to do..
  • Diced the taufoo - set aside
  • Heat oil and deep fry the taufoo and drain.
  • Chopped finely onion
  • Crush peanuts coarsely, I crush mine with a mortar and pestle.
  • In a bowl, mix sauces, onions and roasted peanuts.
  • Add in taufoo and mix well
  • Serve
p/s - the next time I will try with some sliced cucumber and roasted sesame seed..

Friday, November 11, 2011

Urlagalange Masiyal /Mashed Spiced Potatoes

A spicy mashed pototo that goes well with rice..

Boil potatoes with some salt and removed the skins.

Mashed the potatoes - it need not be really mashed - it can be some chunks and some mashed up.

Heat some oil in a wok (sorry no picture for this).  Add mustard seeds - once it starts to splutter, add in urad dhall cumin seeds, fennel seeds and dry chillies - saute for a few minutes.

Add in chopped onions and curry leaves.  Saute till the onions are soft.  Add in your mashed potatoes, tumeric powder, chilli powder and salt to taste. 

Stir well ensuring the mashed potatoes and onion mixture mix well and voila you have Urlagalange masiyal.

Mint (Pudina) Chutney

Cleaned and drained mints

Green chillies(deseeded), ginger, garlic, shallots, cherry tomatoes

Heat a pan, fry without oil all the ingredients till soft, let it cool.

Remove to a grinder with salt to taste and blend to a fine paste and serve.

Mint chuntney 

Capsicum, Cucumber & Onion Raita

A simple raita dish - has a little sweet taste from the yellow capsicum

What you need..
  • cucumber 
  • onions 
  • yellow capsicum
  • chilled thick yogurt
  • salt to taste
  • coriander leaves - optional

How to do..
  • chopped finely all ingredients.
  • Stir chilled yogurt with salt
  • add the chopped ingredients
  • mix well and serve chill
Excellent with briyani rice, pulao and plain rice.

Medu Vada / உளுந்து வடை - 2nd & 3rd Attempt

My second and third attempt in making medu vada turn out to be good and it was soft til late night.

I sniffed around, looking for a way to making the vada with the hole in the centre and found some good tips from Chef Sanjay Thumma of

His tips...

  • fold and beat the grinded dhall beat well to ensure that the batter adds the air - in other words to aerate the batter.
  • when trying to make the donut shape vada, get a bowl of water, dip you fingers into the water, then into the batter, get a small amount, using your thumb make a small hole and slowly drop it into the hot oil.  Becareful though when doing this - you do not want to be burnt with the hot oil splashing at you....

Enjoy the pictures and not so perfect hole with the medu vada..My daughter was enjoying the vadas with sambar...

1, 2,3 hands in action....

sizzling vadas...

vadas and sambar...

hope  this looks good...


Monday, November 7, 2011

Milagu Rasam / மிளகு ரசம்

An overdue post - 

Mr Hubby was suffering from running nose, fewer - all due to seasonal change from summer to winter.  I thought of making chicken or crap soup but he wanted something light and meatless - in other words vegetarian.

And I remember my mum use to make milagu rasam for us in our younger days.

What you need..
  • 4 tbs of black peppercorn
  • 2 tbs of coriander seeds
  • 1 tbs of cumin seeds
  • 5-6 shallots
  • 3-4 garlic
  • 3- 4 dry chillies
  • 1 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp of urad dhal
  • 1 sprig of curry leave
  • 1 tomato - chopped finely
  • lemon size tamarind - soak in hot water
  • salt
  • 1/4 tsp of tumeric powder
  • coarsely chopped coriander leaves
How to do..
  • Dry roast slightly black peppercorn, coriander seeds, cumin seeds.
  • Let it cool, grind coarsely with shallots and garlic. Set aside
  • Heat oil in a wok/pan.
  • Add in mustard seeds, once it starts to pop, add in urad dhall, fry for a seconds.
  • Add in the dry chillies and curry leaves, stir further.
  • Add in the tomatoes - stir in till the tomatoes are soft.
  • Next add in the blended spices, give it another go for a few minutes
  • Pour in the tamarind juice, salt and tumeric, mix well and let it boil on medium heat.
  • Let it simmer for a few more minutes on low heat.
  • Remove from fire and add in the chopped coriander leaves.

Medu Vada / உளுந்து வடை- Failed Attempt

After the success of yesterday's masala vada (which is my favourite), I decided to make my hubby's favourite - ulende vada as we call it.  It is usually known as medu vadai due to its softer texture compared to the ones made of channa dhalls. 

Traditionally medu vada is served with sambar and or chutney - but I liked mine as it is, my daughter ate with chilli sauce!!!

However I did not get to make the right kind of vada with the hole in the middle.  Looks like i need more practice on this (or Amma where are you - I need  your help), so I just made mine like making bonda.

The taste was there though...well this is how they say practice makes perfect - have to try another time around.

Well all is not wasted, I still have a few left overs and plan to do Dahi Vada - a vada in yogurt based with spice.

Lets indulge on the making (despite the failed one)..

What you need..
  • 1cup of urad dhall
  • 1 big onion
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 2 green chillies
  • grated ginger - optional
  • a dash of hing
  • salt to taste
  • oil for frying
How to do..
  • Soak dhall at least 6 hours preferably overnight.
  • Grind the dhall to a smooth paste without water.  Only if required add spoons of water to have ease of grinding.
  • Chopped the onion, chillies and curry leaves.
  • Mix with the grinded dough together with salt.
  • Heat oil
  • take a small quantity of the dough, ball it and make hole and drop in hot oil
  • Let it fry for a few minutes before turning over
  • Fry till it is golden brown, remove and drain
  • Serve hot
p/s - need to do research for a perfect good one with the hole in the middle. better luck next time.

the soaked dhall

grinded dhall with chopped onions

 the vadas in hot oil...sizzling..

the frail looking medu vadas...

the only one that I manage to make a hole....

Masala Vadai/பருப்பு வடை/Channa Dhall Vada

Parripu vadai or masala vadai as it is famously known in Malaysia is my favourite.  Its a donut sort of like indian snack made of coarsely grinded channa dhal with chillies, onions and curry leaves.

What you need
  • 2 cups of channa dhall(kadala parippu) soaked for atleast several hours.
  • 1 big onions - chopped finely
  • 1-2 green/red chilly - sliced
  • 1-2 sprig of curry leaves
  • salt to taste
  • oil for frying
How to do...
  • Grind coarsely the dhall with no water.
  • Add in the chopped onions, chilly, curry leaves, salt and mix well
  • Heat oil in a wok/pan
  • Take a small ball of grinded dhall, pat on the palm of your hand, flatten it and slip slowly in the hot oil
  • Make a few more of the same and fry the vadai.
  • Turn on each side till golden brown.
  • Serve hot

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Egg Sambal

Sambal is a chilli based sauce which is normally used as a condiment.  Its a popular dish amongst the Malaysian, Indonesians and Singaporeans.  

During the International Day celebration at my children's school, I came across Sri Lankan's version of sambal and coconut rice just like the Malaysian's Sambal Ikan Bilis and Nasi Lemak.

I normally have the chilli paste made in advance and refrigerate them.  With the chilli paste ready, you can always use it for making fried rice, noodles or anything else that requires the extra edge in spice.

There are normally made with dry chillies soaked in hot water, adding together shallots/onions, ginger and garlic, blend to fine paste.  At times, when I get "colourful" I add lime leaves and lemon grass. 

What you need....
  • 1/2kg dry chillies - cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup of shallots/onions
  • thumb sized ginger
  • 5-6 garlics
  • lemon grass - optional
  • lime leaves - optional
How to do....
  • Boil water enough to cover the dry chillies
  • Once cooled, blend the chillies with all the other ingredients to a fine paste, using a the same water that was soaked.
  • You can store the blended paste as it is or cook slowly by heating up some oil and stirring it occasionally until the raw smell of chillies are gone.  Cool and store in fridge.
  • Use it as and when required.

Egg Sambal

What you need...
  • Boiled eggs and prick slightly
  • 10 tbs of chilli paste
  • 2 large onions - sliced
  • 1 tomato - chopped small
  • 1 tsp of tamarind paste - mix with 1 cup of water
  • salt to taste
  • sugar if required
How to do...
  • Heat some oil
  • Saute onions for a few minutes.
  • Add in the chopped tomatoes and fry for a few more minutes.
  • Add in the chilli paste, stirring well with the onions and tomatoes and cook over slow fire for more minutes.
  • Pour in the tamarind paste, stirring well, salt to taste and sugar if you like.
  • Cook slowly, stirring occassionally, add in the eggs, cook till you get the desired consistency.
I personally like mine not too thick or too thin.

With Love from Mr Hubby - Cabbage Aloo Subzi

My dear husband is on his 13days shift vacation and how did he spent his time while waiting for his wife and kids to come back after school.... he got himself to do some cooking.  

He has always been a great helper in the kitchen, helping to peel onions, garlic, ginger, cutting vegetables but him cooking was something very new.

Going through the fridge and found himself a medium size cabbage, surf the net for a nice subzi and found an aloo gobi recipe...but then he has cut the whole lot of the cabbage - so he change the pool gobi (Cauliflower) to patta gobi (cabbage).

He printed the recipe (have no idea which site he got it from...) got all the ingredients laid out and went into action and voila we had a big bowl of aloo gobi (and I thought it will last me for days).

Thumbs up for my dear husband for making our lunch a fantastic one...looking forward to seeing more of you in action in the kitchen....

Friday, October 28, 2011

Vegetarian Dalca

another dish for my ladies gathering
Vegetarian Dalca

What you need..

2 cups of toor dhal
2 tbs of ginger garlic paste
1 1/2 tsp of tumeric powder
2 eggplant - quarter
1/2 cup of baby carrots - halved
1 big tomato - quartered
1 big onion - sliced finely
2 sprig of curry leaves
1 green chilly-slit lengthwise
2 tbs of chicken masala powder
1 tbs of sambar powder
*2 cardamon
*1 tsp cumin
*1 tsp fennel
*1 cinnamon
*3-4 cloves
*3-4 aniseed
*1 bay leave
chopped coriander and or mint

p/s : you can add potatoes, carrots, long beans if you wish.

How to do...
  • Wash and pressure cooker the dhall with ginger garlic paste and tumeric powder and tomato.
  • When the dhall is cooked add in green chilly,carrots, eggplants and any other vegetables that you like.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked, add curry powder and sambar powder and salt to taste
  • In different wok/pan, heat oil and saute all marked * till aromatic, add in onions and curry leaves, bay leaves. Fry till the onions are soft.
  • Pour into the dhall, stir well and let it boil for a few more minutes. Remove from fire and add coarsely chopped mint/coriander.
  • Serve with rice, thosei, idli or chapatis/puris.

Chicken Masala with Methi

This is another version of chicken masala - kind of creamy and not spicy.

What you need..
1.5 kg of chicken - cut into small bites.
1 1/2 cup of yogurt - whisked (I use laban)
3 tbs chicken masala powder
1 tsp of tumeric powder
1 tbs of ginger garlic paste
1 tsp of cumin powder
1 tsp of fennel powder
1 tsp of coriander powder
1 tsp of cardamon powder
1/2 tsp of clove powder
1 big tomato - chopped
1 big onion - sliced
coriander leaves a handful
2 tbs of dried methi leaves

How to do...
  • Marinate chicken with all except tomato, onions, methi and coriander for at least half hour - the longer the better.
  • In a different pan cook the marinated chicken over medium fire - covered. Do not add any water.
  •  In the meanwhile, in a different wok/pan, heat oil sand saute onions and tomatoes till soft and brown on slow fire. Remove from fire, let it cool and blend together with coriander leaves till a fine paste.
  • Once the chicken is done, add in tomato/onion paste together with methi leaves, salt and then cook on slow fire for a few more minutes till the methi leaves are soft.
  • Serve with flavoured rice, plain rice or chapatis/puris/parotha.

Dates Roll

Tina & Anand, a Malaysian couple with 2 young boys, invited us to their house for Divali dinner. Tina had invited 2 other family ..I brought along the cookies that I made for Divali..hope she likes them.  One of her guest brought a few type of sweets..Dates Roll, Split Mung Dhall Puding, Fruit Cake and Seri Muka..I am familiar with Seri Muka as it is one Malaysia's famous local snack/sweet.  The rest of them tasted good too.

Dates Roll is a combination of nuts, sesame seed, raisins, oats and dates combine with melted butter and if you wish honey.  Its a very healthy dish and good if kids have a liking to it.

I made mine without honey to bring over for my monthly Tamil Ladies Birthday Gathering- this month with man of the house as it is Deepavali Gathering too. 

Lets have a look at Dates Roll

What you need..
1 kg of dates - remove seeds and chopped
3 cups of oats
1 cup of chopped almonds- I roast  it till light brown
1 cup of golden raisins
1 cup of sesame seeds
enough melted butter
honey if required

How to do...
  • chopped the dates
  • mix all ingredients till well mix
  • roll into logs and cover with aluminium foil and chill in fridge
  • cut and serve
  • if kept fridge can keep for days
p/s the thickness of the roll is up to you.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Divali Day and the Food

Happy (belated) Divali to all my Hindu readers...

The celebration started with the day before, preparing the next days menu...Chicken Dalca, Mutton Perathal, Chicken Masala and Jeera Rice.  Eve of Divali lighted up tea candle lights instead the usual earthen lamp and oil. Needed the use up the tea candle lights (trying to figure up why I got them in the first place...)

The only food that I managed to take pictures was of Idli...Family photographer on school trip...The recipe for Idli is the same as Thosei...It is steamed  with a special mould and steamer, normally for a 15 mins depending on the size of your mould.  Remove the idli from the mould with a spoon and serve.

Dalca is combination of meat and lentils with some vegetables and curry powder with sambar powder.  Tradionally it is cooked with mutton, I changed it to chicken as my hubby and kids are less fond of mutton.   I added drumstick, the fruity part of Muringa Tree and eggplants

Chicken Dalca

What you need..

2 cups of toor dhal
2 tbs of ginger garlic paste
1 1/2 tsp of tumeric powder
2 eggplant - quarter
2 long drumstick - cut into bite size.
1 big tomato - quartered
1 bowl of chicken pieces - preferable the one with bones.
1 big onion - sliced finely
2 sprig of curry leaves
1 green chilly-slit lengthwise
2 tbs of chicken masala powder
1 tbs of sambar powder
*2 cardamon
*1 tsp cumin
*1 tsp fennel
*1 cinnamon
*3-4 cloves
*3-4 aniseed
*1 bay leave
chopped coriander and or mint

p/s : you can add potatoes, carrots, long beans if you wish.

How to do...
  • Wash and pressure cooker the dhall with ginger garlic paste and tumeric powder and tomato.
  • When the dhall is cooked add in green chilly,eggplants, chicken meat and drumstick and any other vegetables that you like.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked, add curry powder and sambar powder and salt to taste
  • In different wok/pan, heat oil and saute all marked * till aromatic, add in onions and curry leaves, bay leaves.  Fry till the onions are soft.
  • Pour into the dhall, stir well  and let it boil for a few more minutes.  Remove from fire and add coarsely chopped  mint/coriander.
  • Serve with rice, thosei, idli or chapatis/puris.

Chocolate Treasure

Another of my has two steps, first with the base and then the topping..a little work but worth the effort.

I have this cookies a few time and this time I decided to make a little by adding rice bubbles and instead of drizzling with cooking chocolate I sprinkle with hundreds and thousands. 

Chocolate Treasure

Mama Zieza @

For base

250gm butter
25 g milk powder
65 gm castor sugar
250 gm flour
65 gm corn flour
50 gm cocoa powder

For topping
2 cup of cornflakes
500 gm white chocolate
50 gm almond nibs.
50 gm golden raisins/blackcurrants/ kismis
cooking chocolate for drizzle


1.     Beat butter and sugar till mix well, add the rest of the dry ingredients, mix well and make balls and place in paper cup and press lightly.  Bake and let it cool.

2.  For the topping - melt white chocolate double boiler (its best to do it in small batches), once melted add the cornflakes, almond nibs and golden raisins.

3.  Mix well till all are well coated - ensure that not many cornflakes as it will not stick.

4.  Lined the baked cookies on a tray, scoop out the topping and cover the base. 

5.  Melt cooking chocolote and pour into piping bag and drizzle on the topping.  Let it dry and store them.

p/s - well received by the kids as they look inviting with colours.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Snowball Cookies

This is a another quick and easy cookie making courtesy of Wan Noor Baya of US.  Thanks Baya for sharing.

What you need :

2 cups of flour

2 cups of finely chopped nuts (walnuts or pecan) - I used walnuts
1/4 cup fine sugar
1 cup of softened butter
1tsp vanilla
icing sugar for coating/rolling

How to do :

  • Pre-heat oven at 180C
  • Mix flour, nuts, sugar, butter and vanilla essence.
  • Mix on low speed till mix well (3-4 mins)
  • Using teaspoon, scoop and make balls.
  • Place on cookie sheets 1 inch apart
  • Bake at 18-20minutes or till it turns light colour.
  • Remove ASAP from cookie sheet.
  • Roll over icing sugar, let it cool and roll once again. (I put them into small paper cupsfor easier handling)
  • Store.
Note - this is a soft kind of cookie so beware.

Cornflakes Cookies

A crunchy cookies worth trying from  I used honey nuts coated cornflakes so it was a little sweet otherwise they were excellent. 

What you need :

250gm butter (I used unsalted ones, so add 1tsp salt to the batter)
150gm sugar
2tsp of vanilla essence
250gm of flour
4 cups of cornflakes - crushed

How to do :
  • Beat sugar and butter till white and fluffy.
  • Add in vanilla essence, stir.
  • Mix salt, flour and cornflakes, stir till well mix.
  • Using teaspoon, scoop each teaspoon on a baking sheet.
  • Bake 15-18mins at 180C or till golden colour.
  • Store once cooled.
p/s : will be uploaded later...

 before baking

after baking and ready to be eaten....

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Divali @ Middle East, Doha...

Its the time of the year where Hindus all over the world celebrate Divali or Deepavali with lots of food, sweets, new clothes and etc.. Divali this year will be on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.  There is no public holiday or any feeling of the festival mood over here in Qatar, but am not to going to let this dampen our festival mood..

For me Divali is more of a time for family members to gather and enjoy the festivity.  I have always managed to celebrate with either side of family members except for the one year when me, hubby and kids celebrate Divali in Nanjing, China...It was still fun as we were together as a family.

This year however, Varsha will be away on a school trip to Cyprus for a week.  Looks like we will be celebrating without her. (Well looks like we have to get used to the idea of the kids may not be able to join us during celebrations or festivals as soon they will be leaving the home for further studies etc).

What is Divali without murukus...So as Mr Hubby was on shift off day, got him to help me with the making of murukus.  thanks Mr Hubby for spending your time making muruku  with me - you make our day. 

Making murukus used to be an elaborate preparation.  I remember my parents busy at least a month before Divali itself.  The whole idea of getting the ingredients like rice, urad dhall, ajwain, sesame  seeds, wash thoroughly, lay out on newspapers at the balcony of our flat house where we used to live.  I remember seeing my mum changing the papers everynow and then ensuring that the ingredients are dried thoroughly.    Then, it will be my dad's turn to take them over to the grinders to have them grinded to powder form, after which the whole process starts, with mum and dad taking an afternoon of a weekend just a week or so before Divali to make murukus, achi murukus and ommupadi (fine murukus mixed with dhals and nuts).

When we were kids, we were never allowed to be in the kitchen when my parents are making murukus - why their fear that we might get ourselves burnt.  The only thing we are allowed to do was making sure they are cooled and packing them in big cream cracker tins.  Those were the days.  (Emm when making the murukus I went on memory lane with my kids and Mr Husband).

Now it is simple - go over any grocery store - pick your choice of the many distributors who sells all sorts of readymade indian palagarams (tidbits).  My mother sent me via a friend 2 packets of Lingams readymade muruku powder. Just add roasted ajwain(omum) and sesame seeds, water and mix into nice dough enough to press them out of muruku press...voila you have murukus..

Now Varsha will have some murukus to take with her to Cyprus...atleast she will have the Divali mood with her....

Enjoy the pictures - Happy Deepavali (p/s -  I have Varsha requesting me to make achi muruku a sweet tidbits made out of rice powder, sugar, coconut milk and Mr Hubby said that he is willing to help out again....Might as well I take this opportunity - we will see)

Mr Hubby in action....

muruku waiting to be fried

muruku and sizzling oil.....

And murukus ready to be eaten

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cauliflower,Carrot, Potato Subzi

My quick and simple dish that goes well with chapati, puris and rice.

What you need
  • 1 cup cauliflower - cut into small florets
  • 1 carrot  - cut into small cubes
  • 1 potato - cut into smal cubes
  • 1 big red onion - chopped fine
  • thumb sized ginger - chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp of cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp of tumeric powder
  • 1 tsp of garam masala
  • 3 - 4 tbs of yogurt - beat well
How to do
  • cut the vegetables.
  • diced ginger and onion - set aside
  • Heat oil in a kadai and add in cumin seeds. 
  • Once it starts to pop, add in ginger and onions and fry till golden brown
  • Add in the vegetables and stir well.  Add in some water and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add in the salt, cumin powder, tumeric powder, garam masala and stir well.
  • When the vegetables are cooked, add in the beaten yogurt, mix well and remove from fire.
  • Add in chopped coriander leaves and serve hot....

A Family Affair @ Kitchen - Chapati making

Today's dinner was a very family affair, with Mr Hubby, me and the kids making chapati....chapati is not my cup of tea..I never get it right for making dough, though am good at rolling out and cooking itself....

Since dear son has been asking for chapati - he wants home cook one not from the papa went one making dough and me cook the side dishes to go with the chapati and the kids too helped...

I made 2 side dish a cauliflower, carrot and potato dish click here and a Punjabi eggplant dish  (will post the menus later). 

Chapati on a tawa...

Chapati ready to be enjoyed....


Monday, October 10, 2011

Black Pepper Chicken

Enjoy a simple, quick to make dish.  My style, Chinese dish...

What you need
  • 900gm chicken breast - cut into small cubes
  • 1/ 2 green bell pepper - sliced
  • 1/2 white onion - sliced
  • 1 carrot - quartered and slice diagonally
  • 1/2 bowl of cauliflower
  • 1 tbs of ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp of sesame oil
  • 3 tbs of soya sauce
  • salt to taste
  • spring onion - optional

How will you do....
  1. Marinate the chicken with ginger garlic paste, sesame oil and soya sauce.
  2. Heat oil in a wok/pan. Add in the onions, stir for a few minutes.
  3. Next add in the cauliflower, carrots and bell pepper, saute for more minutes
  4. Mix the black pepper powder with 1/2 cup of water.
  5. Add in the chicken and black pepper mixture, stir well and cook till the chicken and vegetables are tender and done.
  6. Garnish with spring onion and serve hot with rice.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Moong Dhall Curry

Whats for lunch/dinner, a multi dollar question asked today while going the pantry, I realized that I have not cooked moong dhall curry for a long long in action today's dinner....  next I have to think a good combination that goes well this curry... thinking hard....and while the moong dhall is in action, being boiled...I am off to the fish market...

What you need....

1 cup of moong dhall
1 tsp of ginger garlic paste
1 tsp of tumeric powder
1 big onion - chopped finely
thumb size ginger - chopped finely
1 medium sized tomato - chopped.
2 small red chillies (green is also ok, Ilike the rainbow effect in my gravy)
1 sprig of curry leaves
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1 tsp of fennel seeds
1 tsp of urad dhall
1 tsp of fennel powder
1/2 tsp of cumin powder
 a dash of hing (asofoetida)
salt to taste
ghee for tarka - ghee for the aroma, otherwise vegetable oil will do
chopped coriander for garnishing 

How will you do...

1.  Wash and soak the dhall overnight, and then pressure cook with ginger garlic paste and tumeric powder till soft
2.  Remove from fire and mashed using the back of a spoon. Then return to fire
3.  In a different pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds.
4.  Once it starts to pop, add fennel seeds,urad dhall and hing, fry for a few minutes.
5.  Add in tomato, ginger, garlic, onions, curry leaves and chillies and fry for a few minutes till the onions turn golden brown, keep stirring till the tomatoes are soft.
6.  Add the onion mixture into dhall, fennel powder and cumin powder, season with salt,  keep on low fire and continue to cook till a boil.
7.  If you gravy is too thick you can add a little water or milk.
8.  Garnish with chopped coriander before serving.

Serve hot with rice or chappatis.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Vegetable Kurma

Another dish that I made for our monthly ladies gathering....

source - yours trully...
What you need....

1/2 cup of baby carrots - halved
1/2 cup of cauliflower florets
2 whole potato - quartered
1 whole onion - sliced
1 big tomato- chopped fine
2 small green chillies - cut into two
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 1/2 tsp heaps of coriander powder
1 tsp of cumin powder
3 tsp heaps of fennel powder
1 tsp white pepper powder
1 tsp of tumeric powder
1/4 tsp of clove powder
1/4 tsp of cinnamon powder
2 tsp of ghee
2 small bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
3 aniseed
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
1/2 tsp of fennel seeds
2 cardammon seeds
a handful of almonds - soaked in hot water for half hour and removed skin
a handful of raisins - blend soaked almonds and raisins to a fine paste.
chopped coriander leaves for garnishing.

How to do...
1.  Heat ghee in a pot.
2.  Once hot, add in bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves, aniseed, cumin, fennel and cardamon seeds.
3.  Once they start to pop, add sliced onions, fry till they are soft and golden brown.  Add in green chillies
4.  Add in the tomato and mix well well, cook till it is very soft and mushy.
5.  Add in the powders, stir for a few minute, adding about 2 soup bowl of hot water.
6.  Add in the potatoes and let it cook .
7.  Once the potatoes are three quarter done, add in the carrots and cauliflowers and cook till they are tender.
8.  Add in almond/raisins paste to the gravy, put heat on low fire and boil for a few minutes, add in salt to taste.   Add in chopped coriander before serving.

Serve with rice, chappatis and puris.

Baby Corn, Mushroom & Methi Masala

I made this vegetable subzi for our monthly ladies lunch gathering.  

What you need
1 packet of baby corns
1 packet of mushrooms
a handful of dry methi leaves (fenugreek leaves)
1 big tomato - quartered
1 big onion - quartered
3 garlic
thumb size ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 small bay leaves
1 tsp heap of garam masala
1 tsp of tumeric powder
salt to taste

How to make

1.  Wash baby corns and mushrooms, drain
2.  Remove stems from mushrooms, halve and slice the mushrooms.
3.  Baby corns cut into small pieces.
4.  Blend tomato, onion, garlic and ginger into fine puree.
5.  Heat oil in a pan/kadai.
6.  Add in jeera and bay leaves (you can also use ghee for additional flavoring).
7.  Let it fry for a few seconds.
8.  Add in the baby corns and stir fry for a few minutes. 
9.  Pour in the tomato puree, stir further,  cook for till the baby corns are three quarter done.
9.  Add in the mushrooms and methi leaves, stir for another few minutes.
10.  Add in the tumeric powder, garam masala and salt to taste.
11.  Do not add any water because the mushrooms will ooze out water.
12.  Mix well and fry till it is semi dry or dry up to your preference.

Serve hot with rice, chapatis or puris.

Kerala Egg Roast

Recipe credit from This is a Keralite speciality that is best eaten with appam, idiyappam or even ghee rice.  I u...