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....

Kerala Egg Roast

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